Thursday’s TPS Report: Ruched Sleeve Jacket

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

Olivia Moon Ruched Sleeve JacketWhoa, you guys, I think this is a first: there is a cobalt version of this blazer available, and I actually prefer the grey. (The cobalt’s up there, though.) Something about the slightly heathered gray strikes me as just a really great basic. This highly reviewed jacket is also available in black, “emperor blue,” “red clay,” and “teal sail.” It’s $79 at Nordstrom (available XS-XL). Olivia Moon Ruched Sleeve Jacket

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


  1. Own it. Love it. Super comfy.

  2. Wearing it today. Feels like a cardigan (which is what I love about it — I hate being constricted by my clothing).

    • I was done buying blazers, but you may have un-done my done-ness with that endorsement. Is there a program that cyber-stalks items for sales for me, or do I have to do it manually?

      • Shopping notes dot com

      • I maintain a Nordies wish list and just check it periodically to see if things have gone on sale. I know there are programs out there, but I’m not familiar with any of them.

    • I wish we had Nordie’s here. I would love to try this on. I feel like I have a couple of outfits it might go with, but then I’ve thought that about cardigans probably three times and returned them.

      • I buy stuff online from Nordie’s and return it if it doesn’t fit. I think of it as Nordie’s at-home try-on service :)

  3. I like this jacket better than yesterday’s suit of the week. Shawl collars never seem to lay right on me. Anyone else with that problem?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, I have a larger chest and I feel like shawl collars accentuate it, and not in a good way!

  4. Thank you so much for your suggestions ladies. I’ll report back on Project Brainwash Papa Godzilla as appropriate.

    • I never got the chance to respond to the hungry/cranky. Trust me, I’m there with Papa Godzilla. He could try half delicious food, half less delicious food. Or maybe better “junk” food (Smartpop white cheddar popcorn for example). Think of stuff that tastes good together. So like apples and nuts since he doesn’t eat peanut butter. Or lowfat cheese and triscuits. Good luck!

      • This is genius and I feel kinda dumb for not thinking up different snack recipes for him. Thank you!

        • Don’t feel dumb! As a fellow snack lover, I can sympathize with Papa Godzilla.

          There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write!!

      • Chocolate rice cakes.

  5. In the Pink :

    Two unrelated style questions…

    1. What type of necklace should/could be worn with a floppy tied bow shirt…sleeveless, the Halogen one from NAS black w/red dots. Of course, I wear a blazer/cardi with it. Hard to determine how to “fill” open neck area, if at all.

    2. How do I align requirments for pantyhose yet still be able to wear peep toe pumps at the office? Toeless pantyhose … sort of ok for evenings, but on a daily basis…too uncomfortable and always adjusting the toe line/area..

    Help, hive.

    • AnonInfinity :

      My thoughts:

      1. I wouldn’t wear a necklace. My general rule is that when the focal point of a blouse is the neckline because it has some interesting detail there, I do not wear a necklace. Instead I’ll wear a great bracelet or style my hair in a more interesting way.

      2. Peep toes and pantyhose do not go together in my world.

    • 1. No necklace.
      2. Pick pants+peeptoes or skirt+hose.

    • 1. Unless it looks bare, I generally forego necklaces with embellished neckline shirts. If you really want to, do something simple (I’m thinking a small strand of pearls?) that mimics the general shape of the neckline (if it’s more of a Y shape, do a simple pendant, if it’s more rounded, pearls or similar).

      2. My general approach is that if it’s warm enough and casual enough to wear peep toes, it’s warm enough and casual enough to not wear pantyhose!

    • 1. no necklace
      2. nude fishnets, the kind with a small pattern

    • My opinion (and my opinion only)

      1. Instead of a necklace I’d wear dangly earring or at least an interesting stud (maybe a bright contrasting color). And I agree with AnonInfinity that a bracelet would be nice. But I think a necklace just messes with the line of a bow blouse, or most blouses with embellished necklines really.

      2. I think if you’re in an environment that requires pantyhose, its probably too formal for peep-toes. Also….peep-toes and pantyhoes are….not so great together anyway.

    • In the Pink :

      OP here. Thanks hive.

      You all validated what I was thinking about on the drive to the office!

      @Godzilla … what’s a happ -zilla sound? It applies to this response at least :)

  6. aesthetic intelligence :

    Random thought
    trying to find my footing in a new job where the work clothing culture is what
    I lovingly refer to as ‘ conservative casual’.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Does this mean vineyard vines?

      • aesthetic intelligence :

        Come to think of it, yeah. ColdwaterCreek also comes to mind.

    • Cornellian :

      I picture a conservative monotheist office where traditional gender roles are accepted and modesty is enforced. (Women in floor length skirts, long sleeves, long hair, etc). Where do you work?

      • aesthetic intelligence :

        LOL not quite. More like- casual as in no suits and very rarely blazers .
        Yet no jeans, t shirts, athletic clothing or shoes.
        Conservative as in no sleeveless tops or leggings etc
        I totally agree with the dress code but the dress culture seems boring, and I don’t want
        to become boring, yet don’t want to stand out too much by dressing
        too formally.

        • What about having fun with color and/or print instead of clothing shapes? A pencil skirt, but a bright colored pencil skirt, for example.

        • That sounds like Silicon Valley casual (except the jeans part and I do wear “almost sleeveless” shirts a lot but I might be the exception there). Try wearing bright colors, and fun shoes and jewelry.

      • LOL! Where there aren’t work wives, but “work sister-wives”. Where the motto is, “stay sweet.”

    • I think you just described my office. I can do the conservative part, but I’d rather err on the dressier side than go too ‘conservative casual,’ which often just looks sloppy.

    • This is my office.

      Dresses, cardigans and pencil skirts with a cute top.

    • You can lighten up the boredom by bright or pastel colors and accessories – bold jewelry and scarves.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I like cardigans and skirts or pants. I have fun with scarves, jewelry and shoes. Don’t forget the shoes!

    • My office is somewhat similar, although sleeveless is OK here.

      My basic strategy is to keep my basics pretty basic (I wear a fair number of sheath dresses, pants in boring colors although you probably could get away with more brightly colored, black skirts, usually fairly simple tops, etc.) but to wear fun shoes, hosiery, and accessories. I wear brightly colored tights through the winter, I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with Poetic License shoes, etc.

    • aesthetic intelligence :

      Thanks for all the great suggestions you guys. Patterns scare me. But color I can do!
      I think my plan is going to be unusual and unexpected color combinations, as well as interesting jewellery.

      And cute shoes :)

  7. Sydney Bristow :

    Does anyone here have a “signature style” or something like a signature piece of jewelry that you always wear? I tend to buy a lot of jewel tones and wear cardigans instead of jackets, but I wouldn’t call it a signature style. I remember someone here likes clothes that are scary or make her seem intimidating to others and I’m curious who else does something like this and what that style is?

    • Honey Pillows :

      I used to wear loose button down shirts with my hair in a messy bun on top of my head, held up with a pencil. It was definitely my “look.” Then I realized that instead of making me look like a girl-next-door lead in a romantic comedy, it made me look like a frazzled, shapeless mother of a two-year-old.

      This summer, I’ve started wearing a gold locket on the gold chain that the Dear Young Buck gave me, along with a pair of gold snake vertebrae stud earrings pretty much every day (you can’t tell what the studs are unless you get really really close or already know).

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I’ve got a silver rattlesnake jawbone necklace. I’m glad I’m not the only one with crazy animal part jewelry

    • I’m the scary one. Rawr!

      • That’s great! What do “scary” clothes entail?

        • I would like to know too, I want to be scary!!! (I’m small and not-scary. boo hiss.)

        • Ok, the reason I like to do this is because naturally I am quite un-scary. I am short and round and soft and frizzy, not sleek and sharp, so it doesn’t come across as extreme as it might sound. Scary, for me, means hair straightened, eye-brows darkened, bright-ish lipstick. It means no bows, ruffles, puffy sleeves, prints, or anything that could be described as girlish. It means jackets rather than cardigans. It means black/white/gray or a very bold solid color. (Hello, lime green blazer.) It means heels. I will come back and give an example with links, but I have to run to a meeting now.

          • Rawr =). Your post reminded me of Houda talking about sleeking up her look, too.

        • Look up the thread on this site (google: [this site] “how to edge up your conservative look”) which I believe included some tips on how to dress a bit scary.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I loved that. I would really like to have some sort of look that I’m going for when I shop, but I’m not sure what it would be. I really liked the clothes the character Bette Porter wore on the L Word, which were creative yet professional (and I’m sure crazy expensive), but even that seems a little difficult to shop specifically for.

    • In the Pink :

      I wear a woven sterling silver loose bracelet. I also wear a sterling silver collar with a variety of pendants (all organic as someone observed). However, in the last 1-2 years, that’s been overridden by a variety of pearl necklaces about 50% of the time. It will shift back now as I see collar necklaces more than pearls in the magazines.

    • I really like to wear masculine clothes and make them feminine. My figure is boyish (no curves) but I have long blonde hair and delicate features, so somehow the look works for me. I like to wear vests, and jackets and button downs. For the vests, think what a guy would wear under a 3 piece suit. When I’m feeling funky (on a weekend, not to work), I’ll borrow one of my husband’s ties and pair it with something over a skirt and heels. Also, when I say masculine clothes, I mean women’s clothes but ones that have masculine features.

      • Praxidike :

        I would kill to be able to dress like this.

        Instead, I am5’6″, 140lbs, and pretty curvy (not a euphemism for fat, though I used to be fat). So I tend to rock the “sexy librarian” look, though obviously with less sex appeal. Masculine-inspired looks – think Tilda Swinton, OMG – are so attractive to me, but they never work on my body. OH WELL. Rock on with your awesome wardrobe!

      • I’m a big fan of this as well. I like to wear masculine and loose/straight cuts in bright colors and patterns. For example, a bright yellow blazer or a loose shift dress with polka dots.

    • My signature look is crisp white button up shirts, funky skirts with lots of colors and patterns, a great statement necklace, and fun shoes, again with lots of colors and patterns. I’d wear that every day if I could. I’ve even had people wear that to work and tell me they felt like me when getting dressed that morning. :)

    • Flower clips in my hair. I usually wear my hair half-up, with flowers at the gathered part, or all the way up, same thing. I worry sometimes that it’s a bit girly, but I *really* like it and feel like it’s my unique thing. No one has ever said anything negative about it; the flowers are generally pretty small, and I have many different colours to match my clothes.

    • Much of my professional wardrobe comes from my dress-maker, whom I’ve been going to for many years. Their skills and sensibility have pretty much defined my style – clean lines, precise fit and limited embellishment to make the most of beautiful tailoring, more dresses than suits in recent years, nothing ‘edgy’ or ‘slouchy’ (I’ve had some unfortunate experiments trying to push them out of their comfort zone on this one). I also love traditional Asian textiles, so we use a lot of these, in conservative colours, and I think these also form part of a ‘signature’.

      • Honey Pillows :

        That sounds fantastic! I’d love to have a dress-maker.

        On second thought, I do have some friends with sewing machines…

        • Look in the phone book – most likely you do have a dressmaker near you. Not really more expensive than most stores, and so much more efficient..

    • I like classic with a some feminine details. Earlier this week I loved my outfit – floral pencil skirt, white button down shirt with a black v-neck sweater over top, a long necklace in a color found in the skirt (red) and black pumps. My 3 loves in my wardrobe are pencil skirts, sheath dresses & cardigans.

      I also have a mother’s necklace that I often wear. Silver disks with my boys’ names on them & charms with their birth stones (which happen to color coordinate really well).

    • I hate clothing to touch my wrists and ankles (so weird, but who isn’t in their own special way?) so I wear ankle pants and 3/4 sleeve blazers a lot more than the average gal. My signature pieces are probably chiffon blouses (I have a collection of 20 or so) and BRIGHT lipstick.

      • Me too. I hate long sleeves so much.

      • hellskitchen :

        I am trying to buy more chiffon blouses… what brands/shops do you recommend?

      • I just push them up! They drive me crazy.

      • Oh, I’m the same, especially with sleeves! Part of it is that I have long arms, so it bugs me when the sleeves don’t hit at the right place. As a result, I always roll/push up my sleeves.

    • Boots and dresses – can be tailored and sleek (I have some killer wedge boots and dress suits for conferences) or can be casual or whimsical or very comfortable or whatever. Sandals or heels in the summer, obviously. I also am known in my office for wearing color although I think of myself as wearing a lot of black.

    • Mountain Girl :

      Skirts and cardigans – but never pencil skirts. I like skirts with a bit of flare or swing at the bottom. Belts, colorful scarves and fun shoes.

    • I have a dream signature style that I’m trying to slowly cultivate. Pencil skirts, silk blouses and a blazer or structured cardigan that doesn’t look too matchy-matchy. And heels of course. I wear a pencil skirt almost every day but I’m really trying to build up my collection of silk blouses (but they’re SO expensive!)

      • You’ve pretty much defined my existing signature style. I don’t always wear the silk blouse, though – most of my cardigans are waist-length and I just wear them buttoned up or with a camisole or shell underneath. I buy one new cardigan from my favourite source every year (they’re kind of expensive but I wouldn’t defect for anything).

        • Do you mind sharing who your favorite cardigan source is? Thanks.

          • Brora. It’s a UK company so you have to order online but their products are amazing. I swear by their cropped cardigans, which are part of my work uniform, and I also have a variety of other items from there.

          • Thanks so much.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s my signature look, too! I have pencil skirts and blazers and pumps in pretty much every color, and blouses in prints and solids to coordinate. I don’t always have to have silk, I’ll admit, but I do insist that the blouses be really really beautiful and high-quality.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Oh, and I change out my bag to go with my outfit every day. I think that’s kind of a signature move.

    • kerrycontrary :

      My “signature” business look is a pencil skirt with a fitted blouse (no button ups) tucked in. I’ve had the same thing as an earlier commenter happen, and someone said “I stole your look today!” My office is fairly casual so not a ton of people wear pencil skirts.

    • Signature style: I wear this almost every day. Button down shirts from Brooks Brothers or various English shops, usually in demure stripes, solids or occasionally birds-eye prints with pencil skirt, heels and coordinating cashmere v-neck. In summer, no hose. In winter, fun demure tights (opaque black or pin dots). I can pull off flats too (I’m tall), but if I want to be authoritative, I wear me some killer heels. I wear pearls almost every day–have a ton of them, or, when more playful, something from Kanye’s Etsy shop. I rarely wear trousers, but if I do, I wear them with heels.

      Yes, it’s a uniform. Yes, I look like I stepped out of a Brooks Bros catalog almost every day. If I keep my shoes current, then I look classic but not dowdy. Bonus is that I can get pulled into a meeting with clients on almost any day and nearly always be more dressed up than they are (in Silicon Valley). And I never raise eyebrows as being dressed inappropriately, or have to get rid of things in my wardrobe for being overly-trendy. And my dry-cleaning bills are pretty minimal–I just do my skirts and sweaters as needed, and do my shirts at home.

    • Summer – pencil skirt, shell, cardigan every day. 2 neutrals & a color or 2 colors & a neutral. I branched way out this year with 2 *gasp* patterned shells, and 1 patterned cardigan.

      Winter is sometimes the same, but sometimes other kinds of sweaters instead.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I would love to have a signature style but I haven’t managed to cultivate one yet. I’m too busy following trends. One of these days I’ll settle down, I hope. I don’t want to be 50 and still buying patterned scarves at H&M that will be in style for 10 minutes.

    • I used to *always* wear pants to work but I’ve recently realized that I feel more powerful and productive in a skirt. I’ve tried to work skirs more often to work lately. I’m in slacks today, and I feel pretty unproductive.

    • Exotic glasses, and a shawl/scarf wrap. Pretty much what I wear with everything. Shawl/scarf: colors, fabrics, ornamentation vary according to season, weather, event, and accompanying outfit. Exotic glasses: the same.

  8. Diana Barry :

    Very cute. I don’t love the colors, though.

    Shout-out to TCFKAG, who found me an awesome purple blazer – the Classiques Entier plum one – and I got it at 50% off! :)

    Question for all cardigan-wearers out there. Where do you consider the ‘proper’ point at which the shoulder seam should hit on the cardigan? Is it supposed to be right at the widest point of the shoulder bone? Or the widest point of your deltoid muscle? Or neither? I am wearing a cardigan today (Gap) on which the shoulder seam is about an inch in from my shoulder bone. So that part seems small, but the rest of the cardigan fits fine and is even slightly big through the waist. (I know I’m probably over-thinking this, but maybe for future cardigan purchases???)

    • Yay! Glad you liked it.

      You know what would be fun…MORE QUESTIONS ON MY TUMBLR. Its been sparse lately. Come lady shoppers come (and if you don’t know how, click the link I just attached and click “ask me anything” on the right hand side and you can submit an anonymous question. I mostly answer fashion questions, but if you really must know the meaning of life is 42).

      • Diana Barry :

        Dude, I would totally ask you more things, but I have NO MONEY now, so I need to wait until Xmas or so. :-0

      • yes, but whats the question of life?

        • I’m pretty sure its how many roads must a man walk down, before they call him a man?

          • Well, that’s what the mice came up with since the computer was destroyed before the question was calculated to make way for an intergalactic highway. Bureaucrats, I swear.

          • But at least the dolphins got out okay. And they were polite and thanked us for the fish.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Mine hit near the pointy bone part of the shoulder. So not out as wide as the muscle, but the end of the bone. I’ve never really thought about it before though, so it’s probably not something someone would notice.

    • I think they’re supposed to hit at the edge of your shoulder. I have a few cardigans and t-shirts (I think all from BR) that don’t and it drives me nuts and always makes me feel like my clothes don’t fit (although they fit everywhere else). I don’t think I have particularly wide shoulders, either.

    • People talk about correctly-fitted seams being at the natural shoulder, which would be what I think you’re referring to as the wide point of your shoulder bone. I often wear knits a little bit snugger than this though – prefer the sleeker look, provided the fit under the arm is ok.

    • I’ve never thought about this – I’m wearing a cardigan right now. The shoulder seam is hitting me about 3/4 of the way between my neck and end of the shoulder (meaning closer to the arm, not closer to the neck). Like ss, though, I just make sure it fits below my arm and isn’t too tight (I have wide shoulders). Otherwise, I don’t ever seem to notice.

      • Merabella :

        I also have wide shoulders and have found tall tops to fix this problem. I only realized this recently, but it was eye opening.

  9. two offers :

    I’m excited to say that after 4 years of trudging through un- or under-employment, I’ve FINALLY received two excellent offers. I really want to work for Company A in California, but I have a very strong offer from Company B in Texas. I want to get Company A to increase their package. When I started the process with Company A two months ago, I named $70K as my salary to open the discussion. Company A is offering $70k base+ $5k one-time relocation payment+2.5%-5% profit-sharing (depending on hitting revenue goals as a company and the percentage based on base salary). Now, Company B is offering $72,500 base+401(k) match+tuition reimbursement in TX, for a total of ~$80k all-in. Clearly, leaving quite a bit of money on the table if I take Company A offer as-is.

    From a career strategy for DH and I, location standpoint, and industry/work standpoint, I want to choose Company A, but I don’t want to sell myself short by negotiating poorly. Should I just ask Company A what more they can do? Tell them ballpark numbers for the other offer (I’ve mentioned to them already that I had something else coming in)? Name a price and see if they’ll meet it? I feel bad because they gave me the number I named two months ago, but now I’ve got another offer for quite a bit more money, especially when you factor in cost of living differences.

    • Diana Barry :

      Is the profit-sharing actually that much less than the 401k match? Would you actually use the tuition reimbursement? I think the COL might be the biggest difference.

      I would prob ask them for the 72.5, saying you have another offer for 72.5 base – they should be able to meet it and if not, at least you tried!

      • two offers :

        I’m currently pursuing a master’s degree, so I would definitely use the tuition reimbursement. Company B waived the 12 month requirement to allow me to use this benefit immediately, since they know I’m already enrolled in the program. So, basically, ~$80k for the year(s) that I use the tuition reimbursement.

    • hellskitchen :

      Since the difference in the base salary is not significant, I’d suggest asking Company A if they can offer you 401K match and/or even tuition reimbursement. Companies are often okay with one-time payments like these because it still keeps the base low. I agree that the cost of living difference is quite high, but even if Company A matched your base salary with Company B, it may not be enough to make up for the cost of living difference.

      • Sounds like Company A has profit sharing instead of 401k (and profit sharing essentially *is* and employer match, without you having to put anything in), so that ask is probably a non-starter. But definitely ask about the tuition reimbursement and base raise.

        That being said, it sounds like you would be going for Comp A if money wasn’t an issue. Would you still go Comp A if they aren’t able to meet your counter-offer? Is Comp B just leverage, or would you really take it if Comp A won’t match?

    • No salary advice, but just wanted to say congratulations on the offers. I’m sorry you were going through 4 years of un/under-employment, but it is inspiring to hear that you were able to land these offers.

    • Congrats! I’d mention the all-in amount of the other offer, tell them that their Company is your first choice, and ask them to match Company B plus a cost of living adjustment – I assume the CA location is more expensive than the TX location. If they can match, I’d probably accept on the spot.

    • You’ve gotten good advice thus far; I would encourage you to see which state jives better with you and your husband. Where are your families located? Will you be by a major airport? What are your politics like? What are job prospects for your husband? What are the state income tax/locality taxes/sales tax/personal property taxes? Is $72.5k in cali $72.5 in Tx? What are the office cultures? Which company is best for career advancement/family friendly/etc?


    • two offers :

      I think the 401(k) match would be about equal to the profit-sharing, so I don’t think I’m able to negotiate that.

      Due to cost of living, $72,500 in CA is actually lower than $72,500 in TX. The relocation payment would be about equal to the tuition reimbursement in the dollar amount, and I’m fine with calling those equal in spite of COLA.

      I would take Company A even if they didn’t budge, so Company B is just leverage. The intangibles of fulfilling work, growth potential, and impact on DH’s career are far greater for Company A, so the negotiation on salary is really just for my own sense that I did all I could and didn’t leave money on the table/be a wimp about negotiating my own salary, etc.

      • You should be able to negotiate. Last time I was negotiating salary, I got an extra $10k in annual salary and a $10k starting bonus without the company even BLINKING. It made me wonder what I had left on the table at all my previous jobs…

        I would talk to company A. Tell them you want to work for them; they are your top choice. However, you received a much more competitive offer from Company B. Ask them if they would be able to up your annual salary to $75k and provide either a one-time starting bonus, additional relocation benefits, or a one-time tuition reimbursement/stipend. of $X.

        You will probably one, or a combination of both.

        I would also strongly suggest you have some data in your back pocket on comparable positions in the area, so you can support the salary both in CA as well as comparing it to Company B.

        Make sense?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, I was just about to say that. The COLA between CA and TX is *huge.* Also consider, if this applies to you, whether what you can afford in CA versus what you can afford in TX is acceptable for your dog/kids and school district/dreams of owning a home/whatever. A friend in TX has to send her kid to private school to ensure the child learns about evolution in science and not just abstinence in health class, etc. Another friend in CA has to send her kid to private school because the only city they could afford to buy a home in has terrible public schools.

        For me, it’s CA by a landslide even though I’ll possibly never be able to afford a single-family home, but everyone feels differently about these things. But it sounds like you want Company A, so go with that.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I should add that the TX friend has a huge, gorgeous home and a mortgage payment which is less than my rent for a 2-br.

    • I live in Texas and can tell you that even if they were offering the exact same amount of money, that would be a big difference. Cost of living is SIGNIFICANTLY cheaper in Texas, especially if you ever want to think of owning a home. Plus we don’t have state income tax, so that’s more money in your pocket. I think you should definitely ask Company A for more money and tell them you have another offer on the table where your take-home pay would be more (and go ahead and calculate what the difference in income tax is and add that to the difference). The worst that happens is they say no.

      • TX lawyer :

        As a Texan, I would also say give serious thought to cost of living (based on home purchase and rent prices which are significantly lower than CA, along with no state income tax). Also, what part of Texas?

    • It’s not all about the money – you’ll have a lot more fun in CA..

  10. PSA for those who loved the AT suit from yesterday – it’s 30% off everything at AT this weekend in stores and online with code FALL30.

    • First Year Law Student :

      To add on to this, in case any other students are reading, if you bring your student id you get an additional 20% off everything! I saw it somewhere on the internet but did confirm this summer. They wanna hook us young. :)

    • Drat, I just bought it at 25% off. Does AT do price adjustments for promo codes?

  11. I like almost everything about this blazer, but am I the only one who thinks ruched sleeves on a blazer are somewhat informal/not totally professional? Maybe I need to get over this. I don’t feel this way about ruching on dress sleeves or on sweaters, but for some reason I really dislike it on work blazers.

    • Nope, I wouldn’t wear ruched sleeves to work either. The blogger Extra Petite has done a how-to on “un-ruching” sleeves, so that is a possibility if you like the blazer otherwise.

    • Nope, I agree. Doesn’t work for blazers – it looks like they’re trying to approximate the casual sleeves-pushed-up blazer look, but just makes it look sort of uncomfortable and like it’s not sure what it is.

    • Right there with you. Plus I’m always tugging at my sleeves thinking that they have slid up my arms. And then I just look weird.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i agree that it’s informal but i would still probably wear it to work, just not to court/depositions/Big Important Meetings.

    • I’m always bothered by 3/4 length sleeves, which is what the ruched sleeve accomplishes here. Definitely think that the blazer looks more casual and not as professional with ruched sleeves.

    • I agree. I find the look a little “Miami Vice.”

      • Research, Not Law :

        This! I work in a casual environment, so it would be appropriate. I just can’t personally get over it. I keep coming back to this jacket and backing out because of the rouching.

      • This comment made me feel like Captain America.

        “I understand that reference!”

    • I generally wear cardigans, so a more casual blazer works in my office environment. A full out blazer results in a minimum of 6 “Are you interviewing” comments. It then takes a month for office gossip to move elsewhere and the regain trust and cooperation from coworkers.

      Based on my office situation, I’m loving these more casual blazers.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think it’s definitely more of a casual/trendy look. Okay for business casual, not business formal.

  12. Engagement thread-jack: A month or so ago, I found an antique engagement ring I simply fell in love with. My boyfriend and I live together, and discuss getting engaged and married pretty openly, and had generally agreed that sometime around Christmas was likely… give or take a few months. Thus, finding the ring early was a bit inconvenient, but it was so lovely, and unique, that I sent it to him, with a note. I explained that I didn’t want to rush things at all, and that I knew we were a few months ahead of when we discussed, but that I loved *this* ring, and that as it is one of a kind and I’ve not seen others like it, I thought I’d send it in case he agreed and was in a position (emotionally and financially) to purchase it now, for whenever we do eventually get engaged. From financial discussions, I knew he didn’t have the savings to buy it on the spot, but I just had to point it out. He thought about it and asked a few questions over the next couple of days, but before we’d really finished the discussion, the ring was gone. I was a little heart-broken.

    At date night last night, he revealed that he bought it :). I guess he called the jeweler and worked out a payment plan type thing. He asked if I would keep it a secret, and if he could make the timing and presentation of the actual engagement part a surprise for me, but knew it would make me happy (read: overjoyed) to know about the ring. I was/am just bursting with the news this morning, so thank you for letting me share it with you!!

    • phillygirlruns :

      this is such a great story. congrats (and good luck continuing to keep it a secret)!

    • Congratulations, how exciting!!!

      And… can we see?

      • Thank you so much! I’d be happy to share, but it’s no longer on the website… if someone can tell this non-tech-savvy lady how to share a jpg, I’d be happy to post :).

        • Mind sharing the website? Id love to look an antique rings online

        • If you sumbit the jpeg to my tumblr (click the “submit” button on the right) I’d be happy to share it on there and then people can look at it over there. I *think* you can’t share an unhosted jpeg on here, though you might be able to be fiddling with html, but I’m not an expert on it.

          (sorry for pimping the tumblr so much today, I swear I’m not in need of attention that much).

          • Though I feel like I should say, once its shared on tumblr, people can theoretically reshare it to their little hearts content. Not that it would be associated with your real name or anything, but if its particularly unique — something to consider.

          • I attempted to share it as a “pin”… it awaits moderation :)

        • petitesq — i got your submission, but for some reason can’t load the picture. Not sure what the issue is (and this is my first ever submission.) Was it a jpeg file or a different sort of file?

          • Hmmm. I tried two different ways, the latter of which led to the picture actually showing up in the little box and is a web link labeled .jpg. If you have an email you don’t mind sharing, I’ll just send you the darn thing!

            Ah hah!

          • Oooh. It came through the second time and its super pretty. I posted it for anyone curious and its now on my tumblr.

          • Thank you!

          • Gorgeous! Congratulations. And you have a very good guy there! Impressed that he worked on it.

      • After many many technical difficulties, and the help of the ever-helpful TCFKAG… success!!

    • Lovely! I’m delighted for you and your guy.

    • awwwww – congrats! that is really sweet. I must be in a really cynical mood today (always?) because I was totally mentally preparing for some O. Henry-style sweet but sad irony forthcoming.

      • Thankfully, there was no haircutting or watch selling involved :). Also, thanks!

    • Awwwwwwwwwwww. Now I have a cavity with the cuteness.

    • Aww….I am stressing about a stressful interview tomorrow and this made me happy (antique rings are so pretty; I have two and they are both opal). Congratulations (and let him do his thang!).

    • Aww! That totally gave me the warm fuzzies. Yay for you guys!

    • Congratulations on your engagement ! Love the sound of your ring and this is going to be a lovely story to share in years to come.

    • Senior Attorney :

      YAY! Gorgeous ring, beautiful story!! I’m so happy for you!

    • Thanks so much, ‘rettes!

  13. Honey Pillows :

    Anyone know of a coupon for the Gap? Looking to get the Navy Ponte Academy Blazer.

    Oh! And I finally got an apartment! Yayyy! Thanks to all the ladies who offered help.

    • I’ve seen GAPFAL25 for 25% off through the 9th, but have not attempted to use it. Also that blazer is super cute, and cheers on the apartment!

    • has a lot of coupon codes for different sites.

  14. I love colorblocking, but why has it turned into tacking a piece of camel colored fabric onto a black mini skirt and calling it work appropriate?

    • I think because you’re *supposed* to wear opaque tights which makes it not a mini skirt anymore (not my opinion at all – leg = leg).

      Also, I love Nordstrom as much as the next gal (SFBA), but their recent catalog with work wear stuff was, meh. Cute stuff, but not for my environment. I was also disappointed when I was in their Petites section yesterday and there were 4 suits to choose from.

  15. Thank you ladies for the advice on the plus sized suiting and the relocation. My credit card is a little broken from my ordering yesterday (with the goal of returning all but 2 interview suits). Cover letter overhaul later. You all really give great advice!

    • I missed the convo yesterday, but if you’re borderline plus (like I am) you may want to try New York and Company. I had good luck with the 7th Ave. Stretch suiting. It’s not the best, but (I think) it works.

      • Thank you! After this batch of trial and returns, I shall look there as well.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oh yes, I totally forgot to mention that. For reference, the 7th Ave collection has the widest hops, Bleeker Street collection is in the middle, and the Crosby collection is the narrowest hips.

  16. 2/3 attorney :

    Does anyone wear topshop dresses? I came across a nude ponte dress that I really like but I’m not sure about fit – any word on low-cut, too short, or what not? Do you think this is too nude-looking for the office (like, coworkers have to do a double take to make sure I’m not naked)?

    Here it is:[276010|208634]&noOfRefinements=1

    • my general experience is that top shop dresses (and other tops and jackets) are very short and run small. i wear about 2 sizes up from my normal US size in all of their clothes.

      I’m typically a 0 to 4 in US sizes (usually a 2), for top shop i always have to go for their US 6. Anything smaller than that and the chest will be tight or the sleeves too short. plus, it adds some much needed length.

    • Depends on your skin color – does it look nude on nude?

      Also, TopShop is coming to Nordstrom next week.

      • 2/3 attorney :


        • I can’t remember if merchandise will be available online but starting Monday it will be in the following stores: Ala Moana (Honolulu, HI) Barton Creek Square (Austin, TX)
          Burlington (Burlington, MA) Chandler Fashion Center (Chandler, AZ) Dadeland Mall (Miami, FL) Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ) Irvine Spectrum Center (Irvine, CA) Oakbrook Center (Oakbrook, IL) Phipps Plaza (Atlanta, GA) The Plaza at King of Prussia (King of Prussia, PA) San Francisco Centre (San Francisco, CA) South Coast Plaza (Costa Mesa, CA) Southcenter (Tukwila, WA) Valley Fair (San Jose, CA)

    • Not too nude, don’t know about the rest. I could see that with a navy blazer over it. BTW are you liking DC? Have you gotten adjusted to your walk/Metro?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Thank you for asking. I’m still showing up at work looking like a wet dog. But today the radio said there would be highs in the high 70s next week, so maybe relief is in sight.

        I have explored a lot of the sights and find it culturally interesting, I just wish I had more friends around to do things with. It’s not as fun to visit a museum if there’s no one to make fun of the weird art with.

        • It does get better. October is the best weather around here. It’s lovely and you’re not generally overrun by tourists.

          Good! It does get better, but DC can be hard to make friends. I think it has something to do with the fact we’re all grumpy in trying to get to/from work and work ridiculous hours. Maybe we should do another DC fall meet up soon!

          • I’ve actually found it hard to meet people, but not make friends, if that makes any sense. Yes, you have to be strategic about getting out there and meeting people, taking people up on happy hour offers, movie trips, etc, but to me, people seem pretty open to new friendships. It’s a very transient region – people know that at any time, a bunch of their friends could move away, so it’s nice to keep meeting people. You don’t get so many of the kind of people my sister seems to run into in the Midwest, where they hang out with the same bunch of friends they’ve had since grade school and really don’t want/think to make room for anyone new.

            Then again, I’m also much more flexible in my definition of “friend.” I have one friend I see pretty often, but a lot more who I don’t see very much. In fact, tomorrow I’m getting together with a friend who I’ve seen maybe 4 or 5 times since the beginning of the year, but neither of us feels guilty/bad because that’s how things go here. People are busy so you just have to not take offense at their unavailability (especially if there are sincere offers made to get together, but schedules just don’t match up) and just get together when you have a chance and pick up where you left off.

    • Ditto to qwerty. I honestly think that they are so different than US sizes (even when marked as US sizes), and cut so straight, that I would be really hesitant to buy without trying it on. I’ve never ordered from them online, but I highly recommend investigating their return policy.

      Re: whether it’s too nude, that completely depends on your coloring. I’ve never been a fan of clothing that matches your skin tone almost exactly because of the nude-looking and wash-out problem, but if you are much paler or much darker than that color, I think it could work.

      • Re sizing: when I lived in the UK and went to Topshop, I regularly had to wear about 2 sizes up from my regular UK size at Topshop. Given that UK sizing is 4 numbers (2 sizes) up from US sizing, this means a full 4 sizes up from my regular North American size – i.e. I am a US size 6, normally a UK size 10, but in Topshop I am a UK size 12 or 14. Their stuff is cut for skinny teenagers with no hips.

        Also, for what it’s worth, if you are fussy about quality I wouldn’t suggest buying from Topshop. It’s great when you want something cheap and fun, but not for items that you want to have around for a while or wear regularly.

  17. houseguest woes :

    Houseguest threadjack — how do you say no to people who want to stay at your place? A friend I’m no longer close with is coming to my city several times in the next month (not explicitly to see me, but more because my city is pretty desirable and near other places she wants to visit) and bringing another friend with her. She asked if she could stay with me both times. The first time I was okay with, but now I’m starting to feel like a hotel. If it were a good friend, I would have no issues with it (but I also think a close friend wouldn’t ask this much of me), but I’m starting to feel resentful. What would you do?

    • Cornellian :

      Dear X,

      I’m sorry, I’m not available that weekend! Have you considered looking in to hotel Z? I hear there are great rates this time of year.

      Take care,
      houseguest woes

      • +1

      • houseguest woes :

        You make it sound so easy! I know you’re right. I just need to learn to have a thicker skin and stand up for myself. Great script.

        • lawsuited :

          Send an email, facebook message or test message rather than having an in-person conversation so that it’ll be easier to stick to the script!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      “I’m sorry, but it’s not a good time for me to have house guests, but I hope to see you for (dinner/drinks/whatever) when you’re in town.” No further explanation necessary.

    • You should definitely feel free to say no. Just say something about how you’ll be particularly busy during that time and won’t be able to host, and offer to suggest hotels in the area if she’d like. It’s better to say no than to build up resentment and have to fake being happy to see them and so on until you blow up at them and ruin a friendship. This person is taking advantage of your kindness.

    • +1 to everything everyone else said. Also, if you feel any qualms about saying any of this (that it doesn’t sound “nice”) realize that it’s actually a kindness. When I was moving to DC, I asked a law school friend if I could crash on his couch for a few days while I searched for an apartment. He said yes, but only for two nights because another of our friends had done the same thing two weeks earlier and it wasn’t fair to his wife to have too many of his friends staying over for too many nights. I was so grateful to him for telling me that! I would have felt awful if I’d found out the wife had resented having me there. Instead, everyone was happy and the wife and I have since become friends (which might have been harder if she’d felt resentful).

    • Could you just say it isn’t convenient for you to host her this time around? If I we in her shoes, I wouldn’t ask any more questions.

    • Honey Pillows :

      You’re not under any obligation to put her up. You’re not her mother. You can tell her you don’t think she’d be comfortable there, as you won’t have time to entertain her, and that it would be more convenient for her to stay elsewhere, perhaps at a hotel. Offer her the names of a couple cheap hotels.

      If she can’t take the polite hint however, she might reply “Oh, it wouldn’t be an inconvenience for me at all, you don’t even have to be there!” at which point you’d have to be rude.

      So you might just want to go with “I’m sorry, I can’t.”

      • houseguest woes :

        Exactly! I’ve tried the “I won’t be around much” in the past and got the “No problem! Just give me a key” response. Better to just say no right away.

    • If you haven’t responded yet, just say you aren’t able to host her this time. Don’t explain, and if she asks followup questions be vague (“It’s been a crazy busy month. I hope to see you while you’re in town, but I’m not really able to have house guests right now.”) If you discommode yourself so much that you resent her, it will be very tough on the friendship.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      I’m not good with saying “no” to these kinds of requests (I wish I was!), so I fudge the truth a little… I usually go with the super busy, have a giant project due/meeting so I just can’t have house guests or if we’re dealing with a persistent requester/someone I probably won’t see when he or she is in town, I may even say I have another house guest during that time, so sorry that I can’t help…

      • houseguest woes :

        I’m the same way. I always end up lying and then feeling terrible about it. I need to just learn to say a firm no without any justifications for the no.

        • Seriously, don’t feel badly. As your friend, she wants you to like her, not resent her. She’s probably had times when she felt houseguests would be the final straw too!

    • I had an out of town “friend” that kept using me as a crash pad to visit my city. He stayed with me twice. Both times he was a terrible houseguest (not cleaning up after himself, not offering to help with dishes or anything even though he was there for a week, being out all day from 8 am to midnight and barely interacting with me, etc). Finally, after not talking to him for over a year he emailed me acting like we were besties and asking if he could stay a third time (he does have some real friends in the area, but I suspect none of them want him becuase he is a terrible guest). I just told him point blank that he wasn’t treating me like a friend but like a hotel and I felt used. He got super defensive and ended the friendship, but I didn’t really consider us friends at that point and it was no great loss to me. If you care about maintaining a friendship you may want to be more delicate in how you put it, but otherwise I think just be honest and say you feel like you’ve been used and you’re interested in being a hostess for true friends, not a hotel – maybe the friend will reconsider how she treats people in the future.

  18. Anyone know of any way to save money on orders from the Container Store? Their shipping costs are insanely high and they don’t seem to have coupon codes out there anywhere.

    • If you can hold off until January, they have a 10% off sale after New Years! Also, I believe if you sign up for their email list, you immediately get a 15% off cupon.

    • They sometimes have coupons in magazines like Real Simple.

    • If there’s a store near you, they do in-store pickup for free.

  19. Off topic:

    Are any of you in the [email protected] group a curvy size 4/6? I need to do some closet cleaning and plan to post some items there.

    • Ooo I didn’t know this existed! I’m a member now – my curvaceousness depends on if we’re talking tops or bottoms :)

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Where do I find the rehash group? I have some stuff I’d like to post as well.

    • I’m not in the group and don’t really know about how to do it, but that’s my size – a solid 6 on the bottom and 4 or 6 on the top. I will try to join.

      • Google [email protected] (sub “a” for @, obviously). It’s a 60 second sign-up and then as I recall you search for groups. It’s thissitename and an open group. I’ll start looking at what I have – marathon training has re-shaped my already powerful quads and I’m not loving how some stuff fits.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I am! I’m in the group but haven’t been following it and am super slacking at posting stuff. I posted a skirt or two with my shirt raised just enough to show my naval. This confused my husband who was watching me do all this. I explained I like to know where a skirt’s rise will fall and I can only tell by seeing it in relation to the navel. So . . . if you think I just like the looks of my own stomach – I don’t, I was trying to be helpful LOL.

  20. Capitalism Failure :

    OK, gals, I just took a long, hard look at my billing for this month, and realized that my clients owe over $120,000, most of which hasn’t been paid in a while. Most of that, probably over 3/4, is for my work. For background, I am an associate, but have almost full control over my caseload, and most of my pay is based on what I bring in, so this is making a huge dent in my earnings. I do a lot of family law and the large majority of my clients are individuals.

    Now, the breakdown: $30,000 of that is for a lovely woman who is in an extremely difficult and unfair situation. I know that she can’t pay, but I don’t feel like I can break out of it, as she really does have no where else to turn for help. I feel emotionally involved, too (I’ve come home crying several times because I haven’t been able to help her as much as I want so far), so I can’t stop working on it, but it’s going to keep on growing. Almost $70,000 of that is from another case, which was a huge mess and already deep in the red when I took it, but my efforts to work super-hard to clean it up and make amends for some prior mistakes (not mine) probably only made things worse, and the bill kept growing. (The client has since broken ties, though he says he will pay. Says. We’re looking at a possible suit there.) Another few thousand go to a couple of women trying to get child support payments, which I feel like I haven’t been successful as I should have been at, so I feel bad stopping work or making demands against them when I still haven’t gotten much of anything for them.

    So, what do I do? These clients constitute almost all of my workload right now. I realize, intellectually at least, that there’s no point in doing work that I’m not getting paid for, but at the same time, I just can’t bring myself to say no when they call. I mean, how, when someone calls you crying, do you say “No, I can’t talk to you because you owe me money”? Plus, I’m stuck in this “I really want to help” these people for various reasons. But, at the same time, I also have bills to pay (though, of course, I’m still in a better financial position than many of these folks). Maybe I just don’t know how to get paying work, or how to turn down people before they get to this point. I feel like I really missed some sort of training or know-how that I should know here, and I just don’t know how to re-situtate myself to where I can actually make some money. Help?

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      Maybe “you” don’t have to say no. What does your retainer letter say about continuing to work when the bill hasn’t been paid? Does it provide for an evergreen retainer? (If it doesn’t address the issue, your firm should consider rewriting it.) Also, what is your firm’s policy about continuing to work when the bill hasn’t been paid? Have you talked to the collections committee/partner? It is a lot easier to tell a client that you can’t do X until the bill is paid because that is firm policy than to say it yourself. Also, if you haven’t talked to the collections committee/partner yet, I would suggest you do so as a CYA.

      For new clients going forward: think about what you want and put it in your new form retainer letter.

      • Capitalism Failure :

        We don’t really have any collections folks or real policy on continuing work (very small firm). Our retainer agreement does say that we stop work and request a new retainer, but it’s so hard to actually do that, particularly when you can easily blow through the entire retainer and then some in a month, if a few court appearances and the like come up. I am trying to re-route things for new clients, but they are few and far between, so it’s going to take a long time to get there.

    • Not sure how to answer all your questions, but please stop beating yourself up for the quality of your work. You might not have gotten everything for your clients that they want, or that you think is fair for them to have, but that’s not your job. Your job is to be in their corner and use your skills to do as much for them as your skills can get, realizing that you’re a lawyer, not a magician, and you’re working opposite other lawyers who are doing exactly the same thing for their clients. But don’t underestimate how much it can mean to people to just have someone rooting for them. Law is really, really scary to laypeople, especially to underprivileged laypeople. How much less terrifying would Kafka’s story have been if there was a confident, reassuring lawyer standing with the character, explaining the process to him? Even if you don’t get all you asked for, you’re still providing an extremely valuable service.

      But in the end, are you in the right practice? It seems like you might need paying work that requires less emotional investment, freeing you to do pro bono work for causes that really require your heart. Or to go work at a non-profit where you don’t need to worry about collecting on bills. Otherwise, you might just wind up burnt out.

      • Also, try the family law section of your local bar. I bet there are some senior lawyers in that group with advice on how to deal with the emotional aspect of this practice.

      • “You might not have gotten everything for your clients that they want, or that you think is fair for them to have, but that’s not your job. Your job is to be in their corner and use your skills to do as much for them as your skills can get, realizing that you’re a lawyer, not a magician, and you’re working opposite other lawyers who are doing exactly the same thing for their clients.”

        Thank you for this. I needed to read this right now, too.

    • You need to focus on 1) getting paid, and 2) making sure you don’t end up in this situation again. You are not a pro bono attorney; these clients hired you knowing full well what it would/could cost, and you are entitled to that money. Nor does it matter that you “haven’t been as successful as you should have been” for the clients seeking child support. Family court is extremely unpredictable; as long as you are actually billing for time you spent on those cases (and the retainer agreement mentions nothing about being successful in the case), you are entitled to that money as well. You need to consult your firm’s policy on this, and work out a payment plan with each client. And you HAVE to stop making excuses for yourself. These people are struggling financially – if they figure they can get away with not paying you, no matter how nice they are, they won’t pay. Be firm – this is money you earned and you deserve.

      2) is going to be more difficult. I have never been in charge of bringing in clients, so I can’t offer specific advice, but it sounds like you need to do a better job of screening cases. Again, there are pro bono organizations out there to help people who can’t pay; it’s not your job to make sure that everyone gets legal representation who needs it. Have a list of organizations at your side that you can refer people to if you think they will not be able to pay you. And do your best to talk with other people in this field to see how they handle it. Getting emotionally involved or feeling like you need to be your client’s savior is very dangerous, and I can see it leading to burnout pretty easily.

      Good luck.

      • downstream :

        This. And, get a retainer and tell them that every time the retainer falls below X, they have to re-fill before you can do any more work for them.

      • +1 to everything TBK said. I do family law in a very small firm as well, so I am completely sympathetic to this problem. I have huge problems getting people to pay their bills once they have exhausted their retainers, and it is hard not to get emotionally invested in some cases, particularly ones that require you to spend such a substantial amount of time on.

        Yes, you need to be more firm with future clients and address this issue as soon as the first bill goes unpaid. However, that doesn’t fix your problem with these few existing clients. Can you check with your managing partner and see if they would be on board with calling these clients and trying to negotiate with them to write off part of their bill in exchange for making an immediate payment (perhaps by credit card)? That has been successful for me in the past. Say they owe $15,000, but I will call them or write them a letter that says that we would be willing to accept $10,000 as payment in full if they can get us that lump sum within seven days. Not ideal, of course, but sometimes a bird in the hand….

        Also, with family law clients, I charge a fairly high upfront retainer for any contested matter (the equivalent of 15 hours of work). Yes, there are plenty of clients that do not hire me as a result because they can’t come up with that much money up front, but those are generally the ones that wouldn’t be able to come up with it when the first bill came due anyways. This helps me weed those people out right off the bat.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes to all of this.

          Repeat after me: Just say no to involuntary pro bono. There are a million sad tales in the naked city, and you can’t take ’em all on. In fact, you can’t take even one of ’em on if it means you are not going to be able to earn a living.

          Many years ago an older lawyer advised me to get a photo of something I loved a lot — maybe a spouse or boyfriend or pet or child or even a house or a boat — and keep it on my desk. When the urge to work for free, I should pick up the photo and look at it, and ask myself whether I would rather work for free for this non-paying client or work for pay so I could support this thing that I loved. I thought that was pretty good advice, and although I didn’t literally do it, I always kept it in the back of my mind when I was tempted to give away the store.

          • Senior Attorney :

            And also? People don’t value what they don’t have to pay for. They will just be ungrateful and angry if/when you don’t get the unreasonable results they are after.

            Step away from the involuntary pro bono.

  21. Cornellian :

    An update to the threadjack I made earlier this week about getting back together with an ex. I’m planning on heading out to California next week for two nights. SO NERVOUS. I want to spend time before then thinking about things I want to sort of watch for and figure out during the weekend.

  22. Puerto Rico TJ…

    I am going to Puerto Rico in two weeks for meetings with people from a think tank and a university. Any advice on what to wear? Is Puerto Rico similar to Florida in that business attire, especially for women, is a little more colorful and casual than my navy DC clothes?

    Thanks for the insight!

    • At least in the legal community, I see a lot of dark suits like I see in DC. Feel free to leave the hose at home, though.

      • Good to know, thank you! I’ve never been to Puerto Rico, and I need to remind myself while packing that I’m going for work, not play unfortunately.

        • I’ll emphasize though, it is HOT there. Your meetings should be well air-conditioned, but for the inevitable walks from the car or to get lunch breathable natural fabrics and a layer that you can take off are best.

  23. Any tips for case study interviews? I have a followup rounds of interviews tomorrow with a large firm and am curious if anyone has any tips. Field is management consulting and the interview will be qualitative. I know I’ll need to slow down, repeat question, ask questions, identify a few areas/create hypothesis, probe further, present findings, summarize issue/offer conclusion/provide plan of action/implementation plan. Thank you.

    • Do you have access to the Vault or Wetfeet guides? Your college career center may have them or access codes to them. Any friends in b-school or just out that could share their consulting club case prep guides–every b-school has them. I would stress that the main thing is taking your time and walking the interviewer through your reasoning. Also, if numbers are involed, pick “easy/round” numbers to make the mental math more successful. Also, don’t hesitate to take notes–this is expected. Good luck!

      • Thanks MJ – I feel better now; I do have the Wetfeet guide for this firm and I have several slide decks. Thank you for reiterating for me to take my time and to speak up so the interviewer knows my reasoning. Just concerned my approach might not be “right” even though there is no wrong and that I’ll be overly concerned with being a perfectionist and applying all the methods when really I only need a few. Also, I have been rehearsing my approach which would be standard for any problem. Thanks, again.

  24. anon for this :

    Update on my question earlier this week about dating a man who’s separated and in the process of divorce. Yesterday he texted me saying he was thinking about me. At the same time, he was tagged on facebook, at a bar with his wife. Guess they’re not so separated. So, there goes that. I feel so foolish.

    At times like this it’s hard not to fall into the “all men are a**h***s” state of mind.

    • What a tool (him). You shouldn’t feel foolish at all; your spidey senses were right and I’m glad you trusted them.

      • THIS! You were suspicious. Yay you! Your sensors are fully operational.

      • Oh, dear. I’m so sorry. I’m so glad you found out now, though, and that, as eek says, your spidey senses are on the ball.

      • MaggieLizer :

        +1 to all of this. You should be really proud of yourself for having great instincts.

    • Well, SOME are a**h***s. But you handled it right and trusted your instincts. And of course you have received important life-management tools from this site to help you deal with this kind of thing: JSFAMO.

    • Dang. That is wretched behavior on his part. Thank goodness you were able to extract yourself early on.

    • phillygirlruns :

      OY. nice instincts and way to dodge a bullet.

    • You should “like” that tagged photo!

  25. TJ for curly or wavy haired ladies….

    1. Do you brush your hair? If I do, the waves/ loose curls get straightened out , which may or may not be a bad thing BUT hair becomes slippery and I can do nothing with it but leave it down
    2. Do you use leave in conditioner to max out your curls?
    3. What products have worked well for you?

    I use Ouidad shampoos and TIGI matte putty ( texturizing paste) for thickness.

    Finally, my hair has started to fall four months post- baby , which never happened with baby#1. any tips?

    • hair falling out – biotin shampoos and conditioners for several months, lots of brands available, whole foods sells several, it works like a charm. you may also just want to take a biotin vitamin supplement.

      products — i use a combination of ouidad products (botantical boost spray, sometimes leave in conditioner, sometimes their shampoos and conditioners), moroccan oil and kevin murphy easy rider curl cream (the latter products were recommended by my usual hairdresser and I have been using them for more than a year to great results, my curls have never looked better).

      I also recently just got my first hair cut at the ouidad salon (I found a groupon type deal for it). it’s a good cut, but I don’t think I will go back. The place is a little too gimmicky for me and their regular prices for services are really a bit absurd. i like my usual hairdresser better anyway.

    • 1. I do not brush my hair. I get the knots/tangles out while applying conditioner in the shower and while applying gel with the Ouidad “rake and shake” method.
      2. I leave in conditioner on the days that I wear my hair in a bun (which I do straight out of the shower).
      3. Deva Curl line — No Poo shampoo, One Condition conditioner, Arc Angell gel, and Mister Right mist during the day. I also like Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk for de-frizzing / reconstructing curls on day 2 (I wash my hair every 4 days).

    • 1. I basically never brush it. Every few weeks I’ll comb it all the way through to get every single tangle out. On a daily basis I just comb through it with my fingers when it’s wet and conditioned in the shower. Brushing it just destroys the curls for me and makes it huuuge.

      2. I use One Condition leave in condition from Devachan.

      3. Devachan No Poo shampoo and One Condition. Both highly recommended.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      Ditto the recommendations for the Deva line. No hair brushing; use No Poo, One Condition, and the Angel gel and use the Deva method for scrunching out water and letting it air dry. I’m also a shower/hair wash every. single. day. person, but the Deva line works like a charm every day and the No Poo doesn’t seem to wreak the same havoc regular shampoo does if used every day.

    • 1. Do you brush your hair?

      Nonononono. God, no. I use a wide tooth comb on wet, freshly conditioned hair and that is it. If my hair has gotten really tangly or has a lot of product buildup, I will brush it with a soft-bristle brush immediately before washing it. I imagine people who straighten their hair use a round brush.

      2. Do you use leave in conditioner to max out your curls?

      No. Actually leave-in conditioner seems to weigh my hair down rather than help the curls.

      3. What products have worked well for you?

      I wash with a sulfate-free shampoo (from Trader Joe’s, I think it’s called Nourish) and then I condition heavily (like a handful of conditioner, same brand as the shampoo) and put my hair up in a clip. I go about the rest of my shower, and at the end I take the clip down, rinse my hair, use my fingers to gently comb out tangles, and then I lightly condition (like a 50-cent-piece-size amount) again and rinse. Then I wrap my wet hair in a microfiber turban wrap, leave it about 5 minutes, comb, work in Bumble and Bumble Curl Conscious Creme for fine curls (mine aren’t that fine, but the B&B stylist told me that the one for coarse curls is really for black or biracial folks), plop it using the plopping method from Naturally Curly, leave it for at least half an hour, then blowdry using a diffuser and flipping my hair over to get the back. Then if it looks frizzy or dry I use a couple pumps of argan oil.

      Yes, my hair routine takes around 2 hours although obviously I can do other things while it’s turbaned or plopped, and I only do this once or twice a week. If I’m not planning to wear my hair down, I don’t bother with the plopping or the diffusing. I wash my hair two or three times per week.

      Finally, my hair has started to fall four months post- baby , which never happened with baby#1. any tips?

      I had hair fall out due to illness. I lost about a quarter of my hair overall. My doctor told me to stimulate my scalp with a quick massage before washing, not to use any hair clips or holders that create friction or could pull hair out, and not to wear it in tight styles. Not sure how much that helped, really, but it did stop falling out after a couple months and now I have a ton of hair growing back in.

    • I don’t brush my hair except at the end of the day, or before a workout when I’m putting it up. Otherwise I just use my fingers to separate and define curls.

      I use the Living Proof no-frizz leave-in conditioner, and I am a fan of it. There seems to be a divide among curly-haireds over silicone/sulfates or not. Personally, my hair responds better when I use no-sulfate, no-silicone products (Kinky Curly shampoo from Target, and the Living Proof conditioner and styling creams). But I have friends who swear by Moroccan Oil and Bumble products with those ingredients and their hair looks great – but those make my hair look like a gloppy, frizzy mess.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      1. Do you brush your hair?
      Never. It’s almost always a bad idea and leaves my hair frizzy. The only “brush” I own is a small comb that I use to get a perfect line for my side part. I have plenty of hair come out in my hands when I style it, but I figure since I don’t brush, it has to go somewhere. So there’s that – my sink is not pretty but my hair is.

      2. Do you use leave in conditioner to max out your curls?
      Yes, leave in conditioner all the way. I use a lot of conditioner, let it soak through for 2-3 min in the shower, and then wash out about 85% of it. I don’t really buy into the products marketed as “leave-in” – you can get the same effect with regular conditioner.

      3. What products have worked well for you?
      If you have fine curly hair that needs some strength and definition to hold the curl, I would recommend Tigi Catwalk Curl Creme. It’s available at some grocery stores, Ulta and online. It’s cheap relative to most products out there ($13) and a little goes a long way.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I brush but only when wet and saturated with conditioner. I do the Curly Girl Method, so my hair always has conditioner in it. I almost never shampoo, but when I do I use Hair Rules no lather or a similar product by Curls. I swear by Hair Rules Quench – Its my desert island product. I use a variety of products for styling, but haven’t used much since I started CG

  26. Ugh. So, between articling and the job I have now, I worked for two months at a private firm. There were two assistants. One of them has now applied for a job in the government law office where I now work. Because I am not-so-good at polite spine, I said she could list me as a reference. Problem #1) I sure didn’t realize she meant for a job in the office I currently work in. This is an issue because – #2) while she is very competent at assistant and office manager work, BUT she is also pretty abrasive and somewhat hard to get along with. This is further complicated by the fact that I know she is being pretty badly underpaid at the private firm, despite the fact that nothing would have gotten done without her (in addition to being assistant to 3 lawyers, she was in charge of supplies, cashiering, and other admin stuff, but getting the same salary as the assistant who just had lawyers and no additional tasks).

    I think her heart is mostly in the right place, but I don’t think she works so well with others. And given that my current office has about 100 support staff, working well with others is key. Finally, I’m still not permanent, so I need to extra protect my own self in this whole thing. She is interviewing here today, and so I will likely get asked about her soon (unless she totally blows the interview). Advice???

    • Gurl, deep breath. You state facts. That is all. Comment on her work performance. Part of that is interpersonal skills. All that business with her pay and private firm workload is extra. The end.

    • It sounds perfectly reasonable to comment on her competence and ability to carry a heavy load. I myself would refrain from negative comments if I’ve actually agreed to be a reference (bad karma).

    • Any chance her interpersonal skills might improve if she’s not overworked and underpaid? Regardless, you agreed to be her reference, so I feel you need to give an honest appraisal to your new office if they ask.

      • That’s actually a really good point about being over-worked. It would make me pretty ornery too. What I’m *really* hoping is that she gets a good enough reference from her current employers that she doesn’t even need me.

        I will clearly have to use my mad lawyering skillz to parse all this properly. :p

        • Please don’t give her a negative evaluation if you agreed to serve as a reference. That’s a really awful thing to do. References are supposed to be assets – I’m sure you know this. If you can’t be an asset, then you should have been up front about it.

  27. Any ideas on how to style this for those of us with a more generous bust and generally curvy figure? I work in a business casual in-house environment, never wear suits. I LOVE jackets, but somehow always feel frumpy or matronly.

    • Diana Barry :

      My b**bage is huge right now (nursing) and I have found that my jackets that are longer look a little better. The 3/4 sleeve sometimes looks like everything hits at the same point. Also, in my experience, the buttons seem better if they button below the girls.

      If you are feeling frumpy in a jacket, it’s probably bc the fit isn’t right. If busty, you might need to fit the bust (bigger) and have the waist tailored in.

    • Charlotte :

      I am busty and just have to steer clear of one-button blazers completely. There is just no way to avoid that unfortunate gaping look.

      • Merabella :

        This. I definitely suggest 2 button blazers, and tailoring. They make the world of difference.

  28. Looking for MBA graduation gift ideas. DH graduated in May and I want to get him a bag for all his crap. We were waiting until he started work so he had a good sense on what sort of function the bag would need to perform–and how casual/dressy it would need to be.

    Looking for style/ color/ product recommendations. He is a consultant with local clients so he has to drive to/from the client site every day with his entire office in tow. The bag needs to fit his laptop, charger, all misc accessories (pointer, mouse, etc) plus about two notebooks worth of papers. And probably the iPad I’m getting him for his birthday.

    He does NOT wear a suit; the bag would have to be appropriate for dress pants/shirt with or without tie, and loafers. Ideally, it would also look good with a suit, since the clients will change over time and he may find himself in a more business formal office setting.

    Would be interested in options in a variety of price ranges, but willing to spend $1000+ for the right bag.

    • dh looked all over for the right bag for several years and settled on a coach cross-body style leather bag for about $450. it has a webbed shoulder strap and flap closure. it has a relaxed vibe (he doesn’t wear a full suit to work) but is still obviously high quality leather so transitions well to more formal settings. he went with the cognac color, but there was also a gray leather that was pretty fabulous, and black too.

      • the one he has is very similar to the coach bleecker legacy leather courier bag

    • Cornellian :

      I’d check out Tumi. Their fall collection seems to have a lot of classic choices like that. I think it’d be more the 500 range,though.

      • Thanks– I’m perfectly happy spending less :) Just saying that price needn’t be a disqualifier.

    • I got my husband a briefcase from Jack Georges and he finds it functional and the quality is excellent. Maybe you’ll find something you like there.

    • I got my husband one from Cole Haan a few years ago and he seems to really like it. They don’t have the same model, but this one is closest, and a little less formal which may suit you better anyhow:

  29. Conflicted :

    Hi Ladies,

    I’m pondering asking my husband for a divorce. Been together for over a decade and married for 6 years. I’m simply no longer see him as someone I want to be with for the rest of my life. He’s caring and supportive, but his juvenile side is no longer endearing. He rarely participates in decision-making and never seems to think about big picture things (career, house, children, financials, etc). A there has been little desire for me to host some lady garden parties for years.

    I would love to get some insight from the professional ladies on this sight, particularly those who are the breadwinners. The above seem like weak reasons to leave someone. And the thought of starting over (changing name, moving out, explaining to friends and family) is very daunting. What’s it like to go through this process? Anyone leave or think of leaving for similar reasons?

    • I can’t fully respond right now, but will come back later with more. I was in your shoes, minus the kids, and the relief, independence, and fulfilling life I have now are priceless. The process is daunting, but you just do one thing at a time.

    • Have you talked about it with him? In therapy? It sound like you are burnt out. Before I would divorce I think you owe it to him (since it doesn’t sound like there is any abuse, manipulation, etc) to really try to communicate about the issue. But you can’t stay in a marriage because the alternative is a little annoying. The moving, name change, explaining are all temporary things. Like, one year’s worth of work. Compared to 30 more years of marriage? it is nothing. But divorce is a painful process, especially with kids, so I think its worth it to therapy before divorce talks

      • Conflicted :

        sorry — no kids in the picture.

        I’ve talked about it with him and I am in therapy. He’s a terrific man, but he’s still the 20 year old I fell in love with and I’ve grown up considerably since then.

        • I’m not saying you should stay in the marriage, but all else being equal, are you sure he isn’t just lagging a bit behind in developing into the mature adult you would want to be with? My husband and I sound like we were on a similar track: been together 12 years (met freshman year of college), married for four. In that time our relationship has alternately grown smoothly and gone through jerky start and stop phases. Sometimes we have grown together, other times it took one or the other of us time to catch up after a period of lagging behind the other. I typically think of it like one of those stock market graphs — it may go up and down, but as long as the general trajectory is upward at a sufficient pace, I’m staying in the marriage.

          We have what I believe to be a very good and healthy relationship and we’re finally on the same page everywhere it counts, but it hasn’t always been quite so harmonious. Whether this is the right outlook or if it applies to your situation probably also depends on where you are in life. I was willing to give things a lot more time while I was in my twenties than I probably would be in my thirties or forties.

    • I haven’t been through a divorce but, frankly, these seem like excellent reasons to leave someone. If you “simply no longer see him as someone you want to be with for the rest of your life,” then you shouldn’t stay. And the issues you mention are good reasons why you would feel that way.

      If you don’t have children yet and there are not a ton of assets, the divorce should be relatively simple. (Even if you do have children, do you want them to grow up with parents who are not really happy together?)

      I understand the change would be daunting, although I would not worry about explaining it to everyone. Some people, especially maybe relatives, might really pry into the reasons, but most won’t press you — people understand that divorces happen and that what goes on between two people in a relationship is no one else’s business. All you have to say is that the marriage was not working out and that you don’t want to discuss it, if in fact you don’t want to.


      • I remember being there – the idea of getting a divorce, explaining to my coworkers, moving into a new place…it all seemed so hard and embarrassing and just too much. And I was so scared of people judging me, and telling me I was not living out my faith (my faith and religion are very important to me). Now I look back and I don’t know what I was so scared of… The reality was far far easier than in my imagination. And my life is SO MUCH BETTER now. One thing I don’t think I’d factored in was that ambiguity is exhausting. Exhausting. And once the decision was made, and I was out of that (emotionally abusive) environment, my energy levels skyrocketed, and I had plenty of energy to deal with the legal and logistical aspects of the divorce. And, people were far far far nicer about my divorce than I expected. Most people really didn’t care, a few people went out of their way to know that they thought I was wonderful and were so sorry that my life was/had been so hard. No one pried, and only 1 person made judgy comments, which, just made me sorry for his wife and kids having to live with someone so un-compasionate. So..don’t let the logistics keep you in a bad marriage for the next 50 years…

    • Never been married, but, FWIW, the “rarely participates in decision-making” and not growing up were the main reasons I ended my last long-term relationship. Basically, I realized that I wasn’t sure I wanted kids but I knew I didn’t want kids with him because I didn’t trust that he would do things like take them to the dentist. My “last straw” was him leaving his wet towel on my side of the bed.

      I am going through my own issues (maybe I’ll post in the coffee break later today–still trying to find a way to explain my feelings) but I am glad to have ended the relationship. Life is so much easier when I don’t feel like I’m dragging a man-child behind me.

    • anon for this :

      Well, sounds a bit like me.

      Together for about 7 years, married for 4. We separated just over a month ago. I was the one who moved out, and it was a very, very hard decision – but once I had done it, I felt an overwhelming sense of relief.

      I busted my butt for over two years to try to “fix” things. My husband was deeply unhappy and initially he blamed me for it. After a few months of not wanting to be home, not wanting to see me, etc., he realized I was not the reason for his unhappiness…but then he really didn’t do much to address his unhappiness. He also stopped following through on the majority of things he said he was going to do, deferred to me in the vast majority of decisions (major and minor), stopped paying bills, and refused to participate in garden parties. I spent almost all of my energy over those two years trying my best to be supportive and help him figure things out and be happy, and eventually I just got exhausted and couldn’t do it anymore. Writing this all out, I’m looking over it and thinking things may have been worse than I wanted to admit to myself – but overall I remember coming to the conclusion, over and over again, that while my marriage wasn’t out and out awful, it no longer added anything to my life, and hadn’t for a long time.

      I told my mentor about our separation and she gave me the best piece of advice I’ve received so far: “this ain’t no dress rehearsal.” This is IT. The moving bit was not pleasant, but it was far less overwhelming and awful than I had worried it would be. I will probably not change my last name back, because I established myself professionally with this last name. All of those things, though, while administratively annoying or frustrating, are SO VERY WORTH the chance to be actually, affirmatively happy.

      • anon for this :

        ALSO – many people here have recommended the book “Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay.” It really helped me see things more clearly.

        • karenpadi :

          Second the book rec. It really helped me decide to end my relationship. If you have a kindle, I think I can lend it to you.

          • Conflicted :

            Thank you for the book recommendation. Might see if it available at the library.

            Thank you all for the insight and kind words. Husband is a sweet, sensitive man, but Karenpadi nailed it — he is a man-child.

            Thank s again

  30. Did anyone else notice that select Cole Haan shoes are on sale at today? I am seriously considering getting a pair of Air Julianas, Talias or Violets due to all the good reviews from this site. Which do you recommend? And is Cole Haan pretty true to size? Love the Air Violet Lace Pump 60 in oxblood/dark grey, but have no idea what I would wear with them.

    • Honey Pillows :

      WOW that is an incredible sale. 75% off!

      Thank you!

      (My wallet does not thank you, but begrudgingly admits that it might be a whole lot worse, and appreciates the help.)

      • Honey Pillows :

        Ugh. Productivity lost. Cole Haan is 75% off, but the entire 6pm site has a huge clearance sale.

    • Anonymous :

      Cole Haan is running a sale on their website, too.
      I bought low wedge closed-toe Air Talias in my regular size and they feel a bit short. Now I am wondering if they will stretch or I should return. Any thoughts?
      I also bought Air Dinah sandals, in the same size, and they fit and feel amazing.

    • The julianas are narrow and i found them pinchy. Talia pumps are my holy grail of shoes; the most comfortable pumps ever. I wear either an 8.5 or 9m in most brands and am an 8.5 in CH, with the caveat that some of their shoes run too narrow to be comfortable in an 8.5 but are too big in a 9.

    • I am wearing the Air Violet 45 (in black – not on sale!) today. They are my first pair of Cole Haan Airs and I am in serious love. I find them TTS.

      I think the oxblood/dark gray is the perfect solution to yesterday’s navy suit shoe question!

    • And I bought my first pair. I am so excited, I’ve been waiting for them to go on sale. Thank you for the heads up!

  31. I do NOT feel like working today, for no good reason. How do you cope when you feel like this? I feel like a 3 year old about to throw a temper tantrum.

    • Oh you mean besides procrastinating until it’s almost too late? Not that I know what that’s about….

    • Lol, usually I browse this site for a while, then realize that it’s already 2pm, freak out and try to get some work done.

    • I try to catch up on non-work type things that get pushed aside when I’m busy – like filing, organizing email, etc.

      If there’s something I for sure need to do but just don’t want to do it I make a detailed list of the steps I need to take (so I can cross off lots of things) and give myself rewards for finishing major sections or working for x number of minutes.

      Or I slack off but try to send out a few emails so it appears to others that I’m getting stuff done. But I don’t have a billing hour requirement in my position.

    • Post a lot on tumblr and/or facebook, g-chat with ru, make jokes about Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy that are only funny to me and Godzilla on here….and then go get lunch….and then start all over again….

    • Pomodoro technique?

      Once I get started on something, it usually starts flowing.

    • eastbaybanker :

      Sometimes I take it as a sign that I’m burnt out and need some mental health time. I put a doctor’s appointment on my schedule, treat myself to a 2 hour lunch, followed by a little shopping and some coffee, and try to figure out what I need to do to get back on track.

    • Add to my Vladimir Putin board on Pinterest.

  32. Thoughts on wearing the J. Crew French Hen sweater (link to follow) to a business casual office? What if it’s dressed up with a pencil skirt and heels and worn on a Friday?


    • I would not do that. It’s slightly too far into “whimsical” territory to be work-appropriate, I think.

      • If it were a small hen print, I’d say go for it (I’ve seen men in my office wear ties covered in tiny ducks, beagles, fish, you name it) but this is one large cartoon chicken wearing a beret.

      • This. I like the sweater, but I think it is too casual for the office regardless of what is worn with it.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i do not understand this trend and would not wear something like this to the office.

    • oh, this is so know your office / personality. I just don’t have the right – for lack of a better word, presence – to pull an Amelie in the office, but can picture some coworkers who would. Which I am sad about, because the occasional dose of bookish quirky chic can be quite refreshing in a sea of blue patterned shirts.

    • MissJackson :

      I would not wear that sweater to my BigLaw office.

      Also: PSA, the “dream yarn” that it’s made out of is the worst ever. Pills badly, almost immediately.

      If you like the hen, I think you could rock the french hen scarf in a business casual office. (I don’t believe the scarf is online yet, but it is available in stores and I imagine that it will be online eventually).

      • MissJackson :

        There is a picture of the scarf print here:

    • Are you in-house counsel for a chicken farm or something?

      • OMG – going anon for this. One of the weirdest questions ever posed to me was whether a company had to report as W-2 taxable income the 500 lbs of chicken they had given as “Christmas bonuses” to all of their employees that year. Client was a chicken producer. Thank you, anonz, for the lovely reminder.

        • LOL! What is the answer?

          • emcsquared :

            In a non-client specific world, the advice would go like this – it is W-2 income if it is not de minimis (think $25 gift card). The company has to value the in kind compensation, and should then withhold the relevant amount of taxes from the employees’ remaining paychecks (which is a great New Year’s surprise because the company usually discovers this in January of the following year). The withholding of taxes from one or two paychecks during the holidays often majorly disrupts family cash flow and causes general unhappiness among the ranks of employees.

            Conclusion: Employers should not give bonuses in kind, or should also give a cash bonus component as a tax gross up.

          • emc, your answer made me think of my very first Christmas bonus. I was in high school, working for a small bookstore. On advice of my parents, I had elected to have $20 in withholding taken out of every check (10 state, 10 federal). My Christmas bonus was $20, and they processed the bonus checks through normal payroll, so I got a Christmas bonus check for $0.00. It was awesome.

        • Awesome! I hope the employees all had empty chest freezers.

    • I adore this and would wear it to my bus cas office. But my workplace could not remotely be called conservative. If you’re at a law firm or something, save it for the weekends.

    • Sorry, I posted about this sweater the other day, because…while its adorable, it reminds me a bit too much of the animal sweaters the Rachel characters always used to wear on Glee (and then she got Brittany to “make her look happen” and then suddenly everyone was wearing animal sweaters…)

      I think it would be cute for casual days, but for work….I don’t know. A little too twee for me. But I worry enough about projecting authority as is due to my age, so you don’t have to listen to me!

  33. I got this jacket in black from the NAS. Love it. I’ve worn it tons already.

    I didn’t realize it was actually possible in this day and age, but I managed to lose a document I was working on all day yesterday. It is vaporized. The IT people can find no trace of it anywhere and actually started looking at me as though I must be crazy and just imagining that I wrote this thing yesterday. Apparently September 5 does not exist for my computer, no temporary files or anything! I must have done something really, really stupid. And I am usually so good about saving, backing up, redundant systems, etc. And a whole day’s work is now totally down the drain. Worst of all, it was a project I procrastinated on because it sucked. Now I have to do it twice. *EXPLETIVES*

    • Uh, that is SCARY. Now I’m giving my machine the side-eye.

    • I did the thing yesterday and somehow lost an undertakings list I’d been working on. Where did it go? WHERE?!

    • Ugh, that’s awful. I remember re-writing college papers (circa 1997) because of vaporizing work. But I’m surprised (and a little freaked out, too) that this can still happen in 2012.

    • I know you’ve probably tried this, but if it’s a Word document, did you try opening Word to see the last documents you worked on? That has saved my a$$ in the past.

    • At least writing it the second time is faster than the first?

    • Oh, so sorry — I’ve been there.

      Self stupidity vent of my own: I just exactly deleted about 10 cell phone voice mails that I’ve saved for years, for sentimental value — each of my parents singing me happy birthday, sweet little messages from DH, a recording of one of our cats complaining vocally in the car on the way to the vet (I know, that sounds weird, but she’s since passed away and it was just such an expression of her grouchy personality) . I am heartsick, and all because I spaced out at hit “7” (delete) instead of “9” (save) while trying to get to a new message. Aargh.

  35. Skincare question – I am just hitting my 30’s and starting to see lines/wrinkles. What do you use/recommend to prevent and reduce lines and wrinkles? Both drugstore and non-drugstore brands are appreciated. Thank you!

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      No tips, but someone posted this exact question in yesterdays morning thread and got a lot of responses.

    • I love Clinique All About Eyes–tightens up the under-eye area. Not sure if it helps long term for wrinkles, but I’ve noticed an improvement in how they appear.

    • OC Lawyer :

      Johnson & Johnson liquid Basics cleanser
      Shiseido White Lucent SPF15 oil free moisturizer on face, neck and chest every day (SPF 42 Urban Jungle on non-office days)
      Cetaphil UVA/UVB SPF 50 facial moisturizer on my hands and arms every day
      Rite Aid SPF 45 Rx Suncare Lip Balm
      Topix Replenix 2x retinol every other evening (purchased from derm)
      Topix Replenix Dermal Restructuring Therapy every other evening (purchased from derm)
      Dysport for crow’s eyes and forehead (wish I had started earlier as preventive measure)
      considering Juvederm for upper lip lines

  36. Need cruise formal shoe help from the hive! My SO and I are going on a Royal Caribbean Cruise in October, and will have two formal nights. We also have a few days before and after the cruise in Rome, so I’m not packing a formal gown or anything, but rather am going with cocktail length dresses that are a bit more casual, so I can wear them with flat sandals for nights around Rome and then dress them up with kitten heels and jewelry for the formal nights.

    I have a pair of black formal strappy sandals I absolutely adore… they have a little sparkle accent on the top, and a short kitten heel that works well with my height (1/2 inch taller than my SO at 5’10”). For the formal dinners I’d like to wear some cool patterned black tights with the black sandals and am trying to figure out if this will be a huge fashion faux pas, or if it will look trendy (in either a good or bad way). I have an alternative (rather boring) pair of pumps I wear for trials that I could substitute instead, or, I could go with toe-less nude stockings instead of the tights. Bare-legged isn’t really an option, some may recall that I have some significant scarring covering most of my calves from burns/skin graphs, and while I’ve learned to show my scars with warrior pride (RAWR!) on an everyday basis, for the formals & the photos I’d like a more polished look.

    What do you think? TIA!

    • anon for this :

      I have similar issues with my legs – lots of scarring all over. Personally I wouldn’t wear tights or stockings with peep toes, much less strappy sandals and I would be so worried about whether it’s a faux pas that I don’t think I would enjoy myself. They might seem especially out of place in the Caribbean. I’d suggest going with the nude stockings. Or you might want to try sally hansen airbrush legs spray… it’s helped me go tights-less. Not perfect but I feel less self conscious

    • I think that deliberately contrasting tights look good with peep toes, but not with sandals. Sorry, but I just don’t think you can wear sandals with hosiery, ever. Save the sandals for a long dress or slacks and go with the kitten heel with shorter dresses.

    • emcsquared :

      Having been on a Royal Caribbean cruise – the formal night is all over the map. I went on a five day and a seven day; people got more dressed up for the seven day, but there were still lots of women in sundresses at dinner.

      The strappy sandals sound perfect. The pumps would be out of place. Probably not many people will wear tights or hose because it’s hot and tropical, but some might wear foot-less leggings since that is common for summer now. Could you wear fishnets? That seems a bit more summery to me.

      Also, all of our pictures were taken while we were seated at the table (or they might have taken some standing when we entered and we didn’t choose to pay $25 or whatever to buy them). And…it’s dark-ish in the dinner room anyway, and you’re seated at a table, so probably nobody would notice that you had stockings on at all, so if they make you feel better – rock ’em.

      • Hmm, I do have some nude fishnets, I didn’t think of those! Our cruise is the 7 day, so we get to go formal twice. And the cruise is in the later part of October, so I expect it to be a little bit cooler… so the nude fishnets may be just the thing!

    • Honestly, formal nights on cruises for women are all over the map. You can wear just about anything – while men have the strict dress code. Wear what makes you happy.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve been on Royal Caribbean and the other ladies are right — many passengers don’t even bother with formal night. As for photos, you have your choice of photo venues and poses and you can absolutely just skip the full-length shots if you don’t want your legs showing.

      That said, I am probably a rebel rebel but I would be okay with your cool patterned black tights (especially if they are very lacy and light-looking) and formal snadals.

  37. Need cruise formal shoe help from the hive! My SO and I are going on a Royal Caribbean Cruise in October, and will have two formal nights. We also have a few days before and after the cruise in Rome, so I’m not packing a formal gown or anything, but rather am going with c*cktail length dresses that are a bit more casual, so I can wear them with flat sandals for nights around Rome and then dress them up with kitten heels and jewelry for the formal nights.

    I have a pair of black formal strappy sandals I absolutely adore… they have a little sparkle accent on the top, and a short kitten heel that works well with my height (1/2 inch taller than my SO at 5’10″). For the formal dinners I’d like to wear some cool patterned black tights with the black sandals and am trying to figure out if this will be a huge fashion faux pas, or if it will look trendy (in either a good or bad way). I have an alternative (rather boring) pair of pumps I wear for trials that I could substitute instead, or, I could go with toe-less nude stockings instead of the tights. Bare-legged isn’t really an option, some may recall that I have some significant scarring covering most of my calves from burns/skin graphs, and while I’ve learned to show my scars with warrior pride (RAWR!) on an everyday basis, for the formals & the photos I’d like a more polished look.

    What do you think? TIA!

    (first post stuck in moderation… forgot about the c*cktail!)

  38. MaggieLizer :

    Update on c*ck blocking senior associate – we didn’t meet with the partner, so I didn’t get to offer (or not) to argue the motion. The SA told me a few days ago that when we get an argument date he would send around an email saying that both of us are available to argue, so the partners can decide who gets it. I thanked him, and he said no worries, it’s your motion so you should get to put your name out there. I’m super happy with the resolution and feel so much better about working with him now. Thanks to everyone for your input on how to handle the situation!

    • This makes me happy! I know it’s frustrating when you have to work with someone EVERY day who seems not to be in your corner. Sounds like this all got resolved for the best. YAYAYAY!

  39. Hello everyone! I’ll be travelling to San Francisco for a conference next week in the downtown/SoMa area and I’m looking for restaurant rec’s in that area and also the Ingleside area, I have some dietary restrictions and need to eat gluten-free and lactose-free. Thanks ahead of time for the suggestions!

    • If you like Indian fusion :

      try – not your usual Indian fare.

    • I’m not sure if it’s still there, but we LOVED Mission Chinese last fall. I’m not sure about gluten free lactose free but I bet they could do it.

  40. Anonymous :

    I accepted an offer of employment last year. The offer stated that my salary would be increased if I passed a test for a certificate. I’ve passed the test, but the certificate takes a few months to process. I will be starting my job soon. I have talked to human resources and they said that the managers decided earlier this year that the increase would only be for those that have gotten the certificate. However, I never got notice. Human resources said that I would be paid the lower rate the first few months and it would increase in a few months when I do get the certificate. While I understand I should have taken the test earlier, I am disappointed in starting at the lower salary. Human resources stated that I could ask for them to bring it up to the managers, but I am not sure if I should. Any advice would be appreciated!

    • If it is clearly stated in your offer letter, you could always ask for a compromise if you were feeling nice. They start you off at the lower rate and once the certificate is processed they write you a check for the difference in your pay and any match contributions they do based on salary for the previous months. I’m not sure why if your results say you passed they wouldn’t do it, but either it’s not clearly stated or their losing money and looking for ways to nickel and dime people.

      • Anonymous :

        L, Thank you so much for your reply. I did ask whether they were going to pay the difference once I got the certificate, and hr replied basically saying no, based on the policy decided by the managing partner. (I am starting at a law firm – I was trying to stay anonymous just in case someone in my office reads this!) I am just scared that if I stir up too much trouble, I will not get good assignments. On the other hand, the salary difference is a considerable amount and I do have student loans to pay.

        • Maddie Ross :

          To be fair, as a lawyer who has passed the bar but is not yet sworn in, you’re not all that much more valuable to your firm that one who has not yet passed. You still cannot sign pleadings or appear in court on your own (at least in my jurisdiction). That sucks that the letter is different and I could see where you have an argument with them, but on the other hand, I completely see the purpose on their end. You are much more valuable (i.e., your rate can be increased) once you’re licensed. Can you see about swearing in early?

          • Anonymous :

            Maddie Ross: While the “certificate” isn’t the state bar, I do see the firm increasing their rates for an attorney who do have the “certificate.” On the other hand, the “certificate” is not necessary to sign papers or anything in the group in which I am practicing. There is no way to expedite the process. I probably shouldn’t have relied on the words of the offer and gotten the “certificate” way earlier. I am a newly minted lawyer and assumed that it is like being admitted to the state bar, where you are employed even though you don’t know whether you’ve passed the state bar or not. I am leaning towards just letting it go, since the amount of the money isn’t that much in the long run – it just seems like a lot to a recently graduated law student! Do you have any experience in bringing something up to the partners? Thank you for your insight!

    • karenpadi :

      Maddie Ross is right. Second all of that.

      I’m guessing this is a certificate that’s more like the patent bar than a state bar. With the patent bar, you can take it anytime (after undergrad), know the results rights away, but have a 6 week “clearance period” where the candidate’s name is published for anyone who wants to object to the candidate’s admission on ethical grounds can do so. If I remember correctly, the wait is pretty short–less than 3 months and more like 2 months.

      Here’s the thing, entry level people have close to no leverage when it comes to salary. First years are untrained and not likely to be recruited away by other firms. Trying to negotiate on anything is kind of a losing battle.

      I also don’t think “student loans” are going to cut it as a bargaining chip. Student loans have a 6-month grace period and managing partners know this. Managing partners also know that it is very likely that you will be admitted in the next few weeks–long before any loan payments are due.

      • Anonymous :

        karenpadi: You are a mind reader! Are you in the IP area too? Thank you for your advice. The whole leverage balance was why I was leaning towards not arguing it.

    • I suppose there is a chance if there is a time for objections that you could technically be denied the certificate. However, once you pass, you have proved to have the expertise desired by the firm. Frankly, it seems to me that they are not treating you very fairly and perhaps are having leaner times than the partners have previously enjoyed. As stated by others, you probably have little to no bargaining power, but in my unfortunate experience, a law firm that will nickel and dime you (it really is not much money to THEM spread pro rata over the partners) now is one to watch out for. It is an attitude towards younger attorneys that you may find pervasive and discouraging.

      Not to be too negative, but if you find that to be the case, better to leave sooner than later. Attitudes like that don’t improve over time.

  41. I know this is late in the thread, but I saw MOlaw’s posting about the immigration firm internship and wanted to chime in… are you there?

  42. Bold [b]Bold[/b]
    Italic [i]Italic[/i]
    Italic [u]Italic[/u]

  43. Nordstrom Rack had a very similar jacket in plus sizes when I was there 2 weeks ago. And I bought it. And I love it. I’m sure it’s not as quality, but it is cute.

  44. Chiming in late, but I was in San Francisco earlier this summer and went to the Nordstrom Rack (requiring a hellish cab ride, as I was staying in Union Square). They had this blazer in black, pink, yellow, white, teal, and another color. I loved them, and ended up bringing home the bright pink and the black. I would have bought more, but I’d already done some serious shopping by this point. Each blazer was $49, so cheaper than this new batch offered via “regular” Nordstrom. My shopping buddy in San Fran said she had gotten the same blazer (or nearly) from Nordstom the previous year, so this might be a recurring item…

    I wouldn’t wear this jacket to a formal business meeting (hello, it’s knit!), but I love it for more casual situations. I like wearing this style with cuffed jeans, flats, and a simple top. The material is super soft.