Tuesday’s TPS Report: Plaxico Jacket

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

Diane von Furstenberg Plaxico Jacket Ooh: I like this DvF twill jacket. Of course, of course: I love the purple. But I like the idea of a darker, but lighter weight jacket, for in-between weather like we’ve been having here in NYC the past few days. I’d wear it with complimentary colors, probably — a light blue button-front blouse, a mint green shell, an emerald or cobalt sweater — or with other purples. It was $465, but is now marked to $249 at Last Call. Diane von Furstenberg Plaxico Jacket

(Psst: Speaking of sales, have I mentioned the new Corporette Bargains page?)

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


  1. Debate of tonight:

    Intriguing New Dude is coming over to watch the debate. Therefore, when I get home, I’ll have to shower and clean and presumably make something edible (thinking pumpkin cupcakes, for fall). I was going to get up early and go to the gym but I just… didn’t. I can either go to the gym and then run around a bit frazzled to get everything done before he comes over, or skip the gym, judge myself somewhat, but the house will look nice.


    • 2/3 attorney :

      Skip the gym!

      • long term lurker :

        This is me. Almost anything is a priority rather than the gym. I have to exercise by doing things I enjoy like riding my bike.

    • Funny. I would definitely skip the gym, but that’s just me: always looking for an excuse to skip working out.

    • Make popcorn during the debate instead of cupcakes, add something interesting to it (chili pepper, garlic, and salt), and use that time to get a quick run in. Alternatively, which will stress you out more? The house being not completely done/feeling frazzled, or not having worked out (go in the morning tomorrow)?

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’d go to the gym and buy cupcakes on the way home.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Why do you have to make cupcakes? This made me think of Cher in Clueless with the cookie dough log, because, ya know,“whenever a boy comes, you should always have something baking.”

      • I don’t have to, there’s just no food in the house and whenever anyone’s coming over, I like to have something to offer them. Plus I’ve been jonesing to make cupcakes.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Props to you. I find baking to be both intimidating and excessively time consuming, so it would be too much trouble for me to make cupcakes, even if I was trying to impress a guy. I don’t want to make a guy think I fit into gender norms that I don’t actually fit into by baking cupcakes when I don’t actually bake. I did however impress the now-DH by making a fabulous green curry the first time he came over, which I guess is kinda the same idea as your cupcakes – I like making curry, so I made curry. If you actually enjoy baking, I’m very impressed and I’m sure New Dude will be too.

    • PharmaGirl :

      How close is your TV to the kitchen? Maybe you can turn cupcake baking into part of the date activity.

    • springtime :

      I would make popcorn like another commenter suggested. When I’m not in the mood for sweets, the last thing I want to eat is a cupcake. Popcorn is the better option. Plus most guys aren’t as into sweets as girls are (stereotype, I know).

    • How much cleaning do you really need to do? And is it cleaning? (Getting scum off tiles, scrubbing the toilet, wiping down sinks, removing dust and dirt) Or is it tidying? (Moving piles o’ stuff out of the way/hiding piles o’stuff)

      If it’s more tidying, I wouldn’t bother. I think it’s OK for him to see a small amount of mess because that’s how most people live. Don’t create unrealistic expectations that because you’re a woman, you have a magically clean house that he never sees you cleaning, so he thinks houses just become like that because the woman turns into a House Elf when his back is turned. :-)

      Can he bring food?

      • For a counterpoint, I always make sure my place is neat and clean every time someone comes over, and even my SO. Sometimes when he’s in town for a weekend, it’ll get messier because there will be clothes out and dishes in the sink but I like to make sure I spend a few hours cleaning and making sure everything is in its place before he shows up – it’s a point of pride for me.

      • I see your point, but I feel like making sure my house is clean and neat is an extension of making sure *I* am clean and neat. I wouldn’t invite someone over and not shower, so why would I invite someone over and not clean my house?

        But yes, it is cleaning grime out of some places — the weekend/last week was busy and stuff built up. So in any case, I have to clean and I might as well do it today.

  2. Can you make cleaning the house/baking into a solo dance party, then shower while the cupcakes cool?

    • I kind of love this idea and might do it. Or time myself cleaning so I have to do it all at a run/race.

      • Yay! Also, I’m pretty jealous debate night is turning into debate/date night for you! Have fun :)

    • just Karen :

      This! Put on some loud music and make it aerobic – best of both worlds :)

  3. Need dressy coat to wear over winter clothes :

    I have not found a coat that would work over winter clothes since my maternity coat.

    The Lady Day Coat was lovely but would only work if I were wearing a dress, not something like a skirt suit with heavier fabric or pants/blazer. (And I haven’t found any tricks, like ordering a size or two up — combination of Michelin Man and not being able to move my arms enough to drive).

    In the past, I have gotten away with a lined trench, but mine is 7+ years old and I haven’t found any with heavy-enough lining. It’s on its last legs and really isn’t work-appropriate at this point.

    Anyone had any luck with this?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have an older version of this coat and have found it’s possible to wear jackets underneath without looking like the Michelin man (though it realllllly depends on the jacket). Maybe it will work for you?


      • I think this jacket has the key that I was going to recommend, which is a belt – even if you have to size up, you can cinch the belt closed to make it fix a little closer.

        And if you can’t wear your suit jacket under your coat while driving, can you just carry it over your arm? I very rarely have to wear suits so thats what I do, since my regular coat doesn’t fit with a jacket/blazer under it.

      • I have a wool trench from BR (a couple years old) that I really like. In fact, it was what I had when I got stuck in DC for Snowmeggedon.

    • Check out Lands End, LL Bean, and Eddie Bauer for wool dress coats that will be warm. How warm do you need? Do you want wool? Do you want a trench?

      • And just to complete that thought – I don’t really think of J Crew’s coats as “winter coats”, even with the Thinsulate (body, but not sleeves). They seem like nice, dressy coats that will do you for fall, but I don’t think I’d really use them for below freezing weather. And below freezing weather is what winter is for me. Shrug.

        • Need dressy coat to wear over winter clothes :

          I agree — nice dressy coats for fall. And a lot of other coats are short, so I’ve never liked the look of them over a skirt suit (which, to me, looks like it needs a longer dress coat; shorter would be fine with pants).

      • Need dressy coat to wear over winter clothes :

        Thanks! Am auditioning a Lands End Canvas trench, but it seems very non-winter weight. LL Bean and EB are great for tough winter coats, but I really need a Meet BIGLAW Clients in Mid-Atlantic Winter Coat that will keep me warm over a skirt suit (the everyday and casual stuff is taken care of, but that stuff won’t do here).


        • Did you look at the wool coats? Or are you really thinking you want a trench coat (which just doesn’t read as a winter coat to me, but I realize that others may have a different experience) I think LE’s trenches are really more of the fall/rain variety than having the insulated layer.



        • My comment is in moderation for links, but I would suggest looking at LE’s wool coats, which are more geared towards winter than their trench coat. If you want a lined trench, then I’d look at a place that does trenches, like London Fog.

        • I agree that a belt is key for these sorts of things. I think that’s probably why the trench works for you. One of my favorite wool coats is basically a double breasted trench shape. Maybe try the JCrew icon trench in wool/cashmere?

          Or, alternatively, try something intentionally loosely shaped and sort of 60s-ish – it isn’t a look that works on everyone but I think it can look really chic on the right person.

      • I am Lands End’s #1 fan, especially my two recent successes with a sheath and boots that fit my wide calves and tall legs)…but I was not impressed by the wool coats. They might do in a pinch, but I thought they looked cheap and did not feel all that warm.

    • Cornellian :

      I liked lands end lined peacoats. I don’t know what kind of climate youre in, but I think it’s good down to about -10. not a proper Canadian winter coat, but the cashmere/wool mix is nice, and it’s lined with very thin down so you don’t get too puffy.

      • Wool/cashmere is nice and warm. Also be sure if you go for wool, get 100% wool. My J Crew coat is something like 94% wool/6% nylon and even that slight deviation from 100% wool makes it not nearly as warm (even with the Thinsulate lining!) as my ancient 100% wool coat I got from Marshall Fields (that’s how ancient it is!) in the 1990s. That coat is actually still in decent shape, although there are some tears in the lining.

        I haven’t tried Lands End/LL Bean/Eddie Bauer, but I bet their coats are warmer than J Crew’s. I did get a long down coat from Eddie Bauer specifically to wear when I go to Chicago over the holidays. It’s very warm and not too puffy. I got it for about $100 when they had a pre- or post-Thanksgiving sale, somewhere around that time.

        • I posted about this before, but the Lady Day/Icon (any JCrew doublecloth) this year is way down in fabric content…it’s like 75% wool/25% poly (and my old coats were 94/6). Also, the linings are not as nice and the “handfeel” of the fabric has changed due to the content change. Therefore, thumbs down on the JCrew doublecloth this year. I also cosign that it is not very warm, even with thinsulate, unless you order it and layer up such that no cold air can “sneak” under. I have worn Lady Day for full winters in NYC, but my calves were chilly and I always wore a very warm sweater under–otherwise it wasn’t warm enough.

      • Second Lands End. They’re the only coats I found that I can comfortably wear a jacket under.

    • I have a DKNY coat (hooded, with an empire waistline) that might work as it is quite loose through the body.


      • I love this coat! It’s $136 with coupon code PRES. Do you think that’s a decent price? I’m tempted to hold out for Black Friday but it says the regular price is $325 so this might be a good deal.

        Any comments about fit?

        • That’s a good deal. I paid a bit more for it. However, I did buy it 3 years ago so it is something that they’ve made year after year.

          It’s a really beautiful quality wool (heavy, tightly woven rather than fuzzy).

      • That’s lovely. Is the knit collar wool as well?

    • To be honest, even though Talbots and I have a love/hate relationship lately, all of my favorite coats came from there.

      They’ll run larger than the J Crew coat, which definitely runs small. You want to be able to fit a coat over your thickest outfit, which means it may not be as fitting/flattering as you’d otherwise like, but will at least not look too small for you when you’re bundled up.

    • I rock a drapey belted wool coat all through the Stockholm winter. Bought it at a store that caters to older ladies. Coats that are cut to be drapey can handle more extra bulk without you looking like a stuffed sausage, plus they look classic and glamorous.

  4. I’ll throw this in here, cuz of Kat’s mention of mint, but apologies to any I annoy bc they saw it the first time I posted:

    For folks who were worried about wearing mint in the fall/winter, I saw an *adorable* outfit on a woman walking into my building yesterday. Mint green pencil skirt, forest green pullover sweater, light brown/tan flats. I think it would work with heels or ankle boots, too. It looked like a very fall outfit even with the mint. And it was So Cute!

    I have none of those colors in my wardrobe, so i hope someone else gives it a try! ;o)

    • I saw your post yesterday and thought of it this morning while I was getting dressed. Ended up going for pink today, but I’m definitely keeping the mint/forest combo in mind!

    • Me too! Your comment made me want that exact outfit, but unfortunately I have neither a mint skirt nor a forest green sweater.

      • haha me too! except I would want it the other way around – forest green pencil skirt and a mint sweater

      • …yet…

      • I know! I am so tempted to go buy the entire outfit, but that is the last thing I need right now, since my closet is already a disaster. But I thought I would avoid shopping by posting it here and making one of you do it. ;o)

  5. Just bought a copy of this jacket (a lighter, more burgundy, purple) last week after weeeeeks of research. Unfortunately the weather has been freezing since then. ‘will have to store it until next year (or spring…) #fail

  6. Asking again: Can anyone in DC recommend a fee-based, Metro-accessible certified financial planner?

    Thank you to the person who left me a good suggestion yesterday, but unfortunately, that office isn’t metro accessible.

    • Becca in Chicago :

      I don’t have a specific recommendation, but there is a financial planning event on 10/27, where you can talk to a financial planner for free. If you like the person you talk to, I think you can get his or her info and pursue further business.


  7. This jacket looks kinda blah to me, and it being twill doesn’t help. If I’m someplace where a twill jacket is fine, then I can go more casual than this frumpy jacket. If I’m someplace where I need to be more formal, this twill blah thing won’t cut it.

    And have retailers really run out of names for their clothes and shoes?

    “Plaxico”, really?? Naming a jacket after a dufus who accidentally shot himself with his own gun (fumble!) is not going to give it more panache.

    • Susan, I was scrolling through the comments and intending to post the same thing about Plaxico. Really, Diane??

    • I love it that, like me, you think of sports references. The Yankees broke my heart this weekend – and to see my beloved Derek Jeter go down like that!

      • (Re: Yankees)

        I’m a late convert, though. Had attended a few Red Sox games when I was younger and was only starting to think of maybe liking them, but then I married a Yankees fan. I didn’t change my name, but I changed my baseball affiliation and have never regretted it! :-)

    • hahaha, I’m glad I’m not the only one who jumped straight to Plaxico Burress and his shooting skills when I saw “Plaxico.” Agreed, it really doesn’t help the jacket, which I also think is a little blah to begin with.

    • I don’t have context on Plaxico. I thought it sounded like one of those made-up pharmaceutical names. Though I like the jacket I would worry about side effects such as depression, explosive diarrhea and an erection lasting longer than four hours.

      • Senior Attorney :

        “If you suddenly go blind or deaf, discontinue taking Plaxico and consult your physician…”

  8. Honey Pillows :

    Nasty neighbors rant ahead, it’s long and you should probably just skip it, honestly.

    Godzilla, I’ve been RAWRing and thinking about you since yesterday morning.

    A week after moving into my new place (yay!), I had only managed to get a quick nod and an “um, hey, you left the key in the lock” from the neighbors living on the second story of the townhouse I moved into. No “Welcome to the neighborhood,” no “Hi, nice to meet you!” and in fact no pleasantries at all, despite my best efforts to pleasantly introduce myself.

    Yesterday morning, I get a snotty, full-page note on my front door, informing me that

    a) I was under no circumstances allowed to make any changes to the common steps or entry hallway, but she’d let me keep the potted chrysanthemum out of the goodness of her heart and and THANK GOD I had moved pumpkins I put out there (they were stolen, btw), and she’d just let me know right away that religious iconography was unacceptable
    b) at 9:30 pm on a Friday night I was making too much noise with friends in my apartment (we weren’t actually in the apartment at that time) and she was woken up at 1:30 in the morning when I came home and couldn’t find my keys and her window was right above the street and so was EVERYONE ELSE’S IN THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD
    c) I had BETTER start taking the trash to the curb every other week
    d) I left the barred gate unlocked on at least TWO occasions (when I was inside the house in middle of the afternoon?) and it’s not like it’s a bad neighborhood but her car got broken into with nothing in it twice right down the street and leaving the gate unlocked was just absolutely unacceptable. (There are four locks between the street and each apartment, but fine, I’ll lock the gate if you keep the garden gate closed, k?)

    Tone and bullet points were hers, the caps emphasis is mine. There was still no “Welcome to the neighborhood,” or actually anything pleasant at all, except “We noticed you put a new light bulb in the front light. Thanks.”

    The full-page snotty note was explained by her apparent inability to reach me in the apartment at any time (we were home all day Sunday -no, literally all day), and if I had any issues with any of the above I should contact her IMMEDIATELY but only at appropriate hours.

    Since I didn’t get home until 8:40, and apparently she’s in bed by 9:30, I was unable to confront the upstairs neighbor yesterday, but I’m going to leave work early to make sure to clear this all up IMMEDIATELY.


    • Honey Pillows :

      Ugh, sorry this is so long and ranty. It looks much worse on the page than in my head.

    • Yikes! I used to live above people like this and really the only way to deal with them was to move out. They went to bed at 7:30! They called me a sl*t for coming in so late at night! The day my roommates and I were moving into a new place, they came by and informed us that they had won $40,000 in the lottery and were buying a trailer and moving to the country. So what I’m saying is the obvious solution is to just buy lottery tickets all the time and shove them under Nasty Neighbor’s door.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        I had neighbors like this too. They complained about every. single. noise we made, yet their abusive screaming matches floated up through our floors (scary stuff – “Get your off my child”). We were too afraid of the guy’s rage to call the cops, but when they started complaining to the landlord, the landlord stood up for us and our right to talk in our apartment, and even our right to have the occasional party (we had exactly one, and the neighbor started calling us non-stop exactly when we told them we expected it to end). Landlord got fed up and refused to renew their lease because they were too much trouble.

        I say it’s your neighbor’s issue, and the landlord probably takes all their complaints with a grain of salt. Finally, if pumpkins are religious iconography, then I must be the high priestess of gourd sacrifice. I love spaghetti squash.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Get your *hands* off my child. Nouns are hard (but this is reminding me just how scary it was. I still feel guilty about not calling the authorities at the time, but the locks weren’t good enough for me to feel safe if he got angry at us for reporting him.)

          • Honey Pillows :

            Eep! Your neighbor situation sounds terrifying! I’m glad you don’t have to deal with them any more.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Me too. It did amaze me that they would scream at each other for hours and yet walking around without shoes in our apartment was apparently beyond the pale. While this was clearly the least my horrible neighbor’s problems, some people just aren’t self-aware or respectful in a shared living situation. All you can do is try to kill with them kindness and make sure you’re on the same page as your landlord.

    • Take out the trash every.other.week, as in keep garbage in your apartment for two weeks?
      And WTH is her problem with religious iconography… is this a euphemism for mezuzah?

      • Honey Pillows :

        I haven’t even put up a mezuzah yet! And like it or no, that thing’s going up. It’s not huge and obnoxious, it’s a little 1/2″ x 4″ box on the inside of the doorframe of my apartment door. She probably wouldn’t even notice it if she wasn’t looking. Maybe she’s an angry atheist? (As opposed to a rational atheist, like many of my brilliant friends.)

        We have to take the trashcans to the curb every week -I assume that’s what she meant, and I’m fine with that, but her tone indicated I had been purposefully not taking the cans to the curb in the one week I’ve lived there, during which time I didn’t even know when trash day was.

        • I’m a little ashamed to admit that I had no idea what a mezuzah was until I googled it because of this thread. Thanks for teaching me something!

        • Halloween decor = religious iconography? :)

          • The only anti-Halloween decor arguments I’ve ever heard were from very religious people… interesting.

          • I wonder if Neighbor will put up a huge Christmas tree and a crèche? You have to let me know Honey Pillows

    • Is she your landlord? If not, I say decorate any way you see fit as long as it’s not prohibited in your lease or by a condo association. I’m not very nice to people like this, though.

    • Ugh. Confront this with kindness head-on. Lots of smiles, introduce yourself, thanks for giving me a heads up about the security issue/ trash schedule, etc. Sorry that I made some noise coming in the other night although please know that wasn’t us at 9:30, here’s my phone number if you need us to tone it down, the whole drill. It’s harder to write a future nasty-gram to that hardworking nice young lady you just met than the clearly irresponsible party girl you think she is.
      I have had better results being super nice to the neighborhood watch crazies. And it works out well. Good luck

      • Yep, I agree with this, combined with the advice to be firm, stand up for yourself, and don’t let them bully you. If it’s neighbours and not a landlord, you may want to also call your landlord to ask about the policy regarding the common entrance.

        Are pumpkins religious iconography? Because if yes I think I need to make a Religious Iconography Pie. (And if it includes a mezuzah as someone mentioned, throw human rights at her b/c there’s plenty there to back that up.)

      • I agree with all of this. I would also ignore her “don’t put pumpkins out” and the like. She’s not your landlord. I would clarify with your landlord what you can and cannot do with regards to the entrance, displaying plants, etc. (although I would not ask about the mezzuzah), and then if annoying neighbor objects, tell her your lease permits it.

    • Are they just neighbors or Landlords? If neighbors I would buy myself a big old cross and prop it up by the door. Maybe a menorah in the window?

      • I vote both, plus a nice prayer rug. And maybe a statue of Buddha and one of Ganesh.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Maybe a Virgin Mary/Mother Goddess shrine on one side of the hallway, a shrine to the Kami spirits of the house on the other wall, a prayer rug on the floor, a cross on the door, multiple mezuzahs on the doorframes and statues of Buddah, Ganesh, and Shiva on a shelf above the door?

        • Make sure you get the good resin ones. I am partial to the V1rg1n Mary statues that double as fountains. Bonus points if the paint is chipping.

      • Ha, this sounds like a terrible way to handle the situation, but I love it! Cross on the door, menorah in the window, rosary candles in the chrysanthemums, prayer mat next to the door, jack-o-lantern wearing a yarmulke…straining my brain for more religious iconography…Buddha statute? Arrangement of healing crystals?

      • And lots and lots of candles -battery-powered of course, so you don’t get cited for fire hazard.

    • My downstairs neighbors are like that. I’m generally as considerate as I would be of a less crazy person, e.g., no walking around in heels for spite, but my husband and I have been firm that we pay for our space and they don’t get to tell us how to use it. We spoke with them face to face after we got a nasty note under the door. We told them that we are in compliance with our lease regarding carpeting, etc., and they don’t get to dictate exactly where our area rugs go, and we will be considerate, but that’s all we can do. I try to be friendly, but I’m never going to apologize for coming home at night or having an occasional guest who might tread a little louder than they’re used to. They calmed down when they realized they can’t bully us.

      • I totally agree with talking to them face to face. It’s uncomfortable, but I’d bet their bravado disappears.

    • *big hugs*

      *sympathetic RAWRs*

      Bullying neighbors are awful. Which sounds like what she’s trying to do. She wants to establish herself as your boss and control your behavior.

      What are her actual rights and privileges and how can she use them against you? Seriously, what can she really do to you that you can’t do back to her? Not saying you should fight fire with fire, but don’t necessarily let her push you around or it’ll never end. She’s not also the landlord, is she?

      And, are you in violation of any actual policies of the co-op/board (if there is one), or policies set by the lease? If not, tell her to f— off. Find out what the noise ordinances are that apply to you and your building. If you’re not in violation of them, do as you please.

      I have friends who lived in a building with a bullying neighbor and they found out that they could basically make as much noise (party-noise, I’m thinking) up till 10pm, and they purposely did. Bullying neighbor wanted to go to bed at 9pm every night, and they told said neighbor: You STFU about all your other nonsense and maybe we don’t play Metallica and Queen EVERY SINGLE NIGHT UNTIL 10PM ACCORDING TO THE NOISE ORDINANCE, MMMMKAY?

    • DAMN GURL. I’m tempted to recommend you write back passive-aggressive (or aggressive-aggressive) notes right back to her. RAWR RIGHT BACK AT THEM.

    • Probably she stole the pumpkins! Who else could it be, since security was AIRTIGHT until you showed up.

      My heart is beating faster just reading your post. OBNOXIOUS BUSYBODY.

    • I’d write this on the back of her note and stick it on her door.

      Dear neighbor,

      a) sorry to hear you were offended by my pumpkins
      b) wasn’t me, wasn’t home
      c) noted
      d) noted

      Thanks for the warm welcome!

      Honey Pillows

    • So there is a few issues that look like they are yours, and the rest hers, but maybe that’s why its coloring your opinion of her. The first is, I’m not really sure why you would expect a welcome to the neighborhood. It would be extra nice if she did but (I am assuming DC) that’s not really a common thing. 2) it sounds like you put plants and pumkins on the common stairway. some people would get kind p*ssy about that, especially if its in the way. And the general rule for shared housing is you don’t put anything in shared space without asking. I think she prob saw that as presumptious and then went over board with her warning about religious stuff, thinking that youd be planning your holiday decorations for the shared space. Obviously, you can put whatever you want in your own space. If you were loud at 130 am (which is how I am guessing she knew you couldn’t find your keys), I can see her getting mad about that, and then all those little things just snowballed, until she was word vomitted it out in a snarky note. If she had approached you person to person with some of the bigger issues, she’d be dealing with a much less defensive person. i think its better to try to understand where she is coming from, and work on some of those bigger issues, for both of your living situation sake. When you share a town house, everyone needs to let the little things go. But when you are already mad at someone, instead of letting it go you add it to the list and its not good for anyone.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Maybe I’m just too Southern, but I do actually expect neighbors to make some effort to be slightly welcoming when I first meet them, particularly when I will be sharing common areas with them. In fact, every other neighbor I’ve met on the street has been very friendly, and given me recommendations for restaurants, complimented my pumpkins (sigh), and even invited me over to parties.

        I wrongly assumed she didn’t care about the common areas because both of the light bulbs in the area were burned out, the plants were pathetically neglected, and the trash cans were smack dab in the middle of the yard, with old garbage bags mixed in with the piles of leaves. But apparently she likes the house to look abandoned?

        • 2/3 attorney :

          I vote you decorate just one side of the sidewalk/stairs. There, have your ugly half, mean lady.

          • to give the neighbor some credit, maybe she needs to use the handrail to get up the stairs (or has visitors that do) and wants to keep the stairs clear for that reason? And maybe she had neighbors in the past that started with pumpkins but then went into all the lovely over the top religious decor for every holiday like my MIL does? Its possible she’s taking out formerly bad neighbors on you. I would say take the high road kill-it-with-kindness route also, maybe she’ll calm down once she knows you’re not trying to make her life miserable?

          • Yeah, a friend of mine lives in a small condo building, two units per floor. Her across-the-way neighbor has taken to leaving, at last count 6-8 pairs of shoes lined up next to her door, which is also next to the top of the stairs. It can make it difficult for my friend to get up and down the stairs with the two dogs, or if you’re carrying a package and don’t see the shoes. I kind of think the policy of nothing on the floors in the common areas is probably a good one, for safety and anti-proliferation reasons.

          • I don’t understand people who leave their shoes outside their doors, in the hallway. It looks like they’re leaving them outside for the hotel concierge to have them shined. It also always makes me wonder why they aren’t worried about shoe theft. (I mean, this is probably not a rampant thing, but there will occasionally be a random group of drunk people who would find stealing shoes hilarious — one elderly couple in my building had their Christmas wreath stolen).

          • Honey Pillows :

            a) “Hey, your pumpkins are really festive, but I’m uncomfortable with anything on the [4 feet wide] porch steps at all. Could you move them?”


            b) “You can’t put anything in the common area without asking me first. Don’t do it again.”

            Um, bite me.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I’ve never met any of my neighbors in any of the places I lived (all apartments), with the exception of the college dorms. Is that an urban thing?

          • I think it’s a Southern thing. When I lived in Providence, neighbors moved in across the hall. She baked mini chocolate cakes for all the surrounding apartments.

            My first question… “You’re not from around here, are you?”

            She was from Florida and is one of my best friends now.

          • I don’t know. When we moved into our new neighborhood here in suburban Boston three or four of our neighbors brought us cake. So its not just a Southern thing, but urban vs. suburban is definitely an option. Though the rest of it is absurd.

    • I hate clunky shoes :

      Some is bitchy, but some I think she has a point. Don’t leave the gate unlocked if the security scares your neighbors. . . locked gates are there for a reason. . . the security of other tenants.

      In addition, the whole shared area thing is usually you ask. So maybe the flowers attract bees she’s deathly allergic too or something. Who knows, but it does not sound like you asked either, so I think you are both at fault here.

      Do you have shared garbage cans with her? And is it a weekly chore that she has been doing and you have not offered to help? Cuase if so, maybe she’s annoyed that you just assume she will always take the trash out.

      I think you are both in the wrong and your rant sounds as if some of this is your fault as well.

    • Can I suggest buying a Virgin-on-a-half-shell sculpture that’s too heavy to be moved easily, painting it a nice pumpkin orange, and using it to prop open the gate?

    • Have you heard of passive aggressive notes [dot] com, because it sounds like you’ve got quite a submission right there.

  9. I think that jacket would get all kinds of use.

  10. I like the jacket a lot. It looks like it has beautiful shaping, though I know they can trick us on this in photos.

  11. DC Meetup this Thursday at Vapiano in Chinatown at 7:30. I will get there early, stake out a table towards the back and make a little sign or something so you all know who I am.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Um, may I suggest pumpkins as our sign? Hope you’re coming, Honey Pillows!

    • Oh no, 7:30? It can’t be any earlier, like maybe 6 or even 6:30?

      • Wasn’t the last one at 7:30? If people want to meet earlier that’s fine with me – I might not be able to get there that early, though.

      • MsLurksALot :

        I’m another early bird. Anyone else interested in getting there a bit sooner, even if the majority are night owls that flock in a bit later?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I don’t mind going earlier either

    • DC Association :

      Where is Vapiano? (Crossstreets, I mean). Didn’t even know one was there!


  12. Tights TJ! I bought a few all-season wool skirt suits over the summer, and need help transitioning them into winter. I would like to put my days of hose behind me, and have long embraced the black opaque tights with black skirt suits. What color tights do y’all wear with navy skirt suits? I also have a gray and lavender pinstripe. My office is pretty conservative. Winter shoe options include maroon patent, olive suede, black patent, purple patent, and gray suede booties.

    • I wear black with navy a lot – I just make it a point to make it look intentional so I’ll throw in a black belt or top or shoes, etc. I also sometimes do gray or brown (depending on the navy). I own exactly one pair of dark navy tights (which I accidentally bought thinking they were black) and will wear those with purple shoes when they are clean.

    • I think black, gray, or brown tights could work with navy. I stick with brown, but I wouldn’t look askance at anyone more adventurous than I.

    • Nordstrom brand has a heathered charcoal tight that I think looks great with navy. I wear these all the time with navy for work, and also on the weekends with a denim skirt and brown boots.

      I would wear these with your gray/lavender suit with your gray booties. Link to follow.

      • http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/nordstrom-opaque-heather-control-top-tights-3-for-30/3170524?origin=keywordsearch&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=2153&pprd=0

        Sometimes in-store they have versions of these heathered tights in a blue heather and a plum heather, both of which I’ve found useful.

  13. TORONTO meetup? :

    I thought someone was setting this up- but i go no reply to my email. Somebody wanna help me take the initiative here??

    • sorry that was my bad – I started and then life/work got in the way. If you’re interested, email toronto [dot] [name of this site] @ gmail dot com and let me know when would work for you/what area of the city and I’ll try to arrange something.

      • Whoops, in moderation for naming the Site That Shall Not Be Named. Trying again:

        I was just about to google through [This Site] to find the email for this too… I never actually sent off an email. Sending one now. Would love to join. And maybe TO Lawyer, a meet-up will help in your quest to find new friends/activities to help with the long distance. :)

      • TORONTO meetup? :

        Yay! Glad people are still on-board. I will email you!

      • TORONTO meetup? :

        Also- I read the follow up from your post from yesterday morning re: long distance BF- and I also think a great way to meet some new people will be through our meetup! I find it very hard to make new friends in TO.

        I’m going to be very nervous though- like first date nervous. What if we know each other? What if i out myself? Ah!

        • I think you ladies are right – this meetup will probably help in my quest to deal with the long distance. Thank you for thinking of me like that – it’s very sweet!

          And I’m also nervous, as Toronto is not as big as it might seems and I’ve probably already posted far too much detail about my personal life on this site, but I think it’ll be great! I’ll get the ball rolling via email later this week, once people get a chance to respond.

    • I was just about to google through corporette to find the email for this too… I never actually sent off an email. Sending one now. Would love to join. And maybe TO Lawyer, a meet-up will help in your quest to find new friends/activities to help with the long distance. :)

  14. Anne Shirley :

    Does anyone else watched Switched at Birth? I’m addicted, want to learn ASL, and am totally cheering on Daphne’s inappropriate relationship.

    • I watch :) I noticed some of the cast cheering on Gilles on Dancing With the Stars.

  15. SAlit-a-gator :

    Relationship TJ: I’m one of those people who need to vent to feel better. Just telling someone how I feel goes a long way to clearing the air for me. I just need someone to listen – most of the time I’m just frustrated and there’s really not a “solution.” Enter DH. He’s an engineer and he loves to chime in (aka interrupt) with solutions. Fine. I can almost deal with that. But you know what drives me crazy? When I’m really upset about something and I ask him to listen to me, and he proceeds to interrupt me assuming I’m done, and incessently smile, making light hearted fun. There’s something about smiling when I’m pissed off that throws me off my handle. Just makes me feel like he’s dismissing everything I’m saying as unimportant, not worth his worry or concern. I don’t need him to share in my furstration – just to not look so overjoyed at it. Most of the time I share what frustrates me, he analyzes why my feelings are not rational (thanks!) and then I’m both frustrated and now angry that I can’t have someone acknowledge how I feel. And then I blow up at him, and the poor thing is just trying to make me feel better. Trying to make someone feel better is admirable, right? So why does this drive me completly nuts? Any coping mechanisms hive?

    • I don’t think it’s necessarily admirable if he knows his methods don’t work for you. If he knows that his approach makes you feel worse he either doesn’t respect your individuality or he is more invested in sticking with his reaction than in making you feel better. Have you had a conversation about this dynamic during a neutral time when no one is already upset or frustrated about something?

    • I am in a similar relationship, only I’m your husband (except for the smiling part.)

      My husband likes to vent and complain and I listen, but I’m all about trying to find a solution. When he says his boss said something rude, I will say, you need to call him on that. When he complains about not having enough time, I try to find ways to cut things out of the schedule to make it work. Unfortuately, when I make these suggestion, he finds ways to complain about my suggestion and say it won’t work.

      So my other alternative is to listen and say nothing, which he also finds inadequate.

      We both find these exchanges frustrating, to say the least.

      I would welcome my husband having a work friend he could vent with so that we could keep our home conflicts mainly about our personal lives. Unfortunately, my husband is not close enough to anyone at work to share this with. I do have work friends like this, so I almost never talk about work at home.

      Do you have girlfriends or work friends you could use for your venting sessions?

      • Honey Pillows :

        This is why I have The Site That Shall Not Be Named.

        The unbiased, completely out-of-context sympathy I get here is exactly what I want when I’m venting, and probably what you want, too.

        The Dear Young Buck has figured out that the best way to respond is to let me finish, say “Oh, that’s terrible!” followed by extremely ridiculous, sympathetic suggestions to get back at whomever I’m upset with, like the whole religious iconography thread above, and when I protest that those suggestions are ridiculous and it’s not actually that big of a deal, he says he’s being p*ssy on my behalf because he’s completely on Team Honey Pillows, and anyone who upsets me is an evil, terrible person. That usually puts things in perspective, and I feel better, and then we can actually figure out what to do. It works pretty well.

        Would that help? Having your significant other get way more upset about slights to you than you actually feel makes me feel loved and puts the whole thing in perspective, without feeling like your concerns are belittled.

        • I love this! I feel like this is what H and I try to do, but it doesn’t always work out. It is fantastic when it does though. Even at my grumpiest, I can’t help but crack a smile when he suggests something completely ridiculous.

        • SAlit-a-gator :

          I think this is a great idea too! And this actually stands a chance of making me smile.

      • I replied below, but as per usual, mamabear says it best.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Have you explained it to him the way you explained it in your first few sentences? The “solution” that he can provide to you is being a shoulder to cry on, not actually trying to fix it. You may have to remind him a few times, but if he wants to help (which is seems like he does) then he’ll be receptive to helping in the way that you need. Hugs and good luck.

      • This. My SO is not great with the venting and would always jump to finding solutions (which was his way of being supportive and helping me) but after I explained to him a few times I need him to listen and be emotionally supportive so I can deal with my frustration and then move on to finding a constructive solution, he has become much better at being emotionally supportive and listening while I vent, without providing me solutions immediately.

      • Second this. I am also a venter and my husband is also an engineer. I have started prefacing my venting sessions with “I am upset right now and I need you to just listen and be upset with me. I do not want any solutions or to be told that I shouldn’t be so upset. This will blow over sooner if you could just listen to me.” He can process and follow through with these instructions.

        • This is interesting! I never really thought about how my engineering mindset translated to personal issues, but it makes sense. Engineers are problem solvers, and I am also guilty of trying to come up with solutions when someone is upset. At the same time, I completely understand needing to vent without analyzing. I second all the recommendations to be straightforward in telling him that you need to vent and you’re just looking for hugs, sympathy, and glass of wine afterward.

    • Granted, my elementary school teacher dh is not always a ‘jump in and fix it’ type of guy. However, when I need to vent, sometimes I say that up front. “Honey, I need to vent & some sympathy. Don’t try to solve it, just listen, OK?” and most of the time it works. He does the same for me because I am the fixer out of the two of us.

      Have you tried telling him exactly what you need from him?

    • I’m that person, kind of. I’m so interested in helping my husband not get down in the dumps/so guilty that he’s stuck in a less-than-ideal job due to my job situation that I brightside everything, sometimes without hearing him out. I don’t know what the solution is, but I sure would love a blueprint from my spouse about what he needs. I’m sure your husband, who just wants to help, would also appreciate non-huffy feedback!

    • When I just need to vent and not seek a solution, I’ll give my SO a disclaimer at the start. He knows when I say, “Just hear me out. I realize I might not be thinking rationally, but I really need to just vent.” This is his cue to shut up and nod along. If I don’t give the disclaimer, he’s welcome to chime in. The key to this is to save the disclaimer for really good rants.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This. I always preface my rants and vents.

        • SAlit-a-gator :

          Forgot to mention, since this is a frequent occurence I already preface this with a “can you please just listen” disclaimer. Doesn’t really work.

    • Most men are fixers. Vent to other women.

  16. Another tights TJ :

    So today I’m wearing a navy pencil skirt with brown knee-high riding boots and brown tights that are close to matching my boots (2/3 rule, thanks Belle). But I caught a glimpse of myself from a distance this morning (ok, in a pair of glass doors, whatevs…) and realized it looks like I’m trying to wear “flesh-colored” tights that are way too dark to match my skin. Have you ever seen/experienced this? Think it’s a thing?

    • I have done something similar. I bought brown sheer stockings, and realized later that they are probably intended as nude for women with darker skin. Whatever, I guess? They are so far from my skin tone that hopefully it just looks like what it is…white woman wearing brown stockings to go with her brown skirt or shoes. The times I have bought sheer “tan” accidentally, different story. I looked like a Jergens overdose.

  17. Request for help from the busty ladies. I’m pregnant and am now up to a 34H. I had to buy new bras over tthe weekend and my goodness these pieces of engineering are expensive! I’m 24 weeks and won’t be nursung due to medical reasons so I really hope this is the last bra shopping I have to do, but does anyone have any advice of finding difficult sizes at a decent price? I am only buying what I need (2 regular bras and 1 sports bra) but this is getting out of hand. This weekend’s trip was to Nordie’s because I wasn’t sure what size I needed and I’ve had good experiences getting fitted there, but it looks like if I get any bigger they don’t really have a lot of options, at least at the store close to me. I just want to be prepared with options if I have to go bigger.

    • I order from Bravissimo. It’s a British company, so (assuming you’re American) you lose out on shipping and the exchange rate, but it’s still cheaper than any US based company I’ve found and has a MUCH better selection.

    • Thanks Em–do they have a size chart so I can take measurements to confirm my size? And yes, I’m in the US. Also, I posted a bra size question a few weeks back (this is new sizing territory for me!) and someone suggested the Stackedd+ blog. That was awesome but I didn’t see any money saving tips there which is my current concern. Still hoping that it will be a moot point.

    • Lady Harriet :

      If you know what size you wear, figleaves.com can have decent sales. Ignore the fitting advice on the website and just go with the size you were fitted into at Nordstrom’s. The only downside is no free shipping or returns, since the site is based in England, so you have to pay to send back anything that doesn’t fit. I would advise not to go for the very cheapest bras they sell, since those don’t usually last for me, but go up to the mid-range.

      I’m in a quandary right now because after being fitted into a 34GG at the end of last year I lost 30 pounds in a relatively short span of time and moved away from my reliable local bra shop. I suspect I may now be a 32H, but I’ve been burned too many times to want to order bras online without having been professionally fitted first. Does anyone know if there’s some sort of directory of bra shops that carry larger sizes and won’t try to shove me into a 40DD? By what goirishkj says it sounds like I may be sizing out of Nordstroms too, and the closest one is probably an hour away from me anyhow. Alternatively, does anyone have a recommendation for a good bra shop in SW Florida?

      • Lady Harriet :

        Also, as far as sizing goes, a good starting point is that your band size should be the same as your underbust in inches, and your cup size is one letter size for each inch of difference between your band size and the measurement around the fullest part of your bust. Depending on your body type you may need to size up or down from there, but it’s a good starting point. For example, when I was sized into a 34GG my underbust was around 36 inches, but since I have a flabby torso I needed a smaller size to keep the bra from riding up. Someone with a less squishy, more muscular or bony torso might need to size up to keep the bra from digging in.

        I HIGHLY recommend getting professionally fitted if at all possible. I thought I had a good grasp on bra sizing, but I still ended up in a smaller band and larger cup size than I would have just bought online by myself.

        • And you need to read the sizing charts too, as some companies go D->E->F and some do D->DD->E->F and yet others do D->DD->DDD->E etc, just to add to the confusion. The website herroom dot com has something they call “universal cup sizing” so you can enter in what size you wear in one brand and they translate that to other brands sizing.

          Not a great long term solution, but the bra hook extenders can buy you a little time in a bra thats getting slightly small, might be worth using toward the end of your pregnancy.

    • Are you near a Nordstrom rack? I had a fitting at a Nordstrom store recently and bought the Chantiecalle and Wacoal bras she suggested.

      Then when I happened to be browsing the rack, I was delighted to find those same bras in my new size, albeit in weirder colors. However, at more than half off, the price was right. They often have “odd” sizes at the rack, too. Mine is fairly unusual.

    • Have you looked at a Cacique store or similar places? No idea how their quality is, but I believe they have bigger sizes. Your band size might be too small though because I don’t think have sizes below 36.

      • goirishkj :

        I checked Lane Bryant and the band sizes were all too big at this point–we’ll see if my ribcage expands and I need a bigger band down the line. Thanks for the tips, and yes, the fitting was key and worth the price (I think!). There is a Rack near me, but I had just been there and hadn’t seen any H cups and I was desperate as I waited too long for new bras (BIG mistake–ouch!) Thanks for all the tips though, I will keep these in mind and NOT wait until I’m miserable to get new bras.

    • Diana Barry :

      Breakout bras dot com. Lots of big cup sizes. :)

    • Research, Not Law :

      I believe barenecessities (dot) com also carries larger sizes. I don’t like ordering bras online since I usually try on several. I’ve had luck at Nordstroms Rack, but usually I just pay the money at Nordstroms when I can pick one I like. I only have two at a time and figure I wear them every day, so the per-wear cost is actually quite low.

    • emcsquared :

      I would check with your tailor – my tailor adjusted some bras for me (I have narrow shoulders and needed straps moved in, and needed band sizes adjusted). If it’s just a matter of a little bit here or there, that might be a cheaper solution than buying all new bras to ride out the pregnancy.

    • I’m the same size. Sometimes Nordstrom Rack has bras in our size, but not always and never a good selection. My favorite brands are the Freya t-shirt bra, which is about $60, and Panache, which runs $50-60. You might be able to find Wacoal bras that are a bit cheaper.

      • Oh, and I buy said bras on barenecessities dot com and sometimes at Nordstrom. And actually Freya sizing is a bit off, and their 36GG fits me like a 34H in any other brand.

        • goirishkj :

          Thanks Bluejay, especially for the head’s up on Freya sizing, It sounds like I just need to accept that the girls aren’t going to be cheap.

          Unrelated, that football game on Saturday nearly was the death of me!

          • That was such a good game, though. I would prefer that ND always win by a 50-pt margin, but if any other team had been involved I would have really enjoyed it. And at least I wasn’t outside in that sleet!

            Also, I had drinks with friends who are Stanford alums after, and I’m not much of a gloater but that really made my night complete.

  18. Advice from other type A ladies on how to cope with a super laid back SO? I’ve been dating SO for about 6 months and generally things are great – we have a ton of fun together and (so far) our goals are compatible.

    But planning events with him and his friends is super stressful for both of us. He’s not a planner at. all. and I’m a super type A planner. When I ask questions about what we’re doing – like, what time does it start? will we have dinner there? how are we getting there and back? – he never knows anything. More importantly, if I don’t think to ask about something (which is often because some of the events are FAR out of my bailiwick), he doesn’t fill me in on important details until the last minute (like, you will have to get up at 5 am to attend, or, this is a rain or shine event and there will be no place to take cover and you can’t bring an umbrella) because he figures it’s just not a big deal. We’ve talked about this issue multiple times and he has made a lot of progress on getting information that he knows I’ll want, but most of the time it just doesn’t occur to him that I might care about something.

    We both get frustrated because he thinks I should just go with the flow, and I think it’s inconsiderate to not tell me these details ahead of time rather than at the last minute when I have no choice but to go with it or be “difficult.” I’ve started feeling like maybe I really am just overly anxious and uptight and difficult and I should just do what everyone else does, but then I think, no! it’s not as if I’m expecting him to anticipate everything, why the h*ll wouldn’t he tell me standing in the freezing rain is a possibility??? I’ve really tried to dial down the type A, and I know he’s trying too, but I wonder if we’re just too far apart. He’s a really great guy and I’d hate to let him go over something that seems so silly, but I’m kind of at a loss. Thoughts, advice, commiseration? TIA!

    • Boston Blonde :

      No advice but story of my life!

    • Is he only like this about social events with friends who are reasonably local?

      Or is he this way about:
      1)Planning a vacation
      2)Planning important stuff*?

      Under category 2, I’d say: Envision this future scenario– the two of you are married. His mother is in the hospital and has a discharge date for her [major surgery]. Will he neglect to tell you, and end up not helping out, giving an opportunity for his family to all give you the stink-eye?

      Also: imagine if the two of you have kids. Not sure if you want them or not, but humor me here. Is he going to be a flake about picking them up from daycare (or from the Grandparents) on time, leaving you to either have a sh!tfit about it, or having to shoulder the entire burden because he can’t get his crap together?

      If it’s just social events, I’d say it’s a minor annoyance– because he’s not respecting your request to give you the information he knows would make you feel better. That alone is not great, but if you see that he’s potentially flaky in important stuff, just DTMFA.

      • Also, minus points for his not being able to empathize. Sounds like he’s very self-centered. “Oh, I know what I need to know for the event, who cares if my SO doesn’t know any of this?”

        God forbid he push a few neurons to think that you might want to know about how much time you will need to arrive at place X, or to bring Y, or to dress like Z.

        It shows a lack of consideration and a lack of effort really, and that’s not a great thing.

        When he tries to improve, it doesn’t sound like he is doing it because he understands how he’s causing you stress. It sounds like a “must do this strange thing because women are weird/neurotic” which doesn’t sound like a great change to me.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Yeah, I agree with you Susan – the context of the flaky is important. Mine is bad about 1, but is much less bad with (and has gotten much much better about) 2. I’m still more of a planner, but once he started regularly using a calendar, and once we started sending each other calendar invites to things when they came up, life became much easier because I’d know what was coming up. Our issues now are mainly when he makes plans with his family while driving and either can’t check his calendar for conflicts or send me a reminder on the spot (so it slips thru the cracks).

        I’d add 3. Is he this way about work? Does he double-book things or show up unprepared?
        If he’s not this way at work, but is at home, that’s also a red flag that he doesn’t respect you or your time as much as that of his colleagues.

      • I agree with Susan’s analysis. My SO isn’t very detail-oriented or much of a planner, but he is totally aware of that and how it affects me, which helps a lot.

        For planning a vacation, he acknowledges that if he doesn’t plan it, it doesn’t happen, and he’s disappointed, but it’s his own fault. I plan when there’s something I want to do, but if it’s somewhere he is focused on and I am good either way, it’s up to him, and he’s ok with that happening (or not).

        For the more important things, like kids (not in the picture yet for us), he is really worried about it. He’s scared he’ll leave our future kids in the car and forget about them, so we’ll probably figure out what kind of carseat alarm we can use to make him not do that. If he couldn’t acknowledge the problems that it would cause, that would be a big problem.

        In your standing outside in the rain example, does your SO bring an umbrella himself but not mention to you that you’ll be outdoors? If so, that umbrella is yours. If he doesn’t bring one himself, maybe he doesn’t care about getting wet–tell him that you do, and you want to know when you’re going to an outdoor event. I don’t think it’s asking too much for you to google where you’re going yourself and see that it’s outside, though–pick your battles.

    • It’s really not silly — it’s a difference in personality that really makes an impact on your day to day life. That sort of thing drives me nuts and would be (has been) a deal-breaker for me. It’s supremely inconsiderate of someone to make plans on your behalf that involves physical discomfort without telling you that. “Going with the flow” is nice, but so is “having a clue”. It’s nice that he’s trying but I think changing one’s outlook in life about these things is very difficult.

    • Gurl, chill. Please. Also, I had to google bailiwick. New vocab ftw.

      Pick out 3 or 4 things you need to know by a certain time in order for you to attend an event and then STICK TO IT. For example, you need to know the travel time, food arrangements, venue and people attending 12 hours in advance. If you don’t have that information, you’re out. Other things that you might want to contemplate are cost, dress code, etc.

      Obviously, there can and will be exceptions to this. But nicely explain to SO that you need to know these things ahead of time or you won’t go. And then don’t feel bad for not going and overanalyze how he and his friends suddenly hate you for not attending. It’s not so serious.

    • Anne Shirley :

      So, this is absolutely a deal breaker for me. I am not willing to go through life without plans, and I refuse to camp counselor a grown man. I get that some people are happy to go with the flow, but I am not one of them and don’t actually want to be.

      But I feel like this ties into yesterday’s discussion of the cool girl problem. “oh it starts at 5am, which is 7 hours from now? Nope, no way I’m going you should have told me”. “huh, the event may be rain or shine, but I am not. Take me home now”. “oh you have no idea how to get there? That sucks, I’ll be washing the cat instead”

      • co-signing as the former “cool girlfriend” – I am also a planner (um, when switching over to my fall wardrobe from my summer one, I may or may not have put the clothes that I’ll need for a Christmas trip to Florida at the top of each bin) and could not go through life with someone who can’t understand and work with it (not necessarily to that extreme of an example, but you get the idea).

        Anne, I like your imaginary conversations :)

      • “Washing the cat instead.” LOL

    • It sounds like one of those situations that illustrate how the Golden Rule doesn’t always cut it. I have friends like this, and I think it just doesn’t occur to them that I’d need to know X, Y or Z, because *they* would not be bothered by the surprise. They’re just treating me with the same slackness that they don’t mind themselves.

      I don’t think he should make you feel bad about your temperament, no matter what. Beyond that, I’d say the make-or-break question is whether he can constantly remember to treat you as you need to be treated, rather than as he would need to be treated. If you feel like a nag or like there’s something wrong with you, that’s a bad sign.

    • If these events are with him and his friends, can you figure out which of the friends is better with details? For example, if I ask my SO for information about an event with his family and he doesn’t give me a satisfactory response, I just say, “Okay, I’m going to call/email/text your sister.” If he has an issue, he best give me better details. If he doesn’t, I call the sister who has details. If the plan is really half baked, I bow out of the event and make alternate plans.

      So, in short, my key to happiness has been to figure out who in the group has the details I’m looking for and contact them directly. It’s easier than fighting about it.

      • Oh, this is good advice I’ve recently started doing too. Do any of his friends have girlfriends? Get the details from them. Its a family joke now that if we want my cousin’s to show up for family events, we have to invite them AND then give their girlfriends a call with the details. Watch at these events to see if there is someone who seems to have it together, and call him/her for the details.

        And sometimes being rained on isn’t the worst thing in the world, just don’t wear your favorite shoes when going out with him and his friends

    • Are you ok with planning events with just him, or is it when you throw his friends into the mix that it becomes a problem? Because it may be that his friends are so flaky that even if he asks them he won’t get a helpful answer. I think if its only involving events with his friends you should probably be willing to adapt slightly and expect the unexpected or just say no thanks to hanging out with them, but if its things also involving just the 2 of you that’s a little more red-flag-ish. And yes, his friends might think you are uptight or whatever, but would you rather be miserable out in the rain at 5 am or have a group of people you don’t know think you are a party pooper? Tell your SO to go have fun with the laid back friends, and join them for more concrete plans (skip camping, go to “dinner at Xs house around 7).

    • Honey Pillows :

      Hi, me from a year ago!

      If I may hypothesize while I sympathize, your SO is probably not used to having the kind of life where there are enough conflicts to make things difficult, and he’s a guy whose friends just aren’t really all that picky.

      Yes, it is a form of inconsideration. No, it’s not insurmountable. He’s probably not used to socializing much outside of his super-tight group of friends, right? Guys who run in packs like that do form a pack mentality, and it’s honestly not a big deal for them to sit in the rain, find a new restaurant, miss the movie, or cram 7 people in a mid-sized sedan because they’re with their bros, and that’s all that matters.

      My advice? Complain a lot -but only to him, and not in front of his friends. Demand loudly to know the details, the requirements, and exactly what you should wear, and once you’re on the outing, roll with whatever comes, and actually do have fun. This will be easier if any time you’re with his friends, you wear practical clothes, and keep a pair of cute heels and top in the car (no, I don’t feel like going to the club in the sneakers and flannel I went apple picking in, despite your teeshirt and chucks being apparently an all-occasion outfit).

      If he makes no effort to meet you halfway (communicate the second plans change, let you know everything he knows, etc), it can be fun to let the nights unfold as they will. That’s how you get the best stories, after all.

      • No thanks :

        “Complain a lot” is nearly always terrible advice. Certainly it is in this case.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Squeaky wheel gets the grease!

          With men who are inadvertently inconsiderate (not bad guys, just not naturally thoughtful), I find you have to remind them a lot about the things they should be doing, and eventually they do learn.

          • That actually sounds exhausting. If I care enough to have to remind someone enough that it amounts to complaining (and feels like nagging), then that relationship has some bigger issues and is probably on its way out.

          • I find it really important to distinguish between him not doing something because he forgets I want him to do it and him not doing something because he doesn’t care that I want him to do it. My SO and I had a talk about this early on in our relationship. I told him I didn’t like nagging him, and he told me that he wanted to do better and appreciated the reminders, and I should consider my reminders neutral rather than annoying.

      • Oh wow you hit the nail on the head. Yes, his friends are a tightly-knit group of guys and their SOs (all are coupled), and yes they do in fact go to clubs in the flannel they slept in the night before and went hiking in that morning. They’re all nice people and I have a lot of fun with them, but doing all these things I’ve never done before and not having plans and meeting all these new people just gets exhausting. SO has gotten a lot better about communicating the constantly changing plans to me, but if the plans change to something I’m uncomfortable with he’s not really willing to break from the group to accommodate my “special needs,” so I have to figure out how to go do my own thing and wonder why I even came out in the first place.

        • It sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal if you can’t make some of these events.

          What sounds like the big issue is that he’s not willing to break from the group. Who’s more important, at the end of the day, his friends or you? I hate to say it like that, and it’s often not a zero-sum game, but it does become more like that when you both get busy with your careers and/or have kids. Time becomes precious and if he is in that Peter Pan-never-grow-up mindset, then you become the problem.

          Again, project into the future. Do you want to be seen (by him) as the “ball-and-chain” SO/wife who he always leaves at home because he’d rather go hang out with his “low-key/go with the flow” friends?

        • That sounds like a systemic problem. Such that if you don’t think you’ll get used to it and learn to like it, I’d break it off. Nothing wrong with either of you, you just have different styles.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Romantic relationships shouldn’t be transactional, but at six months, I personally think you might want to keep track of the number of times he abandons his friends for your, and how many times he doesn’t.

          Things to take into account: how often are these plans with his friends happening? Every day of every weekend? Or is it more like once a month? Are you stuck there, or do you have a way to get home? He shouldn’t have to abandon his friends every time you’re uncomfortable, but neither should you be put into the situation where you’re the bad guy all the time.

          If his lifestyle involves being with his friends all the time, and their lifestyle is uncomfortable and uncompromising towards you, then yes, you might want to rethink the relationship. If you divide your time fairly equally, and he makes and effort, and his friends do try to welcome you, but just don’t get it when you require nightly access to a toothbrush, I’d roll with it, and try to shrug off the Type A-ness once in a while, and keep an emergency pair of underwear, heels, clean shirt, antibacterial wipes, and a Colgate Wisp in reach.

          You can do ANYTHING as long as you have clean underwear and fresh breath.

    • In my last relationship I thought I was the person who had the issue since I couldn’t seem to “go with the flow.” I stressed a lot about it until I realized that he wanted me to go with *his* flow. Which was really whatever it was he wanted to do (or not do). Even when I tried to explain why I needed to know what the plan for an evening or an event was, his answer was often the dreaded “just go with the flow” comment. When I brought up that this “flow” more often had to do with his wants, he accused me of trying to change him. Took me longer than it should have, but I eventually DTMFA.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Good point about the *his* flow thing.

        Relationships change us. If you’re not willing to change somewhat on both sides, you shouldn’t be together. Sometimes you go with his flow, sometimes he goes with yours.

    • goirishkj :

      It IS possible to live peacefully with a laid back SO, but he has to try to work with you.

      DH is laid back, I’m not. He knows I have to plan and he’s learned to give me info. I’ve also learned to chill a little and to accept I don’t need 5 contingencies for each plan. It is really aggravating at times, but then I imagine what it would be like if we were both like me and I shudder in fear! A red flag for me is that he isn’t trying to give you what you need to plan–he needs to meet you in the middle for it to work.

      • As the non-planning spouse in a successful planner-non-planner relationship, I feel like I want to come to non-planners defense. When I met my beloved he was very type-A and I’ve helped him mellow a little. I’ve been as good for him as he’s been good for me….so its not always a bad thing to have one person on one side of the coin and another on the other.

        You just have to learn to balance each other. Does it always work, no. But its not always a recipe for disaster.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I’m a weird hybrid. I’m a crazy planner for events and trips. For every day stuff like getting chores done and making sure the pets get to the vet I’m very “go with the flow” and hate making plans. I’m also worried I will be the parent who leaves her kid in the car someday. I can be very scatterbrained.

        • 2/3 attorney :

          I kind of feel the same. It seems like a lot of this thread has been “how to make the guy do what you want” rather than both compromising – e.g., I don’t think that making him “communicate the second plans change, let you know everything he knows, etc” is “meeting halfway,” it’s making him do it your way. Sometimes we all have a tendency to overlook the fact that although the way the other person is doing things is inconvenient to us, our way may also be inconvenient to them, and both viewpoints should be considered.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My husband finally “got” my Type A-ness when I decided to suck it up and “be cool” and we ended up stranded. We took a trip to Singapore where my husband grew up. We were with a ton of his friends, one who still lived there. The one that lived there piled us all into a huge range rover and drove us to an island. Once there, they proceeded to drink. We landed that morning and I had been awake for 40 hours. I started asking how we would get home. The “friend” that still lived there informed me that “he heard I could drive a stick” and since I wasn’t drinking, I could drive them. I then informed him that I would not be driving a humongous vehicle, in a foreign country where I don’t have a licence, on the “other” side of the road, when I haven’t slept in 40 hours, with a carload of drunk guys – in the pouring rain. Husband sided with me and started getting pissed at his friends that this wasn’t “planned better.” We then could not get a taxi because no taxi company will send their car from the mainland to the island even if we pre-paid. I called our hotel to send a car saying I’d pay whatever it costed. They wouldn’t do it. All I wanted to do was go to sleep. Finally, a taxi brought someone to the island. We were able to take that taxi back. We never asked how the rest of the group made it back. I’m guessing it involved “friend” driving back drunk. Husband has never questioned my game of 20 questions since. In fact, he now asks them for me half the time.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Three most beautiful words in the English language:

        “You were right.”

        Usually accompanied by a sheepishly ducked head and an embarrassed smile.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          This is true, but I have to admit, in my relationship 99% of the time I am the one saying “you were right.” I swear my husband is psychic. He has an uncanny ability to always know when something is a bad idea. The weather forecast can be clear and not a cloud in the sky. He will say “I have a feeling it is going to rain, we should go to the beach tomorrow.” I will say “you are crazy, I’m going to the beach anyway.” And it will rain.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I am in a relationship like this, except I am the laid back one and my husband is the planner. It honestly drives me insane. I really do try to understand that he gets nervous without all the details and get all the info he wants. I think he usually tries to understand that I just don’t think like he does and usually won’t remember to get the details.

      The two of you just have to work to meet each other in the middle, like some of the posters have said. I just wanted to defend the less Type A folks for a moment and say that we’re not all inconsiderate, flaky people.

    • I had asked my husband to tell me when important things happened in our friends lives (he usually knows before I do). In his head – oh, they’re having a baby, nice for them. Then he’s done with it. It didn’t occur to him that I would want to call and congratulate the wife or at least be prepared when I see her. It took me explaining to him how embarrassed I was at finding out that a friend had had a serious (brief) illness and I did not find out until she was better (from her!). Once he realized why it was important for me to know these things (not for gossip!), he has been really good about telling me.

      So I guess the moral is figure out why it is important to you to know these details and then tell him those reasons. Just “being prepared” is probably not something he can identify with, so try to be more detailed. Like – “I don’t seem to be able to help being grumpy if I don’t have enough sleep. So I need to know when we are leaving so that I can go to sleep early and thus enjoy the event, which I really want to enjoy.”

  19. In the Pink - stipe suit? :

    Looking for a single breasted suit with a pink pinstripe (or line for a check. Thoughts? SIghtings?

    • I have one from several years ago from Michael Kors. It is a pantsuit with charcoal with pink pinstripe, hot pink lining. If that interests you, I just googled and saw it on eBay, not sure if you could find it in stores still.

  20. I know it’s only October but I’m trying to get a handle on my Christmas list and want to knit some scarves as presents. Is there such a thing as too many winter scarves? I’m thinking something plush and warm and functional rather than purely decorative.

    • Lady Harriet :

      No! Especially if the people you’re giving them to live in places with a long winter. I get bored wearing the same outerwear day after day, so it’s nice to be able to change things up. I keep knitting scarves for people, too, so I hope they feel the same way. ;)

    • I often wear the same scarves for outdoor purposes as I do for inside purposes – maybe aim for something that can do that sort of double duty. Which, to me, means no super chunky stitch (large gauge), in a fiber that can handle being near my skin. Maybe a denser stitch (I’m thinking in terms of crochet, rather than knit though), so you get the warmth and weight and something that holds it’s shape?

      I’ve already got my dad’s present picked out, and SIL’s present planned. Now I just have to figure out my mom and brothers…

    • I’m glad your impulse is functional scarves. Every year there seems to be some sort of “yarn trend” that serves as the inspiration for a new set of scarves from my female family members (for example, eyelash yarn was really big a few years ago, mesh/lace yarn was last year). I wear those around the holidays once or twice for the givers benefit, but they’re not really my style/not warm enough to justify wearing.

      In sum, I think functional, warm scarves that match the receiver’s style are a great gift.

    • No! I love having fun new outerwear and being able to change things up when I get bored of wearing my black peacoat for the upteenth day in a row.

    • I think one can have too many winter scarves (my relatives over-use this gift idea, for example).
      But one cannot have too many homemade winter scarves. It’s a whole other kind of gift, and only a real jerk would be unappreciative. Knit away!

    • Honey Pillows :

      As a fellow knitter, just know there will be some people who will NEVER wear the scarf you give them, and unless you’re pretty thick-skinned, that will hurt.

      Knitting patterns are seductive and smexy, the models all looking warm and lovely on windswept moors, but a general rule for giving knitting to anyone other than SO/parents/other knitters: if you wouldn’t buy it and give it as a gift, don’t knit it and give it as a gift.

      If you’re a beginner knitter, stick with very simple patterns in luxurious yarns. (Ribbed, simple lace, longways stockinette, even regular stockinette in fantastic yarn.) People are far more likely to wear these, and they’re easier. And gorgeous yarn is just delightful to knit. (Mm, Manos del Uruguay alpaca…) Unfortunately, this can be just as expensive as buying normal gifts, if not more expensive.

      My final piece of knitting advice: Don’t invest heavy amounts of time/money in anything knit for a boyfriend. Fiances and husbands are ok. I knit a sportweight ribbed cashmere scarf for an ex-boyfriend who threw it away when he met his now-wife. The 20 hours and $100+ of yarn that went into that still drive me nuts.

    • As a fellow knitter, I’ll warn you not to get too ambitious with your gift knitting, because all holiday presents will have the same or similar deadlines. Be realistic about how much you’ll do.

      And no, there is no such thing as too many winter scarves, at least not to a scarf wearer.

    • The scarves I’ve made that get the most use are all the same. It’s a long lengthwise rib (very easy pattern that I could post here) made of Plymouth Yarns alpaca brush. I’ve made it for guys in black or charcoal and I’ve made it for women in pink, yellow, mocha and who knows what else. They are warm and soft and snuggly scarves. And not expensive.

    • Thanks hive! I usually try to pick projects that will be well received and won’t drive me crazy. I think last Christmas I made 4 presents and bought the rest. I truly think the recipients will like their presents which is why I chose these particular scarves/people.

  21. Seriously, I love and respect all of you on this site A LOT A LOT but every relationship threadjack is turning into a DTMFA thread. It’s so weird. Cut some people the they’re-only-human-and-can-be-rehabilitated card. But I’m a monster, what do I know.

    • Godzilla, you’re a loveable monster and know lots!

      But many of the relationship threadjacks are ones where the SO sounds like they’re not really that compatible with only 1 person (and sometimes 0 people) in that couple willing to meet halfway.

      I’m all for cutting people slack, but I’m also 100% against trying to turn people into something they’re not. A boyfriend/SO/husband is not a “rehab” project. Kinder to turn them loose and let them find someone who’s cool with who they currently are (and who they will likely be indefinitely.)

      • I agree with you 4223%. Perhaps rehab isn’t the right word. With all relationships, romantic or not, there is an adjustment period, though.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      There’s a selection bias in the data, right? The ladies usually post about frustrations/angst, not “aww, my SO randomly brought me home my very favorite flowers and made dinner.” It’s more, “my SO is making me feel bad about XYZ, am I crazy???” to which we usually say no, you are not crazy, and maybe DTFMA.

      • Agreed.

        And as someone who has wasted way too much time in bad relationships and who knows lots of women who have done the same — Right or wrong, I’m strongly in the “I’d rather be alone and lonely than lonely and with someone” camp.

        • Gurl, I’m right there in that club with you. It takes a special monster to warm my heart.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I hear Talos is available, if you’re into mythological bronze men.

      • I agree. There’s definitely more venting about the bad than the good, which biases the response.

        That said, the Hive could do a better job of emphasizing the “maybe” in maybe DTMFA… and at the end of the day, this is all out of context, so all advice from [this site] should come with a disclaimer that it’s based on imperfect information.

        (I hope that doesn’t come off as overly discounting Hive advice. I love Hive advice! But I’d be worried if anyone lived their life strictly according to Hive advice… I mean, what if we don’t agree – do I wear one peeptoe and one closed toe shoe? ;) )

        • LadyEnginerd :

          See, I disagree. Friends in real life will soften things and not say what they really think. Internet anonymity allows people to be blunt. Sometimes, you need blunt. I think that there’s an understanding that advice should be taken with a grain of salt… but if something blunt hits home, whether it’s a potential red flag to mull over or a identification of clear crossing of the line, then it was all worth it. When reading over all the advice and perspectives and stories, if something really resonates with you, that’s where it’s valuable to stop and think about what that means.

          I’ve definitely been the person in a relationship where everyone saw how bad it was, but no one who knew the both of us was willing to give me the kick in the butt to look in the mirror and see how unhappy I was. They didn’t want to “meddle.” Except for my mother, bless her. I just try to pay forward the blunt love. :)

      • Honey Pillows :

        See my TJ in the Open Thread: credit card post. I hope we get lots of responses, because we are some pretty awesome ladies who deserve awesome SO’s.

    • +1 for the monster :


    • Had to google DTMFA. Love it. The phrase I use is, “He’s just not that into you,” but I like DTMFA much better.

      Monsters are the best.

    • Well, it kind seems like usually that mf-er needs to be d-ed already.

    • Honey Pillows :

      There are definitely some relationship TJs that I absolutely agree with, but I’m also in the “You’re not compromising your standards if he’s not perfect” camp. We’re not perfect either!

    • I felt that way about the neighbor complaint up there. I read that as 45% OP’s fault, 55% neighbor’s fault. But Hive reaches for the pitchfork like whoa most of the time. I think we assume that a corpor3tt3r is never wrong. (which may be true :)

      • But…but….this pitchfork is my fave accessory! It goes with everything! And…and…it’s superglued to my fingers! Just kidding. Yeah, I hear ya on the corpor3tt3 loyalty, it can be a bias.

  22. anonymous :

    My best friend (27, f, 2 kids under age 6, her 1st marriage) has realized she needs to end her marriage (7 yrs long, he is approx. 15 yrs older, this is husband’s 3rd marriage and he has other kids).

    There is no huge blow up, she has just been unhappy for a very long time, he didn’t follow through on what he agreed to in their past marriage counseling trips, and she’s realized he is who he is and that’s not the right person for her. I ordered her the book the hive always recommends (too good to go, too bad to stay, I think it’s called) but don’t know what else to do other than to listen.

    Any other advice would be great, in terms of preparing, giving him the news, telling their kids, etc. Anything you wish you’d done better or learned or did well or… well, anything. Thank you!

    • anonymous :

      wait, do not answer here, I will post in the newer post that just went up. thank you.

  23. Anyone know how DVF jackets fit? I assumed “designer=slim” so I ordered a 4 but could maybe get a 2. Bust/waist measurements are a 2 but “high hip” requires a 4.

  24. Sami Williams :

    I love the look of this jacket. I just bought my daughters new Girls Wool Coats from Burlington Coat Factory. We saved $100 in one shopping trip and they love their new coats. They have a similar style to this one.

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