Tuesday’s TPS Report: Daniela Plaid-Print Silk Blouse

Parker Daniela Plaid-Print Silk Blouse | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Parker is one of those brands that I forget about, but they have SUCH pretty blouses right now. My favorite is this print (which is also available as a dress, although it’s a bit short on the model for my taste). But: love the print! It’s 100% silk, and I think it would look stunning whether tucked in or worn out. It’s $220 at Amazon (and eligible for Prime). Parker Daniela Plaid-Print Silk Blouse

Here’s a lower-priced option that comes in regular and plus sizes.

Update Dec. 2015: Like this top? See more Parker blouses here, or a few particular favorites below. 


Like this top? Shop more Parker blouses:

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



  1. Boot cut pants :

    Does anyone wear boot cut pants to work anymore?

    I think straight (ankle to long hems) and slim-leg (ankle hems) are what I see mostly. I am OK with those, but I am really used to wearing heels with boot cut pants (or straight legs that are still pretty wide, like how pants are on men where the leg would be about as wide as the space your foot in heels makes up).

    There is no shortage of complicated things about pants. Sigh.

    • Not sure about bootcut but I saw someone with a wide-leg tweed trousers on today and it should looked so refreshing after years and years of skinny pants.

      • I was about to give up non-skinny pants, but it seems that skinny pants have not yet evolved to deal with curvy bottoms the way that even Talbots has curvy boot-cut work pants in their suiting line. With narrower legs, it seems that there is one set of waist-hip measurements.

        TL/DR: anyone know some pants that work well for skinny pears that have narrower legs and a medium rise (in a good way, and not in a mom jeans kind of way)?

        • Carrie.... :

          Still looking…

        • I like the Michael Michael Kors ponte pant (http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/michael-michael-kors-skinny-ponte-knit-ankle-pants?ID=692765). They’re sold at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, and Nordstrom used to carry them as well. I typically wear them with a longer blouse or sweater, or I do the “half tuck” and tuck in the front of my blouse and let the rest of the shirt drape around the waistband.

        • It is a challenge, for sure. I found it strange that in an earlier discussion many women had problems as pears, despite having a 10-inch differrence in their waist and hip measurements. When I look at Tier 2 clothing websites, the single digit sizes often have a 10-inch difference between waist and hip measurements.

    • I agree – pants seem so much more complicated. That’s why I stick to skirts and dresses for work. Bonus – they don’t show weight fluctuations as much as pants do.

    • I work in a casual/biz casual office and often wear the Express editor pants to work, which I would classify as boot cut or wide leg. (They’re not the greatest quality, but I like the fit and I don’t have to take them in for hemming.) I tend to wear them with flats or a short-heeled boot.

      • Yessss! I own the classic black Express Editor in bootcut in every size form 0 to 8 (thank you to my two babies). I love the way they look with my pointy toe heels.

    • Yes, I have a pair of black boot cut pants I wear all the time. I also have pairs in gray and brown. I wear then all the time in the fall/winter with ankle boots.

      However, I’m not into boot cut jeans any more. At least in the winter, I find myself reaching for skinny jeans and tall boots. (I work in a very casual office)

      • What are good skinny jeans for tall boots? I have a pair and they seem to bag at the knees / not be sleek enough. Jeggings?

        My skinny jeans are good for flats only, I think.

        • They are the Always Skinny jeans from the Gap. I also have a black pair from Express. I don’t remember the exact name, but I think they are the Mia. I wear the Gap jeans in warmer weather with flats or sandals.

        • Express legging jeans (I hate the word jegging!) work really well for me.

      • I echo this. I wear bootcut trousers to work with heels, wedges or ankle boots. I wouldn’t characterize them as being especially wide, but they have a slight flare. I have a few pairs of bootcut jeans I never wear – weekends are all about skinny jeans and tall boots.

    • bananagram :

      I wear bootcuts, but I’ve noticed that they’re a lot less wide than the bootcuts of a few years ago.

    • I wear trouser cut pants to work, though on my curves they probably look more like bootcuts.

    • To the extent that J*crew’s 1035 pant or Ann Taylor modern cut are boot cut, yes, I do. I am especially finding myself more interested in wearing the pants in my closet now that I have my new Vince Camuto Vala booties (thanks again for the rec, poster-whose-name-I’m-sorry-I-can’t-remember) because don’t have to wear uncomfortable heels or fuss with the hems for flats. Kind of pants-life changing.

    • I only wear bootcut/trouser/wide leg pants at all. I can handle straight, but slim/skinny just make me crazy.

      • +1. All my work trousers are either Gap Perfect Trouser/Modern Boot or the J. Crew Hutton trouser. I used to have some BR Jacksons but I don’t think they make anything in that cut any more.
        (In a business formal office where all the attorneys wear at least unmatched suits/blazers most days. Skinny trousers with suit jackets have not appeared on anyone, and I’m glad.)

    • I think that wide legged pants with heels are classy, but I am short (5″4) and they don’t flatter me. That’s why I wear fitted, straight leg pants ( brooks bros Kizzy fit, for instance), but I like it when tall ladies wear wide leg pants.

    • Most of my work trousers are boot/wider leg. I think that the skinny/ankle/straight/cigar e t t e cut appears to be more casual than fuller-leg trousers.

      I also feel like this cut is more flattering to a variety of different shoes: flats, heels, boots, booties, etc. The straight/ankle cuts look funny with some shoes, I think.

    • Wide leg pants purchased now? Absolutely. Old pants from the early 00s, no. A vintage pair from the 70s, on the weekend with modern accessories and top. The trick to looking current is to buy pants and staples regularly enough so you get updated details. The flare will be cut differently, the waist will sit in a different place, etc.

    • I know right :

      Love your last line.
      Pants can be complicated. Truth. Way more complicated than they sound.

    • I am getting back into them, the last couple of pairs I bought were bootcut. I was just wearing straight, slim cuts, and I like the look, but I have “athletic” calves (okay, they are just big) and I’m so tired of my pants legs riding up on my calves and not falling down when I stand up. Back to trouser and boot-cut legs.

    • Hi, I’m not sure I would qualify them as “boot cut” but I pretty much only wear trouser cut pants to work. I am an attorney in financial services compliance at a small Bay Area hedge fund where the attire is “business” but neither formal nor casual. My favorites are the Banana Republic Martin pant. Still lined and well made. I’m wearing grey ones today with a white Brooks Brother button down and navy cardigan. I think the slim cut pants are less formal. For what it’s worth, I’m about 5 feet 8 inches tall and a reasonably slim pear shaped 44 year old.

      • enough with ankle pants (and skinny too) :

        I am so done with skinny, leggings, cigarette and ankle styles — I actually own zero of those items, for some reason as a glutton for punishment I do continually try them on, but it is not my style and does not look right on me. The “skinniest” pants I have are BR’s Sloan Trouser cut — I wish they offered in other colors than just black, they look fantastic.
        My pants are all boot cut or trouser cut. I have substantial hips and they balance out so I don’t look so vavoom pear.

  2. Hello hive!
    I am weaning myself off my self-imposed hibernation and decided to start networking again.
    This is very hard for me as an introvert, but as I am contemplating a career shift within a year, I believe I need to get out there.
    I am starting small by going to a startup pitch session tonight and then a public speaking competition on black history later. I thought starting with topics and venues not related to work would be less intimidating while I hone my small talk skills.
    I have printed some great networking cards and hopefully will hand a few.
    I just wanted to know if it’s OK to say: I’m an industrial affairs specialist with strong interest in Corporate PR.
    I would like to let people know I am interested in the corporate affairs function in case opportunities arise. Is that too straightforward? Should I be more discreet about expressing my wish to change?
    What is the best way to let people around know I am interested in a field?
    FWIW, I am in a position where my employer (based overseas) would not let go of me, at least not this fiscal year. I am not worried about them hearing I’m looking around, I am worried about how I come off to people I meet because on paper, I am very successful but in reality I am not thriving.

    • I think that sounds perfect.
      You could even say, “I’m currently doing Current Job, and I’m looking for opportunities in New Sector, too.”
      Be prepared – that’s an opening. People will probably ask questions of you! You might be able to get in a question or 2 first – “Have you switched careers or sectors, because I’m looking for advice?” and then the other person will talk and you can listen.

      But I think what you have sounds great and your chosen activities sound interesting!

    • If you have experience in corporate PR, you might add “with a background and strong interest…” so people know you’re multi-talented.

    • Joan Holloway :

      Recently I read a suggestion for introductions that made a lot of sense: instead of focusing on what you do, focus on who you help. I’ve tried it, and it makes me feel more empowered and less elevator-pitch-ish.

  3. First thing this morning TJ: I have been asked to lead an all-day planning session for my small (5 attorneys) non-profit office. The idea is to identify goals for 2015–what do we want to work on, what do we have to work on, etc. I have not ever led something like this, so I am looking for advice on practicalities (how to I make this not horrible to sit through) as well as any resources (online or otherwise) that others have found helpful. Thanks!

    • Look for info on the web about the use of a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats). I have been on the long-term planning committee of a non-profit (an animal shelter, not a legal program) and we have used that framework to plan goals and allocate resources. We have had a facilitator — in this case, it can be you — lead a brainstorming session to identify the components of SWOT and then to refine them and later analyze the components into a plan, so the process is interactive.

    • desi inside and out :

      check out strategic planning resources. this sounds like what you are probably looking for in terms of content. for ins and outs of facilitating, I’d suggest googling facilitating group discussions and see what comes up.

    • We’ve done these with our department, and having a break out activity to lighten things up is useful. We did the Marshmallow Challenge once (just google it) and it was fun – you do the activity, and then watch a TED talk on it. It’s a good way to get everyone to relax, with real teamwork lessons in it. Good luck!

  4. Shopping help! I just got offered a new job and need to refresh my wardrobe post-twins. I have a gorgeous black BB suit that will be my best suit, but I need another one or two for everyday, plus some separates. J Crew used to be my go-to for suits (actual wool in classic colors and styles) but (1) they don’t fit me properly anymore (I’m still 20lbs heavier than pre-pregnancy and have a totally different shape than I used to) and (2) I’m 37 now and feel like I need to step up my wardrobe a bit. Any suggestions on where to shop? BR and AT are about on par with JC (plus AT quality is just not what it used to be — at all — and their only wool suit is black and I already have black). Talbots suits are too matronly and dowdy. My style is very classic (some might say boring, but I’m a lawyer in DC working in financial regulation — boring is my middle name) and I’d like material that’s a little forgiving. (When I was shopping for the suit I ultimately bought at BB, I tried on a Hugo Boss suit at Nordstrom and uh-uh. The material was so thin you could see every bump and lump. Not helpful.) Any suggestions for where to shop to hit that sweet spot between I’m-not-22-anymore and I’m-not-a-grandma?

    • Maddie Ross :

      This is my opinion, but I would not automatically write off Talbots suits as too dowdy. There are lots of Talbots pieces that are, but I have 3 seasonless wool suits from Talbots in solid colors (navy, black and gray). The black is great because I was able to get the skirt, dress and both straight and bootcut pants. Sure, they are not trendy, but they are about as basic as you can get.

      • I’ve tried on Talbot’s suits recently and they just don’t work on me. They may look great on other people, but on me they are dowdy, dowdy.

        • I took a dowdy, navy seasonless wool Talbots pant suit to the tailor and had the [one button] blazer taken in at the waist. The pants are the wide leg, high rise Hollywood fit, I think. I am consistently asked if I got the suit at J.Crew.

      • +1 for Talbots.

      • Wildkitten :

        I love their ponte dresses. Love.

    • I haven’t bought anything from them (yet), but Boden is frequently mentioned on this board in response to similar requests. A session with a Nordstrom personal shopper might also be a good option.

    • Diana Barry :

      Congrats on the new job!

      What is your shape now post-pg? Is it more curvy or more straight? I might try going back to Nordstrom and trying on different brands of suits.

      I have a straightish figure and the brands that are a “step up” and fit me well are Reiss and Theory. I still have J Crew suits for ‘regular’ wear – I buy the super 120s when they are on sale. Could you hit sale/coupon time at BB and/or get Talbots suits tailored for you?

      • Mostly my new shape is stretched out belly. I always carried any extra weight in my hips and thighs, but for the first time in my life I now have this little round belly (if I’m wearing the wrong thing, I look like I might still be pregnant — awesome, right?). I used a personal shopper at Nordstrom when I tried on the Hugo Boss suit and honestly that was the only one she could find that was wool, basic color, and classic cut.

        • Diana Barry :

          Maybe try going a size up in the pants and then having them tailored? I know just what you mean and it usually means the pants aren’t quite big enough in the front/rise etc.

        • Wildkitten :

          Not everyone agrees with me but I love the TC shapeware tanks for keeping my tummy tucked in. I find them to be a comfortable under layer.

    • Congrats on the job. Did you try Lafayette 148? I’ve heard good things about their clothes.

    • Classiques, Boss, and Elie Tahari have great quality suiting. There is now an Elie Tahari outlet at the National Harbor outlets although they carry a mix of the Tahari lines. Lafayette 148 is great quality but their suits fit boxy.

      • Coach Laura :

        Congratulations on the new job! How are the twins?

        I was going to suggest Lafayette 148 or Classiques at nordy’s. You might try Pendleton also.

    • SF in House :

      Check out Max Mara. It is expensive, but their fall line (in their stores) should still be on sale. Nothing is coming up on line, but I got a gorgeous suit there last suit. Also, plan to tailor. It is a pain, but it is amazing how much it helps.

    • Do you have a Brooks Brothers outlet near you? I’ve had great luck there. Congrats on the new job!

    • Lafayette 148 or Eileen Fisher

    • Senior Attorney :

      Can’t really help with the clothing issue, but just want to say congrats on the job and ask for a report on those sweet twins!!

      • Thanks! The boys are getting huge and are almost more toddler now than baby (they’re a little over 10 months). They also now “talk” to each other when they’re going to sleep, or reach through the bars of their cribs to hold hands. I pretty much die of the cuteness on a daily basis. :)

        • Senior Attorney :

          I almost died of the cuteness just reading that! Sounds like you are having a good time! :)

    • When I went back to work (also post twins) I bought 1 new suit and a few separate trouser pants at Banana. Try the Jackson pants for a more curvey lower half. I loved them post baby. They are still lined and well made and I felt like a professional in them. I’m a lawyer in financial services compliance but in the Bay Area, not DC. I mostly did trousers and either a silk blouse or nice knit top with a blazer when I was first post partum. I also want to say that you should dress for who you are now and invest in a few things that will make you feel super and confident. It took me much longer to lose the weight from my twins than it did in my first pregnancy with a single baby. As in almost 2 years, and feeling professional and competent in my work clothes made a huge mental difference! Good luck and congrats!

    • Much to my surprise, I had great luck with the Theory Ibbey 2 pants & Gabe Blazer, both now on sale. 3 season (in DC) wool blend w some stretch. Get yourself (quickly) to bloomies or neimans or saks to try & then buy online from Theory during their sale. Which is ending quite soon. That said, the pieces are selling for at least 40-50% off in the stores, too. I am not a stick, but can wear both these styles.

  5. Mommy Monster :

    So I’m wearing FLEECE TIGHTS today for the first time ever, and, wow, I feel like I’m in pajamas! So comfy, so soft, so warm–I think I’m in love. I’d have never bought a pair except for the tongue-in-cheek recommendations of the HIVE.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      What brand do you suggest? I want to try fleece tights, but I’ve heard mixed reviews with them falling down, etc.

      • My advice is to just not spend a lot of money on them because they will all fall down sooner than you think and even if not they will start to pill and look gross after 3-5 wears no matter how carefully you wash them. So I think with FT, just buy the regular ones at the drugstore and then toss them after a few wears.
        Another solution, warmth wise, is to get fleece lined leggings and wear them over your regular tights and then take off when you get to the office. I find that or the heat tech tights from uniqlo to be a better solution for me because (even though I loved them when I first tried them) I got sick of FT looking grotty so quickly.

        • Careful, though! I bought some drugstore ones last year and ended up with purple dye EVERYWHERE.

      • Mommy Monster :

        I got mine off Amazon – they were highly reviewed, and I spent <$15. Although some people complained of odor, I opened the package and didn't notice ANY odor in my pair. I did wash them prior to wearing. So far, at mid-day, I haven't had any noticeable sagging, but I did size up to make sure they weren't a struggle to wear.

        • TJ Maxx. Usually less than $5 a pair for brand name FLEECE TIGHTS and I don’t feel bad tossing them when they start to pill or stretch out.

      • I bought a couple of pairs from JC Penney and they have help up well so far.

  6. Talbots Silk :

    Can anyone speak to the quality of Talbots silk? They have some tops that look like they would be good basics with suits but IMHO Talbots quality overall is hit-or-miss.

    • Talbots Silk :

      Specifically looking at these:



      • I have something similar to the short sleeve top (in what may be the same pink “Cerise” color). I’ve had it for about a year and a half now, and it’s held up very well. Sort of a pain to iron (have to go slowly – wish I had a steamer!). But otherwise, it’s been a great buy.

    • I bought a couple of silk shells around last summer, and they’re okay. They look a little raggedy now after some regular use. I got them for like $15, so I guess that makes it okay, but if I were looking to buy an actual shirt or something that I really liked, I probably wouldn’t buy it from them.

      • Talbots Silk :

        Yeah they are currently on sale for about $30. If I could get them down to about $20 with a coupon it might be worth it.

    • lucy stone :

      I have a couple and think they hold up pretty well. Most of mine are sleeveless shells that I’ve had 2-3 years. You can see a small amount of wear around the edges, but I’m fine with that since I only wear them under things.

    • I have two silk talbots tops purchases years ago, and they were both workhorses. I pitted them out before (gross, I know) before they gave up.

    • For those of you who think they held up well- how do you take care of them? I’ve been putting them in a lingerie bag on the delicate cycle (cold water, of course) and then letting them air dry. Occassionally when needed I use warm iron on the reverse side to get wrinkles out. Am I doing this wrong?

      • I hand wash silk because I don’t trust my building’s machine with anything delicate… if I had access to a nicer machine, I’d definitely use the delicate cycle. I air dry and iron on the reverse with a pillowcase between the iron and shirt.

      • I have my own in unit machine (so I’m the only one that uses it). It’s nothing fancy, but I also wash my silk shirts (knit/delicate cycle, cold, with as short a soak time as I can get, using a lingerie bag). I also make sure to remove them promptly and hang to dry. And I also iron out the wrinkles, though I think body heat can help relax them out as well.

      • lawsuited :

        I have them dry-cleaned every 4-5 wears, and use my steamer to get wrinkles out between dry-cleanings. I have silk tanks from them that are around 4 years old and look the same as they did when I bought them. One of them in particular I wear about once a week in the summer months, so it’s pretty amazing.

  7. Baconpancakes :

    I thought we’d discussed this at some point, but I couldn’t find it in the archives – has anyone used the New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROLFW) on kindle and had a strong preference for actual book vs. kindle edition? I’d prefer to get most books on kindle these days, but I seem to remember it being annoying to flip between pages or something?

    • I really appreciate having the actual book, because if I forget what an exercise looks like, its page number is referenced in the workout plan and I flip right to it. If they linked directly to that page in the Kindle edition it could be doable, but potentially annoying if not.

      • I had the kindle version first, and it was…fine. I ended up buying the paper book. The kindle version did not have the page numbers, and was thus annoying.

    • I am constantly flipping through the book. I have it tagged, and have made notes on certain exercises where I’m likely to forget something. The kindle edition would drive me nuts.

    • I don’t have this book, but I typically get anything I’m going to use as a reference (kid-related, cookbooks, etc.) in paper form, as I agree it’s too much of a pain to flip back & forth in Kindle.

    • Wildkitten :

      If you remove the binding you can get it spiral bound at Staples and it’s perfect.

  8. how much does it cost to get a pair of flats resoled?

    • It’s usually about $40 at a local cobbler I use, with results even better than the original state of the shoes. Well worth it for me.

    • My cobbler in the DC ‘burbs is $20 to resole just about anything, so worth asking around.

      • I’m actually in the DC area; who do you go to?

        • Not anon above, but I had a pair of boots resoled at Old Town Shoe and Luggage Repair in Alexandria for I think $30. I was very happy with the job, and have taken multiple pairs of shoes there for a number of different things. I’ve been very pleased with everything.

    • I paid £25 when I got my brogues resoled, so similar to Monday’s $40. Essentially, cheaper than buying a new pair of great shoes!

  9. Looking to get a new medium sized bag for every day essentials (separate from a work tote). In your opinion, what’s the most versatile color bag for you? I wear lots of black and blue.

    • For me it’s a dark red burgundy. I found it works with my black capsule wardrobe and my navy capsule wardrobe.

    • Maddie Ross :

      My favorite bags are camel or cordovan. So versatile. I do not generally like black bags though. No specific recs on bags, as I generally prefer larger ones.

      • +1. I got a camel/tan Kate Spade bag at least 3-4 years ago and it’s a workhorse! Which is actually kind of sad (though good for my wallet) because it prevents new bag purchases.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        +2. Camel/tan goes with everything.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I use a camel bag most days, and I find between black and camel I’m pretty covered. Occasionally I’ll want to use red or hunter green, but rarely. I love my D&B all-weather satchel. Nothing like a leather bag that looks just as good after it’s been rained on.

      • I love my Dooney AWL bags too.

        • Baconpancakes :

          After this one, I don’t know if I can go back to water-delicate leathers. Maybe saffiano would be ok?

          • I have a Coach tote in saffiano leather and it shows no wear at all. Had it for a year. I love it. If you wear a lot of neutrals, I think a burgundy…dark red…wine is the most versatile.

    • I carry a work tote plus a very small purse for wallet, phone, lipstick, etc. My favorite small purses are dark purple — really, it goes with everything in my wardrobe (which centers on black & gray with light blues, purples or sometimes red accents) — and one that is dark red with camel panels.

    • Gray. Goes with everything year round. I also like navy bags, but I am someone who likes black and navy together.

    • Brown, for me. I have a lovely mid-brown leather bag that has a central compartment which will take my laptop if I want it to.

  10. Anyone have recs for vegetarian meal/food delivery services in dc? A friend had a death in the family and I’d like to send a hot/comforting meal for the family. TIA!

    • Check out this place, http://www.thesoupergirl.com/. Delivery may or may not work, depending on where your friend lives, but I think it would be worth calling them (if the food looks good to you) to see if you can explain the situation and work something out. (Gifting instructions: http://www.thesoupergirl.com/howtobuy/gift/)

      I am having trouble thinking of other options right now, other than to check Seamless for your friend’s area.

    • I had posted a response, but it has disappeared, not sure what happened. Check out Souper Girl (avoiding links in case that’s what happened with my prior post, although did not get a moderation message).

    • Power Supply is also awesome — they have vegetarian meals available and the quality of the food is really high.

  11. Help me out, hive–I have a big tote that I use daily to transport stuff that doesn’t fit in my purse. It has bills to be paid, random papers, publications I’m reading/work files, etc. In addition, I carry a purse that I usually just drop into my tote so I’m not carrying a thousand bags to and from the car/etc. The purse is kind of large, but I appreciate that to an extent. The purse has to be able to hold my wallet (a zip-style bill-size wallet), a ditty bag (cosmetics, lip balm, meds & epi pens for my son), phone, glasses, & various other small items.

    Right now, I’m carrying an XS Timbuk2 messenger as my purse. What I like about it: 360* reflectivity. It’s nylon with scotchlite woven in. There are things about the bag I’d love to change, but it has been my go-to bag for probably 10 years. I got an REI crossbody purse from my sister for a gift, and I love it also. If I could combine the two, I’d have it made. The REI is smaller/slimmer and fits in the tote better, but it isn’t at all reflective, so I tend to use it more in the summer when there’s less chance I’m going to be walking around well after dark.

    Here’s my question: how do you manage several bags/bag needs? I don’t need a huge purse, but I do need something. The work tote is here to stay, as well.

    If there’s a vicarious shopping desire: does someone want to find me a small-medium crossbody with reflective trim/better wallet/clutch/wristlet/whatever??

    • I used to think carrying a single bag was the holy grail, but I’m now resigned to both a work tote and a shoulder bag. The shoulder bag is nice enough for every day at work but not too fancy for weekends (Coach, Dooney or Furla). I only change shoulder bags a couple of times per season.

      I carry my lunch and laptop as well as the papers you describe in the work tote. I refuse to have a third bag for lunch or anything else.

    • Wildkitten :


      But I also just give up and carry at least two bags at all times.

      • Meg Murry :

        I have this bag and love it, but it wouldn’t hold everything the OP is asking for. I can fit my phone, small (men’s size) wallet and a few odds and ends (if I pack it just right it will also hold my sunglasses), but it wouldn’t fit a phone, larger wallet, ditty pouch and glasses.

        However, I would agree that she should consider a custom Timbuk2 bag, since you can now get purses made in the reflective fabrics. What about the custom Maya or custom Eula?

    • I saw that T2 bag, Kitten–I like it a lot! It would be a nicer size than my current T2 and more likely to fit inside my tote (almost wrote goat) even when there’s a lot of stuff.

      I will have to look at the custom bags again. For a long time, they discontinued their reflective fabrics, which is why I clung so tightly to the one I have (it’s brown side panels and red center panel–all of which are reflective), but if they have reflective fabrics again, I’ll absolutely take another look!

      • Wildkitten :

        I’m East Coast professional but I love Timbuk2 – and they’ve been expanding their collection a lot lately, and also trying things that don’t work, so you should keep an eye on their site and see if they make something that is what you are looking for in the next few months.

  12. brunch for vegetarians who are good cooks :

    I’m hosting a brunch for three friends who have hosted me many times. They’re vegetarians and excellent cooks, so the bar is set high. Although I’m sure they’ll like whatever I make, I want to make something great!

    Any brunch recipe favorites that you’d recommend? Combinations are especially appreciated (like, make this quiche with this potato recipe with this fruit salad). I have trouble planning menus.


    • For veggie protein, I like the Blue Flannel Hash recipe in Veganomicon (if you search, can probably find the recipe online somewhere). Works well with scrambled eggs, if they do eggs.

      I have made these roast pears before as an alternative to fruit salad and they’re tasty: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/12/vanilla-roasted-pears/

    • desi inside and out :

      this might be helpful: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/12/how-to-host-brunch-and-still-sleep-in/

      also Mark Bitman (in how to cook everything) has similar menus like this in the back of his book.

      • I used this article to help create a brunch menu and it went over really well. For the first bullet, I made overnight french toast (prep the night before, bake in the morning) using croissants as the bread. Delicious, decadent and my friends loved it! Next I made sour cream scones (make, freeze, bake straight from frozen). Fruit salad was the least popular, probably because there were so many other decadent options. Finally, we had a sausage and egg bake, which I would sub for a veggie quiche, fritatta or baked egg dish. Shaksuka or SK’s eggs in spinach and mushrooms would be a hit. Pretty much everything in this menu can be made in advance and/or in the oven, leaving the stove free for optional breakfast potatoes or hash.

        Sorry I don’t have recipes. Other than the scones (my aunt’s secret recipe) I don’t use them!

    • I’m a big fan of Smitten Kitchen. Deb even has a brunch guide: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/12/how-to-host-brunch-and-still-sleep-in/

      I highly recommend the baked eggs with spinach and mushrooms and her crackly banana bread:

    • I’ve made this, but with challah bread and it was easy and incredible. All prep done the night before, you just pop in the oven day of.

      • Here’s the link.


      • My response is stuck in moderation, but I’ve made something similar with croissants and it was a huge hit.

        • My school canteen did this with pains au chocolat. It was so good!

          • That sounds amazing! I’ve also seen recipes cut croissants in half and spread them with nutella before making french toast/bread pudding. It’s definitely on my must try list.

    • I like doing egg skillets in a cast-iron pan, if you have one. Like this https://food52.com/recipes/24645-baked-eggs-with-mushrooms-and-gruyere and http://www.feastingathome.com/2013/05/skillet-huevos.html. If you don’t have a cast-iron that can bake the eggs in the oven, doing a stove-top veggie scramble is always simple and tasty – I like onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach adn sharp cheddar in mine, but you can usually just add anything.

      I’ve also made this frittata as mini-quiches a few times (using a muffin tin rather than whatever pan they say to use) and it’s been a big hit: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/butternut-frittata-sage-and-gruy%C3%A8re

      Also, I love doing pan-fried plantains if you can get them at your grocery store. They get a little crispier if you get the green plantains (I like to add salt, pepper and a pinch of cayenne) or caramelized and a little softer if you get the ripe kind (I just add a pinch of salt). I cook them in coconut oil but probably any bland oil would do.

      Finally, it’s super simple, but I love it so much – cinnamon sugar toast. Just get some really good bakery bread, butter it up, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, and toast.

      Have fun! Wish someone would invite me to a tasty vegetarian friend brunch ;)

    • Here’s what I would do. Start with a soup course with a piece of grilled baguette. Then a hearty quiche with a side of roasted brussels sprouts. Then fruit and yogurt parfaits in pretty glasses. All of these recipes can be made ahead (or at least prepped ahead for the quiche & brussels and already in the oven when your guests arrive). I would serve bellinis instead of the typical mimosa. These recipes all echo each other so you have a nice cohesion of flavors, and uses mostly-in-season ingredients.

      Ginger-Pear Bellinis: http://hellonatural.co/ginger-pear-bellini/

      Celery and Pear Soup: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10759-celery-and-pear-soup (I would put a dollop of greek yogurt on top before topping with shallots)

      Leek and Mushroom Quiche: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/01/quiche-me-deadly/ (I know this is blasphemous but I suggest you use a store-bought pie crust instead of making it, what a pain)

      Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts: http://www.onceuponachef.com/2009/11/roasted-brussels-sprouts.html

      For the fruit I would just get whatever is in season in your whole foods, greek yogurt (not fat free), top with slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey. Have a pot of hot water ready to serve tea.

      • If using store-bought baking crusts, don’t forget to check ingredients to make sure vegetarian (lard).

    • I made you a menu but I guess it had too many links so it’s in moderation.

      • Trying again:

        Here’s what I would do. Start with a soup course with a piece of grilled baguette. Then a hearty quiche with a side of roasted brussels sprouts. Then fruit and yogurt parfaits in pretty glasses. All of these recipes can be made ahead (or at least prepped ahead for the quiche & brussels and already in the oven when your guests arrive). I would serve bellinis instead of the typical mimosa. These recipes all echo each other so you have a nice cohesion of flavors, and uses mostly-in-season ingredients.

        Ginger-Pear Bellinis: http://hellonatural.co/ginger-pear-bellini/

        Celery and Pear Soup: http://www.chow.com/recipes/10759-celery-and-pear-soup (I would put a dollop of greek yogurt on top before topping with shallots)

        Leek and Mushroom Quiche: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2007/01/quiche-me-deadly/ (I know this is blasphemous but I suggest you use a store-bought pie crust instead of making it, what a pain)

        Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts: http://www.onceuponachef.com/2009/11/roasted-brussels-sprouts.html

        For the fruit I would just get whatever is in season in your whole foods, greek yogurt (not fat free), top with slivered almonds and a drizzle of honey.

    • Miss Behaved :

      I’ve been making a dutch baby as a nice, easy fancier breakfast:

      I serve it with sliced apples and confectioners sugar. You could also do a fruit salad, coffee and mimosas

    • brunch for vegetarians who are good cooks :

      THANK YOU, all! These ideas are fantastic.

      I’m hungry now!

    • SF in House :

      this is insanely good: http://bandb.about.com/od/ftoastrecipes/r/baked_french_t.htm

    • Yay! I love this blouse, but $200 is a lot of money–mabye for Rosa, b/c Ed can afford it and I think he did a no-no that Rosa will tell me about. FOOEY!

      For the OP, I suggest making a Quiche prefereabley a Quiche Loraine. You can get it at Fairway’s and all you have to do is put it in the OVEN and in 20 minute’s you are a chef! YAY! I hate cookeing complicated stuff, then I have to put all of it in the dishwasher. FOOEY! So I can either call out and have it delivered, or I can walk to Fairway’s and get exercise to make my TUCHUS firmer. That is what dad want’s so that some guy will marry me after my tuchus size goes down.

      Today, I had to walk here, but I am the onley one! Everyone else stayed home, but I HAD to come in b/c the manageing partner wanted me to cover for all the partners. No one is calling! I need to get a few more hour’s billed to meet my quota, and if I do, I can stop until Feb 1. But that means I must find almost 200 hours of work to bill by Friday! FOOEY!

      Myrna’s brother keeps texteing me. I am goeing to tell him to stop b/c that time is NOT billeable. Now if Myrna is a client again, mabye I could figure out a way that HER firm would pay for me to talk with him. YAY!!

    • I’m vegetarian and love frittata, I imagine you could get fancy with it. For fun you could also make socca which is super yummy and nice and filling because it’s chickpea flour and full of fibre and protein.

  13. I wnat to say thanks to everyone who recommend the Outlander series to me! I started reading the first book and have watched all the TV episodes. I’m obsessed!

    What are some other books/TV shows you’re liking lately? My husband and I are watching Orphan Black and really enjoying it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I fully admit this is ridiculous, but for binge-watching I love “Once Upon a Time.” I think they’re in Season 3 now and it’s available on Netflix. Just a crazy mashup of fairy tale characters (including the Bros Grimm and Disney and even Dr. Frankenstein) transported back and forth between their fairy tale realm and modern times. It’s nuts and I love it. (And I am an Orphan Black and Outlander fan, too.)

      • I used to watch that weekly but stopped after the second season. I might have to try picking it up again!

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Pick it back up, because all the good Captain Hook stuff is after season 2:-)

          Sleepy Hollow is another show with a similarly absurd premise that turns out to be awesome. Season 2 hasn’t been as good as season 1 was, but it’s still entertaining. And of course, there’s always Doctor Who if you haven’t seen it.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Why hello, Captain, in your smoldering guyliner. You can shiver my timbers any time.

        • I also gave up mid-late second season, but I slogged through for a repeat viewing and I’m really enjoying season 3. Yes, because of Captain Hook.

      • All of this. I had forgotten about Once Upon a Time until recently and so I rewatched from the beginning. I love it, though I really didn’t like the Peter Pan storyline and was glad when they moved on.

    • If you like Orphan Black, you might want to go back and watch Dark Angel (from around 2000) if you haven’t watched it before.

    • Love Orphan Black — can’t wait for it to come back! Isn’t Tatiana Maslany just mind-blowingly great?

      I’ve been binge-consuming pretty much any and all TV shows that spark my interest since, and one that surprised me is Alias. I never watched it in the early 2000s, but it has some themes in common with Orphan Black. The whole series is on Netflix right now.

  14. Thredjack:

    Regarding a dress to wear as a wedding guest.. I know.. if I have to ask, I probably shouldn’t wear what I’m asking about… But what about cream with black lace?? Example:


    I also have a champagne dress with black lace sleeves and shoulders. I’m not sure if this link would work bc it’s from ideel.com: http://2.icdn.ideeli.net/attachments/376496650/400001974728-1_550x550.jpg

    Any feedback would be appreciated. I should probably just ditch them and go with something safe. It’s just that I’m 5’11” and it’s hard to find dresses that I like, that are long enough, and don’t cost a lot of money. I know there’s a lot more out there that’s appropriate but it costs a lot more and I’m not interested in spending a lot of money. I don’t have a lot of use for dresses except for weddings and maybe a yearly holiday party. Plus the 2nd dress looks amazing and has pockets! Pockets!!!

    • I cant see the second dress but I personally wouldn’t wear the first. There is just so many other dresses you can get, and if you already own a cream dress that you dont wear that much, why are you adding a second?

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I would not wear the cream one with the lace. Although both are probably fine, I tend to be cautious for a wedding. Black dresses are okay now, but I always avoid anything white, cream, ivory, etc. Can you borrow a dress from a friend?

    • I wouldn’t wear either. Cream vs white doesn’t matter to me, and the lace accents don’t do much to make it less of an issue (plenty of wedding dresses have lace in non-white colors). Sorry.

    • My vote is that the first is too white. I think you get away with the champagne dress. But it’s also a “know your wedding” situation – if it’s two straight-laced, emily post worshiping families marrying each other, maybe find something else.

    • Very pretty dresses, but i would not be confortable in either as a wedding guest. And you would probably get some looks from the other guests

    • I have the 2nd one in my possession but need to make the decision as to whether I should return or not. The first one had a big price drop so I wanted to get it but I’ll refrain. I’ll probably return the one and not bother with the other. Based on the initial responses, I just won’t do it. I did get the first cream lace one in burgundy so I’ll leave it at that.

      Sigh. I also have this one: http://us.asos.com/Little-Mistress/Little-Mistress-Prom-Dress-with-Embellished-Bodice/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=4403086&r=1&mk=VOID
      But ill save it for a holiday party.

    • N.C. anon :

      Given the price of the first dress, have you considered looking in the sale section of Anthropologie? For instance, the Splitshade Tulip Hem Dress is cute (and the model is your height). There are a good number of dresses in the $50-$75 range there.

    • I agree that neither dress is appropriate for a wedding guest. At your height, they look like they’d be really short too.

    • Rent the Runway. They have tons of dresses and you could even pick something long that’s more casual if you’re worried about a long dress being too formal.

    • As a fellow 5’11” upcoming wedding guest, I am eagerly awaiting good feedback about options.

  15. Help packing stuff around daily :

    Need some help on how I schlepp my life around on a daily basis. I had 5 bags over my shoulder as I left the house this AM. :-(

    I had:
    * purse (12″x7″x3″) – in need of replacement
    * Laptop bag (Knomo Charlotte) – love this one & the only one I insist on keeping
    * lunch bag – mini cooler (I bring up to 4 mini-meals with me each day)
    * gym bag w/ extra bag of pool toys

    How do I consolidate this down to fewer bags? Do I need a magic bag that I pack more efficiently?

    If you know of a bag that’s bigger on the inside than outside, I’d love to hear about it!!

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you put your purse stuff in your laptop bag and your lunch stuff in your gym bag?

    • If you could let go of the lap top bag, this really sounds like and ideal Lo & Sons O.G. situation.

      • +1 but also are your shoulders about to fall off? idk how you can carry that much around. My laptop bag feels like its going to rip my shoulders off. After three years of shlepping it back and forth every day, I’m switching to a backpack. I dont care how it looks, my body already feels so much better and a half mile walk seems like half the distance.

      • Help packing stuff around daily :

        Will look into this.
        I just got the Knomo bag & really love it. But it is really small. Barely room for much else other than laptop & notebook. But maybe I just use it on days that I am not needing the additional gear. (ie if I go to a client meeting, I wouldn’t want to haul in a bag that looks like I’m spending the night)

    • Get a bigger purse, put your lunch in it. Why isn’t your pool stuff in your gym bag?

      • Help packing stuff around daily :

        Pool stuff is bulky (and wet once I’m done).
        Pool stuff includes fins, pull buoy, goggles in hard case etc.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I would also like a TARDIS bag.

    • Do you have to ferry everything back and forth every day or are there things you can leave at work?

      • Help packing stuff around daily :

        I think so…but will re-evaluate. Maybe some of the bulkier stuff can live in the car (running shoes)

        • On a similar note, maybe consider buying duplicates of things (an extra pair of running shoes, a second set of goggles, etc).

          Depending on where you swim, you may also be able to rent a locker there and leave some things after drying them well.

        • I definitely look like a bag lady going to work, too, but yes! If you drive, bulky stuff like running shoes (and maybe your pool stuff?) can live in the car, at least while you’re at work.

        • I was going to ask if you were commuting by car or public transportation. If you are commuting by car, I would say all of the swim gear can stay in your car. Take an old towel and lay it on top of a garbage bag in the trunk or backseat to lay your wet swim gear on and then leave it there. I leave my swim gear in my gym bag, but it is only caps and goggles. Also, can you get a locker at your gym? I have the option to have one with my membership and if you can, definitely get a lock and leave all your gym stuff there. That allows you to drop a whole bag every day.

          Is your laptop bag slim enough that you can slide it into one of the Lo & Sons bags? I would say do that and also put your lunch in there, then all you have left is the Lo & Sons and your purse.

    • Can you avoid carrying the laptop and its bag by transferring files via email or flash drive? Does your gym allow for locker rentals. Not sure about the fins and pull buoy, but at my college it was common in the locker room for swim team students to hang their suits on their lock in order to dry. Also, does the pool provide pull buoys? Fins can dry quickly and the proper size is important, but buoys are a bulky item to carry. Are you commuting via car? Are your goggles so fragile they require a hard case?

      Are you training for a race?

      • Help packing stuff around daily :

        I’ll check the pool to see what kind of equipment they have. That’s a good idea. I also could plan my workouts better and decide ahead of time whether I really need the fins/pull buoy.
        Not sure about the goggles, but I had 2 pairs last year and they both developed a lens leak within 6 months . So when I bought the replacement ones, I vowed to take better care of them this time around.

        I do commute by car, so don’t have to bring all into the office with me. But definitely my organization level & bags to pack in need to be improved.

        Yes, training for a half-Ironman! (woot!) The day that I meet my group for indoor cycling is even more ridiculous (I take my bike, trainer & riser with me too)

        • Wildkitten :

          When I had a gym locker I put magnetic hooks in it to hang my swimwear to dry out instead of in a pile at the bottom. I wouldn’t leave it in there forever but you don’t have to carry it every day.

    • christineispink :

      it doesn’t seem to be in stock currently on their website but I’ve recently replaced my LV neverfull with this lululemon urban sanctuary bag: http://www.luluaddict.com/2014/11/silver-urban-sanctuary-bag-giant.html. The addition of pockets has been a game changer for organizing all my stuff.

      I use packing bags/cubes inside. one for my makeup, one for basics like lotion/hair oil/comb, one for my gym (or clean post-workout) clothes, etc. There are 2 additional zip pockets inside where I keep extra hair ties, socks, clean undies, snacks, etc. I also keep my ditty bag (never heard this term before) in there.

      And my favorite is that there is an outside pocket meant for your laptop. I put my work files/papers, kindle, planner, and LV pouchette (for running out for errands/lunch) in there. (no laptop for me). I commute in NY so the small outside pocket is perfect for my metrocard/slim wallet.

      I used to carry 3-4 bags for work, lunch, gym and all, but now I’m down to 2, just the lululemon and my small lunch bag (I also received a new lunch bag right around the same time which zips all around). my old one was an open-on-top tote and so I had to always keep it upright. Having a lunchbag that zips up means sometimes it can go inside my giant bag!

  16. For those of you who have been pregnant and given birth, how much and in what ways did your body change afterward? Was it really all that different than before you had kids?

    • I haven’t, but an interesting (super candid and NSFW) body-positive blog is The Shape of A Mother.

    • I have 6 kids. My stomach is softer/poochier. My hips are wider. My rear is flatter. I wear a similar size to what I wore before but the proportions are all different… before I had a tiny waist, and now my waist and hips are more in sync. I don’t know how much of this is a function of childbirth and how much is a function of age, but pregnancy and birth definitely played a role.

      • I love hearing that you have 6 kids! I want 4-6 and people always think I’m nuts.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I’ve only had one, so I think I may have escaped some of the issues, but seriously the only change I can identify is that my b**bs are smaller now. I am basically down to the same weight as pre-pregnancy and wear the same clothes and shoes, which by my memory fit the same way. I have replaced all my bras though.

      • Do they sag more, or are they just the same but smaller?

        • Maddie Ross :

          I suppose they are “saggier” – they are definitely softer than pre-pregnancy – but they are really too small to actually sag (went down from a B to an A). I BF-ed for 13 months, so I know that impacted it.

          • Same here. After BF-ing for 14 months, my b**bs are definitely an A, but probably more on the saggy side to where I would not dream of going braless – they are small but need support.

            I’m a distance runner and picked up mileage in the last few years, so physique-wise I think I’m a lot leaner and did not notice a change in hip/butt width post-baby.

            Even with lean abs, I can still push the skin on my stomach and see it sag. I’m 36 for what it’s worth, so my elasticity might be a lot less now.

    • AnonLawMom :

      2 kids. Not a huge change. My resting weight, if you will, is about 6 pounds higher than it used to be and I am one size larger as a result of the extra few pounds and wider hips. My stomach looks pretty much the same as it did before when I stand up straight but sitting or hunching it is obvious that my skin is not as young as it used to be. But I will tell you in all honestly that even though by objective/society standards I had a “better” body pre-kids, I am soooooo much more comfortable with my body now. I feel sexier and prettier than I used to. Maybe it’s because I now compare myself to other moms internally (rather than 22 year old models) or maybe it’s because I value how amazing my body is because of what it can do (create a human!) rather than what it looks like.

      • “But I will tell you in all honestly that even though by objective/society standards I had a “better” body pre-kids, I am soooooo much more comfortable with my body now.” THIS. My self-esteem is much higher and my motivation to be healthy is for my child’s sake, not a number in my jeans.
        To answer the question: My ribcage expanded an inch. Stomach isn’t as flat and weight is harder to lose (could be age). My reflexe improved though as a function of having to quickly catch falling kids, toys, food, cups, etc. So that’s positive.

        • Ha, same with me! I have really quick reflexes now — people even notice/comment on it. Surprise bonus!

      • “But I will tell you in all honestly that even though by objective/society standards I had a “better” body pre-kids, I am soooooo much more comfortable with my body now.” THIS. My self-esteem is much higher and my motivation to be healthy is for my child’s sake, not a number in my jeans.
        To answer the question: My ribcage expanded an inch. Stomach isn’t as flat and weight is harder to lose (could be age). My reflexes improved though as a function of having to quickly catch falling kids, toys, food, cups, etc. So that’s positive.

    • My feet are about 1/2 larger. Not from swelling, but it’s like the ligaments just relaxed. Bummer b/c I had some nice boots that I would love to have kept.

    • I think it depends on the number of kids. After 2 kids, there seems to much less “bounce back”. Definitely wider hips/butt though, but not crazy. Some women say it took them a year after b-feeding to get their regular boobs back.

    • marketingchic :

      My answers are similar to the other posters – but I wanted to add a couple things. 1. I look different, but I don’t have the time or energy to care much (mixed blessing, maybe?) 2. I wish I had not been so critical of my younger, pre-baby body. To quote Nora Ephron: “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was twenty-six. If anyone … If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re thirty-four.”

    • I had a C-section about 4 months ago. I’m back to my pre-preg weight and feel like I look exactly the same in clothes as I used to. I have a few stretch marks on the side of my hips and my boobs are a little saggier. FWIW, I only gained 25 lbs during pregnancy, and I think that had a lot to do with me bouncing back quickly. I also wore one of those post-partum girdle things. I’m pretty vain and I was worried about how my body would change, but it really has not been a big deal. My stretch marks are already starting to fade.

      • I think this is relative and depends on a lot of factors. I only gained 25 pounds but I’m 5’1.” That is a LOT of extra weight relative to my body size and while I don’t have any stretch marks (thanks, mom!) and I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight I definitely don’t look the same in clothes as I used to.

        My much taller sister gained almost 50 pounds and the doctor was telling her to watch her weight. She does look exactly the same as pre-pregnancy now.

        • Ditto — 5’1″ and 25 (closer to 30) pounds felt like a LOT of weight. I felt like pregnancy was much harder on my body than I had really considered before. I’m only 8 wks pp now, so hard to say where things will end up, but I think my shape has changed.

    • Anonymous :

      I had one baby almost a year ago. I gained about 30 lbs and was back to “pre-pregnancy” weight after about 4 months. I fit into all of my old clothes. I have breastfed for this whole time and my breasts are bigger and droopier (with one of them noticeably larger, since that’s the one I prefer for feeding). I didn’t have time to exercise for about 8 months after giving birth and so my arms and legs were noticeably flabbier, but skinnier looking in jeans due to the lack of muscle. I’ve started exercising again, so I’m getting some muscle tone back. My stomach looks the same as before I had kids (mostly flat, no six pack, little pooch-y curve at the very bottom). I wore a corset after birth to keep my stomach in. My hips seem to be the same.

      I think the biggest issue is going to be after I stop breastfeeding, I think my breasts are going to be very deflated and droop(ier).

    • I feel like mine changed a lot (I have one kid). I completely second tesyaa–I lost all the baby weight but stuff is not where it used to be. My butt is gone and I carry my extra weight more in my stomach than my thighs now which means my pants all fit weird now. My feet are maybe a 1/4 size bigger. Some of my smaller shoes aren’t that comfortable but I can wear most of my pre-pregnancy shoes and the bigger ones I bought during pregnancy are too big now. I’m still breastfeeding but I’m supplementing a lot so it’s hard to know what my boobs will look like when I’m done. They were huge and now they’re normal size. I do think they’re “saggier” than they were but I don’t think I would describe them as saggy. I do wonder what would happen if I started exercising regularly but I haven’t figured out how to fit that in yet.

      I think some of it has to do with body type and tone before pregnancy and how you carry. I was not in great shape when I got pregnant so my ab muscles didn’t impede my growing belly at all and I carried way out front

    • Manhattanite :

      Softer, rounder belly (and a gap in the middle of my abs- I forget what it’s called). About half cup size smaller? Flatter tush. Same weight as before, maybe a pound or two less. I’m petite and busty to begin with.

      • Chi Squared :

        I went up a pant size (00P to 0P), due to flab/loose skin around my waist that just will not go away. I feel like I’ve lost my “figure” – my waist definitely looks wider than it used to. I now understand the true meaning of muffin top, and the need for control top pantyhose.

        My breasts are about the same size, but my rib cage is bigger. I had a c-section (not by choice), and the skin above the scar is very obviously loose and saggy. I would like to get my figure back, but we’re also trying for #2, so…

  17. Gail the Goldfish :

    I need shopping help. Has anyone seen a camel-colored pencil skirt anywhere recently? I need to replace my old The Skirt, which is too small. Nordstrom has this: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-pencil-skirt-regular-petite/3824921?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&contextualcategoryid=2375500&fashionColor=&resultback=228
    But I’m looking for something darker than that, more of a true camel as opposed to tan.

    • Denveranon :

      JCrew has No. 2 pencil skirt in wool in camel, and a few months ago I bought a stretchy, synthetic camel pencil skirt from the Limited’s suiting collection.

      • I bought the JCrew skirt in wool camel last year, and the hem fell out after the 2nd wear. Beware. Not great quality.

    • I bought a camel “the skirt” in a size 8 because of all the hype here. I never wear it because the waist band doesn’t work for me. If this is your size, you can have it.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        No but it’s close enough I could probably tailor it. Could you send me an email? corpor*tteclothesswap at gmail, with the * replaced with an e. Thanks!