Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Ponte Fit & Flare Dress

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

This Eliza J dress is an update to an older version that’s been in our Workwear Hall of Fame for a while now. The older version has a jewelneck, and I’m excited to see this one has a V-neck, which I always think of as more flattering. It has cute little pleats on the waist and the shoulders, and the fabric itself is quite nice and stretchy and does retain its shape — very comfortable but still dense. The dress comes in sizes 2-16 in black, gray, royal blue, and teal. Ponte Fit & Flare Dress

Here’s a plus-size option (which also comes in other size ranges).

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  1. Something about this silhouette does not make me feel confident at work. I’ve basically given up on these kinds of dresses for the office.

    Posting a review of the JCrew Factory tweed/”lace” sheath from last week’s comments: dress is very well made, “tts,” but probably better for someone more evenly proportioned or with a straighter figure. On me, it was just right on the bottom (maybe even a hair too tight) but was a just little too roomy on top. If I sized down for the top to fit better, then the bottom would definitely be way too tight, and the way it’s designed, tailoring would be a pain. Also, I’m not sure if my upper half is maybe too short, but I find that I often have too much room in dresses between shoulder and armpit (e.g., no Classiques Entier dress ever fits me right, same with most Tahari except for actual Elie Tahari, etc.) and this dress was similar if a little bit less obviously so. But the effect was just sort of meh. But it could be a great dress for someone a little taller (I’m ~5’4) and a little straighter.

    • I agree, fit n’ flare reads dated and churchy to me now. I consider it unfortunate since I’m a pear and I’ve got a million of these in all colors. I’m retiring all mine to bridal shower/fancy brunch/church events. Hunting for slim/structured slight A-line dresses to replace these.

      • A-line advice :

        I saw a slim/structured slight A-line on Talbots site yesterday. It’s the Seasonless Wool A-line Sheath, easily found if you filter their dresses section to “wool” (there’s a fabric filter option). I think it looks really nice.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        I loooooooooove this silhouette, but sadly, fit and flare dresses seem dated to me as well with regard to work wear. I would wear this out of the office, though. Church, Junior League and AKA events, etc.

      • That’s interesting, because I was watching Blacklist: Redemption last night and Famke Janssen, who can pull off anything (but especially those narrow sheaths) wore a series of fit and flare dresses that both looked fresh and serious.

      • I think fit and flares can be current if they are longer. Currently drooling over this number from Black Halo:

        (or is that not fit and flare)

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          Seeing this dress makes me agree that a longer length keeps fit and flares current. It is drool-worthy!

    • I’m with you on the shape of this dress. With a cardigan, it feels too cutesy/church-y for work. With a longer jacket, the full skirt is the wrong shape; with a shorter jacket, it’s too boxy.

      I prefer a-line skirts because I can wear them with tailored button-downs for a more sophisticated look.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the review. I’m smaller on top than bottom but I’m also taller. May give it a try.

      I agree about fit and flares. I see these a lot at social events but rarely at work. At work the full skirt reads as either too young/girly on younger women and too matronly (church lady vibe) on older women.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I think it depends on the type of fit and flare. Some have really fully skirts that are not appropriate for the office. But my absolute favorite dress is a fit and flare with a fitted band at the waist and I always get so many compliments when I wear it. All of mine are short sleeved too (not cap sleeved like the dress featured, which I hate).

    • Much (ok, most…ok, nearly all) of my clothing comes from J.Crew Factory. It fits my style and my price point for work and play. I’m an hourglass who’s a bit heavier through the thighs, 5’7, and their work dresses always fit me perfectly without needing alterations. So I do think they’re designing – their sheath dresses at least – for a woman who’s pretty evenly proportioned. If you’re more of an apple shape, they always have lots of shift dresses for casual wear.

      I will say, if Boden dresses fit you, J.Crew Factory most likely does not. Boden has never worked for me, no matter how many things I’ve ordered, so I eventually just gave up.

      I personally find the quality for the money to be quite good. They have sales constantly and the “good” sale price on a work dress is $64 – wait a week if it’s higher than that and it’ll come down.

      My two cents, anyways. Hope it helps anyone out there!

      • I agree with this assessment. Everything from Boden fits me right out of the box, J Crew factory never fits me at all. Boden, I feel, runs a little older and is cut more generously through the butt and hips. Factory is very very narrow so even sizing up does not help me because then the waist is humongous.

      • I’d say that Factory is also a little bit roomier in the shoulder area. That’s my biggest issue with it. I have a couple of their dresses that fit but they’re usually less form fitting so that you don’t need a precise fit.

        I did get this top and am very happy with it. It’s styled off the shoulder but you can just pull it up and wear with a bra and it just looks like a very pretty ruffle neckline.

      • Yes, I totally agree. JCrew Factory fits me well, Boden is always wonky (despite my many attempts).

    • Bensonrabble :

      I agree it can be seen as party/churchy but for a more pear or hourglass, it’s so much more flattering than a sheath. To cut the frump factor, get a less full skirt and long sleeves so no need for a jacket that messes up the line.

  2. Career vs Love :

    I listen to the podcast Dear Sugar and one episode I listened to yesterday is called “Career vs Love”. One of the issues discussed in the episode is how women normally feel obligated to be the ones to make a sacrifice when there is a choice to be made regarding moving professional aspirations in one direction and maintaining a relationship–it’s almost culturally ingrained.

    There’s a poster from yesterday’s afternoon thread who talked about not being happy when her husband was promoted to Prof because it means they will not leave the location they live in now, that she really dislikes, is far from family and has limited career opportunities for her, she has a PhD same as her husband. I’m in academia too so I identified with her frustration, having taught as an adjunct which I found to very draining and thankless. OP if you are reading this, hang in there and try to find a way out for yourself in terms of career fulfillment.

    • Anonymous :

      I see this happen all.the.time. Even with women who seem more independent/feminist/confident, etc. I don’t get it, and I doubt I would do it only because I would be so resentful it would probably break my marriage.

      • Anonymous :

        If my spouse were well-established and tenured, I would use it as a chance to take a risk and do something I’ve always been itching to do: nursing school and math tutoring for high school kids. And I’d travel more. I’d really like that breathing room. And maybe I could convince him to teach somewhere fun / abroad for a summer or take a sabatical or be a “visiting professor” somewhere to let me try somewhere else.

        I was the 60% breadwinner when my spouse was sacked. I’m like the 75% breadwinner now and totally exhausted. Having my spouse in this role would let me have a breather and have some time figure out how to dial back / reposition what I do.


        • I plan to retire very early (50ish, depending on finances), so I can start traveling with my husband to all his conferences. He travels internationally for work 4-5 times a year already and it will only increase as he gets more senior and established in his field (he’s still an assistant prof). I love to travel way more than he does, and it’s quite a point of resentment in our relationship that he’s jetting off to Europe and Asia regularly while I stay home with my 9-5 gig and the kids. He’s also resistant to taking family vacations, because he’s so burned out from all his work travel, which I understand to some degree, but the three of us stuck home would like to see the world too.

        • Yeah but yesterday’s poster’s husband was only making 70k as a tenured prof. Not really enough to kick back and relax for her.

          • Depends on cost of living. Many college towns aren’t in major cities and many are in red states. You could be extremely comfortable in most Midwestern or Southern college towns on that salary, especially if you don’t have any child care expenses.

          • I agree with this. Add in even a PT spouse job and you can live really well in a lot of places on 100K.

            Also, many places give family tuition support, so if you’ve ever wanted to go back to school, you may be able to go it for cheap or for free.

    • It’s tough all around for two-career couples. I went into industry after my PhD because Prof seemed like such a unicorn difficult to get job. I’d say whomever achieves that first, gets to stay as a general default subject to other conditions. I’ll also say when my husband’s career reached a move or quit phase, we chose to stay for my job as it was better paid, more stable and frankly I’m also more patient- able to put up with crap without quitting! This meant DH did some different part time and lower paying jobs and also essentially retired early as he’s 8 yrs older than me(I’m 50 now). I’ve been a little dismayed to see so many negative attitudes on this s!te towards this- cultural attitudes need to change to make this more acceptable!

    • It does seem to be the default, doesn’t it? My husband has always had the more portable job and we’ve always assumed that we’d move wherever my job (academic) takes us. He recently started work at a new organisation and loves it and sees a long-term future there. I’m set for 18 months and probably a bit beyond (dysfunctional UK politics pending) but the idea that hard questions await us in the future is in the back of my mind. Right now, I’m just trying to set ourselves up for as much flexibility as possible – both career-wise and financially.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah. It’s tough. I’m an ex-lawyer who followed my academic spouse even though it meant leaving my Big Law job and moving to a small college town with no large law firms. At the time, I was adamant (and still am, to some degree) that it wasn’t a female/male thing, but that I was following him because I could be a lawyer anywhere and he could not be a professor anywhere (as is typical in his field, he applied to about 100 schools for assistant professor positions and received two on-campus interviews and one offer). I still think that being a professor, especially at a research institution, is one of the least portable careers on earth but I’ve also come to realize that the career options for me where we moved were really non-existent and I’m not convinced that the difference between Big Law and the ten lawyer, small town firm that I landed at is really much smaller than the difference between being at a Top 25 research institution and being at a community college. In hindsight, one of us had to make a tremendous career sacrifice. It still makes sense that it would be me, because he is much more passionate about his career than I ever was, but I do wish I had known going into it what a sacrifice it would be.

      • Different perspective :

        It is not objectively a sacrifice to work at a ten lawyer firm instead of Big Law. Many people prefer it. It is not comparable to a Top 25 research institution v. community college. What you’ve described is sacrificing your personal preference, which is important, but you didn’t sacrifice a “better” job.

        • Well, she says she’s an ex-lawyer. I’m assuming she earned less money there too. Please let people define their own sacrifices.

        • Maybe I worded this poorly, but it wasn’t just the size of the firm, it was also the fact that there were no firms in that area that did the kind of sophisticated legal work I wanted to do and had been doing. Objectively, his desired career and my desired career were not compatible (unless we would have been ok living apart) and I wish I had realized that. I sort of thought “he can be a prof in this one place only and I can be a lawyer anywhere.” While that statement may be technically true, I could not be anything approaching the kind of lawyer I wanted to be in the town his job required us to move to and I wish I had been more cognizant of that going into it. That’s all I was trying to say. I wasn’t trying to put down small firms and I’m sorry if it came off that way.

          • I think it’s like being a CPA. You could work anywhere. But national office of Big4 vs doing the books at a small company are not remotely the same. But you are using your degree in your field still. It’s not like being a crab fisherman and trying to get a job in Nebraska.

        • I mean, it really is. Prestige, pay, portability, types of clients, name recognition, etc. You may not prefer the better job, but it is a better job by every metric.

          • +1. MediumLaw married to BigLaw here. I can bill the same number of hours as my spouse, but do not get paid even close to the same because my firm’s rates are lower. Also, BigLaw = big cases, so it takes fewer total hours for him to generate his billables because he only works on 5-8 files at a time, while I normally have 30 or more; transitioning just eats up time. Also, he has a bigger pyramid, so more people to delegate to, staff to coordinate his marketing, CLEs, administrative issues, etc,, and funding for a fancy conference out of town every year. The gap between BigLaw and SmallLaw is even greater, unless you are lucky enough to get a gig at a true boutique that has a narrow specialty in a sophisticated field .

            So on the measure of equivalence, generally NOT the same. Now, the work may be similar, the attorneys may have the equal credentials, skills and talents, but there is a vast difference, especially for attorneys in specialties that are in less demand in smaller markets or from smaller firms.

          • +1

            Accurate. I’ve been in small law and MidLaw (trying to be BigLaw). The biglaw name on your resume is a gold star. Your cases are more complex and higher stakes. Clients are more invested and more sophisticated. If you’re doing bet the company litigation/ most important deal of the year, you’re pushing the limits of your legal skill set and sparing no expense to do the best possible job for your client. It’s a very different experience than small law and it’s valuable. It’s hard to go from a 10 person firm (unless like Ms B said, it’s truly a specialized boutique) to biglaw because you aren’t trained to work at that level in small law. It’s harder to go in-house or to government. These are generalizations, of course, but that’s the perception and it’s usually accurate.

        • Well, same is true for community college v. research university positions. Lots of people prefer the community college track, but it is very different work, despite the fact that you need the same degree to do it. (I write this as a professor at an R1 – I’d leave the field rather than take a cc position, but I know lots of people with the opposite preference.)

          • Anonymous :

            This is false. Literally nobody prefers the “community college track”. Only someone completely unfamiliar with academia could say something so ridiculous.

    • While reading the post from yesterday I wondered if the OP and DH had factored in how much harder it is for women to make it (get a full professorship) in academia. Although there have been steps forward, most university departments are still overwhelmingly male and sexism is rampant. OP said she was having a hard time feeling happy for DH, and I think I’d have a hard time too. She has a PhD, but she’s expected to give up pursuing opportunities to use it because DH became a full professor. It may make sense to stay where one spouse has a solid job, but the whole situation is just SO unfair when women already struggle to get these types of positions in academia. It’s not enough that women have to work to overcome the obstacles set against us in the workplace– we also have to deal with this stupid assumption that we are the ones who have to make sacrifice our careers (or our relationships) to make the rest of it work out.

      • Anonymouse :

        Yeah, agreed. I was thinking all of that when I was reading the post. To add to it all, they are in the same field/went to the same university. That has to sting. I really felt for the OP…

    • When you get married you commit to putting the family’s needs above your own. Sometimes what’s good for you will be best for the family, sometimes not. The problem is that it’s almost expected that women will sacrifice for the family, which leads to women disproportionately sacrificing as compared to men. When it comes time for a man to sacrifice, though, it’s this huge deal. Men AND women should equally put the family first; men AND women should equally have a serious conversation when putting the family first means someone’s career is going to suffer.

      Anecdotally, I experienced something like this with my law school boyfriend. We graduated the same year. We’d summered on opposite coasts but wanted to live together after graduation. I got an offer and he didn’t; he hadn’t found a job by graduation. It seemed obvious to me that he would move to my location. That was not obvious to him or his community. He has a network! He can help you find a job too! He doesn’t know anyone in your location! I’ve always wondered if they would’ve felt the same way had the genders been reversed.

      • +1. My husband and I are living on opposite coasts temporarily. We were living in my city, where I have an awesome, stable, and high paying job, and he got a great opportunity that we both thought he should take. He’ll be returning to my city soon. Still, when people hear about this, they’re completely shocked that I didn’t just pick up and follow him. And they tell us that I should just go be wherever he is. No one ever seems to think that (if we assume that we must always live together), that he just shouldn’t have left.

        I’m cool with our arrangement. I’m also cool with people judging because they believe that spouses must always live together. I’m not cool with it being 100% on me to follow him like a puppy wherever he wants to go. Ugh.

        • dual-career spouses :

          My husband and I also did long-distance marriage twice, though for shorter stints. I moved for his job right after we got married. We’d just graduated college in 2008, and I had a terrible time finding anything. My career was in the toilet, while he was a rising star at his company. I was completely miserable, and we decided that I should go back to Home State for a while to see if I could find a job there (better network, more stable market for my skillset, etc.). When we told our family this was our plan, everyone asked if we were getting a divorce, asked if he would be happy coming back to Home State, asked what it would do to his career to move back to Home State. No question about my career path or happiness during the first or second move, and it really made me angry. He thought it was the dumbest line of questioning. When I found a job in Preferred State, I moved out first and he followed a few months later. Same. FREAKING. Questions. Everyone just couldn’t understand why he’d take his highly-portable skills to one highly-paid position after another to follow his wife. We’re finally making just about parity, and I might be able to surpass his salary in my next position. He’s really hoping I make more money at some point so that he can step back and enjoy his hobbies. He says he’s never understood why someone wouldn’t want to have an equal or higher earner for a wife. I think tuning out the “helpful” questions and suggestions is the key. This is between you and your partner, and while it’s hard to fight the ingrained expectations, you gotta do what’s right for you.

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      This is tough. I have a ten-month old and really enjoy the flexibility in my job that allows me to spend a lot of time with her and take off for appointments, etc. I realized shortly after going back to work that I would not be able to pursue postions that would be demanding of my time and energy without my husband “leaning out” of his career. At the end of the day, my husband is the breadwinner and I have zero interest in taking on that role, either. So, in my safe, stable, non-demanding, boring-with-hardly-any-opportunity-for-advancement job I stay.

      • I made a similar choice when my son was your age, and I don’t regret it. I ended up working part-time when he was 2. The time they’re small goes by quickly and for us, at that time, putting my career on the back burner and letting my husband be the breadwinner was the right choice. When my son was 4, I went back to school online to get a master’s degree, and then when he was six I went back to work full-time​. Over the next few years, my career kind of took off while my husband’s stagnated. He’s now looking for another job and not having a ton of luck, but we’re now in a position where I’m making what he was when I went part-time. We’re talking about him taking a contract position or starting his own business, so someone can be home more as our son moves into his teenage years (and frankly, I feel like that shouldn’t be me as I already did the “home more” thing). So the moral of my story is, whatever folks are doing right now – that’s what they’re doing right now. Things can and do change, and in my experience the best thing you can do is maintain an attitude of flexibility, and count on change happening.

        • Thank you for this perspective. I agree that the key to these decisions is to realize that they are constantly shifting. Nothing is forever. What I need, what my family needs, what my husband needs is changing all the time. Flexibility is key. So is listening to each other and being honest with yourself about what you really need (vs. what I once thought I’d need) to be happy.

    • I’ll send that podcast to my friend–we were just talking about this last night. She has an amazing job right now that’s putting her exactly where she needs to be for her dream position, which is both more high-profile and limited in location than her husband’s will ever be. He can work literally anywhere in the United States, but she’s been commuting two hours a day because he refuses to leave his current job. She says she feels like she’s being an awful wife because she’s never home and can’t get over the fact that he isn’t willing to uproot himself. This is one of the strongest, most bad-a** women I know, and the whole conversation completely broke my heart.

  3. Boden - Richmond shorts sizing Q :

    Y’all have said that Boden’s Richmond shorts are good for pears. I looked at the measurements and ordered a size that seemed to be borderline generous (using hips, my largest measurement). They are a hot mess on. Way too much junk in my trunk. The waist is OK though. If I go up a size, will the waist be swimming on me (I hate this: I stand up, and I have low-rider bottoms, I sit down and the waist is up to my armpits). Is it worth another try? Or JSFAMO?

    • I have this same problem. I have 2 pairs of the pants – one is too large, going to have to take it in. Other is slightly too small but stretches out with wear. For me that is fine with pants, not with shorts as the too-tightness makes my legs look like sausage ends in shorts. I miss the Bistro short. They were magical.

  4. Hosting a dinner party this weekend and I’m looking for a yummy but not too difficult dessert to make. 6 people total. No allergies. I’m a pretty competent cook but not at all a baker, so the easier the better. :)

    • I’m making lots of strawberry rhubarb crisps right now. Serve it warm with a scoop of ice cream.

      • I love crisps. I love fruit pies, actually, but I’m terrible at pie crust and crisps are just so easy.

      • Fruit crisps are my preferred dessert during the summer. They’re almost impossible to get wrong, and don’t require any finicky baking skills.

      • Oooh yes, and if there are leftovers you can have it for breakfast the next morning . . . And now I’m drooling on my keyboard.

      • I love this idea! Any particularly great fruit crisps recipe? Thank you all for the ideas!

    • – I made this for a party last year – super easy and it was a big hit. I’m in the US so I used regular sugar instead of caster sugar and heavy whipping cream instead of double cream, and froze it.

    • brokentoe :

      I’m making this for a book club meeting tomorrow night. Very simple, elegant, and impressive!

    • Cheesecake! Google for the Junior’s recipe. It’s very easy, always a hit, people are impressed by it notwithstanding how easy it is and – this is the best part – you make it so far ahead that you can always figure out something else if it doesn’t work out. Somehow knowing that I can just go to the bakery if I mess this up always makes mine turn out perfect. Oh, and if you don’t have a springform pan, you can halve the recipe and cook it in one of those ready made graham cracker crusts from the supermarket (even easier).

    • cake batter :

      My fave easy dessert is a no bake peanut butter pie with an oreo crust. Doesn’t take too long to put together, but it’s a pie so it looks kinda fancy. :)

      • ooh this sounds amazing… do you have a recipe you’d share?

        • cake batter :

          Pioneer Woman! I guess it’s actually not “no bake” because you bake the crust for like 5 mins, but I’ve seen recipes where that’s not necessary.

    • Fruit crumble / crisp. Super easy and delicious, just add ice cream. If you have ramekins, you can do personal portions.

      • Anonymous :

        Fruit crumble is always a hit and so easy. I also did one recently where you dump in a box of yellow cake mix and add some butter, which made it kind of cakey-crumbly. It was truly delicious. Google “food network dump cake berry crumble” for the recipe

    • Anonymous :

      This upside down blackberry cake turned out really well for me and is seasonally appropriate. Not super simple but not that complicated. Of course, another option if you’re really not baking inclined is to use a boxed cake mix and just make the icing from scratch — nobody is ever the wiser.

      • Anonymous :

        Link —

    • No bake nutella cheesecake! The recipe calls for it to be made in individual glasses, but I have made it in a tart pan (double recipe for a large tart pan, single for regular size) and I’ve also made it like a trifle with brownie or oreo layers in between. That serves kind of messy, though. Better for buffets. This or a lemon tart with fresh blueberries are my favorite things to make when it gets to hot to bake.

    • My go to dessert is strawberries soaked in balsamic with a touch of sugar, shortcakes or poundcake from the grocery store, and marscarpone. I do not bake.

      • This is also my go-to summer dessert, made all that much easier by the fact that I can pick up all the ingredients (including lovely premade pound or angel-food cake) in one fell swoop at Whole Foods. Sometimes I sub their house made real whipped cream for the mascarpone.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      dump cake. 2 cans of any kind of fruit pie filling, 1 box of any kind of cake mix (I have even used gluten free with much success if that is a concern), 2 sticks of butter. Dump pie filling in large pyrex pan, spread cake mix evenly across top, thinly slice the butter sticks to completely cover the top of the cake mix. Bake at 350 for 30 ish minutes. You’ll be able to tell when it is done. My favorite combo is cherry filling and black forest cake mix, but apple filling and yellow cake mix is easier to tell when it is done.

      • Really stupid question: you just dump the powdered cake mix on the pie filling? Or do you mix it w/oil & eggs (or whatever the box directions say)?

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG. I have made this for years but have never thought of using chocolate cake mix…

      • Dump cake with chocolate cake mix!? You just blew my mind. Why have I never thought of this.

        Now I want to make a dump cake, but going out of town next week so we wouldn’t have enough time to eat the whole cake.

      • Anonymous :

        So many variations of this! I’ve done apple pie filling with a spice cake, the chocolate with cherries, and a lemon pound cake with pineapple and cherries (sort of like pineapple upside down cake). So delicious and so easy!

        • Senior Attorney :

          My mind is just totally blown right now. And here I thought I was walking on the wild side by using different kinds of pie filling with yellow cake mix…

    • There’s a Mexican chocolate tofu pudding from the NYTimes/Mark Bittman that is off the hook delicious and super easy to make. Plus people are always shocked when I tell them its tofu. That plus with fresh berries would be great.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’m a big fan of Julia Childs chocolate mousse recipe as you make basically the whole thing a day ahead which should lessen your day of stress of getting everything out of the oven:
      I’ve served it with both creme anglaise or whipped cream and also eaten it plain

      If you want a mousse challenge:
      Excellent recipe! Also totally bake ahead

      Also if you do want to bake something:
      Has worked for me every time. You can google her perfect pie crust. Key is to have everything be just out of the refrigerator cold. I also use my food processor to mix it up until its dough consistency and then minimally touch it / form into a ball

      If you like fruit desserts:
      I think its excellent and apes the flavor of a poached pear / frangipane tart without the huge amount of work

      • JuniorMinion :

        My longer comment is in moderation but I remembered one more – also love Julia Child’s boca negra with white chocolate bourbon cream and some fresh raspberries on top:

        It’s also not super challenging / time consuming.

    • Smitten Kitchen whole lemon lemon bars (assuming you have a food processor). If not apple crumble or peach/blue berry cobbler. Basically you mix fruit, sugar, flour/cornstarch and cinnamon if you’re doing apple and top with a butter/flour/oats mixture. I like the Martha Stewart peach crumble recipe because I use frozen peaches and blue berries (but double the cornstarch to soak up the extra liquid from the frozen fruit

    • Cannoli Dip! You make cannoli filling and serve it in a bowl with broken waffle cones on the side, to dip into it. It’s so easy! Many of the recipes online include cream cheese, but I recommend a recipe that doesn’t. I can’t recall the measurements of my recipe off hand, but it’s just ricotta cheese, a tiny bit of milk, vanilla extract, almond extract, and powdered sugar. You throw everything into the food processor for like 15 seconds, mix in some mini chocolate chips or chopped pistachios by hand, and you’re done. Next time, I’m thinking about maybe adding some orange or lemon zest. I’ve served it a few different places, and it’s a huge hit.

    • Greek yogurt, topped with lemon curd, fresh raspberries and crushed toasted hazelnuts (you could also use mascarpone or fresh ricotta).

    • In-House in Houston :

      What about a berry trifle? Berries are in season and all you do is layer some kind of cake (angel food or pound cake) and either some kind of vanilla custard and/or cream. I like to add nuts for a nice crunch. You need a glass trifle bowl on a pedestal so that you can see all of the pretty layers, but they’re cheap. I think I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond for under $15.

  5. Jardigan love :

    After reading the positive reports on the MM LaFleur jardigan I finally pulled the trigger and ordered one myself. I love it! It looks structured yet feels so comfortable. I was worried about how well it would fit because I’m 5 feet tall and have a slight build and it works well–with the shoulder pads removed. It’s pricey but worth it. Now I want to order a second and try the dresses as well. Are the dresses as comfortable as the jardigan?

    • Boden - Richmond shorts sizing Q :

      I really love my Etsuko dresses and wore one yesterday.

      I have a jardigan. It’s not quite warm enough for my office (so if you’re hot natured, this may be just the thing for you). And the sleeves are very tight, so they bunch up everything on me that’s not sleeveless (and b/c I’m always freezing, 90% of my dresses are full or 3/4 sleeved). I might order an Annie dress this summer so that I can wear my jardigan more when it’s 99 degrees outside, but it’s mainly b/c I love the Etsuko dresses so much anyway.

    • Anonymous :

      The dresses are equally amazing. I have found different styles to be cut differently, so if the first style you try doesn’t work for you, try another. I look awful in the Etsuko and love the Nisa; a friend had the exact opposite experience.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I am a Lydia devotee and have it in every available color, and mix and match them with my two jardigans.

    • Marshmallow :

      I love the dresses and MMLF is definitely my “save up and splurge” brand. I just can’t get behind the jardigans because they don’t have pockets! If I’m wearing a jacket, I want to be able to put my phone and ID in it.

      Etsuko and Nisa are probably the best classic MMLF dresses to start with. Great fit, soft fabric, pockets, machine washable.

  6. I want to thank whomever recommended Missing Richard Simmons. I’m on the fourth episode and find it all so fascinating. I was worried that it was going to feel really exploitative but I haven’t found it to be the case so far — it seems like the producer genuinely cares for Richard and wants to know he is well.

    • That’s interesting – I found it fascinating but I found I was bothered by the host’s sense of entitlement to see Richard when he went to his house. I did think it was exploitative but still very deeply fascinating.

      • same. I did get the sense that the host realized how badly he was coming off in the last few episodes when he kind of scaled back.

        I just read that Richard Simmons was hospitalized for indigestion. Hope he’s okay!

  7. Anyone getting anything good at the VIB Rouge sale?

    • Baconpancakes :

      Oh dang the VIB starts today, yeah? Thanks for reminding me.

    • Trying to convince myself NOT to buy Jo Malone (they just started carrying the line)

    • Marshmallow :

      Watching this thread. I recently found out I’m allergic to a bunch of fragrances and preservatives so I’m overhauling my entire routine… sad that I can’t buy Jo Malone, etc., but this is a good opportunity to try out some new skin-friendly products that hopefully won’t turn me into a rashy mess.

      • Ooh I just had fun going through my list of past purchases picking out fragrance-free favorites :) Some highlights: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating Serum, Bite Beauty Lipsticks (supposedly food-grade/edible they are so natural), Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm

  8. Anonymous :

    We finished a big house project a few months ago and today the contractor called me and told me that in the course of a routine audit they do they discovered that they double-charged us for something, so we’re getting $3,000 (about 5% of the project budget) back. Yay, money! But I wondered how I could have missed this since I normally double-check everything and I realized we never received a line item budget, just an estimated total. The project came in under time and exactly on budget (before the refund) and I’m very happy with the work, but I’m wondering if it’s normal to never see the line item budget and if I should request to look at one now because of this error?

    • Anonymous :

      Wow, you seem to have a really honest contractor. I’m kind of speechless.

    • I think it’s okay. Ultimately you are asking them to do a job and then you decide if the price they quote is acceptable. You decided it was and that’s how much you paid. And now you get it to actually have it be $3K less than you were okay with. I’d be happy with that outcome and just ask for a line item budget next time you do something like this.

    • I tend to request line item budgets or cost+fee with a target price. If possible, I direct buy and provide as many materials as possible. If you agreed on a fixed price contract and just set an all in scope, it would be unusual to see a line item breakdown.

    • GirlFriday :

      Your contractor seems amazing. We received a line-item budget, but the contractor had just estimated costs based on what he’d done before. I/we asked for a lot of upgrades, so we ended up going way over our line-item budget, but the contractor communicated well with us, so it was fine. TL;DR – a line item budget is a good idea, but communication and checking costs are most important.

  9. I am meeting up with close friends for a weekend in Atlanta at the end of the month. One in the group is expecting her first child. It is pretty unlikely that all six of us will be able to get together again for a baby shower because we are scattered throughout the country. We’d like to have a nice brunch on Saturday to celebrate the mom-to-be. We’d like to find a place that is able to accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets. It looks like True Food Kitchen could work, but I am curious if anyone else has other suggestions or recommendations. Thanks for your help!

    • Anonymous :

      True Food Kitchen is yummy! And healthy! They also have good drinks for those who are imbibing. If you’re looking for more of a “southern” brunch, South City Kitchen has a Buckhead location (not sure where you’re staying, I assumed Buckhead because TFK is there), and they have excellent brunches (but maybe not so much on vegan or gluten-free options).

    • For brunch in Atlanta you have TONS of options! Sun in My Belly is one of my favorite places. South City Kitchen does a really nice Southern brunch, and Folk Art is good for a more hipster vibe. I’ve only ever eaten at Morningside Kitchen for dinner, but it’s always been delicious and friends say that their brunch is a must-have. All of these places should be able to accommodate a gluten-free brunch, but vegan is trickier. Most places have at least a couple of options that would work, but I’d ask the vegan friend(s) to give the online menus a once-over to be sure.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Radial Cafe on DeKalb Ave has vegan options. Sun in my Belly is also good. Murphy’s has a great classic brunch, but I don’t know about its vegan options.

    • Thank you for the suggestions! This was so helpful!

  10. I’m going to a wedding in the UK, white collar professional couple in 40/50s, neither married before but living together for a few/couple years. We’re going from abroad and staying with them and other people; they are housing most of the international guests in various family homes.

    For wedding gifts they’ve made it known that they want money. What sum is appropriate?

    • Anonymous :

      In this situation I usually give whatever I would for an in town wedding. Plus I get a $50 hostess gift (usually something consumable from my city) for whomever I am staying with. You are traveling for the wedding but you are also having a lower cost because no accommodation expenses.

      • I’d give less than I’d give for an in town wedding. You’re still flying and taking time off work, that’s part of the gift. It’s very nice of the couple to arrange housing, but it sounds like the housing isn’t costing the couple anything, the couple might not be hosting you themselves, and you’re going to be out the cost of a hostess gift to someone other than the couple. I’d probably give something like $100 depending on budget.

    • Wow — they are that old and are asking for $? I’m really surprised.

      I get giving gifts to younguns to establish housekeeping. But by the time you’re this old, I think you should proabably decline gifts (your presence is our present) and certainly not ask for cash. If you can’t afford a wedding, just get married and do what you can afford.

    • For someone that tackily asks for money and where I am paying for an international plane ticket? $0


      • I’ve actually always preferred the practical (called tacky by Americans) approach to wedding gifts that many countries have.
        The bride and groom do not demand gifts, but naturally many of the guests will want to give something. So you let them know “thanks but our household is all set. If you want to add to our honeymoon budget – thanks so much”. It’s just honestly telling people what type of contribution they can use. Registering lots of expensive stuff (with the expectation that every guest get something from the list) to me is much more demanding and therefore poor in taste.

        • Anon at 10:15 here – I agree re: registering for lots of expensive things. I don’t plan to register at all, but under no circumstances would I tell people I wanted money. I only want people to come and enjoy themselves, that’s it!!

          In your example, my phrasing would have stopped after our household is all set. If people decide to give you money anyway, fine, but it’s not appropriate IMO to tell them where to direct that money if it benefits you personally.

          • Then you do you, and let this couple do what works for them.

          • Yes, of course I will do me. I was responding to a comment, not forcing anyone to do anything. That’s what we do here, have discussions.

          • “Discussions” typically don’t call something “tacky.”

            FWIW: I had a small wedding and didn’t register. I did the “proper” thing of requesting no gifts. People still gave gifts, and they were things I Did. Not. Want. (See: seven sets of wine glasses. Seven.) I did not publicize that I wanted cash, but if a friend offered cash instead of say, a set of wine glasses, I indicated that would be more useful.

            So then I am faced with either keeping said things in my teeny house to be polite and trotting them out when Aunt Edna or my random friend comes by, or giving them away. I admire this couple for being up-front, personally, because it will likely save them a lot of trouble on the back end.

            All this to say: Your solution is potentially fine for you, but I think you’re underestimating the amount of work it actually creates for those of us who don’t like to amass things, and who have family and friends who are not judgmental and would prefer to give us what we actually want to celebrate an important milestone. It is, for all practical purposes, no more rude or “tacky” than a registry.

          • I think registries are tacky too. The only gift I ever give is money. Everyone can use it. I can still think asking for it is tacky.

          • Oh come off it, ELS. You can absolutely have a discussion and call something tacky. Otherwise what are we supposed to do, just blindly agree with each other all the time? I know people have complained about an uptick in t r 0 l l s, but there also seems to be an uptick in tone policing.

          • Nah, I don’t think I’ll come off it, thanks. Sure, you can have a discussion and call something tacky, but you’re being just as rude as the person whose behavior you’re complaining about.

          • Not Anons above :

            If you don’t register or do a very limited registry and request no gifts, that’s basically asking for cash because you know that people give gifts for weddings. If you truly don’t want gifts, provide a link for which charitable organizations you support so gifts can be made there in your name. My cousin did this and they truly received almost zero gifts to themselves.

      • I got married in my 30s, so I already had a house and house stuff (so did my husband, so the last thing we needed was more house stuff). Goodwill was a major beneficiary of our union. We put up a small registry at Target for people who felt compelled to send us something (to ensure that it was also inexpensive), but stressed that we did not want anything but for people to come and have a good time.

        [And put my mom in the strong messaging position of saying “you know how Anon is; if she needed something, she’d have it already.”]

    • Maybe I am a grinch but it irks me when people “make it known” that they want cash and I usually give something that’s not cash.

      • “Making it known” can mean any number of things, like not registering for many physical gifts, when asked about gifts replying “Of course we would love anything you get us, but we could really use help with a down-payment on our first home,” etc. Mentioning it in that way is acceptable etiquette, though of course writing on your invitation that you want cash is rude.

        • Wait, what? This is acceptable etiquette? I cannot fathom asking people to contribute to the down-payment of a house.

          When asked about gifts and you don’t want gifts, say, “No gifts please, your presence is the gift.” And then if they cut you a check anyway, you use it for whatever you want.

          • It is even endorsed by the people that took over Emily Post! I posted a link, but it got moderated. I mean it is kind of offputting if you’ve always been taught it’s rude, but when you think about it, there’s really no logical difference between telling people when asked you want that model and color of blender vs money for a specific honeymoon experience vs money in general. The point of a registry is to get something you know the couple wants, right? I think most modern couples want cash.

          • FWIW, I also think that registries are ridic, but I understand that they are a thing that people do (a thing I will not be doing).

            The Emily Post people and I will have to disagree on this point and there is no convincing me that this is good behavior!

          • I need help with a downpayment on a house, too.

            Do I have to be getting married to deserve to ask for it? This is why it’s in bad form — everyone has needs, but using the wedding as cover and justification for crowdfunding one’s spending is just wrong.

            If these people have their hands out, we should all put our hands out, too. [And at 50! Pardon me while I clutch my pearls.]

          • I would imagine that if someone expresses interest in giving you a gift and asks what you would most like to receive, it would be appropriate to mention it for any occasion when that happens, not just when getting married. A wedding isn’t crowdfunding. People are celebrating a life change for their loved ones are are actively seeking to give them gifts. They are literally asking the couple what they would like.

        • And this isn’t just my opinion:

        • Mentioning it in that way is completely tacky and in no way acceptable etiqu e t te.

          • IMO, it’s no more inappropriate than registering for that specific table setting, this particular vacuum, etc. The difference is the rude materialism of a registry has been accepted as “tradition.”

          • I mean, it is acceptable to many people and to people society turns to for etiquet te advice. Just not to you and not to an older generation. It’s such a weird thing to have to pretend that you don’t want a gift when you do and people are specifically asking you what you want. I feel like women in particular are taught to be bashful and indirect in this way and it ends us hurting us in other aspects of life, particularly with careers.

          • That’s kind of my point, Anonymous. I don’t understand how it’s tacky and unacceptable to ask for money or contribute to a honeymoon as a gift, but totally 100% fine to ask that people buy this particular blender.

            They are the same thing. I don’t mind doing either. I think both are tacky to the same extent. I’m sick of women having to pretend we want blenders or other household notions when it comes to our wedding gifts. In my case, above, I didn’t need anything, but preferred cash. I told people no gifts were necessary, specifically did not register, and asked anyone who would listen not to buy me stuff.

            I still got a ton of stuff that I did not want.

      • Yeah me too. I hate the money grubbing thing with weddings. I even kind of hate registries. (Especially top end registries with nothing around $30 for my 78 year old mother to send along with her regrets that she can’t attend)

        • Yes!

          I vastly prefer a registry to cash requests but a proper registry has items in all price ranges starting at $10 and going up so that every guest has options.

      • Maybe I am a grinch but it irks me when people give something they know the recipient does not want.

        • I was raised that it is never, ever, ever, ever acceptable to ask for cash in lieu of gifts. Not anytime, for any reason. Part of this is the old traditional belief that it’s better to be poor and hold your head high than it is to live off money from others. This got cross-applied to things like weddings and baby showers. So I am another person that when I see a call for cash, I tend to give something else. A friend of mine got married a couple of years ago in a tiny, remote town 2 hours from any major airport, so people were already having to travel. They set up one of those “honeymoon registries” where people give money, and strongly hinted that the only things they really wanted were cash or “donations” to their honeymoon. I got them an REI gift card. Because, don’t tell me what to give as a gift. I spent $1500 traveling to your wedding; you’re lucky you’re getting anything, pal. I may be old-school and people may not like it, but asking for cash is still the height of gauche to me and I’m not going to cosign it or tolerate it. If you’re out there asking for cash, be advised there are more people like me than you may think.

          • Anonymous :

            + 1

            I hate requests for cash or cash equivalents.

          • Anonymama :

            It’s interesting to me that people don’t realize that this may be specific to their particular culture, and expect everyone universally to conform to their “correct” culture. I am from a different culture where cash gifts are the norm, not some weirdo verboten thing, and it actually seems weirder to me to be all up in someone’s personal household decisions like what blender they want, or which exact sheets they want to sleep on, and how much those sheets cost. Cash seems both more practical and more caring on a personal level (for someone who’d prefer cash) than giving a ransomed household item that they don’t really want. I mean, how passive aggressive is it to give a gift that you know someone doesn’t want because you consider it to be the proper etiquette, and want to make a point about what is proper or not, rather than being an actual friend and trying to give a wedding gift that someone actually wants?

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            “I mean, how passive aggressive is it to give a gift that you know someone doesn’t want because you consider it to be the proper etiquette, and want to make a point about what is proper or not, rather than being an actual friend and trying to give a wedding gift that someone actually wants?”

            OMG this. I never thought about it in this way, this this this this.

          • Nudibranch :

            I agree. Don’t ask me for cash. The only acceptable reason for that money grab is if the couples’ culture is cash only for all gifting. Then, I’m okay with it.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed. Emily Post may have lost her mind but I haven’t.

    • I’m in the UK; every wedding I’ve ever been to has requested money instead of gifts, and I’m starting to think that wedding gifts are not a thing any more.

      • Honestly, if people are needy of money, I’d rather they have a BYOB reception and I will bring a casserole and be truly happy for them. If they are spending themseles into a corner, not needed on my behalf.

      • Anon at 10:23, in the UK: what would be an appropriate sum?

        • Wooo, this thread took off.

          I am not anon at 10:23, but I think the best answer is what you are comfortable giving. I would hope the couple would appreciate a monetary gift in any amount. If you are comfortable giving the equivalent of $100, that may be a good place to start.

          • Ha! It really did take off. Thanks for the feedback All; this has been an interesting thread.

            A buddy told me about his parents’ wedding 50 odd years ago where they noted all the gifts received in a book. Each time the couple was invited to a celebration/wedding they would consult the book to see what they had given and make an offering of similar value. The book would be updated for other functions & gifts received.

          • Anonymous :


            My MIL did this! She called to ask me what Auntie XYZ gave so she could give her nephew something of similar value at his wedding. Pretty sure she has a list somewhere of who gave her what.

    • Could be worse…. when one of my relatives got married (crazy wealthy family, 1st marriage in early 40’s) they only registered for ….crystal. Whatever the fancy brand is that I can’t remember because that isn’t my lifestyle. The cheapest glass was literally like $500.

      My mother was pretty disgusted, and just sent a check jointly from the family. I was in grad school at the time and had no money and just felt…. ugh. I couldn’t even afford the plane ticket.

    • Anonymous :

      Rule of thumb is £50 per guest for friends’ weddings (so £100 if you are attending as a couple) and up to £150 would be very generous. But if you’re travelling internationally your friends know that and I’m sure they would be delighted to see you with no gift.

      Hostess gift sounds like a good idea – something local to you would be lovely, but if they are strangers and you don’t know their taste you’d rarely go wrong with wine or chocolates or a pot plant or flowers.

      Have fun!

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      One of the many reasons we didn’t have a wedding, went to the courthouse, and basically didn’t tell anyone until after the fact is that we didn’t want to deal with other people’s pettiness and inadvertently offending people. This thread yet again confirms we made the right decision.

      • yes. yes. yes. Best decision we ever made, too.

        This is all actually quite simple:

        If you are invited to a wedding, give what you want- and can afford – to give. Cash or gift. On the registry or off. Write a heartfelt note of congratulations to the bride and groom.

        If you are the bride or groom, graciously accept any gift that was given to you, whether you “wanted” it or not. Write a heartfelt note of thanks for those who showed up and recognized your special day.

  11. This week’s threads about birth control got me thinking. What do you all use when in a long-term monagamous relationship, but not married or between kids? I was surprised to learn that a friend of mine uses nothing and just times her cycle, and then another friend said she uses condoms AND the pill, even with someone she’s been dating for years. This is all 30somethings.
    Obviously, anecdata.

    I’m sure the responses will be all over the map since everyone has a different risk tolerance, but what do you do? I always thought most people in this age range and relationship type used the pill only, but I am starting to realize I’m wrong.

    • Anonymous :

      I used condoms and the pill until we got married (lived together for 4 years). I really didn’t want kids at an inconvenient time.

      • IUD. I don’t like surprises. Also, I love, love, love the IUD.

        • Anonymouse :

          I’m thinking of getting an IUD next month – what is it that you love about it?

          • I don’t have to think about it! Plus, my periods are basically gone, and the deeper I got into my thirties the worse they were becoming. The insertion HURT, but it was literally 90 seconds. I had spotting for about a month and since then nothing. My periods are basically now 24 hours of spotting and my cramps are gone.

          • +1 to what Alice said. I was never great at remembering to take pills and didn’t really like the nuva ring.

          • Ditto this – I got Mirena post kids and LOVE IT ~3 years in. Minimal spotting in the first few months and basically no spotting or periods since. I don’t have to think about birth control, ever. For me, insertion was pretty unpleasant and I spent the rest of the day curled up in bed in the fetal position – but woke up the next morning painfree.

            My husband is thinking about getting the V but it doesn’t seem like there’s much of any reason to do so immediately — my doc said since I like it so much he’d probably keep me on it anyway even if husband does get the snip.

        • Agreed. IUD forever. The only time I ever even think about the thing is at the doctor’s when they ask “Date of your last period?” and I get to say “Hmm, four years ago?”

        • Completely agree — IUD is the way to go! No surprises, no running out of pills, no refilling prescriptions, no anxiety. It’s amazing!

          I’ve had the non-hormonal version for about 6 years, and the only negative change is that my periods are a little heavier than before. But also I was on the pill for years and years before I got the IUD, so maybe they would be heavier without hormonal BC anyway.

          10+ years long monogamous relationship, early 30s, no kids

        • I’m married, but we’re done having kids. I was having terrible periods and my OB/GYN recommended an IUD. I love, love love my IUD and am about to get a third one later this year. I don’t have periods any more and it also solved an issue I had with recurring ovarian cysts. It evened out my cycle so my hormonal migraines aren’t as bad. Can’t say enough good things.

          If you’re relatively certain you don’t want to get pregnant within the next 3-5 years, I think an IUD is a great choice. Sure, they don’t work for some, but it’s worth trying it IMO, because if it works for you it is an extremely reliable solution you don’t have to think about.

        • Marshmallow :

          IUD x 10000000

          I’m a weird IUD evangelist. I will tell anyone who asks how much I love my IUD. My cycles are so light I can just wear Dear Kates and never need tampons. No mood swings, hormonal side effects, etc. LOVE. And I love most of all not having babies until I want them.

        • IUD for me too, until my husband got a vasectomy. I had Mirena for 5 years after our last child and I had paraguard for about 5 years before we had children. I vastly preferred Mirena and would have gotten another one if not for my husband’s vasectomy.

        • Love the IUD, but in our case, my DH can feel the strings during sex and it was a totally bone kill for awhile. Yes, it’s a thing – probably has to do with where your cervix is, I’m guessing. I scoured the internet at first b/c I didn’t believe DH (then a boyfriend) could feel the strings, but I found plenty of men who said they could feel one sex partner’s IUD but not another’s. Also, I can TOTALLY feel the strings – the manufacturer tells you to do “string checks” b/c you can totally feel the strings. They’re literally like fishing wire. If I had a gyno-friend, I’d ask them to cut the d#$& strings off for me off the record, but no such friend. Otherwise, I too love the IUD.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            We had the same issue. My doctor trimmed the strings, and no more problems.

    • Anonymous :

      Past my mid-30s, I would not use the pill for the stroke risk.

      H has refused to get snipped, so he can cover his thing up when he uses it.

      I had a horrible reaction to depo (like I became the Sahara in the nether-regions and it has never been the same since).

      • Condoms for us. Stopped using the pill when we got married because I always forgot to take it and I figured I didn’t need the hormones. Took depo in college and for the first year it was amazing (no period! no bad side effects!) but then my last shot really messed with me, psychologically, and I became very depressed. It was like a cloud lifted when I didn’t get the next shot.

    • I would be SO nervous on the timing thing unless I was actively tracking ovulation/temps. I’ve known way too many people who found out that their ovulation was not on the “predicted” days.

    • Anonymous :

      Condom only for us. No kids planned atm, way cheaper and convenient to acquire than a prescription.

      • Long-term monogamous relationship; living together. Pill only. I actually think it’s cheaper for us than condoms with no co-pay on the pill. I plan to stay on the pill until we TTC, then SO will get a vasectomy once we’re done.

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          This was me before my husband and I got married. We now have a baby (I was on the pill and got pregnant!) and I have an IUD.

    • I’ve got a hormonal IUD. Long term monogamous relationship, not married by choice, one kid and done. I can’t use any form of birth control that requires thought or effort and I hate having periods, so it is perfect for me.

    • I had a terrible reaction to the pill when I first started taking it in college, so since then I have used cond*m only, in both long-term relationship and in my marriage, pre-TTC and in between kids. Once we’re done having kids, DH will get snipped.

    • I went off the pill for my health (and MAN did my desire return…!), and H got a vasectomy. Before that, just the pill.

      • I’m super bummed that my desire did not return when I got off the pill. It can be summonsed but it is not there like it was when I was in high school / college. It came back on a cruise though so I think work/stress/life is more my problem.

        • I was shocked that it did come back as quickly as it did, but I was prepared for it not to. For me I think it was stress, plus whatever c o c k tail of hormones I was on for 15 years…just didn’t jive with my libido. Good luck !

          • I’ll note that it hasn’t been all rainbows and unicorns off it, though. I was on continuous bcp for many many years, and so now having a period again? What fresh hell is this?!

          • I went off the pill and I’m still getting used to stashing tampons everywhere because I’d gotten so used to not having a period that I’d kind of forgotten what a period is like.

          • Yes!!! I used to go through a box of tampons in like…4 years. Now? 3-4 months. Blughhhh. I actually had to look up how to count the days in my cycle again…yeah.

    • Pill and condoms until married. Just pill until TTC. Having a really hard time TTC and seeing how easy it is to track my cycle with temping and pee strips so would consider the natural method in the future. I also now seem to have a problem with latex. I had no problem with it all through college but 10+ years later they just irritate the heck out of me. Not sure if there are good no latex condoms now or not.

      • I’m allergic to latex too. It’s tough – lambskin condoms are good for pregnancy prevention but not for STI’s so before I was in a monogamous I would just use regular and deal with the itchiness.

      • I use female condoms (FC2) because of my latex allergy. I take the inner ring out and just use the condoms like male condoms. They are prelubricated and very comfy.

    • Condom only right now, although I have used the ole teenager fave of pull-out method in the past with success (I know, I know, NOT RELIABLE). I would feel comfortable pulling the condom plug and going charting/timing in my current relationship when/if he is ready.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Oh, so you’re planning on getting pregnant soon?

        • To the extent you can get pregnant while using condoms (see the first four words of my post), sure, but so is everyone else using only condoms. It’s the approach my bf and I have decided is right for us after evaluating the risks and the choices that each of us are comfortable with.

          Also, see the last part of my post where I said when/if he is ready, which obviously would entail further conversations rehashing all of the risks involved and what we would do in various situations because my bf is not an immature 20 year old and can actually handle those types of conversations! I wasn’t planning to rip it off of him in the heat of the moment to test fate. *eyeroll*

        • Anonymama :

          Unnecessary snark, and not very clever either.

    • Just condoms. I hate the pill.

    • Used just the pill once it was clear that my now-husband and I were in it for the long haul and both disease free. My sense it that this is typical for people in long-term relationships, but I guess I never really asked around either! Once I’m done having kids, it will be either an IUD or a vasectomy, but we haven’t really discussed.

    • Paraguard IUD. Cramps on it are a b*tch, though. Considering switching to a hormonal IUD. No plans to have kids, though, even after we get married.

    • Piggybacking off this thread. I remember Dan Savage saying that you should be with your partner for at least a year before going condom free – do you guys have time limits like that? I’m mid-20s and havent been in a LTR yet so I’ve always used them. But I’m shocked by some friends of mine who have only been with their partner a couple of months and trust them enough to stop using them.

      • There are two things at issue here I think: trusting them enough not to cheat, and how long a disease can take to show up on a test. I definitely trusted my now husband to be completely faithful after two months of dating. But HIV and maybe other diseases can take up to six months after infection to show up on a test, so I’d wait at least that long after his last previous partner (if you know that) or six months after you start dating otherwise before ditching barrier methods.

      • I trusted my partner enough to stop using them after a couple of months. Though Savage is right that diseases can take longer than that to show up and it was probably stupid of us from that standpoint now that I think about it.

        Also piling on the hormonal IUD love. Insertion for me hurt like a b*tch for 90 seconds and then I had cramps so bad I thought I was going to pass out for another half an hour. Then they lessened until I just thought I was going to vomit for another few hours. Since then, have not had a period or cramps in years, so the brief few hours of severe discomfort were 1000% worth it. SO has said he would get a vasectomy if I wanted to stop using BC, but I love the other benefits of the IUD in addition to the no children benefits so I told him not to worry about it.

    • We switched to NFP when I got off hormonal birth control for medical reasons. That was probably a couple years before we got married. We have successfully avoided and achieved pregnancy over the last 8 or so years. We felt comfortable with this option since an accidental pregnancy wouldn’t have been a huge deal if it had happened.

    • Condoms because I can’t take hormonal birth control, and really it’s been fine. (Married)

      • +1. Condoms + sponge before marriage. Just condoms once married. Stopped using condoms when TTC and got pregnant 2 months later. Migraines with aura + clotting factors = no hormones.

    • Late 20s. The pill and c*ndoms virtually all the time. I’m not interested in unplanned kids.

    • We used the pill only before kids, nothing between kids (my period took forever to come back after #1 and we know we wanted 2). I tried Mirena after kid 2 but it didn’t work for us, so back on BCP. They work well for me.

    • Mid-20s. Pill only for the past 4ish years (my SO and I have been together since college and lived together for about a year) with no problems. Plus I’m on the best pill ever (for me) with no period and minimal side effects

    • I was in a relationship where we used the pull-out method for 6 years (having already made sure we were on the same page about how to deal with an unintended pregnancy). After that relationship ended, I used condoms exclusively. My now-husband and I used condoms for a year and a half and then I went on hormonal birth control. I found a pill that doesn’t appear to give me any side effects and prefer not using condoms. I would be interested in ditching the pill and going back to the pull-out method, but my husband is more risk-averse in this area than I am (and I would rather do the pill than condoms).

    • IUD for the year(s) when we def, def, def did NOT want kids.
      Cycle tracking for when we started thinking about having kids / weren’t opposed to having another baby.

      I had a wonderful experience with my IUD. Insertion was mildly uncomfortable (nothing some ibuprofen didn’t take care of), otherwise no problems. Periods were lighter and shorter, never completely went away. I got it in my late 20’s, before ACA was a thing and BC pills were expensive. I was a graduate student at the time and the IUD cost $400 cash and stayed in for 5 years. Probably the best and most effective birth control out there. I used Mirena; had it removed in February and conceived in July of that same year.

  12. Anonymous :

    OMFG. Is this a thing?

  13. I have a long layover (10 hours) in Toronto later this week. SO and I will get there early in the morning and fly out in the evening. I’ve already looked into checking my carry-on at the airport and taking the UP Express to Union Station. Any tips for what to do in that area? I’ve only been to Toronto once as a kid. It looks like it might be cloudy, but considering doing CN Tower. Any good restaurants in that area? Nothing too pricey.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      If you want to do the CN Tower I suggest getting lunch there – if you just go up and look around, you’re paying $35 for the privilege, but if you get lunch there you only pay for lunch, which you can happily do for $40. The food is fine, not spectacular, but the view is amazing.

      Ripleys aquarium is in the neighbourhood if you like fish. Depending on your dates/timing it’s currently playoff season for both hockey and basketball, and the baseball has just started so you could look into a game. Mostly around Union Station is the Financial District, so it really isn’t that exciting unless you want to look at office towers.

      There’s a new Georgia O’Keefe exhibit at the AGO, which isn’t far away. If you walk from Union you’ll get a good taste of the downtown and then Chinatown before you get to the AGO. There’s also a good amount of Canadian art there (Group of 7, etc). The ROM is really good if you like museums, it’s in Yorkville so there’s fun shopping there too. Otherwise, Kensington Market is fun.

    • Union Station isn’t in the same neighbourhood as the CN tower so you’ll need to Uber or Subway.

      • You can’t subway to the CN tower from Union station. It’s actually not that far – maybe a 10 min walk if that?

        The problem is that the area around Union is the business downtown and the area around the CN tower is super touristy so the food is not that great. If you like Mexican food, there are a couple cool spots on King street that are not far – I like El Caballito which is probably about a 7 min walk from the CN tower.

        The idea to eat at the CN tower is cool too, because you get a good view, although it is pretty touristy.

        • Milagro (on Mercer Street near John Street) is very close to the CN Tower (approx 5 min walk) and their tacos are sooooo good.

          If you’re willing to walk a little further (approx 15 min) then Pizzeria Libretto on University Ave near Pearl Street is also an excellent lunch option.

      • Anonymous :

        Union Station is right next to the CN Tower

        – signed, someone who can see both out her office window from where she is sitting

      • Union Station is absolutely in the same neighbourhood as the CN Tower – maybe 2 or 3 blocks away? You could walk there in 5 minutes easily.

  14. Any thoughts on Spirit Airlines? I’m contemplating taking them from NYC to Colombia because they are the only real option on my dates. I’m prepared for fees and discomfort but is it really horrible? Should I just go somewhere else?

    • I have never flown with them, but I believe that they’re one of the airlines that typically does not rebook you if your flight is cancelled. So you could be stranded and have to buy a last minute ticket home. You should check how frequently they fly the route — if it’s only a couple times a week, you might end up in a pickle. They don’t have a lot of planes like bigger carriers and aren’t well-equipped to handle those situations.

    • Colombia? Like the country? They’re a bottom level airline. I’d choose someone else.

      • Yes, the country. They are the only option.

        • I can’t believe they are the only option. Friends flew United non-stop from JFK to Bogota and I’m sure American and Delta and plenty of other airlines fly with a layover.

        • Not sure where you’re trying to get to in Colombia, but all of the legacy carriers fly to Bogota. You just have to connect in ATL, MIA, DFW, etc. I would not even consider flying Spirit in this circumstance. Delta has connections to the regional cities on its partners.

        • Cartagena. No other airline has flights that work on my days. Trust me. I’ve hunted exhaustively. Unfortunately I have no date flexibility.

          • Did you check Copa? They are full-service Panamanian airline with an easy-to-book English-language website; member of Star Alliance (codeshare with United), and all-around fantastic airline. If you haven’t, I’d look into them over Spirit.

          • Yes, sadly they don’t work.

          • Oh, too bad, because Copa rocks. I can’t speak to Spirit, but you will love Cartagena.

          • Can you fly in to Bogota or another city, spend an evening there, and then fly a local airline to Cartagena the next day?

          • I did that flight to Cartagena in October of 2015 and it was fine. The seats weren’t great and they nickle and dimed us but nothing terrible.

    • givemyregards :

      I’ve flown them to/from Mexico from NYC and while it wasn’t the most comfortable flight I’ve ever taken, it wasn’t that bad. I’m flying them from SF to Baltimore this summer because their flight times worked out the best for me, but I did spring for a more expensive seat because of the longer flight time. I would probably fly them to Colombia, but I’ve done a ton of int’l travel and am not easily freaked/stressed out, so I think this is a “know thyself” sort of situation, haha. Since you say you’re prepared for discomfort, I think you’ll be fine and honestly flying a “normal” airline doesn’t really guarantee you success anyway!

    • Don’t use them (or Frontier) for business travel! Their ticketing system and documentation systems aren’t set up to work with all the crap that’s required for expense reports. I’m in public higher ed and cringe every time I see one of their tickets come through on an expense report. This may not be an issue for folks in private industry but when statute says you have to have x, y, & z and their tickets only have q, getting reimbursed can be a nightmare.

    • I fly spirit for most things not work related. I also flew with them to Central America. It’s not the most comfortable ride, but they work well enough for me. I’ve had flights cancelled that they rebooked me on without a problem.

    • We flew with Spirit once and hated it. Getting charged for every single thing, including carryons, was a big turnoff and ended up making the price similar to those other airlines that had seemed too expensive. But the flight was also late, you couldn’t change your flight, there were limited options. My husband and I vowed we would never fly with them again.

    • I have never once heard a good thing about them and I have heard many, many terrible stories about flying with them. Fly to a different city and then bus to Cartagena?

    • Anonymous :

      I flew Spirit once for work related travel and swore I would never, ever do that to myself again. It was incredibly awful.

    • GirlFriday :

      It sounds like you’re out of options, so this is just anecdata. I flew Spirit domestically a handful of times, always to/from the same airport. They delayed and/or cancelled my flight without advance notice about 3/4 of the time. It will probably be fine, especially since you’re prepared for the fees. The flights themselves, when I was actually able to board and then take off, were fine. Good luck! Enjoy Colombia!

  15. Thanks to everyone for the comments on the club membership yesterday. I was pretty surprised that the answer here was unanimous, especially since I think of us as a pretty save-heavy group of women. That made your advice to spend the money even more valuable. We are going on an official tour next weekend!

    • You inspired me to call one of our local clubs for a tour. We belong to our local JCC but the pool there on summer weekends has gotten totally cray. DH and I have been talking about doing something like joining a club for awhile. In our area, the join fee is about a third of what you said yours is, and we also have the money. Plus we can do a summer-only membership.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! Enjoy!

  16. I just got this dress in white for a May party and am hoping to get more mileage out of it by wearing it to work. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to style it? The fringe is throwing me off!

    • Navy blazer or structured cardigan.
      Belted waterfall sweater if you can pull off that look (I can’t).
      Layer a patterned button-down underneath for a preppier look.

    • A navy tweed blazer with 3/4 sleeves is the only thing I can think of that would work.

      • I have a navy blazer with 3/4 sleeves, but it’s not tweed. I’ll try it on together tonight and see how it looks!

        I was also thinking of a taupe blazer in the same style? Or is that too light?

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          I have a navy linen blazer and I think that would work, too. Also, I am obsessed with this dress.

    • Jean jacket, flats or trainers (think vans), with a scarf for a more casual boho version would be super cute. Any kind of blazer would make it work appropriate. I think the fringe makes it a less office-y piece but you know your environment. Great find!

  17. Suggestions for a model/brand for a men’s / unisex work bag? My relative is a new law grad and I’m budgeting around 200-300 for a nice quality bag.

  18. UGH I have to have another car towed. Who does this? Who thinks it’s OK to park blocking 1/3 of my driveway? I live in an old house with a narrow driveway in an area with sparse parking. Some DOOSH parked such that his (i’m assuming he because it’s so entitled) back tire and back of car are fully in my driveway. And he appears parked for the day because he’s got his sunshade up across his windshield.

    • Please keep us posted because I find this ultimately satisfying.

      • I always feel guilty. I have to do it about once per year. Technically I could “four wheel it” and drive over part of my neighbors garden and then clunk clunk over their curb but it’s dangerous on my busy street, i’m not sure it’s safe for the bottom of my car, and damn it, I shouldn’t have to do that to get out of my own damn driveway. GRR

        • You shouldn’t feel guilty at all. They put themselves in that situation. There is nobody with a driver’s license who doesn’t know you’re not allowed to block any part of someone’s driveway.

        • But I guarantee you the man (because I would also assume he) did not feel guilty about taking your space. Teach him a valuable and expensive lesson.

        • Don’t feel guilty!! It IS bad for the bottom of your car, and blocking a driveway is illegal. Towing is what happens when you do this.

        • Do not feel guilty about this. You and your house are entitled to take the up room that you do. He is parking illegally and it’s obvious because he can see so with his eye. TOW HIM (and any others) without guilt.

      • Same! Eff him!

    • Some of my good friends used to live in a neighborhood like this. The wife parked in the driveway, and the husband parked on the street in front of his own driveway, blocking her in. One day, their neighbor was blocking their driveway, so our friend (the husband) asked the neighbor to move his car. The neighbor refused, arguing that if Friend could block his own driveway, Neighbor could take that spot if he got there first. Friend’s description of the ensuing argument over why you can block your own driveway but not your neighbor’s was hilarious. I think Neighbor moved that time, but after that Friend just called the towing company until Neighbor stopped parking there.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s hilarious!

      • Anonymous :

        Whaaaat?? Some people are so strange. Your story implied that he had to be towed more than once, which makes it just that much more incredible.

        Signed, someone who also used to live in an area where you had to park one car across your own driveway to assure that you could get the other car out of your driveway.

        • Yes, I believe the neighbor had to be towed multiple times. My friend, a highly logical person who majored in philosophy and is getting a PhD in a hard science field, said that that argument was one of the most surreal experiences of his life. Clearly, he didn’t manage to convince his neighbor he was correct.

    • Well you are going to be disappointed. I waited an hour for the meter maid to come out and I went out and chatted with her. She said “I’m writing him a ticket,” (note, she also assumed HE) “but do you really need him towed? We really try not to tow cars”

      We talked for a while and I said “but it’s so obnoxious!” She interrupted and said she agreed wholeheartedly that it was obnoxious and inconsiderate and that she was giving him a “nice fat ticket” but if I could get out of my driveway then they discouraged towing.

      We agreed that he was lucky that there wasn’t a car parked close to the other side of my driveway today because I could drive over that curb and get out.

      Also, I was already late to work and didn’t want to wait who knows how long for the tow truck.

      So, not totally satisfying. I’m still super annoyed. But hey, I have a new BFF meter maid.

      • Well, it does sound like you’ve got a nice meter maid in your neighborhood. I hope the jerk learns a lesson!

  19. CPA here – what should I do today? It’s one of the rare days where it’s okay to be not busy, so anyone have any great ideas for things I can do in my office or online?

    • Chat with coworkers, take an extremely long lunch, do some online shopping to buy yourself end of tax season presents, and then leave early. This is the best day ever, isn’t it? Most of my coworkers aren’t here, there’s nothing to do, and it’s completely silent and stress free. Ahhhh perfection.

    • Congrats on making it through tax season!

      The long lunch suggestion sounds wonderful to me.

      You could also use Kindle Cloud Reader to catch up on reading, either business or pleasure. I just went through a lull at work and ended up reading three really good books on topics related to my field that I hadn’t had time for previously.

    • Long lunch and shopping. Leave early while the sun is still shining. You earned this!!

  20. Job Offer...Yay? :

    Was just offered a job I think would be a great fit for me, and at a title above what I expected (think Senior vs. Associate), but it’s being offered at 1.5% above the very lowest end of the pay scale. The “average” for this position in this area is 20% above what was offered. I was expecting this exact salary with the lower title, so this just feels weird, like they’re trying to pay me less over time. When I asked about negotiating, I was informed it would be extremely unlikely, as they had just hired someone with my exact experience for a different position with the same title at the same salary. It’s local government, for what it’s worth. Is there a script I can use to push back on this?

    • I used to recruit in state government and there was truly no room for negotiation where I was. Everything was set by a legislatively-approved budget and scales that were public. I hope it is different where you are!

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        I work in state government and there is very little room for negotiation. With that being said, at least in my state, there is very little room for raises after you have accepted a job. I would try to get as much as I possibly can from jump.

      • Cookbooks :

        This. I work in state government, and there is very little room to negotiate because we have to work within the legislative budget. Raises work the same way. Whether or not we get new hires depends on both current and prospective budgets.

        I can only speak to my state, but I know that if someone else has the same experience and same title, they likely won’t give you too much more than them. But it can’t hurt to ask.

    • I manage compensation for a 35,000 person state workforce – merit based rule typically leave very little room for negotiating salary in gov’t jobs that have statutory requirements about how to pay people … x years of experience = y salary; requires consideration of what all other employees in the same job are making based upon their years of experience, etc.

      All pay scale and policy information should be public – see if you can find any exceptions that would apply to your role. But typically, they have to say no to requests like yours because bringing you in at a higher rate would require them to give all other similarly situated employees on the same pay scale an increase to maintain equitable pay based upon years of service.

  21. Has anyone had laser hair removal on their forearms (not underarms)? Mine are rather hairy and I have dark hair and light skin and i’d just like it to be less noticeable, not no hair if that makes sense.

    Asked a related question on the moms board today, sorry for all the body hair posts!

    • Used to be quite furry in the forearms :

      I did this and got a good reduction / hair seems finer. Maybe 6 treatments? It didn’t go away entirely but is so much better. I live where everyone is white and blond and was way too self-conscious as a relative Wookie.

    • GirlFriday :

      Not exactly what you asked but I had three laser hair removal treatments on my legs. I’m light skinned with dark leg hair, but this did absolutely nothing for me. Maybe I need to keep going but I got tired of spending the money for zero results. But forearms should be less expensive so give it a try!

    • Selena Myers :

      I highly recommend just taking the hair off with a Tinkle dry razor. They’re advertised for eyebrows but are miraculous on forearms and for whatever reason, it’s really low maintenance. Highly recommended.

  22. Favorite brunch in Manhattan?

  23. Emergency Purse Question :

    OK — my eyes have deteriorated to where I need to bring reading glasses with me. And sunglasses now that it’s warmer outside. My current clutch is not big enough to add in glasses, so I need to find a replacement (mainly for work travel; for my in-city work, I have about 5 pairs of reading glasses at home and work so I just leave them at my usual spots; I don’t tend to need them locally unless I’m in dim restaurants where I recently could not read the menu or the bill and nearly set the bill on fire with a candle trying to read it).

    I am thinking that whatever I get is either the Frank Clegg Leatherworks Audrey satchel or the Lock satchel (which looks a bit like a Mulberry Bayswater — just get that?), in black leather.

    [I know — no non-spendy options, but I’ve been eyeballing them and the eyesight thing is at a point where the glasses are driving the train. And it beats flambe-ing random things by accident.]

  24. NYC food markets :

    I’m heading to NYC with my best friend next month, and we really want to eat at some of the food markets. But there are so many! Which ones are your favorites and which would you skip?

    The ones currently on my radar are Gansevoort Market, Chelsea Market, Union Fare, Urbanspace Vanderbilt, Smorgasburg (but not sure if it’ll be open this time of year), and Broadway Bites (but not sure if it’ll be open). But I’m open to any and all in a reasonable distance from Manhattan.


    • If you want to try something truly cool and different, look up the Queens Night Market. Yes it’s not too close to Manhattan, but it’s an easy trek on the 7 train, totally feasible for an evening out. You won’t see anything else like it, and Queens has some of the best and most unusual food in NYC.

    • Smorgasburg is open, but I’d skip it (at least the one in Prospect Park), unless you get there right when it opens. I went a couple of weeks ago around noon and it was really unpleasantly crowded.

    • My advice would be to focus on the 1-2 vendors that appeal to you at each of the markets, since you realistically won’t be able to eat more at one sitting anyway, and decide based on that. Also, figure out what neighborhoods you’ll already be in. Markets are widespread and none of them are *really* worth their own trip IMO, so it makes most sense to pop into the one you’re already closest to.

      If I had to pick one to visit, it would be Urbanspace Vanderbilt because I think that Kuro-Obi (ramen) and Roberta’s (pizza) are really excellent, and it packs the most punch in terms of number of vendors in a small space. That said, Urbanspace gets really, really crowded between noon and 1:30 on weekdays to the point of being unpleasant. If you can eat at a slightly odd time or take your food to go, you’ll have better luck.

      One to consider that isn’t on your list is Hudson Eats, which is new-ish and in the financial district abutting the water. If you’re already in FiDi for something else, it’s got a pretty good array of options.

      Chelsea Market is perhaps the most well-known, but it’s also the most crowded, tends toward touristy, and doesn’t have many stand-out places. The same goes for Gansevoort Market IMO. Smorgasburg is fun and will definitely be going on next month. Saturday’s it’s on the waterfront in Williamsburg and Sundays it’s in Prospect Park. Just be prepared to pay $8+ for a snack-sized portion of food, and for crowds.

      • Meg March :

        I second most of this, including that they aren’t worth their own trip.

        I would add that Hudson Eats is essentially a mall food court, in my opinion, and is especially not worth the trip. The nice thing about Chelsea Market is that it’s easy to combine with a trip to the High Line, which is an old above-ground railway that has been converted into an “urban park” and is pretty to walk through. Chelsea Market anchors the south end of the High Line, so we sometimes grab food and walk uptown or walk down and then get a bite to eat there.

    • Just wrote a longer comment and not sure if it’s in moderation or what. Bottom line: all of them will be crowded (Smorgasburg no more than others). The crowds feel less oppressive to me at Smorgasburg because it’s outside and you can take your food and eat it away from the crowds. Urbanspace has the best food in my opinion (kuro-obi and Roberta’s in particular). Hudson Eats may be worth checking out if you’re already in the FiDi.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Really like Vanderbilt. Smorbasburg in Prospect Park can be really crowded, so I agree to go early.

    • NYC food markets :

      Thank you all! Your responses are so helpful, and I really appreciate the collective wisdom here! :) (I’ll have to hit up some of the brunch recommendations above too…)

  25. Can someone explain how people leave established high paying jobs (like ibanking or biglaw) for start ups? I’ve known more than 1 person to do that recently – and it isn’t a case of them having made money for decades – they’re leaving within 2-3 yrs and it took a LOT of effort to get those jobs out of top b schools and law schools. I understand tech start ups that have the goal of making some technology/software that will ultimately be bought out by a bigger company. But the people I know that have left are doing so for really “regular” products – selling t shirts or socks or whatever to a specialty population. So this isn’t even like they are trying to sell shirts in bulk to a huge retail store. I understand that manufacturing has gotten very cheap around the world and I get that there are a lot more options for office space; all of these people have stayed in Manhattan but aren’t paying 5k-10k for an office suite — they’re doing the shared start up desk/office rentals for a few hundred a month. They have investors – is it just that investment/VC money is really abundant right now? So someone will invest 500k in your t shirt business and you can use that to take a salary/manufacture and sell for a few yrs and then you go back for more funding? Or do investment/VC firms have oversight to where you need to be selling x amount in order to get continued funding? I’ve always toyed with the idea of starting a (bricks and mortar or professional services) business – and I know it’s going to be a really hard jump requiring a lot of savings and/or loans – so I don’t really get how people are doing it so quickly?

    • JuniorMinion :

      So I didn’t leave banking for a startup but rather for Corporate M&A and leaving banking after 2-3 years is a pretty typical path, especially out of undergrad. There are a few reasons for this

      1) The people and hours in banking can be pretty tough. I think this was a bit more OK back when investment bankers really were “trusted advisors” – now from the corporate side, other than a few people who are very senior / knowledgeable, we largely look at investment bankers as surge capacity. On the deals I have worked with on the corporate side, the bankers end up getting stuck with all the work the corp dev / PE guys / management don’t want to do. Because of this, a ton of jobs (corp dev, interesting finance roles, PE, HF etc etc) look to hire people from banking after they get a few years of basic transactions / excel / ppt skills under their belts and this is now an established pipeline. Almost no one I started in IBD with intended to become a senior banker one day – they were all using the job to get “exit opportunities”

      2) While investment bankers get paid quite a bit, its become increasingly harder to get to the really highly paid positions as comp has been trending down / towards more deferred stock at more and more junior levels. There are now corporate / PE options that are close if not equal / more. I took a 10 – 20% total comp paycut and in return am getting better skills and work 45 hours a week with every other friday off aka half of what I used to work in banking. I can also go places on the weekend and do things like plan my life.

      3) Its become really really hard to make MD in banking – and the people coming up now are going to struggle to get the skills / experience (due to point 1) to be the guys who are 45 – 50 now. If you wait, and don’t get promoted, that’s a really difficult if not impossible place to make a move somewhere else. The best time to make this move, whether to corporate or PE (they are pretty intertwined in my industry anyhow) is after a few years of banking experience.

      I know the plural of anecdote is not data, but a woman I went to college with who did 2 years of consulting is now an executive at MM Lafleur and has been there since pretty much day 1…. so some startups work out

      • I don’t think those who use the term “anecdata” mean it as a plural. They mean it as “here is a personal anecdote that is not dispositive data but may be useful.” Just a cute combination of the terms “anecdote” and “data” that is often used on this board to denote that one’s personal experience, while worth sharing, may not be applicable to all.

        • Anonymous :

          Which is exactly how JuniorMinion used it? By first acknowledging that it IS anecdotal, and not necessarily a representative example.

    • a millenial :

      banking is exhausting. i did 1 banking internship + worked for a big bank in ibanking and i was exhausted constantly. the demands are ridiculous. tech pays comparably well with a slight haircut (tech pays a lot) for far more reasonable hours – think 55hrs/week instead of 70.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Friday 5 PM: Pls turn this 60 page draft and make all model edits. Would like to review Sunday AM.


    • The folks who I know that did at always wanted to be running their own business. Joining a startup is the hot thing, exciting, risky, but you often have the energy and ability to take risks when you are young. Not when you are supporting a young family.

      A lot of people really dislike big banking, big law etc… And only did it for the CV. Then they get out to do what they really wanted.

      Some people don’t have $ as their goal, and find building their own business much more satisfying.

      Some people want to make millions fast, and see a startup as a way to do it.

    • Well, the people who do that obviously have different priorities from you in terms of stability and the kind of work they find fulfilling and the amount of risk they’re willing and want to take. I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand. People are different.

    • It feels very, very different to be in a start-up than a cog in the machine of an established business. Some people thrive in that environment and enjoy building something from scratch, no matter how messy the process is.

    • These are interesting responses, but I read OP’s question to be asking about the logistics of making the move, not the underlying reasons for doing so. Like, how are people getting the VC money to fund these startups?

      • Anonymous :

        VC money is abundant. You just have to get in front of the VCs with a proper pitch and that is just about being in the right circles, knowing someone who knows someone, working your network.

  26. Android App rec for organizing your podcasts. It’s for my Dad, so free and easy is key. Thanks!

  27. Sloan Sabbith :

    The “jewel” neck (which I didn’t know was a thing….) version of this dress in pink is $58 right now. It’s in my bag…it could totally be worn to a biz-casual office with a blazer and flats, right?

    God I do not need another dress….

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