Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Metallic Tweed Jacket

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

Metallic Taylor Tweed JacketIf you’re on the hunt for a good gray tweed jacket, Rebecca Taylor always seems to knock them out of the park — this particular one has a deconstructed look with the frayed ends that’s quite cool. I like it as styled here (column of color!) with the scarf in the tie-neck blouse being a nice additional element. The jacket is $495 at Nordstrom. Metallic Tweed Jacket

Two lower-priced options are at Nordstrom and Amazon, and Nordstrom also has a plus-size option.

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  1. Goodbye speech :

    I was managed out of the firm then asked to do a goodbye speech in 4 weeks at our office’s monthly meeting (150 people). I have no issues with public speaking and this is not very formal. My only issue is that I certainly do not expect to have job offers by next months, so how do I cruise around the whole “my next adventure is XYZ”?

    • This seems a little weird to me, that you would give a goodbye speech after being pushed out. Can you just say you are going to continue to work in industry XYZ or continue helping people do ABC or whatever your focus is?

    • Anonymous :

      Is it necessary to say anything? Plenty of those speeches (in my corner of the world anyway) just hit the notes on missing your colleagues and learning a lot from them.

      • What about just “Thank you for Xmany great years, I look forward to keeping in touch and continuing this work/this type of help, and seeing what you all continue to do here. Onto my next adventure!”

        I have left two jobs without something solid lined up–different circumstances, though (voluntary, there were relocations involved)–and I basically just said that. In my admittedly different circumstances, if I got the “what’s the next adventure?!” question, a big fat smile and “you know, I’m not quite sure yet!” and then moving on to the next topic or person worked.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh this is evil. No advice, but sympathy.

    • Anonymous :

      Say no.

    • That’s a fairly obnoxious ask on their part. Can you decline without burning bridges? Doesn’t sound like they care what your next step is, just that you keep up the facade of being a team player.

      • Goodbye speech :

        They don’t care, but few months ago the only consultant woman with kids left (no speech) and now I am the only black woman and leaving so marketing asked me to make a goodbye speech. I guess it is to show that the firm is still a good place to work at… despite being mostly white and male

        • Say no.

        • This is an even better reason to say no (kindly as in “not my cup of tea” style). You were pushed out and now they want to use you as a token marketing ploy? No ma’am.

        • Do what you ultimately feel is right, but that seems terrible. They want you to participate in their backslapping charade.

    • Yeah, this is crap. You don’t have to give a speech to anyone. If you do give a speech, keep it positive and looking toward the future. The lack of self-awareness of this firm makes it seem like a good thing that you are leaving it…

    • Can you nicely ask for something in return for giving a speech? For example, headhunter services for x amount of time, solid reference letter, etc?

    • Or you could give the surprise f%^k you speech we all fantasize about someday giving. If you’re creative you can do it in a completely defensible way.

    • I would decline if at all possible.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I would only do it if it is important to look like you were not pushed out in your industry. Then the word on the street would be you totally left voluntarily or else why would she have done a goodbye speech? If they just want you to do that to boost the morale of those left, I’d decline.

      • Floored you’re asked to do that. I was sort of in a similar position once though (not a speech but a conference with about 50 one-on-one meetings where I needed to act supportive) and I get it if you feel like you need to do this professionally to avoid burning bridges. I would just take the opportunity to look back on how far things have come in the time you’ve been there–highlighting key successes of yours and acknowledging others on those teams–and then say there’s a lot to be proud of and you’re looking forward to seeing those successes continue to grow. It will leave people remembering all the great you brought. “With so many wins, it definitely was on her terms.”

    • Do you mean THE firm (of MBB fame)? Asking because this is so unusual…I have never heard of this happening before.

    • This is BS, and a power play by your MALE bosses, Myrna says. She had a job with one bank, then interviewed with another, and when the first bank found out they fired her, but she took the job with the second bank and made more money any way! She said the first bank made her stand up and tell everyone why she interviewed and the second bank, and she said to everyone in the room b/c the first bank did not appreciate her skill’s and there were men who just wanted for her to have s-x with them. They quickly shushed her and even gave her an exit package with a confidentiality clause that says she will NOT disclose the amount they paid her to keep quiet. FOOEY on banks that take women in and then just want them to have s-x with the fat bald 55 year olds that run the place. I have enough trouble with Frank but he is easy compared to the big group of fat bald 55 year olds she gets pinched by. DOUBEL FOOEY ON THEM!!!!

  2. I’ve never colored my hair or done any kind of chemical treatment. My hair is extremely thick, wavy, and dirty blond fading to mousy brown. I used to have really nice natural highlights that are more visible in the summer, but less visible overall as I get older. No issues with gray hair yet. Hair is slightly longer than shoulder length. I want to change things up- maybe start getting highlights? but I have no experience and I can’t afford a monthly $200 hair appointment (is that how much regular color costs? I’m just guessing.) Advice for getting out of my lifelong hair rut?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’d hold off on color for now and try a clarifying shampoo for a month. If you’re still not happy, go to a salon and get a glaze. Glaze adds slight color, lots of shine and smooths out the hair. It washes out, isn’t very expensive (ballpark $50-$75) and does not cause damage.

    • Former Retail :

      If you want something that’s a lower commitment and won’t cause roots that need touching up, you could start with a demi-permanent color. That gradually washes out over a few weeks.

      • Anonymous :

        Doesn’t this ruin your towels though? Or maybe I had one bad experience / user error and have stayed away from this ever since.

      • I also tried demi-permanent color that stuck around for a full year and never washed out (even after trying all the usual tricks). Just to say, if you’re going to try demi-permanent, make it something you’d be okay living with permanently.

    • Get a fresh cut like a lob, and ask for a colour consultation at your salon to help you decide what kind of service suits your hair and budget. It depends on the quality of salon and where you live, but a full head of highlights will run at least $200 but they’ll last a few months.

    • Anonymous :

      If you want highlights consider balayage, which focuses the highlights on the ends of your hair. Growing out is much easier since the roots are really long and blended, and you can conceivably go 6 months between highlights.

      • Second balayage. If you specifically mention to the hairstylists that you only want to touch every X mths or have the ability to let it grow out, they’ll position the highlights that way.

      • This! Balayage is what you want. When I did it, I only had to do it 2x a year–it’s definitely not a $200 a month situation. Explain that you want it to be natural and not to look “grown out”. Your stylist will get it. Eventually I got too much gray to do it, but that was after several years (YMMV). You’ll love it!

        Seek out a colorist on Yelp or speak with friends if they have someone who does color (not cuts) well. There’s often good coupons on GiltCity or Groupon or Living Social for great salons.

      • Anonymous :

        Balayage is not a look, it’s a technique.

    • I have hair that sounds a similar color (was a blond as a child, faded to mousy brown in my 20s) and I use sun-in + a blowdryer. It only works if you have the right coloring (e.g., not actually dark brown hair), but I like the effect a lot and it looks pretty natural — like balayage. It’s generally lighter at the ends and where the sun hits it (e.g. the top layers), so it has a bit of a natural effect. I just spray it in after washing my hair every few times and blow dry. sometimes I forget and go like a month. It also doesn’t leave a harsh line between 2 color zones as dyeing would. Also, the regular sun-in (in the amazing early 90s bottle) is the best; I’ve heard bad things about the equivalent John Frieda product.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I didn’t even know they still made Sun In!

        Brings back memories from Grade 10 spring when I sprayed most of a bottle on my very long brown hair and ended up spending months looking like a tortoiseshell cat until my mother let me dye it all back.

        • ha! yes, there is a tortoiseshell cat risk for sure; you have to be in a pretty narrow band of hair color for it to work. a fair number of beauty bloggers have tested it, and makeup alley has useful reviews.

      • Don’t wreck your hair with Sun In. Results can vary a lot by how much gold (potentially orange-y) your hair picks up. Better to go for something temporary or leave it to the pros.

      • I have similar coloring and I use apple cider vinegar about once a week. Similar to sun in, but less harsh / more natural. Also, it makes my hair really soft!

    • You and I are hair twins! I used to get highlights, but have a hard time sitting in a salon for the hour+ it requires for maintenance. I have been using John Frieda Sheer Blonde – Go Blonder line. They have a shower treatment that will bring you up a shade or two quickly, but I mostly stick to the shampoo and conditioner (actives in the conditioner, so shampoo could likely be skipped). It hasn’t done anything dramatic, just brought back my highlights to being more visible. The price can’t be beat!

    • I have the same hair color issues and was wondering what to do. My hair is super soft and I don’t want to mess that up by using harsh chemicals, although I’ve been considering balayage. This gives me something to talk to my hair stylist about.

    • Semi-permanent hair colour. It’s cheap and they are actually very good these days.

    • I have the same hair color, plus some gray. I get a partial highlight, and in my MCOL city, they cost about $125, plus a tip of $25. I go back every 8-10 weeks for a touch up. If you’re not in a HCOL city, shop around a little bit, and you can probably find a great stylist who costs a little less than $200 and can give you something that lasts for more than a month.

    • Are you me? I am late 30s, never colored my hair professionally. I went to an Aveda salon and told the person I just wanted to look like me but less mousy. Literally one person has noticed but my hair looks SO much better and healthier. The first appointment was ~ $150 but the follow ups are less.

    • My partial highlights are more around $100 and i do them every three months. I get very fine highlights and lowlights that are close enough to my natural color that they look ok as they grow out a bit. The key is not to get “chunky” highlights and to not go too blonde with them.

      • This sounds like what I do. It is about $200 a pop, but I get my hair done maybe 4 or 5 times a year, so I don’t consider it a huge investment. My stylist highlights very fine sections of hair, and the grow out really isn’t that noticeable.

        Also, this time I had her put in a few streaks of peacock blue on the underside of my hair. My hair is light enough (medium blonde) that she didn’t have to do any special bleaching or anything first. Just slapped on some blue dye, and voila!

        • Oh, wanted to add – the chemicals used in hair dyes have come a long way, and I don’t feel that getting highlights has damaged my hair at all. I mean, it may rough up the cuticle a bit, but for very fine hair, this is a bonus because you get a bit more thickness out of it.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t afford dying my hair at the salon, but I have a ton of gray in my mid-thirties. I order a fabulous color through Madison Reed. It arrives every 3 weeks (my hair grows fast and I dye it dark, so the gray is very noticeable). It costs me about $20 a shipment. I get so many compliments on the color and it’s healthy, natural ingredients. My stylist raves about the color and the fact that I do it on my own, which I imagine is a good sign.

      It’s all-over color, of course, but it’s cheap and easy. I’d suggest considering it.

  3. Jacket is on sale today :

    This item is actually on sale today for $296.98. It just looks unfinished to me though.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Me too! It looks like one of those sewing projects your aunt hands down to you when her eyesight goes, and you have to decide if it’s worth finishing. (Narrator: It is not worth finishing.)

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I dislike the jacket in theory. I may like it better in person. But I hate, hate, hate the styling. The first thing I thought was “This would be fine without that stupid neck thing.” I think it just looks sloppy. Maybe not always, but the jacket lays in a way that makes it look like a lazy tie.

  4. Anyone else having trouble posting comments? I have tried 3 times to post a comment that this item is actually 40% off today and they keep getting swallowed. Doesn’t show in moderation, just nothing happens after I hit Post Comment.

  5. Anonymous :

    What to do if I feel angry all the time? I get angry at people who are rude on the subway, my unreasonably demanding Biglaw boss, guys who don’t text back, my friends when I perceive them as not being supportive/engaged enough (usually not warranted), etc. etc. I’m sick of being bitter and pissed off at the world. I don’t think I’m depressed but struggle with anxiety and see a therapist. This is getting exhausting.

    • I found the book “The Cow in the Parking Lot” very helpful.

      Are you on medication for your anxiety? Are you on hormonal BC? I had lots of flashes of rage when I was on the depo shot. I switched to another type of BC and was way less enraged.

    • I used to be/still kind of am this way a little bit. I usually remind myself that I can choose how I react to things. So I basically just breathe in and out and say “I am in control” over an over again until the feeling passes. It’s moderately effective. I think the most effective thing for me is to just have enough going on that I don’t care to be angry about whatever it is because I’m preoccupied with something that matters more to me.

    • Anonymous :

      The ragey feelings can be specifally tied to anxiety/depression so definitely mention to the therapist and see if you need to do something different with therapy/meds.
      For me, regular intense exercise makes a huge difference in keeping my temper on a more even keel. Also, self-awareness when I am being unreasonable (being too harsh on my friends) as well as when people are being to unreasonable to me (the demanding boss). For the former, I try to reign it in. For the latter, I remind myself that this isn’t about me and this is their issue. Maybe jotting down those feelings is a way to get them out of your head so you don’t keep going back to that moment.

    • I found this happened when I was really struggling with stress and anxiety. I did regular sessions with a therapist trained in CBT and found that when I dealt with the anxiety, the feelings of rage reduced.

    • You might consider trying meditation. I have found that typically when I’m struggling with being angry at everyone, it’s because I’m taking everything personally and making up negative stories about how everyone is doing it intentionally. I have found that meditation helps me to take a step back and remember that other peoples’ behavior isn’t about me, everyone has their own challenges, and I get to choose how I react to things.

      Also +1 to the person who suggested intense exercise – running regularly has helped keep depression at bay and keeps my on an even emotional keel.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      In my experience, when I’m disproportionately angry about things like rude friends and subway people, it’s because I’m legitimately angry about something much bigger and deeper down, and I’m taking it out on them. Are you overall stressed about work pressure? Angry about sexual harassment? Politics? Your family?

      The solution is different depending on what it is that’s disturbing you (finding a new job vs. volunteering at the rape crisis center vs. running for office vs. family therapy) but I definitely recommend doing some introspection to see if there’s something deeper bothering you that you haven’t recognized yet.

    • Thank you for posting and good wishes! I’m following with interest because this is my spouse, and it’s not fun for him or me. He has a lot of anxiety that is expressed as anger often and needs a way to make this better.

      • Anonymous :

        Is he taking anxiety medication and going to therapy?

        • He’s doing nothing except some marginally- under control retail therapy (!) and has dropped the gym due to flu concerns… he recognizes a problem but hasn’t addressed it head on- I’m trying to figure out how to help him fix it…

          • Tell him he has to go to therapy and take Meds or move out. It isn’t rocket science. If he won’t treat it he’s just a garden variety jerk.

          • Response to Anon @ 9:46 :

            This basically describes my spouse as well, although he at least is still going to the gym. And I don’t think it’s fair to say “if he won’t treat it he’s just a garden variety jerk.” I don’t want to speak for you, but my spouse doesn’t direct his anger at me. It’s more that I notice he gets disproportionately angry about work, bad drivers, that sort of thing, and it is stressful for both of us. “Tell him he has to go to therapy and take meds or move out” is a bit crazypants. I’d start with encouraging him to make time to go to the gym as self-care, and just use lots of hand sanitizer and not touch his face while he’s there. And then try to get him to go see a therapist who specializes in CBT for anxiety.

          • Yeah in my opinion people here generally are very quick to suggest terminating a relationship. It’s so funny because I commented earlier on a post that when I moved to the US I was surprised by how quickly people get married here and how many people in the US don’t seem to consider a relationship valid unless there are wedding vows- but at the same time I feel that people here are very quick to propose divorce!

            As long as his anger isn’t directed at you (obviously you should never tolerate abuse of any kind), I would personally try to support my significant other in healing- whether thats encouraging therapy, meds, exercise, mindfulness meditation, or even a trip to the PCP first.

            I’m an MD and I spent most of my residency training just so incredibly angry. I suppressed it and put on a good face (I think) but I was just SO angry all.the.time. For years. Now I realize it was really a reaction to my feelings of powerlessness (I trained in the traditional style of program- with all the attendant abuses). I am so grateful to my significant other who kept me grounded and sane and encouraged me to exercise and made sure I had healthy food and sleep, and basically acted as a stabilizing, validating person in my life- and brought me some sense of personal value that helped me to tolerate the bad times.

    • If you’re in NYC, the subway is so bad lately that everyone is rude and/or ragey. I saw an article recently about how encountering rudeness affects your mood. It helped me to understand that it’s not just me.

      Not sure if this is the article, but it’s similar: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201711/the-best-way-counteract-rude-behavior

    • This is definitely me a lot of days. I’ll be following the responses. Something that’s helped me: Remember that I’m the only one who can ruin my day. Even if that guy on the train intended to jostle me, or the boy who won’t text me back is trying to mess with my head, or whatever worst case scenario I invent… they don’t have the power to impact my mood unless I let them. And the flip side of that… I’m the only person who controls how I treat others. Even if someone is a jerk to me I don’t want to be the kind of person who acts like a jerk to other people. I want to be proud of how I carry myself.

      Of course this doesn’t correct my assuming-the-worst thought pattern in the first place. Idk how to fix that.

    • I have anxiety issues also and find I get angrier faster if a) I don’t get enough sleep, b) I eat too much junk food, especially sugar. I have to keep reminding myself that good self-care isn’t “putting myself before other people,” it is medicine.

      • +1. The first sign of not enough sleep for me is my rage fits at stupid things.

        Then maybe my period.

        Right now, my bad haircut is making me angry. I’m trying to not think about it. But it’s so frustrating when I actually cannot control my hair… I wish I could cut my own hair.

      • Yes, this. Whenever I get ragey about little things, it’s almost always tied to not sleeping or eating well.

    • I will tell you, for me sometimes it’s just situational. This fall my mother was very, very sick and I was trying to take care of her finances (which are not good) and of course be there for her as often as i could as she was in and out of the hospital and different kinds of care. On top of this I was working full time and have a grumpy husband and two demanding teenagers.

      As I was juggling all of this, anything else that went wrong would just make me blow a gasket. A problem with my car that the dealership couldn’t figure out so they kept giving it back to me un-fixed. A problem with Amazon. A problem with the grocery store. I would just lose my sh1t. It was like I was handling all I could handle and I could just not take one more thing.

      And then my mom died. We are just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel of grief as the days get longer and less gloomy. But it puts into perspective what was going on. I was really angry that she was so sick and miserable but I couldn’t do anything about it. And it made me generally angry.

      So my advice is, in this rambling story, try to figure out what is REALLY making you angry. It’s probably not the people on the subway. They are probably just the last straw in your personal stress equation.

    • For me this was the signal that I needed to go back on anti-depressants for a while. Once I was back on medication, I was able to work on coping skills that helped me manage those anger reactions. I’m off medication now, but it really helped me be able to effectively participate in my therapy and get on top of this issue.

    • This was me until I went off hormonal bc – it was like a weight was lifted and I could finally deal with people normally again. I was shocked, as I had no idea the medication was causing those side effects until I stopped taking it.

      • +1 I’ve been fine with a Mirena but BC pills made me unreasonably ragey.

        Something else to try is meditation. I have all the apps (working my way through the free content) and I find it helps me settle some of the rage. Headspace just had a little one about how we contribute to the things we get ragey about (i.e., if I’m ragey about traffic it is because I am an additional car contributing to traffic and in someone else’s way) and that little thought has help me put some of my road rage into perspective

      • +1 I was very tightly wound on BC pills. This side effect gradually increased over time, so I didn’t realize at first what was causing it.

        • Yes! This is exactly what happened to me. It increased the longer I was on it, so I didn’t connect the dots and thought it was some major personality defect.

    • I highly recommend reading the book Dance of Anger: A Woman’s Guide to Changing the Patterns of Intimate Relationships. The author gets how hard it is to overcome anger, why we get angry, and all the complex layers going on in the human brain and how relationships factor in. She helps you to think critically about what you really want and what will help solve these issue for you. She looks at the patterns going on, not just the moment to moment irritations, but the patterns that happen over and over and you may not even realize it. She helps you predict what will happen if you change your behavior, so you won’t get thrown off by other people’s resistance. If you just keep getting angry, you can actually keep relationship dynamics the same, and stay stuck, rather than solving anything. It’s a really enlightening book.

    • Anonymous :

      For me this would be depression. Or hormonal BC – I’m on the copper iud now.

  6. going_anon :

    Is anyone else in a marriage that is just…meh. 19 years in and I’ve felt this way for a while. It’s not bad enough to leave, but we just sort of coexist like roommates with benefits. The problem is that I don’t really want to make things better with him. Frankly, I don’t love him any more. But we generally get along and have a house an combined finances and divorce just seems like a big pain. Not really looking for advice on what to do. Just wondering if anyone else is in a similar situation.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a pretty big leap from “our marriage is meh and we’ve become more like roommates” (which is definitely a problem but usually a fixable one) to “I don’t love him” (which IMO is pretty unfixable). Did you ever love him? If you did, what happened? Is there someone be else or did he do something terrible? I usually think counseling is a good first step but if you know you don’t love him, it might just be a waste of time.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah those are very different.

      • going_anon :

        Yes, I loved him when I first got married and early in the marriage. What I didn’t state above is that he can be a difficult person to live with – moody and sometimes he’s been borderline verbally abusive. Dealing with that over the years has eroded any positive feelings I’ve had for him and I don’t really care to get them back. I recognize things aren’t good, but at the same time I’m not doing anything about it. I think I saw a book recommended on here once – Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay? That sums up the situation.

        • Anonymous :

          Please go to therapy to explore why you present your marriage as blah when actually your husband is verbally abusive. It isn’t at all too good to leave. There’s just bad.

          I mean this very sincerely. Until you figure out what is going on with you, you won’t be able to take control of your life. There is so much better than this marriage. Like living alone in a studio.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes, yes, yes. I was married to that guy for 15 years and when I finally got the courage to leave things got SO MUCH BETTER!!

        • Geez are you me? I just posted above that Im following the anxiety thread. DH (of 24 yrs) admitted this am that he is overcome with anxiety that’s expressed as irritability and anger. Not fun for me- also not fun for him. I was ready to leave Friday but we had a great day Sat and I really want to get him to help himself. (No kids, so that makes me feel freer to make this decision.) He’s always had issues but it’s gotten worse with age and social isolation he has created around himself). Also following your thread now ! It’s really tough- hugs to you and good wishes no matter what you do.

          • Anonymous :

            So he called a therapist right away? And is committed to treating his anxiety? If not leave.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Oy, way to bury the lede. Depending on what you mean by “borderline verbally abusive,” that changes things. The standard advice for abuse is to go to therapy solo (so the abuser can’t manipulate the therapist to his side) to help you figure out what to do, but if he’s basically just a big jerk family therapy might be a better option.

          Does he see a problem in your relationship too, or is he satisfied with the status quo (and if so, does he know you’re unhappy?)?

          • going_anon :

            That’s the thing, we don’t really talk about our relationship so I’m honestly not sure how he feels. I’ve considered individual therapy several times, but just haven’t pulled the trigger. I know it’s something I need to do regardless of the state of my marriage.

        • anon for this :

          My situation is slightly different, but I thought it might still be helpful. My husband and I are great friends, and I truly think he is a good person. He suffers from depression that really makes things difficult in our marriage, and we have no chemistry and haven’t for years. Three years ago, I felt so unhappy and like I was losing myself, so I finally told him I was going to counseling, even if he wouldn’t. But once I went, he went. Two years ago we started going to couples counseling and he finally got a new job. One year ago I decided I was staying in my marriage. We’ve worked through a lot of his depression issues, which has made it easier to feel kindness and love for him again. We are back in a partnership. We are still working on the chemistry component, which is also really hard. But I think we ultimately decided that we wanted to be happy. And we actually liked each other when the depression stopped being such a big cloud over our lives. So we put in the work.

          For me, I found that I really needed to be honest about what the issues were and how I was feeling. I needed to express those feelings and what I needed to him clearly. I expected he’d be defensive at first (and he was), but ultimately understand what I’m saying. And then we needed to figure out how to address the issues. Along the way, I had to be open to him expressing what he needs from me, and for me to be honest with myself and not be defensive. I had to be (and was) willing to do the work too because issues are never one-sided.

          I would not accept a life partner who wasn’t loving towards me. But I realized I’d have to do hard work to get that type of relationship either in my marriage or in a new relationship. So I ultimately decided to try it in my marriage.

          • going_anon :

            Thank you. What you said about feeling kindness and love for him stuck a chord with me…I’m not feeling that right now. I think counseling will be a good first step for me.

    • lawsuited :

      What does “I don’t love him” mean? Do you mean you aren’t “in love” the way one might hope to be with a romantic partner, or you really don’t love him at all, which I take to mean that you have no affection, fondness, enjoyment or other good feelings for him. There have been times when I don’t feel “in love” with my spouse, but even them I still loved him like a dear friend. If a more comfortable, friendly love is still there but you’re missing “spark”, I think you can come back from that, but if there’s no love there at all…that’s probably the death toll of your marriage.

      • going_anon :

        I don’t have a lot of good feelings for him. Like I mentioned, we get along but I don’t consider him a dear friend. If he was the one who asked for a divorce, I wouldn’t be that sad about it. Instead I would feel relieved.

        I recognize things are not good in the marriage and individual counseling would be a good first step. Honestly my main question was whether anyone else has relationships like this. I think I’ve been in this one for so long, I don’t recognize what “good” marriage is.

        • “If he was the one who asked for a divorce, I wouldn’t be that sad about it. Instead I would feel relieved.”

          Leave on your own, now. There is so much better out there. I only feel relieved after the end of a relationship when it was not a good one/right one.

        • Been There :

          Yes, I’ve been there. My ex was not anything close to verbally abusive, and I think some folks above have given you great advice on that aspect. What ended up happening for me was that my ex was also apparently unhappy and he cheated on me and then left me for the other woman. I didn’t know he was cheating until he told me he was leaving. We were married for 13 years. I was sad that my life felt like it was falling apart, but I honestly have never missed him. Part of me had that same feeling of relief that it was over. I wish that we’d left the marriage sooner so we both could have been really happy sooner.

          A lot of people commented to me after it was all over that the two of us were always more like roommates, and I completely agree. It is just so lonely to be in a relationship like that, even though I had friends and hobbies to fill much of my time. I was in counseling for something else when the marriage disintegrated. That was a HUGE help. It seems like you’re resistant to counseling, but it was beyond helpful for me. Please do consider it.

          I’m not married now, but I’m really enjoying being single. Once the dust cleared, I’ve been so much happier than the last 3/4 of our marriage, and I kick myself for not getting out sooner. Just one anecdote that life can be better for you. Much, much better.

        • Senior Attorney :

          And the answer is “yes, I have been in a marriage like this.” It was awful. And I left. And now I am in a good marriage and it’s so amazing I keep pinching myself. And even before I remarried, everything was so much better just living on my own and not having somebody be nasty to me on a regular basis.

          I tried to leave twice before I finally made it stick, and each time I regretted going back. It’s super scary to leave but I promise things can be so much better!

        • lawsuited :

          A marriage where you have no good feelings about your spouse is not a good marriage. No relationship or marriage is perfect, but you’re allowed to expect more than ambivalence (maybe antagonism?) towards your spouse. Really, you are. Your relationship could be a source of great happiness and strength, but you’re robbing yourself of that opportunity.

        • I have. So much of your situation sounds so familiar to me, except that I still loved him when he was happy and not being verbally abusive, so I was futilely, desperately trying to work on things with him in therapy. Even still having some positives there, when he finally left me all I felt was relief. I had done soul-searching during the marriage like this and come to the conclusion that this is just how non-Hollywood/fairy tale marriages were. Now that I’m in a longterm relationship with someone who treats me with respect instead of taking out his insecurities and storm clouds on me I see what a good partnership really is and that I never had it with my ex even in the “best” times. It doesn’t have to be this way, and you deserve better than to be a receptacle for the bad feelings of someone who hasn’t learned to deal with them appropriately.

    • Anon (a different one) :

      I’m there with you. 15 years in.

      I tried therapy (individual and marriage) last year and nothing has changed. We’re co-parents and roommates. We had s*x only 6 times last year, and are currently in a 4 month slump. We don’t go to bed together anymore. He complains that I go to bed way too early (I need a good 8 hours to function) and he stays up until 1 am playing video games. We are 100% disconnected, even after therapy. When I try to talk about our relationship (and lack of sex) he gets this look in his face like, “Good lord. What more do you want from me? How else am I not making you happy?” and just looks tired and p!ssed off. Clearly, he’s fine with the way things are and doesn’t care to fix it.

      I just came out of the hospital from pneumonia, and I wondered if my recent scare would shock us into a change for the better. It…hasn’t. I think I had a “last straw” moment when I realized he doesn’t touch me. Like, no back rub or should squeeze or forehead kiss. He’s generous with these spontaneous bits of affection with the kids and even the dog, but nothing towards me. And one night, when I was feeling particularly scared and asked him to please stay upstairs and be with me (cuddle, watch TV in bed) and was annoyed and kept saying that he was going to go downstairs and play video games. He wasn’t staying there all night. It’s been a glaring moment that I can’t ignore anymore.

      For the past few months I reasoned that our marriage wasn’t bad enough to break up our family over. Financially we’re better together than we’ll be apart. The kids are happy. He’s a good dad. I can deal with no romance in my life. But now…I’m not so sure. I can handle a marriage that’s slumped into companionable best friends, but not a cold work-load split and nothing more. And right now, I think I have the latter.

      • Nope, your marriage IS bad enough to leave. The only way it’s not is if you convince yourself you don’t deserve happiness and love. But you do! Live your life. There are no do-overs.

      • That is a bad marriage. Leave.

      • Leave. This was me in late 2016, kids and all. Now, I am the happiest person on the planet.

      • I’m sorry you’re going through this. The gaslighting and stonewalling are huge red flags. He criticizes YOU for the fact that you two don’t go to bed at the same time. He apparently even kinda convinced you that you were wrong because you felt the need to justify it to us – “I need a good 8 hours.” Uh so does every human. Including your husband. It is wholly unreasonable to stay up until 1 a.m. playing video games. And then the exasperation when you try to talk about your marriage… “Omg you’re so difficult, nothing I do is ever enough for you, it’s impossible to make you happy.” Again, the message is the problem is you not him when he knows very well the problem is him.

        I’ve been on the receiving end of this kind of treatment many times. It’s crazymaking. You think you must be the problem. You’re always the one bringing up issues, he’s content with the way things are (spoiler alert: he’s not, he’s just too conflict avoidant to talk about it). I’ve never managed to bring a relationship back from this point.

      • going_anon :

        Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry you’re going through this. We don’t have kids, but I understand finding it difficult to leave.

    • I’m dealing with this now. I told him I want to divorce. I’m looking forward to being able to stand on my own two feet and feel so much happier just thinking about the future and pursuing my interests free from the nagative commentary of him. I do think that people don’t understand why- people want to have a reason or event as to why you are getting divorced. I say because I want to be happy!

    • Anon for this topic :

      You are the me of four years ago. My ex-husband’s “moodiness” turned out to be depression, and he did get some treatment for it, but his lack of commitment to improving eroded all my good feelings for him, as you say about yourself. It became clear I had to get out for the sake of my own well-being. I think you are way ahead of me, though, in that you see clearly already that you don’t love him anymore. I told myself for years, until I initiated the divorce process, that “I will always love him and care about him, it’s just that I can’t be his partner anymore.” (Because we weren’t really partners; I was more like his caretaker.) After starting the ball rolling on divorce I realized, wow, I don’t love him and I have exhausted my reserves of even caring that much about him. Splitting up two years ago was — and remains — an enormous relief.

      I did individual therapy for about six months leading up to my decision to divorce, and it was a huge help in focusing my thoughts. Highly recommend.

  7. I posted last week about not knowing where to look for casual clothing, now that my work wardrobe is in order (my current casual clothes come from Target, Old Navy, and H&M). Part of my issue, which I should have mentioned in the first post, is that so much of the casual clothes I see at a lot of brands are either just t-shirts (which is fine, but I’m set for t-shirts!) or thinly disguised activewear (Athleta, I still love you). Looking polished when dressing casual is my white whale.

    I did a bunch of research over the weekend and found the following brands met my criteria, in case anyone else is having the same issue:
    – Mango
    – Massimo Dutti
    – Zara
    – Loft

    Loft was the real winner – I ignored them for so long because I couldn’t wear their clothes to work, but it turns out I liked a lot of their stuff for casual wear. I realize none of these are very high-quality brands – I had problems finding non-workwear, non-t-shirts/activewear from higher end brands. For now, I’m sticking to these, and I guess it makes sense in the same way I didn’t go straight from Target to Tahari.

    My next step is going to be building out casual accessories. I think these will be the real difference-makers that make me feel polished outside of work.

    • OMG thank you! I had a self-imposed shopping ban in January, and I’ve been looking to spruce up my weekend wardrobe. I’ve been feeling very meh abut just t-shirts as well. Will look into these!

    • I love Mango and Zara but as a heads up, their sizing runs small. I think Massimo Dutti is a sibling brand to one of them. All three are Spanish. Mango has great accessories (check out Mango Outlet also! it’s a separate website), and my favorite bag ever is from Zara.

    • I recently discovered Massimo Dutti and I am in LOVE. But the sizing is small. I am a petite S most places and a petite XS at J Crew and I am consistently a M at Massimo Dutti. So 2 sizes up from your J Crew size and 1 up from Banana Republic

    • Don’t rule out Nordstrom for casual wear either, especially since you don’t just want tees. I was in the habit of just looking at their work clothes and cocktail dresses, but their casual wear is really nice too.

      • I actually had a hard time there. If I don’t have an idea of the brand I want at Nordstrom, I find it difficult to stumble across what I’m looking for there.

    • I love the Liz Claiborne Weekend line at JCPenney for this. They have petites which fit me better than Loft petites (more curve on waist-to-hip). Many items are high percent cotton and thicker than Loft. Loft cottons, in my experience, do pretty badly in the wash and are destroyed by third or fourth dryer cycle. Love Zara and Mango – have to check out Massimo Dutti!

  8. Preventing Migraines :

    Nearly every woman in my office suffers from migraines. It is a horrible, horrible disease. I am the youngest in my office and I haven’t had one in the past 15 years, thankfully, and they aren’t in my family history. I know genetics is a factor, but what else causes them? Age? Stress? Posture? Lack of sleep? Anything I can do now to prevent from getting them?

    • Anonymous :

      There are lots of triggers for people who are prone to them, including hormones and lack of sleep. If you haven’t had one in 15 years and don’t have a family history, I think you’re borrowing trouble to worry about it. Just continue taking good care of yourself, including sleeping and eating well and getting some exercise.

    • Anonymous :

      Multiple Drs have told me they don’t really know why some women win the migraine lottery and others lose.

    • Different anon :

      I don’t get migraines often (average about once a year) and when I do they are the visual aura ones and not the massive head pain ones, but find that they come about a week or two after the most stressful time of the year. They are almost always accompanied by poor alignment in my spine, for which I see a sports doctor who pops things back where they belong in about 10 seconds with no pain.

    • Anonymous :

      No. You’re borrowing trouble.

    • Triggers are different for everybody. If you aren’t getting them, I wouldn’t borrow trouble. If you start, get help right away rather than waiting…..oh 15 years like I did.

    • Probably most people who get true migraines have a genetic predisposition. Why some people get more migraines and some people get less or have less severe ones is not clear. If you are genetically prone, there isn’t anything you can do about that per se. Migraines run in my family. I have them. My Mom had them – very, very severe. She was tough as nails, and as I became a doctor and truly understood what she was going through, I realized how awful it was to have an illness that no one could “see” and most people dismissed.

      What you can do, if you are predisposed to migraines, is control things that are well known to trigger migraines. These can vary from person to person, but there are a lot of triggers that are universal. You need to sleep and eat on a regular schedule. That includes weekends. Avoid too much caffeine/caffeine dependence. Some people have triggers from flourescent lights or poor posture at their computer. Some people have hormonally triggered migraines that happen on a cycle with their periods. Some people swear certain foods, MSG, red wine, fermented foods trigger migraines. Some people find exercise makes their migraines worse…

      Some people have more migraines as they age, some have less. Some women stop having migraines when they go through menopause. My Mom’s migraines got worse.

      While some people may find that stress triggers migraines, for some people being busy/stressed actually keeps them at bay, and on the weekends or on vacation when everything is turned down…. BAM! That’s when they get a migraine.

      Some people tend to get headaches, but they aren’t true migraines and they just call them migraines because…..? they don’t know what migraines are. I bet some of the people in your office are like this. You can have headaches for many reasons that are not true migraines. Headaches due to fatigue, dehydration, untreated sleep apnea, caffeine withdrawl are some of the most common headache causes.

    • Are the lights in your office weird? I found that some of the old-fashioned florescent lights can trigger migraines, but the newer ones do not.

  9. Anonymous :

    Comment got swallowed so apologies if I end up posting this twice.

    Looking for advice on feeling constantly angry – at strangers (think subway annoyances), my biglaw boss regarding (what I perceive to be) unreasonable requests, guys who don’t text back, friends when they’re not being supportive (these feelings are occasionally justified, often not), etc etc. I’m sick of being bitter and pissed off at the world. It’s exhausting. I don’t think I’m depressed but struggle with anxiety (and see a therapist for that). What can I do?

  10. Self Employed Transition :

    Those of you who have hung out your own shingles/are self employed, and those of you who are married to self employed people – can you help me with this transition? My husband quit his day job three weeks ago to focus full time on his business, and we’re on just my salary but the demands of two full time careers right now. I am really struggling with self care, care for my marriage, support of his endeavor, and getting my own side hustle off the ground. Any tips? Any ideas for any of the above that cost literally $0? My salary is enough to cover the bills, but only just.

    I feel like I am having a constant low grade panic attack and am snappier and angrier with people than I generally wish to be.

    • Anonymous :

      One thing that we’ve started is to treat the marriage as Team Us and we have a brief Team Us meeting to go over random items. I feel that His Job, My Job, Our Kids are all Priority 1 and I felt left in the shuffle (never mind what used to be a real relationship-feeling relationship and now is just the guy I’m married to).

      The only rule is that you can only use phones to compare scheduling and make sure that we’re on the same page with expectations for the week to come. [Like: I need to start signing the kids up for summer camp, so that’s $3K for deposits and to get early-bird discounts, what a stress! and taxes — eek — can you take the kids so I can start working through W-2s and 1099s and flex spending]

      What helps: a glass of wine or beer (so it is a mental check-out — this is fun! reconnecting with us!).

      It’s a friendly meeting, but it’s the two of you, nothing else, to get your US life on track and talk about your feelings and what is going on.

      • This is a fantastic idea.

      • State of the Marriage :

        We do this too, once a week on Saturday nights and it’s the BEST time we’ve spent in our marriage. The ROI has been crazy.

        We compare schedules, debrief hurts/angers from the week, ask what’s one thing we can do for each other the upcoming week, what was good about the week/bad about the week, etc.

    • Can you consider putting your side gig on hold until things stabilize a bit? It doesn’t sound like you have enough bandwidth for it at the moment and it will just add to your stress.

    • Anonymous :

      Why is now a time for you to have a side hustle? It’s going to take a year to get his business off the ground. You need to be hunkering down for the long haul.

      • Anonymous :

        Not the OP but there’s a lot of reasons she might need to keep her side hustle going. Women are told they’re supposed to sacrifice endlessly for the good of the family. If OP had time to do her side hustle when her husband was working fulltime then idk why she can’t keep doing the same thing. The fact that he’s starting a business doesn’t mean he gets to check out of all of his other responsibilities.

        • I agree with not sacrificing endlessly, but that’s a decision that is made prior to her husband quitting his job. Perhaps the better choice was for her to focus on her side gig and for him to keep his old job.

        • It sounds like she’s trying to start a side hustle though, not continue an established one. Getting a business off the ground is a ton of work and it makes sense it would be unnecessarily stressful if both spouses are doing it at the same time. I don’t think this is “women always need to sacrifice for their husbands” but rather “spouses need to compromise for each other.”

        • She said she’s trying to start a side hustle. Not maintain one.

      • Self Employed Transition :

        We’d started our side hustles at around the same time – so I’m already committed (it’s seasonal with a late spring launch date) and he feels quite strongly about my NOT letting it go to support him. His exit timeline from his day job moved up by six months at his own request. We had and still have a plan for how this is going to work financially but I was unprepared for how very anxious I was going to feel about it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m curious about the lead up to this situation. Presumably the two of you talked about this at length before he quit his job? You had a plan for how you’d pay expenses and handle household responsibilities? Has something gone sideways? Is it harder than you expected? You don’t have to answer these questions here – but it might help to think through this before you talk to your husband. If he thinks everything’s going according to plan then I imagine he’ll be pretty surprised to hear that it’s not working for you in practice. So step 1 will be to articulate the disconnect.

    • I think it’s a worrying sign that you are at this point only 3 weeks into this endeavor. Given that short time window, I’m guessing that you’re struggling with some combination of: you weren’t fully on board with this plan to begin with, your husband didn’t do enough due diligence in getting a baseline level of clients/work lined up before he quit his full-time job, or you didn’t have a financial plan in place for the first 6 mo – 1 year it would take to get this off the ground.

      I think you need to take a step back and seriously talk to your husband about how this plan is supposed to work. If you were saying he’d been doing his own thing for nine months, you were reaching the end of the financial buffer you’d planned on, and you weren’t sure what to do next, that would be a different story. But for things to go dramatically south in three weeks suggests a poor plan to begin with.

      • Self Employed Transition :

        I agree and I wish that I felt differently. My strongest hypothesis right now is that I am overreacting to an acceptable level of risk – I’ve been employed by large organizations my entire life and this is all very new to me. I’m hoping that I can manage this anxiety so that our entire family can feel supported and succeed.

        • I’m not quite sure what you mean when you say “I’m hoping that I can manage this anxiety so that our entire family can feel supported and succeed.” Isn’t your husband providing equal/more support to the family? It sounds like you are the only one providing emotional support right now. Do you feel supported by him right now? Why is this all on you?

        • Yes, I agree with Anonymous. It seems like you are mentally framing this as, “Husband is starting a new venture so it is my job to support him and help him succeed.” I think you should reframe this as, “Husband is following his dreams and starting a new venture while I am shouldering more of the financial burden – he needs to make sure I am feeling supported throughout this process.”

          I also think you should determine whether or not you are overreacting, and only you can determine this. Do you have, on paper, a rough financial plan covering this; i.e. “we have A expenses per month, with an income of B and we expect Husband to start bringing in Y, therefore we have Z months of runway. If we reach month Z and Husband is not bringing in Y, we need to reevaluate the whole situation.” If you have that, and can read and think, “Yes, I know logically this makes sense,” then you are overreacting. If you read that and think, “OMG this is so unrealistic, there’s no way Husband will replace his entire full-time salary in 3 months” (or whatever) then you need to get to a point where you agree that the plan makes sense.

          You also might do some journaling (free!) about what specifically you are worried about and how you’d like to deal with it. For example, you know your income covers the bills, so you as long as you have your job, you’re not going to wind up on the street. But it would be reasonable to have a contingency plan for if you lose your job or can’t work. I always feel less anxious about things I’m worried about when I write them down – they go from being a nebulous boogie man to a real thing I can try to think through.

          • Self Employed Transition :

            We do have such a plan, and I’m on board with it – which is why I feel like I’m overreacting.

          • Anonymous :

            With this information – this seems pretty normal to me. I mean I’m an anxiety-prone person so maybe take my opinion with a grain of salt. But if I were in your shoes I would have Feelings about this situation too. Maybe give yourself the space to feel what you need to feel? Acknowledge the emotion, play out the worst case scenario in your head, and remind yourself that even if the worst happens you and husband will adjust and everything will be OK. No one is dying. Money can be replaced. One way or another, everything is going to work out.

        • You / your spouse are me / my spouse about 1.5 years ago. It is really really really hard; try not to blame yourself for being snappish or angry. A spouse starting a business is a huge stress in every way: a stress on the income, a stress on time, a stress from the uncertainty, etc. It doesn’t feel good but it is so so normal. I actually don’t think it’s worrying that you’re at this stress level three weeks in, but it may be surprising to you since it sounds like you have stuff planned out (awesome) and therefore anticipated smoother sailing.

          I think it will help to agree on firewalls between your personal and professional lives. When you both work in traditional jobs, going to and coming home from work creates certain boundaries. When a spouse owns a business, you need to make those boundaries yourselves. Yes, support him, but do not work for him or with him unless you really want to. You have your own job that you do and you do not need to do more work work. He should, within reason, try to do all of his work while you are at work, doing your job. The reality of you working at a traditional job is that personal and relationship time has to come when you are not working, ergo he cannot take the morning off because he plans on working in the evening. Disentangle yourself emotionally from the success/failure of his business.

          None of this is easy. We are still getting there on all of these things. Early on, I was terrified because spouse was let go, my salary was not quite enough to cover all of the bills, and I had no idea how long we would have to rely on emergency savings, which we were of course fortunate to have in the first place. His former job fought unemployment and he refused to appeal. As a result, I was deeply personally invested in the success of his business. Then I got a raise so my salary did cover all of the bills, and his business started contributing meaningful income sooner than expected. Slowly, I managed reduce my emotional investment in his business. (It helps that I find his work a terrible combination of emotionally wrenching and boring in the extreme.) I demanded family time in the evenings – sacred no phone, no internet, no work family time. He felt I had a point but was Draconian about implementation. We mostly have sacred family time evenings, but I have become more flexible about that as we each do have the occasional work crunch. Early on he would ask me for help with business things and I felt like “support” meant “do the thing” but I figured out that I could say no, and I should say no unless I wanted to say yes. He felt unsupported when I said no the first few times, and I said I supported him but I didn’t want to work for him and he accepted that. We fought about all of this stuff, even though our arrangements seem so reasonable now. (We still have arguments about it, don’t get me wrong, but they are the exception now rather than the rule.)

    • Self care tips that cost $0 – yoga videos (I like Yoga with Adrienne), reading books from the public library, listening to pod casts, baths, walking/running, watching shows on any subscription service you already pay for, self-gardening.

    • Miss Rumphius :

      When my husband first struck out on his own, I felt very much the same way. Admittedly, he had been doing freelance work already so had some income coming in, but I struggled with the fact that it wasn’t “guaranteed” in the same way as his full-time job. I am risk-averse in general and definitely relate to the balance of concern vs support.

      A few things that helped: Identifying what information I needed to be able to feel supportive/comfortable (for me, that was target income for the month as well as health of his business pipeline) and talking about that together. This is more about budgeting, but once we decided on a target amount for each month, we agreed that anything over that amount is kept in savings to mitigate any ebbs and flows.

  11. A little Tuesday motivation: I’ve been putting a task off since early December because I was anxious about doing it right. I literally set a timer and finished it in 30 minutes. It isn’t perfect but it is off my desk and I feel so much better.

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats! I really need to do this today (work self-evaluation, bleh).

    • Congrats! I have been struggling with this a lot lately and I also find it’s just better to get it done and not worry about it being perfect.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Thank you. I have one of those tasks. Need to remember that good enough is good enough.

      • Do it! It feels good. I realise I’m great at starting things but struggle to finish them because then they’ll be evaluated / can be judged lacking.

    • Anonymous :

      I always feel better after I Do The Thing. Congratulations!

    • Thank you. I have a task I’ve been putting off as well, not because it will take very long but just because it’s a pain, and I’ve resolved to get it done today.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! I did that on Friday (got All The Correspondence off my desk) and OMG it feels great!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      You have inspired me to deal with something that I have been putting off for a few weeks!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      One of my rules of adulting: Do the thing instead of worrying about not having done the thing. Sometimes my perfectionism gets in the way of actually doing anything- if I don’t have time to make it perfect, I just put it off until a time I can “focus” on it. One of my old supervisors used to say something in the vein of “learn to live in the space between failing because you didn’t put enough time into it and waiting for perfect information so long that you fail.” I try to think of that idea a lot when I’m procrastinating. People would prefer something high-quality but not perfect than no product at all because it’s not perfect.

    • I think the biggest lesson I’ve finally learned in my 29th year is that the doing of the thing is almost always less bad than the worrying about the doing of the thing.

    • You inspired me, too! Something I thought was going to be incredibly time-consuming and high-touch just needed a phone call to get rolling.

  12. I’m trying to replace my crappy cotton/poly tops with silk. Where do you guys find silk? Sometimes Banana will have silk blouses for a decent price, but that’s few and far between. I’m cusp sized and usually wear an XL.

    This is all part of an effort to be a more conspicuous shopper, meaning no more buying $15 tops at Old Navy when I could save that money and pool it together to buy one really nice thing.

  13. I have been waiting for this stock market dip to put around three thousand dollars in the stock market somewhere. Already have my emergency savings in a money market and retirement in targeted index funds. I want to get a little more creative. What would you buy now?

    • Diana Barry :

      More index funds. Don’t try to time the market.

    • Anonymous :

      Index; AAPL; NVDA (but you have to be ok w major volatility); FDX; HD (my favorite); UPS (turnaround play – will take time). That’s just offhand – many many others out there – CAT seems interesting but I haven’t fully researched yet. WFC – also a major turnaround play.

    • Anonymous :

      Index funds.

    • Index funds, like others are saying. I would probably do Vanguard Total Stock Market fund, but there are lots of other options too

      • Investing Q :

        I keep reading about how biotech stocks have been outperforming the market like whoa for the past year or more. Any thoughts there?

        • That’s a very poor way to invest for a novice. I am in biotech, and I’d never invest in it! Specialized funds like this also tend to be labile. And the whole market is slowing down now, so it is the worst time to start buying in an industry you don’t understand.

          Wait a few days until you see the market isn’t dropping by hundreds of points DAILY. Then put it in a Vanguard index fund, as mentioned.

        • Anonymous :

          If you are reading about it, then it’s too late to make money on it. Because now everyone else knows too and you don’t have that edge (for the short term).

          Investing in individualized stocks is really only going to make you money (short term) if you know a lot about the industry without it being insider trading. I mean, purchase individual stocks if you want, but consider it gambling money because you are just as likely to lose as make money.

  14. Anonymous :

    So now I can’t remember who said this but one of the ladies here once said she always celebrated when her loans hit 4s and 9s as she viewed that as tangible progress (ex. 24k or 79k). So – 14,900!! Only started at 75k so I know it’s not as bad as some but it’s felt like it’s taken forever so getting under 20k and now 15k seems like a light at the end of the tunnel.

  15. Paging AIMS :

    I saw your post yesterday about your friend in Port Washington late. That’s where I live, so I wanted to give a little rundown of possible delivery options: Falconer florist will deliver the same day. Unfortunately, I can’t think of any bakery that delivers. There is a Whole Foods in the next town (zip 11030) that you can Instacart from. A liquor store will deliver – Black Tie Liquors on Shore Rd. – but not sure if they’d do it for one bottle of wine (if wine is appropriate). Hope you can figure something out!

    • Thanks! Will call Falconer now.
      I was too late to do this, but if you order early enough in the day, insomnia cookies has a shipping option. FYI for anyone in a one day notic situation in the future.

      • You don’t even have to order Insomnia early in the day…our local one delivers until 3 am and takes about 20 minutes to show up from the time you place the order :)

  16. Hill Staffer :

    Is anyone familiar with “professional staff member” positions on Capitol Hill and their corresponding levels of experience? I have never worked on the hill but I have been looking into positions lately. The problem is that the vacancy posts never indicate how many years of experience they are looking for. I receive the weekly House vacancy bulletin in my email and a position caught my eye yesterday but the title is “national security professional staff member” for the House Committee on Homeland Security. I have 3 years of relatable experience but the way it is written makes it seem like they may be looking for someone more senior. I searched LinkedIn for profiles with this title and the levels of experience varied wildly – from straight out of college to several decades of experience.

    • Might actually ask this question of Abra/Belle at CapHillStyle (now theworkedi t.com)

    • Why not just apply and be transparent about the level of experience you have? If they haven’t listed desired years of experience, apparently it’s not important to them, so why stress about it?

      • +1000000 The worst that can happen is they don’t hire you.

        They may be flexible in what level of seniority they’re hiring for, too.

    • Dem Politico :

      They’re probably looking for someone more senior than you. However, offices receive hundreds of applications for each posting that goes out on this listserv, so there’s no way you’ll be the least qualified person throwing their hat in the ring! Just be sure to have realistic expectations when preparing your application materials. Good luck!

    • Hill anon :

      I’m a current Hill staffer, and echo the advice here to just apply and be honest about your level of experience! Often these positions don’t list experience requirements because there truly are many types of professionals who could be great at it. So the hiring team could end up considering an applicant with 15+ years experience, PhD-level credentials, but who is looking to “lean out” a bit, right alongside an applicant who has less than 5 years of experience but is really motivated and eager to learn. And the deciding factor between the two applicants might just be personality fit. So if you think it sounds interesting and you think you could be good at it – APPLY!

      Also, friendly reminder that mediocre white men will not hesitate to apply even if they don’t meet all the stated requirements, much less the implicit ones. We have enough mediocre white men on the Hill – apply!

  17. I would like to buy my first Dagne Dover bag. I’m torn between the Classic Tote and the Allyn Tote. I don’t carry a ton of stuff every day, but I’d also like to use whichever bag for work travel, so I need my laptop (13″) to fit with other things in the bag. Which would you pick? Also, has anyone ever had the “Bleecker Blush” or the “Bone Leather”? Do they get dirty easily?

    • I have the classic tote in black, so can’t speak directly for the colors you mentioned, but after over a year of using that bag on an almost daily basis, it still looks like new. It fits my laptop, school folders, heels, and lunch (plus water bottle, small notebook, wallet…), though I will say it is a heavy bag.

      Looking at the Allyn tote, I think it looks a little nicer but personally the fact that it’s an open top would be a deal breaker for me. You really can’t go wrong either way, though – talking to other ladies in my class, we found that five of us had all bought Dagne Dover bags without ever discussing them, and we all loved what we got.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I have the classic in whatever they used to call the Bone color. It’s an off-white beige-y color. I love it because it’s coated canvas and literally never looks dirty. I’d be wary of the light colors in leather, but I am totally buying the Allyn in Oxblood as soon as it comes back in March.

    • I have one of the older totes (canvas) in a medium blue colour. It never looks dirty, but the pleather on the handles (where the handles connect to the bag) is starting to split, about 3 years in (maybe using the bag about 10-20% of the time). It’s the model which had the fold-down handles, so that probably contributed to the splitting. I still love the bag but would probably replace it with the bag which has rings at that point (the midi size) to reduce the splitting chance and because my current bag is a bit bigger than I need.

      • anonypotamus :

        I know I have posted on here before about my Classic Tote. I adore mine and have used it daily for the past 3 years. A few months ago the stitching started unraveling on one of the handles, and when I emailed customer service about it, they replaced the whole bag, no questions. Waffles – you should see if they can repair/fix your splitting handles!

    • Team Allyn here. Waiting for March!

  18. Anonymous :

    I started the morning by dropping my thermos of hot coffee down the stairs. I have a random screw top one. The top actually unscrewed and spilled everywhere. Clearly, I need a better spill proof thermos. Suggestions?

    • Zojirushi are the best. I throw them in bags all the time and have never had a spill. And they keep liquids hot or cold for 4+ hours. I can put ice in one before going to the airport and it will still be totally frozen by the time I go through security. Yesterday, at 8 a.m. I opened up the thermos of coffee my husband made at 5 a.m. and it was still hot enough that I had to let it cool before I could drink it comfortably.

      • + a million! These mugs are incredible. They are my go-to gift to everyone now.

      • + another million. I’m also a big giver of Zojirushi and I love my mug so much I’ve gotten a second and am also thinking of one of the food jars for easier transport of hot soup for lunch.

    • Hydroflask with screw top (not flip top or straw top) for sure. Hot or cold, day or night! I also love my yeti but it’s definitely not spillproof.

    • Can’t beat Contigo from Costco (they’re waaaaaay cheaper there than on Amazon). They also have super-duper locking mechanisms and did not unlock during all three years of law school for me.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Seconded. Buy the ones with the push button, NOT the twist lid. And make sure the lid is threaded correctly. If you flip the lock mechanism on top it’s not going to leak.

        • I dropped my Contigo mug on the way into the office yesterday and the plastic top broke right around the threading. I suspect the temperature differential between -30 outside and hot coffee inside may have had something to do with it.

      • I’ve never had a Zojirushi anything, but I own about a dozen contigo products and love them all. I can and likely will spill just about anything. I also require that I be able to put my to go coffee mug that is full of coffee in my work bag and not have it spill. The contigo mug is great for this. I drink most of my coffee within a relatively short time frame, so keeping something hot for 12 hours isn’t a benefit to me. However, I have never had a contigo spill in my bag, and I’ve dropped them chock full o coffee plenty of times and never spilled or had the lid come off.

    • You sure it wasn’t user error? I spilled my contiguous full of water all over the floor because…I didn’t screw the top on all the way. :-)

    • Hydroflask or Klean Kanteen

  19. Steel Cut Oats :

    What is the quickest/easiest way to make steel cut oats? I need to start eating oatmeal for breakfast for health reasons and I know from experience that steel cut oats are the tastiest and most filling. My current morning routine allows 5-10 mins for breakfast (and 10 mins is pushing it – I have a kid to drop off at daycare and a long commute so my morning already starts at 5:30am), but I could prep at night?

    • I used to make a big batch on weekends of McCann’s that I would portion into individual servings and just microwave in the morning. At the time, i would typically take to work in tupperware and eat at my desk as I checked my email first thing.

    • I’ve done these in the crockpot in big batches on the weekend, portioned them out, then frozen them in individual containers. Pull one out the night before and nuke it in the morning (depending on when you want to eat, home or office). Any mix-ins or flavors can get added once it’s thawed. I haven’t found that it compromises taste or texture.

    • crock pot. make once a week and reheat.

    • I read something today about how to make single servings in an instant pot or slowcooker. Google Coco Marante.

    • I normally make a big pot on the weekends and then divide into smaller containers and re-heat during the week. I actually think Steel Cut oats re-heat well after keeping a bit.

    • At Costco, they have a quick-cooking steel cut oats (brand is Bob’s Red Mill, I think) and I really like it, more than cooking regular ones ahead. They cook for 2-3 minutes after the water boils.

    • I just make them in the microwave with milk. Some might say they don’t taste as good as cooking on the stove, but they do cook and if you add anything to them (berries, nuts, etc), they are fine.

      • Same. I put 40 g of oatmeal with ~180 g milk in the microwave for 60 seconds. Then I get dressed while the oatmeal (mostly) cooks in the hot milk. I add frozen fruit and microwave again until it’s hot.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      We have a zojirushi rice cooker with a porridge setting that works perfectly for steel cut oats- put in night before, set timer, hot oats for breakfast!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Do you like overnight oats? I’ve made those with steel cut oats before. My favorite is to put oats, milk, and craisins together in the fridge overnight. Then in the morning I add some toasted nuts, and it’s delicious and filling.

    • You could do overnight oats if you don’t mind it cold. I like this option because it allows for beefing it up and flavoring in a way you wouldn’t have time for in the mornings.

      • +1 make four or five 8oz jars of overnight oats on sunday night. My favorite have almond butter and chia seeds and a little bit of maple syrup. If you google that you will find the recipe.

    • Instant for the win :

      After vowing to make a batch of oatmeal ahead of time every week for three months, I’ve now scaled back my expectations for myself and make a Nature’s Path original oatmeal packet every morning with a banana mixed in. I add the banana halfway through to get it nice and warm, and occasionally throw in a scoop or two of PB2 to really jazz it up. I only mention this as its a good backup when the slow-cook/make-ahead things don’t pan out.

    • If I may, try rolled oats cooked in coconut milk, which is a healthy fat. So filling and delicious.

      • I thought coconut milk was saturated fat which isn’t healthy?

        • I think it’s more the trans fats that have been proven to be really unhealthy – natural fats like coconut and avocado are the healthiest, if you’re going to eat fat.

    • I make them overnight on the stovetop once a week (don’t have slow cooker) and then reheat in the microwave. Boil about 6 cups of water in a large dutch oven with a pinch or 2 of salt. When it boils, add 2 cups steel cut oats. Boil for about a minute then turn off the heat. Cover and let it sit overnight on the stove. Then it is ready to eat the next morning.

  20. Moving in with my SO soon-ish (once we find a place and give notice) so seeking a little hive wisdom — what do you wish you knew before you lived together? If you could do it again, would you do anything differently?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      How much fun it would be! Everyone says it’s really tough, and it can be. But it’s also so neat to see your SO every single day!

    • I moved in with my husband (he had bought a flat a year earlier) and wish we had immediately done something dramatic (painting? new furniture?) to make it our own. I think it took me a year or two, and marriage, to feel at home there and it still makes me slightly apprehensive that my name isn’t on the mortgage. I’m looking forward to picking a house together some day.

      • We are actually moving in to a new apartment together for that reason — had considered just combining in my place but we both heard this from trusted friends so are going to start fresh!

      • Does your ex-pat status complicate things re: the title and the mortgage? If not, get on that asap.

    • Set up household expectations early (how clean do you want things to be, where do you store the extra toilet paper, etc.) and be up front if chores aren’t being split the way you expected. After three years of living with my SO, we are still having regular “Why can’t you just do your dishes?!” conversations.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. Begin as you mean to go on. It’s super tempting to show off and be Ms. Suzy Homemaker, but resist the urge unless you want to do all that for the rest of your life.

        • Totally agree. This is one of the nice things about spending a lot of time at each other’s house before you move in together. It’s inconvenient and everyone says, if you’re spending every night together why don’t you just move in. But it’s important to move past the on-your-best-behavior stage of housekeeping before you move in with someone.

        • Linda from HR :

          Oh man, I felt this way when I moved into my first post-college apartment, I had a male roommate and I never bothered to set expectations about cleaning or overall “running” the household and SURPRISE it all fell to me to keep things clean and stocked, and it definitely caused resentment issues.

          I’m optimistic my boyfriend will be more proactive and involved in the cleaning then the male roommates I’ve dealt with, maybe I’ll be the “messy one” in our relationship, but I will definitely set expectations at the start just in case. He’s expressed interest in reading and discussing The Second Shift, which I read over the summer.

        • This. A thousand times this.

          • Argh. That was supposed to go under Senior Attorney’s “start as you mean to go on” comment.

      • christineispink :

        We had a “family meeting” about a month in b/c I was just on him to do chores that I thought were already apportioned out – but only in MY head. I printed out several different “household chore” charts as a guide so we could discuss who is responsible for which chores. Definitely lifted stress and resentment levels.

      • +1000. When Sheketovits moved in, he did NOTHING other then stain my sheets and vomit on my white carpet. He thought that just b/c he was providing me with s-x, that he could do that. FOOEY on HIM!

    • DTR

      Are you roommates (name on lease, clear ideas of how to share expenses, 2 sets of keys) or something less than that?

      If you’re not even a roommate, he or the landlord can change the locks and you are homeless. It is such a buzzkill, but to not even define your rights can haunt you in the end (OTOH, if you move out, you’re not liable for his rent if you aren’t on his lease).

      It’s a weird no-man’s land and it ought not to be.

      • Getting milk for free or something? :

        yup this. also if you know that you want to be moving *toward* marriage, then make sure he knows. and see what he wants.

        I was not the kind of person who wanted to have a male roommate as a boyfriend. after 3 years of living together when my BF said he “wasn’t sure if he wanted to get married” — I hightailed it out of there cause I’m not interested in cooking your azz dinner and cleaning the bathroom if you don’t want to marry me.

        1 year later and we were engaged and now married. ain’t nobody got time to take care of an ungrateful roommate.

    • I would have not lived together before marriage if I could do it again. I think we would have broken up much sooner rather than allowing ourselves to slide into the next step of marriage. So I guess my advice would be that it will be harder to break up if things aren’t going well and make sure you are making conscious decisions about the next steps in your relationship and not just staying in the status quo because it’s easier. Don’t make the same mistake I did!

      • I regret moving in with my SO before marriage. There was no incentive for us to get married. Plus, my parents said they would not pay for a wedding if I moved in with him, but I was stupid and stubborn. They said, and they were 100% right, if I’m not living a traditional life, then they’re not paying for a traditional wedding. We ended up breaking up and moving out was dramatic and painful. I often wonder if we would’ve gotten married had I not moved in….

        • why would you want to be married to someone that you couldn’t live happily with?

          Be thankful you saved yourself the hassle of a divorce

        • givemyregards :

          But wouldn’t that have been worse if you had actually gotten married and then had to get divorced in addition to breaking up? It sounds like you would have just been kicking the can down the road.

        • That’s really weird if your parents.

        • Cornellian :

          I am not a culturally conservative person, but I do think that living together before marriage can be problematic, if you have marriage as the ultimate goal. I think you can get stuck in a perpetual holding pattern and not make decisive choices about the path forward. Momentum is powerful, for better or worse.

    • I moved in with my SO to his place and we had no issues. We were on the verge of getting engaged at the time, had already had a lot of discussions about finances, etc. so we didn’t really have issues about that. However, if you haven’t discussed that stuff yet, now would be a good time to have a conversation. There are also some silly things that you will notice once you move in- like do you take turns emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, checking the mail, etc. or does each person have their own set of responsibilities. It might be premature to actually figure out who does what, but I think that even having a conversation where you say something like ‘at some point we we will need to figure out household chores,’ is good just to put it on your radar. It really was SO fun when we first moved in! It’s still fun of course, but that first year was special

    • givemyregards :

      Definitely agree with everyone about setting household expectations, but maybe also set the expectation that they aren’t set in stone and you’ll revisit as needed. Also, after a few years of living together my SO and I realized we needed to have a general division of household labor and a flexed up/down version for when one or both of us are slammed at work (or having a relatively light week) – I realized that when I had a crazy week and he had a light week, I would get frustrated that he wasn’t checking things off my list, even though I hadn’t asked him (and before anyone says anything, yes we have talked about mental/emotional labor and women carrying the bulk of the load in terms of just knowing what needs to get done, but that’s a whole separate topic). Now he knows if I’m crazy busy, that there are certain things I need him to pick up for me and vice versa.

    • We had to figure out our individual needs for alone time. We would default to “hanging out” in the living room all the time, and ignored necessary time alone. It took some time to figure out where our respective corners of the house were and that the other person wasn’t mad when they retreated there, just needed some alone time.

    • Practical advice: I would have done more purging before moving, and I would have spent more on organizational stuff. Moving into together was a lot of early expenses (we needed a lot of furniture) and it was hard to spend money on tupperware/closet organizers when we didn’t have a TV, but it is so.much.easier. to do organizational stuff before there is stuff in all your closets/cabinets. Going back, I’d plan my move like I planned our wedding: agree up front on priorities, set a budget for stuff we had to buy, and don’t buy aspirational stuff that doesn’t fit the budget or priorities (I’m looking at you, fancy remote thing/surround sound system we still haven’t set up 2 years after moving in). Another thing that would have been helpful is to create a moving fund/figure out a plan for joint finances a little earlier. We were super ad hoc about it which makes money really hard to track/determine if costs are split however you want them split (we did ours 40/60 based on income). I’d open a joint account and pay rent/utilities/household goods/groceries out of that. Finally, we just started doing this but it has been super helpful: We have a weekly shared Evernote with repeating chores, a shopping list, upcoming dates to remember, and random errands/goals we want to accomplish during the week or weekend. The checklist helps us make sure we are both contributing and has really, really helped with communication/avoiding conflicts.

    • I’ve had great experiences living with an SO and terrible ones – my recommendations / suggested questions are lessons learned from the terrible experiences.

      Don’t purchase property with someone you aren’t married to. Too messy in case of a split.

      Decide ahead of time how joint household expenses (utilities, food) will be paid. 50-50? Or proportionate based upon income?

      Will expectations change about involving each other in big purchases or debt considerations (e.g., since you now share expenses, do either of you get veto power if the other decides to, for example, quit their job and go back to school? What happens in the case of job loss?)

      Talk in advance about whether expectations will change about knowing / approving of each other’s whereabouts. (e.g., will he expect you to let him know before you go to a spontaneous happy hour? Will he expect to be invited every time?)

      • “Talk in advance about whether expectations will change about knowing / approving of each other’s whereabouts. (e.g., will he expect you to let him know before you go to a spontaneous happy hour? Will he expect to be invited every time?)”

        This. I found it took a little time to get into the rhythm of finding the right amount of communication about our schedules. It was helpful to have a joint calendar and we each assume we have an open invite to anything social on the calendar that isn’t one-on-one time with a friend or a ladies/dudes only thing. We’ve been married a while and still generally operate this way. We don’t always turn up, but it’s nice to generally know what the other person’s schedule looks like. The only way I’ll make a point of texting about a spontaneous happy hour though is if it interferes with any other plans we’d had (like we are making dinner at home that night and I’m going to be home a little later than I’d planned). We do talk ahead of time about any events where we’d actively like the other person to be present to make sure it’s on the radar.

    • Anonymous :

      In addition to the household expectations others have mentioned, I wish I had known the following two things:

      First – All those gifts you bought him before because *he* liked them? They are now part of *your* stuff. So, be careful with the gift giving – especially stuff that can be displayed. (Actual conversation I’ve had: “yes, I know you love the X autograph/Y picture/Z thingy I got you for [insert specific gift giving occasion], and yes, I purchased it for you, and yes, you’re right, it *IS* meant to be displayed and not hidden in a closet, but I don’t actually want a Notre Dame autographed football displayed at all times in the place where I live.” Cue sad face and hurt feelings of SO)

      Second – there are likely some totally innocent things that you do that will seem weird to your SO and your SO will be semi-judging you for it. For example, before I lived with my now husband, I would sometimes have a plate of cheese and crackers for dinner. There’s nothing specifically wrong with this (at least in my mind) but my husband didn’t understand how I could consider that a meal. Especially because we would and still do cook together all the time. We eat most of our meals together, so I now only have crackers and cheese for dinner when he’s out of town. Other things are face masks and/or other primping rituals.

    • Anonymous :

      Can’t think of anything. Moving in, getting married, having kids,were natural progressions for us. If it’s right it’s right. If it’s work, probably not a good sign

  21. Sock/pants conundrum solved. Peds at Target. $5.00/pair, like regular knee-his but very opaque and not at all scratchy. Very smooth so pants glide over them and don’t stick. Haven’t yet tried with my stupid Bi-stretch Gap pants yet, but they seem to be smooth enough that they could work. I think they also are compression. They feel great on.

    Spent a small fortune on Bombas which I hate (so thick, did not stay up) and are all (except for one casual pair) getting donated to a local homeless shelter.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I used to be a Gap bi-stretch spokesperson but the d*mn things fade, wrinkle, shrink, and lose shape and they’re impossible to wear with trouser socks or tights (if it’s cold) because they stick weird. I tried on a pair this AM and it was not a good experience.

  22. A former boss called me last week about a job where he currently works. I told him I was interested in hearing more about the position and we chatted for 30 minutes discussing the details of the job. He said he would tell his boss (the one in charge of hiring) that I was interested and that he thinks he would hire me in a minute based upon my record and his recommendation. The situation is a little tricky because while the job isn’t for the same entity where I currently work they are related (think a certain office in a government agency that is loosely connected to the same office in other government agencies). His boss told him that I should give him a call to discuss and gave me a timeframe to call him. I’m trying to figure out how to prepare for this call because it doesn’t really sound like an interview, but should I prepare for it like a normal interview? What are some things I should be ready to discuss? I already know the salary I would ask for so I’m prepared with that. I also think he is going to want to tell my current boss that he is discussing this opportunity with me (since they are sort of connected). Any advice?

    • Yes, I would treat it like an interview, but one where it is clear they already really want you.

      The fact that you work in a nearby group is in your favor, as you clearly understand the basic environment. I would focus on questions about the scope of the position, your collaborators, your career path options with this new group, and your own personal goals. If there are things you like about your current position that you don’t want to sacrifice, be ready to include those as perks you would like in the new position.

      What a nice thing for you. Congrats! And kudos for keeping such important past contacts and reminding us all why it is important never to burn bridges.

      • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments! It is a good lesson to keep up with old contacts because I had lunch with this person a few months ago after not seeing him for a few years.

  23. Is there a downside to refinancing federal student loans? I have $116k at 6.25%. I know the most common downside is that you lose forbearance, but a couple companies I’ve looked at offer some form of that.

    I’m getting married and we really want the loans gone for our financial health as a couple, so the plan is to live mostly off his salary while I throw 80% of mine at my loans with the hopes of them being gone in 18-24 months. Does this sound like a good plan or are we missing something? (If needed, he could support us completely on his salary – not ideal, but doable in a pinch.)

    • You also lose any public interest or low income repayment benefits. I worked to aggressively pay down (and then off) my student loans when in BigLaw, but did not refinance because I wanted to maintain the public interest repayment option if I went in to government before they were gone.

      Also, I think you lose the ability to discharge the loans in bankruptcy if you become disabled, but would need to double-check to confirm.

      • Assuming you have a solid emergency fund already, your plan sounds good. One other factor to consider is whether the loss of repayment options, etc. is worth the little bit you would save in interest given your short payoff window

    • Income based repayment and discharge upon death are the two main things that have kept me from refinancing

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        This, though I think I recall some of the refinancers do have discharge upon death, so look in to it. My compromise on the downsides was refinancing half my loans.

    • new job who dis :

      Someone mentioned it above – but if you are able to throw mad-money at the loans (while living on partner’s income) then it might make sense to keep those federal safety protections and stay put. do the math and see if the interest-savings of refinancing is worth peace of mind.

      it also depends on your/spouse’s risk-aversion too. Even though Sofi, et. al. may offer forbearance options, their safety net is going to be nowhere near the federal benefits. you never know what’s going to happen with jobs/economy/health/life

      Good luck! I’m at 122k all-federal and trying to do the same thing as you ! I’ve been looking into First Republic refi but trying to get my credit/liquidity as high as possible.

    • Nerfmobile :

      One suggestion – for the first couple of months while you are trying this loan repayment plan – don’t put it into the loan. Set up a separate, hard to get to savings account and dump the money in there. Once you have built up a few months of cushion, re-evaluate the budget and see how realistic it is. Tweak whatever you need to, then keep the savings and start putting your new budgeted amount into the loan. If you end up needing the savings for an emergency, you have it. If you don’t need to dip into it, then you can use it to make a lump payment at the end of the loan and go out with a splash.

  24. Where can I learn about the stock market 101? Podcast, blog, book? I know very little and want to understand more about why the Dow Jones falling is problematic, what that means for businesses and employees, etc. I was reading about how there’s a new person leading the Fed and they may raise interest rates to cool down the economy, and I quickly realized there are many concepts completely foreign to me.

    • I think a macroeconomics course on Coursera would give you a good understanding of the levers, so to speak. I never understood the interest rates bit until I took an actual class.

    • I would check out the Wall Street Journal Guide to Money and Investing. It’s very helpful, is under $10 and is just what you are seeking. If there’s a topic you want to dive into more thoroughly, you can.

    • You can also subscribe to daily e-mail newsletters. Finimize is a good one that explains things on a relatively basic level and makes that “why does this event matter” connection. Morning Brew is another one I subscribe to that goes a little more in depth. Both can be read in under 5 minutes.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      While it’s not a 101, I like the Marketplace program on NPR. They’ll usually do short explanations on why the market is up or down, what it means in practical terms, etc., so you’ll pick up some things.

    • anon a mouse :

      Bogleheads Guide to Investing.

      Also Economics in Plain English (Silk) is a classic for a reason.

    • Listen to Marketplace.

  25. Sadly, the “motivated seller” of the house I was interested in was only motivated to get full price. Both of my offers (for what the house was really worth) were rejected. Waiting to see if she changes her mind, or if a better house comes along. I’m fairly certain that there will be more out there after Mardi Gras.

  26. Recommendations for a water resistant cross body bag for traveling? I want to look chic but I don’t want my map and guidebook to get ruined if I get caught in a downpour. I’d prefer a bag that has a zippered interior pocket large enough to hold a small wallet (to deter pickpockets). Thanks!

    • Tacking on this, is the Fjallraven tote bag no. 1 good for traveling? It looks like it might be and I think it’s lightly water resistant. I’m looking for a bag too, although water resistance isn’t a big factor for me.

      I had the Sherpani Sojourn tote from REI would have fit the bill, but it lacks an interior zipper pocket. You might want to check to see if they’ve changed the design, though.

    • ebags had a really cute one by Travelon yesterday that was nylon in its Deals of the Day.

    • I bought a Kate Spade cross body bag and a Travelon cross body bag from Amazon before our honeymoon last fall. We spent a couple of days in NYC before our flight to Europe. We weren’t ever in a downpour but were in some rain in NYC the first day. I ended up only using the Kate Spade because it fit my body better. Had I bought a smaller Travelon, I would have used that as well. Both had interior pockets (Kate Spade was not zippered however) and the Travelon had significant anti-theft protections. The Kate Spade leather held up perfectly in the wet weather in NYC and none of my items inside got damp or wet. I found that keeping my hand on the top of the Kate Spade over the zipper in crowded areas was more than enough to make me feel safe from pickpockets.

    • Lo and Sons Pearl in saffiano leather. I’ve used it in Brazil, Germany, Italy, and lots of major US cities. The saffiano makes it indestructable, and the size is perfect for both day trips and evening.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m obsessed with my travelon (see link below). I think it’s the perfect size for guide books, bottle of water, a few small souvenirs, etc. I’ve taken this thing all over Europe and it’s a tank – highly recommend. It’s nylon, which makes it lighter weight than leather and it’s still waterproof. I’m not sure I consider it “chic”, but I think it looks less like a travel purse than others. It has some great security features that I like to (you can lock some of the zippers), which is a huge plus in some really crowded locations (like the El Rastro flea market in Madrid).

  27. Wool sweater/activewear :

    I have a trip to Europe coming up this spring and I’d like to find a merino wool sweater (zip or half-zip preferable) since I’m packing light and I find that it doesn’t hold odors. I want something more activity-oriented since we’ll be hiking, but that still looks nice enough for dinner out. Does this mythical sweater exist?

    • A zipper sweater? You mean like a coat?

    • try icebreaker. They have cute basics in merino wool.

      • IceBreaker or SmartWool. I’ve had REALLY good luck for these types of things on Sierra Trading Post online.

        • +1 I have a couple of these, and find them acceptable for eating out while traveling if needed, and I wear them hiking all the time. Check other websites for sales though.


    • Can you wear men’s sizes? You’re going to find a lot more half zips there. I just googled and saw one on J Crew Factory.

      For full zips I’d be scouting eBay because those were more in style a few years ago. Id also check woollovers.

    • christineispink :

      Glowing Sky! It’s a NZ company and we bought a TON of stuff while there on our honeymoon and the saleslady said they have free shipping worldwide on orders over $200 (if you bought 2 items or 1 sweater and some tights you could reach that). It was recommended to us by the 40+ year ship captain on our overnight boat trip.

    • smartwool/patagonia.

      OR, an icelandic sweater! super weatherproof/appropriate, but chic enough for dinner!

  28. If you haven’t been following this, Republicans in the House have their eye on IBR, according to a piece in the WSJ this weekend that the relevant House committee re-blogged: https://edworkforce.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=402444

    “U.S. officials have long maintained the federal government would make a profit on its $1.4 trillion student loan portfolio or at least break even, but two recent reports suggest just the opposite will be the case. Government lending to college and graduate students could soon become an immense drain on federal coffers, worsening an already deteriorating U.S. budget picture.” –wait, I thought tax reform was supposed to bring in billions of dollars in revenue and Make the U.S. Budget Great Again – did I get that wrong?

    “Perhaps the biggest factor is a surge in borrowers enrolling in income-driven repayment. The plans, created by Congress in the 1990s and 2000s, are designed to help the neediest, for example those in low-paying jobs. They’re also helping borrowers who went to pricey, prestigious schools and now work in white-collar jobs.” –Right, so, when people go to COLLEGE, the goal is a white-collar job.

    I just cannot with conservative rhetoric these days.

    • That last quote is mind boggling. The plans are designed to help those in low-paying jobs. Which is what they do. The fact that some of those low-paying jobs are “white-collar” means what exactly? If you want to teach high school in a low income area you shouldn’t have gone to Harvard? Because those kids don’t deserve teachers who went to “pricey, prestigious schools”???

    • OTOH, this just seems to get people to over-consume.

      I couldn’t have afforded expensive private colleges, so I went to state U. But had I factored in IBR, I would have way overspent on education that wouldn’t be needed for the jobs I actually got. It encourages people to buy a Cadillac that they won’t have to pay for b/c of IBR when a Honda Civic would do.

      The entry-level hires came from pricey schools (with all sorts of nonsense — lazy river at your dorm? fancier fitness centers than we have in real life?) and now that they have loans, they are awful. I think that IBR encourages overspending and encourages all colleges to spend in some sort of crazy amenity war that makes anyone with debt or having to pay full-freight having to pay for.

      • Anonattorney :

        Aren’t the lazy rivers at the state Us?

        • Yes. There are some state schools that are super concerned with keeping costs and tuition down but there are a lot of state schools that are trying to keep up with the private school Joneses.

        • They’re in both.

      • I agree with you. The rhetoric I see here (and elsewhere) among the upper middle class folks with student loans is to “stay on IBR, live your life, invest, spend, consume, and eventually your balance will be forgiven.” I think that is horrendous advice. If you can afford to pay off your loans, you should. Being debt free brings immense peace, and who knows WHAT the government will decide to do in 20 years? We’re on track for billions of dollars of “forgiveness” (don’t forget about the tax bombs with IBR). Pay them off. We’ll all be better for it. Having scraped and pinched and sacrificed to pay mine off ($1500 left to go out of $155,000), I don’t want to pay yours as a taxpayer.

    • I am glad this reform is being discussed, and “I just cannot” with snotty liberal condescension.

      The problems with public interest loan forgiveness have been discussed at length by both conservatives and liberals. The initial idea was that (for example) even a student who went to a cheap state law school would be unable to afford to be a prosecutor or public defender. Now, three things have happened:
      1. Students interested in public service no longer have an incentive to save money on their educations because their cost is the same regardless. (I once spoke to a woman who encouraged her son to go to UC Berkeley for law school, full price, and turn down a full ride at UC Davis because of the loan forgiveness. She said it wasn’t in his best interests to save money when the taxpayers would pay for it.)
      2. The definitions of public service can be overinclusive. There was a discussion about the incorporation statuses of hospitals making the difference as to whether or not administrators – paid the same at for-profit and not-for-profit – would be able to get loan forgiveness.)
      3. Schools have little incentive to keep costs low.

      It’s a mess. The nuances and specifics of any reform are certainly up for legitimate debate, but the need for reform is not.

      • Agree that reform is needed. I like the European model where they make university free for everyone and just tax higher incomes more.

      • But don’t we want highly-educated/competent people to go into public service? UC Berkeley is a better school, by far, than UC Davis. Are you saying that all public interest people should have to go to lesser-rank/less expensive schools, while people destined for consulting, i-banking and medicine should go to the higher-ranked, more expensive schools?

        We don’t pay public sector employees like teachers enough. This is a way to even that out. If you get rid of IBR/loan forgiveness, even fewer qualified, highly intelligent people will go into public service.

      • I agree with your point #3 and that overall reform is worth discussing, but you are conflating IBR and public service loan forgiveness. IBR calibrates loan payments to income without reducing your overall obligation. (PSLF could help after 10 years, but IBR is available to everyone.) Aiming at IBR alone will just accelerate the looming student debt crisis.

    • Won’t be crying any tears if they get rid of this altogether. Reality is I don’t want to pay anyone else’s student loans — I’m paying mine and went in knowing how much I’d need to make to pay them. I don’t particularly care if your life’s dream is to be a prosecutor or jail warden or whatever — find a dream you can pay off on your own. “I can’t even” (when is that phrase going to die) with liberals who want everything handed to them.

      • I can’t even with with conservative trolls.

        • I’m as socially liberal as they come, but fiscal prudence is fiscal prudence. As a public defender, yes a PUBLIC DEFENDER, who has paid off my own loans as an independent contractor/appointed counsel in MA (no six figure income here) in four years by, OMG, *sacrificing* lifestyle, you need to STFU. Grow up, and pay your own damn loans.

      • several classmates from law school (2013) absolutely knew they wanted to go into public service/low income work, never wanted to work for high-roller private firms, and drew full-tilt student loans (tuition, living expenses, never working through school) knowing that after 10/20 years in their jobs the balance would be forgiven.

        it does sting a little to know that the only option I have is to pay back my share in full. and I ain’t a high-roller that’s for sure.

    • I’m very liberal, but I think the system needs reform. A young person needs to weight the costs and benefits of a specific college before taking on that level of debt, and this discourages that. In addition, I really believe it has contributed to the rise in college costs.

      I’m more accepting of the public-interest repayment programs, but I think those are being abused also. The definition of “public interest” is too broad. The fact that it doesn’t take in to account assets and the fact that your whole husband/wife’s salary is not considered is crazy!!! I know people who have brought homes at over a $1 million that are on public interest repayment. This is not what it is designed for

      • Anonattorney :

        Isn’t the point of public-interest loan forgiveness to incentivize people to go into public interest positions? It’s not income-based repayment. And sure, as with any program like this there are people who abuse it. But the vast majority of people who attended my law school and ended up doing these programs are not abusing the system; work extremely hard in legal jobs that pay $35,000 a year; and provide services that are ABSOLUTELY necessary. Thank god for public interest loan forgiveness.

        • I disagree with the point of the program – it is not to incentivize people to go in to public interest, it is to make it financially possible for people who want to do public interest to do so.

          For the 35K a year public interest job, I agree it can be absolutely necessary. But if that person also has a multi-million dollar trust fund or a spouse making a couple hundred thousand a year, it is no longer necessary

      • It absolutely does take your spouse’s salary into account if you’re married and filing taxes jointly. My PSLF IBR payments tripled when I got married. If you file separately, spouse’s salary isn’t taken into account, but there are other tax implications.

        • Anonymous :

          Curious – since your payments tripled, will you have anything left to be forgiven after ten years?

          • Anonymous :

            Yes. I was making very small payments on an extremely low income for years before I got married (long story short – I am in an oversaturated market for my field, but I needed to move here for family reasons, I feel fortunate to have even found a job in my field). I’ll probably end up paying back an amount around the cost of school but not the interest.

        • Yes, but everyone I know on PSLF pays taxes separately because the small increase in their tax bill is less then the increase in their student loan payments would be. I don’t believe that should be permitted. If you are married, both spouses incomes should be considered. I know dozen of couples where I person is a biglaw senior associate/partner or high up in-house, and the other is in a public interest position – and they get PSLF. That’s crazy. If your household income is $300k, you shouldn’t be getting a handout from the government

          • Anonymous :

            +1. And to the “public interest” people who do this, you’re only interested in serving yourself and maintaining your privilege. You don’t belong in public service.

          • Anonymous :

            I completely agree with your final sentence, but I think the problem is that your friends are gaming the system, not the idea of income based repayment. Lots of wealthy people legally take advantage of loopholes in the tax code and pay a lower rate than the average middle class American, which I think is very wrong, but it means the loopholes should be closed, not that we should do away with taxes.

          • To the anno at 3:35, I agree. That is why I said the system needs reform. I do think it serves a necessary and legitimate purpose, but there are far too many well-known loopholes that are not closed.

  29. I love this jacket!

  30. So I really need some advice from successful women.

    I love my current job, but, and it’s major, I am not fairly compensated. Do not get me wrong, I get paid well, have great benefits, but I am doing much more and higher quality work than my colleagues who are getting paid more than I am. This has not gone unnoticed, as my boss has told me on multiple occasions that he believes I deserve a promotion and is trying to make it happen. The major caveat here is that I am in government, so creating positions that do not exist, especially in today’s environment, can be difficult. Most recently he told me he knows he sounds like a broken record, values me, knows I deserve this, knows I have other opportunities, and has conveyed this to his boss who has agreed they will put in for a promotion – it is just going to be a month or so. I told him it is difficult to believe him and there are other opportunities.

    How long do I wait? Do I apply for other jobs to let them know I am serious? I love this job, would love a promotion, but also feel as if I am being taken advantage of. What should my next move be?

    • Having worked in and around government for years…are you sure it’s that you’re not fairly compensated or is it that you were hired for a lower pay band that just is what it is? It’s often the case in government that a department is authorized 3 widget makers, 2 widget inspectors, and 1 widget supervisor…and that’s all there is. It’s not active discrimination or an insult, it’s simply that when you’re hired as a widget maker, even if you’re doing widget inspector work, sometimes there just isn’t money, the end. The bureaucratic tape to get a new position created can be extensive. If you love the job, stay there because you love it and understand that a promotion may only open up when a widget inspector leaves.

    • The thing about government is that pay isn’t usually determined by who is the best performer. It has a lot more to do with what pay band you were hired into and how long you have been with the organization. It’s why there’s a bit of a stereotype of government workers being lazy, because there’s little motivation to work your a$$ off when it won’t be rewarded the same way it would be rewarded by most private companies. The flip side of that is that most things other than pay are really great in government jobs. For people (me included) who want an interesting 9-5 job with nice colleagues and good benefits and are willing to sacrifice salary to get those things, it can be a great place to work.

      You can certainly try to get another offer and use it as a negotiating tool but I doubt it will work. The people above you know that nobody goes to the government for the pay and they won’t try to match salaries from private corporations. I don’t think you’re being “taken advantage of” but the bottom line is if you’re not happy with your job because of your salary, it’s worth looking for a new job because it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.

    • I could have written this post about myself. I work in government too and there is a huge pay disparity in my office based upon years of experience even though that doesn’t translate into the type of work we do. I work on far more complex, high-profile projects than colleagues with far more years of experience for far less money. I’ve been able to get promotions and merit increases, but that only does so much. I still make $40K less than some people just because they have been around longer. Honestly, it’s really tough in government. I was just approached about another job and that’s why I’m considering it even though I do like my current job.

    • I doubt that you’re being taken advantage of by any one person – your manager is likely sincere, but in general this kind of thing for government jobs is pretty fixed, and if it’s possible to change it, will take a long time. At least, that’s my experience as a manager in a similar environment.

    • I am you. Except, I’ve been waiting for more than a year. My boss tried to get it done before the election… no dice… now there’s no hiring at all at my agency.

      I make peace with it knowing that I really, really like my work. And the benefits are amazing. And I am much more likely to not work overtime or extra hours for free — I leave on time, so I have great work/life balance. And I don’t really want to lose all that.

      You’re talking about waiting a few months? Be patient.

    • Horse Crazy :

      I’m in government too, and I agree with all the above posts. It’s all about how much you made when you were first hired – it’s so hard to move up from that. Our management can only offer so much – I know it’s not their fault, but it’s pretty hard to not get bitter after a while. I’m in the same situation with the “we value you, you’re important” stuff, and I’m pretty over it, so I’m starting to look for other jobs.

    • cake batter :

      I’m in government and waited a year for a raise/promotion and got neither. The whole year, I was actively job searching and interviewing but kept hoping that my employer who loved me so much would get its *ish together to try and keep me. Didn’t happen, so I eventually left for another government job. The “we love you, we value you” routine only goes so far when they don’t put their money where their mouth is.

  31. New job needed :

    I posted yesterday about feeling depressed about hating my job and not having prospects at the moment. First, thanks for listening to me vent, and thanks for the feedback. Someone mentioned taking time off to recharge. Great idea! Well, listen to this doozy. Not me, but my coworker who is going through the same thing, asked to take 4 days off in a few weeks. Our employment contracts give us 12 days off per year that don’t roll over- pretty generous for small law but this is literally our only benefit. Boss denies her request because it’s only Feb, therefore she has not “accrued” enough days off. Apparently, we have a secret policy where we accrue one vacay day a month, and then lose all unused days at the end of the year. This has NEVER been communicated to us and IMO makes no sense! Normal?

    • The policy doesn’t strike me as unusual, but not knowing seems abnormal. I’m familiar with vacation days working this way because people talk about it all the time as they make plans. I guess everyone knows now!

    • It’s odd that it was not communicated to you, but accruing one day per month is perfectly standard. The use-it-or-lose it all policy is a bit harsh (most employers will let you roll over at least a percentage of your accrued time), especially since the combination of the slow accrual and use-it-or-lose it effectively prevents you from taking a week off any time from January to May and effectively forces you to take time off in November/December or waste your vacation days.

    • It’s normal to accrue vacation days, but it’s not normal to not let you use them until you’ve accrued them all! At my job where we had this policy, we were approved to take vacation days we hadn’t “earned yet” but if we quit our jobs before accruing that time, we would have had to pay it back.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      It’s pretty normal to accrue days, it’s a little odd to have everything expire at once (I guess you have to use the day accrued in December in December?) Not knowing the policy is super weird. We have 16 days of sick/vacation and accrue that over the year. It expires on your anniversary date but you can carry something like a total 5 days over.

    • At my last job, we accrued over time and also lost everything at the end of the year. Where I work now, we accrue, but can roll over certain amounts from year-to-year.

      The policy is normal, but not communicating it is terrible management.

      • +1. This is the way my husband’s leave works. It accrues gradually over the course of the year, but he loses it all at the end of the year. But everyone knows how it works.

    • Different anon :

      My workplace lets you borrow days beyond what you have accrued, with the understanding that if you leave before they actually accrue they dock your last paycheck for the difference. Basically, they retroactively turn into unpaid time off.

      • Anonymous :

        This is exactly what my workplace does. Plus, we are allowed to roll over 3 days. The problem with OP’s boss’s policy is that everyone ends up taking time off at the same time at the end of the year.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Usually you can borrow against with accrual methods. You can take a two week vacation in February, go into a negative balance and make that back up throughout the year. It is to avoid the employer having to pay any money out if you quit.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve worked for several employers (big corporations with decent benefits in general) that don’t let you take the time until it’s actually accrued. Letting you borrow time in advance is really nice, but not at all universal IME.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I don’t understand how that works if you lose it all at year end. You would never have enough to have a vacation in the first half of a year.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, that part is strange to me. It seems like it would encourage everyone to take their vacation at roughly the same time, which you would think is bad for the employer. Everywhere I’ve ever worked has let you accrue a year’s worth of vacation time.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, the combination of lose all your accrued days at the end of the year + not being able to borrow seems really harsh and like it would lead to everyone requesting time off at the same time. Then, either everyone is gone at the same time and nothing gets done at the end of the year, or some people’s end-of-year vacation requests are denied, and the vacation days aren’t really there for everyone to use.

    • Monthly accural is not uncommon. Losing unused days is also not uncommon but I’ve always heard of it as an accural cap, basically so that no one tries to take two months of vacation by building up days. Most common cap is 10 or 15 days and then you can’t accrue more/oldest days expire.

    • If you are in CA, lose it is unlawful (unless you work in a very small firm).

  32. In need of a business casual blazer in the $100-150 range. I’m a short-waisted size 12 with 36G bust. What stores/brands do you recommend? Bonus points for something that can be worn year-round or close to it.

    • Check Talbots – esp if you have a store near you because their sale right now is great. Their blazers run busty IMO.

    • Talbots – try the petite version if you can try in store- I’m 5′ 5″ and find the petite ends up with the waist in the right Place. Also Loft

    • Third rec for Talbots. We are the same bust size, and I love their blazers. I recently bought the stand-collar shetland blazer and the ponte knit blazer – they are both great!

  33. Sweatpants Needed :

    Looking for recommendations on good quality sweatpants. I have a few pairs from Gap, Nordstrom and Victoria Secret, but they just don’t hold up well (get holes, pill) after less than a year. I generally prefer the jogger style with banded bottoms.


  34. Alert! MMLF has new suiting! Mostly for preorder, but this is not a drill…

  35. What do you think gives you the most bang for your proverbial buck on looking more polished and stylish? I have very little time or energy to spend on my appearance, but I’d like to step it up a bit. I have a small wardrobe of comfortable, well-fitting work clothes, but they are pretty basic. I rarely wear jewelry or much makeup. Hair is long and wavy and looks best with at least a cursory blow-out, and I almost always wear it in a low pony tail because I hate having hair in my face. Shoes are boring comfort wedges due to problematic feet. I’m at the higher end of “regular” sizes, apple-shaped, and short so finding clothes that fit me is a challenge. When I find something that works I tend to buy multiples. My budget is flexible but not unlimited. Where should I focus my energies? (Assume I can’t get to a salon for any type of service more than twice a year.)

    • For your face: I find brows, mascara and (especially bold) lipstick make the most impact. I would think a routine of BB/CC cream, some cream blush, brows, mascara, and colourful lipstick would add 5 minutes to your day but really brighten your face.

      For your hair: Consider blowing out your hair at the beginning of the week and using a volumizing dry shampoo (BB’s pret a powder is pricey but the best I’ve tried) to extend the style.

      For your wardrobe: I have the same approach as you to my work wardrobe and love adding colourful scarves and shoes to otherwise basic outfits.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with all of this. I don’t really wear scarves, but in terms of the wardrobe, consider getting a few fun necklaces to rotate through your wardrobe or splurge on one nicer necklace that you love and will wear with everything.

    • Buy silk scarves in patterns that go with your work basics. Buy a couple of patterned tops, same idea.

      A strand of white pearls adds a lot of polish. Perhaps focus on getting some real jewelry for upcoming gifts/milestones etc. Classic larger pearl studs (9mm) and diamond/CZ studs (1 ct total weight) add polish.

      I get the most bang for my buck with lipstick and mascara, makeup-wise.

    • Makeup and hair, hands down.

      Makeup (takes 4 minutes flat): minimal eyeliner on top lash line, mascara, BB/CC cream/tinted moisturizer, pressed powder (must apply with a brush where you kind of stipple it onto your face; this makes a HUGE difference; go to Sephora and ask them to show you), blush

      Hair: Lose the low ponytails! This site has a post from 2015 titled 12 Easy Updos for the Office. Try a couple of the styles on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon and then pick one to wear that week. Repeat until you’ve gotten comfortable with a couple new styles that look a little more polished.

      I would also add some simple jewelry. Find some gold, pearl, or CZ stud earrings that you wear every day. Add a delicate gold necklace and you’re all set.

      Your clothes and shoes sound perfectly polished (and similar to what I wear). I’ve found that makeup, hair, and jewelry is what ends up making the difference in whether I look “polished” or not.

    • The one time I had my eye brows shaped by a professional, I walked around for a month thinking I somehow looked better and more put together and couldn’t figure out why. I haven’t done it since, but it’s easy enough to keep up yourself if you do it a few times a year even. Now, I find a little eyebrow pencil, BB cream, and lip balm makes a big difference.

    • Thanks everyone!

  36. How does Athleta’s sizing run, especially in the leggings and tops? I’m interested in buying some pieces after seeing all of the rave reviews here. Are there any particular items you would recommend?

    • I’ve found their leggings true to size. I wear a medium basically everywhere I buy these kinds of things (Old Navy, Target, Zella) and the medium fits me well at Athleta.

    • I would say it runs true to size or even a little big. I am usually a large most places, but will go a M or L at Athleta, depending on the style and how I want it to fit.

    • Athleta tends to run large, especially in the less fitted tops, but the sizing isn’t consistent across styles so I usually have to try everything on.

    • givemyregards :

      +1 to trying everything on because the sizing in tops is not always consistent, and might vary based on your personal preferences for how everything fits. I have one top from them in a small, and another in a large because I though the cut was more flattering with more drape. Their leggings fit true to size for me, but I size up from my jeans size for hiking/travel pants because I don’t want those skin tight.

    • Anonymous :

      Agree on TTS. LOVE the Chi tops for working out.

    • Anonymous :

      Athlete runs large.

    • I find it runs between TTS for mall brands and a bit large. I’m 5’9″ and 150 lbs. Muscular thighs, small butt. I wear a small in their leggings. I don’t have any of their tops. I have returned items to them if they didn’t fit right, even after working out in them, so you do have that option.

  37. Anon for this :

    I’m a first year associate having trouble with a fifth year associate. She is known for being difficult and hostile in the office. I’ve seen her yell at a partner and storm out of his office, and she regularly makes fun of associates (which frequently includes me). I know because she does so when talking to the partner across the hall from me, and we have glass offices (the door was also open). She complains about everyone she works with, but I know I am a frequent subject of her complaints. She says I’m needy, annoying, clueless, etc. My errors are frequent of a first year–not saving things in the right spot, not knowing who the client is, or being unfamiliar with a substantive issue. But I am extremely self-reflective and I go to great lengths to never repeat a mistake. Fwiw, everyone else likes working with me and I get positive feedback about my work quality. I hear it from several of the people she complains to about me, but she has also told me that she complains about me (ex: “I was telling X about how you annoy the sh*t out of me and she reminded me I was an annoying first year too.”)

    She works odd hours, generally noon-1am. She frequently makes me work late nights waiting for her feedback. Something will be due on Tuesday, and she will tell me she will review my work that day. I’ll wait in the office all night Tuesday and then receive an email at 1am telling me she wont get to it until tomorrow, making me email the partner asking for an extension. I would understand this if she was busy, but she’s not busy. She watches TV episodes in her office and comes to talk with my neighbor for long personal conversations.

    My strategy thus far has to be extremely deferential and accommodating, but I think this has only resulted in her getting meaner (maybe because she thinks she can get away with it?). She’s started rejecting my calls about work and then taking then coming to my neighbor’s office to talk about tv, ignoring me in the hallway, ending a conversation (about work) when I’m mid-sentence by rolling her eyes and walking out of my office, complaining loudly about me when I’m in earshot.

    I talked to our professional development leader (the one that trained us and got us situated) and his advice was to invite her to lunch and say what exactly is your issue with me, you’re being disrespectful and we need to figure out a way to work together. He cautioned that I should be deferential to partners but not to associates (only respectful) because otherwise I’d get trampled. His advice seems extreme, but my approach clearly isn’t working. Does anyone have advice for how to handle this? There are no partners in the group I trust to discuss this with. One partner is her confidant and the person she goes to to complain about people, and the only other partner that works with her would think I’m wasting his time (he’s a rainmaker, not a manager). The other partners in the group refuse to work with her and would likely escalate this in their favor to rehash their earlier tensions.

    • Yeah I agree with your coach. You need to stand up for yourself. She’s not going to suddenly stop beating you when you essentially say more, please when she’s beating you now.

      Don’t go back on an older situation but do say something like “there is no need to speak to me like that” next time she’s out of line.

      I disagree with the lunch advice. You two are not going to be besties, and that would be a mistake anyway even if you could become friends. Just be competently professional, calm and accommodating, but know where the line is and call her out every time if she crosses it.

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh. This sounds awful. I am not a fan of the “big confrontation” sit downs until trying other options. Is not working with her anymore an option? If not, try pushing back in smaller ways, like addressing her bad behavior when it happens in a lighthearted way. E.g., She says something mean to you, you respond, “well, that wasn’t nice” and immediately move on. Only deal with her via email to create a paper trail of her bad behavior. E.g., after the 1 am email, respond, “OK. I stayed late to get your feedback because you indicated you would get to it today, but I’ll look for it tomorrow.” Then when you ask the partner for an extension, forward him that email chain so that he can see (1) it was not your fault, and (2) her unprofessional behavior. She will probably hate you for that, but you’ve got to stand up for yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, I would make sure you are copying the partner when you send it to her for review. Unless it’s an assignment that came up last minute, I’d also make sure you send it to her well in advance of the deadline knowing that she isn’t going to turn anything same-day. Her late hours may be odd, but you know them, so get her something she can review Monday at midnight so you have comments by Tuesday morning (sooner would be ideal if you’re expecting a lot of changes). Update the partner on the due date to let him know you’re ready to turn the document once you receive her comments. When you then receive her “will do it Wednesday” email, forward that to the partner when you make your extension request. She will hate you as other Anon said, but you’ve got to CYA to show the partner that you gave her plenty of time to review it and she’s the hold up.

    • lawsuited :

      I wouldn’t take her out to lunch for a heart-to-heart, but I would forward her email saying she won’t review your work by the deadline to the partner when you’re asking the partner for an extension so that they understand what is happening and can take whatever action they see fit.

    • Don’t take her to lunch.

      Stop getting upset that she’s being a jerk. She’s being a jerk and trying to posture (likely to be considered one of the boys.) Push back a little bit. I honestly can picture one of my colleagues acting like this–not a bad person, just kind of a brash personality/really frank/came from a household with a bunch of brothers/chip on her shoulder. Good responses:

      -raised eyebrows and silence
      -Are you finished?
      -just laugh/shake your head. not in a mean way, like, “what is wrong with you?” when she’s being a d ! ck
      -when she complains about you to third parties when you’re present, “luckily, i continue to beg to work for Mean Associate, and so far it’s worked out.”
      “good talk” (change subject)
      “can’t wait.” (change subject)
      -leave after a certain time and tell her to email you the edits. Turn them around before she gets in.
      -forward her emails to the partner. “please see below. i anticipate having a final draft to you by x date, after associate has reviewed.”

    • Fourth year :

      Apologies in advance for the stream of consciousness….

      I was once a first year dealing with a fourth year like this (and I’m now a fourth year whose path still crosses the seventh year’s sometimes! Ugh Biglaw). Do not be deferential to her. She will absolutely take advantage of it and make your life even worse. Your goal isn’t to make her like you (she’s not a quality person, so there’s no use in having her on your side). Your goal is to CYA with her and dazzle her superiors, so she’s unsuccessful when she tries to throw you under the bus.

      In the short term, look for opportunities to put things in writing whenever it isn’t awkward to do so (“Jill, Just to clarify that memo we talked about this morning, are you looking for X or Y? I think that X is better for Z reasons and I plan to have X ready for your review Wednesday afternoon, but just let me know if I should change course.”) and cc the supervising attorneys whenever you can but in a way that they don’t have to respond (“Steve, I’m cc’ing you because I know this research impacts A and I realize that the deadline for A may have changed given B. If I should make any adjustments in light of B, please let me know.”). Try to reply to the same e-mail thread rather than starting a fresh email when discussing the same assignment with her so all of her delayed responses, contradictory instructions, and requests for extensions are in the same place. When she tells you to ask the partner for an extension, forward that email to the partner, cc her, and add the request to the top of the thread. Phrase your emails to her in such a way that the default favors you but is still in line with your practice group’s custom (“Jill, Here’s X for your review. I plan to be up until 10:00 pm, but if you anticipate needing me to be available later to incorporate your feedback just let me know.”) (but if the other junior associates in your group are pulling all-nighters, don’t draw that favorable of a line).

      In the long term, look for opportunities to work directly under the partners who value her and knock their socks off. Her negative feedback is only as strong as the voice behind it (and her voice in the firm sounds pretty weak if she’s almost universally disliked). If the partners who are her sounding boards for her criticisms of you find her criticisms baseless, they won’t pass them along to others. And the fact that she’s having issues with a wonderful junior associate like yourself will only reflect worse upon her!

      You might find that she treats you better once she realizes that you’re taking steps to CYA and there are now more consequences to her actions. Even if she doesn’t treat you better, stay the course and don’t make things personal. I wouldn’t send an email stating that you stayed up late to incorporate her feedback that never arrived or tell her that she shouldn’t speak to you in a certain tone. I’d be very professional and accommodate her in the same way that you’d accommodate any other fifth-year associate. Stay that course, set reasonable expectations in line with your firm’s culture, and when she crosses a line do your best to make sure that those above her know about it.

      • +1 as another junior who dealt with a senior for about that same seniority differential for four years. I’ve now left the firm and am very happy in house and still have terrible memories of that woman. CYA, do your best not to work with her, and try to get to the partners directly. Good luck.

    • Anonymous :

      The professional development dude is clueless. Don’t do that. Honestly it might be good to have her like you as much as possible till the opportunity arises to successfully throw her under the bus. She’s at war with you. Never trust her. Also, the partner that likes her likes her and won’t take kindly if you don’t get along with her. Some partners like hunger game situations or they just don’t care. Agree you need to just CYA, be guarded, do the best work possible, not obsess and try to work for others. Try to get the clients to like you better – clients usually hate a tool like that.

  38. MM La Fleur Locations? :

    I’m traveling to New York and want to schedule an appointment at MM LaFleur. It looks like both locations will be pretty easy for me to get to. I’m trying to decide which studio to make an appointment at, so I’m wondering – are they both roughly the same, or is one any better than the other?

    • I haven’t been to both so I can’t make a comparison but I did go to the Bryant Park location while on a business trip and had a good experience there.

      The fitting rooms are just curtains and you’re right next to whomever is having an appointment at the same time, but you have your own full length mirror outside the curtain, and your own stylist, and a rack of clothing pulled just for you. My stylist pulled a lot more after my initial try-on and the things I ended up buying were all from the second or third pull, as stylist started to “get” me.

    • christineispink :

      My first appointment is tomorrow at Bryant Park and I’m super-excited. I own 4-5 dresses, 3 jardigans, and 1-2 tops. Really want some pants.

  39. Can any of the SF ladies recommend a place that will deliver (same day) vegan desserts? Brownies, cookies, cupcakes, etc are all fine as long as they’re vegan. Hayes Valley is the delivery area if it matters. TIA :)

    • Anonymous :

      you can try to postmates/caviar/whatever something from judahlicious

    • Anonymous :

      I know the Palo Alto Sprinkles Cupcakes will deliver to SF and they have excellent vegan red velvet cupcakes (I’m not vegan and generally despise vegan desserts but these are really good).

  40. Can anyone recommend a good long cardigan for work? I’d like something that is sort of an alternative to a blazer to throw over dresses and tops for our cold office. Machine washable preferred. I would like something that is elegant. I really liked the Ono from MM LaFleur, but don’t want to spend $200.

    • Anonymous :

      These are jersey, but I love them (and they are on sale)!


      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, it looks like only two colors in certain sizes are on sale. But even regular priced they are less than the MMLF

  41. Sloan Sabbith :

    Challenge Post

    Today’s Challenge: Clashing Colors

    Whereas our “Shades Of…” challenge involved analogous colors for a calming effect, this one is going to be a bit more challenging for you: put two colors that are contrasting, aka clashing. (The technical term is complementary, which I find a mite confusing.) We already did this a bit with red and blue; another favorite combo here is purple and olive. You can also pair olive and cobalt, pink and red, purple and red, mustard and burgundy, or others for a fun play on this. For a bit of a challenge, try adding a darker or lighter shade of one of your colors (e.g. olive pants, lavender cardigan, deep purple camisole) — or for even more of a challenge add a totally new third color (possibly in a triadic color scheme). As with our Day 1 challenge, a bridge piece can be great, so keep an eye out in your closet for prints and patterns that seem to have two clashing colors in them already, like the blouse in this work outfit from Putting Me Together. Remember: you can go big here (entire outfit!) or little (pink camisole under black cardigan with olive pants). The goal is to push your boundaries (and your closet!) and try out some new combinations.

    My first outfit was so perfect for this- I really felt like I was pushing my comfort level in a way that looked great. Grey and yellow leopard print shift dress from Gap, bright purple cardigan from Loft I picked up this weekend at Goodwill, black tights, black boots. But I quickly realized I could not breathe in the dress and that it had become too tight under the arms (I think because it was too tight over my stomach, it was riding up, it’s never been like this before). So, I had to change.

    Thirty five minutes and a lot of frustration later (and a number of additions to the donate pile), I came up with an outfit I like. Burgundy pants (if anyone is paying attention to my outfits, notice a trend- I like burgundy…), a dark coral scoop neck tank top with a diagonal seam down the front from Gap I got like 6 and a half years ago that’s held up remarkably well, and a Merona cheetah print cardigan with a cream base and the print in dark purple, coral, dark red, and brownish black, with black riding boots. I should have just worn a coral sweater and these pants, which is a combination I’ve worn a lot and know I like, but I like this combo, too.

    What are you wearing?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love this! I copied one of the inspiration pics (this one: http://corporette.com/splurge-mondays-tps-report-low-rise-skinny-leg-wool-pants/?awt_m=3iCXATyrSKV3ULm&awt_l=7N9ve ) and am wearing my fuschia BF pants, navy short sleeved lighweight sweater, and olive jacket. With Ted Baker black bag with a botanical photographic print that has all those colors in it. I am a happy camper today!

    • Sloan, as usual your outfit sounds amazing! I followed the advice from the post and picked a blouse with clashing colors (white with a floral in colors of teal, chartreuse, pink, burgundy and yellow) and am wearing burgundy pants and a pink sweater. Nude-for-me heels, gold pendant, gold drop earrings and a garnet ring. I am feeling pretty stylish today!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Thank you!

        I have decided burgundy is, for the most part, a neutral. I will wear it with almost anything. Jewel tones, other neutrals, leopard, bright shirts…

    • Anonymous :

      Bless her heart, Kat doesn’t understand words sometimes.

      “…contrasting, aka clashing. (The technical term is complementary, which I find a mite confusing.)”

      Complementary colors are those we were taught in school: red and green, purple and yellow, blue and orange. They are opposite each other on the color wheel because the primary color (red, blue, yellow) does not show up in the secondary color (green has yellow and blue but not red).

      Contrasting has nothing to do with being complementary. You can contrast in all kinds of ways. A deep dark red does not contrast with a deep dark green, the values (light to dark) are the same even though the hue is complementary. Contrast is a general term implying difference, so if you have a bright sunny butter yellow you can contrast it with a deep yellow ochre even though the two colors are in the same family.

      And clashing is a purely subjective term.

      Violet and olive are not complementary, nor do they clash. They are both secondary (not primary) colors and as such may be an unusual combination but definitely not unheard of.

      Hope this helps, Kat! You’re “a mite” confused because you’re using the terminology incorrectly.

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