Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: New Julian Two Dress

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

DIANE von FURSTENBERG Dress - New Julian TwoI still don’t own a classic DvF wrap dress — in part because I’ve been waiting for a great print that I could say, WOW, I love that. And, after years of waiting, I think I’ve finally found it! I love this abstract “cable squares” print. It kind of reminds me of a map, actually, especially with the occasional little pink squares. Love. It’s $365 at Bloomingdale’s (but a number of other stores have it as well, including Neiman Marcus). DIANE von FURSTENBERG Dress – New Julian Two

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Have utterly given up on Dvf wraps…they are not for the hourglassy, voluptuous ones among us. The waist tie just rides up and everything looks larger than it is.

    Can I just rant about Saks ‘ super arrogant customer service? I received an item that isn’t mine…and I had paid to have it shipped to me in Asia from the US, before I realized it wasn’t my order. Offered to return it to saks and asked them to refund my $25 shipping charge. Which they refuse to do without a receipt. And my postal service doesn’t give me a receipt. Guess the super brains at saks are happy to lose $250 but not happy to refund $25 in exchange……and the arrogance of their emails has to be seen to be believed. Huh!

    The future is…..nordstrom.

    • Hhhmmm . . . I’m hourglassy, and mine fits great. Interesting.

      • I am a size 10, which means I take a larger size in Dvf than you do. Maybe it makes a difference?

    • I totally agree on anything wrapped – shirts and dresses. They do not look good one anyone with a big chest. I hate seeing something cute and then realizing its a wrapped style and that I can’t wear it without making my chest look ridiculous.

      • FYI all, there are now two Cats – me (Philly BigLaw Cat) and this new Cat. I’m not sure on etiquette for non log-in based usernames, but for continuity purposes… not me (who, incidentally, is a wrap dress LOVER.) :)

    • hellskitchen :

      Seconded. I wish fashion mags would stop advising large chested women to wear wrap dresses. All they do is focus more attention on my chest. Perhaps it works well for true hourglasses but I am more of an inverted triangle with a bosom that is larger than my hips and wrap dresses don’t work for me. I have had better luck with boar necks and scoop necks

    • I love DVF wrap dresses on my hourglassy figure. I do have to size up in DVF but feel fabulous in her dresses.

    • I hate Saks’ customer service too. Bought something online as well and had the hardest time trying to even make the purchase. It’s now exclusively Nordstrom for me (at least for online clothing purchases).

    • Anon in sf :

      I’m somewhat larger up top, and used to wear a camisole with my wrap dresses. This was fine in the winter when I could tuck the camisole into my tights. But in other seasons, the camisole would invariably bunch and ride up during the day.

      Then I found the perfect solution! Natori makes a bra with a camisole type thing attached! It is brilliant! Covers cleavage and stays put. I wear my wrap dresses way more frequently now.

      This will give you the general idea, though I have one that is not lace, made of plain micro fiber material.

      • I wear mine with a slip, which gives the added bonus of making the whole dress less clingy for the office, but I am a big fan of those types of bras for other low cut issues. Natori bras for some odd reason just do not work on my b**bs, but I like the 9 to 5 bra from Wink. Genius idea.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I have also had terrible customer service at Saks. Bleech.

      • I feel like I should step in to defend saks. I have always had good experiences. They even once located a sold-out pair of boots for me in a store somewhere far away and mailed it overnight. My only gripe is they use fed ex to ship which always causes problems for my building for some reason.

    • Sherrie!! :

      I’ve only made one purchase from Saks, and I too found their customer service to be aweful. I puchased a pair of Simple 100’s and paid for overnight shipping. I got the shoes on time however, I received the wrong size. I called customer service and was told I needed to wait two weeks and then the service rep did not want to refund the money I paid for overnight shipping. I took the matter to social media it was resolved in two days-new shoes and a gift card! Had it not been resolved, they would’ve lost $625.00 in sales- I would’ve taken my business to Bergdorf’s, lol. #1stWorldProblems

  2. Have any of y’all frozen the Nantucket pie? I’m planning to make it for the first time for Thanksgiving, but I’m having a bit of a logistical dilemma. We are travelling about 4-5 hours on Wednesday. When we get there, it’ll be a zoo with tons of people, so I’d rather make it before we leave. But my parents are staying with us tomorrow night, so that’s not ideal either. Can I make it tonight, freeze it, then take it out of the freezer when we drive on Wednesday and just let it thaw during the drive?

    • you could try that and then throw it in the oven during dinner to warm up.

      Or, what about preparing it in the pan, and freezing it raw?? And then let it thaw while driving, put it in the oven 45 min before time for dessert? It needs the oven at 350 which is common for other things people might be puttin gin the oven. That might turn out better than freezing the final product, bc it wouldn’t affect the texture of the crust. But i haven’t tried it, so just a thought. ;o)

      I am making the pie for our thanksgiving, too, i can’t wait!

      • Thanks, zora!

      • Unbaked pie usually freezes well. The Kitchn just had a post with tips!

        • Wonderful! Thank you.

          • Meg Murry :

            May I suggest you call your host before you make it and ask if they’ll have room in the fridge to store your pie and room in the oven to bake it? Right now our fridge is stuffed to almost overflowing for Thanksgiving, and if someone came to my house on Wednesday night with a pie that needed to go in the fridge until it could be cooked Thursday it would take a LOT of re-arranging for me to find a space for it. I would do it, of course -because yum, pie – but I would be a lot less flustered with a heads up about it before the pie showed up. Just my 2 cents.

    • I don’t know what Nantucket pie is, but I freeze unbaked pies all the time. Whenever I visit my parents I make around 10 pies for my stepdad in 8 or 9″ aluminum pans, and then I freeze them in big ziploc bags and he has pie for the next 3 months or so. Note that this wouldn’t work well be with a pie with a filling that’s liquid until baked, like a pumpkin or sweet potato pie.

  3. Oh, and I bought a DvF dress last year, and I love it. I wear it to all sorts of occasions. Definitely size up, though. I’m usually a 6, bought an 8, and sort of wish I had bought a 10.

  4. Threadjack regarding eye floaters. One appeared yesterday in my left eye. It’s most noticeable when I look at light colored backgrounds, like paper and computer screens, which is to say, it’s super annoying at work today. Do I get an eye patch and just say “arrgh” until it resolves?

    • JSAAMO?

      • ARRRGH! Kinda fits my mood today. I like it.

        • In all seriousness, is it any easier if you print out stuff you have to read? Towards the end of the week I have to do that alot, as my eyes get worn out from looking at my computer screen for too long. And if not, at least it’s a short week! Hope it goes away soon :)

    • Ahh, this happens to me too (post LASIK). An eye patch isn’t a terrible idea, I just close my left eye (always the left) which is not the most attractive look.

    • This can also mean your retina is detaching. If this isn’t something that happens to you typically, get to a doctor now.

      • Second this. I am severely myopic and was told to run to a doctor if I kept seeing lots of floaters. Your retina could be detached (I hope not, but best to be careful). You should see them when looking at bright lights, but not when looking at a computer. Please make an appt, good luck.

        • Yikes. My vision is borderline high myopia. Never had a floater before and it’s just one right now. I’ll see if I can get in with someone. Do I need to push for an opthamlogist? Or can an optometrist check it out? Not that I have secured either in my new city…

          • Also, if you don’t do this regularly, wear sunglasses outside if it is remotely sunny and bright outside. My eyes are a lot healther after I religiously started to wear sunglasses.

        • Locomotive :

          I am also severely mypoic (-10 both eyes) but I believe it’s only ‘retinal detachment’ possibility if you are seeing TONS of floaters and they have suddenly appeared. I would not worry about 1-2 (bc I get those all the time and they just go away), but if you suddenly see a swarm, go get it checked out.

    • My husband has had two detached retinas :

      Third this! Check with your opthalomologist ASAP. (My husband’s first detachment occurred when he was in his mid fifties, so you can relax a tiny bit if you’re a lot younger…but only a tiny bit.)Politely but firmly make. an. appointment. for. today. and Do. NOT. allow. anybody to defer your appointment until after the Thanksgiving weekend!

      • My husband has had two detached retinas :

        P.S. He was fortunate to have _great_ medical care thus still has vision in both eyes (not great peripheral vision however) but you don’t take risks with your eyes. Please go.

        P.P.S.: Don’t know where you are (and don’t stop to tell me–go to the doctor ;-) ) but Philadelphia has the Wills Eye Hospital and other large metro areas may also have eye hospitals.

        • Can this be done by an optomitrist? (I can’t spell.) Mascot, if you’re on Long Island by any chance, my sister works for one, and I can make sure you get an appt either today or tomorrow!

      • Don’t think that’s accurate — my BFF had a retinal detachment freshman year of HS. Get it checked out regardless of age, and esp. if you have genetic or environmental predisposition to this.

    • Thanks for the push ladies. Earliest appointment I could get is tomorrow afternoon (large hospital affiliated practice in my Southern town). Hopefully it’s nothing.

    • I don’t think floaters go away. You just get used to them and then you don’t see them any more. I have one and I’ve pretty much forgotten about it, but I freaked out when it first appeared.

      • But yes, to what others said, when I freaked out, I went to an eye docto. I went to an optometrist because that was the first place I could get in. I have what looks like a tiny squiggly black line that I only see now if I really concentrate.

      • Yeah, don’t freak. Floaters don’t always mean detached retina. I’ve been seeing them my whole life.

  5. DVF.com has a promotion on where, if you sign up to be a “DVF Insider” you get $50 off a purchase greater than $250! It only applies to full-price items, though – I found out the hard way. Still, pretty solid deal. Plus they’ve got a pretty robust sale selection.

  6. As an alternative patterned (faux) wrap dress I can recommend this:


    I think Macy’s has it as well, and in some solids too. I like to have one dress like this in my wardrobe at any time, and I loved the chain pattern.

    • Love the dress, but that model is seriously irritating me with the way she’s standing.

      • It looks like the model’s entire MO is wacky arm, tilted head poses. http://www.zappos.com/michael-michael-kors-petite-women-dresses~1

  7. Not telling yet :

    Suggestions for what I tell people who ask if I’m pregnant? The thing is, I am pregnant but it’s early and we’re not ready to tell anyone. The people asking are people who we’d tell if/when we’re ready to tell, but not people who we’d tell about a loss. I feel like they’re being rude by asking, but I don’t want to be rude back.

    • Well, could you ask why they are asking? In a ‘ha ha’ kind of way?

    • Almost There :

      I think the same thing you’d tell them whether you’re pregnant or not: “Why do you ask?”

      • Ha. Love this. Also, this sort of tone is why I never, ever, ever ask a woman if she’s pregnant. Not worth the potential embarassment.

    • Deflect with a non-answer, followed with a change of subject. “Oh, geez, I knew I shouldn’t have worn this top today! Have you seen any good sales lately? I really need some new clothes!”

      Or… “what a strange question! speaking of, I had the strangest encounter the other day….”

      • I like this, in part because it also acts to embarrass the asker a little bit (as it should – not an ok question, people!). And, now I’m coming up with fun alternatives (“Note to self: fewer cheeseburgers!”).

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        To be fair, if someone did this, I would immediately assume that I had hit a nerve and they were in fact pregnant.

    • “Sorry, no news on that front” and promptly change the subject.

      • e_pontellier :


      • Not telling yet :

        Thanks, I like this. It’s simple and honest.

        If everything goes well we’ll be ready to tell in a week or two. Until then, I’ll likely be buried under work so hopefully no one else will notice any “obviously pregnant things”.

    • I feel like you’re being way oversensitive if you think they are being rude. If your being asked a lot (as it seems since you need to ask here) your probably doing very obviously pregnant things/looks.

      • Agreed.

        Most people dont ask cause you have a little belly bloat. It’s more the “soo obviously wont even touch the glass of wine” thing that makes me think this.

        Which always makes me wonder, like at weddings with a toast, you can pick up the wine glass preggers ladies, when you dont even touch the glass like it’s cyanide and will kill the unborn through osmosis of hte glass or something ridiculous.

        • troll?

          • What is the relevance or good that even comes from this type of post? Just to think that some other idea is so far removed from yours but you aren’t sure, that that person has to be fake? Cause everyone else on the anonymous internet is obviously so obviously real?

            You ladies are like a mob lately if someone disagrees with you.

      • Nope, they are being rude. You just don’t ask a woman if she is pregnant. Ever. Unless you are her doctor (or her spouse) it’s really none of anyone’s business as to whether you are gestating.

      • Totally disagree. It’s rude to ask anyone, period, no matter what. People don’t have to explain why they aren’t drinking wine, even if they aren’t pregnant, and it’s really none of anyone’s businss.

        • anon bc i've told this story a zillion times :

          it is rude rude rude to ask or assume someone is pg. this happened to me at a party. i was wearing a dress w/ a bit of an empire waist (never again) and had in fact gained a few pounds due to a stressful situation. the person who said it ASSUMED i was pg and said you look great when are you due? i of course said, I’m not pg, I’m just fat apparently!!! I could not help it, it just came out, and the other person was mortified. yet, I do not feel bad about this because she never should have said anything. I am a person known for liking my wine and I happened not to have a glass in hand because I had set it down to go off to the restroom. so if i find myself in the situation of actually being pg i will: (i) at all times carry a glass of wine at parties (and not drink from it, of course) and (ii) never wear an empire waisted dress ever!!!! in all seriousness, i agree with you that someone’s wine-drinking or not is no one’s business and the question is totally inappropriate. i felt really self-conscious and bad about my weight/body after this comment and did not get over it easily.

          • This happens to me on a regular basis. It doesn’t really offend me too much because I am apple-shaped, and I can see how I might look a little pregnant to some people, but it is just so embarrassing in the moment.

          • When I was a tad heavier, people on the bus would offer me their seats because they thought I was pregnant. When I’d politely refuse, the passengers would discuss their utter shock that I was saying NO. Eventually, I gave up and just politely thanked people for their seats. //Kanye shrug//

          • lucy stone :

            This happened to me once at a baby shower and I almost cried. I will never ever ask anyone now.

      • “Obviously pregnant things”? Seriously?

        • Yup, If multiple people are asking you (not just one rude person, it’s probably really obvious because usually that whole fat instead of pregnant thing is not something that happens more than once)

          1. Going on a bachelorette weekend and not having wine and massage at the spa = obviously pregnant.

          2. Wearing pants with the belly band = obviously pregnant. (if just fat you buy new pants, no non pregnant person does not button their pants).

          3. ANy of the above and being sick every morning = obviously pregnant.

          4. Having a superior attitude about how “I’m pregnant, obviously pregnant, omg that woman said horrible things, like she has no idea what pregnant’s like, lets all scream at her and say it’s soo rude, omg, omg, omg” = obviously pregnant.

          you get the picture I’m sure.

          PS. a lot of you sound very mean and combative. I suggest you have a glass of wine (unless your obviously pregnant)

        • Yup, If multiple people are asking you (not just one rude person, it’s probably really obvious because usually that whole fat instead of pregnant thing is not something that happens more than once)

          1. Going on a girls weekend and not having wine and massage at the spa = obviously pregnant.

          2. Wearing pants with the belly band = obviously pregnant. (if just fat you buy new pants, no non pregnant person does not button their pants).

          3. ANy of the above and being sick every morning = obviously pregnant.

          4. Having a superior attitude about how “I’m pregnant, obviously pregnant, omg that woman said horrible things, like she has no idea what pregnant’s like, lets all scream at her and say it’s soo rude, omg, omg, omg” = obviously pregnant.

          you get the picture I’m sure.

          PS. a lot of you sound combative. I suggest you have a glass of wine (unless your obviously pregnant

          • Troll?

          • Lady Enginerd :

            But the correct response if your friend is exhibiting all those behaviors is to keep your mouth shut until your suspected expecting mother is ready to announce, and then give heartfelt congratulations. My SO figured out a coworker was pregnant before she announced and he apparently started asking her with somewhat more frequency how she was feeling (genuinely, because he knows it’s no picnic to be queasy) to the point that she knew he knew even though he never asked outright. I told him that approach isn’t exactly the most polite either…

          • 1. You can attend a girl’s weekend but not have the money to enjoy wine and a massage.
            2. I’ve never seen a belly-band in my life. I wouldn’t even know if I was looking at someone with unbuttoned pants unless their shirt was above the waist of their pants. Nobody dresses like that intentionally. Plus, lots of people wear clothes that don’t fit properly.
            3. Any of the above and being sick every morning = sick, not necessarily pregnant.
            4. Also, someone who is trying to hide her pregnancy will not walk around with the I’M SO SPECIALLY PREGNANT, BLESSED ME. Also, I have never encountered this unicorn.

          • It’s not rude to THINK that someone might be pregnant (cause they’re not drinking, throwing up in the morning, look a little bigger around the middle). It IS rude to ASK if someone’s pregnant (because there are lots of other explanations for these things and the risk that you’ll embarrass them and hurt their feelings is too high).

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            I wonder a lot of things about people.

            Like, if the guy across the hall from me will ever clip his long, claws that can only barely be called fingernails.

            There’s a guy who works in a sort of related-to-us department who has the worst coffee breath. I wonder if he’s unaware, if his wife is unaware, and if he will do something about it already.

            There’s another person who gained a lot of weight recently. He looks like a giant eggplant. It could also be a tumor.

            In all of those cases, yes, it’s obvious there’s something off physically…but nobody who isn’t a fricking troll or nosy jerk would come up and ask them. P, you’re pretty combative yourself. It must lonely and cold under that troll bridge of yours.

      • The thing is, it IS rude to ask a woman this question. If she is pregnant and wants you to know, she will tell you.

        She could be:
        1. Not pregnant – really embarrassing to all concerned then.
        2. Pregnant and worried about loss of the pregnancy. In this case, none of your business.
        3. Pregnant and not telling yet. Also none of your business.

        • And if she’s not pregnant but wishes she was, a host of other emotions come into play. It’s a question that should never be asked, and unless you are her SO, it’s really none of your business anyway!

        • lucy stone :

          Word. My SIL looked pregnant well before she was due to the infertility drugs, and I don’t know how she held it together when people would ask her.

      • I think the question is rude because it’s prying. Someone asked me if I was pregnant when I was in fact miscarrying. I barely held it together.

    • I’d go with a “Why do you ask?”, followed up with a raised eyebrow with “If and when I become pregnant and am ready to tell people, I’ll be sure to let you know” if they continue to be pushy. And then change the subject.

      If they still push after that, then go for the “I’ve already answered you. Is there something else I can help you with?”

      • Woah Passive aggessive and rude, did any of you even read her question.

        Seriously is it like MOnday before the holidays everyone is in a B mood day?

        • Actually, that was really clear and direct, which is the opposite of passive aggressive.

          • Since, you apparently need clear definitions:

            Passive–aggressive behavior is an umbrella term describing certain types of behavior in interpersonal interactions. It is characterised by an obstructionist or hostile manner that indicates aggression, or, in more general terms, expressing aggression in non-assertive, subtle (i.e. passive or indirect) ways.

          • And it manifests itself as learned helplessness, procrastination, hostility masquerading as jokes, stubbornness, resentment, sullenness, or deliberate/repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. None of which are clear or direct forms of communication. I might even posit that there is an argument to be made that those behaviors are the opposite of clear and direct statements of a person’s expectations as they rely on non-assertive (opposite of direct) and subtle (opposite of clear) behaviors.

            Refusing to answer rude questions is not a sign of passive aggressiveness. Asking a person why they need to know a piece of personal information is not passive aggressive. That is boundary setting.

      • +10

    • I think for *all* personal questions that you dont feel comfortable answering a simple, but polite “Why do you ask?” (perhaps said w/ a smile) is perfect.

      Are you looking for new work?- Why do you ask?

      Are you in a diet?- Why do you ask?
      and so on and so forth

      • Waoh, this is like passive agressive bitchy times a million.

      • She said she did not want to be rude back, all these answers show rude back. Especially this one.

        Reading comprehension ladies! Wake up!

        • I don’t think “Why do you ask?” is rude at all. In fact, it is the Miss Manner-approved response to nosy questions.

        • Panda, are you really upset about the responses to this topic because you like to go around demanding status updates on the contents of the uteri of your female aquaintences? If so, please stop.

          • PANDA is making me a Sad Panda.

          • –slowly backs away from computer—

          • Are you really that upset because this apparently happens to you a lot? If so, please stop.

            Pot, meet kettle.

          • Do you understand the meaning of the pot/kettle saying? The two situations are not equivalent. A person’s right to privacy >a person’s right to ask intrustive questions.

        • I don’t think “Why do you ask?” is rude, unless it is said in a rude tone of voice. If it is asked honestly & sincerely it helps the asker of the rude question to realize it is inappropriate.

          Panda – if you don’t like this response, what is your suggestion to the OP on how to deal with this inappropriate question?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Panda, how would you respond? You’ve made it clear that you think some of e responses here are rude but haven’t offered any suggestions of your own.

          Personally, I like the “why do you ask” response, especially if its someone that you’re planning to tell once you reach that point. Other than that, I’d just respond by saying “nope” and moving on. When you do tell people, I think they’ll understand why you lied since its really not common to tell everyone really early on.

          • I think the joking way is fine, or an “uh oh, do I look that a mess?” in a joking way. but these responses of “why do you ask? Raised eyebrow, I already answered your question” responses or lying is absolutely 10 times ruder than someone without the tact to not ask appropriately.

            And to those who worry about announcing too early and jinxing and all that, i find it absurd there’s no karmic jinx or something to lying to people who you consider friends or who are only inquiring with the best of intentions (although I agree it might be a little lacking in tact in situations).

            i feel the majority of these responses are people sooo offended that someone would even bother to ask that they fail to realize that I like to assume the best in humanity and I truely believe 90% of people inquiring have no intention of being rude or acting rudely and truly are inquiring about your life because they care.

            But you all asssume “personal space, back the f off everybody, how dare you” that it really makes me wonder how jaded and angry and sad and quite frankly awful most of you are in real life.

          • Panda, have you ever been pregnant? Have you ever encountered the situation the OP is outlining for us? I’m genuinely curious as to what your response was.

            Also, different women have different personalities. I personally would be the jokey type. But other women are not. Some are shy or serious or just simply could not care less about who’s asking the question.

            Also, the relationship of the questioner can just be flat-out inappropriate. If my coworker kept hounding me about a supposed pregnancy, I would absolutely blast out with “Why do you ask?” because there are boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed. If it was a friend, I’d smile and joke about eating too much or whatever. But stomping around here judging all of these people who are helping the OP with tools to address her difficult situation is odd. But whatever, bro. JSFAMO.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I don’t think people lie because they don’t want to jinx it. I think it is completely reasonable to wait until the risk of miscarriage is significantly less. It would be extra heartbreaking to have to go back and tell someone that you’ve already told you were pregnant that you had miscarried. Especially if that isn’t the sort of news you would normally share wi that person.

            For what it’s worth, I took the “why do you ask” response as one delivered in a lighthearted joking way. The raised eyebrow and “I already told you” responses come after someone continues to pester you about it.

          • For me, Panda, I didn’t want to tell not only because of miscarriage risk, but also birth defect risk. Due to family history, I had a higher risk of birth defects than average, and my husband and I had agreed that depending upon the condition, termination of the pregnancy was a possibility. So yeah, I kept my pregnancy quiet with my coworkers, because nothing is more fun than a controversial conversation with my coworkers about how I might be voluntarily aborting my unborn child – one of the hardest decisions I probably would ever have to make, and no one’s business but mine and my husband. Fortunately, we didn’t have to make that decision, but it was not a conversation I wanted to have with anyone, let alone nosy coworkers. I know termination due to birth defects is a very controvertial topic and I leave it to each woman here to decide what is right for her family. Please don’t turn this into a conversation on the morality of that decision – at the end of the day, just let it be said that a woman “not telling” is her own business, and she can choose who and how she wants to tell on her own terms.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            You can’t both believe the best of humanity and then slag off on us for being “mean, bitter, angry, etc.” Which is it?

            If you think we’re mean, bitter, angry, why are you even here? Go play with your docile people who are willing to put up with your crap and nosy questions.

            We’re not going to change to please you and conform to how you think people should feel or react to this situation. Again, why are you even here?

          • As someone who didn’t wait to tell and then miscarried, I 100% vote wait. Telling people I was no longer pregnant was one of the hardest things I had to do during an extremely difficult time. And then there were some people who didn’t hear, and came up to me and say “Wow! You’re so tiny for 6 months!” or whatever. We wished so hard we’d kept it to ourselves. It would have made life infinitely easier.

          • Stop being so panda-aggressive.

          • omg panda-aggressive. This entire thread was worth it just for that. Somewhere, a Justin Bieber just got his fondue.

          • Motoko Kusanagi :

            Eek, I feel like your response is somewhat buried in here and may not get the attention it deserves. Unfortunate, because it is AWESOME.

        • (former) Clueless Summer :

          I totally agree. If someone, especially a friend (since you say this is a response to use with people who you would eventually tell) just said “why do you ask?” to me if I asked if they were pregnant, I would be extremely extremely insulted. It is incredibly passive aggressive. Just joke it off. That is really the best way. I don’t think asking if soemone is pregnant flat out is polite, but we all ask stupid questions sometiems, oftentimes out of excitement and happiness for someone, so don’t be a B about it.

          • Thank you, my point.

            Lying to friends or being snarky and “boundary setting” is a cover for bithcy. And they lying thing I understand as the “energy you put out into the universe” sort of jinx. I totally understand not wanting to tell people yet, but to lie to their face just seems sooo negative.

            Much like the mob mentality of this board from quite a few of you “regulars” who are constantly angry it seems . . . godzilla, DC jenny, I’m speaking to you.

          • Anonymous :

            This response indicates to me that you’ve gone from (former) Clueless Summer to (current) Clueless 3L.

    • You could make a joke about how Dave Barry says you should never ask a woman that unless you actually see her giving birth?

      • Not telling yet :

        Ha! I have one nosy friend who has asked me monthly for the past year and a half. After a while (and two miscarriages), I got so sick of her nosiness that my stock answer to her became “why, am I crowning”?

        • Seriously, monthly? It’s time to tell her once and for all “Stop asking me, enough is enough. If/when I am pregnant and ready to tell, I will let you know. Until then, STOP.”
          At this point, they are being so rude you are perfectly within your rights to tell them off. So sorry to hear you have “friends” this annoying

        • You are too patient. I would’ve told her to stop the second or third month she asked. Is she tracking your period or something?

    • If you really don’t want people to know, just say, “No, why?” The non-answers will make everyone correctly assume that you are. IMO, if someone is going to be so nosy, you are entitled to a little fib on this topic.

    • Not telling yet :

      I’m hesitant to jump back in given some of the responses, but here goes. Three people have asked. Sorry if I implied it was more. One of them has asked us every month for ages because I made the mistake of telling her we’d like kids someday – I recognize that one is my fault and I don’t feel bad giving her the same answer I’ve been giving her for the past year and a half! The other two who asked saw me get motion sick on a chartered bus (and I wasn’t the only one to get sick on this bus, the driver was horrible!). The bus incident was almost three weeks ago and they haven’t seen me since but are now asking!

      • Gah, it’s still rude that the one lady has been asking you for the past year and a half just because you expressed a sentiment that many people happen to share (we’d like kids)! That’s not your fault. She’s nosy. And the bus people are rude, too. Basically, what everyone else said: it’s rude to ask a woman whether she’s pregnant.

        • Word. Just tell the bus people that you got car sick. If you’re matter of fact instead of making up a huge elaborate story, they’ll forget about it. Until you announce your pregnancy =).

      • I had, until you replied, assumed these were family members, which deserve a different sort of deflection (cousin Y knows you’ve had 2 miscarriages and notices you’re not drinking your customary gallon of wine at Thanksgiving AND looking a little fat…).

        If these are friends/coworkers that are asking the status of your uterus, you can just say “Trust me, I’ll be sure to let you know when there’s news.” No lie, no answer. You’ll tell them when you’re ready.

    • I’d say no. Alternatively, “Haha, no news yet!”

  8. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a place in MD/DC to get a leather bag repaired? I had a disastrous commute, and my poor bag is pretty scraped up. Thanks!

  9. I have a spaghetti-strap DVF wrap dress that I bought as a teenager and still wear – truly one of the most flattering garments I’ve ever owned. I have resisted getting one of the classic ones because I often dislike the prints, but I must confess that I kind of love this one…

    • You could always get a plain black one. I once stumbled on a blog where a woman wore the same black dvf wrap dress for 30 straight days in different ways – it’s incredibly versatile.

      • Oooh! I have a black dvf wrap dress and I would love to see this blog. I hope I can find it with some google-fu.

    • DvF is nice, but not for my figure and it is to expensive! Beside’s I voluntered in Far Rockaway with Myrna yesterday, and the peeople could realy use some help and heat and hot water. Did you know you can see the NY Skyline from Far Rockaway? Yay! It is amazeing!

      But it is so diferent there then here b/c of the storm. No heat, hot water and electric is spotty. Myrna gave her scarf to a little boy who was very helpful. Where is every body? Is this realy NYC? It seem’s that peeople forget once they get their electrical apliance’s workeing again. FOOEY on that. Peeople like David onley think of themselve’s and not other’s. It is time we think of other’s, especialy b/c it it Thank’sgiving.

      The manageing partner is thinkeing of joining us at the Soup Kitchen in the Bronx if he can be sure his place in the Hamton’s is being atended to properly he says. He also said we should get a picture for the law journal. Do they realy want to see me shovelling out stuffing to peeople? I do NOT think so.

      Finaly, Jim want’s to meet me in Saint Louis, but I am to busy in the next 2 weeks, so I voluntered for the manageing partner to sugest another asociate. I am not sure if that will be good for me, b/c I do enjoy the PORTAL TO PORTAL BILLEING. We will see what he say’s.

  10. Ms. Pacific :

    So, next Monday is my first day at my new job. I have a great feeling about the work, the new boss, the office culture, everything. But in my last position (which was at a large private law firm – I go in-house with a quasi-government agency next week), things were not so great – I was working for a few partners who were hyper-critical, bullying types, and was, well, bullied a lot. I handed in my resignation when I realized if I stayed until the end of the year, I would not have the confidence left that I would need to find a new job in 2013. I’ve taken a month off in the interim to try to “recover” before starting in my new position, but with a week left to go, I am uncharacteristically anxious, and still feel a bit feeble and underconfident after two years at the Big Bad Firm. Have any of the awesome commenters on this site experienced this? Any advice?

    • Congrats on the big change! I felt like that after law school during the financial meltdown which led to legal market meltdown. I’ve been “faking till I make it,” talking to people’s whose work and words I respect and keeping other things in my life happy and such, which have seemed to help. I am sure you’re super ready and will be great!

    • Give yourself permission to take any valauble lessons you learned in your last firm to heart and mentally flush the rest. You are not your past experiences and you are not your mistakes. I will note that it can be hard to not let those old ghosts haunt you when you make mistakes at the new place. The key then is to figure out how how much of your feelings are things you can change and how much of it is voices from the past. I am going through some of this myself so I will be interested in seeing what other people say.

    • Congrats on making your escape! Consider taking a class in something unrelated to work. It could be something new or something you had time to enjoy pre-law firm. Anything that will remind you that there is more to you than your work at the firm and that you can learn new things or improve your skills. Enjoy having the time to be a well-adjusted, well-rounded person again.

    • A couple of things that helped me move on:

      1) One of my mentors told me that most everyone has a terrible job experience at least once in their lives, and to consider the previous firm to be that experience for me, and be aware that it is done now.
      2) Avoid comparisons to your last job. Some of your new coworkers may ask you to compare the two. I would suggest just saying “you are happy to be at X now”. I found that instead of being happy I wasn’t at the old firm anymore, comparisons made me mad at myself for staying at the previous place for so long.
      3) I ended up not keeping in touch with coworkers from the old place. YMMV, but I found that when we got together we would end up ranting about That Horrible Place, and it just brought back bad memories. We send around the occasional “hope everyone is doing well email”, but no lunch dates, etc.

      • I had a similar situation. Before grad school I had a job with r-u-d-e colleagues and one nasty, nasty boss.

        It took (and is still taking) alot of work to shake off that experience and not carry it into my new job (which I love).

    • Ugh, SO been there. My husband calls it my PBLSD (post-BigLaw stress disorder). I’m much better now but for the first year or two after I left, I completely overreacted to every little thing. Like my boss would ask to talk to me, I’d think “Oh no! I screwed up something! I’m the worst lawyer ever! What is wrong with me!?” or someone would say “FYI, there’s a typo on page 5” (of a 115 pg first draft) and I’d think “Oh no! She thinks I’m terrible! They all think I’m a bad lawyer!” Sigh. Not sure what advice I have but that (1) it gets better and (2) I’ve never had one interaction that was anywhere near as critical as you get in some law firms. Finally, (3) if you were anywhere near competent in BigLaw, as in you were at least able to tread water most of the time, you will TOTALLY KILL IT just about anywhere else you go. Seriously.

    • Hooray for Leaving :

      I was also bullied a lot at my first legal job and went into my second job scared of the courtroom (and the second job was one in which I spent every day in the courtroom).

      There were a few things that helped me. First, my boss was patient and never got visibly upset with me even when I screwed up – he probably was the biggest key to my success. You can’t control how your new boss behaves, but hopefully there’s someone in your office who is even-keeled. Second, I took advantage of being new and asked my boss all kinds of questions to make sure he and I were on the same page and also to boost my confidence. After all, he can’t disagree with X decision if he had a part in making it! Also give yourself some time to adjust and when you feel insecure, remind yourself that you’re not at the old job anymore. Third, seek out supportive mentors. In my case, this happened to be my boss, colleagues and the judge I was in front of every day. In the end, I just had to struggle through those first few weeks (in which I hardly slept) and it got better on its own.

      I’m now almost a full year out from leaving. It’s a distant memory and I’m sure that you’ll look back in a year and be amazed at how far you’ve come from how you’re feeling today.
      Good luck!

    • Second all of the above. Bullying is awful and not easy to recover from.

      Please consider seeing a therapist. In BigLaw, I saw a therapist regularly through EAP. After BigLaw, I thought I’d be fine but I wasn’t. Back to the therapist I went. We did a lot of cognitive behavioral therapy (no talking about childhood etc, more about my inner monologue while at work). Therapy didn’t solve my issues but it did give me the tools to take control of my anxiety. All told, it took about 2 years for me to feel “normal” again and I accept that I will never again love my job like I once did (my experience in BigLaw was with a partner with a firm-wide–across all offices–reputation for being awful).

      My therapist recommended medication. It wasn’t for me at the time. Looking back, I think it would have been better to be on meds.

    • If everyone had the courage and the brains to walk away from situations like that the bullies would never make it past entry level. So hooray for you!

      The cool thing about a new job is that you can be a new person there, different from who you were at the old job. More confident, more sassy, more cheerful. Or less. Whatever suits your fancy. Think about a coworker who you particularly enjoyed working with and see if you can be more like him or her. (Disclosure: I do this. It doesn´t feel like faking, more like being a better version of me.) Or think about the jerks and decide to never act like that.

      Another silly thing I do to calm the new job-jitters is to plan my outfits and commuting excessively. Basically take control of everything I can control.

  11. momentsofabsurdity :

    Can we just talk about my awesome deal of the weekend? I went to the Body Shop and got:

    1) Chocolate Body Butter ($19)
    2) Vitamin E Illuminating Face Cream ($18.50)
    3) Vitamin E Body Butter ($19)
    4) Citrus Body Scrub ($22)
    5) Lip butter ($6)

    and I spent all of $22 in total. Granted, I went in just to get one thing of body butter so I did technically overspend, but for $4 more, more than happy to get all this stuff!

    • Please share the secret! How?!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        They were having some sort of special outside where you spun a wheel to get a deal and I got 40% off everything. I’m also a member of their insider’s club or whatever it’s called, and I guess I had earned a $15 reward and a $10 birthday gift (it’s my birthday this month).

        I literally went up to the counter with just the body butter (thinking, hey sweet, 40% off something I use all the time), and the woman was all “No. You can’t do this. You have SO many discounts. You have to get more” so I walked around like a kid in a candy store picking stuff up until I hit the magic amount where I had tons of stuff but didn’t spend more than I planned to. It was awesome!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          That is how I started using their products. I went in for one thing on day they had the spin the wheel deal and left with a whole line of products for the same price as the one thing I was going to get. I love their stuff now.

    • Well done you! Their body butter is amaaaaaaaazing!

    • Well done! I went to Ulta this weekend and they had a table of things that were 5 for $5, so I got two holiday-scented/flavored lip balms and three similar lotions for $5 (ordinarily $3+ each). I love throwing little things like that in with bigger gifts for people.

    • The Body Shop is great for this type of thing, especially if you use some of their products fairly regularly. They always have promotions, like buy 2 get one free – part of me was concerned that they were going out of business since there is almost always a sale or special promotion!

  12. Would you think it’s rude if you asked someone how they are doing and they just reply with “I’m good, thanks” and walk away without asking you in return? Granted this is in passing in a hallway so maybe that changes things?

    • It isn’t rude. You may be overthinking this.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Sometimes if I’m in a hurry and I am rushing, I don’t want to take the time to stop and chitchat on someone’s weekend so I just answer their question and move on. I wouldn’t find that rude unless it was a regular thing (I always stop and say hi/ask them how they are, and they never reciprocate) — and even then I don’t know that I would find it rude, more take it as a “wow, this person doesn’t really like me” kinda thing.

    • No. I think that out of habit we say “hi, how are you” or some variation of it when what we really intend is a simple “hello.” And really, are you going to respond with anything other than a positive, short answer in hallway conversation?

    • No.

    • Not in the least – because I am that person! Sorry.

      I know it’s become astandard greeting, but I actually feel quite awkward using it because generally in a non-conversation situation people are not interested in how I’m doing, I am not interested in how they are, and it’s just an ultra-extended way of saying ‘good morning’. It feels almost hypocritical for me to ask it when I haven’t the time to pay attention to the response.

      I tend to feel, why not just say good morning or hello? Passing in a hallway when I’m probably in a hurry or don’t want to block the corridor, I’m even more likely to go for a quick ‘Hi!’ to acknowledge your greeting and keep walking.

      But if I’m sitting down with you for a coffee or you’ve popped into my office for a chat, by all means, I’d love to hear how you are. Which reminds me – have a seat; can I offer you a cookie? How have you been this week?

    • I’m guilty of this. Probably every day. The housekeeping staff here are a friendly motherly bunch and they always how I’m doing. Sometimes I stop to talk. Sometimes I don’t. I come in early and I’m not always in a chatty mood. I’m more of a “hi” then a “how are you” kind of person so it’s not a reflex for me. If I’m rude, then I guess I’m rude.

    • At least you got a response! During my law firm days, I would frequently not get an answer or even a look saying that to someone in the hallway. Made me wonder if I was a ghost!

      • hahaha. I don’t think I’m a ghost, but I tend to scare ppl with my gregariousness anyway, so I figure it’s all good, even if they refuse to say hello back. lawyers are awkward.

    • No, but you may have scared the crap out of an introvert!

  13. Can I please complain for a second about what horrible website TheGloss is? I don’t know why I bother to check it. The writing is terrible and ill-informed.

    Rant done. Thank you.

  14. Word of warning: I got my Narciso Rodriquez for Kohl’s order over the weekend and…it’s all going back. Not only was the quality really poor, but it was poor for the price. It looks a LOT better online.

    • THIS. It’s crap, crappily made… Reinforcing WHY I buy what I do at 80% off instead.

      • What I meant to say is, I got my box too and they are also all going back. yeck.

  15. Former MidLevel :

    Wow, Kat – seriously gorgeous. Great pick.

  16. this is a great dvf print, i would buy it if it came in the jean two style (collared wrap)

    • I have this one in the Jeanne 2 style and I love it:

      And on sale!

      • i LOVE that dress! I have it in the abigail style (collard maxi wrap). It’s so chic I’m not worthy of it.

        • Oh, I bet that looks awesome. I know I feel like a million bucks when I wear mine.

  17. Diana Barry :

    You ladies are such enablers. I realized the bright green #2 skirt would look awesome with my winter white blazer with black piping (tuxedo-style), so I am going to keep it too. :)

    I am not, however, keeping any of the cafe capris. None of these ankle length pants look good on me bc they are too short!

  18. a regular but anon for this :

    After a lifetime of strife, I decided to end my relationship with my mother when she moved out of town this past September. She has emailed me a few times but I’ve chosen not to respond. Past discussions with my siblings have made it clear that they won’t have a relationship with me without either trying to force me to let my mother back into my life and reporting anything they know about me to her, so they’re now out too (not that we were ever close).

    Things have been very strained since I was very small, and there have been 2 other times I’ve gone a year or so without speaking to my mother, but that’s ended when we were about to be forced into a situation together and it seemed wiser to communicate than to allow her antics about not communicating to ruin someone’s graduation or wedding or something.

    So no, I didn’t have a long to do about being done, I just went silent. I thought a to do would just amp up my mother and set her off to stalker call/email or show up at my house sometime. Now though, knowing she’ll be in town next week, I worry she’ll show up at my door. As I work and I know she and her other kids can do online searches, I worry she’ll show up at my job. I wish she’d just move to a deserted island without internet or phone service… is that wrong of me?

    The holidays are coming and I don’t know what to do when it comes to gifts and such. Do I continue to say nothing and let them spend money when I know I have no desire to see them and I don’t want things being left at my house or mailed (no desire to reestablish contact)? Do I email them all and say something but essentially reestablish contact myself? How do I handle this? As for gifts, if they send them, do I sent them back or accept them? I don’t know that I could skip sending a thank you note but I don’t want that to come across as initiating contact. Hive?

    • I think you posted about this last week, too, no?

      I don’t think you need to say anything to anybody about gifts. You’re inviting contact that way and undermining all you’ve done to protect your sanity. If they send gifts, so what? Chuck them without guilt or if you want to put a little more effort into disposing of them, take the gifts to Goodwill or another charity. I wouldn’t bother with thank you notes either. Sure, your siblings might think this is totally rude, but you’ve already decided to end your relationship with your mother and, as a result, them. So what does it matter what they think? Worrying about all of this is letting them still control a piece of your life.

    • why would you buy gifts for people with whom you supposedly have no relationship?
      If you want to end it, end it. If you don’t really want to, then don’t be overly dramatic, and accept that you aren’t ‘ending your relationship’, you’re just trying to establish some boundaries.
      That may or may not work, but you can’t wish your family into oblivion. You can, however, cut them out of your life, but you have to actually do it for it to work.

    • MaggieLizer :

      In general, if you’re going to end a relationship then you should let the other party know, don’t just stop responding to them. There are of course exceptions, like if you think your safety is at risk, that justify a silent withdrawal. If you’re afraid your mother will do something to you in response to you telling her you’re terminating your relationship, then by all means back away slowly and avoid a confrontation. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case with your siblings. If it’s possible to do so without triggering either them or your mother, then give them a short, plain statement that you wish them well but are not interested in maintaining a relationship with them. If you can’t do that without putting yourself at risk, and you’re concerned about holiday gifts, then just tell them you won’t be exchanging gifts anymore.

    • I have a similar family arrangement. I send back gifts that I receive, and do not send gifts. But I imagine the sending-back-of-the-gifts is going to create the “long to do about being done” that you seem to want to avoid. So perhaps wait to send them back until after the holidays, prepared to say your piece about why you sent them back.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Just in case you didnt see it, I responded to you over the weekend. It’s on the 2nd page of comments.

  19. TJ: how does one go about finding a new doctor? I haven’t been in a while, but had one I liked. Her office is not convenient for me. I am really sensitive to bedside manner, because of an anxiety disorder linked to health issues. Ideally, I’d choose a new doctor without an immediate need for treatment, but over the last 10 days I’ve been having some new reflux/LPR symptoms. I’m DC area.

    • I’ve only EVER found a doctor i liked through recommendations from friends. When I’ve tried picking based on dr’s websites/bios i’ve always been disappointed. So, I would recommend asking around people IRL.

      One other option is there are ‘doctor review’ websites out there, so you could try looking at those for someone with amazing reviews, but I’ve never tried that myself, so I think the best is still asking for recs.

    • I’ve gotten 2 GREAT doctor recommendations from this site. Tell us your city, maybe we can help you out!

      • I did check out Yelp, but never quite trust it. Looking for someone in Arlington, VA

        • I really like Dr. Karen Lawson, who I’ve been seeing for several years now. She’s in Ballston, her office is small and soothing, she responds quickly to emails, and she’s taken very good care of me through a number of medical issues. Her website (klawsonmd (dot) com) is inexplicably focused on laser and botox treatments, but she’s never once tried to push me to do any of them — I see her solely as an internist.

          • Anonymous :

            Darn. She’s not taking new patients until after 1/1/13. Any other ideas?

        • I see Dr. Brickte Debass at General Internal Medical Group in Ballston. LOVE her. I will say it’s hard to get an appt there, so maybe not the best for an immediate need…

    • Ooh, me too: does anyone have a recommendation for Baltimore?

    • I basically just did internet research when I moved to the DC area; I looked at the providers covered by my health insurance, then plugged into Google. It probably wasn’t the most accurate way to go about things ever, but I think it worked out OK for me. I go to a doctor with One Medical Group in DC. She’s pleasant; can’t say anything really good or bad yet as I haven’t gone for anything major. But more importantly the group guarantees same-day appointments and that your appointment will be on time, and there is an online booking system that is super easy to use. The downside of this is that more routine appointments are very formulaic (sounds like the doc is reading from a script), so if you like to feel like you are establishing a close relationship, it’s probably not the way to go. But if you are aiming for convenience and efficiency, I give it an A.

      • Also look at office hours, do you live and work in Arlington (depends on if you want your doctor close to work or home), do you get paper prescriptions or electronic ones, what is doctor’s view towards care (my doctor is fairly holistic but will go hard-core drugs when needed, so she’s a good blend for me), what types of things does practice allowto be done over the phone and what has to be done in office, what kinds of in-office services does the doctor have (X-ray, labs, etc).

        Word of mouth is usually pretty good for me and I feel like you should get a vibe for the practice after 1-2 visits (front desk, billing, nursing staff, wait time).

    • applesandcheddar :

      I’m in DC and I highly recommend Dr. Andrew Lee. His bedside manner is incredible; he doesn’t rush you at all, he is very soft spoken and calm, and he is probably the most knowledgeable doctor I’ve ever seen. He really takes the time to explain everything to you and answer any questions you have. His practice is currently located in Chinatown but beginning in January they’re relocating to the Farragut West area.

      • Does he do annual exams, or do you go to a separate gyn? Can you get same-day appointments? Is he part of a larger practice, or is it just him?

  20. e_pontellier :

    Question for everyone: how often do you get your hair cut and/or colored? How often do you feel you should get your hair cut/colored?
    I’ll go first. I get both cut and color about 2-3 times per year but I feel like I should go every 3 months.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m really bad and get my (long, long) hair cut every 5-6 months. I don’t do color though. I do Japanese straightening about once a year.

    • Color every 4 weeks, cut every 8 weeks. I have a standing appointment. But I’m trying to hide grays, so I have to be more diligent.

    • Diana Barry :

      About every 12 weeks, bang trim every 3-4 weeks in between. I don’t color yet, it’s just cut for now. When I do color I will prob start going more often.

    • I do cut and color and go every 3 months or so. This year I went to the salon at the end of March, August 1st and then on halloween.

    • Silvercurls :

      This probably won’t be news: I go every 5-7 weeks but am resolving to make that every 4-5 weeks because wearing my short hair (which does _not_ grow out gracefully) and gray = double reasons to keep it looking neat.

      Hair coloring–especially when skillfully done–looks great on other people. I don’t do it myself because I don’t want to commit the necessary attention, time, or money. So far my wash-and-wear style has not interfered with my professional life; I don’t work in biglaw or other corporate & highly formal settings.

    • I should really be going every 2-3 months. My hair is past my shoulders, it’s very thick and is the winning combination of coarse/fine/wavy. For the last year, it’s been more like every 6 months. I need to do better.

    • Anon Analyst :

      I don’t color my hair, but I get it cut every 8-10 weeks. When my hair was shorter (chin-length) I used to get it cut every 6-8 weeks to maintain the style. Now I’ve been growing it out, and it’s several inches past chin-length, so I can go longer between cuts.

    • MaggieLizer :

      8-10 weeks, closer to 8 in the summer when my hair grows faster/my highlights are lighter and closer to 10+ in the winter when there’s less growth/my color is closer to my natural shade.

    • style advice needed... :

      When I was going regularly, I need a color/touch-up every 6 weeks (or sooner…) for my really ugly greys. I could stretch the cuts to every 3 months for my long hair.

      But I haven’t colored/cut my hair in almost a year. I just look terrible…. Can’t afford the upkeep, as I am not working. I should just dye it myself, but a single color always looks so dead/bad. Guess I’m kind of discouraged…

      Anyone know an affordable stylist in the Chicago area? I’m just West of the city….

      I’ve recently had two strangers mention my grey hair (and that I should fix it…). It stinks to have so much grey when you are younger ….

      • I’m just west of the city, too, and have not found the suburban (Oak Park area) salons to be very good. I trek to Lincoln Park to see Christin at Art & Science. She’s great, in that if you say you can only do haircuts 3x a year or whatever, she can hook you up with a style that grows out gently. As for color, I’m not doing anything yet, though I’m probably 5-10% grey. Home dye might be your friend in that regard—I’ve seen some great threads in the past about it.

        • style advice needed... :

          Thanks Jennifer. Yes, I have also had mixed luck in Oak Park. There are several new-ish salons in Forest Park on Madison that I was wondering about.

          Thanks for your Lincoln Park rec. I’ve been burned in the past when I went to Yelp for recs, so I appreciate your more personal rec.

          I will look for the threads about Home dye. I should just bite the bullet, and accept it is the best I can do for now.

    • PharmaGirl :

      No color. Cut 1-2 times per year. I always plan to get it cut more often but it’s just not a priority.

    • Color.. every 2 months or so- but my stylist is awesome and gave me a color blend that grows out nicely so it doesn’t look like I’ve gone too long. Cut every 4 months or so because it’s mostly just to keep it at the same length.

    • I go every 6-7 weeks. My hair is long (couple of inches above the bra strap) and has to be regularly trimmed or I’ll end up with split ends and droopy layers. I just get a gloss, so color isn’t really an issue. I used to be terrible about making regular appointments, so now I book my next appointment before leaving the salon and keep it no matter what (helps that the guy I go to books up in advance, so it is a huge pain to make changes to appointments).

    • Short hair – above the chin, with shorter layers & side bangs – every 5-6 weeks. No color because I don’t want to spend the time or money to maintain it. The only way I manage to keep it up is to make my next appointments while I am there – if I have to cancel, it tends to stretch into months before I manage to remember to make the call to reschedule and then get in. Actually, this is the story of everything in my life – if I don’t make my next appointment while I’m there, its going to be months late. So if you want to make yourself do it more often, just book your next appointment while you are there – I’ve found that I never have a problem making myself reschedule an existing appointment, only getting around to making one in the first place.

    • Haircut ~ every 6 weeks.

      Highlights when my stylist tells me to get them touched up.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Cut – not often enough. I think I’ve got a bird’s nest on the back of my head at this point. Ideally, every 6 months. Reality: every year.

      Color – never tried it. I already know I’d be bad at maintaining it.

    • I have a pixie cut so cuts are every 4-5 weeks and color is every other appointment so every 8-10 weeks. My color is just a more fabulous version of my natural color so my roots aren’t noticeable until about week 7 or 8.

    • I go for a haircut every 4 months or thereabouts. My haircutting lady understands me really well and gives me cuts that grow out nicely. Short bangs that turn into longer sideswept ones, etc. I’ve never colored my hair, and one of the reasons I like my hair person is she doesn’t try to talk me into it.

  21. Am I overreacting?

    DH and I are visiting my MIL. She lives across the country from us, so we took a little vacation and brought our young daughter so grandma could have some more extended time with her. My MIL came out to see us when our daughter was born (almost a year ago) but hasn’t seen much of her since.

    Since we’re on vacation, most of the time has been spent the four of us. My MIL was pretty pushy about wanting to spend one on one time with our daughter (which was totally fine with us once we felt like daughter would recognize MIL). She finally sent DH and I out for a nice date breakfast before DH had to spend the afternoon working, which was sweet and seemed like it would be a win-win for everyone.

    When I got back to MIL’s house after breakfast (sans DH) she wasn’t there. She left our daughter with her boyfriend, who DH and I have never met. I brought my daughter back to our hotel, and an hour later MIL called to ask where we were and to explain that she had just needed to run a quick errand.

    I’m pretty upset, but am also not sure if I’m overreacting. We live in the same town as my parents, and we’re lucky to have my mom as our fulltime babysitter (she was looking for a job, we were looking for a nanny- perfect!) and college aged family friend who does the date babysitting type of thing. As a result, we’ve never really had to deal with leaving our child with a “stranger.”

    I don’t want to be one of the crazy parents who thinks something bad is around every corner and someone is always out to get my child and that somehow through super vigilance I’ll be able to protect my kids from everything bad out there. But I also can’t wrap my mind around the fact that MIL thought it was ok to leave our daughter with someone we had never met, without asking, after practically forcing DH and I out the door. WTF?!

    • K...in transition :

      You are 1000000% in the right here to be upset and to speak up about it. This isn’t just an issue of unfamiliar place or waiting to leave her with grandma (you were right to wait til baby was comfortable too), it’s about safety. You didn’t know boyfriend, you didn’t give permission for boyfriend to be around baby, let alone alone. You were gone a short time and I presume have a cell #, so short of grandma going to the ER or something, this is just ridiculous. Not sure what grandma knows about boyfriend but what if he were someone with a history of child abuse or someone who was inappropriate with your kidlet? What if baby needed a diaper change while grandma was gone? It is so beyond wrong for anyone to have a say in who changes baby’s diaper (especially a male someone) other than parents or those they choose to grant such power to.

      You might have to have one convo with DH, grandma, and you and then let it go to maintain a relationship with grandma, but I wouldn’t leave her alone with baby again until baby is a teenager and able to both know right/wrong and to verbalize to you what happens when you’re away!

    • I don’t think you’re overreacting – I wouldn’t have liked this either. Fine if it was a long-time established boyfriend, but someone you never met? Not cool.

    • I work in criminal law.

      Anyone who left my small child with a man I had never met without telling me, would have a serious problem with me. Why didn’t MIL send the boyfriend on her ‘quick errand?’ or wait till you got back?
      (and yeah, yeah, women can hurt children too. But I read/work on these cases every.day. and it’s overwhelmingly men. Sorry.)

      I would be livid, and my daughter wouldn’t be left alone with MIL again. I wouldn’t make a big deal out of it, because the chances of MIL grasping why this could be a problem are slim to none. I just wouldn’t leave her alone again. Plus, if MIL didn’t call you for an hour, the errand wasn’t that quick, was it?

    • I would not be ok with this at all. You were at breakfast, not gone all day, the errand could wait. As a parent of a young child, I want to meet anyone who is keeping my child.

    • Diana Barry :

      Not OK. MIL should have (a) not gone on the errand!!!; (b) if the errand was an emergency (eg 911 type emergency) should have called you first BEFORE going out the door; and (c) not gone on the errand!!!

      Definitely not OK.

      BTW, is your DH upset about it? I think he should be the one to talk to his mom about it.

      • yeah, I’d ask your husband what he thinks and get him to explain it to your mom if it bothers him too. The ONLY way I could see this being ok is if it wasn’t actually an “errand” but rather something like an appointment she didn’t want to tell you and DH about (medical, AA, whatever) and she had anticipated you would be back before. But yeah, I wouldn’t be leaving her alone with your daughter again the rest of the trip, or at most let her have some “bonding time” by letting her play with your daughter for an hour while you read upstairs, take a shower or a walk or some other type of time that’s less than an hour and keeps you nearby or in the same house.

    • Um, no. That’s weird to me, and i don’t have kids.

      • Ditto. What does DH think – she’s his mom?

        • OP Here-

          DH hasn’t heard yet, he’s working this afternoon because he’s dialed in to a big meeting that he absolutely had to be there for. I didn’t want to text/email him any of it knowing that he can’t step away for at least a couple of hours to deal with anything. It seemed like it would just be distracting and there’s nothing he could do until later tonight anyway.

          So I’m furious, and kind of stuck stewing in it by myself until he gets back to the hotel later.

          • e_pontellier :

            I hope that you can call a close friend and vent about this – because sitting and stewing might drive you crazy. I agree with all the previous comments that this is NOT okay, but just wanted to chime in that I hope you can vent IRL to someone (not excessively, probably just to one person, but still). Hugs and rage on your behalf.

          • can you do something to avoid stewing? Take your daughter to the park/zoo/mall somewhere distracting? Sitting in the hotel all day is just going to make you super frustrated and likely to explode when you see MIL again – not a good idea. I’d send a text to your husband asking him to call you when the meeting is over so he can meet you wherever, so he doesn’t go back to MILs looking for you.

            You are justified in being frustrated, but try not to let it ruin your whole trip if at all possible. I know it’s easier said than done.

          • Ditto to what e and Meg said. You’re absolutely justified in being upset, but don’t drive yourself crazy until you can tell DH. Getting out and about is a great idea :)

    • MaggieLizer :

      Yeah I don’t have kids and I think that’s not OK. In MIL’s defense though, a lot of grandparents have trouble with boundaries like this; they treat their grandkids like they’re their own kids and not like they’re someone else’s kids. Maybe MIL would never leave the neighbor’s 1 y/o daughter with a man that neighbor had never met, but she thinks it’s not a problem to leave your daughter with a strange man because she’s HER granddaughter that she’s leaving with HER bf who she presumably trusts and perhaps loves. I don’t think this by itself is grounds to never leave your daughter with MIL ever again, but I do think that DH (not you) needs to have a sit-down with his mom about boundaries. If MIL refuses to see reason and apologize to both of you, then I would consider not leaving my daughter with her anymore.

      • This. Also, the older generations just didn’t seem to worry about safety as much as the younger generations do.

        • Which is ironic because the world is actually a lot safer now than it was when they were growing up…

      • Research, Not Law :

        I have two children and agree with Maggie. I would be uncomfortable, but I wouldn’t wall out MIL yet. Assuming that you trust MIL’s judgment (which can be a big assumption) and don’t think she’d leave your child with someone unsavory or unsafe, my issue would actually be communication. When someone watches my children, even my own parents, I want to be aware of what’s happening.

        Also agree that DH should be the one to talk to her. Assuming she says “I’m sorry. Now that I see it from your perspective, that would have been uncomfortable. Let’s include my boyfriend in some activities so that you can get to know him better, and I promise that from now on I’ll always be home with child and will call you first if anything changes.” then let her watch her again. Maybe not on this trip, if you’re still wary, but in the future. However, if she doesn’t, then I would be very congeal but stay with your child.

        FWIW, I love my MIL/FIL dearly but don’t them watch my young children solo. It’s on the advice of their daughters, who think they don’t pay well enough attention. To give them time alone to bond, I set up in another room while they play together. It works best when they visit us and I can do housework, but it works when we visit them and I can prep dinner, do dishes, read a book, check work email, etc. That way I’m on hand and have an eye on the situation, but they the same experience of one-on-one time. I admit it was stressful at first, but I’ve gotten much easier with time. They are actually quite good with the children, and my children love them to bits.

    • I would be uncomfortable with this, too. Also, if MIL was so anxious to spend one-on-one time with your daughter that she basically shoved you and your husband out of the house, why did she then leave the girl to run an errand during the short time they had alone together? Seems strange to me.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Exactly that Eleanor! I would be livid as well, and there would likely not be any more “one on one” time.

        Then again, I come from a family you can’t trust much farther than you can throw them, so that colors my reactions quite a bit.

    • In your shoes, I would be all-caps FREAKING OUT about this. Except for a true 9-1-1 emergency, it is totally, completely, 100%, no grey area at all unacceptable to leave someone else’s child who is in your care with anyone else unless you have the parents’ express permission to do so, full stop. And even in the case of an emergency, you call the parents to let them know what is going on. I don’t care if the stranger is Mary-freaking-Poppins, and the male/female factor is irrelevant to me. I’d be equally upset if grandma left my child with the sweet lady who lives next door without my permission.

      I am so sorry you are having to deal with this. If I was you I would be leaving it to my husband to raise this with his mother, largely because I would be too angry to discuss things rationally. I also would not be leaving my child alone with her again this trip, even if she promised not to do this again. IMO this is a major, major breach of trust and she’s going to have to earn it back. There’s no free pass for something like this in my books.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      So your MIL left your toddler daughter alone with some strange man and you are wondering if you are freaking out? Um, no, you are not. She’d never have my child unsupervised in her home again…..

  22. I don’t remember which handle I used in the weekend thread but since you guys are the only ones who knew about the stress, I just wanted to share… last night, the c0nd0m came low enough to be grabbed and removed! Thanks for being so supportive and for telling some wonderfully embarrassing s3x stories to make me feel better! SO glad I avoided a doc visit (only did by a mere 6ish hrs)!

  23. Legally Brunette :

    I look terrible in wrap dresses, but look really great in faux wrap dresses. Go figure.

    • Go “Figure”!

    • Me too. Wrap dresses on me generally look like I’m wearing my bathrobe, and the v usually lands either really low or really high, but never in a flattering place. I’ve never tried a really high end wrap like DvF, so maybe the dresses I’ve tried are the problem, but for now I’m sticking with faux wraps. Also, I’m really afraid of a wardrobe malfunction with a true wrap – ladies who wear true wraps, do you use pins, tape or anything else to ward off malfunction, or is the knot in the sash really enough to keep it together all day?

  24. DVF dress now to large and unwraps itself :

    I bought a 10 DVF dress back when I was an 8 in a no-longer-offered pattern. Now I am more of a flat-chested 6, so there is just too much fabric. Local alterations people won’t touch it. The fabric is slippery and it is always trying to unwrap itself. Rather than go with fabric tape, I am using an interior binder clip. Anyone else have this? I love the come-hither look, but not at the office!

    • DVF dress now too large and unwraps itself :

      too large — gah!

    • I have this problem too. I’ve been using the hollywood tape for the office and then removing it for after-office activities, but it isn’t the greatest solution. Seems like the first inch or so of the tape always ends up not sticking to the top later of fabric and thus exposed, no matter where I place it. I had a tailor put a hook and eye closure on a non-DVF wrap dress last year, and haven’t been thrilled with that solution either. The “eye” part is just thread, in the same color as the dress, but you can still see the glint of the metal hook part. I might try your binder clip trick next time!

  25. Turkey Drama :

    Thanksgiving family…need some advice on whether or not I should get involved.

    Mom & Dad got divorced after 25+ years in 2009; my mom initiated it, and my dad was against it for a while but ultimately decided he’d do it because she wouldn’t be happy otherwise. They still get along enough, and because they were together so long, they still have good relationships with each others’ families (ie Dad gets invited to my mom’s mom’s Big Family Events, and vice versa).

    Anyway, Dad started seeing someone new in mid-2010 and while my siblings and I were all introduced/invited to meet New Lady, he was “breaking the news slowly” to my mom (who we all knew, despite her insistence on the divorce, would FREAK OUT as she is not seeing anyone and it would be yet another LIFE IS UNFAIR moments…). My mom has been aware of New Lady since probably early in 2012.

    Dad is having Thanksgiving with his side of the family, and Mom was planning on joining them for dessert (mom is boycotting her family’s Thanksgiving for Unreleated Drama). My brother and I (and our spouses) are going to Mom’s side for dinner and Dad’s side for dessert, and were planning to bring Mom.

    Then Mom finds out that Dad is being New lady to dinner AND ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE. She’s being a total baby about it, and my dad feels bad because it’s starting to put a damper on things (even though nobody faults him at ALL- 3 years after your wife divorces you, you have every right to bring someone to a holiday event on your side of the family…)

    Two questions:
    1. Dad has asked that I make an attempt to let my mom know that things “won’t be awkward” (her excuse) and that she should still come to dessert. I want nothing to do with that conversation. Is that wrong?
    2. DH and I were going to be staying with my mom for a couple days. Now that this drama has unfolded, she is going to be in an extra-foul, extra-crazy mood. Do we just get a hotel? And/or cut the trip short? (Staying with my dad or brother isn’t an option.)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      1) Do not get involved. Do not put yourself in the middle of your (divorced) parents. If your mom doesn’t want to come to dessert at her ex-husband’s home, that’s her choice. I honestly don’t see why your dad wants her to come. I can’t imagine, given the reaction she’s having, that she will be nice to New Lady. What a terrible holiday that would be for New Lady.

      2) Yes, get a hotel. I find the Hampton Inn is the best money we spend during family holidays. Perfectly comfortable and clean, and since we’ll be spending the day with family, we don’t need to get a pricier room at a nice hotel.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


        Dad’s being a wimp. Mom’s being a diva. Don’t let them triangulate with you. They need to sort their own crap out.

        • Turkey Drama :

          I think you just summed up the relationship perfectly. I may reprint “Dad’s a wimp; Mom’s a diva” on a mug and mail it to my siblings.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            I applaud your desire to want to help your parents and to smooth things over, but sadly, that’s up to your mom and dad to keep the peace. Good luck, nevertheless. And I hope you at least enjoy some of your Thanksgiving holiday.

    • My parents have a similar dynamic and I decided a few years ago that I will not be the go-between for them. If my dad wants to tell my mom something he can call her and tell her, and vise-vera. They are adults and I expect them to behave like it. I am also still their child, even though I am also an adult and I don’t appreciate being put in that position. So I refuse to relay messages.

      I would cut the trip short, but I don’t enjoy spending time with anyone when they are acting crazy and dramatic, LOL.

    • 1. You can (and should!) let him know that you cannot be involved in the conversation. It’s a matter of precedent and fairness (if you shuttle his message, you have to shuttle her message back, etc.)

      2. This may be no-win, but I think a hotel with reasonable excuse to spare feelings is preferable to cutting the trip short.

      3. Good luck!

      • Turkey Drama :

        It’s not a money thing with the hotel…it will cause all kinds of “why don’t you want to stay with ME?!?!?! (???!!!?!?!)” drama with the mama.

        Ugh. DH and I have decided we are going to actively try to have a baby before next year so we have the holiday trump card and don’t have to go anywhere/deal with any of this. And yes, I’m okay telling my firstborn that s/he was born out of a desire to avoid holiday drama.

        • Imagine juggling Dad, Dad’s Ladyfriend and Mom with New Baby.

        • Maddie Ross :

          He/she won’t be the first. My parents are very open that they decided to have me after a terrible Thanksgiving with my dad’s family. And I was born the next year.

        • Yeah, my concern with the hotel is that I imagine your mom will take it really personally. But if you can hold strong with the not wanting to inconvenience her/will basically only be sleeping there lines, I think it will do wonders for your mental sanity. Just depends if this is a battle to want to fight now.

          Also, agree with others re: 1. Your dad can extend the invitation himself and she can accept or decline it herself. You don’t want to get involved, as that sets a very dangerous precedent.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            Divas like her mom will always take everything personally.

            If a leaf falls on her car, yeah, she takes it personally! The universe is conspiring to make life difficult, ya know?

            So given that there’s no pleasing divas, there’s also no point in bothering to try. The burden of proof is on the diva– if they can prove that they can respond to stuff reasonably without getting into a snit, and without making it all about themselves, then they legitimately earn having their wishes acknowledged and complied with.

    • karenpadi :

      My parents divorced in 2004 after almost 30 years too. They are barely speaking to each other and it’s way messier than this.

      1) Agree. Stay out of it. Frankly, I’d drop the hammer on Mom. In a low, calm voice, I’d say something like “Look, Dad has a new girlfriend. You have a choice. 1) You put your big girl pants on and go to the dessert with a smile on your face. 2) You don’t go to dessert at Dad’s. If you go to dessert in your current state, you will only embarrass yourself.”

      2) I would get a hotel as the last option. If your parents are anything like mine, family visits are delicately balanced between sides of the family and staying at a hotel will deprive Mom of “her” time and drive the balance way out of whack for years to come. Let her make the choice. “Mom, DH and I really want to stay with you as planned. When you are in this kind of mood, we feel like we are intruding on your privacy. Would you like us to stay at a hotel?” She says “No!”. You say: “OK, we can stay here but if we start to feel uncomfortable, we’ll tell you and give you some time to calm down. If you don’t calm down, we are going to stay at a hotel.”

  26. I’m moving next month into a newly renovated condo and am SO excited! How do I protect the brand-new carpet from the movers’ shoes and the hand truck wheels, both of which are probably dirty? I don’t wear shoes at home, and am concerned about one of them inadvertently tracking in dirt/stains as they are unloading all of my stuff. I am not going to ask them to wear booties since they’d have to take them off and put them on every.single.time they moved another set of boxes in. Ridiculous. Waste of their time, and it seems disrespectful to me. So, do I cover the floor with something? What?

    • Cardboard. Or painter’s drop cloth. No paper, it’ll move around and be too slippery.

    • Is it a full-service moving company? They probably have floor protection (usually clean cardboard/carpet rolls) and you can ask them to use it.

    • Whenever I’ve had furniture delivered, the men put runners down (think of an aisle runner but for furniture). It was kind of like a really thin felt, I believe. If you’re using a moving company, see if they use those.

    • New construction houses usually have sticky plastic runners (kind of like sticky saran wrap) that go down on carpet. The moving company may have that or some other kind of floor protector.

  27. little advice :

    My engagement ring is from a large jewelry chain; my wedding band is from somewhere else. I like to take both pieces to the large jewelry chain to get them cleaned, because they do a much better job than I can ever do. (They have a large machine that blows high-speed air through the pieces, and gets them much cleaner than solution does). They never charge me, and I feel bad about it. If it were another type of store, I’d make an effort to buy things there, but since I can’t exactly spend thousands on diamonds on a regular basis, I don’t know how I can make it up to them. I particularly feel guilty, I guess, because I only purchased one of the pieces I get cleaned from there. Is it appropriate for me to keep taking both pieces there for cleaning?

    • e_pontellier :

      Maybe I’m cheap, but I think this is fine. Free services are free, and having nice things to say about their store is the most you can do (until you win the lottery, at which point, yes you should buy a few additional things there).

    • Don’t feel guilty. If they want to charge you, they would. They’re “making it up” to you for purchasing expensive jewelry from them.

    • They did charge you. When you bought the ring. Don’t feel guilty.

      If you ever need an “anniversary ring” or whatever, I’m sure they’re hoping you come to them.

      FWIW the jeweler that sold us my engagement/wedding also cleans the rings at no cost. They also do a full “inspection” to make sure none of the stones have gotten loose.

    • I think this is fine. I’ve gotten my ring cleaned for free, too, by the store that sized it (we bought it from a smaller jeweler). While you might not be dropping thousands there now, I imagine it’s good for them for you to be in there browsing for future purchases, and if they also do engraving, sizing, repair, etc., they want to be your go-to place.

    • little advice :

      ok, thanks everyone!

  28. News! We are pulling the goalie. Ack.

    • I’m excited for you! I remember you saying a while back that you kind of wanted to bring it up with your partner. It’s so sweet to hear updates like this. I honor the occasion by promising never to ask if you’re pregnant! Good luck!

      • Snaps.

      • Thanks! We are not going to “try”, we just feel that at this stage of our lives we should just leave it up to fate. But it would be dishonest of me to say that I’m not hoping something will happen…

        • Makes perfect sense to me. If I ever change my mind about kids, I think this will be my attitude as well: go au naturale and just see what we see. I truly hope you get what you wish for! But I think being open to anything is a huge accomplishment in itself, especially with something so powerful in shaping your lives.

        • Same with us. We decided we won’t “actively try” (ie mark the calendars) but that we’re officially old enough and financially secure enough (“enough”) to be open to having kids. I refuse to give up wine, though, until we are “Actively Trying.”

          Good luck!

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          Good luck, dear. Have fun. :-)

    • Exciting! I’m sure hoping to be in the same place in the next year or so…Best of luck and have lots of fun in the trying :)

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Congrats! I hear you on the ack/leave it up to fate parts — my DH and I just decided to “be a little reckless” but haven’t officially benched the goalie. It’s exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time…

    • Equity's Darling :

      Exciting! Good luck:)

  29. DvF dresses don’t work on me at all, but they look great on others.

    Can anyone recommend higher end clothing stores for maternity clothes besides Isabella Oliver and Seraphine Maternity? Most of my wardrobe is from those two stores and while I love their clothes, I would like a few other options as well. I bought one dress from Picchu Maternity and hated it, so that’s out. Thanks!

    • http://hatchcollection.com/


      http://moreofmematernity.com/ (We’re not sure we’re done after two kids and that “gracie” dress is calling my name).

  30. What is my DVF size? :

    I’ve heard that you size up for DVF. If I’m a JCrew 4 for skirts (and not busty), what does that translate to in DVF. At least an 8? Vanity and un-vanity sizes are not helpful! Do not have local DVF vendor and hate the mail-exchange-reorder-backorder-whoops-we’re-out drama.

  31. Calling Product Managers (Tech)? :

    So in the next chapter of Things I am Wholly Unqualified to Do but Work Promotes Me and Expects Me to Do Anyway with No Support:
    I am now a GM over a new market for our software company. I have 3 product managers reporting into me, two of which seem to have spent the greater part of 2012 blowing through millions of developmetn dollars on “new products” …and as far as I’ve seen they’ve done about ZERO market validation that what they’ve cooked up is sellable, scalable, or even usable.

    Can anyone that is a current product manager point me to a website, book, group, course, etc. that could help me wrap my head around best practices for new product development?

    If not, is it OK to start drinking at 1pm on a Monday because the P&L you just inherited is far more L than P?

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Not a tech PM, but *clinks glasses with you*

      Just got my numbers for our annual performance review process. Two of the performance metrics don’t look great, although I still come out ahead (more P than L). Now, I have the fun work of explaining what I did all year (besides reading this site). Due at 5:30pm today. I was always rubbish at writing these self-assessment things even when all my metrics were really good.

    • Is talking to the underlings without the product managers an option? It could be the managers that are holding everything up. I am currently supporting a GM in a similar situation (different industry) and the willingness to talk to everybody and learn enough to make decisions is SO FLIPPING AMAZING. Things are getting done, finally. So yeah, basically just up-end your entire management structure, no big.

      • I can do that. But that’s not the problem I’m seeing here– the problem is that this team (or group of teams) has been building something that is not going to do well in teh market. So I need to 1. deal with the financial implications adn 2. put in some serious best practices (of which I know none).

    • check out agile project management & agile software development. I’m in the process of starting to implement it for my team (very early stages)

      • we’re moving toward being an agile shop. I’m not wild on it from a product marketing perspective, though I do like it from the dev perspective.

        • I’d be interested in hearing more. I’m sort of defaulting to agile as our current “system” of a bunch of excel files is not working to say the least. I’m on the dev side.

          • We’re moving from waterfall. On the ITside, I really like agile, but on the product innovation/marketing side I think it’s hard to really get into agile across the board–at least in our industry.

            The company I came over from was a hardcore agile shop in IT and Ops.

    • Product Manager :

      I’m a product manager in technology.
      Congratulations on the promotion — sometimes there’s the most opportunity in crisis ;-)

      The gold standard for product management – all around best practices, processes and market validation/development cycles is Pragmatic Marketing (google it). Validating customer requirements (demand, uptake) is a massive part of their philosophy.

      There is tons of great information on their website. If they haven’t done it already I’d recommend that you have the PM’s that work for you take the 3 day course on developing product requirements and product management.

      • Good suggestion- plus, I can pull it in as a career development pieces (year end KPMS! For a team I’ve had for 2 weeks!!). Friends of mine in product dev like pragmatic marketing, so good to know it’s not just an industry niche thing. Thanks!

    • Anon Analyst :

      I work in IT and I’m on the side that makes the software changes dreamt up by the product team. :-) Is there a tech management group at your company that can certify the new products are viable? In my role, I’m not directly involved in that process, but I do know the product has to be technologically feasbile before going foward with the implementation.

      However, since it’s the Monday before Thanksgiving, I think starting happy hour early is certainly acceptable. :-)

      • Tech management group? Ha! Ha! You’re funny. If we had one of those, we probably also wouldn’t have someone like me in a position to run 3 product lines. We do, of course, have a QA department…but that’s not the thing. THe thing is, the solutions work. They’re just not something that any client will pay for in the real world. It’s the sort of thing I’d have expected a nice clear business case to back up (and will require in teh future), but it seems as if they just got a pile of money and started building.

        Looks like cocktails all around! Plus, now it’s 3:30, and since my office is closing at 2pm on Wednesday, it’s practically already thanksgiving!

    • Ugh – great learning opportunity for you! Like moss said, it’s likely you’re using agile methodology not waterfall. Find out where you are in the lifecycle, talk to the teams, read any guiding documents (schedule, budget, requirements document, etc) that you can, find out what other departments your teams work with, see what process flows are out there/are there any gaps. etc. Also, Earned Value gets a lot of emphasis in my industry. Good luck – wine makes everything better.

      • eh, well, we’re in waterfall for this series of products. We’re transitioning over to agile as a company, but it’s a slow move.

        My big issue here is that there was no front end “homework”. That is, the business case that absolutely should exist to justify the enormous spend on these products Does Not Exist. And the “mastermind” behind a lot of this no longer works for the company. Sooooo it’s my job to either retroactively build a business case that justifies continued spend on these products (which may or may not be valid…) or shut things down. Happy thanksgiving to me!

  32. Well I’ve finally done it. After a shopping trip over the weekend I’ve broken up with pants for work wear. I just got too frustrated with finding ones that I thought looked good on me and fit right. My work wardrobe is now 100% skirts and dresses. I feel great about this as I have always had a much easier time finding skirts and dresses that fit right and looked good. Any one else done this?

  33. I had only ever read about sizing up in DVF wrap dresses, but I want to give a caveat to that. I’m an hourglass or triangle (my hips are much larger than my shoulders), and I had to take my usual size in tops in the wrap dress. Sizing up made the dresses look like tents or bathrobes and it was not a good look. The bottom/skirt portion is snug but I think that’s how it is supposed to be; it still goes around just fine. I have a 32D bust and the wrap is much snuggler (?) and work-appropriate in the smaller size than when I sized up. So if you have small shoulders relative to the rest of your body, don’t necessarily size up unless you want to put big bucks into the alterations.

  34. mary jones :

    The dress is very nice. I find a great selection of dresses at Womens Dresses website