Wednesday’s TPS Report: Snake-Print Silk Crepe De Chine Blouse

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

Nieves Lavi Snake-print silk crepe de chine blouseThe Outnet has a ton of clothes with “digital prints” right now, including this fun snake-print silk blouse by Nieves Lavi. I’m really not a fan of the boxy blouse, but if you are, this strikes me as a really well done one — and I love that half-placket. It’s marked 45% off at The Outnet: was $230, now $126.50. Nieves Lavi Snake-print silk crepe de chine blouse

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P.S. For those of you who were having caching problems with the site (i.e., only showing outdated posts on the front page), have those problems resolved for you? Either way please let me know.


  1. Kat, I haven’t had the problem with outdated posts, but it’s still not saving my name and email, which is used to do.

    Also, I ordered the faux-wrap dress from Shade (for $15 on sale, so very little risk) and I didn’t like it at all. The color was pretty, the long sleeves are nice, the fabric is soft, but the top fit oddly (because I am large of chest), it clung oddly (to my rear, where I am flat) and it was about 2 inches below my knee and I am 5′ 6″. Totally unflattering. One of my staff tried it on – she is taller than I am and flatter of chest and it looked great on her, so I gave it to her rather than bothering to send it back.

  2. Normally I’m not a snake-print fan, but I like the look of this top! I bet it would be pretty versatile too.

  3. I need some help trying to word letters or emails to my clients regarding my leaving my firm. I work for a very small firm and do primarily “personal” work – family law and personal injury and the like – most of my clients have only worked with me. I will not be taking any cases to my new firm. I’ve been trying to ask for guidance on who will be taking what when I leave, but I’m not getting any responses. (Things are . . . weird at my firm right now. Everything’s in flux and, though I really like the people I work with, I’m really glad that I’m getting out, to tell you the truth.) I’m thinking:

    Dear (client)

    This letter/email is to let you know that, as of (date), I will be leaving (firm). I will continue to work on your case until that time; however, I will be unable to bring any cases with me to my new firm. At this time, I am working on ______. I hope that this can be arranged before I leave. The next hearing will take place on (date), which is after I leave. After I leave, either Partner A or Partner B will be taking over your case, and you can bring any questions that you may have to them.

    Please let me know if you have any questions, and I have enjoyed working with you on this matter. Thank you,



    • I would look at the ethical guidance for your state bar as well as the ABA for some advice on transitioning files. I would probably add a line about presumed consent to new representation if the client doesn’t object.

    • The last time we sent out a letter like that regarding a departing lawyer we included something like “You have the right to seek new legal representation at any time, but you may also choose to continued to be represented by the firm.”

    • My comment is that the wording “I am unable to bring any cases with me to my new firm” suggests a whole array of things. I would leave it out and either say nothing, or say; “however, I will not be bringing any cases I am currently working on to my new firm”

      I would also use more concrete language than “I hope this can be arranged before I leave.” I would say something like, “please contact me before XDATE to arrange this before I leave.”

    • Hi Lyssa how is the baby? I thought I remember that you started at a new firm, is that this one or is this a newer switch? Hope all is well!

      • Thanks, anon! He is doing just great – just so cute and darling. He’s starting to interact a lot more now, grabbing at his toys and mimicing us a little bit (we stick out our tongue, he sticks out his; we clap, he sort of brings his hands together, then smiles really big). I haven’t started a new job yet, but I will be in a few weeks. It’s far more the type of law that I want to do, and I’m really looking forward to it!

    • In order to preserve good relations at your firm, I would strongly suggest running your letter by your colleagues. You want everyone to be comfortable about what you are telling your clients. Trust me. At my last firm, someone sent out a letter to clients about his departure that left a bad taste.

  4. Early TJ — I am looking for some silk or otherwise nice blouses with sleeves to wear under suits. My goal is to have several plain colors and to be able to take off my suit jacket during the day. Do you have any recommendations? I’m looking to spend $50 or less per blouse, so silk blends and other materials are ok. Thank you!

    • Silk and silk blends: I have this one in some prints and solids from J. Crew factory and am very happy with it:

      There’s also a 2-pocket silk blouse there that looks good. With 40% off currently, these would be well within your price range. I’ve also had luck with Banana Republic (probably need sale prices there too though).

      • locomotive :

        I actually really dislike the jcrew blythe because it shrinks when you handwash it (which I have done with the silk washing methods that have not shrunk my BR, ann taylor and everlane silks). I think this is also documented on lots of shopping blogs out there. I have had luck getting silk shirts from BR and ann taylor for ~50$ when there are 40% off full price promos. I also really like the everlane silk blouses – the silk feels a bit higher quality and is thicker than the other stores and the creamish color blouse is actually not see through on me with a nude bra (shameless invite link for everlane: ).

        • Do you hand wash the Everlane ones? How do you do so?

          • locomotive :

            so I clean my sink with white vinegar, rinse it several times and plug it up. Then I fill it with lukewarm/tepid water and add a dollop of johnsons baby shampoo (as you can see it’s not an exact science although there are probably good ‘recipes’ out there). I put the silk in, submerge it, and gently swirl it around a bit (do not scrub or wring or do anything really like that). I let it sit for about 2 minutes and then drain the sink, re-fill it, and add a splash of the white vinegar – when I read about it I think they said this neutralizes any sort of alkaline residue on your silks, swirl. then I drain it, re-fill with water once more and swirl as a final rinse.

            the last thing is to take out the sopping wet silk and lay it out on a large towel that I then fold in half over the shirt and roll it up to squeeze out the extra water. I lay them out flat to dry on a non-sunny surface and usually hang it in my bathroom while I shower a few days to get the wrinkles out. It sounds like a complicated process but really only takes about 10 minutes for the washing, and I do 3-4 shirts at a time so it’s a minimal time investment in exchange for no dry cleaning

        • I agree, locomotive. I actually posted this exact warning about the Blythe blouse here after that happened to me! I was not recommending the Blythe blouse, this is a different one that has been fine even after machine washing (which it says you can do).

    • If you can wait for a sale, I’ve had great luck stocking up on short sleeve silk blouses at Talbots. I found a few last season for $29.99 (and then there was a buy-one-get-one 50% promo on top of that).

    • Piggybacking on this– contemplating taking advantage of the jcrew sale today, and wondering whether anyone has experience with the Tipped Boy Shirt? (In Final Sale –> shirts and tops) I’m specifically curious about sizing/fit, as I’ve been burned once before with jcrew final sale blouses. Thanks!

      • I have some of their perfect fit blouses and the boy fit ones run considerably smaller…they refer to that fit as “shrunken.” I have big ex-swimmer shoulders and their boy fit shirts did not accomodate. You may want to check out jcrew aficionada (google it) to see reviews there too.

        • Thanks for the tip re jcrew aficionada! Wondering how on earth I haven’t seen that site before. Their reviews say the tipped fits TTS; I wonder if the boy fit shirts in other cuts and/or fabrics fit differently….

      • SoCal Gator :

        I am wearing the tipped shirt today in ivory and black. Love it! It fits fairly comparably to the Blythe shirt and usual J Cr*w sizing. My usual size 4 fit me just fine and I have broad shoulders so often have to size up in shirts and jackets to fit them.

        • Thank you!! So glad to hear it fits TTS and that you like it, I’m in love with the ivory/black (as well as the pink combo, feeling bold this morning). Is it sheer? Thanks again!

          • SoCal Gator :

            It’s a bit sheer — if I intended to take off my jacket (which I am not going to do today), I would feel more comfortable with a cami. It is a great accent to the black and white houdstooth jacket I am wearing today with black trousers and a Judith Jack black onyx pendant. I feel very pulled together!

  5. For the non-North American folks: J.Crew is telling me they’re doing free shipping on (what looks like) international orders for the next 5 days. Seriously tempted…

    “*Free shipping valid on purchases made at from March 20, 2013, 12:01am ET through March 25, 2013, 11:59pm ET. Offer not valid in stores, at or on phone orders. Offer does not apply to previous purchases and cannot be redeemed for cash. To redeem, enter code FREESHIP in the promo code box at checkout. Limit one promo code per order. Orders will be shipped via DHL Express. See for shipping times. Offer not valid in the U.S. and Canada. Terms of offer are subject to change.”

    • To piggyback, for US customers (not sure about Canada), they are offering 25% off and 30% off for J. Crew cardholders on everything, including full price items (promotions on full-price are rare).

      • Sydney Bristow :

        My email says 25% off orders over $150 with the code LOVEJCREW and 30% off orders over $150 if you open a JCrew card. Both also have free shipping.

        • I received an email today that had a cardholder code for 30% off. And, yes I forgot to mention that its over $150. Which is not hard to do at J. Crew :/

    • Yup – for Canadians it’s 25% off (30% if you open a J.Crew card), and free shipping over $150 (like that’s hard to reach…pfft).

    • Question re jcrew sale: if I have several items in my shopping bag, all of which are from the “sale” section of the site, but only one of which is marked with the red “FINAL SALE” language and disclaimer stating it cannot be returned or exchanged on the shopping bag screen, does that mean that ONLY that one item is final sale? I hate to get my hopes up….

  6. When I pull this site up on Chrome, I see new posts, but the number of comments is not updating.

  7. NYC Meet Up :

    NYC Meet Up: Wednesday March 28, 8PM, Grey Dog’s Chelsea!

  8. NYC Tailor? :

    NYC ‘r e t t e s – I have a couple of items that need some tailoring: (i) a JCrew skirt bought for cheap that fits okay, but would ideally come in a bit at the waist to sit higher up, and (ii) a skirtsuit bought at a consignment store that needs some basic tailoring on the skirt and a lined jacket that I’d like to take in at the waist, and possibly have the sleeves slimmed a bit. I live and work around midtown and would like to find a place that will do a good job, but that would ideally not cost a fortune (a couple of places on Yelp that have really good reviews quote $40 per seam, which I think would add up quickly, and isn’t really justified, given how little I spent on the underlying garments).
    Any recommendations? I live and work in midtown, so if there’s a place somewhere nearby with good hours for a biglaw associate to be able to drop off/pick up, that would be ideal… TIA!

    • goldribbons :

      The JCrew store on Madison & 44th ish has a relationship with a tailor on 2nd Ave in midtown. I had a suit jacket altered and was pleased with the work. I have no recollection of cost. I don’t remember the name of the tailor but the JCrew store can refer you. Hope this helps!

  9. I have a question about leather bag care for you all. I’m 26 and thus far have only had one nice leather bag, which is an interview bag that I only take to interviews. I have my first real job and am thinking about buying a nice leather bag in the 300-500 range, probably Michael Kors or Marc by Marc Jacobs. My main concern is–how do you keep the leather nice? I find myself caught in the rain or snow in NYC all the time. Will my bag be okay through that? What about bars? I feel like some drunk person is always spilling a drink all over me. I’ve had some leather boots that now look awful because of wet sidewalks and wet bar floors. Is the same thing going to happen to my investment bag? Should I stick to faux leather?

    • LeChouette :

      Key to keeping your work bag nice is to use a different bag on weekends…I spend much more time outdoors and in bars etc. on weekends so I have a cheaper bag.

    • Leather is pretty resilient. Especially if you get a bag made of pebbled leather, it will not show marks like a smooth surface will.

      • Co-sign. My daily bag is a Marc by Marc Jacobs black pebbled leather bag, and it still looks great after 2+ years of use. I carry it every day, put it on the floor in restaurants/outdoor patios, it gets rained on, etc. It seriously shows no wear.

      • I agree. I’m not the most careful person and most of my leather bags look fine. Occasionally I remember to treat them with a leather conditioner. If you’re concerned, take them to a cobbler and have him treat it with a protective spray or just buy one and do it yourself.

        Also, FWIW, I think nicer leather just tends to hold up better.

    • What if you just don’t use it for those “high risk” situations? I like smaller bags for going out and prefer ones that can take some abuse or are cheap enough that I don’t care if they get splashed. If it is pouring outside, I don’t take my light leather bag that show water spots. I carry something else. The rest of the time, I carry my nicer bags.

    • If it’s a lighter color, make sure to treat the leather before using it. Lighter colors get dirty and can stain.

    • Anonymous :

      Taking care of leather is pretty easy. You can buy a shoe shine kit and just replace the colored stuff with a bottle of leather milk and you’re set! Brush leather regularly and whenever it gets dirty. Spot clean. Every six months use a soft cloth to apply leather milk conditioner. If it gets completely soaked through (you drop it in a river?) try to let it dry in it’s appropriate shape and then condition often.

      Also, shining leather shoes prevents them from being ruined.

      • I am loling about dropping it in a river.

        Thank you for these tips everyone

  10. Has anyone seen an inexpensive lightweight denim or chambray shirt with short sleeves? Sleeveless could be ok too–this isn’t for work. Thanks.

    • You could get this men’s shirt in a smaller size:

    • There’s also this:

    • A Nonny Moose :

      I have this one and wear it pretty much weekly. It’s very light weight.

      That site’s factory store has a lot of chambray options.

    • Old Navy has a few, but I think they are long sleeves. Though you could roll the sleeves up. I have one from last year and have been very happy with it.

      On an aside: I have been seeing chambray shirt dresses everywhere this spring and I am so totally excited. I’m not sure why but I love, love, love denim dresses.

      • I own a denim shirtdress from last year and can’t wait to bust it out again!

      • I’m still kicking myself for not buying a really cute denim shirt dress with a circle skirt two seasons ago… the cost per wear would be nothing by now, I’m sure :)

  11. I have a question for you ladies. One of roommates got flowers delivered to her desk this morning and she didn’t know who they were from. A few minutes later she got an email from one of her co-workers asking if she liked the “surprise”. She has thought this co-worker has had a “crush” on her for a while, but she hasn’t given him any indication that she’s interested in him or that she appreciates his advances.

    Should she talk to HR? How should she deal with the flowers and his e-mail?

    • I don’t see anything so inappropriate about his behavior that it would be necessary to tell HR. Why doesn’t she just tell him that she appreciates the flowers but is not interested?

      • I agree with this. I think she should go to HR only if he persists after she tells him she’s not interested.

        I do think that sending flowers anonymously to a coworker and then emailing a few minutes later to ask if she liked them is a little odd, so it might be worth keeping some notes about the interactions in case he keeps up with his advances after being told, clearly and directly, that she’s not interested.

      • Agreed. If he doesn’t get a clue after being told that she’s not interested and continues to send her gifts/make overtures, THEN she should talk to HR. But for right now, a clear “thanks, but I’m not interested in you in any way other than as friends/coworkers” should suffice.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      She should only talk to HR if she’s already told him she’s NOT interested (not the same as not giving him an indication that she is interested) and he has continued to come onto her, IMHO.

      I agree with the advice above – tell him she appreciates the flowers, but unfortunately, she’s not interested in him and would prefer to keep their relationship strictly professional. If he still continues after that, then is the time to involve HR.

    • For the flowers, she should put them in the reception area, someplace common. That way it’s also a clear sign she is rejecting his “gift.”

      • Yes, she should leave it in a common area. I think she should email her comment to him so she has evidence in case he starts acting stalkery.

        Because without any other information on this guy, his action just sounds creepy at worst and misguided at best. It’s weird/creepy because of the guess-who-ishness of it all. It’s also stupidly juvenile.

        Somebody hand this guy a handbook for how to hit on a woman without creeping her out. These are the losers who keep getting this stuff wrong, and then grow increasingly resentful about women when it’s their own idiotic approach that’s the problem.

      • Yes, keeping the flowers may send the message that she’s interested, even if she’s not. If her secretary is cool with it, maybe she should put the flowers on the secretary’s desk.

      • She could also put them in the middle of a conference room table, especially if the conference room has glass walls. She could replace the card with something like, “For the office, congrats on our latest project!” Or something. No one has to know they were sent to her unsolicited.

  12. How much for Italy? :

    My husband and I are planning a trip to Italy and I’m not sure what is a reasonable amount to budget. We want to be there for 10 days, probably in the southern region/Sicily and want it to be nice but not over the top. We probably will travel between 2-3 cities either by train or car and want to stay in 3 star hotels. Is 6K appropriate? What is realistic?

    We’d love to rent a small villa but I am thinking that might break the bank…

    • We did something very similar recently, but on the other side of Italy, and I think we probably spent a little less than that, so you should be fine. The most expensive parts of the trip were plane tickets and hotels. Those tend to vary by season so it’s hard to say what you need to budget without knowing when you’re going. But some tips: book your train tickets online, in advance, from here, it will be much cheaper and easier and spring for first class because it is worth it; book hotels directly because it will be a LOT cheaper than booking online through discount websites (I got a phone card and just called places, you can also email; if you call, be mindful of the time difference and call during business hours); also for hotels, there’s often a 5-10% discount for paying cash (even at really nice places), so always ask; do not go at the height of summer tourist season – you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more if you’re not there in July/August.

      • My experience with Italy was as a low-budget college student, but I want to second AIMS ‘s comment about the train tickets. Book them way in advance, as prices will shoot up astronomically if you wait to buy at the station. Also, if you plan to travel overnight, book a sleeping car. It’s worth it.

    • I don’t have budget information (I did my Sicily trip with frequent flyer miles and hotel points), but I LOVED Sicily. Really, it’s one of the best places I’ve ever been. So beautiful and interesting. I recommend Syracuse in particular.

      • +1 Siracusa is one of the pretties places I’ve ever seen.

        Toaromina is fun and pretty, too. I’m jealous!

    • I have friends who go there pretty regularly. New Orleans Italians are almost all Sicilian so it’s a pretty popular destination. Let me check in with one of them and see if she has anything to share. If it’s too late, I’ll post in a later thread back to you.

      • Thank you – actually my family is Sicilian, originally from New Orleans!

        • If you’re still reading, here’s what my friend said:

          Actually villas are usually much more economical and such fun! Does this amount include air? If not, I think this is reasonable. She may contact me, if she likes. I have lots of info on Southern Italy and Sicilia. Can I go along?

          If you want me to put you in touch with her, email me at nolar e t t [email protected]
          (without the spaces, of course).

    • SoCalAtty :

      I think 6k is about right, and I wholeheartedly concur with the sentiment that you don’t want to be there during the summer! We went in July for a wedding and it was really hot and crowded.

      Check out the Rick Steves books / shows – and note what time of year he films the episodes! I really used his packing guides to the letter, and was able to pack an entire 10 days worth of clothes into my backpacking backpack! I was so glad I did. It was so easy to use public transportation between locations that way.

      I also purchased a duffel bag from Sea to Summit that weighs almost nothing and packs down really tiny. On the way back, I filled it up with dirty clothes and checked that, and was able to put any gifts / items that might break right into my backpack and carry it on. I also carried a small daypack (the REI Flash Pack) which folded down small too.

      Have fun!

  13. FYI for the person that was looking into buying a Raymond Weil watch – they’re on Rue La La today (under “luxe jewelry”).

    • phillygirlruns :

      oh, love that men’s traditions watch…

    • Raymond Weil :

      Do you think that it’s “safe” to purchase “fancy” watches from flash sale sights? I always feel like there must be some hitch or trick to it being such a discount. My SO purchased some Brooks Bros. stuff on Rue La La once, and the suit he got needed substantial work from a tailor because it was slightly askew and the tie just fell apart after less than a year. I am always dubious.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve usually had good luck with them. If it’s defective upon arrival, you can return it for free. Can’t speak to the problem of it not lasting after a year, though.

  14. TJ – Do some people like to be interrupted?

    I ask because I’m having some communication problems with an older male partner I work with often on litigation. He works well with a younger male lawyer. They recently had a conversation about a case they’re working on together in a common area outside my office. Because it can be distracting, I usually shut my door but this time I left it open and listened in. I noticed two things: 1) my male colleague interrupted the partner frequently during their conversation – often explaining why he took a certain approach in what he was writing – making the tempo much faster than my conversations with the partner, and 2) my male colleague never apologized, not once, in response to all the criticisms the partner leveled at his work (I am guilty of apologizing nearly every time we talk).

    Is this a male-female thing? If I adopted these two habits, do you think my communication with this partner would improve? Advice on good books re interoffice/professional communication? Other thoughts?

    • People tend to say its a male female thing but I think that it is a cop out. I would absolutely work on not apologizing. I almost never apologize. Only if I majorly forget something. No one really likse to be interupted but that can be a talking style. I would work on being more assertive in general

    • Definitely do not apologize! If the partner has criticisms/suggestions, just make a note of the change and say “ok, will do” or something like that. I don’t know about the interruptions, speedy conversation style, etc, as that may be based on an existing working relationship.. but I would definitely 1) stop apologizing for your work, and 2) do adopt the practice of explaining why you took a certain approach when you present your work. Not to the point or arguing with the partner, but just so you can explain your thought process and show that you have a rationale for why you did something a certain way.

    • I would definitely stop apologizing! If the partner told you to include X and you forgot, sure, say “sorry about that — I’ll be sure it’s in the next draft” but if he just says “make the argument more like this” then for heaven’s sake, do not apologize! You sound like you’re younger and if that’s true, then you’re not supposed to get it right the first try. Also, lots of things partners ask associates to change are due to personal preferences, not the associate getting it “wrong.” As for interrupting, who knows. I interrupt a lot and it makes my husband bonkers, but I’ve never had trouble with it at work. Finally, can we stop saying something is “male” thing or a “female” thing? It’s fine to say that males are more likely to do something, or most women do something, or that males and females are often socially conditioned to behave in certain ways, but no behavior is innate in all men or all women. I’m prickly on this because I do tons of things that people often call “male” but am still very much a girly girl. Also, saying “this is a male communication style” means that women are gender-bending if they use the style, and that men who don’t use that style are somehow less masculine.

      • One last thought — what part of the country are you from, what part of the country are the two men from, and what part of the country do you work in? The style you describe sounds very northeastern to me, which people from other parts of the country often find rude or jarring. If you’re in NYC and your co-workers are New Yorkers, for example, but you’re from South Carolina, it might just be regional.

        • DC. And I’m not terribly young but am a newish lawyer. Moreover, I did not mean to cause offense with the male/female thing (trying not to apologize here!) – this partner seems terribly sexist to me – it’s a small office and there’s only one woman he relates to well – he’s a bully with everyone else, particularly those of us lower on the hierarchy. That said, he’s a brilliant lawyer and I would like to continue to learn from him if I can get past the painfulness of our interactions.

          • Being a bully does not mean his sexist. Buck up a bit

          • Maybe he is not a bully but a bit gruff. When people are meek with me, I get annoyed. When people who report to me just tell me like it is, I respect them. So, yeah. Buck up. You aren’t having afternoon tea.

          • OP here — I’m not a meek person by nature — I’m a litigator and enjoy court arguments, media interviews, etc. — but there is something going on specific to this partner and me, and I’d like to head it off before it gets worse. It’s a small practice, and we have several cases together.

          • Anonymous :

            So how does that make him sexist?

          • People who have an aggressive tone don’t mind it when others are agressive back. If this “bully” partner likes interrupting people, he probably likes the young man who is effectively mirroring his behavior.

            I have found that for people who don’t really understand social cues, like those who are more aggressive, it doesn’t really bother them when I’m a little more aggressive. They just don’t know where the normal line is.

            Like for people who talk all the time. For my aunt or whoever who is constantly talking to me, even when I walk out of the room, I realized that it doesn’t matter as much to her that I absorb 100% of what she is saying. It’s more important to her that she is able to get it off her chest.

            Maybe it’s more important to the partner that he has an associate that he sees as aggressive, than is to him to not be interrupted.

    • I have some mentees who do interrupt and some who don’t. It’s their style. Honestly, I don’t mind the interruptions when they are relevant or explanatory. If you are going to interrupt, only make relevant interruptions and signal your interruption using non-verbal cues. Don’t fight, just explain and move on. The ones who don’t, honestly, sometimes I wonder if they are really listening.

      What are you apologizing for? Don’t use apologizing as a conversational crutch. Apologies are (usually) not appropriate in a professional setting. I have a mentee who is driving me crazy by starting off each of our interactions by “I’m sorry but I have a question.” I’ve told that person to not apologize but he/she is still doing it and it’s causing other attorneys to question that person’s abilities.

      It’s not a male/female thing. I have had male mentees who apologize and female mentees who interrupt.

      • I am a banana. :

        I had this problem until I moved in with a roommate who couldn’t stand it. Your mentee probably doesn’t realize he/she is even doing it. My roommate started asking me I was sorry for when I said I was sorry. After she would say it five times in one night, I started hearing myself and learned to stop. So grateful for that roommate…

    • I have a habit of interrupting and work hard to control it, because I see that it annoys the other person.
      It is a little different with apologies. My opinion is that being apologetic makes one look weak and yes, men do it less often. In case of legitimate criticism, it is better to thank the other person for helping you improve _your joint work product_. If the criticism is based on difference of opinion, have a respectful discussion. Without interruptions.

    • I’m speaking as a senior person here – don’t apologize (unless something was truly screwed up, and even then think twice about it). But also don’t explain why you did something the way you did unless there is a really good reason to do it your way instead of his. When I’m giving someone feedback and asking them to change something, it’s because I think that my way is better. So I don’t want to hear why you chose your way unless you think there is really an advantage to taking your approach and that I’m missing something. Explaining why you did something can come across as whiny and argumentative. On the other hand, it’s okay to say something like, “I see your point. I chose this way because I was trying to emphasize X, and what you suggest emphasizes Y but not X. Do you see a good way to bring out both ideas?”

    • I hate being interrupted, especially when I’m explaining something to someone junior to me because the almost invariably jump to the wrong conclusion and if they had let me finished I would have addressed the wrong conclusion that they jumped to.

      Grr. Let me finish before asking questions or jumping to conclusions!!

      However I think you should definitely work on the apologizing.

    • amelia bedelia :

      I do not apologize at work. period. I do own up to errors, and I do not make excuses, and I fix them. I will say “this will not happen again” and do my best to make sure that is the truth.
      but I do. not. apologize.
      I have noticed that this falls largely on gender lines. i’ve seen male associate/partners miss deadlines, omit documents, etc. — major erorrs – no apology. so I mirror that approach.
      I think it is important not to make excuses, though.

  15. Is Google Reader already gone? I can’t find it on my Google toolbar or when I click the Even More link. I thought we had until July.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      It still works for me by going to but it’s not in my toolbar anymore either.

      • Famouscait :

        Ditto. So frustrating.

        • Backgrounder :

          Same here!! I imported my Google Reader feeds to Feedly (dot) com – so far it seems to be a decent alternative to Google Reader.

  16. Mountain Girl :

    I’m wondering if anybody is planning to switch from Team Bare Legs to Team Sheer Hose this spring?

    • Nope, I only wear hose to synagogue and to formal events (like weddings). At work, bare legs all the way. My office is business casual, fwiw.

      • Veronique :

        Same here! For the most part, I only wear tights (when weather requires) or bare legs.

    • I would totally wear hose all summer…if I didn’t live in the sweltering beast of swamp known as Washington, D.C.

      • Same here. Virginia summers are gross so everyone can just deal with my pale pasty blinding white bare legs.

      • as a fellow dc-er, i actually prefer wearing hose so my sweaty thighs don’t stick to each other, bus seats, etc. i wear a lot of pencil skirts and i think wearing tights helps keep those from bunching up, as well.

        • RosieAims :

          This! My thighs are my chunkiest bit… and I straight up need a bit of “fabric” to keep things comfortable. Same reason I prefer capri tights to shorts for workout gear.

    • As a 20-year member of Team Spider Veins, I’m thinking of joining Team Sheer Hose instead of Team Sweaty In Pants All Summer. As someone about to turn 40, I’m always afraid of dressing like a middle-aged (argh!) dork – can I join this Team?

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        I am also concerned about both things you mention. I only wore dresses when pregnant, because I thought the veins would be chalked up to pregnancy. And I already turned 40 and noticed a tendency to only choose clothes that are super comfy. This doesn’t translate to them being stylish I noticed recently.

        I will be joining the hose team as well!

      • Have you tried micro-fishnets in a nude-for-you shade? I have no problem with traditional nylons, but if you’re worried about being dorky, the micro-fishnets are little more modern while still providing some coverage. And they’re more ventilated:) I like Commando brand.

        • That’s what I wear. Hue’s nude-for-me microfishnets are good too.

          • I love Hue’s micro fishnets. i’m in finance and we cannot go without hosiery by company policy. Fishnets are banned too but micro-nude-for-me have never even been noticed. When it’s really hot here, i remove my hose before taking transit home. So i’m the dorky middle-aged woman wearing hose, skin-toned or light in the spring/summer, black or tights in the winter.

    • I love sheer hose in spring!

    • I’m in Atlanta, and I’m on Team Sheer Hose year-round.

    • Kerrycontrary :

      Team sheer hose until it’s too hot out (in DC). Plus my legs are too pale right now!

    • I think I am going from Team Black Tights to Team Sheer Hose for the next month or so and to Team Bare Legs once it gets hot. Am tired of the black leg look, but it is not warm enough for bare legs.

      • I have just recently become a member of Team Bare Legs, but only after use of Sally Hansen’s Airbrush legs spray on product. Keeps the glare at bay and evens out the bruises. spider veins, etc.

        • RosieAims :

          This stuff is pure magic! I discovered it when I wanted to cover bruised up legs for a wedding I was a Bridesmaid in, but it camouflages veins, stretch marks, whatever. It’s also great for covering the red bumps I get on my upper arms (forgetting what this is called) when I want to look my very best. It’s also surprisingly sweat/transfer proof (washes off with soap).

    • lucy stone :

      I would be on Team I Run Hose Before Leaving the House, so I will stick with Team Bare Legs.

  17. Anyone have a J.Crew Factory store coupon code they’re not going to use? Thanks so much!

  18. Can someone explain why “wet hair” into the office is unprofessional?

    • Because I don’t want any obvious signifiers that my co-workers were recently in the shower. Yuck.

    • Because it looks like you are walking around in the middle of your personal grooming routine or just jumped out of a shower. Because it makes me think you are running late and can’t manage your time well. Because it is unkempt and undone.

      • Agreed. I saw an attorney come to Court (admittedly, first thing in the morning) with still very wet hair. As in – towel-dried and ran a comb through it, still wet. It just made her look sloppy and like she couldn’t be bothered to finish getting ready. And the very, very visible p*nty line didn’t help the look either.

      • Seconded. I’m almost unsure as to whether or not this is a serious question.

    • I don’t really understand the question. How could having wet hair be *not* be unprofessional? You finish your grooming before you come to work, period.

    • To me, one exception would be if you put damp (not sopping wet) hair into a sleek bun. I would never do this because it would feel uncomfortable and is not particularly good for your hair (it weighs the roots down and causes pulling/breakage), but I think it would look okay if you’re crunched for time.

      • This is basically my morning routine. I have long hair. I don’t blow dry it unless it is below freezing outside. I shower, let it dry as much as it can while I get ready, and then put it in a bun. It doesn’t look remotely like I have wet hair when I walk in to work, or even when I leave the house. I think this is fine. And I haven’t noticed any damage to my hair from this, btw, and I’ve done this for years.

        When I was at my first office job as a student, a woman I worked with commented that when women walk into work with wet hair, they look like wet cats. It stuck with me. I would add that it’s a bit unprofessional to walk in with obviously wet hair, too, because it is so easy to not let it be obvious that your hair is still damp (see above).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think it depends on what you mean by wet hair. Totally sopping wet is unprofessional for the reasons listed above. Hair that you put in an up-do still damp I think is fine. Many people with curly hair put product in, scrunch and go. I’m sometimes in that category. My hair will be a little wet still when I get to the office, usually in the middle between layers where no one can see, but not soaked. I think the difference is wet to the touch is okay, wet to the eye isn’t.

      • THIS! With (my) curly hair, airdrying is the only way to make it look decent. And I have so much of it that it takes about 2h to be fully dry. I am not waking up at 6 to sit around and watch my hair dry.

        It’s never sopping wet by the time I get to work, but definitely damp. And I’m certainly not the only one.

        • hoola hoopa :


        • What Jo March said.

          The only time I dry my hair before work is if I have a meeting first thing or am working in a different office (in other words – if I’ll be with people who don’t see me every day). Otherwise, the curls finish air drying while I’m sitting at my desk.

        • +1. I don’t even own a blowdryer. I usually wash at night, and by morning my curls are mostly dry. Even if I shower in the morning, the outside curls are dry enough by the time I get to the office that I don’t look like my hair is wet (though it will be wet in the middle until closer to lunchtime). If its a close call, I’ll usually put it up in a bun.

          • Anonymous :

            Your hair is still damp after overnight in AZ?! I used to leave sopping towels on a carpeted floor and both would be dry in three hours. (Arizona habits you have to break in the Northeast. Also, leaving spilled water on the floor, thinking it’ll be gone in a few minutes.)

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Same her – I am curly/natural and I wash & go 90% of the time. If I waited for my hair to dry completely, I wouldn’t get into the office before 1 pm…

        • Me too.

    • Because the smell of personal products is stronger and causes problems for people with allergies.

  19. I hate when people say “sunnies” instead of “sunglasses”.

    That is all.

    • I agree! I also dislike “cardi.” I think it’s “fem-speak.” As in, no man could use those words with a straight face. Why do we set ourselves apart with language like this?!

      • I also dislike the word “booties.” Even though I own several pairs. It irks me the same way “panties” does. It just sounds like something a child would wear.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Ha, my dad refused to buy the “booties” my mom thought their dog needed until the vet sold them on “pad protectors” that the dog really needed. They were the same product.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, it’s ridiculous. But I think life imitates art imitates life imitates art.

        On TV/movies, many female characters are what some sociologists call “females in female drag” : exaggerated caricatures of women who totter around in ridiculous clothes and shoes, and shriek like maniacs because that kiosk in the mall has her favorite brand of “sunnies.”

        I do think some of the girls watching this begin to imitate these ridiculous characters, and then, they become a real thing. And it can become contagious.

        • I’ve definitely think this is true. Especially for words like “totes” and “adorbs”.

    • “Veggies.” Ugh.

      • Double Ugh :

        Unfortunately, my mother does this sing-songy thing whenever she goes out to dinner (at a restaurant). She’ll say she’s ordering “veggies,” and when all the food arrives, she says in a very bright, chipper voice, “Time for din-din!”

        As if we’re all “kitties and puppies.” However, I recognize that it’s just me — I don’t think any of her friends have a problem with this, so I think I’d feel petty bringing this up with her. As much as I find this grating, it’s not for me to dictate how others should behave if they’re causing harm to no one.

        • Late to the party :

          Yes! Hate all of these (except I don’t mind veggies). Plus, I detest the use of “ressies” in place of reservations.

    • Australians legit always say “sunnies” (and also “swimmers,” so cute). In an American, it’s an annoying affectation. Why couldn’t I have been born somewhere where I have a cool accent???

      • Thank you for pointing this out – I do most of these things, as does my 60-something father and other people I know from work. Those variations are definitely part of Australian English!

  20. I just treated myself to a long-awaited MZ Wallace Jane bag–any tips for protecting it? Should I spray it with anything? Thanks!

    • I have a Baby Jane :

      Don’t do a thing. It is sturdy water-resistant nylon :)

    • You don’t need to do a thing to the MZ Wallace bags- that is part of why they are so fantastic!!!

  21. Has anyone ever bought anything from J. Peterman? For some reason they started sending me their catalogs. Most of it looks totally crazy to me, but I love reading the descriptions. Almost every time, there is one thing that tempts me…but I have never pulled the trigger. Probably because of Seinfeld. Just curious if anyone has actually bought something from there!

    • We got their catalog when I was a kid and I loved reading it (never bought anything). I thought they’d gone out of business.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m starting to get their catalogs now. I love reading the ad copy, and enjoy the drawings, but would never buy stuff from a catalog that doesn’t have really excellent photos of the actual merchandise.

      I think I’m getting their catalogs because I’m well over 30 and deemed just affluent enough (because in recent months, I ordered 2 things from Anthropologie.) Perhaps they expect that when I age out of Anthropologie, I’ll start buying from them. Who knows, maybe I will.

    • Haha, I have also started getting their catalog and every time it comes in, my SO & I read it out loud to each. Goes really well with drinks. We die laughing each time. “In my day, we just called them sleeves….”

      If you want to order something today, enter coupon code “ERNST” for 23% off. They generally have a lot of online promos.

    • Anonymous :

      I may be an idiot, but I actually did not realize that the J. Peterman catalog wasn’t invented for Seinfeld!

    • I have a silk blouse from them that I bought years ago. Beautiful, classic, very sturdy.

  22. Cb – somebody mentioned this last night and I’m sorry I didn’t respond yesterday, but OCR is a lot better than it used to be to convert from pdf to Word or text. Especially if you have Acrobat Professional. The only times I’ve had a problem is when I’ve tried to convert a paper where a professor scribbled notes all over it before we tried to convert. Then it was a mess and definitely not worth it, but if it’s just text, it should be easy.

  23. Wannabe Runner :

    Just wanted to let you all know – I showed my DH a few posts from this site recently.

    He just texted me at work to see if we could have “a garden party” tonight.


  24. just Karen :

    using Chrome, still stuck on the sunglasses post from the 4th. Have to use IE to get to the updated posts.

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