Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Long-Sleeved Wrapover Dress

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

This H&M dress, at least on the model, looks like the kind of thing that an elegant French businesswoman would wear, and I think it shows a lot of promise. I would probably wear it with a camisole underneath, at least the first time (and if you’re me, a heck of a lot of Spanx). It looks like a really good option if you like elegant, sophisticated styles like this — and for only $35. It comes in sizes XS-XL and is available in black and a dark khaki green. H&M Long-Sleeved Wrapover Dress

Two plus-size options (from Eloquii) are here and here.

Psst: Have you caught the reader comments lately about Target’s ponte blazer? When a reader first mentioned it, the white was only $9, but that has sold out. (There’s a similar blazer — or some say the same — in black and gray, but right now it’s $29.99.) Here’s what one reader said about the one originally mentioned:

Thank you to whomever recommended the $9 ponte Target jacket. It’s a great deal and has the same lines as the MMLafleur. I hesitate to compare them as there is a huge quality divide between them but for $9 I am very happy.

Two things that I did with this are take out the shoulder pads (it was an easy snip), and slip stitch the lapel to the jacket on the inside so it would lay flat.

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  1. I debated whether to post this or not, but I figure maybe it will help you to respond better to the next woman who asks for assistance and says she has social anxiety.

    For those of you who thought I might be abusing my medication, I’m not. I’m allowed to increase my dose if I need it. I haven’t done so in almost 5 years. I am not taking lexapro.

    My social anxiety occurs in work situations and anytime I have to socialize with people from high school. I went to boarding school so that’s rare, thankfully! The complication for me is that I have a tendency to dwell on even minor mistakes and not be able to get past them – to not be able to function. It’s a form of inertia, like mental paralysis. Yes, I have met with therapists.

    5 years ago it was really bad. I got in a car accident. I got PTSD and I spent a day lying on my floor, unable to do anything because I spiralled and just could not get past it. No one was hurt, except me, but I had overwhelming guilt.

    So yesterday I was looking for answers about how to deal with the relationship with the new boss based on the fact that the Director had told him that my team is inflexible and unwilling to accept change. Our new manager then held a team meeting on Tuesday. He sent out an agenda beforehand with Change as the top item and told us that we needed to accept it.

    I’ve had migraines for over a week and I’m PMSing (only realized that today). My natural inclination is to duck or work from home, but I couldn’t do that yesterday. We were interviewing a candidate for a new role. Oddly enough, at work I’m the “extrovert” on my team. My teammates are lovely people, but they don’t talk so I have have to ask the questions and keep the conversation going. Yesterday was very trying.

    In regards to the specifics of yesterday’s post and the responses, I’m sorry if I came off defensive. In light of the information above, perhaps you can see how some of your comments were unhelpful. Telling me that my response to my boss was wrong is just another mistake that I dwell on instead of working through the larger issue of the relationship with my manager.

    Also, I’d like to address 2 particular comments that I saw before I stopped looking at the posts completely, because it just gives me more to dwell on and beat myself up over. I’m really not a difficult person to work with and that comment was hurtful.

    Also, for the person who said that the common factor in my posts is my manager and not me, I’d like to say I have had 7 managers in less than 5 years. There is a lot of turnover in IT. Managers are often promoted from within and they usually have neither the management nor the people skills. And, if you remember that far back, you might also remember that the first manager went on a business trip with me and didn’t bring his wallet so I had to pay for everything, including the rental car. And the second manager was living in my colleague’s basement, rent-free.

    Anyway, as I said, I’m quitting this site. That’s not a case of “taking my toys and going home,” but a positive action for my well-being. I posted here because my support system is currently lacking so I’m looking for another community. But please… the next time someone asks for assistance and says they have social anxiety, show a little more compassion.

    • Huh? I think you might be too fragile for the Internet.

    • anon for this :

      This is a public s!te and looking for support from strangers is probably not the best approach for dealing with emotional needs… I read your original post but I missed the part about social anxiety (mostly because I tend to just skim things online) and probably many others did too. Anyway, good luck with your new manager and perhaps look for other outlets (friends, family, therapists) to help you with your social anxiety and professional challenges.

    • Also have anxiety :

      Er, well, that escalated quickly.

      Best of luck to you.

      • I think the HIVE owe’s this woman an apology. Yes, she seems’ a bit fragile, but all of us have our issues. I have gotten support from freinds in the hive that more then make up for the few that like to bash me (why, I will probably never know for sure), but to the OP, we DO operate as a women’s group that supports each other in any way we can, of course while respecting that this site promote’s great clotheing we should ALL buy if we can find it within our buddgets to do so.

        OP, I am alot like you and I feel your sensitivies. Stick around and you will see there are other careing women in the hive that will come out from behind their screen’s to be supportive. I wish you well in any event, but can tell you that you are an excellent writer! YAY!

    • Hey Anon,

      Please don’t take this the wrong way but we are not mind readers, and there is a limit to the type of support you can get from an anonomyous online community anyway. I hope you find a therapist and in person support group that you are happy with. However, no need for the snark towards those who have limited info to make a decision with.

      • +1 How you expected to get “helpful” responses perfectly tailored to your fullsome life experience without asking a specific question or providing your background information is beyond me…

        Ultimately, I think if you have to give this much background information in order to get helpful responses, this may not be the right forum and someone who already knows your background (like a therapist or a close friend) would be better suited to help you. Also, helpful feedback is not always comfortable feedback. If you are unable to read uncomfortable feedback due to a mental illness condition, then my comment about this not being the right forum is doubly true.

      • Yes, exactly. I’m really confused as to how we were supposed to somehow know all of this (particularly the “when people say/do x, my response is y”) before responding to her post.

        I am pretty sensitive about criticism and I also suffer from anxiety. Part of the way I cope with my particular issues/situation is that I don’t seek out situations where I feel there’s a high likelihood I’m going to get upset by something I see or hear. When I am stressed or need certain types of emotional support, there are people I talk to (my husband; a longtime friend) and people I don’t (my mother, other friends). All respect to X, we don’t really know her and she doesn’t know us. I get irritated by people posting here, and then saying “I was expecting support and encouragement (which usually means, I was expecting a unilateral cosign of what I was saying) and I didn’t get it!” Well…I don’t know, hon, have you been here long? I think this community can be incredibly supportive but I also have used it many times as a gut-check, because if my thinking is wrong-headed or I’m not considering all the angles in a situation, someone will tell me. This is not the place to come for advice if all you want are sunshiny hugs and happy-happy comments. And I like that, and have found it useful over the years.

        Anyway. Sorry, X, that you had a bad experience and I hope you can find support elsewhere, online or IRL, that will be more to your liking.

    • Anonymous :

      Srsly? You need to do some more self reflection. People tried very hard to help you, and you’re stirring the pot a day later for no reason. We cannot be your therapists, and I hope you are working with one. Your boss correcting you about a minor email does not need to derail you.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1

        OP you refer to meeting with therapists but not pursuing ongoing CBT. You may wish to consider this, as an anonymous internet community cannot provide you with the level of support you require to move forward to have a productive relationship with your new manager. You have a great opportunity to establish a positive relationship with your new manager, I would encourage you to seek CBT so that you are equipped to take advantage of that opportunity. Best of luck to you.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, and the pretense that she is doing this for the good of other people with anxiety is such transparent manipulation. That may be part of it, but this is mostly pot-stirring and some sort of pathological need to get the last word.

        Also, I’ll call this right now: She’ll be back in some form or other.

        • Is this the former MissBehaved?

          • Yup, Bunkster, Miss Behaved and probably some other aliases too.

          • She quit in a similar fashion back in 2012(ish?) under the MissBehaved alias.

            For OP’s sake, I hope she seeks the help she needs and really does quit this s!te for good. There’s a lot for OP to work on and clearly this is not the constructive environment OP needs.

          • Very similar flounces as Bunkster (in 2013) and Miss Behaved (in 2014). The cycle of doing the same thing over and over again is probably the most concerning part.

          • Yes, it was 2014. It coincided with Boston’s crazy snow that winter (and I agree with the concerning part).

    • So much of your post reads familiar to me.

      I strongly encourage you to resume care with a psychiatrist and a therapist to address your issues. It can be much better, and I promise you…. as a physician…. that your current methods of care are not appropriate or sufficient, considering what you post here.

      It can be better. Much better.

    • Anonymous :

      Announcing you are quitting posting comments on an anonymous commenting blog is such a cry for attention. You want to leave, leave. No need to announce it.

      I have anxiety, although it is not social anxiety. You need to learn how to manage that on your own. It is not anyone else’s responsibility to manage that for you or to treat you with kid gloves or differently than anyone else. This is the real world, people do things you won’t like and people say things you won’t like. You need to figure out what is necessary for you to function in this world. Whatever that is, I hope you figure it out soon.

    • I hope you get the help you need bunkster. This post seems very manipulative. I won’t pile on, but I do think you need to think about how you interact with people- it seems you only want or care about them on your terms.

    • I vaguely remember your post, not going to get into whether folks were too harsh with you specifically or not, but reading this site semi-regularly, the commenters here do have a noticeable number of less than helpful and sometimes downright rude folks, though the majority are great. Try the Friday open thread at Ask a Manager for work advice related to your anxiety and Captain Awkward for the “supportive online community” aspect of your needs. I caution that you will get honest and sometimes hard to hear perspectives on these sites as well, but in general their comentariats take a more supportive approach and are structured in such a way as to be less likely to elicit rude or judgemental responses.

      • +1 to Captain Awkward – the comments there are more heavily moderated, and you may find the atmosphere is more conducive to seeking support for social anxiety (as well as finding fellow-sufferers). I do want to (gently) reiterate the recommendations for ongoing therapy, including possibly some form of group therapy if it’s available to you, as I think that may ultimately be more helpful to you. Good luck, and I am sorry you are suffering.

    • Good for you OP.

      I have not read your post or the answers. In general, this is a place where people are waiting to take out their frustrations on others. Don’t take what people said your heart. It is just the reflection of their miserable life. If you see most of the people here are in therapy and hardly have their lives together. What good advice can you expect from them?

      I suggest you take care of yourself physically. Along with therapists, if you are open to spirituality, please look into specific branch of spirituality which looks into the nature of mind (Buddhism, Advaitha branch of Hinduism). It helps you understand your mind and take control over it.

    • Wow, epic flounce.

    • Yikes what’s with the pile on? OP, I’m sending you lots of encouragement and positive energy. Hugs to you.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I hope your days get better and you are feeling better soon. Hugs if you want them.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m really sorry for all the hard stuff you’re going through. Hoping some relief is right around the corner.

  2. Anonymous :

    It’s time for my regular “I hate my job” vent. Actually I don’t hate my JOB, I hate that one of my superiors apparently hates me. She doesn’t respect me, she doesn’t like me, she treats me like a small stupid child, she is hindering my career progress, and I’m so miserable. I know I need to let it go, but I’m one of those people who generally gets along with everyone, and the fact that someone doesn’t like me really bothers me. I have tried SO HARD to win her over.

    Yes I’m job hunting but ack.

    • Anonymous :

      +1. Understand, currently there as well, also job hunting. It has taken me a year to “let it go” (which I say only because a friend told me this is the best she has seen me in a while) but it has now turned into despising boss. Which isn’t much better and makes me feel like I have not let anything go, just turned it from sadness to internal rage. :/

    • Anonymous :

      This is the type of situation where it is very helpful to flip it in your mind. I have found that when someone is nasty to me, it’s about them. Either they have something going on in their life that is causing them to act this way or they see something in me that they don’t like about themselves and they take it out on me.

      At any rate, flip it in your mind from being about you (what she doesn’t like about you) to being about her (there is something going on with her that is causing her to act this way). Most of the time the way people act has nothing to do with us – it’s really hardly ever about us.

      • Great point here. When I was having boss trouble I just made a point to lean way, way out and search for a new job. It is about them and you will find a spot where you can shine. Bosses who are threatened by their staff are going to be this way.

      • This is real a mature and smart approach.

        When I was a relatively new hire, there was an important administrator that affected my daily productivity and was openly dismissive, rude, and was starting to have a ripple effect. After failing with prior approaches of professionalism, firm but polite, friendly etc.. I walked right up to her and said “There seems to be a real problem here. Is there something we need to talk about?”

        And out of left field came a brief flood of personal disclosures that utterly startled me. They did not excuse her behavior, but put it in perspective. Her just being able to say it, and my saying “I’ve very sorry you are struggling with that, let me know how I can help and let’s work on this together.” had a huge effect. her attitude changed and we no longer had problems.

        You never know what is really going on with people.

  3. Blush blazer :

    I managed to find the Halogen blazer featured last week in blush in my size. It looks great, but I’m struggling with how to style it. It works all right with jeans, but looks weird with skinny khaki-colored pants or a light tan pencil skirt. It doesn’t look good with any of my dresses either. It only seems to work with white and very pale grey. Any other ideas?

    • Purple? Charcoal? Olive?

    • I find colored blazers to work best over a monochromatic outfit in a different color. Most likely skinny pants and a blouse in the same color. For the blazer you described, I’d probably try charcoal gray pants and a charcoal gray silk blouse. Jewelry kept to minimal neutral pieces in gold or silver. What I don’t like is a blazer in one color, a blouse in a second color, and pants/skirt in a third color. (Of course it can work in some instances – just as a personal opinion I think it looks more sleek to keep to two colors). Black might also work better than you think.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t wear khaki or tan.

      • +1

        It took me years to learn this, but very true.

      • You mean don’t ever wear khaki or tan? Or don’t wear them with the blush blazer? I’m considering purchasing the MML foster pant in “Russett” (basically, khaki) because I think I would wear them with white silk tops, a peach shell I have under a cream blazer, etc. I like the slight variations on monochromatic and like light colors in the spring and summer, so I thought the khaki Fosters would be nice. Is the color just universally frumpy?

        • Yeah basically it’s hideous and should never be worn, in my opinion.

          • +1 – this is harsh but ya I agree 100%.

            I have a camel wool skirt that I may wear with black or burgundy in the fall/winter but otherwise, I think khaki is generally unflattering to pretty much everyone.

          • As a person of color, tan looks amazing on me.

          • I wear camel / khaki either with a lot of white or with a lot of black or with something wild (leopard / busy DVF pattern).

            Like: black leather pencil skirt with camel cashmere sweater and giant Nancy Pelosi pearls. The yin to the yang of leather.

            But not with another medium color.

          • Agreed. It’s bad casual wear from the men’s section. Not ever going to be fashionable. Once it leaves your closet you will never miss it.

          • Yup. Camel is one thing, khaki is hideous.

          • Look at NYNY’s post below. It’s about contrast. I’m high contrast and I look awful in tan and khaki. But think of someone who has more uniform coloring, whether dark or light. Think of how elegant Cate Blanchett looked in her expensive beige and tan ensembles in Blue Jasmine. She’s a low contrast type and can pull it off.

        • Baconpancakes :

          I think on pants and skirts it’s fine.

          Also, as an extremely pale person, very light tan in the right color looks great on me. My tan trench coat looks fantastic in photos because it’s just slightly warmer than my skin tone. Champagne and blush, on the other hand, make me look dead.

          Depends entirely on your coloring. Also, the undertones of a color greatly influence which colors you should wear it with. Cool undertones (like in the blush blazer) will not look good with warm colors like tan or khaki. They will look better with sharper colors, like white, black, saturated jewel tones (blush looks great with emerald).

    • Anonymous :

      I wear it with a black shell, black pants and interesting shoes. Leopard print shoes go great with black pants + blush blazer. Another option is white shell or white shell with blush or coordinating color details + black or grey pants. Or over a black sheath dress.

    • Anonymous :

      Gray jeans, silk black and white printed sleeveless top, blush blazer.

    • What is your coloring? Because that makes a huge difference in how you wear colors together.

      I have a lot of contrast: Dark hair, dark eyes, and significant eyebrows against pale skin. I wouldn’t generally wear that blush color due to a lifelong aversion to pink, but if I did, I would wear it with a dark color, like black, charcoal, or navy. Wearing all pale colors washes me out.

      On the other hand, my sister has lighter hair, green eyes, and less pale skin, so she has very little contrast. She looks better when the colors she wears are similar in tone. With a pale blush, she would likely wear cream, camel, or light olive.

      • Blush blazer :

        My coloring is similar to yours except that my eyes are light. Lots of contrast.

        I didn’t really consider trying the blush with black since it seemed like too much contrast, but maybe that’s the way to go. All light colors did indeed wash me out. I will try pairing the blazer with my black M.M. LaFleur Rachel.

        • Navy blue or a dark gray would be my pick. Slightly less harsh than black, but still works as a dark neutral. I also like blush with olive (on other folks, I cannot wear blush at all).

      • This is really good advice. Figuring out my contrast level has been everything. I can only wear pastels or other light colors if I wear them against a dark color. Otherwise I just look all kinds of wrong. I have medium to dark brown hair (sometimes called “chestnut”), pale skin and blue eyes.

        I also look pretty terrible without some kind of lip color.

    • Blush doesn’t go with tan. I think it looks best with navy, burgundy and most shades of gray.

    • I have a blush blazer that I wear with black, charcoal and eggplant purple. (I think it also could work with chocolate brown, although I don’ have much of that). My most recent outfit with this jacket was charcoal pants and a navy and white polka dot blouse.

  4. Feeling Invisible :

    Depressing question for a Friday morning, but I feel like the human version of a p0tted plant and could use some advice.

    I think I’m a kind and loyal person and I can make my husband and a couple close friends laugh, but I just can’t seem to engage or connect with anyone outside of my immediate circle. I’m bad at small talk and not just in the sense that I’m unable to schmooze strangers. Im pretty sure my co-workers and acquaintances find it painful to talk to me and that I fail the “stuck in an airport” interview test. I know small talk is a skill that can be learned and I’ve been working on it, but it’s more than just that. I feel like my personality just lacks a sort of…sparkle (?) that everyone else seems to have. I think I’m a nice person but I’m honestly not sure I have much of a personality (we all know “nice” is how you describe someone when you can’t think of any other positive adjectives). I see my co-workers bantering and laughing and just generally having a rapport with each other that I can’t seem to develop with anyone despite going out of my way to smile and say hi. I join organizations and see everyone else becoming friends and forming connections with each other and I’m left out. No one is being mean to me, it just seems like I’m not able to connect with other people the way 99.9% of people can.

    This post was prompted by my boss walking into my office this morning, seeing a photo of my dog on my desk and saying “I didn’t know you have a dog!” We’ve had at least 10 conversations where I’ve mentioned my dog. And he’s not a bad guy or a forgetful person in general. It just seems like nobody in my life (except immediate family and BFFs) really knows anything about me or cares to. I feel completely invisible and it’s kind of making me sad…

    • Anonymous :

      I tend to have a great memory for detail but many people don’t. I wouldn’t take your boss forgetting about your dog personally. Not everyone ‘sparkles’ and that’s okay. Just chat about whatever you enjoy.

    • Anonymous :

      I would bet that you’re really doing a lot better than you think you are.

      I feel the same way (invisible) sometimes. For me, I’ll feel like everyone is having fun without me. But in reality (and as I try to remind myself when I feel like that), those are just messed up and distorted thoughts, where I’m expecting other people to read my mind and show a huge amount of interest in me. I try to remind myself that people (myself included) are all self-absorbed to some extent.

      And on that note, I firmly believe that the best way to develop relationships is to take an active interest in the people around you. I once read — I think in Dale Carnegie — the basic rule that people will never dislike someone who likes them. If you want to have closer relationships with people around you, I would really urge you to take the initiative to engage people about themselves.

      Also, I definitely agree with you that social skills are something that you can learn. I’m okay with small talk but I absolutely HATE it. There are some Kindle books that you can get for a few dollars that give you some pretty simple and practical tips for how to strike up a conversation with anybody and keep it going. And also, Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” is great!

      • This is good advice. I remember switching schools as a teen and it was rough for the first little while until I basically figured out that if I asked someone abs out their crush or boyfriend, they’d be happy to talk to me for hours.

        One other point and I’m not sure if I am going to articulate it correctly. Try to not get into your own head so much that you make yourself boring. I have a friend that sounds a bit like you and she just assumes that she has nothing interesting to contribute so she never volunteers much about herself and doesn’t ever talk about herself unless you ask and even then it’s always very short answers to specific questions. She’s not boring but this can sometimes make her seem boring, if that makes sense? To people who know her better it’s obviously not true but with new people it’s the default assumption. I don’t know your situation, OP, but maybe being more open with people could help? Also remember your husband and friends like you and they’re not just a bunch of weirdos with nothing better to do, so try to just approach other people the way you do them.

        • Feeling Invisible :

          Thanks AIMS. I’ve been thinking about this and I think you really hit the nail on the head. I’ve been focusing my efforts to improve at small talk on asking people questions about themselves. But because I’m not (and probably never will be) the kind of person who always has a pithy quip or funny anecdote at the ready, I’ve sort of gotten it into my head that I have nothing to contribute to a conversation except questions (I mean a social convo – I contribute ideas in work meetings etc) and rarely say anything about myself except when directly asked, and even then I keep it short. So for example if someone says “I like your shoes!” I’ll just smile and say “Thanks!” whereas I feel like other people might say “Thanks! They’re [brand] and I got them at [store]” and it might spark a longer conversation. Definitely something I will pay more attention to going forward…

          • Anonymous :

            I always feel weird listing the brand/store/price/whatever about the things I’m wearing.

            I’m more likely to say “Thanks! I really like the color.” Or “Thanks! They are surprisingly comfortable.” or something like that. That way you are offering something a little more personal, without being intrusive.

          • Anonymama :

            Hah, I think this is cultural, because I have a very difficult time not replying with “Thanks, I got it on sale at x, it was only 20 bucks!” As do all of my female relatives.

    • I don’t have any suggestions, but I am glad to know I’m not the only one out there who feels like this. It’s like I stopped being able to make new friends. This is a big problem because I’ve moved frequently. I can be casually friendly with people, but I’m not the type they joke around with or want to do things with.

    • Quick note on the boss/dog bit. I have short-term memory loss/retention issues due to a head injury 20 years ago. I have a TERRIBLE time remembering things like this about people, even about people I love dearly. I have to write everything down in order to remember it and if you want to feel like a weirdo, be the chick that carries a tiny notebook around and takes notes on everything.

      Some people are frustrated by my inability to remember some of the details of their lives, but that’s just how my brain works now. I do my best to combat it and will write things down as soon as I can, but it’s just not always practical. Please try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Just because I don’t remember some details of your life doesn’t mean I think you are boring or uninteresting, or that I don’t care about you!

      • Feeling Invisible :

        Thanks for all the advice and kind words so far! I really appreciate it! I will check out the books mentioned above.

        On this point, I’m definitely giving him the benefit of the doubt. I’m not mad or offended and I know some people have memory issues. But it isn’t just this one incident, it’s part of a larger pattern that he seems to be much closer personally with everyone else on our team (he and I have a great working relationship though). And I know sometimes people just don’t connect, so I wouldn’t think that much of it if it were just this one boss but it’s basically every boss, every co-worker, every new acquaintance etc. The only common factor is me. I probably shouldn’t have shared this anecdote because it makes it seem like this is what made me upset when it’s really just the latest in an endless string of examples with many different people and situations.

        • If it makes you feel any better someone I see ALL THE TIME just asked me what my kids and I were doing for spring break and I was like…um, my dog will be really excited to hear that we’re going on spring break, bc obviously that’s what you meant given that I am both childless and single?

        • Understood. Just try to remember, we are always our own biggest critics!

    • So clearly you aren’t incapable of connection, because you have a husband and a circle of close friends. Which is awesome! Do you think that you could talk to your husband or one of those close friends about this? I suspect that either you don’t come off the way that you think you do (i.e., you feel disconnected from people but they don’t feel disconnected from you), or that perhaps you socially signal a desire not to be disturbed (through body language or otherwise), and a friend might be able to clue you in on that.

      I’ll also say this – I’m one of those people who can talk to literally anyone, including strangers in all manner of circumstances – but I have a very small circle of outside-of-work friends. I think that’s actually fairly common in adult life. So all that chatting you see may not mean much in terms of actual emotional connection.

    • I feel like I have a hard time connecting to new people too, partly because I don’t like revealing much of my personal life, so I hear you and it can be a struggle. For small talk, I think almost everyone hates it. What helps me is to focus on finding something interesting about the other person. It’s like a treasure hunt. What makes this individual exciting and unique? People like people who are interested in them. Also, be the first to smile big and say hi. People will be more likely to invite you to do things if they really feel like you are happy to see them.

    • I think because I am a quiet listener type I tend to attract more than an average number of narcissists who just enjoy talking about themselves and who are not interested in hearing about me. It’s something I’m actively trying to avoid, both by watching out for narcissistic tendencies and by asserting myself more in conversation to see how people respond.

      As for memory, I get annoyed by blatant stuff like this. It’s like people who say they’re not good with names. Um, no, you just aren’t making any effort to be good with names because deep down you DGAF about people other than you.

      • Yeah, in college I knew a girl who I had been introduced to many times, taken classes with, we hung out at the same frat, etc. and every time she spoke to me she would introduce herself and say in a super fake tone of voice “It’s so nice to meet you!” It was so obnoxious. She only did it to me and my friends who she didn’t see as part of her cool group clique. Obviously some people have memory issues but most people who can’t remember anything about someone they see regularly are just being rude.

      • Actually, I am terrible with names (and I do try, including repeating a name back to someone and saying it to myself when I meet them). But it’s not because I DGAF. And if I meet a person again and don’t remember her name I try to make clear that I do remember the person herself – “Hi, I’m Jules – I remember having a great conversation with you at Keith and Susan’s cookout last summer but I’m bad with names, forgive me.”

    • I was in a conversation at a conference yesterday with someone I’ve known casually for years and I asked about his daughter and whether she was college age and where she went to college and what she was studying. As he was giving me the answers they started to sound familiar and I realized I’d asked him all of this before, not terribly long ago, and maybe not just once before. I was embarrassed.

      I am good at small talk but bad at remembering I guess. If you have a deficit in making small talk, perhaps your boss has my deficit in remembering.

      If I can give you one tip about making small talk, it’s to ask people about themselves. “Any big vacation plans this year?” is a good one (which started a lively conversation at the dinner the night before the conference.) But really any topic will work, as long as you are asking the other person about themselves. People love to talk about themselves and 99% of the time don’t notice that’s all they’re doing.

      • Idea — when your boss said that about your dog’s photo, you could turn that into an “ask people/people like talking about themselves” opportunity and say, “Yes! Do you have dogs?” And if so, bam, you’re off and running in an engaging conversation about non-work. Could still do it if you find yourself with boss in an awkward silence some time.

    • I wouldn’t take this as a sign that you aren’t charming. I am great at small talk…charming even ;) And people often forget things I have told them – like if I have kids, where I am from, where I went to college – because people absorb a lot of information and cannot keep it all in their head. I am sure that you are better at small talk than you think.

  5. Call your Reps! :

    Just called my congressional representative re: last best final vote on the ACA repeal replace vote that might occur today. Took less than a minute. Here’s the script if anyone else is inclined to do the same. Person who answered was very polite, sounded young, and seemed exhausted.

    “Hi, my name is XX I’m a constituent from Anytown, zip code 12345. I am strongly opposed to the American Health Care act. This bill will hurt people in my family and other constituents in your district. I don’t need a response.”

    That was it. I’ve learned from you folks that the calls are just used to tally for / against. Right now my representative is in favor, but I’ve talked to a few other folks in my district who have agreed to call today too. Might end up not making a difference – but it took less than a minute and at least I can say I tried.

    • Anon4this :

      I’ll admit that I’m getting burnt out from calling – my reps all have the same views I do, and I don’t think in my deep blue state that would change. Is there a reason I should still keep calling?

      • Anonymous :

        Yes absolutely. So your reps know, and can say, that their constituents care deeply about the issues.

      • I’m in a similar situation, and when I know there’s no chance my reps would support a particular piece of legislation (as is the case here), I don’t call and direct my energy elsewhere.

      • Anonymous :

        not if they have already announced their intention not to vote/to vote for something.

      • Keep up the pressure (especially important as votes get delayed) or, if they’re already on your side, express your gratitude and urge them to keep up the hard work. I get the fatigue feeling, but it really only does take 30 seconds. Psych yourself up and get it done!

        • Yes! It could be the thing that gets them to get a guarantee from a ‘maybe’ vote from a colleague, i.e. your rep moves from a ‘no’ vote to a ‘h3ll no’ vote and repeats a story that a caller told him/her – that the constituent is worried about child health care, that they constituent lost a child to opioid overdose and is inflamed that these are being taken away, that constituents will die because of lack of resources and healthcare. That impassioned story could convince a fellow representative to vote no.

          Plus, given how often representatives do no represent us (it’s nearly impossible to be perfectly aligned on every issue), I have no problem with thanking someone for standing up and speaking out, especially when it involves taking the heat. Why not tell them you support them and are grateful for their support. (Many representatives are in fear that they will lose a certain number of constituents, they just don’t know if how many and whether ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is the greater one, why not assure them?)

    • From the Atlantic:

      Perhaps the biggest challenge for Republicans is that the bill as written appears to lack any defined constituency in their districts. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday found just 17 percent of respondents supported the American Health Care Act based on what they had heard about it, and opponents outnumbered those in favor by a three-to-one margin. That would make the plan far more unpopular than Obamacare was even at its lowest point. But it jibes with what conservative critics in Congress have reported: For every call they receive in support of the bill, hundreds of constituents are urging them to vote it down. “The people back home are not sold on what we’re doing yet,” Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the House Rules Committee, said Wednesday on CNN.

      Keep on calling!

    • Just made my daily call to my representative. Had a devil of a time getting through this morning, so at least that is a good sign . . .

  6. Starting Over :

    Have any of you had a period where you had to start from scratch in multiple areas of your life (entered a new field. single for the first time in a while, moved far away, etc) and almost reinvent yourself?

    • When I was 28, in the space of a month I lost my job, found out my boyfriend was cheating, and realized I could not keep pursuing the arts career which had been my life’s focus since I was 12. Not gonna lie, it was terrible.

      I started therapy, but only because I was so depressed that I could not leave my apartment. Also, I had been trying to adopt a dog for some time, and one showed up right when I was at the worst of it. This would not be a solution for everyone, but for me, it was perfect. I had to walk him, so I had to go places even if I didn’t feel like it. And it was easier to take care of him than it was to take care of myself. I went to therapy 2-3 X/week for a while, because it was that bad.

      Years (almost decades!) later, I look back on this time as one of the most valuable of my life. I learned how to listen to myself, how to take care of myself, and ultimately, how to not give a f*ck about what other people might think of me. Within 2 years of my life exploding, I lucked into a career that I love, and I met my now- DH.

      Whatever you’re going through, know that you can do this. Take time for yourself and be kind to yourself.

    • Yes, I’ve done it once before – left my very first job out of college having been there for five years and moved across the country. Now I’m about to do it again – leaving my job and (soon) breaking up with my boyfriend.

      It sucks, overall. I think there’s an idea (mostly from movies) that you get to go somewhere new and suddenly realize that you’re leaving behind a lot of baggage and now you’re free.

      The reality is, it can be lonely and difficult.

      BUT even in the midst of that, there can be wonderful moments that you wouldn’t have experienced otherwise! For example, when I was driving across the country, I realized that it was the first time in my life I had taken a road trip where I could stop whenever and wherever I wanted, eat wherever I wanted, sleep in and leave late, etc. And that opened me up to thinking about my life in general and how hard I work to adapt to other people’s needs while ignoring my own.

      So, there were some times of joy and contemplation that made it very worthwhile – as I mentioned, I’m about to embark on something similar again and while I’m a little nervous, I know I’ll come out better on the other side.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I did this after law school– I left my beloved college town for my first ever “big-girl” job in a small city where I didn’t know anyone (thanks, recession!) and had also broken up with a long term boyfriend. It was a lot to deal with at one time.

      I decided to focus on the “new” things instead of the things I missed. Instead of being sad that I left my favorite town, I fixed up my cute new apartment and tried to explore my new city (looking for walking trails, coffee shops, etc). I tried to remember that I WANTED to be a lawyer and now I was getting to do that, so I spent a lot of time learning the ropes at work and joining a couple of professional associations. I tried not to be sad about the breakup and instead had a phase where I promised myself I would say “yes” to at least one date with anyone who asked (well, almost anyone). This turned into my own personal version of The Bachelorette, and I ended up meeting the eventual Mr. Dawn during this time.

      Not sure if any of these are what you are going through, but my advice would be to focus on the new, fun things you get to do. Good luck!

    • Yup – my “real” career didn’t start until I was 30! I feel sad sometimes being so behind my peers, but I’m doing the best for me.

    • Yes twice. It’s enormously stressful but also freeing in a big way. You will look back on this period as the renaissance of your life. Enjoy.

    • I graduated law school, started my first job as a lawyer, got divorced, and moved to a new city all at the same time. I was also a bit older (I went back to law school at night), so it was a bit of a different scenario than someone who goes to law school right after undergrad.

      I had the chance for the first time to live my life exactly the way I wanted to live it. I could work long hours, I could live wherever, I could eat whatever I wanted for dinner (oysters and champagne! fried egg sandwich! ice cream!), I could pick out my own furniture, I could work out super late at night, I could revamp my wardrobe and wear more flattering clothes, I could volunteer with a mentoring program, I could say yes to going on a random trip with some new friends. It was the most terrifying and the most freeing time of my life. I did a lot of thinking about what kind of person I wanted to be and what kind of life I wanted to live.

      I am now so so grateful that I had the opportunity to start over. My life now is the fruit of that year in which I reoriented myself. I did go to therapy for a bit to have a third party gut check to make sure I was doing okay. And I came up with a personal mantra that I repeated to myself a lot. I also got involved in a volunteer mentoring program that was hugely helpful in taking my mind off my own problems.

      Maybe try thinking of the rest of 2017 as your very own “year of yes.” It will likely be a difficult year, but you will find joy in unlikely places and you will get to know yourself in a way that is completely different from before. Years later, I have a lot of great memories of that year. I wish the same for you.

  7. Veronica Mars :

    FYI- If anyone is looking for some inexpensive sleeveless shells for spring, Target has some under the merona line that are quite nice. They all have these baffling strings on them, but I cut them off any they’ve worked great. Don’t let the strings stop you!

    • Link?

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I need a new source for sleeveless shells now that the Limited is dead.

      • Veronica Mars :

        I have this one in ebony and I really like it, again, cut the strings off as soon as I could. It also has more of a trapeze cut, so it’s pretty forgiving over the belly:

        This one reminds me of the pleonie ones from Nordies. I’m ordering this in the blue and green:|pdpipadh1|related_prods_vv|pdpipadh1|51894799|1

        This one is more of a traditional sleeveless:|pdpipadh1|related_prods_vv|pdpipadh1|51625705|1

        • I lo0000ve the green one in the second link. Do these run true to size?

          • Veronica Mars :

            I only have the ruffle and I think it runs a little big, maybe a half size. I’m normally a small or medium and got a small. The ruffle is almost too small in the bust for me, but it’s cut pretty wide in the torso.

        • I have the top in the third link in another pattern and it is SUPER versatile. I LOVE that green floral tropical print – in fact, I like a lot of these!

        • Do the ones in the first link dip down far enough that you need to wear a cami with them?

        • KateMiddletown :

          Oooh I’m obsessed w/ #3. Thanks for the tip!

      • Veronica Mars :

        In moderation, but coming!

    • The strings (if they are super long and very thin) are usually to keep these shirts on the hanger. Nothing to do with wearing it, you just snip them off after you are sure you want to keep the shirts.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        For these shirts in particular, they’re actual ties at the neckline.

        • some people might tie them so it’s good to have options, I guess

          • Veronica Mars :

            Yeah, it might look nice for someone with a flat chest, but it’s such a high neckline I thought it looked silly on me.

  8. Anonymous :

    I’m wearing the Target blazer today! I have the gray and I wasn’t able to snag it for $9 but I still feel like $30 is a great price. It goes with everything and is super comfy.

    • I bought the black and gray blazers that were 9$, and I don’t think they are the same as the one that is currently $30 – I think mine don’t have a lapel. Anyway, I like the gray but the black is oddly shiny. FWIW.

      • This is the $9 one I bought that is shiny:

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I love that blazer. I have it in grey and wear it probably once a week.

  9. Sloan Sabbith :

    No way to start a Friday like falling out of bed to wake up. TGIF. How’s everyone else’s morning going?

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’m sick. I got over a cold 2 weeks ago and now I’ve got a sore throat. But beyond that I’m meeting the BF’s family this weekend, fingers crossed it goes well!

    • Oh man . . . welp, I overslept because I forgot to set my alarm, the dog didn’t poo on his morning walk which means I could come home to it at lunchtime, I didn’t have time to wash my hair so it’s gross and pulled back, I realized my grey jeans had a stain on them while I was in the car on the way to work, my manicure chipped massively in three different spots this morning and I didn’t take the time to remove all of the polish from the rest of my fingers (super professional), soooo fabulous!! LOL

      At least I have been productive so far at work this morning.

      My cube farm group put together a taco lunch today, so I have that to look forward to. I also am wearing my new faux leather blush moto jacket recommended by another poster, which I love and makes me feel stylish and awesome.

      The dude and I are doing our first overnight trip this weekend and I am going to a Wim Hof Method workshop tomorrow, it’s looking up!

      Happy Friday hive!

      • Shopaholic :

        oo that was me who recommended the blush jacket! what are you wearing with it? Mine is still sitting in closet with the tags on because the weather has been cold and gray lately…

        • Yes!! I am wearing it with grey skinny jeans, a white tee that is flowy and has a high-low hem, and patent grey leopard print flats.

          • Shopaholic :

            That sounds so cute. I think I need grey skinny jeans…

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            I want patent grey leopard print flats. Where’d you get them?

          • Sloan – I got them at Target several seasons ago. They are the standard Shae Xhilaration ballet flats. Unfortunately, it looks like they only have them in black right now.


          • Sloan – my link is in moderation although the pattern doesn’t seem to be available right now :(

        • Veronica Mars :

          Can you post the link? Blush is my power color.

          • Sure thing!

        • I didn’t get the blush moto jacket that was posted as it was sold out in my size, but I did find (on eBay) a blush twill jacket with a round neck and some utility pockets. It’s super-cute, it goes with lots of my spring stuff, and I get compliments every time I wear it. Thanks so much to Shopaholic for the inspiration!

    • I walked into my office and checked my email and found a subject line “a bit of gentle feedback…” Not how I wanted to start my day

    • I woke up and a reminder popped up on my phone that I was supposed to be at yoga 45 minutes before. I actually had rescheduled the class but it made me feel rushed and that I’d overslept even though I hadn’t.

    • I couldn’t fall asleep until 4 am last night so I got less than four hours of sleep and still came into work late. Looking forward to major sleep catch-up tonight. The weekend should be pretty fun. I’ve going a local alumni event and the weather is finally getting beautiful so I’m looking forward to taking my dog for long walks outside.

    • I woke up to an angry email from coworker A. A requested an analysis from B on Monday. B decided it fell into my sphere of responsibility and booted it to me yesterday afternoon after sitting on it for 3 1/2 days.

      It appears A followed up with B this morning and B told him that it was with me, and now it’s urgent/borderline late and A is mad at me. Way to throw me under the bus, B!

    • I had two (light) beers over 6 hours at a work event last night, and have a headache as though I had about 5 times that.

      Thank the heavens it’s Friday.

    • Woke up sneezing. I was hoping it would be a fluke and disappear, but two hours later my nose is runny and I’m still sneezing. So spring cold or I’ve suddenly developed allergies. TGIF.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Flush it out! Drink 100 ounces of water today, and either use a neti pot or a nasal rinse. It’s gross but it works.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Killed it this week – got an interview, got asked to apply for a full time job at my internship, went to the gym twice and did yoga twice, packed lunch every day and ate healthy breakfast every day, but in a few minutes I have a meeting with my advisor on my thesis, which is about a month behind. So… that.

      • Good luck with the meeting. You ROCK.

        Do the power pose for 2 minutes before you walk in to your meeting. I’m.not.kidding.

        Stand up. Legs apart. Arms up at 45 degrees to your head. Makes your whole body an X shape.

        • Baconpancakes :

          You’re my lucky charm, cb! Advisor helped me address a central problem I have been struggling with since I started, and it’s like a lightbulb went off. It’s such a huge relief, and it feels amazing!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Woke up with the crick in my neck far from gone, despite the bruise-leaving massage my husband gave me last night — womp womp. At least I was in the guest bedroom, because baby and husband were in our bed, because baby is still/always sick. She woke me up at 5:30 with her very peppy, excited, loud “daddy!! daddy!!!” but they were back asleep by the time I went to work. In 30 minutes I’m calling my massage place and begging them to see me today. Cannot. Move. My. Neck.

      tgif for realz.

    • Let’s see, I’m dealing with not one but two condescending older male a-hole attorneys as opposing counsel in two different matters, another case is tanking before my eyes, I am probably in the middle of breaking up with an SO whom I love but with whom the relationship is not sustainable and I’m dealing with killer insomnia (see the aforementioned breaking-up). Oh, and there is no water in the top half of our office building today, so we have to take the elevator 8 floors down to use the bathroom.

      Yeah, TGIF

  10. Favorite spring nail polishes? It has been a long week and it’s finally getting warm. I want to give myself a manicure but I’m bored with my current selection.

  11. I think I really just have to accept that a bra that otherwise fits me normally, is not going to be comfortable anymore due to my post-shingles related nerve damage that is conveniently in the area where the band sits. I tried thirdlove bras (wireless, push up and the t shirt) and while they fit, it still wasn’t comfortable due to where the band sits. I’ve been getting away with wearing thick camis and dark dresses with looser tops (easier since I’m 34A) but it still feels frustrating. time to look for those stick on cover ups I guess

    • Go to a bra shop that specializes in masectomy and other specialized bras — they may have a lot of niche options that are not easy to find on-line.

    • I’m sorry you have to deal with that, it’s sounds super uncomfortable and inconvenient.

      I do recommend you check out the Reddit ABraThayFits. They have amazing advice on everything bras. Also, the brand Lively seems to have some amazing options for no underwire bras and longline options that my distribute the pressure of a band more. Good luck!

    • Are you me? I have serious nerve damage under my shoulders and a bra strap makes that whole area feel like it’s on fire. I haven’t really found a solution, other than taking my bra off the second I get home and just wearing tank tops on the weekend/as much as possible. Commiseration.

    • Recommendation for the Coobie camisoles. I don’t have the same issues, but I find bra bands hard to deal with mostly because I have an odd band/cup combination, so nothing ever fits right. The Coobie has actual light padding in the camisole, which is enough to both look decent and provide reasonable support for my (also A-cup) chest.

    • I also have post-herpetic neuralgia along my bra line on my left side (I can’t believe how common it is to get shingles there!) and I can recommend Hanes SmoothTech wirefree bras. I won’t post a link so this won’t go into moderation, but they’re available at the Hanes dot com website. I am a D-cup and not wearing an underwire has been an adjustment, but these provide decent support and the band is very wide and flat, so it doesn’t aggravate the neuralgia.

      I actually switched to wirefree bras after I got a mammogram and the breast specialist told me that my cyclical breast pain would get better if I didn’t wear underwires. He was 100% correct; I have almost no issues any more. And the bonus of not having to tape gauze to the site where I had shingles (which I had to do some days) so I could wear a bra without pain is nice also.

    • Check out nordstrom brand camisoles and half cami style bras. I wear an E cup and find them supportive enough to wear around the house and chase after my dog in (which is saying a lot) – I bet they would work for you. They are so soft and stretchy. I think the brand is called Nordstrom Lingerie.

  12. Try a Coobie bra or the Patagonia Barely bra (the latter is better quality). I had to switch from underwire after an infection and these work well enough for me. They’re not AMAZING for support, but good enough and much more comfortable.

  13. Jewelry! Is there any type of jewelry you think is very out of fashion and should be avoided?

    Jewelry (specifically stalking antique or pawn autions) is a relatively new obsession of mine (~1 year+). Before that I never noticed what other peolple were wearing and only wore silver ball studs or pearl studs myself. Apparently hoop earrings are bad, and I saw Bismarck chains mentioned too.

    What else do you think is tacky?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Jackie wore hoops. Anything worn by Jackie cannot be tacky. Yeah sure, 4″ hoops with LED lights are tacky, but there is a tasteful option for most all jewelry.

    • Hmm in terms of out of style, big earrings from the ’90s are pretty out. I had some real good button style earrings (a dome shaped round about 1″ in diameter) and I asked my neighborhood jeweler if I should hold on to them for when they’d come back in style. He said “those will never come back into style” so I had them melted down along with some other Bold Gold earrings and now I have a nice gold bangle bracelet.

      The only jewelry I find “tacky” (not really a word I use) is costume badly masquerading as real, mostly when it’s masquerading as very expensive and very large real jewelry. And worn piled on with lots and lots of its cousins.

      I say this as someone who wore three strands of pearls yesterday so my tolerance for piling it on is high, but there are limits.

      • Oops… again. I bought 10mm diameter gold button earrings. Considerably smaller so maybe I’m okay.

    • I think chokers are tacky and dated but the 90s are back in a big way.

    • Marshmallow :

      Piggybacking off the discussion of “diamonds are for evening” last week, and “costume masquerading as real” here– what about small CZ studs for daytime? I have 3 or 4mm CZ studs, which I like because they go with literally everything and don’t bother my ears. I don’t know much about jewelry in general and don’t own much fine jewelry, I just like that they are super neutral. Does CZ in such a small size really look fake to the average person? And conversely, even if they look “real,” should I not be wearing them to the office?

      • I think studs are fine for daytime. I wear diamond studs every day.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Studs are fine. I wouldn’t suggest wearing a Harry Winston vines necklace for day, but stud diamond earrings, solitaire pendants, and (omg I know) even a less ostentatious diamond tennis bracelet should be fine for day.

      • No those are fine. I’m the person who talked about costume masquerading as real and I was mostly thinking about big fake diamond rings worn with fake chunky tennis bracelets and a pile of gold plated necklaces all tangled up and worn together and I’m thinking of a particular jersey girl I know personally.

      • CZ studs are great! I see them worn everywhere here in Finland, where women otherwise tend to wear practical clothing above anything else. Even bigger (up to 7mm) simple studs (no halos) or simple dangles are everywhere.

        I work with guys so I really only observe women on the train :) And because they are so covered up due to weather earrings are the only visible jewelry.

        What about necklaces?

        I’m buying real pre-loved jewelry at auctions so I’m not worried about looking fake, just… dated? ridiculous? not right? I can’t find a good word for what I mean.

      • Oh, I forgot to say. Keep them really clean and they will look more like diamonds. Just dish soap or alcohol daily.

      • My mom died and I now wear her tennis bracelet. Yes, she got it in the 80s when they were popular. No, I am not going to stop wearing it!

        • I wouldn’t either!

          Context is everything, and sentimental family pieces are the best.

          I wear my Mom’s favorite ring – a two diamond art-deco piece – every day.

    • cake batter :

      Those matching pendant/earring sets. Blech.

      • Oh yeah, that is some bad stuff.

      • Oops. Even if it’s really high quality pearls? I was also looking at small diamond bezel studs qith a matching bezel pendant. Real diamonds, so tiny with my budget.

        • cake batter :

          Pearls aren’t my taste, but I’d rather see the earrings/necklace worn separately. Any matching set makes me think someone isn’t particularly creative and can’t figure out a more stylish way to accessorize. (That’s just me, though! Maybe other people have a less harsh view!)

          • cake batter :

            Sorry, as I re-read that, it comes off super rude and I didn’t mean it to! That’s just what pops into my evil mind when I see that type of jewelry. Ignore me, please. :)

          • Your opinion is very welcome! :)

        • Well I don’t think that sounds bad. But you also don’t have to wear them together…

        • I’m more thinking about this kind of thing

          but even if just nice pearl studs and strand, I think it’s more imaginative to wear them separately. And I love All The Pearls.

        • I have a matching set and I just break it up and wear them separately. I think its more modern not to wear them together.

    • cake batter :

      Also those J Crew bubble necklaces that were all the rage a few years back. I can’t even look at them anymore.

    • I love my silver ball stud earrings. I don’t see them often.

    • Anklets and toe rings are always tacky. So are navel and tongue rings.

      • Ha, I have a navel ring…I’ve had it since I was 17. 17 year old me thought it was very cool; current me figures no one sees my navel on the regular and it’s a nice reminder of how edgy I once (though I) was.

    • You know, I posted a couple of times above about what I think is “tacky” (again, not a word I use) and then I thought about my daughter. She’s 16, has amazing long curly hair, wears silver rings on just about every finger, has double ear piercings and often wears big hoops with beads dangling from them, wears two or three silver pendant necklaces at the same time, and has a pierced nose. And she’s gorgeous. She just has this hippy/bohemian style that she found herself (certainly not from her mama!) and it works for her. Is it because she’s 16 and wearing vintage 501s? Is it because she’s wearing a creative mismatching of different styles without a care? I’m not sure.

      And then there’s a young woman I work with who wears a crisp white oxford shirt and black pants just about every day, and only wears pearl stud earrings and a watch. And she always looks great too. She has a new england prep thing going on that works really well for her.

      I guess I’m saying that there’s a lot to personal style, and there’s no one right way to do it. I don’t think I could pull off the style of either of the women above but I have my own style. (which is All The Pearls)

      I would say buy anything you love, not with the intention of just filling out your jewelry collection, but because you love it at first sight and can’t let it escape. And then wear what makes you feel fabulous.

      • I’m curious about your pearls. What kinds do you have and how do you wear them?

        • I feel like a walking advertisement because I recommend them a lot, but I get all my pearls from kojimapearl dot com these days. I actually learned about them on this site. They design really unusual pearl strands and earrings and I often feel like I’m wearing a work of art. My personal style is 1 long strand worn with stud earrings, but I mix it up. Yesterday I had on a chanel style jacket so I wore three mismatched but all white pearl strands together.

          I have been obsessed with pearls since I was in college and roomed with an heiress (literally) who had gorgeous perfect round (what we would call akoya today) pearl strands in various lengths. My tastes have now expanded beyond akoyas (though I still wear them with love) to include south sea, tahitian, japan kasumi and even chinese freshwater if strung in an interesting style. Today I’m wearing a “mermaid” strand with a mix of pearls of all different origins. This strand is in hues of white, peach and gold. I love it.

  14. I’ve noticed that on s*tes like Target and Amazon, many reviews – especially for baby products but I have noticed it with some other items too – say something like “I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review.” Who are these people and how are they getting the products for free? And who is giving it to them? It’s the manufacturer, not the retailer, right? I can’t imagine Target or Amazon needs to give away free stuff to drum up business. I guess Amazon makes a little more sense because they have pretty detailed reviewer rankings broken down by category and so I can see a company giving something to a top reviewer in exchange for a review, but on Target, Walmart, etc there’s no way that I can see of identifying who is a top reviewer or even who has posted a large number of reviews, so how are the companies identifying these people? Anyone know?

  15. I just realized that Sedona/Grand Canyon is cold in April!!! I had already planned my wardrobe with lots of tanks and shorts but I might be forced to buy those adorable, expensive cold weather hiking clothes from Athleta or Title 9. Yay!!!

    • Nights, especially will be chilly. If you’re planning to be up hiking before sunrise, you’ll definitely need some warm layers you can take off as you warm up/the sun comes up.

      • nasty woman :

        This. Nights in the Kiabab forest adjacent to the GC were 34 degrees in mid/late may when I went. Also it was snowing in flagstsaff when we got there. It was 80+ down in the GC. Get errything you want ;)

        Also if you want real cold-weather hiking stuff go to REI.

  16. Following up from yesterday. Does anyone have a recommendation for Botox in Chicago? TIA!

  17. So, I’ve made the long awaited decision to get Lasik. My doctor said that I should basically not use my eyes until late-afternoon the day after, and recommended taking the third day off, and maybe even the fourth if I have the time. I really don’t have the time (I could get it, but would really prefer not to). Those of you who have had it, how quickly could you read and use a computer? Is it reasonable to think that I could probably manage working at least some of the day on the third day? All of the “what to expect” that I see on the internet says that you should be able to return to work within a day, and the doctor did phrase the third day more as a suggestion than a requirement.

    • Can you get it done on a Thursday, so you can take the Friday and then be off for the weekend? I tend to be cautious with eye surgery so I would do the four days if you can make it work. Even if you are fine to be out running errands on the third or fourth day, your eyes might not like the strain that computer works involves.

    • It’s not that you WON’T be able to see, but that you shouldn’t strain your eyes to get the maximum benefit of the procedure.

      • I could see, but I had a really hard time focusing on text (in a book, but think it would extrapolate to screen as well). I would say that was for a chunk of the first week. I wouldn’t plan on getting a ton of work done on the third day.

        Screen time is also pretty drying on the eyes (I think we forget to blink as often), which may exacerbate the dryness you’ll be experiencing as your natural tearing function heals. So don’t forget your drops.

    • cake batter :

      Did mine on a Thursday, took Friday off work also, and was fine by the weekend. I was definitely fine to read by the third day. I wouldn’t have spent 10 hours looking at a computer, but I definitely was facebooking on my phone by Friday.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I would caution against the “I could take off but I won’t” attitude. They’re your eyes. You only have one pair. Your eyes are worth an extra few days off work.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        So much this. They are your *eyes*, take the time off!

      • +1

        I had PRK, which is very different in terms of recovery, last month, and this was my mantra. Luckily my workplace was supportive (and luckily I wound up with an unusually quick recovery), but seriously, don’t push yourself. It’s not worth it. (Though the corrected vision is SO WORTH IT in the end.)

        • BeenThatGuy :

          I was the caregiver for someone after PRK. What a horrible experience! Glad you had a quick recovery.

    • Reading and watching tv was hard for the first 6 hrs following the procedure (you should be taking a nap right afterwards anyway). I was back at work the next day and just listened to my body as far what I needed to do. If you can take off the day after, that’s preferable. The biggest thing is to stay on top of your drops. You don’t blink as much when you are staring at a computer so be aware of that and take frequent breaks.

    • Not of a fan of cosmetic eye surgery – but if you do it, listen to the dr. and take the 4 days. If you don’t have/don’t want to use the time off, go to a different dr. who will do it on a Thursday for you – or preferably late day Wed. so you can have the rest of the week/weekend.

      • LASIK is not cosmetic.

      • LASIK is definitely not cosmetic.

      • Elective surgery, sure. But not cosmetic. You’re eyes don’t look different.

      • lost academic :

        It’s not cosmetic and for plenty of people it may BE elective but it may also be necessary for some elements of a job where eyeglasses aren’t conducive to efficient or safe work and contacts are discourage because of other environmental hazards.

        • And for a lot of people they finally get it when contacts don’t work any more- due to eye dryness, contact keratitis, etc. Not all of us can wear glasses! For example, I’m a microsurgeon, and my acuity is lower with glasses than contacts. I would be able to function if my job wasn’t so dependant on visual acuity, but as a microvascular surgeon its not fair to my patients to operate under less than optimal conditions. A number of my colleagues find the same thing and when they start to get eye dryness or keratitis from long contact-lense hours they go the surgical route!

    • If you can, see if you can do the procedure on a Thursday. I had mine done on a Thursday afternoon (worked that morning), went home and slept/kept my eyes closed until Friday morning, then went back to the eye doctor’s office on Friday for the checkup. I felt good enough to drive myself there on Friday, but definitely didn’t work. I think I was fine by Saturday.

    • Get it done on a Friday and you’ll be back to work on Monday, no problem. If they only do it on Tuesdays, I’d ask how many surgeries the surgeon has performed and maybe see if there are other local doctors who do a lot more.

      • Most LASIK providers only do the procedure one day a week. Some of them have optometry/ophthalmology (?) practices that they operate the other days and only come to the LASIK site on one day. Others only work that one day and spend the rest of their time at their vacation homes (which is what made me realize I picked the wrong career).

    • Delta Dawn :

      Like others, I did it on a Thursday, took Friday off, and was fine at work on Monday. You would be fine to physically go to the office on the third day, but can you do some other tasks that don’t involve reading? Clean your office, organize some files, other non-eye-intensive things? I would not risk the eye strain by doing computer work.

    • I did it Friday, rested my eyes over the weekend and was back to work like normal on Monday. Can you find another reputable doc to do it on a Friday afternoon? This seems like the no-brainer time of week for Lasi.

      • My doctor did her surgeries midweek so she could see patients during office hours if they were having complications and do her 24 hour follow-ups on a weekday. It was slightly less convenient from a recovery perspective but the medical reasoning seemed sound.

    • I had mine done on a Friday. My eyes were fine by the next morning sightwise, but they did feel “tired” (like contacts at the end of a long day) after a lot of screen time and at the end of the day. If I didn’t have the option of a Friday surgery and knowing what I know now, I would have taken off two days: the day of surgery (get it done early!) and the day after.

      I also had a lot of visual fluctuations over the first two weeks, which scared the living daylights out of me, but a month later, everything was perfectly fine. My surgeon reassured me it was normal, but it was really frightening to be in an airport and not be able to read any of the signage.

    • consider LASEK not just LASIK, they are completely different. I had LASEK and spent Thurs afternoon til Mon morning mostly just sleeping, but I had zero complications and am grateful for it every day, 5+ yrs after.

  18. Bridal beauty :

    Vanity thread! Today is exactly 3 months from my wedding! Do you guys have any thoughts on beauty-related stuff to do in this time? For the wedding but also for our honeymoon, to be spent on wild jungle beaches. Nothing dire and I’d be so happy to walk down the aisle tomorrow, exactly as I am. But it also sounds fun to get a little dolled up and treat myself.

    I’m dieting pretty moderately and hope to lose about 10 lbs in the next 12 weeks. Dress is forgiving and will be great whether or not I succeed.

    My skin is fine but could be more even and vibrant. Should I get facials?

    Considering eyelash extensions, more for the honeymoon when I don’t intend to wear much makeup. But they sound pretty intense and expensive.

    I’m growing my hair out so that I can have an updo. My hair is really thin and has a lot of breakage, even though I don’t do much to it and always use heat protectant. Are there things I can do to make it stronger and less dull?

    And figuring out timing for hair growth so I can get waxed a few days before the wedding.

    Other fun, splurgey and worthwhile bridal beauty tips? Anything you regretted?

    • Don’t get eyelash extensions. Super expensive and they make your real ones fall out (conveniently for the salon, because then you can’t stop getting the extensions filled in).

      I’d try a facial now and see how your skin reacts. Don’t get one less than a month before the wedding if you’ve never had one before and don’t know how you’ll react.

      • It’s not that eyelash extensions make your natural lashes fall out per se – your eyelashes naturally fall out on a 3 to 5 week cycle anyway – but the weight of the extensions puts strain on your natural lashes making them brittle and more likely to break and also eliminating your natural curl. In short, you will not recognize your natural lashes once the extensions are removed.

        Eyelash tinting might be a better option if you want a no-makeup honeymoon. My experience with eyelash extensions is that they look great for the first 5-7 days, and then can start to look pretty ratty as your natural eyelashes fall out and take the extensions with them in unpredictable patterns.

        • Jumping into the OP’s thread: lawsuited, do you have experience with eyelash tinting? This is one of those things I’m really curious about but wouldn’t want to try without hearing from others.

          • Mrs. Jones :

            I’ve done eyelash tinting off and on for many years. It’s awesome and lasts several days.

          • lawsuited :

            Yes, I tint by eyelashes in the summer months when I wear a lot less makeup. I have longish lashes but they’re blondish-brownish. It’s certainly not a false lashes look, but it means I’m fine foregoing mascara on the weekends and I only wear mascara on my top lashes for work. I have mine tinted blue-black once a month and the whole process takes about 15 minutes, so it’s worth it for me.

          • lawsuited :

            Also, I’ve gotten the dye used for tinting in my eye and not felt it, and gotten the glue used for eyelash extensions in my eye and was in so much pain I assumed I was going blind, so if that’s indicative of their different toxicity levels take that under advisement.

          • I really want to get eyelash tinting but can’t find anywhere that does it! I’ve asked at my salon, my aesthetician at my spa, and my waxing place, plus the brow place on my street, and they all say they don’t do it! Does anyone know where I can find lash tinting? If you have any specific recos for places in Boston that would be even better!

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I actually wouldn’t recommend eyelash extensions (unless you can do it after the wedding but before the honeymoon) if you’ll be wearing them at the wedding. Generally, people do falsies. While eyelash extensions are great for every day, many makeup artists actually recommend against them for big events because you can’t put mascara on them, so they don’t show up well in pictures AT ALL.

      I’d recommend booking two manis: one a few weeks ahead of the one you’ll do for the actual wedding. That way you’ll have nice cuticles and can likely grow out your nails a bit before the wedding, meaning the actual wedding mani will be much nicer!

    • Veronica Mars :

      One thing I have liked is getting a lash perm and tint. They just curl your natural lashes and it takes about 45 minutes. It’s like having 1 coat of mascara on permanently and it really makes a difference once you add mascara. In my hometown, it’s about $100 with tip and it lasts 6-8 weeks.

    • Consider me the voice of dissent re: eyelash extensions. I got them for my wedding and they were so amazing I wound up refilling them for months. I skipped the whole “you’re a bride and need three consults and five refills before the big day” spiel and just found a first time client deal and had them put on the day before my wedding. The process was super relaxing, they looked great in pictures even without mascara, and I didn’t lose any of my own lashes as they shed (the salon gave me a free bottle of revitalash to use just in case they did shed). I’d be more worried about them on your honeymoon as you are supposed to limit getting them wet.

      • I had eyelash extensions for a heavy run at wedding season last year and I LOVED them. If/when I get married, I will absolutely get them. Mine lasted strong for about 2 weeks, and I didn’t notice any thinning of my lashes after. This has to do with how well they are put on and the place you get them done, though. They are PERFECT for a situation where you don’t want to wear much make-up.

        I know some people are sensitive to the glue though, so I wouldn’t recommend going like the day before your wedding. I’d probably go 2 weeks before and for a fill right before. You can find initial set + fill deals on groupon, giltcity, etc (if you’re in DC I can give you a recommendation)

      • +1

        • Anon from 11:09 here – forgot to mention that my salon (and any reputable salon really) should do a patch test first to see how you’ll react to the glue. They put 4ish lashes on each eye free of charge about a week before so I could make sure I wouldn’t have a reaction. Definitely request that! And read a LOT of reviews!

      • Anonymous :

        I agree – I got eyelash extensions for my wedding/honeymoon and became addicted to them! They showed up great in my photos and were so awesome for the honeymoon because I could be at the pool with no makeup and still look fabulous. I went the more expensive route and I didn’t have any issues with my lashes falling out when the extensions came off a few months later. I’m actually thinking about doing them again soon!

    • cake batter :

      I’d get a facial now (don’t wait til closer to the wedding in case your skin freaks out) and get a fab smelling body scrub and exfoliate in the shower on the regular to get your body skin nice and smooth. Also hit up the salon for a couple deep conditioning hair treatments – mine has a couple $15 “booster” options that you can add onto a blowout or haircut that are essentially hair masks. You sit with the goop on your head under the dryer for maybe 15 mins to let it really soak in, and your hair feels fab and shiny afterwards.

      • This. I actually started getting monthly facials a few months out from my wedding, and I think it made a huge difference in my skin’s appearance at wedding time. If you don’t already and are planning to start, this is also a good time to start regular waxing instead of shaving. I did, and I haven’t gone back to shaving. But it takes a few hair growth cycles for your hair to start growing together and getting thinner etc.

    • I’m in a similar position but a couple more weeks! I’m getting facials and using crest whitestrips, because I hated how yellow my back teeth looked in engagement pics where I’m smiling wide.

      Mostly, I’m hoping to look like myself, but glowier on the day- for that reason, I’m going to get a spray tan to even out the color on my arms and blend my perma-sports bra tan.

      I’m not doing anything super invasive (colonic flushes anal bleaching was recommended as a bridal must-do in another forum and I about fell out of my chair)

    • Hey fellow bride!

      Also have a wedding approaching! Here are some beauty things I’d recommend. Facials are awesome BUT are not for first-timers. Get one now to see how you react and how you look 3 days out, a week out, etc. I get them regularly, so I know when to schedule mine before the wedding, but if I had never done it before, I would either figure out now if I wanted to do it or not or make sure I had my other beauty stuff down – i.e. make sure you have a good moisturizer and are fully removing your makeup every night and using proper serums, etc. Use sunscreen every day but have a trusty non spf for the day-of so you don’t have the white cast in flash photos. I am wearing a strapless dress and am getting a ‘body polish’ which is basically a scrub, massage, and moisturizing session so my skin is nice and soft, but it is not necessary and if I’m being honest, is more an excuse to have a massage before the wedding. You can do scrubs at home! Talk to your hair stylist about your hair as it really takes seeing it and feeling it in your hand to know what needs to be done. It’s possible that with an updo it will look great. I am getting a spray tan (because I won’t be in the sun before the wedding) and already did a test run so I know what to expect. I also get my brows done regularly, so I know timing for that, too, as mine look their best about 3 days after. If you have had your hair and makeup trials, they would be good people to ask about how to make sure your hair and makeup look their best,

      Bottom line – do what makes you feel great and confident. But if there are things you are wondering about — maybe it’s a spray tan, maybe it’s botox, maybe it’s eyelashes, facials, gel tips, or a new retinol, etc. — try them out now so that you know well ahead of time whether you want them or not and you don’t have any surprises. Also beware that beauty professionals know this and will try to sell you on.every.single.thing. to pressure you to have an “eyelash extension party with your bridesmaids,” so know this going into these trials that they will push on everything.

    • Following! I’m doing a diet plan starting Sunday b/c that’s my 14 weeks out date! Congrats :)

    • Make appointments to get your legs and under arms (and whatever else you usually shave) waxed a few days before the wedding. Not having to worry about shaving on vacation is awesome, and you’ll have nice super smooth skin for your honeymoon.

    • Revitalash! You have enough time to grow your lashes. Then for the honeymoon you can have them tinted and permed (curled).

      In Europe they sell a tinting kit for lashes and brows called Refectocil that you can use at home.

      A great vitamin c serum (Skinceuticals or even Paula’s choice) daily under moisturizer. But maybe not a retinol right now, it’s intended to be used forever but the start can be rough, redness and flakes.

      Eat a multivitamin with your breakfast! My prenatal vitamins gave me wonderful hair and nails.

  19. Question for the busty/plus ladies. What is your most comfortable bra?

    I’m a 40F and I’ve been wearing Prima Donna bras (Deauville style mostly). I was fitted for this at a bra shop, they are expensive, around $135, and extremely supportive.

    But sometimes I’m willing to trade supportiveness for comfort, like on the weekends. Perhaps I’m looking for a wire free bra. I’m not sure. I know if I go to Nordstrom or back to the bra boutique that fitted me, they are going to insist on a tight band and lots of support…. I’d just really like to hear some recommendations on brands and styles to try out on my own without a pushy bra fitter trying to shove me into another straitjacket.

    • I just buy a band size larger than they recommend. Sorry, I’d rather not have welts in my back.

      • +1

        I’ve had professional bra fittings and every single time they want me to squeeze into my “correct” band size that makes me feel like I can’t breathe.

        I have big boobs and despise underwire. I wear Olga wirefree bras.

    • Wacoal Womens Awareness Seamless Bra

    • I wear Wacoal, and they are the most comfortable I’ve found. Less than half what you are paying too, even though still on the expensive side.

      • I almost exclusively wear Wacoal and I buy them at Nordstrom’s semi annual or at Rack for usually 50% off (so like $30 ish)

    • I also took the plunge and bought the prima donna bra as well. Fits great, but does run snug. My go to bras, which are very similar in the three part cup construction to the prima donna are the freya bras. They do have slightly larger cups and bands, so are more comfy. I have about fifteen freya bras, though I keep the older ones for around the house, and rotate two or three new ones. I order them from bravissimo, and I read the reviews first. The best freya bras are ones with half lace cups, as they stretch more. Also, if a bra range ends at an h cup(my size), I tend to avoid it, and buy a style that ends at a larger cup size, even if I don’t wear that size. It just seems roomier that way.

      Also, I want to give a shout out for some of pepperberry’s clothing, especially dresses. They are designed by bravissimo, and I have never had dresses fit so well In the bust. You can order curvy, super curvy, and really curvy bust sizes….they fit really awesome over my bust!

  20. Any tips for buying from Warby Parker? My vision is not that bad just need glasses to see the back of the classroom.

    • I’ve had several pairs of warby parker glasses since 2011 or so. They’ve been fine as ‘pajama glasses’ to me- I wear them in the morning and at night, basically whenever I’m also in pajamas. I think they’re a little heavier than glasses I’ve had from traditional retailers, and that the lenses get smudged more easily. However, I know a lot of people who dont see a difference, and who wear them all the time with no issues!

      • Note- be careful about your bridge width (the width of your nose, where the glasses will sit. If the glasses are too narrow or too wide there, they will be really uncomfortable. If you dont know your bridge width already, do the 5 pair try-on program so that you can figure out the width you’ll need.

    • Do you live in a city with a store? I have two pairs of WP glasses and one pair of sunnies. No issues, but I will say they are not the most comfortable to wear all day long — start to hurt behind my ears. This may be an issue with how they are adjusted but I haven’t had the time/energy/inclination to get in and get them fixed.

    • I like my WP glasses, but I typically wear contacts, so I only wear the glasses infrequently. I do agree that it helps if you have a store nearby in case you need adjustments. Even though I went to a store to try them on and get fitted, the initial frames were a bit too loose on me. But it was easy enough to stop by the store one day and have them adjusted.

    • Baconpancakes :

      There my primary pair. I used (abused) their home try on program multiple times, and found a pair that suits and fits me perfectly. They do smudge pretty easily. But I do touch my face a lot more than I should, and have oily eyelids and long lashes. I find they are very scratch resistant, and I don’t use any cleaners on them, just a microfiber cloth. My last pair of Warby Parker’s I used a cleaner, and they started to scratch really badly almost immediately. When I got this new prescription, I actually sent back my scratched pair, and they just put the new lenses in it. They were very helpful, and it only cost $50.

  21. How do you find out about protests, rallies, marches …?
    I joined MoveOn, Indivisible, Women’s March websites, but I think there are more going on than I am aware of. I got a notice from MoveOn about a PP rally Saturday, but I can’t find evidence anywhere else. The last time I trusted a notice, it was on Indivisible – we went and no one showed up.
    This is in DFW if anyone knows of anything or has better sources.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I use Twitter and FB.

    • Join local activist clubs (as opposed to national organizations). For example, your local Democratic party might have a club for the progressive wing, or a neighborhood group that’s organized around a specific issue.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Are you a member of a Huddle through the Women’s March ppl? I co-run one (they just let anyone lead it, so it’s not like I’m particularly knowledgable) and all the women try to pool our knowledge of these things. I’ve also signed up for text alerts from a local org. … that I found out about through my Huddle.

      • Anonymous :

        Hmm … the sites says there are over 5000 groups but none around my zip. Thanks all; I’ll keep looking.

  22. Has anyone looked into the risk of zika in India right now? Specifically the south, and in December. H and I promised parents we would go this Christmas to see elderly grandparents who didn’t make it over to US for wedding (H has never been to India and has never met them; may be our last chance before kids). But I just realized that India is on the CDC list for zika countries, and if we go in December, we’d have to push back our timeline for starting to try to get pregnant by like 8-9 months (or however long the recommendation is now for guys who are exposed).

    thoughts? I really don’t want to have to advertise to parents that we are going to try to start having kids on x date, but I don’t want to push our timeline back because of not wanting to disappoint other people.

    • Look more into the warnings and specific areas but I would be inclined to go and just be very cautious – lots of long sleeves/pants, fly repellent with deet etc. If you are looking for other good sources of info, try the CDC equivalent in Europe and the CDC equivalent in Australia. I thought that there were different strains of zika in Southeast Asia vs. South/Central America?

      • Yeah, the Zika in Asia has not be conclusively linked to birth defects, unlike the Zika in Latin/South America and Florida. Talk to your doctor but I bet it will be ok.

    • Ask your OB and/or a travel clinic. You OB can advise you about travel to Zika areas in general and my guess is she will say it’s ok. Mine said not to plan purely fun vacations to Zika areas but work travel was ok if I took precautions not to get bitten by mosquitoes (this is for someone who is TTC soon, not someone who is pregnant. I’m sure the advice is different if you’re already pregnant).
      The travel clinic can tell you what parts of India have Zika. It may not be everywhere.

    • Anon for this :

      I say do a lot of your own research and talk with friends that are in the public health field if you have any. Many doctors are taking a cover their butt approach and saying no travel to anywhere potentially at all risky. My doc said no travel to all of Florida which is just absurd. My friend who is in public health said that saying no travel to (insert country) is like saying no travel to the USA because Florida had a case. India is a pretty large place. See where the local cases were. If they are thousands of miles from where you will be, make your own decision. Be prepared for mega shame and guilt from your doc even if the risk is extremely low.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’ve posted this before, but if you do go research permethrin and consider treating some of your travel clothing with it. I went on a long hiking trip and I’m normally eaten alive. I didn’t get a single bite with my treated clothing.

    • Just came back from India, and we were not given any Zika-related travel warnings. Talk to your doctor, though.

    • lost academic :

      Pretreat your clothes with permethrin (if cost and timing aren’t an issue, there are places that will pretreat them for you if you send them off, but you can also do it yourself with spray) and find the repellent you’re going to use. Note that DEET is good and picaridin is now reported to be more effective AND handily comes in a lotion to apply, which I like since it gives me a clearer control over how much and where the application is – last time it was an issue for me, I put the picaridin on and brought the DEET spray with me for touch up/areas that got a lot of rubbing.

  23. More job venting :

    I am just so frustrated with my work situation lately– this is a partial vent, partial request for tips if any of you have been in this situation. By way of background, I work in a position that requires close collaboration in a small team. We all have the same job title and report to the same boss, but Coworker A and I each have a few years’ experience, while Coworker B is fresh out of grad school.

    Coworker B’s work is of astonishingly terrible quality, both substantively and in terms of his writing style/ attention to detail. It is practice in this role for all three coworkers to read, comment on, and edit each other’s work, but he avoids letting us review his work or has even undone all our changes.

    The kicker is that on top of all of this, he has temper tantrums when he receives any kind of constructive criticism, going so far as to throw objects across his desk in our shared office, slam his hands loudly on his desk, and storm out of the room. This has happened at least three or four times. The first time I wrote it off, the second time I calmly asked him not to do that, but it kept happening.

    Just the other day I finally (calmly and concisely) mentioned these issues to our boss, especially the violent outbursts. Boss was not surprised (Boss is a smart person and has seen B’s work product, so no shocker there) and said he will have to “deal with it” next week. But Boss is not a very involved manager so I think day to day coping still needs to come from me and Coworker A.

    So far, Coworker A and I have been checking and redoing as much of Coworker B’s work as we possibly can; trying to keep very clear parameters for who is working on which sections of each project; and keeping things like work plans and instructions in emails that can be referred back to. But B is catching on that he’s not working on the important sections and is getting frustrated and confrontational. A and I are both tired of doing the work of 1.5 people and the constant tension. It’s a really toxic situation and it just makes coming to work every day miserable.

    I’m leaving this job in 5-6 months for other reasons, so at this point I’m holding on in a temporary situation. But it’s an important job and I want good work to be coming out of our office, and I’d really like to NOT be miserable on a daily basis. Tips for how to handle these outbursts in the moment? More general tips for containing the damage from an awful coworker? TIA.

    • To be honest I’d be frightened to share an office with someone who throws things and slams his fist on the desk. That violent. If your boss doesn’t deal with it Monday, I’d go back to her and call it violence, talk about personal safety and ask if HR should be involved.

      • This. Throwing things is not okay. Use words like ‘violent behavior’, ‘concern for personal safety’, ‘take action now before behavior escalates further’

      • More job venting :

        Unfortunately there is no HR, so we’ll see how Boss handles it next week. I am unlikely to find out what Boss says to B, so we’ll have to see if he has another outburst. I did use words including “violent” and “scary.”

        • More job venting :

          Well, I guess technically we have an HR department but they aren’t involved with our work at all. They onboarded us, handle our paychecks, and otherwise have zero interaction with us. It would be really weird in our workplace to go to them about anything happening in our little work group.

          • Sounds like you’re doing the best you can in an awful situation. Your post is basically a checklist of everything I would have recommended you do. In the moment, I would focus on the behavior as objectively unprofessional vs. how you feel. That away you avoid any allegations that it was just a ‘personality’ clash or you were over sensitive. So “Please don’t throw things in a professional office.” or “It is not acceptable to throw things in a professional office” vs. “I feel scared when you throw things.”

            I would document (via email to your private email) any particularly bad interactions. Try asking on Ask a Manager as well. Good luck.

          • Is it that HR refuses to deal with those things? Or your little team has never had a reason to go to them about this type of stuffy?

            I’ve never gone to HR in the 6+ years I’ve been at my job, but if a co-worker was throwing things in my office you better believe I would be calling them.

          • Anonymous :

            You should consult HR anyway. They may not be involved with your regular work, but this is a HR issue.

  24. Also in Academia :

    Does anyone have an internist they like in North Atlanta (preferably somewhere in the range of Perimeter/Dunwoody/Chamblee/Brookhaven)? I would like an actual doctor with whom I can develop an ongoing doctor-patient relationship, not something like an Emory clinic where the care might be great but you might see a revolving cast of interns. Thanks!

    • I saw Leslie C. Norman for years and loved her. She’s now affiliated with Emory Healthcare it appears, but had her own practice before that.

  25. Packing List :

    I’m going on vacation shortly for 5 days to a humid climate where the highs are in the low ’80s. Some vacay days will include light to moderate activity (hiking, walking tours, and maybe horseback riding) but there will be lots of down time too. Not sure what to pack as I’m not a frequent traveler. What would you pack? Unfortunately for me, I’ll be on my period for the latter part of the trip and they tend to be heavy, which is a consideration.

    • Whatever you’d normally wear in hot weather. I’d bring two casual dresses, comfortable shoes, shorts, sneakers, a pair of leggings for travel/horse riding and a bathing suit. Are you on formal birth control? If so skip your period if you can. If not get an Rx for progesterone. You can use it to delay your period a few days.

    • Cropped leggings, sports bras, tanks in technical fabrics (for hiking, horse-back riding). Maybe some nicer, sleeveless blouses for walking tours (you can still wear these with the cropped leggings). Hiking sneakers, plus a pair of more casual sneakers to wear on the walking tours (adidas gazelles, vans, or the like; or more therapeutic shoes like danskos). I’d bring a couple button-down chambray or other cotton shirts you can put on over the tanks or tie around your waist. Will you be going to nice dinners or anything at night? Maybe a couple jersey sleeveless dress you can wear twice each and some costume jewelry to jazz them up.

  26. Sloan Sabbith :

    Omg, Senior Attorney! You need this for your Woman Cave.

  27. I posted a couple of weeks ago looking for very slim flats to tuck into my roller bag for when my feet are just DONE on business trips.

    I ended up ordering Puma flats. They are comfortable and very slim profile so they will take up very little room in my bag. I like them better than fold up flats because they have some support in the sole.

    I see myself wearing them at the airport and perhaps for walking from hotel to office/conference if it’s a bit of a haul. I will probably also wear them as slippers.

    I sized up 1/2 size based on reviews. Link to follow. At $45 I’m very pleased.

    • Puma Women’s Zandy Casual Shoe,Black Patent,10.5 B US

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oooh these look like something good to have around! Adding to my wishlist!

    • I have those and a very similar pair and adore them. Super comfy, though not as supportive as actual sneakers (but closer than any other flat).

  28. I need to buy a strapless bra to wear with an off the shoulder blouse. Anyone have any favorites to recommend?

  29. For the last couple of weeks, my cat has been especially insistent that we get out of bed around 5 am, when she used to not bother us until around 6:30 (alarm goes off at 6:45). Any advice on what to do? Locking her out of the bedroom just makes her scratch on the door until we open it.

    • Stay strong and do not get out of bed. They sense weakness and will use their god-like powers to exploit it.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This! You have to be more stubborn than the cat! (My actual trick is making my husband the cat-breakfast-feeder. So they only bother him.)

      • I’ve had my cat since 2010 and he has not given up. We even tried a spray bottle but to be honest we’re too lazy to get out of bed and use it.

        In his case, he’s indoor/outdoor and The Boss Of The Neighborhood, so when he’s yowling at our door, he wants to be let outside because he knows there’s some cat out there in their own backyard who needs to be dealt some justice.

        Ah, adopting a feral kitten. Probably won’t be doing that again.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I’m sure you’ve thought about this, but is a kitty door an option?

          Man, are cats the bestworst or what?

          • I had a cat door before but one of my (also feral adopted) cats got hit by a car. I just don’t want my loveable but obnoxious boy roaming at night. Too dangerous.

      • *giggles*
        I heart cats

    • Is it food motivated? Can you give her more food at night, or set up a midnight snack on a timer dish?

      She may progress to biting you awake. .. that’s what mine has done. . .

      • This. Add a night time feeding before bed. Don’t adjust or change her other meals, just add this in the mix. Give it 2 weeks to see if it works. If she’s dry food only, try adding some wet. Also, rinse out and wash her water dish really well. Often, behaviors like these are food related. Cats metabolisms change over time.

    • Mine scratches the metal vent like he’s playing the harp. Funny until it’s not…

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Only thing that worked for us was an upstairs bedroom, door shut, white noise, and cat downstairs with a baby gate blocking access to the upstairs. He’s too fat to jump over it though he managed to knock it over once or twice. The distance is just far enough that we can block out the meowing.

    • Haha, this is totally my trouble right now with my cat too. I know I can push her off the bed a couple of times, not get up to feed her and it will probably stop. But she had all these health issues and almost died last year and now I can’t find it in my heart to deny her anything. Good thing she’s not a human child?

      • Add in a night feeding. If you were hungry and couldn’t get food yourself, you’d wake up your human too :)

    • I second feeding at night instead of or in addition to morning (mine get dry food all day, but wet food 1x daily, and moving that to before bed was invaluable). I also bought a Petsafe SSScat Spray Deterrent that I put outside my closed door on the rare nights they are still really persistent.

      I had tried everything before that (baby gate, “moat” of tape, moat of actual water, upside down spiky chair mat, etc) and nothing worked. But it only took each cat getting sprayed in the face once and now the second they even see the can, they leave the door alone.

  30. Anyone had recent experience with M. Gemi shoes? I found a few comments from a year ago, but looking for recent feedback.

    • I bought the Tuta and the Fortuna flats a few months ago. I LOVE them. And I’m not really a shoes person. They’re comfortable, high quality, and I’ve been very pleased with their customer service.

    • I have four pairs and love them (3 flats and one pair of heels). Quality is really good and shipping is fast. Plus they give you a mailer so you can send gently used shoes back to them for donation to Dress for Success.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I just got a pair of loafers! Today is literally the first day I’ve worn them so I can’t speak to the durability, but they’re very comfy. You can get $50 off your first purchase. It should be applied automatically, but if it isn’t, just email customer service, they’re super helpful.

    • Anonymous :

      The blogger Extra Petite just did a recent review. I kind of take those with a grain of salt, but she tends to be pretty honest and thorough.

  31. Another plug for Target’s Merona line – I have a few pairs of shoes from there (the Drew pointed toe flats, the Poppy D’orsay pointed toe flats and the Eve quarter strap wedge sandals) and they are all so comfy, cute and affordable.

  32. Any travel advice for a free late-April Friday night in Des Moines, Iowa?

    • check out what’s happening at Noce (jazz) or Des Moines Social Club. Dinner at Alba or Centro. Visit Raygun, worlds greatest tshirt shop, in the East Village. Stroll the sculpture garden. Do you know where you’re staying? All of these things are downtown, some on the east side and some on the west.

    • Anonymous :

      My home town! I don’t have any advice about what’s cool in the city because I grew up in the suburbs and left the area almost 20 years ago but it’s exciting to see it mentioned here :) and I second the Raygun shirts recommendation.

    • I’d love to make some recommendations for your stay in Des Moines. Email me at leasethebmw at the mail of google if you are interested.

  33. Pants with High Ankle Boots? :

    I bought a pair of block heel ankle boots that hit 2.5″ above my ankle bone. Super cute with leggings and tights. But I’m at a loss on how to wear them with jeans….do I tuck pant legs in? Roll them up? Thoughts?
    (Shoes are Via Spiga “Fito”)

    • do not tuck in. roll so that they barely touch the tops of the booties, or even leave a sliver of skin showing.

    • I wear them with skinny ankle jeans mostly, so no issues. But since my ankle boots are all black and I only wear black jeans, sometimes my skinny black jeans that are longer length get hidden inside the top of the boot. Since it is a long column of black with a heel, it looks fine visually. I would not do this with blue jeans though, and the type of bootie and colors etc.. make a big difference.

      Sometimes cuffed is just too casual, not the look you want. Especially with black jeans with black booties, in my opinion. And in winter, I want to be warm and black jeans (slightly longer) with black booties is my staple casual look. I don’t want potential exposed skin when the weather is below freezing, and sometimes I dislike always wearing tights under pants.

    • Anonymous :

      I go updated-80s and tuck my skinny jeans into tall socks and scrunch the socks down. I usually do this with the thinner Smartwool socks.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s kind of a citified-version of the hiking boot and socks look. But it works for me. It’s definitely on the casual side, though.

  34. So a friend who is ~5ish months pregnant got up and left dinner last night – looking panicked saying she had to go to the doctor. She is not the panicky type AT ALL and everyone was having a fun time — nothing was said that would have offended her, didn’t look like she got any calls/texts from DH to come home, and she had been out with the group voluntarily in the afternoon and had a good time them, seemed fine. We were all kind of stunned/worried – no one else has kids; I though ~5 months was the “easy” part of pregnancy (relative to the beginning and the end). Do we assume something like contractions occurred??

    • Don’t assume anything (could have been spotting, could have been just feeling unwell, everyone’s pregnancy is different and not everyone has an easy second trimester). Just text her later on saying you hope she’s ok!

    • She could have thought she was having contractions, her water had broken, she saw bleeding, she was going to faint, any number of things. All kinds of scary things can happen at any time during pregnancy. Some pregnant women are also more panicky than others. I know a pregnant woman who has been to the ER several times for things I would have waited out or possibly called the doctor about. Don’t assume anything, just wait and see whether she decides to share.

    • Second trimester is usually easier but there can be complications at any stage. If it’s her first pregnancy, something like baby not moving for a while, or cramping might feel scary to her. It’s pure speculation to guess. Just send her a text saying you’re thinking of her and hope everything is okay.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      It could be almost anything, so don’t assume anything. You might text to say, “hope you’re ok.” don’t ask though.

  35. I just accepted a new role in an office where the dress code is casual. From what I have seen, people wear jeans regularly. I am coming from a customer-facing job where I had to dress formally. I’d like to incorporate some of my current workwear (silk blouses, sweaters, blazers, nice heels) because I love my current (carefully curated) wardrobe. My style is classic and feminine with an emphasis on navy, blush, ivory/winter white, and charcoal.

    I realize I probably will not have many opportunities to wear my lovely dresses, but any suggestions on how to style my pieces with jeans?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I think a silk blouse or a pretty sweater/blazer + jeans + heels could be really cute.

      Can you dress down a dress with a sweater or even a denim jacket (really would depend on the style of the dress, but I could imagine it working in some instances)?

    • I made a similar transition. Today I’m wearing a silk tee style blouse with a boiled wool jacket, both of these in coordinating shades of orchid, with medium wash skinny jeans and low heeled pink & tan slingback shoes. Lots of pearls. I think I look ok.

    • Anonymous :

      My style is the same as yours and I also work in a casual office. I wear my nice silk tops or shells with jeans and cardigans a lot. Some women in my office dress up regardless, because dressing up is fun, and they also want to look nice if they have front-facing roles. It really depends on your office culture.

    • I echo the other suggestions and wanted to particularly share my admiration for your wardrobe color palette. I’ve realized recently that ivory has a place in my wardrobe and will now take yours as inspiration!

    • Anonymous :

      I think you can probably just swap in your jeans for your dress pants or skirts and leave everything the same. I work in a pretty casual environment and I do silk shell + blazer or silk blouse on top and pointed toe flats or low heels. Jeans dress an outfit down a LOT so I think even blazers and heels don’t look too formal if you’ve got jeans on.
      Your wardrobe sounds gorgeous!

    • lawsuited :

      Aim to include at least 2 casual items in your outfit to bring it far enough over to the casual side of the dress code. E.g. Your blazer and heels with jeans and a luxe tee, or your sheath dress with boots and a casual scarf.

  36. Mexico City? :

    Any travel recommendations for Mexico City? Specifically, where to stay/eat? I’m going for a long weekend in August, probably with a friend. I’ve been before, but ages ago.



    • ALX emily :

      I did a walking food tour through Club Tengo Hambre (recommended by Eater’s guide to Mexico City, which is really helpful generally) and was really happy with it. I’m skeptical of guided tours and my Spanish skills are basic-to-okay but it was super worth it – our guide went to culinary school so she had a lot of interesting things to say about the different types of food and what made her preferred tacos al pastor better than other options, that kind of thing.

      • ALX emily :

        Oh and we stayed at the Hampton Inn in the Centro Historico (zillions of hilton points and it’s supposed to be one of the best deals out there). The hotel was really nice and the location was good, depending on what you’re doing, but I agree Condesa/Roma Norte are more like the areas I would normally stay in a city. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of those options though.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d try to stay in Condesa or Roma Norte, which are both great neighborhoods. If you have a large budget, consider Condesa D.F. hotel. We did an airbnb in Condesa that was great, so consider that option, too.

    • Stay in Roma Norte. It’s a beautiful neighborhood with tons of great restaurants. I stayed in an Airbnb there and loved it.

    • I’m going for a long weekend over Memorial Day! Here are a few recs I’ve gotten from friends:

      General bar/restaurant recs:
      Jules Basement for cocktails
      Zinco Jazz club (underground-ish jazz bar at the city’s centre)
      La Clandestina (mezcaleria)
      Casa Franca (jazz club)
      El Bosforo in Centro Historico, another good mezcaleria
      La Ciudaela: Market Adorable market.
      Churros El Moro: ask for an order of churros with cinammon and sugar and some cajeta
      Puyol: Michelin-starred (and quite accessible given the exchange rate!)

      Centro Historico: city center
      Bellas Artes – murals from the Big Three: Diego Rivera, Siquieros, and Orozco
      Calle Regina – a pedestrian street filled with cafes and small restaurants
      El Cardenal – great breakfast spot

      Ritzy, beautiful people, posh

      Trendy, great for strolling, lots of restaurants and palm trees and bars and pedestrian-friendly areas

      Enormous city park. Covers more than 1,600 acres

      Where the Frida K museum is. Far, but a beautiful neighborhood with a great artisan market

    • Anon in NYC :

      Smitten Kitchen went last summer and it sounded amazing.

    • The Ballet Folklorico is totally worth it. I spent a month there this summer with my kids, and this was one of the highlights for me. (Teotihuacan is epic, but probably too far for a weekend).

  37. GUYS the GOP is melting down. Please join me in my schadenfraude.

  38. NewRecruit :
    New t-shirt that absorbs sweat/b.o. Does anyone know of anything currently on the market that is similar?

    • I can’t think of what they are called… super thin disposable liners that you iron to clothing arm pits. Not at all the same, though.

      An undershirt fabric that works for me is bamboo. Lessens/eliminates that awful stress sweat odor and feels cool and soft.

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