Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Marcelle Jacket

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

budget blazer fittedI spied this nice black and white blazer last week while looking for our Suit of the Week — while I ultimately found matching bottoms for the Elie Tahari blazer, , I have yet to find any matching pieces for this blazer.  Womp womp. But look how purty! I love the contrast stripe, the tailored fit, and — mais oui — the sale (budget blazers are hard to find!). It was $298, but is now marked to $119 at Off Fifth, sizes XS-L still left. BCBGMAXAZRIA Marcelle Jacket

Here’s a similar $65 blazer in plus sizes, and, interestingly, here’s a (kind of) similar fleece blazer in plus, petite, and regular sizes.

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


  1. Weekend hobbies :

    Hmm, not sure I’m loving this jacket…the color contrast almost makes it look unbalanced or something.

    Do any of you have big weekend hobbies? I’ve posted on here before looking for tips for time management and budgeting and some of the ones I’ve heard, like do meal prep on Sundays and get all the laundry done early on Saturdays, seem great in theory, but during the winter, I try to ski as much as I can over the whole weekend. I really don’t want to throw away the limited skiing season for something like food prep! In the summers, I also like to do a lot of long day hikes. Does anyone else with a time-intensive hobby have any tips for time/life management? How do you make full-time work happen with a big-time hobby in your free time? Right now, I feel like I don’t get much done during the week and would prefer to do it when I don’t have work on the weekend, but when the snow is calling, that just doesn’t happen…

    • Anonymous :

      I agree, it looks like it’s buttoned wrong.

    • Yes. Big skier here. In order to prioritize skiing, I would do the following:
      Monday – eat lunch out or bring a frozen meal; Dinner – something half-easy, like from Trader Joe’s.
      Laundry on Monday nights (so my gear has time to dry). If you don’t have your own washer-dryer, you can run to the grocery store while one load is in, and do some meal prep on Monday nights.
      Shopping for the weekend – Monday on Thursday night or Friday night (depending on when you drive up to the mountains)
      Errands like dry cleaner/shoe repair during my lunch hour or on the way to/from work.

      The real key is that if you want to prioritize the weekend full-day activities, you have to be disciplined during the week even when you just want to curl up on the couch from your big weekend!

      • Anonymous :

        Right. You have to get stuff done at some point! Mon- groceries, Tues.- dry cleaner, Wed.- laundry, Thurs.- tidy.

    • I don’t have a big-time hobby, but will sometimes devote a weekend to a home project or a weekend getaway. I’ll be honest, lower-priority chores like dusting will often fall by the wayside that week, but I’ll do one normal weekend chore per workday to keep life running in the interim. For example, Monday before work I’ll be sure to start the dishwasher, and then Monday night unload it, tidy and wipe down the kitchen; Tuesday will be tidying day (for you, perhaps, putting your now-aired-out ski gear away for the rest of the week); Wednesday I’ll run errands after work; Thursday and Friday I will do one load of laundry (start washer before leaving for work; run dryer once home). One or two of the evenings, we’ll make a huge dinner to ensure a night or two of leftovers. In the meantime, my husband will be in charge of wiping down a bathroom while he gets ready on two of the mornings, and vacuuming while I’m folding laundry Thurs/Fri.

      Neither of us are big weeknight socializers, which of course helps — throw in drinks or dinner with friends a night or two, and I would definitely need one weekend day to keep everything running smoothly.

      • Reading MJ’s response, maybe laundry days would fall earlier in the week for you! Also, both of us purchase our lunches on weekdays, which helps free up mornings and evenings to squeeze in chores.

      • Anonymous :

        Wait, you only run your dishwasher 1-2 times a week? That’s amazing. (Family of three here, eat all breakfasts and most dinners at home so ours runs daily)

        • Yes, usually Sunday nights and either Weds or Thurs — but there’s only 2 of us, we don’t eat breakfast or lunch at home other than on weekends, and it’s a really well designed dishwasher! (Miele, FWIW — it is the most efficiently designed thing and holds probably 1/3 more stuff than our old dishwasher did in same footprint.)

        • I run mine maybe once every two weeks and only because I’m out of forks or spoons. There’s usually nothing in the top rack and only one plate in the bottom. I eat the same thing for breakfast so I’ll just keep reusing that plate, and I don’t eat lunch or dinner on a plate. I live alone so I’ll also pull a clean-looking fork or spoon out and reuse it if I don’t want to run the dishwasher just for silverware. It’s one of the greatest perks of singledom :)

    • Anonymous :

      You can’t create more hours so you are going to have to make choices with the ones you have. If you are eating PBJs for lunches every day because you’d rather spend your free time on the slopes, that’s cool if it works for you. You don’t have to have fancy meals all the time. Can you do laundry during the week (one load a day?). Can you dedicate one day to making a bunch of meals and then freeze them in individual portions? Figure out how to streamline your errands (shop online, do what you can near your office during the week, etc.) Are you ok with outsourcing tasks for the months that the hobbies are in full swing?

    • Anonymous :

      Great hobbies.


      My friends with really big “weekend” hobbies that are important to them purposefully chose the 9-5 jobs. Like my lawyer friends work for the city/circuit court etc.. instead of at a firm.

      Otherwise, the ski trips are rare, or they live in a place where they can do them for 1/2 day easily (ex. drive < 1 hour) and they essentially commit half of their weekend to them. They don't have kids, actually.

      Hikes seem easier to squeeze in regularly if you live close to good places.

      If you make a lot of money, you hire people to clean your house/do your laundry. One of my friends even has her housekeeper cook her food and freeze/fridge it…. she lives alone, and eats very simply and has an amazing, efficient housekeeper.

      I actually live alone, and more often do my laundry on a week night. Just throw it in the washer as soon as I get home from work, then start cooking dinner. I hang up everything to dry, except sheets/towels. Sometimes I just do one load, but it is pretty painless. But my laundry is already "waiting" to be washed, split into small hampers for colors, one for whites, one for handwashing (that doesn't happen often….).

      And when I had zero time, I didn't spend sunday cooking. I just bought a bunch of Trader Joe's frozen/prepared entrees. That was food.

      • We are hard core skiers and drive to the mountain (40 mins) twice on weekdays and both weekend days (ski racing child). It’s hard to keep up with things during ski season. Agree with the recommendations to ease up where you can. Our dinner last night was diced ham, eggs and a salad! Total prep-10 minutes. I let the housecleaning go a bit. I will skip one weekend day of skiing every three or four weeks just to catch up. I do a lot of things in the evenings we are home-laundry etc. I sometimes grocery shop during my lunch hour. Weekends you can do some things after you get home from the mountain-if you leave by 4, home by 6, that still gives you some time to catch up before you collapse, get up and do it again!

    • Weekend hobbies :

      Thanks everyone for the responses so far! One area that has been tricky is laundry – we have a few washers and dryers in the basement of our apartment building, but since they get so crowded during the week, I’ve typically done laundry early in the morning on the weekend. Now that that’s not an option, I’m trying to figure out when I can wash my ski gear (and regular clothes) without wasting a lot of time waiting for others to empty their clothes from the machines! I’d get up super early on Monday to do it, but I think there’s technically a no-laundry-before-9-am policy.

      In the next year, I hope to move somewhere that’s closer to the mountains – I’m about 2 hours away now, but if I could be within an hour, that would save a lot of time right there.

      • Can you send your laundry out? This is what I do with almost everything that doesnt need special care. It isn’t much more expensive than using the laundry machines in our building and it saves a lot of time and effort, which is priceless.

      • No laundry before 9am? That is insanity! I live in a single family home and have my own W/D but we do laundry pretty much exclusively before 9am!!! I or DH wake up, put a load in before showering. Switch it before breakfast. Usually fold it after work. I don’t typically like leaving the house with the dryer running but it is often done.

        • Weekend hobbies :

          I would love to do it exclusively before 9 am, but the apartment in the basement has to deal with all the dryer noise and I’m trying to be considerate of the policy. What I wouldn’t do for in-unit laundry…

          • Can you wash it before work and then set it up to air dry in your apartment? No dryer noise and I’d wager most of your stuff would prefer not to be machine dried anyway.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            As someone who once lived in a basement apartment next to the laundry that had no policy, I deeply appreciate your consideration. Dryer noise actually wasn’t that bad since it’s a fairly low rhythm. It was the spin cycle on the washers that usually woke me up at some ungodly hour.

            However, I have no tolerance for people who leave their clothes in the washer/dryer for longer than about 10 minutes. I’ll move them to a hamper.

          • My building doesn’t have restrictions either, but it seems like common sense not to have the machines running at a time when most people are starting to turn in for the night. Especially for the people living right over the laundry area, poor guys.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yep, my building has three washers for 30 units, and we are only allowed to use the laundry facilities between 9 AM and 8PM. Sure, that’s totally reasonable!

          I solve the problem by going to the local laundromat. Since I can put more things in the larger washers there, it’s cheaper anyway, and my nitpicky, refuses-to-give-notice-before-maintenance-staff-shows-up landlord doesn’t get that extra cash from me.

      • Our kids do the ski team so we go up most weekends during ski season. We leave Friday night after dinner (kids in jammies–they sleep on the way up). It’s exhausting to fit it in. I frequently find myself shopping for groceries at 11 pm on Sun night so I have food for the week. No freezing or storing. I make 30 minute type meals on weeknights when I get home from work. We have our own washer/dryer so I throw everything in on Monday morning. Come March, I am grateful for melting snow on the mountains.

    • Not sure if it counts as a weekend hobby since it only takes up a weekend every couple of months, but I’m big into swing dancing. I take classes 2-3 times a week most of the time, social dancing most Fridays, once a month there’s a dance on Saturday and sometimes on Sunday as well. Every couple of months there’s a local event that starts on Friday evening and runs until Sunday afternoon, sometimes Sunday evening. Needless to say, managing some of my domestic stuff like laundry and grocery shopping can be a hassle! I did a quick run on Sunday evening to get just enough food for the start of the week, and then I’m doing a big errand run this evening (my one night off) to shop for the rest of the week. I’m taking a trip this weekend (with some dancing, but it’s not the focus), so possibly another grocery run on Friday afternoon between work and dancing, so I have some food when I get home on Sunday.

      Basically, I do bits of what I need here and there, when I have a little free time, rather than trying to do a big grocery run or a week’s worth of laundry all at once.

      I also live in a building that only has two washers and two dryers in the basement! One thing that helps is working from home once a week, usually a Tuesday or Thursday, and that allows me to do laundry in the morning or early afternoon. I’m also usually able to do a quick load before the Friday night dance, and sometimes Sunday night if necessary (aiming to get it done before 9PM, to be considerate).

    • My solutions:

      I don’t cook other than a simple breakfast, which takes about 15 minutes each morning. I buy all of my lunches and dinners from a premade “fresh healthy meals” type place. I can’t do frozen dinners or most restaurant food because it throws my stomach off and causes issues with my running. The meals are about $8-10/ea but well worth it for me to have something balanced that takes 2 minutes to heat up. I have no desire to spend my time cooking because it is not an activity that gives me joy. I live alone, no SO or kids, so this is doable for me.

      I vacuum maybe once a month. Sometimes my bathroom has gone 3 months without cleaning. I haven’t died or caught an infectious disease yet.

      I don’t have cable so I spend no time watching TV (other than Netflix reruns for background noise while I’m doing something else), I don’t read, I don’t knit, and my social circle is my running group that I see on group runs. I love my hobby that it’s worth it for me to give up other things to be able to do it, and it is not the sort of thing I can let slip for weeks and then pick back up at the same level so I have to be disciplined about it and set boundaries.

      Oh, and ain’t nobody got time for communal laundry. Time to move and get yourself in-unit or send that ish out.

      • You bring up a good point…. Many of us feel that we need to clean more than we do.

        Someone in this thread mentioned skipping dusting one weekend. Dusting every week? Not necessary.


    • Weekend hobbies :

      Thank you all so much! This is all very helpful. Anon at 11:06, I must admit that I already skimp on cleaning more than is probably healthy, but no infectious diseases for me yet either :) We have to live life sometimes, don’t we?

      • Anon at 11:06 :

        Absolutely :)

        Also I re-read and my “can’t eat frozen dinners or restaurant meals” makes me sound kind of like a special snowflake that is doing the opposite of living life. To clarify, I’ll eat them every now and then and enjoy the freedom and/or time with friends they provide, I just meant that I can’t make them my daily routine!

    • I ski every weekend in the winter (but I also live ~ 45 minutes away from the resort). I get there as close to opening as I can, but it usually takes most of a weekend day. Spreading tasks out over the week is a must if you don’t want to overload the weekend (and be exhausted on Monday). Took me years to learn this. I run errands during the week, run a Roomba almost every day, and tidy up every night. On weekends, I devote one morning to chores (usually laundry, cleaning, making a meal that will have leftovers, etc.). Then I have the rest of the day to relax and enjoy myself and can spend the other day skiing or snow shoeing.

    • Just had this convo with my husband last night! We like to ski (mtns are three hours away), and go on long hikes in the summer. The question is how to do this with a young child (nearly 4) and get stuff done for the week. Seems like when we’re away for the weekends, we end up subsisting on takeout and mac and cheese during the week!

    • Not a hobby per se, but I try to save weekends for family time as much as possible. Hiking, skiing, travelling to visit grandparents, spending the day at the mall, whatever. I do as much as possible during the week in the evenings so this is possible. Monday and Wednesday are laundry day, try to do some cleaning or errands each week night. Dh & I have a standing Friday night Costco date.

      And, family of 5, nobody eats lunch at home, dishwasher gets run every night, even if it’s not totally full. It’s the routine. Maybe wasteful, but that way we never runout of bowls or glasses or whatever.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      We spend our weekends outside. I feel so cooped up after being indoors most of the week. Pick 2-3 of surfing, cycling, running, swimming, and hiking. Usually also play some basketball with my sons and husband. Go skiing a few times a year. My other main hobbies include cooking and gardening (actual gardening).

      My husband and I work from home, so I think that REALLY cuts down on having to prep for the week. I get most of my chores like laundry done at night during the week, plus I have a housekeeper come once a month.

  2. This seems a bit too Joan Collins on Dynasty for me. Love Joan Collins but not how I’d want to go to work.

  3. Yay, Kat! Personaly, I kind of like the fleece blazer from Land’s End, tho I am NOT sure how long it will hold up the way I wear blazer’s in the Subway. With all of the peeople using our clotheing to wipe their hand’s off, I do NOT think it would survive 1 month. I would have to have my cleaneing lady take it to the dry cleaner’s each week I wore it b/c of all of the stain’s I am SURE peeople would make by rubbing it with their greazey hand’s. FOOEY!

    Dad has gotten the manageing partner to agree to give me 50% of all billeing’s over 7,000 hours each year. He put it as a CODICEL to our partnership agreement b/c I am the ONLEY one that went over 7,000 hours and no one else even come’s close to 7,000 hours! YAY! but this will mean me workeing even longer hours and NEVER finding a guy to MARRY me, b/c the onley one who will see me are the janitor’s and the teck guy, who come’s in after hours to fix our rooters and rewire thing’s now for WINDOWS 10. I wish I could just continue to use my Macbook Air all the time, b/c some thing’s are on that computer and other thing’s are on my desk computer. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    Myrna brought a guy over to my apartement last night. She think’s she might want to see him and wanted to know my opinion. He seemed OK and did NOT stare at me, which is a good thing. I think he is athaletic like Myrna–they talked about a dog that ran a 1/2 marathon down south! I wonder if that is on YOO TUBE?

    I have to go to lunch with the manageing partner and a new cleint. He evidentley insisted that I go along to lunch, but I can NOT eat much b/c I have been takeing a cab to work b/c I slipped in the snow. TRIPEL FOOEY!

  4. High and dry :

    TMI/LGP question. Been on Lexapro a few months and liking it a lot. As expected, however, I’m having some s*xual side effects. While I still have a high drive, I am really struggling with dryness. I have moderate dry mouth as well, so I think I’m just dried out all over.

    Using quality lube and taking our time helps, but my husband and I are often really spontaneous in terms of time/place – so supplies are not always at hand. Sometimes this causes mild tearing, which ends up being painful. I am wondering if you have any tips for being less dry all the time. Something longer-term than lube, if that makes sense.

    Psychiatrist recommended ginkgo biloba, which I have started. Gyn said she could prescribe an estrogen cream, but recommends against it given my age (29). I have been using coconut oil in between LGPs, but there seem to be some non-estrogen products specifically for this problem. Any ideas or product recs?

    • For the spontaneous times when you don’t have supplies on hand – I find that saliva makes a great lube…

    • Plan better! Do you always have a tampon when you need one? Lipgloss when your lips are cracked? Get a bunch of tiny travel bottles, fill them with lube, and stash them every where. Every purse you own, bathroom, bedroom. And then take the 30 seconds to get to your purse or grab it from the bathroom. How often are you spontaneously having sex in a location more than a minute away from your home bathroom, your car, or your purse? If you can keep track of your phone you can handle keeping track of lube, and so can he.

      • Even bottles aren’t always necessary. Those condom bowls that Planned Parenthood and other pro-safe-sex orgs always have at fairs and such usually have single-use lube packets as well. I’m sure you can find these online. They are exactly the size of a condom so you can keep them pretty much everywhere.

        • +1 These are usually available on college campuses also. I have a few friends that offer to grab them for us on occasion, so they are surely available for purchase elsewhere. They also make travel sized bottles so you don’t have to monkey around with filling separate ones.

    • Replens is an OTC aid that helps with dryness – I use it every three days to combat age/hormonal dryness in combination with HRT – and even then it’s not perfect. Maybe it could be enough (without the HRT) to help you. Good luck. I think the issue of my ridiculous dryness is the one thing I hate most about aging – I never expected it and it NEVER was an issue until I hit 50. :(

  5. Anonymous :

    Am I missing something? I do not understand the bulge. I like the concept, though it feels a bit dated.

  6. I will be visiting the Wonder Exhibit at the Renwick Gallery this weekend with some girlfriends. We are driving from MD. Are there any good brunch / lunch spots we can head to nearby the gallery? Walking distance, ideally, so we don’t have drive and park twice. Thanks!

    • Wildkitten :

      Old Ebbitt is like 2 blocks away and very popular with tourists. You’d walk by the WH to get there.

    • Anonymous :

      Founding Farmers is a couple blocks to the west, and does a great brunch. But it will require a reservation and I’ve never been seated on time there, so if time is an issue, maybe not. I also had a fantastic lunch at Woodward Table, and I bet the brunch is good as well. Try the peanut soup! It’s a few blocks east of the Renwick.

  7. In-House Europe :

    Yeah, that jacket is a big nope for me too.

  8. When my mostly great boyfriend of almost a year was in a bad mood, we were talking and I reminded him about a behavior I’d asked him to stop doing previously (something reasonable basically related to being more respectful of my feelings). During the earlier conversation, he said he’d try to stop doing it but in the interim, nothing had changed.

    But yesterday, his response was: “if I was chasing you, maybe I’d have a reason to make changes, but I’m not, so you have to decide whether you want to live with it or not.”

    Ouch…I found this a pretty crappy response. Part of me feels like, “wow, if he feels like he doesn’t need to try to make me happy just because he feels secure in the fact that I love him, maybe he is too selfish to be in a relationship with.”

    The other part of me knows I’m not at all a game-player or strategic…when I loved him, I told him I loved him. When I miss him, I pick up the phone and call him…etc etc. I don’t calculate in my mind “I should wait for him to call me, I should wait until he makes the next move.” That kind of thing does not come natural to me. I’m wondering if I should try to cultivate a more strategic way to interact with him and make him realize that just because he has my love doesn’t mean he doesn’t need to care about how he’s treating me.

    Would love some advice and/or a reality check (hopefully kindly given, if needed). Thanks.

    • I think he’s right. He is who he is. He thinks he’s fine and he isn’t interested in changing.

      Do you want to be with him as is?

      And no, don’t start playing stupid little games! Be an adult. Your boyfriend is doing something that hurts you and you asked him to stop and he said no. Are you ok with that or not?

      • “Price of Admission” – Senior Attorney talks about it a lot, as do some others. It’s not what you want to hear, but I also don’t think he’s wrong. Maybe his delivery is off putting, but listen to the message behind the upsetting words. He is who he is – take it or leave it.

        • This. He is who he is. Frankly, he doesn’t sound like he’s a very considerate person and not a great long term partner if he’s not willing to flex on something that makes you feel respected in the relationship. ‘Take it or leave it’ is not an approach that bodes well for parenting and other big life challenges.

          • In some ways he is a really great person and could be a great long term partner, but yes…the “take it or leave it” thing makes me really worry about what will happen with big life challenges. I’ve brought this up (related to parenting) and he seemed hurt and said I should trust him, and if I didn’t trust him about those things, maybe I didn’t want to be with him. (Another non-A+ response, in my book.)

          • Anonymous :

            The “trust me, don’t question me” response also fits with gaslighting piece mentioned below. Parenting and talking about how to plan for the future are conversations you should be having and should be expecting a full partner to have with you. Getting butt-hurt because someone doesn’t automatically do things your way is another indication of BF making his problems/habits your fault instead of taking responsibility for them.

            so, not even a non-A+, more like an F- response.

          • Thanks, Anonymous. That did occur to me at the time, actually, but I guess I pushed it out of my mind.

        • I think that the delivery probably also goes into the “price of admission” analysis. Part of what he’s telling you about himself is not just that he doesn’t want to change the particular behavior, but also that he doesn’t think that once the relationship is established, he has to try to change anything.

          I think the question for you that’s likely more important than the particular behavior is whether or not “once I’ve “won” you I don’t have to be responsive to your concerns” is something you can live with (price of admission) or a deal-breaker. I think you probably need to have a conversation with him about that attitude, because to me, that goes to a lot more than does whatever the particular behavior is.

          • Pretty Primadonna :

            Your second paragraph is everything. Wtf is this guy thinking.

          • Yes, I think you are right, and although I didn’t say it directly in my post, I completely agree that that’s the main revelation that worried me about the exchange. I do have to have that conversation.

      • Right. The “price of admission” idea comes from Dan Savage, I think, and everyone’s right, you need to decide what is a deal-breaker and what is just the price of admission of being in the relationship. Obviously, there are things that people can’t or won’t change, small or large, that the partner decides to live with. He hates your favorite music, loves parties when you hate them (or vice versa), or is allergic to cats, or won’t give up steak and you’re a vegan. Or maybe he just cannot. ever. pick up his dirty clothes. I see adjustments to those kinds of things as what you might consider the price of admission.

        But if he is really being disrespectful of your feelings, and not caring that something is actually hurtful to you, that would seem to go to the heart of a relationship. I’d think it would be deal-breaker.

      • I think this is right, to an extent, but largely depends on the specific behavior. I’ve been married for 7 years, and with my husband for 10. We very recently had a bit of a spat over how he will pick up his phone and check it mid-conversation (or mid- family dinner). it’s obnoxious behavior, and it’s hurtful. He didn’t say “take it or leave it.” We had discussion about why it bothers me, and things that would bother me less (wait until I finish my sentence! Leave the room!).

        Likewise he recently told me that I should say “please” more when I’m more in the habit of barking out orders (“Could you do the dishes now?” is now “Please do the dishes.”) We had a convo about this because to me, “Could you…” is what I truely mean– “do you have time to….” but he sees both as an order. So I gave in and say please now, and he’s happy.

        Texting while driving is another one we argued over and the behavior changed.

        If you are talking about a Grand Behavior or something that is much more innate to a personality (proactive actions of love/kindness, daily if not hourly texts to tell you how much he’s thinking about you)…then no, this is not something that will change.

        • If he says “I am not interested in changing this deal with it” listen. He is not going to change. Doesn’t matter if it’s reasonable.

    • If you have to strategize, the relationship isn’t right. Things should be easy. You should also accept that people come as they are and aren’t likely to change. If you don’t like this thing you want him to change, figure out if it’s a deal breaker for you. If it is, end things. If not, live with it. People aren’t projects but sometimes they just aren’t right for each other.

      • Things are definitely not always easy, but when they are good I am really happy. I don’t know if this behavior is a dealbreaker, but the idea that he doesn’t need to make an effort to change things now that he’s “won” me might be.

        • You are happy when things are good (who isn’t?) but how often are things bad? Relationships generally should be easy, especially a relatively new one.

          • Good 75%-85% of the time, maybe? It’s hard to put a number to it. I don’t think it will ever simply be easy with him.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, honey! 75% good isn’t NEARLY enough!! Even 85% isn’t if the rest is bad!

            You deserve way better than this! It doesn’t have to be this hard!

    • That’s not a very nice response. Being nice is a choice. I do not like someone who choses not to be nice to me.

      In a friend’s sorority, they had a program called “Keep Rushing Our Pledges” to avoid people de-pledging once the fun and niceness of sorority rush was past. If you’re just nice to people sometimes and not all the time, they won’t stick around. I don’t think that real life (EXCEPT AT LAW FIRMS ONCE THE SUMMER PRORAM ENDS) is any different.

      You want him to rush you, no?

      • I certainly want him to be nice (and want to be nice) to me, even though the sorority rush is over.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This is really taking me back. I was married for 15 years to somebody like this and our major, major fight, believe it or not, was whether he should be nice to me even if he didn’t feel like I “deserved” it at any given moment. Looking back it seems utterly insane now, but I was like you, and kept telling myself the good parts were good and maybe I could get him to understand and blahdy blahdy blah.

          I finally got out and am with a truly kind man and it’s so different and so much better that sometimes I literally can’t believe it. And I am here to tell you, again, that you deserve better than this.

          • My now-ex used to say he didn’t “feel” like being nice or polite, that he was a misanthrope. I’d say “pretend.” He’s definitely an ex for this and quite a few other reasons.

    • Do you want your relationship to be a chess game? Being strategic sounds exhausting to me. This guy just told you he’s not going to change for you. Why should your response be to change yourself for him. Plus, I guess you can prolong the chase phase, but he can’t chase you forever. Eventually you have to be caught. Then what?

    • How much of an annoyance is this… on a scale of 0 (acceptable) to 5 (would ask a co-worker to stop) to 10 (dealbreaker for a friend, much less a love-of-my-life relationship)? Only you can decide that.

    • Relationships don’t just stay together effortlessly – effort has to be made to keep the other person happy and keep the relationship strong. He’s got the wrong attitude – he should be “chasing” you for the rest of his life! The alternative is, what? He no longer gives a $hit and you become resentful and the whole thing falls apart? No thank you, please.

      • I think you’ve hit the problem on the nail. You’ve got a relationship when you both care enough about each other to want the other person to be happy, no?

        Also, it’s been less than a year, I’d say listen to him and ditch his ass.

        My friend divorced her husband of a year because he basically stated to her, “you’re my wife now, I don’t need to be nice to you anymore” on their first anniversary. Be thankful that boyfriend told you this sentiment before marriage?

        • It’s true. He’s told me who he is, on more than one occasion. But I love him even though I know who he is, whether or not I should!

          • Senior Attorney :

            That’s a cop-out. You may love him but you should love yourself more. For realsies.

    • Blue ink pens :

      I DO NOT think your focus should be on how to manipulate him into stopping that quirk. Relationships should be about open and honest communication, and about give and take. Don’t focus on what you wish that he’d change — just like he shouldn’t focus on what he wishes that you would change.

      I would suggest the following:

      —When he’s in a good mood, or when it’s the right mood for you to talk, bring it up. From what you said, it sounds like this may be a situation where he does X and you take it as hurting your feelings, but BF doesn’t meant to hurt your feelings when he does X. If that’s the case, you may be able to change your reactions and not feel so hurt when he does X.

      —If X is really a dealbreaker, then tell him that. But don’t tell him that it’s a dealbreaker unless it’s the truth.

      —In the future, I’d suggest that when your BF is in a bad mood, don’t bring up the things you want him to change. That’s not fair to him. Imagine if the tables were turned.

      —On a similar note, spend some time reflecting on when is a good time for the more serious talks with your BF. I have learned when my husband will be open and really able to have the less comfortable talks versus when he’s just going to react defensively or not give it the time. Learning that, and learning how to save things for those “right” times has been really a good thing for our relationship.

      —Lastly, here’s some general advice that I got from my parents, and I think it’s great advice for all relationships: A man who was in his forties and had had a string of relationships – but never married – went to his rabbi and said, “Rabbi, I’m dating this woman and I think she’s amazing. But I just can’t figure out if I have finally found the woman that I should marry. What should I do?” The rabbi responded, “Don’t focus on whether she is the right woman for you; focus on whether you are the right woman for her.”
      That is really good advice.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree with all of this.

        — It was dumb to bring this up when he was in a crabby mood!

        — Gentleman Friend and I had a discussion the other day about the whole “be considerate of my feelings” thing, and our conclusion was that generally, if it’s a good relationship, nobody is going to be out there hurting the other person’s feelings on purpose. Our rule is “assume good intentions” and so far there hasn’t been anything that that rule hasn’t allowed us to let slide. He’s a little short with me on the phone? I assume he’s super busy and I don’t get my feelings hurt. I don’t pay close attention to the story he’s telling me? He assumes I’m preoccupied with something else and doesn’t get his feelings hurt. And we let it go. Really — we just let it go without any need for a big (or small) “you hurt my feelings” discussion. (Although of course it helps that we both in fact do have good intentions — it would certainly be problematic if we didn’t — see below.)

        — My number one rule after two marriages and a fair amount of dating is “when people tell you who they are, you should believe them.” So you need to figure out whether he’s telling you “I am not an improvement project so back off with the nitpicky complaints” or “I don’t care about your feelings so live with it or don’t.” The first one is reasonable, the second one should be a dealbreaker.

        • Haha, I didn’t quite realize what a crabby mood he was in at that point, but yes, big mistake!

          This is a good point and I think that that’s really my task to determine whether it’s the first one or the second one. When he’s in a really crabby mood, I think it might be the second (eek), but it’s not true the majority of the time.

          • Senior Attorney :

            You know what? I think I have another new relationship rule (at least for myself), which is “the relationship stands or falls on its worst moments.” If the bad moments are really bad it doesn’t matter how good the good moments are.

          • Wow to that rule, Senior Attorney. By that rule, my relationship fails spectacularly. I will have to think about it a lot to see if that rule seems right to me, but if so, I think this has to be the end.

          • Anonymous :

            Oiseau – I totally agree with Senior Attorney on “the relationship stands or falls on its worst moments”. I’m ten years and 3 kids into a marriage that I should not have entered into – I should have let it fall based on its worst moments. He’s a good person but we are not a good fit. Will probably trudge along like this until the kids go to college because I can’t bear the idea of not being with them everyday. We have moments of happiness but this is not what I thought my life would look like – I was hoping for a little more happily ever after.

          • Thanks for sharing your story, Anonymous. I’m really sorry you’re in this situation and I appreciate hearing this perspective from someone who’s been there. During the good times, he makes me extremely happy, but the bad times are rough, even though infrequent.

          • +1 “stands or falls on its worst moments.” Been married 5 years, together for 7, which isn’t that long, but we’ve been through the deaths of his parents (within 3 months of each other), a death in my family, lived 4 years with a close relative with severe mental issues, sold a house, and went through open-heart surgery. He’s seen me at my worst, and I at his, and we both choose every time to be with each other, even when times really just suck.

          • lawsuited :

            +1 to “a relationship stands or falls on its worst moment” I’ve been married for 7 years, together for 10, and the worst moments in our relationship were because external factors were causing difficult circumstances for us, and not because we were unkind to each other. My only relationship rule is “be kind to each other”, everything really runs smoothly once you can do that. But you being kind is not enough, he needs to buy in too.

        • There’s so much wisdom here. SO much. After a disastrous first marriage, I can sign off on every one of SA’s points.

          It’s better to be alone than wish you were.

      • I didn’t realize the extent of the bad mood or I definitely wouldn’t have gone into it then. And I think you make a really good point about figuring out the best times to have the serious discussions.

        And of course you and everyone else are right about not trying to be chased.

        I’m laughing about the rabbi story because my boyfriend is basically the protagonist of that story. Oy.

        • Blue ink pens :

          But remember — the point of the story is that you should focus on being a good GF to him, rather than focusing on whether he is being a good BF to you.

          And of course that only applies if you decide that you want to really invest in the relationship. If he’s not the right one, then you have your answer. BOTH parties need to be growing in a good relationship — him AND YOU.

          I know this seems a little harsh, but I really don’t mean it that way. I’m just trying to emphasize something that I’ve learned, and am still learning, in my marriage.

          • Not harsh at all–you and everyone have been very nice.

            I think I *am* the right girlfriend for him, which I think is why I haven’t given up on the relationship yet. But if that’s the point of the story, then for me it sets up this situation where you give of yourself to be right for the other person–what about evaluating what you are getting in return?

          • Blue ink pens :

            I don’t think “being the right person” is a constant state. It’s about your actions each and every day. I am confident that my DH and I are a great match. But I can’t every say I’m the “right” wife for him. I need to BE right for him every day — taking consideration of his feelings, compromising, making time for him, making allowances for him when he’s in a bad mood, etc etc etc. It is a lot of work.

            In your comments, I’m really sensing that you are focused on whether he’s doing enough for you. You need to make a decision about whether you’re going to continue the relationship. If you’re going to continue it, then you need to give him space. You can’t be nitpicking him and thinking about how he could be treating you better. There is a flipside — you could let the annoyances pass. Maybe that doesn’t seem possible, and it probably gets easier with time, but you don’t have to let everything hurt your feelings. Does that make sense? There are two things going on — his action and your reaction. It’s not all about him.

            I wish you all the best. Relationships are not easy!

          • Hmm. Yes, it makes sense. But I guess the way I am seeing it is that being right for someone every day is a lot of work, and if the other person isn’t putting in the work to be right for YOU every day, it seems more like being taken advantage of than being in an equal partnership. Thanks for the advice and good wishes.

          • Senior Attorney :

            It seems like it because it is. Please don’t settle for this.

          • Not sure if you will see this since it’s so late in the day, but thanks SA for all the comments. You’ve said some things that have been in the back of my mind sometimes but which I didn’t (and still don’t) want to be real. I am going to talk to him first and see if there’s any hope, but I’m really not feeling much.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I came back to check on you this morning — hope you see this! You were actually the topic of conversation at dinner last night and Lovely Gentleman Friend joins me in saying “you deserve better than this!” Be strong! It’s great on the other side!

          • I did see this! Thank you for caring and being so generous with your time to an Internet stranger, and I’m glad you found happiness on the other side. I have to do a lot of thinking, but I will try to check in in some future comment thread which I hope you’ll see…and hopefully with something good to say.

    • Unfortunately, a lot of men feel this way due to the fact society and the media tell us that women should do aaaaanything to keep a man. This might be the time for you to asses this relationship and figure out if you want to deal with this emotional laziness on a long term basis.

      • I’ve really begun to realize this month that this is the case–that he will always be emotionally lazy, and I have to decide whether I can live with that. It’s a hard decision, and to be honest, sometimes I feel like I *would* do a lot to keep him. The good times are really good.

        • Senior Attorney :

          The good times are always really good but if there are awful times they will poison everything in your life. Ask me how I know…

          • Argh, yeah. Don’t want to hear this but probably really need to. Thanks…

          • Right. The good times will mean nothing if you don’t have a solid partner for the awful ones.

    • Can you share what the behavior is that you’ve asked him to change?

      • I was going to ask the same. It’s a bit hard to give advice in the abstract. He thinks it’s cool to eat with his elbows on the table at home? Not the hill I’d die on. He “affectionately” refers to you as his b!tch despite your repeated objections? DTMFA.

        Either way, I suppose it boils down to the price of admission points above – is this something relatively minor that’s annoying but acceptable, or does his attitude indicate that his emotional IQ is nonexistent?

      • Yup, the specifics matter a lot here. I have sympathy for the ‘price of admission’ concept, but if what he’s saying is ‘I will literally never take your needs/desires into account enough to change my behavior about anything’ then that seems like an obvious dealbreaker. I think posting – at least in general terms – what you are asking him to change would be revealing as to which scenario you are in.

      • Good point, probably should have thought of that. Basically I asked when he is unhappy about something in the relationship, to phrase it kindly/constructively and put it in context, like “I love you and think you’re great, but I’m having an issue with how you do X,” whereas with the way he usually phrases things, where I end up coming away feeling like he thinks there’s something major wrong with me. It feels more like (paraphrasing obviously) “how did you get to be the kind of person who does X? I can’t understand how you could do X.”

        Thank you everyone for all the comments so far.

        • oiseau, honestly it sounds like he’s being kind of mean. I don’t think he needs to say it exactly how you’ve asked, but the way that he’s criticizing you is mean. Do you tell him that he hurts your feelings when he says things harshly like that?

          • I do tell him it hurts my feelings…actually that was the genesis of this original thread.

            (He was saying something somewhat legitimate in a somewhat harsh manner because he was in a bad mood, I was like “remember we talked about how to phrase things when we had issues with the other person, and that was when he said he wasn’t chasing me so why should he change.)

            So his answer is definitely not “oops, so sorry I hurt your feelings!” which is basically what I would be looking for.

        • If he’s doing this (blaming instead of empathizing) to you I can just about guarantee he’s doing it to other people. It’s an ingrained habit/mindset he has no interest in changing. It’s not going to get better and will likely get worse.

        • Senior Attorney :

          See, I really feel like this is a place where “assume good intentions” might really be helpful to you. Do you believe he loves you? Do you believe he thinks you’re great? Then maybe you might want to take ownership of your feelings of “something major wrong with me” and look past his awkward phrasing. Because honestly he’s just asking questions and expressing bewilderment. Maybe you could answer his questions with a question. “What don’t you understand about it?” “I got to be this kind of person by living my life for X years… what’s your issue with it?”

          Just to give a different perspective, I was married to somebody who took issue with my phrasing of legitimate issues and I’m here to tell you it was pretty horrible because everything turned into a fight about how I was saying it wrong and my reasonable issues never got addressed. Are you sure you’re not doing anything like that? Shutting down his reasonable complaints by policing his language? Just a question.

          FOR ME, in an otherwise wonderful relationship I would file this under “price of admission” and own my insecurities. But again, the whole “I don’t have to worry about your feelings” thing on a larger scale might be a bigger red flag.

          • I definitely don’t think I’m simply taking issue with phrasing of legitimate issues–it’s something bigger related to whether he cares about my feelings enough to take them into account when acting. He does when he is in a good/normal mood, but not so much when he is upset.

            I would say the relationship is otherwise very good, but it’s a hefty price of admission to consider. Thanks for helping me think through it.

          • Senior Attorney :

            If he is holding you hostage to his moods I would say that is a Very Bad Sign.

          • Anonymous :

            So, he’s nice when he feels like and he’s a jerk when he doesn’t feel like it? NOT OKAY.

          • I don’t think it is a deliberate hostage-holding…but in effect, yes. It is not a good sign and it is not okay.

        • noooooooooooo :

          Ooof. That’s not good. That’s shaming language- he’s getting at your worthiness as a person rather than targeting the specific behavior that is a problem for him. Your request speaks to your need to have him reaffirm that he cares for you and values you, but he won’t give you that.

          I’d get out of that relationship.

          • I hate hearing that, which probably means I need to listen. :( I really love him.

          • Yes, agree with that completely. He doesn’t need to criticize your entire character, but he can certainly tell you what specific action you’re doing that annoys him. I think you should sit down and tell him how you feel. Instead of telling him how to say something to you, tell him when he criticizes you as a person and your character it makes you feel really sad and hurts your feelings. I don’t think you need to get out of the relationship immediately but have a talk with him about this stuff.

          • Thanks. Yes, I think I need to do that (at the least).

          • noooooooooooo :

            I get that it’s a hard message. This stinks :( Perhaps you can approach him from this angle- let him know that you feel like his delivery tears down your sense of self worth (not trying to put words in your mouth, but if that comports with what you feel). It’s not just that it annoys you, or that you don’t like criticism– it makes you feel undervalued. If that message does not resonate with him, leave. There’s a chance that he just doesn’t understand he’s coming off that way. He could have been raised with this sort of method of expressing displeasure with someone’s behavior, and so doesn’t realize the difference between criticizing the action and the person. But if he doesn’t change, you owe it to yourself to look for better. I know you love him but you deserve someone who won’t shame you, and who listens to you when you tell him his delivery hurts you.

            When someone I love asks me to pick my socks up off the floor, PLEASE for the love of god it’s so annoying to see socks everywhere and we have guests coming!, it doesn’t hurt me, because it just means something I did is annoying. When someone I love asks me to pick my socks up off the floor, how can you be so lazy and messy, what’s wrong with you? that hurts, because it cuts into how “good” and worthy of love I am as a person.

            Anyways, I’ll be quiet now. It took me a long time to learn how to separate these concepts and I hope it’s helpful. For me, this would not be a price of admission I’d be willing to pay.

          • Thanks–it is definitely helpful. I may have overemphasized the meanness aspect of his criticism, based on other people’s strong reactions…or maybe I am just not far enough removed to see how bad it is. In any case, the distinction between the two is helpful, and I have to figure out whether he doesn’t get that it’s hurtful or he doesn’t care (or doesn’t care because he doesn’t get it).

        • For me, this is not a behavior that falls under the “price of admission” or “assume good intentions” umbrellas (which are concepts I am totally on board with). Clips his toenails in bed — price of admission. Won’t travel by airplane — price of admission. Short on the phone or wrong tone in a text — assume good intentions. Attacks the core of my being on a regular basis– not partner material. He is telling you he is going to fight dirty and demean you every time you have a conflict, or you make a mistake, or you have some “price of admission” characteristic or habit he doesn’t prefer. And then you are going to walk on eggshells because you are afraid that when you forget something on a trip, get a traffic ticket, make a wrong turn, or leave a dish in the sink, he is going to say you are worthless. He’s not going to make it about the conflict, he is going to make it about you being a bad person. And it only gets worse as the relationship goes on. In fact, your guy has expressly told you that in so many words. I have watched this dynamic in enough couples (particularly both of my mother’s marriages) and it can create a really unhealthy cycle of feedback and response. Watching it from the outside for my entire life is one of the biggest reasons I never cherished marriage. Lots of people seem to put up with it, but that whole dynamic just makes me sad.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah this is sounding worse and worse the more information we get…

          • Anonymous :

            +1 million. The concept of “price of admission” is often abused–it was never intended to excuse “he treats me like I’m worthless” behaviors. The concept is limited to helping us get over personality traits/habits that are completely extraneous to the relationship, like the toenail clipping example you give.

        • This is the beginning of gas lighting…I would get out now before it gets worse.

        • Anonymous :

          I am married to someone I love (and have a child with) who can be mean when we fight. We are in counseling, and it’s getting better, though not “fixed.” But, his willingness to go to counseling means he’s willing to work on our/his issues. I don’t know that I would have stayed with him through all this if we weren’t married. I don’t know what my advice is, other than, knowing what you know, are you willing to take the risk that this behavior won’t change? There have been some very painful periods with us – having kids does not make it easier.

          • Thanks. No, I don’t think I can take the risk that things won’t change. I think I either have to see that he’s putting in the effort to change it or end things. Ow.

    • What he needs to realize is that you don’t just make an effort when you’re “chasing” someone, and then settle down once you “have” them. A relationship does require people to keep making compromises and occasional sacrifices to keep things doing. It takes a lot of communication and calibration.

      Don’t play games. Clearly tell him, calmly of course, what he needs to stop doing and why. After that, open up the negotiations if needed/possible. These things are more likely to work out if you’re both willing to be flexible, even if he needs to be more flexible than you! Does it need to stop entirely, or can he just tweak it to be less bothersome?

    • I’ve had friends with similar situations. For them, their significant others said they’d change, then did nothing. Other than one who is in a very difficult, problematic relationship that she expects to fail (but won’t be the one to end it) and has involved her moving out suddenly on five separate occasions, they’ve all ended very badly when the SO finally admitted not wanting to change.

      My view is, if he loves you and knows it is a deal breaker, he’ll at least try. He’s indicated he doesn’t care enough to do so. To me, that’s it, but it certainly depends on some other circumstances and is more difficult when you’re the one in the actual relationship.

      Best of luck!

  9. The asymmetry of this jacket makes me uncomfortable

    • One-armed Penguin :

      Me, too!

    • Do you think it would be better if the colors weren’t so high contrast? Like white and gray, or navy and royal blue?

      I’m just trying to figure out if the idea or execution is flawed.

    • Edna Mazur :

      I feel like I should like it on principle, but my stomach definitely flipped over when I looked at it.

  10. Shopaholic :

    Thoughts on a lighter leather jacket as a blazer substitute for more casual days? I love the idea but feel like I can’t pull it off… maybe this is the excuse I need to pull the trigger on the Vince leather jacket I’ve had my eye on for years…

    • that other b l o g cap hill style is featuring this today.
      I had no idea this was a thing – to me it is not a work look, even in a casual office. It just reminds me too much of My Cousin Vinnie, and I’m not a lawyer…

      • Shopaholic :

        Ya I saw that which is what triggered my question. I love the look of a draped leather jacket but just don’t know if it would work over more business-y bottoms.

      • If your name is Kalinda, yes.

        To be fair, the practice group head at my biglaw firm does this with a fabulous leather jacket on Fridays.

        • Wildkitten :

          Yes. Some people look amazing – I think shorter people with shorter torsos. I look terrible in leather jackets, which is very sad.

    • Maddie Ross :

      It sounds like I may be in the minority, but I’m in a business casual office and this is one of my favorite looks. I own 5 and wear them frequently to work in place of a blazer or cardigan. I also own and wear a leather skirt to work (black, about an inch above the knee, pencil). Style appropriately, leather definitely has a place in the office. IMO at least.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I do this. Very thin, very soft leather jackets.

    • lawsuited :

      I do this too. I have a very soft grey leather jacket with clean lines that I wear on more casual days. I think the key is to have the jacket fit well (like a blazer would) and to avoid heavy hardware, distressing, etc.

    • KS IT Chick :

      I have a bright red leather jacket that I wear with black or tan slacks or black or navy pencil skirts that I adore, and that I constantly get compliments on. It’s heavy enough that I can wear it without a coat on cool (not cold) days, but it isn’t so heavy as to obviously been a leather coat. They just released 2 colors for spring (that look a lot like the Pantone Colors of the Year) that I’m debating, though pastels aren’t my thing.

  11. I’m looking for a good, not too large, travel jewelry case. Everyone I’ve tried hasn’t worked — necklaces get tangled, earrings inevitably get lost, and I end up just throwing everything into a pocket of my toiletry bag (which doesn’t solve the tangle, but seems to help with the losing items issue). Any ones that you love?

    • I had one at one point that had long narrow zipper pockets that worked well for necklaces. That said, I use the little pill ziplocs for my jewelry and put them in a pocket of my carry on bag. I no longer bother with a jewelry case. The only problem I have is that I sometimes forget to take it out, then I go to wear something and realize it’s still in my luggage.

      • This one looks interesting. It has snaps at top and bottom to keep necklaces from tangling and there’s even a ring holder.

    • I have no recommendations but thank you for asking this. I’ll be following this thread!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My sister in law and mother in law both have the large version of this and travel extensively. They rave about them. I’m planning to get the smaller one at some point.

      I think Kat did a post on this years ago and recommended using a business card and cutting little slits in it then wrapping the necklace around it. Never tried it but I don’t usually travel with that much jewelry.

      • Ooh, that looks like a great item to add to the “what do I get my mother who already has everything she could possibly need?” gift list. And honestly, given how small my collection of “good” jewelry is, it might be a good storage solution for that.

        Right now my solution for travel is various sized ziploc bags (from the pill size for earring to the snack and sandwich size for necklaces) which all go into an older wristlet that I rarely carry anymore. The necklaces can still get tangled in the ziplocs, but at least they only tangle with themselves, not winding up in one giant tangle. I also put things like a spare SD card for my camera in the same wristlet and other little things like that.

      • This looks promising. Thanks!

    • I don’t have a case, and will be looking at other’s responses, but I use small, lightly padded silk zipped bags, bought from Ten Thousand Villages-type stores. I put necklaces and watches in two or three of those, and put earrings in each bag also. They keep the jewelry a bit protected, are easy to take in and out of the suitcase and, since I usually put only one necklace in each, they don’t get tangled. I usually wear pearls and similar or more chunky/statement necklaces, don’t know how this word work for very delicate chains — but maybe an even smaller silk bag?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honestly, I haven’t found anything I like and mostly I just pick one necklace and one pair of earrings per trip.

      • Same here. I’ve lost too much stuff to the bottom of the suitcase desert that I just don’t take extra stuff with me. At most, I’ll take a pair of dramatic earrings if I’m wearing studs and I just keep them in a jeweler pouch in my handbag.

      • Glad to know that this is a common problem.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Not everyone loves the style, but my favorite jewelry case is a Vera Bradley one. It’s about the size of an eyeglass case and has a zippered lid. Inside is a main compartment where I put my watch/bracelets, then little slots around the inside for smaller items. It also has three little individual zippered pockets that fold out. It doesn’t solve necklaces getting tangled on themselves, but it separates everything well and the zippered pockets are great for earrings.

    • teslagirl :

      I received a drawstring jewelry pouch as a gift years and years ago, and I still use it on trips (and to the gym, when I am showering there in the morning). It looks something like this:
      It’s light and doesn’t take much space in a suitcase (or gym bag).

    • Wildkitten :

      I have this one and its YUUUUUUUGE – I do not recommend.

      Travel Smart by Conair Jewelry Roll Bag

    • I don’t have very chunky necklaces or really big earrings, so I put all my earrings and rings into pill/drug plastic containers, like those that are usually used to distinguish which drugs you take on which day of the week. They sell them at bed bath and beyond, but I like the non-labeled ones from Daiso for cheap. They’re small so I can put them in my toiletry bag. If I am going to bring any larger necklaces I usually bring a box for it with the cushion so I can make sure it doesn’t get tangled.

  12. I’m a bit blue today. I am a bit tired and working to the point of burnout, but that’s not the thing making me sad this morning. Any snap-out-of-it advice? I have more work to do. And meetings!

    • No answers, but commiseration!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Can you go out and pick up a super yummy lunch from the place you don’t normally splurge for? Or go get a fancy hot cocoa? Sometimes that cheers me up a little just to get something a little special that I wouldn’t normally get.

      Sorry you’re feeling blue.

    • I had this the other day – although it was more of the blah grays that full out blues.

      Is the sun shining where you are? Stepping outdoors and feeling the sun on my face (or sometimes just feeling the sun on my face inside a nice warm building) can make a huge difference for me.

      I live in one of the grayest, least sunny places in the US, so I have a happy light on my desk at work that I use for those “I just can’t take one more cloudy day” days.

    • I think some soothing background noise might help? The productivity playlists on spotify are pretty good. Or, personally, I also find NPR very soothing ( I like hearing the familiar voices/sounds even if I’m not really listening, and I like the routine and signaling – you immediately know what time it is when you hear the BBC World News theme song).

      Finally, I have an app called noisli that makes white noise, and you can mix and match sounds. there are about 12 to choose from including differnet nature sounds, crackling fire, coffee shop, and others. For example, you can have just rain, or rain with thunder, or rain with thunder and wind, and you can adjust which one is loudest.

      Beyond that, just try to remember that you will have good days again in the future…Good luck, I hope you feel better soon.

      • Change your desktop or phone wallpaper to something cheerful/inspiring/new.
        Take a quick breather to do a body scan/neck roll/good quick walk or simply put your head down and meditate.
        Go to the nearest place you can dash into and pick up a little treat, such as a nice hand lotion, new lipstick, magazine/book or even gum/candy, just because (or, go bigger and take 5 to order something from your wish list online).
        Call a friend and make plans for dinner tonight.

        Hang in there!

  13. Great statement blazer. Forget matching bottoms– I have a certain white Tahari shift dress in mind that would look fierce with this! Make today work, Rachel –CubicleCouture

  14. Question about when it’s ever appropriate to criticize a junior person’s work to a senior person . . .

    I am a mid level associate. I am working on a deal with a partner (I work with this partner a fair amount and I really like her). The partner said that a new paralegal could work on our deal too and the partner seems to love the paralegal and speaks very highly of her to me. However, I think the paralegal is dropping the ball on things and isn’t as responsive as I think she should be. If the partner asks me what I think of the paralegal, should I be honest, or should I say something generic about how she did a great job? The reason why I’m not sure is b/c I think the partner personally hired this paralegal so kind of has a personal stake in her. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • I think you do the positive and add areas for improvement. Like “paralegal is so pleasant to work with, and things are on time, but sometime attention to detail is lacking” ,or “paralegal does amazing work, but sometimes promptness is an issue”

      • This. You can also try to frame any problems as the paralegal needing to get familiar with how things are done at your firm – that allows for some change/direction on improvement to the paralegal without it being because the partner made a bad hire.

      • Except never use “attention to detail.” That’s the most ridiculous summary of a problem and means different things to different people.

    • Absolutely give honest feedback, because you don’t want to be blamed down the line if something gets messed up because she drops the ball.

    • I think step one would be providing your feedback to the paralegal – very specific, like “I really require you to respond to my requests within 24 hours.” If she doesn’t improve for this or tells you that the other lawyer said 72 hours is sufficient, then take it up with the partner.

      • Having been a paralegal — is she confused about the hierarchy or the priorities? Or, possibly, are you — that you think your assignments rank higher in her priority list than she thinks or has been told? This may need to be clarified directly, and it could very well be her issue, but there’s 3 people at least in this 1 situation, and it may need to be clarified among the three of you, and she may have other projects or bosses, as well.

  15. Florida firm retreat :

    Help! I’m going to a retreat for my mid-law firm in Florida next week. Temps will be around 65. What can I wear? Attire is business casual. I’m told the men always wear khaki pants, white shirt and navy blazer. What’s the female equivalent? Is my seersucker blazer appropriate or out of season?

    • Will you be spending time in a hotel for meetings and such? If so, just normal business casual will work. It seems like the AC is always pumping here in Florida, and whenever I attend a conference that is business casual (i.e. all of them, I think), I wear a pants, shirt, cardigan/blazer combo. I don’t think there’s anything specific to Florida, and you’ll be fine dressing as you would for business casual in 65 degrees where you are from. A seersucker blazer would be out of season, but people don’t always follow seasons here. It’s “winter” here – you see a very bizarre combo of people dressing like it is winter, even though its 65 degrees, and people (mostly tourists) in shorts and t-shirts. I think seersucker would read tourist.

      Note that you’ll be with your firm, so I think the know your office rule applies. Floridians don’t wear hose/tights hardly ever. I only wear them if I’m in front of a jury.

  16. I have found the unicorn opaque white button down shirt – Gap outlet boyfriend fit. Unfortunately not gape free on me but I’m willing to wear a cami for this shirt.

    • Does it have dropped shoulders or does it hit on the shoulder blade? I’m wearing an old navy boyfriend fit flannel today and am finding the weirdly dropped shoulders (almost hits me where a cap sleeved t would) incredibly annoying.

      • The size I got fits exactly on my shoulders but obviously everyone’s body is different.

      • Just realised it would be helpful to tell you what size I got – I’m between an L and XL in Gap tops and got a L.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for posting! Feel free to share if you find any other opaque white things; unintentional sheerness is seriously by biggest pet peeve.

    • Anonymous :

      but if you have to wear a cami because of the gapping, what’s the point of finding the opaque top?

      • This way no-one can see the cami. Plus I live in the UK and am constantly cold so I quite often have an extra cami layer on anyway.

  17. Any advice on cleaning Blondo boots? Does vinegar and water really work? Thanks!

    • DisenchantedinDC :

      I just bought a pair of these before a recent trip and am in love love love but they are dove gray, so interested to see the answer to this.

  18. Sydney Bristow :

    Does anyone here hallucinate as they fall asleep? I googled it and it’s apparently more common than I would have expected.

    The reason I ask is that it’s become much more frequent for me later and I’m driving my husband nuts. I normally go to bed first and lately when he’s either just fallen asleep or is about to, I start freaking out about something I’m seeing (dog sized bugs on the ceiling, the posters are moving, someone standing over the bed, tacks in our bed, etc). I apparently try to describe to him what is happening, he tells me I’m dreaming, and I get really angry that he doesn’t see it. Sometimes I have a vague recollection of this and can even remember what it was I saw but I get so irrationally frustrated with him while I’m half asleep. Normally this all passes in a couple of minutes but he’s had to give up and sleep on the couch a couple of times because I apparently wouldn’t let him sleep.

    Has anyone ever experienced such a thing? Any way to make it stop? I’ve always been a terrible sleeper (sleepwalker as a kid, chronic insomnia, etc) but this is just getting so annoying.

    • Sort of. I sometimes have hypnopompic hallucinations, which are hallucinations when you wake up! Sometimes it looks like I’m in a totally different room, sometimes it looks like there’s a huge spider coming down from the ceiling or there’s a man standing in my room. I guess they sometimes happen shortly after I’ve fallen asleep but maybe haven’t fallen all the way asleep, so similar to what you mentioned.

      I’ve found I’m likely to have them when I’m stressed out about something or haven’t been getting a lot of sleep in general.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Hypnogogic hallucinations! This used to happen to me when I was a kid – bugs or patterns on the ceiling, furniture growing or shrinking or moving around, etc. I also had episodes of Alice-in-Wonderland syndrome – never told anyone about either event because I knew no one else could see them & didn’t think I’d be believed.

      Could you try relaxation techniques or meditation before bedtime? That’s one of the suggestions on this page:

    • Not hallucinations, but I sometimes have super crazy dreams that wake me up scared, so if i was only half awake they would confuse the crap out of me.

      I found it happened most when I was taking a medication that can give me low blood sugar if I take it with a meal that isn’t very big (glucophage/metformin) so I moved the medication to lunchtime instead and have that issue far less often.

      Apparently vivid/crazy dreams can be a side effect of hypoglycemia – any chance that is your issue?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I had no idea there was an actual term for them! I don’t feel more stressed than usual but my sleep has been pretty bad lately so maybe that’s it. I’ll give meditation a try before bed.

    • It has happened to me at times. One thing that helped me was using a small post-it over the LED lights in the room. Those were causing some of my visual hallucinations.

      The last time my SO was visiting, I half woke up in the middle of the night and had no idea who he was and what he was doing in my bed. Luckily, he figured out pretty quickly what was going on and helped me through it. But wow, so crazy!

    • Do you sleep on your back? I had sleep paralysis a few years ago and found a suggestion to try sleeping on your side. I didn’t have problems with it again after making the switch.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        No, I normally sleep on my sides. Looking into this more I’m really glad I don’t have sleep paralysis. That sounds even scarier!

    • This happens to me, too – usually about 45 minutes after I go to sleep. I brought it up to my therapist and she said they were night terrors that were happening when my sleep cycle hits a shallow point. One thing that helps me is yanking myself out of it enough to look at the clock – if it’s 45 minutes or so after I went to sleep, I can convince myself that it’s a night terror and not real. I also have them more often if I don’t take the time to put myself to sleep properly and follow my entire sleep routine — even if it’s a late night, I need to watch my 22 minute sitcom, take my vitamins, etc. Throwing myself into bed while still running full speed will always bring them on for me.

  19. how do you corporettes search this website for topics? It’s a goldmine here but going external to google seems weird. The way I am currently doing it on google:

    search terms XYZ

    Does anyone do it another way?


    • are you looking for something Kat wrote or something a commenter wrote?

      If you are trying to find a past topic a commenter wrote and you know approximately when it happened you can search using for instance to find only posts in December 2015. If you know you participated in the conversation add you commenter name as well.

      The search isn’t easy, so otherwise people tend to repost here and people will either say “oh yes, we talked about that last week” or you’ll get new advice.

  20. I think I may have talked myself out of an offer for a job I really wanted. Is there any way to salvage this situation? I had several rounds of interviews with the employer and we were discussing a range for the offer they were putting together for me. The job would be a significant pay cut but would provide great opportunities for me in the long run. The employer put out a range, let’s say “in the $150s” for discussi0n purposes. I responded that I think we’re on the same page, but it would be a bit disappointing to take less than $165k base because that was my starting salary years ago. I also said I know I can make $165k work for my family, but less than that would have to be a family decision. The employer told my recruiter they could not give me a high enough offer to be competitive. Apparently the employer is going to reach out to me separately to discuss.

    Is there any way I can get this out of the fire? I’m willing to take $150k if that’s all they can offer, I really was just trying to negotiate to get the best salary I could. I’ve been looking for a new job for 3 years; to come this close and have it fall apart is really gut wrenching. I feel like I should never try to negotiate again.

    • Stop catastrophizing! They are going to reach out. When they do, say you’re very interested because x, y, and z, and you’ll consider the best offer they can make, and while of course you’d need to discuss it with your family you are sure you can make this work.

    • In my experience it seems unlikely that they would pull an offer if they really like you as a candidate – they may come back with “$X is all we can offer, sorry” so be prepared for that. If they yank the offer because you tried to negotiate, you probably dodged a bullet anyway.

    • If you feel like you need to do something, call the recruiter and say that you are still happy to consider all reasonable offers. 150 vs. 165 is reasonable, 165 v 40 isn’t reasonable.

    • Don’t act apologetic for saying 165. Dudes do that kind of thing all the time and they’re respected for it. Sometimes they’ll get the 165, other times they’ll still get the offer but be told — sorry 150k is all that’s in the budget and everyone shakes hands and accepts with no hard feelings (or moves on if it truly doesn’t work for the candidate). If they call you directly, tell them — your target is 165 or thereabout, but you are interested in the position for x, y, z reasons and will consider their best offer — that should give them enough “comfort” that you won’t automatically say no under 165k so they are more likely to make you an offer even if they can’t get up to 165k. Or if you don’t hear from them — call the recruiter and tell him/her the same and they’ll relay it. It is in the recruiter’s interest that this doesn’t fall apart.

  21. DisenchantedinDC :

    *yawn* anybody just starting their day? The last 2 days off + delay today were a godsend for me. My neighborhood is still a mess, though luckily I garage park. How are other DC ‘r e t t e s fairing with the leftover snow? I was raised in the northeast and it shocks me just how unprepared the DMV is.

    I just got back from an international trip Monday afternoon so trying to shake the jet lag – overslept this morning because I was up from 1-3 am. Tomorrow will be rough. Spinning tonight to try and put me to sleep at a normal time.

    However, missing what is now over a full week of work = lots of catching up to do…

    • DC’s average snowfall for an *entire season* is ~15 inches. We got more than that in just two days for this storm.

      Also, given that until this storm, the season had been pretty warm and snowless… I think they’re doing a much better job digging out compared to the Feb 2010 storms.

      • DisenchantedinDC :

        I relocated in 2011, so I missed the last one. I think they’re doing the best they can/know – it’s just crazy. I’m kind of surprised we had work today at all just knowing how many people are still blockaded in.

        At least the weather since the snow has been pretty nice – though not sure it melting down helps. I stopped yesterday to help a stranger bust out of her car with the shovel I keep in my trunk. Karma, right?

  22. Vicarious Shopping Challenge :

    I have been looking everywhere for a jacket that I can throw on top of outfits to look more polished at work. I am thinking of something textured (like tweed or something that would contrast nicely with tropical wool), either in black or dark gray. I am a petite 0 buy can often do regular designer sizes (FR 34 or 36). Ideally under $500. Any help would be much appreciated.

  23. Anonforthis :

    Took my last BC pill on Saturday and Aunt Flo has still not shown up. At what point should I start to worry? (No LGParties for over a year, Aunt Flo last visited/ last BC gap was in November)

    • I think it can take quite awhile to adjust – from what I’ve been reading, sometimes 2-3 months. I took my last pill (minipill) on Saturday as well and no sign of a period. I haven’t had a period in 3 years so I’m a bit out of practice. When does it normally start when you take the placebo pills?

    • Anonymous :

      If you can’t possibly be pregnant, why would you worry? Not trying to snark, but I just don’t see what you’d be concerned about except pregnancy. It often takes several months for your cycle to regulate after stopping hormonal birth control.

    • When I was on BC, sometimes my period was so light that they were essentially non-existent.

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