Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Snake Stitch Faux Wrap Dress

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

Missoni Snake Stitch Faux Wrap DressI’m not proud of this, but I’ve kind of been obsessed with Missoni since Bethenny wore it non-stop during her reality show. But come on — look how gorgeous this dress is. I adore the gray-on-gray color scheme, the high neckline and ladylike hem.  That said, I kind of wish the pattern lined up better in the back (isn’t that why dresses cost obscene amounts?) but maybe I’m missing the artistic appeal. The faux wrap dress is $1,295. Missoni Snake Stitch Faux Wrap Dress

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


  1. I need a little help wordsmithing a note to my dad.

    Dad recently got an unexpected check (inheritance) and called me telling me he’d like to use part of it to pay whatever I have left on my student loans from undergrad. I wasn’t quite sure of the balance, and told him I’d check and get back to him (after thanking him, obviously!). Over the course of our chat, it became clear he was thinking my remaining balance was in the “thousands.” As it turns out, I have about $20k left, which, I think, is way more than he was thinking of sending me.

    What’s the right way to word my note to him? Should I be upfront about the amounts, and let him know I know it’s probably more than he thought? Or just give him the balance of the loan that fits in with what I think he’s looking to pay off and leave it at that?
    I want to say “I have $X on one loan; $Y on the other. I know this might be way more than you intended to send me, and absolutely anything is more than appreciated. So please don’t feel like you have to send me a bunch of money you weren’t planning to.” For what it’s worth, I don’t “need” the money; he just wants to do this b/c his mom did it for him. DH and I are also expecting and haven’t told our family yet…I’m planning to call my dad once I got the check and let him know that because of what he did, I’m going to continue to set aside what I have been paying in loan payments, but dump the $ into a new 529 FOR THE BABY WE ARE HAVING!!! I think he will get a kick out of it.

    • I think your idea is right but don’t break it down unless the interest rates are wildly different. Something like “Hi Dad. I looked into it, and I have X total in student loans. I appreciate your offer and any amount you want to give me is very much appreciated.” I don’t like over explaining cause I feel like it can pressure the other person but your know your dad best. Congrats on the baby!

      • I just think that “any amount you want to give me is v. much appreciated” sounds really weird. I was thinking of breaking it down between loans because it gives him an easy way to say “oh, that’s a little more than i was thinking, i’d like to at least pay off loan X then,” which is probably way more in line with what he was planning to do.

    • How about “The total amount is $X. I understand if that is a little bit higher than you have in mind, and won’t be disappointed if you want to limit the gift. I want you to know that I really, really appreciate your generosity on this.”

      Congrats on the baby and good luck!

    • Praxidike :

      Having had some experience with inheritances, here’s what I’d do.

      I would call my father and say something like, “Hey dad, I checked the balance on my student loan, and there’s $20k left on there. When we talked, you mentioned you wanted to help me pay it off and I don’t think either of us realized that the amount was so high. I would greatly appreciate it if you still want to help me pay some of it off, but I have absolutely no expectation that you’ll do so.”

      That way you’re thanking him for the offer, giving him the honest information about how much you owe, and telling him that, while you’ll accept some amount of money, he doesn’t have any obligation to follow through with an offer he made without having all the facts at his disposal. I think a phone call is nicer because, well, he is your father and he’s made you an incredibly nice offer; it’s a lot more personal than an email.

      • Diana Barry :


      • Thanks–this is exactly the sort of wording I was struggling to find. in general, phone is absolutely the way to go. but i’m doing this by email so he doesn’t get caught off guard and “no no no, it’s what I wanted to do!” me even though the number may be higher than he thought. Plus, I know he is planning to help my sister with a large medical bill (especially massive for her salary), and I’d much rather see any extra money flow her way since she’s got all kinds of health issues. He already heard that from me, but still wants to be generous.

        • Just another thought…

          You could call him back and say “Dad, I so appreciate your offer but there’s something I haven’t told you yet…(then, tell him about the baby) and give him the option, to put the money towards the baby’s 529 plan. That way, he’s still contributing to college, it’s just the baby’s, and he can still give whatever number was in his head.

        • This is so nice of him, and I love the way you plan to tell him you’re expecting! One other point to consider – did he cosign for any (or all) of your loans? If he cosigned for one but not others, you might want to just tell him the balance on that one and use his money to pay off what he cosigned for – that way its a relief on him as well, since he would then be off the hook for your debt. My parents did this when I was at a point when I was struggling – I was barely making my payments on time and they didn’t want their credit to take a hit for my loans if things got any worse, so they paid off the one with their name still attached to it, with the understanding that I was to use the $ that had been going to that loan for an emergency fund. It was a win-win for all of us, in that case, and I really appreciate them doing it to this day.

          • No, he didn’t cosign. He had no idea what I had left, or really even what the original amount was (college was a decade ago, and I have two siblings that also took out $$ for college). I’d be done paying them off by now, but I deferred during grad school and since DH has much higher interest loans, we’ve been throwing money like crazy at his, and just paying the standard payment on mine.

            And actually, he is just sending me a check and told me to do whatever with it– the idea is that it goes to loans, but since my loans are super low interest and DH’s loans are super high interest, we’re probably going to actually put the $ to DH’s loans.

          • MaggieLizer :

            If you’re going to put the money toward DH’s student loans instead of yours, then please be up front about that with your dad. Your initial post said that your dad indicated he wanted the money to go to pay off YOUR loans because his mom did the same for him. It just seems dishonest to say, “I have $20k left on my student loans, thanks for helping me pay them down!” and then use the money for DH’s student loans. It’s also nice to give him the option to put the money aside for the baby. Congrats!

          • @MaggieLizer- it isn’t dishonest at all. He straight up said “if you want to use it for something else because the interest rates are still really low, I get that!” IE the intent is to relieve me of the financial burden of the loan amount. That’s all. I may also actually just use it to wipe my loans out, haven’t decided yet. But it isn’t going to be an icky thing with him.

      • This is a perfect way to approach it. And speaking is usually better than an email.

      • K in Tulsa :


  2. Early threadjack — I have to go to a wedding in a couple of weeks, and the weather will probably be in the low 40s. I was planning to wear a black cocktail dress with a colorful wrap, but what should I wear on my legs? If it was the summer, I would go with nothing, but I’m worried about being too cold. I’m considering black tights, but that seems so dark and unfestive for a wedding. Nude hose? Off-black hose? (Are those even still a thing?) The wedding is in the evening. What do you think?

    • Is there any reason you can’t wear colourful tights? I just picked up some brightly coloured tights from Joe Fresh (I found green, pink and fuchsia), but I think that’s what I’d be tempted to do. You can add some bright springy colour (or even pattern) without having frozen, stubbly chicken skin legs.

    • you can wear black or nude or a color. I would suggest nylons though, not tights. Better that than freezing! That said, receptions tend to get warm – especially if you are dancing. What I would do is wear nylons for the service (never hurts to be more modest) and then at the reception you can take them off if they are too warm. Just be sure to have shoes that are comfy with or without.

    • The other suggestions are fine, too, but I actually find that, counter-intuitively, gray tights look better with a black dress than black ones, and the bonus is that they’ll be a little less depressing. So, that’s an option, too.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I’d wear sheer off-black hose, nude hose, or fishnets. I don’t think opaque tights work for fancy evening.

    • What about micro-fishnets, in nude-for-you or black? That seems more festive than tights or nylons.

      • Senior Attorney :


        I find micro-fishnets surprisingly warm — at least as warm as sheer hose, anyway!

    • This is a good opportunity to try out some of the fancy patterned tights that emerged this season.

    • I’d go bare legged. Unless the wedding is outside, you’re not going to be spending much time in the elements.

      • Yup. I went to a wedding in the Twin Cities a few weeks ago when the temp was in the single digits, and most of the younger women had bare legs. (I sported sheer black stockings, but I’d go bare legged in anything above 20 degrees.)

    • Veronique :

      I’ve been exploring patterned sheer tights lately like lace, diamond, microdots, etc. You could wear black or some sort of color to match your wrap. It’s a popular look in my midwestern state, at least amongst the churchgoing set. They’re a lot more fun/festive than regular pantyhose and dressier than regular tights.

      • Veronique :

        Here are some examples. Nordstrom Rack had a great selection last week.




  3. momentsofabsurdity :

    Urgh. I am so grumpy this morning. I meant to get a ton of work stuff done this weekend but (of course) I didn’t get to it, which means I’m scrambling this morning. Plus the guy working at the coffee place kept calling me “sweetie” and “darling” and “gorgeous” and it made me want to punch him.

    I can already tell it’s going to be one of those days…

    • Oh no! I’m having a rough day as well, flare up of a chronic illness and incommunicado supervisor. Apparently the response to this was to buy a dress to make myself feel better??

    • also anon :

      I know what you mean about the weekend. I got a lot done, but yesterday, right after I took a shower (thank goodness), the water then went out completely. The entire east bank of New Orleans is now under a boil water advisory. I had so much to do yesterday, including cooking, which took forever, because I had to boil water to wash produce then boil water to wash dishes and rinse them. Such a pain!

      • Oops that was me, of course. Forgot to set it back since I haven’t used this computer since Friday.

  4. Diana Barry :


    How long do your nice boots last? I bought black and brown boots (knee high, riding style) last year to wear to work. I only wear them on dry days, my commute is not super walking intensive, etc. I have noticed for the last month or so that the black pair (clarks) is already not looking so hot – leather is worn, etc.
    Is it normal to have boots last only two seasons? Should I take them to a cobbler to refresh/repair? :-0

    • Cornellian :

      I think taking them to a cobbler at the end of every season is a good idea… it also will make sure any dirt or salt on them doesn’t sit and eat the leather over the next half-year until you use them again.

      My biggest problelm with boots is that the heel wears down quickly, which is strange since I don’t walk particularly heavy on my heels. It’s obviously not as easy of a fix with boots as with heels, but you can definitely get them reheeled for about $15 in NYC.

      • I have to get my boots reheeled all the time. You eventually hear that click of shame from wearing the heel down to the nail. So embarrassing until it gets fixed! It’s worth it.

        As for the OP, I find my boots last about two years, and I don’t wear them in salt/snow (I have real winter boots for that). I wish they would last longer!

      • I’ll second having a cobbler spruce up your boots at least annually. My cobbler also added a thin rubber sole to my favorite black boots for more traction, which keeps the sole from wearing too much.

        My favorite black boots are FarylRobin and are going strong after 3+ years and, after I just got them polished and buffed, look like they could easily go 3 more years.

        My current brown boots are not so favorite Clarks – the leather is not nearly as nice as the FarylRobins. The Clarks won’t last as long.

    • I destroy Clarks, they are comfy and lovely but longevity seems to be an issue. I’m currently avoiding puddles in my worn to death clarks.

      • This is what I was thinking. Most of my boots tend to last me at least 3 seasons of heavy, all weather, walk-a-ton-in-NYC wear. But I have one pair of clark booties and they are already on the outs after one fall/winter. I think they’re just not made to last.

        I do usually bring my boots in for upkeep either when I first get them or at some point in between. Right now, I am wearing a pair of boots that I bought 4 1/2 years ago (one big upkeep trip to cobbler) and they are just now starting to show wear and even that is very slight. FWIW, they are no-name boots from Italy that I got for $80 at Daffy’s. I think where your boots are made makes a big difference. Nothing I have that was made in China has lasted that long.

    • I have two pairs of cheap-o fake leather boots (from Shoe Carnival, I think, or someplace similar), the knee-high smooth nice kind. I’ve had them for 2-3 years, and am not really seeing any wear. Of course, I probably wear them pretty infrequently, living in the south, but they were cheap, so I would think that yours should last longer than that.

    • I use SADDEL SOAP and MINK OIL! My dad taught me that b/c when he was a boy, his father (my GRANDFATHER), Abraham Barshevsky had a shoe shine and repair place in Lower Manhattan by a SUBWAY stop. He made alot of moneywith the WALL STREET type’s who needed to have CLEAN leather shoe’s.

      It is b/c of my grandfather that I ONLY buy good leather shoe’s and have them serviced regularly. I am also very Carful of the treads on the bottom b/c he told me that when peeople steped in HORSE MANURE, they paid alot for him to clean their shoe’s, and it was HIM that taught my dad about the water, and I figured out about Bloomie’s! YAY.

      I stayed over at this cheep motel and am presenteing this afternoon. I am at the STARBUCK’s with my MacBook Air, b/c there was NO interenet at the motel. FOOEY! The speed here is NOT great either, but it is something. Next time I am stayeing at the Ritz Carlton. FOOEY on the motel. I think there were INSECT’s walkeing on the walls too. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      I am NOT sure about this business, b/c I do NOT know anything about the law here, but I am to meet the manageing partner’s freind here and we will go over my POWERPOINT presentation. He is suposed to get 20% of the NET we make on the cases, but I am suposed to do the work. I do not think he should get so much, but I will keep my mouth SHUT until after I meet him and talk to the manageing partner about it. I figure that if I can wittle him down to 10 or mabye 15%, I can get a BONUS from the manageing partner.

      Finaly, thank’s to the HIVE for the ansering my TAX issue. The woman Judith was exellent, tho I do NOT think my dad will like her anser, b/c I will have to pay taxe’s. But that is BETTER then getting audited. TRIPEL FOOEY on that! I do not want a tax guy from the IRS stareing at me.

    • Mine from JCREW have lasted at least 6 years (i’ve had them longer than my husband) but I haven’t bought a pair from them recently to speak to the quality now…

  5. Wpost has a review of Sheryl Sandberg’s book, for anyone (still) interested.


    • Very interesting. I found that review, well, odd and inconsistent in a lot of ways. Perhaps that falls on Ms. Sandberg’s shoulders, for failing to engage the reader/reviewer, but it sounded like the reviewer did not think critically about the issues at play at all.

      Would anyone be interested in trying to start a sort of reading club about her book? We could, say, read one chapter a week and discuss it in the weekend thread. I think that could be a lot of fun and interesting.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I’d do this. I don’t always agree with her, but I’d like to read her book and have been struggling to find the time/motivation to do it.

      • I like the reading club idea, would be interested if we start one. I pre-ordered the book on amazon this weekend.
        I am really glad someone at such a top level in the corporate world has come out with a book on this topic, most others would stay away from such controversy once they have reached C-level offices.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I was thinking this weekend that we should have a *this site* reading club. I just read “why have kids” and wanted to discuss it!

          • I’ve been wanting to read this too! Would love to hear your thoughts on it.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            It was a good read and pointed out lots of issues but no solutions. Basically summarized many internet articles and blog posts. Didn’t really provide reasons “to” have children just issues with how moms are marginalized. I was looking more for guidance on making the choice for the ambivalent.

            I also bought the Conflict but I’m having trouble getting into her writing style. Now that I know she is a French writer and English may be a second language it may be easier for me to read.

            Also reading Five Love Languages after the recs from this site.

          • Anonymous :

            Ah, interesting. I read the conflict and enjoyed it. I was surprised by how short it was. Although I seem to remember it was a bit similar to what you describe in that it pointed out a lot of problems, but not a ton of concrete solutions. But I really appreciated her point about not taking pride in being a slave to your children. I also like how she framed her argument about the “natural” movement and agree with a lot of what she says re breast feeding, cloth diapers, etc.

      • I would be interested too. Is this something we would have to organize locally or online?

      • I’d do it. I don’t work in finance or the corporate world or any of that, and don’t agree with everything she says, but I think it would provide for some very interesting discussions.

      • There is a “fans of [thissite]” group on GoodReads – we could start the book club through there so as not to clutter up all the discussion here. I’m interested – no so much specifically in Sandberg’s book, but in the idea of a c-e t t e book discussion group in general.

    • One of the things that this reviewer and many others who are critical of Sandberg have done that drives me crazy is to blame her for not addressing “X” type of woman. Single mothers, lesbians, low wage workers, etc. But I truly think that if she had done this, she would get slammed for making assumptions about a group that she isn’t a part of and doesn’t have first hand experience with. And after listening to her TED talk, she seems to recognize too that all women face different challenges – she’s just focusing on these particular problems that are a challenge to a particular type of woman: professional women who could advance further in the workplace but don’t because of various work/family balance problems. To insist that she write a book that covers every problem that every type of woman would have in the workplace is a little much.

      • The criticism against her for presuming husband really jumped out at me, too. I’m all for gay marriage and whatnot, but I don’t think that you should have to apologize for speaking to the far more common opposite-sex marriage people when discussing issues involved in marriage. Either you can take the same issue and substitute “wife” for “husband,” or the issues are different and you can’t. Not being a lesbian, I wouldn’t want to presume either way.

        For the reviewer to ding her on that really screamed “I have an agenda and had already made up my mind before I started reading” to me.

  6. weddingguest :

    need styling help for a wedding I am attending this weekend. I am wearing this dress, in pomegranate:


    I want to wear gold shoes and accessories, but haven’t found a good pair of shows in my price range, so here are my alternatives options – which would you advise?:

    A. Black shoes and gold accessories
    B. Silver shoes and silver accessories

    Other questions I need help on:

    Should I wear a long necklace, short necklace, or none? And do you have any suggestions?

    also, what about bracelets? I am guessing I should wear bangles – like this maybe:




    • I’d say no necklace, it would compete too much with the one sleeve thing. Yes to a stack of bangles on the bare arm, and maybe some dangly earrings. I’d wear eiher black or nude or you high-heeled sandals. That way you can wear either color jewerly, though personally I like gold with a cranberry or wine color — I think the gold picks up the warmth of the color.

    • I would go with black shoes (or black with gold, if you have something like it), no necklace (unless you find a really simple, long one). I would have a nice arm-load of bracelets, but that third option (the cutout one) that you posted would be really cute too.

      Great dress!

    • lucy stone :

      Great dress! I’d go with the black shoes, unless you are in a warm part of the country. I’d also say either no necklace or short necklace. I think you could do bangles or do a necklace wrapped as a bracelet.

    • Need to Improve :

      I love this dress! Nice choice. I would do no necklace, gold bangles or a gold cuff on the bare arm, dangling gold earrings. If you can’t find gold shoes I would consider going with nude shoes. If neither works then black, not silver.

  7. What is a ladylike hem? I’m short, and prefer shorter hems to make my legs look longer (not for work, but any other time). Am I not ladylike in my shorter hem skirts and dresses?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Probably a fitting place for this image, but unfortunately, “ladylike” isn’t a category…


    • For work it should be knee length. For play it can really be any length as long as every thing is covered. I think mid thigh is a good playful range to shoot for. Personally I don’t go shorter than 4 inches above my knee.

      • For work, I go to the knee. I have learned that is not the most flattering length for my short, muscular legs. I look way better in a mini length (think J. Crew city mini) with a top tucked in.

        I was really being facetious in my question, though. I think the term “ladylike hem” is stodgy and old fashioned. I get that this is a blog about work appropriate clothing, but the idea that a shorter hem makes you less of a “lady” is funny.

        • Jeez sorry just trying to help to what I thought was a sincere question.

          • I know. I appreciated the help. I don’t think I jumped down your throat or anything. I simply explained myself and my comment a little better.

    • Calibrachoa :


  8. Praxidike :

    Oh my GOD, we did our taxes over the weekend and we owe approximately $20k more than what we’ve already paid through regular withholding. This is mostly because of my 1099 independent contractor income. Although we can certainly cover the bill, this puts a huge kink in our plans to buy a house in the next few months.

    It’s funny – I knew that there was no withholding from that 1099 income, so I knew we’d have to pay taxes on it. But knowing that intellectually is much different than actually doing the taxes and discovering that you owe what is essentially a grad student’s stipend to the feds.

    • Is this your first year as a 1099 contractor? I’d suggest looking into your responsibility for doing estimated tax payments for 2013 if you’re still doing the same work (and to avoid getting hit all at once like that).

      • My dad said the same thing. “How come you didn’t pay it quarterly, Praxidike?”

        Well, dad, it’s because I truly enjoy writing very big checks… (or, actually, because I didn’t even know that was something you could/should do when you are working as an independent contractor).

    • DH was a contractor this year. Just wanted to warn you that may actually owe even more than the $20k, as you may owe interest on the back-taxes.

      We had to pay estimate taxes all year long to avoid ending up with a big bill this time of year. This is not going to help you now, but for others reading…make SURE you talk to a tax expert if you haven’t done contract work before as the taxes can really screw you if you don’t plan ahead.

      • One more thing as a PSA– there is also a chance you’ll owe a penalty on TOP of the interest and back taxes. This will all depend on your prior years’ earnings. See a tax expert.

      • I was going to say, you almost definately owe more than the 20k. I’ve been there- it hurts!

      • I did go to a tax expert after we did the initial TurboTax review. The 1099 stuff was a one-time thing: I switched from a private firm to in-house, but continued doing contract work for my firm on a few files that were mine and were very complicated. So I think our tax bill is accurate, just incredibly painful.

        • In that case, you may end up fine. Just don’t be totally shocked if 2 years from now you get a note from the IRS saying you owe back interest and/or a penalty. It’s been known to happen.

          If your tax guy/gal is good, they’ll know this and have you pay it up front. So you may have that built into your bill already.

          Best of luck!

          • So. Depressing.

            I didn’t even make that much! Clearly it wasn’t worth it.

    • Sorry you had this happen. When my ex-H was self-employed or doing contract work, we had a separate savings account just to set aside the taxes. It seemed like no matter what we did it was never enough. I was getting killed by 1099 on my small side job and finally convinced them to give us a W-2, but they still don’t withhold federal taxes. I was doing my taxes on H&R Block online where there’s a running total at the top. With my regular job, I would have gotten back $950. Added the second job and my refund was $60. Wah wah.

  9. Does anyone else here suffer from Raynaud’s Syndrome (a condition where your extremeties go totally numb suddenly and often randomly or with only minor exposure to cold)? I’ve had it for years but only lately do I find that it’s actually interfering with my life. I have to walk 5 blocks from my bus to work, and this morning despite wearing gloves I found that my fingers went totally numb and my circulation didn’t come back for a good 20 minutes after coming into the office, during which time I couldn’t really type or write. Any tips on how to prevent the numbness or for re-warming more quickly would be appreciated!

    • Yes! Me. I try to be pretty careful because it causes me so much pain. Have you tried the hot pockets? Avoid clenching up your hands and carrying anything heavy on your arms (ie. a heavy handback in the crook of your elbow)

      • Oh wow, I never thought about how having something heavy on my arms might make it worse, but that totally makes sense! I typically carry a backpack and a purse to work, leaving my purse in my elbow since it won’t fit on my shoulder. And it explains why I’ve found it’s worse when I’m carrying bags of groceries. Will try to avoid this!

    • Have you tried mittens vs gloves? I don’t have Reynaud’s, so I can’t say whether it would help or not, but I know my fingers stay warmer with mittens, since the fingers all have each other to help keep warm instead of being isolated in the finger of my gloves.

      Bonus part of mittens, you can stick something warm inside to help ward off the chill (provided you don’t need much dexterity…)

      • anon prof :

        I have Reyaulds and find that mittens are better than gloves. Get the thickest mittens you can find. I’ve had ones in the past that were fur lined, which were great. but wool-lined leather mittens are good, too.

    • I had this in the past; less so now. For me, there’s a stress component.

    • Yep, I have it. I do a lot of outdoor winter sports and it can be terribly painful, so it is something I’ve thought about a lot. Here are my strategies:

      – I try really hard not to let my fingers and toes get cold in the first place. This means trying not to take my hands out of my gloves/mittens once I’m outside. It isn’t always practical, but I try.

      – Mittens are much better than gloves. Windproof is essential. If you are stuck with only gloves and you feel your fingers getting cold, pull them out of the fingers of the gloves and make a loose fist in the palm area of the glove (does that make sense?).

      – Handwarmers are a great thing. They do need some time (~15 minutes or so) to warm up before they go into your mittens or gloves since they depend on having oxygen to get warm.

      – I seem most likely to get it if I am standing around in the cold (e.g. waiting for a train at an outdoor platform or in line at the farmers market). Swinging your arms to get the blood flowing into the hands can help. When I am outside running or hiking and I feel my fingers going numb, I will do pushups or jumping jacks to get my heart rate up more. That seems to help, although I’m sure I look like an idiot! That obviously isn’t practical in a lot of situations.

      I hope this helps a little.

    • Miss Behaved :

      My dad and I both have this. I recently bought a microwaveable hand/thumb brace from etsy:

    • I have a collection of re-usable hand warmers – I filled baby or toddler socks with rice, then sewed or tied them shut. Put in a clean bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts until warm, then put in coat pockets or right inside your mittens (I usually put in my coat pockets initially when very warm, then switch to inside my mittens once they cool a little). You can re-heat them once you get to work too. Sticking my hands under warm running water in the sink helps warm up too – just test with a non-numb place (inside of wrist or elbow?) first so you don’t burn you hands when they are numb – I also like holding a cup of hot tea to re-heat my fingers as well. In an ideal world I would allow at little more time to get to work early to go through my thawing out ritual, but that doesn’t always work in practice.

    • I have a pretty mild case that affects my toes more than my fingers. I wear these gloves in the winter: http://www.hotfingersgloves.com/p/fluff?pp=12&pp=12

      They’ve got a wind-blocking layer and the combination of fingers in a mitten exterior. If I find my fingers getting cold, I pull them into the palm part of the glove to warm back up.

      I also wear wool socks exclusively, particularly Smartwool.

    • Thanks all! Will switch to mittens and look into warmers.

      • My father has it.

        All good recs here about keeping them warm. I would keep a microwaveable warmer/bean bag at work to use when you arrive.

        And if the symptoms get so bad in interferes with your life, tell your doctor. The class of medicines called Calcium channel blockers can make symptoms go away completely with no side effects.

        My father’s Raynaud’s was mild so he didn’t care about it and we would have never asked for a medication. But his doctor changed his blood pressure medicine to Calcium channel blocker for other reasons… and then the Raynaud’s disappeared. Great “side effect”!

    • Cornellian :

      I second the idea of swinging your arms around. I always have to do that in order to pass the iron test to give blood, it really does get blood out to your fingers quickly. In general, the higher my resting metabolism (ie. the more serious exercise I’m getting in), the better my circulation, if you’re looking for a longer-term solution.

    • I do a few things. For me, taking a daily baby aspirin keeps me from having symptoms until much lower temps. I sometimes do exercises like squats to get my core temp up before I go out. I wear warm gloves and mittens over my gloves in the worst weather. I choose bags that go cross body to avoid cutting off circulation.

    • We just got my mother battery-powered, heated motorcycle gloves. Charge them overnight and turn them on before you leave the house. The pair we got her were pricey, but they work great and are worth it to avoid the pain.

    • I’ve never been diagnosed, but my hands are just like yours. I got some heavy duty manzella gloves and even though I have to walk 15-20 mins a day in the northeast, my hands are pretty much fine.

  10. Need a little encouragement. I’ve decided that this is the week I’ll confess/follow up on 2 or 3 things I’ve been putting off for months at work or which I’m worried I’m going to get in “trouble” for (seriously, am I a 10 year old who’s afraid to show her report card to her parents!?). There’s nothing particularly earth-shattering, just things that I let slide or didn’t do a perfect job on and I just need to fix it and move on instead of worrying about them ad infinitum.

    Tell me it won’t be so bad and I just need to rip off the band-aid?

    • It is okay. Everyone slips on things, forgets that email, drops the ball on project x, etc. It’s better to own it than to get called out on it. Best case scenario is to own the issues and have an immediate plan to rectify the situations. This will help you focus the discussion on steps you’re planning to take rather than on the reasons you messed up in the first place.

    • Do it. I had to do something similar a few months back, and believe me — the pain you’re causing yourself stressing about it is SO. MUCH. WORSE. than it will actually be to deal with it.

      Lifehacker (maybe) had an article on this a while ago — recommended an office culture of “confession day” where everyone would sort of sit down together for an hour one morning a week and pull up their neglected projects. I may be remembering wrong, but I think the idea was actually that people would work on other people’s projects — something about tossing out guilt and promoting teamwork, I think. That plan wouldn’t ever work in my office, but I’ve been trying to incorporate the “guilt hour” idea — take an hour every Wednesday morning and just work on the one neglected thing that’s been nagging at the back of my brain in the hopes of making it go away. It’s actually starting to work for me, but if anyone else has suggestions on how to avoid this, I’d love to hear them.

    • It’s definitely better to bring it up yourself and get it taken care of, than have someone else call you out on it. This might just be my team, but I’m frequently amazed by how there might be something small that I missed (or someone thinks I missed) and my co-workers get all bent out of shape about it, versus when I legitimately miss something larger but bring it up myself and it’s no big deal.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, you need to do it!

      When I was in private practice, the things people got in Really Big Trouble for were, without exception, things that started out small, then they tried to cover them up, and at the end of the day the Really Big Trouble was because of the cover-up much more than the original mistake or oversight.

      When I was an associate, one of the partners told me that it’s imperative to fess up, and then said “Remember, 80% of the white collar criminals in jail are in jail for something they did AFTER the investigation began.” E.g. Martha Stewart — it’s not the Thing that gets you in trouble, it’s lying about/trying to cover up the Thing. I have no idea whether that statistic is even close to accurate, but it’s stayed with me all these years!

  11. Anonforthis... Need Advice :

    Hi ladies – I need some advice in a few different areas!

    Background: My husband has been planning on starting a small business for several months and we were taking our time setting it up. Well, he was just laid off, so now it’s in high gear. Now the request(s) for advice:

    1. My sister dropped everything and helped us get the website to were it needed to be in order to use it as a reference for clients. She does this for a living, but obviously did it for us for free. Any ideas on how to thank her without spending money? I will definitely provide a testimonial for her to use on her site, but that’s pretty much assumed. Is there anything else I can do to show my gratitude that does not involve spending money? (We’re on a tight budget right now with only one income.)

    2. To friends and family we have let them know that my husband lost his job – hence the more urgent nature of getting the business up and running. Friends and family have responded and are spreading the word, which is AMAZING and I am so grateful. For those that are not such close friends and family… how does he address the fact that he is no longer with his previous employer? Many of his existing contacts that he plans to reach out to know who he worked for… would being completely up front help his case? As in, by saying “I was laid off by XYZ, so I have started my own business, something I’ve always wanted to do.. etc.” The underlying message there is clear – it’s important that if you’re interested you let us know, if not, cut us lose type of message.

    At least I think so, am I over thinking? Or would it be better to just leave it as “I’m no longer with XYZ, and I am finally starting the business I’ve always wanted to…”

    Basically – is it better to just be an open book and put it out there, or better to just let the other person come to their own conclusions? With friends and family it made sense, many knew we were slowly starting this up on the side… so we needed to let them know it’s not a side-project anymore.

    Thoughts/ideas/suggestions? Or, am I just way over thinking this because I’m stressed out and frazzled? :)

    • lucy stone :

      Was it a large layoff at his company? If it was, people can probably read between the lines. If not, I don’t think you have to say anything. We were in a similar boat a few years ago, and my husband just said something along the lines of “I finally have the opportunity to start my own firm, something I’ve dreamed of for years. I’d appreciate you sending any [insert specialty here] business my way!”

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Aw – I’m sorry your husband lost his job, but it also sounds like he is embarking on something really exciting!

      Re: your sister, I think aside from the testimonial (and telling her to feel free to use you/your husband as a reference client or in an online portfolio) the nicest thing you could do is send her a heartfelt card or email thanking her for her help and support in getting this launched. I know if I did something like that for my sister, that’s all I would really want.

      Re: old contacts and getting the word out, I assume he is talking to these not-as-close-friends-and-family as potential clients? If so, I wouldn’t start out with “I was laid off by XYZ,” just because it starts the whole conversation out on a negative note. I think most people understand that with a new business, people are really trying to drum up interest and if you are interested, you should get in touch. So I think I would go with your second example (“I’m no longer with XYZ”) – but I might even spin that in a positive way, ie, “I’m finally getting the chance to work full time on my ABC business, and I’m hoping to drive that forward quickly.”

      • Yeah, I would definitely phrase it as ‘No longer with XYZ, finally starting the business I’ve been planning for years”. Or, “Finally getting chance to work full time on ABC business” as above.

        To tell people you’re trying to get interested in becoming clients/customers of the business, “I got laid off, so am doing this” puts an odd and uncomfortable pressure on them. You’re basically saying “I don’t have any money. You know me and seem to like me. I am selling ABC service/product.” the sub-subtext is “you’re kind of a jerk if you don’t buy from me right now”.

        I would avoid that.

    • Carrie Preston :

      Sorry to hear about your H’s job, but sounds like it’s good you’re finally doing what he’s wanted to do. A couple of thoughts – on #1, unless his sister firmly offered to do the work for free, I would pay her something for her services. As you get further down the road of having your own business (which I do and is where I’m coming from), you’ll get irked by the expectation of friends and family that you’ll work for them for free. Not that you wouldn’t be happy to help, but there’s something about not offering that gets offensive. And a referral or nice words on a website really aren’t worth much as paying clients do that too. You also are starting a business so her fees are business expenses for tax purposes & you will need to spend some money to launch a business. If you truly cannot afford anything, perhaps a professional trade would work — e.g. your H’s new services in exchange for web design.

      On #2 – I would not advertise to the greater public that the new business is born from unemployment. You’ll want to think hard about the branding that you do for the new business and if you want that to be part of the story then go for it, but I doubt it. You want clients to think you’ll be around for a while and while there’s no shame in losing a job, if it’s part of the story with the new business it makes it sound temporary, like something H is doing until he gets a new job. I would come up with your corporate story & just put the word out to the network w/o that background. If people assume, they assume.

      • I disagree with this comment. I’m an attorney, and would normally be paid for my services, but I do perform work for my family (and my husband’s family) for free. If I really felt I had to charge for my time, I would tell my family member upfront. I think OP made it clear that her sister offered to do this, probably to help out with the new business and to support her sister and BIL at a difficult time. I would definitely not expect payment in such a situation. Agree that sometimes family members can be offensive in requesting free goods and services, but one quickly become adept at letting family know what you are/are not able to do for free. There is nothing wrong with saying no to a project that is very large/complex/time consuming or just out of your realm of expertise, or anything which you simply don’t have time to complete, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

        • Carrie Preston :

          Actually, OP didn’t make that clear – she just said “of course sister would do it for free”. There is also a big difference b/n being a lawyer and having a firm that pays you & being a creative professional like a web designer. As I said, if sister made it clear services are free, that’s one thing, but it was by no means clear from the comment & this is a big issue in the creative fields.

          • Not all attorneys work for firms. Some work for themselves, and have the same issues with unpaid work and struggling to paying their expenses. Personally, I would not charge a family member, but as I mentioned, in some cases I have said I’m not able to help at this time.

          • lucy stone :

            Totally agree with bewitched. My husband will gladly represent his family for free, but he has started sending them bills marked no charge instead of his standard hourly rate so they are aware that they really don’t need to call him 15-20 times regarding minor traffic tickets.

        • I agree with you Bewitched.

          I read an article somewhere recently ( I can’t remember where?), saying that most people are happy to do things as a favour, but if you proceed to offer them monetary compensation that is below what they would have charged, they become offended in some way, because it changes the action from a favour into a business transaction of sorts. I think the example given was helping a friend move, which you’d do happily for free (or pizza/beer/cookies/wine/tea), but if the friend offered you $20 for helping, you’d be offended. I do agree with the sentiment- I’m certainly happy to help friends as a favour, but if it becomes something they’re going to pay me for, well…then it’s sort of a different game.

          I don’t disagree that it’s an issue in creative fields, but in this case, I don’t think offering to pay is the right move, especially given that the original poster said they currently can’t afford to spend a ton.

          • Undercover Economist talks about this with potlucks. If you are asked to contribute $5 and can bring a potluck dish as well, people are fine with it. But if it’s $5 or a potluck dish, it puts a value on your potluck dish and makes you feel like it’s not worth bringing anything, since ingredients plus my time is worth more than $5.

    • Good luck with the new business! It’s not totally no-cost but if your sister lives in the area you could invite her for dinner at your house. I agree with the others saying there is no reason to announce your husband was laid off.

      • Or is there some kind of baked good or favorite snack from childhood you could make for her? For instance, one year my sister was really broke around my birthday, but she made me a batch of cookies that my grandmother had always made for us that are delicious but somewhat time consuming so they generally only get made at Christmastime. Again, not no cost, but the kind of the thing that means a lot more than the $ spent on it.

        As far as announcing his new business – in recent years I’ve seen a lot of acquantances do this simply by changing their job title and company info on Facebook, LinkedIn, etc to owner of NewBusiness XYZ and putting an end date to their previous job. Thats one way to get the word out without actually putting anyone on the spot.

    • Anonforthis... Need Advice :

      Thanks everyone! I tried to respond earlier but word press told me I was commenting too quickly and I needed to slow down… :)

      As for my sister – before the job loss I had actually offered to pay, and tried to. She wouldn’t let me and told me that she won’t accept my money because I’m her sister. However, since it turned into and urgent project overnight and she delivered – we really like the idea of offering a free service to her, given the nature of the service it makes sense, the number of hours spent is comparable, and I know she would appreciate it. So thank you so much for that idea – we’ll definitely do that in addition to nice hand written thank you.

      Thanks also for the tips on how to announce the business, I tend to agree that leaving out the part about being laid off can be skipped, but I think I was worried that people would assume it was a side gig and not a priority. But, LinkedIn update can take care of that! :)

      Seriously, thank you guys so much!

    • If your sister has kids, could you offer to babysit them when you know she’d otherwise call in a sitter? Or similar stuff that’d be a payback for her but cost you nothing but time….

  12. In light of the Missoni rec., I thought I would recommend this BR top which I think was sort of inspired by the same idea: http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=26499&vid=1&pid=326143032

    I probably wouldn’t pay full price, but all the colors were on sale in the store (unlike online, unfortunately). With the extra 30% off they were around $18 each. I didn’t like the white (the “lace” looked a bit cheap) but got the pink and black to wear with suits – interesting but still comfy and basic. Size down, they do run large.

    I also bought the most awesome sweater jacket that totally looks dressy enough for most work days (I even n odd “power suit!” comment from a secretary today) but alas it is sold out online in the black color and only available in camel in XS (basket weave drape sweater). Anyway, if you work near a BR, it may be worth checking out in person. I hadn’t been in in ages and was pleasantly surprised.

  13. Is anyone able to provide some advice about relocation? I’m in a position with my boyfriend where it looks like we’re going to need to relocate permanently to be together. I want a future and a family with him, but I’m a little unsettled about moving somewhere where I know nobody, especially if I were to one day have a baby. It’s unlikely, due to both of our careers, that we could live near either of our hometowns unless we were retired. If it were short-term I’d be really excited to try living somewhere new, but moving seems so permanent. He’s stressed out about it and it’s making me feel like I should worry more than I initially did.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think moving to a new place is always scary – but remember, you aren’t going to be chained there. You might move, find you don’t like it and move home. You might move, and your parents might follow when grandkids come. You might move, find you love it, and develop a strong nonfamilial support system. Etc.

      I think framing moving not as “oh we won’t be able to do X, Y and Z” but rather as “Wow, we’re going to get the opportunity to do A, B and C and probably some stuff we don’t even know about now!” can help a lot. In other words, look at the move as opening up a ton of possibility – and providing you with a fresh start.

      Once you get to the new place, it will always be stressful at first and you’ll probably go through periods of really missing your old location – but usually, that passes (and again see above- if it doesn’t, you can always go back!). Maybe start to check out some of the job opportunities you might have in the new location, or alumni associations from your college or grad school, or events in the area or groups you could get involved with? That could help you pump up the excitement about it and allay some of the fear.

    • Depends on a lot of things, to be honest, and you haven’t provided a lot of detail. I grew up in NJ and went to college/law school in NJ and NY. I never thought I’d move away. Met a boy from Wisconsin at a wedding in Wisconsin, married him, and about 18 months later moved to Wisconsin where I knew absolutely NO ONE except him and his family.

      It was hard for me. Very hard. I grew very depressed. First, I couldn’t find a job despite having excellent credentials because employers would say things like, “You moved from the east coast? To here?” and of course there was also what I’ll call the Wisconsin Preference for people who went to the UW or Marquette. Second, meeting people was (and still is, even seven years later) difficult. The majority of our friends are lawyers and their spouses because the only way I’ve been able to meet people is through my job. Third, I had about a year or more of culture shock just because the east coast and the midwest are very, very different and I felt like a fish out of water sometimes. The alienation was intense and I very much wanted to move home for almost two years.

      The good news? We’ve been here for seven years, we’ve got very good friends, I’ve got a great career, and I’m happy I moved. However, you mention he’s a boyfriend and not a fiancee. Personally, I would not move to a new place with someone without having a commitment of some kind. I would prefer marriage, but would at least want an engagement. Obviously divorces happen and it’s no guarantee, but it’s better than nothing.

      As far as having a baby … yeah, that is an issue. It’s an issue because you don’t have a support network and it’s an issue because it’s hard for the grandparents to get to know the child. But plenty of people move and find nannies or daycares or someone stays home. And having a child will help you find friends (or so I hear; I have no children so cannot comment out of personal knowledge). Good luck.

      • East Coaster :

        I didn’t realize OP is still dating, not engaged or married. It is definitely something to evaluate, especially if you are leaving other professional opportunities behind

    • East Coaster :

      I’ve relocated a couple of times in the past few years. Like others have said, it can be really difficult for one or both of you. Some things that helped me:

      – Prepare yourself / give yourself at least 6 months of “shock”. The first time I moved to a new state, I positively hated it the first 3-4 months and had no idea why we had moved there. In time, I ended up loving it and was really sad when we moved away.

      Let go of expectations about your new place. Easier said than done, I know. Let your new city be what it’s going to be, instead of comparing it to your previous town.

      Establish a routine, especially in those earlier months

      Start connecting with folks professionally as soon as possible (even if it is by phone). There are so many nuances about the local job market that you may only be able to find out by speaking with people who are already there.

      As far as your relationship, the most useful thing for me was making an agreement before the move with my SO that we would revisit our decision in X years to make sure we were both happy. We are lucky in that we both have a region of the country (say the PNW) that we can imagine moving back to if one of us is unhappy. Of course moving again and finding a new job would be annoying, but in those days when I am having a really hard time, there is so much calm from knowing that if something doesn’t work out, we can always move back to the PNW.

      • I moved to a new city about 16 months ago. It finally feels like home, and when for a little while I thought we were going to have to move, I was really upset. That said, things were really tough at first.

        I definitely agree that you need to give yourself at least 6 months of shock. Possibly even a year. I think I finally started to feel like this was my city when I’d been here about 9 months.

        I really advise that you join meetup.com and go to meetup groups. If you don’t click with a meetup group, don’t go to that group again. Don’t get discouraged when the first few meetups you go to don’t work out or keep going to groups that aren’t a good fit (I really wish I’d figured this out sooner).

    • I moved across the country to be with my boyfriend one year ago and I’m incredibly happy that I did. Obviously everyone’s situation is different and relocating may or may not be the right choice for you. A few things that helped me make the decision:
      -After dating long distance for a few years, we agreed that we needed to be in the same place if we were going to continue the relationship and that I should be the one to move (more job opportunities where he lived).
      -I applied, interviewed, and got a new job before moving/quitting my old job. I consider myself pretty “employable” based on my background so I could have taken the chance, but I get stressed out about this type of thing easily and having a job lined up gave me peace of mind.
      -I had visited multiple times and didn’t LOVE the new city, but I liked it well enough and could see myself settling in there even though I didn’t yet know anyone else.
      -Most importantly, I thought about what I would regret more: making the move and having it end poorly and moving back to where I grew up, or not taking a chance at all. For me, giving up on the relationship wasn’t an option and I knew long distance was not going to be sustainable, so that pretty much sealed the deal. We weren’t engaged/married but I knew this was someone I could see myself with for the rest of my life and I would absolutely regret not taking the chance. TL;DR version: follow your gut feeling! :)

      • TO Lawyer :

        Thank you for this. My SO and I have been going through a rocky patch but I’m planning on moving to the same city as him (hopefully before the end of the year). I understand the wisdom behind not moving before I have a formal committment but to be perfectly honest, I’m uncomfortable making that committment without living in the same city.

        My considerations for moving are very similar to yours and while it’s a scary thought, I feel like it’s probably good scary and would be a good move for both me and our future relationship. Glad to hear it’s worked out for you!

    • Anne Shirley :

      Are you moving to be with him? Or are both of you moving to a mutually convenient location. Is he willing to consider a move to a location you prefer, or would you need to relocate anyway.

      Id think long and hard about moving for a boyfriend who wasn’t willing to move for me.

  14. momentsofabsurdity :

    PSA to those of you who use Evernote to keep your life organized:

    They were hacked and though they say no personal information was taken, usernames, email addresses and passwords were (which I think is personal, but you know, whatever).

    They are prompting you to change your password on login, and make sure you change your password on other sites that use the same one.

  15. Boot Advice :

    I posted on the weekend thread but thought I would repost with more details. I am blind and looking to buy some La Canadienne or Aquatalia boots that are stylish, not matronly or frumpy. I would like a brown pair that can be worn with skirts, pants, and suits. I am not so concerned with heel height, but do prefer wedges or thick heels for ease while walking. I am a size 8.5 and am hoping to find a pair on sale for less than $300. If you could recommend specific boot names or post links, I would appreciate it. I have seen them on 6pm.com, amazon.com and zappos.com.

    • These are my favorites of the sub-$300 options: http://www.zappos.com/la-canadienne-ramona-brown-leather

      They don’t have a wedge, but the heel looks pretty sturdy, and they have good reviews.

    • I looked on Zappos and I didn’t see any boots in either brand in brown under $300 that would go with suits and skirts.

      I will check 6pm. Are there other brands you would consider? Piperlime is having a 20% sitewide sale today.

    • 6pm had a better selection.

      I like the Laylie, although its a little more casual, so I’m not sure it would work with all suits.


      I saw the Ramona, but since you specifically stated that you didn’t want matronly or frumpy, I felt that the small heel made it a little frumpy. Just my opinion.

    • I don’t think either of the other selections posted above comes in an 8.5.
      These wedge suede dark brown ones are $216 and come in your size. Not the height of fashion, but I wouldn’t call them frumpy either. The stretchy suede upper leg will probably be very flattering on and you could likely scrunch it down for a slouchy look, too. The 3 inch wedge also looks manageable, even in tricky weather. I’d happily wear them, knowing my feet would be warm and comfy. http://www.6pm.com/la-canadienne-karine-espresso-suede?zfcTest=mat%3A1

      • I would add that if you can wait, 6 pm often has a HUGE la canadienne sale in the summer and they are always getting new styles in at big discount, especially as the weather gets warmer.

  16. Hey guys, I got the job! Just put in my notice today. Just have to apartment hunt in my new city now. I guess the only worry I have is doing long distance with my BF, but I’d like to think it’s doable if two people are committed enough to the relationship and to only making it temporary.

    Thanks for all of your support guys!

    • Long distance goes much better when there is a clearly defined end point. For me and my bf it was a year, and it went smoothly. Frusterating sometimes, but worth it.

      • yes this. It’s tough but if both people are committed and you both make your communication expectations clear, it’s totally doable.

        • springtime :

          Did you and SO work things out? (sorry if that’s too intrusive- you mentioned it earlier last week on a thread).

          • I think we did actually. I’m not the girl who breaks up and gets back together with her boyfriend generally but I think some space and time made us both realize how good what we had was. I’m pretty sure we still have a long, tough road ahead of us but I also realize that people don’t generally connect that well and what we have is worth fighting for. Fingers crossed things work out! (and thanks for remembering and asking – that is really sweet!)

      • Agreed times 1,000,000. No end point for long distance makes it much, much more difficult.

  17. early pregnancy wordrobe? :

    I recently found out that I’m pregnant! This is my first, and I’m only 6 weeks. All of my regular clothes continue to generally fit at the moment. But, I like to plan ahead, and I really want to get a few things that will bridge the gap from my regular wardrobe until I need full out maternity wear, and possibly use on the other end until I can get back into normal clothes.

    I tend to wear a lot more dresses and skirts than pants, and I generally wear a 6-8. I live in a place with a temperate, year round climate, and don’t generally need to wear suits for work. I have a reasonable amount of money budgeted and want to get a few nice things rather than a bunch of cheap things. What would you ladies suggest?

    I’m thinking:
    – 1-2 flow-y silk shirts, sort of like Equipment shirts.
    -1-2 DVF wrap dresses 1-2 sizes larger than normal
    -skinny jeans, 1 size up from normal
    -skirts? I really like the j.crew pencil skirts, but am stumped on a good replacement
    -a long flowy cardigan
    -some nice scarfs and/or fun necklaces
    -boots with an elastic side panel

    I really appreciate any suggestions, this is all new to me!

    • early pregnancy wardrobe? :

      Eek! sorry for the typo in the title of the original post :(

    • Diana Barry :

      Are you thinking of not telling about your pregnancy until X date? I would nix the wrap dresses – those will show that you are pregnant before the big tops will. I would get a couple of stretchy skirts and double up on the tops – 4 or 5 big tops in a print. For me, I didn’t want any pressure on my tummy and pencil skirts were a no-go, unless I wore them *unzipped* with a cami so they didn’t fall down, and then a loose top over that.

      Same idea with the skinny jeans – I would go 2 sizes up and/or with a more stretchy brand than you usually do, so they won’t be pinching your tummy.

      • Diana Barry :

        And congrats!!!!

      • early pregnancy wardrobe? :

        Thanks! I am hoping to avoid telling people as long as possible. Good to know about the wrap dresses, I hadn’t realized that they will show the bump, I thought they would be good as I wear wrap dresses at least 2-3 days a week now anyway.

        Any recommendations on bump concealing dresses? I really don’t care for empire waists, and would like to avoid as long as possible.

        • Maddie Ross :

          The Lands End ponte knit dress that was featured awhile back and discussed at length, as well as the Target mossimo ponte knit dress are both awesome bump concealing dresses. I have several and they took me well passed 20 weeks without anyone noticing. It’s something about the wide waist-band that’s placed a bit higher (but not empire-level) and the pleating below. Also, I would highly recommend adding blazers over everything. Blazers worn open disguise the added bloat/bump well.

          • Diana Barry :

            Yes. Also, Boden often has high-but-not-empire dresses that work well. (try the “summer tea dress”) Again, prints are your friend.

      • early pregnancy wardrobe? :

        also, any good leads on stretchy skirts?

        re: spending money — I know that others often take a different approach, but I think I will feel better about this pregnancy if I like the way I look, and I have the money, so am planning to go ahead with the nicer things.

        • Maddie Ross :

          Skirts are the hardest, at least for me. I wore my pencil skirts as long as humanly possible, but at some point the bloat/bump, as well as the likely spreading of your hips will just win over. My pencil skirts were the first casualty of pregnancy. I do have one black maternity pencil skirt from gap and it’s fine. If you’re dead set on skirts, I’d just skip right to it.

        • This is going to sound ridiculous, but if you have a Costco membership (or know someone who does), I recommend checking out the ponte pencil skirts they have right now. I love them! They are a nice thick material, plenty long to be professional, have cute seaming, and a nice high rise that would work well on a pregnant belly (with a blousy top un-tucked and a blazer maybe?) I bought all three colors (black, charcoal, and camel) because they are only $13 each! They wash up well and I really can’t say enough good things about them.

    • I’ve never been pregnant, so take this with a grain of salt, but I can’t imagine spending a lot on a bridge wardrobe. I would instead go through my current closet and identify the items that would work if I put on 5-10 lbs. I’d build outfits around those pieces. Then, I’d spend whatever I have budgeted on clothes and accessories that will work for pregnant and non pregnant — you have them on your list — scarves, cardigans, necklaces. I would possibly buy one pair of jeans in a bigger size, but I would get them at Forever 21 or Old Navy or similarly inexpensive place.

      I would not purchase any spendy blouses, dresses, jeans or skirts. I would save that money for true maternity clothes.

    • I wouldn’t stock up on bigger sizes of regular clothes at 6-8 weeks; bodies change in unpredictable ways and things like skinny jeans in particular, you may not like the fit on the legs/butt when you size up, and sizing up may not be enough depending on where you carry. Wrap dresses, tunics, long cardigans – yes. Tailored bottoms – no. Leggings/jeggings, sure buy them a size or two larger. For me, the period of “larger than normal non-maternity clothes” was about the fourth month through the sixth month, but enormous personal variation on this.

    • I’m also a planner so I understand where you’re coming from but I recently learned first hand that it’s not always possible to plan ahead when it comes to this stuff. I was really surprised where I gained weight first when I got pregnant. My b**bs got huge, and it threw off how all tops/dresses fit (or, rather, did fit). The bloating was out of control at times. And for the first time in my life, I gained weight in my b*tt. Anyway, like Diana Barry I wanted ZERO pressure on my tummy, making pencil skirts impossible plus I never really like how pencil skirts look with flowy tops anyway. I bought 2 pairs of pants one size up and two pairs of pants two sizes up. I relied on those and some non-form fitting sweaters, especially flowy cardigans until I told work. I bought CHEAP pants and was glad I did because they only fit for a few weeks each. You could probably wear non-wrap dresses in a larger size and be okay – you might be limited to empire waists depending on how/where you gain/bloat. I would also caution against wrap dresses. The day after I told work I was pregnant I wore a wrap dress and everyone was like “wow, you weren’t kidding!.”

      • Anonoymom :

        Agreed. I’m just 9 weeks now, and my clothes fit totally fine..but I refuse to wear my jeans. Something about the way the button cuts into my stomach (even though there is PLENTY of room) while sitting is totally intolerable. All my dress pants still fit (and feel) great, skirts/dresses too. I haven’t gained any weight, but the pressure from those jeans is torture.

      • Mrs. Jones :

        This. You really can’t plan ahead that much. I got through second trimester plus, in clothes 2-3 sizes bigger than usual, then went to maternity clothes in the last couple of months. But you never know where you’ll gain weight, how big your b))bs will get, etc.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Heh. Can’t help chuckling at this because honestly, your being-able-to-plan-everything-out days are pretty much going to be over once the baby comes, anyway. So the maternity clothes thing will be good practice! ;)

    • Meg Murry :

      How long are you hoping the bridge wardrobe will last? The thing about pregnancy is that (at least for me) growth isn’t even – one day everything fits, if a little snug-ly and the next day absolutely nothing buttons – sometimes even 2 sizes up didn’t button. So you may want to find places with generous return policies and buy things you think you might need in the next 30 days in 2 sizes, then return the one you didn’t wear. Also, save some of your money for toward the end, for fun accessories if nothing else – you will reach a point where wearing the last 3-4 outfits that fit over and over for multiple months is super frustrating and getting something new to mix things up a bit makes it a little better.
      One thing I did to stretch my buying power was to buy regular clothes 1-2 sizes up early on from resale & consignment shops – often new with tags, but cheaper than full price from a store. And for things that only worked for a few weeks, I generally had worn them so little that I was able to take them back to the resale shop and get a little bit of money for them, so it was more like renting my clothes.

    • You’ve gotten some good advice, especially suggesting that you wait to see how your body will change. I found that the whole “buy normal clothes in a larger size” advice didn’t work for me as I only gained weight in my belly but not in a way that worked with how pants normally fit. I wore non-maternity flowy blouses or button front shirts with cardigans or blazers and used a belly band with regular pants until I switched to maternity clothes around 7 months. No one noticed I was pregnant until I switched to maternity clothes (though I told my immediate supervisor and co-workers at 5 months).

    • Congrats!!

      I will second what others have said: Tight skirts/pants/jeans around your stomach may be an absolute no-go if you end up with morning sickness. I could/can not stand anything tight around my stomach still (I’m 14 weeks with no. 2). But, if you are looking for pencil skirts, check out a few maternity pencil skirts. If they are too big, try using a belly band to keep them up for the time being. Also, a belly band can help get a few more uses out of your regular pants.

      If you already wear flowy tops, look for a few more of those. I will caution you, however, that if you don’t already wear flowy/tunic tops, they can be a dead give-away that you are expecting. On the other hand, anything that is tight or form fitting can also give you away pretty quickly.

      As for transition pieces, if you are looking to conceal your tummy, I have found that layers are your friend. Cardigans, vests, and light sweaters can help conceal. This time around, I am not yet in maternity pants (a matter of days though). I am in pants that are about two sizes bigger than my regular, non-pregnancy pants. These are the pants that I bought when I returned from maternity leave with no. 1, so buying a few bigger pants may actually come in handy down the line.

      Regarding spending money: I totally get it. I didn’t spend a lot on my maternity wardrobe with no. 1, and I ended up feeling frumpy and just blah. This time around, I’m trying to take care of myself (inside and out) and feel good about the process and my body.

      • Thanks everyone! This is good advice, and will prevent me from making some mistakes, especially with wrap dresses!

        On flowy tops, how practical do youthink these options are:
        -Blue “poppy drip” top:
        -New Cahill top:
        -“Hanky” top:
        -Elisabetta lace top:

        • mama of 2 :

          The Poppy Drip top might be a problem because of the banding at the bottom. The Hanky top seems a little short in the front to me. The other two look like they will work.

          I’d encourage you to explore maternity clothes as well, though.

          • Yeah, I think all but the last might be too short. Remember, shirts of a seemingly-decent length will quickly become short if your b))bs grow a lot. And if your bloat/bump necessitates a belly band, you’re going to need even more length on your tops to make sure it stays covered. I mean this in the nicest way, but all of this is completely out of your control too!

    • I know it’s tempting to plan ahead, but truly, don’t buy clothes (even bridge clothes) until you need them. Especially when you’re only 6 weeks along.

    • Congrats! My best investment during pregnancy was in two ruched dresses and a tunic from Isabella Oliver. They were pricey, but so worth it. Great quality, and the only maternity clothes that fit me from the end of my first trimester all the way through the end. I rotated through each pretty much once a week at work and used different scarves/jewelry/etc. to vary my look.

      • Same here. 2 ruched dresses from Isabella Oliver and a blazer from Zara over them.

    • I really don’t think you need such an exptensive wardrobe for the in between phase. Here is how it goes for most people:

      I. Months 1-3: don’t really “show” at all, just look a little rounder maybe.

      II. Months 3-5ish: Not really a “bump” per se; and softness can be concealed with baggier clothes

      II. Months 5 1/2-9: That’s when you have a more noticeable bump

      By the third “category,” you can wear maternity clothes. For the second “category,” I think you can get away with a bella band and unbuttoning your pants, or wearing your looser fitting items of clothing, and maybe buying one pair of pants a size up. You don’t need a whole set of things for those 2 months.

    • I’d also encourage you to wait. Not only because you don’t know how your body will change but also because 6 weeks is not very far along and carries a significant risk of miscarriage. You don’t want to have clothes waiting for something that may not happen.

      • Most women are acutely aware of the risk of miscarriage early in a pregnancy. Being reminded is not helpful, at all. With each of my pregnancies (and still to this point), I am alternately thrilled about having a child and terrified that something will go wrong. Let OP be excited and buy those first maternity clothes.

        • Chi squared :

          I disagree. I had no idea about the risk of miscarriage until I got pregnant and started reading books and looking at pregnancy forums. I agree with anon that 6 weeks is very early on. Based on mynpersonal experience, I would recommend to OP that she wait until the 8 week ultrasound to start buying maternity clothes.

  18. Dear JC Penney,

    I like you. I like your adverts. I like your collaborations. I like your politics. I’m on board. Would you like to know why your new look has failed?

    I want to spend money with you. I am a professional woman who will spend money and recommend you. But here’s where we fall out: I go onto your website: it takes me 45 minutes to find 5 items because you have 1000 items – 990 of which are out of stock. And I’m only looking for swimsuits!And if I order clothes online, and the only shipping option for those clothes 4-7 business days, I can just about hack it. If then you email me a day later to tell me that everything is back ordered for another 10 days, and that you are expecting me to wait three weeks (!) for my clothes, I’m going to have to cancel my order. This is 2013. TWO THOUSAND AND THIRTEEN. It is unreasonable to expect people to wait nearly a month for their clothes. I’m going on holiday in 14 days. I don’t think in the age of Amazon Prime it should be unreasonable to order clothes 15 days in advance and receive them before a vacation.

    This is not a winning business strategy

    • +1,000,000 for this. I found a cute pair of cords on JCP online that I wanted to order for my son. I was looking for a long or short sleeve shirt in a contrasting color. I was not picky and his size is a normal size. Almost every.single.item I clicked on was out of stock, and there was no way to search for in stock items by size! I too love the new JCP but this was beyond frustrating. The amount of items totally unavailable in regular sizes for current or next season by any manufacturer (I really was not picky!) was staggering.

    • girl in the stix :

      Amen–everything I wanted to buy was out of stock–fail, JCP

  19. Book Recommendations - Creating a Business Plan :

    DH and I are always talking about starting our own business, and I’d like to get some book recommendations on creating a business plan. Any of the ‘r e t t e s with an MBA have some suggestions? Thanks!

  20. wintergreen126 :

    Boston ladies, I have a question for you!

    I have a friend coming to visit me later this month. She’s a little younger than I am, about 23-24, and she enjoys things like clubbing and dancing and staying out late in general. I’m far more low-key than that, so I’m kind of at a loss of what I could with her/where I could take here in Boston that would be fun but not too exciting; I don’t think I could keep up with her.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    • Couple suggestions:
      1. Karaoke? Somewhere like Limelight, where you can sit down when you get tired? (I hate Karaoke with a fiery passion, but to each their own.)
      2. If you can get her to bend on the clubbing/dancing, what about somewhere like Beehive? You can stay out late listening to live music (while sitting, if you like!!), eat very decent food, drink excellent drinks.
      3. Concert at somewhere like house of Blues? that will get you out late, and also near enough to a few late night haunts if your friend wants to keep going into the night.

      Beyond that…can’t help. I refuse to set foot into any of the clubs of my “youth” (I’m only 29, but haven’t been on the “Boston after midnight” scene for about 5 years…). And, as you can tell, I love anywhere with seating.

      • wintergreen126 :

        I hate karaoke, too! But the Beehive sounds like a good idea! I actually haven’t been there, yet, so this is as good a time as any to check it out.


        • if the beehive were a man, I”d marry it. If it’s your first time, know that there is ALWAYS a line outside. You’ll get in quickly, but there’s a line. That’s why it took me so long to finally go–I refused to wait in line. Then someone forced me, and my life has improved for the better.

          Check their website for the live music times. If you want to eat there, you should plan to make reservations in advance as it is super busy during dinnertime. Also, try the mussels.

          • wintergreen126 :

            Excellent. I’ve heard great things about their brunch, too.

            Also, speaking of places with live music, have you heard or know anything about wally’s cafe, out near northeastern?

          • Anonymous :

            Wally’s is fun. I haven’t been in a long time, but it’s got that divey jazz bar feeling. It’s kind of small and intimate.

            And speaking of such places, you might also try the Cantab in Central Square. It’s got a similar vibe. You could do dinner at Green Street Grill and then head to the Cantab for the music.

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