Thursday’s TPS Report: Sheer Pleated Blouse

Loft Sheer Pleated Blouse | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I love the floaty, drapey vibe to this highly-rated Loft blouse. It’s swingy! It’s demure! It’s pretty! For once I prefer it in the grapefruit, but it’s also available in black, where it looks a bit more sheer — with either one I’d wear it with a camisole that hid my bra straps, like the Old Navy Tami or the Nordstrom Two-Way Tank (formerly known as the Shimera tank). The blouse, at full price, is $59 — it’s available exclusively online in regular and petite sizes XS-XL. Loft Sheer Pleated Blouse

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  1. All the Ann Taylor hate on yesterday’s post made me really sad. I love the Loft, AT, and AT Factory. The clothes fit my pear body. Are you all really judging me for wearing AT? What should I be wearing? !!! I am 49, and petite, and a size 12. FWIW.

    • seriously that article was ridiculous. Put it out of your mind and go about your business. Besides, who cares if people are judging you for wearing AT? Those people sound like they s*ck.

      • On a side note, this is what confuses me about so many women I know (not directed at you, Trish, just general confusion) Why do we seem to care so much about people judging us? People judge us all the time for things they shouldn’t. It’s an unfair part of female life. Lets not get so caught up in whether people are judging us for dumb reasons.

        • BeenThatGuy :

          Why do people judge us and why do we care that people judge us. I’m so tired of both. Let’s all just agree to start empowering each other in every way. We would be all so much happier and satisfied.

          • anonymous :

            yeah, but let’s also start not having a fit because “someone judged me.”

        • On the other hand, this is a blog about women’s work fashion, which is all about making a good impression in other people’s judgement.

          • Is it? Or is it about feeling confident in yourself, regardless of what other people think?

            I’m wholeheartedly on board with the sentiment that we can do well if we stop giving a hoot about whether other people judge us. If someone wants to judge me on something silly or preference-based, that’s their business, not mine. Because really, at the end of the day, if someone is going to spend their energy judging me, then that’s pretty sad for them that they’ve wasted that energy.

    • Wear what works for you and ignore the naysayers

      • I think Trish has identified a legitimate question. What are the other options (not necessarily alternatives)? I want variety and don’t want a wardrobe of 100% AT. So, as someone who has to wear a suit daily, where does my 5’7″, curvy, size 12 frame turn? I just feel there’s a real imbalance in the availability of comparable women’s “work wear” when it comes to the most formal work environments. Men have multiple stores devoted to suits at a range of price points.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m more of a pear and also like BR. BR has a lot of Tall options.

          I can work a lot of LE pieces into my life (non-work and business-casual for most days) and find that they are very good quality for the $.

          BB Red Fleece (and BB regular, maybe at sale prices).

          Boden (not everything, but many things), and they come in talls and measure their garments.

          Even Talbots.

          I think the key thing is fit — you may need to tailor things a bit and never wear anything that doesn’t really fit you or is old (styling-wise) or worn. And like Hannibal Lechter pointed out, everyone notices worn cheap shoes. They ruin an otherwise-good outfit.

          • heatherskib :

            I just got a bunch of suiting from Boden, and it’s gorgeous! The wool is super soft, and it’s very well tailored. They just don’t market the pieces as suiting. If you run a search by fabric composition it’ll pull up pieces that will likely match. Just call or chat with their support department and they’ll check swatches for you.

          • heatherskib, would you mind sharing which pieces?

          • Try White House Black Market. They have both petites and talls, straighter fits and curvier fits. Plus, they make tons of suits, both interview appropriate and more fun daily wear varieties.

          • Heatherskib :

            Hi Anonny,

            98% wool and 2% elastene: wide leg wool pant, Aubrey pencil skirt, Clarendon jacket, and Richmond skirt in navy. I tried on the Chelsea pant but didn’t like the cut on me.

            46% wool 28% cotton 13% polyester 12% polyamide 1% acrylic I got the Chelsea jacket and Patricia skirt. The grey colorway is identical, even though they aren’t uniformly named.

            The tailoring is nice, everything is lined, and even the buttonholes on the jacket sleeves are functional. I live in Florida, and these aren’t so heavy that I can’t wear them mostly year round.

            I also got the Angie Silk top- which is a nice matte silk crepe, the Lightweight Striped Sweater, and Pretty Sweater.

            I know I bought a lot, but my weight’s changed in the wrong direction and all of my business travel is within the next 6 months. :(

        • I completely agree with this. My husband and I both wear suits every day. He can walk into a department store and walk out with a complete collection of high quality classic suits. It takes me forever to find anything appropriate and then my choices in terms of fabric and fit are extremely limited. My dislike of Ann Taylor has to do with their shift to synthetics in the last 10 yrs or so. I know some people are okay with synthetics but I really think synthetic suits look different from wool suits and just don’t drape the way wool does. Plus wool is comfortable no matter what the season whereas I find synthetic to be hot in the summer and cold in the winter. When I graduated from college in 1999, my mom bought me a beautiful silk twin set from Ann Taylor as a “welcome to the work world” gift. It wore like iron. I had it for ten years and it still looked beautiful (I donated it because I had lost a bunch of weight and it was too big for me; otherwise I think I’d be wearing it still). But today, the clothes just aren’t made like that. As for where to go instead, I find BR to be hit or miss but some items are still good and they do have wool suits in classic cuts and colors (J Crew also does but the fit can be a little younger). Talbots has nice suits including an all season wool line. I find their jackets to be cut too boxy to be flattering on me but otherwise the quality is good. I also save up and hunt sales a lot at Brooks Brothers. They’ve really built out their women’s line in recent years and the quality is still top notch. The fabrics and other materials (e.g., buttons) are beautiful. The clothes are cut well, and the construction is excellent.

          • I could say the same thing about NY&Co. I had a twinset from that that I wore for at least a decade. I only donated it because I was sick of it. Otherwise, I have no doubt I’d still be wearing it. Everything I’ve bought recently, though, I feel lucky to get 10 wears out of before it’s toast.

          • heatherskib :

            It sounds weird to say this… but I miss Casual Corner and Petite Sophisticate’s stuff, too! I know it’s at least 10 years old when I see it on ebay, etc. But everything still looks good! The Ann Taylor stuff, and even the Halogen suiting I bought 6 months ago looks cruddy. :(

    • Anonymous :

      I love Ann Taylor. Love. I think I look prett fab in it, and it fits my body, my budget, and my dress code. Love.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I’m about 5’8″ and very thin. I love Ann Taylor. I think it is much better than Banana Republic or The Limited. To each her own. Wear what you want!

    • Wow, I must have missed that, but I love Ann Taylor, Loft, and (currently) Loft Maternity too. probably makes up 50% of my wardrobe. Have no idea what the issue is, don’t care. FWIW, 38, size 6, 5’5″, currently pregnant.

    • Ann Taylor is really it among the mall stores for work wear for curvy women as far as I can tell. I can find things at Nordstrom too though.

  2. anonymous :

    Are wood hangers actually better? I have a bunch of plastic and wire hangers, but I’m getting to the point where I have really nice clothes that I’ve paid a pretty penny for and would like to have last a while. Are the nice hangers more of a “luxury item” or do they perform a valuable function in preserving clothes?

    • Anonymous :

      I just upgraded my closet from all plastic to mostly wood, so I can’t really say if they are better for the clothes yet, but I have to say, my closet looks *so* much better. I own mostly mid-level mall brands like the Limited and Banana but now when I walk into my closet I feel like I’m walking into a high-end boutique. It really makes me happy and to me that was worth the $$. Also, they are so much thicker than plastic (and definitely wire) hangers that I think they probably are better for the clothes, especially for things like suits.

      • anon-oh-no :

        this. I’ve upgraded about half of the hangers in my closet (BTW, Ikea has good wood hangers in two wood colors for really cheep; I buy about 4 packs each time I go. apparently I need to buy like 12 more packs)

        you can’t fit as much in your closet, so the clothes all hangs better and it lets you see everything better.

        And as far as I can tell, it does help the clothes keep its shape better.

    • Skip the wire hangers. I use thick plastic hangers, but for a dress or blouse that is likely to snag, a polished wood hanger is probably a good idea.

    • I use wood hangers for suit jackets, but plastic hangers for pretty much everything else. That said, most of my expensive dresses are sleeveless, and the shoulder/sleeve area is the pressure point most prone to becoming misshapen from the wrong hanger. So if you have lots of DVF wrap dresses, etc – maybe worth it?

      I don’t hang any sweaters that are heavier than a little cotton cardigan, but if I were hanging expensive knits, I’d definitely use nice hangers for those.

      • For the misshapen shoulder sleeve problem I bought *petite* wooden hangers. Makes a huge difference!

      • +1. Shaped wood hangers for suit jackets, thicker plastic for everything else. Sweater knits are folded on shelves. Expensive knits that aren’t sweaters, I’d probably go for padded, to avoid getting the weird stretch stuff in shoulders.

    • Meg Murry :

      I have transitioned to wooden hangers for my suits and blazers, and the extra thin flocked hangers for everything else. It just feels nicer to me, and the flocked thin hangers actually do take up less room for things that could be pushed together, so I can hang up everything, including my weekend t-shirts and tank tops. I like my clothes better on hangers, because then I can pull out multiples to look at different outfits and then easily put it all back, as opposed to re-folding to put in a drawer (which just doesn’t happen). The flocked hangers also keep those items that tend to slip off on them much better than plastic, wire or wood.

      As a bonus, I am working on forcing myself to keep my wardrobe within the limits of these nice hangers. So in order to buy something new, I ask myself “do I have a hanger for this? Am I willing to donate or retire something else in my closet to make room for this new item, or have I already donated some things to make space?”

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I have a tiny closet so I have multiple layers in my closet (with hangers hanging off other hangers with pulltabs from drink cans) and for this purpose I bought extra slim hangers covered in a sort of velvety material. I love them because my clothes don’t slip off them since the velvety material creates friction.

      I can’t stand wire hangers because everything falls off. Before this I had plastic hangers but they just took up too much room (which I imagine would be the case with wooden ones as well).

    • TO Lawyer :

      I really like velvet hangers actually – I do notice that they create less wear on my silk blouses.

    • To take care of your clothes, you may wish to investigate is whether “junior” sized hangers may be more appropriate for some of your items. I’m petite so any normal sized hanger, regardless of the material, is too wide and stretches the shoulders/upper arms. This can happen with many tops, regardless of size. With smaller hangers, the top is supported along the shoulder seam, but there is no extra width that would create those ugly stretched out “bumps.” You can find them online or at places like Marshalls or TJ Maxx.

  3. Thanks to everyone who offered recommendations for a dress for my friends’ wedding in October! I was able to go to Lord & Taylor yesterday and found a dress! (Link to follow.) This just shows why I’m never comfortable shopping online for these things. The dress in the picture doesn’t look anything like the dress looks on. But it’s perfect! The sheath style is flattering and sophisticated. The color is understated and elegant, but the sequins give it enough sparkle to be formal. Plus it’s all stretch lace! There’s not even a zipper — it just goes over your head. Add Spanx underneath and voila — stretchy comfort. And it’s well under $200. Huzzah!

  4. I’m a pear, and off-the-rack pants always gape at the waist on me. I’ve been buying pants that fit my hips and having my tailor bring in the waist. All good, works fine, but I had a bit of a brainwave yesterday. If I’m getting the waists of all my pants adjusted anyway, why don’t I just buy men’s pants and have them tailored to fit me? The quality of most menswear seems so much better. Has anyone done this? Am I on to something?

    • I have wanted to do this, but have found that the rise is just too long/too much space in the front to accommodate men’s anatomy. Not sure whether a tailor could fix this. I am someone who usually needs a very long rise, but not THAT long.

    • Hm. Now that many men’s stores carry super slim fit pants, it may be worth a try — but the area that might pose complicated tailoring problems is the cut of the cr*tch, menswear being cut to be more… accommodating.

    • Anonymous :

      Because men’s pants are cut to accommodate man parts and not hips or a butt, you’re going to be doing significantly more and more difficult tailoring. I wouldn’t do it.

    • Clementine :

      Chiming in to also say that there’s a much much bigger difference between men’s and women’s pants than just amount of fabric.

      I wouldn’t try it personally and think you might end up paying a ton in tailoring for pants that aren’t quite right.

      If you have a really good tailor, maybe consider having them custom make you some pants out of higher quality material?

    • Hmm. I do have a butt and hips so maybe the tailoring would be too difficult, but I’m going to grab a few men’s trousers at goodwill and see what I can do. Will report back!

    • Hah, not for “real clothes” – but I did this for plain straight long track pants for the gym- not a prude but all I could find were skin tight in Womens- not a pretty look on me- a bonus, they have pockets! My husband actually felt sorry for me and suggested, hey there are racks of what you want over in the guys section…

  5. Does anyone own the Maria dress or the Textured Jacquard dress? Just curious what the material is like. I bought my one and only Boden dress a while back and, while I love it, the material is a stiff fabric, but a loose knit so it stretched a bit and wrinkles immediately. Just want to make sure I avoid any materials like that again!

  6. Diana Barry :

    Realized today that I want another sheath dress *with sleeves* to wear to networking events. I need a tall or long or similar. Your favorites, under $200 – go! TIA! :)

    • Wildkitten :

      • I am short-waisted and all of LE Tall Dresses are cut absurdly in the wrong place for me. Boden fits me, LE dresses do not. You’ve been warned. Also, I think they have 25% off sitewide right now….

        • Diana Barry :

          Thanks! I will try this but keep the fit issue in mind. Who has the 25% off? Boden? LE?

    • Unfortunately not a long, but there was room to let out in the hem, and it definitely hit below knee length on 5’5 me. The ponte was a really nice thick weight and the sleeve length was pretty flattering.


    • Wildkitten :

  7. What are your holy grail eye serums? I have combination skin that leans toward oily, and have never needed to use a moisturizer on my face. Now that I’m almost to mid thirties, I want to develop a skin care routine. I’ve always had dark circles under my eyes, but now sometimes get swelling there and would like to tighten the skin. I’ve tried a few eye creams, but they make my face shiny and don’t seem to tighten, so thinking a serum is the way to go?

    • Simple do a lovely ‘soothing eye balm’; I also like Benefit It’s Potent eye cream

    • Anonymous :

      Revision skincare DEJ. It’s not a serum, but it works wonders for all eye-area signs of aging and doesn’t leave any residue on your skin. Worth every cent.

  8. Anon for this :

    I need some advice, I think.

    I’m turning 28 in a few days and I’ve had so much anxiety lately. I don’t know if it’s because my birthday is coming up or because of my relationship with my boyfriend. I thought it was going well but we had a fight a few weeks ago and almost broke up. While we decided we both wanted to stay together and things have been going really well since then, I’ve just started feeling uneasy over the past couple of days. It may be because of a conversation I had with one of my friends discussing the fight or because I have doubts about my relationship. I just don’t really know what to do. I’ve barely been sleeping. I do sometimes have anxiety over my birthday so it’s possible that’s it but I just don’t really know and I’m just a sad, anxious mess.

    • I have suffered from anxiety for a long time and there are several things that help me. First, talking to my GP about possible using anxiety meds when it gets really bad. Second, therapy to work through why I am feeling anxious about certain situations. Third, meditation, exercise, etc.

      I don’t know if you are already doing some or all of the above, but it’s worth looking into at least some of them! Hugs.

    • I have had issues with that anxious feeling/ generally being unsettled in the past. Do you have a parent you are very close to? I shared a lot of that with my dad, and he was a great listener and gave all sorts of sage advice. You could also try therapy. I didn’t take that route, I just sort of grew into myself over time and as I became more sure of myself, things like this bother me less.

    • TravelAnon :

      Similar age, lots of anxiety. No advice to make it go away, but sending lots of hugs!

    • espresso bean :

      Sorry to hear you’re feeling this way. I know that when an event is coming up that might be upsetting or anxiety-inducing, I’ll channel that anxiety in weird ways.

      For example, I hate New Year’s Eve. Every year, I know that it’s coming, and I tell myself I don’t care and it’s fine and I’m not going to worry about my plans… and then I end up feeling anxious for days beforehand and kind of denying that the anxiety is related to NYE, even though once I unpack my thoughts in a journal or with my therapist, I know that’s the reason.

      Not saying that it’s all necessarily related to your upcoming birthday, but that could be part of it, which then made you feel unsure about your relationship and caused you to talk to a friend about it… maybe? Anyway, regardless, I think talking about it with a trusted friend or family member will help. Good luck, and happy early birthday!

      • Want to chime in regarding journaling: I find it incredibly helpful, more so than I would have originally thought. So many journal entries of mine start out, “Ugh, I can’t believe I’m freaking writing this down, but I begrudgingly know I’ll feel better once I have.” And I do feel better, almost every time. It’s not a replacement for therapy, but just the other day I was feeling not great and wrote down a long list of “Thing I Need to Discuss with My Therapist” and just getting the list out of my head and on paper made me feel better.

    • Sorry you’re feeling this way. How long has it been going on? If it’s a really recent development (as in, within the past two weeks or so), I’d probably try to just sit with it and see if it passes after your birthday or if you go back to feeling more secure in your relationship. If it’s been longer or more persistent, I’d strongly recommend talking to your doctor. Even a low dose of an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication can make such a difference. Beyond that, talking to a therapist or a trusted friend/relative might help you gain perspective (especially if it’s something specific that’s bothering you). I’d also recommend thinking about what activities help you take your mind off things — running, yoga, a good book?

      (Also, when you’re about to turn 28, it seems like a big deal – ahh, late twenties! – but by the time you hit 30, you will think 28 sounds delightfully young. Don’t worry about that).

      • and then when youre about to hit forty, you recall being freaked out about turning 30, but now think that sounds delightfully young.

        • This is exactly the reason I try not to worry about my age anymore. :)

          • I lost a dear friend when we were 24 years old, and since that time I have always tried to remember the quotation, “Do not regret growing old; it is a privilege denied to many.” Whenever I face this kind of anxiety (I’m almost 30, or it’s NYE, or some other milestone that makes me question what I have and have not accomplished), it helps me to remember that I really am lucky to be here at all– and that I bet my friend would have loved to have the same privilege.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Do yourself a favor and find a good therapist. It can really make a world of difference!

      • This. The best present you can get yourself for your 28th birthday is a good therapist. I did, and it changed my life. My husband sometimes asks why I’m so well-adjusted when my family is full of anxious perfectionists, and I credit my years of therapy every time.

        Also, know that you aren’t alone. It’s very common to have an emotional crisis at your age. People call it Saturn return if they’re woo-woo, or quarter-life crisis if they aren’t, but it’s a thing. You have a lot of subconscious expectations of what your “grown-up” life will be like, and around age 27-28, there’s a lot of anxiety that your real life doesn’t look like you pictured it would and holy crap, how will you fix it – get married, buy a house, have kids, make six figures, get a PHD, etc, – before you turn 30? Totally normal.

    • Wildkitten :

      I was in a similar spot before my most recent birthday and I feel so much better now that it is over. I think the birthday stress just made me stress about everything and now that the birthday is over I am realizing that everything is okay. So, my advice is just to survive through your birthday and see if you feel better afterwards.

    • I struggle big-time with anxiety. I have been to therapy off and on and am currently taking medication. That said, if this is relatively new for you and you think your anxiety may be related to an event or situation, I would start with taking care of yourself – exercise, meditation, eating healthy, a massage or manicure, a night out with friends (where you don’t discuss your birthday or relationship). If your anxiety doesn’t go away after your birthday or within a few weeks, seek out therapy and/or medication. In the meantime, do not make any big decisions about your life, including your relationship, until your birthday has passed and you at least have a long discussion with your BF about how you are feeling.

    • Anon for this - OP :

      Thanks everyone for your kind and helpful responses. It probably makes sense that I’m just a bit anxious about my birthday in general and that’s extending to work/my relationship. I just want it to be over so hopefully I can get a decent night’s sleep!

      If it doesn’t subside, I guess I’ll look into going back to my therapist/maybe medication although I really don’t want to go down the meds route.

      Thanks again all – I really appreciate this supportive community.

      • As someone with experience in therapy, I took the “I really don’t want to take meds” comment as potentially coming from someone who probably might need them but has been avoiding taking them or considering it for some time. I know the idea of going on medication is scary, but sometimes your body just isn’t balanced and you need help regaining that balance.

        I think exploring ready you are really ready to want to improve, and are willing to put the work into getting there, is a good first step (whether that is with therapy, or meds, or some combination of both).

    • Similar place :

      Hey Anon For This – your post resonated with me. I’m a long time reader and just turned 28 a few days ago. I’ve also been in crisis mode around my birthday, tho it’s now been pointed out to me that I tend to have such a crisis around a birthday. It makes sense, for many people a birthday is a chance to re-evaluate wants, progress, needs, etc. I would say, take some time to acknowledge that this is a transition moment for you, and that’s good, and it’s a process, and you’re growing. Take some time to really think about what’s working for you, and what’s not. No demand to make any decisions today. Let yourself go through the process, take care of yourself (for me, this means long walks alone and the gym), and see where life takes you.

  9. Ladies, has anyone ever had experience with placing an HR complaint against your boss or any other higher up that would have the authority to fire you? A higher up said some very nasty very personal attacks informs if several people. I’ve sent out about 10 resumes to get out of here, but I still think that I should file something. If anything out of moral obligation. I’m in an at-will state, if that changes anyone’s answer.

    • It doesn’t matter if you’re at-will or not, what’s important is getting the incident recorded with HR. You need to protect yourself by getting this on record. This is important for many reason: so that the company is aware there’s a situation at hand, so that the company can attempt to fix it, so that they company can help you, so that you’re on record as having an issue with your boss in case things escalate. You need to do this as soon as possible so that there’s a paper trail and track record of issues.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Honestly, I’m just skeptical about how any of this is going to help. HR is there to protect the company, not you. “Very nasty personal attacks” are not actionable unless they are based on some protected category like race, sex, or religion. And it is highly likely that the company considers the boss more important to its bottom line than you are. If he/she is just a general jerk, that is not actionable and I don’t know what you are trying to accomplish with an HR complaint.

        So, real genuine question: What are you trying to accomplish?

        • Anonymous :

          Fair point re figure out what you’re trying to accomplish. But it doesn’t sound like she’s thinking about pursuing legal action. (And just yelling at someone once is not actionable, even if he yelled at her because of her race or sex. It’s gotta be an actual employment action like discipline, demotion, discharge.) Yes, HR is there to protect the company, but protecting the company might mean getting a bad manager training or even firing him. So, there are good reasons to tell HR other than you might eventually want to sue — including possibly preventing this from happening to someone else.

          Ultimately, it’s up to you. If you do make a complaint, it’s best to state it in a well-crafted, written answer. Write it. Sleep on it. Re-read it. Don’t exaggerate and keep emotions to a minimum — just state what happened, providing detail about what exactly the person said, and the fact that it upset you/made you uncomfortable.

    • Last year I had a manager say he would not promote me because I was a woman. Went to HR and really wish I hadn’t. Nothing occurred except me and all the rest of the women in the group feeling awful. At about the same time I decided to join a new dept… And that is what really ended up making a difference in my life. If I faced a similar situation in the future, I’d prob not say anything and just look for a new job.

  10. Clothes Mountain :

    Where do you keep already-worn clothes that are good for another wear (or 2 or 3) before laundering/ dry cleaning? Is there a more sophisticated option than just piling everything up on a chair? My suits and dresses go on a clothes rail hidden behind the bedroom door, but having to put worn jeans & sweaters on hangers seems a bit too much…

    • back in the closet. I don’t have very many clothes, so it’s easy to keep track of how many wears it’s been since the last wash.

    • Back in the closet or in the drawer. If they’re not clean enough to go in the drawer or closet, then they’re due to be washed. If it’s a mental thing, spritz the garment with fabric refresher before putting away.

    • On a chair in my bedroom or a big messy pile on the floor.

    • I just put them back in the closet, after I let them air out on a hanger for a day or so if necessary.

      Someone I know keeps all of her hangers in her closet in one direction. When she wears something, when she puts it back in the closet she puts the hanger in the “other way”. Then she can quickly see what she has seen before. Can’t really keep track more than that, but when it starts to look or smell like it needs cleaning, then clean…

    • Back in the closet. I don’t really have a number of wears at which point they go to the cleaners – I go by visual cues. Does this look grubby? Okay, cleaners.

    • I have a garment rack for this purpose…and because I’m that crazy person, I have a divider that says (2) and (3) so I know how many wears its had. At 3 I go right to the cleaners.

    • You mean besides in the floor-drobe? (Learned that word from UnF*ck Your Habitat, and it is true for me at times, sad face).

      My mother always hangs her pants on hooks in her closet, and has been nagging me to do the same since I was 12. I finally got around to buying something like, now I just need to install it and use it.

      Alternately, could you put one of those things mean for hanging sweaters in cubbies in your closet or on the rail and shove worn jeans and sweaters in those cubes?

    • I’ll be honest, I pile mine on a chair. I try to at least hang up the blazers so they don’t develop a funky smell, but most of the stuff that gets piled on the chair or left on the floor is stuff like jeans, yoga pants, and sweatshirts, and bras I’m too lazy to put back in the drawer.

      I gotta step up my cleanliness game a little . . .

    • I have some 3M hooks in the wall of my closet for this purpose. Keeps them out of the way and still able to air out.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Not related but I just came across a tip that said stick your old tights in the freezer before you wear them this year. Hope this works?

    • Work clothes are all hung up after wearing in bathroom overnight to air out. Casual clothes (that are not normally hung) are put on chair in bedroom, occasionally hung to air out overnight. If they are too dirty/smelly/wrinkly to be put on the chair, they go in wash/cleaners bag.

  11. swimsuit question! :

    I own exactly one swimsuit, an old bikini that I hate. I’ve managed to get away with this for the last few years because I rarely go to the beach. But I would like to have 1-2 suits that I love. I like classic, simple one-pieces. I really like the J. Crew ruched halter and the J. Crew ruched one-piece.

    However… they’re pricey! Are J. Crew suits really the best? Are they worth $100? And do they ever go on sale? I can’t believe none of the ones I like are on sale in September, the off-season!

    Any other ideas for places to look? Also, ideas for good cover-ups? TIA!

    • I get most of my swimwear from Lands End and they’ve held up amazingly well. I don’t think I’ve bought a new suit from there in 2 years, but I’m still wearing the old ones.

      But just this month I bought a one-piece during a flash sale at Cabana Life:

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      I love the J Crew ruched one piece as well, and have it in black. I only bought it this year, so I can’t comment on longevity. But I do love the suit and the flattering nature of the ruching. I can’t remember what I paid, but I may have gotten a discount due to a site wide sale (one of those 25% off your order). I have a very similar one in a black and white gingham print with scalloped edges that I got from Loft, but since swimsuit season is on the way out, I’m not sure about stock.

    • Yes, they’ll go on sale. The summery looking suits are all on clearance right now and pretty picked over. Late winter there will usually be a swim promo with 20-25% off — if you’re set on a classic shape and color, I’d buy then.

      FWIW, I’m needing to retire one of the ruched strapless one-pieces after 3.5 years and 4 weeklong beach vacations plus tons of weekend getaways – so decent cost per wear. The fabric over the bust gave up the ghost and lost its elasticity – so it doesn’t stay up very well any more!

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      Honestly, I’d go with J. Crew suits. Try to get them on a site-wide promo or a swim promo but they are totally worth it. I find them so ridiculously flattering (the ruched ones) but also young and hip. The lining and fabric are quality and I’ve had one for several years with no problems. There isn’t a hint of mom bathing suit that I think Lands End can stray into, depending on the style.

      • I’ve had success with their Factory suits too, which are on sale occasionally.

      • Rural Juror :

        +1. Site-wide promos will start to show up in the next few weeks and will be rampant between now and Black Friday.

      • Which style do you recommend? I’m seeing a few different ruched ones on their site. Thanks!

    • Could you try a standard department store like Macy’s or Nordstrom? I got a gorgeous classic La Blanca suit at Macy’s on sale when they were clearing out their swimwear to make room for coats.

    • I’ve had my black ruched halter J Crew for a couple of years and really do love it. I managed to get it on sale (not site wide) somehow, I think I paid mid-$50s.

  12. Favorite list-making app? I’ve been using Grocery IQ (separate lists for grocery store and Target) and it takes forever to open lately.

    • Google Keep, at least for Android. I use the widget option to keep my most current running list on my the second screen of my phone. I also like that I can add to it from my computer and it will show up on my phone.

      For grocery lists specifically I tend to use Paprika, which is a recipe app but with a pretty good grocery list option.

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      I like Wunderlist – I use it for everything from grocery lists to packing lists for vacations and long-term house projects. I like that I can access it from the web as well as my phone. Plus, it was free.

    • Evernote! It’s really the gold standard and has so much more functionality than I’ll ever need.

    • Anylist is my fav. I share grocery lists with my husband and whoever is nearby the store picks stuff up. I also love it for vacation/trip packing lists. Can copy/paste items into a new list, also shared, and then voila, Mommy isn’t the only one who can pack the kid’s bag.

    • Our Groceries for grocery shopping; Google Keep for everything else.

  13. Off topic advise needed. Just had a phone interview with the only team member who was out of the office on the day of my in person interview.

    He will be following up wit the team this afternoon.. How long should I wait to send a thank you email? Really want the job, but concerned about too quickly and it looking like I pre wrote it.

    • if you reference something that you talked about in the conversation it will be clear you didn’t pre write it. write and send now!

    • I think it’s fine, maybe even preferable, to send it within an hour of the interview. I’ve often written my report on a candidate within 2 hours of our chat, so anything I receive after that point wouldn’t have any influence on me (unless it was somehow a bad email – then I might make a point to forward it to the hiring manager). The advice to reference something from the conversation is very good, especially if you can do it naturally.

      • Awesome! Thank you both. I was able to reference something from the interview so it made it more natural.

        Now wait part 2 starts.

  14. Interview question:

    I am interviewing tomorrow for a local government position running a department that was created two years ago. The last (and only) person to hold the position resigned a few months ago after some local media coverage that the department wasn’t living up to its promise. It’s all been kept very quiet, so it may have been a personality conflict or it may have been a problem with the structure of the new department or something else.

    Do I bring this up in any way? Is there any way to try to gather some information on what happened without offending people? I’m really excited about this position, but I’m concerned there’s something I don’t know that will prevent anyone from being successful in it.

    • I wouldn’t try to ask any questions designed to find out that type of information. If such a problem exists, they will either be up-front about it, or they will try to hide it. Either way, digging won’t get you what you want, and you risk unwittingly stepping on a minefield if there are hidden political tensions. Just keep your ears open, ask normal questions, really listen to what people are telling you during the interview, and trust your intuition if something seems off.

    • Coach Laura :

      This sentence is spot-on: “I’m concerned there’s something I don’t know that will prevent anyone from being successful in it.” I don’t think you should ignore what has happened but probably not a good idea to be seen as being “nosy”. I think good questions from an interviewee – for any position – to ask are: 1) what are the key metrics for success that the successful candidate for this job will need to achieve; and 2) what are the road-blocks that the new employee will need to successfully overcome; and 3) how will the employee be supported in these areas? Some of the answers to this question may come up before you have to ask them, but I’d get comfortable with these and yes, listen to your intuition.

      • Anonymous :

        Great questions. But I also I think it’s a totally fair question to ask why the person before you left — just not in the first interview. You can frame it like you don’t want to make the same mistakes as your predecessor, so you want to know what those mistakes were.

  15. What to wear? :

    Outfit help, please! :)

    In a few weeks, I’m attending a casual/informal work party as a date. The event will be fairly large and it will take place at someone’s home. The company is in the entertainment industry. I can dress for formal occasions with no problem, but this presents more of a challenge! I’m looking for the perfect mix of elegant and trendy that also looks effortless and casual. Does anyone have winning outfit ideas that I can borrow?

    • Part of it will depend on if you have autumn yet where you are or if you’re still all in summery clothes. I would wear a grey silk Toast dress I have in my wardrobe for events like this but as it was secondhand I’m afraid that’s no help for you

      • What to wear? :

        We’re getting into cooler weather but it’s still very nice outside! Thank you for the feedback. I searched Toast’s website to get a feel for the style and I have a good picture in mind.

  16. My friends and I just had a Turd Ferguson quote battle . . . Day. Made.

    Of course now I am crying from laughter at my desk but it was worth it!

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