Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Splendid Draped cotton and modal-blend cardiganSomething on your mind?  Chat about it here.

I’ve been buying a ton of cardigans lately, and I got this one a few weeks ago.  I love Splendid in general for great quality cotton and casual wear — and now with The Outnet’s Friends & Family sale, you can get an extra 20% off until midnight on Monday with code 20SHARELOVE. This cardigan, for example, was $68… but is now marked to $23.80… so with the extra 20% off it’ll come down to $19.04.  Nice!  Splendid Draped Cotton and Modal-Blend Cardigan

P.S.: Happy President’s Day to everyone who has Monday off.  Stay tuned to the blog — we’ll try to do a roundup of some of the best online sales for the weekend.  (Some are already starting!)



  1. First!

    • Ha! I’ve always wanted to do that….

    • Guys in my high school used to be first all the time; it was no big deal.

      • +200 LL points to KE for inter-blog meme application.

      • I hope they are NOT first in doing bad things! That would be bad!!!! FOOEY on guys that do bad things to ladie’s in the HIVE!

        I have a rant about the manageing partner. Today, he brought in BAGLES for everyone, but he forgot to get BUTTER or CREAM CHEEZE! So he sends me out to go to the Morton Williams store to get some and I do, but then he complains that I did NOT get the cream cheeze with CHIVES in it. FOOEY!

        I do not even like CHIVES, so Why should I get that? I got some with STRAWBERRY and some PLAIN, but why is he so dumb to complain?

        FOOEY on him I said get it yourself, and he was mad.

    • I think Ellen should rename “herself” as “Unsuccessful Troll.”

  2. This looked good…until I went to checkout and the price of shipping to Canada was $25. Sigh.

  3. Finally, I’m about a half hour from my vacation. Usually, I’d be an hour and a half, but my boss is out so why not…

    Tomorrow I’m driving to NH. I’m spending the week at Sunapee with my 3 nieces, while my sister and her husband go to Antigua. So I’m being the good aunt and taking care of them during their school vacation. They’re 5 1/2, 7, and 8. They’ll be in ski school during some of the day and my parents will come up for part of it. But I’m the boss and it will be just me for most of the week. Wish me luck!

    Also, if anyone posts a “what’s everyone wearing?” thread, I’m psyched to say fleece-lined long-sleeved shirt, yoga pants, and black cargo ski pants!

    • Have fun! Hope the slopes aren’t too icy.

    • If they are going on vacay without the kids, why did they pick school vacation week?? You have them for way more time during the day and everything is more expensive on the slopes.

      • I know. A friend of my sister’s is celebrating her 10th birthday (she was born on 2/29) by having a bunch of friends come to her family’s compound on the island. So basically it’s all (or most) expenses paid since they’re going with frequent flyer miles.

        • Anonymous :

          It can be hard taking care of kids during school with the routine and homework, etc. It makes sense to me.

  4. Research, Not Law :

    Coworker vent.

    The woman on the other side of my cube wall curses profusely and *pounds* her fist on her desk continuously at least once a day. We all have difficult moments, but she carries on like this for five solid minutes! While tantrums normally annoy me, today it may be the straw that breaks me.

    • I had someone like that on the other side of my cube at my last job. Apparently, she was going through a divorce. When she wasn’t punching the cube wall (seriously!), she was sobbing at her desk.

    • Ugh, that sounds rough! I am having coworker issues this week too… things kind of came to a head late yesterday and now two people I work fairly closely with are livid and basically not speaking to each other. How far along in my career do I have to be to feel like I’m working with actual adults…? They both have valid points, but are handling the conflict like middle school girls! /vent

      Hopefully the weekend is refreshing for everyone in my office and yours!

      • Ah biophys…I think the error you’re making is that “adults” handle things in adult ways. I have found it to be quite the opposite really.

        • My officemate and I (who have both done some babysitting in our day!) have been joking that the best response would be to tell them to each go to their rooms, calm down, and come out when they’re ready to talk. Instead they are screaming at each other in the conference room. Fun times!

          TCFKAG – you’re right, that was a silly assumption on my part…

    • Can't wait to quit :

      We have one like that. Very odd, emotional woman to begin with (starts conversations in a whiny voice with things like ” why aren’t you my friend?”), but when she gets worked up her voice gets higher and higher until she sounds like she has inhaled helium. I will not miss her.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      I shared an office with someone who did that! Actually he would take his keyboard in both hands and slam it repeatedly on his desk while cursing. Even better, he would slam down the phone receiver and yell “Morons! Idiots!” at the phone at least once a day. And he was supposed to be my supervisor. Good times….

      • love your name, MAS

        • Anonymous :

          Be thankful she isn’t your boss. My former boss, a man well over six feet tall and an elected official, was so angry that he punched the inside door of the elevator so hard that it shook. It was hard to keep my own tears of fear from streaming on my way to court that day. And he wasn’t mad at me.

  5. Disappointment with wedding pictures – we just got our wedding pictures from the photographer, and while my husband thinks they are beautiful, the first thing I thought when I saw them is that I looked pregnant. It is a food baby, not a real baby, but from every angle, it looks to me like I’m several months along, with a fullness or roundness just on my abdomen. I am really kicking myself for not working out a little more or eating a little less, especially in the last few weeks before the wedding, because now these are the pictures we’ll have for the rest of our lives. I’m trying to see the pictures the way he does, but every time I look at them, I am so disappointed in myself and the way I looked on my wedding day. How do I get past this?

    • Somewhere mid-way through our ceremony (I think probably actually when I went out in the wind) — a bunch of the little fly away hairs came out of my hair do and were basically plastered to my forehead for the entire day. Why someone didn’t tell me, I’ll never know. But when I look at a lot of the pictures, all I see is forehead hair. It took awhile, but I’ve pretty much moved past it.

      :-P We’re all our own worst critics. Also, from some angles, my behind looked HUGE in my dress. I had no idea until I saw all the pictures. haha.

      • Haha, I have a thick black elastic hairband on my wrist in all of mine. I took it off when I was getting my hair done and like you said, why someone didn’t tell me, I’ll never know. Now I know it was so I could share it with you Corporettes here!

        • Count your lucky stars you weren’t in a job interview and only at your wedding! that would have been a true gaffe. :)

        • Can’t figure out if you’re joking or if you’re serious. :-P haha.

          • I think she is referring to a recent thread in which one poster was complaining about a new worker’s attire, specifically pointing out that the woman hadn’t even taken the hair elastic off her wrist before the job interview.

          • I hate my wedding photos. So much. We just don’t put them up or look at them, 10 yrs later. Whatever, we have pictures from other events.

        • This was such advanced trolling that you did it without even having heard of Corporette yet! +10000 LL points.

          • Wow, I think my weekend’s complete. I have 10000 LL points.
            @ TFCKAG & IBL, unfortunately it’s true. I meant to say “I took it off *my head and put it on my wrist* when I was getting my hair done.”
            OT: the Skirt Alert: $39.90 in grey, most sizes still left:

          • @AP – if you ever get remarried, get different bridesmaids! Jeez. What are they even for if not to tell you when you have a thick black hairband on your wrist while you’re getting married?

      • But at least you are married! I also have a tush but no boyfriend. Fooey!

    • Give yourself a few weeks ‘off’ from looking at the pictures. There is so much pressure involved in weddings and the photos being permanent that you may just need a little time and distance to be able to see what your husband sees.
      If after a little time you still don’t like the pictures, choose the ones that you feel flatter you most for your album and give yourself permission to ignore the rest. Or ask your photographer if they can retouch them a bit. Remember, there is no rule that you *must* display your wedding photos, or that your wedding is the only time you’re allowed to take formal photos of you and your family/spouse. You can always take anniversary photos in the future if you want to!

    • I’m sorry. I know you must be disappointed.
      I would put the pictures away for a little while. I don’t know if this will help you right away but my mother always said to me that no matter how much I dislike a picture, when I am older I will look back on it fondly and just think about how young I look. Now that I am a bit older, I think she’s really on to something. I even like my license picture from 3 1/2 years ago, whereas when I got it I just kicked myself for not putting on a little makeup.
      Sometimes we imagine our pictures in a certain way and when they don’t match up perfectly, it can be very disappointing. But if you give it a little time to separate what you imagined from what you got, you may find that the pictures are actually quite great on their own.
      And, if after some time they still really truly bother you, ask the photographer if they can be airbrushed a little. Technology can solve so much.

      • I have to say that is so true. Now, looking back at pictures in which, at the time, I thought I looked hideous, all I can think is how good I looked back then compared to now. For most of us, the way we look now is most likely better than we will ever look in the future. Embrace it.

    • A few thoughs from a photographer here (& I do weddings) — I think people like pictures better in a few years (amazing what time does) than they do immediately. I would focus on your expressions/the overall scene, which I’m sure is beautiful — I’ve never seen a bride looking anything but happy or a wedding scene that wasn’t charming. All of that said, talk to your photographer about your concern. Perhaps he/she could do some creative cropping for you — find some of the photos where you love your expression but hate your pooch & ask to have it cropped tighter so your area of concern doesn’t show. I wouldn’t do this to all your pictures, but maybe you can find a handful where this would work & you have that “framer shot” you love. Just my .02.

    • I know someone who is naturally just a little pudgy and worked out hard and got in great shape (while barely eating) for her wedding. Now, she hates looking at her wedding pictures because in her words “I looked so great then and I look so fat now in comparison.” But the wedding pictures weren’t “her.” It was her crash dieting and overexercising. Yeah, she looked good but it was unsustainable. Now, when you look great you can say “look how thin I look now compared to when we married!” It is the reverse of getting married and letting yourself go. If she could do it again, she would have had her pictures done “as is” without the crazy weight loss.

      • Morning Sickness = gone! :

        This is exactly why I refused to crash diet or “get in shape” for my wedding. I didn’t want to create an unrealistic image of myself that I would covet in the future.

    • Formerly Preggo Angie :

      Girl. I hear you – but give me a moment. I lost 30 lbs for my wedding, and when I got the pictures back, I felt that I still looked fat – my arms weren’t shapely enough, my waist not small enough, etc. So what did I do? I didn’t order any. pictures. at. all. It’s like it never even happened.

      Fast forward 5 years. We’re moving, and I happen upon the cds with the photos on them. I go through them. After 5 years and 2 kids, Damn, I look good! And happy. And all those great wedding memories came flooding back, like when everyone jumped up from their seats to dance to “SexxyBack.” So I ordered my book (finally!) plus a bunch more photos to frame.

      I’m not saying 5 years from now you’ll be hideous or anything. But you’ll definitely want the memories. Take some time off, and look at them later.

      • This made me smile. Happy memories. :)

      • Research, Not Law :

        Completely agree! My heart sank when we got our photos. I couldn’t stop obsessing over a hunched shoulder, “chubby arms,” odd expressions, etc. I couldn’t even get one framed. I felt happy enough with one for an announcement and put the rest aside. Fast forward a few years and I feel completely differently! Aw, we look so young and happy! What a great day that was! LOL, and I also envy my figure two kids later ;)

      • phillygirlruns :

        agreed. when i got my wedding pictures, i was disappointed at how thick i looked through the middle. now i look back at them a little more than three years out, and i can see that i looked fabulous…AND i remember how much fun the party really was.

        sort of related: on my college graduation day, i accidentally put my mortarboard on backwards, so i had an eddie-munster style peak in the middle of my forehead. not a goddamn soul told me about it and i look ridiculous in every single picture. oh well.

    • PhotoShop! :

      Pick out a few favorites and have them professionally photoshopped. I did this for the first time with our family Xmas photo in December, and I was amazed at the results. Everyone looks incredible, and it looks totally natural. To anyone who says you are vain (or I am), I say so what!

      • Research, Not Law :

        How did you find a professional photoshopper? I have a couple of pics that I love except for some odd background things, etc. I’m confident someone could fix it, but I have no idea how to find that person.

        • is great for finding a contractor for little things. I had my professional mug shot lightly photoshopped and I love it. I used Lianny Kusuma.

        • Ask your photographer about this. You want to make sure that whoever alters your photo is working with the RAW image, not just a jpeg. They can make better alterations to the photo that way.

      • agree — I learned how to photoshop almost especially so I could photoshop my wedding pictures. Turned out it wasn’t such a good idea at the last minute to fasten the corset on the tightest hooks on the bottom and loosest ones at the top, as my seamstress/tailor recommended — just pushed everything up and out, especially in the back. kills me every time i think of it.

        • And if you have a Mac, the iPhoto program allows you to do some pretty good editing. I’ve edited out my shellacked hair in several pictures. :-)

      • On this point,your photographer should do some retouching for you as part of what you’re paying for. You shouldn’t have to contract this out, but you’ll need to explain what you’re looking for.

    • Also, if in three months you still hate them, find a cool photographer and shell out some bucks to do a few “formals” and then a wreck the dress session. It’ll be fun, cathartic, AND you might get a few better pictures to display around the house. :-)

    • goirishkj :

      Hugs! I disliked my wedding photos too. I didn’t get the “perfect” shots I wanted. Honestly, now that time has passed I am OK with it–there are a few pics I love and happy memories. I know letting go of disappointmeent is easier said than done (especially since several friends got married at the same church I did and I was jealous for a long time) but time will pass and it will be OK. And husbands just don’t get the picture thing at all! Mine still doesn’t understad why I dislike our pics!

      • I could have written this post word for word.
        And . . . Photoshop is your friend! Don’t feel like it’s “wrong” or “cheating” . . . I guarantee that all of those gorgeous shots on wedding p*rn blogs and photographer websites have been edited to make them even more striking or “perfect.”

        On a more philosophical front — I am completely OCD perfectionist Type A, and the thought that helped me get over the *truly tiny* things that went “wrong” at our wedding (incl. not loving most of the photos) was this: Which would you rather have had —
        * A wedding that looks perfect in the photos, with jaw-dropping photography that gets published to strangers the world over through the magic of the Internets, but in real life it was a difficult, stressful day that you’re just glad is over with — or it passed in a blur; or
        * So-so photos (or photos that failed to capture some of the most incredible moments) but incredible memories and the knowledge that you were able to be in the moment and present and enjoying so many of those wonderful moments on the day itself and the knowledge that all of your guests — your actual loved ones — had an amazing time getting to celebrate and support you?

        • goirishkj :

          Compltely agree with the second option! And part of the reason we didn’t have all those “perfect” shots is that I wanted to spend time with our loved ones instead of spending hours getting the perfect photos with the best poses and such. Can’t win :) We have a couple of great shots and one in front of our alma mater’s signature building that we have displayed at home. To the OP, I swear, it stinks now, but it really will be OK. It took me years to move past the photos but I’m truly OK with it now.

    • SV in House :

      14 years later and I still wonder why no one told me my eyebrows should be shaped/thinner, but I do love looking at them now, particularly the ones with my dad, whose health sharply deteriorated after my wedding.

      • North Shore :

        Also 14 years out, and it’s sad how many of the people at my wedding have passed away. I look at my wedding photos to see my loved ones all together, dancing and eating and having fun. It was a great time, and everyone looks so happy.

      • My dad passed away unexpectedly (heart attack) three years after our wedding (five years ago). I treasure my wedding photos for capturing that day so perfectly. We had the pics done in 35 mm rather than digital, and I didn’t even bother to order the negatives (which the photographer would give us one year after the wedding) until he passed, when it suddenly seemed so important to have them. We used one of the happiest pics of him at my wedding as the cover photo on his funeral program.

        I also am so glad we had a videographer. I originally didn’t want one but ended up booking someone at the last minute who was the friend of the photographer and had an unexpected cancellation. We watched the videos when they came in, but I haven’t done so since my dad died — too hard. But I’m really grateful I have a video of him walking me down the aisle and giving the first toast.

        Not to be a downer, but just a bit of perspective. I totally get not loving your photos – I was like that for the first couple of years,, as well. But I agree wholeheartedly with the advice to put them aside for now, and appreciate them in the future for what they are — memories of your big day and your loved ones.

    • I reading all these wedding photo posts and thinking of the similar attitudes I had towards my wedding photos, and it got me wondering… Do you think maybe some of this is because leading up to your wedding, you are completely surrounded and drowning in pictures of models and beautiful people in wedding dresses? Between the magazines and wedding websites, I must have been looking at dozens of gorgeous women, usually models, wearing wedding dresses.

      I’m not usually one to get all “I blame the media!” But it makes sense. At the time, I was comparing bride-me to all those model-brides. Now a few years out, I just see that it was me, who just happened to be a bride that day, and I compare that version of me to regular everyday me. So now I see that, gosh, bride-me looked so pretty and happy!

    • I had the exact same experience. No good advice, but i feel you!

    • ah, I am pretty happy with our wedding pics overall (got married last summer) but I do wish that someone had advised me to blot my damn oily forehead at some point, and also there are several where my crappy posture is driving me crazy. I did well for the posed photos but in a lot of the candids, I’m so slouchy! To be fair, the dress weighed a million pounds.

      Anyway, I would say we are definitely our own worst critics.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I had the same reaction to my pictures. My feelings are better about it now, but still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.

    • Can you get the CDs or digital images and wait a couple years to order prints? In a couple years, I think the judgement will fade and you’ll be left with the happy memories – you won’t think about your belly, just about how wonderful the day was, and how you want photos to remember it.

    • There was a post on A Practical Wedding recently (Wedding Graduates Sarah & Jonah) about the pressure to be “The Most Prettiest Bride Evah,” which is just so true. There’s so much pressure to have a perfect body and perfect skin and perfect eyebrows. Check it out when you have a moment – it might make you feel a bit better.

      On a practical level, if you don’t like the full body shots, can you find other shots from the waist up that you like better? Or crop some from the waist up? I know photographers give you thousands of photos, but you really only need about 5-6 to frame.

      I was a bridesmaid a few months ago in my best friend’s wedding, and she looked jaw-droppingly gorgeous. GORGEOUS. The best I’ve ever seen her in the fifteen years I’ve known her. And guess what? I was out to dinner with her last weekend and I asked if she had her wedding photos back, and she said “ugh. They’re awful. There are no good ones of us – we look horrible. Do you want to go through them for us and find 40 photos for the album?” So yeah… you’re not alone. And I haven’t seen the photos yet, but (1) I highly doubt they’re as bad as she says they are, and (2) if they aren’t flattering, they don’t properly reflect how she looked that day, because I’m telling you, she looked drop-dead stunningly gorgeous.

    • People have basically covered it but I’ve decided I’m NOT going to try to get in better shape for my wedding. Wedding planning is way too stressful to up my exercise/reduce my calories. I’m healthy and all, just 10 pounds over where I want to be and I certainly have a pooch etc. Oh well. On to the next one.

      • Four years after getting married, I am yet to order my photos – partly because of the pressure to pick the best fifty, out of what must be hundreds!

        Thanks to everyone who commented here, and put things in focus so nicely.

        Think I should get on to it today!

    • Photoshop.

  6. Anonymous :

    I have a question for the hive: do any of you out there have severely dry lips, possibly caused by use of Accutane as a teenager? It’s been over 10 years now since I did 2 courses of accutane (and of course, I still get zits, way more lately in fact – ahh, personal and professional stress), and my lips have consistently been insanely dry and chapped, to the point of bleeding. I religiously use chapstick, and at night use aquafor, and I even have Rx stuff: desonide ointment. Nothing really seems to help. I’ve tried vaseline and pretty much every other moisturizing over the counter type stuff you could possibly imagine. Am I destined to have chapped lips forever?

    Anyone had any luck correcting this issue with any particular products or meds?

    • Have you tried any non-petroleum products like Aquaphor? I did six months of Accutane (in my 30s) so I understand, believe me, but my chronically dry lips are more likely due to the extremely dry climate where I live. My suggestions are 1. stay hydrated, 2. use a sugar scrub (GENTLY!), 3. Aquaphor or unrefined shea butter.

    • Second the recommendation for Aquaphor. I was on Accutane as a teen, and had insanely dry lips (and the inside of my nose. nosebleeds! surprise!), and Aquaphor was a lifesaver. You can get it at most drugstores, and it works much, much better than chapstick.

    • It sounds like OP already uses Aquaphor at night. When I was on Accutane, the only thing that worked was Carmex – you’ve probably already tried that. At this point I would turn to a dermatologist (or a new one, if you’ve already seen one).

    • Seattleite :

      The only thing that helped my son’s Accutane lips was Dr. Dan’s Corti-Balm. You can get it on Amazon – I haven’t been able to find it OTC anywhere, although my small local pharmacy will order it for me. FTR, he’d tried every other product mentioned here, and this was way way better than them all.

    • YES YES YES! I am the accutane/dry skin pro!
      Regular chapstick is irritating for me, I think it’s the wax & dyes they use and it just makes me lips worse, esp when I was on accutane. The only thing that I found that helped for lips and didn’t make things worse is Blistex Herbal answers.
      For a while, they sold them at the drugstore, but now I can only find it online:
      I seriously buy them by the dozen and leave them everywhere.
      I’ve also heard really good things about bag balm (but the smell always drove me nuts).
      AND, I know you didn’t ask about this but for dry skin, but cuticura salve (a canadian brand I think that is extremely hard to find in the US, but when you do find it, snatch up like 20) is like neosporin on steroids.
      And jojoba oil (available at Trader Joe’s) is crazy good for dry scalp, everything else.

      • Sorry, I obviously can’t write in English. I think it was the over excitement about my fave chapstick ;-p

    • Maybe you’re allergic to the stuff you’re using? In addition to my wonderful skin problems, I’m allergic to any lip stuff with dye and/or menthol in it. That pretty much wipes out everything except vaseline. Also, you could have a skin sensitivity/allergy to your toothpaste – maybe cut out toothpaste with whiteners in it.

    • I don’t like chapstick or vaseline – have you tried high-end lip products? A lot of beauty bloggers (who have tried it all) swear by Jack Black – you can buy it at Sephora or Ulta. Lanolin based products are also good (I like Lanolips, but it’s made in Australia so you have to order it online).

    • I never used accutane, but I do have horribly dry lips. They used to crack and bleed a lot in the winter, and regular chapstick just seemed to make it worse. The only thing I’ve found that helps is Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. I get it on Amazon. It’s actually for breastfeeding mothers, but it works great as a lip balm.

    • I am currently on Accutane and I have been to the mountain recently so my lips were beyond chapped.
      During the day I apply a lip balm called Ictyane by Ducray which comes in a tube and feels like oil or for a more natural product I use Rêve de Miel by Nuxe which comes in a jar and feels like honey.
      At night, I apply old fashioned vaseline and every 2 days I gently use a moistened face sponge to somehow scrub my lips in circular movements without exerting pressure.
      Also, drink loads of water. It is cold in here so I have a tumbler at all times filled with water and some concoction (green tea – vervein – licorice – anything)
      And avoid the temptation to pass your tongue on your lips to moisturize them, saliva just irritates your lips further.
      I hope that helps.

  7. SoCal Gator :

    For once I have a decent “What I am Wearing” response. Cobalt blue J Crew boyfriend merino cardigan, cream popover shirt with navy polka dots (J Crew), kahki compact doubleweave trousers (signature fit) from Ann Taylor, coral skinny belt (J Crew) worn over the sweater & blouse, silver spiral ball necklace from Tiffany’s that my DH just gave me for Valentine’s day, silver hoops with small channel diamonds, brown Munro Tour loafers. I feel very stylish and great on this casual Friday!

    • That sounds really cute! I’ll play:

      Dark wash Gap skinny maternity jeans, tucked in to brown equestrian-style boots (so no one has to see how swollen my feet/cankles are. It’s appalling). Navy floral print tunic, brown drapey cardigan. No jewelry other than earrings because my fingers and hands are too swollen.

      It’s my last day before maternity leave, so at this point I was proud to even have clothes on.

    • I’ll bite just because you guys have all inspired me to kick it up a notch before I go on vacation. Black Talbots tweed sheath with grosgrain ribbon ruffled trim at the neck that I got for $14 at the Talbots outlet, black tights, black aerosole wedges, black cashmere fitted cardi, red beaded sparkly ball drop earrings, shiny red beaded necklace, assorted bangles, and black leather Emporio Armani tank watch.

    • So cute!
      Yoga pants and a tshirt. Not having class on Fridays is the best.

      • I am also super casual: leggings and sweatshirt, because I went home sick. Today has not been my day.

        And now the dog wants to play and is giving me the eyes of You Don’t Love Me Anymore? But I’m Such A Good Dog, but I feel too nauseous and light-headed to move. Blegh.

    • phillygirlruns :

      big fan of the coral/blue combo. i like my casual friday outfit today, too – built around this:,default,pd.html?dwvar_JG005517_color=730&start=3&cgid=womens-sweaters

      slightly cropped, boxy v-neck cardigan. very substantial knit. navy with wide hot pink cuffs/collar/placket, over a plain white tank, dark j.crew matchstick jeans, leopard flats, 16″ single strand pearls, smaller three-strand pearl bracelet with three “diamond” and silver brackets, pearl studs, rose gold MK watch, wedding set/yurman blue topaz petite albion ring.

    • just Karen :

      As usual, I’m boring – dark boot cut jeans with a rose scoop neck t-shirt, fitted brown fine-wale corduroy blazer, and dark brown/metallic/patent loafers. Dangly antiqued gold earrings.

    • Boden polka dot cardigan, j crew no. 2 pencil in light blue (it’s nice, but it’s no “the skirt,” especially once you take price into consideration), blue tights, coach booties, navy enamel bangle. I’ve been in sweats all week with sick kids, so thought I’d kick it up a notch today. (Polyvore link)

    • Grey Tahari dress with interesting neckline (first corporette recommendation I ever bought, probably two years ago now), black cardigan, black hose, and black Ann Taylor pumps. Fairly boring, but at least its a dress. :-)

    • Gray military style jacket with a double row of buttons, cobalt blue tee, dark skinny jeans tucked into brown equastrian boots, a big brown belt and a silver necklace with multiple colored stones.

      I love Splendid tees. I wish they had Kat’s pick in other colors. Baby pink just doesn’t do it for me.

    • I’ll play too! light gray Calvin Klein pantsuit with a black and white hounds tooth silk blouse from Banana Republic that’s from 4 years ago but I still love it. Red patent leather Ferragamo pumps, pearl earrings , an opera length freshwater pearl necklace and my standard watch, wedding band and engagement ring.

    • Merabella :

      I was hoping for one of these, because I love my outfit today. Cobalt blue sheath dress from the limited with grey v-neck cardigan with a bright yellow patent leather belt, black tights, and amazing spectator shoes that I found in my closet that I bought like 4 or 5 years ago. Going out for drinks later with people from work so I kicked it up a notch from my office’s regular “business casual” attire.

    • I tried a new color combo today, and I think it’s worked out nicely, so I’ll play.

      Black tights, black patent flats, and black pencil skirt. Dark teal, long, cowl neck tee, untucked. Short, 3/4 sleeve, purple cardigan with big sweater rosettes on upper left/shouder and rhinestone-y buttons, buttoned in the middle. Silver post earrings.

    • Am I the only one who skips over the “what are we wearing” threads every time?

    • Oh, I’m pretty boring – white scoo-neck satin-trimmed tee, short-sleeve blue cardigan, jeans, brown patterned flats, and antiquey brown beaded earrings.
      BUT – I’m leaving from work to meet some friends for dinner and a show at the local theatre and have change of clothes in my bag. I’ll be wearing a white pencil skirt, black lace blouse, burgundy satin peep toe heels, dangly silver earrings, and a big silver c*cktail ring.

    • Grey cashmere v-neck, white Lands’ End Canvas scoopneck tee, dark wash Talbots bootcut jeans, ridiculous black/pink/purple/grey argyle socks, black Naturalizer wedges, pink/turquoise street pashmina, moissy studs and e-ring, watch, Cape Cod bracelet.

      I love casual Fridays.

      • Gray and black striped shell, J. Crew hot pink boyfriend sweater, black Ann taylor signature fit boot cut slacks, silver belt, dangly earrings with silver and gray beads, black pumps. A little on the boring side, actually.

  8. Accountress :

    Calling all chic, silver-haired Corporettes! I need your help.

    My mom decided a few years ago to stop trying to store-dye her hair, and has come to terms with her hair. She’s close to 75% gray at this point, and wears her hair in a bob. The problem is that her hair routine consists of hotel shampoo & conditioner, and wearing it curled under.

    She’s going to a cousin’s formal wedding in two months, and has FINALLY agreed to let me give her a mini-makeover so she can look better than any of my trashy relatives. We’re getting a personal styling appointment at every big store in the area to find a her a great dress, so that’s all covered, but her hair is a problem.

    What shampoo, conditioners, and other things should she be using for gray hair? She has fine hair, but a lot of it. I’ve got a bunch of beauty supply stores that I can go to in search of something, and ordering online isn’t an issue if there are good reviews for the stuff.

    Please help make sure my mom’s the classiest AARP member at the wedding!

    • Anonymous :

      My mom has the same hairstyle, she uses Nature’s Gate organics poo/cond and shine drops to style it.


    • no specific product recs, but my MIL has gorgeous silvery grey hair. I know she uses some kind of “blue” shampoo, to offset the yellow tones that creep in. (Not old lady blue hair, just some kind of rinse that makes the grey a true silver grey.) She’s said it makes her hair look 500 times better.

    • My dad has more white than gray hair, and patene makes a special “gray hair” shampoo. I think they have to order it from the drugstore or you could order it from the internet.

    • Aveda’s Blue Malva shampoo & conditioner.

  9. shackalackadingdong :

    Interested to probe everyone’s opinions on this.

    I recently started working at a large corporation. I work with very senior executives. All men. I’ve noticed that “getting pregnant” is a common phrase around here. As in– “Are we already halfway pregnant with this deal?” in reference to something we’re having second thoughts about. Or– “We need to get that other party pregnant with this deal” when we know we need to get someone locked in before they can back out.

    This really bothers me, but I’m having trouble articulating why. It seems to be used most commonly in a negative context, so that certainly bothers me.

    Am I out on a limb here? Can someone in the hive articulate more artfully than I can why this is problematic / offensive / etc.?

    • ha. so weird. no I can’t really explain why its offensive but I understand that feeling, and that is just really weird. I’ve never heard it used before like that

    • Totes McGotes :

      That’s creepy as hell. I don’t have a rationale; it just is.

    • I’m trying to spin this in a funny way, in my head, like “I love this ____ so much I want to take it out behind the dumpsters and get it pregnant” (sounds funnier in a Tracy Morgan voice, idk), but I can’t.

      It’s obviously not a gender-neutral phrase. And the way they’re using it sounds like they attach negative connotations. You might be over-thinking this; it’s plain offensive.

      • FOOEY on this. It is CHAVUNESTIC! FOOEY! FOOEY ON MEN who do this and say this!

    • I’ll give it a shot. To me, to say that “we got them pregnant with the deal” suggests that we talked sweetly to them until they caved and committed irrevocably. In some sense, pregnancy is a good analogy to irrevocably commited (modern medicine not withstanding). The problem to me is more that “we got them” part of “we got them pregnant”, since it suggests that the object of the phrase has been duped.

    • pregnant, with emotion? 10 points to the first person who gets the movie reference.

    • Ugh, gross. I’m not sure if I can articulate why it’s offensive either. It seems weirdly aggressive, like making someone/being pregnant is a way to make them/you subservient.

      I feel like I didn’t articulate that well.

    • Um…at least they don’t use abortion (see below) or “raped” in the sense that “that exam raped me” — which I also hate more than words.

      • I hate that so much too!! Ugh. I also hate when people call someone a Nazi (thank you, Seinfeld), but maybe that’s just me.

        • My coworker (a Mombie type) once, completely seriously, compared the rules about bathroom breaks at the Montessori school to a, quote, “Nazi camp.”

          Members of my family died in the Holocaust. It didn’t go over well.

          • Anonymous :

            Thank you, Bluejay. I have used the word Nazi to describe totalitarian rules myself, and I honestly never thought about how offensive and trivializing it can be. I consider myself on notice now. However, I do think it is okay to talk about Germany’s slide into fascism in the context of our own government. People get mad and say that the US is not committing genocide and that there is no comparison. But, it is important to remember that the Nazi rise to power was subtle and legal.

          • @Anonymous – I don’t think any reasonable person will be offended by your referring to Naziism in the context of facist or nationalist policies – don’t worry. The hyperbole involved in comparing an f-ing Montessori school to a death camp was just mind boggling – I mean, really, what a stupid thing to say.

          • I feel like people throw around “Nazi” to mean “bad” or “oppressive”, and the those things aren’t interchangeable at all.
            I guess I’m one of the few people that *do* think that comparing today’s political climate to Nazi Germany is completely ridiculous. I’m really tired of pundits using the Holocaust as an analogy for what seems like every other thing.

          • ShortieK, if you don’t see the comparisons between the laws that have been passed over the past ten years and the rise to power of Hitler, then you haven’t read enough books. I understand that the word “Nazi” to describe a ridiculous or oppressive rule is wrong, and I have been guilty of that. I just don’t understand how so many people are okay with the TSA, and the Patriot Act, and Guantamano, and the war on drugs, and the militarization of our police force. Wake up woman!

          • @Anonymous
            Cue “d’oh” moment for me. I honestly thought that by “in the context of our own government” you were alluding to current Catholic organizations’ objections to the Affordable Care Act. (Which, unfortunately, I’ve heard compared to the prosecution of Communists in the MacArthur era and Nazi Germany.)

            Yes, I can better understand the totalitarian state comparison for the Patriot Act (or the recent Nation Defense Authorization Act).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        A partner in my office used to say that. After hearing it a couple times, despite being a first year, I was so pissed that I called him out on it. He looked surprised. And he basically stopped. He’s slipped a few times, but I keep calling him out on it, so he catches himself now. I feel like it was a Good Deed.

        • What did you say, exactly?

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I said something along the lines of “You shouldn’t use that word. Rape is a very serious crime, so using that term as a metaphor for something that happened in a lawsuit, even an important lawsuit like this one, trivializes how serious rape really is.” I had my Not Kidding face on, and to his credit, he actually took me seriously.

        • As a summer associate, listened to the head of the firm tell a story about negotiation that included “Are we going to rape them” as a way of wondering how much the other side would concede. One of my top life regrets is not having the guts to call him out on it.

        • Good for you, SFBA, that ish is ridonk. And not acceptable.

    • That is odd – I have never heard that (thank goodness) in our office! It would bother me, too, for the same unknown reason.

    • CPA to be :

      I agree that it’s creepy and not appropriate. I think its the fact that to “get something pregnant” is such a biologically masculine thing. It sounds forceful and wrong when used to describe locking someone into a deal that they can’t back out of.

    • Let me try…

      They are equating the creation of something as a bully tactic to get what they want. It implies pregnancy as a “bad” thing for the other side that benefits your side – as a kind of power play. They are skewing a feminine word to mean something undesirable – like “crying like a girl”, “hit like a girl”, “don’t be such a girl about it”

    • Just a really belated note that its funny you started this post saying you wanted to “probe” our opinions.

      I am a 12 year old boy, nothing can be done about it.

      • The English language in South Asia has a life of its own with many interesting usages which I don’t come across elsewhere. One of them is the word ‘thrust’ to convey action, as in ‘our key thrusts for 2012 are to raise margins and improve quality’. I’ve been in many meetings in India where the discussion is all about ‘our thrusts’ and ‘their thrusts’ and ‘the thrust of our case’, and I’m torn between wanting to blush and giggle.

        • I sit in meetings where we talk about our penetration in certain markets, and whether accounts are virgin. Sometimes we talk about deep penetration.

          TCFKAG and I should have a 12 year old boy playdate together.

    • It is offensive. It sounds like they say “get them pregnant,” meaning to prevail on the opposing side in the negotiaiton.

    • job hunting :

      It is horribly offensive. It implies rape of a woman by a man. “Halfway pregnant” connotes s*x, maybe w/some pulling out action (at least for my visual brain). I would speak up. Just say that the visual image that language conveys is offensive/inappropriate, and ask if they can just literally say what they mean and cut the pregnancy metaphor.

    • shackalackadingdong :

      You guys are great and have given me some ammo. I’m planning on bringing it up with my SVP and VP. It really is pervasive here, and it needs to stop.

      • Well, I’d caveat with ‘pick your battles’ particularly if you are a relatively new arrival at your company. Is this the only instance of offensive language/ locker room behaviour you’re intending to call them out on ? If yes, go for it, plenty of good advice above on what to say. If no, well, have a think about how much you can call out without affecting how your seniors see you, and whether you’d want to save your bullets for other battles.

        I’d be the first to admit that my tone has been irredeemably coarsened by many years in banking though. I say ‘half pregnant’ all the time as in ‘are we doing this or not, can’t be half pregnant’ and often used to respond to requests by my (mostly male) staff to join a meeting ‘need you to swing your dick around for 15 minutes’ (meaning put a difficult client or counterparty in their place). ‘Get them pregnant’ I haven’t heard before and thoroughly agree it’s pretty offensive.

        Good luck either way.

      • Well, I’d caveat with ‘pick your battles’ particularly if you are a relatively new arrival at your company. Is this the only instance of offensive language/ locker room behaviour you’re intending to call them out on ? If yes, go for it, plenty of good advice above on what to say. If no, well, have a think about how much you can call out without affecting how your seniors see you, and whether you’d want to save your bullets for other battles.

        I’d be the first to admit that my tone has been irredeemably coarsened by many years in banking though. I say ‘half pregnant’ all the time as in ‘are we doing this or not, can’t be half pregnant’ and often used to respond to requests by my (mostly male) staff to join a meeting ‘need you to swing your d**k around for 15 minutes’ (meaning put a difficult client or counterparty in their place). ‘Get them pregnant’ I haven’t heard before and thoroughly agree it’s pretty offensive.

        Good luck either way.

      • I would just say “What?!” next time someone says the phrase, then continue with “Get them pregnant, what do you mean by that? What a strange expression!” Focusing on how it is a weird or strange expression may be easier to start with, then you can move into the inappropriate or offensive disucssion if they keep saying it.

    • I would be really tempted to just look at the person saying that and respond with a pitying, “Oh, that expression just makes you sound so stupid.” And if you’re sitting next to him, pat his arm sympathetically, like he needs some comforting about his stupidity.

    • I don’t know if anyone will see this, but I just found out my husband and all his colleagues use this when referring to deals at his work. (He does a lot of M&A work at his company). I told him the hivemind finds it creepy as all h*ll. I also told him rape and abortion were beyond the pale (even he agreed abortion seemed weird as heck).

      So…one small step for womenkind?

    • Anonymous :

      I find this a bit offensive, too. Interestingly, it suggests that one would intentionally impregnate in order to create commitment, or be sorry when one gets pregnant because then they are stuck. But I always think men look at this from the opposite perspective in relationships — the woman gets herself pregnant, making it impossible for the man to leave, which is, of course, something he always wants the option to do. Perhaps I am just jaded and there are actually a lot of roving men out there trying to lock me into a committed relationship with them, which is why they want to start sleeping together immediately.

      • The other St. :

        Can we just cut to the chase here?

        Getting ANYONE pregnant is a sexual reference. Period, full stop. Flip it to what you actually want – their trust, their commitment, and do NOT fall into use of that word. It may also be creepy because really, it takes a male to make a female pregnant, or access to semen, if you want to be technical. Total sexist foundation.

        That’s a foul Fowl.

        Penetration, probe…all have wide usage in other contexts, and can be acceptable without a lot of squeam, though in a few decades, who knows, the sexual reference may trump the meaning. Example, I had an audio book of “Pollyanna” yes, THAT lovely Mary Sunshine Pollyanna from days of yore and common idiomatic reference. How many days of yore?

        When I put in the CD and my dear 10 year old was listening with me, instead of saying things with great enthusiasm – such as an interjection (cue Schoolhouse Rock) she would ejaculate her words, phrases and sentences – and she is a happy, excitable character. Cue seeing a puppy:

        “Wow!” Pollyanna ejaculated, “that sure is a cute puppy”.

        Had to return it without finishing the first CD. My inner 12 year old just went “what?” too many times.

        So yeah, sometimes the word choice distracts from the message, even if you are technically correct.

  10. Need to vent, too :

    I need to get a gazillion things done but I can’t because my boss doesn’t get me the stuff I need from her.
    And she is doing what she always does in difficult situations: going on lunch for 3 hours and then avoiding me at all cost.

    Monday will be a ginormous cluster-[enter profanity here]. But for now it’s Friday. Must.Stay.Positive.

    Thank goodness I can go home in an hour.

  11. I am super excited. I recently booked a sixteen day trip to Russia this summer. The trip is a river boat cruise from Moscow to St. Petersburg, with stops along the way. I’m having trouble trying to figure out what clothing I need to get for my trip. From what I understand, the temperature should be in the 80s since we will be there in July.

    Has anyone ever been to Russia in the summer? Thoughts on what to wear/what may be in style in Russia? Thanks!

    • I’ve been to Russia twice, both times in summer. Unfortunately, the first time was when I was 17, which was almost 25 years ago (omg) and the second time was 17 years ago so I can’t tell you what’s in fashion, although both times the fashion was out-of-date. The second time I went with a group from my business school. We consulted small businesses in Eastern Europe and even the men wore colored suits. I rocked that trip, by the way, because I actually spoke Russian.

      I have to go, but I’ll check in later with more thoughts.

      • Bunkster you speak Russian? That’s awesome.

        OP – I’m from Moscow, and I went on one of those cruises (but for Russians, so no private bathroom, 50 year old boat and terrible food) when I was a teenager. It’s going to be amazing. Especially Kizhi. Make sure you take the subway in Moscow. It was a huge culture shock for me when I moved to NYC and saw what passes for the subway here…

        I’m frankly surprised at some of the comments below. Russians don’t hate tourists or try to rip them off any more than New Yorkers. If you’ve traveled abroad a lot, you’ll be fine. Yes, Russian citizens get discount prices for admissions to attractions, it’s a relic of soviet times when all attractions where practically free. Russians consider it wrong to charge citizens to visit their own culture.

        Your maxi dresses will work well. Bring a cardigan or scarf in your bag to cover your shoulders for visiting churches. Over air conditioning will never be a problem anywhere.

        If you happen to be christian, in churches feel free to ask someone to help you to buy and light a candle, if you want. You can also pay a little money to put the names of loved ones on a list of names for prayers. But DO NOT buy those little icons in churches as souvenirs unless you are religious and will treat them as such, it’s very disrespectful otherwise. Everyhing sold in the church shops has been blessed While most Russians are not religious, the ones that are are very serious about it, possibly because our religion was illegal and underground for decades.

        If you want to try something resembling Russian home cooking, in Moscow go to cafe moo-moo, it’s buffet style, but as authentic as you cAn get outside someone’s home, plus you can just point to things you want. get the sirniki (translated as cheese cakes) near the end of the line.

        Last piece of advice – learn the alphabet before you go and make sure you can sound things out. There is no English signage in most places. If you want to learn a little Russian, get Rosetta stone it’s great.

    • RussiaRepeat :

      I have been to Russia several times, including Moscow and St. Petersburg. I recall the weather varying a lot in St. Petersburg because it’s on the Gulf of Finland and gets a lot of weather moving through. I bet on a boat you’ll also be cooler, so I would go with lots of layers and fairly comfy shoes — lots of cobblestones sidewalks and marble palace floors.

      As for style, it’s been a few years, but Russian women in general tended to dress much more evening/club than I am used to here in NYC. As an extreme example, there was the 20-something young woman in the Hermitage Museum in an open-weave fishnet crop top over a bra, but generally people just took it up a couple notches. I stuck to my own style and, since you’ll be with a tour group, I doubt you’ll interact much with Russians casually.

      Have fun, St. Petersburg in July is White Nights, which is a great time to be there!

    • I have. Weather can really vary, even in July. So check it before you go and plan for contingencies. Sometimes it’s cold and rainy, sometimes it’s hot. Lately it’s been hot in the summer. But I would check closer to your departure date. And no matter what the forecast, I’d bring a light jacket.

      As to fashion, Russia tends to be a lot more sparkly and formal but in an odd sort of way (bedazzled capris wouldn’t be entirely out of place). Moscow and St. Petersburg are big cosmopolitan cities so the usual rules apply – think how you would dress for any big city. Places you’ll stop along the way will probably be more provincial so you can dress down more. Honestly, every time I’ve gone, I dressed more or less how I dress in NY and did not feel out of place. Just keep in mind that people there love to dress up so if you’re going to the theater or a nice restaurant, nice shoes, clothes, and a certain level of decorum are expected. If you go to any churches (and you should, they’re gorgeous), bring a shawl – you’re expected to cover your head and any bare shoulders. You may want to bring closed shoes – streets are very dusty and I had to scrub my feet with a pumice stone every night to get the dirt off of them. Whatever shoes you do bring, be prepared for them to get dirty (there is a reason it’s a big faux pas to not take your shoes off right at the front door in a Russian home). I would not wear flip flops. Also, while it’s reasonably safe, pick pockets do target foreigners so be vigilant and bring a bag that is secure — something cross body maybe, that zips well. Also bring an umbrella. Umbrellas there are either crappy or very expensive or both.

      Your trip sounds really lovely. I am sure you will have a fantastic time.

    • I have only been to Russia in the winter. I’m jealous of your summer trip…

    • Whatever you do, please do not wear or bring characteristically American items like tennis shoes, back packs, fleece, Northface wear, etc. Absolutely nobody in Russia wears stuff like this, and the only people who do are the occasional western (American) tourists you see. American tourists are rare enough in Russia and get duped enough already- don’t add even more fuel to the fire by wearing quintessential American tourist clothes. From a safety standpoint, you may also draw negative attention to yourself by doing do. Blending in is very useful in Russia.

      When I lived in Russia, I wore dark skinny jeans, boots, nice blouses, nice coats and sweaters. When the weather was nice, I wore wedges or kitten heel sandals with dresses and trendier outfits with shorts/blouses. Carried purses always or large, nice totes. A stylish messenger bag would probably be fine, but I never, ever once carried a backpack (the other Americans in my group were really the only people who I ever saw with backpacks, except for the occasional rowdy “cool”/trendster, semi-goth Russian teen). Think pretty much dressy casual all the time.

      I was never once asked if I was an American, even given the accent I spoke Russian with. Most people thought I was from somewhere in southern Europe… I had many guesses of being Turkish or Italian. The other Americans I was with who wore the bright Northface jackets, faded baggy jeans, and sport tennis shoes were scrutinized far more, and many were victims of theft as well.

      I’m not trying to be an alarmist, but American tourism to Russia is still somewhat infrequent, and Russians just have such a particular way of dressing (you’ll know what I mean when you see it), so you’ll just stick out awkwardly if you dress a certain way that would probably be perfectly normal in Western Europe…

      • Thanks everyone. I appreciate the tips so far. I am not particularly concerned with looking fashionable, I mostly just want to blend in to some extent. For example, I was thinking of bringing a few maxi dresses because they are comfy, travel easily, and relatively stylish, plus I can layer with a jean jacket or cardigan. But I’m wondering if this would be something that stands out in Russia. Also, jeans – yay or nay?

        • I think stylish maxi dresses and other sun dresses would be great. You would probably look European, which is good. Jeans are a definite yes, but I would say only if they are darker/a little more form fitting/slightly unique. What do I mean by unique… jeans that are white or different colors, jeans that are embellished, etc., would not stand out at all. But darker jeans would be just fine.

          I think you’ll be fine so long as you stay away from typical American tourist clothes and dress more as if you were going out somewhere here and feeling cute (ie, you wouldn’t take your black Jansport backpack out to a summer cocktail party with a bunch of girlfriends).

        • Depends on the maxi dress and how you accessorize it, but I think that would be fine. Jeans would also be fine as long as they were more dressy jeans (trouser style is popular there, skinny as well) and you paired them with more formal tops (any cute top would do, but not a loose tee or sweatshirt) and cute sandals/shoes. If you really want to blend in, keep in mind that Russians, like many Europeans, love details on their clothes so look for stuff that’s a bit unusual, for lack of a better word. Patches, embroidery, ruffles, you name it. But you’ll be fine regardless as long as long as you avoid the comfort-over-all-else aesthetic that’s typically associated with US tourists. Frump’s advice, here, is rather spot-on. And Clueless Summer is also on point – the heels will blow your mind.

    • Oh yes, I wanted to add as well. While you MIGHT be able to get away with particularly American looking clothes in Moscow or St. Pete’s, I imagine you’ll be stopping at some of the smaller cities like Samara and Saratov, etc. I have been to those places as well, and you will stick out *even more* wearing those clothes in the smaller cities. Many of those places are even *less* frequented by Americans (and the cities themselves can feel like a true step back in time), so if you don’t garnish potentially negative attention in Moscow or St. Pete’s, you probably certainly would elsewhere.

      Second the comment about making sure you have scarves for *all* churches (light weight summer scarves would be fine), and if you are stopping in Kazan, wear something modest for the day (probably arms covered, longer skirt, and have a head covering) because you might tour the large mosque there and they are strict about clothing. If you are touring any older monastaries, you will need the same types of clothing (and they *will not* let you in with pants… I visited a monastary in Izborsk and they made us don skirt-like, wrap pieces of fabric over our jeans to even enter the grounds).

    • Clueless Summer :

      Can’t say what’s in style now…but all the women will be wearing ridiculous heels. And you will feel super in awe and also slightly inferior because you can’t walk around all day wearing 4 inch stillettos. Or that was how I felt, lol.

      • Oh, the “tyfli.” I was in awe until I found out how many young (as in, late teenage) Russian women have horrible foot problems (like bunions and frequent dislocated ankles, etc.). Then again, I bought some great stuff while I was there thanks to the completely different sense of style they keep, and my only regret is that I didn’t buy more. I would take a trip back just to shop.

        • Clueless Summer :

          Oh I can’t even imagine the foot problems. A friend who grew up there had high heeled boots as a 5 and 6 year old child. She assures me they were stacked heels, not thin ones…but still!!!

      • dancinglonghorn :

        When I was there, the thing I noticed about fashion was:

        #1 – the women all wear crazy high heels but CANNOT walk in them! I saw women tripping all over the place! It is somewhat hilarious, especially in Moscow. (St Pete’s ladies seem to have more class!)

        #2 – they love lingerie. They love to show their lingerie to the world (I would too if I only had government approved panties for 50 years!) Be prepared to see so much of their lingerie in public. They wear colored bras underneath mesh tops – as dayware.

        I would just admit that you will stick out. Russia is the only country where I have ever felt a real culture shock (and I’ve traveled to every major (populated) continent.) I think its because I “look” Scottish – red hair and freckles and eyeglasses. And I hate to say it, but if you are not white, you will feel unease. I was shocked at the way I saw people of many different nationalities treated on the streets in Russia. (I used to think Americans were racist until I spent a summer backpacking from Berlin to Moscow – now I think that American’s are not that racist)

        My standard travel uniform for a backpacking trip is jeans, plain colored t-shirts, a street shoe (like Puma ballet flat), and a plain black hoodie/cardi. If I am in one area for a long time (Like Eastern Europe), I will buy a cheap anorak and messenger bag from a local Target-equivalent. That one habit is probably the main reason I have never been a victim of any sort of crime, as I look totally native (when my hair is covered). Absolutely no jewelry of any kind. Anything I wouldn’t mind being stolen, I leave at home (so my lovely shoes, $300 purses, engagement ring, all safe at home) If you really want to fit in, consider buying a cheap jacket in Russia. Remember – they have clothes there too. Don’t ever travel with anything you wouldn’t mind losing/ripping/being left behind/being stolen/etc.

        By the way – bring bug spray. I couldn’t locate any in St Pete’s and the mosquitoes are terrible in the summer. I vividly remember lying in my hostel bed at midnight in St Pete’s with the sun still fully up outside trying really hard not to scratch at my bug bites!

        Have a blast!

        • I got some of the worst bug bites of my life in St. Pete’s, and this was in October even when it was still a bit cold. I had huge, swollen welts all over my face and the only way to avoid being bitten in the night was to sleep completely under my covers… I realized this because each morning I would wake up with bites only on my hands/forehead/TOES/whatever part of me happened to be slightly exposed. I would almost recommend bringing a mosquito net, or at the very least, very very strong bug repellant. I can only imagine what the bugs must be like in the summer on the river.

    • I did St. Petersburg in the summer a few years ago (during White Nights, by chance). Peterhof and Katherine’s Summer Palace and the Hermitage were absolutely stunning. Many people there were warm and friendly. However, I did not enjoy Russia as a tourist–a lot of the “friendly” customer service ethos is lacking, and there were too many negative experiences to make me feel that they were isolated instances.

      As to weather, it was awfully windy there…sometimes humid. I wore skirts, t-shirt, cardi’s a lot. I looked nice and not necessarily touristy. The women there were DRESSED UP (full makeup, short skirts, high fashion (think very chic Gucci suits, etc.)). In my “comfortable” tourist garb, I could not keep up with their high-fash, nearly clubwear. We got fancy when we went to the ballet and were dressed appropriately.

      Overall, the Russians took almost any opportunity to part us from our money, and not in a “fair” way. Anyone not Russian is charged double, quoted exorbitant rates at restaurants, museums, in the street markets, etc. Our car service tried to charge us AND the total random passenger they threw into our airport car full price (e.g. each of us were charged the price of a separate trip, until I complained.) My hotel cheated me out of my “visa stamp.” I was like $50, and the clerk completely lied when I called her out on it the next day. (My friend met me the second day and wasn’t charged anything for the arrival stamp, and when I asked about what had happened to me the day before, the manager told me I was “imagining” things and that no one would try to cheat an American out of such little money ($50)). I even got shoved in a huge line to get inside Katherine’s summer palace and a couple screamed at the “Americanski” for wanting to see the Romanovs because they were “their tsars.” (People knew we were American because my friend and I had been waiting in line for hours, and spoke English.)

      All in all, it was not my most positive tourist experience. And I say that having visited thirty plus countries and knowing how NOT to be a sticking-out tourist wearing tennis shoes. I think if you are on a guided tour, you will fare better. At every place we went, tours were whisked into special entrances and had guides. We were traveling on our own.

      Still, glad I went and will probably still do my dream Trans-Siberian railway trip at some point!

      • dancinglonghorn :

        I totally agree with you about the culture shock. I didn’t have any experiences with the money issue (but I was a student and clearly didn’t have any money), but the Russians really are different.

        I remember once, in torrential rain in St Pete’s, watching passers-by walk by holding umbrellas but not bothering to open them to keep themselves dry. I feel that this anecdote really illustrated the Russian psyche to me.

      • All 100% true, and I even experienced some of this as a foreigner speaking Russian most of the time.

        One of the most telling scenes I watched was a sale to some American tourists in the one main kitchy souvenir area of merchants in St. Pete’s. Prices were already way too high for what was being offered, but because I and the others I was with were speaking Russian, we were generally able to get money knocked off the listed prices. For example, a lot of merchants were selling those metallic scarves you sometimes see on the streets of NYC for about 500 rubles/$20 at the time. That was very expensive, as you could buy one from a subway beggar for about 100 rubles/$4 or less. Anyway, a couple of us wanted scarves so we ended up getting them down to about 400 rubles/$16 or so. Still expensive for what they were, but not too bad if you saw one you really liked/just felt like getting something.

        A few minutes later, we saw the same merchant in broken English selling one of those scarves to this clueless, older American couple, telling them that it was hand made and unique and all that nonsense, and she quoted them a price of 90 DOLLARS. I am not even kidding. I almost choked when I heard that/wanted to somehow pull those people aside and tell them how horribly they were getting ripped off. This was a $4 beggar scarf that these Americans were going to buy for $90. It was horrible. And the merchant did this with ZERO qualm after selling one to us for $16.

    • I’ve been twice. Once I went on the train through Mongolia up to Moscow and then up to St. Petersburg and then I just had a short stop on a cruise. I don’t think I dressed very fashionably and really had no problems. The temperature in August was anywhere from 35-75. Maybe I am just clueless about the fashion, but during my first trip I was coming from 2 years in Japan, which probably has an even more ridiculous dressing sense and at that point I was just immune to it and did not care. People still asked me for directions, in Russian, more than once.

      One thing to know about St. Petersburg now in summer is that they have a new huge cruise ship terminal as of 2009ish and it is EXTREMELY crowded. Think trying to go to Disney World in July. Even if you take tours there, you’ll be waiting in long lines.

    • I would get on Netflix and watch (or skim) a few recently released foreign films from Russia, especially things that look similar to romantic comedies and would have “normal” russian life/people/clothing in them.

    • law talking girl :

      Late to this party, but are there any tips about traveling in far eastern Russia? I am going to Kamchatka for 2.5 weeks in May with my boyfriend. I won’t be able to avoid the fleece/North Face look since we will be backcountry skiing and camping. I need to minimize the amount of clothing I bring since I will need the space and weight in my luggage for skiing and camping gear. We will only spend one night in Moscow on the way to Petropavlovsk. Neither of us speaks Russian, however when traveling in other countries I have had people try to speak Russian to me.

  12. Anonymous :

    I worked at an office where the term ‘abortion’ was used to describe a spectacular failure of some sort (by the men. there were women who worked there though). Ie: “that was an abortion of a case” or “that meeting turned into an abortion by the end when opposing counsel did negative-something-XYZ”

    I’m not really feminist or politically correct (I actually prefer a non-politically correct environment where people don’t have to be so concerned over what everyone thinks of what they say, as long as it isn’t meant to offend someone), so it didn’t bother me in that way, but it was kinda just icky and gross. That job was several years ago, and that one phrase still sticks in my mind.

    Sorry that was not very responsive, but I guess it could be worse/accompanied by a gross mental image?

    • Anonymous :

      sorry that was in reply to shackalackadingdong about the pregnancy comment. Got the posting too fast comment and then it didn’t reply in the right place!

    • HOLY CR*P. I thought the other one was bad, but that is way worse.

      Next we’re going to hear from people saying that “raped” is used frequently in their office for when things were hard. Then I will have to punch someone.

      • You don’t have to be a feminist to think that’s tacky, distasteful and potentially very upsetting for anyone with a personal story about that particular procedure.

        • Anonymous :

          OP here: oh I totally agree, but I know sometimes these discussions will devolve into a female-power damn-the-man kind of thing, so I wanted to make it clear that I thought it was gross/slightly disturbing period, not just because I’m uber-sensitive or have a specific point of view or something.

    • The usage doesn’t even really seem to make sense. Maybe if they used the verb “abort” to indicate a decision to terminate to stop a project, I could see it. This usage just seems deliberately inflammatory.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here: oh yeah I’m sure it was just used as an inflammatory descriptor. Like you could have inserted “disaster” or “calamity” (that was a disaster of a case, a no-good-very-bad case, that meeting was horrendous etc) or any non-disgusting/potentially-offensive descriptors in there. I think it was just for the shock value probably.

      • Totes McGotes :

        Deliberately inflammatory – I think that’s what bothers me about the pregnancy analogy above. I have heard this usage of “abortion” before to refer to anything that’s just a horrible travesty, such as a truly godawful movie referred to as a “cinematic abortion.” Oddly, I didn’t find it as offensive as the pregnancy analogy, and *that*, upon reflection, I am finding pretty strange.

    • I remember people using that expression about 3-5 years ago, as a slang word for disaster or clusterf-ck. I’m glad it went out of style.

      • how bout the word clusterf*ck? hate that. not as bad as the others mentioned but ick

    • job hunting :

      This reminds me of when people use the word “marry” to mean something other than 2 people joining in a committed life long relationship (like the marriage of two viewpoints to reach a compromise or something). It bothers me. I guess I’m a purist about language. But I generally dislike when people complicate their message by using words to mean things they don’t mean, especially when there are other perfectly suitable and appropriate words available. For example, today in class my professor was trying to convey a difficult concept and she used 2 figures of speech in the same sentence. It would be way less confusing to just use words that mean what you are using them to mean! Maybe I should have been a linguist instead of a lawyer… so far all my comments today are about words.

      • I find this much less offensive, especially since the word “marry” can be used legitimately in other context (OED def. 8 – To unite intimately, to join closely or permanently; to correlate, link together (also with up); to cause or enable to blend together). It also doesn’t have the same sexually violent undertones that “get pregnant” “rape” and “abortion” have. I think that’s what makes them ultimately unsettling – they attach male physical and sexual dominance to “winning” and being a female victim with “losing.”

        Using the word “marry” like “let’s marry these two versions” seems way less problematic in those terms, and ultimately seems passive and/or peaceful.

      • Marry the ketchups :)

      • Unrelated-ish but two expressions I am over are “deep dive” and “drill down”. Yes, we need to explore X in more detail, can we not jus say that?

    • I’m pretty sure you guys are actually feminists–I mean, you’re reading Corporette, for pete’s sake!–but have only heard it used pejoratively. This makes me sad :(

      • You’ll NEVER hear me use the word feminist pejoratively! My first full sentence was “I’m one strong woman” — though I might have been coached. I just the above person was trying to explain that they were not prone to taking offense easily, but I tend to agree that its annoying when you have to say “I’m not a feminist” to say “I’m not oversensitive” or “I have a sense of humor”.

        I blame Fox News.

  13. I’ve decided to give up shopping for Lent, so in the greatest missing-the-point kind of way, I want to do a little shopping before then. What’s the one thing you are buying this year in anticipation of spring?

    • Totally not missing the point – Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday is the same thing – party it up before you go all somber. I’d say you are right on point.

    • I give up chocolate for Lent every year – it never occurred to me to give up shopping! I am committed to eating all of the chocolate in my house and my office this weekend. Then again, I looked at the “Holiday Weekend Open Thread” and thought “What holiday?” I mean, here it’s Mardi Gras, but not many other places have a four day weekend. I am off to Ft. Worth for my girlfriend shopping weekend so I’ll tell you when I get back!

    • Last week I bought some nude wedges that are work appropriate for Spring/Summer. These are they:

      First off – greige is exactly the color they are! Ha! Turns out greige isn’t the best color for me.

      Secondly – they are totally grandma on me! I have some black peep toe wedges from Giani Bini (a Dillard’s store brand, I think) that are so much more flattering, even though they look really similar to these Cole Haan shoes. I’m going to see if I can find some from there in nude.

      So…I suggest some nude wedges for work and play. Just not those!

      ps – giving up internet for Lent (minus work stuff) … I’ve spent a lot of time on here today. ;)

      • Research, Not Law :

        I quit recreational internet for Lent one year. By far the hardest I’ve ever done (although it was probably good for me). GL!!

        I’m not doing anything this year. I’m going to have a baby (and toddler) any day now and figure I deserve any indulgence I can manage, lol.

        As for spring purchases: For some reason, I’m super excited to buy cropped pants and some new flats.

    • Formerly Preggo Angie :

      I would like to give up red meat entirely this Lent, so I’m thinking of getting some juicy ribeye steaks for Tuesday.

      Now, to your question, we moved so I’m planning on getting a bunch of plants to spruce up the front yard. It’s pretty sad.

      • The last couple of years, I’ve given up gossip for Lent, and I’ll do it again this year. I don’t feel prone to a huge amount of gossip, but it’s totally pointless when it happens, and I feel like this is a good reminder to keep my words purposeful.

    • A few years ago I decided to give up giving up stuff for Lent. I’m doing great so far!!


      • Good plan! For me, it’s the only way to get myself off of chocolate for any reasonable period of time, so I do it. One of my friends gave up chocolate for Lent one year and she said she lost her taste for it. Ha! I have been known to take a bag of chocolate toffee peanuts to church with me on Easter Sunday morning…

        • That is awesome! Maybe I’ll do a little internet shopping during Easter Sunday church. :) I did it a few years ago, and I must admit that things were still arriving on my doorstep about a week into Lent, which kinda felt like cheating.

          • Well, since I’m a church soloist, I have to be at church at 8 am on Easter Sunday morning and don’t leave until about 1 pm. We serve breakfast for about 40 people in between. It’s fun but I need to keep up my strength so chocolate in my purse is a must.

          • Oh sister. I’m a church musician and we kick off Easter Sunday with a 4:30 AM mass, with a 3:45 call time. Depending on how many baptisms we have, we wrap up around 7:45, and then have a break until 10 AM call for second mass of Easter, which goes another couple of hours. All of that is after a Holy Week chock full of multi-hour services.

            Anglo-Catholics: that’s how we roll.

          • cbackson – my favorite Easter service is usually the Saturday Easter Vigil service. At least the way my church used to do it. Mostly it was the music that made the 1.5 to 2 hour service as great as it was. So thank you for sharing your talent!

      • I follow the doing one extra good deed a day route rather than the giving something up route. I feel much better about it and don’t have to worry about forgetting. :)

    • I’m no longer practicing, but when I was, I used to give up “thinking mean thoughts” for Lent. I have a tendency to be catty (at least in my head and, in my younger days, in my conversation as well). It was extraordinarily hard to do, but I found that by Easter each year, I liked life and my fellow human beings better. Forcing myself to have positive thoughts about people really helps you empathize with those around you. I highly recommend it for those looking for something meaningful to do for Lent.

      Hope that wasn’t too preachy. Just food for thought.

    • For the last couple of years, I’ve prayed a rosary every day during Lent. For me, it offers a better way to be reflective and accountable than giving something up (I just don’t have anything that would be all that meaningful or powerful to give up), and I am still doing something I wouldn’t normally do. I fast on Fridays, as well.

      Another thing to consider as your “doing something different” thing is making sure to get to church each Sunday during Lent as a minimum, or make going to daily service every day, or a few times a week, your special Lenten devotion.

      What are people’s thoughts about going to work with forehead ashes?

      • I’ve done it (though I have a job which doesn’t involve interacting with the public or clients). Now that I live in the burbs it isn’t even a consideration since the Ash Wednesday mass is in the evening.

      • I do it and I work for the local government. I usually will go to Ash Wednesday service before work because I tend to have night meetings.

  14. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Whoop, Friday! This is slightly marred by the fact that (1) I am still in the office drafting a contract to send out the partner by ‘COB’ (whenever that is) – it is 8.25pm here and (2) my planned weekend of errands/gym/general lounging is being interrupted by the fact that I have to go on a date.

    I gave up on the online dating many weeks ago, but one guy sort of caught on and we exchanged a bunch of messages and talked on the phone. But I’m just. not. excited. I like my little life and as much as it would be nice to have ‘someone’, I resent having to use up my precious free time to meet these people. There is clearly something wrong with my attitude here, which probably explains why I am single…

    • I feel the same way, if that helps. I always resent going on dates, and I never seem to want a second one.

    • Maybe there’s something wrong with your attitude… but I have exactly the same attitude about my first date scheduled for tomorrow. I will say that once I’m dressed and out the door I almost always have a good time, even if it’s a dud. Dating sucks…

    • Me too. Why do we torture ourselves like this? Grumble….

    • “close of business”

      • I think she knows what it stands for. To me, COB stands for “before whatever time I know the reader checks his/her email”.

        • I hope the person was being snarky — because if they really didn’t think Elle knew what COB meant…well….

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Yes I do know what it stands for, I was more referring to the fact that since it was 8.30pm when I wrote the post, any kind of standard 6pm COB was well and truly gone!

    • Thank you for posting this! It makes me feel so much better to know I am not the only one dreading the use of my “precious free time” for a date this weekend… Wish dating worked like the corporate world, and we could just take applications, conduct interviews, pick the best candidate, and be done with it. :)

      • That would be great, LR. And nice to hear I’m not the only one who feels vaguely resentful when I’m scheduling / thinking about / getting ready for most first dates!!

  15. My Jason Wu for Target review:
    For reference, I am 5’8, 150 lbs. Usually a M on top; size 8 in dresses and pants in JCrew/Banana. B cup, moderate hips.

    Sleeveless Pleated Shift Dress in Navy Dots with Black Belt, M ( Cute, but not really sure where I’d wear this. Too cutsey (and short– hit a couple inches above the knee) for work, but a little more fancy than I’d wear to brunch with girlfriends. Pros: It’s actually a button front dress, but the buttons have an extra layer of fabric over them so they’re not visible. Going back.

    Blouse with Tie in Navy Dots, M ( Love it. Snap front, but again are hidden by fabric. Would look really cute into a pencil skirt for work. Not sheer either as I was worried about. My only complaint is the decorative ribbon on the sleeves is very tight. I don’t have particularly large arms, and let’s hope I don’t bulk up, because I’m definitely keeping this.

    Keeping it in pink too.

    Sleeveless Chiffon Dress in Navy Floral with Gold Belt, M ( Did not like. Very unflattering– way too big in the bust, a little too large everywhere else. There’s no zipper or anything, so I guess it’s cut to let you pull it over your head. Also, the belt looks super cheap and you’d at least have to swap that out.

    Shortsleeved Tee with Cat, M ( Too cute. A little sheer– my bra showed through, but it’s casual, so it’s fine. Wore it with a cardigan to cover the show-through.

    Pleated Skirt in Black, 8 ( Not flattering on me. One of those delightful styles that I think only works on petites or people without hips, because it poofs out just enough to emphasize mine. About an inch above my knee, so long enough for work if your workplace is casual enough to wear something like this. Going back.

    Same thing on the same skirt with daisy print.

    Sleeveless Top with Sheer Panel in Navy Floral, M ( Not flattering for me. Very boxy. The sheer panel extended down to where the actual bra started (eg wasn’t just bra straps and a strapless wouldn’t have helped).

    Short-Sleeve Printed Cycle Dress with Pearls in Cream, 8 ( I actually like the fit of this the best of anything I’ve tried. It nips in nicely at the waist and the bust fit well. However, don’t really love the look of it otherwise. It’s more modest than I would wear out with friends, but too girly girl for work (light colors, and built in pearls on the neckline). The sleeves are very light and ruffle when you move. Sending back, because no idea where I’d wear it. Seemed very “going to tea with the ladies” to me, which is a problem since I don’t do that.

    Pleated Canvas Skirt in Belize Blue, 8 ( Ugh. This is the item I was most excited about, and it was a flop. The material was pretty terrible– really heavy, and rough. Felt very cheap. Not super flattering in the hip region (can you tell I have hip issues?!). It is only $30; if I had only ordered this I probably would have kept it for casual summer get togethers, but since I’m already sending back a ton of stuff, away it goes.

    Long-Sleeve Sheer Blouse in Blush Dots, M ( I posted my story on this blouse earlier. Love love love it. So feminine and pretty. Wore it for short times on two days in a row, and pulling it off on day two I noticed a huge hole on a back seam. It’s a genuine tear too, not a simple seam to resew. Very disappointed. Hope I can get my money back (TWO WEARS?!). At least I have the tie-neck version (above).

    Tried to order the lace-front tee in blush, but target in all their rush to get these items out slapped the label for it on a “BEBAND” which was a terrifying shock upon opening the box. I thought it was a very cruel V-day joke from my fiance.

    Hope that helps someone!

    • Merabella :

      I got one of the clutches from this collection and it was AMAZING. I was disappointed by the clothes however, so I didn’t take any of them home, but the accessories were actually pretty awesome.

    • That’s helpful. Thanks.

      On another note, I just don’t see how we can be the same height and almost the same weight and yet apparently be shaped totally differently. Crazy.

      • Sounds like everything would fit you perfectly, then! So bummed more of it didn’t work out, although my bank account is happy.

    • FWIW, I got the navy floral dress and it works great on me. I’m 5’4″, 115 lb, size XS. The dress is shaped like a tent and needs to be belted, I have a ton of cute belts so the cheap one on the dress didn’t bother me.

  16. Layoff v. Fire :

    I’d appreciate advice for when it’s time to let an employee go. We need to let someone go for performance reasons. The person just doesn’t get the work, isn’t improving, etc. The person also doesn’t have that much to do because, of confidence reasons, we just don’t assign much to them. We’ve considered calling it a “layoff”, just because we like the person, but I think we have some duty to tell them it’s really performance related. How specific do you get when letting people go/what would you want to know?

    • Your company must have HR policies around this, but in principle, you can lay somebody off (thereby entitling them to severance, easier transition to a new job, etc) while also acknowledging privately that perhaps it wasn’t a great fit because of working styles, etc.

    • I’m very interested to hear what other people think! I’m wondering if you really have a duty to share the whole truth behind your decision. For instance, when people quit their jobs because they work at a dysfunctional company, they will often stay tight-lipped on their way out the door to avoid burning bridges and causing potential problems down the road. Obviously, the power dynamics are different in your case, but perhaps some discretion is not uncalled for in this situation as well. Maybe you could stick with more generic talking points like “This was not a good fit and we think you will be better suited to a different role.”

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have a friend in this situation – from what she’s described, it seems like she and her work environment are not meshing. This is at a big company, so there are several steps HR is taking before (my hunch is) initiating termination. She’s at what I’m pretty sure is her last step – they sent her a letter saying you will be evaluated on your performance on X date (a couple months away) and a decision will be made as to whether you can continue with the company.

      I think she appreciates that she knows that the issue is with her work – but she also feels like people “made up their minds” about her work/work product early on, and are now resistant to change their opinions, regardless of what she actually produces. She also feels that since they plan on firing her on X date anyway (she is fairly certain no matter what she does, she’ll get fired) she’s just going to be a terrible employee for those last few weeks. It’s a bad situation for everyone I think.

      • I have unfortunately had to terminate two people at different times and this is the process – with my HR’s assistance – that I have used. (and no, I’m not a bad boss or person, ultimately it was the best thing for my entire staff since other people were having to take on work that these individuals couldn’t handle.). In both cases the individuals were given small severance payments.

        My understanding is that it is good practice to establish and document the reasons for the termination, including warnings or using performance plans, from a liability standpoint but I personally think its also more fair to give the employee some advance notice so that they can start considering other options. Momentsofabsurdity, your friend may be partially right that the decision is already made but I know of instances where people have been faced with situations like this and made a complete about-face. I think it may depend on whether there’s a specific performance issue vs. bad fit for whatever reason.

        To the OP, what would be the consequence of calling it one vs the other? In my company, if I used the term “lay off” that would imply that I wouldn’t be replacing them. In terms of communicating to others, we have very carefully stuck to the “X is no longer with the company” script to respect the individuals’ privacy, if you’re more concerned about how to present this publicly. However, I’m sure that everyone will know exactly what happened if things have gotten to the point where they have little work actually assigned to them.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I agree – I think it’s better to address this issues if they’re performance issues and (hopefully) give the person time to fix them. And even if not, I think it’s good she’s getting this extra time to focus on a job search.

          In general, I think for my friend, it’s a bad fit compounded by a boss she doesn’t get along with. I think her boss is an ineffective manager (granted, I’m only getting one side of the story) but also, my friend is not proactive enough to change things and doesn’t work independently enough for her boss’s style. I think in her case, it’s basically a done deal – they have switched her to a different boss because her current boss refuses to work with her any longer, and sent her the pre-termination letter. I believe she HAS honestly tried to improve at all the steps thus far but right now she’s just given up and is waiting to be fired (and hopes it’ll be phrased in such a way that she can collect unemployment).

          • often times people tell them it’s time to job search and they will have the option to resign within a few months. avoids you having to do legal layoff/termination.

    • Have there been any prior communications that their work is inadequate? If not, it may be problematic to tell them it is performance-related. Either way, you’ll want the justification for the decision well-documented in accordance with your HR policies.

      I’m struggling with an employee right now for the same reasons…and the biggest problem for me is the increased work that I have because of those confidence issues. Good luck to you!

    • I try to be honest, but tactful. Point out the person’s strengths, but let them know their strengths and skills are not a good fit for this job. We had a secretary who was smart and had great organizational skills, but just couldn’t type very well. I told her she should consider going through paralegal training (I really thought she’d be good at it, with some training), but that she just wasn’t a good fit for the secretarial position she as in, and we had to let her go. I tried to point out that this wasn’t her dream job, and she could find something better, or go back to school. We gave her 2 weeks severance pay, and agreed not to contest an unemployment claim. Not ideal, but the best we could do under the circumstances.

    • One thing to consider is this: if this person turns around and sues you/your company, what would you say under oath as to why the person was let go? If it truly is performance, but the person was told it was a “layoff” (i.e. economic based, or some other reason that is NOT performance), it will be hard to defend. Even harder if there are no poor reviews in the personnel file.

      It’s hard to tell someone bad news (i.e. that their performance sucked and they need to go), but that’s just part of a manager’s job.

  17. Oh good – it’s a three day weekend!

  18. Hoping you can help with some recommendations. I’m looking for good quality classic black leather pumps that come in wide sizes (and are not pointy since I need a wide toe box) and that are not frumpy yet comfortable. Is this the holy grail or something, because I cannot seem to find it. Or it could be that I live in Ohio and no stores around me carry this sort of thing? Willing to spend some $$ since it’s a staple.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      I did a quick search for Bandolino in response to your query. I have wide feet as well, and I have a pair of 10W pumps from them, but they’re a dark pewter color, not black, but I figure they’d have something similar in black. Take a look through these:

      I know you said you’re willing to spend more, but if you don’t have to…

      Also, I have a pair of Tahari classic black pumps from DSW, the model name is escaping me right now, maybe Brett? They have a bit of a pointy toe, so I didn’t think they would work for me, but I tried them on and they feel quite lovely on the footsies. You could give those a try to see if they work.

      • Thanks! I’m willing to go for reasonably priced shoes if someone can vouch for quality. I have never seen the “the find” website before, but it looks great! I feel silly for not thinking of DSW, though — blasphemy — I’m not much of a shoe person and have never been there.

        • Bandolino :

          Second the Bandolino, just bought black pumps from Macy’s, and they have built in padding. Very comfortable, not frumpy!

        • I have not been impressed with Bandolino quality. Granted I have never bought. But when I’ve tried, they seemed on par with Nine West for me.
          Ferragamo and Cole Haan are both available in wide, and for me there are no shoes more comfortable than Ferragamo. If you want to spend less, Clarks makes wide shoes and are very well made. I also like Ecco for quality but not sure if they come in wide. They are wider than most though in their regular widths.

    • You can search wide shoes on Zappos.!/women-black-heels/CK_XARC41wE6Bp0NlhTmFUIBA8ABAeICBgEYAggHBw.zso

      • Posting separately in effort to avoid moderation. These seem cute and have good comfort ratings:

        • Oooh I really like those. And I’ve been wanting/actually kind of needing a pair of solid-colored shoes for work…

    • I have large (size 10) fairly wide feet, and Kate Spade shoes are the most comfortable for me. They have lots of styles and generally you can find a plain black pump. These are patent, but if you search, I know they make a basic leather, too.

    • I have a wide toe box, and most Cole Haan’s I’ve tried are too narrow, but these Cole Haan Air Talia Mid Pumps fit really well in my regular size (8m), and are really comfortable.

    • indigo by Clarks?

    • I’ve been searching for the same thing lately. I’ve ended up with a black and a brown pair of Ros Hommerson Loyal. I can’t do high heels though, I have to stick with kitten or low block. These have a one inch heel, make my wide feet look slimmer, and the leather feels like driving gloves. I haven’t found a professional situation these couldn’t handle, but I wish I could find something very dressy, though.

  19. Just purchased this cardigan for my spring break trip! Looks comfy for the plane ride! I think the blush color will look perfect with a tan.

  20. After staring blankly at my closet full of clothes but with nothing to wear for the gazillionth time, I am motivated to finally do a closet purge and tackle my wardrobe. My problem is that I tend to buy whatever I think looks good or cute or whatever when I am out shopping – especially if it is on sale – but I end up with a closet full of stuff that doesn’t really go together and most of it I never wear because it doesn’t really feel “me”. I know I need to figure out what my style is, purge my closet, and start to shop with intention (looking for specific pieces to fill gaps in my wardrobe) as opposed to impulse shopping. But knowing this is what I need to do doesn’t seem to be making it any easier to actually do it.

    How do you develop your personal style? What are the bones of a good wardrobe (I am pretty sure it’s not 50 cute little patterned tops that aren’t really appropriate for any aspect of my life…)? These are questions I feel stupid asking, especially on this site, but I really do feel quite stumped by this. I know style rules, I think I usually look put together enough not to be featured on What Not To Wear, but I still feel lost when it comes to my own personal wardrobe and style, and I wish I could figure out how to put together a wardrobe that works for me.

    Any advice? Resources I can look to? I am familiar with Kendi Everyday’s working closet series which I recall being helpful and I will have to go back and have another read through of that.

    • Go to fashion blogs that are not focused on one specific person (e.g., the sartorialist) and save images that really speak to you – regardless of gender, height, body type, race, coloring, etc. After you’ve compiled 25-30 you’ll start to notice certain things – maybe you’ll be saving outfits with great tailoring, military inspirations, 1950s references, or bright pops of color. When you get to that level of generality you can normally adapt clothes for any situation (work, drinks, dinner, etc.) to the theme(s) you notice running through your images. The key here I think is not to get too specific, which is why Kendi Everyday (although I *love* her blog) is not going to help if you don’t feel like her particular style is “you.” Then you can start building basic, investment items from it. For example, if you’re noticing a military trend, a great trenchcoat that will last forever. Or if you’re noticing you love colors, a pair of deep teal wool trousers conservative enough for work or whatever.

      • In addition to fashion blogs, you can also view images on Pinterest (where I go online when I am not on Corporette!). Re-pin pictures of items/outfits that appeal to you and then figure out what are the common themes, whether it’s color, silhouette, a particular fabric, etc.

    • if you seriously have 50 cute patterned tops and think you have nothing to wear, maybe the problem is that you’re lacking the basics that turn them into outfits? dark wash classic jeans, black work pants + v neck cardigan, cobalt pencil skirt?
      i’d start by focusing on what in your closet you love and figuring out what you would need to turn those items into outfits. that might help with the gap filling
      separately, focus on what the current awesome items in your closet have in common?

    • If you’re looking for a guide to finding style, I would recommend Already Pretty. Her personal style is a bit funky, but she has some great advice about dressing in a way that makes you happy and works with your lifestyle. Check out her Greatest Hits page, there are a ton of “how to” guides: www.alreadypretty(dot)com/greatest-hits

      • Ok, I don’t know how I haven’t come across this blog before but I’m sold. Her “greatest hits” are absolutely hilarious. Her style isn’t really for me and I don’t agree with all her advice, but it’s a pleasure to read, which is the most important part!

    • Angie at has done some posts on this exact topic recently. One of the best suggestions that she had was to pull out a few outfits that you feel great in and actually set the pieces out together. Look and them to determine what characteristics they have, and see if there are traits that start to show up in more than 1 outfit. Assuming, of course, that you do actually have a few outfits you actually like.

      • Some specific posts from You Look Fab on this topic:

    • Merabella :

      I recently did this. I decided in the new year to no longer have a ton of clothes I felt blah about, but have enough clothes that made me feel fantastic when I wore them. Start out by looking at everything you have. Pick out those pieces that make you feel great when you wear them, and pieces/outfits that you have been given tons of compliments on when you where them. See what those things have in common. Like someone else said above, if there are common themes then you can build from there. I got an app on my phone and took pictures of all the stuff that I put back in my closet after the purge, it have a feature where I can make outfits out of the individual pieces (kind of like the computer program in Clueless). I find this helpful when shopping too, because I have all of my clothes on my phone I can see where I need to fill in the gaps. It also lets me see how a piece would fit in with the wardrobe I already have. If I can’t make at least 2 outfits with a piece from things I already own, I think twice about buying.

      I’ve also seen it mentioned to meet up with a personal shopper at places like Nordstroms. You can tell them what you already have and they can make suggestions on what to buy to create a wardrobe that fits your lifestyle and personal style.

      Hope these suggestions help.

      • Merabella :

        sorry for the typos, end of the day

        • Merabella, that sounds like a cool app! Could you share the name? I hope it’s available for Android.

          • I’d also love to know what app this is. I was looking for something to do exactly this!

          • Merabella :

            on my iPhone is is called Closet App. I’m not sure if it is on Android, but there are a ton of them out there.

    • 1) Evaluate your current wardrobe with a critical eye. The garments must fit, flatter, and free of tears and stains. You should not just like the items in your wardrobe, but really like/love most of them. Some items can be reworked by a seamstress to improve the fit or change the silohuette.
      2) Determine your style. What colors do you like? What cuts are flattering? Whose wardrobe would you love to raid?
      3) After editing your wardrobe, think about the holes. What basics are you missing?
      4) When you see those basics on sale, go for it! Aim to shop with restraint. A sale isn’t a deal if the item doesn’t fit your life.

    • I like Kendall Farr’s books for exactly this. They’re called “The Pocket Stylist” and “Style Evolution.”
      Online, you might check out this post from Wardrobe Oxygen: [DOT] html
      I also like this list of basics from Real Simple: [DOT] html

    • Rats. I tried using [DOT] to avoid moderation but it didn’t work.
      I like Kendall Farr’s books for exactly this. They’re called “The Pocket Stylist” and “Style Evolution.”
      Online, you might check the “Staples for Every Woman’s Wardrobe” post on the Wardrobe Oxygen blog (Scroll down and it’s under “Best of Wardrobe Oxygen” on the lower right.
      I also like the list of basics on Real Simple — just Google “real simple wardrobe basics” and it’s the first link to come up (it’s the checklist).

      • I would love to know what other readers of Wardrobe Oxygen think about the Miss Sixty booties that Allie sports so frequently.

        • Can’t stand them. She obviously loves them, because booties seem to make up a large portion of her shoe wardrobe.

          But, she’s not trying to make me wear them so I’ll leave her alone about it. And she has such a great tone that even with the never-ending parade of booties shes a zillion points to the good.

          • *she’s

          • I can’t (or won’t) wear *any* heels as high as most of what Allie wears, including the Miss Sixty booties (which are not my style, period). But I still like reading her blog.

          • I also think the skirt length on most of the skirts she wears would not fly in a law office! Nor would I be comfortable wearing skirts that short even on my own time. But she’s not an attorney, and clearly she is dressing for her own office and her own job. . . .

    • How To Tell? :

      Pick out your 2 or 3 favorite:

      * pairs of pants
      * skirts
      * jackets
      * dresses
      * tops

      The ones you wear all the time.

      Put on neutral pan*ies and b*a and a plain white Tshirt.

      Try on the three jackets, one after the other. What do they all have in common? (Probably color, definitely cut.) Next do the same with skirts. Then with pants. Then with dresses. Then with tops.

      If you’re having trouble figuring out what they have in common, try on a similar garment that you DON’T like. What is different about it?

      When you’re done with this exercise, you should know what works for you. For example, for me it is:

      * pants: flat front, side zip, no cuff.
      * skirts: no waistband, flat front, straight, at the knee.
      * dresses: fitted, at the knee
      * tops: fitted, knit, crew neck, sleeveless (with matching long-sleeve cardigan)

      Colors for all of the above: black, charcoal, jewel tones.

      Now, you’re ready to shop! (And donate anything that doesn’t make the grade.)

    • This is great everyone, thank you. I think my biggest problem is that I don’t have very much that I love, mostly because (1) I have a problem spending money on quality clothes and (2) am terrible at coming home with impulse buys that I never wear because while cute, they just aren’t me. I end up wearing the same jeans and shirts on the weekends and the same black pants and inoffensive knit tops to work, wishing I could pull together stylish outfits but not having the components to make that happen. I want dresses! And skirts! And to belt things! I mean, I enjoy fashion – I am here on this blog after all! But I have no idea where to start. Or I should say I *had* no idea; you’ve all given me helpful advice.

      So, I’m off to start studying up and will aim to face off against my closet by next weekend (need a plan or else I will put it off forever!). I have a feeling it will be a major purge with a long must-buy list resulting from the process. I know I need to be more intentional about building my wardrobe and I am hope this is the kick in the pants I needed!

      • You could look on Craigslist or just online for a wardrobe consultant. A lot of people will come by your home for an hourly rate and help you work with what you have/tell you some new pieces to round out your wardrobe that will help you make more outfits. I feel like one of the ladies on here was recently talking about this- she mentioned that she got a wardrobe consultant who suggested getting a forest green top, and that rounded out so many outfits!

      • Watch an old season of Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style. His advice for building a wardrobe and developing personal style is spot on.

  21. SV in House :

    Formerly Preggo Annie, if you are still looking for a designer, I recommend Birgit Jacobsen ([email protected])

  22. karenpadi :

    Scuba-Diving Corporettes:

    I just got back from 8 dives in Cabo (yay!) but I have obvious jellyfish stings on the top of my hands and all over the portions of my face not covered by my mask or hood. Usually, these stings are so tiny that people at work don’t mention it but this time I’ve gotten comments from all of the women at work (3) and 3 of the guys.

    I used white vinegar to remove the “sting” but the little red bumps are obviously visible. I can cover it well on my face with make-up, but what should I do for my hands? Based on previous jellyfish stings, the bumps will be around for another 6 weeks.

    • I’d say do nothing because you have a [email protected] story to explain it!

      I got taken out by a runaway skier in college and my face came out looking like I was in a bar fight. I had open skin so I couldn’t just cover it up w/ make up. I had a professional internship at the time and was embarrassed but many people asked about it and it was a funny story to share. I was in law enforcement so many people asked because they thought I got beat up on duty. I’m not sure the reaction would have been the same at a desk job where people may have speculated about domestic violence or something.

  23. PT Lawyer :

    Dying laughing here. I love both Mob Wives and Downton Abbey.

  24. Praxidike :

    Ugh ugh ugh. I have lost 60lbs since early summer 2011. I went shopping for new pants today because my other pants are too big and they look terrible and frumpy. I am totally discouraged, and I feel like crap.

    1) I went to JCrew and they only have up to size 12. I am a 14 in JCrew. WTF? I don’t think 14 is SO FAT that they can’t stock the size in my mid-size midwestern city. I note, however, that they had multiple size 00s.

    2) I went to Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Gap – size 14 too big, size 12 makes me look like a sausage. Also, my body shape, which can politely be described as “apple” (carry my weight in the belly and chest, skinny legs, skinny arms, slim hips) does not seem to be a body shape for which any store makes clothing that fits.

    3) I went into the mall fairly pleased with how I look, especially given the weight loss. I left the mall feeling fat, ugly, and like I want to eat a quart of ice cream.

    In short (too late!), I went home with no pants and significantly lowered self-esteem. I have a bunch of meetings and presentations next week and I was hoping to find some clothing that worked. I guess I’ll just wear some ill-fitting suits when I present in front of the CEO and my entire department! YEAH!

    • anon for this :

      I totally feel your pain! I hate dress pants for that very reason and wear skirts a lot. When I see magazine articles about “great fitting pants for every shape” they never have MY shape. I’m similar to you, even when I’m really thin. I am large-busted, have a stomach because of losing a large amount of weight after age 40 (and I’ve always had a stomach), but I am narrow across the shoulders with narrow hips and muscular legs. I can never find pants that fit in the waist that aren’t huge through the thighs. I know that nearly every woman goes through this – pear-shaped women have the gap from the waist being too big. It’s just so frustrating!

    • Salit-a-gator :

      Congrats on the weight loss!!! You shoudl be very proud! I know this may not be the answer you want to hear, but you may never find clothing that trully fits well no matter how much weight you lose. I recommend buying the bigger size and investing in finding a trully good seamstress or tailor who can make these things fit you like a glove. Finding a good tailor has been a godsend. Start with places like Yelp and also ask around. The majority of women today can’t buy off the rack, so a tailor / seamstress / alterations lady is key. Good luck and congratulations again on your weight loss! Keep it up.

      • MaggieLizer :

        This. It’s amazing what a good tailor can do for your self esteem. Congrats on the weight loss!

      • congrats!! it’s really unfair that off the rack clothes make women feel bad about themselves when they should feel great and i’m sorry for your bad experience!

        if it makes you feel any better, i am a completely different size and shape than you and nothing ever fits either. i hold NONE of my weight in my stomach and waist (there’s nothing to even grab), but instead i hold it all in my thunder tights and bubble butt. the more stressed i get or the worse my diet gets, the bigger my booty and thighs get. i even have a rule to not wear any kinds of pants during stressful times because it makes me feel bad — instead i stick to skirts dresses and leggings because they hide my weight better and i don’t have to see my clothes fitting poorly. trying to buy pants and skirts that fit in my waist just make me feel awful about other parts of my body.

        i buy everything one or two sizes up (pants, skirts, sometimes dresses) and get it tailored at the waist. you might want to buy to fit your waist and then get things tailored through the thighs

        • Research, Not Law :

          Huge congrats on the weight loss!!! I’m sorry for your disappointing mall trip. I also have a completely different figure and still leave the mall feeling terrible about myself. Buying off the rack is so frustrating, especially when your shape and size are changing. My best advice is to grit your teeth and try on clothes at literally every place available and make a quick assessment as to whether the clothes fit you. If they don’t, you’re out and on to the next place. Eventually you’ll find a store with a cut that suits you. Hugs. I’m off to do the same thing soon and not looking forward to the process.

          Remember that the clothes should fit you – not the other way around. It’s not your fault; it’s the designer/manufacture’s fault! I recently read an article by someone in the clothing manufacturing industry talking about how most retail stores now focus on frequent product change-overs (rather than a single spring line, for example) which speeds the process up to a pace that does not allow for test garments to be fitted to real people and adjusted before full-scale manufacturing. So the next time you put try something on and think “WHO was this designed to fit???” know that the answer is: No one.

    • Random vent. I have a 27″ waist. I recently tried on Theory trousers at Neiman’s, and not even a size 8 fit. The way the size 8s were cut, I wasn’t sure a 10 would even fit! I’m wearing a pair in the exact same style from 4 years ago in a size 6. WTF, Theory?

    • And congrats on the weight loss. That is freaking awesome.

    • HUGE Congrats on your weight loss. That is really impressive. And I’m sorry you had such a disappointing shopping experience–isn’t one of the joys of losing weight supposed to be more fun shopping? How about skirts instead of pants (especially if you have thin legs–skirts are a great way to show them off)?

    • eastbaybanker :

      Good for you for losing the weight! I’m really tall (just shy of 5’11”)and have totally given up on the mall for work clothes–it’s just not for everyone. Petite and tall women are in the same boat, so you’re not alone.

      If you require special sizing of any kind I think you’re better off shopping online for a good fit. Maybe try Talbots of Ann Taylor? Both have size 14, and 12 and 16 too if an item runs big or small. You could order a couple pant styles in a couple sizes and return what doesn’t work.

      Also, Nordstrom has rescued me from true career fashion emergencies. I needed a new business suit the next day after repeated shopping flops (which also involved J Crew and BR!). They were able to tailor a larger jacket down a size overnight so I could have a good fit with sleeves the right length.

    • Anonymous :


      Someone posted this link the other day, and it may help you too:

      Apparently I’m a 12 at the Limited? Awesome.

    • Everytime I go pants shopping at the mall, I go home and rant angrily about how the average american woman is 5’4. FIVE FOOT FOUR! Why all clothes are made for people 5’6 and above is something that baffles and enrages me. I’m not trying to hate on the tall girls. I’m just saying, the average length sold should be made for someone of the average height. I am 5’3, and every time I go to the mall, I feel like I can’t leave the juniors section. Looking at all the pretty pretty clothes that don’t come in petites just pisses me off. And yes I can have stuff tailored, but why should I have to pay an extra $20 or so to make this poorly made crap the right size. Argh.

      Sorry I got sucked into that rant again. There is a lot of residual anger there, apparently.

      • Join the club, at barely 5’2 I either just hem everything, or buy things labeled “ankle length,” which on me is slightly longer than regular sized. ;-p

      • KK,

        For some reason, fit models are usuallyl 5’7″ to 5’8.” Yes, that’s four inches taller than the average American woman. I wonder if the point is so that a 5’4″ woman can wear 3-4″ heels with those pants.

        I agree with you about quality. Why do some clothes still cost so much when they’re manufactured by people earning a pittance?

        • The problem with pants when you’re short is that the rise doesn’t always work. I’m 5’3″, and because of how I’m proportioned my only option is to get petite pants to fit the rise and wear flats. The rise never fits on regular pants that are long enough for heels. *Sigh.**

      • I’m with you at 5 feet even. I often have to have even petite pants hemmed! Same for tops. Don’t make sizes XS if they are not truly Extra Small!!!

      • I’m 5’7″ and have long legs. All the regular length jeans are an inch or so too short and all the long jeans are 2 inches too long. Old Navy is the worst for that. I think the difference between regular and tall is 4 or 6 inches in length.

      • YES
        4’10” and I had to teach myself how to do basic sewing.
        If you’re short with boobs and a butt, forget about finding anything off the rack. I feel like most brands are aimed towards the tall and willow-y.

        • girl in the stix :

          ShortieK–are you my long lost twin? Shopping for clothes is truly h*ll!

    • I am the same size and shape as you. Try the Ann Taylor curvy fit pants. They fit me like a dream. You may have to order online as I don’t always see them in stores.

      I also fit well in BR’s Jackson fit, which is their curvier fit. I don’t know if it’s in stores or not.

      • I was going to suggest AT curvy fit as well. BR doesn’t fit me as well, but I have found this season after having to replace most of my work pants that the AT styles varied widely on me. Some looked good, and others I would have had to go up two sizes to fit my hips (and had a corresponding extra 6+ inches around the waist!).

        And congratulations on your weight loss! That is a great accomplishment, and I hope that the trip to the mall doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself.

    • In search of Bunkster's Bark :

      I lost 40 pounds a few years ago (and at 5’0, that was a LOT) and had similar experiences. I think part of it was/is that yes, there are many body types that most clothes are not made for. BUT – also that 1) I had dreamed of losing weight for so long that I expected it to make shopping as easy as I had always imagined it was for others. I’ve since found out that all sorts of folks and all sorts of body types are frustrated. 2) I was very unused to shopping for any purpose other than to camoflage or attempt to camoflage and finding anything that remotely fit was good enough. I had not yet figured out what fit my new shape; was picking out things to try on that stylewise and cut wise were no longer appropriate for me, but I didn’t yet know what to look for. 3) I bought a lot of stuff that looked like holy h*ll because it closed. As in “It’s a size 6 and it closed. I must buy.” Most of that stuff went back to the store before I took the tags off and wore it, but I know some of it didn’t. Eventually I leared that “Just because I can close it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.”

      Short version: some of your frustration is probably approrpriate, but some of it is probably just you needing to grow in acceptance and understanding of your new shape.

      Think about how much better you feel and how much healthier you are! Really, you probably didn’t make the effort you did just so you could have new clothes. Focus on what you can now do because you feel better or because you have more confidence. Those are things I still think about. Because I am living a life I couldn’t have imagined with all the shame I felt. But, I must also add that it is fun as all get out to go to the mall, needing a new suit grey suit and being able to close them all AND get to choose which one makes me feel great – not just the only one that doesn’t look “too bad”

      Congratulations to you.

      • This is all so true. I lost 40 pounds several years ago and experienced all of the above – the idea that extra weight is the only thing between you and being able to wear whatever you pick up is pretty deeply embedded for those of us with that much to lose. I found it helpful to study some of the body shape/clothing style books and websites to get an idea of what types of things to try on – and maybe more importantly, not to try on.

        My body shape is similar but not exactly the same (slim lower body except for the stomach, most weight in the midsection/b**bs, but I have broad shoulders). I have a hard time with pants since my hips are slim compared to my waist (oh, and it’s really hard to tailor down hips/butt if they’re too big, don’t even try). Brands that sometimes work for me are J. Crew and Theory since they seem to be cut for a straighter figure. I have definitely come to own the slim skirt look; cute top untucked, usually with an open cardigan – it’s really the easiest and most flattering. But it took me a while to realize that and then build my wardrobe with that knowledge.

        Bottom line: don’t get discouraged, the shopping may not be a piece of cake but it’s way easier than losing all that weight! And when you do find pieces that fit and are flattering you will absolutely feel fabulous!

    • Praxidike :

      Thanks for all the replies everyone. I have mostly been doing it by low-carbing (though I still eat fruit, so I guess maybe what I mean is that I cut out bread, grains, sugar, and starchy vegetables – and most dairy) and personal training. I have about 30 more pounds to lose, hope to lose it by the end of the summer, and I am currently training for a half-marathon.

      @Bunkster and AD – thanks for your comments. I do think I know what looks good on my body, and I have no expectation that everything will look good. Even when I was a size six, some things just didn’t work. And I am definitely not one to stuff myself into a piece of clothing just because it closes. I think what annoyed me about the entire thing the most was JCrew, which is a brand I’ve worn in the past and that still fits me now. Why is size 14 not in their stores? Most stores cut off at a size 16, but 14? I don’t know.

      @SA-litigator: I am going to check out a tailor. Maybe they can work on my current pants and save me some money. I have had to basically buy an entirely new wardrobe since the weight loss and it has been expensive.

      @Blue Jay: I will check out that AT fit. I went there, but maybe I just didn’t try on the right pants.

      • Back in the day when I fit in J.Crew, I could never find 14s or 16s in the Wisconsin stores – the sales associate at Mayfair told me it’s because the 14s sold out as soon as they got them in. I don’t think they stock 16 at all in the stores anymore.

  25. I think I asked this earlier this week but is anyone interested in a Portland (OR) meetup?

  26. I have a droid 2. Randomly, the phone will ring and i can pick up, but cannot hear the other person, or I will make a call, and then phone says it is dialing, (and the other person’s phone rings), but I cannot hear/the cannot hear me speaking. Texting/email works, though! It only is fixed by Turning the phone off and re starting, which is not a huge deal, but always happens at really annoying, embarrassing times. Does anyone else have this problem? I am about to go bat$hit crazy on this phone.

    • Call your cellphone service provider. There is a decent chance that this is a network issue – there’s a specific sort of problem that crops up that causes this. Text and email traffic is carried differently and isn’t susceptible to it. You’ll want to call them right after this happens so that you can give them the specific phone number involved. They’ll want to use it to perform a test call.

      FYI, you’re more likely to experience this problem if you live in or are calling to a rural area.

    • Sounds like a problem with your network, not the phone. Call your service provider.

    • My Droid 2 is incredibly buggy. Sometimes when I call someone it will switch while dialing and call someone else in my address book. And it freezes all the time. the texting and emailing stopped working but I was able to find a fix online.

  27. ChocCityB&R :

    I’m going to begin decluttering this weekend and I’m so excited! I have so much STUFF and for some weird reason it totally wears on my emotional state. I’ve already taken the first step of decluttering, stop buying or bringing new stuff in. Now it’s time to purge the stuff I haven’t used or thought about for years but takes up space in my little world. My biggest fear is dealing with my home office. I always think “well what if I need that pay stub from my summer job sophomore year of college?” So wish me luck corporettes!

    • That’s awesome–good luck! I was a borderline hoarder for years and am slowly working on taking a bag to Goodwill every time I drive by there. I may be moving in the next year, so I evaluate everything with the “do I want to box that up, carry it up two flights of stairs, and find a home for it?” criteria. It’s worked great so far :)

      Also, a scanner can be your best friend with the home office. Creating PDFs of all those random documents and saving them to an external hard drive could help your anxiety about tossing it.

  28. Sensitive topic: since going off birth control (to, you know, ttc) 7 months ago, I have no s*x drive. Tbf, it was not terribly high before, but i noticed a decrease. Hubs and i have a great relationship, so much fun together, and I cannot imagine being with anyone else.

    I am an attorney with bigdebt, and feel so stressed and trapped in my job/anxious that sometimes the thought of getting it on after I get home is exhausting. (some people think “stress relief,” but I don’t share this!). Sometimes, I think, “wow, it is a wonder my colleagues have kids!” which, in turn, leads to me thinking of my strange colleagues getting down…which OBVIOUSLY does nothing to alleviate my issue. (sorry, TMI).

    I kind of force myself into initiating, and dont mind when he initiates, which eventually works out, and we do it fairly regularly, but I feel guilty not wanting to tear clothes off, etc, and like I am missing something in the relationship by not having that desire. And like my husband deserves a little more (these are my thoughts, he has never said anything.)

    I know this is an odd question to respond to, but any advice?

    • No advice, but you’re not alone. I often feel the say way and it is just depressing.
      I don’t have any hang ups about my body/sex, but I’m just never in the mood for it. ;-(

    • no advice, but i am only 27 and feel the same way — similar exhausting biglaw job and am not on BC (but haven’t been at any point during our marriage)

    • anonymous for this one :

      No good advice, just know that you are not alone! I used to have a really strong sex drive. Now? Not so much, even though when I do have sex with my husband it is very satisfying. I just don’t ever WANT to – I initiate because I feel like I should.

    • Anonymous :

      What helps for some is (1) alone time/time apart — to destress, not a breakup, and (2) date night. Go out, wear a cute dress, get a little tipsy. Maybe meet your husband out somewhere, i.e. do NOT go home, change, leave together… make it as if you are meeting for one of your first dates.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Vacation. Not a long weekend, but a real vacation. One or two weeks, no family or friends, no computer/phone/etc. I’d also suggest not a “romance package” type of thing either, but rather something or someplace you’d both enjoy. If you’re like me, you need to fully clear your head and schedule.

      I have some very random things that seemed to help me when I was going through a libido-less phase (after having my first child – so different scenario, but both likely hormonal). They may or may not help you:
      — Talk to your husband about it, if you haven’t already. Obviously, my husband was acutely aware of how I was feeling, but we had a frank (and emotional) discussion about how it was affecting both of us and how we each were feeling that was both cathartic and helpful.
      — Give yourself permission to be like this. It will pass. Beating myself up about it or trying extra, extra hard to make up for it only made it worse.
      — I give my husband a freebie every weekend. It would seem counter-intuitive, but I found that he’s more natural that way, which helps me. The sex-starved husband was not working for me. It genuinely worked to take off the tension. Note that he needs to be in on this for it to work.
      — Now that you’ve cleared that up, pounce when you are in the mood. Don’t keep track of how often that is, either.

      And… sorry to go here, but it was a factor for me and I know for some of our friends… Do you want to get pregnant *right now*? Not do you want kids, but do you want to be pregnant *today*? For me, my libido didn’t come back until I was actually 100% on board. I know couples who are “trying” but half-heartedly because they have some cold feet or alternate timelines in mind.

      Conversely, are you perhaps too focused on charting, etc to have s*x be purely for pleasure? I’ve seen that at play, too.


    • I’m not married or in a relationship, but may I recommend “Great S*x” by Michael Castleman? There’s a whole chapter on negotiating desire differences in a relationship. He also discusses low libido more generally, which may help you feel better about yourself if this is basically characteristic for you.

    • TTC s*x is a lot of pressure and not always fun and romantic. Add that to all the other pressures you have in your life and well, it becomes a frustrating spiral. I find that carving out time for things that make you feel good (exercise, nails, massage, etc) helps boost libido. I also like the suggestion of dates. Change things up. If Tuesday at 10pm isn’t your time because you can’t get that contract out of your head, how about when you are more relaxed on Sunday morning. Communication is a big part of this. I also find that increasing physical contact (hugs/massage/hand-holding) without the goal of s*x makes us feel more in sync.

    • No real advice, but I sympathize. I’m a 29 year old in big law and i could have written your post. Went off bc 11 months ago in the hopes it would reenergize my s*x drive but so far haven’t seen much of a diff. It’s been like this for years. I barely remember what it was like to be a h*rny teen/early 20 something. (what happened to that girl? is she gone forever?). The times it’s best for me is when, like someone suggested above, we “re-enact” being young and cool. Get all dressed up, shave legs, wear skimpy dress, drink fairly copiously, get it on = success. Also, I find that movies are pretty reliable for getting me in the mood. But without that or wine…it’s tough. I’m scared for what will happen when we have kids bc I feel like it’s already a struggle. I hope things work out for you. good luck!

    • Can't wait to quit :

      I feel the same way. To be honest, I will sometimes read a little quickie erotica on my kindle before bed. I find it takes me out of my worries, etc. and is enough to get me revved up for hubby.

  29. any nyc’er or NJer want to go with me to Rascal Flatts tomorrow night? I have an extra ticket and have been bailed on by every friend who likes them. The tix were a gift so you wouldn’t have to pay for it. Just thought I’d try, lame as I feel posting this…

    email me: munchkin1616 at juno dot com

    • Anonymous :

      Oh I wished I lived in the area! I would totally go.

      Hope you’re doing okay K.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m already going, or else I totally would! Should be a great show – heard they perform well live.

      • I’ve seen them live before, they’ve always been great and they come from the city I hail from… I just feel lame going solo to an event meant to bond people the way music is!

        • I used to go to shows alone in NYC all the time (was a music writer), and I’ll say, if it’s a great way to make new friends. I never meet people when I go places with the hubs or friends, but chatted people up everywhere when I traveled/went out solo. Have fun!

        • I go to shows by myself a lot, too! Like Jennifer said, it’s a great way to meet people–obviously you have something common with everyone else there, so striking up a conversation is really easy. And overall, more people go to concerts by themselves than you probably think.

          I do hope you find someone to go with though, because Rascal Flatts are supposed to be awesome, and it makes me sad to think of a ticket going to waste. Glad you’re feeling well enough to be up and about, though. I’ve been thinking of you!

    • I would go if I lived in the area! I hope you find someone.

    • Wish I was still in NJ! I’m sure you’ll find takers.

    • Ohhhh, tempted to cancel plans w my sisters!

    • kicking myself for thinking i would “save” reading this thread for what i knew would be a slow workday… (i’m in the area and have been trying to get to a rascal flatts show since 2005!)

  30. Do any of you know how long you generally have to stay in BigLaw in order to avoid having to pay back a summer stipend? My significant other just got an amazing job offer, but he’s been in BigLaw less than a year and would be unable to take the job if it meant that he owed the stipend + barbri fees + moving costs, etc. back to the firm. Unfortunately, he didn’t consider the possibility that he would change jobs so soon and tossed the paperwork. I guess I’m thinking there might be an industry standard…

    • My bf is in big law and the only thing he is expected to pay back is a 20k interest free loan they gave him before his deferral. The summer stuff/bar fees/whatever were off the books as soon as he got reimbursed for them (they did wait until after the deferal to pay him back for a few of the things).
      He should ask HR, I don’t think it would be a weird thing to ask, even if he was planning on staying.

    • Went through similar. Ask HR discreetly. I am not sure what you mean by “stipend,” but with respect to bar fees, I was taxed on those–as soon as that happened, they are wiped because I was taxed– firm couldn’t “retract” them back. Moving costs–may be a little thornier, esp. if he is bailing.

      But just ask. And no need to explain why. Just go with the vague “I can’t find my paperwork and am trying to be sure I know all the terms of my employment here…” blah blah. HR is used to compulsive attorneys and probably won’t think anything of it.

    • My big firm was one year. After one year, it’s your’s to keep.

    • No industry stardard — it totally depends on the firm, and his firm’s policy should have been communicated in the offer letter or other materials they sent him when he got the job.

      Anecdotally, back in the 2005-2006 era I could have walked away from my firm on day 1 and not owed them anything (if I recall correctly, it was a one-month salary equivalent bar study “stipend” and my BarBri fees), whereas my roommate had to stay 18 months, or pay back a proportional amount (both biglaw firms).

  31. Just hoping that I might be able to gain some insight from those of you who have gone through law school in the past, especially since I didn’t find anything from a search through Corporette. I’m currently in the application process and am looking for some advice regarding choosing a school (region, cost, clinics, etc. – looking to practice in Boston, very strong ties to the area and decent ties to the legal & business communities in Boston, intending to pursue corporate work with transnational corporations, ideally). I’ve received some significant scholarships from a few schools, though I am still waiting on the majority for scholarship information.

    Obviously I’m not giving out enough information to receive truly specific advice, but I don’t want to be too specific or public here. If anyone has advice on deciding between law schools (or advice on law school beyond that), I’d really appreciate it!

    • Anom nom nom nom :

      Not sure if this is what you’re asking and others may disagree, but, in my experience, unless you’ve got a reasonable expectation of practicing Big Law, it doesn’t so much matter where you go (within reason, of course – should be an accredited school, etc.). Assuming that’s the case, my two cents would be to focus on how you can get through school on a full ride or at least mostly paid for by scholarships. Good luck!

      • Thanks for the advice. I think I have a good chance at BigLaw, though I am obviously looking at scholarships in order to have a greater range of feasible options.

        • job hunting :

          A good chance at big law? Based on what? You haven’t even started law school yet. Plus, you might learn once you’re in law school that biglaw is not what you want.

          • Sorry, I was understanding the prior reference to BigLaw to refer to my intent to practice it, not the chances I have at getting it. I realize I won’t know until after 1L grades my actual chances at getting it! I apologize for my poor wording.

    • Don’t go unless you really truly understand what lawyers “do”‘on a daily basis. Transactional work is very client driven and, so you will almost inevitably be asked to regularly cancel social events, vacations, etc. (I have seen someone go late to his daughter’s wedding!) to get a deal done. Even though you plan to work in biglaw, are comfortable with the thought of paying 2 “mortgages” (your actual mortgage and your loan payment) on a 50k salary if this does not work out? (this could be you.) hate to be a downer, just wish someone had asked me this.

      Do not go to an unaccredited school. Think hard about schools outside of the top tier unless it is a strong regional school (preferably with scholarships). Look at the contingencies on the scholarships….lots of schools offer big schollies for 1l’s, but with a contingency that you will have x GPA to continue receiving scholarship (often gpa reqt. is too high to continue receiving…even thougneveryone assumes that they will be a good student, many do not get the gpa required to continue receiving)

      • Thanks. I’ve heard that before, but I do know what lawyers do on a daily basis, having worked in a local law office for about 5-6 years. (I was heavily involved in the legal work, not just doing the filing or anything.) I’ve also spoken with a number of lawyers to be sure that it wasn’t a single office thing.

        I love the research and exploration of law, along with meeting with and helping clients through their issues (particularly business ones). I know that I’ll have to cancel a lot of personal life things, but I feel that I’m prepared for that as much as anyone can be without actually living it.

        While obviously everyone goes to school thinking they have a great chance at the six figure salaries, I’m trying to be realistic about the chances that I will have a smaller salary, as you mention. For this reason, I’m looking mostly at the schools that have given me scholarships (such as a full ride to UConn), though I’m still waiting to hear from BU/BC about scholarships.

        Thank you so much for that advice!

        • Diana Barry :

          I have some friends that went to UConn. It is good for getting CT jobs but very state specific – don’t know if you would be able to get a job in Boston if you went there.

          • That’s exactly my worry about the school. (Otherwise, I’d be there to lower my debt in a second!) I’m going to look at other scholarships and the chance at getting to Boston from them – essentially weigh the amount of debt with chance at Boston/employment prospects.

    • Diana Barry :

      It depends on (1) the rank of the school and (2) how many loans you will take out.

      Boston is a bit insular, but if you are going to a T10 school, you can usually get a job in one of the bigger firms, and failing that, you can usually get a job, period. If you are going to BU or BC, ditto, but your class rank must be better. Do NOT go to Northeastern or Suffolk, unless you are prepared to work your a** off and be #1 in the class. The job market is still bad: even top 1/3 grads from those schools may not get jobs.

      Also, loans. If you are going to a T10 school, you should be able to get a high-paying job and pay back loans. BUT: for example, I know a 2009 grad from Northeastern who just got a job (in December 2011) and was over 200K in debt from undergrad and law school. That’s a big hole to dig out of.

      • I went to a Boston area law school if you want to touch base & ask me any questions. :-)
        I can set up, I dunno, an email address of something.

        • That would be great! I’ve made an anonymous email for this (not that I don’t trust all of you, but I don’t want to post my regular email online and start getting junk mail).

          [email protected]

          Thanks so much!

      • I also went to a Boston area law school. E-mail me at [email protected] if you want thoughts on the market.

      • Or better yet, come to the Boston Corporette meetup next Thursday. There are a bunch of lawyers in the group.

        • I keep trying to go to those, but something always come up on that day (usually work). I’m excited, because I think I can actually make it this month!

      • AnonforThis :

        Also know a 2009 grad from Northeastern who is still looking for a job righvvccvvtvvvvv now. It sounds like such a rough position to be in, and I never know how to sound encouraging when we see each other.

    • Class of 2011 here, T14. Many of my classmates are making 40-50k with a huge loan burden, and plenty are still on the job hunt. If it isn’t top tier, I would reconsider even going to law school unless you know you will have the connections/ tirelessness to go into big law.

      Also, I would recommend that you broaden your job search beyond Boston when the time comes. My classmates who had the most flexibility (networking in random places, taking last minute interviews in different locations) ended up with the best results.

      • Anon from above :

        Ya, none of my friend ended up working in Boston– most moved to NY or DC…
        and it isn’t that we didn’t want to stay either.

        • That’s helpful – and definitely something I’ll remember. I’m okay with working outside of Boston, it’s just that I believe this is where I want to live long term. Obviously, if it is between having a job in another city and being unemployed in Boston, I’m moving!

          I have been considering schools outside of Boston as well; it just seems that BU/BC give the best shot at Boston.

          • fairly recent BC grad here – very few of us landed in Biglaw and I know a lot of people from my class who are still struggling to find legal employment or who didn’t find anything for 1 year or more, including people who were in top 1/3 of the class and on journals. Most people who have legal jobs are in govt, public service, or very small law firms where the starting salaries aren’t more than about 50K. It is incredibly hard to pay off $150K+ of debt on that. Most law school grads are in their mid-late 20s and want to start having families and buying homes within the next 5 years, and that kind of debt can really put your life plans on hold. I turned down a full ride to another comparably ranked school because I wanted to be in Boston and I deeply regret it. Fortunately I also had a scholarship at BC and had some parental assistance and my debt is manageable. Not ideal, but much less than those who took loans for everything (I think they tell you to budget $180 now – $40ish a year of tuition plus $20ish for room and board – keep in mind that tuition will probably go up significantly while you’re there. It went up about $7-8K while I was there).

            Please think very seriously about how having $180,000+ of debt will affect your life. Even if you assume you will get biglaw (by no means a guarantee, coming from BC and doing well) and will live an otherwise frugal lifestyle, it can take 5 or so years to pay off that kind of debt with the cost of living in the city. Most people discover they hate biglaw once they start and the idea of being chained to it for 5 years is just horrible to me.

    • I chose my law school for its beautiful trees, in addition to the fact that it was the highest ranked school to which I was admitted that gave me a significant scholarship. I got into higher ranked schools, but they didn’t offer me any significant scholarship. I am very lucky–I did well at my T14 school and I have jobs / job offers lined up for the next few years; my debt can be paid off within 3 years. That said, I have many classmates who are in more difficult situations–$200K in debt, no job on the horizon. The Boston legal market in particular seems quite small and difficult to break into given that applicants are competing with Harvard grads who want to stay in the area. My advice to you would be to go to the best ranked school you can get into that gives you a significant scholarship. Harvard and Yale *might* be worth 200K of debt, but most schools are not.

      • anon for this :

        I went to Yale and I don’t think it was worth $200,000 of debt.

  32. New subject – do you find that work assignments frequently, if not always, take longer than you think they will? Yesterday I told a government agency client that I would have a formal recommendation on a settlement by the end of the day today (I’m still in the office but I AM SO TIRED AND HUNGRY). But as I worked on the memo, I found that I needed (and really did need) more information and more checking and so forth and so on. The agency didn’t really need to have it by COB today, but I thought it was a fairly uncomplicated thing to write. And these things never are. And the information (research, discussion, etc.) is usually necessary, but I frequently don’t realize that I need to add this, that and the other thing until I’m in the middle of it.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I long ago learned to double, if not triple, my time estimate. Better to have it be done sooner than expected rather than late.

    • This happens to me all.the.time. And I still don’t understand why – even if I don’t take breaks, I am focused, etc., I still take longer than I think I should.

    • This always happened to me until I developed a new rule. I figure out how long I think it will actually take, multiply time three, and give that as my estimate. I usually finish slightly faster, but I find that it’s all about managing expectations.

    • UPOD–under promise over-deliver. If you OPUD, that’s bad! That’s what they taught me a million years ago in my investment banking analyst program, and I still always build in a cushion when estimating things.

  33. What do y’all think of these?

    I’m thinking about them in Coral. I want to wear them this weekend with an LBD and tights, but I’m afraid that will look ridiculous.

    And does anyone have an opinion michael antonio quality?

    • I love them, but I would wear them with bare legs, not tights. I’ve never tried that brand before, so no opinion on quality.

    • LBD + black tights + these shoes can be a killer look and totes not ridiculous. But, you have to be prepared to the own the look. The shoes will definitely stick out and be way noticeable. This is a very cool look IMHO, but not subtle. So if you’re game for rocking it, I say go for it.

    • I love them in coral. I would totally wear them with teal tights…

  34. Anom nom nom nom :

    Has there ever been a meetup in Los Angeles? Any interest?

    • I’m in the bay area now, originally from LA– I’d TOTALLY go down just for a meetup if one ended up happening. I think it’d be great fun… plus I know LA like the back of my hand. :)

      • I would definitely be interested!!

        • Anon-nom-nom :

          Great! Let’s coordinate and make one happen. . . even if we start out small. Whoever’s interested, email me at LosAngelesCorporette at yahoo dot com

  35. I’d love some advice on how to handle a weird situation. My husband told me we’re invited to the wedding of a coworker of his. They’re a close group and they’ve been talking about getting together outside of work with spouses for a while. So half an hour later he tells me “btw, I’ve kind of been telling people you’re an attorney and not a paralegal because its easier to understand so just play along I guess.” I didn’t know how to respond. I have no problem being a paralegal and I don’t want to lie. I always found my husband to be super supportive of my career.

    So now what? Pray occupations don’t come up during small talk so my husband isn’t embarrassed? I find it hard to believe he really has a problem with me being a paralegal. I don’t know what to do with him or his coworkers.

    • What a crappy situation! There’s no reason for you to lie about your job – I’m sure you are proud of the work that you do – but if you do share your true occupation then you reveal your husband’s deception.

      If anyone asks about your job, perhaps you could say something like, “I work at the law firm of X, Y and Z.” Don’t specify your exact position at the firm and let your listeners assume whatever they want.

      Alternatively, there was a lengthy discussion recently about how to avoid discussing occupations – maybe you can find some good tips there!

      Good luck!

    • I’m annoyed for you! ;-p
      That is super weird and in any attorney’s eyes, unethical. You are not allowed to tell people you are an attorney if you aren’t. I didn’t even say I was an attorney after I graduated law school until after I found out I passed the bar.
      I’d nip it in the bud because it’s just going to get weirder if you go along with it.
      You could just say, oh ya, I work at a law firm as a paralegal, sometimes it’s confusing to explain and pretend like they just got confused when they heard your husband speak?
      Awk situation! Make sure he doesn’t do this again!

    • This is ridiculous, not least of all because its an untenable lie to really “play along” with in person. I mean, in the first five minutes of conversation the following questions could easily happen:
      (1) Where did you go to law school?
      (2) Oh, do you know x for said law school?
      (3) What type of law do you practice?

      Does your husband have a cover story for you? I mean, its so easy for a lie like this to fall apart. I agree with the above that you need to nip this in the bud — and pretending there was a “misunderstanding” is probably the way to go.

      (BTW, as a general rule, a non-lawyer you can’t commit an “ethical” violation in the traditional sense. But if you ever do decide to become a lawyer, it could be an issue in your bar admission).

      • Your totally right, woops. but still….
        And ya, for some reason this question really hit me and I’ve been thinking about it all night…. you always get asked about someone that went to your law school or what area you practice (which you might be able to bluff because you actually do work in law). But I do think it’d be easier to stop it at this point, especially if you plan on having an ongoing relationship or interactions w/ these people.

    • Seattleite :

      Given that they’re a close group, it sounds like you can expect other social events after this wedding. So playing along with your husband’s deception isn’t just a one-off – are you up for lying about your job for possibly years to come? I think your husband needs to come clean with his co-workers. And I think this is deserving of a really long, honest conversation with your husband.

      He may have a problem with your occupation, he may be feeling insecure himself and trying to boost his image by “look I bagged a lawyer,” he may just be intellectually lazy and find easy fibs more appealing than explanations. But either way, he’s put your integrity at risk, and if you play along you do that as well.

      I’m sorry to be all doomsday, but what if word got back to your employer, or any prospective employers, that you were passing yourself off socially as an attorney? The line between attorney and paralegal can be very fine, but it is also very bright. You really don’t want anyone you work for thinking you don’t know it exists.

      • I agree. I think your job would be greatly at risk if they found out you were holding yourself out as an attorney. I know you asked for advice about handling that situation and not your marriage but:

        I would really have a sit down with your husband and ask him why he told them you were an attorney. It is not hard to explain what a paralegal does, most everyone has heard the term. Also if you work in the area, there is a good chance they know someone else who works at your firm. I would really try to get to the bottom of why he said it, and also how far along he went with the lie. (Did he make up a law school?) I think it is something to be concerned about

    • Moonstone :

      Oh dear. Two things: I am generally comfortable with little white lies in social situations, and I am a paralegal/office manager. But even I can see trouble coming here. I understand the attorneys who have responded to your post as seeing it as a big ethical deal, but I am more worried about the practical questions. It’s just not going to work — people are always trying to mooch free advice from attorneys. You’ll get caught in the lie very quickly.

      I understand that you don’t want to embarrass him or yourself. It was weird of him to say, but that’s not what I am addressing here. I concur with the suggestion to say you work at this and such law firm and the firm does xyz type of work and your practice group is 20 people, or whatever. But when someone says something to you that can’t be answered with a generality, I think you have to say, “Oh, gosh, no, actually I am the senior paralegal in the xyz practice group” and hope the listener has the sense to let it slide. Don’t say it apologetically, but just as if there was a misunderstanding.

      If there are followup questions (“I thought Josh said you were an attorney”) and you can bear it, I would give everyone an out and say something like, “Well, I took my LSATs a few years ago but in the end decided law school wasn’t for me” or something else that makes it sound as if you had entertained the idea of becoming a lawyer, as many of us have. That might muddy the waters enough for the listener to think he might have misheard what your husband originally said. If they keep pressing, you probably have to just say, “Yeah, I don’t know why he would say that” and try to change the subject back to what the questioner does for a living. Good luck.

      • Anon-nom-nom :

        What an awkward situation. What about just letting your husband know you don’t feel comfortable playing along for x, y, z reasons, that you’re confused as to why he would even ask you to do so as you’re proud of your job, and suggesting that he tell them the truth before the wedding?

    • How long have you been married? I caught my ex in a few weird little inconsistencies when we first got married. It was year six before I learned that he lied all the time to make himself look better. Have you found yourself confused over what he may have done in his past life? My ex was one of those people who would hear person X talk about a trip to China, and before you knew it, he had been to China himself. This is really bad and I think it calls for more that deciding what to do at the party. I think y

    • This is a serious problem: I think you should make an appointment with a counselor and discuss it there, with your husband. My ex was a liar and it took me six years before I knew it. He was one of those people who could listen to a story about another person’s trip to China, and before you knew it, he had been to China. It took be six years because I didn’t want to face how sick it really was. Lying about your wife being a lawyer when she isn’t a lawyer? That is sick.

  36. Profashional :

    Happy Friday!

    I have a client meeting this weekend. The partner said no need for suits but also no jeans. Suggestions as to what to wear? Thanks!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Pencil skirt/slacks and obviously non matching blazer of a different color would be my pick. If the blazer is even a bit formal, you could go with a cardigan.

    • Whatever is your normal business casual uniform sounds like the way to go.

    • Another vote for pencil skirt and cardi. Or maybe an office-y dress if there’s one you love? Would try fun shoes or tall boots to signal weekend flair.

  37. Playing off the name change thread from today’s TPS:

    I married DH 5 years ago and we now have a 2-year-old. My intent was to change my name to First MiddleMaiden Hislast (I’d technically have had 2 middle names then). However, I was told by the lady at social security that I couldnt do this w/o going to court. So I filled out the court paperwork for a legal name change but chickened out at the last moment (in large part due to pressure from my own mom). I am now First Middle Hislast.

    Fast forward: I regret not thinking things through (I was going through a ton of transitions at the time and was super overwhelmed). Now I really, really want to go back and change my name to First Maiden Hislast, but I’m balking at the amount of work involved. Is this ridiculous? I keep thinking of all the cr*p I’d have to redo (estate planning paperwork, maybe even our daughter’s birth cert) and its really daunting. Has anyone else ever been in this situation? Words of advice from the hive?

    • I think the lady at social security was wrong, for starters. Certainly in my state whatever you put on your marriage certificate will be your new name (I think unless you both completely change your last name). But maybe things are different in different states.

      It is a lot of paperwork, but once you do it, you’ll have the name you want for the rest of your life. I think that’s worth a few days of hassle.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I just this without any trouble other than some comments about having 4 names. I did my maiden name and new last name as two last names without a hypen. I have found that I usually just refer to myself as my husband’s last name but I still like having ” my” name too.

      • I did this too and I dont regret it for one minute. It confuses the h*ll out of people but I couldnt imagine being First Middle HisLast and not First Middle Maiden anymore. This was the easiest compromise as he wanted me to take his last name.

        • I did this too! No regrets, even though it sometimes warrants a little explanation.

    • I have no idea how to go back and do it, but if it means a lot to you, I think it’s worth the effort. No reason you’d need to change your daughter’s birth certificate (for instance, my sister had a baby with her now-husband years before they married, and she never went back and changed the birth certificate to her married name).

      For the record, I don’t know what the Social Security lady was talking about. I had no trouble changing mine to First Middle Maiden HisLast (with Middle and Maiden both as middle names, such that I generally go by First M.M. HisLast). Now with some subsequent minor forms (credit cards etc), I have just become First M. HisLast because they usually drop the second middle name.

      I think all of the names you choose have to be on the marriage certificate. Like I couldn’t change my name to First Madonna HisLast without a court order. But you should have pretty free range in how you arrange them.

    • North Shore :

      She was wrong. I changed mine to First Middle Maiden Hislast. That’s what’s on my social security card. My children and my husband have 2 middle names (one American, one from their culture) also, and no problems getting that on the birth certificates or SS cards. FYI, I don’t think you can redo a birth certificate; I think it has to stay the way it was issued.

    • I did this name change. I kept my name for a while after we married because I was still in school. Then when I finally changed it, I used First Middle Hislast. I regretted that for years, so I finally did something about it, and changed it to First Maiden Hislast. I had to go to the county courthouse probate court and file for a name change. It was not a big deal. Fill out a form, explain the reason for the name change (very easy when it’s your maiden), and the judge signs off on it.

      Then I took the name change document to the SSA and got a new social security card.

      You will not have to redo stuff unless you want to. Definitely not your daughter’s birth certificate, because that was your name when you gave birth – that will never change. My name on my mortgage stayed the same until I refinanced, then I changed it. I probably still have credit cards that have my old middle initial on them – who cares. They all come up on my credit report because it’s all tied to your SSN anyway (it’s basically an alias). Every once in a while you may have to explain why the name’s one way on your previous mortgage and another way on your driver’s license, and you pull out your handy court document and that’s that.

      Don’t live with regret! If you want to change it, I think you’ll find that whatever minor hassle is worth it.

      • I love you guys — seriously, all of this is great. Thanks for the encouragement for a complete stranger.

        • Same Last Name :

          When I applied for the marriage liscense, I was also told that I could not change my middle name simply by marking it as so on the liscense. I think this varies county to county/state to state. I ended up not changing my last name because of this.

    • Call yourself whatever the heck you feel like calling yourself. With very few exceptions, your “legal” name doesn’t really matter – sure its on your license, needs to be on airline tickets, legal documents (though if you’re an attorney most states will have easy information on using an AKA or a different last name – might be on the bar website or call the appropriate bar/licensing authority).

      As for the social security lady, it’s probably too late, but as a PSA, when bad information like this gets out, please, please for the good of everyone who doesn’t know better, speak up, report it, make a record. Not only is she wrong, she’s dangerous.

      I never changed my name. I go by MyLast, MyLast-HisLast, and HisLast depending on the circumstances. Many (maybe even most?) of my female colleagues who are married seem to also name shift. There’s no name police in the US.

  38. anon mouse :

    Dear Corporettes:

    How important is it to be more than civil / friendly with your coworkers? We spend about 50-60 hours a week together, but due to the gender / age gap, I’ll never be friends with any of them. Maybe I’m idealistic, but after college it seems like the workplace is the next place to make friends, and the prospect of not making it through my first post-college job without a single connection is daunting. Although I like my job and what I do, I don’t like being at work, and I’m jonesing to either relocate within my company or look for a more youthful company.

    I should probably just suck it up and be grateful to have a job, right?

    • I think that it depends on whether you have friends outside of work. I’ve been with my firm over 25 years, but several years ago, both of my lawyer friends retired (early retirement for both) and I am left with older and much younger colleagues. This is complicated by the fact that the younger guys are related to the older guys, not an ideal situation for me! I was thinking last weekend that I don’t have true friends at work anymore, and I miss that. I do however keep up with the other colleagues who retired and have friends outside work. Also, I hope to retire myself, early, in not too many more years.

      If I were in your situation and just starting out, I would definitely think about a change, but you are right that the grass is always greener on the other side, so wait until you are sure!

    • Well, it depends how you define “friend”. You don’t have to use work to make friends in the college sense — as in people to confide in and drink with and party with. But, you need to be able to make “work friends” with a wide array of ages and genders. That means people you can get coffee with and talk about life and career and whatever, which is an important skill for any young professional to have. Lets be honest, you can network with young people, but the most effective networking is going to be with “older” people.

      Then, if you want/need to make new friends in the place you live, join a club, a teal, a group whatever and have your social friends outside of work.

  39. fitocracy / pinterest / goodreads :

    Is anyone on the hive any of these sites? I love all of them and find them so much more fun than Facebook, but my offline friends aren’t interested. If you add me, I promise I’m not weird, and I’ll happily add you back :-)

    fitocracy / pinterest: turtlewexler (if you need an invite, I’ll send you one)
    goodreads: turtle_wexler

    – lostintranslation

    • Ooh I am on goodreads and have the same problem. I have only a few friends and they rarely update. I have tried to get other friends to join but they never do. I tried to add you- hopefully it is the right person. I am pinkshoeaddict.

    • Im adding you on goodreads too!

    • I’m adding you to goodreads as well. It’s a reminder to keep it updated myself.

    • Your goodreads name just reminded me that I had been wanting to re-read “The Westing Game” this long weekend. Awesome name.

    • kathleenkmm on pinterest and goodreads.

      • Would love more people to follow on GR and pinterest…but how do you not out yourselves? I think my user name is my full name on both sites. Not that I don’t trust corporettes, but would generally like to limit any linkage with my name in case I ever post something work-specific here.

        • If I have something sensitive to post here, I use anon or some other name instead of my usual handle. Folks on goodreads and Pinterest have access to my real name. So far, no problems!

    • I just joined goodreads! I will add you guys. Of course, now my fondness for reading ridiculous romance novels will be revealed to all…

      (I’m cbackson there as well)

    • LadyinRed352 on pinterest :)

      • Would love more Goodreads friends. (Even my book club won’t join!)

        Believe my Goodreads name is “ChristineisPink” – I’ve added anyone who listed their name here =)

  40. I’m moving into a new one bedroom apartment soon, and I’m wondering if it’s feasible to paint it myself? I would really like to do some basic painting (just one color in each room, nothing too elaborate). I’d like to save money by not hiring professionals, but I have absolutely zero experience with this kind of stuff, and I know that it will drive me nuts if it ends up looking streaky or if the edges are uneven, etc. Is painting the kind of thing that I could adequately learn if I read a how to guide on the internet? Or should I just suck it up and pay someone to do it?

    • I painted my (very) small bedroom when I moved into my current house. Two coats (no primer) took two days. It doesn’t look perfect–when I’m the light hits one wall in a particular way, you can see a line or two; I missed one drip; and some of the edging around the ceiling is hrm, imperfect–but it’s completely fine for my standards.

      I did minimal research beforehand (at least 60% was asking the lady at the Home Depot “Should I prime first? The walls are already white”), but am pretty handy.

      If you don’t have a big apartment, and if you have plenty of time, I think you should be able to tackle it yourself–as long as you’re willing to accept that it will not look totally perfect.

    • I enjoy painting – I find it relaxing – and you can definitely learn to do it on your own. I don’t do it to save money, I do it because it’s a nice way for me to zone out and I like the sense of accomplishment the finished product brings. After reflection over the years, in response to friends who tell me just to hire someone to do it instead of “wasting” my precious spare time on painting a wall (or on other home projects), I have concluded I really enjoy this type of work because while I enjoy my work, I don’t actually *make* anything tangible in my day to day employment and there is something I find SO satisfying about creating a finished product and being able to step back and say “look, I made that!”. So I find that satisfaction in tackling projects around the house. I don’t think I’d do it myself if it was just to save money, assuming I could afford to hire someone. The investment of time required to do the job right just wouldn’t be worth it to me from a purely financial perspective.

      In terms of learning what to do, try looking at the Young House Love blog, they have easy to read tutorials regarding home improvement projects, including painting. It’s totally something you can do on your own, if you want to. I also highly recommend investing in quality paint and brushes. The right tools will make a world of difference if you decide to do this on your own.

    • It is really not that hard at all. I’d recommend picking out one wall you’d think could look good just as an accent wall first, and then if you are happy with the results there, you can move onto the other walls. The only thing I really recommend is splurging on the nicer rollers. One of my coworkers was doing his first repaint on his own, bought cheap rollers, and ended up getting lint all over the room. What should have been a weekend project ended up taking a few weeks because he had to sand off the lint that had been painted onto the wall!

    • you can definitely do it yourself! just look for good how to guides online that talk about the right supplies, and all the steps. You really want to do the prep stuff right, to get a good final result. And you can even ask for advice and recommendations from the staff at your local paint store.

      I would, however, recommend getting a friend or two to help you, provided they will also be detail-oriented and do it the way you want them to, because with prep and two coats, it does take a while to do multiple rooms with one person. It goes SO MUCH faster with 2 or 3 people together. Plus, it’s more fun!

    • I agree that you can totally do it yourself. Only problems are if you are afraid of heights- you need to stand on a ladder to do the edges of the ceiling. And like everyone else said, get the good rollers. You only need one ever as long as you are diligent about washing it when you are done. And get a short handled angled brush for edges. Young house love blog has great tutorials.

      Just commit to one room first and see how it goes. It’s a lot of work and if you hate it it’s not worth it.

      • A few more things: don’t forget to grab pain stirring sticks when you buy the paint. They are free. And get one of those metal paint can openers for a dollar, makes life much easier. Save your leftover paint for touch ups and save the paint chips so you have a record of the color in case you need more and it’s discontinued. Not that that happened to me. save some medium size Tupperware from takeout to hold small amount of paint near you while you do the edging- saves you a dollar on buying a mini plastic bucket made just for that.

        If you have the time, get samples of a couple of colors ($3 each) and try a swatch (at least 2 ft square) on the wall first to see how it will look in the light the room gets. Paint looks really different on the wall than on a little piece of paper.

        I totally want to paint things now!

    • It’s definitely doable. A few tips:

      1. Invest in good paint. It will cover the walls better, last longer, and look better. I’m a huge fan of Benjamin Moore Aura – dries in about an hour and usually takes only 1 coat for a light color over another light color.
      2. Go to a real paint store and ask their advice (not Home Depot, not Lowes). They will spend the time with you to make sure that you have everything you need. My local paint store even has a color consultant on site on weekends to help you pick colors!
      3. Don’t skimp on the prep work. Prep will likely take twice as long as it does to paint, but it’s totally worth it. You’ll want to sand the walls, wash walls with TSP if there is any build up, patch spots, remove dust, tape edges, etc.

      Good luck!

  41. another anon :

    Does anyone use curlformers (link to follow in response)? I am having a sudden urge to curl my very strait and thick hair for a couple of upcoming events, but I know I do not have the patience to do my whole head with a curling iron. I’ve looked at a few video tutorials for the curlformers, and it looks super easy, but is it really?

    And if anyone uses them, what kind of product do you put on your hair first? And do you sleep in them or blowdry your hair with them in?

    • another anon :

      • I have used them and they did not work for me (although my hair is curly and I was trying to make the curly more defined).
        What I think works crazy well for making curls is a 1/2 inch curling iron… Conair is my prefered brand, and just wrap the hair around the outside like in this vid (seriously, you don’t need one of those really expensive curling irons they use, just do what they do with a regular curling iron):

        • another anon :

          Thanks…I was thinking the curlformers seemed too good to be true. I will definitely try the technique from the video though. I never would have thought to do it that way with a curling iron myself.

  42. Woods-comma-Elle :

    So for those Corporettes who had dates today (I guess due to the time difference they might not have happened yet), I had one at lunchtime and it was actually not as painful as I thought. It wasn’t weird or awkward and even though I now have no idea whether we would see each other again, I don’t feel as much like I wasted a lunchtime as I thought I would. This was also the internet date #5 and it was the first time the guy was hotter in real life than in his picture…

    Hope everyone else’s dates go ok!

    • Hah–I was just coming on here to say I went on a date this evening! It was definitely not bad, but I think it’s been so long since I’ve been on a good one, I may not even recognize it. Oy.

  43. Anon attorney :

    To the attorneys out there:

    I am a senior associate with a national boutique firm. It’s not exactly Big Law but it still shares a lot of the same pressures and issues. I have been considering a move to an in-house position. Can anyone share their experience in-house? I know it is not 9-5, but I think the right in-house position would help eliminate some of the things I dislike about firm life. Thoughts?

    • I think that depends on what it is you don’t like about firm life. I am not in-house (in government, which is way more stressful and has longer hours than my BigLaw job), but a number of my friends are. I think the type of job (GC versus perhaps a more niche practice), industry, size of the legal department, and your ultimate goals will determine whether it meets your needs. A number of my in-house friends travel more and are away from their families longer than they were at their firms, but that is the nature of their particular fields. Other friends are part of a large legal team (with no desire to become GC), and things are a lot easier and less stressful.

      I will say that I went to an event this week related to the issues faced by in-house female lawyers. These were all incredibly successful women (GCs at Fortune 500 companies) and nothing they discussed, in terms of their work lives, was distinguishable from the challenges my female BigLaw friends face. They had the long hours and the difficult juggling of home responsibilities with spouses, as well as the added responsibilities that came with being the rare female executive.

      I think the question comes down to your ambitions/goals, what type of work you want to do, and whether there is an industry that matches what you want.

    • Praxidike :

      I just made the move to in-house and I think it depends what type of position you’re considering, to be honest. I was in litigation, and I went in-house at one of our biggest clients. I am the only lawyer at the company. They look to me for advice on basically everything, which is in addition to my job duties.

      It was a very, very, very difficult transition for me. VERY DIFFICULT. I spent the first three months thinking I’d made the biggest mistake of my career, that I was wasting my skills (I am an excellent writer, and I’m really not doing much writing, for example), that I would never be able to go back into litigation, etc etc etc. It’s been about seven months now, and I just had an exceptionally good review, got a raise, and everyone loves the work I do. I like the work better. I’m still not totally sure that it’s a forever position for me, but I think it is a long-term position.

      Before I went in house, I was billing 2300-2400 hours/year. I am now working anywhere between 45 to 55 hours per week. So I am still spending a lot of time at the office, but obviously much less. Another huge difference is that at my firm, if I had my door closed no one would bother me. Here, if someone has a question, they just come in and they expect me to drop what I’m doing to help them out. It is beyond annoying, but they just don’t know any better.

    • I switched from BigLaw to in-house in 2011. I like that my schedule is, for the most part, predictable. I work 50-60 hours a week, but most of the time, I don’t have to work late or on the weekends. I really like the work. I went from being a litigator to a generalist. I never know what the day will bring in-house. One day last week, I worked on employment agreements for overseas executives, a criminal matter here in the US, our patent portfolio, various litigation matters, and reviewed/revised several contracts. It’s nice to participate in the business… it feels more meaningful than drafting an MSJ or a Daubert motion that will never get ruled on because we’ll settle the case before then. I like working (mostly) with our business people. I’ve learned so much from them already.

      I think it’s also important to note that I’m not a GC. My GC works a lot more than I do. If our CEO or one of our SVPs call him, there is no ignoring that call. There is no waiting till later to address a business person’s needs. I admire my GC because he’s really REALLY good at what he does… but I’m not sure I want his job.

      I do miss the flexibility of my firm job. If I’d been working really hard, it was okay to come in late or leave early. My schedule in-house is much more rigid. I’m expected to be there 8-6 every day mostly without exception (obviously, we all have life things we have to do during work hours occasionally, like doctor appointments). On Fridays, if I’m feeling naughty, I’ll leave at 5:45!

      On the other hand, I don’t miss partners dumping something on me on a Friday afternoon that needed to be done by Monday. I don’t miss manufactured emergencies (see the Friday afternoon dumping– oftentimes the result of a partner planning on handling something him/herself, not doing it, and then running up against the client’s deadline). I don’t miss having to cancel my plans at the last minute because I’m swamped or an “emergency” came up. Or working on Christmas or other holidays. I didn’t realize how much mental energy the billable hour was sucking up. Either I felt like I couldn’t do things for me on the weekend because I “needed” to be billing, or I was miserable because I was billing all the time. It’s nice not to have the billable hour over my head.

      If you have the opportunity to interview for an in-house position, go for it. I think the biggest questions are (1) is the company / its legal department the right fit for you and (2) does the type of work you’d be expected to do sound appealing to you?

      Hope that helps.

  44. jbgsunshine :

    Any Toronto-area Corporettes interested in a meet-up?

    • Yes! Definitely!

    • jbgsunshine :

      Hooray! I’ll post on a few more threads this week as this probably got a bit lost in the holiday weekend. Any idea how to go about it logistically? Some kind of email group I guess? I’ve always just sort of skipped over threads about meetings in other cities…

      • Clueless Summer :

        I would definitely be interested in a meet up after mid-March, which is when I’ll be back in TO permanently. (North of 60 corporette meet-up in the meantime? Anyone? Anyone?)

        I think someone usually makes an anonymous email address and the details of the meet up are co-ordinated from there, such as [email protected]

  45. jbgsunshine :

    Don’t know why my initial comment’s still sitting in moderation… Wondering if there are any Toronto-area corporettes that might be interested in a meet up?

    • CDN Anons :

      Yes! Great Idea!

      • Equity's Darling :

        If I happen to be across the country visiting my parents, I’d love to attend…..

        I’d encourage one in Calgary, but I’m pretty sure that I already know at least half the people who read in Calgary, and they’re friends, so you know…we meet up already, which makes a special corporette meet up pointless.

  46. I am thinking about making a career change into law and have been researching different types of lawyers, practice areas, etc. Of course most of the information I am getting is biased for a variety of reasons and there is a correlation between that particular person’s career happiness and their support of my career change. Is there really a way around this to find out if the career choice is right for me? I am hearing a lot of conflicting things based on who I talk to so I am not getting a good understanding of the field. I feel like I am unable to make a decision because I can’t get a firm grasp of what it is I am walking into and I don’t want to just wing it. I don’t know if there is an answer to this – I just thought I’d toss it out there. Thanks!

    • If you can, try getting a job as a paralegal, I feel like those people know what they are getting into better than the rest of us. ;-p
      Lawyers are a bitter bunch (myself included), but sometimes you can get a good idea of what lawyers do from talking to them still.
      What I like to tell people is– if there is anything in life you can imagine doing instead of law, do that instead. You will be happier, in less debt, and probably less stressed.
      Worst comes to worst, you hate it… and apply to law school in another year.

    • North Shore :

      Do you have a specific area of law you want to learn about, or just about being a lawyer in general?

      • Being a lawyer in general. I am mainly interested in transactional work though I would be interested in learning about what litigation in a BigLaw setting is like.

  47. Chicago tips? :

    I’m going to Chicago in about a week. I know there were some great restaurant tips on a thread a little while ago, but I’m wondering if people have recommendations for particularly helpful iPhone apps — navigating public transit, finding nearby coffee shops or attractions, etc. TIA!

    • I don’t use any specific apps, but for public transportation, I rely heavily on the CTA bus tracker (ctabustracker DOT com) and train tracker (transitchicago DOT com SLASH mobile SLASH traintracker DOT aspx– I much prefer the mobile version). I find both to be very accurate, and they save you from waiting around in the cold or debating whether the bus is taking so long that you should probably take a taxi.

  48. Bags bags bags :

    I love that ModCloth has a bag category called “big bags” because sometimes that’s all I need to shop around.
    I wish other retailer would offer that option.

    That is all.

    • Salit-a-gator :

      Zappos has a small, medium, large and extra large category selection for bags. I love it!

  49. TCFKAG, was just reading an earlier thread and was curious what brand of pantyhose you like since you seem to be a frequent pantyhose wearer. I seem to be wearing hose more and more myself these days.

    • Well, this has been an ongoing struggle for me (I think I must be the clumsiest person in the world since I tear and run my pantyhose ALL THE FR*CKING TIME).

      Sometimes I just revert to whatever is for sale at CVS because its easiest. Recently I’ve become a fan of the Ann Taylor brand of hose, though the last pair I had ripped on the first day I wore them — though I think that was probably a fluke. That day happened to be a day I had a job interview though.

      So on said interview day, I ran into the most convenient store on my way to the interview, which was Saks, and bought a pair of Wolford sheer hose (forget the exact type) and they are amazing. So I may start springing for those (they are so light and sheer and wonderful).

      Anyway, its a real pain to find just the right balance, but I really can’t go bare legged.

      • Oh, and if you do a search on this site, I believe there was a “the hunt” or something like it about nude hose. And lots of people chimed in.

      • Another nude hose warrior here, despite all dissent!

        I also got a run in a pair from Ann Taylor on the first wear, so I think it’s fair to lodge some suspicion of the quality there, especially given that they’re about $20.

        The bottom line is that I always keep an extra pair in my office or in my bag, because you never know when you’ll get a run. That said, I tend to get CK at Filene’s Basement or similar. I’ve also had a surprising success with a kind called “Silky Sheer” at Target. I have never gone way upmarket, so can’t comment on that.

        • Thanks ladies. I went out shopping this afternoon and bought several of the recommendations to try them out and find the sweet spot (if there is such a thing for hose) But always in a pinch I am sure I will end up with whatever is most convenient. I too cannot stand going bare legged anymore, I think wearing pantyhose just looks better anyway.

      • Since we are both “out” as crohnies, pantyhose doesn’t kill your stomach? I can wear them every once in awhile but I usually wind up with a stomach ache. Then I’ll take a pair of scissors and cut the sides to make them looser which will at least get me through the day but makes them harder to rewear. I have the same issue with tights. I have super skinny legs so in some brands I can go up to bigger sizes but in others the ankles just end up baggy and gross. I love the summer time when I can just wear skirts with no hose. I end up wearing pants most of the winter or long enough skirts to wear boots. Sucks.

        • Never been a major issue for me, though sometimes at my sickest I guess I might avoid them. :-)

          • I try not to buy control top and am usually ok until I don’t pay attention to the packaging…..grrrrr. Recently, I mistakenly bought Donna Karan’s “The Nudes” in essential toner or control top and ouch. They were unbearable for the few hours I was in them. The DK Sheer to Waist is the best for me. They are wonderful.

            Must find the other pair I bought (unworn) and exchange tomorrow.

            I am tempted by the Wolfords…maybe with my next stash of Nordstrom Notes. I tried the Oroblue once and liked them, but the lightest color was too dark on my skin.

        • goirishkj :

          For me, even control top doesn’t bug me as much as pants since the pressure is more spread out instead of right on one spot like pants. Generally I find skirts are more comfortable than pants for me and easier when I’m in a flare though I haven’t had any surgeries, so maybe that might change my experience.

      • MeliaraofTlanth :

        believe it or not, I like the Duane Reade brand (local NY pharmacy chain). They’re the only ones I’ve found that truly match my skin tone, and are surprisingly durable (and cheap enough that if they do get a run, I don’t feel bad about running out and buying a new pair)

  50. AnonInfinity :

    I hope it’s not too late in the weekend to get some perspectives on a dilemma.

    My grandfather and his sister (my great aunt) have been feuding for a number of years. Just recently the sister’s livestock got out of a fence and destroyed my grandfather’s yard. He wants them to pay the bill for the repairs. I told him to try calling her and talking with her calmly about the situation, and maybe she will go ahead and pay since she is clearly at fault. I honestly don’t think that will happen for a lot of reasons.

    His other recourse is obviously the courts. I told him he could go to small claims court. In my state, you can’t be represented by counsel in small claims court, but we do have district courts for small (money wise) controversies where attorneys can represent the parties.

    I am not close to my great aunt, but I don’t hate her. I think she has wronged my grandfather in the past, but I also know that he is definitely just as at fault in their historic feuding due to his very quick and heated temper. I also think that she should pay to get his lawn repaired. Would it be a terrible idea for me to represent my grandpa in the district court? I pointed him toward small claims, but I obviously want to help him as much as he can. On the other hand, I know my great aunt can’t afford a lawyer to represent her in district court, so it’s not like it would really end up being fair. And of course there’s all the weird family emotional stuff in the situation.

    • I would stay out of this if at all possible. Two options:
      1) if your granddad won’t call her, have him write her a letter and ask her to pay for the damages.

      2) if that does not work, the absolute best solution is for them to go head to head, without attorneys, in small claims court. Then it is over, whatever the judge says.

      Be aware that if someone opened a gate and let the cows out or if they had not previously escaped and your grandmother can prove that she regularly maintained her fence, she may not be negligent. I’m thinking of the line of cases where cow wanders onto road and someone hits it and is injured or destroys their car. The law may be different where it is just direct damage from cows to yard.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Good points all around. I should say that their feud was started when her cows got out and destroyed his garden a few years ago, so the cows have a history of escaping.

        Family members suing each other over relatively small amounts (here, just a few hundred dollars) is just so sad to me, and I think that’s one thing that is bothering me. It just seems like it would be difficult to impossible to repair a relationship after that. But I had the realization after I wrote this that I don’t think my grandfather wants a relationship with his sister anymore. Ugh. It’s just hard for me to wrap my head around when it’s not like there’s a “good reason” (drug abuse, physical abuse, etc.) for him to want to cut her out of his life.

        • IME litigation over “a few hundred dollars” = almost never worth it. It sounds like the only real purpose it would serve is to further the feud, which probably is good for no one’s physical or mental health. If it were me, I would encourage him to let it go or perhaps try to talk to her and leave it at that. If he can’t afford the lawn repairs, perhaps you or another family member could help with that.

    • Stay out of it. As in, don’t even offer an opinion, let alone your legal services.

    • Could he make a claim directly against her insurance? A coworker’s sibling once hit a cow that had wandered out of its fence and her auto insurer then subrogated against the farmer’s insurance.

      Just a thought if you’re trying to keep it out of the courts…

      Also – for those interested, the cow was perfectly fine, the hood of the car, notsomuch

  51. Anonforthis :

    Dilemma: pursue exciting career path in obscure area of law that I really love, and deal with lots of financial insecurity and possible multiple relocations over the next 5-10 years; OR take safe, stable, well-paying firm job in area of law that’s kinda sorta interesting. I’m married with no kids, four cats, and loads of loan debt.

    Any advice? I’m torn.

    • At the risk of stating the obvious, I think it just comes down to what you value more: stability and security or excitement/inspiration from your work. (However, sometimes we think we’re getting one of them and elements of the other still crop up unexpectedly.) Because you’re married–assuming that decision is not up for revisiting–what your husband values is also part of the equation.

      My only other advice is to own the decision once you’ve made it. If you picture being bitter and resentful, having chosen either path, then it may not really be a practical option. A lot of peripheral things can be made to work, but if at the core you’re unhappy with the circumstances of your life it’s pretty hard to compensate for that in any way. Good luck!

      • Anonforthis :

        That’s good advice, thanks. I do picture myself feeling disappointed and resentful if I pick the safe option, so I guess that’s telling me something!

  52. What do you all think of this? Has anyone worn Milly before—if so, what’s the sizing like? I’m imagining it worn as a casual dress. Impossible? (links to a Milly dress from Neiman Marcus)

    • I like it (gorgeous!!) but not sure where I would wear it. This is definitely a dress that calls for a dressy casual garden party. I would say sizing is “true to size” meaning a bit smaller than the more mass market brands like Gap/BR/AT, but not so small as really high end stuff. Think Rebecca Taylor & DvF.

      • Thanks!

      • MissJackson :

        Agree with AIMS on sizing.

        I’m busty, and generally need a larger size on top than bottom (so my dress size corresponds with my top size). In tops, I’m usually an 8 at AT, BR, etc. I’m a 10 in Elie Tahari, DvF, etc. A 12 in Theory. I’m wearing a Milly blouse today and I just checked — it’s a 10.

    • I saw this dress at Nordstrom this weekend if you want to try it on.

  53. PDwannabee :

    Any PD corporettes? What do you recommend for my “statement of interest” for an entry level PD position? I have been an atty in a niche area -mostly transactional- about 10 yrs but always just really loved my pro bono cases (have been in trial and appellate court for those). I can finally afford to work for a PD salary and just want to see what happens if I submit for them. Any advice?

    • I would say something about upholding the constitution and providing a voice for the marginalized in our society, because to me, as a PD, that is the core of what we do.

    • Is a statement of interest necessary? I would consider omitting if it’s optional (I know perspectives vary, but I always thought that was a really silly area on the resume), and then stress in your cover letter why you want to transition (e.g., you really loved working on your pro bono cases).

      • PDwannabee :

        OMG, thanks to you both! that is really helpful! I love that and am totes stealing it, like that Walt Whitman quote to stand up for the stupid and the crazy (which Walt needed to reword, so unPC!). Yeah, for one of the offices they say cover letter PLUS resume PLUS “statement of interest” and I wasn’t sure what that was :) I think it varies & I agree, it looks kind of foofy on the resume unless it is explicitly requested.

  54. Has anyone tried the new Crocs brand, You by Crocs? They are a dressier version of crocs, with leather uppers. I’m thinking of ordering these Semmy ballet flats, but there are not a lot of reviews. I keep thinking I can find a comfortable pair of ballet style flats, but so far no luck. I tried the Cole Haan ones, and thought they lacked cushioning and support. I need a tennis shoe disguised as a ballet flat. Of course, then I probably wouldn’t like the style.

    • They look great! Please review them if you order them.

    • Accountress :

      I’ve found that the You by Crocs are just a smidge smaller- length & width- than regular Crocs. See if you can find a Crocs store or kiosk near you and try on a pair before you order.

      I know that Journeys and Dillards both carry some Crocs styles, if there are no proper stores nears you.

  55. momentsofabsurdity :

    Just ordered a suit from Victoria’s Secret – it’s returnable and it was pretty inexpensive, but I’m judging myself a liiiiiiiitle bit…

    Oh well, Kat featured the suit here once so I at least know it’s not insanely inappropriate for everything always.

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