Bargain Friday’s TPS Report: Easy Care Easy Wear 3/4 Sleeve Dress

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

Merona® Women's Easy Care Easy Wear 3-4-Sleeve DressReader M writes in about this shirtdress, noting “I just got this killer dress at Target for $17.99 – on sale! I’m an extra small and it fits perfectly. It hits slightly above the knee. So comfortable and, best of all, machine wash, tumble dry low.” Nice! The shirtdress seems to be a popular look this season, so one that is easy to take care of and looks good is a good investment.  This one is still available in sizes XS through XXL at Target for $17.99.   Merona® Women’s Easy Care Easy Wear 3/4-Sleeve Dress – Black

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.



  1. Anyone else feel like they are continually striking out with online purchases? I’ve purchased approximately $700 in clothing online this season and ended up keeping $35 worth. Really, I’m not that picky, but incorrect size measurements on shopping sites and “creative” modeling (Ann Taylor, I’m looking at you and all those hands on hips to conceal a boxy top or dress) leaves me feeling like I should just resign myself to a burlap sack!

    • Me too. I’ve had a lot of trouble lately. But I have no time to shop in-store, so for now I’m sticking with it. I won’t order from Ann Taylor again, particularly since the sales associate who helped me when I returned the poorly fitting stuff was incredibly rude to me.

      • I’ve had that experience also, when returning things I ordered at Ann Taylor Online to the brick and mortar store. Won’t do it again.

        • Me three. I’m planning to cancel my Ann Taylor card – too many sudden bad experiences with returning online purchases in the past year or so for me to think it’s anything other than a policy change. If it’s beneath them to allow me to shop online and return what doesn’t work, then they’re not worth my time.

          • Anonymous :

            me 4. AT needs to get it together.

          • Ditto. They used to have great sales staff now it seems quality in that area has also gone down. I had a sales clerk try to tell me that she could only refund the sales price of an item I bought at full size a week earlier and I had the receipt. Won that one but not without effort.

      • Me too! I returned with pretty much my entire online order of suiting pieces and blouses in-store, and the sales associate actually said “what, did you have an interview or something?” As if it weren’t bad enough that she insinuated I wore and returned, she then proceeded to tell me why my opinions about the clothing were wrong. Total turn-off.

    • I know what you mean :

      Have you tried online shopping at Nordstrom? That’s the only place where I will buy online, after striking out with so many other stores. Nordstrom is great because their pictures are very accurate, they usually have online reviews of their clothing, and they also include measurements on skirt/dress length, which is key for me. AND, they have an amazing, no questions asked return policy, even if you return something months after you have purchased it. I’m a big fan.

      • I am a total Nordstrom convert. Not only do the phone personnel ENCOURAGE you to purchase more than one size and return the one that doesn’t fit, the website offers very complete information on almost all clothes.

        PLUS, I recently accidentaly sent a package to my old house (sold a few months ago in a different state). I wanted the delivery to arrive before a vacation and was quite upset. Plus, I had no way of contacting the new owners to ask that they return the package. I called Nordstrom and told them the honest truth — they were awesome. Said this happens and not to worry. They treat it like a “stolen package” and immediately credit me the purchase. They try to get it back, but if they cannot reclaim it, I don’t bear the brunt. AND, they immediately sent me a replacement for my purchase with free shipping! wow.

    • I just buy from nordstrom now. Or Ralph Lauren.

      • Love Nordstrom clothes; hate their shipping charges both ways. I think they waive shipping to you if you spend $200, but I don’t always.

        • Can you order over $200 and then return most of it? I’ve done it (although not from Norstroms), and frankly don’t think they mind because I occasionally I end up keeping something I wouldn’t have ordered otherwise.

          • I know what you mean :

            This is what I do. They are also having a promotion right now where you get free shipping if you buy a pair of shoes, even if your total cost is well under $200.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Yep, I always have ride alongs to hit $200 and never pay shipping.

          • found a peanut :

            glad to know I am not the only one who does this :)

        • When it doubt, just add a second size to something – free shipping and an extra shot that something will fit. Only downside is that you have to swing the extra by the store to return.

    • Have you tried Boden? Every single item is accompanied by a chart containing every measurement you can imagine. And, even their t-shirts come in number sizes, not just S-M-L. I’ve had good luck with them overall.

      • Love Boden but dislike that they don’t have petite sizes; drives me bonkers.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep! Last week I called Ann Taylor 12 hours after making an online purchase and tried to cancel the order but they refused. The order had not yet shipped. Well, the pants are flimsy and show every line and bulge, even with a shaper and the jacket is ill-fitting. Love the blouse though. Will let you know how it goes after I make a trip to the store to return.

  2. Would this dress we appropriate for a summer associate at a big firm?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think the buttons all the way down make it look pretty casual, especially for a summer associate. Also, in my experience, Merona clothing fades quickly, so I would be afraid this would look good for 1-2 wearings and then start looking pretty worn.

    • Yes. For summer, I’d probably break up all that black with either a cardigan tied over my shoulders or a colorful (coral? turquoise?) necklace.

      This is definitely one of those dresses to carefully test in different positions, though – with those buttons running all the way down the front, be careful that they don’t gape across your hips when you’re sitting down!

    • I have a similar dress I got at Gap a few years back, I wear it to work at a big firm, but usually only on casual(ish) Fridays. Also, you might want to wear a slip underneath (I wear a cami and black opaque tights) to ensure that there are no gaping issues that might leave your flesh exposed.

      • This. I wore a Talbots black shirtdress yesterday and I wore a slip underneath just in case.

      • soulfusion :

        I have a dress similar to this with buttons down the front (believe it is from BR) and I always wear a slip because every so often I sit wrong and a button gapes and even more rarely, a button slips out of the hole (they are small buttons)!

        And I think the dress is fine for a summer associate, just dress it up with accessories. Also, I have a Merona dress I really like but wore it yesterday and I’m convinced it shrunk because I don’t remember it being as short as it was . . . felt self-conscious all day about it.

        • Anonymous :

          My Merona stuff ALWAYS shrinks. So you were probably right.

        • I never dry my Merona stuff for this reason. On the plus side, I’ve had good luck with it if I don’t dry it.

          • soulfusion :

            hmm, good to know, thanks. And that particular dress will now be relegated to weekend wear.

    • I would say yes, but only if the material looks like it’s of a decent quality in person. I dressed way more formally when I was a summer than I do now–and I think that’s par for the course. No one expects you to have a complete professional wardrobe yet, though.

    • because you have zero control of your calendar as a summer, i strongly suggest suits nearly everday. this is just my opinion.

      • I agree – suits are the way to go as a summer if you work anywhere close to litigation (since you never know when an attorney will invite you to court!) and this dress strikes me as too casual for a summer associate. Your job as a summer is to kick butt in a summer-long interview — so don’t overdress and make it a fashion show, but show up every day in something that you could get away with an interview. That day might be the day where you meet important partner for the first and last time/super important client/get asked to lunch by senior partner and spouse/have to run to federal court. You want to look at least as professional as everyone else in any of those rooms, and not stand out as the rookie/unpolished/not sufficiently professional one!

        That said, this dress would be perfect for other more laid back summer events – i.e., most weekend events (brunches, drinks, so on) or firm retreats, so definitely would not be a wasted addition to your closet!

      • somewherecold :

        I was never a BigLaw summer, but when I was in a smaller firm and at DOJ in law school, I kept a suit in my office, so if someone invited me to come along to court, I could quickly change.

      • Jules' Law :

        I disagree. I summered in the litigation department in big law and we were told just to keep a suit in our office just in case. I would have been ridiculously overdressed if I’d worn a suit every day since the office went pretty casual in the summer. I recommend wearing a suit the first day and see what everyone else is wearing. My fellow summers and I (there were only a handful), chatted for a few minutes the first day about whether everyone was planning on wearing suits; we all agreed we wouldn’t every day and just dresed business casually and it was perfectly acceptable.

      • Completely disagree–and I’m in litigation. Our summers receive calendars so they do know their schedules, and attorneys aren’t really allowed to just “pull” a summer to something without going through the summer coordinators. We expect our summers to dress in business casual and keep a suit in the office just in case. But a suit every day? For someone who likely hasn’t had the income to develop a professional wardrobe yet? No way.

        • Agreed. Suit in the office is a lifesaver, but in my office (which was pretty formal) no need for a suit every day. That said, professional dress is important. I got pulled into an arbitration once and didn’t have a suit. They all got that I was just a summer associate and it was fine, but I was glad to be wearing a neat Brooks Brothers button down and suit skirt (even if the jacket was at home). Not the day to have a messy pony tail, etc!

    • I think the answer is yes, for a casual Friday. Also, I have a Merona shirtdress, and although the dress is long enough, the last button at the bottom of the dress is so high that it creates a de facto front slit in the skirt. It ends up being a pretty high slit; make sure you test sitting down in this skirt and have it blowing open as you walk into the wind, because I’ve had some nasty wardrobe malfunctions. Now I safety-pin the bottom shut.

  3. AnonInfinity :

    I wanted to thank everyone for chiming in on my Boat and Tote dilemma a few weeks ago (which size to order). I went with the large and it is definitely big enough! I can fit my purse, my lunch box, a text book, a file, and still have lots of room left over. My 30-pound dog would even fit in there if I had a death wish (he is very… active).

    I went with red handles for some fun and color. I love it!

    • I also have a large boat and tote and a 30 lb dog, and I giggled at the thought of carrying her around like a teacup dog! :D

  4. I struggle with shirt dresses. I love the idea of them and how other people look in them. I have a curvy figure with broad shoulders, and I look terrible in them. It’s generally the same issues I have with button-down shirts, but with the added problems of hips also.

    • This, exactly. I love them on other people, but they always look terrible on me. But if I happen to be at Target in the next week or so I may try this one on, just in case……

    • From what you describe I have the exact same body type as you. I also love the idea, but shirt dresses just really don’t work for me. I’ve had really good luck with wrap dresses though since they have a little give built into them.

    • This month’s Real Simple has a feature on shirt dresses and gives some great advice for fitting the dresses on different body types.

    • Just wanted to add in the chorus that shirt dresses don’t work for me (or at least, I have yet to find one that does). I love them on other people, though.

    • It may be a matter of finding the right shirt dress. I generally have problems with button-down shirts as well but recently found a shirt dress at Ralph Lauren outlet that fits like a glove.

  5. Why is every day Target day at Corporette? Certainly there are other places to find work appropriate clothing?

    • Whoops, meant to say why is every FRIDAY Target day.

      • That’s hardly true. Yes, there have been a bunch of Target picks, but go back and look at the past 8 or so Friday posts. Definitely not all Target…

        And I will say that the two pieces in my wardrobe that get the most compliments are two Target dresses (both the same – one in gray, one in black, $30 full price but purchased on sale)!! Never my $400 items.

        • Same here – I have two Target dresses that consistently get compliments. One is a wrap dress that’s about four years old and still going. The other is a newer tweed-looking shift dress. Both under $40.

          • I think I have the same wrap dress from four years ago (Merona). I still get a lot of compliments on it.

          • And I probably have the same tweed shift — was it the one that got a lot of praise on here in the fall, and had a purple version that didn’t fit so well?

            This dress is nice, but I don’t love shirt dresses on me.

        • How are they on quality? I don’t have a target nearby so I’m reluctant to buy stuff online. Are they good with returns?

          • Target’s quality is pretty good…considering the price. However, their in-store return process of online merchandise is horrific (at least at my local target). I once spent over an hour and a half trying to return online purchases with their customer service at the store. To top it all off, instead of crediting my charge card for my returns, I was actually charged again. It was a nightmare. Never again will I order online from them.

          • I would say that their Merona brand is far superior in quality to their xhileration brand (or however they spell it). Merona is their “grown-up” line, and I’ve gotten some really nice stuff there.

          • Wow – I’ve had an incredibly easy time returning stuff from Target online to Target stores. Go to the website, print the “return receipt” or whatever they call it, go to the return desk, they zap the receipt and the item codes and voila – I’m done. Maybe you just got very unlucky.

            I have a couple of dresses from Target that I do love, but they tend to be more on the casual side. I think they have nice cardigans – inexpensive, fun colors and prints. No, they won’t last more than a couple of seasons, but they’re fine for what they are.

          • I have been very underwhelmed when I have wandered into the Target shoes/clothing/bag depts. With very few exceptions, I would not recommend. The fabric is often very cheap and attracts lint like mad, the seams tend to be less than straight, cuts not always flattering, etc. I am by no means discounting the possibility of finding great stuff there if you look, but I would consider it too much of a risk to order online unless you do not mind returns (I do).

          • I find Target clothes a notch below Loft or the Gap in quality, but they’re several notches below in price, so it’s worth it. Target bags and shoes are usually cheap fake leather that looks cheap after a few wears.

          • I’ve had good experience with returning online purchases at Target. I did the print out the return slip thing online and it made it very easy.

      • Maybe Kat choose Tarjay because they have a good online selection? I frankly find cuter, cheap, casual-Friday stuff like jackets, blazers, raincoats, trenches, and day dresses at JC Penny, H&M, and *even* Forever 21 (ducking eggs).

        • Oh, yeah, and Kohl’s. Has delivered some sleeper hits for me!

          • I second the Kohl’s mention. I have found some really cute items there recently.

        • I actually had opposite experience. Returned an online order on store and it was a breeze.

          I think quality depends somewhat on the fabric. Dresses I mentioned are durable fabric not likely to pill or fade. Also not dresses I would wash myself.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree. I have a nice dress from JC Penny that was $40. If you want to go cheap, try Worthington or the Joneswear brand rather than Target for work clothes. I also hate to wear Target clothes because EVERYONE goes there and knows you just got your outfit from Target.

    • Believe it or not, I have TWO dresses from WALMART (the George line) that I consistently get compliments on. Who knew?

    • Lost in Dall-Oz :

      I love Target’s clothes and frequently shopped there as I was building up my professional wardrobe on a budget. That said, am I the only one that finds that everything fades, shrinks, stretches or just generally looks VERY worn after only a few wears? I know you get what you pay for, but if I spend $50 on a Target dress, it’d be nice to get more than a few wears out of it. I’ve started resisting the urge to shop there for anything other than seasonal trend pieces for the most part. I’d rather save up for something of better quality classic pieces that I’ll be able to wear for several years.

      • I typically wash my Target dresses (usually the ponte knit ones or similar) in cold water/delicate cycle, and hange to dry – they have held up fairly well for me. I expect a season or 2 from Target dresses, and usually get them – more then enough for me to feel I got my money’s worth.

      • AnonInfinity :

        I completely agree with this assessment. Like the PP, I also wash on delicate cycle in cold water and hang to dry, but mine still fade so quickly!

        • academicsocialite :

          I have things from Target that have lasted years – a cashmere wrap sweater and a black cocktail dress (both Isaac Mizrahi for Target from 2006/2007) that are still holding up really well. I just try to take good care of anything I want to last – handwashing a lot of things, even t-shirts, just to keep them looking nice.

      • I’ve had pretty good luck with Target. I have a lot of cardigans and shirts from there and most have held up better than items I’ve bought from more expensive places. I usually wash my tops in cold with gentle detergent, dry them for 10 minutes to remove wrinkles (I use those dryer balls) and then hang them.

    • I am also tired of Target/Old Navy Fridays.

    • I just don’t think that a cheap dress from Target is really “bargain Friday” material. A bargain is a surprisingly good price for something that’s worth a lot more. A $20 dress from Target is not surprising.

      • It may be inexpensive, but it is cute. I am going to go to Target in person this weekend to see if I can’t pick up this very dress. I hope I will look great in it, and for $17.99, I really can’t go wrong!

      • Maybe, since Kat has said that she has price points for each day – I think it’s below $50 for Friday, but I could be wrong – she should rename it something other than “bargain.” I have no suggestions, but this seems to be a comment that comes up again and again.

  6. Related threadjack-just bought a basic black dress for work, and want to find a turquoise statement necklace for it to add a pop of color. Any suggestions on where to buy a reasonably priced one??

    • AnonInfinity :


    • Etsy never does me wrong.

    • JCPenney is a good place for costume jewelry and they always have sales/coupons.

    • Despite the Target-haters on the site today, my suggestion would be Target – they had a big chunky turquoise toursade necklace at my Target, and a longer one with little faux-shell pieces. I like their clearance jewelry; it doesn’t always hold up well, but it’s big and colorful and interesting, and I often get compliments on it.

    • NY & Company has cute, colorful jewelry, and it’s usually on sale.

    • soulfusion :

      I was at Macy’s earlier this week (despite the fact that I am never in any real stores) and saw lots of great turquoise jewelry. I also like Zappos if you want to go online.

    • AtlantaAttorney :


    • Novica!
      inexpensive, simple strands:

      This one is pricier, but the design is gorgeous.

  7. Today, I am a kick a-- attorney :

    Just wanted to share my good news. I worked really, really hard on appellate brief. We just found out today that we won the appeal! Not only that, but the order came out less than a month after oral argument (practically unheard of, and it appears to be kind of a slam to the other side), and the order used nearly identical language to what I had written in the brief.

    This is a good day! I’m having more than one cocktail tonight!

    • soulfusion :

      Awesome!!! Congratulations, that is an amazing feeling! Hopefully you also get to leave early for that extra cocktail!

    • Congratulations!!

    • Alex Mack :

      That’s awesome!

    • Congrats! That’s fantastic! I would be so proud of myself if I were you!

      • Thanks! My boss just came in and went on and on about our win – and gave me all the credit. My husband is taking me out tonight. I’m going to enjoy it while I can!

        • South of Houston :

          Wow, congrats!! So cool to hear such a wonderful success story! Glad you’ll be out celebrating a well-deserved victory!

  8. I also have a dress for Target (Mosshimo) which I picked up for $40. Wear it ALL the time with heels, grey boots, and now flats. Get loads of compliments (more so than my Tory Burch $400 dress!)

    • Maddie Ross :

      I agree with this. I’m wearing a Target dress today and have already gotten a few compliments. I don’t love their clothes and wouldn’t go well out of my way to get them, but there are certainly pieces worth incorporating into your wardrobe.

  9. Kate Spade friends and family, 25% off everything!!! Oh my Spade obsession, this is bad for my house savings fund.

  10. My own contribution to Bargain Friday, to go along with the 30% off + Free Shipping code from yesterday’s thread — Lands End Cashmere Twin Sets come to about $70 after the discount.

    Limited colors and sizes, but hey: it’s discount season.

  11. My own contribution to Bargain Friday, to go along with the 30% off + Free Shipping code from yesterday’s thread — Lands End Cashmere Twin Sets come to about $70 after the discount.;CM_MERCH=REC-_-LIPP-_-GGT-_-1-_-85569-_-cashmere;cardigan;85572

    Limited colors and sizes, but hey: it’s discount season.

  12. My own contribution to Bargain Friday, to go along with the 30% off + Free Shipping code from yesterday’s thread — Lands End Cashmere Twin Sets come to about $70 after the discount.

    Limited colors and sizes, but hey: it’s discount season.

  13. Here’s the real deal–Kate Spade Friends and Family Sale! :) 25% off whole purchase plus free shipping. I have a thing for Kate and her nice leather, and there are 2 really basic bags that will be about 100 each with this discount.

    • nice!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Nordstrom will also pricematch this. I try to buy shoes only at Nordstrom in case they hurt my feet after a couple wearings. I’ve had to return used shoes only once, but they (cole haans and their narrow toe box) were killing me. Nordstrom’s return policy and customer service make me 100% loyal.

      • Any recommendations for good quality heels (the more conservative the better) that have support in front but also a wide toe box? My Cole Haans are great in terms of support but they smoosh my toes to the point of serious pain!

        • I know corporettes have a love-hate relationship w/ Ann Taylor but I *swear* by their perfect pumps. It’s a pretty almond shape that is perfect for conservative work places, reasonably wide box, nice quality material. They seem to always have some iteration of perfect pumps, varying in color, material, heel height etc…

          Jean (?) at Extra Petite has several posts up about these and she swears by them too.

          I used to work for Cole Haan and got their 50% discount, but I have never owned a pair of their shoes b/c they KILL my feet.

          • I just looked at Ann Taylor’s website, since I have a wide toebox and need some new black pumps, but I can’t wear over 2″ heels, and all of their pumps are higher than that. But I had to laugh at their “kitten heels.” I got excited when I saw that description, which means low heel to me, but when I looked more closely, the “kitten heels” were 2 3/4″! Maybe kitten heels doesn’t mean what I thought it meant.

          • No, it does! That’s so weird!

        • Corso Como “Delicious” pumps. Really, really well padded and a wide toe box. A tiny bit big in the heel in my normal size but it’s only noticeable with tights – barefoot my feet are super comfortable all day in these.

    • BTW @lala – thanks for the PSA, I just picked up something using the 25% discount! Woohoo!

      • I just spent $800 at Kate Spade. This is bad news bears for me. Uggh, why do I love them so.

        And pre-ordered the biscuit colored patent leather with rainbow striped heels!

  14. Threadjack:

    I got this pair of nude slingback peep-toes for a wedding next weekend: Does anyone have tips on breaking in the peep-toe part of the shoe? The nude shade is perfect for me, and I love the shoes, but I’m beginning to remember why I usually shy away from peep-toes. Even with a rubber ball-of-foot insert, my toes rub into the opening of the shoe, and ow.

    I have been wearing them under my desk with hose/socks the past couple of days. The uppers are man-made, so my attempts to soften them with rubbing alcohol were not successful.

    Any other suggestions?

    • Moleskin – put it on your foot, not the shoe. It stays in place much better than band-aids. I’d put the shoes on, walk around a bit and see where the shoe is biting into your foot. Put moleskin on those areas. It might be a little tricky to cut strips so they don’t show, but it’s doable. Moleskin is pretty much the only way I can wear shoes without socks because apparently I have very delicate skin on my feet or something. That said, peeling off the moleskin at the end of the day is not a problem and does not hurt at all. You can find moleskin wherever they keep all the Dr. Scholls products.

    • These are your new best friends I got these for open-toed dress shoes that are 3.75″ stilettoes, which just a bit too high for me comfortable and I didnt need to break in my shoes. Made aight Nina shoes amazingly comfortable. I was standing for 6 hours just fine.

      I have the Ophelia sandals in a metallic bronze color – beautiful and comfortable (leather). I tried them in black patent and they weren’t as comfortable, unfortunately. They’re man-made patent.

    • Thanks! I have some moleskin around, and I’ll get a pair of the full-foot insoles. I have the ball-only version, but they aren’t quite working.

      Lovely shoes, btw, for anyone looking. The nude patent is on sale at TJ Maxx for $30, and if the real leather is more comfortable, I may look into those in another color.

      • Also try the band-aid blister block stick. It won’t make the shoes any more comfy, but it does help you avoid blisters from the parts of the shoe that rub against your skin constantly. That, plus moleskin have saved a few pairs of shoes for me (especially at conferences!).

      • Totally swear by Band Aid Friction Block stick. Shaped like a little stick deodorant, you swipe it over parts of your foot that rub in your shoes. No blisters! I keep one in my purse at all times. Can find in any drugstore in the Band Aid section.

      • Definitely try those specific full foot insoles, it shifts your weight to the back of the shoe. I hate the rubbing against my toes also and I didn’t need any tapes or blister block (although I’m going to check it out myself).

  15. Threadjack ... :

    My company just came out with new employee policies after some reorganization. There is no maternity leave. Can take temporary leave without pay but they do not promise to hold your job (FMLA not applicable – too small). I find this very problematic, not to mention highly insulting for a professional workplace where people work incredibly hard and long hours. Am I overreacting?

    • i don’t think you’re overreacting at all.

    • No. I would look for another job.

    • Nope, not overreacting at all.

      • Definitely not an overreaction. How was your maternity leave policy before?

        • Threadjacker :

          After putting in several years here, I was finally feeling like I could think about children. Now I feel like I have to leave, but starting a new job (if I can find one) means resetting the clock. It seems like getting pregnant shortly after starting a job isn’t the best idea.

          • Some unsolicited advice: You know, life is unpredictable and there is probably never going to be a “perfect” time to get pregnant. Job issues, money issues, fertility issues, etc. all get in the way of the best-laid plans. I think sometimes you just have to go for it when you feel you’re ready for children, even if you can’t make all of the stars align in all aspects of your life. I ended up getting pregnant within a year of starting a new job twice, and it all worked out fine. This is your only life and sometimes you just have to live it even if everything doesn’t work out with your vision of perfection. This is hard for me because I have some pretty serious perfectionist tendencies.

            Just my 2 cents. YMMV of course.

            And shame on your employer for basically threatening to fire you if you dare have a child.

          • It’s never a perfect time to have a baby. And most companies’ leave kicks in after 6 months – so long as you’re under 3 months pregnant when you start, you should be fine.

    • So essentially, you could lose your job for having a baby. That’s incredibly sketchy.

    • Certainly not overreacting.

    • Wow. I think that’s awful. I’d look for a new job.
      Also – how on earth do they expect to keep or attract experienced women hires? I know I always inquire about a company’s benefits package before taking a job and that policy would make me pass up an offer.

      • lawyerette :

        It sounds like they don’t care at all if they have any women working for them. But even as a man I would think twice about a company with this kind of policy.

        • I met a man who used to work for Big Established Company in the SF Bay Area. We were chitchatting and he explained why he left: because he and his wife had a young daughter, and they wanted to have another child, and his manager told him “This isn’t a good time for you to be trying to have another baby. Maybe in a year or so.”

    • One more thought: Do you feel you are valuable enough to the company that they may offer you some maternity benefits if you spoke with them and explained they are likely to lose you over this?

      • Threadjacker :

        I would think they’d value me, given the amount of my life/time I have given them. They say they don’t want to lose me, but this and other actions seem to contradict that. I did inquire & really didn’t get much in the way of a response.

    • Bun in the Oven :

      On a related note, I am 12 weeks pregnant and haven’t told my firm yet. I know a lot of people wait as long as possible, but we have a huge trial coming up (will last more than a month and a half) and by the end of the trial it will be very obvious I am pregnant (23 weeks) so I’m wondering when I should tell. If I wait too close to trial it may cause unnecessary stress (as just an unknown and unexpected variable they weren’t counting on – not that it will affect my ability to be present and effective).

      Any thoughts? Should I just go ahead and tell and get it out there now so that they have a chance to see I’m still productive before trial or should I wait?

      • I think that it’s considerate to discreetly tell colleagues who may be directly affected if you suffer from morning sickness, have complications, etc, but only if you trust them to keep it confidential until you’re ready to spread the news yourself.

      • Wanting to Move :

        Bun, I waited until 20 weeks to tell. I wore a lot of dresses. :) I wanted to wait to tell until after my review. I also wanted to wait until I got put on a trial team that I really wanted to be on. I told the day after my review. The trial partners did not really care. If I had a doctor’s appointment. I would go and come back to the office if need be. Otherwise, I scheduled them for the first or last appointment of the day. The partners basically ignored that I was pregnant. During the trial, I was seven months pregnant and actually had to go to the hospital one night because of bleeding. I did not tell anyone and just showed up to work the next day as usual. The trial ended when I was eight months pregnant, but we still had a lot of follow-up briefing, etc. My doctor actually made me stop working one week before my due date due to work stress/rising blood pressure. My takeaway is that trial is definitely doable while pregnant, but you really need to make your health a priority as well. Do everything you can to relax/destress when you are not in the office/courtroom.

      • I’d wait a few more weeks – I speak from painful experience. I miscarried at 12 weeks (and everything was perfectly healthy until that point). Thank God I hadn’t told anyone but my close friend at work, otherwise it would have been incredibly awkward and painful. Give yourself a few more weeks, then I’d tell once it’s slightly more noticeable.

    • We don’t even have a maternity policy. At all. You would prob have to use your vacation and take unpaid time off. My benefits are terrible. On top of that, I just asked for a raise and got offered a largely smaller amount than my last raise even though I billed double that of the prior year. Awesome working at smaller companies sometimes.

  16. So, I had a very chaotic morning the likes of which I am sure none of you pulled-together, organized, chic Corporettes have never had: on this rainy, icky casual Friday, I wore khakis and kicky sneaks . . . without consulting with my calendar. My best friend called at 9:30 – “so, when do you want to meet up so I can move you into X court at 2?” COMPLETELY forgot. Emergency Macy’s run . . . one hour and $200 later, I have a new Tahari black skirt suit, silk shell (on sale!), and pumps. They will reside behind my office door permanently. Thank goodness I at least had shaved my legs.

    • Has happened to me more times than I care to admit. Now I check my calendar every morning before I leave the house.

    • I have an emergency Macy’s suit hanging on the back of my door, too, after this happened twice in two weeks!

    • I am with you! Today, I wore an old and comfy skirt to work, a button down, and a “boyfriend” cardigan, then remembered that I was going to a client’s “biggest donor” fundraiser lunch which would be full of smartly attired women. Went to the event feeling like a shmuck, but at least I got a chuckle out of the nonprofessional women attendees wearing satin and lace dresses and stripper heels at noon on a Friday.

  17. Threadjack: I would like to buy a Nook or a Kindle, and I would love some Corporette opinions. My concerns and questions are (a) what happens to the device/service if either B&N or Amazon go out of business and (b) can books be “loaned” to others with the same device. Thanks!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I have a Kindle and LOVE it!

      For the books you buy from Amazon — They are in a special format (mobi) that does not work on any other e-reader. So, if Amazon went out of business then your library would be gone if you don’t have all of the books downloaded onto the actual device. Honestly, I am not concerned about Amazon going out of business soon, though I imagine it could happen at some point.

      With the Kindle I don’t think you can loan. I know you could nto when I bought mine (1 year ago), but for some reason I feel like this has changed or is changing. With the Nook, you can loan to another device one time, for 2 weeks (again, this is how it was when I was thinking of purchasing).

      Things I love about the Kindle — It looks like actual paper rather than a computer screen. The Nook Color looks much mroe like a computer screen, imho. I stare at a computer all day and do not want to do my pleasure reading on one. I also think the Kindle is more intuitive, but I’m sure that varies.

      Thing I would like about the Nook — You can check books out from the public library on the Nook, but you can’t with a Kindle, at least in my area. This is very sad to me.

      Honestly, I think that either one is great.

      • There is lending for Kindle books – I think the website is, or something like that.

    • lawyerette :

      I’ve been to a B&N and played with the regular Nook and it was SLOOOOOOOOOW so so slow. I couldn’t deal. I’ve seen other people with the Kindle on the subway and it doesn’t seem that bad.

      • I have a Nook and love it. I haven’t had any problems with it being slow. There is glare in sunlight but it hasn’t been a problem since I read inside, during my commute or in the shade. I picked the Nook because I can download books for free from the library. You can lend books you’ve bought to other Nooks.

    • Tired Squared :

      I love my Kindle! A couple of my friends have Nooks and they love them too, but a lot of the books are just a bit cheaper on Amazon than on Barnes and Noble’s website, and the Kindle doesn’t seem to have slow-down problems nearly as often.

    • I’ve had my Kindle (2nd gen) for over a year and a half and I LOVE IT. Biggest plus (over some of the other e-readers) is the inkless paper. It is light years better than reading on any other type of device, and I never get eye fatigue or strain.

      The transition from books to the Kindle was pretty seamless for me (especially after I got a “jacket” for it), which was something I worried about because I love actual physical books. I still buy travel guide books, cook books, and reference-type books in hard copy — basically anything you want to skim/flip through/browse different sections.

      Downside is the proprietary form of the Amazon books, but I imagine that they will change that eventually and enable some kind of interoperability with e-collections at public libraries, etc.

      Also, you CAN now loan books to other Kindle users, but I think it is a bit more restrictive/limited than what some of the other readers offer… if I recall correctly, you can lend each book only one time, to one other user. You can lend it to them for 14 days, during which time you can’t access it, and at the end of the 14 days it returns to you and they can no longer access it.

      If others in your family, for instance, are also getting (or have) Kindles, I would highly recommend seeing if you can all just share one account. You can have up to 6 Kindles registered to one account — what this means is that all charges would go to that one account, but all 6 readers would have full access to all the books. My parents and grandparents each have their own Kindle, on my dad’s account, and when – for instance – my grandmother buys a new book, she just sends my mom a check or gives her cash when she sees her. Then they can all read the book, and have only paid once. I totally would have done this had I known – except I got mine first and already had a substantial library purchased by the time they all got theirs. Had I switched my Kindle to their account, I would’ve lost access to what I purchased. That said, my mom and I periodically will trade Kindles for a few weeks or months, and then she can read whatever I’ve purchased (and lend my Kindle to the others), and I can read what they all have.

      Sorry for the length, but in sum, this is one of the best purchases I’ve ever made and I can’t stop praising it! :-)

    • I love my Kindle. I love my Kindle. I love my Kindle! Hang on, I’ll go compose a poem about how awesome he (yes, I anthropomorphized my Kindle) is.

      It is nice that you can get public library books for the Nook, but I didn’t like how computer-y it looks and the Kindle just seems to move a lot faster. The Kindle just seems to have a lot fewer tech problems generally, and Amazon customer support is fantastic.

    • The girl with the most cake :

      one thing about the Kindle is that you can download (free) Kindle for the IPad software to your IPad should you have one, and then all the books on the Kindle account can also be located on your IPad for no additional cost. I don’t think the Nook does that. Didn’t seem to back them up onto ITunes though. There is also “Kindle for the PC” free software, so I think the books are safe even if Amazon went under (which doesn’t seem anywhere near as likely as Barnes adn Noble doing so!)

      • ElevenElle :

        Nook does do this, I believe. Or at least I know it does with open-platform electronics (due to the Driod OS).

      • There are Nook apps for Iphone, Ipad, PC, Droid, etc.

    • ElevenElle :

      H & I have both and love them both about the same for essentially the same reasons. Kindle is easier to read but slightly heavier. And I like the game options on Kindle more (like crosswords, scrabble, etc.) But the nook is open format, easy to loan books, can check out books from libraries, and can read google books.

      • I have a first generation nook and love it. I have never found it slow for reading, the battery life is really long (esp when you turn off the wifi), and I prefer barnes and noble’s website for book shopping. I also have an iPad and you can download the nook app and upload all your books unto the iPad. Although I don’t do this b/c my eyes are already strained enough, i don’t think it’s a good idea to strain them more with hours of iPad reading.

        I think one big difference I’d that you can extend the storage space of a nook with sd drives, and you can also upload PDFs, a feature I believe the kindle does not have. On the other hand, I think the kindle is a little bit lighter and I do think the store and other extra features run faster on the kindle than the nook.

        • The Kindle can handle pdfs — I know you can email them to your Kindle, but not sure if you can upload them directly.

    • I have a regular Nook and love it. I chose it instead of a Kindle for a couple of reasons:

      1) (main reason) You can borrow library ebooks on Nook, but you can’t on Kindle–Kindle doesn’t support ePub format.
      2) Some books can be loaned to others–it’s up to the publisher to make it “loanable,” though I think you can only loan it once or twice. I’ve never actually used this feature, though, as it seems like only one friend I would loan books to uses a Nook–the rest have Kindles.
      3) Replaceable battery. This is a pet peeve of mine with Kindles (and also all apple products)–I like to be able to easily switch out the battery so I can have an extra that I keep charged in case I forgot to charge my nook before a long trip or something.
      4) Expandable storage–Nook lets you add a mini-SD chip for extra storage space if you need it.

      Keep in mind this was last summer, and I assume they may have changed some features, etc, but I’m like 90% sure you still can’t use ePub formats on kindle. As for speed, I would try both out–Target has Kindles in store you can try, and obviously most B&N stores have the Nook on display. As for what happens if they go out of business, yea… who knows with either. I figure by that time, some new device will be out anyway that I’ll want. I don’t know about using B&N format ebooks on other devices though.

    • Thanks everyone! I’m torn between a Kindle and not purchasing one at all. I hate proprietary software on principle and I love libraries, so the ereader thing may not be for me. But I really appreciate all the opinions and advice.

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        If you love libraries and hate proprietary software, you should get a Nook. It uses the epub format, which I’m pretty sure is not proprietary, and you can check out books from the library online. I have a Nook and have only actually purchased five books because I keep checking new books out from my local library while sitting in my PJs on my sofa.

  18. I have a kindle and LOVE it. I don’t know what happens if they go out of business, but I’m not worried that amazon will before I get my money’s worth from my kindle. I like the kindle over ipads/nooks (which I’ll admit, I’ve only looked at) because I think the kindle is less harsh on your eyes. I have really sensitive eyes when it comes to reading on a computer screen and kindles are so easy on them.

    I don’t know that you save money in terms of kindle books being cheaper than regular books but it’s great for portability (so light) and when I travel, it’s nice to not haul several books with me. It’s also great to be able to buy a book on a moment’s notice.

    I don’t know how to loan a book out, but I’ve heard that there is a way. Though I think it’s very limited.

    • Ugh, don’t get me started on the cost of kindle books. When I first got my kindle 2 yrs ago, I could reliably save $1-2 by buying kindle over the cheapest physical copy. Now, if you look, most kindle book prices fall btw the hardcover and paperback prices. INSANE! Why should I be charged MORE than a physical book that costs money to print, deliver and store, especially when I’ve already had to absorb the sunk cost of the kindle hardware? It’s kind of making me think that I will not be replacing my kindle w/ another kindle when it inevitably dies.

      • W/r to loans, you can’t do that on the Kindle, though you can on the nook and the sony e-reader. But there’s been some recent brouhaha over this as well, as the publishers want to make public libraries repurchase the electronic books after it’s been lent out over a certain number of times. Ugh, sometimes I really hate capitalism.

      • Search the comments, I think some people were talking a while back about borrowing ebooks from libraries. I’ve never done this myself, but it sounds great.

        I’m pretty annoyed at the pricing too. $12.99 for a ebook is crazy and that seems to be the pricing of all the new books now. But I feel stuck b/c I have a nook to save space too.

      • This blog post by former literary agent Nathan Bransford does a good job of explaining why e-books cost as much as paper books. It turns out, it doesn’t cost that much to print books, and publishers are actually currently making more money off of printed books than e-books. It’s certainly not very intuitive!

      • Manoa Valley Girl :

        Two reasons: 1) the environment doesn’t need any more books in landfills; and 2) you can download a book in less than two minutes still in your jammies. Instant gratification. And no need to dress, leave the house, drive to your bookstore, etc. Save on gas, too.

        I love my lightweight Kindle beyond measure. It slips into a small handbag, or even a trial file. When I have a wait in court, I often read from my Kindle book. It’s a mini-mini vacation.

    • Oops, sorry, that was in response to Jay!

  19. Saw this ad in the WPost online:
    20% off Cole Haan instore/online with the donation of new/gently used shoes or a $5 min donation to Soles4Souls (available to do at checkout)

    • And, now I’m seeing the ad on the main page of the site…so maybe y’all already know.

  20. I just need to share something scary that happened to me yesterday.

    I logged into facebook, and a friend of mine from high school posted two status updates in a row: “The earth is no longer my home. Bye.” and “Sombody give me a reason to live. Seriously. I won’t be online for the rest of the evening, so don’t freak out.”

    Needless to say, I freaked out.

    I wasn’t sure what the heck to do, because I’m on the opposite coast of the US. I knew this woman in high school (Class of 1999), but we only re-connected about 6 months ago. From what I can tell, she lives in my hometown, and I haven’t lived there since high school. There was no phone number or email address on her profile.

    Turns out facebook has a procedure for when you see suicidal threats. That says you’re supposed to report them to facebook, who will then communicate with local agencies if they can. I also called a national crisis hotline, which encouraged me to reach out to my friend.

    Fortunately, today she logged in and commented on something, so I know she’s ok. But it was really scary last night for a while.

    • I’m glad she is okay for now and hopefully she is getting help, and good on you for trying to help.

      My college alumni list had something similar happen years ago – a friend from back in the day, with whom I hadn’t communicated in a decade, posted similar “this is it. Goodbye world” messages to the list, and the list exploded with people worrying and trying to help and trying to find him and so on. The somewhat happy ending is that he got help that day, but the sad ending is that it’s now years later and he’s on Facebook, and occasionally posts suicidal messages there. So thank you for sharing that they do have a policy.

    • I’m sure you know this, but don’t assume she’s out of the woods. When I was in law school a student posted a suicide-related message to a listserve and then went through with it weeks later.

  21. I actually tried this dress on at Target the other day. I opted not to get it because the stitching exposed at the collar made it look cheap. I figured I would rather save up for another DVF dress than go for a knockoff. But if you’re short of work dresses, and plan to button this dress all the way up, it could be fine for one summer.

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