Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Flutter Cuff Tee

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

I think this top from Loft has a cute and interesting take on the bell sleeve / flutter sleeve trend that’s everywhere right now. It’s highly rated and comes in sizes XXS-XL in regular and petite, in black and maraschino cherry. (Loft has lots of nice printed tees if you like them for casual days or weekends; this one is one of my favorites.) This one is $39.50 at Loft. Flutter Cuff Tee

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. I appreciate that this is cute, but I find it hard to believe that a Loft T-shirt is worth $40. You can get a much higher quality Splendid or James Perse T on sale for that much.

    • You seem to know about quality. Where online can I find white T shirts that don’t require a cami under? Or a white blouse for that matter.

      • OG Monday :

        As long as you wear a nude-for-you bra: Lululemon for t-shirts and J. Crew for button-fronts (cotton, not silk).

      • Anonymous :

        I have heard that American Giant is pretty good.

      • Good question! Sadly, I have no answer. I generally wear a nude for me cami under white tshirts. Jockey is my brand although I don’t know if they have shades of “nude” or just the one color.

        My James Perse white t ($25 at TJ Maxx) is pretty opaque but I have to wear a nude for me bra.

        I also don’t wear white blouses – I’m a spiller and have big boobs so white blouses or most things with buttons in the front are off the list! That said, I like pleione popover blouses, but generally require a cami.

      • Talbots. I think I have their Pima shells and a Pima bateau T. The white is opaque enough to wear with a nude bra and not be an issue if you want to remove your blazer. (They look nice under suits.)

      • Eddie Bauer has opaque white ts. I was pleasantly surprised at how fitted they were (I had expected a super boxy fit). They read casual though. I can wear them under a blazer or cardigan at my casual workplace but they’d be out of place under a suit.

      • Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I love Fruegel Fridays, but disagree that $40 is to much for a good shirt. If you can wear it to work and after, you can actually SAVE money! So let’s give Kat and Kate Kredit for finding this for the HIVE!

        Myrna is takeing me out tonite to see a movie, HIdden Figures. I saw it but want to see it again b/c it is a great movie about Women and success in a Man’s world. We as a hive should see it together. Would anyone IN THE HIVE want to schedule something in NYC? I could go a third time if we could arrange it. Let me know and I can bring FOOD!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      1. Maybe I don’t want to wait for a $95 t-shirt to go on sale and hope they still have my size.
      2. Maybe they don’t make my size to begin with.
      3. Maybe I think your alternatives all look pretty casual for my work environment. (And maybe I don’t like linen in my t-shirts)
      4. Since when have you needed to pay full price at AT/Loft? Wait for the next sale.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 on #4 – especially cause I really don’t think any t-shirts are worth $40.

      • Anonymous :


        $40 is pretty reasonable for a t-shirt that gets a solid season of wear. Loft is one of my go-to stores for interestingly detailed t-shirts for my business casual office.

        • I haven’t had good experiences at Loft with regard to quality. One or two washes and clothes never look the same again. Even with 40% off, $24 is a lot for a t-shirt that I can only wear a couple of times before putting it on makes me sad. I even like Old Navy linen t’s better, but you can’t put them in the dryer…ever.

          I’ve also really good quality white Ts at Target. Many sizes, wash well, pretty opaque (still need a cami), no linen, crew neck or v neck, some stretch, not trendy, could definitely be worn under a jacket, don’t tend to shrink or lose shape (although one got weird around the neck but I think I was pulling it under a sweater and stretched it out). Merona.

          Basically, I have a bug up my butt about Loft because I used to love it so much and the quality has become so disappointing to me over the last decade.

          • Yeah, quality at Loft is pretty bad for the price, I think. You’re much better off getting a tee at Old Navy or Target that is 1/4 the price and similar if not better quality.

          • I’ve had much better luck with Loft fabric vs. Old Navy so it’s not consistent within the brands I guess. Plus Old Navy doesn’t generally have embellished tees that are appropriate for a business casual environment.

          • Eh – I actually prefer the AT outlet store to AT/Loft. And the stuff I’ve gotten there (in the last year/two) has held up fine.

            I do not consider Old Navy a viable alternative (style-wise) to the things I get at AT. I mean, if i want a casual t-shirt, I’m more likely to look at Old Navy than AT. But if I want work clothes with a bit of polish, I’m not going to Old Navy.

          • Agreed. Loft has gone downhill. It bothers me to pay for something and only be able to wear it once or twice.

    • I bought a James Perse tank and was really not impressed for the price. For one thing, it was sized all wrong, so it’s way too tight and I don’t think they took returns. I also bought a Rag & Bone one, and it is see through because it has linen in it, as noted above. This one looks much more promising.

    • It seems that all chain stores have raised their prices and just have sales every other day to make people think that they’re getting a deal. I never buy anything at BR/AT/Loft unless it’s 40% off.

  2. Black jeans that stay black? I need to wash them every three weeks. Dirty puddle water, coffe spill… those can be spot treated but at some point pants aren’t fresh anymore. My previous pairs haven’t held their color in cold wash with detergent specifically for black clothes. I’m so tired of buying new black jeans.

    OR option nr. 2

    Is there a back to black dye that you can use on cotton/polyester/elastane? That doesn’t wash away the next time I wash them.

    OR option nr. 3

    Do I buy slim black pants that are dirt resistant and wrinkle resistant? Or hold color really well. Recs?

    What would you do?

    • AdvertisingAnon :

      If you like skinny jeans, Topshop Jamie Jeans have held up well for me. The Joni style fade badly, but Jamie has held up and is a thicker denim.

      • Did you get them recently? I’ve noticed fabrics can change while the name stays

        • AdvertisingAnon :

          Both within the last few months! Both only in black so I can’t speak to the other colors. The Joni have faded to grey at the seams/crease, but for casual wear are still cute. The Jamie have stayed pitch black.

      • These?

        • AdvertisingAnon :

          These are the exact ones:

          The ones you linked have that stepped hem trend, where the cuff at the front is shorter than the back, if that makes sense.

          My Nordstrom carries these also if you want to try on!

    • My JCrew black matchstick jeans have held up well so far – purchased in early fall and have probably washed 5-6 times (on cold and inside out, line dry).

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      Cheap dyes (like Rit, but I’m sure there are other brands) work on cotton but not on any synthetic fiber. I have dyed 100% cotton jeans with good results. But if they have a small spandex/elastane content, those fibers will completely repel the dye and the fabric will loOK slightly speckled.

    • My GAP true skinny jeans seem to be doing all right. The only thing I do special is turn them inside out when I wash them.

      • givemyregards :

        I had an old pair of black jeans that stayed perfectly black, and then bought a second pair in a longer length that faded terribly. I was so bummed. I just bought a pair from madewell and am hoping they don’t fade too quickly.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have some black Seven jeans that are at least ten years old, and I still love them, and they are still the same color.

    • My mavi jeans have stayed black– they’re also kind of in between jeans and pants which helps because it’s a sleeker fabric. Wash inside out if you’re not already.

    • lost academic :

      Woolite has a dark version of detergent you can use. Reduce UV exposure.

    • definitely don’t get the gap legging jeans in black — they are very soft but they also faded faster than any pants I’ve ever owned.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I just bought my first pair of black jeans and I am AMAZED at how much I wear them. They’re holding up pretty well right now, but I’ve only washed them twice and now I’m terrified they’ll fade, which hadn’t even occurred to me before. They are Target’s mid-rise straight Curvy cut and actually do fit my waist! It’s amazing!

    • Marshmallow :

      I have a black pair from Levi’s (high rise skinnies, can’t remember the style number) that have stayed remarkably black after being washed at least ten times.

    • I have a pair of AG prima jeans in black from Nordstrom and they are very, very black. However, my hands and bags and shirt hems also picked up a lot of that black dye, the first few times I wore them.

      • Second this. I have the AG Farrah in black and have also noticed color transfer. BUT the jeans are definitely holding their deep black color, and I don’t use any special detergent for them.

  3. Off-key Valkyrie :

    Grandpa is comfortably ensconced in assisted living, and my mom and I are making a first pass through his house this weekend. It’s not hoarder-level, but it’s not good.
    Our goals this weekend are to haul some stuff to the dump, and start writing a plan of attack. Any tips from those who’ve been through this already? Encouragement would be welcome too!

    • No suggestions, but sending you good vibes and following with interest–this is in my future whenever my dad moves.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Thanks :)

      • sweetknee :

        If there is a lot of stuff, consider renting a small dumpster. Companies will drop off and pick up, and its a great time and hassle saver. We did this when cleaning out my grandmother’s attic. She had 25 years worth of Southern Living Magazines stored in her attic, along other assorted junk.

        • alternatively, I found people that hauled stuff away in a giant trailer-type thing attached to their truck. Super cheap and I didn’t have to worry about where to put the dumpster. I got their names from the U-Haul storage unit people.

        • Diana Barry :

          Not a small dumpster! We filled 2 15-yard dumpsters with the stuff from our house (old people left a lot of furniture) and we could get another.

    • Anonymous :

      Pick up the Konmari book and read the sections on sentimental items. It’s a pretty short book – you can ignore the how to fold your t-shirts parts.

      Take a camera with you. You can take pictures and make a photo book of childhood art etc that your mom might have a hard time trashing but doesn’t really want to keep.

      Consider what items you might want to pass onto your child/future children. Would you be excited to receive it from your mom.

      Identify organizations where you can donate items that you don’t want to trash – one for clothes, one for small household goods, one for home improvement items (Habitat for Humanity has a store in my area that takes reno tools/materials).

      Save old pictures for your grandpa – you may toss some of them after he passes but they will be meaningful for him now and may spark some interesting conversations.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        I’ve read the Kon Mari book, it was right up my alley. I’ll try to buy my mom a copy while I’m up there though.

        The nice thing is, there’s hardly anything sentimental. Cleaning out my mom’s house someday will be a whole different story.

    • Marni Jameson has written a lot about this after having the experience of cleaning out her parents’ home.

      This is her book about it, although I haven’t read it:
      I have read her newspaper columns about it and she has a lot of good advice.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Thanks, I’ll look into her material.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Okay, that rec turned out to be the opposite of what I needed, because now I just was to sit around and read her interior design articles! But thanks, all the same ;)

        • LOL. Sorry for sending you down a rabbit hole! Yeah, she writes a lot of great articles about interior design, but she had a particular focus on cleaning out a parent or grandparent’s home right around the time when she was doing this for her parents’ home.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t waste time trying to find the perfect home for everything. Take what you want, sell anything if significant value, and hire an estate sale company to manage the rest.

    • A company called 1800GotJunk was an absolute godsend when I closed my parents’ house after they died. The company recycles what it can but it also properly disposes of difficult items like old tires. They were polite, on time, and they even swept the garage when they were finished! They have locations in many cities.

      • Senior Attorney :


        When my parents went into assisted living I went through and took whatever I and they wanted and then hired somebody to take the rest away. It was some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

        • This. Make a sweep for sentimental items/items you want use, and hire a company to either trash the rest.
          If the ‘rest’ is of value, but not useful, there are MANY estate sale buyers who will buy the entire contents of the house for a set amount (they pay you! but not that much…) and take it off your hands. We did this with my grandmother after all the kids/grandkids took what they wanted, but nobody needed say, 4 bedroom sets at that point, and didn’t want to trash them.

    • Not sure if he was a book/magazine junkie like my grandmother, but we asked the local elementary school if they wanted the books and 25 years of National Geographic and they came to get them. If your planning to go the estate sale route, be sure to get a couple of estimates. I was really surprised at how much they varied.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Oh so many books. And I haven’t even read most of them yet!
        I’ll probably donate to the local library, I have good relationships there. Worth asking if they can do a pickup, though, since I know the donations end up being stored in volunteer’s garages anyway. Thanks!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Also if the library/schools/prisons (don’t forget prison libraries!) don’t want to come get ’em, there are folks who will pick them up for free and resell what they can and donate the rest. If you happen to be in SoCal I can hook you up.

    • My sister and I did this with my Grandmother’s house. She was what we called a clean hoarder. No trash, but SO MUCH STUFF. Like 19 giant rubbermaid totes full of yarn stuff. What we learned was, start with the easy stuff, and have a staging place. We turned one room into a donate room, and as we went if it was worth donating, it went to that room. Garbage and Stuff to Keep was taken out that day. We did it in weekend bursts over several months, as I was long distance.

      Good thing – this is so much easier and less emotional when the person in question is alive. We could take stuff we had questions on to my Grandmother, and learned a lot about the family that way.

      Oh – last note. If he is like my grandmother, you can not assume the box of magazine clippings is just that. We found family photos, love letters from WWII when my grandparents were courting (as well as from her other various admirers, my grandfathers high school diploma, etc all in boxes of what would otherwise be junk.

      • My dad is like that, too! When I tell people he’s a hoarder they have a certain mental image but it does not fit my dad. He’s very meticulously organized and clean, but there is just SO. MUCH. STUFF. Like, drawers full of lids and hallways lined with empty cardboard boxes.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        I wish! Not that a clean hoarder’s house wouldnt present challenges, I’m sure. But we’re going to be scrubbing and trying to deodorize before we ask friends or community members to come in and help.

    • Rent a dumpster.

    • Anonymous :

      My biggest advice is to do your best to make it a festive time. I know that sounds strange, but focus on talking out memories, laughing out quirky things, etc. It helps pass the time and make the whole thing feel less sad and sluggish.

      Know that it will take waaay longer than you think, even when you expect it to take a long time.

      Totally agree on not letting perfect be the enemy of good. Identify items that are definite keepers, then do your best to sort the rest into sell, donate, and trash. For the thing you know you can’t keep but have good memories of, take a photo, do a little ceremony/acknowledgement, and move on. (For example, my cousins and I gathered around a box of our grandpa’s ties). Have someone else actually do the donation/trash run for you, if it’s hard (a spouse, neighbor, etc).

      Another surprise was how much boring, practical goods were available for re-use. I ended up with a lot of printer paper, for example. Not nostalgic, but useful ;)

      Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        We called around and figured who would want various kinds of things, and sorted the donate stuff accordingly. A school took office supplies, a pre school took craft supplies, the library took books, CDs and DVDs, etc. eWaste went to the local eWaste drop off, and prescription drugs to the police station, where they had a drop off box. Goodwill picked up took some but not all furniture and household items. Our town has one day where you can get a bin of trash picked up for no extra charge, and we used that. Sentimental stuff we boxed up to go through later, since that can be very time consuming.

  4. Bit of a long shot, but I believe there are a few US-born women around here who have done PhDs in the UK. I’m starting to consider it, since I’ll need a PhD if I want to move up in my field and I feel like I could be ready for a new adventure. I’ve done some preliminary research into schools with the kinds of program I’d be interested in, and will plan on talking to my advisors from my Master’s program soon, but other than that I have no idea where to start! Any suggestions?

    • I’m an American PhD student in the UK. Post a email address and I’d be happy to answer any questions!

    • I did my MA in the UK, and considered staying for my Ph.D., but ultimately came back to the US. My husband did his Ph.D. there, though. I can’t actually tell from your question – did you do your undergrad and masters in the UK or the UK?

      • Undergrad and masters are from the US. I’d love to hear what your experience was like as a graduate student in the UK–I was just coming off an international stint when I was applying to Masters programs, so I decided to go home for a bit and have always wondered what life would have been like if I’d gone with a program abroad.

        • Big differences for me were the shorter program and the funding structures. As an overseas student, I wasn’t eligible for many of the basic funding sources for a UK Ph.D. I did get an Overseas Research Studentship, but I would still have had to pay money for my Ph.D. The Uk Ph.D. also had no taught course component, and no teaching experience. Those were downsides for me, because while I’d done my MA in the UK, it had also been a research-based course. I really needed the two years of classes in order to prepare both for my Ph.D. research and my subsequent academic career. I’m in a traditional (tenure-track) academic role now, and the teaching experience really helped for that. For you, they might be upsides, if you don’t need to get the teaching experience and you’ve already done a taught MA. Most US programs in my field make you take two years of classes even if you come in with an MA.

          Consider also whether there are any specific skills that you need to do excellent work, and whether you will have the support you need to acquire them. My field requires specialized language training. All the institutions that I applied to in the US had programs to help me get that training, and the extra time was very helpful in mastering the skills I needed. The UK programs had nothing. In my field, that becomes very limiting for graduates of UK programs, unless they have managed to pick up the training in other ways (which is possible, but not easy – this is stuff like paleography, not learning Portuguese).

    • I’m an American who completed my PhD in the UK from the US. It was a fantastic experience. I would say the major differences between the UK and the US system is the independence. I had a lot of freedom to lead my dissertation in the direction that I wanted to take it. My adviser was very hands off. The application process is very different too – essentially it is your dissertation proposal. I’m so happy I did my program in the UK.

    • caveat to consider: if you want to go into academia in the US, a UK PhD is much less useful (it seems like a quick and easy workaround, often you don’t get sufficient teaching experiences). On the hiring committees I’ve been on, it’s been a negative for those candidate. I think the proliferation of quick and easy D Phils by children of the global rich/people with 3 years to kill after undergrad has also diluted the perceived value of the degree a bit. Of course, if your goal isn’t academia (I’m in the humanities), it could be fine!

      • Yes, this is very true! I’m settled in the UK but would struggle to find a US post in the social sciences.

      • That’s great to know and something I was not aware of! I’m not interested in teaching, at least in the tenure-track sense.

    • I am an American who went to Belgium (Katholieke Universeit Leuven) for graduate school. At the time I went (2002) the school accepted federal student aid, and tuition was 500 euros a year (!!), including insurance (!!!). Most of the Masters/ PhD programs are taught in English and most dissertations published in English because so few people use the native language of that part of Belgium (Flemmish.) The town its in is adorable, and my classmates were from all over the world.

      • Amazing, I did my fieldwork in Belgium.

      • Interesting! They don’t have the type of program that I’m looking for, unfortunately, but I might look around some other non-English-speaking locations to see what’s available.

  5. Anonymous :

    Thanks everyone who posted yesterday about my funfetti cake inquiry. I’ll leave the baking to the professionals!

    In re: large parties – there is nothing wrong with having a large birthday party for your kids. Some of us have large extended families and a lot of friends who we love to see and celebrate special occasions with. It’s not “insane” just because you wouldn’t do it. Stop the judgement.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s judgment.

      • Not if she’s in the UK or Canada.

        • Do Canadians really use the “e”? The Canadians I know drop the “e” in judgment and other words where the British have an “e,” like sizeable/sizable.

          • Generally, Canadians use British spelling (colour, traveller etc) but American pronunciation.

            There are exceptions – pediatrician is more common than paediatrician now and we use fetus not foetus. I tend to use judgement when referring to a court case decision, and judgment otherwise but I think that’s a personal quirk.

          • Do you mean the other way around (judgment for court, judgement elsewhere)? Because I thought judgment was pretty universal in the legal community, even in countries where the word is spelled judgement in everyday use.

          • Yes. The opposite of what I said. Need coffee.

        • Yeah, I’m Canadian and I have never in my life used “judgment”. Ugh it looks so wrong and I had to stop my phone from autocorrecting it three times.

          • Judgment is used a lot for court decisions. A CanLII search will give you 350K+ hits.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Canadian lawyer here and I always use judgment when referring to court decisions.

          • I’m not a lawyer. Not all Canadians are lawyers.

          • No one implied all Canadian are lawyers or that non-lawyers should know the usage. Just pointed out that ‘judgment’ is extensively used in Canada in legal circles so it is part of Canadian English.

    • I just looked back at the thread – one person was judgy and everyone else was responsive or supportive. That’s a pretty awesome ratio for this s!te.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t be b utthurt because people said things to you that you didn’t like. You do you, and if you’re fine with what you’re doing, there’s no need to lash out at others for not co-signing your choice. If you’re here to get unambiguous, universal acclaim for every idea that pops into your head, I am sorry to say you’re going to be disappointed. Hope the party goes well.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Plus, it was literally one person who said it was insane to have a party that size for a baby and several people jumped all over that person and said it was an insensitive comment. Don’t act like you were attacked by the entire group.

      • But can we just stop using the phrase “b utthurt”? It is incredibly offensive

        • Why is it offensive? I think it’s juvenile, but am I missing something? (Totally possible.)

          • Social justice warriors think it’s an anti-gay slur (e.g., it’s a reference to an*l r*pe) but everything I’ve read about the entomology of the term suggests that’s something people have made up and not the origin of the term. To me, it’s no different than “pain in the a$$.”

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            It’s homophobic.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            It’s not like PITA. It’s like ra*ed in the a**.

          • anonymous :

            I think you mean etymology. Entomology I believe is the study of insects :)

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, you are right. Etymology. And I work with some entomologists so what an embarrassing mix-up!

          • Ugh. Social justice warriors are offended by EVERYTHING, so I dismiss that as ridiculous.


            Minority public defender with transgender brother.

          • Anonymous :

            +1,000,000 Solo


        • Juvenile, and offensive in the sense that it’s just a rude thing to say (like, no one has ever sincerely empathized with another person’s “b u t t hurt.”) It’s meant to be dismissive.

      • Yes, if everyone here re-posted the next day to call out the one person who said something semi-rude, I would stop reading. Let it go.

  6. lawsuited :

    I need to email clients letting them know the dates of my mat leave and the plan for who will be handling their matters while I’m away. Some of them already know I’m pregnant and generally when I’ll be on leave, but not all. I have very friendly relationships with my clients, so the matter of fact email I drafted sounds…cold?

    This is what I’ve drafted: “I will be on a short maternity leave from [date] to [date]. While I’m away, X, of our office, and of course my assistant, X, will be your contact should anything unexpected arise on any of your matters I am currently handling. I look forward to serving you again upon my return.”

    Weird? Overly formal? Don’t say anything about serving folks?

    • Anonymous :

      Call your clients and tell them? Set up lunch meetings? Yes, weird to just send an email.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t know that I agree with this. If you regularly see them for lunch, sure. But I would be kind of annoyed if an in-house attorney set up a special lunch just to tell me something that could have been communicated in 10 seconds via email.

        • Anonymous :

          I meant outside counsel rather than in-house attorney of course…. haven’t had coffee yet.

      • lost academic :

        I think an email is reasonable because it sets the dates and that’s important to have on record someplace for them to check later.

      • lawsuited :

        I’ve already told clients who I’ve spoken to or seen recently, but want to send an email so they have a record of the dates and contact information. For those clients I’ve not seen or spoken to yet, I won’t have time to arrange a telephone call or lunch before I leave, so email is still best.

    • Anonymous :

      leave out “short”

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t say the thing about serving. Maybe “I look forward to working with you again upon my return”?

      Also, unless your mat leave is really short (maybe <6-8 weeks?) I wouldn't say "short" maternity leave. There's no shame in taking a standard 12 weeks or more so if you're doing that, I'd just say "I will be on maternity leave from [date] to [date]."

      • +1. These were going to be my suggestions as well. Say “working with you again” instead of serving and leave out “short.”

      • +1 to both of these. I think this sounds like a good idea and I probably would have done it had my clients not already been aware.

      • lawsuited :

        I’m Canadian, so 1 year is standard and 12 weeks is short.

    • It does seem a little cold – I’d add a sentence about the fact you’re expecting and say nothing about “short” (the dates are the dates) and say “working with” instead of “serving.”

      [As you know,] or [I don’t think I’ve mentioned to you, but in personal news,] I’m expecting a baby on Date, and therefore I plan to be on maternity leave from [date] to [date]. While I’m away, X, of our office, and of course my assistant, X, will be your contact should anything unexpected arise on any of your matters I am currently handling. I look forward to working with you again upon my return.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I think it is perfectly functional but the word “serving” just feels off to me. I would leave out the last sentence and maybe just end with All the best, lawsuited.

    • You could add something like, “I’m happy to announce that I will be on maternity leave . . .” to soften it and make it a little more positive. If many of your clients know, you could say “I’m happy to notify you that I will be on maternity leave . . .” instead of “announcing” it.

      I would remove the word “short” and let the clients make their own assessments about the length (unless it is less than 6 weeks).

      I would also say “working with” or “counselling” instead of serving.

      • I wouldn’t say “happy.” Even if the client is happy for you as a person, announcing that you’re happy to be on leave seems tone deaf to me when you’re talking to the people who may experience some inconvenience as a result (even if that inconvenience is unavoidable, a part of life, and something you shouldn’t feel bad about). You wouldn’t say that you’re happy to tell clients you’re going on vacation, would you?

        • I think maternity leave is different from going on vacation, and it’s okay to be positive about it. It makes the email less cold / formal, which is what she was asking about. People will understand that she’s not happy about any inconvenience.

      • Frozen Peach :


    • If you’re writing to someone who knows you’re pregnant, you could begin by saying, “As you know, I’m expecting a baby in May 2017. I will be on maternity leave from [date] to [date]…” and then continue with what you had drafted.

      I agree w/everyone else to delete the word “short” and replace “serving” with “working with” or “advising”.

    • The wording seems a little stilted.

      I’d leave out “short” because it sounds like you’re justifying the length of your maternity leave and makes you sound self-conscious about it.

      Otherwise, I’d revise it to something like, “If you need anything before I return, please contact X at (Phone #) or my assistant. I look forward to working with you when I return.”

    • Timely for me as I was thinking today about whether this is ok for me to do with the extensive network of internal people who I work on projects with. I will set up meetings with those I need to discuss coverage / transition with but I think it is fine to tell them in advance and then schedule time. I am 4.5 months out from mat leave.

    • Do you have to say that you are out for maternity leave? I would just say leave.

      • If someone had told me they were expecting or I had seen them visibly pregnant, I’d find it a little odd if they didn’t say “maternity leave” (and it would cross my mind that something had happened to the baby and they were taking some kind of bereavement or medical leave to recover from the loss of the baby). If your clients have no idea you’re pregnant, then I think you can just say “leave” if you really want to. I’d probably still say maternity leave though, because everyone understands that’s a thing and if you just say “leave” people may assume you’re on an extended vacation.

  7. Jardigan substitutes? :

    Hey, I’m looking for a MM La Fleur Jardigan substitute. I tried on the St. Ambrose jardigan in NY and it just didn’t fit quite right. It was a little long to wear with a sheath dress and a little boxy on me. Does anyone know of a good substitute? I don’t have a price point – I can’t find a knock off version or a similar high end version.

    Alternatively, has anyone found a cardigan that reads as a jacket? I have an old banana republic cardigan in black that has gold buttons and white hems along the bottom, sleeves and buttons. It reads as a fancy cardigan / almost jacket.

    I work in a business formal environment but women smudge the line between formal and business casual, especially as they get more senior. I’m trying to expand my all-suits wardrobe into that area.

    • +1

    • Anonymous :

      I think that the Jardigan is very short already (wearing one now). I’m 5-4 and anything shorter is probably in a petites section somewhere. But I think that will be hard to find.

      Sweater that reads as jacket if you’re spendy is something from St. John. Sometimes you can find at consignment stores. Otherwise, things can read to casual for your work environment. St. John always seems to run longish and I don’t believe that they have petites.

      Not Brooks Brothers — their stuff is too long in the torso for me.

      • Thanks. I’m 5-5 so I think “short” might not be the right descriptor, but I didn’t like where it cut me off. Maybe the front ends were a little weird or something?

        St. Johns is a good call. A little spendy so I will keep my eye out for consignment stores. Recs for those in NYC or London appreciated :)

        • I would try the St. John outlet at the Woodbury Common outlet mall. That outlet mall is worth the trip; there used to be a dauily bus up there from the Port Authority if you do not drive or have a car.

    • Fwiw, I felt that the jardigan was boxy when I tried it on, but it fits great now that I removed the shoulder pads. Have you tried that? It just hangs differently. Otherwise, I don’t have any suggestions.

    • St. John?

    • I’m now a big fan of merino wool sweater jackets. I have a couple from Rag & Bone that are super comfy but are lined and have a nice amount of structure so look nice and tailored. They’re quickly becoming my default option because they’re so versatile.

    • Have you tried sizing down and removing the shoulder pads?

  8. Nicholas Kirkwood Shoes? :

    Saw a woman with a pair of the black Beya pumps on at court yesterday and had to stop to ask her what they were (besides gorgeous). I looked them up and . . . spendy! $595 is way outside my usual shoe budget.

    Does anyone have any experience with this brand one way or the other? If I can find a pair of these in the low $300 range (which seems to be the sale price when it happens), is it worth it? I would wear them to court and for work in my business casual office.

  9. How do you end a life long friendship? I have tried not contacting her, but she contacts me. I don’t want to tell her not to contact me. I’ve told her that I don’t have time, that I can’t help her as much as she needs etc.

    We also have soo many friends in common. They tell me news about her and her about me. Then she conntacts me to berate me about not telling her enough about my life.

    I sound selfish, I know. But 30 years of acting as her therapist is enough. I have also started to resent her for stuff she did over the past decades, and now I resent the entitlement she feels to my time. I finally have a child and I’m busy with my own petty problems. I don’t want to help her with her election campaign, I don’t want to discuss her boarderline personality related emotional problems, but I wish her health and happiness.

    What is the kindest way to say go away?

    • Anonymous :

      If she has BPD, that may be the one time it’s OK to ghost on her. Engagement will just be futile. If someone ever berated me, I wouldn’t waste a minute of my life trying to explain my feelings and what the consequences of that will be re future contact. Just go on your way.

      • Do you mean block her number?

        I’m afraid what that will do to my other friendships in that group. They are my main group of friends. I know it seems silly to worry about creating drama at this age

        I also know BPD is awful for the sufferer. She is scared of being abandoned, depressed, perceives people as either against her or with her, conflict follows her… I don’t want to make it worse. If I could downgrade her to an aqcaintance?

        • You can try setting boundaries, but in my experience with a family member with BPD, the person blew right through those boundaries. We went no-contact. Spend some time on the Captain Awkard website and search for “Alice.”

          • I’m also scared of the backlash if I go no-contact. The shit talk, all the personal stuff she will spread about me. Probably heavily embellished stuff, but believable.

          • Alice sounded similar. But my BPD friend is smart, she always talks at me, gives reasons that sound sensible. The best reply/lie I can muster is “I’ve got to go”

            I’m thinking I could try something one of our mutual friends does. Shas set a limit of seing her for one hour every three months and answers her calls very briefly to schedule the meets.

            But she is a newer friend in our group and isn’t subjected to BPD friend’s outbursts and guilting. So I think they both enjoy the friendship. BPD friend idolizes her because this friend is a surgeon. BPD friend herself is a member of parliament and she seems to look down at my uni career.

            Now that I’m writing this out I see this friendship is confusing. I don’t know.

          • You cannot control how she responds or what she says to other people. The only person you can control is yourself. I hear that you are afraid of what she will say to others, but that is not something you can control either by being her “friend” or from ghosting her. Similarly, you cannot control how your other friends will react to what she says. You can control what you say to your friends. Find a script that works for you, and remove this person from your life.

            Others have been through this. My husband and I have had to do this with his parents. My MiL has BPD and my father-in law is toxic in his own way. After attempting to set limits and having them trampled, we decided to cut off contact. We could not control what they said to other family members, but we decided that for our own health, we could not maintain a relationship with them any longer. It was tough. We are better for having done this. You will be too.

      • I think this advice is right. Any attempt to explain or say that you’re not engaging will be met with exponential responses. I would simply fade away from responding to her, and if you are tempted to respond or pick up her call, have her emails filtered and block her number. I would also come up with a script to respond to mutual friends. Captain Awkward has great advice on developing these types of scripts. And, although you didn’t ask, I will add that it is ok to leave a relationship that is toxic to you and reclaim your own time.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        Ghosting a 30 year friendship? Horrible advice. Have a conversation with her that you’re done being her therapist and while you appreciate her struggles, it’s time for you to focus on yourself. Wish her well and be done. If she contacts you again, do not pick up/do not respond.

    • She calls to berate you? Hang up. Don’t answer.

      • A friend had a baby last week and posted a picture of the baby on fb. BPD friend called me andwas angry that I hadn’t informed her that friend was pregnant. She asked me what else I’m keeping a secret from her.

        She also took the time to tell me she can’t imagine me as a mother that I’m not the nurturing type. I have a 2 year old.

        She seems to dislike me but still contacts me. I’m happy we live in different cities.

        • dont pick up the phone when she calls or say “i dont have time for/am not interested in discussing this” if she veers into such subjects. hang up as needed.

        • WTF? You don’t have to put up with that crap. Just don’t answer the phone.

          • I’m scared of the backlash. And I know she’s very unhappy.

          • lawsuited :

            Don’t worry about backlash from your other friends. If your other friends know you and know this BPD friend, they will know why you are cutting her off and not fault you for it. Or if they don’t already know, they will listen when you explain.

            Don’t worry about backlash from your BPD friend. You’re not talking to her, remember?

        • Why didn’t you hang up? “I’m not going to listen to you berate me. Good bye.” Do that a few times, then stop taking her calls altogether.

        • Oh dear, she is not really a friend to you is she? Sounds like you have been a friend to her, but it is not reciprocated. I think this changed the situation, in that you do not have the normal and usual obligations of a friend who is ending or slowing down a friendship. Under the circumstances, do what works best for you. There is a lot of good advice in the responses, and if one of them sounds like something that will work for you, do it and move on.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This. Don’t pick up her calls, ever.

    • Option #1)
      block her phone calls, texts, don’t respond to her emails, just don’t engage. Benefit of this approach- you don’t really have to do anything, if other friends ask you can just say you are really busy. Downside: she might never get the message.

      Option #2)
      Write her a note that says “Thank you for the many years of friendship. I don’t want to hurt you, but I think I have changed as a person overtime and no longer can be a close friend to you. I wish you all the health and happiness. ” Benefit – you communicate the fact you wish her well and you have a very firm cut off. Downside: she might share it with your other friends and that might create issues? But if your other friends get the situation you might be totally fine.

      Option #3) Have a difficult break up convo in person at coffee somewhere public. Benefit: its final. She will get the message and there won’t be something for her to share and pass around the friend group like the above note. Downside: Doing things in person is tough and she might respond angrily.

      • Option 2- don’t say you don’t want to hurt her whilst literally doing something hurtful.

      • It’s only over when the BPD decides it is over or moves on to another target. You don’t get to call how it goes, so I would do a slow fade and back away slowly while not making eye contact or any sudden movements.

      • I’d look at a version of option 2, but I’d be more honest and tell her directly what bothers you. 30 years of friendship is a long time and surely something has kept it going this long. I’d give her the opportunity to fully understand where you’re coming from, to change her ways (in a realistic fashion – she’ll still be who she is, but maybe she can knock off the hurtful stuff), and if she doesn’t, then I’d consider moving to the more dramatic options. I’m not in favor of keeping toxic people around, but that also gets balanced with people aren’t always perfect. Also, when someone has a major life change (like having a kid), for worse, some friends react less than perfectly but 30 years maybe buys them some grace?

        • She’s not going to change. I’ve had several discussions with her at difficult times in my life (family members deaths, big life changes, scary health issue) when I truly didn’t have any time or energy left for her. She does feel empathy, has tears in her eyes, but then turns to her issues again.

          When I told her about my scary health issue, cervical cancer, she smiled. I’m still angry about that. She then told all our friends. It supposedly proves my husband cheated.

          That was only five years ago. No change will happen.

          • What the hell? Ghost this woman. HARD. She is not a friend. No more phone calls, period. Seriously, if you were a mutual friend and told me that as one reason why you no longer speak with her I would 100% get it.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            She smiled? Block. Her. It proves your husband cheated? Ohmygod. I am so sorry. I hope you’re doing okay now. I agree with Anne-on. And quite frankly, if I knew someone who treated my friend like she treats you, I’d be reconsidering whether she’s my friend.

          • Nudibranch :

            You don’t need to worry about the other friends in your group understanding why you cut contact. Just tell them this anecdote.

            Seriously? Dump her.

          • Okay your “friend” is awful. Agree with the just ghost/dump whatever.

    • I’m really late with this so hope you’re still reading. My mother broke off a long friendship with a woman with BPD. When the BPD friend called to berate her for the latest thing, my mother calmly said (she had a script by the phone), “It seems that you are very unhappy with our friendship, and I don’t think it’s working for either of us. I think it’s clear that we should find friendships elsewhere now. I wish you the best. Goodbye.” And hung up and went no contact. The BPD friend then reframed this as her ending the friendship, instead of my mother ending it, and my mother has had peace ever since. You don’t deserve to be treated this way.

  10. Anonymous :

    “I will be on maternity leave from [date] to [date]. While I’m away, please contact my colleague X, or my assistant, X, in respect of your matters. I look forward to working with you again upon my return.”

    Or literally exactly whatever you use when you go on vacation, just replace ‘vacation’ with ‘maternity leave’.

  11. Annoyed Anon :

    Just realized theres another PhD question on here this morning but here goes. I’ll be getting my MS in the fall and I’m super excited. I mentioned to my mother that the next step will be deciding if I’ll be doing PhD or not but I have way over a year to decide that. She goes on to say ‘who knows, maybe you’ll be in a relationship by then, PhDs are time consuming, and you may want to focus on getting married’ and that I may want to ‘devote my time to that person instead’. Shes in her late 50s and single/has made horrible dating decisions my whole life so I dont ever really talk about my dating life with her/take her advice but it made my blood boil! Then I started to think, is this a legitimate concern?

    I understand that sometimes its not worth it depending on your field, its not something to take lightly, etc (and those are things I’m thinking about) but never considered it as being so time consuming I wouldnt be able to find someone/it would be a turn off… If anything I would find it as a good way to weed out guys who arent on board with who I am/my values. I’m not Not going to pursue it because of this but im curious, is this an actual thing or is she projecting her own issues?

    • I met my husband in my MA year and got married the second year of my PhD and am having a baby right after I submit my dissertation. He’s a non-academic which helps – the two body problem is a real thing.

      • The two-body problem is very much a thing even for couples where one spouse has a non-academic career.
        Signed, gave up my legal career to follow my spouse to a tiny college town with no legal industry and no big city within reasonable commuting distance.

        • Yup. It’s a problem with the entire academic field for anyone who wants to be partnered with someone who also wants to work. And the academy doesn’t care and then wonders why it isn’t diverse.

          I honestly find it baffling anyone wants that life.

          • Anon at 10:06 :

            With respect to your last sentence, it’s a good gig for the academic spouse (once you get the tenure-track job, and especially once you get tenure) so I can understand why they want it, and in my case there were other things that made the move desirable (closer to family, much better public schools than where were living at the time) so my sacrifices weren’t 100% so my spouse could pursue his academic career. But yes, it’s incredibly hard on the trailing spouse. The people I know in academic administration definitely all care about the problem, and my spouse’s university and many other major research universities have several full-time employees dedicated to helping trailing spouses find jobs. His department head and dean also both personally tried to help me out. But all of those people are limited in what they can do for a lot of people in a town that lacks a lot of industries that are common in major cities.

          • It’s definitely a problem, but it also depends on what the spouse’s career is. I work in higher education and my SO has a portable career in healthcare–he’s the trailing partner in our relationship, for sure, since he can work just about anywhere with any kind of health system at all. Which makes us very fortunate, but it’s not like we’re outliers, either.

        • Yeah, a pretty sizable percentage of American research universities are in locations that don’t have much industry that’s independent from the university. If you’re going to one of those places, it’s almost harder to be a non-academic trailing spouse because you have no hope of doing anything with the university and the town has no real job market separate from the university. At least an academic trailing spouse can get a teaching position, even if it’s not their dream tenure-track research job.

      • The two body problem is definitely a real issue for any couple where both spouses work.

        My husband is a hard-sciences academic; i’m an attorney. He is currently a post-doc and debating academia vs industry. I am fortunate that my company let me transition to working remotely from home last year, which removes a huge worry for us. Now I’m just hoping to stay in the same time zone!!

    • My three closest friends married guys they met in their PhD programs and I met and married my husband while he was doing a PhD. Choosing between getting a PhD and getting married is not a thing, and your mother is insane. Ignore her.

    • Yes and no? If you’re committing to 6 years of being a student, then moving to do a post doc, then moving again several times to get a tenured position, then sure, that makes it hard to be in a relationship. Of course many people meet other people in grad school too

      In general, I think it’s something to consider but way down on the list

    • She is projecting her own issues. Of course PhDs are time-consuming. So is work. If you are not getting your PhD, you’ll be working (maybe even if you are getting your PhD!). One way or another, you are going to be doing something other than sitting around nurturing your as-of-right-now nonexistent relationship. So I’m not sure what she’s proposing as an alternative.

      What’s more, if you’re in a relationship when you start your program, you do not need to “focus on getting married.” Getting married is not a job. In fact, you can get married in literally like 30 minutes at a courthouse if that’s what you and the partner you don’t even have yet decide you want to do. Relationships can be challenging during PhD work (although I’d argue that the earlier, pre-tenure teaching years are harder), but relationships can be challenging due to a job as well. It’s not like you’re making some choice that is going to have an unusual adverse impact on your ability to find a relationship that leads to marriage – if that’s even what you want at that point.

    • A lot of my friends from my PhD program met and married people during grad school. Some (women) even had kids in grad school. I went to Harvard, so it’s not like it wasn’t demanding. I also got married in grad school, although it was to someone I met before. Agree with anon at 10:05 that this isn’t a thing. Grad school was perhaps one of the most flexible times in my life wrt scheduling. But I’m not a science PhD and didn’t work in a lab, so YMMV.

    • Shopaholic :

      NO. this is not a legitimate concern.

      If you want to get married, you can get married. If you want to focus on your career, you can do that. Or maybe, you can find a way to balance both.

      This really is your mom’s own issue – I’m a lawyer and sometimes it makes dating a hassle, but I’d rather not be with a guy who is not on board with who I am so it’s a good way to weed out the losers.

      • +1 This is not a legitimate concern.

        Life is unpredictable and you can’t say that if don’t get a PhD you will definitely meet someone who makes you deliriously happy 24/7/365, whereas getting one forecloses that possibility. There are too many variables.

        FWIW, my mother told me if I didn’t meet someone in college I would never meet anyone and would be alone for the rest of my life. She was wrong. She was wrong for all three of my siblings too.

    • The genuine issue for you now is whether you want the Ph.D. life for yourself, with or without a partner. Even if you don’t pursue the academic route, in some fields career opportunities may be limited and come with serious lifestyle consequences. I am J.D. in a non-academic Ph.D. job in a very small field. To remain in this line of work, I’ve had to accept that there are very few places in which I can find a job and that I will be traveling a lot.

      Don’t burden an already difficult decision by adding in a partner who may or may not materialize. I know plenty of Ph.Ds who are married, usually to other Ph.Ds.

    • I am raging on your behalf. Please don’t let this conversation dull your excitement and feelings of achievement about your career.

    • Sounds like nonsense to me. This is a small sample, but my SIL met her husband while they were in the same PhD program.

    • Not an issue. Met DH (non scientist, non PhD)in last year of rigorous PhD. I did have to make it clear that I had some long hours sometimes and some weekend work but he was interested enough in our relationship not to let that bother him! Lots of my PhD friends met and married other PhDs. And this was decades ago:)

    • Anonymous :

      I will be the voice of dissent here in that I have seen people go through rigorous PhD programs where they ended up being isolated. They weren’t meeting people because (a) they were always working/studying/teaching/grading/etc (b) the people in their small fields were not the most social or socially-adept. and (c) they themselves weren’t particularly socially-adept. I would make sure, from day one, to get out and meet people if you feel that you need a wider circle. Don’t rely on your department and don’t get totally consumed with your professional life.

      TLDR….I think phd world can be a bit of a bubble.

  12. Never too many shoes... :

    This is not a thing. This is your mother projecting her nonsense onto you.

  13. Reponse help :

    Our local chapter of the Chamber of Commerce forwards monthly email blasts from business members (like event notices, specials, etc.) to all the other members. I just found one that was forwarded from a church advertising an event they’re holding about “same sex attraction” with a film screening of a documentary. I went to their website and it’s definitely an anti-gay thing. This is so gross/abhorrent to me. I feel like replying to the Chamber, but I’m not sure what to say?? They’re not sponsoring it, but they are promoting it on behalf of their member. Anyone have any thoughts on how to respond? I’m just having trouble putting it into reasonable words.

    • “I was disturbed by the Chamber forwarding an anti-gay propaganda event. I don’t think it benefits our business community to be insulting and demeaning potential clients and customers. In the future, I’d like us not to forward discriminatory hateful events to the group.”

  14. TorontoNewbie :

    I keep waking up with my face feeling incredibly dry. My regular moisturizer is apparently not up for the task of winter. Does anyone have any recommendations for a night cream that won’t cause breakouts on combination skin?

    • TorontoNewbie :

      (not too fussy as to price as long as it’s good! I don’t even know what’s reasonable to spend.)

      • What are you currently using? To get an idea of ingredients/what one step up would be :)

        • TorontoNewbie :

          I have some sort of moisturizing lotion for sensitive skin that I bought at the drug store. I think it’s Neutrogena?

          • Ok perfect, so I second the recommendation of the humidifier in your room and First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream below if you want to keep things simple.

            You would probably benefit more from a hydrating serum and a moisturizer if you could do that, though. Think of the serum as the hydrating, the moisturizer as holding it all in. You could add the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, and then their Ultra Repair Cream.

            And then if you want my full recommendation, I would add in chemical exfoliation. Your skin can be so dry/dull that it literally won’t take in any moisture. Add in an exfoliant (like First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Pads to keep things simple), and then all your hydration will be able to penetrate better.

            This reads like an ad for FAB, but you could replicate any of these steps with most brands like Paula’s Choice or Pixi (available at Target).

          • TorontoNewbie :

            Thank you Anon! I realize I’m almost 30 and probably should be paying better attention to my skin but don’t even know where to start other than trying to remember sunscreen.

          • It can be intimidating! Try adding one thing at a time til it becomes routine. This also helps you see if that product actually does anything for you. Good luck!

    • Have you tried a humidifier?

    • I use First Aid Beauty’s ultra repair cream at night in the winter.

      • +1 I’ve been using this all winter and it’s great.

        • +1 I started using it last winter and actually used it through the summer too- it’s great after getting sun and still light enough to be a night moisturizer for me the rest of the year (sensitive but otherwise normal/clear skin)

      • +1 – this is my go-to for when my skin feels extra dry, regardless of the season.

    • Belif moisture bomb.

    • This happens to me all the time. Probably not the best idea, but I put a light layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor on the areas that are really dry. It helps the dryness within one day or so.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have combination skin (although not prone to breakouts) and I use L’ancome Hydra Zen Masque in the winter at night. Every third night I replace with a Retinol from Body Plitz (although there are a million others but I am also in Toronto and love the company).

    • Clinique moisture surge. Very rich and creamy.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Thank you all! Really appreciate it.

      • Back when my snout could tolerate it, I really liked the Alba Botanicals cream, I think it’s jasmine scented? Alas, no scents for me.

    • Laneige multiberry yogurt pack, believe its in Target now, but also on amazon. Would also start using an ampule more often for light hydration. Mizon has great ones (amazon), I like the snail one, and the CosRX all in one snail cream is a miracle worker for me with acne prone skin. Sheet masks can also be a great weekly treatment for this – moisture rich, but not as rich as a cream.

  15. Silly question, but any idea what to wear to a gathering for local students admitted to your alma mater? I only have one piece of school-branded clothing and it’s a slouchy sweatshirt so I’m debating that vs. nicer clothing that doesn’t have the school logo on it. I don’t think I can put together an outfit with school colors.

    • Are you watching a sporting event?

      Are you a recent grad or a distant grad?

      Only in the first scenario would I wear athletic attire / school colors. Otherwise, wear usual coming-from-work clothing. Look like a friendly and competent grownup and not some weird failure-to-launch pity case, which may scare them off.

    • I would wear whatever you normally wear to any networking event at this time of day and at this venue. Don’t overthink it. If you have an accessory in a school color, cool, but if not, that’s fine too.

    • Your normal clothes. It’s not sorority rush.

      • Oh this sweatshirt is much too schlubby for sorority rush ;) And my normal weekend wear is yoga pants and a sweatshirt. But point taken, I’ll wear my nicer weekend clothes.

    • all about eevee :

      Hi, I have hosted many events of this type as a staff member. Alumni in your age range tend to wear a top in ONE of the schools colors or a nice black shirt, dark denim, and nice shoes. Not many accessories. Hair down.

    • anon in college admission :

      I work in college admission. I would expect something along the lines of snappy casual-nice jeans with a blazer, etc. Just look put-together and appropriate for the venue.

    • Did your college give you a pin when you graduated? (Or is that a women’s college-only thing?) That’s probably the professional version of college flair.

      Now I’m wondering which jewelry box my pin is in…

  16. I’ve got a question for the hive.

    I work for a university in the IT department. There are 3 of us on my team. We just got a new manager on Monday. The director of the entire department rolled out a plan at the beginning of the year stating that he wants all teams to contain an Architect, a Team Lead and a Service Delivery Manager.

    My role is the Business Intelligence Analyst on the Business Intelligence and Data Warehouse Team. I do reporting and data analytics. The new boss just sent an email stating that he thinks we could “use a project management function within our group” and asking whether I would “be open to leading that kind of function in addition to [my] data and analytics project work?”

    First, I want to know what this entails because some of our previous managers have been responsible for project management work. I definitely don’t want to be pushed into an administrative role. I’m 46 and I have an MBA. In addition, if project management work is associated with either the Team Lead or the Service Delivery Manager roles, I’d like to know.

    I’d appreciate any advice you might have on how I should approach this subject when I meet with him next week…

    • You’re best served by being straightforward and asking. What you’ve posted here I think is perfectly fine to say to the new manager.

    • I work with university IT offices frequently and it’s very common for reporting & analytics people to get pulled into project management when doing an implementation. If a system implementation & deployment is on the roadmap for your school, this could be a great chance for you to be a leader in business process reorganization, and to be recognized as an area expert and an advocate for positive change at the universiy.

      • We’ll see. There are no school-wide system implementations on the horizon. We went through one about 4 years ago.

        I think this might be a way for him to get out of doing something he doesn’t want to do. It’s in his job description, not mine.

  17. St Patrick's day help :

    Today I am going to see an elderly man on hospice, actively dying but still aware and family can’t come until tomorrow. He is Irish. Today is St Patrik’s Day. What is a small gift token can I bring him with the holiday in mind?

    • Green flowers.

    • Bewley’s tea if you can find it. The classic Irish tea.

    • Maybe find some traditional Irish music on Pandora? Music is a great gift.

    • Go to whole foods- they should have irish soda bread or something like that. if they don’t look at their florist section- there will be green carnations or a small balloon or a clover plant.

    • Irish soda bread or Guinness, if he is able to eat or drink? Otherwise a lot of grocery stores sell pots of shamrocks/clover which could be nice.

    • Maybe this cartoon?

    • O’Neill’s or Kerrygold shortbread cookies, Bailey’s Irish Cream, Guinness, Tayto’s chips, homemade soda bread or shortbread or Guinness bread or Guinness cake, Cadbury bars.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Bailey’s. You could get little hotel-sized ones and maybe some hot cocoa/coffee if you are somewhere cold.

    • St Patrick's day help :

      Wonderful ideas!!!

      Is there a classic Irish story I could read to him?

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        The Irish blessing is a classic in my family. You can buy it on a little porcelain thing to hang up or get it framed.

        May the road rise up to meet you.
        May the wind be always at your back.
        May the sun shine warm upon your face;
        the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
        may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I don’t suppose you know where he is from? There are legends and folktales that are very region specific. If he is still in any sort of humour, I would see if there are any episodes of Father Ted on you tube.

  18. (x-posted on moms’ site)

    Hi ladies,

    I posted a few weeks ago about dealing with low supply for breastfeeding and having to supplement my first baby. Baby is now 5 weeks, and I was hoping my supply would have increased by now, but that doesn’t seem to have been the case (despite working with lactation consultant throughout and doing all kinds of things). Have been doing triple feeding (i.e., nursing, supplementing, pumping) every 3 hours or so around the clock and am exhausted! We’re also dealing with bottle flow preference/nipple confusion to boot, so nursing at the breast isn’t working most of the time. I’m thinking of just going to pumping exclusively whatever I can and giving her the expressed breastmilk via bottle all the time, rather than trying to nurse, since it’s such a struggle to get her to nurse most of the time (we’re talking wailing, crying, screaming bloody murder, etc.). But worried that my already super low supply is going to tank even more if I cut out nursing. Wondering if any of you have thoughts to share? It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for sure. I know she will be fine if we stop BFing but I also really want to make it work somehow! TIA mamas.

    • Stop nursing. Pump. If your supply gets too low use formula. You tried. It didn’t work.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Not a clue and nothing to add, but hugs from an Internet stranger. That sounds stressful.

    • What are you taking to up your supply?

      Have you met with a lactation consultant?

    • Delta Dawn :

      I had this exact scenario and gave up trying to get baby to nurse around 5 or 6 weeks. I pumped exclusively and gave him bottles. There wasn’t enough b-milk, so when he had taken all of that, we supplemented with formula. As he grew and started drinking more, my supply did not keep up with him (despite pumping at every feeding time), so he began drinking more and more formula. Over time, he was getting only 8 oz or so of b-milk per day, and the rest was formula. At six months, I decided this was no longer worth suffering through, and I quit pumping (I was pumping five times a day just to get 8 oz). Best decision ever, my quality of life dramatically improved, and I honestly wish I had quit sooner. With a second baby, I will try again to BF, but if it goes as poorly as the first time did, I will quit much sooner. Good luck to you either way!

      • You are awesome for making it six months. I had the same issue, only continued for just past a month with my first and two weeks when the same problems arose with my second child. Once I cleared the (difficult) emotional hurdle that breastfeeding wasn’t going to work for us, I was so much happier.

    • Hugs. Baby will be fine whatever you chose. Whether you continue on this path, exclusive pump, or use formula, you are a great mom and the perfect mom for your baby.

      That said, I will share what worked for me and why chose to continue. I had a great experience nursing my oldest. She never had a bottle until she was 4 months old because I loved nursing. That came crashing down in my second pregnancy. I had twins and wasn’t able to make enough milk for both. I nursed/pumped/supplemented for 12 months and continued nursing to 16 months when they decided they were done. I continued in large part because I really loved nursing and I wanted that unique relationship with them.

      What worked for me: 1. Hospital grade pump – Medela Symphony – I could hardly pump any milk with anything else. 2. drugs and food – I took fenugreek, domperidone and ate oatmeal every morning. I dropped domperidone after a while because I didn’t feel it was helping. Oatmeal made a huge difference for me, and I knew that from the experience with my oldest. 3. Treasuring the nursing moments – I often nursed in the nursery in the rocker because that’s where I felt most cozy and comfortable – pumped in the same place. sometimes paced the floor while nursing as baby liked the movement 4. babywearing – keeping baby close to you can help supply in some women and the cuddles are wonderful 5. multitasking – prop up the bottle for baby to drink while you pump – playtex drop ins with a slow flow nipple worked best for us. 6. you don’t need to wash bottles/pump parts constantly – they are okay in the fridge for 24 hours. Then you can toss them in the dishwasher on sanitize. Make your DH responsible for the washing.

      It was worth it for me because I loved nursing, it may not be worth it for you and that’s okay. There’s no better or worse/right or wrong here. You do you and you will be a great mom.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I say this kindly, recognizing that I have never had children and have no real advice to give on this. But, you made it a point to say you loved nursing many many times in your post. OP wants desperately to nurse but can’t because her baby isn’t doing it for some reason. I’m guessing it breaks her heart to read how much other people love nursing because she would love it too if her baby could do it. The rest of your advice is great. From an outsider, if you give advice in a future situation, you might want to stick with what worked and leave out the references to how much you loved nursing. It also has an implication that there is something wrong with people that don’t love nursing.

    • I would investigate why baby is screaming when she tries to nurse. What’s going on there? She can’t bring up your supply if she isn’t nursing well. If she’s already too worked up before starting nursing, she’ll be too angry to nurse efficiently especially if your letdown is slow OR too fast.

      I believe reflux can also cause an angry baby.

      Remember it’s normal for babies to be fussy during growth spurts – she’ll need to nurse even more then.

      • +1 try feeding up right when baby is in a carrier or using positions like football hold or walking around while nursing. Watch for early hunger cues like putting her hands in her mouth or turning her head side to side. Babies will often cluster feed in the evening. So if she’s nursing every 45 mins between 6pm and 10pm – that’s normal.

    • It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. I always found that my little one nursed best when she was sleepy. Perhaps drop the nursing sessions that stress you out and just try to put the baby to the br east at times when you’re both calm and relaxed. As the baby gets bigger you may just find that things miraculously improve one day. You’re doing great.

      • lawsuited :

        Yes! Times when your baby is nursing primarily for comfort (e.g. when they’re sleepy) will still help your supply!

    • This article is great:

      • That article is not helpful for someone trying to provide the best food to her baby.

        • Did you even read the article? Have you ever nursed a baby?

          The best food for a baby is food that does not drive its mother off the deep end.

          • Anon 11:35 :

            Women’s mental health is extremely important and that may involve a completely understandable decision not to nurse/pump. But misrepresenting the science on BF doesn’t benefit the discussion in anyway.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          12:15 Anonymous, your use of the word “best” is completely showing your agenda. Breastfeeding is great but there is no need to martyr yourself when there are alternatives that do not require what for some is a mentally stressful and physically exhausting 24/7 effort just to provide some breastmilk. Honestly, sometime I think “breast is best” was just invented by the patriarchy to make women judge each other.

          OP, you are doing an awesome job and I cannot even imagine the stress, but *quality* of the experience matters for both you and the baby. You have given 110% effort for five long weeks – maybe it is time to just allow yourself to relax a bit and stop spending 24 hours a day worrying and pumping and nursing and just try the bottle. Your baby will be awesome whatever you do since she will be loved and cared for and nourished.

          • Anonymous :

            OP asked for advice on nursing and bringing up her supply, not an article with debunked science about how breastfeeding is anti-feminist or whatever.

      • Anon 11:35 :

        For balance, the American Academy of Pediatrics response was (in part): “In the article, “The Case Against Breast-Feeding” by Hanna Rosin, the author skims the literature and has omitted many recent statements including the 2005 statement of the American Academy of Pediatrics which supports the value of breastfeeding for most infants. This policy references every statement with
        scientific evidence from over 200 articles which meet scientific standards for accuracy and rigor. The statement was meticulously reviewed by […]. The evidence for the value of breastfeeding is scientific, it is strong, and it is continually being reaffirmed by new research work. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages women to make an informed decision about feeding their infants based on scientifically established information from credible resources.”

        It does not help when articles misrepresent the science on BF. There are so many factors involved in parenting, BF is only one, and OP will be a great mom whatever path she takes.

        • +1 million. Totally agree. Every mom has to make the choice that’s best for her, and a woman’s mental health and need for sleep are totally understandable factors in that decision. But let’s please not lie and say breastfeeding doesn’t have health benefits. It does. So do many other things that lots of reasonable individuals choose not to do or can’t do for whatever reason.

    • You are a good enough mom if you don’t breastfeed. I PROMISE. I could not breastfeed and I have a happy, healthy, well-adjusted, athletic senior ready to go to college on a partial scholarship. IT IS OKAY NOT TO BREASTFEED.

      • She knows that, she was asking for tips on how to make it work.

        “I know she will be fine if we stop BFing but I also really want to make it work somehow!”

        • OP, you say you’ve been working with a lactation consultant and that you’ve been doing all kinds of things to increase your supply. I think you’re not getting a lot of helpful advice on how to make it work because it sounds like you’re already doing everything that’s typically recommended. This community is a great resource, but it’s unlikely that someone here is going to have an answer that your lactation consultant and I’m sure all the other resources you’ve looked at haven’t suggested. Sometimes, the answer is, There is no good answer. Be kind to yourself. You’re an awesome mom. You can keep trying with the advice of the professionals, or you can decide you’ve given it your best effort and it’s time to accept that you’re able to provide a certain amount of breast milk. You’re awesome either way.

    • Thanks so much everyone for all the thoughts and support! It’s also helpful to hear about everyone’s individual experiences and anec-data.

      I really like the physical closeness of baby nursing at the breast and think I will miss that if I stop nursing. Re formula I realize, at least rationally (being formula-fed myself), that baby will be A-OK with formula (and I’m grateful that our LC flagged her lack of weight gain and suggested we supplement with bottle/formula pretty early on, so she’s gaining weight well now), but I’ve been surprised at how emotional I feel about stopping BFing! I think we can blame the hormones… it’s been hard to prioritize my own self-care!

      I’ve already been moving toward not militantly trying to force nursing at every session, so I think I’ll continue in this vein and just keep some nursing in each day, both for supply purposes and also since I enjoy it.

      • Your sweet baby can nurse even if you have no milk – some babies like to latch and suckle a dry breast. Feed your sweet baby however works best, and nurse away, however that works best. You are rocking this!

    • I’m not able to speak from personal experience, but in my own learning about breastfeeding I’ve heard that feeding expressed milk through a syringe rather than a bottle can help with nipple confusion. Maybe worth a try?

  19. Trial Hair :

    Super frivolous question, but how do you wear your hair during trial? I have a long trial coming up that I expect to last at least three weeks. I typically do not wear my hair the same exact way every day. I rotate between down and straight, down with slight loose curls, low ponytail, low bun, higher ponytail. For trial, I typically do what I consider my “best” hair, down and slight loose curls, but I have never been in trial this long before. My “best” hair takes 15-20 minutes in the morning (which is why I don’t wear it this way every day). I don’t know if I can spend that much time every morning during a three week trial.

    I also don’t know if it’s a good idea to rotate hairstyles because I worry that it attracts too much attention (“oh, look, her hair is different today”). I am considering wearing it down and straight every day. My hair does not look as nice this way, but it’s dependable, fairly predictable, and takes ten minutes or less.

    What would you do? Any other superficial tips for a long trial? I’ve planned a haircut, eyebrow wax, and no-polish manicure for the week before. (I promise all the substantive trial concerns are in place and I’m not just worried about hair– I just felt like you ladies might have some suggestions). Also, I’m in the South if that’s relevant. Thank you!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I do not think there is any issue with changing your hair during a long trial. Truly. I second chaired a hearing that lasted more than a month (over a longer period) and I changed my hair all the time. You will project more confidence and be a better advocate if you feel you look “right” (whatever that means on a given day) so wear your hair as you wish. If you are a hair player during down time, then perhaps consider wearing it up as that is a distractor that people will notice.

    • I tried a week long case by myself (not three weeks, but still), and after the first day I did not care what my hair was doing. I have long straight hair and I let it air dry, maybe blow dry if it’s freezing. I often put it half up in a clip with a side part, leave it all down, or put it in a low ponytail. I’m pretty sure by the end of the week I was cross-examining a witness with it in a messy low bun.

      The jury will be focusing on your case, and as long as you look like a normal smart person, your hair style does not matter.

    • Nobody is going to notice your hair. Just do whatever is most convenient.

      • Umm, this is absolutely not true. Having clerked and tried a number of cases (after which we polled jurors), and having served on jury duty, people talk about attorneys’ appearances ALL THE TIME. And in particular, they talk about the appearance of female attorneys. It’s not fair but it’s the unfortunate truth.

        Trial Hair – do what feels comfortable for you because confidence is key for trial. But definitely something that won’t be distracting and annoying for full days in court.

        • +1 People notice. Just don’t do a high ponytail and you’ll be fine with anything as long as it is neat.

          • If you look polished with a very neat high-ish (but not cheerleader-y) ponytail, that’s fine. That’s what I did every single day for my last jury trial, and jurors (who decided in my client’s favor) took me seriously/didn’t comment on my hair/did not mistrust me. A low pony is not necessary if it bothers you. Do you.

        • Polling jurors :

          I just finished a trial and we are allowed to contact jurors after 30+ days. We prevailed but got a much lower verdict than we expected. I’m interested in polling the jurors but I hear a lot of conflicting ideas. Some say call them, some say send a questionnaire. How did you go about doing it?

      • Let me rephrase. They will notice but they will not care.

    • Alternate between low pony and low bun.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I was going to say, I think down is pretty but not trial-appropriate. Then again, I’m in NYC.

  20. Going to the Grand Canyon South Rim for six days in April. Flying in an out of Phoenix. What side trips would be good?

    • Sedona! If you can swing it, a Pink Jeep tour is a great way to see the area. The cliff dwellings in that area are also a great sidetrip, and — as we learned the hard way in our rental car — some are only accessible via a Jeep or other off road vehicle. The hiking in that area is amazing. On your way into town from the south, there is a hiking store that sells a day-hiking guide that is worth the insight.

    • Delta Dawn :

      +1 for Sedona! Have dinner at Elote. No reservations but not too long of a wait if you get there fifteen or twenty minutes before they open, especially if it’s a weeknight. Get a prickly pear margarita and the actual elote appetizer. Red Rock Café is fun for breakfast, and they have a giant cinnamon roll that is delicious. At the Grand Canyon, try to have lunch at the El Tovar– not formal and no reservation needed during the daytime. You can get a table overlooking the Canyon. Have fun!

    • Page, AZ. The drive there along highway 89 is beautiful and there are some great natural wonders to see in and around Page (Glen Canyon Dam, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon). It’s about a 2 hour drive but the type of drive where you’ll be stopping a lot to take photos.

      Sedona, too!

    • FYI, there is (or was ~5 years ago) a pizza hut near the Grand Canyon where many American Indian artists gather to sell their art. It’s well worth a visit.

  21. Bouncing off yesterday’s thread on old money – my husband’s family is on the cusp of that category. They are kind, social, elegant people who happen to have their name on a college building. I’m a farmer’s daughter. They love me, but I’m always uneasy about my own etiquette that extends beyond appearance and table manners. For example: what I should or shouldn’t talk about, whether or not to take my shoes off in their house, and just general social cues that make them distinctly “polished”. Are there any books/blogs/writers who explore it further?

    • Do they take their shoes off in their house? If they do you can ask if they’d like you to, and they can say yes or no. If they’re really kind people, this is totally not an offensive or weird question.

      As for what to or not to talk about … I would just apply work rules unless you’re comfortable with them (avoid politics and religion).

      FWIW, my situation is the opposite. My upper-middle class family says obnoxious we-come-from-privilege things in front of my grew-up-in-a-trailer-home SO all the time and I wish they would be a little more self aware. I don’t think you need to worry about this very much if they already love you.

    • Hopefully this doesn’t read as snarky, but — just ask your husband? My husband comes from another country, so I’m always asking him if [clothes to wear/gifts/activities/invitations/etc] will be appropriate. Most of the time, he thinks I am crazy for caring so much, but…

    • Follow their lead. Depending on your relationship with your MIL you could even mention that you’re not always sure if you’re on point for etiquette and you won’t be offended if she lets you know that something should be done differently. For conversation topics, just watch out for anything where ILs wrapped up the subject quickly or are largely silent.

      And it’s lovely that you have a great attitude about this – that’s probably why they love you. Can you talk to my DH who won’t stop putting his feet up on my parents coffee table next to the hors d’oeuves? My parents would never say anything, Mom just moves the food to another table. I’ve asked him to stop and he DNGAF. sigh.

      • it’s so rude to put your feet on someone else’s furniture, ESPECIALLY if there is food on it. Can you tell him that you don’t care if he GAF, the point is that OTHER people do? He sounds like a real jerk.

    • No advice, but I wanted to chime in and say how fascinating I found yesterday’s thread. I’m currently reading The Millionaire Next Door, and I guess I plan to be new money that looks like old money. The stuff about car payments (don’t do this), easily viewed labels, etc. really does seem to be more prevalent in today’s middle to upper middle class, but truly wealthy people save and invest their money, and they don’t really care how people view them.

      My uncle, a retired oil executive, has always driven two year old cars, and he and my aunt have lived in the same house (in Princeton, NJ, so, $$$, but it wasn’t when they bought it) for 40 years. When I was growing up, I never thought of them as “rich,” but a few years ago when I found out just how much money he has, it all made sense.

      • I’m always looking for book suggestions. I’ll need to look for this. Thank you. :)

      • Senior Attorney :

        So funny about the easily viewed labels. A friend of mine just got a Louis Vuitton bag and told me a story about how her husband balked at the price and then looked around and saw that all the wives of his friends had them, so now he is all for it because he sees it as a badge of wealth.

        • Ha, whereas, if they had invested those thousands of dollars (I have no idea how much a LV bag costs), no one would “see” that. Crazy.

        • I feel like a LV bag (especially a logo-ed one) is much more of a “new money” badge of wealth than an “old money” one. I thought part of old money was having so much money that you didn’t feel a need to flaunt it (except for the buildings you put your name on).

        • Never too many shoes... :

          The real old money LV bag is the Damier (small squares which you would only recognize as an LV if you know the brand) with a worn handle showing the patina of age and use. And it is a Speedy, not a Neverfull.

          • Anonymous :

            The Damier is just as recognizable as the logos and the Speedy was super popular with trashy celebrities (e.g. Paris Hilton) circa 2000. Def not an old money bag.

    • The purpose of etiquette is to make other people feel comfortable, not to judge people. “Old money” (or really people who are not obsessed with status) know this and won’t care if you use the right fork or whatever. Talk about what you want to talk about, be nice and caring, and if you think you should take off your shoes because the host isn’t wearing any, take them off.

      • I think this, particularly the point about using etiquette to make others comfortable, is exactly right. (Shoes can also be a regional question, in addition to money, so I agree with all the advice to follow their lead on that one.) All that said, they will likely have been raised on Emily Post-type rules even if they do not enforce all of them, so she might be a resource to check out.

        I grew up in a mix of old and new money (New England prep school) and I would say the biggest difference I noticed is that old money families always wanted to talk about you – your interests, what you were up to, etc. – and new money families wanted to talk about themselves. I always viewed it as a way to show you valued the other person in the conversation (i.e. by wanting to know more about what was important to them). Perhaps if you know a few topics that members of your husband’s family are interested in, you could brush up on those enough to discuss those with them so you can ask them about themselves the same way they are likely asking you about yourself?

  22. Rant alert: Can companies please stop making clothes that they call “suiting” with big slits up the front? I swear, almost every “suiting” sheath dress or pencil skirt Banana Republic has out this season has some sort of huge slit up the front or side, I tried a couple on and they looked fine standing up, but the minute you sit down those slits start getting dangerously close to showing all the goods. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously at work as a younger woman in BigLaw, I don’t think that making people look at my inner thighs during business meetings will help the situation. Ann Taylor has some items this season that do this too. So frustrating to try to build a business wardrobe for my new job when this is what the big companies are putting out.

    • +1000. Completely agreed. Makes me livid.

    • This was a trend in 2004-2005 and it just doesn’t work. I had a few skirts from that era and was so uncomfortable when i wore them that I finally gave up. They also looked super-dated just a year later. NOPE.

    • I liked the blue Art Deco-inspired BR dress with a slit up the front, but brought it directly to the tailor and asked her to close the slit. It works for me now. But yes, absolutely infuriating.

  23. Makeup Eejit :

    I have been pleased to see a lot of you owning up to not knowing a lot about makeup, so may I ask a question-

    I use cheap eyeshadow – a CG nudes palette and a TheBalm palette. It’s mostly gone by the end of the day, and I see primer recommended, so I got the UD anti-aging eye primer. I used it for the first time yesterday, and it was hard to remove – I wear contacts so use Cetaphil but bar soap worked.

    But I wonder – would more expensive eyeshadow not require a primer? Maybe Clinique or the ones you find at Ulta? Also, I am 50 so I use matte only. Thanks!

    • Veronica Mars :

      If it’s powder, it’ll need a primer. If you’re using cream eyeshadow, that can be a one and done solution. I’d look at Bobbi Brown’s shadow stick–these are supposedly shimmer but look on some swatches–some shades only have a very slight shimmer. Vanilla looked completely matte to me on my skin.

      • I have three Bobbi Brown shadow sticks. I love them for going out, but the ones I have are very shimmery. Maybe there are some others with less shimmer, but I’d test these before buying.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I use the original Naked palette by Urban Decay and have never felt like it required a primer. Urban Decay does make a good primer that might be easier to remove if you want to take the primer route. Naked makes two matte, smaller palettes– Naked Basics and Naked Basics 2. They are about $30 at Ulta. Might be worth a try.

    • I find that cheap eyeshadow is basically invisible. More expensive eyeshadow (like Nars) shows up fine without primer. Perhaps you should buy some eye makeup remover, though. I don’t think Cetaphil does the best job at cleaning skin.

    • You need actual eye makeup remover, not Cetaphil or soap. NEVER use bar soap on your face!!

    • Marshmallow :

      All powder eyeshadows, including Naked, need primer. If you’re looking for something that doesn’t need a primer, try a stick like Bobbi Brown or Laura Mercier.

      Honestly I know the UD primers are a “cult” product but I’m over them. Kind of messy and they don’t work that great. I use Bare Minerals CC Eye Primer (it’s in a stick, less messy) and I like it a lot. It’s tinted so if you have dark skin it may not work, but on me it works under my eyeshadow and also helps with under-eye circles.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I have oily eyelids, so I need primer with all eyeshadows, expensive or not.

    • Yup, more expensive eyeshadow = (for the most part) higher quality ingredients and more staying power.

      If you want a higher end, all matter, neutral palette, try Urban Decay NakedBasics, or Tarte Tartelette In Bloom. These will show up without a primer and last, but primer extends the wear of any shadow (especially if you have oily eyelids/face)

      However if you want to stay budget friendly CG does not make the best shadows in general. I love Wet n Wild trios, Colourpop, and Makeupgeek singles.

      Agreed on the cream eyeshadow suggestion above, they go on creamy and dry completely down. Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier both do good ones.

      And you absolutely need a dedicated eye makeup remover/makeup removing cleanser or you will be pulling at your skin and eyes way too much. I’ve had contacts as long as I’ve worn makeup and used everything from Simple Cleansing Oil to Garnier Micellar Water to the trusty Neutrogena Eye Makeup Remover.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have recently had great luck removing eye makeup with micellar water (recommended here, I believe)! Very gentle on my eyelids.

    • Oh my goodness please do not use bar soap on your face. Micellar water, or two step cleansing (cleansing balm or oil + face wash). I looove the smell of the original banila clean it zero (and they have sensitive skin versions as well, available at amazon). Innisfree cleansing oil also works beautifully but I prefer the balm for travel purposes.

      • Makeup Eejit :

        Thanks all. I was in a pinch – could not remove the primer, and did not want to use oils – again, residue on contacts.

        • Clinique Take the day off makeup remover works well for me but doesn’t bother my contacts.

    • Clinique shadows are not awesome and definitely will not last to the end of the day without an eyeshadow primer (or even with primer, I don’t think). The longest-wearing shadows I’ve tried are Buxom, Bobbi Brown and MAC (but mattes only, sparkly MAC shadows require primer and Fix+).

      Eyeshadow primer should be easy to remove with micellar water and a cotton pad.

  24. Makeup Eejit :

    Another one for you-

    Have any of you given up wearing shorts in public? I wonder if at 50 I should – a little sagging skin/cellulite but otherwise in good shape. I know it’s not my best or most elegant look, but it is awfully hot in the summer.

    • Go for it if the gams are good!

      Seriously, I am in your age range and still wear shorts regularly in the summer, along with lots of skorts. I do stay away from anything too short (I aim for one inch above the knee unless I am exercising) and tend to go for a straighter leg (versus a taper) to give me a little more fullness in the leg and avoid pulling when I sit.

      For the love of Mike, though, avoid those awful bottom of the knee capri pants my mom and MIL wear. Those things are not flattering on anyone.

    • I’m 30 and quit wearing shorts about 5 years ago. I am generally a confidant person but, in addition to be self conscious about my legs being large and pale, I also find shorts really uncomfortable (tight and rubbing, despite trying numerous sizes and styles). Unless you are physically uncomfortable, I say keep wearing the shorts (or whatever makes you comfortable).

      • +1

      • What do you wear instead of shorts? Capris? Light-weight pants? I am not super comfortable in shorts and am always hunting for good alternatives that will keep me somewhat cool in hot weather.

        • Not the above poster, but I haven’t worn shorts since undergrad. In the summer I wear skirts or lightweight pants. I’ve never been a fan of capris. For reference, I’ve lived in the South and the West so this has worked during very hot weather. I think skirts are more comfortable than shorts when it’s very hot.

    • Who cares?

      Really. Your legs are fine and nobody focuses on your imperfects. Wear what makes you comfortable.

    • I wear (bermuda) shorts and knee length skirts/dresses with inpunity. I’m mid 30s and have had varicose and spider veins since late teens / early 20s (genetic – no other risk factors apply). Do i wish i didn’t have them? Sure. But IDGAF if people judge me for them or think i should confine myself to long pants. Life is too short.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Yup, non-shorts-wearer here.

      I HATE shorts. Hate them. Not on other people, just on me. I really don’t love the way they look on me, but also I find it (personally) gross to have my bare legs touching seats, whether on the subway or bus, or at a restaurant, or a baseball game, or an airplane seat. That feeling of standing up from a seat on a hot day, and your legs are sticking to the chair? Nope, not for me.

      I wear linen pants, or a knee-length skirt/dress instead.

      • I am 48 and in decent shape but self-conscious. I solve this dilemma with gradual self-tanner and Athleta skirts with built-in shorts. I can’t bring myself to call them “skorts.” I promise they don’t look frumpy, at least I don’t think they do,but I will listen to other points of view. I am only 5’6″ but I order them in Tall lengths so I don’t feel too exposed.

    • I don’t wear them, but it’s more of a style choice than it is concern about my legs. Usually i’ll do some kind of ankle/capri length athleisure pant or a dress or skirt. If you want to wear them, go for it.

      • BabyAssociate :

        This is pretty much how I feel too. I’ll wear gym shorts around the house. But I find a dress/skirt much more comfortable if it’s actually hot.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am 58 and I will give up wearing shorts when you pry them off my cold, dead (not as firm as they once were and pasty white) legs. I wear them closer to the knee than I once did, but it’s too darned hot here to wear long pants in the summer!

    • I stopped wearing shorts for anything other than exercise when I was about 30. I don’t think there’s an arbitrary age but I just was not comfortable in them. During the summer, I prefer skirts and dresses. I did find a pair of shorts last summer though similar in shape to these:
      They are much more comfortable since they are flowy.

    • I am 32, and I don’t wear shorts. I hate the way they look on me, and I always feel super awkward and middle-school-dorky. I have tried on dozens of pairs, and it doesn’t matter. I wear cotton/jersey dresses or skirts with jockey skimmies underneath or linen pants. The only exception is theme parks, where I DGAF what I look like, and frankly, nobody looks chic (my parents live in Orlando, and I have a kid, so we visit theme parks relatively frequently).

    • I am pear shaped and found that shorter shorts are more flattering on my thighs. I am 5′ 4” and 160 pounds. The longer bermuda shorts just really make me look wide and terrible. Oh, and I am almost 51. I only wear shorts for day things like carnivals, and vacations.

  25. I realize my question isn’t lawyer related, but I have learned so much from others on here. I am a school principal and many topics and situations relate. I’m in a hard spot. I feel like I have no one to talk with. It’s lonely at the top. The head of principals is not kind, curt if you try asking a question for ideas/help, and you have to be careful because you might get snapped at if she is not in a good mood. I’m not sure what to do. I love my job, just don’t enjoy working with the person. Maybe tips on how to have conversations with a person like this?

    • Marie, I am not a principal, but my dad was. His best friends were all principals at other schools he met in grad school or in professional organizations, and they were always consulting one another on all types of work situations. Do your colleagues have any ideas on how to deal with a difficult boss in this environment?

      • We do talk. There are a few that I feel safe talking to. They just agree that that is who she is and to just be careful what you say.

    • Former K12 :

      Hi Marie – I am a lawyer/former director level admin in K12 and now back in the legal field.

      In my old job, the head of principals was equally as difficult as you described especially at the peer to peer level, and worse at the supervisor level. It was a very lonely, political, 24-7 job – even for admin above the principal level.

      My advice is to connect with your peers at other sites/districts. Draft your taking points ahead of time. Use your data and best practices to back up your points. Try to avoid one on one conversations with the head of principals if possible, and take detailed notes after the conversations. I would also recap conversations with a follow up email to “check for understanding.” If you are union – have the number of your union rep handy also. Unions, though looked down on, can be a good source to vent to and not feel lonely. Last, work some self-care into your day by drinking lots of water, eating regularly, and trying to get some rest when you don’t have night meetings and conferences and events.. and and and. Seek out interests or friends outside of work that you can connect with as a support system.

      Also remember at the admin level – people seeking career advancement often times move on for promotions or for political reasons. This may be a temporary misery.

      Hugs my friend, I’ve been there.

      • Thank you. Your post made me start to tear up. I appreciate your tips. Having talking points ahead of time is something I should definitely do a better job at, and I need to do a better job of making notes after meetings.

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