Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Elodie Wrap Blouse

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

This ivory wrap top with embroidered flowers caught my eye a couple of weeks ago, and I keep coming back to it. It seems very chic and very flattering and also a little bit different — you won’t look like you’re wearing the same thing that everyone else on the planet is wearing, and I like that. I don’t think it’s too feminine or frilly, either. I would probably wear this with a pencil skirt or with some wide flowy pants, but I could also see it working well with ankle pants. The top is $148 at Anthropologie, where it comes in sizes XS–XL. Elodie Wrap Blouse

A plus-size option is from Vince Camuto.

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  1. Laundry help! :

    While I was on vacation last week, I spilled food down the front of my navy cotton dress. I didn’t realize it when it happened, so I don’t know exactly what it was, but we were eating baked lobster and lots of buttery sides. I finally was able to wash the dress and sprayed Shout on the three spots (they look like wet spots that won’t go away) but after taking it out of the washer and hang drying, it still has the wet looking spots. Anything else I can try?

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had luck removing grease spots from clothing with Dawn dish detergent.

    • Blue dawn. Or taking it to the dry cleaners.

    • It may be grease spots from the buttery sides. Put baby powder on the stains, then cover the powder with a paper towel, and then put something heavy on it, like a stack of books. Leave it for a day or two, at which point shake off the baby powder. Basically, you want the powder to absorb the grease stains. This works well for me, but usually it’s much more effective before the stain has been washed and set. Hopefully, it’ll still work.

      • If you put it in the dryer it may not be fixable. I like Stain Devils – they are specific to the type of stain so I’d use the fats and oils one in this case. The Google says they are available at Wal Mart but I have picked them up at Joann Fabrics.

        • Anonymous :

          +1000 to Stain Devils (for oil and grease, in this case)

          I usually buy them at my supermarket and they have saved countless items that have been washed and dried without coming clean.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Sounds like grease spots! I would try the powder trick above and then wet it and rub in yellow Ajax disc detergent, then re-launder.

    • Anonymous :

      Sunlight is also reasonably effective with grease spots if all of the above fail.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Baking sofa works for me for this – I think it’s the same principle as the powder. When it doubt with laundry, I always go to white vinegar and baking soda first. It generally works.

    • Anonymous :

      Blue Dawn is a miracle worker for grease stains. It has to be the blue kind though!

    • Blue dawn, isopropyl alcohol, or dry cleaning are my go tos for grease stains (in that order).

      • When you use Dawn, are you just rubbing it into the stain like a regular stain remover? Or how do you actually use it? I have some mysterious grease stains showing up on clothes in my last few washes I don’t know what the heck the problem is.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Are you sure they’re grease stains? When I had stains appearing in the wash they turned out to be from the detergent (!!) where I had poured it right onto the clothes on top. They came out again after several washes and now I pour the detergent into the water before loading clothes.

          • Oh! We use powdered detergent in a front-loading washer…maybe I should be putting it in the washer instead of in the dispenser? Interesting. It does seem like it shouldn’t be random grease spots all the time.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            Oh, I have a top-loader and use liquid detergent (the “stains” were from where it was soaking into the fabric and not rinsing out), so I don’t know how this applies to your situation.

            Any chance something greasy has made its way into the machine?

        • Yes how exactly should I be using the Dawn? Rubbing it into the stain?

          • Yes, that’s how I do it. The Dawn breaks up the oils, just like it does for dishes.

          • I just rub it into the stain, let it sit for awhile, then wash.

          • For blue dawn, rub it into the stain then wash normally. For isopropyl alcohol, drop it onto the stain with an eye dropper then wash normally (you might want to test it first because while it isn’t a bleach I think it can loosen the dye in clothes).

    • ahhhh why am I am mod for asking how to use the Dawn dish detergent?

    • Coach Laura :

      On any grease that’s been baked on in the dryer, I use De-solv-It, which I think is a miracle all purpose cleaner.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t tell if this is a legitimate problem, or a sweet humblebrag about an awesome meal…I applaud it nonetheless.

  2. Mattress Toppers :

    We bought a new mattress recently and have come to realize it is too firm. Recommendations for a topper? We would like something that sleeps cooler than memory foam normally does.

    • I’m a fan of down toppers.

      • +1 – mine is from Down to Basics, which I understand is either the supplier to or buys from the same line as Miraval in AZ. Either way, it’s insanely lovely.

    • I would replace the mattress. I did the same thing and found that I spent a lot of money on toppers that could never quite make a too-firm mattress comfortable.

    • This is a lot more expensive than foam, but I like wool fill for coolness.

      • +1 – we have a wool topper which we luuurve. It does need to be babied a bit (I flip it and air it out once a week) but it really isn’t that big a deal if you’re already used to changing sheets/bedding weekly.

  3. Anonymous :

    Up for some vicarious shopping? I have an upcoming wedding on the water in Rhode Island. The invite says formal/black tie optional. In my circle, most people wear long dresses with this dress code. I’m open to either, although swaying a little bit toward long dress only because I think I’d feel more comfortable because I’d fit in more. But most important is finding a dress I feel good it. I’ve gained a lot of weight recently and am looking for a dress in size 18, ideally with sleeves because I hate my arms. But not like weird jackets or shaws or anything. I’m late 20s, so I want a fun stylish dress. A navy or other dark color would be ideal because I usually feel most confident in dark colors. Open to Rent the Runway, but didn’t seen anything I love available when I need it (August 18 wedding), but also didn’t spend a lot of time looking. Budget is up to $300 or so. Help!!

    • Anonymous :

    • Maybe something like this? – Badly Mischka Belle of the Ball gown:

    • What about these? :

    • RI-native here. It will probably be humid at that point, depending on where you’ll be (can I ask? where’s the venue?) I think the actual venue will dictate how formal it needs to be in this case.

      I’ve been in this situation and enjoyed the offerings at eloquii, asos, and kiyonna. Some of these may need the right accessories to work, but your call. Not knowing exactly how formal you want to go, I found:

      I so wish this came in navy or a jewel-y green!

      Yes, a gal meets glam dress, no I’m not trying to get affiliate anything:

      • Thanks for all the suggestions. Loving the Asos Paper Dolls and the Eloquii lace evening dress. The venue is one of the Newport mansions. What do you think would be appropriate?

        • I think the more formal side would work, yeah. Some other venues can say “formal” while still being… well, not that formal (thinking of a few hotels, clubs, and other waterside venues). The mansions are fun to feel formal in!

          Have a blast. And a drink at the Clark Cooke House/Boom Boom Room for me.

    • Here are two RTR options that could be appropriate: (I know its not a dark dress, but it looks like an effortless dress to wear)

  4. Brooks Brothers sizing :

    How does Brooks Brothers sizing run compared to J Crew or Ann Taylor? There are some nice Red Fleece dresses on sale.

    • east coaster :

      Also interested in perspective on this sizing. I typically buy dresses in “tall” sizes but that doesn’t seem to be an option with these red fleece dresses. Do they run short or long?

      • Anonymous :

        I am 5-4 and usually wear petite jackets b/c I must run extra-short b/w my shoulders and natural waist. I feel that the torso / waist placement on red fleece is quite low, too low to work for me.

        BUT blouses seem to run narrow in the shoulders / chest. I wear a 30″ band size bra and incredible-hulked out of the back seam of a silk blouse on wear #1 when the item seemed to fit OK in the store. Maybe I had back luck with construction, but do a full YMCA in the dressing room on any item you buy.

    • Things that make you go HM :

      I find it a touch small so I usually size up if the item looks like it is cut slim. For dresses that are cut generously (think t shirt dresses or the boxy cut style that seems to be trendy) stick with your current JCrew size.

      The website drives me insane however- poor navigation and checkout not to mention the obtuse login process. That said- shipping via shoprunner is available so that that’s a bit of the pain away

    • I find the red fleece runs about a full size smaller than regular brooks brothers, and it is definitely cut narrower in the hips/shoulder areas. IMHO, for the price, their stuff is MUCH better made than JCrew and Ann Taylor, and can be a real steal when its on sale.

    • I find that their slim-cut ankle pants run about 2 sizes smaller than AT (but I have curvy hips).

      Their other clothes run about what AT was five years ago.

  5. Queen bedding :

    I have a queen bed. I buy queen sheets for it.

    Comforters / quilts / top pieces are inevitably “Queen/Full,” which, I have decided, is a lie. It means that your queen sheets will always be visible on the sides of the bed b/c the top piece is really only long enough on the sides (so really it’s a width issue if you were to lay it flat) to cover the sheets on full-sized beds.

    Since there is no 10b5 on bedding, can anyone recommend legit queen sized comforters / quilts / top pieces? [I’ve experimented with just going to king sized, but that doesn’t work, either.]

    In case it matters, this is for a traditional 4-poster type wooden bed with a box spring underneath (not anything like a platform-type bed). Yes, with a bed skirt. Why do things have to be this hard? Now, please pardon me while I clutch my pearls and take the vapors on my fainting couch.

    • I’ve got a queen duvet cover from PB that is long enough on a traditional mattress, but I think most of theirs are F/Q. You probably need to take some measurements of your mattress and then add the drop amount you want to cover the foot of the bed. This may require an oversized comforter. Some department stores have true queen sized selections.
      This article talks about the variation in comforter sizing.

    • The Company Store comforters and duvet covers come in separate full and queen sizes.

      • +1, and you can get “supersized” comforters from them as well that give a nicer drape on taller bed setups. On the bed skirt, they have a detachable one that is a pleasure to maintain.

        • Ann NE Muss :

          +2 and you can get all pieces separate. We recently moved to all flat sheets, so use a flat for our bottom fitted and it makes it so much easier and neater.

      • And I’ve only had really good experiences with their products.

    • Get a custom duvet on Etsy. There’s tons of people on there who make them and it’s about the same price as retail with nicer fabrics.

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      You might also look at Crane and Canopy. I find their duvet covers to be larger than usual and I love the zipper closures and the inner ties so the inserts don’t slip around.

      … I do put the non-down inserts from Crate and Barrell inside time.

    • Ann NE Muss :

      Also, if you’re into Linen (non linens) check out Rough Linen. I have a summer cover for a king size bed that is huge and luxurious (and keeps me cool even as I’m going through the change).

    • Agreeing with the suggestions to measure. Measure from one side of the bed where you want the comforter to fall, across the top, and down the other side to where you want the comforter to fall. Also measure from the foot of the bed where you want the comforter to be, and over the top of the bed.

      Comforters are all different measurements. Shopping at Macy’s recently, I found at least 4 different sets of measurements for queen comforters. Part of it is that mattresses are all different heights these days, so a comforter that will cover up the box spring on a mattress that is 10 inches tall, won’t cover nearly as much on a mattress that is 16 inches tall. With an extra 6 inches on each side, the 16 inch tall mattress needs a comforter that is at least a foot wider than the 10 inch mattress, and at least 6 inches longer.

  6. Our house is being painted (interior) this week and an unexpected side effect of gorgeous lovely newly painted walls is that everything looks so shabby in comparison. Nursery fees are going to kill our budget so I’m trying to be restrained but a new mirror for the hallway and some artwork for the baby’s room are winging their way to me now. May also buy some more plants – we shoved all of our plants onto the bathroom windows while the sitting room was being done and realized that the jungle look in the bathroom is surprisingly pleasing.

    Any other ideas for small updates that make things look fresh?

    • Anonymous :


      And as Edina Monsoon said, “SURFACES! I want to see SURFACES!”

      She’s not wrong.

      • I wholeheartedly endorse this. Unfortunately, I live with a husband who has never met a horizontal surface he didn’t want to cover in miscellany.

        • Would it help to get him some receptacles? My husband has a bad habit of dumping his pockets/mail onto our island. It drove me NUTS. I finally got him a deep bowl which he can clutter to his hearts content, and a mail sorter for the island. He knows that when the bowl is full I will sort through and empty it of all the [email protected] he’s accumulated.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Plus a million for receptacles. My designer was a huge fan of trays on everything. We put smallish trays on each of our bedside tables and lo and behold, the clutter looks contained and reasonably decent instead of like we are a couple of slovens. Ditto the cocktail table in his den, ditto the console table in my Woman Cave.

          • #womancavegoals

      • So true! I shoved everything in the cupboards in preparation for the kitchen being painted and it is so, so nice! We’re taking everything out of the kitchen cupboards this weekend in hopes of getting rid of at least a cupboard full.

      • Love Edina Monsoon! Anyone else have any good quotes of hers? Gosh, how I miss that show.

    • A few ideas, from someone who recently did a mini-refresh in her basement family room:
      – New curtains
      – New throw pillows can perk up sad-looking couches and chairs.
      – Edit what you have! Only display your favorites. Or have less out at one time, and rotate through.
      – If you have wood furniture that’s seen better days, consider re-staining.
      – A good, deep cleaning can do wonders to make a space look/feel fresher.
      – Plants are great!

      I’d focus on 1-2 rooms that you care about most, rather than trying half-redos in a bunch of rooms.

      • Such good ideas. I think we’ll replace the curtains in our room. We only have the two bedrooms and a kitchen/living space so it shouldn’t take much.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        And if you don’t want to deal with completely re-staining, the Old English Scratch Cover polish is kind of amazing.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Moving around all your wall art. You can also do a BIG, inexpensive gallery wall with either Ikea Ribba frames (or as I recently discovered) the made by design frames from Target. I’m doing a nine-square gallery wall for $110 for the frames and $80 for the photos (bought from 527 photos on Etsy). It’ll be at least 4′ by 4′ when completed, so it’s a steal (and would be even cheaper if I’d done the Ikea order and used my own photos printed out). White frames and white matts makes everything feel fresh.

      • Generic gallery walls really scream suburban house wife to me. Unless you’ve got a great aesthetic to really pull it off, they look pretty blah.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not sure why you are assuming this will be generic, but is there something else you suggest?

          I assume gallery walls look suburban because they are often a good fit for some of the oddly shaped and oversized walls one finds in suburban architecture.

        • Veronica Mars :

          I disagree.

        • And being a suburban house wife is obviously the worst thing ever… Puh leeze.

    • Ikea has real house plants for very cheap, especially if you are willing to let the small ones grow. Snake plants, fiddleleaf fig trees, bamboo etc are sold in little containers for about $5 in every Ikea.

      Ikea is also a good place for replacing artwork at a low price point if you only care about looks and not its provenance. Otherwise, you can get cute but small original watercolors on etsy for pretty cheap as well.

    • Clean the outside of your windows. It’s a pain but clean windows let in so much natural light it can make a big difference. Also you can change out lampshades without replacing the whole lamp. You can also easily make your own pillow covers. I make “envelope” pillow covers and it lets me switch up the look periodically without having to continually buy more pillows.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes to washing the windows! We did this for a party over the weekend and it was the worst job ever but it made such a difference!

    • Lampshades. I always forget how easy and relatively inexpensive it is to get several new lampshades for my existing lamps. I’ll pick a different shape or texture or replace white ones with colors, etc. It changes the whole vibe of a room. For a super cheap, quick and easy version, see if you can switch around the lampshades you already have. It seems pretty low-impact, but it makes me feel like I’ve bought way more new stuff than I have! I also make sure to give all the shades a good cleaning while I’m doing this, which never hurts.

  7. Gyn reminded me at my annual physical yesterday that I need to get 4 servings of calcium. Yogurt for breakfast makes 1…how do other people get enough?

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      Glad you brought this up. It is really important and it is during our healthy young years that we start loosing bone mass, especially if your calcium intake is poor.

      Almost none of us do get enough. None of my friends do, as most don’t drink milk or eat dairy regularly, and some trendy diets actively avoid dairy. If you aren’t eating dairy regularly, it is hard to get it from other foods unless you are really mindful.

      I drink non-fat milk twice a day with meals. Fortunately I tolerate it fine, grew up drinking it so it is normal/refreshing for me. And my coffee is a generous cafe au lait. I try to get a yogurt or cheese or tofu (or ice cream!) in once a day. And if I miss one of my daily dairy servings, I have calcium chewables and take one of those. Other things that I eat regularly that help are almonds and leafy greens. But I wouldn’t get anywhere near my recommended daily allowance without dairy.

      And getting Calcium from foods is likely better than from supplements, as there are some negative associations with taking calcium pills in older high risk populations. But probably not an issue for us. It is better to take them than to not get enough calcium. But don’t take more than 400mg or so at one time, as you can’t absorb more than that at once. So usually you need to take supplements twice a day at least.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      More yogurt? I’m only kind of kidding. Greek yogurt is more nutrient-dense. Drink milk with lunch?

      Also, did you measure your breakfast yogurt? It may be more “servings” than you think.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Does the Yasso frozen greek yogurt bar I eat for dessert every night count?

      (I also started taking a multivitamin after I stopped drinking milk. I used to drink a glass of milk every day until I realized I just do not like milk anymore)

      • Yes it counts! I’d check the nutrients info, but I bet it has a decent amount of calcium.

        And double check your multivitamin. I have a chewable adult multivitamin because I am essentially a child that has a hard time swallowing pills, but unfortunately it doesn’t have any calcium.

      • Applause for those Yasso bars. The mint chip is very delicious and the salted caramel only slightly less so. One of the few “low calorie” snacks that does not make me feel deprived.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          The mint chip is my fav, and apparently everyone else’s because it’s always sold out. The chocolate chip and toffee bits one is good too if you haven’t tried that.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Oh, and how could I forget cheese? I eat a lot of cheese.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m nursing so I have to get a LOT. I normally drink milk with breakfast, eat a frozen lunch with calcium (a lot of the Amy’s Kitchen pasta bowls have cheese), eat some cheese as snacks during the day, have dessert with milk after dinner and/or have a hot chocolate (milk + cocoa packet with calcium) before I go to bed. Even so when I add it up, I’m barely meeting the 1000 mg/day threshold. Calcium is so so hard to get without a supplement (unless you drink milk at every meal like my mom).

    • Anonymous :

      I probably get too much dairy! I do the same yogurt for breakfast, also yogurt/string cheese for a snack, and a glass of (lactose free) milk for a small snack. Warm milk or sometimes chocolate milk as a dessert / want to eat something after dinner.

    • I like cheese bars/sticks for a quick hit of protein and calcium – especially before or after working out. The pepper jack or extra sharp ones from cabot are favorites.

    • Lots of dark/leafy greens and a calcium/D3 supplement.

      • Thanks for the reminder that we all are likely vitamin D deficient too, so you need to make sure you get enough vitamin D. Most of us will need supplements and you should have your level checked at least a couple times with your doctor to make sure you appropriately absorb vitamin D supplements with a rise in your level.

      • Note that in general dark leafy greens need to be cooked to maximize calcium absorption.

      • +1 I found it helpful to look up vegan sources of calcium. Someone here recommended the website cronometer for checking dietary intake of micronutrients (you can track for two weeks to get an idea of what your averages are).

        Sadly, I have to supplement certain things seemingly no matter what I do with my diet. My doctor advised also taking vitamin K when supplementing vitamin D (do be aware that you can overdose on D over time, so it’s important to have a doctor’s supervision). I’m not sure if common to also need supplemental magnesium, but I do.

    • Oh man this is not a problem I have. I could probably survive easily on a diary-only diet. I had to give up soy and diary for nursing one of my kids and it was so, so hard.

      Milk in coffee. Cereal & milk (breakfast, snack or dinner)- milk burn also cereal is often fortified. Yogurt. Frozen yogurt. Cheese sticks. Cheese and crackers and pepperoni and olives. Add feta into your salad. Add cheese into your sandwiches. Chocolate milk. Chocolate (check but many kinds have a bunch of calcium).

      Calcium chews.

    • A 16 oz latte has almost two servings of milk in it. :)

      • But just note – you can only absorb the equivalent of one serving of calcium at one time. So if you drink that over an hour, it doesn’t count for as much.

        Unless you are like me, and you drink that one latte all day long……. (kinda nasty, but it’s my way)

    • My regular evening treat is hot cocoa made with skim milk (yes, even in the summer) so that’s one of my servings. I also keep cheese sticks in the office fridge to eat as a snack, so that gets me calcium and a little extra protein throughout the day.

    • For my lunchtime caffeine hit, I always have cold-brew coffee concentrate mixed with 1 cup of milk. Add a yogurt, a cheese stick for a snack, and whatever calcium is in the rest of my food, and I easily hit or exceed 100% of the recommended intake every day.

    • I am having Frozen yogurt at my desk as a mid-day snack right this moment. Not even sorry

    • White Russians and Brie.

    • Anonymous :

      Some fish, lots of tofu, and nuts and seeds.

  8. Detroit Weekend :

    DH and I are thinking about spending a long weekend in Detroit in September or October as part of going to a wedding. The wedding would only be Saturday night so we otherwise would have a lot of time to see the city. We would have a car. Suggestions on fun things to do either in the city or surrounding areas (maybe pretty drives)? We like to walk in cities, stop at coffee shops, see neighborhoods and how people live, and drive for pretty scenery.

    • dtown lady :

      Stay somewhere cool downtown, Royal Oak/Ferndale or the northern suburbs around Birmingham (all very different vibes). Be prepared to drive a lot.

      Eastern Market
      An afternoon taking the ppl mover and walking around downtown
      Marvins Mechanical Museum
      Motown museum
      Ford Museum (a very random collection of interesting things)

    • Just saw a great review of their food hall.

    • Would recommend Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals at the Institute of Art!

    • For things specifically in Detroit, I’d check out Eastern Market (and from there the Dequindre Cut) and the Detroit Institute of Art if you’re at all a museum person. The Museum of African American History is also a highlight. I don’t have any specific recommendations because it will vary so much by what kind of food you like, but Hamtramck is often recognized for its multicultural food scene. If you’re coming from a place without a lot of Mexican food options, I’d check out Mexicantown/Southwest Detroit for a meal as well. Belle Isle might be for you – it’s an island in the Detroit River that’s now a protected park.

      You might want to spend an afternoon/evening in Ann Arbor. It’s a 40ish minute drive from downtown Detroit, probably 20 from DTW airport. The downtown/campus area is walkable, there are some cute coffee shops (Literati, Cafe Verte), Zingerman’s is there (if you’re not sandwich people, it’s a good place for dessert and to pick up unique food-based gifts), U of M’s campus is really pretty and lively in the fall, and the Arb is a great place to go for a walk. For dinner, you have a wide range of options on Main Street.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      The Motown museum was super cool! you need to book tickets in advance though.

    • Where in Detroit will you be? That it prime apple orchard season, so I would head out for a drive on pretty day to get fresh cider & donuts north of the city. You can walk around suburbs like Birmingham or Royal Oak, which have cute shops & fun neighborhoods to walk. In Detroit proper, the Art Institute is a treasure & the main library is across the street — worth walking into if you are at the DIA. There is a great food scene in Detroit now, too. Tour the Guardian Building. Go to the River Walk or Belle Isle.

      Also highly recommend The Henry Ford Museum/Greenfield Village. Say what you want about Henry Ford, he was a visionary when it came to preserving our industrial heritage. Other highlights would be the Edsel Ford Estate or Meadowbrook Mansion to see how the auto barons lived.

  9. Waterproof eyeliner :

    Does anyone have a recc for a solid waterproof eyeliner than I could get at the drugstore to wear on hot days. This summer, my eyeliner seems to be melting with the humidity. I have tried 3 different options for waterproof and it still doesn’t seem to stay put.

    • Are you using eyelid/eyeshadow primer? Wet and Wild makes a good one (Photo Focus).

      • +1 to primer. e.l.f. Shadow Lock Eyelid Primer, Sheer is my absolute favorite. Cheap, long-lasting tube, and works.

    • The one linked below – they also have it at CVS. I have used it for over 10 years and it does not budge.

    • Clementine :

      NYX Epic Ink Liner. I might actually like it better than my Stila favorite.

      To demonstrate it’s awesomeness, I will take my toddler. We were unexpectedly in a place where I wanted to give him a ‘treat’ or ‘prize’ but I couldn’t let him have any food or water and had no access to stickers or anything. So I took this liquid eyeliner and gave him a Tattoo. It was PERFECTLY clear and stayed on through the entire next day of swimming at the lake.

      …To the point where people were asking me why I had drawn on my kid with Sharpie. It came right off with coconut oil and cotton balls, but dude- that stuff STAYS.

      • Thank you. Your post equals a public service because this solves the problem of how to give The Kid tattoos for his Maui costume for Halloween . . .

    • I really like the Revlon ColorStay eyeliner. Been using it for years and never once had it smudge.

    • Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof liner it’s like $5 and comes in a bunch of colors. You don’t need a sharpener?

  10. I’m taking my first section of the CPA exam tomorrow and I’m so nervous! I fell a little short on study time, I got through like 75% of the review course pretty solidly and rushed through the last quarter. I’m feeling so scattered about what to do in my last 24 hours to be as prepared as possible. Any tips for how to feel better going into the exam?

    • Good luck, I wish you all the best! I think you’ll do great but even if you don’t that doesn’t mean YOU are a failure… it means TRY AGAIN. Sending good vibes!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Sleep sleep sleep, do not stay up cramming! Eat a good breakfast; pack your bag and prep your outfit the night before; wear comfortable clothes you feel like a rockstar in.

    • Relax. Get outside. And sleep. It sounds counter-intuitive, but you won’t do your learning any favors by trying to learn at the last minute.

    • Agree with everyone else – just try to sleep and not stress too much! Good luck!!

    • Which section? Are you using Becker? I found the Another 71 study guides (Ninja notes?) useful as a cliff notes overview of the material. Good luck! It’s so stressful.

      • Audit, using Wiley. Thank you for the Ninja notes suggestion, that’s exactly what I need! I’m feeling so unprepared going into this section, but at least now I know how to tweak my studying for the next section (Reg, before the end of Q3)!

        • Gleim also has (or at least had) relatively cheap practice questions. For reg especially I found just doing lots and lots of practice questions was helpful. I added that on top of what I already had with Becker.

    • Don’t be fazed by some weirdly difficult stuff during the exam – remember they are always testing new questions and those do not count. I felt I had been hit by a truck after my first one but miraculously I passed. Had the same experience for the other 3 but by then had come to expect it. Good luck!

      • Yeah do not book a big get away! I booked a trip to vegas after my first section (leaving the day after) and I seriously just wanted to cancel the damn trip. All I wanted to do was stay in bed. Using your brain for so many hours under pressure is straight exhausting.

    • I think this has changed a bit since I took it but when I took it you got one piece of scratch paper (maybe now it’s a whiteboard?).

      The day before I prepared a practice piece of paper and wrote all the acronyms and mnemonics on it and any other notes I wanted. Made sure it all fit and was easy to read. Then I copied it by hand a bunch of times until i didn’t even really think about what I was writing. Then at the exam the first thing I did when I sat down was rewrite my “cheat sheet” which was just rote memorized. Then I took a deep breath and forgot all about anything on it because (1) you learned it when you studied and again when you were writing it (and writing it is key – don’t type it – write it by hand) (2) it’s right there if you need a refresher mid exam. This does not take as much time as it sounds – a few 15 min blocks should do it.

      You know more than you think so don’t suddenly decide you need to cram on some random type of transaction until all hours only to have zero questions on it… and a decade later I have still not encountered that transaction in my actual work either.

    • AUD is pretty easy. Covering 75% of the material is awesome (I passed while covering ~30% each time). I cried after each test assuming I failed; I think that’s normal.

      Best advice I can give you is to set a cut-off time tonight, do something relaxing, then get up tomorrow and do some light review. I would always drive to the test center with really good pump-up jams to get energy up.

      I doubt you’ll have timing issues, but at the start of every exam I always jotted down on my notes board how much time I wanted to leave for each section (more for sims, less for MC). I also would write a quick motivational quote at the top of my notes to refer to if I felt overwhelmed (e.g., you’re ready! crush it!, etc). Don’t spend time thinking about whether you think the questions are medium/hard – what’s medium for you might be hard for others, and you can’t change the outcome once you’re mid-test. Use the flag in each testlet and return back to questions if you have time, but don’t spend too much effort second-guessing yourself.

      Look up the testing rules with regards to apparel, I basically got to a point where I would wear the same thing to every test. Wear layers if you’re in a warm part of the US, testing center will probably be frigid and you may feel better with more clothing than less.

  11. Gail the Goldfish :

    I really love this top, but it exemplifies my hesitation to buy most things at Anthro–I’m not sure it’s totally work appropriate (maybe with some black ankle pants and heels? How do I style this so it doesn’t look to casual?) and I can’t justify spending $148 on a linen top that I can’t wear to work. I love a lot of Anthro’s stuff, but I find most of it too casual for work and more than I want to spend on casual clothes.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s too casual for work imo. Maybe casual Fridays or something.

      This would be great for a summertime after hours or weekend work event, though. I like that the shoulders are covered and it’s not low cut, it’s a light color linen so it’ll breathe nicely in the heat, and it’s still young and fun. It’s pretty versatile too – I’d wear it to a baseball game with jeans or a fancy-ish party at a partner’s house with cropped pants, fun earrings, and wedges. The price is a little high but I could justify having ONE versatile work-but-not-at-work blouse like this in my closet.

    • I’d probably wear it to work with skinny ankle pants, flats, and some statement jewelry. If wrap-tops were a thing I could at all pull off, which they are not. I work in a business-casual-trending-towards-casual office though.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Agreed. I love a lot of Anthro’s clothes, but they’re not really work appropriate for me and more than I want to spend on casual clothes.

    • Eh, I think it’s all in how you style things – if the rest of your outfit fits the formality of your office, you can work in a more casual piece. Before I worked in a casual office, I used to do this a lot because I liked having a good after work/weekend wardrobe.

  12. Anonymous :

    This may be a dumb question, but what is the process for buying a home when you currently own your home? I don’t want to rent out/keep my current place. The logistics are making my head spin. I have a lot of equity in my house (mortgage more than half paid off, property prices have risen a little). I could get a really lovely home AND have plenty left over for renovations with that money. But I think it’s unlikely that I’ll find a house I love (and win the bid for) and sell my house in the same ~30 day window. Is my choice basically, either move all my stuff into a storage unit and get a shortterm rental vs. start all over saving for my dp and pay 2 mortgages for a couple of months?

    • You could take out a home equity loan on your first to pay the DP on your second. You could also do a bridge loan. Depends on your income/creditworthiness.

      You may also want to rent for a while, or sell your house and do a lease back if they buyers allow. Depending on your market you may also be able to make the deal co tingent on your finding suitable housing (ie close when you’re ready to buy the new house).

    • If the buyer of your new house is willing to let you, you can sometimes do a shortterm lease agreement with them while you look. That could increase your window to 60 days or something. It would be unusual I think though for that to last more than one month.

    • You can sometimes negotiate a few weeks rent back and/or extended closing to bridge the gap. This will be easier if your buyers aren’t on their own tight deadline, but can work well if it’s a starter home and most of your potential buyers are currently renting. Unlikely to be able to bridge enough of a gap to do renovations before you move in, though.

      If you go the storage route, I highly recommend getting a big pod or set of them from ABF/U-pack or similar service. You can load the pod like a moving truck, but they can store the whole pod for you, so you don’t have to move everything into a storage locker & back onto a moving truck later.

    • As onerous as the process of closing on one home and either renting or moving then selling your current place sounds, concurrent closings and moving all in the same day is SUCH A HASSLE. I will never do it again.

    • 1.) Talk to a realtor. Depending how hot your market is, probably list your house first.
      2.) Find a house you want to buy. Make an offer, get it inspected, enter into a contract.
      3.) The contract for the house you want to buy will have a contingency provision, that you can back out if you don’t sell your house by X date (usually 60 days away).
      4.) Obtain a contract to sell your house. Get through the inspection. Set a closing date.
      5.) Close on the new house first. Move a day or two later.
      6.) Close on your old house second, usually within the month so you’re not paying two mortgages that month.
      7.) Rejoice that you’re done!

      Alternatively, sell your house first, enter into the contract (and give yourself some time to find the place you want to buy), and then find the place you want to buy. If you don’t find a place, then your stuff goes into storage and you go into a rental. Or you back out of the contract to sell your house. Or you renegotiate another month.

    • In hot markets, sell your home and ask for a rent back- so you rent your current place for 1 mo while waiting to buy new place. In slower housing markets make a contingent offer- you buy with the understanding that you have 60 days to sell your current.

    • Anonymous :

      You work with your agent and mortgage broker and the seller’s agent to try to coordinate a sale of your house with some period where the house is leased back to you (all costs generally handled through closing and escrow account) and then an asap purchase of the new home after the sale of your home has closed.

      We are in an insane market area so we made an offer on a house and waived all contingencies (including selling our own house) to sweeten the offer. Talk to your agent but in our market/contract, there are two periods – a chunk of time where you can basically back out for any reason and then additional time where you can only back out due to a contingency (inspection, failure to sell your house, etc). If you don’t get an offer on your own home in the walk away period, you can consider not going through with the purchase.

      This is so stressful. Agents and mortgage brokers work on their own time lines so coordinating everyone was a full time job. And what if you house sale falls through and you’re on the hook to buy anyway – you’d have to walk away from your deposit. And what if your purchase falls through and you have nowhere to live. I seriously lost 20 lbs from the stress. But it was worth it and everything worked out.

      We were one of 6 offers on the house we wanted and we received multiple offers on our home the first day we put it on the market.

      I also negotiated a right to undo the sale if my own house sale fell through and damages if the seller backed out – but honestly I have no idea if any of that would even be do-able/enforceable.

  13. Anonymous :

    I recently cleaned my closet. Ok so first, before my actual question, can I tell you how happy I was the first morning I walked in my closet? I just… stood… in spots that have been covered by shoes for over a year and grinned like a lunatic. Ahem.

    So my actual question. I’ve realized that I don’t have any blouses for work that I’m really excited about. The put-a-ruffle-on-everything trend has made it hard to refresh my wardrobe. Where is everyone buying good quality, not crazy looking blouses to wear with skirts?

    • Largely on Poshmark and ThredUp – they are usually 1-3 years behind trends, which, since I wish I had a time machine to go back to before ruffles, works nicely for me.

    • Following any recommendations because I also feel very low on tops and I don’t want a ruffle extravaganza.

    • Anonymous :

      I got a bunch of reasonably priced, nice looking blouses/shells at Macy’s. These are simple staples that I wear to work everyday, and look nice under blazers or cardigans. I am always cold so I always need a topper – especially inside in summer when they turn the AC way up.

      Sometimes it is great to just have at least 5 decent, plain blouses/tops in classic work appropriate styles. Then as trends happen you can buy one occasionally to mix it up.

    • Anonymous :

      Brooks Broothers and Nordstrom 1901 ( which I stumbled onto accidentally and fits like Classiques Entier used to).

  14. office air freshener :

    Any recs for a freshener for a small office?

    • Pier One ginger peach scent (they have multiple modalities for their scents – sprays, candles, beads, reed diffusers) is one I’ve used for a while that seems to be not offensive – just a little scent and many people walk by and say “it smells so good here!”

    • Please no. If the office air smells stale, better to use a neutralizer or fan. Adding a fake scent on top of another odor just creates a bigger problem!

    • Marshmallow :

      Not a big fan of scented fresheners, but I have little plug-in UV sanitizers at home and they work great. The air smells FRESH in such a nice way but there’s no scent, it just smells… clean. The ones I have are called Germ Guardian.

    • Marshmallow :

      Why am I getting sent to mod for this???

      Germ Guardian plug ins are great and have no scent.

    • Don’t do this. Air fresheners harm indoor air quality, smell terrible, and are often allergy and/or migraine triggers for coworkers. If something isn’t fresh, fix the source of the problem rather than masking it with artificial chemicals.

      • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

        Yeah this. Even if people aren’t allergic or have migraines, it can be unpleasant for the rest of us to smell it. And can give even non-migraine sufferers headaches.

    • KateMiddletown :

      bamboo stick oil diffuser

    • Baconpancakes :

      Try getting the office cleaned and wiping down all surfaces instead. One of the women in our office has an oil warmer that gives me a headache. Scents almost never bother me but there’s something about the fake scents used in air fresheners that is just not good.

    • Don’t do it!! Your coworkers do NOT want to smell that and many of them are likely allergic. It’s obnoxious!

      • anon annoyed :

        I’m allergic to a bunch of types of flowers but no one hesitates to stick those everywhere. I also have highly reactive celiac disease but doesn’t stop everyone from getting gluten all over the common break area.

    • Anonymous :

      A good cleaning.

      Box or two of baking soda in hidden areas.

      A decent small air purifier.

      Scents are a no-no…..

  15. I would like to wear eyeliner at times but every time I do, my eyes look bloodshot toward the end of the day (I wear hard contact lenses). I’m thinking it might help to switch to liquid rather than pencil. Anyone have a suggestion for a liquid eyeliner that is good for sensitive eyes/those who wear contacts?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Kat von D tattoo liner works well for me, but I only have regular contacts.

      • +1 It stays in place and doesn’t smudge or flake – which is probably what’s irritating your eyes. No need to line your waterline with this one, either, it does a good job of filling the little gaps between your lashes.

      • I had to stop using Kat von D products after her crazypants post on not vaccinating her kids.

        I switched to MAC fluidline with an angle brush. Benefit They’re Real! Twist Up liner was another favorite in the past, though I find it dries up fast.

    • I like L’Oreal infallible super slim eyeliner pen. I find it much easier than liquid eyeliner. I wear soft contact lenses.

    • Tarte S*x Kitten – I wear contacts also and it does not bother my eyes. I have soft contacts, though.

    • Marc Jacobs :

      I use Marc Jacobs gel fineliner. It is a gel pencil. It’s not liquid, but seems to work better than a regular pencil liner. It stays in place really well, on the top and bottom. I wear it daily with contacts, but I wear soft contacts.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I used the Stila Stay All Day liquid pen. The eyeliner itself is easy to apply and really does stay all day. I also find I get a ton of use out of the pen itself.

      • Another anon :

        I’ve tried every liquid eyeliner under the sun and this is my favorite. It doesn’t transfer to my lids, it stays on all day, and I can easily remove it with micellar water makeup remover wipes. Everything else I’ve tried either transfers to my lids, is really hard to remove, and/or has an applicator that makes too thick of a line.

    • And if it’s not obvious, don’t line your waterline, top line, or beneath your bottom lashes. As you press your eyelids throughout the day, the eyeliner will spread to your eyes and irritate them.

      • Thanks everyone! And yes, I definitely don’t line waterline, top line or bottom line and still my eyes get read. Good reminder though.

        If anyone who wears hard contacts uses eyeliner, I’d love your input specifically. As of now I wear zero eye makeup because it’s better to wear nothing than have red eyes.

        • Moonstone :

          Yeah, I had to give up everything but mascara and creamy eyeshadows. I have rigid gas permeable contacts and am struggling with red eyes, too.

        • Anonymous :

          I wear hard too and just use the Revlon Colorstay pencil in the windup tube. Like, not a pencil you sharpen, just the stick that comes up.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      My eye doctor recommended using non-waterproof eye makeup, which has helped me and my contacts.

  16. Legally Brunette :

    This is probably old news for many of you but was a revelation for me. I have a few shirts and dresses that I am reluctant to wear because while they look good in the front, they don’t look good in the back (bulges due to back fat, I guess?). I ended up buying Spanx which smooths out one’s back and it has made such a difference! I wear Spanx on a regular basis but just for my tummy, nothing else. This kind smooths out the tummy and hips but also the back. It’s nice to wear these clothes again.

    • Soma makes a [email protected] that smooths back bulges. It’s great under some of my clingier dresses when I want a smooth line! I think it’s called their “Vanishing Back” line.

    • What type of Spanx? This is something i need!

      • I posted below, it’s this one.

      • In-House in Houston :

        Me too!!

  17. For the people on here who have large student loan debt, how has that debt impacted your relationships? If you’re single, are you concerned that potential partners might see large debt as a deal breaker? How would you feel if someone you were dating told you that they wanted to break up with you because of your debt? Do you worry that the debt will prevent you from moving forward with other parts of your life like buying a house, having kids, etc? I don’t mean to cause stress to anyone else in this situation, I’m just curious about how other people view these issues.

    • I’d worry about it a lot, esp. in my 30s. If a guy has $200K in debt at 30 and (key thing) no via plan to pay down, I don’t know how you ever really settle down with him (it’s fine to have 4 roommates when you are single, but I want and end date for that part of my life). I want someone to adult with and not be in this transitional no-mans-land forever (I mean fine if a spouse never happens, or we want to be semi-vagabonds who work a little and travel a lot, but not forced into it b/c of economics from one person’s 20s).

      FWIW, I chose a no-name school to graduate debt-free from as an undergrad and then incurred $45K in grad school loans (by the time I paid them off, I had paid about 90K in P&I, which was both harder than I thought it would be and took longer and I worked 2 jobs at one point to pay them off faster). I drove an old car into the ground b/c I hated taking on more debt that much.

      • BabyAssociate :

        I really agree with your first paragraph. I think the (realistic) plan to pay the debt down is key.

    • I can comment from the other side – I was lucky enough to have my parents pay for undergrad and I got a full ride to grad school (law). I met my husband there, who didn’t have the same luck. He paid for a good portion of his college on his own, some with loans, and paid for all of law school with loans, including even a private bar loan. When he graduated he had over $200K in loans. And he was not and never has been in big law or anything that pays close to big law (starting salary out of law school was like $55K). I mean, yeah, it would be so, so much easier on our life if he didn’t have these, but especially since I went to law school too and know that it is not any type of personal failing to incur this much debt to go (and because I know people were even encouraging this in the early 2000s when he went), and because we are lucky enough to not have to pay down over $400K between us for two degrees, I just view it as the cost of doing business. We’re 15 years in and his on a 30 year plan for the gov’t loans. We threw all of our bonuses and extra money at the private and got those paid off several years ago. We both decided we wanted those gone before we had kids, but we did buy a house before we got rid of them. We’ll be paying on the gov’t ones for another 15. We’ll have a kid in college before we’re done with them and are putting away money for them to go. On the positive side, the gov’t ones are fixed at a really low rate bc of when he graduated (less than 2%) so it doesn’t make sense to pay them done more aggressively over most other debt or savings.

      At the end of the day, our total savings isn’t as high as if we didn’t have this burden. And we probably would replace old cars a bit more quickly (i.e., use that monthly payment to service a new car loan or save for a car versus continuing to drive a 12 year old beater), but otherwise it doesn’t have a tremendous impact on our life. I suppose if I wanted to quit and stay home it might, but I’ve always known I never wanted to do that…

      • Thanks for your response. If you don’t mind me asking, do you make a lot of money? I can’t imagine how you’d pay his loan payment, a mortgage payment, pay for kids costs, save for retirement, and save for kids’ college, unless you or your husband are now making a lot of money. Also, did his outstanding loans impact your ability to borrow for a house? I’m genuinely curious but feel free to not answer if you don’t feel comfortable doing so.

        • We’re in a MCOL city and I work in mid-law. I’ve always made between $100-200K (still do after all these years). So it’s good money, but it’s not incredible. I definitely have friends with a lot bigger houses or who can send their kids to private school, but we are doing just fine comparatively. When I say we’re saving for our kids’ college, we’re certainly not putting away enough to pay for it entirely at this point. We’re hoping we’ll be able to put away A LOT more once we get through the daycare stage. And while we’ve been good about saving for retirement, our non-retirement savings is practically non-existent.

          The loans had seriously no impact on us buying a house or getting financing (and we’ve done it twice and refinanced once to go from a 30 to a 15 year). It might have if we were trying to buy too much house for us, but we were looking at places we could easily afford. Like so much debt, if it is serviced regularly and you never miss a payment, you can actually have a really high credit score.

        • I’m the anon at 10:36, and I had a condo when I was single. My loans did not impact my ability to get a home loan. They look at the minimum monthly payment on your debt and how that fits into your overall debt-to-income ratio. If your ratio is good and your credit’s good, having six figures of SL debt won’t stop you from getting a loan.

        • new job who dis :

          from my perspective, married, own a home, have $120 in law debt, husband has $25 in school debt

          educational loans did not impact our ability to finance our home in any way. Like, my mortgage officer didn’t even blink over it.

          (the logistics of saving for a down payment, saving money, liquid cash WHILE we’re paying the loans, yes, that’s a different story.)

          but from my experience absolutely had no affect on our home purchasing power.

        • Another anon :

          Not the above Anonymous, but everything you mentioned, mortgage payment, kids, retirement, kids college (which remember does not have to be paid by parent) is highly related to not just income, but the loan terms and per month payment, as well as the cost of living of the individuals. It’s not really a great insight for you. Are you concerned about dating someone with debt?

    • I worry about this a lot. I have consumer debt, not student loan. I am working on paying it off. I’m single and I can’t imagine someone would want to marry me with this debt. It makes me really ashamed and prevents me from dating.

      • I’m sorry you feel this way.

        I think it’s important that you have a plan and are working to stick to it. That is huge!

        So many people seem to do the head-in-the-sand-thing or give up, so I am proud that you are dealing with this. Good for you!

        I think you are very date-able for being a responsible person about this.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 I’ve never carried debt of any kind other than a mortgage. So I’m the type of person you might think wouldn’t ever want to marry someone with consumer debt. What would matter a lot more than the kind of debt they got themselves into in the past was how they handled money NOW. Did they know where they went wrong? had they changed? Were they now responsible? Date away.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I graduated with about $150,000 of student loan debt. It’s a lot, but I’m repaying it on a 10 year repayment plan and should hopefully finish in 9 years instead of 10. Honestly, I’m very fortunate to be in a position where I can set set the loans on autopay and forget about it. It doesn’t really impact my day-to-day life.

      I’m paying it off, so I’m really not concerned that potential partners might see large debt as a deal breaker. If someone I were dating told me that they wanted to break up with you because of my debt….well that person probably isn’t right for me anyway. To each their own.

      I have never wanted kids, but I do sometimes worry that my student debt is keeping me from buying a house. However, as a single person in a HCOL city, buying a house isn’t really a feasible option for me regardless of the student loans.

    • I went to law school late, so I have more debt in my mid-30s than my peers. But I have a good career and I’m careful with money, so I never thought of my debt as a red flag – just the cost of doing business. I just got married and my husband has been really supportive. We both make $130k in D.C., so for right now, he’s paying all the bills – rent, utilities, groceries – and I put my entire salary every month (minus $1000 for car costs/phone/housekeepers and $500 for “fun money”) toward my $110k of loans. It’s our goal as a couple to get these paid off as quickly as possible so that we can move forward with the rest of our goals as a couple. I think if you’re dating someone and see they’re irresponsible with money, that’s the red flag. Merely having loans is not.

      • “I think if you’re dating someone and see they’re irresponsible with money, that’s the red flag. Merely having loans is not.”

        +1 Husband paid off his student loans before we met, but they were relatively small. Regardless the fact that he was lucky enough to get scholarships and stipends for most of grad school, and so was able to pay off his small loans quickly, isn’t the reason I say he’s good with money. He just doesn’t thoughtlessly, and that’s the key.

    • In my circle of lawyer friends, nearly everyone graduated with 200k in student loan debt so it’s not surprising or a dealbreaker generally. Most of us follow rigorous plans to pay it down, including through income-based repayment. The debt hasn’t prevented people from buying houses, having kids, etc., and there isn’t a stigma. But people prioritize their debt differently, which could create incompatible lifestyles for partners. People who want to pay off their 200k loans in 4 years are going to approach their work and lifestyle differently from people who will pay it off in 20 years, and from people depending on a loan forgiveness program.

      • Yea. I had about $240K in debt with undergrad and law school combined. I married my husband after undergrad and before law school, so he knew basically what he was getting into (I was in a worse financial position before the law school debt because I had much lower earning potential.) I’ve been in biglaw for about 2.5 years and have gotten it down to about $65k already. I will have it all paid off by pretty early next year. That will be a huge weight off of my shoulders.

        We have put off buying a house (which is a huge undertaking in our HCOL city). We’ve also been putting less than we would have otherwise into retirement, but my loans were mostly in the 7% interest range, so that made sense to us.

        • Anonymous :

          Uh the S&P returned 11.9% with dividends in 2016 and 21.8% in 2017. Is that greater or less than 7%?

          • Anonymous :

            Unnecessarily rude. And flawed thinking.

            Just because the market did well in those 2 years doesn’t mean it will continue to do well or that those gains won’t be lost. Paying off debt doesn’t have any risk and is a legitimate decision, especially at that rate.

    • I had around $100K and my hubs had around $150K in student loans when we got married. It did feel insurmountable at times, but it’s been helpful that we both have the debt because there is no resentment. I’ve known several couples where one person has all the student loan debt, and their partner has SO MUCH judgment and resentment about it (as if being born with parents who could pay for college/or parents who instilled good financial responsibility was something they worked hard for!) . I would get away from this person, its just too much stress on a relationship.
      So we took the Dave Ramsey class together shortly after we got married, and that really put us on the same page. We paid off our cars, and delayed buying a house for a year, and didn’t have a child for 3 years ( mid-thirties). it’s all fine. We live a nice life, discuss our debt periodically, and then move on.

      • I think that if you incur big student debt for a professional degree that gives you a good lifetime income, that is one thing. It’s like you amortize the debt mentally against the greater income you get from it. 200K law / med debt vs the increased $. That makes sense.

        What doesn’t make sense (although perhaps only in hindsight) is a cousin of mine who got 3 different associates degrees, then finished his BA, over something like 8 years. Or the sister of a friend who went to a music conservatory and then dropped out with no degree. The debt is the debt and there is no $ to offset it.

        Remind me to talk to my kids more about $, choices, tradeoffs, and how compound interest works . . .

    • I don’t think this is actually a barrier to a relationship. It’s fine to say in the abstract, omg I would never want to take on someone’s debt. But that’s easy to say about a hypothetical stranger. If you connect with someone so deeply that you’re considering a life with them, then the fact that they have debt that they’re responsibly paying off is so not a dealbreaker.

      Fwiw my brother is extremely debt averse and frugal. Like, won’t even take out a mortgage kind of debt averse – he saved until he could pay cash for a fixer upper and then did extensive research/took tons of free classes to do the renos himself. I was shocked when he started dating a kindergarten teacher who had over $30k of credit card debt. He helped her get on a payment plan and she made a real commitment to changing her spending habits. They’ve now been married for over 10 years and have a beautiful family. It took compromise and commitment on both their parts, sure, but no I don’t think anyone in their right mind cuts and runs on a great thing just because of money, provided the effort/responsibility is there.

      • I agree with this 100%. I have huge student loans and also got in over my head on a credit card while in law school. I married my husband after law school and he actually paid off my maxed-out card and I’m paying him back (without interest obviously). He then looked at all of my other loans and helped me get on a spending plan and I now have no credit card debt and my student loans will be paid back in less than 10 years. I have never been great with money (clearly) but I’m getting better and I’m so glad that I have someone who really was a partner to me and helped me figure this out rather than just saying it was a dealbreaker.

    • There’s not going to be a universally right answer for this because people have different views on money. Look for someone who aligns with and understands yours.

    • I’m loving the responses so far because they are so much less judgy than past conversations. I have student loan debt and my husband has consumer debt. He admits he was not good with money when he was younger but sees things differently now that we are married and planning a life together. We consolidated his loans thru SoFi so that he has fewer payments that makes everything more manageable for him. We talk about it a lot because our finances are separate. We talk about how to fit our current goals in with our respective debts. As others have said, communication and shared goals (and methods) are key. It is really hard to talk about for me because I came from a family that never talked about money and I am more organized than him. I never want him to feel like I’m judging him so I put more pressure on myself than is really necessary. TL; DR. It’s fine as long as you talk talk talk about it all.

    • anontosharedetails :

      Having a plan is KEY. The day I started in biglaw, I had about $100k in student loan debt, $15k in credit card debt because my bar loan was tiny and I had to charge all my living expenses during that time to my credit card, and less than $50 to my name. I met my husband while I was studying for the bar, and he was quite gainfully employed, but had about $250k in student loan debt. When you come from a poor family and want to attend top professional school programs, this is the way things are unless you get massive scholarships – I was lucky to have at least a partial scholarship, and to have a high income and be now married to someone with a high income.

      Of course, this felt insurmountable at times. But fast forward less than years, and my loans and CC debt are gone, he owes less than 50k in student loans, and we have over 300k in savings.

      A combination of debt and family circumstances have definitely changed big life decisions for us. We live in a HCOL area, have no family help, so paying down debt and saving for a down payment are 100% on us. That’s fine, but that means I am staying in biglaw for as long as possible even though I would like to move to the public sector and my husband also does a high-paying job he doesn’t like. We’ll live in a small but nice condo rather than a home, I drive a 20 year hooptie. We haven’t had kids yet, and probably would have otherwise. All this is fine, and we’re a bit disillusioned, but we could be much, much worse off.

      I honestly have no idea how people without very high HHI pay down debt and buy homes, particularly in HCOL areas. It will take us nearly a decade to be completely debt-free and be home owners, and we have had HHI ranging from 250-450 the entire time.

  18. Legally Brunette :

    This is the Spanx I bought:

    • Thanks for the tip! Just ordered! I’ve had the same spanx since high school, I’ve been meaning to upgrade…

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Sorry for being the person asking this but …how do you pee?

      • Good question. There is an area that you can open at the bottom but I don’t mess with that, in case there’s some spillage (so TMI but you asked :)). So this thing requires me to take the whole thing off from the top, which admittedly is a little annoying but not too bad. It’s medium support (as opposed to very strong support) so it’s not the type of Spanx that sticks to you like velcro. It’s easier to remove.

  19. No real question here, just complaining so feel free to skip. Lately I’m overwhelmed by the emotional labor of being single. I realize it’s a big assumption to assume that women in relationships aren’t also doing the majority of emotional labor, but blah. What triggered this was looking at my PTO balance and realizing I need to take a significant vacation by the end of the year or lose a lot of days. I’m open to solo travel, but I just don’t have the bandwidth to plan something and I wish there was someone who I could turn to and say “I’ll do half and you do half.”

    • A bad relationship is far more work than being single, but in a good relationship, the couple shares a lot of burdens.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. Hugs to you, OP.

        When I was in your shoes a few years ago I just took every Friday off between about September and the end of the year. It was pretty great. Is that an option for you?

    • Same. It takes a lot of work to plan a full social life (especially when lots of folks are married with kids and thus less available for spontaneous hangouts). I wish I had an SO to fall back on for reliable company, socializing, general love. When you’re single, your options are do the work to plan something, or sit alone on the couch. If I get slammed at work, I can wind up going weeks without much proper socializing, which is tough. I won’t even touch the emotional sink hole that is dating.

    • Outsource planning to a travel agent or do a trip that’s basically pre-planned once you choose the destination (cruise, all-inclusive resort, yoga retreat, etc).

      • This. We had a short thread on travel agents a few days ago. I really loved using a travel agent and will do so again. If you have a pretty good idea of what you want, a travel agent can book you in less than 24 hours.

        My SO and I have very different ideas of what a “vacation” is (him: London/Amsterdam/Paris and riding trains; me: SCUBA diving in developing countries), so most of my trips are solo travel. I have a few favorite destinations that I have been to before and want to go to again, including hotels, activities, flights, etc. I can “plan” one of those trips with my computer, a credit card, and 45 minutes.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Sounds like you’re burned out in other areas. My vote would be to do a solo cruise. Norweigan has a few ships with single rooms. No fuss, no stress vacation. But that’s just what I’d do. With some recharging, you may feel better overall.

    • I’m also single, and I feel you on this. You say you’re low on bandwidth. Do you have the flexibility with your job to take, say, every other Friday off for the next couple of months? That would help with the “bandwidth” part – take a day to chill, clean your house, take care of things you’ve been putting off, drink some rose, and maybe plan a little get-away.

      I don’t know how many days we’re dealing with, but let’s say you have 10. I would take 3 Fridays off. Now we have 7 days. Save two for the holidays, or whenever you need a break towards the end of the year. Use the other 5 to plan a trip somewhere. Is there a friend you can go visit in a different city? I recently did a trip where I was solo for a few days and then met up with a friend for the weekend in their city, and it was so refreshing to just let him show me around and not have the pressure to plan those days.

    • Have you considered a group tour? When I was single and had just finished my licensing exam, I looked into Intrepid and Backroads. Both (and others) present different levels of activity and styles of travel (roughing it to luxury). Some tour companies will even let you know who has already booked.

      Now that I am married with two young kids, I regret not using my PTO to travel the world “solo”.

    • I TOTALLY get this. I feel this way about home projects all the time. I will say for travel, it helps to find a travel buddy. One of my close friends and I are long distance and only really see each other when we travel and we do basically exactly what you want. I take part, she takes part, some of it is a surprise to the other, neither of us has to do all of it, and it gives us fun time together and great memories. Any chance you have someone you can try something like this with?

      Related, I think the way to handle being single long term is to expand who you consider to be your “person.” I have multiple people that fill pieces of what we expect the spouse role to be. It takes a little more coordinating, sure, but it also means no one person is expected to be everything for you.

    • This has been the hardest thing about being single for me. Everything in my life is planned or done by me or it doesn’t happen. I have friends who will help me with anything I ask, but it’s just not the same as having a teammate who is obligated to help.

      I was talking about this in therapy recently, and my therapist recommended that I get my house keeper to come on the day the trash is picked up so she can wheel in the trashcan (one of the things I complain about having to do every.freaking.time). That’s a helpful thought. Likewise, I think the all inclusive or travel agent ideas are good for your situation. But I think my exhaustion comes that I have to come up with a solution to every problem, even if it’s something like finding a travel agent or calling the housekeeper to even see if she can come on a different day. So I guess for me it’s not having the execute the actual plan, but having to always find the problem, come up with the solution, and execute on that.

      Anyway, I don’t know how helpful this is other than to just reassure you that you’re not alone. It’s hard. I do hope you’re able to plan something, though, even if it’s a staycation where you clean out all your closets and re-do your flower beds (my idea of a perfect staycation).

      • Anonymous :

        If it makes your feel better, I am not single and anything in my life not planned or done by me mostly doesn’t happen either. AND I’m responsible for 3 kids and a dog plus myself.

        I have been married for two decades. Unless I specifically assign DH some task it won’t get done. I have SERIOUS envy of my friends whose partners plan their vacations! What black magic is this?

        It happens to a lot of my married friends.

        Who mounted our flat panel tv into the studs? Me. Who hung up all the curtains rods? The handy man I hired because I was Who fixed my water heater? Me. Sigh.

        (DH does have some positive attributes, which are irrelevant here – just so we can sidestep the why are you married to a man-child spin off)

        • Anonymous :

          +1. I plan everything in my family as well. There are pros and cons. The emotional labor can definitely get to me. On the other hand, if DH wants to do something, and I disagree, I don’t have to win the argument–95% of the time, I can let it go and feel comfortable knowing that it will never happen without me.

        • I say this gently and not with any snark, but this kind of response is really not helpful. Regardless of how much work you do in your home and in caring for your children, you still have a partner. There is a huge difference in being ALONE all the time, every night, as opposed to being married. That’s not to discount your feelings, but this really comes off as condescending and not trying to see where OP is coming from. It’s honestly not at all the same thing, and when married friends say things like this to me it actually hurts and makes me feel small. Again, I truly do not mean this in a nasty way.

          OP, I totally hear you and sympathize, even down to wanting to travel and now not having any single friends to do it with. I have started traveling to see other friends who live in other cities, mostly within driving distances. That has helped, but I also love to travel in Europe and that is harder. I’m considering doing one of those small tour groups, a friend just did it and loved it. Just know you aren’t alone.

          • Exactly! I was married for a long time and did a lot of the emotional labor/planning in that relationship, so I have a reference point. When I was married, I didn’t understand that it’s really not the same, or how hard this aspect of being single is.

            The struggles of both are different and challenging in their own ways, so I’m not saying one situation is easier or better on the whole. There are things I love about being single. But this is not one of those things.

    • The other day I was fixing my shower valve, and sure I was able to do it but I also wished I had someone to do it for me and that I wasn’t alone in doing everything, so I kinda know how you feel.

      But re vacation, you should go! I love planning my travels so that would actually be a pick me up. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Solo travel is fun and very doable. If you don’t think you have the bandwidth to plan, you should look into packages or small tour groups. That’s not my preferred way to travel, but it might be yours.

    • I completely feel you on the emotional labor of being single and how weird things will randomly bring it to the forefront of your mind.

      For the vacation/travel, if you are a cruise person or group travel person I say go for it. If you aren’t, like me, I would pick your timeframe and either do random flight searches or get on Scott’s Cheap Flights emails. See a deal that matches your time frame, to a place with a reasonable tourist infrastructure, and buy it. Find some instagrammers in that city and follow them. You don’t have to plan anything exactly, but the pictures that pop up on your social media will get you excited, and maybe give you some ideas, and then when you get there you can wander around/eat whatever the local food is/take planned day trips or tours through Viator. I ended up on an amazing solo trip a couple of years ago to the Netherlands and Belgium with this method, and it was so nice to just see whatever I wanted to see and also just hop on a train and be like, a German Christmas market sounds nice today!

    • No Problem :

      Totally feel you. I experience this particularly with food. I’m responsible for 100% of what it takes to eat: plan what to eat, buy groceries, put away food, cook food, clean up after cooking, do the dishes, portion out and put away leftovers, and clean out the fridge and pantry reasonably frequently as well as clean the kitchen. No single part is difficult or time consuming, but all of it together is a lot of physical and mental energy. This is why I end up getting takeout for dinner way too often and why I envy couples or even roommates who share these responsibilities.

      Re vacation, I also agree it can be a PITA to plan everything myself. Do you have a friend who also needs a travel buddy? Or have family or friends in other parts of the country that you should visit or can meet you somewhere? If not, don’t feel bad about copying someone else’s itinerary. Friend/cousin recently went to the Grand Canyon and had a great time? Ask where they stayed, what they did, etc. to give you a head start.

      Or just take a few days off and do a staycation (spa day, pool day, museum exhibit, hike a couple trails, do a mid-day exercise class or personal trainer session, shop for upcoming birthday or holiday gifts, clean out your closet, schedule a personal stylist appointment, meet with your financial planner/accountant, have lunch/see a movie with SAH parents or anyone else not working full time business hours, plan a real vacation) because the weekend is never long enough for all these things and they’re hard to fit in on weekday evenings.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Rancho la Puerta in Mexico is popular with female solo travelers.

    • Thanks for posting this. I do agree. On the topic of extra vacation days, I would personally follow some of the other posters who suggested taking off every Friday, or try to schedule a few long weekends. I dislike solo travel–if this is also the case for you, don’t put pressure on yourself to schedule a full blown vacation. Secondly, yes, as a single person, I have to solve every problem and execute every solution, and I have to earn enough money to make those solutions possible. No one cuts me any slack, and there is no concept of “knowing my limits” because there isn’t anyone else to pass the work to. This is why i have zero tolerance for married friends who complain that their husband isn’t doing enough. I also have zero tolerance for the complaints that appear on this site frequently on the same topic. I will say this though…I read an article recently (might have been linked here) about how the unifying characteristic of successful female CEOs was their belief that they wouldn’t have help, and they would have to do everything on their own. So it consoles me slightly to think of this as “training” or “preparation.” I am developing skills that will help me, either in work or in a future relationship. Honestly, though, the world just isn’t set up for single people.

      • Anonymous :

        I definitely live my life under the assumption that I have to (and can! and will!) do everything on my own. Good to know that might lead to career success, at least!

    • I completely understand what you mean about the emotional labour of being single. I find there is also a lot of extra physical labour too. For example, my bathroom needs to be cleaned once a week. If I am the only person in the household, I have to do it every time. Some tasks need to be done just as regularly whether you are one person or two people (cutting the lawn, shovelling the snow, etc.). It’s nice to have someone to share the responsibility with.

      • As someone old enough to run for POTUS, the idea of shared errands and chores, like splitting up errands that have a narrow window of opportunity, becomes more and more attractive. Also shared chores.

  20. Vile Valences :

    You all seem to have good advice about home decor and I’m a little clueless, so I thought, why not ask?
    I moved in to a new condo with floral valences above several of the windows. I want them gone, but even though the cloth-covered part of the valence is easy to lift off and remove, the brackets it sits on are screwed in to the wall. Leaving the brackets with nothing on them looks really strange, but I’d rather not remove the brackets. Is there anything more modern looking I can put there? I could re-cover the existing valence if I found some cloth that would look less dowdy, but so far no luck. The primary window this applies to is in my kitchen/breakfast nook and is pretty large- about 6 feet. My kitchen is light green with gray speckled countertops and dark wood cabinets. Thanks for the help!

    • Why do you not want to remove the brackets?

      • Vile Valences :

        I don’t necessarily want totally bare windows, so I’m looking for something different that would use the same hanging system. I’d rather not make huge holes in my walls, repair them, and then have to bust through them again just to put in a similar kind of thing that I took out.

    • Are you asking for curtain suggestions? The obvious solution is to just set a new rod and modern curtains on the brackets – brackets aren’t very unique. If you are okay with bare windows, use the brackets as a sort of hanger for art or a wood or metal wall hanging.

      If you are zoned in on color schemes Houzz gives great suggestions if you type into the search bar your preferences.

      • Vile Valences :

        I think a modern curtain could work! I just haven’t seen any I liked, and was hoping someone here would have a suggestion. Floor length curtains in a kitchen area seem weird to me, which is why I initially thought to just try to update the valence some how, but I’m open to any ideas!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I’m really surprised you haven’t found any fabric you like! Are you just looking at curtain retailers, or fabric suppliers?

      • Vile Valences :

        I’m pretty good at DIY so I’m open to buying just the fabric, but I’ve looked at a few local fabric stores and some big online retailers like fabric . com and nothing seems quite right. I don’t have a clear picture in my head of what I’m looking for though, so any suggestions of colors, patterns, or styles would be great!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I assume you’re renting and that’s the hesitation regarding taking the brackets down?

      You can DIY a valence in any fabric that strikes your fancy. I lean toward the obnoxiously pro-DIY, but seriously the valences are easy. L*nk to follow, if I’m lucky.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Honestly, I think valences are dated. Remove the brackets, patch, and paint. I don’t think there’s anything you can do with the existing valence brackets that would look intentional.

    • Take the curtain rod brackets off and buy real window treatments (which are installed on the inside). A light colored up-down shade or light bamboo roman shade might look good.

    • Anonymous :

      Idk what your budget is, but Ethan Allen does window treatments. The designer who put together my living room furniture also tried to sell me window treatments. I haven’t bought them yet but I really loved what he did.

  21. triple bowl feeder? :

    I have two cats and twin toddlers who keep stepping on the cat bowls and knocking over their water when running around. I’ve been looking for a three-bowl feeder and am not finding anything! I just want three bowls in a solid base that won’t tip over if they get jostled lightly– a food for each cat and water in the middle– but maybe I am not using the right search terms? I like the one from Vivipet that has two bowls and a rectangular side dish, but I’m not sure the cats will drink water out of the low rectangle.

    • Try taking out the “cat” search term and looking for real dishes/serveware (keeping in mind that oblong/shallow shaped bowls are more whisker friendly). Something designed for dips might work nicely.

    • I know this isn’t what you are asking about, but consider elevating your cats’ food dishes. Cats are both predator and prey, and they prefer to eat from a height.

      My beloved feline passed away a few weeks ago, but even at age 18, he was able to jump up to his water and food bowls.

      • My cats must really confident, because they prefer to knock everything onto the floor and then eat it there. (I do think this is good advice and worth trying though!)

        • Does that feel like play or hunting to them?

          • Anonymous :

            I’m not sure. They are not super playful as cats go, but they are a bit clumsy, so maybe they’d rather knock something down on purpose than by accident? Sometime told me that the “Cat from H3ll” show distinguishes house cats who are great at climbing from cats who are not. I’ve wondered if there’s something to that, since the bigger and longer of my forest-cat type moggies is worse about this (always knocks anything down first) than his smaller, more agile littermate (who has occasionally taken a treat or a toy “up” to better monopolize it). /end cat talk.

      • Also not what you’re asking for, but we use the low Fiestaware bowls for our cat and the bowls are too heavy to be knocked over. Bonus, they are cute and come in great colors!

    • Flats Only :

      How about a baby fence around the cat bowls? The cats could slip through the bars, and the toddlers would be excluded.

    • You might just have to get something you can weigh down. Another thing that might help is getting a quick-dry mat to put under the dishes so water doesn’t sit on your floor. I have one under ours + a rubber mat under that to contain spills. My cat likes to paw at her water for a good 30 seconds before drinking it, which also includes throwing the water out of the dish and/or moving the dish. Although I also got her a big drinking fountain dish now that’s too heavy for her to move.

      • Kat in VA :

        I had a cat who did that – except she would paw at the water, and then somehow scoop the water onto her paw and drink it that way. A drink could take a good five minutes. Naturally, the water got everywhere. I used the rubber mat also. Same cat would pick a piece of food up on her paw and eat it that way, as well. We used to joke she was part human. She was very dainty about eating and drinking but concurrently super messy!

    • Have you tried Etsy? There are some pretty options there and some are customizable as to number of bowls.

    • Look up a 3 dip platter! There are a ton of dip sets that are in groups of 3 that would work.

  22. Question for the attorneys – when you are in a slow period with little to no billable work to do do you allow yourself to have more flexibility in terms of time in the office etc? I just settled a big case and I have literally no billable work to do at the moment. Can I take a day or two to work from home and catch up on stuff and maybe even spend some time with my kid during this slow period as long as I’m available to do any work that comes or do I have to sit at my desk all day? Also Im going out on maternity leave in about 6 weeks so it’s doubtful that I’ll get staffed on a busy litigatiok before then. What do you do with the down time?

    • Absolutely, I did this all the time when I worked in Big Law. 6 weeks is kind of a long time though, so I’d make sure you can pick up some discrete tasks (doc review?) so you can get some decent hours in before maternity leave. But definitely take a few days unofficially off!

    • YES! That to me is the best part of private practice. When you’re slow, take the time to be flexible and catch up on life, because it’s almost certainly going to be pick up again soon.

    • Anonymous :

      YES with the caveat that I’m not sure that I would make this choice 6 weeks before I started maternity leave.

      Prior to maternity leave I tried to be relevant by transitioning, training, organizing my files in case anyone needed anything unexpectedly, etc (I took off 4 weeks before my due date; you are eligible for disability leave 4 weeks prior to your due date, which does not cut into your FMLA allotment of 6-8 weeks after birth but does cut into your overall FMLA coverage)

      I think this is a know your office thing but before going on planned leave I found it built up goodwill to pitch in, prep, etc. That said, as noted above, I started maternity leave 4 weeks before my due date. If you are planning on working up until your due date, your office mates will probably give you a wide birth to slow down.

    • Anonymous :

      Let folks know you can chip in on short billable projects. This would also be a good time to do limited scope pro bono, spend time with summer hires, and do promotional work.

  23. Traveling with my SO to vegas in a few weeks while he is there for a work conference — I have to work part of the week but will have 4-5 days there on my own. Any idea for things to do? Not looking to spend a TON of money but willing to spend some!

    So far my only plans are to sleep in, read a LOT and maybe work out a few times, if that tells you anything about the kind of person I am. Maybe looking for a spa, pool, or good food recommendation?

    • Oh! Take a day at the Caesar’s Palace Qua Spa! It’s a great place to enjoy the day, even if you’re not doing a treatments. I spent a day in the hot tubs, steam room, sauna, and lounge. Then you can pop out for lunch and come back. It was just $50 or $60 for the day.

    • I love Vegas. My favorite hotel is Aria. I love their casino, their restaurants (especially the french brasserie Bardot) , and their spa (amazing!). My favorite show is Absinthe. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must! Have fun!

    • There is some beautiful hiking in the area. I don’t remember the names of any specific trail but there were quite a few small canyons. (I’m based in the flat, flat midwest so the topography was really refreshing to me.)

  24. Anyone else still getting stuck in mod every time or is it just me? It would be helpful if Kat would actually communicate about this because if it’s not getting fixed, I’ve got to find another site instead.

  25. I know Kat recommends Eliza J (brand at Nordstrom) all the time – does anyone here have experience with the fit or quality? It’s a little above my normal price range but I’m looking to get a few slightly nicer dresses without spending a ton and they have a lot of cute styles.

    • I want to love the Eliza J dresses but sadly they don’t seem to work for me. I’ve tried on several and they seemed to be nice quality. My problem is that I’m 5’8 and they all seem to be an inch or two too short for me to wear to the office. I particularly noticed this with the fit and flare dresses, but it’s a problem for all of them. I apparently haven’t learned my lesson because I just ordered the Jersey Sheath Dress as part of the anniversary sale – it was seriously beautiful but a bit short and clingy for the office for me.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      They are good quality but too short for me too (5’7″).

    • Argh yeah I was worried about that. I’m 5’9”. Some of them claim to be 40” long though! Do you think that’s just wrong?

      • Legally Brunette :

        I love Eliza J dresses, in part because of fit but also because of the generally longer length. I’m 5’5 and the dresses I buy are usually 40 or 41 (sometimes I get them hemmed but you wouldn’t need to). I find the measurements listed to be very accurate. The other great thing about some Eliza dresses is that there is enough hem at the bottom to let out. Not always, but often.

        For example, I bought this one which is 41 inches. It fits incredibly well but I’m not sure what I think about the ruffle.

    • Anonymous :

      I love Eliza J – but I am 5’4″. I have about 4 EJ dresses in rotation right now that all come directly above my knee – and I didn’t hem them. I didn’t check the length when I purchase because I always assume I need to hem.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes I have a few Eliza J and I like them a lot. I am a busty petite and their petites fit me well.

    • Anonymous :

      They skew juniors to me in sizing.

  26. Not sure how work appropriate this shirt is… I love wrap shirts and dresses – I think they are always so flattering!! But definitely always nervous to wear wrap anything because they can get super low cut and not work appropriate. The only wrap dress I have that I feel comfortable wearing to work is from Of Mercer because they specifically make the neckline higher – like this one:
    Does anyone else have a similar struggle????

    • I wear camisoles under wrap tops and dresses. You can also sew in a snaps to raise the neckline.

    • I wear Second Base brand half-camisoles under a wrap dress. It raises the neckline without adding bulk around the waist.

  27. Curious but don't want to google :

    The sports illustrated body issue has some amazing athletes in nude. I’m curious how they do these nude body shoots while maintaining privacy, especially since some of the featured athletes typically wear a lot of clothes (i.e., they aren’t swimsuit models). Do they just keep a towel over themselves until the camera person is ready?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sure they have robes or towels to wear while getting set up but I think they also just need to be comfortable naked. Which honestly most of them probably are. They’re professional athletes, so they rely on and are very in tune with their bodies. They’re in great shape. And if they’re practicing with other athletes they’re probably spending a lot of time in locker rooms. I was a competitive swimmer from childhood through college, so I’ve spent plenty of time naked around other people and it definitely makes me more comfortable with nudity now.

    • Anonymous :

      robe? But also, even if you don’t do scantily clad athletics, you are probably used to your body being scrutinized by doctors, coaches, massage therapists and so on. I’d imagine if your body is your work tool, you have a… more pragmatic ? relationship with it.

  28. Patent Law Advice :

    My 55 year old husband was called for advice by a 22 year old headed to law school who wants to be a patent lawyer. He described some of the differences in taking exams in law school vs taking exams in engineering or science then went on to tell him he should do as well as he possibly can the first semester and try to get a summer clerkship in the patent department at a reputable firm. He told him clerkships are super fun but went on to describe the reality of working as a lawyer in such a firm by describing billing requirements, how every hour you work on a project may not be billable-and why, and described working 6-7 days a week with at least 5 of those days being very long. He told him that his only personal regret was going straight to a firm to make $ instead of taking a clerkship with the US court of appeals. He also suggested taking the patent bar asap which I thought was a noble but aggressive plan.

    Does this advice seem reasonably accurate or dated? My husband is savvy but I wonder if his advice is colored by doing all prosecution work, mainly interfacing with the patent office and very occasionally provides technical advice for litigation. He worked at boutique patent firm in Chicago for several years a loooong time ago – now self-employed in another market. He said the man seemed shocked that he “would not have his weekends.” Are most law students unaware of this? Is it simply impossible to comprehend how many hours are required until showing up to work at a big firm?

    • “He said the man seemed shocked that he “would not have his weekends.” Are most law students unaware of this? Is it simply impossible to comprehend how many hours are required until showing up to work at a big firm?”

      I won’t speak to patent law but, yes and yes to your questions.

      Young’uns can understand the concept of a 60-70 hour week in the abstract. When you’re in school, you feel like you work that much during crunch time, too. But the feel of weeks/months/years like that at a firm is utterly different in ways that are difficult to grasp until you do it: no autonomy, no ability to plan your schedule, client satisfaction is harder than exams, school is intellectually stimulating in a way law is not always, working in a suit rather than yoga pants, not having your friends around…. Another light bulb came on for me like this: it seems like a 40->50, or 50->60 hour shift isn’t that big of a deal, right?. .Huge pay raise for just one more hour/day? Sure! Well, look at it this way. It’s not one more hour/day, its that you’ve just cut your limited spare time by a third, or in half. Would you give up half your free time/energy for 10/20k more?

    • I think taking the patent bar in law school is very good advice, and not overly ambitious. It’s either that or do it while working crazy Big Law hours and I think it’s much easier to do in school.

    • This advice seems relevant and not outdated at all to me (non-patent litigator who works in an office with lots of IP and patent attorneys).

    • I can’t speak to patent practice but I’m a litigator in biglaw. When I was a law student, I was shocked when people told me that I’d be working even harder in biglaw than in law school. I spent a LOT of time studying and I couldn’t imagine working harder than I already was.

      What I wish people had told me was that the hours are unpredictable, not just that they’re long. Everyone knows lawyers work a lot. Idk how this young man thought weekend work would be rare, that’s shockingly naive. I knew I’d be working nights and weekends sometimes, like leading up to trial, but I didn’t realize it would be all the time and that I wouldn’t know when it was coming. I didn’t know they could force you to cancel on everything from your dinner plans to your expensive pre-paid vacation to your grandma’s funeral. I didn’t appreciate how much lawyers/clients procrastinate so everything is a rush up until the last minute all the time. I didn’t know that there’s a lot more to succeeding in biglaw than doing good legal work – client development, picking the right nonbillable work, lobbying for the right billable work, developing mentoring relationships, etc. I mean I’m still here 8 years later but those first three years were HARD and I’m not sure I would’ve signed up for it had I known then what I know now.

      • +1 to all this. I think everyone knows or should know that lawyers work long hours, but I think it’s hard to anticipate how little control you’ll have over your schedule and how much will have to be done last minute, requiring you to pull an all-nighter even if it’s other people that have procastinated. That was a huge surprise for me as a Big Law junior associate.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        In fairness, while I certainly don’t work 9-5, I also I don’t work weekends all the time. It’s pretty much just leading up to trial. I’m not in BigLaw, but I’m in a large regional firm that pays well, so some of it is just lucking out in where you end up (not biglaw well, but my cost of living is also substantially lower than NYC or DC). But I agree the unpredictable nature of it is the biggest pain.

      • You make such good points with the unpredictable hours and having to cancel things at the last minute. Thinking back to dating right out of law school…he would buy plane tickets but never truly commit to anything during those days – weddings, nonrefundable vacations, etc. Instead of feeling nostalgic for our youth while he was talking to this kid, I felt utter relief that was no longer our lifestyle. Things are hectic enough with a teenager and our careers but nothing like “biglaw”.

        Thanks everyone!. He is the boyfriend of the daughter of one of my dearest friends.

    • I went to law school (pre-crash) as a successful engineer. It was a mistake.

      If the kid wants to do patent prosecution, he should take the patent bar before law school. He might never need the law degree. He could get a job as a patent agent and pay his way through night law school. There’s no real advantage to taking the patent bar during or after law school,m except having less free time to study.

      If he wants to work at a big firm, he needs to look at the bios of people they have hired for these roles in the last few years. Depending on his technical specialty, he might need advanced degrees.

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      I think this is all good advice, but will defer to those who know about the patent bar aspect.

      To answer your question about not having weekends….before going to law school, I was vaguely unaware of this. More importantly, when it became apparent, I figured if everyone else was doing it and making it, I would do it and survive as well. It became obvious that that isn’t how I want to live my life. Twenty-two year old me didn’t know that, and this is part of what makes giving advice about law school difficult.

    • Anonymous :

      2016 law school grad, not in patent law, but this advice seems pretty spot on. I have a hard time explaining to others, especially other professionals, billable hour requirements and how not all work is billable, so a 40 hour/week billable hour requirement means 50 hour weeks, no exceptions. It means no sick days, no leaving early, no personal days, no long lunches, unless you will make that time up some other time.

  29. Are Birkenstock’s worth the money? If yes, what is the best place to get them on sale?

  30. Anonymous :

    Advice for moving past criticism that’s clearly unfair? A partner reamed me for not sending an email that I sent. Partner called me to yell at me and wouldn’t let me speak because “you just need to listen not make excuses” and “this is exactly the problem with all you associates”. After the call, I forwarded the email to the partner with a note saying, here is the email you were looking for please let me know if you need anything else. No response.

    I rarely work with this partner so I don’t think this is some long simmering issue about me. Partner is known to send out passive aggressive all associates emails to publicly shame associates for even minor errors. Perhaps errors they didn’t even make, I now know. Partner is very important in the firm so I don’t think going to someone else will be helpful. I know the criticism isn’t reflective of me or my work but it’s still bothering me. Any advice for moving past this?

    • Anonymous :

      Buy yourself a stiff cocktail after work, vent about it to somebody, and then start thinking about other things.

    • It can be shocking :

      It can feel shockingly personal to be on the receiving end of something like this even when you know intellectually that is not personal. Hang in there. Do something nice for yourself and try to shake it off.

    • Anonymous :

      So sorry, been there before. No advice, the only way I could deal with it was to get out (it became a daily event for me)

    • Anonymous :

      Unfortunately, Partner is mad about something else but helpless to deal with it for whatever reason. Therefore partner is taking it out on folks who cannot respond/ defend. It’s B.S. and shouldn’t happen–but it does. It’s not your fault, you did what you were supposed to do. Don’t hang on to this, and understand future outbursts will occur but should be ignored and not stored.

    • Anonymous :

      Partner = Louis Litt, right?

  31. Cute, Comfy Flats :

    Not an amazon market post but for anyone looking for trendy, comfy flats – I have been thoroughly enjoying these nude-for-me sling backs that turned out to be similar to (NOT a copy, which I am not on board with for many reasons) pair by Dior. There is some padding in the foot bed and the sling back itself is soft and hasn’t been slipping down, which is why I usually abhor sling backs.

    Mine (some sizes and colors are Prime eligible, some seem to ship directly from seller so keep an eye on that if it matters to you, too):

    Designer ones:

    They are not expensive and the bow detail makes them on the trendy side, but they are comfy and have worked with flats and skirts for work (for my office anyway).

    If anyone has any other recs for comfy but somewhat stylish flats, please post! I have foot issues so I can’t wear heels and most of the Vionics are too frumpy for me (their ballet flat style is nice, though).

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      How are the Amazon pair not a copy of the Dior originals? They’re identical save the text.

      • Anonymous :

        Because they aren’t using the (presumably trademarked) logo or otherwise stealing Dior’s proprietary information. Absent certain facts/exceptions, you don’t legally own a design or print therefore nothing is being stolen. For example, many low end bags have a chain strap – no one is misled into thinking these are Chanel bags.

      • Pen and Pencil :

        These are definitely knock-offs. Just because they don’t say Dior or J’adore doesn’t mean they arent. I personally also think the styling of these (Dior or otherwise) is tacky, but that is just my opinion.

  32. Lana Del Raygun :

    This is a kind of vague/general question but I’m curious what you all think. How weird or jarring is it to wear clothes outside of their normal socioeconomic habitat? Not things like wearing office clothes to run errands, more like: Petra from Jane the Virgin has great style, but it definitely looks like an “I live in the hotel that I also own”-level style—would you look weird dressing like that as a normal middle-class person? (Leave aside the question of whether you could afford it.) I do think, say, fancy antique furniture would look weird in some less-fancy houses, and I’m wondering if the same thing applies to clothes.

    • Anonymous :

      Interesting question, but impossible to answer. Because it leaves unsaid…”Look weird in whose eyes?” Who is doing the looking? To some people, wearing any kind of dress looks weird; they question why the person is dressed up. In some places I’ve lived, wearing make-up looked out of place. In other places, someone who didn’t have her hair styled and carry a nice bag looked out of place. Or the yoga crowd looked normal to themselves when they were together but “weird” when they stopped for coffee at a rural cafe.

      So the question you’d have to ask would be, ‘Would I be dressed differently than the people I am normally around, and if I were, would I care if they thought it looked ‘weird’?”

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know if it is a socioeconomic habitat, as much as those clothing would look out of place most places because they are too formal. If you work at a very formal office, think that Petra’s clothing would be fine. (but it wouldn’t have even fit in at my BigLaw firm, so I think that office is rare)

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