Splurge Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Knitted Top Cardigan

Gray Wool Cardigan: Peserico Knitted Top Cardigan Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.  

Welcome back, ladies! I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was intrigued to see the Italian workwear brand Peserico at Saks recently — it’s apparently been around for 50 years and is “synonymous for quality pants and skirts designed for women who value a sophisticated elegance.” This cardigan does have a simple, sophisticated elegance about it. It’s $525 at Saks — but it looks like there are lucky sizes and colors over at Yoox for $258, as well as other styles. Peserico Knitted Top Cardigan

Here’s a lower-priced alternative and a plus-size option in  black and gray.

Psst: do note that Boden just added an additional 10% off all sale items with code 4V6C — discounts are now up to 60% off.  Happy shopping!

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



  1. Anonymous :

    Sorry for the immediate TJ — but we’ve been TTC for 6 months and just found out we’re pregnant :) Don’t go for an ultrasound until late July but I’m so excited!!!

  2. Even with the sale, that is an extremely ugly sweater.

    • Word. I wouldn’t pay $20 for that, even if the brand is reputable.

    • Agree. And, if I recall correctly, sweaters very similar to this have been recommended in the past… and no one liked them then either. Very dated/aging look, imo.

      • Yes, there was a period where it was very popular to button your cardigan with one button at the top or one in the middle… early 2000’s? Right before or around when the bolero was a very popular look. I honestly don’t mind this sweater on an older woman, but it isn’t a modern look.

    • The weird fastener – which looks a little like a band-aid – has an odd placement. I don’t think you could wear it open, and I can’t picture the figure it would flatter. The brand has some lovely pants though:


    • Do y’all remember that store County Seat? It was popular in the mid-90s? This sweater looks like it came from that store. I bought so many ribbed sweaters from them when I was a teenager. Ah, memories.

      • Yes! I had a pair of wide-leg jeans with no waistband and a button fly from that store that I thought were the absolute coolest thing ever, haha.

    • Yeah, there’s a fine line between classic and frumpy, and this one falls “frumpy” for me — between the noticeable ribbing and the odd fastener/placement, it looks like the “office sweater” that I had stuffed in my bag, leftover from probably a church outfit in the 90’s, for my internships in the early 2000’s.

      • Nancy Raygun :

        Yeah definitely, I remember having a lot of ribbed sweaters as a teenager. Now I stay away from that ribbed cotton fabric. It just looks like winter pajamas.

    • Agreed. I had a visceral “BLEGH” reaction to this one, and for 200+?

    • This is expensive, and it is designed to look too small–like it has to be held together with a clip. Who would pay $525 to look fat? No sireee, not me!

  3. Weird question. Has anyone had the problem or gone through a period where songs get aggressively stuck in their head? It’s been happening to me at night even if I hadn’t even heard the song that day- the refrain will be kicking around in my head so much it prevents me from sleeping. I’m wondering if this is a manifestation of anxiety? Would appreciate hearing from anyone who has had something similar

    • Anonymous :

      Who by Fire, by Leonard Cohen

      It was on the season finale of The Americans and was used perfectly. I could listen to it 24/7 (and my internal radio has it on repeat play, so it’s OK, for now; interferes with reading though).

    • It’s an earworm. I think it’s pretty common, and wouldn’t connect it to anxiety. Different people have different strategies to address them – like listening to the song all the way through.

      • I’m only connecting to anxiety because of the increase- it’s been almost every night now for about 2 weeks and not always the same song.

        • Shrug. What else has changed in the two weeks? Does playing music or a TV show (that you’ve already watch) help disrupt the earworm so you can fall asleep?

          I often have a hard time turning off my brain in order to sleep – it won’t be songs, but i’ll have other free association stuff in my head that doesn’t calm down unless I have an external disrupter, like listening to episodes of the West Wing (which has a lot of dialogue and I’ve watch ad nasuem so I’m okay falling asleep during).

          Sometimes my brain has a hard time turning off if I’m excited, or worried, or anxious about something, but I wouldn’t tie it to a diagnosis of anxiety at this point. Try to resolve what is causing the underlying emotional state.

    • Oh yes, absolutely. Sometimes the most random songs, too. Last weekend it was the Rescue Aid Society anthem from the cartoon movie The Rescuers! I think I had to spell “rescue” for some reason and my brain linked it to the song… and then I just could not get it out of my head!

      • Sadly for me, this sometimes happens with the “Inspector Gadget” theme song. It’s maddening.

    • That happens to me and I actually do kind of connect it to anxiety–when it happens at night and stops you from sleeping at any rate. I don’t have a great solution, unfortunately.

    • If it is happening at night, can you turn on a nearby clock radio and put on different music (or even talk) and go to sleep to that?

      I would work on learning a few basic mindfulness routines (search onine), like the body scan, and play it /do it on your phone as you go to sleep.

      I had a patient who heard music, same/similar tunes, all day NON-STOP. An interesting, but frustrating neurologic condition which is not the OPs….. The best solution for her, to not go crazy, was to walk around with headphones on playing music she enjoyed, or keep radios/tvs on at her home to have some competing “white noise”.

    • Yes, in fact, I have the chorus of a really annoying song (that I haven’t heard in a long time, I have no idea where it came from) stuck in my head right now. Every day it’s a different one, last week it was “Mary had a little lamb” on continuous repeat. Sometimes when I’m really distracted I will hum the song in my head very low without realizing it, which I am now paranoid about – although I’ve come to realize that the subconscious humming happens most when I’m overtired and/or when my ADHD is starting to slip out of control (most often when I forget to take my afternoon dose of meds).

      Sometimes listening to the song all the way through, then listening to other music I like helps clear the earworm. Sometimes I consciously try to replace it with something that is almost more of a mantra, that helps me keep going (“Just keep swimming” is one I use on repeat a lot when I have a lot to get done at work, especially physical tasks, as a way to just keep pushing through.)

      At night, listening to an audio book or podcast with a soothing, slightly boring narrator (many of the NPR podcasts, like Planet Money, Freakonomics or This American Life – not that the stories are dull, but many of the hosts have a more calming, soothing voice) can help. Sometimes white noise tracks, like the ones of rainstorms, ocean sounds, etc, can help calm me down to sleep.

      Anything else in your life going on that makes you think this is related to anxiety?

  4. Weak shoulders :

    I think my arms and shoulders are very weak in proportion to the rest of my body – I can barely do any push-ups, my arms will get tired from doing an updo, and they just don’t feel strong. I also sometimes feel like my neck gets strained more easily than other people, especially if I’m leaning over while writing or something like that. What are your favorite exercises that you can do at home to strengthen the arms, shoulders, and neck? Bodyweight exercises or exercises requiring minimal equipment are preferred. Push-ups haven’t felt that high-yield in the past, but maybe I’m doing them wrong.

    • Maybe sun salutations? I’ve always had weak arms and tight shoulders and a regular sun salutation practice has helped. As has hanging out in downward facing dog for 10 breaths.

      • Second this. Some sort of basic yoga done regularly should help.

      • TravelBug :

        Thirding. 4 months of yoga is how I graduated beyond 5-lb weights (to 10 lbs!). Yeah, I know, I’m lame. But it worked, and my arms are stronger now!

    • Anonymous :

      Get some weights and do shoulder presses. Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred has some good arm exercises (you can even just do the strength portions if you want). I used to have that issue (arms getting tired while drying my hair) but now I lift weights. Push-ups are also indicative of total core strength (abs, back, chest), so it might not be *just* your shoulders. FWIW, it took me like 6 months to be able to do a “real” push up (not from my knees).

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Getting a solid pushup with good form takes a long time and the process kind of sucks – you just have to do them, even if it’s only one at a time. Remember to keep your elbows close to your body.

      Wall-walks make my arms burn like crazy – get into a plank position with your toes against the wall, then “walk” your feet up and your hands back until your nose almost touches the wall. Walk back to the start. I also like to hold a handstand against the wall for as long as I can.

    • Anonymous :


      I didn’t think I would do it as an adult, but I’ve got half an hour to kill at the Y when my kids are at lessons and it is so good as a workout. And 30 minutes is plenty for sit-in-a-chair-forever me.

      • Nancy Raygun :

        You don’t even have to be great at swimming to get the benefits. I’m slow and asthmatic and I just try to keep moving as much as possible and I’ve increased my upper body strength.

        • Yes — I am like the 90-year-olds who do breast stroke lap after lap without any head movement at all.

    • In college, I studied abroad for a year and vowed to do something new that scared me — so I signed up for the Rock Climbing Club at the university I was visiting. I’m mildly scared of heights and consider myself super unathletic, so this was a real stretch for me. By going to the rock gym just once per week, I had majorly toned arms and upper back. It was super fun and never ever felt like a workout. Just an idea!

    • You just need to stick with pushups, but try starting with bent-knee pushups. Do as many as you can, rest until you recover, and repeat 3×5 times, multiple days per week.

      Pushups are “pushing” exercises and only work chest/triceps. To work back/biceps, you need to do pulling exercises. I can’t think of any body-weight-only pulling exercises, but a good compromise is getting an exercise band and using it to do rows.

    • I got one of those doorway pull-up bars, and a couple times a week I do reverse pull-ups (jump up so chin is over bar, and lower down all the way as slowly as possible) until I’m tired (which is like 3-5), and then do a hang for a minute or so. Maybe 15 minutes a week. Shockingly this has made a noticeable difference in my arms and now I can do 2 pull-ups.

    • Ballet Beautiful Arm Blast, it takes 15 minutes

    • Not sure if you’re still reading, but pilates really helped me with arm strengthening. I’m a daily yoga girl, but do pilates once a week and think that’s really good for the arms. Although sun salutations probably also do a lot too.

      Also, just for a simple exercise, planks. Long plank holds, plus varieties on planks (side planks, dolphin/low plank, side dolphin planks, hip dips in planks (these are so great for core), stepping/marching the hands side to side one at a time, etc.). I try to do at least one plank hold a day. Sometimes when I’m watching TV I’ll do like 8 sun salutations or 15 min of plank playing.

  5. Paging Dr Google :

    For the past few weeks I have had a warm, wet sensation inside my lower left calf that comes and goes. It happens at random times, doesn’t matter if I’m moving, sitting, standing, etc. It is more annoying than painful, but I can’t figure out what could be causing it! Has anyone experienced this or have any idea what it could be?? (Yes, I have an appt with an MD but not for a month).

    • I had that happen once at the back of my thigh, just above my knee. It was a bizarre feeling. The doctor never figured out what it was, but I’m pretty sure the spider veins I have in that spot hadn’t been there before the warm wet sensation.

  6. Going In House :

    I know there are fairly frequent posts here with people struggling with the idea of going in house. I went in house this past November after a lot of agonizing. I knew it was the best choice for my nuclear family, but still had a hard time getting used to it. Over the past month, an extended family member went through a health crisis (she’s got a long road ahead of her, but will probably make a full recovery), and because of my more relaxed job, I was able to help her in a very hands-on way that I would not have been able to in my previous job. It took me by surprise and made me so so grateful for my new job. I can’t tell you the number of times I have thought to myself about how sickly stressed I would be if I were trying to handle this while billing 50+ hours a week.

    When I went in house, I was expecting to be able to see my friends more often, spend more time on my hobbies, and hang out with my family. I never stopped to think about how going in house would also allow me to be there in a time of crisis and how valuable that would be. Just wanted to share.

    • Closet Redux :

      This is a very naive question, but what do people mean when they say “in-house”? Large non-legal corporation with a legal department? The attorney in an HR department? How do you find these jobs?

      • Most generally, a lawyer who says she has gone “in house” means that she works for a non-law-firm company. Like say, Kraft Foods. Kraft, presumably, has lawyers on staff, who are paid on Kraft’s payroll. Those “in house” lawyers will handle a variety of things for Kraft, so Kraft doesn’t have to use its “outside” lawyers (the people you would probably think of as “the lawyers,” who would work for a law firm separate from Kraft) on everyday matters. Depending on the size of a company, they might have a very small in-house department (one or two lawyers who are generalists) or a larger in-house staff and lawyers who specialize in various things (land acquisition, HR, etc.).

      • Triangle Pose :

        People mean the legal department of a company. It means going from service provider (lawyer at a law firm where you serve clients who are in-house lawyers at companies) to becoming the client yourself (in-house lawyer at a company). You find these jobs the same way you find most jobs – postings, networking, etc. They are really coveted roles because generally it means better hours, not having to bill hours, high pay and better work/life than law firms.

    • I’m one of those who’d posted about this recently, and I definitely appreciate this insight. It is one of the things that has factored into my decision-making process. Glad your family member is doing better.

    • Triangle Pose :

      It’s so funny because before this website, I’ve never heard of going in-house as a choice people “struggled with.” Maybe it’s regional or depends on the law school you’re from or how senior you are, but in my experience talking to colleagues and former classmates, in-house is pretty much the most coveted, jump-for-it role. I am ecstatic when I got my in-house role.

  7. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. Six months after a bad breakup and a bunch of lackluster dates, I met a guy I really clicked with. After several great dates in which he gave every indication that he was very into me and things seemed to be progressing exactly as I’d hoped…he just told me he’d really enjoyed getting to know me but wanted to go in a different direction. He couldn’t or didn’t want to give more detail than that.

    I really liked him! Every date and every detail he shared made me like him more. I know people aren’t purely logical, but 24 hours ago you’re telling me all about your family, sharing intimate details, asking me when my birthday is and this deep stuff about my life, and today you suddenly want to go in a different direction? :(((( I don’t understand what could have changed in those 24 hours. On our last date, he certainly gave the impression that he was having a great time and wanting to pursue things further before executing a sudden massive U turn. He told me I was the only woman he was seeing, so I don’t think it’s a straight-up case of finding someone else he likes better. My instincts are usually good, and he seemed really into me…not scarily so, but just right. Thoughtful and forward-looking, but not “what shall we name our firstborn?”.

    I’m so disappointed. It wasn’t long enough to be heartbroken, but it feels like someone hit me over the head. I just want to write to him and be like “Are you certain? Is there something bothering you that we can talk about instead of just cutting it off?” But I don’t know if it’s a good idea. If he wanted to talk about it instead of cutting it off, he probably would have done that. Can anything good come from reaching out at this point?

    • Anonymous :


    • TO Lawyer :

      I’m sorry :( This is the part of dating that really blows. Unfortunately, this tends to happen a lot – you can never really know what’s going on in someone else’s life.

      That said, I don’t think there’s anything good that can come from reaching out. It sounds like he’s made a decision and for whatever reason, you probably can’t change that.

      Let yourself wallow for a day or so and then try to get back out there if you feel ready for it – if you met one great guy you clicked with, you’ll probably meet someone else you click with!

      • Thanks. :( Well, if nothing else it reminded me that my ex isn’t the only man on the planet that I can ever be interested in, even if they are few and far between.

    • Ughg, that’s such a disappointment. And it’s so frustrating because there’s no *reason* to point to, and because it saps your hope for future relationships even though you know there’s no logical relationship between this dating experience and your future dating experiences. I don’t know if this will make you feel better or worse, but I feel like this type of behavior is becoming more common- men who come on strong at first, things seem to go well, and then they do a complete 180 out of nowhere. It actually just happened to me after 2 dates that went super well, talked about all the deep stuff, making out, declarations of wanting to see each other again. And then he disappeared and apparently just wants to swap NYT articles every 5 days. Whatever. Ain’t got time for that.

      Don’t reach out. You have no idea what’s going on underneath the surface-it could be a billion different things, and could be wholly unrelated to you as a person. If he wanted to pursue things, he would. You deserve someone who is enthusiastic about wanting to be with you. You also deserve someone who is mature enough to discuss an issue with you rather than just break up (if that’s what it was). Even if he decided to give it another chance, do you think you’d feel the same about him knowing he did a 180 on you?

      • Well, I guess it’s good not to feel alone, though disappointing that this is some kind of trend…

        Your last paragraph resonates with me. I’m really disappointed in how this played out, but you’re completely right in all that you say. Thanks. :(

    • Don’t reach out. He has told you everything you need to know about where this is going. You aren’t going to change his mind. (The “why” might be something you want to know, but I just don’t think it’s a good idea.)

      Maybe he got back together with an ex. Maybe he’s just not into you. Maybe he’s the kind of person who is just that out of touch with his emotions that he behaves in this manner. Regardless, he’s not the right person for you.

      I just don’t know what is to be gained by contacting him; it won’t be peace of mind, “closure,” and it certainly won’t be him (at least not long term).

      • Thanks. You’re right. I’m really disappointed in how it played out, but there’s not a way to make it different.

    • I agree with TO Lawyer – I don’t think anything good can come from reaching out. He knows how to find you. And honestly – you may have been reading his interest level right, and then something weird happened (not you) that caused him to change his mind about pursuing a relationship with you. Don’t second-guess yourself (I mean, I know that’s impossible, but it really probably isn’t about you).

      I’m sorry. I hate it when this happens. :(

      • Thanks. :( Yeah, that’s how it feels, like something weird happened during the 24 hours we didn’t talk that made him do a complete 180.

        • I doubt it. This is the point of dating. He goes out with you, has the best time possible, then goes home and thinks about whether he wants to do it again. You do the same. Here, sounds to me like nothing weird happened he just thought about it and decided he didn’t want to keep dating you. Talking about your families and asking when your birthday is isn’t deep intimacy- it’s basics of dating.

          • Okay, useful perspective, maybe you’re right and I misinterpreted standard dating behavior as more than it was. In which case I definitely shouldn’t contact him!

            It just felt like he wanted me to know so much about him and vice versa, beyond standard getting to know you stuff. But I could certainly be wrong (and apparently I was).

          • He’s just not into you. There is no other takeaway point from this.

          • WHAT A BUMMER. :(

          • Or his wife got suspicious…

          • Heh. He’s divorced, but if he has a current wife, I REALLY misread him.

        • So, I’m not necessarily a fan of the “he’s just not that into you” school of thought in the immediate aftermath of being dumped like this, even if it was just several dates that didn’t pan out. It’s probably true, and in a little while you will probably see it that way yourself, but I’m not sure you have to make it personal against yourself like that. Chanting “He’s just not that into you” just kind of adds insult to injury in my mind. Maybe that’s true for you, too.

          Anyway. You’re disappointed, and you have every right to be, but it sounds like you have a good head on your shoulders. You’ll get through it.

          • In other words, the commenter at 9:47 said what I wanted to say, and said it better. I’ve been in your shoes, even recently, and it’s a terrible feeling, but for me, I feel better thinking about it in terms of him having different priorities rather than how “into me” he was or wasn’t.

            Dating is arbitrary and capricious. I’m sorry.

          • Thanks, January. Arbitrary and capricious indeed. Well, time to brush myself off and delete all those cute pictures he texted me! :(

          • The point of he’s just not that into you is that it isn’t that something is wrong with you–it’s that for whatever reason, you’re just not a match. That isn’t insulting, that’s just how life is. It’s bewildering to experience when things have seemed to go well after many dates, and when the chemistry is there and the guy seems to have opened up, but there doesn’t actually need to be something that can be pinned down for two people not to be a match even when they have a good time together.

            And to the OP–sending hugs. I have had this happen so many times, most recently with someone who poured his heart out over several great dates, only to tell me he only saw me as a friend. It happens, it’s not you, just keep fishing (as annoying and exasperating as that is to hear).

      • I agree with January. This type of situation has happened to me 3x before, and each time, it was within 2 days of sleeping with the guy. Before I let the guy stay over, I did let him fool around with me, but convinced myself it was not too soon (on the 6th date is my normal rule, if things are going well). I do think my rule is a good one and that I am not being too prudish by waiting for the 6th date, but I really do not know any more. If I sleep with a guy sooner, would he be more likely to stay? Or if I wait longer, will I lose the guy entirely? Either way, I can’t be sure. But in the OP’s case, she is best to be rid of him.

        • I don’t know if I’m qualified to give advice on the subject, but there is nothing unreasonable about waiting for the 6th date if that’s what you feel like. I didn’t wait, and it certainly didn’t make him stay, though he was certainly enthusiastic about the gardening…

        • My feeling is that the time in which you sleep with someone (so long as you are doing it, or not, because of your own values) does not change the ultimate outcome of the relationship. It may accelerate or delay that outcome, but a man who would spend the rest of his life with you isn’t going to split because he had to wait or because you did it on the second date.

      • I think it’s common to think in terms of a performance review — help me improve my performance, let me learn from my mistakes, etc. But it’s dating. It just doesn’t work that way.

        [Or shopping — some things you try on and try to imagine a future with them; *most* of the go right back to the rack. It’s not you, green cardigan; it’s me.]

    • I dated guys like that. My only conclusion was that some guys really like pretending. I called it “playing house.” They love to talk about what your life would look like, what your kids will be named — they know everything to say or do to make it seem like you’re moving forward in a relationship. But emotionally there’s nothing there, it’s all pretend.

      Be happy you’re rid of him. I’m sorry.

      • Thanks. I guess if he was going to flame out, way better that he did it now than a year from now like my ex.

      • Anonymous :

        Google “baggage reclaim future faker” for a discussion on this at Baggage Reclaim, a relationship blog. I just found it after looking for a term to describe this.

    • Bridget Jones :

      Emotional f u c k wit! Move on, good luck.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve dated two of these within the last two years. One up and decided he thought we would be better as friends after a few months (2 weeks before going to meet his parents and after telling everyone how into me he was). The other had lunch with his ex without telling me and decided he wanted to get back together with her. This was after telling me how refreshing it was to be with me versus her, how amazing it was not to date someone who was jealous about his kid’s mom, how awesome I was, blah, blah, blah. Oh, and he also spent all weekend with me, including $ex and all that, and then told me this news right after kissing me goodbye on Sunday.

      The first one tried to get me back – twice. The second one sent me something I specifically asked for and I never heard from him again. It sucked and I was super bummed that it happened twice in a row, but I am better off not being with either of them, for sure.

      • Uggh. After hearing all these stories, maybe I should just be glad this is the first time I’ve encountered this.

  8. Anonymous :

    I bought one of those roller things from Rodan + Fields. Does anyone know if there is actually science behind it? (Yes, I should have checked before forking over my money, but now, it hurts, and I don’t want to keep doing it if it doesn’t really do anything.)

    • You mean like this thing?

    • I have not used one myself, because I am terrified of pain, but from friends who have used it, they say it doesn’t work well and hurts terribly. Puncturing little holes in your skin to make creams absorb better just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. Your skin is very absorbent to begin with–puncturing down into it is unnecessary.

    • Wow I just looked that up and its crazy! Your skin already has holes in it, they are called pores. Put it down!

    • Oh god just throw it away.

    • just pseudo-science. at this point, I have had enough of Rodan +Fields that even if they had an AWESOME product I would not buy. I just don’t want to support this type of business model.

      • Wildkitten :

        I bought one on Amazon. I don’t know if it works yet but I’m willing to try and haven’t seen any negatives yet. I’d try anything for my stretch marks though. My face is just fine as is.

  9. Increasing :

    I’m a third year attorney at a small firm (9 lawyers), and recently found out I’m pregnant for the first time. I was already not looking forward to telling my bosses, negotiating time off (because of course there’s no formal policy, and we’re not covered by FMLA), and was planning to wait as long as possible to disclose. But I just found out that the only other female attorney is also pregnant, and due a few months before me. Now I’m thinking I should disclose sooner, for two reasons: 1) to try to minimize any negative reaction by increasing management’s planning time, and 2) in the hope that it will make it more likely that the firm will hire someone to cover our leave rather than just shifting the work to other people. Our caseloads don’t overlap but it’s the same practice area, so one person could fill in for each of us. Does disclosing earlier make sense in this situation? Any other advice on announcing a pregnancy in a small office? Thanks!

    • If you’re in a major metropolitan area, it’s likely you are protected by state/city statutes, even if not FMLA. (E.g., NYC protects workers at companies with 4 or more employees against pregnancy discrimination.) In any event, congratulations and good luck!

    • Bite the bullet and tell them, come in with a proposal about when you intend to return (including if you want to ease back in part-time and with a suggested salary adjustment), and don’t apologize. They need to figure out how to cover for these absences, not you.

      And congrats!

    • I’ve had several pregnancies at a very small firm. I just disclose when I’m ready (13-18 weeks – basically I want until I can’t hide it) and there’s always enough time to plan for leave. I’ve also had several miscarriages and don’t want to explain that to my firm if it happens, so prefer to wait and don’t change that to make more planning ahead time.

    • Be careful about suggesting that they only need to hire one person to cover for both of you. They may find out that they really only need one attorney for those two roles.

  10. DC Dermatologists? :

    Hi! Can anyone recommend a good DC dermatologist? I need someone to talk to about potential anti-aging treatments, maybe botox, etc. Thanks so much!

    • Suggestion :

      I highly recommend Dr. Joy Chen in North Bethesda. I’ve seen her for years, she’s not pushy at all.

    • I see Dr Urvi Gonzales at Integrated Dermatology of 19th Street (near Farragut Square). She’s incredibly nice, patient, and thorough.

    • I see Dr. Agnes Chang of Integrated Dermatology of K St (2141 K). She is expensive, but is realistic about the results you will achieve and very good. I’ve only used her for botox a couple times (because holy crap, so expensive), but if it was in my budget I would do it as often as recommended. I’d had botox a couple times before her from Groupons and she is head and shoulders above them. Granted, they were Groupons (though to real dermatologists), so they were probably skimpy with the serum.

  11. Paging Aurelia/Boden buyers :

    Thinking of picking up the Aurelia ottoman dress and maybe the Summer Wrap in the Boden sale – since I’m not in the US, I need to order from the UK site. Was planning to go up 2 sizes from my J. Crew dress size – wise, or should I go up 3? I’m a very short waisted pear.

    • Anonymous :

      I returned it for something from Uniqlo. It seemed to magnify my tummy and the material was heavier than I wanted. I am an 8P in JCrew / 6 Boden and it just didn’t work for me. I’m 5-4, so I need the P in JCrew to get the waist in the right place (I’m otherwise a 4 in the No. 2 Pencil; 6 in BR curvy cut pants).

    • Anonymous :

      I do not have that particular dress, but at Boden I always order 2 U.S. sizes/4 U.K. sizes up from my J. Crew dress size, which is one size smaller than my J. Crew jacket size. I am not curvy on top or anywhere else.

    • I just ordered the Ottoman dress – it’s really nice!
      I typically wear a 6-8 in dresses and got an 8. I wouldn’t size up more than 1 size as it’s stretchy and has some give.

    • Just a warning on Boden dresses. If you have anything close to a long torso, all Boden dresses with a defined waist will accentuate your belly. Their dresses have a very high waist for some reason. Other than that, the Otttoman dress is nice. I have it in the black and green and they wash really well.

      I also have the summer wrap. I wish I had returned it. I have a small bust and it really does not fall nicely around that area. For anyone bigger than 32B I would assume they would have more issues.

      • Agreed on the short-waistedness issues.

        I’m a 32D and really like the summer wrap. It has a nice weight to the fabric but it’s still summer appropriate. It does have a deep neckline though, and I wear a camisole with it to make it work worthy. That’s true of nearly every wrap dress I’ve ever owned.

  12. Ropes course q :

    I have done a beginner ropes course and had a great time. I have two questions that maybe someone (not interested in selling me a pass) might know here:

    1. If you fall and the harness engages, what happens next? Does someone come cut you down? Does someone come pull you back up?

    2. Do you need to be in really great shape to do a long 2-3 hour ropes course? Mine just had 6 tree platforms / 5 “skill” things between the platforms, and then going up and down. Good for a first timer (and grade-school kids)!

    But I would like to talk my older friends into doing this with me and they will likely say that they can’t do it. I am not sure I should do this alone (husband has an arm injury and can’t do it until maybe fall). How to make sure I’m not overextending myself while encouraging some 30- and 40-something office workers to get out and enjoy nature this way? [FWIW, no one wants to hike with me either even if I recast it as “walking in the woods and snacking.]

    • Oh, that sounds cool! I haven’t done the ropes courses but I’d really like to go to one (mostly for the zipline)

      On the hiking buddies front – is there a hillwalking/hiking group near you? In the UK, we have Ramblers groups which do organised trips and they are a nice way to find other active-ish people.

      • A challenge in the US is finding groups that are A) committed and B) for novices. There are a lot of groups for people who are Very Serious about [Insert Activity Here]. I struggle to find novice enthusiasts or to talk things up to my friends (even if they are mainly REI members).

    • 1) This probably varies by the course and what kind of belay system they have. The park/course should be able to answer that question.
      2) Another thing to think about that people may not want to get into- a lot of people are uncomfortable with heights, regardless of their fitness level. So maybe they would like to come out and observe you but not climb themselves.

      • Good thought — there is plenty of craft beer to be had. Maybe this is like being good at the 19th hole of golf :)

    • I did a ropes course in the Adirondacks with my family. DH didn’t zip enough on his entry to a zip line and stopped in the middle. The people who work there managed to move him to the next platform. I can’t even remember how — it took a few minutes, but it seemed like something they deal with regularly.

  13. ADHD at work :

    I take Vyvanse currently for ADHD (I also like that yet helps with my binge eating tendencies, and my shrink is aware but not what is prescribed for) but the coverage on my new insurance for it is dismal ($30 copay to $130+, even using a coupon). Anybody had a similar experience, or use a generic stimulant that works for you? I’m making an appointment to go in and will just pay for it this month, but looking for anecdata. Didn’t have a lot of success with non-stimulant meds in the past.

    • Yeah, I would just go for one of the generic stimulants. That is a lot co-pay. These drugs are often not proven to be better than the old (just non-inferior at best) and just because they included binge eating in their trial design does not mean that the other older meds do not help this as well.

      CBT might also be helpful for the Binge eating though, as that symptom is often compounded by other issues.

      That is a lot of co-pay….

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, I think the copay is insane which is why I’m looking in to alternatives. I originally started on ER Adderall and I can’t imagine the XR is that different from Vyvanse, so looking in to that.

    • My son’s stimulants run oddly between $7 and $70 even with coupons and even with generic.

    • Meg Murry :

      I pay almost $200 a month for Vyvanse, even with the coupon/discount. I was previously taking Adderall XR a few years ago, and more recently the generic version (both the extended release, and not extended). I hate paying that much, but it works enough for me to suck it up and pay.

      I also started taking a low dose of (generic) prozac at the same time I switched from Adderall XR to Vyvanse, so I can’t say for sure which is the true reason for it – but I am much happier now on Vyvanse than on Adderall. My doctor referred to Vyvanse as being much “smoother” and it is totally so for me – Adderall makes me feel a little “edgy”, for want of a better word, which can sometimes result in me being more irritable, snappy, or reaching a “b*tch eating crackers” state much faster with irritating co-workers.

      I’d suggest talking to your doctor ask if there would be a problem with you trying out the generic Adderall and how long they would suggest you follow up to see if it’s working or not, when you can decide whether to stay on Adderall or switch back to Vyvanse. When I switched to Vyvanse, my doctor told me if I called her and told her Vyvanse was not a good fit she would call in a prescription to get me back to Adderall ASAP – but I’m on my second month with Vyvanse and really happy with it.

      Also, Adderall initially helped me with avoiding binge eating (because it killed my appetite overall) but the effect didn’t last for more than a couple of weeks, and it also didn’t help in the evening once it had worn off. Vyvanse really did make a big difference there – at first it killed my appetite entirely so I was skipping lunch, but after about a week I really found that for the first time in a long time I was satisfied with a smaller portion and leaving food on my plate, and I also haven’t been desperately craving carbs and/or fatty food like I used to (pretzels or bread and/or cheese was a major downfall for me). Again, that could also be the prozac, but I’m willing to bet Vyvanse is at least part of it.

      TL;DR – yes, consider asking about cheaper generics, but be prepared for it not to be identical, and to decide with your doctor whether you are or aren’t ok with that.

      • Interesting… thanks for sharing.

        I suspect the tiny dose of prozac is helping how you are doing on the Vyvanse more than you realize. That was a really good idea of your doc’s. It might also help similarly if you had stayed on the Adderall.

  14. Since I live in a city and don’t currently have a car I also don’t have car insurance. However, I’ll be out of state using rental cars a great deal these next few months. Is the insurance through the rental agency enough? Has anyone purchased non-owner auto insurance? I can’t even get an online quote because the first question is “what is your car model” even when the company website says they sell non-owner insurance.

    • Check your credit card — most of them provide coverage for rental car use. The insurance offered by the rental agencies is typically a ripoff.

      • Also, if you have renter’s or homeowner’s insurance, you may have liability coverage there. You can use the credit card for damage to the rental vehicle and your renter’s insurance for any additional liability.

    • I second what Cat said–check your credit car. I know when I use my Discover card, that provides car insurance, which has been a godsend.

      Otherwise, I think you’re stuck with the rental company’s insurance, which is overpriced but should be adequate for your needs.

      • My card says it provides primary coverage for me, but nothing about damages to other vehicles or drivers. Is that standard? You can tell how frequently I rent cars…

        • At least for my card, the way I understand it is that “primary coverage” means that you can use the card’s insurance first. You do not have to first use your own car insurance (and thus notify your car insurance company of the accident.) Many cards only offer this type of protection, which is called “secondary.” In either case, their are typically amount limitations on what the insurance will pay, but it should cover both the damages to the rental car and the other party, depending on who was at fault for the accident. You should call your credit card company to make sure you are clear on what is covered and then decide whether you need to get the insurance offered by the rental car company.

    • 1- This is what rental car companies offer, for an additional fee
      2- DEFINITELY check your credit cards. My AmEx has free auto coverage for rental cars.

    • All the cake :

      Most credit card rental insurance is secondary to your primary owner policy. Typically, your primary policy provides liability coverage if you injure anyone or damage someone else’s property, and would also provide medical expenses for anyone in your car (if you haven’t waived that coverage). The secondary coverage on your credit card then ensures that you have coverage for damage to the rental car itself, possibly minus some deductible, but you still have to file a claim with your primary policy. Some cards offer primary coverage meaning that you don’t have to file a claim with your primary carrier in order to get the benefit of coverage for damage to the rental car, but they still don’t provide liability coverage.

      Then again, the “insurance” that most people think of from the rental car company isn’t liability coverage either–it too only protects you from having to pay for damage to the car. They may offer supplemental liability coverage, which you should get if you don’t have your own policy. If you want to see if it is cheaper to get your own non-owner policy, you’re going to have to call the companies (or have them call you) to get the quote, since their online systems aren’t set up for it.

    • Might be cheaper to get a personal umbrella policy than a non-owners policy.

    • As someone in the same position who frequently rents cars if you book through a third party website (i.e. priceline, orbitz, etc.) most of them have offer third party insurance at the time of booking similar to what you get from the rental company, but for a lot less (usually around $10 a day). If you don’t want to rely on your credit card, this is another option.

    • Check the credit card coverage, but buy the liability insurance from the rental car company. I’m in the same situation and that’s what I do – waive the CDW coverage but keep the liability and medical coverage.

    • boston anon :

      i believe that there are 2 kinds of insurance last time i checked. liability is the personal kind (e.g. you hit someone and they sue you) and usually there is some through your renters or homeowners insurance. the other one covers the vehicle in case of a collision and usually your credit card will provide this (e.g. I used my chase sapphire’s)

  15. What’s a good way to answer the interview question “what skill do you need to work on most in starting this position” without shooting myself in the foot? Is this the same as the “weakness” question? I don’t want to choose something that’s too peripheral and have it reflect poorly on my understanding of what the position is. Help?

    • I generally would comment on a growth area that will move you to the next level. I think that way you aren’t commenting on any major weaknesses for the position you’re interviewing for, while at the same time demonstrating you understand what the position involves.

  16. uncomfortable :

    This may be a strange question but I’m looking for advice on how to deal with uncomfortable situations. I’m a very direct person and like to make everything explicit and make decisions and move on. However, I have a couple current situations in which I feel constrained to do that.

    The first is my nanny, who is great with my young children (one of whom is doing well with a physical issue in large part because of her work with him). We felt like we have had good agreement on employment and comp issues, and she is paid significantly above market. She worked long term for a couple families before us, was adored, and also paid above market. They seem to have covered a bunch of extras (cars home, even when not late, for example). She always says everything is fine but will talk about what other families did for her, which makes us feel crappy. We are paying her very well and thought she was happy with that, so it is just uncomfortable to feel like she isn’t satisfied but she doesn’t straight out ask for anything so we don’t get to have the conversation. We are friendly, respectful, professional and tell her how much we appreciate what she does. There are also some language issues. Not sure if she’s just had more time to bond with previous families or is trying to get us to pay more or for more extras? Will she always be like this?

    The other situation is at work. Major organizational changes have made it unclear at a high level which group is responsible for what. As a result, there are conflicts in approach between my group and a couple others in several areas. Nobody seems to want to get everything out in the open, sort it out and carve up responsibilities, so we all just stay friendly and passive aggressively keep some things to ourselves and press ahead in somewhat divergent directions.

    There seem to be some things I can do in both situations to put more out there and clear things up, but basically I feel trapped in a grey world of things unsaid. Is the answer for me to have an internal monologue of letting stuff slide off me? Just be polite and don’t take anything personally if it’s okay practically? Are these situations I just have to ride out to see if and how much they improve? Must I get a new nanny / make peace with the fact this job will always be frustrating in this respect and keep my eyes open for new options?

    Totally different situations but they make me feel similarly. Thanks in advance for any thoughts!

    • A- ignore her. Obviously yes she would like you to pay for more things. So? You’re not. Don’t dwell on this. She’s great with your kids, move on. It is bats$it cray you would even consider getting a new nanny over this. Buck up.

      B- are you in charge of these groups? If not, do your work, communicate what you are doing, and let it go.

      You sound like you feel you are entitled to certainty. You are not.

      • I agree on the advice of ignoring her, but personally I would find this attitude extremely grating. Very passive aggressive. I don’t blame you for being annoyed! And this is exactly why we went the daycare route..too many stories from friends about this exact sort of attitude.

        • Canadienne :

          I don’t think this is an ‘attitude’ thing. Its normal and healthy to positively talk about the past. Its not a competition. If anything it would be concerning if she didn’t have good things to say about the family she spent years with.

          • How is it helpful for the OP to hear that the nanny’s past employers paid for extra perks like car service? That is straight up passive aggressive behavior.

          • Canadienne :

            Because its not passive aggressive? I dont hide the fact that my old job has perks my current job doesn’t. It’s the way of life, would it only be acceptable for the nanny to bash her old family? Or never speak of them at all? It’s hard to not mention YEARS of employment.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Eh, I don’t think she sounds entitled. While you’re right that certainty is never guaranteed, some people do better with ambiguity than others, and if you’re generally a “direct” person it can be a struggle.

        I have never employed a nanny, but could you do an x-month check in? You could give her your feedback, which sounds like it’s great, and offer her a chance to tell you how she’s doing. Overall, though, if you have a strong working relationship with her, I think you’re good.

        As for the job situation – I don’t work with much supervision and situations are often ambiguous. I thrive in it, though. I think a big part of it is not taking things personally, always having an explanation and reasons for your decisions, documenting, and communicating (even if it feels like you’re sending emails into the abyss). Good luck!

      • I can buck up, just want to feel like I’m doing the right thing before I make a decision about how to handle it. Thanks for this, sincerely.

        I’m not in charge of these groups and the problem is at the level right below the c-suite. I have been letting it go practically and just need to get better at letting it go emotionally.

        I know I’m not entitled to certainty. I’m just admitting that I crave it. It’s a me issue because the world isn’t going to change. The way I intend to deal with it is by getting some “am I crazy here?” feedback and adjusting my mindset!

    • On the nanny thing I think this is pretty common. I was raised by latin nannies and they become very attached to their previous families and will reminisce about them openly. They’ll do the same about you when one of you moves on. Don’t take it personally.

    • Nanny – If she were to come out and ask for a raise would you give her one? She agreed to the terms of employment. If you believe it is fair and she is good with your kids, yes, just ignore her. If she doesn’t think it is fair, she needs to tell you or start looking for another job. I can’t think of a single person that wouldn’t want to be paid more and have more perks.

      Work – How badly is it affecting you? If you are unclear about your responsibilities, I think it is fair to ask your boss what it is exactly the expectation is just so you don’t all of the sudden find out you are supposed to be doing something you aren’t doing. And if you need information, I think it is also fair to ask someone (boss, another director, etc) where to get said information. I’d be careful about having a super direct conversation unless you are tasked with doing so.

      And no, don’t take anything personally.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think you’ve gotten good advice on the specifics of your situations. I’ll just add that I also have a low tolerance for ambiguity and something that has helped me is to learn to recognize an ambiguous situation and just tell myself, “Oh. This is one of those ambiguous situations that tends to make me anxious. I’ll just have to sit with the ambiguity and anxiety and it almost certainly won’t kill me.” For some reason it seems to help.

  17. Napa Valley :

    My husband and I are planning a vacation and we’re strongly considering San Francisco and Napa. I’m a little overwhelmed with the options because neither of us has been there before. We’re interested in wine tastings but we especially love hiking, so we want to stay somewhere with good access to hiking trails and parks. We plan to stay a night or two in SF, then rent a car and drive up to the Napa Valley area for three or four nights. Where would y’all recommend– Calistoga, Napa proper, somewhere else entirely? We are looking for affordable ($200 or under) lodging and access to hiking, cute downtown areas for walking around and shopping, nice restaurants. Any wineries or other sites you would consider a MUST see? TIA!

    • I highly recommend staying somewhere other than the town of Napa. Yountville, St. Helena, and Calistoga are all good options. If you were all about the restaurants, I’d say Yountville. Calistoga is outdoorsier— easy to rent bikes, close to hiking (Stevenson State Park). St Helena splits the difference, very central location, cute small strip of a town.

      However, if you have a car, everything is close enough— so you can’t wrong.

      Places I have enjoyed staying that have not broken the bank (everything is relative in Napa!): Chateau de Vie (Calistoga), Southbridge (St Helena); Villagio (Yountville).

    • Not Napa, Sonoma County – but we stayed at the Sonoma Orchid Inn in Guerneville and had a really lovely time. It’s a B&B but has separate cabins (more private) in addition to the B&B part of the main house, the guys who run in are lovely, breakfast is actually delicious, lots and lots of great wine tasting all around, rooms in your price range, plus Armstrong National Forrest which is very near has lovely hiking, as does Fort Ross area if you want a longer drive (quite pretty), and the restaurants all around are great, lots of cute towns to explore, too. And it’s not a long drive from SF.

    • When are you planning on going? $200/ night in Napa/Sonoma is pretty tough – even motel type places are often more. That said, check out The Cottages in Napa – they’re nice and on the reasonable side, as are 4 sisters inns (they have a bunch of different ones in wine country). Agree that City of Napa proper totally lacks charm, you can’t go wrong with Yountville, St Helena, Calistoga, Sonoma, Glenn Ellen, Healdsburg. If you post an email I can send you my guide to the wine country and SF. Oh, and time of year makes a huge difference on cost – summer through October is especially expensive because of wedding season, winter is much cheaper and because the climate here is moderate all the time, it’s still lovely.

    • Napa Valley :

      Thanks everyone! I think we’ll go with Calistoga, then. We are traveling in late August/early Sept. I found a Groupon for an inn/microbrewery with good reviews at $109 per night, which is pretty hard to beat. I will also look into the Sonoma Orchid Inn, which sounds lovely too!

    • I would also add that you should think about what type of wine-tasting experience you want. This is a gross generalization, but Napa is more formal than Sonoma. The tasting room fees are generally more. There is also a difference in what grows best in each place: Napa is cab and chardonnay country. Sonoma is pinot noir and zin country.

      There have been some good articles in both Food&Wine, Sunset and National Geographic Traveller recently on Napa and Sonoma. I also check Yelp reviews for each winery. Never aim to do more than 4 wineries a day.

      If you do go to Calistogal, I like Envy and lavavine both very much, and they are on the cheaper/more informal end of Napa tasting rooms. If you go to Napa, I also LOVELOVELOVE all of the wines at Elizabeth Spencer, and she has a lovely relaxed garden to taste wines in (for a small fee). They are a must-stop.

      Foodwise, I am pretty much obsessed with Diavola pizza in Guerneville. And there is a great tasting room next door that tastes a ton of reasonably-priced, cheaper wines, called LOCALS. Highly recommend.

      –Bay Area native

      • Ally McBeal :

        If you go to Guerneville, you can also have ice cream at Nimble & Finn. It is amazing. Bring a swimsuit in case you feel like jumping into the Russian River or kayaking in Jenner – both really fun options.

        If you’re interested in hiking, you might look into Armstrong Woods and Austin Creek State Recreation Area, both in Sonoma County just above Guerneville.

  18. Looking for travel recs–where would you stay in Montreal for two nights if money wasn’t an issue? We were thinking about the Ritz but not sure if there is something else we are missing out on.

    • Never too many shoes :

      I love Le Germain. If you wanted to stay in the Old Port, Auberge du Vieux-Port is lovely.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We stayed at the Hotel St. Martin Particuleur and loved it. We did a bicycle tour of the city with Fitz & Follwell and it was great. And… Montreal is great but Quebec City is even better in my book. Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac all the way.

      • We got an Air BnB so no recs on hotels, but we also did a bike tour with Fitz & Folwell and loved it. Highly recommend.

    • The St. James: http://www.lhw.com/hotel/Hotel-Le-St-James-Montreal-QC

  19. I live in a small apartment building. Last night I witnessed a blue SUV hit a Cadillac sedan while trying to park. The SUV driver realized they hit the car then went across the lot and parked there (literally as far away from the hit car as possible). The SUV driver did not leave a note and proceeded to just walk in the building. Both of the owners of these cars live in the building. It was late so I’m sure blue SUV didn’t realize anyone had actually seen what happened. Note: I do not know the extent of damage on either car.

    What should I do? Leave it alone? Say something? I could argue either side…

    • I would leave a note for the owner of the cadillac. People that do this are the worst. I would be a witness too.

    • Yes, leave a note on the car! I would include the license plate info of the SUV and whatever contact info of yours you are comfortable leaving in case the SUV driver denies it and there was significant damage to the other car that they will need to have fixed.

    • Anonymous :

      Someone hit my car while it was parked. A person who witnessed the accident left me a note. I am so grateful to that person — he saved me a huge deductible payment because of how my insurance is structured. I believe he gave a short statement by phone to the police but that was the extent of the witness’s involvement.

  20. Help! My wonderfully amazing, kind, and supportive parents are about to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They are significantly better off than me and the kind of people who just buy what they want. So they don’t really NEED anything. They are not huge drinkers, not really into cooking, and my mom has bad knees which makes some experiences harder. Any ideas on a gift? Price range is relatively open.

    • My parents are similar, in that they’re well off and buy what they want.

      I got a copy of their wedding photo and took it to a professional photographer to have it retouched and blown up–it had faded and had some spots/deterioration over the years, so this way they had a clean, digital version and a nice hard copy that Ihad framed.

      Even my macho dad got misty :)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Can you do a small dinner party with some of their longtime friends?

    • We commissioned a piece of art for my parents’ 40th. I thought that turned out very cool.

      • There is a local stained glass artist in my city who designs projects that you can actually assist with. She takes an old window and basically does the hard parts of the design, then gives you the glass and instructions to fill in the parts that are easier. Then she finishes the whole thing. My parents built a cabin that they love and are very proud of, so we did an image of that and my brother, husband and I contributed to creating the stained glass window. Unique gift that was also fun because we did part of it. I have no idea if there’s something like that in your area, but I agree that a unique piece of art is a really meaningful gift.

    • If your family is spread out, schedule a family portrait session when you’re together for the anniversary party. Then pay for the photographs and framing.

    • Anonymous :

      Help them with recording the family history … your life and times growing up. Great to pass on to your generation and their grandchildren. In this day and age, time = money = a caring gesture. Or do the same sort of offer with family photos, filmstrips, etc.

    • I just created a website for my husband’s 50th birthday. I secretly contacted friends and family and asked for a birthday greeting to be emailed to me. I received written messages, photos, graphics, and even videos wishing him a happy birthday from a lot of different people he has touched throughout his life. Then, I compiled everything on the website, which I published and showed him on his birthday.

      It cost a bit more than $100 for a year, including a custom domain name. One of the people who participated on my husband’s project said he was going to do the same thing for his parents’ anniversary. I am not extremely tech savvy, but I was able to put together a nice looking site. I think it was really meaningful to my husband.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh. My. Gawd.

        Lovely Fiance has a milestone birthday coming up in a couple of years and I am totally, totally doing this.

    • For my parents’ 40th, my sister and I secretly borrowed their photo albums, made digital copies (mostly just by taking an iPhone photo) of all the cute pictures from throughout their many years of marriage, then edited together a video of the photos in chronological order, set to their wedding first dance song. This is super-easy to do with many native video editing apps, and I think you can even do it on newer iPhone models.

      We had a nice dinner with them and our families, then had a viewing afterward. It was a hit! (FWIW, we also gave them a restaurant gift certificate. which is always good for people who already have it all.)

  21. IIRC, someone was looking for plain red leather pumps here the other week. Not sure of the heel height request, but here’s a good option on sale at Brooks Bros

    • I wasn’t the person looking for plain red leather pumps, but these are great!

    • That was me! These are great, although a little higher than I wanted. But they’re close enough and on sale, so I’m ordering. Thanks!

      • Nice! Hope they work out! I scooped up a few marked-down skirts and button-fronts while I was there :)

  22. I’m considering starting botox. I’m 33 with fine lines on my forehead and around my mouth. Has anyone started botox at this age? Any tips? What types of results did you see, how often did you get botox treatments, approximate cost, etc? And most importantly, were you happy with the results? TIA!!

    • Interested in Preventative Botox :

      Tagging to see the follow-up comments (sorry I don’t have any experience myself yet!)

    • I started getting Botox at 35. I only get it in between my eyebrows where I have creases that never go away if I do anything that remotely resembles squinting or moving my eyebrows.

      I go to a well regarded face-centric plastic surgeon and I pay $15/unit, which is on the high side. I need 30 units to get the look I want for 6 months. I started with 20 units and it didn’t last as long as I thought it should (I was getting 3 – 4 months max). With the 30 units, I am thrilled with the results. That area of my face was pretty much the only thing I consistently didn’t like about how I looked. It changes my attitude and is worth every penny to me.

    • I started doing botox at 33 & am so glad I did. I was told that’s the right age to start – before you really have deep lines. I’m in my early 40s now & am routinely told I look about 10 years younger than I am, which I have to think is thanks to the tox. I go a couple of times a year & haven’t had any side effects. I’d recommend finding someone good (this isn’t a groupon kind of thing to do) who you keep going to (like a good colorist).

    • So sad says the worn out shoe :

      I’m sad about this. Makes me think that my decision to age gracefully, wisely, and naturally is now taboo. Then again, all the national tv news anchors can’t move their faces. What a shame. I also still think it’s poison that’s injected and as with all “procedures’ there’s a risk.

      • Wildkitten :

        I’m so sad that you think having trained medical professional provide an FDA-approved product to a random person on the internet makes you feel so strongly about your own value as a human. Also, she didn’t ask your opinion on the questions you have chosen to answer here. There is a risk to literally everything and most things are poison at some level, including choosing to think of yourself as an old shoe.

    • In House Lobbyist :

      I have gotten it 3 times now and go about 6 months between each appointment. I pay $300 at a plastic surgeon’s office. It makes a huge difference on the “11” between my eyebrows. I get a terrible headache from it but it is pain free and I plan to continue it. I have noticed that I can go a little longer with each application. I also took her advice and stared using vitamin c serum, retinol and bareminerals make up. I have seen a big improvement all the way around.

    • So sad says the worn out shoe :


      I still believe in the First Amendment, although you may think I was there for it’s ratification.

      Along with many other threads and this one, combined with the results of Kat’s survey, it is time for me to depart. This was a pseudonym for my regular handle and I’m glad it is.

      Honestly wishing everyone the best. Your support of each other and the combined cache of knowledge has been amazing in all these years; I was one of the earliest readers and contributors.

      Be well. Be happy. Be safe. Be wonderful. In the spirit of the site, also be fabulous.

      You all deserve that! Every keystroke of it. Ciao.

  23. Planning a week trip in Ireland for spring with two friends. I’ve somehow never been despite multiple trips to Scotland/England/Wales/etc. The plan is to rent a car so we’re free to explore.

    Any tips? We love history so it’s hard to know where to start!

    TIA ladies!

    • Never too many shoes :

      Ireland is honestly full of magic, so it is hard to go wrong. Some things I would not miss – a few days in Dublin including a tour of Trinity College (including the Book of Kells), walking around Grafton Street, a trip to the General Post Office, feeding the ducks in St. Stephen’s Green, walking around Temple Bar and over the Ha’penny Bridge all the way up to the Hugh Lane Gallery, Joyce’s House and, my personal favourite, the Garden of Remembrance at Parnell Square. Also, the bus out to Kilmainham Gaol and the Museum of Modern Art. This could be a whole book, honestly.

      From there I would drive to Belfast, which is a really wonderful city with great food and history. Up to the Giant’s Causeway and the rope bridge (weather permitting) and a tour of Bushmills.

      The west coast of Ireland is gorgeous, and Galway is just a super fun little town with a great atmosphere. From Galway, a day trip to Inish Mor (Aran Islands) is well worth it – the view from the top of the old fort there is one of the most naturally beautiful places I have ever seen anywhere.

      I would also recommend Cork, which is a thriving vibrant city in an amazing county, as well as a drive through West Cork and to Kinsale (known for fine dining).

      If you like traditional music and a more “old country” feel, side trip to Dingle. The ring of Kerry has lots of great drives and scenery.

      Finally, just outside Cork, while a total cliché, Blarney Castle has really lovely grounds. This is obviously too much for a week, but you might want to go back!

      • Oh wow, thank you so much for this! I’m so overwhelmed by options and your list is a great jumping off point.

      • I kind of hate-read her, but Gal Meets Glam just went on a weeklong trip to Ireland along with Carly (the College Prep) and although I find their itinerary a good example of packing Way the Eff Too Much into a week (I think they drove the entire circumference and stopped a TON), you can get an idea of the different towns and vistas to see from their insta/recent posts.

  24. Paging Bay Area Bound :

    Paging Bay Area Bound (and anyone else) from Friday’s thread…

    I just did a very similar move (Boston to Palo Alto) in May as a trailing and unemployed spouse and happy to talk about my experience. I had a lot of trepidation beforehand and am still adjusting, but there are some good things here, too. Shoot me an e-mail at notacalifornian2016 at the google mail if you want chat. I agree with New Californian-it can feel weird to be the one person who doesn’t LOVE everything about California. Which is not to say there aren’t awesome things here (there are!), but the East Coast has a lot to offer, too, and it’s a big adjustment.

    • SF native now in SV :

      Come join the Junior League and the CLUB. Both are accepting new members :).

      • SF Native – can you speak more to your experience in Junior League? I’m brand new to Dallas and am considering trying but I am a little nervous (ok…terrified)! I was never in a sorority so I’m afraid of the process and that I’ll get laughed out of the place. Is it for a certain “type” of lady?

  25. MaintainingHealthyEating :

    I need some advice how to maintain healthy eating in a work situation where you are working 15 hour days (roughly morning 9 to midnight) for three to four weeks including most of the weekend days. Generally, it is a very stressful activity with lots of people involved. So our office provides all the junk foods that pumps up people’s sugar levels. They also order dinner every night from restaurants. I am trying very hard to lose weight and I have made some progress. I don’t want to negate everything during this time.

    So I want some ideas about how to maintain healthy eating during this time. How can I prepare healthy meals when I am so busy? What are the alternatives (buying frozen food, collecting the recipes of easy to cook meals or cooking and freezing healthy meals in advance)?

    • Anonymous :

      Where do you live? Depending on the city, you might be able to get healthy meals delivered. I know NYC has a ton of options. If you are out in the suburbs where there aren’t a lot of options, you may be able to get some kind of healthy meals packaged from the prepared food sections at Whole Foods or Wegmans and have your PM pick them up. I think this is something everyone struggles with, so if you advocate for something healthier usually others will appreciate it.

      • MaintainingHealthyEating :

        I live and work in a small town in West Coast. We have Whole Foods but I have not heard of any meal delivery service other than Blue Apron (which doesn’t suit my situation). But I can find out and talk to the person ordering snacks and ask for healthy options, but advocating for dinner is difficult as people come from all over the world and they have to order something every one can eat (like pizza, pasta, burrito etc).

        • Veronica Mars :

          Could you ask that a vegeterian or vegan dinner option be made available to you? You could easily eat terribly as either, but in terms of avoiding some of the fatty meats/cheeses/convenience type foods, you may be better off with something that’s plant-based.

    • See if they will order salads for dinner and bring your own hardboiled eggs and maybe some nuts or good cheese to add to the top to make it more filling. If they can get salads from a place that already comes with those items, even better. Focus on veggies and protein and you’ll be okay.

      • I agree. I would stick with salads, just be careful with the dressing. I would also bring in your own snacks, like nuts, hummus, fruit, yogurt (if you have access to a fridge.) You can also do canned tuna or canned beans. Also, watch your portions on the other stuff (one piece of pizza plus some veggies would probably be ok. Or eat the inside of the burrito and not the tortilla.) Also, if you eat small, healthy portions during the day, that leaves a little leeway for dinner when it is harder to get something different.

      • Ally McBeal :

        Dinner salads don’t do much for me. I’m a big fan of finding a restaurant where you can order in an actual entree, like a chicken breast and a veggie side, or salmon and a side. That’s much more satisfying for me, and makes me feel less deprived.

    • Marshmallow :

      I just finished a situation exactly like you describe, if sometimes even longer days. You might be surprised by how many other people on your team also want to eat healthy once you bring it up– nobody really wants to eat greasy food for every meal for four weeks straight. Get an in with the person who coordinates meals and ask for salad or healthier options. Can you also advocate for healthier snacks to be stocked? During trial, we stocked all the typical junk, but also mini bags of nuts, greek yogurt, hummus, and fruit. That makes a big difference in what you’ll grab at 11PM. I really think once you make the request and people see that you have salad/fruit/nuts, they will want in on it too and it will become very normal.

    • Anonymous :

      Portion control is your friend. Take one portion of food and sit and eat. Drink a glass of water before your meal and before going for seconds. Try to keep dinner to a piece of pizza + apple+ water vs. 3 pieces of pizza and soda.

      Try to be one of the last people to take food (like if everyone is lined up to grab pizza) so you minimize the amount of time after you’re done that others are still eating and tempting you to eat.

      Bring healthy snacks with you. Apples, bananas and nuts travel well.

      Try to incorporate activity wherever you can. Walk to the bathroom on the next floor on the lunch break instead of the one next door.

  26. Gonna be anon for this one :

    (Very regular poster, but anon for this because some know me in real life.)

    I am very seriously considering elective single motherhood – I’ll be thirty-six later this year, and I would very much like to try to have biological children (understanding that is never guaranteed). I know I don’t have all the time in the world to do that, and post-divorce (five years ago) I’ve had some relationships that have been good, but there’s nothing on the horizon right now in terms of a life partner, father of my children, etc. So I’m planning to make a decision at the end of this year about whether or not I’m ready to go ahead and start trying to get pregnant.

    I know this has been discussed on this site before, but I have some fairly specific questions that I’ve not seen addressed:

    -Folks who are parents, if you were contemplating this choice, what would you do in terms of preparation? Obviously, getting my estate documents in good order and figuring out my plans for childcare/backup childcare/etc. are important, but what are the less-obvious things you would do, with the benefit of hindsight?

    -Any thoughts on how to explain this at work? I am a partner in biglaw, so I’m not worried about getting fired or something like that…more just how much do you tell folks about why there’s no dad in the picture? I am not embarrassed about this, but know it may be awkward for others who will assume I have a husband/wife/SO.

    (I know it’ll be hard for folks to resist weighing in on whether or not this is the right choice for me, and I’d respectfully ask you to refrain if you can; I’ve thought through the options and am comfortable with my choice.)

    • If other people ask questions and then feel awkward about your responses, that is on them. Not on you. Own your choices and best of luck with whatever you decide! If your response is “I decided that I didn’t want to wait anymore” or something similar, and people act weird or judgy, then let them and don’t let it affect you.

      • Oh, and this ended up on page 2 for me, so you may want to repost this later on.

        Finally, I’m pretty sure our city has several “support” (not the right word, but you get the gist) groups for single-by-choice-from-the-get-go parents. Might be worth exploring.

    • I know of a biglaw female attorney who adopted a child as a singleton. I don’t think people held it against her or thought it particularly strange. She was well-regarded in the firm and subsequently became managing partner for her office.
      Do you have some close friends/family that have children so you have someone to bounce ideas of off? So many times as a parent you feel like you have no idea what you are supposed to do and having someone else on your team helps.

      • Gonna be anon for this one :

        Most of my friends in my hometown do not have kids yet, but I’m very close with my mom (and she lives just a few miles away), and several of my friends are expecting this year. I do feel like the “team” is critical – probably for everyone, not just single parents.

    • Anonymous :

      You should plan on having as much help and support as you can get. It takes more than one adult to do all the work of raising a child, and if you are going the non-partner route, you need to figure out who the other adults will be. I know I could never be a single parent by choice because I don’t earn that much money (so couldn’t afford much help) and have very little support system (friends/family). Discuss this with family and friends and see what their reaction is – and think about how they’ve acted in other times you need help. When you have the flu, does someone come over and take care of you? Multiply that by dozens of time a year. If you’re on your own ordering chicken soup from the deli and driving yourself to the pharmacy, you’ll need to plan on lots and lots of paid help to make single parenting work. Research and price out nannies, evening/weekend/backup sitters, and housekeepers.

      It will be hard. But kids are always hard. And most parents seem to agree that they are worth the work.

    • boston anon :

      if you are having a biological child, make sure you have a plan for any medical issues that might come up after the fact (although if you do get pregnant i wish you a very healthy pregnancy and birth!). do you have family or close friends who are willing to be your support system for a few months in case anything happens? e.g. my sister had bad ppd which was totally out of left field for us – my mother stayed wit her for a few months and helped shoulder the childcare while sis was able to get good treatment and her ppd was resolved. i tend to be over-prepared, but i would even do some basic research on who to go to to treat common post-pregnancy issues like ppd, a lactation consultant, etc. in case you need it so you don’t need to do the research when that comes up.

      • Gonna be anon for this one :

        Thanks! Yes, I live within two miles of my parents and my brother/SIL, and all of them are supportive (my brother and his wife don’t want kids of their own but are very excited about being an aunt and uncle, and my mom is a former childbirth educator/child development teacher). You’re totally right that I hadn’t thought about post-pregnancy stuff, though and really being teed up for that post-birth period…

    • Anonymous :

      I have three small kids. My main advice is to figure out your support system. You can do this on your own 100% but it is easier if you have your ‘village’ in place. I would strongly recommend a birth doula and a post-partum doula (some offer both services) to give you support through the birth process and in the first months after birth when everything is so new. Figure out which friends you can count on to drop by on a Saturday to hold the baby so you can shower and which friends/family you can text at 3am when you feel like you can’t do it. And which mommy friends to call when you need advice. I highly recommend a nanny over daycare when you go back to work as doing both pick up and drop off everyday is tough.

      For nosy colleagues “I decided I really wanted to be a mom and the right time was now.” or “I decided to pursue motherhood on my own because I don’t currently have a partner that I wanted share the parenthood journey with.”

      P.S. Congrats! :)

      • Wildkitten :

        +1. I was raised by a single mom (dad was a jerk) and I am so grateful. Parenthood is scary no matter what, but you sound like you are really thinking this thought and I want you to know that either choice you make is a good choice. You might want to consider some therapy so that you don’t spend 18 years worrying that you’re raising your kid worse than you would if you had been able to marry George Clooney at 33 or such. Good luck!

    • I am also considering this route. I will be 36 later this year, been separated from H for over a year and a half, and I know I want kids. I also don’t want the pressure of jumping into any relationship just to have kids. I plan on starting to try in a year or so from now, since I feel like I need more time to get over my marriage and am just not in a place for it.

      My biggest fear is that I don’t have any family close by. I do have friends, and I know if anything happened to me, my parents would come up here and stay and help. So, I’m hoping that’s enough!

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