Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Contrast-Binding Sheath Dress

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

Society New York has a number of cute dresses for work — including some with pockets and sleeves (that rare workwear unicorn!) — nice! This simple black and white one is $29-$69, available in sizes 0-12 in black and white as well as red and black — and is eligible for Amazon Prime. Nice. Contrast-Binding Sheath Dress

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  1. DH and I are headed to Toronto for Labor Day Weekend. You ladies always have such wonderful travel advice – any tips for first-timers to the city?

    We are pretty active travelers (don’t mind walking long distances and cramming a lot into a day). Really into food (anything from cheap hole-in-the wall places to Michelin starred places – especially excited for Toronto’s ethnic food). Enjoy outdoor activities, art museums (though DH has a limited tolerance so looking to get the most bang for our 90-minute investment), and exploring neighborhoods.

    Should we be looking to stay in Yorktown or Old Toronto? Any particular hotel recs?

    Thanks, hive!

    • Anonymous :

      Drake Hotel is great if you’re looking for a party atmosphere. We’ve also stayed in the renovated rooms at the Fairmont and loved the historical aspect of the hotel.

      Sukhothai on Wellington Street East is yummy. Bellwoods Brewery is great but super busy. Terroni is good for pizza although I didn’t love my pasta.

    • lawsuited :

      My 2 cents:

      – Start by going up the CN Tower – I think they’ve recently installed a floor-to-ceiling glass viewing area, and you won’t get better views of the city.

      – Although a visit to the AGO is an obvious choice seeing as you mention art, if your DH has limited museum tolerance then skip the AGO and go to the ROM to see the blue whale because when will you have another chance to see a blue whale??

      – If you like makeup, make your own custom lipstick at Bite

      – Wander around the Distillery District – good food options and artisan studios

      – Go to a Blue Jays game (and wear blue – Torontonians are serious about their Jays!)

      – Wander down Queen Street West – a real taste of Toronto with some high end stores around University Avenue and more colourful stores the further west you go

      • Anonymous :

        + 1 for the blue whale exhibit at the ROM. I went because I was a Newfoundlander and so excited to see ‘our’ whale. It’s a very well done exhibit.

      • lawsuited :

        I’ll add my list of favourite restaurants:

        – Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
        – Montecito (must order: meatballs with creamy polenta)
        – The Gabardine (must order: mac and cheese)
        – Lee
        – Momofuko (must order: pork buns)
        – Lake Inez
        – Milagro
        – The Ceili Cottage (must order: sticky toffee pudding)
        – Burrito Boyz
        – Sam James Coffee Bar
        – Arte Gelato (must order: lemon basil gelato)
        – Pizzeria Libretto

    • Thanks for the great responses so far! How is Toronto’s public transit? Is renting a car recommended or is transit adequate?

      • I’ve always found transit adequate if you don’t mind a bit of a walk. There’s a U-shaped subway line that connects suburbs to downtown, and we walked ~15 min on either end. Lots of buses too. But perhaps our Canadian office and the flat that the team stayed in were simply well-located.

      • lawsuited :

        Renting a car is definitely not recommended. Particularly if you stay downtown, a combination of subway and an occasional uber will be the quickest and most convenient. If you’re flying in, you can take the UP Express from the airport to Union Station and get to most places you need to go from there.

      • Anonymous :

        Do not rent a car, driving and parking in the city is an infamous nightmare. Downtown is extremely walkable. You can also take the subway. I repeat, do NOT rent a car.

        • Anonymous :

          I wanted to add, Toronto is very much like NYC in that a lot of people who live there don’t even own cars and rely on the subway + streetcars/bus.

      • As noted above, renting a car is not recommended for downtown. I commute to Toronto from a suburb, and I would never, ever, drive downtown.
        There are some attractions further out that would require a car – the Toronto Zoo, Canada’s Wonderland (amusement park), Niagara Falls.

        if you are here over Labour Day, I would highly recommend checking out the Canadian National Exhibition (also known as the CNE or the Ex). Over Labour Day weekend they have an airshow which is cool. They also have a food building which has some of the best ethnic foods and cheap eats in the city – all in one place!! Plus the normal fall fair rides, agricultural stuff, etc. It is a favourite tradition for so many people in Toronto. You can get to the Ex grounds by public transit very easily from downtown.
        The schedule for the Ex changes every day, so check the ex dot com for details

    • Anonymous :

      I went to Toronto a couple years ago also right around Labor Day, and here are the 3 things that stood out from that trip:
      – buy & use the Toronto CityPass. Sounds gimmicky, but it’s definitely worth it if you visit CN Tower, Casa Loma, and ROM. (we also visited the Toronto Zoo, but it was a long ride using public transit)
      – take the ferry to Toronto Island and bike around the island on a rental bike
      – exploring the Chinatown & Kensington market areas

      • The Toronto Islands are awesome, but the ferry service was suspended up until about a week ago due to flooding on the islands. I’m not sure, but the traffic could be heavy through August due to a build-up of demand… the islands are always super popular for locals.
        Chinatown and Kensington are great neighbourhoods and obviously great for ethnic foods too.

        I work downtown so my restaurant experiences are mostly centered there. Ki has great sushi. The chain IQ (or IQ Food Co) is a quick-dining tasty lunch spot. Canoe is probably the most famous fine-dining restaurant downtown, and worth a visit if you want to see what high-end “Canadian” food would look like, or something like Bannock for lower-end “Canadian” food.

        In terms of hotel – really depends on where you want to stay. The Drake is hip but isn’t central. The downtown hotels don’t have as much personality but are better for location (both for certain attractions and also for public transit to everywhere). I have stayed in the Le Germain Maple Leaf Square – it’s a really nice modern hotel with a grocery store in the building and very close to the critical Union Station. Fairmont Royal York is also close to Union Station but is older and more historic. One King West and The King Edward are cheaper, still with a downtown location, but not as nice.
        Our Trump hotel has been recently renamed the Adelaide hotel (WOO!!! I still smile every time I see the new sign) – expensive but the rooms are very nice there too.

  2. Does anyone else have fit issues with MM LaFleur? I know everyone loves it here, and I love it in theory, but in practice, everything fits really oddly on me (a tall, long waisted hourglass size 10-12). Also – I found the fabrics really focused on stretch, which can get a little too va-va-voom on me, unless I massively size up (which creates more fit issues).

    Sorry – this is more of a rant, but if anyone has tips, would appreciate it!

    • I have the same problem and a dress that looks horrible on me hanging in my closet with the tags still on it because I didn’t return it fast enough. I’ve tried to have it tailored, but it still just doesn’t fit right.

      • I love MM Lafleur dresses and they fit right on my body. Can you post the item and size and price? I bet someone on this board would be interested in buying it from you.

      • Someone here started a MML buy sell trade on facebook where you could also post the dress.

    • I’m a 5’9″ long-waisted hourglass but without a super defined waist (very curvy from the side view and more of a long subtle curve from the front). The only dresses I’ve found to work well for me are the Masha and the Angela, and I’ve noticed I need to size up from an 8 to a 10 so that they aren’t too vavavoom as you mentioned. Other than those two dresses though, the general fit of MM LaFleur dresses doesn’t seem to be quite right for me. I love those two dresses I have though and am kicking myself for not buying more of them! The focus on stretch means they’re comfortable for long days in the office and travel, and the crepe fabric means that they don’t look stretchy or lower quality like a lot of ponte or jersey does.

    • I’m a MMLF fan but not everything has worked. Have you already emailed your “stylist” for suggestions? Once I found a dress style that worked for me, mine suggested similar fitting pieces. Not everything worked but it saved me some trial and error time.

    • I’m roughly the same size and shape. The Etsuko, Annie, and Alexandra dresses are staples that really work for me- they have more structure, but still have the stretchy fabric. I have had to let the hem out of the Alexandra dresses, which Mm LaFleur purposely makes easy to do.
      I have tried on dresses like the Casey, which was way, way too Jessica Rabbit for me. If you can get yourself to a popup, its great to try on their whole line and find pieces that fit nicely. The Masha was great in theory on me, but the neck was a little too high- I’m hoping to try on an Ines soon!

    • Not Everyone Like MM LaFleur :

      I ordered a bunch of stuff, but nothing fit-not even close. I was also disappointed in the quality for the price.

      I am a tall (5’11”), slim, short-waisted hourglass. The clothes seem exceptionally large in the hips-everything is larger than 35″ (even the 0P!) even for a small bust. Yeah, I know this is reflected on the size chart, but I just assumed it was off or something because it seemed so weird. There was also a lot of extra fabric in the tummy area. And everything was too short for a long-legged person.

  3. Charlottesville Resident :

    The police have already been called to our Walmart for a rally attendee apparently brandishing weapons at local residents.

    So it begins…

  4. visceral reaction :

    I’m in marketing, so I’m used to doing pretty ridiculous things to attract a buyer’s attention. But during a meeting yesterday, I nearly fell out of my chair at the latest gimmick, and I’m trying to figure out why I had such a visceral reaction.

    We’re planning to host a breakfast event at a large tradeshow, with 30 attendees. The suggested event giveaway to attract attendees is a fitting for a a fancy brand of $200 sunglasses. So around $6k in freaking sunglasses. It just irks me that we’re going to invite 30 old, rich, probably white dudes to eat fancy free food and give them a pair of fancy sunglasses, and then they aren’t going to buy anything. I mean, we can try to qualify them as budget-holders, but still. I can’t figure out if it’s the “rich” factor (why do TED attendees and celebrities get such lavish gift bags? Why do non-profits have to host such expensive galas to generate donations?), or the fashion factor. Fashion is girly, and therefore, frivolous, unless it’s old white men trying on expensive sunglasses. The default corporate shirts are men’s polos, which look terrible on women. But it’s silly to buy women’s polos… for some reason. But we need to police women’s clothes from elementary school through death, but when men want to try on sunglasses, that’s a completely reasonable and legitimate activity at a professional event.

    IDK, I’m not normally so “emotional” about this stuff, but I think all the talk of biological differences (the manifesto and subsequent defenses of the manifesto) and how women just seem to care about silly things because we have silly lady brains is compounding the annoyance that we’re about to drop $20k on a hoity toity breakfast with expensive sunglasses for a bunch of people who don’t need free food, free sunglasses, or general pampering to be Very Important.

    • Blegh. Ugh. Gross. I have no words except to say I share your reaction 100%. Blegh.

    • Not A Fancy Person :

      As someone who used to put on Very Fancy Events for Very Important Donors to try and schmooze them into making Very Insignificant (for their wallet) Donations, I feel your pain.
      The best moment was when one woman came up to me at an event and whispered “I’d really like to talk to you about this organization’s budget. I’m concerned that spending so much on lavish events sends the message that you aren’t using the money we donate wisely.”
      Her concern was valid. The fact that she later complained loudly about the “inferior” cut of beef she was served, criticized the vintage of the wine, and made derogatory remarks about the “poorly dressed staff” however, undermined her earlier point.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        She sounds like a …. peach.

      • Sounds like a woman I work for, who donates very generously and wants everyone to know it.

      • Anonymous :

        This is why I left nonprofit work. This is also why I do the bulk of my charitable giving now on GoFundMe. Rather than sending my paltry $200 to a nonprofit that is going to send me a form thank-you letter, and then use my money to throw a lavish fundraiser for the 1%, I’ll give it directly to a family who has a need. There are studies that show the most effective way of lifting families out of poverty in Africa wasn’t any NPO/NGO program, but just giving families cash directly. Sounds good to me. I don’t even care if the family spends it on soda and cigarettes; at least I’m not paying for some one-percenters filet mignon.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yup. Barf.

    • visceral reaction :

      On one hand, I’m glad to hear I’m not crazy.

      On the other hand, this makes me sad… esp. the lady with the sub-par cut of meat! Kills me!

    • I think it’s stuff like this that has made the rise of content marketing happen. Surprisingly, ego works just about as well as wallet sometimes. We used to hold fancy get togethers with small groups (usually in a skybox) and force them to talk about a topic first and then publish the output later. A lot of them wanted to be in the “roundtable” so much in our industry magazine that they wouldn’t say no (and it was an afternoon spent shooting the breeze with the other VIPs while eating all the fancy stuff on someone else’s dollar.

      I’d rather have some new shades. ;)

    • I agree, but this is the real world of busness, and we must do what we can to get (and keep) the busness. In my field, WC, it is INTENSELY competitive in WC defense, as everyone wants to represent the insurance companies, even firms that have alot of incompetent lawyers. So what we have to do, literally 4X a year, is to have ROADSHOWS, where we go to each of the insurance companies we work for, take them out to eat, take them to baseball, football or basketball games, buy them tchotchkes at the game, as well as food, and smile as they grab my tuchus after drinkeing to much beer. Do I like it? Of course not! But do I realize that this is just part of the busness world where we must do this kind of stuff? Of course! So I just grin and bare it, or like the Manageing Partner says, we “just do it”, like Nike! YAY!!!!

      And we do get compensated fairley well for makeing more and more money for the firm. I have a firm 401K as well as a retirement fund that I am counting on b/c I have absolutely no chance of finding a decent guy to marry any more, only guys that want to huff and puff on top of me, then roll off and leave. That is NOT my idea of a husband. So w/o a husband, this girl must work for a living, and I am just doeing what I need to in order to get by. No one should fault us for that! YAY!!!!!!!!

    • anon dot gov :

      It bugs me that people think $200 is ok for sunglasses but if I want a bag that costs $400 or a lipstick that costs $30 I am being frivolous.

      The high end event for high end donors part doesn’t bug as much except…. the fact that some people simply want to be SEEN as supporting a charity. Almost like you should make them donate more for the public acknowledgment. So much more gets donated anonymously or without the hoopla and bragging.

      • visceral reaction :

        Exactly this. You want to own $200 sunglasses? Have at it. But don’t insist that women are ridiculous for owning “expensive” accessories that men wouldn’t generally own.

        I think one of the most nitpicky discussions I had with a male CEO was the material for the company polo. Dude wanted the most expensive dri-tech, Under Armour, breathable, best-for-golf, whatever other fancy material and fit you could buy, but thought that my choice to wear a skirt and heels to work was ridiculous. AND he didn’t want the guys in the warehouse to have the expensive polos, so we had to order an expensive polo and a cheaper polo. Then he got upset when I gave the warehouse guys two new inexpensive polos… the first time they received new company shirts in a year, and their Director-level boss asked me to hand out shirts. But yeah, sure, “wearing a skirt” or “dressing up for work” is the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard of.

        Re: “being seen”, that’s a pretty exact parallel. Part of the reason this event costs so much is the brand halo we’re getting from the actual host, and we’re just sponsoring it. So all these people want to attend because Fancy Company is offering an Exclusive Invite, as proven by the Expensive and Personalized Giveaway. Nevermind actually learning something or talking with a vendor you might want to use. (Sigh, I’m just really cynical about the value of tradeshows, it just seems like a big waste of money to this marketer!)

        • anon dot gov :

          Those “fancy” polos really need to be banned from the workplace. You can see every lump and bump on the body including the nipples. If I have to hide my nipples at work so should men.

  5. Diana Barry :

    Clothes help!

    I am going to a conference in southern CA in September. It is not a legal conference, rather put on by a giant conglomerate of family offices, and there will be a lot of rich people there. What do I wear? Probably not suits, right? Suggestions? What about for the dinners each night? (at rich people’s estates)

    • SoCal native, although I will clarify that I might not quite exist in the fancy world you’re targeting. Nonetheless, suits (especially on women) are not much of a thing here except for formal business occasions. I’d go with a sheath dress and blazer to be safe, since that’s comfortably straddling the line of business casual and formal. I almost always wear a sheath dress and blazer anytime the guys around me (I’m in a male dominated field) are in suits. For the dinners, again I’m not sure what the caliber of these events really is, but the typical southern CA going-out-to-dinner attire is nice jeans and nice blouse. Business event, probably stick with the sheath dress and blazer again. Sorry if this doesn’t help your specific situation, but I do strongly think a dress + blazer covers 90% of nice business attire needs in SoCal.

      • Oh! And keep in mind that September is often one of our hottest months.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Except it gets cool at night and it will be freezing in the a/c almost everywhere. Just to make thing interesting…

          And I agree with Enginerd’s advice.

          • Oh good, I was hoping you would chime in to confirm/deny. :) I think you exist in a more formal business land than my engineering world.

      • When I go to a nice dinner in conjunction with a conference, if I’m not just wearing what I wore to the conference that day, then I’m probably in dark jeans + blouse + blazer, or a sleeved dress.

      • Diana Barry :

        Thanks! Does the answer change if it is more of a “lifestyle” conference targeted at these same rich people? :-0

        • Now I’m picturing a yacht convention.
          That is to say, I’m not qualified to answer that question. ;)

          • Senior Attorney :

            I would say if it’s more establishment types, sheath dress/jacket is still good. Or just a nice dress on its own for dinner. If it’s younger rich people, maybe skew a bit more fashiony.

    • Wanted to follow- I am also in need of help for clothing for weekend conferences at fancy places during the heat of summer. I don’t know about OP, but I can’t wear jeans or blazers when its hot and humid. I will be a giant pool of sweat.

    • Anonymous :

      Not Californian, but I’ve spent time observing the pacific Northwest uber-rich in what sounds like similar situations.
      I would highly recommend silk and semi-precious stones, generally natural fibers. Blue jeans for sure, in almost any situation. If you have anything you’ve bought traveling, even tarnished jewelry, consider wearing it.
      What may or may not translate from PNW to California: matte textures, lower and less crazy shoes.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And the more distressed the better for the jeans.

      • Anonymous :

        To clarify, when I say semi-precious stones, I mean, less faceted bling than you might expect–not that you necessarily have to wear jewelry. I think the normal rules for professionally sized necklaces, earrings, etc apply.

    • Anonymous :

      Apparently $200 sunglasses should be worn during the day.

      • Senior Attorney :

        You laugh, but… yes.

        • Ha. I grew up in FL, and the comments above implying that $200 sunglasses are ridiculous puzzled me a bit. It’s standard for men and women to wear expensive sunglasses. Then again, relatively few people buy expensive winter accessories. I went to college and had to ask my roommate, who was in Michigan, to teach me how to tie a scarf.

      • This is actually 100% true. No SoCal business outfit is complete without sunglasses.

    • turtletorney :

      Not sure your age, and not sure it matters, but skinny jeans, great shoes (think block heels, colorful pumps, fun sandals, chunky wedges) and either an interesting blouse, or a super simple silk cami. with the cami, maybe a blazer.

      i disagree on the distressed jeans at night for a fancy event.

  6. New to Beantown :

    Looking for a PCP and ob/gym in Boston, preferably Newton/Wellesley area, but Brookline/Longwood would work too. Does anyone have a recommendation?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Your completely harmless, immaterial typo of “ob/gym” has me laughing by whoha off at the moment. If only you could combine your pap with your cardio/lifting sessions…! Modern convenience!

      (in all seriousness, good luck with your search! these ladies are great at this type of advice!)

      • The other day I had one email talking about the results of a PAP and one about the results of a PIP…. it made me laugh way too hard when I thought about what would happen if I had mixed up my responses!

      • New to Beantown :

        Haha! If only!

    • Mimi Yum – She’s in Brookline, delivers at BIDMC. She delivered my daughter and is the ob for all my friends too. Love her.

  7. Super excited that I got chosen to be a brand ambassador for an awesome cycling/triathlon apparel company!! If you need me, I’ll be riding my bike all weekend! Weeeeee. Happy Friday Hive!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yay! Which company?

      • Airofin! And I have a discount code if anyone is interested

        • Senior Attorney :

          I don’t need one single thing but I went over and peeked. Love the sold-out leaf pattern kit!

          • That’s definitely my favorite too!! Can’t wait for it to come back in stock. I just got the pink camo kit :)

          • Senior Attorney :

            Although to me it totally looks like feathers, not leaves! Pink camo is super fun, too!

        • Ooooh, I’ll bite! I am new to cycling and am sure I can find something I need :) If you need an email lizzyhicken01 at the mail of Google

  8. Anonymous :

    Re-post from the news update – Please solve a conflict with a friend. I got divorced last year, no kids, and since then I’ve been making a point of doing stuff that my ex never wanted to do. One of those things is international travel. I went on a 2-week solo trip by myself earlier this year and it was amazing.

    I recently started planning a week-long international trip. I mentioned it to a newish friend (I’ve been much more social lately!) who’s also single. She expressed interest so I said she’s welcome to join me. I meant, this is what I’m doing if you want to do the same thing then cool. I think she took it as, we’re planning a trip together.

    It’s become clear that we have very different budgets. Since “we” started planning, she’s proposed changing the dates (I’ve already scheduled time off), not traveling internationally at all, leaving from a far-flung but cheaper airport, or booking a discount trip through groupon or similar (with a suspiciously low price). I’ve tried to be polite – “It’s cool if that works best for you, it doesn’t work for me though. Our trips don’t have to match up exactly!” – but she’s getting frustrated and I feel worse every time I shoot down an idea. Idk how to smooth this over without damaging the friendship. Help?

    • I would just have a conversation with her and say what you’ve said here – you’re glad that she’s also interested but you didn’t expect your trips to match up exactly, so you’d love to meet up sporadically while you’re in *destination* but no need to book the same hotels/flights/etc. You can frame it as, “I’ve already made certain arrangements that I can’t/don’t want to change.”

      • Anonymous :


        “Hey – sorry if I gave you the impression that I meant travel planning together. I already have most of my trip planned (at least in your head, even if you haven’t laid out any money). I just wanted to clarify that it would be cool to meet up in Place if the dates aligned, so wanted to give you my itinerary in case your planning lined up with mine. I enjoy the solo part of the traveling, but it’s fun to meet up with people I know if the timing works out.”

        You could offer some of the travel tips you’ve gathered for Place – things you are planning/want to see, recommendations on places to stay, etc. if you wanted.

    • I think you just have to be direct and tell her that while it would be fun if she joined you for part of your trip, you’ve already planned it as XYZ.

    • Can you explain that this is a trip you’ve been wanting to do for awhile and it doesn’t look like both of your expectations are lining up? Maybe you can do a less expensive, domestic trip together another time.

    • Anonymous :

      Offer to plan a separate domestic trip with her, later in the year, if your expectations aren’t matching up.

    • I think you probably need to hit the pause button and say something like, “Hey, I think it would be really fun for us to do a trip together. In terms of this particular trip, I already have a pretty well-thought-out plan for what I want to do and how I want that experience to be, and I’m not sure our visions for this really match up.” And then, if you mean it, say, “It’s important for me to do this trip the way I’ve already planned, but I’d love us to plan a girls trip together later in the fall/this spring/etc. Can we talk about ideas and dates for that?”

      If it’s clear that this isn’t about her, but really that this is a particular travel experience that is important to you in a specific way, I think you can salvage the friendship; the easiest way to do that is to plan something else with her that works for you both.

      • Thanks I like this language. There are a ton of local, budget-friendly trips I’ve been wanting to do and I would love to have a travel buddy for them! But those trips can be done in a long weekend. If I’m taking a full week off work I want to go AWAY away, if that makes sense.

    • Anonymous :

      “Look friend, I’ve already planned this trip and it’s what I’ve been looking forward to since forever and I really want to do (whatever it is you want). I thought you had wanted the same thing when you said you wanted to join me, but it’s becoming apparent that you’re looking for something a bit different. You can still join me on my trip if you want, but this is what I’m going to do. I’m willing to compromise on a, b, and c, but not on d, e, and f.”

      • Yeah I think this is what I’m going to have to do. We don’t have to stay in five star hotels, but I’m not going to spend 24 hours traveling each way to save $500 on flights.

    • lawsuited :

      Realistically, if not damaging the friendship is a priority, I think you are going to have to compromise on the vision you had for your solo trip now that it is a group trip. When you travel alone of course you do exactly what suits you, but when you travel with others you do have to take their preferences into account, so I doubt the “I’m planning a trip to X, and once it’s planned exactly the way I would prefer it, you can opt in” approach is what your friend was expecting. Because you were still in the planning stage when you suggested your friend join you, I don’t think it’s strange that she assumed that you would plan the trip together. If your friend prefers not to travel alone, then leaving on different dates and from different airports, etc. may defeat the point of going on a trip with you.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah I realize now that I probably went about this wrong from the beginning. I don’t think it was unreasonable of her to think we’d plan it together. I didn’t have anything specific in mind so I was open to planning a lot of stuff together. I guess I thought I’d be compromising on things like, which side trips to take, which bars/restaurants/shops to go to, the hotel(s) we’d stay in; not things like, dates of the trip, whether to go out of the country at all, or driving 3 hours to the airport to take a flight with two or more 5+ hour layovers. I can compromise some but her asks are either completely the opposite of what I was going for (like staying local) or they’re just not workable for me (like changing the dates or taking a super inconvenient flight). Short of completely changing what I was going to do, I don’t see much of a middle ground.

        • Anonymous :

          Sorry that was OP.

        • I think that’s 100% reasonable. You mentioned a week-long international trip, and she said she’d like to go with you! I think you can say, “I’ve already taken vacation, and it’s important to me that this is an international trip.” And, “My vacation time is limited, so it’s important to me that I take the shortest route and maximize my time there.”

          If it’s clear this trip isn’t going to work out for her, suggest planning something the next year.

        • I had a very similar interaction with a friend a couple of years ago- we were in Canada and it went from long weekend somewhere fun and cool in the states like San Fran or San Diego or Miami to… well, she didn’t want to leave Canada. But I was psyched about the idea of travelling with a friend so I said, ok, its just a long weekend, we can do montreal. And then she wanted to take the bus to montreal because she didn’t want to pay for flights. and then she wanted to stay far away from downtown so that we could stay in a cheap hotel. And then she wanted to spend part of it visiting some guy she’d been talking to online.

          I waited too long to have the awkward conversation and when I opted out she was upset that I ditched her and I was upset that she completely hijacked the plan and made a fun girls weekend in miami into a long bus trip to montreal to visit a guy i’d never met. It was very destructive to our friendship and really we haven’t been friends since.

          In retrospect, I should have been very upfront and said from the start and kindly said that if our budgets were so different maybe we should do something local together and stay away from travelling together.

  9. Commuting/Walking Shoes :

    I know we’ve talked about this a lot, but I can’t seem to find the correct search results. I live in a driving city, so I’ve never invested in commuting shoes. My parking garage is about a quarter mile from my office building (plus I walk the 3 flights of stairs because ‘exercise’), and I try to go for a 10-20 minute walk in the afternoon when I can. I’d settled on low wedges (Cole Haan) for daily wear because they seemed like a good compromise for the office setting + walking around. However, I just cleaned up my most frequently worn pairs of wedges, and I noticed that back of the wedge (the heel?) on all of them are really beat up (lots of scuffs and almost kind of wrinkly?). First, what am I does in my shoes that’s causing this (driving? kicking my chair?)? And second, to hopefully slow the wear on my shoes, I’m considering getting a Birkenstock Mayari for my afternoon walk/parking lot commute. Apologies if this is an ‘is my water bottle professional?’ question, but is it appropriate to walk into my big office building in sandals/walk out in the afternoon for my walk? Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      You definitely need commute shoes. My office shoes don’t even see the light of day. Nobody cares what you’re wearing on your feet when you come into the office in the morning. It’s totally normal and common to change shoes. I like Skechers Go Walks for my commute.

    • lawsuited :

      When I drove to and from work, I had a separate pair of driving shoes that I left in the car.

    • Anonymous :

      I often beat up the backs of my heels going down steps – if you don’t step far enough out, you scrape the back of your shoe.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. My shoes take such a beating on stairs (concrete stairwells).

        Once I stopped wearing my dressy shoes in the parking garage, they’ve worn so much better. I walk in and out in my sandals.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I love the payless driving loafers. I have them in multiple colors and wear the commuting, in my office and even informal client meetings sometimes. I put on my real shoes when I’m going to court/depo/mediation, etc. I even walk a mile or so at lunch and the loafers are perfect for that.

      • I have been eyeing those – how is the sizing? Do they stretch?

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I can’t find them on the website now so I’d want to make sure we are talking about the same kind. They are Dexflex Comfort and had no bow or string on them. They are true to size and stretch to form to your foot but not to the point of falling off. I’ve been very happy.

  10. Mrs. Jones :

    Try the Puma Zandy for commuting.

  11. I don’t do commuting shoes other than boots because inexpensive shoes make my feet sweaty. My shoes need to be lined in leather or I need wear socks with them. There is no in between. I have a pair of Clarks with the comfort foam insoles and it legit feels like I am walking on wet dirty carpet. They weren’t necessarily cheap either. I also can’t keep many shoes in my office other than one “emergency” pair that are practically unworn, because of my sweaty foot problem. It would get stinky real fast.

  12. I like that it’s simple and elegant!

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