Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Fitted Blazer

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

In general I’m not a fan of the super cheap blazer, but they have their place: when you’re losing or gaining weight, when everything you own is dirty, when you’re traveling and without your regular wardrobe… and I’ll admit it, I’ve had my fair share of $20 blazers turn into “the piece I can’t live without.” With those caveats, I like this Mossimo blazer from Target — the textured cotton strikes me as a perfect material for a “separate,” and the blazer itself seems pretty inoffensive and basic. It’s $29.99 at Target (sizes 2-16). Mossimo® Women’s Fitted Blazer – Black

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.



  1. Ladies, in the spirit of frugal Friday, I would just like to share that yesterday I finally made it out to the “upscale ladies re-sale shop” that I keep driving by, and found a lovely navy tweed shift dress from Talbots for $16! Wearing it today and received a number of compliments as soon as I walked into the office. It’s probably more of a cold weather peice, so I can’t wait to pair it with boots and/or tights. Happy day!

    • I recently rediscovered consignment/thrift stores and was pleasantly surprised at what I found. I bought a beautiful royal blue top with tags attached that I get a bazillion compliments on every time I wear it, as well as a brand new Anthro sweater that I can’t wait to wear once the weather cools down. It’s definitely a hunt to go through racks and the times I’ve gone recently I have found nothing, but I think that they are definitely worth checking out.

    • Good find! I find it’s rarely worth the time to go thrifting at places like Goodwill and Salvation Army, but most of my wardrobe is from consignment and resale stores. There are some really good deals for very little work/time/money.

    • My closet is full of resale finds. Right now I am wearing a gorgeous mauve woven silk blazer, by Akris, purchased last year for $30 at my favorite consignment shop.

    • My hairdresser called me from Goodwill one Sunday afternoon. At my visit a few days before, we had been talking about my quest to find a dress to wear to my sister’s wedding. Well, she found a Zac Posen (from his Target line) in my size – brand new, with the tags – for $10. It looked very high fashion, and I was “the girl” in “the dress” at the wedding. The other bonus was that I could really splurge on some amazing shoes to wear with it!

    • Anon for this one :

      Anyone know of any good resale shops in the Cleveland, Ohio area?

    • Kathryn Fenner :

      My best clothes come from Revente here in Columbia, SC—better quality items than I can buy new locally, for the most part (they go on buying trips to NYC and elsewhere), plus I can try them on, unlike eBay, which is my second best source. EBay sellers often give the garment’s measurements or will if you ask, so it’s not nearly the pig-in-a-poke you’d think…..

  2. I have always tried to stay away from cheap blazers, because in general they look like $20 and the fit is just awful. But, hey, for this price, what do you have to lose? It is cute, and I need an emergency blazer for my office (for those times I’m surprised by a meeting).

    • If you do get this can you report back on how the material is? Even on the closeups I can’t tell what the quality is like and every once in a while you find a gem at this price (but my as yet unemployed self can’t afford to spend on anything I’m not sure of!)

  3. Dallas tailor? :

    Any recommendations for a tailor in Dallas? I’ve accumulated quite a few suit pieces needing alterations since I moved here and I haven’t found a tailor yet.

    I’ve heard one recommendation for Unique Tailor, but (correct me if I’m wrong) it looks like somewhere you go for a quick jeans hem, and not necessarily nicer suits* or numerous pieces because it’s so heavily trafficked that they’d rush to keep the line moving.

    I’ve also read about Harry’s, but that’s a little far for me (I’m just north of Uptown, close to the eastern boundary of HP), probably a bit too expensive (hard to say without a price list though), and I don’t like the cash-only policy.

    Any other suggestions in my area? Thanks in advance :)

    *For reference, these are mostly J. Crew suits, so it’s not like I need Vera Wang herself to do the sewing, but they cost enough to me that I really don’t want them ruined or done sloppily.

    • I have a great tailor who’s very reasonable at the corner of Skillman & Live Oak in Lakewood. He also repairs shoes and handbags.

    • I use Margo West. She just moved to Deep Ellum from North Dallas. 2639 Elm Street Suite A Dallas, Texas 75226. 972-918-9750. First of all, she’s totally fabulous. LOVE HER. Second, she’s very handy with a needle. I’m tiny and found an evening gown I love love loved in a size 12. Margo took it completely apart and custom fit it for me. Gorgeous. I’m sure she could do what you need.

      If what you have isn’t terribly complicated, you could also try Cho’s Tailor in West Village. I think they’re alright, and they can turn things around quickly. They probably charge a little less than Margo, but I’m not sure.

    • I use “J’s Tailors” just south of Preston Center–actually located on Sherry Lane. I lost about 15 pounds and needed pants, skirts, and jackets taken in. All of the pieces turned out looking great.

      The man tailor is better than the woman so I suggest you have him do the fitting.

    • Dallas tailor? :

      Thanks for the suggestions, all! I will check these out.

      • Anonymous :

        I have to second the recommendation for Margo West Tailor in Deep Ellum. She is awesome.

  4. I guess a cheap blazer can come in handy, but I prefer my cheap blazers to be marked down to being cheap, not cheap to begin with. Although, I do like the idea of a cotton lightweight blazer! My main concern, though, is that 2 out 4 reviews say the fabric attracts lint and this is a huge deal breaker for me as you can only keep an extra lint brush in so many places.

    • agreed on the marked down part, not starting off cheap

    • and so anon :

      I would be very wary of a cheap blazer that customers say is a lint magnet. I’ve had clothing (that wasn’t so cheap) with problems like that and even practically having a lint roller surgically attached to my person did not help.

      I was in Target last month. The sight of acres and acres of cheap stuff depressed me.

      $30 is halfway to a really nice sweater.

      • The median household income in this country is, what, $50k? I don’t think anyone who shops at Target thinks it’s the highest quality stuff in the world; I think they think it’s a way of becoming appropriately dressed without going into, like, credit card debt. They’re filling a niche.

        • As a broke law clerk, Target keeps me from defaulting on my loans. Yeah, you have to dig for good stuff, but a lot of people just starting out don’t have the luxury of going to Nordstrom.

      • Why would the cheap stuff “depress” you? I don’t think any one shops at Target looking for high quality clothing. Most of it’s customers shop the clothing area either for items that fit their budget (and those folks aren’t pulling in the big bucks), or they’re looking for in-expensive wardrobe fillers or throw-away fashion.

      • Another Anonymous :

        I routinely receive compliments, including from partners wearing $1000 suits, on dresses and other items I purchased at Target. I also have a $20 blazer I purchased there several years ago, and it fits me perfectly–it’s my go-to when I can’t match a sweater with something else I am wearing.

        Just because it isn’t designer and didn’t cost a fortune doesn’t mean it can’t look fabulous/work appropriate/fitted.

        • Makeup Junkie :

          I have a suit from Target that I have I worn to court and to a second successful interview to a Big Firm.

      • I get kind of depressed shopping at Target or other giant stores because there is just so much STUFF. People own so much more now than we did even 10 – 20 years ago.

        My office overlooks the San Francisco Bay and I watch giant container ships come in from China, heavy and full, and then leave empty to go back to China and get more crap we really don’t need.

        And believe me, I’m just as guilty as anyone.

        So maybe this is what ‘and so anon’ is talking about.

        • Thrift and buy on consignment, then splurge on USA-made (or better yet, small-designer or handmade) items with the money you save.

          (I say this as a very imperfect follower of this ideal, but an enthusiastic thrifter.)

          • Lucy, I hear you. I don’t thrift or buy on consignment beacuse I’m not cool with moths but I do try to buy fewer, higher quality items.

            My downfall is my kids’ clothes and toys, to be honest. There is no ‘investment’ dressing for children.

  5. Always a NYer :

    While I usually like higher end clothes, I’m not averse to bargain pieces that I can get good use out of. However, I prefer two-button blazers as I don’t like how the one-button falls open like this.

    Going back to the discussion of leather and the office, I was looking through net-a-porter last night and found a really nice Gucci pencil skirt with leather trim at the top. Because I don’t want to go into moderation with a link, just search net-a-porter for the Gucci leather-trimmed stretch-twill pencil skirt. I’d style it differently than they did though. I’d probably wear this with a plum colored silk/cashmere blend long-sleeve v-neck sweater, black opaque tights, and black pumps.

    Just thought I’d share and eager to read your comments on how/if you’d wear this skirt.

    • Always a NYer :

      *and am eager

    • Beautiful skirt (though way too rich for my blood!). I actually really loved the way that they had it styled, with the brown and black; it looked really modern and put together. The leather trim is more like a belt here then an actual leather skirt. I think that your styling would look great, too. In fact, I sort of think that this would be lovely with almost any styling.

      • Always a NYer :

        It’s out of my price point as well but I like to dream ;) I’ve never been a fan of black and brown together but black knee boots are another way I’d go with it. And I agree, I don’t think you could go wrong with how you wear it.

    • and so anon :

      Funny, I was thinking about the “leather discussion” last night. I saw a Michael Kors dress that had leather shoulders. I couldn’t see the leather pads in the photo. The description said this was a nod to the “dominatrix trend.”

      I think that Gucci skirt would be fine.

  6. Maddie Ross :

    This seems like an excellent piece to buy and hang on the back of your office door to use in a pinch.

  7. Hi-Ho Silver! :

    Hello ladies! Apologize for the threadjack but was hoping for some jewelry advice. I’ve realized I could use a simple silver (or white gold, platinum, etc. – basically shiny silver colored) necklace to wear with outfits that just need a little shine, but not a big statement necklace. I know we’ve talked about how pendant necklaces sometimes look too young/unprofessional, so I was wondering if any of you had suggestions for types of classy but simple necklaces. What does one look for when not looking for colored beads or gemstones?

    I was thinking about one of those necklaces with the “bean” that slides along the chain instead of dangling like a charm, but has the bean been a little overdone? Or maybe the necklaces are shaped like pearls but are really silver round beads? Please share more ideas!


    • somewhere(less)cold :

      Have you checked out BlueNile? I have the infinity love knot pendant in sterling silver. I also like the two interlocking circles (infinity rings necklace), although I think I would want a shorter chain than 18” with that style, but the rings are attached to the chain, so you couldn’t just replace the chain.

      After a recommendation here (Eponine?) I got a necklace from Gosia on Etsy for a friend as a gift, and it’s very nice for everyday wear, although I didn’t think it looked as shiny as the infinity knot necklace.

      • Not me! But I saw Gosia recommended here too and have bookmarked it – such pretty stuff.

    • I recently saw a gorgeous toursade necklace in all silver that I thought would have been perfect for work and go with everything. Sadly, it was in the window of a closed boutique–so no link for you, and no necklace for me. But an option to consider.

      I hope the “bean” look isn’t played out, because I have a few necklaces like this! Not for an interview, but pretty much anywhere else.

      I also have a necklace that is a set of gold chains that are different lengths. When it’s on, it looks like a bunch of concentric half-circles, and they are connected by small hoops. I got it at a consignment store, so again, no link (sorry). But it’s very versatile because, similarly, it dresses up an outfit without being a “statement” or introducing another color into the mix if I don’t want it. It works for going out as well. I’m sure something similar would be available in silver, and at a lower price.

    • I picked up a necklace from a street vendor about 4 months back that has become my work go-to. It’s a very fine gold chain with five tiny interlocking hoops in the center. It’s subtle and goes with every outfit in my wardrobe.

      Kind of like this, but more hoops and gold (although you mentioned you were interested in silver)

    • I don’t think that all pendant necklaces are young/unprofessional. I wear them all the time and have a collection of dainty necklaces I wear to work.
      I like Gorjana Infinity Ring Necklace at Shopbop and similar looks.

    • LPC just did a jewelry post incl pendants. Check out beladora2 for good finds too.

    • I love some of the more refined necklaces from Dogeared, especially the karma one.

    • I have a simple small round silver pendant that I wear with everything. This simple bean necklace is on my wish list:
      You can also get a simple single pearl necklace like this:’Silver’%252f%252f%252f%252f&dk=Necklaces%20&deptid=6&catid=2262&prodid=6038603441&

    • I still like pendants for work wear, but perhaps that’s because Frank Gehry did a line of jewelry with Tiffany’s, and the pendant necklaces are the only pieces there within my price range.

      Back to your question, I’d look for an interesting chain design, or a more incorporated pendant look (see first example).

      A quick browse of T&Co’s site left me with these suggestions (listed from low to high):
      – Tiffany 1837 interlocking circles lariat necklace
      – Tiffany Somerset classic necklace
      – Elsa Peretti Aegean mini link

      Another interesting silver necklace I’ve seen is Henri Bendel’s Buckle Up Short Necklace. It’s only $78 and I imagine would sit right above the collar bones nicely.

      FWIW I wouldn’t say the ‘bean’ style is that overdone; that being said I don’t really like that style. I think the silver bead pearl-like strand necklace style is sleek and modern though :)

    • Anon Canadian :

      I wear two necklaces everyday and everywear; one is a 14″ white gold very delicate and thin chain with tiny links that spiral and no pendant, the other is a 16″ silver chain with tiny box links and a small (1/2″) oval shaped pendant that has a small white crystal (diamond-esque) and my sorority letters engraved. You actually can’t see anything but the diamond unless your extremely close and I get compliments about my necklaces all the time.

      I don’t think pendants are unprofessional in general, I just think it depents on the pendant itself (ie size, shape, and what it actually is or represents). For example if I was wearing a lavaliere type pendant where my letters were the pendant or a playboy bunny or something I don’t think those would be very professional pendants.

    • I like the David Yurman look (not the price!) for pieces like this. The pieces themselves are small, offer a little shine and polish from the distance, and don’t have color you ahve to match (e.g. gemstones) but have beautiful detailing up close.

    • I regularly wear a necklace my husband bought me at an art faire that might fit the bill. It is actually made using a chain mail technique, so it is thicker than your typical plain chain. Because it’s chunky, it makes a bit more of a statement, but it’s just plain silver, so it’s not flashy. (I wear it when I’m not quite in the mood for pearls but need something in that shape to finish my outfit.) The artist’s name is Tom Suter out of Springfield, IL. I believe he has a website.

      • I make chain mail-type jewelry (I, uh, figure because it’s jewelry rather than actual chain mail it’s a respectable hobby?) and it’s not too difficult to learn and an enjoyable way to keep ones hands busy while watching TV. I also find it to add a bit a visual interest in situations like this.

        • I would be interested to hear how you learned and what tips you have for those of us who are interested in learning. I knot pearls and make gemstone/pearl jewelry (so I second your statements about the hobby being respectable and keeping busy while watching tv!) but I’ve been hoping to learn more about the metal/chain side of things. TIA!

          • Try YouTube; tons of stuff there. And look for classes at schools, galleries, and art museums.

            (Chains are ridiculously easy to work with, btw)

    • This Etsy designer has some really cool, minimal yet elegant bead & chain pieces in sterling silver:

      www [dot] etsy [dot] com/shop/Gosia

  8. I also LOVE a bargan. This looks great at $29, but you have to add the tax to it.

    At my firm, the manageing partner does NOT like it when we wear our blazers at our desk. He says we should be willing to rolle up our sleves and appear very busy.

    He said it is better only to wear our blazers (and jacket’s if your a man) when we go to LUNCH so that we can appear more professional.

    I think I have to AGREE with him here.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      There’s nothing like the original. Welcome back Ellen.

    • Back in fine form! My morning just got better.

    • Hurray for the original Ellen! Where is Allen?

      • Not sure if you heard, but Ellen and Alan broke up a while ago because Alan was cheaping out on the engagement ring. Ellen is going through an “independent woman” phase.

      • Remember, Ellen left Alan because he has a drinking problem.

        • Ah, right! I thought I was forgetting something. Though I’m pretty sure he wasn’t coming through on the engagement ring too….

      • ALAN had a drinking problem and is out of the picture, I believe.

    • Ellen, you always make me smile. I hope everything is going ok for you at your firm and with your manageing partner.

  9. Blazer tailoring question…

    I have broad shoulders and arms, but not much in the chest area. I buy blazers according to the fit across the shoulders. They will fit everywhere else, but there is extra fabric where my chest should be. This isn’t as apparent if I leave the blazer unbuttoned. However, if it’s buttoned, it poofs out in an unflattering way- especially when I sit.

    Taking in the chest in the front seems like a tricky/expensive alteration for a tailor. Has anyone done this alteration? Or is there a different way I should be buying blazers and suit jackets?

    • have you looked into blazers that are meant to be slimmer fitting or stretch? definitely avoid double breasted blazers, i can only imagine the problem being worse with those. i’ve never had this kind of alteration done, but i bet it would be expensive, that said i go to a ridiculously overpriced tailor but keep going back because their work is so impeccable. my pockets hurt every time.

      • Unfortunately, slimmer fit usually means slimmer arms and shoulders, and I get Hulk-like pulling across the back. The stretch might work. I don’t own any stretch blazers now, but I’ll see if I can find one to try out. You’re right- I don’t own double-breasted anything.

        • also try to find blazers with thinner padding at the shoulders and lighterweight lining inside them, this might help the blazer fall better with your body line, rather than have it puff out due to its internal construction.

    • Is there a certain style you buy now? In my experience, one-button blazers tend to be better if you have a small chest as the one button tends to be pretty low and there isn’t as much fabric needed up top. There are some two-button styles that will probably have low button placement as well that will work. The featured jacket does not look like one that would work well with a large chest, IMHO.

      • I do have mostly two-button suits. Thinking about it now, those do gap more than my favorite, go-to one-button blazer.

    • Another Sarah :

      I don’t think the tailor would take in the chest in the front, but rather make deeper darts in the back or on the sides, which would make the fabric in the front sit flat. Otherwise, I agree with MelD that you may need to find blazers with lower buttons so that the jacket isn’t pushed up when you sit down. :-)

      • Another Sarah :

        Almost forgot: If you buy a size up, the tailor probably could just take it in to your specifications without compromising your shoulder measurements.

    • I would talk to a good tailor. My understanding is they may be able to alter it from the back which is a more straightforward alteration.

      I would also recommend trying on many different brands & styles as some may be cut with your figure in mind. Perhaps look into straighter cuts or boyfriend styles? Also, agree with the advice to experiment with fabric — stretchier fabrics may be a good solution.

      • my mom had this done once with a beautiful fully embroidered jacket that she had bought on vacation in jordan. it fit right in the shoulders and sleeves but she’s extremely petite and narrow and there was too much going on in the chest/body area. I had her take it to my tailor that i mentioned above. the tailor said they would have to completely take the jacket apart if they tried to do it from the sides or darts — so instead the tailor created a long 3 inch wide center seam long the back. because the jacket was entirely embroidered the seam was not even visible. they charged $50 to do that — which makes sense since they charge $50 to slim the sides on a lined dress ($75 if there’a zipper)

    • I have this same problem. I buy for my shoulders, and then ask my tailor to nip the jacket in. This seems to nip in the blazer not just at the waist, but all the way up. I believe the alteration is actually made in the back seam so they just don’t take it in where I need the shoulder space.

  10. can we just change the name of “frugal friday” to “target friday” and be done with it?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t think it has been a Target item in the past few weeks. As awesome as it is to find items that are regularly more than $50 but on sale, it seems like those are always lucky sizes only.

      • Yeah, but I don’t that it’s always a criteria that the item be available in a ton of sizes. This Monday’s splurge was available in size 4 only. I would bet there are more than a few good deals out there that are available in more sizes than that.

        And, btw, I don’t disagree with the idea that one can find a great item at a great price at Target. I am wearing a $39 dress from H&M right now that is seriously one of my favorite work dresses ever. My only issue with Target is that its quality is so incredibly hit or miss, and the misses are so terrible, that it is just not a reliable online spot for me. And, not every Target has the same stuff, and some stuff is online only, so that takes going to the store to look for the item in person out of the equation (at least for me). I think it would be different if Kat recommended something from there that she saw in person, but honestly, seeing a recommendation for an item because it’s “inoffensive and basic” doesn’t really leave me with much inspiration. But, hey, not every day can be a winner, so, Kat, take the kvetching for what’s it’s worth and nothing more.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Good point. In my perfect world when I can afford the Splurge Monday items, I’m also a size 4.

          For what its worth on this jacket, I have a Mossimo Black pencil skirt and matching jacket that I really like. Its the only Mossimo item I’ve ever ordered, so if I were to order another Target item, it would likely be Mossimo.

    • Yeah, I have nothing against Target but I am oh-so-tired of the picks. Maybe Kat should just post a permalink to Target’s website as a permanent recommendation of every office-appropriate item they sell?

      I will say that it’s hilarious how much Target clothes get praised and recommended here when I bet this crew wouldn’t be caught dead in Sears (not LE) or K-Mart clothes. But really there’s no difference, except in our heads… Spectacular marketing by Tar-jay, though!

      • It isn’t just marketing. If you go into the stores, Target is a much more pleasant shopping environment than K-Mart. JCPenney has nicer stores than Sears. I’m willing to pick through the racks to find a basic piece if the store has good lighting, attractive displays, clean and comfortable dressing rooms, and a layout that makes sense. And once I have a feel for the brands by shopping the physical store, I’m more likely to buy their stuff online.

        Are these stores as nice as the big name department stores like Macys or Dillards? No. And those two aren’t are cushy as Saks or NM.

        I don’t really care where my clothes come from, as long as I like the fit, look and price. But I do care where I spend my time, so I won’t shop at ugly, cold, luridly-lit, cement floored stores.

        • It may be regional, but I generally find Targets very hard to shop at- over crowded racks, sloppy organization, etc. So I actually don’t shop there very often (and I’ve found that their pictures can be somewhat misleading, so I prefer not to buy online without looking at it first.) But it’s not a big deal to me to comb through the racks when I’ve got some extra time and am itching for a deal.

      • I wouldn’t rule out something just because it came from Sears or KMart (and I’ve bought clothing from Wal-Mart plenty of times), but I generally find that their outfits aren’t cut the way that I would want- in other words, their styles don’t suit me very often. Target has more of a young, fashionable professional vibe to some of their clothing, while Sears is more geared towards middle aged women or “juniors.” (I haven’t been inside a Kmart in years, so I won’t comment on them, but I’d bet it’s similar.) Although, come to think of it, I probably still own a lot of casual clothing from Sears from my younger and less professional days. (My mom worked there for years. Discount!)

    • I do wish Kat would consider checking out clothing offered by Mango and ASOS (allthough skirt and dress length can be an issue w/ ASOS). There are also reasonable pieces to be found at NY and Company. Sad that H&M online offerings are only available overseas and as far as I know Zara doesn’t offer anything on line.

      But yeah, I often want to hit the snooze button when Target and Old Navy are the usual suspects on Frugal Friday.

      • Zara is opening a U.S. online store on September 7th.

      • ASOS has some great options, and even white house black market, when things are on sale, could easily be a frugal friday. Instead, I feel like I’ve now seen every single item from the mossimo office collection.

      • AttiredAttorney :

        I’ll sing the praises of New York and Company as well. You have to search to find the quality pieces there, but I love the fact that their pants come in TALL sizes -so hard to find!

  11. and so anon :

    Here’s an idea:

    1) Go to the Cutter and Tailor Forum, which is a forum primarily for professional bespoke tailors, serious amateurs, and their customers.

    2) Sign up so you can post a question. Post a question in “The Bespeaker’s Forum –A forum for bespoke clients, both men and women – for advice on finding a tailor, or practical suggestions for your next order.”

    Reframe your question. Say you’re exploring the possibility of having a suit custom made, but you’d like to know as you transition whether it would be possible to alter your current jackets at a reasonable cost. I suggest you recast the question because they might otherwise get offended — drafting and making up suits from scratch is what they do — although the reality of the market today is that many tailors are doing alterations on RTW.

    • and so anon :

      Anyway, I think they are the folks who could best tell you whether a jacket could successfully be altered or whether you need to have something cut for you. And yes, custom tailoring is expensive, but if you were able to solve a lifelong fit problem it might be worth looking into.

      • Thanks for the suggestion. I might just drop $20 on this blazer and get recommendations for alterations from that forum. It could be a fun experiment.

  12. For you grammar and style nerds, ATL is having a debate on one or two spaces between sentences. My current court rules require two, legal writing class required one, college required two. I prefer one.

    • Slate had an interesting piece not too long ago on why two spaces is “totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong.”
      I always do two spaces though.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I also always do two spaces. One space between words, two spaces between sentences makes sense to me.

    • anon-oh-no :

      This is a debate near and dear to my heart. I cannot stand, seriously, when there is only one space after a period. The traditional way is 2 spaces. I understand that law review only allows one, as does the 7th circuit, but outside of those instances, two is correct.

      I have not read the slate piece, but i did some serious research on this issue last year (dont ask) and two is most certainly correct.

      • Exactly what I meant. =)

        For some reason, two spacers are much more ardent about the issue than one spacers. That’s just been my observation, maybe others have had different experiences.

      • I disagree. Two was correct when we had typewriters and couldn’t adjust spacing the way WP programs now do automatically. Our letters don’t all take up the same amount of room anymore, so it’s not like we need the two spaces to break it up visually. While two spaces WAS most certainly correct, things have changed. I would argue that we should update to reflect the technology we’re using. Also, Chicago style (and some others, I believe) require one space.


        • I also think one space looks so much neater. I’ll never go back to two.

        • Ha! After reading the Slate article, I take back saying that two spaces was correct. Learn something new everyday.

      • Did you use two spaces in your post? If so, it looks like two spaces is changed to one in the commenting.

    • I do two because some of the partners I work for insist on it. I generally prefer one.

      Also, none of the “single spacers” I know insist on one space from their underlings in memos, etc, but many many of the “double spacers” do.

    • I learned 2 spaces in typing class and it doesn’t matter what the “correct” rule is, I’m pretty much programmed this way.

    • Westsidebee :

      Ohmygosh, for my two cents, it’s two spaces all the way. Two spaces make paragraphs SO much easier to read. It distinguishes the end of a sentence from an abbreviation used mid-sentence. So if you’re writing about the U.S. district court, for example, the periods on the U.S. don’t look like the end of the sentence. At the end of the sentence, you have two spaces.

      Am I just old-fashioned?

    • At a legal writing CLE, the presenter made the point that a lot of these “rules” came about because of typewriters. Now that we’re all computer, all the time, they often don’t make sense. I’ve gone to a single space after periods. It didn’t take me too long to make the adjustment.

    • I originally used 2 because that’s how I learned to type, i switched to 1 at my old job because it required 1 because that was my boss’s style, whereas my new job seems have a preference for 2 (though no hard rule), so I’m starting to switch back. I honestly don’t think it matters. I realize there was some reason it was 2 (something with typewriters,maybe?), but really, does it matter now? No.

    • I much prefer one.

    • Consultant in NoVA :

      One space. I learned two spaces on a typewriter and retaught myself one space rather quickly. There’s this whole thing about monospace v. proportional fonts. I hate to see rivers of white space in double-spaced documents. Other old school typewriter conventions include two hard returns between paragraphs and underlining for emphasis (grrr). When I click an underlined word, I expect a link to open.

      • karenpadi :

        Agree on not using underlining for emphasis. In my niche, an underline is used in editing to indicate an addition to an existing document. (We aren’t allowed to include any hyperlinks in documents per various regulations–so that’s a non-issue.) When I see underlining used in the same document to indicate an addition and for emphasis, my head spins.

    • professor :

      Two spaces was for typewriters. Academic writing and publishing is done with one space. I am constantly correcting students and asking them to use one space. Two spaces is old-fashioned and no longer necessary – and, in my experience, the use of two spaces becomes problematic when multiple authors are working on a single document.

    • karenpadi :

      Question for others who review documents written by colleagues:

      When reviewing a document, and the writer used the “wrong” number of spaces after a sentence, what do you do?

      I’m a 1-space writer. If the writer is a trainee or low-level intern, I add a comment that 1-space is more correct now that we aren’t using typewriters and maybe (if the person is a newbie and still trainable) a link to a website explaining the convention further. If it’s a more experienced colleague, I ignore it and bring it up if I see him at the water cooler.

      I’ve worked with a few 2 space writers who will literally add a space between every. sentence. in. the. document. It annoys me, eats up the budget, and adds no value. I tend to avoid working with them in the future if I can.

      • Shouldn’t there be a space between every sentence? I thought we were talking about the difference between two-space and one-space writers? I wasn’t aware that no-space writing is acceptable.

        • karenpadi :

          Sorry about not being clear! To clarify, when I write, I have a single space between each sentence. I’ve had reviewers who add a space so the document has two spaces between each sentence.

      • We have an office style manual, so everyone has to conform to it. The actual decision of what the manual will require is made via edict by our petty dictator (AKA my boss). Works well, even though I wince every time I have to put in a serial comma.

  13. Yesterday’s What Are You Wearing thread was kind of fun.

    Today I’d normally be in jeans, but it’s our intern’s last day and we’re taking her to lunch, so I stepped it up: The Skirt in purple magenta, olive green silk top from Talbots, skinny teal belt from Target, and animal print wedges. I’m not sure what animal they’re supposed to be, honestly.

    • Working from home, but going away for weekend later, so a casual jersey knit blue/green stripe empire dress w/ dark purple (eggplant) sheer sweater that I got from the GAP yesterday that I just love. My outfit would totally not be appropriate at work.

    • I’m an intern, and today is my last day… and as far as I can tell, I am the only one even coming in this morning (small judge’s chambers). If nobody ends up showing up, do I just leave my badge at the receptionist’s empty desk and send everybody a “see ya later” email?

      • I would say that a ‘thank you’ email may be more appropriate, but, otherwise, yes :)

    • I love these threads!

      Grey wrap dress from Max Studio, gold sandals, and a “statement” necklace with purple stones inlaid into an elaborate gold fixture.

    • Navy high-waisted, wide-leg trousers with a small white pattern, yellow cotton t, matte gold kitten-heel sandals.

      • @Emily I: I like your outfit…where did you find the matte gold sandals? :)

        • I bought them 5 years ago at Payless. Wear ’em often! (More than I wear my 4″ designer heels. Lol!)

    • Sigh… I’m going to dress super cute on Monday, just so I can start this thread and feel good about my answer :)

      Today is casual Friday, so I’m in a black, company-logo polo, dark-wash jean capris, and leather flip-flops. Yesterday was a plain blue jersey dress, cream 3/4 sleeve cardi, silver and pearl necklace, and nude/tan pumps.

      I do really well with Mon-Wed, but I get pretty boring and basic by Thurs/Friday! We’re business casual, toughing out the Texas heat (2 days short of killing the record highs in 1980, at a cool 90 degrees!).

    • Medium gray Talbot’s tropical weight wool pants, light gray – almost silver – raw silk shell, white cotton Talbot’s twill jacket with 3/4 sleeves and stand collar, black microfabric peeptoe slingback Donald Pliner shoes [Chanel’s Lotus Rouge on the toes], pearl necklace, wide silver huggie earrings, stainless steel tiny Citizen watch, my wedding band. Makeup – very neutral with bright (for me) lips. And, as I type this, I realize that my toe color and my lip color are the same. That’s a bit matchy. Oh well. I made the shell myself. Seriously. I have a Talbot’s silk shell from last year that fits me wonderfully and has very simple lines. I’m no seamstress, but I used the Talbot’s shell to make a pattern, then made this shell. It was actually very easy.

    • I work in an office that has a business formal dress code, so my outfit is a bit boring (although I am pushing the limits of it). Today I am wearing a navy skirt suit from j. Crew, green silk s/s shirt with blue and green ruffles at the top, porcini perfect pumps from Ann Taylor, large fake pearl/bead necklace, and pearl earrings. I should probably be wearing hose, but just can’t make myself wear them because it is so hot and humid. At least it is Friday, so I can wear sundresses and flats soon!

    • I love these threads!

      We have Jeans Friday ($2 towards charity), and I am going away for the weekend after work (and not seeing any clients), so I am wearing dark blue skinny jeans, a light blue drapey tank top, a dark blue/green cardigan, a blue silk scarf for neck coverage, and my 60’s style brown leather tooled sandals.

      I also had fun pin curling my hair last night, so it is all curly today!

    • black sandals
      black pants
      white tank top
      Silvery-blue 3/4 sleeve cardigan
      Black/silver toursade necklace

    • camel colored pants from New York and Company (my “oh crap, none of my old nice work pants fit and I need to buy something cheap now until I can lose 5 pounds” pants) and a black boat-neck short-sleeve sweater from Coldwater Creek, black pumps, and red necklace and earrings (not sure what they’re made out of-acrylic? resin?). And I’ve got the wrap I keep in my office on because the AC is way too high today.

    • The Worst Corporette Ever :

      After SIX visits from the washing machine repair guy, I still don’t have a functioning machine, so I’m in too-short jeans, a wrinkled top that gapes when I bend down, and a pill-y sweater. I also had a bike mishap yesterday, so my hands are stained with bike grease that won’t come off.

      It’s a hide-in-the-office-with-the-door-half-closed kind of day.

      • Try using dish detergent (such as Dawn) with the abrasive side of a kitchen sponge. It’s the only thing that will remove stubborn grease for me.

        • The Worst Corporette Ever :

          Ooh, thanks. I tried dish soap on its own, but it didn’t do the trick. I’ll give it a shot.

          It’s less embarrassing than the time I forgot to put on gloves before dyeing my hair a very, very dark brown…

      • Your moniker made me laugh :-)

    • Always a NYer :

      Today we have casual Friday so I’m wearing a pair of brown cargo pants, an aqua tee with a turquoise cardi over it from J. Crew, and tan wedge sandals. For jewelry I have on large fan gold earring (yes they dangle and move when my head does but it’s Friday and my hair covers them for the most part =p), watch, gold rope bracelet, my college ring, claddagh ring, and one of my grandfather’s rings. I’m a bit of a jewelry whore, I know, but I own it!

      Wouldn’t it be awesome if this thread popped up every day? I now have my wardrobe mapped out for at least the next week because of it!

    • Running out of monikers :

      Way more casual than usual today. Half my office is on vacation. Navy blue dress pants from BR outlet (they are more of a heavy khaki material than traditional dress pants), gray and white patterned tee from target (you know the double lined ones that are great under suits), 3/4 sleeve pink cable cardigan from Talbots, open, gray flats with a big silver buckle, fake diamond earings and necklace with white gold celtic knots in the setting. Hair is in a low pony.

      • Running out of monikers :

        Just to clarify, the cardigan is open, not the flats…just in case you were wondering how shoes could be open or if you thought I meant open toe.

    • I planned my outfit today based on a pair of red gingham flats I got incredibly marked down at Zara this week. I’m wearing them with a denim pencil skirt, a white top, burgundy sweater and silver laser cut look jewelry.

    • Anonymous :

      PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). I’m working on site.

    • Law student in between internship and classes – running errands all morning. Black tshirt, denim skirt (mid-thigh), long dark green cotton cardigan, aqua sandals. Silver multi-pendant necklace, ponytail, black longchamp tote.

    • Gray knit dress, scarf with a peacock feather design, purple capri leggings (don’t hate me, the AC is on way strong, it’s barely business casual here in the summer, and I have seen a total of maybe 5 people all day) and turquoise flats.

    • More-Casual Friday in a Business Casual office

      Navy cotton knee-length skirt
      blue/white/yellow print cotton wrap sleeveless top, which is unexpectedly low-cut
      light blue scarf (because of the top)
      blue cascading sweater, cotton
      beige/multicolor mary janes

    • Awful Lawful :

      Steel grey ruffle neck tshirt, black cotton blazer, dark wash jeans and black almond toe pumps. I also have a fun statement necklace with black and silver balls (for lack of a better descriptive term) and black pearl stud earrings. Also, my black leather Coach tote. This post is making me realize I seriously need to add some more color to my wardrobe!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Casual Friday! Navy and white striped long sleeve tee (wish they’d turn the air down!), dark cookie Johnson trouser jeans and black Hermes sandals I bought in Paris in like 1995, similar to Oran but without the side cut outs…. Cost per wear is now in the half a cent per wear range

      Meeting friends for drinks and a movie after work…..

      • One of my favorites: empire waist, 3/4 slightly puff sleeve (at the wrist and shoulder), black/white/navy square print dress – with a similar, smaller print that highlights the waist and neckline. I think it’s rayon/spandex. I always get tons of compliments. And I have no memory of where I got it!

    • More casual than usual Friday here – cuffed dark jeans, light yellow company polo, Rainbow flip-flops.

      Now that our temperatures have been outside of the 110+ range, 80 degree days/nights have started feeling chilly!

  14. R in Boston :

    I know I said these threads usually improve my outfits, but I am boring again today. This time, though, it’s because I need to do some laundry.

    Blue trousers, nude for me shoes, cream cowl neck top, purple cardigan, and holy moly I just realized I forgot to put on jewelry this morning. Clearly I need more coffee.

    • R in Boston :

      Ugh. Also failed to make this a reply to the outfits thread. DEFINITELY need more coffee.

  15. Just got an email from Ann Taylor, they dropped their sale styles by another 50%… no code needed

  16. Hey ladies –

    What are your recommendations for the best spanx for tummy slimming? I feel like I have gained a few pounds and need to squish myself into spanx until I lose them so that my clothes fit better.


    • Makeup Junkie :

      I have Assets from Target. It’s like an old-fashioned girdle that goes high, just under my bra, and hits just above my knee

      • Backgrounder :

        I like Assets, the low-cost brand made by spanx, too. The only thing is they aren’t as good of quality as the “real deal” spanx but they get the job done. I found that mine have started to roll down at the top which is annoying…

  17. PSA. This gorgeous Carmen Marc Valvo gown is marked down 50% for I believe another hour. I can see someone wearing it as a wedding dress.

  18. Oh my goodness, how unbelievably gorgeous. I really hope someone does buy it as a wedding dress. I would wear it as one, no question.

    I have a Carmen Marc Valvo 50s-style, ivory devore evening dress that I bought about 5 years ago and absolutely adore. Not being able to do up its zipper the whole way earlier this spring was what got me into running. I haven’t been brave enough yet to see whether I can now do it up completely…

    • Of course I meant that as a reply to Bonnie! What is going on with me today? It must be Friday.

    • Although if I were rich and glamorous and about 5 inches taller than I am, I would wear this:

      With my “heirloom earrings”, bien sur.

      Now back to work.

  19. New In House Job - Negotiate Maternity Leave? :

    I got a great in-house job yesterday. I am very excited and am generally satisfied about the salary and benefits. I received my offer letter today and asked HR about the company’s maternity leave policy. They are covered under FMLA, but leave is not paid. Is this something that people generally negotiate. I am at a law firm now and the policy here is 12 weeks paid. I hope to have a second child sometime in the future, and considering that I am likely to be the only one working for awhile (we are moving for the new job), it would be difficult to save three months salary for a leave. Thoughts?

    • FWIW, my gov’t agency (and I presume, the fed gov’t as a whole) does not offer paid maternity leave. You can use your accrued sick and vacation time, then take off unpaid. Is this a deal-breaker for you? You can negotiate but I wouldn’t handicap your chances all that high.

      Could you delay your start date until after the baby? Any chance of accruing sick/vacation before then? If you were doing this before getting pregnant, I would say look into short-term disability policies — but at this point, I would assume the pregnancy would be pre-existing so it wouldn’t be covered. That’s an option the next time around.

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