Thursday’s TPS Report: Perfect Parisian Sheath

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

Ports 1961 Perfect Parisian Sheath | CorporetteOh kay! Game on. I was going to blog about this baby back when it was available for rent, but then I got distracted. But NOW, it’s even better: it’s available for sale. And it’s $87… down from $695. My strongest association with Ports 1961 is with an old commenter who was obsessed with the brand. (Shayna, this one’s for you, wherever you are.) ANYHOO: I’m not a huge fan of the desk-to-dinner dress (just change, say I), but this one looks like it would walk the line beautifully. It’s $87 at Rent the Runway’s clearance sale, with almost all sizes 2-12 still available. Ports 1961 Perfect Parisian Sheath

(Psst: the absolute best part of RTW is the pictures of customers wearing their dresses — definitely check ’em out if you have not already. It’s fun to see women of all shapes and sizes, and it’s always kind of a pick-me-up to see people gussied up at happy events like weddings, parties, and more.)

Another good workwear option is this Cedric Charlier dress.

Here are a lower-priced option and a plus-sized alternative.

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



  1. Personal coaching question: I interviewed a personal/professional coach, who I loved, but charges $400 a month. Is that a standard fee?

    If I am unable to swing that amount right now, does anyone have any advice for books, so I can DIY professional coach myself? I have been practicing law for 5 years and am in my early 30s. I am in a small office (4 attorneys) of a small firm (full staff of about 25). Looking for advice in navigating office politics, goal setting, time management and leadership development.

    When I looked though the archives, I saw recommendations for executive coaching & related books but I am not at that level yet. But maybe those would be relevant anyway?

    • Think of it this way. Professional coaching *when done right* is a tricky and time consuming thing. I’m sure the coach can’t really have that many clients at a time, so the fee seems entirely reasonable to me.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. Maybe ask for satisfied clients with whom you could speak?

      • Thanks. I agree. I don’t think the fee is unreasonable–but just want to make sure it isn’t either much more or much less than what others have paid.

    • When I had a professional coach, the monthly fee was about $150/hr, and for the amount I used her it was about $400/month-ish. When I was doing my research, it looked like that was the going rate.

      FWIW, she was awesome.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’ve had two. One for $75/hour and one for $185/hour.

      Have you read NGDGTCO? That’d be my first recommendation. Levo League has a list:

  2. I think the sweetheart neckline (both in terms of style and low-cut nature) makes this obviously not workwear, although the bottom half looks ok – maybe you could pull it off by covering the top half with a boxy, high-necked swing jacket?

    • I think a scarf would do a good job of adding coverage here.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I have never thought of sweetheart neckline not being work appropriate (unless it’s too low cut, of course) – it’s flattering on me and I have several dresses with this cut but I suppose it’s a KYO thing.

    • The neckline would show too much cleavage on me.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Agree, way too vavavoom for me. And even when cleavage exposure isn’t in play, I just don’t see sweetheart necklines as professional. I’m sure it’s personality/style, regional, and industry dependent, though.

        Really cute dress, however.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t think it’s office appropriate but I would love it for Date Night.

  3. Chi Squared :

    I am going to Brussels for a week for work. Highs will be in the upper 30s, with some light snow/rain predicted in 1-2 days. I can’t decide what coat to bring – a knee length unlined leather trench coat or my long down puffer coat. I’ll only have 1 day for sightseeing, the rest of the time will be indoors working. Ill have a 10 minute walk between the hotel and office each day. I’m worried the leather trench will not be warm enough, even with gloves,scarf and hat. But the down coat seems a little overkill, and also less professional/stylish. Thoughts?

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Cold and damp, to me, is where warmth > style. The people in the North Face (etc.) catalogs always look happy (and warm).

    • I’m in London, which has similar weather to Brussels. I’d say bring the puffer. My own leather trench is patiently waiting for spring in the closet.

      • Chi Squared :

        Thanks for the advice! I was hoping someone “local” would chime in.

    • In-house Europe :

      yup. Puffer coat ftw. You would freeze in the other (I get cold just thinking about it). Plus they are super common here so you won’t scream “american tourist.” If you wear running shoes while sightseeing though… All bets are off. ;)

      • Yup. It’s damp and cold in centeal Europe right now, and 5C feels a lot worse than it should. Stay warm! Also, fewer people drive, so outer layers that can stand up to the outdoors are not uncommon as long as hat, shoes, scarf, gloves etc are not too casual.

  4. Is it normal to really miss your parents as an adult? I’m in my mid 20s and haven’t lived at home for almost 10 years. I’ve always been very close to my parents, I’ve lived either across the country or at some points across the world from them, although I see them and talk to them frequently. Especially in recent years, we’ve seen each othe every couple of months or so. My father came to spend about 3 weeks with us for Christmas, and I found myself wishing this were the normal state of affairs. I know this isn’t typical, but I’m wondering how normal it is to miss your parents when you’re as old and on your own as I am.

    • IMO it just shows that you have a close, loving relationship. That’s a good thing. Even if you miss them a lot, if it’s not affecting your day to day functioning, I don’t think it’s a sign of a problem.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Yup, this. I live in a different country from my parents and when I see them, it’s always for a longer period of time and we spend a lot of time together, so I do miss them a lot, I am very close to them, but I think it would be a whole different ballgame if I lived an hour away, say. So it means (1) you’re very close which is great and (2) the circumstances heighten your feelings of missing them.

        But it’s totally ok (I hope).

        • I also live in a different country from my my parents (and most of my family) and sometimes I do miss them quite a bit. We talk on the phone a lot, but it’s the little things like casual Sunday dinners at my mom’s house or just laughing together that I miss most. It’s also harder as my parents get older and start to have health challenges not to be able to be there for them in the same way that my local siblings can. I know that sometimes it can be a burden on them, but from my perspective the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Completely agree.

        I’m a functional, independent, and successful adult (mid-30’s) – but my mom is my best female friend and I love visits home. Consider yourself fortunate to have a positive relationship with your parents and stop worrying about it. We’re a lucky group.

    • It is normal! I think it shows you’re very close to them.

    • It is normal. Shows you’re close to them and that you love them.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      I don’t know about “normal” or not, but I had the same experience in my mid-20s as I was finishing grad school. I ended up moving back to my parents’ nearest metro area to start my career (it happened to be a good market for what I do anyway), and I have been in the area ever since. Not saying “ohmygosh, move home immediately,” but I don’t think there’s anything weird about missing people you love and are close with, as long as (like tesyaa said) it’s not interfering in your regular functioning.

      • anonymous :

        I’m envious. Moving back to my home city (or even home region, broadly defined) isn’t an option for me since there aren’t jobs for me there.

    • LilyStudent :

      I’m only 20 but I’m having the same experience; I had a more ‘typical’ call-every-week-or-so relationship with my parents in the first year or so of college, and then when I had illness issues in my second year I began to talk to my mum four or five days a week, which we’re still doing. I generally see my parents about every six weeks – sometimes just my mum, sometimes both parents.

    • Totally normal. I lived across the country from my parents and recently moved to a city much closer (think easy weekend trip). It really makes me happy to go visit them once a month.

      • This is my goal. I hate being across the country from my folks, it just makes it so much harder (especially for holidays) if there is nothing resembling a direct flight. If weather is bad in ANY area of the country it tends to cascade into postponing flights for a full day at least.
        If i could be a quick flight, or a day’s drive for long holidays I’d be thrilled. Someday…

    • I think it’s absolutely normal. I’m in my late 20’s and my husband and I just bought a house that is 3 blocks away from my parents (FWIW it was his idea to look in their neighborhood) and a 7 minute drive from his parents. We really only see them once or twice a week, but it’s great to be able to trade favors or stop over and borrow something at any time, and I imagine it will be even more convenient when we have kids. We have a really close relationship with my parents that has become a little more friend-like as I have aged, in that we enjoy going to dinner or doing other activities with them as well. We all have appropriate boundaries (we don’t show up unannounced or interfere in one another’s marriages) so it works out great.

    • Manhattanite :

      I sincerely hope my DD feels that way when she gets older!

    • I don’t know if it’s normal or not, but I know that a lot of people feel that way. I grew up in an abusive home so it’s hard for me to really connect emotionally to close family ties, but I understand intellectually that that’s a thing that exists. BF and I are both in our 30s and he misses his parents. Before we moved in together, he would stop by his parents’ house on his way home from work several times a week. He moved into my house, and his parents’ place is now super out of the way, so he doesn’t randomly drop in anymore. He wants to buy a house together closer to his parents (in a HCOL area with good school districts) but I don’t want to do that for financial reasons until we get married and we’re closer to starting a family, so maybe 3-5 years. I think all you can do when you can’t live close enough to see each other regularly is to prioritize time with your family and make the most of what time you get. Hopefully at some point you’ll be able to live closer.

    • lucy stone :

      I hope it’s normal! My parents are snowbirds so I live a 2 hour car ride from them half the year and 5+ hours of travel including a plane trip the other half, and I miss them something fierce.

    • Rogue Banker :

      If it’s abnormal, let’s be abnormal together. I’ve been away from home for 2.5 years now (about 1600mi apart, so it’s not easy to go back), and there are days when I want nothing more in this world than to see my mom and dad for a little while. I’m lucky enough to have a really good relationship with them, especially my mom, and we talk every week or so on the phone, but there are times that all I want is a hug (and mom’s cooking, and watching Jeopardy with dad, and playing with the dogs, and now I’m homesick again :P )

      Planning a trip home for a week in April and I. CAN’T. WAIT. :D

  5. anonymous :

    If I’m hourglassy but otherwise small, is a cable knit sweater a bad idea? Will it make me look like I’m all boobs?

    • Have you tried a longer, looser cable sweater? Maybe belted? A tight, short sweater might accentuate your top, but cables come in a lot of silhouettes so look for one that suits you.

    • Yay! I love this sheathe dress, but why do they call it a sweetheart neckline? There is enough coverage so that slobs do NOT get the ability to stare at your boobie’s. Anyway, for the OP, a cabel knit sweater would ONLEY make you look boobie-centric if it were a tight sweater, and most cabel knits are bulkey enough that they realy make you boxy lookeing, which has the opposite effect vis a vis your boobie’s. If anything, peeople like me who are also shapeley often wear bulky sweaters — includeing cabel knit ones — so that MEN focus NOT on our boobies or our tuchuses, which they useally do, but on our minds. We want men to look us in the eye when they talk to us, and take us serious, and NOT think of us just as sexueal repositorie’s. FOOEY on men that just look at us and think about how we would look without our clotheing on! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • LilyStudent :

      It totally depends on where the cables are and how chunky the sweater is, I think.

      • hoola hoopa :

        This. IME – similar build – it’s definitely something to consider when trying on. I wouldn’t cross them off the possibility list completely, though.

        Also depends on how you want to use it. I’ve had ribbed sweaters that I wouldn’t wear to work, but they worked great after hours (wink, wink).

  6. Double-Bingo :

    I am in the market for a new suit, thanks to my first-ever bonus (yay!). My current suits are all Bucket 2 (CK Calvin Klein, Tahari, etc) I am looking to spend around $1,000, including tailoring. Which do you wise ladies think is a better call:

    (a) Stay in Bucket 2 (I’m thinking J.Crew or Banana Republic), and get a jacket, dress, skirt, and 2 pairs of pants (one hemmed for flats and one for heels).

    (b) Move up to Bucket 3 and only get a jacket and a skirt or pants.

    I am a second year associate at a small firm, business casual dress code. If I did (a) I would also wear the pieces as separates, but for (b) it would be something to pull out for court appearances every few months. Pregnancy is probably also on the near-ish horizon, if that makes a difference.

    Any advice or thoughts welcome!

    • I bought a BR suit (jacket, pants, and skirt) at 40% off and spent about $250. If your budget is $1000, there’s no real need to stay in this bucket, I think. Could you look for Bucket 3 sales and get all 3 pieces?

      • I agree. I would get a kick-butt amazing suit from Bucket 3 (3 pieces) on sale that you know you can pull out for big meetings, trials, hearings, etc., and feel confident in.

      • Theory is having a nice sale right now on its suits. You could easily invest in a nice jacket or skirt for Bucket 2 money. Have fun– I envy your Bucket 3 budget!

    • Turtle Wexler :

      I had one baby and them promptly had another. By the time I was done with that, I pitched most of my old wardrobe (4 years old at the newest). Even “classics” often were off in the jacket / lapels / sleeves / length / stance and after lots of alterations on the pants, they always looked off somehow.

      I’d just bank the $ or splurge on something easier to use a lot — Akris jacket? Good earrings?

      • lawmomof3 :


      • Ditto — just had a baby and between maternity wear and maternity leave, it’s been almost a year since I wore my normal office clothes at all. And now none of my clothes fit so I’ll likely need an entirely new wardrobe when I go back to work. I’d stick with Bucket 2, especially if you don’t wear suits frequently, and save the rest or spend on something else.

      • +1

    • Wanderlust :

      I’m not a huge fan of the Theory pants, but man do I love my black Theory suit jacket. I would wear it with everything.

    • Have you checked out Austin Reed? Their pieces look lovely and they are having a major sale now. Reiss should also be having some winter sales soon. Bucket 3 pieces on sale would be my pick. Brooks Brothers also started their 70% off sale online today.

    • Traditionalist :

      I’d stay away from J.Crew if you decide to stick with Bucket 2. I think even their suiting is of terrible quality now. I can’t stomach the thought of dropping $1000 as an investment, only to have holes appear in every piece in 6 months… makes me sad for you!

    • I took some bonus money (about the amount you are planning to use) and bought a Hugo Boss suit and love it. The purchase was certainly a big splurge for me. Every time I wear it I feel fabulous and get loads of compliments. It’s nice to have a really good suit to use for important work events and such. I vote for moving up to Bucket 3.

  7. For those who you use a “clinical” deodorant, do you follow the directions to apply the night before? If so, what do you do in the morning? Reapply, use another deodorant or nothing at all?

    • Hildegarde :

      I sometimes use a clinical antiperspirant in the summer (I think Certain Dri), and I follow the directions on the package: apply it at night, and then use my regular antiperspirant/deodorant as usual in the morning. I also follow the package instructions to only apply Certain Dri once every two or three nights. It works well for me.

      • I did this too with Certain-Dri. Apply at night before bed, then apply my normal one after my morning shower. I also did once every 2-3 days.

        I experienced a major sweating stage in my late 20s. Seriously, pitstains ruined a lot of my clothes. So embarrassing! I asked my dermatologist about it. She said it’s very common for young women, and goes away in a few years. For that time period, though, I highly recommend Certain Dri.

    • I use Dove Clinical Protection deodorant and apply it after I shower, which is sometimes at night and sometimes in the morning. If I shower at night, I don’t reapply in the morning, but I do usually put on perfume or scented lotion in the morning.

    • I use Secret Clinical and just apply in the morning. Works great!

    • I use the Secret clinical. I try to remember to use it at night, but don’t always remember. If I’ve forgotten the night before I’ll usually put it on in the morning, but really, every other night is sufficient for my needs (probably even every third night). I’m not super sweaty. The only thing I make sure of is to not apply right after shaving.

    • I apply it in the morning (I didn’t even read the directions until I had had it for a week or so) and it works fine. I think the nighttime application would certainly continue working through the next day – sometimes I don’t use it on the weekends and I still don’t sweat/stink.

  8. seattle in april :

    Another question re: appropriate attire for a conference in April in seattle: There are a number of walking tours as a part of this conference. I had initially thought that a skirt/dress and flat boots would be good, but I’m wondering now, if I’m walking several miles on a tour (at least once, perhaps several throughout the week) can I get away with more casual trousers like cords and Keens? Industry is planning/development

    • Seattle Freeze :

      It’s Seattle. We wear fleece to the opera.

      By planning/development, do you mean urban planning & development? If so, I’d bet that your crowd would swing a bit more toward the casual end. I would highly recommend bringing a raincoat with a hood. Seattlites are rather anti-umbrella, and they’d be annoying/cumbersome on a walking tour.

      • +1. It’s Seattle. Apart from wearing fleece to the opera, in April it rains all the time. So plan your footwear and outerwear accordingly! There is nothing worse than being cold and wet.

      • +1 If you’re going by Seattle standards, as long as it doesn’t have holes, you’re fine. You won’t look out of place in the dress and boots, or the cords and Keens (I’m wearing cords and Birkenstock clogs right now). Wear what you think will be the most comfortable.

    • Stick with the skirt and boots combo since it’s going to be raining. Add a decent looking rain coat–I cannot recommend the Boden Rainy Day Mac enough–and you will fit right in. There’s nothing wrong with more casual trousers in Seattle, except that your hems are going to get soggy.

      • +1 Here in Seattle, 2/3 of the women downtown are wearing boots at any time. I’ll still be wearing mine daily in April until the rains stop. Nothing worse than having wet feet all day.

    • I think I’ve been to this conference in previous years. The clothes run the gamut from totally funky-hippie stuff to stylish polished stuff like what an architect would wear to suiting separates. As a woman on the young-ish side, I try to stick with the suiting separates with a solid bit of pizzazz thrown in. That said, I dress pretty formally for work and am in a leadership position in a major city.

      I would go sheath dress in an interesting cut or color, tights, sweater or blazer, statement necklace, flat boots, coat and scarf for the walking tours.

    • seattle in april :

      thanks, everyone. I’m rather anti-umbrella myself, so hooded raincoat is a must for me. I’m a little concerned about the Boden Mac–I see that there are several on sale, but it’s all cotton–won’t that get dreadfully wet & heavy??

      • hoola hoopa :

        You want a nylon rain shell, not waxed cotton. You don’t want “water resistant” you want “waterproof”.

        Ditto above comments re: boots. I’ve pulled mine out in June. I’ll definitely be wearing them in April. It’s grey, cool, and wet, so they make sense. Completely agree about level of casualness for PNWers, but if this is a national or international conference where you need to dress to impress, I’d still consider it if you can’t change before the walking tour.

        • hoola hoopa :

          Think something like this

          or this

        • hoola hoopa :

          FYI, I posted some links in moderation. REI Outlet > REI La Selva Rain Jacket, Columbia Splash A Little Rain Jacket

          • seattle in april :

            thank you! It is a national conference, but I’m not really looking to impress–I’m relatively “new” in the industry, and I don’t really need to be a big name or anything. And, super-kudos for finding something on REI-O–that is a beautiful coat, and doesn’t look like “gear”

            Thank you all for the help–I definitely appreciate it!

      • BankrAtty :

        Nooooo, the Mac is wonderful!!! I wear mine all rainy season in Seattle.

    • No wardrobe suggestions here, but have a great time at the conference! I’m sorry to be missing it.

  9. As a follow-up to yesterday’s thread about personal finance… I’m newly in bucket 3, and I am trying to figure out if it would be worth it for me to speak with a fee-based financial planner. I’m single with no kids, early 30’s. I have about $60K to put in non-retirement investments and anticipate being able to save an additional $5k/month going forward (already maxing out 401k and have a $30K emergency fund). I would like that to eventually turn into a down payment for a house, but for various personal reasons I’m at least a few years away from wanting to own property (not sure where I want to settle down/currently considering a move and a job change). On my own I would just put it all in Vanguard index funds (a mix of stock and bond funds). I still have some student loans but I don’t want to pay them off because (1) they’re all at either 2 or 3%, which should be pretty easy to beat in the market and (2) even if I don’t beat that rate, it’s worth it to me to take a hit just to be somewhat liquid (see aforementioned personal reasons), and once I pay them off I’m losing that awesome 2-3% rate forever and the safety of being able to cash in my investments if necessary. I think I’ve thought this through, but I also have zero experience with investing and came into this money rather suddenly, so I’m nervous about making decisions on my own. Has anyone here gotten value from talking to an adviser? If so, any recommendations in NYC?

    • Diana Barry :

      I think I would just stick it all in index funds, if I were you – prob 75/25 or 80/20 stocks/bonds.

      Keep some in cash if you are thinking about having cash for a down payment and don’t want to deal with capital gains.

    • I am almost exactly in your situation, but I bought a house and I depleted my emergency fund last year.

      At times, I have been tempted to seek out a financial planner. But then I start poking around the Internet, evaluating candidates and reading blogs. I organize all my paperwork and accounts for a hypothetical meeting. Then I realize that I probably wouldn’t get much of a value add from a guy I only see for an hour.

      I do think that the “next step” for me is getting a tax accountant and a decent insurance broker. I had am ugly letter from the IRS at one point and spoke to a tax person who threw in some feedback on my investments for free. It was reassuring and prompted me to adjust my allocation in index funds. I am completely confused about insurance and my insurance needs. But I don’t trust insurance salespeople. Eek!

      • Then don’t go to a fee-based. I have had a financial planner at Edward Jones for years and love her. She’s commission-based, but she makes me tons of money on investments and gives me great advice. She has never tried to sell me insurance or anything else. She’s really focused on making me money, and we have a long-term relationship. Try out your local office. It never hurts to meet with someone. Leave if you’re getting a sales pitch.

        Also, for you women in your 20s and 30s, you have retirement savings, right? Because the magic ingredient is time. If you don’t start putting away your retirement till age 40, you won’t have nearly enough.

    • I’ve had good luck with Vanguard’s financial planners. I was in a similar state to you – in good shape, had a good idea what I wanted to so. I used them to help me validate what I wanted to do. Found them to very responsive to my concerns about fund fees and keeping a simple, low maintenance portfolio.

      Wasn’t sure if you were a vanguard customer or just buying their funds, but I recommend their planning services.

    • Every time I think about talking to an advisor, I go to the vanguard diehards forum (search for link). There is a subforum on personal finances that is frequented by really really knowledgeable people (accountants, and others) and they are willing to give you personal advice. Obviously take it for what it’s worth but I have checked in with them several times over the past 10 years and they have always given me something helpful to think about. They skew heavily to DIY financial planning and low-cost investing. I have found them so useful that I have never needed to go pay for someone, and over the past 10 years my financial situation has become very comfortable.

  10. Ladies, do you have any tips on shopping for mortgage rates? Any good resources to check? I’m looking to refinance mine.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would look for a local independent mortgage broker – they have good deals and won’t push one bank over another.

      • +1. usually bigger mortgage companies/banks can’t come close to the rates the (good) independents can get.

      • hoola hoopa :

        +2 Ask for recs and go with someone who you trust on a gut level.

    • I have a great mortgage broker if you are in California. If so, email me karenpadi at hotmail and I will send you his info.

      • Must be Tuesday :

        If you’re in Chicago, I recommend Patrick Harris with Pacor Mortgage. His contact info can be found pretty easily by googling.

    • The absolutely best thing you can do is get GFEs (Good Faith Estimates) from as many different mortgage companies and loan originators as possible and then negotiate. Don’t treat shopping for a mortgage like shopping for a new bag or a hairstylist, treat it like shopping for a car, ie, put time into it and make sure to haggle.

      The CFPB has a new tool for people in your position. I haven’t gotten a chance to play around with it, yet because it was just unveiled a couple of days ago, but it should be a good place to start.

  11. Manhattanite :


  12. I was late to court this morning (on criminal cases where I represent mostly minority defendants) because of the ridiculous protesters around Boston. Without getting into specifics, it absolutely negatively affected my clients’ cases. I’m just venting, but seriously, WTF PEOPLE.

    • I feel you. I was late to see my father in the hospital. I fully support peaceful protests, but it is hard not to feel upset at them when they impact you like that.

    • what exactly are you upset about? That their protesting made you late, or that they’re protesting in the first place?

      • I’m upset because this kind of protesting is not helpful. Peaceful protests on the sidewalk is one thing. These people did something very illegal and very dangerous. At least one ambulance was diverted from a major Boston hospital. I don’t think it should matter, but I’m black, and we don’t all support these kinds of tactics.

        • What tactics would you suggest? I’m genuinely curious, no snark intended.

        • What tactics would you suggest? I’m genuinely curious; no snark intended.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m not 100% sure, but I think anything that would, yes, inconvenience, but not put people in danger. Anything involving cars and traffic and highways is going to put people in danger no matter how you slice it.

            How about a mass protest of hundreds of movie theaters or sports games that would effectively block the event from going forward? Yes, it would be “annoying” to people and they would get mad, which is the point. The protesters would get arrested but it would get on the news. Can you imagine the uproar if protesters derailed the Superbowl? That would get discussion flowing.

            However, I personally don’t find any satisfaction in protesting. I support freedom of speech, but that’s not what happened this morning. I personally think pen is the mightiest, which is why I’m a lawyer who fights for individual rights in criminal cases.

    • If protests don’t inconvenience anyone, they don’t get media coverage and have much less impact. The point of civil disobedience is to disrupt.

      • Right? I don’t like protests either. That’s kinda the point.

      • Anonymous :

        These are not sit-ins at the school president’s office. When civil disobedience becomes criminal conduct, you’ve lost your way.

        • Anonymous :

          Nope. The whole reason it’s called disobedience is because you’re disobeying a law. It’s fine if you don’t like it but you don’t get to redefine the word whilst simultaneously stripping it of it’s power.

          • Anonymous :

            Even if it causes people to die? Even if people miss the last moments with their loved ones beacuse of it? Even if someone working a minimum wage job gets fired because of it? If you want people to support you, this is not the way to do it. I was fully on their side until this morning. You can disobey the law without causing harm to other people and allies.

          • Civil disobedience is supposed to be non-violent. If you’re blocking traffic, and endangering others by limiting access of ambulances, fire trucks, etc., your actions are no longer non-violent.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m not convinced you understand the meaning of “violence.” It doesn’t include causing harm by making people late. It just doesn’t. I’m not denying the impact blocking traffic has, but words have meanings and this isn’t one of them for violence.

          • Does it include causing harm by trying to kill or seriously injure people? Because they did that. They may have killed a man by denying him acess to the hospital- I think the report has him still in critical condition. Example of a perfect protest- people stood in front of the trains going to the patriots game on Sunday. Caused a 10 minute delay, tons of news coverage, no one got hurt but they did get their message across. This protest aimed to hurt people – it was why they just werent in the road but they were in the road with 1000 pound barrels- so they couldnt be moved for ambulences.

          • Causing someone’s injury or death by preventing access to first responders is violence.

          • Miss Take :

            What you’re saying?

            Is the very definition of respectability politics.

            Look it up.

      • These protesters achieved nothing. Everyone in my office, including those who were late, didn’t know what it was for. Many news reports until 10-11 am didn’t bring up the cause – the story was the traffic, not the “cause”. They assumed the pipeline because they were cemented to oil drums. So @#$#$% stupid.

        PS: People now know, and still think it’s stupid. I work with a demographic that would care/supports the other police-related protests, too.

        ETA: headline still doesn’t mention what the protest was for. You have to click on the story and wait for paragraph 3 to get to the intention of the protests.

    • I’m honestly curious about where the line is with these kinds of things. How big of a risk matters when it comes to public safety? If someone had died in that ambulance, would it have been worth it to the protesters? I’m not trying to be snarky. Honestly curious.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m pretty sure that’s what they were trying to do- make sure someone else died. Theres a reason they didn’t just walk into the street.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I think this style of protest is only useful if the protesters are seeking something that could be immediately given. For this type of issue there is no way to say “you are right, you won, you are getting what you want now let traffic through.” There are already policies to avoid racial profiling and discrimination but they obviously aren’t working. I get that it is a very important issue. It is one, however, that can’t be changed overnight. End segregation, allow gay marriage, let women vote, those are all things that could be, theoretically, done in a day with a pen ending or starting a law. This type of issue can’t be solved that way. I fear the tactics used are causing them more haters than supporters and aren’t effective for the type of change they hope to bring.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you for real? Ending segregation couldn’t be accomplished with signing a law in one day. Like, actually, they tried that and it failed miserably due to lack of anyone following the law. It took a solid decade to really implement. Pls stop giving blondes a bad name.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          You are entirely missing my point and I think we are in agreement more than you realize. In reality the historical things could not be done in a day. Of course. Hence, the word “theoretically” was used. My point is, they are not trying to change a law or written policy. The law and written policy is in their favor. The execution isn’t turning out that way. Like when the segregation law changed and people just didn’t follow it. What they want is systemic change and these types of protests aren’t really conducive to that. There is no demonstrable way to say “you prevailed.” To see if anything actually changed would take years. You can’t stop traffic for years.

          • BL, for what it’s worth, I’m with you.

          • As someone who spent a good three years planning protests as part of my job, I generally agree. It’s important to make sure that you have a clear ask, or a defined outcome, for what you’re doing. When civil disobedience works, it is because you make those who oppose the change you seek look unreasonable through their response, or you appear to be so reasonable that it causes those you want to influence to identify with you.

            When it’s not clear how people can help you, they tune you out. When people see you as unreasonable, they tune you out. But when people see you as a reasonable person caught in an unreasonable situation – and unreasonable situation that is fixable – they want to help you.

            And when I say “people,” I don’t mean everyone, of course. But successful large-scale acts of civil disobedience in the past have often been meticulously planned to appeal to an apathetic or tuned out majority and to cause them to identify with protestors.

    • Wildkitten :

      If you don’t know what the protests are for, and didn’t anticipate that they might happen on Martin Luther King’s birthday, I don’t think the protesters are to blame.

      • Really? We are supposed to anticipate that the highway might be blocked for hours with cement barrels? There was no way to anticipate this. My friend missed her CHEMO treatment. Get the f out of here with oh you should have known this would happen. seriously. I was a huge supporter of all the protests up until today. You can absolutely protest, absolutely inconvenience people. But we are talking about people’s LIVES. An 84 year old man couldn’t get to the hospital after he was extracted with the jaws of life. At this point you are just continuing a cycle of violence and losing all your support and allies. The only people I have seen supporting the protests today are the insane people who also thought that the police officers deserved to die. 50% of my FB supported the protests before today. Based on the informal facebook poll it looks like its zero percent. (Besides for the 3-5 people I had already defriended for supporting the killer of the police officers)

        • +1,000,000 to this. All of the chatter I’ve heard today — all of it — has been against what happened this morning. And this is in Boston. Home of Ted Kennedy. Home of Elizabeth Warren. You don’t get much more liberal than this. This city would ordinarily be very supportive of a big civil rights protest. But I think the actions this morning (especially blocking first responders, nurses not being able to get to their patients, minimum wage workers missing their desperately needed paycheck for the day, parents not being able to get their children to appointments at the Children’s Hospital…) turned a lot of people against the cause. And the images coming out of it don’t help — privileged young white people playing protest in their expensive ski jackets. Give me a break.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I think people not familiar with Boston might not truly comprehend the magnitude of the hospital situation. There are at least six major medical facilities right off the highway where this was occurring. On any given day, a large group of people on that stretch of highway are going to one of those facilities. Many go for early morning treatments before heading to work. This blocked the way to most of those facilities. Off the top of my head there is Mass General, Tufts, Boston Children’s, Brigham and Women’s, Boston Medical Center, Spaulding Rehab, Shriners . . . People come from all around to get to these hospitals. I’m sure I’m missing some or that some have alternate routes but you get my point.

      • Ciao, pues :

        totally. this from a list targeted to corporate ladies who think in terms of “buckets” of spendiness, i am not terribly surprised.

        • It’s a fashion site. Obviously, the content and conversation is focused on fashion and career. That comment is unfair.

          • Miss Take :

            Actually, I’ve been reading this blog for years and I think it’s 100% fair.

          • duplicate, deleted.

          • We disagree, then.

            I will say that, if you share ciao, pues’s disdainful opinion of the readership, I’m not entirely sure what you’re doing here.

      • I live in Cambridge and work in downtown Boston. I see protests of varying sizes multiple times per week. To assume the one this morning was for any one particular cause would be ignorant. We have the marathon trial going on right now. The Hernandez trial. The police brutality protests. The right for life protests that are constantly going on in Harvard. The pipeline protest I walked through last week just north of Harvard Square. Protests against the Olympic bid at the foot of the State House last week. The anti-death penalty protest on Monday I walked by (spun out of the Marathon bomber trial going on right now, I’m assuming…). So, I didn’t just assume what it was for. It was ineffective on multiple levels, and down right wrong. But, yea. Thanks for playing.

    • 100% agree. The connection to a cause was so tenuous in this instance too. Protesting police brutality, I guess? And then waiting for the police to rescue you? And making everyone like the police more than ever because they saved the day? If you wanted to create a protest to drum up pro-police sentiment, this was a good way to do it.

  13. SF in House :

    I’ve never looked at RTR to purchase before. I have a “Love Boat” party in the spring. Do you think this works with the theme? Any other ideas?

    • What a maxi dress or resort wear?
      I think you’ve picked something great, I’m just brainstorming…

  14. Tipping Question :

    I have the hair & makeup trial for my upcoming wedding this weekend. The trial is part of the overall hair/makeup package for my wedding (ie – I’m paying about $500 for them to do the trial and my hair/makeup the day of the wedding).

    I obviously plan to tip the stylist on my wedding day, but do I tip after the hair & makeup trial too? If so, how much do you think is appropriate (since there’s no specific fee for the trial, it’s included in the overall package)?

    • Clementine :

      I don’t know if there’s a hard and fast ‘rule’ about this. I can tell you what I did for comparison. I paid around $300 for someone to do a hair and makeup trial for me and do my sister’s hair (simple updo) and give my mom a blow-out at my location. I tipped $20 (because that’s what I had on me- as a note- the trial was kind of a mess and the woman was 45 minutes late so I didn’t really feel like going above and beyond to tip her).

      For my actual wedding, she was on time, really on her game and did wonderfully and for that I think I tipped her about $70.

    • My sister didn’t tip at the trial but did on the wedding day.

    • I tipped about $90 I think.

    • Make sure it’s exactly what you want at the trial! At mine, the stylist was experimenting with my hair (my normal stylist didn’t do up-dos) and she had some ideas, and said, “This will look better the day of.”

      Of course, it didn’t. It looked worse on the day of my wedding. And I had so many other things to do on the schedule, I had to get out of there before she could take lots of time to fix it. I hate my hair in my wedding pictures.

      Make her do it the exact way you want.

    • I tipped at the wedding (20%) but not the trial.

  15. Rural Juror :

    LOL at the Shayna reference!!

  16. Thoughts on these? They’re also available in green. I’m looking to be talked into or out of them,default,pd.html?dwvar_WF00259_Color=DKPN&contentpos=683&cgid=Womens_sale_category

    • I like them.

    • Pretty! I think the wine is more versatile than the green, if you’re trying to choose, but then it’s much harder to find that shade of green if you’re looking for it…

      If you have a BB nearby for returns (or if you have ShopRunner), you may want to order more than one size. I sometimes go up 1/2 size in their pointed toe styles, but not always.

    • I think these were featured (or something very similar) here before and I bought them in green. They were lovely but I ended up returning them. The sizing was huge, the shank very stiff (so difficult to walk in), and the leather felt a bit more plasticky for the price. Still, they were so pretty! It was a shame.

    • annoyed, but accomplished :

      I would wear the hell out of both pairs.

      edted out my bad pun

    • winteranon :

      I bought these and had to return because they were tight and pinchy in the toe box in my normal size (and I have narrowish feet). So I’d say order a size up. They’re really pretty!

      • anonymous :

        what did you think about the leather, along the lines of nutell’s comment?

  17. I want this dress, but am reluctant to drop the money on a final sale dress given my ample booty and thighs! Curses!

  18. anonymous :

    Does anyone use Retin-A for acne? Would you recommend it?

    • I have used it in the past. I have sensitive, sort of dry skin that never tolerated it well. Supposedly, your skin gets used to it after a few weeks and stops peeling, but that didn’t happen for me. It’s worth a try, though, as long as you are diligent about sunscreen.

      • I have sensitive, combination/oily skin, and it didn’t really work for me (in terms of the dryness/peeliness — it did help with my mild acne), either. The only way I could tolerate it was slathering my face liberally with CeraVe cream — NOT lotion — after applying it every night. I think I used something lighter in the mornings.

    • I have and liked it. It helped prevent new breakouts and also helped fade existing hyperpigmentation from past acne. My only issue was that it caused increased sensitivity and dryness/flakiness, especially during the long, cold winters in my former Midwestern state. I normally have combination/oily skin that is somewhat sensitive, so ymmv. I would like to try it again now that I’ve moved to a much warmer climate.

    • locomotive :

      I really like it. I had used it once before with a ton of flaking, but this time around, my new dermatologist was really explicit with directions about how to apply it with the least amount of irritation. Basically, don’t do it when there’s any water on your face. So when I wash my face at night, I wait an hour (I just make sure to wash my face earlier) adn then apply a thin layer. After it’s dried/absorbed (~30 mins), I moisturize with argan oil. It’s helped me tremendously with skin smoothness, hormonal acne from my Mirena, and redness thatI had around my nose/mouth area. The argan oil is also amazing for moisturizer and it’s non comedogenic.

  19. Reporting in on the blue leopard dress that was last week’s Frugal Friday pick. I like it a lot, especially considering it was $29. Key thing: It is actually long enough! A real knee-length dress on me.

    I kind of hate it when faux-wrap items have the weird panel underneath where if you’re not careful, you can end up shoving your b00b through, but other than that, I think it’ll make a nice addition to the work rotation.

  20. State of the Union :

    I’m looking for recommendations on bars/restaurants in DC that may be showing the State of the Union (I live in DC, but no TV). Complication: my mom will be in town, so I’d like to find a place where we have a decent chance of getting a seat if we show up an hour or two earlier…does this place exist? Ideally Capitol Hill or H Street or thereabouts…

    • Wildkitten :

      Everyone will be showing the State of the Union! Sports bars are a good option. Big Board gets loud. Po Boy Jim upstairs is small but fun – they’ll probably be pro-Obama, if that would bother you. Hawk n’ Dove, Capitol Lounge. Anywhere on Barracks Row with televisions, like the bar at Matchbox.

    • Must be Tuesday :

      No restaurant recommendations, but I also don’t have a tv and last year I watched the state of the union on the internet. Just a suggestion, if that interests you.