Workwear Hall of Fame: Audrey Jana Work Tote

Readers have always loved Lodis Accessories totes, and we’ve featured many of them over the years. This tote looks lovely because it’s a great size (15″ x 5.5″ x 12.75″) and I like the little details like the red piping. There are other Lodis totes that look very similar that have a laptop pocket, which this one does not. It does have interior zip pockets and flip pockets and also a magnetic snap closure. This looks like a great basic bag if you’re looking for something for work, and it’s $284 at Zappos, available in toffee, red, and black. It’s also at Nordstrom and AmazonLodis Accessories Audrey Jana Work Tote

2017 Update: We are adding this tote bag to our Workwear Hall of Fame! Readers love Lodis bags, and this one is a great basic tote for work.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!




The Audrey Jana Work Tote from Lodis is part of our Workwear Hall of Fame. Readers love Lodis Accessories totes, and this one is a perfect basic bag for work.


  1. Philly with kids :

    I’m planning a very last minute trip to Philly this weekend! Advice on what to do with 2 kids, ages 2 and 4? I used to live in Philly but pre-kids, and I have not had any time to plan for this trip. I’m thinking they won’t appreciate Independence Hall but correct me if I’m wrong. We’re staying in Center City. Older son loves science and math.

    Also, ideas on where to eat? Should be family friendly, delicious, and outdoor dining a big plus.

    • Anonymous :

      I loved the Franklin Institute (science museum) as a kid. Sounds like that would be good at least for your older child.

    • Marshmallow :

      The Franklin Institute!

    • Oh man I love philly so much. Moving west to east…
      -The please touch museum and the zoo would both be great options.
      -Right in front of the art museum, they set up “the oval” with corn hole and play stuff and it’s a great spot to hang out. Your family might enjoy running up the steps and posing with the Rocky statue at the Art Museum.
      -Down the parkway at Logan Square, in front of the basilica, there’s a gorgeous park with a great splash pad, if it’s hot.
      -The liberty bell is free to visit. Also on that site is the view belowground into the reamins of the basements of the founding fathers houses- you can peer down into the slave quarters.
      -At Franklin square, there’s a storytelling program called ‘once upon a nation’ where your kids can listen to a story about historic philadelphia, which might go over easier than going indoors to the betsy ross house or independence hall

      • No offense to you, Kk, but God, I wish we could find a name for that game other than corn hole. It’s disgusting. You’re playing a game called butt hole, people!!! (Wasn’t it always called beanbag toss?)

        • Anonymous :

          Ummmm…what? The game is called cornhole because you’re tossing bags of corn into a hole. I had to look up cornhole on UrbanDictionary to realize it had another meaning and I’m 100% sure that is not the origin of the game’s name.

        • Anonymous :

          I agree. We call it bean bag toss in my area of Philly. I don’t want to hear about your corn holes.

          • I’m from Philly too! Maybe we all just have filthy minds. Your comment made me cackle out loud.

        • Fishie, my dad used to set up corn hole for my nephews and I would crack up laughing at it. Eventually, my nephews caught on as well and we used to snicker like fiends.

    • Please touch museum
      Spruce harbor park (food trucks and kid friendly games and hammocks)
      Three bears playground and food at Whetstone

      • Also franklin institute! Though it may be too much for your 2yo. And newish restaurant 24 has a big covered patio overlooking the Schuylkill.

    • Cookbooks :

      The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Please Touch Museum are all great! I’m not too sure about kid-friendly eating but for desert, Franklin Fountain should be fun. It’s an old-school soda fountain/sundae sort of place.

    • Franklin Institute! I took my (then) 1 year old and 3.5 year old last summer and they absolutely loved it. We must have walked through the giant heart 10 times.

    • Cookbooks :

      This went into moderation, I think, so I’m sorry if this posts twice…

      The Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Zoo, and the Please Touch Museum are all great! I’m not too sure about kid-friendly eating but for desert, Franklin Fountain should be fun. It’s an old-school soda fountain/sundae sort of place.

    • You can’t go wrong with any of these recommendations. For food, I’d steer you towards Honey’s Sit N’ Eat at 21st and South, SquareBurger in Franklin Square, and Pizzeria Vetri (two locations – 19th and Callowhill, and 16th and Chancellor).

    • Reading Market is good for eating with kids because everyone can get what they want. We also liked Federal Donuts (multiple locations) when The Kid was small, both for donuts and for chicken (after 10:30 am, I think), but it was all high stools for dining in. It worked for us because we had the stroller to put The Kid in, but YMMV.

  2. I’m in a very slow time at work (cyclical industry, this is normal), half of my coworkers are out, and I just want to leave and go play with makeup at Sephora. Or take a nap. Or eat a bunch of cookies. I’m not picky. Anyone have any funny podcast recommendations? NOT related to politics.

    • Reply all, Answer Me This, (an oldie but so good) Mystery Show, my dad wrote a porno. and i would just go take a 15 min break and play with some makeup.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I like JAM Session from The Ringer’s Channel 33 – pop culture woohoo! And Ask A Clean Person makes me feel productive.

    • The Tara and Johnny podcast. If you’re into figure skating you’ll know who Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir are, but the podcast has NOTHING to do with skating. It’s just them talking about their lives and it’s hilarious!

      • Yay Kat! I have this TOTE, and I can VOOCH for it being great, even on the MTA subway where men are ALWAYS trying to get their slippery paws into my tote and get to my wallet. Recently a guy tried that and onley pulled out a pair of my dirty gym shorts. FOOEY on him! This tote has a zipper and a snap, so we are doubel covered.

        As for the OP, does YOUTUBE count as a podcast? If so, I recomend this great YOUTUBE from the 1940’s about some women that my Ex wanted me to be like. They are the ROSS SISTERS, and it is called Solid Potatoe Salad. Dad clued Sheketovits into this video b/c Dad thought he might once had been intimeate with one of them (Im sure he did NOT, b/c they are MUCH Older then he is). But they are INCREDIBLEY flexible, and I could never be as flexible as these women. Sheketovits wanted me to be like this and he was also salavating over these women. FOOEY on him! But I think the ENTIRE hive should watch this YOUTUBE. YOU WILL BE SHOCKED at how great it is!!! YAY!!!!

    • Why this went into mod, I’ll never know. But try the Tara and Johnny podcast!

    • Today is the Day (Maybe) :

      My Dad Wrote a P*rno is the best podcast I have listened to. Use earbuds and be prepared to literally laugh out loud over and over again.

    • a millenial :

      i like gilmore guys (2 guys watch gilmore girls from the beginning and comment), wait wait dont tell me (although its news/trivia so theres some joking political news), and guys we effed (spelled out the real way)

    • The Baby Sitters Club Club is great – two guys re-read all of the Baby Sitters Club books and overanalyze them. Also +1 to Jam Session

    • Download the Sephora app on your phone and try on all the lipsticks

    • You Look Nice Today. I don’t think it’s universally appealing, but it’s right up my alley and I think it’s hilarious.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’ve got a 17 hour car ride coming up and I’m taking notes! I’m bringing my dog so flying is out. We listened to Serial last time we took this trip and it made the time pass so much faster.

      • If you haven’t listened to it yet, S-Town is even better than Serial, I think.

        Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, Revisionist History, is also great. As is Stuff You Should Know and Judge John Hodgeman (silly but good).

    • Slate’s Dear Prudence is awesome and Mallory (the new Prudie!) is funny, though it’s not really a humor podcast. I have recently listened to By the Book and love it (two ladies read self-help books, implement them and report back on the results)–also very funny. Other funny podcasts: Throwing Shade, Superego, Hello from the Magic Tavern, My Brother My Brother and Me, Brain Candy, and The Dollop. I’m a bit podcast-obsessed.

    • I love Witch, Please, which is two professors reading and analyzing Harry Potter through a feminist viewpoint. They also watch the movies. It’s great. I laugh out loud regularly while listening.

      • anonjrassociate :

        This is one of my favorites! And it’s the only podcast I find myself re-listening to — immediately post-election, I binged the whole thing for a second time and it was (a) still very, very funny and (b) really comforting to remember that we live in a world where “feminist harry potter podcast” is a thing that exists.

        I also really like Mortified, though the episodes can be a bit hit or miss. It’s adults reading their teenage diaries, poetry, rap lyrics, or creative writing assignments to a live audience — highly recommend the boy band episode, which had me in tears.

  3. Any GIS analysts out there? :

    I know it’s a long shot, never heard from any of you before in the hive. Buy I need to submit career goals and request skills training, and I was wondering if anyone had suggestions. I’m opening to hard skills or soft. What has been most useful to you? Most marketable? Should I ask to go to an ESRI conference?

    • This will be of no help to you because it’s been years since I did GIS work, but hi!!!!! I LOVED GIS work. We’re out here. I hope there’s someone else here whose knowledge is current and relevant enough to help you :)

      • Ditto!!!! It’s also been about 7 years for me, but I too loved GIS. Palantir and the University of the Redlands may have good resources!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not a GIS person but I plan on learning some GIS tool e.g. QGIS because I need it in my work. So assuming you already know ArcGIS or something similar maybe you could pick up some skills in programming e.g. python or R. I just say this because I’ve seen people who program in those, use those skills to plot data on/overlaid on maps. If something thinks otherwise please correct me

    • Anonymous :

      What would you want to get out of an Esri conference? The big one in July is really big, and if you’re not into crowds, it can be overwhelming. It also takes some planning, and if you don’t already have a hotel reservation for this year, finding a hotel room will be difficult. They do have other regional user conferences in other parts of the US over the course of the year.

      Python is always good to know. That’s always been helpful to me, either to automate some steps, or to create tools to share with others. And it’s been good for the folks on my team to pick up. And you can do things with python that aren’t related to GIS.

      What do you want to do with GIS? I think having an idea of what you want to do in the near future will help you figure out what kinds of training or conferences to put down for goals or training requests. More analysis? R would be good for that. What about developing map applications? Or project management?

  4. ugh, in moderation. My dad wrote a *naughty book*, mystery show (an oldie), answer me this, reply all

  5. Boston Recommendations :

    I’m going to be in Boston for a long weekend in July. Any recommendations for places to eat (particularly interested in good seafood places) or fun things to do? Thanks!

    • sweetknee :

      Are you going to the CLM conference? I am!

    • If you have a car (or really Uber works too), go to Belle Isle seafood in Winthrop. Incredibly fresh, casual seafood. Way better than any of the Legal Seafoods around the city. Neptune Oyster is also very good but always has a giant line.

    • Depending on what you want, Neptune Oyster (lobster rolls), Summer Shack (pan-fried lobster), Row 34, and Island Creek Oyster Bar are all really good seafood restaurants.

    • Cookbooks :

      The Daily Catch, if you can get in. It’s a tiny, practically actual hole in the wall, but it’s so fresh and so good. All of CHJ’s recs above are great, too.

      If you like breweries, check out Downeast Cider in Charlestown, Harpoon in the Seaport area, or Sam Adams, of course. One of my favorite places to take visitors is the Mapparium, the giant, walk-though, stained glass globe at the Mary Eddy Baker Library

  6. Share an newspaper article/fact/podcast episode/etc that made you go WOAH recently!

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      So this lady killed a rapid raccoon that bit her in Maine by drowning it in a puddle. I can’t get over her quick thinking!

      • sweetknee :

        I read that. She is a BAMF!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I saw the headlines but didn’t read the article. She’s a tiny 21 year old woman. Amazing! This quote too “If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done,” Borch said of drowning the animal. “It really was just dumb luck. I’ve never killed an animal with my bare hands. I’m a vegetarian. It was self-defense.”

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Correction. Saw the headlines but didn’t read the article until now.

      • Anonymous :

        I was in Maine recently and saw the Bangor Daily News with that story on a newsstand. Crazy story!

    • Code Switch ‘Give It Up for DJ Blackface!’ about the history of House Music.

    • a millenial :

      instagram fitness model killed by exploding whipped cream. poor woman but omg..the headline

      • Anonymous :

        I saw that this morning and …. what do you do with a headline like THAT, when a death is so tragic, but that headline . . .

        Thank you, internet stranger, for thinking my strange collision of inappropriate and sympathetic thoughts with me!

      • So sad and scary. I have a water/soda siphon that looks like that and it never occurred to me that it could be an accident waiting to happen. So tragic.

    • I’m going to leave this here:

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        um wow. What in the world makes someone think that would be a good idea!?!

      • The original letter to Dear Prudence is jaw droppingly amazing.

        • LondonLeisureYear :

          Its amazing to me the bad judgement call of everyone there. The videographer, the DJ, the other guests etc should have been wise enough to be like this is not their day and focus on the real bride and groom!

          • Anonymous :

            Maybe I’m skeptical, but that letter sounded super fake. I know they all make up letters from time to time, but it was too over the top.

    • Anon for this :

      Posted this on the mom’s page a few minutes ago:

      Did you all see the news articles about the parents arrested in a bar with their baby? As you dig deeper, there was some bad stuff there like mom offering sex for beer and chaining the baby stroller outside with the baby still in it. Yes, that is neglect. Also, the two parents were legally intoxicated. However, I had to dig to get that info. The original reports made it sound like mom and dad brought baby to a bar, were each drinking, and mom breastfed while having a drink. It would be pretty scary if that alone was cause for the police and CPS to be called! Another article said the baby was checked out at a hospital and had no liqour in him and no signs of neglect. Last I knew, it wasn’t illegal to be intoxicated with a baby, so long as baby’s needs were met. If they had walked to the bar and the baby wasn’t getting any tainted breast milk it doesn’t sound so bad to me. I worry that was the case initially and the later articles only mention sex for beer and chaining the baby outside to justify their gross over reaction.

      • Anonymous :

        This is not related to that article, but I was recently in Utah, where minors seemingly aren’t allowed into bars (even in nicer bar/restaurants, even to go to the bathroom). One of the bartenders at a craft brewery was telling me about how people often leave their kids to play in the parking lot and sometimes they monitor them to see if they need to call CPS (!)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I listened to the Every Little Thing podcast about ~flamingos~ this week and it blew my freakin’ mind (feel free to skip the second half, about mascots). I don’t want to spoil it, but WHO KNEW flamingos were such BAMFs?

    • This duet with a contra alto and counter tenor singing a duet:

    • This headline is everything:

      NASA wants to probe deeper into Uranus than ever before

      Read more:

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I shared this when I heard it a number of weeks ago, but Pluto has not made a full orbit around the sun since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence!

      We will see if our democracy survives a full Pluto year. I think we’ve got 7 years to go… it’s a toss-up, IMO.

  7. I have a question about my car that I’m a bit concerned about but it’s maybe nothing.

    I drive a 2008 Honda Accord. Lately, I’ve noticed that when I’m driving down the freeway (constant velocity, no gear changes) , my engine RPMs go from 1.8-1.9 to 2.3-2.5 for about 10 seconds and then return to normal. This repeats a few times at 2-3 minute intervals then stops. Temperature gauge is normal.

    I’m wondering if this is because I’m also running the AC? It started at about the time temperatures heated up and I needed to run the AC more and at a higher output.

    I’m about 5000 miles from my next maintenance. Should I call my mechanic?

    • You have a problem. Probably electrical.

      What is the temp like outside? If it’s 120 out, this could be plausible; if you’re talking about the AC running on a muggy 88 degree day, no way.

      Your car is almost 10 years old, things are starting to go. Definitely take it in before it gets worse.

      • Thanks! We’ve been having a heat wave (100-104 degrees) so it’s more noticeable now. I’ll call my mechanic.

        • Ok I misread- I thought you said you’re AC wasn’t working. I am de-escalating my recommendation to “call your mechanic,” not get it looked at immediately. Does it increase
          /decrease RPMs as you turn the AC on or off?

    • Anonymous :

      This happens to me with my Toyota – I figured out it’s when I’m on cruise control and going up a hill – the car needs more power to get up the hill.

      • That increase makes more sense than this one. I drive on mostly flat freeways with a slight incline. Thank you!

    • This also happens to me with my 2008 Honda Accord, mostly when I start going over bridges and there’s a slight incline.

  8. Anonymous :

    How do the … aging … among us deal with sagging skin? I have the vertical chest lines and sagging upper leg skin. And arms – like around the inner elbow, both above it and the forearm. I have been rolling with boatneck tops but wonder if I’m being weird about all of it. (But haven’t given up shorts yet)

    • Anonymous :

      Not being weird, but for me these kinds of changes are a wake-up call to get better at accepting and flexing with body changes — because the changes caused by aging are only going to increase, not decrease. And I don’t want to drive myself crazy with my own thinking about it all. I’d rather just enjoy myself and the present.

    • I cover up more than I used to. Sleeveless is out for me, as big upper arms are my most self conscious spot (and all the women in my family have the same)

      I have a bit of a wattle and a hint of the chest creases you’re talking about. I am busty and don’t look great in high neck tops so I just go with it. I don’t cover it up. I do wear sunscreen in that area religiously but some of it is just inevitable.

    • brokentoe :

      Up your moisturizing game on all areas of your body. I’ve become much more religious about this as EVERYTHING seems so much drier as I age and it at least helps to minimize the appearance of the lines. But another comment hit it on the head – we have to start dealing with these changes because gravity is a thing. And I’ve also decided that the last 10 pounds or so I thought I needed to lose may not be such a great idea – I think skinny, wrinkly me may look worse than a slightly plumper version so it may be worth giving up that fight. Not that I can’t improve some tone, but older skin is going to be what time and genetics dictate.

  9. Wonder Woman :

    Hi Hive, I am on a mission with a few other women in my office to get our office to adopt some form of paid maternity leave (ideally parental leave). We know HR is willing to review policies of other companies (to see what a model could look like), so we are compiling some, but I’d like data and arguments in support. Here is what I am thinking so far:
    – Many of us are the only/first women in our department in departments that don’t technically count vacation days . Because women are often forced to patch together vacation days, sick days, and short-term disability, clearly they will have to start counting vacation days and they couldn’t do that for only the women, which might make this easier to adopt because the men would want to keep the policy of not counting vacation days.
    – The few men that have had kids took off about a week when their kids were born and as far as I know were paid because they were vacation days and we don’t really count vacation days.
    – We have international arms and clearly comply with local laws where they do have paid parental leave.
    – I am working on data that shows it is good for companies for the following reasons: employee wellness, hiring competition (given that the companies we are trying to hire people from all offer this benefit), retention (we have a lot of women who head departments and are part of small departments that really need every member – we are a young-ish company, so most of the women joined after they had kids), and branding (which is not TOP of mind for them but certainly something they are starting to think about as we get bigger and more established). Any data, articles, whatever anyone knows of that backs these up would be helpful.
    – Finally, the number of people that would be eligible for this is very small, as it is a male-dominated industry and I believe would be a benefit that is offered only among corporate departments.

    Has anyone successfully done this? What other ideas do you guys have in terms of supporting data or strategy?
    In the corporate office, I am on a first-name basis with our CEO, and go to lunch regularly with our head of HR who is a man. I am the first woman in my department and I sense they were excited to have a woman join because it was starting to feel a little boys’ club-ish. My boss (GC/VP) likes me a lot and our team goes to lunch regularly and even does stuff socially together. Most of the women I am working on this with (quietly – until we have a case ready!) are also managers within their teams and are trying to hire, so I think the competition in hiring is a consideration.

    • Has anyone asked why there is no formal policy in place? That could be critical information in creating a proposal.

    • I think your most powerful point is going to be competition in hiring. Are specialized skills required to work in your company? If so, do your competitors offer this benefit? If yes, then there’s your answer – why would an in-demand candidate take your offer when a competing company offers paid mat leave?

    • Just wanted to say good for you. In my own experience, women who haven’t had kids are usually too nervous to advocate for these kinds of changes because they fear it will place them on a certain track within their company and women who have already had kids, figure they’re done with it, so whatever. Good for you for doing something!

      (FWIW, we have no official paid leave where I am, but you can use 6-8 weeks of your sick time and as much of your vacation as you want for leave. On the off-chance you’re in NY, look at the proposed leave plan that Cuomo put forward that doesn’t take effect for 3-4 years b/c your company would have to comply eventually and you can sell it as getting ahead of what’s coming anyway)

      • Wonder Woman :

        Thanks! I hope to have kids some day and have no clue if we get something in place if it would be there when I (hopefully) have kids, but this is for all of us not just me. To answer other questions: we are not HQ’d in NY but we have locations in NY (as well as internationally, as mentioned above). Of the four of us on this mission one was the first in our office to have a baby about six months ago and was blindsided in trying to navigate and another is pregnant now. Me and my other friend are newly married and hope to have kids someday. I had a working mom so this is something I have always been curious about, even before engagement, marriage, etc. Our industry is special, yes, (manufacturing), and male-dominated, but for the corporate positions, we need accountants, consultants, etc. and the competition (EY, PWC, biglaw, etc.) all offer this benefit (and, go women- a lot of young women candidates), so I think it’s a good angle.

      • EmploymentLawyer :

        FYI, the NY law is not a proposal, it has passed, and takes effect starting January 1, 2018. There is a phase in period, so the full amount of permitted leave time/pay will not take effect until a 3-4 years from now, but there will be mandatory paid leave starting this January.

        • You’re right, it’s not a proposal. I think I had my mind still in the period when the law was announced and I was mad because after doing the math, I realized it wouldn’t apply to me based on how it was phased in. But I should take my own sentiments to heart and be happy that it’s happening at some point even if I don’t get the benefit of it.

      • Royal Ascot :

        Also, talk to some women who have had children as you go about this. I understood things *in theory* until I had a child. And then I understood things for that child/pregnancy/delivery/recovery. It can vary wildly (mandatory bed rest, premies that don’t come home for a while, etc.). When you have a baby, they don’t even want you driving for weeks even if you didn’t have a c-section.

        What do they do if you have a heart attack? If they can deal with that (unplanned), then maternity leave (likely, with lots of notice) should be do-able.

        It seems like 6 weeks STD is an easy minimum. But to get people from Big4, you’d have to do much much better or not attract women in their 20s/30s (or not retain them).

        • Wonder Woman :

          Right, bigger picture is accounting for non-primary caregivers (aka “paternal” leave), mandatory bed rest, c-section birth versus v birth, etc. but I believe step 1 is getting them to see this as a necessary benefit. We already have 6 weeks 60% short term disability, but from what I understand from my coworker who just had a baby, the hoops to jump through are burdensome and confusing. (She didn’t even know what steps she needed to do with the company and insurance.) If you have a heart attack, presumably you would take unpaid FMLA, but yes, I agree that the short term inconvenience of covering for a coworker who is out is outweighed by the goal of hiring and retaining top talent that grow with the company and contribute towards the company’s growth. We need them to see that to reach this goal they are going to need to provide a fuller benefits package.

    • Delta Dawn :

      At my employer, it would cost 20% of my salary to hire and train my replacement; it would only cost 10% of my salary to give me 12 weeks of parental leave. See if something like this may be true at your employer. When coupled with the stats on how women who have paid parental leave are more likely to be retained, this can be a convincing metric.

    • Also, I realize that others not wanting vacation days to be counted formally is a consideration, but…HR policies do not get enacted by polling the audience. If your company is at a tipping point growth-wise, or turning what were formally unwritten policies into written ones, things get formalized. That’s how it goes. Them’s the breaks. Sorry.

    • OCAssociate :

      There’s some really good information and suggestions in “Effective Policies and Programs for Retention and Advancement of Women in the Law” released by Hastings. You can get a copy by googling.

  10. We have been talking about what’s on trend lately. Neutrals, unstructured easy pieces, natural fibers, flat shoes…..

    I just went to the Cuyana website and clicked on “shop all” just to take it in. I think they’ve perfectly captured the zeitgeist.

    Unfortunately I am not a waifish wisp of a girl so these flowy pieces aren’t going to do me any favors, but I do love the whole feel of the thing.

    I think my bright colored pieces are getting donated.

    • That may be “on trend” but it’s not a look that looks good on my body (I am not stick thin, I’ve got big b**bs and hips and muscles). So I’m not going to wear it and I’ll just keep wearing what looks best on me. Maybe I’ll get some new clothes that are in trendy colors, but for the most part I think I’m at a point in life where I’m just going to go with what looks best on me.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you like/look good in bright colors? Don’t feel like you have to ditch them!

      • Not really! I like the idea of vivid colors but I always feel like they wear me rather than the other way around. And now they just don’t feel like a normal thing to wear.

      • Another Anon :

        So I’ve been thinking about this brightly colored thing on here since it first came up (last week? week before?).

        If brights were a trend for someone – as in, you normally stick to a palette of muted colors – then perhaps it is a trend for you and you’re tired of it now. But if color has always been a part of your wardrobe, it’s not going out of style just because the people who always wore neutrals have decided to go back to neutrals.

        I’ve worn every shade of the rainbow since I was born – I even refused to wear black as a teenager because I preferred color. Color’s part of who I am as an individual. It matches my big personality :) I look amazing in cobalt blue, so I’ll wear it for the rest of my life, no matter that some magazine editor has temporarily declared it passe. Sure, I think some colors have trends (harvest gold in the ’60s…any of the colors used for pro athletic expansion teams in the ’90s – hello, Charlotte Hornets, Colorado Rockies), but color vs. neutral isn’t a debate, really. We should all be wearing what works for us, not only for our complexions, but for who we are as individuals.

        • ^ preach.

          And that goes for the shape of clothing too. I get Cuyana catalogs and they are filled with gorgeous clothes that would look ridiculous, both shape and color wise, on my hourglass, vibrant self. So I buy a bag from them, use it happily, but go get my clothes somewhere else.

        • ^^ double preach. I’m a near redhead with yellow-toned skin. With the exception of perhaps navy and olive, there are _no_ neutrals that look good on me. Cream, beige, taupe, gray, black–I look terrible in all of them. And, as a Californian, I have been on TEAM COLOR since birth. So yeah–I’m gonna keep wearing colors. Sorry.

      • anonymous :

        A few weeks ago, somewhere (possibly here?) mentioned the “truth is beauty” website. I wasn’t able to pin down my flattering “colors,” but I found myself enjoying the style analysis section more (which also addresses color).

        I would have to go back to the site to check my memory, but the current style strikes me as something like “natural classic ethereal.” My “natural romantic” hourglass figure would have to be at its absolute thinnest to pull it off, and I would have to step up my make-up game to preserve the look without looking washed out. I guess the analysis tool is giving me a bit more confidence in concluding “this is great, but it’s not for me.”

    • I love the minimalist style. I’m not waifish either, but I stick to solid neutral colors (whites, blacks, grays, navy) with simple lines. Also, don’t count out something until you try it on. I wore some wide-leg slacks and a loose, boxy top recently and was afraid I would look like a big grocery bag, but it looked really sleek.

      And speaking of trends, flat shoes or block heels? I want a pair of trendy summer shoes but I keep second guessing myself. I figure a pair of trendy, neutral shoes will update my other basics.

      • I like the block heels but I walk out of them because they tend to be lower vamped. My go to shoe right now is an ankle strap very low heel in a taupey tan and I wear them so much I’m planning to get them in black too.

  11. Can y’all recommend an eye cream for fine lines? I don’t have issues with puffiness, just kind of getting towards my mid 30s and starting to see some lines. I have dry/sensitive skin. I am hoping to not spend a billion dollars (defined here as over $50).

  12. Entertaining questions :

    When you entertain (or are a guest), do you expect that everyone waits until the hosts are seated before you dig in? I’m a little mortified that my own family doesn’t – so I wonder where I learned it. This was over Father’s Day – I didn’t know how to say anything without being condescending.

    Also, what do you think about people on specific diets that make diet-specific foods for guests? [Not for diets that have real health effects like gluten-free, peanut-free, etc.] And said desserts are obviously made with substitute ingredients like different flours, xylitol, etc. and are not exactly delicious? I kind of feel like this is unfair but how do I suggest this without seeming unsympathetic?

    Or am I just a B today?

    • I think with the second one you just have to suck it up. You definitely don’t suggest anything different, except maybe cheerfully and graciously offer (once) to bring something yourself.

    • I’ve always been taught that you wait to eat until everyone is served. I was super pissed that a few weekends ago when we were out at a restaurant and my FIL started eating before my son was served. I did not successfully say something that was not condescending.

      Unfortunately, I think whoever’s hosting gets to choose the menu, and as a guest you have to suck it up…

      • Pissed because it is rude or pissed because your son would be upset that other people were eating when he couldn’t? I could totally see that leading to a toddler tantrum.

    • 1) you are supposed to wait until everyone is seated before digging in. Technically, the last of the house is supposed to “fork” (pick up her fork, if only to put it onto her plate) as a signal for everyone to begin. However, at relaxed family dinners this may not be the case. As the person who cooks in my house, I do get offended if I’m still serving food to my family and they start eating before I have even taken my seat.

      2) hidden xylitol would make me sick as a dog. (I have bathroom issues with that stuff) Hosts should definitely tell you if they’re including that crap. However, if they have dietary restrictions (sounds like diabetes?) I would definitely be sympathetic and just not partake of dessert. I would NOT bring a regular sugar/regular flour dessert to the home of someone who can’t eat that stuff. If you really need dessert, go out for a slice of pie on your own later.

    • Depends on the host eating first. If I’m hosting, I might still be doing some last minute cooking stuff in the kitchen and don’t expect everyone to wait (I also have an open kitchen though).

      Depends on the second one too. Just how not-delicious are we talking here? Flourless chocolate cake is delicious if someone is gluten free. Sugar substitutes are disgusting. Depending on how much effort I’m willing to put in, I might make an additional dessert, but only if it actually tastes good. Otherwise, I might buy something or that person can just skip dessert.

    • I accommodate guests food allergies and will give vegan or vegetarian options. I would not make desserts with ingredients I don’t usually use.

    • Always wait for the host. The exception is if it’s not really a formal everyone around the same table kind of thing (like a BBQ).

      For the second issue, I’m not sure what you mean. Are you saying that the person hosting shouldn’t serve their guests food that is specific to their own dietary preferences?
      If the host is making dessert, then it only seems logical that they would make something that aligned with what they eat. For example, if my host doesn’t eat dairy (assuming no allergy or medical reason in this scenario, just dietary choice) and thus chooses to make sorbet instead of ice cream, I’m not going to get bent out of shape about it, even if the sorbet is horrible and I would have preferred ice cream. If you’re cooking or hosting, you get the final say on the food. I happen to hate mushrooms, so I never put them in my dishes, even though I know some family members think the meal would taste better with mushrooms. I’m cooking/hosting, so I’ll cook what I want to eat. I think that’s the prerogative of the person cooking the dish or hosting the event, even if it means their food doesn’t taste as good as if you had made it a different way.

    • Royal Ascot :

      The person who substitutes xylitol in my food deserves the destruction I will have to quickly inflict on their bathroom. That’s not going to end well for anyone.

    • If it is a large gathering such as a wedding, you wait until the people to either side of you have been served and then you can start eating.

      Buffets – break all rules, you can eat as soon as you have food on your plate.

      Seated dinner – wait for your host to pick up that fork unless they give you a different direction,

      As for the dessert – it sucks but its their kitchen and they can kinda serve whatever they want to. If you eat over there a lot, then I would offer to bring something to help them and haha your offering can be more tasty!

      • I’ll add a caveat for restaurant meals where plates don’t all hit the table at the same time. Ideally, you wait until everyone is served before digging in. But, if there is a brief delay, the polite thing to do is to tell people who have hot food to go ahead and start eating before their food gets cold. If you’ve all ordered salads or something, then I think its polite to wait.

    • Anonymous :

      1- not your place to speak up, although it’s obviously rude

      2- calm down. A host can serve whatever they want! Artificially sweetened dessert is not rude just like bacon wrapped steak isn’t rude

      • Anonymous :

        It’s not that artificially sweetened dessert is rude. Not at all. Give me all of the aspartame you want.

        Xylitol at the table is a surprise (for me, I’m used to reading candy labels and mint/gum lables) that will just resolt in explosive output from my bottom within an hour. Not voluntary. Read the breath mint label sometimes — they aren’t kidding.

    • anonymous :

      Re. desserts: Tastes adapt, and people on special diets can’t tell anymore that their food doesn’t taste as good (it tastes fine to them). This is ESPECIALLY true for sweetness (the reverse is even true; regular desserts can taste unbearably sweet after years of never eating them). Someone I know was on a restricted diet for years, and later, after returning to a more typical diet, made one of the wonderful whole-grain, honey-sweetened, carob-for-chocolate desserts she had been serving guests all those years, only to be mortified at how awful it now tasted and must have tasted to everyone else back then.

      All of which is to say, you may want to give them a heads up, so they can serve something more neutral (e.g,. fruit and dark chocolate platter works for an awful lot of diets).

    • When I entertain, I try to be mindful of my guests. My husband is allergic to chocolate, so there is almost always at least one chocolate free dessert (friends are usually mindful of that too and/or I offer to bring a dessert). We have a few friends that are lactose intolerant or one that actually has celiac’s disease, so when I know they are attending I try to have a few dishes they can eat. E.g., using cornstarch in the gravy/turkey bag instead of flour, making at least one flourless dessert, if doing mashed potatoes I throw a baked potato in the oven for the lactose guy, cheese on the side for salads, onion on the side for the one friend allergic to onions, etc. If I don’t know about it (or it’s a large gathering where it doesn’t make sense to know about it – e.g., open cocktail party) then it’s eater beware (but happy to answer questions about my cooking). When a friend was doing paleo while training for something, tried to make sure there were a few things he could eat as well (deconstructed type meals, if that makes sense).

    • I think when you start to eat is very location/culture dependent. In one version you start eating when people sitting across and next to you have received their food, in another you wait for the head of the table to give a cue.

  13. Royal Ascot :

    Explain this to me, fashion-wise, please.

    I get the crazy hats. But the dress seems to be for a formal daytime church wedding and the shoes seem to be designed to impale themselves in the grass (or force you to walk on tip-toe).

    Maybe I’m used to Lilly and wedges?

    • I think it’s like the Derby. There’s a minority of people who do it right and a whole lot of caricatures that completely miss the mark.

    • Anonymous :

      Lilly is too casual for Ascot. It’s supposed to be formal day wear, something Americans are atrocious at.

      • Royal Ascot :

        It’s formal-fancy.

        That’s a rookie mistake for newbies in the office. Formal-fancy during the day is perhaps only done at Ascot and daytime church weddings.

        The shoes that they wear in the grass, though. QE2 gets it right. Maybe just her though.

  14. What do you do about a coworker who puts his feet up on his desk and falls asleep in his office chair (in your open, shared workspace) every single day? It’s usually only for about ten minutes in the afternoon, or he’ll be sort of in and out of sleep. But he’s definitely sleeping– the other day he was snoring. This has been happening occasionally for months but has gotten much more regular over the last few weeks so that it really is every day now.

    We are at the same organizational level and share space with a few other coworkers, all also at our level, all aware of the problem but reluctant to say anything. Our boss works in a separate office and I keep hoping he’ll just walk in, but no luck so far.

    • In some cultures napping in public is very normal and okay. Don’t know if that could be the case with your coworker but depending on where he grew or worked previously a nap might have been fine. My husband has coworkers who nap at their desk in an open work environment.

      • Nope. American guy in an American workplace. He’s young, though, so I guess it’s possible he… doesn’t realize sleeping is not a normal work activity?

        • Quite possible. I had to instruct one of our interns last year that taking a full-on nap on a couch in the office lunch room / common area was not the best idea.

    • Not what I would do, but one of my male coworkers once walked by and lifted one of the sleeping guy’s feet up. He almost went over backwards in his chair. I will admit I laughed along with everyone else. It was hilarious and sleeping guy was obnoxious as f*** full time.

    • Anonymous :

      Sleeping could be unintentional or unavoidable (DH does this and he is very embarrassed by it) but since he’s putting his feet up it doesn’t sound like it. If you’re committing to a nap to that level, you can go find a couch! And if he’s making noise and disturbing everyone that’s a double no-no.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re not his supervisor, nothing. I mean it sucks, because I would like a nap in the afternoon, but if you are not his supervisor, why would he care?

      • Anonymous :

        +1 If it’s not affecting your work, who cares. I wish we could all take a nap during the day.

      • Our guy does affect our work in that clients walk past his office to come to our conference room, but I’ve asked his assistant to shut his door and no one minds.

    • Someone who works in our office does this after lunch nearly every day- he is almost 70 and has diabetes. (I work in a field where you can do whatever you want in the office as long as you’re bringing in $.)

    • When I was a bookkeeper for a not for profit, I worked in a small office. The president of the organization typically took a two hour lunch, and then would come back to the office and take a nap for the rest of the afternoon. He would snore loudly. It’s good to be king, I suppose.

      Ahhhh…. memories.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m almost 6 weeks pregnant and the first trimester fatigue has hit me in a big way. This sounds amazing. But I wouldn’t do it, and this guy obviously doesn’t have the excuse of growing a person.

      • 32 weeks and I did this in the first trimester regularly, but I have an office with a door I can close and did. Now I’m too pregnant to be comfortable in my office chair, so I frequently work with my feet up leaning back in my desk chair, laptop precariously balanced either below or above the bump, and don’t even bother closing the door, but it’s a know your office thing. I would close the door if I was going to sleep. Helps that my 2 massive monitors block that I have my feet up unless someone actually comes into my office.

  15. My Lodis bag looks great after years.

  16. Unicorn Shoe :

    PSA to my fellow large-footed women
    I ordered these LifeStride flats in a 10 (I’m usually the elusive 10.5) and they’re perfect! The snakeskin pattern looks way better in person, they don’t look dowdy, and they’re wide enough that my bunion doesn’t hate me.

  17. Giving Notice :

    I’ve never actually had to give notice at a job before! Assuming I get the job I’m interviewing for (if not, a future job)— how best do you do it? I have 2 bosses and an HR person I would need to inform.

    To make things awkward, I have planned and approved vacation coming up. Would you give less than 2 weeks’ notice if the 2 weeks hit while you’re away? Or go on vacation, return, then give notice? Does anyone have experience not giving the 2 full weeks? TIA!

    • Sassyfras :

      I’ve always talked to my boss in person before sending an email with a formal resignation letter to document it, CC’ing HR. I would absolutely give notice before going on vacation, don’t burn any bridges by giving less than two weeks notice. And then you will be able to enjoy your vacation without worrying about it.

      • +1.

        If you are set to find out while you are on vacation, you should give full notice once you return, in person, and follow up with a resignation letter, cc’ing HR.

        Do not leave with less than two weeks’ notice.

    • I had two bosses – a local one who I was closer to just because I worked with her daily but who technically wasn’t my direct boss, and my direct boss in another city I only saw a few times a year. I went in to talk to my local boss and she called my direct boss for me, which was kind of awesome. HR was just a formality at my company – I just had to send an email and they started the official process.

      I actually only gave one week’s notice, but my business unit was hemorrhaging revenue because there was NO business coming in, so I don’t think they minded not paying my salary for that other week. They were a little surprised by the speed of it, but they also knew I had less than nothing on my plate (see: sinking ship). They wished me well and we’re still friendly and such at conferences.

      • To be clear, I said I’d like [one week’s notice] to be my last day, but would stay to [two weeks’ notice] if they really wanted me to. They didn’t care. I really do mean I had nothing on my plate – I surfed the internet for 8 hours a day.

    • I had this exact situation once!

      Do it before your vacation. In your official resignation letter, make a note that you will begin transitioning your work ahead of your scheduled leave from [date] to [date], and complete transitioning everything by your last day on [date]. And leave it at that.

      When I did that, my manager asked me if I thought I could finish transitioning my work before vacation (which was a little less than two weeks away at the time, at a company where people standardly gave four weeks notice). I said I could try but it would be tight, and they said “eh, never mind” and kept me on until my planned end date. But keep in mind there is a chance they might move your last day up.

      Overall, it shouldn’t matter much to the company because they’re going to have to pay you for those days anyway, whether you’re on vacation or as a payout for accrued vacation after you leave. So don’t feel too bad about it – there’s almost no better time to be away than when you’re leaving anyway.

    • Manhattanite :

      In a previous job, once you gave notice you lost ability to take vacation. I forget what my work around was (because this was in 2006) but it required flexibility on part of my manager.

  18. I am a pretty anxious person and it comes out in a weird way at work–I have this odd paralysis when it comes to sending emails, particularly emails that bear any sort of negative news or ask people to do stuff. These “To-Do” emails hang out on my task list forever because I can’t bring myself to send them, and when I actually DO send them, I think “FFS, that took thirty seconds. Why did I torture myself by letting this task carry over from day to day?” I haaaaaaate email but totally recognize that it’s a necessary evil and am obviously not going to stop using it. Does anyone else experience this or have any tips for how to deal with it? I’m fairly certain this is an outgrowth of some sort of social anxiety.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m the same, but I draft them and then sit on them for as much as a day. Just to re-read for wording, ensure I cc’d everyone, etc. I think it’s good to be thorough and conscientious. I have never known the “aaaaahhhh – recall!!!”

    • Generally, if I have small work tasks that make me anxious (for me, putting the finishing touches on a project and getting it out, or making phone calls), I try to do them first. If there are several, I tell myself I need to accomplish 3 things from “that list” today – 1 first thing in the morning, 1 an hour later, and 1 right after lunch. Obviously, that’s not all I accomplish in the day, but I have less of a problem plugging along on a project.

    • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) works well for things like this.

    • As you’re reading emails over the next couple weeks, try to be more self-aware about your own reactions to getting these sorts of emails.

      When someone emails you with a request to do something that is within the scope of your duties, do you feel aggrieved, put-upon, or resentful of the person? Or do you mostly feel neutral and add it to your to-do list?

      If you get a piece of bad news, does it enrage you, ruin your day, and make you angry with the person who sent it? Or do you think, “Oh, that sucks,” and move on.

      You can even think back retrospectively – how many emails have you gotten this week? How many stand out in your mind? Do you remember having strong emotions about any of them, or about the person sending them to you?

      I think you’ll find that if you assume that others are affected by your emails about as much as you are by theirs (which is to say, typically very little, in the grand scheme of things), it becomes easier.

      When you find yourself paralyzed by sending an email, try to think about what your reaction would be to receiving it. Again, probably it would be just another email in the daily shuffle of emails, tasks, and updates.

      tl;dr: Other people are almost always thinking about you less than you think they are.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I have no helpful advice I’m afraid, but you’re not alone – I do the same thing. I have diagnosed OCD, and, for me, I believe it’s related to that.

  19. KateMiddletown :

    It’s late but I’m going to drop this here… Any Bachelor/Bachelor in Paradise fans? I just read the news about the leaked contract for the contestants, and I’m wondering – is this even enforceable? (I’ll post one of the many links below.) Please don’t judge my garbage tv viewing.

    • KateMiddletown :

    • I just like reading this comment and imagining that somewhere in her schedule of maintaining flawless hair and attending charity events, Kate Middleton is obsessively watching the Bachelor franchise whilst drinking wine and shouting for William to come in the room so she can share her commentary.

    • Ianal so no clue on the enforcibility, but I’ve watched the bachelor series since the start (in a can you believe this trash kind of way, not in a what a great love story way) and between the producers pushing racism as entertainment on The Bachelorette and the BiP news the last week or so, I’m just done. There have to be lines somewhere.

  20. Slip Shorts :

    PSA to anyone who likes Jockey Skimmies – they are on sale today at Macy’s, and an additional 20% off the sale price with the code “WKND”. Brings the price to $10.39 each. Free shipping for orders over $50.

  21. I have been feeling like so out of touch because I absolutely don’t know what certain words/ acronyms mean here! Recently had to look up both MAGA and BAMF. I feel like my parents. I was on top of FOMO and DGAF. What else do I need now?

    (As to the discussion upthread, though, I did know the slang meaning of cornhole and have always hated that term for the game!!!)

  22. Does anyone have this dress? Contemplating it for those non-suit but more dressed/formal days – thoughts?

  23. New Tampanian :

    Late post… Have any of you ever had a “complex migraine?” I was in the hospital Tues/Wed with one and I am still feeling a bit cognitively slow. Hoping to hear how long before you felt back to normal.

    • I have, although I wasn’t hospitalized for it. I don’t remember how long it look to recover, but I definitely have lingering concentration, memory, and vocabulary issues after my regular migraines. The things that help most are drinking lots of water, getting extra sleep, and taking magnesium supplements, riboflavin, and fish oil. I take all three regularly as preventives, but increase my doses during and after a migraine. This helps to improve cellular metabolism in the brain, and fight inflammation. I hope you feel better soon!

  24. Aww that is so cute! I would definitely buy it if it wasn’t for the lack of a section for my lappy! :(

  25. Wildkitten :

    Housecleaning recommendation in Chicago? 500 sq feet walk-up studio in Lincoln Square. Thanks!

  26. Hello! Any similar bags at a lower price point? I’m going back to school part time this fall and I’m looking for a bag that I can bring to work and school. I don’t really want to lug a backpack to work so I’m looking for more or a purse/tote that can fit basic essentials and a notebook for class. Any suggestions?

    • This is late, so you may not see it, but I have the Dagne Dover and it’s perfect for work and school (I’m a part-time MBA student). It’s at a slightly lower price point but still pricey, though I think it’s definitely worth it.

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