Suit of the Week: Banana Republic

Banana Republic Modern Sleek blazer and skirtFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

This is just your basic black skirt suit — but unless I’m mistaken, you very rarely see this one on sale at Banana Republic, even though I think they’ve had it for a million years. The jacket is still available in almost all sizes, but the skirt only has the smaller sizes left. More colors are still left for the blazer in the tall sizes. The jacket (Banana Republic Modern Sleek Blazer) was $158, but is $99, and the skirt (Banana Republic Modern Sleek A Line Skirt) was $79.50, but is now $54.99.

Modern Sleek blazer Modern Sleek a-line skirt



  1. Yeah, and the skirt is sold out except for tiny sizes.

  2. I bought a BR suit last fall and am in love with it. The quality is great and it has design features to make it interesting but not too crazy.

    By the way, I really don’t get all of the talk about BR’s quality going down. The things I’ve bought from there recently are all good quality.

    • Of course, I buy everything on sale because they have 40% off so frequently.

      • CleanMachine :

        True. I bought another suit at BR earlier this year for 40% off. I saved so much that it was like getting the skirt for free. I rarely buy anything at full price from BR, Gap, Ann Taylor, or Loft these days because it seems like they have 30% or 40% off at least once every couple of weeks.

    • FOOEY! I am to busy to coment today, but I love this suit. YAY! I need my OWN secratary, b/c Lynn will NOT take good dictaation. She want’s me to do my own typeing. FOOEY! Roberta expect’s results not excuse’s.

  3. Just wanted to say thanks to whomever suggested wearing a J Crew painter tee over a white button-up. I have several of the tees and decided to give it a whirl yesterday (went with the burgundy), and I felt so put together. I know the info wasn’t directed at me, but I loved the idea, and definitely would not have thought of that on my own. So thanks!

    • You’re welcome! I love that look.

      • I will admit, though, I can’t take all the credit. I got the idea from this picture of Marissa Webb…

  4. Research, Not Law :

    I received a resume via FB message from someone I was good friends with in high school but haven’t seen or spoken to for well over a decade (just went different directions, no drama). They are relocating and appear to have sent the message to everyone on their FB friends list who lives in the area. They are looking for positions unrelated to my own, but there is some overlap in the type of employers. My company occasionally hires people with this position, but is not currently. I have no knowledge of this person’s quality of work, etc and therefore do not feel comfortable recommending them.

    How much of a response is this request warranted? I’d like to just ignore it, but am afraid that’s harsh. Should I reply with a link to my company’s external job listings with a note of good luck? I don’t want to give the appearance that I’ll personally vouch for them or that they should use my name. They may be fantastic at their job, but I don’t know that. I don’t even really know them.

    I suppose I’m extra sensitive because I received a request like this a couple of years ago and told them to keep an eye for open positions at my company. They did, told everyone that I was the reason they applied, and then didn’t do a very good job. I was never contacted prior to hire, but I felt like it still reflects on me. Furthermore, I want to recommend a different friend for a position that should be opening up very soon and don’t want to waste my influence.

    • I would just say you don’t know of anything but good luck. Short and sweet.

      • Anon Analyst :

        Yes, this. Since you’ve had a bad experience before I can understand being hesitant to step forward again.

    • I would reply and direct them to the external hire page. Also mention the names of other companies in town that could potentially be hiring and wish them all the best. If they’re from out of town, they may just really be soliciting general information.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I like that idea. While they are clearly looking for an ‘in’, I re-read the message and they seem like they are also interested in simply knowing where to start looking. I’ll brainstorm some companies in the industry and pass them on. I’ll include mine, but not pull it out in particular.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Don’t necessary blame the person who used your name. I have had it dragged out of me before whether I knew anyone at the company. Sometimes it is because companies pay referral bonuses. In your situation, for example, if I was your old friend, I’d say “I found your company when I noticed someone I went to high school with works here. I was intrigued so researched your company further. ” I don’t think it sounds like you and I are bff’s or that you are vouching for me. I think it is just an honest answer to “how did you hear about the company.” I also don’t think a bad employee reflects badly on you unless you say “OMG this person is the best worker ever; you must hire her.”

      In your current shoes, I would consider passing on the resume and saying “a former acquaintance is moving to this area and is looking for work in our field. We only recently got back in touch so I can’t vouch for her or her work but I wanted to pass the resume along in case the company is looking for x.”

      • Research, Not Law :

        Thanks for that insight. I hadn’t considered that.

        There’s not any one person to whom I could forward her resume. The type of position she’s looking for (secretarial) is hired by each team individually.

    • I think if it is someone you were ever good friends with, you should do what you can to make their job search a little easier. At the very least say you wish her well and will keep your eyes out for anything. It doesn’t need to be in your own company. I think it’s a nice thing to do and I can say from personal experience that people remember those who gave their good will freely and will return the favor when they are in a position to do so — that’s true networking.

    • I’d just send the names of a few companies in the area that she might apply to. You don’t have to single out your own company.

  5. kerrycontrary :

    I generally don’t like BR because the fit is weird on me, but I have a suit from there and I love it! It has slight stretch and the fabric quality is great. I literally feel like a superwoman in that suit (although I have the pencil skirt and not the a-line)

  6. Research, Not Law :

    Cute suit! I appreciate non-pencil skirt options.

    • I have this suit from 3 years ago. Only issue is that a button off the front of jacket fell off pretty early into ownership. But that happens with a lot of BR/AT/jCrew for me.

      • See, I just don’t get this. That never happens with those things for me. What’s going on???

        • Maybe just me? I’m an aggressive buttoner?

          • I’m just wondering if I don’t even know what good quality is. I like BR but then hear other people complain about the quality . . .

          • I wasn’t complaining about the quality overall, but I don’t understand why I have an issue with factory-attached buttons staying put. On most coats, cardigans, or blazers that I have from those stores, at least one button has fallen off early in the wearing. I don’t understand why when I re-attach the button it is more secure. And I know nothing about sewing. It doesn’t happen as much now because I’ve expanded my clothing population to include many more choices than those 3 stores.

          • this is such trivial information, but the machines that sew buttons on in factories just sews thread back and forth, but not having opposable thumbs, is not able to tie knots in the ends of the thread. So, it just sews back and forth enough to hopefully hold itself on. This theory does not always work in practice. ;o) that’s why sometimes, one end of the thread pulls out the whole thread.

            The More You Knoooww {{Rainbow, BLING!}}

          • That’s so silly. I feel like Eli Whitney could’ve solved this problem. Thank you for the insight!

          • i really don’t know why i know these things ;o)

  7. Francie Nolan :

    I have been thinking about DC Jenny’s comment on the weekend thread in regards to being a Straddler between working class and middle class and realized that I am letting this contribute to me not reaching for my career goals. I am holding myself back with my insecurities about not fitting in I guess. A little background, I worked for small companies in my home state after college and then four years ago I landed a beyond dream job at an investment bank and I have yet to fully grasp how to feel comfortable or at least seem to in this new world. I work in an IT roll for an Investment bank so my Straddler-ness is ok right now, but I want to move to the next level, which would mean working with the Business Units and the Straddler-ness is a big hindrance. What kind of skills did you develop to fake it till you make it, in regards to Straddler-ness?

    • What is the specific source of your discomfort? Is it more about your demeanor and work style (e.g. direct communication vs. indirect) or is it more like everyone is sitting around talking about their favorite cities in Europe and you have nothing to contribute? If it is the latter, I have found that asking a lot of questions is the best tack to take. What did you like about city x? I have heard that city x is y; do you find that to be true? Etc, etc. This also works when people are talking about their well-connected friends and relations, prep schools, Ivy League universities, and that internship they had with the governor who happens to be a family friend.

      • Francie Nolan :

        I think it is a mixture of both…I tend to be a bull in a china shop verbally – I stop to think before I speak but I somehow stil lack the finesse and things tend to come out very bluntly. Then after I think about how I should have said it differently all the while faceplaming, which then makes me more nervous.

        I ike the idea about asking about the trips and what not – that gets them talking taking the heat off me.

        • I often feel the same way, but, you know, people often respond very well to my bluntness. They think I’m funny and direct, and I get good feedback about it all the time.* Obviously, it’s easy to go overboard, so I try to deploy the bluntness strategically and do a lot more listening than talking in new situations, but remember that it’s not always bad to stand out in a professional setting.

          *Of course, it’s possible that behind my back people think I’m a mega-b1tch. Take with a grain of salt.

        • I feel like this A LOT and I’ve learned to revel in my different-ness. I suppose it is easier to confident in different-ness if one looks visibly different from everyone else but there you have it. Also, people think you’re an expert in something that they’re not (for example, I get asked a lot about going through the NYC public school system, it apparently makes me hardcore). Whatever life experiences you’ve gone through that others haven’t makes you unique. You don’t have to flaunt it but you don’t have to hide it either.

      • This is great advice – be an asker. Most people will generally like to be able to teach you something, or know you are interested in something they know about, rather than hear you tell them all about the stuff you know.

        (Take that, know-it-all ex-bf who is generally wrong about half the stuff you talk about)

    • AnonInfinity :

      I was raised in a working-class, rural home, and I’m now working in a much different field (law) in the biggest city in my state. I’ve felt this tension a lot.

      One thing that I think of a lot is a scene from “The Bell Jar.” The main character is eating at a very fancy dinner and begins to feel out of place because she’s not really sure how a fancy person eats the food that’s in front of her. So she spreads caviar on chicken, rolls it up, and eats it. The take away was that whatever you choose to do, you should do it confidently and probably no one will notice. (Obviously not the main point of the book as a whole)

      I say this because, honestly, a lot of our “mistakes” aren’t really noticed by anyone other than us. I try my best to learn which fork to use with which course, but if I forget, I just pick one up confidently and go to town. In conversation, I spend considerably more time listening and asking questions than actually giving my own opinions and experiences. Most people love talking about themselves (myself included), so this tends to make people think you’re an excellent conversationalist.

      I also use some of my less refined upbringing to my advantage. People are always saying that I surprise them because I seem to be a certain type of person (intellectual, slightly snobby about things like craft beers, well traveled), but then I can talk at length about football or slaughtering chickens or hunting or whatever.

      (My disclaimer is that I live in the South, so it’s much easier to find people who are impressed by women who can talk about slaughtering chickens than in some other places.)

      • Cornellian :

        I feel like I always err towards the “drinking the water you’re supposed to wash your hands in” story in Bell Jar. The worst for me is when someone asks (mid 20s) me what my parents do in a way I can’t deflect I have to tell them I’m getting a restraining order against my father, I’m a bastard, and my mom is dead.

        • For what it’s worth, I would totally endorse a vague lie in that situation. If you don’t want to talk about it, it’s no one’s business. I think it’s also reasonable just to say, “I’m not close with my family and leave it at that.”

          • I like the expression of shock that comes across people’s faces when I tell them my father’s a long-haul truck driver.

          • I am a banana. :

            High five, my mom is a long haul truck driver.

          • I find it hilarious that people are surprised, Bluejay. I mean, why are they surprised? That you’d be doing the job you’re doing given his job? Or that people “do such work”?

            If the former, how boring and, well, feudalistic. When a shoemaker’s son was doomed to be a shoemaker, too. If the latter, then, wow, glad someone’s bursting their “bubble” world.

          • @Susan – I think it’s not really a malicious surprise, just that they expected me to say doctor, lawyer, finance, etc. In my experience, the only people who ask what your parents do have parents in white-collar careers. If you say your father was a partner at a law firm, they can relate to that. I don’t really know many white people who grew up in poverty/the working class and grew up to be Washington lawyers. (I know it’s stereotyping to say white people, but most of the professionals of color and immigrant professionals I know personally in DC are from working-class backgrounds and busted their @$$es to succeed in their careers. I only have one white acquaintance who is a DC lawyer from a background similar to mine.) I do think there are also some negative stereotypes associated with truckers, but that’s not the cause of the reaction I usually get.

            The exception, of course, are the three sororities that blackballed me after the night when they asked what my father does. Those were some malicious b!tches.

            @ I am a banana. – That must surprise everyone! I can’t recall ever meeting a woman long-haul driver. I’ll be honest – I’d be worried about my own safety. But your mom is probably a [email protected]$$.

          • Also, I think that in the United States, poverty is increasingly becoming a life sentence. There was nothing unusual about my grandfather, the son of refugees who married as teenagers, becoming an engineer and an architect and a commissioned officer in the Navy.

            60 years later, If it weren’t for unions and Pell grants, I would not have a college degree, let alone a law degree. Unions and Pell grants are increasingly scarce.

            To put it differently, I’m 14 years out of high school. If I were 14 years younger, I wouldn’t be going to college this fall, and it wouldn’t be due to my GPA or SAT score.

            So I understand why people are surprised to learn that a DC lawyer’s parents have working-class jobs.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          You could say “I have never been close with my father and my mom passed away. What’s the best thing on the menu here?” That clearly screams “change the subject!” Anyone with decent social skills should move on there.

        • Anonymous :

          Cornellian, could you say something non-committal like “Unfortunately, I’ve lost my parents.” It’s true — your mother passed away and you’ve lost your father to a bad situation — but it sounds final enough that I think most people wouldn’t keep prying unless they’re total clods.

        • “Oh, they’re no longer working. How about them Cardinals?”

        • SoCalAtty :

          I hate this question too. My grandparents raised me, so I usually say, “oh, my grandparents raised me, but my grandfather was a general contractor and is retired now.” That’s usually enough….but sometimes we get into “oh, what happened to your parents?” Since I don’t want to answer “my grandparents had to take me because they were irresponsible children,” I say something like “oh, my mom passed away but my dad works in insurance…”

          Talk about backsliding – my grandfather was definitely a blue collar, hard worker that provided a pretty standard suburban northern California childhood. My mom ended up on perma-welfare! I’ll never understand that one. My dad came from a very wealthy family, father was an anesthesiologist and chief of staff at a well known hospital, mother was a well known travel agent in Los Angeles. Dad? Musician by night, and sells insurance (or whatever he’s doing at the time) for commission and makes just enough to pay the bills.

          Maybe I’ve had a hard time in my career because I happily answer “building contractor” to the question. My husband is a commercial electrical contractor, and I’m not shy about that either.

          I can relate to the having different parents than everyone around me thing, that’s for sure.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Co-sign. This is excellent.

      • eastbaybanker :

        Wow, I missed that weekend thread conversation. I will definitely have to go back and read everyone’s thoughts. I’ve never heard the term straddler before, but my parents are poor, and I’ve been educated at good schools and have a somewhat fancy corporate job. I am definitely a straddler. I don’t just straddle in work, I straddle in my friendships and relationships as well. This is definitely a moment for me where I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one!

        When people ask me what my parents do, I say they’re retired. They’re actually more like unemployed from minimum wage jobs, but they’re old enough to draw to social security so I figure it’s close enough to the truth.

        Anyway, to your thoughts, Francie Nolan, I think you should be proud of who you are and recognize that you are an amazing woman who has acheived a ton without anyone doing you any favors. I’m guessing that you made your own connections, got your own internships, and landed this job because you are one bada** lady. So remember you have a ton to offer.

        I suggest you read a book on social etiquette and a book on business etiquette, so you don’t have voice in the back of your head wondering if you screwed up. Present yourself confidently. Keep reading this blog so you know how to look the part. Be sincere and try to remember that everyone’s human, no matter how rich they are. Everyone likes to talk about their pets, their wife and kids, sports, TV. I agree with the advice to ask questions. At the end of the day, your background is a strength, not an impediment.

        • Great advice from eastbaybanker above – especially about reading this blog to look the part and the common personal interests everyone has (kids, pets, sports, TV).

          To OP, if it helps, I work in research/software dev role at a hedge fund and I definitely don’t come from a privileged social background. I did not go to an ivy league school/prep school/business school and I am not white. I deal day to day with the trading desk full of ivy league former football players/prep-school/summer-in-the-hampton crowd. You don’t have to be best buddies with everyone, what matters is they take you seriously enough. I think what helped me the most is “fake it till you make it” attitude, be incredibly thorough in your work product, know the details better than anyone else and give the utter confidence you absolutely know what you are talking about. I also found “How to say it for Women” very helpful as I was good at coding but not drafting persuasive emails.

          If you are in IT right now and want to move to more business facing role, I would advice you to start taking initiative in looking beyond your immediate project, giving good decisive answers on support emails, call up business ppl or go up to their desk if they have questions/need help understanding the application, understand how other related systems work at a high level. You want to build a reputation as the “go to person” for all things so-and-so. Don’t give too technical (though correct) answers when simple English would help, many good IT people fall into this trap. Act more like a partner with the business where you help understand their requirements, define what they really need, what is pipe dream instead of just accepting their wish list and slogging quietly with your head down for something that was not really important. May be this process is more formalized in an IB, but at smaller places you will be surprised how much is up for negotiation and really allows you to shine through with solid product/solutions.
          Best of luck.

    • Francie – One thing that helped me a lot, in learning how to act in social situations, is reading some Emily Post column thing that stated that the whole purpose of etiquette is to make others at ease. There are rules on behavior so people know what to do and don’t have to feel awkward, not so people can be ostracized for not following the rules. Any polite human being, upon noticing that someone is not aware of the norms of etiquette, will go out of their way to make that person feel comfortable. A good hostess, upon seeing you fumble with the caviar and then spread it on your chicken, would take the caviar and spread it on her own chicken too. At the very least, she wouldn’t tell you not to eat the caviar that way.

      So if you don’t know how to act and someone is rude to you because of it, that person is the jerk, not you.

  8. Two Cents :

    Thanks to everyone for the maternity coat recs yesterday! Much apprecaited.

    Lots of people raved about this Nic and Zoe ponte dress. It’s now on super sale for $54. If you bought this at the NAS price, make sure you get credit for the price difference.

    • Oooh, I just bought this! Thanks so much for the recommendation. I was so tempted by it during the NAS, but now I’m glad I resisted!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Is it not too late to return things from the NAS? If so, yay!

      • Another S :

        It’s never too late to return things to Nordstrom!

      • As we speak the online chat person is giving me a price adjustment for something I bought in July that is now on sale. <3 you, Nordstrom!

        • So annoyed they don’t do price adjustments on store-bought clothes online. Such an incentive to go try things on, and then go buy them online.

        • Interesting fact: I just attempted to do the same, and was told “it’s a two week policy,” and then (when I gently asserted that I’d heard of other experiences), “it’s up to the discretion of the associate.” Grumble. This was also on the live chat.

          • Update: This may reveal me as a bit pushy, but I signed on to chat again and got a different rep… who did the adjustment, no problem. Curious, but I’ll take it.

      • I embarassed to admit that last month I return some thing that I found in my trunk that I forgot to return that I bought in November. Whoops. I love you Nordstrom!

    • How does this dress fit? I’m a pear shape with a bit of tummy bulge–will it be tight in the bottom?

  9. 2/3 attorney :

    I have this blazer in navy (I think it’s the same one) and I hardly every wear it because it is so long (covers my whole backside) and makes me feel frumpy.

    Anyway, TJ:

    Does anyone know of any resources for making a budget after graduating (law school, but I guess it doesn’t really matter)? I am job hunting (as 3Ls do), and while I have done my homework on salary ranges for the area of law and geographical area, I would still like to figure out how these salary ranges will actually work in my life (e.g., how soon can I plan to pay off loans?). I guess any new-grown-up financial planning advice/resources would be appreciated. TYIA!

    • Merabella :

      Mint is good for creating goals for paying down debt, tells you how fast you would pay it off based on payments and interest rates. I usually just use an excel spreadsheet, which sounds lame, but it is the best for me. I would suggest making realistic goals and starting one step at a time.

      I would look at what you have to pay first – rent/mortgage, power, water, cellphone/phone, cable/internet, minimum payments for loans and then see what you have left and divvy up accordingly. It helps to track what you spend for a month or two to get an idea of where your money is going before you try to make cuts.

      • I use an excel spreadsheet in the exact way. I recommend reviewing your past expenditures and being very honest with yourself. Don’t assume you’re suddenly going to eat out less, drink less coffee, shop less, etc.

        I also added amortization schedules for each of my debts in seperate tabs and project my cash flow out about four months to see how irregular expenses (car insurance, etc.) are going to play out.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Unless you’re currently living at home or are moving someplace with a drastically different cost of living, I think a grad/law student budget and an entry-level professional’s budget aren’t all that different. Most things will stay fairly constant — rent, utilities, food, clothing (maybe a slight increase here?), personal care i.e. haircuts and makeup — so you can probably get a good start on the budget now. There are also lots of calculators out there for estimating loan payment amounts, so you can get a rough idea of what those will be. Think about whether your commuting costs will change, too. Don’t forget the impact of federal/state/local taxes when figuring out what your net pay will be and how it stacks up against your expenses. If it seems like you have extra left over for savings and additional debt payments, there are also loan amortization calculators that can help you see the effects of (for example) adding another $50 or $100 per month to your payment, or a one-time payment of $500. I think bankrate dot com has a good selection of financial calculators. Also, paycheckcity dot com is great for calculating net pay and you can run the numbers with 401(k) contributions and other deductions to see how different elections change what you see in your paycheck.

    • e_pontellier :

      I’ve been told: Rent should be 25% of your take-home (which in NYC is basically impossible); Monthly Loan Payments will be about 1% of your total loan amount (if you have $100,000 in loans, your minimum payment will be about $1,000 per month – but check with all your loans, don’t just take my word for it). Second everything everyone else has said though.

  10. CPA to be :

    You guys. After working my @$$ off for the past 2.5 years, working full time and going to school full time, studying for the CPA exam, networking, going to endless meetings, working at ridiculously low paying jobs for “the experience”, volunteering, and going on a ton of interviews… today something awesome happened.

    I GOT AN AMAZING AMAZING JOB OFFER. At my first choice firm. For twice as much money as I’ve ever made in my life. Doing exactly what I want to do. Working for an awesome female partner who is basically the bomb dot com.

    I literally cannot believe it.

  11. Silly question – where do you all buy comfortable underwear? The Gap stopped making the kind I used to buy, which were low-rise briefs with a wide elastic lace waistband. I tried a bunch of styles from Aerie and Target, but the were all tight around the hips and baggy in the behind, while not being tall enough to cover all the way up. The ones I tried from VS were a little better, but didn’t have enough coverage on the backside. I think I now have about a dozen pairs of new underwear I loathe. I’m starting to feel like the Goldilocks of lingerie!

    • I like the Soma Vanishing Edge hipsters. Super comfortable, invisible under clothing, little rubber grips so they stay put, and they look good on :)

    • Research, Not Law :

      Oh, you sound like me! I’m insanely specific on my underwear preferences.

      I did have luck with other Gap styles. I found Gap to be at the confluence of cute and durable. I have also really been liking Jockey underwear. They have a solid fabric and inner elastic waistband that felt bulky at first, but I like the fit and adapted. I had to accept that I have officially become my mother, but it’s good stuff. I know a lot of people like Target undies, but I haven’t tried.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Not silly at all. I have a few pairs of Gap undies from a couple years ago that I luurrrve but aren’t made anymore, and it makes me sad. I can’t wear synthetics (even with the little cotton strip inside) and I fund it really hard to find non-thong styles that don’t give VPL. Gap’s cotton bikini and hipster styles with lace edging (not the plain elastic-edged ones) are fine under most of my clothes, but aren’t perfect…but I haven’t found anything better yet.

    • Gilligan and O’Malley makes really comfy bikinis that I bought on the basis of a recommendation on this site. I never used to wear bikinis, but I really like these ones. They are a really smooth fabric and are seamless/no panty line.

      • Oh, but my holy grail underwear are Hanky Panky boyshorts. At $30 apiece, collecting them is an expensive hobby.

        • Seriously. But bare necessities usually runs some kind of first time buyer promotion and they get a little cheaper. Or if you’re ok w skimpier pairs, they go on sale on flash sale sites with some regularity. Also, the rack often has them but you have to feel them to make sure they arent lower quality. I feel like they make a line with less good lace for them and i was really disapponted when I ended up with some of those. Trick for me is to buy them even when I don’t need them. Or maybe that’s a problem.

          • Have you found barenecessities promo codes that work for Hanky Panky? I get their emails but usually Hanky Panky is excluded from the deal (as are most of my favorite bra brands).

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          Do these eliminate panty lines?

          • i don’t have panty lines with either the Hanky Pankys or the Gilligan O’Malleys.

      • The Gilligan and O’Malley ones are comfortable but fall apart really quickly (for me, less than 10 wears, and this was after testing multiple pairs over the years). I love the Gap version – if you get them on sale, the price is almost the same (~$5/pair).

    • just Karen :

      My favorites were the exact same GAP with the wide lace waist, and I’m running into exactly the same problems with tight hip or baggy rear. So far the closes I’ve gotten are the aerie ones, but they’re definitely not the same. So I guess I don’t have any real advice, just commiseration – you’re not alone!

    • Anonymous :

      After about 15 years of wearing VS, I realized their quality has deteriorated. Plus, I could never find the plain, ruffle-free styles or fabric I wanted. It seemed targeted to a 17-year-old.

      After a search, I fell in love with Vanity Fair Women’s Tailored Seamless Bikini. I buy them at Kohls, but they are available in other places too.

    • My favorites are the Felina briefs. They stay put, are super comfy cotton and don’t show panylines even under tight pants. I LOVE them. They also stay the same size after a wash and dry- which so many of mine haven’t. I splurged on them at the last NAS, and will be restocking again on the next one.

    • I actually like Soma, although it is totally geared for an older demographic. But their invisible (vanishing?) line is awesome.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Patagonia! I try to get them on sale, but they are the best.

  12. Big sister going to visit little brother in NYC next weekend. (I land during the meetup. Sad face.) I’d like to take him out and do something special. What would you be really happy to have someone else take you out to do/see/eat/drink? He’s not really into theater and the Jets are away. I’ve got somewhat more disposable income and it’s his birthday soon, so I’d like to do something fun and different. It doesn’t have to be an NYC specific recommendation as long as I could find a stand in, but specific recommendations are always appreciated! I know he loves Flex Mussels but that sort of is the end of what I know of his food taste.

    • Dessert Doctor :

      If he’s a steak / meat and potatoes kind of guy, you could take him to Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn, which is delicious!

      • DC Association :

        if you go there, remember….cash only!

        • I used to love Peter Lugers, but then I went veg. Even though Im no longer veg, steaks still kind of make me squirm. I have no idea if he’s ever been. I’ll have to ask discreetly.

  13. Another S :

    To the woman who posted yesterday about her miscarriage over the weekend: I hope your ultrasound today was uneventful and that everything is headed in the right direction. When I experienced something similar earlier this year I had a hard time healing emotionally until the medical procedures were over and I was on the road to healing physically. During that time I allowed myself lots of bad TV and snacks, whatever I needed to get through the day.

  14. I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

    The Martin Fit pants that go with this suit (the Modern Sleek) are the bomb – totally flattering and make your ass look good : ) Sadly, they aren’t available online right now, but if you see them in the stores, grab ’em.

    The Modern Sleek material is great – like a really heavy cotton with a little bit of stretch. It’s not a cheap, wrinkly summer suit. This is a good three season material (or all year for me in California).

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Your user name makes me smile every time :)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Me, too. And of course in my head, I say it in the same tone as that dog.

        • I Do Not Like the Cone of Shame :

          My dog was wearing The Cone of Shame right around when I set up my account : )

          On a side note, a website I recently discovered – www.dogshaming,com – people post pictures of their dogs when they’ve misbehaved. Hilarious, addictive…

      • Me too.

  15. For whatever it’s worth, I have this suit and do wear it a lot, but somehow still feel a little informal in the A-line skirt, and find myself not reaching it for important meetings/court days, etc. Realize that’s not the point of suit of the week, but it seemed worth mentioning.

    • suit twins! Yeah, I see what you mean w/ the a-line skirt. It’s a good, solid, supporting character suit, but not one of my leading lady ones.

    • Does this suit have a pocket on the inside of the jacket? I have a BR suit (Spring 08 I think) with an inner pocket but they never specify this on the website. Also, can you tuck in the outer pockets to make them look as if they were besom pockets? Please let me know. Thanks!

  16. Completely unrelated to this suit, Southwest Airlines is having a 40% off winter sale with the promo code BIGDEAL40. I just bought tickets to go to Orlando in January with some college girlfriends and I saved a ton!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Wow. I have friends that live all over. I just stuck in random dates and airports. I could go from coast to coast for $172.80. Crazy. Do you know how long the deal lasts?

      • Ends tomorrow, I believe. Applies to travel 11/28-12/12 and 1/7-2/14, and (inexplicably) nothing to/from Ft. Myers.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I sent that exclusion to my friend in Fort Myers. They never get any deals. So frustrating for them. She said it is because it is “in season” right now but that doesn’t explain why other “in season” climates (like Orlando) weren’t excluded.

    • Thanks for this!

    • manomanon :

      you’re my new favorite person. Thank you!!

  17. Wedding Planner in Southern California? :

    It seems ridiculous to hire a wedding planner for a very small and intimate wedding (think 20-25 guests) but I am just not a planner. At all. If I don’t hire someone to do it for me, it’s just not going to happen. Anyone have a recommendation for a planner in the Southern California area?

    • e_pontellier :

      I don’t, but since you haven’t gotten any responses yet, I just wanted to suggest another resource to check — Sarah Jenks is a nutrition coach in northern Cali, and she markets towards brides, so it’s likely she knows wedding planners in Cali. Sorry I can’t be more helpful than that, but your post sounds like anything would be helpful. Good luck!!

      • Wedding Planner in Southern California? :

        So nice of you! I really appreciate the info. Thanks!

    • Where at in So. Cal?

      • Wedding Planner in Southern California? :

        in Los Angeles. Any leads?

        • I have a friend who does wedding photography in Santa Barbara. That may be close enough that she’d know of a few if you’d like me to check.

    • I’m working with Gianna at Chic Celebrations. She’s friendly and energetic and always wants to do more than I am willing to hand off to her. So she might be a good fit for you! She was also the most reasonably priced of all the places I found. Our photographer highly recommended Jessi who is just starting her own business called “you & me events” but she was out of our price range.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Check apracticalwedding dot com’s vendor listings–their vendors often specialize in things like this (elopements, small weddings, unconventional weddings).

    • Someone on my facebook feed just asked this question and here were the responses:

      -Carina with tea light weddings
      -Amy Kaneko Events
      -Heather hoesch at LVL events
      -Master Plans – Events & Designs

      I can’t personally recomend any of them obviously, but I hope that helps!

  18. Jane Fairfax :

    I’m in the market for tops to wear with a light/medium gray suit for an upcoming round of interviews. I want something with sleeves and a high neckline (my chest is really broken out right now). I keep coming back to Ann Taylor’s “Ruched Short Sleeve Turtleneck Sweater” in deep plum wine, but I’m not sure about the turtleneck. What do you think? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
    (I’m interviewing for mid-level associate positions at large-ish law firms if that makes a difference.)

    • Kontraktor :

      I think a turtleneck might look a bit stuffy and/or frumpy. I feel there are a lot of higher cut, jewel neck shells out there in rich, dark colors. Try Talbots or Pendleton. If you like sweater material, what about a shell from a Brooks Bros. twin set? That will cover you up and pearls/a classic necklace would look nice with that too. August Silks and Lands End are a couple of other places I can think for twin set type shells.

      • Jane Fairfax :

        You are right. I tried the top on under my suit jacket and it totally looks stuffy. Maybe if I was younger… I like the sweater though, so I think that I’ll keep it to wear with other things.

    • Kontraktor :

      Search Talbots dot com for “Pleated Jewel-Neck Top” (#D17227). Tons of colors that will look good with gray, sleeves, high neck.

    • The AT top seems perfectly safe and appropriate, but if you’re not sure about the turtleneck, what about the Talbots Pleated Jewel-Neck Top? Not sure if the neckline is not high enough for you. Link to follow


        • Jane Fairfax :

          You and Kontraktor are right, the Talbots top is lovely. Since it is on sale for 50% off, I convinced myself that I should buy it in two colors. Now that I have that taken care of, I can concentrate on turning at least one of my interviews into a job offer.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      I just (today!) tried on this top at AT (will post link in next comment): Cascade Strips Bubble Hem blouse. I was in between sizes so I didn’t get it, but I thought it was lovely–high neck, conservative, flowy, but sophisticated. Size down if you are between sizes.
      PS: I think the cranberry color linked would look great with gray, but I think they also may have had it in ivory in-store.

  19. One of my BFFs is considering a job switch and asked if I have any contacts at a big employer in our area. I sent her some but my ex-whatever now works there, and I feel like it would be really awkward if they started working together. We didn’t end on bad terms (it wasn’t going anywhere, we were mostly just FWBs by the end), but obviously, we did end and haven’t kept in touch.

    Obviously, I still sent her the info of people I know who work there (but not ex’s info) and will help her if I can, but I need to quash this irritating “grr” feeling in my head if she ends up getting a job there. But I’ll just say it here:


    • e_pontellier :

      I totally commiserate. Not to bore you with details, but GRRRRRR!!! Agreed!!!!

  20. Dumb question :

    I’m an attorney and I always see the word “duly” preface all sorts of things. An agreement was “duly executed” or a settlement was “duly authorized” or a motion was “duly made” for example. The word is becoming a pet peeve of mine because I feel like in most instances it is extraneous. Can’t one just say that the document was executed? I just ran the term as a search in our client files and came up with over 5000 hits. Does this word have more significance than I realize? I understand it basically means “properly” but is it really necessary? Do we just feel smart using it? I can’t stand it and want to banish it.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I feel the same way about “Comes now.”

      Unfortunately there are so many examples like this in a lot of legal writing.

      • My pro se prisoner litigants *love* “comes now”. I think there must be some sort of legal handbook floating around prison libraries that tells them to write that.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Dude. I wish it was confined to pro se folks only around me. We get it from opposing counsel all.the.time. Sometimes even lawyers in my own firm will write it.

      • Another Anon :

        I had law school professors that love “comes now” because they saw it as a reflection of the “old days” :)

    • karenpadi :

      I’m not in an area where “duly” is used. I imagine it’s over-used in the case of “executed” or “authorized”. In my practice, I try to avoid those legal-ly modifying words because, really, they don’t help and they only cause trouble.

      In the case of “duly executed”, the use of the word “duly” may be too conclusory (unless stipulated by all parties) or, because proper execution of a document is a legal conclusion, may be a privileged communication to a client. If there is reason to believe a document wasn’t properly executed, it may be used as evidence that the attorney isn’t being candid with the court. But I am a patent attorney and, until recently, our ethical rules before the PTO as interpreted by the Federal Circuit were nit-picky like that.

      I think it might be used old-school style to indicate that execution or authorization was not at issue. I would argue that it’s redundant.

      My advice, use it sparingly (e.g., when stipulated) or if a mentor is old-school and requires it. Part of learning how to be a lawyer is thinking through these issues for yourself.

    • In my practice (corporate), I think it actually means something. “Duly authorized” means properly authorized by those with the power to do so under an entity’s corporate/organizational documents; likewise, “duly executed” means executed by someone with the proper power to do so. I can execute anything, but that doesn’t make it enforceable. Hope this helps :)

      • Seconded, as a corporate lawyer. “Duly” has meaning especially in the context of representations or warranties as to corporate status, capacity and enforceability, and comes up a lot particularly when you give corporate or securities opinions.

  21. Can anyone recommend a really good but inexpensive black hair salon in NY? I basically just read a book called The Science of Black Hair and it completely blew my mind. I currently wear weaves and the only thing stopping me from relaxing/wearing my own hair is the price gouging/terrible service that I’ve received at every hair salon I’ve ever frequented. Never mind the chronic lateness, chemical burns and last minute price negotiation! I don’t want really want to pay over $200 for a relaxer. $150 would be ideal. There is nothing under $300 on yelp (my usual savior)!And that’s not including tips, taxes and whatever else they’ll add on last minute when they think you aren’t paying attention. Can anyone recommend?

    • e_pontellier :

      No black hair salon tips, but generally, I would check Living Social. I got an amazing deal there and was really surprised. If you find a salon you’d go to, have you tried checking those deal sites? good luck!

    • Backgrounder :

      Hi Elle – when I lived in NYC I loved Fatimot at The Master Touch – she’s on 130 W 29th Street between 6th and 7th. It’s not a huge salon (she is a small business owner) but she does great sew-in weaves and general hair care. When I went the prices were reasonable as well. 347-661-8074

    • Curls in the LBC :

      I’m not local, but you might check the Salon reviews at naturallycurly dot com. It’s how I found my new wonderful stylist when I moved to SoCal.

  22. season premiere of Hart of Dixie FINALLY on Hulu!! I’m ready for some Hot Neighbor Wade!

    • ok, this might be blasphemy here, but after finally watching S2 E1, I am firmly on Team George, and i just don’t know WHAT a certain person is THINKING! argghhh….

      … still, i won’t deny that i appreciated the plethora of gratuitous Shirtless Wade. mmmmm……

      • Wait til episode 2. I have always been team wade but I might be changing my mind,

  23. TJ-

    SO and I have recently started shacking up pretty full time. He still has a lease at his apartment, which isn’t up until the summer, but he’s brought most of his stuff over to my place. He’s moved into my house (which I bought LIKE A GROWN UP over the summer WOOOOO). Everything is going super great. Here is my dilemma: his financial contribution to the house is splitting utilities with me. That makes sense, and I’m certainly not going to go broke paying my own mortgage, but is there any way to tactfully bring up a little more of a contribution? I was thinking something small (maybe a hundred bucks a month) that could go into my house savings account for fixing things as they come up. Is that unreasonable or tacky? I hate talking about money.

    This is further made weird by the fact that I’m a working lawyer (although a low paid public servant) and he is still in medical school (although his parents are footing the bills).

    • No personal experience with this, but my immediate reaction is that as long as he’s still paying his own lease (and all the utilities for that apartment, even though they are probably limited if he’s never there), it seems a little unreasonable to me to ask him for a contribution toward your living expenses.

      Is he keeping the lease as a “back-up” in case this relationship doesn’t work out? If you’re committed to living together, it might be worth discussing breaking his lease and either splitting the loss of the security deposit, or letting him live “rent free” until the amount he’d be paying you in rent equals the amount he paid to break the lease.

  24. My only complaint about this particular suit is that it wrinkles easily. I had the suit and ended up buying a new one (a wool suit) because the wool drapes so much better and IMHO looks more professional.

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