Workwear Hall of Fame: Twirl Seamed Dress

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

We’ve featured this twirl dress before, and it’s one of these things that they just keep making in different colors and different sleeve lengths, etc., from season to season (it’s always highly rated), and now they have a skirt made from the same fabric. This is sort of a classic U-neck sleeveless look, and it’s in a really pretty dark blue. I think it’s very flattering, I think it’s easy — it’s just a hall of famer. They do make a petite if you’re worried about it being too long. The dress is $118 (from $198) at Bloomingdale’s in sizes XS-XL. NIC and ZOE Twirl Seamed Dress

Nordstrom has several options for the twirl dress in plus sizes, as does Amazon.

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



  1. Thoughts on the latest trump/Russia scandal?

    • Anonymous :

      Not really surprised. It was a matter of time before something like this came out. Only interesting point that seems overlooked is Comey’s role in releasing/not releasing info given his comments on the Weiner emails.

    • anonshmanon :

      As others have said before, I am beginning to believe that somebody here just enjoys trolling. Why would you just throw something like this out, except if you revel in the aggravation which a passionate discussion will reveal? This is not constructive.

      • What do you mean by “constructive?” We, as readers of a fashion blog, are not going to save the world. But we can have a political discussion now and again, no?

        • anonshmanon :

          This discussion board serves so many purposes. Big advice, small advice, exchange of information, exchange of different viewpoints, safe space for venting. I am loving (mostl of the time) the political discussions, calls to action, commiseration that are going on here.

          This post wasn’t sharing a reaction or an opinion or information. Others have suggested that this seems to be a recurring pattern. Somebody just throws a spark and commenters have a go at each other. I am beginning to agree.

      • Sorry. Genuinely not trolling. It was a question because it was the main thing on my mind on my commute this morning and I value what this community thinks. If this is not the place for a political or current events discussion, I’ll stop.

      • I don’t mind the occasional political post. It’s weighing on many of our minds. And I, for one, enjoy hearing the thoughts and opinions of other intelligent, well-educated women, which this site has a plethora of.

        • I also welcome the political thoughts of others on this site. Far more important than Nordstrom’s latest sale.

        • Also, frankly, as a liberal woman living in a super-liberal place (87% HRC vote) with mostly liberal friends, the election definitely taught me that I need to spend more time listening to people with different viewpoints and politics. This may be a small step out of my bubble, but small steps add up.

          • +1

          • Ha. I’m thinking the demographics of this blog are about exactly what your hometown is. Maybe you should try again.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I’m like you — living in So Cal with mostly liberal friends. I just finished reading “Strangers in Their Own Land” by Arlie Hochschild and it was really eye-opening. Among other things, it had me shaking my head and thinking “this is why they hate us” instead of “you go, Girl” at Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes speech. Not that I don’t agree with everything she said, but OMG the delivery is so tone-deaf!

            Next up: “Hillbilly Elegy.”

      • Anonymous :

        Agree that it was the same troll/instigator who did a first post political post everyday for a while.

        But, meh! It was all over the news last night and was bound to come up at some point. Political discussions generally stay pretty civil here as far as internet political discussions go.

      • Sorry. Genuinely not trolling. It’s big news and it was on my mind on my commute, so I figured others might be feeling similarly. And I value what this community thinks and wanted to hear.

        If this is not the place for discussions of politics and current events, I’ll stop.

        • Anonymous :

          Don’t stop. There was a string of days where the first comments of the day were a vaguely inflammatory political post by a suspected tr+ll. I value the political discussions which occur here and the ability of the group to flip between serious political discussion and advice on mascara.

        • anonshmanon :

          then it was a misunderstanding. I agree with others here, this is a good place for political discussions. I value the hive su much!

        • I actually came here this morning because I wanted to know what intelligent, educated women thought about this issue.

      • It is so, so easy to just collapse replies on a thread you think you’re not going to enjoy. I’m with OP here; this is basically all I’ve been thinking about for the last 12 hours, so why shouldn’t there be a post about it?

      • We have “collapse all comments” for a reason. You can ignore the bits you don’t want to read without ordering other people to only post what you want them to.

    • *sobs quietly in corner*

      And of course we’re hearing about this on the night Obama says goodbye. The juxtaposition of Trump news with Obama’s eloquent words is something I will never forget.

    • hold your horses :

      Seems like there are a lot of questions over the veracity of the allegations. Merely publishing something does not make it true and I think it just perpetuates the fake news cycle.

      • The issue is not whether the allegations of golden showers, etc, are correct. The issue is whether the Russians were able to blackmail the president-elect.

        • Exactly. I could care less about his sexual preferences. But if this information is being/has been used against him or if any of the allegations about his campaigns involvement/communications with Russia are true, heaven help us.

          • There’s no evidence it was used to blackmail him. The Michael Cohen in the story is not even the right MIchael Cohen. I’m no Trump fan, didn’t vote for him and am so sad that he is our president, but I get really irritated seeing people slam “fake news” and then jump all over this.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          It’s also telling that pretty much no one is like, “No, Mr. Trump would never do such a thing, it would be totally out of character for him.” Everyone is basically, “Yea, we could see that happening.” Which is just depressing in its own right, whether something happened or not.

          • Anonymous :

            Exactly! With Bush or Reagan or whoever, the reaction would totally be “Seriously? That seems improbable.” but with DJT the reaction is definitely less shocked at the mere possibility that it’s true.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Right? My husband and I were saying this morning that it’s barely blackmail material because… of course he does stuff like that! I think it falls into the category of “I could shoot somebody in Times Square and not lose any votes.”

          • Annony Mousse :

            This. And also my sister pointed out, “Well, if it’s true, it does explain a lot about some of what Trump’s been doing/saying.”

            But it is sad that it has come to this. That it is a “credible” report, and that we can’t easily dismiss it.

        • I would be interested to know what they have on him that would make a difference to anyone. In terms of some kind of s3x scandal, the only think I can think of would maybe be him [email protected] multiple underage boys or a golden retriever? All the other stuff a normal politician would get in trouble for doing, he has already bragged openly about doing and no one gave a hoot beyond some fake pearl clutching. I think if they do have information it has to be a lot more serious than hiring some women to pee on each other.

          Democrats already hate him and Republicans didn’t seem bothered enough by anything he said or did to avoid voting for him. So… I guess I’m not really sure what difference it would make. Besides, he could just say it’s all lies and the people who believe in him will believe him.

          • I don’t mean it wouldn’t make a difference to our country, just that it might not make a difference to the people who voted for him. I would hope it would also make a difference to Republican politicians.

          • I’m assuming that if the Russians felt they had something, it’s because it was on video and clearly crossed a line (e.g. significantly underage). If there wasn’t video, I think Putin is smart enough to know that Trump would just deny it. I’m impressed by Putin’s long game though if this started in 2013, whatever the ‘this’ turns out to be.

          • anonshmanon :

            You are right, but this is truly depressing. Any hypothetical scandal (House of Cards delivering so much inspiration) you can think of, but somehow it seems perceivable that his career will survive anything. Imo the main tool is shameless denial from the president himself and complete trust/disbelief of any allegations from his loyal followers. Is this hopeless? (Winter always brings out the pessimist in me)

          • Anonymama :

            I think it’s far more likely to be financial stuff or something personally embarrassing, not even evidence of wrongdoing but evidence that he is a failure or “loser” in his own idea of what constitutes a loser. I mean, why not release his tax returns?

      • Anonymous :

        It’s not ‘fake news’ though because the story is the fact that this information was considered reliable enough (even if not verified) to be included in intelligence briefings – and the info was known before the election but not released. It’s been clearly stated that the allegations are unsubstantiated/unverified. It would be ‘fake news’ if they were being represented as true even though they had not been substantiated/verified and literally no one is claiming that.

        • This. Yes, it’s important to remember that these are currently uncorroborated accusations…but also that they were deemed credible enough by the US intelligence apparatus to be attached to the official briefings of our highest-level politicians. I’m honestly not sure that Buzzfeed made the right call in publishing the dossier, but I do think they have a legitimate case that this is of such significant public interest that the American people deserved to know the unfiltered version.

          • I absolutely think Buzzfeed made the right call. I would argue the first news reports alluding to the dossier without actually giving any information were the irresponsible ones. Buzzfeed was clear to say it was unverified, and clear to say we’re publishing this because of the numerous other news stories.

            I agree with Anonymous at 9:38am – this is not fake news. It was important enough to brief the highest level politicians on, so it clearly isn’t throw away news.

            And yes, I want to understand what Comey knew and when, and how/why he made the call to release one set of non-info vs the other. That judgement call and the resulting influence is scary no matter which political side you’re on.

          • Oh yeah. My big takeaway is a huge (YUGE, even) question mark over Comey.

          • So you can just publish whatever and say, oh I said it’s unverified! She’s a racist who rapes children allegedly! But I said allegedly!

          • Anonymous, there’s a difference between e.g. Pizzagate and this, which every major US intelligence agency agreed was credible enough to append to the Russia brief. They haven’t corroborated all of the accusations, but all agree that the source who put it together the memos is credible and well-connected, not some Reddit troll in his mom’s basement.

            This NYT piece helpful on teasing out the difference, if you head down to the “Questions You May Be Asking” section.

          • No, anonymous at 10:40, the correct conclusion is not that “you can just publish whatever.” The story is that US intelligence chiefs briefed the President and the President Elect on the allegations. This is appropriate information for the press to publish in a free society, provided they make it clear that the allegations are not corroborated. Legitimate media organizations (like the WaPo) are reporting it that way.

          • +10000000

            The story is not that there were unverified rumors. The story is that the intelligence community saw fit to brief the president-elect on these rumors.

    • Is there any way these relationships could lead to a *quick* impeachment? I keep hoping maybe that is one thing to look forward to, although don’t know if Pence improves things.

      • Pence is right-wing and I disagree with him on just about everything, but he won’t blow up the world or give state secrets to foreign leaders, so I say he’s definitely an improvement, and hopefully without Trump’s base of racist-but-not-that-conservative voters he’d be easily voted out in 2020. I don’t think there’s any way DJT is going to get impeached though. Really the only Republicans who have expressed any concern about this whatsoever are John McCain and Lindsey Graham and they would need a much larger group of Republican support for an impeachment.

    • Ladies,

      This “intelligence report” was a pack of unsubstantiated rumors filled in with an epic troll by a guy on 4chan over at /pol. It was “Trump erotic fan fiction” re-purposed and sent to republican operative in the Never Trump camp.

      It is a ridiculous report. Crazy that McCain and others fell for such a nutty story.
      A quick search of 4chan would have found this.
      Doesn’t reflect well on the state of our intel agencies and top officials.

      Mama Mia!

      • Anonymous :

        yeah, those MI-6 guys tend to be pretty easy to dupe, it’s not like the British are famous for their high quality spy work on anything….

    • My thought is: I click here during my incredibly stressful work day as a release… to hear about someone’s wedding invite drama or opinion on a pretty dress. I do not want to see politics or something that makes me even more stressed. This is not a political blog. Vent somewhere else.

      • It’s also not a wedding blog, either, so. Use the “collapse” option and move along to the next thread that you’re interested in.

        • It’s a community of successful women who have a lot of opinions. Politics are everywhere and if you want to bury your head in the sand, have at it. But the rest of us value each other’s insight on issues more substantive than a pretty dress.

  2. dinner party :

    Will be attending dinner at husband’s colleague’s house and he apparently was asked about shellfish allergy as host plans a seafood stew. He let her know I don’t eat shrimp, which is true. Not allergic but dislike shellfish and am iffy on a seafood stew – not something I’d cook or order. Wondering how others would have responded or what to do. Just planning on not going hungry and eating a “politeness portion” unless I really can’t stand it.

    • Yup, that’s really all you can do. I have the same issue with mushrooms, which are apparently everyone’s favorite thing to serve at dinner parties.

      • I have an intolerance (not allergy) to shellfish and would not be able to eat a seafood stew without becoming rapidly violently sick to my stomach, which throws a damper on things. However, if I knew in advance that that was the main dish planned at an elegant dinner party, I would simply eat a salad and / or something with protein ahead of time to fill myself up, so that way I could eat the salad, bread, and potentially any other dishes being served. I don’t think it’s a wise strategy to just pop up with bringing your own dish at this type of event.

        • Imo, an intolerance as severe as yours is sufficiently close to an allergy to warrant giving the host a heads-up. When people ask about allergies, they’re asking if you’ll be able to participate in the meal, not if they need to keep an EPI pen on hand because they’re going to force feed you.

    • I think that’s fine. In your husband’s place, I wouldn’t have mentioned the dislike but would have mentioned an allergy or vegetarian diet but I doubt the host took offense if your husband said it politely. As for your plan, that’s what I would do: plan on not getting a full meal and just try bits and pieces of what looks appetizing to you. Worst case, if someone mentions you’re not eating the seafood, you could offer a flimsy upset stomach excuse and I doubt anyone would think twice.

      If it’s appropriate, you could offer to bring a side to accompany the seafood, and that way you know there will something that you are sure to like.

      • I second the idea of bringing something as a side that you can eat. How about some type of rolls/bread? That would go well with a seafood stew. We love to make the frozen rolls that need to rise, and arrange them into a pull apart bread topped with coarse salt and rosemary.

        • Anonymous :

          So rude. Never bring food uninvited like that.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t really think this is appropriate. Fine to offer but not to just show up with food you expect to have served unless you really have a need. Just not liking the main course doesn’t count. A host of a dinner party has already set their menu and made a plan. Very uncouth to show up with a side dish.

        • Nope – would never bring my own food.
          The host asked – points for being considerate.
          My guess is the hostess will have an alternative plan for her guest who doesn’t eat shellfish.

      • This really depends on the type of party. A casual semi-potluck thing with friends where the kids run around and people show up at different times and eat buffet style? Great idea. But please don’t bring an unsolicited side dish to a proper dinner party. Your host has likely put significant thought into each course, and it can be so awkward to incorporate an unexpected contribution, no matter how well-meant. It’s just not good manners to put your host in that position. (Admittedly, this type of party is becoming more rare, but that’s all the more reason to appreciate the chance to truly be a guest when the opportunity arises).

      • In this situation, I would stuff a granola bar in my purse and eat it really fast in the bathroom if it turns out you really can’t eat at dinner, rather than bring a side item to a dinner party uninvited.

    • Look at it as no-cost opportunity to try seafood stew? Hopefully, the seafood will be something you can pick around and you can eat the broth/fish.

    • You didn’t do anything wrong, but your husband shouldn’t have mentioned the dislike. His colleague asked about medical restrictions, he wasn’t asking for menu approval. Telling the host that a guest doesn’t like the planned menu is poor form. What is the host supposed to do with that information? Change the menu to accommodate the guest? What if someone else doesn’t like THAT menu? Or maybe make something different just for that one guest? Make some extra hearty sides? Or not do anything and risk coming off as rude for failing to accommodate? It’s a landmine.

      • Give me a break. People do that esp for things like fish — it’s pretty easy to “elevate” a dislike to a — sorry, I don’t eat that . . . . there’s no way the person can distinguish between “can’t” and “won’t.”

      • +1

        • (to be clear, my +1 was to the comment at 10:04 saying that her husband shouldn’t’ have mentioned that she doesn’t like fish. Adults manage their own dietary preferences without putting that burden on their host)

      • Making seafood stew for a dinner party is a pretty risky (and somewhat inconsiderate) choice for a host. So many people do not like seafood or have a seafood allergy. What about vegetarians, also? Are you suggesting that a vegetarian not speak up and say, sorry, I can’t eat that?

        • Oh please. He called and asked. A vegetarian would have said “I’m a vegetarian”. Someone allergic would have said “I’m allergic to shellfish.” All anyone has suggested is that just not liking something is not information you as an adult give to your host. We don’t all have to eat chicken and only chicken at parties because you are boring and childish.

          • Meredith Grey :

            “We don’t all have to eat chicken and only chicken at parties because you are boring and childish.” THIS!

        • I think the host is being very generous to offer food and presumably some form of entertainment, and it would never cross my mind to call the host even somewhat inconsiderate. Since the host has made the menu known and even taken allergies into account, I think the burden is on the guest to decline the invitation if the guest does not want to receive the host’s hospitality.

        • anon @ 10:04 :

          Being vegetarian is not the same as simply not liking something and it’s pretty offensive to put those two things in the same category.

          • why? aren’t both of these things personal lifestyle choices?

          • Ethical choice, not lifestyle.

          • I merely meant lifestyle in the sense of “this is how I lead my life”, without addressing the reasoning. Of course, everybody has their own motivations for their choices, including how much/little meat they eat.

          • That’s your lifestyle. Your ethical choices are lifestyle choices. And I think it’s perfectly fine and good to share that you are a vegetarian. But not “I’m a vegetarian and I don’t like mushrooms and I prefer low carb.”

          • Many people (myself included) are vegetarian for religious reasons.

          • Anonymous :

            Being religious is a choice.

        • Guess there are a lot of poorly attended low-country boils out there.

        • Someone is nice enough to invite you to their home and prepare an entire elaborate meal, which they inform the guests of in advance, and that’s inconsiderate? OP is free to decline the invite if she won’t enjoy herself; the host is free to design any menu she likes.

          • + 1 I completely agree and I say this as a vegetarian. She is being very nice in planning a dinner party. If you don’t eat certain foods due to allergies/intolerance/vegetarianism you as a guest have an obligation to speak up. But the “I don’t like mushrooms” point or equivalent is pretty rude.

        • As a vegetarian, I would never show up at a dinner party and wait until then to announce “Surprise! I’m a vegetarian!”

    • Yup. This would be like if I went to a dinner party where lamb or rabbit or venicin were the main course. I don’t eat any of that b/c I don’t like the taste. I’d try some just to make sure they didn’t have some magical recipe, then eat sides. If I had a heads up I’d eat more in advance/bring a granola bar.

    • I think “don’t” is fine – it’s when you get into “can’t” people get annoyed. As someone who really can’t stomach the taste/texture of some kinds of food (I don’t have a problem digesting, but I will literally gag on it if it’s in my mouth) I’ve decided to let people make their own assumptions about why I “don’t” eat certain things. I was a strict vegetarian growing up so I’m used to making a dinner of sides.

      Agree with others that seafood stew is risky as a dinner party choice.

    • Anonymous :

      Politely take soup, stir around with spoon a bit and engage in sparkling conversation for duration of dinner. Eat rolls/ crackers served with soup (and whatever other accompaniment) heartily. Offer to assist in plate clearing and you are done. If you are still hungy…Chipotle on the way home to enjoy with Jimmy Fallon. EZ Game.

    • lawsuited :

      I’ve heard that the polite thing to do in this situation is to offer to bring a dish that complies with your dietary restrictions to share with the group (and eat yourself obviously).

      • Anonymous :

        As others have said previously, this is not polite. The host has prepared and planned a dinner party. It is extremely inconsiderate to simply bring an alternative dish that you expect the host to serve to everyone.

        You can however, when letting the host know that you have dietary restrictions, offer to bring such a dish. If they accept, you’re in the clear. If not, you can’t bring it anyway.

  3. Texas next week (now this week) :

    I missed the mark somehow, I don’t even really know how. Maybe too much black? Maybe too much polyester? I feel frumpy yet immodest at the same time.
    Anyway, too late to change now (neither the time nor budget for shopping) so could anyone reassure me that we usually judge ourselves more harshly than others judge us?

    • Anonymous :

      You’re definitely judging yourself much more harshly than anyone else.

      What about revisiting the outfits you have with you? Combining things in a different way might make it feel fresh and change your frumpy/immodest rut.

    • Honestly, I love fashion and am hyper-observant and I honestly couldn’t tell you what colleagues or people I interact with regularly were wearing from day to day unless it was particularly amazing or egregious. I’m sure you look just fine!

    • Texas next week (now this week) :

      Thanks. Today’s going better than yesterday in other ways, and not surprisingly that’s helping me feel less self concious. The encouragement is very appreciated though!

    • If it makes you feel better, I am in Houston and my entire outfit yesterday was black pants, a shirt I am sure is polyester, and a black cardigan of an unnatural fabric. I also couldn’t tell you what a single person in my office wore other than the director who was wearing a really nice combination of taupes that caught my eye.

      • Texas next week (now this week) :

        Thanks, that made me laugh when this time yesterday I was trying not to cry.

    • You are FINE.

      In further “we judge ourselves more harshly than others judge us” + travel wardrobe news, I was traveling for work over the election. Due to some terribly timed personal trauma revisiting that dovetailed neatly with the DJT stuff (r*pist decided it was a good time to get back in touch!), I was not at my emotional best. I tried to wear something that would make me feel like a powerful business-woman: I wore a flattering black, knee length sheath dress with white colorblocking, black patterned tights, and black pumps. A very old man I work with, who has a habit of winking at me, greeted me, looked me up and down, and said, lecherously, “Nice outfit.” Made me feel like I was dressed like a tart. I ended up running back to my hotel room and having a panic attack on the floor and changing my clothes (yes, in therapy, yes, working through that).

      ANYWAY. Was there a damn thing wrong with my outfit? NO. No there was not. Are there many things wrong with the world? Yes, yes there are.

      Your clothes are fine and you’re gonna kick ass. No one worth your time is noticing if your clothes are a slight departure from the norm — and you get tons of leeway for being an out-of-towner too.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’m so sorry this happened to you.

      • Texas next week (now this week) :

        Not sure if you’re still reading this late, but I am also really sorry you’ve had to deal with this– both the original trauma and sectual harassment at work.
        Not that it’s in any way comparable to what you went through, but I’m realizing today that my insecurities were also triggered by a jerkboy saying something he would never have said to another man.
        You’re right, we dress well another kick ass!

    • OMG, literally nobody cares about what you’re wearing.

      • Oil in Houston :

        that’s actually not true, I’m afraid to say I DO judge people who come in the office in flip flops and mini skirts just because it’s 70+ outside

  4. Morning Person :

    One of my goals for the new year is to become more of a morning person. Should I set a routine, put my alarm clock on the opposite side of my apartment, work out? What tips do you morning people or reluctant morning people have for me?

    I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my happiness levels when I get a good night sleep and start my day off early/right instead of rushing and groggy.

    • Anonymous :

      I am a reluctant morning person, and the only thing that can get me up in the morning is no-effort coffee. A coffee maker with a timer is essential, or at least a Keurig set up the night before so all you have to do is push the button.

      • +1! I found a ‘grind and brew’ machine on Amazon for about $100 and mornings are so much better.

      • Anonymous :

        Semi-reluctant long time morning person here. Set an alarm across the room, and set your coffeepot to start brewing… if you sleep in you will be greeted with cold coffee. That will get me out of bed!

      • Meredith Grey :

        And talk to yourself when you wake up! My go to: “self, if you get out of bed, you can have coffee right away. Nothing else first, you get to go downstairs and get your coffee.” I did it today!

    • I adopted a cat. I didn’t realize until I brought her home that she expects breakfast at 5am. That has very quickly made me a “morning person”.

    • Yes routine, yes alarm on the opposite side of the apartment, yes to coffee on a timer, and will also add setting yourself a bedtime and sticking to it. I’m one of those obnoxiously peppy morning people as long as I get to bed on time, but I turn into a glowering ball of sludge-like rage if I go to bed an hour or two later.

      But it’s also figuring out exactly why you want the extra time in the morning, and then putting everything in place to make sure that whatever you’re hoping to accomplish gets done. Do you want to get to work earlier? Do you want to work out in the morning? Do you just want your morning routine to feel less scrambled and harassed? My advice on specifics is different, depending on your individual goals.

    • Also struggling :

      Following because I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately. I switched jobs a few months ago and I now start earlier with a longer commute, so I need to get up 1.5-2 hours earlier than I previously did (7am instead of 8:30), I should also be going to bed earlier (goal is 11pm instead of the previous 12:30/1). I just can’t make myself do it. I continually stay up until or past 1 and it’s really hurting me in the mornings (I’m always rushed and tired). It’s been months so I should have adjusted by now. I’m just so bad at getting in bed on time, no matter how tired I am, and once there I struggle to sleep. Maybe years of big law have fried my body’s ability to maintain a normal sleep schedule?

      • Why do you struggle to get into bed on time? What are you physically doing with your time instead? TV? Phone? My phone is my personal Kryptonite–I get in bed, pick it up to turn on my alarm, and suddenly it’s 30 minutes later and I’m neck-deep in Instagram. So I’ve started setting my alarm right after dinner instead.

        Basically, you know this, but mornings are going to be a struggle until you get the bedtime routine fixed or magically become able to sleep less. You’re never going to adjust to the 7am alarm until you can adjust from the 1:30 bedtime. Can you work on easing yourself into it? Maybe aiming for 12 instead of 11, and then 11:30 once you get used to 12?

        • Also struggling :

          It’s some combination of tv/books/internet. I’ve been pretty good at putting my phone away, but the others are distractions. One more episode of a tv show, one more news article, one more chapter of a book… and next thing I know it’s hours later. But you’re right it’s just a matter of will, and maybe setting a gradual goal will help. (I have self control in other areas of my life, just don’t seem to with this one!). Torin’s suggestion is also helpful… I think I’m used to fighting initial evening tiredness because I used to have to work super late, so I ignore it automatically now instead of giving in. (Part of it is that I’m so excited about having time in the evenings now and want to do All. The. Things!). Sarabeth, where did you get a timer for your lights? Thanks for the suggestions, all!

      • This might be extreme, but we have bedroom lights and our wifi router on timers. Wifi goes off at 10:00, lights go off at 10:30, we try to be asleep by 11. I can obviously use my phone on the cell network if I choose, but having to take that extra step when I KNOW I shouldn’t be doing it is enough of a constraint most nights. Works pretty well.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          We don’t include our wifi on a timer, but do have a timer on our living room lights that turns them off at 9:30. It is my cue to start moving towards bed, but if I don’t at least I’m probably just reading on the couch or watching tv with less light to help me get sleepy.

      • For me I’ve noticed that I begin to feel pretty tired around 9 PM (I get up at 6). If I listen to that feeling and start getting ready for bed (let the dogs out one last time to pee, brush my teeth, wash my face, get a glass of water, whatever else I need to do) around when I first feel tired, I can get in bed and read for about half an hour (a book, not an electronic device with attendant distractions), and be asleep by 10. If I ignore that feeling, I’ll actually wake up a bit and then have more trouble falling asleep. I suspect a lot of us procrastinate on going to bed, push past that initial feeling of tiredness, and then have trouble going to sleep before midnight. If this is you, try going to bed as soon as you feel tired, no matter what time it is.

    • Have a kid or a dog? That’s a surefire way to wake up your morning routine.
      I’m a morning person and I think much of it is innate. Part of it is waking up early, but also I generally wake up in a good mood, I’m ready to talk, I can almost immediately start working on a task. I’ve been that way basically my entire life. If that’s not your nature, you can make the morning easier. Lay out things the night before, have coffee prepped, workout planned, etc. You may not want to carry on a conversation in the morning, but you will be more productive while you wake up.

      • Ha, my dog loves to sleep in. Like, I get up, get dressed, do my make-up, stretch, etc. all while dog continues to sleep. Then I have to pretty much carry him to the door and put his leash on. Then he wakes up.

        • Mine are old ladies now and love their morning snuggles/snooze. Of course, just about the time they aged into sleeping in, we had a baby and messed it up for the next few years.

        • This is my dog too! He is NOT a morning dog and we wake up at 4:30 or 4:45 depending on whether I am going to the gym or not before work. He lifts his head up, says no thanks, and goes right back to sleep. The foster cats on the other hand . . . they hear the alarm and they start pawing at the door for breakfast (despite the fact that they have a bowl of dry food open to them).

        • Omg yes my dog cannot be roused before 8:30 or 9. She is young and plenty energetic at other times of day, she just loves to sleep late.

    • Focus on the “why” of becoming a morning person.

      Getting a good nights sleep means X hours for you, so if you want to start getting up at 6, you need to be asleep by Y, so you need to be in bed without your phone by Y-15 min. If that’s a huge time difference from your current bedtime, ease back into that by 10 min increments each night.

      You don’t want to rush in the morning. So create routines for yourself. Before bed, you’ll set out your outfit, prep the coffee machine, gather all your work stuff by the door, etc. In the morning, you’ll drink a coffee, take a shower, brush your teeth, get dressed, and spend 5 min doing something relaxing (like reading the paper or listening to music or whatever) before leaving at 7am. Write out the routines until you don’t need to look at the paper anymore. As you start to feel good about that, then consider what else you want to add to your mornings. If you want to work out, that means getting up 30 min earlier, which means getting into bed 30 min earlier the night before. Practice that at first (and reward yourself with more relaxing time) and then add in the workouts.

    • Go to sleep early. Get in bed at least 30 minutes before you need to be asleep.

      Get up at the same time every day, even weekends, at least until you get better at mornings. I find that sleeping ~1 hr late on the weekends doesn’t mess up my routine too much, but if I sleep until like 10 then I have a really rough start to my week. You’ll figure out what works for you.

      Remind yourself that afternoon you will be super proud of morning you for actually getting out of bed on time.

    • Real live morning person :

      My natural wake up time is currently somewhere between 5:45 and 6:15. I don’t know what you mean in terms of a “morning person”, but I think I am one, and I did not used to be.

      What you need are rewards on either side of the night. The bedtime reward is something that makes you want to get in bed. I get in bed at 8:30 and have lights out around 9:00, sometimes a little later. I want to get in bed because I have a good mattress, nice soft sheets, comfortable pajamas, and one of those microwave foxes with lavender to make sure the spot for my feet is nice and warm. My bed is a place I want to be.

      In the morning, I let myself play on my phone until 6:30. And then I get up and drink my delicious coffee. I love coffee. At one point I was allowing myself to go get my favorite iced coffee from DD every day when I was having a hard time getting up in the morning. Now I don’t even have to do that anymore and drink coffee at home most days.

    • Set an alarm for when to go to bed. Mine is called “go get ready for bed!!” After I’m in PJs with teeth brushed, I could (according to my rules) do other stuff, but I usually just choose to get in bed with a book and shortly thereafter go to sleep. The early bedtime makes getting up early not-torturous.

    • Princess Leia :

      Here’s what works for me:

      1. Sign up for an early morning fitness class a few times a week. It forces me to get out of bed early and helps me wake up earlier even on the days when I don’t have to get up to work out.
      2. I use my Sonos speaker as an alarm; it starts to play NPR rather than making an annoying alarm sound. The speaker is too far away for me to turn it off easily.
      3. Eat dinner earlier.
      4. Start bedtime routine at 10, lights out by 10:30. I used to have an alarm set for 10:00 on my phone. Now my body just gets tired at around 10.
      5. This is recent, but I’ve stopped drinking on weeknights. I can’t believe how much better I’m sleeping.
      6. Get up reasonably early on the weekends, too. If you get up at 6 on weekdays and 10 on weekends, you’re not doing yourself any favors. I usually schedule a 8 or 8:30 am workout on both Saturdays and Sundays so that I have to wake up around 7.

    • New Tampanian :

      I am currently working on this. There are two parts to this that I think are important: Evening Routine and Morning Routine. As disclosure, I need 9 hours of sleep and I have bouts of insomnia so I need a little extra self care in this area.

      My Evening Routine is as follows:

      – 8:30-9pm start wind down routine
      – Take sleep meds/multivitamins (gummies – it’s like dessert)
      – Everything packed for work in bag
      – Meditate using headspace (sometimes)
      – Have thermostat set to lower temp around now
      – Pull out outfit for next day
      – Shower (sometimes)
      – Wash Face (I use ponds cold cream and a warm wash cloth and for some reason it is really soothing)
      – Brush teeth/floss
      – Final check of phone
      – leave phone on bathroom counter with do not disturb on and alarm set
      – Read (nothing heavy. nothing that requires too much brainpower or tasks/ followup actions) for about 30 min
      – Lights out by 10 pm

      Morning Routine:

      – Thermostat is set to a warmer temp
      – 7 am alarm
      – Out of bed immediately – open curtains, turn on all lights
      – Feed, talk to, love on cats
      – Ask Alexa for news
      – get coffee brewing
      – Take morning meds / drink large glass of water
      – Shower with a podcast on
      – Moisturize/brush teeth
      – Make breakfast/eat
      – Write for a little bit
      – Finish getting ready for work
      – Start dishwasher if full
      – Leave for work

      I am *slowly* going to work my way back so that I am up early enough to work out. For me, I have to ease into the early bird thing. Baby steps.

      I also acknowledge that I will not be able to participate in every fun evening activity that comes my way. This is OK for me. For nights like last night when I stay up too late because of something important (I consider that farewell important), I adjust so that I am getting the sleep I need. For me, the number of hours of sleep is most important. I will prioritize around that.

      • Curious – how do you listen to your podcasts in the shower?

        • New Tampanian :

          I have a little wireless speaker that I connect my phone to. I keep it on the counter near the shower.

        • TO Lawyer :

          Not the poster above but I have a cheap Bluetooth speaker that I got on amazon with a suction cup and I just stick it to the outside of my shower (because its a standup shower) but you can also stick it to the bathroom mirror.

      • Meredith Grey :

        Just adding a +1 for OP to know that this is my routine to a T (except for last phone check). This is great advice to develop a new sleep plan. Also Real Live Morning Person’s post. I used to be one hot messy mess of an insomniac and/or would feel like trash when I woke up and these posts combined are what I’ve incorporated over the last year and it’s amazing.

        • New Tampanian :

          Agreed. In the past year I also got a new mattress, the NightPillow, and new sheets.
          I’m slowly starting to sleep better now that I’ve really started cracking down on the routine.

    • This was me absolutely. It helped that I started having to get up earlier for a new job, but the biggest help was an app called Kiwake. It’s an alarm that has a few different stages, including making you get out of bed to take a picture of a pre-set visual. I set it so the visual is something hanging on my fridge. To turn the alarm off, I have to go into the kitchen, so I start making coffee while I’m in there. Then I’m out of bed and have coffee, which is usually enough to keep me up for the day. Also, it reminds you to turn on “night mode” every night for the alarm to go off in the morning, so that’s a good reminder to go to bed.

      Because I’m so prone to sleeping in, I also set a few alarms on my FitBit to go off every minute before my Kiwake alarm goes off. That way I’m already starting to wake up when my real alarm goes off.

  5. Specific question, but interested to hear from voices outside of my FB echo chamber (where everyone with an opinion is a bleeding-heart progressive from his former district): I know there are a good number of other Virginia residents reading–anyone have thoughts about Perriello entering the gubernatorial race?

    My own thoughts are mixed. I appreciate Perriello’s progressivism a lot, and my reaction to Northam was “Ohhh right, the person I always forget is our lieutenant governor,” but I have no actual issue with Northam’s policy positions and he seems like a competent, thoughtful person.

    • Anonymous :

      I had the same reaction to Northam and also appreciate Perriello’s progressivism, but I am not sure Perriello can win. He is more polarizing and his campaign doesn’t seem too well thought out at this point. His entry makes the whole party look uncoordinated, which is not helpful.

      • This is pretty much my reaction. I like Perriello, and give him credit for beating Virgil Goode, but I think Northam is a good candidate (I have a friend who knows him pretty well and thinks highly of him) and it would be nice to be way ahead of the game while Republicans are still fighting things out. On the other hand, how well did that theory work out in November…

      • Thanks ladies. Seems like we’re all on the same page. Guess we’ll see how it goes!

  6. This dress is cute and looks like it would be flattering and fun to wear, but it’s not really the sort of thing that I would wear to work. My office is pretty laid back and I’m sure that no one would object if I did, but, between the twirly skirt and tank-style top, it just doesn’t really give the impression that I would want to give for my work “look.”

    • Anonymous :

      I think it looks very sundressy.

      • Right. It’s the sort of thing that would be great to wear to dinner at a beach resort (at least, if it weren’t so dark).

    • I have a dress with this cut that I wear with a cropped blazer. It’s one of my favorite easy, comfortable go-to outfits. I wonder if the featured dress veers a bit too much into sweater dress territory to look quite right under a blazer? Hard to tell from the picture.

    • And here I’m thinking — finally, a dress I can wear to work without extensive impossible tailoring! Haha to each her own =)

    • I like dresses like this because I’m pear shaped – I size down to fit my top and the skirt doesn’t look so twirly or full anymore.

    • I think how casual this dress looks depends on how you style it. You could wear it with nothing but a pair of sandals and it would be very casual, but structured cardigan, scarf, and pointy toe flats would elevate it to wearable for my business casual office.

      Also I like dresses like this over sheath dresses because I like to bike to work. Freedom of movement is important for that.

    • Anonymama :

      I think it looks like it would lend itself quite easily to layering, with a shirt over or under the dress, or a sweater or jacket over, and/or scarf. Like on the Directrice blog.

    • I actually have this very dress, in a black and white pattern. I do wear it to work. I say there’s no reason a full skirt can’t be work appropriate.

      It is SUPER comfortable and EXTREMELY flattering on my pear-shaped self. And it’s really nicely constructed. Parfait gives it two thumbs up.

  7. I’m hosting a small bachelorette spa day for a close friend next month. Would love to put together a small (tasteful) goody bag for the bride as well as small favors for the few people attending. Any ideas of things I should put in them?

    • Anonymous :

      I went to a bach last year that did little ribbon hair ties (the nice soft stretchy ones) on a card that said “to have and to hold (your hair back)” which may fit in the spa theme/be a nice goody bag treat? you could probably buy this exact thing premade on etsy.

      • Shopaholic :

        This is so cute. I love this idea.

        Depending on your budget:
        -mini bottles of sparkling wine (or champagne)
        -nail polish
        -face masks

        I also like the idea of robes but check with your friend – a friend of mine bought us all matching robes for the morning of her wedding so we could take some pictures while we were getting ready.

      • Maybe it’s just me, and I get the fact that it’s a hair tie, but my first thought with the phrase “hold your hair back” is of someone helping a drunk person who’s throwing up, which is probably not the best association.

    • How much do you want to spend? Depending on your budget, do a variation of:

      Nice tote/makeup bag/ cinch sack.

      Stuffed into the bag:
      Cute towel, maybe monogrammed
      Robe – there are pretty cheap ones at Walmart or online – or zip hoodie from Old Navy
      Face masks/sleep mask/bath bomb/sugar scrub/lotion/etc
      Fun book or magazine

      I hosted a similar event and didn’t have a ton, but goody bags are expected in my friend circle. I got cheap totes from the dollar store. I added dollar store socks, a Walmart robe, Walgreens nail polish, and a gossip mag. Huge hit.

      • “goody bags are expected in my friend circle”


        • *eyeroll* Obviously you do you. But just like in some neighborhoods, kids give out favors at birthday parties and in some neighborhoods they don’t, in my group of friends, we give goody bags at friend get-togethers. Yes you always have the option of skipping the tradition, and yes if they were good friends they’d totalllllly understand, but whatever. I wanted to do it but on a super cheap budget. Feel better?

    • For frothy/girly but low-risk of people feeling like it’s cheap “clutter”-
      Nail polish
      Champagne gummy bears
      Champagne splits
      Hair moisturizing mask type thing
      Cute hair elastics (ribbon kind)

    • I threw a similar spa shower for a friend and did little goody bags for everyone – it really depends on how much you want to spend, but I included:

      -A sheet mask (got a big pack on Amazon, about $12)
      -A sheet lip mask (again, on Amazon, under $10)
      -A mini bottle of champagne (I think they were about $4/each)
      -A mini bottle of Gatorade for after the champagne (big case at Costco)
      -A random assortment of candy/breath mints/gum (a few different big bags at Costco)

      I just threw everything in mesh baggie things from Michaels. Wasn’t terribly expensive (definitely spent under $100 for ten people) and they went over really well!

      • If you must do a goody bag, please do it with things like this that are consumable and not clothes like a robe, hoodie, tank, sweatshirt, etc. They are worn for the pictures only and then just get added to the pile of waste, which I then feel even more guilty about that someone has to have clothes that say “Jen’s last ride” on them and not just nice giveaway clothes. Even items that are not monogrammed (robes, rompers) still get thrown out because it’s just too much stuff and I already have a nicer version at home.

    • Keep in mind that my sister got married 15 years ago, but…

      I put candy necklaces, piper minis (you could do mini prosecco bottles), lip gloss, etc in bags. We didn’t do a spa day, though. We rented a limo, had dinner and then went out…

    • Senior Attorney :

      I went to a party one time where the “goody bags” were very large shopping totes (like the reusable bags you’d get at the grocery tore, but bigger) in fun prints like zebra and leopard. The contents were just nail polish and fun printed emery boards, but everybody loved it because here we have to bring our own bags to the supermarket!

      • +1

        Good friends gave all of their wedding guests canvas totes with either blue or green accents (their wedding colors) – think the traditional LL Bean style tote. It’s literally the only wedding favor/gift that kept (other than consumables, which i ate).

    • Definitely face masks! (I love ones from The Face Shop or Nugg.) They’re both great! For my bach party, the bridesmaids did the fancy ponytail holders that had the to hold your hair back quote, and I really loved them! Maybe also do a nail buffer.

    • For my sister’s, I did a travel makeup bag stuffed with nail polish, emery board, Eos, etc. Bonus points if you check Zoya (which makes really great nail polish) for a color in the bride’s name. And, they’re currently running a promotion where you get 4 polishes free if you pay shipping and handling. Code is Zoya4. They happened to have colors in both my sister’s and her fiance’s name, so I used those.

    • For a bachelorette party that was swimming/ocean based, we got some lovely turkish towels off etsy. Not embroidered or anything, just pretty, big, luxurious towels. I guess they would’ve been cute for pictures if we thought to do that, but we mostly just lay on them or wrapped ourselves in them, and now we all have a really great towel at home.

    • Thanks! These are all great ideas!

  8. Tipping again :

    Hive, I’m going for a trim and balayage at a salon owned by the stylist. The total for the service is already running me around $350 (in NYC), which is definitely a splurge for me. Do I still need to tip him (definitely tipping the assistants)?

    • Yes and yes.

    • Wait are you supposed to tip assistants separately? I never tip the girl who’s sweeping up – should I?

      Usually my stylist washes my hair too, but if someone else was washing my hair I don’t think it would occur to me to tip her separately. Is that a thing I’m supposed to do? Does it come out of the main person’s tip? Like, if I usually tip my stylist $30 and she usually washes my hair, but one time someone else washes it, should I tip my stylist $25 and the other girl $5?

      Also, I thought you weren’t supposed to tip business owners?

      • Generally I tip the girl $5. I don’t tip my stylist since she owns the salon.

      • I go to a place where my stylist washes my hair, but I used to tip the person who washed my hair at least a few bucks. I don’t think you need to tip someone who sweeps up (unless he/she also did something personally for you).

        • Marshmallow :

          Same. I tip whoever washes my hair and obviously my stylist, but not the sweepers unless they checked my coat or something.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I tip the everyone who touches my head, except the owner. I give her a nice cash gift at Christmas.

    • I used to manage a hair salon. If the owner is doing your cut, color, and style, you don’t tip him. If another stylist is doing any of the work, then tip that stylist, and tip any assistants who help you.

      The rationale for not tipping the owner is based on how most salons work: Generally, the salon keeps 1/2 of the fee for all services, sometimes with a small additional “tax” per service. For example, if you’re paying $60 for a haircut, the salon keeps $30 + a $5 tax, and the stylist receives the remaining $25. But the owner is the salon, so s/he is receiving the full fee for her/his services.

      Please note: in salons where stylists rent chairs, I tip them even though they technically own their business, because I know that they are paying out a portion of each fee to cover the chair rental.

      • Anonymous :

        So…kind of on that point…

        I started seeing my hairstylist when she rented out a chair at a local salon, so I tipped her 20% per haircut.

        She has since started her own salon with two other stylists. Her rate was so cheap ($35 in San Jose) that I continued to tip her.

        She has since raised her rate to still below market ($40 per cut). Market rate is around $60 per cut for someone with her experience.

        Do I still tip her?

  9. It kind of looks like a Soma nightgown to me (and those are great – but for sleeping).

  10. punctuates :

    Does anyone have time to help me find a dress to go see Hamilton in New York this February? I’d be wearing it with black FLEECE TIGHTS and booties.

    I love the look of this one (in green) but am concerned I’ll freeze with no sleeves:

    Budget is ideally under $100, but could pay more for something perfect.

    • Just a caution that it’s usually pretty hot in those old theaters. I think you can safely wear regular tights and something sleeveless. I’d just make sure to have a scarf or wrap in case you get cold and take your coat off.

      • That’s funny…. I am always freezing in the theaters. I go to plays/ballet/classical music concerts all the time. This time of year, I definitely have my cashmere throw and I avoid sleeveless. So to the OP, definitely bring a warm throw, and wear whatever you want.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I’d add that you probably won’t have a lot of room for your coat in the theater (unless there’s a coat check, which is a PIA in my opinion.) Wear something with thinner layers, like a jacket that’s part of your outfit, and a scarf/wrap/winter accessories like a hat and gloves. Unless you get lucky, you’re going to be cuddling with your coat the whole show since it won’t fit under/in front of/on the back of the seat.

      • In scenarios like this, I sit on the (opened) coat. Usually all that is in my lap is my hat with the scarf and gloves in it

    • I’d wear opaque tights (not fleece), a non-sleeveless dress, and bring a wrap/cardigan.

  11. Marie Kondo :

    Have any of you tried her method/minimalism in general? I’ll be moving in a few months into an apartment half my size :( and in general I want to be a less cluttered person.

    • Moving is a great time to do the purge! You could start right away or spend the next month seeing what you actually wear / use in the kitchen and bathroom.

      I read the book and really liked it. I got rid of maybe 30% of my clothes and generally feel like things are easier to maintain. I’m going to do another round pre-baby as I’d like the house to feel clear and spacious before things start coming in.

      A few things that stood out for me –
      – Buying books and reading them right away rather than “saving” them – read them while they are still exciting for you
      – The idea that by really figuring out what you love / sparks joy, you can reduce your overall consumption and environmental impact

    • I have switched over to her method of folding clothes and I’m not kidding when I say it changed my life. Especially when I did the kids clothes. They can open their drawers and see all the clothes at once, makes getting dressed much less of a battle.

      Also working on ‘less stuff’ in general. I throw away more and donate more. I have followed her advice on not spending a lot of time selling items because it is rarely worth the effort.

      Wish I’d read her book before we moved 2 years ago.

      • I cannot figure out the folding clothes thing. I feel like my clothes are just to soft or gentle or something that even in the smallest square they won’t stand up. Also, I have a maid that does laundry, so my clothes never stay folded that way. The other thing that I can’t figure out with folding the clothes is that so many of them look alike but have a different shape or neckline or something, so I was having to unfold everything to find the one that I want.

        I’ve read the book, but haven’t done the massive purge as she recommends. I did do a massive purge when I moved, and my new apartment felt so clean and spacious and wonderful. However, things have crept back in, so I am planning on doing a Marie Kondo purge later this year. I’m also working on not bringing more stuff in, but that’s been hard, since I’ve gained weight and have needed to buy clothes that fit…

        • I do a modified version of her clothes folding which works better for soft clothes. Fold the shirt, then roll it up into a sausage. Put sausage in drawer on its end (so like a cylinder on its small end). I fit a lot more clothes this way, and they don’t have the falling down problem as much.

        • And she just has no advice at all about clothes if you lose or gain weight periodically. Sorry we aren’t all teeny tiny, but my size 16 suit does not spark any joy, but I’m not getting rid of it because I can’t afford to buy a new suit everytime I’m up 10 lbs.

          • I’d treat all clothes that do not currently fit as seasonal clothes (in my case, store them in the huge organizer at the upper part of my wardrobe).

          • Joy doesn’t have to literally mean joy. It can be enabling something that brings you joy. I like staying employed, so I like having clothes to wear to work that fit my body regardless of my size. At least, that’s how I look at it. I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool minimalist though.

        • I keep mine in drawer organizers.

        • I use the Skubb drawer dividers from Ikea to group small categories of things together within the drawers.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yes! I love the clothes folding method! Particularly since we now have extremely shallow, long drawers in an antique dresser and there would be six inches of empty space behind the clothes if I folded them normally.

        I also love that I can pull out exactly which shirt I want without messing up the others. Re: other people folding clothes, when my SO does the laundry, he leaves my clothes folded normally on the bed, and then I fold them in half and half again (bc shallow drawers).

        The most important thing I took away from the book was her adage that things are not people. Being able to disconnect my love for my grandma from the useless jewelry box she gave me means I can finally get rid of it, and get a jewelry box that works for me (where I can store the heart-shaped locket she gave me that I really love).

        • lol except then at the same time she talks lovingly to all of her clothing/things as if they are people…

          I love her book and her, but that’s the one thing I just find really hilarious

    • Moving is FANTASTIC motivation. I couldn’t believe how much I purged when faced with the prospect of either (a) deciding to donate or toss immediately, vs. (b) packing, paying to move, re-storing, and THEN evaluating whether to keep.

      Biggest areas of progress were (1) random kitchen gadgets/pans (apparently we are not wok people as we forgot we even had one), and (2) clothes from 10 years ago that were “nice” but either no longer fit or were out of style.

    • It worked great for me. I’ve also recommended it to my brother, who is a university student, and friends, who are a working couple. We’ve been happy with it, threw quite some stuff away and are doing good a few months later (i.e. not accumulating more stuff). None of us was religious about the book/method though, meaning we didn’t thank the stuff for serving us, I kept one “jic” box that I got rid with after a few months and I wasn’t always grouping all the things of given category together.

      • I also agree with the comments above – clothes folding a la Marie Kondo is genious! And one more thing that I don’t agree with is her approach to books and cooking utensils. I keep a lot of books (they spark me joy), but couldn’t justify holding cooking utensils (they don’t). So I really like her general principles, but sometimes disagree with the detailed interpretation/advise :)

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yes, and I absolutely disagree with a lot of her suggestions for kitchen things. I do actually want my spices in perfectly neat rows on specialized spice-organizing racks, and having three different spatulas of slightly different sizes and types means I can flip roasting cauliflower with a wide spatula, scrape up browned chicken bits for glazing with a bamboo spatula, and slide a narrow spatula under the individual wedges of roasted radicchio without having to wash anything or struggle with the wrong size tool.

    • I would read the book and take whatever tips seem useful to you/things you want to try, and ignore everything else. I think some of the hate comes from the idea that you have to go full KonMari (which she advocates, for obvious reasons) and you won’t get anything out of it if you don’t.

      I really enjoyed reading it and though I don’t follow all of her guidelines it at least spurred me to declutter. (And I love ripping the labels off of containers now!)

    • I love her books and method. I’ve Kondo’d everything I own and it all spread to the rest of my life. This holiday season it was so easy to say no to stuff that according to the internet and other people I was supposed to do but that just didn’t bring me joy.

      I also have an entirely empty drawer in my dresser and sometimes I just open it up and look at it and smile.

      Also – if one of her ideas doesn’t work for you, ignore it, within the greater “sparks joy” framework. For example, she says to get rid of all those extra buttons that come with clothes because no one ever uses them – I actually do, and having a metal tin of them in my dresser sparks joy for me, so I kept mine with no guilt.

    • I read it. The … spiritual? aspect of the book didn’t really appeal to me, but I do love the clothes folding method. It has revolutionized by husband’s t-shirt drawer.

    • I have never read Kondo’s book, but last time I moved I looked at the hourly rate for the moving company I used and really thought about how much extra it would cost me to move the things I didn’t use. The resulting purge was pretty impressive. Since then I’ve tried to concentrate on not buying a bunch of things to fill back in what I got rid of.

    • The one I struggle with is sentimental clutter. I’m overwhelmed with greeting cards and postcards; I like the postcards just for the pretty stamps but don’t need any of it. Also the inherited items – various dishes, keepsakes, etc.
      I mentioned it to my husband as we have 20+ cards from each other. I said they don’t mean anything right now since neither of us are dead yet but maybe they will?

      • Baconpancakes :

        You don’t have to get rid of all of them! But maybe pick out the few cards that are your favorites, from a really meaningful time, and keep those ones. You won’t be able to remember all 20 different occasions and attach different sentiments to each card even after one of you is dead.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I remember as a kid (although not a super young one, maybe 10-12) going through my mom’s cards from my dad and loving it so much. So if you have kids, they might love that kinda thing!

    • Miz Swizz :

      I was surprised how much her “permission” to get rid of things made me feel better about getting rid of them. I found I kept a lot of books I meant to read or things I felt should’ve been sentimental but they were really just clutter. I agree that some of the “spiritual” aspects of her advice were not helpful but thinking about whether I really want to keep something has persisted. For instance, all the Christmas cards we got this year with “Merry Christmas love Aunt Jackie and Uncle Bill” scribbled in them were opened, read and put in the recycling bin. Some of the photo cards are still on the fridge.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Yup, I read the book and it really resonated with me. Key takeaways (and I may be making some of this up, but it is what works for me) for me are:

      1. Objects exist to be used. Holding on to something because it was a gift from your mother, even if it’s something that you dislike and have never used/worn does that object no good.

      2. Folding things so that they stand up in a drawer is genius! I can see everything, so I know which things I have (and which I use or don’t use, which makes further purging easy.)

      3. Holding on to a piece of clothing that no longer sparks joy in you is not helpful to my self-esteem. It only reminds me of what was, and this is not helpful. This is part Marie Kondo, part Stacey and Clinton, but I subscribe to the rule of not keeping clothing that’s too small unless I’m actively working to lose weight. And I’m not, though I would love for 10-15 lbs to magically disappear. :) But if that happened, I’d totally just go shopping!

      And this is not from Marie Kondo, but I’ll share it anyway: The “It’s Deductible” app from Turbo Tax was a true game-changer for me. It makes itemizing your donations so very easy, and uploads the info directly to your tax return (if you use Turbo Tax.) AMAZING!

  12. Louisiana Help :

    We are contemplating a move to BatonRouge/Lafayette area for a great job. We have three kids and are looking for neighborhoods great for families, low crime, and fairly lefty on the spectrum of politics. Do you have any resources, or advice? We are moving from Seattle so this is a really big change for us and I am getting nervous about the huge cultural change. It’s my first time living in another city and I am getting very nervous.

    • Hmmm, I lived in New Orleans once upon a time and got the impression that it was the only really left part of the state. Boyfriend at the time was from Baton Rouge and we visited his family there a few times. It’s a university town, which may help on the left side of things and seemed pretty safe and very suburban. I guess I’m chiming in to say if New Orleans is an option, you might feel more at home there coming from Seattle, but then there are crime issues. I’d defer to anyone who lives there on actual neighborhoods, etc. I will say putting politics aside, I loved he culture of Louisiana – it’s a little southern mixed with its Creole/French/Spanish roots and was really unique. I think Baton Rouge does their own version of Mardi Gras, and that and other festivals you could easily get to in NOLA are so much fun, especially for kids.

    • My advice is look closely at schools. Do you want public? Do you want private? Is diversity important?

      If you are coming from Seattle, there is no lefty place to go. Do you care about prayer in your public schools? Evolution? Abstinence only education? Corporal punishment? Do your own research.

      • Yes I am starting to read and getting a little depressed around the politics and education system there. Doesn’t look like the private schools are any more liberal than the public system either. Le sigh.

        • I’m currently in Atlanta but will likely be moving to that area in the next 5 years as that’s where my SO’s family is from and we want to be near them when we have kids. The politics are definitely the most frustrating aspect for me. As far as education goes – you’ll be about two hours from Natchitoches, which is where the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts is located. I went to one of their sister schools, a liberal oasis in a sea of darkest red. I’m not sure how old your kids are, but that could definitely be an option for HS.

          • The kids are ages 6,5, and 2. So Looking at the grade school options for education. This is a start- thank you to everyone!

    • Southern Anon :

      Most of my family lives in south Louisiana. I really love it, but it’s kind of like going to a different country, especially in the small towns. I think it’s optimistic to think you’ll be able to find a lefty neighborhood. More likely you’ll find a good neighborhood with friendly welcoming people. Most of them will probably be republicans. A lot of them will be Catholic. If you are Christian, I’ve found that Episcopal churches are a good place to find the lefties in the south. The food, omg, the food. I mean. When I visit my family it’s just basically eating until I can’t breathe. Rice is the main carb there the way potatoes or bread or biscuits are elsewhere in the country. You’ll be near the gulf. The humidity will be so heavy you’ll feel like you could swim through it. Houses will be covered with green algae. You will wage full on warfare against mosquitoes. You will see poverty like you’ve probably never seen before and people who can party like no one’s business. You’ll learn some French. And try to find the baby in the king cake. South Louisiana has this kind of beautiful mysticism to it. The oak trees dripping with spanish moss, the cypress trees rising up from the swamps. I need to go visit soon.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I can’t speak to Baton Rouge but I have been to Lafayette a number of times (worked for an oilfield business). Lafayette is very much an old school Louisiana place – where everyone knows everyone and outsiders are regarded a bit suspiciously. The guys I dealt with there were all Louisiana natives, and almost everyone had gone to ULaLa (university of Louisiana at Lafayette). It was a jarring experience for me coming from a major Texas city. I also got the sense that Lafayette inside the city is fairly high crime as most of the guys I dealt with (all men…never met a woman working in a non administrative capacity in Lafayette) lived outside Lafayette.

      I will say the food is great, and if you are into a very traditional lifestyle / family structure I can see the appeal.

    • I don’t know much at all about Lafayette. I had a friend from there, but it was really Carencro. My SO lived (still has a house) in East BR Parish. There are some fairly nice houses there that are more affordable. A friend of mine is working in BR and still hasn’t made the move because they couldn’t get their kids into a school they liked (their kids are in French immersion in N.O.). BR is definitely more conservative than N.O. I would definitely look at schools first, then look at neighborhoods.

    • I’m also in NOLA, and I think you will find that BR and Lafayette are both pretty conservative politically. I have friends who live in the BR area, and I frequently travel there for work. There are many nice neighborhoods with lovely houses that are much more affordable than New Orleans. The friends I have had in that area all seemed to go to private schools (which is the case for New Orleans as well). I generally find BR to be nice and clean when I go, and they have lots of stores, restaurants, amenities that are convenient, but it is generally just like any other generic city to me.

    • I lived in a Louisiana town during a one-year position after I finished school. I moved there from a large city and afterward moved to a different large city. I have to say that Louisiana, no matter where I went in the state, and I saw a lot of it, was one of the friendliest places I’ve ever been. The people were very welcoming and hospitable. I also found that no conversation is shorter than 20 minutes so you may as well settle in and be ready to chat (which is not my personality at all). When you meet someone, they’re introduced as so-and-so’s brother’s, second cousin’s, girlfriend or something. Everyone had a connection to other people (of course, I didn’t know any of them). So I adopted my connection to be the reason I was living in the town for a year and people were more than happy to accept that. I also liked that my cost of living was very low, particularly compared to where I came from.

      My biggest challenge there was food because I was accustomed to buying prepared meals at places like Whole Foods and I eat a healthful diet. The restaurants where I was were sterotypical southern cooking, which is nothing that I eat. Putting that one issue aside, it was a lovely place to live and I could have stayed longer. Good luck!

    • anon from Ascension Parish :

      Prairieville / Ascension Parish is like the east suburb of Baton Rouge – public schools are considered fairly good. Lots of new neighborhoods have been growing there. This will be a bit of a hike to get to Lafayette though.

  13. I’ll be going to Sinagpore next month for work, and will have roughly a day to myself for sightseeing. I’ll be at the Fullerton Bay hotel. Expecting to try plenty of restaurants as part of the event, so mostly interested in a few ‘must see’ spots/great shopping tips for things to bring back.
    Oh, and am I right to assume the temperatures/humidity will be akin to Orlando in the summer? I’ve done that for work conferences many times before so that is my frame of reference for attire/hair & makeup concerns.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Just for fun you should read Crazy Rich Asians (and whatever the sequel is called.) So much Singapore goodness. It made me want to visit for the food so much.

    • Recommendations for places to visit really depend on your interests. I enjoyed drinks at the Raffles hotel. Food is generally fantastic.

      Climate similar to Orlando, maybe less humid. Keep in mind that you will mostly be inside there, so dress for strong AC. It also tends to be a more formal and less resort style, so things that might work in Orlando might look out of place in Singapore When I worked there, it was pretty standard business dress, in summer weight fabrics.

    • Just make sure you don’t break any laws.

      Or smoke in public.

    • Singapore fun :

      Go to the Gardens by the Bay! It’s super accessible from where you’ll be, and they are awesome. The Super Trees at night are pretty cool, too. Last time I was there, they did a show on the hour once it got dark, with lights and music and stuff.

  14. In-House Question :

    This question is about managing requests for sales pitches. I’m relatively new to the in-house world and came over after a very brief time in big law. I have now been on the receiving end of some “strategic intros” from friends trying to help each other win business. The latest one was a former colleague introducing me to his friend that represents a litigation support firm. Now the friend wants to pitch me. What is the protocol for these things? Should I take the meeting but let him know in advance the truth that we aren’t looking for this service? Is it bad practice to decline the pitch altogether? Easy enough to decline the cold call, but not sure if there is an unwritten rule to accept these types of meetings, time permitting, if the intro was made by someone in your professional circle.


    • Take this with a grain of salt because I do not have any capacity to hire for outside services in my job, but I would decline the meeting and say that at this time you do not have a need for this service but will reach out in the future if the need arises.

    • If you have time, take the meeting, but be up front about your current needs.

      Think of it as expanding your network and keeping up on the industry. You may need it in the future.

      If they are doing the meeting right, it should be an interesting conversation and not feel like a sales pitch.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’m in-house in the transactional/corporate space and regularly ignore cold calls or cold linkedin/emails for e-discovery/litigation support. I don’t do touch any litigation in my role we have a whole seaprate team of lawyers who do that. For a friend doing an introduction, I would let the person know that I don’t handle litigation and say I’m still happy to meet someone but I want to be upfront with them. Always good to meet people and I don’t mind doing that for friends trying to introduce business but I don’t want to mislead anyone.

  15. Frozen Peach :

    Can anyone recommend a good eyebrow waxer in the Atlanta area? I’ve tried Spa Sydell and Sweet Peach in Virginia Highlands, and have been woefully disappointed both times. I’m picky about my eyebrows and need someone really good.

    Separately need a good bikini waxer– they don’t have to be the same person or place.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I like Michelle at Natural Body Decatur for a bikini wax. I’ve also had good bikini waxes from others there, but I don’t remember their names.
      Sorry I can’t help with brows.

    • I go to Brazilian Body Wax in Dunwoody – not sure if that’s outside your ideal travel area though. Suelly is the owner and she’s amazing – she does all of my waxing

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Wax in O4W/Inman Park. You’ll pay a pretty penny, but everything they wax is amaaaazing.

      For brows, I actually prefer threading, and I like the threading place that’s in the shopping center with the Whole Foods on Ponce.

  16. Breaking up badly.... :

    I broke up with a boyfriend this week (short version: he is clinically depressed and can’t seem to function in a relationship). I was prepared to do it in a calm positive way, but of course he did one more thing before we talked that set me off and I said some things about him that were fairly caustic. I am frustrated with myself for not keeping my feelings in check, and given his depression I feel really bad about not doing this in a more positive way. As much as I know I made the right decision, I hate the thought of adding to his sadness or that he is always going to be angry at me. But this is just break ups, right? I appreciate any words of commiseration, or advice for the future, or general strategies to make this feeling of regret go away.

    • Baconpancakes :

      You are not responsible for another adult’s feelings. You made the decision that was healthy and good for you. Maybe it wasn’t good for him, but he clearly wasn’t making his life decisions in a way that was good for you, so why should you build your life around making him feel better/happy?

      As my grandmother liked to say, ain’t no one going to die for you, so don’t let them live for you.

    • There is no good way to break up with someone. You did your best, you recognize it wasn’t perfect, that’s all you can do.

      • +1

        Not that you suggested that you might do this OP, but just in case you are feeling the urge to apologize for not behaving your best, I would advise you to resist that urge. Write down the apology, and then throw it away, if you need to express it. It’s extremely unlikely he will be ready to hear it and it will likely make things worse.

    • I’m also going through a break-up in a similar (not exactly the same) situation and while I keep trying to remind myself to be nice to myself, I also remind myself that the best thing I can do is take this experience with this person and learn from it and make me a better person. If you don’t love how you handled it… these are rare situations in our lives. The best you can do is try to learn from it and hope it will help you next time you have this kind of situation – not just a breakup.

      *hugs* I’m sorry. But also, one of my friend’s favorite platitudes: “don’t light yourself on fire to keep somebody else warm”

    • Its going to take time. When a relationship ends, you suddenly have a void that person filled in your life. It sounds like he was filling a primarily negative place, but its a void nonetheless. Remember you aren’t responsible for him. He’s an adult and will get help if and when he’s ready. Be kind to yourself. I’m sure you tried to help him, but caustic remarks are going to come out during any break up. Its understandable.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I have been in your shoes. I ended a relationship a long time ago with a man with severe depression (and anxiety). I put it off for so long because I was so focused on how he would take it. My worst fear was that he would attempt suicide. But then I realized that his depression and anxiety were not about me. They controlled him, not me. I’m not being mean here, or insensitive, he just refused to treat his illness properly.

      Long story short, he did threaten to hurt himself. I forced his family to step in and I never looked back.

    • Breaking up badly.... :

      Feeling better about this now…thank you, everyone.

    • If I feel I crossed the line (let my negative emotions blow up when I should have kept them at bay and might have hurt someone, I feel fine to reach to that person, apologize for that one particular thing, confirm the breakup us still valid, wish them well. We are adults, if you want to apologize, why not do it. Won’t kill you.

  17. Paging LondonLeisureYear :

    LLY- I was too late the other day for you to see, but if you see this today could you also send your Paris/London recommendations to me pretty please? My email is nytococorpor*tt* at the mail of g. TIA!!

  18. A few wedding-related questions for the hive!

    Is it necessary/advisable to take a dance lesson? We are both capable of swaying back and forth to our first dance song (which is “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran). But would it be better to have some kind of (even minimal) choreography? Or do people who really, really can’t dance the ones who take those lessons?

    We are having a rehearsal dinner for our immediate families, everyone in the wedding party + their significant others, and a few OOT family members who traveled a significant distance. The morning after the wedding, we will have roughly the same people over to our apartment for bagels/donuts (late morning, very casual). My question is– appropriate to put on our wedding website that we will be at a bar (the bar at the hotel we’re staying at) starting at 9 pm and would love to see anyone there, and that the day after the wedding we will be hanging out at x location (which has activities, food and booze) and would love to hang out with any guests still in town? We cannot afford to host either of these events (we may buy a few pitchers of beer at the day-after-wedding thing, but that’s it). Is it weird to put them on the website? Will people be surprised if they show up and have to pay? We phrased it as “come hang out with us!” but I’m not sure.

    • 1) We just swayed. I think the people who take lessons to do a big choreographed dance look pretty silly. If you’re trained dancers, and want to do an elaborate dance to show off your skills, that’s cool. But if you take dance lessons just for a huge wedding performance, I think it comes across like you’re trying too hard. But I may just be biased because the one person I know who took dance lessons and had a choreographed first dance is super super obnoxious.

      2) I don’t think it’s weird to invite people to hang out with you at certain times/places during the wedding weekend. Just make it clear you’re not paying, and I think the “come hang out with us at such and such bar” language does that. We did a similar thing the Friday night before our Sunday wedding (rehearsal dinner was Saturday) and it was well-received.

      • KateMiddletown :

        I’d say have another family member spread the word for you about the day after thing. It tends to be a “so what’s everyone doing today” type thing, and of course my family can’t be bothered to remember anything they’ve been told too far in advance any way!

      • Wow, way harsh, Tai. OP, you’ll look fine if you take dance lessons so you’re not just swaying. Nobody will be judging you unless they’re total jerks.

        • Lorelai Gilmore :

          We took, like, two dance classes. No choreographed routine, no big finish, but we learned a basic set of steps (I think it was a foxtrot or a basic non-sexy rumba) and how to do a spin, a turn, how to get around the floor. It was easy, low-pressure, gave us something to do besides swaying, and – perhaps most importantly – it has held up for every single wedding we’ve been to in the 11 years since we got married. It’s nice to have something to do during a slow dance besides sway.

          I don’t think anyone will judge you for swaying OR for a grand choreographed performance. But I just wanted to point out that there is a nice, easy, medium option, which in this case may actually be useful over the long haul.

    • For #2 – I’m not sure what the etiquette is, but putting an event on the website makes it feel like an official wedding event. Which means people will feel at least a little obligated to attend and they’ll probably expect you to host them.* I’d probably spread the word via word of mouth and text anyone who would be out of the loop. If you want to put it on the website, be sure to indicate that there will be a cash bar available.

      *Exception to the rule – you can include information about the after party for the wedding even if you don’t plan to pay for drinks. I think the difference is that you’ve already hosted people for 5 hours that day; they’re not coming to ONLY the after party.

      • Hmm, I disagree. I never feel obligated to attend any wedding events other than the ceremony and reception (unless I’m in the wedding party), and typically when I’ve been invited to an “official” event like a rehearsal dinner or post-wedding brunch, I’ve received a separate, formal invitation and been asked to RSVP. If an event is just listed on the webs!te with no option to RSVP, I’d assume it’s casual and the bride and groom are not hosting, particularly if they use the “Hey, if you’re town come hang out with us at X bar” kind of language. I’m not sure how you could interpret that as the bride and groom hosting.

    • 1) We did dance lessons because we were absolutely hopeless. The dance teacher basically taught us a few steps. And then the DJ played the wrong version of the song so we were lost and just swayed. The photo of when we realised it was the wrong song was one of my wedding favourites.

      2) We booked the backroom at a cafe on the Sunday and said ‘No host farewell tea’ on the wedding website. People had tea/scones/cake and it was really great. I was worried I’d feel tired / just want to go on honeymoon but it just extended that feeling of love. People were prepared to pay but someone ended up paying for it (it wasn’t super expensive, maybe $150 for 20 people since it was just tea and scones etc). It was also my husband’s nephews birthday so we sang happy bday and he ate cake for breakfast.

      • Ha! The wrong song thing happened to my brother. He can two-step and is otherwise a completely hopeless dancer, so he and his wife had chosen a country song. I don’t remember what the DJ played instead but it was completely sappy and not a two-step rhythm at all. They two-stepped anyway and to the extent anyone cared it was just a funny moment.

    • No thoughts on the first question, but most of the weddings I’ve been to recently have had some “come hang out!” events where it was clear the bride and groom were not hosting. We’ve gone to all of the ones we were available for, had a blast, and felt zero resentment for the fact that the bride and groom weren’t buying our drinks.

    • Baconpancakes :

      At one wedding I attended, the bride and groom took lessons, and performed a beautiful, impressive tango, clearly having a great time performing for us. Everyone was awed and clapped loudly and rushed to the dance floor. At another wedding I attended, the bride and groom held each other in their arms and swayed generally in rhythm to a slow dance with looks of peaceful bliss on their faces. Everyone was teary-eyed and sentimental and then they clapped and rushed to the dance floor. You do you, lady.

      People will probably be surprised if you list the event as a “wedding event” and don’t pay, yes. I would pass it through word of mouth and not as an official part of the event.

    • I desperately wanted dance lessons, but it didn’t work out for scheduling reasons and we ended up just swaying for the first dance. I didn’t want a big choreographed first dance because that wouldn’t have been my husband’s style, but I did want to actually dance with real steps. An even bigger problem for me was that I was incapable of following when I danced with all the older male friends and relatives who wanted to lead and do real steps (waltz, foxtrot, etc.).

    • Swaying is fine. Husband and I took two lessons to learn the foxtrot for our first dance, but it wasn’t intricate choreography. One couple we knew danced to (I’ve Had) the Time of my Life and it was SUPER choreographed so then everyone made fun of them afterward for not doing “the lift” haha.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      1 I guess it’s more interesting to watch choreography, but I don’t think it really matters. DH and I didn’t bother with a first dance.
      2 it’s fine to invite people to hang out informally during the wedding weekend. Language like “We’ll be at ____ bar around 10 pm if you want to come hang out with us” works.

    • We took dance lessons. We didn’t do as well at the wedding as we did in class (we were a bit nervous). I think our grandmothers may have been the only ones who appreciated that we actually “danced” and didn’t just sway. I don’t think anyone cares. We didn’t do video, but we have lots of pictures of the dancing, and I do like that we look like we know what we’re doing in the pictures.

      As with all wedding questions, I think it really applies to what area of the country you’re in. People in NYC expect a different wedding than people in Atlanta.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Re #2, on weddings I’ve been to, for the events before/after where someone wasn’t hosted, it was usually shared separately from the website (mass email, word of mouth, etc). But in trolling random people’s wedding websites (for ideas for things near venue, I’m not stalking random people), I have seen people who list them but make clear they aren’t paying (I think one referred to it as dutch treat, e.g)

    • No, you do not need dance lessons or choreography. People will watch for, like, 5 seconds and then they will go back to eating/chatting/whatever.

      In terms of the other question, if you’re not hosting, I wouldn’t put it on your wedding website; I’d let it be word-of-mouth. If it seems like a formal wedding activity, many (probably most) people will expect you to host to at least some degree.

    • perpetual wedding guest :

      I went to several weddings last year, and the first dances that I know anything about/stand out:

      -one, the bride and groom took dance lessons (it had been an engagement gift from one of their attendants, after the groom mentioned maybe wanting to do it, my friend paid for it.) I’m sure it was great, the wedding was great, I do not remember it at all. my most vivid memory from that evening is being in a group circle singing “Piano Man” with a group of people I cared incredibly about who are now geographically diverse, including the bride and groom, after too many of the signature cocktails.
      -one where the bride and groom didn’t take lessons but did a standard dance, live band
      -one where the bride and groom didn’t take lessons, live band, with a close friend of theirs singing their first song. highlight was on the girl performing, not the bride and groom.

      I would put the events on the website/invitation. at one of the weddings I went to, there was a non-hosted post-rehearsal dinner happy hour I would have loved to attend, but it was listed on the “welcome basket” card which the hotel didn’t give me until the next day. if you have events that are hosted, mark them as such, and I think that makes the non-hosted ones more apparent. I can’t imagine anybody who is traveling to/attending your wedding being upset about purchasing their own glass of wine outside of the reception.

    • We went to a bar after our rehearsal dinner and let everyone know via email that they were welcome to join us.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We did a choreographed first dance and the best decision we made was to cut the music way way way down to, like, just over one minute. Even though we were short on time and only rehearsed it, like, once, we were able to get through it and it was fun and we were glad we did it. Our choreographer/dance teacher (who’s also a friend) was able to do an mpeg file (or whatever it’s called) with the shortened version of the song and we sent it to the DJ and it worked out fine.

      As for the hang out, the words you are looking for are “no host.” Just put it on your web site and say “no host happy hour — come and hang out with us!” Boom. Done.

      • I was going to say exactly this! The best weddings I have seen a dance where they were not naturally exceptional dancers were ones where the music was shorter or shortened. One did their “entrance” as the song began and made their way to the dance floor, so the music kept playing and people were clapping as they walked through the room. When they got to the floor, he twirled her and they sway/danced for about a minute. The most awkward I think are 4-5 minutes of watching two people sway to a very slow, serious song.

        BUT at the same time, do whatever makes you happy! We are not having a first dance because that’s what makes us happy :)

    • I do not enjoy dancing and it makes me really uncomfortable in all situations. The idea of dancing in front of people was absolutely terrifying and I wanted to eliminate that tradition from our reception. For whatever reason DH wanted to do it. We took lessons and having choreography to follow made it much easier and less awkward for me.

    • All my friends that have had a choeographed dance were those where at least one of the couple had a background in dance or was really into dancing, i.e., having a really cool wedding dance was just part of ‘who they are’.

      Do it if it is something you would be excited to do, don’t do it if it feels like a chore.

    • If you’re sort of interested in doing more than swaying but don’t want to take lessons, we sort of did an in-between version– we watched beginner Foxtrot videos on youtube and practiced the various moves. Then, I choreographed a dance that was just the 5 or so moves we learned in a varying pattern. It looked wayyy harder and more complex than it was, and people were impressed, and we had a great time. It only took us about 12 hours of practice from beginning to end. Granted, I had very (very) low-level knowledge of how to do basic choreography, but it really was not hard and we’re so glad we did it!

    • 1. I took dance lessons with my DH before our wedding. I completely agree that it’s not necessary at all. I’d taken different types of dance as an extra-curricular my whole life, enjoy zumba/dancing in general and just thought it was a fun thing to do. We also had a live band, so there was much more of a focus on ballroom-type dancing at our wedding. I recommend taking lessons if it will be a fun escape for you and your fiance. It was the one aspect of “wedding planning” that did not include unsolicited family opinions, unnecessary hours on pinterest, etc. It was great bonding time with my DH.

      2. Lots of people include a page on local bars/restaurants/activities. If you’re already doing this, could you include the non-hosted events here? e.g. There are three great bars close to the hotel that we recommend. We’ll be at X at 9:00 on Friday night – join us if you’re in town!

    • We did #2 and I think we bought a couple of rounds of drinks, at various times in the night, but people were definitely offering to pay for drinks/food and did pay at various times in the night. I think as long as the bar is not ridiculously expensive for the area people probably won’t think about it too much.

    • We spent time and money on a few dance lessons before our wedding (not a big choreographed production, but still) and when we hit the floor for our first dance my XH froze like a deer in the headlights. So we ended up doing the sway thing, after all.

    • My parents actually got really basic lessons for their 25th anniversary party. It wasn’t a crazy tango or anything, but even my artistically-doubtful dad looked graceful and they learned a routine together which was fun. So learning doesn’t have to equal over the top.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      DH and I are not dancers. But we took lessons and did a choreographed dance at our reception and it was a COMPLETE surprise to everyone. Huge round of applause at the end and it was SO MUCH FUN! I smile thinking about it now, 13 years later. It used to be the one thing I wish we had video of, but I’m actually glad now that we don’t, because the memory is perfect, and video would not be.

      The song was Louis Prima’s “Buona Sera”– starts off slow, picks up to a jaunty swing, and it’s not too long.

      Bottom line: do what feels right to you. If you’re having a good time, the happiness will rub off on your guests, and that’s the best feeling in the world.

  19. If anyone is looking for a basic silk shell, I finally found the holy grail at Everlane. I started with the striped (not sheer – incredible) and now have the solid black too. The fit is sublime and it withstands wrinkles better than some of my thinner silk shells. Covers bra straps, too. For $65 I am going to get it in every color.

    • Princess Leia :

      How does it look when you tuck it in? I’m always looking for shirts to tuck into pencil skirts. So much of what’s in stores these days has a looser fit and doesn’t work for me.

      • I tuck it into my tights and then put the skirt on over and that has been working for me. I probably wouldn’t wear it without it being tucked into my tights first. Hope that helps!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Where do people generally top out on Everlane, bra size wise?

      I’m a DDD/E/F and I don’t want to go through the heartbreak of getting beautiful silk shirts in the mail and not being able to fit them over my boobs.

      • I’m a C but I find all of the shirts have room – certainly not tight on me but that’s probably not too helpful!

      • I’m a DD and find their stuff pretty roomy overall – the sizing is inconsistent but I have smalls and mediums in my closet in sweaters. Not sure about their tops.

    • I like this, but I don’t want to dry clean. Have you had any luck hand-washing?

      • I hand wash everlane silk in a bucket of water and woolite, pat dry with a towel and hang it gently. Seems fine so far.

    • Marshmallow :

      I haven’t tried the shell but I have two of their silk “tanks” and really like them.

      Baconpancakes, I’m a DD and wear a size 6, and the Everlane M fit me fine. So they have decent bust room.

  20. In less depressing political news, Elaine Chao’s confirmation hearing is going on right now and I’m watching and it doesn’t make me crazy sad, as a transportation-industry ‘rette.

  21. I need help/opinions from all of you intelligent ladies.

    I worked for a firm for 2 years and really clicked with a couple of the partners I worked closely with (one is 45 years old and one is about 65). I wasn’t really looking for a new job (it was one of those – well I’ll just interview and see what happens situations) and was offered a great opportunity in-house (less hours, 10 minute commute, 25% increase in pay). I left the firm on good terms. I worked at in-house position for 3 years when the company went under. I am now working for a new firm in a manager role and I am really enjoying the work. I didn’t go back to old firm because the drive is ridiculous (over an hour) and I have small children.

    I see the 45 year old partner quarterly at an industry networking events and always enjoy chatting with him. He told me that 65 year old partner was retiring this year. I said, oh that’s great! Fast forward to two weeks ago and I run into 65 year old partner at a conference randomly. He asked me if I wanted to join him for lunch. Perfect – would love to catch up with him. At lunch I congratulate him on his retirement and he doesn’t go into it too much but explains that the younger partners pushed him out and that he wasn’t ready to retire. He then explains that he will not be recommending that his clients stay on with the firm. The firm I work for is a direct competitor to his firm. I tell him about what we do and it’s a direct match to most of his client base. He requests that he, I and two other partners from my firm get together for lunch to learn more about each other’s business so that hopefully he can refer his clients over to our office. The meeting is set for next week.

    (1) Assuming 65 year old partner sends his clients to my firm, 45 year old partner is not going to be happy about it as I’m sure he’s hoping to retain some of 65 year old client base. How is something like this typically treated? Would 45 year old partner get a percentage and 65 year old partner get a percentage for a set number of years? I ask because I’m just worried that 45 year old partner is going to be really angry about 65 year old partner sending his clients my way and write me off. Should I care? I hate to sour that relationship but this is a great opportunity for me/my firm.

    (2) 65 y.o. partner was not ready to retire and really isn’t able to setup his own firm due to all the administrative issues that he would need to navigate. Obviously this isn’t my decision (it’s the partners at my firm’s decision) but 65 y.o. partner could join our firm part-time and help with the transition of his client base over to us. This would be a win for 65 y.o. partner because he could keep working a bit and then I could get back up to speed on his client base before it’s transferred over to our firm.

    Any thoughts about this would be greatly appreciated! This just kind of fell into my lap and I think it could be a really great opportunity for me. I have never wanted to be a partner…I’m good with being at manager level because I have small children and my husband has a pretty demanding job.

    • First, introduce 65 yo partner to your current partners and see how it goes. It might not work out, and then that’s the end of it.

      But if it does work out, my thoughts are these: 1) 65 yo partner is already not recommending his clients stay on with his old firm, so you haven’t done anything to make that situation worse and 2) 45 yo partner may or may not appreciate that.

      I used to work for a small firm before going in house, and was able to maintain good relationships with two of the partners but not a third. Third partner took my leaving personally in a way I neither expected nor understood. I think the only thing you can do is if and when you and 65 yo partner get further down the line to him joining the firm and come to an agreement, call 45 yo partner up and tell him what y’all are doing. It’s your job to be up front and tell him you hope there are no hard feelings; only he can control whether or not he takes it personally.

    • I think your option to bring 65 year old partner in part time to help with transition is a great one. Good luck! And 45 year old partner shouldnt really get mad because they pushed him out. Its not like you stole.

  22. If you had a coupon for a “custom gown”, what would you get? Was thinking some kind of work dress since a real gown, without a killer event, seems like a waste.

    • I would buy tickets for a ball so I could have an evening gown made.

    • I would get a simple, beautifully cut long black gown. I’m currently looking for something like that where it is simple enough to wear repeatedly, yet can be changed up with different jewelry and shoes.

      • Essentially, I’m looking for my version of a tuxedo. If my guy can wear the same thing to every formal event, why can’t I ? :)

        • OP here: looking for inspiration, i found this, which sounds like what you need:

          basically I’m in love with Reformation

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I not-so-secretly want a tuxedo. I have the prospect of working a formal event every three years or so, and I have tattoos on both my arms. Plus pants would be more functional for running around/picking things up/etc.

      • YES THIS.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup. I have something like this. Classic, well cut, sleeveless, long, black. You can do so much withit.

    • I’d do similarly, but with a richer color like navy, a dark red, or emerald? I would want it to be full length, bra-friendly, to have elbow-length sleeves, and some kind of interesting neckline and/or waist detailing. The kind of thing I could always have in mind for a fancy event.

      • I did this a few years ago. It’s a long, navy gown (works for my coloring), with classic lines, perfectly elegant and timeless/nearly generic — perfect for re-wearing and simply changing accessories. I’ve worn it multiple times a year at everything from weddings to fundraiser galas and get compliments each time. It’s SO nice to not have to worry about what to wear each time an event comes up, even if it is on short notice. The investment has totally paid off.

        • Did you get sleeves or sleeveless? Does it have a skirt that drapes from the waist or princess seams through the bodice?

  23. Blowing my horn :

    Doing this here because I can’t do it so many other places……

    I am pretty senior in my career (15yrs), and have been at my current company for 10 yrs. Ready to move on mentally but feeling stuck about where to go and mostly had maxed out career progression at my existing co. Further promotions would require a lot of patience.

    I was recruited to go work for another company that I work with closely day to day. I know their strengths and flaws and they know mine. It’s a much larger company with more opportunity to move lateral or up.

    After several months of back and forth, they gave me the details on a verbal offer….They went first on numbers.
    The offer is a 60% bump to my base salary plus generous bonus and stock options. (Partially due to currency exchange). Good international relocation looks like it will cover most of my expenses.

    2017 is going to be a good year. :-)

  24. Thinking of Slowly Retiring...Partner? :

    THinking about Retirement – Getting a Partner

    I have had a boutique non-law firm (think medical industry related) for nearly 3 decades. In the next ten years I’ll be retiring.

    Once I moved to a different state and found out that my “practice” was worth nothing. THere’s nothing to sell as it’s all my name and goodwill.

    Welll, I’ve been back nearly 20 years and I am certain the situation is the same.

    Any advice on the process and discernment of bringing in someone newly licensed for let’s say, 2 years in advance … with them taking over any clients that stay AND getting those incoming clients (in those 2 years) that I will not see or won’t fit into a declining availability of my own schedule?

    It would be hard, but I have to find someone in my subspecialty. I know the hive can’t help with that.

    I just would appreciate hearing your thoughts or experiences – has the young one coming into the practice been you?

    I would share a conference room time with them … with me in the mornings and them in the afternoon. They would have their own office space, same size as mine. Waiting room and “office/dront desk” area would be shared.

    Phone number shared. There is NO front desk staff.

    Thanks so much! Just looking ahead … gotta be easier than just packing up what I want to save, donating the rest, and wondering what to do with files in Iron Mountain when I have to keep them on people past majority? Last time, someone took files and phone custody and got only a few referrals. Yeah, I do me and no one else does.

    • Coach Laura :

      The way I’ve seen this work successfully is for the owner to bring in a junior person who wants what the retiring person has and sees value in it. It might be easier then junior starting from scratch.

      You are essentially a rainmaker and you can transition the business to the junior person over time. One way to do this would be with a partnership agreement and a buy-in period and a non-compete clause. Junior person gets a smaller salary in dollars than market and over time builds ownership percentage. Junior has incentive to work hard and keep those clients that would otherwise disappear at retirement. Senior benefits from extra income generated by junior and can start taking longer vacations while junior manages the company. You could even structure payments after retirement.

      Selecting the right junior partner is the challenge as you want someone who can work with your existing clients. I wouldn’t worry about conference room sharing but overall vision and questions about how to make it work.

  25. I know there’s been some discussion lately about going in-house and using recruiters. A friend of mine is looking to switch from our mid-size firm to an in-house position. We work in a fairly small market, with not a lot of companies that have in-house legal positions. She’s been in touch with a recruiter but is now having doubts for a couple of reasons. I don’t have much experience with this, but I know the ladies here do (I’m always learning so much from the hive!), so I thought I would ask on her behalf.

    Is it worth using a recruiter in a small market? The recruiter has admitted that she has limited in-house clients, and deals mainly with firms, but she does have some contacts in-house.

    Also – the recruiter wants the job seeker to commit to not contacting any of her clients for 12 months (this appears to be whether or not the recruiter has facilitated a connection.) Is this standard? If not, what is standard as far as imposing non-compete clauses on the job seeker??

    • “Also – the recruiter wants the job seeker to commit to not contacting any of her clients for 12 months (this appears to be whether or not the recruiter has facilitated a connection.) Is this standard? If not, what is standard as far as imposing non-compete clauses on the job seeker?”

      Huh? In my experience, the client is the job seeker-NOT the firms/companies- any good recruiter needs to putting the interests of the job seeker first. I’ve never heard of an arrangement like this (doesn’t mean it’s never happened). I’d be wary for this reason alone.

      I certainly don’t think it’s standard where the recruiter has not facilitated a connection. That makes no sense- what sort of interest is she trying to protect there? I could almost see it in the first instance (where there was a connection) where she doesn’t want the job seeker to be placed via her work without getting a commission. However, usually recruiters just tell you not to contact places they will submit you while that recruiter is submitting you-not for months and months after.

      • Anonymous :

        “the client is the job seeker-NOT the firms/companies” -whaaa? Who pays the recruiter? The companies!!! They are the client, not the job seeker. A database of qualified candidates is the product the recruiter is paid by their clients to cultivate.
        At the same time, this is absolutely not kosher. Generally recruiters don’t even disclose who their clients are until they’re pitching a position to the job seeker. Maybe small markets are quite different, but I’m confused by this.

        • Thanks for this info. It sounded strange, and I’m glad to get confirmation that it doesn’t sound quite right. She has no intention of going behind the recruiter’s back to get a job once the recruiter has made a connection, but she also doesn’t want to be prevented from making or pursuing her own connections, and the 12 month provision could close off a lot of avenues. I’m going to relay this all to her. Thank you all so much.

    • I’d want to know more about her contacts in these companies. As in, she has placed people with them before and/or has an ongoing relationship with them or she just knows the name of their in-house counsel and is essentially cold-calling them? If it’s the latter, your friend can probably make the connection in other ways without attaching a recruiter fee to her candidacy.
      The non-solicit is pretty standard. The recruiter doesn’t work for the candidate; they work for and are paid by the company that is hiring. So they are very protective of their territory. I would want a very good understanding of the definition of clients.

      • Thanks! I think that the recruiter fee is one thing that has my friend very hesitant. How much of a deterrent is that fee to employers typically?

        • If the company has retained recruiters to fill a position, then I’d assume that they aren’t deterred by a fee. I’ve gone through recruiters for firm positions in the past and the firms were fine with paying a fee. But, if the position is posted on a job search board or the company isn’t actively hiring, a recruiter may not be necessary. I’ve also gotten jobs with firms strictly through personal connections and one of the hiring partners said how happy he was to not have to pay a fee. Again, I’d want more information from the recruiter as to how the fee works, especially if they don’t normally place in-house.

          • Thanks. The positions are generally for the ~5 years experience mark, so not necessarily very specialized or very high-ranking positions. I think it is primarily for the second scenario – positions that are posted, but the recruiter may have a contact at the company. It’s looking more and more like maybe a recruiter is not necessary and may not be that helpful here.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve worked in recruiting before, so allow me to speak from actual experience. It’s absolutely common for companies to use some combination of internal sourcing and outside recruiters, and because of the fee, they will favor the internal source; but they will pay a recruiter fee because finding the right candidate is difficult and time-consuming. Every company is different in terms of how willing they are to pay a fee at various times (they often have a set budget allocated to this, so even companies who don’t mind paying a fee can hit a ceiling or be picky about which roles it goes to).

            Therefore, the tradeoffs to using recruiters:
            Pro: Recruiters have a relationship with the client, and companies often feel obligated to at least consider each resume the recruiter sends in order to preserve the relationship (especially in a smaller market with fewer recruiters and candidates). This relationship can work in your favor.
            Pro: Recruiters are ‘on your side’ because they get paid for placing you and it makes them look better to send great candidates, so they will do everything in their power to help package and prepare you for each position they recommend you for. They can also give you an inside scoop (into the company, hiring manager personality, your competition, etc) for the same reason.
            Con: If there are similarly qualified candidates who are sourced without a recruiter, they will likely get chosen over you. Standard fees are often upwards of 20% of your salary so it’s significant.
            Con: Recruiters want easy, fast placements so they will steer you towards jobs that are easier for you to get and actively discourage you from throwing your hat in the ring for ‘reach’ jobs or jobs you’re not perfectly suited for
            Con: Recruiting has the potential to be one of the slimiest professions and some of them will use all manner of cutthroat tactics (classic example: asking you which companies you’ve already applied to in the guise of getting to know you and your search, but then they actually use that information to find out which companies are hiring and aggressively pursue the hiring managers in order to send them your competition. DO NOT reveal where you have already applied; skirt the question when possible, or provide one name and no more).

            Non-competes are stupid and usually not even enforceable. Never, ever sign on with a recruiter who would try to pull this utter nonsense. But do find a good recruiter and come up with a strategy to apply to some jobs directly, and some jobs through them. A very good recruiter will be very up front work WITH you on such a smart strategy instead of trying to hoard all the job opportunities, because the best recruiters aim to develop loyalty and work with you over the entire course of your career (again, especially true in a small market where quality talent is scarce), potentially earning them their fee several times over as you progress to higher salaries. Mediocre recruiters have a short term view and try to make easy one-off placements. Terrible recruiters will actively alienate everyone with stupid stuff like non-competes for a quick buck and then switch to a different career; it’s a high turnover profession.

          • Anon @ 2:45 – Thank you SO much. This is really valuable insight, and good to know for now and for the future. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond with so much detail. I feel like this has given me a much better idea of what one should look for in a recruiter

          • Anonymous :

            Glad it helped!! Someone else posted that non-competes seem standard, so take my advice with a grain of salt since, again, I’m in a big market in a totally different field.

            My other advice (I swear it gets relevant if you bear with me) for your friend would be to look at herself as a valuable product, and the companies she’s applying to are consumers who are assessing various products to figure out which one best fits their needs and their budget. In order to have success with a product, you need to figure out a good marketing message (resume, cover letter, ‘personal story’); the demographics your message resonates with (products often are marketed to different demos with different messages, hence having multiple versions of your resume); price point (salary and fee attached to you); and which channels you use to sell the product.

            So, channels: using a recruiter is like putting your product in a store. You get a ready-made audience that’s already in the store, but your product is one of many and the price point will be higher because the store takes a cut. There are some consumers this will appeal to, but some would rather do more work and save the money. Applying directly is like hustling to sell direct-to-consumer. Most products use a combination because there are benefits to each and you reach a wider base of consumers by diversifying your approach. But you can also fail if you rely on the store when you should have sold direct, and hustle when you should be taking advantage of a partnership. You can fail if you have a great product but your messaging doesn’t resonate, or you’re going after the wrong demographic.

            This approach also makes the job search a lot less personal. You are not getting personally rejected as a human; you just need to reassess your go-t0-market strategy and get enough volume in your funnel (viable job opportunities) to attain a conversion (job offer). In short, using a recruiter is part of a diverse and strategic self-marketing approach. This particular recruiter was a poor strategic choice, like if Whole Foods told a brand that it wouldn’t carry their product if they have an order page on their own website but also had absolutely no guarantee it wouldn’t put the product on the bottom shelf in some back corner to gather dust. It’s greedy and in poor faith.

            Anyway, that’s it for my Unified Theory of Recruiting Agencies! Hope this is helpful as well!

  26. Fur coat??? :

    What would you do with a fur coat? I have a beautiful full length vintage sable mink from the 60s that I inherited. I don’t know what to do with it. Very tempted to wear when the high for the day is in the 20-30s. Yes or No. I hate to be wasteful and buy another coat. Ideas??

    • Honestly, I would have ethnical qualms wearing it. I understand its inherited. The minks are dead regardless of whether you wear it. However, I prefer fake fur, although I do wear leather so I’m not on the vegan bandwagon. Just a heads up that some may find this offensive.

      • Do you eat meat?

        • Not the person you’re responding to, but eating meat isn’t the same thing as supporting the fur industry. I personally don’t have a problem with the concept of raising animals for food/clothing, but I believe the animals should be treated with respect while they’re alive and when they’re killed. I can choose to eat only ethically sourced meat. Even if I can choose to buy ethically sourced fur (no idea if this is a thing but I assume it is?), wearing fur still acts as an advertisement for unethical sources of fur.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Ehhhh, the animals killed for most commercial meat are just about as miserable as the ones fur fashion is made out of.

            I think the bigger problem is that while it’s beautiful, it’s not really in style to wear full fur coats, much like it’s not in style to wear nipped-waist 50’s dresses. People do it, and look great, but costumey.

      • Fake fur is still contributing to the notion that fur is fashionable.

        • anon anon armani :

          So, baconpancakes, you are say that the fit and flare dresses that Dior popularized as the New Look Dress in the 1950s are costume-y? Gosh, I am an hourglass and need a dress that has that “nipped in waist.” Otherwise I get a baggy, saggy look in the midriff when I wear all those sheaths that are in the stores. I make sure my fit and flares are of modern prints and fabrics (for the winter, ponte; for the summer, jersey rather than the June Cleaver 1950s sitcom cotton).

          Please tell me this is not your idea of a retro costume.

          I throw on heels, armani or st john amazing jackets, some bittar jewelry, and I’m out the door to work.

          Costume? If so, Bacon Pancakes, I guess it’s my uniform costume.

          • Anonymous :

            Wow this is excessively defensive! Yes, wearing vintage Dior new look is costumey, and vintage fur from that era has a costume vibe. No, OBVI YOU NUTTER that doesn’t mean all fit and flares are. Jeeze Louise girl.

    • I would donate it to one of the few charities that places them with women who truly live in impoverished and frigid areas who truly can use it, or have it made into pillows or a teddy bear. I will not wear fur.

      • Um, is that a thing? Or are you trolling? Impoverished, cold women who need furs? LOL I don’t wear fur either.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah it’s a thing! There’s one charity that sends them to women in Siberia and another to women on Indian Reservations in the US. Not trolling, I actually think it’s an interesting way to deal with the problem of not wanting to wear fur but also not wanting to trash something useful.

          • Anonymous :

            This is great! Reused, but probably not in a way that advertises or glamorizes.

      • I think wildlife rehabs use it for comforting animals too.

        • This is what i was coming to say. I saw an advert soliciting fur donations for such a group in a vintage store the other day. Considering it for a vintage fur I have which I will realistically never wear.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d wear it. I saw some ladies wearing fur coats in London last week and they looked gorgeous.

      • Sorry.... :

        I love you SA and your contributions to this community, but this is the first comment you have made on here which makes me really sad.

        Fur coats are so unnecessary. An animal was killed for the sole purpose that a person could wear its coat as an ornament. There are plenty of very warm coats out there that are not fur.

        • Anonymous :

          Is it really any different than leather handbags or shoes though? Unless you don’t eat meat and don’t wear any leather, it seems a bit hypocritical to freak out about a fur coat.

          • Anonymous :

            I feel like let’s start somewhere. Fur is completely unnecessary and cruel. Why not make it abhorrent to wear? And then tackle leather? And then meat?

            Just because some children are poor doesn’t mean we think it’s okay for them all to work in coal mines.

          • Anonymous :

            I guess I don’t think the poor children vs. coal mine thing is a good analogy because I don’t see why fur is worse than leather, especially if you’re talking about a vintage fur coat vs. a new leather handbag. I certainly wouldn’t purchase a new fur coat but if someone handed one down to me, I’m not sure why I wouldn’t wear it. The animal is already dead and refusing to wear the coat won’t bring it back.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I wouldn’t buy a new fur coat, but those minks were killed 50 years ago. I feel like you might as well wear the coat.

          • Anonymous :

            I do get that, I just feel like this attitude actually makes fur more alluring and aspirational. Ohhhh only people whose people have been loaded for generations are wearing fur increased demand from the rest of us for it. It’s why Kate Middleton no longer wears vintage fur- it drives up demand for new fur.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          You’re not wrong, Sorry, but this is very different to buying a new fur coat which would actually directly cause animals to suffer for your choice. The coat is who knows how many decades old already and the suffering already happened…I think under the circumstances it is more responsible to use the coat rather than just throw it out.

      • anon anon armani :

        I agree with Senior Attorney.

        Here in the south, we have few opportunities for a full length fur. However, I have seen a great many new furs as open or zippered vests of different lengths, bomber cut jackets as well. You might consider having it remade (by a fur specialist) into a more modern cut and/or style that suits you.

        Alternatively, you could have an evening suit and have cuffs and collar put on in the fur.

        Or a stole made (seems old fashioned … maybe a scarf instead?)

    • This old thing... :

      Where do you live? I wear a fur coat in Chicago and no one says boo to me. I think fur might get a chillier reception in other cities though.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree with this. I said I’d wear it, but I’m in LA and honestly, I wouldn’t wear it here. I’d wear it in Chicago or New York or London in a heartbeat, though.

        • Anonymous :

          FYI you’ll get serious side eye wearing fur in NYC. It’s very much an old ladies thing too.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Heh. Good to know. I will save my hypothetical inherited fur coat for cities other than NYC.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m in Chicago too and fur definitely gets the side eye among my age group (early-mid 30s).

        • Senior Attorney :

          … and Chicago…

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Senior Attorney – you can wear it here in Toronto if you come visit.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I’m actually visiting Toronto next year so I will keep that in mind!

            Oh, wait. I’m visiting in the summer and my coat is hypothetical…

          • TO Lawyer :

            We may need to do a meet-up when you’re in town!

        • This old thing... :

          I hit 40 this year so maybe the few extra years make a difference or maybe we run in different circles. I definitely see women in their 60s and older wear full on fur coats. Mine is shearling, which is perhaps less showy. I definitely think leather is very common among 30-somethings, but I presume that the same objections apply to leather as to fur.

      • Yeah it’s totally fine in DC as well.

    • I would likely wear it on the weekends. It seems a little over the top for work, at least for me… but if you can make it work, go for it.

    • Wear it! I think it’s sad for the poor animal that the coat was made from to be stuck in the back of a closet and forgotten about! He gave his life – show him off!

    • Anonymous :

      I have several that I inherited. Honestly… they look a bit dated, heavy, huge, and they hang in my closet untouched.

      The only one I wear (rarely) is one from the 1920’s – Persian wool with a mink collar. This looks clearly vintage and unusual, while the other furs just make me think of ….. a prostitute in the 1980s.

      I live in Chicago. The only time I would consider wearing a fur is to the Opera here. I would NEVER wear them to work, if that is what you are considering. Not appropriate, unless you are a party planner or Carrie Bradshaw.

    • If it were me, I would donate it to the KittenXLady in DC who uses the fur scraps for her orphan kittens. I do not eat meat, so this is in line with my beliefs in that regard.

    • I’d wear it – I also inherited one and love it. You could consider having it recut to a shorter length – mine was originally full length and my Mom had it recut to a nipped waist shorter cut (it was her mom’s) and it’s a lot easier to wear in a shorter style.

      • And then you can have collars made up with the extra material, which can be stitched to plain wool coats (or cloth coats, as they used to say).

    • Donate it. I assure you that you will be judged (secretly or otherwise) by others seeing you wear a fur coat. So unnecessary, inhumane and brutal.

    • Anonymous :

      I live in a place where people still wear fur, and I only see it for evening wear. Never during the day except maybe on old ladies at church.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I occasionally wear a fur ‘capelet’ that I inherited from a great-great-aunt. I’d never buy a fur though.

    • Not only would I wear it, but I would rock it ( assuming it suits me, coloring-wise and fit-wise)!

      I would be mindful not to wear it on a one-on-one outing with a friend who is vocally very against wearing fur, and I would probably reserve it for evenings and weekends.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought a vintage fur coat. I live in NY and have no problem wearing it on weekends, though I was a tiny bit hesitant at first. You can either go intentionally theatrical with cocktail wear, or contrast it with jeans and boots. Would not wear to office.
      There’s a joke I heard once: Why are people so against fur coats but not leather jackets? Because it’s easier to criticize old ladies than biker gangs.
      Seriously, though, the hypocrisy is so silly. Don’t criticize me for wearing vintage fur unless you’re absolutely sure your shoes/handbag/couch aren’t new leather…

      • Anonymous :

        I was just thinking if I lived in a place cold enough for fur, it would be awesome to play with dressing it down on the weekends.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1 million

        gigantic eyeroll to everyone preaching against fur while wearing leather shoes.

      • +1 million, too

        • We were fur up here in the north as well as sealskin. It is so warm . The seal that I used to make my mittens was hunted by father in law meat sold, skin given to me, and I had it made into mittens, the extra skin was bought by the furrier. So we tend to do it ethically by using all parts of the animal hunted.

  27. I want to run for elected office. I’ve worked on campaigns, its something I enjoy, I’m involved in the community, and I JUST.CAN’T sit on the sidelines anymore. My local electeds are primarily male, primarily white, and primarily older.

    I feel good about running. I’ve talked with friends and family who have my back. Win or lose, I’ll be happy I tried.

    Now…how do I tell my boss? I’m afraid I’ll lose my job. I work at legal aid. I can see how she would think, if I win, I’ll quit anyway so she might as well fire me. She may think I’ll have reduced time during campaign season (potentially true, but we have very generous leave available). Or, she may be concerned that my running will signal a political affilation of the nonprofit, which statutorily is nonpartisan.

    Am I overthinking this? A friend pointed out she may be delighted. I’m generally a pessimist, so I’m running all these “what ifs” through my mind.

    • I can’t imagine you would be fired from legal aid from bringing up the possibility of running for office. Just talk to her.

    • Congrats on deciding to run! It’s such a big and hard decision.

      I also decided to run for office after the election for the same reasons. I probably won’t run until the 2020 election cycle, which is when seats in my district open up. I don’t think you need to tell your boss until you are closer to the election (i.e. just before qualifying happens and you’re officially in the race.) Not sure how close you are to the election you are planning to run in, but if you have time to figure out which seat you’re running for, get a campaign plan in place, etc. you will probably feel more comfortable telling your boss because it will be more concrete at that point.

      Also – if you don’t already know about it, Emerge America is hosting a “Getting Ready to Run” webinar today at 5pm EST.

  28. A mentor of mine connected me with a partner at a firm with lead me to taking a great position with the firm. I’d like to give a little thank you to him for the connection. Card? Happy hour on me? Card and nice bottle of booze? All of the above?

  29. There’s a federal job open in Japan for somebody who does what I do and I am eligible to apply under my current appointment. It would be a grade level step down for me, but I’d get a cost of living payment + either base housing or a housing allowance (second is more likely for somebody at my level.)

    Am I nuts to consider applying? I’ve been to Japan and near this particular area before, and I’ve always wanted to live abroad. I’m single, not overly close to my family, my younger brother is in the military. But I love my current job a lot and haven’t been here that long – less than a year. I think I’d feel equally passionate about the job that I’m considering though – I was a military civilian for the past several years before transitioning to my current non-military agency.

    Should I just take the shot and apply? I will be ranked underneath spouses etc with preference anyway. Ack!!??

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yes, definitely apply. Spouses will probably get it, but in the off-chance that you do get it, Japan is a fantastic, challenging, beautiful place to live. Everything is expensive, so even with COLA it will feel like a pay cut, but I absolutely recommend living abroad for a while if you can, and Japan, while full of confusing customs and difficult language, is extremely safe and comfortable.

    • You have nothing to lose by applying and interviewing, if you’re offered the chance. Save the freaking out until you’re deep in the interview process or receive an offer.

    • BabyAssociate :

      This sounds like my dream! You should definitely apply, and keep us updated :)

      • Anonymous :

        I always thought it was my dream, too – I just visited for the first time last year around this time and had an amazing time. Just is a little scary to even take that first step, which I know I would tell anybody else means they should do it. ;)

      • Meredith Grey :

        Do it!! If you don’t I will!! JK… kinda.

  30. Sloan Sabbith :

    What do you try to get your cost per wear down to for clothes? I’m trying to keep track of clothing prices on Stylebook/generally trying to use it better and part of it is trying to spend less on clothes.
    Any stylebook tips generally? Taking a photo of all of my clothes seems so time consuming. Right now I’m outfit planning the night before and taking photos of the clothes I plan to wear, but I know I could be more creative with the clothes I have if I could mix and match them all when I’ve got downtime or whatever.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t. It’s a silly number that’s meaningless.

    • I’ve thought about this but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. I think Blue Collar Red Lipstick does something with this so you might want to check her out for suggestions. I wouldn’t try to use the same amount for each item, though. I might be ecstatic with a dollar/wear for a $50 blouse, but not a $60 bra.

    • Cost per wear :

      I don’t have specific goals for cost-per-wear for particular types of clothing, but I track it to see which purchases weren’t worn much so I can avoid buying similar items in the future. Generally, my shoes, handbags, and skirts/pants have very low costs-per-wear. It’s helpful to see that some very pricey (for me) Eileen Fisher pants, for example, got down to $1 per wear.

  31. Just wanted to post that I ordered a few dresses from COS and just received them last night. They are really great and fit really well. I will have to tailor them as I am 5’4 and all the models were like 5’10 but the fabric quality was surprisingly very good.

    This one is a fave. Even though I am a long-waisted pear the drape is great

    simple and pretty. this one is a little long of course

    Just enough visual interest to get by

    • I love COS too! Interesting stuff at a good pricepoint and their cuts/colors are spot-on. Most times out of my budget but all my favourite clothes are from there, so it’s worth the money!

Add a Comment

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.