Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Italian Jersey One-Button Blazer

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

We talk a lot about lower-cost ponte blazers (see below for examples), but I think this one is a great example of what we’re seeing more of lately: high-end jersey knits. They’re comfortable and durable, and there’s a noticeable difference between a high-quality jersey and a lower-quality jersey. This blazer also has little details like the darts, the tailoring, and the way the edges are finished. I love this shade of gray, too. If you like the comfort of ponte but want something that looks a little higher-end and is probably going to last a little longer, consider this blazer. Italian Jersey One-Button Blazer

There’s a huge range of more affordable options — some of the most affordable ones are the Tailored Ponte Blazer at Target for $29.99 (plus-size option here), the Uniqlo Ponte Tailor Jacket (alas, currently sold out), and the Old Navy One-Button Blazer for $22 on sale (plus-size option here).

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Anonymous :

    Everyone in my office works from 8ish to around 6pm (no lunch break). I have just become an hourly employee as my company has decided to implement the new overtime law early. Now, I am the only one that takes a 1-hour lunch break and heads out at 5. My boss does not want to pay me for working over time.

    I worry that these new requirements will make them think I am lazy as they are very proud of working late and long.

    • Yay Kat! I love Pricey Monday’s but I prefer the Uniqlo option. I love Uniqlo on FIFTH Avenue near St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Rockafeller Center! I am goeing there today at Lunch to try this one on. Also, I am loveing this short work week and will be takeing off Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving! Happy Thanksgiving to the HIVE!!!!

      As for the OP, no, you will NOT be percieved as lazy if you leave early. You are starting at 8 and leaveing at 5–that is a long day, even if you are NOT billeing. My boss wants me to bill 6800 hours this year, and that mean’s I will have to bill portal to portal thru the end of the year, b/c he is uplifteing on top of that. So do NOT feel lazy if you are working a full day, as I too must bill from home also. FOOEY!

    • Has your boss told you explicitly not to work overtime, or do they just grumble or give you side-eye? If they haven’t told you clearly, I’d bring it up, like “Boss, since you’re legally required to pay me for overtime under the new rule, is that something you want me to avoid?” If they don’t want you to work overtime and you have the sense that other people are starting to think you’re lazy, you could bring it up again and say that you think it’s affecting your professional reputation, so you’d like more opportunities to work overtime (or a salary hike so that you’re exempt again!).

    • Anonymous :

      I think you just need to remind people that you’re hourly and that staying late would require overtime the boss doesn’t want to pay. Certainly if anyone makes any comment about you being lazy, remind them that you’re happy to work overtime but boss doesn’t want to incur it.

      • LostInTranslation :

        I would add that when you talk to your boss, be sure to explain that you’re worried about being considered lazy in an environment of hard workers. Make sure he/she understands that. Also you can remind people that the company can get in legal trouble for not paying you for OT if you work it.

    • Do they have a different job, though? Different job, different payscale, different time commitment. You shouldn’t be ranked against them for performance. If someone makes a comment, remind them of this.

  2. What’s a good brand of pots/pans for cooking? All Clad? I’m looking to upgrade during all the Christmas sales. I need a new 10″ sauté pan, a sauce pan, and an omelette pan. Thx, Hive!

    • This jacket, gray in general :

      I really like Lodge cast iron — if you are really spendy, you could look at Staub for enamel coated cast iron.

    • Cooker, Baker, Brownie Maker :

      All Clad is great stuff, no doubt, but make sure what ever you buy is comfortable for you to use. We have a large All Clad saute pan that my husband loves, but I rarely use because the handle cuts into my hand when I try to lift it to shake. For omelettes I use a cast iron pan.

    • Anonymous :

      I lust over staub or le creuset enamel cast iron. I have calphalon contemporary for my 10 and 12″ pans.

      • anon-oh-no :

        I switched to le crueset 10 years ago and never looked back. I was able to get a whole set for around $500 at the le cruset outlet on the day after thanksgiving. its so much better than all clad or anything not cast iron.

    • It’s not about brand per se, it’s about size and quality and design. All-Clad, for example, makes some horrendous items, like pots without a rolled lip, so when you pour something over the liquid gets everywhere. And some of their handles are awful.

      For crepes, I like 100% carbon steel, which are very cheap. I think mine is by de buyer.

      For sauce pans, I like sauciers with capacity markings on the insides. Several brands make them. Others prefer copper, which is of course very pricey and not induction-capable. Demeyere and Viking both make good stainless steel items.

    • Anonymous :

      I have Cusinart pans that I love. Metal hand les mean I can pop them in the oven if I need to. Although my husband would prefer something with glass lids.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I have stainless steel pans that I love but I really wish they had glass lids. Don’t underestimate this.

        • What is so great about glass lids? I’ve never had them so don’t know what I’m missing!

          • LondonLeisureYear :

            I personally hate glass lids! I feel like it was one more crevice that stuff got stuck in to make sure that was clean. I never enjoyed them and was really glad to move on to tops that were one solid piece of metal.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I always had glass lids until my current set and I miss being able to see how things are progressing without lifting the lid. Especially for things like rice.

    • So I had only ever bought Walmart or Target-brand pots and pans for like $50 for a set and never realized what a big deal good pots and pans are.

      When I got married, a relative bought me the T-fal stainless steel and copper set, and OMG what a difference! They’re not even that high end (the whole set as under $200), but I never would have spent that much, but I do notice a real difference when cooking.

      This is the set I have: http://amzn.to/2htyN7p

    • big orange drink :

      I got this set for Christmas last year. All Clad is my dream cookware but I have been super happy with this set and I can put it right in the dishwasher. Very high quality for the price.


    • Calphalon stainless steel. Multi layer with a copper or aluminum core.

    • I favor Le Creuset for simmering and braising, and high quality heavy stainless steel for sautéing. So, I eecommmend Le Creuset for the sauté pan. For the skillet and omelet pans, are you anywhere near a restaurant supply business. That would be the best source for durable stainless steel at practical, not gourmet, prices. Otherwise, Calphalon.

      • If think you can’t go with one brand for everything. I relay on Americas Test Kitchen to figure out what they recommend for individual items. Also, most people don’t use everything that comes in a set.

        • +1. Get the pot types and sizes that you need and use regularly, plus consider what works for you (some tall stockpots do not fit under over-stove microwaves, some wide pans do not work well on standard gas or electric burners). Make sure to “try before you buy” – go some place like Sur La Table or Bed Bath and Beyond where you can actually touch and lift the pieces. We do not have a large Le Creuset stockpot simply because I could not lift it well, even empty.

          We have stainless from All-Clad and Berndes, non-stick that is a mix of cast All-Clad (round and oval with deep sides) and Berndes (frying pans in multiple sizes) (note: with seamless glass lids), plus a ceramic frying pan that I got for egg and some fish dishes, stockpots from All-Clad and Macy’s Tools of Trade line (good stockpots for the money, really), regular saucepans/pots that are old Calphalon casr aluminum that the hubs got before we married, Staub (large) and Le Creuset (small) braisers, and an All-Clad roaster. Oh, and my jam pot is Kilner (totally worth it).

          • Oh — and a couple cast iron skillets that were gifted to us from prior owners that live on top of the stove.

      • Ugh. Autocorrect. Le Creuset for the sauce pan.

    • I’d get a carbon steel pan (Demeyer or otherwise) for the 10″/omelette and a Demeyer or All-clas sauce pan. No sets.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      I never buy a whole set. Instead I buy piece by piece. That way I only have what I actually need and want for cooking. I find sets include a lot of pieces I would never use and don’t include pieces I really want. Also some brands make better skillets and others make better pots – so I mix and match brands.

  3. AnonForThis :

    I finally filed a harassment complaint after enduring escalating creepy behavior from an older male colleague over the course of several business trips. (Culminating in a threatening email– because I’d been physically avoiding him– which convinced me it was time to report.) I told my management I don’t feel safe traveling with him… and they essentially told me they have to give him a chance to correct his behavior and it sounds like they just want us to continue working together on the same project until he tries to touch/drunkenly corner me again. I’m so angry and I feel nauseous all the time at work.

    I was already feeling tepid on this job, but had been hoping to stay another year for the sake of resume continuity and because this position looked good on paper, even if it was secretly an awful toxic environment and boring work. I have a few applications submitted and an HR screen phone interview over lunch today, but I’m just so angry that this entitled sh1th3ad’s behavior and the appalling response from my management is forcing me to choose between mental health and potentially sub-optimal career choices.

    I just needed to rant. Thank you.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sorry, that’s awful. I hope you find something good soon but agree that it’s terrible you’re in this situation in the first place.

    • Did you complain just to your management, or did you also complain to HR? If not the latter, I would strongly recommend that you do so. A good HR department will take a complaint like this very seriously.

      • I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. It sounds like you’re doing everything right, and that this guy is a disgusting piece of subhuman slime. I would escalate this to HR immediately, if you haven’t already–this is the kind of thing that they should take very, very seriously.

        I am so furious on your behalf that you’re having to consider leaving a job because of sexual harassment. Really. Enraged. How is this still a thing in 2016.

    • If your company has an ombudsman, contact him or her today.

      Figure out if there are escalation procedures. Check your company manual and state law: some have a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment.

      If you have any lawyer friends, have them work with you on wording for a follow up email to management or HR. You should unequivocally communicate that the proposed solution is not adequate.

      • AnonForThis :

        I’ve already contacted the ombudsman. We’d been in contact about another toxic workplace issue and he’d encouraged me to report this earlier, when I was still hoping it wouldn’t escalate and merely staying out of arm’s reach would shut it down.

        So, I’m taking all the proper procedures, but unsure how hard I want to tilt at windmills to improve a job that was kind of awful even before this.

        • Well, figure out what your goals are. Not having to travel with creepy guy? Creating enough of a paper trail that they can fire him if he does this to another woman? Creating enough of a paper trail so you don’t get fired (to make the problem go away)?

    • Anon Attorney :

      This actually sounds right to me. Most workplaces won’t fire someone off of a first complaint. They will read them the riot act, tell them their job is on the line, and let them sink or swim. I’ve been on the receiving end of harassment that ending after 1 such riot act. It’s ridiculous that some people still think they can get away with this but most workforces favor progressive discipline unless there was a physical assault of some kind. Since you mention touching, yours could fall into the physical assault category.

      Often to have a legal case, you have to go through your employer’s reporting procedures first and the harassment has to continue after being dealt with the by the employer. I’m sorry you are in this position.

      • Ugh yeah, having been on the company side, there’s often hesitation to terminate until it’s like (1) incident, (2) reported and investigated, (3) corrective action short of termination, and then (4) reoccurrence of event (showing that corrective action failed). *Then* they’re willing to terminate.

        But it is so sh*tty for the person in your shoes to be like, “so I am supposed to be sitting here waiting to get harassed again?” This sounds horrifying for you. I’m so sorry.

        • Just so we’re all clear, this is exactly the kind of process that allows sexual harassment to still be rampant in 2016.

          • And the process that’s required by federal and state laws if you want to defeat a discrimination claim by the alleged perpetrator. Some companies are in a no-win situation here.

          • I disagree. Being a sexual harasser isn’t a protected status.

          • That was supposed to be a reply to JayJay.

          • Anononope :

            I agree with Emeralds and with JayJay. Take it as a helpful reminder to (risk retaliation and) report more minor things so the drunken-groping-attempt can be a last straw instead of a first strike? I don’t know. It’s a terrible world.

      • AnonForThis :

        Thanks, I wish I’d listened to the ombudsman and formally reported immediately rather than thinking I could mitigate the situation myself. (Note: Some people just can’t help themselves and will drunkenly corner you to demand to know WHY you’re staying out of groping reach. And when you explain it to them, they’ll send you threatening emails.) So, to me, this already feels like it’s past the first-strike, even if I’ve managed to avoid further touching through sheer will-power.

        Goal? Don’t get forced out before I have a new job I actually want.

        Oh, and that phone screen? They’d already been told to make someone else an offer before they interviewed me, they just thought my resume looked interesting ::facepalm::

  4. How do you handle sentimental clutter? Examples:

    -birthday/holiday/other notes and cards from past years
    -random stuff from my grandparents that I don’t want or need but I feel guilty throwing away
    -souvenirs other people have brought me from their travels
    -ticket stubs from memorable museum exhibits, art shows, concerts
    -my own travel memorabilia like brochures and business cards from shops

    Do you keep this stuff? Store it? Get rid of it and get over the sentimental aspect?

    • Anonymous :

      I keep birthday and holiday cards for about a year and then toss them. I put my own travel memorabilia and ticket stubs in scrapbooks. For stuff other people get me, it depends on whether I want or need it. If I won’t use it and I don’t want it displayed in my home as decor, I toss it.

    • MargaretO :

      I have been given the tip of taking a picture of it, saving that somewhere safe (I like using google drive for important things because I don’t have to worry about fire proofing/having an external hard drive become incompatible with new technology, etc.) and then getting rid of the thing. I found that satisfying for some stuff but not everything. For things that are on paper and which I really enjoy looking back on periodically I keep them all corralled in an overzied envelope type thing next to the paper copies of important documents like the deed to my house (which are also electronically backed up).

    • Anonymous :

      I keep for a little while (maybe a month or two) the how it out. The exception is a few cards from relatives with very personal notes. I used to scrapbook and would keep some of the brochures, ticket stubs, etc that you describe but I don’t have time anymore. My “souvenirs” from memorable events are usually photos. I keep them in my computer and print only the ones I want to display.

    • I put it in boxes or file folders and forget about it. Then when I’m on a Cleaning and Organizing Kick, I go through it and throw most of it out, except for photos.

      Cards and letters: Unless you get a LOT of these, they probably don’t take up a lot of space, so I’d keep them and then sort/purge them every so often. Some people save Christmas cards and then display them as Christmas decorations.

      Ticket stubs and travel memorabilia: I don’t generally get a lot of sentimental feelings out of looking at ticket stubs. If you want to keep them, how about starting a diary/scrapbook and sticking them in? That way, you don’t just have a ticket stub, which feels silly–you have a page with a ticket stub stuck to it *and* it says “Went to West Side Story at my brother’s school! My favorite part was ___. Brother did a really good job on the balcony scene” or something like that.

      Random stuff from your grandparents: Offer it to your family, and if they don’t want it, I really think you should feel fine about giving it away. Your grandparents don’t want you to be burdened with guilt-inducing things in their name (or if they do, you have emotionally abusive grandparents and you should junk their guilt-inducing things ASAP). Same for souvenirs from other people’s trips.

      As a general guideline, are there things you’ve thrown out in the past and regretted it? Other than that, my only hard-and-fast rule is that if I can’t remember the event, I don’t keep the souvenir either.

      • I toss anything like that (badges, programs, cards, ticket stubs) in a designated nice box. At some point if the box gets full I go through it and toss things that no longer seem meaningful now that time has passed. That usually keeps it under control, and gives me a nice minute to see the things that DO still mean something, and reminisce.

        • I have a much less organized version of this same system. It’s typically been when I’ve moved (which has happened a lot in the last few years) that I go through these things and throw away the ones that don’t mean anything to me anymore.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I only keep cards that have really thoughtful notes in them. Most people just say something like “happy birthday” and sign their names, so it isn’t very many to keep. I have them in a file folder in a box.

      I have kept the Playbills from each Broadway show I’ve seen. Aside from pictures, I think it’s a memorable item from my time living in NYC. Plus, I can look at them to see who played which role when I saw the show. Sort of my personal Broadway IMDb.

      Everything else on your list I wind up keeping for a bit then finally getting up the nerve to get rid of it. I feel a little guilty about it, but I don’t have the space to keep things that I don’t need or want. I grew up with a hoarder though so I may have gone too far in the other direction.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to growing up with hoarders and having the “purge everything” instinct as a result.

      • A friend of mine framed several of her most memorable Playbills (she has one signed by Hugh Jackman and one signed by Alan Cuming) and has a nice display of them on a wall in her kitchen.

    • I used to be really into scrap-booking when I was in high school and college, back pre-digital camera when it was normal to print out photos. I have a scrap book from activities I did in high school, and one for each year of college. By the time senior year of college rolled around, I was SO OVER IT. So I carried around the stuff for my senior year scrapbook in a box for about 3 years, until I finally forced myself to sit down and finish the final scrapbook. Since that happened, I’ve basically thrown away everything immediately unless it’s extremely meaningful. I have this theory that the longer something is in your house the harder it is to get rid of. I’m not going to do anything with most of this stuff, realistically, so I toss it immediately before an emotional connection forms. I do have a small ticket album that’s like a photo album but specifically made to hold tickets. I used to go to a lot of concerts, so I enjoy having that stuff kept together in one place.

      Also, trust yourself. If you know you want to keep something, keep it. If you know you don’t want it, for the love of Pete, don’t take it. When we were cleaning out my dad’s house after he moved to assisted living, a family member kind of pressured me into taking his high chair. It was hand made and hand painted in the early 1940s. And now it’s just sitting in my house taking up space. If you truly know you don’t want something, don’t be pressured into taking it. And trust that you’ll be okay if you get rid of something that you know you don’t want. My mom is not a particularly sentimental person, and I’ve been kind of surprised at how I feel when she gets rid of something that I’d have trouble getting rid of. The biggest feeling I have is relief.

    • lawsuited :

      I keep milestone birthday cards/notes with special messages in them in a memory box. I recycle all other birthday cards within a week, and all holiday cards whenever I take down my holiday decorations.

      I have kept a few mementos from my grandparents that I can use, and donated the rest. Keeping the ones I can actually use frequently makes me think of them; storing stuff in a box does not.

      I do not keep any souvenirs other people bring me from their travels for any length of time. I donate or trash within a week or so.

      I do not keep any ticket stubs.

      For each significant trip I take, I buy a travel journal to write impressions in and stick postcards or other mementos into. I don’t keep anything that doesn’t make it into the journal. I keep the journals in a memory box.

      The idea of a memory box is really helpful because it allows you to keep some sentimental items, but forces limits on it. Every few years, I go through my memory box and keep things that are still special to me and toss things that aren’t. I’ve mentally allowed myself one memory box for each decade of my life, but I only have 2 so far.

    • I put ticket stubs, brochures, etc. in a shadowbox to display around the house. I have two right now; as soon as I finish #3 I’m going to put the set up on the wall. Right now they’re sitting on end tables.

      • New Tampanian :

        I do this as well – although mine is more like a drop in box with a slide to. I go to a lot of sporting events and love having the tickets as “proof” or to remind me.

    • I toss everything except for the very personal and meaningful to me – that’s a small number of things, every year on our anniversary my H and I exchange love letters, I save those. I have a couple of letters my grandparents wrote to me in college. That’s about it. Everything else gets tossed pretty quickly or it piles up. But I’m a purger who wishes she wrote the Kon Mari book.

    • If it’s really important to me, I take a photo.

    • I keep a shoebox full of cards and only keep ones that have a nice, sentimental message written inside. I have a couple of things from my grandparents (a necklace, a rosary), and I keep a few travel souvenirs (a nice mug that I keep at the office), I keep a few ticket stubs in a shoebox but only if it is something really memorable like me and my husband’s first date or stuff like that. I don’t typically keep travel brochures, but I do take lots of pictures when I travel and make a shutterfly book of major trips. I sometimes include a picture of the travel brochure in my book.

      I grew up in a cluttered house and so clutter really, really bothers me. I am ruthless with tossing stuff. I force myself not to have an emotional attachment to most things. This is true with my children’s school work too. There are some special things I keep, but lots of it goes in the recycle bin.

    • I have a shadow box with a slit in the top, I toss all my ticket stubs in there. Its fun to see them all piling up.

      I will never get around to putting my souvenirs in a scrapbook. Whenever I go on vacation, I get a small wooden box from a craft store, paint/decorate it to represent the vacation, and throw all the souvenirs in there. The boxes then stay on my bookcase.

      My dresser has the smaller drawers on the top row, and in the center one I keep some old lovenotes and momentos that my husband has given me over the years. I force myself to stay limited to one drawer, and only keep the extra special things.

    • As someone who demands handmade cards from their SO I keep these and a couple sentimental items in a shoebox in my bedside table. I only keep as much that fits in the shoebox, so it maintains a reasonable size.

      • Just realised demands sounds demeaning – he did it for the first major event and 4.5 years on I don’t let him stop!

  5. This jacket, gray in general :

    Gray knits are often varigated or heathered and they often read Executive Sweatshirt instead of Executive. I wish people would just make a static gray color in so many items.

    Also, I’m not sure who looks good in a 1-button jacket, but it isn’t me. I really need a second lower button or that much lower space tends to magnify my tummy.

    This is otherwise lovely and I agree that there are some nice details to it — it is clearly not cheap exercise wear.

    • Everyday necklace :

      I agree, my “seasonal” neutrals are navy and dove gray – but most gray fabrics are heathered so the black undertones don’t match my navy things.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thank you for putting your finger in what it is about heathered fabrics that I don’t like. I much prefer fully saturated colors.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Oh I am the 1 button person for sure. As a bustier gal, I find 2 buttons nearly impossible.

    • Yes! I love gray but hate heathered (anything, but grey is definitely the hardest to find). I basically pounce on any non heathered gray clothing I see.

    • A Nonny Mousse :

      So completely agree about the heathered grays–I was just thinking this last night, while trying to pull together a couple of outfits for the week. Why is it so hard to make a plain gray fabric? Why are so many gray fabrics not really gray, but a mix of black, white and gray? If they can make pink or light blue without heathering, they should be able to do the same with gray.

    • There is a great navy wool knit jacket by Nordstrom collection on sale. It looks a lot more professional. The only issue is that it’s double breasted, so most likely to be worn unbuttoned.
      As of this morning, all sizes were available.

    • I’ve noticed this too but I think gray knits are heathered because non-heathered looks rather drab/prison-ish. I wondered this same thing, too, after I saw a non-heathered knit that just looked too much like something Kim Jong Un would wear. Not a problem with non-knits, though, although just like gray paints, you have to get the right base color (gray can range from a green base, brown base, purple base, blue base, or a true black base)

      • I agree that the base color has a lot to do with it. This may be too low-end for you folks here but I have a charcoal gray 100% cotton turtleneck from Lands End. It’s a nice darker heathered gray and it looks nice with almost any other color. It’s a decent weight cotton knit, is soft and comfortable, and looks good after many washes. I think it’s the light gray heathered knits that look so much like basketball sweats.

  6. FLEECE TIGHTS FTW today in blustery PA!!

    Hope the other ‘r e t t e s experiencing the high winds are avoiding the hazards that can come with this weather!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thankfully I pulled out my gloves and wool coat over the weekend so I was prepared. Still, when I walked out of my building this morning the wind took my breath away. I literally had to turn my face out of the wind so I could breathe. Probably not the best day to wear my hair down!

      • Ack! Definitely good that you had your gear out.

        I put my hood up before I even walked out the door this morning as I have my hair down also. My poor tiny dog had a rough go of it this morning in the wind. I did make him wear his hat :)

        I, however, am a crazy person who went hiking/running in the NW PA woods yesterday to enjoy the snow. The noises the wind was making were pretty incredible!

    • I didn’t wear fleece tights today but I was super excited to pull out my favorite orange knit scarf this morning in SW PA :-)

  7. Anonymous :

    My work laptop is 14″ and doesn’t fit in to any nice 13″ bags, including my beloved 13″ dagne dover (sometimes I compromise by putting it in the main compartment without the sleeve.) Any recommendations for a good commuter bag? I have a nice backpack I sometimes carry but I’d really like a tote to take to meetings etc that fits this computer nicely. I’ve looked at Lo and Sons but meh. Preferably under $200 but flexible in that range.

    • Victorinox Divine. It doesn’t have a long strap, just shoulder straps. But I love it. And it fits legal files, so it will def fit a 14″ laptop. It’s on ebags dot com

    • Knomo Maddox

    • I’ve been lusting after the Cuyana work satchel, I think your laptop would fit in there

      • It should – I have it & my laptop is about 14″ & just makes it in there (the trick is putting it in first & other stuff second, so it takes a moment of rearranging).

        • What are your thoughts on the satchel?
          I’ve been seriously considering it.

          • I like the clean lines a lot, and it looks very polished overall, but it’s definitely a work bag and I find myself wanting to switch out to something more flexible for weekends. I was using the Cuyana zip top before and it was too unstructured but it fit anything, this is super structured and it doesn’t fit everything. I feel like goldilocks searching for the perfect bag. This one is pretty great for a formal work look though.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Mansur Gavriel Large Lady Bag. Best bag ever.

  8. What do people think of Burt’s Bees lipsticks? Or do you have any other moisturizing lipsticks to recommend? I’m trying to wear makeup to work more but my lips get really dry in the winter, even if I commute in chapstick and put lipstick on in the office.

    • I’ve really liked the Bare Minerals lipstick. I don’t recall it coming in very many colors, but I like the one I have and it keeps my lips from getting chapped.

    • lawsuited :

      If you’re looking for saturated colour but a moisturizing formula, try the MAC Liptensity lipsticks. But also, I wear lip balm for my commute and apply lipstick once I’m settled at my desk, so you don’t have to choose!

    • I had tried Burt’s Bees and the one I tried was very dry, but that was a while ago. I wear chapstick and sometimes color over it with a Nars velvet matte lipstick pencil. If I reapply chapstick over it, it stays in place.

    • I find Colourpop and Origins to be pretty moisturizing.

    • I love Burt’s Bee’s colored lip balm.

    • I’m allergic to Burt’s Bee’s (and MAC…and likely other brand). I really like Nivea’s tinted balms.

      • jumpingjack :

        I also had a bad reaction to Burt’s Bees (which is weird because I have virtually no allergies or sensitivities). It made my lips dry and rough (like eczema). Because I didn’t know it was the chapstick causing it, I kept putting it on and it kept getting worse. I think it’s whatever is the active ingredient in non-petroleum chapsticks.

    • anon a mouse :

      The Fresh sugar tinted balms are great. They are more expensive than Burts Bees but are exponentially better.

      • +1 I have a huge lip peeling problem, even in summer. The only lipsticks I can tolerater are: burt’s bees, Fresh Sugar and my new favorite, Bite lipstick. The last one is made out of food grade ingredients and is fantastic!

      • To add- I look for things designated “lip butter” as opposed to lipstick. They are the most moisturizing and don’t cause my lip to peel. On everything else I use a layer of vaseline before applying lipstick, though it dilutes the color. Korres lip butter is also highly moisturizing (no vaseline needed).

    • jumpingjack :

      I’m obsessed with La Bello Classic. It’s not officially sold in the U.S., but I find it on Amazon. It has the same packaging as Nivea (and may be the same company) but it’s a different product. Very creamy and smooth.

    • Seventh Sister :

      I like the Burt’s Bees lipsticks a lot – inexpensive and the colors are strong without being overwhelming on my (not-very-big) lips. I find them fairly moisturizing and I live in a dry climate. The lip glosses are also good -I think they are easier to apply than the Burts Bees colored lip balms. The lipsticks remind me (without the price tag) of Shiseido lipsticks though they aren’t as thick and there is a smaller color selection.

      Fresh tinted balms are nice, but there is a citrus fragrance/ingredient that I sometimes find a little drying.

    • Complete indulgence but Dior Creme de Rose.

  9. dreading NYE :

    I am already dreading New Year’s. The entire month of December is packed with parties and gatherings, but whenever NYE rolls around everyone is either in their hometowns or just staying in with their partners. This has happened for the last few years. Usually something comes up last-minute, but I always feel like it’s not good enough or I’m tagging along.

    Should I just own the fact that I hate this day and plan a massage and go to bed early? Does anyone do this?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I always hated NYE because the plans are never as fun as you expect, everything is expensive, and you feel so much pressure to have the best time ever. We now stay in and dress up for a fancy dinner at home then watch the ball drop on tv. I love it. It still feels special but without the pressure and without the need to trek home with everyone else at the end of the night.

      I’m a big fan of doing what feels best for you on NYE.

    • Anonymous :

      I make plans. I travel to see my BFF, make dinner reservations, host a party. Don’t just resign yourself to moping.

      • +1 For whatever reason, no one likes making NYE plans in advance. You have to take the lead and plan something, especially if most of your friends are couples.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, just own that you don’t like traditional New Years celebrations and do a massage or whatever else you enjoy. Very few of my friends go out to fancy parties.

    • NYE is the worst holiday ever. In my mind, it’s all ball gowns and champagne flutes; in reality, it’s solo cups in someone’s living room while the ball drops on TV.

    • That is what I do, or scheduling travel plans on that day. I hate it.

    • Maybe this is a reflection of my age but – do none of your friends throw house parties? I almost always have one to go to, or a group of friends going to a dive bar. I really hate the fancy new years expectations too but I’ve never had an issue finding other plans that are more fun and laid back, and I even look forward to the ragers other people throw (with messes I don’t have to deal with after). Red solo cups in someone’s living room can be really fun!

    • NYE is the worst which I appreciate is sacrilege here in Scotland. I hate spending the first day of the year overtired and hungover. I specifically booked a red-eye for the night of the 30th so we could arrive home on the afternoon of the 31st and go to sleep. Then we’ll get up, on the 1st, have some breakfast, and weather permitting, go for a nice walk.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I refuse to go out in public on NYE. Too much flagrant stupidity. I either stay home or go to a friend’s house, but I’m always home before midnight.

    • I don’t give a rip about NYE. I used to tend bar and it was the worst. So many people out who don’t usually go out and results in ridiculous behavior. I have no desire to be out and about in that nonsense. Obviously, I get that this particular day may matter to some people, and that’s totally fine. But for me, it’s just a normal night.

    • jumpingjack :

      NYE is the worst. I never enjoy myself when I’m out. My NYE goal the last few years has been to watch a movie at home and be in bed by 11. Makes me much happier.

    • I hate NYE. My last three have been TERRIBLE, and since I don’t drink, it’s not much fun to hang out with stupid-drunk people.
      1L year, I told the guy I had feelings for that I had feelings for him a few weeks before, he didn’t reciprocate but said he would try to not make it rough for me. Then he got drunk and made out with a random girl a foot from me at the party we were at at midnight. I got incredibly drunk and spent the night puking.
      2L, same dude and I were no longer talking but had to deal with each other enough to get our mutual drunk and aggressive friend twenty five blocks back to his apartment since no cab or bus would let him on. 12AM was spent being thrown five feet backwards onto the sidewalk by drunk friend and telling drunk friend I hope he got arrested because I was done dealing with his stupid a*s. Then guy and I got in a fight outside drunk friend’s house and I cried all the way home and cried myself to sleep.
      3L, I was on chemo. I spent the entire night vomiting and wishing I would just die, curled up in the fetal position on my couch while friends hung out in my living room since I couldn’t leave. Friend of mine got super super drunk (noticing a pattern?!) and while I was vomiting, opened the bathroom door and started apologizing because it was his fault I had cancer. Note: it isn’t. I slammed the door in his face, locked it, and yelled for mutual friend to get him out of the range of my hearing or I would kill him.
      This year, I plan to Not. Do. Anything.

    • To my mind there are only two fun things to do on NYE: (1) go to a concert – you’ve already paid admission, you know what you’re going to be doing, and you know you’ll enjoy the music – and if you want to wear something sparkly, no one will think that’s weird!; or (2) have a very small bunch of friends or family over to your place (plan on having them crash on your sofa/in your guest room, and plan on cooking something easy in the AM) – it’s safe, relatively cheap, and cozy.

  10. late 30s dating apps? :

    Which apps are you mid-to-late 30s ladies using for dating? I live in a major city and like bookish types. I’ve tried Hinge, Tinder, and OKC. OKC used to be my favorite, but lately I’m not seeing as much activity there. Tinder was way too young and hookup-focused. Hinge has recently reinvented itself, but it feels more like it’s for 20somethings. What about Bumble?

    Or should I just give up and do eHarmony to make my mom happy (kidding)?

    • Bumble!

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I just met someone on Bumble. Give it a try. Also, I think it can take about a year on a site or app to find someone. It definitely takes a long time and a lot of terrible dates, at least that was my experience.

    • New Tampanian :

      The new hinge is pretty good in my opinion. Make sure you “remove” people so that the algorithm kicks in. (you find these in the … to the upper right of their story). Match isn’t all that great. It’s very hit or miss.

    • You may not be seeing much activity because people are not typically going on dates right before Thanksgiving, but likely traveling, visiting family, etc. I would expect there to be a bunch more people on them after the new year, especially on the paid ones (Match, etc.) that typically offer a 3-month free trial version for the new year.

    • I’m late 30s and met someone fabulous on bumble about six months ago. We’ve been dating ever since and are talking about moving in together soon. Give it a try!

  11. My boyfriend picked a fight with me late at night, and I couldn’t understand why at the time. The next day he told me that he had been really hungry, which made him freak out, and to avoid it in the future I should always ask him before bed whether he’s hungry.

    So basically he didn’t apologize for freaking out at me/waking me up/hurting my feelings, and put it on me to make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future.

    Clearly I am exhausted from lack of sleep, but is there some light in which I can see his response as reasonable? I love him but this seems unacceptable to me.

    • Anonymous :

      No, there’s no way what he said is reasonable. I get crabby when I’m hungry too, but it’s on him to tell you he’s hungry (or just, you know, eat and solve the problem…). He wants you ask him every day before bed if he’s hungry?! What an insane reaction.

      • Yup, that’s pretty much what he said. I don’t even mind doing it but the idea that I NEED to is bothering me.

      • seriously, this is cray.

      • +1 This is completely insane. I think that one has some obligation to one’s partner not to manage one’s own emotions and not freak out at one’s partner because of hunger/tiredness/stress. Of course no one is perfect, so it happens sometimes, but then the appropriate reaction is to recognize that it was unfair and apologize for taking it out on one’s partner.

        Actually blaming *you* for his hunger and making it your problem to ensure he is never hungry and therefore never picks an unreasonable fight with you is next level manipulative.

        Call him out on his bullsh*t.

        • Thanks. Argh. I’m so sad that he revealed this about himself, but I think this is all correct and it does seem manipulative (or some similar word I can’t put my finger on).

          • I might be coming down on this guy like a ton of bricks because of my own ex who would pull this same move…but my ex was an emotionally-manipulative manchild who was chronically unable to accept responsibility for one. single. goddamned. thing, whether it was being hangry or unemployed. I wish I’d broken up with him the first time he woke me up at 2am on a weeknight to have an hour-long super-emotional conversation and then fix him a snack.

          • Hmmmmmmmmmmm. Well, he does accept responsibility for financial etc. things, but it’s not the first time I’ve felt like he hasn’t adequately taken responsibility for some emotional response he had that ended up affecting me negatively.

            Argh, I really love him but thinking about this is worrying.

          • I think it’s important to remember that not all manipulation is malicious. It’s unlikely his response is part of some pre-meditated plan to make you his slave, but making you feel responsible for his negative behaviour is still manipulation even if he’s doing is unconsciously.

          • It’s totally not malicious. Somehow that has made me able to tolerate it but I don’t know if that’s good/okay for me to have that POV.

          • Senior Attorney :

            It doesn’t matter if it’s malicious or not — it’s not something your should put up with on a permanent basis. Ugh. As others have said, you’re not his mommy. Maybe the word you’re looking for is “tragically immature…”

          • You ARE allowed to object to things that aren’t malicious or wicked. It’s not necessarily a moral judgement; you’re just saying “I don’t want X in a relationship or partner.” Silly example for illustration: I would never date someone who only speaks Japanese–not because speaking only Japanese is malicious, but because I don’t speak Japanese, so I can’t have the kind of relationship I want under those circumstances.

            The question doesn’t have to be “Is he a bad boyfriend?” “Is this the kind of relationship I want?” is good enough.

          • Actually that’s another really good point that it’s not necessarily about good/bad, but about what I want in a relationship. A lot to think about, though I wish I didn’t have to!

            Geez, if only he’d eaten that stupid snack when he needed it this weekend!

    • What on earth? So the hanger I get. But it is not YOUR job to manage that. Be aware of it? Maybe. But no it is not up to you to ask him if he needs a bedtime snack before you tuck him in every night.

      Are you already living with this guy?

      • We have our own places but are together most nights. Yeah, the idea that it’s on me is what’s bothering me.

        • Baconpancakes :

          It’s one thing to say “If I get hangry could you be patient with me? Sometimes I don’t realize that’s what’s happening,” and it’s another thing to say “You have to monitor my food intake so I don’t get hangry.” Former – ok. Latter – not ok.

    • Um, not reasonable.

      If he knows he’s grumpy when he’s hungry, that’s on him, not you. I get grumpy when I’m hungry, and it is both my responsibility to solve that problem, and also my responsibility to tell my husband “Dude, I’m hungry and grumpy, let me eat something before we talk” if he tries to start a conversation when I’m not in a talking mood.

      • He clearly knows he’s grumpy when he’s hungry, so yeah, I really think he needs to do better at recognizing when he is in an irrational mood and say “let’s deal with this when I’m feeling better.”

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I get grumpy when I’m hungry too but I preemptively say I’m grumpy because I’m hungry and then avoid having serious conversations until after I’ve eaten something. The responsibility is all on me.

    • This is definitely unreasonable, but on its own, I’d classify it as “unacceptable” in the sense of “Honey, this is unacceptable; you really hurt my feelings, and adults monitor their own hunger signals,” not in the sense of “Honey, this is unacceptable; we should break up.” If there’s a larger pattern of him trying to get you to manage his emotions, you should have a big-picture talk with him about *that* (and use this as a recent example), and also have a big-picture think with yourself about the relationship. (You shouldn’t have to accept him pulling stunts like this, but I’d avoid using the word “unacceptable” when you talk to him–at least to me, it sounds like an ultimatum.) Ugh, I’m sorry. :(

      • Thanks for this (and also for the suggestion not to use the word “unacceptable” in talking about it, which I probably would’ve).

        I’m not 100% sure what you mean by getting me to manage his emotions…if you have time to explain, could you? He certainly processes his emotions through talking to me about them…

        • Sure! “Trying to get you to manage his emotions” is a bad phrase, since what I meant was trying to make it your job to make sure he has the food he needs to be emotionally okay. I.e. *he* should have said “I’m too hangry to talk right now.” That’s not your job, because you’re not his parent. Does that clear it up?

          I said “manage his emotions” instead of “manage his food intake” because if there’s a pattern of him trying to make you responsible for his emotional blood sugar, it might fit into a larger pattern of him trying to make you do all the emotional labor in your relationship. For instance, if you’re discussing an issue in your relationship, does he want you to say everything very clearly and use a friendly, comforting tone of voice, but also expect you to figure out vague things he says or overlook a confrontational tone? That seems like the same general kind of immaturity as the “ask me if I’m hungry” nonsense.

          • Thanks for the response. The good news is that I totally get what you were saying. The bad news is he TOTALLY DOES THIS. AHHHH. I don’t know how to fix that or even if it’s possible. I’ve just kind of been dealing with it thus far.

          • Oh boy. What do you mean by “how to fix it”? Insofar as this is a defect (or at least a drawback) in his character, you can’t fix it, nor is it your responsibility (but you probably realize that already). Or do you mean fixing this dynamic in your relationship? Either way it sounds stressful, so *internet hugs*

          • Yeah, I mean fix the dynamic in our relationship in some way that makes it not a Terrible Idea to stay together. I love him, but this sucks and is tiring. Anyway, thanks…

          • From what you’ve said here, it sounds to me like it would be worth having a talk about this and seeing how it goes (is he willing to listen? does he consider the fact that he hurt you a good enough reason to change his behavior). But trust your gut.

          • I know he’s willing to listen (provided that I don’t ask when he’s hangry, ahem). I hope he’s willing and able to change–I know this isn’t a given. Thanks again. In any case it’s probably good to be able to identify a pattern.

          • You’re very welcome!

    • Anonymous :

      I think you need to give it a day or two, and then discuss it again after a full meal. I think he was absolutely unreasonable, in the defensive way of someone who knows deep down they were in the wrong.

      • “the defensive way of someone who knows deep down they were in the wrong” +1 to this!

      • Heh, I am 100% behind the “after a full meal” advice. And I think the rest is spot-on, too, just frustrating.

    • Anonymous :

      I am like this with infants — if they get too hungry, they just go to pieces and everyone, infant included, suffers. But, man, that is a privlege solely for the non-mobile pre-verbal set (and maybe for hospitalized people or people who are fasting (although the latter two can aplogize even if in a way it couldn’t be helped: “I was hangry, but I hurt you and I’m sorry.”).

      • YES. It seemed so infantile. Argh.

        • I think it’s time to not sleep over for a week or so. “Hey, this wasn’t cool. I’m not your mom, I am not responsible for checking if you are hungry before bed. You’re an adult man. If you are hungry go eat some food. I don’t appreciate your putting this on me and I’m not doing it.”

          When he shows you that he is an entitled man child listen.

      • A Nonny Mousse :

        This. My niece used to have random temper tantrums when she was a toddler, and my SIL finally figured out they occurred when she was hungry/her blood sugar dropped. So the child’s parents worked hard to keep her fed properly.

        Now that she’s 13, if she starts getting crabby, her mom will ask her, “Do you need to eat a snack?” which forces Niece to evaluate her feelings of anger and hunger, and she usually just eats a snack. There’s clearly an expectation that Niece will, as she matures, become more aware of how she is feeling, and eat when she feels it is necessary.

        But for a grown man to expect the same level of mothering is . . . odd. And unreasonable.

    • NOPE! http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/nope.gif

    • I’m going to give him a little bit of the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you don’t need to monitor his hunger, BUT if he is crabby or starts picking a fight, take it upon yourself to calm him down and see if he needs something to eat. He should recognize the signs himself, but asking for help when he starts to go off the rails is completely reasonable. Taking this step to help stop a fight before it starts makes sense to me.

      • Wait how is this any different. “I’m so mad”. “Does baby need a snacky-wacky?”

      • I agree. My ex used to keep candy in his pocket on day trips to keep me in check. ;) But I think OP should consider whether he exhibits other signs of victim or needy behavior.

        • *You* should have been keeping the candy in *your* pocket.

          • Anonymous :

            You do understand that a couple is actually a team? Not every man for himself? A little nurturing is not a bad thing, especially when we can laugh about our foibles.

      • I think there is a big difference between “I think you’re blowing this out of proportion because you are hungry / stressed about work / overtired / fill in blank” and “Oh poor baby are you hungry? Do you want to stop talking for a minute and I’ll get you a snack”?

        One is politely but firmly calling someone out on their behavior and reminding them that there may be other factors contributing. The other is taking on responsibility for those contributing factors, which is NOT YOUR ROLE.

      • I’m conflicted. I have to say I wouldn’t mind asking him if he needs a snack, but I hate the idea that if I don’t do so, it’s my fault/responsibility (not that he used those words) that he has a meltdown.

        • I think you have hit on a really important distinction. You can be a kind girlfriend who knows her partner well and ask if he is hungry, if you suspect that is the issue. But its ultimately his responsibility and if that situation does arise (which it should rarely – we all make mistakes, but we shouldn’t be making the same hurtful ones over and over) he should be both thankful and apologetic. Everyone gets some slack but its not your responsibility to be constantly aware of his hunger levels.

          • Thanks, this comment is helpful in clarifying things.

          • You’re welcome, I’m really glad that helps. This sounds like a difficult situation, I hope you’re being extra kind to yourself right now! And especially making up the hours of sleep you lost because of the fight.

          • Meredith Grey :

            Also something to consider to illustrate how problematic his logic is is the reverse: some future scenario where he raises a legitimate concern late in the day and, given his instructions, you immediately react that he must be hungry. That’s a problem because he’s telling you to not consider what he’s saying seriously ever in that kind of situation. That’s not a recipe for success. I’d definitely follow up and see if he understands that, and hopefully he’ll be able to clarify to you that he meant to give you a blanket heads up about his emotional state for night time crabbiness. Hopefully on closer reflection he recognizes it’s his own issue to manage. I think it’s a deal breaker if that’s not outcome from his end.

          • I’ll weigh in as married to someone who gets hangry really quickly, but as far as I can tell truly doesn’t feel hunger pains or otherwise naturally recognize that his emotions are out of whack because he’s hungry. I definitely don’t monitor his hunger levels or when he last ate or ask him if he’s had a bedtime snack! But, if he’s starting to get crabby/emotional with me for no reason, I will ask if he’s hungry or when he last ate — and that is usually enough for him to realize, oh, I’m not really that upset about x, but I need a snack. As MargaretO said very well, there’s an important distinction between knowing your partner and being made responsible for his behavior.

            I view his hanger issues as similar to my inability to have positive interactions until I’ve had my coffee in the morning (he’s a morning person, I am … not). Yes, I should be able to have a polite conversation before I’m caffeinated, but in reality it’s just not going to happen.

          • Meredith Grey, that inversion is such a good point (and actually one I think he’ll understand when we talk about it).

            And thanks again MargaretO…I told him to stay at his own place last night and slept for 10 hours so hopefully I’m on the right track there…

        • I agree with you. He should not offload onto YOU the emotional, cognitive or logistical management of HIS hunger. He also should not blame you for not maintaining these so-called obligations.

          However, you can teach him to do these things for himself. Tell him, kindly, about your plan. Then, the next time you are out together, stop in a grocery store for cheese sticks + crackers or whatever else he likes to have around to prop up his blood sugar/good mood. Finally, store one half of the stash at each of your homes. After that, it’s on him to remember to replace what he eats. (Since he’s only a beginner at managing his hunger, I’d recommend he select food that can be stored for a long time without spoilage.)

          It’s a damn shame nobody taught him before now, but teaching him would solve the problem for both of you. I’m not saying you have to do this with everything else–cooking / cleaning / laundry. If he needs to learn how to do Everything Adult, steer him to a bookstore or a library or YouTube.

          • He’s good with other Everything Adult activities (not always perfect, for instance is totally avoiding the dentist, but cooks/cleans/has a good job). He wouldn’t ask me to do his laundry, but he does in effect ask me to take care of his emotions.

            I hope you’re right that he can be taught. I’m definitely stocking the fridge at least.

        • +1 It’s your prerogative to say “I think you’re blowing this out of proportion because you’re hungry”, but not your obligation.

      • anon associate :

        God no. Sure, now that OP has identified one of her partner’s triggers for fights, this knowledge could be used to avoid future fight. But to tell her to take it upon her self to calm him down and pour him some juice and apple sauce is absurd.

        I could respect it if BF had reacted to the fight by saying “you know, I’m sorry, I reacted so strongly because I was hungry and cranky.” We’ve all been there, and it shows that he’s taking responsibility for his emotions. By saying that OP have made sure he wasn’t hungry, he’s shifted responsibility for his poor behavior onto OP. Red. Flag.

        OP, consider keeping your fridge stocked with string cheese, yogurt, and cut up apples. And animal crackers for good behavior.*

        *I’m being facetious here, but, I do think there is value in always making sure the fridge has food….If you want to keep dating this person, keep a stash of beef jerky and nuts in the house and tell him they’re on the shelf above the sink if he ever gets hungry. End.

        • I’m stocking the fridge with some stuff he can eat, and I do want to keep dating him…but I also feel like it is a red flag.

      • Nope- this puts you squarely in a cycle of never getting to tell him that he is being unreasonable/wrong.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      That sounds crazy to me too. I had a ex who said he gets cranky when he’s hungry so I should keep a snack in my bag. I often keep a snack in my bag because I get hungry. It’s for me, not the man-child in my life. My four year old nephew gets hangry. I would never put up with that some a grown man.

    • Ridiculous. But is he by chance a Type I diabetic? If so it’s still his job to monitor his blood sugar and take corrective action, not yours, but it is a little more difficult to monitor that and regulate your behavior when you’re experiencing an extreme drop in blood sugar.

    • Confession: At my old job, I often worked on cases with a another attorney who became my very good friend. At the first sign of a scowl or growl from me when we would travel was “we need to get you food!” It became kind of a joke with us. But, I think, it is different when you are working at full-tilt and forget to eat. This guy needs a nightly snack.

    • Jitterbug :

      “I should always ask him before bed whether he’s hungry.”

      Um, nope? If he’s hungry, he can manage that by getting himself a snack.

      It’s okay for him to say he was hungry and that made him cranky, it’s not okay to make that your fault.

      I’d be tempted to carry Snickers bars, offer them to him when he picks a fight with me, and say “hun, have a snickers, you act like a man baby when you’re hungry.”

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Does he do other things like this? Or is this a one off incident?

      • This is the most egregious incident, but there are past incidents you could probably fit into a similar frame.

  12. I had the most perfect knit wool blazer like this…and a moth ate it. :( I’ve not been able to find a 100% wool replacement. I’d buy them in every color if I could.

  13. Gift Help :

    I need suggestions for Christmas gifts for two couples, in the $80-$100 range:

    Couple 1: Mid-20’s, married 1 year and just bought first house. I’m sure that they need stuff for it, but I haven’t been over yet and don’t know what. The guy is pretty geeky, into super heroes and that sort of thing; the girl is very girly, seems to like princess and sparkly things.

    Couple 2: Early 30’s, married and homeowners for several years, 1 toddler. Not sure that they need any household stuff in particular. She’s a teacher; he’s a meteorologist. He’s really into college football. I feel like I should be able to tell you more about her, but I’m having a hard time coming up with anything.

    Anything would be helpful! TIA!

    • espresso bean :

      Some ideas that are more generic but I think anyone would like:

      *plush neutral throws
      *gift certificate to a nice restaurant in their neighborhood
      *serving trays or platters
      *tea towels
      *cool coffee table books in their areas of interest (try the Urban or Anthro sale section)

      • I think the throws are a great idea. I wash mine frequently and they get shabby after awhile.

        • http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/112723?feat=1157-CL2&page=chunky-cabled-fleece-throw&csp=undefined

          It’s my go-to for so many people, year after year, and they adore it!

    • For couple 1, did they have a wedding registry, and could you sneakily look it up and see if there’s anything left on it? That might take the fun out of it for you, though.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Amazon Alexa for both :)

      • BabyAssociate :

        I loveeee my Alexa, great idea.

        • Maddie Ross :

          Totally curious – explain this to me. What does it really do?

          • Anonymous :

            What is the weather today?

            How is traffic on my commute today?

            What’s on my calendar today?

            Play the song Summertime by Mahalia Jackson.

            Tell me a joke?

            What is 312 x 247?

            What movies are playing at my movie theater?

            Play WXRT radio

            Play this American life

            Turn on my bedroom light.

            Play songs by Leonard Coehn.
            Sleep timer stop in 15 minutes

            Add milk to my shopping list

            What is on my shopping list.

            Help! Call my Buddy… I need help!

        • Anonymous :


          My whole family is getting a Dot this Xmas. Ages 11 to 75.

    • As someone in that age bracket (ish) and recently married, I would say please NO household items. I have so many blankets, candles, platters, appetizer trays etc. I also live in a big city and storage space is at a minimum.

      I love the idea of a gift card to a local restaurant. You could also do movie theater tickets with snacks in a cute gift basket. In this age of “more stuff”, I think gifting an experience is a better idea.

    • If she’s in her 20’s, she’s a woman and not a girl.

      • Oh yay! The language police are here! If she’s her friend, which she clearly is since she’s buying her a Christmas gift, she can call her “girl” if she wants to. She’s not minimizing her workplace contributions, she’s not trivializing her existence, she’s just referencing her friend. It’s not as if 60 year old male opposing counsel is referring to her as “girl.” Sometimes it’s ok. And sometimes it’s ok to let people use words that might not be your word choice.

    • This costs less than half your budget so you could get something complementary to go with it, but I recently gave a return address stamp as a housewarming gift and my friend LOVED it. There are lots of options on Etsy but I bought from an Etsy seller called NoteTrunk, who I definitely recommend. I got a self-inking stamp and the quality was great and it shipped VERY fast. I’m thinking about buying one for myself actually!

  14. Videos from the Guardian :

    In case anyone is still interested in learning more about the “other side”, so to speak, The Guardian has a good collection of videos looking at cities and small-town America to find out why people were so enthusiastic about Trump. I’ve been looking for a good international news source and this may well be it.

    • Humans of New York is also doing a series of mini-portraits of a working class city.

      They make me a little more discouraged, rather than hopeful.

      • The “I don’t mean to be racist” lady? Definitely discouraging.

        But the principal one was nice. Her situation is not nice, but she seems like a nice lady.

        • Being “nice” is not enough and here is why. I copied the text from a facebook post whose name is in Hebrew, so I can’t properly attribute it.

          “I am not mad at you that Clinton lost. I am unconcerned that we have different politics. And I don’t think less of you because you vote one way and I vote another. No…I think less of you because you watched an adult mock a disabled person in front of a crowd and still supported him. I think less of you because you saw a man spouting clear racism and backed him. I think less of you because you listened to him advocate for war crimes, and still thought he should run this country. I think less of you because you watched him equate a woman’s worth to her appearance and got on board. It isn’t you politics that I find repulsive. It is you personal willingness to support racism, sexism, and cruelty. You sided with a bully when it mattered…Trump disgusts me, but it is the fact that he doesn’t disgust you that will stick with me long after this election.”

        • That lady was the worst but there’s a series of 10-15 posts below that; some are pretty telling re the economy and daily conditions in Macomb County. The photographer has been there for a week or more now so it isn’t just 1 post.

          • I also found the economic ones interesting, having grown up not terribly far from where Macomb County.

            I will say, however, having grown up in “middle America” and living in a rural area in a red state now: the casual racism that was described in several of the posts is spot-on. I’m thinking in particular about the young man who worked in a machine shop talking about the guys who would point to their black friend, but not the things they said when he wasn’t around.

            That is my experience here.

    • There was a Post Secret this week from a woman who will never admit she voted for Trump. She’s a woman, registered democrat, social worker, in a multicultural sorority. I desperately want to ask her why.


      • If I had to guess – racism. I used to work in child protection. Longer term social workers I’ve seen often had empathy fatigue and were vulnerable to making generalizations about the populations they served.

  15. Serious question :

    I don’t know any Trump supporters personally, but I know there are some who read this blog. I have a question that I’d really like to ask a Trump supporter, because I am genuinely curious about the response. After reading the article about Flynn (posted below), do you feel concerned about this pick for national security adviser? Why or why not?

    • Serious question :


    • I’m not a Trump supporter, but I have worked with Flynn in the past. He’s not totally… with it. I know other officers have described him as “unhinged,” and I think that’s a good descriptor. Like, totally apart from whether you agree or disagree with him on things, there are some major issues. That concerns me.

      I mean this in a completely non-partisan way, and I many I know on both sides have these concerns.

      • I have a relative who is a pretty staunch Republican but claims not to have voted for Trump (not sure I believe him) who used to work with Flynn. He’s very happy about the selection as he thinks Flynn goes “outside the status quo” and has been unfairly maligned by his peers.

        (Personally, I do not have an informed opinion on the matter and am not a Trump supporter)

        • He does go outside the status quo, and that is a plus in many ways. He doesn’t have great judgment though, on either what substantively needs to change or how to work well with people. I’ve seen some instances where his going outside the status quo was spot on in terms of what needed to be done, and many more instances where I seriously wondered if he was on crack.

          In my observation he also lacks interpersonal skills that are necessary to lead or get things done. I know this isn’t true for everyone he’s worked with, but I have seen it this way more often than not. I’ve heard from others that he became way more vindictive and…..extreme after being fired in 2014. I think those who still know him would say he definitely has a score to settle, and that’s not terribly mature or healthy.

    • I’m terrified by his appointments. And I’m even more worried that the Trump supporters I’ve interacted with have universally brushed off concerns about them as irrelevant.

    • Not a Trump supporter. But if my FB feed is any indication, they like Flynn because he’ll “shake things up” and “won’t be PC” and isn’t afraid to speak out against mainstream media.

  16. Had dinner last night with a friend. She’s from a top business school and has had a career that has disappointed her all along — nothing major but the type who worked/networked as hard as anyone and didn’t make a promotion in an up and out situation; then landed someplace else and that company’s financial situation went sideways etc. It’s just been a string of disappointments for her and I know she takes it hard when comparing herself to her b-school classmates. While she is level headed about it, I know she hates her current job. Everyone around her – close friends; mentors; parents etc. – has always said to her that she has paid her dues and taken more than her fair share of bad breaks so if she wants to move on and do ANYTHING that’ll make her happier, she should. This came up again last night and her response was — she had decided she wanted to get to $x net worth (not including property) in the next 2-3 yrs and for that reason she’ll slog it out and then she will consider whether to do something else that may only earn her 50k or whatever bc she wouldn’t have to “worry” about saving. I thought it was an interesting way to look at things – anyone else view their first career this way? That they are only doing it until they can reach x monetary goal and once that’s done, they’re out? Reminds me of those articles you read about people who retired at 35 with a $2 million net worth or whatever — though I don’t fully get those people and she wouldn’t retire but take on something lower paying. Thoughts?

    • This is the story of a good number of associates in BigLaw who are sticking with that career path until their student loans get paid off.

      I, personally, am of the mindset that nothing is promised in terms of longevity, so I need to strike a balance between what I earn and how happy I am at my job. I don’t need to be on either end of the “happy or rich” spectrum and have found a job that allows me to be financially comfortable and career comfortable.

      I suspect that with a few exceptions the people who think they’re going to slog it out early so that they can move into their low-key jobs after meeting some financial goal often fail to realize that goal because their spending increases or keep increasing the goal so that they never hit it because it doesn’t feel like “enough” (see: my dad).

      • This is what I did. I stayed in biglaw long enough to pay off my high interest loans, buy a car outright and have 20% down payment for a house (and farm) and funds to rehab the old farmhouse. By no means did I retire, but it gave me the freedom to take a job that I enjoy.

      • +1 Speaking of Humans of New York… I listened to an interview with the photographer on Elizabeth Gilbert’s podcast, and he talked about getting a Wall Street job with the intention of saving up some money and then leaving to follow his creative passion. Turns out, he got caught up in the cycle of having just a little bit more, and it wasn’t until he got laid off that he was able to make himself pivot to photography. I feel like as you get closer to your original goal, you’ll just keep moving the goal posts.

    • Absolutely.

      And you can retire with a lot less than 2 million at 35.

      It all depends on what you value in life, and how strongly the Keep up with the Jones mindset (unconscious for most) has infiltrated your life.

      • “And you can retire with a lot less than 2 million at 35.”

        Go on… I mean, it’s not going to happen for me, considering I’m almost 35 already, but can you tell me how you think this is possible? I don’t mean that snarkily.

        • +1

          I’m not seeing how the math on this works. Like even if you live in a tiny house on a farm where you grow your own food – you’ll eventually have out of pocket costs not covered by health insurance and elder care as you age.

          • Most bloggers who go the early retirement route still bring in income in some capacity. They generally have such crazy low expenses that their nest egg continues to grow and they live on their small income.

        • anon money manager :

          If you have 2mm you can generate approximately $100,000 in income from the portfolio per year. That would be enough for me to live on. Once you start needing more $ for nursing home, etc, you won’t spend thru it. It’s the endowment strategy.

          • Anonymous :


            Right now I have about 1 million in the bank, and haven’t worked for several years while I am doing full time caregiving for a severely ill relative. I have a modest apartment, buy Obamacare insurance, modest utilities, I keep an older car running, and cook. My nest egg grows and grows.

            I’m single.

        • If you’re interested, two interesting blogs that are about personal finance, early retirement and, yes, frugality are Frugalwoods and Mr Money Mustache. I like the first one more as the author is very aware of privilege, takes a feminist approach to her life etc whereas the second is written by a former software engineer dudebro type. Still, both blogs explain how living off investments works, how to diversify assets, what sacrifices they had to make to make it work etc. Worth a read for sure, and helped me reduce my own expenses a little :)

      • I don’t think the poster above means “retire” in the traditional sense of moving to Florida and playing shuffleboard all day. The people I know that are interested in “retiring” at ages 35-45 are typically trying to amass a liquid net worth of $1-3 million. When you talk to them about it though, they don’t expect to sit home full time — maybe for a yr or two max and maybe not at all. Rather they are looking to leave their high pressure jobs in law, IB etc. and then do something they want to do. One friend did it and moved to a small town and opened a coffee shop. Another did it and she works for a museum now. The jobs they’re picking up probably only gross 50k — but that 50k covers most/all of their living expenses esp. since they don’t have to worry about saving more since that $1+ million is invested and growing; in yrs where the 50k can’t cover living, they may take some of the earnings of that $1-3 million to supplement the 50k income.

        • Yes, this.

        • anonlawyer :

          This is what I am doing. 30 now. Trying to retire by 38 with 700k. Lots of bloggers out there on this topic. Mr Money Moustache is the main one.

        • This is what I ‘m doing upon leaving BigLaw. 36, NW of $950k and going back to school to start my second, much less ambitious, career. I don’t plan to add anything more to my 401k/IRA because my second career is lower paying. If money gets tight, I’ll get a roommate before touching my investments.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I think that is perfectly reasonable. If you have done everything you can to improve your situation in your field, but are still unhappy, it makes sense to save a nest egg and then jump ship. You can’t put a price on happiness.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Totally reasonable in my opinion. It’s much easier to go from a high-powered, high-paying job to a lower paying job than the reverse. I think it’s smart to stick it out to make her goals if she’s able to do it without sacrificing her health or happiness. Sometimes a job is just a job. It pays the rent and allows you to later pursue the things you really want out of life.

    • I didn’t go into law intending to leave so soon, but I ended up leaving after five years with no debt and about $300k saved. That’s not “retire and move to Bora Bora” money but it allowed me to take a fun 9-5 job that pays less than $50k a year without worrying about my financial future.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        What is this fun 9-5 job and where I can get one!!

        • Manhattanite :


        • Peggy Olson :

          +1. Always interested to hear where people go after law. :)

        • I work in communications for a tech organization. My title is “writer” and my main job responsibility is interviewing our employees about what they’re working on and writing news releases about it. I really enjoy learning about technology and writing (I was an IP lawyer when I was practicing) and this is a different, but still very fun, way for me to combine those interests. I feel like I have a lot of the benefits of a journalism career (interviewing interesting people about cool things, writing creative stories, seeing my name in print) without some of the notable downsides (tight deadlines and a dying industry).
          Other than the pay, it’s pretty much everything I could ever want in a job and I feel really lucky to have it.

    • This is sort of me. I’m sitting at 1.4M net at 35. Hoping to try and slog it out for two more years before I chuck it all. Planning to take a full year off, then find any job with health insurance that pays me around 75k.

      Reason: I love my job, but I will never have any semblance of a life beyond my job if I stay. Multiple men have broken up with me or lost interest because I am too tired for our date or a full hour late due to a meeting running over, etc.

      • Why on earth do you need more than 1.4M accrued before you take a 75k job? I get that if you plan to fully retire you need a huge nest egg. But just scale back your lifestyle so you can live on 75k. Plenty of people make do on much less, and studies show that 75k is about the salary beyond which happiness doesn’t increase with more money.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Perhaps she wants to be able to retire to an expensive place (at retirement age), pay for kids’ college expenses, or travel in style?

        • I already live on about $75/year. Hence the nice cushion.

          I feel like I need around $2M. I am single, no kids or expensive tastes. I haven’t even flown business or first class in my life. But I have aging parents who may need help (which may defer my plan) and although I’m in great shape now I am terrified of a cancer diagnosis or some such since I am basically alone in the world.

  17. Help! I want to do experience gifts this year for my family, but am having a hard time coming up with ideas. 4 people ranging in age from 26-55. In Florida if that makes a difference.

    • Are they animal-people?

      There’s a wolf sanctuary you can tour (Seacrest Wolf Preserve). You meet the wolves, play with baby foxes, and feed raccoons. My dad is an animal nerd and lost his mind.

      Or Dade City Wild Things, where you can play with a tiger cub.

      Or an airboat ride? I love touring the swamps.

      • New Tampanian :

        Please do not go to Dade City Wild things or any experience that keeps animals in cages and lets you play or swim with them. They are treated extremely poorly. Dade City Wild Things is the WORST.


        There is Big Cat Rescue, though, which is a great place that attempts to assist big cats with recovery from illness or injury. https://bigcatrescue.org/

    • Tickets to a performance? Or gift certificates to a performance venue?

    • Is this for all 4 people to do together or separately? Things that come to mind:
      -rent a boat and go water skiing for a day
      -rent jetskis
      -cooking classes
      -stand up paddleboarding
      -tickets to museums, theaters, concerts, zoo, aquarium, etc
      -I Fly
      -wine tasting, beer tasting

  18. blazer fit question :

    In the blazer on this post, and also the much cheaper one here, in the wine color (http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2527099/womens-lc-lauren-conrad-ponte-blazer.jsp) there’s a kind of pulling from the shoulder around the bust. This is a frequent problem for me, particularly with knit blazers. Is it something that could be fixed by sizing up, or just an indication that the particular style won’t work with my bust?

  19. OG as gym bag? :

    Has anyone used an OG as a gym bag? I’m so used to the horizontal ones my husband uses.

    FWIW, I have an OG that I use for work travel. I’m considering getting a Seville and new uses for the OG. I don’t go to the gym much, but just joined one that I could use at work (or going to/from work), so I could keep a stocked OG just devloted to gym clothes/sneakers. I also play tennis sometimes, but don’t think the OG would work for a tennis racket (but haven’t actually tested it for that).

    • Again, I feel like I have all the bags talked about on here. I don’t use the OG as a gym bag, but as you say this, I think it would be perfect for that – it’s pretty roomy & would fit everything I’d take to the gym. I think it would also work for a tennis racket if you’re comfortable w/ the handle sticking out.

    • I used my OMG as a gym bag. The OG might be a bit large, but if you have the stuff for it, it could work. I like that the sneakers can go in the bottom separate compartment if they’re dirty. Also, it’s nice to have something that stands up when I put it on a bench and I’m digging things out of it. Also, I like the separate front pocket for things like cosmetics when I’m going mid-day and will need to clean up at the gym.

  20. I always had perfect vision but a few years ago I realized I was having trouble reading things that were really far away (like road signs) and got glasses just for driving. I’ve now gotten to the point where details of people’s faces are fuzzy when I’m 10 or 20 feet away so I’m thinking I should start wearing my glasses when I’m in meetings and stuff like that. But I definitely don’t need them when I’m working on the computer, which is what I do most of the day. How do people who only need glasses for distance handle this? Just take them off when you’re working on the computer? Or is that what bifocals are for?

    • Bifocals are for people who have the opposite issue you have – can’t see close up but can see far away. Do your glasses make things worse for you at your computer? Because if not, I’d just go the “wear them all the time and take them off at the computer if you remember” route. My eyesight is way worse than yours, but I can still read without glasses. I wear glasses all the time, but sometimes if I’m going to bed or similar, I will just read without them.

      • Eh – bifocals are for people who can’t see close up AND can’t see far away, but need different prescriptions to fix those problems. I think it would be weird to have part of your bifocal be non-prescription glass, but it’s probably technically possible. What you’ve described is just being far-sighted and needing reading glasses.

        If you only have a problem with one or the other, you get glasses to fix the one thing, and wear glasses while you do that thing.

      • Bifocals are just for two prescriptions, one of course could be Plano (no prescription) but it does have the downfall of a visible line across the lens which can feel aging to some people. Varifocal or occupational lenses have no visible lines and also allow for intermediate distance vision, but take a little more practice to get used to.
        Alternatively mono vision contact lenses as discussed are a great option.

    • Put them on when you need them, take them off when you don’t.

    • OG as gym bag? :

      I can see fine far away and have 20/20 vision, but I’ve been using drug-store glasses for a few years (OK with current eye dr) that have 1.25x magnifying. Presbyopia is a thing, y’all! It means old, tired eyes in Greek.

    • Yes. I was like you with perfect vision for 20 years. Now I have a low-ish prescription. My eye doctor encourages taking off glasses to do any kind of “up-close” work (computer, reading, etc) because otherwise it taxes the eyes and you risk altering your close vision, too (or something like that…point being, yes, I put my glasses on to walk away from my desk and take them off when I sit back down).

    • Anonymous :

      This is me. I often had a headache, especially in hearings because I was either wearing my glasses and squinting at my papers or not wearing my glasses and squinting at witnesses across the room. I was also constantly losing my glasses from taking them on and off, and nearly drove my ex-H to distraction asking if he’d seen them.

      An optometrist recommended “monovision” – wearing one contact lens. I have been doing this for maybe 10 years, wearing one contact for distance vision, so I use my left eye for driving, watching movies, etc., and my right eye for reading and close work. My eyes (or brain) adjusted very quickly.

      It has been GREAT – I can see all the time, I can simultaneously watch TV and do a crossword, I don’t have glasses to lose (and I hated how I looked in them) and the vision-related headaches are gone. The only downside is some effect on depth perception that took some getting used to; I had a minor rear-ender early one that was partly from that reason and, admittedly, partly from distraction.

      Try it!

      • This was me, don’t know why my name didn’t populate.

        One other possible benefit, at least IME: I am in my 50s and not wearing reading glasses, although my parents both needed them in their 40s. I don’t if it correlates to the monovision, but I’m happy about it.

      • Is that legal to wear only one contact while driving? And if so, that doesn’t seem very safe.

        • Not legal? It corrects my vision so that I can see quite well and I haven’t had a problem passing the driver’s license vision test. And I think it’s safer because I can easily read everything on the dashboard, the GPS, etc. as well as on the road in front of me.

          My minor depth-perception incident occurred at a stop light; I misjudged the distance to the car in front of me but I was also fishing around for something I had dropped on the floor. :(

          This system was recommended by an optometrist but my Board-certified ophthalmologist – who I see for an entirely unrelated condition – has no problems with it.

          • Anonymous :

            They normally test each eye separately at the DMV. Do you switch the contact? Or can you pass the test without corrective lenses? Obviously if you can pass the test without corrective lenses you can supplement your vision in one eye however you want. But if you have “corrective lenses required” printed on your license I can’t imagine that wearing a lens in only one eye would be legal.

    • Reconsider wearing your glasses when you are working at the computer not to improve vision but to prevent strain. When my vision started getting blurry, I went to get a checkup and was told that as we get older it becomes harder for our eyes to focus, leading to eye strain. My overall vision has improved since I’ve been wearing glasses to read and work at the computer.

    • Also Anon :

      Wear contacts if that’s an option for you. I got corrective lenses to help me see things at a distance. They never impacted my ability to read a book or computer screen…until recently. That’s due to age though (45). You will start to lose your near sightedness in your forties (just a fact of aging). I will need to get low dose reading glasses or transition lenses shortly.

  21. I’m starting a new job at a consulting firm next year that involves a lot of travel. Normally when I commute I just wear walking shoes. Do I need to be fully done up in my office wear while navigating through airports? Or can I wear a clean pair of walking shoes?

    • Are you rolling directly into client meetings or traveling with really senior level people? If not, don’t suit up and wear heels for the plane. I typically wear black skinny jeans, a long tunic blouse and a scarf for flights with comfortable slip-off shoes (in case my TSA pre-check fails).

    • platinomad :

      I’m a road warrior myself and normally travel in some casual clothes (put together but not business clothes; jeans, a flannel, some boots) and change into my suit after I land to limit the time I’m in work clothes/uncomfortable shoes/can spill things on my silk blouses.

  22. Am I overreacting over being fat shamed? I went on several dates with a great guy, and we were intimate. It seemed like everything was going well, except that he made a comment he’d never gone out with a bigger girl, and then (kind of to himself) he wondered what people would “think of him” for dating someone plus size.

    I’m not even *that* plus size (cusp size), but regardless of my shape and size, I am comfortable in my body. I actually gained a singificant amount of weight due to an illness, lost much of that weight, and am a pretty active person. I run several 5Ks a year, take brisk walks with my Jack Russell Terror 2-3xs/daily, and frankly am healthy and happy with myself. I didn’t share the illness as the reason for weight gain because (1) we dated a few weeks and (2) frankly its none of his business and (3) if he’s going to fat shame me, the cause of my weight gain is irrelevant.

    As a feminist I found it extremely insulting and a deal breaker. He apologized in the moment, and has been trying to get back in my good graces since then. However, I can’t see it going anywhere. Am I being too judgmental? FWIW, he isn’t particularly in shape. He’s average size/height, an academic, who doesn’t exercise. He’s been emailing/texting that he was wrong but thinks I”m overreacting.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :


    • housecounsel :

      I don’t think you’re overreacting! Block him! If nothing else, the sheer insecurity revealed by his comment would be such a turn-off to me, and I think it is to you, too.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Eff that. I’d be out. Not overreacting.

    • Not over-reacting at all.

      I might be tempted to actually tell him why. And then block.

      I’m sorry …. most people kinda suck. Most people.

    • It is totally insulting. You don’t want to be with someone who is questioning what others will think of him for being with you. And you don’t want to always be wondering if he finds you attractive.

      • Yeah, sub in literally anything else regarding “what would people think of me?” and you can see how offensive it is.

        “What would people think of me for dating a black girl?”
        “What would people think of me for dating a waitress?”
        “What would people think of me for dating a someone who speaks with an accent?”

        It implies a heavy value / moral judgment on something that should not have any assigned to it at all.

    • espresso bean :

      I do not think you are being too judgmental at all. His comment was way out of line. If he had just said the first part (not having gone out with a “bigger girl”), I would give him the benefit of the doubt. But the part where he wondered what people would think of him is unacceptable.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Yeah, I MIGHT be able to get past the first part. The second part clearly pushes me over the edge.

        I actually did kind of hook up with a guy once who then had his frat brother tell me that the guy didn’t actually want to date me because he always dates thin, beautiful girls. So OP, I’ve been there and it sucks. I’m sorry you are dealing with it.

        • I’ve definitely gotten the vibe from guys I’ve hooked up with that they were very attracted to my body type (sounds like similar to yours OP, cusp sized) but were not interested in dating me publicly because of it. Drop him stat! And tell him why! This kind of bs is why we should be able to leave public reviews for men, if only you could warn the non plus size ladies who might date him in the future that he will become a total a$$ if they gain weight some day.

    • No. Totally apart from the fat shaming (which itself is a deal breaker) I think the major issue here is that “what would people think of me?” is a legitimate concern for him in making life choices for himself. Even if it weren’t about fat shaming, that’s not a good thing at all.

    • Marshmallow :

      Nope, you’re not overreacting. And I gather he’s texting you to TELL you you’re overreacting? Then you’re really not overreacting.

    • Shots. Shots. Shots. :

      Girl. Dump him immediately because he is a horrible person. Then meet me at the bar. I’m ready for you.

    • I don’t think you’re overreacting. It’s even not that he called you a “bigger girl” – it’s that he seems to be very insecure about himself. Plus he’s almost certainly going to gain weight as he gets older and then you will have to deal with his body image issues.

    • The bar for “how offensive does a guy I’ve been on several dates with have to be before I throw him over” is *extremely* low. In fact, he doesn’t even have to be capital-O Offensive. The fact that you feel insulted and don’t want to go on another date with him is plenty.

    • Um, what? You’re not overreacting! If that comment actually passed all his filters and came out of his mouth, I cringe to imagine what he’s thinking and not saying. Boy, bye!

    • Dump him immediately. That is going to be a very long & awful life with someone who says and thinks things like that. Not even a slight bit overreacting in my book.

    • DTMFA. Not just because of the fat shaming, which is terrible, but because he’s trying to tell you you’re overreacting. Trying to control your reactions or shame you for them is manipulative and creepy and this dude deserves nothing more from you.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Woah, you are definitely not overreacting. This is so outrageous to me. You’re right, it has no relevance what your shape size height haircolor whatever is. You don’t deserve to be with someone who mumbles doubts about anything about you to himself … Trust your gut! This is wrong!

    • DTMFA. At best, he’s spinelessly insecure. At worst, he’s a manipulative @-hole.

    • Boy bye!

    • My take on it, though I have almost no dating experience and maybe unrealistic expectations: The awkward “never gone out with a bigger girl” comment I could forget and attribute to being nervous around someone new or just foot-in-mouth syndrome. But the “what will people think of me” comment…WTF, who thinks like that? I would not be able to forget that comment because it could say a lot about the kind of person he is.

    • lawsuited :

      I’m a size 18/20 and was a 14/16 when I met my husband 10 years ago, so I’d consider myself properly plus-sized. My husband has NEVER made a A SINGLE negative comment about my weight in 10 YEARS. You do not have to compromise on someone who even occasionally comments on your weight, and I don’t recommend you do.

  23. Not sure how to react to this situation.

    My boyfriend and I made plans to attend a hockey game tomorrow night, and I bought the tickets on Friday. I got a discount on them but they were still pretty pricey, but I thought it would be worth it. Today he’s telling me he’s going somewhere with a friend that night, and I asked if this means he’s not attending the game. Clearly, he made the plan with his friend forgetting ours.

    I’m not gonna rage on him or anything, but I am annoyed. But I want to handle this gracefully and not be passive aggressive, and wait for an appropriate time to tell him my feelings were hurt that he forgot our plans. If I told him it’s fine if he can’t break his plan to his friend, but I need to know sooner than later so I know if I need to take someone else, is that going to sound passive aggressive? I can’t get a refund at this point.

    • Sell the tickets on StubHub. Break up with this dude who doesn’t take you seriously and doesn’t make you a priority.

    • Just be direct and tell him you bought non-refundable tickets after you and he made plans to go to the game. Mistakes happen and it’s not that big a deal that he forgot, but (assuming his other plans don’t involve non-refundable tickets) he should reschedule those plans.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. In the moment you should have said “Hey, that’s the night we’re going to the game!” instead of “I guess that means you’re not going to the game!” If he forgot, then he needs to reschedule with the friend.

        • Baconpancakes :

          This. It’s been hard, but I’ve been trying to overcome my reticence to demand that people follow through on something they promised.

      • Anonymous :


        Definitely don’t volunteer that you understand that he picks going with the friend. Call him. He doesn’t need time to think about this. Either he confirms he’s going with you or not. If not, take another friend and think twice about this guy.

        Totally human to double book yourself – mistakes do happen but he should have apologized when you mentioned it and clearly stated that he would reschedule the friend. Exceptions only for friend in immediate need (wife just served divorce papers, just got news his Dad has cancer etc etc)

    • At this point, his social duty is to tell his friend “D’oh, when I made plans with you I forgot I already had plans for that day, so I can’t go with you after all.” Prior engagements have first dibs unless he has an emergency, and it doesn’t sound like he does.

      I don’t think what you put here is passive-aggressive, but the etiquette is clear enough that it would be totally reasonable for you to ask him to cancel on his friend.

    • That’s really rude. What did he say when you told him that you had bought the tickets you discussed? Unless you want to go with someone else, I would ask him to resell them and to recoup the cash you spent on them.

      • Jitterbug :

        I told him I couldn’t get a refund since I got them through Groupon, so he offered to either cover my ticket as well as his or buy us both tickets to another game some other time. I’d accept either, although I would expect some follow through on getting tickets for another game sooner than later. If he talks about it like it’s something he’s “gonna do at some point” I may just ask him to comp my ticket like he originally offered.

        And I have someone else who wants to go but she won’t know until later if she can actually go. So I may end up scrambling to find someone to take at the last minute, which would make me really annoyed.

        • Why isn’t he canceling with the friend?

          The only reason this is OK is if he didn’t know you bought the tickets. Did you make tentative plans weeks ago and then you bought the tickets on Friday night without telling him? Then OK he kind of has a point. But if you told him you were buying the tickets and he subsequently forgot and made other plans, he really needs to cancel the other plans unless it’s something earth shattering. Don’t be with someone who will let you plan and pay for something for the two of you and then blow you off because his bros want to hang out.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s not clear to me she told him she bought the tickets. It sounds like he said “I’ve got these other plans, so I can’t make the game after all” and she didn’t say anything. A tad flaky perhaps but I don’t think we should jump all over the boyfriend when she can’t even stand up for herself.

        • Oh yes, if she didn’t say anything he probably thought she hadn’t bought the tickets and that they weren’t actually going.

    • What did he say when you asked him if he’s not attending the game?

      What exactly are the plans with his friend? Like is his dying BFF coming to town one last time and the only time they can get together is during the game? Because that’s pretty much the only reason he shouldn’t just cancel with his friend. “Sorry dude, I forgot GF and I already had tix to a game, can we meet you for drinks after?” Really not a difficult conversation.

      • Jitterbug :

        Well the plan, without getting too specific, is a match with a new sports-type club he joined on Sunday. He’d been eyeing the place for a while and went yesterday, and really liked the place. I think he had a match with his usual Sunday club as well, so maybe the combination of a busy plan and excitement over the new place made him forget. He also asked how my DJ gig was. My DJ gig is tonight.

        My week is not off to a good start.

    • Anonymous :

      Girl. Woman up. “I’m going out with Fred Tuesday.” You- “wait, we made plans to go to the hockey game that night and I bought tickets already. Can you reschedule with Fred?”

      If he says no tell him he has to pay for both tickets, send him a venmo request, and tell him you are disappointed.

  24. Yikes. Alright, I am 5’4, 117 pounds and very fit. One night a while back, I was starting to get intimate with a new guy. He made a comment about being a “brea$t man” and suddenly I was completely self-conscious because mine are on the small side of average. It was done.

    This is a long-winded way of saying that I would drop this guy fast. We all have the right to feel desired by our partners, and if I was in your shoes his words would throw a lot of shade on my self image.

    Then again, maybe I am over-sensitive and single for a reason:)

    • Britt, I’m built similarly. Depending on the tone he used, though, I might give that guy the benefit of the doubt! Just because he’s a “brea$t man” doesn’t mean he doesn’t enjoy small ones.

    • You are not over sensitive. I am in your shoes (similar sized). I was always at best a B-cup but after nursing 2 kids and weaning them I lost even more bust size (I feel like a prepubescent. Like AA cup or something. Still wearing my padded A cup bras). My DH is thankfully very loving and pretends to not notice or care about cup size.
      All this is a roundabout way of saying – if someone had made that comment when you are “normal”, you were right to drop him. Because things may get worse before they (hopefully) get better, and you want someone who will love you regardless.

  25. Possible road warrior :

    I am considering a position that would have me working from home and traveling via car and airplane every other week. I’d also be flying back to central office roughly every other month. What are some good blogs or resources to read about how to make this work? I know this isn’t new, just new to me, and I want to consider it with eyes wide open.

    • I don’t know about any good resources, but I did this for about a year & it was exhausting. I ended up leaving the company I was with because of that type of schedule. I’m someone who likes to have a routine & with that kind of schedule, it was impossible to keep one. I also was always playing catch-up with my life in the city I lived in – I had to put off seeing friends on travel weeks, which made the weeks I was home packed with activity. If I let that go, I felt even more disconnected. It was also really hard to stay healthy – hotel living, eating all meals out when on the road, etc. make it really tough. I also never felt connected to my office/coworkers because I wasn’t there all the time & that definitely impacted my upward mobility there. It was the worst of all worlds – no “lifestyle” in trade for low-promotion opportunities. Anyway, everyone’s different but this so did not work for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know of any good blogs or resources. There are blogs, like Road Warriorette, but they seem to focus on buying a lot of junk you don’t need and won’t want to tote around with you. I think part of the trick is figuring out how to deal on the road and having a “normal” routine while you travel.

    • espresso bean :

      Check out Hitha on the Go’s archives. I learned about her blog from someone on this s i t e. She has great tips on packing and planning for travel.

  26. Double chin fix? :

    I’m thinking about doing something about my double chin. Even when I’m at my lowest weight, it will not go away. Although I would consider liposuction, I thought the new alternatives should interesting. Has anyone tried Kybella or Coolsculpting? Also, anyone have recommendations for a plastic surgeon in DC?

    • SuziStockbroker :

      Actually a friend of mine did the liposuction (and she also had a chin implant done, as she had a bit of a receding chin paired with a not-tiny nose); she is super happy and her recovery (even with the more “invasive” surgery than you are contemplating) was very fast.

    • Anonymous :

      I am late to this, I hope you see this response. I went to Dr. Chang on K Street in DC for Kybella earlier this year. I needed three treatments, it was worth every penny! Zero downtime, $1800 total. A complete life-changing effect!

  27. Recommendations for a place to buy 28 waist men’s jeans? That could be found in a large shopping mall (like, say, King of Prussia)? I am trying to help a friend locate some and it’s been somewhat challenging.

  28. I used to curl my fine, thick wavy hair under with a big curling iron. Shoulder length, light layers. Now I shower in the mornings and want to see if I can get 90% of to this look with a very quick blowdrying and some great product. I’m also extremely lazy and cheap, so unlikely to spend lots on a good blowdryer since I’m more likely to just give up and clip my hair back.

    Currently, I’m using John Frieda straightening crème and a smoothing hair spray now with about 2 minutes of blowdrying and the front/top is good enough, but the back in particular is a hot wavy mess. How do you straighten the back? More time? More direct heat? Is there a better product? Mousse did not work.

    • Adding that my hair is pretty dry and can be fragile, so pulling it straight with a brush while blowdrying seems really destructive to do daily (and I want to wash my hair each day).

    • Anonymous :

      Can you get a perm?

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I gave up straightening my similar hair. I no longer wash it every day. I braid it at night, and just wear it wavy (the braid makes the wave more consistent). When it was longer, I would bun it, even better if it was very slightly damp, on top of my head over night. Bun waves in the am.

    • How do you feel about rollers (hot or Velcro)? I have fine wavy hair that tends to look messy if I don’t tend to it carefully and rollers are basically my secret. They still take some time, but unlike an iron, you can do other things while your hair is setting.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      If your hair is pretty dry, you definitely should not be washing every day! Would you be willing to spend a bit longer every 3 days on doing a nice blow out that would then last for 3 days? If you wash it less frequently, you will find it is less dry and much less fragile.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I know, but I can’t take the greasiness during the work week and I don’t like dry shampoos enough. I actually do usually go two days on weekends.

  29. Suggestions for favorite chelsea boots? Preferring low heel, preferably with rubber sole. So far, I’m liking the LL Bean version but would love to hear your recommendations. I’m a 6M.

    Link to the LL Bean: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/112646?productId=1565263&attrValue_0=Black&pla1=0&mr:trackingCode=0D793E5E-9037-E611-80EE-00505694403D&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=c&mr:adType=plaonline&qs=3125166_google&cvosrc=cse.google.0RMW404060&cvo_crid=121978861400&lsft=qs:3125166_google,product:0RMW404060,cvosrc:cse.google.0RMW404060,cvo_crid:121978861400&gclid=CImJjfy0utACFUEWMgodag8DMQ&gclsrc=ds

    • Everyday necklace :

      Check out the Clark’s Ruby Othea Chelseas, I think the heel is around 2.5” though.

    • espresso bean :

      Here are a few cute ones:

      Urban Outfitters suede Chelsea




  30. Anon-in-House :

    I just took an in-house job. Higher salary, commute is 10 minutes as opposed to current 1 hour commute, no billable hours. I want to throw a party!

    • That is so awesome! Congrats!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Congratulations! The shorter commute alone is reason to celebrate.

    • You should absolutely throw a party! I did when I got a new job. Congrats!

    • Meredith Grey :

      WOOP WOOP, JACKPOT!!! I’d come to that party!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Welcome to the other side! It’s lovely. Having no billable hours completely changed my life.

      • Anon-in-House :

        Thanks! I am excited for it, but it’s like I almost can’t imagine how much of my life I just got back. Conceptually I know it is a huge perk of the in-house lifestyle, but I’ve been billing hours for so long I find myself having a hard time even imagining how that will be in real life!

        • Frozen peach :

          late from yesterday, but I just went through this transition. be prepared that it takes about a year to fully adjust/recover from the PTSD. :) And that it will just keep getting better.

  31. Baconpancakes :

    I know it’s not a huge amount, but I lost three pounds in the last month from a) cutting down on drinking and b) going to the gym, and the pants that were too tight in August fit great now! (Total of 8 lbs lost since then.) I’m ok with slow and steady, so yay!

  32. Anonymous :

    Flat shoe help!! Any recommended dressy shoes that I can wear with a sprained ankle?

    I stumbled down the stairs over the weekend. My ankle is swollen, and I’m going to see the doctor today, but its clearly sprained or strained. I’m limping and in pain despite my best RICE efforts. The top of my foot is quite swollen in addition to the right side o fmy ankle.

    Of course, it figures that I have an important, black tie event in a week. How should I handle shoes? I literally could only get my fat foot into my sneakers today. Anyone been in this situation? I’m thinking of buying 2 pairs of shoes and wearing the larger one on the swollen foot. I assume I’ll have my ankle wrapped, which sucks, but I’m more concerned about having a shoe to fit over this mess.

    Suggestions, sympathy? Anything? FOOEY!!

    • Anonymous :

      Could be a fractured fibula too so you maybe could be in a walking boot. Just paint your nails nicely? Then you can still wear a heel on the other foot since the heights will be similar.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I had to wear a boot to a black tie event a few years ago. I wore a kitten heel on one foot, to put it even with the boot, and I wore a long dress. it wasn’t really noticeable unless I pointed it out. When the boot came off, I found it very difficult to find a comfortable shoe other than a sneaker.

      So my recommendation is to get a floor length dress and if you need to wear a sneaker on one foot, do that.

    • Wear a clog, maybe?

    • This happened to me in May and they put me in a boot. After 6 weeks, I downsized to a brace and wore Trotters shoes. Since it was summer, I wore sandals, but these might fit the bill for you:


    • Oh dear.

      If you are in a boot, no one will really notice it unless you point it out. It was when I had my boot that I realized I was spending all this money on cute shoes and nobody every looked at my feet.

      I’d wait to see what the doc gives you – I had a sprain that left me casted then booted for at least 2 months. If you get casted, you have to have a flat shoe on the other foot because you will likely be non weight bearing and you can’t be crutching around in heel. Even with a boot, I’d recommend a flat shoe on the other foot for best balance.

  33. Of course he should worry about what people think of him, especially the woman he’s trying to date! You can do much better.

  34. Sloan Sabbith :

    I have the Target blazer here in grey and love it. I’m thinking I’ll get it in black, too. I wear it at least once a week, if not more.

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