Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Dolce Check Faux Wrap Sheath Dress

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

I think this is a really pretty check pattern, and I like the faux wrap style and black trim details and the fact that it has a concealed back zip. The only thing that makes me sad about this dress is that there’s no matching blazer. You could wear this with greens or yellows for a more spring-y look, or just whites and grays if you want to keep it classic, or pick up the black pattern and trim and wear it with a black blazer or cardigan. It’s in sizes 2-16 at Bloomingdale’s for 30% off: $89 down from $128. Dolce Check Faux Wrap Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

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



  1. BklynTechie :

    Thoughts on using a HELOC toward home renovations? Thoughts on convincing my husband it’s a good idea? Details follow.

    We bought a house eight years ago at $250k, and owe $175 on it. The neighborhood is rapidly gentrifying and the city’s market value estimate on our house (usually much lower than ultimate sale price) just jumped to 1.1m! The house next door, which is uninhabitable and literally has no walls just sold for 1.1m, so the city’s appraisal seems valid. Brooklyn real estate – insane.

    We have a pre-approved HELOC of $250k and I would love to dip into it for renovations. Maybe borrow 50-75. The interest is low, around 3%. The house is still kind of in fixer-upper shape needs a lot of non-cosmetic work. New roof, new facade, insulation added to a couple of rooms. Also some more unnecessary renovations like upgrading a bathroom, putting in a gas stove. We’ve been paying as we go for small projects when we can afford to pay in cash. At times I’ve thought we made some seriously bad decisions with that approach – like getting our roof patched for thousands of dollars but ultimately needing a new roof two years later. These upgrades would absolutely increase the value of our home and make it seem “finished.”

    A little more background. We rent out part of the house, and the monthly rental income exceeds our mortgage payments. Improvements to the house are partly tax deductible because of the rental. A grand or so toward paying off the HELOC (is my math way off??) would be totally in reach. We will TTC in the next two years, and IMO a lot of the renovations are necessary before that (in part due to lead paint and other toxins).

    Finally, my husband is really, really debt averse. He wants the home improvements but wants to continue with small projects (and cheap contractors) we can afford in cash. Generally I am debt averse as well. But this just seems like a smart decision. Any thoughts on this? Am I missing a lot of the cons?

    • Anonymous :

      Get all your renovations you can afford and want to do done before baby comes. Don’t put it off. Don’t be me where the kitchen countertop was installed the day I gave birth because the renovations took twice as long as expected.

      I’ve done both. Renovations before baby are way, way easier. Like no comparison. Get things done properly by a reputable contractor. Avoid the cash contractors especially for things like lead paint issues.

      • Anonymous :

        also, your DH may be debt averse but he is not risk adverse as he’s preferring to get work done in a haphazard risky manner. You might point out the long term costs of not having work done properly – e.g. room redo or cost of moving out during lead paint or asbestos remediation – a lot more $$ if you need to find a place to accommodate you, DH + baby (minimum one bedroom) vs. just the two of you (studio).

      • +1. This was happening in our household until I had a mental breakdown when I found out I was pregnant with twins and husband knew I was serious. We hired a contractor, paid $50k for all work to be done and it was done literally the day we brought the boys home from the hospital. Best money I’ve ever spent. Do it now, really do it now.

    • If you can afford the payments, I say do it now, before things are in such disrepair that it costs more. I don’t think you’re risking being underwater on your mortgage at this point.

    • Anonymous :

      What’s your primary goal in doing the work? Improving your day-to-day enjoyment of the house or positioning the house for resale? Remember that increasing property value is meaningless unless you’re planning to sell and realize the gain. If you’re planning to sell in the next few years, you should hire a good contractor and make the house’s style/finish level consistent throughout- this is easiest to do as part of a single reno. One off projects with cheap contractors will most likely hurt resale. If you’re doing this for your own enjoyment, you can go either way.

    • I think in your situation the HELOC makes very good sense for home renovations. You said you’re in Brooklyn? The rental market will be stable there, and it seems to me you could count on reliable rental income to continue covering the mortgage. If you think you could make the monthly payments on the HELOC without sweating it too much, I would totally do it (and I think your math is about right. We bought our house in a LCOL area for about $209K five years ago. Including our property taxes, etc, we pay about $1100/mo for our mortgage).

      I am generally, like your husband, very adverse to taking on new debt and spending large chunks of money at a time if it can be avoided. If it were me, this is an area where I would open my wallet to get quality work done by contractors I trusted (ESPECIALLY because the house needs non-cosmetic work).

      If my spouse were selling this idea to risk-adverse me, the biggest things that would sway me would be a breakdown of how we would pay the monthly payment on the HELOC and the value it would add to our home (both economic and lifestyle-wise) to do the renovation.

      • +1 to this. I am super debt/risk-averse and totally not open to taking out a HELOC to add on to our house anytime soon (which my husband has suggested). But in your situation it sounds reasonable. Agreed as well on how to convince your husband – I would want to see the numbers on paper in terms of monthly payments, interest, and the overall reno plan/cost estimates.

    • I agree with you. In arguing your side, I’d add that putting off non-cosmetic issues can cause more expensive problems later, and it can cost less in the long run to do more at once – there are efficiencies to be gained with your approach that are missing in the doing it in spurts approach he wants.

    • I will dissent in part. I think you should do the non-cosmetic stuff, especially stuff that could be threatening to a child’s health, like removing the lead paint, but I would put all cosmetic upgrades on hold until you have more money. I know the house has gone way up in value, but if you borrow $75k you essentially no longer have any equity in the house and that would be pretty scary to me. And unless you’re planning to flip the house in the next couple of years, the cosmetic upgrades are pretty much worthless to the value of the house – you’re doing them for your own enjoyment, which is fine, but it’s no different than buying a handbag and shouldn’t be thought of as a “better” or more valuable purchase. If you renovate the bathroom now, and then don’t sell the house for 20 years you’re not going to realize any gain on what you spent on the renovations, because the styles will have changed so much by then.

      • She has lost of equity if her house is worth $1.1 million. The bank wouldn’t have given her a HELOC that would potentially wipe out all of her equity.

        • *lots

        • Yes – that’s my understanding. The price at which you purchase your home becomes irrelevant the day after you own it. FMV is what the banks will use. If she takes out the full $250K, in addition to the $175K – she owes a total of $425K on a house worth $1.1M, so well over $500K in equity in the house. Whether you can afford the payments are a different story, but no bank would bat an eye at that.

      • I agree with this, mostly. Also, the necessary/non-cosmetic stuff may cost much more than you anticipate, so it makes sense to me to do that first and then think about the cosmetic upgrades. Also, only the renovations that benefit the entire structure, like a new roof, are tax deductible because of the rental. Technically, you should not be deducting any of the cost of renovating a bathroom in your part of the house due to the rental.

        We also have a rental unit that pays part of the mortgage (for us, the interest and escrow, with some leftover for maintenance). We have done cosmetic renovations for our own enjoyment for about $30K, in cash, split into two large projects. I don’t think we’ve increased our home’s value significantly, so in some ways, it’s no more “valuable” than a new handbag. But these renovations were necessary for us to actually enjoy our home and have kept us from moving into a larger house with higher expenses and no rental income. I count that as an overall financial win for us. Your situation is admittedly different because your home’s value has quadrupled in 8 years, which gives you a lot more options.

      • I agree with this.

        OP since your renter covers the mortgage, you can certainly afford to take out a HELOC but I would resist the temptation to do it for anything purely cosmetic because you just never know. But lead paint needs to go now, a house without a good roof isn’t much in the way of shelter, and insulation will pay for itself in cheaper heating and cooling costs; those things can and should be taken care of with a HELOC.

    • Ordinarily I say no to this, but…..well done my dear. You are in a great position, especially if the plan is to continue renting after the baby comes, and property taxes are also not going to quadruple.

      Are your jobs stable?

      I would take the loan.

      But think carefully about what to do, and realize it could cost a lot more than you anticipate/estimates.

    • That’s what the HELOC is for. I would make the improvements now and pay them off aggressively. Kitchen and bathroom improvements have the highest return in market value. But more than that, they allow you to enjoy the house you live in now.

    • Anonattorney :

      It’s not a risk question, it’s just a question of how much you can afford to spend on monthly debt payments. If you can get a HELOC for 3%, and interest is tax deductible, then it makes more sense (to me) to use the HELOC for necessary home improvements and devote your cash to retirement or other investment. For cosmetic upgrades, again, it depends on how much the monthly payment on a 75k debt will affect your bottom line. I

    • Get it done now before kiddo comes along. Also, if you itemize you can deduct taxes paid on an equity line.

    • I mostly agree with you but think you are being overly simplistic. It will definitely be easier to do a bunch of renovations at once (one GC, one set of disruptions to your life) and probably cheaper rather than hiring them out piecemeal. But keep in mind that most HELOCs are tied to the prime rate so the payments will rise as interest rates go up.

      Depending on your overall financial picture a cash-out refi (with a 10 or 15-year term) might be a good option instead.

  2. Just wanted to toot my own horn– I accepted an offer for my dream job yesterday after 4 months of being unemployed! I feel so relieved.

    It doesn’t start for another month. What would you do if you had a whole month off without the anxiety of job searching, but didn’t have the budget to travel?

    • Work out a lot, pick up an old hobby again?

    • Congratulations!!

    • Anonymous :


      If I had a month of ‘staycation’ in my city I would Konmari my house, then do one new activity each day. Many places have inexpensive intro classes – indoor rock climbing, ice skating, ballet, home reno classes like painting are all things I’ve been wanting to try but can’t find the time.

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats! I’d sleep, read, exercise, cook lots of freezer meals and try to do some very budget-friendly travel (drive to visit a friend?)

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yes, I’d take a road trip to visit all the friends I’ve been meaning to see but never get around to. This may be more or less easy depending on your geography, but I’m assuming you’re in NY, and most everyone has some friends on the east coast they’ve been meaning to visit.

        And congrats! It is an amazing feeling.

        • +1. I could not afford a fancy bar trip, but I took a long road trip where I stayed with friends and family and went Maine to Atlanta. No regrets and not crazy costs — friends and family were glad to give me their grocery money to cook elaborate meals for them, plus I found lots to do for cheap to free (DC museums, NC beaches, free passes to stuff at my alma mater, and festivals in Atlanta). Go for it!

    • Congratulations! I’m currently in month 2 of unemployment and really struggling to stay confident/motivated after a string of rejections. What a relief it must be to have found something!

      I would invest time in a hobby and work out a lot.

      • Keep at it! I had one major rejection early on, and then it was radio silence for almost 2 months. I was so discouraged/mopey/desperate. Then, all of a sudden, interest poured in– I actually had two offers this week and had to turn one down. I hope you find something soon!

        • My husband was unemployed for four months this summer/early fall. It was super quiet for most of that time and then he ended up getting 3 offers within 2 weeks and ended up at his dream company. The quiet phase is the worst, but hang in there – it will come together!

    • Congrats!!

      Depending on where you live, see what the (cheap/free) touristy things in your area to do are and go see them (you can even invite out of town friends over for the weekend if you want)!

      Try those new, complicated recipes you’ve been putting off because they take too much time.

      If you have a whole month, consider spending 10 days doing the necessary projects that you keep putting off/require a whole day of time (cleaning out your home/closet, etc.) and spend the other 20 indulging yourself in a hobby, etc.

      If you need to earn some money, consider tutoring or babysitting a few hours a week to pay for fun activities that may currently be out of budget, but you know you won’t have the time for once you go back to work.

      Just remember to go back to a reasonable sleep schedule 2-3 days before you start your new jobs so your body can ease into the transition.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Congrats! Not totally free, but a lot of state and national parks have cabins or yurts that are VERY inexpensive to rent by the week. I would go stay there for a week with a huge stack of books and turn off my cell phone. Sort of like Wild, but without the hiking. :)

    • I would cook a lot! Both elaborate things that I wouldn’t normally have time for and also big meals to freeze in anticipation of being busier. And other general stuff to keep extraneous errands off my plate for a bit to focus on my new job – organizing and decluttering in my house, closet cleanout and getting clothing tailored, doctors appointments, etc. But also definitely some fun (cooking is fun for me though), a road trip to see friends sounds great.

    • Senior Attorney :


      I’d cook, clean out/organize all my closets (maybe do a whole-house KonMari), exercise, sleep, and do all the free/low cost touristy things in my town. Oh, and getting all the errandy stuff done is a great idea.


    • Lobbbyist :

      I’d work out twice every day!

  3. How do you know what clothes are wrinkle resistant and will travel well? I’m starting a job that involves a lot of travel, and right now I only really know if something will travel well if it is marked as such, like on MM LaFleur’s site. I’d rather not be so limited to just one or two brands.

    • not Hitha :

      One easy test is to ball up the fabric in your hand and see if it stays wrinkled when you let go. Obvious, but I never thought of it until reading it somewhere.

      Do you know the blog Hitha On the Go? She has some good tips.

      • whoa, just looked at Hitha on the go and this is super helpful! thanks!

      • Ok, I’m going to fall into an internet rabbit hole because this woman seems awesome.

      • She suggests Ivanka Trump items on her website …

        • So then don’t buy Ivanka branded items.

        • Not everything has to be all political all the time.

          • Anonymous :

            Glad it’s mere politics for you. Unfortunately, this president has made it so that, as a matter of fact, “everything” for some people has indeed become politics — whether they can keep their healthcare, or travel abroad and come back, whether they will have to someday register in a database to prove their loyalty to this country, whether they can walk outside without being harassed bc the guy in charge keeps demonizing their religion or ethnicity.
            Oh but aargh, sooo annoying for you to have to read about it.

          • Anonymous :

            Ugh. I agree politically with anonymous at 1:47, but boy that condescension and superiority is off-putting.

        • The very first post I saw had a picture of her in a Nasty Woman t-shirt and was about Planned Parenthood so maybe just let that one go, ok?

        • I follow her on Insta and she’s pretty anti-Trump/politically vocal on that platform. Maybe the Ivanka Trump links/suggestions are old?

          • Anonymous :

            And anonymous at 2:45 you’re doubly repulsive if you claim to agree with me “politically” but object to – what, the tone? This is literally my reality now, and my family’s. I find it horrifying that it’s reduced to mere politics, both by the original poster and now by you, and even more pathetic is the notion that in describing that reality, I am now being condescending and superior.

    • Poly crepe, knits, and wool blends are your friends. Roll items when possible. Invest in decent luggage and a travel steamer.

      • Agree with this and would add specifically ponte knits.

        I’ve never needed a travel steamer. When I was a road warriore t t e (50% travel job) I traveled with mostly structured knits and made sure I packed right before I left my house and unpacked the minute I got to my hotel room. I hung everything I would be wearing for work. They were usually fine by the next morning.

        I liked roll packing for wrinkle avoidance.

      • A small spray bottle of water helps release wrinkles. Just hang your clothes, spritz all over, and make sure to smooth any wrinkled spots. I do this when I get to the hotel, and most items are fine when I need them. Also, a blow dryer is a good stand in for an iron if there’s a set in crease on something.

    • Anonymous :

      Synthetic (or synthetic/natural fiber blends) are usually less likely to wrinkle. Knits are less likely than wovens to wrinkle. There are exceptions to both rules. The ball up and release method is a good check.

    • The “crinkle” test helps. Also, I have a travel steamer and I’ll layer those sheets of plastic from the dry cleaners between my clothes when packing. It helps reduce wrinkles when the items slide against each other, versus rub.

  4. Recruiter? :

    I graduated last May and started working full time about 6 months ago. Last night a recruiter contacted me through LinkedIn saying she wanted to talk about the markets and job opportunities that do align with my interest. I don’t know if I want to jump ship right now but I would like to have a recruiter as a contact, and looking through her profile and the recruitment agency she works for she looks legit.

    I’m planning on emailing her just to talk, might as well know what’s out there. Any suggestions for how to approach this or things I may not be thinking of?

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I think it’s a smart move to have a recruiter as a contact. You never know where your career will go. I suggest meeting her for coffee or lunch and see what she has to say.

    • In my field, recruiters are a dime a dozen and as you advance, become as common as telemarketers. It’s field-specific. Sometimes they only know about the bad jobs that are always vacant. Stay smart. Maybe play them against one another or test their knowledge one against the other.

      • +1. In law, you’ll start getting calls from recruiters at least weekly. If you take the time to network with all of them, you literally won’t be doing anything else. Plus, they can smell blood, so if you show the slightest bit of interest they will start calling you multiple times a day. I think it’s better to just avoid until you have a real interest in moving.

      • +1 I get contacted by recruiters on LinkedIn about once a week (engineering). I send roughly the same reply to all of them — “thanks for reaching out, this sounds like an interesting opportunity, I’m not looking for a new position right now, but let’s keep in touch.”

  5. Paradigm shift :

    This post is for anyone who agrees with me that we need a paradigm shift on abortion in this country. It’s time for us women to move beyond defensive mode – always guarding against the next round of budget cuts to Planned Parenthood, always keeping an eye out for restrictive laws, always trying to defend our motives and intentions to prove we’re not monsters. Instead, I want every single woman to know that medication abortion is a safe, private option with the power to return our rights to us alone. If Roe v. Wade gets overturned, that cannot (and will not) be the end of safe abortion in the United States; instead, please spread the word so that every woman knows about medication abortion. I don’t want a single woman to turn to unsafe options when a safe option is available, even if we reach a day where Congress, the Supreme Court, and/or her doctor says it’s not allowed. It’s not their decision and I do not care what they have to say. It’s time to tell, not ask. Read more here and spread the word.

    • Anonymous :

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    • And if your mother had chosen convenience over little you ??? How about a balance. Have you ever spoken with people who were adopted or the adoptive parents who are over the moon with being able to become a parent?

      • Anonymous :

        If you think adoption is always an alternative to abortion then you are woefully ignorant about the causes of abortion and the need for abortion in this country. Try educating yourself a little and maybe work on your empathy.

        • +1.

        • OCAssociate :


          • And I could say the same about all of you. This is a polarizing issue. If we don’t listen honestly and openly to everyone’s full viewpoint, there’s no resolution. I thought attorneys are also trained in negotiation and compromise. Clearly that’s not a value on this blog any longer.

            You effectively force out everyone with whom you do not agree.

            No dissenting voice is permitted. Just trampled.


          • nasty woman :


            Everyone here made substantive points in response to your trite “what about adoption!?!?” question-this is not “trampling” you. You are equally free to respond substantively to anyone’s points. You have failed to do so. Instead, you simply whine that people are being mean to you. Therefore, I conclude that you cannot.

            I do not “compromise” regarding who uses my body. Full stop.

            Love, Nasty Woman, Esq.

          • @Anon — I think people would be more willing to listen to your “dissenting” voice if you didn’t cloak it in tons of disdain and negate all of the reasons people have abortions.

            I’m willing to talk about the differences. I’m not willing to be condescended to, or facts overlooked.

          • Anonymous :

            What ELS said.

            If you start from a point of disdain and proceed with a lack of empathy don’t be surprised where you end up in a place where no one wants to engage in your version of a ‘discussion’.

      • Anonymous :

        Shut up. I don’t owe the world my uterus for 9 months just because someone wants to use me to incubate a baby.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        If her mother had made that choice she literally would not know the difference. That argument is just nonsensical.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        Choice is the key word! I’m staunchly pro choice because whatever my personal views, it is not my place to decide for someone else and it’s not yours either!! Women can choose to do whatever they want without your input! Pro lifers are not pro life! They are pro birth and controlling other people!

        • This type of comment really makes it hard to keep reading here. Have you ever talked to a person who is pro life? Do you really think her bottom line is controlling other people? Or do you think she maybe just believes that life begins at conception and that it’s wrong to extinguish that life? So, so, so difficult to keep reading this liberal echo chamber.

          • anonypotamus :

            I have, actually. And I totally respect a person’s choice to believe that and make those decisions for herself. I do not wish to have someone else make those decisions for me. I am Pro-Choice. As in, each person has the freedom to choose what is best for her.

            As I have said before, I’d have an easier time stomaching the pro-life position if it actually appeared to be pro-life rather than pro-fetus. So many “pro-lifers” I know are staunchly pro-death penalty, anti-refugee/immigration, pro-torture, anti-affordable healthcare/access to birth control (things that decrease the need for abortions), and anti-welfare/social programs, ergo, in my view, more accurately “pro-fetus” than “pro-life”.

            Plus, ultimately what it comes down to is bodily autonomy. You cannot be compelled to donate organs or blood or tissue against your will. Even if it will save someone’s life. Even if someone will die if you don’t. I have a hard time accepting that it is ok to dictate what a woman does with her own body (ideally with input from her medical and, if appropriate, her partner).

          • nasty woman :

            I have! I said this here a few days ago- I am verrrrrrry familiar with the sort of attitudes in the anti-choice movement. I have concluded that most people (especially the activists and the ones involved in policy-making) are not motivated for a concern for life. Feel free to see my post on same from yesterday.

            Even if you meet the nicest anti-choicer in the world who truly wants to Save the Babies ™ and doesn’t think that she *wants* to control people, that person is STILL telling me that she believes it is acceptable to remove my control over my life and body. Not ok.

        • Anonymous :


          This exactly.

      • Getting an abortion is not a matter of convenience.

      • Paradigm shift :

        Like I said, I don’t care what opponents have to say. You do you! My priority is spreading knowledge so you can continue to oppose lifesaving healthcare, but we will continue to survive.

      • RUDE. Insultingly selfish and cruel dichotomy. Have you ever talked to the thousands of children who grew up in foster care because they didn’t get placed in a home? Or the children whose parents resented them and made their lives miserable?

        Or me, whose mother was able to have me, and support me even as a single mother, after establishing a career that was only possible because she had terminated a pregnancy during college?

      • Yep I know many people who were adopted, and adoptive parents, who are staunchly pro-choice and who find it morally repugnant to imagine forcing women to give birth.

      • There are literally hundreds of thousands of children currently available for adoption.

        Adoption is not an option for many, including those who are trapped in abusive relationships where their partner will not consent to adoption. Then they get stuck with their abusive partner raising the child or having access to the child for the rest of their life.

        Not all states prohibit rapists from having custody of or access do children they created by raping someone. Their consent is also required for adoption in many cases.

        • Seriously, the people who use the “put them up for adoption!” argument need to take a long, hard, intimate look at our current foster system.

      • I cannot imagine that anyone who is actually a mother would see things in such a simplistic light.

      • By way of context, I am currently 8 months pregnant, which took three years of increasingly aggressive medical treatment (culminating in IVF-with-ICSI) to accomplish. Going through this experience has convinced me of one thing: everyone in my life should have exactly as much right to weigh in on whether the medical procedures that would end the pregnancy as they did for the procedures that were necessary to achieve it. (Read: if you’re not my doctor, partner, or pastor — not your business.)

        For whatever it’s worth, please know that both before and throughout the grueling treatment process, my husband and I did consider various forms of adoption (domestic infant, international infant, foster-to-adopt, etc) and decided that infertility treatment was the right way for us to build our family at this time. And please know that the individuals and families who are involved on all sides of adoption each have unique and powerful experiences that deserve to be honored individually, rather than treated as a monolithic “they would all say adoption is great and should be the preferred outcome of an unwanted pregnancy” cudgel. Just the same way that people who deal with any other intense medical and psychological challenge should be allowed to offer their own unique and nuanced viewpoints, not treated as a bloc.

        For me, that’s the bottom line of the pro-choice movement: every individual pregnancy exists in entirely unique circumstances. Only the people who are most intimately involved can weigh the myriad factors to decide on the best (or sometimes, “least bad”) outcome for their family, and they should not be placed at increased medical risk (as abortion restrictions inevitably do) by policymakers and activists.

        • This. Yes. Thank you.

        • +1 – don’t believe in abortion? Don’t have one. But step out of my life choices, they aren’t yours to make.

          • Exactly. In my life, there is unlikely to ever be a situation leading to the choice for me as a healthy woman to abort a healthy fetus. It would break my heart. But I recognize not everyone is sentimental like I am, and many, many women do not have the resources that I have to adapt to an unintended pregnancy. I have kids. I know the strain that pregnancy and children put on your health, finances and family relationships. I believe each woman is uniquely qualified to evaluate her own situation; if she has decided termination is the best choice for her, then what does some @$$hat in a statehouse know that she doesn’t? Absolutely nothing. Literally the only argument against abortion is a religious-based one regarding when “life” begins. If we accept that government is secular (although I guess that’s up for debate these days), it becomes very obvious that it’s inappropriate for the state to be weighing in on what is – absent religion – a medical procedure. Keep your moral crusade out of the reality of a woman’s life. If you want to minimize abortions (which I think most people would agree is a worthy goal), how about focusing on contraception and social safety nets that would minimize the reasons a woman would feel that pregnancy/motherhood is incompatible with her life.

          • I don’t believe in abortion, and I won’t have one, nor do I want any of my tax dollars going towards other people having one.

          • Spirograph :

            Your tax dollars aren’t. There’s a law about that.

          • anonypotamus :

            Also – even if your tax dollars were going toward supporting another person having one, sometimes our tax dollars go toward things we do not support – that’s one of the trade offs of living in society.

          • Also, since someone else talked about your tax dollars not actually going to abortions:

            I also don’t believe in drone strikes, or needless military action, or corporate welfare, or or or or, and I don’t want my tax dollars going toward those things. My tax dollars fund a lot of things I don’t like, actually.

            Turns out that, in a pluralistic society, sometimes we pay for things we don’t like.

          • Anonymous :

            My right to not accept abortion is equally valid. Frankly, I don’t believe in birth control either. And yes, our taxes dollars do go towards abortion, they just don’t at Planned Parenthood. But of course, on this blog, if you aren’t ultra liberal left, you are subject to all types of denigration and name calling.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            What does that mean about birth control? Do you think that all women should be mothers? Or if they don’t want to be mothers that they should never have sex? Do you want me to practice abstinence with my husband since we don’t have kids and thereby forego that part of our relationship?

          • Sydney Bristow :

            And aside from someone saying “rude” you were not called names. And having several emphatic responses that disagree with you is not being denigrated. That is people (almost entirely respectfully in this case) expressing a different opinion and explaining why they disagree with you.

          • Oh my. I can understand if you don’t support abortion, even if I disagree, but I can’t wrap my head around that you don’t “believe in birth control either.” Please tell this to the millions of women worldwide in poverty, already with a multitude of kids. I’m shocked at statements like this.

          • +1 to Oh My.

            I don’t really care if someone “believes” in birth control. No one is making them use it. It’s a necessary part of my healthcare regimen (not just because of the controlling birth part, either. I enjoy not bleeding to death every month, thank you very much).

            The idea that you should tell someone that they can’t control getting pregnant is frankly astonishing to me. No one is saying you have to use birth control.

          • Anonymous :


          • So you don’t believe in birth control. Goody for you. What does that have to do with me or any of the other women on this site? You might have missed it, but this is a site for professional women who desire to achieve in the workplace, and having good, reliable birth control so one can time one’s children (if desired) is an important part of that. I think you want the Quiverfull mommy blogs that-a-way —>. Have a nice life!

          • Anonymous :

            @ Anon 1:22

            If you think this blog is “ultra liberal left” then you must be hanging out in some pretty far right places.

      • nasty woman :

        “And if your mother had chosen convenience over little you ??? How about a balance. Have you ever spoken with people who were adopted or the adoptive parents who are over the moon with being able to become a parent?”

        *Cracks knuckles.*

        To begin. Giving birth and raising a child is not a matter of “convenience.” An inconvenience is when I miss my bus had have to take a later one. An inconvenience is I need to run to the store and pick up milk. Dropping off my dry cleaning is an inconvenience. Having a child is one of the most fundamentally life-changing events in a woman’s life. Bearing a child is often one of the most physically impactful events in a woman’s life. Those impacts can be major or minor, temporary or permanent. Bearing and raising a child can significantly effect a woman’s job, relationships, and existing children. It is insulting to women and to mothers everywhere to diminish motherhood to a question of “convenience.” The fact that you appear to need this spelled out for you makes me question a) your competence and b) whether you view women as people.

        Second, this argument is stupid and nonsensical because 6 week -old fetal Nasty Woman (Nasty Fetus?) had no awareness of its existence and there was not, and never would have been, a *person named Nasty Woman* to be sad that she’s not here. Come on…. does the phrase “I think, therefore I am” mean anything to you?

        Third, adoption is not a “balance.” Adoption is the solution to an unwanted baby. Abortion is the solution to an unwanted pregnancy (these are different, you know that, right?). Adoption is fine and dandy if a woman is okay with giving birth to a child and giving it up. But if a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant, than adoption doesn’t solve that problem. I am not a baby farm for an infertile couple. You do not get to force me to produce a child because some woman is sad that she can’t have a baby. This is for the same reason that you can’t force me to donate blood or plasma or a kidney to someone who needs it. This is for the same reason that you can’t make me sleep with some man just because he so desperately wants to. I have total sovereignty over my body and that includes who uses it and when. As I said a few days ago, forced gestation is slavery.

        See also, Anon at 9:51. Nice and concise.

      • probably the second child :

        Adopted person here who really really really wishes/hopes her biological mother had the choice – to abort, give up, or keep. But given when and where I was born, it’s unlikely she had too many options.

        I’ve been asked about this a couple of times and I’m always like “why would I care about the counterfactual situation in which I never existed in the first place?” I really don’t get it. If anything, I’d prefer if more children weren’t put in my position because not everyone will get adopted (or adopted into favorable circumstances.)

        As for my parents, they would have been unable to have a child had they not adopted internationally, but honestly, if I hadn’t been there they would have just become great parents to another child. Again, not a big deal.

      • I’ve worked in the foster care system. I’ve worked with CPS kids, and with babies that were part of a safe haven program.

        Your idea that adoption is easy, or that these fetuses, if born, will go on to have lovely lives, is frankly, false. I’ve seen so many times that the lives unwanted children lead are often dismal and full of pain.

        I’m not saying any woman should have an abortion of any kind if she doesn’t want one. I support women keeping babies if they want to (and programs to support them, which the present iteration of the Republican party wants to cut). I support fewer unwanted pregnancies (real sex ed and robust access to birth control for both men and women).

        I support adoption. But it’s not the silver bullet that the anti-choice people seem to think it is. I had many clients who were forfeited by their adoptive parents when they started showing signs of being born drug affected (behavioral problems, etc.). They had been adopted as infants. Many parents walked away when the children were teenagers, and they bounced around the system, often suffering more abuse.

        • + 1

          I have seen a lot of adoptive parents send kids with FASD into foster care when they became older kids/ teenagers (FASD not always diagnosed at birth because sometimes no distinctive facial features). Many of those kids end up in poor quality group homes and then move into the criminal justice system.

          • My friend adopted one of those kids out of the foster care system, not knowing he had FASD, and it had completely ruined her family. It’s tragic for all involved and there is little doubt that this kid, who is now an adult, will be in and out of the criminal justice system for his entire life.

        • +1
          I remarked to my mom once that being aborted is not the worst possible outcome for an unwanted fetus. Not by a long shot. It’s sad, but wishing it were otherwise does not make it not-true.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Even the best-case adoption scenarios can be problematic. My former husband was the subject of a private adoption way back in the 1950’s — his unmarried mother couldn’t keep him and she found a lawyer who arranged for him to be adopted by an upper-middle class couple at birth. He always had a chip on his shoulder because he felt like he didn’t fit into his adoptive family. Then when he found his birth family in his 50s, he felt like he didn’t fit in with them, either. It’s not a panacea by any means.

      • If my mother had said to my father “not tonight, dear, I’ve got a headache” that particular night I wouldn’t be here either. So?? Completely not compelling at all. Did you think that was some kind of amazing revelation for us that our mothers didn’t have abortions (at least, with us)? That we were going to smack our heads and turn from pro-choice to pro-life?

      • I hate the word convenience here, as if an abortion is something some busy woman has on her to-do list along with grocery shopping and getting her hair done.

        The decision to end a pregnancy is a very personal and private one and none of your f***kng business. You cannot compel another woman to carry a child to term because you are imagining some (probably white) couple eagerly awaiting a baby from her.

        The majority of adoptable children are in the foster care system and go un-adopted because they are not babies and not perfect. Most have had drug and/or alcohol exposure in gestation, and some so severely that abortion would have been a blessing.

        You go ahead and adopt these children your judgmental self righteous self before you open your ignorant mouth about abortion again.

      • I’m marrying the man of my dreams because of adoption – his father was adopted and it is an option we would consider if we were not able to have children of our own someday. I am not sure I could get an abortion, but I am 100% sure that my beliefs and opinions should not be imposed on others, which is why I am firmly pro-CHOICE and believe it is a choice every woman should be able to make for herself. Especially because of the various factors that make obligatory pregnancy and delivery not inconvenient, but downright dangerous and deadly for so many other women.

      • Convenience?!

      • In answer to your question – yes, I do know people who have adopted. One of my best friends adopted from Ethiopia. She had also had an abortion. She got cancer a few years after the abortion and then wasn’t able to conceive (I’m sure someone like you would say she “deserved” that, for having an abortion).

        Before you start touting adoption as an alternative to abortion, please research some facts. My friend adopted overseas because courts in this country prioritize preserving the biological family over almost all other concerns. I know a woman who just went through a reversed adoption because a family member of her adoptive child’s mother decided they wanted to raise the baby. The court decided the baby was better off being raised by a biological family member. Those types of stories are not rare. Adoption is difficult to complete, tremendously expensive, and emotionally difficult. It is not the panacea anti-choicers think it is.

        However, since you’re such a fan of adoption, and obviously have all the answers here, I breathlessly await your stories of how many children you have personally adopted and how that’s working out for you.

        If you have never been pregnant when you didn’t want to be, or by a person you didn’t want to raise a child with, you really have no idea what making a choice is like. You might want to listen to some stories from real people making real choices, and not just perpetually retreat into your kneejerk default position, even if that is more emotionally comfortable for you.

      • Here are a few other factors to think about regarding adoption: what if a woman wants to carry a baby to term and then adopt but will lose her job due to the physical limitations of pregnancy? If she will lose her job due to lack of time off for prenatal care or recovery after the birth? If she suffers a severe health condition as a result of the pregnancy (i.e. uterine rupture resulting in stillbirth, hospitalization, and inability to have future children, as happened to an acquaintance of min)? If she may be abused by a partner who doesn’t want her to carry the baby?

        • Or what if she has existing children and being pregnant will prevent her from caring for those other children? That’s what would happen to me if I got pregnant again. I would likely be very ill for 9 months and would be unable to work to support my family or to care for my existing child, who is very much wanted and loved.

      • layered bob :

        Look, I’m a conservative Christian who was abstinent until marriage. I have lovely biological children and currently one foster child, and I’m part of a church in which a large proportion of families foster or adopt. I think, generally speaking, that abortion is morally wrong and I cannot imagine a circumstance in MY life in which I would think abortion was the right choice. So I’m probably doing everything right by your standards.

        BUT I can imagine a lot of circumstances in other women’s lives in which they would think abortion was the right choice for them, and they have the right to make that choice – at any point, for any reason. They deserve to have access to affordable, honest, compassionate health care before/during/after an abortion.

        I have no idea what you mean by “balance” because it’s all hard – children are hard, adoption is hard, abortion is hard, and sometimes getting pregnant is hard too. Literally none of it is convenient. The fact that you cannot see this speaks to a deep lack of empathy and respect for other people, which seems convenient for you, but for no one else.

        • THANK YOU for saying this and kudos to you for defying the conservative Christian stereotype.

          I am a flaming liberal atheist and I would also never have an abortion but that doesn’t mean I think I get to tell anyone else to do with her body.

        • AbsolutelydefinitelytothemaxANONfor this :


      • The adopt, don’t abort is ridiculous. There’s not a need for orphans in this country, and women are not rent-a-wombs for adoption agencies.

        A friend is an adoptee, who likewise adopted, and she is involved in pro-choice organizations.

        My mom is a foster parent, also pro-choice. Both can tell you there are simply too many children in foster care who never have permanent homes. My mom has had teens who “age out” having never had a family to call their own.

      • I’m an adoptive parent – my daughter is literally the best thing that ever happened to me – and I am 100% pro-choice (and have friends that have had abortions).

    • If my mother couldn’t have taken care of me or if I would have ruined her life I would think that was a smart choice . . .and also wouldn’t know.

    • Paradigm shift :

      Our anti-choice commenter has proved my point. Time to take it out of the hands of our opponents! In the future, women will have safe medication abortions at home in complete privacy, telling only trusted friends and family if they so choose. You can’t stop this process – it’s already happening. We just need more women to know how to do it.

      • Anon for this :

        This is so wonderful. I wish this option had been available to me in the past. The greatest hardship of this choice is the stigma and shame from friends and family.

    • Great idea, Paradigm Shift. I will follow your example and share widely.

      I’ve stopped taking an apologetic stance on abortion, like using extreme examples such as rape or domestic abuse to justify the right to abortion. Now I tell people that I insist on having agency over my body, and I insist on having agency over any unborn child that forms part of and relies on my body. It boggles my mind when people can’t understand that.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Me too. I’ve stopped using justifications that someone *might* feel compassion for. I firmly believe it should be the choice of the woman no matter what the situation is.

        I’ve done a ton of thinking about this because my husband and I are firmly in the don’t want kids camp. We are very careful and use 2 forms of birth control but nothing is perfect. We’ve discussed it and if I accidentally got pregnant, I would have an abortion. I’m sure this is seen as a “convenience” by some, but I don’t care. My body, my choice. You don’t approve of abortion? Don’t have one.

      • Paradigm shift :

        Awesome! I completely agree about the extreme examples angle – I used to do that too and have since stopped.

      • Comment got eaten, apparently? Yes, excellent post. Thank you. I’ve also started framing this as: You cannot stop women from getting abortions. Don’t believe me? Take 30 seconds to Google “abortion in Brazil” or “abortion in Saudi Arabia.”

        What you can do is make it harder for CERTAIN women to access SAFE abortions. I am a middle-class woman in a white-collar job with financial resources, a passport, and paid leave. There is not a force in the world that can stop me from accessing a safe abortion supervised by trained medical professionals, even if it means booking a next-day flight to Sweden and putting a procedure not covered by insurance on a credit card.

        But what if I were low-income? What if I didn’t have a passport? What if I didn’t have transportation? What if I couldn’t take time off of work, or find care for the children that I already had? I’m dying of septicemia from a back-alley procedure, or forced to bear a child against my will.

        That’s the way this plays out. We know, because it’s happening right now in other countries. Banning abortions does not, and will not ever, stop women from getting abortions: all it does is stop the neediest women from getting safe abortions.

      • +1 to this. To me, it’s an issue of agency or personal liberty. I have my own personal beliefs about abortion and what I would or wouldn’t do , but I don’t feel that I have the right to impose or inflict them on anyone else.

    • Anon for this :

      Because there are so many eloquent women here, I’m hoping to get some insight and talking points on a specific abortion topic. I’m very pro-choice. I can easily defend a number of reasons why forcing women to bear unplanned fetuses is wrong. I also am 95% sure that if I planned to get pregnant, got pregnant, and discovered the fetus had significant birth defects, then I would choose to terminate. I don’t know at what point the defects would become “significant” enough for me to make that decision. Certainly if the doctor told me my fetus was likely to die in utero or within minutes of birth, I would not want to carry that baby to term. I don’t know what I would do if the fetus had a longer life expectancy, but was likely to have a very painful life.

      How have others thought through these issues? Is my position defensible?

      • TBH, I avoided this line of thinking. I have kids, and had the same ideas you expressed that I would terminate the pregnancy in the event of defects incompatible with life. But I didn’t see the point in spending the mental and emotional energy on those hypothetical situations. It is an excruciating thing to contemplate, and there is grey area with some diagnoses, and I was very lucky never to have any questionable test results that made it necessary for me to confront.

        Some things I consider pretty black-and-white. Tay Sachs, for example, is nearly 100% fatal in <5 years, and quality of life is questionable long before death. I would not think twice about aborting a fetus known to have Tay-Sachs disease. Others are much more difficult. A former coworker lost his 7-8 year old son who had been born with severe birth defects. He was deaf, was mentally disabled, never walked, and had a host of medical problems with major organs that meant he lived his life in a web of tubes. He was the youngest of 3 children, and I'm sure his life and death were life-changing for the whole family. I wasn't close enough to the coworker to know details of how much they expected based on prenatal tests, but it struck me as tragic and with limited upside. But then, how do you choose to give up on your child when there's a slim chance things might be different? I don't think it's worth war-gaming; you can't possibly know how you'll feel about it until you're there.

      • I have.

        I am a married woman of decent means (I could support an unplanned pregnancy). I don’t really want kids of my own (though may foster once my career life slows down a little). I’ve taken steps to prevent pregnancy, but my husband and I decided that, even though we’re not jazzed about the idea of parenthood, if I had gotten pregnant, we would have kept the child, barring the situation you describe above.

        Here’s where I fall on it:

        I am an atheist, and don’t believe that life begins at conception, but I do understand (and share) discomfort with aborting a fetus that would become viable (for my body/life, not others’).

        I think, however, that moral discomfort that I feel is outweighed by the choice to willingly inflict suffering on the fetus/child once it is born. If I were carrying a child that was going to live minutes or hours, or that would die in utero, I would be devastated to terminate, but I would think it was the kinder solution, as it did not prolong suffering. I cannot imagine birthing a baby only to have it struggle to breathe/function for a short time, and then die. The cruelty of that hurts me far more than the thought of termination in the womb.

        I am prepared to accept many different views on this topic — which is why I am pro-choice. I don’t think a woman who would carry to full term in the situation above is making a bad or wrong choice. I think she and I have different priorities, and that’s FINE. I support her right to do whatever she thinks is best for her and her pregnancy.

      • You don’t know how you will react until you are in this situation. I agree with what someone said above about how this isn’t something that you can war-game. Someone very close to me made the decision to terminate with a similar fact pattern as you’ve described with substantial impairments and an unknown prognosis. It was a heartbreaking process and the decision to terminate was made after appointments with specialists, genetic counselors, and lots of soul searching and tears. On top of it all, they had to make the choice very quickly to comply with time restrictions in the state since they were 20+ weeks. I’ve always been pro-choice, but this made me even more so. If I don’t know what I would do in that situation, how on earth could I possibly tell someone else what they can’t do?

      • lawsuited :

        Yes, I am 8 months pregnant with my first child, and I thought about this issue before and when I got pregnant. I discussed it with my husband, and we both agreed in the abstract that we would want to terminate a pregnancy in the event of a detectable congenital defect and also agreed that if we found ourselves in that position we would discuss it afresh. Thankfully we were not put in that position. I told myself every day for 16 weeks (until all the screenings came back normal) that I was not pregnant but only “potentially pregnant” to prevent myself from feeling attached until I knew all was well, and even so, I’m not sure I could have terminated if we’d received bad news. I am a very rational, practical person, and have been completely taken by surprise by my strong emotional responses during this pregnancy.

        TL;DR: I think it’s fine to have an opinion about what you would do (and whether it’s defensible to other people doesn’t matter) but ultimately you can’t decide until you’re in that position.

      • My spouse is in the medical field and deals with these kinds of questions in a professional context. There is simply no point in playing with these hypotheticals, IMO. You really don’t know how you would feel until / unless you were in that position and it’s just a waste of time to pretend that you can decide ahead of time that Conditions A,B,C would make you want to have an abortion and Conditions D,E,F wouldn’t. Life doesn’t work out that neatly.

  6. miami bound :

    I’ve never worn a bikini, but on my last beach trip I saw I was basically the only person in a one-piece…so I’m going for it for the first time at age 35.

    I’m a size 8 and have a 36 DD chest, so probably need a pretty heavy duty top. It needs to stay put during swimming/normal moving around. And I’d like it to be cute, too–I’m going away with my boyfriend.

    Are all these things possible? I would love some tips, either about specific brands/styles to try or just general tips (I don’t know what these would be but I figure everyone else has like 20 years of bikini-wearing on me).

    Bonus question: I’m extremely fair, with blonde-ish hair and blue eyes. What color is going to work with instead of against my super pale skin?

    • Anonymous :

      Bravissimo is great. Brands I like are Freya, Panache, Fantasie. All bra cup sized and supportive.

      • +1 to these. Bare Necessities and Amazon are my sources for bra sized swim tops (I buy the bottoms at Target).

      • +1 I order bikini and tankini tops online in band/ cup size — if I am unsure I call Bravissiom’s customer support, and they check or tell me to size down/ up based on what I need. The fauberg (sp?) tankini top is awesome.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      My sister (similar size/chest) loves these ones from Patagonia:

      If you want a less sporty vibe, Jcrew also appears to have an entire range of swimwear for DD cups, so maybe check online there?

      If you want to go upmarket – a couple of the high-end lingerie stores in Toronto also sell swimsuits that they can fit to anyone.

      Not a clue re colours though. Have fun!!

    • Good for you!

      Lands End is your friend. Their bikini tops include options for more generous sizes with more support.

    • I love JCrew swimwear – I’m a C cup, but note they offer many styles in a D, and the straps are often slightly thicker on the D styles to help provide support.

    • I just want to say – if you WANT to wear a bikini, wear a bikini. If you want to keep wearing one-pieces, do that. I prefer one-pieces. You do you. Want to wear a bikini? Great! But do it because you want to, not because you feel like everyone else is.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I like one-pieces, too!

        I’m super-pale as well, so in additional to glopping on mineral sunscreen, I usually wear a long-sleeve rashguard over my suits. I’m not picky about colors, but I like cobalt blue (reddish hair/brown eyes).

      • Anon Me Too :

        Totally agree. It sounds like OP is planning to wear a bikini because most other women do. Who cares? And why did TK say “Good for you!”

      • I’m on the big side and generally wear a bikini with a tee. Because that’s what everyone else wears and it makes me stand out way less than being the only adult in a one piece suit. Like the guy who was the only actor in Hair to wear underpants.

    • I’d search for long-line bikini top styles (e.g., They stay put and have a cute vintage look to them. Color-wise, I’d go for any bright color instead of a pastel (which could wash you out) or dark color (which could be too much contrast).

      • I was coming here to post this exact comment. If you’re interested in a two piece but have a bit of a tummy or just want something a little more convered, this vintage style is the way to go. I saw a few women with these outfits last summer and it looked so flattering and cute.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Second anonymous as well. I know VS has its issues, but I have to say as a 32DD I had good luck with some of their swimsuits. They always have a wide variety of top styles and I have found some of them to be very supportive, particularly the underwire styles. Also I know target has just debuted a line of bra cup swimwear that looks very cute although I haven’t tried it personally

      I am pale as well and I tend to go with either a pastel/bright (think like aqua / bright mint green royal blue) or black / navy.

      I also love a good one piece. Makes me feel like sophia loren on the beach, and I have to say some of the bikinis out there are less than flattering. I have the below (purchased at TJ Maxx) – There are some very attractive one piece bathing suits out there that don’t at all read super conservative. the below is sadly no longer being sold but something like that could also be good.

      • Victoria’s Secret discontinued their swimwear line and much of their clothing line, although their PINK swimwear may still be available.

    • Anonymous :

      Athleta seems to have some very supportive tops and many tankini styles which may be a good option is you aren’t completely sold on a bikini. I agree that you should wear what makes you comfortable! Have a great vacay :)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You are going to feel naked at first. Wear it around your house for a bit doing every day things until you feel more comfortable in it.

    • This is funny to me, because I was shopping for a swimsuit recently and thought that it seems like one pieces are becoming more popular?

    • Baconpancakes :

      It’s from the UK, so depending on your location so it might take awhile to get shipping, but I love the selection at The only trick is translating your bra size into their sizes. I have a Cleo by Panache and Pour Moi? I love, and I’m a DDD/E/F.

      I have the same coloring as you, and I honestly just wear anything other than yellow. I embrace the paleness, though, and my suits are a blue and magenta flower pattern and coral and navy stripe. My one-piece is black, and I think it looks great on me.

      Also, no matter how supportive a bra-sized bikini top is, it’s unlikely to be supportive enough to do any kind of water sports. The larger size bra-tops tend to be cut for attractiveness. I got a rash guard to wear over my tops for when I want to go into the water and get tossed around in the waves and not have my ladies escaping their confines and drawing the attentions of all the 13-year-old boys on the beach.

      • Second figleaves. They’re awesome. I like their house brand – it used to be called Midnight Grace but it looks like now they’re just branding it as figleaves. They have a lot of retro styles with high waists if you want a little more coverage for your first bikini.

    • I don’t have any tips, but I will say that I was just on Nordstrom’s site looking up summer clothes and there were tons of cute one pieces, so maybe they are “in” this summer? There were tons of cute bikinis too.

      • I break out in hives when sun shines on my shoulders, so I wear a short sleeve rashguard and sporty bikini bottoms. Athleta sells sets, or you can just buy a black rashguard one from OP or Roxy, and pick any bikini bottoms. If you don’t feel comfortable but still really want to try something else, this may be an option.

    • Good luck finding a bikini with a full coverage bottom! I went bikini shopping with my teen daughter last summer and most of the bottoms are cut way in – a hybrid between full bottoms and a thong.

      • SERIOUSLY. I got a couple of bikini tops at Target this year. When I tried on the matching bottoms I was shocked and horrified. I weigh 115 lbs and the size large bikini bottoms had half of each b*tt cheek hanging out. Old Navy looks like they have some fuller coverage bottoms that I’m planning to get to go with these tops. I haven’t tried those on yet, so I might be just as horrified when I do.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I believe this is called a “cheeky” cut and it’s getting so popular that I saw some bottoms cut this way at Target. I don’t like it at all – on me it just looks like my suit doesn’t fit.

    • I’m also a size 8 with a 34DD chest. I’ve found that underwire cups are necessary, plus thick straps. Halter tops tend to be more flattering for me, but I need a thick strap or my neck starts to ache after a couple hours. My last couple bathing suits have been from VS where you can buy tops based on cup size. I also like bottoms that have a rollover edge where it doesn’t cut into my hips as sharply.

      In terms of color, I am very pale with medium auburn hair and green eyes. I look best in a very dark purple, but navy and pine green also work well. Basically dark jewel tones. They make my skin look more creamy than washed out. Black is okay but bright colors and pastels are terrible for me.

      I also wear a long sleeved rash guard when on the beach for longer than an hour or so. J. Crew makes fun rash guards that fit well.

    • Definitely buy a top with bra sizing! You might feel more supported than in one a piece honestly. I have a freya one that is basically identical to a freya bra I own.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      Lands Ends. And I agree – we went to Dominican Republic last year and I was really only one in a one piece.

  7. Anon For This :

    This is a little long, but could really use the hive’s perspective on this. My brother and his girlfriend moved across the country to be closer to her family (she wanted to be closer to them and he moved with her). They got engaged shortly after and are getting married this summer.

    She asked me to part of her small bridal party (her sister and cousin are the only others). I don’t have a sister, so I was excited to be getting a sister-in-law and was eager to get to know her and become friends (sent her a crystal ring holder with a card welcoming her to the family, etc.) While she’s perfectly nice, she has kept a wall up. For example, I went out to visit them for a weekend and stayed at their place. Unless we were out doing something, they stayed in their room with the door shut whenever we were at their house. As a house guest, it made me feel very awkward and uncomfortable. I sent them a generous Christmas present and they sent me nothing, although they did send me a thank you card for it. I didn’t say anything, just rolled with it, I don’t want to make waves.

    In any case, my mother and I just found out that she and her family have picked a date for her bridal shower. No one asked if that date would work for us before picking it, they just told us the date. I feel somewhat put off by this. Am I out of line? Isn’t it kind of rude that they wouldn’t see if the shower date worked for the mother of the groom and one of the bridesmaids before settling on it? Especially since we’ll both have to fly across the country to attend?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, everything you mentioned is rude (especially locking themselves in their room while you were staying with them). But why didn’t you bring it up with your brother?

      • Anon For This :

        I haven’t brought it up because I don’t want to create waves/stir the pot. What would I say?

        • “Hey, are you feeling okay? Would you like me to run to the drugstore to get medicine?”

          To brother: Dude, you left me alone. What was I supposed to do? Watch TV? If you intended for me to amuse myself you should have told me beforehand so I could make arrangements. Anyway, I came out to spend time with you.

        • I wouldn’t worry about the bridal shower date – if it’s being hosted by her family then it makes sense for them to choose the date. Weddings bring out strong emotions in people, but you are really best off not taking any of the wedding plans personally. Very few people use their weddings as an opportunity to personally slight people, and most are trying very hard to keep a lot of people happy.

          I would address SIL’s strange behaviour during your recent visit with your brother. Just say to your brother: “it was weird that SIL stayed in the bedroom the whole time I was staying at your house. What’s going on?” and go from there.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree that the locking themselves in the room and bridal shower thing are rude. I would let the wedding related stuff go as weddings make people crazy. Hiding in the room business by your brother is really strange.

      You may have to accept that she’s not interested in a close relationship. Don’t take in personally. I used to be super upset that my MIL didn’t view it as ‘gaining’ a daughter when I came along, I was just competition for DH’s attention. But I’ve come to realize that’s her not me. She’s had lots of drama in her own family based on needing things to revolve around her.

    • IMHO, the closed door (rude) and lack of present (if it bothered you) is something you should take up with your brother. I can tell you that if he never got you xmas presents before he probably won’t start now–most gift buying is done by the females.

      The shower date, well…inconsiderate maybe. I might feel put out or even slightly insulted, but then again, at the wedding when everyone asked why I wasn’t at the shower I wouldn’t hesitate to tell them that, unfortunately, when you received the invitation it was too late and you’d already made other plans. “And also,” you might murmur, “We are on the other side the country and really need advance notice…”

      • Anon For This :

        He always did before. It was very strange. His fiancee sent me a thank you note for the gift I got them, so you’d think she’d think to herself “did we reciprocate?” when sending the thank you note!

        • Baconpancakes :

          The gift thing I might let slide. They’ve got a lot of (expensive) stuff going on in their lives, and I’d assume they might’ve felt it was even more awkward to send a gift late. But the door thing is incredibly rude. The only acceptable way to to do that would’ve been to say “hey, we are super exhausted, and really sorry, but we’re just going to nap all afternoon. Here’s some awesome stuff to do in our town, we’ll all go out for dinner and spend time with you tomorrow.”

        • Ehh, my instinct in that situation would be not to send a gift that same year, because I wouldn’t want the sender to think I was just gifting them for purposes of reciprocity. I’d send a very nice thank you and make a mental note to send a gift the next year now that I knew we had a gift-giving kind of relationship. So I don’t see anything wrong with what she did with respect to Christmas.
          A gift does not demand a gift. A gift demands a thank you note, which she sent. You sound like you’re keeping score a little too closely. (And I also second the comments wondering why is the anger directed to her and not your brother, who actually knew about your long history of exchanging gifts?)

        • Things I think are rude of both of them:
          – shutting themselves in their room when you visited. Not just rude but also weird. Did you ask him about that?

          Things I think are questionable but would only blame him:
          -the gift… it is not a woman’s mandatory job to be her husband’s social secretary and to perform all emotional labor duties for his family. It’s not her job to ask “did we reciprocate”. That’s on him. It’s nice that she wrote a thank you note.

          Things I think I would not worry too much about :
          -the date of the shower. I would be kind of irritated, but probably just let this one drop. They probably were not even assuming you’d go if it involves a cross-country flight for a two hour party.

          • Anon For This :

            We told them we wanted to go and that as I bridesmaid I would like to help with whatever they needed help with.

            As far as the gift/money…they are not paying for the wedding, and had just booked a big trip to a resort. The Christmas gift I got them was a gift certificate to the resort so that they could enjoy dinner or spa treatments or whatever on me. So money is not a factor. It’s not the physical gift that upset me, and wouldn’t at all if it was an isolated incident, it was the lack of thought. We always exchange Christmas gifts.

          • Who is “we” in the “we always exchange Christmas gifts”? You and your brother? If so, don’t direct your anger towards his fiancee. I’m so tired of everything in life being the woman’s fault. Your brother is a grown man and he can take the blame for failing to get you a gift (or write a TY note apparently, which at least she did!)

          • Anon For This :

            Just to be clear, I don’t have any anger here, just feel a little put off. My brother and I always exchanged Christmas gifts. I don’t blame her or direct any anger toward her for it. I gave them both a present, and I was just surprised that my brother didn’t think to reciprocate.

          • You don’t seem to want to hear opposing views on this (“Just to be clear” etc), but I’ll add that I think you should assume good intentions and also assume that they are being similarly close-mouthed about things you do that annoy them.

        • Anon For This :

          Oh, no, I definetely do. I just want to make sure people fully understand, which is hard over the internet. I appreciate everyone’s input! Also, the Christmas present thing was really just for background on the relationship, my real questions and reason for posting here was to see if I was right to be annoyed that they set a shower date without seeing if it worked for my mom (and me). Looks like the consensus is no, I shouldn’t be annoyed, so I’m fully accepting alternate viewpoints!

          • Wildkitten :

            Bring it up with your brother. All of the things you want to bring up, bring up with your brother.

      • Re: Christmas gifts, my brother and I went through this. I bought one one year and he did not. The next year they bought us something nice and I gave them a bottle of wine. We teeter-tottered like that for a while, and eventually it evened out. Now I just send him a text like, “Yo, I got you guys a Christmas gift, FYI” just so they aren’t caught off guard if they don’t have one for us.

    • The door-shut-bedroom thing super weird/rude, especially assuming you were visiting alone. Who does that?

      • That’s so weird! I find my in-laws overwhelming and I won’t take time off work to hang out with them but I’ll be friendly and engaged when we’re all at our home together. (Unless it is past my bedtime on a work night, then I’m going to sleep)

      • In-House Europe :

        Just as a counter-point, if the closed-door thing was only one visit, maybe she had something else going on that she didn’t feel comfortable sharing? Otherwise, I agree with what others have said that it sounds like you may need to adjust your expectations, unfortunately. :(

    • Anonymous :

      Wait no? Don’t fly across the country to attend. They obviously don’t care if you come. Send a nice gift and call it a day.

      • Yeah, I mean it sounds like she is awkward and maybe rude in person, but I think she didn’t consult you on the date because she didn’t want you to feel pressured to fly across the country to go to her shower.

      • In-House in Houston :

        Agreed. I’d probably make up a work-related reason that I couldn’t attend. But what about your mom? Can she do the same? If your brother asks, tell him that you would’ve loved to attend the shower and that she should’ve asked you if the date was good b/c you and your mom have to travel. But to her, I’d just email her that you’re so disappointed to miss it, but you can’t get out of a work thing or something else.

        • Anon For This :

          We told them and her whole family (at their engagement party) that we hoped to come and would like to help with whatever they needed help with – especially me, since I’m a bridesmaid.

          • Maybe she didn’t want you guys to come. Maybe she wanted to spend the time with people she actually knows and feels close to. If I were her, I would feel like you kind of invited yourself. My in-laws are the type who say that they hope to come to things, and they generally always want to be involved. That’s great and all, but I don’t really want them to be. And it’s not necessarily personal either. I didn’t want to deal with it, so we eloped. But seriously, maybe she just wants time to herself and her people.

          • Anon For This :

            Invited myself to a bridal shower for a wedding in which I am one of the bridesmaids?! LOL!

    • Anonymous :

      Their behavior when you visited sounds weird, but I don’t think the bridal shower thing is that rude or abnormal. If you can’t attend on that date, you politely decline. Usually the person throwing the shower picks the date, and I don’t think they have to consult every member of the bridal party or in-law. Yes, it would be nice, especially whn it’s a smaller bridal party, but it’s definitely not unheard of for the host to unilaterally pick a date. I’ve been in several weddings as a non-MOH bridesmaid and I was just informed of the shower date, not given any input.

      • Yeah I do agree with this — BUT I would expect to check with both moms.

        Personally, I didn’t check with my bridesmaids (I had 3) to see if they could attend my shower date, although it involved a 1.5 hour flight for all of us because most of my extended family is in, let’s say, St. Louis, and my aunts throwing the shower chose their local country club. BUT when I told them about the date, I said “I’d love it if you can make it, but if that’s not a good weekend or you don’t want to pay for the flights, I totally understand.”

      • Bride here, I recently just had to cross-compare the schedules of 5 different women (not to mention mine and fiance’s – so 7 total) for wedding showers. It’s not easy. Is there a shower thrown by someone on your side? They may have figured your side of the family would attend that one. Or it sounds like you all got together at the engagement party. It’s a little rude, sure, but assume best intentions here (and not just about the shower, but the gift and the visit).

    • Honestly, I sympathize with her a lot. It was hard for me when my SIL wanted to be insta-besties. That’s just not how I operate. I was always polite to her, but I know she was put off by the fact that I didn’t want to instantly have a super close relationship. It’s nothing against my SIL, it’s just hard for me to go from being strangers to best friends with someone overnight. It’s pretty clear you want one kind of relationship and she wants a different kind and it doesn’t mean either of you is a bad person.
      (I will also say – speaking from my own experience – there’s a good chance she asked you to be a bridesmaid just to be polite and/or to please your brother/her fiance and she doesn’t really want you involved in wedding planning. It was such a relief to me that my long-distance SIL and MIL let my real friends plan my shower. I’d have been pretty annoyed if they tried to tell my friends what date it should be. I would step back and only get involved in the planning to the extent she specifically asks you to do something.)

      • If you don’t want someone to think you want to be friend you don’t ask her to be abrudesmaud.

        • If it was up to me alone, I would not have asked her, because – although I like her – I do not consider her a close friend. However, it was really important to my husband that she be a bridesmaid and I love him and it was his wedding too, so I asked her. From my relatively small sample size of friends/family this is a pretty common situation.

      • Anon For This :

        To be clear, I haven’t acted like that at all. I’ve only met her a few times, and I know that relationships take time. I’m not trying to be “besties” with her, but I was excited about getting a SIL. That’s all. No forced instant relationship.

    • Why aren’t you talking to your brother?

      Your disappointment (anger?) is misdirected. And I also think your expectations are too high.

      She is being polite asking you to be in the bridal party. +1 for SIL

      She may be an introvert. You may be coming on too strong.

      You brother didn’t give you a gift. Not your SIL.
      Your SIL sent you a polite thank you note, yes? +2 for SIL
      It is not typical to fly cross country for a shower, and she didn’t need to check the date with you.

      I am an introvert, and your making mountains out of molehills makes me want to go in my bedroom and shut the door.

      Talk to your brother. Lower your expectations. When you live across the country, it can take years to become close to an in-law, and sometimes it never happens. And that’s allowed.

      • Anon For This :

        Maybe I didn’t explain myself very well when asking this question. I’m not angry at anyone here, but definitely not at SIL. These issues are about my brother, not her. I only gave the examples of visiting them and the Christmas present to give a little background on the relationship. We told them we wanted to fly in for the shower, so I was just a little put off that they didn’t see if the date was workable for my mom and me. Sounds like I shouldn’t be put off by this, so thanks everyone for your input.

        I totally respect all of SIL’s boundaries. She’s dictating the tempo of our relationship here. I’ve only met her a few times and followed her lead.

        • Wildkitten :

          Talk to your Brother. Don’t fight with your SIL using internet strangers as proxies.

          • Anonymous :

            Huh? She’s just asking for advice and seems to be taking it very well.

        • Anon For This :

          Yeah, I have absolutely no intention of fighting with anyone, least of all my SIL. Yikes.

    • Chiming in on a couple of points: I agree with CPA Lady on where the concerns/non-concerns should be allocated, and with several others who have said you should really talk to your brother about this. It’s not “making waves” to say “hey why did you spend my entire visit in your room? what gives?”

      I also want to add that I think you’re expecting too much of your SIL to expect her to be your “sister” just because she’s marrying your brother. My SIL expected and wanted this from me and I found it to be a huge source of tension between the two of us. She’s perfectly nice and she makes my brother happy. I like her fine. But we have nothing in common. She was very hurt when I declined to attend some gatherings of her and her girlfriends she invited me to when she and my brother were dating because she wanted us to be close. But she wanted us to be close because she thought we _should_ be, not because she likes me specifically for who I am or because we have any interests in common. Being brutally honest: she doesn’t, and we don’t. If she wasn’t married to my brother, I would completely forget about her and I’m sure she would me. This may or may not be the situation between you and your future SIL but if it is, please don’t take it personally. Not everyone can be best friends. It’s not that she thinks you’re terrible. You might just not be friend material, and that’s OK.

  8. Very comfortable bra? :

    I’m looking for a very comfortable bra that I can wear in a business formal environment.

    I’m basically looking for a sports bra with a regular bra shape and regular bra straps, so that I can wear it with v-neck and scoop neck shirts without it looking like a camisole. Ideally it would be very lightly padded, without an underwire.

    I work in biglaw and the long hours are getting to me. Why do I need to wear a suit every day? The least I can do is wear a bra that feels like it is not really a bra.

    • I recently replaced all of my bras with the Calvin Klein Women’s Perfectly Fit Lightly Lined Wire-Free Contour Bra (longest name ever!). I’m not sure it would work for everyone (I’m a 32A), but it is soooo comfy, and doesn’t squish down like a sports bra.

    • Try the Coobie bra on Amazon. I wouldn’t say it offers a lot of support to my C cups, but it’s enough for a no-exercise day and it’s far more comfortable than underwire. In fact it’s hard to go back now.

      • I have this wonderful Jockey bra in many colors called the Jockey seamless bra – and love it. It doesn’t wash great, like it’ll only last a year or so, but you can pick them up super cheap at a Jockey outlet or Macy’s on sale. I’m a 32-C (I dont really believe the nordstrom lady who told me that, I feel WAY smaller than a C, typically a small in tops and a xmall in sports bras, and I wear a small in this bra×90631&gclid=CNfq_tHigNICFZqLswodY8MLHw

      • I’m a Coobie convert too – started when I was pregnant and no longer fit into my regular bras, and now here I am three years later, still wearing them.

      • Very comfortable bra? :

        Yes I think the Coobie is what I am looking for.

        • Caveat: I am a 34A and I found the coobie extremely awkwardly sized for me. The removable shaped cups were too big so I had to take them out, and then at that point it was just a bralette that didn’t hide the physical evidence of my cold, cold office. OP if you’re a 32B I suspect you might have a similar experience.

        • WhyIMarch :

          Try out different Coobies and see which one you like best. There is the standard one with skinny adjustable straps (which constantly unhook when taking them on and off, no biggie though), but also one for fuller busts that has thicker straps. Also there’s a yoga one that has thicker straps which are adjustable and that’s my favorite (I am a 32D). They always have a sale or promotion going like 20% off if you buy 3 or more.

    • I’ve heard good things about the Uniqlo wire-free bras, even though personally they don’t work for me at all.

    • I have a wonderful sports bra like you’re describing, but it has underwires on the outside.

      I do find it very comfortable.

    • Wildkitten :

      Third Love has a wireless bra. You can try it for free-ish (you pay shipping) and I plan to do so next time I need a new bra.

    • I haven’t tried it yet, but Knixwear is on my list and seems to have all the features you are looking for.

    • Try the Bali Comfort Revolution Bra from Sam’s Club

  9. Trump Twitter Question :

    I’m hoping this won’t devolve into a discussion of whether or not it is acceptable to support Trump. For context – I don’t like him, I voted for HRC.

    For those of you who did vote for Trump or otherwise support him, I’m not asking why you did (or questioning whether or not you’re a good person). I am curious about only one thing – do you think that, objectively, his Twitter usage is appropriate for a Head of State, or do you think it is immature, or do you think it is dangerous (that he should be taken seriously, but won’t be b/c he won’t put down the Twitter), or something else? I’m honestly curious. I don’t like the man, so I am naturally biased to thinking everything he does is batsh*t crazy, but I’m honestly curious as to how the Twitter usage is viewed by supporters.

    (I’m not a troll btw. And again, not trying to start a flame war re: whether it is okay to have voted for Trump. Honestly just wondering how supporters view this).

    • I personaly do NOT use or think Twitter is a good thing. There are onley 140 character’s, so how can someone EXPRESS themselves properly. It is no better then texteing, which even allow’s for more then 140 character’s. Dad always’ warned me about Twitter, and now we can see how dangerus it can be. I say do NOT use Twitter to comunicate to the world. Only to have short meaningless conversations. Even Myrna does NOT use twitter. She and I comunicate over the PHONE, or over the I-PHONE txt application that comes with the IPHONE FREE. There is no need for anything else. Myrna does NOT even p’ost on websights any more b/c her firm watches her p’osting, and she does NOT want to take pubic positions on issues on any websight that differ’s from what her firm wants her to beleive in. YAY for MYRNA!!!!

    • I’m not a supporter so can’t speak to that perspective, but this could go to Ask A Manager: “My boss, who is in a client-facing top-level leadership position, says a lot of outrageous and inappropriate things on social media. I honestly believe it hurts his image, especially for someone in that position, and that it’s hurting our bottom line and alienating clients more than it’s attracting new business. But he is also prone to unpredictable outbursts… For various reasons, I don’t have the ability to leave this job at this time. What should I do?”

    • Anon in NYC :

      HRC voter here, but from various news articles that I’ve read, it seems like a lot of Trump supporters are 1) pleased with the EOs he’s done so far (he’s fulfilled a lot of campaign promises even if the EOs are basically meaningless because he can’t do that things via EO), and 2) a little embarrassed by his Twitter usage and think he’s getting in his own way. But I don’t get the impression that his supporters think he’s doing anything “wrong” by continuing to use Twitter.

      • And as an HRC /warren supporter I started following him after he took office, just to keep up, and the replies to his tweets are the most hilarious things I’ve read

        • I like when he misuses quotation marks (e.g., “We need to keep ‘evil’ out of our country”) and people reply with Joey Tribbiani GIFs:

      • HRC voter/supporter, here and I, too, have read several articles that go like this “X days in, these Trump voters are still happy with their choice… they just wish he would quit tweeting so much!” with that last bit being somewhere between a throwaway line to said with a wink. But I have seen the “wish he wasn’t tweeting so much” sentiment in nearly every article I have read about his voters. I think this is for a myriad of reasons: (1) some realize he embarrasses himself; (2) some see it as boastful/showy and they pride themselves on being honest, hardworking, modest people; (3) some recognize it could cause actual trouble in that it is still the President speaking; (4) some have a concern about technology and security the same way they had with HRC’s emails; (5) some have a concern with the politeness of technology the way you would with a teenager scrolling through their phone at the dinner table; (6) some just worry it makes him an easy target for people to take him less seriously but otherwise don’t have a problem with it. I do think there are still some that like the “he says what he means!” but that line about wishing he would tweet less has come up in every article.

    • I’m an HRC voter but I do know a few Trump supporters who are enthusiastic about his tweets. They like that he “speaks directly to the people” and is “not PC.” So I think there are definitely supporters who wish he’d stop tweeting but also supporters who are totally fine with it.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There’s a Huff Post articel my MIL sent me saying that “Leaks Suggest Trump’s Own Team Is Alarmed By His Conduct.”

  10. Can anyone recommend a lightly lined, natural fiber bralet*e? All the ones I’ve found have no lining, but I need some protection against headlights. I want natural fibers for better ventilation and breathability. TIA!

  11. Beach House :

    We are buying a beach house that we will rent out through VRBO. It is mostly furnished and is brand new but hasn’t had a lot of rentals yet. I want to make this summer and fall great and get lots of good reviews. So what makes a good VRBO/beach rental for you? We have been staying in this area for 10 years so I feel like I know what I like but would love to hear from others. We will be managing it from afar with the help of a cleaning service so I can’t do some of the ideas like I have heard for local wines/snacks for when the guests arrive.

    • Hire a property manager. You need someone local to supervise the cleaning staff- at least make sure everything is getting done, and to be available for urgent issues. That person can do a welcome note and bottle of wine.

      Make sure that everything works and makes sense. The TV should be easy, WiFi password prominently displayed.

      Don’t have a whole page of DO NOT DO instructions. You can’t be too precious about it.

      • + 1 million to TV and wifi working

        Also, if the A/C breaks, how will you manage from a distance — rely on the housekeepers? Ask the vacationing family to deal with it?

        Also, get short-term rentals insurance and an umbrella policy.

      • +1 property manager. I stayed in a beach house where the smoke alarm was randomly going off and it was located on a very high vaulted ceiling that required an extension ladder to get to. The owners couldn’t get to it that weekend (understandable) but I would have really appreciated a property manager to sort it out because it was impossible to sleep.

    • For me, the biggest thing is clutter. Not saying your place is like this. I don’t want knick-knacks lying around on tables/bookcases, no family pictures on the walls etc. I love a bedroom that just has a bed, lamps, dresser, nightstands – nothing on them or in them except maybe extra blankets. Maps of local area and brochures about things to do are also nice. A list of a few recommended take out places or closest grocery store as well.

      Fresh good quality linens and excellent cleaning make me a repeat customer.

    • When I am looking at pictures on VRBO, I scrutinize the beds to see whether the linens look new and washable. Even if the house appears to have great specs, if there are heavy comforters on the beds that would require dry cleaning, I assume that they are rarely, if ever, cleaned. Even though I know you can bring your own linens, it paints a picture for me that the entire house is dirty — b/c if you have regular guests but aren’t regularly washing arguably the most used part of the rental, then I assume the rest of the house (kitchen, bath) is pretty dirty as well.

      Invest in great pictures — they really matter! Check in with renters after they’ve had a chance to settle in so there are no surprises for you later. People vary widely on this, but I appreciate having a stash of commonly used kitchen basics that are often forgotten or a pain to pack (salt & pepper, other spices, olive oil, PAM, etc.), in addition to things like (clean!) hot pads and kitchen towels, foil, Tupperware, and toilet paper.

      • White duvet cover instead of a comforter will interest me every single time.

        • Glad I’m not the only one who loves to see clean new linens!! I just rejected a beach house b/c it had a great location — but had heavy carpet in the bedrooms, and big comforters on every bed in house. I just can’t see how these areas can be cleaned well with turnover every week.

        • Same here – +1 to the white duvet; so much so, I really don’t rent places that don’t have them.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes – paper products and kitchen basics like salt and pepper would be wonderful! Also, second the recommendation below for kitchen utensils.

    • I (and before that, my family) has been renting vacation homes for the last decade or two, and I personally think the wine/snacks are unnecessary, though nice. Personal notes are nice and seem to be more common these days, but again, not required. Otherwise, I think you probably know what to do – make sure the kitchen is well-stocked with utensils (bottle opener, corkscrew, bread knife) and if there’s anything you don’t want touched, put it in a locked closet.

      Please do hire a property manager to supervise, be available for emergencies and questions, and take feedback (before it ends up in your reviews!)

      • AttiredAttorney :

        Agreed that the snacks are weird. As a renter, I don’t know how long they’ve been sitting there. Nothing worse than crinkly old bags of snacks.

        Extra towels are always nice, particularly beach towels.
        A list of what kitchen supplies are provided in the listing. I’d add a generously sized cutting board to the list of kitchen essentials. A good coffee maker with extra filters is always nice too.
        I’ve liked having a welcome basket in the kitchen that includes a couple of extra toilet paper rolls, an extra roll of paper towels, two or three trashbags, and a small bottle of dish detergent. Maybe a couple of dishwasher detergent pods too.

    • We rented a beach house this Christmas with my mom and my sister’s family and there were three things that made it great:

      1. comfortable beds/pillows/bed linens– the same quality you would have for yourself
      2. a kitchen with enough basics items that you can cook there. Pots and pans, measuring cups and spoons, a baking sheet, real knives, a couple of pyrex casserole dishes, definitely a coffee pot. I have the “Cuisinart 77-10 Chef’s Classic Stainless 10-Piece Cookware Set” from amazon for myself and that sort of thing would be perfect– cheap but good and can go in the dishwasher.
      3. stuff for kids– books, blocks, duplos, a high chair (the ikea anitop, like $20, nothing fancy)

      Comfortable bed is my #1 item. I once stayed in a beach house with a bed so uncomfortable that I could barely walk in the morning because my back was in so much pain. Never again.

      The stuff for kids is not mandatory but it was so so nice, if you are considering renting to folks with kids. You could pick up a bunch of this type stuff at goodwill or used book stores.

    • Agreeing with the advice you’ve already gotten. Will add to minimize “beachy” clutter like “this way to the beach” signs etc — this will help with your photos (agree with others to hire a professional) and make the whole place feel cleaner.

    • We often rent from VRBO for lake/beach houses and ski condos. I’m happiest when there’s a strong wifi signal.

      Snacks/wine are nice, but I’m much more likely to appreciate a well-stocked kitchen (meaning adequate pots/pans, kitchen tools, knives and dinnerware). I also want at least one empty kitchen cabinent to store my food.

      I like receiving restaurant and activity recommendations before we arrive, particularly if I’m likely to need to make reservations.

      I like it when owners leave binders with instructions for the fireplace, or turning on the heat or a/c, together with a list of numbers for emergencies like the local urgent care.

      Bedrooms should have sheets and enough (clean/non-smelly) pillows. I’d like a hair dryer and ahampoo/soap just in case. Toilet paper needs to be plentiful- nothing makes me more irritated at an owner than finding a single extra roll of single ply when I’m paying thousands of dollars for a weekly rental. For a beach house, I want lots of beach towels, chairs and some sand toys/inexpensive boogie boards. Could people steal these things? Sure. But I think you’re more likely to attract good renters if you make these things available.

    • marketingchic :

      I get a vacation rental with extended family almost every summer. I agree with good quality sheets and towels. Fully stocked kitchen is very important to me. We have food allergies in the family so I cook most meals and I need a decent chef’s knife and a couple cutting boards. For rentals in beach towns, a couple beach chairs, an umbrella, a small cooler, beach towels and some beach toys were really nice touches.

    • Things that are nice to have in a beach house: beach toys, chairs, towels and a wagon to tote it all (Costco has a collapsible one for $50ish), board games/puzzles and playing cards, small cooler, reusable water bottles/insulated cups, beach read paperbacks.
      I like to cook so I appreciate a decent knife and cutting board, some basic spices, and coffee filters. Beach water can taste funny so filtered water on the fridge or a brita pitcher is nice. I appreciate a notebook that has menus and restaurant information, personal recommendations for things to do and stores/local markets, schedule of local events. Also, a list of who to call is really helpful, especially if you don’t have a management company. We’ve had to call utility companies for power outages, the pool guy for a repair issue, and the management company when we got locked out while in rental houses. I’d really suggest a property management company though to act as your local go-to.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Snacks and wine – totally unnecessary. But a list of places to eat/buy groceries/alcohol/get a cup of coffee when you’re sick of your family? Very pro.

      I’ve also really appreciated when the owner wrote to say “bring TP and paper towels – but we’ve left one in each bathroom to get you started.” A house of multiple people (these were 12-15 person rentals) will go through a lot of TP in a long weekend, but inevitably, one person will use the restroom having forgotten to bring in the roll.

      Also from the perspective of a large-group renter, having multiple cheap pieces of cookware is better than one nice piece. Don’t waste your money on nice cookware – it will inevitably get ruined.

      But DO decorate and take great pictures! This isn’t the place for the paintings you stored in your brother’s garage. When we’re renting, we want to stay somewhere pleasant, and we’re willing to pay a lot more for a place that is nice.

    • Clean
      Well stocked kitchen, linens, etc. (e.g., we rent a house for a week on a lake and since my husband and I like to cook but often don’t have the time, we will make lots of food. nice to know what we need in terms of utensils and tools are there.
      Keeping your stuff out of the way but not in a super obvious or annoying way — leaving plenty of closet space
      Furnishing in a way that isn’t likely to cause problems/harm the furnishings (I’m looking at you, giant glass coffee table that I worry my kids are going to dive through
      Very responsive onsite management, and quick remediation of issues

    • We rent houses regularly. Things I like are cleanliness, not having a bunch of the owners’ stuff around (you like to imagine it’s your place while you’re there) and a well stocked kitchen. Fresh flowers and a bottle of wine never hurt but aren’t expected and aren’t necessary.

      The most important thing for me is the impersonal touch. That’s not a typo. I want to rent your house online like I’m renting a hotel room and I don’t want to hear from you when I’m there. I want a number to call if there’s a problem but other that that I don’t expect anything from you other than a charge on my credit card.

    • Good pictures – especially bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen – make me want to rent in the first place. Responsive owners when I ask about availability, sending me the lease, details ahead of time (e.g. Where to find the key, emergency contact, etc) make me excited to get there.

      Make sure the property is spotless and things are easily found (esp kitchen items, extra linens, toilet paper) and wifi is problem free. For a beach house, I’d expect beach equipment (chairs, towels, umbrellas) to be in good condition.

      Above and beyond — welcome basket with really good breakfast foods; parking pass and access to private beach club; organized “around town” binder including map and take out menus; phone number for local babysitters that owner could vouch for; box of toys / books for my kids (the owner had kids that were older than mine so I assume she didn’t buy them for renters but was kind enough to leave them out for us), selection of books / movies / board games for rainy days

      • Agree with toilet paper and paper towels. Also, kitchen trash bags and other kitchen supplies. A recent beach house we rented had literally nothing in the kitchen. Not even a salt shaker. So we had to go the grocery and buy salt, pepper, trash bags, paper goods, dish soap, hand soap, sponges, etc. I think the cleaning service probably kept or discarded anything left by previous renters, so check with your cleaning service. If we had been told “kitchen is not stocked” then we would have brought our own from home. It’s nice when there’s a least some kitchen supplies, though I suspect this is more common when family/owners are there more often and can sort of check on that. Here’s a tip though: little packets of taco seasoning are a great mix of spices for things like grilled fish!

    • I like when the house has stuff to make taking the kids to the beach easier like a foldable beach wagon, a cooler, some sand toys, and one house we stayed at even had a foldable beach tent for shade. It was so nice to not have to worry about that stuff. I also appreciate when the house has a few kids toys like blocks, puzzles, board games (for adults too!) Not sure what your outside set up is like but we love houses that have a firepit and chairs set up outside so we can do smores and sit around the fire. (I do realize this is probably because I grew up with vacations primarily as camping trips and so it is nostalgic to me to have smores, haha.)

    • I like having staples in the pantry (flour, sugar, olive oil, spices, etc.) to make cooking easier. Board games and a well-stocked library are nice, too.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Hire a high quality property manager that is available to handle communications and coordinate stuff like cleaning and check-in.

      Clean, simple, neutral toned furniture, fixtures, and linens. Minimal clutter.

      Good quality bed/mattress. No bowing in the middle.

      Up-to-date kitchen and bathrooms. Walk-in shower.

      Well-stocked kitchen with reasonable quality dishes/cookware/knives. Also tupperware.

      Basic kitchen supplies like salt/pepper, ziplocs, plastic wrap, foil, sponge, paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher detergent (if applicable).

      Icemaker or pre-filled ice trays in freezer.

      Blender. Hairdryer. Toiletries.

      Board games, cards, jigsaw puzzles, old books, etc.

      Plenty of beach towels.

      Reliable wifi.

      Send detailed instructions for accessing the unit, parking, etc. at least a week before arrival.

      I also prefer when there is a lock bock on the door with the key, vs. having to go pick up the key from a human, particularly if the human is not in the complex.

  12. Applying for jobs in my home town (think small city outside of mid-major Midwest city – similar to Detroit). My resume will not reflect that I grew up in the town (all my education and work experience reflects a large east coast city). I am pursuing jobs in my hometown because I want to raise my two small children there, close to my parents. How do I explain this in a cover letter? I don’t want to be overlooked as having no connection to the town, but also don’t want to paint myself into a parent tracked role. Thanks.

    • Don’t mention your kids, but say you grew up there, you loved the area and you now want to return the area to be closer to family.

    • This is the sort of material that you should be discussing in your cover letter!!

    • After xyz years away, I am searching for opportunities in abc, my hometown, in order to be closer to family and friends.

    • “Having pursued my undergrad/grad degrees and the start of my professional career in NYC, I am seeking to return to my hometown of Detroit, where I went to X High School and where my family still resides today.”

      I wouldn’t mention kids – they don’t need to know. If it’s a smallish city, I would mention your high school. To a LOT of people in those small towns — the fact that you went to Central High School and were probably in their cousin’s grade is MUCH more important than your fancy NYU degree and NYC biglaw firm.

      • THIS. It’s not always bc they are SO attached to high school (though sometimes they are – glory days), but often from a hiring manager’s perspective – it proves that you do have a real tie to their town, friends, family etc. In those small cities – if there are 2 equal applicants and one is moving back to town and the other has never been there but moving just for a job – the hometowner wins, every time. Some of it is “fondness” for people coming back, but realistically it makes a hiring manager feel better to know that you know what you’re getting in to, you have some family/friends in town and that’s why you’re returning so you’ll likely stay even if the job isn’t perfect. Much less risky for them than a person from NYC who decides on a whim that they are done with NYC and life in Marietta Ga would be perfect – only to move there, decide it’s boring and there are minimal takeout options, recover from their NYC burnout and go back to NYC the following year.

        • Hometown move :

          I’m going through this process as well. I wrote in my cover letter that I grew up in XYZ city and my family and I are returning to the area. I didn’t mention why we were returning or that I have a child. I’ve had a few interviews in my home town and usually the first question has been trying to gauge how serious I am about coming back. Once they were convinced that I’m serious about moving, they seemed very accepting and not at all worried about me deciding to move back to big city. Its very normal, at least where I am from, for people to move away to bigger cities and return to hometown to raise their families.

          On the kid issue, I had one interview where we discussed A LOT the benefits of living in my hometown city vs big city where I am currently living, including lower cost of living and my hometown being a better city to raise a family. I didn’t mention that I already have a child, and the interviewers definitely assumed that I did not. I feel somewhat bad about it and know that if I do get the job they will be surprised that I have a kid and didn’t mention it. I also mentioned that my husband was also interviewing and had gotten an offer. I regret doing that. I mentioned it because I thought it made me seem more serious about moving to the city, but now I feel like it might have made me seem like secondary income who will have primary responsibility for childcare.

      • Thanks to all for the responses — sounds like the consensus is to leave out the kid part. Interesting about the reference to my high school — I was an athlete who received a fair amount of local publicity as an individual in my sport. I don’t really think that anyone would see/remember my name unless they were really connected with either the high school or the sport itself, but it is a small town, and the connections run deep.

        • Definitely mention the HS then. You never know who the hiring manager is and maybe his sister ran track against you for a rival high school or something. Plus – I feel like everyone who hires googles people — you never know if your name still brings up some local newspaper article from 1995 or whatever.

          • Great — thank you!

          • Anonymous :

            Consider putting your maiden name (if you are now married and have changed your name) in parentheses somewhere in your cover letter — e.g., “I was born in Detroit (nee Smith) and graduated from X high school.”

    • Put it in your cover letter!

  13. Gift ideas? :

    One of my non-local friends is going to be studying intensely for two months for the bar pretty soon. I’d like to get her something that’ll be useful for this period and also make her smile but I don’t know what to get her. Some background: she has a family but won’t have to cook or do any housework during this time, she will be doing a lot of driving of ~2 hour trips each time, both she and I are on budgets and somewhat frugal (so I’m looking to spend <$50), and I don't want to get her just a gift card. She likes both wine and coffee moderately and enjoys good food but is watching her weight so goodies are pretty much a no-no.

    I mostly want to get her something that is thoughtful but also useful and not necessarily something she'll have already.


    • What about subscriptions? A 3 month Audible audiobook gift subscription is $45. A Yogaglo, Jasyoga or Bar Method subscription is $5-20 a month. And there are healthy-snack subscription boxes for about $10/month.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Are there any healthy food delivery places in her area? A gift card to that place would be great. When you’re studying like crazy, cooking can either be a great escape or avoidable drudgery, but everyone likes to get delivery every once in a while. Sushi is pretty healthy, and if there are salad or soup places that deliver, that might be good.

      • Gift ideas? :

        She is literally going to be cooked for for every meal so i don’t really want to get her food.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Ah, I missed that part. Then maybe a warm wrap or slippers if she’s a home-study-er, or nice headphones if she’s a coffeeshop study-er. I haven’t studied for the bar, but if there are any audio-study cds for the bar that she can listen to during the drive, that would be helpful. The audible subscription would be good if she’s the kind of person who can turn off and not get anxious about not studying during that time.

    • A gift card to a yoga studio? A snuggly sweater or wrap to wear while studying? A gift card to a good local coffee shop?

    • Frozen Peach :

      What about one of those beanbag herbal wraps for your shoulders that can go in the microwave or freezer? helps with sore muscles from studying. Could include some packets of bath salts and some other aromatherapy anti-stress mini products. (I would look for all this at whole foods)

    • Do not get her a subscription to Audible–that’s about the equivalent of more bar videos. Terrible idea. I would get her a gift card to a massage place. She can use it before or after. Hunching over bar books/watching videos for days at a time does a number to anyone’s back. She will love this. Promise.

      • Gift ideas? :

        Ahh I love the idea of a massage – I think this is what I’ll go with, plus a smaller “spa” item as suggested above. Thanks y’all!

    • I’d get her a pack of yellow Sharpie Accent highlighters (a.k.a. the best highlighters ever) and a Starbucks gift card. That’s what she really needs.

      • Wildkitten :


      • +1. I was going to say highlighters, coffee shop gift card, and some kind of desk toy, stress ball, etc. I needed something to do with my hands while watching the videos! I used Thinking Putty, which changed colors as I played with it.

    • A contigo travel mug. I think mine is called The Loop. It keeps coffee hot forever and legit doesn’t leak.

  14. I’m going to a conference in Orlando next week, Saturday through Wednesday. It looks like it will be fairly warm, highs in the upper 70’s in the day, and lows in the upper 50s at night, but I’ve never been to Florida in the winter, and I’m at a loss as to what to pack. I need some business casual, but also some casual, since we will have a lot of free time for sightseeing, shopping, etc., but I need to look nice enough to be around people I work with. I was going to pack a few nicer skirts, tops and flats for conferences, and some casual t-shirt style dresses and maxi skirts, sandals, a denim jacket and a couple of cardigans, a couple of pair of jeans, blouses and tennis shoes. Would tights and flats be better for evening? We’ll be going to dinner around 6 each night, which may still be pretty warm. Anyone in Orlando that can tell me what works with the weather there in February?

    • People in Florida are exceptionally casual, esp if you’re coming from the northeast where things can be a bit more formal. (Example: I went to a Catholic funeral in February in Orlando a couple years ago and everyone was wearing Hawaiian shirts and jean shorts and sneakers. Not even kidding. All of the deceased’s friends from the northeast showed up wearing black – we were the only ones in the packed church. Not even the family wore black.)

      Casual t-shirt dresses and the like sound great for your off time. Bring a light jacket and cardigans and you should be all set.

    • Maybe it’s just me but I find that in the winter in Fl — the temp drops very quickly from daytime temps the moment the sun sets; maybe bc they have so much more sun than the northeast that it really heats things up nicely all day? For dinner at 6 pm though – plan to be in 50-60 degree temps, not 75. Not that it matters bc you’re indoor when you’re eating but for a bunch of people outside the area in non-parka weather, they may want to walk around a bit before/after dinner and you don’t want to be freezing in a maxi skirt. But then tights look pretty obvious in terms of weather planning – can’t you wear jeans?

      • Sure, I just wanted to wear something a little dressier for evening, but jeans are fine. Maybe I’ll save the skirts for walking around during the day.

        • I don’t live in Florida but somewhere with a similar climate and level of casualness. Black jeans feel a little more elevated than blue jeans, but blue would probably be fine. A casual dress and tall boots would work too, although last week people seemed really opposed to wearing tall boots with bare legs. It is totally normal in the South.

    • Long-time Floridian here. People seem to fall in two camps during our “winter.” Those who take a small drop in temps for an excuse to bring out their puffer coats and boots and scarves (like at 65 degrees) and those who insist on wearing their normal summer clothes year round. I don’t think you can go wrong as long as you keep it casual overall. Jeans and boots are fine.

    • In Houston not Florida, but similar climate. Don’t bother bringing tights. It won’t be cold enough and you’ll be the only one wearing them. Otherwise what you describe sounds great.

      • I grew up in Florida. I remember having to ask my college roommate, who was from Michigan, how to tie a scarf. And several years later, in an even colder climate, I asked a law school friend, “So explain this whole tights thing to me.”

  15. Gut check b/c I’m prickly about this stuff. Husband’s family does joint gifts for milestone birthdays. The birthday boy’s wife told my husband that the collection was happening and mentioned that the “normal” couple contribution was £100.

    My response is to stick £25 in the pot and assume no one would be ballsy enough to call us out. Unreasonable? We’ll go to the party (minimum £100 in train fares and £200 in hotels for 2 nights).

    We shouldn’t have to justify our finances but we’re the youngest, live in the most expensive city on academic and government salaries, my contract has just ended, and we’re expecting a baby.

    • 25 pounds seems plenty generous when you’re going to such expense to attend the party. I’d be so annoyed by the cash grab that I’d probably just show up to the party with a card. (This is assuming your husband is on the same page – if he’s not, that’s a separate issue.)

      • Thanks! I couldn’t tell if I was being unreasonable. Gifts are weirdly important with my in-laws. Adults send out Christmas and birthday wishlists and there is a lot of social pressure to participate. We opted out after my husband and his dad exchanged Amazon vouchers one year. We are generous with the kids in the family and send flowers for special milestones.

        • If gifts are really important to your in-laws, meet them where they are. This is a silly thing to dig your heels in about.

          • I don’t think it’s a silly thing to dig your heels in about if this is happening regularly and they’re having to use savings to pay for it. If they can’t afford £100, they can’t afford £100, it doesn’t matter what the people are expecting or what is “normal.” You shouldn’t be financially irresponsible to please somebody else. If necessary, her husband (since it’s his family) can put time and effort into a cheaper gift that has sentimental value.

    • I don’t think you should be deciding this. It’s his family. Does he want to give £100? Honestly £50 per person for a major birthday doesn’t seem cray to me. £12.50 per person, your proposal, seems really low.

      • That’s a good point, we almost need a general policy on this stuff. At this point, the trip + gift are coming out of savings rather than the monthly budget, which I’m really uncomfortable with given my reduced income / upcoming expenses.

        • I would absolutely not use savings for this type of thing. Gifts are optional, whether people want to believe that or not. I also would not feel comfortable spending savings money on these things given your situation! If it’s not in your budget, it’s not in your budget.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        What kind of a milestone are we talking about here? And what is the family connection? If it is a cousin turning 30 or similar, it might be a different analysis than a brother turning 50. I would agree with Anonymous above that 25 GBP (cannot find stupid sign) is a bit low, but for the cousin scenario I would consider 50 rather than the “suggested” 100. I feel your pain, my inlaws are also a little weird about these things especially for first communions and baptisms, which I *hate* – but my husband refers to this as “investing in a quiet life”.

    • I would mostly defer to your husband unless you are the money person. What about skipping the expense of going to the party and just turning over the 100 pounds? Win-win.

      • Haha, I wish! Party is non-negotiable, gift might be.

        If I was going to spend £400 on a weekend at 7 months pregnant, I’d rather spend it on a hotel with a swimming pool where I could wallow like a manatee rather than a Travellodge in the middle of nowhere and an awkward family party.

    • I would give the amount you’d spend on an individual gift for this person, recognizing it is a milestone birthday.

      Don’t give any excuses. If you say you can’t afford more these people will be scrutinizing all of your future expenditures for life – forget going on vacation!

    • Thanks for some food for thought. I’ll talk to my husband and we’ll come up with a compromise. I can probably grin and bear £50 but I feel weird cutting my grocery budget because a 50 year old man who makes 4x what we do wants a new tv.

      Upon reflection, I think my willingness to die on this hill is stemming from a general annoyance with my in-laws which I need to do some thinking on. My MIL seems to forget we live 400 miles away (and that the train runs north as well as south) and my BIL responded to our baby news by questioning my husband’s capabilities as a father. My SIL and the birthday boy are lovely, but would think nothing about dropping £300 on a dinner out, so their perspective of what is affordable seems skewed.

      Really appreciate all the different perspectives!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I think figuring out some sort of game plan with a general rule is a good way to go. When setting my budget for the year, I listed out each occasion that I could foresee buying gifts for and then set a budget for each one. That way I’ve done all the hemming and hawing about whether a certain event was worth more way in advance and without all the emotions of it all.

      • If it helps, when I’ve been asked to do a group gift & don’t want to for whatever reason, I just say something along the lines of “oh, shoot, I already got person a gift, thanks for checking in!” I’m not a fan of explaining myself excessively & this one has worked well for those situations.

  16. Boss is Micromanaging my Direct Report - need help :

    I am a mid-level female in a male-dominated industry. My manager is an older male and we have a good relationship. My department generally requires more senior, specialized staff but we have one junior male employee whom reports to me. I hired this young man some time back, and he is doing a great job. The problem is my manager. He spends little to no time managing his own direct reports (myself included), yet he is very interested in developing this young man who is very culturally similar in background and interests to himself, to the point of him stepping on my toes as a manager. He keeps pushing to give this young man pretty senior projects (while not doing the same for me – despite my repeated requests), and has also just told me he wants to give the young man a raise and promotion (which I was already planning to do this year, though I already gave him one last year, and I myself have not received a salary adjustment in 2 years). I am very supportive of developing junior employees, but my concerns are 1) he is stepping on my toes, 2) he is lax on managing his OWN employees and instead focusing on a junior male employee 3) if I’m not careful I am going to be inadvertently sidelined in my own team.

    Our department is somewhat slow right now and myself and other more senior team members need new projects – ie, there are not excess opportunities floating around for junior staff to pick up the slack. In addition, due to the complexity of the type of work we do, the industry standard is that senior staff own the complex projects (and then enlist the junior staff to help them so they can learn in a supportive environment).

    I am very concerned that some affiliative s*xism is happening here that could eventually sideline me on the team entirely. I want to support my direct report and give him opportunities, but (especially as a woman) I also need to make sure I do the same for myself. How do I keep my manager from stepping on my toes, over-investing in junior male staff at the expense of myself and others, and advocate for myself as well?

    • Is this junior person an obvious superstar? If so I would say there’s little to nothing you can do to stop this freight train, and you would just look bad trying to fight against it to protect yourself.

      If not, I’d spend any time i could get with manager talking about junior employee’s development plan. This will give you an opportunity to go over what you think he still needs to learn to get to the next level, which is a subtle way of pointing out that he’s not ready today.

      I had a senior manager like this. He at one time managed 30+ people including me, which was too many, then decided to give one of the sub departments to me, reporting up through him, so I was managing 17 people. But he was so accustomed to working with these people directly that he continued to give the assignments and hold discussions with them without including me. I had to keep reminding him that I was their manager and that I needed to be included in all discussions. It didn’t stop completely, and he had kind of an “aw shucks, I’m an incorrigible rascal” attitude about it, but I think if I hadn’t kept pointing it out it would have been much worse.

      I can’t say he changed his ways entirely but he ended up taking early retirement, an then I got the whole department, which at this point was 40+ people. (So be careful what you wish for, I guess.)

      In sum, advocate for yourself and your overdue raise. Advocate for your junior employee but keep the discussion even handed, including pros and cons. And call your boss on it when he oversteps.

  17. Can anyone recommend some products for mild adult acne? I currently have a prescription from Curology from Azelaic acid, clindamycin, and zinc pyrithione which has helped a lot but I still get one or two blemishes that I can’t stand. I use Alpha Hydrox glycolic lotion a few times a week, and Stridex salicylic acid 2% pads a few times a week. Would love clear skin- TY!

    • One or two blemishes is pretty reasonable. Perfect is the enemy of good. Instagram etc have created this idea that we are all supposed to have 100% perfect skin all the time but that is not realistic.

    • I had horrible acne growing up, did Accutane in college, and then had mild adult acne. So I’ve lived with acne issues a long time (I’m late 30s). I’m wondering whether you are using too many things, honestly. I used to use a huge collection of things similar to yours, and it never got clear. I think the irritation of so many active ingredients actually made my acne worse. When I simplified, things got much better – like a tiny whitehead 1-2 a month. I switched to a gentle but thorough cleanser (I think part of my issue was makeup residue), 20% azelaic acid morning and night, and a Peter Thomas Roth moisturizer when I’m occasionally feeling dry.

      • What is your cleanser?

        • I also just switched to a peter thomas roth moisturizer and its making my adult acne (late 20s) and generally oily skin! I did accutane in my early 20s and have an identical curology prescription to the OP and cut way way back on it – applying about twice a week instead of every month (and cancelled the subscription). I’ve been using first aid beauty cream cleanser and neutrogena natural cream cleanser (I have one in the shower and one on my counter, the variety is just because I like trying new things both work well), thayers alcohol free witch hazel as a toner, and PTR moisturizer at night, with SPF on top every morning. The curology a couple times a week at night, very brief wash with a clarisonic in the shower once or twice a week, and spot treating especially big zits with benzoyl peroxide (the 10% target generic works really well for me). I was using a lot of really harsh products and exfoliating chemically and physically non stop, and my skin is sooooo much better since I cooled it with all of that stuff and cut out the toner with alcohol. Like not visibly oily for the first time in my life, much smoother/softer.

        • My favorite is actually Trader Joe’s Nourish All-in-one-facial Cleanser. It takes off makeup really well without stripping your skin.

    • You will probably never stop them completely, especially if they are the cystic larger kind, without more prescription options.

      I keep benzoyl peroxide gel/cream, and spot treat them. Never ever pop. If you catch them early, a tiny dot of a steroid cream does wonders overnight, but never ever use over whole face of too often as it can break down skin over time.

      If they are small whiteheads, you could start a topical Retinoid (and then stop all the other acids), which may do the trick, and have other benefits.

    • Shenandoah :

      It seems like you may be using too many products and/or harsher products than you may need? I would try ditching the Stridex pads and just using a gentle cleanser (like Cerave) in the morning and at night.

    • Here are some cleansers that have helped me:

      – occasionally (1-2x/week) washing my face with Head and Shoulders shampoo. (The “classic” shampoo without scents or conditioner)
      – washing my face with honey (this makes my skin feel so nice, the only problem is that I can only do it in the shower because it’s too sticky to use at the sink)
      – this salicylic acid + green tea cleanser:

    • For the odd pimple Kate Somerville’s Eradicate spot treatment works amazingly fast. During the summer when I am more prone to breaking out, I use the toner, treatment gel and moisturizer from the Murad acne line.

    • This is the most diverse assortment of recommendations you could ever ask for.

      Would probably be more useful if OP stated her age, skin type, type of acne/location, and frequency of blemishes and if on OCPs…. then maybe you can see if someone with a situation similar to yours could give recs.

    • NewRecruit :

      Research the benefits of using witch hazel as a toner. It WORKS!

    • Anonymous :

      I also think you may be using too many harsh products and should focus more on ‘skin health’ products, like niacinamide, moisturizers, sheet masks, etc. Things that will repair the ‘moisture barrier’ of your skin. I always recommend the blog Snow White and the Asian Pear for stuff like this.

    • cake batter :

      Not sure if anyone reads this late, but I strongly recommend going to a derm’s office for a facial and consult. I had perfect skin as a teenager but began to break out badly in my 20s. After I (badly) cut my own bangs to try and hide my blemished forehead, I hit the breaking point and booked a “clinical” facial (i.e. no relaxing face massage, just chemical peel and extractions) and got professional recommendations for what would work best on my skin. I started getting a facial there maybe 3-4 times a year, and my skin is literally perfect now. I get maybe one tiny blemish every few months, and I’m positive the facials and glycolic acid cleanser are the reason my skin troubles are gone. I used to buy new products every time I’d go to target or sephora, hoping I’d find something that’d work, but now that I’ve nailed down my routine, I don’t try new products anymore. Also, this is key–literally never touch your face unless you’re washing it or applying product, and never ever pick. I had to toss my magnifying mirror because the temptation was too strong to examine my pores.

  18. As if I needed more of an inspiration, in response to the latest Twitter fiasco I’ll be placing several Nordstrom orders today.

    • What happened?

      • Spirograph :

        “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”

        All I have to say to that is, she should push harder.

      • (was) due in june :


    • PS I bought stock in Nordstrom when they dropped Ivanka.

      • Um – why? Bricks and mortar retail is one of the worst sectors to be in. Why would you show your “support” for a company by wasting your investment dollars?

        • Worst sectors = cheap and I’m a long investor. I made a small bet on the retailer I think will survive.

    • (was) due in june :

      Thanks for the head’s up. I will join you.

    • Lovely! My jeans are about to wear out. I see a trip to Nordstrom this weekend.

    • Regardless of where you fall on the Ivanka/Nordstrom debate, the idea of a president tweeting about a private business and dramatically affecting their stock price is truly terrifying.

      • See today’s Money Stuff column by Matt Levine bloomberg. There’s a hedge fund that’s already on that strategy–short stock, incite president, wait for Twitterstorm, profit.

      • See today’s Money Stuff column by Matt Levine at Bloomberg. There’s a hedge fund that’s already on that strategy–short stock, incite president, wait for Twitterstorm, profit.

        Here’s the excerpt from the column:

        [quote] Trolling as a short strategy.

        This is kind of genius:

        1) Pick a company.
        2) Sell its stock short.
        3) Craft an argument that the company is somehow being mean to Donald Trump.
        4) Try to get Trump’s attention so he’ll tweet mean things about it.
        5) Profit.

        That seems to be the strategy of Andrew Left’s Citron Research:

        “What would President Trump think about U.S. Law Enforcement Agencies Paying 5 TIMES the Prices Motorola Charges EU Countries?” Citron wrote at the top of its 13-page report on Motorola. The report goes on to compare Motorola’s pricing to the F-35 jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp. that Mr. Trump has in the past claimed to be overpriced.

        It seems unlikely that Trump is going to read a 13-page equity research report, though. Citron sensibly tweeted it, but neglected to include Trump’s Twitter handle in the tweet, or to phrase it in Trumpian terms. There is room for improvement. The really smart move would be to buy ads on Trump’s favorite television shows to bash companies that you’re short. [endquote]

      • The idea of a President tweeting to support an immediate family member’s business is terrifying.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Yup. I’m old enough to remember Bush senior getting heat for publicly saying he did not like broccoli! W also got some heat (only publicized in the science community I believe) when he allocated more federal funds for research of a disease that runs in his family. There was discussion over the ethics of funding when you have personal ties to the cause. This is a whole other issue! It’s not the first time either. He also had his LL Bean fiasco.

        Someone needs to take away his phone.

        • Spirograph :

          I am not quite old enough to remember that, but I had the pleasure of hearing Barbara Bush speak once, and she told a delightful story about how little W used to hide broccoli in his milk. Chip off the old block, that one.

          w/r/t AEK below… I can’t even. My mind wanders in important meetings sometimes, too, but I discretely doodle in the margins of my notebook. I do not send time-stamped tweets to prove I wasn’t paying attention.

      • He ALSO sent this tweet 20 minutes into his national security briefing, which began at 10:30. For reals.

        • ugh – I’m torn between wanting someone to take the phone and car keys away from grandpa and wanting his ridiculousness to be documented and audited in some capacity, even if it is through social media. 45 -put down the twitter, stop putting your petty feuds first, and pay attention to President Bannon. Serenity now.

    • I just placed an order for make up I didnt need and did a live chat to let them know why.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Buying something at the Rack is the same theory, right?I bought a Harlowe & Graham sweater there a few weeks ago and it’s the softest thing I’ve ever worn and I want it in red now. And the joggers that go along with it.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Also, probably late to this game, but my mom re-gifted me some Zella yoga pants a few weeks ago that I am in love with. They’re thick and ridiculously soft and comfortable.

  19. Casual Outfit :

    What’s your very favorite cute and casual outfit for on the weekends? I’m so curious to hear others’ and am also hoping to get ideas from you gals in order to break out of my very normcore tendencies.

    • Navy v-neck wool sweater with long necklace, a black and gold watch, dark gray skinny jeans, dark purple leather chelsea boots, large stud earrings with a big of edge to them.

    • Cold weather – black denim, oversized cashmere sweater with a long sleeve tee layered underneath, a blazer if very cold, a big cashmere wrap, boots (knee high black leather, Chelsea, or snow depending on weather).

      Mid-range weather – striped long or 3/4 sleeve tee, black denim, cardigan or blazer, ballet flats, light scarf

      Hot weather – either a knee-length or maxi dress (sleeveless or cap sleeves), ballet flats, cardigan if needed, OR Bermuda shorts and either a striped 3/4 sleeve tee or a light weight button down, untucked, sleeves rolled. Deck shoes.

      • Frozen Peach :

        These outfits sound extremely glamorous. Hoping more fashion-literate hive ladies will comment and include shopping links too.

      • Frozen Peach :

        These outfits sound extremely glamorous. I am inspired! Hoping more fashion-literate hive ladies will comment and include shopping links too.

      • I’ve screen capped this reply to use as inspiration for my casual outfits… thanks!

      • OMG, I don’t think I’ve ever been called glamorous in my life (or thought of myself as glamourous)! I try to be fairly minimalist when it comes to my clothes now that I’m in my 30s (I spent my 20s buying/wearing what I thought was trendy or fashionable, and now I’m all f-it I’m just going to wear what I like). I tend to wear the same combos over and over, in a limited color palette, b/c that’s what I like. It just works for me!

    • I’ve been wearing a thin merino wool dress as a tunic with leggings and tall boots. I wear a scarf or a long sweater over this depending on temp, or a raincoat if I venture outside in rainy northern ca

    • Senior Attorney :

      I just got these crazy jeans at Nordstrom with patches all down the front. Wasn’t sure but they are much cuter in person than they are on the web site. I am loving wearing them with a white James Perse sweatshirt and mixed-media bomber jacket.

      • Senior Attorney :

        • anonypotamus :

          Can you link to the mixed media bomber jacket? I’ve been searching for a casual jacket that is a step up from a zip up hoodie, but less fancy than my Much Loved black leather jacket, while also still being somewhat fitted or structured. I also have a loose olive green canvas-y jacket but it doesn’t seem to work with many outfits.

    • Cooler Fall/Winter: skinny jeans, flowy tunic-type top, infinity scarf. Boots if snowing or raining, Toms or Sperry if it is not.

      Spring/Warmer Fall: Tunic and capri leggings with ballet flats (or wedges in the spring if it is warm enough).

      Summer: I try to stay inside, but if I must go out maxi dress or maxi skirt and tank top, or chino-esque shorts with layered tank tops. All with wedges.

    • Winter/Fall

      Dark blue bootcut jeans, dark brown flat riding boots and either orange Boden cashmere cardi with white tee and blue print infinite scarf or gold Boden cashmere cardi with navy tee and plaid scarf.


      Navy striped jersey pencil skirt with either navy or white top and gold flip flops.

    • Skinny jeans, booties, fitted plaid shirt and cashmere scarf.

  20. Has anyone found good short-sleeve sweaters recently? Today I’m wearing one from BR (bought 5+ years ago) underneath a lightweight cardigan and I’m wondering why I don’t have more like it. It’s much warmer than a basic tee and looks more polished, too.

    • I’m interested in this as well. I’d like a slightly lower neckline (lower than a crewneck) so that I can wear it with a blazer and a necklace.

    • There’s one on sale at Brooks Brothers right now.

  21. Mini pill anyone? :

    I have extremely heavy periods due to an underlying condition. I finally decided to try BC purely to see if they will help make my periods less heavy, not to prevent pregnancy. Turns out that I’m not a candidate for combination BC pills, and the Dr. offered me a Rx for mini pills. I’ve never taken any kind of BC pills before so I don’t know how my body will react. Because I’m going on vacay in 2 months I’m hesitant to start taking the mini pills now because after reading the side effects I’m worried I’ll throw my already time challenged period out of whack, gain weight, break out, and start spotting or worse during my vacay whereas if I don’t take the BC before vacay chances are good I won’t have to worry about any of this. Two questions (1) would you just wait until after vacay and not run any of the risks I mention which is where I’m leaning; and (2) anyone care to share their experience with taking mini pills? TIA for any responses/insight.

    • I took the mini pill while I was breastfeeding. I felt ok and since there were lots of things going on with my body at the time I didn’t notice a change. However, when I finally went off of it, well after discontinuing breastfeeding, I felt great. I had more energy and sex drive and just a sunnier outlook on life. I didn’t realize the pill was doing all of that to me until I went off.

      • (Because of my reaction to the mini pill, after my second child was born, we decided to just use condoms, and that’s how we got our third child! True story.)

      • Hmm, I assumed I felt better because I didn’t have the burden of breast feeding anymore…

        • I would probably have assumed the same but I quit the mini pill several months after discontinuing breastfeeding.

    • Not sure what your underlying condition is, but I was on birth control pills for years due to horribly painful periods (endometriosis). I found that pills didn’t make a difference, but I got an IUD, and it’s AMAZING.

    • Anonymous :

      I took the mini pill after many years of happily taking the regular pill. Mini pill did nothing to manage my periods. Period continued to be heavy. My period was also highly irregular and I had a lot of spotting. I stopped taking it because I was breaking out all over the place.Basically I had bad side effects and no benefits. When i was doing my research, it seemed that there are a very few lucky women who do well on the mini pill. But for the majority of women it is useless.

      I think you should try it – but wait until after your vacation.

    • Thanks all (including Toronto Newbie, below). This is all helpful. I think I will wait and either try the mini pill after vacation or look into whether an IUD is a good fit for me.

  22. TorontoNewbie :

    How about an IUD?

  23. Terrible Customer Service :

    And now…. due to the insanity that has occurred at The Limited, I am STILL waiting on a refund for a return. It’s been well over a month since they received the item. The item was purchased before everything went on final sale. Their client relations email has an auto-reply that gives instruction on how to follow up on various items and one of the items that are “required” for following up on a return is a photo of the original packing slip with the returned item circled. Ummm… that went in the box with the item. WTF.

  24. Looking for recommendations for areas to stay near downtown Austin for a bachelorette party in early June. We plan to stay in an Airbnb (about 15 of us) and want to be close to cool bars and restaurants. FWIW, we are all late twenties/early thirties so cool day drinking spots and good restaurants are more important than “clubbing” at night. I’ve been to Austin once before, but it has been years and I don’t remember any of the fun neighborhoods by name. Would love any recs for other cool Austin activities to do that time of year as well. Thanks, hive!

    • Frozen Peach :

      One of my college besties is the exec chef of a new restaurant– I HIGHLY recommend her cooking….

  25. Thank you for all the New Orleans responses to my questions posted yesterday! I am looking forward to the trip.

  26. Dog Training :

    I have a 9 month old puppy who was fully potty trained who seems to be having some nighttime regression and I’m wondering if anyone has any advice or experience!

    We trained both of our dogs to ring a little bell that is attached to a bunch of our doors when they have to go out to go to the bathroom. Our older dog (2 years old) uses the system perfectly, but the puppy (9 months) abuses it a little bit. He rings the bell when he wants to go outside to play (nonstop in snowstorms!), when he wants to get the older dog to pay attention and play with him, AND when he has to go out to go to the bathroom. For the past few months, after he was fully crate and potty trained, he’s been sleeping out of the crate with our other dog and was sleeping through the night. Probably for the past month or so, he’s been waking up around 3am and ringing the bell to go out. My saint of a husband has been taking him out and says sometimes he goes to the bathroom, and other times he’ll pick up a ball or toy and want to play.

    I’m 8 months pregnant, so we’re looking at a lot of waking up in the middle of the night, and I would love to eliminate having the puppy be one of those! Any advice on how to handle this? Should we take the bell out of our bedroom? Take away his water at night so he doesn’t drink too much (this seems mean to me?)? Ignore the bell in the middle of the night? He goes to the bathroom right before bed around 10:30 and has no problem holding it during the day/weekends when we’re home so I don’t think it’s a UTI or anything like that.

    And just to head off some comments – I know it’s a little crazy to have a 10 month old puppy and a newborn. The puppy was adopted in a little bit of a fit of despair after 1 full year of TTC and getting an infertility diagnosis that included needing surgery and what seemed like a long road ahead of us. Then Surprise!! He’s fully a part of the family and we’re committed to making everything work with puppy and baby, just want to solve this one little behavior issue!

    • Miz Swizz :

      I think you need to wear him out more and discourage playing in the middle of the night. How does your husband respond when he picks up the ball or tries to play? If you train him that the bell is only for bathroom breaks and don’t let him stay outside if he rings the bell and just wants to play, that might help. But if you’re unconsciously reinforcing that bell = outside for any reason, he’ll probably continue this behavior.

    • I have the exact same issue with my 10 month old puppy! I can’t wait to hear what others say!

      I trained him to ring a bell on the back door and he’s good about it, but will abuse it for attention/boredom. The only thing that has helped reduce (but by no means eliminate) the 3:30 wakings is making sure there aren’t any distractions in the bedroom at night. In my case, that means my dear sweet cat isn’t allowed in the bedroom at night anymore because puppy is distracted by him and wants to play.

    • Wildkitten :

      At 10 months he should be able to go to the bathroom before you go to sleep and first thing in the morning and not need to go in the middle of the night. Can you take away his water a few hours before bed? You also might want to talk to a trainer because there is going to be a lot of upheaval in your lives soon and the pups are going to act weird and having a professional to help might be huge. Also try DAP – it works for some pups and not others, but worth a try during this chaotic time, especially.

    • Anonymous :

      What about taking the bell down at bedtime and putting it back up in the morning?

    • Anon at big uni :

      This is classic “not getting enough exercise” behavior.

      • Dog Training :

        He gets so much exercise though! 2 hour off leash hike in the morning, 1 hour at the beach around 3, 30 minute walk around 7, and is outside with electric fence with our other dog during the rest of the day (cleaning lady is home). When we get home from work he’s pooped! Really only wants to snooze at our feet and snuggle and has no real interest in playing.

        When he tries to play in the middle of the night and we won’t engage, he’ll actually go back to bed pretty quickly, but he doesn’t stop ringing the bell until he gets to go outside.

        • Dog Training :

          Should also mention he’s some kind of doodly mutt and isn’t particularly athletic, so I don’t think he has exercise needs beyond what he gets with his puppy camp hikes and beach time. Around the 45 minute mark at the beach he stops playing with the other dogs and starts laying down / looking for belly rubs. It isn’t like he’s one of the really athletic dog breeds that could just run all day.

          • Anon at big uni :

            Dogs that age tend to recharge *really* quickly after exercise. When my now 7 year old was younger, we’d go for 10+ mile runs and she’d be pretty pooped by the end of it, but by the time I was out of the shower, she was ready to go again. Also, as much as I ran her, it only seemed to increase her endurance and energy level. Thankfully I was running a lot at the time, so I was able to keep her exercised and not eating my house.

            Poodles (I assume that’s what you meant by the “doodly” in doodly mutt) are very athletic- particularly Standard Poodles! I would still try increasing the length of his evening walk, or else push it back to closer to bedtime.

            Also, taking up the water at night is a good idea.

        • Ugh a 2 hour off leash hike sounds like a dream come true for my dog! it’s so nice to read about a young family committed to making it work with a puppy and who seems to be doing a lot to get the dog exercise.

          I had a coworker who was shopping his 10 year old dog around when his wife was expecting and it was just so sad to me. Totally changed how I thought of the guy.

    • I don’t think it’s cruel to take water away at night.

      • +1. We shut our dogs in our bedroom with us at night and there isn’t a water bowl in there. One of them swings by water bowl on her way to bed. They do fine for that 7-9 hours while they are sleeping. On the very rare occasion that they do need to get a drink or go out in the middle of the night, they let us know. Up the exercise during the day and take the bell down at night until the habit is broken.

  27. American Apparel :

    I really want to get this tee. Anyone have feedback on American Apparel sizing and whether or not they shrink?

  28. Sloan Sabbith :

    Looking for a pair of leopard-print booties, preferably under $100, available at the Rack or Nordstrom, for obvious reasons. I have a pair of Lucky “Breah” booties in black that I’m wearing a lot, but I really, really want a pair of leopard print (Senior Attorney, you are my outfit inspiration!) booties and I want to spend money at Nordstrom/the Rack today.

    • Check out the Corso como Yonkers. They’re $175 but less than $100 on Amazon so they’ll probably price match. They’re also on sale at shoes dot com.

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