Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Novelty Menswear Button Front Jacket

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

Anne Klein - Novelty Menswear Button Front Jacket (Admiral Navy Multi)While The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale will be the big sale news of today (and I’ll be doing my roundup in a bit), there are still a ton of other good deals to be had — including 6pm’s sale on Anne Klein, with prices up to 80% off. There are a lot of great basics and not-so-basic items, like this “novelty” blazer. I like the nubby textured pattern, the fitted shape, and the flap pockets. Even though it’s navy, I probably would wear it with black (as pictured); I think it would also look great with pale gray. It was $169, but is now marked 70% off to $50.70. (It’s also available in petite.) Anne Klein – Novelty Menswear Button Front Jacket (Admiral Navy Multi) – Apparel

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


  1. 20-Year High School Reunion :

    I could really use some fashion advice. I have my 20-year high school class reunion this summer and I want to look the best I can. I’d like to wear a dress, but I rarely wear dresses. I have the H body shape, so one of the few body types that does not look good in a wrap dress. I haven’t found a sheath dress that looks good on me either, given my post-babies stomach pooch. I’m short-waisted, 5’4”, and usually a size 12 in petites.

    I have paler skin, but otherwise dark features. That means I can wear lots of different colors and probably look best in brighter colors, like blue, red, magenta, fuchsia, etc. The reunion is in the Midwest, so I suspect it will be more casual than the coasts, but I’d rather dress up more than a maxi dress and sandals. I wouldn’t feel comfortable in a strapless dress or one that exposes my back, but don’t mind sleeveless or really any length of sleeve.

    I’d love some suggestions on the type of dress that may look good on my body type or even links to specific dresses. Or maybe separates, like a lovely blouse that elongates my torso with a cute skirt? I don’t know. Please help!

    • I suggest a bright color cap sleeve dress and shape wear. Have fun!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m just taking a stab here since I’m not an H shape, but I think two tone dresses tend to look good on H shapes – have you tried those?

      I would think a two tone dress, with the darker color on the bottom, potentially in a jersey type fabric, would minimize your lower have and add some waist definition. This one was recommended in the comments yesterday and I think it’s gorgeous:

    • I’m a similar size but hourglassy. Check out the rosette dress by Lafayette on neimanmarcus last call. May work for you and would be right for a reunion.

    • I’m an apple shape with wide shoulders and a large bust. Is that what you mean by an H shape? I have recently discovered that I *love* fit and flare-style dresses for dress-up occasions. My favorite new dress has a fitted bodice with a scoop neck and short sleeves and a fullish skirt. I had shied away from this type of dress for a long time, thinking that the fitted bodice wouldn’t look good with my belly, but it’s actually really flattering if you find one that fits well. I have a dress in this style from Anne Klein and one I got at Madewell.

      • 20-Year High School Reunion :

        H shape means my shoulders and hips are about the same width, but I’m not hour glassy; my waist doesn’t whittle down much. So when I wear a wrap dress, for instance, it just emphasizes my not-so-narrow waist. Because I’m short-waisted, my natural waist is right under my chest, but then I look so stumpy up top if that’s where I cinch.

        I like the description you give of the dress that looks good on you. I’ll have to hunt for them. Thanks!

        • Yep, that sound like me except my shoulders are probably slightly larger than my hips. I’m also petite and short-waisted, so I bet this style would work for you too.

        • I am H shaped and your size (although I’m slightly longer waist-ed so I don’t usually wear petites). I rarely wear dresses also and have the toughest time even finding one that looks good on me. My “go to” would be separates… but if you have your heart set on a dress, what I have found that works (interestingly discovered this when trying on wedding dresses) is a drop waist dress (which will elongate your torso). Because the seaming for the waist is lower, this will create a longer torso and if the dress is cut with a little “nipping” in at where the natural waist should be, it creates the illusion of a waist. I have been eyeing this dress and have not ordered it (because it is pricey). I have something similar from Marc Jacobs and it is flattering and sassy!

    • I believe that with the H-shape, the best suggestion for shape is a high waisted/empire waist dress that emphasizes your narrowest point below your bust. And then has detailing on the bust area to draw attention up.

      I found this Calvin Klein dress that might work (link in next post to avoid the mod-bot). Another option might be “the dress” at Nordies, which has a fairly high neck line.


      • This one might work as well, its a bit less for fitted then “the dress” but has the empire waist and the lovely color and detailing. Actually, I really like it.

        • Ack! Why are you posting these dresses that would look good on me! Must not put more on my credit card after ordering from the NAS this morning…

        • 20-Year High School Reunion :

          I was hoping you would reply, TCFKAG! These are lovely suggestions.

          There’s a Nordstrom’s in my city. Does anyone know if “the dress” and other suzi chin ones are usually stocked in the stores or should I just order on-line ALL THE DRESSES?

          • Also this one would look lovely.


            (Sorry NOLA). 20-Year, I’d just call your local Nordies and ask. They’ll be very helpful. Otherwise, free shipping and free returns baby.

          • I was just going to ask if you had thought about the personal shopper at Nordies route? There are so many dress options at Nordies, and if you got an appointment with a personal shopper, i bet they could help you find some great options!

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Argh TCFKAG!!! Those are both really cute. My never-pay-full-price commandment is holding me back, but juuuuuust barely.

    • There are some really cute dresses at the limited. the links I’ve posted have disappeared for some reason, but I would check them out. They have cute short dresses that are blousey on top and I think would create a nice shape for you. They would be easily dressed with cute heels and belt.

      • 20-Year High School Reunion :

        There are some cute dresses there! And I probably wouldn’t have thought to look at the Limited. Thank you!

      • hellskitchen :

        I second this. I am between an H and semi-hourglassy (because I am tall and busty) and wrap dresses look terrible on me. I have really lucked out with Limited dresses… I have two from there that are blousey on top but taper at the waist.

    • anon in tejas :

      I found two great dresses at Kohls. Links to follow.

      • Sorry to glom onto your post, but I have a 30 year hs reunion on the east coast in November. I am 5’5 thin, and long waisted with an average bust and narrow hips. What would look good on me?

        • So, without more info, its a little hard to give great advice, but generally it sounds like something fitted with a dropped waist would flatter you best because it would emphasize your figure.

          I don’t know how formal an event it is or how much you want to spend or what colors you like, but something like this might be lovely on you:

        • Okay. I’ve tried to post a link to a lovely dropped waist dress from the Limited (with a fun funky floral pattern and pockets) twice now, but its not workings, so I recommend going to the site and checking it out. I think it might be perfect for you. There are actually several that might work.

          • Thank you. I love that limited dress. I think I might order that dress. I am not sue, however, if it would be appropriate for end of November in the Boston area.

    • Have you seen this? It recommends a two-tone dress with a patterned top.

    • Seattleite :

      I’m a short-waisted, busty, H-shape, and spent all of last evening running the personal shopper at Macy’s ragged.

      Try Lauren by Ralph Lauren dresses. Try them ALL. Some looked great, some not so great, but even the not-so-great ones were close enough that I feel like overall, this is a good line for our shape. The jersey is substantial, colors nicely saturated, and most of it is on sale right now.

    • There are very pretty DVF colorblock dresses at Nordstrom, several of them reduced, that I think would work very well on an H-type body.

    • I wouldn’t normally think Eddie Bauer, but I happened to be in one of their outlet stores last week and picked up this dress in a deep magenta (when you say pale skin and dark features, do you mean like snow white coloring? If so, then that’s what I have, too and this color was fantastic on me). Here’s the dress in the regular store:–SKIRTS&pCategoryId=3&pCategoryName=WOMEN&gpCategoryId=1&gpCategoryName=EB&catPath=~~categoryId=100~~categoryName=DRESSES–SKIRTS~~pCategoryId=3~~pCategoryName=WOMEN~~gpCategoryId=1~~gpCategoryName=EB&viewAll=n&pg=1

      • 20-Year High School Reunion :

        Hmm, intriguing. I admit to shopping at EB for weekend clothes, so I will definitely check this out. Thanks!

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    I wish I could pull off menswear inspired jackets. Unfortunately, with my broader shoulders, all my femininity ends up getting swallowed and I actually end up looking like a man. Sigh.

  3. According to this blog, your best bet is empire waists, details on top, and no tucking.

    Maybe look for something cute at Boden or Talbots?

    • This was to HS Reunion.

      This is cute –

      • Also this –

        • 20-Year High School Reunion :

          Thanks, Adele. Boden didn’t have my size in that dress but I ordered another dress. They had lots of nice-looking dresses, but the good news for my wallet is that many were out-of-stock in my size. Can’t wait to try the one I ordered on.

      • SoCal Gator :

        I have that pink Talbots maxi dresses and I love it! I have worn it a bunch of times already. It can be worn for a dressier occasion and is so fun to wear. Highly recommend!

  4. When I first clicked on this TPS report and saw the model, the first thought that flashed through my head was….why is Carole Middleton on (this site) and why does she now look like Hilary Swank?

  5. T a l b o t s has a good faux-wrap jersey dress that is very mom-tummy friendly (and lots of other cute dresses right now). I’m about your height with a high waist. Lots of other cute things.

  6. House cleaning :

    TJ – I know we’ve talked before about hiring housecleaners. After we both recently each had about another 5 hours added to our weekly work schedule, my husband and I are taking the plunge and hiring a cleaning person to start in about three-four weeks, one full day per week + special events.

    We are planning to interview four different people who have been recommended to us by friends and family, and then pick one. Does anyone have experience with interviewing a cleaning person, and what sort of questions I should ask or what I should look for? Also, what do you think is the best day of the week for a cleaning person to come, if I were lucky enough to have a choice?

    (Soooo excited!)

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I would say the most important thing is checking references (since these are people that will have access to your home and your possessions, after all). Establishing a rapport, feeling comfortable with them, all that is important but I don’t think there are any specific questions you need to ask.

      1 full day per week seems like a lot, but if you are only hiring one person and you have a big house I suppose it’s fine. My parents have a cleaning people and a few years ago in high school, it took a team of 3 people about 2 hrs to do our 4 bedroom house (straightening up, vacuuming and mopping, Windexing windows, cleaning the bathrooms, etc) a full day for a really deep clean every month or so. But I guess that also depends on your level of comfort as well as your lifestyle.

      My parents always had people come on Thursday which I think is the best because the house is clean for the weekend, when you spend the most time in it and when you might entertain.

      • House cleaning :

        We are only hiring one person (we live in a rural area, there are very few teams other than a few mother-daughter teams). While our house is not that big, we have two dogs and my husband works in construction so our house can get very dirty very quickly. I love my dogs, but I also have allergies, so I have to keep the dust and dander under control.

    • If you want the person to do your laundry, I’d discuss with her (while I recognize this person coudl be a man, statistically it’s more likely to be a woman so I’ll use “her”) how she does laundry–especially if you’re particular about sorting, what goes in the dryer and doesn’t, etc. The lady who cleans for me also does my ironing (it’s awesome!), washes any dirty dishes (I don’t stack up the sink with dishes, but I usually have some in there if I know she’s coming), empties the dishwasher, cleans my outdoor furniture and sweeps my balcony, washes windows (inside and out), and does all the inside stuff. Yes, she’s Super Woman. But the cleaning people who work for a lot of my friends don’t do this kind of stuff so if you’d want someone to, you may want to ask about that. But the woman who comes to my house has a little more time because I put everything away before she arrives and get the laundry started so there isn’t anything for her to straighten up and she only has a couple of loads of clothing to wash.

      Agree with momentsofabsurdity that Thursdays are great days and you should check references. Enjoy coming home to a clean house–it is awesome!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I love when my housecleaner comes on Fridays so I get a weekend of complete clean happiness.

      If there’s anything you really hate and want the person to do, ask about that. A lot of housekeepers in my area do not do any laundry or dishes. Mine does some laundry (1-2 loads while he’s at our house) and all dishes. YAY. Also ask if the person will provide his own cleaning supplies and vacuum. If you care what the products are, you should ask that, and if he or she would clean with your preferred products if you buy them.

    • I have my house cleaned on Mondays. I hated the Friday schedule when I had it. During the week, when we’re not home much, the house stays pretty clean. On the weekends, it gets trashed. When it gets cleaned on a Friday, I end up living in a dirty house for a few days. Cleaning on a Monday means that the messiest stuff is cleaned up right away and the house is almost always clean.

    • I have my cleaning persom come for 3-4 hrs each Monday afternoons and Friday afternoons. In addition to cleaning, she does dishes, food prep (making simple casseroles, etc), and folds laundry.

      I agree with momentsofabsurdity that the person’s references and the vibe you get from them are more importan than any particular questions. But whether they will use their own cleaning supplies or yours and how often you will pay them are good things to get specified.

      • Can anyone reccomend a house cleaner in the LA area? I have been looking on Angie’s list but nothing is jumping out at me. We still have tiny house until we start the project (750 square feet, just me and the husband) but if I don’t get someone to clean in there we are going to kill each other.

        I think probably every other week is good for me, because it is such a small house and really all I need done is mopping, bathroom, dishes and for someone to hang up clothes. We’re weird, we don’t mind washing them, just putting them away!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Where in L.A. are you? I’m in the San Gabriel Valley and I use a service called Home Sweet Home and have been reasonably happy with them. I like a service because they take care of payroll taxes and insurance and so on, and if I’m unhappy with something I just call the office and it gets fixed.

          • SoCalAtty :

            I’m in Burbank, so San Gabriel wouldn’t be super far. I love that they have an office! Will check them out.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Web site is hshmaid dot com.

    • Tuesdays work for us. We straighten up Monday nights and the house is still in good shape for weekend guests.

    • karenpadi :

      Yay! I live by myself (and two cats) in a tiny house and I love my cleaning lady.

      I got “lucky”–she had an opening because one of her clients passed (sad but strangely fortunate for me) and I think someone took that person’s prime slot and other people shifted so I got “last pick” on Monday morning. I actually don’t mind Monday mornings.

      I didn’t ask too many questions. She bought a few things, made me buy a new vacuum, and we get along. When something runs out, she leaves the empty on the counter and I replace it with a full before she comes back.

      The one thing I had to correct was her cleaning my seasoned cast iron. Ouch. Oh well, now we are on the same page. If I leave out dirty dishes, she’ll clean them so I am sure to have everything in the dishwasher before she comes. I try to treat her really well–she makes my life so much better!

  7. Anita (formerly S) :

    I recommend Fridays. Your mess from the week disappears and, if you’re having people over on the weekend, your house is all ready for guests.

  8. Here’s a fun thread idea that Kontractor’s point yesterday about how maybe it’s not always best to wear a suit to an interview made me think of –

    What is your shameful secret that if everyone knew, they’d make you turn in your Corp o r e t t e card?

    Mine is that I really don’t like women’s blazers. I’ve never seen one I liked, really. If I could avoid ever buying one in my life, I would. I think they look good on very few women (actually, I think they look good on almost no women), and I hate that I’m going to have to find a way to start liking them as I progress in my career.

    What’s yours?

    • I hate buying shoes, own very few pairs that I can wear to work (a black, a brown, and a nude) and would be perfectly happy wearing running shoes every single day for the rest of my life with every outfit I own. If I ever get married, I am definitely following the lead of the bride in Father of the Bride and wearing new running shoes with my dress. An absolutely amazing idea.

    • EC MD did something similar to this recently – about what “rules” we regularly break. Made me wonder who made up these rules anyway. I can’t wear jackets. The structure just doesn’t look good on me. When I was a little thinner, I could wear boxier jackets but that just doesn’t look good. I substitute cardigans but I am in a very casual environment where I actually dress up more than most during the school year.

    • Midwesterner :

      I don’t buy gifts for all the occasions most of the ladies here seem to. I don’t bring hostess gifts unless it’s a pretty formal event (like a holiday dinner), never give anything to my co-workers, etc. I don’t have the time or money to participate in this nicety, and I often find it awkward to receive such gifts (because then you always feel like you should return the nicety at some point). So, I try to express my appreciation for people through words and actions.

      • I think sending hand written thank you notes is a great substitute for these types of gifts. So few people do them nowadays that I think hostesses appreciate them.

        On a similar note, I don’t tip as many people around the holidays as others seem to (The person who clips my dog’s nails???? Really??), and the people I do tip, I don’t think I tip as much.

        • I also don’t tip a ton at the holidays, which I hate admitted because I waitressed for so long. Other than waitresses and bartenders, I’m actually a terrible tipper in general. I feel like , for example, my coffee barista makes at least minimum wage (which a lot of waitresses and bartenders do not) and bringing me my coffee is their job. I just don’t think that if there is a counter, it deserves a tip unless they go way out of their way. I almost never give a special “holiday” tip, even to my paper-delivery person. I know I’m awful.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            I am a bad person like this too. I also never used to tip the dog groomer because I honestly didn’t know it was a thing. I still am a little resentful when I fork over $5 after paying $50 for her to bathe, cut and brush my easy dog who loves to be groomed and is not at all difficult.

          • I groomed dogs in high school, and the tips were always a nice bonus but never expected. We made above minimum wage, and dealt with dogs that were wonderful to dogs that were terrible to groom.

          • I am a terrible tipper too. I don’t do holiday tips in general, and when I am more or less obligated to tip (e.g. in restaurants), I tip the absolute minimum unless the person has actually given me exceptionally good service. I see no reason to give people tons of money for doing something that is already their job in the first place.
            Yes, clearly I am a curmudgeon.

          • transition :

            Nonny, I am with you when it comes to folks who make a regular rate (such as a barista or dog groomer) but servers/bartenders are typically paid $2.13/hr (before taxes) because the company and government expect that the majority of the pay will come from tips.

            While most jobs allow for some down time or the ability to have a bad day, servers/bartenders never really get that. They are truly having to be in “put on a happy face mode” every second. Add in that they’re always on their feet and that often mistakes that cost them tips are made by the kitchen staff, manager, another server, etc. and it always makes me tip 20% and drop the amount a bit for poor service (rudeness, not refilling drinks, things within his/her control) rather than to start low and see if s/he jumps through hoops of fire to earn more.

          • Thanks, K. I’m pretty sure it’s illegal for employers to do that in Canada, but I’ll keep that in mind next time I’m eating in a restaurant in the US. (But for the record, I am flabbergasted that employers even do that! Is it actually legal? Isn’t “minimum wage” just that?)

          • Previous Waitress/Barista :

            In addition, minimum wage isn’t actually enough to live on.

            If minimum wage was actually a livable wage, I’d probably forgo the tip unless I got excellent service, but DC’s minimum wage is $15,840 a year, assuming the workers are allowed to work 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, which they most assuredly are not.

            So yeah, I think tipping is necessary, even for baristas.

          • Leslie Knope :

            Nonny–in my state, the rule is that waitresses are paid (I think) $2.13/hr. The expectation is that they will report all tips to management and the IRS. Theoretically, if the waitress has a crazy-slow day and makes only a few bucks in tips, management is supposed to add to her paycheck so that the earnings per hour get up to $6 or whatever the minimum wage is. In practice, I don’t think that often happens.

          • Leslie – My experience has been that most restaurants “encourage” you to report at least enough to make the minimum wage, because they know if you make more that most people don’t report the extra. Most people I worked with were ok with that, since they didn’t want to report/get taxed on all their tips. Not saying thats right or wrong, but thats kind of the system.

            Previous Waitress – I agree that the minimum wage is not a lot of money. However, since I can’t afford to tip/give money to every person that I hypothesize might need it (why give a tip to my barista but my cashier at Walmart?) I drew the line at the minimum wage. Since minimum wage expects bartenders and waitresses to be tipped, I tip. It’s a terrible system with a lot wrong with it, and I may be an awful person, but unless someone in a service industry that is paid at least min wage goes WAY out of their way for me (once they drew a picture with caramel in my coffee foam! I tipped for that.), I just won’t tip. That’s my rule.

          • I also groomed dogs while in highschool and undergrad. I agree, tipping was appreciated but not expected. Keep in mind though that many groomers work on commission, so they may not be making minimum wage, depending on how busy they are. I had days where I made $4 on an 8 hour shift, because the only thing I did all day was trim one dog’s nails.

    • Most days, I don’t wear a suit to my biglaw job even though that’s the dress code and most people follow it. Of course, I wear one when it’s required, but most days it’s just me in a cute skirt, top, and brightly colored heels. Some days I wear a blazer, but not usually. I think it’s okay because people are always telling me I’m the best dressed person at the firm, and I always look pretty put together based on jewelry and just looking like I put a lot of thought into my outfit (which I do).

    • I rarely by dress pants, not because I don’t like them, but because I’m too lazy to take them to get hemmed. This is also why many of my skirts are a hair too long.

      My nails are atrocious. My hair is frequently ALSO atrocious. Also I hate make-up and don’t wear it unless I really, really want to look extra polished, like for an interview. I only recently started even washing my face on a regular basis. :-)

      • I’ve worn makeup to work less than 5 times in 2012. I hate my job and just can’t be bothered to get up 5 minutes earlier to put on some foundation and mascara even when I am breaking out like a champ. I’ll do it for interviews and meeting up with friends, but not for work.

      • Me too on make-up. My excuse is that none of the (few) senior ladies did way back when I was a junior analyst in the 90s.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ditto on the makeup and facewashing

      • I love my job. I just hate make up. I forget it’s there and then I smear it. I think I actually wash my face more when I do not wear makeup. Weird I know.

      • karenpadi :

        Me too! Except for the pants–I don’t want to shave so skirts are out. I get them hemmed at the store (super-expensive but at least it gets done).

        Nails atrocious-yes. Hair-was atrocious until I chopped it off and got a pixie. I keep my make-up at during the week so I can put it on before client meetings or before I leave to meet on online date. Oh and the make-up–I ran out of make-up after 5 years so I went to Bare Essentials and had the resident artist pick me out new a new day look and night look. My blush and eyecolors were so outdated that they no longer carry them.

        I can’t bring myself to shop any weekends so my clothes are falling apart and I have to set an appointment to get to a store. I thought this site would help but I am so unmotivated when it comes to actually shopping.

      • You a Republican by chance, Nonny?

    • Warning: incredibly depressing.

      When posts and threads here talk about what to do in your workplace to be taken seriously, move up etc. I can’t help but think how these tips have never applied to me because all of my jobs have been so clearly dead-end. It’s made very little difference that I always dressed professionally and had the right air at work, because the bottom line is that nothing could change that (as I realize looking back). It helps to know that I’m giving it my best effort in every way, and I’m making major changes now to get out of this career pattern, but in the meantime I catch myself thinking “why not the nail art or the sparkly purple lip gloss? I shouldn’t have to dress for a part that nobody will ever let me play anyway.”


      • I do know this feeling. Can you push the envelope at all (like blue nail polish on your toes or something)? Sometimes it helps to feel like you’re getting in a small rebellion, even if no one else knows about it. Hang in there!

      • Oh Monday – I so empathize!

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’m wearing 4.5″ pink heels today. Most of my jackets don’t button comfortably at the waist. They fit perfectly everywhere else but I guess my waist is larger than it should be, and I really don’t want to pay my tailor to basically remake every jacket when I always wear them open anyway. I change into and out of my gym clothes in the office rather than at the gym, so I briefly walk around the halls in gym clothes.

    • I sometimes show a little cleavage at work. Not because I’m trying to be sexy – but I’m a 36DD and keeping them 100% under wraps is damn near impossible. It would basically require me to wear crewneck tops every day of the week.

    • Sometimes I run in only a jog bra. In an area where people from my work are known to exercise.

      • Cornellian :

        this is actually a fear of mine… even though I live in a neighborhood very thin on lawyer/banker types.

      • Oh girl, I ran track and cross country practices for a bunch of high school students in a sports bra. I once had a five-minute conversation with an administrator-boss-type person wearing a bright pink bra and short-shorts.

        I mentioned this on ECMD’s thread too, but I think my most major thing is that I’m just not ambitious. I really do not give a fig about having a Fancy Job and a Fancy House and a Fancy Wardrobe and a Fancy Watch.

        I also cried in front of my old boss once.

        • I generally don’t have real conversations, but I have exchanged hi on many occasions with 2 big bosses whose names are in the firm name. They still give me projects, and I still have a job, so hopefully they are not judging me.

      • SoCal Gal :

        *only* a jog bra? That’s a bold look.

    • I secretly hate all pants that have an actual waistband (as opposed to elastic). Seriously. Give me riding pants any day of the week. Also pro-sports bra. Occasionally, if there’s no one in the office, I try to sneak one in. much more comfortable.

      • L I love you! If I could wear my riding outfit every day, I would be happy. I sometimes ride before work, and one day I came in wearing tan Baker Breeches with plaid (it looks like tan burberry plaid) trim, extra shiny tall boots, and a really cute black polo with a bling belt. In the elevator, some lady was like “oh you look so great, where did you get those boots, are they Gucci!?” I was cracking up and just said “thanks.” Hey man, us riders are high fashion now!

        Guilty anti ‘rette pleasure? I rarely wear makeup (just foundation + powder), sandales/heels with my slacks, jeans on Friday (that’s allowed), and show cleavage! Also, I wear cuffed pants :)

        I’m currently wearing my cute paper denim and cloth jeans, a light grey wrap top, and black wedges with my hair in a low pony. Blasephemer!

        • I don’t think cuffed pants look that bad but once I caught my heel in a cuff and went right.down. So no more cuffs for me…

    • I’m currently wearing extremely casual khakis (obviously frayed from three years of walking), a casual long sleeve shirt and a pair of bright orange flats that I realized a couple weeks ago are not looking so hot in the toes.

      Frumpy Friday, anyone?

      • Second Frumpy Friday. For me, it’s also Look Pregnant Even Though You’re Not Friday.

      • I’m with you in Frumpy Friday land… I have an all day meeting off-site today, so i’m wearing jeans and a hoodie. Altho, is it bad that now that I am here I am actually wishing i had worn yoga pants and really frumped it out?? ;oP

    • I’ve confessed it before: I wear open-toed stilettos to work all the time. *vapors!*

      • YOU HARLOT. ;-)

        • Ooh, AND I have a hair tie around my wrist RIGHT. NOW. as I type this. #howamistillemployed?

          • Hahaa, I try to disguise the hair ties around my wrist with carefully chosen stacked bracelets. With my thick, curly hair, the access to hair ties is a necessity.

    • I don’t wear heels anymore. I know they look better, but they hurt my feet and are terribly impractical during daycare drop-offs and pick-ups. I carry way too much stuff to work already; I’m not packing an extra pair of shoes, too.

      The rub is that ballet flats give me shin splints. I’m always on the hunt for non-frumpy shoes in that 3/4″- 1 1/2″ sweet spot. I’m sure I kill a lot of nice outfits with my choice of footwear, but I don’t feel like I should be in pain just to look good.

      • Try a 2 inch wedge! I’ve had good luck with those being comfortable

      • SF Bay Associate :

        The Cole Haan wedges on promo for NAS are exactly that, 1.5″. I also don’t do well in true flats. These small wedges are the most comfortablest shoes ever.

      • Try Cole Haan Air Tali (not Talia; don’t know why they have two lines with such similar names) wedges. They’re the best.

      • I just got the Monica Wedge at NAS and sounds like it would be a good one to check out for you

    • Kontraktor :

      Aw, glad to be inspiring spin-off threads. I think my ‘rule breaking’ thing is just that I sort of beat to the tune of my own drum in general. I mean, not always. I have a lot of really prim and buttoned up stuff/mannerisms that make me feel old sometimes. But I also have piercings, have worn my hair often in different ways, have a few different pairs of more prominent glasses, and I wear tons of bright colors and embellished things (now I’m thinking that people will have an image of me as a punky 80s jacket bead-azzled crazy now finance person/former defense contractor). I have worn black nail polish to work. I have regularly worn separates, more ‘fashiony’ suits, and even skirts/blouses to interviews. I love to wear pieces that are thought of as traditional staples, but that put a unique spin on that.

      I have said it before, but ultimately I try to dress and behave by the ‘whole person concept.’ To me, that means not focussing too much on any one item or quality about myself and rather work on conveying an overall air that I am put together, profressional, formal, but also fun/I have a personality. I don’t like to judge any one trait or item as appropriate or not, but rather think about how it might fit in with the bigger image of what I am trying to convey. Of course I follow rules too (I wore nylons to all my more formal interviews), but I still try to follow them with my own flare. For example, I had an interview with a big, buttoned up white shoe type bank, and I wore a black suit and nylons, but my black suit had a nice texture to it and some gold buttons on the cuffs, and I wore a cream silk semi mandarin collar blouse and a multi-layer gold and pearl necklace. I felt great. I feel this is the type of thing I try to do- play by the rules with the traditional elements, but yet make them my own at the same time and not worry if people are upset I didn’t wear something frumpy and shapeless with an ill-fitting button down because that is what I ‘should’ be wearing.

    • I almost never wear nylons. Only if it’s really cold. Or if I’m going to court. Otherwise, never…. they make me SWEAT!

      • I don’t even wear hose in state court. I’ve worn peep toes in state court hearings. Considering opposing counsel was dressed in a sleeveless leopard-print sheath dress and no jacket, I wasn’t too worried.

        I also sometime show show cleavage. Not a lot, but I’d have to wear turtlenecks or crewnecks every day to avoid it completely.

      • I’m not even sure I *own* hose anymore.

      • I don’t wear them for state or federal court. In fact, I tossed all my old pairs last weekend.

    • I’m always putting off doing my nails. So more often than not, I’m brushing a coat of the same color on top of my chipped nails.

      And since we’re being totally honest–I am frequently doing this in my car at red lights or in the parking lot before work. And yes, I have been known to only hit the first three of my toes when wearing my favorite wedges since that’s all that will be visible.

      • No shame. My assistant busted me this morning doing my nails in my office. I was reviewing discovery – review a page, paint a nail, review a page, paint a nail, and so on…

    • Gooseberry :

      Anon, I am TOTALLY with you, so if they take your card, they can have mine, too! I don’t fully agree that they don’t look good on others — in fact, my “fashion idol” at work is a senior attorney and I admire her outfits every single day. She dresses so perfectly for her age and position, and never seems “stuffy” yet is always so professional. And, she wears a blazer every. single. day. I always look at them in stores as I attempt to model her, but they are such a complete FAIL for me!

    • Former MidLevel :

      I’ve never read NGDGTCO and have no plans to do so.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Heh. I downloaded it to my iPad weeks ago (only because I saw the author’s assistant on What Not to Wear!) and can’t bring myself to look at it.

      • Anonymous NYer :


      • I’ve never read it either. Funnily enough, when I tell people to do what NGDGTCO would tell them to do…I’m really just relying on what others on here have SAID it says. :-P

    • I hate t-shirt bras (the kind that have a little bit of padding or foam or something to prevent show-through). Hate ’em. I find them so uncomfortable and not supportive, and they’re unbearable in hot weather. So I wear regular thin bras. As a result, when I wear a t-shirt or thin top, occasionally I notice belatedly that the texture of the bra shows through and sometimes I even have, um, headlights.

      Not sure this bothers anyone at my non-US workplace, but I’m sure it’s a cardinal sin on this site.

      • Cornellian :

        Haha, i have been known to do that. I think my switch to thin, no wire, no padding bras is actually more controversial because I am quite flat chested. I’m amazed at the amount of advertising that assumes because I’m smaller on top I am looking for bras to tide me over until I get breast enlargement surgery.

      • Those padded bras do not fit me at all, and so I wear the soft cup bras everyday, headlights and all. Have tried to use those sticker things, but they don’t work.

    • I’m not that into N o r d s t r o m.

      • Cornellian :

        I have never purchased a single thing at Nordstrom (!!)

        • You’re not the only one who’s never purchased a thing at Nordstrom, although I’ve liked what’s on their website (probably from folks who’ve posted links here.)

      • Yegads, that a card-revocable offence if there ever was one.

        That’s OK, we’ll keep you for your bada$$ commentary, which I love.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Oh snap!

        Same here. I am very unlikely to shop at a department store because the brand variety is too confusing for my mall store fashion sense.

      • Dude! I’ve never kept a single thing from Nordstrom.

      • Kanye East, I feel like I don’t even know who you are anymore.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        SO happy you said this. I think their clothes look old, and I don’t like either the Classiques Entier OR Halogen. Neiman Marcus has prettier models and prettier clothes (but I can’t afford anything there either).

    • I’ve cried at work at least 10 times over the past 5 years. About half were work related (client died, won a case, lost a case, stress) and half not (ex. death in family, almost got hit by a car right when walking in building). I try really hard not to and I try to excuse myself but my boss knows and then follows me and then I cry. :(

      I hate purple pumps.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I nearly exclusively wear pants to work so that I:
      (a) can wear loafers instead of pumps and
      (b) don’t have to keep my knees together.

      • Same!

        Regarding b, I have been told that I “sit like a truck driver” – thanks, Mom! – so best not to tempt fate.

    • I sometimes have VPLs and am incredibly lazy about getting a haircut, getting a pedicure, getting my eyebrows threaded, etc. etc. (Recently realized it had been ten months since my last hair cut — I have a bad habit of chopping bits off my bangs every few weeks instead of getting them done properly. )

    • I wear flip flops at work (not just to commute in). I love “real” shoes but I love my flip flops more!

    • Occassionally I skip my shower, if I haven’t worked out.

      Two of my nice pants “smile” a bit because I have gained 3 pounds since I bought them, but they are part of nice suit sets so I don’t want to get rid of them. I just keep telling myself I will lose these 3 lbs.

    • I hate wearing panties. I think mens boxers are SO much more comfortable so I usually wear those. If you haven’t tried it then you should give it a shot. Just make sure to wear a pair that aren’t too coarse.

    • I always go to work w/o combing my hair. (I have straight hair that I just put back in a ponytail.)

      It’s not *really* that much time to just comb it in the mornings, but I hate leaving hairs/broken ends all over the bathroom floor (post-combing) and having to leave the mess for when I get home. I comb my hair when I come home from work, clean up the mess, and feel happy and well-put-together at home. :-)

    • I hate paying more than $30 for a haircut. I usually go to the hair cuttery, and I don’t even pay extra for the shampoo or blow dry unless I have to be somewhere afterwards. Last time I went, it cost me $19 for my haircut, plus $5 tip. I’ve had $50-60 haircuts and the difference isn’t worth it to me. I can’t bring myself to even try paying more than that.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I get to work at 8:30 and am gone by 4:30 almost every day.

    • academicsocialite :

      Sometimes, when I want to wear peep-toe pumps, I only paint the toenails that “peep” out. I’m so lazy…

      • Senior Attorney :

        I could never do that because I am a chronic shoe-kicker-offer.

        • academicsocialite :

          You raise a good point; it does force me to keep my shoes on. Which is probably a good thing since I work in an open office and anyone can see my feet when they walk by.

    • emcsquared :

      I work at a large regional law firm and haven’t come into the office on a weekend since April.

      I hate thank you notes – I would rather not receive a gift than have to write a thank you note. I gave up on wedding thank yous after I realized I would need to write 450 of them (wedding showers – my mom went crazy). *terrible person*

  9. For fans of the Suzi Chin Ruched Faux Wrap dress (is this “The Dress” people have been referring to?) – apparently there’s no a version with longer sleeves! Personally I was actually liking the plus-size version better because it didn’t have cap sleeves.

    • That is “the dress”. Here’s my concern about the long-sleeved version. Is the waist band uneven as made, or is it that the model has it on funny? Otherwise, it looks nice.

      • Nevermind, now that I look at the short sleeved one, I see that its waist band is uneven too. Weird. Now that is going to bug me.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      A dress with sleeves? During double points?? Never-pay-full-price commandment is starting to crack. Must stay strong…

      • MaggieLizer :

        I’ve been sale stalking The Dress for a while now and I’ve never seen it on sale, except in plus sizes and only in limited colors. Perhaps my sale stalking skills are failing me, but I’m not sure The Dress really goes on sale. Just food for thought :)

        • Someone posted last week that it was on sale in one size and one color. Luckily it was my size and a color that I liked, so I got it on sale last week! I wore it to work yesterday and got tons of compliments.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Picked up this one on sale to try instead –

        • That is seriously cute. I like the style much better than the dress (but have tried on neither). Just ordered this to try on your rec SF Bay.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Lovely. Ordered!

      • I think it’s really worth full price. Also, the “cap sleeve” one doesn’t really have cap sleeves. It has full armpit and upper arm coverage.

  10. AnonInfinity :


    Also, something I don’t feel like I can share with most people in my real life. I got a Mirena yesterday after wanting one for a really long time. I’m really excited, and that makes me feel weird because I’m not sure this is the type of thing I should be so excited about. I’m already considering a career as a lawyer/IUD evangelist.

    • LOL! I understand. I loved my IUDs – they were the best birth control ever for me (had one after ds#2 and ds #3 were born). Until dh got the big V, of course. Go ahead & feel excited!

    • phillygirlruns :

      girl, i hear you on the IUD love. the insertion was probably one of the top 5 worst 15-minute-periods of my life, but it’s been heavenly ever since.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Dooood. No kidding. That was more painful that I imagined. Today I haven’t had any cramping or anything, though, so hopefully the worst is over.

    • iAdvocate :

      I have said more than 100 times in my life (out loud) that getting an IUD was the best decision I have ever made. And while, believe me, I have made some BAD decisions, I have made some great ones, too! And, I’m also a lawyer, so I’ll hand a shingle with you!

  11. Opinion from the hive please?

    Like most of you I have a list in my head of things I’d like to add to/need for my wardrobe. Near the top of my list is a nice cognac leather bag (I typically carry a nice largish tote to work, big enough to stash a pair of heels/maybe a file or two, supplemented with laptop bag if necessary). Saw this on NAS. Opinions?

    • I’d have to hold it, the strap doesn’t look long enough to comfortably rest on my shoulder (I always worry with totes that they will pop off my shoulder constantly if they are full, which drives me crazy).

      But aesthetically, its super pretty.

      • It does remind me though of this bag I’ve been eyeing for awhile, so I thought I’d share it, if you’re curious. (I like the cognac color as well).

        • My husband has had a Jack Georges briefcase for 5 years now and it still looks new after daily use!

      • I had the same thought. It’s beautiful, but I like longer straps. I’d worry that I’m so much of a clutz that when this is full and I’m in a hurry, it would bounce against b**bs and hurt. I need my bags to fall closer to my waist. But it is indeed a work of art.

  12. Just want to share that us Canadians are finally getting Nordstroms!!!
    Considering how much it is mentioned on this site, I am thrilled!

    • I posted about that last night! I may camp out the night before it opens….

      • I feel that way about Target. I think I’m more excited about Target coming than Nordstroms. Target is more my price range, I’m afraid. I just hope their stock in Canada is similar to what they stock in the US.

    • lol – great minds think alike! We were posting at the same time.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I know, I’m so very excited about both Nordstrom and Target (though admittedly, more excited about Nordstrom). Especially because it’s making it to my city, we never get anything good, like J .Crew, or Ann Taylor, so I’m pleased as punch that the Nordstrom powers that be decided to try my city:)

    • Really? Is that going to be only in Toronto? Well, good excuse for shopping when I go visit the family….Wooo-ee!

      • Equity's Darling :

        Not only Toronto –Nordstrom is opening in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. Ann Taylor is *apparently* opening two in Toronto, J.Crew has been in Toronto for a little while , and Target is doing a pretty wide roll-out from what I understand (around 100 stores I believe?).

        • Target is coming to Winnipeg for me, but nobody else :( Oh wells, I will have to plan a big shop in TO next time I’m there.

          • Haha, I mean, Target is the only one on that list that I will be able to shop at easily. Not that they are coming to Winnipeg **

    • *Deep breath*


      My day has just been made.

  13. For the Calgary ‘r e t t e s – dh was reading online last night that Nordstrom might be coming to Chinook Centre.

    Also, I read in a magazine on the weekend that J Crew will be opening up in West Edmonton Mall – I think it was this fall.

    And Buttercream Bakeshop in the Core (downtown) mall is now open. I really enjoyed my chocolate cheesecake cupcake yesterday. I better not make that a habit!

    • Equity's Darling :

      You should try Bliss too! They’re in Chinatown, and their cupcakes are awesome.

      • I’ll check out Bliss. I live near a Crave, so that’s where we go for special occasions when I decide not to bake anything (I usually choose to bake, though because I love baking).

        • Equity's Darling :

          I live near a Crave too, though I’m going to assume not the same one:)

        • An Non Ymous :

          LOL because Crave make the WestJet sandwiches and I am not a fan of WestJet food!

          • Equity's Darling :

            It’s not the same Crave. The one we’re referring to makes *only* baked goods, and in particular, cupcakes and cookies.

    • An Non Ymous :

      Prepare for lunchbag letdown with The Crew. Just sayin’.

      • Equity's Darling :

        I hear what you’re saying, but Edmonton is still ~ a 3 hour drive, so J.Crew will still be elusive and magical for us until it opens in Calgary.

  14. momentsofabsurdity :

    Just wanted to say – I hope the ‘ R e ttes in/near Aurora, CO and their friends and loved ones are safe and weren’t caught in last night’s terrifying shooting.

  15. Anon Lawyer :

    Lawyer-ladies – what are your thoughts on studying for CA bar exam while working full-time (in law)? I’m already admitted , so some of the stuff would be new, of course, but some of it would be a refresher (although it is about 5 years since I did it). I’m less than four years admitted, so I think I would need to take the general exam rather than attorney exam.

    I know CA is supposed to be hard, so wondering before committing.


    • Working what kind of hours? If you have a 40-50 hour a week job and can take at least a week off before the bar to study full-time, I think its definitely doable. Not fun, but doable. Just plan to devote all your weekends and evenings to it for a couple months and then study full-time for a week (ideally two). If you’re working 60+ hours a week I guess I just don’t see how you would have time to fit in enough studying. People do it at big firms I guess, but it seems unimaginable to me to study for a bar with the hours I’m working now (70+ a week on average). FWIW, I’ve only ever taken CA but this answer isn’t CA-specific, I think studying for any bar requires a pretty serious investment of time. I don’t have any comparision point but CA didn’t seem especially hard, although it is 3 days instead of the normal 2 so maybe longer bar = more stuff to learn?

  16. Hi ladies – personal question. What do you all use to trim the hair in your bikini area (not shave or totally remove it)? Can anyone recommend a particular product? My decade-old bikini line electric shaver died and they were never the greatest anyway, so I’m in the market for a new product. Thanks!

    • My sewing scissors??? With a rubbing alcohol wipe down before and after. Sigh. Considering I don’t sew, this is their highest and best use.

      • I guess I’ve always been afraid of stabbing/cutting myself if I used scissors, but this is a good (and cheap) possibility…

    • A pair of metal scissor that I’m not sure where I got them. They might just be metal craft scissors. They are also kind of rusted now because I do this in the shower and sometimes forget to remove them afterwards. I feel like its ok because I just use to them to trim and they never contact skin. Maybe I’m just in a tell-all mood from the disclosure thread above, but that’s the truth there.

      • Katie Nolan :

        Just be careful! If you accidentally snip yourself (done it; don’t recommend it) with rusty scissors, then you’ll need a tetanus shot (I think?)

    • Bliss makes one, and Sephora carries it. Love it!

    • anon for this :

      Schick Quattro has a razor on one end and a small electric shaver thing on the other that I use for trimming, and it’s cheap:

    • Cheap men’s norelco trimmer from target for 14 bucks. Works just as well as the fancy pink ones for women and much quicker than the scissors routine

    • anonthistime :

      DH has a basic, Wal-mart type electric shaver that has a “trim attachment.” It’s great for this purpose (I hope it goes without saying that he does not use this shaver on his face).

      • Is that weird? :

        I don’t mind sharing (though I’m a regular poster and have gone anon here, so I guess I do mind sharing!) that when my husband is too lazy to pull he beard trimmer out of its hard-to-reach-home in the top of a bathroom closet, he grabs my lady trimmer in a pinch. We also share a toothbrush, though, so our boundaries are pretty flimsy.

        • Is it weird that I can get on board with a shared trimmer but would never share my toothbrush with anyone, even in a dire emergency?

    • PharmaGirl :

      I use hair cutting scissors… just a cheap pair I picked up at a regular drugstore.

    • You can actually use a 3 or 4 blade razor to trim, not just shave. You lightly brush it in the direction the hair grows and you get a trim. It takes a more skilled hand for an even job, but I like the ease of doing it in the shower.

  17. My wallet is now $600 lighter due to the NAS. I bought the Halogen Plaid blazer and skirt, THE Skirt, Halogen denim trousers, a few Wacoal items, and three Classiques Entier tops. Several of the items I wanted (Lafayette Wool Trousers, cute sheath dresses) were already sold out.

    I also discovered that my credit card gives me 5% back for purchases. This is dangerous. Very dangerous.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Buy the wrong size. The NAS is new merchandise on promotion, so the merch will be restocked this fall, after the sale, even if it’s not restocked in your size during the sale. You can then exchange the wrong size (at the promo price) for the right size, with nary a penny more changing hands.

      Yes, I have a black belt in Nordie’s kung fu.

      • Nordie’s Kung Fu. Love it!

      • Yeah, the Lafayette Pants were completely sold out when I looking (they showed no sizes available – perhaps they were in people’s carts).

        Any thoughts on getting price adjustments for merchandise purchased last week full price that are now on sale? I bought the Natori bra for $62 and it’s now on sale for $39.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i managed to keep myself from buying anything from the NAS pre-sale until yesterday…when i just couldn’t take any more of the great reviews i was seeing. currently on their way to me:

      – two of the natori bra that got so much love yesterday (730023)
      – MK tortiseshell watch (554816)
      – vince camuto blazer in hot pink (556856)
      – suzi chin faux wrap dress (not THE dress – a more drapey one) (546786)
      – boring basics: halogen “taylor” fit pants (530858)
      – and the CE blouse/shell featured yesterday (537536).

      we’ll see how much of it i keep…but i feel content with the deals.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I got the Halogen plaid suit, too! I hope it’s cute in person.

  18. NAS Question :

    Has anyone seen this leather jacket in person (well, in jacket, if you will…)? Do you think the little ruffle-y thing in the back is weird? Do people even WEAR leather jackets for casual on the east coast?! LTF–

    • NAS Question :

      • Have never seen IRL but I think that’s a cute jacket.

        However, I’m not so much a fan of the high heeled, peep-toe Mary Janes with trouser socks and a skirt featured in the full-length photo.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        I really like this. I think I’d like it better without the ruffly thing on the back though. A good leather jacket in this kind of style (biker? bomber? not sure what it’s called – edgier I guess) has been on my long term want list, and shall be mine in a few years when hopefully I can afford it.

      • Merabella :

        I finally looked at the link. This is the same style/color that I have as my leather jacket. I find it is the perfect addition to my closet. It goes with everything, and I wear it ALL THE TIME.

    • NAS Question :

      As a follow up, I was wondering if you could suggest what a basic collection of jackets/coats for fall & winter in DC might be – I have a tan trench from BR and a thigh-length winter white wool coat (which is pretty dressy), but I was thinking a leather jacket and a wood seamed walker in a bright color to round things out? I don’t really want to be just another person in a black coat. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

      • NAS Question :

        NAS Cobalt wool walker?

        • Oooh, I got this in black for winter in DC and love how it looks on. Am trying to decide whether I should trade it in the cobalt one instead.

          • NAS Question :

            Are the sleeves pretty long? I am 5’10” so I often need a tall in coats but I’m hoping I can get away with this one…

        • oooh – saw this one, too. The blue is soooo much prettier in person. Buy all the coats!

    • Are leather jackets not a thing?

      I have one that I rock when it gets cooler that I looooooooooooove.

      • NAS Question :

        I think they’re a thing! I’ve just never lived on the east coast so I don’t know!

      • I’m on the east coast in the south and I wear my leather jacket all the time that I got while abroad. No one here wears them really, but I throw caution to the wind and wear it to my little hearts content.

    • Always a NYer :

      I *live* in my leather bomber jacket when there is the slightest nip in the air. I see folks wearing them, not as much as I do but I’m not the only one. They aren’t uncommon for the east coast but I’ll wear mine no matter what city I’m in if it’s cold at all. Also, I’ve worn mine to work so there’s that.

    • I saw this jacket a few days ago. I wasn’t even really paying attention, but it caught my eye and I paused for a second before moving on to the task at hand. So, it looked good enough on the hanger to catch my eye and I thought the luggage color was pretty. It also looked lightweight and had a good shape. (PS – This was at Pent City location – 2nd floor).

    • eastbaybanker :

      I bought the Hinge Fitted Leather Jacket in Brown-Iron at the NAS last week; link to follow. It’s a pretty similar jacket. In the website photos it also looks like a flared, almost peplum cut. But that’s only because the model is a stick! If the waist of the jacket hits at your natural waist, and if you’re not an H shape (term new to me today), it should look good. I’m 5’10, size 8, somewhere between and hourglass and pear figure, and instead of flaring out, the lines of the jacket just follow my curves.

      • eastbaybanker :

    • I like it! I have a great leather jacket that is a similar style that I wear all the time. I get lots of compliments on it. This reminds me, I need to get it back from my friend’s house (where I left it) before it gets cooler!

  19. I think the site just went down. NAS overload.

  20. new house = finally organized? :

    We’re preparing to move into a new house, and I’m looking for ways to make our life more organized before we put all our stuff in there. (Fridge boards, key hanging slots, etc) So, question for you:

    What object/organizational system in your house has proven most valuable?

    • Clear over the door shoe organizers are great for storing batteries, bugspray, picture hangers and a hundred other smallish items that get lost in junk drawers/closet shelves. We also have a chest freezer and above it hangs a white board where we keep up with freezer contents. We have a mirrored peg board by the back door for keys and dog leashes.

    • NAS Question :

      We installed white boards and cork boards inside the kitchen cabinet where the coffee mugs are, so we can keep notes, lists, things-to-pin-up there and we always see it every morning.

    • Cute baskets/pottery. I love a good bowl to throw stuff in and stick on the bottom part of our end tables. Looks decorative and is actually full of that misc. crap I don’t want to pack away (bc I need it on a regular basis).

    • magnetic spice rack above the stove if possible if not on a nearby wall
      keyboard/corkboard/white board right by the door you use for outgoing mail, notes, keys, dog leash, etc.

    • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :


      When my fiance and his then-13 year old daughter moved in with me, we put three baskets on the hall table downstairs. That is where each of us keeps his/her paperwork so that it does not take over the house. When I get the mail from the mailbox each evening, I distribute it into our boxes. When someone’s homework is all over the kitchen table and it is time for dinner, the homework goes into her basket. When you come into the house, you put your house key in your basket. Etc. We also have a rule that when the contents of your basket are higher than the basket, you must clean it out.

      It has done two things: (1) corralled the mess, and (2) taught my stepdaughter document maintenance/organization type skills.

    • Yaffa Blocks. Goooooo Yaffa!

    • Keep stain remover and net laundry bags in your closet since that’s where you take off the items that need stain remover or need to go into a bag.

      I put everything in clear plastic containers from Biglots (like these: One for running socks, another for tights, one for regular socks, one for running bras, another for running shorts, etc.). I just put the containers inside the drawers in my closet and nothing gets mixed up.

      Congratulations on your new house!

    • Merabella :

      Crap baskets on the stairs for each person. Put the stuff that needs to go to their room in their basket, they take it up with them when they go up stairs. I would also have a cubby or basket at the front of the house by the door for assorted things that need to go to the office/school – like Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing mentioned above.

  21. Nice Girls :

    Home sick w the flu and need reading recs to keep me from being totally bored. I have NGDNTCO, See Jane Lead, and Nice Girls Don’t Get It from the library. Any order for suggested reading or chapters that you found beneficial?

    • NGDGTCO has a way to read it. If you start youll see. You take a quiz and then it directs you to certain chapters. But… those wouldnt be my not bored reading pics. Youre sick! read some fun stuff :)

    • I read this as “nice girls don’t get it from the library.” Why not? What’s wrong with the library? Don’t girls who want the corner office want to save money on books (to spend on ultra-professional clothes at the NAS)?

      • Tired Squared :

        I read that the same way — and was about to ask WHAT nice girls don’t get from the library!

    • The No A$$hole Rule by Bob Sutton. Should be mandatory reading.

      • This was a good read. It helped me to come to grips with dealing with a thankfully former boss. Some people are just a$$holes.

  22. management TJ: What is your strategy for dealing with underperforming junior employees that report to you, especially when it reflects badly on you? I am lucky that at my last job I really only managed one person, and she was stellar, kept me in the loop constantly, was very competent and would pretty much do whatever I said.

    I now manage (depending on the project) 2-5 junior employees/interns. This week especially they have been driving me to stab myself in the eye with a fork. I have tried letting them have more leeway, so they can learn and not be asking me every 5 seconds how to do something. This backfires in that they are not productive. I have tried being ….?mean? so that they understand I’m serious when I say, “This is due at 10a.m.” or “Please do this correctly next time, now that you know.” or, for the love of God, “If you aren’t familiar with a term, please google it.”

    I patted my little c o r p o r e t t e self on the back this morning when my boss was chewing me out for not just saying, “But it’s all wrong because [Intern] screwed it up !” Because obviously, it’s my responsibility to make sure Intern does his work correctly. Even if he is a moron.

    To make matters worse, I am pretty sure they are all going out tonight (junior people + interns) and not inviting me. This is perfectly reasonable , but my 26-yo self is just not used to being a mean old manager. le sigh.

    • Having worked with junior people like this, not as a manager but on related projects, I sympathize with your frustrations. What I’ve found is I like to lay out objectives of the project and build in a padded timeline to check work while it is in process, rather then get to the brink of the deadline and realize someone half-a**ed it.

      You could also sit down with the group and say something to the effect of lately our team’s work has been significantly below the expectations of this firm. I take responsibility for that as your manager, but I also need you all to hold yourself accountable. When I give you a project, I expect you to take initiative which includes researching the basics. If you get stuck, need additional information, I am here to provide guidance.”

      Then have them set up times to check in with you and ask their relevant questions. Frame it as you want to make sure they have your undivided attention on their particular project. Also, calling people out on not taking the initiative to research some of the basics to ask informed questions, might be a good wake up call for some.

    • Can you set bi-weekly or daily status update meetings? I don’t like to micromanage either, but some people need close supervision. A 20-minute meeting every afternoon would allow you to see if they’re on the wrong track, and prevent them from coming in to bother you with questions every 5 minutes (if you tell them to save their questions for the meeting).

      • Good idea about the meetings, Bluejay. I used to have a standing weekly meeting with my team for status updates. Depending on your team and the workload, more or less frequently might work for you.

        Also, I used to get bombarded with questions every five seconds, so I instituted what I called my “office hours” – two 1-hour blocks each week when my team knew I would be available to answer questions. They could still come to me as needed with urgent questions, but anything that could wait should be held to discuss during office hours. That helped them learn to differentiate between urgent and non-urgent questions, and it gave me the chance to get some peace and quiet and get my work done :)

    • 1. Fake deadlines. (i.e., enough time before actually due for you to review and either fix or give it back for jr to fix). 2. Mid-project deadlines. (i.e., “do steps one and two then come back to me so we can see how it’s going”). 3. Post-meeting assignment emails. (i.e., “just wanted to follow up our discussion with an email to make sure we’re on the same page — please let me know by COB today if you have any questions”). 4. One clear statement about each expectation (i.e., “When I say 10:00am, I do mean 10:00am. You did not send this to me until 10:30.” or “When you come to me with a question, I expect you to have taken reasonable measures to figure it out on your own first. These include, at a minimum, Googling, asking other interns, etc.”). 5. Calm, factual statements of non-compliance. (i.e., “I asked for this by 10:00am but I did not get it until 10:30. ” I also usually allow an opportunity to explain — sometimes servers really do eat emails or deliver them wildly late). 6. Consequences. (i.e., “This is the second assignment you have sent to me late. When I get an assignment late, it makes it impossible for me to make my own deadlines. I can’t give you assignments as important as this one again until I can be sure I’ll get it when it’s due. What steps do you plan to take to show that you will not be late with an assignment again?”) 7. Moving on without any trace of irritation or anger after the problem has been addressed.

      • Re-reading I realize this makes me sound like a total B—. I *think* I use a tone that makes it sound less Devil Wears Prada than this reads. (But on the not Googling things — ugh! That makes me crazy, too!)

        • These tips are really helpful and don’t sound Devil Wears Prada at all! My boss gets very snappy with me when things aren’t done right, so I get frustrated with the interns/jr employees in turn. I need to convey to them that there are problems but without being a b*tch.

          But i’m pretty sure they’re all going to go out tonight and get drunk and talk about me. awesome.

          • Yep, probably. But that’s part of being a manager. They’ll probably gripe about other people, too. It’s what co-workers do.

          • I know it’s really hard to fight the natural human urge to be part of a group and to want people to like you. But you’re their manager. You aren’t their friend, and you shouldn’t be hanging out on Friday nights with them. So try not to feel left out.

    • DC Kolchitongi :

      This is an interesting question to me as well. I’m about the same age as you so therefore still considered a ‘junior’ employee by most of the office, but also acting in a manager capacity to a bunch of interns/associates.

      I haven’t had any truly terrible direct reports, but I have had a couple who’ve struggled to master the technical aspects of our job. I worked to get them up to speed to the best of my ability, but also made sure my boss was aware of a) their struggles and b) what I was doing to help fix it. I suppose that if the issue is performance-related rather than technical, it’s a bit more delicate to discuss with your boss; but still, Boss should definitely be aware of Intern’s struggles *before* he chews you out about the end result.

      Come to think of it, can you ask Boss this same question you asked us? This would accomplish several things at once a) you’ll clue him in to the problem; b) most people love to be asked for advice; c) and he probably will in fact have some good advice for you.

      All of which assumes that your boss is a decent person and manager… Hopefully he is….

  23. Cornellian :

    So I don’t think I’m a lazy junior person (I’m freshly 26 but thus a first year attorney), but as a junior person who has certainly messed up some assignments in her days, I think understanding more about where my work fits in to the broader picture is very helpful. Sometimes if I know that this memo is going to be reviewed by inhouse counsel and then sent to investors, that will mean I should focus more on certain things, or that it’s going on file with a very stuffy old lawyer who wants everything done in a certain way, i can spend more time being detail oriented or researching precedent or whatever. This may not help if they are legitimately just all lazy, but if they’re struggling, this may be helpful.

    • No, they’re not lazy. They just aren’t quick learners, which gets me frustrated I think, especially because no one taught me this stuff; I figured it out myself.

      Your point is a very good one. I probably rush through the explanation of where their work fits in, so they may not understand why something has to be done a certain way.

      • transition :

        are you able to make them a short cheat sheet? for example, type of work A is seen by the following people and is used for blah blah blah. type of work B is always the most important, when it comes up, drop everything for this. type of work C is necessary but can wait or is only seen by me, so brief shorthand notes are fine. here’s a list of where to turn for answers if you’re not sure about something…

        it might save you from repeating yourself?

      • “especially because no one taught me this stuff; I figured it out myself”

        At the time, do you wish someone had taught you these things instead of letting you bumble along? I try to keep that in mind when dealing with junior people rather than making it into some sort boot camp ritual of suck it up and learn on the job. I think giving people more details on a project helps them take ownership too.

        • Yeah, I asked for more feedback from my boss, and his reply was, “Well, I never got any feedback when I was in your position.” I hate it when managers are basically like, it sucked for me, so it should suck for you too. I quit my job two weeks ago, and my boss was shocked, but he shouldn’t be. That kind of attitude doesn’t help anyone.

      • I have also found that providing details on the big picture is extremely helpful when managing junior employees. In addition to what Cornellian said, I think that knowing where their work fits in can be motivational for junior employees (“Oh, my ABC is not just boring busywork, it’s actually a necessary first step before we can produce XYZ”).

        Additionally, I have found that unless you spell out the details, some junior employees might not realize the impact that their mistakes or under-performing can have on you (“Oh, if I miss my deadline, that means that Manager has to pull an all-nighter to edit my work/integrate my work into a larger piece/do what I wasn’t able to finish/etc”).

        • emcsquared :

          Yes! I am moving from junior attorney to a person who has supervisory authority over younger attorneys, and this is absolutely true. When I set a deadline, I talk through my train of thought with the junior person – “I need to turn this in Friday morning, so I’ll want your revised draft by Thursday afternoon, and we’ll want to do a couple turns before then – so I’ll need your first draft by Tuesday night.” That way they know the impact of a late turn-in (and how it affects both of us!), and they can plan their time accordingly (like, maybe don’t go out and party Tuesday night, because we’re gonna work together a lot revising this on Wednesday).

          I do a written-up assignment sheet setting out “milestones” for each project and set a time for them to check in after each milestone. That way if there is a problem or delay, I know about it ASAP. They also know there is a time to get all of their questions asked and answered. And helpful to have a written record, so I can remember the expectations and do reviews more effectively (ie, intern finished milestone 1 but flubbed milestone 2; need to work with intern on milestone 2 skills).

      • Kontraktor :

        I would also say to make sure you are giving them enough explanation up front and maybe even explicitly asking them before you leave, “Do you have any questions? Are you sure? Can you repeat back to me what you are meant to do?” I say this because often, as an intern back in the day I would be given the broadest tasks that I literally had zero idea how to complete. I would be told, “Write a memo,” and even with follow up questions, I would be given equally as broad answers. For whom is this memo? Oh for one of the bosses. What is the context? Well he just wants it. What do you mean he just wants it? Well just write a memo.

        So, I would say to give the most robust instructions you can and make sure they understand what they are meant to do. If they are interns and their tasks have big implications, I think sending email follow ups occasionally/asking for updates would be useful too to make sure they are on track and not wasting time. You could try, “Hello intern, it’s about halfway through this project/until the deadline I gave. Could you give me a brief update on where you are? If you need to schedule a meeting with me, that’s fine. Thanks!”

    • karenpadi :

      If you care about learning where your work fits in, you are not a lazy junior person. Yay!

      I get frustrated with mentees when I am explaining the big picture stuff and they aren’t listening and taking notes (and I do glance down to confirm that we are on the same page). Sometimes they think they already know it all and give an attitude. Well, they may have done 10 of these for other attorneys but this is the first one they are doing for me. I may have heard from the other attorneys about a particular weakness and want to really focus on that or this may be a special case requiring special care.

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