Happy President’s Day! The Top 25 Sales!

Happy President’s Day! Here are some of the best sales…

– Last Call by Neiman Marcus: Feb. 20 only: take an extra 60% off designer styles, 3 hours only!
– Ann Taylor: Take an extra 50% off sale styles and 40-50% off select styles with code ANNSPRING.
– LOFT: Huge sale, with prices up to 75% off the original price.
– Boden: 15% off plus free shipping and free returns.
– J.Crew: Take 20% off your order of $150+ with code FABFEB, online only.
– Nordstrom: Shoe clearance! Save up to 40%.
– Yoox: Up to an extra 70% off!!
– Bluefly: Presidents’ Day Sale, extra 40% off (now up to 80% off).
– Endless: Up to 50% off sitewide for Presidents’ Day.
– Lord & Taylor: Presidents’ Day Sale, 20% off regular and sale with promo code PRES.
– The Limited: 40% off your total purchase, including markdowns, with code SAVE 40.
– French Connection: Take 30% off sale with code FCPRES.
– Amazon: Up to $20 off Presidents’ Day Sale. Enter promo code PRESDA10 for $10 off $50, or PRESDA20 for $20 off $100.
– Bare Necessities: Presidents’ Day Sale: Save $20 on your $99 purchase + free shipping with code PRESIDENT20.
– Freshpair: Presidents’ Week Sale: Take up to 60% off.
– Tory Burch: Spend $250 get 20% off with code PRESDAY.
– Anne Klein: Up to 75% off all sale merchandise, ends 2.21.
– Banana Republic: 25% off already reduced styles, ends 2/20. Use code BRPRES25.
– Bloomindgale’s: Big Brown Bag sale, save 20-40% off through 2/20.
– Brooks Brothers: They’ve dressed 39 out of 44 presidents, and have a clearance sale of up to 60% off.
– ASOS: Sale, up to 70% off in The Outlet.
– Gap: Red White and Blue even, save up to 40% off select styles.
– Macy’s: Presidents’ Day Sale! Extra 15% off with code PRES.
– Old Navy: Get 15% off any amount or 20% off $100 or more with code ONSAVEBIG.
– Zappos.com – End of Season Clearance, free shipping on everything from shoes on sale to discount clothing!


  1. Has anyone ever had their credit card limit lowered? I just got a letter that my limit on my card has been reduced by 2k because of my credit report. I obviously was panicked so I ordered my free credit report and.. it looks fine. My score is 722, and I have 8 accounts in good standing. I do have one delinquent payment for a student loan, I moved and forgot to change my address, so my $50 perkins payment was 30 days over due in August last year. I paid it in full the next month and its the only payment I have ever missed. I have stopped using this credit card (just paying it down) and am wondering if that is why? Or does one missed payment really mess up your credit report that bad?

    • heatherskib :

      It’s probably due to your reduced usage. happens to me frequently

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve had the same experience.

        • me to! FOOEY! But I went OVER my limit (ALAN DID IT), and then the bank lowered MY limit after the manageing partner took away my credit card from work.

          So I NOW only have 1 AMEX card (no perscribed limit) and ONE VISA (w/$6000 limit).

          I have to watch it alot, b/c I LOVE sales.

          I also DO NOT give my card # out to Alan to use for booze any more. FOOEY ON HIM!

      • Really? So like its actually punishment for reducing my usage.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Well from their thought you’ve become less of of a good customer – instead of racking up a balance and interest, you are actually reducing how much they can make off you.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Exactly, it is punishment. ;) It’s happened to me, too, btw. It does not seem to have affected my credit score (which is ~780), so unless you really needed the higher balance for the near future, I wouldn’t worry about.

          • No I’m just taking it as a personal insult haha. I guess it makes sense from the good customer standpoint but I don’t like how they said it was because of my credit and got me all freaked out. I don’t need the balance, I just know available balance is one of the things that affects your score and they made it a lot tighter by reducing it.

    • Anon for this :

      I work for a large retail bank, and my guess would be the bank is reducing its exposure — likely across thousands of customers, so you are not being singled out.

      Banks are relying more heavily on factors beyond your FICO score as well, so it may be some other element in its algorithm (such as 8 accounts or your zip code or your student loan balance), that’s causing the reduction, no matter what the credit report number.

  2. I just cleaned up at the LastCall sale — I think it’s only going for like 20 more minutes. Got a pashmina wrap, a Lauren Merkin clutch, a cashmere cardigan for me, a cashmere cardigan for my MIL, an “embellished bolero” (maybe good for holidaytime? we’ll see), and, darnit, just realized I bought a second LM clutch that had been in my bag already. Grumble.

    • Kat, if you call them, they’ll probably take the second clutch off your order. I’m sure it hasn’t shippet yet and they normally have good customer service.

  3. i am planning my first ever trip to paris for this May. I will be there for 4 – 5 days to celebrate a milestone birthday. any recommendations on where to stay in the city? I am looking for either hotel or area recommendations – and any other advice. so excited!

    • Check the website OhHappyday (www.ohhappyday.com) written by an American who is living in Paris with her family this year. She’s got a great guide to shops, streets, etc.

      My favorites in Paris are the Rodin Museum and the Musee de Orsay. Otherwise, have a blast!

    • Eat as many crepes as you can pack into your stomach. If you eat meat, make sure you have a classic steak-frites at least once, accompanied by some voluptuously-bodied red wine. For food, I’d try to get away from overly-touristy areas; price goes down, quality goes up.

      As far as stuff to do goes, I looooove the Louvre. (And I’m not even a real Paris enthusiast; I am just seriously obsessed with that museum.) I mean, duh, but it’s incredible. I could spend weeks in that place, and would recommend venturing outside the typical areas–I really enjoyed their ancient art collections, especially the Mesopotamian temple walls. The Sainte-Chapelle is also breathtaking. If you’re into history, there’s a cool mini-museum underneath the square in front of Notre Dame; can’t remember what it’s called, but it has excavations from the Roman-area city.

      Have fun!

      • Oh, and I might get filleted for saying this, but if you’re going to skip any Stereotypical Parisian Attraction, for the love of God, let it be the Champs-Elysees. That place haunts my nightmares. Overcrowded, overpriced, basically felt like a mockery of itself.

        • I would also say you can skip Versailles. It is far out of town so it takes a big chunk of your time, and I did not think it lived up to the hype at. all. The hall of mirrors? Not as cool as it sounds.

        • Salit-a-gator :

          Yep, Champs Elysees left me thouroughly un-inpressed.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I agree with both of these.

          Versailles was something I had always wanted to see, particularly Marie-Antoinette’s cottage village, so I was happy to give up a day for it. The grounds are beautiful and fun with all the little hidden nooks, and the palace is huge and historic, but it’s not worth the solid day if it’s not of interest to you. None of my friends went with me.

          LOL, the Champs Elysee is kind of like Vegas without the irony. Loved the Luis Vutton shop shaped like handbags. We all loved going up to the top of the Arc du Triumph, though – and we only walked down it to get to the Arc, otherwise it would have been a waste.

          Speaking of things to skip, I didn’t bother going up the Eiffle Tour. The line was huge and I didn’t care.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          +1. The Champs-Elysees was full of chain stores, overpriced mediocre cafes, and hordes of tourists.

          • I would not make a day of the Champs Elysees, but I would swing by on the way to something or other, maybe stop by for a macaron at Laduree. It’s so iconic, it just makes for a fun detour. But I wouldn’t spend more than an hour on all this, and would figure out a way to make it convenient.

            That said, I would definitely go to Versailles. It’s just such a nice, easy day trip. And in May it should be particularly gorgeous. The hall of mirrors may be overrated, but the grounds are spectacular and the cottages are something else altogether.

            I think there is so much to do in Paris, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. I would highly recommend just taking an afternoon to sit in the park or get lost somewhere. Definitely go to Montmarte and the Sacre Couer – it’s magical. Walk along the Seine. Eat lots of croissants.

            As for where to stay, I’ve stayed near the Luxembourg Gardens and in St. Germain, and enjoyed both. Marais is also nice if you want something less touristy and more of the moment. Montmarte would also be a great not too touristy area. Ile de la Cite is very romantic. If you don’t stay there, you should definitely take a walk through. Unless you can swing the George V, I would not stay near the Louvre. Same for Champs Elysees. The Paris Metro is great so just stay somewhere that’s near a good subway line, and you’ll be fine.

      • Don’t miss the museum d’orsay!!!

    • Salit-a-gator :

      Make sure you go to the Sacre Coeur Church – it’s accessible from downtown Paris via public transportation, it has a gorgeous view of Paris and is a great place to see the sunset and grab dinner afterwards. Locals come to congregate on the steps and hang our waiting for the sunset. It’s one of my favorite places in Paris!

      • We just went in June and stayed at an apartment through homeaway. It was fantastic because we had lots of space and free wireless internet, also no worries about people going through your room while you are out an about (I know that bothers some people). Also, the neighborhood we were in had a great farmer’s market where we bought cheese, fruit, veggies, etc. and used that with wine from the super market around the corner, and bread from the local bakery for breakfast and evening snacks on most days.

        Look into the Paris museum pass. We didn’t save a lot of money using it, but we got to skip all the lines. As a result, instead of waiting in the drizzle for 3+ hours at the Louvre, we were in in under 20 minutes. Tip though, buy it at a less popular destination. We chose Saint Chappelle (which has breath taking stained glass windows btw). Also check what days things are closed!

        I agree with Salit-a-gator, Sacre Couer is great. Going in the evenings is fun because Montmatre (the area behind the church) is just fun to wander about in. Musee D’Orsay is one of my favorites. The Catacombs are unique if you want something truly different. Also, I agree with elz about the Musee de Rodin. Try to go if the weather is nice because the sculpture garden is much more enjoyable. Finally, Place de Vosges is a place that is not usually on people’s list. It is the oldest “square” in Paris. It has chocolatiers in the area, lots of art galleries, but it is also a neighborhood park with families walking around, and great little cafes. A unique place to spend part of any afternoon.

        Bon voyage!

      • If you go to Sacre Couer, just make sure you don’t let any of the bracelet guys on the steps get one wrapped around your wrist. They are very aggressive, and I thought I was going to get pushed down the steps when I crossed my arms (so they couldn’t grab a wrist) and said no repeatedly. You can google it for more info. I’m really glad I knew ahead of time. I liked the church itself, but we walked there and back and ended up in some pretty sketchy neighborhoods in which we didn’t speak any English and walked as fast as we could.

        The catacombs were the most amazing experience ever. Seriously impacts you.

        At the Eiffel Tower, we were treated really, really badly at the restaurant. So instead, we went to the bar one level down, had a bottle of great house wine and free nibbles for super cheap, with an unubstructed view of the city. (It was mid-afternoon, I think.) Highly recommended. We didn’t go all the way to the top. The little bar was perfect.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Fun, fun, fun!

      I would stay near Notre Dame / Ile de la Cite. I stayed at a place right across the bridge (Sorbonne, I suppose), and it was a great location: Reasonably safe, convenient to the main sights and metro, and atmospheric. Sorry, no specific hotel to recommend. It was in my hostel days.

      This was (loosely) my itinerary. I was studying in France, so I was there for an extended weekend in November.
      Day 1 (evening only): Strolled through the Ile de la Cite, Louvre, and Tuileries. Got ice cream from a street cart and listed to street musician play accordion.
      Day 2: At the Louvre when it opened. Happily spent the entire day there. After dinner, walked the Champs Elysees and went up the Arc du Triumph at night, which is spectacular.
      Day 3: Sightseeing in the morning (Sainte-Chapelle, etc) and Eiffel Tour in the afternoon.
      Day 4: Versailles. Get up early to be there early. It gets *crowded.* Use public transportation rather than a tour – it’s an easy metro to bus trip. Leave plenty of time to walk through the grounds.
      Day 5: Left

      The only thing that I wished I could have seen was the Eiffel Tour light up at night (check youtube – it’s great), but otherwise I wouldn’t have changed a thing. I think the best way to do that is to stay at a hotel within view – or perhaps to eat dinner at a nearby restaurant.

      My big tip is to eat a large breakfast and pack a lunch. I found a packed lunch was more convenient, tastier, and cheaper than what you can get at the tourist spots. Plus, it’s more fun to be sitting in the gardens, etc.

      Also, get dinner on a prix fixe menu if you can. They are typically the best price for a good multi-course meal, and are a nice way of selecting dishes.

    • DEFINITELY do the museum pass. You will save all kinds of time on lines. Also, there is a side door into the Louvre (can’t remember details, but it is in a line directly to the left of the glass pyramids as you are standing at the top of the U) that will likewise save you tons of time.

      The Metro is super easy to use.

      Restaurants are very, very expensive, even for New Yorkers. We saved lots of money by filling up on the free breakfast at our hotel, just having a snack for lunch, and then a full restaurant dinner.

    • I visited Paris for a few days several years ago, and my favorite memory is a little picnic my friend and I put together in the Champ de Mars. First we went to the rue Cler (a street market where you can buy plenty of tasty cheese, bread, fruit, etc.), and then we headed over to the park and just sat on a bench and soaked everything in while we ate. It was peaceful and quiet despite being pretty close to the Eiffel Tower, and the weather was beautiful. If I ever get a chance to go back, I plan to do it again. Have a great time!

    • All the above tips are good, but I would add that if you are a foodie and are looking forward to eating, really do your research in advance and get out of the “tourist” district. The best meal I had in Paris was in MonMartre (the neighborhood near Sacre Coure) in just a random restaurant/bar I walked into. I had a few other good meals in places I walked into, but the restaurants in the heart of the tourist districts tended to be over-priced and sub-par. This is true all over Europe, but especially true in Paris.

      • merci for all of the helpful insight! any tips on paris dining as a vegetarian?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I am lactose intolerant, so Paris was the hardest place I’ve ever been. I learned to say “I am allergic to milk products” in French, which helped a lot. Some places still didn’t think of butter as a lactose product, so some elaboration was occasionally necessary. I strongly recommend you learn to properly say a French phrase like “I am vegetarian. I do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, including chicken stock and bacon.” It seemed to me that the French were much more willing to (grumpily) assist tourists that attempted to speak (very, very bad) French.

        • Learn to say “I am sorry I don’t speak french, do you speak any english” and “what is in this dish” or something like that. But be prepared, my experience is that many europeans believe that “a little bit of ham” or whatever doesn’t count.

          Self-catering, fondue, cheese plates, etc. may be your best friend.

          • Agreed about the trying to speak french thing — I actually found french waiters to be pretty friendly when I was polite and apologetic about not speaking french and at least made an effort. I was also a single woman traveling alone so that helped.

        • God bless your soul and bonne chance. I don’t remember seeing too much in the way of vegetarian options the last time I was there, but you’ll have a better chance of finding veggie food in Paris than in the countryside. France does offer a good amount of salad-type options, but I remember those as being mostly on the lunch menus; I particularly like salade au chevre chaud/hot goat cheese salad, which is delicious.

          One specific veggie/vegan plug: Maoz. I haven’t been to the one in Paris, but I’ve been to their location in Madrid, and it’s dirt cheap (3E for practically all-you-can-eat) and DELICIOUS. I will say this again: DELICIOUS. One of my best friends was in Paris last spring and practically lived off of it. From a quick Google, looks like both of them are accessible from metro St-Michele, so are easily accessible from Il-de-la-Cite and Notre Dame. Hit that.

          • Oh, duh, Maoz is falafel.

          • Honestly, I could subsist on the bread in Paris and nothing else, so I don’t think it’s the worst place in the world to be vegetarian. But it may take getting creative with dinner options. I would google vegetarian and Paris — I am sure there are at least a few guides.

            Agree that the falafel in Paris is amazing. Chez Hanna in the Marais is fantastic.

          • I was in Paris as a vegetarian. Salade au chevre chaud, omelets, crepes, pastries and chocolate was all I ate, and it was great. I had a few more unremarkable meals than my traveling companions, but not the end of the world. Then again, I’m pretty happy to subsist on just pastries for weeks at a time, so ymmv.

        • If I were vegetarian, I might make a project out of self-catering in Paris and visit some of the amazing markets and cheese shops and gourmet stores. They are amazing and you can control what you can eat.

          Check out a blog like this http://www.ipreferparis.net/food-gourmet-shops/ to get an idea of what’s available!

        • two words: Baguette and Cheese ;o)

          • Suited Up :

            Also, don’t forget about all of the vegetarian-friendly ethnic food. I had the best Indian food of my life (I’ll qualify that by saying that I’ve never been to India) in Paris! I wish I could remember where the restaurant was! But some of the best food in Paris, in my opinion, is ethnic- it is an incredibly diverse city. As a vegetarian, I had a bit more trouble when I was traveling outside of Paris finding a proper meal. Have fun! I was there last May and the weather was incredible!

          • Flunch. Not fancy, but locals eat there too. You can stop in to eat a huge veggie protein heavy lunch and then eat at more charming places later. It has a buffet with lentils and things (meat too) and wine etc. it’s a cafeteria. I ate there as a kid on trips with family, now I eat there on business trips then meet my colleagues a 1/2 hr later at the places with only meat/fish. Seriously- this might be your lifesaver. I ate at one in Toulouse daily last year. I’m sure they are still around Paris too.

    • Hotel Castille. So nice and clean and centrally located!

  4. Uh – did GAP/BR site crash? They’re not open for the selling.

  5. MissJackson :

    PSA to Access Group account holders: it appears that Access Group went and sold off a bunch of loans to other lenders without any advance warning to account holders. (found out about it from a friend who was impacted, and sure enough my remaining loans are all listed as “transferred” to another lender as well — my friend and I are both from the same law school class, so not sure how widespread this is).

    You might want to log in to your account to see if your loans were transferred. Presumably they have to alert you to this eventually.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      This happened to me as well. I found out because I was trying to switch the checking account I use for auto withdrawal. I had the money in both the new and old accounts, but neither had the payment taken. Meanwhile, the AG website said paid on due date. Finally, I looked today and my account is delinquent and says I have no auto withdraw set up! So essentially, they transferred part of my loans which interrupted my pending autowithdrawal change and so no payment was made and when I called, it’s my fault! Good thing I showed them the letter they sent last week telling me my auto withdrawal application was on file but may not go into effect for 60 days. Ahem!

      I hate that there is no customer service whatsoever for student loan companies.

      • Anonymous :

        As much as I hate forking over so much money every month to my loan servicers, I will say that I’ve only had good experiences with Great Lakes’ customer service and I think their website is actually really well designed to present all of the information I want to see.

        My other major group of loans is with Nelnet, and they’re absolutely horrible. The website is like a 7th grader’s tech class project. It’s cutesy and completely nonfunctional.

        • Have to agree, they have my little private loan and I like them better than the feds.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Thanks much MissJackson. One of DH’s Access Group loans was sold to ACS – surprise! ACS is of course offering its typical level of customer non-service, has no idea when the loan will be visible online, whether his “new” ACS loan will be linked to his other ACS loan, how to set up autopayment for the “new” ACS loan, and how to make payments on the “new” ACS loan because ACS doesn’t actually have access to any info about the loan yet, just that it now owns it. Fabulous. At least we knew about it, so, thanks.

      • MissJackson :

        SF Bay Associate — this is pretty much the same song and dance that I received from ACS today, too. I had a loan serviced by ACS that I paid off last year, but no one could tell me whether that old login info would be linked to these “new” loans or not… or when anything would be accessible.

        My friend was told that her automatic payment (which was supposed to happen TODAY) would still occur and be properly applied, but the jury is still out on whether that happens or not (as of this afternoon, the money had not been withdrawn from her bank account).

        • Eloise Speghetti :

          This is exactly what happened to me. She might have to force payment on the loan to make sure it doesn’t go delinquent!

    • The federal government did the same thing when they moved to a new website – cancelled everyone’s automatic payments and didn’t tell anyone. Lovely!

      • Does anyone else hate Direct Loans (the Federal Government consolidation lender) as much as I do? I figured out long ago that breaking my payments down and paying weekly is far more effective at shrinking my loan and knocking down interest than paying one lump sum every 2 months… but Direct LOSES or HOLDS my partial payments unless I call and yell at them. Then they try to charge me for accrued interest anyhow. If Direct were a person, I would totally want to kick its a$$…

        Access isn’t that bad, comparatively.

  6. Hey, does anyone have the lightweight wool suit from J Crew Factory? I just called customer service and the measurements sound pretty big to me! Any sense of the fit? Thanks!

  7. Just wanted to give a shout-out to Z a p p o’s. I placed an order this morning, and had to update my shipping and billing info since this is the first time I’ve gotten anything from them in a couple of years. But when I got my emailed confirmation, the shipping address was still wrong. I called customer service and got the nicest, sweetest, and friendliest representative I have ever spoken with on the phone, who not only quickly resolved the problem, but upgraded me to VIP even though I am by no means a regular big spender. (See, years-old shipping address.) Yay for customer service success!

    • Zappos has amazing customer service – one of the many reasons I love buying from them.

  8. Anonymous :

    Loving the Scallop Trim shirt from Boden BUT its sold out for eight weeks. Does anyone know of a copycat blouse from another retailer?

  9. Question for the corporettes..

    A few years back I began a new job and struck up a friendship with a coworker. We got along great, ate lunch together almost everyday, etc. it was nice and made work that much more enjoyable. Things later took a turn for the worst and soon we were barely speaking to each other. I can only speculate as to why the relationship soured (we are both hyper competitive, I started making new friends at work) but I am ashamed to say that my behavior toward her during this time was very regrettable. She soon left for a new opportunity and in trying to make amends I sent her a good luck card with a thoughtful note – though I never directly mentioned the situation. She never gave me a response. That was 3 years ago and since then we have exchanged the occasional “congrats” on Facebook when our children were born but not much else. Recently she added me as a friend on another social networking site. I’d like to catch up with her but I am too embarrassed of myself and worried about what she thinks. I have learned my lesson since then but what is the best way to handle the situation? I feel too forward now asking to go to lunch as I’m not sure how she would react. Should i mention this situation at all or say nothing? Can this be repaired? Not looking to be BFFs but I’d like to be friends again.

  10. Coach Help :

    Any ideas about finding the Coach Chelsea Patent Leather Tote (in teal) at a sale price? So far:

    * not at Coach factory store online
    * not at Coach factory store that I telephoned
    * on sale at Macy’s online (promo PRES for 15% off and free shipping), but it doesn’t apply to Coach products

    Must I really pay full price?

    • The only time I’ve been able to get discounts at Coach is when they mail me a coupon a couple of times a year. One just ended a few weeks ago otherwise I’d offer it to you. Sometimes department stores will have Coach stuff on sale at the end of the season, but it’s luck whether something will be there or not by then, and Coach stuff is generally excluded from store-wide sales. Coach factory stores have different models (and lower quality) than the regular coach stores. So yes, full price is probably your only option for that particular bag :(

    • I usually see a lot of Coach bags at Nordstrom Rack, Last Call and Off Fifth.

    • Like Coach on Facebook, I think they have a coupon right now for Facebook Fans.

    • ChristinaMD :

      Keep calling the factory stores/outlets. Several years ago my Mom *really* wanted a tote, I tracked it down to the outlets – she got effectively half off, and when she went into the Macys later that week it wasn’t even discounted yet. So they will sell current merchandise.

      I would also try to use all the discount sites you can to track it down.

  11. Sorry if this posts twice as I was in moderation!

    A few years back I began a new job and struck up a friendship with a coworker. We got along great, ate lunch together almost everyday, etc. it was nice and made work that much more enjoyable. Things later took a turn for the worst and soon we were barely speaking to each other. I can only speculate as to why the relationship soured (we are both hyper competitive, I started making new friends at work) but I am ashamed to say that my behavior toward her during this time was very regrettable. She soon left for a new opportunity and in trying to make amends I sent her a good luck card with a thoughtful note – though I never directly mentioned the situation. She never gave me a response. That was 3 years ago and since then we have exchanged the occasional “congrats” on fb when our children were born but not much else. Recently she added me as a friend on another social networking site. I’d like to catch up with her but I am too embarrassed of myself and worried about what she thinks. I have learned my lesson since then but what is the best way to handle the situation? I feel too forward now asking to go to lunch as I’m not sure how she would react. Should i mention this situation at all or say nothing? Can this be repaired? Not looking to be BFFs but I’d like to be friends.

    • I've Been Your Former Colleague :

      I’ve been in your former colleague’s position twice.

      One of my former colleagues did everything she could to make sure I didn’t become partner before she did. (BigLaw.) I did. She got even nastier. Eventually, I left that firm. On the rare occasion that I see her at a bar event now, she will usually say hello and one neutral-sounding (but I know better, nothing with her is ever without an agenda) comment before moving on into the crowd. If she tried to make any kind of repair attempt, I would dismiss it because I would know that it was not genuine.

      The other former colleague and I had a little bit of a rocky meeting once. We work in different offices of a very large organization (13,000 employees), so I didn’t interact with her very much. One day, months later, when we were leaving a meeting together and were alone, she stopped and turned to me and said something along the lines of, “You know, I think about that meeting where you and I xxxx all the time. I feel really badly about that. I hope we can move on.” She was so clearly genuine and so clearly had no agenda (unlike former colleague no. 1, above) that I took her at her word and never thought twice about it again.

      • I agree. I think an apology goes so far, and we are way too slow to give them whether it’s because of embarrassment or pride or whatever. Just do it – no harm to you, you’ll probably feel better, in fact, and it will help heal a relationship.

    • repairing relationships :

      If you were truly at fault, and you’re truly sincere in your apology and desire to move on, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask her for some coffee after your next bar event and say that you’d like to clear the air. I would be open that you know situation XYZ turned out badly, and that you’re sorry for your part in making it go the way it did. Apologize for your poor behavior, say you’ve learned from the situation, and that you’d like to move on toward a better relationship with her. I highly doubt anyone would turn down a sincere attempt to make amends. I agree that a random lunch invite out of the blue would seem odd, but an invitation for a quick outing after an event that you both attend would be better. And, I would definitely say that it’s because you want to talk about situation xyz, so that she can gather her thoughts/temper her reaction on the drive/walk to the outing.

    • I don’t think you can repair the relationship and credibly attempt to catch up with her without an apology. Something simple, like in I’ve Been Your former Colleague’s second example, seems appropriate, followed by an invitation to catch up, if she’s open to it. Either way, good luck, and kudos to you for admitting (even to yourself) that you were wrong; that is really difficult.

    • Clueless Summer :

      I have been the recipient of such an apology and it was very well received by me. In fact, when I think of “friendship” I often think of that moment. We were in a different situation in that we were young and very close when the falling out occured, but several years later after we started bumping into each other again, she reached out. As a success story of friendships…we are now very close again and I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. She emailed me (which I wouldn’t necessarily recommend or not but it was the way she chose) and just said, similar to I’ve Been Your Former Colleague’s situation, that she thought of our falling out often and it had been a deep regret to lose my friendship and she hoped I could forgive her for what she had done.

      I think it was very brave of her and I think whether or not I had wanted to pick up the friendship, I would have appreciated the gesture. I think to be the one to offer the olive branch you do have to take the fault on yourself and apologize. In my situation, certainly we were both at fault, but she was in the more powerful position so I appreciated her taking the fault on herself completely.

  12. CPA to be :

    Has anyone seen a good looking navy blue cocktail dress out there anywhere? I’m in full-on CPA exam lock-down study mode, so I haven’t been out to look in person recently, but I thought if any of you have seen anything attractive, I might be able to get it on sale today. I’m petite, fairly thin, and hour-glass shaped. TIA!

  13. Ah, mean girl lawyers! Remember, that someone can accepet your apology, but decline to restart the friendship.

  14. “Friend” rant. My friend broke off her engagement a few days ago, shortly before her wedding. She said she had known for a long time that she wasn’t going through with the wedding. She is now in a relationship with a man she has been spending a great deal of time with for well over a year. She has asked those of us who are good friends with her ex to not tell him about the new relationship, which is difficult because he suspects and has been asking questions. She has already opened and used the gifts from the shower and the wedding, so she won’t be returning them.

    I try not to be judgmental of other people’s choices, but it’s hard to think of her decisions as anything other than immature and dishonest. I feel terrible for her ex and I HATE the possibility that I would have to either lie to him or “betray” her confidence. The money from the gifts/bridesmaid dress/bachelorette party aside (which I’m pretty annoyed about because I had to pinch some serious pennies for this wedding), I feel taken advantage of, as I’m sure many people in her life do right now. She has a history of selfish and inconsiderate conduct and I really think this is the last straw for me.

    • She sounds like a crappy and inconsiderate friend… life is too short to deal with people like that.
      That said, I would not get involved with talking to the ex about it– just be vague and be like ya I dunno, we don’t really talk about her love life but I think she has been seeing other people. That way, you are not involved, yet at the same time, you can help him get over it by not letting him hold out hope that there is still a chance.
      Just a question– if someone like that opens the gifts then gets married a yr or 2 later, are you obliged to get them a new gift? How does that work?

    • disclaimer: i had no bridesmaids at my wedding and have made it all the way to my mid-40s having been in only one other person’s wedding, so this may be wholly inappropriate, but . . .

      what about inviting as many of the other bridesmaids who also are stuck with the dress and matching accessories for a dressed-in-that-dress night out (maybe in, depending on the dress!) and drinking and noshing?

    • karenpadi :

      Ouch! That was a really awful thing for her to do. Especially not returning people’s gifts.

      FWIW, if it was really the last straw, and I was not interested in maintaining the friendship, I would answer the ex’s questions. But no more. He deserves to know why the wedding was called off.

      I have a feeling that this was the last straw for everyone who was planning to attend the wedding and sent gifts. Trust karma on this one.

    • Why would you want to continue to be friends with her? She sounds like she does not have good character. I wouldn’t want to spend my time with someone like her.

      I wouldn’t call up the boyfriend and tell him, but if he asks you, I’d tell him the truth. Sounds like you’d be better off staying friends with him than with her, and he does not deserve to be lied to.

      • Agree with the why would you still be friends with her. To split the baby on the exbf/friend pull, if the bf asks I would say “honestly, I have not been able to think of her the same way since she called off the wedding like that. I have distanced myself from her”

      • I dumped a high school friend for similar many many years ago. I bought the stupid dress when I was in college- I did NOT NOT have a few hundred extra dollars- and she failed to tell me it was off until the week before, ruining my xmas break. She used money gifts to get a boob job instead. We haven’t spoken since except one time on the phone when I answered by accient and politely listened for a few minutes. My other friend kept in touch and didn’t fully understand my harsh reaction. For me it was way too inconsiderate- life is too short.

    • MissJackson :


      I have a friend who called off a wedding (because she had fallen in love with another guy, and had cheated). Relatively quickly after she called off the wedding she was with the other guy, which was hardly a shock to anyone who knew her. When the old guy asked questions, I declined to lie but I also declined to answer — I just said “I think you should keep those kinds of questions and conversations between you and [ex-fiance].”

      Fast forward about 5 years: my friend and her new guy are still blissfully in love and were married last year. Her ex-fiance was married to a new girl about a year prior. Everyone is better off than they would have been had they gone through with the marriage.

      I think that you need to try to cut her a little slack here. Can you imagine the stress associated with calling off a wedding? Breaking that news to your parents? Probably losing some big dough? Having to explain to everyone that you called it off? Having to face the fact that some people who know about the new guy know WHY you called it off?

      You’re right — this is a complete pain in the butt for you. But I would try to take a step back. She’s probably in a lot of pain. Personally the way that I deal with that kind of pain is by shutting down (which to the outside world sometimes makes me seem a little cold/heartless). I bet that she knows that you pinched pennies for this wedding. I bet she knows how much inconvenience she’s caused everyone. Isn’t it possible that she’s just not ready to deal with all of that yet?

      (As for opening/not returning the gifts — isn’t it possible that she was in denial about this for some period of time? And that she wanted to pretend that it was still going to happen?)

      Anyway, I don’t know this girl — and you’ve said that she has a history of being selfish — so only you can decide whether this is really the “last straw”… but I would at least consider trying to be her friend right now (because I’m thinking that deep down she might really really need one).

    • Research, Not Law :

      Eww. I’ve known two people to cut off their engagement, one the week of the wedding, and neither acted like that. They both described having a feeling that something wasn’t right for quite a while, but they didn’t carry on after knowing they weren’t going through with the wedding. They certainly didn’t even want the wedding gifts; they felt so much remorse for inconveniencing everyone. It was a very hard time for them, not a time to jump to a new beau. I also had a friend whose fiance cancelled the week of their wedding. He was deflated. It was so hard to see him like that.

      I wouldn’t be interested in a friendship after witnessing her behave like that.

    • “She said she had known for a long time that she wasn’t going through with the wedding. . . . She has already opened and used the gifts from the shower and the wedding, so she won’t be returning them.”

      Man, she opened and used the gifts knowing she wasn’t going through with the wedding? What a witch. I think if I had doubts, I would have held off on opening and using the gifts.

    • Eloise Speghetti :

      Tell your friend that her actions are off trend. We are going through with the wedding and then getting a divorce 72 days later if we want to keep the gifts. Hello! You cannot have both!

      If you value your friendship, just stay out of it. And that’s all you have to say is, “I am staying out of this. But I am really sorry about what happened.” (And my cute friend Eloise from my lady blog is single.) He will figure it out. Someone else will ‘fess up or see her with new guy in public or he will follow her until he finds out. By saying something, you are putting yourself at the center of the drama.

      I used to always tell my friend’s husbands on my friends who are a-holes and it always comes back to bite me in the butt. And he always “already knew” but it was always “my fault” he found out. Save yourself the drama and just avoid it. Once he finds out, offer to let him vent over some margs. It never worked out keeping those women as friends.

      And for the love of dreary February keep us updated. I’ve got popcorn at my desk.

      • I love this comment.

      • Totes McGotes :

        Love this, and +1 on the request for updates to liven up a lame month. On that note, I’m *still* waiting to hear if Batgirl smooched a rando.

    • I was a bridesmaid to a now-former BFF in a twice-called off wedding to her long on-and-off-and-on significant other. This also meant TWO bridesmaid dresses at considerable expense. The first time she called it off well in advance, so they were able to get their deposits back, and went into couples’ therapy. The second time she called off the wedding was a few weeks before the new date. She took all the bridesmaids out to a nice dinner and then announced she 1) called off the wedding again a couple weeks ago; 2) was dating her high school boyfriend, who she hadn’t seen in over a decade; and 3) she was going to marry said former high school boyfriend in a semi-elopement within the next three months. I never liked the former fiance much, he wasn’t a bad guy but he wasn’t a good match for her. I was frankly glad that she had called it off. I know it was really, really hard for her to call it off – very expensive, huge loss of face, tons of guilt, and walking away from a relationship that she’d been in for years and years. I am sure it is one of the hardest things anyone could ever do. She also returned the wedding gifts, which must have been very difficult emotionally.

      However, the jumping into another relationship and getting married ASAP part left me flabbergasted and I said as much at the dinner – why rush into another wedding, especially with a guy you haven’t seen in a decade?? Don’t you think you should wait?! She was very, very upset when I said that. I did not attend the semi-elopment, which was in another state on a weekday, and she hasn’t spoken to me since. Through friends, I hear that her husband is a good man, that they have a child, and that she is very, very happy. I am so glad it worked out for her, but that series of events left our friendship irretrievably broken.

      I agree that you should not lie to the fiance, but strongly suggest you avoid getting involved or commenting in any substantive way about what she’s doing. Even if you are never friends with her again, you don’t want to invite drama into your life.

    • You didn’t ask for advice, however….she admitted she knew for a while she wasn’t going to go through with the wedding. Perhaps this other man is the right person for her or this is a regular pattern of behavior for her…who knows. But, that aside, she takes your friendship for granted and she asked you to lie for her. That’s not cool. At all. Maybe if you were in high school and she was asking you to cover for her for something teenage-y and lame. Not this. She isn’t someone I’d be proud to call my friend.

    • Wow, this would bother me on many levels. The time/energy people invest into prepping for the wedding of a friend or family member is not trivial. If the ex asked me directly about another man I would say firmly “You need to ask her.”

  15. PSA: I just scored a ton of shoes from the BR store at under $20 a pair after discount. It’s worth checking out! Some of the shoes I got are still $60- $80 online.

  16. Diana Barry :

    I braved the outlets today (and took both my kids with me!) and got a beautiful Kate Spade satchel in lime green for $199. Woohoo! :)

    • What a deal! Just got back from my Dallas/Ft. Worth trip. I scored a gorgeous pair of Coach pumps for $63. Love them!

  17. polynesian sauce :

    Ladies, does anyone know about the Austin legal market? I’m in SF big law doing patent lit and am contemplating applying to firms in Austin. Just wanted to see if anyone had any insight to share. TIA!

    • I can’t really speak to biglaw, but I have a friend in Austin who is looking into smaller patent firms and he has gotten a decent amount of interest. He’s on the prosecution side of things, but it sounds like many of the firms do both.

      • polynesian sauce :

        Thanks, MelD! That’s encouraging to hear. Any sense of how hard it is to break into the Austin legal market? Didn’t grow up there but parents are in Texas now, and I’m hoping to be closer to them.

    • Harder to infiltrate the Austin market – most of the patent lit gigs are either in Houston or Dallas. Most of my friends went in-house to stay in Austin – law firm gigs didn’t give enough room for advancement (because cases were usually run out of other offices) or just generally weren’t available (or required you to split time with other offices). Friends that are in-house in Austin area love it though.

    • Austin is incredibly difficult to break into because the University of Texas graduates about 500 people each year and about 99% of them would stay and work in Austin if given the opportunity. Also, the legal market is smallish and the vast majority of legal work is lobbying and other governmental-type work. Finally, there is a growing (perhaps unfair) resentment among Austinites regarding Californian transplants. So you *might* face some bias there.

      However, there are a lot of tech companies in and around Austin, so patent litigation is one of the few “open to outsiders” areas. I would emphasize any contacts that you might have to Austin in your cover letters/resume; it’s a very insular place. All that being said, good luck! Austin is awesome.

  18. Just bought a pair of bright red boot cut pants at the Gap. My office is super casual and I’m a little quirky. What can I pair them with? I don’t like black and red.

  19. Rant:

    Co worker A, do NOT refer to me as “mummy” in the office though I’m pregnant. I’m not YOUR mother.

    Co worker B , do NOT touch my pregnant belly. What’s off limits when I’m not pregnant remains off limits when I’m pregnant.


    • male or female?!

    • May that be the worst thing that happens to you in your job and with your baby!

    • All of this baby/pregnancy talk seriously worries me! How am I going to handle having kids (2 hopefully) and a fully time job as a successful attorney! I don’t plan to have kids for another 4-6 years, but reading about all the issues that women face has me a bit freaked out. Maybe I just need to ignore every baby/pregnancy/mommyhood post!

  20. FYI, Corporettes, I just noticed that Loft is now offering maternity clothes! I know this news would be better shared tomorrow, but I’m afraid I’ll forget by then.

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