Coffee Break – Quilted Small Tote

Olivia Harris by Joy Gryson - Quilted Small Tote (Light Grey) - Bags and LuggageThis brand is new to me — Olivia Harris by Joy Gryson — but it looks a lot richer to me than a $400 purse (now marked down). Love the taupe color, the quilted detailing, and the fact that the purse extends from 3″ deep to 5.5″ deep. Was $395, now $316 on Zappos Couture. Olivia Harris by Joy Gryson – Quilted Small Tote (Light Grey) – Bags and Luggage



  1. I have an Olivia Harris bag that I got off Gilt, and I still feel I overpaid. The hardware ripped out of the leather and normal wear and tear is staining the leather (not a “patina”).

  2. Belinda G :

    I got a great knockoff on the street last week that looks kind of like this for $35 that alot of my girlfriends are jealous of.

    I figure if it falls apart after a year, I am still ahead.

    I am not sure of the quality of the leather, but for $35, I cannot complain to much!

  3. Any suggestions for updo hairstyles for a party that includes dancing at a club? I normally wear my thick, just-below-shoulders hair down for such things, but it’s supposed to be 105 tomorrow and only drop to the 90s by 9pm. Ponytails are not an option b/c my hair is too heavy except for a low pony, and a low pony is too hot on my neck.

    • Anonymous :

      A french braid, with the end tucked up underneath and pinned? More secure than most updos, and it’ll get your hair completely off your neck. I’d just be careful with the outfit, to avoid evoking the 1990s.

      • Oh, that’s a great idea. I think my hair would be long enough for a French braid, since you add hair in as you go. Thanks!

        • Also, many on this blog have struck out with Goody’s updo pin, but I do swear by it. It’s shaped like a long letter “U” and once you get used to putting it in, it’s very simple and totally secure. I wear it both to work and to go out.

          • I have been meaning to pick that up! I love the spin pins – I will see if they have the updo pin at CVS tomorrow.

    • Braided pigtails (french braids down either side of the head). French braid with the tail tucked under.

      Otherwise, a high ponytail however you manage it. Sometimes I’ll barrette back either the sides or front portion, so that the hair elastic isn’t the only thing holding the hair. And, if you aren’t already, I’d go with the thicker diameter hair elastics. I was used to using the really skinny one when I was younger, but there were crap for holding all my hair as I got older. Switching to the thicker hair elastics really helped.

      Good luck

    • A cute, messy side bun with spin pins or a higher “sock” bun.

    • Depending on how long your hair is:

      Center part, two pigtail braids. Use hairpins or bobby pins to pin them across the top of your head (i.e. end of the braid on the left side of your head comes over toward your right ear, and vice versa) and tuck the ends under.

      Really easy, really secure if you pin them right, and keeps all your hair off your neck (if you don’t mind rockin’ a little Heidi style).

      • Not nearly long enough, but that sounds cute. I love this style:

  4. Hi all, sorry for the threadjack, I need some advice asap!

    I just applied for an associate position, sending my cover letter and resume via e-mail as directed by the job posting. However, as soon as I hit send I realized the cover letter contains one glaring misspelling. It’s otherwise fine. Should I leave it alone? Should I resend a copy of the cover letter without the typo saying something to the effect of “oops accidently sent you the rough draft”? Ack what do I do?? :\

    • I have no idea but a) total sympathy!!! and b) in future if you send through gmail, there is a handy “undo” feature which actually delays your email going through for about 5-20 seconds (however long you set it for), which can be super helpful in cases like this!

      • Bar Studier :

        How do you do this??? I have wished so many times that gmail had this option!

        • Anonymous :

          I think they added it as an automatic feature – a little banner comes up when your message sends, and it has an “undo” option. It used to be available just in Google Labs.

          • Criminal Conversation :

            I think you get a buffer of 30 seconds. You access the feature through Gmail labs or the general settings feature, I believe.

        • You have to be using Google labs. Once you turn labs on, you’ll see it as one of the options you can install.

    • I think this has come up before in threads and the general consensus was NOT to send another copy (b/c it will merely highlight the mistake). The only exception was if there was an update to the resume (or additional material), in which case you can send w/ a note along such lines.

    • Criminal Conversation :

      I would resend, saying you prematurely hit the “Send” key. If necessary, call the HR Department or whoever you sent the first resume to and make nice.

      This should be a (serious) lesson learned. YOU MUST PROOFREAD BY PRINTING OUT ALL MATERIAL BEFORE SENDING. You will always miss things if you solely rely on online reading. If you’re an associate, one of your jobs will be proofreading serious documents such as briefs and agreements. So you are absolutely right to be concerned.

      Another suggestion: Don’t put in the addressee’s name until you have proofed and are ready to send.

      (I am not printing this out before sending, so I apologize for any typos. :-) )

      • I once discovered a serious typo in a cover letter that I, someone from career services, a mentor, and a close friend had all proofread. I know that I at least printed it out and proofread it, as well. At least one of the (ten or so) firms I sent it to gave me an interview, so it’s possible they won’t notice.

      • I used to do editing, and it is very easy to miss something even when it’s printed out because you’re so attached to the material at some point. I’ve had the same experience as Lynnet of missing a fairly serious typo even after printing it out, rereading it, and having someone else review it just in case.

        • Criminal Conversation :

          I was a journalist before being a lawyer and I was a law review editor. I am pretty anal, but it is possible to miss things, especially when you’re sick to death of the material. The professional doesn’t use that as an excuse. You have to build in safeguards for catching typos and errors, whether it be reading it backwards, aloud, giving it to someone else, printing it out in a different font, empty boxes in the margin that you check after answering questions.

          I’ve had occasions when I’ve been dispirited and didn’t go over my resume as carefully as I should have. It probably hurt me. The thing is, if you’re going to go to the effort of preparing a resume or a cover letter, you should try not to screw yourself.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Something funny I once heard is that if you send an identical letter that is correct, they might not put your two documents together. Because they receive so many applications — they might ding the first application based on the cover letter, and then read the second one. I might change up the second one a bit just in case, without mentioning the typo. This wouldn’t work if they organize applicants alphabetically, but you’re probably in a bind anyway.

    • westsidebee :

      I don’t think I would re-send it. It seems to just call attention to the mistake. It is possible some partners there will only look at your resume, and not your cover letter. So just let it be, and try to relax!

  5. Any Corporettes out there who might have a discount code for CUSP?

  6. We closed on our house!!
    8 weeks after we put it on the market, didn’t really make any money on it (especially if you consider the remodelling we did) but we SOLD it.

    It was to a guy with a VA loan, and honestly, it was not difficult at all. Feeling great today!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Yay ECMD! So exciting!

      Criminal, I’m team expensive shoes too, and have worn the same no-name (but good quality) purse every day for the past 3+ years, but my bff is team expensive bags, and couldn’t care less about expensive shoes. She thinks it’s crazy how much I spend on shoes. Different strokes!

      • Criminal Conversation :

        “Different strokes!” I guess so. :-)

        To clarify, I don’t buy Jimmy Choos or Manolos. I buy (or used to) Ferragamos, but that was partly because I could always find something acceptably businesslike in a 4.5 or a 5. I once bought a pair of Yves Saint Laurent heels that today would be about $500. They were unwearable — so tight that tears would spring to my eyes when I squeezed them on (How did I not notice that in the store? Oh, yeah, it was an emergency.). But I still haven’t been able to make myself give them away or throw them out.

        I’ve always had respect for successful women who dressed nicely but didn’t necessarily feel the need to be fashionable from head to toe. Their lack of regard was a sign of confidence, or having better things to do.

        I feel as if the World is going to lurch to a halt, but I’m very happy with my handbag and wallet from … Fossil. I don’t change bags because I’m afraid of forgetting to transfer something. I also have better things to do.

        • I don’t care if they’re stylish or not; Fossil has bags that are the perfect size with the perfect number of pockets. I like them.

          • Criminal Conversation :

            I love the abundance of pockets. It’s so easy to be organized if you want to. I love that my Fossil wallet has an outside envelope for my Metro Card. Sometimes I have to swipe my card several times a day.

    • Congrats! Hope your transition to the new place and job keeps going swimmingly. So hard to hope and wait that a buyer makes it through to closing…YEAH! Remember, you did remodelling so the house was what YOU wanted…I know, it hurts.

    • Congratulations! I just went under contract on my first home yesterday, and it is an unbelievable feeling. So exciting!

  7. Criminal Conversation :

    It doesn’t look expensive to me.


    Am I the only one who doesn’t give a damn about expensive bags? If I’m spending serious money, I’d rather put it into a dress, a suit, or shoes.

    • Yes, me to. I do not like to spend alot of money on a handbag. The fake one’s from Canal Street do me just fine. For my birthday, my boyfriend says he is going to get me a real Aigner bag, like the one I had in law school and he threw up in. We will see.

    • Anonymous :

      The shoe thing is lost on me, unfortunately. Watches I drool for.

    • Hate shoes. Love clothes, but I don’t want to spend a ton of money on something that will be worn once every 2 weeks for four months, then not worn again for 8 months until the season cycles back. A bag has never given me a blister, made me sweat, or caused me to fall, and I can carry the same one every day.

      • Criminal Conversation :

        I wore my clothes to death. As a Petite size there weren’t that many choices. My closet was full of black or navy rayon Tahari, Anne Klein II sheath dresses, skirts, and jackets.

      • Yep – I’m in the same boat. I’ve never spent more than $200 on a pair of shoes, and honestly cannot tell a difference between my $80 shoes and my $180 shoes. Plus, I’m so hard on shoes that it doesn’t seem fair to subject expensive shoes to that sort of abuse. Bags, on the other hand – I buy a pricey (for me) handbag once per year and carry it every day.

        • Criminal Conversation :

          $300 shoes look better if you’re attuned to the details, but they wear out just as quickly if you really wear them. (I buy cheaper and moderately expensive shoes, based on need.)

          I’ve never gotten over the shock of realizing that expensive does not necessarily mean more durable. If you’re lucky, it does mean nicer.

      • This. Completely.

    • Yup. I don’t care about bags, but I’m also not into shoes (6 Wide). I’m all about the clothes though.

    • Crim Conv, I absolutely, 100 percent agree. I’ve never seen the appeal of expensive bags.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Crim Conv, chalk me up to team shoe! When I find a shoe that is comfortable, doesn’t give me blisters, and in general is not a torture device, I will buy it in every color and then consider buying a spare in black. I’ll also teeter around doing chores in beautiful 4″ heels, convincing myself that they just need a little more breaking in to stop hurting me. It’s hard to admit when they don’t love me back :(

        • Criminal Conversation :

          I did that one year with the signature Ferragamo shoe (the Vara?). You know, the one with the bow. I had it in black leather, brown leather, blue leather, fake croc. No patent leather, which I consider hideous.

          It’s not a very interesting shoe, but it fit, and I had the money.

          I have to admit that I’ve never really had the opp. to be tempted by expensive shoes because they simply don’t fit. One day, I tried on a shoe by Joan and David, which for me had been my “aspirational” brand and it was too big. It was a 5. People’s feet don’t shrink. It was the beginning of size deflation (?)

          One of my (almost certainly to be unfulfilled) fantasies is to have custom made shoes. My feet are going from spatulate to duck in rapid order.

          • Criminal Conversation :

            I hate ridiculously high heels because they’re dangerous and unhealthy, not to mention painful. Given the history of shoe silhouettes, low heels can be made to look very attractive. I don’t understand the continued insistence on sky high heels.

    • Shoes, to me, are something I have to spend on because my feet are incredibly fussy. They’re a necessity, and I appreciate it when they’re pretty, but I don’t lust after them the way I do bags. Likewise with clothes; I need them to be my style, and well-made, but not necessarily show-stoppers.

      Bags are just what I like.

  8. PSA: Old Navy has some really adorable summer dresses right now. Through Friday, there’s 30% off with code ONBIG30.

    I got this one, in “pink stripe” and “in the navy”:

    Reviews say it’s big in the bust, which I hope will translate to perfect for my big bust, a rare thing in dresses.

    And I got this in the blue pattern:

    It’s online only and no reviews yet, so fingers crossed. I like that it’s natural fibers, but has sleeves. That’s rare.

    Also, ON, would it kill you to show multiple views of the dresses? Especially since your descriptions aren’t too clear? (e.g. the blue long sleeved dress purportedly has a tie front – except it doesn’t, according to the photo. So tie back, I assume?)

    Also, Ru – they have a maxi dress with sleeves! I remember you posted that you were looking for those. Sadly it’s only available in black, but still, sleeves!

    • Good luck with your order. I ordered a few dresses from ON last week for summer use. I returned the first dress you ordered–I have a very large bust (32G) and it fit that, but it just didn’t fit right at all in the torso (for one thing, the armholes were humongous and extended down past the bra line).

  9. Francie Nolan :

    I just have to tell you about the outfit I saw on the train today…Cardigan, Pretty Bow Front blouse, and my favorite part… silver sequined short shorts.

    • I like to imagine that that’s the sort of thing that Ellen/Amanda/Laura/whatever would wear on her way to work.

    • I saw this very pretty girl today, tall, slender blonde, wearing a grey dress I liked that was a tad tight and short on her but not terrible, maybe 3 inches above her knee. She turned to hail a cab annnnd there was her butt. the slit went all the way up to mid butt almost.

      • I was on the street walking behind a girl whose pencil skirt was too tight, so the slit was stretched open about 4 inches. You could see her entire thigh. She was clearly dressed for the office, too. I considered telling her, but realized she wouldn’t be able to do much to fix it and it would just make her insecure.

        • I have been that girl… Didn’t notice until I wore said pencil skirt to a concert after work and was fixing my hair in the ladies… Very, very, horrifying moment. I started going through every day I had ever worn it–all the people who had stood behind me on an escalator. It still makes me shudder.

      • Francie Nolan :

        CFM I had a similar thing happen the other day, I was walking up subway stairs and girl in front had on cute shift dress, albeit a little short, but as she walked up the stairs I learned more about her than any stranger should.