Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Sleeveless White Shell

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

Calvin Klein Sleeveless TopI was tooling around Macy’s, looking at the highest-rated work clothes, and saw this top — and immediately thought, “that’s the perfect sleeveless shell for people who like sleeveless shells.” High but unsuffocating neckline? Check. Bit of interesting detail at the neck, but not so that you can’t wear it time after time? Check. Machine washable? Well… it says “dry clean,” not “dry clean only,” so I’d give it a whirl in the washing machine (but probably line dry). It’s available in white and black for $24.98 at Macy’s, sizes 2-14. Calvin Klein Top, Sleeveless

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


  1. Cornellian :

    Thanks to all who have commented on my two “holy crap my father is stalking me wtf” threads over the last two weeks. I don’t know what my longterm plan is yet, but have spoken to security at my building, and my boss, to keep him from getting in/making me look like I belong on Jerry Springer.

    Also, that is a nice shell. I just this week became confident that I can wear sleeveless shells in my office after months of wanting to play it safe.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m glad you’ve been able to speak with security and your boss about it. Hopefully they’ve all been understanding. Good luck with it all!

    • I’ve been away for the past 2-3 weeks, mostly, and missed these threads.

      Sorry you’re going through this, and I’m glad you’ve laid down the groundwork with some key folks in your daily path so you have allies in this.

    • You don’t belong on Jerry Springer, if you’re implying a whiff of trashiness about yourself… you belong in an up-by-the-bootstraps Alger novel, precisely because you escaped and are escaping in a dignified manner any ick from a family tree you were born from but are blossoming away from.

    • K... in transition :

      you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve avoided his drama, and you’re keeping yourself safe. Stop being so down on yourself or taking blame for his choices!

      signed, also has a bats*it parent :)

  2. Good morning! Better day today.

    PSA: Kate Spade is having a sale on sale. Extra 25% off of most sale prices.

    • On this note, has anyone bought the Kate Spade Bryce iPad bag? (Link to follow to avoid moderation.) It looks adorable but I’m trying to figure out if it would fit my zip around wallet.

      • Link to Bryce bag:,default,pd.html

      • I have a KS ipad sleeve that is similarly quilted (just doesn’t have the handle), and it would not fit anything inside in addition to the ipad. I have the snap on cover on mine and it is a very tight fit.

  3. That’s a really nice shell. Not exciting, but that is exactly the point. This is the type of thing that I never want to buy because it bores me, but then gets heavy rotation once I bite the bullet and get it into my closet.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      I completely agree.
      I am also really considering this suit (with coordinating skirt). thoughts?
      I have the same “boring” feelings, but have a hunch that I will wear it at least every other week if I actually purchased it . . . can anyone speak to sizing or quality of this brand?

      • That’s a good classic suit. Calvin Klein suits are mid-range quality, about the same as Tahari ASL, Anne Kleine, Le Suit, etc. It won’t be the nicest suit you’ll ever own, but it’s a good suit for the price.

      • Kontraktor :

        I recently got a black CK suit that I love. It’s sort of a textured fabric. It has nice detailing too. I used a coupon so when all was said and done, I think it was maybe about $150 for the jacket and skirt? So not too bad and the quality seems nice. The other thing that is nice about CK is that they are sold as separates, which is awesome for me since I tend to be a 4 in jackets and an 8 in skirts (what I bought in my CK suit, so I guess it was true to my size). I think this brand is worth it as a reasonable price.

      • I like that a lot, and would wear it all of the time. It’s a really nice shade of gray – not too dark, not too light.

        I would definitely get the pants, unless you’re just completely anti-pants for work. I always try to get both, then I feel like I got 2 suits for just a little over the price of one.

      • It’s a basic grey suit, the fabric is lightweight, so it does not have as much structure as nicer garments. The Calvin Klein separates line seems good for the price, and definitely would work if you need a basic interview suit in a pinch, or something to make your wardrobe stretch.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        I have that suit in gray from the CK website, got it 40% off. I like it, it has become a regular in my wardrobe. I got both pants and skirt. On the website commenters said the skirt ran big, and I’m in between sizes usually, so I ordered the smaller size. Mistake – had to send it back. Don’t know what those commenters were talking about, but it ran true to size or even a touch small. Pants and jacket I needed the bigger/normal size as well.

      • I have that suit. In addition to being a staple, it is also extremely comfy (bit of stretch) and hangs well. I’ve worn it weekly for about 6 months, holding up well too.

    • D Train South :

      I own both the featured shell (in white and pink) and the suit Amelia Bedelia identified. The shells are exactly what you and Kat say — great basics. They are definitely machine washable. I’ve dried mine, but line drying would be a good idea to extend the life. I also really like the CK suit. It is nothing special, but looks appropriate in any situation, including court or an interview. Since it is so basic, you can jazz it up with a bright top or jewelry or tone it down with something simpler — like the featured shell. I’ve really enjoyed the weight of this suit in the summer heat. It also doesn’t get wrinkled and gross by the end of the day, so it doesn’t have to be dry cleaned constantly.

      • D Train South :

        Also, I find the brand TTS or maybe a bit on the larger side. I carry my weight pretty evenly. The comment below about the shell being a bit short is true. I’m average height and appreciate that the shirt does not stick out underneath a jacket or cardi when untucked, but someone taller or longer-waisted might find it to be a problem.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        thank you for such an informative review – I am purchasing!

    • Have the shell, love how it looks under a suit (it’s cut a bit wide for my taste otherwise, but ymmv – I have a pretty narrow upper body and waist compared to my generous lower half), it’s very comfortable, and it washes and packs well. However, I’m moving away from sleeveless for under suits b/c of sweating issues. Has anyone found good sleeve liners or some other solution recently? I picked up some liners that supposedly stick to the inside of the armpits of jackets or tops, except in my limited experience they never stay stuck and I will find one migrating out the wrist of the jacket or stuck to my hip at inopportune times…

  4. I think that this is an example of why I never wear the sleeveless shells that I bought when I first started practicing. Without some serious accessorization, it’s a sea of blah to me.

    • Your handle has taken a whole new meaning for me since my kids got into the new Winnie the Pooh movie. Google “the backson song.” It’s in very heavy rotation lately!

      • Ha, I totally shall when I get home. This name did not, I must confess, originate with Winnie-the-Pooh, but I’m always charmed to be associated with the awesome t-shirted bear.

      • I was thinking that! I’m glad we have our cbackson, and that the inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood have their backson (herbaceous, I believe.) :-)

  5. Diana Barry :

    Hey ladies,

    Anyone want to find me a fun clutch? Must hold BIG wallet (cole haan ziparound), iphone, and one lipstick. Definitely bright color, shine, or texture (maybe not all 3 at once, lol). Under $100 – under $50 even better.

    Must satisfy retail urge! But it is too hot to go out and shop (parking lots are way hot). Plus I have to pack for my vacation today while taking care of my 3 kids all at once. Hahahaha! (/sarcasm)

    • Check the Zara website. I have seen a lot of cute clutches there. Eg:

      • Oh, and apparently there will be a big sale at Zara starting on June 28, so the prices might be better then.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      you know this is the type of challenge at which TCFKAG will excel!

    • I don’t know how you’re going to find a fun clutch that’ll hold a big wallet. If it were me, I’d buy a clutch that has a wallet section where you can take out just the stuff from your wallet that you need and have good places for it. My Tignanello cross-body is like that and I love it.

    • Check out Saks Fashion Fix, Lodis “Tilly” oversize patent leather clutch – $69. I really like the Rouge color.

      There were also some cute Lauren Merkin clutches on Last Call’s clearance that would be under $100 with their 30% off promo, but I am not sure those would be big enough for you. Also, check out Zara – they’ve had some seriously cute (and bright) bags recently.

    • I love looking for clutches, but out of curiosity, why do you want to put your big wallet in a clutch?

      • Diana Barry :

        Wallet, phone and lipstick. I don’t have pockets big enough for the latter 2.

    • I just got a really cute large clutch at Aldo. Check their site.

    • Diana Barry :

      Thanks ladies! I just checked and my wallet is 4″ x 8″ x 1″ or so.

      NOLA, that is a great suggestion, but I know I would never ever get myself together to move things out of my wallet – and then if I did I wouldn’t move them back. Lazy ‘r e t t e, here!

    • Check out Asos – they have a ton of styles, v reasonable prices. Belle at cCap Hill Style recommends highly. Have 2 winging their way to me now!

    • Okay, I’m happy to shop for clutches for you, but if what you need to fit in it is a wallet, you’re not looking for a clutch. You’re looking for a small purse. All you should have to put in a clutch is money, a credit card, your cell phone, your ID, and basic lip stick!

      One place to check is Target as an initial matter, they had some cute clutches recently, but not big enough to fit a whole wallet, but I’m now on the hunt for bigger ones!

      • What you’re saying (about what you should put in a clutch) is exactly why I mentioned the ones that have the pocket that functions like a wallet. I pull the basics out (driver’s license, money, debit card) and put them there.

      • Have no idea if this is big enough, but given the price and fun of the color, I wanted to recommend it first.

      • Then, at a slightly higher price point, there’s this little number.

        There are actually a bunch of large dooney and bourke large clutches at about this price point but if I remember correctly, I think this might fit in with your style sense (the stripes and all) and look at the fun colors it comes in…I like the blue and white, but the pink and white and the yellow and white are all cute.

      • One last one. If you’re looking for something more for formal events and galas and parties and the like, I like this one that comes in several metallics and a shiny black — so would go with several different dress options. Seems like it would hold a lot.

    • was in store in a great berry-type color. I’d recommend calling stores around you if you’re interested.

    • I am a banana. :

      I don’t know if there are any left (and I refuse to go on the website in case I get tempted to buy something), but during the last sale I got the Kate Spade sparkle Gaia and it sounds right up your alley. It’s a little bit bigger than a paper notepad and could definitely fit a wallet, phone and lipstick. I heart it.

  6. I just want to say thank you to everyone who has listened and given advice during my seemingly endless promotion/detail drama. After I sent my supervisors an email explaining my objections to their decision to delay my promotion until after my detail, they eventually (partially) relented and said I would be promoted during the first half of my detail. I really appreciate being able to come here to get advice, perspective, and encouragement from this group. Even though I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, I got more than I thought I would, and I am proud of myself for pushing back as much as I did. I don’t think I would have had the courage to advocate for myself so forcefully if I didn’t have this community for support, so I thank you all.

    • Merriweather :


    • Way to go!!

    • Yay, good job!

    • Thank you for sharing and kudos to you for standing up for yourself!

    • Congratuleations! Yay! Fruegal Friday’s! I could have used this sleeveless top in Pitsburg, b/c it was about 100 degrees in the depo’s!

      We had to stay 1 extra day b/c the firm lost power and A/C. Then the manageing partner got mad b/c I decided on a styleish updo for my hair b/c it was HOT and 100 degrees, but he said it was NOT profesionnal. Fooey, he is BALD so he does NOT have to worry like me about HIS hair b/c he has NONE!

      Then he brought in sardine’s and made me sit with him when he ate them in a sandwich in the confrence room UGH!

      I am SO behind on my work, so will write in over the WEEKEND to update the HIVE! YAY!

    • great news! congratulations!

  7. Merriweather :

    Out of town and catching up on comments…

    Salary negotiations: Is this right?
    You: 2yrs out of law school (1 year at the firm, 1 year clerkship)
    $88K: 2yrs out of law (2 years at the firm)
    $82: 1 yr out of law school (at the firm)

    You should be making at least as much as the other 2yrs out person, or aiming for it. And that person will probably also get a raise, so I recommend asking for more than $88. Do you have any idea what the rate of increase has been in the past? I find percentages helpful.

    As far as what to say, I went through this with my own review a few months ago, and it was tough, but ultimately successful. Here’s is my advice:
    1. Work on getting over the gulp factor. You are asking for more money and it is going to be uncomfortable.
    2. You deserve this (repeat as necessary). The only way the firm can really show you how they value you you is with money. You provide a service (you work your tail off), they provide the money. That’s the relationship. So you deserve to be compensated and valued for all the work you’re doing.
    3. You are not a first-year associate. I got a lot of mileage out of a similar argument in my review. When you started, you (presumably) didn’t have firm experience, but you had invaluable legal experience. Now, you have been at the firm for a year, and have combined your legal and firm experience, and you deserve to be compensated for the value that your awesomeness adds to the firm (adjust as necessary).

    My own experience: I worked closely with a career coach for this exact reason. It was tough and uncomfortable. My boss literally apologized for laughing because asking for raises is not the culture (not his words). But I came from a background where everyone knows what everyone is making, and how to move from one level to the next. At my firm, it seemed like salary roulette. And every time I read that women STILL make $.77 per $1 for men…cue the rage and the promises to myself to ask about salary and bonuses every. single. review. I deserve money, too, even though I don’t have manly parts or a gaggle of children of support (which, in the past, has been used in my firm to decided bonuses, apparently. Cue rage, round 2).

    So, I asked, explained my reasons, and politely stared back when they were in shock. And it turned out that I got almost all of what I asked for.

    ASK. Ask BIG because it’s a negotiation. You deserve it (again, repeat as necessary).

  8. Love this shell. Have it in black and I actually wash it on gentle and line dry…. Holds up well.

    • Second. I have it in a merlot/burgundy color and I wear it often. (I think they only sell black or white online though, which is too bad). I also machine wash and line dry. It looks the same as when I bought it. I plan to buy more.

      Plus, it travels well. I like it for interviews/travel because I can throw it in a suitcase and it looks mostly the same when I take it out. Hardly ever a wrinkle in sight.

    • darjeeling :

      yep, me too. I have it in black and in a swirly pink, white and black print. Machine wash and line dry has been fine.

  9. I tried this on in the store, and it was extremely short on me, as in barely to my waist. Since most of my suit pants hit a little below my waist, it wouldn’t work for most of my work clothes. The description says it is 18 inches long, which sounds about right. I am 5’7″.

    • Wonder if you were trying on a petite by mistake or maybe got a weird one somehow. I own it in both black and white. I’m 5 ‘8″ and have a longish torso and both fit me well. Also, this is the first time I’m hearing they were dry clean. I’ve thrown them in the wash on cold countless times over the past few years and no worse for wear (line dry). Wouldn’t have even thought about drycleaning.

  10. Positive pant review!!! I’ve been hunting for tan capris for work foreverrrr, checked all the usual suspects – ann taylor, BR, nordstrom, whatever…no luck. Everything was too…old for me…too high wasted or weird pleats, whatever. I found the best pair for 29 dollars yesterday in…express! I havent shopped there since college, where it was only for like, cocktail dresses for sorority mixers, but i got a pair of the editor crops, size 4 (i’m 5’6, 128 lbs) and they fit awesome. they fit great, they are so comfy they feel like sweatpants but they look very professional. just had to share!!

    • I got some nice ones in gray from The Limited this week that I saw in khaki on the website. $33 after a 50% off promo. They’re cuffed and wide-leg in a cotton that looks like a linen blend. They wrinkled a bit after wearing but in a linen sort of way, so I’m okay with it. I also got a khaki cotton sateen pencil skirt for $20. Haven’t worn it yet and it looks like it’ll wrinkle, but it fits great.

      I used to have Editor pants that I loved, so I’ll have to check these out! I always get those $15 off $30 coupons in the mail.

  11. Calling Lucky Size 2 :

    Lord & Tailor has an adorable seersucker suit on sale, size 2 skirt only, blazer in 2,6,12.
    Tahari Arthur S. Levine – skirt is 42, jacket 90, extra 20% off brings it down to just over $100.
    Someone please buy while I feel extra sad that I am a size 2 no more :-)

  12. I think Macy’s has some great stuff, but the one closest to me is just awful (Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, MD, yes, I’m calling them out publicly). Last time I went there were vast piles of clothing all over the place and the dressing rooms STANK. Bad, like BO and I don’t know what else. It’s always difficult to find a salesperson and when you do, they are not very friendly or helpful. How does this happen? I was actually motivated to go to the Macy’s website and report what I saw, but I don’t know if it will do any good.

    I guess I am particularly angered by this because Macy’s took over Marshall Fields – as a native Chicagoan, this was a sad day. Marshal Fields always was a pretty nice place, too, so I’m sad to see them taken over by a store whose quality is so poor.

    Maybe I’m too harsh – maybe there are good Macy’s out there. There’s another one a bit further north of me that isn’t as messy/nasty, but still seems sort of decrepit. Maybe the Macy’s in Virginia are better.

    • Well, all of our Macy’s used to be Dayton’s, before they (briefly) got rebranded as Marshall Fields, and then switched over to Macy’s. I know people who still refer to the stores as Dayton’s because that’s where they went for 20 years.

      On point, I haven’t noticed any quality decline, so it could be more of a regional/store specific issue.

    • Agreed about Macy’s varying wildly in store quality. They took over Rich’s down here and as a native Atlantan, I was similarly sad to see that happen.

    • PharmaGirl :

      My local Macy’s is also completely disgusting. It’s in a low rent mall so it’s not like I’m expecting Nordstrom quality and service but the salepeople are super rude and the store is always a complete disaster.

      • Anonymous NYer :

        Same here. Galleria in White Plains? (another public shaming for Macys)

    • In my experience, Macy’s are ALWAYS a disaster. Clothes are never piled neatly; racks are crammed together (even though many stores are maintaining less inventory now, apparently Macy’s is immune), shoeboxes are always stashed everywhere underfoot rather than being put back away after a customer is finished trying on… as a result, I only go in there for home goods, perfume and wedding registries.

      • Virginian here – the macy’s on our side of the river arn’t that much better. I live next to Pentagon City and used to work at the mall (in another store) and would wander macy’s during my breaks out of bordom. It’s always a mess. The pentagon city store isn’t AS bad as other locations, mainly because they carry better inventory, but it’s never well organized, you can never find someone to help you and the staff is rude. tysons is the same way – decent stuff, but you are totally on your own in terms of finding your side…it’s just such a dramatic foil to the nordstrom at the other end of pentagon city, which is always a great shopping experiance.

        • The Macy’s in DC (Metro Center) is much better in terms of selection, cleanliness and helpfulness of staff than the suburban Macy’s stores in the area.

          • Hmm, that’s intriguing about the DC Macy’s.

            I’ve ordered online from them, but their selection isn’t as good as in the stores. Perhaps I’ll have to do a Macy’s tour and find a good one. I wonder if there are any by Annapolis or Baltimore that are better?

            But really, in these days of Nordstroms, you’d think other places would step up their act. Or maybe they have just given up.

          • I agree. The Metro Center Macy’s is very nice – and it’s considered a “select Macy’s” that carries shoes that you can’t get anywhere else. The one on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago is as well.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            I agree. the one in DC is the least heinous of the Macys in the DC Metro Area.

    • I also think that Macy’s have been going down in customer service over the last few years. Visited Pentagon City after work yesterday and it was a big mess. Even the sales person commented that the store was looking “tragic”.

      • And someone else recently commented that they inflate their prices a lot. So now, every time I go shopping I look for some 20% off coupon online. Nice that they have sales, but I end up not wanting to buy something if it’s not on sale or I don’t have a coupon. Darn you limited disposable income.

        • Agreed. I can’t ever pay full price for things there anymore, because I know if I wait a day I can find a coupon or it will go on sale or both!

    • locomotive :

      I think it really depends on the mall like you said. I’m also from the burbs of Chicago and the Macys in Oak Brook Mall is great, but the one in Fox Valley is ick. Now I live in Arlington and I can speak to the grossness of the Ballston Macys but the one in Tysons I is pretty nice.

      • I live in Ballston as well. That mall is so sad! I keep hoping they’ll tear it up and start from scratch.

    • Very interesting! Our Macy’s (Lakeside Mall in Metairie) is fairly new (built after the big disaster) and it is very well maintained and pretty. Maybe that’s why I shop there so much. The one in Baton Rouge is in decent shape. I’ve gotten great customer service there – helping me track down sizes at other stores. The ladies at the jewelry counter in Metairie have been awesome in helping me try different choices and getting the biggest discount. The one out in Kenner is in a somewhat crappy mall and doesn’t carry what I’m looking for. It always looks empty and sad.

      • Ditto NOLA! Also a huge fan of Dillard’s at Lakeside. Seems to make up for the fact a little bit that we don’t have a Nordie’s. Hey, have you heard the H&M rumor that we’ll be getting one? Any truth to that?

        • Yes! Dillard’s shoe dept is awesome – and the one in BR has like an acre of shoes. The guys at Lakeside shoe dept see me coming…

          I hadn’t heard the H&M rumor. Wonder where? Probably downtown? I keep wondering what’s being built at Elmwood and I have fantasies that it’ll be Home Goods.

          • I just googled about H&M, and alas, it’s a rumor. Bummer.

            I’ve seen some commercials for Homegoods – maybe you are right! How fabulous would that be? And Elmwood makes a lot of sense.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Dillard’s! I love Dillard’s and desperately want them to start opening stores up north. Their house brands are the best.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve also had few positive experiences at Macy’s. The display seems utterly random, the staff are unknowledgeable, and the quality of much of what I’ve bought has been low.

    • TurtleWexler :

      I’ve found that the standalone Macy’s in historic buildings tend to be far nicer than the ones in malls. This has been true in the three cities where I’ve gone to both types of stores, though I don’t know if it holds true everywhere. I think they do try to preserve the cool details from the department store heyday era when they take over those buildings, so they tend not to put as much cr*p in them or overcrowd them so badly. But in most of the mall ones I’ve been in, it’s either the least-nice department store in a really fancy mall or the nicest store in a crummy mall, neither of which make for the most appealing shopping experience.

    • Ugh, Macy's :

      Macy’s in Metro Center sucks too, much in the same way you described. Actually, I think Macy’s just sucks. As a fellow native Chicagoan, what they did to Marshall Fields makes me so furious, but on the upside, the crappiness of Macy’s is what turned me on to my beloved Nordstrom.

    • In FL it was Burdine’s that became Macy’s. Most department stores I visit vary from one location to another. They have different levels (or grades, or whatever they call them).

    • new york associate :

      I love the plus-size section at Macys on 34th street in NYC. Actually, I’ll always love Macys because they were selling decent plus size clothes in my hometown way before anybody else.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      The Macy’s that used to be flagship or high end stores of a prior competitor tend to be very nice, think Mag Mile in Chi, Downtown DC, etc… the rest are competing with JC Penney’s…..

    • Seventh Sister :

      I think they really change the merchandise quite a bit by locality. The Macy’s in Pasadena has nice, work-appropriate stuff, and the Culver City Macy’s has a fine selection of stiletto booties for women and showgirl dresses for little girls.

      /rant over

    • I Love Frango Mints :

      For Polly D (and other Chicagoans):

      I will be in Chicago for a conference next week, and my husband is flying in to join me through Fourth of July. Suggestions? I am especially looking for restaurant suggestions where we can find not-heavy, not overly-cheesed and sauced, fresh food of any and all ethnicities.

      Our plans so far are:

      – Second City
      – Frank Lloyd Wright walking tour
      – Art Institute

      Thanks for any ideas.

      • I’m no use – I haven’t lived there and so long and when I visit, I don’t seem to go out to eat much in the city itself. A few years ago I ate a place called Brasserie Joe, which is part of the Lettuce Entertain You chain, it was good. For a cheapish but good sandwich place, there’s a restaurant called Sweetwater Tavern, it’s on Michigan Ave near the river.

        But seriously, I think there are people on this site who can give you a lot better recommendations. Sorry!

      • Definitely the Art Institute!!! I think it’s one of the best art museums in the US, though I may be a bit biased. :)

        If it’s not too hot, there is a really nice park right next to the Art Institute–last time I was there, it was awash in tulips. Now it would be some other flower, of course.

        If you eat meat, there is a fun restaurant on Michigan Avenue called “The Purple Pig.” You can google it and see the menu. They have both outdoor (under umbrellas) and indoor seating. Personally, I love the sushi place that’s right next to the Art Institute (it’s called “Cool Sushi, Hot Wok” or “Hot Wok, Cool Sushi” or something like that).

        If you want good ethnic food, you would probably want to go to the respective ethnic neighborhoods. :)

        Have a great time!! Oh, and prepare for really hot weather!

      • I forgot to add more places to go:
        •Shedd Aquarium (if you like that sort of thing, it’s awesome!)
        •Field Museum (again, if you like that sort of thing, it’s awesome!)
        •Museum of Science and Industry (personally, I find it mostly dull, but when I had to take visitors around Chicago, it has been consistently a great hit with the menfolk. There is a German WWII-era U-Boat that you can tour, which is actually pretty cool (or was, the first time I did it).
        •The Modern Art museum is also pretty good if you like that sort of thing :), though it’s not on the same level as the Art Institute.

        • I Love Frango Mints :

          Many thanks. My parents took me to the Art Institute when I was about 8, and even though I have been back many times as an adult, I still have vivid memories of standing on the stepstools to see the miniature period rooms in the basement.

      • There’s also a restaurant, Terzo Piano, in the Art Institute – worth checking out. There are tons of restaurants that have ‘not-heavy, not overly-cheesed and sauced, fresh food’. Where are you staying, and will you have a car? Some restaurants you may want to check out – Slurping Turtle, Girl & the Goat, Sepia, Nellcote, Au Cheval, Goosefoot, Perennial Virant, Avec, North Pond, Schwa, There are also more casual places, but its hard to know what to recommend with such a broad request. You may want to check out the online editions of Chicago Magazine and Time Out Chicago – both have lots of restaurant listings, and Chicago Mag often publishes lists of ‘best new places’, ‘best outdoor dining’, etc.

        The Chicago Architecture Foundation does tours, including tours on the river, which are pretty good.

        • I Love Frango Mints :

          @ Chi — thanks. Will do. (The river tour reminds me of that scene from “My Best Friend’s Wedding.”)

    • The Macy’s in Union Square (San Francisco) is quite good, in my opinion. Their shoe department is extensive, and I’ve gotten truly excellent customer service in the luggage department (work with Olga!). My husband has had really good luck and good service at the men’s store (which is in a separate building just off Union Square).

      All that said, it’s still not Nordstrom . . . .

    • DC Lawyer :

      I agree! If your thinking of Macy’s like inventory, check out Dillards on line or in store. Comparable quality, much better prices, great selection, great service. I buy a lot of sportswear and business jackets there, and they never disappoint.

  13. My SO wants to buy a computer for the new Diablo. We are considering a Mac – what is the cheapest Mac we can buy that can run Diablo?

    • my bf says do not go mac for diablo. macs are really expensive for the processing power you get. (i have one, and love it for many reasons but gamers do not usually have macs)

      • Yeah, I would not get a mac to play games. My macbook barely runs Portal. My bf has an HP that runs the newer games just fine, and his was cheaper than my macbook.

        • Aww. Honestly, between the two of us we have 4 laptops at home, a playbook and two smartphones. The laptops are relics of our 7 and 8 years of university and pretty crappy, two no longer work and two only somewhat work. Basically, I’d just like to buy something that will last 4 or 5 years this time. I’d like to avoid a desktop at all costs due to the amount of space they take up.

          • I believe you can get “gaming” laptops – but they’re the bigger, and probably more expensive, due to the fitting all the souped up video card/processor into a compact, portable device. A suitable desktop is probably cheaper – and you probably don’t have to get the huge tower that were de riguer 7 or 8 years ago. I would also echo the anti-Mac crowd – they just aren’t really gaming devices.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Agree with don’t get a Mac. If you are at all tech-inclined or have friends that are, I recommend building a desktop. You get a lot more for your $, and it’s really not that hard thanks to all the instructions on the internet. You can probably get a fairly small case that won’t take up a ton of room.

    • layered bob :

      huh. I LOVE my Mac for Diablo. DH and I both play on our iMac and MacBook Pro. The iMac doesn’t actually take up that much space and is surprisingly mobile. We also use it as a TV and, like, everything.

      • I played WoW for years on an old MacBook with no problems. The MacBook had an unfortunate run-in with a glass of water before Diablo came out, though, so that’s running on a self-built desktop. I don’t notice a lot of difference in game play, but I can set the graphics to a lot more detail, which is great because it means I can enjoy the the tons of work Blizzard put into the background of Diablo.

      • How does the game play of Diablo III compare with the prior installments? I am considering getting it– I loved Diablo II (and expansion) and have been reluctant to buy Diablo III because I don’t want to be disappointed.

  14. I just bought this nice Ann Taylor blazer, which I’m recommending here for others who, like me, can’t wear wool:

    Given that it’s in the upper 90s in NYC at the moment, I don’t actually anticipate wearing it soon. But I think it will look great in the fall with a black skirt and shell. It would also look great over a black sheath dress.

    I would have bought the matching skirt as well, but it was way too short (mini skirt length) on me.

  15. Just had to share that our wonderful support staff realized that my birthday is on Sunday and that I’ll be out on vacation all next week, so they brought in a dessert to celebrate today. It is so nice to work with such thoughtful people!

  16. I feel vindicated by Kat’s choice of shell!
    I recently had a crazy, terrible time getting to a job interview in NYC (flight cancelled, two hours of sleep to make new connecting flights, and lost luggage) – in the end, I had just enough time to run to Macy’s to buy a new suit (!) in time for my interview, and this is the shell I picked. When I saw this picture on Corporette, I about died. Hopefully that’s a good sign for the interview!


    I have asked about this suit before – now it is even more on sale plus an additional 20% off. Can wear this? Can anyone wear this? I am in love with it but it is easily the boldest suit I have ever seen.

    • Tired Squared :

      It kind of reminds me of a little old lady’s church suit (in a good way). On the younger side, it reminds me of Elle Woods (in the not-so-good way).

    • Kontraktor :

      Honestly my worry is that it’s a linen blend vs. the color. I definitely think the right person could pull this off with a pretty cream blouse (maybe one with a bow or a nice drapey collar/neck area) and nude pumps. I also think either piece would lend itself well to being worn separately. But I imagine linen/silk fabric creases really really badly and so I feel you could easily end up looking rumpled very easily. I feel that would really detract from the look, especially if you were wearing both pieces at once. To me, a bold suit likes this requires the overall look to be 100% polished, and wrinkles would not allow for that 100% polished look.

      I think though it would be potentially okay if you wanted to buy as separates and didn’t mind wearing a wrinkled pencil skirt with maybe a looser tunic/blousey top untucked to hide some of the wrinkles that formed. But if you’re just buying it for separates, it seems like you might be able to find cheaper alternatives for a pink skirt/blazer elsewhere.

  18. You guise (sorry whoever I’m annoying…I know that was someone’s pet peeve ;-)

    I have beef with Sperry Topsiders. It has nothing to do with boat shoes, which I happen to like.

    It has to do with their ad in this months Lucky magazine, which has the CUTEST CLOTHES EVER. Including an outfit involving a high waisted pleated yellow skirt, a green shell of some kind, and a navy blazer with cuffed striped sleeves. And they DO NOT identify where the clothes come from, so now I need to track them down myself. Plus I’m on a shopping break, so I probably can’t buy them.


    Sorry to go all Ellen on you, but really this is very cruel of them.

    • Think of it as training. ;-)

    • Okay, its possible this was the skirt:

    • The blouse was something like this, though way more awesome.

      By more awesome, I mean simpler, it was a light to medium shade of green with a v-neck with gold piping on the neck and then going down the center. At first I thought it was an exposed zipper, but closer inspection proved that incorrect. Instead it was just interesting and classy. Also because of the jacket, can’t tell if it has sleeves or is sleeveless. Grarr. Can’t find it on shop style.

    • Okay, realized the girl in the ad was a fashion blogger — so I just e-mailed to ask. Maybe she’ll just tell me what she was wearing!

      • I love your Google-fu. Definitely report back if you find it, it sounds awesome!

  19. Has anyone ever bought the tweed jacket from Uniqueen?

    For the uninitiated, Extra Petite regularly features a couple of really cute Chanel-style tweed jackets she purchased online from Uniqueen. I am thinking of ordering one and am wondering whether anyone can comment on quality, fabric feel, etc. I’ve seen Extra Petite’s reviews, but am looking for a second opinion. TIA!

    • I just read a review about the jackets today here:

  20. So this just happened:

    Male colleague: Didn’t you realize it’s Friday? Casual Friday?
    Me: I was worried I’m too casual.
    Mc: You look too formal.

    For the record, I am wearing a JERSEY MAXI DRESS.


    • Research, Not Law :


    • LOL!

    • Some people interpret “casual” as “look like crap” or as “denim only.” I can’t believe the outfits I see around my office on Fridays. I am sure you look lovely.

    • You’re wearing a LONG dress Kanye. In boy world, long dresses = formal. They know no other way. ;-P

      • Hey, in boy world, *any* dress = formal. Every time I put on a casual jersey or cotton dress, my BF asks, “why are you so dressed up?” It’s an unfortunate truth.

      • This is the truth. BF and I were out and about and he wondered why some woman was walking her dog in a gown…I turn to look and she’s wearing a long, casual, jersey dress.

        I have yet to break out the one I bought last weekend — the confusion shall be amusing.

    • He thought you were dressed for a ball, my dear!

    • Stop winning so much, it’s unfair.

  21. I am the maid of honor at my sister’s wedding next summer. She needs help with the planning and since I have never planned a wedding before I was wondering if there were any good blogs out there for wedding planning.


    • Research, Not Law :

      I liked when I was planning ~5 years ago. I also followed Style Me Pretty. Not sure it was “helpful,” but I enjoyed it. I also don’t know how relevant those recs are to today.

      Avoid The Knot. Those b’s be crazy. The exception is if there is an active local board, which can be really helpful.

    • A Practical Wedding! No question about that one. It’s incredibly sane and reasonable, but also pretty. Style Me Pretty is, basically, pretty. Not very helpful, but fun to look at and sometimes good resource for photos of colours or flowers that you like. Off-Beat Bride is also interesting.

      • layered bob :

        +1 A Practical Wedding. Go from there to other wedding blogs that are linked/mentioned.

        I liked Off-Beat Bride too because it reminded me that my *slightly* off-beat wedding was no where near as off-beat as it could be!

    • Oh lord…the infinite abyss of wedding blogs…you may want to turn back before it’s too late. If not, you run the risk of coming to your senses 6 months later, only to find a house full of mason jar glasses, striped paper straws and cutesy cupcake stands, an unhealthy obsession with peonies and crystal chandeliers in oak trees, and a set of deeply held beliefs about letter press and the types of chairs one should be using.

      Seriously, look away.

      But….in the interest of being helpful: there are sort of beautiful inspiration blogs, like snippet & ink and stylemepretty, “communal” websites like weddingbee, and then for the no-nonsense planning sort, A Practical Wedding is generally a very good way to go.

      But–considering yourself warned!

      • Kontraktor :

        This is a really true and hilarious summary of wedding blogs. At first I thought that stuff was neat and or pretty, but after seeing the millionth post about “look how unique my really non-unique, because everybody is doing it, mason jar with peonies and ranunculus and Chucks-clad wedding party are,” I just stopped reading.

        I liked the weddingplans community on Live Journal, and I would often read Off Beat Bride, just to make myself feel better about the stuff we didn’t have or want at our wedding (did you know it’s not a real wedding without dancing? it’s the law, apparently).

        I think it just depends what sort of wedding you want and what sorts of things you’re planning. If you like the more mainstream, trendy things, then the blogosphere would probably be good to use as inspiration. But if you just sort of want your own thing, I would say places like Yelp and just general online reviews are good to find vendors and services. I used etsy a lot- great way to find cheap, independent people to do things you might not be able to afford otherwise (I found a calligrapher there who did everything on all my envelopes for $1 each and a stationer who did place cards, menus, and invite inserts for probably 1/3 the price of mainstream companies).

    • What kind of planning do you mean? Inspiration for cute ideas (like, escort cards, invitations, etc.?), I agree with the rec for Style Me Pretty (although, be forewarned – I don’t think most of the featured weddings care about budget at all). A Practical Wedding is a good rec for the emotional issues that come up with wedding planning, features some cute DIY ideas, has vendor recommendations, and also is helpful for ideas on less than a gazillion dollars (or just affirmation that your wedding will be awesome, no matter how much or little you spend on it).

      If you need help looking for local vendors, you might want to see if your area has a local wedding magazine (sometimes The Knot might be helpful with this). Stay away from The Knot’s message boards in general, but I agree with buffybot that the local boards can be helpful for finding local resources.

    • May I suggest no blogs at all? Or very few? I find that a lot of blogs are just sort of make you feel bad about yourself and your wedding and encourage the voracious spending that gets you in trouble.

      Practical Wedding however is a possible exception. And I like the Knots checklist of “things that have to get done” in their budget spreadsheet (though their budget estimates for each thing are a bit ridiculous). Also, feel free to cross things off the list that you think are silly, or that she thinks are silly that is.

      • I have been engaged for 3 weeks, and even A Practical Wedding has given me massive anxiety about wedding planning. Before I got engaged I liked reading that site and Off Beat Bride, but I can’t stand either one now.

    • I agree with comments that wedding blogs can be overwhelming so I just stuck with Style Me Pretty and Pinterest to get ideas for what I wanted to do. I also subscribed to Martha Stewart’s daily wedding emails. I think I generally deleted most of them but the ones I saved were great.

    • Anonymous Wedding Planner :

      I am getting married sometime soonish, and my favorite non-planning planning website right now is Pinterest. I have gotten my sister in on it (she can post to my board) and my fiance as well. Have not really gotten into any blogs yet.

    • Not a blog, but you could browse Pinterest for ideas and links to planning sites.

  22. Can someone help me find where we all talked about the decision to/not go to law school? I know it’s been addressed a number of times. I would like to direct a friend to those comments and google isn’t getting me there.

  23. financeanon :

    Could use some advice from those of you who are financially minded! My 401(k) is performing abominably. I don’t know if I’ve just chosen the wrong funds or what. I’m increasingly turned off by the whole thing — we don’t get a company match, and we’re with ING, which is notorious for high fees. I’m currently contributing 15%, but I’m starting to wonder if I should cut back and invest more in individual stocks. Thoughts? It’s frustrating that there’s so much pressure to max out a 401(k) because it’s a great bucket for savings, yet we don’t have full control over where to invest it. I recognize the value of pre-tax savings, but this seems ridiculous!

    • Find yourself a fee-based certified financial planner and make an appointment. He or she can answer all your questions taking into account your goals and risk tolerance. All I will say is that if periods of poor performance are uncomfortable, I would not recommend choosing individual stocks over mutual funds.

      • financeanon :

        Thanks — I think that’s a good idea. I should add that I’m actually pretty comfortable with risk (I already own several individual stocks and get a weird thrill out of riding out their ups and downs), but not when it’s paired with hefty fees and little choice.

    • Roths Rule :

      Do you qualify, based on your income, for a Roth IRA? If so, why not max max out your Roth IRA (open one, if you don’t already have one — I like Schwab). Does your employer offer a Roth 401k? Not many do, but if yours does and you qualify, at least you get better tax treatment with a Roth 401k than with a regular 401k (I am assuming that tax rates will be higher when you retire than they are now).

      • Kontraktor :

        I love me some Roths. I am praying my next job has a Roth 401k available.

      • financeanon :

        I do qualify for a Roth IRA, and I max it out every year (but it just doesn’t feel like much! I wish we could put more in). Alas, we have no Roth 401k at my employer.

    • Go to and post your ING options. Folks there are very helpful. In your Roth, focus on low cost index or target date funds.

  24. I have this shell in white – wore the heck out of it on Seersucker Thursday (for the DC crowd) and all through the summer. Over time, the arpits started to discolor because I am not one of those diligent people that soaks things in some combo of baking soda and white vinegar. Then I spilled something on it I couldn’t get out. In to the trash it went.

    For $25 I got more than 2 years use out of it on hot days.

  25. I did NOT go out on a date with that guy! :

    Hey Ladies! I wanted to give you all an update to the thread I posted yesterday asking for advice regarding whether I should go out with the guy I had been talking with online who asked me during our first conversation about my appearance. I took all of your resounding advice and canceled the date. And, I’m so glad I did.

    Because it was during the day and we were both at work, I decided not to call him, and it was too long to text. And, besides, we had mainly been communicating through email anyway and only talked on the phone 1 time. Anyway, I sent him a very polite email, but I explained specifically why I felt uncomfortable going out with him after our conversation the night before (where he called overweight women “disgusting.”) I then wished him the best of luck in finding someone.

    So….several hours later, he sent me a text which said “FYI, it’s always better to call somene then send an email. Also, the only reason I was concerned about your appearance is that I was going to invite you to meet my friends which is a big deal for me. Otherwise I would have never asked.”

    If I had had any doubts before canceling, I definitely didn’t after I saw that. Thanks, ladies!
    And, a really great thing happened. A couple of hours after I got that, a really nice guy I went out on a first date with a couple of weeks ago and had wanted to see again, called and asked me out for a second date. Go figure!

    • new york associate :

      Hurray for you and for you reporting back!

    • Good for you – HE sounded disgusting!

    • Love the update! I hope your second date with the nice guy goes well.

    • But come on, it’s not that he does not want to go out with an “unattractive” woman, it’s that he just would never introduce an “unattractive” woman to his friends. /rolls eyes/

      Anyway, sounds like you dodged a bullet with that one, and yay for you about the second date.

      • And who introduces someone to their friends at the first date/meeting anyway? This dude sounds like a superficial weirdo to me.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Seriously! Did he just need a date to some event or other and Match was cheaper than an escort service? And why wouldn’t he give you a heads up that you’re going to be meeting people? I would be p*ssed if someone blindsided me like that! Good for you for not going out with this guy and thanks for the update. Good luck on your second date!

          • I did NOT go out on a date with that guy! :

            Yes, that is exactly what I thought, MaggieLizer! And thanks for all the well wishes for the second date!!

    • This guy sounds not cool.

    • What a DOOSH!

  26. Rising 2L :

    Happy Friday!

    I wanted some advice, I work for an attorney in a large city in Houston doing work that I absolutely hate. He/she asked me to stay on for the Fall. There must have been a miscommunication because when I interviewed I definitely thought it was only for the summer. What is the best way to not burn the bridge, but not kill myself (and my already mediocre) grades by doing work that’s not feasible during my fall semester? Is it appropriate to tell him/her now that I will have to stop working in about a month, or just put in a traditional two-week notice?

    Also, on a totally unrelated matter, I am under 25, as I mentioned before, a rising 2L, and I have about $200 saved up and would like to begin investing. I know NOTHING about investing, stocks, bonds, anything financial really, except that it’s important. So please excuse my ignorance! Does anyone have suggestions on where to smartly put this money to good use? (As an aside, I can put more towards the pot)

    Hope someone reads, thanks!

    • Older Than You and Wish I Started Earlier :

      Good for you for realizing that you have to both save and invest what you have saved.

      Short Term:

      Open a Roth IRA at Schwab, put your $200 in it, put it in a target date mutual fund (you have enough to worry about with classes).

      Medium Term:

      Subscribe to “Smart Money” or “Money” or Kiplinger’s for a year.
      Read a couple personal finance books (others can recommend).
      Read the NYT bucks blog.

  27. I bought this shirt several months ago and it is awesome with anything – under suits, with jeans, or just business casual. I only wish it were a little longer.

work fashion blog press mentions