Suit of the Week: Calvin Klein Birdseye Stretch Suit (AND Deal Alert: Lots Of Affordable Workwear On Sale!)

calvin klein birdseye stretch suiting skirt suitFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Wow — Dillards is having some great price reductions on workwear (lucky sizes only, of course, alas). Lots of Antonio Melani sheath dresses for $55 immediately jumped out at me; I’ll try to do a roundup later today. The pictured suit is lovely if you’re a fan of the dusty light blue suit — and it’s extremely affordable, which makes it a great first “fun suit” if you’ve already got the basics covered.  The jacket (Calvin Klein Birdseye Stretch Suiting Notched V-Neck Jacket) is now marked to $48.65, the skirt (Calvin Klein Birdseye Stretch Suiting Pencil Skirt) is $31; matching pants (not pictured) are also $31. Amazon has them in petites (blazerpants), but not on sale at all. May the odds be ever in your favor! ;)

Update: Oooh: this navy suit we featured a few weeks ago is on serious sale — I’ve also thrown together a quick gallery of some good deals for workwear at the Dillards sale (after the jump); most of what I’ve pictured is under $55. Note that some of it is final sale, so be careful to notice that when ordering!

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Is it bad that I think the person earlier was a troll? Who posted about her problems with her husband and baby?

    I don’t know what that says about me and the internet.

    If she is real…I hope she gets the help she needs.

    But it felt like every time someone tried to help she purposely made the story sound worse and worse. My husband won’t let me have babysitters, medication, got mad at me for not nursing, won’t help around the home, can’t take care of the baby, expects dinner on the table at 8:30 pm….etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope, I don’t think it was a troll. I find it kind of demoralizing that we keep thinking that everyone is a troll.

    • Anonymous :

      Sad to say, this could have been my SIL’s husband, right down to the “no babysitters but I’m working long hours”. Still haven’t forgiven him for how he treated her.

    • Anonymous :

      There is absolutely no part of that one that made me think she’s a troll. That felt like one of the truer stories on here.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve known this type of guy. They definitely exist.

    • I don’t blame you for wanting certainty from the internet, especially these days. But I really hope that if she’s reading this, what she takes away is our hope for her to find the balance that she needs in her life–not the doubt or scorn that she seems to get plenty of at home.

    • Anonymous :

      I have posted real questions here before and been called a tr0ll. I definitely think there are some fake posts (I remember one about an associate sleeping with a partner that was just filled with all sorts of juicy details and seemed totally made up) but I think the vast majority of questions where people scream “tr0ll” -including the one from this morning – are real.

    • Her answers felt very real to me – mostly because that is often exactly how depression lies, it says ‘nope, fixing things isn’t possible, you’re stuck feeling this way forever.’

    • I think it’s totally plausible that someone who is exhausted, overwhelmed, and possibly depressed has excuses about why it is not possible to take on one more thing.

      As far as the husband thing goes… It just sounds like there is a major breakdown in communication. I wonder how much of this is stuff that she is just dwelling on vs. what she has actually sat down and firmly and calmly communicated. “Hey, husband, you’re out of the house a lot. I need some time to myself. How are we going to make that happen?” or whatever. I kind of hated my husband when our kid was that age. It’s not because he was actually a jerk, but because we needed to reshuffle some stuff, he was working long and inconvenient hours, and we hadn’t yet had the conversation to get on the same page. Once he understood what was going on, he got on board. There is some stuff I think she needs to push back on (no babysitters) and some stuff that is water under the bridge and needs to forgive and move on (breast feeding) … but yeah, I think it’s a totally plausible situation.

      • I agree that that’s the way depression can sound and that it’s a tough year for a marriage. OP’s post sounded a lot like a friend of mine who, several years ago, had PPD and problems in her marriage. (FWIW, my perspective on my friend’s marriage was not that her husband was a jerk, but that they were not even close to being on the same page, and that there was a lot of hostility, resentment, and misunderstanding of each other’s attitudes and motives.) It didn’t sound like a tr*ll post to me at all.

    • Just not dealing well :

      I’m not a troll. I’m a regular poster having a rough time. To be fair, I’m a bit dramatic when I’m blue and I am having a crummy day.

      My husband doesn’t demand dinner at 8, it’s a pressure I put on myself. He mentioned the babysitter is weird for him and he’d rather I not use her. It hasn’t been a problem yet but his comment made me feel stuck. Now I see that that’s a bs reason for me not to do things. The bfeeding thing is something I’ve discussed here in the past-it’s an ongoing theme in my post baby life and caused a marital riff with my husband.

      I really appreciate the feedback and I’m working on it. Maybe I’m depressed. Maybe I’m crazy. But I’m real.

    • Just not dealing well :

      Also my husband is not anti -meds. That was speculation. I am anti-meds (for me- totally support others) because of some problems that I’ve seen them cause in a close friend.

      • That’s so sad…. I’m sorry you feel this way.

        You can’t extrapolate from one friend’s experience. Doesn’t really make sense…. yes?

        There are dozens of meds, dozens of reasons to take them, and every person/their physiology/situation is different.

        • Just not dealing well :

          Look if I talked to a professional, worked on some other things and was told that without meds my life would be horrible, I’d take them. I’m not willing to take them as a first step.

          • Anonymous :

            The reason they are sometimes a first step is that they can put you in the place your body needs to be from a biochemical perspective in order to be able to make needed changes. I took them once for 6 months. They enabled me to do the things I needed to do to get in a better place. That was 20 years ago and I have not needed them since

          • Kinda sounds like you’re not at the first step stage anymore, though. Don’t be a martyr.

      • You may be post partum. Please don’t discount taking medication.

    • Just not dealing well :

      I’m in moderation but he’s really not that big of a jerk. He never got mad at me for not nursing, he just refused to disagree with those that said mean things.(things that, to be fair, I am very sensitive about because it’s a crummy thing to criticize someone about) He didn’t forbid me from hiring a sitter, he just said he doesn’t like it. He might not be trying to be bad at watching the baby, he is probably having a rough day too.

      Everyone has helped me see that he’s being insensitive and I’m being tough on myself. I’m gonna work on it from both directions and look into help.

      • I hope you are able to get more support from him and elsewhere. The first year is HARD – even on the best people (e.g., my husband once said, during my first few weeks of maternity leave, that it’d be great if I could not nec clean the house but not make it dirtier when I was home alone with a ~3 week old infant — and yeah, he actually is a great person and understands how f*ed up that statement was now….)

      • Hang in there :

        I’m the queen of drama, too. Maybe that’s why your post seemed perfectly natural and real to me. Also, I do not think your husband sounds bad but I am attracted to take charge men who have definite opinions so this creates an atmosphere where I sometimes have to firmly say, “Sit down. You are rocking the boat.” Finally, although I am not critical of others who take anti-depressants it is not the right thing for me. Over fifteen years ago I took Prozac during infertility treatments and all it did was make me feel like I was losing my sense of touch and have absolutely no interest in doing the things necessary to make a baby. Hang in there!

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, it’s bad. It shows a lack of empathy.

    • I had the same thought. I think it was a fake story — and I very rarely jump on the “troll” bandwagon.

  2. Anonymous :

    Interesting discussion this morning re the expectation in certain professions that spouses (ESP wives) will just pick up and move wherever DH gets the best job even if it hurts spouses career.

    So I’m curious — did any of you avoid fields bc you thought it’d make you inflexible to a potential husband’s career? Did any of you pick careers specifically bc they allow certain flexibilities like working remotely or even stopping work for a few yrs and jumping back in easily? Would you advise daughters to think along these lines or do you take the approach of – do what you want to do and if/when the right guy comes along he’ll be flexible and if he isn’t he’s not mr. Right?

    • Anonymous :

      The best advice I’d give to my daughter is that both life and careers are long and she should be open to changing fields or making a move that might look lateral or even backwards if she wants to or if there’s a good external reason (one of which could be a spouse’s career needs, but that’s definitely not the only reason to consider career flexibility). Basically the concept that Sheryl Sandberg talked about in Lean In, that careers are jungle gyms not ladders. I definitely wouldn’t encourage someone to seek out a flexible career to catch a man – because that’s s*xist, but also because I’m not sure that we can currently predict what careers will be flexible in 20 years. Changing technology is going to play a big part in that.

    • Anonymous :

      Advise prior to meeting a guy/partner to pick some flexible? Um, no. H*ll no. Should you find Mr. Right and it involved changing to a flexible job, then yes, I think it’s something to consider then. What a ludicrous thing to plan for though.

      • Anonymous :

        You scoff but I know someone who is doing this right now. In 2017. In a big city. Advising their 17 yr old daughter that she must go into a certain profession bc it offers the most work from home options which are 100% necessary if she is to be a wife and a mom. I’m so disgusted I can’t even say anything to them about it . . . and poor kid is kind of being forced/talked into this and it is NOT the career she’d choose on her own, as she wants to be a lawyer.

        • The fact that somebody is doing it doesn’t mean it’s not scoff-worthy.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Ha. On the one hand I think the parent is doing the daughter a disservice.

          On the other hand, seriously I wouldn’t advise any young person to be a lawyer at this point, with law school costs being what they are and the job market being what it is.

          On the third hand, this young person is 17 and preumably at some point in the reasonably near future she will be able to make her own career decisions.

          • Anonymous :

            I understand telling a 17 yr old kid about law school costs vs. job market. Same way you’d talk to them about going to x private college at 65k a yr if they have a free state flagship education waiting for them and seeing if that private college is necessary for their career goals. But all of that is MUCH different than, you really need to ONLY consider X industry – whether your like it or not – bc it’ll be next to impossible to get married and have kids at 23 (yes this is what the parents are planning) if you [gasp] have to be at an OFFICE 40 yrs a week; you MUST remote work. I think it’s a huge disservice esp since the child has no interest in that industry and would really thrive in a more social office atmosphere.

        • College communities help with not being pigeon-holed into a major or a career. While waiting for my professor to arrive for class (I was early) I watched the Philipino club do role-plays with there members on “How to tell your parents you are changing your major” (and are worried that they won’t approve)!

          Encourage them to do well and become part of a great group of friends that help each other succeed. At 17, the first challenge is surviving the first semester/year of their chosen college. So many take a step back, sometimes from home at a community college, when the adjustment is difficult for any number of reasons.

    • Anonymous :

      I think most people are first choosing when they’re teenagers. Advising your teenage daughters (and only your daughters?) to think about a flexible career so they can defer theirs to a man seems like a terrible idea. You can’t plan ahead for that when you’re still basically a child – realistically you’re not going to marry anyone for a decade and who knows what your career or your spouse’s (if that materializes) will be. Choosing jobs based on those things as a fully grown adult woman with employment capabilities and a significant other is a different story.

    • Anonymous :

      I didn’t do exactly this, but I stayed away from a certain field of law (corp. bankr) bc I viewed it as an exclusively NYC market, and yes in my backwards ethnic community — the woman no matter how much money she’s making needs to be able to move for the man; I knew when/if I wanted to marry, I’d feel pressured to move to wherever the guy was and in a field like bankr. I figured my career would be over – as opposed to a department like corporate or litigation etc. So fast forward 12 yrs — not married, likely won’t marry in that community anyway, and happily I did end up doing a TON of bankr. while sitting in the litigation department of a firm.

    • Anonymous :

      The options you’re offering seem to be: 1) tell your daughters to choose flexible careers because it will make it easier to find and keep a husband or 2) tell your daughters to do whatever they want career-wise and dump or not date men who have careers that present conflicting trajectories with their own.

      I don’t think either of those is the right thing to say. I would tell my daughter that she should do whatever she wants to do for a career and a good man won’t put her career below his own. That said, I would also be candid with her, especially if she asks for advice about how romance and career mix, that being part of a dual career couple is very challenging and there’s nothing wrong with leaning out if it’s necessary to support her spouse’s career and that’s what she wants to do. But I would emphasize that it should be a joint decision, both members of the couple should be fully on board and all options (including prioritizing her career at the expense of her partner’s) should be considered and discussed. I would tell her that choosing which career to prioritize is a very tough decision and that there are many valid factors she and her spouse might choose to consider (including who likes their career more, who has more say in where they go, who makes more money and who has more interest in being a primary parent) but that gender should not be one of those factors.

    • career FTW! :

      OH HEEEECK NO. My younger sister was debating about becoming a doctor because she was worried about how her future children would fit into her life, and a little concerned about what a future husband might think about so many years of school. I told her that she wasn’t dating anyone and had no children, so if she wanted to be a doctor, those things could fit around her dream. She is now a doctor, married to a great guy that supported her through her doctoral program, and they’re waiting a few more years to have kids because she loves her job so much. You can’t know what life holds when you’re 18 years old, so you might as well pursue the things that you can control. You want to go to school and have a high-powered career? Do it. The guy won’t be the right fit if he doesn’t support that. You want to take a step back to raise the kids for a while? Do it. But seriously, forgoing your dreams for some fellow that may or may not come along should not be what you teach your daughters. And for the record… my husband sincerely does not understand why guys wouldn’t want their wives to make a boatload of money. More motorcycles for him if we both have good salaries!

    • I chose what I do by figuring out what kind of life I wanted to live and making sure that I could always support myself. That’s it. I would tell my daughter to do the same.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes yes yes. The one thing I tell all young women is first and foremost, make sure you can support yourself and any children you may have.

    • I did but in different circumstances. I was in the Army so my husband would have had to change jobs every 3-4 years. This was impossible because he’s a lawyer and would have had to take multiple bar exams.

    • Anomnibus :

      When I was younger, I’d talk about my career goals and people would ask “but what about your husband?” I’d backpedal and say “well, if he wants/needs X we can talk about it, I dunno . . .” when what I should have said was “what husband?” Seriously, I get wanting to teach young people the importance of sacrifice and compromise in marriage, but I have a real issue with teaching girls to plan their lives around men they haven’t even met yet.

  3. Female Oil Woes :

    I am incensed. Yesterday, as part of a routine newsletter, my oilfield-related (Fortune 500) company sent out an article about how the company hired its first female field engineer in Saudi Arabia. It’s 2017. They sent this out as a success story. How is this success? It took our company until 2017 to hire the first woman to work in the largest oilfield in the world? Great. What a poor reflection of the hiring and promoting practices within the company.

    • Anonymous :

      Am I missing something? It’s Saudi — I thought that kind of hiring wasn’t historically allowed and maybe that’s why it took until 2017? It’s not like they’re saying it’s the first female engineer in Houston or North Dakota, right?

    • Anonymous :

      Well considering women aren’t legally allowed to DRIVE in Saudi Arabia this actually is very surprising and impressive to me, and I suspect they may have had to fight the government to get this approved and that’s why they’re bragging about it? I get where you’re coming from, but I would blame Saudi Arabia more than your company.

      • Female Oil Woes :

        They did not mention regulatory setbacks regarding women working in the field, just that she wanted to accomplish X, and had, and that she had very supportive coworkers, etc. It seemed flippant. They didn’t mention any programs or gap identification to get more Saudi women into the company’s workforce.

        • Lol. How many women do you think would be able to take advantage of “programs or gap identification to get more Saudi women into the company’s workforce?” Maybe start with the equal rights for women in SA before crying about the lack of programs.

          • Female Oil Woes :

            More women than are employed in the field right now, that’s for sure. My company can do very little in regards to what is legally allowed within a country (aside from maybe not working there).

            I’m saying there was nothing identified that the company could be proud of (ie, making policies that allow flexibility, additional training for Saudi / host country national women who may not be up to par technically with their male colleagues, etc), and nothing to ensure that any other Saudi woman could follow in her footsteps.

    • Anonymous :

      Commiseration from a fellow energy industry female! Trying to see the silver lining, though… perhaps the saying “what gets celebrated gets repeated” will hold true here and more women will be hired. Totally agree with and share your frustration though.

      • Female Oil Woes :

        I should see the silver lining.

        I just wish they said, “We identified this as a problem and we are working to fix it”, or even “She was promoted into this position because of her knowledge of X, Y, and Z, which is available through training classes within the company”.

        Make it inspirational because it’s achievable, not because it was aspirational.

    • JuniorMinion :

      It’s likely not your company… you are talking about a country where women aren’t allowed to drive with a very conservative and vocal Wahabist bent to its’ policies. If this is a local content hire the pool is probably small, and if an expat hire I would imagine there aren’t a ton of people let alone women who would want to be out in the field in that type of environment. There’s a reason for the hazard pay in those environments, and some of the guys I have worked with have told me that 3 weeks, let alone a full time position, was more time than they wanted to spend in Saudi.

      Additionally at least amongst those I have worked with, expats skew pretty much completely male and the whole social network is maintained by expat wives – pretty much none of whom work as they and their spouses move from country to country. It is a dissapointingly gender imbalanced bunch, but the people I know in that lifestyle walked in with eyes wide open choosing it and I know quite a few people who have left OFS when the next position was going to be an expat one due to a working spouse.

    • Is she Saudi? Because if so … I think that’s a huge deal. If not, it still probably is. The restrictions on women working in Saudi are pretty aggressive. I don’t know how much easier it is for foreign women to work there, or if it is at all, but either way, this hire was probably not easy for them to make.

      • Anonymous :

        I have some coworkers who have done some work in Saudi. They said that the biggest surprise was that there were Saudi women at the office and that there was a big line every day as their drivers picked them up. I think their roles were mostly supportive, but apparently it is not unusual for women to have office jobs.

        • I know Saudi women living in Saudi that are doctors, professors, accountants, bankers, engineers, and managers.

          They still can’t drive though.

      • Female Oil Woes :

        I should have specified “promotion”; she (Saudi national) had previously worked in two different office-based positions within our company. I replied to another post above – the article made no mention of what the company had done on her behalf, or the specific government/regulation/etc things that may have held her back. Instead of saying “we realize that this is pretty messed up, and we’re working on adding more Saudi/local women in the field/management positions through XYZ initiatives and by engaging with our managers and HR partners…etc”, they simply highlighted that this was something she wanted, and she did it.

        Maybe there’s a much better backstory than they told, or maybe this is a huge achievement. The article was pretty shallow.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I can’t speak to women in Saudi, but I know from a business planning perspective / working with the management team in country that there are lots of issues operating there and getting together a workforce of people that are capable and also satisfy local content rules.

  4. Cheap Flights :

    Speaking of travel- does anyone use Scott’s Cheap Flights Newsletter and is the premium subscription worth it?

    • Love Scott’s Cheap Flights! I just have the regular subscription and the deals he sends are great. I went to Tokyo in the spring for about $500 round trip. It helps to be flexible with dates/locations but I definitely plan to use his recommendations for future international trips.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Yes and yes!

    • Wait, what? I’ve never heard of this and I’m intrigued.

    • I signed up during his black Friday sale for about $30 for the year and am leaving for Australia for 2 weeks on Friday – tickets were ~$750 RT from the East Coast in a deal from him in Feb. Even before getting premium there were more options than I could ever take advantage of, but if you tend to have flexible travel schedules I would recommend it.

    • Lawyer in-house :

      Yes and yes! So much so that I’ve unsubscribed from all other travel deal newsletters.

  5. I found a new hair product that I’m really happy with – L’Oreal Air Dry It Styling Cream. My hair is long, fine, mostly straight, but tends to look frizzy and messy if I air dry. But it looks much nicer and more intentional with this then anything else I’ve tried, and it’s like, $4.00 at Target. So, go buy some – I really want them to keep making it.

  6. Here’s a question about planning for maternity leave.

    I work in a director-level role a small non-profit where I am highly valued. My partner and I are hoping to have a child (first and only) within the next 1.5-2 years. There is currently no parental leave policy within my organization, and it is not likely that anyone other than me will be seeking such leave any time soon.

    I feel pretty confident that when the time comes for me to need leave, the leadership will be very receptive, responsive, and supportive. My inclination is to give my boss, with whom I’m very close, a really early heads-up–like in a few weeks at my review. Most of this instinct comes from wanting to be generous with information, because I know how slowly changes like these get implemented, but I confess that there’s also a little cya at play–if my boss’s reaction *isn’t* supportive, then, well, I’d rather know that now and perhaps think about other job options (like the unsolicited private sector interview request I just got).

    What would you do?

    • Anon in NYC :

      I wouldn’t say anything until I was pregnant. You don’t know how long it will take to get pregnant, and I don’t see any real upside to telling your boss that you’re planning for a kid.

    • Do not borrow trouble. Do not announce a pregnancy before you are pregnant. Unless a medical issue is seriously affecting your work performance, do not announce a pregnancy until the end of the first trimester. Six months is enough time for them to figure out what to do during your leave.

      If you want to do anything to prepare, buy yourself short-term disability insurance that would apply during an unpaid maternity leave. Or take the private sector interview, get an offer, and leave for a company with maternity leave benefits.

      • Ah, I like this. Thanks to all for the quick and firm responses. Will take your good advice!

      • Anonymous :

        I may be in the minority, but I think you can at some point say to your boss that the org ought to have a maternity/paternity leave policy because it would be good for the organization. If there’s a negative reaction to the idea of this, that’s a good sign to find a new job. It’s probably not shocking to him/her that this is something you have on your mind. I would not bring it up in the context of a review in the sense of, I might have a baby in the next couple years, just FYI. That’s not necessary.

      • Anonymous :


      • Diana Barry :

        +1 million. Never announce trying. Only announce if/when you are sure you are pregnant and the pregnancy is viable.

    • I don’t understand – are you saying you want to give your boss a heads up that you may need maternity before you’re even pregnant?

      I feel like its common knowledge that if you hire women between the ages of 25-40, at some point its going to become very likely that they will leave for maternity leave. So I don’t think you’re telling your boss anything he or she doesn’t already know but without an actual baby on the way, there’s nothing concrete or helpful that can come out of this.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      No, don’t say anything about family planning to your boss.

    • Anonymous :

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. Never, ever volunteer info about your plans for kids to your boss. Not to be a Debbie Downer but you have no idea if you’re even able to have a biological child or how long it will take and you don’t want them thinking you have one foot out the door if it takes way longer than you anticipated or never happens.

      Also it might just be me, but I think it’s also kinda TMI? Everyone knows that pregnancy = s*x but when you announce a pregnancy at least the (official) s*x is in the rearview mirror and everyone can try to forget about it and focus on the baby. Plus there’s no way to avoid announcing a pregnancy. But saying to your boss “DH and I plan to TTC in a year” is basically announcing to your boss that you’re currently having protected s*x and will soon start having frequent, unprotected, extremely unromantic s*x. Just….ewww.

    • My initial reaction is NO NO NO NO NO for the reasons stated above.

      That being said, I am somewhat stumped by the issue of “how does one determine what maternity leave benefits would be in the absence of a policy without outing self as ‘hopefully-near-future pregnant person’ when the absence of any benefits is a key factor in accepting a job?” It seems like there should be some way to determine an answer … but i don’t know how you do it!

      • Anonymous :

        You can ask about maternity leave policies without telling your boss you’re planning to get busy in a year or two. Ideally this should be part of the interview process, where asking about any and all benefits is totally normal and expected. But if you miss doing it then, you can still ask but you ask about the policies in the abstract, you don’t announce your personal plans.

        • Yeah, this is what I’ve been stumped by, too! I realize me asking about the policies in the abstract isn’t going to fool anybody, though. I have a truly phenomenal job otherwise, but I’ve been feeling like I need more information regarding the maternity leave policies–cause if the answer is that I need a new job, I’d rather do that sooner than later.

          • When you receive an offer, you ask to speak to someone in HR or someone with authority to speak on benefits so that you can understand the full breadth of the offer and there you ask about maternity leave, as well as what the health/vision/dental insurance looks like, vacation days, and any other corporate policies and perks you are curious about.

            You can do this now but who to ask or where to look is tricky. There may be an employee manual, it may be on your benefits web s!te, or you may have to ask someone (like HR or someone in the know). At my old firm, it was’t in any of the other places and asking HR was a bad idea, but there was an assistant who knew everything… including the policies for staff and attorneys and who got what kind of leave.

          • Oh, nutella, would that we had an employee manual, a benefits website, or an HR person. :) Seriously SMALL non-profit. We have none of those things.

          • Ha, sorry! I empathize. Both at my current employer (large company, in-house) and at my old one (biglaw), there was no defined policy or anywhere to look for it either. It is seriously the worst that this is something we all just accept as normal.

        • Anonymous :

          How do you ask without making it sounds like you’re asking about personal plans? Nobody is going to ask the question if it doesn’t personally affect them.

          • Anonymous :

            You can sneak it into a broader hiring discussion if you are the hiring manager.

      • If you want to explore options with potentially better benefits, go for this interview. If it goes well and you have a firm offer in hand, take it to your boss and see if they’ll agree to match the package. But it just isn’t done to explore the benefits hypothetically.

      • I did ask about it in my interview/offer discussion with my current job (small law firm), and it seemed to go over well. I did only get a very vague answer (“we’ll work with you”), but it seemed positive enough that I was comfortable with assuming that it would fit my (fairly limited) needs.

        When it came down to it, they gave me 6 weeks paid leave and a “we’ll work with you taking some unpaid beyond that if you want.” I took 2 weeks unpaid (8 weeks total), which is what I was happy with and had intended to do from the start. My husband stays at home with the kids, so I was a lot more flexible then most (though more concerned about missing paychecks, of course!)

  7. 1.5-2 years is a very long heads up and one’s fertility is not guaranteed. I hope you’re able to get pregnant when you want, but I would not advertise my plans this far ahead.

    As for gauging your boss’s reaction, could you make a suggestion to implement policies around parental leave or other similar topics and see how that’s perceived?

  8. Honeycrisp :

    After 2 years of saving, DH and I are finally going to hire a contractor to remodel our master bathroom this summer! I am ineffably excited to get rid of our seashell sinks and have a shower that is bigger than 2’x2′. Anyone have any remodeling advice/things that you wish you had known before/things that you wish you had done instead?

    • Anonymous :

      Find someone with an excellent record for following through and finishing things on a reasonable timeframe, especially if you are a busy person. I would happily have paid more not to deal with hassling my contractor to come finish stuff up.

    • Don’t do white grout on your bathroom floor. It will look so beautiful and then frustrate you forever.

      • +1.

        Also, interview contractors. Get them to give you detailed quotes. And ask for recommendations from local people.

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG YES YES YES. If only I’d known…

      • This is outstanding advice.

        And ask your contract a lot of questions before…. and after they complete the work. Write it all down. Watch like a hawk.

        And of course ask…… how/where did you seal everything? When does it need to be re-sealed?

    • Don’t get a pedestal sink unless you have a very, very good plan on where to put toilet paper, cleaner, etc.

    • If you can, get a shower and a tub. Also, get a glass enclosed shower so you don’t ever have to deal with curtains.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And if you plan to have a niche in the shower to hold your shampoo and stuff, see if you can hide it on an inside-facing wall. They always look great in the inspiration photos but that’s before you put your mismatched shampoo bottles and razors and whatever in them. Best out of sight! (As me how I know…)

      • Anonymous :

        Also check the size of the shampoo bottle you use and plan the niche accordingly. And always get a bigger niche than you think you’ll need

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Make sure you have a significant financial buffer. Things cost more (and will take longer) than you have planned– this is almost guaranteed.

      If you haven’t already done so, look into hiring a designer. Spend lots of time looking at things like tile online before you step foot into the tile shop– the options are absolutely overwhelming, and it helps to have some guidelines or ideas in place before you go.

      Good luck, and have fun!

      • Anonymous :

        Or consider a design-build contractor who will walk you through the selections and provide input about what looks good. We used one for our kitchen remodel and were super happy.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I have copied a bathroom pretty much lock, stock and barrel from the internet and was super happy with how it turned out. Just a thought if you are overwhelmed by too much choice.

    • Those river rocks shower floors look cool, but aren’t that comfortable to stand on. Make sure whatever surfaces you choose can stand up to a variety of harsh cleansers- you don’t want to have to choose between the finish of your travertine and an ongoing battle with mildew/soap scum.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Just a different point of view on that — we have the river rock tile in our bathroom and I love it. It’s like a massage for my feet!

      • Preach. A brief rental taught us to never ever buy a home with travertine. Be honest with yourself about how you use your space.

        Bathrooms and kitchens get the dirtiest, so make sure you are using materials that can be cleaned easily. Others have mentioned non-white grout and I agree (if you want light, go for gray or beige). Another tip: using larger tiles. The smaller the tiles, the more grout you have to clean. Make sure you have reset outlets (for your hairdryer), a mindful place for TP and a trashcan when on the toilet, storage (bonus points for quiet-close cabinets and organized storage), proper ventilation to code (or else you will be breathing in mold – especially if you take steamy showers where the condensation can peel wallpaper and coat the paint), and racks/hooks for towels, hand towels, robes, etc. that are accessible from the shower. If you have a window, think about frosting it or adding window treatments to protect your privacy and the location of it if you want to open it or do your makeup near it. Sit on your toilets – modern ones are very tall and older ones are generally shorter. I highly recommend separate showers and tubs (if possible), but if not possible, make sure you can easily get in and out of the shower. We walked away from a home that had a combined shower/tub that was almost a foot thick and taller than my knee. It would have been dangerous straddling something that tall and wide to get in and out of the shower everyday (onto wet marble!). I wholeheartedly second separate light switches. It’s really nice to have a separate switch for the vent and I like to use the dim light alone to adjust to the morning light or to wind down at night. I personally hate bowl/vessel sinks – I can’t help but make a huge splashy mess – and really prefer plenty of counter space. Don’t be afraid of consulting with a design-builder or like Senior Attorney mentions or just copying something you’ve seen so that you get the right look and avoid mis-matched colors (like browner gray tile with bluer gray walls or starker glossy white tiles that make matte whites look dirty). Make sure you know how your drains come off so that you can fish out hair clogs or jewelry.

        • Senior Attorney :

          All great advice. And one thing I just thought I’d mention: For crazy reasons not relevant here we have a drain on the floor just outside of our shower and it is the best. thing. ever. No wet bath mats — just stand on the floor and drip into the drain. Love it so much I’m doing it when we remodel the next bathroom.

    • marketingchic :

      I think we may be master bathroom twins – mine even has an eighties-tastic plant ledge and a window that does not open (!) If I was doing mine today, I’d get an electician to add another outlet at the sinks and put the lighting on 2 or 3 different switches with dimmers for more options.

    • Anonymous :

      I hadn’t considered this in advance, but during renovation, my contractor asked if I wanted to add radiant heating in the floor. At that stage, I already felt like I had spent so much money that the extra cost was a tough pill to swallow, but I am very glad I said yes. The ability to have a warm tile floor in the middle of winter makes me so happy, now for years after the renovation.

      • Agreed! In-floor heat is my favorite thing about our remodeled master bath, and it wasn’t that expensive in the context of the whole remodel. It is wonderful under a tile floor.

    • Ask them to “paint” on the waterproofing sealant under the shower tile floor – ours was hot pink. Not sure what it is called as my Spanish is not that good nor was my contractor’s English (but beautiful tile work). Ask me about the summer with a hole in our kitchen ceiling from a leaking master shower.

      If possible, leave an access panel for the shower plumbing (our shower backs to a linen closet so that makes it easier). Again, ask me how I know, having to replace the shower valve and faucet 8 months post tile rebuild since that is leaking.

      Order more tile than you think you will need and order it from a place that lets you return it – let me count how much I enjoyed driving two hours to get 8 extra pieces of tile because the 10% margin wasn’t enough and that was the only store that had them in stock (vs. 4 week shipping). Also, inspect the tile that gets delivered. We had a lot of trim/edging pieces that were broken and had to be exchanged.

      We had travertine and replaced with travertine from the tile shop (because it matched the travertine floor) to fix said leaking shower that had to be completely rebuilt. It was expensive, and a pain to find what matched, but I do really love it.

      I am anti-glass door showers because of the water spotting and need to squegee daily. We use an aluminum rod with aluminum hooks that have the double hooks – cloth liner that gets washed as needed to keep the mold/mildew/pink stuff dead.

      If you like hot showers, get the highest power exhaust fan you can afford and make sure it vents outside (not into an attic). Also – we love our gas tankless hot water heater. No more running out of hot water. Not sure I would do it if electric because of cost, but boy would I miss it.

      Double sinks for (1) sanity and (2) resale value. We have pocket doors to help save space and I really like them.

    • No solid color tiles. I lived in a house with large black and white tiles and you could see every speck of dirt and water drop on them.

    • Figure out how much time you need and buy it early. I did not because my contractor didn’t understand the lead time on the pretty tile I wanted (and I didn’t either) so I ended up in a rush. In general, if you know you want a specific thing, buy it now so you have it ready to install.

  9. For those of you who may have gained some weight and shop at Costco, these skirts are wonderful.

  10. I really appreciated this spontaneous moment of joy and humor on Twitter last night. I mean, I’d rather have a president who doesn’t tweet half-finished drafts with autocorrect mistakes, but it’s nice to have some levity. And the jokes were amazing. I went to bed about an hour later than I meant to because I was having so much fun reading them.

    • Anonymous :

      Same. I laughed harder than I have in a long time and ended up going to bed at 2 am.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Hopefully you saw this? It made me chuckle today.

      Also, Spicer. That guy has The Hardest Job in the World. I would have quit so long ago, even if working for this administration was my dream job. (And for the record, nothing could be further from the truth.)

      • Covfefe forever :

        Have you seen that they are having trouble filling in the communications director post now? People are literally laughing at the idea of taking it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG a friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I thought I would die laughing:

      Yo covfefo
      Tu covfefes
      El covfefe
      Nosotros covfefemos
      Ellos covfefen

  11. I tried on this jacket recently and found it very flattering. Most no-lapel blazers make me look like a cereal box, but this had nice angled details and good waist shaping. The skirt wasn’t available, and light blue isn’t really my color – thought it was grey when I picked it up, only to realize in better lighting that it was blue – so I didn’t buy, but someone should.

  12. I have an employee on my team (which is external, client facing) that is doing very well from a skills side, but is struggling with the presentation aspect of the role. By that, I mean, she needs to present herself better. She isn’t technically violating anything in the dress code, but more polish could really get her where she needs to be. It goes beyond attire, but the rest of it I’m comfortable talking to her about, but I struggle to address the dress code issues.

    For example, she tends to wear ill fitting clothing (too tight, or honestly, just ill fitted), no make-up (not that it’s needed to look polished, but it just contributes to the overall picture), and never styles her hair. One of the three, or even two of the three could probably just be what they are, but we’re in an industry where appearance matters a a lot, and to move into a more forward facing role, she needs to get more polished. How do you have a conversation with an employee that’s this personal, where they’re not technically violating any rules? To add to this, part of the issue is that she’s clearly gained a substantial amount of weight, but hasn’t bought new clothes (doesn’t matter what size you are, you just need clothes that are tailored to you). I also don’t want to imply she needs to spend a ton of money to fix this issue (though her role is fairly well paid)?

    Any advice?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Just bite the bullet and tell her: “Susie, it is sad but true that in our industry appearance matters a lot, and to move into a more forward facing role you are going to need to up your game in that regard. In particular, I’ve noticed that your clothes are not very well-fitting and I’d like you to address that. I hate that this stuff matters, but it does and I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring it to your attention.”

      I think I would leave the hair and makeup thing alone because that would open you up to a sex-discrimination complaint. Whereas everybody is required to have clothes that fit.

    • Are you willing to accept that she won’t do anything about it? Because some people are just not going to make this a priority, even if it is one of those things that helps your career. If you talk to her about it, you need to have very specific examples about what you mean. Telling her her clothes aren’t tailored well enough will not be good enough.

    • Grumpy Anon :

      If you are my boss who thinks my salary is generous (it’s not it’s so unbelievably far below market it makes me want to cry). I don’t get paid enough to do my hair or wear make up to work. I know I look bad but my effort goes towards looking nice in my free time and interviewing with companies that​ pay good salaries.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh this one is rough. If she’s gained weight, it may be a sensitive topic. (She may not have bought new clothing because she is hoping to fit back into the old ones any day now, for example.) Clothes that fit well can also be much harder to find at larger sizes, especially if you have to completely switch stores.

      Since you indicated that there were presentation issues beyond attire, I’m guessing she does need some guidance. I hope that whatever you end up saying or doing, she gives herself permission to spend money on new clothes and that this makes her more (rather than less) confident.

      • Same anonymous :

        I guess I’m trying to frame this as a mentoring moment and an opportunity… I like how SeniorAttorney framed it, “to move into a more forward facing role.” I’m not just saying “lay off,” because I feel I have benefited from tactful advice when I wasn’t hitting the mark. But I do think this kind of feedback needs to be framed in a way that doesn’t make people feel terrible, or there can be a one step forward, two steps back outcome.

    • Anonymous :

      It sounds like you just think she’s frumpy and ugly and honestly those aren’t really things you can legally tell her to fix. If her clothes are too small (even if it’s because she’s recently gained weight) I think that’s something you can address but only if there are specific examples of things that are inappropriately short or tight. Just telling her vaguely that her clothes need to be “tailored” is likely to be ignored and could open you up to sex discrimination. Unless she has a uniform, it’s not a job requirement to wear customized clothes and I doubt men get complaints for wearing slightly ill-fitting off-the-rack clothing.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I think it depends on how far out of whack she is with office norms… like there is “off the rack suit / hard body type” less great fit, and then there is “two sizes too small.” The latter you would be within bounds to address but the former is tough. I’m a DD chested hourglass with a prominent rear – there is no amount of tailoring that is ever going to make anything “hang” off my frame the way it does on other body types.

      Additionally the no makeup thing is sort of a personal preference thing, and if shes got hair in a bun / ponytail every day that counts as styling in my book and I honestly wouldn’t want to work somewhere where I had to blow dry my hair everyday. I do wear makeup, but of the minimal variety and would never last somewhere where they expected me to be really done up.

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