Wednesday’s TPS Report: Annie Sleeveless Top

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

LK Bennett Annie Sleeveless TopThis is exactly the kind of t-shirt that I love to wear under suits: simple, but a little fancy. There’s a great mix of silk and jersey, a bright, happy color, and it looks a little bit lux without all the fuss of a blouse. It’s $135 at LK Bennett. (Even more lux, but on sale: a similar chiffon mix top that was $345, now $172.) LK Bennett Annie Sleeveless Top

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  1. I honestly almost bought this top last week, but thought the see-throughy top part might not look right and show bra straps.

    TJ: Anyone have any thoughts on West Elm beds? I’m thinking of getting the Pivot bed with the nailhead headboard. I need something that is sturdier than IKEA stuff, but doesn’t need to last forever. I’ll probably look to get a more permanent bed in 5-7 years when we buy a place.

    • I have the West Elm Stria bed and it’s in great shape. Definitely much sturdier than Ikea, we’ve moved with it once and it’s still good to go.

    • I am also looking to buy a good quality sturdy bed but don’t have a huge budget.
      I like the bed frames at West Elm, I can get something solid wood in a decent price point. Anyone know if a headboard is absolutely needed or is just a personal preference?
      Can I buy the headboard separately somewhere else cheaper or does it to have to match rest of the bed frame?
      TIA, I am really challenged when it comes to interior decoration.

      • Anne Shirley :

        The headboard is typically the most noticeable part of the bed frame. It is a personal preference, but I wouldn’t try and buy a cheaper one elsewhere. It won’t match and the whole set will wind up looking cheaper.

      • Target has some good and reasonably priced headboards. I bought the clip corner nailbutton headboard and I’ve been pretty happy with it. The color was more grey/beige than depicted in the stock folder. The reviewer pics were very helpful.

        • This is the headboard:

          There are other good choices too.

      • Thanks, personally I would prefer an upholstered or cushioned headboard when I sit up and read in bed. A flat wooden headboard doesn’t feel that comfortable, I have one right now.
        I will visit the store and take a look, just bed frame from west elm is a much better quality in price range than buying cheaper bed elsewhere. I don’t care so much about having the perfect magazine look.

  2. Paging Syndey Bristow :

    I saw your comment last night about the curl falling out of your hair. I have very similar issues with my hair and found that using product in my hair (I use aquage uplifting foam) on the roots and the ends helps maintains the hold like no one’s business. I have naturally curly hair, but when I blow it out, I find if I don’t take a break and let my hair really cool, the added heat from the curling iron just results in curls that fall. I’ve heard (though haven’t tried) velcro rollers help, but what I do is blow out my hair and wear it straight one day, dry shampoo roots and go for the nice wavy look the next day (sometimes two) or on day three, I go for an updo. I hope this helps!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thank you! I’ll try product. I’ve tried Velcro rollers before and just can seem to get the hang of them. I’ve mastered my curling iron though so hopefully using a product like that will help them stay.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        I’ve heard Velcro rollers are terrible for your hair, though, so be careful with those.

      • I set my hair with magnetic rollers after I use a curling iron. You can buy them at any beauty supply store – they are just plastic rollers with holes to allow air flow. I wrap the curl around the roller and secure with a clip to let the curl cool completely.

        Velcro rollers used incorrectly can cause breakage so I do not even bother. (I can pluck out the plastic rollers in a few seconds if I’m in a rush.)

        • Sydney Bristow :

          That is an interesting idea. I’ll try that if product alone doesn’t work. Thanks!

          • Yeah, heat softens the bonds in your hair that give it shape (as do some chemicals, that’s how perms work, and as does having it wet which is why wet-sets work) then you want them to harden (cool) IN THE SHAPE you want. Generally, pros get curling iron curls to stay by simply making the iron curl, then pinning it, still curled, until it cools. You can buy a big b0x of single-prong clips at any beauty supply store that will pin them great. when you release the iron, the curl is still warm, so when you drop it and THEN it cools, you’ve lost some of the curl you could have had. Pin till cool and they last better. This is why hot rollers often work better for people, because most people leave them in till they cool off.

  3. Essential oils :

    Hi ladies, has anyone here had any experience using essential oils to curb food cravings/ snacking? I’ve heard some rumblings that lemon oil and peppermint oil work well but I can’t find much online besides direct marketing websites and I’d like an honest perspective.

    • Haven’t heard about these, and would be suspect. A family member is trying the raspberry ketone extract, which is another flop.

      I’ve seen best success with getting enough protein/fat distributed during the day to make you feel full/satisfied, with cautious/long acting carbs. But when your hormones are fighting you, it is rough all around.

    • You may want to try eating nutritious food instead. Food cravings are not a sign of good health.

      Read Eat to Live. Eating right is far safer than essential oils or pills or any other “magic bullet”.

      • Essential oils :

        Carrie and Anon, thanks for your replies, I guess I should specify. I actually am eating healthy, just started making my diet more high protein, low carb, and I’m generally not a snacker but do get overcome by emotional eating at times and was just wondering if the essential oil thing was a good remedy to that.

        • I have emotional eating issues at times, as well as weather-related issue (i.e. grey wintery and rainy days make me want to eat every carb in sight) and my only solution was to grocery shop in a more targeted fashion so I can’t satisfy those cravings. If all you have around is healthy food, you can’t usually overeat and if you do, it doesn’t cause as much damage.

          Can you find substitutions for your cravings? I love pasta but have started getting tofu shirakti noodles instead which are a decent substitute.

          And I agree with the water and tea suggestion.

        • Agree that you have to keep bad stuff out of the house, or all is lost.

          You need a two fold approach…

          First, if you need to eat, try to find something less damaging, yet satisfying to your body. Make yourself drink the large class of water and then eat a spoonful of peanut butter (fat will help satiate) or make some popcorn in olive oil. You need a little fat to help satisfy. At least it works for me.

          And the second thing you should try to do is start figuring out some other options for stress reduction that can be an outlet. Go for a walk, start some mindfulness practices/medication (tons of resources online to learn), call a supportive friend, volunteer, scream in a pillow/cry a little if it helps, and of course…. exercise helps a lot but it is so hard for many of us to do.

        • CapHillAnon :

          Interesting. I sniff grapefruit essential oil (and sometimes dab it on pressure points) to help wake me up on sleepy days and to ward off a sugary snack craving. It generally brightens me up if I’m feeling slumpy. I haven’t read anything suggesting any of those uses for it, but started when I realized that I loved that smell and that I felt better overall after a whiff of it. Sometimes feeling a different pleasant sensory experience (a treat) can be enough of a jolt to change course. Haven’t tried peppermint oil or any other kind of oil.

          Of course, it is perfectly ok to snack! And to eat good stuff, and junk food too. No judgment here on snacking / avoiding snacking / eating more healthily / eating less healthily. You do you.

        • The only thing that has worked to end emotional eating for me is getting at the root cause of those emotions. If you have an emotional eating episode every six months when something out of the ordinary happens, that’s not going to destroy your health, but if there’s something going on in your life that results in emotional eating every day, well, there’s something out of balance that needs to be addressed. Toxic people? Stress? Untreated depression? Unfulfilling work? Any number of things.

          Keeping the “bad stuff” out of your house is addressing the symptom, which is great, but getting at the root cause is going to serve you much better. I had “one of those days” yesterday and I had to consciously decide NOT to stop at 3 different bars and 2 different grocery stores on the way home. Then I found myself rooting through the cupboards for something, anything sugary, and all I found was some dried cherries. Which I proceeded to chow down on. There’s only so much willpower inside my brain. I am best served by fixing my life so that I don’t need it to exercise it as much.

      • A Nonny Moose :

        And make sure you’re drinking *lots* of water. Whenever I get the urge to snack, I chug a glass of water or drink some tea. My hunger often stems from boredom though.

        • If the cravings are from boredom (that’s what my snacking habits stem from), herbal teas are very effective for me personally. Instead of a cookie or a granola bar, a cup of mint or licorice tea satisfies that sweet craving. Tea Forte also makes a number of teas that taste especially indulgent (Cherry Marzipan, Coconut Mango Colada, etc.).

          • CapHillAnon :

            +1. Decaf green tea is my go-to for this!

          • Agree on the tea – when I get the urge to snack at work, I make myself tea. If still hungry afterwards, then I will eat a healthy snack. I’ve been loving almond cookie green tea from Tea Embassy – it gives that hint of dessert and can often times fulfill my afternoon sweet craving. And tea just tastes so much better than chugging water.

      • I’m going to disagree with your blanket statements that food cravings are not a sign of good health. They are often a sign of hormonal changes or your body asking for the food types that it needs. You’re right, if you’re craving sweets every afternoon at 3, it might be a problem, but occasional cravings are totally normal even for those with the healthiest diets.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Essential oils in general aren’t intended for consumption, but I think the general idea makes sense – the scents of lemon and mint are generally appetite suppressants. I’d go with teas instead, though, to avoid accidentally consuming something slightly poisonous, and get the additional water.

      Get a great mint tea, and a fun citrusy blend, and go nuts. I love the ritual and fancy feeling of luxury teas, and per cup, they’re actually still really cheap. I go to the Spice and Tea Exchange (I’m in DC), but I’d suggest finding a tea shop and just sniffing until you find something that excites you. Teavana is a chain that’s pretty decent, and they also have an online store. Good luck!

      • Coach Laura :

        I drink mint tea at night after dinner to stop cravings. Trader joes mint melange.

  4. I love the brightness of thip top. Anyone in D.C. want to go in on building an ark?

    • Or at least bulk buying knee high plastic boots? The water in the parking lot was over my shoes this morning, ugh.

      • FormerPhotog :

        I will trade for the hideous heat and drought in SoCal. I know, I know. I am a fragile winter bloom, and wilt at anything over 65, so this sudden jump to 100 degrees is miserable.

        If I didn’t love my job…

        • I’m right there with you. Please fill all arks and rainboots with water and deliver them to Los Angeles.

    • At least your precipitation doesn’t intermittently turn into snow.

      • Oh but it does! Not more than 2 weeks ago, we had what I like to call “snain” – rain and snow at the same time! And then I had slush build up on my windshield.

        DC weather is awesome. Not.

    • I usually don’t mind rain but rain + cold + gray skies really brings me down.

      • Me too. This weather makes me want to curl up in a ball under the covers with my pup. But to be fair, that’s kind of my default setting, but the urge is stronger than usual right now.

    • I’m so there. I’ll bring the wine.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I love rain, but this cold and wet when it’s supposed to be warm is preventing me from planting my garden, and it’s definitely getting me down.

      Can we sail the ark to the Caribbean? I could use some white sandy beaches under blue skies right about now.

    • You build the ark, I’ll get the animals. Ready, go!

    • Yes. I practically had to get out snorkeling gear to walk my dog this morning.

    • Now they’ve issued a tornado warning. I expect the locusts to arrive soon.

      • Anonymoose :

        I like the locusts comment, but wouldn’t they be better than boils? (And in Alaska, the weather is gorgeous, sunny and 16 hours of daylight today.)

  5. I'm Just Me :

    Shopping help request: I recently lost weight and am looking for some summer skirts to wear for casual wear (running errands, hanging out on weekends). I’m more comfortable in skirts than shorts. I’m in my 50s so not too short, please. I like the looks of some of the Boden skirts and the Hanna Anderson Art Print skirt, but I have kids in college so I need a less expensive option.

    • Old Navy? Not sure if you’re looking for investment pieces (in which case my recommendation is a no-go), but I’ve had good luck finding jersey skirts there in years past. Also: maxi skirts!

      • Each summer I get a few jersey skirts at ON for casual wear. They may pill by the end of the summer but are often on sale for around $15:
        For reference, I’m 5″4′ amd the petite hits slightly above my knee. The skirt also comes in regular and tall sizes.

        • I ordered the polka dot pencil skirt from ON last week. It’s really cute! And a pull-on skirt, so I think it’d work well for casual wear.

          • Ooh, those are really cute. I love the big floral and the anchor print. I might have to get one…

        • My daughters have several of these skirts and I have one too. Cute and comfortable, but I recommend sizing up if you don’t want to be bothered with a visible panty line.

      • I have a jersey skirt from ON that I absolutely love. It’s from a few years ago, so I’m not sure that they still have it, but it has a sort of foldover waist (like yoga pants often do) and is super comfortable and looks really nice in an easy-breezy casual sort of way.

        • The one Bonnie linked looks like what I was describing. Assuming that they haven’t changed it up, I highly recommend it. I should probably get a new one myself.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        Quadruple (or are we up to quintuple) recc’ing Old Navy for summer skirts. Target’s also a good option, although I personally like ON better for shapes/patterns that flatter me. The Gap, BR, AT, and Loft outlets are also a good resource.

    • Loft has great skirts, and look for the sales.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve had luck with casual skirts from Target in the past. I don’t see any similar ones at the moment though.

    • There were cute A-line skirts in the Talbots catalog I just got and you can wait for a sale.

      • One example:

      • Talbots Friends and Family Sale is May 1-5. Use code FRIENDS30 for 30% off.

        Agree with KLG that they had some really cute skirts in the most recent catalog.

    • lucy stone :

      Do you have a GAP outlet nearby? I used to get some great summer skirts from there.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Definitely look at Lands End and JJill, and maybe Eddie Bauer or LL Bean.

    • Medic Maggie :

      If you can stand a skort, the Whatever skort from Athleta is incredible. I’ve owned 3. True to size, super lightweight, wrinkle-resistant, easy care.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Thank you for this! I saw those in the catalog that randomly showed up in my mail and it seemed like a great option for running around the park with kids. I had completely forgotten about it, but now it’s a serious option.

  6. I like the idea of this top but it has a few problems that would prevent me from wearing it.

    Like BB said, the see through yoke would show your bra straps should take off your jacket.

    It is way, way too long. It looks like a tunic on the model how is much taller than I am.

    I am not sold on the double layered hem. It looks too causal for work.

    The colors are too bright. The don’t say “business”, instead they shout, “very casual!”

    $345 for a tank tunic? No.

    • I don’t think the color is unsuitable for business and the double layered hem would look nice with pencil pants. The bra strap would be an issue though.

    • I agree on most of this, but I would without a second thought wear this color under a gray suit. I think it would look awesome, actually.

      But I hate strapless bras, and I feel like you’d have to wear one with this.

      • I have similarly colored top from Calvin Klein that works well under black and gray suits. Nothing unprofessional about a splash of color, IMO.

    • How is this too long? It tucks in neatly to the pants or skirt of the various models, and looks like the perfect length to actually stay tucked in when seated.

      I also don’t see anything wrong with the hem, or the colors. I wouldn’t wear the orange with my coloring, but I can picture several friends with different coloring who would look fantastic in a grey or olivey-grey suit with it.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Disagree, I love this pick. If I hadn’t already spent too much at the Pendleton sale, I’d probably buy it.

      It’s $135, actually. It’s 100% silk, so I don’t see that as being too expensive for a basic.

      I like the length for tucking, and it could look nice untucked over slim ankle pants.

      I’m not bothered by the bra straps showing, since I’d be wearing something over it. If/when I remove my cardigan/jacket, it’s alone in my office or another situation where frankly I don’t care if my bra straps show.

      It comes in cream and black for neutrals. I don’t gravitate to bright colors, but I don’t see them being inappropriate for those who look good in them. Only a small amount shows under a jacket.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Oops, I had my browser tabs mixed up. The 100% silk one is the more expensive with the exaggerated off-set hem lines. I still like the top, but I’m not sure I’d pay that much for viscose with silk trim. I’m also not sold on the off-set hem, but I’d still be tempted to try it.

  7. Adult Ice Skating :

    Did anyone read the WSJ article the other day re adult ice skaters? I thought it was awesome — in my mind, I have my short program song all picked out (Die Moldau, the Baby Einstein version).

    This top looks a bit like a skating costume to me. Maybe with some sparkles?

    But I can’t see it as a work piece. Strapless bras aren’t work underpinnings (but, know your office???) and I don’t want to do something that reeks of dress-that’s-strapless-with-a-bra-that-isn’t.

    • workingmomz :

      I agree with you. It would only really work under a jacket for work and then you might as well just wear a regular shell that isn’t as pricey.

    • As I believe I commented on a prior thread, in my own mind, I’ve won Olympic gold for my ice skating interpretation of “Royals.”

      • I’ve won Olympic gold in pairs for “Somebody that I Used to Know”

        • This makes my day! Honestly thought I was the only one who did this. For me it was Drops of Jupiter by Train.

    • former figure skater :

      I skated competitively as a kid and there were adults who skated at my rink from pretty much the time I started. Adult skating has grown a lot in recent years, but even 20 years ago there were organized adult competitions. I think originally a lot of adult skaters were former kid skaters who still wanted to perform and compete, but at a different level than before. Now more people are starting for the first time as adults. I really miss skating and wish I had the time to do it now. It’s a lot of fun and as an adult you get all the fun parts (sequins! music! performing! medals!) without the nasty parts like eating disorders & mean girls. Check it out if you have a rink near you, you’re really never too old to start :)

  8. Manhattanite :

    I kind of love this for wearing under a blazer or cardigan. Anyone seen anything similar under $50?

  9. Wildkitten :

    Does anyone have an opinion on the Federal Bar Association? I’m trying to figure out which networking organizations I should join in DC. Someone suggested young benefactors of the Smithsonian but it has disbanded.

    • Adult Ice Skating :

      The DC bar sections have a lot of lunch-and-learn seminars and I used to love those (and then graduated to speaking at them). Was an good way to network within my profession (and sometimes meet a client type) and build my reputation / resume.

      Have you thought about the Junior League of Washington (it’s about half lawyers; lots of Hill staffers).

      • Wildkitten :

        I think JLW is a bigger time commitment than I’d want. I should investigate further.

        • Adult Ice Skating :

          There are a lot of purely social clubs — state societies (mine was active all the time; some only for cherry blossom, balls, etc.), private clubs (various alumni were in the University Club, Metropolitan Club, Cosmos, etc.). Maybe nose around to see where you know someone already? Also, lots of local alumni groups (maybe you have one?).

          • Wildkitten :

            I’m already active in my state society and my alumni group. Those are good suggestions though!

    • I’ve been to events in Chicago and found it to be much more useful for networking than, say, your metro bar association. A smaller crowd typically makes for better networking. There are also several events where you can meet judges, if that is of interest to you. This is much more of a work-networking thing, though, as opposed to a social/philanthropic networking group, which it sounds like the Smithsonian benefactors is. Hope that helps!

    • CapHillAnon :

      I haven’t joined any, but have had colleagues enjoy the networking at various Inns of Court.

      • Wildkitten :

        Is there a specific Inn they liked?

        • CapHillAnon :

          Strike that. I just checked in to find out, and in fact both have stopped attending. One said that he just couldn’t find an Inn here that he liked, despite attending for a year or so. He had a great experience with the Inns when he practiced in NY, but was disapointed with the Inn scene here. Glad I checked to clarify, so that I could withdraw that bad advice. The only other things that come to mind are DC Women’s Bar Association events (but they can be hit or miss), and Smithsonian-specific clubs. There is one for the Hirschhorn, for example, that is great and contains a good number of lawyers. Good luck (and please report back if you find the ideal)!

        • CapHillAnon :


  10. Questions about being professional on crutches! I’m having surgery to repair a sports injury and will be on crutches for at least a month. I’m also entering an MBA program in a few months and have pre-MBA conferences for women, diversity, employer networking/informational events, etc coming up soon. I’ve tried to schedule everything to not interfere with my healing process, but if something comes up while I’m still on crutches, how do I do that professionally? Or should I just decline any events until I’m walking again?

    • oil in houston :

      I had surgery last year and had to go back to work on one of those little scooters, went to all my meetings, and everyone was very sympathetic. I wouldn’t worry about it

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’m not sure which scooters you mean but I saw someone with the new leg scooter thing and was so impressed. It is only for certain types of injuries. I’m guessing ankle would be one. And you kneel on the scooter with the bad leg and push with the good leg. It seemed to make so much more sense than crutches. That said, the guy I saw w/ it (at an Inns of Court) got TONS of respectful questions just because no one had seen such a contraption before.

    • This is a non-issue. Go to any events that are scheduled during your crutch-time while you are on crutches and don’t worry about it. It would be absurd to miss things over this!

    • Anne Shirley :

      You just go, with your crutches. There’s nothing unprofessional about having a disability.

      • Yeah, I kind of wonder when questions like this come up – is it somehow perceived as “less” professional to have mobility issues? If so, that’s pretty sad.

        I’m sure people who have asked how to be “professional” on crutches, wearing orthopedic boots, or having to wear flat/orthopedic shoes don’t mean it that way, but it made me think. Maybe it’s different if it’s a temporary issue for you vs. permanent.

        • Correct- I was more worried about awkward first meetings with recruiters and drawing unneeded attention.

    • Human beings occasional need help moving about. Since there’s no issue with having a permanent disability and being perceived as professional (e.g., wheel chair, cane, etc.), there’s no issue with you bring professional on crutches.

    • If you need to wear the crutches, try to have professional-looking flats, outfits that are comfortable around your underarms and long enough so that it doesn’t all ride up with your arms raised. You may need a backpack. If you have one, I wouldn’t bother buying a new one, unless your existing one is filthy and covered in teeny-bopper patches. People will understand. If anything, it makes you memorable! Be prepared to address why you are on crutches in a short explanation- people will ask. I found dresses and skirts to be easier than pulling pants over my leg. Hope that helps!

      • Lady Tetra :

        Yep, I was a summer associate on crutches, and it made everyone remember me better. It was very annoying to get around, but everyone was nice and completely understood. I wore tennis shoes the first week, then transitioned to nice flats. I would recommend trying on your suit/dress/skirt and hobbling around the house a bit before going out to make sure nothing rides up or is uncomfortable.

      • I would just say that if you need to wear sneakers, wear sneakers. Being on crutches or recovering from an injury/surgery can put a lot of strain on your other leg–you need to take care of your healing. No one will judge you for your footwear choices when you’re in crutches! And if they do, their problem not yours!

      • Also just general surgery stuff, but if the weather will be warm and you find skirts and dresses easier to wear as I did, I got my legs waxed before the surgery so I wouldn’t have to worry about how they looked exposed and how difficult it is to shave! Also easy-to-slip on shoes, although I found flip flops difficult because they have a tendency to fall off! Best of luck with recovery! Oh, and in lieu of a backpack, a small crossbody bag is very useful, too, depending on what you are carrying. If it’s just to have a purse and be able to collect business cards, then it’s perfect. It’s very difficult to access things (ie your phone) from a backpack, but you may not have a choice depending on how much you need to carry.

        • Second the cross-body. My colleague who is disabled and (permanently) on crutches uses either a cross-body or a messenger bag worn cross-body to carry things because she can’t carry anything in her hands with the crutches.

          • Thanks for that idea- believe it or not, I was considering somehow linking my shoulder tote to my crutches! (That’s why I asked you ladies!) Crossbody is a (obviously) better solution.

            I’ve already switched to professional flats for other events this spring due to my injury (luckily, I can walk without assistance until surgery), and after experiencing the ease of networking sans heels, I might abandon them altogether. Someone please remind me why we wear pumps?

          • Ha, I unabashedly wear sneakers or flats to and from work and even just to grab lunch! Since my surgery, I don’t mess around. I’d rather have my knees in my 60s. Even now behind my desk I’m in my sneakers, but slip on my comfortable pumps if I need to go see my boss, etc. totaling about 20 minutes spent in my pumps on a normal, non-court day.

          • @newMBA this isn’t anything that would have occurred to me either until I observed my colleague. She is awesome! She leaves us all in the dust when we’re walking. We all advocate for her about whatever we can. She has a hard time travelling without her husband although she did it last semester because he couldn’t go. She handled her pregnancy beautifully even though I’m sure it threw her off-balance on the crutches.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yup, agree with others. Go and don’t let it worry you. If you’re concerned, just ring up the venue in advance to find out about any mobility issues, but really, I think it will be fine.

      If anything, you have a topic of conversation ready for any awkward networking moments (assuming you feel comfortable talking about it) :)

      • A Nonny Moose :

        +1 on your last paragraph. Seems like a great icebreaker and will make you memorable!

    • Clementine :

      You dress as professionally as you can around your injury, make sure to call and ask for reasonable accomodations if necessary (i.e., priority parking), go in with a smile on your face and be your brilliant self.

      Assuming that your medical team is okay with it, I would go and have a 5 second ‘elevator’ version of the story ready. Brightside- you’ll certainly be memorable!

    • Agree with all here.

      Also, I totally recommend buying this type of crutches instead of the awful under arm crutches they will give you. You will have much less pain, and longer walking tolerance using these. These are ergonomic and will help prevent arm/armpit issues and carpal tunnel syndrome from crutch walking Get your doctor to write you a prescription and your insurance may cover them. They will be completely worth it even if you have to pay out of pocket, as it sounds like you will need to do a lot of walking.

      Walkeasy brand. Forearm crutches. Black looks the best.

      President Clinton used this style of crutches when he was recovering after his cardiac surgery.

      But I have to say…. it makes me a little sad that you think that simply being injured or disabled is unprofessional. This comes from someone with a disabled family member who walks with crutches. Really, you think you shouldn’t leave the house until you don’t look disabled, even if it is temporary? Sigh, now I am getting more upset…

      Sometimes people don’t realize how lucky they are, and we’re all one accident away from being permanently disabled. A lot of health is the luck of the draw and genetics. Try to be more open minded and accepting.

      • I don’t think she meant it as such a horrible stigma that no one should see her in such a state. At least I read it to mean, as this is new territory, how do I navigate it. I was in crutches and learned a lot about looking professional with them. i.e. that shirts tucked into skirts easily come untucked without any easy way to tuck them back in with both hands occupied, so dresses were easier for me. Also, because mine was knee surgery, putting on pants was very difficult. That’s what I took her question to mean – what are some tips you’d never think of until you were in that situation?

        • Possibly, but by asking if she should just stay home until she recovers suggests something else.

          Your tips are excellent though.

        • Nutella, That’s exactly what I meant. I’m a career-changer, so I want to be on top of my game when it comes to meeting potential employers and networking. Sometimes, I’m not the most graceful person (hence the injury), and I don’t want to detract from my professional presentation.

          That being said, I do understand there are some with permanent mobility issues, and I know they face an uphill battle with the opinions of some less-informed folk (the valedictorian of my high school class was told by my state’s office of vocational rehabilitation that she couldn’t go to med school because her legs were turned inwards. Preposterous!) For long-term mobility issues, I think the situations are handled and perceived differently than those with short-term injuries, and I also believe that those dealing with long-term mobility issues have more practice overcoming them than me.

          • You’ll quickly see just how inaccessible the world is when you are of limited mobility. Stairs everywhere. Heavy bathroom doors that you have to *pull! How do you do that with crutches?! Revolving doors! Carrying dinner from the kitchen to where you plan to eat! The faster you can use just one crutch, the better, but I don’t know the extent of your injury. The US has a lot of accessibility, but it is still very difficult to navigate. (Ever notice how many subway stations are all stairs, no elevators? Hard for the disabled and stroller-pushing moms alike!)

          • @ nutella: Absolutely true- this has really helped me realize all the accessibility issues in my area. The elevator at the train station near my home is almost always broken, and I’ve noticed that other stations I use frequently are an accessibility mess as well. I’m already dreading the post-surgery daily commute.
            And subway turnstiles? There has to be a better option.

    • MBAwannabe :

      If you’re willing to share, I’d love to know what pre-MBA conferences for women are happening! I was just accepted into a program and haven’t gotten that information yet.

      • Check out the Forte Foundation- they have an all women’s MBA conference in LA in June, and there’s a special financial services one in NYC in early June (but you have to apply to this one, so I recommend you do it soon).

        Also- a lot of companies (I know specifically financial services and consulting) have diversity programs for women and ethnic minorities that involve a pre-mba program. Check the websites for PwC, AT Kearny (I think those are still open), Morgan Stanley, Goldman, Wells Fargo, and Proctor & Gamble, to name a few. Also, just heard of one called JumpStart for both marketing and financial services/consulting disciplines. Hope this helps!

    • Find a wing woman! :

      I went to networking events on crutches. The others have the cross body bag /flats/fun sneakers/ skirts angle covered. My big piece of advice is to make a friend and ask for help… I can barely navigate buffet lines sans injury (and heaven help me if I am trying to navigate the appetizers while wrangling a drink too!). People will be happy to grab you a plate or pick up your info packet or what have you – just ask!

  11. Notice period :

    I wanted to say thank you to those who weighed in on my question yesterday. I have started my (299!) transition memos, and although it may take me my remaining notice period to complete them all, I feel more in control and motivated to work quickly so I can leave quickly!

  12. NYC Realty Questions :

    Two questions-

    Does anyone have a real estate agent recommendation (should be familiar with the Park Slope/Prospect Heights and/or the Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill/Brooklyn Heights market)? I am on the buy side.

    For those of you currently living in a co-op, how do you like it, and why did you pick a co-op in the first place (other than it being cheaper)? Is there any “hidden” items that we should look out for when shopping for a co-op? At this rate, it is the only thing that our budget can afford while staying within our desired neighborhoods.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Co-ops can really vary. I’ve lived in both co-ops and condos in NY and one isn’t necessarily better than the other unless you’re a foreign buyer or have an unorthodox financing arrangement. The bottom line is you want to look for a flexible board. Ideally, you want a cond-op, which is a co-op that is run like a condo, so the best of both worlds really (i.e., lower price with little restriction). More realistically, you want to make sure the board of your building will have reasonable rules, a permissive sublet policy, etc.

      Things to look at: financing requirement (if they want more than 20-25% min., it can affect resale because it will be harder to find a buyer that qualifies; also boards that want over 30% sometimes may want that to weed out younger buyers or people with less cash upfront – which can be a sign of a more stodgy building generally); sublet policy (is it for a limited number of years (i.e., 2 out 5 or only after certain number of years in the building)? is there a sublet fee and do you need board approval to sublet (this last bit can mean that delays if you need to rent out the place down the line)?); how is the board with approving renovations? what’s the pet policy (purely my own experience in NYC, but buildings that restrict pets tend to be restrictive overall) … Obviously, you also want to look into the building financials, find out if there are any assessments, now or in the near future, any pending litigation, if there’s a flip tax and who pays, etc.

      If you’re looking to buy, you should probably also get pre-approved for a mortgage (if you haven’t already) as the market is insane in NY right now and you’ll need to act really fast if you find something.

      • NYC Realty Questions :

        Thanks for your detailed response, AIMS. This gives me a lot to think about!

    • Yay! Fineally a question that I can help with!!!

      My dad say’s co-ops are cheeper then condo’s but you only own stock, not the apartement itself. But it does NOT make that much diference b/c you are responsible for the apartement, if you want to paint it, you have to do it yourself, tho the coop will have a guy up if there is a probelem with the electric, but NOT the air conditioning unit (which YOU own).

      My dad says whatever the apartement is, that is what you get. So when I told him what I wanted, he did alot of lookeing and most of the apartement’s I liked that he picked out were coop’s, tho 1 was not. I had to get approved by the board of director’s which are just silly peeople in the building that really have nothing better to do all day then boss the rest of us around and buy flower’s for the lobby and write nasty newsletter’s telling us that we have to be quieter on the pool /exercise floor b/c there are peeople living there, etc.

      The president of my coop said that I was getting approved ONLEY b/c my dad guaranteed my morgage or whatever, and he thought I might be troubel b/c I was a lawyer!! I said I am NOT a coop lawyer so I would NOT be troubel. The other lady sitting there (I do NOT even think she EVER took the skowl off her face) asked me if I would be bringeing MEN into the apartement. I said I had freind’s and I hoped I could without askeing HER permission! She also wanted to make sure I did NOT cook smelley food. FOOEY on her. I think she was just jelous of me b/c I was still in my 20’s and already had a job and a law degree and was dateing Alan Sheketovits. Even after I was aproved, and moved in, I warned Alan NOT to cause any troubel b/c of the skowleing lady who lives on my floor! DOUBEL FOOEY if you have someone on the board on your floor.

      I am still in Pitsuburgh, and the weather is NOT very nice here. I hope to get back by Friday so I can go to CRUMBS. YAY!!!!!

    • Anon in Prospect Heights :

      I recommend Peter Poljan at Corcoran. While he is based in one of their Manhattan offices, he knows a lot about Brooklyn, having invested his own money into several places, and helped my husband and I buy in Prospect Heights and helped a friend of ours buy in Boerum Hill. He can recommend a lawyer and mortgage broker also, if you don’t have one yet.

    • All I can say is NOT Corcoran. We had a terrible experience with them renting and have heard horror stories–and they charge a higher fee than anywhere I’ve seen.

      • Really? I am surprised to hear this. How much did they charge? From what I understand commission is pretty standard across the city – 6% from seller for sales and 15% of year’s rent from renter for rentals.

    • insert witty handle here :

      There’s a book called NY coop bible or something like that. I found the writing annoying but it had great info. I’m in a neighborhood where there are almost no condo buildings but lots of coops so that made the decision easy. And I second everything AIMS said.

  13. Oops, I need help :

    Does anyone have any advice on how to ask your boss for your old job back? Has anyone here ever done this successfully?

    I am a contract attorney, and up until the end of last month, I had been helping a solo practitioner with an IP practice. I left on good terms to pursue what I thought (and had been told during the interview) was a transaction and licensing position, but has turned out to be completely different (I’m doing niche insurance litigation?!). Although I have tried to keep an open mind and stay positive, the fact of the matter is that this position is simply not a good fit for me. I made a mistake and do not want to waste any more time in a bad position. However, I am not going to quit without another position lined up. I know that the solo practitioner still needs help. How do I ask for my old job back in the most professional way possible (if there is such a thing)?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d just tell him or her what you told us — the new position was not as represented, you enjoyed your work with the solo, you are aware he/she still needs help, and you would like to come back.

      I haven’t done this exact thing, but I have gone back and asked to accept a job offer I’d previously rejected, for similar reasons, and they were happy to have me.

    • Wildkitten :

      My bf did this and they just asked him to commit to staying for a certain period of time. It worked well.

  14. military gf :

    tips on staying professional at work when you have an injury?

    because life wasn’t complicated enough, I severely sprained my ankle. My office has been letting me work from home, but I’m going to try to go in starting tomorrow. Likely I’ll still be on at least one crutch, or at least limping. Regarding clothes – I don’t own any work pants and it’s supposed to be chilly. Should I wear my ace bandage over or under nude pantyhose? Or should I wear leggings under a dress? Ballet flats? Is it okay to keep my leg elevated while I’m sitting at my desk? Sigh

    • Anne Shirley :

      Ladies. General rule. It is not unprofessional to be injured, disabled, or in need of accommodations. Leggings under dress- fine. Sneakers- fine. Elevating foot- fine.

      Every dude who comes into my office with a leg injury does so with a swagger that suggests he was wounded whilst saving a fair maiden from a marauding bull (or, ya know, contact golf). They wear what they need to wear and prop themselves wherever they need to be.

      You will be fine!

      • +1

        When I had a foot injury from judo (broken toe plus other things), and could only wear flip flops to work, I wore flip flops to work. With my suit/skirt/dress/pants depending on the day. No. One. Cared.

        I also couldn’t tape it for a while, so it was black/purple. Again, No. One. Cared. I’m still here many years later, and have been promoted several times over, so I really don’t think it impacted my professionalism. I treated it as a non-issue, because it was a non-issue.

      • Completely agreed. I think leggings under a dress would be a good solution. And being injured does make you unprofessional.

        I injured my foot pretty badly this past week. Luckily, it’s our last week of classes and I’m in academia so I can wear jeans and sneakers for a few days. This is very unusual for me so I’ve gotten some comments (some from students who liked the cute little Adidas I wore yesterday to their final presentations) but it’s easily explained that I have a foot injury. I tried open sandals but I felt uncomfortable leaving my foot open to further injury (and it looks like holy he!!).

      • Thank you! The only thing unprofessional about an injury is if you’re constantly yelling “woe is me” from the hilltop. Otherwise, no one cares.

        Modify your normal business dress, so you can 1) accommodate your injury and 2) don’t flash anyone anything as a result of #1.

        Also, if it makes YOU feel better, order a pair of pants to wear while you’re injured.

      • That is so funny and so true about the injured dudes.

        I want to clarify that I understand asking for tips on how best to get around with crutches, making sure pants and skirts don’t ride up inappropriately or uncomfortably, and recommendations for nice flat shoes (not necessarily nice as in “professionally appropriate” but hey, even if I were on crutches I’d probably want to try to wear cute shoes). And I think that image is important, but really, your health should come first.

      • I think I read last week about a judge who kicked a lawyer out of the courtroom for wearing shorts. He had just had major knee surgery and had a huge brace & such, so wore shorts to court. I think the judge should’ve cut him some slack.


      just kidding :) do what you need to and get better soon!

      • Just don’t elevate it on the conference table when you’re in a meeting and you’ll be fine.

        signed, almost finally better after a sprain

    • I severly sprained/minorly fractured my ankle a few months ago.

      I wore pants so that my brace was not visible because that made me feel less conspicous. As you have no pants, I would recommend wearing your brace under pantihose, or purchasing a pair of pants (I wore my brace for 5 weeks, so it might be worth the investment!).

      I sat with my leg elevated at my desk and in meetings with co-workers. I tried not to elevate it during client meetings, but I did elevate it during 7-hour discoveries even though clients were there.

      I was not given the option of working from home, and didn’t think to ask for it. In hindsight, I think it was idiotic of me to keep my regular office hours and appointments. Limping around the office, and to and from court and to and from discoveries definitely worsened my ankle and increased my healing time. I wish I’d applied the same common sense to myself that I would have to any injured friend/family member/co-worker/client. In summary, I encourage you to continue working from home as long as you can.

    • I severely sprained/minorly fractured my ankle a few months ago.

      I wore pants so that my brace was not visible because that made me feel less conspicous. As you have no pants, I would recommend wearing your brace under pantihose, or purchasing a pair of pants (I wore my brace for 5 weeks, so it might be worth the investment!).

      I sat with my leg elevated at my desk and in meetings with co-workers. I tried not to elevate it during client meetings, but I did elevate it during 7-hour discoveries even though clients were there.

      I was not given the option of working from home, and didn’t think to ask for it. In hindsight, I think it was idiotic of me to keep my regular office hours and appointments. Limping around the office, and to and from court and to and from discoveries definitely worsened my ankle and increased my healing time. I wish I’d applied the same common sense to myself that I would have to any injured friend/family member/co-worker/client. In summary, I encourage you to continue working from home as long as you can.

    • I sprained my ankle at my last job — not enough to need crutches but bad enough to need a walking splint. It was sneakers and elevating my foot (awkwardly) at my desk everyday for 2-3 weeks after that. Once the initial questions from coworkers were done, no one really cared.

      Do what you need to feel better. Most people have been there!

    • IMO you get a pass on pantyhose when you are injured, especially since the snaps on the bandage would probably rip them. If you don’t own pants, leggings under a comfortable dress are a good solution.

    • I very severely strained my calf, to the point where I couldn’t have anything touch it because it hurt so badly. I got permission from my boss to wear shorts to work while I was wrapped and crutched. In case your ankle is swollen and tender, leggings and pantyhose may feel terrible in practice. My boss was very understanding and I always made the effort to dress business casual on top and wore nice bermuda shorts. Focus first on your comfort and then figure out how to translate that to the work environment. And if you want to wear shorts or need to move workspaces for a bit, ask for it and don’t wait for them to offer.

  15. Paging all petite ‘rettes: What office chair do you currently use? Have been trying to find one for my office at home for over a year and still no luck. It doesn’t have to have wheels (could even be a dining chair so long it’s comfortable). Tried the Aeron and it doesn’t work. Ideally under $700.

    • Best chair ever:

      • Thanks for the suggestion! This looks very interesting… I will go find out if they have any retail points in my area to try out in person.

        • Per their website, they don’t stock the chair in any B&M stores. But it looks like they have a great return policy if you find it doesn’t work for you.

          (I almost guarantee it will, though! I’m not petite, but a friend of mine who is 5’2″ also has and loves this chair.)

      • I think this is the chair my office gave me. I can barely walk by 7 p.m. Terrible. explains why do many chairs won’t work for petites on the BodyBilt 3407 page. This looks like a terrible offender in many ways.

      • workingmomz :

        I have this too and love it!

    • I asked last week and the Aeron was suggested. I used it previously and hated it. I this would be an interesting post, Kat. I keep meaning to email her the suggestion. Anyway, I’m now considering the BodyBilt 3407 petite executive chair. I just hate the idea of spending so much. But I spend 10+ hours a day in this chair and my back pain has been keeping me up at night lately.

      • Yup. I try to think of it as cost of chair vs. cost of back surgery.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Kat, if you’re reading this: I’d love to see desk solutions for petites included as well. Seems the options are foot rest or standing desk.

    • Famouscait :

      I have a HumanScale Liberty Task chair and I lurvs it. I was in an Aeron before and it gave me back trouble. This one does not. And, I ordered it with a purple seat, so it makes me smile when I pull it out from my desk. =)

  16. Has anyone from Canada ordered from Brooks Brothers? I am scared there will be some ridiculous landing charges. If anyone has experience I would love to know whether there was landing charges or not!

  17. TJ re car insurance :

    I know there was discussion about this a week or so ago, but I am looking for more specifics. I have USAA insurance for my car. I had an accident in my parking garage (me v. concrete pillar). I got some estimates when I initially thought I would pay out of pocket, but decided to file a claim based on the expense. But my experience with USAA has been unexpectedly awful. I only receive updates when I ask for them, and when I do ask, there is usually something significant that I should I have known much earlier so that the process could move forward more quickly. For example, I asked for a general update, and found out that they were having trouble reaching the two places I got estimates. Once I knew that, I was able to provide the estimates to USAA myself. One was approved, but I hadn’t heard back from the about the other one, so I asked what was going on. Only then was I told that estimate was not approved and someone else needed to do the work. I think things are finally straightened out now, but I have several other accounts and policies with USAA, and have filed other claims with them, and have never had such a bad experience. For those of you with USAA, have you had good claims experiences? Is this just a fluke, or a sign I need to switch insurers?

    • mintberrycrunch :

      This is surprising to me. I have all USAA accounts (checking, savings, home & auto) and I’ve never had a problem with them. I actually rave about them to all my friends because I’ve always had such impeccable customer service. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t have a good experience though! I would certainly be wary after what you describe.

    • This sounds like a fluke. The only time I’ve had issues with them was when I was hit by an uninsured driver who claimed to have insurance and wanted to send my car to the out of network dealership auto shop instead of the one USAA works with. These issues were out of their hands though.

  18. I just looked back at yesterday’s thread re: the LV purse. My comment was on topic and was apparently deleted….well that’s nice.

    • Well there are a bunch of anon’s in the thread- are you sure it isn’t on the second or third page of comments/

    • Did you click on “newer comments” at the bottom of the thread? Also, chill.

    • How do all you Anons remember who you are? I would never be able to find my old posts if I couldn’t search for “Parfait.”

  19. Senior Attorney :

    I just want to say I love this top so much I want to marry it. The sheer top/bra straps issue doesn’t bother me — I generally leave my jacket on in the office and outside the office I don’t mind the straps showing under the sheer part. And it’s nice to see something in the Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid!

  20. Guys, do you have any tips on improving attention span that actually work? My attention span has gone down significantly and now I’m at a point where it’s getting hard for me to focus even for 15 min in a meeting, and I’m taking much longer to complete something which requires analytical thinking. Also, when I’m focused on something, it’s getting very hard for me to take a break and for e.g., attend a meeting related to another topic because I’m occupied with my task at hand and don’t pay enough attention in the meeting.
    Any tips would be highly appreciated.


    • Philanthropy Girl :

      Make sure your blood sugar’s stable. Low blood sugar can cause concentration issues.

    • Frugal doc :

      Agree with seeing a doctor. Sleep issues, anxiety and many more can contribute.

  21. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I’ve just been reading the post from yesterday about stores asking for phone numbers.

    I find this so weird and it doesn’t happen here in the UK, but if someone is looking for an easy ‘way out’ without having to give fake numbers just say you don’t live in the US (most store staff don’t pay attention to whether your card is US or foreign and you could have a US card and live abroad for a number of reasons).

  22. Looking to order from Brooks Brothers, but I am from Canada. Anyone have experience with this and know whether or not I will incur landing charges? Thanks

    • Rural Juror :

      I ordered from BB once before and got slammed with duties/taxes. I haven’t made an order there since because the “good deal” I thought I was getting turned out to be quite an expensive purchase. Sigh!

      • Thanks so much. It looks like I will be waiting until the store near me opens in a few months to purchase items then :(

  23. DH and I have always worked near eachother and both start at 9. Recently he got a new job that starts at 8. We share a car and can’t do public transit from where we live. We can walk but it is a bit of a hike and we live in a nasty climate so winter walking (and even summer sometimes) is difficult if not impossible. It looks like I am either going to have to let him drive and I walk, or I am going to have to get up an hour early and go to work an hour early and just kill time until 9, or I am going to have to wake up, drop him off, go home, then drive myself. All of these options seem really annoying to me and it makes me mad that I have to make an inconvenient adjustment. He suggested that he will walk “sometimes” but he has never walked to work once from where we live now. How do you guys make these types of thing work?

    • Hildegarde :

      Switch off: you drive every other day, and he drives every other day.

    • Can you adjust your schedule so you have work to do at 8? What do you exactly? Is it dependent on start time? Alternatively, can you get a second car? Or maybe use that time to do something else productive like go to the gym?


    • Can one of you get a bike or a scooter or something?

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Buy a second car. This is not worth being mad about.