Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: ‘Irving’ Stretch Wool Pants

Wool Pants for Work: Lafayette 148 New York 'Irving' Stretch Wool Pants Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I don’t often feature a lot of pants here (beyond our roundups of washable pants and the like) because — honestly — they all look kind of lousy on the screen. These pants are no different, again if I’m being honest — but they are super, super highly rated at Nordstrom. In fact, there are a TON of Lafayette New York pants that are highly rated in petite, plus, tall and regular sizes. Numerous customers sing the praises of their durability, comfort, and wrinkle resistant properties, as well as their form-fitting shape, and — hold the phone — a waist that fits properly. Nice. The pictured pants are available in four colors, size 0-18, regular and petites, for $238. (Oooh, and Nordstrom even has a “find your fit” just for Lafayette pants, here.) Lafayette 148 New York ‘Irving’ Stretch Wool Pants

Here’s a plus-size pair of pants from Lafayette 148 New York.

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




    What is your grooming routine down there?

    • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :


      • +2 – I just really like the feeling. My bf doesn’t care either way.

      • Same, but with a very large triangle left. I don’t like being entirely bare, but I prefer the underparts hairless, if that makes sense.

        • Same. And I’m not gardening at the moment, so this is entirely for me. I find the hair uncomfortable in the in-between bits.

      • I lasered everything outside of the bikini bottoms (but it was like three/four inches outside the bikini line…) and one inch inside. Then, I get the rest waxed for now. I’ve let it grow out before too. Depends on if the guy has a preference. I’d be fine with either.

        • Anon for this :

          How did you like the laser removal? I’m strongly considering it–I have the same situation, about 3-4 inches outside bikini line. How many treatments do you have to do? How much more upkeep do you need to do after you’re done?

          • Anonymous :

            Not the original anon op but I did laser & LOVE it. I have dark hair & fair skin (I look tan, but I’m pretty pale where the sun doesn’t shine). I’m ethnic, so I’m SUPER hairy and my leg hair would basically have a 5’oclock shadow. Forget getting any sort of smoothness in my nether regions).
            I did a bunch of groupons for this & found that places vary greatly in terms of the types of machines they do & the outcomes– although I could never figure out the distinctions. I hate to say it, but the more painful & slow the machines, seemed to get better results (although I found pretty much all of them less painful than getting my eyebrows waxed).
            I can say the chain laseraway was garbage & my hair grew back almost immediately.
            Also, don’t trust any place that says they can dye the hair darker before doing the procedure- because that doesn’t work either.
            For the good places, I did about 4 treatments & had about an 85% hair reduction for about 3 yrs. If I was on top of stuff, I should have gone back every 6 months or a year to get touch ups. 5 yrs later, I’d still say I have about 60% less hair than I used to– I only shave about 1x a month, although if I were going bare legged on the regular, I should probably do it weekly.

        • I also did/do laser and love the result. Like another poster above, i’m ethnic with dark hair and lighter skin so a good candidate for it. After the initial six-treatments about two years ago, I go in about 3-4 times a year now and don’t have to do any maintenance in-between. Makes life so much easier.

    • I use a Wahl trimmer and remove everything. I don’t mind the hair, but my husband says he finds it irritates his skin.

      • Yay! Pricey Monday’s! I love Pricey Monday’s and am so glad I did NOT walk to work today! I took a cab b/c the buses were all schlusshey and my FRYE boot’s would have got ruined. DOUBEL FOOEY b/c I stepped into a mushy mess at the corner of 77th and Lex and think that it could have been poopie in there b/c the cab driver was lookeing funny at me in his rear view mirror. I told him it was NOT me. TRIPEL FOOEY!

        As for the OP, I do NOT do anything any more down there. Sheketovits alway’s wanted me to have it very neat and clean for him but I refused to wax b/c of all that I heard of. Beside’s, he NEVER did anything himself and most of the time, I had to FORCE him to shower b/f I would do anything for him down there. I am SO glad I do NOT have to please a man by being shaven or waxed. Gonzalo kept telling me how he did NOT care what I did (tho I never let him any where close to there). I am sure he would have had a field day if I took my clotheing off for him, and then would have dumped me for one of his hometown women I saw him comeing out of an apartement on Lex a year or so ago. FOOEY on those women–their tuchuses were bigger then mine!

        I ate and ate thru the storm on Saturday and watched Netflix, and yesterday, Myrna and I walked down to Bloomie’s. They did NOT stop me at the door for a change. Mabye I am NOT banned any more since it is now 2016. FOOEY on that, but I did wipe my feet b/f I got inside just to be sure. The manageing partner wants me to meet a new prospective cleint this afternoon. I told him I have some pleeding’s to file, but should be availabel after 2pm. I hope we get the busness. YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      In summer I remove anything that shows while wearing a swimsuit. Other than that au naturel. I’m single. Guys seems cool with it.

      • Also anon :

        Same here.

      • Anonymous :


      • +1 (and I’m married)

      • This is what I do as well. And I tend to pick suits that don’t require a lot of trimming. I’m married. I’m taking a feminist stand against all high-maintenance, porn-inspired, down-there fashion trends.

        • lost academic :

          This. Also… somewhat discomfited with giving the impression of prepubescence.

        • Same! I’m single and in contrast to the poster above, I have encountered a few men who minded – and I do it anyway (those men get sent away immediately). For whatever reason this is a political/beauty standards red line for me and I will. not. cross it.

        • Anon for this :

          Hmm, isn’t part of feminism body autonomy? If I want to be bare for myself, isn’t it a little hypocritical for other women to tell me–in the name of “feminism”–how I should groom my own body hair? I mean, I understand the sentiment, but how about just limiting it to “you do you”?

          • she isn’t telling anyone how to groom themselves. She is deciding for herself that completing getting rid of hair down there is a societal expectation based on sexism and that she will not participate.

          • anon at 11:16, that would be a fair point if not for all of the “ew”, “creepy”, “porn star”, “prepubescent” and “child” critiques that are also thrown in.

          • No feminism is about a lot more than you do you.

          • Ugh, lost my post due to an Internet outage, but will sum it up as the personal is political and “you do you” would be an enormous step back as a feminist strategy (unfortunately, it’s one that is already all too commonplace). I welcome a community of smart, professional women like this who can help re-normalize the natural, un-waxed state of women’s bodies.

          • lost academic :

            It’s totally up to whoever to do whatever in that arena, but from my own perspective, I like to think about why I do what I do, and what might be influencing it – and that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to change anything, but I just like to have an idea of where it all comes from – especially for unconscious or automatic reactions/expectations. I’ve noticed in this that people often come down pretty solidly on one side or the other and that’s fascinating to me. (from a personal stance, it’s very cut and dried – there’s a lot I can’t d o and still wear clothes without screaming all the time, but I still like to KNOW what other people think)

          • Anon for this :

            I was the poster at 11:12. I suppose I agree with lost academic. I understand that it’s completely appropriate (and necessary) to try and understand why you may be doing certain things. Am I grooming because I am trying to fulfill some inappropriate feminine ideal? Or am I doing it because I really want to do it “for me”?

            BUT, that being said, I don’t think you should judge a woman for choosing to groom. If I want to wear a low cut top and show off my chest (because, to be honest, my rack is AWESOME and looks great in low cut tops), should I not because it feeds into objectification of women? Should I not wear high heels because they further the expectation that attractive women should have long legs and tight butts? I mean, aren’t we moving past this stuff? Shouldn’t we be moving past this stuff?

          • looking good :

            Up to you. But to me, it sounds like you have a bit to move past…..

            I’m ok with whatever you want to do, but I do wonder why….. and how you got those perceptions. We’re all guilty to following what the world has told us is sexy and appropriate.

      • Me too. I agree with Meme’s comments. I don’t need to make myself look like a porn star. This is my body. Also, waxing is expensive and painful.

        • This. I should pay a ton of money to fulfill creepy porn-inspired fantasies and conform to sexist beauty standards? No way. That’s a trend that needs to die out.

      • +1

        And trim as needed.

        I haven’t had any requests for anything different.

        I also refuse to look like a child or a porn star. I think it’s creepy.

        Glad to hear I’m not the only one!

      • Same. I’m married, but have been doing this routine (or lack thereof) for my entire life.

      • Same here, although I’m mid-50s and don’t think the bare look is as much a thing among women of my age. A friend was horrified last year when her 18-y-o daughter showed her a badly ingrown hair that was infected and required a trip to the doctor — horrified at the infection and horrified that she was waxing or shaving like that.

        I’m fairly recently divorced, H never seemed to give a thought to this but I think would have hated a shaved or waxed look (I never asked, and I wouldn’t have shaved even if he wanted it). Have been with two men, also my age range (cheers to old boyfriends), since the split, neither batted an eye.

        • Anon for this :

          Interestingly, I have a condition that resulted in many badly infected hair follicles regardless of whether I messed with my natural hair or not. The cure for me was total laser hair removal with home laser upkeep every two weeks or so. It hurts and it sucks but without it I get huge cysts under my skin that have to be surgically removed. So, it’s hair free for me.

      • +1. I keep things tidy during the winter months, but I feel weird looking like I’m 10. I’m 27 and in a long-term relationship. Only one ex has ever commented and well, he’s an ex for a lot of reasons.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I remove nothing. Married. My husband shaves his armpits.

    • Trimming for hygiene and occasionally removing thigh creep hair if I’m wearing a swimsuit. Have never done more and don’t intend to – fortunately my husband doesn’t try to influence my choice on this (wouldn’t be my husband if he did!).

      • Anonymous :

        I have a little bikini trimmer and love it, no ingrown hair but I feel more neat. I don’t have a lot of problems with thigh creep though.

    • Anonymous :

      Trimming every week.

    • Anonymous :

      Landing strip only. I prefer the feel of garden parties with a well-weeded garden as opposed to one that’s a little overgrown. XD

    • Trim (with a pair of scissors), though if I’m busy it can be a while between trimmings. It doesn’t really show outside the bikini area though. I didn’t like the feeling of regrowing after a wax, and I’m scared to take a razor down there! But I like the feeling of LGP when it’s more trimmed – there’s less in the way.

    • Anon for this :

      I shave the, uh, back and side area and leave a nicely trimmed triangle on front/top. I’m older and was doing this when I started having LGP’s with my current partner and he’s never mentioned it one way or the other. I’m thinking of letting it grow in a little. I may have a discussion with him about his preferences because I don’t feel strongly one way or the other so I would be willing take his preferences into account (as long as he didn’t want totally bare, which I hate). If by some miracle he preferred a larger garden I would happily oblige!

    • Shave it all off. Every day. Started doing it because my SO was intrigued with the idea of how it would feel. Then, I liked it myself (both the comfort every day and the feel during s3x) and we really liked the feel together, so I continued. It’s just routine now. He also shaves and trims a lot. We love it. Not something I ever considered doing because we’re not young (both over 50).

    • Anonymous :

      Wax or shave except for a small triangle up top. My husband keeps it neat and trimmed. Its not about looking like a porn star or prepubescent girl, it’s about not getting hair stuck in your teeth (yuck), not having blood clots stuck in it, not having discharge stuck in it etc.

    • Anony-mouse :

      Trim with scissors periodically to avoid a panty-cowlick (because I’m a weirdo and have straight hair). Sometimes shave what my aunt used to call “spiders”, but only if I’m going to be wearing a swimsuit.

  2. Hi hive,
    I had an academic achievement. I worked full time while taking a degree. I am very proud about it, but because of a super busy time at work, I did not really have had any time to celebrate or even to do some bragging.

    I would like to celebrate by buying myself a piece of jewelry. Tell me what kind of jewelry that get a lot of use by you. I prefer gold and do not have my ears pierced. Most days I wear my wedding band in plain gold, and a watch and perhaps some gold bangles.

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      How about a necklace or a right hand ring? My daily jewelry is a watch, wedding rings, small earrings, and a necklace. Earring and necklace stay on all the time. I don’t like bracelets since I spend most of the day typing.

    • Upgrade your watch? I wear wedding ring and a watch as well. I’m a bit afraid of investing in other jewellery – not sure if more expensive = more likely to wear.

    • I wear special necklaces with meaning to me, and watches.

    • Anonymous :

      How about a necklace or pendant?

      My white south seas pearl pendant gets a lot of use, as does my delicate station necklace made of semi precious stones. Goes with everything!

      • Anonymous :

        When I graduated law school my parents got me a yellow gold pendant necklace that had 3 gold loops hanging at the bottom with a pearl in each. It is beautiful and sturdy- I wear it a lot and always get compliments. They got it at Costco (which has beautiful jewelry btw).

    • lawsuited :

      Buy a charm candle and it will decide for you! Not serious, of course, but I just found out about them this weekend and I think the idea is hilarious.

      • Clementine :

        Oh sweet Lordy- a high school friend of mine who never left our small town is a part of one of these pyramid scheme-esque mlm deals.

        She’s tried to convince me I should leave my job and sell candles with cheap costume jewelry inside. The word ‘seed’ was even used.

        I’ve been politely silent.

        • I once had someone suggest I should quit my lawyer job and become her Avon lady underling.

          • Yes, the mlm sales among my high school friends (well, really more acquaintances) is out of control. There is only one who really listened when I said I do not want to join!

    • My brother got me a custom initial necklace from K Kane, who is a friend of his from business school and has her own business designing great jewelry. I honestly wore it almost every day for about four years straight. This year for Christmas, he got me a bracelet from her with all of our family’s initials on it in their handwriting. She has fun and really unique options. And she is a pretty cool woman, too!

    • Wildkitten :

      I bought myself an opulent right hand ring and I looove it. It’s too big to wear every day, so any time I wear it I feel like it’s a special occasion.

      • Anonymous :

        I bought myself an opulent right hand ring after my MBA but I do wear it every day.

  3. Something looks off with these (and many other pants) I see on websites. They are usually shown with heels in a way that looks very early/mid 80s. My mind wants to see a wider leg with heels like these or shorter heels / flats / low wedges with legs this tight hemmed a bit higher. There’s some proportion that isn’t quite working for me here (and most pictures) and I find myself (and my tailor doing lots of shoe pairings before deciding where to hem).

    Is it just me? Can some post to a good example?

    • Anonymous :

      Kat did a post on this a while ago, but the advice is almost certainly dated by now. We should revisit this topic, because I feel like styles have churned at an ever faster pace and the hem length/ hem circumference / heel height/ shoe profile matrix has shifted.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree. They look too narrow and too short to me, especially with those heels. Very 80s to me.

      • Agree — if the legs were wider and they were worn with these heels, I’d want most of the heels covered, so they are hemmed too short.

        I see women who could wear these pants with these heels but they’d have to be hemmed up a bit. Those are people who look good in everything, so I’m not sure that I could pull it off. For me (a person of hips), I think I’d go for wider / longer leg and hem longer (but I stick to 2″ heels and I hid more of them with pants than this picture shows).

    • Anonymous :

      It’s not just you. I ordered these and they’re the Mom jeans version of trousers on me.

    • Completely agree. They look very unfashionable to me, and this will pass again quickly.

      And it is a very unflattering look on a pear shaped lower body, like myself.

      I am very slender, but modestly pear shaped. This shape of a pant plus heels makes me look heavy and dowdy.

    • Agree. Also, since when are trousers with a “form-fitting shape” (per Kat’s summary) professional, tailored clothing??!

  4. Anonymous :

    Not much. I might shave a little accentuate the form of the triangle.
    People can do want they want of course, but I dislike the bald look or the tiny strip very much.

  5. Ciao, pues :

    What are your favorite fleece lined leggings? I LIVE in my Target version all winter and am thinking of stocking up now that winter things are on sale (LOL, eastern seaboard!). Should I stick with target or is there an even more heavenly version out there?

    • I love fleece lined leggings and tights. I have not used Target ones, but I’ve used a variety and have found some better than others. Unfortunately, I’m at work now and don’t know the brands.

  6. Is anyone taking this Zika scare into account in their plans for the year, or am I over-reacting by being really anxious about it?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you’re overreacting. I would avoid areas where it has spread (e.g. not vacation in Mexico or Brazil) and use deet if I had to be in those areas.

      • +1 I am already committed (as in, all $3,800 for flight and accommodation has now been paid in full) to going to a destination wedding in Mexico in March, so DH and I are going to wait to TTC until at least May. The CDC says that, if infected, the virus leaves the blood within a week or so, and after that has no adverse impact on future pregnancies.

    • Anonymous :

      We are supposed to go to Mexico this summer for a family thing and I am taking a wait-and-see approach right now. I am willing to accept that I being paranoid, but the fact that the CDC is willing to post this type of warning–about countries that we have good diplomatic relationships with and for which we are major, major sources of tourism dollars–that makes me nervous.

      The follow-up information about possible links to Guillain Barre is also worrisome. I have decided to keep a close eye on the situation and see where things stand when it’s time to buy plane tickets.

      I realize that the chances are very, very low, but why risk it?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think it’s stupid to take into consideration if you are pregnant and/or planning on becoming pregnant. Before Zika, you were still at risk of dengue fever and chikayunga in these areas and people still went there. But for a government to actively tell people “you should avoid getting pregnant right now”, that’s pretty serious. We are going to NOLA and I will definitely be loading up on the bug spray. If you are not pregnant/planning on becoming pregnant, I’d still travel to those areas and just protect from mosquitos

      • The city sprays for mosquitos here. I haven’t really heard people here talking about Zika more than anywhere else. And I would only be concerned here in the summer months when there is standing water where they breed.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you pregnant or planning to be pregnant? If so of course you should follow the warnings.

    • I would not visit some of the countries with the outbreak if I was pregnant of TTC.
      Otherwise I would not be worried.

      • Anonymous :

        Exactly. If you’re just all aflutter about maybe getting a mosquito bite in Maine this summer, yeah, you’re a tone deaf drama queen making a massive health crisis all about you.

        If you’re considering El Salvador for a babymoon, think again.

        • I don’t know. Given the latest reports on the potential spread this year, I might be concerned if I were living in Maine and planning on TTC this year.

    • I would take the Zika scare even more strongly into account if you are pregnant and planning to live in one of the affected countries for any extended length of time. Some countries, like El Salvador, are urging women not to get pregnant, but also throw women in jail for getting abortions. It would be awful to get sick and have the virus affect a pregnancy, wanted or unwanted, but even more awful to not be able to legally access medical care. These factors should all go into your consideration of whether you might travel for work or pleasure.

    • DH and I are TTC, and we canceled a trip to Mexico. It’s scary for pregnant women (El Salvador and Colombia have asked women to put off pregnancy plans, according to WAPost this morning), but also with the recent links to Guillain Barre, I don’t want DH getting it either.

      We may also cancel a trip to Texas in late summer. Vox had a very informative article on the virus and, since Zika is carried by the same mosquitoes that carry dengue, I’d recommend looking up a map of where THOSE mosquitoes live and avoiding those places during high mosquito season if you’re TTC. I’d rather be extra safe on this one.

    • Anon for this :

      In evaluating risk, I like to look at numbers too. What percent of people even contract this virus? Better safe than sorry but we still have to live life too. I might not take a vacation to Mexico but I’m still going to be in a wedding in Florida, even if I’m pregnant (currently TTC).

  7. Need graduation regalia :

    I need to buy graduation regalia for a masters degree: mortarboard cap, gown, and a hood that is light blue for an education degree. Does anyone have such a thing they’d like to get rid of? Bonus points if the hood is from Drexel University.

    • lost academic :

      I would investigate the rental options. You’ll never need masters regalia again. The best people, too, to reach out to are going to be people who graduated with masters in the recent years – I’ve noticed a trends of colleges making adjustments to regalia seemingly to discourage reuse.

      (The PhD regalia I have to buy this year is nearly 1k… renting almost $200)

      • I purchased mine because I wear it every year and never have to think about renting or whether I’ll go to graduation. But I agree that if you’re not an academic and won’t be attending graduation, no point in buying it.

    • Agree with the poster above to look at your rental options. I’m not aware of anyone purchasing it for my law school graduation–we all rented from the school bookstore. We got to keep the cap and tassel, while the gown and hood were turned in right after the ceremony. It was still more than I wanted to pay as a still-broke student (~$100?), but I can’t imagine how much more it would’ve been to purchase.

      • Wow, everyone at my law school graduation purchased cap and tassel, gown, and hood and it was about $80! (This was 7 years ago and I just looked and it is now $88.) Our law school also had a box where recently graduated students would donate their gown and if you couldn’t afford to buy it, you could take one from the box. Maybe ours were less fancy than what other schools do.

        • lost academic :

          I think it does have a lot to do with contracts, etc for the providers- also masters regalia has a hood and usually colors on sleeves to designate degree level based on my observations. I got lucky when I graduated from college – the costs were about $100 but thankfully just used standard black robes – which I had from high school. The standard black baccalaureate robes I’ve seen at other (MRU both private and public) in recent years are starting to get modified with weird arm patches of the university seal – and you have to wear them. Such a racket for young grads.

      • We all rented (to buy, you had to contact directly) for about $280. I’m jealous. Ours were mostly old, broken, and pretty gross.

  8. I had posted on the weekend thread with this but rather late in the thread, so I’m reposting at others’ suggestion.

    On the weekend thread, there were a number of people who seemed to want to foster new friendships but find it difficult for various reasons. Therefore, if anyone wants to join an email group of us, please email me at annemoust (gmail). Even if we don’t live near each other, hopefully some will hit it off and foster at least distance friendships and support. (To be clear, the group email is likely to be more of a way to find others to connect with rather than a constant chain, I expect.)

  9. Any thoughts about the quality of Knomo bags? I’m about to purchase the Maddox but I have never seen the brand in person so I’m hesitating!

    • I love mine- leather quality excellent, handles are good
      I bought mine last year at a local store, it’s a previous version similar to Maddox

    • I have a Knomo Wigmore, and it is fantastic. I’ve had it for 3 years and it is in great shape. It’s well constructed, the leather is nice, and the design and color are great. I get tons of compliments on it.

    • Knomo lover :

      I have four Knomo bags. Two are saffiano leather and two are quilted. The saffiano ones are great and still look brand new (one is two years old, the other is one year old). One of the quilted bags has some black piping on the edges that started getting frayed at the corners after about the first month. Knomo promptly sent me a free replacement when I emailed a picture of the damage. I think you are fine going with a leather bag like the Maddox. Overall, I am extremely happy with Knomo and get compliments all the time about my Knomo bags.

    • My Knomo quilted bag is 3-ish years old and still going strong.

  10. I want to get an E-reader and I am overwhelmed by the options. I would like a backlit one so I could read in low light, and would prefer not to pay more than $100. Other than that, I’m not to picky on other features. Anyone have any suggestions?

    • kindle?

    • get one with the page buttons (physical buttons on the frame) instead of the touchscreen/swipe option)

    • Just get a kindle. It’s far and away the best option. I’d go paperwhite or voyage. They’re durable and you’ll have it for years.

      • Anonattorney :

        Yes and no – I love the Kindle, but they crap out quite often. My husband has gone through 3 in the last 2 years. One was covered by the warranty, so we traded it in right away. The other was a gift so we didn’t have the warranty information. The third just died outside of the warranty.

        • +1 – I did get “years” out of my (as in, more than one) but did have to replace after 3 years because…the battery crapped out or something stopped working. Tried to rehab it on my own (thanks, internet), but didn’t help.

      • I’ve had a Kindle Fire for 3 1/2 years, it’s still going strong. Some software is outdated so not all sites are supported, making it less useful as a tablet, but I still use it as a back-up to laptop and I=phone and use it for reading basically every day.

        • But the Fire doesn’t have the e-ink, which is what a lot people like about the Kindle. If you already have a tablet or phone, the Kindle app is going to be the same eyestrain experience as the Kindle Fire.

      • I’ve had the Kindle w/ keyboard for 5 years I think (maybe 6?) — it doesn’t have a backlight, so doesn’t solve the OP’s problem, but it’s held up really well.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I like my Nooks. I think all of their current versions have some backlighting. Of course, with Nooks, you run the probably not-unfounded risk that Barnes and Noble may cease to exist in a few years and you’re out support/not sure you could transfer ebooks to something else.

    • Anonymous :

      I love my $120 kindle paper white.

      I’d worry about continuance of service for a book.

  11. Brand loyalists, let’s play a game! I’m trying to reach out of my Catherine Malandrino comfort zone.

    Brand you love:
    Brand you like:
    Brand you hate:
    Brand you hate to love:

    • I should add- I was thinking women’s workwear, but if you’re a brand advocate for a line of homewear, etc, please share!

      • In the Pink :

        Brand I love: white/black, armani (consignment shops – fits me like a dream)!
        Brand I like: Halogen, Classiques Entier, Boden, St John
        Brand I hate: nowadays it is Ann Taylor, what happened?
        Brand I hate to love: Talbots, truth be told

    • Anonattorney :

      Brand I love: have to say it, J. Crew. I wear it ALL the time. And NYDJ for jeans.

      Brand I like: Halogen. Not crazy about it, but it’s useful for weekend wear. (My office is business formal)

      Brand I hate: Lands End. I don’t understand the love for it here. And Boden.

      Brand I hate to love: Hmm, maybe Uggs. I still love my Ugg slippers. And my Ugg minis.

    • Not OP Anonymous :

      Brands I love: Work wear? Boden. Their clothes are so flattering and well-made, and I do buy some prints but primarily solids. Also White House/Black Market is always the top choice for sleek, lasting workwear. Bags? Tod’s.

      Brand I like: Loft. Lately they’ve been turning out some great chiffon tops I live in for both work and weekend.

      Brand I hate: J. Crew. Their quality has gone downhill, and while their styling has gotten slightly better, I could do without the Jenna Lyons craze.

      Brand I hate to love: Old navy. Their jeans have a great rise with my hip/waist ratio, but lately they’ve had great casual dresses too.

    • Well I can’t help completely since I just got a Catherine Malandrino coat that I adore (and I’m new to the brand so it’s funny that suddenly I’m seeing it everywhere!) but here you go…

      Brand you love: Antonio Melani – they have work dresses and pretty suits down to an art
      Brand you like: Ann Taylor – hit or miss for me, and recently their suits haven’t had the nice options (interior pockets) that they used to
      Brand you hate: J. Crew – too boxy and boyish for me, overpriced, overly trendy, and colors have gone downhill
      Brand you hate to love: Betsy Johnson – former-goth-highschool-me loves everything about her shoes and dresses but I don’t think I’d ever wear anything by her to the office, and don’t even really go for that style on the weekend anymore either. Alternate reality me, however…

    • Brand you love: Elie Tahari (gorgeous, gorgeous work dresses); AGL (most comfortable shoes ever)
      Brand you like: Classiques Entier (ponte dresses fit me well, but pill easily)
      Brand you hate: J. Crew (I have had 3 pairs of work pants literally fall apart at the seams in the past year)
      Brand you hate to love: Hugo Boss (wish they weren’t so expensive!)

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Brand you love: St. John, Carolina Herrera
      Brand you like: Escada, Kate Spade, Theory
      Brand you hate: Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, J. Crew
      Brand you hate to love: Merona from Target. For simple cardigans and tights.

    • Anonymous :

      Love: Hugo boss and BV (can afford), Carolina Herrera, lela rose, Oscar de la Renta (cannot afford)
      Like: Lafayette, Vera Wang, piazza sempione
      Hate: j crew, Kate spade, Tory burch

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Love: Prada (but actually own nothing from there; cannot afford), Kate Spade, Roland Mouret (only diffusion), Raoul (amazing prices!), Theory, Elie Tahari, Mm LaFleur, Asos
      Like: Boden, Ann Taylor, J. Crew
      Hate: Banana Republic, Tory Burch, Louis Vuitton (although I really just don’t like the idea)

  12. P * nty Reccs, Please :

    I know that we’ve talked about this before, but can’t remember what the consensus is: I want to upgrade my [email protected] from Tar get. Who do we like? Would prefer to be on the less costly side of the scale. thx.

    • Maidenform Cotton Dream boy shorts are fantastic. Inexpensive, fit well, and don’t ride up. On the more expensive side, Hanky Panky thongs are the best out there. They can be found on sale sometimes at places like Garnet Hill.

      • also interested! :

        Also interested in this topic, especially in options that aren’t thongs. I don’t want to co-opt the original poster, but I would be okay with up to mediumish cost (doesn’t need to be dirt cheap, don’t want to break the bank either).

        • For non-thongs, Maidenform dream cotton are the way to go. Tons of cute colors and patterns, they often have matching bras. I recently switched my entire panty drawer from Soma to these and am SO happy.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love my Soma Vanishing Edge panties. They really do eliminate panty lines and are comfortable and come in lots of fun colors and prints. They’re not cheap but they go on sale a lot.

      • I just purchased a bunch of these on sale after the holidays. They are GREAT, I love them. I used to purchase mainly from VS, but I’ll never go back.

      • While I love COmmando and Hanky Panky, I recently bought a couple pair from Uniqlo, and they’re quite nice! They have a vanishing edge, just like the others, though they do’nt fit *quite* as well. But at $7/pair, I think they’re plenty good enough. I buy a size larger than Commando (which are my favorites.)

    • Wildkitten :

      I just got a bunch of awesome ones from Soma. They are expensive full price but don’t pay full price. They were like buy three get two free and I googled for an additional 20% off. I got the embraceable hipster and think they are “good enough” as far as VPL goes.

      Here’s a 20% off coupon: USE CODE: 34805

    • Hanky Panky thongs (low waist version), and Soma Vanishing Edge panties.

      I am pear shaped, generous in the tuchus.

      I buy all on sale.

      Then I have some basic undies from Costco that I wear under jeans/lounge stuff.

  13. Getting Older & Better :

    Love my Kindle paperwhite, backlit, easy to use, easier on eyes that Ipad.

  14. Many of us here have mental health issues – how do these impact your relationships? Do you date people who also struggle with emotional health?

    My boyfriend and I are both a little certifiably insane. I have BPD, on/off depression, generalized anxiety. He has had severe depression most of his life, anxiety, and, frankly, is a little sociopathic (i.e. struggles with empathy). Both of us have attempted suicide in the past, but we are now both in therapy and on a lot of medication.

    We had an on-again/off-again relationship years ago, fueled by drugs/booze and crazy s*x. Eventually it ended because the drama was too much.

    We reconnected about 6 months ago – we just can’t seem to stay away from each other – and things are a whole lot smoother. He is sober, which helps, and I am medicated, which I was not before. We are also older and more attuned to ourselves. As much as our relationship still has its occasional histrionics, it is also amazing to be able to share my issues with someone. In other relationships, partners have struggled to understand this aspect of me and eventually ended things. With my current SO, we can share our feelings and nurture one another during dark times. I’ve never been so open and comfortable with another person. And, see above, incredible s*x.

    As things grow more serious, we both are starting to see a future together. I want children, but I do worry about our genetic cesspool and our ability to co-parent when we both are emotionally ill. My therapist worries about the relationship, but also recognizes that it is evolving and improving. Mostly curious to hear if others have had relationships like this, or married/had kids with someone else with mental illness?

    • You are mentally ill, and you’re contemplating having kids with a guy you have a tumultuous drug abusing past with who struggles with empathy, and your therapist disapproves.

      Nope. Unacceptable. Of course you can stay away from each other, you just don’t want to.

      • life is complicated :

        This shows a lack of understanding about mental illness. It is very unfortunate that is the first response.

        • No it doesn’t. Great, you’ve found someone you love. Enjoy. But you know that you cannot trust your mind to make good choices, you’ve hired an expert to help, that expert and any level of common sense says “hold up this is bad” and your response is but I love him and we have good s3x and I want kids.

          Sorry, no. Unacceptable to have children with someone who lacks empathy, or at all when you’re not in a position to trust advice from your therapist.

          I don’t think there is a should be a blanket rule that anyone mentally ill shouldn’t have kids, but that particular relationship should not include children.

        • If I remember correctly this guy abused the op physically and sexually. Everyone on this site and in her life said not to get back with him. And yet here we are. I honestly can’t think of a worse pairing for children

    • Senior Attorney :

      I was married to somebody with empathy issues and it was horrible. Incredibly horrible. It’s good that your guy recognizes and works on his issues (something my ex never did), but I would take things very slowly and make sure the sobriety and commitment to therapy and medication sticks before I even thought about marriage and/or children. Six months is a promising start but I wouldn’t be booking any wedding venues thinking about children for a good long time.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Also I worry about the “occasional histrionics.” Histrionics, however occasional, and children do not mix.

    • Wildkitten :

      My relationship has almost ended a few times when my BF needed to get his meds adjusted. It’s good if you can recognize that that is what you need and get it fixed, because, depression lies. With the correct med he’s delightful though, so we’ve made it through those hiccups.

      I would however be VERY VERY wary of having kids with someone who struggles with empathy. That seems like a really dangerous and probably terrible idea.

    • Mental health concerns or not, I wouldn’t want to marry and have kids in a relationship with histrionics.

      • And I say this as a person who struggled with mental illness for a long time, has attempted suicide, and is now on the other side with the help of lots of therapy and the appropriate medication.

    • life is complicated :

      Both of my parents had mental illness, but were still highly intelligent and very functional with stable employment and no addiction issues. My father attempted suicide when I was 10, when we found him in the garage when I got home from school. No one got appropriate, medical care when I was growing up. My father had a total breakdown as an older adult (bipolar disorder), and is now stable on meds.

      The result?

      My parents had a miserable marriage, with much unhappiness. It was devastating for the children. We saw everything, were scared all the time, and felt isolated. We all now have conflict avoidance issues, poor choice of partners and are terrified of marriage, and all of us have different degrees of anxiety and PTSD related to our upbringing. Add onto that, we are scared that we will eventually have a breakdown like our father. It is a terrible way to live.

      Yet, my siblings and I all are very intelligent, with excellent jobs and are good people. We take better care of ourselves than our parents did. It is a different time….

      In many ways, I feel that any partner for me would have to be very stable to help balance me out. Yet, people who haven’t suffered with mental illness in the family are not always very supportive and tend to be more judgmental, in my experience. Sad, but true. I honestly have trouble relating to them, and it tends not to go as well, as I have trouble being honest and vulnerable with them. People who have suffered a bit more, and understand my experience create much stronger bonds. It is what it is.

      What I would say is that I will never be in a long term relationship with someone who is actively an addict and who is not continuing psyschiatric care/counseling if it is needed. Those are my non-negotiables. No abuse.

      But I have decided not to have children. I will foster in the future. That is what I am comfortable with.

      • Anonymous :

        I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story. You have so much to give in fostering the future. Non-parent adults were very important to me, especially during the teenager years. I currently work in an area related to child welfare and I see everyday the value of adults who are not parents themselves but whose positive influence has made a world of difference to struggling children. Hopefully the OP will take your example to heart.

    • life is complicated :

      Is BPD bipolar disorder or borderline personality disorder? Very big difference.

      • lost academic :

        The latter. And there is… but in my personal experience and the experience of the counseling professionals I’ve talked with, BPD is more challenging because sufferers are more likely to not be medicated and to be in denial that they need medication at all.

    • Yeah I remember your previous post- this is the relationship with the guy that abused you and sent you to therapy right? Terrible and horrifying that you are back together. Please don’t have children together

      • Senior Attorney :

        WHAT? No, no, no!

        Do not have children with someone who has abused you. Please. Please.

    • You need to have some very specific conversations with a good reproductive genetics person about the genetic cesspool stuff. Your specific diagnoses will matter a lot here. Some forms of mental illness (schozophrenia) are understood to have a significant genetic component. Others do not seem to. If one or both of you have conditions that are likely to be heritable, you might think about other options for parenthood.

      The other bit…yeah, I think you need to be in this relationship with no histrionics and a proven track record of real empathy from your partner for a good long while before you think about kids. If empathy is hard for him, kids are going to make it harder (just because you will both have many more demands on your emotional energy, and much less time for self-care, recharging, etc).

      The worst-case scenario that I’d use as a heuristic: the relationship doesn’t work out and you split custody. Are you confident that this guy is not going to mess up your potential kids when he parents them without you for 3.5 days a week?

    • Before committing to a long-term relationship or having children, I would want to see how things were when everyone wasn’t at peak mental health. How long have you both been stable? In your past, have you had periods of stability followed by periods of going off meds, falling off the wagon, etc.? It sounds like you are both on a good track and it’s great that you have individually and together put in the effort to get there. However, just like every relationship, there will be good and not-so-good times, and I would want to make sure I was comfortable handling the not-so-good times in your case before long-term plans. Make sure you have strategies and buffers in place so that you don’t drag each other down rabbit holes (which it sounds like has happened in the past) and in particular, before you have kids.

    • We each have our own therapist, and a couples therapist.
      My husband did not have his own therapist until he had a crisis that necessitated basically taking a leave of absence from work, eventually quitting his job, and going into full-time outpatient therapy for a few weeks.

      It’s really helped. We call it our support team.

      I’m not sure what to add. We’re a lot more stable than you sound – we’ve never drinken to excess, don’t do illegal or abuse drugs, have been married for 12 years, never contemplated divorce or even seriously broke up — but we have issues and yes even what we call drama and we find it helpful to talk them out and ask for help before things get too intense (or afterwards is OK, too. Never too late.)

      Not sure if this helps. Our Lexapro sure does help, though :)

  15. Anyone have any experience with Annabel Ingall bags?

  16. Weigh in on two money options - :

    I’m considering pulling some money out of savings, adding our tax refund, and either paying off a car or paying down our mortgage to get rid of PMI. Savings would go from about 5 months to 3 months (no cutback on expenses, at least 4 months if we scaled back). Given our circumstances, I’m perfectly comfortable with that much in accessible savings (retirement is separate). Car is a 2013 Civic with two more years to pay. We’re 7 years into the mortgage and the mortgage insurance is about 80/month. Benefit of paying down the mortgage is getting rid of PMI, and it’s at a higher interest rate. Benefit of paying off the car is an extra 300/month that could go to the mortgage, but it has a very low interest rate. I’m leaning strongly towards the mortgage, but is there anything I’m missing? I pretty much see it as a guaranteed 5% return. No interest in refinancing the mortgage given that we’re likely to sell in a couple years.

    • anon a mouse :

      Don’t forget to factor in that most banks will require an appraisal to get rid of PMI and that will cost you maybe $400. But yes, getting rid of PMI is good and paying down some will also put you in a better equity position when you do go to sell. Assume your mortgage interest rate is very good, but you may want to call a broker to see if there is a no-cost refi that you could do as well, especially since you plan to sell relatively soon.

      You don’t say how long it would take you to build back up your savings or how stable your jobs are. I would think building savings back up to 5 months (and then ideally to 6 months) would be a priority after making this decision.

    • I think paying down the mortgage sounds like a good plan since the car is at a lower interest rate. Just make sure paying down will actually get rid of PMI (our mortgage requires PMI for at least 5 years, even if we get the ratio down–so we did a no-cost re-fi once the ratio was good but before the 5 years.)

    • another option :

      You say you are going to sell in a few years – are you planning to sell this house and buy another or get out of home ownership entirely? If you will be buying somewhere else, is it a hot market where you will want to be in a position to buy your next house before closing on the sale of your current house? I ask this because I discovered (after paying down a significant amount of the mortgage on my first house) that bridge loan financing is a royal pain and they will only loan a small fraction of the equity you have in your current home, so you may be better off socking away the cash for a few years so you have it accessible.

      • I definitely hadn’t thought about that, so thanks. That’s really good to know.

  17. Hi ladies – I know there are a few YNAB fans on this s*te. Could you all help me with some tips for getting started? I’ve used mint for a long time but am thinking of switching, but poking around a bit lat night I realized it’s way different. Do you just start and have to give it a whole to slowly accumulate spending? Eg it asks for my “budget” for January, but everything big is already paid (mortgage, daycare etc.). Do I have to start at the beginning of the month? Also, it wants me to “budget” all of the starting balance in my checking account, but don’t you leave some there to maintain a minimum balance? I’m confused.

    • Anonymous :

      YNAB has some excellent video/tutorials that I recommend.

      But yes, you start with today. You start with the money you have on hand (balance in checking, savings, credit card) and you give each dollar a job to do until the next time you have income. So, all the major bills are paid for Jan, but you might still need to budget for fuel for the car or groceries. Do you get paid before you need to pay the mortgage again? If not, you’ll need to account for that as one of the “jobs” before you allocate the rest of the money.

      The other thing to remember with YNAB is the budget part is about what each dollar is intended for – this may not directly matchup with the balances of the actual accounts (cash flow), so don’t get too hung up on that. But definitely watch some of their videos and do their (free) on-line classes, which will walk you through how things are supposed to work.

    • anon a mouse :

      they do a terrible job of explaining how to start out. For me, I “budgeted” my entire checking balance but created a category called “Do not spend” for a large chunk of it so that it is technically accounted for in the program, but I’m not spending it on monthly expenses.

  18. PS – sorry for all the typos…

  19. applesandcheddar :

    Do any of you have a good weight lifting plan you follow? I am looking to put on some muscle, not drop any weight, but I am really overwhelmed by all of the weight lifting plans out there! I have access to a pretty nice gym will free weights, power racks, machines, etc, and I am willing to put in the time and effort. I have lifted before, but not in a long time. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      New Rules of Lifting for Women, or Strong Curves – I’ve done both. My shoulders get too bulky for my preference quite quickly, so I didn’t love NROLFW as much, but they ‘re both excellent. Strong Curves reshaped my body like nothing else.

      Another two options are Stronglifts or Starting Strength, both of which I enjoyed, but less than the follow up to Strong Curves, which is Get Glutes (online plan only, no book).

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have always really been into lifting, but it is hard to say what plan I follow since it was learned from years of being an athlete and then being a personal trainer. If you end up getting a trainer to get you started, I would emphasize you actually want to lift. Trainers have a tendency to do very light lifting with women.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes – I tried a trainer at the gym and basically he had be doing a circuit of pushups and planks – no thanks. I’ve been an athlete all my life and am just looking to find a lifting program now.

  20. Can someone give me a primer on leasing a car? I’ve only ever had a car once (7-ish yrs ago) for a clerkship in a small city and then have spent the rest of my time in Manhattan. Now I’m moving out and need a car in about a week. I already know what I want (Mazda), but can’t decide whether to lease or buy. Obviously financially, long term, buying is better. BUT my question — can you negotiate a lease, or is it just x months at y/month. Last time I looked for a car, some dealer (can’t remember which one) blew me off and said — leases are set by the manufacturer, there’s nothing we can do to alter/lower it. While he was willing to negotiate on selling the car. Is that accurate or was he just feeding me a line?

    Can someone give me the basics of the leasing process?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, you can absolutely negotiate a car lease. Here are some links to get you started: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+to+lease+a+car&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8

    • Your monthly lease payment is based on a few factors – sales price of the car, the expected residual value at the end of the lease, and your interest rate, so yes, there is definitely room to negotiate. I assume the interest rate is set by the manufacturer’s finance company, but sales price can definitely be negotiated. Residual value can be tricky, because an inflated residual value can reduce the lease payments up front, which is great if you turn the car in at the end of your lease. If you end up having to buy it for some reason, a residual value much higher than the actual value is not so great. My impression of leasing is that you should expect to get nickled and dimed when you turn the car in at the end unless you keep the car in pristine shape, although I’ve not dealt with that before because an unexpected job change meant that we went waaaaay over in miles on our lease and had to buy it or pay $5000 in mileage surcharges. Personally I wouldn’t lease again unless I was in a position where I expected my car needs to change drastically at the end of the lease period.