Tuesday’s TPS Report: ‘Gretchen’ Cowl Neck Crepe Sheath Dress

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

Black Halo 'Gretchen' Cowl Neck Crepe Sheath DressBlack Halo has been around for years, but I haven’t noticed this sheath dress in their lineup before — love that cowl neck, the cap sleeves, and the ladylike length. The cowl neck, in particular, looks gorgeous — it’s not so cowl-y or low to be fussy, but it’s a different feature than I’ve seen on most sheath dresses. Nordstrom has it in “sangria” red, pictured, for $345, while Revolve Clothing has it in bright yellow for $242 (limited sizes only). Black Halo ‘Gretchen’ Cowl Neck Crepe Sheath Dress

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  1. Ladies, am I crazy for considering a coat with a giant bow?


    With the markdown + sale, it’s finally in my price range. As much as I adore the pink, I’m considering the camel. Does that tone it down? Or is it still way too girly? I’m in my 20s fwiw.

    • Ladies, am I crazy for considering a coat with a giant bow?

      (Link removed for moderation – it’s the JCrew bow coat)

      With the markdown + sale, it’s finally in my price range. As much as I adore the pink, I’m considering the camel. Does that tone it down? Or is it still way too girly? I’m in my 20s fwiw.

      • My only concern is whether the bow will flop to one side if you don’t wear the jacket coat completely buttoned up.

      • I really liked that coat also, in the wine color, but decided against getting because (i) I don’t need another coat, and (ii) I decided it was indeed too girly-preppy, when my style already trends that way, sometimes too much. I am also in my 20’s. However, I don’t think this means you shouldn’t get it – some people can rock that look. I’m afraid I’m just not one of them. The coat is really cute, though.

        • Sorry, meant to reply to Bow Coat, obviously.

          • I think something’s wrong with replies. We all tried to reply to the Bow Coat posting and all ended up as separate postings.

      • Gosh that is cute and I really like the pink. I was imagining a butt bow which I did see on a coat last week and I was all WOAH #1989.

      • I agree that it wouldn’t look right unless it was fully buttoned. It’s a certain look – retro 60s, Jackie O – and pretty girly even in the the camel, but if it’s a look you like, then go for it. It’s, unfortunately, not the kind of thing that will stay in style for long.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        It’s not really the girliness that’s the problem. Girly to me would be pigtails on either side of one’s head, with bows on each of them.

        Here, the placement of the bow looks like the wearer is making a present of her b**bs to someone. That’s the problem with a lot of bows, their placement makes the wearer look like she’s presenting herself to be opened/undressed.

        If this were something off to the side, or at the collar, it’d be less …”Hi! I present you my b**bs!”
        Still, YMMV.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Sorry, meant to reply to Bow Coat. Ugh. I find that if I don’t click the reply under the exact message I was replying to when I get a ‘posting too fast’ error, I end up starting a new thread. Stupid stupid.

      • It’s a bit…something for me. I think it’s the placement of the bow which, as other posters have mentioned, will flop if you don’t button it all the way (and I say this as someone in a bow festooned sweater today, so I like bows.)

      • The camel looks beautiful! I think the pink would be over-the-top girly, though.

        I had not realized there was a sale and am now debating over a bunch of stuff. Enabler!

      • Diana Barry :

        I like it, but Zooey Deschanel was wearing a better one (IMO) on last week’s episode of New Girl – in a bright blue. Bigger bow and it looked more deliberate.

        I do like the pink though.

        • ugh – can’t stand ZD.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            I can’t stand her in her character on New Girl. I don’t know if she’s that way IRL. But she’s got a great voice and really sing the blues, which impressed me.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            “and can really sing the blues.”

            Distracted typing. I was given a giant panettone as a gift and I’m eyeing it. I suspect I won’t be able to work or think or type well until I eat a giant slab of it.

          • Distracted for good reason! I’m jealous :)

          • maybe I need to try Panettone; I had a 4 hour and 15 minute commute home yesterday and need some comfort food before I start tonight’s journey.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


            That’s a monster commute. Maybe I should order a Godzilla-gram to send you a RAWR at the end of it.

            Panettone + tea makes me really happy and able to continue through all the stuff I need to do before I can go on vacation.

        • This one? Drool.

        • AnotherLadyLawyer :

          I WANT that coat!

    • I love it, it’s gorgeous! Buy it and wear it every single day!

    • The pink color made my eyes hurt.
      Agree with the b00b-present comment. The bow should be removable.

      • I wonder if you could remove the box with a seam ripper and add some snaps so that the bow was optional.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I like the pink….and I NEVER like pink! Its a fun coat.

    • S in Chicago :

      I love it. I think any of the colors but pink when paired with an outfit in neutral colors (especially all black) would seem really sophisticated. The pink reads more casual and yes, girly, to me–but still would be really great for weekends.

      FWIW–I don’t see the boob present thing at all. No more than I think toes look like a present when a bow is on someone’s shoe.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        The bow is right over the opening of the coat, like pieces of wrapping paper.

        A bow on a closed shoe doesn’t quite have the same look of something openable. Or, a bow on open-toed shoes, does tease at the idea of undressing/revealing because the toes are already out.

        I would say the presenting someone your boobs says quite a different thing than presenting someone your toes. You can decide better or worse, but I assure you, they make a different statement.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          My god, I’m so typo-ridden.

          What I meant to say was, there’s no “tease” with a bow on open-toe shoes because they toes are already out. It’s a bit different with a closed-looking top, right over the boobs. The two sides of the coat can look like giftwrap pieces opening for the big reveal.

      • I agree, S in Chicago. I don’t think anything about the coat really screams b**bs. It’s not form fitting in the least. If someone sees that and thinks of b**bs, then they’re going to think of it no matter what you do; they’re obsessed.

        • Charlotte Peloux :

          The thing is, the bow is right over the chest. For those of us who have a large chest, it’s the last area I want to highlight around people I know professionally.

          • Chilled Coyote :

            I love the blue one, but the pink one is somehow too… minimalist for me – it kind of screams “Helmut Lang found a bow!” Maybe I’m just really weirded out by coats that don’t have collars.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    I’ve got a few Black Halo dresses n my Nordstrom wish list. Can any e speak to the fit and quality?

    • phillygirlruns :

      excellent quality, narrow fit. their size chart is pretty accurate. i am a 4 or 6 at j.crew/AT, occasionally a 2 in j.crew pencil skirts, 32dd/28.5w/36ish hips, and an 8 in the jackie dress for black halo is a work-appropriate fit.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Black Halo’s Jackie dress was super unfriendly for my pear shape. Alas.

  3. OMG, this dress is so cute! But no way with with my tuchus being what IT is now– HUGE!!!!

    Frank and the manageing partner would be stareing at me way to much!

    Does anyone in the HIVE have a INTERNET LINK to a POWERPOINT presenteation on how to do diliegience that I can use, so I can give the manageing partner a presentation for his CLE class?

    I know alot about it, but do NOT have the LEGAL underpinneings that HE is lookeing for. The CLE peeople at the bar are askeing for a copy NOW, and I have NOT even started on it! FOOEY!

  4. VioletBlue :

    Do any rettes work in clinical psychology?

    I am interested in making a career move and I am exploring the idea of a PhD in clinical psychology but I have a few questions for someone familiar with the industry:

    What schools are generally well respected in the field? Do you need to go to a top 10 university to have a shot at a good job?
    How competitive is the field? (I have heard it is very difficult to find a job as there are an oversupply of candidates)
    What is the typical salary in a large city 1-2 yrs in? What about 5-8 yrs in?


  5. momentsofabsurdity :

    I just want to share the a-MAZING pair of shoes I got yesterday at Bakers for $15. They are going out of business and liquidating so I got a pair of boots and these incredible sparkly heels for $45 total. I got the “purple multi” color which is actually more of a navy/gold/maroon that changes depending where you look at it from.


    Now I just need a fun event to wear them to!

    • I am in awe of your heel walking prowess! Hope you have a fabulous time in them :)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Surprisingly, they were incredibly comfortable/easy to walk in (and I’m okay in heels, but by no means excellent). I think it’s the height of the platform on them?

      I mean, we’ll see since I haven’t actually worn them anywhere. If they end up being one of those “only wearable to events where I am sitting down for 90% of the time” they were still $15, so it’s okay.

    • How did you get them so cheap? it says they are 60 on the website

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Bakers is going out of business (at least in my area – the website doesn’t say so but they are closing a bunch of stores) so the store I was at was liquidating all their inventory. They were also doing a Buy One Get One 50% Off sale so the boots I got were $30 (marked down price), and the pumps’ sale price was somewhere ~$30 (marked down price), or ~$15 when half off. I ended up paying about $45 for the two.

  6. Sweet as Soda Pop :

    Does anyone have gift ideas for an 8 year old girl? She is my boyfriend’s niece and her parents have had a rough time recently with personal things, so we haven’t been able to get a list from them. I’ve already gotten her a make your own duct tape bracelet kit, and one of my favorite books from that age, but I’m stuck on what else to get her. They live in another state, and we don’t know sizes or interests (see lack of Christmas list). We’d like to spend $25-$50. Thank you!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I used to work at a summer camp and Klutz books of all varieties were always really popular with girls that age. There are outright girly things like nail art or jewelry making, but there are also some that all kids tended to find interesting – things like lanyard making, origami, window art, etc. The nice thing is, they come with all the supplies to do the projects and most of them are projects the kids can figure out on their own.

      • I highly recommend origami. Fun activity and great for developing spatial reasoning.
        Also, origami gifts are awesome. She’ll never be at a loss on what to give as presents.

        We had a googly eyes kit from Klutz and it was loads of fun. Used it all over the house!

      • I was obsessed with these books growing up. We’ve given a few to my niece who’s about the same age and she loves them. If she’s anything like the little girls I know she’ll want to start using it immediately.

      • Lady Harriet :

        I gave and received many Klutz books as a child and enjoyed all of them very much. I had several on hair braiding, kits to make beaded bobby pins and rings, friendship bracelets, & c. My brother and I also had one that came with a stopwatch and book of activities to try with it. I also have very fond memories of a science one called Zap.

    • Any Roald Dahl books! Danny the Champion of the World, the BFG, Matilda, The Witches, Boy, etc.

    • American Girl has great books (both chapter books and A Girls Guide to…) and craft kits. Even if you don’t buy into the dolls and all their accoutrements, the books are still great. There is also a set of books called, I think Scribble? They are big black and white books with sort of directed drawing. You could do those with a nice set of colored pencils/art markers.

    • I got my 3 nieces (ages 6, 8 and 9) Curious Chef items because they love to help in the kitchen:

    • I have a 7-year-old niece who’s WAY into arts and crafts (cooking as well, but A&C usually requires less adult supervision). Not sure about your or the parents’ feelings on this but nail polish can also be big at that age.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Some of the Diana Wynne Jones books targeted towards younger readers:

      The Ogre Downstairs
      Earwig & the Witch
      Aunt Maria
      Witch’s Business
      Enchanted Glass
      Eight Days of Luke

      • OMG I LOVED Diana Wynne Jones growing up. I still read Tale of Time City and Charmed Life once a year.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I love _Tale of Time City_, maybe a bit much for an 8yr old, unless she’s super-advanced in reading, but that was awesome. Also, _Dogsbody_ made me cry rivers, but it was just so good.

          • I can’t do Dogsbody. I’m a huge dog lover and the whole part with the puppies in the beginning tears me up. I read it once and never have again, and that’s the only DWJ book I can say that about.

    • Sweet as Soda Pop :

      Thank you all for the wonderful suggestions!

    • The Daring Book for Girls would be a great gift for that age.

    • I love the “color your own” bags, there are a variety of different styles made by Alex. You can get them on amazon.com or in some toy stores.

    • SV in House :

      My 8 yo daughter is getting lots of crafty things this year. Michaels has a bunch of American Girl craft kits, which punch two tickets at once. Also, reliving my youth with a potholder loom.

      Also, thanks to the ladies on this site, a Brother sewing machine from Overstock will be under the tree.

  7. Kat, replies are being wonky this morning. xoxo

  8. Mouse in DC :

    I really like this dress. Question: would you consider it to be business casual or business attire? Would you need to wear it with a blazer in order for it to be business attire?

    I’m having issues with my blazers. They look fine with the pants/skirts I bought them with, but I’m unsure matching them with other items. I can see that a tweedy jacket with a ponte skirt might not go – but when they are both synthetic fabrics, how do you match them? Similar weights, similar textures?

    • I think it’d look beautiful and business formal with a grey blazer.

    • I think the issue is that you shouldn’t try to “match” different items from different suits. They’ll just look off, you need to be able to mix the items in a complimentary way. Try having one item be a neutral/non-textured and the other be textured or colored (or both!).
      Why wouldn’t a ponte skirt and a tweed jacket work? I’ve done something similar and it looked great – royal blue ponte skirt, cream herringbone blazer and black tee.

    • I’ve actually found the opposite: that contrasting textures/fabrics look better together. It’s clear that they are not a suit, but separates put together. Like with my smooth black pants, I wear the grey flannel jacket, or with the lightweight wool black jacket, I wear the black & white tweed skirt.

      I think a ponte skirt could look great with more textured jackets. But honestly, I just have to put things together and see how they look, I haven’t found a perfect formula yet. ;o)

      • Agree with all of this. Sometimes not matching is good in a deliberately contrasting way.

    • Mouse in DC :

      Thanks – it sounds like that’s the problem I’ve been having, it looks like a mismatched suit rather than a purposeful wearing of two separate items. I will revisit my assumptions about what goes/doesn’t go together.

      You know, I should just take an afternoon and pull out all of my clothes, and do a crazy dress-up party. Put things together that I’d never normally do, laugh at the failures and note what unexpectedly works.

      • Crazy dress up parties are fun. I love trying out new combos on Sunday night, helps get me excited for a new week!

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Yes, this! And in my obsessiveness, I keep a giant spreadsheet of combos that work well enough. Some hits, some misses (like today!) nevertheless.

          • Wow, that sounds so cool at least in concept! How do you list your clothes on your spreadsheet?

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            Here are my column headings:

            Day, Activity, Top, Top Layer, Bottom, Dress, Shoes, Other, Bag, Jewelry, Notes

            Activity tells me if it’s a normal workday or I’m at a conference or work party, etc.

            If I’m wearing a dress, the cells for Top and Bottom are N/As. Top layer is jacket, cardigan, etc. Other is for tights, mostly.

            When I note which top, I try to be descriptive like: Banana Republic (BR) aqua blouse. At the end of the year, I look to see which brands I’ve relied on more, out of curiosity.

            Notes: I also leave notes on how the combo worked. If it says, “wrinkled like crazy,” or “I felt fabulous wearing this,” it’ll certainly influence how often I want to use that combo again.

            Yes. I am crazy. But it’s a nice way to pass the time if I’m bored. :-)

    • Anne Shirley :

      I wouldn’t consider it to be work appropriate at all, and certainly not a suit alternative. It’s clingy, low cut (even on the not-amply-bosomed model) and that combined with the cap sleeves and tight fit takes this out of the running for me. Although in that gorgeous red I think this would be a great dress to wear to a SO’s office party.

  9. Blonde Lawyer :

    I have a late response to the request for ideas for the Newtown, CT community. Last night I read about a team of nine golden retriever comfort dogs (and handlers) sent by Lutheran Charities. Prior to this tragedy, the group was comforting in NY and NJ after the hurricane. From the reports I have seen and the facebook comments from Newtown residents on their page, it seems like these dogs are doing a world of good. They are at memorials, at counseling sessions and spending time with first responders that are decompressing. They have a donation page for their group in general as well as one that specifically helps fund this trip.

    I am not Lutheran or in anyway related to this organization. I also like that if they raise more money than they need, the money will likely go to their next comfort trip. Link below to avoid moderation.

    • Blonde Lawyer :


    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I think they do lovely work. Thanks for posting this one!

    • A friend told me about this last night as well. Agree that it is a lovely organization. It’s amazing what comfort a dog can provide.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Thanks! Dogs can be such support in hard times.

  10. Miami conference! :

    Still seeking suggestions for work conference (with clients / competition) in Miami this winter.

    I understand that my Miami size is a size or two smaller than my actual size, but am not sure that the world needs to see that. :) Sheath dresses, maybe with a v-neck cropped cardigan in a different color?

    I am in an industry where I already stand out b/c of gender, so do not need any va-va-vooming.


    • I’ve never been to Miami for a business purpose, but that sounds about right. I also agreed with the commenter yesterday generally. Have fun!!! I love Miami and would love an excuse to go for business.

    • Apparently_Unhappy :

      I love the cardi-over0-dress combo. It is definitely the female power suit in Silicon Valley. However, my husband keeps telling me that men see cardigans as super feminine (sometimes s*x kitten, sometimes granny). Think about it… do you ever see men at the office in cardigans?

      So if you are trying to downplay your femininity, you might want to stick to blazers.

      • She said she doesn’t want “va-va-vooming,” not that she was trying to suppress her femininity. There’s a difference.

        • Is there a difference? Can someone tell me where the line is? ‘Cuz I can’t find it.

          We are [email protected] if we dress nice and look too s#xy, and [email protected] if we don’t and look frumpy. I give up.

          • Charlotte Peloux :

            Not gonna tell you where you should draw the line, but I’ll tell you where I draw the line for myself.

            I try not to show too much skin. Skin draws the eyes. I’m as hetero as they come and yet, if a woman shows a lot of skin, my eyes are inevitably drawn there.

            I have a curvy shape and I don’t dress in a sack. It’s clear from my clothes that I’m feminine, but at the same time, I don’t show much skin either. Definitely no cleavage, and I don’t do sleeveless. This dress I’d avoid as the neckline sort of sits right at the rise of the breasts and shows quite a bit of skin. Being covered doesn’t make one frumpy.

            It’s too simplistic to say there’s only sexy vs frumpy. I think of it as just challenging my own sartorial sensibilities to strike a nice balance.

      • I never see men in the office wearing skirts now that I think about it :)

        cardigans are appropriate when sweaters are appropriate. If you have a blazer/jacket workplace, you shouldn’t be in a sweater.

    • Miz Bizcuit :

      Colorful waterfall cardigan over perfectly tailored sheath gets my seal of approval. Black cotton crew neck cardigan over double knit shift does not.

      Give us some more background, maybe we can come up with more specific ideas. Are you meeting exclusively with Miamians? What image to you want to project? Industry? Current wardrobe? Figure type?

      • Miami conference! :

        One local conference participant, otherwise we’re dealing with finance types from elsewhere.

        I am a skinny pear, so lots of structured and tailored shifts (some ponte — does that doom it as double-knit?) and merino or cashmere cardis (fitted round or cropped v-necks; the boxy ones for weekends); also some sheath-with-jacket combos.

        Somehow, I don’t feel that I sparkle in pants; even though they’re OK for every day, I’m wanting to do better than that the one time that people may see me. The skirt suits I have seem (too black, wool that is heavy, etc.) to be Not Miami Enough.

        I want to look like someone to be trusted with lots of complicated things but with more of a Miami pallette and some . . . softness (not the usual Goth Business Attire — too much black, regardless of season).

        • Miz Bizcuit :

          Ah, yes, finance. I am familiar with the funereal uniform. Look at just about every pic of Erin Callan ever published.

          To convey trustworthiness, authority, and competence, you need to look like you have your sh!t together. So everything must be perfectly tailored, well maintained, and high quality. Hair and nails perfectly groomed. You know the drill. This is more important than looking “softer” or Miami-appropriate.

          You can make the Goth Biz look work in the South if you keep the fabrics seasonally appropriate and temper it with a show of skin (I mean legs and collarbone, not cleavage). Imagine a black button-up dress shirt, sleeves rolled up and collar popped, paired with a black pencil skirt, wide black obi belt or gold statement necklace, bare legs, and kitten heels.

          Black is actually trendy right now, even in Miami. I see a lot of 80’s style all-black, or black paired with burgundy, cream, blush and/or camel.

          The easiest look for you would probably be to take your most climate-appropriate outfit and add a statement piece. Your jacket-over-matching-sheaths sound perfect, if they’re perfectly tailored and not too heavy. To add Miami pizzazz, try adding a wide belt or a large, colorful necklace, or unexpected shoes (leopard shoes go with *everything*!).

          If you want to soften up your palette, try camel, beige, cream, blush or taupe (whichever flatters you). These mix nicely with colors and other neutrals. Wear blue if you want to project trustworthiness: navy, periwinkle, whatever.

          I agree; most women look much better in skirts/dresses than pants, and men think we look more professional. Cardi-over-dress is good, but I am concerned that your cardigans (cropped and round-necked) may look too juvenile and could sap your authority. I suggest at looking at blazers over dresses instead, or maybe a more structured-style cardi.

          PS: My rule on ponte is this: If a *man* can’t tell it’s a knit without touching it, then you can wear it. Men can be very judgey about women’s attire (they have no idea how much harder it is for us!), and they tend to feel that if they aren’t wearing knits, then you shouldn’t either. So if they can’t wear a golf shirt, then you can’t wear ponte.

  11. Mini-review! I just got my Lo&Sons bag last night, the Mott Crossbody. It was smaller than I expected (perhaps because I can’t do math without a calculator) I have a Kate Spade checkbook wallet that doesn’t fit inside, but other than that I really like it. The strap is the right length to wear crossbody without it being at my knees and I love that the outside pocket zips. It’s also the right size to stick my ferry/plane confirmation in without getting lost.
    I will be keeping it since I don’t use the big wallet often, I am more of a stick my debit card or a $20 in my phone case and go type of person, but for occasions when I do have that wallet I will have to keep looking.

  12. Any ladies around here gossip girl fans? I know the finale was last night – I think I gave it up around season 4 but is it worth it to catch up so there’s a resolution to the show?

    Secretly, I just really want to know who gossip girl is.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I didn’t watch but I looked it up (who Gossip Girl is). I heard it was surprising but a lot of people had guessed already.

    • I watched and I think it was pretty good. I particularly liked the amusing cameos of people guessing who GG was and the surprise couples at the end. Also, the first half was mostly the stars talking about the show and some montages from the previous seasons.

    • I watched the finale; haven’t been an avid watcher but past episodes were on the Tivo as filler. It brought everything to a conclusion, whether you agree or not with the outcomes.

    • I have been an avid GG watcher since the beginning! I always found the show entertaining, so if I was you, I’d probably watch the last couple seasons. It is pure mindless entertainment. With some amazing clothes thrown in.

      And although I never would have guessed who actually was GG…it does kind of make sense when you think about it.

    • “Fan” is a stretch. I started watching the show because Richard Lawson’s recaps on Gawker were killer funny, and ever since he moved on, I demoted the show to Hate Watch status.

      I’m a few episodes behind and I haven’t watched the finale yet, but I’m hoping against hope that Gossip Girl’s big reveal is “I’m . . . Chuck Bass.”

    • I watched it. I loved it. Chuck wore a hideous tux.

  13. I received a gift basket from a pro bono client of mine that, according to the card, appears to be both a “thank you” gift for a victory I secured for her and a holiday gift. Should I write a thank-you note? (no worries about ethical issues in receiving the gift, it was not of great value and did not violate any firm client gift policies).

  14. Diana Barry :

    Ladies, review of the Lady Day coat that I got from J Crew:

    I sized up 2 sizes from my normal jacket size, and also got a tall so the sleeves and length would be longer. It fits pretty darn well. You will have to size up 2 sizes, as opposed to 1, if you are generous of b**b. (One size up fit, kind of, but I was popping out of it around the chestal area.) I didn’t find the sleeves to be particularly restrictive, though.

    It is kind of a rough material, so if you are looking for a smooth wool/cashmere coat (Maxmara or sim.), this is not it. But definitely worth the $235 that I paid, IMO.

    • Totally agree on the sizing up at least 2 sizes for the lady day. I was debating on trying the metro coat and called customer service to get the measurements – and for giggles had her do the lady day measurements as well – and wow, 3 inch difference in the waist for the same size.

  15. hellskitchen :

    Can we talk about the Gossip Girl series finale? a) Do you all think the revelation of who GG is was pre-determined from the start of the series or somehow made to fit at the last minute b) where am I going to get my fill of a “guilty pleasure” show? I have sworn to not watch the Carrier diaries because I hated SATC. So what’s next?

    • Do you watch Revenge? One of my favourite guilty pleasure shows!

      I gave gossip girl sometime last year because it was just getting too ridiculous. But I love well-made guilty pleasures!

    • Yeah, I kinda didn’t like the GG reveal. I think Dorota would have been awesome. Hart of Dixie is my guilty pleasure show.

    • Scandal is great if you haven’t seen that.

    • I posted above too, but I have loved GG since the beginning. I was fine with the reveal. And I think it actually kind of makes sense.

      I’ll had another +1 for Revenge. Love love love it. Smash and Nashville are also pretty great.

  16. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    What Are You Wearing Today? Threadjack

    I kind of dislike my outfit today: White Button-down shirt + Black J.Crew Super120s Pants. I look like a waiter. In nice pants. #firstworldproblems, I know.

    Thankfully, I have some blingy Alexis Bittar jewelry on today, but still, I feel the gap between what I’m wearing vs what I could have chosen. It’s the difference between getting a B+ in an easy course vs an A in a tough one.

    • I’m a total slob today. I went to yoga this am and then ran errands (only working a few days this week and done teaching for the term). I hate being out and about in sneakers, running pants, and a hoodie but overcame my dislike and got a decent amount done.

    • I’ll play! I actually don’t hate my outfit (which is rare these days as I’m in my final 6 weeks of pregnancy). Black trousers from Gap Maternity, grey-with-red-diagonal stripe 3/4 sleeve jersey shirt w/cowlneck from Old Navy Maternity, red beaded statement necklace, flat black knee-high boots (under pants, not over).

      • I’m in moderation, but your post cracked me up because I’m in my final days of pregnancy and HATE everything I own, except one red shirt that I wore on Sunday and needs to be washed. I bet you look adorable.

        • Smooches, EC MD! From one pregnant lady to another…

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          @ EC MD and ANP,

          Good luck, you two! Here’s hoping you both have easy deliveries and happy, healthy babies. :-)

    • I am due in 4 days. I have 2 pairs of work pants that still fit. Therefore, I’m wearing black full panel maternity pants (from AT Loft — not quite the pair of pants of my dreams, but they’ve ended up being a total work horse for me this pregnancy; they still look decent after I’ve worn them 1-2x per week for 6 months) and a peacock colored long tunic-y sweater from Gap maternity with a thin black long sleeve shirt underneath.

      Shoes? I’m now down to clogs only. These are dark blood red. So ready to get back into real shoes.

      Please think laborious thoughts for me. I am officially over pregnancy, even though I have nothing (NOTHING) to complain about as far as big picture problems.

      • Are you still at work? Because, if so, I would be thrilled if you were my physician. I think your outfit sounds lovely – clogs and all, although I totally remember the pain of wanting to get back to real shoes, even 13 years later!

        Here’s hoping that baby wants to get out here soon so we can all be virtually introduced!

      • EC MD – I’m so excited for you baby to come!!!! Yay!! I feel like we’ve been with this baby from the start!

      • Legally Brunette :

        EC MD – best wishes for a safe and speedy labor and a healthy, beautiful baby! I will keep you in my thoughts. And hope that you return the favor in 6 weeks, when I am due. :)

      • Thank you all so much!

        I am still working, though a reduced schedule (mostly because I would go crazy at home).

        I’m walking the dog an hour a day, staying hydrated and generally trying to be zen about the arrival of #2.

        You guys have been with me this entire pregnancy — and I appreciate it so so much!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Good luck EC MD. We’re thinking of you and wishing you the best!

        Has anyone heard from Lyssa? Hopefully her c-section went well yesterday too!

    • I’m wearing a black LOFT sweater with a giant bow on it (a slightly regrettable purchase since it’s a tiny bit sheer in the arms) with a purple no. 2 pencil skirt from J.Crew. Black tights, black Frye Regina flats. No jewelry because I was running late this morning, and it’s hard to coordinate necklaces with Giant Bows.

      The purple skirt is the only thing that makes it look like I made much effort.

    • Diana Barry :

      I am PO’d about being in the office today, but I look nice – brown boots, tights, brown embroidered Boden skirt, olive tissue turtleneck, gold Boden cardigan, brown Boden blazer. (these are all different browns btw, so not so monochromatic)

    • Fuschia pink neck-bow sleeveless shirt (cotton jersey), dark gray cardigan, dark wash skinny jeans (my office is letting us go casual for the rest of the month), and black flats. Meh.

    • J Crew Minnie ( i think?) ankle-length black pants, TB revas (black and gold), grey turtleneck, long pearl necklace doubled.

      Comfy but polished!

    • I’m wearing back leggings, a black tank top, and I haven’t brushed my hair yet. Ah, the pitfalls of working from home.

    • Ponte black sheath and a cardigan with cute flats…. totally blah but it suits my splitting headache and bad mood

    • Red short-sleeved mock turtleneck cashmere sweater from Brooks Brothers with chocolate brown suede knee-length skirt, black tights and black wedges, as well as silver bangles, large red drop earrings and black tank watch.

      There’s a christmas party at the university president’s house today. It starts at 3. I can’t wait to have a glass of wine.

    • I barely have a reason to be at work this week. I’m in black jeans, a black and charcoal striped tunic, gray leopard flats, and a gray linen scarf.

    • e_pontellier :

      I’m wearing the same thing I wore yesterday and the day before (it’s finals, hopefully no one will notice), because I haven’t been home. *sadface*

      • How are you doing? What do you need to hear? Do you need some clothes?

      • e_pontellier, I don’t know whether there are safety concerns, but if not, can you give a friend (or friends so they can go buddy system) your keys and have someone go pick up some clothes for you? I know it must feel very uncomfortable to ask, but I’m sure your friends would gladly do this for you.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        This makes me want to scoop you up from your last final, bundle you into a cab, feed you vast amounts of tea and panettone (I was gifted a 3+lb one and while I’ve got a hearty appetite, it’s really too much for one person), and take you shopping all over NYC.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        E, what size are you? Maybe one of us could meet up with you later and loan you some clothes to get through finals.

        • e_pontellier :

          Oh gosh guys, thank you. I’m almost done with finals – I go home tonight; there are no safety concerns; my exams will be over in about 5 hours!!

    • Red v-neck sheath dress, black and white polka-dotted (small dots) fitted/cropped blazer, 5-strand of pearls, pearl studs, silver/gold watch, black patent CL simple 85 pumps.

    • des-pairing :

      Dark red with abstract black print shift dress with black tights and ankle booties. It’s a half-day at work, we’re going to a group lunch later.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Grey & black striped tissue weight cowl under a teal V-neck sweater, dark charcoal ponte pencil skirt, teal cable-knit tights & black boots. Still cold and will probably put on another sweater and fingerless gloves.

    • I’m in a PowerPoint training today (snooze) out of the office so I’m in jeans (on a Tuesday!!) a blouse, and riding boots. My colleague who is here with me and I are eagerly awaiting lunch at the sushi restaurant across the street. Hurry up, 11:30!!!!

    • Charcoal grey pinstripe pants, black & white lace print jersey button front top and mustard yellow cardigan. Black heeled oxfords. Not my best look, but the yellow is a great color for me, at least.

      One more day of work & then I’m off for a week. :)

    • Red cropped cardigan, grey and black wool skirt, black tights, jet necklace. We had REAL SNOW where I live last night and I strongly suspect the buses near my house will be cancelled tonight if it continues, so I came to work in proper snow boots and am dressed for the strong possibility I will have to walk a fair distance home after work.

    • I’m wearing a navy blue suit, a Boden shell, and gray pumps because I had a job interview today. Which I think went well.

    • cuffed wool pants – (the horror) and a dark pink sweater. And cookie crumbs.

    • My dragons.

      (Found them.)

    • Lady Harriet :

      Black sleeveless knit dress with a red belt, black patent Dansko Sissy sandals (it’s still warm in FL), lime green Anne Klein blazer, silver jewelry. The dress is way too big, but the belt makes it passable, and since the semester is over not many people are here and I’m way more dressed up than most of them anyway.

    • Chilled Coyote :

      Black trousers, filmy tan blouse with black polka dots, suede booties, pearls. At least it’s super comfortable!

  17. Almost There :

    Hi hive, I’ve missed you! I had a lovely time in NYC, thanks for all of your recommendations! Didn’t get to do top of the rock cause it was too cloudy/foggy, but we did take a carriage ride through Central Park, took pictures in Times Square, went to Tiffany’s, etc etc! We went to Chicago, not Book of Mormon as I was hoping (actually he had BoM tickets and got the impression I didn’t want to see it and sold them – heartbroken, but he was just trying to make me happy). He loved the dress I ended up with. Even though I had my coat on over it most of the night. Anyways just wanted to say thanks for all of your advice and encouragement!

    Today I am at the hospital while my mom is having her knee replacement. I was supposed to stay to help care for her until the 24th when my brother is coming, but I got a job interview (state Supreme Court clerkship!) on the 21st so I have to go home for that earlier than expected (I live half the country away from her and the interview is near my home). And we can’t really afford for me to fly out for interview, fly back to be with her a few more days, then fly home again. So I feel bad about leaving (and certainly have received the guilt trip – my family doesn’t understand that you change your schedule for an interview with a judge, not the other way around) but its what I need to do. I guess other than general advice about that, I don’t really have a question, just venting.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Hey! I’m glad you had a good time in NYC. :-)

      Sorry to hear about the timing of your mom’s knee replacement surgery and the interview. Ignore the guilt trip, it’s often just family members either wanting to present themselves as exemplary teacher’s pet types or projecting their own guilt for not doing more on you, they can STFU. Also, because they don’t know what they’re talking about (w.r.t judge interview), so again, they can STFU.

      Good luck with the interview and let us know how it goes!

    • Sorry to hear about the carriage ride. Besides circulating the smell of horse sh!t and urine, you are supporting a terrible industry that injures and endangers to horses, passengers, drivers, and pedestrians.

      • Almost There :

        Next time I think of circulating horsesh!t and urine, I’ll think of you.

        • I just neighed so hard.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


        • While Amy’s phrasing wasn’t the kindest, I kind of agree with the general message that CP carriage rides are bad on a lot of levels. Maybe you didn’t know, but the animals are treated really badly and because they are skittish and so large can injure anything around them (59th St traffic, CP tourists etc). I would just say that for anyone else thinking of taking a carriage ride, you might want to do some googling first.

          • I agree with the general premise of what she said too (carriage rides can be ethically questionable due to the poor treatment of horses and danger to others on the roads) but I can’t see how this was a productive way to bring it up if one actually wanted to change people’s minds. Just like yesterday’s NRA comment. No one is going to change their mind if you tell them they’re an @$$hole, particularly in this situation where someone might actually not know about the condition of tourist-carriage-ride horses.

      • god everyone has been so b*tchy lately

        • little advice :

          I kind of think Amy = Elle = the same commenter who has been posting a lot of these pseudopolitical/inflammatory comments lately. Someone, apparently, has a chip on her shoulder.

          • hmm they do seem to be in the same tone. there was a third one in the weekend thread too I think

  18. Gang, I need a recommendation for a great body moisturizer. Winter weather (+ pregnancy) is wreaking havoc on my skin. Drugstore brand preferred unless you have a truly WOW recommendation on the more expensive side…I’m a desperate woman!

    • I’ve just been using oil (I have a big jug of cosmetic grade almond oil: it smells like cake batter). It absorbs into my skin and I don’t need to worry about extra chemicals. If you don’t like the smell, you can add essential oils (I like bergamot but then I am dying for a cup of tea)

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I love Marks & Spencer Sicilian Lime & Bergamot Body Butter. I bought a bunch awhile ago and am rationing it at this point.

    • Nivea extra moisture is the best one I’ve tried so far. I also sometimes break out the jojoba oil if I’m extremely dry.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Suave coco butter is surprisingly effective for the price. I also like organix coconut milk lotion. Body shop body butter is pretty great. They have been having tons of sales too. Rite Aid has a new fancier brand hand lotion (sold in the “nice” section, not near the dial) that is about 6 dollars a tub and pretty awesome. I use it on my hands and feet. It looks like a fancy organic brand but when you read the back it says “distributed for rite aid.” I can’t remember the name of it. I also love bath and boyd works Shea Cashmere and Silk hand creme. I’m kind of a moisturizing addict.

    • Drugstore: Curel Daily Moisturizer (Amazon Prime eligible)
      WOW: Kiehls Creme de Corps (you do have to let it set for a minute or two; it feels greasy but absorbs very well and I find there isn’t a scent).

      • East Coaster :

        I read they recently modified the formulation for the Kiehls one so it’s a little bit easier to absorb. May be worth a try.

        • Obviously this means I need to do some market research.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            Ooh, more brands for me to try!

            *Ahem*, I meant: “I should also research the effectiveness of these compounds. Part of the scientific method is independent verification and confirmation of results by other research teams.”

    • jergens ultra healing

    • Almost There :

      Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Lotion! I had super dry, very itchy winter skin and this cleared it right up, I absolutely swear by it. The only thing is it usually doesn’t come out of its pump because it’s too thick, so I usually cut the top off the bottle and dump it in a Tupperware or jar and scoop with my fingers to use.

      • Merabella :

        This is such a great idea. I always have trouble with it being too thick too – I will have to try this.

        I also like Palmer’s fragrance free lotion.

        • Lady Harriet :

          I generally don’t use really heavy-duty lotion, but I think the Gold Bond one is quite nice. For day to day use, I like the St. Ives one with oatmeal that’s supposed to be good for itchy skin. It’s not too greasy to use on my face and it smells nice.

    • For whatever reason, lotion tends to give me a sort of razor burn, so I use Bio Oil just after my shower, before toweling off. It works wonders.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Also pregnant (and generally have really bad dry skin problems) and have been doing a combo — first all over with Palmer’s Oil or Bio Oil, then slathering on Curel Intensive Healing on top. So far, so good. The Curel Intensive Healing is nice on its own, but like Eucerin is so thick that it’s hard to spread. The oil layer first helps is spread more evenly. (I call the entire thing my “greasing up process.”)

      • Also pregnant, also miserably itchy and also doing a combo. Mine is jojoba oil (from Trader Joe’s) and Aveeno Skin Relief lotion (there’s a dark blue band across the label).

    • My favorite is the Vaseline Intensive Care Extra Strengh lotion. Works best for me out of anything else I’ve tried.

    • Quasi-Minimalist (and also preg) :

      This stuff is a dream http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/loccitane-almond-supple-skin-oil/2978382?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=l’occitane_almond_supple_skin_oil:224869&cm_pla=skin/body_treatment:women:hand_&_body&cm_ven=Google_Product_Ads&mr:ad=25771536473&mr:adType=pla&mr:filter=26507068913&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:referralID=NA&mr:trackingCode=0CEECFFD-D981-DE11-B712-001422107090&origin=pla

      I believe it is helping keep the stretch marks to a dull roar too. A++++++

    • Divaliscious11 :

      WOW reco – Kiehl’s Creme de Corp —

      Drugstore – CeraVe, Aquafor or Cetaphil

  19. I really like Lubriderm Advanced Therapy (the pink capped one). Lotions work much better when applied to slightly damp skin, so right after you dry off from the bath/shower. You may want to change your body wash to something moisturizing too.

    • In the winter, I keep my lotion in the shower. The water heats it up while I shower. And then I’m slighly damp (still standing in the shower, but have dried off) when I apply it. I hate cold lotion in the winter!

  20. Working during bar prep? :

    Did anyone work part time during the time between graduating and taking the bar? I might be in a position where I’d need to. I would plan to take off about 3 weeks right before the bar, but was thinking of working half days or so until then. Any thoughts/experience? Thanks!

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I’m taking the bar in Feb and working full-time in Big Law, so I’m obviously convinced that this can be done. I would have thought that (i) if you can get away with not doing it, that’s way better but (ii) if you have to work, it’s all about diligent time management and studying smart (quality over quantity).

      Of course ask me again in the summer when my name does not appear on the list of names passing the bar…

    • Greensleeves :

      I worked full time while studying for the bar. Went to barbri in the evening, studied weekends. Took two weeks off before the exam. Passed first try. It was a crazy couple of months, but I also worked full time and attended law school in the evenings, so it wasn’t that much different! I realize that approach isn’t for everyone, but I do think it’s possible.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I had a friend who did this in a state with a low pass rate and passed. I think she worked afternoons for 4 days a week during the first few weeks of the summer and dropped down to 2-3 days a week until the last 3-4 weeks when she didn’t work. She was definitely hating life, but everything worked out OK and now she’s glad she didn’t have to take out even MORE debt to cover living expenses while studying.

    • I didn’t do this, but I know several people who did and I kind of wish that I had. Bar prep becomes so all-consuming, a lot of people say that it’s nice to have something else to focus on for part of the day.

    • It is definitely doable. Can you start studying early? Even if you just get a jump start on the MBE by doing multiple choice questions on the weekends, I think that would help a lot.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Good point – because I knew that I would not have a full two months before the exam, I started back in October by going through the outlines. I’m taking Themis, so it’s all on demand and I started that last week. Of course if you are doing BarBri or another classroom prep course, this won’t apply to you, but it has helped me to get a headstart as it makes it a bit more doable (I hope).

    • AnonForThis :

      My husband just started doing this; he works full time in big law as a student associate and just started studying for the Feb bar. So far, so good, although he’s only a few days into it.

    • Totally doable, I’d say. I enjoyed my downtime last summer, but I could have done less movie watching and something more productive, probably.

    • During my bar study summer, I slept and had fun in such vast quantities that I could have had a job in that time.

    • I worked full-time as a summer associate before starting a clerkship in August, took Bar-Bri for the July bar exam at night. I might have taken the last week before the bar off work, I don’t really remember, but studying for the bar definitely would not have been a full-time occupation and I was glad I worked. (And glad I took the time to go with my then-BF now husband to his conference in San Francisco in June. Because life is too short not to go to San Francisco whenever you can. And obviously it was the right choice, because all these years later I don’t remember the bar prep that well, but I definitely remember the trip to SF!)

    • Moving to the City :

      I full-time for a month and then studied hard for 23 days. You can definitely make it work. I kept up to date with the videos by watching at night and then outlined on the weekends. The key is just to identify your weaknesses and work on those in July rather than feeling the need to do everything that the bar prep company recommends.

  21. Blackheads Q :

    I’ve had blackheads forever, mainly on my nose. I take good care of my skin and I don’t have any other pimple or acne issues. I’ve tried masks, tape, glue, exfoliating, one of those rotating brushes…but the blackheads just will not budge. How do I get rid of them? Do I need a professional facial? If so, I would appreciate recommendations in Manhattan or the Bronx.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Try Biore nose strips – available on Amazon or most drugstores. They really work wonders and they’re designed for this exact purpose. Also, I don’t think a facial will help (they just apply creams and massage it in), I would go see a dermatologist instead if the strips don’t work.

      • long time lurker :

        I’ve had facials where they steam your face and then do “extractions” which is basically scraping out your pores and blackheads with a torture device. It hurts and my skin is red for a day or two but it does seem to clear things up.

        • Monthly facials were the approach I took for a long time too. Once I bought a Clarisonic and started using it every day, the blackheads went away and I don’t go for facials anymore.

    • hellskitchen :

      I have had blackheads on my nose all my life. When I regularly exfoliated with a olive oil + sugar scrub, they reduced quite a bit. It takes a while to see results though

    • Almost There :

      Have you seen a derm? Sounds like a low % retin a cream or gel might work very well for you. I had the same problem and this did it for me. Because even if you get out the ones you have now, it doesn’t solve the cause of the problem, and the topical prevents them as well as eliminating them.

    • (posting is being weird – you may see this a million times)

      I saw a comment on a blog about how the person’s blackheads cleared up after he/she took fish oil daily. I immediately bought some, but that was only a week ago, so not much progress.

    • Yes, a facial with extractions will help get rid of existing blackheads, and Retin-A will help prevent new ones. But in the meantime, try Neutrogena anti-wrinkle anti-blemish cream. It’s over-the-counter but has retinol and works really well for me. If you skin is sensitive you might try starting by using it every other night, with moisturizer. Just use a pea-sized quantity.


  22. SAlit-a-gator :

    Popcorn ceilings: love ’em, hate ’em or just tolerate them? My DH and I have recently bought a home build in the 1960’s and it has this ceiling texture. It’s in good condition, but I know it has fallen out of style. I’ve gotten quotes to remove it and re-texture the ceiling, but due to the age of the home it likely contains asbestos fibers, so removal will be tricky and will cost about $1,700. Would you do it? I’m debating if this is something that needs to done, since there are a lot of moving in projects we’re undertaking. What is the hive’s opinion?

    • East Coaster :

      I watch too much HGTV, and saw one of the remodel / surprise holiday gift shows where they drywalled over the popcorn ceiling because it was faster and less messy. Is that an option?

    • e_pontellier :

      As much as I dislike popcorn ceilings, I feel like that is one of the LAST things I would spend money on in a new house. My family moved around a lot when I was growing up so I’ve lived in about 15 homes, and I would say updating bathrooms/kitchen and finishing the basement would be much higher priorities. That being said, if it’s something you can do before you move in (since it will be a messy project), that might be nice to get it out of the way. Basically, YMMV.

      • agreed. Don’t like them, would change them if I was changing other stuff and it wasn’t a big deal, it would be good to get them out of the way, but not a high priority.

      • This. Don’t love them, but not that high on my priority list to have fixed.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Hey, haven’t seen you in awhile. Glad to see your post today. :-)

      Our previous place had a popcorn ceiling, and I tolerated it. On the plus side, if there’s a weird stain, it’s less obvious. On the down side, if there’s a weird stain, it’s less obvious, and I might not notice in time to address what’s causing the stain/leak.

      Also, our previous place was newish construction (mid 90s), so we thought about removing/retexturing b.c. it would only be the price. In an old place, I wouldn’t bother because of the possible asbestos issues.

      One older home aside– when DH and I were house-hunting, we were appalled at how ghastly the 1970’s split-levels looked. Why did people think having a topheavy house was attractive?? Also, the 1960s and older houses tended to look great on the outside and had great personality, but inside was a veritable rabbit-warren of little rooms, all mostly useless on their own for our lifestyle. The prospect of knocking down walls and the time/contractor hassle made us shy away. We knew our limitations.

    • I took out the popcorn ceiling when I bought my condo—but that primarily was because I wanted to raise the ceilings. I think if you’re going to go with a more mid-century look in your house, the popcorn ceiling should be fine. If you want your house to look very traditional, then I think the popcorn ceiling should go.

    • Personnally hate them – but I don’t know if it’s to the extent that I’d do anything about them. They’re a b!tch to repaint, collect cobwebs that need to be vacuumed – and if they’re old enough, might start cracking and falling down anyway? My notion is that if I were doing other drywall work in a particular room and it was going to be messy and dusty anyway, I might consider having it redo – but then it’s only hypothetical money for me.

    • Can’t stand them and I find it hard to un-see a popcorn ceiling.

    • I’d have it removed before you move in. Once you move in, you’re never going to get it done.

    • I hate them. Maybe a relatively cheap way to tackle them is to hire someone to skim coat on top of them. It’ll help smooth it out and be faster and less messy than having them scraped off (and less risky if there may be asbestos).

    • Tutorial on popcorn ceiling removal. Probably will get stuck in moderation:


    • ChristinaMD :

      Can you have them tested without removing the ceiling?

      If asbestos is NOT present, you can remove the popcorn ceiling yourself with a spackle knife, you can look up videos on how to do on google. It’s a bit time consuming and messy but NOT difficult at all.

      FWIW, if you’re in a position to afford the $1700 for removal – I’d do it, If you ever need to cut into the ceiling for anything (leak, roof, adding a ceiling fan) it makes the repair process so much more difficult, because it’s a PITA to line up the popcorn. On a flat ceiling, you’d just tape, mud, sand and re-paint.

  23. TJ- I am about to graduate from law school in May with no solid job prospects. I want to get into my husband’s industry, which is not law, but my JD would be somewhat useful. Would it be inappropriate for him to casually ask HR there if they have any openings coming up that I might be able to apply for?

    We have already been through the pros and cons of us working for the same company, and while we agree it isn’t the best idea, if I can’t find anything else this would be much better than me having to take a part time job or being out of work. It is a company of about 300 people and he is in a position that is completely unrelated to anything I would be doing. They have a lot of married/dating couples working there, so it isn’t against any of their policies.

    • If you’re serious about getting a job there, why wouldn’t you contact the company directly and ask about potential job openings? Or send in a resume and cover letter explaining your interest, so they can have you on file in the event of an opening? That strikes me as more professional than a “casual” inquiry by your husband. And more indicative of actual interest instead of just the convenience factor.

      • It’s a small office and he is in contact with the HR people on a weekly basis in his position. They are very big on referrals and often create positions for people that they think would be a good fit for the company. I think they might view it as weird if I just sent in my resume without my husband first mentioning it to someone. I should have specified that!

      • I can’t see why anyone would just send in a resume if they had a contact at the company. It’s always best not to send in a resume “cold” and I agree that it would seem a little off anyplace I’ve worked for a wife to send in a resume to her husband’s company without the husband’s involvement.

    • Anon for this :

      My husband and I work at the same company in a related field. My husband dropped hints that I was looking for work and when something opened up he put me in contact with the right people.

      No issues what so ever and the company was much more inclined to have me on board than a unknown. Also, I had a network as soon as I joined the company which was very nice as well as someone I could trust to show me the ropes.

      I do not think it is inappropriate at all for him to inquire in your behalf. It would be inappropriate if he made the hiring decision. I think the company would look favorable on someone that came recommended, especially if your husband has a good reputation with the company. When I interviewed for my position most people were already aware of the situation and it was no issue, in fact I came across as less of a “stranger.” I say go for it.

    • I work for a big corporation (not law) and we do this kind of thing all the time. My roommate got her fiance a job this way. No one minds here.

    • If he is in touch with HR, I think it could serve you better to have him ask if they recommend any resources/ other professional contacts that you could reach out to, in addition to letting him know if anything opens up at his company. Keep the networking juice going.

  24. Cornellian :

    Creepy stalker father update! If you guys remember, in the summer my estranged (for good reason) father started sending me mail and claiming there had been “misunderstandings” between us and it was time for us to move forward. (Timing was, I’m sure, totally unrelated to the fact that I had just finished putting my orphan self through 8 years of school and had started earning 6 figures). I asked for advice here on what to do, and got lots of it. I ended up not replying, and not starting to pursue any legal routes to keeping him away.

    BUT he apparently contacted an old boss of mine in another state looking for my address last week (my old boss let me know), and this morning he called the office looking for my address. so creeped out. I know this isn’t domestic violence, but it reminds me of all the literature I’ve read about the economic productivity costs of abuse. I’m going to get nothing done all day, look like an idiot, spend money on a cab home, look over my shoulder, eat too much, etc. Ugh.

    • Can you get a restraining order against him? This was the first thing that came to mind for me.

      • Cornellian :

        I don’t think I would have grounds yet. If I sent him a “do not ever contact me” letter and he continued to, I may. So that would probably have to be the next step.

    • There are a few girls who can understand your feelings here, I being one of them. Hugs, and hope that he leaves you alone.

      • Cornellian :

        Unfortunately, there were quite a few of us when I last posted about this (June).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I know it came up last time, but have you let people in your office, especially security and HR if they exist, know about it? You’ll at least need the person who answers the main phone line and sits near the main entrance to run interference.

      I’m really sorry this is all coming up for you again!

      • Cornellian :

        Yes, I have. He’s on the no-entry list downstairs. I work in a pretty famous high-security building, so hopefully that will be enough. he could probably still claim to have forgotten his card to another worker and get to the elevator bank, but hopefully he wouldn’t go running through the hallways until he found me. Although maybe he would.

        • e_pontellier :

          No. I wrote out a longer reply but no, he wouldn’t. You have to feel safe in your office and your home. Maybe tell the receptionist that you’re NOT expecting any guests? But you got this. Hugs.

    • No advice but just wanted to chime in and say I have a similar issue and am interested in what advice other people may have. My manipulative emotionally/verbally abusive father lives across the country so I don’t have to see him but I have a lingering worry that he may someday show up at my doorstep or office. My office info is easily accessible on the web but AFAIK he doesn’t know my home address. I’ve wondered about the best way to go about “please don’t ever give out my address/info to my father” both at work or for potential health crises.

      • Cornellian :

        When this s**t started in June, I told reception, who talked to security; my partner mentor (really only because I knew she had similar issues in the past and it wouldn’t be super weird); and another partner whose name is associated with mine in publications. I really want to make sure he doesn’t pull a charming elderly gentleman with a new secretary and get my home address. I’m not sure what the best way to tell people at work, but I think you should probably do it sooner than later. Good luck!

        • Just a note that it would be incredibly, incredibly inappropriate for anyone in your office to give out your home address to anyone — even if there was no history to be concerned about. It sounds like you work somewhere where folks (even new folks) have well above the minimum level of professional sense that it would take to know that. Hopefully you can take some comfort from the knowledge that you definitely do *NOT* need to worry about that happening just because some new person doesn’t know the back story. Hugs!

      • An acquaintance of mine used to tell people that she had a stalker who posed to being her brother, and not to give him any information. She left out the fact that he really was her (mentally unstable) brother. Maybe this would work for you?

        • K.P. your idea is kind of amazing but my father is very charming and convincing – and what if he showed up with pictures, etc? I’d rather have everyone know I have a crazy family situation (and I’d rather avoid this getting out at work because of the awkward) than get accidentally caught in lie.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            Well-prepared stalkers use FB and other sites precisely so they can harvest photos of their target, and photoshop them into ones where they can pretend to others that there’s a pre-existing or existing friendly relationship between themselves and their targets.

            This is why a friend of mine, who was stalked, avoids being photographed pretty much whenever.

    • Doesn’t matter that it hasn’t turned into ‘typically’ defined domestic violence. You feel unsafe and threatened – that is all that matters.

      You should tell your work people that if anyone calls asking for any personal information not to give it out. Doesn’t matter if they say father, mother, etc. I mean I would be really mad as hell in generally if someone called my work and gave out my address – could just as easily be identity theft.

      Also, start considering formal documentation to help get a restraining order.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        This. and *hugs* Cornellian. and lots of *tea & sympathy*

        Sorry you have to deal with this, but I hope you stay safe, sane, and supported.

  25. Kind of a longshot, but can anyone recommend a resource to find extended stay corporate housing or short-term furnished apartments in Manhattan? The timeframe is 60-90 days.

    • Club Quarters is a business oriented hotel chain–maybe they have longer term housing?

      CL seems to have listing for those types, but may come with more risks.

      • That’s not a bad option. I tried CL, but it seems like it’s full of scams. I’ll probably end up going with airbnb. I have the option of using our corporate apartment instead of going to all this trouble, but it’s in Jersey and I’d rather stay somewhere nicer if I have the option.

    • Try NYHabitat dot com. A few years ago I used them to find and rent a flat in London for a family trip, and a friend found a great apartment in Paris this summer. They have apartments in NY, of course (I think that’s where they started, given the name). The information and service they provided were great.

    • airbnb

    • My old landlord (jacobson properties, might be jacobsen) has a website, nofeerentals dot com and they used to offer a few furnished units. They are honest–family owned. Mr. J was very cute and worked in the main office in my building.

  26. Any good ideas for a theme for my 30th birthday party (c*cktail attire)? My frontrunners at the moment are a black and white theme (where I might wear red) with perhaps a secret Night Circus theme (i.e., just tell everyone to wear black and white but I’ll decorate in a circus-y way) or a James Bond theme party. I’m really not particularly creative, but I’m trying to avoid my friends showing up in jeans and I’d like to decorate the party and have fabulous pictures!

    • I love the Night Circus idea. I would be thrilled to attend that party.

    • Mad Men?

      • I second Mad Men (never mind the fact that I have a long, well-documented obsession with that show). I actually did a Mad Men themed party earlier this year and it was a fairly swanky event – guys in suits and fedoras, ladies in dresses, heels, and pearls, and martini glasses everywhere. :)

        • But I also think you can’t go wrong with a James Bond theme. What guy wouldn’t love to be James Bond and what women wouldn’t love to be a Bond girl (either one of the earlier s*xy Bond girls or a later butt-kicking Bond girls)?
          Hmmmm, I might do this for my next party…

          • I think the Bond theme is a nice way to do “c*cktail” with a twist and make it a little more interesting.

            I don’t like the idea of all black and white where you wear red or are the only one dressed up but I don’t like to be the center of attention in general.

          • I figure if I can get the guys to get excited about dressing up I’ve already succeeded! But how would you decorate?

          • We had a Bond theme for one of my HS proms. There were lots of cutouts of the opening “Bond pose” – where you see Bond aiming through a revolver? – plus posters from the movies. You could also make some quick posters of famous phrases and place them around (ie. “Shaken, not Stirred” by the bar).

          • One of the things I think of when I think of James Bond is some of the different, exotic places he went (he did travel a lot). Maybe vintage travel posters of some of the countries the stories were set in? I’d also scatter toy pistols around for people to play and pose with.

          • For decor, you could also pick one of the movies to base your theme on — I’d lean towards Casino Royale, since casino decor is relatively easy to make/find/buy. Otherwise, I’d go for a general swanky-c*cktail-bar look?

    • can I ask how you would do a night circus theme if only you were dressed up? like would there be activities or decorations? I like the idea of a night circus but I think you should tell everyone, not have everyone dress in black and white and you be the only one dressed up

      • I was a little reluctant to tell everyone it’d be a circus theme because I didn’t want people to feel like they had to dress up as clowns or anything (though the invitation might have a circus tent on it, at least giving people an idea). But as far as decorations, I was thinking lots of black and white stripes, old vintage circus posters, a fun photobooth with props and maybe some themed food. That way, if people were in black and white, it’d still look like they were part of the theme, especially if people started having fun with some of the photobooth props.

      • See below – but when my friends had it they used Night Circus to give people an idea of what was happening and get them familiar with the idea, but included the fact that it was c-tail attire. The pictures have lots of women in facinators and cute dresses, men in suits etc. It worked out really well for them

    • I would be kind of annoyed to have a specific dress code for a party. It’s one thing to say c*cktail or a general theme, but I would not specify colors.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Ditto. If you’re having a cocktail party I want to get to wear the fun clothes too, not run out and buy something black and white (I never wear either color for evening as they wash me out).

    • My office holiday party was a vintage carnival theme. At first I wasn’t sure what to expect, but they had a photo booth with feather boas, top hats, etc, decorated with balloons – actually had a couple of amazing balloon sculptures including a carousel horse & a clown, a professional face painter who painted amazing body art, and a candy bar with all kinds of vintage candy. Oh, and a popcorn machine.

      I’m sure this is probably out of your budget, I think you could do something similar on a budget. Candy, not vintage candy. Dollar store dress up items & a camera. Balloons, maybe a small sculpture (I have no idea how much this type of thing costs). You could get cotton candy from somewhere.

      I also really like the Night Circus idea – that was a great book!

      • That sounds awesome! Can I ask what you wore? Was it just a normal dress, or did you wear anything themed?

    • While it wasn’t for a birthday my friends had a Night Circus party… semiformal, black and white and dinner was served at the stroke of midnight. Everyone loved it and the pictures are spectacular. Of course it was aided by the fact that they are artists and another friend of ours is a chef… But something similar might satisfy your black/white Night Circus idea and give you a reason to make it semi-formal/c-taily attire

      • This sounds amazing! Sadly, I think only one of my friends has read the book, so it might be lost on a lot of the people coming…

        • ha I didn’t realize it was a book. I was just thinking “circus at night time”

          • manomanon :

            Haha yeah- People have been nagging me to read it forever but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Were it not for their party & obsession I would not have either.
            Aria- It may not be totally crucial. Prior to their party only 2 of my friends had read it and everyone had a blast anyways. (After they all went to read the book)

    • have a 20s/30s party? This is the first and only time I will say I wish I were turning 30 this year, but I’ve been itching to have/host a black tie prohibition-themed party, and a 30th b’day seems more reasonable than a 29th.

      • haha I’m waiting for my SO to turn 30 so I can host a party for him and get all dressed up. I love this idea!

  27. Rural Juror :

    Any Canadians out there have a good place to order shoes online? Endless used to be my go-to with free int shipping over $100 – now that its amazon I find the selection way worse and almost everything I look at can’t be shipped to Canada. Piperlime won’t let you use a coupon code if you order from Canada and the shipping is atrocious. I miss being able to order shoes and really want some Kate Spade Karolinas :(

  28. Moving in-house threadjack. I’ve been doing construction law transactions / litigation for about 6 years. I started fishing with my resume last week, and got a call from a company called Gensler – they are a giant architectural firm, and they sound great, and my construction industry friends have good things to say about them, but now I’m nervous about jumping from law firm to in-house and then it maybe not working out.

    Words of advice? I have a second phone interview with them soon, and then a face-to-face meeting next week.

  29. So its extraordinarily late in the thread and SPOILER ALERT — but is anyone else fangirling as intensely as I am fangirling about Barney and Robin?


    That is all.

    • Ahhhh, I haven’t watched the episode yet!

      Though really, it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, I mean…if they’re going to get married, they had to get together at some point.

    • Merabella :

      YES! I watched this and was practically jumping up and down while watching it on my computer! I’m glad someone else is as excited as me.

    • I am so happy too! I teared up during last night’s episode!

  30. Anybody read the Cup of Jo post today about signing emails to colleagues/bosses/professional contacts with “xoxo”? She says it’s become a habit of hers and quotes to an article describing it as a female habit. Thoughts? I’m a baby lawyer, so my experience is not that broad – but I’ve never encountered this and would never sign a work email like that. I just find it strange, even accounting for less conservation fields!

    • I can’t imagine it ever being appropriate in work e-mails. (However, if I leave it off messages to my DH his feelings get hurt.)

    • Just read it. Contrary to what Joanna says, to me it still signifies “hugs and kisses”. I would never dream of signing an e-mail “xoxo” unless it was to my BF, immediate family or best friend. I can’t imagine the career suicide if I wrote “xoxo” to a client.

      • +1. I can see “x” as maybe a neutral signoff, but “xoxo” to me still means hugs and kisses. I get that from my mom, not my coworkers.

        • Ditto. I use x with UK friends (because it feels rude to not reciprocate) but I’d never, ever, ever, ever use xoxo in a professional context.

    • I read it too. So strange and most definitely not professional in my legal community.

    • Um, wow. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a work email with xoxo on it. I *might* have gotten one or two personal emails signed that way (although none that I can remember). I sign work emails with nothing (just my signature block below), my first name alone, or, for more formal emails “Best” or “Best Regards”. And, yes, I would totally judge someone who sent me a work email signed xoxo. I would also be really, really confused (as in “kisses? Is she trying to tell me she has a crush on me? Doesn’t she know I’m married? And I thought she was into dudes anyway.”)

    • Just read that! As I commented for friends, yes. For work – no way.

    • I do it with friends but manage to avoid it in professional emails. I do have a student who signs her emails with xoxo. Pretty sure she only does it with me (I’m quite informal and we’ve spoken about her future plans, etc) and I am debating mentioning it.

    • I think this may have been mentioned last week; I would never use it on a work e-mail and I rarely use it except to convey that I come in peace (as above, with Kat). I am also not a touchy-feeling person, so maybe that’s it? Also, I would be weirded out if someone used it at work but I wouldn’t care if a friend used it.

    • Extremely inappropriate! Unless you work for Gossip Girl.

      • manomanon :


      • I can never see “xoxo” without adding “Gossip Girl” in my mind.

        That said, I’ve never received an email signed that way at work.

    • I once had a (much older, male) partner end a short email to be with x [his initial]. It paused me for a few seconds and then I moved on.

    • Anon for this :

      It came up in one of my employment cases. I am being intentionally vague. One counsel says “but what about these emails signed xo?” One party says “I sign all my emails xo, it doesn’t mean anything, it’s a salutation.” Asking counsel looked like someone had just said pink goats walk on the moon.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Kind of a silly argument to make, this “I sign all my emails…”, right?

        If you are person A and you get an email from person B signed “XO, Person B”…

        That doesn’t automatically make person A omniscient and able to see that person B signed that way for 10,000 other people.

  31. Oops, posted on the wrong thread.

    TJ – would you all consider a holiday-esque PJ box set (red thermal tee, red/blue/green flannel pants) to be an inappropriately familiar Christmas gift for a lady garden party attendee you’d been seeing for 3 months? If it changes things, I have also gotten him cheap concert tix but because they were so cheap, I want to add on something else.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Is this someone with exclusive access to LGPs? Or is this a FWB setup?

      If the former, cheap tix + holiday PJ set is sufficient. If FWB, it’s overkill to me.

      Caveat: I’m an old married crone, so YMMV. :-)

      • Exclusive access to LGPs and a defined relationship (but a new one, for sure and no ILYs or anything like that yet).

        • MaggieLizer :

          Agree with Susan, and your gift idea sounds perfect. Nothing too heavy but enough to say you’re thinking of him and his interests. Well done!

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