Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Jackie Sleeveless Fit and Flare Dress 

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

Fit-and-flare dresses are always very popular, but sometimes the flare gives them too much of a 1950s look, and sometimes the skirt is very short. This one has a nice flounce to it but isn’t too flouncy for work, or too short (note that the model is 5’9″) — it just looks like a great dress. I like the way the armholes are cut in the back, but depending on your bra situation and your comfort level, you may not be a fan. The dress comes in navy, orange, and blue and is $345 at Reiss. (Unfortunately, Reiss only offers sizes 0–10.) Jackie Sleeveless Fit and Flare Dress

Two more affordable options are at Amazon (straight sizes XS–XL) and Talbots (misses, petites, woman, and woman petites).

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Comments

  1. bra band size rant :

    So, I got a puberty book for my tween daughter and it has a chapter in it on bra sizes. For band sizes, it has the old “measure and add 5 inches” advice.

    I used to follow this (30″ ribcage) and was put into 36A bras as a kid (puberty hit early). It was awful — the thing floated around, the straps always fell down, and the cups never actually cupped (and dug in in the wrong places). And yet: that was what the math said to do.

    Later, I got some VS bras (34B) and a wonderbra, and they were slightly better (the WB b/c it had a wider stance, if that makes sense). But still: lumpiness; occasional quad boob (how is this possibly if I was measuring a 36A???), straps never staying up.

    I read later that Kate Moss is a 32B and a lightbulb went off: maybe this is what I am! I found 2 bras in that size after hours at a mall and they were the best thing I found until going to a fancy bra store (that, sadly, didn’t cater to smaller people; they never do — do I need to go to Japan or somewhere like Hawaii with a sizeable Asian population???) that (correctly IMO) put me in a 30D and FINALLY I found a bra size that fits me.

    I did a deep dive on the reddit a Bra that fits and it seems that the advice is: for small band sizes is that “#+5” does not work at the ends of the spectrum. I had to tell my husband — if I die before [child] gets her first bra, please take her to Store X in our city b/c the advice in that book is just all wrong for someone with our build.

    • This is definitely accurate for me. My uneducated go-to was a 34 a. Turns out I need to be looking at a 30/32 C or D. Especially for strapless bras. I internally lol at the idea that I have a C cup.

      • Me too! I’ve always been flat chested, my bras were 34A/32B. When I got measured and the woman said 30D I nearly fell over.

        • Not just you, sister.

          I had no idea that bras even came in 30s. I mean, VS never had anything smaller than a 34. It’s like a Yeti — maybe theoretically they exist, but I haven’t seen one.

          But once I started wearing work blouses, the bra situation was just intolerable b/c everything was obvious (too small, so small chest quad boob is a thing; too big and was gaping or looking lumpy). Straps never stayed up.

          I am not so small (plenty of other women, often asian or hispanic, are my size; I would think that many tweens are as well even) that it seems that I should have taken decades to figure this out.

          And for specialty bra stores: plz stock on both ends of the spectrum. If you stock my size, and it doesn’t look industrial (or you only offer unlined 30D bras (why do I want to have to advertise my coldness all the time? sometime is OK but I’d like a lined option too)), I would happily support your business.

        • Me too, 32DD here and no one would look at me and think I have large ones.

          • Me too. Also doesn’t help that I am tall.

          • Me three! 32D, and the D just sounds ridiculous. To look at me you’d assume 34B.

          • I have to explain to my husband that it is a 34B volume on a smaller ribcage. That seemed to make spacial sense to him.

    • I think the general wisdom for most women is that we need bigger cup sizes and smaller band sizes. (Although every time I’ve had a bra fitting they want to put me in a 34 or 36 band and I refuse because I can’t breathe.)

      • No Problem :

        The “expert” at Nordstrom told me I was a 32B just from looking at me even though the reason I was there was that I could barely clasp my 32A strapless on the loosest clasp and even then had fat galore spilling on the sides and back. She was surprised when the 32B was too tight in the band and I didn’t fill out the cup, and refused to pull a 34A for me. I went down to Macy’s and got the 34A, which actually fits and allows me to breathe. Realistically I’m probably a 33A or B, but unfortunately that’s not a size.

        • I think it’s a starting point. To help with trying on. Thanks to Macy’s and VS, I literally had no idea what smaller band sizes even existed.

          • No Problem :

            The problem was that she used it as both a starting point and an ending point. I wasn’t what she thought I was, and therefore did not deserve to buy anything from her.

        • Depending on how far down the rabbit hole you want to go… I am also a 33 band size, and the fancy [email protected] store I go to actually includes free tailoring, so I have several in a 33 from my last trip. For replacements, I just size up one, but it’s nice to have the option.

    • FYI – Aerie has bras in smaller band sizes like 30A, 32A/B/C, etc

    • Mamanxiety :

      that is really funny that that is your anxiety fear – if you die before your daughter gets her first bra.
      Maybe my equivalent as the Jewish mama in an interfaith relationship is that if I die, I want my sons to become bar mitzvah?
      Or I, with straight hair, was petrified in case I got a curly-haired daughter and had no idea what to do to make her presentable, much less cute?

      Love the mamanxiety that is completely irrational….

    • My 17yo daughter is thin but busty (thanks genes on her dad’s side!) and finds that bras in her actual reddit ABTF measurements – 28F/FF or 30E/F – hurt her ribs. So she buys 32DD, or 32DDD if we ever see one, and those are somewhat more comfortable for her and she’ll wear them. But I know they’re not her real size.

      Honestly, she’d just prefer bralettes, like most of her friends wear, but we have to buy the expensive Cosabella curvy fit ones. And even then, critical mom here feels they’re not supportive enough.

      I guess my point is, you can do all that ABTF work with the five or six measurements, but you may end up with a less than perfectly fitting bra that your kid will actually wear.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, the ABTF measurements are for people who must have more fat on their ribcages, or like wearing their bra underwires in between their ribs. Ouch. Personally I feel that each manufacturer’s measuring guidelines are the best for their own bras.

  2. I left a very large company a month ago and still have the corporate laptop. I want to return it, but the company hasn’t provided a way to. Is this normal? When should I expect to receive instructions?

    • Anonymous :

      Weird. Our stuff gets turned in in the exit interview. And then they remotely wipe our phones (did this happen to your computer? we remote wipe when things are lost/missing/stolen).

    • Anonymous :

      Did you work remotely? I have never been able to walk out of the building on my last day without turning in all of my company-owned equipment.

      Have you asked them about it?

      • Anonymous :

        Very few of the company’s offices allow employees to turn in equipment on-site. Mine did not.

        • That’s interesting! I turned my stuff into my manager. I believe that all of our sites (minus remote folks) require that equipment be turned in before leaving.

          What did your separation contact say about it? They should be able to provide you with a mailing address for the equipment.

    • Anonymous :

      What do they say when you ask?

    • Anonymous :

      I was in this situation. I’m in NC and they wanted me to send it to Arizona.

      I told them I was happy to do that, but they had to pay for UPS or FedEx to pack it and ship it across the county (I was mostly concerned because I had no way to protect it during shipping). They were a large enough company that they had an account with UPS, so they created a label, emailed it to me, and this label somehow indicated to UPS that I was not paying for the packaging. I would offer that up as a suggestion.

      • +1 I did this too, after a remote contract ended (former in-person employer turned into a remote gig when I moved).

    • Email then – so it is writing – and ask for instructions. Give them a deadline.

  3. Sorry to ask a question that seems to get asked over and over – I’m looking for a convertible tote/crossbody bag, preferably leather. But I keep running into the fact that the tote straps are too short. I like the idea of the Cuyana carryall tote with the crossbody strap, but for some reason the tote straps are shorter on that bag than they are on the normal tote. This is probably not making sense, but if anyone understands it, please send recommendations! Thanks.

    • Dagne Dover midi tote? It comes with a cross body, and I love mine!

    • I think it’s called the drop? The distance from the strap to the purse? You will probably want something higher than 11″. I learned that from this s i t e and also The Work Edit slash Cap Hill Style so please feel free to correct me, Handbag Experts!

  4. Anonymous :

    Recommendations for a stylish, packable, UPF hat? Despite using all the sunscreen, I consistently get burned on the top of my forehead and through my hair (not just my part, like on my scalp even if I pile my hair on top of my head). I’m reconciling myself with the fact that I just need to wear a hat if I’m out in the middle of the day. I packed my favorite floppy brimmed hat for a beach trip and it’s never been the same. The packable hats I’m seeing on Amazon look like something my mom wore in the 70s. Is there such a thing as a cute, modern hat that will survive packing?

    • Diana Barry :

      How do you define “cute”? And how big is your head? I have an LL Bean UPF 50 hat that I like, but it’s not big enough for me so I always wear my Tilley hat, which is more like intrepid explorer than “cute”.

    • Anonymous :

      Sol a Mer

    • Anonymous :

      Look for a Panama style, they’re stylish right now.

    • I have a big head (regular hats squeeze my head), but if you do too, I would highly recommend this hat. https://www.sungrubbies.com/collections/hats-for-larger-women-heads/products/havana-hat-1

      Packs decently well, good price and I’m gotten compliments on the style.

    • Not sure what you define as cute, but I bought the Wallaroo packable hat recommended here recently and quite like it. They have other styles though and I think a lot of them are packable.

      • So did I, and I think it’s pretty cute. I’m also big on baseball caps – I’ve got a collection from horse shows and skiing events that I wear around the barn or to go hiking or whatever.

      • I have the Wallaroo Naples hat. It’s great.

    • I have a floppy cotton hat from San Diego Hat Company … I think I bought it on Zappos. I can crumple it up to pack it and it bounces right back.

      A hat will do more to protect your face, but if you’re sunscreen’d up and just need to protect your scalp, maybe a scarf or bandanna would help?

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure if packable, but check out this hat from Costco

      https://www.costco.com/Solar-Escape-Ladies’-UV-Sierra-Hat.product.100401010.html

    • I just bought this hat from LLbean that looks great and not too old-fashioned: https://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/516614?originalProduct=120029&productId=1662628&attrValue_0=Chambray&pla1=0.

    • Anonymous :

      I swear I was coming here today to post this same question!!! Thank you. I do sunscreen each day but want to do more.

  5. Anonymous :

    Anybody going to the Caps parade today? It’s beautiful weather for it!

  6. BettySmith :

    Anyone have a current Rothys referral code? Thanks!

  7. I am coming to NY for a wedding weekend, before heading farther north for vacation. I am thinking about checking my (large, rolling) vacation suitcase at or near Penn Station, and just relying on a duffel for the NY weekend.

    Has anyone checked a suitcase for 3 days around Penn Station? I’ve googled and checked Penn Station’s website and can’t figure out if this is a thing at the station. It looks like there’s a “bagbnb” that lets you do this, but I’m a little worried about how secure my bag would be. Any thoughts?

    • No idea if this is a thing at the station, but personally I’d check with the hotel you’re staying in in NY and see if they’ll keep it for you. Short of that, I’m a fan of the two bag approach, but I’d probably just keep the big suitcase with you and not unpack or use things in there over the weekend. A train station would make me nervous.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I don’t think this is a thing at Penn Station itself. I’ve been all over the station – Long Island, NJ/Amtrack sides, and have never seen this as an option. You might have options within a few blocks, but I agree that I would just leave your bag wherever you’re staying.

    • Linda from HR :

      There is a bag check at the station, but I think it’s intended more for short-term storage so you can explore midtown Manhattan for the day without having to lug everything around, you’d probably need to contact the station to find out if long-term storage is an option. Is there a reason why you can’t take the rolling suitcase to the hotel? Are you taking the subway?

      • I’m staying with friends in NY on Friday, we’re headed out of the city for the wedding, and then coming back into NY on Sunday. Just trying to reduce the amount of hassle–I figured if I can pay $40 to store it for the weekend near Penn Station, it’d be totally worth it in terms of hassle! Yes, will be getting to friends place via subway, and from prior NYC trips, I know that rolling suitcases are tough.

        • Any chance you could ship your rolling bag ahead to your vacation destination for a reasonable price?

    • I used a place about a four-block walk from Penn to store a back for a few hours with success. You pay by the day. Schwartz Luggage Storage.

  8. Just wanted to say thanks to the people who responded to my post about my wedding ouroboros yesterday! I didn’t have a chance to get back online yesterday, but I read over them this morning. Since I posted, my mom has indicated that she will throw money at the venue above our previously-discussed number, if it means that she can get what she wants. So ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Wedding planning, man. I knew that this would be A Thing with my family dynamics, but knowing it intellectually and living it are two different things…

    • If you haven’t already, check out A Practical Wedding — lots of good advice there. Good luck and congratulations!

    • Congratulations and I’m glad things are working out for you!

      I posted here a few months ago about family who were getting verbally abusive about my wedding. The support and advice were invaluable.

      • Thanks! I’m sure this won’t be my last wedding-related post…

        I’m sorry that your family got verbally abusive (!!) about your wedding. That is truly horrible.

        • I’ve lost two grandparents in the last two years, so on one hand, there’s a lot that I will put up with, because, well, I’m happy that everyone else is still alive and able to celebrate with me. But… other family dynamics (too long to go into here) means my wedding is caught in the crossfire / a way for everyone to exercise control, and it’s like – wow, you literally cannot give it a rest long enough to be happy for me and to celebrate with me.

          Their loss. My regrets end the day my honeymoon starts. Theirs go on for a lifetime.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Good luck! Weddings can be a complete quagmire. What worked well for me and my fiance is that we ended up picking the photographer we wanted, and from there, we got her available dates. She also gave us a lot of vendor recommendations for venues she’d shot in the past, and places where the management was a nightmare. Picking 1 thing really helps set everything in motion. I also second the recommendation for a wedding planner. Depending on your event, it may be more affordable than you think. Since our venue is more of a full service vendor (they do 100s of weddings a year, have a built in catering company, etc), she only charged us 50% of her usual rate since everything was already pretty much planned for a lot of the basics. But she’s doing our wedding day itinerary, for example, which was so helpful I think it was 100% worth the fee.

      • Yes, I’m knee-deep in the muck right now–unfortunately my hometown has turned into a wedding destination, so venues are very limited on the dates that work for us (for pesky reasons like “our jobs,” not “I want peonies to be in season”). I’m starting with the venue, since apparently that’s going to be the sticking point. What a great idea to ask your photographer for recommendations, though!

        I’m getting a planner/coordinator FOR SURE. I have some calls scheduled for this week, I just don’t want to sign a contract with one until I have a date/venue.

        • Veronica Mars :

          Good luck! Once you pick your venue, hopefully it will start to fall into place. Just having fewer choices can make the whole process less overwhelming. The photographer also might know of some nontraditional venue choices as well–even if you’re not hiring them first, it helps to ask. Ours told us about a private house on a meadow that wasn’t listed anywhere online where she did lots of weddings for locals. Or, she mentioned how we could get a permit from the government and do the ceremony on public land that had a mountain backdrop. They shoot hundreds of weddings so they really know a lot of tricks. Your planner will also likely have similar recommendations.

  9. Technology :

    I’m at a midsize firm that has a reputation for being very old school. I work from home occasionally (maybe 2 or 3 times a month) for example if I have a client meeting in the middle of the day in the opposite direction of my office I’ll work from home in the time around the meeting rather than go into the office before and after. Same with appointments etc. This seems entirely reasonable to me and more efficient as it allows me to bill more rather than commuting. No one has specifically said anything about it but I’ve noticed that none of the other attorneys seem to do it and there seems to be a very heavy face time culture. Including on weekends etc. I have a young daughter and I much prefer to work from home if I have to on the weekends so I can maximize my time with her.

    On a few occasions I will come into the office to find an assignment from the managing partner on my desk dated a few days before. For example I was out at a client meeting yesterday and came in today to find an assignment from partner dated Saturday. I don’t want him to think that I’m a slacker or being unresponsive but I had no way to know that the assignment (handwritten note with stack of documents to review) was there. Is it unreasonable for me to ask him to email me or call me with the assignment? I don’t want to be difficult but I’m getting frustrated with people’s refusal to use email or phone to communicate compared to my old firm where many people worked from home and email and phone were primary methods of communication.

    • The solution to this is to have your assistant sweep your desk on days you’re not in the office, not to ask people to change their habits.

      • Yes, I agree. My manageing partner has Lynn send me everything via email so that I can respond instanteanousely if I am out of the office. Of course, I get to bill the cleint even before I do any work on the case based on the manageing partner’s direction. Last week, I fell short and onley billed 165 hours b/c Rosa’s kids had the shigella and I spent time helping her on Thursday. The manageing partner wants 170 hours from me unless I clear it first that I was helping Rosa. FOOEY!

    • BabyAssociate :

      Why not ask your assistant to check your office to see if anything has been left for you?

      • +1 Ask your assistant to swing by your office every day at lunch time and email you if there are any assignments left on your desk.

        • Anonymous :

          But this was left on a Saturday – should they have to swing by on weekends? I don’t think that’s reasonable for an assistant (though I admittedly know nothing about law firms).

          • No, but have the assistant do it first thing Monday morning. If he left it on a Saturday not knowing if you’d come in on the weekend, it is reasonable to assume that he did not need it Monday morning.

      • This. Ask your assistant to check your office oon the days that you are not in by 10am.

        I WFH on Saturday afternoons when the baby naps. It’s a facetime heavy office so I tend to make a point of calling a colleague to discuss an issue or sending emails when I’m WFH during that time (visible work) instead of reading case law/researching etc which I tend to do in my office.

    • I think your request is very reasonable. At the very least, partner could send you a quick email saying that he left an assignment or documents for you and you can go pick them up. Unfortunately, whether a request is reasonable does not determine whether an old school partner will see it that way. Is there a trusted associate or staff member who works with the partner(s) that you can ask to see if this request will be well received? It should be easy enough to couch the request as a “help me help you.”

      • To be clear, this request would be when the office is closed. Like others have said, your secretary should check when she’s there.

    • I think your firm is probably a bad fit for your work style, honestly. Are you an associate?

      • Also, the memo dated Saturday sounds like a passive-aggressive way of telling you to be in the office more.

        • Agreed.

        • +1

          I’d try to lateral.

        • Wow. You may be right, but that’s crazy. OP is working from home on the weekends, and she didn’t mention that she’s not getting her work done or that her hours are low. She was out of the office for a client meeting on Monday, for goodness’ sake!

          If someone left documents on my desk on a Saturday, I’d assume (1) he or she didn’t plan to be at the office on Monday, and (2) it wasn’t a rush, so he or she didn’t feel like it was worth emailing about.

          • Yeah, I mean… I’m cynical for a reason. (I also worked at a firm that valued face time, and working from home 2-3 business days per month as an associate would be considered a career-limiting move).

      • Agree with both of these comments. Like, who DATES notes that they drop off at someone’s desk? That partner wanted OP to know exactly how long the assignment had been sitting there.

        I despise facetime, I think it’s totally dumb. But if your office requires facetime then you have to put in facetime if you want to succeed. Otherwise it won’t matter how hard you work or how many hours you bill, you’ll always be the slacker who’s never around… and they might even think you’re inflating your hours.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          Unfortunately, I agree with this. As I was reading OP’s post, the first thing that came to mind is, she’s answered her own qeustion. The firm values face time.

    • In a culture that values facetime, I don’t think working from home 2-3 weekdays per month will go over well. But WFH on the weekends is completely reasonable if you can get the work done from there, and there are plenty of legitimate business reasons, like client meetings, to be out of the office, and you should definitely not feel guilty or like a slacker for it. If your office culture is at all sane, you can tell the partner, “I was out at Client’s Office yesterday for Matter X, and I just received the documents you left for me. I’ll review them by such-and-such time.”

      It sounds like you may need to make it known ahead of time when you’re planning to be out of the office–tell your secretary and the people you’re working for directly. And definitely tell your secretary to check your desk and inbox and let you know if anyone has left something for you, or if you have important mail, etc.

      • This. Do the electronic equivalent of facetime – send emails to those folks dropping the memos, call them at their desk, etc. to discuss the matters and see if there’s anything going on you should be aware of, if not, you’ll focus on a, b, c and see them next in the office bright and early on (whatever) day and then email them to inform them of your status. It’s overkill but so is “facetime” ughhhhhh

  10. Where do you buy your pillows? I need to get four standard-size pillows for my kids’ rooms so I want good but not super-duper high-end. I have no clue where to start with this! Thanks.

  11. Biglaw Associate :

    So… are we biglaw associates all going to get raises? I am in a non-NYC/Cal/DC market but benefited from the last round of raises. Most people in my office think its unlikely but DH and I want to remodel the bathroom so figures crossed;)

    • This reminds me of 2005 and 2007 where there were raises at the end of the economic cycle. Then there were terrible layoffs. I was a junior associate at this time.

      This makes me very nervous personally. We are at the end of an economic cycle, and our president is engaging in trade wars. I think many firms will give these raises that may not be able to afford it. Do not think that equity partners will take the hit. If associates are not busy and are not profitable, they will be laid off.

      • This. I want a raise as much as the next guy but in what universe is this a good idea?? The people who are managing partners now were also managing partners in 07-08, yet they’ve totally forgotten? Sitting here in an already not busy enough lit practice — there’s work but not everyone is crazy busy across the board. No way our partners take a hit when the comp line item goes up and no way corporate takes a hit since that’s the more dominant department — it’s going to be litigators being shown the door.

      • +1 I think it just means that associates get pushed out earlier, regardless of whether it is a good or bad economy. Firms that use to let ok associates stay till 5th year before pushing them out are now pushing them out as 4th years, and with this change, it will be as 3rd years.

        • Can you explain this a little more? Aren’t even very senior associates profitable for the firm? My understanding was always that your salary was tied to your billing rate, so if your salary goes up your billing rate will go up too and you will continue to be profitable, unless a huge chunk of your time is written off (but I would think write-offs are much less of an issue with 3rd/4th years vs 1st years).

        • The whole point is they work you, take your hours, over bill you to the clients if they can, and hope you leave for work life balance before you get too expensive. Most people accept leaving too. You gotta try to get the cash while you’re there. I’ve not really seen firms be successful at driving people out until they are older (like over 5 or 6 years).

      • Me too. I have a hard time imagining that it’s sustainable to have 1st years in my non NY/DC/SF market jumping from 135 to what, 165? in 2 years.

        Salaries may have increased to where they were before the crash, but it seems like client’s perceptions of how much associate time is worth and firm’s ideas of how big the summer class needs to be have not rebounded that much, and never will.

    • I hope not.

      We now have 3 of the 4 clients I work on refusing to pay for first year associates at all, so IDK how people are going to get work b/c the clients are already fed up or are demanding huge discounts (or all of the above). So I think that forces more layoffs of underperformers / low billers / failure to click / firm culture mismatches, etc.

      • NYC associate :

        Out of curiosity, would you mind sharing whether you’re in lit or corporate and what type of firm you’re at? I’ve seen comments about this practice in past but haven’t heard of it at either of the two biglaw firms that I worked at.

        • AmLaw 50 firm.

          Clients you’ve heard of. Maybe not everyone working on a file gets to see the outside counsel guidelines, but they are there and it seems that all big clients share them.

          I do transactional work but these all apply to everything but fixed-fee engagements, so including litigation.

        • +1 AmLaw 50 firm; many clients will only pay for first-year associate time with prior approval. Some clients will not allow anyone below third year to be staffed unless the client specifically approves the individual associate’s participation.

      • And yet firms are somehow making record profits…

        • I don’t think that that is true across the board. I am on one client’s client committee at my firm and any client big enough to give us a significant volume of work is demanding bigger and bigger discounts. One client I swear we paid them to do their work. It is crazy — big clients know they can demand this (maybe not at Wachtell, but for the rest of us) and we can’t risk saying no.

          This may be you / your firm if you are limited to one verb per time entry and have to bill in tenths of an hour.

          And I do billing for one client and clients that pay within 3 months are amazing (and, sadly, rare). I wish we got retainers or had them prepay (or pay at closing) b/c it is the most depressing thing in the world to give up significant chunks of your life for a client and then beg and plead for them to pay (and/or deal with their legal billing system where you can’t talk to a real person).

          I love practicing law, but I loathe this part of the practice.

          • Wait doesn’t everyone bill in tenths of an hour?

            In any event, thanks for this post. This is a perspective that sadly a lot of associates don’t get.

      • Anonymous :

        I hardly think Biglaws problems are the e pensive first years!! Yes tons of problems with the model but J.R. associates are the last people I’d blame. I think it’s fair comp for giving up your life/health for while, accepting the anxiety and the firm rakes in cash as you get older. My shops have been slow over the years and always manages to bring in 2-4x my salary, usually 3x. No tears from me!

    • NYC associate :

      I’m putting my money on most firms raising salaries in major markets and letting smaller offices as is. Do Houston associates need more money for COL? Seems unlikely

      • JuniorMinion :

        They don’t and im not a lawyer but an ex banker. Houston gets paid market with NYC due to revenues. At least in banking (and I’ve heard anecdotally in law its a similar general situation) oil and gas / energy can sometimes be 20-25% generator of ibd revenues due to the large amounts of transactions and ways to play in the capital raising etc. chain.

  12. I need to buy some cheap and fun decorations for a bachelor*tte party next month. What’s your favorite party store, in-person or online? For reference, I live in the Bay Area.

  13. PSA: I flew cross-country on Delta yesterday and they made all the usual announcements about how you could gate-check a roller bag for free to save space. Then, by my zone (zone 2), the gate agent claimed that there was “no space left” and it was “already 100% full” so everyone with a bag had to gate check them right now. I found this suspicious, but went along with it. Then I got on board and the overhead bins were MAYBE half full and 100% full in my section of the plane. Unfortunately, by the time I realized this, my bag was already in the hand of the baggage handler heading down below. I mentioned the problem to the flight attendant and she acted confused as to why the gate agent would report it’s already 100% full.l

    My PSA is therefore: get the bag tagged, but look down the aisle of the plane before actually handing it over. I did not appreciate having to lose access to my bag and to wait at baggage claim for no reason.

    • Whoops, meant 100% EMPTY in my section of the plane.

    • Veronica Mars :

      They were probably behind schedule and wanted a quick boarding time. Having people come back off the plane with suitcases is time consuming. Next time you can say, “I’ll take my chances, I’m an expert at turning bags around and making room.” If you’re zone 3-4 however, I’d go ahead and check. Same with SWA, if you’re past B30 you may not have any room.

    • I mean… I don’t appreciate that everyone insists on bringing their big 22″ rolling bag onto the plane and so the plane gets delayed because so many bags have to be gate checked. If you must retain control of your bag then pack lighter.

      • People only “insist” on bringing their rollerboard bags aboard because airlines started charging to check them. If they want faster boarding times, they need to change the incentives, not misrepresent how much overhead space is left.

        • I knew someone was going to mention the checked bag fee. Airlines started charging to check a bag so they didn’t have to increase ticket prices across the board just because of the weight of bags – which wouldn’t be fair to people who bring a carry on sized carry on. If you want to bring a big bag, you SHOULD be paying more.

          • Then make it free to check a carry on sized bag.

          • 1) They charge overweight bag fees, so that argument doesn’t hold. They already penalize people for luggage weight.
            2) They never dropped ticket prices when oil prices dipped; it’s just sheer greed and monopoly by the airlines at this point. I mean, what are we going to do? Not see our loved ones or pay even more to travel Amtrak? Ha.

      • It’s not just the baggage fee. I’ve been separated from my checked bags for 1 to 2 days at my destination multiple times, with nothing to wear for work meetings because I didn’t travel in work clothing. I am now 100% carry on. I travel at the 1K-1.25K level (United terminology) so I have my packing down to a science. I recently traveled to three cities, including international, for 10 days total, carry on only. I carry a hardsided Tumi continental roller and it fits in every overhead bin I’ve run across other than RJs, but carry-on bags are thrown into the trunk on those anyway.

        But yeah, I’m always going to stand in line to board, gate-lice style, because I definitely want to get my carry-on space.

    • This happens all the time. I find it really frustrating to add 20 minutes to the end of my trip and have just started telling the gate agents that I will take my chances. Warning – mixed results based on the gate agents. However, when I’ve brought my suitcase onboard it has fit every time.

      • Ha. I find I don’t have to wait for my checked bag, because by the time everyone hauls off their suitcase, and their tote bag, and their laptop bag, and their cage of chickens, and I can actually get off the plane, my bag is waiting for me at the luggage claim.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          And in my experience, even when I deplane towards the end, I’ve still had long waits at the baggage claim, particularly at large international airports where you might be ferried by bus to baggage claim or the baggage claim carousels are packed when a bunch of flights come in at once. I had to wait almost an hour at baggage claim in Munich the other month, it’s not fun.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          This right here. And LOL @ cage of chickend.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a flight the other week where they were pretty honest imo, asking people to check their bags to make the turnaround faster.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup, the time it takes for people to bring their bags back to the front of the plane and then get them time to go in the baggage hold is a little bit lengthy. If the flight is already behind, it can start to get to where people might miss their connections.

        That said, I am one of those who refuse to get separated from their bags. I have mega status of Delta though so it usually works out well for me. Running late for a flight the other week and they had reserved a space in the overhead bin for me.

    • Anonymous :

      If you do get your bag tagged to be checked and carry it on, the bag count won’t add up. Make sure to notify a flight attendant. I’ve had a flight delayed because someone did that.

  14. Easy Vegetarian Meals? :

    I’m trying to transition to a mostly vegetarian diet from one where I eat meat regularly. I’ve been adding beans to meals and eating things like lentils and quinoa, but I just feel SO hungry without a meat-protein source in a meal.

    What are your favorite easy, filling, good vegetarian meals? I’d like to cut down my meat consumption to 1x or not at all a week (currently at 3-4x). Any helpful tips?

    • Eat more fat. Vegetarian sources of protein tend to be low in fat compared to meat. Add extra oil to vegetarian meals, and eat a bunch of things like avocados and nuts. This is my strategy anyway. I eat meat about 5 meals per weak.

    • Veggie burgers and tofu. You can make your own veggie burgers if you’re not into super processed ones, there are lots of recipes online, and grill them or bake them and put on salads or sandwiches or whatever you want. I also like making tofu with 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice (quinoa is also a complete protein!) and veggies. It’s a super easy make ahead lunch. I usually cook tofu in a frying pan with a little bit of oil and teriyaki sauce (you can put basically anything on tofu).

      • The veggie/vegan burgers at Aldi are surprisingly good. I keep a box in the freezer at work for a quick lunch in case I forget to pack something. I like the Quinoa Crunch ones.

    • Are you eating enough fat? That will leave you very hungry if you avoid, ink about adding full fat yogurt, olive oil drizzles, avocado, nuts etc….

      And don’t forget to take a B12 supplement or do a lot of research to make sure you get enough in you ur diet.

    • I never cook meat at home, but I do sometimes eat it when I’m out or at someone else’s home. I get HelloFresh’s vegetarian plan, which is awesome in helping me try new vegetarian meal ideas. Last night, I had tortelloni gratin (basically, cooked asparagus, cooked tortelloni in a milk/pesto sauce, put it in an oven-safe dish, sprinkle breadcrumbs and parmesan on top). Delicious and super-filling. The night before, it was flatbreads (pre-made crusts) with cooked summer squash, fresh mozzarella, and herbs on top, plus salad.

      In terms of protein, I have a protein shake every morning, which also helps me get fruit and/or vegetables in my diet (this AM it was protein powder, greek yogurt, peaches, sprinkle of cinnamon, almond milk, and flaxseed; I also make a berry/banana/spinach one frequently).

      Snacks are also key for me – I eat raw almonds and cheese sticks, typically. Or carrots and hummus.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I am a life long vegetarian. In addition to the advice to eat more fat, eat more protein as well. If I eat a Fage yogurt I feel insanely full because of the high protein (22 grams). Eating a few eggs for breakfast is another idea. Welcome to the club. :)

    • For the past two years I’ve eaten approx 90% vegetarian (I eat fish/meat about once or twice a month and eggs once or twice a week). I’ve never have an issue getting enough protein whenever I track my food (I typically use cronometer but ive heard great things about my fitness pal). Here is what I usually:

      Breakfast: Huge smoothie with frozen mangoes, bluberries, spirulina, and something sweet like acai powder or orange juice. Scrambled eggs with bell peppers and onions along with some fruit. Cereal with dried fuirt.

      Mid-Day Snack: Granola Bar, half a cup of nuts, fruit, string cheese, crackers with olive tapenade

      Lunch/ Dinner: tofu stirfry (usually half a block of tofu is enough for me) with veggies and rice noodles, rice and bean tacos wrapped in romaine lettuce with tomatoes and corn on top, potatoes and two veggie burgers, pasta with spinach pesto sauce, spring rolls with tofu, carrots, bell peppers, and sprouts inside.

      Oh also try to remember to take my B12 spray since I dont eat much meat and thats hard to get from vegetables.

    • Also, you may just need to eat more, volume-wise. When I switched to a mostly plant-based diet, I had to mentally recalibrate what a normal-sized meal looks like. For example, I was used to a salad being a little pile of greens on the side so it seemed like a small-ish bowl of salad would be a sufficient lunch. Now I know, if I’m having salad for lunch, I’m going to be eating a MOUNTAIN of greens.

      You’re switching to have a greater proportion of food come from sources that are WAY less calorically dense, so it often takes more to feel full.

      • Plant Based Eater :

        +1 I’m a lifelong calorie counter (dumb eating disorder) and have recently switched to a plant based diet to help ease symptoms of an autoimmune disease. From the start, I knew I needed to more. AnonZ is right about the “MOUNTAIN” of greens. Or if you’re snacking on fruit, it’s okay to have a few oranges instead of 1.

    • Anonymous :

      Lots of stir fry, subbing white rice for a whole grain like quinoa, farro, or riced cauliflower. Love “buddha bowls”, these are customizeable, here’s my favorite: sweet potato, red onion, cooked beets (I boil them), roasted broccoli, chickpeas (I cook them on the stove top with lots of spices), black beans, and green goddess dressing over quinoa.

      • vocabularian :

        Do you mean replacing white rice with a whole grain? It confused me to read that you substitute white rice for a whole grain. But then I can’t get used to people saying “based off of” instead of “based on.”

  15. Shopping advice help?

    After a lifetime of never wearing shorts, I’m finally taking the plunge. It’s too damn hot to spend days at the park or splash pad with my kids while wearing a dress or pants. The problem is that I can’t find shorts that look good on me.

    I’m short and have chunky thighs, plus have a not-as-taut-as-it-used-to-be stomach. Cutoff jean shorts, maybe 4-5″ inseams, look okay on me. But if I try that inseam in any other shorts, it looks ridiculous. Cuffed shorts don’t stay cuffed because my thighs undo the cuff. Linen material creases in that line between my thighs and hips and then lays super weird. If I go beyond 5″, I get into bermuda short territory, which looks dumpy on my rounder frame. Shorter looks cute from the front, but rides up as I walk around.

    Any recommendations on what I should look for? Certain material? Certain hem? Am I looking at the wrong length? I probably should have figured this all out when I was 18 and had hours to spend at the mall, but (ha ha!) I thought I was too fat to wear shorts back then. C’est la vie, I guess.

    • We have similar frames and I struggle with my thighs swallowing shorts with a short inseam. My favourite shorts are the midrise 5″ everyday twill shorts from Old Navy. You can cuff the hem if they seem a big long. They don’t ride up and they come in a million colours.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Demin works well for me. It’s breathable, it wears well, and the stretch is forgiving. Most denim shorts will also have the rolled/cuffed hem sewn in place. I’d look for a high-rise style with your preferred inseam. I’m wearing some Target shorts that have between 3-4″ hem (wearing them so hard to tell). I’d go there first and look at their styles. They’re cheap and come in a variety of washes, from ultra-dark to stonewashed to bright white.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        3 of the 4 pairs of shorts in my rotation are from Target. I look for a shorter inseam (3″) and a looser fit at the bottom, if that makes sense.

    • Diana Barry :

      Try looser shorts – I have the Athleta “breeze” kind and they are not too short nor too long and don’t hug the thigh or ride up. I like them bc they are technical fabric and quick drying (like if your wet kids wrap their arms around your leg!).

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I like chino shorts, which you can generally find at Target and Old Navy in 5″ inseams. In my experience they don’t crease much unless I’m sitting all day.

      It’s not clear what looks ridiculous to you about non-linen, non-cuffed shorts, though. Is it possible this is just a residual hangup and you’d stop thinking they look bad if you got used to wearing them?

    • I have a similar build, and I try to look for shorts with interesting hems. I just got a pair of scallop-hem chambray shorts from Talbots that are a step above regular jean shorts. Plus the softer material is really comfortable!

    • No advice, but I’m glad you are doing it and you will look great. :)

    • Also short with fuller thighs and this is the inseam I like. You may have to try on a few pairs of the ON ones mentioned above, I find that some fit better than others in this style- something about how they mass produce from stacks of fabric which tweaks sizing some. Also, I try Loft and AT- I’ve found some good shorts there.
      Have you tried skorts? They look like skirts, but have little shorts built in which is great for my thighs that have never had a thigh gap and are prone to chafing. I find them more flattering than shorts sometimes and they are pretty practical for active pursuits. Try Athleta, Columbia, and golf clothing (all the pockets) for options.

      • Housecounsel :

        I am much more comfortable in Athleta skorts than I am in shorts. I order them in Tall even though I’m just over 5’6″. Highly recommended.

      • Ouch! That hurts :

        Love the skorts from Duluth Trading. Dry really quickly in hot humid, or I guess splash pad, situations. Their Fire Hose shorts work well for my similar frame as they don’t ride up the leg.

    • Boden’s chino shorts are magical. They have several lengths and the cuffs are sewn up so the can’t come down. They also have a little stretch and are quite forgiving. I’m still not over the fact they discontinued the Bistro short, which was even more magical, but the chinos are quite nice.

    • I, too, have chunky thighs. (And I’ve had spider veins since high school – fun!) And this summer, for the first time in years upon years, I’m wearing shorts this summer, too! I’ve found that outdoorsy shorts are the best for me – the ones in stretchy or lightweight fabric are most flattering. (Hard pass on anything that’s just cotton – denim, twill, chino, etc.) I’ve had good luck ordering a bunch off Sierra Trading Post (owned by TJ Maxx) and returning what doesn’t work. (And oh, I’ve had to get over my vanity and order a size up.)

      These are two of my favorites right now:

      https://www.sierratradingpost.com/ojai-fast-dry-roll-up-shorts-for-women~p~4288n

      https://www.sierratradingpost.com/gramicci-quick-dry-2-g-shorts-upf-30-for-women~p~4987v

    • Thanks everyone! It sounds like an hour at the mall, hitting Old Navy/ Athleta/ Loft/ AT will be productive. I’ll go over lunch this week to try on all these recommendations and see what works for me. Never would have thought to try interesting hems or Athleta skorts!

      And SUCH a good point that maybe the “ridiculous” is in my head. Maybe I need to just buy a few of the least-worst options that I find and get used to wearing them, see if that changes what looks acceptable to me.

      Thanks all!

      • Anon in NYC :

        I generally hate wearing shorts too, but do it for all the same reasons you mentioned. EVERY single time I start wearing shorts for the season I always think that they’re ridiculous, but really, they’re completely fine!

      • Dealtwiththis :

        I’m going to throw out one more place that I never would have thought to look for shots, White House Black Market. I tried on a pair there on a whim and have worn them for 4 years straight now, they are the best! I never thought I would spend $40 on shorts but they are great. Black to be forgiving and long without being too long.

        • Was just about to say I bought WHBM shorts at an outlet this weekend and they are the first shorts I’ve purchased in a long time. They have a really nice fit.

    • Have you considered just doing running shorts? The added bonus is they will dry quickly when at the splash pad. Otherwise, I have a similar shape and find going shorter (but rear end still covered) actually ends up more flattering than some awkward mid thigh short. But, that of course depends on your comfort level with showing skin.

    • JCrew elastic waist shorts for the win. Don’t care how skinny or curvy you are – they look good and are comfy on almost anyone. They have a few different options (some factory) and whether I was a size 4 or my now size 12, they look good on me and are flattering. Look for larger cut leg openings.

    • Same body type and I size up. So if you wear 6 in pants, get an 8 in shorts. I find that I like the slightly saggy look of chino shorts and the leg opening is wider.

    • Hiking shorts all the way. Same inseam – but more forgiving, elastic waist, and dry faster.

      • Same here, I size up one and sometimes two sizes for shorts and find I like them so much better.

  16. My brokerage firm has practices that really creep me out. I’ve seen employees trash papers with super sensitive information, ones that should unquestionably be shred. They also host events and invite clients with certain account value. The invites come from seemingly random employees, and quite frankly, I’d rather these people not be looking at my accounts and personal info.

    Looking for a new firm. Any favorites?

    • Anonymous :

      Vanguard. All the way.

    • Definitely do what you are comfortable with, but as to the shredding, a lot of places have an agreement that anything that goes in a recycling bin is shredded no matter what. That was the deal at my law firm, and could be the deal at your brokerage too, especially as it would be time-consuming to sort through the garbage of what can be trashed and what needs to be shredded. They instead just shred all paper. And the invitations may be coming from people who are in fact suited for your needs, though the introduction seems clumsy. Banks and brokerage firms know a LOT about potential clients and know who internally best fits those needs, too.

      • Fair point about shredding. It’s just that I haven’t expressed any need or desire to work with professionals. In getting to where I am, I’ve accumulated more knowledge and practical experience than most people who work as investing professionals. I’d rather them not be looking at my account and personal info, but I can’t opt out and never opted in.

  17. Moving into my first-ever solo apartment (yay!) and have no idea where to begin with design. It’s much bigger than anywhere else I’ve ever lived so I’m not sure what to do with the space. The whole place is painted kind of a bright pale green, which I actually love, so I’m not repainting. I own a few pieces of furniture, but I don’t have a distinct style. I’d like it to look intentional, not like I just threw random things I could find in the space, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend on decorating. Pinterest is a rabbit hole and I don’t know how to tell if something I see online would work in my apartment. My biggest thing is I want the place to look cohesive. Does this mean I just need to pick a color scheme and force everything to fit into it? Where do I start? Thanks!

    • The best thing I’ve heard – and it’s often repeated on this site – is to not force it. So don’t buy things for the sake of filling space, but focus on things you actually like.

      I am still figuring this out myself but I have two pinterest boards. One for actual things I’m thinking about buying, and one for pictures of rooms or styling that I like.

      I also started following real people on Instagram who are home bloggers – they post home renovations in their own houses and link to specific products that they like. It gave me a better idea of where I can shop than the usual Ikea/Target route.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Don’t force it, and don’t feel like you have to fill up space just because it’s there. I’m still in a tiny apartment and one of the things I really like about my friends’ places is that there’s sooo much room between things! Live there for a while and ask “do I want to put something here?” instead of “what can I put in this space?”

    • Yes – pick a color scheme to use as a guideline, but don’t be afraid to step outside of it if something really speaks to you. I tend to be someone who loves ALL the colors, so needed a plan to fall back on when I was really tempted for that 25th throw pillow (because it was pretty) – so I used mine to help me tell myself “no”.

      Go slow – start with the big stuff you need (bed, couch, table) and then see how you use the space to fill in the rest. Try to find things that are not super task specific, so you can repurpose as your needs change.

      • Yes this is me too. I had to go with general colors by room – my kitchen will be white and blue, living and dining room stuff is green and blue to blend with “open” kitchen, bedroom is gray and yellow, etc. Otherwise I bought All The Things and it looked silly.

        Now I can be a little more intentional – “Yes this planter is cute, but I already have a blue one and don’t need a yellow one. If they have a similar one in green I can consider it.”

        And I stay off Pinterest. While it looks cute on the site, I find that I prefer minimal decorations and the Pinterest style of multiple tchotckes everywhere is too much for my own home. Having those weirdly staged bookshelves or the 900 throw pillows or whatever makes me feel jumpy and anxious rather than calm and relaxed. YMMV, but consider what feels like “home” to you and start with that as an approach.

        • There isn’t one “Pinterest style”.

          • Maybe I don’t know how to Pinterest or Instagram. But there is a definite over-stuffed, layered look to most “home decor” on Pinterest and IG. Like search for bookshelves. They’re all 100% full, with a picture frame, a vase, and either an artichoke or pineapple stacked on some books. If they don’t have all that, they’re sorted by spine color.

            Even if you search “minimal home decor” you’re still getting lots of things in one corner, they just happen to be all white.

            If there’s some keyword to find non-Pinterest style, please help a gal out. I’d love to find some practical, livable spaces that aren’t stuffed to the gills with “stuff”.

          • Well obviously no, Pinterest’s Steering Committee didn’t publish a uniform style guide to which all submissions had to adhere. But how many times have we all seen, say, coffee tables set with decorative trays full of curiosities, including faux golden pineapples, a single deer antler, succulents, books with objects set on top of them, a vase of flowers, a tiny glass terrarium?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Plants! Plants everywhere!

    • Live there for awhile before buying stuff and filling it with things.

      • +1

        Yeah, don’t waste a lot of money on cheap furniture that 5 years from now you will dislike. Matchy matchy gets old fast. Get the bare minimum, figure out what you need and actually like with time. Resale shops, craigs list, “inheriting” things from family/friends …..

    • Resist the urge to do it all at once and go slowly. Find decorative items that you happen to love and add them to your space. It takes patience, but when you find a beautiful throw/sculpture/frame/wall hanging on one of your travels or at an estate sale, you will be pleased that you have space and money for it because you didn’t get a million things from World Market/Ikea.

      Personally, I try to resist window shopping, which is very difficult when you’ve got pinterest and instagram as key sources of inspiration. I’m a sucker for buying something because it’s pretty. Well, there are a billion beautiful things in this world, and I am not a billionaire, so they cannot all come live with me in my 700 sq ft apartment. This is all to say, try to be mindful and focus on items you need, not just items you like, and shop in person rather than browsing every pretty thing from all over the world on the internet. Now that I’ve only told you what *not* to do, apartment therapy is a good resource for apartment decorating.

    • Anonymous :

      I like Emily Henderson’s blog for advice. Here are some of the posts I have bookmarked:
      – https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/top-3-design-tips-ever
      – https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/living-room-rules-know?_sft_category=advice
      – https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/add-style-neutral-living-room?_sft_category=advice&sf_paged=3
      – https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/design-mistakes-not-plan?_sft_category=advice&sf_paged=4

    • Start with a rug that you love! Good quality rugs are expensive, but last forever. A nice rug can guide your other color choices, and I think it is good to pick some colors from the rug and stick with those. (Unless you like a Betsy Johnson or boho-gypsy style with lots of colors!) This will work for most rooms, but not the kitchen.

      And, I like to choose several colors, but always have some white or ivory (woodwork, curtains, pillows) because I love white, it lightens the space, and it always works.

      And decide if you like high contrast (red, white, and black, for example) or low contrast (ivory, taupe, light green, dark green) as varying between those can look crazy.

      Have fun!

      • Anonymous :

        I like to go the paint store and grab paint chips to represent my palette, even if I’m not going to paint (or paint with all those colors). You can even find some color combinations pre made in the paint section to help you figure out what goes together, or what you like that goes together. You can grab chips to represent the color of wood/metal/paint already in your space to make sure those get represented as well.

        Don’t put too much thought into this – pick the colors that you like (go with your gut), and then sort out how they look together.

  18. Dealtwiththis :

    I wouldn’t call this dress a fit and flare. It looks like it is very fitted in the hips. Definitely wouldn’t work for curvy old me.

  19. Same body type and I size up. So if you wear 6 in pants, get an 8 in shorts. I find that I like the slightly saggy look of chino shorts and the leg opening is wider.

    • Yeah what is it with shorts fitting so much differently than pants? I always have to size up in shorts.

  20. Anonymous :

    Dumb question: bare with me. Is there a good resource for comparing insurance plans? I am on my SO’s insurance plan (domestic partners), which is excellent coverage but very expensive (~$5,000/year for my portion alone, excluding deductible). My work is now offering insurance and I’m having a hard time evaluating it (other than its the same insurance company that I have, and also PPO). I have 2 chronic health conditions that require me to go to the doctor ALOT, take lots of meds, have procedures every 12 weeks… so coverage is very important to me.

    • You need to ask your dad, who probably can do the compareison for you. Insurance coverage varies, so it is good to know the differences between plans b/f you sign up for a plan. If you are a user of care, you will want the BEST plan b/c your premiums are being used to pay for the coverage. You do not want to save a nickel only to have to spend a dollar, dad says. If you have a domestic partner, see about his coverage and then do a coordination of benefits analysis with your plan administrator, Dad says.

      My new associate is young and she is on a medical plan and she is goeing thru the same issues, tho her focus is on maternity benefits. I think she is goeing to be lookeing to get Married and Pregenant like me. YAY!!!! But I also need a boyfreind first. FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      Good question.

      It is extremely, extremely difficult to compare across plans. I’m a doctor and try to do this for family members.

      The information that is supplied to you by insurance companies is incomplete. If you have complicated medical issues, often the details of specific coverage criteria are not told to you until you are a member. The Affordable Care Act does a good job of requiring that health insurance includes broad categories (ex. meds, mental health) but it does NOT tell you if the health insurance you are interested in must cover a specific medical supply, or specific medication, or what the co-pay for that medication might be for you, or exactly how much physical therapy is covered, or if there is a cap on how much they will pay for a wheelchair etc…

      For that reason… I hate to be so vague…. but if you have a complicated medical need you should buy the absolute best insurance you can afford by reputation of the company, broadness of coverage, talking to others who have that specific plan about issues they have or don’t have and looking at online discussion groups for your medical condition and seeing what other people recommend.

      You can also always try your new insurance for a year, and then if it crashes and burns, go back to your other plan. But make sure you have plenty of cash to cover things if you hit a crises.

      You can try thinking about all of your current medical issues/needs/drugs and the specific codes for all of those and try calling the new insurance plan to see about coverage. Ask your jobs benefits office exactly who to call and if there is a liason with your insurance plan specifically for employees at your company and try to reach them. Sometimes they simply do not know the specifics. Ask for the highest level supervisor you can reach. Sometimes they lie, or make stuff up. You can never trust it if you don’t have it in writing, but they wont give you that until you are a member, and even then the details are often not in the huge online manual.

      And most importantly, you must confirm that your preferred doctors and hospitals are covered in your new plan. That can also be tricky to confirm and I always confirm it by calling BOTH the insurance plan and the doctor/hospital.

      It is a good sign that the new plan is PPO and the same insurance company though. But you still never know until you try it.

      • Thank you! This was so helpful! I was able to determine my prescriptions would be THOUSANDS more on the new plan so that’s reason enough to stick with the old plan. I feel very comfortable with my current plan. $5,000/year aint cheap, but I’m covered!

    • If these are private employer plans, I don’t think so. Even a close read of the plan benefits booklet can make it hard to tell what you pay. For example, my current plan charges nothing (except for the office visit copay) for lab work or any other testing done at a doctor’s office. This means that I can visit the doctor regularly, get many prescriptions, and have lots of testing done without having to pay anything toward the deductible, whereas a superficially similar plan wouldn’t pay for any of those things until I’d met the entire deductible. This makes a huge difference in my health care costs. If your HR is good, you can ask them, but I haven’t always had the best luck with that. You could always try it for the rest of the year and switch back at open enrollment if you have problems.

    • Anonymous :

      I believe in many situations, insurance premiums paid for a domestic partner are taxable — check more in to this in your situation as it may affect your cost/benefit analysis.

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, I included the imputed income in the cost (I pay this on my SO’s behalf). It’s an extra $2,200 in taxes.

  21. Chocolate Always :

    Anyone done a background check through HireRight for a new job? I’m curious to hear how long it took and if there were any hiccups. I have a conditional offer pending background check for a firm I’m super excited about. Nothing is going to turn up, but the estimate for it to complete was 3-14 business days. I’m just frustrated trying to time notice at old job, vacation, new start date. I’ve talked to the new firm about it, but am just tying to calibrate my expectations on how long it will take!

    • Shananana :

      I usually tell candidates to plan on 5 days. If you have an uncommon name and your data is easy to validate, it will be more like 2 or 3, if you are Jane Smith and have had 12 jobs in the last 5 years and went to a school that has closed, it will be 14.

  22. I really like the minimalist design. The whole outfit looks clean and perfect for workwear.

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