Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Herringbone Wide-Leg Pant

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

Wide-leg pants are coming back, and Theory has a great pair in herringbone. I always love a classic pattern like a herringbone tweed, and these look fabulous. I love the wide leg, and the way they’re styled on the Theory website is a great example of mixing neutral monotones and playing with textures in a fun way. (Nordstrom also has them, as well as ShopBop and Saks.) It seems like they’re more of navy close up, but it’s good to note that many people have paired them with black tops, and that’s a good option too. They’re $325 and come in sizes P–L. Herringbone Wide-Leg Pant

Two lower-priced options are from Banana Republic and Boden; a plus-size option is from Talbots.

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  1. CIPP Test Takers :

    I am going to be taking the test for the privacy certification offered through the IAPP, as privacy law is becoming a larger part of my practice area, and I think the designation will be helpful in this role and possibly my next. Any advice from those who have been there, done that? It’s been a long time since I took any kind of test. How much did you study? Easier than expected, or harder? Tips?


    • Wanderlust :

      Ooh, following. I’m also interested in this as one of my goals for 2018.

    • If you have been practicing in this area at all, it is reallyyyyyyy easy. But review the test questions first – some of them are stupid memorization questions.

      Also, in law, a CIPP is really just useful as a signaling mechanism that you are interested in/serious about privacy as a specialty focus. It has no substantive meaning at all; people in the field know that you don’t actually learn anything useful in the course of studying for it.

    • Can someone that’s done this advise on which books to _actually_ buy? The reading list is absurd! Surely there must be a way to pass without spending thousands on books. HALP PLS!

    • The test is super easy. the questions are kind of weird – they definitely haven’t gone through the rigorous vetting that bar exam questions get. And I agree with Green Hat that it just signals that you’re interested in/serious about privacy law. I did CIPP/US and CIPP/E. Just read the IAPP textbook for the test and you’ll be fine.

  2. I love the wide leg pant look for work – nice pick!

    • Ditto. They always make me (a solid pear) look deceptively thin. I would be over the moon if wide leg pants came back in a big way.

      • I’m a pear and these never work because the tops of the pants are always tighter than intended on my butt/thighs. Do you just go with the size that fits your thighs/butt and then get the waist taken in?

        • yes, exactly. I’ve reluctantly come to accept that waist alterations are the price of admission for a pair of pants that actually fit me.

        • +1

          This style is actually the most flattering for pear shapes.

          I also find that with many slightly lower/mid-rise pants and curvy cut pants that I am able to get away with taking in fewer waistbands when I buy pants lately. You have to really search, as a pear, for the pants that fit you. Usually a bit of stretch in the fabric helps.

    • I was excited, because I love wide leg pants. But when I followed the link, I saw two things that made my heart sink:

      “featuring an elasticized waistband”

      These may be more of a yoga pant than a tweed pant. Pass. Especially for $300.

      • Yeah, not these particular ones. I used to have good luck with talbots, in tall.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Years ago, I had two knit elastic waist pairs of pants from NY and Co. I wore them with longer shirts and no one would know if they were elastic waist or not. They were great. One pair was herringbone and I would wear it with a black cowl neck sweater. They were my office pajamas and now I want to buy another pair!

        • I had a skirt from NY&Co that had a knit elastic waist and I would looooooove for them to bring it back. It was super comfy, thick enough that it was weather appropriate for fall/winter and now I miss it terribly.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I still have one of their elastic waist skirts. It was black with a diagonal off white pin stripe. I still wear it with a black shell and a tan blazer.

          • Anonymous :

            Costco has a great ponte skirt like this right now. Check it out online.

        • I recently discovered J.Jill. Their skirts seem to all have elastic and are oh so comfy.

        • Check out Uniqlo. They have a bunch of elastic-waist basics at super affordable prices.

      • Same here — got excited until I saw the fabric was jersey knit. And then I thought the BR ones were a good possibility — except LUREX. (“Metallic threads in fabric.”) Ugh. Whatever, STILL, designers.

      • Anonymous :

        Ha that made me want them. They look like that and have an elastic waist? Sold!

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I’m so pleased about this news – wide leg are the only trousers that seem to fit both my waist and hips! I just bought a navy pair on the weekend.

    • Marshmallow :

      I love this look. Last year I bought a great pair of navy tweed wide leg pants at LOFT and they are holding up well. Great with a crisp white shirt tucked in.

  3. Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded to my online decorator query Friday. The day got away from me but I printed a list of all the suggestions and will hopefully be able to use some nesting hormones to get this done before the next baby comes and/or while I’m on mat leave. Took step 1 on my own this weekend and actually hung some curtains. Yay for baby tiny steps forward.

  4. Family Trip to Canada (Eastern) :

    Hi, I am fantasizing about a long family trip to Canada – at least a week, maybe 2! Probably in late June and/or early July. Is Canada Day especially fun anywhere? We’d love to see the Franco parts of Canada – Montreal & Quebec City. And would probably do some driving, possibly from Niagara Falls. I know Toronto is neat. I know there’s a sightseeing train along the St. Lawrence – is it worth it? Any ideas for itineraries that are family-friendly – the trip is the third-grader’s idea. Any suggestions welcome!

    • If you’re flying, I would look at flying into Toronto – you don’t really need a car in the city

      Toronto – Ripley’s Aquarium, CN Tower, and Toronto Islands, Blue Whale exhibit at Royal Ontario Museum
      – Rent car and drive to Ottawa – possible stop in Thousand Island Park along the way
      – Ottawa for Canada Day – huge celebration on Parliament Hill – book hotel way in advance –
      – Ottawa – Museum of Canadian History (they have a kids museum inside), Gatineau Park – Pink Lake Hike is perfect for kids, Science Museum if time
      – Montreal – don’t really need a car. Check out Old Montreal and Biodome
      – Drive to Quebec City – stay at Chateau for maximum atmosphere, see Old Quebec
      – fly out of Quebec City or Montreal

      If you have a week then Toronto/Ottawa or Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal or Ottawa/Montreal/Quebec City will be enough. Add Kingston or Quebec City if you have more time.

    • Canada Day is amazing in Ottawa (the capital). I highly recommend that, especially with kids. It’s only about an hour and a half from Montreal so it’s definitely easy to include it.

      The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is beautiful (and I would argue better) than the American side, and it’s not that far from Toronto (depending on traffic). I’m obviously partial to Toronto – there’s a ton to do that is family friendly.

      Depending on where you’re coming from, I would either fly into Montreal or Toronto and then decide on where you want to go/how much you want to drive and decide on a more specific itinerary from there. It’s all doable by driving once you get here, if you’re ok driving 5-6 hours from Toronto/Montreal. (that’s the longest stretch, but you can easily break it up).

      • Canada Day in Ottawa is HOT, crowded, exhausting, and it often rains. The space (Parliament Hill) where they put on the event is not big enough for the amount of people. Maybe I’m jaded from living here so long but I would avoid downtown that day.

        • To be honest, I’ve only done it a couple times but I was amazed the first time I went – I understand not wanting to go every year if you live in Ottawa, but if you’re tourists visiting, I think it would be a great thing to see/experience!

      • Belle Boyd :

        +1 about the Canadian side of the Falls. Much nicer, much more to see and do. They also used to offer day tour packages where you could take a bus to several different attractions. I’m sure they probably still do that. It was definitely much more impressive than the American side of the Falls.

    • We took two weeks in August and flew into Quebec City, drove down to St. Andrews, drove up to Cape Breton Island and flew back out of Halifax. We are avid roadtrippers, so all the driving didn’t bother us. I think we’ll repeat the Quebec/St. Andrews portion, only will likely conclude the trip in Acadia this time.

    • I did a two-week roadtrip in August a few years ago from Boston: up the coast to Acadia for some hiking, ferry across to Nova Scotia for about 5 days, then Quebec City and Montreal for 3 days each, and back to Boston via Burlington. The drive from Halifax to Quebec City was most of a day, but the countryside was gorgeous, and I loved being able to have the city stuff in Quebec City and Montreal, and the SPECTACULAR scenery in Nova Scotia. (We stayed in Lunenberg, which is a great base for beautiful coastline, cute little houses, and the best scallops you have ever had in your entire life.) Except for that one long day, none of the days had more than 5 hours of driving, and I never went more than an hour or two without stopping to get out and explore something cool. When I was in Quebec City and Montreal, I just left my car in a garage for the whole time. I did walking tours in both cities, which I would highly recommend. The one in Montreal was a food tour, which I think your kids especially would get a big kick out of.

    • Thank you all! This gives me a great starting point and I’ll start planning & budgeting.
      The comments about Canada Day in Ottawa crack me up – I lived in Washington DC for years and I recall being so excited to hear the Dali Lama on the National Mall — and it was so hot and uncomfortable and the sound system was so bad that let’s say I was spiritually moved… to go and find some indoor air conditioning :)

      Thank you! Merci!

      • Anonymous :

        Canada Day in Ottawa is worth it even if you don’t go up to the ‘Hill’. There are lots of fun events, especially for kids, at different places throughout the city. A pretty fun, celebratory vibe.

    • I want to make a pitch for Prince Edward Island. It is wonderful. The beaches are great, there’s a little fun history in Charlottestown, and the entire atmosphere is beautiful and relaxing. We loved it. If you’re an Anne of Green Gables fan, you can do as much of that as you like. The Anne of Green Gables musical is legitimately great.

      Another fun option: Hearst Lodge in New Brunswick. You hike in, eat a delicious salmon dinner, gaze at the river, watch beavers building dams. It’s wonderful and feels remote and special.

    • I had a comment that got eaten, but recommend Prince Edward Island and Hearst Lodge in New Brunswick. Fun and remote and beautiful!

  5. Noticed that mules are everywhere as I was shoe shopping over the weekend. Am I right that wearing socks with a backless shoe would be ugly and wrong?

    If so, I might be sitting out this trend since I’d be able to wear them for a solid 3 days before summer turns into winter and my feet freeze…

    • Anonymous :

      Ugly and wrong!

      The mule thing will be over soon, just wait it out.

      • As with everything, they work for some of us…. even when they are no longer “trendy”.


        I have triangular feet and the only shoes that fit me are mules. I can’t afford custom shoes.

  6. Anonymous :

    My bf never really learned to talk about his feelings. If something seriously upsets him, he’ll keep it inside until it either goes away or he’s really upset and can’t hide it, at which point it has become a big thing.

    I’m wondering if any of you have had luck at helping a partner do better at talking about their feelings proactively instead of after they’ve been secretly seething until they can’t stand it? I know it’s largely on him to change his communication style, but I’m hoping I can make it easier somehow.

    • Does he see a need to make a change or want to on his own?

      • +1 He’s got to want to. If not, you’ve got to decide if this is something you want to live with.

        If he does want to, I think the best thing you can do is suggest he see a therapist or read Gottman on his own.

    • I’ve been through a similar relationship that didn’t last so a sympathize with the struggle. If my ex had been open to increasing communication/being vulnerable with ANYONE, not just me, I think we could have made progress. Since he was so turned off to the whole idea, even therapy didn’t seem to help for him and I think he probably would be happiest living a totally solo life in his own head.

      I hope your bf isn’t quite that closed off. Assuming he’s not…

      I wonder if having a conversation about both of your communication styles might help. I’d frame it as part of a bigger conversation about building a stronger relationship between the two. That might help him at least have an initial realization there’s work to be done. Like you said, I think it’s on him to realize his communication style won’t work if he wants to build a life with someone (you).

      I wish I had better advice.

    • anon for this :

      No advice, but following, as I’m the one who keeps things in and I’ve no idea how to begin. Funny thing is I was a pretty gregarious, outgoing little kid, but that got beat out of me (literally and emotionally) over many years. There’s a lot of sh*t to undo.

      • I spent 20+ not talking about my feelings. I grew up in a family which did not talk about things – not feelings, not events, nothing. I didn’t understand it was important or how to do it until I spent a good bit of time in therapy and through a lot of trial and error in my life (sorry everyone who dealt with this).

        Are you open to therapy? I think this is really hard to work through on your own, but YMMV.

      • The thing that has helped me the most is naming the feeling as soon as I feel it bubbling up. Where in the past I’d be storming around the kitchen because people are late for brunch, snapping at my husband “everything’s FINE.” through gritted teeth, now I can say “it makes me really mad when people are late”, and it totally diffuses the situation. It sounds kind of obvious in retrospect, but when you’re taught not to ever express negative emotions it was a bit of a revelation.

        I’ve also got the book “How to be an Adult” in my amazon cart– I’ve read excerpts from it and it seems very geared towards this sort of thing– getting over the underlying issues that lead us to bottle things up rather than dealing with them in the moment. Maybe it would help you too?

        • Glad you figured it out. My reaction reading this was “But of course you were expressing negative emotions.”

          • Well, yes, but not in a healthy or constructive way. Like I tell my toddler, “use your words”, when she’s having a tantrum. Sometimes I need to remind myself to do the same thing.

        • No Problem :

          “Where in the past I’d be storming around the kitchen because people are late for brunch, snapping at my husband “everything’s FINE.” through gritted teeth, now I can say “it makes me really mad when people are late”, and it totally diffuses the situation.”

          Wow, the first half of this sentence describes my mom to a T. But she hasn’t figured out the second part about naming the feeling to allow it to diffuse. And for the record, this inability to communicate is really annoying for everyone else who has to deal with it. (not aimed at CPA Lady or anon, just commenting on how it feels to be on the receiving end)

        • Yep, this is what worked for me too. For me, it wasn’t anger – it was anxiety and panic attacks. Turns out my lifelong anxiety disorder is very much related to unexpressed feelings.

        • “How to be an Adult” by Richo is excellent. His “How to be an Adult in Relationship” is even better. Highly recommend.

    • I think it’s a matter of whether your relationship is based on mutually wanting to help each other become the best versions of yourselves, or if it’s more “take me for who I am” in spirit. If the former, I think you can gradually and patiently address this. But if he won’t engage or acknowledge the problem, it’s probably not going to get better, and that will make things difficult if you stick together for the long haul.

      I was really bad at identifying and communicating my feelings, and my partner helped me a great deal. We’re both happier for it. So yes, it can be done, but it was hard work on both our parts! He would basically very nicely not let me “get away” with not communicating.

      • SD, Your last sentence describes the sort of person I need in my life if I’m ever going to re-learn how to communicate feeling and emotion. Whether that person is a friend, partner or therapist, I don’t know that it really matters. Now, how to find that person/people. To be clear, I’m not one to lose my temper, it’s just so many years of either being punished for showing any feeling or communicating only to have those feelings invalidated have really taken their toll on ever wanting to let people back in.

    • Married in 1999, we had a midday wedding with a tea reception to follow for about 40 people. Wedding and reception were at a lovely teahouse in the city where DH and I were living at the time. My parents paid for the whole thing and it was $3500 all-in, not including the honeymoon (we went camping) or the rehearsal dinner (we didn’t have one).

      The best thing about my wedding was the groom, who turned out to be a loving, responsible and supportive husband and father. I strongly advise spending more time picking out the right groom than planning the perfect wedding, as the former definitely leads to more lasting happiness than the latter.

    • Bottled up :

      This is me, to some extent. My mom has a terrible temper and I hate when I lose mine (because I feel like I’m becoming my mother) so I try to bottle it up, which doesn’t work particularly well for me. If DH is supportive about me expressing my feelings, then I feel like I can actually let them out in a healthier manner. Sometimes he says things like “I don’t know why you’re getting upset over this” or other judgmental responses and that makes me want to shut down again. So, give him the opportunity to open up to you but don’t push it. Like others have said, he needs to want to change.

      • No Problem :

        I feel like “I don’t know why you’re getting upset over this” can be a helpful prompt if said correctly. It signals either (a) you really do seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill, or the thing is not as big a deal as you think because of some information you are missing, or (b) maybe it is a big deal, but he’s not seeing the context of the issue from your perspective and you need to explain it to him. Obviously it’s not helpful if he’s just being flippant or super judgey about it and ensuring he hits the right tone is its own issue to work on.

        For example: being upset that he forgot to run the dishwasher before going to work probably seems over the top to him because you can just run it that night, but maybe what he doesn’t get is that there aren’t enough clean dishes for dinner and you’re really hungry and now you have to make dinner AND wash a bunch of dishes. And you’ve had a long day and just have hit your limit of things you can handle right now. So in that case, it’s better for you to be able to speak up and explain why you’re upset instead of shutting down.

  7. Nosy Wedding Budget Questions :

    A lot of people in my life are getting married next year and I’m so curious how they decided how much they’re going to spend. There’s such a range of weddings – from a courthouse wedding to an extravagant 100k+ wedding. It made me think about how people approach money in such different ways (sometimes regardless of whether you have from family).

    So, for those of you who have gotten married, what was your budget, did you stick to it, and what made you choose to spend that much (or little)? Also, did you and your SO start saving for it as soon as you got engaged or just take out whatever you had from savings to pay for it?

    • I pitched a smallish wedding with just immediate family at a destination that my SO and I would pay for. My parents balked big time, so we ended up with a traditional church wedding/large reception that they footed most of the bill for. Neither my SO nor I had strong conviction either way, so it was easier to go with the style that is “normal and routine” for my area. Total pricetag was somewhere in the $15k neighborhood for 250 guests.

    • Clementine :

      Got married in 2012 in Upstate NY. 75 guests, reception at a historic building, lovely and would absolutely do it again.

      Our initial goal budget was $7500 which we then increased, but when it came out to around $14,000 including rings and everything. Could we have done it for cheaper? Absolutely. We paid a little more though to get exactly what we wanted (e.g., getting married in a pretty church – my husband really wanted to do this and give a nice donation). We got married 9 months after we got out our ‘big kid’ jobs and had been pretty used to living on $20K/year, so we just kept living like that for about 6 months while our salaries had quadrupled and paid for our wedding with that delta. Parents kindly purchased our cake ($250) and paid for a rehearsal dinner and the hotel we got ready in.

    • My parents paid; they had started a savings account when I was born (along with my college fund). It was about $60K total (excluding rings, which we bought ourselves); 150 guests, of which 2/3 were family – my grandparents had a lot of kids! The budget (i.e., my parents’ saving rate) was driven by wanting to put on an elegant, delicious, fun (so: venue, food/drink, band) evening wedding for a group of that size.

    • My in-laws paid for our wedding and gave us an unlimited budget. They had a very specific vision in mind, and a lot of business/family friends to invite/impress, as well as FH’s and my big families, so it ended up being about $250k total. FH and I didn’t have any specific vision for our wedding aside from being with family, so most of the
      details/vendors my in-laws handled since they wanted something very specific. I had a great time, and I realize I’m fortunate to have a blank check. We had about 200 guests in Martha’s Vineyard for about $250k.

      • Holy moly

      • I think these very luxurious affairs are often the parents’ show. I have a friend whose parents paid for her (probably) $100k wedding. The parents are active in local politics and dictated a huge part of the invitation list. (That said, it was an awesome wedding, reflected the couple, and I had a great time.)

        • Anon for this :

          +1, I had a wedding like this because my parents wanted to throw a huge party. My family has a lot of business contacts that they wanted to include, and DH’s family is in politics, so there were a LOT of people our parents wanted to invite. (This was fine with us.) With what my parents wanted in our low/middle cost of living city, they spent $100K+ for the fancy county club, the jazz band, the magazine florist, custom wedding gown, etc etc etc. Don’t get me wrong– I LOVED IT, but I would never have spent my own money like that. We had 400 guests, and it was in several newspapers and magazines. It was completely over the top…. because my parents are over the top. My parents are really great and let me make all the decisions (for things that I cared about, which turned out to be only about 25% of the wedding), and then my parents and the event planner decided everything else.

          Our rehearsal dinner (thrown by DH’s parents) was really much more like what our wedding would have been, had we thrown our own wedding. Fifty people, which was all family and the friends that were in the wedding party. Lots of special toasts and speeches that I will remember forever. I feel so fortunate that we got to have an intimate gathering with the people we know best and love most, and that we also got to have a big blowout party with hundreds of people celebrating. But as the above poster said– that was 100% my parents’ show.

      • Does the F in FH stand for “former”?

      • lawsuited :

        Woah. Your wedding cost more than $1000 per head. Even though I figure I’m pretty solidly in the 2%, this board is so useful for giving me a glimpse into how the other half of the 2% lives.

    • When I got married the first time (deep south, 2006), we did the whole traditional thing – church, reception, 125 guests, ballgown – for $10k. We had comfortable salaries in LCOLA, so we paid for it all ourselves. Our families weren’t well off enough to pay for anything. There really wasn’t a budget, per se – I’m a good comparison shopper by nature, and there were only a couple places/vendors in town, so it’s more like “we ended up spending $10k” than “we had budgeted $10k.”

      I’m planning my second wedding right now. It’ll be immediate family only, no attendants, on a weekday, restaurant dinner to follow. We’re thinking about $5k. Again, we’re fortunate to be able to flex as needed, but I’m still the same thrifty person, so whatever number we end up with will be a good value.

    • We got married ~ 1.5 years ago. Approximately 70 guests, Saturday evening, Boston area. My parents generously gifted us 50K and said keep what you don’t spend. We ended up spending all but a few hundred and were so happy with our day. We made it exactly what we wanted regardless of tradition (ex: he had 5 male groomsmen, i had my 2 brothers). Wouldn’t change a thing.

      • Oh, and the gift had zero strings. They gave us free reign to do whatever we wanted, invite whomever we wanted, etc.

    • We’re getting married next year. Downtown Boston, about 100 guests. The total is around $60K all-in. We’re paying for everything ourselves, though my parents generously offered to buy my dress (about $2K). We knew what kind of wedding we wanted — city venue, Saturday night, live band, open bar — and this is what it costs. We’re fortunate to have paid off our student loans and we already own a home. We’ve been together four years and started saving for the wedding around Year 2.

    • 25K in 2007 in MCOL area for 120 guests. My parents paid – my mom wanted hotel reception, fancy dress etc. I was fine with that but wouldn’t have paid for it myself. DH and I paid for our honeymoon ourselves – about 7K. My only regret is that I didn’t splurge on photos. My sister’s BFF, who did wedding photos as a side business (so not unprofessional), did the pictures and they were not great. Family shoot was disorganized, couple shoot was uninspired, ran late and I missed the cocktail reception. My biggest regret for sure.

    • NYC, 115 guests, 28k. Delightful.

    • Our initial budget was $10k because that’s what my parents offered to give us. It ended up being about $15k and my parents still covered the whole thing (they approved expenses as they came up so it wasn’t like they just got a bill at the end that was 50% more than they anticipated). We had about 90 people for a Sunday lunch wedding and afternoon reception at a nice hotel in a resort area. Ceremony and reception were in the same place and the hotel catered, provided champagne and wine and the cake and had a salon where the wedding party and I had hair and makeup done, so pretty much all we had to do after booking the venue was find an officiant, photographer and a DJ. It made the planning pretty easy.

      Sunday was chosen for religious reasons, not budget concerns. We saved maybe 10% off our costs but not as much as many people think. Many of our vendors only booked one wedding per weekend so they didn’t really care if it was Saturday or Sunday.

      We bought our own rings and honeymoon so those were separate and my husband’s parents paid for a ~$1k welcome dinner for the wedding party and immediate family.

    • My dad gave us a budget of 20k and said we were responsible for anything above that. It did not include rings or the rehearsal dinner. We got married at a ski resort in the rockies near where we lived at the time and were able to stay under 20k for 115 people. I really wanted to keep it as simple as possible and didn’t have anyone to help me plan it, which is why I picked a resort that did a lot – catering, linens, cake, bar tenders. I worked hard to find the best deals I could for the flowers, photographer, and dj. We could have been much more extravagant with flowers and candles as well as my dress, but kept it on the simpler side which kept the budget lower.

    • From my experience, the big cost drivers are the venue and the number of guests.
      My parents generously gifted us half and we paid the other half. We were already established so just used savings. I did go over budget, but not by a lot.
      The key is to pick your priorities. For us it was inviting full family ~130 (including kids), the venue, the food, the music. I economized on invitations, flowers and dress.

    • My parents paid for our wedding. We had a pretty traditional wedding and reception with about 150 guests at a hotel/resort near where I grew up. There was no specific budget, but the total cost was probably around $150K. The big, fancy wedding was important to my parents–DH and I certainly had a wonderful time and were/are incredibly grateful, but we would have been more frugal if it were up to us (probably closer to 75-100 people and $50-70K would have seemed reasonable to us). DH and I did relatively little wedding planning–we chose some big things that were important to us (the band), the resort had a wedding planner and required you to use their vendors for a lot of stuff, and my parents took care of most of the remaining details. I shopped for my dress and showed up and had a great time.

    • NYC area (but not actually Manhattan), ~150 guests, Saturday night dinner/ dance party wedding in 2015. We paid for it ourselves, had a long engagement so we could save up. Budget was $30,000 and we went over by 5-10%. It was a lot of money but I feel good about accomplishing an insanely fun party for less than half the average spend for our area, saving up for it, and really hosting it ourselves as a new couple.

      The major advantage of doing it ourselves was that we got what we wanted. FMIL thinks we should have a church wedding and invite 100 more people? Too bad, so sad. Dad thinks our party is OTT and a waste of money? Too bad, so sad. I look back on my wedding now and wouldn’t do it differently.

    • 10 years ago. LCOL, 100 guests, morning wedding with brunch reception with bloodies and mimosas rather than a full bar.

      Ended up about $8k including everything, but that is artificially low, since we got married in my church (free), and had the reception in a hotel where the lady in charge of renting out the room was a long time friend of my husband’s family, so we paid next to nothing for it (I think there was a $200 cleaning fee, but that was it).

      My parents said they’d give us $5k, but ended up spending closer to 7k. We made up the difference.

      It was lovely, if I do say so myself, and would do it all over again.

    • Eloped. MIL bought DH a suit, we went out to dinner just the two of us afterward, and a honeymoon to a quaint town two hours away. Negotiated the B&B to $100 for two nights.

      My parents would have paid for something nonextravagant. I grew up seeing the typical church wedding and punch/cake in the Fellowship Hall, so I imagine that might have been what they had in mind. Also, I felt that regardless of cost, it wasn’t the best use of money (theirs or ours) but I realize many people feel that it is. Good for you, not for me.

    • Chicago, ~250 guests, big fancy hotel wedding, total cost probably $130k. We did not have a strict budget and that doesn’t include things like rings or honeymoon. We both have large families and lots of friends and it was important to us that we could have them at our wedding and most important that they have a good time. As others have said, my parents sort of viewed this as their ‘show’ which was perfectly fine for me as we all wanted the same things. They paid for the venue, which was about $75k including tax and gratuity. The rest we paid for ourselves. We were prepared to pay for all of it ourselves, but were grateful for their substantial contribution. His parents do not have that kind of means, but that was ok by us because we didn’t go into it expecting anyone to contribute. As others have stated, venue (and the location of it) factors the most into cost. Dinner alone was $250/person. That does not include the other costs of a wedding – music, flowers, dress/tux, photographer, etc. To get married at our church (which was required for us) was $1k alone. Even if we just invited the people we have for Thanksgiving over, it probably still would have been $10k. All this being said, we were pretty bare-bones about everything else – no bridesmaid bouquets or boutonnieres, no party favors except for sweets, no videographer, no monogrammed napkins, no photobooth, no extraneous anything. We wanted to throw an awesome party, so we spent on drinks, food, music, and the comfort of our guests.

      • Curious….

        What was the venue? Did you love it?

        What was the dinner at that price point? Was it tasty?

        • Venue was the Drake on Michigan Avenue. We loved it. We considered some more ‘raw space’ venues but liked that the venue was already very pretty (ornate columns, windows over the lake) and that we didn’t have to pick out tablecloths, chairs, flatware, etc. (Also loved some other classic hotels, but they either didn’t have the capacity or date availability.) Over a year later, guests still tell me they had never had such good food at a wedding reception. (Honestly, neither had we!) Passed hors d’oeuvres are my favorite part of any wedding so we went all out with that. Mini rack of lamb, sushi, smoked salmon, meat/cheese platter, bacon-wrapped dates, a seafood station with crab claws, lobster, oysters, and shrimp. Dinner was a surf and turf duo- filet mignon cut medallion-style with jumbo shrimp. The chef really wowed us. We wanted the filet to be pink and not a brown solid hockey puck and he was excited to work with us. Our guests who requested fish or vegetarian options also had some delicious options. Pretty much everything was included in the package- even cake – and they were flexible. So we nixed the soup course so that we could have more hors d’s, etc.

          One guest told me he once went to a wedding where he sat next to a prince and ours was nicer than that. I was sure to relay that to my parents — they were beaming with pride. Big weddings aren’t for everyone, but we are big on family time and have big families, so it was a blast.

          • My parents got married there, and are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year! Family friends still talk about what a beautiful venue it was, even in the 80’s.

    • Diana Barry :

      Vermont, 2004, very Pinteresty rustic/fancy (before Pinterest!), $27K. My parents paid, 120 guests. We had beer-wine but not an open bar.

      • Diana Barry :

        Oh, and the FOOD and wine was most important to us, so the per-plate cost was high. The photographer, flowers, dress, music (jazz trio), etc., combined were less than the venue cost.

    • Midwestern college town in 2010. Our budget from my parents was 10K (for the reception and photographer, we paid for pretty much everything else). 100 guests, married in the on-campus chapel and our caterers have a reception hall as well. Typing this out, 10K seems like so much money but I think the photographer was about 2K for wedding, reception and CD of images so reception was 8K. We had a beer/wine/margarita open bar and everyone had a great time.

      I recently told my husband that I’m glad things like wedding hashtags and extravagant bachelorette parties weren’t as popular back then. I loved our wedding and I’m so glad that we didn’t go into massive amounts of debt to get exactly what we wanted.

    • I got married at NYC city hall, followed by a late lunch with immediate family (parents, siblings). The day cost under $3500 including my dress, flowers, husbands new suit, photographer and lunch (not including rings). We all met at our apartment and walked over the courthouse on a beautiful sunny summer day. We hired a photographer to capture the candid moments and took family photos near city hall and the court buildings and in the adjoining park. My parents gave us a cash gift for the amount they spent on my sister’s (big) wedding, which we put aside toward a down-payment.

      It was lovely and all about us. It was perfect.

    • Got married in Napa Valley in 2015 with 65 guests. Our original budget was around $45k-$50k; we ended up upping our budget closer to $60k once we realized how much getting married in that area cost. I think our wedding was gorgeous but certainly not extravagant by any means, and we were definitely mindful of costs (the venue alone was our biggest cost at $12k, followed by food/wine and photography). We spent another $20k on a two-week honeymoon in Bora Bora.

      My mom generously threw us our rehearsal/welcome dinner, which was roughly $5k, but we paid for the rest ourselves in cash out of our savings. DH and I make in the mid-six figures combined and have very minimal debt, so it was expensive but doable.

      Our wedding and honeymoon was a definite splurge for us, which is funny because we’re typically frugal people and prefer to save our money. Sometimes I look back and wish I had that extra $100k or so in our savings account, but on the whole, I am so happy with how our wedding and honeymoon turned out. DH and I frequently talk about how amazing that time was and how happy we were then, and it makes me all warm and fuzzy inside to recall the start of our married life so fondly.

    • We paid for it entirely from our savings and spent about $25k. That was about how much we could save in a year, so our savings account was the same when we got engaged and when we got married. Because we paid for it, we tried really hard to ask ourselves for everything, do WE want this or does the wedding industrial complex want this? The wedding was perfect and exactly us.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We got married last year. It was a giant all-day affair with about 250 guests including a rehearsal dinner for about 30, a 6 a.m. bicycle ride, an 11 a.m. church wedding with a parade to the luncheon reception, then a dance party with DJ in a friend’s beautiful back yard in the evening. And a small brunch the morning after. I stopped counting at $65,000 but I bet we put a pretty big hole in $100,000 by the time you count the honeymoon and rehearsal dinner and rings and clothes and hotel rooms and so on. We didn’t have a budget but we spent a lot more than we’d planned. No regrets, though.

      I was all for getting married at the courthouse and then going to lunch, but it was important to Lovely Husband that we do the big celebration and I’m happy we did. It was amazing and we had all kinds of silly things like a mime and a balloon animal guy and a magician and photo booths and cake pops … I just kept calling the planner and saying “you’ll never guess what he wants now!” and she kept making it happen.

      We paid for it ourselves (we’re Very Very Old) and one of the things that made it fun and stress free was that there were no family members second-guessing any of our decisions. We each had money in savings and informally split the cost as we went along.

      • Thisperson1 :

        I love your wedding. It sounds fun and magical and absolutely wonderful.

      • BensonRabble :

        Lovely! I love weddings that are more unique, interactive, and show the couple’s personality. The traditional 20 min ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner toasts, cake and dancing is nice but variety is great

    • Got married in 2009 in New Haven, CT. 120 people. In total about $25k was spent (10k was ours) – in everything but the rings- rehearsal, dress, tux (which we bought), venue, music, flowers, etc. we got discounts on pretty much everything because we booked in 2008 and everyone was happy to have the business since the economy was awful.

      My parents gave us $10k which just about covered the venue/food. My mom bought my dress (1k). DH’s parents gave us $5k for the rehearsal and we ended up spending way less and applying the difference to the general fund. We paid for the rest.

      Separately, my e-ring was about $10k. My wedding band was about $300 (I wanted a plain band), and DH’s was about 1k (he wanted something a bit fancier, and everything was platinum).

      We chose a venue that didn’t need much for decoration. We didn’t upgrade lighting or chairs. We did non-floral centerpieces. We borrowed a friend’s antique car to go to/from places and the wedding party walked from the hotel to the church to the reception (1-2 blocks total).

      • Oops, that figure excludes our honeymoon. That was $5k. We paid for that ourselves but ultimately we received a lot of cash for our wedding which offset things.

    • Due in December :

      We had a budget of $15k and ended up spending $20-25k, including our cross-country flights and rings and rehearsal barbecue. We spent $10k and three sets of parents (mine are divorced so there are two sets on my side) each paid $5k, and my in laws also paid for the flowers since they are my MIL’s thing and I was going to do DIY from Costco. We used our savings to date (we’d only had our first post-grad / post-law school jobs for 2 years by our wedding date). 85 guests in Tahoe, outdoors, beer and wine only.

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      We paid appox. $30K (excluding rings and honeymoon) for a wedding in So. Cal in 2014. About 65 guests. We wanted a relatively small and informal wedding, which we got. The biggest line item was the venue, which included all food and an open bar. Best money spent was for our wedding planner, who picked pretty much everything, with our weigh-in, and was an amazing day-of coordinator! Neither of us was too interested in planning but we wanted our guests to have a good time. We were also planning this from across the country so having a planner who was familiar with local vendors was key. Unless you or your fiance/e are really into planning weddings, I would recommend a planner to everyone!

      We paid for most of the wedding with savings, although we did get some money from my parents, grandparents and husband’s mom, and my husband’s dad and step-mom paid for the rehearsal dinner.

      Curious for those whose parents paid for weddings, do you intend to do the same for your kids, if you have them? In my family, education savings is prioritized over weddings/downpayment savings for kids, so we’ll likely follow the same for our kid(s). I see weddings as more of couples purchase/decision, but I know others see differently.

      • We’ll contribute to the wedding. We have 3 girls and are also planning to contribute to college.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, my parents had a similar attitude. They scrupulously saved for my education and paid for 100% of four years of private college (I had no financial aid from the school and no debt when I graduated). They helped a little with law school but didn’t pay for the majority of that (I had a big scholarship and also took some loans). By the time I got married in my late 20s, my parents were doing very well financially – they’d gotten an unexpected windfall and they’d also had time to recoup their savings after paying for my education and they offered to pay for a fairly modest wedding ($20k). I think we’ll take a similar approach – education is something we save for and is basically promised to our kids barring a catastrophe, weddings are something we will help with if we’re in a financial position to do so when kids get married but it’s not something we’ll separately save for or promise to them.

    • We got married almost 12 years go. We were poor graduate students at the time, but my husband’s father was dying from cancer and it was important to us that he be at the wedding. We had been engaged for a year, but were planning on having a long engagement and getting married once we finished school. We already lived together at the time. Neither of our families had money to help us and my husband comes from a very large family on both sides. So we had a very small ceremony and reception with immediate family only and went out to a nice dinner. We spent probably $2,500 total on my dress, flowers, photographer, minister, restaurant bill, etc. My mother helped me DIY the flowers and decorations and she also did the alterations on my dress. It was a lovely ceremony and much more “us” since we are both introverted and would have felt overwhelmed with a big event. My FIL died about five months later, so looking back we are both very happy we moved up our timeline, downsized the whole event, and were able to have him there.

    • $18,000, Chicago suburbs, 85 people, mid 2000s. My parents gave us about $15,000, and my in-laws paid for anything related to the church and the music (plus the rehearsal dinner, which isn’t part of the cost), so that’s how we ended up at $18,000. Most of that went to venue, food and alcohol. I bargain shopped extensively (Paper Source warehouse sale for invitations, clearance racks for decorations, dress from David’s Bridal etc.), which was fine because I was in law school. Could not have done it on that budget while working.

    • Small Law :

      40 person wedding in all-inclusive wedding location (venue had chapel, on site caterer and florist, reception hall etc): $8,000. Budget included: buffet meal, DJ, open wine-only bar, real flowers, professional photographer, etsy decorations, and online-ordered invitations and save the dates. It was in a LCOL southern town where I have family, but we do not live. We paid for it ourselves and really tried hard to have the wedding we wanted, but still be able to put a down payment on a house at the end of it all. We regret nothing and loved our small wedding! Felt like a giant dinner party with all our favorite people.

    • May Welland :

      $14K for a 110-person wedding in Washington DC last year (2016). My parents contributed $3K and DH and I paid the rest. Doing something that big for that price point in such a HCOL area was umm challenging, and definitely not what we would have picked if we had unlimited funds. But, we had food we loved, a good DJ, and an open bar, so it hit all of our most important party needs!

  8. Family Photos :

    Anyone want to do some vicarious shopping? DH, our 4 month old daughter, and I will be having family photos done in the next month or so, and I’m really struggling to find something to wear. Half of the photos will be done in our house (mostly green and blue gray walls), and half in a local park (all green – no fall here in FL). I’d like to wear navy ankle pants at our house, and an A-line dress in the park. I’ve ordered a couple of dresses, but I have had no luck finding tops. I’m currently a size 14, 38I up top, and hourglass shape. Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

    • I’m a similar shape/size and I’ve been eyeing this blouse from Talbots (in the green) to wear with navy ankle pants. I’d usually avoid something sort of billowy, as I find that it hides my waist and makes me look huge-r up top, but if you did this with a half front-tuck and a long delicate pendant, it could work! https://www.talbots.com/online/blouses-and-shirts/smocked-sleeve-blouse-prdi43751/N-10157?selectedConcept=

      This, or YMMV, but I’m a fan of a shirt with a waist…a faux wrap or a very gentle peplum.



  9. AttiredAttorney :

    Last year, there was a thread for sharing readers’ favorite holiday recipes, and I picked up a great new Thanksgiving dessert, the Pioneer Woman’s Nantucket Cranberry pie (easy to google, link to follow). Delicious, easy, and full of holiday/seasonal flavor – pretty much a win all around when cooking during this time of year. What are your favorite holiday or seasonal recipes?

    • AttiredAttorney :


      • My SO just said yesterday he’d like something a little refreshing and tart after Tday dinner! I was looking for cranberry recipes last night on pinterest. Do you use all the sugar PW calls for? (Cause whoa haha. I know they’re tart, though…)

        • I make this pie every year. I use all of the sugar, but I squeeze half of an orange over the cranberries before dumping the sugar in. So, so, so good.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I make a maple pecan pie that is soooo good. I use smitten kitchen’s pecan pie recipe, but sub dark maple syrup for the sweetener the blogger recommends. It’s so calorie-dense, and so worth it.

    • Smitten Kitchen’s Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake. Someone here suggested it, I think. I made it one year and my family has demanded it every year since. My favorite part is that it can be made ahead and only gets better so there is nothing to do day of.

      I also make this Ina Garten Apple Cranberry “Cake” and it is seriously the easiest thing in the world and so amazingly delicious. Esp. with “good” vanilla ice cream. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/easy-cranberry-apple-cake-360870

      • AttiredAttorney :

        Ha, that Ina Garten recipe and the Pioneer Woman one I posted above are variations of each other. Looks like all of us love a simple dump cake/pie with cranberries during the fall!

      • SFAttorney :

        Haha, yes the ice cream must be “good” or it doesn’t merit use in an Ina Garten recipe. She actually doesn’t direct the use of good ice cream in the recipe intro here, but I always notice “good” when olive oil is an ingredient in her recipes. None of that inferior stuff!

    • New Tampanian :

      Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls but I do a simple cream cheese frosting instead of the maple one. http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/cinammon_rolls_/

      • Diana Barry :

        YMMV but I find these far too sweet. I like the King Arthur recipe that does batches but I use cream cheese frosting. https://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/big-batch-frosted-cinnamon-rolls-recipe

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      Cranberry salsa is my go-to festive party appetizer. One bag cranberries, half a red onion, cilantro to taste, juice of one lime, one jalapeno (seeded). Process in a food processor. Then add sugar to taste (3-4 tablespoons works for me but I like tart things). Let sit. Enjoy with chips, crackers, etc. Serve over cream cheese for even more deliciousness.

      Also olive wreath. Buy a bunch of rosemary. Arrange in a wreath shape. Artfully arrange olives (get the mixed kind including red peppers) around rosemary on a nice plate. Display. Eat.

    • Belle Boyd :

      LOVE the Pioneer Woman!

      I make a cranberry orange relish I got from Trisha Yearwood’s cooking show. VERY simple, and SO good.
      1 bag of cranberries
      2-3 large oranges (my mom has always insisted on using Sunkist oranges for cooking/baking. She swears they are the sweetest and the juiciest. YMMV, but that’s what I use here.)
      Sugar to taste depending on cranberries

      Peel oranges and separate into segments. Add orange segments and cranberries to food processor and pulse until chunky. Add sugar to taste. It’s best to make this several days ahead of time and allow the flavors/sugar to mix. I make this about 3 nights before Thanksgiving and taste every night, adding sugar each night as necessary. To the poster above who asked about adding all the sugar to a cranberry recipe — YES. Cranberries are ridiculously tart, and even with the oranges in this recipe, it takes a good cup of sugar AT LEAST to kill their pucker-power for this recipe and I don’t make it super-sweet.

      You can also zest one of the oranges and mix in the orange zest if you like.

      Even my dad likes this and he is strictly old-school, Ocean Spray jellied-cranberry-sauce from the can. I made this for two years before he tasted it and now I’m considering doubling the recipe because he likes it so much! (Still have to have the canned stuff for him, though!)

    • In the fall I always make the applesauce cake with caramel glaze on Food52, though I usually work from Orangette’s slight adaptation and make sure always to use dark brown sugar instead of light. It’s really an excellent cake – people lose their minds.

    • anonypotamus :

      Food 52’s recipe for pumpkin sea salt caramels – I bake a lot but have not ventured far into candy-making, but these are quite simple and PHENOMENAL. I started making them several years ago and they are always a huge hit. I get requests for them every year.

  10. Minnie Beebe :

    I can’t with this outfit, honestly. It all looks so sloppy to me. I’m not against wide leg trousers, but these are way too long. I’d probably pair with a ribbed-knit turtleneck sweater, or plain crew sweater.

  11. coffee bean :

    Can anyone recommend some good self-care books? I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to do a bit of mental reset and start treating myself better in terms of what I eat, exercising, not spending all my time on my phone, and generally being a happier and more present person. I don’t know where to start with looking for books that might put me on the right track, but I’d love any recommendations from the hive that might be helpful. I’m open to blogs or online articles, too.

    I’ve decided already to sign up for a weekly yoga class, booked a massage, and am cleaning my office of all the junk food I rely on when I’m “too busy” to step out for fresh air and a nice salad. Really just trying to figure out concrete ways to treat myself better and hopefully feel less blah all the time.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Better than Before

    • The Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz (and any of his books tbh).

    • The War of Art is my bible for this kind of thing, although it’s a little more geared toward career.

      A few others I like:
      Design Your Life
      The Happiness Project
      Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want

    • Intuitive Eating
      Body Kindness
      The Happiness Project

    • It’s not a book, and I realize you are trying not to spend all your time on your phone, but I had a good experience with the phone app “The Fabulous” once, and it seems like it would intersect well with most of these books. It basically encourages you to start and maintain healthy habits. And it’s not time consuming; it’s basically a reminder app.

      Another, very different app I enjoy is “Level Up Life” (lvluplife.com). It has a nice, low-key community, and it encourages healthy habits, getting out of ruts, and appreciating every step you take towards those goals. It’s also not a time sink.

    • You Are A Bad___ (fill in the end of that word – otherwise I’ll get sent to mod :)) by Jen Sincero is awesome and hilarious and spiritual and irreverent all at once. Highly recommend it.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’ve read a lot of these this year.
      1. Four Tendencies. I finished it last night and many of the discussions in the book hit home for me. I think you really need to read it after Better than Before for the most impact, but BTB changed my view on how to create healthy habits and a better life, so definitely read it.
      2. Confidence Code. It’s very social science based, but I enjoyed it a lot as insight.
      3. Grit. Again, very social science based but it helped me figure out some ways to keep myself sane.
      4. Happiness Project. I’ve read it twice now and get something new each time.

      I haven’t read it (on my list!) but 10% happier was recommended here as a way to be more present.

      Also, unpopular view: You are a BadA&& was so annoying I only read one chapter before donating it.

      • Loved 10% Happier, but oddly couldn’t stand the Happiness Project (maybe I’m a small increments gal!)

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I adore Rubin- like, pre-ordered Four Tendencies adore her.

          • I should try another of her works. I liked the idea, I liked her, I just couldn’t finish it for some reason!

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with you on You Are a Bada$$. I picked it up in the bookstore and put it down when I saw that she advocated spending money on things you can’t really afford. I want to be a bada$$, not a broke-a$$.

    • coffee bean :

      Thanks, everyone! I put these all into my amazon cart/wishlist and am starting with Designing your Life and the Happiness Project. I appreciate the input, and I’ll also check out the apps that were recommended.

  12. low block heels? :

    What do you all think about the low-ish block heels? I like the Corso Como Regina. The Everlane Day Heel has amazing comfort reviews but definitely may be a little grandma-ish. I know it’s the style but I don’t know if it works for me… sort of rambling, but any thoughts on similar shoes you’ve liked?

    • I like them, but there is a fine line between tailored and frumpy. The Corso Comos you mention are lovely (I would snap them up in a true plum), but hard pass on the elasticized heels on the Everlane.

    • I think the pointed toe helps make it less frumpy. I just bought the Aldo Hillers heels from DSW.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have the Everlane day heel in the caramel/cognac color and they are LOVELY in person. I get compliments every time I wear them.

      • Ooh – Can you tell us about fit? I’ve also been eyeing these.

        • Marshmallow :

          My comments keep getting eaten! It fits a little snug in the heel but otherwise very comfy. I’m between a 5.5 and 6, and the 6 fits great.

      • Marshmallow :

        I have pretty small feet that are on the wide side across the toes (my mom calls them my mini Fred Flintstone feet). I measure as a 5.5 but usually buy 6 for the width/ extra room, and these shoes work perfectly in a 6 for me. The elastic across the heel can get a little tight-feeling by the end of the day, but otherwise they are really comfy. The distribution of weight across the foot is excellent, so my toes never feel pinched.

        • I also recommend the Everlanes. As a person with a narrow heel whose regular heels are always slipping off, I’m willing to trade style points for a shoe that stays on. To me, the elastic back is a little uncomfortable, which is why I haven’t bought a second pair, but overall I like them a lot. True to size for me.

    • I love them. My favorite shoe (for a long time) has been the Ferragamo Vara. They are definitely pricey, but they are super comfy and the patent leather ones last forever.

      I find they look equally nice with pants and skirts/dresses too.

    • I have two pairs of the Aquatalia Pheobe in different colors. They are expensive, but amazing. Incredibly comfortable, walkable, non-frumpy and relatively more streamlined shape, are the right height to work as flats or heels, super durable…and WATERPROOF. I wear them every time it rains if I need to look nice and can’t wear rain boots.

  13. Best places to shop for curtains? I don’t have a specific color/style I am looking for, so anywhere with a good way to browse would be awesome.

    • I’ve had good luck at West Elm – they often have sales and they last a long time. They also have long lengths if you have high ceilings.

    • Ikea, World Market, West Elm on sale (but I hate that they sell them by one panel). Country Curtains is currently going out of business so you could try there – some styles are quite neutral and quality is good.

    • Don’t forget to check out JC Penney. My high quality curtains came from them. Can catch great sales.

      • +1. I got all our curtains for decently cheap!

      • JCP is having a 65% off sale right now.

        I get these blackout cellular blinds for all the bedrooms, they are cut to measure and are so affordable. Not everyone likes celluslar blinds but they really come in handy at 7pm summer bedtimes for the little kids

      • Really cosign this rec. Oddly, JCP does great curtains. My mom’s best friend is an interior designer and she often sources there (REALLY!) because the curtains are hundreds of dollars cheaper than elsewhere, and they hold up well.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      As recommended to me by this site, JC Penney! I had not set foot in a JCP for years, but their online and instore curtain selections are surprisingly good. High Quality, lined, a variety of styles. I was looking for pinch pleats, and was looking at over $300/panel for custom 8-9 footers. I waited for a sale at JCP, and picked them up for around $70/panel.

    • Anthropologie is my favorite for non-custom curtains.

    • Thanks, everyone! These are great places to start.

    • thisiswater :

      overstock has huge selection, but can be really hard to deal with when browsing. But there are tons of options

    • The Frenchie Is My Favorite Kid :


      Custom made curtains look so much nicer and the etsy prices are in line with paying store prices for pre-made. If you want to make the curtains look even more high end, just ask the esty seller to add “pleater tape” and then go on amazon and buy “pleater curtain hooks.” This will turn the basic panels into pleated drapes for no extra cost (other than the cost of a bit more fabric being needed). I also strongly recommend adding lining for a little bit more – it’s so worth it for looks and durability.

      I just browsed the etsy sellers and picked on with a fair number of good reviews and some photos of her actual work.

      You can pick from sooo many fabrics and have exactly what you need made. I get so many compliments and I’m really happy with how they turned out.

      I ended up using etsy the first time because we have some unique windows that required custom curtains and JCPenny was going to be $4000-5000!!! Etsy curtains were $1000 and perfect :)

    • I love the curtains and sheers I bought from Bed Bath and Beyond and they’re constantly running 20% off 1 item coupons too.

  14. OB Recs in DC/VA :

    Happy Monday! So thinking of starting to TTC soon. Anyone have a good OB in the DC/VA area that they like? I’m also in my late 30s so maybe someone who is good with patients in the 35+ group. :)

    • Silver spring might be too far but I love Capital Women’s Care on Georgia Avenue. I had #1 when I was 33 and #2 at 36. They are totally on top of everything and yet helped me be calm and enjoy my pregnancies as much as possible, which is saying something because I am anxious in general and especially when pregnant. They are all good; my favorites are Dr. Shrout, Sine, Tyau, and Resta.

      (301) 681-9101

    • I suggest posting a more specific location if you are comfortable. OB trips become pretty frequent later in pregnancy, so you’ll want one that is reasonably convenient.

    • As long as you’re not particularly high-risk (age notwithstanding), I loved my experience with the midwives at Medstar Washington Hospital Center. They are committed to helping you have whatever kind of birth you want – even though they’re midwives they do not push “natural” birth on you if that’s not what you want (unlike some other midwife groups in the area – ahem *GW*). I never felt rushed during any of my appointments and the midwife who ended up delivering my baby was incredible.

      • Yes! Love them. Very skilled and very chilled. I loved my labor/delivery experience even though I ended up being induced, ha to have continuous monitoring, etc.

    • anon a mouse :

      Arlington Women’s Center is terrific, in one of the VHC buildings. They have both midwives and OBs. (You will see both in the early months, but then you can choose one or the other if you have a preference.) They coordinate with the VHC maternal-fetal medicine practice if you have any issues that are high-risk (I went to MFM for some extra scans; everything was seamless).

      Appointments run on time, and they have a good support staff. Several friends have also been very happy there.

    • OB Recs in DC/VA :

      Thanks all for the recommendations! And good point about location and frequent appointments–will admit hadn’t thought about that! I think anywhere in downtown DC (Chinatown to Foggy Bottom) to North Arlington (Rosslyn/Courthouse/Clarendon to Pentagon City/Crystal City) would be best since we work and/or live near there. Thanks again!

      • anon a mouse :

        I had a comment earlier that got eaten, but Arlington Women’s Center at VHC is fantastic. A mix of physicians and midwives. The practice is well-run and everyone there is terrific. They coordinate with the MFM practice if you have anything that needs extra attention. And VHC is a terrific place to deliver.

    • I saw medical faculty associates at GW. The whole practice is really pretty cohesive with their attitudes, which is great. I particularly saw Dr. Valentine and Dr Nelson throughout my pregnancy, both of whom I had a great experience with. They were not at my delivery (which was fine, unmedicated birth = I didn’t care who caught the baby) but one was at the hospital the day after. They are very supportive of the type of labor/delivery you want, whether that’s medicated or not. They ONLY deliver at GW though, so keep that in mind. Also – I had a very straightforward pregnancy and an almost textbook labor/natural delivery.

    • DC Wonkette :

      It’s all about where you want to deliver. Sibley is annoying because you have to pay a couple hundred bucks for a private room. GW is a teaching hospital and also tends to be a bit chaotic in the waiting room. I ended up going to Virginia Hospital Center which turned out great. Private rooms, great follow on support and breastfeeding groups, etc. I went to Prather/Perucci/etc and liked them.

      • Anonymous :

        You may want to check whether the fees still apply at Sibley. My understanding was that the new wing has only private rooms.
        Reiter Hill was recommended to me by my female general practitioner because I was not planning on having a kid until my late 30s. I have used that practice for almost 10 years now.

  15. Boston financial advisor? :

    Anyone have recs for a good (no-fee) financial advisor in the Boston area?

    Looking mostly for help in general as I have done pretty much no really planning at all, but specifically would be good to have someone who understands young professionals with high HH income (400k) looking to build wealth for the future. TIA!

    • Boston financial advisor? :

      And sorry…I meant fee-only, not no-fee!

      • I’d check the XYPN Find an Advisor directory. They are all fee-only planners with CFP designations. Most focus on younger clients.

        • (And would recommend Eric Roberge of Beyond Your Hammock specifically. But I’m not familiar with anyone else in Boston.)

    • Tom Fisher, Fisher Financial Strategies. DH and I met with him once when we were engaged and about to merge finances. Discussed long term goals, risk tolerance, etc. We consulted him again after we bought our house and check in periodically when our 401K options have changed.

  16. Grayscale or print/pattern with black shirts / blouses :

    Can anyone find me some grascale shirts (with black + one or two colors (and color can be white/ gray))? Preferably to not tuck in, also washable would be good?

    I want black in a top b/c it is in 90% of my winter skirts / pants, and the skirts will be worn with black tights (so a non-black-in-it shirt just seems to not go very well).

    I am striking out except for some vile black-multicolored floral numbers that are very much not me (I’m more of an Akris tastes / mall shop on sale budget). There was something short-sleeved (and maybe in dresses) from MM LaFleur, but my office is cold so I need long sleeves (and I layer on heathtech underneath).


    • Delta Dawn :

      The MML print is called Crackle– the Etsuko comes in that print, though it is a dress. It has 3/4 sleeves and can be handwashed. The same print is available in two other dresses, but they are short sleeved, as well as a skirt, but not a top that I know of.

    • I also search for these. My wardrobe is mostly black, grey, white, with a little navy. I also don’t like the floral options. I also don’t really care for stripes. I look for interesting but subtle or classic prints.

      You can keep an eye on Ann Taylor. I have a couple tops from them, but they are old. Here’s a few links, but they don’t all fit your long sleeved preference unfortunately, and some with lucky sizes only.





      I also recommend getting some great white tops.

    • I have a number of silk shells like this from Eileen Fisher in shades of black and gray. Total workhorses for me. They made these every year for a number of years. I think you can find them on eBay.

      • Here’s an example. I have this exact top


      • Last post – these are great for travel. I wash them in the sink and roll them in a towel, then hang to dry. They’re fully dry the next day, usually in the morning.

  17. Suit Seeker :

    Anyone have a rec for a sub-$500 suit for a pear-shaped lady? I prefer something on the more conservative end of the spectrum (biglaw), and prefer navy or gray over black. My usual go-to is Ann Taylor, but the selection right now is very limited in my size. I would usually just wait it out but I’m gearing up for a ton of depos in the next couple months and need to get 1-2 new suits asap.

    • I’ve had good luck in the past with Halogen and Tahari suits from Nordstrom.

    • BR wool suiting with the Logan fit pants

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Have you tried Talbots? Their suits are pretty pear friendly.

      • Ditto Talbots. Somebody here recommended their seasonless wool to me earlier this year and I was very impressed. It will need hemming unless you like your skirts below your knees.

    • Someone posted Le Suit brand at Macy’s that were on sale. They actually looked kind of nice.

    • I’ve had good luck with Calvin Klein’s basic suits at Macy’s and Dillards. Their pencil skirts are great for pear shapes.


    • Dress Barn has Jones New York suiting.

  18. Zurich & Munich :

    Talk to me about travel in and around Zurich & Munich in November. I’ll be there during the week of (Am.) Thanksgiving. I’m planning on going to Zurich’s Christmas market; I’ll probably miss Munich’s. Other than that, recommendations/experience/insight on: (a) what to wear – how likely is it to snow; (b) should I go see Dachau; (c) things to do/see and things that are overrated? TIA.

    • If you haven’t been to WWII camp before, I would go to Dachau. There is something very different about actually being there. It’s very powerful.

      • Agree. I went to Auschwitz-Birkenau a few years ago and it was mind-blowing. So huge. I thought I “understood” the Holocaust before I went there, but I didn’t. Also, separately, I had been in a bit of a work funk, and seeing what _actual_ suffering was put my life wholly in perspective. Truly, highly recommend.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I also recommend visiting a concentration camp if you get the chance. I visited Buchenwald and spent the next day and a half recovering/processing, so think about how you’re likely to react and how soon after you want to plan fun activities. I was in middle school so YMMV, but it’s worth considering.) Actually seeing the infrastructure of the Holocaust was very disturbing and added a dimension I didn’t get from learning about it in school.

          • Yes, absolutely cosign. I’ve only visited a smaller camp in Poland (I doubt that anyone would know the name if I shared it) and the thing that struck me the most was absolutely the institutionalized, infrastuctural element. The one I visited was only a short distance outside of a small town–there were train tracks, houses not all that far away, all of the trappings of “normal” life. All of that was going on less than a quarter of a mile from unimaginable suffering and deprivation.

            I also thought I knew plenty about the Holocaust. I had a Holocaust-focused summer internship in college; I’d already been to the Holocaust museum and experienced the visceral stomach-roil of standing in the train car. But going to an actual camp was still different again, because it made me confront how normalized institutional mass murder had been.

          • That’s how I felt after seeing a Cambodian genocide site. It should teach us all to prevent those horrors from happening to anyone else. Hasn’t worked very well so far considering the horrors that still occur on a daily basis.

            As a grandchild of holocaust survivors I don’t want to see the German camps. And please remember when/if you do go, you are treading on other people’s tragedies. This is not intended to be some kind of catharsis tourism.

    • It should be pretty cold and snow a little, so I would wear boots but not bother with proper snow boots unless you’re going out into the country. I usually wear a hip-length or knee-length down jacket, but people in Munich are usually more bundled up than people elsewhere, so ymmv….

      It’s a good time of year to eat fondue in Zurich (yum). I can’t really comment on whether or not to go to Dachau, since I haven’t been since we went as part of a school trip. If you can’t make it out for whatever reason (weather, logistics), then you might be interested in the Documentation Center on the History of National Socialism in the center of Munich.

  19. For the Canadian rettes – I have not been a frequent Sears shoppers over the years but have actually picked up a few good work pieces here and there. I would like to go check out the closing sales as they start this week but I also feel so badly for the staff. Will anyone be going over? Or, more generally for people who ever worked in retail/had a similar experience, beyond being extra nice to the staff do you have any guidance for interacting with them?

  20. Does anyone know of a style blog like Extra Petite that is not for petites? I’m looking for a good source for current wearable outfit inspiration, but most style blogs are a little too… stylish (ha) for me.

    • (I should add that I’m looking for ideas for weekend, travel, and business very casual looks.)

      • Hitha on the go (older posts, her recent stuff is getting weirdly annoying to me), Cup of Jo, Emily Henderson all have nice style that I follow.

        There was one from a woman in Minnesota that I loved but I cannot remember her name. it was style based but more so shopping your currebnt closet. I can picture her but not the name of the site. I liked her as she wasn’t your conventional “IG style” blogger, she seemed really authentic and had excellent advice based on your body type.

        • +1 to Hitha being weirdly annoying lately. It feels overly sponsored and inauthentic. I get that bloggers are trying to make money but her blog feels over the top trying to make money lately.

        • Already pretty- sally mcggraw. she’s got a nice style sense with a Midwestern/practical for winters utility. I really liked her blog

    • I am tall-ish and still get plenty of ideas from Extra Petite.

      • Same, although I liked her blog much more when she was actually working in an office. Her outfits now are pretty but not something I can really use for daily inspiration. I feel like at least half of them are party dresses and high heels, so it doesn’t really suit my lifestyle at all.

    • J’s everyday fashion.

      • I like J’s personality but sometimes her outfits are so ugly and just ridiculous. I appreciate she does things on a budget, and likes to experiment, but 90% of the time it is just so off.

        • I actually agree with what you said! But I still get a lot of inspiration for outfits from her site.

    • What about Wardrobe Oxygen? I love how honest she is, how open she is about her flaws, and how she dresses like a real person who actually goes to work does and not… ya know tulle skirts with Chanel bags on a Tuesday because some bloggers live in lalaland. (Do I love Chanel and ultra-fashiony looks, yes, but I know to not wear them to work, duh.) Bloggers used to be about street style and showing how real people dress and it morphed into something sterile (even if beautiful) and unrealistic — but that is what magazines are for!

    • I like See Anna Jane for casual looks. Memorandum has a mix of professional and casual looks.

    • Minnie Beebe :


      It’s pretty fashionable, all very current trends. But great for weekend looks.

    • You Look Fab?

    • Blue Collar Red Lipstick (more quirky, colorful, at least sometimes) or Franish? Both are on hiatus at the moment, and with Franish you’ll have to dig back into the archives, but I find both helpful for more “realistic” fashion blog inspiration.

    • I still follow Extra Petite, even though I’m not petite. I also like See Anna Jane (though sometimes her outfits are a bit $$$ for me), Kendi Everyday, and Penny Pincher Fashion.

    • For more casual looks, I like Looks Good From the Back. For work stuff, I like Nine-Thirty to Five (more active on Instagram) and Sarah’s Real Life. They’re both small, but I still get lots of ideas from them.

    • Outfit Posts
      Blue Collar Red Lipstick
      Putting Me Together and Jo Lynne Shane for more casual looks.

    • I like Putting Me Together for casual looks.

    • I used to follow Kendi Everyday. Haven’t been over there a lot lately, but I remember it being a much more accessible style than a lot of the fashion bloggers.

      • I used to love Kendi Everyday. She kind of went the way of most popular fashion bloggers – posting weird, very expensive stuff that I would never wear. I really miss her old style.

  21. Query —

    My 13 year old VW…it’s not going to make it. I was rejected for inspection and have been to three mechanics (one a specialist in my particular flex-pipe/manifold/cat converter issue), including a dealer. All are quoting me above $2K, and my car also needs new brakes (rusted out) and likely will need substantial other exhaust repair due to rust in the next six months to a year (in the range of $2-3K additional). I have loved this car. It has gone cross-country with me (several times), road-tripping, skiing, off-roading. It’s amazing. I have an irrational emotional attachment to it.

    Please, hive. Tell me that it’s time to turn it in. I think I am extra-sad because if I don’t do the repairs, the dealer will auction it and it’s going to go to scrap. Should I donate it to NPR or similar? Trade-in is not possible because I might be moving to NYC soon, and would not need a car there.

    Any advice on how to get the most for your money when it’s the end of the road would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    • Donating it is not going to change your car’s fate. If it’s that bad, it’s not like the program NPR has can make it better again. If they even accepted it, they’d probably also scrap it.

      I do understand having an irrational emotional attachment to a car. I have totally been there. Can you take a small piece of it before you get rid of it? I took the VW medallion off an old car once.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know – you need wheels if you don’t know if you’re moving. If you fix it, you have given it new life and a student or someone can buy it from you if you move.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Is this irrational? Yes. But I cried when I left my car at the auto shop after it had been totaled and someone was going to buy it to scrap it. I’d learned to drive in it, taken many high school adventures in it, etc. I got a new-to-me car, but I still miss “my” car. I took probably two dozen photos of it (somewhat for the benefit of posting it online for the guy to review, but also for me) and took photos of the quirks I had loved about it, like the lipstick on the roof from when my best friend and I were playing some game (don’t remember the name) where you slapped the roof of the car if someone’s headlight was out and my best friend forgot she had lipstick in her hand.

    • Anonymous :

      What will you be using for wheels between now and a move to NYC, or if you do not move?

      Can you list it for sale on a VW forum? If the engine and transmission are in good shape, someone will take it for parts.

      What is the sale value if you put $2,000 of work into it? What work will it need after that?

      • Anonymous :

        Just re-read where you talked about other repairs.

        Don’t do it. A car with that many problems has more problems. It sounds like your car is completely rusted out (exhaust, brakes, engine compartment). It’s done. Repairs will be more frequent and more expensive (because more stuff breaks away from rust during the repair process).

        Just find a person who loves their own VW and needs some functioning spare parts. Part of your car will go on.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry for the multiple comments:

        Your issue is not getting the most for your car. If it needs that much work and is a 13 year old vehicle, its worth is in the range of hundreds of dollars (maybe low, low, low four figures). In some states, like Massachusetts, any car that is sold must be able to pass inspection within seven days. If it doesn’t, the seller can pay for the repairs or unwind the sale. The only way around that is to bring it to a different state for sale or sell it as a salvage title.

        So whether you get $300 from a scrap yard or $700 selling it somehow is beside the point. Figure out a way to sell it that makes you feel good about giving it up, and that’s probably going to be to sell it to another VW owner for parts.

    • anon a mouse :

      As someone who has a well-loved VW and needs parts after a fender-bender, I just want to say that even if it goes “to scrap” it probably will help a fellow VW owner out.

      These cars are so fun, though — I totally understand why you are sad!

  22. How have you handled changing your name on your work email? I’ve seen the, “I just got married, please update your contact list to my new name” email, but only from women in their mid-20s, so I’m not sure if more established women go that route. I’ve also seen “First (Maiden) Married” in the signature block. How did you handle this? (My current last name is my first husband’s, so I’m definitely changing.)

    • Wtf does being an “established woman” have to do with it?

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        The strategy might be different for someone who’s established more of a reputation under her maiden (or ex’s) name versus someone who’s still closer to starting out anyway. Like, if you have publications under your old name, it’s more important to make sure everyone makes the connection when they see your new name.

        • Yeah my friend’s mom (who is an MD well known in her field) had about 10-15 publications under her belt and got married right as she was making a name for herself in her field (early-mid 30s). Its understandable why it would be hard to change your name when youre more established. She ended up not changing her name.

          Perhaps OP should go back to her maiden name?

    • I was in Big Law when I got married, and I just had the firm email system update my name. I think I put “First Married (formerly First Maiden)” in my signature block for a few weeks, but I definitely didn’t send an announcement email. People I worked with closely knew I had just gotten married, since I’d been out for over two weeks for the wedding and honeymoon. I assume everyone else figured I had gotten either married or divorced (more likely married based on my age) since those are the two big reasons for a name change. While I was working there a female partner in her 50s got divorced and went back to her maiden name. She also just changed her name and didn’t send a big email announcement about it.

    • Even among “established” women, I have generally seen just a change in name in the signature block. You can always add a (formerly “X”) in parentheses if you want for a short period of time.

      • +1. This is what I did (married last year after a decade of building my career under my maiden name).

      • +2 I left my maiden name in parentheses for about a year and then deleted the reference.

        Also – ask IT how long email to your maiden name email address will be delivered. My maiden name email address was the login for a particularly challenging set of gov’t sites, so my maiden name email is set to receive email and auto-forward to my married name email forever.

        • +++1 to this. I have a colleague who got married 18 months ago and by far and away the most challenging part for her was (and still is, because people are slow moving) changing her name on various data sites that our clients use combined with our IT department’s policies for when they phase out old email addresses. She’s had to request multiple extensions of the old email address while clients update/provide her access under her new email.

  23. Trial Question :

    I could really use some outside guidance and a sanity check on this. I am a senior associate and I am at trial. I am extremely ill, but don’t know where to cut it off and say I simply cannot work any more without looking bad. I just don’t know how sick I have to get before I reach that line. I also don’t want to risk not being staffed on cases in the future due to having to bow out due to illness, so don’t know whether to just take meds, drink lots of coffee, and push forward the best I can.

    My firm is generally very reasonable, but I feel like either the people I work with have transformed into other humans due to trial, or more likely they are too busy to read between the lines and I simply need to explicitly stand up for myself and my health. But questioning whether I should do that for reasons above.

    I’ll ask again in afternoon since it is later in the am.

    • Extremely ill how? Terrible cold? Nausea? Fever?

      • Trial Question :

        Fever, generally unsteady on my feet and unable to walk any distance without holding onto things, collapsed several times, urgent care doctor says I have bronchitis and I should come back in a few days if I am not doing better to get a chest X-ray.

      • Collapsing is the point at which you need to bow out. Past that point, actually. If you can’t stay conscious then you can’t do the work responsibly.

        The expectation is that you will treat every matter like it is your own. Ask yourself, if I were a solo practitioner, what would I do? If you are collapsing at work, the correct answer is, I would tell the client and the Court that I am physically unable to continue with trial due to illness and we will need a continuance. Fortunately, you are not a solo practitioner so the show can still go on. Without you. Go home.

      • Bow out. Your firm will understand that you have bronchitis and may get others sick. If the jurors get sick, they will definitely hold it against you. At the very least, take a day or two to sleep and medicate and reevaluate then.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        To me, that would warrant an ER visit. If you can, I’d do that. I’m not a biglaw litigatjon person, but fever and collapsing are, together, BFDs.

    • Do you have a diagnosis from a doctor? As much as it shouldn’t be like this, sometimes an official illness will make the higher-ups respect your decision to pass off work more than a general “I’m sick”. Above all, don’t risk your health for this and try to push through if you’re really too sick. It won’t help the team and it could really harm you.

      • Trial Question :

        Yes, I went to urgent care after days of this. Doctor says I have bronchitis and confirmed I have a 103+ fever.

        • Time to bow out. You’re not doing anybody any good by keeping this up.

        • Anonymous :

          I kept working through bronchitis and high fever and ended up with pneumonia. Colleagues then expected me to keep working through the pneumonia because I had worked with bronchitis. Do not be me.

    • How long is the trial going to be? Any chance you can just push through until it’s over? The majority of the time, I am very pro-self-care, but trial is really not the time or place. To scale back at all during trial, I would have to be nonstop vomiting or, like, giving birth. If you are unsteady on your feet, sit down. I would never ever take this approach for a normal workday, but trial is… trial.

      • Trial Question :

        Yeah, this is what I was afraid the attitude would be. I have at least another week, maybe two. And indeed, I have literally sat down on the sidewalk on the way to and from court because I can’t walk. And had to request to remain seated in court. I am afraid of injuring myself/hitting my head when I collapse, but perhaps I need to just hope I am lucky and nothing bad happens.

        • Seriously!? This doesn’t help you and I don’t know your workworld, so I can’t answer your question, but the longer I read the comments here the more convinced I am that something is terribly, systemically wrong with the law industry. How on earth did it come to be a work area in which it’s nearly impossible to be a human being? OK, rant over. hope you feel better.

          • It’s because all lawyers have to sell is their time. And because so much of our “product” lives in our heads, so while yeah, we’re fungible, we’re not exactly fungible. It’s not like being a doctor where there are charts meant to be used by multiple people that can be picked up midstream. Our work product is for the most part meant for us and possibly our team only while it is being created.

        • Anonattorney :

          Two things:

          1) You aren’t helping your team if you are not able to do your work. Figure out the tasks that you need to get done, and see if you have the energy to develop a plan to get someone else to cover those remaining tasks. Make a plan and then communicate that plan to the team and explain that you need to recover.

          2) For the future (after you handle #1): figure out how you got sick. My first trial I was super anxious and didn’t eat enough and didn’t drink enough water. I lost a ton of weight and got really weak. I was having a hard time staying on my feet, which was embarrassing and noticed by my trial team. I identified this as a problem that I wasn’t going to let happen again when I got into trial, so now I make sure I force myself to eat, and that I practice self-care to keep the anxiety from building up. Most of the partners I’ve been in trial with have a number of things they do to keep from getting sick (because it’s just a thing that happens). They carve out time to go to the gym; they see a chiropractor or herbalist; etc. If you just got sick because of reasons completely unrelated to trial, see if you can find ways to get that information to trickle up to the partners on the case. Otherwise — and this is the part that I hate — you will catch some blame for not being able to handle the pressure-cooker environment of trial. It totally sucks, but I think this is just a thing that happens.

          • Trial Question :

            I honestly think I got unlucky and caught a virus. I haven’t been sick, not even a cold, since law school and I am a senior associate. That includes going through multiple trials and other difficult periods of work.

            I still haven’t decided what I am going to do right now about bowing out or not, but my husband is already on the way to come and stay with me/take care of me if I decide to continue working (he can work remotely and take time off as needed), and to help get me home whenever that happens. But I afraid to bow out because I am afraid it will be viewed is that I cannot handle the work, even though my track record says otherwise. I am already afraid that negative judgment has already been made because of how sick I have been in front of others. I try to conceal it the best I can, but it is sort of hard to not show it at all.

    • Anonattorney :

      Are you second chair, or are you doing behind the scenes tasks with a large team?

      • Trial Question :

        There are three partners on the case, so no.

      • I’ve been a partner on a large, multi-week trial many times. I would not be critical of an associate for taking a step back in this situation. I cannot say that all of my partners would come out the same way, but frankly, I think they are ridiculous. We are human beings, even when we are at trial.

    • Biglaw lawyer here. I am sure you are important to the case and your work is critical. But you are NOT irreplaceable and the client and the partners on the case are not well served by a lawyer who is about to keel over. It’s time to bow out, at least for the next few days. If you take the time to rest and recover, you might be able to make it back in time for trial. Don’t feel like you need to perpetuate unreasonable expectations in law; we reasonable people will be the change this industry needs.

      • at a minimum, if you’re not directly involved in examining witnesses or doing something where your presence is required in the courtroom, can you ask to have another associate attend trial to cover whatever needs to be covered on-site and you will do the behind-the-scenes work at the office? I am not sure how much that will save your reputation, but it would help you avoid some potentially dangerous fainting situations. (And also, consider going to the ER if you’re collapsing. You may need to be admitted to the hospital in your condition).

        • Oh, and also, do you care what your future would be at this firm? If you’re not aiming for partner, then I think you have slightly more leeway to try to rearrange the associate coverage on the trial team.

          • Trial Question :

            I am aiming for partner or senior counsel. This also isn’t a situation where we have 15 associates on the team like someone mentioned. We have 3 and i am the most senior. I think I have no choice to keep going and let it show as little as possible, but plan to have my husband drive me around once he arrives. I realize this should not be the way things are.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            If there are three of you junior people they should be able to survive without you. Take care of yourself. If you had one more day, I’d say push through but you have a week+ and it is only Monday.

    • You need to take care of yourself. Bow out.

      Also, don’t take this the wrong way, but if I were your client I wouldn’t want you representing me in this state anyway. If you’re this ill, it’s unlikely you’re doing your best work.

      • Trial Question :

        Thanks all for the multiple perspectives I have gotten here. Appreciate it.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Let us know how it goes. You actually sound sick enough that a trip to the hospital might be in order. It’s hard to fault you for being hospitalized during trial.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes and honestly even if you’re not admitted, saying “I ended up in the ER last night” would go a long way towards helping people understand the seriousness of the situation.

        • You need to bow out. You are not irreplaceable. If you are working in an environment where you feel you need to keep going, then that is sad (coming from someone in the same position as you in Big Law).

    • wow, so much of what I read on here about law as a profession is absolutely horrifying. (I hope it’s clear that I mean that with sympathy/solidarity, not like a weird critique).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        It’s a mix of unrealistic expectations of humans and the nature of the beast. Having a sickness/injury mid jury trial is my worst nightmare. On the verge of trial, you can still get the court to reschedule but it is a royal pain. In the middle of a jury trial, your basically going to end up with a mistrial if there is no one to replace you, unless you expect to be better while that same jury is still sitting. Some judges might hold the jurors over a couple of extra days but the court schedule might not allow that if another trial is set to go. We had to reschedule a trial right before it started due to a client medical issue and our new trial date was over 4 months later. Mid-trial you now have seen and heard the other side present part of their case and vice versa. Your client has taken days off from work already that will have to be repeated. You may have paid experts $10k to be there and your client will now have to pay that again for them to show up again. That’s why it would have to be a really big emergency to bow out mid trial if you were solo. As a more junior person, that’s a different situation because the show can go on without her. In reality, so many cases settle now that you are lucky to get one trial/year so it’s not something we have to worry about too often.

        • Anonattorney :

          All of this. Also, being a successful trial attorney depends a lot on whether someone is capable of handling high pressure situations (not true for litigation generally, which only rarely leads to trial these days). It’s kind of the same as being a professional athlete. Everything leads up to the trial–hundreds of thousands of dollars (if not millions) spent in preparation, hours of people’s time, often with extremely high stakes on the line. The trial is the end-game. So if you can’t get through trial, then it becomes a big problem.

          That said, there is a big difference between being the first or second chair, and being one out of 15 people on the behind-the-scenes trial team.

    • To give you perspective of best and worst case scenarios:

      Best: You make it through trial, visibly weak and sick, and hope that the jury won’t let that reflect badly on your clients.

      Worst: You collapse midtrial and embarrass yourself, your partners, and your client, get berated for not allowing someone else to take over, and possibly get fired for a lack of judgment.

      Your best middle ground is to bow out and let someone else take over. This will blow over, but the worst case scenario will blow your career and the best case scenario still makes you look bad, so you might as well take care of yourself.

    • Another vote for bow out ASAP. I’ve posted about this before, and several others chimed in with similar stories. I was once very ill and toughed it out, but I wasn’t at my best. I didn’t get credit for pushing through. Instead, I got negative feedback on the quality of my work.

      To be clear, the message from the firm was not that I should have left sooner and taken care of myself–it was that I should not have been sick at all. Basically, I was in a lose-lose situation as far as work went. But once you’re at that point, your best plan is to take care of yourself and return to peak form ASAP (rather than risk getting pneumonia).

    • Can you simply bring it up to the partners very apologetically and let them make the call, so it doesn’t reflect badly on you? “Just wanted to let you know what is going on. I am experiencing the following symptoms and went to the ER last night. The doctor recommends xyz. I am dedicated to the team and want to contribute, but am concerned about appearing weak before the jury. Let me know how you think we should proceed. Maybe there are some tasks I could do from bed for a day or two while I get back on my feet.”

  24. thisiswater :

    So it looks like I am moving to London for work early in the new year. I’m at a Big4 accounting firm and the dress code in that office is “smart business.” I’m still trying to figure out exactly what that means and I’ve heard that London is a more formal work environment. I know I am going to have huge expenses in the first few months, even with a relo package, so I want to do clothes shopping here. Anyone in London or have previous experience over there want to weigh in on work clothing?

    • The Frenchie Is My Favorite Kid :

      Reiss and LK Bennett are UK brands with lovely, well made work clothes. Their sale prices (in boutique and also at department stores) are quite good, particularly in the post-holiday sales time.

      I’d wait and see what your colleagues are wearing and err on the side of formal until you know for sure. Princess Kate’s style – a bit conservative but still stylish, and particularly the more midlevel brands she is known to favor (see above re Reiss and LK Bennett) – but a bit more toned down color-wise is good way to go.

      You may also find that certain clothes, bags or shoes are accepted as “the” bags for “X Profession Woman of Y Age at Z Job” and you can decide for yourself whether you want to buy into that or not.

    • If you’re coming from the east coast (NYC or Boston or an equally formal city) I would not buy a new wardrobe for London before you go. Maybe a suit or two if you think you will need one and you don’t have one. But I would focus on getting clothes in London if you need them. Shop at Hobbs, Reiss, LK Bennett, Boden, and other UK stores – take advantage of the fact that they are so. much. cheaper. over there.

      Source: I just came back to NYC after a year + in London and did not find my office was any more formal than my office in NYC.

      • thisiswater :

        I’m coming from a BigLaw office in the south so I’m used to a very casual business-casual office. I will hold off on any big shopping though, but I do think I need to get some basics to hold me over for a few weeks at least.

    • Anonymous :

      Hi! Welcome! Please don’t be put off by January weather. London is so nice in spring / summer.

      I work in London in finance. I would say that ‘smart business’ means suits, tailored dresses with jackets and pants / skirts with blouses and mismatched jackets.

      • thisiswater :

        That’s what I am assuming that smart business means. I know only one of my interviewers was in a full suit but I am completely blank on what everyone else was wearing.

    • Hi,

      Late reply, but send off for the Junior League of London’s Living in London Guide. It’s well worth it. Do not buy clothes here. London is ahead of the US fashion-wise and your clothes will be dated if you buy them here. Trust me on this. London is on a European sales cycle (Jan and July) and so you can get GREAT bargains if you wait.

      You will love being an expat there. I did it twice and it was great!

  25. Design help please :

    Weirdly specific design/decor/furniture question: does anyone have any low nightstand/bedside table recs? I have the Drommen bed from CB2 and it is gorgeous but is very low, and most nightstands I’m finding online will be too tall next to it. I’m hoping to find something sturdy with a shelf for books and one or two drawers, but that doesn’t come up too high….any advice?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Have you considered mounting a shelf/drawer to the wall? It’s good because you can put it at the perfect height.

      Like the IKEA Ekby (though I swear I’ve seen it with only one drawer)? CB2 has a pricier one called “Slice Shelf.”

      • Rainbow Hair :

        If you search “Tvilum 7539449ak” on Amazon you’ll find one that’s MCM and short enough that people complain about it.

    • Look into floating nightstands like this: https://www.etsy.com/listing/500408310/oak-floating-bedside-table?gpla=1&gao=1&&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_-other-home_and_living&utm_custom1=c13af91b-1077-48b7-80a3-c66090c6f7d3&gclid=Cj0KCQjwsZHPBRClARIsAC-VMPCbq5EPncO1jI7PCpodpLIbnWgngE-Yu5tQOkFCnnq_21Y24J_zIcUaAuWjEALw_wcB
      If you need a lamp, mount it to the wall or the headboard.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I have the two-cube organizer from Target set on its side next to my low bed. It’s a bit long, but you can then buy Kallax accessories from Ikea to set inside- maybe a drawer insert or a basket that slides out?

  26. Paging R. Phalange :

    Hey R. Phalange, I responded to your post during the weekend, but didn’t see a response from you and wanted to offer again, to assist you. I’m an academic library Associate Dean with many years of library faculty hiring experience. If you want to bounce ideas or questions off of me, or want to run your resume or letters of application by me, I’m happy to help out. If you could post an anon email, I’ll get back to you. For various reasons, I don’t want to post mine.

  27. Car accident - financial affidavit question :

    (Not looking for legal advice and understand that responses arent legal advice).

    A relative has had a few auto insurance claims filed against them as a result of accidents (their fault). They are worried that if the claimant doesn’t like the insurance co’s offer, they’ll file a direct suit – so they want to take cash from the proceeds of the sale of their home (which predated accidents) and buy a new home to protect those funds. I feel like that won’t fly bc the funds were liquid at the time they completed the financial affidavit/disclosure but am i wrong?

    • This is jurisdiction specific. You will need advice from a lawyer in your location.

    • Not legal advice but a “direct suit” would still implicate the insurance company, their coverage and their defense. Your relative only needs to be worried if the policy isn’t large enough to cover the claim or if the insurance company is denying coverage for some reason.

    • Anonymous :

      Not really answering your question, but after having been almost killed by someone (drunk driver) and a family member almost killed by another driver and is now paralyzed for life, I learned that it is incredibly rare for the individual to be sued directly. We learned this from the lawyers. Even in cases with clear negligence and horrible injury.

      Did your friend have a very low level of liability insurance (eg. the 50k minimum required in some states, like NY?)?

      Did this accident cause injury due to blatant negligence (eg. driving under the influence) that lead to severe life long expense and disability to the other driver, and your friend was underinsured and your friend obviously has funds / is from a rich family, and the victim is vindictive? Even that scenario is crazy rare.

      And if it is true that your friend was in this situation, then…. honestly…. maybe your friend should have to pay? But I promise you…. they wont.

      Speaking as someone whose family member is now paralyzed, has horrific pain daily, complete dependent upon others for their care, and a life of struggle and sadness and impoverishment due to an underinsured driver who carried the bare minimum of insurance required by their state…. even we didn’t sue personally the driver. The lawyer said there was no point, as most individuals are not filled with $$ anyway. And we are not vindictive.

      But we all carry an incredibly high level of insurance for ourselves, and in case we ever hit anyone, with a large umbrella policy. Because if we hurt someone…. we should pay. And if someone underinsured/uninsured hits me, I know my insurance will have to step in.

  28. I want to hire a housekeeper – not a weekly cleaner, but someone to come in multiple times a week for cleaning but also some cooking/food prep, tidying, laundry, etc.

    I’m curious: how many hours per week do you think you’d need to have someone work to take most of the housework off of your plate? I think 15 hours would make a tremendous difference to me; I’d still have to do stuff that can only be done in the evenings (unpack/repack daycare bags, clean up after dinner, etc) and I’d still plan on meal planning and shopping once a week, but I think that 15 hours a week would take care of most of the rest of it. But not sure how accurate my accounting is, and am wondering what others think. FWIW, I have two kids and a three bedroom house; kids are in daycare all day, but do mean that there is a daily load of laundry and they need their lunches packed every day. I wouldn’t want someone to tidy any of the bedrooms. I’d hope to get a basic dinner cooked for the family at least three days/week.

    • I don’t know if this is a helpful answer, but for us it made a lot of sense to hire someone by the tasks we wanted her to do, and pay her for accomplishing those tasks. It takes her different amounts of time in different weeks (sometimes she brings her sister, gets done twice as quickly, and splits the cash). She set the price in total for what I wanted to get done each week, and told me how long she thought it would take (and I thought the time estimate was reasonable and the price fair given the # of hours of work she stated – I wouldn’t want to underpay her).

      • This is what I’ve always done for cleaning – have you had your person do more than that? For some reason I’ve been assuming that all the rest of the stuff moves it into the category of hourly employee, but maybe not?

        • I have this, plus babysitting and driving. My kids are 13 and 15 and so just need to be picked up and driven places. I pay her $15 an hour for the time she is here, plus $120 a week for the cleaning (which she can do whenever she wants, and if she can make it work during the time she is here with them then yay for her). I also pay an extra $15 a day for use of her car. She comes Mon-Thu 3:00 – 6:00 (or later if I need her — I pay the minimum 12 hours a week no matter what but extra if she works extra) and every day I come home to a straightened up house. She lets me know when I am out of stuff, she buys cleaning supplies, picks up the dog, etc. The longer she has worked for me the more she does — its been 6-7 years now. She doesnt love to cook but everything else is fabulous so I still do most of the cooking. She does laundry, all the cleaning, bascially whatever I need help with. Its awesome. I highly recommend getting someone older rather than younger because she will be able to work more years.

    • OMG I want this so much! I think 15 hours sounds about right but also wonder if that’s enough to have a person. If you did 20 you could maybe add on errands/shopping? Where are you going to find someone for this?

      • My hope is to find either a student or a stay at home mom who wants to do some work while her kids are at school, but still have time left over to take care of her own household stuff. Going to advertise on care.com and see what responses I get.

        • I think it would be easier to find someone for 2 full days vs. 3 half days, so I would just be flexible. You could still have 3 meals a week if one is something that can be prepped ahead of time (e.g., lasagna, etc.).

        • Anonymous :

          For what it’s worth, my grandmother did something along these lines for local families in her 50s and 60s. She really enjoyed it, and also served as back up childcare for them. You might try a local senior citizen center if you have one.

    • Cornellian :

      I honestly can’t imagine having someone else in my house 15 hours a week. Maybe if most of them were when I wasn’t home..

      I think two or three two-hour weekly sessions would do wonders for my life.

    • We enjoy the luxury of having a housekeeper to do work like this. It is a huge help in our two-career household. We have 4 kids and a big house. My housekeeper comes 2 days a week for a total of 12 hours (it used to be 14, but changed due to various schedule changes). We pay her an hourly rate. She does cooking, kids’ laundry, and all the house cleaning. We do the meal planning and grocery shopping (and the adults’ laundry). It makes evenings much more relaxed for us.

      I think that 15 hours a week (as you’ve proposed) will take care of a lot of your housework. A few tips for you: to make her time more efficient, avoid daily laundry. Have laundry batched to one day a week so that the effort of folding and putting away is done only once. Also batch cooking: after cooking the kitchen has to be cleaned, so have her cook 2 meals in one day rather than cooking every day. I know from my own habits that switching between tasks makes me waste time, so less switching often means less time wasted.

      • Thanks, this is exactly the kind of advice I needed! My husband works from home, so laundry is not our primary concern (he can get to that relatively easily), but I think I’ll ask this person to at least do my delicates – he hates doing that because he’s always worried he’s going to screw them up somehow. The batch cooking is exactly the kind of tip I needed, though!

  29. Life Happens :

    To all the legal eagles on here… Looking for advice and/or thoughts.

    I just found out that my college ex-boyfriend has written a book. I know because he is promoting it via FaceBk and has opened a GoFundMe page to raise money for self-publishing and to clear some “legal judgements” in order to release the book. The book is a memoir/autobiography and he has published the first 2 chapters online as a teaser to promote donations for the full book.

    I started to read the 2 chapter excerpt – and sure enough – I am in his book. He lists all of the details of how we met, our relationship and my family. He does me no favors and paints me in a horrible light (we had a bad breakup). He also mentions my college, my year of graduation, my ethnicity, my parent’s hometown, my high school, what car I drove, how I look, my parent’s business, and details about how they operated their business (a financial biz that deals in cash mostly – and he makes it seem like it’s shady), and tells stories in detail about conversations he’s had with my mom and dad, and other really telling information. It is SO much detail that it is nearly impossible to NOT know it’s me. Also, he did not change my name entirely. He only changed the spelling. (Think: Elizabeth, goes by Liz, changes in the book to Lisabeth – for example).

    I am incensed. I haven’t spoken to this man in over 10 years. We broke up in 2002, post-college. I am shocked that he remembers so many details – and that he is that worked up that it would be several chapters in a book.

    I also have a super public facing role – (I’m in PR/Comms) – and he discloses all kinds of details and makes me incredibly identifiable.

    What can I do? What should I do? Do I contact him? Get a lawyer? Why is he paying “judgments”? Does this mean he has already been sued by someone else?

    • I have no idea about any of the legal issues, but I bet that since he’s self-publishing and needs a GoFundMe in order to do so, nobody is going to read his book. Maybe his closest family and friends.

      • Yeah this is one where you might have some legal rights, but the practical consequences of enforcing them might be SO not worth it.

        You sue and then people say – oh why is she suing – and it draws WAY more attention to the book than it ever would have gotten on its own. How likely would random readers actually be to identify you and your family from it, if they didn’t already know the names of the real people?

        • Life Happens :

          Right. And I’m assuming someone else sued, hence his reference to raising money for “legal judgments”.

          Maybe this will go away on its own…

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          This happened with “I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell.”

      • This is probably true. The odds totally point towards that. But then one remembers that 50 Shades of Grey started out self published.

        • Anonymous :

          There are a gazillion books self-published every year, and a tiny fraction of them have any hope of becoming a Shades of Gray phenomenon. Signed, editor who works with self-publishing authors

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah. There are some exceptions (50 Shades of Gray!) but for the most part self-published books really aren’t that different than a long rant on your personal Facebook page. Most people would probably actually reach a larger audience with a Facebook post than with a self-published “memoir” that is really only of interest to their nearest and dearest.

    • Anonymous :

      WHOA. No advice, but that is crazy and I’m sorry you’re going through that.

    • Anonattorney :

      So sorry you’re dealing with this. If all of the information is true, then I’m not sure if you can do anything. However, talk to a lawyer about a “false light” claim (or even a defamation claim) if you think that the book portrays you in a misleading and unfair way. There are very high standards to meet under this claim, but depending on what’s in the book, you might have some leverage.

      Ultimately, though, I agree with the anon who said that no one is going to read the book.

    • I would agree that it doesn’t sound like anyone will actually read this but I understand how incredibly disturbing and unpleasant this must be. I’m not sure you can do much legally, although I suppose you or a lawyer could reach out to him to ask that he change some other identifying info. He may not be opposed if he already voluntarily changed your name, sort of. One thing I’d add – is it possible that it’s all identifying to you but wouldn’t be to others? Sure, your mutual acquaintances maybe would recognize you but to the extent you’re worried about your career – how likely is it that someone who knows you would read his book and figure out that it’s you? Or would read his book and want to know who you are now? Maybe you can ask a friend to read the two chapters and tell you their perspective.

      • Life Happens :

        Yes, two friends read it and feel like it’s totally and completely obviously me.

        I am one of maybe 4 or 5 people of my ethnicity (caribbean island) that went to that specific ivy that graduated that year. It’s even more evidently me because I am the only one from that specific city who went to that specific private school who drove that specific car and had a car accident in senior year and was in a wheelchair and then a cast.

        My biggest concerns are 1) how he paints my family biz to be shady and 2) that we travel in the fairly small circle of northeastern people of color from “prestigious schools”. This is a thing – and everyone knows everyone or knows of everyone – so even if 5 people read this book, it’s likely they will know someone who knows me or knows of me…

        I think this is such a petty and small and childish thing to do – and I want to make sure I’m being rational and not emotional about it.

        Thank you SO much for your replies. Feel better just even knowing I’ve vented and that I’m not totally crazy for thinking this is nuts.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I feel like it’s much more likely to reflect badly on him than on you. It just seems so classless to write about you and your family in so much identifying detail. If anybody asks about it, I’d think your best move would be to say “Well, he has an interesting take on things. I’m just chalking it up to literary license, I guess!”

          • Senior Attorney :

            Or “yeah, I thought about suing but then decided that would just give that foolishness more attention than it merits.”

          • Anonymous :

            This is much better than “I thought about suing”

          • Life Happens :

            Thank you for this. SO much appreciated.

          • Anonymous :


            “I guess every aspiring novelist has to start somewhere. He must have been short on inspiration.”

          • +1

            “I guess he felt like he had an axe to grind.” or similar might be good too.

            I’m sorry you’re going through this. Not that I’ve written a memoir, but were I to I would think it would be common courtesy to try to do a better job obscuring people’s identities! But agree with others who have said that saying anything about it would likely make it worse.

  30. Boss’ Day :

    Today is Boss’ Day. I’m not gifting up, but was it inappropriate to send my boss a quick email letting him know I appreciate his mentorship and our collaboration and openness as we work together? We’re the only two people on our team.

    • No. I didn’t even know it was Boss’ Day until I saw this post. Nobody has said anything to me and frankly, I’d think it was weird if somebody did. It’s a made up day that isn’t worth mentioning.

      Sending an email to your boss about how much you appreciate him might still be a nice thing to do. Just not in the context of “Boss’ Day.”

    • NOPE boss’s day shouldn’t exist and I refuse to believe it’s a thing. I’ve never heard of it except for on the internet- where people are rightfully questioning its existence and what they should do.

    • Anonymous :

      The thought is nice, but it’s a fake holiday and I think if we don’t acknowledge it, it’ll go away.

  31. Anonymous :

    Anyway else dying from seasonal allergies today? I woke up this morning at 6 am and sneezed for an hour straight and I’ve been miserable all day. In the lower Midwest and Weather.com says Ragweed pollen is very high today so that must be the culprit.

    • Anonymous :

      This has been the worst summer/fall for allergies for me. I have to take meds around the clock just to feel somewhat normal.

    • Yep, ragweed is killing me today. Yey for bulk off-brand allegra from Costco…

  32. Tom Fisher, Fisher Financial Strategies. DH and I met with him once when we were engaged and about to merge finances. Discussed long term goals, risk tolerance, etc. We consulted him again after we bought our house and check in periodically when our 401K options have changed.

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