Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Going-Out Blazer

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

Readers were recently singing the praises of this Going-Out Blazer from J.Crew, and I think it looks really lovely. They likened it to a jardigan (jacket/cardigan) and noted that it’s perfect to wear with both dresses and jeans. It’s getting great reviews, too. I like the collarless style and the darts throughout that give it a fitted look. The blazer, which is only available online, comes in regular, petite, and tall sizes in gray, black, and navy. Note that today you can get 30% off with code DIYUMSN. Going-Out Blazer

Two plus-size options are from Vince Camuto and Rachel Rachel Roy.

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  1. Lana Del Raygun :

    So is DIYUMSN just a random character string, or what? I would pronounce it as a variant of “damn, son,” but maybe it stands for … “do it yourself, u master of science in nursing”? I got nothing.

  2. Anonymous :

    I was super down on J Crew for awhile because of quality issues, but over the last year I’ve bought a bunch of work clothing that looked great, fits super well, and has been holding up nicely so far. I’m glad they’re (hopefully) starting to re-step up their game. This blazer looks awesome.

    • Anonymous :

      It looks great. I wish it had no pockets or ones not placed so high.

    • Anonymous :

      I hadn’t bought any J Crew in a long time but I’m impressed they’re now offering larger sizes in some items (I used to be sized out). I just bought a few tops and pants to try.

      • Anonymous :

        I meant to add, unfortunately a lot of things I like are majorly backordered right now so I think they’re having stock issues. I’m in Canada and it says the grey going out blazer won’t ship until July (!!!!).

    • Legally Brunette :

      I have started buying Jcrew stuff now that they sell it on Nordstrom. Bought two shirts so far (wearing one today, black and white polka dot) and I really like them. Very stylish and well made.

      I also tried on their winter coats which I thought were very well made and warm, but ultimately the fit didn’t work for me.

    • The blazer is cute, but this is where I repeat my lament that the petite sizes stop at 12 (and a small 12 at that). More love for the cusp sized petites!!

      • I feel you!! I get a lot of casual clothes at Old Navy for this reason. They’re great at offering petites in a range of sizes. I know Talbots does too.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I quit J. Crew cold turkey when the hem fell out of a skirt while I was wearing it, forcing me to tape it together for the rest of the workday… and then after much pushback from their customer service, the hem fell out AGAIN of the replacement they begrudgingly sent me. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back, but this blazer is tempting.

    • Another nice alternative is the macauley or keith blazer from Aritzia… both are thin, unlined fabric but it isn’t knit so it holds its shape well. better for the summer! the babaton line has a lot of great pieces for the edgy minimalist in you.

  3. Cornellian :

    For anyone following my relationship saga, my husband moved out in to a sublet last night and is supposed to be there for a month. There were a lot of relationship problems, but since he got physical (and I called the cops) last year, I’ve felt like there was no chance at reconciliation. I also spoke with a divorce lawyer last week. Now I need to figure out what next steps are, especially because (mostly independently of my marriage), I am not sure if i want to look for a new job, move cities or file for divorce first.

    Has anyone else made a similar decision?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’m so sorry for what you are going through. Getting divorced is a lot of work (emotionally, spiritually, physically) so adding in moving to a new city and new job is a recipe for disaster. File for divorce and focus on that. Things will fall into place once you deal with that.

      • Anonymous :


      • Bleach annoyance :

        Yes – filing for divorce, for me, was what brought the freedom and peace of mind to really dream about the future.

        • Cornellian :

          Yeah, I suspect the same might be true for me. Just one kid, and he just turned one, so I’m not worried about him changing schools or losing friends, etc.

          I feel like I need to untangle myself and then make big moves.

          • Anonymous :

            Start a file in your email and send yourself an email documenting every interaction. Was he late to pick up your kid for visitation? Note any incidents of phyiscal aggression etc. If you are hoping for sole custody, you will need to document carefully. Joint custody means he will likely be able to prevent you from moving but sole custody can be hard to get.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. Get that going because it may take a while.

        Also, the process of the divorce will force you to get up to speed on your financial status, which is always a good thing to have dialed in when making those other decisions.

        Hugs to you! You are brave and life on the other side is great!

      • Yes, hug’s. I say DTMFA right away! There is no reason to stay with any looser of a man who gets physical. I do NOT countenance any form of domestic violence, whether or not within the sanctity of marrage. I would dump any man who raised a hand to me, and I would get my Dad involved. And Dad knows alot of peeople that he says we would NOT want to meet in a dark alley! FOOEY!

        When I tell him stories like this, he gets a little less pushy about getting me MARRIED, b/c the last thing he needs is for me to marry a looser like this just to get a baby. DOUBEL FOOEY!

        OP, stay strong, b/c you are better off without him, rather than with him. There are plenty of men out there that will treat you better, and you ALWAYS have the power of the HIVE behind you. We support each other in times like these. If you live in NYC, and want to talk it out, I am here, as are other Corporetes. YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      I have no advice on this, but hugs! Sending you strength. It’s not easy for anyone, even if it leaves you in a better place than before.

    • Anonymous :

      No, but I’ve been worried about you and am glad you are taking this step. I’d ask your lawyer to weigh in on the job and the move because of potential custody and alimony issues.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have any advice having not been married but I want to commend you for being strong enough to do the right thing to protect yourself and improve your life.

    • thank you for the music :

      Sending support and strength to you. It takes a lot of courage to leave a relationship and start again.

    • This is definitely a question for your lawyer. Typically, where the kids have lived the last 6 months dictates what court has jurisdiction. Once you have a case going, you need permission to move the kids. You might want to be a bit deceptive here if he is hoping for reconciliation. Get the new job out of state, move with the kids, have him keep living separate for your alleged trial separation, and after you have been there 6 months, file for divorce. I’d lean that way if you already know where you want to move and have a job lined up. However, nothing would stop him from filing in your old state during those 6 months if he figured you weren’t really reconciling. Then you’d be stuck traveling for depos, mediation, court. My state is pretty lenient though and will bend over backwards to accommodate scheduling and tele-hearings for out of state parties. I hear that’s rare though.

      • This. I

        f you don’t have kids – file for divorce first then work on the move. It will be harder to deal with stuff if you’re in a new city.

        If you do have kids – set up the life you want to maintain after the divorce is final. If you want to move, move now. Get kids established in new schools etc. Get in a pattern of him exercising access by flying/driving to visit new city on weekends. Wait 6-8 months then file.

      • I’ve seen someone do this (move while asserting that reconciliation was on the table in order to try to ensure the new state would have jurisdiction) and it backfired badly (the new state not only sent jurisdiction back to the prior state, but she also lost physical custody entirely and dad was allowed to take the kids back to the prior state…a five-hour flight away). Obviously, every situation is unique and fact-dependent, but I’d say that if it’s an interstate move, talk to an attorney in both your state and the new state if you’re considering doing what’s described above to make sure you handle this in the way that is most likely to lead to the outcome you’re hoping for.

        • Cornellian :

          Thanks for sharing. Yeah, I wouldn’t go behind his back, I would only move being open that I still planned on filing for divorce.

    • hugs to you, Cornellian. Don’t make any major decisions about moving, etc. for a bit. Are you seeing a marital counselor?

      If you’re absolutely sure you want a divorce (and in your shoes, I would be) I’d visit a divorce attorney or two for a consultation.

      I divorced my non-abusive husband using a paralegal service because we didn’t really disagree about much in terms of splitting assets. That was a cheaper route, but only if you’re absolutely sure your husband will be cooperative.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I missed your prior posts. Sucks that you are going through this but kudos for getting out. I wish you peace and strength as you move forward.

    • I did this – I moved cross-country before filing for divorce. It was not easy, quick or inexpensive but given the circumstances (verbal and physical abuse) it was the best decision for my situation. I did not think I would be safe if I had stayed and initiated the divorce from where I was living at the time, and we didn’t have children or many financial assets to split. All I can say is that looking back, my life is so much better than I ever could have imagined when I was in the middle of it. I am so sorry for what you are going through. It is not easy. If I can offer any advice, please talk about it, whether it’s with a therapist, friends, or family – I was so ashamed and afraid of being judged that I didn’t tell people what had happened until years later. You are making the right decision to get out – it’s hard to start over, but ultimately things will be so much better. Trust me.

    • I got divorced in 2017. I had quit my job and opened my own business right before. (in hindsight I think I started with what seemed a less scary change, sort of practice for the divorce change.) I also sold house, bought house, moved. So it was a lot of transition in one year. I now have new home, new job, my kids full time, and I am so much happier. I did all the work and made all the money, so I had to give him half my retirement and I have to pay spousal support. Both worth it. My family advised me not to do so many changes at once but I’m glad I did — the moving was more of a PITA than I thought it would be, but oh well, its over now. Good luck to you. I now sleep better, feel better, am happier, have met and am dating a lovely kind man. My teen daughter has had a difficult time with the transitions and that has been heartbreaking. But I was providing her with a horrible example of letting someone take advantage of me and not standing up for myself, so I think in the long run, even for her, it will turn out to have been the right decision.

      • Cornellian :

        Lobbyist, thanks so much for sharing. Thankfully we got a prenup so there is no spousal support. He could hold me over the barrel for custody, says the lawyer I consulted, but I think that whatever amount he extracts would still be better than just being expected to do all the work and make all the money indefinitely. even if it’s huge, at least I can budget for it and move past it. I feel like I’ll be sucked dry forever otherwise.

        I think a lot about what we’re modeling for our son, even though he’s a baby. Mommies do all the paid work, and all the emotional labor, and all the child rearing, and daddies freak out and have melt downs and lash out. Not a good look.

  4. Anonymous :

    Best tips for worst days? I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in several days and am getting over a cold, woke up last night at 1:30 AM and could not get back to sleep. I have work obligations that require me to be in the office this week so our generous sick leave/telework policies are not helping me out here. I have a long few days ahead of me too – I have to go for a professional certification class this weekend I also can’t miss. Luckily I will be off Monday, so the end is somewhat in sight. I’m usually the first person to say stay home/call out/etc but believe me when I say that is frustratingly impossible right now. My usual tricks of “drink plenty of ice water/go for a walk/power nap in the car during lunch” are not touching this.

    • Clementine :

      Claritin-D (or DayQuill or whatever your nondrowsy med of choice is) plus some Advil.
      Lots of hot tea (caffeinated).
      Keeping my door closed and muscling through. Open a window and get some fresh air. Embrace the suck. Listen to lots of upbeat pop music.

    • As the parent of a child who didn’t sleep through the night for well over a year, I am very familiar with this feeling. My best tips are to caffeinate but also hydrate (trips to the restroom will also keep your blood moving), keep your office a little cold if you can with a/c or a fan, listen to an uptempo playlist, and just keep it moving as much as possible until you can crash. For the class, I would take copious notes to keep from nodding off.

    • Tons of Vitamin C. Maybe it works, maybe it tricks me into thinking I’m taking care of myself and won’t get sick like I always worry about when I’m run-down.

      The comfiest and most put together combination I can get away with wearing. Looking good, but feeling like wearing pajamas is the best.

      Good food to balance out all the caffeine I take in on those days.

      Reminding myself this is what I’m paid to do, and I earn the generous sick time/leave/work from home with these days.

  5. Anonymous :

    I have this blazer in two colors and love them both, but it’s nothing like a jardigan. The fabric is heavy and it is fully lined. It’s just a nice sleek blazer.

    • Former Retail :

      How is the fit/sizing?

      • Former Retail :

        Nevermind, it’s backordered until July . . . .

      • I found it TTS. I know that some brands run differently at different ends of the size range, so I will specify that I am on the small end of the range. Don’t know how it runs on the upper end of the range.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Oh thanks for the info. I ordered it in two colors the first time it was posted. Weirdly, my sizes were backordered when I orderd with the 40% off sale (blazer was $88 when I bought) and now that the sale price is still over $100 my sizes are appear to be in stock. Odd..

    • I really wish it came in some fun colors!

    • Glad to hear this is a winner! My joke of the coupon code above is hopefully not true!

  6. Anonymous :

    Does anyone else have a job that you’re great at and is objectively a good job, but still leaves you wanting more from your work? Hobbies and volunteering outside of work aren’t cutting it lately.

    • So, do you mean nothing in your life is giving you satisfaction right now?

      Or that you are lacking things specifically at work (that you can specify to us?) that outside interests cannot substitute for?

      • In-house general corporate attorney. The work itself is fine, and can (hopefully) translate to many different workplaces… I just find the industry my company is in to be rather boring, and it’s too early to make a move.

    • Yes this is me as well. I’m thinking about getting a dog. Any other solutions out there?

    • Belle Boyd :

      Yes. Me.

      I can get all my weekly responsibilities done within 2-2-1/2 days. That leaves another 2-1/2-3 days of thinking that I could be doing SOMETHING, ANYTHING. I’ve asked for extra responsibilities or projects. I get a little project here and there, but nothing great. There really isn’t anything extra to take on. I’m hoping once the weather breaks and things pick up (I work for a construction company) things will get better, but right now, I’m just feeling like I’m in a rut and need some serious inspiration.

      It doesn’t help that this is a really sucky time of year. Lousy weather (it’s been raining nearly constantly, and if it’s not raining, it’s snowing, and if it’s not doing that, it’s too wet and soggy to even consider doing anything that requires being outside,) migraines due to weather changes, no ambition to do anything because it’s cold and the weather sucks…. Y’all get it, I’m sure…

      It also does not help that I’m still dealing with my mom’s passing back in November. I had helped to take care of her for the last 10 years. In the last few years, I had given up 2 part-time jobs I had. Neither one I am particularly interested in going back to — one, there is little to no market for now since the recession and changes in the industry, and the other, I’ve just kind of lost my interest. I really don’t know what to do with myself right now.

      My sister tells me I need a dog. I already have my mom’s (very spoiled) bird. Not so sure I want to add a dog to the mix. I keep telling myself that once the weather breaks and I can get outside and start working in my garden, I’ll feel better. Until then, though, I just need to find some kind of inspiration somewhere. I definitely sympathize with those of you who are in this same boat. Makes it tough to get up and get going some mornings.

    • What about writing an article for a legal publication? It is work-related and would require you to challenge yourself.

    • Yes. I’m interviewing for new opportunities.

    • I would actually start thinking about my next move sooner, rather than later. Any idea what industry you might want to transition to? Start doing some research/reading/?CLE now. Start networking a little, just to brush up old contacts. Give yourself a headstart so that when you feel it is ok to leave, you will have a nice path. Join a local alumni group / professional organization to increase your contacts.

      If it was life in general that was unsatisfying, I might agree with the dog rec :)

    • biglawanon :

      Yes to your question as a senior lit associate. But I am just not someone who is ever going to get personal satisfaction out of work, so I accept that, and enjoy family/hobbies/friends. I really only do my job in exchange for $$$.

  7. Baconpancakes :

    Do any of y’all have wildly different numbers of vacation days than your spouse, and if so, how do you handle it? The other day someone talked about a family trip wherein the family has way more vacation than the poster (also my situation), but it seems easier to handle family than a spouse. My SO is in tech and runs his own business, so he can (and does) take off as much time as he wants. He travels a lot for work anyway, and often just tacks on a couple days to see friends or sightsee with his coworkers/buddies wherever he goes, but this means he gets to visit a lot more places than I do, and sometimes visits places we had been planning to go to – but without me. He picked his career path for this reason, but I can’t help feeling wildly jealous and a little bitter that I’m stuck at home while he’s on vacation.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you can help it! And the way you do is by talking about it. Like, if you have a top 5 couples vacation list, then it’s okay to ask that he not do those specific places without you. And it’s okay to ask that he spend more time at home because you love having him around. And if you’re planning for kids, talk about how this might all change. But it isn’t okay to be bitter about him enjoying the life he has built and I think you should push back on yourself about those thoughts.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband has 6 months of vacation a year. I have a more standard US amount (3 weeks including some floating holidays). Unfortunately, my work has blackout periods where I absolutely can’t take time off and my husband can’t just take a week off while he’s at work so it takes months of planning to figure out a vacation together.

      Sometimes I get really jealous that my husband just gets to chill out and do whatever while I’m busting my rear at work. We also have a kid, so I’m kind of in this cycle where I’m either solo parenting (while my husband is at work) or busting my tail at work to keep my top performer status (and make up for any leaning out I may have had to do while solo parenting). It stinks, to be honest.

      • Yeah, that sounds really rough.

      • KateMiddletown :

        6 months? What line of work is he in?

        • He works on commercial ships internationally.

          • I have a friend who’s DH does this too. Same mismatch and solutions!

            I have a paltry 12 days a year (plus a week between xmas and ny that we are closed, but paid); DH has like a 30 days. We are actually in the same industry, loosely, but he’s public sector. We plan things for around long weekends and holidays, or for my week off in December. It sucks.

            Also, AUTOPLAY AD, Kat! The No7 Walgreens bottom banner ad just popped up and started talking at me. NO. Adblocker is not an option for me. Please make them stop.

    • Oh man I feel you on the jealousy. I’ve been jealous of SOs for trips they took before they even met me. I got over the jealousy when I started traveling solo. Even just for a 3-day weekend a couple towns away. I think my jealousy came from the fact that I felt trapped, like I could NEVER have his experiences.

      Invest your time in things that you love. Travel to see friends on long weekends. Find something wonderful to do with your time while he’s away – go to a class or movie or fancy dinner after work because you don’t have to rush home to spend the evening with him.

      And others might disagree but I think it’s fair to ask him to reserve 1-2 places a year for just the two of you. He can go wherever he needs to go for conferences, but if you two are planning a romantic trip to Paris in the spring and he has a conference there in the winter, he’s not going to spend a few extra days exploring the city on his own. There’s something magical about exploring a new place with the person you love. Your SO being a tour guide can be fun too but it’s a different kind of experience. You just have to agree on the locations ahead of time; don’t hold it against him that you talked about maybe someday going to X and he goes there without you.

    • We have the opposite situation. I have more vacation time and can use it almost whenever I want (subject to court appearances and the like). My husband has very little vacation time and can almost never get off in the summer or around the holidays. This is a fairly new job for him. We had already established a tradition of going on summer vacation to the same place every year, typically with my siblings. Now with my husband’s new job he is unable to go. I still want to go and my kids still want to go, so we go without him. But we do take a family vacation when he is able to get time off and while we mostly decide together where we should go, I try and defer a little more to him since he has to miss the summer trip. I would be upset if he told me (or displayed signs of jealously or resentment) not to go on the summer trip.

      • Actually, this seems like the best compromise scenario. I would prefer “missing” the family trip in the same place with all of my SO’s relatives (although this is such a nice things for the kids….), and doing something just with our family when our schedules mesh. It is nice of you to “defer a bit” to him on the choices of the big family vacation.

    • Yeah, my husband has unlimited vacation and I do not. He’s actually currently away on a trip with some friends. It’s a trip I’d love to go on, but I’m not at all bitter about missing out. I guess I frame it for myself as being excited that he’s going to get to have fun, and then I get excited to plan a combo of indulgent self-care and outings with friends while he’s gone. These are all theoretically things I could do while he’s home, but I would have to take his schedule into account and spending time with him which I don’t have to do while he’s gone!

      For example, for this trip, I have a bunch of exercise classes scheduled, going to make two new recipes that I know he wouldn’t like, going out dancing with friends this weekend, I have a book set aside to read, going to a museum exhibit and dinner with a friend, shopping for some home decor, and setting aside a bunch of time for organizing all my stuff which will involve spreading all my stuff out everywhere for probably 48 hours and making a huge mess.

      I also think it helps that I also travel without him from time to time. In the past few years, I’ve started doing annual weekend trips to see close friends who no longer live near me. I probably take 6 weekend trips a year without him, and it’s a great way to catch up and maintain friendships that are important to me. I also have a very large, very close family that I travel to see from time to time, and he comes with me probably only 50% of the time.

      Tldr: Look at this as an opportunity and plan a bunch of stuff while he’s gone! Also, try and be happy for him that he has a career/lifestyle that he really enjoys. So so much better than a partner who is unhappy with their career/lifestyle…

      And if you find you’re jealous of his career/lifestyle, that might be a good catalyst to focus that emotional energy on what you can do to improve your own life rather than subconsciously resenting him for having an awesome set-up.

    • My husband is a teacher, so has 2 months off in the summer, but much more limited flexibility outside of school vacation weeks during the year. Since we have a child, I see this mostly as a great perk. He’s a homebody by nature and we were especially broke before we had a child (he was actually unemployed for several years), so I didn’t often get left behind. Now he takes care of our son a fair amount in the summer, and does a lot of home repair/sewing/etc projects with his free time, so it is hard for me to complain. I do usually ask that he get up before I leave for work so he can help take care of our son when I’m trying to get out the door and things like that. Also, I would not want his job – it is hard, demoralizing, and poorly compensated.

    • My husband has five weeks of vacation plus all major holidays and unlimited sick time, and I have more like 3 weeks, which I do not always use due to my work schedule (trying to be better at work/life balance, not always succeeding). At this point, we don’t have children and my husband is not up for solo traveling, so he generally uses all of his vacation time not designated for trips we take together toward long weekends whenever he just feels likes it, extending holiday time (ie: time off between Christmas and New Years), etc. Sometimes it frustrates me that he can do things like take the Monday after the Super Bowl off just because or take a three day weekend after a week when he just feels kind of tired, but I try not to be resentful since we both chose different careers. I feel like when we have children one day, all of his flexible and generous vacation time will be a great perk.

  8. Raincoat help :

    Any recs for a stylish and professional-looking raincoat that is actually waterproof, has a decent hood, etc? Sadly I don’t have a Burberry budget. I have a North Face jacket now but it’s on the utilitarian/sporty side and I’d like something more chic.

    • Terrible name aside, I really like my Girl on the Go raincoat. Eddie Bauer

    • Everlane.

    • Try your local Burlington Coat Factory or Macy’s/Dillard’s/other large department store. Back in my government days, I had good luck at all of those.

    • I have one from Eddie Bauer that I think is reasonably professional while being super functional (waterproof, has a great hood, zipper and velcro to really keep the flat closed, and tabs at the wrists so you can cinch those as tight as you need). Mine also has a tie belt so I still have a shape in it. I don’t see my exact style on the website, but both the Kona and Girl-On-The-Go seem somewhat similar, and come in multiple colors.

    • Horse Crazy :

      Last winter I got the Nautica Layered Softshell Jacket from Macys, and I love it. It’s flattering, and also VERY warm, with a large hood.

    • Horse Crazy :

      Ugh I’m in mod…maybe just the link will work?×1993904&catargetid=120156340018368884&cadevice=c&gclid=Cj0KCQiAw9nUBRCTARIsAG11eienNmdW3K8vKz7cBXrudpOQl2FpagQt6qvz6finLAldMCEcePcrTEcaAjg5EALw_wcB

    • I bought a Helly Hansen one years ago from Nordstrom and always get so many compliments. This one is on sale and looks cute (they also have other styles too, but not on sale).

    • Ouch that hurts! :

      I really like the versatility of the products by Scott E Vest…I wore their black vest everywhere on a long trip to Iceland, Greenland, Canada. Layered well. When I came back I got their trenchcoat. Only downside is because of rfid pockets, no dry cleaning.

    • I bought a Marmot 3-in-1 last year. It was the best jacket I’ve ever bought. The shell is pretty, fitted, and completely rainproof. The inner layer looks great by itself, is also fitted, and works as an early fall/late spring jacket. Together they are perfect for right around freezing weather.

    • I got a Burberry on the RealReal (on line used consignment) for $200 ish.

  9. Bleach annoyance :

    Saw the most lovely pair of flats on my commute today – can anyone help me ID them? The toe was burgundy patent, then there was a thin band of black fabric, then the body of the flat was a burgundy small checkered print with a matte texture. There was also a black fabric band all around the opening for the foot.

    • Sounds similar to a style Boden had last fall I think or maybe 2 falls ago.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve seen Burberry flats with a patent toe and Burberry check fabric.

      • Nerfmobile :

        I have a pair that sound similar from French Sole (FS/NY). They are from a year or so ago though and they don’t seem to have anything like that right now.

  10. Advice on traveling back and home on one day via plane for an interview? I have a final round interview in DC next Monday and am wondering how to dress for the plane ride. Do I wear my interview outfit, which just seems like asking for someone to spill something on me? I’m planning to land, go to the office, do my interview, and then probably find some place to go nearby until my flight home (if anyone has any recommendations for a place to go and sit for an hour or two in Alexandria or near the airport, let me know). I don’t want to show up with multiple bags. Thoughts? TIA!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Don’t wear your interview outfit on a plane. Even the shortest flight will get you rumpled and it’s not worth it. Bring your interview outfit in a light nylon suit bag and stow it flat (or folded in the middle as many are built that way) so it does not get wrinkled. Change into it in a restroom wherever you are spending 2 hours before your interview. Before you go in, fold up the now-empty nylon suit bag and put it in your purse.

      Alternatively, show up with one bag in addition to your purse and stow it when you check in at reception. It’s fine.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely don’t travel in your suit. Carry a garment bag with you (which you can ask the flight attendant to hang when you board the plane) and everything should stay wrinkle-free. You could bring a small travel steamer, which you can plug in in the bathroom when you get there, if your suit gets too wrinkly in the bag, but it should be fine. You can change back into your comfy clothes on the flight home.

    • I feel like you should be able to get a small rollaboard and stow it with reception when you check in. Men travel in suits, so I’d recommend that you wear your interview outfit and then have a spare in the bag. If you are running to get there on time b/c of flight delays, you will be happy you don’t have to change and waste time on that and can jump in a cab quickly. You may always get a delay on the way home, so I always get bring a change of clothes and a toothbrush b/c you never know.

      IMO it would not seem odd to have both a rollaboard and a bag like an OG for the rest of your stuff / travel purse.

    • What time of day is your flight? My new love (in general, but also when I need to get out of the house and work) is Commonwealth Joe’s in Pentagon City — great coffee, nice ambiance, and big, clean bathrooms to change in :-) (and <7 minutes from DCA) You could also try Misha's in Old Town or Junction in Del Ray (both close-ish to the airport) if you wanted to check out Alexandria.

    • When I did this, I took a large but professional zip tote with me that could hold a book for the plane, my resume folder, a notepad, a few extra hair accessories, an umbrella, and one complete change of clothes in case someone barfed on me on the plane or something. I didn’t need the extra clothes but I was really glad I had them.

    • ALJ? Good luck!

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Do your makeup/hair after you land – you’ll look four hours “fresher” than you actually feel :) My eye makeup always gets smudged on flights when I try to snooze. When I did this, I also brought a comfortable top to change into for the trip home. Book an earlier flight that morning than you think you need – better to sit in the arrival airport for a couple of hours than be panicking about a delayed flight. Reception should be able to store a small roller bag once you arrive at the interview.

    • I’ve done this a few times. Agree on bringing your clothes and wearing something comfy on the plane and for the ride home after. I did makeup before but touched up when I landed. One piece of advice is to make sure you hydrate and pack some snacks – I got into a situation where all of my connections lined up exactly but it meant that I arrived at the interview not having had water, breakfast, or coffee, and halfway through I developed a migraine.

  11. Anonymous :

    Has anyone had a sonohyst before? Getting one tomorrow and feeling anxious…

    We decided to start TTC this month. Since going off BC last fall, I have had almost constant spotting punctuated by somewhat regular periods (and even when I was on BC, I had the spotting on and off for a couple years), so before even starting TTC I saw a fertility specialist earlier this month. She did an internal ultrasound, said everything looked fine with my ovaries, etc., but that if we had no luck this cycle and spotting continued, she would do a sonohyst. I’m not exactly sure what she will be looking for (polyps? fibroids?) But I’m freaked out that I may be infertile somehow.

    Has anyone had something similar happen?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I had one in the early stages of fertility treatment. I took two Advil an hour before and was perfectly fine after – I had already taken the rest of the day off so went home but easily could have gone back to work. A friend of mine had some cramping which is why I decided to book the time off.

      Do not freak out that the doctor thinks you have something terrible and just is not yet telling you. A sonohystogram is both diagnostic and therapeutic in that the liquid wash can remove any tiny bits of uterine lining that are stuck. Think of it like a womb water-pik that leaves everything shiny clean.

    • Yes, I had one also in the early stages of diagnosing fertility challenges. I don’t think I went back to work after but I don’t 100% remember. I do remember a little spotting after, and definitely cramping. Definitely take Advil beforehand as I found it uncomfortable during the procedure. I would also bring an extra pair of underwear with you just in case and some liners.

      +1 to Never too many shoes – don’t panic. The sonohysterogram is just to rule out any internal issues that could be contributing to your irregular periods.

    • I had one about 4 months ago.

      I was told they were going to look for any blockages. It also helps flush things out. I would like to note it will be {for me extremely} painful but for about 15 seconds {maybe less!}. After will then have cramping similar to menstrual cramps. The dye they used on me was red and freaked me out because they didn’t warn me. Plan on wearing a pad the rest of the day.

      I’m confident everything will be fine. I think these tests are routine discovery missions before prescribing any medications to help with your regularity. In the off chance something is a miss, then you will be able to work on next steps.

      Good luck. Every time I go through these tests I was confident some alien creature would be looking back at me.

    • thanks, ladies, feeling much better about it now. will be sure to take a couple of advil.

    • I had that test a few months ago for different issue – it turns out I have scarring in my uterus from a miscarriage and subsequent D&C last year.

      I found the test very painful but the doc said that was because of the scar tissue blocking the uterus from inflating the way it’s supposed to when they inject the saline. Most people apparently feel little or no pain.

      The good news is that this is one of the best imaging tools they have short of actually sticking a camera up there, so hopefully if something is going on, this will tell you what.

      Good luck with the test and all things fertility related!

    • Hug’s. I think that I will have to do this if I ever find a guy to marry me b/c it is just NOT happening for me now. I wish you the best of luck and that you will become pregnant ASAP! We in the HIVE are all praying for your sucess! YAY!!

  12. cyclingDiva :

    Speaking of jardigans… How can you find such a clothing unicorn with an online search?
    I work in IT with a very casual dress code. I like blazers, but dislike how binding they feel to me (bwith ig shoulders and bust with small waist, they never seem to fit right in any blazer without extensive alterations).

    The Jardigan seems like a great fix for this. I’ve found a few in random shopping excursions at Loft and TJ Maxx, but I can never seem to find anything like that online.

    • cat socks :

      Check Macys. I work in IT as well and I have found some structured, but open/drapey cardigans from there. I have a couple from Alfani that I like.

      • West Coast Esq. :

        I agree Macy’s is a good bet. The Charter Club line has some reasonably priced structured cardigans that look like a jardigan. For example I have this one that I like:

        This one is also nice enough for the office:

        I suggest looking online at the Charter Club cardigans.

    • I have a very different body shape than you (petite, high waisted pear), but similarly have trouble with blazers that never never fit and require so much alteration and it is never worth it.

      There is no easy search for these other blazers, so I keep my eyes open on this website for when people talk about dupes. There was a nice thread a day or two ago where someone was looking for buttonless blazers for their sibling that listed some options.

      So you are looking for less expensive versions of the Jardigan? Ponte blazers tend to have more with this type of style. Take a look at Macy’s.

      • cyclingDiva :

        yes. less expensive. I can’t bring myself to spend over $100 for something I’ve never tried on…
        Like anon below, I am overwhelmed by department stores… So. Much. Stuff.

    • If you google jardigan, it should pop up with the MMLF item and other similar items.

      • cyclingDiva :

        Google’s options seem to MMLF and a few things that look like cropped cardigans. meh. I’m hoping to not spend $150+ on something like this.

        • Baconpancakes :

          There is free returns at MMLF, so that does help. And I will say, the effortless chic and easy care of MMLF clothes makes it well worth the money for me. The black jardigan just goes with every single sheath dress and skirt I wear, so I feel like I’m definitely getting my money’s worth in cost per wear.

    • it is a lot of clicking and TBH, a time sink. Which is why I appreciate this site (thanks Kat) and this community of diligent and practical shoppers.

      I still cannot bring myself to buy the jardigan- way too expensive for me. But while looking for that affordable unicorn I have found some other excellent finds on Aritzia and Uniqlo.

      For some reason I just cant bring myself to online browse through dept stores like Nordstrom- too much stuff!

    • Try googling knit blazer, ponte blazer or jersey blazer. I just found one at Old Navy using the term knit blazer.

    • Adding my recommendation to the Alfani ones from Macy’s (though last time I looked they had ridiculous sleeves so ugh.)

      If ponte blazers are similar enough (e.g. they’re knit but not sweater-knit), I have a couple from New York & Company that wear well, machine wash (though hang dry), etc.

      • Yes I am waiting for them to come out with the latest one hopefully without the hug bell sleeve so I can pick up some more. I get a ton of use out of the one from the previous season.

  13. My SO and I just bought tickets for our vacation this summer. Our focus is hiking and camping in the southern Utah national parks, but we’re flying in and out of Las Vegas. Neither of us has been to Vegas before so we want to hit a few of the highlights, and you ladies always have the best trip recommendations. If you had an afternoon, night, and morning in Vegas (our flight departs around 2), where would you stay, where would you eat, and what would you do?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I love the spa at Caesar’s palace. You can buy a day pass and just hang out if you don’t get a specific treatment.

    • I prefer to stay at one of the Hilton “Vacation Clubs” rather than a casino hotel because the vacation clubs are 100% non-smoking and I am just not a casino person. I find it much less overwhelming that way.

      If you are into touristy stuff, the Bellagio fountains and the Mirage volcano show are fun to see. In Vegas you can be whoever you want to be, so I really enjoyed pretending to be rich and trying on a bunch of expensive watches. For fantasy shopping, I like the Venetian and the Palazzo best. There is also an LK Bennett store somewhere, I think at Caesar’s Palace.

      If you have the time and inclination to get away from the Strip, I’d have dinner at Raku and shop for western boots at one of the big stores.

      • I am SO there for fantasy shopping. Thanks!

        If it were just me I’d probably want to stay a little more off the Strip, but my SO is very much a casino person who wants to have the real Vegas experience. (Or as real as it’s going to get given our budget and not wanting to be massively hungover on the plane. Sorry Shots Shots Shots.)

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      A Cirque show (especially if you’ve never seen one). They are INCREDIBLE. My favorite is Ka – probably at the MGM? I’ve never seen a bad one though.

      • Senior Attorney :


        My favorite is The Beatles Love show, which I think is at the Mirage.

        • Hadn’t even thought of looking into shows! Neither of us has done anything like Cirque before but going to the ballet is actually our sweet spot of culture/arts (me) and physical/athletic performance (him). Is there a specific time frame where we would need to get tickets?

          • Elegant Giraffe :

            I usually buy Cirque tickets 4 – 6 weeks in advance. The shows run so frequently that I seriously doubt they sell out except at peak travel times (like holiday weekends maybe). Sounds like a great intersection of your interest areas!!! It is an amazing reminder of what the human body is capable of.

          • Yes! These shows are amazing! I took my teenage daughter to see Mystere at Treasure Island and bought the tickets online the night before the show and picked them up at will call a few hours before the show. This was in early January, so not a peak time but there were still plenty of seats left.

        • Horse Crazy :

          I just saw Love a few weeks ago, and it was AMAZING. And yes, it’s at the Mirage :)

    • You HAVE to get breakfast at “eat.” It’s one of the best breakfasts I’ve ever had in my entire life. The deep fried deviled eggs and cinnamon biscuits were ridiculously amazing.

      • Oh wow that place looks amazing. I think we’re going to have to check it out. Thanks!

      • I’ve been to EAT in Summerlin and their shimp and grits are stupidly delicious. Also get cinnamon biscuits for the table.

    • Lunch at Olives at the Bellagio, sitting out on the balcony under the misters and enjoying the fountains. Stroll the Strip and watch the people, then either shopping at Caesar’s and enjoy the indoor animatronics, hit the north outlet mall (Burberry! Etro! Malandrino! David Yurman!) or pool time.

      In the evening, head to Downtown Liquor Bar (hidden off of Fremont Street) for a beverage and then get your picture taken with the million dollars at Binion’s. Make an appointment to go to the Neon Museum before or after dinner at Lotus of Siam (Commercial Plaza), Raku (Spring Mountain), or Bazaar Meat (in the SLS), all of which are off the Strip and require a car, taxi or Lyft. Hit the Pinball Museum if that is your jam or go to the night shows on the Strip (TI, Bellagio). Play poker until an obscenely late hour.

      The next day, get up early and do the short hike at Red Rock Canyon or get a big coffee and get more pool time. Big early brunch at the Peppermill, Hash House a Go Go or, as CPA Lady says above, Eat. Pick up banh mi from Lee’s Sandiwches on Spring Mountain for the plane. Sleep on plane before or after sandwiches.

      Have a great time!

      • Thank you! This is really helpful. I think I might need to make sure to get us there in time for lunch the day before we leave…it seems like there are so many amazing food options.

        My SO enjoys gambling (within reasonable limits, rarely, etc.) and I have to admit that I have this image of doing the whole slinky-low-cut-dress poker-table experience, which is SO not my usual thing but when in Vegas, right? It’s safe to say that we’ll be up to an obscenely late hour and will need some restorative pool time in the morning…

        • No problem. My advice is to pass on the slinky dress at the poker table . . . I play a lot of cards and the poker rooms are FREEZING. As in, sometimes I ask for an espresso and a blanket from the cocktail server.

          If you do plan to be up late for cards, my current recs for places to stay are the Aria, the Bellagio, and the Venetian (the MGM also has a good room, but the hotel is kind of far south if you want to be able to walk the Strip). All of the big Strip casinos have decent table games, but only a few have good card rooms. Unfortunately, if your husband plays anything other than no limit hold ’em or higher limit/pot limit Omaha, the game choices will be limited unless you go off-Strip or to a locals casino (I like the Orleans for this – they have a 1-2 Omaha half-kill game that runs most of the time).

          • I appreciate the pro tip on being freezing! I’m always cold so I will try to find something slinky with…sleeves?

            I actually just booked us a room at the Venetian, since it seemed to be recommended widely and I got a better rate for our date than the Bellagio was offering. The SO actually tends to prefer craps to cards and I’m sure that I would wimp out of actually playing a poker game in Vegas: my interest is more in the slinky dresses, cocktails, and general atmosphere.

            I’m excited! This is going to be fun and totally different from anything I’ve done before.

          • Good choice. I recommend a shakerato from the Illy shop between the Venetian and the Palazzo for the pool and pretty much everything from the Bouchon Bakery near the tower elevator bank.

          • Nerfmobile :

            The Venetian rooms are really fabulous. Enjoy!

    • Hoover Dam if you have time.

      • OMG, I was there with Dad. We drove there from Las Vegas, and it is very impressive, and you can walk over the top of it. It is VERY deep, so don’t look down if you are afraid of height’s! TESYAA is right again, and I really think we must be related b/c we think alike! YAY!!!!

    • See a show! And then walk the strip. My favorite activity in Vegas is just walking from one end of the strip to the other to see all of the different hotels, etc. (preferably in the evening when it is not as hot out) and then spend your day at the pool.

    • Lots to Learn :

      Hopefully I’m not too late to add my suggestion: go see the Neon Museum! It’s where they retired the old, iconic neon signs from various casinos. Definitely go after sundown, as they have some of them restored and lit up.

  14. Mortgage Q :

    Ok, so this is a crass question, which is why I’m asking on an anonymous blog.

    For those of you in a high COLA, how much is your total mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes, insurance) and what is your *gross* HHI?

    I’m in a Boston suburb and I can’t fiure out if we are frugal/cheap, very risk averse, or extremely underpaid for our jobs (or maybe all 3). Or the only people in our town not independently wealthy.

    DH and I make a combined ~$380k. We live in a town where the average house of our friends/kids’ parents is $900-$1.3M purchase price.

    DH and I have job titles similar or higher to many of the families we know, where they are living in (and purchased recently) >$1M homes. And some of these families have one SAH parent.

    I’m trying to figure out if we are saving more aggressively, spending more frivolously, or just of these families are pulling in >$500k gross annually- some of them are single income, too.

    In one example, the couple is a teacher that took 4 years off to be a SAHM, and the husband is in a role that in my company (which pays market in a similar industry) makes $140k/year- I knowbecause that role reports into me two levels down. So when they both work they’re making $250k max, but they bought their home at $800k. They (and most others we know) moved from Boston proper, where they rented- so it’s not that they put $$$ down as a down payment from a previous home that grew in equity.

    This is just one of many examples- another couple is a SAH and a mid level investment banker. They live in a $1.5M home, are constantly renovating, and have a very high end lifestyle. The kind of lifestyle our family would have to be making well over $500k/year to afford, but I cannot imagine he makes this much given his role. I have friends with this title/role and in a good year they’re making $400k working like a crazy person and in NYC. This guy works really family friendly hours and is always around on weekends. I know they don’t have big family money.

    And there are other examples- my daughter’s friend’s parents are an in-house lawyer and a Rodan and Fields MLM consultant. They recently bought a $1.3M home in our town and also live a super high end life. And they sold their previous home in our town for a loss, so it’s certainly not that!

    Anyway, just curious if I’m just less comfortable spending my money, more vigilant about saving for retirement/life, or what. Some of these families are older than we are, but some are not. Our kids are all the same age and do the same schools/activities, so it’s not that we pay $$$$ for childcare that they don’t have.

    • Does it matter? You need to run your own race. Maybe they have family money, maybe they are just spending more than they should, maybe they are cheaper on some things and splurge on others.

      • Mortgage Q :

        No, it doesn’t mater in that it won’t change what our family does. I’m just curious because I suppose on paper we could be living in a bigger house and have fancied vacations, but I would be worrying about money far more often.

      • This! Maybe they’re independently wealthy, maybe they’re in debt up to their eyebrows, maybe they’re extremely well compensated or maybe they just cashed in some bitcoins. It’s probably a mix but you’ll never know so why count other people’s money? Save yourself the brain power you know?

        FWIW there’s better ways to find out if you’re under compensated than speculation based on your neighbors homes and lifestyles.

        • Mortgage Q :

          It’s not that, I’m just nosey. Neither DH or I are underconpensated, I was just throwing that out there since I have no idea what else would explain it. I do a lot of M&A and see a *lot* of corporate budgets.

          • So why the faux concern about whether you’re underpaid?

          • Ah sorry you admit to being nosey. It’s kinda fun I guess to speculate but you never know anyone’s complete financial story.

            I’m middle class kid working a middle of the road job and I’m sure not going to tell people that a huge chunk of my income comes from interest in a family business. I’m sure people are scratching their heads about my bmw. Shrug.

    • Might be family help with down payments, might be savings to get the down payments, might be their second property. You only need 20% down so a family gift can put you right up there. We bought in our first suburb at 900K but we had about 150K of equity from our first condo in Boston. Similarly, our house now was $1.5M but we had about 600K in equity from the other place.

      • Mortgage Q :

        But you had equity! Which makes sense. That’s not the case here, and even if it were, that’s just the down payment. Our PITI is just under $4k/month and if we lived in a $1M home in our town it would be well over $6k, closer to $7k, which while we could technically afford it, isn’t in our current budget at all (which doesn’t include loans or cc debt etc).

        • Or the taxes. I get that you can put equity down on the purchase price to lower your monthly mortgage, but when I look at the taxes on a more expensive house, there is just now way I could be comfortable going from 6K in property taxes a year to 15-20K.

          [It is also why I will never live in NJ again — NJ: I love you but you are too expensive!!!][And this is from someone who was shocked that NYC has a city income tax on top of more expensive state taxes — I get how rich people live there, but I felt like I set my wallet on fire every morning when I woke up.]

    • Family money? I imagine they have help or had help from family members in the past.

      • Mortgage Q :

        If it weren’t so many families, that’s what I’d think. But it isn’t. We know several of these families pretty well- well enough to know it isn’t family money. Obviously not well enough to ask if they are planning on funding their 4 kids’ college education or how much they make ;)

        • Triangle Pose :

          I dont get this? You and these families actually talked about this? Like, you asked them these questinos or they said “we don’t have family money”? A lot of people get help and don’t bring it up. I know people who would sit silently when people talk about trust fund babies and don’t say to anyone “I’m independently wealthy” but that doesn’t mean that they didn’t get help from my family when we bought our house. Maybe they have investments that have grown that their families put in their name, dot com boom wealth, etc. etc.

          • Anonymous :

            This. DH’s mom gave us $30K towards our starter house downpayment. People that know include me, DH, his mom. Why would I talk about that? Seems like bragging about how lucky we were.

        • Yeah, I don’t think you can know this. And it would totally make sense to me that most of these people are getting help from family money. I think a lot of your base assumptions are wrong.

    • Clementine :

      I often think about this when I look at any real estate in California.

      We live in the northeast, HHI between $170-200K/year and bought our house for $350,000. Monthly housing cost is $2200.

      I think some people are just deeper in debt and live with less savings than we do. I also think that the advantage that ‘a little family help starting out’ gives you is INCREDIBLE. Like, if you start out with no student loans and your parents give you $50K as a down payment when you’re 25, you are starting at a place where you wouldn’t get to until your early-mid 30’s otherwise.

      I used to look at people’s credit reports and you’d be shocked at the number of people who have an $800k mortgage with a maxed out home equity line of credit, all their cars are leased, plus a couple of credit cards with around $30k total on them.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yeah, I’ve been surprised at how many of my friends have had family help for their down payments. Even families that don’t seem/aren’t particularly rich — the parents have prioritized that for the kids, or the parents downsized and used what they took out of the larger house, etc. Everyone I know (well enough to know the details) who owns their home (except one friend who lives somewhere astoundingly cheap) had family help.

        • family help :

          Yep, a lot of parents want to do this for their adult kids. Also a lot of parents want their kids to have no student debt, so they encourage state schools and/or live somewhat frugally in order to make this happen.

        • Absolutely the case with my friend group. I’m in a very HCOL, and every single person I know who’s bought a place had family help with the down payment. (One friend boasts that she did it on her own, but she did it by cashing in stocks that her parents bought for her when she was a baby, so… to me that’s still “family help”.) My SO and I hope to buy someday, but neither of us come from families who can help, and it’s very tough to break into the market when a starter place can run a half-million dollars. So, I think your answer is family help, minimal student loans, and extraordinary amounts of debt on top of minimal retirement savings.

          • Senior Attorney :

            HAHA! If you cashed in the stocks your parents bought you, that’s the opposite of “doing it on your own.”

        • Yep. We had family help with original down payment in our mid 20s — as did our parents starting out. We still marvel at our level of privilege and luck. Started out in one HCOL area and then sold there to move to a MCOL after our home appreciated a huge amount, so, those two things together led to us having a totally comfortable medium sized house that we would have struggled to buy just on our incomes, given our risk tolerance.

    • Pretty common in my experience. Especially in what we like to call the “striver” towns. I don’t know how people do it and it would make me crazy with anxiety. Although it makes sense for me to live close to the city I live farther out where owning the home we wanted not such a stretch.

    • I have no answers, just the same question in an LCOL area. I don’t fully understand how all the SAHM families have nicer houses and cars than we do, belong to the fancy swim club, etc. I suspect it’s because the dads make somewhat more than my husband does, these families are not saving as aggressively as we are, they are not averse to taking on more debt to buy a fancy car or a better house or to renovate, and they are not still paying off law school (one more year to go!). I also get the impression that most other people’s parents help out with down payments on houses, paid for college, and pay for a lot of extras like vacations and extracurriculars, none of which applies for us.

    • Honestly, a lot of people live with debt and they’re comfortable with that. If you spend a lot of time on this s!te you might be under the impression that most people have 1 million in savings before 35 and max their retirement and live debt free. That is not the case for a huge majority of North America.

    • I am like you — honestly curious at how the math works b/c I am good at math and the #s don’t make sense to me.

      Like: I make a sh*tton of $. Call it X. My house is cost 1.5X, which I realize is very conservative. It was not my first house (and I was single when I bought it). Across the street is a couple. Maybe they are 30. Their house cost the same 1.5X, but they have brand-new 50-70K cars and a FT nanny. They are in jobs where they don’t make even 1/3 of what I do. Their parents live nearby (so their house may be worth twice what mine is) — I bet they probably gave them the downpayment.

      I see this all.the.time. But with even more: mom doesn’t work but there is a nanny. And 4 kids go to Country Day (so tuition is like 80K total/year). I *know* that grandparents must at least be paying the tuition (b/c I used to be a T&E accountant).

      But sometimes I cannot make the math work without “oh, they have a money tree growing in the backyard.”

      I know my FICO score — I have to suspect that their debt level is just MUCH higher than I am comfortable with.

      • Mortgage Q :

        We make $350-450k depending on the year, I’d say fair is $380k. We have our loans paid off, which were that bad all things considered (80k between us, two professional degrees). We’re 34/35 and have a lot saved for retirement, something like $500k. We have ~$250k in the bank in emergency $ and investments, and some of that is going to go to a home Reno but most of it is non-dedicated retirement funds. We have 3 kids and are saving so that we can have cash for state school for each of them by the time they go to college, and pay the rest out of income/make them pay/TBD but the savings goal is 3x 4 years of state school in cash.

        We’re obviously wealthy. We drive mid-luxury cars (50k cars vs the 80k cars the families I’m talking about drive). We paid $700k for our house and our PITI is about $3800/mo. We had about $45k in equity from our previous house that went toward the down payment, too. But I just can’t make the math work on paying an additional 2-3k/month (plus actual home maintenance!).

        I think it’s probably a combo of we are conservative, we save more for retirement, and others are more comfortable with debt than we are. It’s just so odd to me to see the kids of jobs parents have in these homes. Two senior exec/management incomes? A biglaw partner? Two hard working midlevel management people in their late 30s who have been saving a long time and didn’t have much debt to begin with? Sure. But a development engineer and a teacher? A senior level sales guy (who I actually know makes $300k [inc comission], because he tells everyone) and his wife who no longer works but they sold their home at a loss and bought another for $1.4? An in house atty? A marketing manager and a sales Director?

        I just… I’m fairly confident that I know what their income looks like- I’ve seen a lot of corporate budgets- and I just can’t wrap my head around it.

        • W H A T. Girl. Stop. It’s like actually so easy to wrap your head around this. They have 20k in savings instead of 250k and 50k in retirement instead of 500k. You’re doing great and you’re also saving dramatically more than most. This isn’t a puzzle.

        • Who the eff cares what other people are saving? It’s none of your business.

          • Also, stop bragging.

          • yes and yes

          • Yeah seriously. Interesting that the sensitivity police come out to forbid people from saying a particular brand makes them look pregnant, lest we accidentally make someone who has a little extra belly fat or is pregnant feel bad– but we constantly get beat over the head with how high people’s salaries/savings are. As someone who has been a lawyer for 5 years and JUST broke even on her debt/savings and feels like she’ll never get there– especially because I’m single and don’t have another high earner’s salary to add to the mix– these threads can make me feel like crap. Obviously, I’ll just take responsibility for my feelings and scroll past, but just thought that this was an interesting contrast.

            Maybe this will make OP feel better: My HHI is 120k. I drive a 10 year old car that cost 16K new. My student debt started at 90k and is now around 65k. I rent. I’d like to buy to get that sweet, sweet equity, but a 20% down payment would get rid of most of my cash savings. My parents can’t toss money at me for one, like many of my friends’ parents did. I still live in a great part of town/apartment because a) safety and b) I prioritize living in that neighborhood for many reasons and it’s worth the extra few hundred dollars/month for me to do so.

          • Yep, I think the sensitivity police must be plus-sized and rich.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Wait, do you want the sensitivity police to come out here, or no? I thought you didn’t like us?

            [flashes sensitivity badge] “hey everyone! try not to be d*cks about things like the families people come from, their income, or their size! try not to be d*cks when people have different priorities! try not to be d*cks in general!” [sashays away in curve hugging sensitivity police dress and impractical shoes]

          • RH, I’m neutral on the sensitivity police in this context. I just thought the contrast was interesting. If I see posts like this that make me feel uncomfortable, I don’t read them. It’s easier and I think more fair for me to not read than it is for me to limit other people’s topics of conversation or word choices.

            I’m in favor of the sensitive police when it comes to things like being needlessly rude, judgmental, ableist, bigoted, classist, anti-feminist, or anti-body positivity. There’s a difference between making comments that are hurtful and d*ckish and making comments that simply might make someone feel bad. Where that line is isn’t always clear, but there is a difference.

        • Was this whole post just so you could tell a bunch of internet strangers how rich you are?

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          Some in-house attorneys make way more than I thought they did. (I just deposed some of them). Like the same as a biglaw senior associate plus stock options.

          • Triangle Pose :

            Yep. I think a lot of OP’s assumptions are just wrong – she doesn’t really know for sure if people have family $$$ and despite ALL OF THE CORPORATE BUDGETS OP reviews, she doesn’t really know how much people make in salary, bonus, investments, employee stock purchase discount, etc.

        • They’re probably saving less than you. But does it matter? Every family has different priorities. I’d have a hard time being friends with someone who though spending $80K on a car was a good way to live. Heck, I think it’s crazy pants to drive a 50K car. I’d totally buy a used minivan and spend the rest taking the kids on a safari. But I don’t care what the neighbors think. I want amazing memories with my kids. And I’m only saving enough to cover college tutition. If they want to move out for college, they can fund that themselves.

        • Same Boat :

          I’m not going to snark on you for being curious, because my H and I wonder the same dang thing all the time and are in a similar situation (and I bet a good percentage of the holier than thou posters do too). Our HHI is about the same as yours, but our mortgage/house is significantly less and our savings are considerably more because we actively avoided the golden handcuffs because we’d like to downsize to less hectic jobs at some point.

          Basically – family money or some other windfall + a much higher comfort with debt/lack of savings.

          Also, I think some people don’t put 20% down on a house. I naively didn’t even know that was possible until talking to high income friends who only put down 5%. See also, not paying your CC bill off every month and waiting until bonus time.

      • When I bought my house:
        single, 225K income
        house cost 600K (not my first house, so traded up during the recession while not making any profit on the house I sold)

        475K income
        same house

        MCOL area, 2 kids, public school, no non-mortgage debts (now, but bring frugal all along helped when I had 2 day care bills and buy a minivan and pay off law school loans)

    • You’ll never figure it out because the answer is different for everyone. A lot of people have family money they don’t talk about because they’ll be attacked for it. A lot of people have big jobs they trade for lifestyle jobs but made money in first. A lot of people are highly leveraged. A lot of people have different spending priorities. There’s so much you will never know about other people’s financial situations. My grandfather’s favorite expression was that you can never count the money in someone else’s pocket.

    • We live in Boston in a condo I bought for $450K. I was a BigLaw 4th year when I bought it. Since then, I’ve gotten married and have stayed in BigLaw, so my HHI has roughly doubled. My monthly PITI is very low ($1550) — way lower than it was when I was renting a tiny place in a fancy neighborhood — as I only mortgaged 75% of the value of the property and I have a very low interest rate. We double the mortgage payment every month, because we can do so with no pain. Plus, the value of our home is up more than $100K since we bought, because we purchased in a rapidly changing neighborhood.

      But, I don’t plan to stay in BigLaw. At some point, my salary will take a colossal hit and will look more like what your neighbors earn. Is it possible some of them came from higher paid jobs and took a step back when they moved out of the city?

    • Risk adverse like you. Total gross household income last year was about $800k. Total mortgage payment is about $3000 per month.

      • Oh my goodness.

        Good for you!

        I hope you are able to retire young, and do whatever you want with your life. And if it is this job….good for you!

        • Thanks. We anticipate taking lower paying jobs at some point in the next 5 years so we bought with that expectation. If it doesn’t happen we will definitely be able to retire early.

      • Same here. GHHI $550k. Mortgage in HCOL area of ~$3,000 per month.

      • Risk adverse like you. Gross HHI (including bonuses) is about $400k. Mortgage is just over $2k. We made it a point to buy a house we could support on one of our salaries alone, because you never know.

        • This is me.

          No matter what I make, I am comfortable spending 3K/month on housing. Some months I throw extra at it b/c I don’t want a house payment and kids in college at the same time, but I only want to be on the hook for 3K.

          I value so, so much the freedom to walk out the door and work and not *have* to come back. [I’d have to do something, but not back to BigLaw.]

      • Same. Gross HHI is roughly $530K, and PITI is less than $2K. We throw a ton of extra money at our mortgage and, assuming we don’t move, our home will be paid off in 5 years or so.

      • It’s averse, not adverse.

    • This is a conversation I’ve had with my husband before, and it sounds like we’re in a similar situation. We live in a Chicago suburb and husband and I are both full-time practicing lawyers, while many of our couple friends are single-income/one spouse is working PT/either or both working less demanding jobs but living in comparable or nicer houses. I agree with the advice above to run your own race, but there is a certain amount of curiosity, honestly, for me.

      My assumption is that either they or we having something going on out-of-sight that make us not comparable (e.g., he and I are funding our savings and retirement and 529s for the kids; we both had student loans from UG and law school that we’ve paid off and others may have never had student loans; we may be misunderstanding their income level (as a lawyer I often have little understanding of what business people make, honestly!); they may have received family help at some point that went towards this house or an earlier one; they may have avoided childcare costs with family in town providing free care instead of paying $20K a year for several years).

      FWIW and since you asked for numbers, my house is in the $700-750K range and our gross HHI is in the neighborhood of $350K (was a bit higher before a law firm to in-house job change).

    • Yeah, I never understand stuff like this either. We make just over six figures combined in a very HCOL area and find it very hard to afford any extras (and that’s as a DINK couple), but we see tons of people living in way nicer places, driving way newer and nicer cars, taking trips I could only dream of, and wearing insanely expensive clothes. No clue how they make it work, especially once kids enter the picture.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        On the trips, some people are great at getting deals and using credit card bonuses/churning. We take some fairly elaborate vacations that cost WAY less than people assume. Our friend’s mom recently passed away and my husband is “buying” last minute tickets to see him that would normally cost a lot. He’s using points. We also follow the Flight Deal and similar sites and buy our tickets when there is a deep discount.

        • Anonymous :

          This. I’m really good at working the credit card/points game so we travel to more interesting places for longer than our friends who do the 2 weeks at a condo in Florida routine every year.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Yep. I haven’t paid actual money for a personal flight or rental car in years–I travel a lot for work and use the points I collect for various hotels, airlines, and rental car companies for vacation.

    • Our gross HHI is about $420k (US) and our monthly mortgage costs (all in) are about $3k (US), on what is currently ~$1m (US) home (all based on current exchange rates). London doesn’t have standard US-style property taxes (although we paid a chunk in stamp duty when we bought), we have a good rate on our mortgage and have been saving and putting money in under the 0% prepayment provision under our mortgage to boost our equity in the place.

    • Your friends are likely overleveraged. The fact that things look great for them right now, with a hot job market in Boston for high earners, doesn’t mean that things are going to work for them if/when the economy goes south, someone loses a job, etc.

    • I am not in a HCOLA but this is something my husband and I have spoken about often. We have friends that are near or below our income and have much pricier homes, vehicles, vacations, etc. Some of them we have a close enough relationship to know that they save next to nothing and while dont outwardly appear to be struggling, have no safety net. Our HHI is $200k. We have ability to make this more, my husband owns his own business and only pays himself $60k but his business could pay him about double that. Our mortgage is only $1200. We bought a house that needed some updating and take $8-10k a year to do big renovations, think hardwood floors, bathrooms complete tear out, etc. We both drive luxury brand vehicles that we purchased used. I think some people just live on credit while we choose to live on cash. We invested some money in some real estate in and out of state but our goal is to pay off that and our mortgage to be debt free. We take a few nice trips year but dont do uber expensive vacations.

    • You realize most people – even well educated ones – don’t put down 20%, right? You also realize that high income types often come from high income families rise have no problem gifting 100k or 200k for a down payment, right?

      • Yup. No one I know put 20% down unless it was a gift from parents.

      • I’ve contemplated buying at various times and this have spoken to banks for pre approvals. Kid you not, every time I’ve mentioned in NYC and DC, the amount I’m looking to spend and the 20-25% I’d put down, mortgage people at 4 major banks have said variations of – WHY; you can be pre approved for much more; oh we can get you a deal w only 10% down so you can buy a more expensive place. Mortgage companies encourage this and even well educated people who should no better go with it and everyone acts like it’s odd to put down 20%.

      • I’ve never put 20% down b/c I hate being cash-poor as much as I hate being house-poor.

        I put down the minimum I could get away with every time, but also was never comfortable going more than 2x HHI in price regardless (maybe I could do 3x HHI now, but I have no other debts and other assets / savings as a cushion).

        It’s all about the monthly payment to me and I want that to be small regardless of how I get there.

      • Mortgage Q :

        Actually, I really didn’t. We didn’t put 20% down on our first home, but we were trying to take advantage of the rock-bottom real estate market in 2009 and were willing to pay PMI because we had theninclme, but not the down payment. We didn’t buy our second home until we had the 20%. It was a jumbo loan and we would have been paying all kinds of fees if we hadn’t. We had equity from our first home to help, but we’d also been saving for 5+ years.

    • Run your own race.

      I’m in a LCOL area. HHI 250K. We qualified for a 800K mortgage because no student loans/car debt (parents helped pay for college and we lived super cheap in our late 20s to pay off student loans asap). We spent 525K on our house because we didn’t want to be house poor and we love to travel. The amount that goes into our travel fund every month is the same as our mortgage payment.

      You can’t compare. Everyone has different priorities. I literally spent more on a ski vacation in January than my car is worth. I resent every dollar I have to spend on my car so my ski vacation was much better investment in my happiness. Someone with a long commute might have totally opposite priorities and think that’s crazy.

    • Live in NYC. Gross HHI is ~280k. Our mortgage is about 2,900/mo (although with maintenance, it’s more like 3,700 in total). This is the max we feel comfortable spending, even though we probably could have been approved for more. We don’t have student loans anymore and no credit card debt, but we do have childcare expenses.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        How can you have a mortgage that low in NYC? Is it a one-bedroom?

        • I’m not the OP but you realize NYC includes the outer boroughs, right?

        • I think it was a bit of luck. 2 bed, 1 bath, coop in a relatively expensive section of Brooklyn. Bought it for just under 800k and we put 20% down. Our maintenance is less than 1k/mo. The apartment is functional but outdated and we’re going to do some work to it. So basically we bought a fixer upper for 800k.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      sigh, I thought this might be a legit question, but it sure is sounding like, “why isn’t everyone as smart as me? look at how great and rich and secure i am — i just can’t fathom how anyone could do anything else!”

      • +1 also this smug sense that everyone living a more lux lifestyle is just a fool setting themselves up for disaster. Maybe true, maybe not.

      • It’s also such a place of privilege to be able to make the decision either way–to either do what Mortgage Q is doing and save a bunch and have luxury cars and a great home that she can maintain OR save a medium amount and have more luxurious cars and homes. Most people who own homes make far less and are maxed out in the way Mortgage Q can’t fathom her neighbors might be (or are maxed out more). When you make tons of money, you get to decide how much you save and spend. When you don’t, your fixed expenses are high enough they make the decision for you.

        • Most people would be happier living as the richest person in a less-well-off neighborhood rather than one of the “poorer” (using this term relatively) people in a wealthy neighborhood. Maybe some people stretch to a fancier neighborhood for the schools, but a lot of people don’t realize how much stress is involved in living in a place that’s a stretch.

        • “When you make tons of money, you get to decide how much you save and spend. When you don’t, your fixed expenses are high enough they make the decision for you.”

          This is so, so true.

      • family help :

        I’m also seeing a LOT of resentment in the comments that any adults might get help from their parents. My parents helped us when we were younger (with cash gifts and college tuition) and we are paying it forward to our kids.

        • Well, of course those of us who didn’t get parental assistance feel that the playing field isn’t level. That’s not going to stop me from helping out own kid, though. Quite the opposite.

          • I think that upper middle class parents help their kids out a ton and if you don’t have that, you feel like you are doing something wrong b/c everyone seems to spend this help in terms of nicer consumption items that are conspicuous (not socking it away). So: spendy neighborhood, fancy schools, fancy cars, remodeling.

            As a grownup, it feels middle school where you show up with the Sears Toughskins jeans and all of the other kids are in AGs.

            Except you are in BigLaw and are a big girl and you work so hard already just to feel like you are behind the pretty Pinterest people.


          • Rainbow Hair :

            Anon at 11:41, I hear that. I got help (with so many strings attached, but still help!) to buy our house (and we couldn’t have without the help — or at least not as soon as we did), and it has been to me the most blatant “wealth perpetuates wealth” thing in my life. Of course I knew it was there before, but to see it just served up on a platter like that, with tax breaks and the whole bit… just making it so [email protected] crystal clear how I have a leg up because of nothing but the accident of my birth.

            I wish it wasn’t quasi-taboo to admit that — might get us closer to fixing it.

        • Well, of course those of us who didn’t get parental assistance feel that the playing field isn’t level. That’s not going to stop me from helping out my own kid, though. Quite the opposite.

        • I’m from money and I do resent when people have had help from their parents and they chose to waste it on oversized sized houses and unnecessary cars. They should be embarrassed. It’s crass.

          My parents helped me so I could contribute to making the world a better place. I expect the same from my kids and I don’t just use my privilege to help my kids. I don’t see a lot of room in OP’s budget for tithing or similar charitable endeavors.

        • Yeah, I guess you could call it “resentment,” but I think the better terms are plain old frustration or envy. It’s not morally wrong to receive help from your parents. I don’t think anyone is actually “resenting” anyone else for just being lucky, unless that person is *also* being a tw*t about it. But it’s just tough to watch others get such a huge leg up when it’s just luck of the draw. It’s just basic human emotions. What’s so complex about that? Yeah, I don’t like to think about how much of an advantage my friend from law school had that’s made it easy for her to save so much cash. Even though we do the same thing, she’s got hundreds of thousands of dollars more in the bank than I do. Do I resent her for it? No. Do I like thinking about it? No. Do I resent when she whines that I can’t go on an expensive vacation with her? Yes.

      • Ha. +1.

    • I totally get why you’re wondering and I have exactly the same thoughts about people I know. It’s not crazy to want to understand how other people manage their finances and where we all fall on the spectrum. Not sure why some people are jumping all over you when they could just keep scrolling…

      Total HHI is $450k and our total monthly payment is $3500. We’re similarly risk averse and prefer to keep our fixed expenses low.

    • We’re in a sort of similar situation . Our understanding is that we are more frugal, risk/debt adverse, and aggressive savers compared to all of our friends. Not as high as most people on this s*te, but HHI is around $160/year in DCMVA, monthly house payment (including property taxes/homeowners) is $2200/month. We don’t take expensive international vacations, we usually save $1000 in cash a month or more (excluding retirement funds), and I cook 6/7 nights a week. We don’t care any credit card/car loan debt.

    • I am an Old and my income and mortgage are much more reasonable now, but when my husband and I started out in the Bay Area, our mortgage payment was terrifying compared to our annual income. Like, if one of us had experienced even a few months of unemployment, we might have been screwed. In hindsight, it was definitely risky, but we were fortunate enough not to experience unemployment until our incomes had increased substantially, and our home had gained in equity and had been refinanced at a lower interest rate.

      We ended up making a lot of money on the first house and funneling it into the house we live in now, but even when we moved in here with substantially higher incomes, we were still doubling our mortgage payment and were very nervous for a while. But, again, over the years we’ve been in this house, our incomes have increased, our home equity has increased DRAMATICALLY, and we feel fine with the mortgage now. We couldn’t do any remodeling or home repairs over what was desperately needed for the first few years, but we got comfortable over time and were eventually able to do a lot of stuff, like a really basic kitchen remodel and some expensive but not exciting foundation work.

      I think a lot of people do what we did. Just barely scrape by when first getting into a house, and then get more comfortable over time.

      I also know, based on the industry I work in, that most of those very expensive cars are leased and will be turned in for another leased car at the end of a 3 or 4 year period. They don’t have any money to speak of in the cars. Just a rather high monthly payment.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. Just barely scraped by to get into a house, and then got more comfortable over time. My saga has probably had a lot more twists and turns than Anon at 11:21 a.m. but the basic theme is the same.

        And plus a million to the fancy cars. We have fancy cars and they are leased. A friend of mine “sells” Audis and she says 90% of her transactions are leases, not sales.

        • I still don’t understand how the math works out on a lease. For us leasing would be far less affordable than purchasing, but maybe that’s just because I have a really long commute that vastly exceeds the typical mileage allowance on a lease, and we tend to keep our cars for 10+ years.

          • To clarify–I mean I don’t understand how people can afford to lease a fancy car any more than they can afford to buy one. I could more easily buy one than lease one.

          • Senior Attorney :

            LH is a car guy and he likes fancy cars, and he likes to have a new car. Fancy cars are expensive one way or the other — you either pay a fortune to buy one and then maintain it over the years, or you pay a fortune in lease payments but at least you don’t have to worry about maintenance.

            And we live 5 miles from the office so the mileage isn’t an issue. I’ve had my car for 26 months and still haven’t hit 10,000 miles.

            AND… most importantly, he leases his through his business so huge tax benefits.

          • Senior Attorney :

            And why are all my comments in mod today?

          • All you’re doing in a lease is paying down the anticipated depreciation on the car during the lease period. Many leases don’t require a down payment, or if they do it’s quite small, vs a car loan that requires a more substantial down because they don’t want you to owe more on the car than its depreciated value.

            Auto makers have all kinds of incentives to “sell” current model year cars, and to always be growing the number of cars they sell. They also do quite well on the back-end selling those pre owned cars. They have all kinds of financial structures like SPVs that own the leased cars and accounting treatment that makes this all seem profitable and good business.

            So rather than buying an $80k car, which would seem pretty painful for anyone that didn’t just get a huge bonus or something, you can drive that luxury car for a payment of less than $1k. And a lot of people are fine with that.

            I’m not a leaser either because I know how the math works, but many many people are just looking at the monthly payment whether they’re buying a car or leasing it, and monthly payment wise, a lease will be cheaper bechase you don’t own anything at the end of it.

          • I should also mention, anyone who has taken Accounting 101 learns that it’s better to lease a depreciating asset than to buy one. A new car is definitely a depreciating asset. But I’ve never been able to make this math work for my personal finances.

          • Anonymous :

            Better to lease a depreciating asset? I just don’t get it. I bought a new Toyota for $21K, spent $3K on repairs over its lifetime, and drove it for 12 years at a total cost of $24K. To lease that same car for 12 years would cost more than $42K(four 36-month leases at $209/month plus $2999 due at signing for each lease). I would get a brand-new car every three years, but I’d also spend nearly twice as much and face mileage limitations. I don’t even know what it would cost to drive it as much as I actually need to drive it.

    • Is your question how are people able to do this given the downpayment required to make such a purchase or why would they be spending such a large part of their income on housing?

      For us, in NYC, our place cost $925K, with 30 percent down, and our mtge is just under $3K. Our monthly carrying costs – co-op – are just over $2K, so it’s about $5K total, but there is a temporary assessment in place that brings that amount up close to $6K for the next 2 years. It’s all together more than we wanted to spend and by no means extravagant or lux, but we want to live in Manhattan and that’s what the prices are to be in a good school area for us. We don’t have much other expenses : stu loan payments are around $600 for both, no childcare expenses right now. We did have family help from both sides with the down payment & this has come at the cost of not prioritizing other savings like college, etc., for the time being. But we expect to catch up with that stuff now that we’ve settled in with the home stuff. I don’t think we would have been able to do it without family help on our salary unless we lived like monks for years, and as it is we lived rather conservatively in a tiny apartment that we’ve rented since our law school days prior to making this purchase.

    • Reading this thread like dayuuuum– I thought I made a lot of money but guess not!

      • I feel you. That’s me every day on corporette lol

      • Mortgage Q :

        To be fair, I asked specifically about people in a HCOL, and more specifically, homeowners in the Boston area, which is an expensive place to live and salaries often take that into account. The responses here are mostly from that target audience, not the general readership of Corporette. I asked because I know there are people that would be able to live in/afford the types of homes I’m wondering about.

    • When did you buy? Some of this is timing too? Maybe you bought a few yrs ago and could get a house for 700k and now these other people – on a lower income than you- have no choice but to shell out 850k for a similar home.

      Otherwise – what’s the mystery? Some have family $$. Some only put down 5 or 10%. Some don’t have 500k in retirement + 250k in other savings at 35. Since you don’t mind talking – what’s your cash net worth (not including property)?

    • I feel the same way in my city, but with smaller numbers. I even occasionally google average annual salaries for professions of people I know because it seems like we should be affording similar level things. I really think everyone’s comfort level with money is different.

    • I have no idea why you’re getting so much push back, because I often wonder the same thing!! Like, who the heck are all these people who can afford towns and towns full of million dollar houses within the I-95 belt. I think a big part of this has got to be family money and the other part is that people are just less conservative than I am and have different lifestyle standards.

      I was just “chatting” (aka gossiping — freely admitted) about this last night with a friend — our mutual friend bought a $400K house and considered it a “starter” home, when the reality is that starter homes in my MCOL area are much closer to $200K (but are super hard to find in good condition). I thought maybe the mutual friend didn’t have student loans, but it turns out she totally does too!

      • Same. I live in Berkeley and we know a lot of what we call “trust fund hippies” – people who like to tell everyone they should live “simply” and drive a Tesla (for the environment!) and never shop at Safeway etc but they also vacation in the South of France every year with mom and dad and live in very very expensive homes while working for non-profits. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    • Boston Mortgages :

      We make about $400K before bonuses and stock comp. We live in Newton and pay $4500/month.

    • i think about this all the time too. a lot of people do get family help (myself included, though ive never ever asked my parents for anything and i am very appreciative), but i worry/wonder all the time how the next generation will fare. my parents had no help from their parents however. they say that we will be the first generation worse off than our parents, do I while I would love to be able to help our kids, I hope that is a possibility. Education and housing are SO much more expensive than they were when our parents were our age.

    • biglawanon :

      It has to be a lot of family help. That is my conclusion anyways. My husband and I have had an HHI of between 400k-500k for many years, and it took us a solid 5 years to (1) pay down about 400k in student loans between us and (2) save about 300k so we could put 20% down on a condo in a HCOL and still have emergency savings.

    • Another perspective :

      A perspective on family help. We could be one of the families you’re describing. My husband is an only child. His parents lived frugally, saved prodigiously for retirement, and worked nonstop till they sold their successful, blue collar, small business to retire. It would not appear to anyone that we “came from money.”

      Unfortunately, they lived to see very little of that retirement. As a result we have financial resources we never expected and have used it to live inside rt 128 to minimize my commute, for husband to work part time and be home with the kids, for more vacations and kid activities than we would otherwise do on my in-house salary alone.

      But we would trade it in a heartbeat for kiddos to have met and known their grandparents, for in laws to enjoy their “golden years” with each other and with my husband. They worked nonstop and planned to enjoy life (and spend time with their son) when they retired… but it didn’t turn out that way. So we try to use our inheritance to make different choices to honor their memory.

      For a range of personal (ie it’s still emotionally tough for husband) and societal reasons this is something we’ve discussed with only a handful of people.

  15. Any recommendations on vitamins to help with hair growth? GNC no longer seems to sell the ones I used to buy from there (Hair, Skin and Nails). I know that Biotin is recommended but there are so many different brands and options.

  16. Just out of law school, I began working in a very specialized area of the law . I have been working in this specialty for two years and am currently located in a relatively small city in the midwest. I am interested in switching to a more lucrative
    area of law and moving to a larger city, but all of my experience throughout law school was focused on my current specialty. How do I learn a new area
    of law and network with people to make this switch? I fear that those with whom I network will dismiss me as a potential hire given my limited scope of
    experience. All thoughts appreciated.

    • If you’re comfortable sharing more about your practice area, I’d probably have better advice, but in your situation I’d start making changes in place bcfore you move. Try expanding your practice at your current firm and if you can’t do that, make a move to a more general firm in your current area to get broader experience that will help you make a bigger move later. I’d do this at the same time as networking and applying to jobs you want long-term, but you need to start positioning yourself as someone with experience v. someone who has transferable skills. It’s always easier to move if you have some experience already. The TL, DR – this sounds like a 2-step plan.

    • You only have two years of experience. No problem to start over. Start going to CLEs and events for other areas of the bar. See if you can write an article or give a presentation on a different legal area. Write good cover letters expressing your desire to broaden your practice. It will take some time but is totally doable.

      • Senior Attorney :


        I’ve seen people switch practice areas even after years of practice. Two years out it should be easy peasy.

    • With only 2 years of experience, your law school might be more important than your experience.

  17. What to Wear in Miami - Mommy Edition :

    Husband has a work meeting in South Beach in late March, and spouses are invited on the trip. We will be there for three days, staying at a resort there. We won’t do any late-night outings (no clubbing, etc) but will have at least one fancyish dinner. What do I wear?

    To make this challenging, we are bringing our four month old, and I am nursing. So my travel and daytime outfits need to be at least somewhat nursing friendly and will also be accessorized with a baby carrier. Is there any way to be cute on this trip? Or should I just give up and go full-tilt mommy (nursing tanks, tennis shoes).

    Thanks for any suggestions– and if you have time to shop for me, links are most welcome!

  18. progesterone pills? :

    Has anyone else been on progesterone pills for irregular bleeding?

    They aren’t birth control pills. Just to smooth out the ebb and flow of my 40-something hormones.

    • I had to take them short-term a couple of times and the side effects were just awful. The exhaustion was like early pregnancy exhaustion, and I once cried at work.

    • I’m TTC and have spotting during my luteal phase so I’m taking Endometrin vaginal suppositories. My understanding is there are 4 ways of getting progesterone and each has its drawbacks. Oral has the most side effects. The injections are painful and many people have allergic reactions to the oil they are in. There is another vaginal suppository but it causes a lot of dryness and leaves bits behind inside. It is also sometimes blue! The Endometrin just gives you a lot of discharge. As long as you can wear a panty liner you’ll be all set. That said, everyone is different and this is just my personal experience with Endometrin. I had none of the emotional side effects. I was on 2/day. Good luck!

    • Yes, only for a few weeks. They made me feel very relaxed and zen, honestly. I’d take them again in a heartbeat.

      • I should add that this was Prometrium, not Provera. Provera isn’t actually progesterone and it’s side effects are a whole different ball game.

    • Yes. It worked but gave me headaches. That was progestin; I have always been curious whether actual progesterone would be different.

      • Mineallmine :

        Me too! Daily headaches, it was awful, and my doctor didn’t take me seriously. I ended up finding out about ablation, which has worked well.

    • Total anecdotal but I used Emerita Pro-Gest topical progesterone cream- it did seem to even out my periods which had been skipping a cycle then doubling down in a 2x flow the next period. I did a lot of reading and it seemed reasonable and safe to try; my gyn didn’t love that there was no clinical trial data but she didn’t think it was wacky…I had no side effect…

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I used to have tail-end brown bleeding and take 200mg of Prometrium (bioidentical/same molecule as the progesterone your body produces, but synthesized from Mexican yams, of all things) as a v’inal suppository during the luteal phase. I had no side effects, except a very slight “or am I imagining this” itching at the, um, opening, and that only sometimes. My doc said you can also take it orally but progesterone has a “high first-pass effect,” meaning that it clears out of your body quickly when taken orally. Apparently if you take it as a suppository it just gets absorbed straight into your womb or something? Anyway, my irregular bleeding stopped and my PMS got much milder.

      Hope that helps!

  19. Grand Canyon :

    Has anyone ever rafted the Grand Canyon? A friend from college invited me on a trip next year (he won a permit) and I would like to go, but I don’t have much rafting experience beyond a few pretty tame daytrips. It looks kind of intense and I’m wondering whether it’s reasonable for me to plan on.

    • Wow – that sounds incredible. That is one of those once in a lifetime experiences.

      What are you worried about? Are you an active/outdoorsy type? To me you are if you have already done a few daytrips…. Or are you more of a glamper?

      • Yes, I am outdoorsy and I know I would enjoy it, but I’m just a little concerned that the rapids are probably a lot harder than anything I’ve done before and I would be nervous about injury/falling out in such a remote area. I’m wondering if it’s a doable trip for beginners or whether I should really have more experience first.

        • Will this be a guided trip? How much experience does your friend have?

          • Unguided, but my friend has rafted the Grand Canyon 10 times and several other people in the group have varying levels of experience as well. I’m not positive about the details, but I think the NPS makes all private trips comply to certain safety regulations as well.

    • I went with my dad and siblings when I was 12. My sister at the time was 8. The trip was guided, the rafts were motorized, and all we had to do was show up, hang on, and enjoy ourselves. For the trips this guide company did with paddled rather than motorized rafts, you still didn’t need any experience. The guides know what they’re doing.

      • Ignore this — just saw your comment that your trip is unguided. I still think the trip is doable in a raft for people of almost any ability. If you’re not comfortable, ask your friend for more details before you commit.

      • Grand Canyon :

        Thanks for this!!

    • Anonymous :

      Do it! Non-guided trips are amazing (provided you’re with experienced folks). I’ve traveled all over the world, and this was literally the best trip of my life.

  20. A shout out to Dick’s Sporting Goods Store for their courage in standing up to violence in schools. I had never shopped there before, but I just went to their website and ordered a bunch of stuff online. As someone with kids in school who feels anxious everyday, it feels good to support a courageous voice in this gun drama.

    • Never shopped there before, but I might now. Good for them.

    • Totally agree. Thanks for posting this.

    • +100 – definitely will look at buying from them now.

      They will get a lot of flack from NRA so if you do buy from them – send message on social media or email to let them know why. Even a quick PM on FB to say ‘bought from you today because you don’t sell AR anymore’ will be noted.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes! Lovely Husband has been needing a new pair of gym shoes and I just went over to Dick’s and bought him a pair.

      Their announcement made me cry.

    • Agree. I ordered my kids’ winter coats for next year.

    • Anonattorney :

      Apparently Walmart did this a few years ago because they weren’t making any money off the AR-15s, and with background checks getting more rigorous, it’s only getting less economical to sell them. I still applaud Dick’s Sporting Goods, but I think it’s likely more a PR move than anything else. But maybe I’m just cynical.

      • They also will no longer sell guns to customers under the age of 21.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I don’t care why they’re doing it. I’m happy they’re doing it.

      • Anonymous :

        I welcome all the PR moves of this nature. Let’s make it so that owing an AR is seen as unAmerican. There’s just no need.

      • I don’t care. A good PR move still puts pressure on other business to do the same. And it’s a voice in a more conservative sphere (company that sells guns) that dissents from the NRA. That is big.

      • Anonattorney :

        Oh yeah, I still definitely support it and I’m happy that it’s happening.

  21. There’s probably an obvious answer to this but I wasn’t able to find it in a search. When I travel, do I have to keep non-Rx meds and vitamins in their original packaging or can I consolidate them? I don’t want TSA thinking I’m trying to smuggle d r u g s. I need to bring OTC allergy meds, ibuprofen, a sleep aid, and multivitamins with me. Any issue with dumping all these in one bottle?

    • I have no idea if TSA cares or not, but why not get one of those pill boxes marked for each day? Then you can consolidate each day easily in a way that will arouse no questions. It might be easier for you to remember to take them too since your routine will be disrupted.

      • I travel frequently and put all my daily medication in a small daily pill box like this. I’ve been asked about lots of stuff by TSA but never my pills.

    • I put vitamins and Advil in a multi-compartment travel pill case and have never had an issue.

    • I’ve traveled with medicine/vitamins in Ziploc bags and have not had any issues.

    • I’ve always consolidated and never had any problems. Don’t know if that’s just luck or not– I honestly never gave it any thought.

    • Internationally or domestically? There are some countries with *very* different medication laws than the US (e.g., Japan) where you definitely should keep everything in original packaging/pill bottles.

      • +1. For domestic travel I don’t bother but internationally I carry the original packaging.

        • +1

          Lots of things are OTC here and prescription elsewhere. At a minimum, a container full of unlabelled pills will slow down your transit while you figure out how to explain to the security officer what everything is.

      • I should’ve specified – primarily concerned about international.

    • Have always consolidated. We bring one gallon size Ziploc — with small quantities of basically our entire medicine chest — on all international trips, because there’s nothing worse than being sick and having to deal with a pharmacy where you can (barely if you’re lucky) speak the language!

    • I would keep them separate in their own packaging. The security people at Doha asked me to open a new pack of Pepto Bismol and then proceeded to ask me what the pink content is. It’s easier to explain and prove when it has its own label.

    • I travel internationally very frequently and I just have all my pills consolidated in a pill organizer. Never had an issue.

    • I don’t bother separating stuff in North America or Europe. In the middle east, I take no drugs other than prescription drugs in the original packaging with the bag with the pickup order stapled on it from the pharmacy.

    • I traveled to China with a variety of prescription drugs and was extremely concerned about this. I went through airport security ~8 times that trip and didn’t have a single question.

  22. I think technically they’re supposed to be in packaging that’s identifiable, at least for prescription drugs (where you might also need to be able to prove you have a prescription). In actuality, I mix them together in one unlabeled bottle. It’s more likely to matter for international travel or if you have anything sensitive to misuse. I know some U.S. drugs are banned in other countries, so you can run into trouble with those. I have no idea how anyone would be able to tell if you put one type of pill in a bottle labeled as something else, though, at least not without actual testing or close inspection of product descriptions.

  23. Conference calling :

    In the recent past I have been listening in, and sometimes participating in conference calls with a new group I will be working with this year. I start this new job in about 2 months and I decided to participate in these since some of the things discussed are connected to my activities in this new position.

    But it’s becoming hard to keep-up because I currently don’t have good internet access (for video calls such as this, the connection typically starts to cut-off in the country I’m in currently). Today was one such occasion–things started off well and then we got cut-off. I don’t really have any better options for online connectivity other than the wifi hotspot I currently use. Since I started doing this voluntarily and I have not yet officially started, I’m thinking of a nice way to let them know that I may not be able to participate fully in these meetings over the next few weeks. At the moment I’m not sure how to best phrase this since I am now normally included in the video conferencing invite for these meetings so in a way I think the team has come to expect that I will be there virtually.

    • If the group is small, can you send them a quick email that you will have limited availability to join these meetings for the next X weeks or whatever but you look forward to rejoining the meetings at Y time? This assumes that once you start working with them officially the internet problems will be resolved.

  24. Inadequate internet :

    In the recent past I have been listening in, and sometimes participating in conference calls with a new group I will be working with this year. I start this new job in about 2 months and I decided to participate in these since some of the things discussed are connected to my activities in this new position.

    But it’s becoming hard to keep-up because I currently don’t have good internet access (for video calls such as this, the connection typically starts to cut-off in the country I’m in currently). Today was one such occasion–things started off well and then we got cut-off. I don’t really have any better options for online connectivity other than the wifi hotspot I currently use. Since I started doing this voluntarily and I have not yet officially started, I’m thinking of a nice way to let them know that I may not be able to participate fully in these meetings over the next few weeks. At the moment I’m not sure how to best phrase this since I am now normally included in the video conferencing invite for these meetings so in a way I think the team has come to expect that I will be there virtually.

    • As someone who was in the same situation, I have 2 options: switch to audio only because video was eating up bandwidth. If I wanted to still get the knowledge, the conf call organizer would record the session (informing all attendees that they are recorded) then send me a link to view the rerun.

      • This is a good point. I join Skype calls voice-only because my laptop is closed when docked and I don’t have a separate webcam.

    • Thanks for including me in these meetings. I’ll be taking some time off and won’t be able to attend the meetings for now, but I have a feel for the work and look forward to joining you in two months!

    • Honestly if you haven’t started the job yet, it seems premature to be attending meetings for it. Is there normally an expectation in that field to work before you’re hired?

      • In my company this is common for internal moves.

      • Yep, this is company dependent. I was recently in a situation where I moved internally, there was a six-week delay between me getting the offer and me starting the new position, and I started sitting in on conference calls (at my new manager’s direction) as soon as I got the job.

  25. anxious anon :

    Thanks to everyone who posted yesterday, especially Rainbow Hair, BelleRose, and the other anon. I really appreciated you sharing your stories and I feel like I have some good things to try (and I’m less afraid/intimidated by asking about drug options). I really appreciate this community!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Hugs! Keep us updated!

    • BelleRose :

      Glad to be of help!

      Also, I noticed that we talked about depression more than anxiety. SSRIs are commonly used to treat both depression and anxiety, and there are also long-term medications for anxiety (eg, Buspar). For short-term anxiety (ie, panic attacks), you can get benzodiazepines (eg, Xanax, Valium, Ativan), but use *very* sparingly as they have high addiction potential (and thus are controlled substances). Again, ask your doctor about all options, and do your own research as well.

      Best of luck with everything!

  26. I am curious about whether any of you drink liqueurs after dinner. We have a bunch of liqueurs that we have bought over a longish period of time to be used to mix cocktails. I think I will throw a bunch of them out because we’ve had them for too long.

    I was having dinner with a friend and she mentioned that she and her husband will have a tiny glass of liqueur after dinner to curb sweets cravings. That sounds great to me, and a good way to go through the liqueurs we keep around before they get too old.

    Right now we have mostly citrus (cointreau, Grand Marnier), fruit (like Chambord) and coffee flavored things like Kaluha.

    • You can also pour them over vanilla ice cream. A splash of Chambord is good in champagne. Coffee and nut-flavored ones are good in decaf coffee.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, our go-to company dessert is good vanilla ice cream with liqueur on top. Add whipped cream, slivered almonds, and a (fancy) cherry.

        Another fun thing for parties is to have a signature cocktail, and you can look up recipes using your liqueurs on the internet.

        And of course it’s fun to just drink them after dinner in front of the fire!

    • Nah it’s just a ton of sugar and a burst of alcohol I don’t need.

    • Sometimes we do but it isn’t to curb any cravings, it’s just because we feel like it. Whiskey, bailey’s or amaretto are my go tos.

    • Some ideas for using liqueurs :

      The liqueurs you mentioned are not going to “go bad.” I would just hang onto them and try to find a few cocktail and dessert recipes that use them, and then you can bust them out for dinner parties!

      There are a lot of punch recipes that call for cointreau or Grand Marnier. Or you could make a pitcher of margaritas with either (just add tequila and limes). You can put citrus and/or fruit liqueurs in sangria. And you can use coffee flavored liqueur in lots of dessert recipes like tiramisu or trifle. I bet you could easily use them all up this year with this approach.

      • Oh, they do indeed go bad, but it takes years.

      • If you ever make your own whipped cream, it’s a DELICIOUS way to use liqueurs. Grand Marnier in whipped cream over berries is an impressive but simple (and GD delicious) dessert when you have guests. Or if you fancy.

    • I was on a project once where we’d finish meals with a shot of grappa if there were no early meetings; otherwise they would still have grappa but with an espresso (there is a special name for that but I forgot).

      • Haha I was at a dinner with clients and two of them had a shot of grappa and the look on the face of the guy who had never tasted grappa before was hilarious

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Caffe corretto, in Italian, which I find incredibly charming.

    • cake batter :

      For the citrus and fruit ones, I’d save for springtime and use in sangria. Recipes are easy to find but generally it’s a lot of wine, some fruit, a little liqueur, and some sparkling water or soda.

    • You can use them in baking. I wouldn’t use the chambord, but you could put grand marnier in plain baked goods like pancakes or cakes and kahlua in chocolate baked goods.

    • Grand Marnier and Chambord are my entire booze cabinet, because in the evenings I drink hot chocolate (before, after, and sometimes during dinner). A spoonful of either of the two is nice.

    • Thanks all for answers so far. The liqueurs I’m going to throw out are at least 10 years old. Things neither of us remember buying. I know they may not be rotten exactly, but the flavors tend to deteriorate.

      I have Cointreau, Chambord and grand mariner on hand for cocktails I do like (things like sidecars, margaritas, French martinis) and the coffee liqueurs for my husband (he’s basically the dude, he likes a Caucasian) so we do go through those and I’m not worried about them gong bad. I’m just wondering if anyone drinks a small glass of liqueur after dinner.

      • I do sometimes! The idea that it’s to curb sugar cravings is a little funny to me, because it is literally dessert, just liquid dessert (it’s sort of like your friend saying she has cake to curb sugar cravings). I’m more likely to have port or another fortified wine, but every now and then a Bailey’s or Kahlua over ice hits the spot.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Oof, ten years is a long time for anything that isn’t meant to be aged. We drink port after dinner sometimes. Mostly liqueurs are just too sweet to drink by themselves.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Is Caucasian another name for white russian?

    • Anonattorney :

      I do this with tawny port! I love it. I have the little glasses and will have one little glass instead of a dessert. It also satisfies my alcohol craving, so I’m killing two birds with one stone. One little glass of port instead of 2 glasses of red wine and/or a bowl of ice cream is a great compromise for me.

  27. Sleep study? :

    Has anyone ever done a sleep study? My doctor and dentist are both recommending one. I sleep soundly for 8-9 hours a night, but I still doze off sometimes (once behind the wheel, which was terrifying). I also have large tonsils and my dentist noticed some erosion on the teeth from possible acid reflux or breathing issues.

    Would love to hear stories if anyone has been through this. TIA.

    • It sounds like you would benefit hugely from one! What is making you hesitant to do it?

      • BelleRose :

        If you are still dozing off even though you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep a night, definitely get one! Sleep apnea is no joke.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have. I have pretty severe sleep apnea and sleep with a CPAP now. The sleep study isn’t great but isn’t the worst. You don’t need to get a lot of sleep for them to get results. You will be hooked up to wires and stuff so it can be hard to get comfortable. For my second one, I asked if I could take a benadryl or a xanax to help me sleep. The goal of mine wasn’t to see how much I sleep but rather to monitor my breathing in my sleep. They said it was fine. The mask is far from sexy but I feel so much better now that I have it. It wasn’t a total magic cure but it took me from feeling 50% of what I think normal people feel like to 80%.

    • I did a sleep study recently (after a lot of reluctance). I had some extra monitoring for “nocturnal events” (i.e., night terrors, sleep paralysis, etc.), so it was slightly more of a hassle (more wires) than a basic sleep study. It was still fine. I found it relaxing to just sit there while the nurse handled everything, so I ended up sleeping reasonably well. In another mood, I might have found the wires irritating, but for me the whole experience beat napping on a plane or while delayed at an airport in terms of comfort, efficiency, and how tired I felt the next day. It didn’t really feel like a hospital experience (even though I was technically in a hospital).

      Do you have more specific questions?

  28. Is this really how we are supposed to dressing now? (Link to Cece Ruffle Sleeve Striped Top in reply)


    • OMG that is hideous!!!

      I could actually go for these Carmen Miranda type sleeves on a breezy dress for vacation, but putting them on a button front shirt in oxford cloth…..

      Who passed around the ecstasy at the design studio that day?

    • Argh Matey! That be standard issue on the Pirate Ship Hostile-Take-Over

  29. Vegan in FiDi :

    I am in NYC for training this week, staying near Battery Park. I have eaten at Westville and gotten lunch at Beyond Sushi. Are there any other good vegan spots within walking distance? I am with a group that includes meat eaters, so probably can’t be too far out there. I saw Le Botaniste, but that might be too adventurist for the non-vegans my group. Any tips are greatly appreciated!

  30. pugsnbourbon :

    I spent time this weekend trying to find a simple, gray sheath dress with NORMAL long or 3/4 sleeve. There’s almost nothing. I might buy one and have a tailor remove whatever nonsense is flapping around at the elbow.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oooh if you do this can you please report back? I’ve considered it with some of the ones that just have like, weird bell bottom ruffles attached? Like maybe we could just snip that off and re-hem?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Did you check British brands? I find they tend to be better about less nonsense and having sleeves. Reiss, LK Bennett, sometimes Boden. It may also be a little late for long sleeves since spring stuff is out now.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Well, this is elbow sleeve, but pretty…

    • I wish the fabric was a little heavier, but I have this dress and really like the fit!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Thanks for all these suggestions! I had my eye on the BR paneled dress but alas, it’s out of stock in my size. The Hobbs dress is gorgeous but sadly out of my price range … and let’s be real, I’d spill coffee on it the first day I wore it.

      • If you are a 0 petite, this should fit the bill.,default,pd.html?dwvar_PX00080_Color=CHAR&contentpos=46&cgid=1500

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I’m not, but I’d forgotten about BB – I’ll keep an eye on their sales, thanks for the tip!

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