Coffee Break – Hammered Chain-Link Necklace

Kenneth Jay Lane Hammered Chain-Link Necklace Admittedly, this is not the most exciting necklace — but if you’ve been looking for an inexpensive 16″ necklace to wear with scoopnecks, crewnecks, and under blouses, this is a really solid choice. The markdown, of course, helps: it was $165, but is now marked to $105 — and then with the extra 30% off (code FRIEND) it comes down to about $73. Nice! Kenneth Jay Lane Hammered Chain-Link Necklace



  1. I wish I could articulate why I don’t like this piece… I just think it would do absolutely nothing for any outfit whatsoever. Maybe gold would be better?

    • I don’t love it, but I have several necklaces that I basically wear just to avoid going without a necklace. They are similar to this, or even more understated.

      I wear almost all collared/button-front shirts, and necklaces like these are a go-to for something that won’t be awkward at the neckline, but will be visible. They are also compatible with more interesting earrings.

      • I agree that this is NOT an attractive necklace. FOOEY for trying to sell this to us, Katt!

    • I like chain necklaces, but not this one, it looks….messy…I think. Like someone kind of messed it up or something.

      Different strokes for different folks I guess!

    • I’m with anon. It just seems so…typical? I don’t see it as a classic piece you could wear forever, either.

    • I think the necklace is beautiful when photographed alone, but on the model, it looks huge! It would absolutely crush me.

      • Oh, and in gold, for OP:

        (sorry if this reposts)

        • I have a similar necklace in “gold” that I got from BR about 5 years ago. I like it but don’t love it. However, it was probably $50 or less, which is a better price point for me where costume jewelry is concerned.

      • Thanks for pointing this out. If I hadn’t accidentally left my wallet in the car I would have purchased it; and it is Gi-normous on the model.

      • I liked it until I saw it on the model. I thought it was smaller and more delicate. On the model, it looks like a heavy chain from the hardware store!

    • I bought a similar one (if you consider black plastic “similar”) from Kate Spade and the noise of the links banging against one another when I moved absolutely drove me nuts. My daughter adopted it though so all’s well that ends well, other than the $100 it cost me…

  2. I actually love this necklace, but I have a thing for chain-type necklaces.

  3. Midwest Attorney :

    I have a question for the group on pantyhose. My legs are not my best feature – they are extremely pale, red and splotchy, and are neither slim or fat (I am a size 14/16 and early 30s for reference). I wear tights or black pantyhose in the winter. However, when it comes to summer I am at a loss. I, perhaps incorrectly and self-consciously, feel that a more tan or slim-legged woman can get away with bare legs in the summertime. But, does someone whose legs are pasty/splotchy and average also get a pass on pantyhose? Or am I stuck with wearing nude hose (which I despise and think are dated) or stuck wearing pants in the summer?

    • Corporate Tool :

      What about those spray-on hose? I think Sally Hansen makes one. I have a friend who uses them for weddings and loves it.

    • In my oh-so-very-humble opinion, you get a pass on pantyhose as soon as you want a pass on pantyhose (and your employer does not require you to wear them). You and your legs have as much of a right to enjoy fresh air and sunshine as anyone else.

      • This.

      • Oh, and this. For rizzle.

      • Third. And remember, you notice the “flaws” in your legs more than anyone else does. Most people are too busy worrying about their own body “flaws.”

      • This. I have pasty legs with red dots on them (keratosis polaris) that get a little more tanned in the summer when I’m out & about with the kids, but I go bare legged whenever I feel like it during warmer months. Sometimes I wear hose (I like very sheer) but often bare in my business casual office. And I’m mid 30s. My skin is FAR from my best feature, but I don’t let it stop me from wearing & doing what I want to.

      • LIKE

    • Team Nude Hose 4EVAAAAAAA!!!!

      But seriously, some people on here swear by the self-tanner, applied gradually over a period of days, which might help with your skin issues. You could also look into the nicer sheer hose like Kate wears, that really are quite invisible.

      I know nothing of this spray hose, but must admit to curiosity.

      • MaggieLizer :

        Ditto tanner – it even makes my KP less noticeable. I’m very very pale and Clarins has worked great for me. We had a thread on self tanners a few weeks ago if you’d like to get some other recs.

      • Merabella :

        I have used the spray hose for events – and they work well. I love Cathy Cambridge’s nude hose – I wish that the Palace would put out a press release on exactly which ones she uses so we can all take advantage!

    • Former MidLevel :

      If you work in a place where bare legs are acceptable and you want to skip pantyhouse, skip the pantyhouse.

      • I solve this problem by sometimes wearing dresses and skirts a little longer and then skipping the hose. I think the only real problem area is the knee – front and back.

        Be sure to use plenty of lotion on legs every day.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Are hose common in your area? My legs are either white or red in the summer, never tan in between, but I’d never wear hose unless I was doing something that required very formal attire. I might be biased though because I rarely wear hose in general. I have very thick calves and I personally don’t think that the size makes a difference for needing hose or not. If you try the self-tanner route, I had some luck with the Jergens lotion that gradually builds up the color. It smells awful but looked ok.

      • Yes! I am so glad to hear someone else comment about the nasty smell of those lotions that gradually tan you. IMO they smell just as bad as self-tanner, but the odor lingers AND you have to apply it daily. Yuck.

        • I think they’ve reworked the formula so it doesn’t smell anymore.

          • Anonymous NYer :

            I hope so. Jergens was one of the first on the market, and when I tried it the smell was awful. I started using the L’Oreal (I think?) one that has sparklys in it. It’s subtle, so not ridiculous, but I was also in college when I used it so the level of sparkly didn’t matter, and was actually a draw to the product. I’ll have to re-try Jergens if it doesn’t smell anymore.

    • I will admit I don’t understand corporettes and their relationship with the pantyhose. For almost every other issue, they are in favor of doing things to look professional (manicures, makeup, hair coloring) but on the pantyhose issue its all get those legs bare and out there! I think its easier said then done- I’m super pale and when I see myself with bare legs, I just dont feel polished. I wear pantyhose in the summer except on the hot hot hot days.

      • Appealing Lawyer :


      • Yep. I wear hose almost daily. I just feel under dressed without it. My fashion-conscious sister has given me a pass since I have terrible varicose veins and am a boring, conservative lawyer.

    • I can relate to the need to wear something; I’m so pale that when I’m really tan, people still think I’m sick. (Hint: I’m not. It has gotten a little better in recent years, oddly enough.)

      I usually wear hose or pants for work. I think you can get away with tights (not sweater tights – the lighter ones), though. Since I changed jobs and can actually wear tights at this one instead of hose, I think that’s the route I’m going to go when I want to wear a dress.

      I also see no issue in someone going without if it is appropriate in the office. You wouldn’t say that skinny people have one dress code and more rotund people another, would you? So why would you say people with better colored legs have a different dress code? As someone else said, you are the only one who likely cares. Be confident and know few others even might notice.

    • another midwest attorney :

      I also have pale, red, splotchy legs with a few spider veins as well. I swear by Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs in Light Glow! I think it’s the “spray hose” others have mentioned. It’s basically leg make-up/bronzer, but it’s really light, easy to apply, and waterproof. It just gives a hint of color and evens out imperfections. I prefer it to self-tanner, which always streaks on me.

    • Midwest Attorney :

      I should clarify that my job does permit us to go without hose (provided of course that skirts are of appropriate length – which mine are) and that for several years I went without hose freely. However, I have received passing comments from other women in my firm observing that I was not wearing hose. I don’t think the comments were judgmental at all and I don’t recall thinking they were inappropriate in the context of the conversation. However, the comments made me self-conscious and I started thinking that perhaps something about MY legs made it more obvious that I was bare-legged.

      • Seattleite :

        Nope, that’s not it. They were commenting because they were envious, and secretly wondering if they could pull it off themselves.

      • So what I am going to say may not be popular, but I do think that, for a variety of reasons, some legs can look more noticeably bare than others. I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it necessarily means that you should not go bare-legged at work; and, I have no idea if your legs even fall into that category, by the way. But I will say that I have noticed that whether someone is going bare or not tends to be much more noticeable early in the season when not so many people go bare. By summer, I think we’re all a bit desensytized to all the skin we’re not used to seeing in winter. And, FWIW, I think that a little bit of gradual self tanner to even out the skin tone can do wonders. I am pretty pale myself and I often get tiny red dots from shaving that make me very self conscious (and about which I can do nothing about) and I find that those gradual tanning lotions really make my legs look better and in turn make me feel a lot better.

        On a related note, no matter what your legs look like, I don’t think anyone at work should be commenting on them.

      • One roadblock: if you are wearing flats, I think pantyhose look terrible. I am pregnant and need to wear flats right right now with dresses, which I hate the look of, and considered pantyhose but it looks so dated and weird with flats. Also I hate pantyhose but agree that it can look more polished. Can’t figure out a good way around this conundrum. Would not spray self with chemical stuff so not going that route- too much maintenance and don’t trust what’s in them.

  4. Charlotte :

    Early tj… Do any of you have any experience with the customer service at ASOS? I am starting to worry about a recent return I made to them. I mailed a return to them in the amount of about $200, all one package containing 4 dresses. A couple of weeks ago I cried an email from them confirming the return and crediting me about $50, which was for only one of the dresses. Not another word from them, so I emailed them (apparently they have no phone customer service?), and despite their instructions saying they would respond to me within 6 working hours, no one has ever responded. I emailed them again yesterday with no response so far.

    Have any of you had a situation like this with ASOS? Do you have any suggestions about what I can do next? I have never dealt with an Internet-only company like this. I feel like I should be able to talk to a real person! TIA!

    • i would just contact them and ask about it again and again. I had a similar experience with Gilt recently (returned 2 items that arrived damaged and got credit for only one). I contacted them a few times and eventually found out it was apparently it was an “error” and they fixed it and apologized. Never mind that the full process took 2 months and the items arrived damaged. ick, i hate shopping online.

  5. Maple League Admin formerly Anon Canadian :

    I completely missed yesterday’s stress dream thread because it’s super busy right now and I had to leave early for my dating ultrasound! But can I just say that the forgot-to-drop-my-class thing isn’t my dream it’s actually my job!

    Seriously, I get about 10 students a session who forget to drop their classes (sometimes from the previous year!). It’s not a big deal, they don’t have to take the final and it won’t stop them from graduating. They just have to make a written request to have the course dropped late and then provide proof from the instructor that they never attended. In fact it’s usually more stressful to me because of all the extra work it causes, lol.

    • Ha! Yep. If this dreaming student did show up to take the exam, I would still be obligated to enter “FA,” and wouldn’t even look at their test unless somehow forced by admins to give a real grade. This has never happened in my experience.

      Not that everyone is now going to choose a more plausible anxiety dream to start having in place of this debunked one…

      • My stress dream is always after I hostess. I’ll be in bed in my night gown and dream that people are still there. I’m always scantily clad, so I’m worried that whoever it is will see me in my chemise. I’ve gotten up and put on more clothes (still asleep) many times. And I’ve gotten up to see if I could get them to leave a few times. At that point, I usually wake up.

        It is so weird. Especially because I love to entertain, so it ends up happening a lot.

    • That used to be my stress dream of choice, but once I started working at a university and realized that it wouldn’t really be a problem in real life, I stopped having the dream!

  6. I have student loan debt :

    Why does this blog always feature such expensive pieces of costume jewelry? $73 is not “inexpensive.” That’s probably my upper limit for costume jewelry, and that’s only for something really special/important – like made by a local artist, perfect piece to wear with a cocktail dress to an important event, etc. I can’t imagine dropping that kind of cash on an ordinary, non-distracting silver necklace that I through on to fill in some empty space under a blouse before heading to a deposition.

    Etsy is full of great jewelry for under $50.

    • i agree, a piece of costume jewelry needs to be very special for me to spend more than $30 on it. you’d be surprised what you can get from clearance bins.

    • Ohhh I never looked into Etsy for costume jewelery. Any suggested artists? Sometimes I consider getting an engagement ring from Etsy, but I like the security of getting one from a reputable brand so that if any small side stones fall out, they will fix it.

      • Well, I’m not sure if it qualifies as costume (I’ve never been clear on where the divide falls), but you should check out the shop of our very own Kanye East. Her stuff is fabu!

        • Anonymous NYer :

          I got a gorgeous piece from Kanye’s Etsy store for under $40. I wear it all the time and get tons of compliments. My mother mentions how much she likes it every time I wear it (that’s a good thing…) haha.

    • so anonymous :

      Yeah, I’m pretty frugal when it comes to clothes & accessories, plus I hate shopping and try to make things last as long as I can (and I’ m in a job where I’m not critically judged by my presentation – thank God for small towns). I’ve realized that I don’t come here for the fashion but for the community. This allows me ignore the substance of the fashion posts and not feel bad about not wanting to buy any of it!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Because many women who read this blog don’t think $73 is expensive for costume jewelry. There’s a wide range of readers on Corporette.

      • We need a poorer-gals corporette! heeheee

      • i agree this necklace is kind of pricey for what looks like ‘junky’ material and i’m not broke. but each to their own, it’s Kat’s blog and clearly some people like it. pricing is all over the map for reasons of label/brand etc. whatever.

  7. Oh help me obi wan corporetti, you’re my only hope. Keep or return (this is not for work, as if)?

    Styling suggestions?

    • Are they shorts? Are they meant to be formal? (Unfortunately, I’m in team no formal shorts — though those are cute.)

      I guess if I was going to style that, I’d style it with a more structured top in something of a color, like a blue or a yellow in the summer to brighten it up. Or maybe with a black top but then with a bright chuck necklace and brighter shoes, something like that.

      • I love them! In fact, I went to the Piperlime website to see if they are still available, which they aren’t. So I guess I should tell you that I hate them and you should return them (and tell me when so I can watch for them to reappear!). :)

        • Another S :

          Not to be an enabler or anything, but Bloomies still has them in stock!

      • They are shorts, but not formal. Think more floating/flirty.

        • Oh okay — we’ll they’re really cute. I think a bright t-shirt with a kind of fun funky blazer and wedges would look really cool for going out.


    • No suggestions, but +1 for “obi wan corporetti”!

    • I love these. I could never wear them, because my legs are too long (extra long pants are often short) and so they would look super short on me.

      I would say styling depends on your age and personal style. Personally, I am in my 20s and would pair them with a light colored tank/light shirt and blazer (probably short sleeved, depending on length). I can’t tell if it would work in person, but based on the way the color appears online, perhaps a striking blue would work as well.

    • Merabella :

      Wedges or heels for going out. I like the idea of the brighter colored top or black with awesome big necklace or earrings. You could dress it down by doing a chambray top and wearing it with some wedges for a weekend lunch/brunch meet up with the ladies.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I have a pair of this type of shorts in a black floral pattern. I bought them last summer and wore them with a grey vneck t-shirt and black patent flip flops on a Saturday around the neighborhood. Early last fall for a street festival I paired them with tights, wedge boots and a sweater for a transitional summer to fall look. I’ve also worn them with black wedge heels and a black leather jacket as a short skirt substitute for a sexy going out outfit. I felt a little Blake Lively in them, I have to say. :-) Hope this helps–have fun!

  8. lostintranslation :

    I was thinking of posting under anon, but since I don’t post very much, I figure this is anonymous enough. I just wanted to ask those of you who are at a good point in your lives for extra happy shiny positive thoughts. My boss is a very cunning bully and I’m a major underdog being young, female, and foreign in a conservative, male, technical field. I’ve started therapy, am starting to work through some self-help books, am looking for other jobs, and am trying to stay positive and confident about my skillset (which is hard when facing daily humiliation and bullying at work). I really want to put up a good fight, in the sense that I get out of here without burning bridges and while taking the high road.

    To Bunkster and everyone else with a hellish boss: I’m sending you lots of hugs/good thoughts. I feel like bawling at work everyday, but we’ll get through this and come out better for it, right? Now I need to buckle down and start getting applications out. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • Sending a ton of good vibes your way! I am very lucky with both my current boss and my last boss, but I remember working with someone who would literally make me go into the bathroom to cry at least once a week. May it all be a distant memory soon.

    • Seattleite :

      Big, juicy, internet hugs to you, LiT. And my very best wishes for a great job with a supportive boss.

    • I’ve always wanted to ask….do you blog? Bc if you do and I’ve found the blog that I’m thinking of, I just want you to know that you’re SUPER AWESOME. And even if you don’t blog, you’re still super awesome.

      You know what could help? Teaching yourself a new skill. Knitting, cooking, wrestling, karate, car fixing, whatever. Go teach yourself and look forward to that. And work will become just that, work. Go remind yourself that your boss sucks and you are the woman.

      • lostintranslation :

        Thanks guys! And no, I don’t have a blog :) have you found someone who sounds like me? I’d love to read her blog!!

        Work is just work. I’m going to remember that when I go in to the office tomorrow…

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      Totally sending the good vibes to you and anyone else who is struggling. I had a terrible job for about 5 months after law school. It got to the point that my boss was screaming at me EVERY SINGLE DAY for the smallest things and making me cry. I would try to hold it until I was back in my office or the rest room, but then he would slam his hands on my desk or fling a chair and I would lose it (and he would accuse me of trying to make him feel guilty).

      He cursed me out once because I asked to eat my (already late) lunch while we discussed a case because I wasn’t feeling well. Among other things, that man told me that I had to grow up and not be a baby. It turned out that I actually have a medical condition that requires me to eat rather frequently – I didn’t know this at the time because he did not offer any benefits and I was too broke at the time to get blood work done).

      I had a minor meltdown and ended up in therapy when I got a new job and was able to take advantage of my benefits. It had gotten so bad that I actually quit without having another position lined up. He tore me a new one until my very last day and instead of completing my two weeks I had to resign effective immediately for my mental and emotional well-being.

      Silver lining: I was extremely lucky and found another position within a week of my resignation.

      There is no easy way to deal with a bully. I can only tell you to look for another job and focus on your life outside of work because it does not seem like you are going to get any satisfaction from your present position. You are absolutely doing the right thing in seeking therapy and I wish you the best of luck.

      THINGS WILL GET BETTER. I can’t tell you when, but keep plugging along and taking care of yourself – you will get to a good place! Let me know if you ever need to vent some more; I felt very isolated at the time and felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because they could not relate. I would be more than willing to get in touch.

    • I know you are not asking for homework, but I have been in your shoes and I found it helpful to read “The No @sshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t.” It made me more realistic about how I had to deal with bullies (disengage, diengage) and I was also encouraged by some of the stories of respectful workplaces. Hang in there.

      • The worst boss (bully, passive/aggressive, all-aroung miserable human) I ever had brought this book into our office for everyone to read. He either hadnt bothered reading it or had absolutely no self-awareness. At the time, I was incredulous; now, I can finally look backbit it and laugh. Of course, he’s no longer my boss.

    • I had a horrible female boss a few years ago when I was fresh out of college less that year into my new job. She gave me terrible reviews, did not assign any meaningful work, was very insecure and looked at me as a potential threat. She was her boss’s favorite so he didn’t stand up for me either. Luckily I was in a rotational program at the time, got the hell out of that group as soon as I could. Over next couple of years, the female boss and her boss were both gone and not by choice !

      Then I had a second boss who also had his favorite, a guy who shared his hobbies. Guess what, he got all the best projects in the team but they were never executed till the end or saw any light of day. BUT in my boss’s eyes he was a genius whereas I was slogging around day and night to keep real projects actually reaching their goal. The other guy always got best reviews (=more $$$) and I was just good enough.

      I have teared up several times during my interaction with these bosses and cried my balls out in the restroom stall. I am also foreign, not white, mid-twenties working in a very conservative male, tech/math heavy industry. Looking back at those years, I would advise someone to be assertive (but polite enough), stand-up for themselves, stop apologizing or taking more blame than necessary. Keep learning as much as possible outside of work to keep your skillset fresh. Above all else, believe in your self/abilities even if everyone around is totally discouraging.
      Also, please pump up and take pride in your work during meetings or with customers/clients/interviews, don’t ever put yourself down or make your contribution sound trivial in front of others. I used to feel my projects were not much when compared to my “star” co-worker. Well whatever I wrote back then in still in use today years later without any major issues.

      Best of luck, I am willing to discuss more if you need to.

    • Thanks. Hugs to you, too.

      I feel like crying most of the time, too. I just sent out 2 job apps and I have 2 phone interviews this week.

      I just had another email conversation with him where he willfully misunderstood what I was saying even though I explained it in detail repeatedly. He kept saying that I’d built my code wrong and that I wasn’t accounting for a specific issue and I kept trying to explain that the way my code is built accounts for these issues. He concluded with the statement that we have to meet in the morning so that I could understand what he was saying because I clearly wasn’t capable of understanding it via email. I understand what he is saying. It’s just not applicable in this case.

      • Hey Bunkster, reading about “code” in your comment, are you a software developer/programmer? That will be so cool to run into one on corporette ! Big Hi to you.

        As for your boss’s meeting, is it possible for you to construct an example about the specific issue that is bothering him and show him how your code can handle what he is looking for? Say, given an input, step by step outline what your code will do and then the final output. Or at least walk through this on your own, so your confident in your solution 100% and know it inside out.

        • Yes. I’m a software developer, in business intelligence specifically. I do plan on addressing his specific scenario, but he will insist on reiterating his stance, even though I understand it perfectly.

          I would prefer to say to him “Here’s what you’re saying” and then explain to him that I already understand it and then say “Here’s what my code does.” But he won’t let me do that so that he can continue to think that I didn’t understand it until we met.

          And, of course, after today’s meeting, the last thing I want to do is meet with him again.

      • It took me 7 years after law school to escape bad bosses. Keep plugging away on the side at bettering your qualifications to get a better gig, or some situation you have more sway over who you work for. There are so, so many bad bosses out there. I called mine the 7 circles of hell. Then one day I got great bosses. I have other frustrations, but there isn’t a day I don’t appreciate my great bosses and I thank them with cards etc a few times per year.

    • My boss is crazy too! Her particular brand of crazy is the major mood swings, one day she loves you and the next she hates you kind. She doesn’t know how to do any job in our department but hers, and our twisted organization structure has put her in charge of training two new employees recently. Obviously she takes being corrected very poorly, so I am constantly faced with the judgement call of whether the misinformation she is giving is bad enough to warrant correcting her and becoming The Hated One for the rest of the day.

      Thank you for giving me the chance to vent a little! I realize I have it so much better than many, but I still wish my office could be a more functional place. I think that I learn a tough life lesson at every job I have. Right now it is my time to learn how to deal with frustrating people! Good luck in your job search.

  9. has anyone ever shopped at Hobbs, the UK brand? How is sizing? I was recently in London and fell in love with every single item in the store and came back empty handed because I had already blown my shopping budget. Since then, I’ve been trolling their online shop. So pretty.

    • PS – they have lots of polka dots, stripes, full skirted shirtdresses, and silk blouses. It’s like corporette headquarters

    • I went into Hobbs when I was in London and had the same reaction. Sooo much love. :-)

    • I am the Hobbs Queen. Hobbs is My.Store. I could live there.

      Sizing is pretty TTS. I am a US 6 most of the time, and hippy. Hobbs’ UK 10 fits me like a dream. I can grab anything in the store in my size and know it will fit beautifully.

      Sigh. Hobbs, how I love you.

      • darn english. they really get smart dressing.

        • I know, right? I can’t even think of a North American Hobbs equivalent. I just wish Canadian import duty wasn’t so high…

          • I have a few silk blouses dancing in my head — there was one with a gorgeous and classy paperclip print. PAPERCLIPS! and it wasn’t twee a la anthropologie. And a short sleeve scallop edge polka dot-esque pattern.
            sigh, let’s not even talk about the cat and mouse print silk dress.
            I’m in need of a few spring/summer suits and may need to break down and go with Hobbs.

    • CA lawyer :

      I have a Hobbs item I bought nearly ten years ago that I wear a ton (in season) and still get compliments asking if it’s new.

    • eastbaybanker :

      Never heard of Hobbs and will be in London in May. Must check it out!

  10. Anon for This :

    What is your favorite brand/designer bridesmaids dress you’ve ever worn? Are there any you have actually reworn?

    • “Are there any you have actually reworn?”

      Bwah hah hah hah ha. *wipes tears from eyes* Sorry, what was the question?

      No. Not even the $400 one from Vera Wang.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        +1. Nary a one. Brides who say “but you can rewear it” should be required to provide real-life styling suggestions with their comments.

      • Midwest Attorney :

        I stood up in a wedding where the bride asked us to buy a black dress. That was the extent of the restrictions. I bought a perfect boat neck, a-line dress from target for $35 and got two years of extensive re-wears. I loved her for that. Aside from that dress, I have only ever re-worn bridesmaid dresses as halloween costumes.

        My sister has reworn her bridesmaid dress from my wedding several time. It was a strapless dress, black “lace” over a grey/blue underlayer. (similar to this without the sash- I think it was rewearable b/c it wasn’t satin or taffeta or anything else shiny and didn’t have a bow anywhere to be found.

        • This!! I’ve reworn mine, but you can’t rewear any of the solid color satin or taffeta dresses. Those just look like bridesmaid dresses. But my sister is awesome, and she let me pick something out from David’s Bridal’s ‘special occasion’ section, which was a pretty tulle netting over satin, and just looks pretty and sparkly. I have worn it to the opera and the ballet as a dressy dress.

          • similar to this one, but mine has wide straps, not strapless.


          • lostintranslation :

            I would wear that dress! It’s cute and classy (aaand I sound like Ellen).

          • It is SO cute! I have gotten so many compliments on it from strangers when I’ve worn it. … But really, if you want your bridesmaids to *actually* be able to wear their dress again, I would pick something out from a ‘special occasion’ section, of David’s or Nordies, etc. Or pick a color, and let them find their own dress in that color. I think that’s the only way to make it work.

    • I have a dress by Siri (the designer not the phone) that I like a lot (its simple and I’ve reworked it). My bridesmaids got their dresses from WTOO in black chiffon and the quality was excellent and they were very reusable (the picked their own cuts and they are tea length). I also have a bridesmaid dress from the J Crew collection that I could totally re-wear, except I really should have gone a size up so it doesn’t really fit. :-P

      I think the key to bridesmaid dress rewearability is less designer and more design. Avoid cuts that are super “bridesmaid trendy” or the two-toned dresses with waist-sashes, those just scream bridesmaid. And if your bride (or you) let the bridesmaids pick necklines that they prefer, I think that helps the dresses be more reusable.

      • Another thing I liked about WToo was that it had all its dresses in plus sizes — which was important for my bridal party.

        I would also say that the silk taffeta that is very hot right now in bridesmaid dresses is not the MOST rewearable or forgiving fabric in the world.

        • Oh — and for the love of god, don’t put everyone in satin. Its so unforgiving (especially in bright colors.)

        • Anon for This :

          Any thoughts on what IS a rewearable fabric? I shudder at the satin dresses but maybe that is just me?

          • Anon for This :

            Haha, apparently we think alike on satin :)

          • Lol. NO SATIN!!!!!! Again, I think the key is cut. Silk taffeta can look okay, if its cut to fit the person flatteringly, but a lot of those dresses are cut to fit “everybody” so they end up looking like sacks on skinny girls and making bigger girls look like sausage casings (I can say that because I was the bigger girl). On the other hand, I’ve re-worn two silk taffeta dresses that were cut nicely for me, so its not an absolute rule.

            As I said, I think if your group has a wider range of shapes, chiffon may be more forgiving. But then, some people thing that on bigger people its not flattering — so it CAN be hard to please everyone. Try to think of what fabrics you actually like your dresses to be in IRL, those are likely to be most reusable. :-P

    • My bridesmaids wore a Shelli Segal Laundry dress – floor length, with straps, sweetheart neckline, ruched across the tummy, black. They all tell me they have worn their dresses multiple times.

      I have never worn a bridesmaid dress a second time.

    • Merabella :

      My bridesmaids dresses were from Nordstroms, on sale. I think my bridesmaids have reworn theirs to other weddings or formal events, I’ve seen them in them in pics on fb.

      I think that the key to re-wearability like TCFKAG said is picking something that doesn’t scream “I HAD TO BUY THIS DRESS BECAUSE SOME BRIDE PICKED IT OUT FOR ME!” I tried to pick something that I would want to wear to another event.

      For my sister’s wedding in which I was the only bridesmaid I got to pick out my own dress and I have reworn that one several times.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i have a bridesmaid dress from j.crew (pretty sure it’s the sophia) that i have not actually reworn, but definitely could. it’s black, short, “silk tricotine” (i have no fabric knowledge, so this could be a legitimate fabric or it could just mean it’s a silk/poly blend), with a surplice v-neck. it’s very basic and the only reason i haven’t worn it again is because i gained a whole lot of weight right after that wedding. it’s pretty boring but very wearable.

    • I agree that the two-toned sash/cumberbun screams bridesmaid. Also, avoid obvious bows or embellishments, those tend to denote a bridesmaid’s dress as well. I’ve seen some flowy dresses that are less structured that have been re-worn. I think they got them from JCrew or Nordstrom’s vs. a shop that specializes in bridesmaid’s dresses. My dresses were a deep purple, strapless, ruched a little on the side, a-line skirt. They hit just below the knee on most of my friends, and I kind of wish I’d bought one for myself to use at formal events (I know I’m clearly biased). I have re-worn one dress that was a purple-burgundy color, structured on top with straps, and a straight, floor-length skirt. I wore it to my brother’s wedding, in which I was in the house party, so I needed to be a little more formal. I will probably wear it to BIL’s wedding, again, because I should be a little more formal as a family member.

    • My bridesmaids wore a light blue (cobalt maybe?) tea length strapless dress with white polka dots. I think it might have been Alfred Angelo but I can’t remember now. Several bridesmaids did re-wear the dresses. One wore it to a Derby party in the south. One wore it as a guest to another wedding. One wore it to some outdoor country club fundraising gala thing. If I can find a similar pic I’ll link but I was married in 2005 so I doubt I’ll find it.

      • FOUND IT! This in blue:

        (I guess 2005 is vintage now.)

        • Accountress :

          That is a fabulous dress- shake up the wrap or cardigan, and it can be worn tons of places. Excellent job for making such a great selection!

    • I went shopping with my 3 bridesmaids when I got married & had them decide amongst the 3 of them on the dresses they wanted (with final approval from me, but we all agreed pretty easily). I’m not sure if they actually did wear them again, I’m pretty sure they did, but at least they couldn’t complain about them!

    • My bridesmaids picked from 3 different options by Bari Jay (all in black). I think they liked the options — they were the most affordable of the brands that I perused that were still stylish. I’m not sure if they will wear them again, but I would (and yes, I am totally biased)!

      Maybe take a look at rent the runway if cost is an issue. Your bridesmaids can try on the actual dress in a store that carries the designer (to determine their size) and rent them online for much cheaper (depending on the designer you pick on that site, of course).

    • One of my coworkers rewore a bridesmaids dress for a black tie event.Tea length steel gray silk taffeta in a strapless sweetheart neckline and charcoal gray silk taffeta waist band thingy. It looked nice.

    • My sister picked black AT dresses that were very wearable — a sleeveless unfitted silk underdress with a pleated skirt, and a sheer black chiffon tunic on top, trimmed at the short sleeves with some kind of subtle ribbon. We got to choose our own black shoes. The overall effect wasn’t showy — the dresses had a kind of 1920’s feel — but everybody looked lovely. I think that bridesmaid dresses that show a lot of skin don’t tend to work well on many people.

    • karenpadi :

      I was maid-of-honor at my mom’s wedding and the only bridesmaid. We picked out a black wool Banana Republic sheath that I wear quite a bit.

      I throw away most bridesmaids dresses because they are strapless and/or have boning. After a day of stand-up sit-down, the boning is bent and broken. Also, some fabrics (silk taffeta?) just do not survive the church, photos, reception, dinner, dancing, etc. Plus, I feel too exposed in strapless dresses and would never wear them in public outside of being a bridesmaid.

      Color is key. If it’s an obnoxious color, I can’t re-wear it (and I wear a lot of color normally). I think black and navy are the easiest to re-wear for evening-style dresses and light blue, light purple, or pastel yellow are the easiest to re-wear in daytime-style dresses.

      • Beach Bar :

        Ditto on the strapless. If a dress is strapless, it’s automatic that I will never wear it again.

    • Legal Marketer :

      As a bridesmaid, I once wore a long black satin skirt with a black on black lace v-neck tank from Ann Taylor.
      That tank looked great with jeans and fun shoes, under a gray suit at work and with numerous pencil skirts. They’ve been married 8 years and I still wear that tank. I think it was $39 and the skirt was $79. I want to say I’ve worn the skirt once, but I can’t remember for sure. I still have it, because it’s a classic – I just don’t have many opportunities for a long skirt.

    • I was actually just wearing a bridesmaid dress this past weekend, so this question is appropriate. I actually loved the cut & style of my dress (it was very flattering – a strapless knee-length dress with nice detailing at the waist & a sweetheart neckline from the now-defunct Priscilla of Boston), but the color (blush pink) and the fabric (crinkle chiffon) are too bridesmaid-y to ever imagine repurposing it.

      However, the dress is lovely. Anyone know of a place you can donate bridesmaids dresses to?

      • I’ve never used it but donatemydress [dot] org looks like a good option.

      • Are you near Orange County? If so, Working Wardrobes collects dresses for underprivileged high school girls to wear to prom.

    • Personally, I think the key to being able to wear the dress again is whether the dress was designed to be a bridesmaid dress or not.

      I’ve been a bridesmaid 3 times. The bride for the first wedding was a buyer for a department store. She chose knee-length a-line diagonally striped dresses. They were very cute and I wore it multiple times. That wedding was 13 years ago and I have no idea what happened to the dress.

      The second dress was for my sister’s wedding. I was the only attendant and chose a Nanette Lepore dress. It’s very beautiful and could be worn again. I’ve just lost weight since then so I’ve only worn it once.

      The third dress was for my brother’s wedding. It’s from David’s Bridal and looks like a bridesmaid’s dress. It’s also brown and strapless and shiny. I will never wear it again.

    • Does cutting up a bridesmaid dress and sewing it into teddy bears for my nieces count as “rewearing”?

      Because if it does, then yes, I rewore a bridesmaid dress.

      • Equity's Darling :

        An aunt who can make jewellery and teddy bears? Your nieces totally lucked out in the aunt department…..

    • Nicole Miller. The bridal/maids collection is at NM stores by appt only.

      Her website only shows wedding gowns right now, though.

    • Ann Taylor, knee length navy silk. You can get all different cuts in the same color. And I’ve worn it a bunch of times….so pretty and comfy. I think about $80 too!

      • Oh right, we were tipped off to buy around Christmas, when the whole store was 50% off! #thoughtfulbride

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a bridesmaid for a June wedding, and my bride is having us wear cotton taffeta dresses from J. Crew. If you go to J. Crew’s website and search “cotton taffeta,” they all pop up. I think they are definitely re-wearable!

      • EasterBunny :

        Amsale bridesmaid dresses are amazing. My four bridesmaids were given a color and were able to pick out of their 65+ different styles. I went to narrow down the color first and literally 75% of the dresses would have become my new go-to for a cocktail dress.

    • Appealing Lawyer :

      There are some on jcrew that I wondered if they are bridesmaid dresses or not….probably a good sign for rewearability

    • I just attended a wedding in which the bridesmaids wore floor length, strapless black chiffon gowns, that were beautiful. They could definitely be re-worn, either shortened or left long for formal occasions. Black dresses seem to have the most potential to be re-worn.

  11. Does anyone have experience either from the side of the law firm or from the side of the prospective hire attorney with negotiating office hours based on traffic considerations? Is this acceptible or frowned upon? Is is acceptible to throw personal considerations into the mix, such as “on Thursdays I have to be home by 5:30 because I volunteer at my church,” or something like that? Does this kind of thing depend on your experience level and general desirablity as an employee? Comments?

    • My advice would be to not bring this up until at least you have an offer. Then, I think it would be ok to ask about floating hours if you work in a high traffic city, at least with respect to starting time. For example, in the federal government, there is discretion as to your starting time, but you need to work a set number of hours every day. Otherwise, I really think you need to work at the place for at least a few months to get a sense of the culture, and whether requests to leave early would be well received (in the firms I worked at in big law, it would not have been, unless it was a work related activity, like a bar association). You only get one chance to make a good impression, and law firms do not typically appreciate a perceived lack of dedication to the job. Once you are there, You may find that your firm does not place a lot of value on face time, and you can leave early on certain days, but work from home or on weekends to compensate.

    • Former MidLevel :

      What types of law firms are you interested in? BigLaw? Big city? Does the firm have a “free market” assignment system? Are you assigned to cases or just discrete projects? A lot of the answers to your questions might depend on those types of things.

      From the BigLaw, big city perspective, I can say this: Law firms are all about billables, not clocking in and clocking out. As long as you come in by a “reasonable” time (whatever that means in your area/for the partner(s) you are working for at a given time), the actual time you get in is generally not an issue. Therefore, it’s not really something you would negotiate about.

      As for when you leave, I generally would not bring that up either, because whether, say, leaving early on Thursdays to volunteer depends on who you are working for at any given point, not the firm as a whole. Plus, sometimes things just come up (or get delayed) and you have to do them, however late that requires you to stay.

      The truth is, it may be hard to commit to regular volunteering or similar activities, at least until you get a handle on how your firm works and the needs/preferences of the partners you work for. Especially weekly activities. I will say that I managed to make 5:30 meetings monthly for my Inn of Court – but it helped that the two main partners I worked for were members, too. But even vis-a-vis the non-members, you would not believe the magic the work “meeting” can do. As in, “I have to leave now for a meeting, but would it be okay if I started that research assignment/memo/whatever at seven, when my meeting’s done?”

    • MaggieLizer :

      It depends a lot of the type of firm and how badly you want the job. I would talk to other attorneys at my level of experience to get a feel for the office culture – what normal office hours are, how often they stick to “normal” hours, how important face time is, etc. If it’s really important to you to have a job that allows you to avoid an ungodly commute and do volunteer work, etc. at 5:30, then it’s better to put that out there up front than to find yourself stuck in a job you hate or getting dinged for your perceived lack of dedication. But if you just need a job ASAP then I probably wouldn’t ask about it until you’re a few months in.

      • I appreciate all of the great comments. I know that what you ask for before you start working is very important for some things because if you don’t have an understanding before you start working, you are unlikely to ever get those things after you start. Salary, vacation time, and number of billable hours come to mind. Generally, you need to be tough at the beginning because it is hard to get those things dramatically changed later. What I hear this group saying is that the hours you intend to be in the office is not necessarily one of those things, but I wonder if that isn’t something you should discuss at the beginning?

        • AnonInfinity :

          I think it completely depends on you.

          For me (and a lot of Corporettes, I imagine), it’s not a deal breaker for me if my firm wants me to be here certain hours. What time I get to leave isn’t something that was important enough to me to ask about, considering that at some places it makes certain people feel like you’re not as dedicated.

          If it is a deal breaker for you if you can’t leave at 5:30 on certain days, then you should absolutely ask after you get an offer but before you decide on the offer. Just know that asking this question will raise an eyebrow in certain firms. [That might be okay with you!]

        • Also, here is a refinement. What about picking up kids from childcare? In my current job, I made it known that I had to pick up my kids everyday by 6:00. With commutes and traffic, that can mean leaving well in advance of 6:00. It was good that we discussed it up front as it was a built in expectation. What is the current thinking on this both from the parent and management standpoint?

          • You can ask what the hours expectations (i.e. yearly billables are) and whether the firm objects to your working from home after hours, then figure out whether the job works for your lifestyle. A lot depends on who you are considering working for. Biglaw expects near constant availability (i.e. if there is a big deal or a big brief, you are in the office and have to have contigency plans for child care,e tc..), and if this isn’t what you are willing to do, you probably shouldn’t accept that type of job. Government jobs can be surprisingly inflexible as they want you there for your scheduled hours period. Some people left early in my agency, but they got in before 8. Other employers such as non-profits and mid-size firms may be more flexible. Arriving late and leaving early isn’t going to work for a lot of legal employers no matter how strong a candidate you are, because the legal market is so competitive these days.

          • karenpadi :

            In an interview, I would ask about what kind of hours are expected and what the expectation for face-time is. It can be “so when do people usually come in the morning and when do people usually leave?” and “How flexible are those times?” That gives the candidate a starting point for discussing her needs and seeing if the firm is a good fit for her without some of the negative connotations I pointed out below.

        • karenpadi :

          I think trying to negotiate office hours (if a full-time job–part-time jobs are different) before starting gives the wrong impression. It seems petty and gives the impression the candidate lacks time management skills–particularly when the request is about a meeting occurring outside of normal business hours.

          To leave the office on a given day for a regular appointment, I might give my support staff a heads up (hey, I’m leaving a 5 today) and block out the time on my calendar as “busy”. When someone asks you to do something on Thursday afternoon at 4pm, explain that you have a 5:30 meeting and see if you can send it to them Friday. If not, then see if getting the work done later in the evening is acceptable.

          Maybe you know this already, but no one is ever guaranteed to get every Thursday at 5pm off. Stuff happens. In most areas, you might make 90% of Thursdays, in other areas, less.

          Without getting into it, please know your office culture before announcing that it’s a meeting “for church”. If the office culture includes avoiding mention of church-stuff, try framing your meeting as being for a “soup kitchen” or a “networking group” (hey, I know a lot of folks who got clients through church).

          • O.k. The church thing was just an example. I don’t actually go to church, but alot of people in my office do. In my case, it would probably be to take my kids to their music lessons.

          • um, try just saying personal obligation. people overshare too much at work.

          • karenpadi :

            Ruby, I agree. In the evenings, many of my colleagues use “Going home for dinner” in the same tone of voice as “Leaving to pick up some lunch”.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Karen, is that a good example or a bad example? I say that often and leave it open ended on purpose. Maybe I’m working from home later . . . maybe I’m not.

          • karenpadi :

            “Going home for dinner” is a good example in my book. Then they aren’t bringing up other obligations, kids, etc.

    • I have a standing evening appointment for a church-related event once a week. Church is easier, because I think people defer to religious commitments. But in my particular (Biglaw) firm, a clear, once-a-week commitment that does not vary would actually probably be okay regardless of the nature of it. A big part of it is that your partners/co-workers don’t want to have to think about your availability, so if they know that there’s one night a week when you can’t work, that’s easier than if you have commitments that change time and day and have to be repeatedly explained.

  12. Potterhead :

    I just bought all 7 Harry Potter e-books to read on my iPad. Can’t wait! I have read them all so many times and they are my comfort reading, now available wherever I go. Though I love and cherish my hardback HP books, many purchased at midnight the day they were released, it will be great to have an electronic option as well.

    You have to register at Pottermore to buy them but they will work on a wide variety of e-readers. I was already registered on Pottermore as part of the beta release but when I got sorted into Slytherin it strangely upset me so much I did not go back. I want the Sorting Hat to allow me to choose, just as it did Harry.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I read all the books for the first time this past summer and had them all on hold at the library. Of course the last 5 all became available on the same day, so I stumbled back to my apartment carrying them all. I wish they had been available in an e-book format then! The plus side was that I powered through them and finished all but the last one within the month I had them checked out. The late fee I paid on the last one was totally worth it.

  13. Awhile ago, somebody here linked to this dress and etsy shop:

    Anyway, I ended up buying one and it came yesterday and am reporting back. Her reviews don’t lie, it really does fit perfectly. She was super easy to work with too.

    • What is the fabric like?

    • Oh, excellent! I’ve been wondering about this…

    • canadian anon :

      Amazing, thanks for reporting back!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      OMG I love all her stuff. Thanks for linking.

    • Ummm….this is uh-mazing! Custom clothes for such a price!

    • I’m late to the thread, but I also had been wondering if anyone had ordered from this site and how it went. Thanks for letting us know. I’m glad it fit great — what’s your “body type?” I’m hour-glassy with a few (okay, more than a few) too many pounds and am not sure if her sheath dresses would just point up the extra pounds or if they would be slimming.

  14. I just have to share a subtle workplace politics success story! For the past six months or so my relationship with the head of my department had been awkward after I disagreed quite vocally about a pet project of hers in a meeting. Although I still absolutely believe in the comments I made, I realised I should have brought my concerns up in a less public space to avoid embarrassing her and making our relationship adversarial. None of this was ever overtly discussed, but the tone of our relationship noticeably shifted after that meeting.

    However! In the past week we have been dealing with a really frustrating issue with one of our other departments, and she finally called a meeting to hash it out today. She made a few pointedly non-pointed comments about hearing everyone out, as I think she was a bit worried I was going to be a “firebrand”, although I’ve been extremely attentive to my communication style ever since the previous meeting. As it was the first time she and I had directly worked together since then, I took the opportunity to be as supportive of her as possible, ask questions that were clarifying and productive without being confrontational, and show I understood how to “fight our department’s corner” without being mouthy or unpredictable. In the end we got the result we wanted and everyone left the meeting happy. Since then her behaviour and attitude towards me have totally changed! She used to radiate low levels of anxiety around me, as if she thought I was waiting for her to slip up and call her out publicly for it, but now I feel we already have a much stronger, more trusting relationship after working together to solve a problem.

    I can’t help but feel like the moral of this story is to find a common enemy when having minor difficulties with a colleague!

    • good to hear, and good lesson/reminder to the rest of us. thanks.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I had a similar issue with my manager. He actually went so far as to document the behavior in my annual review even though I fixed the problem after one discussion. Grrrr.

    • That’s awesome!

  15. AIMS – if you are still checking, the seersucker was a hit! Detailed review tomorrow :)

    • Oh, so so glad!!! I am awaiting full review :)

      • Very happy with this purchase! Overall feel I would say is tailored and preppy but also slightly girlish thanks to the full, lightweight skirt – almost as if I might “age out” of feeling like I can wear it to work in a few yrs (as opposed to twirling around on the beach with a mini-me daughter, you know, catalog style), but worth it anyway. For now will happily wear for work with Jackie-style sweaters in almost any color and either nude or medium brown/cognac heels (similar to color the model is wearing).

        The boatneck may make the top a little TOO much seersucker for some – but I think it makes a good backdrop for the sweaters and maybe a statement chunky necklace (picturing a white cardigan with the green toursade from last year).

        Fit – ordered a 4 based on BB size charts. My waist has a little extra room and the 2 may have been a better fit there, but shoulders and bust were happy with the 4 (snug but not constricting) and the skirt’s volume disguises any extra room for hips (like that’s a bad
        thing). I’m a short (5’4) but very long-waisted hourglass and was happy I ordered the regular length – waist hit at the right spot and skirt grazes my knees. (For reference, I swing between a 2 (floaty skirts) and 6 (pencil skirts) at j.crew; usually a S in sweaters.)

        • if anyone wants to know WTH we are talking about, here’s the link :)

  16. TJ: I’m a first year associate at a mid-size Massachusetts firm. I am not very religious but do attend my catholic church regularly and I am wondering if it is approrpiate to wear a cross necklace to work? The community has a lot of italian/irish catholics and the firm sponsors catholic charity events (going to one this week, in fact). Looking forward to any advice.

    • karenpadi :

    • For what it’s worth: I wear one almost every day, and I live in what is apparently America’s most secular city (and work in biglaw).

    • Belated answer — but if you see this..half of the population of Boston is catholic (as you can tell on Ash Wednesday). Though it is a relatively secular place, no one is going to look askance at a cross necklace.

  17. Holiday season; evidence of the stuff, and it can go with any kind of cruise
    takes we either about the different taste. Esther’s Hobby Shop in Altoona7.

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