Bargain Friday’s TPS Report: Chambray Bootcut Pants

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

CalvinKlein Favorite Fit Stretch Chambray Bootcut PantsCalvin Klein has a number of cute items on sale right now (including a bunch of dresses that are outside the price range for a Friday TPS, alas) but I’m liking the reasonable price on these bootcut pants. They’re actually a blue, even though they look gray to me — it’s the kind of thing that is a nice change from your more usual, somber tones, particularly on a summer Friday. The trick to wearing blue chambray to the office is to keep the rest of your outfit polished — the styling in the picture is fairly on spot with the button-front shirt and the sedate heels. It’s also interesting to note that Calvin Klein offers sizes in both size and length, similar to men’s sizing. Anyway: the pants are now $39.99 (were $79) at Favorite Fit Stretch Chambray Bootcut Pants

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  1. This is a nice looking pair of trousers. I like the color and the wide belt loops. It would look cute with a skinny belt and a wider belt. However, I have mixed feelings about boot cut pants! They tend to remind me of bell bottoms, and I have a difficult time getting past that. I’m currently loving a more tailored, straight-leg trouser. Anyone else tend to avoid boot cuts?

    • I don’t mind them, but they have to be the perfect length – these are way too short for those heels, making the extra material look sloppy. If they end just above the ground (and if the flare isn’t too exaggerated – these pants are about as wide as I would go), I think they can be a flattering alternative to a narrower cut.

    • I loved when boot cuts came out. There was just enough flare to balance out my hips and keep from looking middle-heavy.

    • totally agree re: the bootcut. bootcut pants feel really dated to me. As a fix, my tailor will take in a pair of bootcut pants and turn them into skinny pants for $10.

      • Wow, am I old? I love bootcuts and won’t consider anything else for the office. I love the elegant sweep & swish of beautifully tailored wide-legged pants with pointy heels. <——-Yup, just dated myself circa 2000, I guess!

        I wore skinnies/high-waisted slacks (that's what we called 'em!) in the 90s for my first "real" jobs, post-college & law school. Didn't flatter my hourglass shape then, and don't flatter me now.

        • skippy pea :

          Er, the skinny pants are only loved by those who do not have hips. For those of us with hips, we still prefer bootcut. Nothing dated about it at all.
          I personally do not like the look of exagerated straight leg on anyone.

        • I definitely have hips, but I find some bootcut pants emphasize this because they’re narrow near the knees and then flare out, making my legs look hourglass – big hips little knees big boot cut bottom. Sometimes a “skinny”/straight pant flatters my big hips better, because there is a straight line down through the knee.

      • Actually, wide leg and flare pants have been all over the runways for a while now and are starting to diffuse down into stores. With all the 70’s influence for Spring, I think regular people, not just fashionistas will start wearing them again.

        I personally love a wider leg, I have long chicken legs and the volume makes me feel leggy in a good way and not in my normal gangly way.

    • Yay it's Friday! :

      I like bootcuts – they’re far more flattering to my figure than any other cut – but as with most things, it depends on the label and the pant so I have to try something on regardless of what cut the garment thinks it is. Straight-leg and wide-leg are a complete crapshoot with me because the first tends to look boxy on me and the second has me swimming in fabric, but I just don’t know until I try things on. “Flare” is the one I used to try to avoid because it felt like there was too much swirly fabric below my knee.

    • I like this cut and think it is flattering on me to balance out the fact that I’m more than a bit top-heavy. I like these a lot, and I’m very tempted to order RIGHT NOW.

      But here’s my concern: I told myself a while back that I wasn’t going to order pants anymore that have belt loops. I never wear my shirts tucked in (see top-heavy comment above — not flattering). I find that my pants with belt loops look unpolished. If I wear a belt, there’s the dreaded belt bulge. If I don’t wear a belt, the loops themselves create weird bumps and lumps if the shirt is smoother/more fitted/etc. How do others address this problem? Has anyone ever had belt loops removed? I’d love to have more flexibility in buying pants (like these) that have belt loops.

      • I think you can easily remove belt loops, esp. if you are going to wear a shirt over so that whatever telltale sign of former stitchery remains won’t be detectable anyway. You could probably do it yourself with a pair of manicure scissors.

        I had a pencil skirt with a very random sash in the front that I had removed and while you could see where the stitches used to be if you looked very closely, no one ever looked that closely, and wearing it with a sweater you would never know.

      • It’s generally an easy fix. The belt loops usually are not sewed into the waist.

    • Kanye East :

      Wide leg trousers were good enough for Katharine Hepburn, and they’re good enough for me.

    • Alias Terry :

      I am curvy enough that boot cut can make me look shorter and wider than I really am. So I feel your trepidation.

  2. Morning Threadjack!

    I’m hoping the corporette hive mind can be of assistance.

    I’m in a wedding in the fall and need some shoe advice. We’re all wearing different colored fun shoes, in bright colors of our choice (thing purple, red, turquoise, etc.) Preferably peep-toed. This, on its own, is not a challenge.

    BUT, the wedding and the reception are outside. So I need a show that is either flat or otherwise easy to walk in.

    Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks!

    • handlesgalore :

      search for satin flats on, you’ll get lots of options.

    • Or wedges.

    • Have you thought about a wedge?

      Wedges are great if you want a heel – they are usually a lot more comfortable than regular heels and much easier to walk on in the grass (won’t sink down in the mud if the soil is soft).

    • Here are a few ideas:

      Lands End Emma Open Toe:

      Cole Haan (lots of yellow for some reason):

    • Frye had some amazing brightly-colored wedges and low cone heels last spring–so cute I still remember them now and was excited for an excuse for someone else to buy them! But a quick search is telling me they are now out of stock in colors like canary and sky blue. Maybe I didn’t look far enough?

      • I would go for a thick stacked heel. They are very on-trend right now so you should not have any problem finding a great pair.

        A wedge is another option, but I find that wedges don’t look as dressy as a shoe with a heel – they are better with more casual clothes.

        Also, unless you are quite tall and/or have long legs, I think a flat shoe is going to be tough with a fancy dress. Just my opinion, though (and I’m biased [jealous?] because I am short with short, athletic legs, so I can never wear flats with a dress).

    • somewherecold :

      I’ve been thinking about getting these Me Too wedges from Zappos: They’re peep toe, come in a bunch of bright colors, and the reviews are pretty positive.

    • How about these purple open toe wedges from Pour La Victoire?

    • Thanks for the ideas guys. I’m going to send some of them to the other ladies.


  3. Sorry to threadjack so early but I have a work question if anyone can help!

    Basically, I’m a new grad, I’m in a very small (think less than 50 people company). I’m the newest hire and by far the youngest so I am definitely the lowest rung on the totem pole/everyone is justified in throwing grunt work my way. That’s okay, I don’t really mind, but to some extent, everyone there is my superior. I do report directly to the CEO who assigns me the bulk of my projects but a few times every week, someone comes in and goes “Oh hey can you help me out with XYZ-totally-unrelated-to-your-expertise-but-I-don’t-have-time?” And that’s fine- I even like it because I’m learning a bunch of different aspects of the business.

    This one woman is on flex time (she doesn’t work Thursdays, works 12-4, etc) and occasionally has to bring her four year old in, whether because daycare was closed, or the kid is sick, or she gets pulled into a meeting on a day she wasn’t supposed to be in or whatever. I don’t mind, i was a camp counselor for a million years, the kid is sweet and sharp as a tack, so if she needs me to watch her in a meeting, that’s okay.

    The tough part is sometimes (like yesterday) she will drop her kid off when I really have a lot of work to get done. This kid is ADORABLE and SWEET but also not the kind of kid that you can hand a crayon and say go draw for an hour quietly – she wants to talk, she wants me to play with her, she wants to know why I’m not answering her questions if I’m reading my email, etc. Even then I don’t really mind except that a lot of times when I’m doing this, my direct boss will come in and want to know why I’m not done with XYZ project or haven’t answered his email or whatever and the simple fact is – you can’t multitask with this kid. The kid typically gets dropped off in this whirlwind of “heyrunningintoameetingcanyouwatchherthankssomuchbye!” and it’s not really practical for me to follow her and be like, “hey sorry, today I have too much work, find another solution!”

    Now I can’t really tell my direct boss (the CEO) that I can’t finish that up because I’m babysitting, I have to just try and get it done. I don’t want to make things worse for this woman because having a four year old must be crazy rough to begin with, she’s really nice, she is also (kind of?) my boss, she’s been working here for 15 years, and I understand being a mom and work don’t always sync as well as we would like them. But I don’t know what to say when my boss comes in and gives me the WTF are you doing, get your work done look when I am keeping the kid entertained by drawing a picture on the whiteboard with her. Help?

    • This sounds like a terrible situation! On the one hand you don’t want to twirk off the flex time employee (FTE), and the boss obviously knows that the FTE brings her kid in and allows it to happen. It is also good that you are aware of your position on the totem pole and are embracing the learning opportunity. On the other hand it sounds like it is compromising your performance and reputation. I think this calls for making a written record in the form of a careful email to the boss. What about:

      Dear Boss:

      One of the attributes about this company that I appreciate is its flexibility with regard to our colleagues’ work/life conflicts, and I am happy to contribute to the company in this regard. I have seen this play out with the flexibility you afford FTE when childcare issues arise. At the same time, I am finding that FTE’s childcare issues harm my own productivity and ability to complete my assigned tasks, as I often find myself responsible for FTE’s child when FTE brings the child into work. When I become responsible for FTE’s child, it becomes extremely difficult for me to complete my work in the prescribed deadlines.

      I want to be sure that I am striking the correct balance between contributing to this company’s positive work/life culture, as when I become responsible for watching FTE’s child, and completing my assigned tasks. I welcome any assistance you can provide in this regard.

      • I agree with the concept but not putting it in an email – that’s likely to end up getting forwarded to FTE and causing her a problem. I’d ask the boss for a meeting and say this; I might even sit down with FTE first and give the same speech.

        • I agree with sitting down with FTE first; I think that is the more professional and direct way to deal with the issue, since she is causing it. Perhaps nothing will change, at which point you might then have to go directly to CEO, but if you go to the boss first you risk alienating her if she feels like you threw her under the bus, and you really won’t have a good answer if she asks you “why didn’t you tell me this first?”

          I would consider asking to talk to her over coffee or something, and explaining that you don’t mind helping her out, and you enjoy spending time with her daughter, but that there are times you have tasks and deadlines that simply cannot wait. Tell her that you don’t want to make this an issue with CEO, or in any way go over her head or throw her under the bus, but you don’t know what to tell him when he demands to know why a project isn’t finished when he wanted it and the answer is that it’s because you were minding her child. Engage her in the conversation, make sure it’s clear that the issue is your job demands and accountability, and see what she says.

    • middle-aged anon :

      Try posting your question to – I really like the advice she gives out, although you might have to beware of commenters, especially since your question involves little kids and parenting.

      I’ll let others address all the intralevel conflicts here, but I will say that I’ve _somewhat_ been on the other side in terms of working “flex-time,” and it was in no way the perfect marriage of job + small children. Truthfully, it sucked. As did telecommuting/teleworking. Just throwing that out there for any younger Corporettes who might be considering such arrangements in the future. Knowing what I know now, I’d take strictly-office work in a heartbeat.

      • I think I have to disagree with the idea that telecommuting, flex-time etc., are bad, but I think that they have to be clearly thought out ahead of time – both by the employee and employer. Hours, expectations and how to handle crises must all be discussed ahead of time and all the parties have to come to an understanding. Flex-time and telecommuting are not a substitute for child-care and every working parent needs to have at least one and preferably two or more back-up child-care options. The flex-timer also needs spouse/partner to know that just because the flex-timer/telecommuter works at home it doesn’t mean that s/he can handle all family crises or more work at home just because they’re “there”.

        As with many things on the job, communication is everything. And some people won’t be good fit for flex-time and that’s ok too.

        In Myomy’s case, the mom/employee needs to get her child-care arrangements under control. It doesn’t mean that flex-time cannot work and work well.

    • To me, this sounds like a pretty basic boundary issue. Your empathy and generosity are admirable, but “grunt work” just does not include last-minute childcare for your colleagues while on the clock, no matter how nice she is or where you are on the totem pole.

      It’s true that you can’t chase after the mother as she is running away and tell her you can’t watch her kid. Instead, you talk to her on a normal day and explain politely that the drop-offs are interfering with completing your work assignments (ahem, highlighting the fact that this is not one of them). Go ahead and mention what you did here: that you’re having to come up with explanations when asked why your work isn’t completed. It goes without saying that “I was babysitting” is not an acceptable answer. You don’t always have a conflicting task to deal with–but you’re never able to predict when you will or won’t, and therefore to be safe it’s best that she find another back-up childcare solution. It won’t be fun to do this, but I really think you have to. As long as you act like the back-up babysitter, then you are the back-up babysitter.

      • I agree that the correct solution is that she cannot be the back-up babysitter, but given that this woman is effectively her boss, I think the edict must come from above (CEO) that the babysitting has to go. I’m interested to see what others say, but I would personally approach the CEO for a private conversation rather that doing a letter. Then the CEO will need to talk to the FTE about the decision that he/she reaches.

        • The only reason I wasn’t sure about that is that I wouldn’t want FTE to feel she’d been “tattled on.” I can picture her saying “Myomy, I wish you’d just told me you weren’t comfortable with this rather than going straight to CEO.” But, tough call.

          • All of that (the tattling issue) may just depend on office dynamics- if there’s a hiarchy, then it might seem more like tattling. But if it’s more of a team, there’s a CEO but we all pretty much act like equals atomosphere going on, it might be less tattling like.

      • lawyerette :

        I got the posting too fast thing and didn’t want to type my comment again, but this is exactly what I would do.

      • That is a good point – I know that by my continuing to do it, I’m telling her it’s okay and that just isn’t practical longterm. I’d like to find a way to say – please don’t use me as your first line of defense, in an emergency, please just check that I have the time. Or do you think think it’s better to just draw the line in the sand – I should never do this at all?

        • just say no :

          I think you have to tell her it’s not ok. Otherwise, everything becomes an emergency.

        • I’d be concerned about the “slippery slope”–i.e. after a few months, she starts “checking with you” as she is running out the door again, but maybe I am being too pessimistic. Also, what if you think you have time as of 3 pm, but at 3:30 something comes up?

        • lawyerette :

          yep, no every time.

        • Never do it. She’s totally taking advantage of you. I bet, especially since she’s been working 15 years, that she knows it’s not your job to watch her kid and if the first time you were bad with children or told her something like “uggh, what do I do with this baby” she never would have asked you again and would have found an alternate arrangement.

          I’d tell teh CEO/explain your reasons. You’re not being paid to be a babysitter.

          I honestly find the attitude and taking advantage of you by the mom disgusting. Sometimes when people have kids they tend to think teh world revolves around them and their snot ridden offspring. You have to right to not want to be the babysitter. If you wanted to be a babysitter you could be one.

        • Makeup Junkie :

          I think it’s too late to say you’re not comfortable with it now since you’ve already been doing the babysitting. At this point it does need to come from a higher-up.

        • Ekaterin Nile :

          I think you should never babysit FTE’s child at work. Unless you’re running a day care, it’s totally inappropriate for her to ask. The fact that it’s impacting your ability to complete your assigned tasks makes it 1000% worse. The company is not paying you to watch FTE’s child. Plus, I think this could seriously (and negatively) impact how you, the newer, younger, female employee, are viewed by your colleagues.

          I would politely inform FTE that her asking you to babysit her child at work is directly impacting your ability to complete tasks for your immediate boss and you won’t be able to do so anymore. It seems like the CEO has gone along with it (I cannot fathom why), but if FTE asks you to babysit again after you tell her you aren’t doing it, then I would escalate the issue.

        • Begin as you mean to go on. I would take the lady out to coffee and explain. If it still is not resolved then talk to the CEO. And what if you get perceived as ” nanny to the office”? I would not do this ever. Very different from normal grunt work.

        • Mabye you could ask her to call you on the way into the office to “see” if you can watch the child. That way, she always has to ask, and sometimes, you can say yes.

    • There are many things that might be in your job description, but I think you can say with a straight face that babysitting isn’t one of them. It’s a personal service (just like if someone above asked you to go out and wash their car), but a business service, for the person you’re helping–it doesn’t benefit the company (your employer).

      First, I might mention it to the CEO, who you directly report to and confirm that you’re not responsible for babysitting. Then I’d find a time to directly address the issue with the person (when they don’t have their child with them). Mention that you have a lot of projects for others, and that you are simply unavailable to provide childcare services. Period. Don’t apologize, don’t offer to do it when you’re not busy with other stuff.

      • middle-aged anon :

        The thing that bothers me about mentioning it to the CEO is that the CEO is pretty clearly allowing all of this to happen. CEO is allowing FTE to be pulled in on her _day off_, and he’s not going to bat at all for OP – I mean, you walk in, you see your employee playing with a kid that’s not hers and not doing the work you need her to do – wouldn’t a reasonable CEO put the kibosh on that by close of business?

        I feel for you, OP.

    • Oh that’s kind of horrible. If I liked the Mom I would talk to her first. My approach would be to relate to her the story of the CEO coming in and asking why his project isn’t finished. Say you were so flustered. Say you love her kids but as she knows you find it impossible to do any work when babysitting him – you admire that she’s able to get anything done! Tell her that sometimes when you have a deadline for the CEO you just can not babysit the kid. Say you really need to know that your No will be respected. You are happy to help out for twenty minutes here or there when you don’t have a project but if she ever needs more than an hour – you really feel like there needs to be an official conversation with the CEO so that he’s aware of this and approves or you do not feel comfortable.

      I would try to make it like you’re asking her to be on your side in your apprehension of the CEO – that way he’s the bad guy.

      I would also practice your speach in your head till you’re happy with how straighforward, polite but clear it sounds. That’s helped me a ton in the past. Being blunt but polite about these kind of things is surprisingly succesful.

      • I like this. Like was pointed out above the CEO knows and I don’t think he thinks I’m just playing with a cute kid for fun, but it doesn’t help that I look babysitter-aged and usually am having a little fun while doing it (after all, white board drawings are fun!) and I don’t want to make this into a big issue or not look like a team player. I like the idea of playing a little dumb – I’d love to help but I’m not meeting CEO’s deadlines! Perhaps next time she needs childcare for longer than a few minutes, she can check with CEO to make sure he doesn’t have any major projects for me? Something like that. I don’t want to get her in trouble, and it doesn’t happen frequently (a couple times a month maybe?) but I also know that I risk damaging the CEO’s opinion of me if it continues. Thanks!

        • Bk foette :

          Couple times a month is pretty frequent.

          • A couple times a month? Seriously? That is quite frequent. Sounds like you’ve become her go-to backup babysitter.

        • I think you are wrong in agreeing to do it. It’s your decision but looks like you are just scared to say ‘ no ‘ ever and that’s not good.

          • Anon for This :

            You should not offer to do it occasionally (when you don’t have other deadlines). This has to stop completely, or you’re just going to be faced with exactly the same situation in a month or so.

    • The only situation in which it is appropriate to ask a coworker to watch your child is if that coworker is your assistant and only your assistant and you directly supervise her and assign all her work, and even then it’s borderline. This woman is way out of bounds.

      Since watching the child is interfering with your ability to do your work as assigned by your direct supervisor, your direct supervisor needs to handle this. You need to let her know that you’re unable to complete your assigned tasks because you’re being asked to watch the kid. Tell her that if your job responsibilities include watching the kid that’s fine with you, but you can’t carry out other tasks while watching the kid. Tell her that if she wants you not to watch the kid, you’re not comfortable communicating this to the kid’s mom, and you’d prefer that she has the conversation peer-to-peer with the kid’s mom instead.

      Good luck.

    • While I agree with all the above that you need to have a serious talk with FTE and/or CEO about this issue (this isn’t your job!), you might also suggest to FTE that if this is going to continue (perhaps less regularly) that she needs to bring activities with child that distract child more thoroughly.

      For example, there are portable DVD players and/or the Ipad that can be a complete god-send with little kids. Stick some headphones on the kid, throw Despicable Me in, and you may get more silence and some downtime.

      BUT, I still think that this solution only works if you are ACTUALLY last resort rather then what it sounds like now, which is that you’re her first resort. At the very least, these types of emergencies should be rotated amongst other employees as well and not just you.

      • Yeah this would help a lot – usually the kid shows up with nothing so of course I need to figure something out to entertain her. Even if she had a picture book or coloring book or iPad (great idea!) then I wouldn’t be grabbing printer paper and white board markers and trying to figure out something to do with her.

        • lawyerette :

          IMO, if you want to be taken seriously in this company you need to stop doing this AT ALL. Otherwise you’ll always be the babysitter girl. If there were a more junior guy than you, you’d still be the babysitter girl. Seriously, tell her to stop and stand your ground. This is not ok.

          • That is a good point – it occurred to me that if I was a man, this would really never be expected of me. The problem is I don’t want to be seen as “not a team player” when I understand that legitimate emergencies do come up and my CEO knows that this is going down and hasn’t asked me to stop, so I’m thinking a frank, maybe play a little dumb conversation with her is really the best thing for me to do at this point.

          • While I agree with all the posters above that this shouldn’t be happening period, the reality that myohmy has to deal with is that if FTE throws a snit-fit and CEO refuses to do anything, it may be a situation she has to somewhat accept. From the description, it doesn’t sound like a problem she’s willing to quit over…so I think coming up with ideas to make the situation more manageable isn’t the worst thing in the world.

            I also think people are being a bit hard on FTE (though, obviously, I don’t know FTE’s situation). Though its great that the firm has given her flex-time, it sounds like they (a) don’t really respect it and (b) are otherwise pretty inflexible when emergencies come up. Faced with this situation, FTE was probably so relieved to have someone at work who was (apparently) happy to help out that she didn’t really stop to think about how inappropriate it was. Selfish, yes. Completely unimaginable, no.

            At least, that’s my two very small cents. :-P

      • It may also be worthwhile to frame it as a liability issue. What would happen if the child was injured or hurt while under your care? Would your employer be responsible? Would you? This is even more cause for concern if you are juggling babysitting along with your other work duties. Maybe alarmist but just my two cents.

        • That’s a horrible idea. No one wants someone to complain under the gest of bad legal questioning. This is why people dislike lawyers.

        • I don’t think this is a bad idea. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to gently point out the potential liabilities!

    • Be assertive. You are not a babysitter. I don’t care where you think you are on the company totem pole. If your job designation is not babysitter, then you are not required to watch anyone’s child. You should never have allowed yourself to fall into that role. Now you will just have to figure out how to gracefully tell her you can’t watch her kid for her anymore.

  4. AnonInfinity :

    I need the assistance of the fab Corporette bag ladies. I currently carry a purse, a lunch box, random books , pastry bag, etc., all in my hands. So, I want to get a big bag that I can consolidate everything in.

    I know we’ve had this conversation before, and I have decided on the LL Bean Boat and Tote. But, I don’t know how to decide which size. Large or Extra Large? Can I get a fun color or do I have to get the black detailing so it will look more professional?

    • Extra large is truly enormous and may make you feel like a space hog in the elevator – I think my mom used that to haul around all of her supplies when she taught Sunday school. I’d go w/ Large.

      As for color – I’d stay away from the very bright choices (partic. Aegean Blue, Sunrise or Pink Berry), but “Blue” (basically navy) looks great with the canvas, and red is also a classic.

    • Medium or large. The extra large is ENORMOUS.

      I’d go for a fun color, but my work tote is currently a brightly striped LeSportSac, so ymmv.

    • What is a pastry bag? Is it as good as it sounds?

      • AnonInfinity :

        A bag containing a pastry from my very favorite bakery :)

        This morning it contained a very rich and flaky cinnamon roll. Now I’m wishing I had another.

    • I know I’m going to get skewered here, but I don’t think that the LL Bean tote bag looks professional. When people in my office carry those things in, I just assume that they are staff, not attorneys. It also doesn’t look stylish – more like you are getting ready to go camping for the weekend. And I love those bags – i have two myself, including the extra large, which could have fit my maltese and her mom and sisters, too. Is it possible to get a large, dark colored nylon tote that can serve your purpose as well?

      • I usually only see people carry those if they also have a briefcase or something so I assume it’s their gym bag

      • Kanye East :

        I don’t think a corporate tote is any more presentable or professional than an LL Bean canvas tote.

      • Also…and I honestly am asking this because it seems to be a popular view here (with regards to rain boots, bags, and other things only worn to and from the office), does it REALLY matter how professional you look during the elevator ride up to work and sitting down at your desk?

        I mean, assuming you do not carry your tote around the office with you all day or wear your brightly colored rain boots to a meeting…do you really thing a lot of people think, man, I would have had professional respect for that person…but I saw her carrying a LL Bean tote into the office this morning so never mind.

        I should say, I do understand the general need to look professional and “lawyerly” or whatever around the office. But this emphasis on even looking “lawyerly” in your early morning commute or whatever just seems misplaced.

      • I see plenty of people using less-formal totes as a way to manage the items that don’t fit in their official work briefcase / tote – which is how I assume the OP is going to use the B&T. I don’t know any women attorneys who use them as their primary work tote (or that use other less-formal totes, lesportsac etc, as the primary), but doubt anyone would think twice about seeing it as the “overflow” bag.

  5. Brief threadjack: I ordered the Tory Burch summer dress featured on Monday’s post and it arrived yesterday. What a complete disappointment! The fabric was flimsy, thin (transparent) and, frankly, cheap-looking. It also had no structure and emphasized every small bulge. I can’t believe they had the chutzpah to ask $388 for this dress! I own several Tory Burch pieces and this is below their standards.

    • I really liked the version with sleeves that was pictured, and was considering splurging. Well, I guess this makes my decision easy. So disappointing, given how lovely it was in the pics!

      • Must say, it did look thin & gauzy and slinky. The skinny model “worked it,” though. Suspicions confirmed. Thanks!

    • wow, I was seriously tempted and still mulling over the blue version on the TB website, thanks so much for this post!

  6. Best spanx for love handles? :

    I consider myself to be in pretty good shape and I’m relatively thin (usually a size 4 in dresses) but I still have sizeable love handles.

    I would love to be able to wear a dress like this, but my high hip area ends up jutting out and looking “lumpy”, for lack of a better description.

    What’s the best spanx for concealing love handles? Links to a specific one would be awesome, thanks!

    • North Shore :

      I like Spanx hide & sleek full slip under a dress like that.

    • I think the high (to the bra) bike shorts are the most controlling. A slip may ride up, etc., and won’t hold you in nearly as much.

    • I think I may have a similar figure as you, and what really changed my viewpoint was this post:

      It turns out that I don’t have “love handles,” I have “high hips.” Which IMO is a much better way to feel about my sides.

      You could try a full-body slip from Spanx, like this one:

      • Thanks Alhambra! I love Imogen’s blog and submitted a picture of my shape a while back, and she confirmed that I was an X shape.

        Thanks all for your suggestions. I am concerned about the slip riding up, so perhaps I will try the high waisted shorts that AIMS recommends. I do have a pair of Spanx shorts but they only go up to my waist.

  7. Myomy, I think you have to initiate a conversation or two to protect yourself and your future with the company. The CEO’s needs come before the mom/employee’s needs, obviously, and it would be good to come up with a plan before the next crisis hits. Once Mom is in crisis mode, it’s too late to plan ahead.

    Not knowing more about your workplace, I would suggest either: 1) Ask the CEO for some time to review your duties and priorities and in the course of the conversation, bring up timing, his priorities and the chance for the unplanned addition of childcare duties to your workflow. This would be a good tactic if he has unofficially “sanctioned” the babysitting in some way. Or 2) Ask Mom/employee for time for a short meeting on a day when she is in the office without the kid, and tell her what you’ve told us and brainstorm ideas for times of conflict.

    Depending on how unhappy the CEO is, you may need to start with #2 and use the time to tell Mom/employee that, while sometimes you are able to help, other times you aren’t and you need to be able to say “no” when it is going to make you late on CEO’s project. Mom/employee needs to understand that the CEO’s work comes first. You can also obliquely mention that you don’t want to involve the CEO if it’s not necessary because of how busy he is, etc. An idea would be for Mom/employee to call you on the day that child’s sitter is sick and ask “Is it ok if I leave Child with you from 12-3 today?” And if you have a deadline and say “No” then Mom/employee will make other arrangements and bear the burden of arranging an alternative.

    I think it’s imperative that you do this before your performance is undermined. Good luck!

  8. I think you have to say something because now it looks like you’re playing with the cute kid instead of doing your work. You can phrase it nicely like “oh Mandy, I love little Elmo, but I can’t watch her and do my own work, so if you could find another solution, that would be great.”

    • Not, “. . . so if you could find another solution, that would be great,” but rather: “Therefore, you need to find another solution.”

  9. Can anyone recommend a good cross-body bag for traveling (think sightseeing, etc.)? Not quite a messenger bag style. Was looking at Manhattan Portage ( but reviews said not enough organizational pockets, and Kipling ( but seems too big. Though needs to be big enough to hold wallet, water, blackberry, etc. and possibly my netbook.

    • lawyerette :

      I love this bag and have taken it everywhere:

      the water bottle pocket is tight for a small water bottle but it fits my 14″ x200 laptop if I need to carry it (not much else though). I use it as a camera bag sometimes too.

      • LOVE my PacSafe. I have an older model of this one:

        It easily fits my wallet, small digital camera, guidebook, pens, small notebook, mini-first-aid kit, and I usually keep a water bottle in one side pocket (which zip flat if you don’t have a bottle) and a bottle of sunscreen in the other.

        I took it all around South America and Southeast Asia with me, and one of my guy friends liked it so much he bought it for himself in black.

    • I have a very similar bag to this (bought it nearly 10 years ago!):

      It is the best travel bag – I’ve squeezed in a water bottle, my manual camera (big and clunky), travel essentials, phone, etc. Perfect size. I always pack it when going on vacation and will be doing a lot of sightseeing. If this one is anything like the one that I bought, however, there are no organizational pockets.

      • Ooh, some of those fabric totes are beautiful! Now I have a new reason to wish I had $450 extra lying around . . . .

    • I ***love*** my Tumi Capri cross-body for sightseeing and museums/ city travel days, etc. Fits wallet, phone, passport, bottle of water and a small notebook, and there are inside and outside zippered pockets.

      It’s definitely not big enough for a netbook, though — but Tumi does have some larger cross-body travel bags.

  10. shaking anon :

    Totally off-topic:
    Sorry for the threadjack, but I am shaking and don’t know what to do.
    I just sneaked a look at my husband’s phone contacts for the first time (he usually locks it). I saw the name of a woman I suspected him of having an affair with about 3 years ago. At that time, I found photos of them together at their mutual sports team party, and the photos were very flirty. He denied it.
    The reason why I know he is being deceptive is because the woman’s first name in his phone book was altered so it looks like a man’s name (he probably assumes I don’t know her last name).
    My husband (of 10 years) is always texting/emailing people discreetly, but this woman lives very far away now (we moved) so I don’t think it’s possible that he is physically seeing her.
    If I question him and especially if I admit to looking at his phone, he will be really pissed that I’m bringing it up IF he is innocent. If I do question him, how do I word it so he can’t make up stupid excuses? Do I randomly ask “When was the last time you communicated with her?”
    Or do I leave this alone since she is far away, knows he is married and hopefully knows better?

    • lawyerette :

      I am in favor of 100% openness in marriage. Not everyone will agree with me, but in this case I would have a calm conversation with your husband about what happened. Obviously you have some trust issues that may or may not be b/c of something he actually did. Pretending those aren’t there won’t help anyone. You say he denied an affair with her before, but why the heck were flirty photos with another woman ok even if that’s all they were? I would not be okay with that and my husband would never do anything like this. One photo is an accident, multiple ones are on purpose, at the very least he was flirting and at least in our marriage, that is a clear “no” line we both know. Talk to your husband.

      • I agree, both that she should talk to him and that there should be 100% openness in marriage.

        If I felt like this, I know that there’d be no way I could just let it go. Talking about it might (in fact, probably will) lead to an argument, no matter how you approach it, but it needs to get in the open. After you speak to him, regardless of the outcome, I think counseling is likely to be in order. Even assuming that he’s not done anything wrong, it sounds like there are some trust issues that need to be addressed- you (rightly or wrongly) appear not to trust him like you should, and you should both be on the same page about boundaries and what is and is not OK as far as things like flirty pictures, and it might help to have a neutral moderator to help work that out.

    • My gut is telling me that you need to ask him about it because it will bother you to no end if you don’t, but I will let other ladies give you advice on how to go about doing that. Sending you a big hug and wishes that this will get quickly resolved.

    • He’ll be really pissed if you bring it up even if he is guilty. It is extremly common for a cheater that’s confronted to attempt to deflect by getting very angry at the accuser.

      IMO the problem is that your husband and you don’t trust each other. I would go into counseling. He locks his contacts? Why? You keep checking? You think he had an affair! He would not try to reassure you if you suspect he’s cheating on you?! It all sounds not good.

      • lawyerette :

        Agree. Counseling (individually and together) will really help. Maybe there are reasons in your past why you don’t trust your husband but it sounds like he isn’t really helping you with that. It’s really important to not ignore these things, they just build up over time.

      • Yes. Be prepared for anger, regardless of whether he is in the wrong.

      • The fact that he locks the contacts on his phone and you don’t know the code/unlock combo is a red flag to me. Life partners need to be able to access this basic information, if only for emergencies.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think you have to bring this up now because it will gnaw at you until you get some sort of answer.

      As to how to do it — I really think it would be best approached in counselling. You are hurt by what you saw. Your husband is going to be very upset by your snooping.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Oops. Submitted too soon, but it looks like others got to what I was going to say.

        This situation is really volitile and could easily lead to everyone saying things that can’t be unsaid, so I think counseling is the way to go.

    • Are you sure it’s her? It could genuinely be a man with the same last name.

      I’d say something like “I borrowed your phone to make a call, and noticed someone by the last name of XXX in your phone book. Isn’t that the name of the woman you used be friends with?” and see how he reacts.

      However, it sounds like you may be overly suspicious. If there’s no more to this than what’s included on your post, you suspected your husband of an affair 3 years ago based on a basically innocuous photo and now you suspect him because he has a phone contact with a similar name. That’s not much to go on, if that’s really all there is.

    • I once found something really disturbing on an ex’s computer.
      It was not something I could ignore. I said, “I know I should never have looked, but the fact of the matter is that I did, and we need to talk about this.” He was very angry, but I basically kept calmly repeating that, “I need to understand what is going on, this is not about me looking right now, we can talk about that after, this is about what I saw.”

      I have to add, though, that I am not sure the explanation I got really resolved the situation for me; in retrospect, I think I wanted to ask more questions that I didn’t, and after we talked about the whole thing and the ex explained himself, I sort of let it go, but questions always lingered. I would advise you to really think through what it is you want to know before you confront him. You can def. expect to have this conversation, but you shouldn’t then bring it up 3 days later and then 3 days after that (assuming you actually discuss this and all).

      I would also add that I don’t think this woman’s name being in your husband’s phone is a big deal, on its own. I keep lots of old “contacts” like that and I am in a long term relationship w/no intention to cheat. The fact that it’s altered is the weird part (unless it’s from Jessica to Jess, e.g., which may be normal, too). But I would ask yourself if your husband maybe did that because you are particularly prone to jealousy (no offense!). I have friends who are 100% faithful but do similar stuff just to avoid the hassle of an unreasonably jealous partner. I am not saying that’s the case, but just think through why it is that you are concerned.

    • shaking anon :

      Thanks for all your thoughtful replies. Honestly, all this talk of marriage counselling is freaking me out. I feel like I am now making excuses for him, but here are more details:
      -The photos 3 years ago were of her sitting on his lap at a end-of-year team party with lots of people in the pics (she is the only female on the team though). The photos were not hidden and when I brought it up at the time, my husband said they were innocent and silly.
      -The name in his phone book was just shortened to a name like Tom, so he can easily say that’s her nickname.
      So could I be overreacting? I am just really scared to bring up the issue at all. Our marriage seemed to be going really well recently until this and I’m afraid of “rocking the boat” and being outed as a snooper.

      • I think you could def. be overreacting. You could easily take a wait and see approach. If nothing feels off, let it go.

      • lawyerette :

        Your marriage is not going really well if you have these concerns. But that doesn’t mean you can’t figure this out! If you don’t deal with the difficult issues, they will come out in other ways. Counseling should not be scary. At least for me, it’s made my marriage 100 times stronger.

      • Has he been texting this woman? If not, you might be overreacting.

        But, I agree with others – if you have these concerns, you need to figure out why. It might be something your husband is doing/not doing, or you could be overreacting. A counselor – individual or marriage – can help you get to the bottom of these issues.

      • North Shore :

        Does he know you have his phone? You could just delete that contact and check in a month or so to see if he added it back in. Maybe he won’t even notice, which would indicate they’re not in touch anymore.

        Obviously I don’t fall into the 100% openness camp. After my own experience with unpleasant marital counseling, I’m more inclined not to poke the hornets’ nest these days to avoid problems that aren’t really problems.

      • Lots of good advice from AIMS and Eponine above (yet again).

        1. Are you sure it’s the same person? I’d imagine there might be both an “Alan Smith”, and an “Ellen Smith.” Perhaps the “Alan” is a work colleague, etc., that you just haven’t heard of.

        2. If here, could be a legitimate nickname (though then you likely would have heard the nickname before?).

        3. Agree that having the phone number of someone he used to play sports with years ago is normal. I never clean out my contacts. I have college boyfriends in my phone. Not going to call them, just lazy.

        4. I’d not be particularly worried about a photo like that of my husband.

        Despite all of these legitimate reasons to think he may not have cheated/be cheating on you, what’s key is that your relationship has gotten to a point where you are literally shaking with fear, anger, and distrust. That points to deeper issues — either he has given you other, bigger reasons not to trust him, or you have jealousy issues … or both. This leads me to think that a heart-to-heart talk or counseling is necessary. You deserve better than a relationship with these types of suspicions.

      • I’m sorry, but a married mad should not have another woman sitting on his lap! That would really piss me off. You were married for 10 years and this happened three years ago. There is no situation where this would be appropriate!

        • handlesgalore :

          Agreed! That kind of situation would make me uncomfortable to even OBSERVE among colleagues. Super awkward.

        • shaking anon :

          Ok, through some googling, I found out that she is only 20 years old. We are in our late 30’s. So she was probably only 17 when the photos were taken. Could it be that she is just a flirty airhead who doesn’t know better than to sit on a married man’s lap?! (Of course my husband shouldn’t have allowed though.)

          And yes, to make things tougher, I am a jealous, insecure person to begin with.

          • handlesgalore :

            Yes, that is very possible. But honestly, you are obviously very distraught about this. Perhaps you might go to counseling for yourself first, and see whether you want to bring this up to your husband.

          • Different strokes :

            To me, it would be no big deal. I have tons of guy friends, my husband has girlfriends. We joke, we flirt, but we trust and we are loyal. My best friend is a guy and we were in a group photo where I wasn’t fitting in the frame so I sat in his lap. My husband could have cared less. His wife flipped out. We live many states away and would never have an affair. Gross. It would be like making out with my brother. Anyway, now our friendship is all screwy because his jealous wife can’t control her raging jealousy. Every time one of us calls the other, she gets pissed. We have been friends since we were 10 and are now in our thirties. If she gave him an ultimatum he would pick her but I think it is freaking ridiculous that she is so insecure that she can’t let him talk to his female friend on the other side of the country because she once sat on his lap in a group picture.

            My point – don’t be that woman. If there are other things going on in your relationship that makes you not trust him, look into it more. From what you have said, sounds like you just have some trust issues you need to work on.

          • She is 20 and you are both in your late 30’s? I would guess that he likes the attention and isn’t really thinking about how it would affect you. I really don’t know what to tell you; I am certainly in no position to give relationship advice. I would just say to keep my eyes open to anything else. I wouldn’t want to start a huge problem unless it was really necessary.

            I disagree with Different Strokes when she says don’t be “that woman”. You are entitled to how you feel. With her male friend, there’s a reason why his wife is behaving that way. Maybe it is because he doesn’t give her enough attention, maybe he has become distant, who knows. But it is unfair to say that a woman is being unreasonable if you don’t know the whole story and you never will because only two people are in that relationship. If someone has trust issues I will generally think about what is causing them because it isn’t always her fault. There’s usually a bigger picture.

        • Sitting on his lap? I am cringing at the very thought. By the way I shared the thread with my husband who says that he would suspect hanky panky if he saw anyone sitting on a married colleague’s lap. So male perspective (only one sample point) says guilty.

      • Hey shaking anon…I agree with some above that you could be seriously over-reacting. Depending on the “attitude” of his office, I’m not sure I’d care that much about the sitting on the lap at an office party thing (though its not the most work-appropriate thing I’ve ever heard of). I also think the fact that the pictures were posted on-line and he made no effort to hide them suggests that, unless he’s stupid, that there is probably nothing really going on. Same with the name in the phone…unless he’s been texting or calling her…I haven’t deleted a number from my phone in years. Its almost pathological at this point.

        But here’s the thing, none of what I said above matters. You told us you were shaking with anger and you’re still upset. Right now, you don’t trust him. I can’t tell you if you are just prone to jealousy or if you have solid reason to be jealous…but you ARE jealous. So you need to talk to him. And if this is a recurring problem, therapy might help (especially if you are prone to jealousy where nothing is going on).

        • Concur. Individual counseling might be very helpful for getting a handle on your ability to feel trust in your marriage. Some of us have a hard time with that (speaking from experience!). I have found that regular visits with a counselor help me keep perspective and build my ability to trust my husband, and his, eg., occassional running dates with an ex, who is now engaged. With trust and openness, neither partner needs to be constrained on a short leash.

      • I think you may be overreacting, but there’s obviously a breakdown of trust in the relationship. You mention that he usually keeps his phone locked but this time when you grabbed it it wasn’t locked – which means you’ve been wanting to check up on him for a while. Maybe you’re a very jealous person and he’s totally innocent, but since I don’t know you two, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and say that if he were totally innocent you probably wouldn’t have been wanting to check up on him repeatedly. Regardless, your marriage isn’t going really well if you don’t trust him, and you need to have a talk with him about that larger issue. The phone contact issue is a good place to start.

        Just don’t confront him in an emotional manner. Be rational and calm about it, and start the conversation with the assumption that he’s innocent. And I disagree with the 100% honesty folks – if you know it’s going to make him furious to find out you’ve checked his phone repeatedly, don’t tell him you did it repeatedly, just tell him you noticed the contact this one time and were curious.

    • Two months ago, my father’s wife, a woman who is not my mother but is a very nice person whom I like a lot and has been married to my father for years and years, saw my father’s facebook inbox. She noticed that he was messaging with another woman who lives across the country, though I don’t know the contents of the messages. His wife said stop messaging this woman, or our marriage is over. His response was defensive, along the lines of “why are you snooping, you can’t tell me what to do, why don’t you trust me.” He said he didn’t want to stop messaging the woman, he can do what he wants, and so she said then our marriage is over. They are getting divorced.

      When he told me all this to my stunned silence, he also confessed to me that during the business trip he went on recently, the woman from across the country flew a long distance to meet him there and they had an affair. Previous to that, they hadn’t seen each other since before he married his current wife, but apparently she found him on facebook and they reconnected. Note that his facebook status says he is married, with his wife linked as his wife, so the other woman obviously knew he was married. I’m now burdened with the knowledge of this secret affair, which his wife does not know about. Since they are getting divorced anyway, I don’t see the point of telling her because she’ll only be more hurt and angry, but I hate the position I am now in.

      To shaking, I have no wisdom beyond “far away and married” don’t seem to mean much these days. I wish you luck.

      • skippy pea :

        ugh. what a terrible story!

        I know I may get flamed for this, but from time to time and openly, I check my husband’s wallet, phone, email etc. My husband does not mind when I ask him for his phone, browse his contacts, go through his email etc. I do not read his email about games with his buddies etc.

        I do not do it expressly for the purpose of snooping on him…just idle browsing really…something we both laugh about.

        He is free to do the same with mine. We share our passwords etc. I sometimes forward some emails from my girlfriends to him about something interesting and sometimes attached are our previous discussions. He read the attached emails once and was horrified about the inane girly stuff we discuss day in and day out. He’d rather not read it.

        We trust each other enough that nothing is out of bounds for the other.

        • That is the type of relationship I want! I have friends who have discovered that their SO was cheating through their phones/e-mails. Both men and women. One even lied straight to his face when he confronted her. If they do not let you look at their phone/e-mail, then they have something to hide.

        • That is the type of relationship I DON’T want. Ugh, to imagine my fiancee reading my email!

          I guess every relationship really is different.

          • I would just want access to things like that. Like if you ask to see your SO’s phone he will not act like he has anything to hide and he shouldn’t have a password on his phone that you don’t know or keep things locked. I just don’t think there should be secrets like that, unless it is planning a surprise party or something! I probably have trust issues!

        • I mean, it is because you are snooping. Like you check his emails for idle browsing? That doesn’t really make any sense. You are checking what’s going on with his email. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, I know plenty of people with relationships like that, but it is to check up on him.

      • *Hugs.* My parents are currently getting divorced because my mom found out that my dad has been having an affair (one of multiple, apparently) with a woman younger than me (ew), because she saw his text messages while she was caring for him after he had heart surgery.

        It’s a difficult burden to bear; I’m sorry you’re going through this!

        • God, that’s awful. Why the hell do men do things like this? Not at all to say that women never act like a$$holes, but I have heard of so many situations like your parents’ and it’s just awful. I’m so sorry you are going through this, and that you had to find this out about your father.

      • You know, his wife may not officially know, but she KNOWS knows. Don’t feel too burdened.

        • She wouldn’t have divorced him over a facebook message if she had no clue.

    • In my marriage, we are completely open about things like this – and even “innocent” flirting would be a big no-no. I would handle this in a very open, direct manner – but I would be aware that my husband mightn’t be pleased that I was looking at his cell phone when I did so.

      I would probably sit down and just lay it out there. “I want to discuss something that’s bothering me. A few years ago, I was very upset when I saw some flirty photographs of you with Mrs. X, and, at the time, I asked you whether you were having an affair with her. You denied it. Do you remember that?” (assuming he says yes) “Well, I was looking at your cell phone the other day and I noticed that you’ve been texting/communicating with her. This is upsetting to me because I saw those flirty photographs, and now you appear to be keeping in touch with her. Can you tell me why you’re keeping in touch with her?”

      Now, if he gets defensive about it, you have to be careful to keep the conversation on the ISSUE. I would firmly state that I’d be happy to discuss whether I should/shouldn’t be looking at his cell phone AFTER we finished our discussion about the woman. And I would redirect the course of the conversation if I felt that he was trying to make the issue about my invasion of his cell phone privacy, rather than his communications with another woman.

      And, honestly, he will probably be pissed if you bring it up either way. If he’s innocent, he’s going to wonder why you’ve got trust issues with him; if he’s guilty, he’s going to be defensive and looking for a way to get out of the conversation. If I might offer one bit of overall advice here – perhaps you and he should consider couples counseling. It seems like you have some trust/communication issues, and those things can lead to bigger problems if left unresolved.

      • Anonymous :

        To the OP-

        I’m willing to bet serious money that he’s cheating. I’m sorry. But innocent men don’t act this defensive, and don’t make their partners scared to even bring up something like this to discuss. Over 50% of men cheat at some point in a marriage. And anyways you all have serious trust issues. I think you need to get out. Also be aware that he may get seriously mad at you for looking at his contacts, and that this anger has absolutely nothing to do with whether he’s innocent or not — many people get angry/defensive even when they’re doing something wrong, and will attack the other person. I’ve seen it happen many times.

        • This is NOT true. My DH and I were having some issues and he went through my text messages once. He found one that was “suspicious,” but nothing had EVER happened between me and that person. I was furious that he had gone through my messages. We went to counseling and we’re okay now, but finding the existence of one contact in someones phone does not mean they’re cheating. Not even close.

    • shaking anon :

      Ok, I confronted him, but I kept it light and casual. I said that I was playing with this phone (it’s new), and while I didn’t mean to snoop and didn’t read any emails or anything, I saw his contacts page and was surprised to see the woman’s name. I asked where she’s living and if they are still in contact and he said not in a long time. He said he heard through their mutual friend who he still talks to that she is dating another mutual friend. We talked about a few of these mutual friends and that was that. He didn’t get mad at all, but I think that I really caught him off guard. I do feel he was being honest. I do realize after reading everyone’s comments that we definitely have issues though and if something more substantial comes up again, I will tell him we need to go to counselling. Thanks everyone. It’s been a rough day!

      • I’m glad that it worked out and that he was honest with you.

        Please use this as a lesson to STOP SNOOPING.

  11. Threadjack – My BarBri plastic coffee mug finally gave out on me and wasn’t looking too good after almost a decade anyway. Do you have any recommendations for a sturdy, easy to clean commuter coffee mug that’s not too masculine-looking? I prefer stainless steel but I also think that those ceramic ones with the silicone lids are cute, too.

    • Oxo Goodgrips Liquiseal Travel Mug.

      Pricey, but it’s lasted me for years.

    • A friend gave me this puppy and you can fill it up, screw the top on, and run around with it upside down in your handbag without worrying about damaging the contents (this happened to me more than once, by accident, and I was so relieved to find my stuff unharmed). Plus, you can forget about your coffee in it for like 4 hours and it still stays fresh and warm.

    • Timolino. Stainless steel (colored or not), insulated yet BPA-free, good sizes, works well in terms of hotness and not-leaking-ness.

    • I have two Contigos that I got at CostCo. I adore them. They keep my beverages warm, and are secure enough to throw into my purse (without worrying about spillage). They are dishwasher safe as well (big plus for me). P.S. I adore the name Contigo.

      I would also suggest looking at Thermos Brand. They have some good stuff on thier website.

  12. btw, what type of material is Chambray? Is it lighter? Like linen? Wrinkles easily? etc.? I am guessing that I have seen/felt it before, but it’s not ringing any bells.

    I notice that they also have the jacket on sale (or did), and I am wondering if it would be worthwhile to pick up.


  13. Confession time: how many of you went home and reorganized your purses after Kat’s post? I just put all my makeup, drugs, bandaids, hairbands, etc in a little makeup bag (instead of roaming madly in a side pocket) and it is already so much more orderly. Thanks, Kat!

    • I have to confess: I did last night! Not quite as organized as Kat is, but at least weird things aren’t roaming around in the bottom of my purse anymore!

    • Haven’t done it yet, but it is on my list of things to do this weekend!

  14. Question: Are Cole Haan Air shoes really that much more comfortable than other shoes? I’ve been thinking about splurging on a pair, but wanted to hear whether it was all hype or not.

    • I am a fan! In fact I’m wearing some right now and I just walked several blocks in them with no discomfort. I have heard that they can be too narrow for some feet, but they are fine for me.

      • Narrowness is, indeed, the main issue. If it’s a problem you can have them stretch either at a CH store or by a cobbler. Otherwise, they are like sneakers!

        • I have really narrow feet to begin with, so that won’t be a problem. I was thinking about ordering them in narrow, but I won’t now!

          “like sneakers!” That’s an endorsement. Wow. I should definitely order some! Are they true to size, apart from the narrowness issue?

          • True to size. The “like sneakers” part — full disclosure — is only really true for lower heels and flat-ish sandals. The heels are still really comfortable though!

            That said, there was a commercial in the early 90’s for heels so comfy women were playing basketball in them (LifeStride? StrideRite?) . . . . and, I do feel like that whenever I wear my CH heels. The nike air does add a bounce to your step!

    • I think it all depends on whether they fit your foot well. All the Nike technology in the world isn’t going to make the shoe comfortable if the shoe is not cut well for your foot…

      Case in point: I have two pairs of Cole Haan Airs — a pair of loosely structured suede ballet flats, and a pair of platform peep-toe sling backs. I had to size up in each of these (normally wear a 10, went up to an 11), but they are very comfortable — more so than similar shoes I have that aren’t Airs — and I appreciate the shock-absorbtion of the soles or whatever it is.

      However, I cannot wear any of the Cole Haan closed toe/closed back heels because they are just too narrow, and also too shallow (i.e., there is not quite enough room between the sole and the top of the shoe for my foot, and it feels cramped).

      Incidentally, Adidas has gotten in on the dress shoe market recently, and I think they are partnered with Rockport? That might be another (less pricey) option to look into.

    • Kanye East :

      In my experience, no. They’re not worth it.

      • I love Cole Haan, particularly their heels. However, I can only wear some of their shoes. I have found that although I can wear my 3 1/2 Carmas or Violets all day, the lower Talias cause pain immediately.

    • Personally, I’ve hated all the Nike Air Cole Haan shoes I’ve ever tried (and even after splurging on some heels, I only ended up wearing them twice). The narrowness is part of it, I also feel that the leather isn’t the highest quality. What I do love are the hand made shoes from the Cole Haan collection. I have a few pairs of those that I absolutely love and wear all the time. They also have gotten more comfortable over time. These are typically more expensive (retail around $400+ though can be found below $200 at the outlets online and in-store). But I consider them to be some of the most comfortable shoes I own, and definitely something I have already gotten a few seasons of very regular wear out of.

    • Two cents :

      Your question is timely because I just bought my first pair of Cole Haans:

      They’re pretty comfortable but sadly I will be returning them because they’re just too darn high for me. I feel like I’m teetering when I walk.

      Any recommendations on other Cole Haans with a lower heel?

      • They currently have the Violet 90 and Violet 60 that are similar. The Violet 90 is almost the same as the shoe you tried, but the other will be about one inch lower.

  15. Help me out Corporettes!

    • Whoops! Hit enter too soon!

      I posted a bit about this yesterday in the “resigning gracefully” post, but essentially I’m in a situation where I have real but unconfirmed plans to leave my current job in the next few months. I’m waiting on some things to pan out, but it is more than a vague notion.

      A the same time, my company is planning for layoffs. Very real layoffs very soon. I have been assured that I will not be laid off because I’m too “valuable.” Which is nice, but which ultimately makes me feel bad, since I’m planning to leave anyway. I’d hate for someone to get laid off and then I end up resigning shortly thereafter. I also feel bad leaving when I’m “valuable” and the company is bad shape. But at the same time, this is business, right? And I need to look after my own best interests… right?

      • handlesgalore :

        “I also feel bad leaving when I’m “valuable” and the company is bad shape. But at the same time, this is business, right? And I need to look after my own best interests… right?”

        Absolutely 100% right.

        And on that note, I know you feel bad about possible lay offs but there is no guarantee that if they knew you were leaving they would not lay someone off. In reality, what they would likely do is lay off whoever they were going to lay off because they know that getting another “valuable” employee like you is going to cost them money (probably more than what you were paid if they want someone at your level).

        Just keep repeating to yourself: this is business.

        • This advice reminds me of Tom Hank’s advice in You’ve Got Mail: “The answer to your question is ‘Go to the mattresses.’ You’re at war. ‘It’s not personal, it’s business. It’s not personal it’s business.'” I think I’d feel the same way you do if I were in your situation, but try not to let emotions like guilt get in the way of doing what you need to, when you need to. This seems to be something that comes so easily to some people, but I for one have always struggled with it.

      • Yes, it is business and your best interests are key. You do not need to help out your company … you need to help yourself. If you had planned to leave — either because you don’t like the job/company, or because of concerns about stability — don’t let this stop you. Let it hurry you!

        Layoffs create a lot of unease, discontent, low morale, etc. In other words, your workplace will be worse once the layoffs happen. For that reason, a lot of companies will see/expect resignations in the wake of the layoffs from people it chose to retain. So they won’t be surprised to see you go. Second, I would expect that the company takes expected attrition from voluntary resignations into account in deciding how deeply to make cuts, so it won’t change the layoffs they do make.

  16. Threadjack- I’m going to be moving to a new city next year for law school and would love to hear your opinions on moving into an apartment with my boyfriend during my 1L year. We’ve been together for ~4 years, did 2 years of LD while I was still in college after he had graduated, and I really don’t want to do more long distance. He has a number of job opportunities in the new city and is willing/excited to move, but doesn’t want make the move if it means setting up 2 separate apartments. Is this a bad idea?

    • Have you lived together before? I think it is great that he is willing to follow you for the relationship. I don’t think it is a bad idea as long as he fully understands that you will be a very busy law student. I can understand why you would be hesitant to take such a big step when you are about to experience such a big change in your life, but I would take the chance. If your relationship can’t survive 1L, then it will not survive marriage, kids, etc and it is better to find out now.

      • I should have added- we haven’t technically lived together, in that we each currently have our own apartments with other roommates, but he is essentially living in my apartment, has at least a week’s worth of clothes in my apartment, grocery shops for my apartment rather than his, etc.

    • lawyerette :

      I did this summer before 1L year and it worked out (we’re now married), but I’ve also seen it be a horrible situation for people when their relationships crumbled in the midst of 1L year (a friend almost failed out). I read this book when I was deciding what to do and found it immensely helpful, even if I didn’t follow all of its guidance:

      Congrats on law school!

    • Channeling Carolyn Hax for a moment: what are your plans for your relationship? Are you on the same page re your future, whatever that page may be? What is your boyfriend’s reason for moving? I’m assuming it’s to be with you, but want to check.

      • We’re on the same page, and have talked long-term. We both see marriage as the end game, we know we both want to settle in the same city (the one we’re currently in, not where I’ll be attending school). He would be moving to be with me, but only because there are opportunities for him in the new city and he’s not loving his current job. I wouldn’t ask/want him to move with me if he wasn’t going to be able to get himself set up there.

        This might sound a bit irrational, but I am completely comfortable in my relationship and do 100% see us getting married, but I’m young (only 22) and just don’t feel ready for the step of a legally binding marriage. I’d much rather wait and spend a couple of years living together before taking that step. But I have older friends who have really tried to talk me out of living together based on their own past experiences with it.

        I’m torn.

        • I was in almost the exact same situation. Together for four years in college, never technically lived together but we pretty much spent the night at one or the other’s apartment every night, I moved to a new city for law school and we moved in together. Actually, I moved in with him and his parents b/c we thought we could save on NYC rent for a few years. By the end of my first semester I knew that living situation could not continue and I moved into student housing for the Spring semester. We definitely came very close to breaking up from a combination of living with his parents, my crazy workload combined with my resentment because he hadn’t found a “real” job and had so much free time. We had some crazy fights, but also took the time to talk through our issues. I lived by myself for that semester, then we found an apartment together the following summer. Now we’re married and still feel like if we survived law school intact we can survive anything.

          It probably won’t be easy, but even if it doesn’t work out you’ll likely know sooner rather than putting any hard decisions off for three years (at which point you’ll be starting as a new attorney which carries a whole different set of issues and stress along with it).

          Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

        • i am 23 and have been with my partner for two years – we decided to move in together after six months of dating because we both felt confident in the relationship and that it would be preferable the alternatives of trying to make it work long-distance or breaking up and wondering what could have been. not gonna lie and say there haven’t been rough times for us, but i think overall the good far outweighs the bad and that our relationship keeps getting stronger for it.

    • Hey KO, I moved in with my boyfriend right before 1L year and it was actually great. I liked living with someone who wasn’t caught up in the crazy 1L mentality (though I could have also achieved that by living with non-law school friends, I guess), and since I was so busy with school, it made it somewhat easier on the relationship for us to be in the same physical space, where we could see each other at the beginning and end of every day. That being said, I am not somebody who enjoys working at home–I did all my studying at the library, then left my books there and came home. (Except for around finals, of course, where he pretty much had to agree to vacate the apartment for two weeks.) Anyway, we lived together all through law school, stayed together, and are now married. I say go for it!

      • Ha! Agent 99, I almost posted the SAME exact thing.

        I’d say the biggest “conflict” we had was that it drove him crazy to have my books scattered all around the house, especially during finals and stuff.

        But honestly, living with a non-law student during law school helped me maintain my sanity AND a healthy sleep schedule. :-)

        • Agreed! I did the same thing and am certainly saner and happier for it!

          • Same, but during BarBri for me – I moved to BF’s city right after law school graduation. I had originally said that I didn’t want us to move in together until after the bar, since I knew I would be extra stressed and bitchy, but he ended up spending every night with me from the day I moved and after a few weeks we just accepted it as inevitable

            It turned out to be a godsend. He kept me fed, kept me sane, and even helped me study, despite knowing nothing about law (he is a software guy). I have no doubt that having him there was a major contributor to my passing on the first try, and I’m very grateful I didn’t stand my ground! :-)

            BTW, almost three years later, we’re still together, still living together, and discussing engagement in the near future, so it can work as long as you’re both in agreement as to the end goal.

    • fraustrated academic :

      I moved in with my bf the spring of the year I went to law school (we’d been a couple for a year at that point). He was in school too and it just made sense to have one place instead of two\pool resources. We both were very respectful of each other’s study times and made a office space for me in an area separate from both the bedroom and the tv room, so that he could do whatever when I was studying.

      I was a little older when I went back and being with someone with whom I could talk about non-lawschool stuff was great, he also did most of the cooking during those years and during my 3L year single-handedly moved us into a new place. The man was a saint.

      The key for us was setting out expectations. For us, we agreed that law school was my job for three years, and that the better I did, the better our family unit would do in the long run. Have that talk now rather than a few weeks into classes when you are drowning and he wants to go out. While law school was draining (emotionally, financially, spiritually), I learned during that 1L year was that this was a man willing to support me and be a true partner–a lesson I am still thankful for 11 years later!

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      One of my best friends from law school moved to a new city and moved in with her then-boyfriend right before starting law school. They had never lived together before. They’ve been married for several years. It’s probably a good idea to set expectations. Law school is mentally and emotionally demanding and you’ll need to explain that you’ll be studying a lot, stressed out during finals, talking about the Cool Thing you learned in class that day…

      I made an effort to keep my husband involved with my law school friends so he knew them and actually wanted to socialize with them.

  17. Is it weird that I am counting down the seconds to March 11 when I can order the iPad 2? I have never considered myself a techie but I am COMPLETELY OBSESSED and cannot wait.

    For those of you who have the original iPad, is it worth it to purchase the upgraded model with 3G connection?

    • handlesgalore :

      3G: depends on what you use the ipad for. I didn’t get 3G and don’t really miss it. I use the ipad exclusively to read things or to watch movies I’ve already downloaded …

    • We have the 3G, and I would miss it if we didn’t have it. You aren’t committing to a monthly fee–you can just pay for the months you need. But of course the upfront cost is more. You just need to ask yourself if you are going to want connectivity in places where you don’t have wifi.

    • Yes! Definitely worth it for the 3G…my ipad was a gift from my firm and they just chose to give us the WiFi model. I wish I had 3G (but can’t complain, really) …a lot of the places I want to use the ipad are not equipped with WiFi. It’s worth the extra, IMO.

    • Thanks for the info handlesgalore, RR and cardinganista. 3G it is!