Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Suit Skirt

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

I don’t remember how I found this (at JCPenney — we haven’t featured anything from there in a while), but this seems like a nice, basic skirt if you’re looking for one that’s very affordable and slightly different from the usual pencil skirt. I like how it’s a little bit flippy but also a little fitted. It’s $50 full price but is now on sale for $25, and it’s available in sizes 4–18. (There is a matching blazer that, alas, has some unfortunate zippers — but you do you.) Black Label by Evan-Picone Suit Skirt

Here’s a plus-size option (and this dress isn’t exactly appropriate for work BUT it is almost the exact color of the skirt pictured). This $9 skirt also comes in royal blue and is available in sizes 2-18.

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  1. Never too many shoes... :

    I just wanted to share with everyone here (since I know many of you will appreciate my excitement) – last night was HRC’s book tour stop in Toronto and she was *amazing*. She was relaxed, charming, quite funny and dropped a few excellent zingers about the present administration, Assange, Comey et al. The notion that this women is somehow cognitively compromised given her eloquence is just mind-boggling (particularly in comparison to the fumbling rantings to which we are subjected on a daily basis).

    The message is that democracy, everywhere, is under attack and that women, in particular, must exercise constant vigilance to preserve our rights.

    I will say though, the down side of the evening was the wistful “what might have been” feeling…

    • I just listened to the call your girlfriend podcast interview and she was so funny!

    • Does anyone remember back to the Vincent Foster suicide and the whole Clintons-kill-people-who-wrong-them conspiracy theories? IMO the proof that that is not true is that Anthony Weiner is alive. Her loss sort of all falls on him, no?

      • No. I love me some HRC, since even before Foster’s untimely death, but no, the results of the election are not Weiner’s fault.

        • I see him as the but-for causation in the November surprise. The e-mail thing had died down and without him, might have stayed off of the front page in the final weeks.

    • So excited to read her new book. I’m trying not to focus so much on “what might have been” and more on “what can be”. The shock of her loss has really galvanized women in my community to become more engaged on a political level. Our city council just went from zero women in 2013 to 5/11 seats held by women in 2017 -including two women under 30.

    • So jealous!! I just started the book and I absolutely love it, although it does make me cry consistently.

  2. Baconpancakes :

    Happy Friday! What a start to the weekend!

    Hem fell the minute I got to work (thank goodness for packing tape), our newly announced HR policy will require timestamped check-ins, and I just found out one of my best friends eloped (yay!) but invited our other best friend to her elopement and not me, and they both lied to my face about it before the event (boo!). I’m struggling a bit to reframe our friendship so that it doesn’t suffer but I’m not sure how this doesn’t change things. Shots, you free after work?

    • Box of Wine :

      I’m free.

      • Shots. Shots. Shots. :

        Me too. But sorry this girl is not your best friend, no way round it. If you’re in the market for a really fun hot mess of a friend I can introduce you to my bros Johnnie and Julio!

    • Oh friend, that really sucks. I’d be so hurt by that, too. Also, timestamped check-ins would be enough for me to look for another job, seriously.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Sorry you are starting with a sucky day. If you are salaried and exempt the time stamped check ins might just be a CYA and never looked at by anyone. My office now has a sign in and sign out policy for two reasons. One is building security and safety. They want to know who to account for in an emergency. Second, my state requires that ALL workers hours be tracked in case they are misclassified. If someone proves they should have been treated as non-exempt and the employer did not keep records of the hours worked, then the employees claim of how many hours he/she worked wins. After that case, most employers here took steps to attempt to track hours of all employees but management has no time nor inclination (supposedly) to actually look at them, except to make sure the non-exempt staff is accurately reporting their time.

    • Oof, that’s a hell of a morning. My sympathies!

      Maybe the eloper felt she could only invite one friend? But then why lie about it? I’m not super cool with lying from my friends (or, um, anyone), personally. Lying to me is way worse than excluding me from something.

    • I’m sorry you’re having a rough day. Fwiw, when I eloped, I asked one of my closest friends to go too. I have a small group of girlfriends and consider them all to be my persons. But I couldn’t have everyone go with me to elope. So I picked the friend who had the story closest to mine because I felt like she would be the closest “spirit animal” that day – we both met and married our husbands quickly after years and years of doing the single girl thing together. It’s so hard to choose from hose closest to you, so I picked the person who was the most likely to to be happy for me that day (not that everyone else wasn’t but when your story aligns it’s a lot of the giddy-yes-yes-yes vibe that is awesome). It’s really hard to choose. I almost had no one just to avoid hurting the feelings of my other close/best friends. But I chose to be a little selfish and to create the day I wanted. I decided all the other days are for balancing feelings and I wanted this one to be mine. I’m not sure if this helps at all, and it might not, I’m just sharing really so you know it was probably a choice that your friend wrestled with, and it doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you and want you to be a huge part of her life and to stay in the inner circle.

      • Yes, this story…

        Please do not end …. or even change your friendship based on this event.

        It is HER wedding. An elopement is small. She probably agonized over this… probably both friends did… and they lied to you because they knew you would be hurt.

        Friendships are so precious.

        • Is someone really your friend though if they lie to you about something big? To me, the lie would be way more hurtful than the exclusion.

          It’s not really an elopement unless it’s just the bride and groom (which is what my BFF did when she got married down south without telling anyone). If you are inviting any friends or family, you are not eloping – you are having a small wedding.

        • Yeah … lying is really not a good way to avoid hurting someone’s feelings in most circumstances. If that was the intent behind the lies, it was pretty misguided, in my view.

        • If they are precious then don’t lie.

        • Sorry, but this would absolutely change a friendship for me, there’s no way around it. I don’t think I’d end it, at least not right away, but it’s a huge thing to lie about.

      • But did you lie about it? OP sounded much more hurt about the lying than about the fact that she wasn’t the one friend chosen.

        • But did they…. lie lie… or were just evasive?!?! There’s just no good way to handle this situation.

          I would dread seeing the hurt on someone’s face… inevitable… the guilt…. Just no good way.

          • But when you make a decision that hurts someone and you then lie to them about it. You are only making their pain worse so that you don’t feel as bad in the moment. Pretty shitty. If you make decisions that hurt people, then own them.

          • Baconpancakes :

            I saw it on Second Friend’s calendar, and said “hey, what’s this? Is Bride getting married on this day and I wasn’t invited?” Second Friend said “No, she was considering it as a day and I forgot to take it off my calendar.”

            “Yeah, Bride wants to keep it super small and she’s only inviting one friend” would’ve still hurt, but would’ve been less gut-wrenching.

            It’s not like I wasn’t going to find out eventually.

          • There absolutely is a good way, be an adult and be honest and upfront. While someone will probably be upset by not being asked to go, I can guarantee they will be more upset if you don’t own up to it and say something like hey, I wanted you to know that this is happening and that I have asked so and so to be a part of it, I treasure your friendship and this was a very hard decision for me and I understand you will be upset. I mean come on. You don’t do this to a true friend because honesty will be uncomfortable for you.

          • That’s your problem.

        • No, I didn’t – I told my closest friends ahead of time and tried to explain (probably not eloquently). Those weren’t easy conversations but I thought they were important to have. But I understand the impulse to not say anything until after. I only told the very closest and I was terrified word would get out (we didn’t tell our families or anyone but the inner circle until after).

          • I’ll say too, while I didn’t lie to my friends, that came from years of learning to navigate female friendships and I’m not sure that I’d have had that impulse at every earlier stage of life (and the inner circle is the inner circle because we’ve all forgiven each other things over the years). I get the idea that some people will see an elopement with witnesses as a “small wedding,” but I’d argue there’s a big distinction in the fact that if you elope, you’re probably not publically engaged and there is generally A LOT of secrecy about the whole thing. As they say, you tell one person, you’ve told everyone. So I’d cut a little more slack on the “lie” for this particular event.

          • Of the three true elopements I’ve known, all were engaged before hand but with no date set. They just did not tell anyone at all that they were getting married until after they were married. Way less hurt feelings vs. small exclusionary weddings that I have seen end friendships and cause family rifts over who was or was not there.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Bride was publicly engaged for 3 years, and we are in our 30’s. Second Friend apologized profusely when I asked her about it this morning, but Bride is on her honeymoon, so I’m just going to have to deal with this gross feeling for a while.

    • Another perspective on the time stamps, from someone in cyber security: After the Equifax breach and others, a lot of companies are locking down their security, which extends to physical security, especially if your network infrastructure is mostly on-prem (as opposed to cloud). I think we’re way overdue for a wave of lawsuits in regards to liability, and measures like this are a way of proving adequate measures have been taken. The edict may originate with your CIO, not HR.

    • I can’t nest this comment properly, but in light of the fact that the info came from second friend’s calendar: it wasn’t her secret to decide to tell you.

      • +1 My exact thoughts.

      • Mine too. I can see how she was in a really tough spot if the Bride asked her not to tell anyone. There was no way for her to both keep the Bride’s confidence and be honest with you. Even if she’d said, “it’s not my place to say anything,” you would have known what was up.

  3. Trendy jeans question…. I have a pair of the released hem style jeans and curious how other ladies protect the hem from further unraveling. At first I thought of fray-check but that comes out in the wash, which is exactly when I need the hem to stay together! Should I take them to the tailor to add a hopefully-invisible-ish stitch just above the raw edge?

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I wash mine on gentle and air dry.

    • Flats Only :

      I wonder if you could run a line of fabric glue just at the top of the fray on the inside of the hem. It wouldn’t show, but should keep the fray from proceeding upwards. That stuff lasts through the washer too.

  4. anon for this :

    I have this skirt in black, bought years ago. It is fine but the material isn’t the best and I rarely wear it because it feels a bit cheap to me.

    Question: I was reading with interest the thread yesterday about a person thinking about leaving her gov’t job, and several of you mentioned her pension. I joined the fed gov’t two years ago and have never heard of a pension as a benefit. Is a pension only applicable to those who started in government years ago or does it apply to everyone? How do I figure out whether my agency provides a pension (short of contacting HR, which I can clearly do but was curious if anyone has insights). TIA.


      • This. I work for the federal gov, and this is what everyone refers to as their “pension,” even though it isn’t actually a pension. It does provide more than just your TSP benefit (401K equivalent w/matching, etc), so I can see why they think of it that way.

    • Call your benefits office, and ask if you can go in to review all of your benefits. I’m sure they gave you documentation of all of this when you started your job.

      It is likely you don’t have a pension, or you would probably know it.

      Do you have any sort of retirement account/401K type thing with your job? If you do, you probably would not have a pension.

      I think pensions are being fazed out of a lot of places… even government jobs. So older workers probably have one, but you may not.

      Find out for sure what your other retirement benefits might be. For instance, if you have any retirement benefit related to health insurance. My father worked for state government for less than 10 years several years ago, but he has an amazing retirement benefit for him that made him eligible for a private retirement health insurance plan that gives him much better benefits than Medicare alone, and saves him a lot of $$. He has serious medical problems so this has been a godsend.

    • Yeah I don’t know why everyone thinks the federal government has a pension– I’m a fed and none of us have a pension. Not even the long-timers, although they did work with people (now retired) who had them. They were phased out decades ago.

    • We have FERS — federal employees retirement system. Depending on when you became a fed, you may contribute anywhere between .9 and 4.4% of your salary post-tax. It is not optional. Check your LES. I’m on the 4.4% side, my SO is on the .9% side (he started back in 2012, I started in 2016), we will get the exact same benefit eligibility when we retire.

      When you retire, you’ll be eligible to get 1% of your “high three” (highest three years of salary) times the number of years you worked (this caps out at some point) every year. If it’s around then. I’m not optimistic. I refer to it as a “partial pension” but really the federal retirement system is “three-pronged” — FERS, TSP and Social Security (I think it’s ridiculous they include SS but I also digress.)

    • Certain government agencies have additional benefits. The Federal Reserve Board, for example, offers a generous pension in addition to a 401(k)/Roth (it does not participate in TSP).

    • Fed Spouse :

      I understand FERS but have always heard it referred to as a pension. Why is it not a pension? Also, if you are in a law enforcement position, the percent you receive and the number of years you have to work is different.

      • This is also the case for some other age-restricted positions (see: air traffic controllers, who must retire at 56). They’re also eligible (currently, I’m not optimistic long term) for a social security supplement at their retirement age.

      • Feddy Fed Fed :

        I have no idea. I’m a fed for nearly 15 years, and I refer to FERS as my pension. I only put in .9%, but for shorthand, I think “pension” is perfectly acceptable.

  5. Law as second career? :

    Sincere thanks to everyone who posted in my thread yesterday. I guess I had hoped for a little more encouragement, but I do appreciate the well-meant words of caution and specific things to think about going forward.

    I want to be clear that I do realize that Scotusblog, Scalia-Garner, etc. represent only a sliver of the legal world and that the daily life of a lawyer is very different. I cited those particular items only to show the starting point(s) for my interest. I know I have tremendous gaps in my understanding, and profound hurdles ahead if I do make this choice. I’ve discovered that I do actually have a local elder law attorney among my contacts, and I’m going to set up a chat with her soon. I will also look at the paralegal training program offered by the local state U, although I think I’ll find that I’d rather have the authority and autonomy of a JD.

    Thanks again–and if anyone has additional suggestions for me to learn about the realities of legal work, feel free to share. Have a restful weekend, everyone!

    • Anonymous :

      I think you also need to look at the reality of your finances. If your husband is supporting the family and you don’t need a salary or retirement savings and can just pay tuition, great. But if you can’t afford 3 years of unemployment, a small fortune in tuition, and potentially making 60k a year when you graduate, this is an expensive fantasy.

      • Anonymous :

        If you hang out a shingle immediately as you alluded you might in your original post, you will not be making $60k when you graduate.

        Also, unless you go solo immediately, you will not have the authority and autonomy you are looking for in private practice. No good supervising attorney would let a brand new lawyer make decisions without guidance and input, and no first year attorney has authority over anything at a firm, unless you are at a bad firm/have a crap supervising attorney.

        There is no magic wand that waves over your head when you graduate that makes you some mythical lawyer with immediate autonomy and authority.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Unless you go into legal aid at which point, here’s a caseload, good luck!

          • anon at 9:46 :

            Haha yes – I thought about adding something about unless you go into a position where it’s sink or swim, but that’s not really a pleasant outcome IMO!

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I was not recommending it. It’s very stressful to have no idea what you’re doing and be in charge of managing 15-20 full cases independently.

          • anon at 9:46 :

            Oh, I didn’t think you were :)

      • +1 – this exactly. I didn’t comment yesterday, but I think realistically to be a viable second career from a financial perspective, you need to start your practice by your early 30s or else be independently financially stable. It is very hard to get the kind of jobs that pay off law school debt when you’re older, and in law, 40s is older for someone starting out. I’ve seen law school classmates who went back as a second career really struggle, and they continue to struggle decades later. I’m a big fan of second careers, second acts, starting over, and I don’t think you’re ever too old to do something new, but law school is an extremely expensive proposition and you might not love it so much if paying basic bills becomes a struggle.

        • ^ so much this.

          On the other hand, accounting is an awesome second career and I am here to sing its praises!

          I spent about $10k on my entire accounting education to get the classes required by my state, test prep materials, and CPA exam. I kept working at my day job while taking classes (many of which were online), so there was not an opportunity cost. Firm salaries start in the mid $50s, which I know is pitiful compared to biglaw, but you can make a lot more money pretty quickly. I worked for a regional firm and there were a lot of people who started their second careers there in their mid 40s. There’s tremendous flexibility within the profession, but it’s still filled with bright people and involves a lot of analytical thinking. I really love it and always want to throw it out there for folks who want a steady white collar option but don’t know what to do. (Also, you don’t have to be a “math person”. I hated math in school.)

          • I’m actually thinking about doing accounting as a second career–would you have an email I could have so we could chat?! Would love to hear your thoughts!

          • Thank you! I love hearing second career success stories! Who knew you didn’t have to love math to be an accountant…

          • CPA lady, thank you for the suggestion. I have never considered this because I am indeed not a math person! But I am desperate enough to get out of my current situation that I will open my mind to all kinds of reasonable but not immediately obvious options!

      • Law as second career? :

        For sure, the finance issue is huge. I’d need scholarships, and I know schools don’t just hand those out like candy at Halloween. But for me to make even 60K after a few years would nearly double our household income.

        • If you’re interested in elder law/estate planning you can absolutely make 60k+ as a paralegal. Elder law is really paralegal driven (drafting, medicaid apps, tax returns, client contact), so please don’t rule it out. As a small firm elder law/estate planning attorney, when I started out, the paralegals at my firm absolutely made more than I did.

    • Here is advice I give now that I wish I had gotten before I went to law school. “You only need to go to law school if you want to be a lawyer. Figure out what it is that you want to do, and whether you actually need to be a lawyer to do it. If you do, then go to law school. Otherwise, don’t.”

      It is very simplistic advice, and honestly, while I do like my job and being a lawyer, if someone had really made me think about this before going to law school, I probably wouldn’t be a lawyer now.

      Please take this with the caveat that I didn’t read the entire thread from yesterday. You mention elder law – if you wanted to be an advocate for the elderly, then there may be opportunities at the American Geriatrics society or other avenues that don’t require a law degree. As others have already said, it’s an expensive and time consuming path to take.

      I sincerely wish you luck with your decision.

      • Chiming in to say ditto, I could do my job without my JD. My degree made breaking in easier, but I don’t think the $120k I took on in debt AND three years of lost earnings was worth it.

        • I’m the above Anon poster at 10:15 – I couldn’t do my current job without a law degree, but I could do a similar version of it without one. (I’m in commercial real estate, so I could have been an analyst or broker and maybe kind of sort of gotten to the same place maybe). BUT I didn’t go to law school to be a real estate lawyer, I went because I wanted to “help people” and work at legal aid. However, when I was graduating during the recession, in the smaller market I was in, even the legal aid jobs were only going to people who were at the top top top of the class. But do you need a law degree to help people? no, you really don’t. It’s not required for being in a non profit, working in a mission organization, etc.

          I just think the biggest thing most people don’t know going in is that the law is mostly a service industry. You are at the service of your clients, so your time is NOT your own. That’s the biggest wake up call that I’ve had and it’s the worst part of the job by far. People that I work with at a BigLaw firm say that our high salaries are not a pay check or compensation, it’s an option on your time. Some days that’s more true than others.

          • blueberries :

            +1 on law being a service industry. Sometimes it feels like I’m a very expensively educated waiter without the benefit of having defined shifts.

          • Law as second career? :

            Valuable input, thanks.

      • Law as second career? :

        Thanks for the advice and well wishes.

    • “Thanks again–and if anyone has additional suggestions for me to learn about the realities of legal work, feel free to share. Have a restful weekend, everyone!”

      Anon below suggested the American Geriatrics society, and I am sure there are other, similar, organizations. The only one that is coming to mind for me is not elder care/estate law related but should be very much in line with your desire for specific kinds of intellectual work: the Innocence Project.

      Good luck figuring out what you want and need!

    • If you go into litigation the vast, vast majority of your time will be discover disputes that are often stupid and just about negotiation, not law or policy. Also, I encourage you to go observe some proceedings in whatever court in your jurisdiction hears elder law disputes. I have found a significant difference between state and federal court and across different state courts in terms of the quality of judging, how intellectual the lawyering is, etc. Your idea of being a lawyer may or may not jibe with the style of your jurisdiction.

    • I’m glad you are able to take all the negative reactions in stride. I could disagree with some of the others, I think getting a law degree is an awesome thing, even if you don’t use it for your job. It will change the way you think and how you look at the world, and I think the more education we all get makes the world a better place. The problem with the law degree, as so many have pointed out, is the cost. When you start young, you can leave law school with $120k in debt, begin a practice making $40k, and over time increase your earnings and decrease your loans. When you are starting that process at 40 and have only 25ish years left in your working career, you should consider how long is it going to take you to break even? I was considering my LLM, but at my age, the benefit I will receive just doesn’t amortize out over the years I have left to work.

      • Law as second career? :

        Yes, it will probably be the financing that kills this fledgling dream. Someone yesterday said that it sounds like I don’t want to be a lawyer as much as a law student, and I think there’s truth in that statement. I really love the idea of learning about the law and of mastering the particular discipline of legal thought.

    • Anonattorney :

      I disagree with so much of what is posted here and what people said yesterday. I am a lawyer and I do exactly what you want to do. I spend my time working in small groups, strategizing about how to craft arguments and apply the law to the facts, research and write write write. I write all day. And then I get up and argue to the court on my briefs. If you want to do that, litigation is the way to go, in a smaller market. Don’t go into Big Law, don’t do transactional work (even estate planning, which I think is what you posted about yesterday). Do litigation. Network your a$$ off, meet people who value your previous work experience, and go to law school in the market where you are currently working and where you have an established network. See if you can get scholarships.

      The law is really fun and can be a very great second career. I have seen a number of people transition successfully in my market, especially into litigation. If you can make the money work, then don’t give it up.

      • Law as second career? :

        I thank you for being the voice of dissent. :) And it appears that I need to learn more about litigation. I have negative feelings about it because I perceive it as being intensely dynamic, requiring great in-the-moment thinking, and I just don’t trust that I have that type of intellect.

        Thanks again for your words. I would be interested in further correspondence. muy2jdqs at the mail of g dot com

        • I honestly think this poster’s experience is very different than most who practice litigation (based on experiences shared by me, my friends and business colleagues). I have practiced litigation for many years, and it is very, very stressful. It’s also constant back and forth with opposing counsel, not much writing (except to report to clients) – we aren’t writing briefs everyday in my litigation practice. You do write some Motions, usually closer to time of trial to exclude evidence. I do enjoy that. However, overall the stress can be overwhelming. Plus, the billable hours drive your life. I think that’s a reality of law that you need to think very heavily about before deciding to go into any field where this will be required. While I do not work in Big Law, but I work basically the same hours as my friends who do (and they earn exponentially more money). I also recall from your original post the other day that you are more of an introvert. So am I, which is another reason why I think litigation is tough. Overall, I would just say litigation is hard and honestly, not that enjoyable (and I work for and with truly wonderful people, thank goodness) — my experience is very different than the commenter’s above, though I’m so glad she has that experience! I’m glad someone does!

    • I see these posts from time to time, and I think they end up being a sort of a Rorschach test for practicing lawyers; those who are unhappy say don’t do it. I’m a second career lawyer, and my only regret is not having left my old job sooner. I started law school at 43 and have felt challenged in so many wonderful ways ever since, in law school, clerking for a variety of firms, and then employed in a small firm. I do consider myself extraordinarily lucky, though. Many of my (younger) classmates continue to struggle or gave up entirely. I’d say continue to explore the idea — consider taking the LSAT (I believe it’s still the most important factor in admissions), which will help determine schools and scholarship possibilities; crunch the numbers, not to dismiss the idea but to be realistic; explore different interests, but know that you won’t know what you really love (or hate) till you are doing it for a while. Life is short, but never too short to change the road you’re on.

      • OP here. I really appreciate hearing from you. I’m going to take the rest of the academic year to think and explore just as you suggest. I’m sure the process will be valuable, whether or not I end up in law school. Thanks again.

  6. I need some setting boundaries advice. I’m an associate in BigLaw, about six years in. I’m five months pregnant, and will have billed almost 300 hours this month. October is looking to be at least as bad, because we have a big trial at the end of the month. I’m usually a high biller and the trial team needs all hands on deck, but I don’t think it’s a good idea (or fair to baby) to be pushing myself this hard. I don’t have a close relationship with anyone on the trial team; they’re all in a different office. Do I just have the up front conversation of: you guys, I’m pregnant and need a break? I am hesitant because I don’t want to be viewed as looking for a break. Or do I just become more firm in saying no? My concern there is that boundaries are reallllly hard to enforce when people are gearing up for trial and working around the clock. Any advice?

    • Just be really firm on saying no. Say you can’t, that someone else will have to handle it.

    • IME people tend to respect those that set firm boundaries for themselves. I have seen so many women toil away and damage their health/family situations for no benefit. Also, people may not be very considerate of pregnant women either because they have never been themselves or they don’t want to make generalizations on what you can or cannot do.

    • Set the boundaries. You need to sleep, and the baby needs you to sleep. Hugs, I know this is hard.

    • Find someone else in your office to jump in. “I need a break” isn’t likely to be respected; “I’m not available but
      Sue can assist” is fine though. Talk to the partners in your office to see what can be done.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 I called in all my favours with other associates during my pregnancy. Folks knew I was a hard worker and was asking for their help because I needed it not because I wanted to shirk responsibility, so they stepped up.

        • Mineallmine :

          Yes, do ask for help, but please help those associates in return. I very often help pregnant and colleagues with kids cope with their workload, but I don’t get much in return. I don’t need much help, but for example next week I’m having outpatient surgery and have asked a colleague I’ve helped in the past to cover a meeting (that ironically I am on only because I’m covering for someone on maternity leave), and the response was no, they can’t take the time because they are afraid it will mean they won’t be able to leave on time. I’m not calling out this one colleague, but omg I’m so sick of everyone expecting me to stay late because I don’t have childcare, but then the few times I could use help, it’s a hard no even if the ask doesn’t directly conflict with their schedule. This call is at 11 am.

    • Anon in NYC :

      You have my sympathy, but I’m not sure that there is any way that you can say this without there being some negative repercussions. I think it would be a different story if this was your normal workload. But I don’t think that any senior person is going to take this well. There are probably discreet instances where you can push back, but everyone on the team is sleep deprived and pushing themselves too hard. Also, absent medical issues, the baby is probably fine (i.e., it’s not unfair to the baby for you to be working this hard).

      • Anon in NYC :

        Sorry, I realize I sound very unsympathetic (I’m not). I just think that in the lead up to a big trial, everyone’s nerves are frayed. I think you can/should set boundaries that you need and are comfortable with, but also just be aware that it likely won’t be without consequences.

      • sorry but I agree :

        I’ve been in a similar situation, including a lot of travel., and I kind of agree with this. To ask for some concessions I think you need a medical reason beyond “I’m pregnant.” It would be different if it were “doctor’s orders.”

      • I don’t think there won’t be negative repercussions, but I do think you need to talk to a staffer (after you talk to a doctor and get a note). I just did a near 300 hour month in August, and I’m still tired! I have worked with pregnant biglaw ladies who worked and worked until the baby stopped kicking (no joke) and it scared them to death (baby was fine, in both cases). Please don’t wait until something happens for you to step back. STEP BACK. Your job will still be there after. You need to not take on everything they are assigning you. Push back, and have the doctor’s note. Do it.

        • Push back and consider it practice for after you actually have the baby and need to push back then.

          • Agree.

            Also: there will be consequences. Better to manage with a “I can’t and I’m going to bring in Julietta” than “I can’t.”

            You’ll have 18 years to it right (and if you keep having 300 hour months, you won’t last very long as a working parent (even if you only shoulder 50% of the kid-related schedule changes)).

        • Agree. Dont wait for the scary outcome. If your body is telling you (or even hinting) that it’s too much, it’s definitely too much. (It’s like the advice to drink water before you’re thirsty, because thirsty = dehydrated and it’s late). Push back despite possible negative consequences. Careers have ups and downs and it’s ok to take a back seat sometimes.

      • Aaaaand this thread convinced me that I need to leave biglaw before I get pregnant. I am just not up for what I am reading here. I was going to try to stick it out because of the really good maternity leave my firm has, but I am not willing to work myself to the bone while I’m pregnant. And to think that I have been to panels with people seriously wondering why women leave biglaw in higher number than men…

    • BigLaw worked me until I was hospitalized with pneumonia at 7 months pregnant and unable to take in enough oxygen for the baby. Even then I was still answering discovery requests from my hospital bed. You need to set boundaries. I think the simplest is to set “sleeping hours” that are mandatory (e.g. 11 PM to 6 AM) and you’ll have to pass off any work that you can’t get done during your “awake hours.”

    • I think you can set up boundaries that make sense in order to respond to whatever symptoms you’re having in your pregnancy. For example, I threw up 4 or 5 times before 10am for the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy, so I started coming in an 11am and people were fine with that because no one expected me to be at work throwing up in my office garbage can. My doctor considered my pregnancy a “high risk” pregnancy, so I once in a while peppered “My doctor says my pregnancy is high risk, so I need to be careful” into conversation and the stay-up-all-night assignments started being re-routed to other associates.

      I don’t work in biglaw, so YMMV, but at around 6 months I started transitioning files, starting with trial files, in a “just in case something happens because you never know with pregnancy” sort of way.

    • Don’t have advice to give except be firm! My last pregnancy I wasn’t and I ended up with gestational diabetes that I’m 90 percent sure was caused by a week with a crazy closing.

    • Oh goodness–this sounds so familiar that I am wondering if you are on MY trial team, which is also going to trial at the end of October. If someone on my team came to me and told me they were pregnant and needed to set up boundaries, I would definitely help them advocate with the partners for what they needed (I am a senior associate). I worked a 300 hour month last month, and that really affected me health-wise, and I’m not pregnant! So this is totally understandable that you need to figure out how to manage going forward.

      I would also say that you can frame it not as stepping back–which you’re not really doing–you’re just ensuring that you’re able to both do your work and also ensure your health and that of your child. Everyone has to have some boundaries, and you’re just setting yours.

    • Anonymous :

      Welcome to motherhood. Definitely push back, even if there are repercussions. I was in a similar position, and prioritized the baby’s health, on the basis that my colleagues could help me with my workload, but I was the only one who could grow the baby. Don’t worry about asking for help…there will be plenty of times you’ll be able to repay the favor, and people might be quite happy to have the opportunity to be on the trial. Something like “My doctor has ordered that I rest 8 hours per night (have a note ready and submit it to HR/line manager), Jane is available to assist if additional help is needed” might work better than dropping off the team entirely.

  7. R-D Airport :

    NC ladies, what is the situation with Uber/Lyft at Raleigh-Durham Airport? Can I get one to pick me up from there, or do I need to take a taxi? If I can use ride-sharing, is there a designated or recommended pickup point?

  8. For my 40th birthday I ran a 10k, for my 41st birthday I stepped in a low spot on a soccer field and hurt my back like no pain I’ve ever had.

    That was 8 days ago. It’s acute pain level to my waist in my lower back. It feels MUCH better laying down. Is this something a chiropractor can help with?

    • Anonymous :

      Have you been to a doctor?

    • PT all the way

    • Yes. I would go to a chiropractor for sure for that. My chiro always fixes my lower back pain.

    • Doctor before chiropractor.

    • Piggybacking on this, I have been feeling dull pain in my lower back a week after falling a bit awkwardly at the climbing gym. I can still go about my daily activities and have climbed one more time since then, but how long can new pain go on before you should see someone about it? My pain is less acute/severe than the OP’s.

      • Not saying I’m not model for how to be nice to your body through injury, but I would personally not worry about this if it’s only been hurting for a week. I have a tweaky shoulder that sometimes throws a fit if I brace wrong in a dihedral. If it doesn’t go away in 2-3 weeks I start to worry.

      • You only have one back. Stop climbing and go to the doctor.

      • I have a fairly advanced yoga practice, so occasionally I’ll tweak something, usually when falling out of an inversion. I’ll try a few days of gentler yoga, but if I’m still feeling it in three days or so I’m making a chiro appointment. One visit and I’m back to normal for a while.

        Honestly alignment stuff just seems so much like a chiropractor’s area, I’m not sure what a doctor would do. Take x-rays, prescribe medicine and PT? I don’t understand the resistance to chiros. Just like I go to my dentist if a tooth hurts, I go to a chiro if my back hurts.

    • Yes. I swear by my chiropractor for back issues.

    • Please, please… see a doctor before you go to a chiropractor.

      • Why? I’ve been to three chiropractors in my life due to different moves. All three have taken x-rays, been very professional and educated, and helped my back pain completely. I agree that I don’t respect/like chiropractors that claim to cure cancer/etc., but there’s definitely a lane for them – and back/joint alignment is that lane.

        • Because they don’t have anywhere near the training or regulation that actual medical doctors do so you are running a real risk that they won’t properly treat an injury or will make it worse. Many of them also focus on keeping a person in treatment indefinitely so they can continue to charge them rather than actually fixing the issue.

          • All of the chiropractors I’ve seen have doctorates degrees in chiropractics. Many PCPs, at least in my region, are nurse practitioners or physicians assistants – I have no issue with this, but I would say they have comparable education levels.

            And the second point is anecdotal evidence, perhaps based on your own experience? If a chiro is keeping you in treatment indefinitely, find a different chiro. I have had three different chiros over my life and all of them were focused on getting me better and out of treatment.

        • It depends on the country but in some places a Chiropractor has a doctorate of chiropractics and in other countries it’s a 2 year college diploma. There is a big difference from 2 years to 8 years of education.

        • KateMiddletown :

          I guess I’ll add to this – what do you expect your PCP to do? Refer you to a sports physician/PT, which is what chiropractors can also do? I don’t get the resistance, other than maybe having had personal bad experiences or coming across the occasional antivaxxer chiro.

      • Disagree. Every time I’ve ever had an injury like this, all the doctor did was give me opiate pain meds and muscle relaxers. Whereas my chiro could actually fix the problem, without giving me unnecessary addictive medications originally intended for end-stage cancer patients. OP – call a chiropractor. If the chiro can’t fix it, then call the doctor for an MRI.

        • +1. I am presently dealing with an injury like this. I went to the doctor yesterday, and was offered an opiate (declined) and a muscle relaxer (accepted so I can sleep). My doctor also told me to follow up with a chiropractor.

          My doctor said if the chiro/pt couldn’t fix the problem, we’d do an MRI, but that it should be a last resort.

          I agree that some chiropractors are quacks. But so are some doctors.

        • Anonymous :

          Opiates? That’s ridiculous! Next time see another doctor instead.

    • On my 39th birthday I was being treated for a herniated disk which cleared up after 6 months of PT and a lumbar injection. I really, really wish I had gone to the doctor earlier (and been more assertive with her about pursing aggressive treatment). Please go to the doctor.

      • Dr. Google has me thinking this is what happened to me.

        • Please get it checked out ASAP. I ended up having several weeks where I couldn’t sleep for more than 3 hours in a stretch (pain would wake me up). I really regret letting it get to that point. FYI, I recommend the Thermacare back heat wraps for temporary relief.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – if the Doc tells you it’s a muscle issue and to go to the Chiro, fine. But will a chiro be able to diagnosis and treat a disk issue?

    • Speaking from my experience – when I suffered back pain for 6month thinking stretching, yoga, swimming and PT is all I need and only later on I found that I have a degenerative disc disease and other issues (I am 33yo) – doctor first and s/he will recommend the right regime for you. It may be “just” an overloaded muscle, but I would rather be safe. Back problems should not be underestimated.

    • Go to your PCP.
      Chances are, PCP will say ibuprofen or naproxen, rest, PT, you’ll feel better in 7-10 days. Pretty standard, boring stuff, and you’ll probably wonder why you wasted a $30 copay.

      Nothing against chiro – go there, too.
      Sometimes acupuncture helps, give it a shot.
      I consider these complementary therapies, not one-stop solutions.

      Make sure you go to your PCP.
      Why? So you have it documented. JUST IN CASE. You never know, should it keep reoccurring or never get better, you’re going to need a PCP to help coordinate your care and get you to the right specialist.

      PCP who recently diagnosed psoriatic spondylitis in a mid-30’s woman complaining of “overdoing it in yoga”.

    • Doctor! You might have a slipped/bulging disc. You need an x Ray at a minimum.

    • Please, if you have acute pain that is impinging on your lifestyle and normal activities, see a doctor to rule out anything serious.

      I have a herniated disk in my lower back, which I am genetically susceptible to but helped along quite a bit because I danced fairly seriously until I was 18. When I first injured myself at age 17 (I’m now 26), I thought I had just over-stretched when I wasn’t warm. Soon, I could barely stand, lift my leg, or drive (lifting leg + sitting = excruciating pain). I saw an orthopedic specialist, who told me to rest and take anti-inflammatories. I then had a round of physical therapy. Exciting? No. But it did work — rest was the biggest thing.

      The pain eventually went away and I resumed dancing (albeit more carefully), but this is a chronic injury that will never fully go away. From time to time, I still feel some weakness in my lower back, and I’ve had the injury recur in full force maybe twice in the past 10 years. Regular massages have helped keep the muscles around my spine happy and less stressed since I’ve become more active as of late, which helps, but I’m just careful now in a way I wasn’t before.

      That said, unless this is just a strained muscle, I’d be wary of anyone who says they can “fix” you — chiropractor or doctor. Just my two cents — wishing you a speedy recovery.

  9. Is anyone here a member of or familiar with WGR, Women in Government Relations? I’m considering joining.

    • Yes, it is a great group. I’ve enjoyed networking events, panels, discussions and meeting interesting women in a variety of practice fields. I would highly recommend, especially if your employer would cover the cost as a professional association.

      • Thanks, yes. My boss actually suggested I look into some organizations that I could put down on my review for 2018 professional development goals and said they’d be happy to pay for some associations.

        Can you recommend any other relevant groups? I’m good for the technical knowledge of my field; it’s the GR skills I’d like to expand.

  10. Calibrachoa :

    The plus size option is super cute and has poccketttsssss

  11. I miss the “old” (read: vintage 1980s-1990s) Evan Picone. Real wool, full linings, all leather shoes (inside and out).

    • Yes! So tailored. Lining seems to be a lost art. I have two pairs of very expensive black wool pants and cannot bear to wear them since they don’t have lining. :(

      • Did you know there is such a thing as a pants slip? It’s not as good as built in lining, but it helps.

        You can cut this one to the length you need.

      • lawsuited :

        For some reason your comment makes me think: So tailored! Much chic!

    • Me too! I started working in 1988 and would stalk Evan Picone on the Macy’s clearance racks. None of my pieces matched because I couldn’t afford full price but they were beautiful. I wish I hadn’t gotten rid of them.

      I had an olive and black tiny print drape neck silk blouse ala LA Law that I would give my left tit to have back.

  12. mega-anon :

    I’m the poster from a couple weeks ago whose husband thinks he may be transgender.

    I wanted to sincerely thank you all for the awesome, supportive responses. In the middle of a challenging work project and an unbelievable personal situation, I felt everyone’s care and kindness and it helped.

    For an update – we’ve been talking a TON. I actually feel closer to him than ever. He’s doing the work – weekly therapy, lots of thought and reflection, etc. I have had one session with his therapist, who I liked very much, and one hilariously awful session with another person. I am still looking for my own therapist but hope to have one soon. We are clear with each other on our commitment to stay married. I know that the hardest times are probably still ahead of us, but I’m hopeful.

    • Good luck from all of us here. You’re a saint.

      • If she’s a saint does that make her husband a villain or a charity case? Maybe she’s just a woman in a marriage worth fighting for with a partner worth standing by.

        OP – I’ve been thinking about you and am glad to hear such a hopeful update. I wish you and your husband the best of luck as you navigate these waters.

        • Neither? She can be a saint because she is dealing with a difficult situation so gracefully, it doesn’t mean her husband is a villain.

          • I’ve got to admit this is probably a me issue, and I typed too quickly. I have some life circumstances that mean that people often say stuff like this to me (you’re a saint, I couldn’t do it, etc.). Although it’s well-meaning, I find it condescending and off-putting. It’s hard to articulate why, but It always seems to suggest that I’m some sort of superhuman, not just a regular person who is working very hard and experiencing everything that goes along with that. Again – this is a me issu, but I will say that I have other folks in my particular community express the same sentiment.

          • Sorry – follow-up. It is also upsetting to me because it implies that it would take a saint to put up with the [in my case] child or [in this case] husband in question.

          • Well, it WOULD take a lot to choose to remain married to someone when you learn that they are transgender. That carries a lot of possibilities that affect sexuality, whether they are still sexually attracted to you, whether you are still sexually attracted to them, and whether your marriage can work through that. It’s wonderful that the OP is being supportive and is committed to staying married– it also means she is, in a manner of speaking, a saint. It’s just a figure of speech. You’re right; this is a you issue.

        • Anonymous :

          this is 100% a you issue. i took this also as OP is being very graceful and brave and awesome and kind in a difficult (for her!) situation

    • I remember your post and you are approaching this with incredible strength and grace. Best wishes to you and your partner!

    • Thanks for sharing this update!

    • Good luck. Marriage can take you to all kinds of places, and sometimes the places you didn’t expect turn out to be wonderful. I hope for both of your that this is a journey that you’re able to take together, but if it ultimately isn’t, it sounds like you’re on a path that will let you tackle that with respect and love.

  13. Purse shopping help :

    Ladies: I want to buy myself a beautiful leather bag for a milestone celebration. I would love your help brainstorming options. Requirements:

    – In color, like oxblood, blue or blue grey
    -Big enough to carry a notepad, some file folders, but not necessarily a laptop
    – Designer

    I have my eye on the Celine phantom, but the large size is what I would want, and it’s a little more than I would like to spend. Any other suggestions, preferably that retail under $4000?



      • +1 to Mulberry. I bought myself the small zipped bayswater in clay two weeks ago as a “welcome back to work” post-maternity pick me up. I love it. The small is not quite big enough for file folders, so I would go with the regular size.

        • Onlyworkingmomintulsa :

          +2 to the mulberry zipped bayswater. This is my dream bag that I am planning on buying to treat myself after carrying a diaper bag for five years straight.

    • Not sure this would be the right size, but (there’s a larger one, but it doesn’t come in oxblood, which I think is the best color)

    • In mod with the Prada Bibliotheque

    • Christina Jurado :

      Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour
      Fendi Peekaboo
      Prada have some beautiful oxbloods but may be over budget in that size.

      Oh I do love bags!

    • Shopaholic :

      I recently bought the Celine Mini Luggage and it is beautiful and quite large (I can fit a 13-inch MacBook).

      If you’re not opposed, I would highly recommend getting a gently used bag – you can find bags that are in amazing shape (some even have the tags still on) but you can save $1000

    • IP Associate :

      Saint Laurent Sac Du Jour for a structured bag, Proenza Schouler PS1 for a less structured bag (very similar to the Mulberry Alexa but a little more modern IMO).

    • Anonymous :

      Bottega Veneta. No question about it. Around $2500 retail.

  14. Need Balance :

    I’d like to hire someone to make dinner for my family several times a week. I don’t want a delivery service per person that’s like takeout (I.e., munchery). Rather I want full meals made for an entire family. I’m fine with someone either coming into my home and cooking a few times a week, or someone delivering meals every day that have been prepared in their kitchen. (I’ve heard some chefs work for several families and divide meals between them.)
    I live in North Arlington, VA. Anyone have any recommendations?

    • This isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, but just in case you can’t find what you’re looking for in this area, I can’t say enough good things about Healthy Fresh Meals (.com). (Other readers, sorry, they’re only in the DC area.) They’re genuinely good, healthy, and fresh.

    • We have used Friend that Cooks. I’ll put the link in the next comment.

    • I think someone suggested Galley to you yesterday…I know they operate in the NOVA area, and they’re pretty good.

    • Is there something like this in Chicago?

    • I have done something like this. We posted an ad on, and used recipes from a meal planning service. She came in once a week, and on that day she made our dinner but also did all of the prep work (dicing vegetables, etc) for the rest of the meals. I’m sure that we could have found someone to come in multiple times a week if we preferred that. Slightly more organizational work than finding a service that’s already set up, but it did end up saving us a lot of time and, crucially, making it possible to get dinner on the table after work before our kids melted down from hunger/tiredness. We only kept it up for six months after I returned from my second maternity leave, but I would definitely do it again if I faced another similarly hectic period (or if I just had a lot more money to throw at things).

      • Need Balance :

        Thanks! This is a great idea.

      • also :

        We also found someone on who does this. She grocery shops as part of her duties. She comes on Monday & Thursday, so it’s not every night, but there are always leftovers and we usually get takeout on Fridays.

    • No specific recommendations, but friends have used the Thumbtack service to hire it out with good results.

    • You want a personal chef. A quick search shows several in the DMV area.

  15. Anon for this :

    Does the hive have any thoughts on how much p*rn the men in your lives watch? DH is mid 30s, very good guy and no complaints otherwise but will often (privately) watch up to 4 hours in the middle of the night, going with less sleep. A moderate amount is fine but this seems too much. Thoughts?

    • TBH, I have no idea. I don’t have any complaints about our $ex life or our relationship generally, so to me I don’t really care how much he is or isn’t watching.

      Is it causing a problem other than you just don’t like it?

    • I have no idea. I know he self gardens and I assume he watches gardening shows (love the commenter who came up with that euphemism) as part of that, but I’ve never seen or heard him do it. Leaving your bed in the middle of the night to watch gardening shows for several hours seems odd and disrespectful to you. Can you ask him to be more discreet about it?

    • anon for this :

      Up to 4 hours?? That is a serious red flag. I think it’s fine if people watch it once in a while, but this seems quite excessive.

      • I mean this in a kind way, but that is a serious red flag to me. Up to 4 hours? Forgoing sleep? Every day? I oppose the p*rnography industry in general, but even my friends who disagree with me would be concerned about that level of consistent usage, especially if it’s taking over time that is needed for something else. Not sure of how best to approach it though…

      • Why though? I firmly reject the notion that spending a long time watching p*rn, without more, is a serious red flag. If it’s interfering with his sleep, his work, his relationship, other parts of his s*x life, or if he’s unhappy about it– those are problems. Not the amount of time itself. Who defines what’s excessive?

        S*x is very important to me. Once in a while I will absolutely spend a leisurely afternoon or evening reading er*tica, watching p*rn, and enjoying myself. Hours can go by real fast. Just like sleeping with a man. Haven’t you ever been with a dude and looked at the clock and been shocked to find it was 4:00 am?

        • But it is interfering with his sleep . . . And honestly, how could you spend FOUR HOURS doing anything on a regular basis and not have it impact other parts of your life?

          • I was just pushing back on the other commentor’s automatic reaction that 4 hours was a red flag and that p0rn should only be watched “once in a while” (um, why?). I just don’t think it’s always pathological to spend that much time on one’s s*xuality, partnered or otherwise, provided everything else is healthy and happy (which may not be the case here).

            And honestly how often do we find we’ve spent FOUR HOURS watching netflix or reading dumb stuff on the internet or dillydallying around the house or otherwise not making the best use of our time?

    • Well, skipping sleep for 4 hours for porn is…. not a great sign. Is he tired during the day? Unless he is one of those rare folks that doesn’t need sleep, this is unsustainable.

      How is your s3x life?

    • I don’t really have any idea how much SO watches, though I assume it’s not none. I don’t know what amount of time is reasonable, but skipping sleep to do it seems eyebrow raising to me. But then, I get super, super cranky if I don’t get enough sleep; maybe he needs less than I do.

    • This would be a big red flag for me. But not sure I’m representative in that DH barely watches any, like less than me. But he doesn’t watch much tv/videos at all. He follows a number of attractive female athletes on social media though and is super into the in-person stuff.

    • Skipping four hours of sleep to do anything is a major health issue.

    • I was really prepared to say “Who cares?! Let him watch all the porn!” because I genuinely do not care if my DH watches porn. During my shark week when we’re not gardening together, he may watch porn/self garden every night before he comes to bed and I do not care (in fact I may offer suggestions which I find hilarious :D). Its a routine for us and he’s generally in bed with me within a half an hour.

      But…..four hours consistently is a lot, especially in the middle of the night. It is weird.

    • As others have said, whether something is “excessive” depends on whether it’s interfering with or negatively affecting other parts of his life (and ultimately, you). I can’t imagine that being up for 4 hours in the middle of the night isn’t interfering with something though.

      That said, don’t jump to conclusions that self-gardening or porn is the problem. He may be dealing with anxiety or insomnia or some other health issue and hopes that gardening will help him relax and get back to sleep.

    • Skipping 4 hours of sleep in the middle of the night to watch nature documentaries is alarming too. Is he having trouble sleeping? Could it be stress or some kind of medical issue.

    • I’m very gardening-positive and have no problem with gardening shows, but this seems like compulsive behavior. Is there underlying anxiety that’s contributing to insomnia? When I’m anxious I’ll skip sleep to read comment sections, pointless internet articles, etc, for similar lengths of time and I think similar reasons. It’s a numbing agent.

      • Thanks everyone for the feedback. I too think 4 hours of anything on a regular basis in the middle of the night is concerning especially re long term health. He is a little compulsive but this habit has not affected his work performance – holds down steady job, works hard. I just wish he could limit himself to half an hour and be done with it. Not at this point a divorce worthy issue but I don’t want to keep harping on this over the next few decades either.

        • If you do feel like you need to work through, I think it’s possible to frame it in a way that’s not about the p*rn at all. If it impacts his sleep, his health, his mood, etc., then it’s a problem for those reasons, not because of any objection to the p*rn itself.

  16. Tired Mommy :

    Help! I am considering leaving a great job for another job that presents opportunity to develop new skills in my profession. I’m a lawyer and the position I’m considering has more of an oral advocacy practice than I currently have. I feel like my ambitious side of me is warring with the other side of me that wants to stay in my comfortable, flexible position. I have a preschooler and a toddler and I know that life will get even crazier when they start school. But….I’m concerned if I stay here my skill set will get stale (currently work in a very niche area of law) making it extremely difficult to leave in the future. I love my coworkers and am generally happy. A part of me thinks I’m reaching for the next brass ring because that is what I am suppose to do and not necessarily because I WANT to do it. My husband thinks I should take it because I do sometimes complain about my job, but realistically no job is perfect and without complaints. I’m trying to remain rational, but emotionally it is difficult. I cried on the way home this week because the thought of leaving makes me so sad. UGGGG!

    • anon for this :

      The oral advocacy is the most fun and rewarding part of my practice. It’s a bit terrifying of course standing up there, but I get such a rush of adrenaline when I argue. Also, I love all of the accolades I get afterwards, the fact that the press wants me to comment (which I never do), the fact that my name gets listed in the papers afterwards, etc. It’s a lot of glory. If you think you would be good at it and would enjoy it, absolutely go for it. It’s also taught me a lot about how to think on my feet.

    • If crying about leaving makes you sad enough to cry, I think that’s your answer right there.

      This internet stranger gives you permission to stop chasing the next thing and enjoy the life you have.

      • Agree with this. I cried about leaving my old job (including in a grumpy old man partner’s office. So mortifying.) I’ve been gone for two years and I’m still sad about it. I don’t know that I’d say leaving was a mistake, because my current job fits into my life much better. But damn, I loved that job. Sigh.

      • More permission. Your life is about more than accumulating the brass rings.

      • Plus there will be more opportunities in the future. This is not the only fish in the sea!

      • Anonattorney :

        Eh, again, I’m the contrarian today. I was sad about leaving my old job, and actually cried a few times. Three years later, it was the best decision ever and I’m so happy at the new place. Make career decisions based on the content of the work, and the structure of the workplace. Not on individual people. You will make new friends at the new job (provided that you’ve done your homework on investigating office culture, and it’s compatible with what you’re looking for), and if you are truly close with your old coworkers, they will remain your friends.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        It is also ok to want the next thing.

        Kid schedules can be worked out – millions of women manage kids and a career. Do not let that stop you from going after what you want, IF you want it.

  17. Buying clothes before a pregnancy? :

    I’m in desperate need of fall/winter work clothes but I’m planning to try to get pregnant startng in November. Any recommendations for clothes/styles that would fit now and also be wearable and comfortable for the early pregnancy inbetween stage before maternity clothes? My office is on the more formal end of business casual. I feel like I did maternity clothes all wrong with my first and felt really unattractive and dumpy at work my whole pregnancy so I’m trying to avoid that now. Thanks!

    • Don’t. You’re not pregnant. Youre not even trying to get pregnant. It can be a long road, don’t make it even harder on yourself.

      • Eh I don’t think it’s the worst idea. I got pregnant the first month trying – it happens! – and between first trimester fatigue and a lot of work travel, I had no time to buy any new clothes and suddenly I was 12 weeks and had nothing to wear. I ended up buying and keeping a bunch of ugly and expensive maternity clothes because I had literally nothing to wear to work and needs something ASAP.
        Buying maternity clothes before you get pregnant is weird, but I think if you plan to try soon it makes sense to buy some loose fitting dresses in your normal size. These will last a lot longer than pants and fitted dresses once you get pregnant. I’m 24 weeks now and still wearing a GAP jersey swing dress in ny pre-preg size.

      • +1

    • Dresses and blazers. With both of my pregnancies, I wore non-maternity (non-sheath) dresses with tights and blazers, particularly in the winter months. I would also throw a structured blazer on over looser or more flowing blouses, particularly once I switched to maternity pants (lots of love for the Gap and Loft black ponte pants here).

    • I was able to wear pre-pregnancy clothes til 25 weeks, and at 30 weeks can still wear some of my pre-pregnancy work clothes. The key for me is dresses that have some stretch in the material. A Tahari one from Nordstrom Rack that I keep thinking won’t zip the next time I try it has kept on zipping! Let me also evangelize for Jockey slip shorts – they are so comfortable and support and smooth the baby bump without the tightness of spanx.

      I bought a larger size black blazer during the Nordstrom anniversary sale and wear it on repeat. I also feel comfortable mixing in cardigans instead of always a blazer because I’m enormous and can’t imagine anyone begrudges the choice.

      • Buying clothes before a pregnancy? :

        Thanks! To clarify I’m not planning on buying maternity clothes before I’m pregnant , but I need to buy some fall/winter clothes to wear now and ideally I don’t want to buy a bunch of things I’m not going to be able to wear in a few months. So these are good suggestions!

      • And on the flip side… my regular pants stopped buttoning before 8 weeks and by 12 weeks nothing except the flowiest dresses fit. The bloat is real for some people. First pregnancy. (Fwiw I was overdue and only gained 25 pounds total so it wasn’t that my eating was out of control or anything).

    • I’d look for some A-line dresses. Everyone gains weight differently during pregnancy, but chances are you will be OK in anything not fitted through the waist through your first trimester.

    • I’m 8 weeks along and will likely need something new in the next week or two – suggestions to bite the bullet and buy maternity (that will likely be a bit big) or should I try an aline style and hope to eek another month or so from it? I’m thinking it might be useful on the other end too, but on the other hand makes sense to wear the maternity stuff as long as possible!

      • Anonattorney :

        Bleh, buy a-line. Or something you can belt? Or cute skinny jeans and a more flowy top.

      • lawsuited :

        The only true maternity items I had to buy were pants. For all other stuff, you’ll get better quality and value if you look at looser/stretchier styles or bigger sizes in straight-sized brands.

    • Not sure if this would work in your office but I got a lot of mileage out of skinny maternity pants and generously cut non-maternity size tunics/oversized sweaters in the early months. If you could find a stretchy nonmaternity pant that is functionally equivalent to a legging but appropriately dressy this might work.

    • I think it’s hard to do clothes that have give without also looking a bit frumpy in a formal environment. A lot Ali’s depends on your body. I wore all my regular clothes – work and otherwise – with both pregnancies thru the first trimester but I have a small waist and curvy thighs so most skirts could just sit a little higher and pants that probably would have looked better with an inch taken in at the waist non-pregnant ended up being just perfect.

      If you want to buy something, I agree blazers and dresses are the way to go. Certainly a couple of good wintry blazers will do a lot to update your wardrobe and can be worn regardless of pregnancy. If you look good in and can wear shift dresses those should work too.

    • lawsuited :

      Flowy blouses (to camouflage a wee baby bump), pencil skirts (more forgiving than pants), and ponte knit dresses.

  18. Anyone have success stories about methods/products to remedy decades of over plucking eyebrows? (For me this is the area between the eyebrows, not under the arches, if it makes any difference.) I stopped plucking the area at least six months ago, but regrowth is very patchy on one side and practically nonexistent on the other, so I’m not optimistic that normal eyebrow hairs are going to regrow naturally. Is there anything I can do? Rogaine? Tattoo?! Go back in time to talk to my teenage self about using restraint with the tweezers? Ugh.

    • I was exactly where you are now, about a year ago. I now have my big natural brooke sheilds brows back, after a decade and a half of looking surprised and face-bald all the time. I was an under-arch plucker, though, but here’s what I did; I think you could replicate for the inside edges to a certain extent.

      I got a brow regrowth product (blue tube, blanking on name, like 25$) at Sephora/Ulta and applied that at night; not sure if it was the silver bullet they advertise to be, because I was not super religious about it, but I think it was mildly helpful. I also got really good at “doing” my eyebrows everyday. Benefit’s Precisely My Brow brush/pencil combo is really solid (NYX makes a good drugstore dupe) for defining the outline of my brows and adding light, hair-like strokes to camo bald spots; as time has passed and the hair has come back, I need this to a lesser extent, but I still use it daily for definition. Then, I use the Urban Decay brow box powder and little stippling brush to fill in and add some…volume? to the brows. The powder sort of catches on whatever hair you’ve already got and fills in, or you can stipple it directly onto your skin. There’s a setting wax, too, but I only use that in rare instances. I find that a heavy hand with the wax leads to looking like Kardashian with plastic eyebrows. I brush and trim my brow hairs and shape really sparingly, now, to keep everything looking tidy (I think that really helps while you’re regrowing…some maintenance helps the regrowth look more intentional).

      Part of the process, too, was just accepting that it’s going to look hella awkward while you’re regrowing, and that sometimes, the hair may not come back in the most evenly (or at all).

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have the same issue (though under arch overplucking, not so much between the brows). The early 00’s were just such a thin brow time… sigh. I have tried the Benefit brow “conditioner” but don’t feel it’s worth the money. I use the Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil that Pompom mentioned (I didn’t know about the NYX dupe– many thanks, Pompom!) and fill them in pretty aggressively every day. Benefit also makes a brow mascara type product called Gimme Brow that can add volume (but can also be messy).

      I decided to start growing them back in about a year ago, and the Benefit brow ladies suggested to “put your tweezers in the freezer.” Now, I never tweeze a single hair from my own brows for any reason and just have the Benefit bar clean them up every two months. I’ve been doing this for about a year and can tell there is a lot of regrowth (I no longer look sick when I haven’t filled in my brows). But I don’t know that they will ever return to their original state. I do plan to do microblading in a few months after this pregnancy.

    • anon for this :

      Same issue. I have not tweezed my eyebrows in YEARS and they’re still so sparse. I tried one regrowth product but I don’t like the idea of having to use something every day for the rest of my life (hair falls out if you stop using it) plus it was pricey. I’m now back to using regular castor oil which is supposed to be great for regrowth (but it will happen slowly). Worse come to worse, castor oil is all natural and it’s not going to hurt me.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I have been using the Rodan and Fields Lash Boost product on both my lashes and brows. I have to say, it’s actually working (slowly but surely). I have heard from a Dr that Latisse will also regrown eyebrows, although FDA approved for lashes.

    • Anonymous :


      • Anonattorney :

        This! My friend just did it and they look AMAZING. So natural, so awesome. I’m insanely jealous.

    • Brow success :

      Yes. Buy Grande Brow. It is more expensive than some brow growth products but it works better. I think it is more concentrated. I’ve found it discounted on Overstock. Every night you brush it on the area you want to grow and you’ll notice a difference in a month. Be a little cautious about penciling in that area while it is growing because I’ve been told that too much pressure can uproot new fine hairs.

    • Claudette :

      Thanks, everyone! You give me hope!

  19. NYU Abu Dhabi :

    I saw a commercial for this on TV this morning. Does anyone have any experience there (that NYU campus or the city)? I went to NYU (the one in the village) and used to live in the middle east. Would you consider sending a daughter there (not for four years, but for a summer program, to learn a bit more about the world)?

    We are in the SEUS now and while I would be happy for my daughter to be in my city as an adult, I’d also like for her to know the broader world better.

    [I liked the village and would also send her there for a summer program. I’m not a big NYU lover though (among my collection of schools attended it is my least favorite) and already lived in NYC at the time I took graduate classes there.]

    • All she will learn is what life is like in a rich expat enclave.

      • +1

        Also, there are a million summer programs to pick from. You don’t want a summer program offered by an American university if you want to expose yourself to the world. That’s basically a learning vacation with other Americans. It’s a total bubble. You want to attend a summer program at a solid university in the target country/region.

    • Yes, I absolutely would. Sounds fantastic.

      A friend of mine is a professor there in the sciences, and her laboratory is filled with all women from 7 different countries. My friend is very progressive politically and runs a mentorship program for women in science.

      It is absolutely a bubble, but all of the Universities I went to were bubbles…. yes? The question is will she meet interesting people and learn. She absolutely will. She will meet a fascinating array of students from throughout the middle east and europe.

    • NYU Abu Dhabi :

      Thanks — that makes perfect sense. It all looks so lovely on TV — look — women PHDs in science in Abu Dhabi!

      If she lifeguarded and took community college classes in our city this coming summer, she might learn as much (and yet of different things) (and turn a profit).

      • Summer in Abu Dhabi means she’d just be in an air conditioned rich people bubble all summer – please teach her the value of a dollar by having her work a boring teen job, rather than flying her halfway around the world to pose with rich kids of insta.

      • Yes, my friend has several PhD students in her lab who are women. Muslim women. And they are lovely and ambitious and not what most Americans who live in the South probably picture when they think of a Muslim woman.

        I suspect the other posters have not been to this university or have a personal connection to it or the program?

        Obviously lifeguarding and community college classes would be nothing like a summer at a University in Abu Dhabi. But you know your daughter and your comfort level.

        • NYU Abu Dhabi :

          I was in the middle east (parents job took us there) and while I was in a bubble of sorts, I lived in my city (not in a compount) and actually met my neighbors. The American perception of Muslims (and Muslim women) is not what I have seen for myself and I do want some of that (even if via a bubble) for my children. Hence the rich western bubble is tolerable here b/c of what is added with it — geography, the co-worker types mentioned above, etc. It was a very magical place to me and I remain very glad that I had that experience.

          Of course, our city has many immgrants now and our community college is a very heartwarming ground zero in helping new adult arrivals navigate careers and jobs here, learn English better, understanding the true value of a dollar, etc. [Unlike NYU, I actually donate to my community college even though I’m not an alumna.]

          My daughter is a math person and my geographic interest in the area has rubbed off on her a bit (and b/c she has always liked Arabic numbers and was curious about where they came from). I would let her run down this road a bit since she is inclined.

          Lifeguarding wouldn’t be bad either. Would let us have another summer together before she goes off.

        • I am a woman in the South. Please don’t stereotype us as you think we stereotype Muslim women. We’re not all rednecks, some of us studied and traveled around the Arab Middle East.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, I am a woman in the South, too.

            Although some of us are not like this (um, and I am a transplant here), sadly, a whole lot of people are exactly the stereotype of the South. It’s true.

          • Anonymous :

            This is the same Anonymous at 3:32. I have been thinking about this ever since I posted that, and you know what? It’s true, and I hate saying it.

            I am in ATL. There are whole neighborhoods and hangouts and places in ATL where this couldn’t be further away from the truth. Other parts of the state, too (like, Athens, of course). The thing is, I’ve lived in NY and in the Midwest, and the overwhelming majority of like in the South really reflects these stereotypes about it. To different extents geographically and in different ways socioculturally, but, again – it’s true.

          • Lighten up.

      • Flats Only :

        And honestly, if she’s really not traveled, a modern city and a bit of a bubble environment could make the difference between having a nice time and meeting diverse folks and being on a plane home in tears two weeks in because it’s just too different to cope with.

        • NYU Abu Dhabi :

          That’s a good point.

          I mean, I joke that my inlaws are from another culture (not true, but they do deviled eggs and fold towels all wrong!). I can imagine how an actual other culture might be just too much of a shock. [FWIW, my very small town parents, particularly my mother, loved the middle east and we didn’t have any adjustment issues, but we were in a newer area of a very large city and really didn’t have failure and returning home as options.]

          Sort of like camping — I don’t camp. Some people love camping. I could be in the woods for hours but want a hot shower and a locking door at the end of the day.

          • Flats Only :

            I was a foreign service brat, so I know from culture shock! If she does go overseas, a book or article on it, with coping strategies, will help her recognize it and know that it does not last forever.

      • I also have a friend (female) who teaches there, in the humanities. Abu Dhabi itself is a bubble in a lot of ways, doesn’t mean it’s not worth going there – the effort that goes into constructing/maintaining that bubble is impressive, and seeing it up front could be a learning experience in and of itself. The NYU campus raises serious issues of academic freedom – if you google “N.Y.U. in Abu Dhabi: A Sectarian Bargain,” it will pull up an NYT op-ed from a few days ago with more details. You’ll have to think about your own comfort level with that, but it would pose no direct issue to your daughter.

        Also, I’m not sure who your daughter’s cohort would be in the summer program, but my friend says that her students are excellent, the best she’s ever taught. I know her from our grad program together at H/Y/S, so that’s saying something. The professors there in my academic field are all serious and well-respected scholars.

  20. Need Balance :

    Why are my comments being eaten again?
    Okay – second time. Sorry if it is a repeat. I posted in coffee break on this, but have a bit more detail now. I would like to hire someone to make dinner for my family a few nights a week. I’m not looking for takeout type individual delivery services (like munchery). I am actually looking for someone to cook full on meals for my family. They can either come to my home 2-3 times a week and cook, or they can bring entire meals cooked in a central kitchen. (I’ve heard some chefs work for several families and make giant meals and then deliver them to the individual families every day.) Most of my friends who have this simply rely on their nannies to cook. That’s not an option for me.
    I’m in North Arlington, VA. Does anyone have any recommendations or know anyone who does this?

  21. Is JCPenney making a comeback? I noticed that Project Runway partnered with them this season (although Tim Gunn’s disgusted face when he talks about the JCPenney accessory wall makes me laugh) and now it’s on this page. When I was young, JCPenney was where my mom dragged me and my siblings to get back-to-school clothes. Now, I like some things in their home department but that’s about it. On last night’s episode of Project Runway, the designers were tasked with designing for “the JCP woman” but most were confused on what that even was, as am I. Are they worth checking out for clothes again?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I am cheap – the bulk of my wardrobe comes from Target, Kohls, Penneys with a little bit of of Loft. The downside of bargain shopping is that it takes up time and it’s hit or miss. Like there’s some fugly stuff at JCPenney – seriously garish prints, etc. But if you’re willing to sift through the nonsense, you can find some good basics (not everything in the Liz Claiborne section is frumpy). And while I’m not a very trendy dresser, less-expensive stores can be a good place to pick up “experiment” items.

    • inhouselife :

      All it means is that JCP was willing to spend a couple million to partner with Project Runway to get marketing and brand exposure. They’ve been trying to rebrand and get new customers for years – the partnership with Sephora is probably the only attempt that worked though. They had a collaboration with Joe Fresh 4 or 5 years ago that was actually good, but didn’t sell well and got cut.

    • I find them a good source for basic blouses / shells for under blazers, colored camisoles, underwear, and costume jewelry. Wait for their $10/$25 coupons usually every few weeks good for a particular Saturday, and start with the Liz Claiborne and nearby racks. Or order online – crazy good clearance prices – but be prepared to order a ton and return the stuff that fits weird / looks cheap.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I lump them in w/ Macy’s and Kohls, in that there MAY be a good piece here or there, but you can tell when someone’s entire wardrobe comes from these stores. Also, I typically take a large top, and 9 times out of 10 the larges from JCP and Kohls are wider than they are long. I just don’t have the time to treasure hunt there, and I’d rather just scope out the clearance rack at Banana Republic.

    • I actually read a piece about JCPenney and who their target customer is. She is a Latina mom who works full time.

      I thought that was a pretty smart vision.

      It shocks me that Disney hasn’t had a Latina princess yet. They are totally blowing it.

  22. How do you deal with a slacker at work who is everyone’s best buddy? I just started this job so technically I am junior to this guy, who is on contract while I am full time. He is using this project as a springboard to his next job while I having just started was planning on being here for a while.

    I might have complained about him here before. He is about 10 years younger than me, less experienced, yet acts like he is the boss of me in front of other people. Any work that doesn’t involve rubbing shoulders with important people is beneath him.

    I don’t know if I should say something to my boss or just wait it out until he leaves for something that better meets his ambitions. Yesterday I looked like the nagging shrew for having to interrupt him and a coworker shooting the breeze in his office, just so I don’t have to do his work for him.

    • Flats Only :

      What happens if you just don’t do the work for him, and throw him under the bus? Perhaps you were busy with something else and couldn’t cover for him. It happens.

    • You just started and you want to stay. Keep your head down until you figure out the office politics. If he’s actually contract, you won’t have to work with him that long anyway. You can’t force him to change and you’re risking hurting your career if you move against him without knowing more about the office.

      • I agree. Don’t make any big moves now. You may be overreacting. It’s hard to tell from what you describe whether or not this is a subjective annoyance or really a problem that everyone in your office would acknowledge as valid.

        • I would add that I also have been annoyed with younger colleagues and thought they were slackers based on the way they carried themselves in meetings, only to find that other people way higher up in the organization had a completely different view of these people. Don’t draw any battle lines. You only have one perspective and may not be seeing the whole picture yet.

  23. NYCBigLawBride :

    I’m recently engaged and work in big law! Any tips on planning a wedding in NYC (including Westchester and Northern NJ) without breaking the bank? I want to have a nice wedding but don’t want to take on a huge expense that will derail my financial goals (I.e paying down loans)! Any venue recommendations?

    Also, did anyone feel as if getting engaged changed your colleagues perception of you at work? After I informed people at the firm I was engaged I had a male partner say to me “Congrats. That’s great news. How will you ever focus at work now?”

    • I wish we could get to be grooms (show up on time and sober and everyone is happy with your performance)!

      I never took vacation when I was younger/single and the week before my wedding I was useless. There were so.many.distractions (all about stuff no one cares about really — napkin color, random other questions, stuff no one would ask my now-husband). And I was deferring everyone / everything to the wedding coordinator anyway (so she picked out 90% of the stuff, all I did was pick my dress and write checks). It was nonsense.

      TL;DR: people stay dumb fluff all the time, more so with weddings and babies. Sometimes I chose selective deafness if the bigger picture is that the person is otherwise OK (or is ignorable if they aren’t).

    • What do you mean by “huge expense.”? Best tip is use a full service venue, you don’t have time to be doing DIY, and keep it small.

      • Yeah I mean my budget was $20k and my wedding planner called me a “budget bride.” The first couple of months of planning were a big wake up call.

    • Really the only way to change their perception is to focus on work and be just as responsive/available as you ever were. Having a wedding planner was the best thing we did (two DC big law lawyers) to keep wedding planning from taking over everything. While you are selecting vendors, this will save you tons of disruptive mid day phone calls. Maybe not the best for the budget, but totally worth it in my experience.

    • I did a small wedding at a local botanical garden. Loved the location, and going a bit rustic on my overall look saved $$ as well. I assembled a village to help get things done and seriously delegated decision making so I didn’t hold anything up. I almost melted down when my MIL called to ask me how I wanted the napkins folded, but other than that survived.

    • Flats Only :

      Friends who needed to keep costs under control had a mid-day ceremony (they were Catholic, so they took the 2:00 PM slot at their church), followed by a nice late lunch. There were drinks (beer and wine) and dancing, but it was over around 7:00 PM. Those who wanted to continue the party went off to the nearby bars, and the couple didn’t have to pay for an hours long open bar. I thought it was a smart scheme.

    • I’m also planning a wedding in NYC. Check out the Montauk Club- accessible via public transit, gorgeous old building with history, very affordable, and doesn’t book up. I’m planning on taking photos at nearby Prospect Park and the Botanic Gardens ahead of time, which is a nice bonus!

    • I don’t know how big of a wedding you’re planning, but one of my friends (double-biglaw-couple) got married in the gardens of the library that’s at like 6th Ave and 10th. There was a strict cap of under 40 people. It was a STUNNINGLY beautiful, June day. We then went for a private lunch at Gramercy Tavern (short walk or cab). Then they went off to do pictures in the late afternoon and we had a much bigger (more people invited) party on the rooftop of their building. It was budget (relative to all-out affairs) but did not seem like it in the least. (Gramercy Tavern is not cheap!) I loved it! They were able to save enough to put a down payment on a house shortly thereafter. It’s about what you want!

      I’ve had other friends marry in the Botanical Gardens and it was also completely lovely.

    • Meg Merrill :

      Get a planner– ours was a lifesaver. In NYC, we used Amy at Modern Rebel.

  24. Thinning hair help :

    Anyone have any recommendations for combating thinning hair? Both my DH and I could use some help in this area. I did a course of Accutane last year and lost a lot of hair (my hairdresser thought maybe a third – I almost died when I heard that), and while it’s coming back I’d like to help it along. DH has a different situation – He’s grown his hair out some this year which I LOVE and it looks really good. There’s just one thinning spot on the back of his head – definitely not balding, but if his hair is flatter/not volumized I notice it. I haven’t really said anything to him yet, but he’s pretty receptive to solutions and I bet he’d go along with whatever I’m trying to do. Basically, I want to be able to broach the conversation as “hey babe I’m doing this to help my thin hair; wanna try some too? I think it’ll be great for your hair too.” instead of “hey babe you’re going bald.”

    • Rogaine.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Rogaine and Viviscal.

    • anon for this :

      Same issue, I swear by Aveda’s invati hair products (shampoo and conditioner). Makes your hair look more full.

      I’ve also heard good things about Rogaine but am reluctant to use something with so many chemicals every day for the rest of my life.

      • Agree about chemicals…I really hate the idea of more chemicals. We’re trying to go more natural in basically every other part of our life.

        Will check out Aveda invati. I was also looking at Ultrax Labs Hair Surge shampoo on amazon, but dang it’s expensive.

    • lawsuited :

      I just want to warn you that my “pretty receptive to solutions” husband is devastated by any mention of his thinning hair.

  25. Homemade Salad :

    Anyone have any favorite salads they make at home? I’ve finally figured out how to make a salad that I actually enjoy eating, so now I’m excited about them. Give me all the greens! Here’s the one I made last night that I was super proud of –

    -Big bowl of super greens mix
    -Sesame seed stick bits
    -Candied walnut pieces
    -Scoop of white bean hummus (this worked shockingly well)
    -Lemon juice – this was a random add since I had a couple slices already cut, I just squeezed them over the salad. SO GOOD!
    -Organic Girl Pomegranate Balsamic dressing – I think this is the first store bought dressing I’ve every liked in my entire life

    I also like to add cut up apples, but I was too lazy last night to cut the apple up.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yes! My favorite.

      – Kale or super greens
      – Bits of pita chips
      – Roasted broccoli/broccolini and corn
      – Feta crumbles
      – BBQ chicken or tofu
      – Pickled red onion or pickled beets
      – Green Goddess dressing (lite works fine, not 100% as delicious but pretty close)

      • Homemade Salad :

        Broccoli! This is the perfect way to start bringing broccoli back into my house. DH really dislikes everything about broccoli, especially the smell of cooked broccoli, so I’ve gotten out of the habit of buying it. But on a salad it’s not going to have that cooked smell….:)

    • My favorite is:
      roasted pumpkin seeds
      raisins or blueberries or strawberries
      feta or goat cheese
      homemade balsamic (50/50 olive oil and balsamic, add salt and pepper to taste, or mustard if that’s your jam)
      bonus add if you want: roasted potatoes

      • Homemade Salad :

        Pumpkin seeds! I’m going to have to find some.

        And homemade dressings = goal. I know dressings aren’t hard, but for some reason they read next-level cooking to me and I haven’t made it a regular part of my repertoire. A steakhouse we go to has the most amazing homemade salad dressing ever; I would love to get their recipe.

    • Current favorite: baby kale or well-chopped kale, diced chicken or turkey, diced sweet potato, diced apple, goat cheese crumbles, honey-roasted almonds, honey balsamic vinegarette. It’s my take on Sweetgreen’s harvest bowl– usually my salads fall flat compared to their version, but this one’s REALLY good.

    • lawsuited :

      My signature salad is not greens based, but keeps really well in the fridge for lunches:

      – Quinoa
      – Baby tomatoes
      – Cucumber, diced
      – Yellow pepper, diced
      – Kalamata olives
      – Artichoke hearts
      – Feta, crumbled
      – Mint, chopped
      – Good olive oil
      – Good balsamic vinegar

  26. CountC - Shopping Help! :

    If anyone is up for helping me shop, I’d greatly appreciate it!

    I am looking for an over-sized fisherman-style sweater with a cowl neck in a soft blend. Preferably not one that hangs straight down but one that has a hem that would hang snug on my body (don’t know what the technical term is for that). Does this exist? For under $100?

    I’m probably living in fantasy land, but I figured if anyone could help, it would be the hive.

  27. I like the shape of this skirt. The color is a bit bright for me though.

    Will an angled bob or lob haircut look dated? Shorter in the back and longer in the front. I’ve grown out my pixie to just above my shoulders, and I’m finding it a bit boring and would like to do something edgier. I really like the look of angled bobs but I’m worried that it’s a trend that’s passed. I’m in the Midwest, if that matters. Thanks, all!

    • Sorry, yep, so over.

      • Ruh roh! What trendy now for the middle-aged and/or professional?

        • fake coffee snob :

          Long bob (e.g. Taylor Swift a year ago), maybe? Depends on your hair texture, though. It’s not cutting-edge but still seems modern enough.

    • Yeah. My excellent hairdresser wouldn’t let me get near it!

    • Hair today :

      Try asymmetrical from the front! Would definitely be edgy. Would be great if your job is not very conservative… and would be easy to grow out if the difference is not too much.

    • An angled bob can be classic, so don’t listen to snarky Anon at 11:28. Keep it sleek, and if your hair is thick, ask for some debulking (razor thinning > thinning shears) so it doesn’t puff up.

    • This is the haircut that looks best on me, so it is the one I always get. Guess anonymous people on the internet are gonna judge me. *shrug*

    • I’m wearing a wavy long bob (layered but not angled) and I think it’s pretty current.

      For the waves, I’ve posted this before – take sections of wet hair and twist into corkscrews away from the face, then allow to air dry. It totally works. My hairdresser showed me and I will thank her every other day for this because I effing hate the blow dryer.

  28. Is a trench coat (khaki; knee length; w all the buttons/belt) dated or a classic? Saw one in store yesterday and loved it. FWIW – 36, not fashionable, east coast lawyer who likes wearing dark suits. Go for it or waste of money bc it’ll feel to awkward to wear it at my age?

    • Go for it, it’s classic.

    • Generally, pretty classic. Things can make them look less classic, like color, cut, adornment, fabric, button placement, but a sort of plain vanilla trench is pretty classic and simple, and won’t ever be “out” to my eye.

  29. Safety and/or Construction :

    Anyone here not a typical Type A – maybe you’re like me, in Safety or in Construction (my firm is civil engineering; my title now is Safety Specialist). What certifications do you have/look for in Safety – what should I pay to learn and get certified in?


    • If your job requires going to project sites, I think OSHA 40-hr HAZWOPER or similar is a good one to take. Some people think it’s a waste of 40 hours if you’re not in controlled sites a lot, but I find it useful to know what types of hazardous environments and materials might turn up on construction sites.

    • lost academic :

      Kind of depends on your actual role there. Here are some of the certifications I find helpful in our safety staff:


      If you do training, maybe also OSHA 501.

      I imagine the 40 hour as mentioned above is already a requirement. There’s some other office oriented safety stuff that doesn’t feel as relevant from your firm’s perspective too.

  30. Is this dress black tie enough? :

    Saturday night 200+ person wedding in October at a riding stable in the Hamptons. Link to follow

    • Is this dress black tie enough? :

    • Yes, that dress is black tie. And I think it’s beautiful.

    • Gorgeous, yes.

    • I can’t figure out why…but that does seem sort of casual for a dress that is clearly meant to be black tie.

      Is the wedding officially black tie? Or is it black tie “light”? For example, going to a wedding in October in a fancy DC hotel, and bride has informed us that although its “black tie,” her family will likely be in cocktail, while his family will be black tie. That’s what I’m calling black tie “light.”

      • Is this dress black tie enough? :

        This is black tie black tie. My husband was ordered by the wedding couple to rent a tux. Alas, i’m on the fence.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          If your husband is wearing a tux, I do not think that dress is equivalent.

      • I think it is a little casual too. I think the sleeves and fabric (looks thin/light) are the problem.

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        It’s a fabric problem, I think. The silhouette and color are great for black tie, but it looks like a jersey knit, which brings it down a notch in terms of formality.

    • Nope, too casual.

    • I think it’s pretty but if you’re talking black tie black tie, you might want something more…tailored? I think the lack of tailoring/shape makes this look less than black tie (though still lovely and right for another occasion). Not saying you need to paint your dress on to be more formal, but I think something like this is similar but more formal:

      • This is much better. The knit and cut on the first one are problematic.

        • Is this dress black tie enough? :

          Alas, Pompom’s suggestion, while beautiful, does not work for my body shape. I’m super short-waisted and carry my weight in my tummy, so anything with a seam straight across the front doesn’t work, and anything mermaid-shaped highlights the parts of me that are…more to love. Shift-style dresses work best :(

          • Gotcha! Wouldn’t work for me either…! What about one of the RL gowns mentioned here a few weeks back (iirc, a gorgeous purple was purchased and loved by someone here), with more structured wrap/gathering across the front (might conceal and flatten rather than highlight? you know your body best!) and some excellent jewelry/shoes/hair?

    • Side question–I am VERY tall. I look much better in fancy co_ktail dresses than full-length. Can I get away with a very dressy co_ktail dress instead of full-length for a black tie affair? It’s in Mainline Philly, the wedding will be huge and I will probably know 10 people there. And I am unemployed, so I really don’t want to buy a new dress!

      • what about rent the runway?

        • RTR doesn’t carry Talls. So a long dress would not be long enough on me. It’d just look silly.

          I’d have to buy a custom bridesmaid dress, most likely, to get a true floor length look with heels.

          • Anon for this :

            RTR is carrying talls (and petites) in some long dresses now! Very recent development.

          • Anonymous :

            Yep, a lot of their gowns come in long lengths and they include garment measurements, you just can’t filter by that. A dress I rented recently (Badgley Mischka Ombre Astor Gown), for example: LENGTH: Floor length, three lengths available. Petite measures 56″ from shoulder to hemline (recommended for heights under 5’2″), Regular measures 58” from shoulder to hemline (recommended for heights 5’2”-5’6”), Long measures 61” from shoulder to hemline (recommended for heights 5’7”-5’11”).

          • lost academic :

            Not that recent, I always get the talls/longs and I’ve rarely seen (on the formal side) dresses that didn’t have that option…. for the last 2+ years…

      • Technically, a fancy cocktail dress counts as black tie attire. But whether you’ll get away with it or feel out of place depends on the specific crowd.

        I live in an area with “white tie” events. Our “black tie” events are a step down in formality–OP’s dress would be fine, a fancy cocktail dress would be fine, but at “white tie” events, I’ve felt out of place because I wasn’t loaded down with sequins (not my style). I’m learning on this s*te that in areas where “black tie” is peak formality, women tend to wear the more formal gowns that are typical of “white tie” here.

      • Is this dress black tie enough? :

        I may be the wrong person to answer on this thread (lol), but I once wore this short dress to a black tie wedding and it was awesome:

      • Anonymous :

        yes, Philly black tie encompasses fancy c-tail

    • Anonymous :

      I’m late to this but try the Parker Lagos dress- it’s silk rather than knit, and the lack of cap sleeves make it slightly more black tie. Link to follow!

      • Anonymous :

        • Is this dress black tie enough? :

          Ah! I actually ordered that from RTR as an option in case I didn’t find anything I wanted to buy. Great minds…

  31. LaCroix Lovers :

    Did you see this?


  32. MJ cigarettes :

    Can we have a quick check-in about people’s opinions on “jazz cigar3ttes?” My husband and I were recently in a state where it is legal to purchase and consume for recreational use, and he seems to feel that it’s NBD in our state where legislation was recently enacted to make medical dispensaries legal. I have a different opinion (basically I don’t want to break the law), but he is very much supportive of rec use nationwide and is comfortable bending the rules under our own roof.
    Are you using? Are you hoping it gets passed nationwide? Curious how your state’s current laws affect your position.

    • I”m in Canada and can’t wait until it’s legal nationwide next year. I’m a govt lawyer though so I don’t at all right now, and would not let DH do it in the house until it’s fully legal. Your considerations may vary depending on possible career consequences if caught. I would be too paranoid to enjoy it if I was worried about being caught.

    • I’m in a state where it’s legal and I think that’s great. Pot is totally not my thing so I don’t buy it or use it, but IDGAF if other people do. And it’s generating tax revenue for my broke state, so that’s awesome.

    • You asked. I think this is an unpopular opinion (at least amongst peers my age), but I really hate legalized marijuana for non-medical uses. My state already has a full regime for medical use, so when voters approved legalization in general, it made me mad. Why?

      Well, I have really serious asthma, so any additional smoking in the streets bugs me–as in it actually makes me sick.

      Smoking unfiltered ANYTHING (legal or not, nicotine, regular cigs, marijuana) is not good for your lungs! All that stuff in your lungs can lead to massive public health problems later (and the cost of that will not be offset by the additional monies gained from taxing marijuana).

      Further, I went to college where you _really_ had to have your stuff together as a high schooler to get in, and saw several good friends devolve into spacey stoners for 4 years–it was not pretty (they’re fine now–because they were once motivated kids who knew they had to reenter the real world. But what about kids who aren’t self-motivated who devolve into spacey stoners indefinitely?) It’s not good for public health.

      Again, I am all for people who need marijuana for other health reasons (chemo, seizures, etc.). But just allowing everyone to have a doobie because it feels good–probably not great for society as a whole.

    • I would like to see recreational use passed nationwide simply so that the drug can be studied for efficacy and approved by the USDA for treatments if proven effective. I hope that it might be useful for chronic pain and make a dent in the opioid epidemic.

      I would also like to see drug testing in the workplace outlawed. It doesn’t make sense to me that a person can be fired for evidence of past use but not current impairment. It seems completely irrelevant to the job and a huge overstep into personal privacy.

      All that said, I am not an mj fan for myself. I tried it and don’t like it. I haven’t tried again in 20 years.

    • Anonymous :

      I have some legally-purchased mj edibles in my home, though they’re not legal here in Texas. But they’re basically impossible to identify as such without chemical testing because I discarded all of the packaging (there’s no one in my home who would accidentally eat them not knowing what they are) so I feel like the legal risk to me is pretty low and I’m willing to accept it.

    • I’m so lame . . . I had no idea what jazz c i g s were.

      I probably wouldn’t do it now (HS was a long time ago), but IMO alcohol is far more dangerous than regulated pot so I DGAF if anyone else does.

  33. KateMiddletown :

    THIS IS MY LIFE ON WHOLE 30 (day 29, thank the lord baby je$us)

  34. Similar to Baconpancakes but I didn’t want to jack her thread. I’m coming to realize that a good friend doesn’t look at our friendship the same way I do. There are a lot of examples but the latest is hitting me hard. For background, I’m single and I love to travel. I would prefer to travel with someone but none of my friends have the budget or interest to go overseas so I’ve always traveled alone.

    Every time I’ve planned a trip for the last 5 years, I’ve asked Friend if she wants to go. Friend always says she’d love to but can’t afford it. I totally get it, it’s expensive, maybe next year. Well now she’s planning a trip with a different friend to a location I recently suggested. She made it clear that the trip is just for the two of them. No special occasion or anything, they’ve decided to take a trip just because. I know that I don’t get to spend someone else’s money or time for them, and her friendship with others is not a comment on her friendship with me, but it stings. I’m supposed to go to an event with Friend this weekend and I’m struggling to pull myself together. I also kind of loathe myself for feeling like a jealous girlfriend. Just ugh you guys.

    • Is it possible that the other friend is partly or fully paying her way? Or is the other friend more in her economic range? Because traveling to the same place can be done very differently and if she and other friend are both on a tight budget, they don’t have to worry about not being on the same page. Like maybe they’re going to Rome, but they’re staying at a hostel rather than a fancy luxury hotel.

      I was in a situation when I was younger and poorer and agreed to go on a trip with a better off really spendy friend who badgered me into going and PROMISED we would do things cheaply. The problem was, her idea of “cheap” was vastly different from mine. I almost couldn’t afford groceries that month because I was on such a tight budget and she made us go to restaurants I honestly could not afford. Lesson learned. It’s embarrassing to have to repeatedly admit just how poor you are.

      Of course she also just might not be a good friend. But other explanations are possible.

      • I doubt it. If anything Friend would have to pay other friend’s way. She’s talking about doing a bunch of luxury spa treatments, etc., so I don’t think it’s a different budgets thing. Friend also insists on staying in luxury hotels when she travels; I’ve stayed in hostels and she’s aware of that.

        • Maybe instead of not being able to afford to join you, she knows you can’t afford to travel the way she prefers to travel, and she’s not interested in budget accommodations. Some people are like that. Traveling isn’t just about who you want to spend time with, for me. It’s about how you like to travel, from how much you spend on food and hotels to what you do with your day while traveling. People’s trips look very, very different for a lot of reasons and there’s plenty of people I call dear friends I have no interest in traveling with.

          • Oh tbc I’ve stayed at both super luxury and not at all luxury (including camping!) accommodations. I’m pretty flexible. I didn’t specify because she’s the one always claiming she can’t afford to travel.

            I take your point though that not all good friends make good travel companions. I’ll try to focus on that. Thanks.

    • Are you my sister? My sister loves to travel and often invites me to join her. I don’t do it because, although I love her and think we’re close, I KNOW we wouldn’t be good traveling companions. Nothing wrong with either of us but very different tastes. I’d want to go to nice restaurants while she’d be happy to hit McDonalds to save time/money for site-seeing. I wonder if this is the case with your friend.

      • Could be. I’m a foodie and Friend basically doesn’t eat. I don’t have to go to a fancy restaurant every night but I’d want to go to at least one or two, and I’m not cool with skipping meals to make more time to sightsee. I’ll keep this in mind, thanks.

        • Reading your other posts really makes me think that it’s an issue of different tastes. Traveling together you would both be making significant compromises on food and lodging. That’s a huge part of travel!

      • My Best Friend and I aren’t good traveling companions. She has a huge agenda of “must do, must see” and will walk 10 hours a day to get it all done, regardless of hunger thirst and other such bodily considerations. My priority for a vacation is to not be MORE tired after, so I have a different style of going out a bit, taking in the sights and taking it slow with some enjoyable things thrown in. So different.
        I truly love her to bits and she is a superwoman to me. But I don’t want to travel with her. I’ll do anything to avoid saying so to her face though.

        • +1. This is my and my very best friend (I’m the 10 hour a day want to get it all done one). We have traveled together a few times and it was …not good. We’re still best friends, I just realized we travel so differently that I’d rather not travel with her again (when it’s just the two of us).

    • Nudibranch :

      This happened to me too. Among other things, this made me realize that while I saw her as a “friend”, she saw me as an acquaintance. I’ve adjusted my expectations and we are friendly to each other when we happen to meet up–which is rarely.

  35. My comment got eaten, sorry if it posts twice – Similar to the comment above but I didn’t want to jack her thread. I’m coming to realize that a good friend doesn’t look at our friendship the same way I do. There are a lot of examples but the latest is hitting me hard. For background, I’m single and I love to travel. I would prefer to travel with someone but none of my friends have the budget or interest to go overseas so I’ve always traveled alone.

    Every time I’ve planned a trip for the last 5 years, I’ve asked Friend if she wants to go. Friend always says she’d love to but can’t afford it. I totally get it, it’s expensive, maybe next year. Well now she’s planning a trip with a different friend to a location I recently suggested. She made it clear that the trip is just for the two of them. No special occasion or anything, they’ve decided to take a trip just because. I know that I don’t get to spend someone else’s money or time for them, and her friendship with others is not a comment on her friendship with me, but it stings. I’m supposed to go to an event with Friend this weekend and I’m struggling to pull myself together. I also kind of loathe myself for feeling like a jealous girlfriend. Just ugh you guys.

  36. Has anyone donated stock to charity? I receive stock units as part of my compensation, and the value has increased dramatically over the past few years. We give a lot of cash to charities currently, and I’m thinking it might make sense to donate stock instead. Is it easy to do?

    • Donate stocks that have gone up a lot. If you sold them your cost basis would be low and you’d pay a lot of taxes. If you donate them you get the tax deduction and (I believe) the cost basis resets for the charity.

    • It depends on the charity. Larger ones that are used to receiving noncash gifts like this will usually make it very easy. With others, it can be more challenging because they make not have a brokerage account to receive your gift in, or know how to deal with it.

      Talk to your tax adviser before doing anything – since the stock is part of your compensation, there could be restrictions or tax consequences you aren’t expecting. Also talk to the charity you have in mind.

    • blueberries :

      It’s pretty easy to do. You just have to get certain details from the charity and then let them know when you transfer so they know who the stock is from. It’s a great way to maximize gifts!

    • Anonymous :

      You may be able to use a donor advised fund if the charity of your choice can’t deal with a stock donation.

    • As a fundraising professional – yes, it is easy to do, and most charities (not small mom and pop shops, but virtually all other charities) will have procedures in place. It’s a great option! As someone noted above, do let them know what you transferred – even if you want to remain anonymous outside the organization – that information does not automatically come with the transfer.

  37. Anonymous :

    For any ‘rettes getting bad news about bar results, my old dean of students wrote an article on what to do.

  38. Any ideas for making a small laundry room (think about 6″ wider than the washer and dryer in both dimensions) practical and more useful for a family of 4? I can’t even keep the laundry basket in the laundry room because it hits the door or the dryer :( Kids are under 2.

    I feel like every week I am washing and putting away like 6 loads of laundry; is this just what everyone does or do people have a better system that I’ve not been clever enough to think of?

    • That sounds like my laundry room. We have a laundry chute that empties into cabinets above the washer and stackable laundry baskets, like these, but from Walmart. We have 4, one for each person.

      • I really like those stackable baskets! These could work for moving multiple (sorted) loads from one floor of the house to the next. Thanks for the recommendation

    • Anonymous :

      A combination of cupboards to store laundry supplies and open shelving to store laundry baskets right above the machines. Goes all the way to the ceiling. If you don’t have space for that, can you put a hook on the back of the laundry room door and hang the baskets there?

      Laundry hampers in upstairs hallway. One for kids clothes, one for sheets/towels. Laundry hamper in master for adult clothes. Small hamper in laundry room for kitchen stuff/odds and ends. This minimizes sorting. Kids clothes washed once a week – one load light, one load dark. DH does his own on any day except kid laundry day. Usually one load sheets, one load towels in addition plus my own stuff (2-3 small loads depending on week). So 6 loads seems about right.

    • We keep laundry hampers in the closet or in the bedroom. Each person has their own hamper. Clean clothes may end up on a spare bed or chair until they are folded, but generally we don’t rely on the laundry room for luandry storage.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Our powder room is right across the hallway from the laundry room, and I’m seriously thinking about adding a basket in there since the laundry just ends up on the floor (or my husband’s solution – put everything in the washer as a hamper). I f’ing hate my laundry room and wish I had $ and space for a second floor laundry closet.

        • We are having the same issues. I emptied a load of laundry that was a mix of dress shirts (that should have gone to the cleaner), kitchen towels, baby clothes, my husband’s gross tennis gear, and pillowcases. I tried pinterest before posting here, and the pictures of the bedroom-sized laundry rooms with marble topped folding tables and storage galore made me feel pretty discouraged. Check out the “customer images” from amazon on this hanging laundry bag. I’m thinking it might work for such a small space, maybe it’ll help you too?

    • Is a laundry chute something that can be retrofitted? I truly wish we had one.

    • Can you retrofit the door into a pocket door, or accordion door?

  39. Can someone explain to me why the zippers on the blazer that goes with the skirt in the original post are “unfortunate”? I think I saw a lot of those on Chicos jackets a couple of years ago, and maybe that is my answer. I am asking because my go-to knit travel blazer has them, and I would like to take it on a business trip. I am not a lawyer, I am a translator, but on the periodic occasions when I don business duds it means I am networking with corporate people and I want to make a good impression. It may also be relevant that I am networking with Europeans, who are not as stodgy about business clothes as Americans are.

    • Anonymous :

      Never mind, I did a search on this site and found previous discussions of the exposed zipper trend, so I think I’ve got the idea.

  40. Useful article about work wears, most people writing about how to grow your career and how to look good on your job. But these kind of articles are rare. Really appreciated the effort. Keep writing these,cheers.

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