Wednesday’s TPS Report: Starburst Pleat Sheath Dress

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

 Maggy London Starburst Pleat Sheath DressHappy Wednesday!  I love this starburst pattern — it’s so, so pretty, and such a great way to dress up a plain gray flannel dress.  I’d wear it with a blood red shrunken blazer, perhaps.  It’s $138 at Nordstrom. Maggy London Starburst Pleat Sheath Dress

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  1. Oh wow. The pleating is gorgeous!

    • Love this dress.

    • DC Association :

      Why oh why doesn’t it come in petites? FOOEY!

    • Agree. Love this dress!

    • Roberta has this DRESS! I can vooch that it looke’s great on her, and she DID get it at NORDSTROMs” . She wore it yesterday. Yay! I do NOT know if she reads Corporete, but I will tell her!

      Roberta is goeing to have another 25 case’s sent over from the other firm. The manageing partner is thriled about this, and he said Margie has agreed to delay the party for another week and call it a PILGRIM Party. We are all to dress up as they did along time ago on Plymouth Rock. It will be FUN! I do have to start exerceising more b/c my tuchas is getteing WAY to big from all the desert’s at CRUMBS that Roberta and I eat. I am blameing all of this on Roberta. She is abel to eat alot, but I can NOT. Fooey!

      David called here, and want’s to meet me for dinner during the week. I said I was busy today, but mabye tomorow. He is nice, and I think my dad gave him my #, b/c I did NOT. I did tell him where I worked, so mabye he GOOGELED it. Whatever. My dad think’s he has posibilities but I am not sure. I will give him a chance, b/c it is not as tho Brad Pit is wooeing me, and I want to get MARRIED and have a baby soon.

      Jim is again calleing me about the do diliegeience. He is goieng to be a probelem, b/c I wind up doeing all the work when he sit’s there reading sport’s magezine’s. FOOEY! The manageing partner may cut my billeing b/c the general council evedenetently is not happy about the QUANTUM of work we did so far. DOUBEL FOOEY. I was there, but Jim was NOT. That is NOT my fault. FOOEY!

  2. Halloween TJ :

    Have we talked Halloween costumes yet?

    Some of the costumes I’ve been considering:
    -Texts from Hillary (complete with pantsuit, scrunchie, and sunglasses, would probably make some sort of “It’s Madam Secretary to You” sign)
    -Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom (dress over peter pan blouse, knee socks, and a basket)
    -Margot Tenenbaum (Fur coat, hair clips, cigarettes)
    -Big Bird (Yellow top, orange pants, lots of feathers, some sort of political sign – either “Save Me, Vote Obama” or “Big Bird for President”)

    Would love to hear what other ‘r3tt3s are thinking for Halloween!

    • There was a great thread earlier that discussed a specific theme (book related, but not a book character).
      search for “tale of two cities”

    • Almost There :

      Oops, I missed your thread and did the same thing way later!

      Anywho, I’m going as a box of wine! I’m going to wear a big cardboard box from shoulder to upper thigh (with tights of course). I’m going to print an enlargement of the real wine box (using engineering prints at Staples) and paste them on and…. have a real bag-o-wine in my cardboard box!

    • my favorite holiday! :

      I’m going to (a party obviously) as a chinchilla. I made a fake-fur hooded onesie with big round ears, will wear gray tights and shoes, and I have a (NEW, CLEAN) rodent water bottle attached to an IV pole for added effect (and possibly drink dispensing, haven’t decided yet).

  3. Cornellian :

    How would you guys keep a dress like that pleated?

    • This is my thought exactly. Are you going to have funny wrinkles after the first day of wearing if you sit down in it. And how the heck are you going to keep the pleats when you get it cleaned?

    • These are the thoughts I had when I saw this post:
      1. Lovely.
      2. I would not be able to maintain those pleats.

    • The fabric is probably made to stay like that. I have seen lots of skirts and dresses like that, and own a few, and the pleats always stay put. I don’t know how, but they do.

      • Magic, probably.

      • I think if the pleat is made with extreme heat and pressure (basically a heavy duty press is used), the fabric takes on that shape more permanently.

        • It’s also synthetic fabric, which tends to hold those creases more permanently. But still…

    • Very first thing I thought of! “Gorgeous! But…no way.”

    • I thought the same thing. Especially after cleaning. But it’s beautiful!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Yep, I was thinking the same thing. I have a pleated skirt that I can never steam or iron perfectly. Though the pleats do remember some of their shape, they aren’t as sharp as when I bought it.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        I have this problem with a center kick-pleat in one of my dresses. Ugh.

    • Sorcery

    • SV in House :

      I saw this dress (very pretty!) at Lord & Taylor this weekend and my immediate thought was that it would never look like that again.

  4. Halloween TJ :

    (In moderation, whoops.)

    Have we talked Halloween costumes yet?

    Some of the costumes I’ve been considering:
    -Texts from Hillary (complete with pantsuit, scrunchie, and sunglasses, would probably make some sort of “It’s Madam Secretary to You” sign)
    -Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom (dress over peter pan blouse, knee socks, and a basket)
    -Margot Tenenbaum (Fur coat, hair clips, cigarettes)
    -Big Bird (Yellow top, orange pants, lots of feathers, some sort of political sign – either “Save Me, Vote Obama” or “Big Bird for President”)

    Would love to hear what others are thinking for Halloween!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m going as Amy Pond in her kissogram outfit and convinced my boyfriend to go as Rory the Roman. Well, I convinced him to go as a roman centurion but he doesn’t agree to the fact that he is Rory. Close enough though!

      • big dipper :

        I love this! I’ve been trying to convince my SO to do the Doctor & River or the Doctor and a Companion forever.

  5. This is stunning.

  6. I have to say thanks to readers here who recommended the figleaves website for small band size bras. There’s still nowhere in the world to get a real bargain, but prices in the 40s-50s sure beat prices in the 70s. Even with shipping costs, I’m saving $.

  7. Anon in DC :

    Love this dress! I’m a huge Corporette fan, but (almost) never post. I was too chicken to join you all at the DC meet up last week. Anyway, threadjack: I am switching to a new job in 2 weeks. and I want to use the switch to polish my image / wardrobe. Does anyone have any suggestions for a consultant who could advise on haircut, best style of clothes for my bodytype, etc? I thought of going to a Nordstrom personal shopper, but I do want advice on appearance outside of clothes. I’m not totally lost–I think I look good most of the time–but do need some fine-tuning. And my friends are too polite to say “Do not wear that dress and cut your hair.” Any suggestions??

    • Do you have a hair stylist you like and trust? Make an appointment and tell her what you’re thinking and get her advice. Is there a colleague who has a haircut you admire with a hair type similar to yours? Ask her who cuts it and go there.

      • Anon in DC :

        Yes, I will ask my regular hairstylist for ideas and will probably go to a personal shopper. I was hoping someone would have a recomendation for an all-over critique / guidance. I see webpages for stylists in DC, but don’t know if they’re suitable or useful for what I need. Thank you, though!

        • Meg Murry :

          Could I suggest if you do go to a personal shopper you either only buy a few things and keep the rest on a list for future consideration or keep the tags on a lot of what you buy? I bought a bunch of new clothes in anticipation of starting a new job and “OMG I need ALL THE PRETTY CLOTHES for my new job where I’m going to dress so much more professionally and look so much more put together … ” Yeah. 2 years later most of those clothes got worn once or twice because they weren’t really quite right for my office.
          So yay for new job = new image , but give it a little bit of time to make sure the new image is right for you and your new office.

          • Anon in DC :

            So useful! Thank you!

          • Yes, this was my experience too. Even for Big Law, the clothes I bought are way too formal for daily wear. Now I wear the same 2 pencil skirts, 4-5 shirts, and 2 cardigans as a uniform of sorts. I’m hoping no one notices until I can get the time, energy, and money to do another round of shopping.

      • If you need suggestions for stylists, I LOVE Jessica at Jouvence Aveda in Pentagon Row. She’s been doing my hair for three years now.

  8. Anyone have the Banana Republic Heritage matallic blazer? If so, how do you like it? I really want it but it is out of stock. Does anyone know of a similar longer blazer in brown?

  9. What earrings would you wear with this necklace?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would wear gold or diamond studs so the necklace would be the center of attention. I love it!

      • just Karen :

        Agreed – keep the earrings simple. I think gold studs would be my first choice, but since I don’t have any, I’d end up with diamond studs, which would also look great. I love that necklace!

  10. Love it! Would it work for a curvy hourglass ? I am also generous of chest:(
    Don’t want to look bigger than I am….

    • phillygirlruns :

      also a curvy hourglass and just can’t see this working on me. maybe if you’re also longer waisted?

      • Research, Not Law :

        Agreed. I think it’s a beautiful dress, but I immediately dismissed it for myself.

  11. TJ – Does anyone have a good (read “stupid proofed”) tutorial for navigating the Cloud? My iPhone and iTunes get backed up to in on my Mac but I have no idea how to access it. Is there any way to delete songs/books from the Cloud backup that I no longer want and have deleted on my devices? TIA from the electronically challenged.

    • I need this too!! Really badly….

      I have one frient who I call my Tech Doula and I she answers all of my stupid questions. But some I just can’t bear to ask because they’re so dumb.

  12. Love this. Stupid shopping ban.

    In other news – I went to an event last night that Connie Chung was hosting. She was wearing an off-the-shoulder skirt suit. It was beautiful and totally appropriate for the host of this event. But I couldn’t help but think, who in their right mind is designing off-the-shoulder suits?? When else would that EVER be appropriate?! Just a thought.

    • I remember Carla Sarkozy wearing something like that and thinking “wow! but what?!”
      Here’s the photo:

      • By the way, just noticed that that site said it was a “great work or interview look.” Um, no. Not unless your job is being First Lady of France.

      • phillygirlruns :

        well, damn, i love that. why in god’s name am i not the first lady of france?

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          because you have too good a sense of taste to marry Sarko or boink Hollande?

    • Wait, I don’t understand this? The jacket is off the shoulder??

    • I can’t picture what an off the shoulder suit looks like….does not compute!

  13. e_pontellier :

    Has anyone heard from Ms. BEF lately? I hope she’s doing alright.
    Also, thanks everyone for your suggestions on Monday. I’m processing everything and trying to figure out what to do.
    Finally, I hope to see all NYC ‘r3tt3s at the Meet Up tomorrow night! Remember, you can reach me at e.pontellier.r et te [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!

  14. Boundaries Question -- husband and ex :

    Husband usually visits Stepson during the week to have dinner / attend extracurricular activities. Several times, Husband has actually spent the evening (2-3 hours) at Stepson’s house so that Stepson could do homework. And has forgotten to tell me. Has insisted that Ex has not been there (Ex has had episodes in the past where she is violent / abusive / type to threaten to make up things to law enforcement; although has not been this way lately).

    Reactions, please? I know what mine is.

    • I’m a bit confused – is the issue that he’s going on days he normally wouldn’t go or that he’s staying longer than you expect him to?

      • Boundaries Question -- husband and ex :

        It’s the in-the-house thing that’s creeping me out.

        • Got it. I don’t think it’s inherently problematic, but if it’s bothering you this much, I think it’s worth having a conversation w/your husband about it.

        • I think it’s annoying, but if she isn’t there I presume the kid can’t stay alone so he’s doing the right thing. I think it’s important for the children to be in a familiar environment. Anyway, it would be different if she was there, I think.

    • He should have told you, but I don’t see any problem with him helping his son with homework. If this bothers you, talk to him about moving homework sessions to Starbucks or a bookstore.

    • Anne Shirley :

      My reaction: sounds like he’s doing a pretty good job being a dad.

      • DC Association :

        +1 I would interpret it that he is staying because that is what is best for his son.

      • Boundaries Question -- husband and ex :

        Additional background, possibly helpful, is that Ex was terribly upset about Husband remarrying and has said in the past that she would get him back. There was much backsliding post-separation and post-divorce (before my time). When Husband had an Other, Ex would have Stepson’s events (birthdays, etc.) at her house so that Other was not invited (v. a party in a park) and Husband would have to go alone. Ex did not do this in-the-house stuff while Ex has had Boyfriends (only when single) and I don’t think that if Ex re-married that Ex’s husband would be OK with that.

        If the shoe were on the other foot, I doubt Husband would be OK with me in my former house with an ex or with me going places where he was not allowed to go. [And FWIW, I work with mostly men and have noticed that I only do one-on-one meetings in public places or mark it on my public calendar.]

        I am not seeing this as a homework issue at all, but as a creepiness on the part of the Ex issue and a boundary issue on the part of Husband.

        • Anne Shirley :

          But maybe you should be seeing this as a homework issue. At some point, all the restrictions and boundaries in the world will do nothing but make you controlling and drive a wedge in his relationship with his son, who should be the most important person to him, and whose needs are greater than yours. If he wants to cheat or get into trouble he will.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          It sounds like husband isn’t playing into her games because all that does is hurt the child. Husband is presumably a big boy and can say no to her advances and leave the house should that happen. I think this is one of those situations where you just have to trust him. This is part of life with a spouse who has a kid from a former marriage. It is a package deal. If you are more worried that she is going to make up some crazy story that he hit her, then that is a different issue. In that case, for his own safety, not because he might get propositioned, he should try to have one on one time with his son in a different location. Maybe you can work out a compromise that he will have parenting time with his son at your house and you will otherwise occupy yourself so that they can be alone. Remember, he is not just “visiting” his son during this time, like one would an old friend, this is his parenting time. Courts have changed the language away from custody/visits to parental rights and responsibilities/parenting time for good reason.

          • That’s just it. She hasn’t just threatened to falsely report in the past, she has in fact done it.

            I used to have my neighborhood watch off-duty police guy armed with her picture, license plate, and car description.

            [Sorry if repost – prior comments seem to have gone into the wind.]

        • Anita (formerly S) :

          I think you have the right to ask him to let you know in advance when he’s going to be at his ex-wife/son’s house. However, you have no right to forbid him to go. You have to trust him to exercise the right judgment in whether it is appropriate for him to be there. And what does the location of time you spend with male coworkers have to do with anything? He’s not going there to hang out with his ex, he’s going there to be with his son.

        • I tend to agree with everyone else about it sounding like Husband is doing his best as a dad, and this isn’t an Ex issue. You could, though, reiterate to him that you would appreciate him letting you know when he stays there. Yes, she sounds nutty (false reporting, etc) but she is his son’s mother and not going anywhere.

          I’m really confused by the birthday and other event thing, though. Are you saying that Ex throws parties at parks and the like when she’s dating, but only in her own home when she’s not? And why couldn’t Husband bring a date/significant other to her house? Did he ever ask? I’m not really understanding why her throwing parties in her own home is an issue.

    • MaggieLizer :

      It’s pretty normal to feel not so great about your husband hanging out at his ex’s house all evening without telling you in advance; it’s almost like he still lives there and is having this nice comfy nuclear family evening with Ex and SS that excludes you. Not saying that’s what’s happening, but it’s reasonable for that to be your perception. You and H are going to have to meet each other half way on this; you’re going to have to learn to be OK with him spending time at Ex’s house with SS and he’s going to have to learn to reassure you, at the very least by giving you a heads up that he’s going to Ex’s house. Have you told H that this bothers you? If so, what was his reaction?

  15. Anonymous Doc Review Attorney :

    Today in a doc review document, I saw the following phrase “further opening the kimono” in reference to turning over more business info prior to a binding agreement related to a merger. Fun in sexist b*llsh*t of the day.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I think it’s an idiotic, [email protected] phrase, but I don’t think it’s sexist.

      Men wear kimonos, too.

      For the record, every person who’s ever used that comment has been male referring to another male or to himself. For the record, every male who’s ever used that comment to refer to himself sharing more, has given me a terrible mental image. I thank goodness I have a strong stomach.

      • Oh me too! I always get an unbidden image of the middle-aged guy saying it opening his own kimono! But, yeah, never thought of it as anything other than a sort of annoying buzzy term.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      sexist and racist.

    • I had a manager that used to say that. Never even registered much with me, because it was far from the worst thing he said on a daily basis. :-(

    • One of the partners I work for says this all the time. Sometimes he even makes an “opening the kimono” hand gesture while he says it. Vomity vom. I had always pictured him wearing silk kimonos around his luxury penthouse when he said it, rather than the sexist b—–t angle.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I agree that this phrase skeeves me out more than I find it sexist. Blech.

        I am definitely bothered by all these terms, particularly that the people who use them don’t think about what they are saying.

    • I hear that, and its idiot sister phrase “get [further] under the covers” on an almost daily basis. Welcome to corporate M&A. I hope you are prepared to get on the same page and fully explore all synergistic value props. ::eyeroll::

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Yeah, but the marketing/ad @-holes keep talking about penetration. That’s far worse, by my lights.

        • I learned that term in business school! I’m afraid it’s a term of art and not just a buzzword.

        • “Penetration” doesn’t bug me as much as the other ones, although I understand the squick. Yes, it’s got some loaded s*xual connotations, but it also has legitimate non-s*xual uses, even outside the business world. The other phrases…not so much.

        • Well, yes, and then the deal is consummated.

      • I hear both of these and “if they’re already pregnant” (usually referring to sensitive information that shouldn’t have been shared during due diligence). Ugh.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I wonder if they became “pregnant” after being “raped.”

          “Rape” bothers me the most, as in “we totally raped that presentation and told it to s–k it” to mean that they excelled under pressure. When should rape ever be equated with excellence????

          • SF Bay Associate :

            LawyrChk and Research, throw down on that crap. Of course, know your office, etc, but I took on a senior partner who used “rape” to refer to a litigation issue. We had and have a good working relationship, so I told him in no uncertain terms exactly why that word is not appropriate (trivializes sexual assault, for starters). Once he realized I was dead serious, he stopped using it. If I hear “already pregnant,” I will throw down on that one too. Stand up!

          • Research, Not Law :

            I do.

            It doesn’t happen with my coworkers, who are thoughtful enough to never say such a thing. It was an issue with my ex’s friends and coworkers. I did call them on it all. the time. And for the r-word, using ‘gay’ inappropriately, etc. I was “that girlfriend.” I could tell most of them felt guilty after I said something, but they would join back into the mentality. Ugh.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Ughhhh Research, that SUCKS. I’m sorry. You’ll be shocked to learn I’ve been “that girlfriend” too.

    • Anonymous Doc Review Attorney :

      Okay…less sexist then I thought. But still creepy. Definitely creepy.

    • SpaceMountain :

      Oh, the things we see in document review! Stupid emails, p*rn, you name it. I don’t know what people are thinking.

  16. My cat keeps bringing mice into my house to play with! It’s so gross. I don’t know what he does with the dead bodies–the carcasses have always disappeared by the time he’s done. Eeeewww.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      I grew up with a kitty that did this.

      Kitties can be cute, cuddly psychopaths. You know, there’s this old Oprah episode where a police officer talked about how if you are being attacked, you never let them take you to that second place, because that’s where they can do whatever horrible thing they want to do to you without bystanders and you’re most likely to be killed and possibly never found?

      Well, these mice clearly have never learned that Oprah lesson. ;-)

      • Anne Shirley :

        That is the single Oprah episode that has stuck with me most!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Me too. Aside from Tom Cruise jumping up and down on the couch, that is the only specific Oprah memory that I have.

    • are the mice alive when he brings them in? Can you save them?

      • No, they’re already unconscious/dead. It’s soo cute when he’s batting around his fuzzy toy mouse and so not when it’s real.

    • Cornellian :

      check out the oatmeal dot com for his view on how much cats kill. OR for my dog: the paradox. They’re both hilarious.

    • My little princess caught and ate a moth in my bedroom not too long ago. Of course this is the same barfy cat with a delicate stomach, but the moth did not seem to bother her.

      • My parents’ cat used to eat spiders and then spit out the legs.

        • My cat is seriously psycho. In the summer when we had huge grasshoppers and crickets all over the place, he would amputate one or both of their hind legs to play with them. I had all these poor, maimed crickets pulling themselves around my house on their little front legs! I put them outside, but I doubt they lasted long.

          Another time, I woke up in the morning to find my kitchen floor covered in feathers. No bird. Just feathers.

          This is the only cat in the entire village where I’m a volunteer who gets fed on a regular basis (and real cat food, too!) yet he insists on continuing his psychotic, serial killer ways.

    • I hate to tell you this, but those mouse corpses are somewhere. Cats generally don’t eat what they kill if they’re also being fed at home, and they definitely don’t consume all the bones and tissue and everything. You need to find them before you have a real disgusting problem on your hands.

  17. momentsofabsurdity :

    Oh wow, I adore this dress. It looks a little bit cocktail-y from the front to me but not from the back.

    The Dude I’ve Been Seeing (haven’t DTRed, way to early) just did one of the weirdest nice things anyone has done for me. On a date a couple weeks ago, we were talking about home decor and I mentioned how I can’t handle blank walls/no furniture. I need to have a comfortable, cozy place to come home to. He said he really hadn’t decorated since he moved in. I went over there yesterday and this was totally true – he had zero furniture, sat on the floor, etc (this was very weird. I could not live like that. Bachelors…).

    But, apparently before I came over, he had taken some printer paper and drawn stick figure pictures, and hung them up on the wall to have some “artwork” to make me laugh and feel more comfortable. It was so cute and nice and so unimaginably weird that I was incredibly charmed by it.

  18. Anon for this :

    Relationship TJ: My boyfriend and I have been dating for about a year or so, and we’re very happy and I think we have a great relationship. But I’m scared I’m going to ruin it. We had a minor argument yesterday, and he mentioned that lately “I’m always upset”.

    I’m usually pretty self-reliant when I’m single, but for some reason, when I’m in a relationship, I tend to be a lot more emotional. So things will upset me, I’ll cry and then get over it really quickly. Or I’ll get upset at something he does – like not calling when he says he will (man, written out, it sounds really stupid), or feeling like he’s not paying any attention to me.

    I guess my question is – how do you learn to let the minor things go and not bother you? If something’s bothering me, my bf can always tell (I am no good at acting normal when I’m annoyed or upset). I don’t want to fight about everything, especially minor things like him not calling once in a while but I’m having trouble letting those things go.

    • e_pontellier :

      Honestly, this is part of why I started therapy. But also, being more realistic with myself re: what I expect from my DH helps me not get upset about minor things.

    • I’ve learned to accept that I can’t always control how I feel, but I can control what I do about it. I work hard at keeping my emotional reactions in check, and try not to let the silly ones spill out into our relationship. DH can tell when I have the flash of anger or sadness, but we’ve talked about the fact that I’m working on it, and if he can just overlook/ignore it when I’m trying to control it, it will make it much easier for us to just move on with our day.

    • To me, it sounds like you have insecurity and trust issues. I went into my relationship with my now-DH with some trust issues from a previous (horrible) relationship. I told him that to trust him I needed complete honesty from him (we started dating in college, so the environment was different, but things like telling me what he was doing, where he went, etc. It sounds crazy writing it out, but I truly didn’t care what he did/where he went, so long as I knew about it), and I needed to know that I could rely on him (i.e., calling when he says he will, or texting that he got tied up and would call me later). I told him that without those things I would feel really insecure.

      As for feeling like he’s not paying attention to you – is the issue that he is actually NOT paying attention to you, or do you just feel like he’s not paying ENOUGH? Being distracted on a phone call because he’s got a lot going on at work or is tired or simply doesn’t have anything to say is very different from ignoring you. I think you need to do two things: think about things from his perspective (again, what does he have on his plate?) and also do some self-analysis about why you feel neglected. Hopefully figuring out why you feel neglected will enable you to better articulate to him what it is you’re feeling, and both of you can come up with action items on how to address this issue moving forward. In a gross oversimplication of men, men appreciate tasks/plans/fixing things – I’m sure he doesn’t want you to feel neglected, and would like to figure out ways to remedy the situation.

    • “I’m usually pretty self-reliant when I’m single, but for some reason, when I’m in a relationship, I tend to be a lot more emotional.”

      Do you know anything about attachment styles? Knowing yours can really give you some insight about why you might feel one way in a relationship and another when you’re on your own. Try Go*ogling adult attachment styles as a start.

  19. Barrister in the Bayou :

    Going to the Hollydays this weekend. How can I be excited and kinda grossed out at the same time?

    • Just eat cake. I saw Nothing Bundt Cake on the list of vendors (I had to look it up -didn’t know what it was). I drove by there the other day when I was in BR and desperately wanted to stop!

  20. momentsofabsurdity :

    Sigh. Moderation for c*cktail. Retrying.

    Oh wow, I adore this dress. It looks a little bit c**ktail-y from the front to me but not from the back.

    Amusing TJ – The Dude I’ve Been Seeing (haven’t DTRed, way to early) just did one of the weirdest nice things anyone has done for me. On a date a couple weeks ago, we were talking about home decor and I mentioned how I can’t handle blank walls/no furniture. I need to have a comfortable, cozy place to come home to. He said he really hadn’t decorated since he moved in. I went over there yesterday and this was totally true – he had zero furniture, not even a coffee table, he sat on the floor, all he had was a bed, etc (this was very weird. I could not live like that. Bachelors…).

    But, apparently before I came over, he had taken some printer paper and drawn stick figure pictures, and hung them up on the wall to have some “artwork” to make me laugh and feel more comfortable. It was so cute and nice and so unimaginably weird that I was incredibly charmed by it.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      +1 for charming, quirky guys who pay attention.

    • that is so. cute.

      but seriously, a bed and nothing else?? is he a VERY recent grad or did he just lose the roommate who had brought all the furniture to the relationship?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Nope, not a recent grad and lives alone. He said he works a lot/never really found it necessary to buy anything. His computer is on the floor.

        Yeah, if we keep dating, that has to change or he has to just always come to my house. My back hurt from sitting on the floor for two hours watching TV!

        • e_pontellier :

          um, this sounds terrible. I hope you can convince him to get a futon or couch of some sort. Maybe bring a pillow next time? or a folding chair?

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Ha. I want to show up with my butterfly chair next time I go over. I can’t believe I was embarrassed that I didn’t have enough artwork up and had a few weird furniture configurations when he came over to my place!

        • That is so incredibly sweet. My husband had no tables when we started dating-he used boxes as tables. I remember his alarm clock and lamps being on the floor. Tres chic. Funnier still is a couple we know-when they first started dating, he didn’t have extra pillows or any blankets. She had to use towels as pillows and blanket until she remembered and “gifted” him with an extra set. She also got a fire extinguisher from him as a gift one year. They have been married now for 10 years, so I guess she was charmed by him?! ;)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      He sounds like software engineers I’ve dated. Why have furniture or food? I live and eat and sometimes sleep at work, so what’s the point? The stick figure art is absolutely charming.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This. I’m certain I know his occupation ;) I dated one who wanted me to stay over even though he had no bed. A grown man making major $$ slept on a blanket laid down on the carpet.

        Listening = very good sign!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          HA! A girlfriend of mine dated a software engineer who was doing very well financially and professionally. He had the very latest and best in tech gadgetry, which he legitimately needed for his work, and slept in what she described as a nest – a bunch of blankets on the floor. Brilliant, nice guy, and not remotely interested in furniture, clothing, or any other physical item not connected to his work. After a year of dating, she convinced him to get a futon. They’ll be engaged any minute, I think.

      • eastbaybanker :

        Had the same experience with a software engineer! NO furniture except for a bed and paintings leaning on the wall. He managed to convince me he was so passionate about design that he wanted to exist in the space before committing to anything. He’d lived there at least 6 months.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        You guys are close. He’s an accountant but told me yesterday if he could do it all over again, he would’ve been a software engineer!

  21. LosingHope :

    Relationship threadjack: My husband has asked for a divorce. We’ve been having issues for a long time, but he’d told me that he was working through his feelings and feeling better about us. I’ve known things were still rocky, and it’s been making me depressed, irritable and insecure which hasn’t been helping. I’ve got good people around me, helping me through this, but I guess I just wanted to ask the hive what I should know going down this road? I’m trying to keep all our friends and family on the positive (no trash talking), make healthy habits for myself a priority, sticking it out as best I can at work, etc. But I’ve never done this before. Married 3 years, late twenties, currently living apart for work/school.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Any kids?

      Any large debts?

      Any pre-nups?

      Find a good divorce lawyer and financial advisor.

      • Second on financial advisor. My lawyer did family law and he couldn’t answer some of my financial questions to my satisfaction.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Adding therapist to the list of professionals to look up. If your support network isn’t cutting it, or if you want a safe space to be negative/not on your best behavior, even for a short time, it could be helpful.

      • LosingHope :

        Thanks for the support, even anonymously, it’s really nice of you all.

    • I’m very sorry that you’re going through this. Do you kids, property, bank/credit accounts, 401ks, other joint assets?

      I did all the divorce work myself, so while he has asked for one, there is nothing that says that you can’t be partially in control of this process which I think is important. Do you know what you want/what you are legally entitled to? Do you live in the same state? I’d make an appointment with an attorney so that you know what the process is, what you are legally entitled to, what the timetable is, and what things you need to do to protect yourself now and in the future. When I contacted an attorney, he was able to meet with me pretty quickly.

      • LosingHope :

        No kids, just dogs. We’ve both got large educational debts. I’ve got a biglaw job and he’s just finishing his program. No other large debts aside from work on my end (he’s got some credit card debt). No pre-nup. No joint assets, although he’s beneficiary on all of my life insurance and the like.

        Going to set up an appointment with a therapist, but don’t even know where to begin with a family lawyer. We live in neighboring states right now, and I don’t know which one we’ll need to get divorced in. I hope that given our relative financial separation already due to the two apartments and living apart right now that we can get that sorted out fairly easily.

        He won’t talk to a counselor together and doesn’t seem to have even thought about what work will need to go into a divorce.

        • I’m sorry you’re going through this. It sounds like you’re being very mature and handling it really well. Good luck.

          • Agreed. I think the lawyer will help you figure out where to file (honestly, I’d recommend that you file in your state, if that’s the scenario that’s most advantageous to you).

        • My situation sounds like it was somewhat similar to yours. We were living separately and really had very little in terms of joint assets. Honestly, we did some research online and did not need a lawyer, just did it ourselves. Granted, it was an overall amiable divorce and we just wanted to keep things as simple as possible. I would take a look at each state and see which one will be the easiest to divorce in. Does one have a 6 month waiting period vs a year? That sort of thing. But it depends on your situation. I think we kept a bad situation as low stress as possible.

          Also. Agree on the therapy. It helped me tremendously in dealing with my family/what I associated as a stigma attached to divorce.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

            @PHV, glad yours was amicable.

            But LosingHope’s comment here: “but he’d told me that he was working through his feelings and feeling better about us” stands in stark contrast to her husband’s being the one to say definitively that he wants a divorce.

            This raises a red flag.

            There could be many possibilities, as in, he’s capricious, or, he’s found somebody else who has made him take this tack. In either case, and especially if he’s found somebody else (who may be eyeing LosingHope’s biglaw salary greedily), OP will likely benefit from having a lawyer to protect her interests.

            Don’t count on this guy having OP’s best interests at heart at this point. If he did, they wouldn’t be getting divorced (at his prompting.)

          • LosingHope :

            I hate to consider that he doesn’t have my best interests at heart anymore, but you’re probably right that I shouldn’t count on it. I’m having trouble staying on course with all this as is.

          • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :


            Again, I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be. Keep us posted. We’re hoping everything works out OK for you, with as little damage (emotional and financial) to both you and him.

        • phillygirlruns :

          i don’t have anything to add that hasn’t been said (lawyer, therapist, and possibly financial advisor, though it sounds like you may be OK there), but wanted to say that i’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this. it sounds like you’re doing what you need to do to get through a crappy situation, and being as mature and level-headed as possible about it.

    • DC Association :

      I’m so sorry. I’m going thru a divorce right now and I know what it’s like.

      May I suggest calling your company’s EAP? They usually have a legal helpline…they’ll take your info and get an attorney to call you back. Then you can talk to someone about the basics of what your next steps are. They can then refer you to a lawyer who is affiliated with them and would offer you a discount on their services.

      And, you can also ask for a referral to a therapist. Typically you get three complimentary in-person visits thru the EAP referral. Take advantage of it.

      • LosingHope :

        This is honestly something that wouldn’t have occurred to me. Thank you for suggesting, I’ll look into it.

      • LosingHope :

        I’m also sorry to hear that you’re going through this as well.

    • Okay, first off: I am so sorry. I think that people often fail to realize (given how common divorce is) how utterly gut-wrenching it is, especially in the first month or so. I described it as being dragged backward out of hell over broken glass, not because it was particularly acrimonious, but because it was so emotionally devastating. Please take good care of yourself right now.

      My thoughts:
      1) Do not assume that he has or will act in your best interests. When I saw my ex-husband’s first settlement proposal, I realized that we’d gone from a team (seeking the best outcome for our family of two) to competing players, each with their own interests. It shook me, deeply.

      2) I represented myself, but I’m a transactional lawyer and felt completely comfortable negotiating my own settlement. My ex-h had a lawyer, who did the filings, but there were no court appearances required, so the settlement was the heavy lifting and I knew I could handle that. Even though I didn’t have a lawyer, I’d advise you to at least meet with one, and do NOT represent yourself unless you feel 100% okay with all aspects of the process. Once you sign that settlement agreement, you’re bound, so unless you’re confident in both your legal skills with regard to contractual matters and your emotional ability to negotiate against someone you love, get a lawyer.

      3) I got my therapist through my company’s EAP, and she was a lifesaver.

      4) You will feel better sooner than you think. Someone here told me that, and I didn’t believe it…but it was true.

      Good luck.

      • LosingHope :

        Thank you for taking the time to write this all out. I feel like your description pretty perfectly encapsulates how I feel right now. I’m trying to take good care of myself, but I think you hit the nail on the head with the fact that I’m reeling from and dreading the fact that we’ve gone from a team where we were working together to get our tiny family going to competing players. When I realized this morning (partly due to this thread) that he might try to come after me financially, I burst into tears, yet again, at my desk. Yay for having an office with a solid door?

        I’m generally confident in my negotiation skills, but I don’t know that I want to be the one negotiating against him. Particularly since, as it was pointed out to me, there are a few potentially complicated issues of assets on his side if he does try to come after my income. Joy.

        • I’m late responding to this, but I definitely understand the crying at the desk (in the grocery store, in the car, in the department store dressing room…). This is an experience that is full of surprises and shocks, many of them unpleasant. The only positive that I’ll share with you – and I’m not trying to be all Oprah-successories-self-help-y or anything – is that you will learn very important things about your own strength and resilience. I do actually feel like I’m a better person, and more truly myself, now.

  22. I’m thinking I need a new job…I’m in litigation (private practice, not BigLaw but feeling like BigLaw hours), and I am starting to hate it. I love the work but I hate the context of long hours, surprise deadlines (or people *acting* surprised when I have been trying to address it for weeks), etc. But I’m not sure what else to do. Others have suggested government, but I’m not sure how to articulate “hey, I heard this place more humane that the private practice rat-race”. I don’t have kids, I am just a single gal who is exhausted. I have thought about clerking, if nothing else for a year or two to plot my next steps. Any ideas on how to figure out what those next steps should be?

    • Is your only hesitation about applying for government jobs the fact that you’re not sure how to spin your decision to switch? Because seriously everyone knows you’re going into government for the hours. Not that you’d say that, but that’s why everyone who’ll interview you is there. (Okay, 90% of them, but really, like everyone.) As for spinning that, there are a milion ways. The ones that come to mind quickest: (1) I want more hands-on experience and I don’t see that happening anytime soon at the firm; (2) I want more control over my own cases; (3) I don’t find the private sector fulfilling and have always admired the work that government attorneys do; (4) I’d like some new challenges but our firm tends to just keep getting more of the same kind of work; (5) I’d like to be able to focus on the work itself without worrying about rainmaking; (6) I find the billable hours requirement to be stifling and have a by-product of creating inefficiecies as a means of boosting hours.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Second all of this. I also fully endorse clerking as a “segue” measure. Not only is it great experience, but you’ll get more exposure to the broad range of lawyering out there–maybe you’ll even find a type of gov’t work you’re excited about.

    • Glad you’re recognizing the signs of burn-out and starting to think about what your next move should be. You don’t want to wait until you’re desperate to start thinking about it.

      If you like the work, then my first thought would be whether another firm would work better for you. Clearly going to BigLaw would not help with the long hours, surprise deadlines, etc., but there are some firms where people don’t work past 6pm and don’t work on weekends (they aren’t most firms, but there are firms like that). Do any of your friends or friends’ friends work at places like this so you’d know going into it that it is a lifestyle firm (as opposed to a firm that claims they’re a lifestyle firm and not really one)?

      I also second TBK’s suggestions.

      Clerking could be a good option if you’re not too far into your career (I’m assuming you’re talking about a term clerkship, not a career clerkship), the clerkship would be viewed as prestigious, you work for a judge who isn’t a killer (I know of one judge who requires her clerks to work 9 hours a day/6 days a week), and you can wait another year to leave your firm since most clerkships start in August or September.

      • Clerking is great, but beware. I worked harder in my clerkship than I ever have in BigLaw.

    • I switched from biglaw litigation to the government and when interviewed I basically said “quality of life”. They all know that’s why you want to switch as they knew and even asked about my paycut. In all honesty these are the types of interviews where I think it’s best to be honest instead of lying straight to your potential new employers face.

    • Keep in mind that some government attorneys work BigLaw hours for govnt pay. Find out about typical schedules for any prospective new job and don’t just assume it’s an easy 9-5.

  23. Cornellian :

    I’m not sure how much of this drama I’ve been anonymous for, but I’m curious what you guys think:

    I’m considering meeting my half sister for the first time. She’s 41, I’m 26, but we’ve never met as she and her mother had a restraining order against our father as a child, and she’s chosen to have no contact with him in the last 28 years or so. About five years ago I made the same choice (I’m not sure if this was all done under an anon handle, but essentially I think he has narcissistic personality disorder, is low-level physically abusive, financially insolvent, an addict, and cruel, among many other things. When he told me I was a c**t and to never contact him again, I complied). He’s been on-and-off trying to chase me down, sending letters to my workplace, hiring private investigators, etc since then.

    My sister found our half sister on facebook a few years ago, I friended her, and we’ve talked a few times since then. She seems totally normal and rational (not the heartless b***h that my father convinced me she was as I was a child, and that he’s now trying to convince everyone I am), but I don’t even know how to approach a meeting with her, especially this late in life. We both have careers, I have nieces (!!!!)… My own mother passed away when I was in high school, so there’s a void of female mentors in my life, which is also sort of floating out there as an issue.

    I’m not sure what I’m really asking, but what would you do in my shoes? What would you expect in her shoes? Is this a bad idea for some reason?

    • I am a banana. :

      What do you have to lose?

    • I don’t see why it could be a bad idea unless you go in with unreasonably high expectations. You know that your impression of her through your father was not accurate, and it was likely highly (if not entirely) colored by your father’s own issues. But keep in mind that she probably has issues of her own (don’t we all), and she’s been affected by your father’s severe problems as well. It sounds like the indications are good that you two can move forward with a healthy relationship, but she may be a little reluctant; you may be too closely associated in her mind with your dad, even though you’ve cut off relations with him.

      Having said that, if I were you, I would want to try to form a relationship of some kind. Does she live nearby? I would just send her a note and see if you can take her to dinner or lunch, and start there. If she’s in another place, maybe you could work in a lunch or dinner to a trip near there. If you do meet, I’d suggest not focusing a lot of time and energy on your father. You know it’s what you have in common, but it’s probably painful for both of you, and it strikes me as a not very healthy basis for a relationship. Talk about your careers, your lives, and the rest of your families instead. Tell her that you’d love to meet her children, and/or that you think it would be nice to get to know her better. But keep in mind that she may not be as ready/open to the idea as you are. Good luck!

    • No advice, but this is heartbreaking. I’ll be thinking good thoughts toward you and your sisters!

    • I vote go for it. My dad is… also not the best (though nowhere near the level of dysfunction of your dad; I’m so sorry that you had to go through that). My younger half brother is the best dad-related thing that ever happened to me, hands down.

    • After a tumultuous childhood, I reconnected with my stepsisters when we were all in our twenties. It never ceases to amaze me how gracious, welcoming, and kind these girls are, when for the first half of my life I characterized them as “bad people” because in my 10-year old mind they were a byproduct of my parents divorce. Good luck to you, I hope it works out.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I completely agree with this. I had a negative and then nonexistent relationship with my cousin when we were younger because our mothers hated each other. I didn’t see or talk to her for many many years. We reconnected in college and to both of our surprise have forged an incredibly close friendship. I basically consider her a sister now. The negativity. Our relationship was never because of us but solely because of our mothers.

        I think meeting her sounds like a great idea. I do agree with not setting unreasonably high expectations, but at the very least you will get to meet another family member and possibly your nieces.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I got in touch with half siblings I’d never met before when I was about 19. It didn’t work out and I no longer talk to them (though the door is open if they want to reconnect), but I’m glad I reached out to them and I have no regrets about how I handled the situation. My siblings had a lot of expectations of me that I was not interested in meeting; they wanted me to hold our father and my mother accountable somehow for the many injuries they had supposedly inflicted on us (mostly before I was born; I’m the youngest). I just wanted a relationship with my siblings and I didn’t really care about what had happened in the past. They became frustrated with me and stopped talking to me, which was of course sad and disappointing but I walked away knowing that I had conducted myself appropriately.

      So, my advice for moving forward with this is to be really honest with yourself and your sister. Take some time to think about what you want out of your relationship before you start to initiate a lot of contact. Do you want commiseration about your dad? Do you want her to help you stand strong in keeping him out of your life? Do you just want to focus on moving forward with your life and building a relationship with this newly discovered sister? Make those boundaries clear at appropriate times as they come up. Good luck!

    • Meet her. Why not? At best you’ll be fast friends, and at worst you’ll have another person available if you ever need an organ transplant.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I have connected with family members as an adult that I was not allowed to meet as a child. It hasn’t always been easy but I have never regretted it.

    • Go for it and meet her. You are both old enough to know not to have unrealistic expectations. You both went through hardships dealing with the same father. Depending on her children’s ages it might be best to meet her and her spouse first before you meet her kids. That way there is no awkward issue of whether they are expected to call you Aunt immediately or whatever.

  24. Always a NYer :

    If you’ve been in contact with her and would like to meet in person, suggest it. Chances are she’s just as interested in meeting you as you are her. If she doesn’t, she’ll tell you and you’ll know you tried. The worst thing that could happen is for her to say no, and you won’t know she will until you ask.

    • Cornellian :

      Sorry, I should have been clear. She lives a 4 hour flight but will be in DC (i’m in NYC) a few times the next few months. She suggested meeting up. I am considering getting down there for a night.

      • Always a NYer :

        My vote is yes. If it were me, I’d always wonder and would rather know.

        • Maddie Ross :

          I vote yes, too. I’ve not had this come up with me, but I have two good girlfriends who discovered older half-siblings in their high school/college years. Both of them reached out and while one only had a brief meeting, the other has a friendship with her brother.

      • Agree — I would go. If you do, please post an update. Will cross my fingers that this is the beginning of a happy story.

      • If I were you, I’d meet her. I would also try to manage my expectations so that I don’t build it up to be some OMG MY SISTER!!!!!!!!!! ordeal in my head. I’d try to approach it as making a new friend and if things go well, awesome. If they don’t, that’s okay, too.

        • e_pontellier :

          I second this. I would be hesitant to go because I would have the OMG MY SISTER feelings, and that’s not really fair to either of you.

      • I would absolutely go! Would you always wonder what would happen otherwise? (I certainly would.) Try to think of a few things to discuss in advance so that you don’t end up only discussing your father (which sounds like a downer).

      • I also vote yes. She is one of the few people who will truly understand your situation with your father, if your relationship with her progresses to that point. And since she has reached out, I think you can be cautiously optimistic that it might.

    • Always a NYer :

      This was meant to be in response to Cornellian.

  25. Savings/investment advise needed from the hive. I found out recently that I’m going to be coming into a large-ish sum of money (inheritance). Part of it I intend to use to pay down some debt and put towards some other expenses, but I’d like to put aside some for the future (think like 5 years or less down the road – getting married, buying a house). It’s probably going to end up being ~$10K. What kind of account/investment would you put that in?

    • Cornellian :

      What do you have going already? Do you have an IRA, 401(k), brokerage account, etc?

    • Can you tell us a little bit more about your debt and the interest rate? You might want to consider paying your whole debt and buying one significant fun thing (like a statement watch or something).

      • I have a 401K (through work) and some fairly anemic savings.
        I have some credit card debt (9.9% interest) and a boat-load of student loans. I also have a car that is on it’s last legs. Right now I’m planning on paying off the credit card and using a chunk of the money to make a sizeable down payment on a new-to-me car and taking out a small loan for remainder (because any car loan I get will have a FAR lower interest rate than my credit card).
        Logically I know I should use the remainder of the money to either buy the car outright or put it against the student loans, but have so little in savings is really unnerving.

        • On hand savings is good! It keeps you from having to go into debt in the future, so don’t feel bad about shoring up the balance in your savings account.

          Yes, it would be nice to pay down all the debt, but I think you have the right priorities – get rid of the CC debt, replace a failing asset (although I would wait until it was totally dead, and then replace and keep the money in savings in the meantime), and then save something.

        • Your cc debt interest isn’t bad! I think your idea makes sense. What kind of budget are you looking at for a car? Honda and Toyota are both having 0 or 0.9% interest now so you could put the rest in an ALly or Barclay’s savings account making 1% interest and finance the rest and get a good deal on a 2012 car that would last you awhile. Good luck!

    • If this is going to be your emergency savings, probably a high interest savings account is safest. (I think Ally has the highest rates right now.) If you already have enough savings to get you through, say, a car repair or a few months of being out of work, you could consider putting it in a 5 year CD and then after 5 years you can take it out to buy a house or whatnot.

      You might also check out the archives at — they have a lot of good advice written in layman’s terms.

    • Have you ever purchased a home before? Do you have a Roth IRA? You could put up to $5000 in a Roth IRA and pull it out penalty free for a deposit as a first time homebuyer when the time comes (no penalty on the money you take out, gains can’t be taken out penalty free for 5+ years).

      Do you have a financial advisor or accountant? You should probably talk to someone about the tax implications of this inheritance before you spend it or tie it up to make sure you won’t need some of it to pay taxes.

  26. Muslim anon :

    Hey Ru, did you get your bangles yet? What did you get?

    • Hey, I was just coming on here to write to you! I haven’t picked out what I want….yet. I’m going to post links of things that I like so far. Bangles are so common but I’m looking for a linked bracelet that I can leave on and never take off. I tend to bang my bangles into stuff, no pun intended =).

      • Cornellian :

        how does anyone type with bangles?!

        I had a funny conversation at work that reminded me of a comment you made on here. I was sitting at an event in my older white man-dominated field (as a petite woman of European descent) joking with three of my coworkers, one an African-American man, one an Indian man, and one man with an apparent physical disability, and the event photographer COULD NOT GET ENOUGH OF US. look at all our diversity! look!

      • Aight, so I’m currently feeling the titanium jewelry by this etsy seller The silver and titanium mixes are GORGEOUS but I can’t deal with tarnishing silver. I don’t take care of my jewelry.

        It’s no secret that I’m kinda obsessed with yellow gold but I think my skin color could support darker white metals. Stainless steel, oxidized silver (is that the right term for it?), titanium, etc. I want something tough.

        • Muslim anon :

          Oops we posted at the same time. Did you see that you can get other matching pieces from that seller? You know, for a full set :)

          • I like the way you think. So I’m currently expecting to buy a full set PLUS the ridiculously amazing bangles TCFKAG is throwing at me. UGH, JEWELRY PROBLEMS.

          • Muslim anon :

            I saw some of those bangles on tunblr and have my eye on some as well. Not because I got promoted but because I should have ALL THE BANGLES

      • Muslim anon :

        Oh that sounds promising. Plus a linked braclet is easier to wear. I want something like that too so keep me posted.

        • I’m enough of a narcissist to post pics and everything of what I eventually get. I’ll post back here =).

      • I also like the jewelry at this site:

        For those looking for nerd gifts, there is awesome stuff on here with rulers, compasses, levels, thermometers and more. My budget for a bracelet is ~$500, so I may just buy everything.

      • Hahahaha. I just broke Ru. Check out my tumblr for more details.

  27. Urgent shopping advice (placed my order and am now re-considering)

    I don’t wear a ton of brown, favoring grey and black instead. But…I love these booties:

    I have a similar pair which I wear all winter and adore. But I ordered the dark brown and am now thinking the lighter color might have been more versatile?

    Will it look too stark with black or grey tights? I don’t wear pants so it’s not like they’re going under denim.

    Also, Lands End Canvas is having a 30% off sale items, and LE has 40% off shoes today.

  28. style advice needed... :

    Beautiful dress. Sigh…


    Would appreciate advice on undergarments. I am working in medicine, and while I can hide my butt and panty-lines behind a white coat often, I know I have to clean things up. Would appreciate advice on the best underwear and perhaps…. spanx are in my future.

    I am 5′ 7″ and slender (less then 120 lbs) but a bit lose and jiggly in the tuckus. I feel like my underwear constantly rides up and is often visible, although I don’t wear tight clothing – but always pants, which are more practical for my job. I don’t really need upper body shaping and prefer slightly lower rise pants.

    So forgive me if these questions have been asked before, but…

    1) Recs on best panties that stay in place, and can work with lower rise pants? I like boy shorts, but my Costco specials don’t stay in place long.

    2) Recs on Spanx? There are so many types – which one for me? Do I go to the store to try on sizes or choose by measurements? Do you wear underwear under them and wear the same Spanx several days in a row (so pricey!)? Hand wash so they last or are they pretty sturdy?

    My big fear has been that once I start Spanx, I can’t go back and all my pants will need to be re-fit for that “new” shape. I’m sure I’m over-thinking this….

    Thanks for all help!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Are your pants lined or unlined? Lined pants will help a lot with pantylines. Your undies riding up suggests to me that they don’t fit your body shape, even if they are the right size. Are they all the same style (e.g. bikinis, boyshorts, what have you)? If so, that may be a contributing factor, so try a different style to see if that helps. Natori boyshorts are my personal favorites. Re Spanx – I’m slightly shorter than you, but about the same weight. I buy Spanx for warmth/layering/smoothness, not compression, so I buy a size up (e.g. a Medium for me) of the shorts that don’t go above the waistline, and wear real undies underneath. They definitely still hold me (and my body heat) in and firm me up even in a size “too big.” I usually wear them only once before washing, maybe twice, but I do laundry often – machine wash in a delicates bag and hang dry. My two pairs are over a year old now and holding up pretty well. I don’t think they’ll really change your shape that much, though I do wonder if your pants fit properly to begin with. Have you taken them to a tailor to get chalked and pinned to see what the pants would look like with alterations? $20 in alterations might make a huge difference.

      • style advice needed... :

        Thanks so much for this!

        To clarify – for years I have had little money and I have not dressed very nicely. All hidden under the white coat, I figured! I am trying to clean myself up. It is needed…. My plan is to start with better undergarments, tailor the pants I have, and get a haircut.

        I do not have nice lined pants, or well tailored pants, and hopefully over the next few years I can slowly start to find a few nicer pieces. Can you believe I bought my first ever pair of THEORY pants at Nordstrom’s last summer and the sale’s associate talked me OUT of buying lined pants saying that they bunch?! Deep down I knew she was wrong, but I am so clueless and feel foolish in these places… and I spent way too much money on a pair of pants I don’t even like very much. Most of my pants are only ok quality, bought at Nordstrom’s sales (cheaper lines) or decent finds at conseignment/resale stores. My goal is to tailor a few of these so that they look a little better. So I appreciate you reinforcing that this could help.

        Honestly, I am not sure the best underwear for me, or even the best size as things seem to stretch out/lose shape so quickly. I wash all in the washing machine and hang dry. As money has been an issue, I am extremely frugal with clothing purchases and most underwear is older or Costco cottons/?nylons. The full panty styles probably stay down the best, but the waistbands are too high for many of my pants. Bikinis probably ride up the most. I just don’t find Thongs comfortable and they make me too self-conscious with my jiggly butt!

        Anyway, TMI I’m sure! Thanks so much for your advice. I will look for the Natori boyshorts…

        • SF Bay Associate :

          If you hate the Theory pants, take them back to Nordies (with receipt, or they can look up your receipt via the credit card you used to buy them). I normally am very against returning used clothing, and very protective against abuse of my beloved Nordie’s extremely generous return policy, but if the sales associate convinced you to buy pants you hate, that’s on her. They will give you your money back, but better yet, book an appointment with a personal stylist (free!) to get help finding pants and clothes that suit you. You do not have to buy anything, but she will give you an idea of how to put things together – pay attention to shapes and colors which you can mimic across stores at all price points. The PS also has quick access to the tailor, so when you try on the pants, have the tailor come chalk and pin you so that you can see how the pants could fit. You should be able to buy 2-3 pairs of pants from Halogen or Classiques on sale which fit you with the refund from the Theory ones, or you can just take your refund home. That’s totally ok, too. That sales associate sold you the wrong pants. Her fault.

          My guess is that your undies are losing shape quickly because you are buying cheap, low quality undies. Try Nordie’s Rack or Ross or Marshalls to get good brands for low prices. That’s where my Natoris come from. There’s also a panty at Target that the ladies here love, though I can’t remember which. I think there’s also a Gap one that is liked here. I also hate thongs – boyshorts all the way for me.

          • style advice needed... :

            Thanks for this. I can’t return the pants because they tailored them for me right when I bought them! Hemmed, and removed the pockets in front, but they forgot to remove the back pockets. I have never worn them, as I want to bring them back to remove the back pockets… and I just have such mixed feelings..

            I actually did work with the personal stylist. It was my first time trying this, and didn’t work out as well as I had hoped….. She was way too young/trendy for me and was moving way too fast and I needed just help with the basics…. What is my size? What are my colors? What is the right pant cut for me? I just was not confident enough with myself and she was bringing me stuff that should never have been in the room…. black velvet skin tight skinny jeans. Odd flow-ey shirts that were “on trend”… I was there to buy work clothes! Partially my fault… it was the tail end of the sale and she was too busy/distracted. I was also assigned to the youngest/trendiest department…. when really I need a mix from multiple departments.

            btw – what are the “good brands” of undies I should look for in addition to the Natories? I do try to glance in Marshalls occasionally since there is one near me…

            Thanks for all your advice SF. It is very good.

      • I’ve found the Gap Body bikinis (all cotton or cotton-spandex) to stay in place and not show a panty line. They do run a bit large in my opinion, so I would size down to be sure they fit as needed not to bunch or ride up.

        I think it was someone here that recommended Jockey Skimmies Slipshort ($20 at amazon). They are sort of made like spanx in that they are slick and allow your pants or skirt to fit better but without the discomfort of spanx. i also highly recommend them.

    • Wearing spanx everyday sounds miserable. I hate spanx with a passion and have a one woman crusade against them.

      I would:

      1. find comfy cotton panties that stay in place. i used to love the lace topped ones from gap but they’ve remade them into something slightly less awesome so I can’t fully recommend

      2. wear pants with a better drape so they don’t show every line

      3. stop caring. your job is to care for sick people. who cares if you have some VPL? 99.9% of the people there only care about the service you are delivering. i would so much rather have a competent doctor than a well put together doctor.

      • +1 Spanx are just a girdle with a cuter name. No thank you.

      • style advice needed... :

        This is very helpful. Honestly, I have never tried Spanx, and the only times I have had a big concern about panty lines I have worn panty hose which take care of the issue. Maybe Spanx isn’t what I need. But the expense of pantyhose is also not insignficant which is why I wondered about Spanx..

        And with regard to #3…. I appreciate that thought, and generally agree! But all I do is care about my patients, and I take very poor care of myself. I look like crap, and am now of an age where I have to start thinking about how I look. Both for me… and for my job. I would also just like to feel a little more comfortable (riding up underwear is never comfortable!)

        One of hip NYC friends 10 years ago told me that guys actually LIKE VPL, especially if you have a good butt! I always wondered if that was true… :)

        • You might like long underpants, something like Vermont Country Store’s mid-thigh underpants or these

          They stay in place, no VPL, comfy, and great under skirts/dresses if you don’t wear hose.
          Pretty pricey though and limited sizing.

    • I’m not sure if Spanx all the time would be a good idea. I’ve heard that it might make your abs less strong, making you more and more dependable on supportive underpants (not sure if this is true, but seems to make sense).
      I would look into ‘invisible’ underpants, with little or no seams. A ‘hipster’ of boyfriend type of pant is less likely to ride up.

      • style advice needed... :

        Thanks korakel – is “boyfriend” a brand of panties? I’m starting to shy away from Spanx, or maybe just buy one pair for special circumstances.

    • I like boyshorts myself, and had a few times in law school where I went to buy new underwear at target rather than doing laundry (don’t judge…) It was probably haines, but the basic boyshorts there are pretty fantastic. I am very lacking in the behind region, and have a hard time with anything that will stay in place, but those boy shorts seem to be the best bet!

      • style advice needed... :

        This is good to hear. I will check out target boy shorts – cotton I presume?

        • style advice needed... :

          Which brand at Target do you like? It looks like there are a few different lines, online…. Xhilaration, Fruit of the loom etc..

    • I wanted to mention Target’s line of Spanx, called Assets. They are a bit cheaper, but still close to $20. Kohls sells some Spanx-like things, and they always have coupons.

      I like Spanx-like underwear under skirts and dresses for more coverage. Under pants, try microfiber instead of cotton, and as SF Bay Associate said, try different cuts to see what works for you. I like high-leg, high-waist pants myself – I think making sure the entirety of your cheeks are covered helps keep the edges of the underwear from cutting into any squishy parts. I realize this totally sounds like I wear granny pants, but oh well, I don’t have pantylines.

      At least not horribly obvious ones. I’m sure they show once in a while, but I don’t really care all that much.

      • Meg Murry :

        The Assets line of Spanx are not as high quality as true Spanx, and they loose their ability to smooth & firm after a few wearings. Good for people who want a pair to wear on a special occasion and then dispose of or maybe for OP that just wants them for negating VPL instead of shaping, but not for wearing as shapewear long term. Also good for trying out different style of shapewear to see if you like/hate it, but again, not a good long term option for washing & re-wearing.

        • style advice needed... :

          Thanks guys – my first impulse was to buy the Spanx brand hoping they would last longer, but maybe if I am not going to become a daily Spanx wearer, then maybe a cheaper brand to use infrequently may work. If anyone has a link to a favorite style that is a lower rise, feel free to post. Or maybe for Spanx-like wear, it is always high riding to give some abs control? I’m just learning here…

          • Shapewear is *supposed* to go beyond the region you’re trying to control. They’re usually high-waisted so that it doesn’t dig into your stomach – which will give you other aesthetic and comfort issues. Bicycle-short type shapewear will take care of what you’re concerned about + if your shirt rides up, nobody will be able to see your skin or underroos.

            Personally, while the high-compression bicycle-short type is the best for squeezing in your gut and booty, I found them SUCH A PAIN for bathroom reasons. When I wanted smoothing, I would wear the slip style over my bra and underwear and wear my pants on top of that. Smoothed out my whole torso and booty without being too constricting.

    • I heart spanx :

      I love spanx. I wear them every. single. day. to work. Sometimes just the camisole, sometimes just the boy shorts, but most days I wear the open bust dress. I always wear underwear underneath and usually go about a week before washing. I am the world’s laziest clothes washer, so I just throw them in the regular wash and the dryer. They usually hold up with near daily wearings and weekly washings for about a year before finally giving out.

      • style advice needed... :

        Thanks for this info. It is good to hear that they are sturdy. I am becoming a lazier clothes washer too (!) and just bought an iron and a steamer hoping to avoid so frequent dry cleaning.

    • I wear Hanky Panky boyshorts and they are low-rise and stay in place nicely. Definitely worth the price. They run large – you’d probably be an XS. If you don’t mind thongs, I’d also suggest HP’s low-rise thongs.

    • Spanx don’t have to feel horrible! Try them on and do not rely on guides or sales people, because the size you “need” has a lot to do with what you want out of them. I use them more for smoothing and gentle holding instead of major compression and buy the ones shaped like “regular” undies – no long legs or such. I am a size 10 and wear these Spanx in an XL. I don’t wear them daily, just under pants that seem to show lines, lumps and bumps especially well, or on days when I feel a little bloated.

    • So smart to focus on what’s underneath…but honestly, with your build i don’t really understand why you feel you need spanx. In most specialties in medicine, we can get away with more practical, less stylish clothes (derm and plastics are obvious exceptions).

      Figure out what is comfortable and attractive for you – it is a gradual learning process, like figuring out what goes in the pockets of your white coat, and where. If you’re a hospitalist, there will always be amazingly stylish women rounding in 4″ heels – do not use them as style icons!

      Your lady parts need to breathe, not be bound up in plastic. Nordstrom rack and Ross always have excellent, inexpensive cotton undies in a variety of styles. If everything creeps above your pants waist, and you don’t want to go commando, then you might have to wear higher-waist pants (sorry).

      Lined pants are great (banana republic has a couple of styles that are affordable); dark colors conceal; avoid khaki twill, which is unforgiving and shows any little butt ripple.

    • Target and, I believe, VS have underwear with silicone grippies along the bottom edges and they Stay Put. I swear by the Target ones (washing in machine and air-drying) and they are cheap and available on their website.

      I like b/c they are more comfortable than a thong and get rid of maybe 85% of VPL issues for me.

      For Spanx, I don’t like any issues with the lower-leg seam (or with boy shorts that roll up).

      Also highly agree with lined pants (although Talbots have some good machine-washable ones that are unlined that I have sworn by for high-comfort or likely-to-be-messy days; all with minimal VPL in the Target undies).

      Sorry for the dissertation.

    • I’m a fan of Commando underwear — I have a huge butt and find them seamless under unlined clothing. They’re expensive though, so try to get them on sale. I like the girl shorts and the cotton bikinis.

  29. I seem to be spoiling for a fight with my husband and I’m not sure why. We had a slightly contentious conversation before I left for work this morning and I’ve been stewing over it. Yesterday, I stewed for an hour over an email exchange. I was sure he was reacting a certain way to something I’d asked but once I talked to him on the phone, I realized I’d misinterpreted the emails. I don’t think there’s some hidden resentment I’m not dealing with. I think I’m just in a [email protected] mood. Any advice for dealing with this before I cause a fight tonight?

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Work out before you get home to work out the angry? Lifting heavy things and/or a punching bag can help me.

    • e_pontellier :

      Writing up an angry email and sending it to a trusted friend? +1 to working out. Listening to angry girl music on the plane? Good luck!!

      • Or even just type up an angry email and don’t send it. I find this totally helps.

        Sometimes I even do it with people at work who are getting on my last nerve. Just don’t enter anything into the To field so you can’t accidentally hit Send!

    • Think about if there is something else in your life that you are actually upset about. I sometimes freak out on my SO if there is something else happening in my life, especially if its something that I just have to grin and bear.

      Also, think if it could be hormonal. I hate to admit it but I get irrationally angry/irrationally sad right before my period. A couple days ago I started crying about something stupid (I rarely cry and genuinely don’t care about this matter.) My SO took one glance at the calendar and realized what was up. Sometimes being a woman just sucks like that.

    • When I know that I’m in a horrible mood and just ready to pick a fight, I find being honest and upfront about it helps. I just say to my husband, “it’s not you, it’s me, I’m in a horrible mood and feel like picking a fight, even though I know objectively that everything is fine.” Then I avoid him until I’m less combative. I find that distracting myself with silly movies or just taking some time to take deep breaths, etc. really helps too.

      • This. And I try to keep my mouth shut unless absolutely necessary so I don’t say something I regret later.

    • Warn him right off the bat you are feeling edgy and you don’t want to take it out on him but you’re feeling snappish? My husband & I will often say to each other “I’m in a mood” and even my 5 year old has started doing it – and since it doesn’t happen all that often, we know that means that tonight is not the night to talk about anything tense as it will probably start a totally unnecessary fight rather than a rational conversation. Everyone’s allowed to have a bad day sometimes, acknowledging it helps keep your loved ones from making in unintentionally worse.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Agree with the advice to give him a heads up that you’re on edge and allow yourself some space. On those days when we find ourselves snap at each other over nothing, we go to our corners to cool off then reconnect for a hand squeeze and “I love you.” The worst part is thinking that the person is mad at you for nothing. Knowing that they are just in a terrible mood and you were simply the only person in the room makes it so easy to forgive and forget.

      Like MegMurry, my three year old will say “I’m having a rough day.”

    • “I’m cranky for no good reason at all. Please be really nice to me for no good reason at all” or something to that effect works at our house. Sometimes DH is then really nice to me for no good reason at all, and sometimes he says “Sorry you don’t feel good” and goes to watch football in the furtherest corner of the house. Both work for me. When he’s the cranky one, extra attention is usually the most effective response.

  30. For TCFKAG:

    A friend asked for Halloween costume suggestions, so I sent her a link to the “dress as a book” discussion we had a couple weeks ago. She loved your “A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” idea, so that’s what she’ll be wearing to our party Friday night.

  31. Plus Size PSA :

    Just a note that Eloquii (the Limited’s plus size brand) announced their Outlet today! You can find the outlet on the Eloquii website, and they have some great (if non-returnable) deals, including tops, jewelry, and jackets. I’m a big fan of theirs for fashionable plus-sized clothes.

  32. One of my girl friends just suggested I check out the ratings on Amazon of binders lol. Almost as awesome as the customer reviews of the pens for women discussed earlier this season.

  33. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    Left-footed threadjack:
    Thought about going anon for this because it’s so gross, but oh well, it’s part of me.

    I have been conscripted into the Bunion Brigade. I’ve got a pretty mean one on my left foot, and am developing one on my right foot. The left one hurts like the dickens and has before. I am almost limping today (!)

    I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and see a podiatrist tomorrow about it. I’ve been putting that off for awhile but it really must be dealt with. *sigh* I’m a frequent wearer of ballet flats, and have avoided excessively high heels (won’t wear much higher than a 3″ heel and only for special occasions)…so I’m wondering if there’s just something about the way I walk (pronation stuff) that’s caused these bunions.

    Wise Hive, would it make sense to go somewhere (like a running shoe store) to have them watch how I walk, determine how much (“off”) things are, and give me inserts to prevent further damage?

  34. Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

    Reposted to avoid moderation:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Left-footed threadjack:
    Thought about going anon for this because it’s so gross, but oh well, it’s part of me.

    I have been conscripted into the Bunion Brigade. I’ve got a pretty mean one on my left foot, and am developing one on my right foot. The left one hurts like the d!*kens and has before. I am almost limping today (!)

    I’ve finally decided to bite the bullet and see a podiatrist tomorrow about it. I’ve been putting that off for awhile but it really must be dealt with. *sigh* I’m a frequent wearer of ballet flats, and have avoided excessively high heels (won’t wear much higher than a 3″ heel and only for special occasions)…so I’m wondering if there’s just something about the way I walk (pronation stuff) that’s caused these bunions.

    Wise Hive, would it make sense to go somewhere (like a running shoe store) to have them watch how I walk, determine how much (“off”) things are, and give me inserts to prevent further damage?

    • e_pontellier :

      I have terrible feet. I was a ballerina for 10 years and now… well, let’s just say my feet are getting their revenge. I would suggest the New Balance store on 5th ave & 20th street. They’ll do what a podiatrist can do, but they won’t charge you $600. Also, I read the book Your Feet Don’t Have To Hurt, which was quite helpful (and reassuring). Ballet flats are actually pretty terrible for your feet, so I would also invest in some walking/commuting shoes that are closer to sneakers, but talk to the people at the New Balance store!!

    • I recommend going to a doctor. I’ve been to the running store on 14th (Jack Rabbit, I think?) and they gave me sneakers but no advice on inserts (I asked). I went to the orthopedist for my knees and while observing me walk around, the doc pointed out issues with my gait and shoes and a whole bunch of stuff. TL;DR, seek medical advice first.

      • e_pontellier :

        Sigh. I do agree that a doctor is a better plan than a sneaker store. However, if your podiatrist takes insurance, it’s likely she/he will try to push surgery onto you. Please know that needing surgery for bunions, while it does happen, is pretty rare, and most bunions can be managed with love and care and inserts.
        disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Y’all know that.

    • First of all, bunions aren’t gross. They’re, basically, a joint dislocation.

      Second of all, most bunions are genetic. They can be aggravated by your shoes and your gait, but they’re mainly determined by the relative length and shape of your metatarsals.

      Third, I’d suggest a PT first. Look for someone who specializes in feet; they’re going to have the most knowledge about non-surgical treatments.

      Fourth, I’ve had bunion surgery, and it had its downsides, but I’d do it again for the simple reason that it stopped the intolerable pain I used to be in. And as surgeries go, it’s absolutely no big deal.

      Fifth, I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV.

    • I have bunions too! I use toe spreaders on my feet at night (foot lotion, toe spreaders, then socks) and my toes feel so much better in the morning, my bunion is way less pronounced and the bonus is that my feet are soft from the lotion/sock combo.

      Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, just a convert of toe spreaders instead of surgery if it’s not needed!

    • My podiatrist would not do surgery until my bunions passed a particular angle of separation. (I asked about it a lot, because of family history / not wanting pain to get worse / wanting to get it over with. He basically (but nicely) laughed at me the first time I asked about it and said a very firm “no”. )

      Agree that a PT may be able to help you understand the way you walk, and get you to correct imbalances, but as Kanye said, bunions are mostly genetic and not environmental, so PT probably wouldn’t be able to do much with that.

      I’m in NYC, so if you end up not liking the doc you’re seeing tomorrow, let me know & I’ll give you the info on my guy.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Ooh, can I have the info on your guy? I am looking for a pod for the same reasons, and I’m looking for someone good!

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          Oh ps, you can email it to cdeplume att gmail dott com if you prefer not to post it.

        • Brooklyn, his name is Howard Zaiff. I use his Manhattan office (133 E 54th, Ste E), but he also has an office in Brooklyn. Manhattan phone # is (212) 759-9090. Website is

          He splits his time between the offices, so you can only get appointments on particular days if you’re prioritizing location.

          • Brooklyn, Esq. :

            Thanks so much! He’s even convenient to my office. Now I have no excuse not to make an appointment.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Does anyone know how much the surgery runs if you don’t have insurance or if insurance doesn’t cover it? I’ve had terrible bunions my entire life but never had a good opportunity to have the surgery (gymnast, dancer, worked in a warehouse, etc). I considered having it done one summer during law school but my insurance didn’t cover it at the time and I didn’t have the money to pay for it myself, regardless of how much or little it was.

    • Kontraktor :

      I posted about this the other day, but I highly recommend the Bunion Aid. It is a splint you use at night/in your off time. It is advertised to correct alignment over time, but I don’t know if it works in this manner. It does work, however, to align the foot properly while wearing, reduce pain, offer more support, and reduce swelling. I put mine on when I come home from work and wear until I get up the next morning. I will sometimes wear all day on the weekends if I am home. This really helps to relieve my pain (and I think it will help my feet not get worse). I am also looking into purchasing a flexible/cushioned sleeve I can wear with my heels at work just for extra protection.

      Your doctor may not be able to recommend surgery. Your other options might be an anti-inflammatory (I was perscribed RX naproxen and told to take 1-2 a day for 1-2 weeks if I get bouts of a lot of pain) or a cortizone shot (my mom had one in her foot and it eliminated her pain for about 7 months). If yours are not severe enough yet, surgery might not be an option. But I do think a splint works well for pallative pain relief and possibly slow, long term correcting.

      • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

        Thank you all, this is a big help to me! I love this site because of you ladies. :-)

        I won’t assume surgery is the default option although I’m leaving it on the drawing board for now, and will see a physical therapist (after my podiatrist visit tomorrow) and look for BunionAid.

        I’m feeling quite crappy today and have told my boss I’m taking a sick day tomorrow (as I have a ton of days built up that I’ll lose by year-end if I don’t take them.) He said to me, this morning, as I was getting my tea, “Crikeys! Are you OK? You’re limping?!!”

        We joked that I’m actually a zombie. Not the mindless, brain-crunching, shambling and foot-dragging v1.0 zombie, but the analytical, number-crunching, shambling, and foot-dragging v2.0 zombie.

        • Kontraktor :

          Susan, not sure if you are reading anymore, but I think you will find some relief with the splint. I know that it makes my foot feel better even if it won’t 100% fix the alignment (my alignment problem right now is mild). The relief from pain and reduction in swelling has been well worth it. It can also be worn with flip flops, crocs, and other larger shoes so I sometimes wear it walking too/out all day and that is really nice.

    • Go to a podiatrist. I had bunion surgery this year. There are upsides and downsides to getting surgery and every case is different. My bunions are gone, so I can wear flats and other shoes without rubbing and permanent callouses on those joints, but I lost a lot of range of motion and still cannot wear high heels comfortably for more that a few minutes of walking. I’m also dealing with occasional minor swelling that makes me wear different sizes of shoes at different times. At the same time I know the problem was just going to get worse until I fixed it and if I waited too long I would have had to get a more complicated surgery with pins and everything. As far as what causes bunions, my podiatrist says they are genetic, but I know there is disagreement about that.

      • (I know this is way late, but in case you’re checking…)

        Pest, I had swelling for about 9 months on one foot and about 14 months on the other after surgery. I couldn’t comfortably wear heels for a while (don’t remember how long; wasn’t relevant except for special occasions), but now it’s fine. A physical therapist should be able to help you with range of motion, but also time should help with range of motion. You can do things at home like (1) lay out a hand towel, then scrunch it to you with your toes; (2) practice picking up a marble with your toes; (3) “writing” the alphabet on the floor with your toes; (4) [if it doesn’t hurt] manipulate the joint — grab on & move it back and forth for a few minutes every day.

  35. Any recs for bras that don’t show their outline through thin sweaters/t-shirts?

    I realized I’ve resorted wearing a strapless bra to avoid those obvious bra/cup lines and realized I should probably up my undergarment game.

    I’m a pretty standard size and bonus points if they’re not a fortune!

    • Always a NYer :

      I really like the t-shirt bras from Gap. It’s the first bra that doesn’t leave obvious outlines. Figuring this out now (at 24) makes me cringe when I think how I looked before. Oh well, at least I corrected it now, right?

    • I really like the t-shirt bras Calvin Klein makes. I find them for around $15 at TJMaxx type stores.

    • phillygirlruns :

      the natori “feathers” bra – link to follow, or item no. 317937 at nordstrom

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Princess Jasmine – blue belly-dance costume, sandals, blue headband. So excited but I’m trying to get to the gym EVERY day this week.

  36. Costume Poll :

    Halloween TJ! Let’s have a virtual costume parade! If you’re going to dress up this year, what are you going to be (and what event are you going to)?

    I’ll start: I’m going as a box of wine! I’m going to wear a big cardboard box from shoulder to upper thigh (with tights of course). I’m going to print an enlargement of the real wine box (using engineering prints at Staples) and paste them on and…. have a real bag-o-wine in my cardboard box!

    • Costume Poll :

      Oh I forgot my event, I’m going to a big house party. Box wine for everyone!

    • Going to a house party as Carmen San Diego – red trench coat, big floppy hat, sunglasses, and probably a wig (I’m blonde and all the pics I find of Carmen show her having brown or reddish brown hair). Thinking about stopping by a local AAA office and picking up a bunch of maps to shove in my pockets.

    • I have a few ideas, depending on where I go and what the weather is. I think I’m either most excited for the prospect of dressing as McKayla Maroney is not amused or a group costume of Daria and Quinn. Last year I went as the Morton Salt girl and it was a big hit. The year before (1L year) a friend and I went as Miss. Demeanor and Miss. Conduct and dressed in c-tail dresses and tiaras and made sashes like we were in a beauty pageant. People loved it.

      • Almost There :

        I love that Miss Demeanor/Conduct idea! Wish I still had law school Halloween parties to go to (without the law school part of course).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Princess Jasmine – blue belly-dance costume, sandals, blue headband. So excited but I’m trying to get to the gym EVERY day this week. Going out to the bars, most likely.

    • Party at my house! We’re dressing up as beatniks. We even have a Djembe drum as accessory :)

  37. I feel silly asking but really need to know. Can someone explain the difference between circuit training and interval training? I believe circuit training is completing a set of exercises and then repeating the set, not each exercise x number of times. And interval training involves bursts of cardio? Thank you from someone trying to get into shape on a budget without the help of a trainer or proper gym.

    • I generally think of circuit training as moving from one muscle set to another (weight training) without a break. So you finish your lat pulldowns set and move straight to a bench press set. Once you complete the circuit of sets, you do it again. Idea is that the heat rate stays up, but your muscles still get a chance to rest bc the sets are broken up. Interval training is a cardio concept for me. Run for 5 minutes, then sprint for a minute, then run for 5, then sprint etc.

    • Circuit training involves rotating through different exercises. (I think the term started around the time weight machines started appearing in most gyms.) Usually applies to resistance exercises.

      Interval training involves doing (more or less) the same exercise while giving yourself a certain time interval for working or resting, like swimming a 50m freestyle ten times in 45 seconds. Make sense?

  38. Headed to a black tie optional wedding next month and I’m trying to figure out what to wear. Should I go with a long dress? Any suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!!

    • Your call. I went to a black tie optional wedding over the summer and have a black tie wedding coming up, and I tend to go with below-the-knee but not floor-length. I happen to like the Nicole Miller dresses at Nordstrom if you are shopping, and I generally found a few things to try on when I was shopping in-store.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Agree, your call. I wear a just-below-the-knee, black, silk dress and blend in.

  39. Working Mom Question: Any moms out there who work part time? I do like my job, but I feel like I don’t have enough time/energy to devote to being a good/informed parent. Currently, I have Friday afternoons off through 2012 (leftover FMLA leave from earlier this year) but I would ideally like to work 3 days a week. But what would I do about childcare? (She goes to daycare and most infant programs are 5 days/week.) How can I convince my spouse and boss that this would be a good option? There are no templates in my group, so I’m not sure how/if this could work.

    • PS. I know other moms who balance full time work with parenting very gracefully and are generally satisfied with working full time. I’ve just found over the last 6 months or so that I don’t seem to be one of them…So this is not intended to be a criticism of other choices at all, just a statement about my personality/style.

    • Re: childcare. Assuming you like where she is and you can swing the cost difference between full-time and part-time, I would keep the option of full time. She doesn’t have to stay all day, but you could still drop her off for a half day to get errands/appts/gym time, etc.

      • Great idea! Would have to look at the finances, but that would be really nice.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I worked part time for over 10 years. At first it was just Fridays off, but after my second child, I went to just 2 days a week, then a couple years later increased to 2 full days, 2 shortish days, and then I went back to full time a year or two ago. I had to sell it to my supervisor, as I was the first attorney to go part time at our office. I think they view me as a success story because I hung in there, contributed well during my part time years, and then came back completely. Now a couple of the younger women in my office with kids have gone part time, and it’s been easier for them because a precedent was set.

      For child care, I was in a nanny share at first. When I was working 4 days a week, I just paid for full time. When I worked just two days a week, the nanny had picked up another child with a part-time mom, so she had 3 children on different part-time schedules, and I just paid for my days. I later found an in-home daycare that was reasonably priced, so I paid for a full time slot, as I was increasing my hours anyway. Sometimes I would need to leave my children there on off days, depending on what came up, so it was nice. So, my suggestion is to look outside the traditional daycare center to see what your other options are.

      • Second Space Mountain. I found that with kids, you will (may) eventually work your way through all different types of day care. I had a nanny share, then sent my kids to an inhome daycare, then had my own nannies, then sent my youngest to an after school program at a regular day care. As far as convincing your boss, you don’t mention what type of job you have-if a lawyer, it also depends on your practice area. For example, most litigators that I know may have had a part time schedule, but they worked almost every day just due to caseload and litigation schedules. For me, it wouldn’t be worth it to take a pay cut but have to be in the office every day. Others may feel differently-e.g. it would be worth a pay cut if you could leave by 5 pm. I’ve known many lawyers (myself included) who have been part time at one time or another, in house and regional big law. All have been smart, competent women, who were probably lucky to work for an employer who valued their services, and therefore, as Space Mountain says above, were willing to be flexible until you are ready to work again on a full time basis.

    • Seventh Sister :

      If you keep the full-time childcare spot, you have the flexibility to come in during different days without having to scramble to find another childcare option (as opposed to missing a Friday meeting because you have child care only MTW or something).

      When I had a scheduled telecommuting day, part of what sold my boss is that since I had full-time childcare, I could switch Wednesdays for Thursdays if something came up and he needed me in the office on my usual telecommuting day.

      Another part of my sell (and this was from my brilliant husband) was to pick a day to be out of the office that was not the beginning or end of the week so it seemed like I was “there” for the whole week as opposed to the Worker with the Long Weekend (which is an unfair assumption, but people aren’t always fair).

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Yes, I have seen women very successfully go part-time when their day not in the office was Wednesdays.

        • That’s brilliant! I like having some time off on Fridays because my husband is gone M-Thu then home on Fridays, but I really like the idea of having the days off mid-week! Thanks!

  40. I would love some advice…I’m a lawyer and recently finished a two year clerkship with a federal magistrate judge in a smaller city in my state. I have now moved back to the bigger city in my state and am starting my job search. The judge I clerked for suggested I contact his friend who’s a partner at one of the larger firms here. Anyways, we’re meeting for coffee and I’m unsure what to wear. My husband, also an attorney, says no suit. I don’t want to be overdressed and appear like I think it’s an interview or anything because I’m not expecting a job. Clearly, as he knows, I am unemployed and do not wear suits on a day to day basis. Also, I am not on the east coast and it’s a bit more casual here. On the other hand, it’s always been drilled into my head when in doubt wear a suit. Is it appropriate to wear business casual, maybe a pencil skirt and blouse?

    • Former MidLevel :

      Yes, business casual is appropriate. I’d probably throw a blazer into the mix, if you have one that goes with (but doesn’t match) the suit.

      • Agreed. In my city, few people wear suits, and usually only for court. Business casual is the way to go.

    • Had a networking meeting in a medium market.. the contact actually said that he/she appreciated that I was in a suit. Personally, lawyering is such a conservative profession that I don’t really think you can be “overdressed” for this type of meeting. Suiting up also allows the interviewer to picture you in a legal setting, meeting clients as well as colleagues etc. Wearing a suit doesn’t convey that you have an expectation of a job.. that should be made clear from the content of the meeting.

    • e_pontellier :

      I usually wear a (not-black) suit with a non-interview-appropriate shirt (i.e., not a button down white shirt; I’ve worn a plain silk blouse and long necklace) and then take off the jacket if necessary. My DH (not a lawyer) says to dress up enough that they could see you interviewing with them in the future. You don’t mention what state/region you’re in, but I’m in NYC and I agree with Pinecone that lawyering is such a conservative profession that you probably won’t be overdressed no matter what you wear.

  41. mousekeeper :

    Threadjack – has anyone had breast reduction surgery? My 18-year-old daughter has decided that she wants to look into it (she’s a 38-DD or E), and we’re not in a position to pay for it out-of-pocket. For anyone who has had it done, were you able to have it paid for by medical insurance, and if so, how?
    She is physically uncomfortable, the “girls” prevent her from doing some athletic activities because she can’t find a sports bra that fits, and she’s getting some mean dents in her skin from the straps and from the underwires digging into her skin. But mostly, it’s embarassing having a “middle-aged” body when you’re still in high school, and I suspect she gets teased about it but won’t tell me.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I haven’t, but I’ve heard that a link to back pain can work. GL!

    • My SIL had it done years ago (in college) and I think her insurance covered it because it was causing her back pain.

    • Lady Harriet :

      Has she been professionally fitted for a bra? By what you’re describing it sounds like she may be in the wrong size, and new underwear is definitely a faster and easier solution than surgery. I went from shoving myself into ill-fitting 42-DDs to a 34-GG that actually fit after a professional fitting. (I had several mildly-successful attempts to pick out a better size for myself in between.) Bras in more unusual sizes are more expensive, but you can also find ones that are better made and last longer than a $20 one from Target. Sports bras are available in larger sizes as well, but you do have to spend a bit more, since you’re getting something with more construction than something that’s just sized small, medium, and large. Once she gets professionally sized, I recommend for a large size selection and decent-ish sale prices. Don’t buy the absolute cheapest bras they sell, which tend to be flimsy, but their mid-range ones are fine. I can give you some basic fitting advice if you’d like, but nothing replaces a professional, in-person fitting.

      I know someone who was able to deduct the cost of sunglasses from taxes because the doctor said they were necessary due to a family history of cataracts. Maybe you could ask about this for bras? Wearing the wrong size can really cause health problems.

      • Lady Harriet :

        Also, I’m pretty young and I found that having a properly-fitting bra made my figure significantly less “middle-aged.” I only wish I’d found it when I was still in high school. She may find that this makes her feel more like her peers without surgery.

      • mousekeeper :

        Yes, she has. I took her to a Nordstrom’s and there was a wonderful bra-fitter there (I got the idea from this site – thank you all!!) and we ended up with some better-fitting, and more uplifting (physically and mentally) bras. But even with the best-fitting bras, her girls are still BIG. AND it’s hard for her to have a figure like that when most of the girls at school look like they’re still wearing training bras.

        • lucy stone :

          And bras in this size are so ugly compared to the “fun” ones smaller girls and women can wear. I’m the same size as her and do well with the Wacoal awareness bra and another Wacoal style that is polka-dotted. They both come in some colors if that is any consolation to her.

          As to the surgery, I haven’t had it but really want to once we are done having kids.

    • I have a friend who was considering it but eventually backed out because she knew she wouldn’t be able to deal with the scarring. 18 is a bit young to consider elective surgery. Definitely look into appropriate bras and maybe just a fashion makeover in general that teaches her how to dress for her body type.

      • Meg Murry :

        Also, she may not want to hear it, but at 18 she may not be done developing – I was fairly average sized at 18, but went up several sizes in college. I would 2nd the bra fitting and recommend Moving Comfort and Enell for sports bras. For high impact activities sometimes I’ll even double up – adding a cheaper sports bra for compression on top of my “good” sports bra.

        I personally have given up and gone for matronly but well fitting bras – anyone on here fuller figured that can recommend “prettier” bras that are supportive? I imagine she wants to be like her friends and wear the “cute” bras from VS, so she might feel better if you can help her find some that are still cute but have support. Full figured bras aren’t cheap, but cheaper than out-of-pocket reduction surgery.

        • Lady Harriet :

          I don’t own any, but Freya and Curvy Kate have some really cute designs.

        • bravissimo has loads of pretty bras in a range of band and cup sizes….all the way up to a J. they also do the small band/large cup thing.

    • I did, at 18. I had all sorts of back issues and I was really self-conscious about the way I looked. It was a while ago and I think we paid out of pocket. A surgeon could probably speak to you about medical necessity parameters. Yes, there is scarring, but it fades. My back pain is gone and it really helped my self-confidence. When I had a child, I was able to b-feed although not exclusively. I would suggest she err on the smaller side so that any future weight gain doesn’t increase the size again. In the meantime, I agree that she should get properly fitted for bras and look into some of the options for sports bras (I like Moving Comfort).

    • Maine Associate :

      I had breast reduction surgery when I was 28. I had to jump through a lot of hoops but my insurance company covered the surgery. I had the same problems: back pain, dents in my shoulders, running was uncomfortable and I wae made fun of by my classmates. The key to getting insurance to cover the procedure is to have a great primary care doctor. She really had to document my file. My insurance company required me to try alternative therapies, such as physical therapy and massage therapy. I think I did 4 months of physical therapy and my physical therapist agreed I needed the surgery. I got deep tissue massages, which were really painful. My surgeon had to take photos for the insurance company showing that the size of my breasts was way out of portion to my frame and the huge dents in my shoulders. The surgery was a great success. I went from a DD to C-they removed a 1lb from each side. I have scars but they are barely visible-totally worth it. My surgeon said one of her patients was a topless dancer. Her scars healed so well she returned to dancing after the surgery.

    • I had it when I was 19. Minus the 24 hours right after it was over, I have never regretted it. The back pain is so much better. My clothes fit so much better. And I can wear regular bras. The scars, by the way, are so small at this point I doubt anyone would notice unless they were right up against my chest. And yep, the teasing is gone.

      I was able to demonstrate that it was medically motivated (took about 18 months to get the evidence together). So, the insurer paid for all of it except the deductible.

  42. Fey and sudden :

    Closed toe cheetah print heels-two and a half inch heel. Fashion staple and therefore worth a bit of a splurge or a fashion fad?

  43. Following Susan’s lead . . . veiny legs threadjack.

    Has anyone has sclerotherapy done? If so, what was your experience like? I am considering it, but am a bit scared….


  44. Almost There :

    Does anyone have j crew’s Double Cloth Slim Trench? It’s on sale and tempting me, just wondering some about fit and how well it holds up to wear. In vintage burgundy, mmm….

    • Almost There :

      or what about this?

    • Well, it’s not final sale, so you can order and return if it doesn’t work out.

  45. Hey,
    I hope this isn’t too late in the thread to get answers on this: Yesterdays conversation about fears and anxieties related to pregnancy/motherhood made me wonder: for those of you who are parents, how have your friendships changed?

    I ask because one of my (many) parenthood fears is that I will lose all my friends, or at least the ones that are childless. I mentioned in the other thread that my husband is ready for children and I’m not. When i casually mentioned this to someone I consider one of my close friends, she joked, “ok, lets just say goodbye now.” She’s childless and single and looking forward to finding the right person and getting married, but not contemplating children yet. I felt (maybe irrationally?) hurt when she said that. I was telling her because I have anxiety about it and I wanted her to reassure me that I could be a good mother and still be “myself” but she basically said she would ditch me. I know she was saying it in a joking way, but I definitely think that she meant it somewhat seriously. She doesn’t have any friends with kids and we’ve discussed before how people with kids “don’t have time for …xyz.” I know this is maybe the least of my concerns, but it would be really reassuring to hear from someone who has had children and maintained at least some of their social life. Something similar happened to me when I got married- a certain number of my single friends started assuming I was too busy to hang out with them. It really hurt. I’m worried the same thing will happen when I have a baby, but more so. I don’t have THAT many friends that I can afford to lose them, especially since many of them are childless. WHile I love my friends with kids, I really enjoy having a mixture, and my girlfriends without kids add something important to my life. I am dreading seeing that part disappear and my social life revolving around children (i know part of that is inevitable, but still).

    I don’t really know what i’m asking here, but maybe just for some reassurance from those who have been there?

    • Always a NYer :

      As a single girl, I can relate to your fears. While my friends aren’t quite ready to have kids, they are coupling up and getting swallowed up by their budding careers. I’m still on the job hunt and not coupled up so at times I feel on the outs when they talk about how *precious* their free time is. My time doesn’t mean less because I don’t have a job/SO. If anything, I feel more stress as the job hunt is exhausting, not to mention I would like to be in a relationship when the time is right. It hurts that at times I’m made to feel less important because I don’t have an SO or raring career. Coming from the other side, the only advice I have is not to make your single/childless friends feel less important to you for that fact alone. Sure, having kids takes time but I’ve always been a firm believer in the saying, “If it’s important to someone, they’ll make time.” This situation, while awkward and hurtful, will make it clear who your real friends are. I’m like you and have lost at least one friend because changing priorities made it clear where I stood. Hugs.

      Btw, I completely related to that thread yesterday as those are my exact fears too.

    • I have more than a few girlfriends who are married with babies. I expected our relationships to change and it has. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, tho, everything changes. The friends who care about the friendships make time, always, whether he/she is single or married.

      What surprised me is that many of my married friends told me that they wish they could have focused on their careers and themselves in general more. Which took me, a not-by-choice single girl, by surprise. Like I told my friends, I’ll tell you that I’m a firm believer in “the grass is greener where you water it” school of thought. As for more agricultural cliches, you reap what you sow. It’s not easy but I do believe you get back what you put in.

      Also, I get to play with my friend’s babies without responsibilities, so that’s a lot of fun.

    • Your friend probably has experienced in being “ditched” as you termed it, from other friends once they had children. You may not WANT to hang out with your single, childless friends when you become a mother.
      It’s happened to me several times over, even from BFFs who say they won’t ever let our friendship wither away when they have babies. It just happens, priorities and interests change.
      Don’t worry about it too much.

      • Meg Murry :

        My friendships have definitely changed, but it’s the people who I could count on a phone call here, an hour there who I’ve managed to stay friends with. The friends that wanted to go on “girls weekends” or spend hours out getting dinner or at a club have fallen to the wayside. Think about what you were last doing with your friend. Now imagine doing the same activity with her if you’d only gotten 5 hours of sleep a night for the past month, had to get up the next day at 6 am, and were paying a babysitter $10+ an hour for the time you spent together. If you still would want to do that activity under those circumstances, the friendship will last. If your friend is willing to meet you partway (get together for coffee instead of long dinner or brunch, etc) then the friendship might last. Or sometimes the friendship may go on hiatus – I have a few friends that dropped to an occasional email and a girls night 2x per year that is picking back up now that our kids are older and we can spend more time together.

    • Research, Not Law :

      My time for friendships has changed. My friends need to be more accommodating with location and times. We can’t travel to visit our OOT friends and we no longer have a guest room to put them up in when they visit.

      For most of my friendships, it’s meant changes but the relationship is still very much alive. A single friend comes to the zoo and fair with me and the kids. An OOT friend stays with other friends and is happy to sit in the backyard with a glass of wine instead of barhopping. We still swap meals at home with a childless couple, but the meal is earlier, involves less wine, and has cartoons on in the background. We do see them less frequently because we’re busier, but we connect just as well as we did before kids. It could be anecdotal, but I find that friends with busier personal lives managed the transition better. They aren’t offended if a month whizzes by before I remember to reply to their last email.

      I have a friend who decided that it’s not for her. That’s her decision. We can do dinner at 5 pm at a family-friendly restaurant today, but if she wants us to pay $40 for a sitter so that we can do dinner at 8 pm at a fancy place then she’s going to have to wait. I’m not going to leave my newborn to go barhopping all night for her birthday. She doesn’t want to meet me at the park instead of a coffee shop. We seem to have little to chat about anyway. I am trying to stay connected since hopefully we can reconnect once the kids are older, but we’ll see. I’m very sad to see what was a good friendship end, but I suspect it would have faded anyway.

      On the flip side, I’ve made new friendships with other parents. As someone who can be challenged at making new friends, I found parenthood a great connection. You’re going through similar things, have similar schedules, and setting up a playdate for your kids is easier than inviting someone new to coffee or over for dinner.

    • Thanks all. I definitely do not intentionally ever leave out or belittle my single friends. Like Ru said, sometimes i’m envious of them and of the time they’ve invested in themselves- not that I wish I hadn’t gotten married, but I know that if I hadn’t, i might have a wider circle of friends, maybe more accomplishments or experiences, spent more time traveling or more time at the gym, etc. INstead I chose to invest that time in my relationship, and i”m not sorry, but my single friends do seem to have very nice lives.
      Anyway, it sounds like it’s unrealistic to think that friendships, along with everything else in life won’t change…so, food for thought.

  46. AAM addressed the drug test issue that someone posted about here a while ago (i.e., what do do when you have to take a drug test for a new job, and you might fail, depending on what kind of test you have to take):

  47. Shopping help! Next Saturday I have to go to a Venetian masquerade ball for work and the attire is formal with a suggestion to wear “vibrant hues of purple, red, blue and gold”. I haven’t been to a black-tie event in ages, so I don’t have an appropriate dress and live somewhere where the nicest store is a Banana Republic, so I’ll be stuck ordering online and hoping something fits. A few more details: I’m short, so most dresses need to be hemmed and I’m really large-chested (hourglass shape), so strapless only works with a sweatheart neckline (otherwise I look like a football player) and I have to be careful about how low the neckline goes to make sure it’s still appropriate for my colleagues.

    Any thoughts on appropriate dresses?

    • Always a NYer :

      This sounds awesome!!! I’m envisioning a corseted dress with a huge princess skirt and an elaborate mask that you hold up. No dress suggestions but something along the lines of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding. And this would be perfect for TCFKAG’s tumblr –

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