Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Ponte Knit Blazer

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

 Ponte Knit Blazer, Mermaid Blue Ooh: Last Call has a number of ponte knit blazers that look really promising, and most are priced below $50. There’s this “mermaid blue,” a classic red, a black (in all sizes, too!) and a fun yellow. I think they look like a great basic to keep at the office and throw on over everything, particularly dresses — the close fit is usually a really flattering look with most dress shapes. The blue was $78, was then marked to $59, and is now at $41.30 with the Friends & Family sale going on through 3/26. Ponte Knit Blazer, Mermaid Blue

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

Psst: Check out more great deals at the Corporette Bargains page, including previous recommendations on sale…


  1. Lovely although there is something about this color that I can’t wear!

    A wardrobe related TJ, I saw a woman today wearing what looked like a fleece blanket with a fastener at the top. I judged a bit but realised she was warmer than I was.

    • Yay! It’s fruegel friday’s and I love fruegel friday’s. Also, I love this color, and the Manageing Partner say’s my eye’s are JUST this color! The price is right too! Great pick KAT!

      I am goeing to have my mom see if she can get a matching set for me and Rosa (tho she won’t be abel to wear this until after she has a BABY (which is due next week). Rosa is so big she look’s like she ate 100 matza balls with soup! I better tell Grandma Leyeh not to over stuff her!

      She used to do the 4 question’s but now her kid’s ask them! It’s so CUTE! I want a BABY! Where is my husband to be? That is MY First Question. Why can”t my next boyfreind be unlike any other boyfreind? That is my second question. When will I get married to him? That is my third question and my final question is: When will I become a judge?

      Happy Friday to the HIVE! No fooey’s from me this morning! Yay!

    • Clearly Speaking :

      Yesterday: Woman in black Tory Burch flats with several huge and very visible band-aids on her feet because, obviously, the shoes were super uncomfortable and rubbed. I judged a bit and felt pity. No shoes are worth that.

      • Anonymous :

        Is it possible she was wearing the flats because she was in pain from other shoes that were super uncomfortable and rubbed? That’s usually when I turn to flats (or I’m injured).

  2. I’m sure that this has been addressed before, but I can’t find it. How much information do you typically share when you or your child is sick and you will be taking a sick day? I feel like I always lean toward providing too much information to convince my manager that it is a legitimate sickness, but no one needs to know all of the gory details. How do you usually phrase these things?

    • You do not need to justify taking care of your child. I don’t have children, true, but I would think something like this would be enough: “Manager, [dear child] is sick and has to be kept home from school today. I will be working from home to the extent possible. Please email if anything comes up that needs immediate attention.”

    • Dear X,

      I will be out of the office today for personal reasons. (Optional: I anticipate returning on _. In the event of an emergency, I can be reached at _.) Please let me know if you have any concerns.


    • I don’t share anything if I’m only going to be out one day. I either tell my supervisor I will be out sick and leave it at that or if my child is sick I tell him that I will be out today and need to use family-friendly sick leave for my absence. If I or my child has the flu or something, then I will say I am out sick with the flu or that my child is out sick with the flu and I anticipate being out for the next 2-3 days and will update him tomorrow.

    • We’re a pretty friendly group and people have gotten used to sharing why they’re out sick, but our HR dept said that we shouldn’t be oversharing unless it affects how long someone will be out. When I pass on that someone is out sick (as their supervisor, to the rest of the group), I just say that so-and-so is out sick.

    • I’d add that as a supervisor, I really don’t want to hear about my direct reports’ (or their children’s) vomiting, etc. Just let me know when you expect to be back in and what the plan is for anything urgent in the meantime.

    • in general, I think its important for families to make a point of letting employers know when they have family obligations. If we want change in how things are set up- we need to be candid about the demands of our family life. I’ve made a conscious choice to be very honest when I have things like this come up. The more awareness- the more likely a global change will become.

      • Unfortunately, it’s not usually “families” who make the point of letting employers know they have family obligations. It’s almost always women.

        I think this is a know your employer situation, but in general I’d be careful about giving your employer too much information about being away from work for child-related reasons so you don’t give them one more reason to think women are unreliable because they put their children first.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Similar to most replies, I just say I am out sick or I have to stay home with sick child and will be working from home to the best of my ability.

      My manager never questions this and typically responds with a simple ‘ok’. My previous manager would always ask about our health for days afterwards which made me totally uncomfortable. I know it came from a good place but it was intrusive.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is so timely for me! I am just back in the office after taking two sick days — only the second and third sick days I’ve taken in eight years on this job! I was so mortified about staying home (which meant others had to do my work, which makes me cringe) that I definitely gave way too many gory details so nobody would suspect I was malingering.

      Too bad this discussion didn’t happen last week!

    • Need to Improve :

      No information needed other than “I will be out of the office caring for a sick kid.” A man would not feel the need to explain himself lest he be suspected of lying to his co workers. You should not either. You sound very conscientious and I doubt anyone would think you we’re making it up unless you did it on a weekly basis.

  3. Thanks to everyone who recommended the News in Slow [language] series! I listened to the French on my way to work today. I used to be nearly fluent but my skills have deteriorated considerably and I think this will be really helpful (although, ugh, why is the guy’s accent so bad? couldn’t they at least get an American makes *some* effort with the uniquely French sounds?). I also downloaded the Spanish, which is great. I don’t speak Spanish at all, but I can understand a little bit and since it’s the same topics they cover in the French, I can follow along. It’s perfect!

    • Ooh, missed the original rec for that, but I’m totally going to start listening to those!

    • Olivia Pope :

      I missed the rec, but this sounds great. Thanks for mentioning it! I hate that I lost most of my French.

      • Yeah, I have the Le Monde app on my iPhone and try to read my news there, but aural skills are always the toughest. It’s great to have something to listen to. Also, they seem to really get where second language listeners are at. The lady repeats all numbers, which I find both hilarious and super helpful because numbers really are the least intuitive words.

    • Elinor Dashwood :

      +1 for “Virgil to your Dante.”

      (Just caught up w/the “mentor” thread on yesterday’s afternoon post. )

  4. I really hate knit blazers — most of them, like this one, seem schlumpy to me. I’d rather go with either a cardigan for the softness or a real blazer, not this ponte stuff with the kind of weirdly shaped lower-part of the sleeve.

    If one wants a slim fit *something* over a dress, just get a slim fit real blazer already.

    • I like knit blazers with jeans but not for dressier outfits. I am tempted by this jacket from the sale though:

    • Eh, I prefer knit blazers. I’m not much of a blazer-wearer (I have two for interviews, but that’s it) to begin with, but I’m thinking about acquiring a couple of knit ones in fun colors. They seem work-appropriate without the stuffiness I associate with “real” blazers.

      • Yeah, I love knit blazers. I just bought a couple from The Limited that aren’t schlumpy at all.

      • Yeah, a regular blazer would feel too formal for my biz-casual office so a knit one is a nice way to be a little more pulled together but not stuffy. I also need to put a plug in for the Tinley Road Bleecker Blazer from Piperlime – it’s very well cut and affordable (right know they are or $60-70 depending on color, but I got mine on sale for <$50).


        • I also love knit blazers & esp like them for travel as they pack up a lot better than a traditional blazer. IA_Eng – thanks for this link, I’m a fan of Tinley Road dresses & am intrigued by this pick. How does it run size-wise?

          • Not the original commenter, but I own this blazer in two colors. I find that Tinley Road stuff usually runs a little big, but these jackets run TTS. For what its worth, I wear a size S in these and I’m 5’6″, 130 lbs.

          • I would agree that the blazer runs TTS. I’m 5’7″, 138 and the small was a perfect fit.

        • I love the Tinley Road blazer. I should buy it in more colors.

    • I wouldn’t go as far as to say hate, but I am also not a big fan. Some are better than others, of course. This one isn’t winning me over. It doesn’t seem serious enough for me to wear work and I don’t see myself having any desire to wear a faux-blazer in my time off.

      • Reminds me of what I always think about funky suits: if I have to wear a suit, I have to be pretty conservative; if I get to dress down a little, I don’t want to be in a suit. Fits neither circumstance –> never gets worn.

      • Elinor Dashwood :

        Yup. This is why I never buy these knit blazers any more — I’ve bought a few only to have them sit in my closet, still with tags, never-worn.

    • Maddie Ross :

      There is a spectrum of knit blazers. There are the jersey ones with one button that are unlined and look like a sweatshirt or sweater that’s been cut in a blazer shape. And then there are the ones made of knit material that are still lined and tailored. I have a couple of each and obviously for work prefer the latter. GAP in particular as well as Piperlime have several “knit” blazers that are lined and structured, but still super comfy. Great for someone like me in a office that requires a jacket, but isn’t too strict about the dressiness of the jacket.

  5. Anne Shirley :

    Any good bookstores in Manhattan? (not the strand). Something like the Brookline Booksmith, without the trip to Boston.

    • downstream :

      McNally Jackson, 52 Prince St (in soho)

      • Seconded. Just such a perfectly curated collection of things you want to read.

    • Shakespeare & Co. There’s a good location on Lower Broadway and one on Lexington and E 68th. Bonus, they each have a cat.
      I also really like the Housing Works Bookstore Cafe on Crosby St.

      If you like mystreries, there are also a number of really awesome specialty shops. Just let me know and I will post locations.

    • Elinor Dashwood :

      Crawford Doyle
      1082 Madison Ave
      (between 81st St & 82nd St)

      Nice folks who work there — no attitude or snootiness; great eclectic selection.

    • I know you said Manhattan, but Greenlight Books in Fort Greene (Brooklyn) is really lovely. I always want to buy half the store.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Thanks ladies! Excited to visit these.

  6. Hi gang — I ordered a ton of stuff from Shade and tried it all on this week, so I’m here to report back. Overall, I was pretty impressed, especially for the price. In particular, their ponte leggings and trousers are awesome — very thick. I also liked a lot of their shirts and dresses; when it started out, this company was geared towards Mormon women so there aren’t any modesty issues. That makes their tops and dresses great for me for work, especially b/c I’m 7.5 weeks postpartum and nursing has blown up my b00bs to the nth degree.

    I had several skirts included in my order and sent them all back. I didn’t like the fit (too high up) and only one was lined.

    As for sizing, I’m usually a pretty straightforward Medium (size 8-10) but am currently, um, a GENEROUS Medium. (5’4″, 147 lbs., carry most of my weight in my stomach.) Their Large stuff was still too big on me. I would say their sizing is sort of like Lands’ End — definitely not as extreme, but certainly on the large side. With free shipping both ways, these clothes were definitely worth it for me.

  7. LawyerLady :

    Any tips for travel in Israel? I know the standard, don’t take the buses, be aware, etc. Also, anyone ever travel from Israel to Petra for a few days?

    • Buy leather. They have awesome shoes, bags, belts, etc.
      Go swimming.
      Don’t be afraid to haggle at markets.

    • Lonely Planet’s thorn tree forum has lots of tips, and a lot of discussion on the Israel to Petra trip.

      • In the Pink :

        If you want a good read on Petra, way back in the 1970s to 1980s (grin) before people were moved out, you might like “Married to a Bedouin” by Marguerit van Geldermalsen. I read it after our trip and it was a great adjunct. In advance, you might have more ideas. The main part of Petra had several nice hotels now…

        We were there on a one day excursion from a cruise. Seems like there was so much more to hike around than our time permitted. Bring water and pace yourself; the hike through the Siq can be long, somewhat steep with uneven footing, and hot! But what an adventure when you first glimpse the famous “treasury facade” and enter into the main areas and see the sky.

        Enjoy your trip!

    • Senior Attorney :

      We visited a Druze village near Haifa, and that was a real highlight. Lovely, lovely people and it was fun to haggle with them in the market! (“For you, Blue Eyes, 60 shekels!”)

      The food is awesome in Israel — enjoy!!

    • You can definitely take the buses, FYI. Security has vastly improved over the past 10 years. Now, sometimes the buses are super crowded and people are standing in the aisles, which is not so fun, but you don’t particularly need to worry about bus bombings.

      Lots of people do a quick side trip to Petra, or Cairo. Israel is a beautiful country (try to do some nature hikes like Ein Gedi, get up the north of the country if you can). Have an amazing time.

      • Oh and also, don’t be alarmed at security guards at the entrance to every mall, train station, bus station, etc. It is a normal part of life — just show them your bag and don’t stress about it.

        Also, Jerusalem has a new LRT which is supposed to be awesome.

        • Senior Attorney :


          In fact, we were told not to go into any establishment that did NOT have an armed guard out front!

    • If you are going to be visiting any holy sites, cover your shoulders and wear pants or a skirt that comes down below your knees. May sound obvious but it wasn’t to me when I was 20 and I ended up having to borrow (hideously ugly) pants from a fellow member of our tour group to wear under my modest-by-American standards-but-not-kneelength skirt.

      Some highlights from my trip were: Baha’i gardens in Haifa, swimming in the Dead Sea, 1 day city tour of the highlights of Old Jerusalem, riding a camel, and a trip to the city of Tel Dan (ancient city in the far north of Israel, from which you can see Lebanon).

      Enjoy! I’m well-traveled and Israel remains one of the coolest and most unique places I’ve ever been. I really want to go back. I never felt unsafe while I was there (just traveling with my parents) and the fact that there are metal detectors and security guards everywhere, as Marilla mentions, made me feel more safe not less. I actually felt safer in Israel than I have in many large US cities.

    • Anonchitect :

      Fun! You can definitely do Petra in two days. If you’d like to stay in Jordan for a bit longer, I’d recommend adding in a hike through Petra to Jabal Harun, or that you do an overnight or two in Wadi Rum. It’s all doable by bus in Israel and then taxi on the Jordanian side of the border. One one leg of the trip, though, you might want to rent a car to explore the landscape and kibbutzes in Southern Israel. Cairo is a longer, more difficult side trip, but is also, of course fantastic.

      In Jerusalem, my favorite neighborhoods for wandering are Nachla’ot, Machane Yehuda (right in and around the West Jerusalem market–don’t miss it!), and Nachalat Shiva. Damascus Gate is my favorite way to enter the Old City, and is great for sunset people-watching. In Tel Aviv, don’t miss Neve Tzedek (the area around the Suzanne Dallal Center) and of course the Bauhaus neighborhoods along Rothschild Ave.

      If you’re into food, David Liebovitz was in Israel a few months ago and wrote up his trip on his blog, and Ottolenghi/Tamimi’s new cookbook, Jerusalem, gives lots of good background. I love the bread + pastry there, with particular shout-outs to zataar bread, burekas, knafe, and rugalach.

    • New poster :

      I went to Petra for a day trip from Eilat. It was beautiful. We had a tour guide who met us on the Israel side, drove us to the border, and walked us up to customs. We went early in the morning to avoid the long lines from bigger tour groups. Our Israeli guide arranged for a Jordanian guide on the other side who met us after we emerged from customs. There are a lot of fees associated with Israeli tour guides bringing groups into Jordan, so by having two separate guides we were able to avoid that.

      Petra was beautiful and I highly recommend it! Wear a scarf to cover your mouth, it can get very dusty/smelly with the horses some of the guides use to transport tourists from the entrance of the site to the main opening.

      General tips – hire a guide if you can! We were lucky and had a great guide. I feel like we would have missed so much if he hadn’t been there to explain the significance of everything around us.
      We went all over – Tel Aviv, Haifa, Ceasarea, Acre (highly recommended!), Rosh Hanikra, all around Tiberius and the Sea of Galilee, Eilat, Petra, and Jerusalem.

      Highlights: All of Jerusalem. Book a ticket for “Under the Western Wall” tour in Jerusalem. It sells out so book in advance. It was incredible. I also loved Acre, it’s still up and coming as a tourist destination so you can get very close to the ruins and points of interest. I loved the Sea of Galilee, it was very relaxing and we stayed at a kibbutz for a night which was a nice experience. I didn’t love Eilat because it was over 100 degrees and mostly a beach town, but it was worth it for Petra.

      Enjoy! Israel is great.

  8. Violet's Fan :

    I recently bought a knit blazer at Target in a coral/orange color. I wore it yesterday with a grey pencil skirt (the blazer has grey buttons on the sleeve and one to close the jacket in front) and a white t underneath. The arms are a smidge short for my very long arms, and I’ve already had to throw it in the wash once, which made it look just slightly off (a little bit of bunching or pulling at the seams). However, I’m pretty happy with the overall quality given the ridiculously low price. Thick fabric and no pilling (yet). I wanted to try the bright blazer trend for early spring and this was a great way to do it. I recommend!

    • I am intrigued at machine washing a blazer. Is that what the instructions said, or did you just go for it anyway? Did it hold its shape ok?

      • Violet's Fan :

        It’s the ponte boyfriend blazer and it’s unlined. 60% cotton, the rest nylon and spandex. The care instructions said machine wash cold and lay flat to dry. I did wash on gentle. I notice a bit of an issue at the bottom of the blazer at the seam, but it generally held it’s shape. The blazer is more on the casual end of the spectrum. I bought it mostly to wear with jeans this spring when I need something less than a coat. But I had it styled with a pencil skirt, pumps, and pearls for work yesterday.

  9. Longtime lurker, thread jacking to seek advice from the Hive…

    I work in a small team under a fabulous boss. We hired a new employee last fall who works alongside me, and unfortunately, it hasn’t been working out. IMO, her work product is sloppy bordering on utterly useless, and based on her attempts at commiseration with me, she has a serious attitude problem. At this point, it’s clear that my coworker despises my boss on a personal level. For reasons I don’t want to discuss in too much detail here, I suspect that either she or my boss will be informing me that she has been let go in the near future.

    My questions is, what does a polite coworker say in response
    to news like this, coming from either party? I just want to get out of the conversation with minimal awkwardness, but (thankfully) this is my first time dealing with a situation like this and I’m not sure what the etiquette around fired coworkers might be.

    Thanks in advance!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think if you hear it from her, the only real response you can give is, “I’m sorry to hear that. Best of luck in your next steps” and if you’re willing to be of some support (it doesn’t sound like you are, but in general if it happened to someone you liked/thought was good) “Please feel free to contact me at my personal email ([email protected]).”

      As for what to say when your boss tells you, I would just say, “Okay. Thanks for letting me know. How should we handle dividing up Jane’s projects?” (ie all business, no venting or thank-god-shes-gone kind of stuff)

    • You can probably play dumb to some extent, and I think that will help. Treat her departure as between her and management, and if she asks don’t let on that you had any idea about it (let alone agree that it had to be done). I’d avoid asking about her plans for the future, as that could lead to her saying “I had no idea this was coming, and I’m SOL!” or asking you for a reference/mentioning that Boss won’t give her one.

  10. I bought a similar blazer this weekend, except that it’s a little more structured, lined, etc. I love the color and see it working with a lot of outfits.

  11. TJ! Does anyone have any exciting ideas for what I should buy myself for my 25th birthday? I don’t have much to spend ($100-$200 TOPS) but I’d like to try and find something special that I’ll look back at later and remember “I bought that for myself at 25.” Not that I necessarily need to justify giving myself a gift, but I’ve had an extremely rough year and kind of want to commemorate turning over a new leaf when my birthday rolls around. Thanks in advance!!

    • I don’t know if this qualifies as exciting but what about the idea of buying a small pair of diamond studs (like this? that you could size up when you have the money later.

    • What are you in the mood to buy? Jewelry is a go-to for things like this — that price range will get you lots of sterling silver options at Tiffany, as one benchmark.

      OTOH, it can be really fun to buy something nice for the home, too. After I got my first BigLaw, I gave myself a “bonus gift” of a really beautiful Simon Pearce vase – I use it all the time and remember that first year of hard work!

      • Love the idea of a Simon Pearce vase or candle holder. I also have a Waterford posy vase, which could be fun.

        • hoola hoopa :

          I was thinking Pendleton blanket or nice comforter or sheets. I always love a bedding splurge.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I’ve started buying staple jewelry for these occasions. My most recent purchase was the sterling silver ball earrings from Tiffany. They are only like $125ish, but I wear them constantly and they’re easy to throw on with anything, so I felt good about the purchase price. I know I’ll wear them for years, so it felt a little more meaningful than a bag or trendy piece that I knew I’d eventually replace again. Next purchase on my list will be a good mid-priced watch (I’m eyeing the Kate Spades).

      • I have the black and turquoise beads and I wear them constantly. Highly recommended and I think both in the large size are under $200.

    • Need to Improve :

      A nice wallet is something you will use every day
      Lacy lingerie that makes you feel pretty
      A silk nightgown
      A pretty vase to fill with flowers you buy for yourself
      A fancy knife/pan/food accessory if you like to cook
      Jeans that make your a$$ look great
      A pair of heels you will wear a lot

    • For my 25th a few months ago, I treated myself to a leather-bound illustrated copy of one of my favorite classic books. It makes me happy every time I look at my bookshelf.
      A few other ideas that will last forever and feel grown-up: a piece of art? a piece of classic jewelry? a cake stand, punch bowl, or serving platter? a jewelry chest?

    • Original Anon :

      These are all amazing ideas! Thank you all.

      I especially love the jewelry, something for the home, and wallet ideas. The wallet concept is particularly appealing because mine has seen better days–I think it’s about seven years old. So if anyone has any amazing reccs for a wallet, please shoot them my way! I currently have a version of this:, and I really like the zip-up feature, along with all the slots for cards.

      • I am personally ogling two wallets – asked the hive yesterday and got some good feedback on both:

        Hobo Lauren – I love this one, it can be used as a clutch, fits phone, has lots of little slots for cards, holds a lot of receipts. The link is for a black one but it comes in cute colors and patters through Nordstrom & Amazon.

        Kate Spade Lacey/Stacy,default,sc.html

        I don’t know much about these other than I got some good comments about them. I linked to the page of wallets. If you sign up for Kate Spade emails they have sample sales often with great prices on wallets.

      • Someone yesterday posted a few wallet options that are similar -> had a similar question and was asking about Kate Spade versus Hobo.

    • Snarkster :

      I bought myself an estate sapphire ring when I turned 25. I think it as $300 back then, but if you troll around some of the estate jewelry sites and/or bricks and mortar stores, you can probably find something!

  12. The relationship between my boss and me is rapidly deteriorating. He makes these passive-aggressive comments that I find really insulting and I can barely fake it with him anymore. Today he accused me of going behind his back (I did not) and whenever I stand up for myself, tells me I’m emotional or hormonal or have low blood sugar. I’m ready to walk out but I know that’s not an option right now.

    I think I’m going to go home for the afternoon, once we file this brief, because I’m really upset today but I need some advice on how to try to maintain things until I’m ready to move on and have found a new job.

    Thanks ladies!

    • I went through this in a prior job. My best advice is to avoid contact whenever possible, and rely on email to communicate. Seriously, limit in-person contact to what is strictly necessary to do your job. If he comes to you, just look him the eye and do not say anything unless a response is called for (but only respond for work stuff, not for defending yourself against personal comments. those you ignore.) “Standing up for yourself” will not work with a person like this. Having no reaction is the best way to get him to stop attacking.

      Good luck. I hope you get out of there soon. And you’re probably great, so don’t let a bad boss convince you otherwise.

    • Ah, I had a boss like this. The joys.

      First, if you can take a few days off and just revel in relaxation. That helps. Or if you can, modify your schedule so you have a vacation day every other week or something.

      Second, realize his behavior isn’t about you. It’s about him. Those passive aggressive insults are because he’s not secure and knows you’re better than him. when you frame it this way, think of it as a pat on the back. He’s trying to tear you down because he’s intimidated by you. You get to a point where it almost becomes funny.

      Make sure you are standing up for yourself in a professional way. I was guilty of letting my anger get this best of me and in retrospect I see that. Don’t think of it as standing up for yourself, think of it as laying out facts. For example, going behind his back. you say I did X, talked to Y, and Z per standard protocol. If he says you’re hormonal or whatever, say that is an inappropriate comment. If you have an issues with the way I handled something, let’s discuss how we can change the procedures..etc. even if it’s lip service.

      Document everything.

      And start looking now before you’re too desperate. Seriously. A desperate job hunter makes a devil’s bargain.

      • Houston Attny :

        Amen to everything here. Definitely think if you can see it as a compliment you might be able to smile at him, which, if we’re right, will freak him out. I also third the recommendation to start looking today. If you need to print your contacts from Outlook, do so today or Monday and take it home with you. Just start preparing for your well-planned exit to something great.

    • That sounds appalling. But for your own sanity, as much as you can, try not to dwell on his behavior. See it for what it is, and let it be his problem, not yours. Be assertive, but not aggressive. Reflect on your behavior and what seems to produce the best outcome — (asking for specifics when he accuses you of something, ignoring him altogether, or addressing misunderstandings directly) — see if there is any tactic that tends to work best. But perhaps the most powerful thing you can do is to come up with a list of situations that tick you off — things he does that tend to get a reaction out of you — and pre-plan and write out exactly how you would like to handle it, what you will say and do to deal with it and prevent collateral damage to your own reputation and career. This will really help you keep perspective and get a sense of control and an idea of how you want to handle things. I did this for my old boss, and it helped immensely. For example, when my boss would come by my office with a list of changes to a project, I would plan to take a breath and say okay, rather than bristling and getting defensive (but I’m sure your situation is more complicated than that). I looked over the list when I was frustrated and always felt a lot better.

  13. How do you handle multiple requests for flexible work schedules (say, working one day a week from home) from members of your team? Have you ever had to deny a request because others already had flexible arrangements?

    • I think it depends on your company policy and your team’s objectives. It sounds like your company is flexible and leaves decisions to you, but your group’s work requires face-time in the office. In that case, why not create an Official Group Policy that says something like in an effort to keep the group productive, we need to have at least X folks on site each day. And see if it works itself out…
      I used to be in a firm that had “flex hours” (ie you had to be there 9 hours but as long as you came in after 6am and before 10am, and kept set hours, they were cool with it)– except that meant that in the summer, my entire staff would be gone by 3pm, and we’d have clients calling! So we moved to a “someone has to be here until 5pm every day. If you guys can’t work it out among yourselves, I’ll make a schedule.” They worked it out (rotated fridays, everyone else stayed “late” one day/week)

  14. Rural Juror :

    Is it possible to have a bunion on your small toe? I know you can have a bunion on that side of your foot, called a bunionette, but all the descriptions I have read online indicate that it is at the base of your toe (below your toe) and not actually on the toe. I have a sore spot on the knuckle joint of my baby toe that has been bothering me for a few months. It is red and bumped out and tender. Is it maybe just a persisting blister or something?

    • I don’t know what it’s called but I have the same thing on one foot. It’s because the front of your foot is wide and gets rubbed by the shoe. I’ve had it a pretty long time, it doesn’t really bother me other than being unsightly, but it doesn’t go away. Just try to be careful in the type of shoes you wear and try to find ones that are wide enough across this area.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think that is called a corn and there are over the counter remedies, but I haven’t tried any myself.

      • Oh gross, I’m a little embarrassed now; I’m only 31! (And do yourself a favor, do not google this. Guess I should be thankful mine is nowhere near as bad as some of these images.)

  15. I need advice helping DH manage his wardrobe. He won’t get rid of ANYTHING.

    We’ve got it all- ties with stains, suit pants with little holes in them, old t shirts where the writing has literally washed away, button downs where the collars are completely curled, etc. He’ll have button downs with ripped elbows or short sleeve button downs he never wears and he’ll want to keep them saying he’ll wear them under sweaters.

    I don’t get why he wants to keep such shabby stuff and it makes it so hard to find stuff in his closet because its clogged with things that can only be worn in a particular way to hide a flaw. It also turns getting ready for things into such an unnecessary battle. Ex: we’re getting ready for dinner/a work event/a party and he appears ready to go in a shirt with little holes at the elbow and a tie with stains. I say babe you can’t wear that, it’s ripped/got stains/whatever, and we have a whole convo about how he thinks nobody will notice, and I say I notice and I know other people do notice and it’s important to look appropriate with family/work colleagues/whoever. Repeat x a million.

    Do I just collect everything and donate it? I’m hesitant to do this because it feels like an invasion of his space but I’m also sick of having to send him back to redress like I’m a mom to a toddler. Maybe it’s shallow of me but it’s important to me that he looks put together because I feel like it reflects on me, especially when we’re with my colleagues or my family. What do I do? I want him to have a closet full of things where he can’t go wrong when he grabs stuff (we have plenty of money to replace items, there’s no financial reason to cling to these old, falling apart items).

    • My dad is kind of similar. While stained/shabby items aren’t a problem, he has a collection of clothes that are too big for him (he thinks they make him look slimmer, but they really just look ill-fitting), as well as several Cosby-style sweaters, and approximately a million polo shirts that he never wears.

      My mom has taken to removing a few items at a time and hiding them. If he doesn’t ask for them within X time frame (I think it’s 6 months), she donates them. If he asks after 6 months, she will lie (eg, “that sweater got eaten by moths.”)

      Probably not an ideal solution in terms of open, honest communication, but it does get the most offensive items out of the closet.

    • Calibrachoa :

      “whoops I accidentally set fire on your wardrobe”

    • Can you take the stained, torn clothes and pack them away like the basement or another closet? Then maybe he’ll focus on only wearing the clothes that are clean and not damaged. If enough time has passed and he sees he has no need for the old clothes, then you can donate them.

    • This is less of an issue with my DH, but it still happens. Mostly (luckily) with “home” clothes, like boxers, sweats or pajama pants. If it has a hole in it, and he removes the clothing item because of the hole, right there I make the hole bigger and so huge we throw it out.

      I wouldn’t do this with, say, a prized t-shirt from high school, but if he isn’t going to wear a pair of sweats because of the hole, HE WILL NEVER WEAR THEM. Trashed.

      For your DH– can you just (with his permission) box everything up and put it in the attic? Tell him if he wants anything, it’s just upstairs! Then after a year say, “that big box is still upstairs. Can i toss it?” if he says no, just leave it there. In 100 years, you can toss it.

    • With my husband, I just move that stuff to the garage and then gradually give it away to Goodwill.

    • Why does it matter what he wears? Everyone’s partner has little flaws and foibles. I guarantee your colleagues are not judging you based on your husband’s tie. (Family is another matter, but with family, seriously, why does it matter? You’re the one married to the guy.) Maybe your colleagues see the stain and think “huh, Anon is so put together, funny that her husband isn’t” and then they forget it like a goldfish forgets ten seconds ago. It’s really not worth the brainspace to anyone else. I’d just let him wear whatever the heck he wants.

      • I’m the one in the relationship who can’t get rid of clothing, and I am not bothered at all when my husband kindly points out that what I’m wearing is too clean or worn to wear to work. There are ways of saying it would out being shallow or hurtful. If OP’s husband is like me, he knows he’s clueless and pathologically frugal and appreciates the nudging. I like that he makes sure I don’t leave the house looking like a bag lady.

        OP: My husband makes increasingly strong hints that I need to replace certain items (ie, while folding laundry: “This shirt is really worn out – let’s buy you a new one.”) I think he usually starts more subtle and I just don’t get it. I will eventually take care of it myself, although he has confronted me with a bag of clothing that he filtered and will trash if I am okay with it. I usually save a couple of items but let the rest go. Honestly, I appreciate the help. I know he has thrown out a couple of items without checking with me. I didn’t mind (honestly I was relieved), but I would have been very upset if he had done it with my favorites.

  16. I’m thinking about buying this bag as a gift to myself. Anyone own it and have feedback? Thoughts on quality of cole haan leather bags in general? And…most importantly….WHAT COLOR?! The practical side of me says brown, the rest of me says BRIGHT!

    I have a gift card and a coupon, so it would end up being <$50 for me.

    • Jessica Glitter :

      I have four Cole Haan bags and love them all…especially the pebbled ones. In fact the bag I am carrying today I have had for 5 years and it still looks great.
      If you have a coupon, I say go bright!

    • hoola hoopa :

      My only bag for 10 years was bright red. It was the kind of item that just felt ‘right’ for me, and I never regretted not having something safe and neutral.

      For reference, my wardrobe is primarily safe and neutral. So the bag was an unusual choice for me, but I really loved that bag!

      This looks like a great bag for $50 – get whatever makes you happy!


    • Ooh, I like the orange pop or poolside colors – they would be nice for spring & summer. Do you already have a nice brown bag? How much would you use one of the brightly- colored bags?

    • Or the sandstone or dark paloma colors might be a good compromise with something that’s a little more interesting than brown but not as in your face as some of the bright ones.

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