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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
False unicorn! No tall sizes and this dress is only 37” long. Boo :(
Yes, unless she’s 6 feet tall, that dress is too short for me. :(
Cosign. I am seriously hating all of the micro fit-and-flare and super-short dresses. Not just for me, because I am tall and very leggy, but also because young women are going to think these dresses are work appropriate and they are just…not, even if you’re a more typical/petite height woman.
If that dress is that short on the model standing, I don’t even want to know what it’d look like if she had to sit in a business meeting or get out of a cab with colleagues. Tricky.
As a May grad in accounting, this is incredibly frustrating. I am trying to get more dresses that I can wear in my job (starting summer), and I just can’t seem to find them. I was ready to buy this one until I read comments!
I’ve been really disappointed with Halogen dresses. Each season, they have a dress that looks perfect but is just much too short.
la vie en bleu
Yeah, and I have a short waist, so I would probably have to get it taken up an inch or so in the shoulders to have the waist hit my actual waist (as I have to with almost every dress I have ever had), which would make it even shorter. Why?!? They could easily add a few inches to the hem, it’s so much easier to shorten a dress than lengthen it.
la vie en bleu,
Have you tried Boden dresses? I once placed a massive order of only work dresses and was heartbroken to have to send every single dress back for being short-waisted. Might fit you perfectly!
la vie en bleu
Oh, thank you for the recommendation! I haven’t really tried any Boden stuff yet (not in my current clothing budget range). I have wanted to, but I also am a pear with a lot of extra in my hips and thighs, so based on other comments from thissite I worry that a lot of Boden won’t work for that reason. But I still want to try some of the styles someday because they look cute and comfy! It would be awesome to have the waistline fit without having to take up the shoulders for once! ;o)
Annnnd it’s unlined. No unicorn.
I like the 2 other suggestions on the Nordstrom page better:
Lucky size 14 only: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-solid-trim-sleeveless-dress-regular-petite/3782651?origin=related-3782651-0-3-PP_4-Rich_Relevance_Recs_API-113&recs_type=related&recs_productId=3782651&recs_categoryId=0&recs_productOrder=3&recs_placementId=PP_4&recs_source=Rich_Relevance_Recs_API&recs_strategy=113&recs_referringPageType=item_page
I have that first dress. It is incredible, don’t get me wrong, but waayyyyy too va-va-voom for work.
It has a full exposed zipper all the way down the back, no?
yes. a little too suggestive for the office!
Must be Tuesday
I like all the colors!
Lets talk long underwear/base layers. Its currently negative temperatures where I live, and my office doesn’t have great heat in the mornings – but gets moderately toasty by mid-afternoon. I’ve been wearing cotton leggings, tanks and long sleeved tees under my sweaters and pants, but then by noon I’m warm, and by 2:00 I’m in the ladies room stripping off all my clothes in order to get the base layers off so I don’t melt – and then I can’t easily put them on again.
I’ve heard people mention silk long underwear here, but I’d like some specific recs on what I’m looking for. Does the silk actually help regulate temperature to keep you warm when its freezing but not roast when its a normal room temperature? Do you recommend something with at least a certain % of silk? Am I dooming myself to handwashing and line drying?
Or is there some other type of technical baselayer that works well as indoor/outdoor long underwear? I’ve heard people mention Uniqlo heattech here, but I don’t think it comes in plus sizes. Any brands/recs?
Merino wool is the best at keeping you a consistent temperature. Not sure if Smartwool does plus sizes, but you might want to check.
YAY! This is a cute dress even if it is NOT lined. I think it is a GOOD Pick, Kat (or Kate, if you picke’d it out). As for clotheing for cold weather, I have alot of troubel b/c I MUST wear dresses to work, except on day’s that the manageing partner is NOT comeing to work and I know about it ahead of time. So what I do is that I wear VERY warm boot’s into work (UGGs) as well as a long new Down Coat, which covers down almost to my knee’s, leaveing only the area between my thigh’s to the top of my boot’s open to the cold air. FOOEY on that!
But b/c I use my FITBIT, Dad know’s what I am up to and when I am walkeing to work so he can tell if I took a cab or the subway. Therefore, I get warm when I get to work by sitteing on top of the radiator vent so my leg’s get warm. It work’s b/c it is HOT there and my leg’s are COLD for a while. Once I warm up, I go downstair’s to get a danish. YAY!
I am just about ready to head down to court, so I will get Mason to carry my pump’s and then check back with the HIVE later. YAY!
Interested in this topic too! I have always used Patagonia Capilene 3 baselayers, which are great under things like jeans. The issue is that, like wool, they are not totally silky and will “stick” to some wool pants and create unattractive lines. Would love to find a smoother option!
When I lived in NH, I would wear patagonia level 1 baselayer pants under my pants every day. I also have some Wintersilks long johns.
Personally, based on your situation, if the temp is really variable, you may need to put on and strip off layers…the way of winter. I do believe that having two layers really helps though. I am in Boston, and as we were negative earlier in the week, the addition of leggings under my pants for my very long and arduous and infuriating commute made a big difference in my comfort levels.
+1. I have had better luck wearing tights (or leggings if it is super cold) plus sweatpants on my commute, then I take the sweatpants off when I get to work.
Tights or heattech under pants also works, but less well IME.
I’ve gotten my silky base layers from Lands End – and machine washed them from the beginning. I usually line dry, since they get static-y if I through them in the dryer. They have a camisole/tank top option that I really like the best for layering – it helps hold in the heat at my core without adding a ton of layering else where.
Its just another layer of fabric that traps body heat while allowing moisture to wick away (and not stick to the body, making you colder). When layering, the outermost layers should be the ones coming on and off to help adjust – so I’m not sure why you are removing the base layer when you are getting warm. Why not just take off the sweater? Personally, I’ve never liked the tights-under-pants thing and really only layer on top and on my feet.
Do make sure that your layers allow for some air pockets between them – If every layer is tight (and you are feeling a little like a stuffed sausage) then you are defeating the point of layering :) Embrace the oversized cardigan trend.
+1 for Land’s End silk long underwear. It’s lightweight and I never felt hot wearing it in the office.
I already do take off the sweater usually by noon. The main issue is that I sit immediately next to the only radiator for a large office area (at least, the only one that manages to actually pump out a decent amount of heat). It is often 55-60 at my desk in the morning, and even colder down the hall. I have (a little) bit of control over the radiator, but if I turn it down I have co-workers down the hall begging me to turn it back up because although its warm at my desk its still barely in the low 60s in their offices. And they are all wearing long underwear, scarves and multiple other layers too.
I can usually figure out how to layer the shirts on and off well enough, but wearing another layer under my pants makes such a difference in comfort for 80% of the day, but roasts me for the last few hours. And I have to randomly walk a block or two around our campus mid-morning to deliver items, so I need to stay ready to go outside with only a few regular additions like a coat, hat, gloves and scarf – not popping into the bathroom to put back on longjohns.
I know a lot of people here do skirt with warm tights or leggings plus tall boots, but even that isn’t warm enough for me compared to leggings under pants. And my tall boots aren’t as great on ice as I had hoped (looking to upgrade them at end of this year sales, but not in the budget for now).
I was just hoping to buy/upgrade a couple of baselayers to add to my existing wardrobe for these very coldest days, not re-vamp my whole winter wardrobe which works for the other 90% of winter, if it was at all possible.
You can also get silk sock liners (basically, silk socks), which you could wear under wool socks, if you are finding more benefit from layers on your feet, as opposed to the upper leg/butt.
Any possibility of having a blanket or sweater to lay across your lap as your second layer when sitting at the desk, as opposed to wearing your second layer? Or having a heating pad that you sit on/place on your lap?
It’s really cold here but I would not wear long underwear to work, as I would definitely be stripping it off at some point during the day.
Here is what I do.
I wear almost exclusively tights with skirts and dresses during the winter. When I do wear a pant suit I wear knee high boots under the pants and socks.
I wear a long sleeved silk blouse or a thin sweater under my suit jacket.
I have a black pashmina in my purse which I can throw around my shoulders if it is extra freezing, it is suprising what a difference such a thin piece of fabric can make.
I have a small heater under my desk.
All of that will (95% of the time) keep me warm while I am AT work.
To stay warm on the way to work, I bought a long down coat (Canada Goose). Balked at the price but figured, amortized over the years I would wear it, it would be worth it. Knee high flat winter boats with a thermal insole and wool socks. Hat, and cowl to pull up over my face.
In the Pink
Winter Silks – come in a variety of sizes, styles, and weights … great for underneath work clothes so one doesn’t start to resemble the Pillsbury Dough Girl or the Stay Puft Marshmallow sailor :) Nod to Ghostbusters, of course.
+1 for Wintersilks. I wear their scoopneck shell in the lightest weight under my office attire many days in the winter. It’s machine washable (if it’s not, that’s what I do anyways and it comes out fine, oops.)
I grew up in era when girls wore dresses to school, and we used to wear our snow pants under them. Childhood memories.
I now where fleece leggings over my tights for my commute and strip them off in the ladies room as soon as I get to work. So, warm legs while commuting and comfortable legs while at work. They are black, like my tights, so unless someone is really staring at my legs, I doubt they would be able to tell I have them on.
Base layers are warm but may be too warm later in the day. I wear fleece leggings over my tights and just take them off when I get warm.
la vie en bleu
I’ve bought super-fine merino wool long underwear from various brands from outdoor wear stores (REI). there are women specific brands that might come in larger sizes. I wear the leggings under pants all winter bc I am always cold and I love them. Keep me warm but I don’t really get overheated. And they have held up way better than winter silks which always fall apart after a couple of years for me. The wool layers I put in the wash with my gentle cycle items and then line dry.
Follow up question – if I have a wool jersey skirt, what kind of leggings/tights should I wear to avoid static? Most of my skirts are lined, but I have a few knit skirts that aren’t, like this one: http://shop.ibex.com/Wool-Clothing/Womens-Skirts-Dresses/Izzi-Skirt
Should I be wearing wool under wool?
Cold dry air + wool = static. Unstructured/jersey skirt + tights + no lining = static cling. To avoid static cling, you need at least one fabric to be silky (woven silk, rayon, lining fabric). So a knit (jersey) skirt + tights (knit) are always going to cling to each other.
Anyone have any ideas for a satchel that is:
– black leather
– top handles
– long enough handle drop (at least 5 inches) to wear over shoulders
– very basic (not lots of hardware)
– rather structured
Perhaps like this, but with longer handles: http://www.colehaan.com/isabella-satchel-black/B46153.html?dwvar_B46153_color=Black&dwvar_B46153_width=B#cgid=womens_handbags_satchelsshoulder&start=10
I have been looking for months and can’t find anything. Meanwhile, my current bag (purchased on the NYC streets for < $50 and fitting all these requirements) is badly fraying.
Thanks for any ideas!
I replied to another poster looking for a perfect back a few days back with some discontinued J. Crew bags (why, J. Crew, why?) but it seems like the J. Crew Biennial satchel is what you are looking for. It has a 6 inch handle drop, no hardware, structured.
The only problem is that J. Crew doesn’t make them any more, so you have to find a new with tags one on eBay (not impossible, but not the greatest solution). In my opinion these bags from J. Crew are excellent quality for the price. I don’t know why they stopped selling them.
I don’t think you’ll find a satchel with straps long enough to go over your shoulder. The idea of a satchel is that it’s hand-held. That bag has a detachable strap, and I’ll bet it’s long enough to go cross body. I’ve seen similar styles from Michael Kors. Cole Haan bags are great quality!
Funny….even before getting to the end of your post, I was thinking Cole Haan based upon your basic requirement.
CH has a fe w currently on sale, including this one which I’ve had for a while. Holds absolutely everything and looks polished.
I have this in 2 colors and really like it.
Lands’ End Hartland Satchel?
Is fashion in a really uninspired time right now, or do I just have fashion ennui? Everything just looks really boring and unattractive to me lately. I’ve been looking at Pinterest and fashion blogs, and I picked up a Lucky magazine the other day, and everything just strikes me as so blah. There is nothing that excites me or really makes me think ooh I want that. It’s not like I’m some style-setter myself, but it’s nice to look at aspirational looks to at least have something to shoot for.
I think we’re also in a blah season right now. I always get a boost from new fall clothes, for example, when it’s time for sweaters and scarves and jackets, and a similar boost when it’s time to get fresh summer clothes for cookouts and running around outside. But who wants to buy new clothes for mud season? Ugh, not me.
Yes, “Who wants to buy new clothes for mud season?” is a great way of putting it!
I kind of feel the same, but I think this time of year is always that way. I’m tired of winter clothes, and not ready for spring clothes, and nothing looks good. On the positive side, my clothes spending always decreases this time of year!
I bought pink ballet flats for Valentine’s Day, and I think that’ll be the extent of my purchases until April, when I can start wearing cute warm-weather clothes again! Because who wants to buy MORE cold-weather clothes?
Definitely feel the same. More than that, I feel like stores are carrying clothes for a very different life than the one I have. Cropped top blouses? Perfect for the office, of course. Unstructured high-low hemmed everything? Excellent! Hopefully the next round of spring clothes will be better!
Must be Tuesday
Perfect way of putting it – “clothes for a very different life than the one I have.” I like a lot of stuff, but it’s not work appropriate or warm enough for winter or breathable enough for summer or it’s too dressy or too casual and shoes good for work aren’t good for walking or warmth and vice versa. Plus, everything seems so much thinner and more see-through than I remember from my younger years, requiring extra undergarments or making it inappropriate for work and many other occasions, which adds another reason why I don’t want to buy many of the items I see in stores.
Thoughts on making interfaith marriages work (and interfaith weddings!)? John Brooke is Jewish, I’m non-practicing Christian, for context. He mentioned recently that he’d like to have a Jewish wedding, and raising our kids as Jewish, although he believes that would mean I’d have to convert. I am 100% down with raising our kids Jewish, but not interested in converting. I did some research, and it looks like 1) you can finds rabbis who will do interfaith weddings and 2) you can convert kids born to non-Jewish mothers after they are born in a ceremony that sounds like a christening/baptism.
Is my understanding of this correct? Is it hard to find rabbis willing to do interfaith weddings? Would kids converted after birth (particularly as a baby) have a different experience than a kids with a Jewish mother? Does anyone have any good resources for dealing with these issues? Is there anything I’m overlooking?
It is often hard to find rabbis who will perform interfaith marriages, although certainly possible. Just be prepared for it not to be straightforward. Your children can be converted to Judaism. How this impacts them later in life will depend on how observant they chose to be. As high holy days only Jews in the US, likely not at all. As Orthodox Jews looking to make aliyah, quite a bit.
Questions I think it would be good to discuss: temple attendance, Jewish education, Christmas- in your home, with your family, out in the world.
I second the list of discussions, especially Christmas. I’m a non-practicing Jew, but feel strongly that I would not be comfortable celebrating Christmas (including having a tree or Christmas-y decorations). I’ve found that this is shocking to many of my non-Jewish friends (including non-practicing Christians), who consider Christmas to be a non-religious holiday and could not give up celebrating it. You should definitely talk about this before you get married.
Oof, this. I’ve already pre-determined that when/if I get married, my children will be Jewish, non-negotiable, and while I’m perfectly willing to bring them to my in-laws for Christmas, there will be no. Christmas. in my house. I MIGHT be willing to negotiate on a tree, covered in snowflakes and lights and the crystal Stars of David my mother bought when I begged her for a tree as a kid, but my kids are going to be those 4-year olds who debunk Santa Claus for everyone else at daycare (sorry).
None of my roommates have ever understood my discomfort with green and red everything and Santa Claus and Christmas trees decorating our apartments, because “it’s not about religion!”
All Kinds of Interfaith Experience
“it’s not about religion!”
Right. Just like “under G-d” in the pledge of allegiance isn’t the Christian G-d.
Are you my husband?
After years of arguing with him over this (I’m Puerto Rican and Christmas was BIG growing up), we finally compromised. I am solely responsible for getting the tree, and yes, it is covered with star of David ornaments. DH (who happens to be an atheist Jew) won’t have anything to do with it. We celebrate Hanukkah, and have my parents over for breakfast on Christmas. We told our kids that Santa doesn’t visit our house because they get presents for Hanukkah and Christmas so Santa wants to visit other children who are less fortunate. Of course, my older son has interpreted this as “Santa doesn’t visit the Jews.” But it works.
Why would your kids debunk Santa at daycare? To purposely ruin the holiday for a Christian family? Or because Santa doesn’t come to their house? Couldn’t the message be that not everybody celebrates Christmas, and therefore Santa doesn’t visit people that don’t celebrate? (or don’t have christmas trees, or whatever). Why does the message have to be “your parents are Santa”?
Marise, is your husband busty and blonde? If so, maybe I AM your husband!
Weirdly, I’m ok with the more pagan of Christmas traditions, like greenery, and I even enjoy the Santa Lucia traditions, and am 100% fine celebrating solstice, but American Christmas just makes me squirm.
ETA: Brant, why would I tell my kids that a jolly old man who gives presents to good children exists, but he won’t give them to us? What kind of message does that send? I don’t see any point in lying to my kids about Santa Claus if they’re not going to participate in the tradition.
So I would never in a million years say that you personally should be comfortable with a Christmas tree in your house, but as a non-Christian who celebrates Christmas, I also want to defend my secular celebration of Christmas. It’s not about Christ for me; it’s about a winter holiday with secular traditions and it does annoy me when people imply my celebration is actually Christian. It’s not; it’s a Christian holiday that I, and many other people, have appropriated for my own secular ends.
Baconpancakes, I love you but I’d be really mad if my kids were at daycare with yours. I’ve said the same to atheists who’ve expressed the same thing, that it’s ok to ruin other people’s fun just because you can. This is a live-and-let-live issue, right? Saying “we don’t believe in Santa” is different from saying “your friends are believing in a fake Santa – Santa is really their parents.”
I’m not saying I’m going to tell them to debunk Santa Claus, but if they ask if he exists, I’m going to tell them no, but some people believe in him, much like I’m going to tell them that different people believe in different gods. The issue is saying “Yes, he exists, but he doesn’t give you presents because you’re Jewish.” Because we don’t have ENOUGH of a persecution complex.
Unfortunately, kids are kinda jerks sometimes, and they’ll discuss among themselves what they’re told. We live in a Christian society, regardless of whether people actually believe that Christ was the savior, and until you put yourself in the position of being in a society where your beliefs/traditions aren’t the majority, you don’t realize how much of being the majority you take for granted. Raising Jewish kids in a “secular” Christian society is like pushing a stone uphill, and it’s hard enough to explain why children don’t get to celebrate Christmas and Easter, let alone why a real Santa Claus wouldn’t give them presents.
Goodness Bacon, that seems very harsh! I tell my kids that we have a little secret, that Santa is something that some people believe in, but we don’t, and that we celebrate differently, but it doesnt mean that we should be mean to people about their beliefs.
The fact that you want your kids to ruin Santa for other children is quite frankly, horrendous. My mouth dropped open reading the glee with which you wrote that your kids would get to ruin santa for other kids. Honestly this site has become so nasty lately- it used to just be the anons but now I feel like the regs are nasty too.
Woah, guys, I think that totally came off wrong, and you’re reading way too much into it. There’s no “glee” in debunking Santa Claus, I just don’t think I should have to work to keep up other people’s beliefs in him.
I never said I wanted my kids to “ruin” Santa, just that they wouldn’t be raised to believe in him, and kids talk about stuff. I remember being confused about Santa, asking my mother, and getting the same answer I said I’d give above. Other kids talked about Santa, and when asked what I was asking him for, I said we didn’t believe in him, which made the other kids ask the teacher if he was real, and opened up that whole can of worms.
Sorry if it came off harsh; I don’t want to ruin other people’s fun as long as they don’t force it on me!
Anon in NYC
I just wanted to chime in with a voice of dissent – I think it’s perfectly fine for Baconpancakes to tell her kids that Santa isn’t real. I don’t think she is gleeful at the idea of her kids “ruining” Santa for other kids. I really think Baconpancakes’ point is that Santa is not part of her religious beliefs and saying that she should play into that fiction infringes on those beliefs.
As an aside, I’m a non-practicing Christian and I don’t know where I come out on the Santa issue. My kid may be the one who ruins it for other kids.
Christmas-celebrators, you are all being ridiculous. Raise your kids to understand that some people don’t celebrate Christmas. That’s it. Baconpancakes, you’re totally fine.
I do this! My mom converted, but my grandparents that are non-Jewish ended up raising me. My husband was Catholic, but converted so that we could have kind of a unified front, so to speak, and we were able to find the Rabbi that married my parents to perform our ceremony.
I LOVE the smell of a tree, so we get one and it gets white lights, icicles, and I call it a solstice/winter tree. The menorah goes right next to it. But we’re are definitely secular Jews…in fact, I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that I am likely atheist, or agnostic at best. It is going to be interesting raising a kid with the ritual but without the belief that there is some deity up there you have to impress!
Gotta say, it’s really hurtful when the kids who do celebrate Christmas tell four year old you that you are bad and that’s why you’re not getting presents. Because that’s what little kids who celebrate Christmas often say. So I’ve got sympathy for BP. My family’s twist was to lightly make fun (at home only) of those silly kids who actually believed that some guy could fly around the earth and deliver that many presents in that short a time, in blatant violation of all laws of physics (we had a lot of science talks in my family). That way, when some punk kid was telling you that you were a bad person, you could just side eye them and say “ok honey, whatever”. We were told not to enlighten those kids because it would ruin their childhoods.
godzilla, just to be clear- I don’t celebrate Christmas.
We’ve had this conversation as it pertains to us, and found what works for us– we’ve lived together since college– but thanks for the reminder that these traditions may be different once kids are in the picture!
I know of a couple that is bringing their kids up in the Jewish faith (Dad’s faith), but protestant mom is not converting. I’m not sure how all the details worked out, but there was a bris, they’ve joined the synagogue, etc. Your best bet is to probably to meet with a rabbi of your desired movement/denomination and see what all is required.
My parents did this. At the time, the local Conservative synagogue would not let them join, but they did find a great community (reform/reconstructionist). My mom has never converted but wasn’t another religion to begin with (raised nominally Christian, but she’s atheist). She has always participated in the synagogue — committees, etc. — and has been very active with holiday celebration at home (building a sukkah, cooking feasts for every possible holiday, etc.). My parents did not convert us as kids, because Reform synagogues are okay with that. I did convert later in life just to cover all bases for my own kids, but I kind of regret it.
Why do you regret it, if you don’t mind me asking?
I’ve been a practicing Jew my entire life, so it seems silly to have to bow to particular standards rather than just taking a stand. But it should make our kids’ lives slightly easier (no worries about what kind of synagogue they can join, finding rabbis to marry them if they want to get married by rabbis, etc.).
I agree, it is a little bit silly to have to “convert” when you have been practicing for that long. But I’m really glad my mom “officially” converted, because it saved me having to do it. My favorite Rabbi used to always say, “if it walks like a Jew, talks like a Jew, it’s probably a Jew.”
Is John Brooke a reform Jew? The likelihood of finding a reform Rabbi who will perform an interfaith wedding is better than finding a conservative or an Orthodox (no way, no how). If a Rabbi will not do it, a cantor may be able to do it where it would involve all the traditional elements (chuppa, circling 7 times, breaking the glass), but just not performed by a Rabbi. As for the kids, I don’t think they’d need to convert unless your husband is conservative or Orthodox. My understanding is if they are reform and they say they are Jewish, then they are Jewish. You can do the traditional baby naming or bris (circumcision), take them to a mikvah, send them to Hebrew school / Sunday school, they can be a Bar/ Bat Mitzvah, etc. I can’t imagine them having any different experience with a Jewish mother than a non-Jewish (but not any other religious religion) mother.
As for resources, I would go right to the source — find a Rabbi you like and talk to him or her.
Yep, a good friend of mine is reform/conservative-ish, father is Jewish, mother never converted, but kept kosher for Passover, makes a mean kugel, and Jewish guilts along with the best of them. The Jewishness of my friend and her two siblings was never questioned, and I believe at least one sibling had a Jewish wedding.
I don’t think there’s any real problem with you not converting, if you raise your kids Jewish, but you should realize that a lot of being a Jewish household depends on the mother/wife. To really raise your kids Jewish, you should learn the Shabbos prayers (candles are always lit and blessed by women), be able to throw a Passover seder, make your own “best” version of some kind of Jewish food (kugel, latkes, or chicken matzoh ball soup are preferred), and be comfortable with running a Jewish household. That may not mean keeping kosher or following all the laws, but the identity of a Jewish family is important. It’s a very family-based religion.
Thanks! Are weddings performed by a cantor different/lesser than those performed by a rabbi?
All Kinds of Interfaith Experience
It depends who you ask. If your kid ever wants to move to Israel and become a citizen, watch out! Even I might not qualify as Jewish because I can’t produce a declaration from an orthodox rabbi on the approved list who knew my mother. Google around a bit to read the horror stories. NYT did a story a few years ago about a non-profit that helps diaspora jews navigate the rabbinute.
You might get different answers from different synagogues, schools, cemetaries etc.
My ex was a observant Jew from a family of observant Jews. Yet, we had great difficulty finding a rabbi to marry us because his grandmother’s conversion was supposedly not up to par.
I don’t know the precise answer to your question. But I suspect that like most things in Judaism whether something is different/lesser depends on which branch of Judaisim is involved. Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist or whatever.
What branch is your guy anyway?
Reading that he is conservative. If he wants a conservative rabbi to marry you it will be near impossible (ie someone will be breaking the rules to marry you). Our rabbi has known my partner since birth (he was the rabbi to do his Bris and naming ceremony) and has known me for the past 10 years as I attended the synagogue whenever we were home, helped with family funerals etc. He knows me very well. He likes us both very much. He wanted to attend our wedding even when I hadn’t decided to convert. He wasn’t able to find a way to even attend our wedding as a guest without breaking the “rules”, before when it was me not converting and us still getting married and he was feeling horrible about it. And this is at the most liberal of conservative shuls that I know of. So yes, there are ways to find people to marry you, but if he is picturing a conservative Jewish wedding service…that means you convert.
R in Boston
Co-sign on LLY. One of you is going to have to convert – either you formally to Judaism or him informally to Reform/Reconstructionist. I’m a cultural Jew married to a non-practicing non-denominational Christian (i.e. Christmas only, not at all religious) in a liberal area and we had trouble finding a rabbi. And the Jewish woman/non-Jewish man is easier to find a rabbi for than your situation. Be prepared for a lot of nasty folks. That said, we did find one guy and he appears to be THE GUY – he’s done every interfaith marriage I know of in the area.
Also, I’ve found Christmas was not difficult to negotiate between my husband and me (none in the house, but I will go to his family’s place and be pleasant about it), but it was WAAAAY harder to negotiate with my in-laws. They are mystified and irrationally angry about how we are handling it, even now, 12 Christmases into the relationship. We are also childfree, but we have been told on more than one occasion that if we did have children and they couldn’t know the magic of Christmas, my mother in law would hate me forever and/or die. All this from a family that is otherwise relatively nice to me.
I think some Reform synagogues have associate memberships for spouses who don’t convert but who are still interested in being involved and helping to raise the kids Jewish.
All Kinds of Interfaith Experience
This is what I was referring to below. At our Reconstructionist synagogue, there is no “associate membership” (separate but equal?) for non-Jews.
Sounds like a great idea if he is open to a Reform synogugue.
The “no-goyim-on-the bima” thing is real. I have friends that sufferred through their kids’ BMs not allowed on the bima. They felt like lepers.
Certain reform synagogues will allow this. I’m the child of an interfaith marriage, my dad never converted, but we were raised Jewish (with a secular Christmas and Easter with family). My father was the first non-Jew on the bima for my brother’s bar mitzvah back in the mid-90s. It opened doors for others going forward and is no longer prohibited there.
Really? Even in the Reform synagogues I’ve been in that was prohibited. Interesting.
I’ve been to a number of Catholic-Jewish weddings officiated by a rabbi, so I’d say the wedding part is definitely possible.
Does you intended expect you to modify your behavior in order to raise your children as Jewish?
For example, does he expect you to keep a kosher home ? If so, it will not be only your children who cannot eat shellfish, pork or milk/meat at the same meal. Does he believe that having the woman of the house (because it is a woman’s job) must light shabbat candles and say the correct prayers? If he does, you will be the person who is required to do that.
And the big one for most interfaith couples I know…….are you willing to forego the Xmas tree if he feels that it should not be in your childrens’ home?
Honestly, I think it’s highlyyyyy doubtful that someone who is so Jewish as to keep Kosher and expect there to be a “woman of the house” would consider marrying a non-Jew.
The Xmas tree thing is very real though and should be talked about!
Not necessarily (re the “woman of the house” expectations). One reason I considered marrying an atheist, raised-Catholic ex-boyfriend was his willingness to participate in Jewish rituals. When we had Shabbat, I would light the candles, and he would recite the kiddush, and he helped me lead a Seder multiple times. I don’t think I could marry someone who wouldn’t participate in those rituals, because they are very family-oriented.
I am actually in this potential situation. I am seriously dating someone who was raised conservative and is now reformed. I was raised very catholic and am now an atheist.
The person I’m dating has expressed the desire to keep keep a kosher house once they have children. They would also want to join a synagogue and attend services on holy days.
It had never occurred to me that I would need to convert. I do not see myself finding a faith of some sort in g-d so converting for “cultural” reasons strikes me as disrespectful (although I would of course keep kosher at home, would be happy to attend services, participate in seders where appropriate, etc.)
I just assumed that we would participate in my family’s holidays, as in always go to a relative’s house for the holiday and potentially even attend a church service with family. I am very known to be an atheist within my family and everyone respects that I do not practice catholicism on my own. But out of respect and love for my family, I always respectfully participate in the parts of the religious and cultural observances that it would be respectful to do so. ie attending mass with my parents but not receiving communion.
How soon should I raise these issues? We’ve only been dating 6 months but we’re in our mid-30s and seem to be heading in a serious direction. I’ve never dated anyone who was remotely devout (of any religious background) so I’ve not really given how to negotiate matters of faith in relationships much thought.
Any advice is helpful. Thanks!
Now. I raise this very early in relationships. Faith or lack thereof is a big life thing, no sense in waiting until you’re completely emotionally invested to realize it won’t work.
I can understand if, at 6 months, you aren’t quite ready to squarely raise these issues. Instead, you might want to examine just how observant he is. Is he kosher now? Does he fast on Yom Kippur or other holidays? Does he drive on the sabbath and holidays? How regularly does he attend service?
Personally, as a Jew, I think that one thing that is different about Jews is that some, perhaps many, don’t subscribe to the idea, that you can share in another person’s religious observances.. One type of Christian may be quite comfortable attending and participating in a service at a church of another sect. Jews who observe generally will not particpate in the observance of any non-jewish religion.
Oh, and it’s Shiksa, not Shiska.
Dude, i clearly need to bring this up. Can’t even get the terms right!
Thanks all for your advice. I grew up in a very jewish part of the country so have a lot of general awareness, but this conversation is making me realize how little I really know about the faith. We’re going away together this weekend. I think this might be a car ride conversation.
I am Catholic and having an inter-faith Catholic / Jewish wedding in the fall. I called up a Cantor recommended by my venue. He quoted his price and it was a done deal. He is at a reformed local synagogue. The actual performing of the wedding ceremony part should not be an issue.
Good to know that it can be that easy! Are you also having a priest, or just the cantor?
Some rabbis and cantors who are willing to officiate at an interfaith wedding will decline if there is a clergy person from the other faith also officiating. If you want a dual ceremony, you might have to search a bit longer for the right officiant.
Also getting married this fall and we want a rabbi and a priest. Some rabbis will agree if you agree that ultimately you are getting married pursuant to Jewish law, and the presence of the priest is just that – a presence.
I am also having a “priest” who was a Catholic priest but then got married so honestly I’m not really sure where that falls. He and the Cantor perform interfaith marriages together frequently. I’m separately pursuing a separate route to get my marriage recognized by the Church but that is a different story. Also, we are doing religious pre marital counseling with both sides.
I think you have to work this out with John. You can always find someone who will marry you but I think the conversion question is the bigger one for the two of you. My fiancé is also Jewish and like you, I’m not but I’ve come to learn conversion is a really big deal if you plan to have kids and I think it does make a difference for the kid. They’ll always have an issue that you’re not Jewish by birth and I wouldn’t make that worse for them by not converting if your plan is to raise the kids Jewish.
All Kinds of Interfaith Experience
I was raised an American Reform (so Reform we were basically secular with eight gifts at Xmas) Jew. My first husband was Catholic. My husband is Israeli, raised what he calls traditional and I call Orthodox (e.g., rarely went to synagogue, but when he did go, it was gender segregated). Now, we attend a Reconstructionist synagogue, and it works for both of us because it is egalitarian (for me) and has more traditional liturgy (for him).
I never had kids, so I can’t speak to that. His kids were raised in Chabad, which makes me angry on behalf of my step-daughter, who had a “Bat Mitzvah” on a Sunday without a Torah because she’s a girl but, who never noticed the difference because that’s the way she had been treated by Judaism her whole life. Needless to say, if we had met earlier and his kids had been half mine, they would never have set foot inside Chabad.
I think that if I were you, I would embark on some serious exploration of different kinds of Judaism (six Jews, 23 kinds of Judaism!), how you feel about each, how each would affect you, and what Mr. Brooke feels about each and wants for his marital home and kids.
In some strains of Judaism, your kids will not be considered Jewish if you don’t convert: before you marry, before you conceive, before you deliver (take your pick). And I highly agree with anon at 10:41 who asks what logistical things Mr. Brooke will expect in the house. There is no way for one member of a household to be shomer Shabbat (Sabbath-observing) and the rest of the household not to be. None of the lights can be turned on, no one can drive or cook or use the phone, etc.
I highly recommend looking into Reconstructionist Judaism. Our synagogue (about 500 families) has many, many interfaith couples/families and all members are treated equally: everyone gets to stand on the bima when their kids have a BM and read from the Torah, unlike in many Reform synagogues where the non-Jewish spouse/parent has to stand not on the bima because s/he is not Jewish. Aaargh.
I am marrying this fall a conservative Jewish man after dating him for 10+ years. I am in the process of converting at a Liberal Synagogue (in London) but all the steps are being confirmed by the conservative rabbi that is marrying us. I would highly suggest that even if you are not interested in converting that you take exploring Judaism classes at the synagogue that you will be attending. Even if you are not converting, raising your children Jewish means having them attend a synagogue to prepare for their Bar/Bat Mitzvah’s and you will need to have some comfortableness of being in that environment and some background knowledge. The class I am currently taking has a whole mix of people that are just interested in knowing more abut Judaism, those that are going to convert, those that are marrying someone that is Jewish etc. These classes also take you through a year of holidays so you learn how to prepare for passover, purim, yom kippur, etc.
Something to consider, when you get married or have a child that is Jewish it actually gets registered. Maybe your current synagogue will accept your marriage, and accept your children as being Jewish, but it is important to realize that your children know that other synagogues might not in the future if they move somewhere else. This is one of the reasons that we are making sure my paperwork says a Conservative Jewish instead of Liberal Jewish because Liberal Jewish only really exists in London. Again not a big deal most of the time, but when you register as a member at synagogues they sometimes will ask for your paperwork. Just a good conversation to have a with a rabbi when you are having children to make sure they are converted at birth if necessary.
Its also hard to give advice here because literally every Jewish household follows their own guidelines. For example we try to attend services either Friday or Saturday, but do not keep a kosher kitchen. We will host a seder for passover, but I am not going to be throwing out all food with leavening. So you really need to talk to John Brooke and see what he wants.
Personally for my partner and I we have had to have many conversations about what we see our future traditions being. For example I am okay with not decorating for Christmas, not doing Christmas. I am not okay with giving up making the 12 varieties of cookies that my family has been making for generations and generations. That is my cultural heritage that I want to pass down to my children. Finding ways to take what traditions I find most important in my Christian holidays and sharing them to our future children throughout the year with a Jewish calendar has been a good conversation. I always loved getting Christmas pjs with my siblings. Okay so instead of getting them on Christmas eve, we are going to do New Year’s Eve pjs.
I love the way you’re bringing your traditions into the family!
My ex-husband was a secular Jew, and I’m a fairly devout Christian. We did not, at all, expect faith issues to be a big deal for us, but ultimately they *really* were. The best advice I can give is to realize that your and his personal religious faith is something that can evolve over a lifetime, and to be prepared to navigate changes in how you feel about all of these things. For example, particular types of holiday observances may feel more important if you have children; one of you may become more or less (which is what happened in my marriage – by the end, my ex-h had become more of a Richard Dawkins atheist) observant or devout over the lifetime. Accept that these are decisions that may have to be revisited over the course of your life together.
Raising your kids as Jewish can be very expensive – especially preparing for the B. Mitzvah. I’m sure you will be fine with that, but you might want to start mentally preparing for a slew of expenses that Protestant families don’t think about.
And I love LLY’s NYE PJs.
Related – I’m Jewish but my sister-in-law is Catholic. My brother and SIL are raising their daughter Catholic and her Christening is this weekend. What do I give as a gift? I honestly have NO idea.
In my area of the county (SW) money is always appropriate. So is a nice religious item like a small rosary, a frame with a cross, children’s bible, etc. I have noticed at the ones I have attended that if the gift-giver is not of the same faith, they usually give money, whereas close family/godparents, etc will give the more religious things.
interfaithfamily.org is a great organization, webpage, newsletter, pro-Jewish, pro-interfaith families.
Disclosure: I am Jewish, husband is not, we’ve made it work, I’ve written for them (my opinion article was that religion was the least of our differences :)
Looking for a somewhat specific (possibly unicorn) winter coat suggestion.
I love the look of the Canada Goose parkas, and everyone says they’re super duper warm. And, let’s be frank, they’re in right now. But I can’t get past the real down/real fur issue. Has anyone seen something similar in style and warmth (and for the love, maybe half the price?)
I’ll add a link to one in a reply for reference.
This is the style I’m really liking: http://www.canada-goose.com/shelburne-parka-3802L.html#start=1
No specifics recs, but North Face is worn by a lot of people here in Winterland.
Why not try one of the ultra-warm Lands’ End or LL Bean coats? Way less expensive. HOWEVER, any of the ultrawarm coats are going to have down unless you go with a patagonia primaloft or similar like this one http://www.patagonia.com/us/product/womens-das-parka?p=84110-1
LL Bean similar style to the one you like: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/61708?feat=512918-GN1&page=baxter-state-parka&attrValue_0=Black&productId=1015487
Primaloft is the best down alternative out there. Look for jackets that have their insulation.
I have a Canada Goose coat that I got last year in July for a steal. I wanted Canada Goose because I wanted a coat that was not made in a sweat shop. Canadian Goose jackets are made in Canada. I also got one without the fur trim so that style is available. I love it. Its so warm. My suggestion would be to wait until summer and grab one on a sale if you can.
I am very curious about Canada Goose parkas. Everyone seems to have them right now. Are they really worth almost triple what a typical down coat costs, or is it all about the conspicuous branding?
90% conspicuous branding. There are better insulating coats for the same/lower price with much less ostentatious branding.
Such as? I keep hearing comments like this, but I’m not sure what you consider the good alternatives. Espicially in terms of being as warm. Suggestions greatly appreciated!
I’ve had many down coats. I’ve lived in a very cold city for the past 28 years.
My Canada Goose is by far the warmest one I’ve ever had. No doubt there are some that might be as warm but I knew I would not have to worry about that with Canada Goose, I knew for sure it would be.
I don’t care about the branding. If I did, I wouldn’t be driving a Dodge Grand Caravan when most of my colleagues have BMWs, Audis etc.
I just want to know I will be warm.
Just an FYI, I’ve always understood that Canada Goose never goes on sale. They only ship to stores once a year and usually sell out, so it’s tough to find any at the end of the season. They should only be bought through an authorized retailer as there are a lot of counterfeit.
And, they were recently bought by an American company (about a year ago), who has promised to keep the quality the same. The quality of mine is fantastic. It looks BRAND NEW despite being worn daily for several winters.
I avoid down for ethical reasons. I have an old London Fog jacket with similar styling to the Canada Goose one you posted, though I’m not sure what their current line is like. Also, if you care about such things, London Fog will not be made in North America (although it will be a third of the price).
For ethical coats, I’d look at Patagonia, which has both an ethical down sourcing policy (still a no-go for me, but maybe ok for you? Certainly going to be way better than most down on the market) and some synthetic offerings. The Fiona and Vosque are both on sale right now – the Vosque will be very warm, if the style is good enough for you.
If ethical down is OK, I have this jacket and love it: http://us.aritzia.com/product/bancroft-warmest-parka/41217.html?dwvar_41217_color=1707#start=1
I would caution that it can be a little snug in the hips and you might want to size up from your usual.
Thank you everyone!
Alanna of Trebond
I think you may as well go full animal-killer and get a shearling coat. It is warmer than any down coat I have ever had.
I have an interview tomorrow for a judicial clerkship and the temperature is supposed to be below zero. I’m planning on wearing a charcoal grey sheath dress and matching jacket. Would it be acceptable to wear black tights and black heels with this? Or should I go for black or nude hose?
Omg wear tights!!! First, in most major cities they are just as formal as hose (which are beyond unfashionable but I understand the legal field has not caught up with that), and most importantly you will not look like an idiot who is freezing.
I think you’ll be fine with black tights and black heels. Nude hose will look really silly in sub-zero temps.
Yeah, if it’s above 85 or below 10, I think you get a pass for adjusting your outfit to be climate-appropriate.
As anecdata, when I was a clerk and speaking with candidates who came in for interviews, I negatively judged the ones who had bare legs or nude hose. If people did not own and were unwilling to buy/wear a single pair of tights or at least thick black nylons for an interview, it made me question whether they would actually be okay living in a cold Midwestern city. GOOD LUCK!
Are bare legs ever appropriate in an interview? I live in a hot and humid place and sometimes you just have to suffer through stockings for certain business formal events.
Yes. In California. In tech and lots of industries. Probably other places too. Know your industry.
Non-profit in the South, tights or hose in the summer I would find very odd, even in an interview. In the winter tights are fine, hose would still be weird.
Texas. You’ll only see women wear hose during the 2-3 months of 50* temps they call winter, no matter the industry.
Wait, nude hose are not okay for an interview in your city? Or were all of these interviews conducted when the temperature was less than 40 degrees F? I wore nude hose to my clerkship interviews in July and August and was offered a clerkship, so I think they are fine in my area of the Northeast.
Yes, these interviews were in the winter.
That’s wrong. So wrong. I’m wearing nude hose tmrw to an interview because they are the most formal option and what I feel best in. Because I’m not an idiot who is going to die of weather, I will be wearing leggings over my hose and under my skirt and removing them at a nearby bathroom.
Dinging people for hosiery isn’t something to brag about.
Yeah, it seems like people ding applicants for all sorts of weird things.
My judge apparently dinged the candidate before me for weird eyeliner, but then again, I’m guessing if the candidate were otherwise a good fit, the eyeliner wouldn’t have been an issue.
It seems so funny when people come on here and talk about dinging applicants for petty things. Every job interview I’ve ever been on has been all about my work and my experiences and involved really difficult questions about work-related issues and experiences. I can’t imagine doing a great job at answering all the hard, substantive questions and then having someone say, “yeah, well, did you see she had a hair tie on her wrist? How can we hire her?” Serious people in serious jobs care about real things. Not tights or hair ties.
Having said that, of course, you have to look professional and put together. Having a glaring issue (wet hair, cleavage, etc.) probably shows some bad judgment and/or lack of experience, but aside from huge things, I can’t imagine getting or not getting a job based on hosiery. And, if that was the case, I don’t really want to work for or with that person anyway.
One of my colleagues started going on about how a candidate (otherwise stellar) who had “too many semi-colons in his cover letter.” My colleague was shut down at that point and we moved on with that candidate. Nitpicking over that kind of thing when a candidate is otherwise well-suited is just silly. I did have a situation where a candidate wasn’t as interactive as I would have liked when we were doing a tour and talking about potential projects for this job. My colleagues told me later that she was in horrible pain because of shoes. To me, that shows poor judgement. Especially when it affected her impression during the interview. But she still got the job.
+1. I think wearing “what [you] feel best in” is the most important. If you are always a tights, never nude hose, person, wear tights! Being obviously uncomfortable in an interview is way worse than wearing possibly-slightly-different-than-expected legwear, IMHO.
No one was “dinged for hosiery”, to be clear.
Inspired by the Canada Goose question – Does anyone else have issues with down jackets leaking feathers? I have a North Face one that’s a few years old that’s having this problem, and I’m hesitant to spend a lot of money on a new coat if it is just going to start leaking feathers all over me. What is the “shelf life” of a big down coat supposed to be?
Thats one reason I love my Canada Goose coat – the fabric is very thick, so it feels like its going to be a lot more durable . My North Face jacket had a ton of stitching and a much lighter fabric and I think that allowed more down to creep out.
I’ve wanted a Canada Goose, but I can’t stand the logo patch. Would it be ridiculous to buy one and take off the patch?
If the patch is sewn on, you may have issues with the down leaking through the thread holes. The reason jackets leak is due to how “down proof” their fabric is. Clearly, North Face did not choose a particularly down proof fabric, but Canada Goose does. I’m also not a fan of the massive branding. I personally have an Arc Teryx synthetic down coat that works down to insane Polar Vortex temperatures and has very little branding. There are definitely other alternatives out there!
I just looked at that site. Nice. The one I liked was $650 though.
I got the Burnett Parka Coat which has a pretty low key logo patch compared to some.
How long do BR suits typically hold up?
Depends on how often you wear it.
I’ve had mixed experiences. I have a basic black one with a bit of stretch that faded and looked pretty bad after maybe a year (although that included nearly daily wear and a half dozen dry cleanings during a 2 month OCI period). However, I have a navy BR skirt of a similar material I bought freshman year of college that looks great 7 years later. My other BR suits (I have 5 – the petites fit me nearly off the hanger) still look brand new 3-4 years later with medium wear.
how much is medium wear? like once a week?
bridesmaid dress resale resources?
I will be wearing a pastel, floor-length bridesmaid dress for a wedding this spring. It wasn’t cheap, and I know I’ll never wear it again. Are there any good resources for reselling these dresses? Even if I got 25% of what I paid, I’d be happy. It’s beautiful and well-made, by a popular designer, so I imagine someone would want it.
Ugh brides that don’t choose BM dresses that could even have a slight chance or being re-worn. Don’t know any resources, but I feel for you.
I know… don’t get me started. It was almost $300. I’ve never spent that much on a dress for myself for any occasion! I love her and I don’t want to complain (I did agree to do this, after all), but I would at least like to get a little money back for the dress.
I also wonder about dyeing it black. Has anyone ever done that? It’s silk chiffon.
I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could. You could also get it hemmed to cocktail length if you think you’d wear it that way more often.
Real silk dyes well, fake silk or man-made fabrics do not. Take it to a dress-dyer and talk about it, as even things like the stitching material affects how it will dye.
It could cost a lot to get it dyed/hemmed, and you still may never wear it… if you want a black dress, get one you actually want and like. Trying to salvage an expensive purchase is often money down the drain.
I sold a $400 vera wang bridesmaids dress on ebay for about $40. Better than nothing!
So timely! I currently have a floor-length blush-pink strapless dress hanging in my closet. Not a good look for this busty redhead. I told the bride she was lucky that I love her!
If you can’t sell it you can donate it to one of those prom-dress charities.
S in Chicago
This is exactly what I was thinking. Slight tax deduction is better than nothing, right? And, more important, you could totally be making a lot of happiness for some lucky girl.
Try Ebay or Tradesy.com – if it’s a popular/current style, I’d imagine you’ll have no trouble selling it (one of my bridesmaids just bought her dress for our wedding off of eBay and saved almost $100!). Also, WeddingBee and some other wedding sites have classifieds sections where you can list bridesmaids dresses for sale.
I just have to say I am laughing so much at this thread to see BM referencing both bar mitzvah and bridesmaid, because to me it means something VERY different.
Bowel movement or B-milk? :-D
Bowel movement is always the first thing that comes to my mind!
Yesterday’s thread on budgeting for kids really freaked me out! I work in biglaw, and we are starting to think about having kids pretty soon, but I also know that I want to leave this job in the nearish future. Currently living in HCOL city. I haven’t made too much headway into my 150k loans because we were trying to build up emergency savings. It would be great to make large payments towards them, but feels like a bad idea after reading yesterday’s thread. But then that means I’m still making almost 2000/month loan payments for the next however many years. Add to this an expectation that I gift to/support my parents in some way (since we are the most financially stable in my family), which I am willing and love to do. . .
We could definitely be better about being more frugal, but it’s just starting to feel like I don’t know how we would feel comfortable if I ever took a lower paying job. I know that sounds crazy, and we are relatively speaking some of the richest people in the country , but it just feels like the golden handcuffs are slowly gilding themselves. I think part of this is just money anxiety that I tend to have. I guess I just wanted to vent and… not sure what I’m looking for really in response… Commiseration? Advice? Assurances?
I mean, if you have 150k in loans, can you actually afford lavish gifts? Can you afford your lifestyle at all? Why aren’t you paying 2k a month with a big law salary and no kids? You can obviously afford children. I think the financial difficulty is right now without them you’re not making good choices.
+1. Harsh but true. Maybe time to really sit down and come up with a budget, if you haven’t already.
I don’t think the comment is harsh at all. The OP is making the mistake of looking at income as a gauge of what she can afford, without considering assets and liabilities.
When I start down this sort of path I try to stop myself and remind myself of all that I DO have, and to be thankful for that. Eg. I have a law degree and can use it. I have liquidity, I have time to save up for children, etc etc…
Anon For This
If you’ve been in biglaw more than a couple of years and still have 150k outstanding in loans, you should probably have a sit down and look at your budget anyway, particularly if you’re planning on kids and especially if they’re high-interest loans. It sucks to make those massive payments, but it sucks even more to have a non-dischargeable debt if anything happens to that biglaw income. Whether it’s cutting back on expenses, getting a cheaper place or taking less expensive vacations, there is very likely some room to both take out your loans faster and build emergency savings. The advice I was given was to start living on what I expected to make post-biglaw in year zero, and that literally every extra penny above that should go to (a) student loans, (b) maxing 401k and (c) savings. This includes gift expectations, because for most people your biglaw income is probably only going to last a few years, and the pay cut you’ll take when you leave will, can depending on what you do next, be massive.
To the OP: Your parents should not expect any support or gifts from you. If they love you and care about you, they will want you to be able to pay off your student loans and start a family. If you are really serious about taking a lower-paying job and starting a family, calculate what your income will be after the job switch. Then subtract the cost of child care and start living on what’s left. Throw the extra into savings and extra student loan payments. It will be difficult, but lots of other people have done it and you will survive.
To Anonymous, it sounds like the OP is already paying the $2K/month standard payment and is just frustrated that she doesn’t feel she can afford to pay extra because she needs to save up for kids, so she will be stuck with the $2K/month payment for the full 10-year term.
This is great advice.
That’s all really awesome and true in principal, but I still carry a lot of debt because I’m not one to say “no” when my kid brother calls and tells me they are out of food and money, and it is only the 15th, oh and by the way the heat is probably getting shut off (Alaska!!), so can I please send money for groceries and pay the back heating bill? Sometimes you just have to support your parents, whether they deserve it or not.
I’m not saying that the OP’s situation is that dire, but I pushed off student loans for some time due to having to support family.
Ummm also and your horse and home remodel though right? Choices. You have them.
So do you. Be nice.
I actually AM in a lower-paying (government) job and the budgeting for children thread yesterday truly, truly stressed me out. Though I tend to ascribe to the “don’t borrow trouble” mentality, and told myself not to worry about these unborn kids of mine just yet, my concerns about how I will afford all this are legitimate and something to think about. I suppose I’m offering you commiseration. Le sigh.
The thing that freaks me out the most is childcare for 2+ kids. I can handle daycare for one baby. We’ve got that figured out and it’s in the budget. I have NO idea what will happen when we (hopefully) have a second. $3000 a month for daycare?!
“$3000 a month for daycare?!”
This. I can barely fathom it.
ETA: Someone downthread said that “for most people, saving for retirement, owning a home, and having any emergency fund are luxuries.” I would add having children to that list. Also, I guess I’m one of the “most people.” Certainly NOT what I had in mind when I went to law school.
You’re not living a very frugal lifestyle if you still have 150K in loans. On the biglaw salary, it’s not that hard to pay $50K a year to loans, even in a very HCOL area, especially if you live with a partner who also has income. I know people who have paid significantly more per year. Take a long look at your spending and figure out what you can cut out.
I understand – those high salaries go pretty fast when you’re paying back loans, paying rent/mortgage in a HCOL city, trying to save for retirement AND building up an emergency fund. I am the sole earner in my household right now (husband in grad school), husband and I are paying off two sets of loans (that we have gotten down to $20k), paying $2K in mortgage each month (which is pretty low for my area), trying to aggressively save for retirement to take advantage of a very generous company matching policy, and I’m pregnant.
We don’t have any extra money for anything else. We are still trying to put $1k in savings each month to add to our emergency fund and create a cushion for the new baby, but it’s hard. I just remind myself that for most people, saving for retirement, owning a home, and having any emergency fund are luxuries. The fact that I’m doing those basic things is pretty great and will pay off in the future.
But I could never take a lower-paying job. I just can’t. So yeah, I feel ya.
Are your parents willing/able to provide childcare? We are helping to support my MIL, but do it in exchange for childcare. It’s not a cost savings per say, but it is a way to help her with out stretching ourselves too thin.
Other than that, track everything you spend for a month or two and decide what can be cut. Before we started TTC, we paid off car loans, paid down CC balances, cut cable, re-negotiated insurance premiums, everything we could think of to lower monthly expenditures. It’s still tight now, but manageable.
It seems to me that some of these responses are overly harsh. Mortgage or rent in a HCOL city is easily $3,000/month if you want to live in a nice part of town in a nice apartment. Yes, you could live in an older apartment or with a roommate or in not the best part of the city, but really, when you’re working BigLaw hours it is so important to keep your mental state intact by having your home be your haven. It sounds like she IS putting $2,000 per month to her loans, which is likely the 10-year plan. In addition, she’s probably building up at least 6 months of savings to pay for that HCOL apartment and loans in case anything should happen to her job. And probably also maxing out her 401k. But als0–there’s a good chance that the student loans are at very low interest rates if she took them out anytime in the past 6 years, and maybe she’s been advised that paying them back fast isn’t actually that financially beneficial. Let’s not act like she is irresponsible and doesn’t understand her situation.
I guess I feel defensive for the OP because my situation would have sounded similar a few years out of law school, but it all has worked out just fine. 2-3 years out of law school and into a BigLaw job, I hadn’t made too much headway into $200k in student loans due to the low-interest-rate-don’t-bother-paying-’em-too-fast advice/mortgage in a HCOL city because it seemed that I needed to get on the property ship or miss it altogether/building up emergency savings/maxing out 401k/etc. However, by the time I became a 4th year my salary had gone up significantly, so it was easy to start making extra payments to my loans, and I paid off the remaining $100k in 2 years. Now I can take all of the money I was putting to loans (both the base payment of $2,500/month and the extra I chipped in the last 2 years), plus any salary increases/bonuses, and put them all to savings for a family. I can save a LOT of cash this way relatively quickly, so I don’t at all have the feeling that I would be stuck in BigLaw if I decided it didn’t work for me anymore after I start a family, even considering the crazy costs of childcare.
With that said… other jobs I have looked at pay half as much as my BigLaw salary, while requiring at least 80-90% of the work, if not actually more than what I do in BigLaw. I like being able to afford nice things and the idea of being able to send my kids to private schools if I decide that’s best for them, while at the same time still saving a lot so that we will have financial security in the future. I also like the seniority/respect level I’ve achieved at my firm and in my field, and love the flexibility of my job to say, go to a doctor’s appointment in the middle of the day or work from home to wait for a plumber without telling anyone.
I guess my point is a) the OP seems fine to me if she still has at least a few year to go before kids, and b) just because other jobs may be lower paying, doesn’t mean they’ll be lower-stress/lower-hours/more flexible.
Wow – LA, thank you so much for this response. It really helped make me feel a bit more at ease.
I debated responding to some of the “harsher” comments with more details and explanations, but it seemed like a bad idea to try to defend myself to internet strangers (that yes, I know I solicited) on every aspect of my financial and personal life choices.
I think there was a little bit of truth in everyone’s comments (some more than others), so definitely appreciate everyone’s input!
My 6 year old cat has been at the vet all week. This morning, the vet said that she is not getting better and recommended that I consider putting her to sleep. I was expecting to have at least another 6 years with her. I’m having a hard time at work now. I’ve got a huge meeting tomorrow, so my current plan is to spend another hour getting what I absolutely must geting done today and then go to the vet’s office, spend the rest of the night wallowing, and try to put it out of my mind tomorrow.
I’m not sure what I’m posting for. To get it off my chest? Any advice on how to put it out of my mind tomorrow?
Oh, I’m so sorry. Pets are like family; that’s rough. I’ve never actually had success putting my dog down out of my mind, but it does get better over time.
Not much advice, but virtual hugs to you. If you can, take some time for some self-care this evening.
I’m so sorry. What’s wrong? That does seem very young.
I’m so sorry that you are going through this. Internet hugs!
I’m very sorry. I lost my beloved kitty a few months ago and I’m still getting blindsided by grief for her at times. You cannot expect yourself to be 100% tomorrow. I was making other people cry just by answering the question “How are you?” Please take care of yourself and try to take at least part of the day off tomorrow if you can at all.
I’m frustrated and nothing is going my way these days. I’m also having a problem with awful people in my life who are just plain awful to me, and it’s getting me really down. Any thoughts on how to let it go/feel better? I’ve been taking most things in stride, but I feel like my breaking point is fast approaching.
Are these “awful people in my life who are just plain awful to me” individuals you can choose to stop dealing with? I can’t tell if this is personal, family, or work-related, but at the risk of stating the obvious, you may just need to take out the trash.
The issues really run the gamut. The people issue is a family issue. I don’t talk to a lot of them, but I can’t avoid all the problem people unfortunately. I’m also having work frustrations that are out of my control that are compounding my frustration, though.
Ugh, I’m sorry! I would cut those awful people out of your life asap – ain’t nobody got time for that. Then I would find a room in my house where I could scream/Godzilla rawr at the top of my lungs for as long as I wanted/needed to. Then I would go for a long run (preferably outside).
I hope things get better soon!!
I kinda love this dress.
I work in a business formal-ish environment (suits for big meetings, blazers and dresses for regular days.) Was thinking this for a meeting-free day at the office with more formal accessories and possibly a blazer.
Am I insane?
I think that would be fine with a blazer. Its made of suiting material. My only hesitation would be that the hem looks asymmetrical, so I’d want to make sure that the shorter side wasn’t too short.
Not with that assymmetrical hemline.
+1. The hemline reads “whimsical” to me, which isn’t the image that I would want to project in the office.
But if you LOVE it, you should get it and wear it on the weekend. Like the posters above, I’ve reached the point in winter where I hate all of the clothes.
All Kinds of Interfaith Experience
I so want the second half of your handle to be “Bob!”
and I totally read it as Shiksa not Shiska & was confused about the “Bob” comment.
I read it as Shiksa too and wanted to add “Goddess” on the end and was confused on the Bob comment.
That “Last Five Years” viewing binge this weekend really got to me…
Is this okay for a nicer business casual work environment? As in business casual, but I wouldn’t look out of place if I wore a suit kind of dress code?
Killer Kitten Heels
Similar environment here, and I probably would only wear it on a Friday. Something about the neckline plus the “wrap” look seems a little too casual in an office full of suits and blazers and what-not.
I read it as “dinner party hostess” not “business casual”
The asymmetrical hem does it in. Otherwise, with the black and white, and a black or white blazer on top, I think it COULD look powerful enough for that kind of environment.