Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Sleeveless Colorblock Dress

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

Sleeveless Colorblock DressI always love a good navy sheath dress, particularly in warmer weather where you can sidestep the issue of what tights to wear with navy — and the pink/orange details on this one make it really fun and interesting. Add a white cardigan or blazer, a pair of nude-for-you pumps, and you’re all set. The dress is $109 at Nordstrom, available in sizes 0-16.  Sleeveless Colorblock Dress

Looking for a plus size option? Here are two Alexia Admor dresses with long and cap sleeves.

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Comments

  1. What’s your favorite Starbucks (or other) drink? Looking to liven up my order.

    Mine is usually a tall soy cappuccino, and then I sprinkle cinnamon and chocolate powder on top.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’m boring– just an Americano or sometimes I’ll treat myself and get some whipped cream on top and a shot of some kind of syrup.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I usually get a latte (boring!) or a caramel macchiatto for a sweet treat, iced or hot depending on the weather, BUT if I’m not at Starbucks and want something different, I go for a dirty chai — espresso in the chai latte. Pretty good stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      More boringness: vanilla or hazelnut soy blonde Misti.

    • Either a decaf hazelnut latte or a peach tranquility tea. Or a decaf peppermint mocha in the season.

    • I dont like fiddling with my drink when theyve finished making it – it’s awkward, it’s added chance for me to spill something, and if I have to get the lid on and off, I cant do that one handed. For those reasons I usually ask for a misto (drip coffee with steamed milk added) or when I’m feeling special, a triple latte, skim milk. For treats, I love hazlenut lattes or mochas.

      In the summer, I love a plain unsweetened coffee frappucino -it’s just iced coffee, milk, and ice but having it blended feels like a treat to me!

      Not to be all “is your coffee professional” but I definitely side-eye the interns who come in with giant frappucinos piled high with whipped cream and sprinkles. That’s not coffee- that’s a dessert.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        OH you can get them to make an unsweetened frappucino!?

      • Anonymous :

        Those in my office who drink their coffee black mock those of us who use the cheap creamer. And we would mock the woman who waters it down, but she’s an earlybird who makes the first pot so no one would say a word.

        • Seventh Sister :

          I only started using creamer a few months ago, and I think the cheap stuff dissolves better than the more expensive powder.

          Then again, I’m taking the opportunity to enjoy coffee before The Republic of Gilead is instituted and I’m bundled off to the Colonies (I’m probably too old for Handmaiding).

    • I’m pretty boring. A flavored latte is my favorite “treat” drink. Lately I’ve gotten into dirty chai lattes, though.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t drink coffee but I actually love Starbucks because they have tons of non-coffee options. In the winter it’s a half-sweet chai latte or hot chocolate; in summer it’s a venti iced black tea with one pump of sugar or a PTL.

    • Honey Citrus Mint Tea (decaf) – peach tea, mint tea, steamed lemonade and honey. The peach tea is decaffeinated, and there is a decaf option for the mint, but you can’t order it via the app, sadly.

      • Wow – this sounds amazing. I am going to try this! Thanks!

      • I can’t have any caffeine at all (even decaf, which has trace amounts of caffeine) and this sounds amazing because the peach and mint teas are herbal! THANK YOU for giving me a new option besides straight herbal tea – I’m going to try it this afternoon! (Seriously, you’ve made my day!!)

        • Glad to hear it! It came up on my app a few weeks ago as some kind of previously secret menu item or something I could not wait to try it. It did not disappoint.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Also boring – iced coffee with sugar-free vanilla. Then I add a decent splash of half and half.

    • Not buying coffee out much lately to save money, but you can always check the menu for the “new!” sign and see if anything there strikes your fancy.

    • Raspberry skim latte. I like that the foam turns pink.

    • vanilla latte!

    • I’m kind of loving everyone’s definition of boring. I get… a coffee. Black. If I’m feeling fancy I get unsweetened almond milk with it.

      • Anonymous :

        Coffee (but not Starbucks) and if fancy half and half; no sugar; small. Very boring but it does it for me.

    • Venti Black iced tea unsweetened

    • short flat white. When they had the holiday spice one, it was delicious because they literally poured a lightly sweetened spice mix in first, then made the flat white on top. I like getting a short because the espresso to milk ratio is perfect for me. And sometimes I’ll sprinkle cinnamon on top if I’m feeling fancy.

      You can also ask for one or two pumps of flavored syrup if you want to switch things up. I usually add a pump of flavor to a tall latte if I want something lightly flavored/sweetened.

    • I love the Starbuck’s Blonde blend b/c their coffee is normally to strong for me. Dad says Starbuck’s is just good coffee, and that can put hair on your chest, but I told him no thank’s I have enough issues already and do NOT need that. FOOEY!

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      If I want a hot drink, I just get a plain (not dirty) chai latte or if it’s later in the day, a matcha latte.

      For cold drinks, it’s usually an iced chai or a black tea lemonade.

      • Just a PSA for anyone who orders their chai….I used to as well until I discovered that it had 27 grams of sugar!! I knew it was sweet but didn’t realize it was like basically drinking sugar.

    • Lately I’ve been putting cardamom in my coffee. I don’t think Starbucks has that option but sometimes other coffee shops do. There’s one near me that does.

    • trenta iced coffee, three pumps of toffee nut, splash of whole milk

    • New Tampanian :

      Iced Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew… so. good.

    • Latte with a pump of chocolate, a pump of caramel, and hazelnut (my favorite coffee shop uses actual hazelnut, but SB has the pump option).

    • Nerfmobile :

      If you are ok with sweet, the Hazelnut Mocha Coconut latte they have featured now is pretty good. Usually I have a plain latte, caramel macchiatto, chai latte, or shaken green tea lemonade.

    • biglawanon :

      Cold brew or a double espresso. No cream, no sugar.

  2. #metoo work dilemma below.

    I’m leaving biglaw (yay) and folks at my firm get a budget for a departure party. Generally you invite everyone you know, and they might bring friends – it’s pretty open. My party is tomorrow, at the bar on the ground level of the firm’s building to make it easy for people to come if they have a few minutes free / on their way home from work / whenever.

    The issue is that there is one male associate in particular who I don’t want to come. I’ve heard from a trusted friend that he exposed himself to a junior associate while working late this past fall. The male associate was my first officemate, so he would expect to be invited to my party but was not. He found out about it through the grapevine and when I ran into him in the hallway a couple days ago he asked if he could come. I was taken by surprise and answered – “if you want, i guess” which I am hoping he would take as a no (though I fully realize I did not say no).

    One of my friends thinks I should talk to him about it and let him know that he is not invited because there I’ve heard these rumors about him. I’m not sure anything good can come of that (why would he admit what he did to me?). If I don’t, I think he may come to my party and I don’t really want to be nice to him. What should I do?

    And can I just say, why is he still working here? The woman involved did make a formal complaint to HR but he was just moved from one department to another instead of fired.

    • Anonymous :

      I would just let him come and not really acknowledge him at the party. You are leaving and moving on. No need to be involved in drama right before you leave. He sounds like a major d, btw.

      • I would ignore it. Dont even bring this up He will be just one more face in the crowd, but you do NOT need to diss him or even acknolege him there.

        I am sure he will NOT expose himself at the party, so you can then forget about him. FOOEY on men that do that, but with it being a firm outing, if he wants to stay at the firm, he will keep his zipper UP! DOUBEL FOOEY on him!

    • Anonymous :

      Unfortunately it doesn’t sound like it’s the kind of party with a set guest list where you can limit who comes. So I would just ignore him and be happy you’re moving on.

    • Anonymous :

      You should let him come. Frankly you can’t not let him come. This is a rumor. Don’t start a bunch of drama about something you aren’t involved in on your last day.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      IDK, what if you said, when he came, “Hey I heard about what you did with Jane, WTF dude? Jane’s a friend and I don’t think you should be here.” (Not asking for an explanation or confirmation — just telling him that he’s not welcome and that’s why.) Since you’re leaving, it’s a relatively low stakes opportunity to shun someone who deserves a shunning and to stick up for another woman.

      • At a party? On her last day? About a rumor? With other people around? When you haven’t discussed this with the woman involved? When she may prefer not to constantly have her private business discussed at firm events by people who don’t really know what they are talking about? Really?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I think a lot about — what DO we do to those men who have wronged us? We can’t throw them all into a volcano (UNFORTUNATELY) so what do we do? I think that making them pay a social consequence is good. And you’re making a space — however small and temporary — that’s a little safer for women.

        • She could have done that by saying she’d prefer he not come, but she didn’t. She can not see him again. I don’t think making a public scene is useful.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I wouldn’t advocate making a scene either. You can quietly say a few words to someone without making a scene, in my experience.

          • Maybe. But that depends on their reaction, which you can’t predict or control. This is a rumor. She doesn’t know what happened.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            “She doesn’t know what happened.” Interesting to see this thought appear (more than once).

            Sure, fine, we can get into a philosophical discussion about the nature of knowledge, but she seems pretty [email protected] sure it happened, and she’s certainly closer to the situation than either of us.

        • Unfortunately I think most of the social consequences just come in the form of passing along the information. I’m just wondering if there’s a way to confront him in private that would actually *work*.

        • If only she could send a private, anonymous e-mail to everyone invited to the party saying that this guy was accused of “x” and to be wary of the possible dangers.

      • I don’t know the junior associate’s name (I could figure it out if I thought about it, but I think she wants to keep it private). I’m worried a “I know what you did” would just lead him to be like, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and then it gets into the whole he said / she said weirdness but with me as a strange third party outside the actual situation – on behalf of a woman who does want some privacy.

        Maybe I can change the venue to a volcano and *hope* he comes.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Oh hm.

          I mean, if he’s a bridge you’re happy to burn, can you just… ask him to leave without saying why?

          But yeah, volcano venue… that’s a pretty great idea.

          • Yeah – I am not super interested in being friends or professional contacts with him. He may make partner at this firm, and I am going in-house, so it’s possible we’ll interact again (but not if I can help it…).

        • This isn’t your business. This is a rumor.

          • I agree, but I still don’t want him at my party because of it. I think that’s fair (it’s my party I can not have alleged sexual harassers at it?).

          • It’s your party and you already told him he could come!!! He asked, you said yes! That was your chance. You blew it. Sorry. Move on.

          • Girl. It is not your party. You are not seven it isn’t your birthday. It’s a firm event the firm pays for and everyone is welcome to attend.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            It’s fascinating to hear that some people think “sure I guess you can come” gives this guy an inalienable right to attend a freakin’ party. And that excluding someone from — again, a freakin’ party — is some kind of horrifying, draconian punishment.

            ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

          • You know, I’ve been thinking about this a lot and I think dismissing things as “gossip” or “rumors” is just a way to dismiss things that underprivileged people see and hear and experience. How else do we spread information about potentially dangerous men when the system does not protect? All we have are gossip and rumors.

            Besides, it’s *not* just a rumor. It’s a reported incident of a very serious violation–the type of violation that we have seen is rarely punished.

            OP, I don’t know quite how you should do it, but I would burn this bridge. I would do it semi-obviously so that the woman and other people in the company see this isn’t tolerated.

          • Rainbow Hair – yeah, I agree. I can of course go back to him today or tomorrow and un-invite him (to the extent I invited him at all – he knows there was an email invitation and he was not on it). It’s weird to think of a conversation in the hallway as my only chance??

            And anononono – agreed also. Like I said, I think the only public shaming here comes in the form of these “rumors”. But here, they are substantiated in a couple of ways (I do trust my friend, he did move departments abruptly and without explanation, he has a history of weird behavior generally).

          • I’ve been thinking more! I think I would (after giving myself a serious pep talk about how I can do this because I’m a strong woman and ally and also efff this guy) walk to his office and say something like: “Hey, yesterday you brought up my goodbye party. I know you didn’t receive an email invitation, and that was actually purposeful. I’ve been uncomfortable working or socializing with you since hearing about why you’ve moved departments. I would prefer you not come. Thank you for respecting my boundary on this.”

      • But Jane isn’t a friend. OP heard through a friend that he did this to ‘Jane’. OP didn’t hear it directly from Jane. I think the situation would be different if OP and Jane were work BFFs — she’d have every right to tell him, seriously dude I can’t believe you think you’d be welcome after what you did to my BFF. As it is though, his bad behavior is just a rumor and the only thing OP knows first hand is that the guy is still employed.

    • It’s a little ridiculous that you think you can exclude coworkers* from the firm’s goodbye party. You need to let go of this notion that it’s YOUR party. It’s not your party. The firm is paying for it, it’s the firm’s party. Frankly it’s pretty rude that this person was left off the guest list to begin with.

      If you really cannot stand to be in the same room with this guy, then pay for the party out of your own pocket and feel free to invite or not invite whomever you want.

      *Caveat – if he had done something TO YOU then that’d be different and should be addressed through HR.

      • I have a budget for the party – it’s not unlimited so I can invite who I want.

        Some people end up doing a small dinner for their party, but I am doing a larger happy hour type event.

        It is my party – not the firm’s. If they were inviting everyone and paying for everyone, it would be different.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        But, it sounds like she initially DID exclude him from the party, as he was not on the email list with the invitation.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Sounds almost like this guy doesn’t respect boundaries, and expects that people won’t call him out when he crosses them…

    • Unless you know the victim’s preferences, I would stay out of it. We learned our college group had a predator in it. It took her years to tell us. She wanted to not be at the same parties as him but did NOT want us talking to him about what happened. She feared repercussions for herself and she didn’t really want to have people debating him on her behalf. We just stopped inviting him to things but if we ran into him at someone else’s thing we didn’t bring it up, because she didn’t want us to. She wanted the story to die. They were in similar professional circles. She didn’t want to be labeled a victim for life. She didn’t want it to follow her to other jobs. She just didn’t want to have to see him. Don’t make this about you.

      • Really important point, thank you for raising.

        • +1 I agree.

          I like the advice above to let him come (it’s at a public place, even if it is technically your party, so IMHO you can’t really ask him to leave if he does show up) but ignore him.

          I have also been the victim in a situation where someone who was still in the social circle I was in at the time assaulted me and I _did not want it discussed_ and did not want it known. There were a lot of reasons for that, including shame that it took me a long time to shed, but I had to shed it on my own.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I don’t think this point is wrong, but if she doesn’t know the victim’s preferences (i’m the victim in a similar sitch with a law school predator) it’s also quite possible that victim *doesn’t* want him there (that’s my stance on these things – if law school predator is attending a thing, I don’t)… and if she doesn’t know either way, and knowing that this guy is a scumbag makes OP not want to socialize with him, I think she can, if she wants, un-invite him from her social thing.

      • Thanks, this is a good point. Maybe I’ll try to feel it out a little bit. I have a hunch about who the victim is, but it’s possible that I’m wrong and that she’s not even invited to the party either.

        • Omg can you just stop? This isn’t your business. He asked you directly. You said yes. Move. On.

          • Why couldn’t I call him today and let him know he’s not invited? I’m honestly confused about why the conversation in the hallway is the end of it.

          • You definitely can! I would! My other comment is stuck in mod but that’s basically what I advised you to do.

            Burn the system down. It’s what keeps us being “polite” instead of “not inviting alleged (probable) harassers to our parties”.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            On what planet does the math say that a guy’s right to attend a party he (in violation of standard ‘good manners’ no less!) asked to be invited to is greater than the host’s right to not have a creep at her event?

          • Rainbow Hair :

            …Because there’s a strong bias that encourages us not to believe women in these situations. Because our society is *structured* to protect men. Because #patriarchy.

          • I posted about the victim’s point of view. I see it going down like this. You call him and say he’s not invited because of what he allegedly did to Jane. He gets pissed at Jane. He wants to know how you know. He worries people are gossiping. He wants to protect his reputation. He starts going on the offensive about how Jane is a liar and if it were true, he wouldn’t work there anymore. He tries to tarnish Jane’s reputation. Jane is still working there. You are leaving tomorrow.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            (I see I’m repeating myself. I guess I take this personally … because I’ve been the victim in this situation, and the guy was not uninvited because of social pressures or whatever. But anyway, gonna tap out because I think I’ve made myself clear.)

          • Anon – yeah, I think it’s a very good reason not to do anything. At most I think I would just say “I’d prefer you not to come”, but it could still go badly in a way I can’t control.

            This anonymous above seems to have a different point, though, that is just “you already said X so you are bound to it forever”. I’m just asking about that part.

          • Rainbow Hair – just want to say I very much appreciate all of your thoughts & comments.

          • Really agree with anon @ 10:59’s comments. This could potentially create backlash for the victim and isn’t fair to her without her consent. I would drop it.

  3. Anonymous :

    If you had a watch budget of $1,000 and wanted a watch to wear every day to work and play, what would you get? I’m thinking silver. Not even sure what brands to look at in that price point. Thanks.

    • Depending on your style – for classic, I’d look at Tissot and Longines. If you’re glam, try Michele, and if you’re sportier, try Shinola.

      Take a look at Govberg jewelers in Philadelphia- they are well known in the “watch world” for having an excellent pre-owned business, and you can look at available pieces online, searching by price, style, movement, etc. I’ll put the link below.

      Also- I like nice watches- but honestly, I wear my apple watch most of the time!

      • I love my Shinola and have been wearing it every day for over a year. I have the one with the moon phase… it’s really hard to find a genuine moon phase for under a grand (most of the ones in stores just show night/day). I did replace the band but the watch itself is (just looked at it) completely unscratched and looks brand new.

    • https://www.govbergwatches.com/product-category/preowned-watches/?price_range=0-1k,1k-5k

    • Anonymous :

      What are your watch goals? Is this really a purchase you want, if you don’t have a brand in mind?

      • I really want a watch. My watch goal is to tell time? haha. Not trying to be evasive, just not sure what else to say about the matter. I need a watch and want something nice because I work with a lot of wealthy clients and I feel more confident when I have nice things. That may be silly, but it’s the truth. I’ve loved Michele watches in the past, and am still considering it, but wanting to hear what else I should look at.

        • Perhaps Movado? I find them to be classic and timeless and there should be a wide variety available at your price point.

          • +1 This is exactly what I bought with my $1,000 budget.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Although be warned: I had a Movado knockoff once and it drove me crazy not to have the numbers on the dial!

    • Piggybacking on the watch question: Does wearing a real watch make one look old and out of touch? Over the past year or so I’ve noticed that the people who I would previously see wearing nice watches (judges, lawyers, doctors, etc.) are now mostly wearing Apple Watches. I am a petite, athletic-looking person in my early 40s who currently wears a Tag Heuer Aquaracer. For professional reasons, it’s important that I project an image that is aggressive, put-together, and just generally “with it.” Do I need to switch to an Apple Watch?

      • OP and this is really intriguing to me. I’m under 30 and it’s also important that I project a similar image. I’ve thought about the Apple Watch and am really interested in what people have to say about it (in terms of how it projects, not the actual specs).

      • To be honest, a little. I don’t see any professional women in my office or even when I worked in Big Law wearing a watch. The only woman I know who wears a watch is my retired 70 year old mom.

      • anon a mouse :

        Interesting – a couple colleagues specifically got new watches at Christmas because they didn’t want the distraction of an Apple watch. I’ve toyed with an Apple watch but I think I’m going to go with an analog one again.

        • I got a watch this year for my birthday. I’ve been looking for years, becasue i wanted something very plain: mother of pearl face, steel band, no sparkles at all. I wanted something I could check while litigating, without obviously turning to look at the clock or pulling out my phone, and I like the look of a watch better than a fitbit or apple watch.

          It’s a basic Bulova — i’m not sure how much it was, but i know it was on sale.

      • I’m 38 and a partner at a mid-size firm. I still wear a real watch (nothing fancy, just a pretty basic Bulova) and have no plans to switch to an Apple watch. I think Apple watches look more bulky than they do polished, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.

        • This is my issue with Apple watches too. I figure eventually they’ll make more stylish ones so I might as well hold out.

      • I think sometimes an apple watch says “my family got me a really nice christmas present”

      • I have a watch with a really old school giant face (not expensive at all). I get tons of compliments on it, so now I’m sticking with it. Random people will tell me it looks like a watch Katherine Hepburn or Amelia Eirhart would wear, which was a goal I didn’t even know I had. Kind of the opposite of an Apple watch!

      • I got a Cartier tank watch when I made partner and I wear itevery day. I’m 37.

        • Marshmallow :

          I have long told myself that if I make partner, this will be my present to myself!

        • R in Boston :

          This is also going to be my partner present to myself. Right now I have a Ferragamo watch that I love (link in reply) and wear every day. I am 33, so maybe this makes me an Old, but I am on team real watch.

          • R in Boston :

            Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01DU9WEYM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      • I’ve always thought a nice watch is a classic. It doesn’t come across as super cutting-edge or anything, but I’d never consider someone who wears a watch old or out of date. I’m in my 30’s and still wear one every day. My wardrobe is otherwise current.

        • Different people have different reasons. I wear an affordable sporty watch because its light is less harsh when checking the time in the dark, there’s less concern about loss/theft/destruction, and as a person with poor vision who swims, I cannot use the timekeeping clocks at pools for tracking. Like others said, it’s not considered as rude to check your watch in a subtle way compared to checking your phone.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I got an ESQ for my 30th birthday and I still wear it almost every day. I’m 36. I currently have a silver one but want to get a gold one. I’m trying to spend LESS time stuck to my technology. I don’t want every text coming into my watch. Maybe that makes me old. I also don’t want a reminder of how much I sit at work. I don’t need a Fit Bit to tell me I don’t walk enough.

        Maybe I’ll change my mind someday.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Just to add, I don’t just rely on my phone for the time because there are situations where I don’t want to be seen checking my phone – court, depositions, mediations, etc.

        • Yeah, I love tech but I’m already on my phone all the time, I don’t need an Apple watch too.

      • I’m early 30s and bought myself a nice watch when I got a new job a few years ago. The Duchess of Cambridge wears one frequently so that’s good enough for me.

      • I am 32, I work in tech, and I wear a (non-smart) watch every day. I have three decently nice watches that I rotate between – a fairly minimalist silver watch from Kate Spade, a trendier Michael Kors, and vintage gold Rolex “cocktail” watch.

        I love wearing a watch for the very basic reason that it allows me to check the time without looking at my phone. Having a watch on has allowed me to break the cycle of checking my phone for the time, then seeing that I have notifications, then going down a phone rabbit hole. It also feels much more subtle and less rude when I’m having in-person conversations (without another clock like my computer nearby) – I can wrap the conversation up when I need to without taking out my phone. Even an Apple watch, you have to wake up to see the time and people definitely notice when you do that.

        Yay Team Watch! I don’t care if it looks old-fashioned.

      • I am an old – late 50s – and wear a non-status-symbol watch every day. (Not that there’s anything wrong with pricey watches, but they’re not for me.) I would not want an Apple watch, I feel too tied to my phone already and don’t want it on my wrist.

        FWIW, DS started wearing a watch regularly in his junior or senior year in college, after years of saying he can just look at his phone. He was on the mock trial team and also doing activist work that had him involved with the college administration, faculty groups and community members such as church leaders, and he did find that it could be rude or distracting to pull out his phone to check the time. He’s 23 and in his first job now, which involves a lot of what might be considered client-facing work, and can have a tight schedule of appointments and meetings. He wears a traditional watch every day now. So, I don’t think a watch is only for those of a certain age.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I am also Very Old (gonna be 60 this year) and you can pry my watch off my cold, dead wrist. I love my Citizen non-fancy watch but one of these days I’d love to have an actual gold watch. And my son is 31 and he also wears a wristwatch every day.

      • I am 35 and wear a Rolex every day. I had a Tag Heuer that I received as a college graduation gift that I previously wore every day (until about 6 months ago). I have never really thought about it, but I feel like most of my good girl friends also wear watches every day… Cartier, Shinola, Tag, etc. I only know one person who has an Apple watch.

      • I wouldn’t say it off touch but I think Apple watches are just as acceptable as fancier ones too the extent your watch matters. I have one because it’s the culture where I work – everyone has them and it’s a way to be discreet but connected during meetings. Personally, I’d love a Cartier tank watch but not enough that it’s high on my list. I wouldn’t spend much on a watch other than for a really nice one though so the 1k price point probably wouldn’t do much for me.

      • Washingtonian :

        Security clearance = regular watch. I can’t wear an Apple watch to work, or have my cell phone at my desk. I guess I am doomed to looking old. :)

    • Vintage Ebel, but I am a watch geek. I would put someone at Tourneau on the request and see what they can find for you in their stock.

    • Marshmallow :

      I am not a fan of the Apple Watch and have not seen many of my clients wearing them– but my clients tend to be big financial institutions, not small tech firms, so YMMV. I still mostly see nice-looking analog watches.

      I wear a hybrid smartwatch that looks like a stainless steel analog watch but vibrates when I get an email or a text, and counts my steps. Best of both worlds.

      • Coach Laura :

        Marshmallow- what is the name/brand of your hybrid smartwatch?

        • Mineallmine :

          I love my hybrid watch as well, especially since I like oversized but still classic watches. Mine is a Fossil Q hybrid in a light tan that doesn’t stand out as harshly as black, but there were other nice colors. It eats batteries every 6 months or so, but they are easy to replace. It vibrates when apps, like whatsapp or text, I designate sends alert, and it also functions as a pedometer and sleep tracker. I have it set up to run the controls on my music, too, or I don’t have to touch my phone while driving. I really like the function of my hybrid, and it gets compliments on its looks all the time as well.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I bought a silver w/ gold accents since I wear both kinds of jewelry (Citizen, but your budget allows for higher end obvs.)

  4. Rainbow Hair :

    I’m wrapping my head around someone who is objectively s3xist but also really nice.

    I had written the guy off for a gross, objectifying comment he made, in a meeting no less! My boss (who is good people) sort of blew my mind when he said, out of the blue a few months later, “Oh, Jack is so genuinely nice.” But then in all my interactions with him, he’s been super kind, and I just found out he’s doing something unnecessarily generous for a colleague of mine, aaaaand he makes bad sexist jokes.

    There’s no question or anything here — guess I’m just noting how people can contain multitudes.

    • Yeah? Like, if everyone sexist or racist were uniformly horrible this wouldn’t be a hard problem?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I think it’s more just surprising to see it go the other way. In my experience you think someone is OK and then they reveal their bad traits. But here, I knew Jack professionally first, in the context of sexist-jokes-in-meetings Jack, so it was easy enough to write him off as another person like that. To see, after that, the kindness and generosity — kind of a trip, that’s all.

    • Well if he’s objectively nice and generous maybe he can be salvaged. Call him out on the sexist jokes, say they offended or hurt you, and ask him to stop. A truly nice person would be self aware enough to do so.

      • A “nice” guy is often a weak-spirited arsehole who has been beaten down by life and uses all of that as an excuse for his lack of self-awareness and self-control.

        PS-Men are notoriously poor judges of character. A man saying someone is “nice” doesn’t mean s to me. Especially when men give eachother a pass for so much, unless of course they find another man personally threatening.

    • Yeah… no one is 100% bad. Everyone is both good and bad. It’s why women stay in abusive relationships and people remain friends with people who have done objectively horrible things. It’s why victims get sidelined by their friends and family who still want a relationship with the abuser. It’s sad but also very very human.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Perhaps, even, it’s why people double down on the comfort of “it’s just a rumor.”

        • Perhaps, even, when you hear from someone who heard from someone who heard from someone that something happened to someone, you try and respect that somdone’s Privacy. The world isn’t as black and white as you wNt to believe rainbow.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            That’s not what happened.

            If people have to take sides, the side I’m gonna take is gonna be the side of the woman who has to continue to work with the guy who harassed her, not with that guy.

          • I think believing all “rumors” are created equal is believing the world is black and white. It’s ok to react strongly to a story like that. It’s ok to burn bridges or be not polite sometimes. It’s ok to disagree on what to do on this point. Ultimately that OP will do what she thinks is right for her. There’s no need to bring up that conversation elsewhere on this page.

        • Rainbow Hair, you genuinely terrify me. Ever year of Emmit Till?

          • Wowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, you need to go back under your bridge.

          • Exclusion from a party is exactly like a brutal lynching. Great point. You’re so tasteful and nuanced.

          • Not surprising this was lost on you. What this example shows is that not all rumors and not all accusations are true. People are capable of lying about any number of heinous things – as the case of Emmitt Till shows- but under Rainbow Hair’s construct, no one ever lies about s*Xual assault under any circumstances.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            …sigh…

            If OP had suggested gathering up a mob and torturing and murdering the colleague, I wouldn’t support her plan.

    • I’ve had this happen with a partner that I’ve worked with closely for a year +. The first time I met him, he made the senior associate I was working with cry….and then just kept talking and ignored the fact that she was crying for about 15 minutes until he was done with the meeting. It was brutal. She told me later it was not the first time he’d done that.

      Although I still think he’s inherently not a nice person, and he has his own brand of off-color jokes that I don’t appreciate, he’s generally been nice and respectful to me, and I’ve heard stories about how he’s treated the staff he works with – gives his assistant flowers each week, opened his home to staff during 9/11 and Sandy, etc. It is hard to get my head around how nice / not nice he can be.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I’m sorry, but what exactly was supposed to happen in that scenario? Are you meant to stop a meeting because an associate is unprofessionally crying in a meeting? Quite honestly, I think the most appropriate thing to do is just continue as though nothing happened to give her a chance to get herself together or to excuse herself. I seriously would not even know what to do in that scenario apart from my inside voice screaming “there’s no crying in baseball/law”.

        Maybe the guy was a jerk, but continuing to cry for 15 minutes in a meeting is deeply unprofessional behaviour.

        • The meeting was just the three of us, so acknowledging it and asking why it happened would have been kind…

          The rest of the context is that the partner was complaining about one of our specialist groups and saying that their comments to the documents made no sense and that they were bad lawyers, etc. The associate told me they’d had this conversation before where she would stand up for their comments (since the comments had been communicated to her and she knew their perspective) but the partner had responded that her job, as an associate, was to listen to his rant, not justify or interrupt, and to take his comments back to the specialists for correction. He’d previously threatened her job if she did interrupt to stand up for the specialists. So the 15 minutes at the end of the meeting was just this partner railing on specialist attorneys and this senior associate (silently) crying…and me, on my first day staffed on this deal, wondering what the heck was happening. All to say, I don’t think the associate was the one being unprofessional.

    • I felt this way when I found out someone I worked with on a project killed someone in a drunk driving crash (and it wasn’t her first drunk driving incident). She got off with no jail time. She was so nice and fun and genuine. I couldn’t look at her the same way after that.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Woah.

        I am thinking a lot, lately, about what you DO (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially) with people who have done something bad and wrong and hurtful, but, presumably, are not doing it any more. Does it make a difference if they’d paid a price?

        Funny instinct, but I’m going, “I wish there were a novel I could read about this.”

        • I always enjoy your comments, Rainbow Hair. :)

        • I think a lot of people simply wimp out on the difficult, emotionally and spiritually challenging task of reconciling a person who is “good” who does something bad. I’ve seen it happen in my life in a similar situation. A few years ago a family member of mine was killed in an accident that was caused by someone’s negligence. Facts later came to light that the guy was deliberately warned about the obviously and indisputably dangerous condition that killed my family member mere moments before he died, and this person simply shrugged his shoulders and didn’t do anything about it. My family filed a civil suit, and the DA actually brought charges for negligent homicide against this guy. His Small Town went berserk defending him. He’s such a good guy, he’s always been a part of the community, he helped us with storm recovery efforts back in the early aughts (wow, such a hero..)…. My family was attacked in the media and elsewhere. Interestingly, a lot of the defensiveness was channeled into arguments that the DA’s actions would risk a slippery slope that would impose liability/criminal sanctions on lots of other innocent people just like Mr. Negligent and jeopardize their livelihoods, blah blah. A ridiculous argument when you looked at the facts, but a way to be defensive without endorsing this guy’s actions. I see this a lot in the #metoo backlash.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m sorry for your loss. After a decade in civil litigation/ personal injury it still amazes that the victims of negligence are continually disparaged when they seek restitution. I hope you’ll be given justice. And millions of dollars.

          • Thank you. I’m an attorney, too, and it was surreal to be in this position and listen to randoms who know nothing about anything opine on the situation. Like, don’t you know you’re talking about someone’s spouse/parent/child??? Be decent! EVERYONE HUG YOUR LOVED ONES!

    • Marshmallow :

      Yup. This happens in my family too– people who are super nice on the surface to folks in their group of family/friends have said horrifying things about those outside “our” group. It can be really hard to square with the other good things about that person. For me if I call you out on it gently one time and you do it again, I will just distance myself from you. You can be nice all you want but I’m not going to excuse your sexist or anti-Semitic comments because you’re friendly to me at Sunday dinner.

      • The WORST people are often known as angels in their own circles. Bad people often tend to take good care of their own.

    • Linda from HR :

      When I was s3xually assaulted, people made excuses for the guy. They acknowledged that what happened was wrong and creepy and someone should have intervened, but they also said things like, oh he’s just so lonely and awkward and he’s never had a girlfriend so he doesn’t know how to talk to women he likes. It took the group a long time, several assaults and at least one attempt at an intervention, to realize that while he may be a fun guy at the bar, he was also a predator.

      I don’t know if you’re familiar with the term “missing stair,” but it’s a super useful phrase to know when dealing with men like this. Basically a group’s (or workplace’s) missing stair is a dude who says or does super problematic things but since he’s an otherwise great guy to have around, people just work around the problem and warn others about it.

    • Being nice to one sort of person and being horrible to others makes you not a nice person. It’s not hard to understand. Why do you think people say “I didn’t expect this of him” when terrible crimes happen? Because he was nice in a different context to a different category of person. Think of it this way:

      1) George gave a young man a college scholarship to cover the gap so he wouldn’t drop out of school.
      2) George also beats his wife.
      3) George covered the shift for Bob when his child was being born
      4) George also didn’t interview that Hispanic woman because he thinks she’s an “illegal” and doesn’t want the hassle (despite not asking about residency status).

      That same guy that gave a $50 to a homeless man can also spit on a protestor for daring to say “my life matters” or “don’t poison my land”.

    • I’m struggling with this now trying to wrap my head around my ex. Great guy, but somewhat racist and sexist.

    • Anonymous :

      Perhaps we just need to judge people less? We’re all deeply flawed human beings. Let’s call out racism, sexism and of course criminal actions and other bad behavior where we see them. Let’s otherwise treat everyone with the most kindness we can muster. There’s no need to keep a running tally of good guys and bad guys.

    • I think humor can be weird, because “wrongness” is a component of most humor, and people draw the lines in very different places. I believe that humor at work should stay well within safe territory, so I still have a problem with this guy. But I am not prepared to blacklist someone because of how they play Cards Against Humanity (or because of the fact that they do)? (Maybe I’m imagining different sexist jokes though–I know sometimes these jokes aren’t funny at all by anyone’s metric; they are just deliberate and passive aggressive ways to put women down in the workplace.)

      As for the general topic of good people who do bad things: predators (and narcissists and bad actors in general) groom their communities. Most people don’t have insight into the psychology of their manipulators–they assume that the bad actor is acting out of genuine benevolence when he does something good or nice. They can’t imagine the way he is thinking and talking about them behind their backs (i.e., with total contempt). They’re just playing people so that they can get away with things, and they know exactly what they are doing.

  5. seattle with big family, little kids :

    i know almost nothing about seattle. help! we have a family vacation coming in may in seattle. we have some ideas of what to do but i would love to get seattle hive thoughts. the group: 8 adults, two kids, one of the adults is pregnant. the kids are 17 months and 19 months. we’re staying in a home in queen anne (i have no idea if i’m even getting the area right – it may be north queen anne) and will have access to a kitchen. so: thoughts on places to take the little guys? just local neighborhood playgrounds/parks would be exciting to them i’m sure; open to any other ideas as well. someone suggested ballard locks to see boats and let them run around. restaurants you like that can accommodate groups/kids? is it possible to eat outdoors in seattle at that time of year? any other advice welcome!

    thanks all!

    • I don’t have any restaurant suggestions because it’s been 12 years since I lived in Seattle, but yes, there’s a good chance you can eat outdoors in May, especially later in the month. Park wise, Gasworks is great – a lovely view of the lake and downtown, with boats and seaplanes coming and going, and grassy space for little kids to run around. Also Golden Gardens is a really cool park and Alki has a walkway along the water that’s really lovely. And the Fremont Troll! (plus Fremont is a cool neighborhood for grownups too)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh I was just in Seattle near that area and here’s my only tip: there are a lot of hills and stairs! I was with my dad whose knees are bad and we had to give up on a walk to a park that looked short, but was like 100% stairs, and he just couldn’t do anymore stairs. So heads up!

    • Nerfmobile :

      Woodland Park Zoo is nice. They may be a little young for the Pacific Science Center, but keep that in mind for future visits. University of Washington Arboretum should be lovely this time of year. If you go to the downtown waterfront, you can walk along and look at ferries and boats, as well as go to the Aquarium. Fish and Chips at Ivars.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      So excited for you!

      1. Queen Anne is a gigantic hill on the western side of the city, just north of downtown. North Queen Anne is the far side of the hill- looking towards Canada. It’s an excellent location and especially good for families.
      2. There’s a park on the western edge of the hill that’s literally built into the hillside. It’s pretty small, but the play structure uses the hill as a feature. Soundview Terrace.
      3. There’s a TJ’s and a Safeway on the top of the hill for snacks.
      4. One of my favorite parts of Seattle is that you can wander and find something so cool you can’t believe it. If you email me at my username plus e t t e I’ll send you a couple of walks that are awesome. They’re from the book Seattle Walks.
      5. The playground in Seattle Center (bottom of the hill, where the Space Needle is) is so cool. They have both big kid and little kid play areas plus areas to race around. The fountain just to the west of the playground is also cool. There’s a Children’s Museum in the Center as well. It’s in the basement of the Armory, which has a bunch of low-key food options. I recommend Skillet, Eltana Bagels (salted bagel with chive cream cheese and tomato is A+), a local and very good pizza place, a local Mexican place, and some other various options. I can almost guarantee you and the kiddos will be able to find something there.
      6. After you go to the playground and museum and the Armory for lunch, hop on the Monorail to downtown. Cash only. It was put in for the World’s Fair in 1962 (?) and takes you from the Center to downtown. Big hit wirh toddlers. And adults.
      7. Once you’re downtown, make your way over to Pike Place Market. You can stop for ice cream at Molly Moon’s, which I highly recommend. The kids can watch the fish throwers, and they just opened a new and remodeled area of the market. I haven’t been, but the mockups seemed like it would provide great places to see the water and watch ferries. Another big hit.
      So, downtown and the hill is done. Onto north of the hill!

      1. I highly recommend the Ballard Locks. You can watch boats go up and down.
      2. Once you’re there, make your way over to Golden Gardens for some beach time. The water will be ice cold but hopefully you’ll catch sun and the kids can play on the beach.
      3. For lunch or dinner, go to D*cks. Drive (or walk) in burger place that’s super cheap and a Seattle institution. Be aware there are no substitutions, so look at the menu online before you go. There’s I’m on the bottom of Queen Anne, one just east of Golden Gardens, and two near the University of Washington.

      As you make your way back to the hill, stop at Gasworks Park. The view over Lake Union to downtown is amazing, especially at sunset.

      Other food recommendations:
      Cupcake Royale
      Paseo (Cuban)
      Storyville Coffee. There’s on on the tip of QA hill and another in Pike Place Market. Their salted caramel cookies rock.
      Frelard Pizza- the pizza is great, the beer selection is great, and they have a kids area. Pagliacci’s pizza is also good. There’s one on lower Queen Anne near Seattle Center.
      Pho if your kids like noodle soup. I really really like Pho Viet Anh on lower Queen Anne but it’s not super kid friendly. Pho Than Brothers (also on lower Queen Anne) is probably better for kids.

      • WOW THANK YOU!!! This is amazing. I really appreciate the super thoughtful response.

      • BelleRose :

        Wow, Sloan, I’m going to have to check some of these out, as I haven’t been in the 3 years I’ve lived here!

        The Space Needle is fun for kids (I remember going there when I was little). It is still open during renovation, but the construction may affect the experience.
        HIGHLY recommend the Fremont troll for the kiddos :) Also 2nd/3rd/4th the recommendations for Ballard locks, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Center, and Pike Place market. Sadly, kids are probably too young for the Science museum, and definitely too young for the Future of Flight museum at Boeing (if the adults can get away from the kids for a day, though, HIGHLY recommend).

        MOD pizza is fun (make-your-own pizza; there is one at Seattle Center).

        Weather in Seattle is unpredictable this far out (we are still pretty cold and rainy right now, even though normally the sun has started to come out by this time). Plan for drizzle, but could also be clear and sunny. If weather allows, the PNW is a fabulous place to hang out outside hiking or playing in the parks. Just don’t forget sunscreen (even if cloudy)! Have fun!

  6. Winter coats recs? :

    Any recommendations for your favorite and warmest women’s winter coats? I’ll be moving to a really cold area soon and my current coats definitely don’t seem warm enough. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      The North Face or Canada Goose are good. If you post where you are going you might get better recommendations. My area is cold but damp so waterproof is important in addition to warmth. Other areas may be cold and dry and a good down coat is enough.

    • Canada Goose are trendy but I would not spend $800 on a coat like that. I would go to Columbia or Patagonia and get something they’ve designed with “omni heat” for winter. Fwiw I lived in Minnesota and never saw Canada Goose jackets – now I live in NYC and see them everywhere. It is much colder in Minnesota :)

      • One vote against the omni heat – it was somewhat warm (warm enough for Boston on most days), but the static cling from that material was unbelievable.

      • Some links (avoiding mod in the original comment):

        https://www.columbia.com/womens-outdry-ex-diamond-heatzone-jacket-1682941.html?cgid=women-jacketsVests-insulated&dwvar_1682941_variationColor=010#prefn1=activity&srule=HighestRated&prefv1=Winter&start=0

        https://www.columbia.com/womens-lay-%E2%80%98d-down-jacket-WL4047.html?cgid=women-jacketsVests-insulated&dwvar_WL4047_variationColor=012#prefn1=activity&srule=HighestRated&prefv1=Winter&start=5 (this might be my jacket – I love it)

        https://www.columbia.com/womens-hexbreaker-long-down-jacket-1557311.html?cgid=women-jacketsVests-insulated&dwvar_1557311_variationColor=245#prefn1=activity&srule=HighestRated&prefv1=Winter&start=0 (length will keep you warmer, I find it annoying in a down jacket like this but lots of people love them).

      • Never too many shoes... :

        In fairness, Canada Goose is very popular in Canada where it is pretty cold. The coats are well made and super warm – they became trendy in recent years but have been around a long time and were mainstays of people working on set in the film business where they were standing outside for hours in the cold. They are expensive but also really good, warm coats.

        • This. I don’t get why people wear them in NYC but they are 100% used by my clients doing field work in northern Canada. They are solid coats.

        • Sure – they are great. I just think they’re also suuuuper overpriced. Chicago is cold but there are other coats!!

          • FellowChicagoan :

            I mean, it depends how much you’re outside. No car + dog = I feel glad I bought a coat that ran ~$1k. Also, I’m a total wimp about the cold.

        • Canadian checking in. I adore my Canada Goose. It’s so well made and so warm, and stylish too. I’ve had parkas from other major brands that haven’t held up as well.

      • I live in MN, and Canada Goose coats have become extremely popular in the past two years, particularly within the set who can afford them. Also check out Pajar, North Face and Eddie Bauer.

      • Canada Goose were made for the Canadian arctic and were worn by workers at the arctic research station and sheriffs stationed at northern bases for many years before they became trendy. Canadians may recall all those pictures of the arctic research station with giant red parkas? Those are the old style Canada Goose coats.

        I wore my Canada goose in the Canadian tundra (the old classic super warm one, not the newer bomber style ones) and it was great. I have owned many other brands (patagonia, north face, etc) which were fine if I layered well, but after I tried Canada Goose I wouldn’t go back.

        That said, not everyone needs to be outside in true arctic conditions.:)

    • Recommend the Eddie Bauer Sun Valley Down Parka. It’s warmer than any coat I’ve ever owned, even my really long Land’s End duffle coat. It has a very windproof fabric. It’s what I reach for on the coldest windiest grossest days in Boston. They probably still have a few in the sale and clearance section. Bonus that it comes in tall, petite and plus sizes so it fits you, whatever your shape, well. I also like that it’s cut to accommodate hips.

    • I love my Arc’Teryx parka. It’s pricey, but in general, I’d look for something that is windproof (this is very important…the wind chill is what gets you), waterproof, and insulated with down or down substitute. You can’t really go wrong with any of the major outdoor gear brands (except for Canada Goose, which I agree with above are totally over-hyped), and they will all have reliable cold ratings.

      • +1 on Arcteryx.

        • Honestly though, depending where you’re moving from/to- layers and accessories may be just as important as a coat. You’ll need have your coat zipped up all the way, wearing a hat and gloves, socks and warmer shoes (leather ankle boots are fine, no need for sorels unless its below 15 or actively snowing), and you’ll want to keep moving. I find that when it’s 25-30ish, I dont really need my expedition style parka- I just need to keep myself covered and moving, and then I’ll stay moderately warm.

    • Just a caution that, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, now might not be the best time to buy a winter coat. The season is pretty much over (despite what the forecasts seem determined to tell us), and most of the really cold/frigid days (below 30F/0C) are behind us and not likely to show up again until Oct/Nov. So, if you’re just gathering information for the future, or to watch for deals, that’s okay – but you aren’t going to get a lot of use out of it until next fall.

      • On the contrary, I think this is the best time to buy a winter coat. There are great deals.

        • Eh – maybe you can find deals. If you can get a deal, great. But you are going to have better option and a chance to use/return if you want until closer to the season. And the next winter may not need the same type of outerwear, so you are over-buying before you need it. And then by the time you need it, you may have figured out better what you actually need.

          So, you might get a “deal”, but you may not be buying what you actually need/want – so is it really a deal?

      • LLBean has some excellent options, available year-round on their website. I’d go for something longer, around knee length, rather than hip length, if possible.

    • Look for Patagonia 3-in-1 coats on sale over the summer.

      • +1. Canadian here, who does frequent work in Northern Territories. I live in my Patagonia jacket!

    • Winter coats recs? :

      Edited to add: moving to Chicago :)

      • This is what I have in Chicago and it’s great https://www.backcountry.com/the-north-face-arctic-parka-womens?rr=t

        • Anonymous :

          I just bought this on sale for next winter in Boston – other sites have more colors/sizes, just google North Face Arctic Park II

      • What will your commute be like? If you’re driving, a Canada Goose is definitely overkill. I walk about a mile to the train in Chicago, and I wish I had something comparable to a Canada Goose. I compensate by wearing a generic down coat I bought from Macy’s when I lived in D.C., along with a heavy sweater underneath, but I sweat terribly on the train when it’s packed in the morning. I think if I wore only one layer, I could unzip it and air out a bit. It’s not very practical to remove layers on a crowded train during morning rush. . . . Maybe now is the time for me to spring for a better coat!

        Since it’s sale season, definitely consider investing in heavy Sorel type boots if you’ll do any amount of walking.

        • Yes, one thing I love about my Canada Goose is that I can just wear normal clothes underneath it because it’s so warm.

        • Another Chicagoan here. Disagree on the Sorel boots. Overkill here. They are heavy, clunky and definitely require you carrying shoes to change into. I know they are trendy but I don’t care for the look.

          I invest in good quality, weather proof La Canadienne and Aquatalia suede and leather boots and booties bought on deep discount. Excellent warmth, just fine for Chicago weather even walking through snow. And these look so nice that I can wear several of them all day with my winter tights/pants.

          • Another Chicagoan disagreeing with anon– you definitely need snowboots here, though they need not be Sorels. (Mine are knockoff sorels). Changing shoes is a part of life here 20+ days a year.

            I hated Chicago when I first moved here because of the cold and really have gotten used to it. The things that help are 1) getting a coat that’s knee-length or longer (mine’s a Patagonia; it’s good for most days and on the really, really cold ones I spring for a Lyft); 2) earmuffs, and 3) really warm gloves. Note I’d wait until you’re here to buy– my parents bought me mine in their slightly warmer city and it was the warmest coat we could find, but not as warm as a lot of the stores stock here.

    • uniqlo down is affordable and warm. I think Eddie Bauer, LL Bean, and Land’s End all generally have good down coats that are decent deals, especially on sale.

    • The LL Bean Winter Warmer coat got me through 5 long winters in Vermont. (Then I developed a really strong cold tolerance and started wearing less coat.) Affordable, not super stylish, but at least it comes in fun colors.

      I don’t find Uniqlo coats sufficiently warm. It’s a good winter-to-spring transition piece at best.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      If you are ok wearing animal products (and I believe that most of the options discussed in this thread use down / fur-trim), get a shearling coat. By far the warmest coat I have ever owned and much sleeker than a puffy coat.

      • Agree with this.

        In Chicago, I have a knee length wool coat, a knee length puffer coat with a shawl collar and fitted silhouette, and a beautiful long shearling coat for weather below 10-20 degrees that I will wear for the rest of my life. Also bought on deep discount.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, real shearling, not faux shearling, coats are really very warm.

    • I adore my LL Bean Acadia Down Coat.

    • Do you have an REI near you? They sell all the outdoor brands like patagonia, north face, arcteryx etc and their people know their stuff. Barring that, LL Bean sells amazing coats and has the best customer service.

  7. Gift Help :

    I work in higher ed at a law school. I have two student workers who will be graduating in May. I would like to get them both a small gift. I can’t give cash or cash equivalent (gift card). Both students are women. I was thinking about the Cuyuna travel case set w/monogramming (https://www.cuyana.com/leather-travel-case-set.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw5LbWBRDCARIsALAbcOczCARvAEO_qtAJ_stE_Mj6Mym-oedDpj8eJk9WSmJ51a5eYb2QDKEaAt3WEALw_wcB#champagne?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc). Thoughts? Any other ideas for $100-$150?

    • Anonymous :

      Woah that’s a ton of money! I’d try and keep it closer to $25. Maybe this?

      https://m.shop.nordstrom.com/s/kate-spade-new-york-lets-do-lunch-business-card-holder/3222411?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=SILVER

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I own a similar kate spade metal business card holder and it has not held up well, for what it’s worth. I’ve got another metal one I got from the Met Museum’s store (sadly they don’t seem to carry it anymore) that has held up much better.

      • Thanks, but I’m comfortable with the budget I’ve set.

    • Veronica Mars :

      That’s really nice, I think that’s a great choice. I was on the Costco site this morning and they have a Lodis neverfull-inspired bag for $50, that might be another option. I’ve also gotten some Fossil items monogrammed and they came out really well (leather luggage tag with gold embossed initials for about $30).

      • Gift Help :

        Thanks! I had forgotten about Fossil, but I’ve also been very happy with a couple of monogrammed items I have from them.

      • In-House in Houston :

        Oooh…thanks for the tip on the Lodis bag at Costco. Love the color…I just wish there was a way to secure it closed. I’m such a klutz that I can see bending over to pick something up and everything comes flying out….

        • Veronica Mars :

          I had a Neverfull briefly–if you close up the sides (folding them in), it’s a pretty upright bag.

    • I love these! As a somewhat recent law school grad, I would be so excited to get this as a present! (Referring to the Cuyuna travel set).

      • Me too. I have them and LoVE them – like all things Cuyana for me, going on years of daily use and looking brand new. It’s a lovely gift.

      • Yup. Mine are still going strong years later and I use them everyday. They still spark joy or whatever the heck they’re supposed to do. I bought them for myself, no regrets, but if I had been given them as a gift? Best. gift. ever.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I think that is a gorgeous set and I can’t imagine your students wouldn’t be thrilled to receive it!

    • KateMiddletown :

      Those are gorgeous. Longchamp le pliage w/ a gift receipt if you think they might have similar stuff already.

    • Anonymous :

      Just make sure both are okay with leather. I assume you know them well enough at this point to know whether they shop leather, but as someone who doesn’t, a present like this would make me feel far worse than not receiving anything at all (many layers of guilt).

  8. I have a real shortage of shirts. I wear jeans to work (casual office) and often wear jersey tops. But my current crop of shirts is in bad shape. Dose anyone have a go-to shirt that they buy in different colors, etc.? Should I just order a few styles from Amour Vert/ have people had luck with that? Thanks!

    • I just ordered some shirts from JCrew Factory that are pretty inexpensive. I needed some casual long sleeve tees. They have a scallop neck tee I bought and a striped boatneck shirt with cuffs (that comes in other colors too). I bought a bunch of Express Portofinos when I returned from maternity leave because I needed something and they fit the bill. I was never impressed and can’t understand why others like them so well. FWIW, I would do a lot of casual/graphic tees and blazers in that dress code.

    • Not jersey, but my favorites are the LOFT utility blouse and Boden Ravello.

    • KateMiddletown :

      The Everlane tee gets a ton of great reviews, but I really like my Banana plain white tees. (And the J Crew factory ones that aren’t the slub cotton “artist” tees.)

    • I would look at Boden for this – lots of options. Personally, I swear by Eileen Fischer linen knits, but doesn’t sound quite like what you are looking for.

  9. Gail the Goldfish :

    For those who have ordered stuff online from TJ Maxx, how long does it usually takes before it ships? I ordered something last Thursday and it still hasn’t shipped.

    • I had this problem- it was a long time, but eventually showed up. I definitely would not order anything from there again if I needed it in a timely manner.

    • Yeah, their shipping is slow. Definitely worth it to pay for expedited shipping.

  10. Commuting coat :

    I’m moving much closer to my office and will be switching to a 10 to 15 minute walking commute next month. I’m in DC, and winter seems all over the place — I found this year particularly miserable and cold — and I seem to have lost my “tolerance” from the -20 degree mornings I grew up with.

    Obviously doesn’t impact me now, but since it’s end-of-season I’m to pick up a different winter coat. Walking out the door and being cold to the bone immediately is awful, but I don’t need something overkill. Assuming I’m wearing normal office clothes (maybe sheath dress + cardigan + tights, or pants + blouse, etc.), how warm would you go? I’m looking at maybe the Girl on the go Insulated Trench (seems like it would cover a variety of commuting situations)? My office is on the business side of business casual and I’m not worried about formality for this. Any advice?

    • I walk about the same amount and found that a coat with a buttoned/snap collar helps when it’s really windy. I alternate between a down coat from Lands End and a wool button-up from Pendleton. My best advice for you is to get a lot of Smartwool socks. I have Reynaud’s so my feet get cold quickly, but wearing wool socks has really helped.

    • Anonymous :

      Seems like a silly accessory, but for my walking commute I love thigh-high socks over my tights, under my skirt/ dress. They just looks like thick tights and then I take them off when I get to the office. Much warmer than walking in tights!

    • I have the Girl on the Go Insulated Trench and do not run cold, but it was not warm enough this winter. I ended up wearing a Lands End Wool Primaloft insulated Swing Coat with a primaloft vest underneath on the vary coldest days. I probably could have put the primaloft vest under the Girl on the Go coat but it didn’t seem to fit as well.

  11. Minnie Beebe :

    Okay, really boring question: Can anyone recommend a good all-in-one printer/copier/scanner for my home office? My current one is killing me– it’s older, and doesn’t have an automatic document feeder for the scanning portion, which it a major PITA. I like that it’s a laser printer (B&W) – it’s really fast. But the scanner thing is annoying– and it’s also not WiFi-enabled.

    What do you have and love?

    • Whatever is on sale at Costco.

      I don’t experience a lot of printer love. Mostly hate since cheap printers are often fine but the ongoing ink costs are brutal.

      So that’s why I like going back to Costco for cheaper ink refills.

    • I have a Brother inkjet printer and love it. The scanner is easy to use, the wifi always works perfectly, the print quality is good for both B&W and color (not photo quality, but good), and ink refills are affordable and easy to buy.

      But, since it’s not a laser printer, it is not super fast–I wait to print large things at the office and use my home printer for small stuff and personal stuff. Brother has laser printers, but I’m not sure what the trade-offs are on the other features.

    • Scansnap from Fujitsi has the best scanners. They’re not all in one, but they are super fast, scan both sides at once, and fold up relatively small so they don’t take up a huge amount of space.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have had two HP Envy series all-in-ones and loved them both. The first one lasted about five or six years, I replaced it with the new version in the line, and that one’s going strong five years later. Mine only gets light use but it works well and is basically indestructible. They also make a model with an automatic feeder for the scanner.

      • I had an HP Envy that after a few months completely stopped accepting wifi and would only print via bluetooth from my phone. Acceptable for Amazon returns…. really frustrating if you’re trying to print a document.

    • This is definitely the kind of purchase I would research on the Wirecutter.

  12. sweater dress PSA :

    I know it’s winter for some people still (and if not, winter is coming back eventually).

    https://www.zappos.com/p/prana-delia-dress-sangria/product/8878637/color/42243

    I want to highly recommend this sweater dress. Many of my sweater dresses are too va-va-voom or are too athleisure to look nice. This one has been perfect and you can’t beat the price now.

    FWIW, I’m 5-4 and short waisted (i.e., waist very high on my torso). Many sweater dresses are either shapeless and too boxy or the waist is in the wrong place. This one was perfect and the diamond pattern was very flattering. I wore a turtleneck underneath (I’m always cold plus I hate the feeling of wool on my skin) with tights (no clinging). It was not itchy but b/c it was wool it kept me warm (thin poly sweater dresses don’t do this).

    All in all, I am really, really happy with this and wanted to share.

  13. Could use advice on this. My husband and I have decent salaries, but we live in a very-HCOL area and we work hard to save for the future now that we’re out of school. This means that we forgo a lot of eating out, happy hours, and trips with friends that don’t fit into our budget goals (we still do some things, of course, but we focus on the ones we want to do/that are the most important). Frugal living bloggers online advised saying “that’s not in our budget” rather than “we can’t afford it” when asked why we aren’t coming to things, so we have been trying that, but we’ve run into an unexpected problem – at least three or four times, family members have offered to pay for us to attend the dinner/lunch/whatever with something like “If it’s a hardship, I’ll pay for you guys.” I feel awkward and bad about accepting these “handouts” when the lunch isn’t technically a “hardship,” but I have no idea how to turn it down gracefully. Each time I have so far has been super awkward. What do I say when this happens?

    • They are being awkward not you. I just decline. If some asks why, I say “we’re trying stick with a budget so we’re going to skip this time.” If they push and offer to pay so you can attend, I would be more inclined to suggest an alternative that does work with your budget over accepting their offer.

      And sometimes, like if it’s my parents, I just accept. If that’s how they want to spend their money, I’ll accept. I’d rather that than a big spend on my birthday on clothes I’ll never wear. But they know it’s not about ‘hardship’ but about financial planning/budgeting which they have always encouraged and supported.

    • I think saying it’s not in the budget puts the person offering in an awkward position. Can’t you just say you can’t make it?

      • I agree with this–budget comments are awkward for the other person. I always feel compelled to offer if I “invite” someone and then they respond with money concerns. if I am skipping for budget reasons, I always just use a different excuse.

      • I agree that you should try not bringing up the budget issue.

        It can backfire, as you are also saying something a little harsh………… I COULD make it, since you know we make enough money, but I’d rather not waste my precious entertainment dollars hanging out with you. I’d rather spend them with best friend etc…

        And also agree with suggesting cheaper options as an alternative. Can’t make dinner, let’s do brunch or coffee or come over for a movie etc…

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Yeah, I would just starting saying “no thanks.” Mentioning a budget *almost* seems like you’re fishing for someone to offer to pay.

      • Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but in my circles, when someone brings up budget, it’s an indirect way of asking for support. I’d probably decline but never mention budgeting.

    • I think it’s rude to say it’s nit in the budget. Just decline.

    • Since it’s family, do you think that “Thanks for the invitation, but now is not a good time,” would satisfy them or would they then keep attempting to reschedule?

    • For family members or close friends, I would basically say what you’ve said here. “This isn’t in our budget, because we’re trying hard to save for XYZ [down payment, retirement, whatever]” and when they say they’ll pay you could say “That’s so generous of you to offer, but we don’t feel comfortable accepting charity, could we do XYZ [free or cheap] activity instead?” I do think you need to propose an affordable alternative (which may involve more time/labor, such as hosting people at your house) or people may be offended and think you don’t want to socialize with them.

      But honestly, if these are older more established relatives who can easily afford it, I’d just let them treat you. I’m aware that it’s awkward to accept charity from friends your own age, but it’s pretty common for 50-somethings to treat 20-somethings, even if the 20-somethings could afford to pay their own way.

    • Can’t you just say “we can’t make dinner, but would love to meet for coffee instead.” Or something along those lines.

      If you’re really close with the person, you could mention to them at another time that you’re really focusing on your budget and so have been avoiding eating out (or whatever it is). But I don’t think you should talk about your budget directly in response to an invitation.

      Like others have said, talking about your budget in response to an invitation risks suggesting a) that you *could* come but don’t want to spend your money on this because you are holding out for something better; b) that you’re fishing for an offer to pay your way; or c) that you think the person’s choice of entertainment/restaurant/venue/whatever it is too expensive, which is a little bit rude (regardless of whether it’s true for your circumstances).

      • KateMiddletown :

        Yes – deflect and suggest something else cheaper like coffee or heading to the park for a playdate.

    • Thanks all – this feedback is helpful. I should have specified in the original post that I don’t LEAD with “it’s not in the budget”; I have a few times with close-minded friends who don’t question it, but with family, I usually start with “that sounds so nice, but I’m afraid we can’t make it this time” or similar. Then I inevitably get asked “why not?!?!” and that’s where the budget stuff comes in…

      • You don’t owe anyone an explanation about your finances or choices. Just say no thanks and have that be the end of it.

      • Yes, if they push it I would just say, again: “That doesn’t work for us, but [offer alternative at another time.]” Offering an alternative should re-direct the conversation without putting you in a position of having to explain your decision.

    • anon a mouse :

      For close friends and family, I would have a conversation separate from an invitation to let them know that you’ve decided to buckle down financially, so you’re not going to be able to join as much on certain outings, but you would still love to hang out, and you appreciate their sensitivity. Then invite them over for dinner, or organize a picnic out or something else that’s low cost.

      If they still offer to pay for you, you can say thanks, but part of the reason we want to do this is to make it uncomfortable so we are never in this financial place again. Or to say thanks, we appreciate your generosity this time but we don’t want to turn it into a habit; we really want to live within the budget we’ve set.

      For things like happy hours — go! Get a soda or a single drink. You don’t have to drop a ton of cash (if any). Happy hours are as much about socializing as spending money.

    • You’re the ones being awkward but even raising money and budgets with others?!? Save whatever you want, stop mentioning it. I’m a saver too — I save on things I do myself to keep my budget open for friends/family events so I never have to say “ not in my budget.” If it’s really not in the budget, just decline with no reasons or a schedule excuse. It’s low brow to come across like you can’t afford things.

      • “It’s low brow to come across like you can’t afford things.” lol wut? Heaven forbid my friends think I’m low brow because I don’t have unlimited money to go to music festivals/brunch/Central America..Anyways.

        A few years ago there were lots of posts here about how to decline events because you couldn’t afford them. Generally, the advice was to say “its not in the budget.” Interesting that we’ve now decided this is the wrong move. I generally agree with the other posters- its not in the budget is not a perfect, fool-proof response, and likely isn’t appropriate with casual friends, but is reasonable for people you’re closer with.

      • anonshmanon :

        “It’s low brow to come across like you can’t afford things.”
        Is it? Is it really the wiser choice to pretend that everyone can afford everything?

    • I agree with others that your mistake is bringing up the budget. It can either come across as “I’m poor, please pay for me” or “you idiots spend your money on frivolous things and I’m better than you”

      Neither are good

      I think you’re forgetting that “no” is a complete answer. Just say no to invitations that you don’t want to accept.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah. “No” is a complete answer and if you routinely use it, you will not have to deal with future invitations.

    • To me, “it’s not in the budget” is a fair response when you’re being asked to go on a weekend getaway or attend a concert or something, but frankly, it just does get weird when you say that about a lunch/dinner/coffee date. Just decline to attend. My reaction if someone told me that getting coffee “wasn’t in their budget” would be to offer to pay, not because I’m hugely flush or anything, but I certainly have enough money for two coffees if what I really want to do is see my friend.

    • Don’t give a reason, just turn it down, and also make sure that you’re extending invitations to things that *are* in your budget. If you’re constantly turning down your friends but not extending invitations, that’s rude.

    • Anonymous :

      Offering a different perspective.
      I’m 40 and in the last two years, my husband and I have lost 10 friends and family members to various illnesses and accidents. My brother just got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – at 45 – and will not live much longer than two years from now. Saving money is an admirable goal. But think carefully about what you say no to. Because when you get to the point that you feel like you have enough money, the friends and family you now want and can afford to spend time with won’t be there. We don’t say yes to everything, but believe me, after the umpteenth “bad news” phone call – we think about what matters more to us, money or the time we have with our loved ones. Going to my third cousin’s destination wedding wasn’t a priority but going to dinner with my 90-year-old Grandma – yeah, we’ll spend the money to do that. When you’re young it’s tempting to think you will have all the time in the world for loved ones “as soon as…” Life doesn’t always give us that time. Don’t let your financial goals overcome prioritizing what really matters in life. Which for me – that’s the people I love.

  14. A senior admin person in my office just sent out an e-mail announcing that she has a chronic health condition that makes her tired and foggy-headed, so no one is to ask her to do anything that is not extremely important. Is it just me, or is this an incredibly unprofessional way of handling the situation? I also have a pretty serious chronic health condition that periodically makes me exhausted and barely functional, and exactly zero people in my office know about it. I just push through and take the consequences when I am not at 100%. I thought that was just what people did.

    • Usually this is handled by HR, no? It’s weird for her to send it out herself. Did she give a time frame? Like, ‘as an FYI I’m changing my meds to address this health issue and it’ll take me about 2 weeks to acclimate’?

      Kind of sounds like she’s expecting to get fired and is trying to create a paper trail to support an ADA claim.

      • She has already resigned and will only be around for a few more weeks.

        • In that case, she just DNGAF and has a foot half way out the door.

          • yep, this explains it. 100%. not normal, but if she’s in DNGAF mode and only sticking around to transition out, I think its fine and even fair. like, she’s sticking it out for a few weeks to be fair to the employer and co-workers, but her health issues are interfering with her doing anything other than transition stuff, so leave her alone. I totally get it. If she was trying to keep a job, then this would be bizarre.

          • Yeah, so just let this go. Irritating, but ….

            And nice job pushing ahead. Hope things get better for you. Hang in there.

  15. Quebec life :

    hi all,
    I did my Master in Quebec years ago and left for Europe after that, I’m now longing to go back to Montreal but am wondering about cost of living etc now. Things have changed in 20 years!
    Can anyone share their salary / mortgage/ where they live / cost of living / other costs to consider (like winter type costs I don’t have anymore)?
    I’m loving the Rosemere/Blainville area if that helps…. not sure about traffic into the island though?
    thanks for the help!

    • Montreal can still be a great deal, but the prices can be just about anywhere along the spectrum. I just saw a cousin post a stunning old fashioned family home in NDG for much less than we would pay in Ottawa. Something is happening with real estate in Ottawa because Toronto and Vancouver have implemented the tax against foreign ownership. Our market is on fire and gone completely insane (the Chinese all-cash buyers have moved here instead), so I am wondering if this might also happen in Montreal, soon?? Traffic is an issue, especially on and off the island but I don’t know those areas at all. I have friends who love Beaconsfield and I agree it is really charming. I think it really depends on family status, how big of a place you need, and where your job is.

      • Hey fellow Ottawan :) Real estate here is nuts.

        • Anonymous, we just relocated from Europe and bought a house sight unseen that is a complete dump. It needs everything (and I don’t mean “fancy new kitchen” need versus wants – though it would benefit from that, too!). We bought it last March and based on the comps in our neighbourhood we could never afford it now. We are basically stuck here for life :P

    • Equestrian Attorney :

      Resident Montrealer here. Montreal is more affordable than TO or Van, but prices have gone up recently and salaries tend to be lower, so try not to consider prices in the abstract – ask yourself about your professional prospects here and remember taxes are high as well. Rosemere is nicer than Blainville in my opinion, but both are FAR and traffic will be hell. The train out there is also bad. I personally would not live there if working downtown, but could be nice if you find work in the area.

  16. I accidentally posted this on yesterday’s coffee break thread so sorry for reposting!

    Any suggestions for protein powder? My trainer had recommended this vegan powder that is vanilla flavored (It works). Other people seem to like it but I feel like it’s way too sweet for me. Any suggestions? I’ve bought this twice so I’ve been using it for a while but maybe I just need to get used to protein powder tasting sickly sweet?

    TIA!

    • I use Vega Protein and Greens either the vanilla or chocolate. I’m lactose intolerant and can’t handle whey protein. The Vega isn’t terribly sweet and tastes pretty good especially when mixed with other things like peanut butter and a banana.

    • I wish.

      Sweetened protein powders are uniformly too sweet for me. I use an unsweetened pea protein powder I found at the grocery store and frankly it’s not very good. I blend it with a banana or a tiny bit of honey. Doing that probably makes it more calories than the sweetened protein powders because they’re usually sweetened with something calorie free, but it tastes better to me to do it this way.

    • Sometime I buy a container of plain and a container of vanilla and use 1/2 of a scoop of each to cut down the sweet taste.

    • I like JJ Virgin’s Paleo powder. She personally mixes the vegan version she has with that one, half and half. That’s what I would do, because I’m not comfortable consuming all of that bovine collagen at once, even though it makes my joints feel amazing.

    • I like the Vega brand, but a lot of protein powder does have that fake sweet taste. My favorite is mixing Vega mocha flavoured powder with unsweetened chocolate almond milk.

    • You can buy protein powder sample packs on Amazon – a good way to try different ones until you find something you like.

      When I bought Vega brand samples, Amazon gave me a credit towards the purchase of a full sized order.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I use the Optimum Nutrition they have at Costco, because Costco. Not vegan, though. I don’t mind the flavor, it’s not too sweet for me, but I usually blend it with a couple berries or some dark chocolate powder. If I’m feeling crazy I’ll throw in some powdered peanut butter and half a frozen banana with the dark chocolate powder.

    • I really like Nutribiotic’s Rice Protein Powder.

      Only ingredients: Enzymatically processed rice protein from whole grain, sprouted brown rice; and natural vanilla flavor.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Bob’s Redmill has Vanilla, Chocolate and Chai that I like. I mix with unsweetened almond milk.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I’ve heard really good things about True Nutrition dot com. You can make your own formula and add flavorings or not.

    • I like Reflex Nutrition Vegan powder. I have been using the chocolate flavor one for 5 years. I like the taste (I mix it with vanilla soya milk), it is not too sweet and it has a good balance of macros. Also, it is safe for lactose-intolerant individuals.

    • Anonymous :

      I like Tera’s Whey dark chocolate (if it doesn’t need to be vegan).

    • TO Lawyer :

      Thank you all! I’ll look at these.

  17. LinkedIn/Resume Ettiquette :

    If you were let go of a job at the end of January, and your employment agreement says you’re entitled to 2 weeks notice… say your employer didn’t have you work those 2 weeks but paid you for it anyway….would you say on LinkedIn (and on resume) you worked until January (the last day worked?) or February (the last day considered an “employee” and on payroll)? Thanks!

  18. Young Children - Divorce :

    I think my marriage is over – I’m not sure what I’m looking for – sympathy, advice – mainly advice.

    I am 6 months pregnant – my husband and I have one daughter, who is about to turn 3. There’s nothing that wrong – we’ve just grown apart, we fight constantly. Lately, he’s been staying out later and later with his single friends, drinking more, and generally being irresponsible. He’s still a good father, but I’m just out of excuses for him. Last night he came home at 6 AM, and I think he’s having an affair, but I realized that I don’t really care at this point.

    So my question is – how do you go through a divorce with two young children? I don’t even know where to start – I’m just done.

    • No advice, but hugs. You might want to re-post on the moms page. There are several divorced moms there and I’m not sure everyone who reads there also reads here.

      • Ouch! That hurts :

        AN old but balanced book is Moms House-Dads House.

        Hugs to you.

        Get a lawyer before you do or say anything.

        Hugs to you and be kind to yourself and your little one. Change in this magnitude can be hard. As Senior Attorney says – the only way out is through.

        You can do this!

    • I don’t have any specific advice to offer, but I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I think like any big hard thing, this is one of those where you have to focus on getting through one day (or hour, or minute) at a time.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Sending you big hugs.

      I’ve posted here before about getting divorced while pregnant. It’s ugly; there’s no way to sugarcoat it. But life on the other side is happy. Like really, really happy. We used a mediator to draw up our settlement agreement then used lawyers for the things we couldn’t negotiate on our own. Most importantly, with small kids, or children yet to be born, the custody arrangement should be flexible and something the little ones can grow into.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Where to start? Get some legal advice so you know what your rights and obligations are. Also make sure you have enough cash to get you through until the divorce is final. You will probably have custody of the kids so don’t feel bad about vacuuming out the bank account if that’s what it takes to support the three of you for the duration.

      Do be aware that if he never lives with the new baby it’s unlikely he will bond with it the way he has bonded with the three-year old and that will be hard for the baby as it grows up. You might want to consider sticking it out until the worst of the newborn stage is over for that reason and also so you have the logistical help from him.

      Good luck and all the hugs!

      • Anonymous :

        I usually love your advice but I’m not sure she can depend on logistical help from a man who is out drinking until 6am on a Wednesday morning with a pregnant wife and toddler at home.

        Hope for the best, but plan for the worst. My BFF was left one week before she was due to deliver. It was a mess for years. If she’d had a chance to consult a divorce lawyer and prepare herself for a worst case scenario, it would have been a lot easier.

        OP – do what is best for your health and your children. Taking care of yourself is the best way to keep your children healthy and safe. Especially when pregnant and with a newborn, don’t be afraid to make choices that prioritize your health, including your mental health.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Obviously it’s totally possible that he is more trouble than he is worth, which is why I said it’s just something to consider. Most important thing is to get legal advice ASAP and get a war chest of cash.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah I have to also disagree with sticking it out. It sounds like the guy’s having an affair, as OP points out. If that’s the case, he might already have an exit strategy in place to leave before the baby comes.

        I take your points about the baby though – if possible, maybe he can live in the home at least part time when the baby comes, even if it means he’s sleeping on the couch.

    • I’m sorry you are going through this. I have a question to gain perspective but I don’t want it to sound like I’m judging your life choices or circumstances because I’m not. Since you are six months pregnant, my question is whether things were good six months ago. If they were, six months isn’t a super long time for things to be bad. Lots of marriages go through rough spots, particularly when you throw in hormones and life changes. Could you husband be experiencing a bit of a mid life crisis too? He’s not being good to you but he could be struggling to. You don’t actually know he’s having an affair. If you could go back to how things were a year ago, would you? If so, there might be something to work on there.

      Certainly get legal advice to know your options. I’d consider counseling though and whether this is a storm that you can get through together.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Also consider some counseling for yourself, whether or not you decide to proceed with the divorce.

  19. I moved into a new house almost 2 years ago. Although I haven’t formally met him, and he isn’t around a ton, I know my next door neighbor and his car by sight. In addition to my neighbor, there is also a random guy who sometimes shows up, sits in his car in the driveway with music blaring for 10-15 minutes, then leaves. This happens at all hours of the day or night. Occasionally my neighbor’s car and the random guy’s cars will both be in the driveway at the same time, so I assume they know each other. I can’t figure out why the random guy sometimes just drops by and leaves. It seems shady to me, although I can’t put my finger on why. Am I just being silly?

    • Why does it seem shady? Unless you see the guy doing something other than being in his car, I’m not sure what’s shady about this.

      • Well, now that you mention it, I did see him taking a leak in the bushes yesterday morning! But other than that, he’s just sitting there. But as I said, I can’t put my finger on why…it just feels “off” to me.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      It seems a little weird but it also sounds like it hasn’t had any negative consequences for you (besides some annoying noise), so I’d leave it alone.

    • Trust your gut. That sounds shady and I’m sure it looks shady (this type of thing happens all the time where I live and it’s often associated with scoping out cars/properties for theft, although it’s weird that the drive seems to know the neighbor). It doesn’t sound like you need to take action of any kind yet, but consider whether to get a security camera or something.

    • He’s your neighbor? Can you ask out of faux concern about a guy you think is scoping out his place to see if he even knows about it? It’s probably a friend, little brother, coworker who just wants an inconspicuous place to chill out between classes or jobs or something. Trust me, especially if this person naturally looks surly (whether due to piercings, tattoos, or unjustified reactions based on his skin tone), police will harass him simply for sitting in the car too long in a parking lot.

    • My apartment complex has at various times had the car that will pull up at odd hours blaring music for 10 minutes or so. I guess I always assumed it was a dealer with an ice-cream truck strategy, but I really don’t know (I certainly hope it’s not something worse than that; we haven’t had any property crime since I’ve lived here). As you can tell, I stay out of it. But I would be curious to hear an explanation someday.

      • +1 My mind went to some sort of hand-off too.
        Upside, if he’s, ah, conducting business with your neighbor, he’s probably not casing your neighborhood.

    • Seems like a drug dealer quite frankly. I probably would stay out of it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 This was my first thought. Though i’d probably be tempted to video the periods when I’m not home to see if the guy is casing your property.

      • This is what I was wondering – wasn’t sure if my imagination was running away with me or not, though!

    • Anonymous :

      He’s not casing houses, he’s buying drugs. This happens a lot in my urban area. There is a group of neighbors that calls the cops, I only call when I see the actual exchange happening. The cops generally can’t catch their exchange on the one you call because they will be gone by the time the cops show up, but it does provide a data point and they will run cruisers through the area more often.

      Personally, I don’t feel comfortable calling to report someone sitting in the street in their car, so I only report when I see cash and a bag being exchanged.

      • I don’t feel comfortable reporting this at all. I guess I’m not sure I see how it could benefit me to report it? I don’t want my neighborhood to be in the market for a new dealer, because I don’t want conflict between dealers to produce violence. I don’t want any neighbors who have a dependence to go without (or break into somebody’s medicine cabinet rather than go without). I don’t want to make enemies of neighbors who know or suspect that I was the one who called. I also don’t want people who have always been fine neighbors to get in trouble with the law.

        But as I think about it, I live in a safe neighborhood of mostly middle aged and older folk who have lived here for years. I guess if it were an issue of cleaning up a neighborhood with safety issues and transient young people, I might feel differently. Anyway, even if it’s just a car hanging out, the police will do some extra drive-bys to let people know that they’re watching, so I think it’s okay to call that in.

  20. fixed income capital markets? :

    People talk about MBB /consulting / etc. Can anyone here talk to me about going into fixed income capital markets positions where you are putting together deals and doing modeling?

    I’m in BigLaw and have fallen into this not from any burning initial desire but b/c no other lawyers seem to be able to hand the math (which is not all that complex, TBH). I’m doing so much of the work that I feel like maybe this should be on my list of BigLaw exit strategies but don’t want to come out and ask any of the clients I work with.

    [I also don’t want to back to school or to get an MBA even a PT one. Law school loans are enough.]

    • No advice but following. I’m right there with you re lawyers not getting simple math. I take it you’re in capital markets? I’m in litigation and have def looked into damages consulting – the economists that put together financial models for litigation that I think have to hand hold the partners thru as they don’t get interest rates.

      • What is it with lawyers and math? If I had a dime for every time a lawyer or judge complained to me “But I went to law school because I didn’t want to do math,” I could retire today.

      • fixed income capital markets? :

        Yes — capital markets. I am finding that I have to remodel things b/c there are So Many Errors. The math is not even particularly hard — it’s like solving for X that I did before high school and figure out roughly in my head. And to be sure, b/c I’m a humanities major and a lawyer and want to KNOW that I’m right, I build spreadsheets in excel that aren’t very elaborate (sometimes I use an if/then statement to model different index values within various floors/caps). I just feel like I’m going to deal modeling and my job on top of it. Plus, I read deal documents and know that the covenants aren’t just there, they are rules that you have to follow (like hoops to jump through on amendments — you have do to it or you breach a lot of document provisions).

        If I understood how truly little higher-level math was involved in this, I probably would have sought out internships, etc. in college to see what it was really like. Now, maybe it is the One that Got Away (or I could be completely wrong — hours could be worse, up/out pressure could be worse, etc.). I can deal with the bro-culture of the desk (I’m not sure why — no brothers, but I’m from an Outer Borough and nothing phases me really).

    • This depends on what level you are expecting to get into when transitioning. FICM is just like Investment Banking. Analysts/Associates usually clock in long hours and are junior bankers. The Senior ones are expected to be pitching, leverage their network of clients, etc. This is probably the format for both bulge bracket and middle market FICM desks.
      I would start poking around Wall Street Oasis and the like for info.

  21. Le Tote Maternity? :

    Has anyone tried le tote maternity? I haven’t heard great things about Le Tote, TBH, but I’m looking for ways to not spend $$$$ on maternity clothes I won’t be able to wear in a few months.

    • Not me personally but two of my friends did it and liked it. The stuff wasn’t all amazing, but they liked the ability to adjust sizing, not wear the same basics every day and try things they may not have thought of. They found it helpful for work as well.

    • I did towards the end of my second pregnancy when I was totally over all my clothes. I loved it and ended up purchasing a few of the items.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Let me know how you like it if you try! I’m waiting until ~5-6 mos to do it since my +1 size clothes still fit right now. I bought a few pairs of pants and wrap dresses from ON to tide me over since I hate this idea of spending $ on maternity clothes.

    • One of my coworkers tried it and loved it for maternity wear, particularly during the last trimester.

  22. moving to lower cost of living :

    Has anyone moved to a lower cost of living city specifically for that reason? I have two kids and my husband and I live in NYC area. We are considering moving to Dallas because of the lower cost of living and (hopefully) better quality of life. Right now it seems like no matter how much we make, we live paycheck to paycheck with mortage, childcare and other costs.

    Would love some insight. TIA

    • We began to look for a more affordable city around this time two years ago, to leave the DC area. We LOVED living there, but we are both in public service/higher ed/lower salary land, and were never going to make it work long term.

      We identified areas we liked that worked for what we wanted and needed, and my DH began applying for work (his work options are more limited than mine). He got three competitive offers in lower cost of living areas (Western NC, the Triangle, Charleston, SC), and we took one (Triangle) that allowed me to have the best career options. Moved in early 2017, I worked remotely for my old school for 6 months, and started my current job last summer.

      We have been able to enjoy life, save!, and will be able to proceed with more certainty than we would have in DC.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I also moved to the Triangle area mainly for lower cost of living (and weather). I was in NYC. NYC is great, but I really didn’t want to spend the rest of my life paying rent for a tiny apartment and never being able to save enough for a down payment to buy a place. I had some prior ties to the area, so it wasn’t totally random, but we were considering some other options where we didn’t have ties because of the LCOL.

      • As someone who grew up in the Triangle, it makes me so happy to hear about people who moved there and love it! I’m hoping to move back too someday, but will live vicariously through others until then… :)

      • Can I just add a +1 for the Triangle area? I’m planning to move there (specifically Chapel Hill) from NYC myself; it’s a liberal, highly educated mecca deep in red country. I’d do that infinitely over Dallas.

      • Another Triangle dweller here :)

    • Yup. Left the Bay Area for a small Midwestern city (we’re native Midwesterners so no culture shock). We went from an HHI of over 300k to less than 150k but we feel 10 times as rich. Our house is paid off, we throw a ton of money at retirement and college savings and even with childcare expenses, we still have a lot left over for fun stuff like travel. My friends in the Bay earn much more than I do but it all goes to the mortgages on their 2 million dollar houses, which are smaller and not as nice as mine. Our small city has a great foodie scene, plenty of options for stuff like theater and the arts (which we don’t take advantage of anyway because of small kids) and fun stuff todo outdoors when the weather is nice. I miss the weather in the Bay Area and the proximity to Napa Valley but that’s about it (and we are looking into buying a vacation home in Napa soon).

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      Welcome to Texas!

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Yes, come on down! Dallas is great – lots to do, good weather (well, except for July & August…), several good long weekend destinations in driving distance, major international airport, pretty easy going culture (shorter work hours, as mentioned below).

      • Dallas is a uniquely good choice for this because many of the closer in areas (downtown and surrounding districts) are extremely walkable and the weather is cooler (it being so close to Ohio), and the city is not nearly as overprice (based on bang for your buck) as Austin.

    • We are considering this as well (the Bay Area has moved far beyond insane levels), although I have read online that if you are living paycheck to paycheck in a HCOL area, you might still end up living paycheck to paycheck in a LCOL. It all depends on how you spend that money and how you adjust your lifestyle.

    • Yup. I moved from San Francisco to Chicago primarily due to lower cost of living, while keeping me within a group of cities I like that due to good employment options and family/social contacts.

      As expected, my quality of life improved dramatically, my stress is less, and I save more. I miss many things about SF – particularly the food and the weather – but appreciate the things that my new city has that SF doesn’t. It has taken time to make social contacts and to find my niche, but I’m ok with that. Chicago is a bit more conservative than I prefer after living mostly on the coasts, and I tend to gravitate more towards folks who have lived outside of the midwest for chunks of their lives.

      I don’t think I would have been happy moving to a small city or a more suburban location – like I would have hated Silicon Valley suburbia (nevermind the crazy price) and honestly, just the thought of living in Texas scares me. And I wouldn’t have been happy moving someplace where I didn’t have any contacts, but that’s me. I’m single. Your situation is very different. For my friends with kids, when they moved to lower COL areas, it was often to move closer to family to have help with kids and be closer to aging parents. Universally, those reasons have worked out well.

    • I don’t know what industry you are in but aside from LCOL, I found that moving to Texas improved our lives immensely because of expectations around job hours. My husband is in private equity and he works waaaaay less and gets home for dinner every night. That would never have happened in New York. So factor that in as well!

      • AlexisFaye :

        I have three kids and I live in Dallas. Like anywhere, you need to investigate your options on living, school, etc. But it’s grown up so much in the last 20 years. We have much nicer outdoor spaces, shops, a better art/culture scene, live music every night. Our traffic isn’t insane… Please don’t be afraid of Texas. Moving is always overwhelming and scary, but that doesn’t mean Texas will be.

        And money here goes a LONG LONG way.

        I’m happy to chat more, or have a cup of coffee with you if you come househunting. alexisfaye at yah00

    • Left nyc for dc almost 3 years ago. I kind of hate it and am considering going back.

      • It might help to relocate to a city that isn’t so one industry focused. I lived there for a bit and get how annoying it can be to be surrounded by angry and/or obsessed government and nonprofit workers. You miss the diversity of the city where you can easily run into and hang out with the finance type, artsy type, outdoorsy type, etc. (ie people who aren’t job obsessed or don’t run to a suburb after 6)

      • This is really a DC issue more than a L(er)COL city issue. I honestly haven’t met a lot of people who like both NYC and DC for more than just visiting.

        • fixed income capital markets? :

          I am from NYC but it is just too expensive (plus: city income tax — yikes)

          DC is a nice city that it is easy to visit NYC from. It is so much easier to live there and go to work and just get around in (and the museums / bridges / tunnels are free!!! (not all mueseums though)).

          I like that not everyone is a trading-bro and I’m not really a political person, so I just tune it out when it gets to be too much (my neighbors are all People Who Care at Meaningful 501C3 / 501c4 / 501c6 and sometimes the metro is just first year law students going on about their Chattels and how they are the next Amal Cluny. Whatevs).

          So, the NYC/DC thing is definitely done. They are both really transient towns where it’s not a problem that you / your people aren’t from around here. And with Accela / cheap flights / even driving, you can visit friends /family pretty easily. Plus, DC weather is a bit better. When it isn’t better, NYC is pretty miserable, too.

      • Dowager Countess :

        I don’t consider DC a real lower cost of living alternative, though.

    • We left the Boston area for the suburbs of a midsize city in the SEUS shortly after we were married because there was no way we could have bought even a crummy house, much less a halfway decent one, in an acceptable school district in the Boston area. There is virtually no traffic, we were able to buy a house with great public schools and low property taxes, and we get to enjoy arts, culture, and dining more often because all are affordable and easily accessible. The downsides are that our social values and political preferences are far out of the mainstream here, and we feel like we can’t really leave because we couldn’t afford to buy a house anywhere else (home values here have not appreciated much over the past decade, so we haven’t built as much equity as we’d like). We can’t even move into the city itself unless we are willing to pony up for a private school with higher tuition than I paid for law school that may not be as good as our current public school. But on balance, we are very happy with our choice.

  23. Patterned Shells :

    I’m looking for patterned shells or blouses (but no buttons) to wear with suits. Ideally not (just) floral. Paisley, dragonflies, fish, ANYTHING not solid. I don’t care if it’s sleeveless, but I can’t do puffy sleeves under a suit. Suggestions?

    Thanks.

    • I got several nice patterns (stripes, polka dots, abstract print, etc) of shells recently from Talbots Outlet. You really have to go to a store or outlet store in person, because it is different than what they show online. (All machine wash; line dry).

    • Nerfmobile :

      Modcloth has some entertaining options in patterned tops. I recently bought a polka dot blouse in purple and beige, and also a patterned goldenrod sleeveless top with a bow that I really like. If you want dinosaurs and bicycles and hot air balloons they can offer them, but also have more standard florals and dots and stripes too.

    • https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/2074652/pleione-bailey-double-pleat-blouse?color=BLUE%20YELLOW

    • Nordstrom Rack has patterned Pleione “Bailey Double Pleat Blouses” on sale. (link in mod, i think)

    • Dana Buchman at Kohl’s always does interesting (and sometimes hideous) patterns. Right now the Dana Buchman Pleated V-Neck Tank looks good!

    • KateMiddletown :

      Pleione (try the rack.)

    • Boden Ravello top. I personally don’t like the blousy fit, but lots of great patterns.

  24. What’s on everyone’s Sephora sale wish list??

    • When’s the sale?

    • my usual products– dior airflash; dr jar bb cream; diorshow; marc jacobs eyeliner; bite lip crayons; dior concealer; nars blush; smashbox primer. maybe try a new shimmery eyeshadow and springy/summery lip colors

      might try a new vitamin C as i’ve been using obagi and it is $$$$

      • KateMiddletown :

        What vit c are you getting? I tried the Sunday Riley CEO and I honestly don’t know if it’s working or not.

        I’m reupping on my DE framboos (lifesaver for no retinol during pregnancy)

        • Vit C didn’t work for me, either. I was using Timeless. I’ve recently gotten The Ordinary Lactic Acid and it’s working wonders! Making my ruddy skin more even toned and brighter.

        • You didn’t ask me, but I am LOVING the kiehl’s powerful strength line reducing vit c concentrate- super good!

        • With the disclaimer that every woman should make her own decisions on what risks are acceptable during pregnancy, i’m letting you know (bc it surprised TTC me) that DE Framboos contains salicylic acid.

          • KateMiddletown :

            DE’s website says it’s perfectly acceptable to use during pregnancy, as does my OB.

    • Makeup Forever HD concealer, Dior lip glow, Kiehl’s vit c concentrate, Kat von D eyeliner, and want to try the supergoop sunscreen oil for the first time!

    • Linda from HR :

      sigh, I recently realized my status was downgraded to Insider, curse my efforts to spend less money on things! I have been eyeing that Stila glitter eyeshadow, and I want that Bumble and Bumble color extending gloss stuff for red hair, but I keep waiting for the right time. I like to place orders when there’s a free deluxe sample I actually want.

  25. Favorite under the seat carry on that’s easy to carry with a rollaboard? I’ll probably have to walk up a couple flights of stairs and possibly carry the suitcase across cobblestones for a block or two. My go-to carryon is the OG but it was too cumbersome on my last trip. Thanks!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Smallish laptop bag that has a side strap designed to slip over a roller suitcase handle.

  26. Cuyana wait list? :

    Really want a particular cuyana travel toiletries bag for a gift, but it’s out of stock. I put my email down on the waitlist, but they have given no timeframe. Anyone have any experience and know how long I could be waiting??

  27. I’m looking for a good Morandi-esque sweater at a lower price point to keep in my office. I’m a slim hourglass/pear, wear a lot of dresses and skirts with mostly flats. Business casual office but I still want something that looks together.

  28. Anonymous :

    OP, I admire your perseverance, but feel you might be more comfortable if you have other avenues than “just pushing through” when you suffer from the impacts of a medical condit ion and hope you would be able to seek/receive any necessary accommodation!

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