Thursday’s TPS Report: Grace Blouse

Pim + Larkin Grace Blouse | Corporette

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week, we welcome an old friend back to the blog — Belle from Capitol Hill Style, who was also good enough to take a week of TPS reports during my first maternity leave (and has guest posted about how to maximize a chance meeting with a VIP).

This pleated neck blouse is the perfect top to tuck into a pencil skirt or trousers. The short sleeve make it appropriate to wear solo, or layer under a blazer or cardigan. The blouse comes in three colors. I like the neutral navy and ivory shades, but the red is lovely too. It’s at Piperlime for $79 in sizes XS-XL. Pim + Larkin Grace Blouse

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



  1. How do you deal with a work crush on someone who is totally, completely not an option for you? There’s this asshole associate who is the golden boy at my firm — everyone wants to work with him, he’s brilliant, ya da ya. He’s also really cute… and he knows it. He always comes by my office and flirts with me until he hits me with the work he wants me to do. I know he isn’t interested in me, and I’ve known him long enough to suspect that he’s like this with everyone (with a stab-you-in-the-back mentality — making jokes at your expense with the higher ups, etc). But… I can’t help it but I like him despite myself. What’s wrong with me? How do I snap out of it — and how do I manage the relationship going forward? About 30% of my work is with this guy on a case that isn’t going anywhere soon.

    • Anonymous :

      I find with crushes you just need to ride them out. Dial down the friendly (he stops by your office? How nice. Tragically you are in the middle of something so you aren’t responding to his banter), try and stay out of his way (you have to work together, but at office events you are busy talking to that old weird partner in the corner), and remind yourself that’s he a jerk who would clearly cheat on you. And one day you’ll see him and want to vom and then you’ll know it’s over.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :


        Been there, done that. I had a totally irrational crush on this dude when I was a trainee who was giving me work. Objectively attractive, zero personality and history of being a major league douchebag. However, rational me put it down to the fact that the general level of hotness at my firm is not high and I was working hard and never meeting anyone else anyway.

        It totally did wear off after a while – think of it this way: if you met this dude in a social environment, would you have a crush on him? If the answer is no, then it will definitely wear off. If it’s yes, well, then it probably still will wear off but it might take a bit longer.

      • roman holiday :

        I’ve been there -kudos for recognizing a potentially toxic relationship. I think the best solution is just to keep it as professional as possible, and not engage with the flirting and always steer the conversation back to work, (thanks for the compliment, was there something I could help you with?). I’d guess the guy enjoys seeing people respond to his “charm” and if he doesn’t get what he’s looking for, maybe he’ll back off as well.

        • This completely. Keep it as professional as possible and always redirect the conversation to work. You know that’s where it’ll end up anyways, so why put it off and play into his game?

      • Been there :

        Also, there’s nothing wrong with you! I think most of us have had an irrational crush at one time or another along these lines (I know I certainly have). The suggestions here are all good. It’s making sure your rational brain wins out over your schoolgirl “ooo, but he’s so cute and funny!” knee-jerk reaction.

    • Also, read “The Partner Track,” by Helen Wan. Unlike your typical chick-lit fare, the golden boy does not turn out to have a heart of gold. (Sorry for the spoiler).

      • Ooh, will have to try this! Anyone else have good chick-lit-for lawyers? I loved Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella… Could totally identify!

        • I liked Bond Girl by Erin Duffy. Set in banking not law but definitely smarter than your average chick lit. And another one where the golden boy turns out to be a jerk.

          • Yes! Bond Girl was such a good book.

          • Makes sense :

            I heard Summer of the Dead reviewed this morning on NPR. By Julie Keller –

            Hunting an elusive killer who is terrorizing the citizens of Acker’s Gap during a West Virginia summer, county prosecutor Bell Elkins and Sheriff Nick Fogelsong find the case complicated by a coal miner’s secretive daughter and the prison release of Bell’s sister.

    • Diana Barry :

      Just think of what would happen if you did date him. You would eventually break up because he is a jerk! Then what would happen if he were still assigning work to you? Nightmare!

      FWIW, I once dated someone at work when I was a summer and it is VERY LUCKY that we didn’t end up at the same firm!

    • It might help to focus on the fact that he is probably stabbing you in the back to higher ups. Put yourself (and your pride) first and don’t give him the satisfaction of making a fool of you. Every time you see him, keep this in mind and focus on not giving him any fodder to talk about you later. It will help you stay professional and not overly friendly or flirty.

    • Thank you guys so much… glad to hear how many others have had this problem! Will report back and let you know how implementing all this goes…

  2. First Year Anon :

    I love this. Priced too high for what it is though. But I need more tops like this in my wardrobe.

    • Yeah, $80 for polyester is pretty ridiculous.

      • But think of all the $$$ you will save on dry cleaning! :-)

        • First Year Anon :

          True, but I usually hand wash my silks. This would be nice in a rayon blend as well.

          • hoola hoopa :

            If it were rayon or silk, it would already be in the mail to me! I’ve been hunting for a natural fiber top like this and not coming up with much.

        • A lot of poly doesn’t do well in the washing machine, at least in my experience. I end up taking some blouses to the dry cleaner just because I don’t want to risk it.

  3. Glad I noticed the huge bow tie on the back of this blouse before I purchased it. This would be cute for my 5-year-old to wear to a birthday party, but not the right thing for me to wear to work.

    • Wildkitten :

      Since it’s in a location that would be hidden if you put on a jacket or sweater, I think I could make it work. It looks less obvious in navy than creme.

    • I don’t mind the bow at all and like that it adds a bit of feminine flair.

    • I don’t think the bow is unprofessional.

      • anon-oh-no :

        me neither. i wear bows without blinking an eye. like bonnie, i think it adds some feminine detailing without being overly girly.

    • It’s a knockoff of a Joie blouse, which is silk and costs 3x. I love the style. I might give this one a go, though I’m not sure how comfortable the polyester will be. Good pick, Belle.

      • I had a jersey shirt from JCrew years ago like this that I loved. Wish I could find something like it in a t-shirt material again.

  4. I need to vent – so I’ve put on 5-10 pounds over the winter, mostly around my midsection. I can’t seem to lose it easily (although with work travel and summer social events, to be honest, I haven’t been trying super hard). But now all my clothes are tight for me, and my work pencil skirts are a little va-va-voom now. I can’t find anything that doesn’t accentuate my booty and really don’t want to spend good money buying new work clothes for what is hopefully temporary weight. But I’m just so sick and tired of feeling disgusted with myself for letting this happen.

    • It’s July, 5-10lbs from winter does not equate to temporary weight when it’s months later. Invest in one or two skirts that fit for now.

      • Contracts :

        I agree. Add just 2-3 pieces that will make you feel more comfortable. Personally, when I gain like that, if I continue to wear things that are too tight or uncomfortable, then I continue to spiral, because I just don’t feel good about myself. If I feel good in what I’m wearing, I’m more likely to make better choices about food and exercise.

      • I have to agree. Find a few relatively inexpensive pieces that and dial back the self loathing. Then start working on what you want to change.

      • Yes. I find that tops can accommodate 5-10 pounds better than bottoms. Get yourself a skirt or two in your current size and you will feel much better.

      • For some of us, winter just ended 2 months ago.

    • I agree with DU that you should get yourself a few basic pieces that you feel good in. Senior Attorney once said something that really resonated me, “you can’t hate yourself thin.” This is your body right now and you need to love it, which means not trying to put it in clothes that make you feel bad.

      If you really feel uncomfortable with your body (vs. just feeling uncomfortable with your body in the clothes you currently own), I highly recommend starting some kind of small, easy to follow fitness routine. Obviously eating better helps you lose weight, but I’ve found that physical activity, even if it’s just going for more walks, really improves my perception of my body. Actually putting it to work, without overdoing it, allows you to see and focus on how effective it really is, rather than just how it looks.

      • I got home a little early from work today and, instead of sitting around on my butt on the internet, I am going to use the time to get in a workout. I have been meaning to start for ages now, and just have not made it a priority to get in exercise sessions. I hope this makes the 1st trimester fatigue better and not worse. Worth a try, at least! Thanks for the motivation!

    • Penny Proud :

      Get some stretchy pencil skirts in a size up and some new tops from a thrift store or the Rack. You will feel a lot better and be more comfortable while you lose the new pounds.

    • Great blouse, Kat–I can wear this under a blazer any time of the year! And it’s not to expensive either. YAY!!!

      As for the OP, Hug’s to you. Nearley all of us have been there — and we are ALWAY’S trying to loose those last 5-10 pound’s! As the other’s have said, it is only the 4th of July, and you have time to loose the pound’s. I recomend you get a FITBIT and measure your self and your progress, but do NOT give your dad the password to your FITBIT, or he will be watching you from his computer to make sure you are doeing your step’s. FOOEY b/c I do NOT do 10,000 step’s every day, and dad is the FIRST one on the phone to scold me by telling me that I will NEVER get married if the first thing peeople see is my tuchus. FOOEY b/c men seem NOT to mind that much–in fact the manageing partner’s brother likes my tuchus. He said it is alot smaller then his wive’s tuchus, who is soon to be his ex. He found an apartement in the building and is goeing to apply to the Board. He wanted me to recomend him, but the board bareley let me in. The lady who is chairwoman does NOT like me — she said I should NOT bring men into my apartement until after I am engaged, but I said that is not fair b/c men bring women in all the time for sex. FOOEY b/c ever since Alan, I do NOT let men have sex with me anyway, even in the apartement.

    • French Women Don’t Get Fat is a great book to read to give you a bit of motivation to get back on track. Gives you lots of tricks, recipes, etc as well as fashion/beauty tips. Try her “reset” diet (or whatever it’s called) to get you started for two days, and you’ll feel better in no time. It’s also a very entertaining read!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You can always have larger clothing taken in when you lose the weight. It isn’t a total waste of money.

      • You can always but a wrap dress and other things that are good for a gained-5-lost-5 wardrobe — wasn’t there a whole post on this a few months ago? Also get the Skirt on sale… And if u haven’t already been wearing Spanx and so forth buy a pair and see how it changes the fit of your current skirts.

        Sorry, though – been there, done that. Just nip it in the bud now — I didn’t and managed to gain-5 my way into 50 extra pounds over the years. Sigh,

    • long time lurker :

      I struggle with the demands of work social events and gaining weight, too. I love my wine, but I am really trying to restrict it to weekends, because the extra calories undo my eating well during the day and also result in the munchies. I pick and chose what events I will indulge in. There are a few events where it is a cocktail reception and I can just stop by, drink a sparkling water, and make the rounds saying hi to who I need to say hi to for networking and business reasons. Then leave and hit the gym or whatever. Other events I chose to indulge usually if they are on a Thursday. I really dislike the having cocktail things on Mondays or Tuesdays as it messes up my week, but I realized I can make an appearance, do my rounds, and leave fairly stealthily.

  5. Summer reads? :

    Can anyone recommend some great summer novels? I like stories set in other countries, especially places in Europe I wish I were in. Has anyone read anything great lately? I’m looking for some page-turners to get me through long flights and lazy afternoons on the beach!

    • The Time In Between by Maria Duenas

    • Anonymous :

      The Invisible Bridge.

    • ContractsinTX :

      Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. It mostly takes place in a tiny hospital in Ethiopia. It’s a chunk of a book, but I loved reading it.

      • +1. Loved this one.

        • I liked Cutting for Stone, too, even though it is not at all the type of novel I usually read.

      • Clementine :

        I’m 2/3 of the way through this and loving it! Disclaimer: I read the first 10 or so pages roughly 7 times before I could get into the book, but it’s great!

    • Please read “Remember the Sweet Things” by Ellen Greene. It is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read, and nobody knows about it!

    • OH! I am almost done with this book called “Beautiful Ruins”–it’s set in Italy and LA. It’s an easy beach read!

    • Beautiful Ruins.

    • In House Counsel :

      Check out the following books:
      Shoemakers Wife — Adriana Trigiani
      The Last Telegram — Liz Trenow
      The Last Camelia — Sarah Jio
      The Girl You Left Behind — Jojo Moyes
      The Orchid House — Lucinda Riley
      The Husband’s Secret — Liane Moriarty

    • The Many Lives & Sorrows of Josephine B. (it’s historical fiction, but it takes place mainly in Paris & other parts of France)
      The Rosie Project
      What Alice Forgot

      I also second the recommendations for Beautiful Ruins, The Invisible Bridge, and The Girl You Left Behind.

      • OttLobbyist :

        Just finished the Josephine B. book. It was great. The Rosie Project too! So many good books.

        • I also recommend the following two books in the Josephine B series (it’s a trilogy). I’ve almost gotten through them all in less than 2 weeks and I don’t have a lot of time for reading. So good!

    • The Light Between Oceans

      • 2 fun things to read in close proximity: Room with a View (Forster) and the sequel to Silence of the Lambs (I think named Hannibal). Florence, Italy plays such a presence in both (very different!) books that it’s almost like a character.

    • applesandcheddar :

      Not a novel, but does read like one… Married to Bhutan

    • For a bit of contemporary/history/romance : Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation. It’s a lengthy series, which plays on the Scarlet Pimpernel with a bit of contemporary put in, but I find that the first book is a pretty good stand alone. Willig wrote the book during 1L.

      For lovely fluff, Paris and Chocolate, Laura Florand’s Chocolate series. It starts with Chocolate Thief.

    • For really light reads, almost everything by Sophia Kinsella or her pseudonym Madeleine Wickham is set in Europe. A lot of Marian Keyes’ books are set in Dublin or London. If you like food-related books, I enjoyed The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher. Some popular series set in Europe: Harry Potter, Bridget Jones, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

      For a few page-turning Europe-based classics:
      The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham (or Maugham’s Up at the Villa for a light pulp-y read)
      The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
      Dracula by Bram Stoker
      The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
      The Mother’s Recompense by Edith Wharton
      The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

      For non-fiction, try Vera Brittain’s Testament of Youth. It’s definitely not a light read, but it really stuck with me.

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      Overseas by Beatriz Williams.

      • Lyra Silvertongue :

        Oh, also the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. The 8th book was just released!

        • Lyra Silvertongue :

          Last comment, I promise…

          1) The Winter Witch by Paula Braxton
          2) Empress of the Seven Hills by Kate Quinn (or any of her historical novels)
          3) A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
          4) Magnolia City by Duncan W. Alderson
          5) The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory (my favorite one of hers)

  6. Contracts :

    I found a very similar silk top at Ann Taylor a few months ago – on sale for $18. It was such a win.

    I missed all the fun with the makeup post yesterday, so I’m just going to throw my morning routine out there. It’s definitely not fancy, and I mostly drugstore makeup.

    1. CeraVe moisturizer and Neutrogena sunscreen
    2. MaryKay BB cream (it’s ok…definitely needs a powder dusting or I shine big time)
    3. Benefit erase paste concealer (the stuff lasts forever)
    4. Maybelline age rewind brightener
    4. Wet and Wild “Walking on Egg Shells” eyeshadow trio. (You guys. This trio is my holy grail. It’s amazing and only $3.)
    5. ELF gel liner. (I’m not a big ELF fan, but this stuff is equal to the MAC fluid line and Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, and again, it’s about $3.)
    6. NYX blush in “pinched.” Decent dupe for NARS “org*sm”
    7. Anastasia brow pencil and the setting gel
    8. Rimmel London matte powder (meh about this one )
    9. L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara

    If I’m feeling fancy, I will add a little Benefit High Beam and Too Faced Shadow Insurance. If I need a primer, I’ll use monistat anti-chaffing gel. True story.

    • Seriously, the anti-chafing gel was the best “discovery” I made. My makeup isn’t melting by the end of the day.

    • hoola hoopa :

      CeraVe is the best. The. Best.

      You lucked out with a silk version for $18!

  7. Staffing TJ :

    I recently started at a new firm (been here 6 weeks), and I’m now being asked whether my workload is manageable (it’s not a performance issues – they had advertised 2 associate positions but only ended up hiring me, so now want to know whether they should rekindle the search for that 2nd associate). My difficulty is: I think my workload is manageable (I have fewer files to manage than my previous firm), but I have no staff permanently assigned to me and the staff that are assigned to me when I ask are not competent (which is a change from my previous firm where I had 2 amazing staff). It means that a lot of my time is spent closely supervising and correcting staff work, and I don’t think adding another associate to the team will really help.

    How do I go about expressing that a competent clerk would be more helpful in managing my workload than another lawyer?

    • Um say exactly that?

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think you tread carefully. Telling them the support staff they hired and kept around is incompetent is a bold move when you’ve been there 6 weeks, and fairly or not often the burden is placed on the associate to step up the supervision and provide more direction. I’d go with something like, “so far the workload has been manageable. I’d be happy to keep you updated on that as well. I am struggling a bit working with X on Y thing. I’m used to being able to delegate that, but I’m finding that I need to be more involved. Is there training available that X could take to get up to speed?”

      • I agree. Also, is there any chance it’s a communication issue? Some support staff are amazing at just getting what it is you need in the context of the case. They’re golden and awesome and you’re lucky if you have them. Others are totally capable of doing what you need but you have to be extremely explicit because they’re just not thinking about the big picture. You might have had the former and now have the latter and just need to communicate a little more clearly.

        • There’s always a change it’s a communication issue (and I’ve been trying to communicate clearly as far as I am able), but I think there might be more to it than that in this case. I am always assigned the same 2 staff members, and have been told in confidence by others at the firm that it is because the other lawyers at the firm refuse to work with them because they make too many errors, don’t learn after things have been explained many times, etc.

          • I think this makes Anne Shirley’s script even more suited for this conversation as you’re telling the powers that be something they’ve already heard from others (without you mentioning that you know they’ve heard it elsewhere).

      • This is great advice…

      • This is a great way of notifying your superiors that you’re having problems with the staff. I agree that it might not be a great thing to tell them that the staff they’ve had for ions are incompetent, but I’ll bet you they already know that. Several secreataries at my firm are worthless but none of the associates at the firm bother to set them straight or the guts to give them honest reviews. Everybody just a “that’s someone else’s job” attitude about whipping the staff into shape. Sure, it shouldn’t be your job to do it at 6 weeks in, but if you don’t set a good precedent for your staff member now, then you’ll always struggle with them.
        I ran into so much resistence and attitude with my secreatary when we were first assigned to each other, but I set aside time every week to talk to her about work issues and train her on how I need my work handled. At the end of the year, I gave her a very honest review (detailing the good and bad and providing examples for everything). Today, we have a great working relationship and if she was taken away from me, I honestly don’t know how I’d get through the day.

    • Just tell them — I’d think they’d be glad to at least consider this less expensive option. You haven’t really been there long enough to criticize the current staff though, so I’d be careful about that. Focus on explaining how you would use a dedicated assistant and how this would make you more efficient.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I’d say your last sentence, without necessarily focusing on the “incompetence” of the existing staff. The bigger issue (or at least, what would be the bigger issue for me) is that you don’t have one consistent support person that you’re working with, so you’re dealing with a rotating cast of people who may or may not (likely not) have the time to learn your preferences/communication style/etc. There are certainly things you can do up-front to make communication of assignments as clear and error-proof as possible, but the best instructions in the world aren’t going to stand in fully for a legal assistant who knows you well and can do things your way without a whole lot of instruction/prodding/editing. Try focusing more on that aspect of it, and probably avoid calling longstanding staff-members who (apparently) are liked by and/or up to the standards of your bosses incompetent.

  8. J Crew Suiting Q :

    Does anyone have the 120s pants from their suiting separates? How is the unlined wool? Do you love them? I have never had unlined wool pants, but now have no wool pants (only ponte and jeans).

    Bonus if:
    you are 5-4 or shorter and can comment on how the petite sizing works
    also bought other suiting pieces
    you have a bit of a tummy
    you have hips

    I really want to get and love the pants, but worry that it will be scratchy hell. I tried the Talbots ones that were on sale and much-touted here and they totally did not fit me.

    • I have them and it’s my favorite pants suit. I don’t find them to be scratchy at all. I have the “tall” option so can’t help you with sizing, although I think the suits follow the general J Crew trend of vanity sizing.

    • First Year Anon :

      I have a pair. I am normally allergic to wool and find it very scratchy, but these pants don’t bother me. I don’t miss the fact they are not lined. I like the drape.

    • The Jockey skimmies in that breathable fabric work well under unlined pants in my experience.

    • Hildegarde :

      I have the 120s pants, jacket, and skirt, and I like them. I’m 5’4″, 125 lbs, with hips (pear shape). I got the 4 regular and had them hemmed. I like the pants; there’s a small bit of gaping at the waist, and they don’t look good with shirts tucked into them (though I tuck shirts into the skirt all the time), but the wool does have a nice drape and is not itchy. I’m not usually sensitive to wool, though. I just wear them with sweaters or other shirts that can be untucked, because I do find tucking shirts into the pants emphasizes my hips and belly. I’m not sure if this is the pants’ fault, or just the fact that I, you know, have hips.

      • I’ll disagree with Hildegarde – I have the Paley pant in 120s (I buy the tall so that they are true ankle length on me instead of cropped) and I wear them with a tucked-in blouse. Looks great.

        Agree that they aren’t itchy and they drape well.

    • I do not think the wool is itchy. I am 5’7 with a long torso and a slight pear shape, though, and I do miss the lining. I think the pants would hang a little bit better without it. I can’t tuck shirts into the pants, either, but I think they look great with the jacket.

    • Diana Barry :

      I have several of the 120s pants and like them a lot, don’t find them scratchy at all. I think I have 4 of the 120s suits (black, grey, grey pinstripe, and super light grey for summer). You will need them hemmed if you get the regular size (I am 5’8″ and the regular size fits me for length).

    • jjjeanette :

      I found them intolerably itchy and had to return them. The wool was also thin and showed every lump and bump (size was not the problem – had same problem in every possible size).

    • anon-oh-no :

      i have full suits in both charcoal and navy pinstripe in the 120s (dress, skirt, slacks, blazer). I love the navy; the charcoal is so-so — both from a look and feel standpoint. I totally dont mind the unlined slacks or skirts (the dresses are lined), but because of what jjjeanette notes, i sized up and had them taken in a bit.

    • Caveat this with I know I’m allergic to wool, but I find them scratch and too thin. I much preferred JCrew’s wool crepe and gabardine from the old days. Nowadays, I like the BR wool suiting, and their pants are lined. I am a Tall, so I cannot comment on petite sizing.

      Also, aside, and you didn’t ask this, but I love JCrew’s bi-stretch wool for pants and skirts, but I think the jackets drape (and hang) funny, so don’t recomment it for a full suit. It is, however, not itchy like I find the 120s to be.

  9. posey - in response to sophia :

    I just posted this on the mom’s blog but there is no traffic there and I wanted to respond to something a poster (sophia) mentioned. After my maternity leave ended I did the whole part-time thing for a month (using vacation days) and while it was nice to spend that additional time at home, the problem I ran into (and it sounds like a common problem at a small firm) is that I don’t really have a part-time job. So I have work to do, and it’s just not getting done because I’m not there to do it. Not everyone would be OK with blowing off assignments for a few weeks (assignments that aren’t time-sensitive so they can be blown off, you just need to be able to do that mentally), so know that about yourself. If you are like me and are fine blowing off work for a little while then the takeaway is that it’s a great system for a month or so but definitely not sustainable. It’s probably going to be a few weeks before I’m really on top of my workload again.

  10. Wildkitten :

    PSA – extra 25% off Kate Spade sale includes some really cute dresses.

  11. How do you deal with a “summer whites” dress code (can this trend please just die, already?!) when you do not wear white, nor wish to purchase white clothing that will never be worn again? I do have a white jacket, and a dress that is white, light gray, with with a bit of plum and blue. Am I insulting the hosts if I wear that?

    • I think that outfit sounds very nice and the color splashes are still in keeping with a nice summer vibe.

    • Diana Barry :

      Never heard of the trend (is it regional?) but your outfit sounds nice.

  12. Worker Gal :

    The hive always comes up with great recipes. Can anyone suggest a yummy recipe for baked salmon that does not involve a sweet addition to the ingredients? I really do not like this trend of making the main taste of an entrée sweet.

    • Made this the other night and it turned out pretty well:

    • This is one of my favorites.
      I usually use dill in place of parsley and a crusty whole wheat roll in place of white bread, but you can use anything you like. It also works well with cod or any other thick fish.

      For something really simple — throw some S&P, fresh rosemary and some lemon slices on salmon fillet or steak, maybe sprinkle a tiny bit of oil on top & put under the broiler for 10-12 min. Amazing.

      • Oh, that crusted salmon recipe sounds delicious. By the way — I finally made the mustard/maple glaze everyone here is always raving about on Sunday and it was fantastic. I ate way more than one me-sized portion of salmon. (Also because my husband doesn’t eat fish, I almost never make it.. but he was out that night and I had a lovely evening eating yummy salmon and watching OITNB!) So thank you to everyone who has shared that recipe!

        • Wait, what’s the mustard maple recipe? That sounds yummy.

          • I don’t know if this is exactly what others have recommended, but this is what I made: – just maple syrup, mustard, and soy sauce mixed and poured over the salmon before you roast it.

        • I will definitely second the maple-mustard glaze. I made for an ex- who wasn’t a big fish eater, and he snagged a second piece. And so, so simple to make.

    • Diana Barry :


      Note, this is not baked but YUM.

      • Diana Barry :

        Also – if you like spicy, try this one

        It has a tiny bit of brown sugar but is more spicy than sweet, especially if you up the curry amounts.

    • Place the salmon on a parchment lined cookie sheet, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with S&P. Place in a COLD OVEN; preheat to 400 degrees and ignore for 20-25 minutes depending on how thick the fillet is. Perfect salmon, every time.

    • I bake salmon with feta, lemon juice, olive oil and a giant package of cherry tomatoes. It ends up Umami-like, not sweet. It’s delish. You can put some spinach on top for the last few minutes too, if you like. Halfway through, I drain some of the liquid out of the pan, too, so the salmon is baking, not poaching. This is SO easy though, particularly if you shop at Costco!

  13. Fine hair help.. :

    Anyone out there with straight, FINE yet reasonably thick hair? Right now it is about shoulderblade length. I am in search of a daily hairstyle that is manageable and can last me for 12hrs+ a day and look professional and….. flattering for my oval face. This probably does not exist. Since I work in medicine, I am constantly moving around examining patients. I realize I spend way to much time pushing my hair out of the way and I just look flyaway all the time. The kinky greys do not help, but that’s another topic.

    The fine straight aspect is the killer. It has no wave/body and just seems flat and unflattering and with my oval head makes me look too long… Curl doesn’t stay long after using an iron etc.. Hairspray/product just flattens it more. I would be happy to cut it any length, except short/pixie as my face is not the most attractive and I would like some hair to balance (hide…).

    Yes, I know a good hairstylist should help me, but my first attempt was not helpful. I go back tomorrow for a second try, and was hoping someone who had similar hair could describe what worked for them as I search for pictures on the internet.


    • Are you looking for updos or ways to wear it down?
      I put my hair in a low, loose ponytail, then pull the ponytail up and through above the band to create a “topsy tail”, then braid and pin the end of the braid inside at the base of the ponytail. It’s a really nice look, takes a minute and stays in forever.
      In the other category I find half up half down and a bit of scrunching and twisting when wet gives a natural, wavy look to a very simple style.

      • I have similar hair. I have had short and long hair and regardless of length if it isn’t pulled back it’s always in my face. You said below you were looking for haircut ideas but if you are interested in updos, I recommend this very easy style (link below). I am pretty incompetent at most styling techniques but with a little practice I am able to make this look nice in <1 minute.

    • Diana Barry :

      FWIW, I have never had a haircut that stayed out of my face without a ponytail or pinned back, until I got it cut quite short. I also have fine hair, but it has a little wave when it is short especially.

    • I’m not sure if you mean haircut (which I can’t really help with) or hairstyle, but I have similar hair to yours but a bit longer than shoulder length and I have it cut in layers and wear it straight and half-up secured with bobby pins most of the time, which might be a good solution for you if you’d like to keep your hair out of your face while examining patients. My hair is slippery, so I spray the bobby pins with hairspray, and am sure to use them the right side down (wavy side down).

    • The Katie Holmes bob works best on my similar hair/high forehead. Highlights, Oribe Grandiose Mousse and velcro rollers are my volume adding tools.

    • Try aquage uplifting foam and use some on your roots, but work a little through the rest of your hair. If you have super fine hair you need something to give it a bit of hold before you start to style. Mix it in while you’re hair is damp and then blowdry the roots up. You might also want to consider some texture powder to give it some grit. I hate the way product feels in my hair, but I’ve come to realize that it’s the only way my hair will actually stay in a style.

      For styles, I’d try the gibson roll and traditional half up half down.

    • Famouscait :

      I have lots of fine, silky straight hair that I recently cut almost to my chin. Aussie Sprunch mousse give me non-crunchy hair with some volume. I resurrected it form the back of the bathroom cabinet and I’ve been pretty pleased with it this summer. My hair is alwyas behind my ears – I just tell my hairdresser that when she’s cutting it and I think it looks nicely put together. I don’t have to bother with it or brush it throughout the day.

    • J Crew Suiting Q :

      I get a keratin treatment every few months, but just around the crown (where most of my gray hair is). Otherwise, my hair is just like yours. I have some layers cut in and it is a bit longer than shoulder length. Side part. I am an ear-tucker (head tipped down due to reading at a desk), but found that the keratin makes it go back in a ponytail that is less shaggy looking.

      I like this about our hair:
      it is shiny
      no bed head
      while it may never look awesome, it rarely looks bad

    • Fine hair help.. :

      Excellent questions/ideas all. Can any of you share a pix online with what your style looks like? Or what products/clips you use?

      I was initially asking about haircuts. I was assuming I need something much shorter with layers but I don’t know exactly what.

      But yes… part of me thinks that I have to find some sort of pulled back or updo, which I have never perfected. Then I worry if I cut it too short I wont be able to do this? I overthink…..

      I have tried simple ponytails and barrettes in the past, but they tend to make me look even more like a BIG OVAL HEAD (face). I just don’t know how to make it modern looking and not child like, without a lot of work.

      My hair is also very slippery (except for the kinky greys now… sigh…). I once was a bridesmaid and the hairstylist hired for us was instructed to put all of our hair into a poofy updo. Mine would not stay up… so heavy/straight… she finally gave up and let it stay down.

      It is also terrible to think about how much $$ a short hairstyle will cost in terms of frequent haircuts, as I really have to start dying my hair again with highlights. It is all so expensive….. but let’s not go there.

      • Bob, below the chin but above the shoulders, no bangs. Say you want the ends thinned out by razoring or cutting into them (just the bottom 1-2inches are so they lay better). Round brush the ends under when blowdrying. Its still long enough to pull back.

        • I have exactly the same kind of hair and face, and I have mine in a stacked bob (with the amount of stacking varying over time). It’s the only haircut I’ve ever had that looks professional, and it requires very little work in the mornings. I can’t pull mine back, but if I need it out of my face I’ll twist the hair right by my face back and secure it with a bobby pin.

        • Rachelellen :

          YES. THIS. I have your hair and I ADORE my cut. Sorry for being Ellen like. For me the sweet spot is long enough top for a ponytail when I run and not much longer. The trick is that it’s not lawyer end, but it is “texturized” which I guess removes “weight” but not length, and you want the stylist to “point cut” it which I think is what DU means by “cutting into.” I actually use only a paddle brush to dry my hair and I don’t spend more than 8 minutes or so on it.

          • Yes, point cut, or one hairdresser used to use a mens razor (the actual flat blade). It is the amazing.

          • Rachelellen :

            “Not layered,” sorry. Nothing about lawyers. Sheesh.

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Two things that I’ve found help with updos: for fine, thick hair, use a hair powder to add texture before putting your hair up – it gives the pins or clips something to grab onto. It will be easier to wear your hair up if it’s not squeaky clean; day 2 or 3 hair stays put much better than freshly washed.

        For an oval face, try styling your hair with some height at the front & crown while keeping the sides slicked back for a slight pompadour effect (like Kristen Stewart’s style here: – the height on the crown balances the length of the face. This works with a half-up style, too.

      • Where are you located? Maybe someone here can suggest a good stylist.

        • Fine hair help.. :

          I am in the Chicago area. Actually, now in Oak Park – suburb bordering West side of the city, on the Blue line.

          • If you’re willing to travel the length of the Blue Line (or drive), my favorite stylist is Kerri at Cellar Door near the Western Blue Line stop.

      • Patent pending :

        I have similar hair and face shape. I got a cut inspired by cate blanchett when she had short hair. Look for a pic of her in a white dress with yellow beads. I love it and get a lot of compliments. I get it trimmed about every 8 weeks.

      • Meg Murry :

        How do you part your hair right now? I’ve found that may hair looks a lot better pulled back or half back if I do it with a side part, not straight back from my face. Long sideswept bangs could help too, and they don’t require as frequent of trims as straight across the forehead bangs.

    • I don’t have an oval face, but I have an asymmetrical bob and it might work for you. It’s longer towards the front of my face, with the exception of my bangs, and shorter and layered in back. The longest pieces in the front hit just above my collarbone.

    • I have your hair. And face/head.

      Mine is currently just past the shoulders, because I am feeling like trying it longer. What my stylist does it cut it pretty much blunt, but then goes in with the scissors and chops up the bottom. So I don’t really have layers, because too many layers makes my hair look too thin, but it’s sort of fuller because of the chopping.

      • THat’s what I do: “say you want the ends thinned out by razoring or cutting into them (just the bottom 1-2inches are so they lay better).”

    • We have the same type of hair and head shape. My hair is about 3 inches above my bra strap, with layers that are shorter in front (about chin length) and longer in back. I use a spray gel (dermorganic flexhols sculpting spray) on wet hair and the spray it with dermorganic fastdry shaping spray after I style it. I used to be constantly irritated by my hair if I wore it down regardless of the haircut I had, and I thought my hair constantly looked like it needed to be brushed. What helped me was taking a professional blowdrying class so that I learned to style my hair so it looked like it was supposed to.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      My hair is very similar. Two cuts work: 1) the asymmetrical bob that people have described, often with side-swept bangs (long enough to clip back if necessary) – the bangs help soften the forehead; and 2) long hair with pretty aggressive layers around the face to create the impression of volume and life. With the long hair, you have to let it get past your shoulders to make it work. With the bob, you can’t go too short – think chin-length, not jaw-length.

      I’m currently in a long-hair mode because I just don’t have time for maintenance on a chin-length cut. I also like being able to pull it into a ponytail or whatever. But I think the bob is cuter :)

    • In terms of products, I find Aveda’s “Phomollient” actually gives my (fine, straight, silky) hair some body and movement. Most other products I agree just flatten it out more, so I only use those if it’s a very frizzy humid day.

    • I have very similar hair and so does my middle daughter. I wear mine short, think Claire Underwood. I’ve been long several times and it make me look much older, I think because it drags down my already longish oval face. It’s a piece of cake to do and stays out of my way better than any pony tail did. I realize not everyone likes short hair but it works for me.

      • Fine hair help.. :

        Thank you so much for your ideas everyone. I am grateful.

        I wish I could pull off the Claire Underwood, but my face doesn’t have very good bone structure etc.. Just not pretty enough. I feel like I would need to really step up my make-up and jewelry to pull off shorter hair already. I’m still working on that….

        Let’s just say when my Mom first cut my hair short to a Dorothy Hamill back in the early 80’s, everyone thought I was a boy…. When I finally grew my hair long in my 20’s, men finally started to notice me. So going short again, which is probably necessary for me (age appropriate for me/my hair type and face structure) is a bit depressing.

        • gack! do not feel some weird pressure to be “age appropriate”!! i have your hair. i wear it long w/ bangs. the bangs soften up the look, esp when it’s pulled back. lots of tutorials on pinterest about how to style long hair.

    • I have fine hair and had a cut vaguely similar to this blogger’s and it worked well. This blogger’s haircut isn’t exactly like mine but her cut looks good on her and she has a rounder face than I do:

      Her April version is shorter than the December version (and her hair is even longer now).

      • Also, Ginnifer Goodwin and Michelle Williams have round faces and had pixie cuts that looked good on them.

        As someone with fine hair, I found that my hair looks a lot fuller and more textured when it’s super short. By the time it get to shoulder length, it takes a perfect cut and lot of time styling to make it look something other than thin and limp.

  14. Calling Olivia Pope/a PSA for everyone: The Limited is launching a capsule collection this fall inspired by Scandal!

    • Famouscait :

      Your handle makes my mouth water. =)

      • Haha, thanks famouscait! Your handle makes me feel like a nobody ;) I picked it after the infamous weekend thread of “anonymous lurkers/sometimes commenters should come out” so I did.

    • Wildkitten :

      I saw this! I hope it’s not all white. I can’t handle white clothes.

    • EduStudent :

      I saw this and was super excited until I realized my body type is nothing like Olivia’s. But I will shop it anyway!

  15. Need HR/salary negotiation help – the bare facts: I am a solo consultant with national standing in my field. Had a contract for the last 6 months or so for a tech/manufacturing-related business as a “dating” period to see if I would come on board as an employee. Employer very happy with deliverables and we both want the employment option to move forward. Responsibilities would eventually (w/in 6-12 months) have me leading public policy efforts (federal and state) for this high-growth company which is the market share leader in its field. Title TBD, would be something regarding Regulatory Affairs; CEO acknowledged it will need a prestige factor to denote my high level responsibilities. My background/experience/reputation would be seen as a feather in company’s cap for snagging me.

    I have to give them my salary expectations in a week. Most of my career/consulting work has been government-related, but have also had a couple business or private equity clients. Was being paid $14K/month by current company for half-time work. Where do I begin? Is there some kind of equivalency or ratio between consulting and employee wages? Since I am not taking over the bigger responsibilities right away, would it be odd to stagger salary expectations for now and when they are fully on my plate? Company has more than 300 employees, is privately owned (with private equity backing). Any thoughts?

    • I used to work for a software consulting company and have a lot of friends who went on to do independent consulting. For us, the difference between a W2 employee with good benefits (health, dental, 401k matching, 4-5 weeks vacation time) and an independent consultant (obviously none of that, 1040 consultant) is about 30% of salary. I’m not sure if it’s the same in other fields, or if that is a number that “covers” the benefits of being an employee. FWIW, consultants make about $170k, and employees make about $130k. Obviously this is lower than a salary you would be considering.

      I would not stagger your salary. You are worth that salary now – every employee from the ground up has a learning curve.

      You also might look into industry or regional trends, if that is a possibility. Since you have a history of work for this company that might not be as relevant, but knowing what you are worth in the grand scheme of your industry is helpful even if it’s not directly on point with these negotiations.

  16. ACKKKK! Help! I just bought a new dress at a sale last week — from the front view this morning all was OK. But now that I’m at work I realize that when I look down/bend over, pretty much my entire bra is on display. How do I fix this?

    • Pashmina purchase at lunch? Pin the dress to the bra to provide more coverage?

    • It’s probably not as bad as you think. When you’re standing straight, the dress should lay flat against your body. Just don’t lean over with people in front of you.

  17. First Year Anon :

    I have a belt question- I just bought 2 belts and took them home to try on with some clothes. I noticed they don’t have a second loop that you can tuck the end into, so the end flops around if that makes sense. Is there anyway I can somehow adjust it so it doesn’t do that? I know how to tie a knot sort of when i wear them at my waist, but i don’t like that look for my pants.

    With pants that have belt loops it’s not a problem, but I want to wear these belts over pencil skirts which don’t have belt loops. Is that weird?

    • Can you make the belt shorter? A cobbler can just cut it if it’s plain enough.

    • Double sided tape is your friend here.

    • This is kind of a budget fix but I create another loop on the belt using a clear hair elastic (or colored if it really matches and can’t be seen) looped over the belt.
      Sometimes I use fashion tape for this, but it’s annoying to unstick / restick throughout the day for restroom purposes.

      • Using a clear hair elastic is genius! Going to try this soon. I don’t like buying short belts because I prefer the versatility of being able to wear them at the hips with pants or at the waist with dresses.

      • First Year Anon :

        That’s a great idea! I will try that when I get home and see how it works.

      • just Karen :


    • applesandcheddar :

      second the suggestion to get the belts tailored. depending upon where you purchased them, they may be able to do this for you. I have had numerous belts tailored at Nordstrom. keep in mind, not all belts do well with tailoring.. they could fray, inside color might be different, etc.

  18. Professional rules be damned today – I’m streaming the world cup game as I work!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      My firm just conceded a minor loss in productivity and has it playing in a couple of conference rooms.

    • Me too.


    • My firm placed a screen to broadcast all games. Not even sure how this would help productivity as people watch 3 games per day.

  19. Has anyone ever had any luck fixing flats that make a creaking sound when you walk? I got a pair of pointy toe Manolos in nude patent leather and they make a noisy creaking sound when I walk. I’m trying to figure out if this is just because I haven’t really broken them in yet or if it just isn’t a good cut for my foot. It’s so loud it would be embarrassing to walk down the hallway at work with the sound!

    • I’ve had shoes that squeaked and the squeaking has stopped entirely after one or two wearings. Depends on the material, of course, but I assume leather will “give” even more than a synthetic so you will probably be OK.

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