Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Paneled Georgette Dress

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

This Prada dress is absolutely gorgeous. It’s super feminine, and the georgette makes it a little bit flouncy. I love the tailoring, including the knife pleats and the fluid lines of the dress. You could wear this to work and beyond. Sizes are 38–48, and the dress is $2200 at Net-a-Porter. Paneled Georgette Dress

Here’s a more affordable option (well, relatively affordable — it’s from Ted Baker) and another option at Macy’s. eShakti has one in sizes XS–6X.

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  1. Shapewear :

    Waist/hip/thigh shape wear recommendations? I’m 6 weeks pregnant and so bloated all of my clothes are tight. Not to mention my bust has gone up 2 cup sizes. Trying to keep this hidden ‘til at least 12 weeks! I gained a lot of weight before getting pregnant, so I think the rumor mill probably started before we even were TTC. Any ideas greatly welcome!!

    • Granted, I have never been pregnant, but have been bloated due to illness but why suffer with shapewear? You’re hatching a new human! Get new clothes. People will not notice weight gain if your clothing fits your properly as opposed to squeezing into clothing that is too small. Be comfortable!

      • I agree with this, but you can also try maternity Spanx. The stomach area is mesh so not constricting at all, but it nicely shapes your hips and other areas. I will say that I pretty much wear Spanx every day so wearing maternity Spanx was a not a leap for me.

      • Shapewear :

        Agree with this in spirit! But trying to keep this pregnancy under wraps at work until I’m ready to share, so just looking for something to help tuck my tummy in for the next 6 weeks or so.

        • Anonymous :

          People know. Your boobs are bigger. They know. Just wear clothes that fit, don’t tell anyone, and you can all pretend together.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes — A person at my work went from dressing like Claire from House of Cards to Mrs. Roper from Three’s Company in a matter of weeks. She wasn’t suddenly much larger, but was bloated and uncomfortable. I have been pregnant 4x so I suspected but it is not a super big deal or even surprising.

          • Omg I just googled Mrs Roper and at least now have a “what not to wear” image!

            I tend to believe other people think about you soo much less than we think they do, so generally assume nobody is noticing anything until it’s super obvious. But maybe I’m just being naive.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. It is also going to show in your face. Your chances of hiding it from at least a few people are better if you get some new clothes that fit than if you try to squeeze into your old clothes with Spanx. But what really happens is that most people figure it out and politely pretend not to notice.

          • Man, Mrs. Roper is like my retirement outfit idol (only half kidding. Kaftans for the win!)

          • To Shapewear:

            Some people notice and talk, but it tends to be benign and by those of us who clearly need something better to do with our time. It tends to be those of us who have been there before. Guys are pretty oblivious until the unlikely event that a baby is actually crowning.

          • Yup, people know. Hopefully they’ll be respectful and wait until you tell them. Do what you need to do to be comfortable and look somewhat presentable but don’t waste too much time on it. Because people know, and that’s ok.

          • From observation, women who have already been pregnant are much more likely to spot early pregnancy in others.

          • I never lost the weight in my boobs after my second pregnancy. My husband was thrilled as he had always said I looked like a tomboy when we were dating. Now he’s all hands!

      • Later in pregnancy, shapewear/binding garments/pregnancy belts can support your body and improve recovery, and they’ve been used for tens of thousands of years.

        So absolutely invest in shapewear whenever you want to, but right now you need to buy new clothes!

    • Anon in NYC :

      In that stage, I just bought normal clothes a size or two up. It relieved the pressure on my stomach, but wasn’t constricting and wasn’t obviously “maternity” clothes. So I’d recommend that for a few key pieces.

      • Delta Dawn :

        And you can also wear those key pieces if you go back to work while still carrying some baby weight. Ask me how I know :)

    • I’d pick up a few boho pieces (anthro or free people) if ok for your office. Possibly a different style than you normally wear but still not maternity. Congratulations and hang in there! First trimester is rough on a lot of people, not least because keeping things under wraps cuts you off from support.

    • For me, the best pregnancy disguise was blazers with any other separates you can fit in. No one can see the profile of your belly when you’re wearing a blazer. And it throws off the scent because it doesn’t signal, “I need comfy clothes.”

      • If you’re already on the slightly higher sixe end, the ponte blazer (plus size exclusive) Lands End just came out with is really, really good.

    • MomAnon4This :

      Plus you’ll want the non-maternity but still-bigger-and-more comfortable clothes for that 4th trimester, and the 5th, and the 6th, and the next time you’re pregnant….

    • I second the recommendations to buy some work clothes in larger sizes. I was able to wear my larger pants and tops well into the 5th month and it was great to have them after as I slowly lost the weight.

    • I didn’t wear shapewear but chose some dresses and skirts with a looser blouse look and a blazer over top. I am now 25 weeks and huge but at weeks 5-15 I was able to get by without being noticeably pregnant. I’m tall and have only grown in my belly. My face, hips, etc have not changed yet.

      You may have better luck with slight changes in clothing style than with shapewear as far as comfort goes.

  2. How much does it matter what you wear to interview job candidates?

    • More than you think. I’ve found that interviewers who don’t put at least some effort into looking professional have an attitude that carries over into the rest of the interview.

    • I usually interview on Fridays which is a casual day, but I make an effort to wear a nice silk blouse, ankle pants, polished makeup and the comfiest shoes so no heels for me. Anyway, I don’t wear jeans and the only time I wore a sweater was the morning after the office christmas party where we were supposed to wear a festive sweater for the secret santa gift exchange and christmas brunch. I wore a plain sweater but still explained to the candidate why I was wearing it (the interviewer before me had a fair isle sweater so …)

    • I think this may depend on what your office dress code is. I’m in law with a business casual dress code so I generally wear whatever I would wear to the office that day. I probably wouldn’t wear a full suit. If you dress code is jeans casual, then yeah, I would probably dress up more for an interview.

    • I don’t know if it matters, but in my office, the convention is to step it up a level beyond “normal” wear. So I’ll suit up, even though that isn’t required on a daily basis. (At the very least, I’d wear a blazer.) I’ve never given it much thought, but I do think it counts for something. We are focused on finding the right person, and our attire shows that we take interviewing seriously.

    • It matters. You’re giving the candidate their first impression of your organization and department. If you’re recruiting strong talent with multiple options, your presentation can make the difference of where they choose to go.

      Since my organization is in a grey zone between business casual and business formal, I may or may not wear a suit on days I’m interviewing candidates, but I make sure that everything I wear is at a level I would expect my new employees to emulate.

      • My office is in that same gray area. It leaves a lot on employees to interpret.

      • You don’t want to look like a slob; you are representing your company and you are their first impression. If I interviewed with a slob, I would think that the place condones such sloppiness and that is not a good thing.

    • Anonymous :

      Not at all.

      • Anonymous :

        If your top candidates have been turning down offers, this is one reason why.

        • Anonymous :

          They haven’t. I always dress appropriately for my job and office, but I put zero thought into dressing specifically well to interview people.

        • If people are turning down offers, it’s probably not because they didn’t like your outfit but for reasons like money, benefits, work/life balance, job fit, etc. Few people are going to be turning away from a job they really want because the interviewer wasn’t dressed quite formally enough for their liking.

          • I am pretty sure that the fact that everyone half-a$$ed the interview is the biggest reason our top candidate turned the job down in a recent round of hiring.

    • Anonymous :

      The interviewer’s preparedness and engagement, including her attire, signals a lot of things about the job and the organizational culture to the interviewer. Our office is on the very casual end of business casual, but in the field we are business formal. We expect interviewees to wear suits. I wear a sheath dress with sleeves or a blazer if I am on the interview panel, a slightly more casual dress if I am taking the candidate out for a meal, and nice business casual if I am just attending the job talk.

      Even if you are pretty sure you are not going to hire the candidate, it is just rude and inconsiderate to show up to the interview inappropriately dressed or unprepared, or to do a halfhearted job of conducting the interview.

      • +1 to this. I am usually one of the more polished dressers in my VERY casual non-profit office, and I intentionally looked nice when running an interview process recently. I want the candidates to know that I am taking them seriously. I also think being just one step away from the candidate’s level of formality, rather than many steps away, helps put them at ease and thus makes it more likely that you’ll have a productive interview.

    • So I generally care about what I wear, so I’m never sloppy (and frankly, no one is sloppy at my casual all the time/jeans okay workplace) but I won’t change my look because someone is coming in to interview. I think it’s better for the candidate to get a fair impression of what the office is like on a normal basis.

      • Mineallmine :

        +1 As an interviewee, I’d rather see people wearing their normal clothes so I can gauge the environment accurately. If everyone is at one level of formality, and my interviewere is noticeably different, that raisession questions which aren’t necessarily bad but, combined with other factors, may not be positive.

        • Mineallmine :

          Ugh sorry for the typos. Samsung autocorrect is the worst and I’m not wearing my glasses.

      • Full of ideas :


    • This is one of the dumber threads in a while. Dress professionally as you usually would. No one is turning down a job offer because of how you dress.

      • Eye roll. It is not; it’s a legitimate question. Sorry you don’t like the answers; I hope your week improves from here.

    • Good jobs with decent benefits, work/life balance and just a company wide level of respect for others is impossible to come by so candidates probably aren’t judging you for that. They are looking for the best opportunity available to them. However, I know that if a slob interviews me and I get the job, I’m not going to dress as well as I would have otherwise when I get there. Ain’t nobody got the time and money to dress better than your boss. Well, I know I don’t.

  3. Anonymous :

    Oh man. Love this pick. Too bad I don’t have an extra $2200 laying around…but it is gorgeous.

    • Baconpancakes :

      The Macy’s one is actually pretty nice looking – no bodice detailing, but nice. I’m strongly considering it.

      • I like both but I’ve sworn off knife pleats because they fall out a bit with each cleaning.

    • Anonymous :

      I love this too. Help me, I’m poor.

    • Anonymous :

      Do people really wear dresses like this to work? If so, what sorts of jobs?

      I definitely see it for non-work. I’m in BigLaw and our office is so casual that a gorgeous dress like this would stick out (not saying that is right though).

      Frump it up with a cardi or edge it up with Doc Martins for your no-pajamas workplace?

      • Anonymous :

        I’d wear it in a second to my business casual firm

      • cake batter :

        I’d absolutely wear this to my government office, if it weren’t 2x my mortgage. Love love love.

      • Do people actually wear dresses like this though?

        I think that I’d be more likely to find them on someone like the protagonist in The Devil Wears Prada (young, spendy, perhaps on parental support, in somewhere like NYC and in some fashion-y industry).

        I am in BigLaw (SEUS though, formerly NYC) and can’t imagine anyone who could afford this wearing it to where I work. Tory Burch dresses, yes. DVF, yes. But while I think those are pricey (incl the dry-clean-only aspect), they are much less expensive than this. Maybe we need to up our game a bit or in another decade we will be working in ratty bathrobes.

        • I’d buy and wear this, although perhaps not at full price when it first hits the store. This style of dress is practical for me – just add knee-high boots and a dress coat and go (I’m in finance, NYC). I will agree though that the pricing of designer clothes has gone bonkers, starting the mid-00s or so.

        • I’d wear this. But it’s more than my mortgage.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I’d wear this to work in a heartbeat if it were in my budget. I have similar, though much less fancy and fabulous, dresses in my workwear rotation.

      • S in Chicago :

        Do people really wear dresses like this to work? If so, what sorts of jobs?

        Churning butter?

        • That and mourning the passing of great Uncle Buchanon who passed from the mule kick while he was plowing the field . .

      • I’d absolutely wear it. Government relations. I wear suits for Big Meetings, but on a regular day? You bet.

    • Also, wtf is that statement zipper on the Ted Baker option? Ugh.

    • I’m not usually a polyester snob, but for $2200 this should really be silk georgette, not polyester.

  4. Anonymous :

    Kat. Stop it. What fresh he11 is this CW life sentence add that takes over my whole screen?!?

    • I get that it would be the best solution for Kat to manage ads better, but why don’t you just install an Adblocker? I never see ads on this site anymore and if she loses revenue, it might be an incentive for change.

    • Anonymous :

      If I try and comment at least twice it bumps me to the CW site. This is completely unacceptable. Fix it.

    • I don’t disagree with you, but every time I see complaints about problems with the “cite” I think k a t isn’t goi g to Change anything until it affects the page views. It’s a business like anything else. Persuaded only by the bottom line.

  5. In love with Frances McDormand. And Greta Gerwig (just saw Lady Bird for the first time today and just. wow)

    Those are all.

    • Anonymous :

      I thought Shape of Water was interesting and visually beautiful and very well acted, but just can’t get past the fish f&cking.

      • There is fish f&cking in that movie? That is so weird. It seems like a well-done movie but not my cup of tea.

        I AM SO UPSET THAT the ABACUS documentary didn’t win!!! PLS tell me y’all watched that.

        • She full on bangs the fish man. I mean they don’t show anything graphic, but yeah. Kind of unsettling.

          • Eeeewwww.

            I don’t know why but I am not sure I could go there. It’s a conceit to be sure (he is not a real fish) but mentally I envision cold and slimy and nooooooooooooo

          • I can see why it would be unsettling but it’s actually a very small part of the movie (in my humble opinion) and there is enough romance before the fishfornication, even if it is fishomance. Much of the awe of the movie is to be found not only in the fantastic photography but in Sally Hawkins’ epic portrayal of a mute woman and how she emotes without words. The Best Actress field was really All-Star this year; the Academy really needed Oprah to be like “Every Actress nominee gets an Oscar!”

          • The slow way the romance unfolds (and literally colors the rest of the film around it) is beautiful. I also really appreciated that right from the beginning we know that Sally Hawkins’ character is a sexual being–it’s so rare that we see positive portrayals of a differently abled person who has a healthy and fulfilled sexuality–so by the time her relationship with the fish man turns physical, there has been a lot of very tender build-up.

            The consummation also makes for a great role reversal when Sally Hawkins’ character reveals her news to Octavia Spencer’s character: up until this point in the film, Spencer has had enough dialogue for both of them, but she finally goes wordless and reacts with just her eyes. (And yeah, she’s open about the fact that she’s a little leery of her friend getting it on with the fish man.) It’s wonderful.

        • I watched Abacus on PBS the other night. It was great but I can see how Icarus was more politically ‘of the moment’ so wasn’t surprised it won.

      • I’m really disappointed that film won. It was such a guy movie from a guy perspective. All the me too / time’s up stuff was just lip service.

        • I was disappointed there was no showing of solidarity with a dress code or any kind of statement (bringing activists as dates, talking about Times Up, etc) last night. The red carpet was more important than activism.

          • Apparently the Oscars body gave strict warning to the attendees and the Times Up organizers that there would be no mass political statements. Source from the NYT:”this being a 90th anniversary of the Oscars, that they wanted to keep the focus “on films, not the cultural moment around them” – as if the two could ever be sensibly separated. “We want to make it as entertaining as possible – reverential and respectful,” Jennifer Todd, one of the awards’ producers told The New York Times.”

            Weinstein clearly holds the academy in thrall.

          • Wow, that is super disappointing. I have thought for a long time that the Oscars way overemphasize their own cultural relevance and now I know for sure that is true. Shame on them.

          • I think that people were relieved that they didn’t HAVE to wear Marchesa again. Letting people have an honest choice of clothing is very much #timesup for me.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            “Reverential”? UGH.

          • Well, I’ll give the fashion Oscar to Rita Moreno for rewearing her own dress from decades ago.

            I have loved her since West Side Story.

        • It took me until last night to realize that Benicio Del Toro and Guillermo Del Toro are completely different people.

          • The fact that these are two different names didn’t give it away?

          • In all fairness, “del toro” and movies all run together in my mind. And actors often then turn to directing (Greta Gerwig), so I can see this.

      • I was told its supposed to be parabolic symbolization that the physical s-x act is necessary, beautiful and appropriate — both for gratification of our immediate carnal urges, as well as for procreative purposes, with the fish symbolizing both sustenance and continuity of life. It is a truly beautiful representation of reality, and I was so taken by the symbolism once I was alerted to it by my cousin.

        • I was watching sea horses yesterday (the male holds the eggs in his pouch). I wonder what happens with the fishbaby?

          I think I am having a species-ish moment. I wouldn’t have walked out of the movie or anything. But I probably would have preferred that not to happen (Question: what do they do with this movie for foreign audiences? I understand that some movies are cut b/c of cultural sensitivities and the fish aspect might not work elsewhere.)

      • Make fantasy of how women should behave, start to finish (or fin-ish)

      • I just can’t with ‘The Shape of Water’. Like I get that he thought it was woman with a disability + WOC + gay man + ‘foreigner’ (fish guy) fighting against straight male white authority but honestly, it just seemed very beauty and the beast with the twist that the beast is imprisonned not the beauty. And can we get more movies where the WOC is the protagonist instead of the ‘friend’ all the time? Sigh.

        • I also thought her role was a complete caricature of WOC, half a step away from Amos ‘n’ Andy

      • FYI: Theres a slice of the internet devoted to this. do not google this.

      • Linda from HR :

        It wasn’t my favorite of the nominees, I would’ve preferred to see Lady Bird win, but I really liked it, and the s*x stuff didn’t really bother me. But I’m weird.

    • I think The Post was overlooked for so many deserved awards, but rightly nominated for best picture. It’s a great movie and true store and timely AF.

      (And also feminist AF)

      • Soo many good movies – The Florida Project, The Post, The Darkest Hour, The Phantom Thread, frankly the entire nomination list.
        Where were these filmmakers in 2016, 2014 and other annum/anna? of mediocrity? Ugh to La La Land.

      • I did not like it. Seemed like the sort of movie designed to be oscar bait for the same people. Been there, done that.

        Abacus was superb (y’all — it is free online, pls watch). I get that it was not necessarily going to win, but am upset that it lost to a movie about Russian sports doping (IMO not news at all).

        • I get that set-wise it’s similar to Spotlight and other newsroom stories. But the two underlying themes – a woman finding her voice in a man’s world, and the president of the US trying to silence the free press – are extremely relevant today, and it’s a true story.

          But yeah, let’s go with the fish f&cking.

        • The Post was the sort of serious heavily-emoting movie that we are expected to like because it Is Important. It is so tiresome. When I get a sitter and go to the movies I don’t want to see Oscar bait (I agree with this) that is just as depressing as turning on the news for free.

          I guess the good news is that 4 decades of nonsense and the republic hasn’t cratered yet.

  6. Anonymous :

    Just heard from a friend about a company (not law or finance) in a Great Plains state that requires women to wear skirts and hose daily. Confirmed via numerous Glassdoor reviews that mention it. IS THIS REALLY A THING? Until I heard about a specific workplace with this dress code, I didn’t really believe nebulous reports that they exist… Do any ‘rettes work under similar conditions?

    • I believe that some hospital systems forbid bare legs and open toe shoes. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see some dress code requirements in the manufacturing industry related to safety concerns.

      • Anonymous :

        But also yes, there are just offices so old fashioned they have these requirements

      • Reminds me of my last food safety job… the dress-code was updated to where shorts were permitted in some production areas, but only if the shorts-wearers shaved their legs (to reduce the potential of hair ending up in product). Men and women. When that rule came into effect, everyone was so thrilled to be able to finally wear shorts, even the guys happily complied.

      • Yes, my mother worked in a hospital that had a very strict dress code that seemed misogynistic. It didn’t apply to her because she was not a hospital employee but a partner in a practice that contracted with and rented office space from the hospital. I imagine she would have quit or forced them to fire her before following a dress code. (She was close to retirement anyways, and is now retired.)

        They also had a Bible verse on their computer whenever they logged on in the morning.

      • in construction/engineering, and we have to wear pants and steel-toed or puncture-proof shoes at project sites or in the lab for safety reasons. when we’re doing office work, skirts with no hose is fine.

    • Wow, that would likely be a deal-breaker for me. How s3xist.

    • There was a call center company in my college town that a lot of people I know worked at that required this (10 years ago).

    • I think you are describing maternity dress pants. Up to you if you are sensitive about wearing maternity when you aren’t pregnant. I have IBS/ bloating issues and wear maternity pants during flare ups.

    • Not in California. http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=GOV&sectionNum=12947.5.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yup. I was just coming here to post this.

        Fun fact: I used to work with a very long-serving female Court of Appeal justice who required her female staff to wear skirts or dresses to work until they passed a law requiring most employers to permit women to wear pants to work.

      • Anon in CA :

        Would you please post the cite? The link doesn’t go to any text, at least for me.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Try this: http://www.search-california-law.com/research/ca/GOV/12947.5./Cal-Gov%27t-Code-Section-12947.5/text.html

    • Yes these dress codes still exist. If you look at the employee handbook of my current employer it is similar but fortunately not enforced.

    • This is so specific (and unusual) that it makes me wonder if you’re talking about a well-known company in my city. Believe me, even here, people are weirded out by that and many of us self-select out. I often wonder how they attract talent.

    • Requires them to wear skirts with hose, or if they do wear skirts they’re required to wear hose?

    • WhiteShirt :

      Yes, this is really a thing.

      Even here in NYC, I know men who are required to wear a white shirt with their suit Mon-Thurs but on Friday, and only on Friday, can they wear a colored shirt.

    • Anon for this :

      There is a large company in my Midwest city that I am told requires full time business formal in most departments, no bare arms or legs or open toed shoes, skirts preferred for women. I have a friend who left it for the Federal Reserve, which also is known for conservative polices (see: banking), but she says the FR is a lot less formal (e.g. bare arms permitted, no hose required, open toes fine, casual Fridays).

    • Until recently I worked at an office with a formal “no bare legs” rule. That meant skirts with hose/tights or pants – and the pants had been prohibited until California made that illegal. That applied to all employees. Attorneys also had to wear (or have with them) a jacket although they did relax the rule requiring men to wear ties. Now they just have to have one available.

      Of course we also have a rule that skirts could not be more than 2 inches above the knee and that pants had to cover the ankle bone – but I actually understood those since it was to address a couple of people who were apparently unable to understand that tights do not make mini-skirts office appropriate and that mid-calf capri pants are not office formal attire.

  7. Office pants :

    Are there any office-appropriate pants out there that have a tight-ish yoga-style waistband? My waist is a lot smaller than butt/hips, so I often struggle with dress pants being too large and sliding down and I don’t like the bulk that comes with adding a belt. The ideal would be dress pants with a big yoga waistband, but that flow over (rather than squeeze) my thighs. Does this exist?

    • Anonymous :

      You need a tailor, not an elastic waistband.

      • +1000000000000

      • I get all my pants tailored. It costs about $20 and any dry cleaners will do this, $30-35 for both waist and hem. I don’t buy terribly expensive pants but always get compliments because they fit so well after the tailor.

      • biglawanon :

        Yes this. My hips are 12 inches bigger than my waist, so basically all pants/skirts, and some dresses, need altered in the waist. The idea of an elastic band makes me cringe!

    • cat socks :

      Betabrand has “dress pant yoga pants”. However, you may need to get the pants taken to a tailor to have the waist taken in. I think that is a common type of alteration.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sure they do and they sound hideous. Sorry. There is a reason these aren’t a thing.

    • Agree with others that you should tailor your pants or try some of the curvy fit lines.

    • I think you are describing maternity dress pants. Up to you if you are sensitive about wearing maternity when you aren’t pregnant. I have IBS/ bloating issues and wear maternity pants during flare ups.

    • Loft Julie fit pants
      BR Logan fit pants

    • I have this problem and wear skinny belts and they really don’t add bulk.

    • Not dressy enough for anything other than a casual Friday, but democracy legging-jeans have a wide soft waist band and come in some non-denim fabrics.. I adore them and it sounds like we’re built similarly. I’ve also just ordered some of the Spanx “jean-ish” leggings because I adore their faux-leather leggings so much. TBD if they’re as fantastic.

    • Theory has pants that meet this description, although they might not be cut for you – I fit them well and my waist/hip ratio is nearly 1:1.

    • My response seems to be in mod. Casual Friday option: Democracy’s legging jeans have a wide, soft waist.

      • I don’t know if any workplace where leggings would be appropriate, even on casual Friday.

        • You must live in quite the bubble, then.

        • Throw on a tunic top blouse and you’re fine in most offices. Unless you’re somewhere that requires you to wear hose like the earlier post, then you’re dealing with more fundamental issues…

    • Eileen Fisher crepe trousers or Layfayette 148 (spendy, but they fit me without alterations). Honestly, a tailor is your friend on this one.

    • Yes! Try the Uniqlo slip on pants. The waist band looks normal even with a blouse tucked in. They’re also machine washable, so truly the holy grail of pants for pears :)

    • JuniorMinion :

      Macy’s Charter Club Cambridge Pant. I have a 13″ difference between waist and hip and these fit pretty well. They have some pants with an actual fly / button that have slight stretch that also work for me.

      • Ohh Junior Minion how tight in the seat are these? I’m 14-15 inches different between waist and hip and wondering if these might work for me too?

        • JuniorMinion :

          They are kind of fitted… but I’ve sort of given up on that front. I’m a baby powerlifter and my physical form resembles a slightly scaled down much paler version of Serena Williams. I have yet to find pants that aren’t fitted as when they are looser they ride up and then are fitted….

    • Office pants :

      Thanks everyone!!

  8. Paging Jo Marks :

    Saw your Azores recommendations – thank you!

  9. I have extremely vivid dreams almost every night. Some are fantastic/absurd (monsters, fairies, etc.), some are recurring themes, and some are related to family/real-life stuff. I told my best friend about one dream and she asked if I was planning to look into therapy. Is that even a thing? I’m sure I, like most people, have issues that could benefit from therapy, but could I reasonably expect an impact on my dreams? It doesn’t REALLY bother me to have vivid dreams, although I wouldn’t miss last night’s nightmare about failing a class I wasn’t even enrolled in.

    • Yes, anxiety can manifest in dreams.

      Have you always had vivid dreams? Is this a recent change? Do you ever act out your dreams (this is more concerning for a sleep disorder)? Are you otherwise well rested?

      If the dreams don’t bother you, and you are otherwise well rested, I wouldn’t worry about it. If this is a new change, I might step back and ask myself if there are stressful changes / anxiety issues that might need addressing.

      I have a family member that often starts to have “stressful” vivid dreams when anxiety is getting out of control. Also some fears manifest in his dreams.

    • I had these when I was on an antidepressant and it was one of the reasons I came off it. The dreams were exhausting, and often very, very dark. It was like my brain looked for my biggest fears and then built elaborate nightmare-dreamscapes around them. They stopped within a few weeks of coming off the medication.

    • Yes, I also have vivid dreams. Always have. They sometimes get worse, get more anxiety filled, when I’m stressed out, but they really don’t bother me. I too could do without the consistent dreams about realizing there is a final in a class that I haven’t ever attended. And the elevators falling. Always the elevators.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I tend to have vivid (and sometimes lucid) dreams when I’m chronically sleep deprived.

      When I’m working through a tough thing in therapy, my brain also likes to do some processing through dreams, I guess. Just like, revisiting the stuff I had been (but no longer am) repressing. Once conscious me has a better handle on the thing, the dreams go away. I don’t think I’d go to therapy *just* for the dreams. But I’d bet your dreams would change if you went.

    • Yeah, absolutely. I would venture to guess that most people have anxiety dreams (you know, when they’re anxious).

    • Legally Brunette :

      I tend to have nightmares and other vivid dreams when the temp in my room is too warm. Could that be it?

  10. White jeans :

    I’m in search of some white jeans for spring, but every pair I’ve tried on have unfortunately been thin enough to show cellulite – not exactly what I’m looking for :((( – has anyone found a good brand or style that doesn’t have that problem?

    • Anonymous :

      After trying on a bunch of expensive white jeans that looked terrible, I found a pair from Kit from the Kloth that were thicker and more flattering.

    • NYDJ

    • I’ve finally given up on white jeans. I also have a lot of cellulite. I have found that the thicker the fabric in an attempt to hide my issues, I often wind up with other design/fit issue that are unflattering too. And these issues are not usually revealed until you wear the pants all day, or wash them a few times.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Try Madewell and J Brand.

      • Shopaholic :

        +1 – I found J Brand to be the most opaque and flattering on me. I got the Maria high-rise skinnies and I love them.

    • Gap, actually. As a replacement from some Jcrew ones that didn’t really fit anymore.

    • Chicos has surprisingly good jeans, including white. They are out of Florida, so it figures.

    • Chicos has surprisingly good jeans, including white. They are out of Florida, so it figures.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I had a pair from Lands’ End that was straight-cut, plenty thick, very solid. The denim was of a high enough quality that I could bleach them when I inevitably spilled coffee on myself.

      • They’re pricey, but the DL1961 Coco Fit Jeans in Milk were opaque and flattering on my curvy figure. Nordstroms and Bloomingdales carry them, but it’s worth looking on 6pm to see if there are any in stock there!

    • biglawanon :

      I wear white jeans a lot and am not sure I understand the sheerness issue – mine are all really thick. I have 2 pairs currently, Hudson and AG.

    • Old Navy had a boyfriend skinny that were heavier material last year

  11. Job posting :

    If the posting says: Send “resume to [email protected]” does that really mean just resume or does it mean cover letter and resume?

    • The e-mail message is the cover letter.

    • I always do up a cover letter anyways. They can ignore it if they want.

    • Askamanager covers this today, actually. She says send a cover letter. I guess it could be in the email. I always include it in the same . pdf file as the resume, so it would have to be printed out and hopefully read together.

    • I always send both. I figure if they don’t need the cover letter they don’t have to read it.

  12. Old friend :

    Birthday Gift idea for an old high school friend that I haven’t seen much since college? Now in our late 40’s. Looking for something not too pricey, but a nice gesture. She is lovely and has been very kind to me since I moved close to where she is. But we are still not very close.

    She is much better off than me, doctor, kids. Not a big drinker. Husband is hosting a party in the city that will be all paid for / food for guests.

    • These sounds like an occasion designed for a consumable gift. A box of chocolates or macarons from a fancy local shop. Bottle of vintage champagne (if she drinks). Flowers or a plant delivered to her home. Make it festive and impermanent.

    • A thoughtful card.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Send flowers! She doesn’t need anything but will appreciate the thought and gesture.

    • Senior Attorney :

      YMMV but when I had a big birthday party for my husband, somebody brought X number of scratch-off lottery tickets, where X = his age.

      Or a donation to something like Doctors Without Borders?

  13. Universal Standard? :

    Has anyone tried Universal Standard’s workwear? https://www.universalstandard.com/collections/the-4-piece-work-kit
    I just tried Eloquii’s new 9-5 skirt line and was really disappointed by the quality.

    • I have not tried the workwear collection but I have the cotton wrap top with the dramatic long sash in two colors, and the leatherette long pencil skirt. Pleased with the quality of both. I am also surprised at the relatively low price point compared to say mm la fleur (which i also wear)

      Someone posted last week that she loved the workwear collection. I hope she sees your post and chimes in today but maybe you can search for her post.

  14. Custom Tailor in Hong Kong? :

    Good morning! Has anyone visited Hong Kong in the last 2/3 years and had work clothes made?
    I’m looking to make some suits, work dresses and a winter coat. I’m tall and slender and it has become practically impossible to find professional clothes.

    If you have recommendations / reviews, please spill! Also, I am considering Hoi An in Vietnam as a back up option so please comment if you have experiences making work clothes there.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Definitely go to Hoi An! I mean, just for how lovely it is and how great the banh mi is. I didn’t get any clothes made there, but I loved the city enough that I went twice.

      I don’t have a specific recommendation in HK (my experience was in Shenzhen (Luohu), and though my tailor was great, it was [mumbledty] years ago), but my general advice is: avoid the super quick turn around tailors. You just won’t get high quality in 24 hours. It’s a cool novelty, I guess, but if it’s at all possible, don’t do the rush thing. And if you can, plan to go one day to order, and then to come back to pick up some time before your final day, in case there are alterations you need made before you leave.

    • Quality (and price) varies a LOT in Hoi An, so read up on TripAdvisor regarding where to go that will suit your needs. Generally speaking, the places that can turn something around in 24 hours are not going to be good quality. But there is a genuine and longstanding tradition there of high-quality custom clothes – many of the better tailor shops have been in the families for generations. Unfortunately, you have to filter those out from the influx of new cheap places.

      You will probably need at least 3-4 days there, if not longer, for everything to be sewn up. It’s a fairly small town and you can have a pleasant time if you rent a bicycle and explore. It’s a little bit touristy, by Vietnam standards, but not a bad place to spend a leisurely few days. Also, like much of the rest of Vietnam, lodging is pretty cheap so you would probably save a fair amount of money over Hong Kong on the hotel alone!

      The only downside you should consider is that most of the fashion is fairly traditional – you can get a nice, classic suit, and get it customized how you want, but it is not the most fashion-forward place – they are not trying to be cutting edge. I’m guessing the places in Hong Kong would be more concerned with keeping up with the latest styles.

    • Custom Tailor in Hong Kong? :

      Thanks for your responses ladies! I was leaning toward Hong Kong because it felt like I would have more to do (I’m a city girl, traveling by myself). I looked at Trip Advisor all weekend and found some tailors in Hoi An I was interested in, so I will do some more research on traveling in Vietnam.

    • Highly, highly recommend Yaly tailors in Hoi An. Ideally you would have at least 48 hours for tailoring- I went back for fitting probably six times but I have never had better clothes. Quality was very high. For hotels, Vinh Hung 1 is a beautiful old trading house and I believe the only hotel in the old town. We loved it there.

    • Anonymous :

      I went to Sam’s Tailor in Hong Kong, as it was one of only a few places in HK that makes women’s suits. I was in Hong Kong for a total of 48 hours, sort of planned around having a suit made, so I had made an appointment a few weeks before: I landed at midnight, and at 8 am the next day I went to Sam’s to get measured and choose fabric (1 suit and 1 shirt). Went back at 6 pm, where they had basted everything together but fit the darts, lapel placement, etc. At 3 pm the next day I went back for a final fitting, and then they shipped it for me and I flew out at 10 pm. The quality is very high (and I love that I could pick the fabric for my jacket lining, and that my name is embroidered inside), but I think they aren’t totally used to larger customers (I’m ~12/14), and while my jacket looks amazing when buttoned it’s a bit boxy when unbuttoned. This was my first time getting a custom suit, so now I know that’s something to consider in the future. I spent my free time eating all the dumplings, and going to several interesting history museums.

      • Custom Tailor in Hong Kong? :

        Thanks for replying! Sams was on my list! Would you mind giving me an idea of the price point? And also any hotel recommendations?

        • Rainbow Hair :

          For hotels, I was partial to Bridal Tea House Hung Hom Winslow, with the caveat that it’s very much a safe clean place to sleep, and nothing more. Really nothing. Tiny rooms. But it was right off the subway and you could walk to fun places to eat, and you can spend the money you save by foregoing the Peninsula on even more dumplings!

        • I can’t figure out how to change my username, but I’m the one who went to Sam’s. I stayed in the Luxe Manor, which was this adorable little boutique hotel that was only a few blocks away. The breakfast was amazingly delicious (dim sum AND lox), and included, so I could skip lunch if I was busy. They also included a smartphone with the room, so I didn’t have to bother finding a SIM card or paying for international data. Really funky vibe, and very comfortable and reasonably priced. Also directly on the express bus line that goes to/from the airport. For the suit, a skirt, jacket, and shirt cost 5050 HKD, which is around $650. I think the suit was about $600 and the shirt around $50.

        • I also bought two suits at Sam’s and to be honest don’t wear them anymore. I think Sam’s caters much more to men, and even with the custom measurements, my suits turned out really boxy. If I had it to do over, I would have gone to a place that does more women’s clothing.

    • Anonymous :

      My longer reply is in mod, but I went to Sam’s Tailor in Hong Kong about a year and a half ago and was pleased with my suit.

    • Custom Tailor in Hong Kong? :

      Thanks so much everyone! I have Manhattan Tailor and Irene Tailor in Hong Kong and they appear to do more work for women.

  15. I’ve been making an effort to go on a lot of first dates recently (Tinder) and I’ve noticed something that seems to happen at almost all of them. A guy asks me a question, I start responding, and then he hijacks the response with his own story before I have a chance to finish. Last night’s date was particularly bad like this. I ended up just giving up and sitting there in silence while he held his monologue (I don’t think he noticed). He even spent a lot of time mansplaining to me how hard the CA bar exam is and it was only right at the end of the date that I was able to tell him that I too am a lawyer, admitted in CA in fact, so I know that bar exam intimately. I walked out feeling like he learned nothing about me, but I know all about his business, his custody issues, his sister in law, his construction project, etc.

    Does this hijacking just mean the guy is a bad listener? Previously I would have given him the benefit of the doubt thinking it was a nervous thing for a first date. But I’m just so over it now after it happens again and again. Should I be louder and more assertive to at least get to finish my sentence? Sigh. Or should I just give up on dating? (Hanging out with my dog, who never interrupts or mansplains, is soooo much better.)

    • No benefit of the doubt. Move on to the next guy. Imagine the fresh h3ll of a relationship with a [email protected] like that.

    • Well, yes it is rude certainly.

      And yes, many people talk too much when they are nervous. I can do this too. Telling and old story is….. easy way to let out nervous energy.

      But if every guy is doing the same thing……. Maybe you come off as a really great listener, very welcoming, ask good questions, make them feel at ease. And maybe you could be a little more engaging when you tell your own stories to keep the focus on you?

      Or maybe there’s a reason why these guys are all single.

      What do you think?

      • I think there is a difference between an interruptor and a rambler. If he interrupts, he’s rude. If he just prattles on, he could be nervous or could be just a person that talks too much.

        Also, if after one interruption you sit back and more or less stay silent, a lot of people talk to fill the void of silence with a stranger.

        I say, benefit of a doubt on first date (unless he continually interrupted you, then that’s just rude).

      • I sort of agree with this. At the same time, though, the point of dating is to find someone who meshes well with YOU. Maybe OP is a little more reserved or quiet or whatever, idk obviously, but let’s just say she is. Then she probably isn’t going to have a fabulous relationship with an interrupter who needs to be interrupted – you know the type, they assume if you have something to say you’ll jump right in. It’s not malicious, doesn’t mean he’s a jerk, but it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to go on another date with someone who makes conversation feel like a battle.

    • I think don’t give up on dating. At the moment you’re in the date and you realize you’ve been hijacked, or are not into the person, I would check out as soon as is politely possible. I have been in these sorts of situations as well and more often than not it’s the personality not the situation.

    • This is definitely a them problem and not a you problem. I would guess that being louder and more assertive isn’t really going to fix the issue. I’d just not go on other dates with men who do this. They’re rude and definitely bad listeners.

      I’m pretty much ready to give up and hang out with my cat all the time, so I feel you there.

    • Anonymous :

      My DH is a nervous rambler/nervous intertrupter but it’s balanced with a clearly genuine interest in what I’m saying/apology when he realizes he interrupted.

      Definitely a them problem. Trust your instincts that you can tell the difference between a nervous rambling guy and a self-centered guy. Chalk it up to a string of bad luck and keep trying.

  16. changing jobs :

    When is it too early to change jobs?

    Background info- was at big law for 5 years, went in-house and have been here for 6 months. Saw a really good in-house opportunity that is more in line with what I want to do in the long term.


    • That’s way too soon. Stick around at least two years.

      • changing jobs :

        That’s what I am worried about to. But I also don’t want to let go of a good opportunity.

      • changing jobs :

        But let go of a really good opportunity which is what I intend to do in the long run?

        • Yes. No one wants to hire a flighty in house counsel who leaves places after 6 months. You have no idea if this new shiny job is actually good.

        • First of all, there will be other jobs later on. This is not the only job out there that will ever come open again. Second of all, you don’t really know if it’s the perfect job you think it is. And third, you don’t even know if you would get it, so there’s no need to think that you’re definitively missing out on something.

      • Disagree. You can move on quickly once. Just make sure the next job is a place you’ll be able to stay for at least 2 years.

    • Apply and see what happens. There is no need to follow some arbitrary rule or be concerned about appearances as long as you can make a case for why you’re the right person for the job. Go for it.

      • changing jobs :

        A part of me feels like this but I’m scared to have that “dent” on my resume..

        • You should! What if new place is genuinely horrible? And you desperately want to leave three months in? You won’t be able to, because you quit this perfectly good job much too soon.

          • This is a made up rule. Don’t borrow trouble. Apply and see what happens. If the new place is horrible you’ll deal with it when the time comes.

          • It’s not a made up concerned to be worried about the optics of having a short stay. Yes, OP is borrowing trouble at this point – but the point is if you want to leave after a short stint you need to REALLY be sure you’ve vetted the new place and weren’t distracted by the shiny Dream Job-ness of it.

        • Not to be negative, but you also haven’t been offered the other job yet. You may find in the course of interviewing that this new opportunity isn’t right for you for one reason or another. I don’t see real harm in applying.

    • anon a mouse :

      A mentor told me that most employers will overlook a very short stint *once* on your resume. More than once and it’s a problem. So if you think this is a job that you would keep for the long haul, I say go for it!

  17. Please don’t take this as snarky; I’m genuinely curious: When you see a $2200 dress and then see a $500 dress, do you think “Oh that’s a more frugal option”? Because to me there’s a threshold of “If I’m going to spend $500 I might as well spend $2200 and get exactly what I want.” FWIW I can’t justify buying either option (I mean I could but…holy baby handprints batman).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m wearing a dress that cost more than $50 and I’m so anxious about the baby handprints this morning.

      Confession, it’s actually snot I’m worried about this morning.

      • Ah yes, the boogery shoulder look. Never thought I’d miss that!

      • I am sorry to report that the baby handprint issue never goes away, the handprints just get bigger. My 11-year-old likes to hug me right after she has put on sunscreen and after gymnastics practice when she is covered in chalk.

    • I have a mental threshold of what I consider a normal price for each piece of clothing. It happens to be 120 Euros for a dress. If anything is higher than that, I feel it is a splurge i.e. I feel the same about my 900 EUR dress and my 300 EUR one. Then again, I own 9 dresses total for 4 seasons so I’m not a maximalist.
      P.S. My splurge dress is what I wear to all-day workshops or if I know I have a particularly tough SteerCo so it makes me feel superhuman. Think of it as Michael Jordan’s lucky shorts

    • Not about dresses, but about some other pieces. Shoes/boots/coats. I really invest in those.

      I would rarely spend more than $150 on a coat. But for the perfect winter coat I will wear for the rest of my life, I spent a few thousand.

      But a dress….. styles change… rarely will you wear a dress forever. Never waste that kind of money.

  18. I’m a 2nd year looking to lateral to another firm. I have a meeting with a recruiter this week. How does one interact with the recruiter? Does the rule “never bad mouth your job” apply in this context? I’m looking to leave because the group dynamic is toxic, but I wasn’t planning on saying that. Does anyone have suggestions for how to convey that in a discreet manner? Also if anyone has any tips about working with recruiters or lateraling to another firm this early in your career, I’d appreciate it. I don’t have anyone in my network I’m comfortable enough discussing this with so no opportunity to get advice except in the anonymous internet context.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I left my old firm for many reasons including a super toxic partner. After I had worked with a recruiter for a while (and was a few interviews into a job I ended up getting), I was honest with the recruiter about it – but more because I was seeking his help answering interview questions about why I wanted to leave my old firm. I never mentioned toxic partner to my new firm (because you don’t badmouth your job to a new one), but telling the recruiter helped me practice giving answers to the why do you want to leave questions.

      So, go ahead and tell them if you think it’s helpful. You can also say a whole bunch of things which are obviously code for this like you’re looking for a collegial firm, you’re looking for a place you can make great working relationships with the partners, you’re looking for a place where the culture is really team-oriented.

    • I think you could probably describe the opposite of what you’ve got going on now as your ideal, or something you want to pursue in a new culture. Think about the indicia of a better workplace for you, and how that boils down to concrete things that a recruiter might have/be able to get a handle on.

      ie, Instead of “ugh everyone here is so focused on covering their own asses, etc. that we always end up in crisis mode with the senior partner, who randomly comes out of left field with demands that have no clarity or warning! We’re all one missed internal, unknown deadline away from being fired.”, try “I’m looking for a place where the workflow is more transparent and tasks are calendared and distributed in a way that everyone feels like they can contribute and there are minimal surprises last minute, and that the senior partners are top-down involved in matters to the point of communicating more openly with the junior members staffed on issues”

    • Never bad mouth your job still applies. A recruiter is not your therapist or your job coach. Most of the time, people don’t care about the real reason you are leaving. Rehearse an answer to why you are looking to move and be able to say it smoothly. Potential employers want to know that you aren’t going to bad mouth them at some point in the future. Example- I worked a firm that lost a big client in my industry and my work dried up. My position was going away. So when asked about why I wanted to leave, I gave a couple of sentences about liking my current firm, but needing new growth opportunities, etc. Everyone nodded and moved on to the next question, even though they all knew about the loss of the client and changing fortunes at the firm. Legal communities are small. If your firm or group is really toxic, chances are someone already knows that. You don’t need to confirm it for them in an interview.

      • Is being honest about a position being eliminated due to industry changes and, therefore, loss of previous client basis really bad mouthing your current firm? I thought that this was a relatively innocuous explanation (at least when you’re not responsible for bringing in work).

        • Without getting into too many details, it was a messy public divorce between client and firm and there was a lot of underlying truth to the rumors floating about on both sides. Keeping the answer as neutral as possible is always the best course, IME.

    • Eh
      Recruiters hear it all. I wouldn’t walk on eggshells. I left a company that had a fairly well known toxic work environment and had no issues briefly discussing it with the recruiter. All I had to say was, “I’m sure you’ve heard about what it’s like here…” and he understood completely.

  19. We are moving in a few months from Chicago to Minneapolis for my husband’s job (near-ish Nicollet Mall). We currently live in a very family-friendly, super-walkable urban neighborhood on the north side of Chicago with our two pre-school-aged children.

    What neighborhoods should we move to? Understand that we’ll have to use our car more than the once a week it currently comes out of the garage, but would like to maintain some level of walkability in our immediate neighborhood and reasonable transit connectedness to downtown Minneapolis. School districts are not a consideration as kids will attend private schools when they are school aged. Want to keep commute time under 30 minutes.

    • I live in Uptown which is south of downtown Minneapolis. I commute to the south edge of downtown and my commute is 10-15 minutes. Uptown is very family friendly with single family and multi family options. Many people people send their children to public schools in Uptown. I have a 18 and 15 year girls girls. We have been very happy with the Minneapolis public schools thus far.

    • I like St Paul neighborhoods, like Mac-Groveland or Crocus Hill or St Anthony Park. You can take the bus to the light rail green line from those neighborhoods.

    • I lived near Lake Nokomis for several years with a small child and loved it. If you’re walkable to the 50th street lightrail stop, it’s a 20 minute commute to downtown Minneapolis. Wonderful walkable neighborhood, and 10 minutes to the airport (but no airport noise if you’re east of the lake.) Bunch of shops, library, and restaurants near the 34th ave / 50th st intersection. Near lots of parks with bike and running paths. Best value neighborhood in Minneapolis.

      If cost is a consideration – we sold a 4 br / 2 ba house there for $270K three years ago, and while prices have likely gone up some since then it’s still far less that what you’d spend in Uptown (and obviously less than what you’re used to in Chicago.)

    • Anonymous :

      I’d still pay attention to which private schools you are considering and their proximity to your neighborhoods. Off the top of my head, I can name more private schools (Catholic and not) in the St. Paul (Mac-Groveland/Highland Park) area than I can in Minneapolis. West edge of Minneapolis (Hopkins/St. Louis Park) is the next area where I think of inner ring (inside the 494/694 loop) areas with private schools nearby. Otherwise you are looking outside the loop at a couple of Catholic high-school options, which have various feeder schools.

      And if you want easy transit to DT Mpls, you’re going to want to stick to the Mpls side and pay attention to the bus line. Yes, you can get there from St. Paul, but it’s just not going to be as easy (bus to light rail) as just getting on a bus (or light rail).

      Oh, and avoid depending on 35W btwn 62 and 94 to get into DT for the next couple years. It’s finishing the first of a 4-5 year plan for replacing overpass bridges and doing some stuff with the 35W/94 interchange. Check out the MN DOT website for more details.

    • Anonymous :

      You may also want to consider the North Loop (very walkable). Suburbs like Wayzata, Minnetonka and Eden Prairie are very family friendly areas. You may find Minneapolis to be a little less pedestrian friendly in the Winter than Chicago, but still very accessible if you bundle up. It’s a sellers market right now, but people tend to list more homes in Early Spring. It’s a great time to start looking. Good luck!

    • brokentoe :

      Twin Cities Realtor here…what’s your budget? Actually lots of options, depending upon price point and what kind of feel you’re after. I’d be delighted to help you if you haven’t connected with someone yet!

    • May I ask what neighborhood you’re in now? Curious about Chicago with kids. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      South Minneapolis by Grand Café. When I lived in MPLS, I took the bus to/from downtown for work every day. Love South Minneapolis neighborhoods.

  20. Open-ended TJ :

    Can people comment on how men’s response to them has been affected (or not) by different hair looks? Short, long, asymmetrical, different colors?

    • Men like my hair long and down. It’s straight and blonde. Fortunately I do too!

    • I get more attention from men when my hair is long and down. It is wavy and dark brown. My husband says he doesn’t have a preference for my hair and encourages me to do whatever I want with it. I like it long and usually leave it down just because it is easier for me in the morning.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Back when I had shoulder-length hair, it was bizarre how much men seemed to notice when I started wearing it down. “Wow, Pugsnbourbon, you look nice today!” kind of attention from coworkers, etc. I don’t have particularly pretty or striking hair, either.

      Now I have a pixie and rarely receive comments from men, but other women compliment it all the time.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I’ve been wanting a pixie or similar haircut solely because I want women to compliment my hair and men to ignore it.

      • I cut my hair off (it’s chin length now) and get tons of comments from women and none from men. My husband tells me he likes it fine, but I suspect her prefers it longer.

      • +1

        Men always preferred my straight brown hair when it was long and down….. even though this is not a flattering look/shape for my hair and face/bone structure. I am also completely ignored by men with my short pixie cut. Women compliment my hair often, which is very striking and modern. I literally look like that short dark pixie haired model on the MM Lafleur website (I am also slender and tall) but men completely ignore me on the street and in day to day life.

        It’s fine with me.

        But it made me very insecure about myself when I was younger (teenager/college) with short hair. All of my close high school female friends had long hair and most were blond. I felt very rejected and unattractive. So I grew my hair long again in my 20’s…. longing for attention…. and that attention was rarely good. I only wised up again in my 40’s.

        Men are very simple creatures.

        • Ha ha, I look a lot like that model too except that I have a real pixie cut (hers is pretty long on top). Women comment on and sometimes compliment my hair. Most men ignore me, but unfortunately the haircut has not stopped the attention from homeless men and dudes at hotel bars.

          My husband likes my hair short, but I think that’s because he doesn’t like waiting for me to blow-dry it.

      • +1

        Went from waist-length waves to a pixie, and the immediate decrease in unsolicited male attention was AMAZING. (Except when I’m biking and wearing a helmet, but that tracks with my impression that the long mane was pretty eye-catching.)

    • Baconpancakes :

      Women would compliment my hair when it was long and down, but men wouldn’t. Now I’ve cut my hair to my shoulders, I get compliments on my hair style (vs just my hair) from women, (your curls/cut looks great vs your hair is so pretty). No change from men.

      Now that it’s short, my SO complains less about it getting in his face when I’m taking the lead in gardening, but doesn’t comment on individual aspects of my appearance in general, so no change there.

    • I have brunette/auburn hair about six inches past my shoulders. Usually I don’t really do much with it – ponytail, half ponytail or just air-dried and down. When I get a blowout (once every couple months, for big events), it’s like I’m an entirely different person – men make lots of comments about it. Even male co-workers who are trying not to say anything inappropriate say things like, “Oh your hair looks… different! Did you get it… cut? It looks very nice.”

      • Hah yes, I get so much positive feedback when I get a blow out. I actually don’t like how they look on me or most other people (the hair itself definitely looks pretty, but it doesn’t seem to frame the face as well?), but my colleagues’ preference is clear.

    • When I was much younger, I had thick straight hair down to my waist. Men complimented it all the time, to the point of creepiness, really. When I cut it off, I got a lot of compliments from men and women, but mostly from people who knew me and were aware of the big shift. For a brief period in my late 20’s/early 30’s, I had a buzz cut. Men still commented on it, even though I thought it would push them away. Women mostly said things like “I wish I could do that,” but didn’t respond when I said they could. I’ve had an variations on an angled bob for years now, and am complimented more frequently by women, but also by men.

    • Hi have very very curly hair (like 3c/4a) and get so many mixed signals. If I wear it straight, Hubby’s like “oh it looks so nice” and runs fingers through it. About two weeks of consistent straight hair, it’s then “I miss your curly hair.” Then after consistent two weeks of curly hair it’s “I like it better long”. Look mister, you get curly and short or straight and long, there is no in between with this texture!

      I envy women who can pull off short hair. But my level of laziness requires ability to do a wet bun.

    • I have 4a/4b hair which is sadly a wandering hands magnet (caucasians. no fellow back person ever dared to touch before asking). When I wore my hair long, dark in a bun, it was discreet. Once I cut it shorter and had a caramel color, people realized I have 300 individual corkscrews on my scalp and it seems up to now they can’t help but stare/comment/ask to touch.
      I feel since the change, every outfit I wear looks fierce. I even started wearing scarves (à la Christine Lagarde) and feel powerful instead of matronly had I kept my long hair.
      For casual wear, I also feel I need less of an effort so I’m definitely keeping the color, but for length, I might grow it again.

      • Sincere question here. Why is it inappropriate to compliment a black woman on a gorgeous haircut? I am white and have super short hair. Whenever I see a woman of any race with a new short haircut I always think, wow, that is so cool. It seems like it would be a nice compliment to verbalize that sentiment, but I have seen so many comments like this that I just keep my mouth shut.

        • I think it’s more that people feel okay touching her without permission due to the new fierce cut. Complimenting a woman on her hair is fine. Staring at a woman’s hair as though she were a newly encountered animal then trying to pet her is the line. I’m sure you can discern the respectable line.

        • Maybe my English was unclear, apologies, I am not a native speaker. When I write: wandering hands magnet, that means caucasians would actually stick their hand in my hair to feel the texture. Compliments from any gender or race are always welcome. No touching. I am no sheep or dog to pet.

          • My daughter is Caucasian and has very curly red hair – she feels you on the wandering hands magnet. When she is out and about she will feel random strangers touching her hair. What are people thinking, honestly?

          • I think for a child (assuming she is), besides the disrespect, there is a predator element to it which is another level of not ok

        • Anonymous :

          Of course touching or staring is inappropriate, but many people seem to think compliments or comments of any type are inappropriate too.

          • hmm, that’s weird. I LIVE for these compliments haha. Maybe there is a cultural difference but I am known for walking to total strangers of all races and ages and complimenting them on their look, lipstick, what have you… no one was ever offended, at least from how I interpret their response, but then again I am not the best at picking social cues.

          • I’ve heard it is othering. That the one thing they always hear is about their hair. Kind of how tall people get really sick of people saying “wow, you’re really tall.”

          • I think it depends on the compliment. I get called exotic a lot, and I don’t like it even though they’re usually telling me I’m beautiful. I love hearing that people think my curls are beautiful though.

    • I rarely get attention from men, but I often got compliments from women about my hip-length blond hair. DH loved when I chopped it off to a pixie–I might not have had the nerve without his encouragement to try something new.

      But, when he came into the salon to pick me up, all the women looked a little scared (he’s a big hairy guy) and several asked, “Did he know you were going to cut it like that?” Apparently it was a “thing” in the past that women chopped off their hair to rebel, because there’s nothing a man could do to change it back…

    • Metallica :

      I have long straight blonde hair. I get more (unwelcome) attention when it’s down, longer or wavy, none of which I’m willing to do permanently because… men lately– ew (other than my husband and a few other assorted male persons in my life.)

      I have also found a distinct difference in how I am treated at work by both genders–I’m taken more seriously when my hair is up. I never, ever see patients with my hair down.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been both blonde and dark brown, with the same medium-long cut and wavy hair. My dating life has been much better as a brunette — I’m taken way more seriously and treated better, and catcalled way less. I will never go back to blonde.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a pixie cut that is very flattering for my face shape and I frequently get compliments from men. I’ve noticed though when I was single that men would either love my hair as is or express a preference for longer hair. This was actually really convenient for dating. Men who liked my short hair tended to be less traditional and more comfortable with strong women. On the other hand, the men who asked me “why don’t you grow your hair longer” or “have you ever thought about growing your hair long” or “I bet you’d look great with long hair” universally were way more traditional than I would be interested in. So in some ways it functioned as a sorting mechanism, weeding out men that wouldn’t have worked for me anyways.

  21. palmtrees33 :

    For the junior/mid-level lawyers – have any of you ever asked to avoid working with a particular partner/lawyer? For context, I am working with a new partner (new as in just made partner), and he is insufferable. If he isn’t being outright mean, he’s being super passive aggressive. It’s super demoralizing and really, really affecting me. If I have to continue working closely with him, I’d seriously consider leaving the firm (when I would have no reason to do so otherwise). I don’t think my career would be harmed by not working with him. Would love to hear advice from anyone who has dealt with a similar situation. Thanks!

    • Yes. But I ran an entire trial team for him as a 5tg yr before saying I wouldn’t work for him again. So I had earned the credibility to be able to say that – and it helped that he was a known screamer and drug user. Frankly if I were you – I wouldn’t play this card too early in your career (you only get 1 max and even that can be not well received) and just bc the guy is passive aggressive. If anything it’ll show the firm you’re not tough enough if you can’t handle a 35 yr old know it all (most new partners are terrible).

    • Anonymous :

      Not personally but a colleague did it with only temporary success. He was a third year at the time and had worked with said partner for about a year. My colleague went to two other trusted partners in the group and essentially asked not to work with Unreasonable Partner. This was effective for about 5-6 months, until Unreasonable Partner brought a huge case to the department, they needed all hands on deck, and associate wound up back in the same situation. In the end I think he probably used his “card” kind of early without a lot of payoff for himself.

    • anonforthis :

      Yeah I did this with another senior associate for my own sanity. I am now a senior associate myself, but was a mid-level when I needed to get away from her. It was really hard because some partners think she is great, and I can see why she looks great to partners, but she was very condescending, tried to shield me and other associates from partner/client contact, took all opportunities to do things like hearings/depos for herself (not normal at my firm), always redid work from scratch and made a big deal about it, set unreasonable internal deadlines, had no qualms about trying to make more junior associates stay up for days on end for no good reason, did inappropriate things like mock me for being a Type I diabetic and for sending me kids to public school, etc.

      My partner mentor was helpful in giving advice of how to do this. I was on three cases with her, and I was at the point I was going to quit, but I didn’t want to because she is the ONLY person at my firm I can’t jive with. I transitioned off of the cases by purposefully being too busy on other things when big deadlines came up on those cases. I only had to directly address the issue with the most senior partner involved, because she and i are the two senior associates he works the most with. He was kinda p*ssed (not sure at who), and wanted to confront her about it, but now he staffs his cases so only one of us was on a given matter and it is fine. He and my mentor are the only ones who know about this, so I still fear I could end up with her on a case in the future though. I think I would do something to get off of it.

    • Full of ideas :

      Talk to someone you trust at the firm, whether a formal chair or more informal mentor to feel out how the firm typically deals. At my firm it is not uncommon for people to not want to work together and there is usually enough work to make it happen. But you don’t want to go against firm culture so feel it out gently at first

  22. For those who are married — how much money/assets did you bring into the marriage vs you spouse? If you (the wife) brought a lot more, did you take steps to protect your money formally via pre nup or even informally by marking certain accounts untouchable/never mentioning that 200k stashed someplace? Or was it “our” money on day 1 and to be used jointly for homes, cars etc? Curious how others do it. Would’ve been so much easier to marry at 22 with hardly anything and build it together.

    • I brought more. No pre-nup and hid nothing. In my mind, merging money is a key part of being married.

      • +1. I know some couples who say it really works well to keep things separate, but for my personal preferences, that seems bizarre (I don’t want to haggle with my husband over who ate what on the grocery bill). I brought more to the marriage from a modest inheritance, but my husband makes more and it’s 100% our money. We never, ever fight about it (although we do get stressed in our HCOL area), which I am very grateful for.

        • We keep everything separate, and don’t really haggle except for really giant purchases (like a car and even then, it’s more like, well, you make 60% of the HHI, so contribute 60% of the car by writing a check). We have a roughly balanced division of bills. I pay for all the groceries, he does all the utilities etc. We switch off paying the mortgage every month. This doesn’t work if you’re planning to get down to the nickel and dime amount.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Also doesn’t work when the two incomes are very different. E.g. my SO makes 2-3x what I make. He is comfortable spending $4k on eating out a month – it’s one of his only big spending categories. Before we merged finances, I was comfortable spending $600/month eating out. Even if I’m only paying 30% of the eating out bills, or $1,200, that’s still twice what I had budgeted (could afford) for eating out.

          • Baconpancakes, how do you spend 4000 a month eating out?! Are you going to Michelin restaurants every night?

          • GD, $4k per month???

          • Baconpancakes :

            Yeah, it has been a source of contention in the relationship. He geta multiple $4 coffees per day, eats out literally every single day for lunch, and prefers to eat out at places where you will easily spend $120 for dinner for two. And we have a number of friends still in grad school, so that we buy them dinner at least once a week, often at the nicer places. Add a couple rounds of happy hour, and my $500-600/month, and I nearly lost it when I looked at the Mint categories that one month. (Most months it’s not that high, more like $2500-$3000, but that December was pretty much eating out the whole month.)

            His eating habits are a major factor in the weight I’ve gained the past three years, and I have a sneaking suspicion that my insistence on cooking re WW will lose him the potbelly he’s developed.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Same. For me, a communistic marriage is ideal. It helps, too, that we’ve both made sacrifices and held the other aloft throughout our relationship: when he quit his job to move with me to somewhere he couldn’t work, temporarily; when I couldn’t get a job in NewState so he paid for everything while I studied for the bar; when I stayed home after the kid was born; when he stayed home with the kid to allow my travel-heavy work schedule; etc… And keeping everything shared helps recognize the work of the person who is bringing in less (or no) money, in my mind. I could not do what I do without a partner (or someone else) who is more flexible for childcare, etc. He doesn’t bring in money doing what he does, but that doesn’t make it less of a contribution to our household. And it’s definitely work that someone outside of the family would get paid for if he wasn’t doing it.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Yeah, this is what we do, although I think we haven’t been married as long. I make way more than him, but I also can’t remember the last time I had to shop for or prepare my own food (unless dipping a cracker in cheese dip counts?). I *could* take on the things he does, but I would have to give up basically all my free time, so I don’t want to fuss about money.

    • Kept pre-marital emergency savings and retirement separate, started saving X amount per month (each person) for joint household expenses and savings. If more money is needed, we pull the same amount from our personal accounts. Probably will mingle the longer married (newlyweds of less than one year)

    • We did a small prenup to keep our existing retirement accounts separate but merged our other finances. We also did a no alimony clause.

      • We did this — prenup to protect my gov’t pension and no spousal support. (I make more than twice what he does).

        When we got married, we didn’t merge our finances. Now we have a joint account that we pay household bills and mortgage from, and contribute to it proportionately.

        Our money isn’t entirely merged but it’s all pretty transparent.

    • Cornellian :

      I came in worth ~500K at 27 with no family help, and he came in worth ~-50K at 30 with family help. I won’t get an inheritance, he may get a modest one. I got a prenup so what was mine on the way in is mine on the way out, what he inherits is his, and waiving spousal support unless one of us stays at home with mutual consent.

      I definitely would not fail to mention that 200K stashed somewhere. In fact, I think courts would look VERY unfavorably on that if you ever had to divvy up your assets.

      • Similar – but older and more a extreme difference. I also got a pre-nup. As someone who is a huge contingency planner I couldn’t overlook the possibility that we’d get divorced (spoiler alert – still going strong). Also, frankly, if I had died after 5 years of marriage I would have wanted my money to go to my kids, not any kids DH had with a subsequent wife.

        Do not try to hide money. It will bite you in the end of things go south.

    • nice rebel :

      I had significantly more, and he had children from previous marriage. We did marriage contract, keeping assets separate for us is has worked well. We have been married 20 + years now. This eliminated lots of difficult issues since our backgrounds around $ are different.

    • I brought in a lot, but it was some rental properties (not spendable, not able to retitle w/o putting him on the debt too). He came in with a litigious ex and a child, so we agreed to keep things separate. I don’t touch the separate assets — they are very long-term investments, which stand to benefit us both in the long run. Nothing is hidden.

    • I’ve got 140k, he as -70k. All shared.

    • I came in with nothing but massive student loans and a small retirement account. He had a sizable trust fund and no debt. Our incomes are nearly equal. I offered to look into prenups, but he said that was ridiculous because going forward we would be a team. And 5 years in, that’s how it’s been. It sometimes feels awkward and a little shameful to be the less financially viable one in the relationship but never because he sees me that way or makes me feel bad about it. As he says, I bring other assets to the partnership.

    • When DH and I got married, he had more assets, mostly inheritance from his older relatives (grandparents, great-aunts, etc) that he holds as long-term investments. We were in our mid-20s, I was in law school, and neither of us had earned much or saved much. In our state, assets owned before marriage, gifts to one person, and inheritances are treated as separate property, and in general income earned during the marriage is community property. We kept separate the accounts held before marriage, and our day-to-day finances are joint. That’s fine with me.

      Honestly, when we got married, there was a lot I didn’t know about DH’s separate assets. His father is the trustee for most of it and manages the investments, and I suspect FIL wanted to keep things vague, even for DH, until DH was older. As my FIL has gotten older (he’s 68 and healthy), we’ve pushed to learn more about DH’s accounts, as well as the basics of FIL’s estate planning. We’ve never touched the money, and DH thinks he may use it to start his own business one day, but we’re not there yet.

    • Newly married. We keep everything separate but transparent while we each work to pay down our own debts. We share joint expenses equally, even though the income split is more 55/45. We plan to merge more once our debt is gone.

    • Anonymous :

      I married at 22 with nothing and now am getting divorced in my mid-30s. Over the years, one of us got a large inheritance, one of us went to grad school, one of us made significantly more money, and other complications ensued. Everything had been combined (we had $300 total between us at the time we got married at city hall), and it was nice because the money part of the marriage was always easy. We are splitting up very amicably so decided to call it even and split all assets and debts 50/50, but I could see how if it was not amicable, there would be a ton to fight over. If I marry again (big if), I would be bringing assets with me so I would want a pre-nup.

    • Full of ideas :

      Our money, although my contracts professor tried to convince me otherwise I felt that was the point of marriage and the commitment.

  23. Irish Poster :

    Quick question for WOC and Jewish readers,

    I recently learned that the white supremacist and [email protected] movement has long co-opted Irish symbols as hate symbols, particularly in prison gangs and the like. Shamrocks and Celtic crosses in particular. This is total news to me. I have the most Irish name imaginable so there is no doubt that I am actually Irish. My wedding band has Celtic knots, I have Celtic knot earrings and necklaces and a shamrock necklace. My brother has a Celtic tattoo with knots and guard dogs and our family crest.

    Do you see this stuff as hate symbols when worn by the average Irish person? I don’t want to continue wearing stuff if it is giving off a message I don’t intend. I certainly won’t wear them if my work takes me to any jails but I didn’t think this secondary meaning was known and believed in everyday life. I just don’t want to turn a blind eye to something that could be harmful. Thanks.

    • WoC here. No I would probably not notice. If I did, it would probably cross my mind, but unless I had a reason to think something was amiss, I would ignore.

      • To be clear- I haven’t heard of this. The above response was assuming I knew it was a thing. I just assumed I was out of the loop!

    • WOC from the south. At least in my experience this isn’t a thing. Maybe in some parts of Europe or Ireland it is? I’ve never known anyone to associate Irish symbols with hate groups, at least down here, they are just very very Irish. However, I think it is all contextual. If I saw a skinhead with an Irish family crest tattooed on his skull and knuckle tattoos saying “clan over country”, yes I would cross the street quickly.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Jewish. Nope. You’re totally fine. The symbols you’re describing haven’t been co-opted to the point where people automatically think of that meaning outside of the context of other signs of bigotry (as Anon describes above). But it’s good that you’re questioning it – I think it’s always great when people ask in order to avoid offense!

    • No absolutely not.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Jewish woman here. I think my own prejudices would inform how I would see you — professional with a cute pair of earrings — and think, “that’s a style thing, not a [email protected] prison gang thing.” I think my [email protected] is pretty well tuned (thanks to a few years of living in Orange County).

    • No. But I generally view things in context, e.g., there’s amHimdu holiday that involves swastika symbols and I remember being thrown off when I saw the decorations in Jackson Heights once but then I figured it out quickly and wasn’t bothered. I don’t think many people – if any – would be confused.

    • I too have a super Irish name of the O’ variety and had no idea that this was a thing.

      It definitely makes me feel better about opting to not get a Celtic knot tattoo in my Celtic-music-obsessed youth.

    • Irish Poster :

      Thanks, everyone. I just wanted to double check.

    • What? No, I’ve never heard of this. (Jewish) I love Celtic knots!

    • I think anything worn in America that celebrates any culture from a Northern European country may eventually be seen as a sign of hatred. As if you only support “white” immigration, etc. Because why display it otherwise? Over 50% of Americans have some sort of Irish in them…Who cares?

    • No. I am Jewish, grew up with Irish Catholic best friend. I do NOT see “Irish pride” as anything more than ethnic/cultural pride, unless it goes overboard with lies. Like, there weren’t really Irish slaves in America, that is a White myth perpetuated by people who think African-Americans don’t deserve equality. But other than that, I think Celtic dancing looks fun (even those curly wigs) and Irish singing and Celtic knot jewelry and wedgewood china. Did I miss anything? I mean, I don’t love drinking it up every March 17th, but you do you, unless you’re actually racist, I won’t assume that you’re racist :)

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in law enforcement and I had no idea about any of that. It might not be as much of “a thing” as you think.

  24. Ontario MD referral how to :

    I’m in Ontario, looking for a new specialist for something long term. I have found a couple of MDs that seem to fit my requirements and will ask the GP to make a recommendation for me. I am wondering if there is a way I can have a chat with the specialist first, or if there is something like yelp for medical doctors. It’s someone I will have to have a long term relationship with (yearly or more monitoring) and I’m looking for the best (or a good) fit. TIA!

    • There’s RateMDs which is a mixed bag in terms of usefulness of reviews. Other than that, ask your GP, and look on Facebook to see if there’s an online support group for people in your city focused on your issue – asking there will probably get you some good recommendations. (If you’re in Toronto, I can share some experience with OB, pediatric ENT, and cancer care/palliative care if those have anything relevant for you.) I would strongly consider which hospital the specialist is affiliated with as you make your decision.

      • Ontario MD referral how to :

        Thank you Marilla. I’ll have a look at the Rate MD and take the hospital into consideration (a point I hadn’t thought of).

    • I’m in Ontario. It depends where you are. I’m in a smaller city and haven’t had much choice in specialists. It has basically been whoever has been available first at the local hospital for most things. For a cardiologist and a gastroenterologist my doctor has selected specialists based on what they specialize in (e.g., treating cancer vs other illnesses). He is usually just picking between 2 or 3 people/facilities. I agree with what was said previously, patient support groups for your illness on Facebook often talk about positive and negative experiences with certain doctors can be helpful particularly if your condition is rare or neglected. The one time I did research a specialist he didn’t know of (from another city) my doctor did refer me to that person with no problems. Good luck!

  25. Baltimore Neighborhoods :

    Hi all, I’m moving to Baltimore this spring. I’ve done some research and have been poking around on Zillow, but does anyone have any recommendations for neighborhoods that I should be looking at?

    My spouse and I are pretty run of the mill — our main activities are working, hanging out with our dogs and working out. We would need to buy a detached house with a yard for our dogs, and we would like a neighborhood that is moderately walkable with mature trees. We don’t have kids and don’t have plans to have them anytime soon; the soonest we might have school-aged children is 8-10 years from now. Price range is $300k, give or take. Any ideas for neighborhoods or close-in suburbs (20-30 minutes drive max)?

    • Hey! So downtown doesn’t really have detached homes, mostly row homes. The few neighborhoods that do (Gilford) would be out of your budget. Otherwise, 300k works for virtually the rest of the city proper and the burbs. I would look into the burb of Towson to meet your home requirements, but that’s not a very “young” neighborhood if that matters. (But I love it there, my parents and grandparents are there). Younger couples with no kids but who don’t need a detached yard would be in Brewer’s hill, Canton, or Pigtown which are all downtown.

      • Balt Associate :

        We just bought in Baltimore County (Halethorpe area), about a 15-20 minute drive to downtown. We have a huge yard, large detached house. We paid a bit more than $300k but like KTA posted, $300K works for most of the city and burbs. It isn’t walkable in the sense that we are close to restaurants and shops but there’s a light rail station near by so we can catch a 10 minute ride into Camden or else where downtown without a problem. Our neighborhood isn’t necessarily young either but looks like it will be turning that way in a bit. We are late 20s/mid-30s and a couple neighbors are too, others are older, been in the neighborhood for years. Towson can still be young, but not as easy to find as in the city. There are some leagues like duck pin bowling, trivia, etc. Patterson Park might be an area to look at as well. Not detached but has small backyard/patios, close to the park which has a dog park, pool/ice skating rink, social league games where people bring animals, etc.

  26. Mom is visiting :

    I posted a couple of months ago about feeling really sad that I couldn’t share my life with my parents. I live far away from both of them and they’re divorced. For a variety of reasons, it’s unlikely that my dad will ever be able to visit, though he loves seeing pictures and talking on the phone. My mom is generally a judgmental and negative person, so a visit from her makes me stressed. Well, mom is coming to visit soon.

    I feel a really complex set of emotions, waffling between stress at planning the weekend perfectly to ensure as few negative comments as possible and avoid getting into a fight, and sadness that I can’t actually show her my life. She desperately wants to see my life and be part of it, but it’s just upsetting to let her in. Every few years, I get lulled into a false sense of security and share something with her, and it always ends up coming back to bite me in ways that I could never have predicted.

    In this case, my mom is coming to watch me participate in my hobby. Thus, I will be unavailable for showing her around and hanging out for a fair portion of the visit. I’m a crafty person, and I have a very strong desire to make her some little “adventure” bags/cards that send her with snacks to the park where we grill every weekend in the summer, to our favorite pizza place that will have toppings she’ll love, to the coffee shop just down the street from my office, etc. But then I feel sick to my stomach thinking about sharing anything personal like that. It’s a freaking park, for goodness’ sake, what could be controversial about that!?! Off the top of my head, comments that will probably come up: It’s a shame you don’t have a nice backyard to grill; Oh wow, you WALK to the park? How frustrating to have to carry things across the street; Hmm, those parents don’t seem to be doing a good job [insert comment about parenting their kid that is not actually a bad thing].

    In short, I feel ridiculous for being so worried about her visit and her comments about my objectively awesome life. My husband tries to be encouraging by telling me to just do what I want and let her comments roll off my back, but it’s really hard to do that when you hear these subtle (and sometimes explicit) comments your whole life. Do I make an effort to share? Do I just keep the peace? I want to enjoy the visit and I love inviting literally ANYONE else into our lives.

    • I don’t have anything but sympathy and a big ole internet hug for you. My MIL is exactly like this, and I think my DH and I share these feelings. I know it’s tough. Share little kernels, but maintain boundaries around other things you just couldn’t bear for her to be a pill about. You can keep the peace that way, I think. It’s worked in our case, but I know it’s not perfect.

      And I knowingly LOL’ed at the “oh you WALK to the park?!” line because those exact words have absolutely come out of my MIL’s mouth (the park, the grocery store, etc etc).

      • Mom is visiting :

        Thanks for the internet hugs :) Ah the walking comments… it’s very counter-culture to the place where I grew up, so even though other visitors from less walkable cities are sometimes surprised, it’s usually a pleasant, “Wow, how nice that you are close enough to the park/have nice enough weather/have sidewalks to walk to [place]! That’s so awesome!”

    • Anonymous :

      A glass of wine, and a breakfast cocktail will help. Keep breathing. Maybe watch the caffeine.

      It’s really great of you to make all this effort. You can do it. Try to let the little things go…. Life is too short.

    • Anonymous :

      She doesn’t want and isn’t worthy of the effort of doing this craft project.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I’m so sorry! I definitely don’t think you should bother with the craft project. I have two more general pieces of advice, in part based on my similar experience with my sister.

      (A) If I were you, I would give up on the idea of “planning the weekend perfectly to ensure as few negative comments as possible and avoid getting into a fight.” That’s an admirable goal, but it’s not one you can achieve on your own. It requires your mother’s participation, and she’s shown you over and over again that she will not give you that. I think if you expect that your mother is going to make negative remarks and make your goal something like “Don’t pay any/so much attention to Mother’s negative remarks,” you’ll feel a lot less frustrated.

      (B) It sounds like your husband’s advice to let it roll off your back isn’t really helping. What do you want from him instead? Can you figure that out and ask him for it explicitly? Suggestions: run interference for me, tell Mother not to talk to me like that, validate me when I say Mother is being nasty and hurtful, take over X task for the weekend so I have less to deal with. For me, it really helps just to have my husband say “Wow, Sis was really being nasty” once we’re alone so I don’t feel like it’s just me being oversensitive. What would help you?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I kept writing and deleting something, but your point #2 is exactly what I wanted to say. “Don’t let it bother you” is a great goal, but I think if it were as easy as saying it, you wouldn’t be posting here. It helps me to check in with my husband when my MIL isn’t around, like “ugh I know she’s going to say this and criticize that!” and then when she does, he catches my eye and gives me that “I know, right?!” face, which really helps.

        Hugs to you — this dynamic sucks.

      • Mom is visiting :

        Sigh, I think the re-framing of the comments is correct.

        Husband is already a great help in these situations. He does run interference, and he’ll be cooking breakfast two mornings and helping make dinner (we like cooking together in general, so this is a nice stress relief either way). He’s basically willing to do whatever I ask, which is awesome. I think his bigger point is around re-framing the comments. We know we enjoy walking to the park to grill, so why does it matter so much if my mom just can’t fathom why anyone would want to walk to a lovely park on a sunny afternoon? I know this objectively, but it’s hard to re-frame it in the moment as her being ridiculous vs. taking it personally that we are somehow weird or less for not owning a house with a backyard (we live in the Bay Area, so renting is normal and we love our place).

        • You have my sincerest sympathy. For what it’s worth, I grew up in Russia and walking somewhere when you have a car is beyond my compatriots’ understanding as well. What has really helped me address these major cultural riffs when X suddenly and unpredictably means Y is to treat my relatives like aliens and very patiently explain why X actually does mean X. It seems to be disarming to them. It does not mean you will stop receiving negative feedback at every new thing that has not been explained , but the alien analogy really helped me stop taking it so personally. So, the aliens are clueless and a bit rude. But they just don’t know any better, you know?

    • Anonymous :

      You are good person for wanting to show your mom some of your life. However, I think that, based solely on what you posted here, she’s not worth this level of effort.

      Is there a compromise? Such as sign her up for a tour of your city (run by a third party) and give her a few suggestions of where a coffee shop is located and a good pizza place or some other place? This way, she can see your city, but it’s not your intimate part of the city…. like, maybe the tour goes through the same park you mentioned above, but she doesn’t have to know that it’s where you grill out, she’ll just know it’s a park and whatever the tour guide tells her.

      Good luck with the visit.

    • Look, you’re creating too much pressure for yourself here. This weekend isn’t going to make or break your relationship with your mom. Even if you bent over backwards with this treasure hunt or whatever, all the complaining and sniping you mention will probably still happen. You need to take your foot of the gas and just hope for a weekend that is not-too-bad mostly-normal verging-on-good. Basically what you write makes me think your mom might be a narcissist but if so you’ve probably already had that realization and done enough learning. Maybe plan one thing that YOU like and you think mom will like so even if the time together isn’t great, you’ll still get to do a thing you like. This is how I handle my mom. Good luck – no parent is perfectly easy but some are WAY more difficult than others.

    • shoulder season :

      In this case I think I would give her things to do that you are less invested in. Don’t show her your favorite park and coffee spot–show her different but comparable ones. That way if she doesn’t like them, it’s easier for you to separate that from any judgments on your life choices. Also, I’m sorry that your mother is so stress-inducing. I wish that she could be a better mother for you. Maybe she is doing the best she can as a mother; maybe not–but either way, it is not enough.

      • These are great ideas – the second-best coffeeshop or park, or the ones near your work or husband’s work or something. I also like the third-party tour of the city.
        Do you have any friends you’d be ok with introducing to your mom? Sometimes the prescence of another person can be helpful in breaking the tension. Your mom might behave better around the friend, or you can complain to the friend later.

        Also I do suggest coming up with a few mantras or planned responses to your mom’s, um, crititiques. I think “like water off a duck’s back” or, “wait a beat….. silence…. and then I say, “ok.”” so that the comment is acknowledged as heard and registered but not responded to in the moment. I feel like I am filing it away somewhere to take it out and consider it later.

        I mean, some of these are completely believable that someone would say these things and yet are also ridiculous (I am critisizing your mom, not your interpretation of her). OF COURSE someone from another (more rural) area is going to be surprised at city amenities (a walk to the park! That must add to the value of your home or rent!) and also find the downside (yeah, it can be noisy, but it’s not a problem.) So, don’t worry!! You are not alone with crazy critquing undermining mama! We love you and you WILL get through this!

    • anonforthis :

      “I feel a really complex set of emotions, waffling between stress at planning the weekend perfectly to ensure as few negative comments as possible and avoid getting into a fight, and sadness that I can’t actually show her my life. She desperately wants to see my life and be part of it, but it’s just upsetting to let her in. Every few years, I get lulled into a false sense of security and share something with her, and it always ends up coming back to bite me in ways that I could never have predicted.”

      My mom was just here this weekend. I could have written this. My solution was to stop trying. She isn’t worth it and hasn’t earned your respect. You simply cannot choose who your parents are.

  27. Unsolicited review of two JCrew Factory items I just received, and loved. Sharing here, because they are the kinds of pieces we tend to talk about a lot.

    1) The Open-Front Sweater Blazer. I usually wear an XL/16 in a regular structured blazer, but usually size down for a sweater blazer. I ordered the L in the navy and it is perfect. The piece itself is well-made and versatile and feels so much nicer than the $49 it is today.

    2) Drapey Pull On Pant. I ordered these in both the pink and the navy, and I love them, too. The pink was a dusty but vibrant rose (not too light, not too washed out), and I’ll play it as a neutral. Navy was a good blue navy (not too dark). The material is soft and looks nice: can see it working in a biz casual or “creative” workplace, or for travel (with a quick hot shower steam). I usually wear a 14/16 in regular structured pants, and went with the 16 here due to the possibility of gaping slit pockets (unsewn) and I wanted to avoid the bunchy diaper look with the elasticky waist. These will be my cheap dupe ($34 today!) for the Eileen Fisher type pants!

    • Do you think the pants would suit a pear shape? I was eyeing those yesterday, but I was unsure if they would bunch up on my thighs.

      • Hmm, I’m not sure. I’m a very hourglass shaped person, but with thick rear/thighs, so maybe for these purposes, the same? They were pretty comfortable and the little walking I did in them in my house didn’t lead to any bunching or riding up. The fabric is pretty silky (…I mean, it’s poly, but silky feeling), so they glided right over my legs.

        At today’s price, might be worth an order to try on and return if you need to?

      • I’m a pear and have similar pants from AT from years ago and LOVE them.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m the same size as you and I just received the Easy Pant in Matte Crepe from J Crew and was super impressed. They look super similar to the Drapey Pull On Pant. A really nice easy fabric, still formal enough for work, with elastic waist.

      I really appreciate that J Crew/J Crew Factory go beyond a size 12!

      • Right?! Such a nice recent development. I was always on the cusp, but found that their pants were too straight in the hip/thigh area to work for me (a curvy cut, or the julie at loft, is perfect on me, for reference). Recent factory purchases have fit better on me! I can branch out of my just trying their tee shirts and shoes!

  28. Anonymous :

    So our accountant made a pretty big omission on our taxes the last several years. We have to refile, yes? This was truly an honest mistake but I think it caused us to underpay taxes by a fair amount. We only found out because we are working with a new accountant who brought it to our attention.

    • Yup.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. And there will be a penalty.

      You could let the old accountant know, in case they want to credit you back part of your fee. But I suspect there were reasons why you didn’t choose to work with them this year, so….


  29. 2018 Witholding Calc :

    Anyone else used this yet that has high HHI and typically pays AMT? Bonus if you live in a state where you think you should be impacted by the SALT deduction cap.

    We ran the calculator this weekend, three times to make sure we were entering things right, and the amount of tax it is predicting we will owe seems much, much too low. Is the thing just not accurate for everyone? Any other way to estimate? Advisable to see a CPA? Thanks!

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