Thursday’s Workwear Report: Bell Sleeve Jacket

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

This jacket from Halogen reminds me of an Anne Klein jacket I had years ago when I was sort of doing the Anne Klein mall tour — this is not my color, usually, but I found it to be surprisingly versatile. I used to wear it with graphic patterns, like a black-and-white silk shell, and with a lot of different dresses. You could have a lot of fun with it! (There seems to be a matching dress that I like by itself for different reasons, although it may be a little short — try it if you’re on the petite side.) This comes in sizes XS-XL and in petite sizes as well for $99, in orange, black, and a black-and-white floral print. Bell Sleeve Jacket

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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  1. House Help? :

    early morning mortgage question: Rates are low right now (I believe lower than expected) and what I am reading is that experts believe a rate hike will come in June. I am closing on a house in August. Should I go ahead and get an extended rate lock? is there any downside to doing so?

    • cat socks :

      If rates are low, go ahead and lock now. We locked a couple months in advance of our closing.

    • The potential downside is if they go down even more (v. unlikely) or (more likely) you don’t close in time and have to pay to extend your rate. We got a 90 day rate lock last year and I am beyond happy we did because it basically meant almost a percentage point of savings by the time we closed. I would find out how much it will cost to extend and then work backwards from that to figure out if it would be worth it to lock your rate in now.

    • Cornellian :

      It’s possible rates could go down further, but it seems unlikely in light of the Fed’s release earlier this week. I’d lock it in.

      I locked mine in and they dropped another 1/8 of a percent before I closed, for what it’s worth.

    • I would get the rate lock and don’t look back. Second guessing yourself afterwards is not going to help anything. If you are already under contract because you need a place to live then you are buying at the right time. If this were an investment property or a whim (i.e. let’s buy! rates are low!) it would be a different story.

      • Why would it be a different story if it were an investment property?

        • Investment properties should be evaluated on a much larger scale than just the interest rate. It’s a minor detail in comparison to taking into account vacancy rates, minor repairs, and major repairs over the course of ownership. It also wouldn’t matter much if it was a flip and rent to with a plan to refinance in less than a year…I guess it would just depend most on the long term plan. Most investors wouldn’t see interest rates as a deciding factor is my point.

          • Thanks! I am closing on an investment property soon and have run tons of numbers but was looking for another angle. I agree with you that interest rates are not a deciding factor, even on a leveraged property.

          • Are you on Great resource!

          • Yes! Their podcasts are great! Thanks again

    • I’d lock it, but I’m extremely risk averse. I found this s!te that recommends not locking if the closing is more than 30 days away:

    • Are you my friend who just got your offer accepted this morning? :)

      I agree with locking in!

  2. Anonymous :

    Any Montanans here? Has the Gianforte story gotten much traction? Kinda disturbed that things are moving from ranting about the media to actually physically assaulting reporters.

    • Not a Montanan but I think this is just going to help him get elected; or at least it will do nothing to hurt him.

      • Anonymous :

        CNN has an article arguing that it’s actually worse for Republicans if he wins, especially narrowly, and I think that’s true. If he loses, the GOP immediately writes him off as a crazy guy who had a meltdown and says (reasonably persuasively) that this election had nothing to do with Trump or the AHCA. If he wins, they have a congressman who has to go to court to face assault charges.

        • Anonymous :

          ETA: I think the charges make a big difference. If it were just a few reporters saying this happened, I think it would totally blow over after his election. But the fact that he was actually charged with a crime is something that will stay with him after the election, I think.

        • What? No? What is all this crazy democratic spin that losing is somehow good? This is why we don’t win elections!

    • I read that a lot of Montanans vote absentee, so this might not make a difference. What a nutter.

      • It’s true that political scientists estimate that about 2/3 of votes have already been cast, but 1) the late voters are usually the ones who would be persuaded by something like this anyway, early voters are typically much more committed to the candidate or party and 2) this incident might increase turnout among people who weren’t planning to vote, thus reducing the percentage of votes already cast.

    • A friend of mine is in Montana, and she said all of the local papers have pulled endorsements. The early voters can’t change their mind, but those voting today surely can. GO VOTE!

    • Not a Montanan, but I live in the west and have been following this story closely. Gianforte already had low approval ratings and a reputation for being a bully (I guess he sued to keep people from fishing on public lands near his home, for one) beforehand. I’m not sure this situation will change supporters’ minds and there may have been too many early voters already for this last-minute break to make a difference.

      Plus, Donald Trump proves you can be a complete and utter *sshole who assaults who knows how many women and still get elected to office.

    • I’m not from Montana, but if this was my state I don’t think something like this would make a difference. A lot of conservatives where I live think that the media is awful and this type of reaction is justified. They would probably applaud the guy committing assault.

    • Yeah, I’m in Helena, MT.

      It’s just after 8 am here, so I’m just headed into work. I work in a pretty liberal office, so no one is gonna be vocally disappointed (there may be plenty of people saying “told you so”).

      I hadn’t heard about this until this morning – We’re packing for a move (out of state) so I wasn’t online last night.

    • I’m a Montanan and while this story is all over the news and my feed, I’m afraid that it won’t change the outcome of the election. Most votes have already been cast, and many Gianforte supporters are of the “the press is our enemy” ilk. It makes me so sad that these men (Gianforte, Trump) can get away with seemingly anything.

      Gianforte doesn’t believe in retirement since Noah was 600 years old when he built the ark, he says different things about the GOP healthcare bill depending on who’s listening (he said in a closed room that he was grateful for it and the tax cut it would give him as a billionaire). He donates to the Family Research Council and other hateful bigoted groups, and has also donated to a museum that discredits evolution. We can’t do much worse than him.

  3. Anonymous :

    I think there was some discussion here or on the Moms’ page about that NPR/ProPublica article about appalling and increasing US maternal death rates, but I missed it. We’re TTC #1 and I was incredibly freaked out by the article (especially because I am ambivalent about biological children – I want to be a mom but I would personally be just as happy adopting, husband wants bio kids). Is it weird to talk to my doctor about that article once I get a positive pregnancy test? I live in a very conservative, pro-“life” (the fetus’ life) state that I assume has awful maternal mortality stats (although I haven’t’ been able to find a state-by-state breakdown). I want to emphasize to her that both my husband and I care more about my life than the fetuses’ life, even once it reaches viability, and we want my health to be monitored and cared for throughout the pregnancy, not just the baby’s health. I feel like that’s an obvious and ridiculous thing to say? But maybe talking about it with her would make me feel better? Curious if anyone who is pregnant or TTC has had discussions with their doctor based on that article and if so what you said.

    • It’s not obvious or ridiculous to say, because some people feel the opposite (which is ok too). You should make your priorities clear to your provider and if they’re not willing to support you then you should find one that will.

    • Cornellian :

      I think you should talk to her, for sure. I think you should also look in to alternative providers in case the conversation is not uplifting.

      I switched from my OB/GYN (who was exiting the OB business anyway) to a midwifery practice when I got pregnant, and it was a great choice. There was a lot more focus on the mother’s health during pregnancy and on the “dyad” after birth.

      • +10000 the midwives made me feel like a human being rather than an incubator. (gave birth in a hospital, had an epidural, etc)

        • Cornellian :

          I don’t know where the OP is from, but in NYC there is a full range of midwifery from very crunchy home births to what Suburban is describing. I was in the middle (no drugs, no IV, gave birth in a birthing center). Definitely worth looking in to what’s available.

          • Right. I think folks sometimes assume midwives only do non-medicated home births, so I wanted to indicate that that’s not always the case. The midwife philosophy in the practice I went to was woman-focused (evidence -based) care. This really eased my fears about maternal mortality in the Us, which, I thought was fairly common knowledge even before this article. Good luck op!

          • Cornellian :

            Agreed, Suburban. When I said I was using a midwife I think people pictured me giving birth in the forest or something. They are legit medical professionals who have the ability to prescribe and admit patients in most jurisdictions, sort of like NPs. Love them.

          • Totally understand! My aunt was a nurse midwife so I never thought it was strange. When we went to a “meet the midwives” event at the hospital I couldn’t understand why the families of all these pregnant ladies were so nervous. Then we had a q and a and it was clear people though midwives were not medical professionals.

    • No, it is absolutely not obvious or ridiculous. You and your husband should train yourselves to be your own best advocates during childbirth, make your intentions crystal clear in multiple conversations and in paperwork, and NEVER assume that the doctor is “on top of it” if you have a bad feeling about something. I work in public health, specifically in maternal mortality prevention, and I can tell you that there is never too much self-advocacy.

    • Anon for this :

      I absolutely think you should do it. I have posted before about TTC and my best option for delivery would be a Catholic hospital. I was not at all comfortable with that initially. If I went elsewhere I would have to change doctors and choose between a hospital that I know has had a lot of malpractice and one where a male someone I work very closely with on a non-profit board could end up delivering my baby. That also made me really uncomfortable.

      I booked a pre-conception visit with my doc. She only ended up affiliated with the Catholic hospital due to the merger but it was 5 years plus into the affiliation. Behind closed doors she was very frank with me about what she could and could not do and tried to reassure me that she has never yet had a situation where she felt their rules put a mother at risk. She has had to “make a phone call” to get permission for certain procedures (this is what I find terrifying) but that they were approved in every instance, without question. They were just able to check the box that they had gone through the approval process. She said there is also another fail safe procedure in case she doesn’t feel there is time for a phone call.

      I still have other concerns. My doctor is great but there is no guarantee that she would be available when I ultimately deliver. I’d have to ask her more about whether her colleagues share her stance. Since none of them initially signed up to work at a Catholic hospital I believe that they are more likely to value mom’s life over baby’s. The Catholic hospital is also the most modern, has the best practices for a baby that is born with issues and is generally just well like by mom’s around here.

      I’m also privileged in that I’m an attorney and involved in a health care non-profit so I have access to the top white collar people from the various hospitals. I’ve been struggling with TTC so I don’t want to really pick brains until I know for sure I’m pregnant. But, once I am pregnant, I intend to have a call or meeting with the Catholic hospital’s attorney to discuss my concerns (something like, now that I’m pregnant, I’m more aware of possible issues with the merger of secular docs office and Catholic hospital. How does your facility handle, A, B and C? If A happened to me, what would my options be).

      My doctor was very happy to have these conversations with me. I’ll admit, I cried in the conversation because I’m so upset it is a conversation that even needs to happen. I was raised Catholic. I don’t hate Catholics. But, if they can’t practice medicine to the general standard of care for mothers, then they need to be out of the healthcare business. She really really really made me feel better and there is a good chance that if I ever get pregnant, I will deliver at the Catholic hospital.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This is kind of anecdata, but my [former] gyn practiced as part of a Catholic practice. When I asked her about non-hormonal BC methods, she got sad and said she couldn’t help me with that: “This is… a Catholic practice. I already got in trouble for that once. If we could say it was to regulate your periods… but I can’t.”

        I was shocked to find that the Catholic stuff went deeper than the crucifixes on the wall. My daughter still goes to a pediatrician at that practice, but I have a mental note that she will *not* be there once there’s any chance she’s thinking about s*x stuff.

        • I wish you would move your daughter now….. use your power…

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Anon, I hear you, but for personal relationship reasons, right now my daughter has access to *great* care at the associated pediatric practice. (Again, it was one of those things where a secular practice was acquired by/merged with a Catholic org.) I am not one who usually enjoys using ‘connections’ or whatever to access things, but if the thing I am accessing is excellent medical care for my daughter, it’s hard to walk away from that.

      • But you said yourself that the alternatives to the Catholic hospital in your area are not good for you. So Catholic hospitals and healthcare providers are filling a huge need in large sections of the country, and are very often top-ranked. If they leave the healthcare business, what then?

        • Anonymous :

          What then? How about y’all try state run hospitals like the rest of the developed world? Seriously though, I can’t imagine that someone wouldn’t step and they would just close the hospital?

        • And just because they fill a need doesn’t mean that those of us who do not value our lives less than a fetus’s, or who believe in hormonal birth control (or non-hormonal birth control) have to be happy about those stances being forced upon us by our doctors (who may also not agree).

          I don’t understand your comment.

          • My comment means that if you want different care, then choose a different provider. If Catholic hospitals cease to exist, it is not a sure bet that something else will take there place. The alternative is *no* decent care nearby. About one-third of Catholic hospitals are located in poor or underserved areas. Maybe you feel that a secular hospital will better…but if the secular hospital doesn’t set up shop, then you are letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    • Anon for this :

      Super long reply in mod. Short answer, yes. Check later for the long answer.

      • Anon for this :

        My long answer also discusses my local religiously affiliated hospital. To be clear, what I learned about that hospital is unique and I would not expect other religiously affiliated hospitals to operate the same way.

    • nasty woman :

      “I feel like that’s an obvious and ridiculous thing to say?”

      Nope, it’s not, sadly. This is especially the case at a Catholic Hospital. Even if you hospital isn’t obviously a Catholic Hospital, it may be owned by/affiliated with a Catholic entity such that it is governed by those rules. These rules require the fetus’s life to be put first.

    • It’s probably also worth considering how much the increased rate of mortality is due to pregnancy related causes as opposed to bad things happening to pregnant women or even increased levels of other co-morbitities like cardiovascular disease that existed prior to the pregnancy.
      By all means talk to your doctor about minimizing your risk in these areas though.

    • I heard the story on NPR a week, or so ago, while driving back from a fertility treatment (talk about mind f-ery…).

      Talk to your doctor about it. You are your only advocate. They have to know. I’m hoping for a positive result out of my upcoming fertility treatment. At that time I plan on having the conversation with my doctor to make sure that my wishes/priorities – which are the same as yours – are known and documented. I am in Boston and I know the socio/political environment is different than the environment you’re in, but I still think it’s very important to have my wishes explicitly known.

      As an aside, I’ve had a conversation with DH about never taking me to a religiously-affiliated hospital. I don’t know if it’ll hold any legal status, but I have also signed a note and attached it to my medical proxy that says this.

    • Makes sense to discuss with your doc. If you don’t like the way they deal with the discussion, find another.

      I would also work on getting an advance directive/living will in order (as well as a regular will, which all responsible parents should have but we didn’t get together until our kid was 4 years old… oops.). I believe that in certain states, if you are incapacitated, it doesn’t matter if you have a clear preference on certain matters that, e.g., your husband knows about and can articulate — the legal document is the only thing that can override the policy default. I think there’s a Supreme Court case about this that I read in law school…

    • Definitely have the conversation but realize that ‘awful maternal mortality stats” still translates to very low risk of maternal mortality. While miscarriages are common and stillbirths more rare, maternal mortality, even in states with poor outcomes, is extremely low.

      • This is a good point. You see so many statistics now and during pregnancy that say your chance of having x is “4 in 10,ooo “or something similar and that sounds really high. But if you do the math, it’s a 0.04% chance which doesn’t seem nearly as scary.

    • Yes, talk to your doctor. I already have one child (and, in my opinion, the hospital diligently monitored me as well as the baby) and I would probably mention it if I got pregnant again.

    • I wouldn’t be as worried about mortality rates as much as the (more likely) scenario that the OB would put you in pain/ under duress/ subject you to unnecessary procedures for very very small benefits to outcomes for the baby. I have to say, I live in a small city in the Deep South and received excellent OB care, but a few times I felt that was going on (for example, one of the practice doctors wanted to induce me at 39 weeks -said to be much more painful and unpleasant than naturally going into labor- because she said the placenta starts to calcify at 40 weeks. So… put me through more trauma on the off-chance my placenta gives up a week early? What?).

      There are some things which are a good litmus test of an OB’s stance on mother vs baby outcomes. I literally *just* gave birth on Monday so all my second-hand OB knowledge is right up to date: all the most recent studies are on your side in saying that maximizing the health and happiness of the mother translates directly into better baby outcomes. So…..

      Ask how your OB feels about prescription medicines while pregnant and bf-ing, particularly for depression and anxiety. If she says, oh, it’s only a temporary state, mother should suck it up, then, hmmm. Or ask what happens if you have severe ppd: my excellent OB’s response was: look, happy bf-ing is our ideal outcome, but it won’t always work like that. If we need to put baby on formula to get you on some strong meds, then we’ll do that. A happy mother is a happy baby.

      • Anon for this :

        Congratulations! Did your doctor’s stance on anxiety meds include benzos? I only need anxiety meds once in a blue moon for situational anxiety (work related flying for example) but my doc said once I’m pregnant I can’t take them at all.

        • So the risk/ benefit analysis we did settled on category C as the riskiest we needed/ were willing to go. Originally with my first baby they moved me from a category C anti-depressant to a category B, but since I didn’t do well on it, I went back to the C. Most of these category of drugs fall into the realm of “pretty much unknown effects, if any” because it’s hard to do human trials on pregnant women (like, who’d volunteer for that?)

          Benzos, I believe, are a category D, and I was on two pre-pregnancy. I did well enough NOT taking them that we didn’t have to extend the risk into category D, but I think sometimes they do if the mother is really dependent on that medication to stay stable. In your case I doubt you rely on them enough for an OB to want to weigh the risk of letting you take them.

      • It amazes me how many educated moms become Christian Scientists with respect to their pregnancies and deliveries….

        There are lots of sound medical reasons to consider an induction at 39 weeks.

        • Yes, and I happened to disagree with the reason given to me. It’s amazing to *me* how many educated women don’t consider themselves valid and active participants in their own health care choices.

          • You can’t make a good/valid/rational choice if you have your own irrational litmus test. I never took a litmus test into my OB’s office, and I think women often do, and I think the approach can backfire, as it did for the woman in the article who thought she’d chosen the PERFECT OB who passed HER litmus test (ie a doc who worked to have a low C-section rate and encouraged active labor). And I’m sure all the mommys on the dead woman’s mommy blogs told her she’d OBVIOUSLY made the best choice. Except her OB let her die.

    • Hmmm, having trouble posting this because I went to change my baby and copied what I had written, and now it’s saying “duplicate post…”

      I wouldn’t be as worried about mortality rates as much as the (more likely) scenario that the OB would put you in pain/ under duress/ subject you to unnecessary procedures for very very small benefits to outcomes for the baby. I have to say, I live in a small city in the Deep South and received excellent OB care, but a few times I felt that was going on (for example, one of the practice doctors wanted to induce me at 39 weeks -said to be much more painful and unpleasant than naturally going into labor- because she said the placenta starts to calcify at 40 weeks. So… put me through more trauma on the off-chance my placenta gives up a week early? What?).

      There are some things which are a good litmus test of an OB’s stance on mother vs baby outcomes. I literally *just* gave birth on Monday so all my second-hand OB knowledge is right up to date: all the most recent studies are on your side in saying that maximizing the health and happiness of the mother translates directly into better baby outcomes. So…..

      Ask how your OB feels about prescription medicines while pregnant and bf-ing, particularly for depression and anxiety. If she says, oh, it’s only a temporary state, mother should suck it up, then, hmmm. Or ask what happens if you have severe ppd: my excellent OB’s response was: look, happy bf-ing is our ideal outcome, but it won’t always work like that. If we need to put baby on formula to get you on some strong meds, then we’ll do that. A happy mother is a happy baby.

    • Also, I would never, ever, ever plan to give birth at a religiously affiliated hospital. You do not matter to them. Your baby might, but you as a woman do not. Don’t trust them with your life.


      Despite the URL, the article is not just about abortion. Scary stuff about ectopic pregnancies.

      • Also terrifying. Silly question, but how do you determine if your hospital is catholic-owned? I just looked up my hospital and it says “independent non-profit” but should I be looking for something more specific regarding ownership?

        • If it’s not obvious (and I expect in most cases it would be – hospitals mission statement?), I think you should just outright ask your doctor or call the main line.

          • Anon for this :

            Also, ask your individual doctor. My doctor (the one that got merged with a catholic hospital above) is in a practice that is affiliated with a nationally renowned hospital and still has that other hospital’s name in the title. There is no way to know that they are only privileged at the local Catholic hospital unless you actually ask.

            I’m going to give you an example but this is not my state and it’s not really the Mayo clinic. It’s just easier to understand this way. Let’s say there is the Mayo Clinic which runs an actual hospital and then all over the state, they have smaller Mayo Clinic physicians practices which are in doctor’s offices, not hospitals. You go to the Mayo Clinic doctor’s office but you are two hours from the actual Mayo Clinic. Your actual city where the Mayo Clinic doctor’s office is has St. Joe’s Catholic Hospital, Private Entity B Hospital and Private Entity C Hospital. For years, if you saw Mayo Clinic docs you would deliver at Private Entity B. Now due to some corporate affiliations changing, Mayo Clinic Docs in this practice are only privileged at St. Joe’s Catholic Hospital.

    • US maternal death rates are primarily up among the poor + African American moms, which is a result of gross injustice being allowed to exist in this country for far too long. However, I doubt that the average member of this blog community has much to worry about. In fact, I think we have a moral obligation to take care of poor and/or minority moms in our country, but let’s not have the privileged crowd freaking out about their own risks that aren’t nearly as bad by comparison.

      • Anon for this :

        Here’s the thing. The privileged crowd has to speak up and freak out about their risk because unfortunately, the powers that be only care about the privileged crowd. If the care is fixed because of the privileged crowds worry, it will help the disadvantaged too. First you get them to care about you, then you can say why should it be different for everyone else?

        I’m in a state that has continued to battle over ACA stuff. I spoke to a crowd about how I am highly educated, take care of myself, yet through no fault of my own, I have a chronic disease which means I am uninsurable on the individual market. I got them to care about me. To agree that was not fair. To agree that something should change. So, if we keep pre-existing coverage in because a bunch of old white guys care about some young female lawyer, all the poor and minorities with pre-existing conditions reap that benefit too. If I walked in talking about the patients my health care facility serves that are refugees with awful medical issues, they would have asked me why that’s their problem. Know your audience. Know your goal.

        My health care facility does almost all of its fundraising through its pediatric arm. People care about poor kids. It’s not their fault their parents are “lazy, entitled, immigrants” (all awful things I’ve heard about our adult population). The end result is my facility can take the money it would have spent from the general fund on pediatrics and move it over to refugee care because the pediatric dept fundraised enough to be self-supporting that year. Money is fungible.

        • Also if you read the article, the states and countries that have reduced the maternal mortality rate did so by implementing standardized testing/care, meaning X, Y, and Z must be done on every pregnant woman that comes through or every time a pregnant woman comes through with symptoms A and B. That standardized care was implemented because enough attention was raised about the issue, probably by family members like the husband in the article (who was privileged) who sued the hospital/doctors/nurses, filed complaints with local boards, and shared his wife’s story with the media.

    • I made sure to pick non-religious affiliated hospital to deliver in, and midwife practice (certified nurse midwife), that had on-site OB in case something went wrong. I also did talk to my midwife and my husband that until my child was born, I would prioritize my own health, and in case of serious disabling defects in the fetus – would terminate and try again. So we were crystal clear on that.

  4. Anonymous :

    Does anyone here bike to work? I’m seriously considering moving to this (only live around 3 miles from work). Any suggestions you might have? Things I need to know? Gear to buy I wouldn’t have considered?

    • All safety gear: helmet, reflective gear, etc. Try it a few times on the weekend before trying it before work. If you have a place to leave stuff at work then leave all your shower gear and always have an extra set of clothes. I would also find a local bike shop and ask them about the safest routes. My town just changed traffic patterns to add a bike lane, but it’s still touch and go on whether or not cars are in the lane.

      • Our local bike shop has a programme where they’ll do your commute with you (at the weekend) and flag up things to watch out for (tricky intersections, etc) which is supposed to be very helpful.

        • That is so cool. What an excellent idea.

        • Coach Laura :

          In Seattle, the Cascade Bicycle Club offers “partner” introductory rides for those beginners who want to commute. They set you up with someone for a trial ride.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        I agree with all of this. My city has a little map of on and off-street bike routes that was very helpful for me when I was planning and riding my route at first. Yours might have one too.

    • Bike slow enough so you don’t have to shower when you get there. Wear a tank top on the bike for maximum breathability; ankle pants and tank top would be the ideal bike-friendly business casual outfit. There is no such thing as too many lights and reflectors to make you more visible to cars. Try the route on the weekend. Don’t text and bike. Make sure to bring a very solid U-lock with you (and don’t forget the key!)

      Also, I find it worth it to take slightly longer routes with less traffic. This will depend on your area, but it reduces my stress immensely to not have buses flying by behind me.

    • Lights. Legally your bike is required to have reflectors but they’re not nearly enough for actual safety in my opinion. Get a USB rechargeable flashing red light for the back seat post and a bright headlight with a flashing function for the front, at a minimum (when it’s dark, the steady beam is so you can see; when the street lights are good enough to see, the flashing function is to make you more visible). Lights that go on the spokes are also super helpful because the movement makes you stand out more to drivers.

      Pump up your tires every 10 days to two weeks or so, and don’t buy a sh*tty pump. Not worth it.

      Consider getting panniers for the back. They add weight to the bike but make the ride so much more comfortable because you’re not carrying anything on your person.

    • I bike to work about 50% of the time in Manhattan. Definitely wear a helmet, always. Have a loud bell, and don’t be afraid to use it. Have lights and reflectors on your bike and your helmet. If you’re not used to biking on streets with traffic, take some time to practice that and be forceful about taking your lane (this gets easier with practice).

      I find that the helmet makes my forehead/hairline sweaty, especially in hot weather. I combat this with a bit of dry shampoo before I leave the house and face wipes at the end of the ride.

    • Biking to work is a great beginning and end to your work day! You will love it.

      Strongly agree with everyone that route-planning is important. Google maps’ routes prioritize designated bike lanes but my commute was much less stressful when I took a more meandering route through quieter neighborhoods. At particularly hairy intersections (looking at you, Olympic/San Vincente/Fairfax clusterf*ck) I would switch over to being a pedestrian – get on the sidewalk, get off the bike, and use the crosswalks.

      Depending on what area you live and work in, a super heavy-duty bike lock may be a good investment. My workplace theoretically had a “safe” space to leave bikes for the day but it wasn’t actually monitored all day and bikes definitely got stolen. A full work day is a long time to leave something relatively unattended. If your lock is really heavy, just leave it on the rack overnight rather than schlepping it back and forth on your bike.

      If it’s at all chilly in the mornings where you live, have a pair of gloves handy – your hands can get uncomfortably cold more easily than you’d expect being exposed and with air flowing over them.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Search the archives! There have a been a few posts about this that have lots and lots of great tips.

    • I bike almost every day of the year and love it! I put my work clothes in packing folders (can find them on amazon). These help hold clothes flat and together so they don’t get too wrinkled. I keep my shoes at the office.

  5. I definitely owned the black version of this jacket in 2009. Are super trendy things (the cropped bell sleeves) cycling faster? Those sleeves were EVERYWHERE back then. I even had a moto with cropped bell sleeves.

    • Yeah, I’m just not feeling this trend being recycled so soon.

    • I think Black works better than Orange for this jacket, even if ORANGE is the New Black — ha ha ha!!! Did anyone in the HIVE watch the TV remake last nite of Dirty Dancing? The original one was 30 year’s old, and I have the DVD of that one b/c Dad thought it was a great movie. The remake was different, but VERY good. The dancing was NOT as intracate, but the plot was very much the same, updated a little b/c we are now in 2017, rather than 1987. The main character, Baby, was a little chunkier then the old Baby, and the sister was more petite then the old sister. Dad was alot different, this one sang, and the old one was more serius then this one. I do NOT recall an issue with s-x between the parents in the old movie, but I have to rewatch the DVD to compare. Finally the Jonny Castel lead was so different from Patrick Swazee. Patrick Swazee was so cool and the dancing was so much better in the old movie. Baby was NOT kept in the corner again, and she DID carry the watermellon to the party with the workers. All in all, a great movie, even if it did not have any explicet s-x in it, I really liked it. If I could have cut out all the commercials, I would have b/c it was 3 hours long! FOOEY! But I STILL RECOMMEND it to the ENTIRE HIVE!!!!! YAY!!!!!

    • I had a gray one in 2007.

    • My daughter wore this exact style at her bat mitzvah in 2008.

    • Yes, I had the same – black linen with bell sleeves. Mine had the added touch of giant buttons. But I’m pretty sure it was 2004 or 2005.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      I think trends are cycling so fast now that it’s almost impossible to care. To me, this doesn’t look trendy or not trendy – it looks like a bell-sleeve jacket. Maybe I’m just now old enough so that I don’t find out about trends until they are mid-cycle, at which point they’re just about to come back.

    • It has recycled so fast! I had two jackets in a very similar cut circa ~2007 or 2008.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I just can’t with this jacket. I feel like everything about it is hideous and frumpy and ladies-who-lunchish in a bad way.

    • I would buy this jacket if it were not cropped. The proportions seem off to me.

  6. Can anyone recommend a simple, preferably free contact management program? For a Windows 10 laptop, addresses, names, spouses, one or two fields for notes, to make labels for Christmas cards for a 90 year old friend. She’s been using Excel. Outlook *seems* okay, but I thought I’d ask here. Thank you!

    • Clementine :

      …Um… I use Excel…

    • I use Excel for personal stuff too. Anything else (Mail Chimp, Fire Engine Red, a CRM) is likely to cost $.

    • excel

      • And then do a mail merge? I want it to be “click a few buttons,” so that the non-computer savvy can print labels as well. Now they’re hand-writing all the envelopes. The lady in question in 90 and has “people” do these tasks for her, so I’m trying to make it as turn-key as possible. Thank you again.

        • You could create a label document and then all she would have to do is merge it with her updated list. That’s how I do my Christmas cards every year. If the labels are already set up you could write out explicit directions with file names and step by step clicks to get her to the print stage.

    • I use MS Access. I put my contacts in and it prints mailing labels and any kind of list you need: Phone numbers, birthdays by month, their kids names and ages. Have used it for years. Yes I am a nerd.

      • hoola hoopa :

        I have an instant appreciation for anyone who sets up an access database for their personal contacts.

        That said, I use excel. I use it almost exclusively for Christmas cards and to look up individual addresses. It’s easy to select what I want for batch mailings and use mail merge in word. I also keep track of kid and pet names, but not ages (that would be nice…) and date of last address update.

    • Excel and mail merge. Anything else is overkill.

  7. All right, I like today’s selection and think it will work for this short-waisted petite hourglass. I am speaking at a conference in the South over the summer and it probably will be close to 100 every day, so this looks like a good choice to throw over a basic black dress.

  8. Workout Routine :

    Question – for those of you who work out more than 3 times a week, what’s your routine? I’m trying to figure out when/out often I should work out, with strength training, cardio, yoga etc. and I’m just wondering what other people’s routines are.


    • I don’t know if there’s a how often anyone _should_ work out. How often do you _want_ to work out?

      Morning during the week: run 3-5 miles 4x/week, usually preceded by 10-15 minutes of core, unless I oversleep or am lazy. Bodyweight strength training 1x/week (I have a pull-up bar, dip stand, and TRX straps at home I use for this).

      Evening and weekends: yoga and rock climbing 2-3x/week each.

      I don’t love strength training but it’s the best way to prevent injury from climbing. Everything else I do because I like doing it. Otherwise, I would not be motivated to work out this much.

    • It will really depend on what your goal is.

      For me, my goal is to get faster and stronger for trail races. My races generally involve some intense climbs, so I focus on building endurance and leg strength through focused strength training and running workouts, with some cross-training and yoga thrown in. I run four times a week – three short runs with drills during the week and one long run on the weekend. I also do strength training at least twice a week, mostly legs and abs, but I try to throw in some push ups regularly as well. I aim for once a week yoga at home if only to get my legs stretched out. I also ride my horse two to three times a week and always incorporate some no stirrup work, which helps my leg strength.

    • I know I’m probably an anomaly, but I normally do cardio 6 days a week for an hour (adaptive motion trainer that really engages the muscles I need to build up for my knees) and strength training three days a week, mostly with weight machines.

    • Weight training with a trainer Tues/Thurs, yoga class Sunday, is my typical. Ideal would be walk 30 minutes Monday, trainer Tues/Thurs, yoga Wednesday, HIIT on exercise bike at home Thurs or Friday, yoga Sunday. That’s super ambitious, and I’ve been sleeping in lately so nothing has been happening unless I’m going to be charged $ and disappointing someone for missing it.

      • What’s your approach to HIIT on the exercise bike?

        • Do you mean aside from wishing it was over and hating every second of it? I do a couple minutes of warm up, then a 1 minute sprint, like as hard as I can to where I am practically falling off the bike (maybe around 18 mph, but I can barely look down to register my speed while sprinting). Then 5 minutes of fast-riding (for me that’s like 12-14 mph on my cheapo exerpeutic bike), then another minute sprint. I do this for 25-30 minutes or so with 4 sprints, and trying to keep my regular pace around 12- 14 mph.

          I sort of just picked this out of the blue. I read yesterday something about 4 minute intervals of high intensity and 3 minutes of rest being optimal, but honestly I think I would die if I tried that.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      strength training M/W/F, elliptical or treadmill T, swim laps Th, horseback riding Saturday or Sunday. Though that’ s been my routine for precisely two weeks, so we’ll see if I keep it up (my gym is having a 60-day contest type thing where they give you a workout plan, so I’ve been good about going)

    • I work out 5-6x/week at a specialty gym that basically just has one class. It’s an hour-long class where you spend the first 25 minutes in the cardio room (I alternate between the bike and the treadmill on different days to give my joints a break) doing intervals, then 30 minutes in the weight room doing a mix of body weight exercises and exercises with light/medium weights (anywhere from 7-20 lbs). Then we end with 5-10 minutes of stretching, foam rolling, or yoga. Different days stress different muscle groups. I love this gym because I don’t have to think about anything- I just show up.

    • I work out 6 times a week, 3 of those are runs (training for a 10k), 2 of those are some type of strength/toning class (usually TRX or barre), and the other one is whatever else I feel like doing (usually spinning, sometimes yoga). I always work out before work, usually at 6 or 6:30 am. On weekends it’s still first thing, but a little later in the morning (8 or 9 am).

    • weight training :

      I do a more traditional bodybuilding-style workout, with splits to focus on different muscle groups each day, and cardio thrown in as it strikes me (more out of laziness than “program guidelines”). I normally go to the gym 5x-6x per week. I normally warm up for 10 minutes on the stairmaster or elliptical, and then I do a tricep/bicep day, leg day, HIIT day, back/shoulder day, and chest day. I generally do calf work at least 3x per week, and susperset abs/core work each day. For HIIT, I do mountain climbers, jumping jacks, skiiers, toe touches, box jumps, sprints, and burpees. I also sing and dance as part of my hobby, so I usually have 2-3 hour rehearsals 3-4 nights a week, which helps get in some additional cardio.

    • Monday: longer sweaty cardio day: intervals = sprint for 1 minute, moderate for 5 mins x 8 rounds.
      Tuesday: weight training with a trainer*
      Wednesday: Barre class
      Thursday: weight training with a trainer* (*trainer days switch between upper body, core, lower body, full body)
      Friday: shorter sweaty cardio day: intervals = bike sprint/moderate/recovery x 6 rounds
      Saturday: steady state (non sweaty) cardio of moderate intensity for 30-45 minutes, whatever feels good (this is more for heart health than muscle building/fat burning) and feels good to get my muscles moving in a fluid and easy way.
      Sunday: rest, stretch
      I also walk over 10k steps everyday.

      I used to be one sweaty cardio day a week and added in the longer one running once my knee strength was good (I did the shorter interval day on the bike, elliptical, or rower). I am not a trainer but have worked with many over the years and the agreement seems to be (particularly for ROI) no more than 2 sweaty cardio days a week and typically 2-3 resistance/weight days a week. And doing the same cardio does you no favors – even when I ran long distances and trained for races, I would still have HIIT cardio days (1-2x/week) to condition the muscles rather than let them fall into stasis. It always improved my race times. Weight training was important then racing and important now that I’m not. It is so good for bone density as well as injury prevention and increased strength and agility in cardio days. (Same rule for weights: increase reps, time, or weight or your muscles adapt and get lazy.)

    • Resistance-class training 3-4x a week for an hour, one Flywheel spin class, one 3-4 mile hike (Saturday or Sunday), and yoga on my recovery day. I also walk my dog about 3 miles a day.

      Exercise is part of my depression treatment, so I like to do something daily. After a very stressful day, I sometimes add an hour of cardio at night too.

    • My lazy routine as I’m trying to do 4-5x a week (up from 2-3x) is to alternate cardio (jog/run/walk on treadmill) and strength training (arms on machines and then core and/or squats). I’d like to be able to run farther and longer but otherwise have no specific goals besides being more fit, hence the vagueness of this “program”. But it’s helpful to me to know that I don’t have a particular routine so I don’t feel out of sorts if I’m having a bad day.

    • JuniorMinion :

      M – Lower body weights
      T – Upper body weights
      W – HIIT intervals
      Th – Upper body weights + abs
      F – Lower body weights + plyo

      This is my usual routine. If I need to condense to 4 days a week, I just make my 4th workout a total body lifts workout (think lunge+ curl, step up +curl+arnold press, etc) or if I want to switch it up.

      on S / Sun I usually go for long walks / do yoga. I also walk most days at lunchtime at work to get some LISS in.

    • Workout Routine :

      This is all really interesting – thanks for the comments.

      My trainer keeps warning me about over training but right now: I’m doing 3 strength training sessions a week, 2-3 spin classes a week, 1-2 barre classes a week and 1 yoga class a week. This doesn’t sound crazy compared to everyone else.

      • This sounds like you are doing 9 workouts a week, meaning some days you are working out twice. Is that correct? Working out twice in one day, regularly, is a little excessive.

      • Whether what you’re doing is too much depends — how quickly did you work up to that amount of exercise? 10 years ago I didn’t work out at all. 4 years ago I was working out about half as much as I do now. Listen to your body. Muscle pain and soreness is fine as long as it’s not sharp. Joint pain is usually bad. If you’re not experiencing discomfort and excessive soreness at your current level of exercise, I think you’re fine.

        • Cornellian :

          AGreed. When I was doing marathon+ distances I would go through periods of running seven times a week (but not seven DAYS a week, so two runs on a couple days), then do a strength and yoga session. Obviously I didn’t start off my running hobby by running 50 miles a week, but I never had any injury problems, etc.

      • JuniorMinion :

        The only thing I would be careful of is to make sure you have at least one day of active rest a week (so you shouldn’t be working out 7 days a week or make the 7th day your yoga / active rest day). I would also be careful with mixing the strength training with barre classes – just in terms of making sure you aren’t overtraining specific muscles. I like pilates a lot though and have had success with doing workouts where there is a pilates burnout on the end of a traditional strength training workout.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Also worth noting that spin class, depending on how its done can be a frequent injurer of people. I used to own a road bike / cycle outside and there are a lot of spin classes out there where attention is not really paid to proper form / timing / the fact that you should not be bouncing up and down in the saddle (IE you should stand for at least a 4 count). Not saying yours is one of these but the frequency with which these classes injure people I think gets them an eyebrow raise from some of the fitness fanatics I know.

      • What are the overtraining concerns specifically – injury or mental burnout? There are plenty of ways to stay-injury free with an intense workout schedule. I find that for mental burnout, I need to take a complete break which can set you back performance-wise.

      • Workout Routine :

        Thanks all – I try to keep one rest day a week and usually only double up twice a week – strength training with yoga one day and strength training and spin/other cardio another day. Occasionally I take a barre class the same day I do spin but if I’m working out in the morning, I’m usually too tired to work out in the evening so I often end up cancelling my non-yoga evening classes.

        It’s just really interesting to see what other people do!

      • Hey, I am a little wary of your schedule but the biggest red flag would be that your trainer has warned you. Listen to the professional who knows your schedule directly. Overtraining can cause years’ worth of injury at worst and impede your goals at best.

      • That doesn’t sound crazy to me, and it also depend on the intensity of those workouts. In my opinion, there are a lot of trainers out there that don’t really know what they’re doing and just took a couple training courses provided by a big box gym. The bar to entry as a trainer is basically the floor. I would take advice like that with a grain of salt.

    • I run 3x per work week over lunch. 2 days of a 30 minute run and one day of speed work. I do barre 2 mornings per week before the kids get up. I may get a long run in over the weekend. We also have a small farm, so at least half of a day each weekend is farm work (mucking out a pasture, moving hay around, etc). We are also getting into the season where I do the daily a.m. farm work of throwing out a bale of hay, gardening before kids get up, etc.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Barre 5-7x a weeek in the mornings or after work depending on the teacher and the day, treadmill or bike 2-3x a week for an hour. Plus I walk an average of 12K steps a day, including taking my pup on a walk morning and night. I also have a deskcycle at work.

    • I’m on maternity leave right now, so I do a 30 minute video while kiddo naps from Jillian Michaels or Fitness Blender that incorporates HIIT and strength training 4x a week, then try to squeeze in a short run on the weekend when DH is home.

    • working out when traveling :

      How do those of you who work out this frequently modify your workout routine when traveling? Do you mostly stick to it, or do you cut back?

      For example, when I’m at home, I do 45 min spin 1x/week, 3-4 mile run 1x/week, intense strength training/bootcamp style classes 2x/week, and one free day for elliptical or yoga depending on my mood. When traveling, I don’t always have access to a gym and definitely don’t have access to a class. I usually do a few runs, but what are good ways to strength train when away from home?

      • When I travel for work, I usually just look up a yoga studio or gym and go to one at that location. If I can’t make it work for some reason, there’s the hotel gym or streaming workouts from youtube or amazon.

      • weight training :

        When I’m traveling, I normally try to make it to the hotel gym if they have one, or just do bodyweight exercises in my hotel room. If you check out Bodybuilding [dot] com, they have a TON of bodyweight exercises or no-equipment-needed HIIT options. I think the biggest thing is to just do something. You can do tricep dips on the bedframe or chair in your room, pushups only require a floor, wall sits only need a wall, etc. Jumping jacks, mountain climbers, and burpees don’t need anything other than shoes. If you want to get crazy, you could run the stairs :) I don’t set any major goals if I know I’m going to be traveling a lot, just the goal to challenge my body a little bit each day. One trip, I loaded up my backpack with all my grad school textbooks and laptop and did bicep curls with it and squats with the full backpack. It was at least 20 lbs., so if you’re a lawyer with banker boxes of docs, just pick those things up 10 times and you’re good to go!

      • Try BBG or the Sweat with Kayla app too. Popsugar has some good bodyweight/no-equipment workout videos too.

    • I swim three days a week in the mornings and lift weights (StrongLifts 5×5) three days a week as well. I figured out that I have to do them on the same day or I’m not recovered enough from lifting by the next time I swim. Oh, and I do the best Pilates class ever on Saturdays. If it were offered more frequently I would do it more than once a week.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      What’s your goal? I’m curious :)

      My goal is to get stronger and faster for running. This fall I’m planning to tackle my first marathon in 3 years (did a few before, took some years off). So it’s sort of …whenever I can get the workouts in. Here’s my summer routine for base-building before training begins in earnest:

      – About 3 mornings a week I run 3-4 miles with toddler in stroller and let him run around the playground for a while afterwards. He and I are both early risers, so that’s an extra hour my husband gets to sleep in.
      – One weeknight I do a speed workout at the track with a group. Another weekday I’ll do a lunchtime or afternoon tempo run. Each of those totals 5-6 miles including warmup and cooldown.
      – Once a week I do a long run.
      – I try to get in a brief strength session – like 20 minutes of squats, lunges, pushups, hip strength exercises and what-have-you – 2-3 times a week. The focus is really injury prevention.
      – I also daydream a lot about cross-training.

  9. Note: This post contains references to body measurements and build.

    I’m looking for bralette or non-underwire bra recommendations for very small busts on a slim frame. I used to be a pretty standard 34B; after five months with a Mirena, I’m now almost completely flat-chested, and all my regular bras range from silly to downright uncomfortable. Support is not an issue, but I want n*pple coverage.

    Prefer smooth textures (no lace or embroidery) and, if possible, adjustable straps. I tried some of the offerings at Aerie, and the bands were uncomfortably tight around my ribcage. Hoping to spend less than $30 but could go up to $50 for something life-changing.

    • My immediate recommendation for bralette/non underwire would actually be a nursing bra from ingrid and isabel. When my boobs were changing third trimester and post birth they were perfect. I have DDs and usually prefer underwire, but I still wear the nursing bras occasionally when I don’t want the pressure on my rib cage. Just a thought :)

    • JuniorMinion :

      What about the below:

      I really like their stuff and own a bunch of their underwear. I tried these on and they are really comfortable and adjustable in the back – unfortunately my chest was too large for them but otherwise they were a keeper.

    • Lively has a great range of smooth bralettes in a wide range of sizes

      • I found their bralettes didn’t disguise headlights in a cold office. But I do like their wirefree bras. Calvin Klein also makes good, comfortable wirefree bras.

        OP for reference I wear a 34A.

      • There are fairly decent wirefree option at Uniqlo.

    • If the bands were too tight, perhaps you need to buy a bigger band size? It sounds like you may benefit from getting remeasured.

      • Yeah, I’ve been thinking about that. Is it goofy to get measured if I’m not planning to buy “real” bras?

        I tried several different band sizes–going up to 36 was laughably loose, but 34 was just an uncomfortable amount of pressure. I think it had more to do with the structure of the particular elastic band than with its diameter.

        • I don’t think it’s silly at all – you want to wear the right size whether you’re big or small. I think Natori makes some decent small cup bras that still have padding in them (but not too much padding).

        • Not silly at all! Also, check out R/ABraThatFits if you want to measure yourself. They have lots of bralette reviews there too

        • You can get measured and tell the person that you are looking for recommendations that are not standard bras.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Coobie bras are comfortable and I think they meet your requirements.

      • IME, the shaped padding in the cups isn’t small enough for a small bust. I looked like I was wearing a coconut bra under my shirt. And without it, headlights are visible.

      • ponte python's flying circus :

        Hmm, I’m a 32A/B-34A (says reddit A Bra That Fits) and Coobies work, uh, most of the month.

        What about actual low-impact sports bras – the kind with the removable cups for headlight prevention? I haven’t tried the ones from Handful but have heard good things – if anyone has tried Handful bras, please chime in!

        I know you said no underwires, but also consider Asian or Asia-focused lingerie brands (Triumph, Solb etc) for regular bras; they may have more extensive ranges in small sizes.

    • I feel like I’m always recommending these but here goes.

      If you’re just trying to avoid the headlights look you don’t need padding or foam. Wear a thin bra and use these.

      Nippies Skin Reusable Silicone Nipple Cover Pasties NON-ADHESIVE- CREME/LIGHT COLOR

      That way you can focus on the best fit in your bra.

      I’ve had one pair of these for 5 years now and they’re still going strong.

      • This is a fascinating notion that I hadn’t considered. Thanks!

      • I have never tried these — but I’m worried they’ll have the same coconut bra issue I mentioned above. Has anyone who wears a 34A tried them and can you attest? I am suspicious of anything that says “Size A-D” cup.

        • I know what you’re talking about but no. The good ones are thicker in the middle and thin to nothing near the edge. I’ve never seen an outline of them at all when I’m wearing them.

          • (by the way, make sure you look for non-adhesive. they are meant to be worn with a bra. the adhesive are basically pasties meant be worn without a bra, but can only be used a limited number of times)

      • I use something similar, but the Hollywood brand from Amazon. (The nippies were too sticky, somehow. On the other hand, I replace them after several months, not years.) They’re great, although if I’m in a knit top that is very thin – and in very chilly AC – I still get a lesser headlights issue.

        They are very thin, I can’t imagine they’d give you coconut bra. (However, I have the opposite problem, am a GG cup and don’t want padded bras because my coconuts are big enough already.)

    • I am in the same camp size wise. I have three of the Target brand ones, which I love. I will post a link from my phone so I don’t have to have a pic of a bralette up on my giant monitor!


      • Sorry, I am an a$$hole and wasn’t paying attention – my suggestion will not meet your requirements!

    • Chantelle vous et moi wireless bra

    • I really like Wacoal bras — especially this one:

      (yeah, it’s hideous but 34As still need coverage even if most bra manufacturers don’t think we exist).

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I like Warner’s for wire-free coverage and headlight avoidance and they’re in your price range, especially if you find them on sale or at a TJ Maxx/Marshall’s kind of place. The wire-free options in my size are are usually nude-for-no one, black, and white, but Warner’s often has different colors, which is another reason I like them.

    • Bali makes a bra called One Smooth U that has a wire free option. You can find these on amazon. My teenage daughter wears these sometimes.

    • I am a 34A and have several seamless bralettes from Target that I really like. I think what I have is the following link, but when I bought them they had a few more color options. I also generally like Gap’s selection of wireless bra options. One of the plus sides of having a small chest is that I never have to spend much money on bras :)

    • I am a petite 32B and just found these at Costco (where they’re no longer online…but just saw them in store). They make it tempting to never ever wear a real bra again. They have a tiny bit of support and good “headlight” prevention, even in my overly air conditioned lab.

    • Patagonia barely sports bra

  10. Check out a bra that fits on Reddit. It’s a tremendous resource for figuring out sizing and recommendations based on specific shape
    It won’t work for all necklines but Coobies are a great basic option

    • Whoever posted about it a couple of weeks ago, THANK YOU! I resized myself and am sosososososo much more comfortable in my new bras.

  11. ooh ooh – I was just out buying bras for myself – same shape. basically an A, but I wear 34B. and not having b00bs I HATE wearing wires and bras that are too. much. stuff.

    I’m newly obsessed with my Victorias Secret choice:

    $30 Lightly Lined Wireless Bra – Very comfy. good law-firm appropriate coverage, lightly lined so no showboating in the front. and smooth fabric, no lace accouterments. though there are lace options and they don’t really push through shirt fabric.

  12. Am I a lazy millennial or do I actually dislike my job? :

    I’m leaving my Big 4 job in 6 weeks to go to grad axjo in a different field.

    I’m going to grad school to pursue another career entirely. In any case though, I really hate my job. How do I figure out whether saying that the job requires you to be extremely detail oriented, and I am not (for example) is a legitimate reason to dislike a job, or if I’m just being lazy?

    I try my hardest, I am hardworking, but this job is just discouraging. Im trying to tell if I’m just having a hard adjustment to the working world or if this job is particularly an issue

    • Based on my own experience, I would guess that you actually dislike your job (perhaps the substance of it is boring to you?), and as a result you don’t focus on the details in the way that you would need to in order to succeed in that position. But I would never tell someone in an interview, for example, that you discovered that you’re not detail-oriented after all.

      • Am I a lazy millennial or do I actually dislike my job? :

        Definitely agree that I find the substance of the job boring. Yeah I would never say any of this to anyone, I just want to understand for myself

        • Am I a lazy millennial or do I actually dislike my job? :

          I have a performance review where the manager knows I’m leaving. Is there any way to say you don’t think you’re a good fit? Only if she asks, but now thinking about it there’s no need to say that, I can just keep saying I wanted to go to grad school

          • I think “it wasn’t a good fit” is considered fairly neutral – it doesn’t really reflect poorly on you or on your employer, necessarily, it just wasn’t a good fit. But in your particular case, yes, grad school is literally the perfect excuse for why you’re leaving.

    • Anony Mouse :

      You might find this recent Ask a Manager post relevant:

    • If detail orientation really is the issue i think it might be laziness. I’ve told a coworker 794222567 times that case names are regular font and dates are bold. If one of her files comes across my desk I know instantly and that’s not a good thing. There is no reason you can’t set up systems to catch detail errors.

    • I was really glad that I joined a Big 4 firm early-mid career: I had enough of a baseline to run screaming from a corporate culture where everyone seemed to be competitively fake-80ing.

      That being said, have you done enough due diligence to know your new field is a better fit? Is it a field you’d worked in previously? If you end up not liking this either, are you taking on a level of debt that will “trap” you?

  13. I AM OFFICIALLY UNDER $30,000 IN STUDENT LOAN DEBT. Somehow this feels more significant than any other milestone I have reached. Seeing that 2 makes it really feel like the end is near. Christmas 2017 will be the sweetest one ever, because while my family is getting very little (they’re fine with it), I will be debt free!!!

  14. Does anyone know any brands of longer, flows tops with some waist shaping? I’m an extreme pear and all of these shapeless tops look terrible on me, but I’m tired of wearing only knit tshirts.

    • Check out Bailey 44 . They sell a whole mix of things so don’t give up right away but scan through all their top options. My tops from them have lasted so long.

    • This is totally me. I actually found a couple of darling flowy tops at JC Penny of all places, that are smocked at the waist for shape.

      I also love Bailey 44 styles, but they are pricey, and my knits from them haven’t held up nearly as well as I’d have liked.


      • I air dry everything I own… so that could be why they lasted so long.

    • Thanks all!

  15. Niagara on the Lake :

    Thinking of going to Niagara on the Lake, Ontario for a 2 night romantic getaway. Any Toronto ‘rettes or others with recommendations on where to stay/which wineries are worth a visit?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      All of the Vintage Hotels are lovely (Prince of Wales, Queens Landing or Pillar and Post) and right in NOTL.

      I have toured a lot of the wineries between NOTL and Grimsby and my favourites are Angels Gate, Megalomaniac, Tawse, Good Earth, Thirty Bench and Konzelman (I like the small ones). If you want a big wine tour experience, Peller Estates has a good one as does Hillebrand.

      Definitely definitely have dinner at Vineland Estates – the food is delicious and they do great wine pairings. If the weather is nice, Good Earth has a lovely patio and is an excellent stop for lunch.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      All of the Vintage Hotels are lovely (Prince of Wales, Queens Landing or Pillar and Post) and right in NOTL.

      I have toured a lot of the wineries between NOTL and Grimsby and my favourites are Angels Gate, Megalomaniac, Tawse, Good Earth, Thirty Bench and Konzelman (I like the small ones). If you want a big wine tour experience, Peller Estates has a good one as does Hillebrand.

      Definitely definitely have dinner at Vineland Estates – the food is delicious and they do great wine pairings. If the weather is nice, Good Earth has a lovely patio and is a lovely stop for lunch.

      • Niagara on the Lake :

        This is super helpful! Especially the smaller winery recommendations. Thanks! For accommodation, do you recommend a particular one between PW, QL or PP?

    • We only dropped in so no recommendations, but we loved it – so beautiful

    • Just came back, but did not stay over. Lovely place! Skip the Irish pub unless just for drinks. The little store that sells various condiments (flavored peanut butters, salad dressing, tapenade, etc.) is great.

  16. Anon Engineer :

    I’m going to an industry conference next week, attire is “business suits” but for women they make the typical clarification of “or appropriate business attire” etc. I (regrettably) do not own a true matching suit. For interviews I wore either a sheath dress and mismatched/coordinating jacket, or skirt and mismatched jacket. Can I get by with this same strategy? It’s a medical conference in San Diego if that makes a difference.

    I’m thinking of wearing a navy sheath + grey jacket one day and a royal blue sheath (although it’s a slightly stretchy material, not suiting material) with black jacket the other day. Will royal blue be too bright and therefore not professional? Does “business suit” mean everyone is in strictly black/navy/grey?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Anon Engineer :

      On a related note– suggestions of where to shop for suits where I can get a jacket/skirt set for <200, preferably under 150? I've done some looking in person at Macy's/Nordstrom etc and I can't find anything that is appropriate and also doesn't look frumpy. Maybe my small size just means I'll have to tailor whatever I end up buying? I'm not someone who tends to tailor anything; I have always just bought things that fit off the rack and then maybe I take in the hem.

      • The T Tahari line is in your price range. They generally have multiple cuts of jackets and skirts available.
        IME Nordstrom does good and reasonably priced alterations.

      • Anonymous :

        AT has 40% new items, 50% sale items

    • Anonymous :

      I personally think that’s fine (don’t know your industry though). I have what I consider “conference wear” which includes a number of sheath dresses and more interesting jackets, as I find them more memorable than a navy blue suit, which is helpful in the conference context. IMO if suits are required for men, you need to be in a suit jacket or a sheath dress with sleeves (i.e., not sleeveless), but a dress or skirt with a coordinating jacket is fine.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely — it is only a conference. I usually wear a jardigan or non-matching thing to these sorts of things. You should make sure to look polished if you’re in sales or higher up, but if there are regular engineers there I would expect a lot of people not to even pay attention to the business suit guidance.

    • Do you have an outlet near you? I’ve always had luck finding suits in that range at the Banana Republic outlet. They always seem to have great sales too. Also, as odd as this sounds, try TJ Maxx, Marshall’s or Ross. (Ross is dingier (spelling?) than the other two but they almost always have Women’s suits and the other two rarely do.) I’ve had luck finding Tahari and Anne Klein suits at Ross… though that was several years ago.

    • The clothing you have is business appropriate. You do not need to go get a new suit. Suits in that price range would look cheap compared to your nice separates.

    • OfCounsel :

      I cannot speak to your conference, but San Diego is very, very casual as a city. If many of the attendees are local, they will probably not be in full suits unless they are presenting. I see people attending medical conferences walking around all the time, the and men are almost never in ties.

      Also (in case you are not local) if it is at the convention center, wear comfortable shoes and bring layers for times you don’t want to wear a jacket. May Gray/June Gloom are real and they are here.

  17. We stayed at this B&B when we visited Niagara and had an amazing time.

    • Niagara on the Lake :

      Thanks. It’s a last minute trip so I appreciate a ‘personal’ recommendation. Trip Adviser is like a black hole of indecision for me.

  18. KateMiddletown :

    Piggybacking on the workouts conv0 – does anyone use BCAAs or pre-workout supplements? I do protein shakes afterwards (as a meal replaceement, so plus fruit, almond milk, maybe greens, sometimes collagen or flaxseed). I have a hard time getting my energy up for AM workouts (30 minutes after waking up) and after harder weights days I have lots of soreness.

    • Maybe try eating something small? Yogurt, a handful of nuts, or half a banana would be my suggestions. I don’t like eating right before working out because it’s uncomfortable on a full stomach, but if energy levels are a problem I do one of those. I don’t think BCAA supplements would really help with energy levels because they don’t contain any carbs or fat, though they have other benefits.

    • I just got a bag of BCAAs but I haven’t used them enough to tell if they make a difference. Do you take them before your workouts? I’m wondering what the timing should be.

      • KateMiddletown :

        From what I understand, they’re during and after workouts. There are pre-workout supplements you can take (or drink) that are basically low-level stimulants. I can’t eat real food an hour before working out save for like 2 bites of a banana, so I’m thinking those might help me power thru.

    • Pre-workout is great if I am feeling sluggish, but some kinds I’ve found make me jittery or nauseous.

      BCAA’s (I like the Xtend brand) are awesome post-workout, and are nice to break up the monotony of just water all day.

      Also, a combination of the two – Xtend makes a version that is BCAA’s with caffeine. I like the mango flavor!

  19. Anonymous :

    Fellow small size here. Do you mean you are planning to buy a suit that’s too large and then have it taken in a whole size or more, or buy the correct size and have it tailored to fit perfectly? The former will be expensive and may not work well, especially in the bust area. The latter is highly advisable. My suits always look frumpy until I have them tailored. I typically have the jacket taken in through the back and/or side seams, the sleeves shortened to hit at exactly the right spot, and the skirt tapered towards the bottom because straight skirts look horribly dowdy on me. Some stores will do certain alterations for free if you purchase at full price.

    In your price range, check out Halogen at Nordstrom, especially on sale.

    • Anonymous :

      Oops, that was supposed to be a reply to Anon Engineer above.

      • Anon Engineer :

        Thanks for the advice. The issue I’ve found so far is that nothing comes in the right size to begin with. Except stores like J Crew that carry XXXS etc. I’m on the small size of a 0-2, but everything I’ve found in my price range appears to start at 2 or even 4.

        • Order a ton of stuff from Nordstrom and be prepared to send most of it back. I’m a 00 and I’d say about one out of every seven-eight suits will fit me even slightly, and even those need to be altered. I’m also at the AT/BR/T Tahari price range. T Tahari’s smallest is a two I believe, and that doesn’t work for me. Petite sizing helps, but patience is the key. I occasionally have luck at J Crew, but not reliably. I count my blessings for free Nordstrom returns!

  20. Help! DH has been having a rough time at work… He shares a pretty dysfunctional/emotionally abusive relationship with his manager and it is progressively getting worse.

    He has been interviewing some but is disillusioned and frustrated every day. Quitting is not an option because of visa/immigration reasons (we are both on independent work visas)

    The stress and frustration from the workplace is making him snappy and easy to anger. He has been quick to explode and totally unreceptive to any suggestions.

    My work situation has been a little rough with a few stressful projects, and we have a toddler that is getting a headstart on the terrible twos, so my patience is starting to wear thin.

    Any advice/suggestions on what i can do to help him and also keep sane?

    • Only empathy. My husband also gets super emotional about work issues. After one outburst I told him I would leave him if he didn’t get some therapy. He didn’t get therapy but has toned it down a little (not 100% though.) So sorry.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you get a break? Maybe take toddler and visit your parents for a friend for the weekend? Explicitly tell him that you’re exhausted from dealing with him and you need a weekend without anger.

      • No family within driving distance and toddler also going through extreme separation anxiety :(

  21. Drop Dead Diva :

    If any of you have experience with balancing weight loss surgery with a busy full time job, I’d love to hear about it. I’m trying to envision how the surgery and recovery would match up with my full-time law practice and kids. I’m also trying to figure out how the long-term looks, particularly with diet and exercise. I’d appreciate any wisdom or experience from people who have done this. After years of trying to manage my weight, I feel like I’m just losing this battle and I am so tired of having my exterior look fat and jolly, instead of being the lean, mean litigatrix that I am inside.

    • Anonymous :

      Depending on how many replies you get, you might want to try searching for previous posts on this topic. I think a regular poster, maybe Senior Attorney? has had the surgery and posted/answered questions about it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        DO IT! Best decision I ever made. I always say it leveled the playing field and gave me a fighting chance. I’m seven years out from surgery and still within 5 pounds of my goal weight. I eat less than I want and I spend at lot of time at the gym, but at least those tactics are effective! I would do it again in a red hot second.

        The surgery itself was a breeze. I had it on a Thursday and was back at work on Monday, I think. [The subsequent tummy tuck was a nightmare but was also worth it. ;) ]

        Yes, me. Email at seniorattorney1 at gmail if you want to discuss at length.

  22. Anyone want to help me with lunch suggestions?

    I didn’t manage to pack a lunch today. I have time to take myself out to a nice lunch. Only hiccup is that I can’t eat gluten or dairy (long story, middle of food elimination diet.) I’m a bit sick of the meat-on-salad formula. What kind of food would you go get if you were me? I can spend some bucks and I’m hungry!

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