Wednesday’s TPS Report: Contrast-Trim Cashmere Blazer

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

Autumn Cashmere Contrast-Trim Cashmere BlazerI’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: my favorite, softest, most luxurious, best cashmere sweater is Autumn Cashmere. So even though this black/blue contrast-trim cashmere blazer is down to lucky sizes only, I’m still drooling over it. I’d wear this as a slightly more structured cardigan over dresses, with trousers, and more. It’s $396, but is marked down to $138. Autumn Cashmere Contrast-Trim Cashmere Blazer

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

Psst: Off Fifth has a few more sizes left in a similar cabled black/white combo for $162 (down from $418).



  1. I like it, but I haven’t had great luck with Autumn Cashmere. I think their tops are too short for my long torso. I prefer White & Warren.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      This is great information, thanks! I’ll have to remember that since I have a long torso too.

    • I actually like the NM store brand one better:

      Anyone have this or try it on? I have one NM cashmere sweater and I wasn’t impressed with the quality, but this looks so cozy…

      • I have last year’s version of the NM, in black and in gray, and I like them. I don’t wear them a ton, so I can’t comment on their durability, but every time I grab one of them, I’m pleasantly surprised by how thick and soft it feels.

  2. That is gorgeous. This would look great with a white dress in the springtime.

    • Wool in summer? :

      I just cant see a wool sweater in summer. Maybe if the knit were something open. This totally reads end-of-season sale to me.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        Agreed – I was just thinking that I can’t bear to buy one more “cold season” thing this year, and that’s what this looks like to me.

  3. DC Darling :

    Rant/Help Needed

    So I, like almost everyone, have put on some winter weight. Between 5-10 lbs. Nothing major that I can’t work off but it’s been somewhat stubborn this year. I’ve also noticed that my clothes (most notably bottoms) are getting into the uncomfortable tightness level. I’ve been working out and eating moderately healthy but work has been crazy so far. Add to that I’ve started grad school this past semester so what little time I did have is now spent studying (really).

    I don’t feel comfortable at work anymore in some of my clothes but am dreading buying new clothes a size up as I end up with too big clothes once I drop the weight. The tight clothes are also some serious motivation. Thinking I should just suck it up and buy a few cheaper bottoms til I can work it off…..I blame the weather.

    • Definitely blame the weather! It is responsible for my nightly mugs of hot chocolate. And personally, I probably wouldn’t buy the new pants. That seems like a slippery slope to me (maybe because I have done it and didn’t lose the five extra pounds).

      • So I deeply love good hot chocolate, but I noticed this year I was drinking more low-quality hot chocolate in the evenings (like Tim Hortons powdered hot chocolate), which is just an enormous amount of sugar and not worth indulging in. I switched out for a tea I found at my grocery store – it’s a Canadian store brand flavour called “chocolatey mint”, which is mint tea with cacao nibs in it. It’s delicious and actually tastes chocolatey. I drink it without sugar, but even a teaspoon of sugar would be less than what’s in hot chocolate. It gives basically the same winter, chocolatey, hot drink, indulgent kind of feeling without actually being so. I save actual hot chocolate for a couple times a year when I’m at Aroma or somewhere similar that actually makes good hot chocolate with real chocolate.

        (Note – I switched b/c I am also trying to lose 5-10 pounds that have crept up on me over the last 2 years due to stress, low exercise, etc — so this is meant just as a suggestion for anyone in the same boat and not hot chocolate shaming :) I’d also rather save my evening drink calories for an occasional glass of wine.)

        • I finally got rid of those stubborn 10 lbs by giving up added sweeteners. No sugar, no artificial sweeteners (no diet coke — that was the hardest). The cravings went away after a week and for me, the more sugar I ate, the more I wanted. Now I fill up on healthier foods (and I was never a binge-on-chips kind of gal anyway) and fit back into my pants.

          • DC Darling :

            Hm I’m not really a sugar person but I do take a sweetener in my tea. Might be time to cut back in smaller places.

            I will punish a bag of chips though. God I love salt.

        • That tea sounds great! Where did you buy it? (I’m also in Canada)

          • Loblaws! It’s the PC brand:

            The Moroccan Mint is also really good. We usually have tea with dessert after dinner when we have guests, and I notice a lot of them go for that flavour. I like the chai a lot too (regular, not the Cinnamon Chai or Chocolate Chai — the cinnamon one is a little too cinnamony, haven’t tried the chocolate one).

      • If you do really like hot chocolate, you can make your own using plain cocoa powder and artificial sweetener, hot water, and just a splash of milk. It’s not as sweet, but I find it to be very satisfying, and it has less than 20 cals.

        • When it was really cold here this winter, I made my own with cocoa powder, skim milk, and a small amount of sugar. Of course, I also added a splash of Nocello!

          zora gave me the idea, god bless her. It got me through those evenings when it was insanely cold in my house (old house with very little insulation and no central heat).

          • aww!!! glad I could help ;o) I just do it because i’m a hot chocolate snob, so I can’t stand the super sweet ‘hot chocolate’ mixes. I use high-quality (+ expensive) cocoa and a little bit of sugar because I like mine rich and not sweet. But I also use whole milk usually, because I have zero will power.

      • I’m also looking to lose 5-10 pounds that I put on thanks to ridiculous eating habits (no one needs to order pizza as many nights per week as I did this fall and winter) and almost zero exercise. I have been wearing a Fit Bit One (the clip-on model) for two weeks now and it really pushes me to walk more, take the stairs and just generally make healthier choices, even on busy days. I highly recommend it.

        Also, buy the pants — or preferably, skirts as Monday says above. It is important to be comfortable, and the right skirts will fit after you’ve shed the weight. Good luck to you.

        • DC Darling :

          You’re right, I think I will buy a few skirts. They’re easier to fit anyway.

    • Buy the pants. To lose weight you need to treat yourself better. Looking and feeling uncomfortable is no way to do that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. As I said on a similar thread a few days ago, in 40 years of yo-yo dieting I was never once able to hate myself thin.

        • Thank you for this, Senior Attorney. I have been so stuck in the “hate yourself thin” rut due to some early conditioning. As with your experience, self-hatred never made me thin. But it turns out that when you’ve been hating yourself intensely for a lifetime, it’s really hard to stop! If you’ve managed it, I’d be thrilled to hear any advice you might have…

          • Senior Attorney :

            The thing that has helped the most is lots of therapy. I remember one day, several years in, when I shrieked “I don’t even know why I’m here!!” and Dr. Shrink looked at me levelly and said “Uh, you’re here so you can learn to stop hating yourself.” And I stopped and said “Oh. Yeah. That.” and on we went. I’m not there yet but I’m getting better. I was on vacation with my son and his dad last week and I forgot to hate myself for a whole week! ;)

            As for the weight, I had weight loss surgery four years ago and it was the very best thing I ever did. I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy, which is a very simple procedure in which they leave your intestines alone and just remove most of your stomach. I was a super-ultra-feather-lightweight as these things go (55 pounds to lose) but for me it was the only solution and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the results. I work hard at keeping the weight off but at least now it’s possible whereas before it was impossible.

          • It is indeed hard to stop hating yourself/your body, especially when we as women are bombarded at all turns with messages like IF ONLY YOU COULD LOSE 10 POUNDS YOU WOULD BE HAPPY and THE ONLY WAY TO BE BEAUTIFUL IS TO LOOK LIKE KATE MOSS, WHO DOESN’T EVEN LOOK LIKE KATE MOSS WITHOUT PHOTOSHOP. I am certainly not perfect at this, but here are some things that have gotten me to a better place with my body image:
            -Stop verbalizing negative body talk
            -Don’t participate when friends try to start it; say “I don’t want to listen to you disparage your body, let’s talk about [literally anything else].”
            -Not looking in mirrors for a while
            -Unfollowing people on Facebook who post things that make you feel gross
            -Ditching the scale
            -Therapy, as mentioned by Senior Attorney
            -Doing things that make you feel good about your body, such as your preferred forms of exercise and fueling your body with healthy, nutritious foods
            -Reading up on feminism, fat activism (seriously, the idea that a woman can be fat, happy, and unapologetically occupy public space–incendiary!), and Health at Every Size

          • Senior Attorney :

            Those are all great suggestions, too! Expecially “no fat talk” and reading up on fat activism. Also look at some plus-size fashion blogs to see other-than-model-thin women rocking their outfits.

            One of my big struggles about weight was being so resentful of the fat-hating culture, and the idea that if I did lose weight, then I was giving in to that. I called it “if I lose weight, the terrorists win.” Honestly I still kind of feel that way — like I caved in to societal demands.

            And I am here to tell you that it’s been the oddest experience, because on the one hand, everything did change when I went from fat to slim and (as) conventionally pretty (as someone my age can be). But on the other hand, and at the very same time and to the very same extent, nothing changed at all. I’m still me, I still have all the same issues I ever had, and getting thin was far from a magic bullet for all my problems. And yet, at the same time everything is indeed way way better when I don’t have to think about being fat every second of every day. And yet, everything is the same. And yet, everything is different. And yet, it’s not.

            Crazy, man. Super crazy.

            My first choice would have been to love myself while fat, but there wasn’t enough therapy in the world to make that happen.

          • At my thinnest, I felt really good. My whole life I was the “good girl” if I lost weight. But, when I look back at pictures, my face looked awful! Now, I am not thin. I’m about 25 lbs above that thinnest weight. But, I’m well proportioned, pretty well toned, and I try to wear clothes that flatter the body I have. My face looks thin, but not gaunt. I am muscular but not bulky. Unless I get a tummy tuck, I’ll have the stomach (and I know it’s skin, not fat, but…). I guess what I’m saying is that there is a point where I don’t feel good but, in general, I don’t have to be traditionally thin to feel good.

        • Silvercurls :

          NOLA and everyone else: thanks for the good thoughts. I still want to lose weight (<20 lbs.) but it's hard to do this as a stress eater with a middle-aged, been-pregnant-once body. It helps to shut down the negative self-talk.

    • Do you have a job where you can wear dresses or skirts? They can be a bit more forgiving than pants.

      Taking it from your handle that you’re in DC – Capital Weather Gang *promised* that this would be the last cold spell of the year….I’m taking their word for it :)

      • Especially knit or jersey skirts, and wrap cuts if possible, will probably still fit fine after a 5 lb. loss. I agree you should be comfortable right now, but buying a few of these will not waste money in the long run either.

      • DC Darling :

        Yep ordering myself a few nice midi skirts to wear(I don’t trust the weather anymore, heard it’s supposed to snow AGAIN next week!). I like them better than pants anyway.

        • rachelellen :

          If there’s any interest in connecting virtually – or in person; I’m in DC as well – for weight loss support group, whatever that might mean, I’m in.

          • DC Darling :

            If you haven’t already checked it out, I go to a fantastic workout called kazaxe. Youtube it and you won’t be disappointed :)

    • Hug’s to you. I agree that the WINTER can cause all of us to bulk up and have extra POUND’S to lose. In my case it goes DIRECTLEY to my TUCHUS! FOOEY b/c it is hard to exercise your tuchus on the machines at the NYSC. The best you can do is go on the ELEPTICAL and the Treadmill machines, but it is there that all the Guy’s come up to you b/c you are standeing right in front of them and you are captive. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      What I recomend is for you to get a FITBIT (they now come in alot of colors) and wear it alway’s. You get to count all steps, and in my case, my dad is abel to see how many step’s I am takeing so that he can tell if my tuchus is getting smaller. With my birthday comeing up, Mom will be bakeing me a peach cobbeler and also an apple pie. Dad say’s I can take both pie’s home with me to NYC b/c it is my birthday, but he expect’s me to work them off with 10,000 extra step’s next week. That is less then 2,000 extra per day, so I should be good.

      If you walk everywhere, you will loose the pound’s. But it take’s time. Your tuchus will not look different for a while, mabye 2 week’s. Also just make sure NOT to wear open toe shoe’s or sandels, b/c there is alot of poopie all over the place in NYC, if that is where you are, and you do NOT want to have to scrape the poopie off your shoe’s, or worse yet, your toe’s. TRIPEL FOOEY!

      Sam keeps calling and now Willem is texteing to do something today, but I am meeting Roberta outside my office at noon today, and we are walking over to Lord and Taylor to go eat lunch and go shoppeing! YAY!!!!!

  4. Sydney Bristow :

    Reporting back on the Dorothy Perkins dress from the recent TPS Report. The fabric was a bit weird and felt sort of bubbly. The texture was odd but I would have overlooked it if it fit, which sadly it didn’t. I ordered another dress as well (black and white floral pencil dress), which didn’t fit either so I think I’m in between sizes there. They both had a very boxy fit and were slightly too big. I ordered the same size I wear in dresses at J Crew and The Limited. Sadly both dresses are going back. They were so cute online but just didn’t work for me.

    • Thanks for the feedback. I remember that cute black-and-white dress and now I’m patting myself on the back that I didn’t succumb. Sorry you have to send them back.

    • Greensleeves :

      Oh no! I ordered that one too, but haven’t received it yet. Here’s hoping the fit works out for me and that the fabric isn’t a deal breaker. I’ll report back if it ever arrives!

      • Your post has me a bit worried as I also ordered the dress, have not received it, and am now a bit worried that it won’t fit or look right.

  5. Any suggestions for straight legged/slim cut dress pants with a long (34-35″) inseam? I’m having a hard time finding slim cut trousers that aren’t ankle length.

    • Land’s End has a pair in bright pink that I am coveting (in reg length) and in basics in tall:

      Search for: Women’s Tall Fit 2 Portico Side-zip Ankle Pants

      • First Year Anon :

        I think she specifically asked for non-ankle length pants :)

        • Yeah, cheers–not a proofreading fail…they Tall ones are 34″ and the pink ones are just cute (but are ankle-length).

          • Thanks. Unfortunately I’m sized out of Lands End’s tall range, but hopefully this will help someone else!

    • White House Black Market always has some great options in lots of different hemlines.

    • Diana Barry :

      I just got some Theory pants called the “Rosel” at the outlet and they have a 34″ inseam and are pretty slim/straight cut – if you have an outlet near you you could look there.

    • The Gap has Long and Extra-Long inseams, which are 36″. Banana Republic’s long lengths are never that long, though I haven’t tried them in a while, but Gap’s are super long.

  6. So…random question for the Hive. One of my friends’ husbands just wished her a Happy Birthday on FB. This seemed…odd to me. Neither one is traveling or anything–they woke up in the same bed. Thoughts?

    Also, thanks for all of the anti-insomnia tips from yesterday morning’s thread. I did not know anything about blue light emitted by electronics and sleep disruption–I had previously just thought that surfing the web was not “relaxing enough” to get me in the mood for sleep. That said, I slept much better after I banged out the deliverable that was causing me grief and am now finishing it up! Thanks again, ladies!

    • My husband and I interact on Facebook way less than other couples our age and we still write Happy Birthday on each other’s walls. So many things are not real unless they’re “Facebook official” for the 20-something crowd. We just like to do it as an extra sweet gesture. It’s fun to get flooded with Happy Birthday messages on your Facebook wall.

      • I actually think the idea that something isn’t real unless it’s on FB is part of the problem. Maybe not a problem, per se, but I find the idea that you need an audience for every. single. thing or it doesn’t count to be really creepy. “Happy birthday” is pretty innocuous but the constant stream of “Thank you sweetie for picking up milk!!!! You are the best and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!!!!!” to be pretty off.

        • I completely agree. I think when people constantly say things like that they’re trying to convince themselves more than others. My Facebook status didn’t say I was in a relationship with my husband until we were engaged. Everyone could see my pictures and know we were together though. That being said, every couple is different and communicates differently. If they like to make public declarations on the regular, more power to them.

    • Not weird at all. I will usually wish DH a few times during the day – in person first thing in the morning and on FB as well.

    • Maybe I’m just a grinch but I hate it when couples (particularly ones who live together and/or see each other every day) post on each other’s fb walls. Happy Birthday doesn’t bother me as much if it isn’t accompanied by a bunch of mushy sentiment, because I agree that everyone likes getting a flood of those. But anything on Valentine’s Day or an anniversary or really any other public declaration of affection just rubs me the wrong way. If you feel the need to make your affection for each other public, I feel like there’s something wrong with the relationship.

      I saw something great on fb back in February- “The best sign of a healthy relationship is no sign of it on facebook.” I think it’s fine to have pics of you and your SO on fb/instagram/whatever, but I see absolutely no need to communicate with them on social media except as you would communicate with anyone else.

      • I agree – my SO just had a birthday and I didn’t post anything. We’ll post the occasionally link or funny picture on each others wall while the other is at work, but we don’t chat on the walls.

      • It’s fine if you prefer not to do it, but what’s the harm? I get that it’s super annoying when couples constantly gush about each other on facebook and would probably block them if it got too bad, but seriously, a once-in-a-while post celebrating a holiday or anniversary is not something to get peeved about, nor do I think it’s a sign that the couple’s relationship is weak or something.

        Arguing with each other on facebook, however, is a whole different load of messed up.

        • How about a breakup and child custody argument on Facebook, with both parents staking out their demands and mutual friends weighing in on what should happen, all on the same public comment thread? I’m sorry to say I have seen this.

          • Ugh, yes, I have seen at least 2 divorces play out on Facebook. Keep it to yourselves, people.

            I agree that the sappy “I married the BEST GUY EVER!!!!” posts can get a little annoying, but what can you do.

          • Me too. One girl went on for weeks about how horrible her cheating husband was. They ended up not getting divorced. Hope the kids don’t see that in a few years!

          • Senior Attorney :

            Gah. When I left Mr. S.A. and it became clear it wasn’t going to be a super-easy divorce, I unfriended him and deleted all his photos. As far as you can tell from my Facebook, he never existed!

        • Agreed. There’s no harm. I have one couple friend that literally tag each other in EVERY post/status update, whatever. For anyone else, it could get annoying, but this couple is just so sweet and nice and genuine and happy, that I think it’s cute. This makes me think it’s not the posting itself, but it’s other aspects of the couple’s personality.

      • I understand your Grinchiness. It doesn’t usually bother me, except when I can’t stand the couple in real life to begin with.

        • +1, except some real life couples I can’t stand *because* of their Facebook interactions (mostly ones I see in person less often). Isn’t that awful? I try to justify it by telling myself that I base how much I like them on their “behavior” in general, and online behavior is part of that.

      • +1

    • Diana Barry :

      Why odd? I always wish my hubby happy birthday on his wall.

    • My husband and I don’t interact much on facebook, except for pictures together, etc. We do email often since he is gone 4 days a week for work, but we’d rather communicate privately!

    • “Happy birthday” is not an overshare. It’s not bragging. It’s just a public wish of happiness; this is objectionable? Your annoyance sounds kind of petty.

      • +1

      • +1 Better than my cousin who posts comments like “I love my hot wife, she is so hot & sexy & awesome” fairly regularly. Not even sweet, just a little creepy.

  7. Guest Lecturer? :

    For the professors: have you ever had guest lecturers in your classes? I have a niche law practice that is finance-oriented. I do CLEs all the time, but thought about trying to guest lecture (or be a designated hitter) in some of the MBA programs. Is this a thing? Gratis, of course. In case it matters, I don’t want to get into teaching, but I think that this might be fun and perhaps a bit a challenge to speak more with non-lawyers.

    • prof on a bike :

      I absolutely use guest lectures — it gives the students a break from the usual routine and brings new perspectives into the class. I think one of the reasons profs don’t use them more often is just the organizational work of trying to find someone and get them to commit, so if you made the first approach I think you’d get a very warm reception.

      IME guest lectures work best when the lecturer has taken the time to look at the syllabus and what the students have learned so far so that they aren’t unnecessarily repeating material — many times a guest lecturer will go back to the basics on a particular topic, not realizing this material was probably already covered in the early weeks of the course. Students also really enjoy guest lectures that can speak from personal experience — lectures from practitioners/people in industry are the most well received in my classes.

    • Not a prof myself, and no idea what happens in MBA programs, but one of my professors is known for pulling in a lot of speakers, and everyone loves him for it. It’s great to hear all of the speakers’ different perspectives on what we’re studying, and how their specific work ties in with bigger themes in the field; they all seemed to enjoy coming in, and a couple even joked about fighting off competition from other people in their office for the chance to speak. It can also be a great way for us students to network, so I’d bear that in mind if you’re considering it–I know quite a few people in that class used speakers’ visits to class as a springboard for requesting informational interviews. I say go for it!

    • Totally! And I agree that it’s often practitioners who are the most popular with students, since they are able to give a perspective on things that I, as an academic, don’t have. In my classes this semester I’ve had guest appearances by a former US ambassador to the part of the world I teach about and a doctor who works on major public health issues in that part of the world. Both were big hits!

    • Yes, guest speakers are usually a big hit with students. As faculty, it feels like a day off, but I sometimes inwardly cringe because the person isn’t presenting material relevant to the course and now we’ve basically lost a day. Agree that try to look at the syllabus first is very good. I suggest sending an email to faculty who appear to teach in the subject area you’d like to guest lecture in accompanied by your resume or a description of what you do/what you’d talk about and an invitation to meet for coffee to discuss possibilities.

    • I’m a student of Politics in the UK – we tend to have one key lecturer for each unit, but sometimes they’ll pull in a specialist for a specific topic and we love it.

      My uni is #1 in the UK for student satisfaction so we must be doing something right!

    • Meg Murry :

      Not sure about MBA programs, but some departments also will have a lecture series that is just guest lectures. In my department its pretty much all other professors right now, but when I was in school we would have people in industry come as well.

  8. Famouscait :

    Thank you ladies for all the good “sticky dust” that was sent my way. The ultrasound yesterday went well and there was a heartbeat and everything! I’m not out of the woods yet (still need another 4 weeks or so) but it’s feeling more “sticky” this time and well, alarmingly real!

    Now I just need the weather to warm up enough that I can wear dresses without tights. Waistbands around my middle are not feeling AT ALL comfortable right now… (she types, with her pants discreetly unbuttoned underneath her blouse).

    • Yay!!! Finger crossed for you!

      If you want to wear tights, but loosen the waistband you can try this trick (on a cheap pair of tights). Up at the top of the thick part of the band, make a small vertical cut down about halfway the length of the band (not through it completely that’s how you get a run). You can put two in front, two in back, and one on each side. When you put them on they’ll pull apart like a V. Add a little clear nailpolish and BAM, roomier tights.

      • Yes! I saw this trick here, and it really worked! I did not use nail polish – as long as you don’t cut into the actual seam that connects the waistband to the tights you shouldn’t have a problem.

    • Congrats. Waistband extenders, either with a real button or a strategically looped hair band, are good things, as are bra band extenders.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yay! I found this was the time to buy 2 sizes up in workwear pants – I bought about 3 suits and was able to wear them for a couple more months, and then again postpartum.

    • Clementine :

      WOO HOO!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! Nothing to add about the tights, but… Hooray!!!

    • Guest Lecturer? :


    • So glad to hear it! I had to pretty much immediately buy a bella band and wear my pants unbuttoned. Too uncomfortable otherwise, especially while feeling ill.

    • YAAYY!!! so happy for you! keeping my fingers crossed! ;o)

    • Woohoo! Keeping my fingers crossed but this is great news!

    • Yay! Great news!

    • Meg Murry :

      Yay for you and baby! Regarding the tights – the Spanx maternity tights & pantyhose (or the generic Assets version at Target) have a higher waistband – all the way up to the bust, so there is nothing pressing on your waistline itself. They are pretty comfy, even if you don’t have much belly to support yet.

    • Anastasia :

      Hooray! Fingers crossed everything continues to go well.

      Regarding tights – and things with waistbands in general: don’t resist buying “maternity” things for too long. I kept wearing bella bands and looping hairbands through the button holes of my jeans under tunics for probably a couple months longer than I should have. It was a revelation the first time I put on maternity jeans. They were so. comfortable. I immediately regretted not buying a pair much, much sooner.

    • So happy to see this update!

  9. Another Weight Loss TJ :

    So I’m also trying to lose about 10-12 pounds of winter weight . I can be really disciplined when it’s just me but I’m having a hard time integrating this with my social life (i.e. my friends like to drink wine as do I). I expect this will be a little easier once it’s warmer but my big issue is either I’m disciplined and go to the gym/eat properly or I have a social life. I can’t seem to balance both. Any advice?

    • Do you have a friend whose willing to be your workout buddy? Find treadmills side by side or go for walks and talk instead of going to a restaurant?

      • When my treadmill was on the fritz for awhile, a friend and I met religiously to take long fast walks in the park. It was great! I also find that the side by side treadmill or elliptical can be fun, too. I often meet up with someone at the gym and the time goes so fast.

    • I am a total exercise-alone person, but many people swear by making it social: running buddy or group, going to a class with friends, even walking together as a regular thing. Your friends love to drink wine, but I imagine you have a few who work out as well, so start making exercise dates with them?

      People also say (and I find too) that once you’re in a regular exercise routine that you actually enjoy, junk food and drinking don’t hold the same appeal anymore. Bonus if some of your friends end up feeling the same way and you’re now getting together for, say, coffee.

      • +1 – I totally make better food choices when I’ve been working out regularly because I can really tell the difference in how I feel.

        • I feel the same, and typically start weight loss efforts with exercise alone for a few weeks because it serves as a strong motivator to eat nutritious food.

    • Drink less wine. I don’t know what else you expect to hear. Honestly it’s a pretty straightforward solution- either go out less often or when you do go out only order one glass. How many times are you going out a week? If more than 3 nights you might just need to cut down on that.

      • This. One glass and then water. And limit it to 2-3 total per week. You can go out more, but drink water or soda water. And limit eating out to once per week and make relatively healthy choices / watch portion sizes.

        I have recently started tracking everything to lose baby weight and I’m shocked at how quickly calories add up. I made myself track for a week before actually “dieting” just to see how much I was eating / how many calories were in things before I tried to figure out where / what to cut and those innocent little bites really add up! Even now, my rule is that I must track. No matter how bad the day, I have to record it. It really helps. I’ve lost 4 lbs in a month. Just knowing I have to face just how many calories a restaurant dessert is makes it less appealing to eat.

        • Ugh it is so painful to track and see how much the little bites and indulgences add up.

          • Which is why I would never do something like track my calories! Because it would trigger my usually-dormant ED like a m****f****r and would turn me into a ball of raw emotion and misery.

            I know calorie-tracking works for some people, and if it does what you want it to do, great! But I think it’s also good to think about how, if you describe your relationship with food and/or calorie tracking and/or “little bites and indulgences” as “painful,” maybe it would not be amiss to consider some alternative perspectives, philosophies, and approaches.

          • Emeralds, good point — my also generally dormant ED roars back when I calorie count. It is too easy to get pulled back into the numbers obsession. Thanks for the perspective!

    • Another plug for the Fit Bit — I promise I don’t work for them. I am finding that it has been really effective in pushing me to make small healthier choices, like walking more and taking the stairs. For me, once I start making healthier choices in one aspect of my life it is a lot easier to be healthier elsewhere. So maybe you still go out with your friends but only have one glass of wine and leave early to go to the gym/go to bed earlier so you can get up in the morning to exercise. And hopefully you’ll have a like-minded friend who will want to do the same.

    • Ask a friend to meet you for a group exercise class? Bar Method, Soul Cycle, BodyRok… etc. You guys could grab coffee and take a walk afterwards to catch up.

    • You say you have a hard time balancing both, but I just make a really conscious effort to eat less calories (not less food) when I am going out that evening. So e.g., meeting a friend tonight and know I will have 2-3 glasses of wine and some appetizers, so I have greek yogurt for breakfast and a spinach salad for lunch. It’s actually much easier for me to eat healthfully if I know there’s a “reward” at the end of the day.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I switched over to white wine spritzers for a while — half wine, half fizzy water. As long as you don’t drink twice as many of them, you’re cutting the drink calories in half.

    • I have had the same issue. For me, the “workout with friends instead of the bar” is a non-starter. Instead, I plan ahead. If I’m going out on a particular day, I try to do a workout in the morning before work, I eat lightly all day (no snacks, salad for lunch) to save my calories for a drink or two. I also keep to a 2 drink max (easier as I’ve gotten older). I’m also viligent about calorie counting the rest of the time, and no weekend “cheating” if I went out after work a lot. In short, it’s a lot of thinking about it and planning.

    • CasperClone :

      I feel your pain – trying to juggle a newish boyfriend and dieting is tricky. What’s worked for us is to cook more at home as opposed to going out, which I know is not always an option. Otherwise, sipping that one glass of wine very slowly.

    • One thing that’s worked for me in the past is to limit myself to a certain number of drinks per week (I did five). If I had a drink every night when I got home from work, I couldn’t drink on the weekends. But I could also save them up and have several at once if I wanted to go out with friends. I usually ended up hording my drinks and then not using them all up, but that’s just me, I also have trouble spending gift cards.

    • I have started going for long walks with friends instead of meeting for coffee, happy hour or brunch. So fun!

    • Make a rule for yourself that you will only drink once a week or only on weekends. If you know you have a party to go to on Saturday, designate that your drinking night at the beginning of the week and plan to stay home or do a low key dinner on Friday. I just don’t go out during the week and don’t drink at home. Right now I am trying to lose weight for my wedding so if I do go out I just ask my friends to do dinner someplace that has a healthy option (that I will actually want to eat) and I don’t drink. You can still socialize without drinking. Also, make sure whatever you drink is a healthier option (wine instead of heavy beer or margaritas) and only have a couple glasses.

  10. I know this has been discussed before, but how much makeup do you wear daily? Does wearing makeup make you look older/more respectable?

    Meeting with an advisor (finance industry) yesterday afternoon, I discussed how some coworkers treat me like I’m very young. One piece of advice she gave several times was “you could put on some makeup” or “you could start wearing makeup.”

    At the time, I was wearing foundation, mascara, a thin line of brown eyeliner on top and bottom lids, and some berry-colored lip gloss. It was subtle and natural, sure, but this is usually how I make myself up for work. Occasionally a darker lipstick, but never eyeshadow, thick liner, etc. Am I really supposed to be wearing more?

    • Anne Shirley :

      One of the best things I’ve learned is not to take all the advice I get. If you’ve been honest with yourself, really considered it , and it just doesn’t ring true for you, ignore it and move on.

      • +1. I’d be especially put off, personally, that she seems to have hammered on this topic only. Even if heavier makeup is one approach, fine, but what are some others?

        • Yeah, I was about to say. I would not go back to a mentor who told me to wear more makeup. Unless I was a tv personality or makeup artist or something.

      • Yeah seriously. Rude much. Makeup is one of those things that’s such a personal preference. And I mean also…if she’s the kind of person who, in response to a serious question from you about how to be treated differently at work, only has “put on more makeup!” as an answer, is that really someone whose wisdom you want to rely on?

        If you’re looking for more of a basis for comparison, I wear BB cream, eyeliner, mascara, subdued eye shadow (usually a shimmery brown), blush, and chapstick with a little color (Burt’s Bees pomegranate) every day. Sometimes I wear lipstick, but I like really bold colors, so I usually save them for non-work settings.

        In conclusion, if someone said to me, “Change your subtle and natural makeup, you are an unprofessional twit!” I would tell them to shove it.

    • I think eyeliner can certainly make you look older/more put together, but since you’re already doing that, I can’t see why more makeup would make you look older or more professional. Groomed eyebrows could make a difference, I suppose? Maybe putting your hair up in a chignon or something like that?

    • Maybe if you are wearing foundation, you are washing out the natural rosiness in your cheeks. So try adding bronzer or a light blush? I usually wear that but not eyeshadow or mascara.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t wear any makeup on a regular basis. Wear whatever you feel comfortable with and actually want to wear.

    • Guest Lecturer? :

      Lawdy, no. A bit of powder and maybe some spackle. A chapstick with a hint of color. Anything else and I feel very painted lady (plus, with my oily skin, it’s all of the place in an hour and gone in two).

    • How do you do your hair? It sounds like you wear enough makeup, but I have noticed that young women who wear “natural” makeup and combine it with long hair that’s straight/limp/unstyled tend to look younger than those whose hair is shorter and has an identifiable style or cut to it. Not advocating that you get a high-maintenance style, just one that appears deliberate.

      • Joanna Toews :

        That’s really good advice. I should take it. :)

        I’ve noticed that my colleagues with long hair look great when they clip back some of their hair with a barette, even when there’s no evidence of a blowdry or flat iron.

      • Good advice. I should definitely take it. I could imagine a mentor telling me something similar as the OP, but the issue being hair instead of makeup really makes sense.

        I usually get motivated to chop my hair into a better style every two years or so, but end up horrified at how uncooperative my hair is at holding a shape and grow it back out again. I think my face is a little too homely to pull off a pixie cut, and with a bob one side curves under while the other flips out (very uncute).

        I saw a comment recently on here I think with advice to check YouTube for clips on clean buns or chignon. I really need to do this.

    • Usually just lipstick and mascara on a regular workday.

    • No. Who knows if her taste was even the same as yours. I feel like most of the time, the way people treat you relates to your personality and the way you carry yourself. Appearance helps, but it’s not everything.

    • I used to wear a full face of makeup but now I show up completely bare faced most days. I don’t even moisturize. Eyeliner if I’m not rawring with allergies (hey spring, I see you). Your coworkers may be treating you young for many different reasons. Most likely, it’s your behavior, posture, style of talking, deferential mannerisms, etc., that could cause a situation like that. But makeup? My coworkers do not notice makeup at all. In some cases, apparent makeup can make someone appear even younger.

    • Daily Moisturizer with SPF :

      No makeup at all on a regular work day..just a moisturizer so that my skin doesn’t feel tight and to get some nourishment and burtbee’s chapstick for lips.

    • Check out today’s post on Cap Hill Style, it might answer your question:

    • What does your hair look like? Trying a more sophisticated cut (slightly shorter with more body) may help a bit. But I might ignore this advice. At least the person didn’t tell you that you needed to wear less makeup? That seems more awkward to me.

      • I agree with this…I see a lot of women in their 20’s with very pretty long hair that they wear pretty much the same way you would to go to class in undergrad, and it doesn’t look BAD it just looks YOUNG. So, it could be your hairstyle. People often blame makeup for hair issues. You could also try just deepening what you’re doing and adding a bit of blush.

        I think people are being a little rough on your mentor. You ASKED her for advice on how you might not be treated like you were so young at work. It’s a problem you’re actually already having. She gave you some advice, likely based on what I presume is her greater experience in your specific industry. She didn’t arbitrarily suddenly tell you to put more makeup on. You asked her. And unlike all of us, she was sitting in front of you and could SEE how young your style was making you look. If you like the way you’re doing it and don’t want to change, fine. But don’t behave as though she did something wrong. You asked her for advice and she gave it.

    • Agree that this “advice” is kind of ridiculous.

      Have you tried wearing glasses? That’s something that makes most people look older (and something that I personally use).

    • mama of 2 :

      I’m not weighing in on any of the meta issues, just on one lipstick issue:

      I think that gloss is more youthful than lipstick. Try switching to a deeper lipstick shade in a more matte finish.

    • Meg Murry :

      If your co-workers are treating you like you are young, get a copy of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office (its been revised recently). Read it. Follow at least a few of the pieces of advice on appearance, body language and style of talking. Even though I generally didn’t have too many issues with people taking me as young, I did see myself in a few of the “what not to do because it makes you look young” scenarios – like playing with/twirling my hair unconciously, posing statements and suggestions as questions, and sitting on one foot or cross legged in my chair.

  11. Vicarious shopping wanted: I’m starting a new job next month and need to upgrade my business wardrobe. What ten items would you suggest to get started? Cap of 100 for pants (I have plenty of brown, black, and grey), 75 for shirts/toppers, and 125-150 for dresses. I’ve got a navy and grey suit already.

    • I live in dresses so I’d get 2-3 sheath dresses; 1-2 skirts; a non-suiting blazer (maybe something tweedy); a silk blouse and 2 nice cardigans that can be worn open or closed (and I like to wear mine backwards sometimes). Maybe also a pair of new neutral colored pointy toe flats/low heels. I’d pick a color palette and aim to have all the pieces more or less go together. You could google “capsule wardrobe” for ideas.

      • Actually, let me revise: maybe instead of a blazer and 2 skirts, I’d get 1 skirt in a brighter color and then a skirt suit that can be worn as separates. Not nec. this one, but along these lines:

        This way you have an extra suit, albeit a not-too-formal one, and you have a great blazer and skirt that can be worn in multiple ways.

        • I really like that – it’s not my usual style, but I think it’s probably the type of thing I need more of. I tend to go for the same type of pieces all the time. I’m considering trying out a Nordstrom personal shopper.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Wow, I love this. Hate how they styled it, but I hope they still have it in my size once it goes on sale.

        • I love the JCrew colorful wool pencil skirts for this purpose. The muted colors are more fun than my normal solid neutrals but the fabric and cut is still very formal.

  12. Anonattorneytoo :

    Hi Hive- I have an outdoor wedding in California coming up. Do you think I can pull this off as a guest? Or is it too casual [read: beach cover-up]? My gut says NO but the reviews make me think otherwise. Any suggestions for jewelry to go with would also be greatly appreciated! TIA

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think it’s much too casual, unless the wedding is on the beach.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in L.A. and assuming the fabric is substantial, I think it seems fine for a fairly informal outdoor wedding. Maybe with a long pendant necklace or long earrings and a cuff bracelet.

    • I think it would depend on what color you get – the heather gray and stripes seem far to casual and beachy, but I think the black with bold jewelry and nice shoes would work. Especially if you pull it up on your shoulders completely, as opposed to off, the way some of the models have it.

    • For me, a dress that even comes in heather gray (whether you get it in that color or not) shouldn’t be worn anywhere you wouldn’t wear sneakers. That’s a slight exaggeration, but I think this is daytime casual.

    • California native here, SF wedding, no, Napa/wine country fine, LA fine

    • I can’t speak to formality, but you might reconsider if the location is going to be breezy. I can see the extra fabric around the neckline being really annoying/unflatering in the wind.

    • Californian here. I don’t think this is wedding attire.
      And I know you didn’t ask, but I can’t think of a type of figure for which this dress would be flattering. Even if your shoulders are your best feature, why put everything below it in a sack? Sorry.

    • Anonattorneytoo :

      All- Many thank! What a treat to hear your thoughts! (Praise free shipping and returns)!

  13. How do you respond to unsolicited comments on your appearance? I mentioned I’m planning to buy new glasses to a family member and she suggested I “please consider” a different style of frame than I currently have because she thinks they’re unflattering. This is coming from someone who dresses conservatively and “properly” and who doesn’t follow trends. That’s fine for her, of course, but how I can I politely respond to comments like that when I didn’t ask for her opinion and I certainly didn’t ask for “suggestions” on how to improve my appearance?

    • Silence is fine. Sometimes I just maintain eye contact and tighten my lips a bit before turning away or changing the subject.

      I’m commenting on like everything today because I need distractions from a work crisis.

      • That’s what I would normally do, but this time it’s in an e-mail. I’m leaning towards ignore, but I’d also like her to know that if I want her feedback, I’ll ask for it. Just need to find some way to say it politely since I know she’s not trying to be rude – it’s just her habit of giving me advice, which was more relevant when I was a kid, but not so anymore.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I can’t think of any way to do this via email that wouldn’t come across as defensive or argumentative. Maybe with humor? “LOL thanks, Mommy! I’ll let you know if I need you to hold my hand while I pick ’em out, otherwise I think I can handle it myself! LOL”

        • I would just say, “Thanks, but I actually really like my glasses! (said with giant smile) What do you think about Crimea/this awful weather/latest piece of family news/this banana cake?”

          But, depending on how conflict-averse you are (I am very, which is why I’d go with the above), you could actually challenge her: “That’s a weird thing to say to someone. Why would you say that?(puzzled tone)” And then wait for her to respond. Then something like, “Listen, Dear Family Member, I’d really appreciate if you didn’t comment on my appearance unless I’m asking you for advice.”

          • Hmm, maybe it would work if I said “thanks, but I already have a style in mind. I’ll let you know if I’d like your feedback when I’m picking them out, though!”?

            And I’m super conflict-averse…hence me asking for advice here. This same family member has made “helpful”/bossy comments in the past such as “and do NOT wear those flats of yours to the interview!” or “make sure you wear something nice to Thanksgiving dinner!” I think she might need a reminder that I’m not a clueless 14-year-old anymore.

          • “I’ll let you know if I need your feedback” seems like an invitation for her to provide more feedback IMHO. It implies that you’re open to her feedback.

        • I’d just let go of it since it’s in an email as it would come off all wrong. But if it’s in person, I’d probably saying something like… oh don’t even try parting me and my glasses. I love how I look in them… and then change the subject.

    • Anonforthis :

      I moved thousands of miles away. No joke.

      Korean family members think it’s ok to constantly comment on size, sometimes disguised by “health.” Turned a normal but not skinny kid into this overweight adult. I’m working on boundary issues.

    • You could always write: “Thanks for the suggestion.” Period, no emoticon. Add nothing else. Then buy whichever darn glasses you feel like. And file this away under “Family Members to Avoid Sharing Updates with Until After They’ve Happened.”

    • I’m all ears on this one. I work with two men who are my supervisors who constantly make comments on my appearance when I didn’t ask. That purse is ugly…why do you wear so much black….you really need to get some real (that’s their word for designer) shoes. I’m sick of it but don’t really know what to say in response. I usually just say, because I like black, duh, but it really pisses me off.

      • Are you the person who brought this up before? Regarding some light-colored shoes or bags or something?

        The next time they say that, pick any of the following:
        1. “Or, we can discuss that important work issue you keep avoiding”
        2. “Or, we can not discuss my shoes.”
        3. “Is there an office dress code I’m not aware of? No?”
        4. “Why do you ask me why I wear so much black?”
        5. Leave when they start talking about your clothing/appearance.
        6. Start a work conversation in a super professional tone IMMEDIATELY following their stupid question.

        You can train your supervisors to treat you better. You can. They are inappropriate. There’s nothing wrong with black clothes or non-designer shoes.

        • Yep, Godzilla that’s me. I was hoping that it was just a couple time thing but it has continued and I need to figure out how to stop it without being a b*itch. I always appreciate your thought out responses.

        • I’ve discussed this with my husband and he says that I shouldn’t get all defensive with them otherwise they will consider me uptight and they’ll be afraid to joke around with me.

          Would a simple “it makes me uncomfortable when you make comments regarding my appearance” be okay? Because put quite simply, it does make me uncomfortable. I’m more insecure with myself now because of their comments.

        • You know, we have a policy that states opposite sex cannot comment on the dressing etc. Their comments are rude, next time they do it, reply with this – wow, isn’t this borderline harrassment? May be I should look up our policy…

      • I’m so sorry you’re in that situation. How dreadfully uncomfortable to receive such comments from someone in a position of authority.

        If it were me, I’d treat this as a boundaries issue. It’s not really appropriate for coworkers, much less supervisors, to be making comments about your appearance unless it’s affecting your ability to perform the job (i.e. a dress code violation or a safety risk). I might simply ask–politely–“How is this relevant to my job?”

      • Seems like one tersely spoken “It’s interesting to me that you think it’s appropriate to repeatedly comment on the appearance of a female subordinate” would probably do the trick. But I’m confrontational and aggressive like that. I realize their comments aren’t sexual in nature, but unless you hear them making the same type of comments to men, they are gender based harassment anyway.

        • They do make the same comments to men: “Dude get some real shoes!” to a guy that wears loafers instead of truly dress shoes. We work in an office of 15 people, we are not in public accounting and we are not in law, we do not have clients. I don’t know who they’re trying to impress.

          I’m all about dressing more business professional than business casual when you’re going to be meeting with clients (I worked in public accounting for 5 years). I’m now more on the casual side since no one sees me all day.

        • I had this problem (with a co-worker, not a supervisor) and it ended when I said, somewhat grumpily, “You’re the only person who feels the need to make constant comments on my appearance.”

          With a supervisor I’d probably start by just staring at them unamused, move on to laughing and saying, “Yes, well, I’m not a huge fan of your tie, shoes, etc.” and end with anonish’s comment above if it still didn’t stop.

          • What kind of comments did the person make? Was it a woman or a man? Was it compliments and negative statements or just negative statements?

          • It was a man. It varied between compliments or insults, but he almost never let a day go by without making some kind of comment on my appearance. For example, if I wore a skirt he’d say I looked nicer than when I wore my normal pant suit. Or he’d comment that I looked tired, or sad, or whatever. Combined with some other, harder to verbalize things that he did (it was like he never, for one second, wasn’t thinking about the gender of the person he was talking to, if that makes any sense), it all made me very uncomfortable.

      • You could always fall back to Carolyn Hax’s favorite response, “Wow.” Said incredulously enough, it might snap them back into reality and make them realize that their comments are completely out of line.

      • Start calling them Joan and Melissa.

      • Maybe I’m just more prone to taking advice- but if your superiors are telling you this why wouldn’t you listen? I’m in a client facing role but I’m younger and new. I’ve definitely gotten instructions about meeting with certain clients and would never dream of not following it. It sounds like someone is trying to tell you that there’s an expectation that you’re not meeting and you’re ignoring them.

        There are times that these things matter. Ex: For the client who openly doesn’t trust people in our industry- no designer brands, twinsets, pearls, flats; for the client who thinks he’s awesome and only wants to work with the best, most accomplished team who is as awesome as he is- I’ve literally been told to wear louboutins and a particular dress that I own and makeup.

        • If you read my comments above, I state: I am no longer in a client facing role. I sit in my office and talk on the phone. The only people I see throughout the day are my two supervisors and 3 other support personnel. Our dress code is business casual, that’s how I dress. I dress nicer than the other 5 women that work in my office.

          If I was told what to specifically wear to meet with a client I wouldn’t work for that firm anymore. That’s just me, obviously you’re free to do whatever you so choose.

  14. Anyone want to weigh in on mint as a color choice for a leather handbag? Most of my bags are neutral and classic, but I’m intrigued by mint for spring / summer. I just wonder if this will look hopelessly dated next year, and I’ll wish I’d saved the money. FWIW it’s a bag I can otherwise afford, and if I don’t get it, I probably won’t get anything, since I don’t “need” a new handbag (to the extent that’s even possible!). Is mint even in style for accessories? Or just clothes?

    • No advice, but I’m wondering the same thing!

    • a passion for fashion :

      its totally in style for accessories and it is lovely. i have a some mint jewelry that i love. I also have a mint-ish (probably more blue than green, but very similar) handbag that i use in the spring and summer. i love it, get so much use out of it, and so many compliments on it.

    • I just bought a fossil small cross-body bag in mint (leather) and I love it. Maybe that would be a good compromise for you between getting nothing and getting a large purse in that color?

    • If you like the color and it will go with most of your Spring/Summer outfits, go for it. But if you just think it’s an interesting color without really loving it, I’d worry about not thinking it’s so interesting once it goes out of style. (Me: in love with mint, getting so tired of cobalt).

    • I’ve seen a couple of pastel-coloured hand-bags around recently and the first thing that strikes me is how poorly the colour goes with their owner’s black/ charcoal/ grey/ navy professional outfit. But go for it if you wear a lot of white or tan.

      • I also hate how light colored bags get discolored by dark clothing. I wear a lot of dark wash jeans and have pretty much given up on any bags lighter than tan.

    • hellskitchen :

      I had a mint work tote a few years back. It was surprising how well it went with almost all my outfits. I veered from all black some days to bold, bright color-blocking and it worked great with everything. The only colors it didn’t work with were in the light brown/beige /camel family. But it looks great with neutrals like black, gray, navy, even chocolate brown (hi Thin Mints) as well as bold shades of red, purple and blue.

  15. Daily Moisturizer with SPF :

    Hello ladies,

    I am looking for recommendations for daily moisturizer with SPF. I currently use borghese revitalizing serum (which I bought in costco) every morning and it like it very much as it is very light and is not at all oily. But it doesn’t have any sunscreen and I am not seeing it in costco anymore. I have dark skin and so I don’t need a creme with high SPF, something like 15 – 20 should be good. But I want it to be very light on the skin and not make my face look oily. I have dry skin if it helps make better recommendations…TIA :-)

    • Oops I accidently hit report. I like plain old Oil of Olay. You can get it at Target, supermarket, etc.

      If Oil of Olay isn’t strong enough moisture wise or you want higher SPF than 15, I buy face sunscreen from Ulta (it’s Ulta brand and comes in a box), I apply that and then put the stronger (Clinique Moisture Surge) over the top.

    • I like Murad oil-control mattifier SPF 15. Though note that this is not a super rich hydrating type moisturizer, if that’s what you’re looking for.

    • Wildkitten :

      I use cetaphil.

    • CeraVe. You can get it in most drugstores. Their night cream is also amazing.

  16. I’m planning to change my makeup products (I use foundation and foundation powder). I have a very oily skin (I go through 5-6 blotting papers easily during the day) and been using Perfection Lumiere fluid foundation and Double Perfection Lumiere mattifying compact powder from Chanel until now. It’s good on my skin as I’ve been using it for the last couple of years but I feel there could be a better product out there that could probably be a little more mattifying and may be reduce my blotting paper count to 3-4? Any good products that you guys have been using recently that are oily-skin-friendly?

    • Your skin sounds like mine. After trying foundation after foundation, I came across Kat Von Dee’s line. I think it’s exclusively at Sephora. It’s thick, and definitely has good coverage if that’s what you’re looking for. I use Smashbox primer underneath, then the foundation, and then powder to set it. As for powder, I really like these two loose, white powders: Make Up Forever and Tarte Amazonian Clay. I’ve had good luck reapplying the powder later in the day (after blotting) and not getting that cakey effect that so often accompanies reapplying powder.

  17. I am having some Stitchfix sadness – have tried the service twice, with much excitement but poor results. The first time it was a bartender’s wardrobe: black pants; TWO of the same button up shirt, one black & one white; a black and white striped button up shirt (!!); and a scarf. I gave it a 2nd try with more feedback and got: leggings; a mini skirt; a sleeveless shirt which I kept but will have to layer; a tunic that was ok but didn’t fit; and some unoffensive but blah earrings. All this, when I specified work clothes in a conservative business casual environment (gave stylist a lot more detail but trying not to bore you all).

    So, even though I love the concept, I guess it’s not working. I haven’t ordered another fix. Has anyone out there been getting better results? Have you been doing it for going-out clothes or your work wardrobe? Are there any alternative companies doing this? Is there anything I can do to get better fixes, short of pinterest-ing everything I want (in which case I would just shop)?

    • Wildkitten :

      They were useless at getting work clothes for me. I think they’re very good at finding clothes for SAHMs and if you want work clothes they panic and send you black and white things. (That’s what I got too.)

    • MM LaFleur is doing something similar. Haven’t gotten my box yet, but I can report back once I get it if anyone is interested.

      • anon prof :

        yes, please do! I’m intrigued by their clothes

      • I’ve done their box! The clothes are fabulous (but I was a fan long before the box concept) but obviously their selection is pretty limited and they are a bit pricey. But a great way to shop in my opinion.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      It was a disaster for me – I think I posted about how bad the first fix was – high-waisted skinny jeans, a pillowcase-shaped dress, a baggy thermal-knit cardigan, and two baggy tops that didn’t fit/fit weirdly, when I’d specified that I preferred fitted tops & dresses. I returned everything, and after some back & forth with their customer service, even got the $20 styling fee refunded. Wouldn’t recommend the service to anyone, really – it seemed that my fitting info/style preferences were completely ignored in putting the fix together.

    • baseballfan :

      This is interesting feedback because I just ordered my first fix last week. The first available delivery date was in May (!) so I won’t have my own opinion for a while, but will keep this in mind.

      If there’s one thing I don’t need, it’s more black and white work clothes. I feel like everything I own comes from WHBM anyway.

    • The clothes I got weren’t bad, per se. I asked them for clothes I could wear in a business casual environment that could also be nice “going out” clothes (think casual dinner more than clubbing clothes). I would say most of the clothes I got were more on the casual side (except maybe one dress). My issue was that the prices were way above what I would normally pay for a similar piece that I picked out myself. They weren’t necessarily high for clothes I would shop around and buy for work, but for a cardigan that would double as a “going-out” piece I would not normally pay $75. I ended up keeping the cardigan so I wouldn’t lose the buy-in money, but it definitely was not worth it (the material actually feels sort of cheap, sort of comparable to something you could buy at Gordmans for 1/3 or 1/4 of the price). I never tried a second fix. I would prefer to shop online for myself at a store that has free returns and I know if good quality.

    • It was a disaster for me too. Nothing fit, nothing was my style and everything was way overpriced, particularly for the quality (think paying for GAP or Banana at full price when they regularly have 40-50% off sales). I told them how unhappy I was after the first shipment and they waived the fee so I could try it again – the second time was worse, not better, so I cancelled it.

    • Thanks for the feedback everyone. I do feel better about the whole thing. New idea, if it’s the fun surprise box that I really look forward to every month, maybe I’ll just make my own stitchfix by ordering 5 semi random things from an online retailer I like (j.crew, lands end, I’m looking in your direction…) and then not feel guilty about sending 2/3 of it back. I do like the mix of things stitchfix pretended they were going to send: an accessory, a pair of pants, couple of tops, and something random you wouldn’t normally wear.

      I think overall the appeal of stitchfix for me was that I hate to shop and I’m really bad about maintaining my wardrobe to professional standards.

  18. Well, a lot of me is super proud of myself for replacing the wiper blade inserts on my car this morning. But a much bigger part of me is for making The Most Complicated Impossible System For Replaceable Wiper Blade Inserts That Has Ever Existed On The Face Of The Earth Since The Beginning Of The Universe. And my fingernails are all dirty and pinched my finger and my pants are wet from having to lean halfway across the car to do it. We have sent people to the moon, is this really that hard???

    • I just pay the install fee to have it done when I get my oil changed. It’s worth the 15 bucks to me.

    • Silvercurls :

      FOOEY. I was hoping to learn how to do this myself. Maybe there are how-to manuals on the Internet or something. Or else I’ll put on grubby clothes before I get started.

      • Oh, I was following the manual… Seriously.. And I am usually really good at doing stuff myself (remember the Ikea furniture discussion ;o)) it’s not that it’s complicated, it’s that it is seriously a horrible design… My major advice is don’t have a 2006 Honda Civic because omg this car is making me insane.

        But I would also recommend doing what everyone else said and having them do it when you get your oil change or at the auto parts store. It was a series of dumb, unrelated circumstances that led to me being kind of stuck and having to do it myself.. because wow is it pouring here! Yay, rain!!

      • Anonymous :

        Fear not – It’s actually not that bad – the inserts take a bit of getting used to, but I was fine doing it after watching a youtube video on how it works. Easiest to take the blades off the car and deal with the silicone inserts. I made the mistake of trying to do it all outside in the dead of winter while it was snowing – not a fun time.

    • teslagirl :

      My Nissan’s wiper blades were so impossible to figure out that I finally gave up, made an appointment for an oil change, and casually asked if they would replace the blades at the same time. And they did. Thank heavens, or I don’t know what I would have done.

    • Whenever I go to Advanced Auto Parts to get new wiper blades, they always install them for me without a fee.

    • Meg Murry :

      FYI a lot of places that sell wiper blades will install them for you. I was out in the parking lot struggling with a set and the guy behind the counter came out and said “Would you like me to install them for you? We do it for free as part of the purchase.” I thought about being “I’m superwoman, I can do this myself” for a few seconds, but then I realized that if someone who knew what he was doing offered, I wasn’t going to complain.

      And yes, Honda wiper blade replacements are a royal pain. However, at least they don’t come off while driving?

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