Suit of the Week: J.Crew Factory

extremely affordable suiting for womenFor busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

As I noted in our recent roundup of the best women’s suits of 2018, online factory stores can be a great place to find affordable workwear, although it’s important to note that availability comes and goes. Right now, though, J.Crew Factory is FLUSH with extremely affordable suiting for women in regular and petite sizes (regular sizes 00-20) in black, navy, and light gray . The jacket (Lightweight wool blazer) is down to $116 today, and the pants (lightweight wool trouser) are $68; the matching skirt is $54.

Looking for a basic plus-size suit? Check out our recent roundup of basic, interview-worthy, stylish plus-size suits.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

Our #SuitoftheWeek: a gorgeous and EXTREMELY affordable wool suit -- it's so rare to find wool suiting separates like this for under $200 (in sizes 00-20 and petite sizes!). Available in black, navy, and light gray, too. ???


  1. Wedding gift :

    I am going to a family friend’s wedding. There is no registry and I’ve been told it is an “envelope wedding”. I don’t want to give cash in an envelope (so of course you can tell me that I should just give cash, but I won’t be doing that). I’d love to give them a case of wine that they can cellar and bring out for special occasions during the life of their marriage. I thought about a case from the year they met (but it would be way too costly) or from the year they got married (but there are no 2018 wines available yet). So I’m deciding between giving a single bottle of champagne/sparkling wine from the year they met, or a case of wine from the year they got engaged. What would you prefer?

    • Anonymous :

      Do you know if they are in fact wine drinkers? A case of wine would be a lovely gesture, but it would probably take me my whole life to get through . . .

    • Anonymous :

      Why? You’re being ridiculous. Just give them cash in an envelope.

    • Anonymous :

      Neither. I’d prefer cash like they would. If you really are so selfish that this needs to be all about you have a bottle of champagne delivered to their home ahead of the wedding. I don’t get people.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s awesome. You might prefer cash. I as a wedding gift. I find it tacky. You do you, but if you want a gift from me, it won’t be cash (maaybee a gift card, but not cash).

        • Anonymous :

          Tacky is deliberately ignoring some one else’s preferences to stroke your own ego of specialness.

          • Anonymous :


            If you manage to make a wedding gift all about yourself, then I don’t even know what to say to that.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m old-fashioned. I find selecting a gift for someone, even if it’s off their registry, meaningful. Just handing them cash and saying “good for you for getting married” bugs me. You’re not going to convince me otherwise.

          • OP, how about not giving a gift and selecting a beautiful card and writing your well wishes inside?

          • Anonymous :

            Okay, but you’re not convince us that you’re not self-centered and rude.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Anonymous above, I think what you mean is that you are old-fashioned Miss Manners/WASP, because there are many cultures where cash is absolutely the preferred wedding gift and the registry is only for showers.

          • Anonymous :

            Ok. Give them a butter churn. Have fun. But you are the wrong one here. There’s nothing “old fashioned” about deliberately ignoring people’s wishes.

          • Anonymous :

            It actually that I want the gift to be special for the couple, and I don’t feel that cash, to be used for the need trip to the grocery store or the next cellphone bill, is special.

          • Baconpancakes :

            If I might gently point you towards Emily Post’s authority, etiquette is intended to convey respect, consideration, and kindness, not for its own sake. And in a situation where a couple has explicitly requested no gifts, perhaps acceding to the couple’s request is the most respectful, considerate thing to do?

            Gift choices are, of course, up to the giver. And you don’t even have to give a gift at all! You’re not paying for your meal with a gift! But if you feel you must give a physical gift, acknowledge that it’s about you, not them, and give one that takes into consideration why the couple might have requested cash. Are they going to move soon, or do they live in a small space? Smaller and consumable is better. Are they just really not into material possessions? Maybe gifting them a wine subscription, or prepaying for a luxurious meal at a restaurant you know they’ll love. Do they really need the money for an upcoming cost, like graduate school, a house purchase, paying off student loans, having children, or buying a car? Maybe gift a smaller amount of cash and give them a cheaper gift.


          • Anonymous :

            Wow. Nice assumption they’ll not find cash special!

          • I think Baconpancakes’ link answers this question:

            “Trickier than what or how much the guest chooses to give is how the couple goes about guiding them when money would be most welcome. It’s perfectly OK for the couple to offer suggestions, but how you do it is really important. Answering, “Where are you registered?” with a blunt, “We only want cash,” falls squarely into Tackytown.”

            So, no, ignoring someone’s preference for cash isn’t the tacky bit. I also don’t like to give cash but I take it into consideration when it’s the preferred thing for cultural or other reasons. In those cases I’ll write a check, get a gift card (if I know where it would be appreciated) or do a combo of small physical gift + $$. I think this is one of the most confusing areas of etique!!e because while it is customary to give a gift and failing to do so is a breach of etique!!e, you are not entitled to a specific gift just because you have invited someone to your wedding. Both things can be true!

    • Anonymous :

      Can you either focus on a noteworthy year (the year they met or got engaged?) or a special region? We got several bottles from some of the wineries we ended up visiting on our honeymoon, which was an awesome gesture.

    • Aside from the fact that my initial recommendation is to comply with what they are asking for, if you really insist, then a single bottle…. unless you know they have a cellar with plenty of storage, are regular wine drinkers, and you can spend on a high quality and are ok knowing that a few will go bad and/or may simply be tossed. But honestly, the smaller the better, especially if you are bringing to the wedding. May I ask your hesitation with the cash in an envelope? Would you prefer to write a check? Give a gift card (maybe to uncorked – assuming it can be shipped to their state)?

      • Anonymous :

        Do NOT bring a boxed gift to the wedding. Ship it. Minimum

        • I will also add, as a recent bride myself, that they may have better ‘security’ for the envelopes than the boxed gifts, if that matters to you. Typically, the envelopes go into a locked box of some sort and the boxed gifts are more easily swiped, sitting next to the lock box.

        • Wedding gift :

          I would definitely send it to their house before the wedding. I never take gifts to weddings.

          • As you may be aware, there are restrictions on shipping and delivering alcohol, so if you insist, you should check their state. Also, be mindful about their space. They may not have registered for gifts because they don’t have the space or are intending to move soon. So maybe just one bottle, if you really insist.

            Signed, recent bride with family in the wine business. We did our own wine at the wedding and got as a gift the remaining cases – plural. They are still in the (enormous) cellar at a family’s house because it took us nearly a year after our wedding to move and in the meantime we had to stage to sell our place. We are slowly bringing the cases over to our new house – and we hand out bottles all the time to friends as gifts. Storage is no joke.

    • Baconpancakes :

      What is your objection to the cash gift? Not trying to convince you otherwise, just curious. If they want cash to the point where it’s being called an envelope wedding, I would guess it’s a family or cultural custom.

      If you’re dead set on going against what they want (assuming they DO want cash and not “no gifts but ok we’ll take cash if you want”), depending on the couple’s situation, storing a case of wine might be a burden. The champagne would be a better bet.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Wait, I just figured it out. They probably want cash for a down payment for a house that has a wine cellar! Does that change the equation at all? ;)

      • Wedding gift :

        Neither the bride nor the groom is from a culture where cash is the norm for wedding gifts. I’m not aware of anything in particular that they want to money for. I have contributed cash in the past to honeymoons and honeyfunds, but cash in an envelope to be used for gas or groceries is not a gift I want to give. They do have a large house, but I can see that even with space they might prefer a less space-consuming gift.

        • Anonymous :

          Honestly, I think plain old regular middle class America’s culture is to give cash at a wedding. I’m sure they’ll enjoy some nice wine if you know their preference, but I would do a mixed case rather than a case of the same variety.

        • For what it’s worth, we used the cash from our wedding for a lot of fun honeymoon activities that we wouldn’t have otherwise splurged on, not gas/groceries.

    • Anonymous :

      Obv, I think cash is the way to go, but if you don’t want to, I’d go with just a regular bottle of wine – a good one is plenty. We still have 8 bottles of champagne/sparkling wine that we received as gifts at our housewarming…2.5 years ago. We drink wine and beer a few times a week, but never champagne.

      • Baconpancakes :

        We just opened a fantastic bottle of gifted champagne to watch the last two episodes of Stranger Things 2 last night, so just open them! Life’s too short to not drink the champagne.

        Champagne goes great with lemony roasted chicken, thai food, sauteed kale, and quiche! Pick a random thing to celebrate, like a presentation you rocked or a friend’s thirty-mumble birthday, and roll out the champers.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That makes me sad. Why not champagne on a regular Thursday? It goes amazingly well with pizza. Or popcorn.

        • Anonymous :

          I also have leftover champagne. I don’t really want to come home from work and drink a bottle of champagne, it’s bad for you, it doesn’t keep well, plus I don’t really like champagne that much.

          • Is it worse for you than wine?

          • Anonymous :

            Wine’s not that great for you, especially drinking a bottle at a time so as not to lose the bubbles, might be the point.

          • JuniorMinion :

            You need a bouchon! Works wonders. Keeps my stuff fresh for over a week. That way if you want you can have a glass at a time.

    • Don’t get them a gift. I feel uniquely qualified to answer this because I’m a wine drinker who got married two weeks ago without a registry.

      • To add, I cried when I opened the cards because I felt so loved.

        • Anonymous :

          Wait, I really feel the need to get clarity here – did you feel so loved you cried when you opened cards that said wonderful things, or when you opened cards and cash fell out? Because that’s exactly what bothers me about giving cash – I don’t want to “buy” the love of my friends and family or think there is a price tag on our relationship.

          • Because of the sweet notes. It meant that people attended and they followed my no-gifts wishes. It was just so kind and respectful and showed they really knew me.

          • Anonymous :

            Gotcha. I definitely appreciate that.

          • Oh my god, who are you friends with that you think they’re going to be bought by cash? If that’s how you feel about this couple, they need new friends.

      • Wedding gift :

        Meaning that you got a lot of wine you didn’t want as wedding gifts? Or meaning that you didn’t have a registry because you preferred not to get gifts?

        • I greatly appreciated any cash I received, but I was a little annoyed at the physical gifts I got. I put out a no gifts grapevine to all the gossipy relatives so I know everyone knew. It was a bit rude for them to go against my wishes to placate their own emotions. A wedding is about the bride and groom and its selfish to make it about yourself.

          • I think you’re being a little unfair to your guests. I don’t think people who give gifts at a “no gifts” wedding are “making it about themselves.” I think a lot of people (in the US at least, can’t speak for other cultures) feel that it is inappropriate to not give the bride and groom something and so even if the invitation says no gifts they feel like they can’t show up empty-handed (metaphorically speaking – I think everyone agrees you don’t bring a gift to the wedding unless it fits inside an envelope). And for a lot of people giving a small gift in cash feels sort of weird and demeaning. I can’t imagine giving someone $25 in an envelope as a wedding gift, because to me $25 is what you give kids at graduations and birthdays. But I can imagine giving a friend a $25 bottle of wine or a guidebook to her honeymoon destination, even if she had requested no gifts, because I felt like I had to get something and those were things I knew she’d enjoy.

          • I don’t think it’s rude. While it may not be something you agree with, if someone puts thought into a gift, isn’t rude to give it whether you asked for gifts or not. Just like it isn’t rude to give off registry. I can understand being a bit annoyed about this if you had something in mind (cash) and not everyone complied with your wishes but it’s akin to being annoyed that no one bought X item off your registry or being annoyed that someone spent too little. The gift is about the recipient but it’s also about the relationship between the giver and the recipient.

            I also think it’s different when people actually don’t want gifts of any kind for philosophical or moral reasons. If you say “your company is present enough” that’s a bit of a different story. But I don’t think it’s fair to take issue with the kind of gift someone chooses to give you to commemorate your special occasion. I always assume that people give you things that they think/hope you will like and appreciate. Sometimes the gift misses the mark, but I always try to appreciate the gesture.

        • Anonymous :

          The second.

    • You ask what I would prefer? I would prefer cash, and also being signed up for some sort of excellent wine-delivery subscription, the information about which can also be put in an envelope :) Much more enticing than getting wine/champagne that I am apparently supposed to store for years rather than drink. If you still want to focus on anniversaries, then schedule a super fancy bottle to arrive for their 1 year, or something.

    • Anonymous :

      I am going to be honest–I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving cash either. But in this case, I would determine the minimum acceptable amount, and give that. and then stop thinking about it. this is a family friend, so just follow the rules in a pain-free way and be done with it. generally, i agree with you–i hate the idea of a cash award for getting married. but i also am not over the moon about buying a new couple home furnishings either. all of these traditions annoy me, so again, i would just follow the rules and be done with it.

      • Anonymous :

        I really doubt that anyone actually profits on their wedding! I know it’s crass to put it this way, but the money in the wedding card traditionally helps offset the costs of the reception.

        • There are certain sub-cultures where the amount of the check is calibrated to “cover the plate,” and that’s tacky. But giving a check based on your own ability to spend and closeness to the couple (as opposed to trying to calculate what the reception cost) isn’t tacky at all.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s tacky to calibrate it that way in your own mind, but I think what’s considered a minimum adequate gift is still calibrated by custom.

          • Anonymous :

            I wonder if we counted out number of people who belong to the tacky subcultures and the number of people who belong to the classy mainstream culture, which one would look more “sub.”

        • Anonymous :

          i mean, why are you inviting people to a party that you can’t pay for?

    • I vote for single bottle of champagne. Feels less like a “thing” that the couple has to take care of/store and more like a celebratory gesture.

      I agree that in American culture in general, giving cash feels odd when the recipient is a peer or someone who may be in a better economic situation than I am. I understand that in other cultures that cash is traditional for weddings and I respect that. But in the culture I grew up in, it feels awkward.

      • Huh? Giving cash (or more accurately, a check) for a wedding is mainstream American culture and has been for years.

    • I like Baconpancakes’ suggestion of giving a wine subscription instead of a case as a compromise. If you’re set on the “bottle from a significant year” idea, give a bottle from the year they got engaged (presumably cheaper than champagne from year they met or a whole case from year engaged) alongside the subscription.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re going to get them wine, I would not get them a full case of anything. It’s hard for many people to store that much wine, and unless you’re spending crazy money on this gift, it’s probably not going to age well, especially without proper storage. Also, I wouldn’t worry about the year–I just drank a bottle of wine that was a wedding present for my 8th anniversary last week. It was delicious, and the significance was that it was a wedding gift.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m with you. I think it’s unbelievably tacky to ask for money, whether it’s through a honeyfund or ‘envelope wedding.’ I’ve sometimes chosen to give cash as a wedding gift, when nothing on the registry was appealing or it was a close friend and I knew that they were saving towards something significant, like paying off student loans or buying a home. But I intensely dislike being explicitly asked for cash. In those situations, I usually do a nice bottle of wine or champagne (if I know they would enjoy this) or an OpenTable gift card, which can be used at the majority of nice restaurants in major cities.

    • What’s with the condescension towards people who don’t like giving cash as a gift?

      Also, read Miss Manners today. As in, literally read today’s column, second letter.

      • Huh? Setting up a Go Fund me page for a honeymoon is nothing like inviting someone to a wedding and letting the news circulate through friends that cash is preferred. The condescension is because the OP is explicitly ignoring the couple’s wish to get cash, which is the standard default gift in many cultures around the world.

        • Actually, I believe the disagreement is that the couple is asking for no gifts – hence no registry. And, if you must, then envelopes (which could just be a beautifully written card with no money in it). She is explicitly deciding to buy them a ‘boxed’ gift despite them asking for no gifts.

          • Anonymous :

            An ‘envelope wedding’ literally means you’re supposed to bring cash in an envelope, it’s not at all the same thing as saying “no gifts please, your presence is present enough” or some such language. There’s no indication at all to me that the OP said the bride and groom said “no gifts.”

    • I’d prefer the champagne. I’d also prefer folks not normalize “envelope wedding.” Specifying you want cash seems tacky on the part of the couple.

      • Anonymous :

        Nothing says the couple specified anything of the sort.

      • Anonymous :

        Me too, both on wanting all the champagne, and I agree asking for cash is tacky even if “etiquette dictates that you comply.”

    • Linda from HR :

      What about a bottle of mead for their honeymoon?

      (get it? mead’s made from honey . . .)

      I probably wouldn’t get them wine unless I knew what they liked, and what they liked to eat. You could, in theory, get them some good wines they can use for when they have a night in, or wines they can use for entertaining. But you could also miss the mark and spend money on wines they don’t like or use. Do you know what wineries and vineyards they like?

      • Linda from HR :

        I’ll add that I have no problem with people requesting* or giving cash for weddings these days, there are plenty of valid reasons why this is the preferred way to help a couple kick-start their marriage (that is the purpose of wedding gifts, is it not?). That said, I know that there are and probably always will be people like OP who think cash is tacky, and I can’t fight that. I think you should, in general, give a couple what they request*, but if you know them well and would really prefer to follow the tradition of giving a physical gift, and you can think of something meaningful that they will appreciate, by all means do that. I think all engaged couples should have at least a small registry for this purpose, knowing the likelihood that some guests will feel uncomfortable giving cash.

        *as long as it’s not a specific amount, that is tacky and rude.

    • Anonymous :

      Send a bottle of wine or champagne to their house with a nice note. If I was the couple I would appreciate the gesture, provided I had no idea that you actually had such disdain for me. Seriously, do what you want but don’t make your opinions public knowledge to other guests. We registered but married out of state so therefore received a mixture of gifts and cash. Both were appreciated. Several gifts weren’t on our registry but I only really recall one gift that was odd (clearly a re-gift from a valued, wealthy family member). As a couple, we avoided judging the gifts and focused on appreciating the gesture. I encourage you to appreciate the couple and avoid judging their preferences.

    • Yikes this conversation is so heated! I mean, sure, they asked for cash. But if they are, in fact, wine drinkers, some of that cash will probably go towards wine, no? I think the OP’s idea is lovely.

      • Housecounsel :

        I am a wine drinker but rarely appreciate wine gifts because I am also a wine snob. I do not want the most excellent cherry wine that you picked up on your drive through some midwestern state (and I am in a midwestern state).

      • Anonforthis :

        Agreed. I know weddings bring out the drama around here but I am truly shocked by the number of people who think giving wine is rude in this instance.

        I find it very rude to dictate what kind of GIFT a guest at your party can give you. And I say that as a person who always gives money as a wedding gift and who loves wine!

      • Everybody is missing the fact that the couple didn’t ask for cash or dictate what kind of gift. They have no registry. And OP heard through the grapevine that it is an envelope wedding – meaning that she probably did not even hear it from the couple, but from some relative who said it offhand, not realizing that OP found it tacky.

        • Anonymous :

          I disagree. Having no registry and spreading the word through the grapevine that you want cash is, in fact, requesting cash from your guests. It is (of course) more socially acceptable than mailing invites that say “cash gifts only please” but it is still a very clear way of indicating that you want cash and only cash. I would be shocked if a relative said this “offhand.” I know about 10 couples who have had envelope weddings, and all of them made a very coordinated effort to spread the word among friends and family that the couple had not registered because they wanted cash. Certain relatives were explicitly asked to tell extended family to give cash, certain close friends were asked to tell larger friend groups (e.g., bride’s college BFF told all college friends etc.). I find that unbelievably tacky.
          Fwiw, I’ve given cash to lots of people (just wrote a check to DH’s cousin because I didn’t feel like hunting down their registry info), but I don’t like being instructed to do so.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d prefer you not get me a gift. Period. Write a hearfelt card (if you can brush off your disdain to do so) and be done with it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve pretty much decided that the best gift I can give any couple having a large wedding with gifts requested is to not make them (or their parents) pay for my attendance at their wedding. Now, if you’re a young struggling couple and invite me to your wedding backyard BBQ, I’ll attend, give you something very nice (even cash if you request or I know it’s what you really need), and bring a great attitude.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, see above. If I am expected to give you cash to “cover the cost of my plate,” it is probably best that i don’t attend. This kind of transactional mentality takes the spirit and celebration out of the picture altogether.

    • I’d prefer the single bottle personally.

    • Wedding Gift, I agree with you that it’s tacky. Tacky in my world, which is not everyone’s world. Here’s the thing, when you refuse to honor their wishes, you make the gift about you, not about honoring their marriage. And that’s pretty tacky too. So you are just meeting tacky with tacky. Take the high road and comply with their wishes. Give a little internal eye roll, sign an inaudible sigh, clutch your metaphorical pearls, or your real ones, in private, and give the damn cash.

  2. Housecounsel :

    These pants look frumpy on the model. Has anyone seen in person?

  3. Moisturizer? :

    I currently use La Roche Posay Toleriane Fluide and have used t for a long time. I absolutely love it because it doesn’t break me out. It seems like it’s being phased out from a lot of stores and so I’m looking for a back-up. Anyone have any recs? I’ve tried a few of their other products to no success (major cystic breakouts) and am tired of buying big containers to only use a few times. I’ve read recs about Biore here but frankly the reviews online seem very mixed and I’d also like something that I can buy from multiple sources.

    • I think it may be discontinued. Have you tried Avene thermal (sp.?), they have a line for sensitive skin that I’ve always done well with.

    • I’d highly recommend ELTA MD UV clear- it’s never made me break out and I have ultra sensitive skin

    • Shopaholic :

      I really like the Lancome fluid sheer SPF 50 (I think that’s what it’s called, it’s in a white container). I bought mine from Sephora and I love it – it’s light, wears well under makeup and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.

  4. SF in House :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a sushi place in/near Glendale, CA?

  5. Anonymous :

    I am in my late 30s, just got out of a long-term relationship with a guy, and am just starting online dating. The goal here is to find a partner and get married on a fairly fast track (the right guy, of course, I just mean I don’t have time to waste). What are your tips?

    So far, I’m not feeling like I’m having much luck. How much do you judge a guy if he has goofy pictures, like lying in a field of flowers? How do you decide whether to go forward with someone who lives in another state? How quickly do you meet up with someone? How do you not get discouraged?

    I’m in a major city in Texas, if that matters.

    • Anonymous :

      This is also me and tbh I think you have to recognize that it’s hard. Goofy pics? Don’t care. In another state? Absolutely not. How quickly? As soon as possible. It’s just hard!

      • +1 to meet ASAP. You really can’t judge anything about a person until you see them interacting with their environment (does he look at you when you talk? does he treat wait staff with respect?). You can’t tell any of this from texting or phone when it’s just you two.

    • Anonymous :

      I like to meet sooner rather than later – endless messaging back and forth gets old and you can’t really know how you feel about the person until you meet them in person.

    • Character: do not give him even a second more time than you have to.

      Major compatibility issues (religion, location if unwilling to move, views on wanting kids): tread cautiously and do not be afraid to move on.

      Anything else: three dates. Don’t write them off until you’ve had three dates.

      More advice: I know a lot of people (myself included) who met their SOs “online” – but as in, commenting on blogs or forums or having a blog or Facebook friend-of-a-friend. Just… consider it.

    • My suggestion is to have a list of a few key factors. If someone can check those off, give him a chance. For example, my key factors would probably be well-educated, good job, same religion, and same geographic area. Then figure out the other stuff on an actual date. Maybe there is a story behind those goofy pictures that is endearing or funny. And in many cases, I would say go on two dates before saying no to another date. Many people are nervous on first dates.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Goofy pics seem like a plus to me! Indicates he has a sense of humor!

      Are you hoping to move? Don’t date someone in another state unless you’re intending to move to their state anyway.

      Meet up with someone pretty much immediately. Don’t waste your time or theirs chatting online when your actual relationship will be in person. You can have great chemistry with someone online and terrible chemistry with them in person.

      Don’t get discouraged by playing the numbers game. Tinder gets a bad rap but it’s so low commitment, it’s easy to go through a ton of profiles quickly, ending up with one or two who are good prospects. Think about how many bars you’d have to go to in order to meet that many people!

    • Anonymous :

      In another state sounds like a scam, unless you’re right across the border. Be proactive and message tons of people, it’s not romantic but it really is a numbers game. Some people are just so different in person, so once you exchange a few messages to rule out any dealbreakers, go meet up.

      • Definitely depends on your state… in Texas, I would say no unless you happen to live next to the border. Texas is big.

    • Goofy pictures are a plus in my book too. If I messaged the guy and struck up a conversation I’d always suggest meeting up before very many messages got exchanged. I had a bunch of boring dates and got stood up a few times, but I preferred that to endless texting, personally. At least then I had a real sense for whether the guy was worth my additional time and effort.

    • Anonymous :

      I was in your exact shoes about a year and a half ago. I decided that *I* was a catch (vs waiting and worrying about whether somebody would like me/pick me/yadda) and that I, in my awesomeness, didn’t want to or have to waste time on guys that didn’t appeal to me / made me cringe / just didn’t do it for me. Field of flowers? Out. Out of state? Out. Something off that I couldn’t put my finger on? Out. Because what I ultimately decided is that since I was looking for a husband, I wasn’t interested in a guy who’d lay in a field of flowers (goofy’s not me), someone who wasn’t available (I’ve done enough long-distance to last a lifetime) – I wanted someone who just fit. When I saw my now-husband’s profile, I KNEW. I was *excited* about his profile, and I was excited when he messaged within a couple hours of us matching, and I was excited to meet him. Others will disagree with me, but I believe if you’re looking for a spouse, it should be someone you’re excited about going on a date with. The “just in case / why not” dates were always wastes of time for me – but the ones I was excited about, I at least felt good about after, even if we didn’t click, ya know? My husband and I dated for 11 months before he proposed and got married 5 months after that.

      So, direct answers: Do you, in your heart of hearts, want to meet this guy? Ok, good, go. No? Don’t go.

      If you do want to meet him, swipe right/message him/whatever, and strike up a conversation quickly (you can go first! it’s ok!). Agree to meet up within a few days (like, no more than 3-4 days, max). No need to make cute conversation in between agreeing on the date and seeing each other.

      Quick happy hour drinks always worked best for me. Also, find a restaurant/bar where you feel comfortable, and make the guys come to you. I had a regular place close to my condo (but not too close) and the hostesses and bartenders knew me (…and my distress signals). I liked that I was in my comfort zone. (And I even had a date uniform – skinny jeans + cute flats + flowy tunic top.)

      Sometimes you do get discouraged. But my husband had only been on Tinder for a couple weeks? before I found him. There are new people joining all the time, esp in large cities. Yeah, you’ll see the same people, but there are new ones.

      Good luck! It totally can work!

    • Anonymous :

      Be prepared to be discouraged. Be prepared for it not to happen on your timeline. Be prepared to be burned out on the process and need to delete the apps for a couple months.

      Be prepared to realize there is a reason some of those guys are still not married.

      • Yeah, this. You just have to be prepared that you may not be the lucky woman who finds her person immediately upon trying online dating, even by looking for precisely what you want. I’ve been looking for precisely what I wanted for more than 6 years, and it hasn’t happened yet. I’ve been on literally hundreds of dates. Other women are on apps for like two weeks and find their person. You have to let go of the timeline or you may be in for a world of heartache and disappointment.

        Also, have you given yourself enough time/distance from the relationship ending to actually really know what you’re looking for/are you actually ready to date? It will be a more frustrating process if you’re not actually ready. Only you know whether you are or not, obviously.

      • +1 to all of this. And you didn’t say if you want biological kids, but if you do, realize that it may not happen given your age/timeline for a relationship. Freeze eggs if you can (this is what I did) but accept that they are no guarantee either.


    I saw this morning’s thread about changing twin names way too late, but it’s really important to me to say something to the OP.

    OP, I say this with so much love, that I hope you can feel. The transition to motherhood is so different when it includes a journey through the NICU or other pediatric wings. That one thing really increases your likelihood of PPD, which, as other commenters have mentioned, can manifest as anxiety, not what you think of as depression. Nothing about your child’s name could make you the “worst mom ever,” the “worst mother,” or “a total idiot.” Nothing. Even if you named your child Princess Sparkles.

    Your fears of being judged, your embarrassment, those are both classic signs of postpartum anxiety. I remember crying so hard over my daughter smiling up at me on her changing table because I couldn’t find matching pants and onesie and I was sure that people would judge me as a horrible mom if I took her out to the grocery store without a matching outfit. I could go on for days with similar anecdotes.

    You are doing great. Your babies are doing great. But if you are this anxious about something so far removed from their physical or emotional wellbeing, you are doing them and yourself a great disservice if you do not get screened for postpartum anxiety/depression immediately. Don’t make my mistake.

    I spent my first months as a mother tied up in knots about the ways I was doing it wrong or in a way that someone would judge me. Eventually my brain got to “this baby deserves a better mother than me, it would be better if I were out of the picture and replaced before she’ll remember me.” Please don’t get that far, please let my experience save you and your babies the loss of that precious time together (that’s also really hard and awful and kind of precious like a Survivor episode in backcountry with less support structure).

    Please, please, please, call your doctor or midwife today about this. Get an appointment this week. If it turns out to be nothing, great. I didn’t get help for my PPD, which manifested as extreme anxiety/guilt/thinking I was the worst mom ever, until about 7 weeks after giving birth. I would do just about anything to get that time back in my right mind. I did not have the ability to recognize that I wasn’t in my right mind, and it is a loss I am still grieving. I’m so unbelievably grateful that I did get help, and meds, and that my daughter and my family don’t have a more profound loss to grieve.

    • Housecounsel :

      I am so glad you said all this, Paging Anon With Twins. I thought the original post was just overflowing with anxiety – I could feel it in my bones — and not about the names at all, but I didn’t say this and could never have said it as eloquently as you did. I had PPD, although not with twins or with any medical issues and I can’t imagine how much worse it would be under these circumstances. Thank you.

    • Anon for this :

      I was also going to comment, but saw it rather late today. I’d also like to echo Paging Anon With Twins – post-partum anxiety is no joke. I didn’t realize it was possible for it manifest as anxiety instead of classic depression either, so it took me a very long time to figure out what was wrong with me after my youngest was born. Don’t suffer, go see someone!

      Interestingly, I also had issues with the name we had given to our youngest, which is why I was going to comment earlier. It was one of two names we settled on when expecting our first, and for various reasons it made sense to use it for our youngest. But during the pregnancy I had a dream about another name and couldn’t get it out of my head. When she was born, for a few weeks I could not connect the baby in front of me with the name we had given her. It felt wrong in my gut. I did eventually get past it and now I can’t imagine any other name for her! But this comment has made me wonder if there wasn’t a connection between the anxiety I didn’t even recognize at that point and my fear that we had given her the wrong name.

    • Different Anon :

      Thank you for writing this. I also had PPD and did not recognize it because it manifested as anxiety and misplaced perfectionism. Looking back now, I am so scared that I may have never gotten out of it and the effect that really would have had on my family (versus the perceived effects at the time of not being completely perfect). I only got help after I got physical with DH because he put baby to bed without brushing teeth (!!). The condition is mind-bending and my reality was so warped yet so real. I could not stop thinking about this when I read Anon With Twins’ post this morning. Thank you for paging her with this advice.

  7. Anonymous :

    Have you considered that it could actually be all about the name? I find this message so dismissive.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, this entire page is so crazy today. I read here pretty regularly but today feels like something else. What is going on??

    • Anonymous :

      What?? That comment is not at all dismissive. It’s kind and thoughtful and well-meaning.

    • I was a mother of twins in NICU and I feel for the OP. She’s been through emotional hell and her anxiety is manifesting itself in this one specific choice. The post above was extremely kind, thoughtful and well-meant. Her anxiety that people are going to “judge” her for changing the child’s name at this stage in the game brought back horrible memories of how I felt as a brand new mother thinking that everyone was judging me for every move I made when frankly – most people don’t give a darn about you.

  8. I think I need to fire an employee. I’m a fairly new manager and have never had to do this before. I had been struggling with how to handle for a few months now, and my boss finally noticed and encouraged me to let her go because he also has been disappointed with her. Now that I’ve been given the green light, it’s almost like I’m having second thoughts or wondering if I could’ve done anything to prevent this.

    Can anyone relate? Any advice?

    • Anonymous :

      I am usually in favor of letting the person go. It probably isn’t doing the employee any favors to keep her on, but even if it is, it’s not fair to the rest of the team. I think this is analogous to the phenomenon where modest people worry that their cover letters may sound arrogant, and actually arrogant people never worry at all. The fact that you are concerned about what needs to be done tells me that you came to this decision conscientiously. Hopefully she knows things haven’t been going well.

    • Anonforthis :

      Suggest browsing Ask A Manager for this topic, lots of good advice there as well

    • Just do it. You will just be gossiping about her (which will be overheard) and throwing hints, ruining everyone’s morale and making matters worse. Her reputation will suffer, and the stress will cause more emotional issues.

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