Our Favorite Suits for Women, 2017

best suits for women 20172017 was a great year for suits for women — these are some of my favorites from our regular feature, “Suit of the Week.” (Each picture links back to the original post… and of course, don’t forget to check out The Corporette Guide to Basic Women’s Suiting (recently updated!).)

Here are links to our favorite women’s suits from 20162015201420132012 and 2010.

Readers, which were your favorite suits we featured this year? Did you buy any great ones you loved? best suits for women 2017

Please note that anything with an asterisk is still available!

Pictured below: January / February / March


Below: April / May / June

Below: July / August / September*

Below: October / November* / December*

Looking for an easy Pin with all of our favorite suits for women from our 2017 coverage? Please feel free to share!

From budget suits for women to splurgey designer suits, these are some of our favorite suits from our "Suit of the Week" feature throughout 2017!


  1. Down coat help :

    So tired of my down puffer leaving tiny feathers all over my clothes. It’s probably time for a replacement – any recommendations for a down coat that won’t do this? Or a warm down substitute?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Try a Marmot coat. It’s the only brand I have purchased that does not do this.

      • I have a marmot coat, and you are right it doesn’t shed feathers. the shell is a different material than the polyester shell of my NF puffer, and i think the marmot material is better for that purpose. the feathers just poke right through the polyester. however, my marmot coat is black and the shell picks up ALL kinds of lint, pet hair, dust. so it has its own set of problems.

      • My Marmot coat does this unfortunately

    • My Patagonia Tres parka does this too. Not enough to be bothered about, but I wouldn’t have expected it from a relatively pricey coat.

    • Puddlejumper :

      One reason I love my Canada Goose coat is that its made of really thick material so this doesn’t happen unlike past northface or patagonia stuff. There are fewer seams for it to happen on also. I have had mine for 4 years now with no problems and it looks brand new.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Try North Face. I found a great North Face puffer on sale at Nordstrom Rack last year and it’s so dang warm and I have never had this issue. I was seriously tempted by Canada Goose (the fill count was a little higher, so it would have been even warmer), but I find that I am plenty warm with the North Face (and it was a great sale!).

  2. BigLaw -- breakup letter :

    To BigLaw:

    I haven’t quit you yet, but after ruining my Christmas (a holiday I celebrate), I’m a gonna start plotting now. Just wait until the next big check clears . . .

    • I’m feelin’ ya… this season has been miserable

    • It is really sad that my school-aged children pick up on how just awful my work world is and feel bad that I am working so much and under white-knuckle conditions (my grandparents farm, so the work is very much long days and then canning/freezer inventory/etc. and then PT jobs in town to help make ends meet; but that sort of work just seems so different).

      I am not sure that scaling back in BigLaw is ever truly feasible if you are anything but junior or in some obscure regulatory niche.

    • biglawanon :

      I am working throughout the holiday as well, and my husband and kids are not. I stay at home working while they go do stuff together.

      I don’t hate my job by any means, but I wish I could come up with another job that I would like to do where I could work a bit less or at least have less hard deadlines at inconvenient times. But going in-house seems unappealing based on type of work/pay, and government jobs don’t pay nearly as much and I am not a citizen and won’t be until the early 2020s. Shrug.

      • 2020 is my citizenship year too, hopefully! That’s when I’ll start looking for other options. Until then, heyyyy Christmas and New Years in front of the big law laptop.

    • Frozen Peach :

      The single best decision of my life was breaking up with BigLaw.

  3. Any recommendations for a new handbag? Ideally in the sub-$150 range. Big enough to hold my 7″x8″ planner and a wallet and my phone, but not so big that I feel like I’m carrying a gym bag. Professional but with a little personality.
    I’m so uninspired by everything out right now. Any gems I’ve probably missed?

    • I’d look at The Real Real (second-hand, if you’re ok with that) or The Outnet. In other words, trying to get a designer bag on deep discount.

      I strongly recommend pebbled leather for durability, if you don’t like to replace bags regularly. Normal leather shows any tiny scuff immediately, but pebbled leather just wears and wears.

      • Anonymous :

        I get pretty much everything through Poshmark now, even clothes. I love getting a good brand second hand. I don’t think I’ll ever buy a full priced bag ever again.

    • I love the small transport tote from Madewell

    • I got a Dagne Dover Midi tote from ThredUp and I really like it – as a purse. It’s not big enough, to me, to count as a “tote,” or at least it’s not big enough for the things I usually carry in a tote. But it’s really nice as a day-to-day handbag; lots of pockets and ways to stay organized (I love the water-bottle holder), and I think it will hold up to everyday use – the exterior is pretty tough.

      • Adding: at regular price it’s not sub-$150, but they do have sales, especially on certain colors. One color of the Midi is on sale right now for $179 and they may have deeper discounts after New Year’s.

      • Oh man I think this is the bag I need. I’ll have to stalk them to find a sale, or see if I can get lucky on a secondhand site. Thanks!!

    • Just got this for myself – it’s designed to fit most ereaders and tablets so would probably do well with a planner.

    • gently used condition ted baker/kooba/henri bendel bags on ebay/realreal perhaps?

    • Anonymous :

      Milly makes surprisingly affordable bags. I got mine second hand and it always gets compliments!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ll make my my usual plug for Radley bags. Have you checked there? UK brand.

  4. Donations :

    Favorite places to give? I need some more inspiration. I’ve got PP, animal welfare league, church, and world central kitchen down already. I’m in the DC area if you have local suggestions, too.

    • Anonymous :

      donorschoose.org :)

    • Denim December :

      DC public schools are dismal. I helped with the KIPP charters and found it to be a very moving time. I give to them or something else that gives poor kids a chance to learn.

    • Flats Only :

      I was super impressed with the work that Samaritan’s Purse did in the Caribbean after Hurricane Irma. I had never heard of them, but they are a Christian organization that does incredibly professional international disaster relief. I am not a Christian, but I gave them money based on their good work.

    • DC area diaper bank

      Diapers are not covered by any public assistance program such as SNAP, WIC, food stamps, etc.

      You can’t wash cloth diapers in laundry mats for public health reasons and you need to send diapers in with your child to daycare.

      If you want to help women and families, make sure mothers can work.

      DiaperBanks also provide diapers for older children and adults that suffer from incontinence.

      I am very involved in my local diaper Bank – Greater Philadelphia Area diaper bank – which is a tremendous organization which has given more than 1.5 million diapers to children and families in need.

      There’s a national diaper bank network to locate the bank closest to you.

      They also accept open packs of diapers, so you can donate your leftovers when your child grows out of a size.

      • DC diaper bank


        Philly Area Diaper Bank


        National Diaper Bank network


      • Anonymous :

        I wish I had known they would accept opened packages. I had a hard time finding somewhere to take open and sealed packages after a relative died/

      • +1 for diaper banks – it breaks my heart to think about moms having a hard time buying diapers. I’ve set up a monthly contribution and plan to contribute as long as my kids are in diapers (and probably longer, but I just like the symbolism of helping others buy diapers as long as I am).

    • Anonymous :

      A few more ideas:

      Global Giving (a variety of international programs)

      Hispanic Federation (Puerto Rico hurricane relief and other projects)

      Fistula Foundation (women’s health)


    • Wider Circle (Silver Spring assistance to families, job search/interviewing training)
      So Others Might Eat (DC homelessness)
      Best Friends (animal welfare)
      Hispanic Federation (what we ended up with looking for PR-related relief orgs)
      Polaris Project (human trafficking)
      Doctors Without Borders
      Southern Poverty Law Center

      If anyone is looking for Boston-based, recommend Girls’ LEAP & Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. For NY-based, Sanctuary for Families.

    • I am a big fan of the work of Thistle Farms, which makes it possible for women to create new lives after surviving trafficking, prostitution, and addiction. Another way to support their work is to buy their lovely bath products. https://thistlefarms.org/

      • YES — I heard the founder speak once with one of her workers (who had graduated from the program) and was fighting back tears (and I am not the mushy weepy sort).

    • Highly recommend, especially for DC: Bread for the City. Longtime DC organization, provides direct services — food, medical, legal and social services — to Washington’s poor.


    • Another for DC: So Others Might Eat. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/memories-of-being-poor-gave-this-priest-a-purpose-helping-others/2017/11/22/cabebc44-ce4a-11e7-a1a3-0d1e45a6de3d_story.html

    • joan wilder :

      In the DC area, I support Bread for the City, the Women’s Collective (works with at women and girls living with or at risk of HIV–Washington post did a great feature on them a few years back), Horton’s Kids, and DC Youth Orchestra Program. Globally, I give to Doctors without Borders which is doing some exceptional work providing front line healthservices in incredibly dangerous environments.

      • Anonymous :

        I support some on these lists but must admit I have a particular interest in supporting Doctors without Borders having seen their effectiveness at first hand.

    • biglawanon :

      I support our local organization that works with prisoners on reentry into society, and helps with things like housing, employment, tattoo removal, expungement, etc. Every county or region should have something like this if it is something that interests you.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you for doing this. I do something similar at the halfway house in my neighborhood that assists women who are reentering.

    • blueberries :

      I’d add International Rescue Committee for aid to refugees.

    • I’d add Homeless Children’s Playtime Project in DC — they do amazing work to give kids a place to play even while they are dealing with the trauma of homelessness. They provide curriculum based play for kids of all ages up through the teen years and a host of other services. A really great organization.

  5. Denim December :

    We’ve had denim as a work option all month. I am so ready to wear grown-up clothes again.

    After being out of school for so long, I am not longer really good at dressing casually in cold-weather clothes and unfortunately, athleisure and layers of fleece still isn’t considered workwear. I am really better at workwear.

    • I started to feel the same way this morning! I have a hard time finding jeans and really only have one pair appropriate for the office. I am getting a little sick of them. On the other hand I am in no rush to squeeze into my Spanx tights.

    • Yea, it’s a lot easier when you can do it all the time because you start shopping differently. No matter how hard you try, a suit blazer is going to look weird with jeans. Personally, I’m a fan of the denim/chambray shirt with regular workwear, and trouser jeans (Ann Taylor recently had a cute version) so it’s a middle ground between formal and athleisure.

  6. Help me be a big girl :

    After graduating college, I started directing decisions towards the life I wanted: working hard at my career, saving money for a house in the city I live in and love, etc. I’m right on the brink of achieving many of the things I worked towards. Along the way, I met and fell in love with a wonderful guy. We’re planning to get married in the next year. YAY!

    But this changes my future. He has significant student loans, which will wipe out my house savings and put back that goal by years. The vacations I dreamed of taking, the expensive hobby I love, are not the hobbies or vacations he dreams of, and our combined financial picture wouldn’t allow them in the short term regardless. His career requires moving frequently with little choice about location. He’s amazing, and I’m so excited for the future we’re picturing together and all that we do share. But at the same time, I’m so terribly sad about what feels like the loss of the life I planned, that will be given up for something else – also wonderful, but not the things I worked towards. I’ve read that ghostships piece a million times, and I know this is life, but I’m still mourning this. Help me move past this!

    • Silly Valley :

      I mean, you don’t have to combine your finances just because you’re getting married. It seems perfectly reasonable to me for him to remain responsible for his own student loans. The financial priorities stuff is definitely something you guys should talk about now, and not just assume that it will all work out in the end magically. I hear you with the frequent relocations, thought, although there’s often a silver lining in those sorts of things.

      • anon for this :

        Yeah, this. When I got married, we were in a similar situation. I had about 70k in student loan debt, and my husband had 250k. Instead of paying off his loans, we decided that I’d cover living expenses and saving for a house, and he would put basically all of his income to loans. That worked well for us. I can’t imagine a situation where I would have paid off those loans of his and pushed back owning a home by years.

        Also, does his job really require him to move frequently? Does that negatively impact your career/job? Can’t he do something else so you two can maximize both of your careers?

    • Why do his student loans wipe out your house savings, prevent you from taking dream vacations, or participating in hobbies? Why do you think joining your life to his destroys your hopes and dreams?

      If anything, you should have more financial freedom with a joint income, and more fun traveling to places that you like and places that he likes, both. It’s worrying that, despite the fact that you are excited of new things to come, your marriage to him seems to be blowing up your life in ways that aren’t simply logistical (like home buying when you move).

    • Why would you pay off your spouse’s student loans? I understand that as a married couple your joint finances are going to look different and not going to allow for the vacations and hobbies you had planned, but I’m not sure why you would put off home buying or why you would apply all your down payment savings towards a personal debt of his (the loans). If you do, get a very good pre-nup or you may someday find yourself with no husband, no house and no money saved for the down payment. I know no one wants to think about worst case scenarios but a large number of marriages do end in divorce and I’d be uncomfortable gifting my husband a large sum I’d saved pre-marriage to pay off a debt that was in his name only.

      • Yes! DO NOT — I repeat — DO NOT pay his student loans with your premarital savings. I know you are in love right now and don’t think it can happen to you, but if the two of you split, this could impact whether your premarital savings are joint or marital property.

        As an example — I was married for close to 13 years. At 10 years, I got a small inheritance that would have easily paid off my husband’s student loans (I didn’t have any loans remaining at the time). My financial advisor insisted on putting the inheritance in an account that was in my name only. My husband and I thought that was so silly — we’d been married a long time, we grew together, we were in love, all that. I tried to get advisor to “let” me use that money several times for joint projects or paying off those loans. She always advised against it and helped us find money somewhere else for whatever project we wanted to do. Lo and behold, my (now ex) husband found another lady several months ago and left me. I am SO SO SO grateful for that advisor, who was really looking after me and I didn’t even know how much. The divorce took me, our friends, and our families by surprise. You just don’t even know what the future holds.

        So, I would advise any of my friends never to pay off non-marital debt with a non-marital asset.

        Also, though you’re joining lives, you do not have to give up everything you love and dream of. Keep your hobby! Enjoy travel with friends if he doesn’t want to go! I know you’ll compromise on some things, but do make sure you’re not giving up your identity for the marriage.

        • I so agree! Sheketovits knew that my dad made alot of money and put me into a nice coop apartement so he figured he hit the jackpot once he started dateing me (and haveing s-x with me). Dad warned me that Sheketovits was a gold digger b/c his family did not have a “pot to p***s in” according to Dad. Even mom, who thought that Sheketovits was good for me, agreed that he was a bit of a gold digger, b/c he had no job (once he got bounced), and just laid around my apartement reading magazines and watching TV while I worked, then did NOT clean up after himself either. I often came home to find a load of poopie in the toilet — can you imageine him NOT being thoughtful enough to flush? FOOEY!

          So with all of this as background, I decided NOT to let him stay once he kept drinkeing and vomiting all over my bedspread and carpet. I told him Dad thought he was a liability and that I had all the liabilities I needed. Net/Net, I miss the s-x (bad as it was), b/c now I have nothing but myself. But I did not need a schmoe who did nothing all day telling me what to do when I came home after a long hard day at the office. DOUBEL FOOEY ON THAT!

          This guy, OP, may sound good now, and he is gracious b/c you have the buckeroos. Once he dips his hand into your checking account and pays off his loans, watch out buckeroo! He will be useless, and all you MIGHT get out of it is OK s-x, but don’t count on it. TRIPEL FOOEY!

      • Co-sign this times a million. One of my friends worked two jobs to put her husband through medical school so he could exit with minimal loans. After he graduated, they sunk every extra penny they made for a couple of years into the loans. Loans get paid off. He exits residency and gets a great job. Yay, time to live the good life! Right? No. He dumped her flat and because he had not started making serious money, she was basically left with nothing. It’s not an uncommon story. OP, do not use your savings to pay off your fiance’s loans. Use that money for a house – which is an asset that will hopefully increase in value – or just leave it in the bank. People overemphasize getting rid of debt. No debt is great – unless having no debt also means you have no assets. And especially when the debt you’re getting rid of is someone else’s, proceed with extreme caution.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Times a zillion. Do not do this.

        Keep your hobby, take your vacations. If he doesn’t want to do it, do it alone.

        And think long and very hard about whether this level of incompatibility, which is making you mourn the life you had envisioned, is really okay with you. A relationship does not stand or fall on its best attributes. It stands or falls on the bad/hard parts. Take a good hard look.

        And do not, under any circumstances, pay his student loans with your savings.

        • How Long? :


          A relationship does not stand or fall on its best attributes. It stands or falls on the bad/hard parts. Take a good hard look.

          I wish I’d known this a long time ago.

    • I’m a little confused. I understand he has significant student loans, and that will impact your combined financial picture. But why would that wipe out your savings? Is he working? Is he behind on loans or bills in general? Does he support himself? Does he have time to pay off his loans? If he has income that exceeds his loan payments, that shouldn’t wipe out any of your savings…it would reduce his (and your collective) disposable income. But I don’t see why you’d have less than you had before.

      His loans could impact your ability to get a mortgage, or at least your interest rate, since banks look a debt-to-income ratio. But that’s just one factor–I know people with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans and a household income right around 100K who have purchased homes.

      You may have to compromise on hobbies and vacations, but that should come from a shared vision of your goals and priorities.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to this. I have significant student loan debt, and my spouse and I make around 100k in a MCOL city. I’ve been slowly paying off my loans, but it’ll be awhile before they’re paid off. We were able to buy a house this past year–maybe not as shiny and updated as the houses some of our friends have bought, but we just keep telling ourselves that owning a home is a marathon, not a sprint.

    • Yeah, don’t use your savings to pay off his student loans.

      If you have a financial advisor you trust it might be a good idea to have some pre-marital counseling. Or even a financially savvy therapist, although I’m not sure exactly how to identify that skill set in a therapist. For sure you should not resign yourself to losing out on your goals and hobbies for the sake of the marriage, as that’s not a healthy way to begin your life together.

    • congratulations on making smart decisions thus far in life. many young people don’t think through to saving for their first home right out of college. that was a great choice. don’t make a dumb choice by paying off his student loans.

    • You grow up and dreams change. It’s totally okay and even better because you aren’t limited by what you thought was the right path.

      But echoing what everyone else said: You don’t, nor should, need to use your savings to pay his loans. Maybe adjust some spending habits to contribute more joint income to the loans, but don’t exchange housing down payment for a student loan

      • In my relationship, I am the one with student loans, around 40K so not a lot compared to most. I also have family responsibilities that increase my expenses. As suggested by others, our finances are not fully combined. We have a shared checking and savings which is funded by a both of us equally. We calculated $X a month to cover mortgage, bills, taxes, groceries, family gifts plus additional saving that we want to have together for shared vacations and potential home upgrades. The money we have left over after transfer to shared accounts is our personal money. I use this to pay for my student loans and family expenses. Husband saves additional because he has higher income and lower monthly expenses. This has worked out well for us.

        • Flats Only :

          This is what we do, except we contribute to the joint accounts by percentage of overall income. I make 2/3 of the money, so I contribute 2/3 of the jointly-agreed-upon household budget, and he contributes 1/3. We each keep our leftover money for ourselves.

    • Ok, this is vastly oversimplified, but this is really not about growing up. Marriage is about compromise. You don’t have to give up your career. You get to keep your hobbies, especially if it’s something you do for yourself. You don’t have to combine your finances. How is he currently paying his student loans? Can he commute to work (fly+hotel or cheap apartment) and you continue to live in your city and maintain your career? I’ve known several people who’ve done this, it seems like companies who do this to their employees a lot have provisions for getting them where they need them to be and putting them up. Maybe you find a more humble home than you were planning for a few years. Maybe you do your hobby a little less. Maybe you find new hobbies and vacations that you both love. But you shouldn’t ever feel like you need to give up things you love because your partner feels differently.

      I don’t mean to be a grinch but one of the biggest regrets I have is basically losing a close friend who is horribly unhappy in her marriage. Her husband is legitimately a really nice, wonderful guy and I’ve been around him enough to believe he’s not purposefully manipulative (I could be wrong, but that’s my unprofessional feeling on the matter). He is not enthusiastic about certain things she wants to do, doesn’t go out of his way to encourage her to explore her personal hobbies. She rarely makes plans for herself, but ‘they’ make plans, or he makes plans and leaves her with the puppy. She would never go away for a weekend for herself but he goes hunting for the weekend with his best friend frequently. She has adopted all her husband’s hobbies and friends who are nice enough but not her people and don’t make her particularly happy, because that’s what he wants to do and she feels like she’s compromising by going with it. What she can’t really grasp is that he never compromises back. Occasionally she calls me and I rush to be there for her, listen while she vents about how unhappy and depressed she is, recommend she go to her therapist and try to give her tips on approaching things with him. But things don’t change because she won’t stand up for herself.

      So, maybe you want his student loan problems to become your problems. Maybe you want to combine your finances. Maybe you’re ok with giving up your hobby of choice, your dream vacations. And it’s ok if that’s what you want and can be happy with a new plan moving forward. But if that’s not what you want, it’s also ok.

    • I don’t mean this in a bad way, and I’m not saying this to crush your dreams. But. There are other guys out there. You only get one life. I’m not saying the ideal relationship is one where you get to live the life you want and the guy is just along for the ride. But I get the sense that you are compromising a lot of what you want and who you are to be in this relationship.

      Media and society push us to believe that the most important thing in life is getting coupled up, having a Pinterest-worthy wedding, and then punching out a couple of kids and buying a white-and-gray house in the suburbs. Okay, great. Then what? What if that isn’t the life some of us want for ourselves? What if having that societally-approved life means we have to give up fundamental core beliefs about who we are? Maybe that’s not worth it.

      It’s not being immature to question whether or not giving up your dreams for this guy is a smart move. That’s practical. When in love, people tend to be dismissive of problems that end up creating real issues in a relationship. Frequent job-related moves, the emphasis of one career over another, different attitudes towards money, problem in-laws – all these things have precipitated divorces when one person decides they can’t live with the current conditions. Just putting this out there, maybe there is a guy out there in the world who you could fall in love with who isn’t going to ask you to pay off his student loans and make you give up your dreams for your own life. It’s possible, right?

      Please give this some serious thought before signing any paperwork or writing any big checks. I am an Old and I have seen how these stories play out over 10 or 20 years and they usually don’t end with happy unicorns and butterflies and rainbows. Fairy tales are called that for a reason.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Amen to this from another Old.

      • +1 to all of this as a fellow old. I’ll just add that one of the best lessons I unintentionally learned (it seemed quite tragic at the time) is that you don’t have to marry everyone you fall in love with. Sometimes, love is meant to last a season & to bring something to your life, but then you let it go. Marrying someone who forces you to compromise so much of who you are is probably not going to be a marriage that lasts all that long, and if it lasts, isn’t likely to be one that makes you super happy. (I also really wish I’d written in about some of my prior relationships when I was in them – there’s good advice here.)

        • Another anonymous :

          “I’ll just add that one of the best lessons I unintentionally learned (it seemed quite tragic at the time) is that you don’t have to marry everyone you fall in love with.”

          Yes, so much this. A successful marriage unfortunately requires a whole bunch of things in addition to love. I figured this out in the course of my first marriage ending. I married my first love, who I loved desperately but was fundamentally incompatible with in many ways. I realized later that we would have broken up if we’d just waited another year to get married.

      • Yes all of this. When my H and I were first dating, he was considering pursuing a career in academia. We discussed together (that’s the important part) and decided that life with me as a trailing spouse made NO sense for our desired lifestyle or my desired career.

        It sounds like you’d have to give up a LOT of dreams and goals for this man. Be careful — I sense a LOT of corresponding resentment in your future.

      • Anonymous :

        From another old: As a comparatively recent widow, with all sorts of history that I wish this site had been around to share, please think deeply about all the views expressed. No one will be exactly right for you, but consider them all.

    • An alternate to the other recs :

      I understand your need to mourn the loss of your personal savings and wanting to share finances. I was lucky enough to graduate with no loans (thanks parents!) and helped my husband pay off loans with my disposable income for a few years even before we got married. Currently, we are putting all our money (minus a few investments) towards paying off his loans because that is in our best financial interest.

      Reading all the comments above, I think I may have been very naïve and very lucky that my boyfriend turned into my husband rather than leaving me without any savings. I did support an ex-boyfriend for a few years and lost out on substantial savings because of it. I made the decision to do it again because I knew my boyfriend (now-husband) was financially savvy and trustworthy. I knew our net worth would be higher if I helped pay off the loans instead of save money at a minimal return while he payed off loans at a much-higher interest rate. Most importantly, helping a loved one out meant more than having substantial savings.

      I would say absolutely listen to all the women above but if somehow that is not an option, I suggest you sit down with your fiancé and have a very serious conversation about the money. Perhaps you can invest part of your savings to grow them further and use a part to pay off a big chunk. Ask him to refinance the rest so it is at a lower interest rate and easier to pay off. Perhaps you could pay for a great trip for the two of you and put the rest your savings into a separate account. Maybe you can put a down-payment towards a house before you get married that you both put money towards while paying off loans together. There are a number of options between save all your money into a premarital fund and use all your money to pay off all his loans. Sit down with your fiancé and have a discussion about what works best for the both of you in your situation. Can you cut down on an expensive hobby or a few things on your dream vacation?

      Maybe you can meet with a financial advisor or divorce attorney to discuss your options before you sit down with him to ensure you are protected and not giving up something you are uncomfortable with.

    • anon for this :

      Don’t just ‘move past this’ – I hear three things that you talk about in here that you’re giving up just so you can be with him.

      * You love your city and you want a house here. You can’t do that with his job.
      * You love to travel and you don’t think you can afford it with him.
      * He doesn’t share your dreams: “are not the hobbies or vacations he dreams of”

      You’re giving up so much of your life here – it sounds like an anchor for a ship that was sailing real smooth beforehand. Don’t give up your financial security too!

      • Yes, I commented below as well but want to add to this that wanting different lifestyles is actually a huge hurdle. I was married for 5 years and one of the main causes of our divorce was wanting different lifestyles and not being able to manage those differences.

        For example, it can work out fine if you like to travel and he doesn’t, but he supports you traveling with friends or family. On the other hand, if he guilts you about spending money on travel, complains at you taking vacation away from him, etc., it can end up being a major source of resentment in the relationship.

        Your fiance should be extremely interested in how the two of you can chart a path forward that makes BOTH of you happy… If he’s not (or if he’s just pretending that what makes him happy will also make you happy), then I would do some serious soul-searching. People tend to become less accommodating after they’re married, not more.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I love myself more than I will ever love anyone else, so while I am willing to make compromises, I am not willing to give up my big ticket items. Where is his compromise here? I realize we are only getting one side, but from what you have told us, it IS one-sided. YOU pay off his loans, YOU sacrifice career, house, etc., to follow him around, etc. I would suggest taking some time to think, truly think, and be very serious about why you are willing to give up on the main things that are very important to you for someone who could decide to up and leave you at any time. Sorry, it’s harsh, but it’s true (just like you could up and leave him at any time).

    • Everyone has largely focused on your plan to use your house savings to pay off his student loans. But I also want to point out that “his career requires moving frequently with little choice about location” has very real (and almost certainly negative) consequences for your own career. You may end up with no savings and no career… That’s a lot to handle.

      I would think twice about why you both seem to have settled on a default future that involves you following him around. And I would highly recommend pre-marital counseling with a Gottman Institute trained therapist who can have you both talk through whether you maybe need to think more creatively about how you can have a life that is a little more balanced rather than shifted so heavily toward him.

      The plan you’ve outlined is a recipe for real resentment, and you may find yourself in a position a couple years down the road where you want to leave but can’t (no savings, no career).

      • Senior Attorney :

        All of this. Please listen carefully to those feelings of mourning and tread very carefully.

    • Anonymous :

      Echoing what everyone else is saying. I have no student loans, my fiance has boatloads. From the very beginning he’s said “These are MINE. These loans are mine, not yours, from decisions I made before I even knew you existed.”
      As far as dreams and hobbies, if it’s a matter of not sharing them in the short term due to finances, that’s oen thing. Relationships are a marathon, not a race. But if being with him really means you must forgo your dreams and passions, that would give me serious pause.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I think it’s important to recognize and separate here the idea that student loans automatically are bad or that we should all strive to find significant others without student loans. All other things being equal, yes, I would prefer to date/marry someone without student loans or other debt. But having student loans does not make someone undate-able or not marriage material. The question is how they are handled. And whether the accommodations that need to be made for them or other debt make other parts of your life impossible or untenable. My SO had significant loans when we married (over $200K) and now 11 years in, has less than $50K left, all federal at a lower than 2% interest rate. I knew going in that all his bonuses and found money for the first few years would be thrown at the loans. Which meant we made sacrifices as to new vehicles and home remodeling we would have liked to do, but otherwise we lived a relatively normal life. I feel lucky that we’ve been able to do it (we’re both high earners) but more than anything it required open conversation and his understanding that there were certain things I would not do (contribute my own bonuses to the balance for instance). You only give a little information certainly, but what you have provided shows me you may be giving up too much.

      • +1 on foregoing hobbies and vacations temporarily because of finances and other lifestyle choices you make together, but not giving up your dreams and passions.

        I LOVE to travel. I grew up horseback riding, then did crew in high school and college. Right now, I have a spouse and a toddler, work in a “lifestyle” job for just under 6 figures, have a mortgage etc., pay a boatload for daycare. Needless to say, we don’t travel much, and I haven’t been horseback riding in years. But just last week I texted my husband about a new “dream” vacation I came up with on a whim, and we started talking about how we’ll travel the world when Kiddo is grown up and/or when we retire. Of course, we may never take that particular “dream” vacation–the important thing is that my SO validates my feelings and passion for travel by dreaming with me for a moment. I don’t feel like I’ve “given up” that passion by marrying him or having a child, even if it’s on hold.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t know if you’re still reading — you’ve gotten a ton of advice re loans so won’t repeat that but think long and hard about whether you are ok being a trailing spouse, when you have a career of your own that you say you’ve worked hard at and are the brink of accomplishing what you want. You say he has to move a lot and without location choice — that to me suggests military or academia. If you have a corporate career that requires being in big/medium cities, know that you will likely be the one taking the backseat or re starting over and over again or taking some compromise work from home job to keep a foot in the door when you are in small college towns or remote military bases. Is he an academic or military? Bc military people leave all the time for this reason — there’s a reason they say “5 and fly” for officers and then they go off to get corporate jobs and/or get MBAs/JDs so they can transition to corporate jobs. Academia — industry is possible too, but easier in the sciences/math fields than if he has a history PhD. And you sound like you LOVE your city. Why wouldn’t you want to be with someone who is from there/wants to stay there too? I guess I don’t see what compromises your DH will be making here – none?

  7. Would appreciate good thoughts sent my way this morning! I have a session with a genetic counselor at noon today to get back the results of my BRCA genetic test. For a variety of reasons, I’m already pretty certain it’s going to come back positive for a mutation, so I’m mentally prepared for that… but it all feels extra real and scary right now.

    • Sending good wishes and keep in mind that they have the science to help you deal with this now.

    • Sending good vibes.

      And it’s best to be prepared for bad news, but I’ll be hoping the test is negative. There is some ugly medical history on my father’s side of the family and we were sure the BRCA gene had to be involved. He recently took the test – so that his four daughters didn’t have to – and thankfully it was negative.

      Either way, you will get solid information on what to expect, and it’s great you are being proactive. Hugs.

    • Good vibes are on their way!

    • Laying good vibes on this

    • Anonymous :

      Sending you good vibes!

  8. Has anyone had uterine polyps? And gotten them removed?

    • Yup! Twice, in connection with infertility treatment. It’s a minor outpatient procedure. I had general anesthesia but went home the same day and relaxed on the couch. It wasn’t too bad; I think I took one dose of the pain meds they gave me the first time. The second time I got by with ibuprofen.

      • Ohhhh — did they come back? Is this a thing? I am soooo tired of the spotting / bleeding going on (has been all month; nothing like this ever happened before)(not going through any infertility treatment right now or anything like that)(my family has a bad history of fibroids, which I don’t have, but expected would do me in in my 40s/50s anyway).

        There are a million books about puberty. I wish there were ones for older people who have their ladyparts going sideways on them.

        It’s hard being female.

        • They can reoccur, although the second time I had no symptoms and probably wouldn’t have ever known (or needed treatment) if I wasn’t going through IVF. The first time I’d been having horrible symptoms for years and had no idea why until my RE found them. For some reason my obgyn was really dismissive about the issues I’d be having, which turned out to be from multiple polyps and a fibroid (even though I was in my late 20s at the time.) Having them removed was totally worth it and not a big deal for me; it was a good excuse for a Netflix binge.

      • Same as 11:42. I only found out I had them in connection to infertility treatment. It was only after I had found out about them and done some research that I realized the polyps were likely the cause of excruciating cramping.

  9. Moving advice :

    Help me think through this. I am due with a second baby the end of June – the first is 2. My husband just defended his dissertation and although his boss is keeping him on through March, it’s likely he’ll get a job in January or February. Before I got pregnant, we had planned on moving out of our 2 bedroom townhouse this spring/summer. Now, timing for any option seems crazy.

    If he got a job in January, we could probably get all the loan stuff lined up and start looking in February, but I feel like we wouldn’t have a lot of time to find a new place and sell ours to be closed by May. I definitely don’t want to be closing/moving in June. So my thought is if he doesn’t get a job by February (given his field and jobs in our area, I’m not really concerned about him not getting something, but of course that’s a factor), we’ll plan to stay in our place at least through the fall. But then the idea of moving with a newborn and a toddler seems overwhelming, even though we’d hire all the help we could.

    Does this make sense? Make February the cutoff for even starting to look at new houses, otherwise wait and look/move next fall? Am I missing something? I’d really hoped our toddler would have more of a yard by this summer, but with a newborn, I’m guessing we wouldn’t get that much use out of it anyway.

    • Moving advice :

      Two potentially relevant facts I didn’t add: baby will room with us for several months and our bedroom is plenty big enough for all baby-related items, and we do (luckily) have a storage unit available for extra stuff.

    • Yes, don’t move with a toddler and a newborn! Wait a year. You’re just stressing yourself out unnecessarily. The kids won’t need their own rooms for ages, and will be ok without a big backyard.

      I moved when my kids were 2 1/2 and 1 and even that was really hard. I can’t imagine doing it earlier.

      • Anonymous :

        Counterpoint: I moved with an eight month old and would rather have done that than move her now at 2. Easier to pack, keep her out of boxes, set up her room before she could walk.

        If the OPs two year old is in full time child care it might be easier to pack all their winter gear and extra stuff while pregnant, move it to the storage unit and plan to move at the end of the summer.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Is renting for any period of time any option? No reason why you can’t sell, rent a place with a yard for 1 year or less, and then buy. Not ideal, but if you really want to be out of your current place asap, it may make sense.

    • So….. Why the rush? If he is working in your same city, why stress out everyone with looking for a house/starting new job/toddler/new baby coming…. etc..

      I’d stay where you are. Take your time looking and buy smart. Not rushed.

      A toddler can play in a closet. You don’t need a yard now.

      Save your $$. Be smart.

    • I would stay put, put the baby in with you, and move with a not-quite-newborn in the fall or even later. A little baby takes up so little room and doesn’t need its own room. And once the job situation is lined up fully and you have a better idea of what you want and where you want to be, it will be easier to move.

    • I think I’d put the decision on hold until your husband finds a job. It’s too hard to try to work out a timeline with that huge unknown piece still out there. Once he has a job, you could always start casually looking to see what’s out there – inventory is still really low in a lot of places, so you may decide that you want to wait based on the fact that you can’t find anything you really love – or you may find the perfect place and decide you want to move on the quickly on it. I’d just take a wait-and-see approach for the moment, though.

    • Senior Attorney :

      No particular advice but just wanted to say congratulations on all these exciting life events for you and your family! :)

      • Wonderbready :

        I’m a long-time lurker and just feel moved to say how much I appreciate your kindness and the wonderful perspective that you provide. As someone who has frequently been caught up in the stress/logistics of life in the midst of career changes, new children, new houses, etc. it is just so refreshing to see this reminder that these are big, wonderful, and joyful things that should be a celebration!

    • anon for this :

      Don’t let Baby pressure you into buying a home quickly, particularly if your husband doesn’t have his job situation figured out and you feel rushed. Trust me, Baby doesn’t case and won’t really know they are in a townhouse for quite some time. :)

      You place honestly doesn’t sound that small for four people, but I more than happily live in a 3BR condo with my husband and four kids, so ymmv.

    • Are you breastfeeding and/or pumping? Because count on having to stop every 2.5 to 4 hours to feed and/or pump during the day. And it was just exhausting!! I swear I had zero energy for anything while I was breastfeeding my baby and also had a toddler/preschooler. So, factor that in. Just… wait. Focus on what’s important. It’ll be ok.

  10. So….. Why the rush? If he is working in your same city, why stress out everyone with looking for a house/starting new job/toddler/new baby coming…. etc..

    I’d stay where you are. Take your time looking and buy smart. Not rushed.

    A toddler can play in a closet. You don’t need a yard now.

    Save your $$. Be smart.

  11. Instant Pot Recipes :

    The search on this s i t e isn’t working, so forgive me. Favorite instant pot recipes?My in-laws are coming over for dinner tonight and I would like to make some soup in our instant pot, however my mother in law doesn’t eat garlic or onions. Any suggestions?

    • I don’t have an instant pot but this may help:

      c o r p o r e t t e . com/ instant-pot-tips-for-busy-ladies/

    • I’m sorry, I don’t think I know any soup recipes that don’t have onions or garlic…. Doesn’t eat them at all?
      Even if you can’t really taste them/they’re used as an aromatic? This has onions and garlic, but make it for yourself sometime, it’s really good: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/better-for-you-instant-pot-spicy-white-bean-beef-stew/

    • Anon in NYC :

      This has onions and garlic, but a relatively small amount so I think you could omit them without really affecting the flavor. https://pinchofyum.com/instant-pot-wild-rice-soup

      Flavors were good, but I found this got really thick. Almost stand a spoon up in it thick. So next time I would use less than the full amount of the butter/flour/milk sauce.

    • I don’t have a soup recipe for you, but this is my favorite dinner party recipe. Serve over gnocchi or other pasta.


      I cut the meat into two pieces and brown them in the Instant Pot before adding the remaining ingredients. Reduce the wine to 1/4 cup and add 3/4 cup water or broth. Cook for 1 hr and then do a natural pressure release (about 10-15 min).

    • AttiredAttorney :

      5 ingredient Mac & Cheese: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/5-ingredient-instant-pot-mac-and-cheese-3649854
      Super creamy, stovetop style mac and cheese.

      Cheesecake: https://thisoldgal.com/pressure-cooker-new-york-cheesecake/

      Stupid simple pork shoulder/butt: http://nomnompaleo.com/post/111934821818/pressure-cooker-kalua-pig
      I make this and use the meat in taco bowls, on buns with bbq sauce, over cauliflower rice, in anything.

      Butter Chicken: https://twosleevers.com/recipes/chicken-recipes/now-later-butter-chicken-pressure-cooker/
      One of my favorite recipes. It says you should save half the sauce, but I eat it all. You can actually leave the butter and cream out if you’re watching calories or avoiding dairy, and it still tastes delicious.

      Green Chili with Chicken: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2015/04/pressure-cooker-fast-and-easy-chicken-chile-verde-recipe.html
      Though it’s all peppers, it’s not spicy when finished. The flavors in this are so delicious – it tastes like you worked much harder than you did. I skip the fish sauce and just finish with fresh cilantro. Freezes beautifully for easy bring to work lunches.

      Mashed Potatoes: https://www.pressurecookrecipes.com/pressure-cooker-mashed-potatoes/
      Cooking the potatoes on a steamer basket above the water gives the best flavor. The pressure makes them “mash” with just a stir with a spoon. If you use a ricer, you can cook them with the skins on too.

      The instant pot “official” facebook group has all of the best tips and ideas: https://www.facebook.com/groups/InstantPotCommunity/

      One of my favorite blogs for instant pot cooking is This Old Gal. Horrible name, but excellent instant pot recipes: https://thisoldgal.com/category/instantpot/

  12. I haven’t spent any money on clothing this year. I’ve used a few gift cards, but otherwise, it’s been a total cut back. I’m eager to get a few new dresses. I was just given $100 for Amazon. Are there any brands worth buying? I’ve never bought clothing on Amazon. Or, am I better off to wait until the new year and buy from somewhere else. Amazon certainly isn’t my first place I think of when I think of clothing.

    If you’ve had luck with brands on Amazon, are there any specific dresses you’d recommend? I tend toward sheath and fit and flare dresses. I can use something that’s not solid black or navy, but am still open to the navy. I need a conservative neckline.

    Thanks for any leads…

    • Marycrafts dresses have gotten good reviews on here and fit the sheath and conservative neckline bill. I’ve been meaning to try one but haven’t yet. The one i’m interested in is the Marycrafts Womens Elegant Lady Vintage Evening Wiggle Midi Dress.

    • There was a Leota dress featured here a few weeks ago. Its a faux wrap top with a more full / A line bottom than a typical wrap dress. I bought it ( from Bloomingdales) but they are carried on Amazon. Its a very flattering cut on me, but I think the fabric is a bit thin for the price. If you can find one you like for sub $70 on Amazon I think it would def be worth it.

    • You can get just about any major brand on Amazon these days. I really like the Lauren Ralph Lauren sheath and jersey dresses for what you’re describing!

    • Amazon usually sells anne klein and calvin klein career dresses that work for conservative office spaces. Also if you find something on 6pm.com you probably will be able to buy the same thing from amazon if you search amazon using the same description that appears on 6pm. 6 pm typically carries tahari career dresses that may meet your criteria.

    • joan wilder :

      I’d sort for items sold by 6PM (it is an option to filter by seller) so you may be able to find something designer but at a discount. It is the sister (s*te) of Zappos, both owned by Amazon. I’ve gotten a great Eva Franco dress that way but they carry lots of brands you would usually think of for sheath dresses.

  13. MM LaFleur is having a sale


  14. MM LaFleur alternative? :

    I want to love MM LaFleur but I just.. don’t! I keep ordering boxes of stuff that I end up sending back because it doesn’t fit right and I don’t like the feel of the material (especially for the price.) Am I the only one?? I’m starting to feel like I’m shopping at a different company than everyone else.

    More importantly, is there any other company out there focusing on women’s workwear these days? I feel like the usual suspects – AT, JCrew, Banan Republic, even Boden – are moving away from formal workwear, which has left me feeling desperate for new alternatives.

    • No, same feeling. MM LaFleur material and lack of lining is too cheap for the price. You can bargain shop and find much higher quality pieces at that price point in say Last Call or Off Saks.

      • biglawanon :

        Yeah, this. Definite weird fit and bad quality.

        I look for Theory/Boss/MaxMara/St. John/Escada on sale, and sometimes splurge on basics that are hard to find on sale. Also like Helmut Lang. After years of having an enormous wardrobe of cheaper clothing, I prefer having far fewer higher quality items.

    • I have drunk the MM kool-aid, but I really want something warmer for this weather (my office is cold, I freeze easily; plus with black tights, I feel too goth-like if I am always wearing them with a black dress).

      Anywho, I found (prior years) that Athleta can have decent ponte dresses and sweater dresses and sweaters. And e-bay has good DVF non-wrap dresses for when I just must have some color / patterns in my life. And longer layering sweaters (uniqlo / athleta / halogen). Practically mandatory for me.

      And I window-shop at modist.com but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Very pricey. But so, so lovely.

    • I still like MM despite some hiccups, but also recently discovered Argent which has some fun suits. Like MM they use synthetic fabrics so if that’s a big turnoff beware (but I find it comfortable).
      Nora Gardner is another independent dress brand in NYC centered on womens work wear.
      If you’re into great natural fibers, Eileen Fisher is wonderful but you have to pick through the styles to find office vs weekend wear (but nothing will be scandalous)

    • CorporateInCarhartt :

      Tried MM. Was skeptical of quality, but found them comfortable, one dress in particular. Was wearing it at work last week when the hem just spontaneously fell out. So, I’m pretty sure I won’t be ordering anything from them again. Way too expensive for that kind of quality.

      • If you haven’t already, definitely contact them. They’ll give you cash back to get it fixed locally or take it back as a return. But it’s super annoying. I had it happen twice so am currently on pause buying anything new, although I wear some of my existing pieces a ton. I’ve found the etsuko type fabric to be the worst offendor

    • “Focusing”? No. Working women who need business formal have long been underserved in the retail clothing market generally and the problem only has gotten worse, particularly if you live outside of areas with more concentrated numbers of women in law/finance/government etc. and have to rely on the Interwebz and a good tailor.

      There still are stores and lines that have more options . . . Brooks Brothers, Talbots, Boss/Hugo Boss, Theory, Classiques Entier, Tahari/Elie Tahari, Dana Buchman, Kasper, Lafayette 148, NY&Co., Anne Klein, Doncaster, Akris, etc. etc. You are just going to have to work harder to find what you need.

      Or come into enough money to go custom . . .

    • Anonymous :

      Bloomingdales has Hobbs and Basler suiting. I love the Hobbs suit I bought but the Basler one sort of fell apart.

    • Anonymous :

      Kat shared a link in last week’s news round up that featured Argent. I haven’t tried it but some of the stuff looked fantastic (and around MM la Fleur pricing).

      • +1 to Argent. I posted about them last week and just received another blazer I ordered. I had another comment that disappeared, but in addition to Argent, there are a few other new brands. I tried on a few things at Nora Gardner which was nice, but less my style. I’ve also seen some great suits at Suistudio but haven’t ordered/tried them on. There were also some comments on Of Mercer recently.
        On the established brands front, Eileen Fisher is great for natural fibers but there’s a lot of non work wear mixed in.
        Otherwise you also have Theory, Hugo Boss, Brooks Brothers and other department store brands, but if I’m spending that money it’s nice to also support an entrepreneur or ethical brand, everything else being equal.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re not the only one. I tried on items at the pop up and was sorely disappointed at the quality and cuts for the price.

    • BankrAtty :

      I’ve had one quality issue with MMLF (fabric pilled), which they resolved by crediting me the full price of the dress and giving me $50 for my trouble. I agree that the price point is high, but I love that many of their items are machine washable and look still polished. Considering that it costs $10-15 to dry clean a dress in my city, machine washable is a huge plus (not to mention that dry cleaning is awful for the environment–though I appreciate synthetic fibers also present a risk to the planet). I am consistently asked about my MMLF dresses, and always feel good (and comfortable!) when I wear them. I agree that you can probably find stuff that is just as good or better, but, frankly, I’m tired of wading through the wasteland that is women’s work wear, and will pay a premium for the reliability of MMLF’s fit and style.

  15. Shop til I Drop :

    I’m looking for several items and you all always have such great recs, so I’m hoping you can help me with one or more of the following. Bonus points for being able to purchase at Nordstrom/N Rack.

    1. A new wallet. I really like the Kate Spade Stacy line in terms of size and the number of card slots, but would like it to have an outer clear pocket for my subway card.
    2. A sweater shaver that actually works
    3. Really warm gloves with the touchpad things so you can use your smartphone

    No firm budget at this point. Thank you!

    • I got a sweater shaver at Brookstone a few years ago that I still use. Works great (or as well as a thing like that can work… you have to be careful not to let the fabric get sucked in and cut). If they still sell it, try that.

    • I have the gleener sweater shaver and really like it. It’s manual so I don’t have to worry about things getting sucked in, and it has three interchangeable ‘heads’ that work on different types of fabric (so you can use it on everything from a cotton t shirt to a chunky knit)

  16. No, same feeling. MM LaFleur material and lack of lining is too cheap for the price. You can bargain shop and find much higher quality pieces at that price point in say Last Call or Off Saks.

  17. Gail the Goldfish :

    After spending yesterday shopping for bridesmaids dresses, I miss J.Crew’s Bridal/Bridesmaid line. And for that matter, their super 120s suiting line, which has had nothing but petites with “only a few left” for months, which makes me suspect they are discontinuing it. Mourning the decline of good yet still reasonably affordable retail.

    • Yes!! I am starting to think JCrew is getting rid of their wool suiting altogether, and it’s giving me anxiety. Where am I going to find interview/court appropriate suits in tall sizes?? Ackkk.

    • Talbots for suiting.

      And yes, as a second-time bride in search of a simple dress, I desperately missed J.Crew’s bridal line.

      • Talbots doesn’t carry talls, unfortunately. I may have to resign myself to too-short suit jackets. Pants are another thing altogether.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Check out the bhldn line of dresses available via Nordstrom. Very reasonable and lovely options.

  18. Any advice on dealing with a boss who simultaneously wants me to independently manage more, yet demands to be in the loop on everything, while simultaneously blowing off my meetings and emails when I try to loop boss in?

    Example: Deadlines are passing with regards to Project A. Boss and I call Other Department who is handling Project A and they schedule a Come to Jesus meeting, which I am invited to. Boss repeatedly tells me that it is my responsibility to keep Other Department on track and I need to be ‘personally managing’ their timelines. I email Boss ‘hey, I’m going to attend Come to Jesus meeting in person,’ after not being able to reach Boss in person.

    Boss is stunned I attend Come to Jesus meeting and asks me why I attended. Head is banged against wall.

    • No Problem :

      Have you met with boss to explain this problem and provide this example and/or others? That you’re getting mixed messages and don’t know what boss really expects of you.

      What did you say when asked why you attended that meeting?

      • So I attempted to schedule an ‘Expectations’ meeting which Boss moved 2x and scheduled over. A big part of the issue is that Boss is now too busy to be managing every detail but still wants to be managing personally…

        When asked why I attended, I said, ‘As you’ll recall, you okay’d me to attend that meeting in person. I also wanted to make sure we were doing everything we could to meet deadlines. As (tangible results from the meeting) demonstrate, the in person meeting was able to achieve results.’

        Honestly, my technique so far when I’m getting mixed messages is to do everything via email, including attaching previous emails that said, ‘Do A’ when the current email is saying ‘Do B’ and using the phrase ‘Please advise.’

    • Suggestions :

      Idk if this is helpful but I would have said “because you told me to keep them on track and manage their timeline” how about you?

      Document everything via email in case things ever turn sour because of Boss’ inconsistent demands. E.g. email check-ins such as “you asked for updates on project X so wanted to let you know ABC has happened and i asked Department to work on XYZ with an update due on DATE”

      Do your thing and treat him as an update rather than a participant in the projects he has given you.

    • Frozen Peach :

      No advice, but lots of solidarity. I’m considering making a switch because this dynamic is so maddening and makes me feel like I’m always getting it wrong no matte what I do.

    • How do you think he would respond to text messages? My supervisor is like your boss and gets to emails really late. Important things I just tell him to his face but I judge what’s “noise” and what he really needs to know. The noise gets emailed, other things I tell him or I text him. He just has too many emails to get through them all in the day and I’m slowly reaching that point myself.

      Also, how long have you been working with him? Maybe he’s not aware of your abilities/capability (trying to give your boss the benefit of the doubt)? Is there a way for you to have coffee/lunch with him and say, “I can do this and I copy you on EVERY EMAIL but you don’t read them. How else can I effectively communicate with you?” It sounds like he needs to learn how to let go and trust his staff.

  19. I closed on my house yesterday! (I was one of the people posting about the home buying process recently.) I’d actually already moved in but was pretty excited to finish up the process and close. And when I came home, the door knob fell off in my hand. I had to laugh at the timing. Now to see if I can fix it before heading out of town in a few hours . . .

    • Senior Attorney :

      HAHA! Welcome to home ownership!

      Heartiest congratulations and best wishes for many happy years in your new digs!

    • I love your sense of humor and positivity :)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Congrats, and welcome to home ownership:-) Our downstairs a/c broke the day after we moved in. In August, in the South. So I get the feeling.

    • Anonymous :

      The house is ready for a fresh start with you! :)

  20. Linda from HR :

    Looks like Bath and Body Works is discontinuing the My Favorite Lip Balm, which has been my go-to balm for five and a half years, and their smoothing face scrub I’ve been using regularly for a long time as well. Guess I can’t blame them for wanting to concentrate on body care, but I’m still super bummed!

    • Stock up? Lip balm in particular doesn’t seem like it would go bad. Not sure about face scrub, but you could definitely buy some to use for awhile longer.

      • Linda from HR :

        No I mean the lip balm isn’t available anymore! If I knew it was about to go away I would’ve bought a forkton of tubes!

  21. I got the strangest gift from my MIL and I’m trying to figure out what to say to her the next time I speak with her. Normally, I’d just say thank you and move on, but this one is really strange – she got me a SAD lamp. Huh??? I literally burst out laughing when I opened it, but now I’m stumped for how to respond to her. We get along well, but I wouldn’t say we’re terribly close or anything. Is this her way of trying to drop a hint about my mood or something? We’ve never discussed mental health issues, and I certainly haven’t been dropping hints that I have seasonal affective disorder (I don’t). I don’t even know what to say to her next time we speak. Thoughts?

    • Maybe it’s a regift. Maybe she just thinks it’s a think people use in winter and isn’t insinuating that you have mental illness. I wouldn’t read too much into it unless you’re picking up any other weird vibes.

    • In terms of MIL gifts, it’s not that strange. My MIL tends to give me gifts for other people – like a book about my husband’s interests, or a bunch of onesies for my newborn, or the robe that her other son asked for and got (but that I didn’t ask for, because I already have one and also because it’s a men’s robe). She also only spends about 1/5 of what she spends on her bio kids. Like, she’ll have mountains of new golf clubs and hiking backpacks and such for them, and then me and the other SO will have one gift each. And mine won’t even be for me.

      Chalk it up to her being an awful gift giver, store it away for future funny stories, and move on. At this point it’s kind of a game to see what dumb present I’ll get this year. Maybe you can keep a running list in your head and add to a funny mental story of what she must think of you.

      • ^^^ This. Great stories. My step-mother-in-law gave me a clock. Because I’m a woman and I like to decorate my house? The clock was a golfing clock, with golf clubs and stuff on it. Because my husband likes to golf.

        Just say thanks and move in.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Man, this makes me think of my first husband’s mom, who was so great. She taught me the three rules I will follow if I am ever lucky enough to be a MIL:

        1. Mind your own business
        2. Love the baby
        3. Give equal gifts to your daughter and your daughter in law

        She did those things and I adored her until the day she died, even after her son and I split up.

        • As someone who lives in the same town with a MIL and step-MIL, these are great rules. (My in-laws are pretty great, as far as things go.)

    • Anonymous :

      Say thank you and move on!

    • Senior Software Zookeeper :

      Say “Thank you for the lamp” and use the lamp, maybe it’ll work well as a reading light.
      Are you in a part of the world that gets dark in the winter?

    • I wouldn’t take it personally – these lamps are super popular among my friends – and are generally thought of as a wellness gift. Lots of people at my work have them too! I actually think it’s a cool gift (although guess I won’t be buying them for anyone soon…)

      • +1


        My mother was a really practical gift giver, and was constantly reading articles about what is new/interesting/healthy. This is the kind of thing she would buy.

        It’s actually a really great gift! Don’t knock it until you try it.

        Many people (most?) in my midwestern city office have one at their open office desk.

    • Maybe she saw it in the store/online and thought it looked cool? Or thought it was one of the those natural light ones that helps you wake up? I would try not to read too much into it.

    • I wouldn’t think twice if I got this from my MIL. Or my mother or an aunt. MIL lives in Cali. I live in Boston. She probably would buy it thinking it’d be nice to get more sun.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Maybe your husband politely requested it as a gift for you?

      FWIW, I asked for one this Christmas, got it, and am so excited about it!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I don’t have clinical SAD but I LOVE my Happy Lite. Don’t know it till you try it.

    • another take :

      Those are super lovely… I let someone borrow mine a few years ago, they broke it, didn’t replace it, and are no longer a friend (for that and many reasons). I haven’t found money in the budget to replace it myself but found it brightened my mood just to feel like it wasn’t dark most of my waking hours! Maybe your MIL has someone like me in her life, heard that person say such a thing, and bought one for you thinking that you were somehow similar to her friend.

    • Anonymous :

      My step-mother buys all kinds of gifts based on her view of my city versus hers (cold and miserable versus sunny and warm). That means vitamin D supplements, cowl neck sweaters, slippers, and hot chocolate packets for Christmas and my birthday. One year I even got long underwear for my July birthday.

  22. I am so super thankful to be starting a new job next month. Would you share your best advice for good ways to start a new job? Thank you, hive!

    • Frozen Peach :

      Read “How to be Useful” by Megan Hustad.

    • I like The First 90 Days. Take it all in, wait to judge until you fully understand how the new place works. Work to impress your boss first, co-workers second.

  23. Restoration Hardware :

    Do they have an outlet somewhere? I want a new bath sheet but they are a bit more than feels right to spend on a towel and joining the membership is too expensive to get a discount on one item. Arg.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes! Several: https://www.restorationhardware.com/store-locations/outlets.jsp

      But see if you can find a friend who moved recently and see if they have any coupons. I think I got some RH coupons in the packet of coupons you get from USPS when you do a change of address.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Sometimes those coupon packets are just lying around at a physical post office. You don’t necessarily need to change your address to snag one!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Here, let me google that for you: https://www.restorationhardware.com/store-locations/outlets.jsp


      • I was just “that guy.” I am never “that guy!” Good catch, Senior Attorney… and [email protected]!

        Also, thanks to those who shared info… I didn’t think this was actually a thing and was more lamenting than thinking it was something I should have just checked.

        Here’s to hoping I’m smarter in 2018!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Hahaha! Thanks for taking it in the spirit in which it was intended!

          Happy New Year!

  24. Training suggestions? :

    Any suggestions for workshops or trainings on how to be a good trainer? (I’ve researched but would love some advice from fellow ‘rettes.) TIA!

  25. I’m sure this has been asked/answered, but thoughts on the quality of JCrew Factory wool suits? Are they similar enough to the regular line?

  26. Bored Attorney :

    I’m a government attorney in a niche area of law. The work coming in is incredibly inconsistent – some months I’m happily busy and other months I twiddle my thumbs waiting for work. The work flow problem has existed for three years and shows no signs of changing. It has always bothered me, but I had my first child right after the work flow problems began and am about to have my second child so the built-in lean out has been tolerable. I’ve talked to my manager about the problem numerous times and have been told that he can’t give what he doesn’t have. I know some people would kill for this job – low 6 figure salary, good benefits, decent vacation, and a flexible telework policy. OTOH, there is very little opportunity for upward mobility. What do you ladies think? Should I ride this out until I am eligible for promotion (in maybe 5+ years) or move to the private sector (and give up my lovely 45 hour work week)? Talk me out of making a decision that I may regret…

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