Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Grid Texture One-Button Blazer

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

We’ve featured this one-button Vince Camuto blazer a lot over the years and it keeps coming out in new colors and new size ranges, and so on. This year’s new version has a really nice, nubby little texture — you can see it best on the red, but we’re picturing the white because it’s finally spring! If you’re looking for a good polyester/viscose-blend blazer that has a bit of texture to it and/or a white/ivory blazer that doesn’t look like a doctor’s lab coat, do consider this one. It’s only $169 at Nordstrom and it comes in sizes 0-14. Grid Texture One-Button Blazer

Here’s a white one-button blazer (also from Vince Camuto, at Nordstrom) that comes in plus sizes (in four colors), and here’s another.

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  1. Anonymous :

    I hope you all know that polyester does not degrade easily. The mass production of clothing, especially poly blends, have been causing lots of problems taking up room in landfills. The poor people in Africa have so much clothes that they no longer want our used clothing.

    Please be conscious before you consume.

    • Anonymous :


      • While I may agree in THEORY with the OP, I LOVE Vince Camuto and am willing to wear this kind of clotheing b/c it looks good, hold’s its color and is VERY fashionable. I am NOT about to pay THIS kind of money to throw this into a landfill. Instead, when I am done wearing it, I GIVE it away to NY Cares or the Salavation Army, and they get GOOD use out of this kind of outfit. So if I am a consumer, I am an AWARE consumer! YAY!!!!

    • Thank you :) I whole heatedly believe we are stewards of the earth.

    • Anonymous :

      I have been seriously struggling with our plastic consumption of late. Straws, those green sticks in Starbucks cups, Starbucks cups themselves, none of it is recyclable and none of it is biodegradable.

      • I keep a travel mug with me 95% of the time for this reason. I also take my own containers for bulk food – I don’t mind paying a little extra or taking the time to get the container part zero’d out when I am buying bulk.

      • When I was in Portland last year, we went to a coffee shop that preferred that customers use Mason jars. If you brought one in, you could swap out for another one that had been cleaned on site the next day,. The store also sold adorable jar cozies to protect hands. I thought the practice was great, the idea was lovely, and the coffee was excellent.

      • I saw a video of a diver in Australia surfacing near a pier with her hands FULL of straws. She said, “I picked all of these straws up off the floor in the few minutes I was down there, and this has to stop. Our oceans are full of this. DON’T USE STRAWS!”

        It was gross and made me think of the movie Wall-E. Making my own drinks at home saves money and saves cups/straws.

        • Senior Attorney :

          *sigh* I love straws but I’ve been seeing this kind of thing this week and I will have to give them up.

          • I bought metal ones for at home because I love drinking through a straw (especially when I am sick or drunk).

          • life hack on using fewer straws: keep stainless steel ones in a pencil case in your purse or car if you frequently buy these types of drinks. Toss in dishwasher as needed.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Wow, I didn’t know there was such a thing! Thanks!

          • LondonLeisureYear :

            I have the glass ones at home and they are dishwasher safe. I like it because I can see through them to tell if my smoothie got 100% out or not. If i rinse them out quick before putting them in the dishwasher they tend to not have issues but they also come with a little brush.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      But many synthetic fabrics are recyclable. Your comment piqued my interest, and some quick googling led me to a pretty thoughtful blog post (which I’ll link to below).

      I own a lot of polyester, I admit, because my clothing budget is not large and I need to cover my body as I move through the world. However I try to be an informed consumer and use my local recycler whenever possible, which has the added benefit helping my community by providing employment and services to people with a criminal record.

    • Thanks for posting that. I have given up polyester. I wear mostly wool, cotton and silk by I do have some viscose and rayon.

      I tried to buy underwear without rubber/latex but they won’t stay up!

    • SFAttorney :

      True that synthetics don’t biodegrade. The problem of textile creation and textile waste is huge and complicated. I’ll highlight a few considerations here. The process of recycling synthetics takes a lot of energy. Garments are often blends (e.g., cotton with spandex), which makes it difficult to reuse the textile and inhibits biodegradability, and they often have trims, buttons and zippers that are time consuming to separate. As for producing the textiles, most cotton is not organic and uses a lot of pesticides to grow. All textiles require a lot of energy to make them. Chemicals used in dyes are difficult to remove from wastewater and when discharged affect ecosystems. Sorry to be so negative. For something positive, I’ll post a link about a company that is innovating in this area. From their website: Evrnu’s patent-pending technology creates a regenerative supply of high-quality, bio-based fiber through the renewal of cotton garment waste.

      • SFAttorney :

        Link to Evernu:
        I have no connection but admire what they are doing.

  2. Would love some suggestions of brands that have casual pants that are not jeans for someone with really wide calves in comparison with the rest of their bodies. I always need wide calf boots.

    • I just got the Gap ‘girlfriend chino’ and depending on your height it could work. I recommend trying them in store – on me, they look nothing like they do online, which I think is a good thing b/c as advertised they look a bit frumpy. I’m only about 5’4 though so I think they’re intended to be shorter and on me are normal pant length. if you’re a similar height, try them.

      • These look promising, and come in petites. Thanks!

      • Kindergarten boy :

        +1…the gap “best girlfriend” jeans are amazing. They fit my 5ft short legs w giant calves like flattering skinny jeans – real skinny jeans always make me feel and look like a sausage. Have been wanting to try their non jeans gf pants.

      • Similar note: the pixie chinos from old navy are meant to be ankle pants; i’m 5’4″ and they’re just right without needing to be hemmed.

    • Anonymous :

      I have wide calves and Old Navy jeans/pants always fit me well.

    • I’ve been wearing straight leg pants from LE, which fit my calves like skinny leg. I roll the cuff.

  3. Need to stop shopping :

    How do you make yourself stop (online) shopping?

    I did have a legitimate reason for needing more clothing (changed size, actually needed new pants), but now I’m going way overboard. My husband is entirely too understanding and nice to give me the external shame I need.

    We have so many financial goals I am excited about but they are not going to be fully achieved with my current spending rate. Just to be clear, I am not racking up credit card debt, we pay them all in full every month. I am just keeping us from saving as much as we want.

    I know the answer here is “you just have to do it” but… that’s not working. Has anyone used a specific tool or method to stop shopping?

    • lawsuited :

      Unsubscribe from all the retailer email lists so that you aren’t tempted by “40% off if you order by noon!” Also find some interesting blogs to read as a time waster so you don’t spend that time perusing online retailer websites.

      • Yes, unsubscribe from emails! This is so effective.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. If you don’t see it, you can’t buy it.

        Also: Pay yourself first — put the money into savings on payday and don’t touch it.

        If you do find yourself shopping, keep the items in your cart for 24 hours. If you can still remember them/still want them the next day, go ahead and pull the trigger. But maybe you will be over it by then.

    • If you get emails from any brands because you’ve ordered something, unsubscribe and mark it as spam just to be safe. That helps me a lot, out of sight out of mind, and for me, I delete apartment therapy from my bookmarks… you can also use a browser extension to block the sites you frequent. I’m sitting beside you on that strugglebus though.

      • Just unsubscribe. When you mark it as spam, you’re not changing anything about how others reach you. All you are doing is unfairly hurting that company’s sending reputation. You’re costing that company business with others then through no fault of its own. (It’s like if you reported to the yellow pages that the address for your favorite restaurant was wrong because you didn’t want to be tempted to gain weight from Chinese takeout.)

    • Anonymous :

      I do better with abstinence than with moderation. Can you “just do it” for a month? Two months? I still shop and put things in online shopping bags, and then at the end of the hiatus I look at the bags and see if I really still want/need what is in the bag.

      I do not mean to diminish the difficulty of stopping. Cold turkey, for a limited period of time, is the only thing that has worked for me. Moderation doesn’t work because I can always justify spending just a little bit more because I have a coupon code etc. . . .

    • Anonymous :

      I was in a similar boat. Gave up online shopping for Lent, since I couldn’t do it through the “you just have to do it” method alone. It’s worked for me so far … apparently Catholic guilt outweighs my shopping impulses.

    • Anonymous :

      I just stopped shopping. When I can’t afford clothes, I don’t go to clothing websites and don’t buy them. I think you’re letting yourself off the hook way too easily. You can just stop. It’s not hard.

      • +1. I went almost a year without buying new clothes because we needed to funnel our money into home repairs and some unexpected pet medical bills. It’s not that hard. If you really can’t stop doing it, you’re essentially addicted to shopping and that almost seems like a bigger issue than the amount you’re spending on clothes.

        • I think that may be what the OP is saying. Addictive tendencies, at least. It’s something I wish we talked more about because I wonder about this in myself too.

          • Need to stop shopping :

            Thank you. That is what I was trying to say. I realize that some people think it’s not hard, but for me it clearly is hard– or else I would stop. Also, the examples above are money you needed immediately (vet bills), but what we’re saving for is nebulous future goals (eventual down payment in not-near future) so I don’t think it’s as easy or concrete as your vet bills example.

          • Well, we had paid all our bills with cash. It’s not like we had credit card debt piling up. We weren’t able to save as much as we wanted for a few months because of those bills and were trying to divert more money to savings so the money not spent on clothes was going to savings just like it is for you.

    • Anonymous :

      I made a list of all of my clothing, and was just totally shocked by how much I have. It stopped me from shopping, even though I have the money. Also the environmental impact.

      • +1 this. Focus on what you HAVE and you won’t see the “need” to buy more.

        also +1000 to all the folks saying to unsubscribe from retailer emails.

        If it’s possible, can you also clear cookies or browse incognito so “that cute dress you looked at last week on Nordstrom” doesn’t pop up as an add when you’re in gmail? Creepy stalker ads are surprisingly efficient at getting me to eventually buy the clothing following me around on the internet.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I use Polyvore to create outfits with the clothes I have, and when I look at the cute outfits I’ve made, I’m much more excited to wear those clothes. That satisfies the “I want cute clothes” itch because I can see that my clothes are already cute.

    • I leave things in my online shopping cart overnight. I don’t check it at home. I try NOT to check the next day, but if I do, usually those things are far less appealing. I reduce what’s in my cart, and wait another day. I only buy things on Mondays. If I’ve wanted it for more than 2 days and it waited over the weekend, I buy it. I can still return it. I try to make myself return at least one thing from each online order (and I try to forget about this rule when I’m shopping). For me, the impulse is the biggest thing — I don’t usually want the stuff the next day.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh, this was a big one for me: No online shopping on weekends. I can put it in my cart but I can’t click “complete purchase.”

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Block the emails
      Stop getting the things in the mail (better for the environment anyways)
      Don’t go to a mall
      Don’t spend time on shopping websites
      Start your morning by looking at an image of what you guys are saving for and visualizing that.
      You could also block the websites with a website blocker if you need that.

      Look into why you are buying these things? Are you going to the actual store or you shopping online at night when you are tired? Maybe turn your computer off at 9 pm if thats when you are buying or if its over your lunch break then bring a book along to read instead. Do you like the actual things or is it the idea of getting something in the mail? Maybe have your groceries get delivered or use Amazon for auto repeat deliveries so you get that surprise in the mail.

      Ask your husband to help you by checking over the credit card statements and to give you positive feedback for working towards your goals. Reward yourself with something every week -preferably not shopping.

      • Baconpancakes :

        All of this. Even though I can always just open an incognito browser and get around it, when I add a site to my block list on focus timer and it pops up to tell me I can’t visit that site, I feel the sense of shame you seem to be needing.

      • I find adding books to my request queue at the library helps fulfill the desire for something shiny and new. Bonus – it supports my library (since I’m a chronic later returner) and saves me money.

    • Need to stop shopping :

      Thanks everyone.

      It’s not the emails or mailings that really get me. Those automatically go to spam and I don’t see them. I just compulsively go to Nordy’s website, probably when I’m bored. Also, looking at credit card statements won’t help– we’re both super knowledgeable about our finances, me possibly even more so than DH. I use YNAB religiously, but have no functional ability to stop when I’ve gone over the budget.

      I think stopping cold turkey is the answer. Thanks. I’ve been shamed into trying harder, which is really what I needed.

      • Need to stop shopping :

        I should probably also stop reading this site for a while, unfortunately…

        • Yeah, you should stop coming here. If specific websites are your crack, you can download browser extensions that block them. Block Site is one for Chrome. I’m sure there’s one for firefox or whatever you use.

      • What helped me was to moderate by signing up for clothing subscription services – RTR and Le Tote. It satisfied both my urge to click around shopping websites and “add things to my cart” and also had the fun of getting new clothes in the mail, coordinating stuff for my shipments, etc. If you’re the type of person who deals with moderation rather than straight cold turkey, it can help a lot.

      • It’s also a snowball effect — once you stop physically buying things, it gets easier and easier to stop thinking about buying things. Set a short-term goal: no buying for three weeks. Then take it from there.

      • Mrs. Jones :

        Maybe try not shopping for one month at a time. I started doing that and it worked well for me.

    • Figure out why you’re doing it. . . what is the shopping taking the place of / standing in for?

    • lots of good tips above. I did a cold turkey break in January (excluding things for kids but including all clothes and home dec stuff) and that really helped reset my brain into more deliberate shopping (rather than impulse shopping).

      If you can’t do that, sounds like you also need to set a budget for savings – so figure what that amount is that you want to save and what other money you can spend on fun stuff like clothes.

    • I made a list of what I would want in my ideal wardrobe. Then I went through my closet, got rid of (or stored) everything that didn’t fit, wasn’t comfortable, was stained or worn or beyond repair, or wasn’t on my list. I think it helped to see my own wasted money and environmental impact. I also had many items tailored, repaired, or just dry cleaned so everything I have works.

      Finally, I circled what’s on my “ideal” list that I don’t have or that should be replaced or upgraded in the near future. Not surprisingly, it’s a short list. Those are the only items I’m “allowed” to shop for. Honestly, knowing the only things I need are a gray suit and a bathing suit is not nearly as fun as looking at pretty tops and dresses and shoes and purses, and I’m having the opposite problem of procrastinating on those purchases.

    • +1 to unsubscribing. If you want a community for support, Reddit’s femalefashionadvice sub-reddit has a no-buy check-in thread that I’ve found helpful for staying accountable.

    • I can totally relate. I have tried to manage my clothes shopping for the past several years, but nothing (unsubscribing, setting budgets, short-term clothes bans) has worked. There’s always some reason I “need” a new item, or I’m bored, and then it’s back down the online shopping hole. I acknowledge that it’s hinging on addiction and may be a way to deal with emotional or intellectual needs. But I don’t think shame and guilt should be our motivation. For me, shame and guilt only worsen the cycle of spending. And I have saved a nice egg for retirement, and I like looking and feeling good, I love clothes…it’s hard.

      • +1

        Shame and guilt doesn’t work on me. I’m so stubborn, my reaction is “F&ck feeling guilty, Imma do what I want!”

        I love clothes. I don’t have many hobbies. Shopping is one of them. But I recognize that I shop when bored, upset, or lonely. It’s a problem I’m dealing with every day.

    • Frozen Peach :

      All good info above. I also did a cold turkey break in Jan and it was helpful.

      I am working my way through some of the resources at Andthenwesaved about this issue.

      It’s also been helpful to focus on the concept that I can’t buy more clothes until I clear out all the dregs (and maybe get a little cash from Thredup or my local consignment shop).

      Finally, the 72-hour rule is the silver bullet for me. I have to wait 72 hours to buy something in an online cart, always, unless it’s a time sensitive household item or a gift. Most of the time, when I go back, I decide I don’t need it. Or I don’t go back at all. Replacing the dopamine hit of purchasing with the dopamine hit of putting it in the cart has actually worked well.

    • Write down everything you buy in a journal, including the date, a description of the item, and the price.

      On a separate page, write down exactly what you are looking for (in your case, pants) – the color, the size, the style.

      Compare the two lists and make yourself return what you bought that wasn’t on your needs list.

      Keep yourself accountable and keep this little journal in your handbag.

      When you find exactly the item you need, cross it off your list and stop looking for it.

      I know this seems simple but I have found this method stops me from impulse buys and reminds me to return things that didn’t work or that I didn’t need.

    • Unsubscribe from retailer emails. Fill your shopping cart with all the goodies you want, but make yourself wait a couple of days before hitting “checkout.” I forget about most things that way. If something (like one thing you really want or need or will fill a wardrobe hole for you) haunts you, buy it. I predict very little of it will.

    • My SO and I want to save money and have been trying to figure out methods for this. He sent me this article recently and it was an interesting take on awareness. Maybe it will help?

      • Interesting link. I use the Good Budget app, and I think that one reason it helps is that it builds that awareness, because you have to physically enter each transaction into the app, and see that amount removed from your total “envelope.”

    • Stop reading this blog and all the comments!

    • Nudibranch :

      I find if I Pinterest something, that alleviates the “must have it now” instinct. I go back and look at the pins later. Sometimes I buy them, but usually I no longer feel the need.

      Sometimes I find the price has dropped substantially, which can be a nice surprise.

  4. Anonymous :

    I have some very cute loose pants from the Pilcro brand at Anthropologie that might suit your needs.

  5. Anon for this :

    Has anyone dealt with having a chronic illness that sometimes interferes with your job? I’m not so much talking about needing to take entire days off, but more like being nervous that I’ll suddenly feel sick during an important meeting and have to run to the bathroom, or having a very hard time traveling when a small amount of travel can be needed for my job.
    I’d appreciate hearing anyone’s experience with something like this! People on this page give such good advice :)

    • Anon in NOVA :

      Yes. I have Ulcerative Colitis so I have to balance “OK do I want to take this medication that will make my intestines stop cramping up painfully but end up slurring a bit, or do I want to risk going totally white and having to run to the bathroom in the middle of my presentation?”
      Honestly, I just have to have a constant juggling act of symptoms. You can only do what you can do.

    • I have a bunch of health problems that spring up without warning, including intestinal problems. I have found it really helpful to talk to a therapist because there is so much anxiety about the unknown and juggling feelings like:
      – will i let people down because of my health stuff?
      – are people going to think I am weak?
      – will I miss out on personal opportunities since I am sick?
      – will i some day get sicker?
      – will this ever get better?

      Always mentally having a plan B and mentally gearing yourself up to be disappointed because you know your health stuff might prevent you from the activity is exhausting.

      From a work perspective once you have the job I would have your doctor write a letter to HR before an incident occurs so they are prepared that these things might happen.

      You might appreciate the 3rd story on this podcast episode by a woman named Hanna dealing with ulcerative colitis.

      • Thanks for the advice here. I have definitely been in therapy before about this and take anti-anxiety meds to help.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Every day.
      You do what you can. I’ve run out of meetings to throw up. Fun? Nope. But it’s not like there were a lot of options right then. People are understanding- tell them as much as you’re comfortable with. Remind yourself you’re doing the best you can and let that be enough.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Yes. I have crohns. You have to figure out what makes you the most comfortable. For me, that used to be people knowing ahead of time. It took away a ton of my anxiety. I’d also always sit on an aisle near the door when possible. When I first started legal practice, if I was defending a depo, I’d let the other side know off the record that I had a medical issue acting up and might need to take extra breaks at inopportune times but that I thought that was better than rescheduling. They were very understanding. Once I said that, I might need a break every 40 minutes or so. If I hadn’t said something, my guts would have been so nervous I’d need a break every 15 mins.

      You also have to figure out the balance of what works best in each circumstance as anon in NOVA said. I take Imodium if my guts are churning before a big event but that sometimes means I have issues in the following days.

      Now , I’m more comfortable in my practice and I’m more in remission so I don’t preemptively raise the issue. If it starts to become a problem, then I say something. One issue for me is the med I can take to stop pooping so much makes me pee a lot so either way, I’m still running to the bathroom.

      I’ve also found that a ton of my clients have the same concern about depos or court and it makes them feel much better knowing I share the struggle and will be asking for breaks too. They feel better knowing I don’t judge them for needing breaks.

      Also, big YES to therapy which it sounds like you already did. I kept trying to convince myself and everyone around me that I was fine and then I started having panic attacks because I wasn’t really fine. I had to mourn the fact that I was never going to be 100% normal and enjoy everything the same as my friends. I had to lower my expectations. I had to stop worrying about controlling other people’s feelings. I hated seeing my husband sad when we had to cancel something. He wasn’t mad at me or even sad that he didn’t get to go. He was sad that I was sick and I didn’t get to go. But that’s an okay emotion and not for me to police.

      • Anon in NOVA :

        It’s so nice to see someone else discussing the Immodium issue. That’s the cost/benefit analysis I have to do sometimes. If I have a very important presentation the next day, I may have to take immodium and just deal with the issues it will cause for the next 5 days or so. Other days, nothing important is happening and I just have to run to the bathroom a lot and deal. It really depends on what is happening professionally at the time

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Yes but in moderation. Check back later for long reply.

    • Thank you everyone for your responses. I guess I knew the answers in my head already, but it’s nice to have them verified and to know that other people have dealt with similar issues and not been held back in their careers by needing small accommodations.

      • I have dealt with similar issues over a +25 year legal career in Biglaw. I’m a transactional lawyer, so never in court, and the biggest issue is meetings and needing to leave without warning for the restroom, sometimes multiple times. It’s embarrassing, I won’t lie. As an earlier poster noted, you constantly evaluate symptoms and act accordingly. For me the best strategies are to eat minimally or not at all before a big meeting or use Imodium proactively. If it’s a small meeting with clients or lawyers I know well, I sometimes mention having a medical issue and that I may need to step out, which everyone is understanding about, but I don’t like to announce this to a whole group. Mostly I just leave and let people think what they want. No perfect solutions, but I don’t believe the condition has affected my career or progress in any way.

  6. Relocating :

    Early thread jack…..I am in the final stages of relocating from Canada (BC) to California & would like input from the folks here about how much insurance coverage you carry.

    In Canada, I have always carried $1M to $3M third party liability, which covers both injury to another person in case of an accident as well as if the other driver is uninsured/under insured.

    The California policies I am being offered seem to top out at $500k liability with $100k for a passenger/ $300k for all passengers being more typical. This seems absurdly low to me, particularly as I perceive the US to be more litigious and more likely to have high medical bills vs Canada (private health care)

    I am thinking about being protected against a devastating scenario if I was found at fault for an injury to someone needing lifelong care.

    We are safe drivers (40ish) with total assets in the $1-3M range (primarily property and investments).

    What kind of insurance policies do you have?

    • AnonMidwest :

      I know at old job, they made me carry more coverage. As I recall I just asked for different limits (whatever the requirement is) As I understood, it isn’t uncommon to carry more coverage.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely do not carry less than $1 million. DH was shocked when he moved here from Europe that such low coverage is allowed. Where he came from, the legal minimum was $2 million coverage for third party liability.

    • southern anon :

      I think our auto tops out at $500k. For us, the cheaper option was to get an umbrella policy to provide excess coverage on the auto and home policies rather than increase the limits on those individual policies.

      • Seconding the advice to get an umbrella policy. They will tell you the minimum requirements for your auto policy. So easy!

    • Relocating :

      To clarify, I’m being told that $500k is the highest liability on an auto policy and anything over that needs to be on “umbrella” liability.
      This is with Farmers insurance. Does this make sense, or do I need another agent?

      • Diana Barry :

        That makes sense – you can just put the excess coverage on an umbrella policy. I think those tend to be cheap – a few hundred dollars for $2M in coverage IIRC.

      • CSAA offers 1M for auto and is a better carrier. You also need an umbrella here – underlying limits are low but umbrellas go up significantly.

      • You can check with other agents, but you can also just go ahead and get an umbrella policy. It’s usually quite cheap, especially if it’s through the same place as your auto and homeowners insurance.

      • I would shop around on agents — and note that my clients general find that Farmers is not the best deal in terms of cost versus coverage.

      • That’s what I have on USAA. So $500k vehicle liability, then $1.0 million umbrella.

    • I have a 250/500 primary policy for auto, a homeowners policy with similar liability limits, and an umbrella policy with $2mm limits above both of those. I’m in California.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Here it’s usual to get the higher coverage on an umbrella policy. Probably cheaper than a $1M auto policy.

  7. Ways to disagree constructively :

    What are your best tips for phrasing things in a constructive way when you disagree with someone and it’s time to end the conversation? I really want to work on this in the Trump era and in the academic world; in the past, I’ve gone too far towards protecting the other person’s feelings and not far enough towards protecting my own integrity. I’m come up with or used (with varying success):

    “I’m afraid I don’t agree.”
    “We’ll have to agree to disagree.”
    “I don’t think it’s productive to continue arguing about this.”
    “Your position is clear.”

    What other ways would you recommend for politely ending a conversation while standing firm? I loved the post from the Old Money thread recently about being “unfailingly polite, but unyieldingly firm.” It’s really important for women in particular.

    • lawsuited :

      I use “reasonable minds can disagree” a lot. A LOT.

    • Anon in NOVA :

      I think it heavily depends on if the person is a direct report/colleague/boss. Those would all be handled differently
      “I don’t want to risk derailing the conversation as a whole on this one point, so let’s move on and revisit this portion later (or offline or whatever)” (colleague)
      “I hear your concerns and I appreciate that you shared them, but it’s best that we move forward with….” (direct report)
      “Right. I have concerns that if we do X it might result in Y happening to Z” or “I agree, but my only concern is that this could result in ____” “I agree, but I’m concerned that we may not have factored in the effect this will have on ____” (Boss) always has great scripts in her responses to letterwriters. I suggest poking around there

      • +1 I would handle this totally differently in the work context, it sounded like OP was talking about disagreements in a social context.

    • Anonymous :

      I use “We’ll have to agree to disagree” or “Interesting to chat with you but we’ll have to agree to disagree” + intro of new subject to discuss or walking away immediately after I say it. If it’s not a situation where I’m able to walk away (airplane), I will repeat the same answer if they refuse to engage on the new subject “As I said, we’ll have to agree to disagree.” Don’t feel bad about repeating the same phrase over and over.

      “unfailingly polite, but unyieldingly firm.” This comes from smiling and remaining calm and merely repeatedly refusing to engage once you have decided you are done. Angela Merkel comes to mind for me. You are unbothered by the fact that this person disagrees or wishes to continue to engage. You set the rules on what you are willing to discuss. When you are done, you are done.

    • I usually paraphrase the “I don’t agree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it.” quote, or sometimes just say something like “Well the Hatfields and McCoys eventually had joint family reunions, let me go grab you a refill.”

    • One of my grad school professors always said, “Well, someone could give you an argument about that,” whenever one of us would say something he thought was dumb but he didn’t want to go down the rabbit hole. I’ve used it a lot. Agreeing to disagree is my always my fallback when talking to my very conservative family.

      • This one is good. Vaguely referencing others who hold opposing viewpoints is worthless in formal debate and invaluable in polite conversation.

        “I can see why you would think that but I think a lot of people probably disagree,” delivered with a smile, is my favorite way to end frustrating conversations (mostly with family) that aren’t going anywhere.

        It’s even better when it can be more specific, like “I know there’s been a lot in the news lately about immigrants taking American jobs; the immigrants who I work with are all really lovely, hardworking people and they would probably have a different opinion than you. But anyway, how’s Tina’s little girl?”

    • I one said “you’re pushing all of my buttons” to a boorish male colleague who was haranguing and teasing me about my views.

      Thereafter he referred to himself as a button-pusher and was quite impressed with himself. But it worked, because every time he started again I just had to hold up my hand, talk-to-the-hand style, and he would make a joke about how he was such a button pusher and would back off.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have used, “I understand your position” or “I understand how you feel” and then change the subject. (In social situations)

    • Anon in NOVA :

      Since I completely misunderstood and gave a work-appropriate comment, I have to share that I don’t handle this well on a personal basis. I usually say something along the lines of “hmm. interesting.” in a deadpan tone and then change the subject

    • Depends on the reasons for disagreement. If it’s just boorish and unsupportable by a reasonable person, (e.g., “We shouldn’t be hiring women for these roles, they don’t have the skill set.”) I’ve found a dead stare with 10 seconds of silence before a deliberate change in topic works well.

      If the situation is about a matter where truly reasonable minds might disagree (e.g., our budget priority really needs to be X vs. Y), I say, “we must be looking at it differently, lets each take a closer look at each other’s proposal and revisit in a week.”

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had some success with the phrase: “I’m really surprised to hear you say that.” It seems to have broad application. It’s neither an agreement or an argument and is totally non threatening. It seams to make people stop and think about what they just said. I haven’t used it in this specific situation, but it could work.

    • Miss Manners had a great line–“You seem to think that if I disagree with you, it must be because I don’t understand your reasoning.” To shut up someone who just won’t stop . . .

  8. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for most of the past year and have been trying to handle it without medication. I have taken zoloft before for PPD/PPA and it worked like a charm for the first six months. Then the side effects started adding up (feeling foggy-headed, s#xual dysfuction, slight weight gain). I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place. I know I need help but I hate the idea of being on meds again. I’ve told myself that my anxiety is purely situational from work-related stress, but when it never seems to let up for more than a week or two at a time, I start to question whether that’s really true. I’m happy with my life overall. I’m not depressed. I’m just very nervous/stressed constantly, and it’s just an exhausting way to live. I could stand to exercise more, but I’m not completely sedentary. I’ve taken up meditation. It just … doesn’t seem to make enough of a dent in my overall mental state. Advice?

    • Anon in NOVA :

      The moms site may be a good place for this question, but here are some of my thoughts.
      -Simplify your life where you can. what can you outsource that you don’t? Grocery delivery? professional cleaning help? Taking stuff off your plate can make a world of difference
      -Can you ‘lean out” a bit at work? Is your workplace causing stress, do you need to consider looking for another job, or at least start keeping your ear to the ground in case the perfect opportunity comes by?
      -If you’re in a partnership, start to recognize the signs of when your anxiety is creeping up and ask for help right away.
      -Consider trying a different medication. I found that lexapro made me feel sleepy and get fat, but Wellbutrin was perfect for me and got me over the hump of PPD/PPA.

      Good luck, keep at it

      • My workplace has caused an enormous amount of stress. It’s a long story, but it’s due to lots of factors outside my control that ultimately affect my day-to-day work. We’ve had some leadership issues in our team and I’ve had to step up and perform in some new, unfamiliar ways to fill the gaps. It’s been an amazing opportunity but stressful. Then our much-loved CEO died from cancer, which was a horrible time. A few months after that, the best boss I’ve ever had retired and her replacement has been a disaster. I believe these circumstances are unfortunate, but temporary, so I’m not planning to leave — but this has, without a doubt, has been the most stressful year of my entire career.

        My DH has taken more things off my plate and I’ve kept him in the loop about how I’m feeling, so I feel like my relationship is on solid ground. Good point about finding more things to outsource. We have a monthly cleaning service, but I’ve considered bumping that up to twice a month.

        But yeah, it’s hard to sort out whether meds are the right way to go, or to just keep going and trust that things will get better.

    • lawsuited :

      Is CBT working? If your anxiety is situational, that should help. If you’ve not liked the effects of medication in the past, then it’s worth trying different kinds of therapy or different therapists to see if they can help you gain control without medication.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to a doctor and take medication. It doesn’t have to be Zoloft

      • +1. I had the same experience with Zoloft. I eventually found that Wellbutrin works for me, but always in conjunction with CBT. Be patient and be kind to yourself. Sometimes it takes a few tries to find something that works for you.

        • +2

          You did not fail medication. You failed one medication, at one dose. There are many others, different doses, and you react to the same medication differently at different times of your life.

          You need a psychiatrist to help you…..not a primary care doctor.

          Exercise, mindfulness, the anxiety workbook are all helpful.

          But if you had PPD, your biology probably needs medication.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          +2 to finding a different medication.

          Also I remember struggling when I realized I needed to go back to CBT – like, I’ve done this already! A couple times! Why can’t I make it stick? Etc. Thing is, sometimes you need a refresher. It doesn’t mean you’re going to be in therapy forever – just long enough to re-fill your toolkit.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Same. I went to the doctor after about 6 months on Zoloft and he was like “oh, I recognize this!” and added Wellbutrin to the mix. Really helped.

      • +1 It took a while to find the best meds for me, but I am so much happier now and don’t experience any side effects.

    • Anonymous :

      There are LOTS of meds out there. You need to find the one that’s the best fit for you. And yes, sometimes there are side effects, but you have to determine what side effects are worth not feeling constantly nervous and stressed. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      So, if you had a broken leg, would you just look at it and try to modify your behavior and hope it heals properly? No way. You have a (moderately) broken brain, which is causing you anxiety that you do not have to live with. So, get meds. Get the right meds. Stay on the meds for a year. Get in therapy (CBT is a great suggestion). Learn how to process your life without anxiety. Get used to living without anxiety. Wean off your meds slowly under your doctor’s direction. You won’t be on meds forever; you do need them now.

    • I’d recommend searching out a therapist that specializes in PPD/PPA. Therapy and medication have similar results for mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Although trying a different medication is always an option, as you mind find a totally different result with a different med.

      As far as non treatment options, a more meditative style of yoga can be helpful for anxiety as well. Exercise in general can have a decent impact.

  9. another wedding outfit conundrum :

    It’s that season, friends. Hoping you can help me brainstorm outfit parameters for an upcoming wedding:

    Late April, family farm in rural Virginia. Outdoor ceremony followed by pig roast and square dance. Couple has stressed that comfort is key, but I’m singing in the ceremony so would like to look appropriately polished.

    I’m a city-dweller whose wardrobe tends toward sleek shapes in black, gray, and blue–none of which seem appropriate for this occasion. I also am concerned about footwear (flats or low heels seem best for square-dancing, right?) and about being chilly in the evening. I think RTR is probably my best option, but so many of the fabrics seem so dressy. Help!

    • Comfy booties for footwear, maybe? Virginia has some pretty mucky springs and if there’s any chance you’ll be on a lawn, I’d go for a full cover shoe with a block-y heel.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you need a pair of killer boots. Not all the way to cowboy but something like a Frye Campus Stitching Hourse (or even the Deborah since it’s a wedding). Then, I think you need something . . . a little more festive than usual. And a sheath might be harder to square dance in. A fit-and-flare in a fun color, maybe with some sparkle?

      • another wedding outfit conundrum :

        I actually have a pair of vintage Fryes that I was wondering about! And yes, good point on a sheath being hard to square dance in . . . hmm. So weird to be thinking about these styles that are not my usual look AT ALL.

        • Anonymous :

          Those boots would be perfect!

          The rest is What Would Carrie Underwood Wear? Or Rayna James? Something rustic/fancy.

          • another wedding outfit conundrum :

            Anonymous, I so appreciate your enthusiasm and your support, but I have no f’in clue what “rustic/fancy” means. :) To Pinterest!

          • Colors, colored lace, floral prints. More fit and flare or a-line than sheath. Basically, the test is 1) is this occasion-appropriate, 2) does this look weird with my Fryes.

          • And navy is completely acceptable. Don’t tell the fashion police, but I even wore black at my last Virginia vineyard wedding.

          • another wedding outfit conundrum :

            @emeralds: Thank you for the black/navy reassurance!

      • +1. I think a floral or brightly colored fit and flare dress would be perfect for this!

      • Boots and a fit and flare dress would be perfect. I’m picturing something from modcloth.

        • Like this:

        • Or this one with long sleeves:

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t waste money buying clothes and certainly not boots for this. Wear a dress, tights, shoes, and a bright cardigan.

    • Blue is appropriate, depending on the dress! Or at least I hope so, because I’ve worn blue to any number of weddings. I always wear wedges to outdoor weddings, because grass plus thin heels is not a good combination. If it’s cold, you can wear tights — I doubt an April evening in Virginia will be so cold that tights wouldn’t do the trick. Boots could be a good bet, but I wouldn’t buy them only for this occasion.

    • I went to a square dancing birthday party celebration. Everyone wore western themed things. I wore a black button front shirt and a denim skirt with boots and was dressed appropriately.

      I am mainly responding to tell you how surprised I was by how sweaty I, and everyone, got while square dancing. None of us knew what we were doing. They were teaching us. But once you get going you’re in constant skipping-type motion and it’s a pretty decent workout.

      For this reason I would not wear anything synthetic or overly warm, even though you are concerned about it being a chilly evening.

      The venue where the square dancing party I went to was held was indoor/outdoor (basically a large patio with a roof) in early spring and everyone was taking long breaks well outside of the patio in the cool evening air just to cool down.

    • lost academic :

      Since you’re IN the ceremony, coordinate what to wear with the bride/groom! See what people in the ceremony and wedding party will be wearing so you can line up better with those choices.

    • Add your great old boots and a large, bold, decorative Southwest style (costume) necklace to your simple navy or black city-sleek pieces.

  10. Anyone been to the DC MMLF location yet? Impressions / worth the schlep (from tysons) / anyone there particularly fantastic? I know it just started up and I already know my size but I thought it’d be a nice opportunity to try some things without the hassle of ordering/returning.

    • Anon in NOVA :

      No, but now I want to! I missed that there was one in DC!

    • Is it a real store where you can browse and try on whatever style you want in multiple sizes, or is it one of those pop-up things where you have to choose styles and sizes ahead of time?

      • BabyAssociate :

        It’s a real store in the sense that it’s permanent and not a pop-up. But you don’t really “browse”, you make an appointment with a personal stylist. That being said, if there are specific items you know you want to try, you can absolutely tell her.

        You also don’t leave with the clothes you’ve bought. They’ll be mailed to you.

      • I treated myself last week. It operates just as their pop-ups do, which means an appointment-based try-on session with a stylist. No browsing, sadly. I did get to leave with one skirt as there were none left at their warehouse, but otherwise they just ship to you. Better than waiting for a pop-up, but I would prefer the ability to browse their collection in person.

        • Anon in NOVA :

          OooooOooo I don’t think I like that. It feels like a lot of pressure to be one-on-one with a stylist and have to justify why you don’t like/want to buy something.

          • My stylist was very easy going and took it well when I said that I don’t like culottes. I honestly never felt pressure to buy and they were happy to add items to an online wish list so that I could make purchases at a different time.

            Wish they had more that worked for petities, but I’ve been thrilled with what I have purchased so far.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t like that either. I want to be able to see the whole line and choose what to try on from among all the styles and colors, not to have someone try to sell me stuff that isn’t my style because they want to move inventory.

          • anonymous :

            I did it. I normally hate interacting with sales people for the reasons you mentioned, but I LOVED my visit to the DC store. My stylist was Kelly, and she was really responsive to what I said I wanted. I did agree to try on a pair of culottes, but I also said I was down for anything. I tried them on and she agreed with me that they were just not my thing. Overall it felt like I was getting an honest opinion about how stuff looked on me. My friend who was also present pretty much agreed with the stylist.

          • Yeah, I went to a pop up in Boston and the stylist spent the whole time explaining to me how things that weren’t appropriate for my workplace totally were.

  11. Anonymous :

    Mother-in-law vent and request for advice, although I suspect you’ll tell me, rightfully, to let it blow over . . . my MIL has lived a life very limited in her exposure to people, places and ideas. My daughter is now a high school senior, and had MIL ever bothered to get to know her, she would realize that she is an independent, confident girl. Last weekend, out of my presence, our daughter told MIL she has been accepted to a college in a big city across the country and will most likely go. MIL said, “Fine, go, but you’ll be home in six months.”

    DH didn’t comment and my daughter isn’t the slightest bit rattled. I am stewing, probably because this is just the latest in a series of “a woman’s place is in the home” comments I’ve had to field over the years.

    Can I call her up and tell her to shut her trap? I’ve done it before, when she commented on one daughter’s weight and another time when she made racist comments. Do I just let this one blow over, knowing my daughter doesn’t care?

    • Anonymous :

      I would let this one blow over. Daughter is old enough to process that Grandma has old fashioned ideas.

      If daughter seems bothered by it down the road, I would talk to daughter about how people can react with jealousy when others have opportunities they wished they had or wished they had been brave enough to take. Reiterate that Grandma doesn’t have a lot of diverse life experience so an objectively common experience like going to college in a big city, seems subjectively scary and difficult to Grandma.

      • This. If you can do it from a position of maturity, start talking to your daughter about your own struggles. Like “Do you know when I first married your dad, I got several comments about how I should quit working and let him make all the decisions for the house? I know myself and now I know for sure I made the right choice, but sometimes I still stew over those comments. It’s funny how small comments can stick with you for years, and it’s so important to spend time getting to know who you truly are and what matters to you.”

    • Anonymous :


    • Mrs. Jones :

      Let it go.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t let it go. Actually, you have a DH problem. He needs to stand up for your daughter to his mother.

      • Anonymous :

        No, he doesn’t. Her daughter is totally fine. Parents don’t need to and shouldn’t jump in and defend almost grown children from every slight.

      • Anonymous :

        Her daughter is eighteen. This isn’t a toddler we’re talking about. The daughter is essentially an adult and can speak on her own behalf. And while I agree that generally people should speak up when someone says something particularly nasty or cruel to someone they love, this comment doesn’t really fall in those categories. It’s just sort of old-fashioned and weird more than anything else and in my opinion pretty much merits an eyeroll and an “Ok, whatever you say, Grandma.” I don’t think it’s at all a negative reflection on OP’s DH that he didn’t insert himself into the situation.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, OP seems semi-delusional when it comes to MIL. Pro tip – if you can’t stand your MIL don’t marry her son.

    • Anonymous :

      Your daughter handled it well! Be proud you raised her well and leave it be.

      • Senior Attorney :


        If anything, I’d laugh with my daughter about how clueless Grandma is on so many levels (doesn’t know your daughter’s tenacity, thinks girls shouldn’t go away to school, etc.).

    • lawsuited :

      I think your daughter is role modeling how to handle this perfectly – be polite to grandma by letting her say what she wants to say, but don’t let it phase you! You should be proud of the young woman you’ve raised :)

      • Agreed, I think this is a good opportunity to talk to daughter rather than MIL – just to say, “I was so proud of how you handled Grandma’s comment gracefully; when she said that about you returning from college in six months, it bothered me, but you were so mature and didn’t let it get to you – I need to learn to be more like you!”

        My mother gave me a few compliments like that when I was a teenager and I remember being so flattered and amazed that there were situations where I was able to handle something better than my mother. They were some of the best compliments I ever got from her.

    • Anonymous :

      Let this one blow over. I agree that racism and body-shaming comments are things that your daughters need to hear you correct, especially when they’re young, but this is comparably minor and your daughter is old enough to form her own opinions and has obviously not taken Grandma’s views to heart if she’s chosen a college across the country. I have a grandmother who is very similar and by the time I was 18, pretty much all her comments to me were just in one ear, out the other with an internal eye roll.

    • Anonymous :

      My high school english teacher said this to me. I was so excited about enrolling at Big City College, from the midwest, and he said I would be back home in 6 weeks. He said I shouldn’t worry, I should try to enjoy my time in Big City, but that there was no way I could handle it. A decade later, I’m still in Big City and haven’t gone back to the midwestern town. Shrug. Your daughter is fine; this is a situation of drinking poison and hoping someone else suffers (namely, your MIL). Let this one go.

      • Your teacher’s comments probably made you more determined to stick it out. I suspect that will be the case for OP’s daughter.

      • My high school English teacher told me and two friends that we were too smart to ever take our husband’s names when we got married (and point-blank warned us not to do it). I guess English teachers are full of nonsense advice ;)

    • I’d talk to your daughter about it, not your MIL. Reinforce to your daughter that you and everyone else in the family know her comment was dead wrong, and that you have complete faith in her. Don’t assume that she’s not not rattled just because she’s not showing it.

      • +1

      • I agree with this. I got engaged in law school (long distance; fiance was also in law school but halfway across the country). My grandma’s (dad’s mom) response was congratulations! And now you can leave school and move to be with your man!

        I never seriously considered doing so for a SECOND (and actually responded to my grandma that if he left me for another chick while we both finished school, better to find out before we got married!) but it was still nice to blow off steam about the remark with my parents.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think that was a “woman’s place is in the home” comment….more likely, she is predicting your daughter will be homesick being that far away and in a big city.

      Take a page from your daughter and chill out.

      • +1, that’s how I would interpret it and I am pretty sensitive to sexist micro-aggressions. When I left my Midwestern home town for college, there were only a handful of people from my high school going further than a couple hundred miles away and most of the rest of them were boys. We all got comments like that, especially from people in our grandparents’ generation. If you’ve lived your whole life in one tiny town where no one ever really leaves, this is just a hard thing to comprehend. I’m not at all convinced it’s a gender thing.

      • I think you have to assume OP knows the context better than you do, given her history and relationship with MIL.

        OP, I don’t know how you do it! My daughter is a sophomore and just thinking about college, but the idea of her being a continent away from me just tears at my heart.

        • Or more likely, OP is inclined to assume MIL has bad intentions and no longer can process MIL’s comments without “stewing.”

          If I were OP, I would be asking myself why my daughter is choosing to go to a college so far away. Perhaps to escape from the emotional drama and helicopter parenting?

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, my. That was uncalled-for.

          • Come on now, that is a real leap and not fair to the OP. Plenty of kids want to go college far from home.

          • Anonymous :

            OP here. Really??? There are no reasons why someone might choose a college far from home except to escape a helicopter parent? Where are you even getting that? Wow.

            But yes, I am inclined to assume my MIL has bad intentions. What possible good intention can be inferred from that comment, even if it was not sexism and was merely “you won’t succeed out there?”

            Anon at 11:32 a.m., I am going to miss here terribly, yes. But the excitement of seeing her chase her dreams, and seeing how happy she seems on the sunny campus-to-be, make it a little bit easier. She is still waiting to hear from a few other colleges by the end of this month, but it is looking very likely she will be a four-hour plane ride away.

          • Closet Redux :

            Bless your heart.

          • Anonymous :

            LOL. Yes, no emotion drama with you at all.

            Your husband must love the fact that you only assume his mom has bad intentions. Best of luck to you!

          • Anonymous :

            “LOL. Yes, no emotion drama with you at all.

            Your husband must love the fact that you only assume his mom has bad intentions. Best of luck to you!”

            This was mean and contributed nothing to the conversation. To the person who posted this (and some of the other snark princesses putting their 2 cents in): are you having a bad day or something? Do you feel better now? If you’re struggling, it’s not okay to take out your anger and frustration on others. I’m sorry I even have to say that to grown women who should know better.

          • FWIW I went to college far from home and it had nothing to do with escaping my parents, so there!

          • Even if not sexism, I don’t see how this comment could have had good intentions. MILs’ comment, to me, is beyond expressing concern about going far from home & support if OP’s daughter changed her mind.

      • I agree that this doesn’t seem like a woman-thing at all. Just a “you’ll want to be at home instead of being so far away.” Let it go.

    • My mom was an alcoholic who could say extremely inappropriate things. I always discussed whatever she said with him directly and he loves her and always shrugged it off.

  12. Anon in NOVA :

    This blazer looks great, but I’m trying to think of the outfits I have that I could wear a winter white blazer with.

    Question hive: Do you think a female boss can be sexist? I had a female boss who expected me to temper my language in ways that she didn’t expect her male reports to. For example, if I said “I just wanted to remind everyone that powerpoints for the meeting due at 3:00 today, no rush, just a reminder :) Sorry to ask, but I’ll need time to merge them to one presentation before the meeting!” she’s happy. If I say “Hello all- reminder that powerpoints are due at 3pm today. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can provide any assistance, thanks” she would express that she felt I was too “aggressive” etc. I would calmly state my opinion in a meeting without being apologetic about it and would be counseled for having an “abrasive outburst” (seriously), but male colleagues could literally yell and cuss and wouldn’t get counseled. I never factored “sexism” into it because she was a woman, but in retrospect I think that’s what was happening!

    Anyone have any thoughts/ experiences on the subject?

    • Of course women can be sexist. Especially women a little older, but yes women can be incredibly sexist- sexism is deeply ingrained into our culture. Plenty of women fought against having the right to vote, voted for trump, didn’t vote for Hilary because “they just can’t picture a woman as president.” Women on this site have said incredibly sexist things. You just keep fighting the good fight. In your particular scenario, I think the key is never sending the first email. She may have been reacting stronger to the difference (i.e. If you never used smiley faces, she wouldn’t perceive the lack of smiley faces as aggressive). I’ve had great women bosses, but my current one punishes me when I ever I ask for something – a raise or promotion. I’m supposed to wait for it like a good girl (eye roll).

      • Anon in NOVA :

        You’re absolutely right. I was originally doing the smiley faces etc. like she did, then I took stock of myself and realized that I’m in a male-dominated niche of a female-dominated field (which is an awkward place to be) and these men aren’t going to respect my apologetic tone and smiley face emojis. when I started making the change is when there was a problem. I did go get a new job where I came in with the proper communication style upfront, and it’s never been an issue.

      • Ugh, I’m sorry. That’s obnoxious.

        We did “customer service training” at an old job and a boss used an email I sent as a example of what not to do and we discussed how to modify it. She added smiley faces to it…I was raging. It made me appreciate my next boss more (“On it…will let you know when it is done” was a perfectly acceptable email)

    • Internalized s3xism and internalized misogyny are very real. (Hello, majority of white women voting for the candidate who demeans them!)

      In your case, I would say that the more problematic issue for me would be that your boss is giving you feedback on your emails–that’s pretty intense micro-managing even without the gender dynamics. Unclear from the tenses in your post if this is an ongoing situation or a previous gig–if I’m reading correctly and you are no longer in this workplace, I wouldn’t dwell on it too much but be aware that internalized misogyny exists and it affects all of us. This is why we all need feminism.

      • Anon in NOVA :

        It was my last gig, but I was reflecting on it this morning when something reminded me of it. I definitely got out of there once I realized I had to choose between keeping my direct boss happy or communicating in a way that would encourage colleagues to respect me.

        And you’re absolutely correct, there was intense micromanaging at that job. At my new job, I asked my boss if she wanted to review an email I was going to send out before I sent it… her very confused response allowed me to realize how insane it is for someone to feel compelled to “check” the emails of their (middle management) reports before they go out!

        • Glad you got to a better position! Funny how sometimes we acclimate to bad behavior seeming normal and are then pleasantly surprised by appropriate behavior.

    • Anonymous :

      Female bosses can be sexist as well. Internalized patriarchy about how women employees should speak/interact. I think Sheryl Sandberg discussed it in Lean In? I’m currently reading Feminist Fight Club and I love that the author has specific scripts for dealing with challenging work situations but not sure if any apply here.

      And the problem is definitely her not you, the example of what she wants you to write is borderline unprofessional, and your proposed email is much better – “Hello all- reminder that powerpoints are due at 3pm today. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can provide any assistance, thanks”

    • Yes, sounds like she’s being sexist. I cringed reading your first email wording. I’m sorry, I have no advice on this, but commiseration! Sounds terrible.

    • Anonymous :


      I had an internship once with a female manager while I was in college (just a few years ago). She would give the guys tasks like mapping out the best process to analyze the data and ask the girls to dust her office or make sure the break room was always stocked. She liked it when the guys would flirt with her and would come tell us about it. She also happens to have a daughter in middle school and was one of the nicest managers I’ve had.

      Good luck. I say just ignore her and continue to do what you think is right. She asked me to dust her office and I ignored her. Eventually, I got to do the fun tasks.

    • Ways to disagree constructively :

      Yes, internalized sexism is a real problem. My former boss caught me crying once after I just got news about a family member’s cancer diagnosis and from then on, suggested that I seemed “emotional” during work conversations and asked if “everything was ok” non-stop. Fortunately she and I have both moved on from the position and I sincerely hope her next job gives her better training on appropriate supervising behavior. It’s unfortunate that life in the patriarchy changes women’s behavior in negative ways, too.

    • Irritating but I’d assume good intentions- this woman was possibly trying to help you, whether you agreed or wanted the help. Also- the first email is cringy , but from personal experience- telling people why there’s a deadline works. I had male bosses that set deadlines for ppts that had to be copied and printed prior to a.m. mtgs- these guys would sit in the offices past 6 pm waiting for late people. When I got assigned this task I figured out if I said, “hey I have to get these printed so pls get them by 3, thanks” at the worst I’d get people at 3:30 and they’d be apologetic about it. So sometimes, some softening and better yet, some communication, may be a more feminine style to some but it works….ymmv

      • Anon in NOVA :

        You’re absolutely right about explaining deadlines. Those weren’t actual emails, just examples I came up with for the post.
        I think lending context to a request is appropriate, but apologizing and emojis and using “just” for everything is a little overboard (which is what was encouraged by her)

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I’ve started to consciously go through my emails and remove “just,” “sorry” and “hoping” (the person can do x, etc.) Giving it an assertive/confidence read, really. And considering whether my supervisor or mentor (both men who I admire and who are always respectful but confident and assertive) would write the email. If not, I figure out why.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Your first phrasing comes across to me as very young / unprofessional / unpolished and overly apologetic if it is your job to collect these things and everyone was apprised of the deadline. I would go with the second one and have a broader conversation with her about expectations around communication. If this fails I would try to find someone else internally that is either a mentor to you or knows her / your specific situation and ask them because you don’t want to torpedo your own professionalism here.

      There is a weird sort of policing that sometimes happens with women where everything has to be all happy happy joy joy and no one can ever justifiably call anyone out / discuss anything difficult. This could be it. I’ve noticed women only enforce this on other women and guys are much more likely to say things like “Bob did x and it annoyed me”

    • Yes. I had a female boss who made great strides in a male dominated workplace and held me to a higher standard. I think she was consciously or subconsciously pushing me to succeed and did not mean it to be a bad thing.

    • Yes. I had a female boss once who said the following to me:

      “When you snuck off with Tom I’m sure everyone thought you went to bed with him.” (Tom is gay, everyone knows it, including her. And we did not sneak off. We had a drink together after an offsite meeting)

      “I see how you get your deals done, wearing your plunging lace bra.” (I was wearing a v necked top with a little bit of a lace trimmed camisole filling in the v)

      But as I got to know this woman and learned more of her backstory I realized how hard she had fought to get where she was, and she was really mentoring me in her odd way. She was trying to make me aware of what men might think of women’s actions in a way I hadn’t thought of them, not having come up in the same era.

      She made her way in a male dominated field in the 1970s. I was doing it in the 1990s-2000s. Big difference.

      Could she have delivered her remarks in a less snarky way? Sure. But I remembered the heck out of them and yeah, I did change my ways a bit.

      PS. She’s retired now and living in a retirement community. Tom still visits her regularly.

    • That happened to me once – a female supervisor told me to be less direct and add “fluff” language to emails. Interestingly, it was my male colleagues who were offended. It was just an odd team. And to Anon at 11:41’s point, I think she really thought she was advising me. It just came across to me badly. Fortunately, I moved on from that gig pretty quickly. But I have learned to soften my language without all of the fluff; I think it is a balance.

    • Yes, of course women can be sexist.

  13. Non-euphemistic gardening question for my fellow gardeners. . . How do you harden off seedlings if you work all day and have a commute? I’m not going to be able to set them out for 3 hours, then 4, then 5, and so on for a week because I will be at work. I have read a little about the “wilting” method where you can keep them indoors but you only water when they wilt… Anyone ever try this? Does it work? Any tips or suggestions appreciated…growing flowers and veggies this year.

    • I’m just putting mine outside not in direct sun where they can get a little wind/heat/indirect sun. I’ll probably start on a weekend so I can get half days those first few days, and then move to full days. I think you can also harden them indoors with a gentle fan. This is my first year with seedling though, so I have no idea if this will work. If something doesn’t take, I’ll just buy an established plant and chalk it up to experience. I don’t have the time for super fussy plants so this will be a good test.

    • I’ve read a greenhouse would help. Aldi had one on sale a week or so ago, for about $40. It gets them outside, but in some shade

    • Baconpancakes :

      I think your best bet will be to set up a low-tech greenhouse. On days when it’s going to be really nice (if you get 70 degree days in early spring, not sure where you are), leave the cover off. The plants might not take off as quickly as if you’d done proper hardening off, but they won’t die either.

    • Maybe send the seedlings some exciting text messages during the day? Or, before you leave in the morning, tell the seedlings you can’t wait to get back in the evening and you hope they’ve hardened by then…

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Gardening? It took me a minute to realize you were actually talking about gardens, flowers, vegetables, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      We do our starts in the garage at a table under a window (and grow lights and occasionally under a heated pad), so we open the window an increasing amount during the day (entire day, close at night). Also, the garage isn’t super well insulated, so the ambient temp in the garage, plus reducing heat pad (if using) contributes.

    • I know this is a little trashy – but when I transplant I will stick milk jugs around them. I cut the bottom off so I can stick it in the ground and pull the cap off so they can breathe. It looks trashy for a few days – but I love my baby plants.

  14. What other blogs do you all read? Looking for some interesting new content. I’m interested in a wide variety of things, from finance to fashion, real estate, decorating, cooking, law, etc.

    • I scan apartment therapy for some ideas, bit hit or miss now a days. I also check boardingarea which is a aggregator for travel blogs for deals, and also doctorofcredit since I’m into credit card arbitrage and stuff like that.

    • Smitten Kitchen and Lucky Peach for cooking, A Practical Wedding (and soon-to-be spin-off The Compact) for feminism and relationship discussions, SCOTUSBlog for Supreme Court stuff, Just Security for international law/national security discussions, Ask a Manager for work issues, AV Club for TV and movie reviews… lots of stuff.

      • Anon in NOVA :

        ask a manager is great. captain awkward is a similar interesting take focused more on personal relationship problems than work problems

    • Laineygossip for celeb news (and inside scoops), Oh She Glows (for recipes), Democracy Now! (more of a news site than blog but really good), Brain Pickings (interesting, thought provoking stories and news), and occasionally Extra Petite (fashion blog).

      I’d like some new blogs too , so Ill be following this thread!

    • Take Care. It’s a new blog about law, news, Trump, politics. Thoughtful, not overwrought, very well written.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      My favorites …and they haven’t sold out to advertisers. Thoughtful, wise, nourishing –

      Food (I don’t read for content…just for recipes):
      Smitten Kitchen
      101 Cookbooks
      Budget Bytes
      Molly Yeh

      Have sold out a bit more but I still read:
      Pure Style Home
      Dinner: A Love Story

    • Man Repeller. Fashion, silliness, fun, commentary. Jezebel.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      McMansion H3ll – architecture snark + some very informative posts.

    • Senior Attorney :

      For decorating I love House of Turquoise dot com.

  15. Veronica Mars :

    Would you take a job with the #1 company in your field if a) they required an almost immediate relocation (maybe 1 month notice if I’m lucky) and b) the role wasn’t directly aligned to your career goals? I’m considering pursuing an opportunity, but I’m not sure if the sudden move would be worth it, or if it’s feasible for me to do 1-2 years in a role I’m not all that excited about. But then I think, it’s X Company, I stick it out a year or two and I can go anywhere…

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, to (a) but no to (b). I wouldn’t want to do 1-2 years in a role I’m not that excited about (assuming I had a role I liked currently) because exit options are never guarantees and making a lateral move to do something you don’t want to do just doesn’t seem like a good plan.

    • Anonymous :

      Will the job cause you atrophy in skills that are important to your career path?

      IME, it is easier to transfer within a company, so it can pay off if you know you want to work there and are just waiting for the right position to come up. But if the position you take doesn’t use or improve key skills you need for the job you want, you can definitely hurt yourself.

      If you just want the company on your resume and the position isn’t in line with your ultimate goal, I wouldn’t bother. In my field (research, not law) we generally care more about skills and experience than status of prior employers. Someone coming from Awesome Company but in Unrelated Position would be less appealing than someone from Average Company in Same Position.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m a yes to (a), though, for the right position and employer.

      • Veronica Mars :

        That’s a good question. The skills would be similar, as these two roles are often intermixed at different companies, but I prefer one side of the work than the other.

    • My question is how sure are you that this other area isn’t for you? 1-2 years isn’t really that long, in the big scheme of things. If you have any interest in trying it out, why not? You’re already considering a sudden move… Life’s short. Do something that’s not totally inside your comfort zone and see where it takes you!

  16. Anyone else watching Big Little Lies? I thought the first couple episodes were kind of clunky, but the last two have been really good and apparently #6 is the best yet. I read the book but am still really enjoying watching all the twists and turns unfold. I’m not sure how I feel about the additional plot twist for Reese W’s character that was added just for TV. I feel like it was just added to give Reese meatier material (I think she said as much in an interview) and it makes the character and her husband quite different than I remember them being in the book. Curious if anyone else is watching and what you think.

    • I think the writing is pretty awful and Reese Witherspoon is not a great fit for her role. And as someone that grew up in Carmel (which is where this story would really be taking place) it is clear that a lot of the scenes are filmed in SoCal. No one has houses directly on the beach.

      • I wish they had kept the story in Australia.

      • There was an article circulating on Facebook recently that listed where the houses actually are. Most are in Malibu.

        I have to laugh at the beachfront homes in consistently sunny weather.

        • Most are in Malibu but Celeste’s house is in Monterey and actually looks like (surrounded by beautiful trees but not right on the beach).

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’ve been watching it and I actually really like it. Caveat that I have never read the book, but I have enjoyed seeing multifaceted female characters and a diversity of experience / choices that I haven’t seen often in television. It is a bit jarring that some of the houses are clearly further south, but the director has addressed this in some articles I read that they had trouble finding locations in Monterey / he wanted the ocean and the characters’ respective lifestyles portrayed.

      I also really like the cinematography and soundtrack.

      • BabyAssociate :

        I’d agree with all of this. I’m enjoying it way more than expected for something I happened to stumble upon.

    • I’m watching, but I’m a few behind. Need to catch up! Agree Reese isn’t well cast, I like the other characters though. And gosh, those houses are so beautiful, realistic or not.

    • Shopaholic :

      I read the book and am loving the show! I disagree about Reese – I think she is well-cast, her character seems to be a grownup Tracy Flick.

      I really like hearing women characters talk about their lives and struggles – I really don’t care about the murder mystery. I didn’t realize how rare it was to hear women talking about their struggles on tv.

    • My husband and I are watching it. He’s a sucker for lady drama (and an unapologetic real housewives watcher.)

      I had mixed feelings at first. Oh great, another take on the struggles of women but, you know, rich white women.

      But I got sucked in. It’s a pretty good story. I think the abusive relationship story is well done because of Nicole Kidman’s character’s complicity in it.

      I also like how Reese Witherspoon is playing against type and is wholly unlikeable.

      I wish though that there were stories on TV about positive relationships between women. I guess there wouldn’t be enough drama to sell it.

      • Ha – I totally love Madeline. She’s no phony, and I love that she doesn’t put up with any mommy-clique power crap or drama from Renata, whom I loathe. When she approached Zoe Kravitz (can’t remember her character’s name) about getting her daughter BCP, I loved her even more. If that were me I would have been a screaming lunatic. And she appears to be a loyal friend.

        • Really? I don’t think she’s b1tchy or phony but she’s so wound up about everything I think she’d be very difficult to be around. I think that plays out in her relationship with the husband character.

        • Oh yeah, and you loathe Renata. You’re supposed to loathe Renata so this is not on you, but why does the one successful careeer woman need to be painted as a b1tch on wheels on this (and every) show?

          • Anonymous :

            I commented below that I find Madeline super unpleasant and I actually don’t loathe Renata. Her reaction to her daughter’s abuse has been a little over the top, but I think most parents would flip out if their kid was getting repeatedly physically abused by a classmate. Inviting everyone but Ziggy to the party was kind of mean, but it’s not hard to understand why she doesn’t want him around if she believes he’s hurting her daughter. And I think with the exception of freaking out about her daughter’s situation she gets a lot less wrapped up in the petty drama than Madeline, probably because she actually has things to care about besides who’s the most powerful first grade mom. I guess she was all upset about the Avenue Q thing, which was kind of stupid, but otherwise I see her as someone who doesn’t care to get involved in the school social drama, unless her daughter is getting hurt.
            But I may be biased because I find Reese W obnoxious in real life and I LOVE Laura Dern. Also I find it funny that they played mother-daughter in Wild and now they’re playing adults who are supposed to be roughly the same age (or at least have children the same age).

          • Agreed. But I think I hate her not for being bitchy or over the top, but for her endless self pity and self-righteousness. I also hate her cavernous, icy cold house. I kind of think her husband is a creep, but I also sort of like him.

            I can relate to Madeline’s tightly woundness. I annoy myself at times.

        • Anonymous :

          What do you mean she doesn’t put up with any mommy-clique drama? She STARTS all the drama! She’s up in everyone’s business constantly and seems to strive very hard to be the “top mom” in the class in terms of social status and power. She also made a comment in the first episode about how she hates the working moms just because they work and I found that super obnoxious. She has some redeeming traits like loyalty and not being phony but I think she’d be a miserable person to be around or to have to interact with (especially as a working mom!). And I don’t think it’s really “playing against type” for Reese W, I feel like Madeline is basically a grown-up Tracy Flick (and I also feel like Reese herself is basically this person – she has always stuck me as a social climber and someone who puts a huge amount of importance on portraying herself as a perfect Southern belle, regardless of what’s really going on in her life).

          • Anonymous :

            +1 That’s why I thought Reese was mis-cast. These qualities just ooze out of her. In some roles it works, but not for this one, where she is supposed to be queen bee of her social group. That wouldn’t happen in Carmel. She would at least have to outwardly fake a relaxed hippie vibe.

          • Interesting, I don’t see it that way. I see her as being a vehement defender of what she wants, but Renata started the stuff about the play, Renata started the stuff about the birthday party, and it’s clear from the interviews that Renata’s clique is ready and willing to point the finger at Madeline (and gossip about her) because they just don’t like her. Maybe it’s because she’s blond and pushy. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t follow Renata’s lead. Maybe it’s because she is a bit of a striver. Maybe it’s because she doesn’t work full time and can be super involved in school and community stuff, which makes others feel like she’s up in their business. But I see Madeline as the target of all this stuff, not the pot-stirrer.

    • In-House in Houston :

      How many episodes are there? I’ve only watched 3 but I really like it and think Reese’s character is the best. Will we find out who was murdered? Also, do any of you watch Girls? It’s the last season and I just hate the way they appear to be ending with a cliche…..

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      I’m enjoying it, and in between watching episodes, I have read the book, which I also enjoyed. I think Reese is casted well, but agree with you that the additional plotline could have been left out, as far as I’m concerned.

  17. Wedding TJ :

    Several of my friends/acquaintances recently got engaged and its made me curious about the cost and planning of weddings. So here are some intrusive wedding questions I’m too afraid to ask them:

    1) How much did yours cost and how many people came? Do you have any regrets on how much you spent or how many people you invited?
    2) How did pay for your wedding? Was it savings, loans, gift from family, etc?
    3) How long did it take to plan/did you plan it yourself?

    • A practical wedding has loads and loads on this

    • 1) About $15k, but that doesn’t include rings and the honeymoon or the welcome dinner his family hosted. 120 people were invited, 90 came. Our wedding was on a Sunday for religious reasons, so we made it a daytime thing to make it easier for people to travel home Sunday evening. Ceremony was at 11 am, followed by a multi-course lunch, traditional activities like speeches, dances and cake-cutting and then music and dancing until 5 pm. No serious regrets about cost or who was invited.
      2) The wedding itself was a gift from my parents, and his parents hosted a welcome dinner the night before for immediate family and the bridal party that cost about $1,000. DH and I bought the rings and our honeymoon (we splurged on the travel so these things together cost almost as much as the wedding).
      3) We officially planned for 16 months, although we got married on the opposite side of the country from where we lived, so most of the planning was done in a single trip to the destination almost exactly one year before the wedding. We didn’t hire a planner, but our venue had a day-of coordinator, who was hugely helpful, not only on the day of the wedding but also in terms of coordinating things in advance. Our venue provided catering and we used their recommendations for florist, DJ and cake baker, so once we found a photographer and officiant we liked the wedding was largely planned.

      • Oh, also contrary to popular belief we didn’t save any serious money by having it on a Sunday – I believe our venue charged $200 less or something like that for Sunday weddings (I don’t remember the exact amount, but it was trivial compared to the cost of the wedding) and we didn’t get discounts from any other vendors. So it always annoys me when people say non-Saturday weddings are just a way to pass the costs along to guests.

    • 1) Approximately $60K, 150 guests (80% of which were family since 3 of our 4 parents were each one of 4 kids, and we therefore have a few dozen cousins between us, who had already started getting married and having kids of their own…). We married in our mid-20s and are now in our mid-30s. Our wedding was just what I wanted at that stage. Were we to be marrying now, I’d have a small wedding – parents, grandparents, siblings, and a few close friends.

      2) My parents paid for everything (yes we were very grateful). They had set up a particular savings account for the purpose when I was born (along with my college fund).

      3) We were engaged for two years (got engaged in law school, which we were both attending separately, long distance apart), so took our time. Mom and I did nearly all the planning, which worked fabulously because we have really similar taste. Huscat only cared about the food & drinks and wanting a band vs. a DJ.

    • 1)
      Our wedding included: A Friday night event with dinner, A Saturday Brunch and afternoon snacks for all guests, A Rehearsal Dinner, and A Sunday wedding with meal, and a Monday brunch.

      Not all guests came to all things but we invited 300, had 275 attend actual wedding. Wish we had invited 2 families that we didn’t at the time and now we regret not inviting them. Don’t regret at all how much we spent. It was truly a wonderful weekend that we were able to share with all those that we love.

      Cost total: 90,000. That included a full time planner. Did not include the cost of my wedding dress or our rings (wedding dress was 6,000. Rings were each under 300) or honeymoon. We paid for shuttles for people to get to all events so they wouldn’t have to rent a car etc.

      2) We paid for all of it ourselves.

      3) We were married a year and a half after our engagement. We had a full time planner or it wouldn’t have happened but we also poured a ton of energy into all details. I love all the thought and planning we put into it. I am thankful to never ever have to do it again!

    • We are two introverts who hate a lot of attention so, take this with a grain of salt. We only invited immediate family for a total of about a dozen people. We got married, immediately followed by a small lunch in a restaurant’s private dining room. It was all at one venue. We spent under $500. We both wore clothing we already owned and did not do flowers/photographer/cake/etc. My MIL took pictures with her phone which were good enough for us.

      It was perfect for us (one step away from eloping?) and we have not wished that we had done something bigger. Neither one of us like to attend parties and we have other financial goals we were more interested in pursuing than spending money on a wedding. We got married six months after we decided we were getting married.

    • 1) about 60 guests, roughly 50k (which included all flights and hotels for DH family, everything for wedding and rehearsal dinner, all wedding party attire including attendants). Would not change a thing.

      2) my parents gifted us the full amount with no strings attached.

      3) picked a venue/date 6 months out, all other planning in last 3-4 months (much of it in last 2 months, after we hired a planner).

    • 1) About $25k, not including rings or rehearsal dinner. We had it in downtown DC, which made it pretty expensive, but I don’t regret it. Invited 85, around 70 came.

      2) My dad paid for the venue and the alcohol, which was around $12k total, and I paid for the rest (catering, coordinator, photographer, flowers, sound system, decorations, clothing, etc.). Husband paid for my ring, I bought his, and his parents paid for the rehearsal dinner. I used a travel rewards card, so that our honeymoon flights and hotels were bought (almost all) with points.

      3) We planned for 10 months. Husband and I planned most of it, but did hire a day-of coordinator who helped with checklists and making sure we didn’t forget anything. Plus our caterer really helped, she picked out all the linens, plates, etc. and did some decorating.

    • 1) We spent $10,000 and 90 (of the 100 we invited) people came. I don’t regret either. I’ve been married for nearly 8 years and don’t think about my wedding unless a question like this comes up.

      2) Each of our parents contributed $2,000 and we paid for the remainder ourselves.

      3) We planned it ourselves in a weekend. Execution took longer than planning because there was a lot of DIY given our small budget. (E.g. I printed our invitations; I made bridesmaids dresses rather than buying them; I arranged a special occasion permit, bought alcohol and hired a bartender rather than paying the venue alcohol surcharge; I ordered flowers wholesale to make bouquets and centerpieces)

    • 1) We spent a little more than $20k on our wedding two years ago (excluding honeymoon and engagement ring). We had 70 guests attend (invited 110 or so). Our venue was $3500 and only included tables, so we had to rent everything else. We were able to bring in our own alcohol, which saved us a ton of money. Most of the rest of the money was spent on food/day of coordinator through the caterer (9k?), photography (2k?). I kept flowers and decor pretty simple (just floral centerpieces and old books for the tables, ferns for the outdoor ceremony, and my bouquet), bought alcohol in bulk, bought my invitation design through etsy and had them printed elsewhere, and didn’t have wedding attendants. In hindsight, I wish we would have spent more on photography (I didn’t love our photos) and done videography (although a relative set up two hidden cameras for the ceremony). Beyond that, I have no regrets. It was a lot of money, but the day was absolutely perfect, and I will always cherish the memories I have.
      2) My parents bought my wedding dress (1800), and his parents gave us 3k and paid for the food at the rehearsal dinner (1k). We paid for the rest with cash.
      3) Our wedding was 9 months after he proposed. We had already been talking about getting married, and I started brainstorming before we got engaged.

    • 1) Over $100k, about 150-175 people.
      2) No-strings-attached gift from my parents. The big wedding was important to them. We asked if we could take part or all of the money and use it for something more practical, and they said no.
      3) We started planning over a year out, but at that point just date, venue, and band. We had a wedding planner and did the bulk of the planning in two long meetings, one about 5 months before the wedding and the other about 3 months before. My mom also handled a lot of the details — she’d run things by me, but I said “sure” most of the time because I was busy and didn’t care about the small stuff.

    • I am in the midst of planning, so these numbers are subject to change, but I think it’s going to end up around 30k for 80-90 people. My parents are paying most. Our venue has a room requirement and we are subsidizing the room costs for guests, so we’re paying that subsidy, plus probably a few other things. Fiance’s parents are paying for rehearsal dinner (which we don’t expect to be huge). It will be about two years between engagement and wedding, because we are super slow at trying to plan things with our work schedules. But the one thing I have learned is wedding costs are hugely variable–it’s extremely easy to spend a ton of money, but by the same token, if you’re willing to do a less “standard” wedding (think bbq in park or someone’s backyard instead of sit-down dinner at fancy venue), it can be done cheaper–but “cheaper” is probably still more than you would think if you have more than about 75 guests.

    • 1) Total cost was $55k, including all attire, rings, and honeymoon. We invited 215, ended up with 175 attending. No regrets on cost or guest list (but I got married last month so who knows how I’ll feel down the road).
      2) We paid for it ourselves, but we ended up with about $42k in wedding gifts (we had a very small registry and mostly got cash), so that helped replenish our savings after the wedding.
      3) We planned it entirely ourselves with almost no input/help from parents. We had a 10-month engagement and were seriously planning for about 9 months.

    • PatsyStone :

      1) About $15K, travel, hotel, dress, etc. included. 18 guests. We got married in Las Vegas at the Bellagio (inside the wedding chapel- not by the fountains, which cost much more). We didn’t have a rehearsal dinner, and bought both sets of parents tickets to see Love the night before. We didn’t go on a honeymoon (I was 5 months pregnant at the time, we needed to save all money and leave time). After the ceremony everyone shuttled to dinner at Bouchon, where we had a private room for dinner.

      2) My parents paid for the ceremony, flowers, dress ($700), flights and hotel for my immediate family, hair & makeup for me, the moms and my sisters, and the reception dinner. We paid for rings, travel and hotel for his parents, and limited photography. I hated the pictures at first, but now I see them as so beautiful and special since it was the beginning of our family. I won $1,000 after hitting a royal flush in video poker on my wedding night and that defrayed some of the costs (and was super fun). We were upgraded from a little suite (a gift from my dad) to a penthouse suite for $20 at check-in.

      3) We planned it in three months, it was important to me (and *cough* my mom) that we got married before our son was born. As I was completely terrified of having a (unplanned) baby, the wedding planning was a wonderful distraction.

      It was fantastic. The pregnancy gave me a wonderful excuse to have a really small wedding, and no one messes with a pregnant bride. And it’s sort of fun to tell people I had a shotgun wedding in Vegas when it comes up.

    • 1) About $25k. This includes rings, but does not include honeymoon, rehearsal dinner or brunch the day after. We invited 115, and 90 came. We do not have regrets about how much we spent or who we invited. We were pretty deliberate about our invite choices– if it had been up to my parents, they would have invited 300 people.
      2) We paid for the $25k above ourselves, with the exception of a $2k gift from my grandmother. The rest came out of our savings. Mr. Brooke’s parents paid for the rehearsal dinner and brunch; my aunt gave us our honeymoon by letting us stay in their timeshare and redeeming miles for our tickets.
      3) We were engaged for 14 months and basically started planning right away, although there were several multiple month stretches where nothing got done. We did it all but hired a day-of coordinator who helped at the end, making sure everything was thought of, preparing the layout of the venue, etc.

    • 1) Wedding cost $7,000, about 60 people came of maybe 75 invited, open bar, no regrets.

      2) My parents paid for photography ($900 included above) and chipped in ~$1.5k toward food at the reception (included above). The only string attached was that we have some veggie option, which frankly we would’ve done anyway. His family as a group covered their flights and accommodations (like I think his mom paid for the AirBnB his family stayed in?) but that’s not included in the total because I don’t know the details. We paid for the wedding out of savings, honeymoon too (with some people gifting us $ for the honeymoon, for which I am very grateful).

      3) We seriously decided to get married in the spring, got married in late October, so I guess a little over 1/2 a year? Definitely planned it alone.

    • Our wedding is next June, so some of these details are subject to change.

      1) Wedding budget is $55-60K for 100 guests. We’ll invite roughly 130 but we’re expecting 100 or fewer to attend. That number doesn’t include honeymoon, which we’re funding almost entirely with credit card points.
      2) We are paying for the wedding 100% ourselves. Neither of us is comfortable taking money from family, and my BigLaw bonus last year is essentially funding the whole thing.
      3) We got engaged in January of this year, our wedding is June 2018. In two months, we’ve booked the big things (venue, photographer, caterer, officiant, hotel blocks, ceremony music/reception band). That’s most of the big decisions, so we’re going to take a break for a while. Planning all by ourselves.

    • 30 guests in Vegas. Wedding by Elvis impersonator cost $340. Dinner and drinks for my friends cost $3000.

    • Anonymous :

      1) ~10k; ~70 ppl. No regrets on size. I do feel like it’s a bit of a frivolous use of money, but DH definitely has no regrets about going ‘all out’ (I know it’s not relative to other weddings) and I feel like we were really efficient. (Ie, we had a live band, full dinner, designer dress, etc). I hate spending money on anything :P
      2) Half gift from my parents. Rest came out of our personal savings, as did the money for our honeymoon (~8k).
      3) Engagement was 14 months due to the schedules of key guests, so technically we planned the entire time. We didn’t need all that time to see options and make decisions – although we did need the time to get onto vendor schedules. Some first choice vendors were already booked!

    • Anonymous :

      1) $34,000 (not including rings or honeymoon). Two years ago. 170 invited, 135 came. Traditional Saturday night dinner, drinks, and dancing, just outside NYC. No regrets about the money, but some regrets about the guest list. We invited too many people because they were family or family friends, and not enough of our new, post-college friends. My recommendation is to invite who you’re close with NOW, not who you think you’re obligated to invite because you’ve known them forever.
      2) We paid for it ourselves, partially out of savings and partially by just paying for things along the way as we could afford them. My dress was a gift from my grandmother.
      3) We were engaged for almost three years but only actively planning for 1.5 years. We booked the really big items (venue, photog, DJ) in a spurt about 18 months in advance and then cooled off until around 6 months out.

    • 1) About $12k, not including the honeymoon. We had it in our backyard, we invited about 90 people and 80 came. Only about 1/3 were family. We live in Texas, and our families live on both coasts, so a lot of them weren’t able to travel. We rented tables and tents for our backyard, and hired a bus to transport people from the parking lot at a local soccer field. We splurged on the catering, and dancing lessons. My in-laws hosted the rehearsal dinner, that is not included in the $12k.

      2) We paid for it all ourselves, either out of savings or just paying for things as they came up. We did not pay for the airfare or hotels for anyone.

      3) We got married about 7 months after he proposed. We planned it all ourselves. It just took a couple phone calls to reserve tents, tables, chairs, dinnerware, etc for the backyard. We knew which restaurant we wanted the catering from, so it only took a couple of hours to determine a menu. One of my friends is a professional photographer, so we hired her to take the pictures. I baked the cake myself. We bought A TON of sparkle lights and strung them through the trees in our backyard weeks before the wedding. We made the dance playlist on the iPod. When our families arrived a few days before the wedding they all jumped in to help clean up and decorate the house/yard, otherwise I might have hired that out. I worked for a catering company in college, so I had some experience in setting up big parties.

    • Senior Attorney :

      1. About $65,000 (well, I stopped counting at $65,000) plus another $10,000 or so for the honeymoon. Invited 200, about 175 showed up. I would have done courthouse + luncheon but it was important to Lovely Husband that we have a blowout wedding and in hindsight I am very happy we did it. It was a full day beginning with a bike ride at the crack of dawn, ceremony and champagne brunch reception with live music at midday, and after party with open bar and DJ in the evening. We also paid for the rehearsal dinner for about 20 people. Plus there was the, you know, parade. And the mime and the magician and the two photo booths… We always say our wedding looked like it was planned by a couple of eighth-graders who were left at home alone with the checkbook for the weekend, and we were really happy with that! Honestly my only regret is that we didn’t get a videographer because that drone footage of the parade would have been awesome!

      2. We are old and paid for it ourselves.

      3. Got engaged on March 10, wedding was September 10. So six months to the day. We couldn’t have done it without our fabulous wedding planner — we would express a wish and she would make it happen. I am super happy about the short timeline. It was almost all fun and it was over before it got to be too much of a chore.

    • Anon-ah-ah :

      We spent approximately 15K (not including rings–mine about 12K—or honeymoon) for ~70 people. We invited close to 100, but wanted a total of 75 to actually show up. No regrets on how much we spent or how many people we invited, with the exception of a flaky former friend who skipped my wedding and baby shower. In hindsight, I would have invited someone else in place of her.

      My parents gifted ~5K and my husband and I paid the remainder out of savings (him) and a credit card (me).

      We had started planning, and even booked a venue for, a wedding fourteen months out from our engagement, but we ended up getting married eight months after getting engaged. We planned it ourselves over about six weeks. We did not have a wedding planner, but did have a day-of coordinator who helped tremendously.

    • 1) How much did yours cost and how many people came? Do you have any regrets on how much you spent or how many people you invited?

      About $12k, which included wedding attire and about $3k in lodging for some close friends and family who would not have been able to otherwise swing it financially. 135 people came. No regrets on spending or the number of people. Our community is extremely important to both of us and having all of friends and family there was our #1 priority. We traded a lot of extraneous expenses (favors, flowers,

      2) How did pay for your wedding? Was it savings, loans, gift from family, etc?

      We paid out of pocket as expenses came up. My parents paid for a welcome dinner for both families the night before the wedding, and my MIL paid for a few wedding expenses that were important to her but not to us.

      3) How long did it take to plan/did you plan it yourself?

      It was 7 months from when we started planning to when we got married. My MIL did a ton of the planning for us (researching vendors, etc.) because we were getting married in her town. My husband and I split the remaining planning responsibilities. We could have done it in less than 7 months, but that’s because we weren’t using a traditional venue.

    • 1) $15 K. 40 guests, mostly family, for a morning wedding in an indoor garden followed by a sit down brunch; then ~150 guests, drop in, for an 8pm (post dinner) party with an open bar and finger food for wedding guests plus friends, work associates. etc.
      2) ~ $8k in gifts from parents, we paid remainder. Didn’t need to dip too far into savings.
      3) 4 months. We did our own vows, didn’t need to decorate the wedding site, and each both a new outfit. Reception had no ‘events’ (no toasts, no garter toss) so it was easy to plan too – selected food, hired a bartender, made an Ipod playlist for background (no dancing.)

      Everything was awesome.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      1) ~$350. Not including honeymoon and rings. Courthouse wedding. I bought a dress on clearance at Saks, and my husband wore a suit he already had. Rest of cost was marriage license, ceremony fee, and witness fee. We had no guests.
      2) No need to dip into savings obviously.
      3) Planning took literally a half day. We booked a month out since we had a specific date in mind.

      I know this isn’t for everyone, but NO REGRETS! We’re both introverted and hate large gathering. We also have no family except each other. And we both didn’t want to spend the money.

    • 1)35k for the ceremony and the reception. About 100 people. This doesn’t include the price of the rings.
      2) My parents paid for the wedding. We let them invite as many people as they wanted, since they were footing the bill.
      3) Planning took one year. I had a wedding planner but did much myself. If you do a wedding planner, choose carefully. She did a great job day of but we both found her really annoying to work with.

      The only regret I have is the wedding planner. She made things more stressful than necessary. We both loved our wedding though. It had everything we wanted and we got great feedback from our guests.

    • 1) How much did yours cost and how many people came? Do you have any regrets on how much you spent or how many people you invited? We spent roughly $60k on our wedding for 65 guests. I have no regrets on the number of people we invited – 65 was perfect! I do regret how much we spent sometimes (we originally planned on $50k but got married in one of the most expensive places in the country, so we had to up our budget), but honestly, our wedding was pretty perfect and it was one of the happiest days of my life.

      2) How did pay for your wedding? Was it savings, loans, gift from family, etc? We paid for it ourselves in cash. My mom gave us a small amount of money and we ended up using it to host our rehearsal dinner. I am a bit jealous of those whose parents are able to contribute meaningfully to their weddings (it would have saved us a ton of money!), but one of my first real “I’ve made it!” moments as an adult was when I bought my own $2k wedding dress in cash. I’m proud of that the fact that DH and I were comfortably able to pay for such a nice wedding.

      3) How long did it take to plan/did you plan it yourself? It took roughly 14-15 months to plan. I had a wedding planner because it was a destination wedding, and she was great, but I’m so Type A that I still wanted to be involved in EVERYTHING. I’m glad we had help and guidance, though!

      • Some clarification to #1 – Our honeymoon was not included in the total. Also, we invited 95 people and 65 came (destination wedding).

    • In final few months of planning ourselves.
      Inviting around 90 people, cost is around £25k (not including honeymoon/rings). £5k was kindly gifted from each of our parents, and the remaining £15k we have saved ourselves (we will pay for rings/honeymoon as well).
      We have 25 months between engagement and the wedding, but all the vendors were booked in the first 5 months and most details ironed out not too long after. We are now less than 6 months away and it’s small things like pocket squares and ribbon for invites. We have hired a day of coordinator who will take over 6 weeks before.

  18. I’m going to a conference in a couple of weeks and I’m starting to fall into my bad habit of secondguessing all my decisions re: packing and outfits. I feel like I always forget something when I travel for work while also overpacking. Can some of the more seasoned travelers give me some tips?

    • Plan out all your outfits in advance by looking at your daily schedule and the weather forecast. (I do this weekly regardless of whether I’m home or traveling; it makes mornings so much better.) Figure out easy ways to make items do double-duty–lots of people like capsule wardrobes for this, with all your outfits in the same color palette so that you can layer or repeat items. Then list out every item from your outfit plan on your packing list.

      Change your regular styles as needed to accommodate conference logistics: if you know you’re going to wear a lanyard with a namebadge, skip the necklace; if you know you’re going to be on your feet on concrete convention center floors all day, wear supportive shoes.

      Think about your during-the-day needs, which may be different at a conference than during your regular workday (carrying water bottle, work samples, etc.). Clean out your day bag in preparation to make sure you’re not toting more than you absolutely need. Do the same with your makeup/toiletry case, or corral doubles or sample-size versions of your preferred products so that you have everything together and don’t need to weed through your at-home supplies while packing.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I plan my outfits by laying them out on my bed. And I take pictures of each of the outfits so I don’t forget what I planned.

    • read this blog: Hitha On The Go – filled with travel and packing tips. She just wrote a book too!

    • Anon in NOVA :

      Think about temperature needs as well. Are you always cold at conferences? do you have a wrap or scarf you could bring? Also electronic needs. A portable battery pack for my cell phone is a conference must-have for me. Business cards to exchange with folks, etc. I make an effort to bring matching PJs, on the off chance the hotel fire alarm goes off I’m in something matching/appropriate. I try to bring what I need to convert at least one conference outfit into an “after-hours” outfit in case we all grab drinks or dinner after.
      Agree with ohc- definitely clean out your bag beforehand

    • Anonshmanon :

      I am familiar with the angst of forgetting something, even though I almost never do. Keep telling yourself that you are going to a place in the civilized world, and you’ll be able to buy replacements for what you forget.

    • Stick to a color theme so everything mixes and matches. My go-tos are black and grey or navy and grey.

      Build outfits this way – skirt or pants + top + jacket or cardigan + accessories + shoes.

      Your accessories and shoes and jackets or cardigans should be able to go with all of the basic skirt/pants/tops.

      I’m going to assume your conference is 2 1/2 days. Pack two bottoms and re wear one. No one will notice if you wear your black skirt twice. Pack two jackets or cardigans and wear one on the plane. Pack one pair of shoes and wear the more comfortable pair on the plane. Take a big scarf or pashmina with you on the plane to keep warm and accessorize with this as part of your outfits. I usually pack a second scarf in a coordinating color or pattern – they take up no room. Pack 3 tops. You can add a fourth if you think you will need one for a fancier dinner but ONLY if you think that dinner is a real possibility. (For myself, I’m usually so exhausted from the tedium of conferences that room service by myself is a treat)

      Pack pajamas to sleep in. I like lightweight sweatpants for this so I can quickly leave my hotel room in them and not be scandalous. See if you can use your most causal work cardigan for a keeping warm in the room topper. The scarves are good for this too.

      Do not pack workout clothing and shoes unless you are 100% certain you will be hitting the gym.

      Pack a pair of socks to sleep in. It’s preferable to me to have one of my two pairs of shoes be flats so I can wear them as slippers.

      Pack whatever hosiery and undergarments you need to go with your outfits.

      In terms of toiletries – do not pack products you don’t actually use at home. The hotel will have shampoo, conditioner, lotion and soap. Don’t pack these things. Pack your day to day makeup, a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste, and a hairbrush. Don’t pack hot rollers. Bring a travel sized flat iron if that’s something you use. Do not pack a hair dryer.

      When you get to your hotel room, unpack your suitcase completely and hang everything up. This will help with wrinkles and will help you see your outfit options. Remember that everything goes together so you still have options.

    • I lay out all my outfits on the bed by day before I pack (including bras, underwear and shoes), which helps ensure I have appropriate options for all events. I generally bring 1-2 pairs of shoes (black/nude-for-me). Then if I think I will have time to work out, I’ll throw some workout attire and tennis shoes in. Don’t forget pajamas/loungewear. Personally, I also pack an extra outfit “just in case”. I actually had someone spill an entire cup of coffee on me last week at a meeting and was able to go upstairs and change.

      I use the hotel toiletries, but bring my medications, makeup, skincare, toothbrush/toothpaste, and hairbrush. To comply with carry-on requirements, I put a dollop of my lotions/creams into old contact lens cases. I prefer to bring my own hair dryer as I hate the tiny ones in most hotels. If its a longer conference, I will also bring a curling iron so I can curl my hair on non-wash days.

      Don’t forget your chargers. Sunglasses or umbrellas depending on the forecast. I also bring a portable steamer which saves me from having to use the gross hotel irons. If there are social events, bring an extra small purse/crossbody so you aren’t toting your work bag around.

      I can pack for an entire 2 week trip in a carry-on bag, even with all the “extras” like hair dryer/steamer. Roll your clothes, watch videos on youtube on how to fold blazers, and wear your largest/bulkiest pair of shoes on the plane.

      Have fun and good luck! The best thing is that even if you forget something, you can generally find somewhere to buy replacements no matter where you go.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 to sticking to a single color scheme. I usually bring one outfit per day of conference, but I make sure that things are interchangeable in case I spill something all over and need to start mixing. If it’s a longer trip (so one outfit per day is excessive), I bring at least two of everything so that I have a spare if I need to send something out to cleaning one day.

      I try to be strategic with my travel outfit and wear something comfortable but that could be useful for a more casual gathering (ie, I’ve had conferences include sight seeing or a game night kind of social mixer). For example, maybe I’d usually fly in sneakers, but instead I may wear comfortable flats that I could wear to both happy hour (when I’m sooo done with heels) and mini golf outing.

      Double check all your cables!

  19. Hello ladies! You always give the best travel advice so I’m hitting you up again.

    A friend and I want to spend a week in Europe in June. Currently thinking Italy (the Amalfi Coast?) or Andalusia in Spain but open to other options. Looking for a good base city that would allow us to do day trips but nothing super big/busy. Which of those would you pick? Or would you go somewhere else? We’re not big foodies (both vegetarians) but love history and just walking around cute towns.

    Last few years we’ve done Barcelona, Paris, Florence, and Amsterdam.

    • Pisa? Cinque Terre area? Or Maremma if you like beaches. Tons of food options in Italy for vegetarians. Volterra is also nice.

    • I find the Amalfi coast to just be overwhelmingly crowded. I’d consider Malta, if you like heat, Stockholm, or Croatia.

      • That’s good to know! I’d love to do Croatia but getting there seems like such a headache. Malta intrigues me though!

    • The Amalfi Coast is gorgeous. We stayed in Sorrento and did day trips to Pompeii, Capri and to see the Amalfi Coast scenery. Sorrento itself is also a really charming little town.
      Going to Cinque Terre this summer and am excited to see how they compare.

      • I’d love to see Pompeii! And the pictures of Sorrento look gorgeous. Hope you have an amazing summer returning to Italy!

    • Budapest

      Berlin, Munich and Leipzig

      Vienna and Salzburg

      You would have to do research ahead of time to know about some good veggie places but my sister who is a veggie traveled with me and was okay we just had to plan ahead of time.

    • My mom and I stayed in Nice a few years ago and did day trips to Monaco, Cannes (during the festival), hit up some beaches, it was great!

    • My suggestion is Copenhagen. Beautiful in the summer, lots of walking or biking, lots of perfect nearby castles for easy day trips. Plenty to do without being too busy or overwhelming. Hotels are very expensive, so I recommend a private room at the Generator hostel. A great hostel in a beautiful city.

    • Anonymous :

      I have to confess I don’t understand the suggestions for Copenhagen or Berlin or Budapest when OP said she was thinking of coastal Italy or Spain. Nothing against the cities thrown out (2/3 of which I love), but they’re pretty different than the Mediterranean Riviera and they are missing a lot of what might attract someone to the Riviera. And, yes, Italy and Spain are crowded and touristy, particularly the Amalfi Coast, but they are also crowded and touristy for a reason – because they’re incredibly beautiful and wonderful places to vacation. If you want to go to Amalfi or Andalusia, go! You’ll have a fabulous time even if it is a little crowded (and June is not the peak travel season in Europe so it won’t be as bad as July or August).

      • Thanks for the reassurance! My heart is kinda set on Spain or Italy.

        • Then say that when you write a paragraph. Don’t say “A friend and I want to spend a week in Europe in June” and then list off Amsterdam as a past place for a reference. Say “I want to go to Spain or Italy in June where should I go.”

        • Sevilla! It’s a great small city on its own, and from that as a home base, you can visit Granada and the white hill towns of Andalusia. Rick Steves’ Spain guidebook is great.
          Only difficulty in Spain vs. Italy is that I think it may be harder to find vegetarian food consistently — so much focus on jamon in that region! But the classic tortilla espaniola is vegetarian and delicious, both for breakfast and for tapas. And the fresh OJ everywhere is amazing.

  20. I just need to vent — If I’m both thinking that your dress is too short (because it ends a good 6-8 inches above the top of your knee cap) and wondering if it is strapless, it’s not a good dress for work and just throwing a jacket on top doesn’t fix the situation. I hate when young women start their first job after school and don’t realize that the dressing standards are different then school. And I’ve given this person friendly advice in the past when she wore a similar outfit to an important meeting. I guess it’s her choice if she doesn’t want to take the advice and I’ve warned her that people in the office will judge her for it. (Please no debate on whether women should be judged based on their clothing. Rightly or wrongly, it is the world we live in. And, at least at my office, men get judged too).

    • I worked with someone like this. She would wear inappropriate dresses with giant heels, cropped fur coats, and big hair and she honest to god looked like a prostitute. When people told her to stop, she said “I work hard for this body and I’m going to show it off.” She also dated half the single guys (not an exaggeration) in the office and flirted heavily with the rest.

      I felt bad for her honestly. But the extent of her conquests in the office made me realize that a lot of men are idiots and actually do not care if a woman is smart or funny….what they want is someone hot. Ugh.

      • “a lot of men are idiots and actually do not care if a woman is smart or funny….what they want is someone hot” — I think this is true up to a point. Sadly, too many men like surrounding themselves with “hot” women and I think it can help you with those people when you are junior. But I always see them stall out after a few years. No one is going to take the “hot” woman seriously, so she doesn’t advance or become partner.

        I wouldn’t be as frustrated by this if I thought she was trying to send these messages. But I really think this person wants to be taken seriously and judged for the value of her work, not her appearance. I really think she believes her outfits are appropriate, but they just miss the mark by being too revealing.

      • Maybe for a $3xual partner, but did she actually get ahead in the workplace due to that?

        • No work advantages for her, although flip side — one of the men she dated lost a promotion because of his behavior with her. last I heard she was still doing entry-level secretarial type work, which I think she’s fine with.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        Showing off your body is fine outside of the professional setting. If someone is dressing like that at work I would assume they are just there to find a rich husband and become a SAHW.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I think sometimes people aren’t super aware of their own bodies / what works on them when they are younger to the workforce. I know it took me a bit of time and some of my early outfits were not the greatest.

      I also think most magazines / retailers are often showing things as “wear to work” that are not actually work appropriate in any sort of business formal / business casual office. I am late 20s and spend a lot of time shopping labels and retailers clearly targeted at an older audience.

      I think this is often the kind of thing you have to want to learn / want to look at well dressed people around you and copy them because the cost argument no longer really works – H&M / Asos / JCPenney / Macy’s / talbots outlet all have very nice workwear basics for prices <$100.

      • Yeah, +1 to that second paragraph. What a disservice to young women trying for figure this ish out! Also, I get a kick out of the things NYMag’s The Cut says you can wear to work. Maybe if you work in a fashion magazine.

        • +100!

        • Anonymous :

          +100!!! I’m alarmed by what I’ve seen recommended for work in the fashion arena. I’ve seen entire articles on how to wear an exposed, decorative bra at the office. NO. YOU NEVER DO THIS.

          To OP’s point, I had an amazing junior employee who would often wear a too-short-for-work skirt. I could tell that the skirt was a “Now that I have a real income, I bought a real work skirt” purchase, so I felt so badly for her.

      • +1 on this. I started buying Liz Claiborne (the old Liz), Evan Picone (RIP), Charter Club, Harolds (now dearly departed), and Talbots when I was in my 20s because that’s what my coworkers advised for appropriate business formal. That said, I finally am in their targeted age ranges and still find a lot of their stuff frumpy . . .

      • I’m a long time lurker on this site, and a few years ago someone posted a comment to the effect of..

        You will never look your best in your work clothes because they aren’t meant to make your body appear its most attractive. You just have to accept that work clothes will not look as attractive (fit, hot, whatever) in your work clothes as you do in your casual clothes.

        This seems super obvious now, but at the time it was a HUGE insight. I was shopping for suits and feeling unattractive in them, and then buying ones that were too tight and low cut, because I didn’t think I looked attractive in the classic, appropriate ones.. I never thought to ask what I was trying to attract!

        You ladies saved me from some major mistakes.

        But the clothes stores definitely hype stuff as work appropriate when its really not. It’s hard to develop these skills, especially as a young woman without much money. I say props to you for trying to help out a young woman who is trying to figure it out, and maybe don’t give up on her yet.. it took me a while to get it through my head too!

    • I put some of the blame on clothing stores. I’m not at all tall and frequently try on dresses marketed as office wear that are way too short.

    • I don’t disagree, but I also try to have a little empathy. When I was a summer intern, we answered to an intern coordinator who wore the sloppiest, unprofessional clothing. The people we saw 90% of the time were dressed like this and we only saw the non-staff on occasion. We were told we did not need to wear suits, but that leaves a lot of in-between. My mom worked (and wore a suit everyday), so I had some better guidance, but for the other young women in my class, the sloppy intern coordinator was the only thing they had to look to in the first few weeks. So, in their minds, because they were not wearing a t-shirt and stained acid-wash jeans with old sneakers to the office like she was, they were dressing ‘better’ and thus appropriately. The catch is that it’s not just a level of nicer, it’s also a distinction between office-appropriate and casual/summer wear. So because it was summer, there would be people who would wear, say, a floral sleeveless dress with matching cardigan that looked like it was advertised in the Easter catalog… just a little more for social wear than office wear. I try to be kind, figuring coworkers just out of college figure it out eventually.

      • I definitely had this issue with my first internship — I wore flowy jersey dresses and sandals because, hey, summer! It was embarrassing but very helpful when someone took me aside and said that sandals weren’t appropriate, and maybe I should get a few blazers, etc.

      • Jitterbug :

        One guideline that really helped me was to section off my work wardrobe from the rest of my clothing, and if I would wear something somewhere other than work, it probably wasn’t good work attire. Not the best guideline for everyone, since I’m sure many of us have pieces we don’t exclusively wear to work, but back in those days, it was helpful. I’d look at something and go “this is something I’d wear to a friend’s party” or “this makes me look like I’m going on a date,” and not wear it to work because of that; it gave me direction to help me develop a good “professional” (or, as professional as someone in my industry needs to be) attire.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Definitely put a lot of blame on retailers and shop assistants. I was in LOFT once, tried on a really cute dress that looked great on me, but ended four inches above the knee. The shop assistant gushed bout how great it looked on me, but when I pointed out it would be up to my crotch when I sat down, waved off my concerns.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Can’t blame them too much for trying to make a sale.

      • Anonymous :

        Ha! I am constantly having to zip my lips in shops when young whippersnapper sales assistants who have clearly never set foot in an office in their life try to convince me to wear things that are clearly inappropriate.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I agree that this is “the world that we live in,” but why do you have to adopt its rules as your own? I make a concerted effort to dress appropriately, but I also make an effort not to judge people who are still learning the (let’s be real, arbitrary and sexist, among other things) rules of the game.

      • I generally have two judgment responses to other people’s work attire: (1) “Oh honey” – which applies to unfortunately choices that just don’t look right and/or very young/inexperienced people still figuring it out; and (2) “I question your judgment” which applies to choices made by people who have been counseled or who have been around long enough to know better.

        If you are a 23 year old intern and show up in a flowered dress with a cardigan you get the first response. I might suggest someone speak with you, talk to you myself, or just let it go (especially if you are a summer and I know you have limited funds and you do not have a client/public facing role). However, if you are regularly showing up in clothes that are too revealing for the office, I am going to question your judgment. In my current job, I would speak to you about it if you are on my team. If you ignore my “that is a very nice dress, but a bit short for the office”, then don’t be surprised when I never give you the opportunity to make an appearance on one of my cases. I’ve been burned when an associate showed up for a hearing in a skirt three inches too short, three inch stiletto heels (with stripes), and what was obviously a lacy satin camisole. The client was not amused.

        That might be arbitrary and sexist, but choices have real consequences. You want to show off your great body and think that the rules are silly, be my guest. You just won’t be given the opportunity to make me look bad by association.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This is such a complicated topic, though.

          A lot of it is just straight-up classism. Anybody remember the movie Erin Brockovich with Julia Roberts? She was a plucky paralegal who brought down a big corporation that was polluting the water in a small town. And she dressed kind of like a prostitute while doing it. At one point one of the stuck-up lawyers tried to counsel her about her clothing and she said “Well, I think I look nice” and kept on dressing like a prostitute while kicking butt and taking names.

          That movie came out in 2000 but I still remember that scene, so obviously it made a big impression on me. It’s too simplistic to just say “don’t judge people by how they dress,” but “follow the rules or else” makes me grind my teeth a little, too.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I completely agree. I also think that “three inch stiletto heels (with stripes)” is a bit pearl-clutch – although it is hard to tell if the shoes were considered a problem because of the rest of the outfit.

          • I took a young woman aside once and told her the men were talking about her clothing. I said, “I know you want to be taken seriously in your career and I know this is not how you want people to remember you. It’s unfair, but maybe cover up a little more.” She thanked me and did change her style to be more modest, and I ended up having an informal mentoring relationship with her.

          • I am the person who talked about the shoes and in my own defense, they were red with red and white striped heels, like a candy cane . I (and more importantly my client) did not think they were particularly appropriate for court – although it was more the combination with the very short skirt and very skimpy top. I did not mentally ding her for the lack of hose – although my client did.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yeah, I hear that. I’ve been to court often enough to know how women, particularly, are judged there. And that’s a lot of why I started really paying attention — to try to teach myself what to wear so missteps in front of people like that client wouldn’t cost me opportunities.

          It just seems to me that the much larger problem is how society teaches us to view women(‘s bodies), not how individual women choose to clothe their bodies.

          (Ha, why am I even here then? I like fashion and clothes, I really do. I just don’t like rules that seem exist to enforce an effed up status quo.)

          • Anonymous :

            If men were wearing muscle tees with blazers to court, they would be judged too. Men are fortunate in that their clothing options offer fewer ways to screw this up, but I think that’s really the only double standard.

    • If the woman is really and truly just out of school, she may not have any clue as to what is appropriate. I know I didn’t (although a strapless dress an office probably would not have occurred to me). Schools really don’t prepare people for the real world. Offer some assistance maybe?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’ve always been told I dress nicely and even then, at my first internship, there were absolutely some misses. There stil are sometimes. I’ve gotten better at realizing it and have stuff at the office to fix it if there’s a problem (pants, sweater, scarf), but it’s something I had to learn.

    • Jitterbug :

      I cringe at some of the outfits I wore when I was just starting out. The blue dress with the lace overlay that was good for a date but not for work, the way-too-tight button down, the polka dot party dress that only looked professional-ish with a blazer over it, the dress that would have been perfect except it was undeniably mid-thigh length, you get the idea.

      Not only did I not have the best sense of what was appropriate for work, but I didn’t have much to start off with, so sometimes I tried to make do with what I had while I was still shopping for better work clothes. In hindsight, a few more (smart) purchases from H&M would have been a good idea.

      The way I see it, if you’re not in a position where you can say something constructive, don’t say anything at all to the woman. If you’re really concerned, see if you can nudge her supervisor to say something. But the passive aggressive, disproving “tsk tsk, hem hem” song older women sing in the office doesn’t really help anyone’s situation, it just puts bad vibes in the air.

      • This is a timely threadjack! I’ve been hoping for Corporette to do an updated Summer Associate/Internship post on what’s appropriate/what’s not *for Summers*, especially now that I’m on the SA track for (BigFirm in Small Market). I’ve been trying to balance catching spring sales for key pieces without getting too ahead of myself and ending up with things that don’t fit the firm culture (So, Nordstrom).

  21. What’s the protocol for taking a drug test at work you will test positive for because of a medication? I haven’t taken a drug test since starting this medicine so I don’t know. Tell the testing center before you take the test or after?

    The process is take the test, goes to lab for testing, if anything comes up medical officer from the lab will reach out to you to ask if there is a reason – which I will have. This is all supposed to take place within next 48 hrs

    • JuniorMinion :

      Generally (as someone who works in an industry where some companies hair test) they will have you fill out some sort of paperwork / do a consult with someone at whatever company is requesting this. There’s usually an opportunity either on the form or in your initial overview consult to mention any prescribed medications.

      Worst case scenario if something shows up and they call you / there is a problem you say “I take x for its prescribed purpose here is my prescription”

      • +1 to the paperwork. They may need your doctor contact information to confirm a valid prescription.

    • I used to work for a drug testing company. No need to disclose anything on the front end. If something does come up in your panel, the medical review officer will contact you and work with your prescribing MD to get conformation of the prescription. The employer will have zero idea that this is transpiring.

  22. Hyper/Hypothyroidism? :

    Anyone else dealing with thyroid issues? I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroidism) a few months ago and I’m really struggling with all of the symptoms, some from the disease and some from the medication. Most I’ve weathered pretty well, I think, but now I’m starting to lose my hair and it’s really tough. I was on a really high dose of medication which made me hypothyroid and now I’m shedding handfuls of hair a day. I was growing it out but now I’m going to get it cut today in a bob so that it isn’t as heavy. I’m getting really self-conscious. I’m also worried about how to approach having my hair cut and the shampoo person today. It’s worse when I wash it :(

    • I was diagnosed with Grave’s about 4 years ago after my first daughter was born. It’s tough and it does take a few months to get your body stable with the appropriate dose of meds. I would just address this in a straightforward way with your hair people. Most likely they have thyroid issues themselves or know someone who does. I talk about my diagnosis pretty openly and I’ve learned that thyroid issues are very common. After I was diagnosed and my system stabilized, I got down to a very low dose of anti-thyroid meds, had a healthy baby, breastfed her for over a year and went into remission for about a year. These were all things I wasn’t sure would happen right after my diagnosis. Things look tough now but your emotional outlook will be MUCH better once your levels stabilize. Hugs.

      • Hyper/Hypothyroidism? :

        thank you! It’s so helpful to hear from other people. Did you have to get further treatment, rai or surgery? All of the symptoms are making me think that I should just kill this thing but I know that doesn’t make all of the issue stop.

        • I’ve been on and off anti-thyroid meds. I have refused RAI or surgery. Since Grave’s is an autoimmune disease there is a pretty decent chance of remission and I have, in fact, gone into remission once for a year. I generally feel that being slightly hyper is much MUCH better than being slightly hypo so I’d rather err on that side. I also felt that since I was diagnosed in the “pregnancy corridor” that pregnancy could very well have been the trigger. I didn’t want to do anything permanent while my body was all crazy from pregnancy anyway. Now that my 2nd kiddo has been weaned for over a year and there are no more babies on the horizon, my provider did bring up the option o f RAI again. I’d still prefer to manage with anti-thyroid meds and lifestyle and my provider was OK with that. Personal choice, of course, but that’s been my thinking.

        • My sister was diagnosed a couple years ago (age 24); she had all the symptoms you described below plus big nodules. She took the radioactive iodine and then went on thyroid meds. As far as I can tell, she is doing much better and doesn’t seem to be experiencing any lingering or new side effects. She’s also been diagnosed with PCOS (I have a hunch they are related in the autoimmune-type family; I also think PCOS is a catch-all term for symptoms and not necessarily an exact condition). She is now 5 months pregnant and doing really well with that. So, from my very third-party perspective, I’d say that if the symptoms are really interfering with your life, don’t be afraid to try something more “drastic”. Good luck.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Can you tell me about the diagnosis process? Found a large nodule on my thyroid yesterday and I’m trying to figure out where to go from here, beyond biopsy. I’ve had thyroid panels run before and nothing has ever been abnormal, so I’m nervous about figuring this out without going through the wringer of misdiagnoses.

        • Hyper/Hypothyroidism? :

          I don’t have nodules but I had major symptoms like a racing heart, jittery legs, lost weight, hot and sweaty all the time, diarrhea, enlarged neck, my hands shook and I couldn’t sleep. My general practitioner diagnosed me with anxiety and gave me xanax for panic attacks. I knew something was still wrong and mentioned it to my gyn who ordered blood tests and there it was. I then had a neck ultrasound and went to an endocrinologist.

          • Frozen Peach :

            I have had all those symptoms and because I already have anxiety, this ultrasound is the first time thyroid has ever come up. I just thought I was an anxious insomniac with crap digestion. But I anticipate I’ll be having a tough road because blood tests didn’t show a thing.

            Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve known something is wrong for at least a year and have had multiple docs wave it off as stress. Finding the nodule was oddly exciting because it was so validating that I do, in fact, know my own body. The tech said the last person who she found a nodule this large for was also a professional type A woman who had been chasing her symptoms for years, and even gone through a divorce because her spouse agreed with her docs that she was just anxious and too stressed. Just another plug for being your own advocate when it comes to health care.

          • Frozen Peach – there are lots of good resources out there related to thyroids. Hypothyroid is more common, hyper less so (but there still many people with it). There is a lot of debate about what is tested when diagnosing thyroid conditions. Some docs only test one-two things, but I believe you need to see TSH, Free T3, Free T4 + antibody tests (Hashimoto’s and Graves) to get the full picture. A good endo will do all of these tests and help you interpret them. Also, keep in mind that the “normal” range is just a suggestion. So your numbers could be within the range but still high/low for you. Rely on your symptoms more than the numbers per se. I went to a GP about my symptoms and he was this close to sending me to a neurologist for the tremors when he felt my thyroid and sent me straight to an endo. Happy to answer questions as it was scary for me to be diagnosed with a chronic health issue after 30+ years of good health.

    • givemyregards :

      So sorry you’re dealing with this! I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism the summer after my freshman year of college after spending a year losing my hair, gaining weight, and trying not to fail all of my classes while sleeping 14 hours a day. It was awful and I empathize with you that losing your hair is almost the worst part on top of just feeling like garbage. I will say that no one noticed my hair thinning nearly as much as I did, although I know that’s not necessarily going to make you feel better. If you haven’t already tried viviscal, I’d highly recommend it if you’re endocrinologist/pcp gives you the thumbs up. My hair is super sensitive to falling out if my synthroid is even slightly off, but I’ve found that viviscal really does help with keeping it on my head/growing it out faster if it’s fallen out. My dermatologist also put me on spironolactone, mostly for acne but it’s also associate with hair growth.

      Other than these things I really would just stress being gentle with yourself – you’re going through a really hard time and although sometimes if can feel ridiculous to get so upset over hair, let yourself cry as much as you want. No need to feel guilty on top of it!

      Also, because I’ve moved a lot, my hyperthyroidism has been managed by several different docs – some better than other. If you don’t like the physician you’re working with, or if they don’t seem to take you seriously, feel free to look around.

    • I was diagnosed with Grave’s two years ago. Like you, I was struggling with symptoms and with the diagnosis since it wasn’t something I had really heard about before. It may take a little bit of time to make sure you have the right dose of the meds, but then it should get better. Communicating with your doctor is key! I told my doctor I was uncomfortable with the idea of radiation/surgery and he agreed to let me stick it out a little longer with the meds (while we of course continued to monitor it) before going down an irreversible path. I continued with my meds, my levels went down, and I have been in remission for a year and am crossing my fingers that it stays that way. Hugs to you – it will be ok!

    • Nudibranch :

      Yes indeed. Hypothyroid + PCOS + insulin resistance + thyroid induced major depression here. It took a while to get better but treatment has been miraculous for me. I am so thankful that my health problems can be helped by medication, even though I realize it is a chronic condition.

      It is important that you have a good doctor. If you are not satisfied, get recommendations and shop around. I pay out of pocket for mine (not covered by insurance) because it so worth it. I’ve experienced the bad/inadequate and I NEVER want to go back to how badly under medication affected my health and quality of life.

  23. I work in a casual workplace. Men and women wear everything from jeans and hoodies to smart casual clothing. I usually wear skirts and dresses, though I try to dress down both with cardis or sweaters. Generally people won’t bat an eyelash regardless of what you wear.

    Do you think more casual clothing can be polished and good quality? I find when I am shopping, that casual clothing is not always good quality, and has to be replaced more often. Are there brands that make better quality casual clothing, or is quality a matter of better materials? I want to purchase clothing that lasts longer, so I don’t have to keep replacing work staples.

    • I’ve had good luck with Banana Republic but I also wash everything on delicate and try to hang to dry as often as I can (not every time but often). The newer washer machines that use less water can be harder on clothes.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Yes i think there are good quality casual clothes. You have to stop looking at fast fashion places like nordstrom, gap, old navy, banana republic though. Look for smaller companies. USA made clothing brands are usually slow fashion and will be well made.
      Some Casual Well Made Clothing Companies:
      Marine Layer
      Outdoorsy brands found at REI or Patagonia
      Bridge and Burn
      Steven Alan
      Margaret Howell

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        Oh and air dry as much things as possible. Putting things in a dryer makes them age so much faster.

        • Thank you for the suggestions. I will check out those places.

          • LondonLeisureYear :

            Emerson Fry is good too!

            Honestly I also have gap, target, and jcrew from years and years ago and they are still looking great. There just recently has been in the past few years a huge dip in quality of items.

          • My Gap clothing and br things from years ago still looks good, and my older things are going strong! It is just so frustrating to replace worn out clothing with new things that wear out fast, even at a higher price point!

    • I work in a business casual environment (gag) coming off a business dress environment that was one stop down from full suits. I currently dress on the nicer end of the business casual spectrum. I don’t wear a jacket/blazer unless I have an outside meeting but I wear all my skirts and pants and nice tops and structured cardigans and continue to shop for this type of item. I mostly shop at Nordstrom and they have a lot of selection in this nicer business casual range.

      I have no interest in ever wearing khakis and polo shirts to work (or at home!) so I’m happy to be slightly overdressed.

    • Anonymous :

      Agreed that there are brands that make better quality casual clothing. Lands end, JJill, and Pendleton are my standards. Pay attention to good quality (clean, repaired, polished, etc) foot wear, which can make a big difference in looking put together. Scuffed leather flats or dirty converse bring down an otherwise sharp casual outfit.

      I keep my work clothing separate from my home clothing, even though it’s more or less interchangeable, just so that it gets lighter wear and lasts longer (I have three small children… my home clothing gets pulled out of shape, constantly washed, etc). I retire my work clothing to weekend clothing when it starts to look a bit faded or simply less crisp.

      To the point of the post above, also be aware of certain lines to not cross. You may be able to wear sandals and a maxi skirt, for example, but don’t wear one with spaghetti straps.

  24. BabyAssociate :

    Do any of you have any experience with Mahabis slippers? Or any other slipper you’d recommend?

    They’re more than I’d typically spend on slippers, but I am a year-round slipper wearer and often go through 2 pairs of cheap slippers in a year. Wonder if it would make sense to get something nicer.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      I wear Ugg Slippers. Dakota style. I like that they have a rubber bottom. A pair lasts me 2 years and I wear them constantly at home. If I am home, they are on my feet. I do put in replacement insoles after 1 year.

    • I like Birkenstock clogs for slippers. They have now molded to my feet (happens pretty quickly) and I am so comfortable week g them. They’re ugly as sin but I don’t wear them outside the house.

  25. Confused and Sad - update :

    Few weeks back, I posted about my work situation where my manager just said she will not be pushing to get me promoted which made me incredibly sad and depressed etc.

    So, I got the promotion. I am moving out of the team in next couple of weeks.

    Whether my manager was willingly promoted me or not, I don’t know. All I know is I deserved it. She was not giving me feedback on what I had to do to become a promotion worthy candidate, she would just tell me I was not there yet. I went to HR to document a discrimination that happened two years back and eventually I had to tell the HR person the way my manager was behaving with me. I was visibly sad for a few weeks and my manager was concerned and wanted to meet me. I posted here to get some advice about what to tell her in that situation.

    Then I met my manager. She was concerned that I was looking for another job because I had taken few days off sporadically which I don’t always do. As soon as she came to know that job hunting was not the reason for taking time off, she changed the subject completely and she no longer had any concern about me.

    I was shocked the way most of the people in this community responded. I see so much talk about believing in yourself, standing up for yourself, fighting for what you deserve and other lofty ideals. I was just doing it and I got so much negative reaction, calling me all sorts of names and questioning my behavior and interpersonal skills.

    What bothered me most was when people here said my manager can almost do anything and it is within her right. I completely disagree with this. At the end of the day, she is an employee of the company, just like me and is accountable for her actions. Setting clear goals and expectations and giving me actionable feedback is her job and I am going to hold her accountable for that. If she says she will not promote me because it was raining, off to HR I go.

    Anyways, I am proud that believed in myself, did everything in my hands to get me what I deserved, mustered the courage to report the discrimination that happened to me two years back and opened an investigation (I don’t think that person will ever me a manager again), didn’t lose confidence in myself because of two consecutive horrible managers. All I want to say for other women in my situation is if you believe that you deserve something, please do everything you can, use every avenue you can use to get what you deserve. Please don’t surround yourself with the kind the people who commented so negatively on this board. Whether you get what you deserve or not, you will learn a lot in the process and you will have the satisfaction that you did everything you could.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Congratulations on the promotion!

    • Congratulations on the promotion!!

      The lack of accountability for my superiors is one of my biggest frustrations at my job. Good for you for speaking up.

    • Nice job.

      Wishing you a better manager in your future.

    • “Setting clear goals and expectations and giving me actionable feedback is her job” – no, it’s not. Her job is to achieve the goals of the company that have been given to her. Her accountability to her higher ups comes from whether or not she is meeting those goals. If she is a terrible manager and has issues with employee engagement or turnover, that will impact her ability to meet those goals, so it’s in her best interest to be as effective as possible, but she is likely evaluated against her ability to deliver results, not be a mentor.

      “if you believe that you deserve something, please do everything you can, use every avenue you can use to get what you deserve.” – WOW

    • “if you believe that you deserve something, please do everything you can, use every avenue you can use to get what you deserve.”

      Are you being real?

      I’m glad you got what you think you deserve, but you’re a tiny bit outrageous. I say this sincerely: with this mindset you’re going to get your a$$ handed to you at some point in the future and it’s going to burn. You’ve been warned by many folks on this board. Consider internalizing it and growing from it.

      • Yeah agree about the a55 handing.

        OP you seem to have a real chip on your shoulder. I’m glad you got the promotion you deserve. But I also remember the feedback you were getting here, and it was mostly supportive.

        Running to HR may work for you once or twice, but it is not the way to make a career. Nor is going over your boss’s head. Nor is considering all of your managers horrible. If you’re in this for the long haul, I encourage you to take a broader look at this pattern.

        • Confused and Sad - update :

          Where did I say all my managers were horrible? I had two bad managers in a row. Thankfully, I had many good managers before. So there is no pattern to look at. I am in this for the long haul. That is why I decided to take action. You see, you have to make your situation better if you want to stay in this for a long time. I have approached HR once almost a decade of working. So, I know when to approach them.

          There were a few supportive comments here and I am thankful for them. But most of the comments were extremely negative and not useful.

          • Then why keep coming back here? You don’t have anything better to do with your life than come to a site where you feel like the comments are “extremely negative and not useful”? Sad.

    • anon associate :

      Oh, my god. First, congrats on the promotion. Second, it is not correct that you received overwhelmingly negative feedback here. You received supportive feedback and constructive criticism.

      You sound like you have a chip on your shoulder and look to blame others/external forces for your problems. There is a difference between standing up for yourself and fighting for what you want and a) refusing to accept that you are the reason you didn’t achieve xyz goal, or b) refusing to accept others’ arbitrary but ultimately legal, non-discriminatory choices that simply aren’t what you want. You WILL get your a$$ handed to you one day, as we ALL have/will, through no fault of your own. And you will need to learn to cope with it.

      It is 100% true that she is within her rights not to mentor you. You are confusing “good management style” with “obligatory company policy.” You have every right to request feedback, but you do not have the right to demand it because you are not the boss and you do not control her. You come off as if you are tattling on her to HR. If you’re not getting the feedback you want and she won’t change, you can quit.

      You are going to overplay your HR card. I would not hesitate to fire an employee who frequently ran to HR to cry that she was not given an opportunity she wanted for a non-discriminatory, legal reason. The fact that you insist that you “deserve” this promotion when it is not your call to make is troubling, and is why people were suggesting you are acting entitled.

      • Confused and Sad - update :

        Oh..I wish I knew the reason for not reaching the xyz goal so that I can take responsibility and fix it. This is precisely I wanted from my manager. I understand at times I have to accept others’ arbitrary choices, but I am not going to jump to accept those decisions because they have an adverse impact on my life.

        I am not asking her to mentor me. I am asking her give me the feedback only she could give me, not mentors who don’t know other team members or dynamics. And, if you see my post, I am quitting. I don’t fancy working for managers who behave like jerks and not help me achieve my goals. However, I was not willing to quit without taking what I deserve and start over again at a different place.

        I am not overplaying any card. I didn’t go to HR to complain about my current manager. I went to HR to complain about discrimination that happened to me and I had to tell her what was going on with my current manager’s behavior. And if that is the grounds for firing me, sure, I am willing to get fired. I will insist that I “deserve” this promotion. I have a say in it. I can absolutely challenge my current manager’s decision.

        • “I had to tell her what was going on with my current manager’s behavior. ”

          You actually didn’t, but ok.

          • Confused and Sad - update :

            Oh..I had to. HR wanted to know what triggered me to report the incident that happened two years back. I didn’t want to lie.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh man, you’re going to end up working for more jerky managers and looking for a lot of new jobs.

        • Anonymous :

          This whole chest beating I deserve thing is really not going to serve you well. Of course high performing employees should be compensated, but there are a myriad of reasons why that doesn’t always happen. I deserve to be paid what my former coworker was being paid, especially as I have more experience and have better reviews. My manager knows this, however, due to decisions that are far over his head, there isn’t anything he can do about it right now. I could chest beat all day long about this, but it would do nothing but irritate the heck out of my boss and give me a terrible reputation as being a difficult employee.

          Are there things I deserve here? I suppose, if that’s the term you want to use, but this is a business and I know there are 100 different factors that go in to decisions about employment, promotion, and compensation that my immediate manager, his immediate manager, and heck, even my manager’s manager have no control over. But, I also do a cost benefit analysis in my head. Do I want to look for a new job right now? No. I like my coworkers, I have a great schedule, and there are other reasons why it doesn’t make sense for me to be all up in arms about this right now.

          Honestly, you see really out of touch.

          • Anonymous :

            She seems like she has BPD.

          • Confused and Sad - update :

            “But, I also do a cost benefit analysis in my head. Do I want to look for a new job right now? No. I like my coworkers, I have a great schedule, and there are other reasons why it doesn’t make sense for me to be all up in arms about this right now.”

            You see, you did cost benefit analysis and decided your current situation is better for you even without the promotion. I did the cost benefit analysis too. I decided the cost of being quiet was way higher than I what was acceptable for me. So I did what I had to do.

          • “She seems like she has BPD.”

            YUUUUUP. If I knew this person in real life, I would be staying as far away as I possibly could.

          • Confused and Sad - update :

            Oh..sure. I would have thanked you for your favour.

        • nasty woman :

          Ooooookay. So, basically, the woman who is desperate for feedback is refusing to accept that which she is given because it isn’t exactly what she wants to hear. You are simply doubling down and arguing with/ignoring what I am saying.

          I’ve worked for managers that are far, far, far worse than what you’ve described (and I read your original posts). I can tell you that this strategy will not always work for you. Hopefully you’ll be lucky and have perfect managers for the rest of your career, but I doubt that will be the case. For your own sake, I sincerely and kindly suggest inviting a little curiosity about your approaches to handling these topics.

          • Confused and Sad - update :

            hmm…what feedback did my manager give me?

          • Anonymous :

            I mean, yay, you proved us all wrong here? At some point, when everyone around you disagrees with your approach or says you are coming across a certain way, I hope you’ll explore it rather than jumping to defensiveness.

    • I was one of the “negative commenters” who told you some things you didn’t want to hear.

      Honey, I want you to go look up a term called “Pyhrric victory” and read about it. Because ultimately, that is what your promotion is going to end up being. If I was a betting person, I would bet you got promoted to get you out of your group because folks had reached their limit with you. I would also bet you’re going to be back here in a matter of months outraged – outraged, I tell you! – because you are not “getting what you deserve” in your new position. People don’t talk about this much, but there are situations where upper managers in an organization collude to move a problem employee into a meaningless job with a good title, either in lieu of firing them or as the first step on a long road to a firing. I think that may be happening to you, and frankly – with your attitude, I wouldn’t blame your managers for doing it.

      Don’t gloat, sweetheart. Everything ends up coming around. In your case, it’s definitely coming around, sooner rather than later.

  26. S in Chicago :

    Any recs for a shoe that looks similar to the Gucci Marmont (but without the designer price):

  27. New Tampanian :

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BIRTHDAY TWIN!!! I just saw your post in my orangetheory thread yesterday. Hope it’s as fabulous as mine has been so far!!

  28. Have any of you tried Glossier products? I must be their targeted demographic because I see their ads on almost all my social media platforms/websites in general. It seems reasonably priced and the packaging is super plain/almost boring even. But I like the subtle hues and how the products are mutlifunctional (blush that can double as lipstick etc). It looks like they only sell online so its not like I can try it out in a store. What has been your guys’ experience with it? Any particular products you recommend?

    • I find their stuff decent but nothing special, except they convinced me to buy brow tint, which I like and wear when I want to look a bit more put together.

      • Is that the boy brow thing? I keep hearing about that and was consider buying it. Is it similar the to the Anastasia Brow Wiz but not pencil?

        • Lol, I have no idea. I never really considered putting makeup on my eye brows until they told me it was important :) So I can’t speak to how it compares to other products.

          As for other products, I find their lipstick so sheer — or maybe the one I chose was so close to my natural lip color — that it’s hardly worth wearing. Their skin tint would be nice if I had skin that required less covering up. Their serums didn’t do much for me, except for the moisturizing one, but I think that’s sort of redundant if you use moisturizer, unless your skin is super dry?

        • Boy brow is a tinted brow gel with fibers in it, so it adds color, hold and little bit of definition. Anastasia brow wiz is a thin brow pencil that lets you simply fill in your brows for more definition or color, but it does not hold the brow hairs in place :)

          • I bought that boy brow. I’m not wild about it. I guess I prefer pencils. My eyebrows are thin and transparent so I do feel i need some sort of product.

    • Marshmallow :

      I own a bunch of their stuff and like alllllmost all of it. Hits: Boy Brow, cream blush, highlighter, both moisturizers, both masks. Misses: Bounce serum, lipstick, skin tint. They have a store in SoHo where you can try stuff on, so it helps that I don’t have to order a thousand different shades and go through trial and error.

      The Boy Brow is definitely my #1 recommendation, it’s the only thing I use on my brows now. The Haloscope highlighter in Quartz is a really nice, subtle, pinky highlight. And the new cream blushes are pretty great too, although you need to be comfortable with cream blush because they are kind of thin and dry really fast, so you need to blend quickly.

      • Thanks for the hits and misses! Seems like the Boy Brow is a hit product of theirs, I might try it. What about the concealer? Is that any good? Its hard to find a concealer that is not only cruelty/paraben free but also comes in darker shades!!

      • I like the Boy Brow too. It keeps my eyebrows groomed all day (no wear-off), and the light/blonde color is perfect. I’ve tried similar products whose “blonde” is almost invisible. This is the perfect light brown.

    • anon a mouse :

      I only tried the lip products, but I ordered three different types and found them all terribly drying. Will not reorder.

    • givemyregards :

      I haven’t bought any of their makeup but I looove their cleanser. Obviously the name is ridiculous, but it’s super gentle but somehow still takes off all my makeup.

      • The cleanser is the only thing I’ve gotten from there that I would buy again (also got the lip balm, which I found to be really sticky; the concealer, which on my skin got cakey after an hour or two; the ‘skin’ tint which ditto).

  29. “I got so much negative reaction, calling me all sorts of names and questioning my behavior and interpersonal skills. ”

    ” If she says she will not promote me because it was raining, off to HR I go.”


  30. I know this makes me a horrible, insensitive person, but it makes me stressed and ragey when I go in the break room in my U.S. law office and there are 6 people speaking a foreign language.

    • ? It’s mostly illogical. Why do you care what they speak? What’s a ‘foreign language’ in the US? There’s no official language and English is hardly the first language as lots of Native Americans were here long before English showed up. Because you feel excluded and want to chat? Try saying hi.

      There are very few places in the world where a workplace is monolingual. In the rest of the world, multilingualism is super common and not frowned upon.

    • This is a really bad reaction to have and I suggest you sit down with it for a while and try to examine why you have it.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      That’s a joke, right?

      No? Then, I concur – you are a horrible person.

    • Yeah, this pretty much makes you a bad person.

    • Are you stressed and ragey because you think they’re talking about you in an language you don’t understand, or are you one of those “speak English or get out of the US” people?

      If the former, I kind of understand but would just tell you they’re probably not talking about you. I know this is such a stereotype there was a Seinfeld eposiode about it but it happens to me when I get my nails done. I’m fine if the nail techs are having a conversation amongst themselves that doesn’t include me.

      When I get uncomfortable is when my nail tech asks me questions like “where do you work?” or “are you married?” In English to me, then turns and says something to her fellow nail tech in Vietnamese and then they both laugh. And I KNOW that’s about me. But I just remind myself that I don’t really care what the nail techs think of me as long as my nails look nice.

    • This is fascinating to me. Do you find yourself stressed and ragey whenever anyone talks about a subject that doesn’t interest you? Do you find yourself mad that people don’t include you in their conversations on the subway, or if coworkers you don’t know well go out to eat without you? Explore the feeling a little bit- do you always expect everything to revolve around you? (Ie very self centered?) or is it just that no one should speak a different language (i.e. You are pretty racist?) I wasn’t being snarky it is really fascinating to me that people speaking to each other could make you feel stressed or feel rage.

    • nasty woman :

      “I know this makes me a horrible, insensitive person, . . ”

      Phew! That’s the first step.

    • Why do you even care about some stranger’s bathroom conversation? You just want to know what people are randomly talking about? If you’re one of those people who is all “this is America, speak English” then yes you’re horrible. You know what’s American? The freedom to speak in whatever language one chooses to speak in. Americans come from all backgrounds and you don’t get to dictate what things people have to leave behind (in this case, language). Get over yourself.

    • Anonymous :

      Definitely not a “This is America – speak English” person. I think it is a combo of the very rapid cadence plus number of people plus knowing they are talking about the office, though not me specifically, but maybe me, too, plus the volume, plus I’m already stressed and ragey. But I do talk with them in English and the conversation becomes two — one with me and a side one in foreign language I don’t understand plus a new side one every time another person comes in. This is daily and the first time I reacted was today. I get it makes me awful. I am confessing.

      • Anonymous :

        I think it’s natural to find some languages we are not familiar with jarring. When I hear mandarin or Korean, I often wonder if mandarin or Korean speakers (who are not native English speakers as well) find English to be equally jarring to hear. I also think some languages are just more pleasant to the ear, or if it’s entirely whether you are familiar with a language or not. I used to find German very jarring, but since learning some very basic German I find it more pleasant.

      • Anonymous :

        Okay, so it does seem rude of your coworkers to continue in a language you can’t understand once you join the conversation, since I assume they are all fluent in English. With the exception being the occasional translation, which is to be expected if not everyone is at the same level.

        Your OP made it sound like you just don’t like to hear people speaking another language to each other, which is ridiculous. Hopefully you just woke up on the wrong side of the bed today and meant that you’re actually annoyed to hear the sound of other people talking.

      • Yeah I know I shouldn’t, but I do have a hard time with the two-conversation thing (perfectly described by the nail tech situation above). I don’t mind conversations in languages I don’t understand, that’s fine. I do mind side comments in a different language, unless clearly done in a translation type of way.

        To me, it’s sort of being rude right to my face. When I lived in a country where I was the minority speaking English, it hurt then too. But I don’t necessarily get stressed or ragey, just mildly disappointed that a co-worker is being rude.

        All this to say, that’s not at all how your initial comment sounded. Came across very much as a “this is America – speak English” inflammatory comment, not tied to the specific issue of side comments in a different language.

      • Anonymous :

        If it bothers you so much, why don’t you learn a bit of the language so you don’t feel so excluded?

        • Anonymous :

          I feel pretty certain that knowing just a few words of the language — which is really all I could hope to ever learn — would make the experience worse. But seriously, it is not the sheer fact of the other language. It is one of those languages I find jarring to the ear plus cadence plus number of people talking over each other and multiple simultaneous conversations, none of which I could understand. I would not have reacted well to walking into a very spirited conversation in English today while I just wanted to eat my lunch, but this added another layer or four. I feel bad about it. I like my co-workers very much.

    • Amberwitch :

      Heat annoys me (not in an english speaking country) is the cadence and volume for some foreign language speakers – example: today at the gym three guys were speaking Polish or perhaps Turkish with great verve behind me while I was squatting, and the annoying part was the loudness and animation – they didn’t respect the social contract of gym behaviour, so to speak. Another example: At a cafe where all the surrounding tables were filled with Spanish exchange students, and their solution to someone else speaking was speaking louder to get heard instead of waiting their turn – resulting in, to my sensitive Scandinavia ears, a rude cacophany making it next to impossible to hear what was said at our own table.

      • Amberwitch :

        *What* annoys me

      • Jitterbug :

        I’ve noticed this in touristy areas too, I think it has something to do with the language barrier making them feel isolated from the people around them, like they’re in their own bubble. They just forget that bubble isn’t sound proof. I wonder if English speakers are also super loud when traveling in non-English speaking countries.

        • Interesting; I think you must be right. I’ve definitely witnessed English speaking travelers in non-English speaking countries speaking very loudly in their bubbles.

    • lost academic :

      It does and you need to unpack why you feel that way and analyze it.

  31. Anonymous :

    Modcloth sold to Walmart. Weird!

    • Yeah, it just doesn’t seem to sync either target market. I’m not sure I want to shop at a Wal-Mart owned company, either. Makes me wonder where their clothes are sourced.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I get a lot of my groceries from Jet and recently learned they were also acquired by Walmart but nothing on the face of the Jet website makes that clear.

    • Jitterbug :

      Don’t get me started, I was so upset when I found out last week. Most of what I wear on a daily basis (work clothes, dance clothes, swimsuits, jackets, evening attire, even some skirts I wear to run errands in the spring, summer, and fall) come from that website. For years I’ve loved their selection, their sales, their customer service, and of course their progressive values. And for over a decade I’ve been making a point of never buying anything from Walmart, or knowingly shopping at their subsidiaries. This hurts.

      I knew they were falling on hard times, I would have been upset if they’d gone under, a corporate buyout was probably necessary, but why that company. Why the retail company with arguably the worst reputation? Why a company that would upset and alienate so many loyal customers?

    • Say whaaat??? OMG! That’s tragic :-(

  32. Anonymous :

    Evening attire?

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