Coffee Break – Regina Coat

Soia & Kyo grey wool blend 'Regina' asymmetrical button front coatYes, today’s Coffee Break recommendation is a wool coat — and yes, I’m aware it’s May. But come on: the off season is a great time to snap up sales on quality pieces, including this adorable coat from Soia & Kyo, a sister brand to Mackage.  I like the fact that it’s a bit different than your usual coat, but doesn’t look like it’s sacrificing warmth for fashion. I like the seaming, the buttons, and the collar, which you can wear down (as pictured), or buttoned up into a funnel neck. It was $385, but is now on sale at Bluefly for $309 (along with a lot of other Soia & Kyo coats). Soia & Kyo grey wool blend ‘Regina’ asymmetrical button front coat



  1. :

    For the Paula’s choice users out there:

    What products do you use and what is your skincare routine? I bought the eversave vouchers but now I dont know what to purchase. I have combination skin.

    As a related note: After using the Clarisonic once-a-day for 3 month and seeing amazing results, I just started breaking out all over my chin. I’ve never broken out on my chin! I stopped using the clarisonic and notice that my breakouts stopped. Any idea why the Clarisonic caused this? Am I using it wrong?

    • You are supposed to replace the brush on the clarisonic every 3 months I think – have you replaced yours yet?

    • For Paula’s Choice I think the best buys are one of the exfoliants (I use the BHA, which is great for blackheads) and the anti-oxident serums. I also use the anti-acne, anti-wrinkle lotion, which is very nice and lives up to its name.

    • I suggest you check this thread out:

      Re: the Clarisonic, because you’re using the brush all over your face, you can spread bacteria from one place to another very easily. Make sure you are cleaning the brush regularly with anti-bacterial soap (I use hand soap) and replace it periodically. Also, probably it’s better to avoid running it over acne and then running it over other parts of your face.

    • Ugh, moderation… check out the Beauty Wednesday post from February 15, 2012, on this site. It was on skincare and a lot of people (myself included) posted about Paula’s Choice.

      Re: the Clarisonic, because you’re using the brush all over your face, you can spread bacteria from one place to another very easily. Make sure you are cleaning the brush regularly with anti-bacterial soap (I use hand soap) and replace it periodically. Also, probably it’s better to avoid running it over acne and then running it over other parts of your face.

    • I use Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing System (combo skin as well). I think it’s great. I’ve been using it for about 2 months now, and my skin has cleared up dramatically. My skin isn’t completely clear – I still get breakouts, primarily cycle-driven – but my skin has been consistently decent for the past few months, which had been a rarity for me.

      Just note – you can’t combine the eversave vouchers in one order (I bought them too).

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Skin Balancing routine. I do the full routine minus the BHA and with the SPF moisturizer in the morning, and the full routine with the gel moisturizer at night.

      I never break out, but a few months ago, I got a breakout on my chin – turns out it was cystic acne caused by my Nuvaring. Fabulous. Are you sure it’s the Clarisonic? Did you back-to-back your hormonal bc, or change bc recently? Apparently chin acne is connected to hormonal bc.

    • I just tried the Resist line and so far like the hydra cleanser (great makeup remover) and anti-oxident serum. Not sure if the resurfacing creams are good for my ice-pick acne scars tho…anyone find success with PC products for those?

  2. I love this pick! I wish it came in other colours though, as grey just doesn’t work for my skin tone.

    • It looks like it also comes in black. I think it is really cute. I like the asymetrrical lines.

  3. For coffee break, I’d like to hear everyone’s favorite and most reliable drugstore products. Mine are:

    Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser
    Neutrogena liquid eye makeup remover (thanks to recs from this board)
    Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream
    Goody claw clips with the nonslip surface inside
    Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish
    Dr. Scholl’s Foot Powder (for wearing shoes hoseless)
    Almond M&M’s
    20 oz Diet Coke

    I would like to hear your favorites.

    • CPA to be :

      I am *obsessed* with Pond’s chamomile & white tea evening soothe makeup removal cloths. They smell so good that I actually take my makeup off every night.

    • Oh – and I love these Silky Cotton pads from DHC

      Though they’re not drugstore. The silk wrap around the cotton keeps me from dealing with random cotton fibers in my eye all day.

      I’d love it if I could find something like this at the drugstore & not have to order these online.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Neutrogena makeup removing wipes
      Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand lotion
      Dove body wash, I forget which kind
      Dove or Pantene mousse. I really don’t see a difference between expensive salon mousse and the cheaper-but-not-horribly-cheap mousse.
      Pantene flexible hold hair spray. Again, I’ve tried the expensive salon stuff and just don’t see a difference that’s worth the price.

    • I love that you include Almond M&M’s and diet Coke!

      Mine are:
      cotton rounds (Walgreen’s brand are almost lintfree and great for nail polish remover)
      Almay liquid eye makeup remover
      Scunci bobby pins with crystals (both cute and perfect for keeping a mortarboard on my thin hair at this time of year)
      Garnier Fructis ultra strong flexible hold hairspray
      Sally Hansen Insta-Dry
      Ivory soap
      Turtle Chex mix

      • LOVE Turtle Chex mix. And Dove chocolates. OM NOM NOM.

        Also, I <3 L'oreal Everpure sulfate free shampoo and conditioner. Smells sooooooooooo yummy.

        • I had to remind myself during Lent that, yes, Turtle Chex mix has chocolate in it. It is, unfortunately, one of my favorite things.

          • Sounds like I’m going to regret learning that something called Turtle Chex Mix exists.

      • Oh, I forgot to include Garnier hair products. I love their hairspray, and I also use the natural styling cream and surf wax. They make great stuff for combating frizz without using silicones.

        • Second the recommendation for Garnier products–they work well for me. I’ve tried lots of different anti-frizz things, but the Garnier anti-frizz serum that I got for free with a bottle of shampoo is the only thing that seems to make my hair cooperative (other than my hair stylist!)

        • Thirded. I love their serum for heat styling.

    • Pantene shampoo & conditioner (Color enhance shine for shampoo and volume for conditioner)
      Sheer Blonde hairspray – makes my ponytails look effortless and not stiff
      Mint Julep cleansing mask (shout-out to you ladies for the recommendation!)
      Maybelline Define-a-lash mascara
      Hershey’s anything with almond

    • Yes to Carrots shampoo/conditioner
      Ponds cold cream to remove make-up
      AmLactin body lotion

    • :

      Revlon Lip Butters
      Loreal Sulfate-free Shampoo & Conditioner
      Yes to Cucumber Wipes (which my drugstore recently started carrying)
      Olay moisturizer with spf for oily skin
      Sally Hansen Salon Manicure Nailpolish
      Tweezerman slant tip tweezers (I’ve lost and replaced two already!)

    • Ponds Cold Cream to remove makeup

      Generic CVS unscented baby wipes for lazy, late-night face-washing and a million other uses. (Seriously, the travel packs are 99 cents, and you can use them to wash your hands, your face, your desk, remove stains from clothing and a million other things. They are way better than overpriced fancy wipes which are just the same exact thing with fragarance added.)

      Maybelline Full ‘n’ Soft mascara

      The Target house brand version of Dove Unscented Body Wash for sensitive skin. It’s great non-drying body wash and also the best (and cheapest) shaving cream ever.

      A recent discovery: Schick Quattro disposable razors. I hate Venus because their advertising annoys the crap out of me and I think their prices are outrageous, so I switched to using Bic Soleil disposable, which cut up my legs pretty badly. I recently tried the Schick disposables, and my legs loooooove them. No more razor burn, and they do such a good job.

      • I forgot Curel Ultra Healing body lotion. It’s the best for my super-dry skin.

    • Equity's Darling :

      Dove original bar soap. I’ve been using that stuff my entire life, it’s so creamy, I love it.

      St. Ives Collagen Elastin- I’ve bought lots of more expensive lotions and other brands, and always return to this one, it’s amazing.

    • Anonsensical :

      Cetaphil cleansing bar and daily moisturizer with SPF 15
      Organix shampoos and conditioners
      Alba unscented body lotion
      L’Oreal or Revlon nail polish
      Swedish Fish
      Junior Mints

      • Oh, the Revlon Colorstay eyeliners that you don’t need to sharpen – AMAZING. They last for over 48 hours and I have oily eyelids. Godzilla needs tough makeup, you know?

        • Love those. I think I’ve recommended those on this board.

          New discovery – gel eye pencils by Covergirl – called Liquiline Blast, recommendation courtesy of More Magazine. The colors are a little neon-y but the silver, black and brown neutrals are pretty nice.

          I understand anyone named Godzilla requiring tough makeup.

        • Those eyeliners were made for Godzilla; it must be hard enough to apply eyeliner with those short arms. :D

          Oh and oily eyelids are a thing. I know someone in real life that has them, too.

    • FormerPhotog :

      Pond’s cold cream – I’ve tried everything from prescription to olive oil, and my skin loves this.
      Revlon ColorSilk hairdye – Natural BlueBlack
      Colgate Total – saved my front teeth when my tongue ring went south many years ago
      A can of sugar free Redbull and some Advil on those days I forget my triptans at home
      Bandaid Blister bandaids (the squidgy ones) – saved my ‘tocks at many a trade show
      Dr. Scholl’s insoles – in all my closed back shoes – see above

    • I have not found a better moisturizer than the Aveeno Positively Radiant 15SPF. It has totally improved my skintone – if I don’t use it for a few days, I can definitely tell a difference Also…

      Aveeno Clear Complexion scrub
      L’Oreal Voluminous Millions mascara (better than any department store mascara I’ve found since Shu Uemura stopped making the Fiber Lash)
      Clean and Clear blue blotting papers
      Burt’s Bees lip balm
      Dove Nutrium Cream Oil body wash
      L’Oreal Everpure Volume shampoo/conditioner

      • funny how different skin reacts differently — that lotion essentially made all the skin on my face fall off!

    • What is the stuff called that you rub on your thighs when in skirts to prevent chub rub? I need some right now and can’t for the life of me recall what it is called. But that stuff is a drugstore essential!

      • There’s Monistat Anti Chafing and there’s Body Glide. Which worked for you? I didn’t have luck with either. I usually either wear shorts under skirts, or make sure I’m near a bottle of powder at all times.

      • Body Glide.

      • There’s also Band-Aid Friction Block stick for the heel rub.

      • I thought I was the only one with this problem!!!

    • You guys, I’m so excited to go to Walgreen’s now!

    • SoCalAtty :

      Purpose face cleanser and SPF 25 face lotion.
      Softsoap Pomegranate Mango body wash.
      Sour Smarties! (When they have them)

    • Nutraderm lotion – so light & gentle, perfect for my oily skin, and cheap – a bottle lasts me about a year
      Garnier Nutriesse hair dye in natural medium brown (the most boring color available, but it matches my natural color & hides my greys) – my hairdresser even told my my color was good
      Garnier color shield conditioner
      Cover Girl Lash Blast mascara
      Lac-hydrin lotion (for my KP arms)
      Vaseline body lotion for extra dry skin (because my face has all the oil)

    • Lubriderm body lotion with SPF 15
      Maybelline Full n’ Soft Mascara
      Maybelline Define a Line Eyeliner in Rich Raisin
      Dove Ultra SensitiveCare Deodorant
      Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure nail polish
      Sally Hanson InstaDri top coat (in the red bottle)
      Shower to Shower body powder
      Scott Toilet Paper

      • Thanks for posting about Lubriderm with SPF Bluejay. I’ve been driving a lot and I think I should be putting some sort of SPF on my hands, arms but I wanted to avoid full on sunblock.

    • St.Ives Apricot scrub
      Lindt chocolates and boxed “desserts”

      I have a CVS card and I actually signed up for their emails. Now I get almost-weekly 20-25% discounts on top of their regular card promos, so I now buy stuff like table napkins and bottled water there.

    • long time lurker :

      Neutrogena Clean shampoo and conditioner – good for my oily hair.
      Roc anti-wrinkle eye cream
      Lever 2000 soap – feels clean but not drying.
      suave hair spray
      multi-vites gummy vitamins for grownups
      Ponds cold cream

    • Senior Attorney :

      Monistat Anti-Chafing Powder Gel as makeup primer
      Body Glide to put on my feet when going bare legged with closed shoes
      Target brand nail polish remover pads
      Kirkland (Costco house brand) facial cleansing cloths (although I suspect they are just re-packaged baby wipes!)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Neutrogena liquid eye makeup remover
      Aveeno shave cream (light blue cap)
      CoverGirl purple tube LashBlast
      CoverGirl clear mascara (for eyebrow taming)
      CoverGirl outlast lipliner and lipcolor
      Dove bodywash (blue unscented or purple “winter care” which I grabbed on clearance)
      Burt’s Bees honey chapstick
      Goody claw clips with the nonslip surface; same for headbands, same for hair elastics
      Aveeno shampoo (full line is sulfate free)
      Pantene Naturals conditioner (also sulfate free – Paula’s Choice’s Beautypedia says drugstore shampoo and conditioner are the same as salon products, and recommends this combo)
      “Travel sized” Vaseline tub (nighttime lip treatment)
      Eclipse gum tub
      Luna bars (Target has the best prices when these go on sale)
      Method “sweetwater” hand soap

      … and now Turtle Chex Mix is on the list. I adore Chex Mix.

    • Neutrogena face cleansing wipes
      Mederma stretch mark cream (sexy!)
      Oil of Olay night cream

    • Any CeraVe product… face wash, pm lotion, am lotion, etc. I used to be diehard Cetaphil, but tried CeraVe on a whim and my skin has never been smoother, softer, and just better.

      Also… with you on the 20 oz Diet Coke

    • Cetaphil gentle cleanser
      Target-generic zyrtec
      glass nail files (much gentler than emery boards!)
      Complex 15 moisturizing face lotion
      Oral B ultra floss

    • John Freida 3-day straight
      Dove sensitive skin bar soap
      Garnier Fructise Shampoo and Conditioner
      Neutrogena lip soother

      • After trying every brand of foundation in the world, I now use the oil of olay/cover girl brand and it is great.

    • Clairol Root Touch Up! I use it inbetween salon visits. Love that stuff.

    • Burt’s Bees pomegranate lip balm. I own at least 12 tubes, one for each purse, makeup bag, and spares.
      Dove bar soap.
      Nexxus conditioner (split end healing or whatever it’s called).
      Pssst, although the ingredients list skeeves me out a bit.
      Aveeno hand cream.
      Neutrogena SPF 70 face sunscreen.

    • Moroccan oil

    • TreSemme heat spray
      TreSemme dry shampoo
      Scunci bobby pins and ouchless hair ties (so gentle on my hair)
      Dove exfoliating soap
      Oil of Olay moisturizer for sensitive skin with SPF
      Covergirl waterproof lash blast
      Neutrogena eye make up remover
      The tiny ice cream pints. Pre-portioned out because I can’t trust myself with a whole thing of Haagen Daz

    • I’m a drugstore whore. Every time I wait for a prescription, I troll the aisles. So here goes:
      cetaphil cleanser
      aveeno anything (shampoo, moisturing oil, daily radiance, etc)
      neutrogena healthy skin anti-wrinkle day and night
      Johnson & Johnson Melt Away Stress lavender moisturizer (I can only find it in travel size)
      eucerin anti-itch
      aleve cold and sinus
      tylenol pm
      And for treats – either sour gummy worms or peanut butter m&m’s

    • Neutrogena Eye Cleaner
      Chia Pets (bought them a few times as gifts)
      Alba body scrubs and shave lotion in the orange tube
      St Ives Apricot Face Scrub, both BHA and AHA versions
      Travel size anythings are really cute to me. I am always trolling the travel sizes
      Gillette Mach razors (4 blade?)
      Curel Body Lotion and hand lotion
      Peanut butter Snickers
      Mentos (fruit)

    • Neutrogena visibly even moisturizer
      Skintimate sensitive shaving cream. (in blue can)
      Loreal ever pure shampoo
      Poise pantiliners
      Q tips
      Those little foam wedges for blending your makeup
      Genetic claritin
      Jergens self tanner

  4. Neutrogena makeup remover wipes (these are a godsend for traveling, and I started using them all the time out of laziness)
    Wet & Wild Eye Shadow (really! makes it super cheap to experiment with trends)
    Pretzel M&Ms

    • I hope the makeup remover wipes you and Maggie Lizer recommend are these, because i just ordered them!

      Such a good idea for travel.

      • MaggieLizer :

        I’ve used those before and they worked really well, but they’re kind of small so you’ll have to use a few to cover your entire face. Maybe the ones I usually use are called towelettes? I look at them every day you’d think I would remember the precise name.

  5. This coat is so beautiful! I am sorely tempted, but for the fact that by next fall, I intend to back in L.A., where I’ll never need a real coat again.

    • SoCal Gal :

      But you might go visit people in winter! And sometimes it gets down to like 40!

  6. CPA to be :


    I just got asked to be the treasurer on a NFP’s board. This is the first time I’ve ever been asked to join a board, and I am so excited and honored. I’m setting up a meeting to talk with the president of the board and I have no idea what to wear. I’m 28, but I look 10 years younger than I am (I’ll be glad when I’m older, blah blah blah), and I want to look authoritative without looking like I’m trying to look authoritative. Ideas?

    • Wear something that you feel really confident in, leaning a bit more on the formal side. Along the lines of nice slacks and a button up, or an interesting blazer. If they’ve asked you then they must already like you so take that as a confidence booster!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Start with something that makes you feel comfortable and confident, then throw a blazer or structured sweater on top of it. A suit is probably too formal for this meeting.

    • I just went through this. I wore slacks, heels, a nice shell and a blazer. It’s not a job interview so the formality isn’t necessary but you do want to project confidence and professionalism.

    • I’m the treasurer of a NPF! It’s such a fantastic thing to be a part of. You’ll love it! I always wear a blazer with separates or a structured dress to our board meetings to make myself feel professional and on top of things. I’m probably one of the more dressed-up there. I agree that a suit would be overkill.

  7. I’ve been asked to provide a personal bio in anticipation of delivering a talk at the end of the month, and it is honestly the first time I have had to do so. Tips/tricks? Finding it really awkward.

    • Just hired... :

      Ugh – this is the worst! I recently had to do a bio and looked up what people in my position had submitted to the same conference in the past–is there any similar “precedent” you can look to? If not, I tend to err on the side of “keep it short,” trying to focus on what’s relevant to the audience. Talking to lawyers? List your law school and where you work.

    • Have a significant other/good friend look at your resume or LinkedIn profile and write the bio for you. If you’re feeling blocked (or self-conscious about writing about yourself in the third person), it’ll be easier for you to edit and rewrite. They’re not as invested so they can get a rough draft to you in ten minutes.

      More generally, try to avoid repeating information in your bio that is true of everyone delivering a talk at this event. For instance, don’t say you’re from town x if all of the speakers are from town x. I edit bios for an anthology every year and the instinct for my writers is to include in their bio, “writer x is a grad student at school x.” But the anthology is composed entirely of grad student writing from school x, so the info is unnecessary.

    • I just finished writing one for my induction into a competitive training program. I also used a similar one for speeches in my prior job. Here is the anonymized version:

      GovtMom is an X in the office of XYZ, where she [does lots of work]. Prior to this position, she was an X in XYZ2 office, where she worked on [lots of other stuff]. Before joining ABC agency, she worked in the law firm of BigLaw LLC, where she [did waayyy too much work].

      GovtMom has a JD from [my law school], and a BA from [my undergrad]. She has three children and in her spare time, enjoys [insert some stuff].

    • AMB is a ____ at the firm of _____. She joined firm ____ in , having held previous positions at ____. She is a graduate of ___ with a degree in ____.

      • Also list any professional designations – Mamabear is a Fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Mine is super short:

      “Senior Attorney graduated from Good Regional Law School, where she was a member of the Good Regional Law Review, a very long time ago. She was with Medium Sized Law Firm for 12 years, first as an associate, then as a litigation partner. In 20XX she moved to Big Government Job, in which she does Important Public Service Things. She is the proud mom of a United States Marine and takes tap dancing lessons in her spare time.”

      People love the tap dancing thing, BTW. Go figure.

      • This is what I ended up with (it may be a bit confusing through trying to make it anon): AMB is currently acting as the National Coordinator of Way Cool Big Project. She has been with the Big Project Directorate for two years, after joining Big Department in 2009 via the Awesomepants Recruitment Program. Holding a MSc in Awesome Science from French University and a BScH from English University, she has published and presented papers on fancy science as it applies to lots of complex sounding science. She has a strong interest in creating an interest in science and the environment at a young age, leading elementary school programs as the President of X Undergrad Club and designing a high school curriculum class for Y northern communities. She also works to support womens’ participation in scientific and otherwise non-traditional fields, representing Big Department at Women in Exploding Stuff events throughout 2010.

        • Senior Attorney :

          That sounds great!

          May I nitpick? Change “She has a strong interest in creating an interest in creating an interest in science and the environment at a young age…” (repeating “interest”) to something like “Among her passions are helping students develop an interest in science and the environment at a young age…”

          /unsolicited advice

        • perfect!!! send it. also, even anonomized, you sound super cool… ;o) esp Exploding Stuff events, where do i sign up?

        • I would love to attend the Women in Exploding Stuff convention, if you admit amateurs.

      • In law school I had salsa and belly dancing as interests on my resume and people loved to ask about it. Women especially wanted to know where they could take belly dancing classes. Who knew?

        And I’m vicariously proud of your son or daughter. That’s awesome. I wanted to join the military as a JAG officer, but was rejected for medical reasons.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Thanks, Bluejay! I’m proud, too! It’s been a long road and I’m still getting used to being super proud instead of super annoyed! LOL

      • I have certified mixologist on my resume. Interviewers always comment on it.

        • I used to include my college summer job at the bottom of mine. People were always intrigued that I was a ride operator at an amusement park.

        • OOOH, this makes me want to obtain my certification just so I can add this to my bio!

    • I have a short and a long version, but for something like this they probably want the short version. Mine goes like this:

      “Bluejay is an attorney at Company, where she practices in the area of Y. She has worked on A and B important projects. She holds a degree from Law School and another degree from College. Prior to joining Company, she was a fellow at Public Interest Organization. She is a native of Place and is fluent in Language and Other Language.”

      I think that’s a good formula to follow, substituting other relevant information for the last sentence (in my case, my origins are relevant to my work).

    • Library It :

      I have a file where I keep all versions of my resume, CV and bio that I have ever used. Each time I am asked, I create a new document called “MYBIO (asker year).” Then I can refer back and modify as necessary next time.

    • I have a similar set-up as the other commentors but have about 4 different versions. Think about your audience and ask yourself if you were in their shoes, what would you want to know.

      If I’m sitting on a panel for a law school event, I’ll include a more broad description of what I do without any buzz words and will include my undergrad info. I’ll include my lawschool graduation year if I’m speaking to my alma mater. If I’m speaking to my peers, I’ll include a more detailed description of the types of things I work on to illustrate that I know my stuff and will keep my background info very short. I recently put together a bio for a non-profit board i sit on and gave more history about my background and where I grew up (because the org directly relates to something having to do with where I grew up).

      The sample you provided in your post above is great.

  8. Last week. I picked up this coat from Talbots for $60! (It was onsale for a little over $80 last week, and I had a rewards certificate for $25 off.) I’m so excited that I got it for about 80% off! I got the Raven color, and it’s really pretty in person (it came yesterday.)

  9. SpaceMountain :

    Any recommendations for where to buy funny t-shirts for a preteen/teen girl? I just found snorgtees, but that’s it so far.

  10. Belts over cardigans — thoughts? Do you button the cardigan too? Does this work better with boyfriend/long cardigans, or shorter ones? Do you wear the belt higher up (empire) or nearer your natural waist? Thanks.

    • I think it looks a billion times better to wear belts with longer cardigans. If you wear with a shorter cardigan, it breaks your silhouette up in an unattractive way– for me it makes my hips look much larger than they are. I wear cardigans that hit at at least mid-hip (below the belt to halfway down pants zipper, or where that would be if I’m in a skirt) and belt around natural waist. I button the cardigan sometimes just one or two buttons where the belt hits, mostly because if I don’t it will open all the way up. Maybe I need more structured cardigans.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think it depends on your shape, outfit, and the particular sweater. I don’t wear long/boyfriend cardigans, but I belt cardigans all the time. Sometimes I do my natural waist, sometimes I do empire – usually as a result of trial and error with the actual outfit.

    • I second midlevel’s comment that it depends on the cardigan and shape, and I’ll add, the width of the belt. I don’t wear belts at empire, it looks bad on me, so usually natural waist. For shorter cardigans, I usually button the button that will be under the belt, and maybe a button below the belt buckle. I use skinny belts, maybe 1/2″ to 1″ wide for shorter, buttoned cardigans. For longer cardigans, I usually belt it at the natural waist with a wide belt, and leave the cardigan open. I’ve never belted a boyfriend cardigan because it gets too bunchy, I normally only belt fairly slim-fitting cardigans.

    • a passion for fashion :

      you can do it any of the ways you just described . i wear long or short cardi, buttoned or not, wide belt or skinny etc. jsut depends on my mood, the clothes . . . . sometimes i belt the blouse/dress under the cardigan, though i usually only do this with a longer cardigan.

    • I do sometimes, but every time I get warm and want to take off my cardi in a meeting and can’t without taking off the belt too. I think it’s fine to wear an unbelted long cardi so long as the outfit you’re wearing it over is fitted, so you don’t look shapeless. I often belt under the cardi to emphasize my waist.

  11. Well I failed at one thing – I couldn’t bring myself to call the finalists who didn’t get the job. I emailed them because I felt like I could be more thoughtful. I also needed to ask them to send receipts for reimbursement, which would also have been awkward over the phone.

    But, I wanted to report that one candidate emailed me back and asked me for feedback on what he could have done better. He is still job hunting and has an interview coming up. I did write him back with some carefully worded comments about what he could do better.

    • NOLA, you sound like a fantastic manager. Seriously. If I recall correctly you went to bat for an employee to get her a promotion and you contacted finalists who didn’t get a job. I’ve been job searching for a while and been a finalist more than once and no one has ever sent me a thoughtful rejection email. In one case I never even got a rejection!

      And the fact that you provided feedback to an unsuccessful candidate who inquired? So wonderful.

      Definitely don’t beat yourself up for sending email rejections. I wish I was treated as kindly by most of the people with whom I interview.

      • Thanks! I needed that. I just couldn’t face those awkward phone calls!

        • I would much prefer it in email. like a thousand times. In fact I think you should almost never call. because my heart would leap seeing your number show up it would be crushing. email is the way to go, and it was very nice of you to do an individual one and to provide feedback.

          • Second. I once got a phone call to let me know that a rejection letter was coming and it was so f***ing awkward I wanted to tear out my eyelids. The person who called then went on about why he hired someone else (more experience) and said something about how I have a very bright future and he wishes me the best, and I think I said something like, “thank you and best of luck to you and the person you hired.” I wanted to take my words back immediately – it sounded like a bad break up. Email is sooooo much better!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      For what it’s worth, I much prefer to be emailed if I didn’t get the job than to have to have an awkward conversation with someone.

    • I think email is best for rejections. If I got a call, I’d assumed I’d gotten the job.

      • Batgirl makes a killer point. If I saw a number on my phone that I thought was a potential employer calling post-interview and then answered to find they were calling to reject me? That would be much harsher than seeing rejection emails pop up on my smartphone. I don’t get my hopes up for emails.

        • Former MidLevel :


        • This happened to me once. Definitely email is better.

          • Has happened to me too. The caller just gushed about how hard the decision was, and I couldn’t take it in even if it was sincere. I said “It was wonderful to meet you and your colleagues, and I appreciate the call.” Then I hung up totally rattled. Email would have been juuuust fiiiiine.

          • Same. Surprisingly, the director made a point of telling me that he only called to deliver the bad news because he had liked me so much and that he normally just allows HR to send the rejection letters. Evidently he didn’t like me enough to offer me the job, though. I would have preferred an e-mail if he’d felt the need to contact me personally – as others have said, the phone call raised my hopes, only to dash them.

      • Goldman Sachs did that to me once.

      • Thanks for all of this. I was feeling really guilty because a couple of my colleagues led me to believe that that’s what I should do and I couldn’t bring myself to do it.

    • Just curious – if $$ was the final decision factor (two qualified candidates but one asks for/agrees to less money), would you tell this to the candidate who “lost”?

      • Only if asked, and then I wouldn’t say that I lowballed candidate B, but rather that the candidate A’s expected salary was too high.

      • That’s rarely the deciding factor in academia!

    • This was just covered at Ask A Manager, and lots of folks said they prefered an e-mail. So you should let yourself off the hook.

  12. Ignore if you hate pregnancy related questions….

    Has anyone noticed that their morning sickness (really, all day sickness) gets significantly worse towards the end of the first trimester?

    I am at 11.5 weeks, and I have gone from being able to control vomitting and some nausea with meds (zofran, reglan, b6, unison) to throwing up 6 times in the past 48 hours…. I am sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. When does it get better?

    • I have two kids and with both, I got super sick right at the end of T1. Then it got better. Guess the morning sickness just wanted one last hurrah.

    • Yeah, this is pretty normal, unfortunately. And the nausea can last as long as it wants, and leave & come back again. There is really no rhyme or reason and varies from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. The good news is that around 16 weeks or so I always got way more energy that lasted until past 30 weeks, even if the nausea came back (with ds#3 I wasn’t sick only for weeks 20-24).

      Something that REALLY helped me with nausea (besides vit B6) were Jolly Rancher hard candies. I’ll never be able to eat them again, but while one was in my mouth I didn’t feel sick. Something about the mix of sweet & sour really helped my tummy feel better.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i was on zofran with both pregnancies and i was sick the whole nine months both times. Chewing peppermint gum, altoids, or drinking peppermint tea probably helped the most for me.

    • River Song :

      Every pregnancy is different (just like every woman is different) but I felt much, much better pretty much exactly at the second trimester mark. It was like the dark skies cleared and the sun came out again! Crystalized ginger helped me, especially those hard ginger chews. If it’s a consolation, I’ve always heard the sicker you are, the stronger that baby is. Hang in there.

  13. Call me cheap but I don’t think I would buy a winter coat discounted this little. I do think there are some fantastic deals to be had now on coats, just not this one.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Agree. Just went on a boot buying spree and got 3 pairs of fall boots for ~70% off. If I were to buy a winter coat in spring, I’d want an at least 40% discount. Especially this winter, since it was so mild in my area, retailers are practically giving away their coats and boots, since sales weren’t great during winter.

    • Anonymous :

      YES, I totally agree.

    • That was my first thought–I was expecting a big discount on something like this in May.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Totally agree. The discount is hardly steep (but I love the coat anyway).

    • I agree. This is pretty, but still way too rich for my blood, particularly in the off-season. I was expecting a much greater discount.

    • I wouldn’t buy anything discounted this little, and call me cheapER!

    • Agree with AIMS. I’d expect 50% off for a winter coat in May.

  14. canadian anon :

    For anyone in Canada, Winners often has Soia&Kyo coats discounted much lower.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I haven’t been to Winners in forever! I should totally make a trip there…

    • Love Winners for hoisery, too. It’s only a little bad there’s one block from my office.

  15. I could use some help. I have a second interview on Monday (not at a law firm), and need something less formal than a suit. I have a very nice Pendleton navy sheath and I would love to find a patterned jacket with some dark navy. I am in the Midwest, where the temp is supposed to be in the 50s on Monday. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have been to lots of department stores and have come up empty.

    • Ok, maybe a little out there, but I think these are cool looking:,1494&sh=0&pge=1&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Multi&mporgp=L0FTT1MvQVNPUy1QeWphbWEtQmxhemVyLWluLUNoZXZyb24tUHJpbnQvUHJvZC8.,1494&sh=0&pge=1&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Navy&mporgp=L3Npc3Rlci1qYW5lL1Npc3Rlci1KYW5lLVB5amFtYS1KYWNrZXQvUHJvZC8.

      Ignore the matching pants on that first one.

    • What about a colorfull blazer? It’s a bit more daring but coral, purple, red, pink would all look great with navy.
      Or if you’re feeling more tame, something beige/camel?

      I am not sure what stores you have near, but I would take the dress with you and go to a few more places and just try on every jacket you see.

      If you have a Pendleton near, something like this would look very elegant with navy (assuming it’s not too casual):

    • browns or greys might go w/ navy, too, in the right tones. You might have to find a pattern with one of those colors to go w/ it. I think it’s hard to find patterns in navy, unfortunately.

      • Thanks everybody. R in Boston, that first jacket is insane … and I want it. AIMS and Zora, I think I will broaden my search to look for camels and grays. I appreciate your suggestions.

  16. Feeling judged :

    I’m really offended by a poster in the examination room at my (women-only) doctor’s office and I’m contemplating asking them to take it down. The poster showed how many people you have been “exposed to” if each of your s*xual partners had “only” as many partners as you have had. The poster went up to 12 partners (claiming you have been exposed to over 4000 people if you’ve had 12).

    Even assuming the poster relayed accurate information, I’m really not sure what purpose is served by pointing out how many people you’ve been exposed to other than to shame women about the number of partners they’ve had or shame them about wanting to have more partners in an effort to discourage women from exploring their s*xuality with as many people as they d*mn well please. It’s one thing to encourage safe s*x, but this poster said nothing about c*ndom usage, vaccinations, or the importance of preventive care like p*ps. I didn’t go to my doctor to get abstinence education. Thoughts?

    • This wouldn’t offend me. I think a lot of women think “I’ve only slept with 4 men, so I’m sure I don’t need to be tested for STIs.” That’s probably the purpose of the poster; to encourage women to think about their health and get tested.

      Then again, I’m not someone who would ever use the phrase “sl-t-shame” in any but an ironic context, so maybe I’m not representative.

    • Seems like sl*t shaming to me and I would express my issue with the poster to my doctor. Multiple partners does put you at higher risk for STDs, but a) it’s silly to assume if you’ve had s*x with 12 people, they’ve all had s*x with 12 people too and b) rather than promoting “Keep your number low!”, since you never know what someone you are with has been exposed to, it makes much more sense to promote “Get tested! Use protection!”

      Honestly, it feels like that dumb game we had to play in high school sex ed where there was a rose and everyone took a petal and our teacher was like “Okay, who wants this rose now? THIS ROSE IS YOUR VIRTUE AND THIS BUSTED PETAL-LESS ROSE IS WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU GIVE IT AWAY.”

      • Eloise Spaghetti :

        That’s silly. All you end up with is the reproductive organs of the rose with out the pedals. EXAMPLE FAIL.

        • ok, you are both Killing Me… im supposed to be working, not laughing out loud in my office! ;o)

      • While I did freak out looking at that poster once while at the doctor’s for STD testing, it was also a good reminder that I should probably be more careful. My GYN was super cool though and was like: don’t freak out, diseases spread, everyone gets them, no one is dirty, have you ever met anyone who never got a cold??? Like I said, she rocked.

        But, we did play that petal game in high school and honestly it made a big impression on me and did lead to me holding out for a “first time” that I can look back on as a good experience.

        • Didn’t work on me – I had a (memorable, but not particularly “special”) first time experience about a year later. And I have real issues with telling young people that their value is tied up in the number of partners they have, or that by having sex with a partner, they “lose” something.

          I also have never gathered from those types of posters that I ought to be careful. If I had sex with one guy, the poster would assume I’m reasonably safe and I might not worry. However, if that guy had sex with 50+ partners, I should be tested. Getting tested and staying safe is important whether you have one, four, twelve, or one hundred partners.

    • This reminds me of a speaker that came to our high school and had kids stand in a line and put a piece of tape on their hand and transferred it from one kid to the other. By the last kid it wouldn’t stick and the lesson was basically that sex will not relate to love if your tape is all worn out? Or wait until you are sticky to be in love? It was definitely related to partner numbers. I just remember thinking I am never gonna tape my V open that sounds terrible…

      I mean if you tear it down, that’s a little dramatic. It is their property but, realistically, if you stick in the garbage no one is gonna fish it out. But, I think it is okay to say your offended or take your business else where. Obvi don’t do both or they will know it’s you :)

    • Eloise Spaghetti :

      The movie “Kids”. That is all.

    • I would be annoyed by that too.

      Gross gyno story time: I once went to a gyno that had a sexy, beefcake-man poster on the ceiling above the exam table. THAT IS NOT THE TIME TO BE THINKING SEXY THOUGHTS. UGH. I never went back there.

      • OMG, that is just skeezy. Was it a male dr.?

      • Tired Squared :

        I had a (female) gyno that had the same type of poster up. I once asked her about it, and she said that it helped some women concentrate on something else/relax.

        (I mean, not ME, but hey … to each their own)

    • I think it’s a good reminder to use protection and get tested.

      • This – it’s just math. Sounds pretty neutral as to message, but I can see how someone could read their own biases into it.

        Humans are very bad at estimating risk, especially if it is risk than can’t see. The poster is just try to illustrate the potential risk of multiple partners. If you want that many partners, then snaps to you for having that many options :), but just be aware that it increases your risk and take suitable precautions.

    • Belated, somewhat unrelated note, to say last time I was at my PCP I told her that one of their posters was super creepy. It was a poster saying that you shouldn’t use antibiotics for a cold for your child and it had a picture of a little girl with her mother, only the little girl was all washed out and frankly looked like a creepy kid from a scary movie. It just totally was the weirdest picture ever.

      But, my doc’s office specifically caters to the GLBT community, so most of the posters deal with men who have s*x with men and HIV-AIDS….not super relevant to me (well, other than reminding me to have safe s*x too!) That and not to give my creepy daughters antibiotics (only non-creepy ones should get them.)

  17. Raul for This :

    A couple professors I knew from my law school said that I should let them know if I ever wanted them to “make a call” to help me get a job. Is this something I should ask them to do as soon as I apply for a job, or wait until I’ve had an interview? How many times could I reasonably ask them to do this during my ongoing job search? Does it matter if the professor has expertise in the subject matter of the job, or is the fact of his or her support enough? Is such a call likely to make a difference for the person making the hiring decision? What is the average shelf life of such an offer?

    Basically, I am completely baffled as to how to proceed with this. Hive, rain down your wisdom upon me.

    • I have no words of wisdom but just had to say how much I like your name :)

    • Former MidLevel :

      I’m not an expert on this (none of my profs offered to do this for me), but I’d guess it depends on the job, among other things. For example, I don’t know how much a law firm partner would care about a professor recommendation unless the partner knew the professor. In that situation, the expertise would probably be less important than the personal recommendation. On the other hand, for clerkships, I think that any call counts for a lot, especially for less sought-after judges (i.e., ones who get calls less frequently).

    • West Coast 3L :

      I had two professors do this for my clerkship hunt and it made a difference — I got more interviews than similarly situated classmates and at all levels, state and federal district courts, state supreme court, and Ninth Circuit. All of the judges mentioned the “stellar” phone calls they received from my professors as a major reason why they chose to interview me. (And not intending to brag here, but one of the judges cancelled the rest of his interviews and offered me the job as soon as I walked in the door based solely on my resume, writing samples, and the phone calls.) The professors placed calls (probably fifteen total) very soon after I turned the applications in. So I may be a bit biased since it worked out well for me, but I think you should take advantage of it. At the end of the day, it can only help. Good luck!

    • That’s great that you have support from your professors. I’m finishing up law school now, and have had supervisors and professors call on my behalf for jobs, so here’s my 2cents.

      I agree with MidLevel about the different situations, but here’s some things I thought about for my job search (also I have no idea what year you are or what kind of jobs you are applying to).

      When you are applying for jobs, especially ones in the fields your professors are in, talk to them and ask if they have any connections. (If they do have a connection, see if they wouldn’t mind sending your resume in to someone they know or making a call, in addition to your application.)

      Definitely, if you get to an interview, I think it is helpful to have someone make a call. The more related the caller is to the job, the better. If the prof is a known name in the field, then that will help a lot regardless of their personal connections. If none of your professors are relevant, I would go with the one with the best title (ie deans), or knows you the best.

      I always thought of it like getting someone to vouch for me and my work. Applicants are such unknown quantities, and having someone respected in the field or someone they know vouch for you personally goes a long way. And in this economy, I think it can only help to try to set yourself apart from the other applicants.

      I would say the offer is good for however long you keep up the relationship for. Keep them updated about your job search and interests and ask for their advice. And I would say that if you have so many interviews that you are annoying them with how many times you are asking them to call, then you are probably going to be just fine finding a job. I would only ask them to make calls for the jobs you really want and would take if you got. Otherwise it just seems like you are wasting their time.

      Wow this got kind of long. Hope it’s helpful.

      • This is a late response, but I’m catching up. Just wanted to say that I agree with anonymo- its basically a judgment call, involving all of the factors in that post.

        One way or another, you should absolutely take advantage of this. It is a fantastic resource and one that many people don’t take advantage of because they are too scared to actually call in the favor. A few thoughts on how to approach it:

        1. Adjunct profs are the absolute best for most job searches. They tend to be actual practicing attorneys who still maintain professional connections in the community. A reference from a practicing attorney (or judge) to another practicing attorney (or judge) is the holy grail of a legal job application. In my case, both my clerkship and my first job after were secured with recommendations between lawyers/judges who were already familiar with each other.

        2. A good way to broach the subject is to just talk to the prof about what you want to do and what you’re applying to. Like, I’m interested in X firm, do you know anything about it or know anyone there who I could talk to? Often, if they do, they’ll offer to call on your behalf. If not, it’s a natural transition to say, “If I send in an application, would you be comfortable making a phone call for me?” It depends on the closeness of your relationship though. With my judge, I just printed out lists of attorneys at the firms/agencies I was applying to and literally handed him the list to look for someone he knew. He found someone, almost every time. Or, if you’re not interested in a specific firm, profs (especially adjuncts) may have ideas of who might be hiring and would be a good fit. This is how I got my clerkship- would never have applied if the adjunct (and friend of the judge) hadn’t suggested it.

  18. karenpadi :

    This is tangential to First Year Blues and the very helpful comments about proofreading.

    When I started as a lawyer, and to this day, I don’t understand why lawyers are expected to proofread our own work.

    1. We bill out at $200-$300-$400 per hour to generate legal arguments, investigate relevant facts, and follow byzantine procedures. A quality proofreader can be hired for, and I’m guessing here, but $50-$100 per hour. From a client’s perspective, I’d much rather pay the proofreader for proofreading, not the lawyer.

    2. Most firms have a “second (or more) set of eyes” review policy for documents that are filed or sent to the client anyway. Shouldn’t part of that review include fixing the occasional typo? The client is paying for that review too.

    3. Personally, I’ve never read a brief or other legal document that doesn’t have at least one typo. Heck, the Patent Office even has a guideline to its examiners to ignore meaningless typos (MPEP 608.01(g) for the curious.

    I just think it’s tragic that lawyers use typos as an excuse to bully and demotivate people that they should be mentoring, training, and building up.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Very well said.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Hear, hear!

    • goirishkj :

      Amen. Especially the last paragraph.

    • We actually have a rotating proofreader whose job it is to read all court documents. It’s great when you have time to do it (which is not always, unfortunately).

      But while I agree that typos happen and should not be used to demotivate (great word) anyone, I also can’t help but think that mistakes like that speak to something else. Being a lawyer is often a detail oriented profession. You have to have an eye for these small details. A typo in a contract can have huge consequences for your clients.

      I had a professor in college who would give you an automatic zero if your paper had any typos that could have been caught by spell check or were words like there/their. His position was that if you can’t bother to avoid these errors in your final work, he shouldn’t bother having to grade them. It was harsh but it made a point. I never judge anyone for having a typo every so often, but when it’s a common feature of their work, it does color my opinion of that person, especially if it’s someone newly out of school. The argument that senior partners routinely have typos also doesn’t carry much weight with me – when you get to their level, you can pass that kind of thing off to a new associate. When you’re the new associate, your experience is limited and you should make it a point to make what you can control perfect.

      • PS: I really am not trying to “demotivate” anyone with my comment. I specifically stayed out of the earlier discussion on this topic. But in my experience – and I do a ton of writing, reading and editing, inc. supervising interns and new hires – any new-ish attorney with a habit for typos is usually making more than a few reasoning errors as well. It’s expected that the legal analysis might not always be spot on, you should not also have to correct typos. When I edit the work of senior people, on the other hand, I may have to correct a few spelling mistakes but I rarely have to account for gaps in the analysis. This might be just my experience, and I am certainly not talking about a stray mistake here or there, but I have yet to read the typo filled but brilliant work product of someone fresh out of law school.

        • I happen to be an excellent speller, but some people are not, and for them, their/there-type mistakes, which won’t necessarily be picked up by spellcheck, are both hard to catch and not really that big a deal. Especially on a law school exam, where there are much bigger things to worry about.

          While junior associates may not be able to make the substantive contributions of long-time practitioners, that doesn’t mean that every single typo is a glaring error that speaks to their incompetence. Especially since our eyes get trained to skip over typos and repeats.

          And I don’t think seniority means you are so useful in other ways that your teensy-weensy errors mean nothing. I find that people senior to me use incorrect grammar on a regular basis, and it makes me think less of them. Not that it justifies my errors, but that we are all equally worthless (or if anything their mistakes are worse because they are grammatical — not just typos).

          • Egads, I hope I am not coming off as a spelling fascist here ;)
            But while I agree that it doesn’t come naturally to everyone, I still think that it says something about your work if you don’t actuvely work to fix the issue. There is a big difference between a law school exam and a research memo. Complete sentences aren’t even always required on law school exams. And I specifically conceded that I don’t think that “every single typo is a glaring error that speaks to their incompetence,” just that when there is *more* than one or two small mistakes on a constant basis, it starts to say something.

            I’m also not giving a pass to senior folks with bad grammar. Just pointing out that there is a difference between a busy partner who writes something in haste with a few spelling errors assuming it will be proofread by someone below and the person below writing for the senior (or junior) person.

          • Hiring Partner :

            “….for them, their/there-type mistakes, which won’t necessarily be picked up by spellcheck, are both hard to catch and not really that big a deal….”

            This is exactly the problem. It’s not a big deal for them and their inattention to such detail is obvious from their mistakes. But they are not taking notes in class or writing in a diary. They are writing for their superior or to the court or to a client. It’s not about them, but about their audience. The fact that it’s not a “big deal” for them is a given; the point is that it should be if they expect to be successful. In the alternative, they can go work at an office where it doesn’t matter and hope that their clients don’t care.

      • What a prof, AIMS! I feel like my students are huffy even for my marking up (and deducting points for) mechanics errors. They matter and can be avoided, so I believe it’s fair game. My students are also supposed to be the best of the best…ehrm…

        I think I’d need a white beard to pull off the automatic zero policy, however.

        • He had no beard and a bald head. Wasn’t that old either. But he was fierce and his last name was something like Dr. Ferocious (trying to not be indiscreet). No one messed with him.

          And I think your grading system is totally fair – the best of the best should be at least a little bit best, no?

      • I searched seperation in a legal database today and got 13 hits… Gave me a good laugh.

      • I am so with you. Not a lawyer, but write and review the others’ writing a lot. While our documentation does not go to rarefied destinations like court, “typos as a common feature” seriously detract and show lack of regard for me, the reviewer, and the customers.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Agreed! And even us mid-years still make typos. I very recently accidentally submitted a memo of law that throughout said “tortuous” instead of “tortious.” I thought spell checker had it right and every time I looked at the word “tortuous” I read it in my head as “tortious.” I guess I didn’t even realize in that moment that tortuous was a word. I will be reprogramming my spellchecker to mark tortuous as not spelled correctly and to accept tortious as spelled correctly, after I check the proper spelling at least one more time.

      It went out over the weekend with no assistant to proof read and the 2 even more senior attorneys on it didn’t catch it either until after it was filed. Oh well. Live and learn.

      • LOL, I think tortuous for tortious is the most common mistake I see in briefs, I seriously see it all the time. Apparently tortious is not a word in Word, but tortuous is.

      • Ahh, statute, and statue. Seriously, at 3am I DARE you to find the difference…

      • When I was clerking, I got a brief by a well respected attorney that had “quantum merit” throughout.

        How to you un-add things from spellcheck? I’ve never been able to figure it out.

        • One of the support staff took it upon herself to change quantum meruit to quantum merit once. Without telling/asking anyone. Thank goodness the lawyer in charge gave the document a once-over before it was sent out,

    • My firm has proofreaders. We are encouraged to send them anything that will leave the firm. I am not sure why more firms don’t do this.

    • “2. Most firms have a “second (or more) set of eyes” review policy for documents that are filed or sent to the client anyway. Shouldn’t part of that review include fixing the occasional typo? The client is paying for that review too.”

      This is how it works at my job! Everything that goes out gets proofread. Sometimes my senior manager reads it, and sometimes it’s my intern. Both fix typos and formatting errors without the slightest complaint. That’s what proofreading is for.

  19. Financial TJ…

    DH and I recently bought a house, and a good portion of our savings was used on our down payment. As a result are now working to build savings back up. Our car will be paid off in the next several months and I am now trying to make the decision … pay it all off out of savings (which won’t be all of our savings, but puts yet another dent) or just be patient and pay it off over the next few months (even though I know we will end up paying more in the long run).
    We do have a good interest rate…but interest is interest.

    [FWIW, we live in an area where having a vehicle is non-optional…so the suggestion that we ditch the car and any payment just won’t work for us]


    • If it’s a matter of months and it’s a good interest rate, I would not dip into savings to pay it off early. Think of the interest as a peace of mind guaranty that if something unforeseen happens you will have the money in savings to help you deal with it.

    • karenpadi :

      I’ve been in this situation a time or two and I’ve taken both courses of action.

      I paid off the car (dipped into savings) when I was in Big Law, had 3 mos. living expenses saved (this was before the recession), and because the car payment (and 6%interest) annoyed me. I had a bad day at work, and needed to tell someone, anyone, “F* you.”

      Then I got laid off and became more conservative. I didn’t regret having paid off the car (heck, I was glad it was paid off).

      I now have a house and 1 years’ expenses saved (computed generously). I could pay off my student loans or pay down 30% of my mortgage with that money. But I don’t because having that cushion saves my sanity. I had a generous bonus this year and I just put it all into savings to give me an extra 5-month cushion.

      I think you should do what makes you feel better. If your jobs are secure and it’ll help you sleep at night, pay it off. If you’ll stay up at night worrying that you don’t have enough savings, don’t pay it off (or pay it off in 3 months instead of 6).

  20. I’ve read discussion on here before that job postings are like wish lists. What about class rank requirements in job postings? I understand that they tend to be strict for large law firms, but what about small firms? I could go ahead and apply anyway, but I don’t want to have to travel for an interview only for them to find out that I’m not in the top 30%, wasting the employer’s and my time.

    • So anonymous :

      My thinking is that the HR person whittling down the submissions would be the one most likely to check whether the applicants meet the qualification. If you make it past HR to an interview, they’re judging the whole package and not checking off qualifications on a list. So go for it!

    • karenpadi :

      It’s a wishlist at small firms. Both small firms I worked at “required” a 3.5 GPA in law school. The reality is that anything above a 3.0 had no trouble getting an interview and wasn’t asked about grades, between 2.5 and 3.0 got an interview and questions about grades or a deeper dive into transcripts (e.g., if the candidate didn’t do well in certain classes, it was OK as long as he did well in courses related to our specialty), and below a 2.5 didn’t get an interview.

  21. TJ–late in the day

    I might just be trying to distract myself from finals, a guy in my class and I had been trying to meet up for coffee for a while, and finally he asked me out for drinks after a final exam on Tuesday. He suggested a pretty classy place, picked me up, paid for all our drinks, and the valet parking. I’m really confused if it was a date, or just drinks with a friend, even though I honestly don’t know him well enough yet to call him a friend. Also I’ve never just hung out with a classmate alone before, so I’m just not sure what to think. What do you ladies think? Was it a date?

    • Sure sounds like it. My guess is that he was delaying coffee because either a) he wanted to hold out and do something more date-y with you, such as these classy drinks; b) he had some other entanglement with a woman that has since been resolved; or c) pure scheduling problems. Cheers.

    • I’m leaning toward date, although body language, general tone, and how he’s acted since could say a lot too. But maybe you don’t have to worry too much about it – if he wants to date you, you’ll know.

      • Thanks for the input. It kind of felt like a date, but he gave me a high five today when I saw him before another exam, and I kind of feel like high fives are more friend-zone behaviors.

        • oh, he also opened the door for me every time I got in and out of the car, which might just show he’s old fashioned, but kind of leans more toward date. However, when I first got in the car (while he opened the door) he was on the phone, and got off the phone by saying he was going out with a friend…… so confusing.

          • Well, in front of you he wasn’t going to say “Gotta go, because I’m ON A DATE, like with a GIRL!” So I wouldn’t make too much of that either way.

          • Yeah, but what else was he going to call you at this stage? “Ok, I have to go now, because I’m going out with this woman I might be interested in.” “I have to go now, because I’m getting drinks with this girl from law school who is brilliant and smoking hot.” “I’m getting off the phone, because a potential future girlfriend just got here and we’re going out for drinks.”

            I don’t think there’s any word for you other than friend right now, and this sounds like a date to me, but I agree to watch his follow-up behavior.

          • Rural Juror :

            That stuff is confusing. One time a guy invited me over for supper and set the table with cloth napkins. I used that as a sure sign he was into me. Turns out he was just into the environment. Sigh.

    • I have no idea, but I just wanted to say, I am so darn glad I’m not in my 20s anymore. This sh!t is confusing.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Definitely a date. My guy friends don’t pay for me unless a) we’re celebrating something about me (like a promotion); b) they’re buying a round of drinks for everyone or c) we’re on a date.

      Paying (or offering to pay) is my number one indicator that it’s a real date. That might be horribly sexist, but it’s definitely my cue as to what it is we’re doing.

      • Agreed, definitely a date. Read nothing into the phone thing, what else was he supposed to say? He probably walked away from that high five going “why the heck did I do that!”

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          High-five is def. still flirting. It is an excuse to touch you and get your attention. It would probably be awkward if he just ran up and hugged you!

          • Very true, definitely still flirting.

          • haha you’re right, it would be kind of weird to just hug me in the hallway at school. However, I awkwardly gave him a hug before I got out of the car when he dropped me off, but some girls just give hugs to everyone, even just friends.

        • “He probably walked away from that high five going “why the heck did I do that!””


        • This. Mr. 30 did stuff like high-fives out of nervousness.

    • It’s a date. Totes!
      FWIW, Mr. AIMS once punched me on the arm on one of our first “dates.” Absent unusual cultural considerations, high five or not, I think this guy digs you :)

      • Totes McGotes :

        You rrrrrrrrang?

        • I am tired, clearly, but I just laughed out loud at the vision of you drawling rrrrrrrrang dressed something like I imagine the really southern belle chick dresses in that Alabama doctor show on the CW that everyone here seems to dig (and I totally wished I had checked out when it started…)

          • Totes McGotes :

            LOL I wish I were dressed that way and (after some quick googling) I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to check that show out too!

    • Did you want it to be a date? Seems like that awkward stage where both of you are afraid to make an unequivocally romantic move. He asked you out. Ball is now in your court. I think if you are interested in him, proceed as if it was a date. If you aren’t, make some clear “friends zone only” signs. I am certain this guy is in the same sort of limbo and is waiting for you to indicate your level of interest.

  22. Anyone still there? :

    I am having the worst time picking out a 40th birthday present for a friend. She enjoys wine, cooking and fine dining. She likes chocolate. She also likes working out. She will be moving soon so I don’t want to give her another thing to move….

    Is a box of Godiva chocolate truffles from the Godiva store an okay gift? Or is Godiva played out now that you can buy it in grocery stores? I’m not a foodie (though I enjoy good food), so I am not sure here….

    Aaaaaand, I need to to have this gift in hand tomorrow. Any ideas, hive?

    • I’m not a big chocolate fan, but I think that (some) people who are chocolate fans probably don’t splurge on fancy chocolate for themselves all that often, regardless of where it can be purchased. So, I think your friend would probably appreciate it. If you’re concerned about it not being fancy enough, maybe add a bottle of champagne (celebratory! 40!).

      If you’re looking for other suggestions, what about taking her out to a nice dinner? Or giving her a gift certificate to a nearby cooking school (or suggesting that you pay for a cooking class that you could do together)?

    • Peonies are in season. A large bunch of peonies would be lovely.

    • Maybe some sort of artisan chocolate would be better because it’s more unique and you can pick out the handmade chocolates individually? If you’re in DC, check out Biagio on 18th street between T and Florida NW…

      I think doing something to help with the move would also be a great gift. She might need something like a Home Depot gift card, or you could just bring a bottle of wine and help her pack. Ooh, or pay for a cleaning service to do her move-out cleaning, if that’s in your budget. That would be a wonderful gift.

      • Order the new cookbook from the Smitten Kitchen website. It won’t be published until the fall, so you can have it sent to her new place, and the meantime you can print out a pretty gift certificate from the website. I’ve loved every recipe I’ve tried from that site, so I think she’ll like the cookbook.

    • Please don’t buy Godiva. Theyve been open about being supplied with chocolate from the Ivory Coast and other countries known for child slavery.

      I’d suggest a friend gift. I once promised someone we’d hit the 10 top rated buger spots in Toronto and I’d pay. It took a year to complete and got us to reconnect.

    • Anyone still there? :

      Okay, you guys convinced me. As I suspected, no to Godiva. Thanks for the help!

      • Speaking of things available at the grocery store — you’d be better off going to Whole Foods or Wegmans (if you have one in your area) or Trader Joes and getting her some fun chocolates/cookies and a bottle of wine. You’d spend probably less and the quality would be better (I personally am not a huge fan of Godiva.)

        • Funny that. I haven’t eaten godiva truffles in ages but I still think of them as the gold standard. Fair trade chocolate truffles suck.

    • If you gave me a box of Godiva truffles, you’d be my friend forever.

      (I’m in my 40s and like consumable gifts because I don’t need more *stuff*)

  23. You could give her a gift card for a restaurant, depending on how soon she would move away.

  24. Ladies, I have been invited to a gala and I have no idea what to wear. It’s the AIDs Service Center’s Big Week Out kickoff gala. Has anyone been to this, and if so, could you provide some ideas on what’s appropriate to wear? Thanks!

    • What does it say on the invite? Can you find pictures from last year? Generally for charity galas, you’ll be safe either in your fanciest cocktail dress or a long dress, but some are more long dress only.

    • If you do a google photo search for AIDs Service Center Big Night Out 2011, I found this link, which seems to indicate c*cktail attaire would be appropriate.

  25. Just wanted to say I ordered this coat in the fall. Although very cute, one button fell off within days and another was about to. So it did not seem like the best quality. Returned it to bfly.

  26. Mamma Mia :

    Oh my God, did my sister-in-law just really post a detailed “congratulations” on Facebook, tagging my husband and me, for our impending firstborn, when we ourselves have NOT made a general announcement and only told family and a few close friends (and am still trying to make sure we’ve gotten everyone), and are, by the way, only at 6.5 weeks?


    And this after husband’s been bugging me for the last two days about when we can FB announce, and me telling him that I wasn’t quite ready to yet. Why?!?

    • MaggieLizer :

      That is totally inappropriate, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. I would ask her to take it down.

      • Mamma Mia :

        Yeah, I made a comment that we haven’t posted yet, but I didn’t explicitely say please take it down. I guess I should go back and do that, too. Yuk. I did go in and delete it from both my and my husband’s feeds, so I think that should make it so that no one who isn’t friends with her would see it (I think). And I think that we don’t have too many friends in common, outside of family and a few of my brother’s childhood friends.

    • Jeebus, that takes some nerve on your SIL’s part. Very uncool.

    • That’s so annoying. I would ask her to take it down, but don’t be angry. It seems like she meant well and was very excited for you-to the point where it eclipsed her logic and common sense.

      Side note- this is one of the reasons that I’ve decided that when/if DH and I are expecting, no one will know until the end of the first trimester. Not even parents. My parents are good secret keepers and it is very widely understood in my family that first trimester is hush-hush, but DH’s parents… no way. They can’t help themselves. It would not at all surprise me if my FIL posted it on facebook. It’s better to just not give them the information at all until they have free reign to blab it.

    • I am 17 weeks and haven’t put anything on FB yet, preferring to tell friends/family in person. I am old fashioned that way. I warned every single person I told NOT to put anything online or tell anyone else.

      The only idiot to violate my wishes was my best friend, who told some of our mutual close friends. Since I am only ever having one child, it was disappointing to not be able to tell some people myself, since my friend couldn’t hold the news in. I made it very clear to her the other day that it is mine and my hubby’s news to share, and NOT hers. I think she gets it now.

      Make sure you are very clear about wanting to keep your news secret if you tell anyone else.

      I am sorry that this happened to you, and you have every right to be angry.

      However – CONGRATS!!!!!

  27. I like the fact that you’ve linked a nice coat, because it makes me feel less alienated being a southern hemisphere reader coming up on winter.

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