Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: ‘Simone’ Slim Ankle Pants

flattering-ankle-pants-rag-boneOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

These Rag & Bone ankle pants aren’t the best choice for a conservative office, but for a casual office or a really casual day at a conservative office, they’d work well. The most notable thing about these is the reviews — people love these pants. Customers (in a wide range of ages) have written things like, “This is the pant version of the LBD,” “These might be the best pants I have ever worn,” and “These pants are a dream come true!” If I were looking to splurge on pants, I would take a serious look at these. They’re made in a cotton blend (note that they’re “dry clean,” but not dry clean only), have a back zip, and come in sizes 00-12 in black and navy. They’re $295 at Nordstrom. ‘Simone’ Slim Ankle Pants

Here’s a more affordable option; two plus-size alternatives are here and here.

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



  1. Love the pants, hate the styling with these boots.

    • I’m actually getting kind of sick of the cropped/exposed ankle look. I just can’t do that for winter (MN) and want retailers to give me some pant options that actually cover my whole leg.


      • Yup. Cropped ankle does no favors for short people. I’ve always looked best in small flare or boot cut pants. Here’s hoping they come back soon!

      • I agree, who has ever just wanted cold ankles? Winter fashion and winter practical can sometimes be very different

      • I actually find ankle pants much more practical for my cold climate. We get tons of snow, so long pants are a disaster. I can pair ankle pants with ankle boots, plus wool knee socks, and stay plenty warm without constantly getting salt stains on the hems of my pants.

        • I’m probably too late to get an answer to this, but do you think the boots need to go fully under the pants, or are you OK with a gap showing socks between pants and boots. The latter has always seemed both fattening and shortening to me — too many lines cutting up the leg?

      • I prefer ankle pants too because it avoids the issue of dealing with extra length while commuting. In the winter, I just throw on warm longer socks and boots and put on heels when I get to the office.

      • OMG, Pricey Monday’s are putting forth $295 for ankel pant’s! While I love them, $295 is above my pay-grade (as people in goverment say all the time!) I also think I am too squat to make this look work for me unless I can wear 4″ heel’s. Ivanka can pull this off (that’s why she got Jared) but not me. FOOEY!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Found my unicorn skinny pants at Gap- their bi-stretch skinny ankle pants. They’re technically ankle, but the regular length on 5’3″ me works as just normal length pants. As long as I don’t dry them, they’re great. I have 5 pairs. They have them in petite and long, too.

    • I like the leg silhouette of these pants, but the top looks like the pants my grandmother used to wear. The high rise plus lack of front fly means they would make my midsection look like a dumpling, even though I am pretty darn trim if I do say so myself.

      And agree that I can’t figure out how to deal with the ankle pant trend in winter. The pants are cute, but my ankles are so cold.

      • I wear ankle pants with ankle boots or riding boots while out and about, and then switch to flats when inside.

      • Agree about ankle boots. If it’s really cold, I wear knee length socks to bridge any remaining gap.

      • My ankle pants actually go to my ankle, so my booties cover the gap while standing. I wear tights or knee highs underneath so that a gap is less noticeable with sitting. This combo is excellent for winter, as my longer pants would get soaked in snow.

        Since I’m not a 6 foot model, I can find these pant lengths pretty easily.

        High waisted pants with short ankle pants is not a good look….. For anyone.

      • LOL at dumpling.

    • The look is perfect for me here in Miami!

  2. Anonymous :

    Please can anyone recommend a therapist in Chicago, loop preferred. Issues are anxiety and general need to address some issues and bad habits.

  3. Feeling sick today and I also feeling grateful that I have a job where I can work from home while sick and not have to take PTO.

    My coworkers really don’t want to be around me like this anyways

  4. A review of the Maladrino dress from last week. It’s a little too body conscious for work, imo, and not for short people. The fabric is also very synthetic (as in it is and it feels/looks like it). It’s definitely a midi length on 5’4-ish me and I think hemming it might be a bit weird with the slit opening. Going back. Hunt for new black dress for work continues. But I can see this one working for ladies with straighter figures.

    • I also ordered it, and am returning it. I’m tall with a straighter figure, and it is still too body con for me and the slit is weird and way too high to be appropriate for work. I don’t want to flash up to mid-thigh when I walk or sit.

  5. Legally Brunette :

    Feedback on using hydroquinone for reducing brown spots on face? I have been using the Paula’s Choice brand for the last few days. The area in which I have applied it is now red and looks worse than before. When I stop using it the redness goes away. Does this just mean that the hydroquinone is working? Does the redness go away eventually? And does hydroquinone (esp the PC brand) work well for reducing sun spots?

    I’m only using it once a day (at night).

    FYI, I’m done having kids. Thanks for any advice on this.

    • Following

    • Hydroquinone may not be the best product. It does work on hyperpigmentation, though.

      I have had outstanding luck with all of Paula’s line, although of course there are some ingredients that don’t work for me.

      For sun spots I would try her 25% Vitamin C spot treatment or her new Resist Brightening Essence, which contains an alternative ingredient to hydroquinone.

    • What else are you using on your face that is irritating? Sometimes you have to use it spaced from other irritants and exfoliant so, or is it less often. Also, make sure you are using it sparingly.

      I found that it doesn’t work very well.

    • I found hydroquinone to be ineffective. I highly recommend IPL once a quarter plus Tazorac nightly.

      • Amen to this. Save your money for IPL. I tried all of the products, cheap and expensive, prescription and not, etc. Just do an IPL. You will be thrilled.

      • Huh, never heard of IPL but I am intrigued. Please tell me more. Does it hurt, is it permanent or do you need to get touch ups every now and then?

        I’m trying to get rid of some brown spots on my cheek.

        • Anonymous :

          It does not hurt, it feels a bit uncomfortable but not painful. Using numbing cream definitely helps. I get IPL once every three months to maintain perfectly even complexion.

    • I use Murad with hydroquinone in it and have had decent results. However, I tend to forget to use it daily so that may be part of my problem. I don’t use PC. I actually use Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum. I have fairly sensitive skin and haven’t had any issues with redness on the days that I use it.

    • SF Lawyer :

      I use Obagi with hydroquinone at prescription strengths and have been thrilled with the results. It really cleared up all of the brown “shadows” and sunspots. No luck on the dark freckles, but my overall skin tone and texture is so much better. The “Nu-Derm” system has a retinol and hydroquinone and I swear by it.

    • Redness is a sign of irritation. Try to dial back on the usage (put a thinner layer or use every other day), until your skin gets used to the product. Other good options for sun damage/discoloration are glycolic acid (>10%), salicylic acid – both will help with exfoliation of damaged skin cells; peroxide for bleaching effect; azelaic acid and alpha-arbutie to moderate pigmentation in new skin cells.
      A friend of mine has a lot of sun damage/pigmentations, had laser treatment, but finds that using some of these products help her in long term (together with using SPF 50+ on a daily basis to prevent future damage). I had red discolorations after acne and had great results with using glycolic and azelaic acid.
      Brand I especially like is Isis Pharma (French cosmetics), you may try NEOTONE. It should be availabke on Amazon. Since I am based in EU, I buy it in pharmacies. Good luck!

  6. Longtime lurker, first time poster… sorry for the rant.. Before we met, my husband was a carpenter. He went to law school a little over a decade ago and has been a lawyer since. Specifically he was a scenic carpenter for stage and opera sets. His undergrad degree is in set design.

    He chose to go to law school in part because of the money, in part because of a lack of steady carpentry work, and also – as he describes – a desire to “grow up.” He is brilliant, performed exceptionally well on the LSAT (99th %!), got a scholarship to law school, and worked as a litigator in big law for about 2 years. From there the recession hit, he got laid off, and he hasn’t kept a job for more than 2 years since. I don’t think he’s very passionate about being a lawyer and has been generally bored and overworked law.

    He got laid off a few months ago and has been looking to move out of litigation and hopefully go in-house. Recently, I’ve started advocating for him to become a carpenter again. I just think this is his true passion, and that he would ultimately be more fulfilled. He resisted the idea at first and has said that “time of his life has passed,” that he wants to continue earning big bucks, and that he likes the prestige of law. However, at my urging, he applied to a couple set design/carpentry jobs. He immediately got interviews and is actually interviewing at this very moment!

    Up until this morning I’ve been really enthusiastic about this career move. I think it is true artisan work, and just as “prestigious” as law. He asked if I really “wouldn’t mind my husband going to work every day with a toolbox,” and I said no way!

    Suddenly I feel super anxious about it. Maybe because it’s no longer a fantasy, and he may well be offered this job. While we can absolutely afford it, it would be about a 75% pay cut for him. We have discussed the financial aspects and decided we could make it work. I make good money, we don’t have loans, etc – we could continue to live a very nice life. No kids yet, but we could afford them. When he was in big law, he really set himself up to have a financially sustainable future, so it feels like he deserves this career change. However, it would mean cutting way back on things like big vacations, home renos etc. I find myself worried about the sustainability – he is almost 40, what if he gets hurt and can no longer have a physically demanding job? What if he regrets this and can never get back into law?

    It also means I’d be the primary breadwinner (a big change) and I am realizing I’d have to let go of a lot of my own pipe dreams – going back to school, being a stay-at-home mom, or pursuing my own passion (I was an adjunct creative writing professor before we met but quit to pursue a better-paid but unfulfilling career in finance). Basically, I am falling down a pit of worries and also feel extremely guilty over these feelings, which I didn’t know I had and have never expressed to him. I am really blindsided, as my attitude had been all along “we will make this work.” FWIW, I don’t feel a sense of snobbery or worry about this being “blue collar work.” Honestly the idea of a happy carpenter husband vs an unhappy lawyer husband sounds lovely and (admittedly) sexy.

    I know I am going to have to discuss these feelings with him, but dread it. I was the one who got us into this. I am feeling so confused and angry at myself. Have any of you been through something like this? I could really use some sage words / advice on how to calm down…

    P.S. OMG, as I write this he just texted that the interview went really well and he is now on their list of substitute carpenters until a full-time position opens, likely soon.

    • anon anon armani :

      And, there certainly could be a return to the law field if he can no longer be an artisan carpenter, right? Perhaps once he is settled into carpentry, you both can focus upon some of your dreams, desires, wishes? In our 30 year marriage, we early on took “turns” getting into a position that we can do for a lifetime and offers us security. We navigated the pros and cons of each position, and continue to do so – with a focus upon security for ourselves. It’s a balance for us. You can do this. Hugs.

    • He doesn’t turn in his law license when he takes a carpentry job. He can always return if he wants. I think you should talk to him. Not about your carpenter fantasy or your doom and gloom life is over worries, but about actual reality.

    • It is what it is at this point. Just be aware that he is NOT going to be able to go back to law if he does this for any length of time. Law is one of the most “traditional” professions there is- probably bc it is dominated by older men who went high school to prestigious college to prestigious law school to top law firm to partner. They give a side eye to ANYONE who does anything different. Sometimes you can tell it’s bc they had different desires, but bc they did what was “expected” – they expect the same of anyone else and “punish” candidates that didn’t follow that trajectory. So long story short – it’ll be next to impossible for him to break back in to biglaw or any in house job that hires out of biglaw, unless he keeps this carpentry stint REALLY short — i.e. this is a hobby of mine so I made it a job for 3-6 months as I looked for a legal job.

      What’s the long term goal here? To be a carpenter working for someone else? Or is this something that can morph into owning his own business? I’d look into whether he can get 2-3 yrs of experience and then have his own small business – it may get the finances back where you’re used to (or closer to it) plus at age 40, I think people who do manual labor do start thinking about slowing down as it’s physically tough. So I don’t know if you want to sign up at age 40, assuming that you’ll easily be able to do 25 yrs of this. It may be easier to develop something where he does some of the work, brings in some business, and hires 25 yr olds to do the rest of the work

      • Oh yeah, back to biglaw isn’t happening. But back to a legal job is certainly possible!

        • anon anon armani :

          That’s what I was thinking for the OP. Back into law in a small, private law firm. Somehow there has to be “law out there after Big Law.” I’m not in this field of endeavour, obvi.

        • +1 He can go back. This emphasis on doing things the “right” way and sky-falling type statements are so prevalent among lawyers, especially the young ones.

          • They’re prevalent among young lawyers bc they are true in biglaw – which is where many of the young lawyers on this board start their careers. Talking to biglaw partners, you feel like there is one right way to do your career – the way they did it; and if you don’t play the way they did (and carpentry surely falls outside of that), you will be a total failure with no legal career. Thing is, as I’ve gotten more senior, I’ve realized biglaw partners ONLY know biglaw and NOTHING else. For the most part they aren’t extroverts or great networkers who have true insight into various facets of the legal field; they know how to network with existing clients and/or how to service their partners’ clients and that’s it — it’s all very surface level. And they know that their knowledge is very surface level — yet it’s very easy as a 55 yr old to act like a hotshot when you talk to a nervous 29 yr old telling them their career is doomed bc of XYZ. Frankly I think even biglaw partners are now starting to look around at their former seniors and midlevels and realize – wow there were/are other options/ways of making money, maybe it’s not all so black and white – though of course they’d never admit that.

          • Or perhaps big law attracts people who think they need to do the “right” thing and the sky will fall if they don’t. IME big law people are some of the most inside the box, risk averse lawyers out there.

        • Possible, yes, but it doesn’t seem like it’s that easy of a fallback option. I think that’s a safety option only if he has a huge connection with a firm where the hiring partner begs him for years to come back to law because he is such an outstanding lawyer. Otherwise, a small firm has competition with other candidates and then a gap in his resume they have to explain. Think of it this way – if you were a client and found out your lawyer only practiced for 6 years before becoming a carpenter for 4 years and going back to law, wouldn’t you be a little concerned?

          That’s ok, though. If he has a passion for it, he might be a more successful carpenter than he could have been as a lawyer. There is truly nothing wrong with that. As others have pointed out, age can be more of an issue in carpentry than in a desk job, so maybe the plan is a heavy apprenticeship for a couple of years transitioning into owning his own business. I’m sure having lawyer skills would be helpful in that. (And as for costs, you may have to take different vacations, but as far as home demo goes, you also have a source at home for at-cost supplier discounts!)

          All this being said, you should not be afraid to talk to him about your concerns and the game plane for your family. I would be most concerned about the physical demands and if this is something he can do until he is 65. Maybe he just really needs to get out of law and can pursue carpentry as a hobby while doing something else. Or maybe he can join in-house for a construction company?

          (And yes, I agree that biglaw partners are total snobs in thinking that the only way to do things is the way they did it. I think smaller shops, government, in-house are less inclined to think that way, but law in general can be punishingly all-or-nothing, especially given competition. Personally I hate it – I would love to have kids and take a year or two off but I know it’s near impossible to return to the law and I am in-house.)

          • Don’t be so sure about govt. As a function of the economy a few yrs ago, they got REALLY REALLY used to seeing top flight resumes with the best law school, biglaw gigs, often biglaw partners gigs etc. So now (at least in the financial agencies), resumes get scoffed at if they have gaps or non traditional tracks; sure they may at least interview those folks but when it comes offer time, risk aversion sets in and the offer always goes to the ivy law grad with 8 yrs at a vault 50 firm.

    • The pressure of being a primary breadwinner is hard, but in most families one or other spouse has to take on this role. A lot of men suck it up to fill this role, and I think we have to do the same as women if that’s how the chips fall in our family. Just remind yourself that you’re no more entitled to expect that he be the primary breadwinner than he is to expect that you be the primary breadwinner.

      Also, the golden handcuffs of 2 big incomes are not really a gift. If you can be happier on less, that’s the way to go.

    • I am stunned by the radical career changes each of you has had.

      This tells me you both are likely brillant and very gifted. You both will make it work, no matter what you choose to do.

      You will be ok.

      • TorontoNewbie :

        +1 to this
        Also – does he have any interest in construction law?

        • Yeah, I was about to say his carpenter background gives him a huge advantage when it comes to construction law, whether it’s on the contractor’s side, owner’s side, or government side. He has a lot of options.

        • anon in SV :

          I was also about to say this. A good friend fell into construction defect law and having a background in carpentry would be a HUGE plus in their work. There are a lot of kinds of law outside of biglaw.

      • +1

        There’s also the possibility of being promoted to site director or something similar that involves more oversight/decision-making and less of the dangerous stuff you’re worried about if proves to be a valuable employee

        • Senior Attorney :

          +1 My dad was a carpenter and ended up as the site supervisor — the guy in the trailer, not the guy swinging the hammer.

    • As the spouse in your husband’s shoes (made the choice not to practice law for many reasons and earn a tiny fraction of what my law school classmates are now earning), I advise you NOT to share all of this with your husband. Trust me, he’s already feeling plenty of guilt about the pay cut.

      It kills me whenever my husband complains about how all his friends have nannies and maid services and lawn care services and summer houses and take fancy vacations, because I know he’s thinking that if I had just gone into law practice we would have all of that too. He doesn’t understand what we would have had to give up in order to afford those things.

      • That’s really not fair. Who else is your husband supposed to complain to?

        • Wildkitten :

          I have a close family member who likes to complain about all the nice things other people have and it’s really really annoying to me. What’s the point? There will always be people with more and people with less. (Yes we should work on structural inequality, but I don’t want to spend my free time being jealous of people who have more stuff.)

        • Not to me, because when he complains to me about how he wants all this stuff and doesn’t have it, what he’s really saying is “I regret the life choice that we made together to have you work at a nonprofit instead of going into Biglaw. Your contribution is not enough. YOU are not enough.”

          On the rare occasions when I mention the things I want but can’t have (like enough time to get the house clean every week, exercise consistently, and do fun things with our child), he tells me to suck it up and quit whining, so I don’t think he’s entitled to complain either.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s really hard. I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with that. I’ve made similar choices (drive an older car, visit in-laws for vacation, took extra time off work with the kids) and I know what a balancing act life with a DH who has my back on those choices. Sorry that he’s being unsupportive.

          • I hope things get better for your family–all three of you deserve more happiness. (And IMHO there’s nothing wrong with living with less stress and more time instead of more stuff + stress.)

          • I personally have a 3 strikes and you’re out policy on complaining. But if your husband is the type of person to whine, what can *you* do about it? Tell him to stop? Or maybe tell him, “This is how you make me feel. What are you trying to convey when you say these things?” Because complaining about his complaining seems unhelpful. And meta.

          • Anonymous :

            Just trying to show OP what the effect of her sharing these feelings could be on her husband.

        • Nobody. Nobody should complain about not having a nanny!

    • Can your husband keep his legal skills fresh, either by volunteering or doing some lawyering on a part-time basis (of the hang his own shingle variety)? It’s not going to get him on a partner track at Skadden, but it will provide a bit of extra income and a hedge against the fluctuations of set design work.

      In most marriages, the couple is lucky if one person is able to pursue her passion, stay at home with the kids, take a less stressful job, etc. That’s normal. The people who can offer you advice are breadwinners (or maybe single people who give up “the dream” in order to put money into a 401k).

    • Being totally honest here, it sounds like right now you feel like you made his career decision for him and now you are worried that you messed up. Take a step back – you don’t have total control in this. He needs to do what he feels is right for his career, assuming it isn’t totally irresponsible (which it doesn’t sound like it is). That decision, though, should be fully-informed – the two of you absolutely need to talk about the lifestyle changes you’d both have to make for the job to work. And that includes the fact that if YOU feel the need to change careers later in life, you both would need to drastically alter your lifestyles, whether that means really cutting back on spending or him trying to find a higher-paying job. You’re not getting yourself “stuck” in a career, but rather changing the decisions you need to make.

    • This doesn’t have to be a permanent situation. If all goes well with your husband’s interviews, he’ll be employed in a job he enjoys rather than have no job. After a period of time, you two can always re-evaluate the situation. Maybe he gets another lawyer job and you go back to school. Or maybe this situation works and everyone is happy. The unknown is scary but just remember, nothing has to last forever.

    • I have a feeling that the minute people where he works find out he has a law degree, he is instantly freelancing. Can you look over my contract? [And a low of opera jobs are union on the performer / orchestra side, so he hshould be very clear who the “client” is.]

      So you may want to look at:
      — building (ha!) that into his role (WWE once had a job posting for 1/2 time story-line writer and 1/2 time general counsel), esp. if they can cover malpractice, bar dues, CLEs, etc.
      — looking at malpractice coverage, continuing to stay in good standing

      He is probably able to provide a lot of value, esp. if he wants to have any sort of arts / soft IP / employment law practice. He’d probably potentially be a really interesting CLE speaker or adjunct and may pursue to keep some doors open.

      Biglaw partner who is really likes to think outside the box

    • Congrats! At the grand age of 50- Ive been the breadwinner for 10yrs+ and I enjoy it. It’s been a little stressful when my company was doing layoffs but I would have been stressed regardless. Also as I’ve aged, having enough money for basic comforts and security is important, but having an excess, is much less important than overall life satisfaction and a feeling of contributing in a positive way. Good for you both!

    • Wouldn’t a stagecraft job be IATSE? The union has good pay and benefits, so he would likely do well in a full-time position, maybe after a short evaluation period. Not big law money, of course, but really solid.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I was going to say don’t discount the value of union health insurance and pension. Good grief — that’s worth a bundle!!

      • and maybe they would provide or you could get your own long term disability insurance?

    • I know this has been plugged before on here, but truly, look into “Mr Money Mustache” and his frugality philosophy. His goal was to retire at 30(?) but that isn’t everyone’s goal. For many of his followers, using frugality is a way to save money so they can go back to school or pursue a dream.

      So, to keep your dreams a possibility, look into lowering your living expenses and stashing money while you have high earnings. Then, when your husband’s career stabilizes, you will be in a much better financial position to pursue your dream.

    • Wildkitten :

      I think this sounds AWESOME but I also understand how it sounds awesome in theory and is terrifying in reality. Can you make a list of your concerns (like you have here) and figure out which ones you can assuage? Like, make a budget with your new incomes. I agree with others that this doesn’t limit him from being a lawyer forever, nor does it limit you from being an adjunct. It probably does limit you from being a SAHM, if this is how things stay forever. But, like you know, things change. It might also help to talk this through with a neutral third party like a therapist since you sound (like me) like an extrovert who needs to communicate out loud to rationally process your thoughts, and you don’t want to unload this as a personal attack on your DH just to think it through.

    • A happy husband is a happy marriage! You can do this. I am the breadwinner and my husband works from home. This will work for you.

    • My brother does this type of work and has had a really interesting career so far. With a law degree and years of life experience under his belt, your husband could end up in more of a project manager or art director role, or grow into a facilities management position (for a big theater, this would be a big deal, high-level job). Thinking about how this could grow over time might help you right now. Good luck!

    • Carpenter is my dream job . . . Sigh . . .

    • I know this is late but one consideration– check out individual disability insurance for “own occupation”. If you can get the right policy based on lawyer income it still pays out at the same amount if you get disabled from another job, like carpentry. This is a VERY abbreviated version of what is possible but white coat investor has a great series for professionals that you can check out. Worth educating yourselves on, inlcuding if you choose to go back to another career.

      Sounds like you are both multitalented modern renaissance people! Good luck

  7. Anon for this :

    I need some perspective on a friend; both of us are late 20s. One of my closest friends is an absolute saint except for the fact that she often treats men badly. She sees no issues hooking up once with guys that have serious, unrequited feelings for her, playing on exes’ feelings for her in exchange for occasional favors, etc. Last night she tried to hook up with a mutual friend who is in a relationship with someone else – again, mismatched expectations about what it meant were in play; he used to have serious feelings for her that she didn’t return – and I’m not sure I can watch this anymore. Except for this pattern, she is one of the nicest people I know. I would be really hurt if a guy treated me this way.

    We’ve never talked about this. Should we? Am I overreacting if I back away from the friendship over how she treats men she gets involved with?

    • Yeah, I think you are overreacting if you just back away from a close friend over her consensual relationships with other adults without ever even once saying “man you sure it was a good idea to hook up with Joe? Since for you he’s just a fun time but you know he’s been into you for years?”

      • Anon for this :

        I guess I don’t really know what to say to her (my thinking goes along the lines of the post below – I don’t have standing here). Fwiw, sometimes she tells me afterwards that it wasn’t great she behaved this way, but then she does the same things again.

    • I wouldn’t call her out on a general pattern of behavior. Even though you would be really hurt if a guy treated you this way (and I would, too), I don’t think you have “standing” (to be lawyerly about it) to say anything.

      If you feel that you must say something, which I don’t necessarily recommend that you do, I would only specifically comment on the mutual friend situation, and even then, I’d tread very carefully. Be prepared for a defensive reaction.

    • I had a friend like this. I hated the way she treated men, and when it overlapped onto my male friends, once or twice I gave a subtle warning to my guy friends. They listened.

      One she got married, she cleaned up her act. But she left a trail of broken hearts and bitter men in her 20s and really made it harder for the rest of us.

      • That’s how I’ve approached a similar situation – when it comes to mutual friends, I give them a (not-so-) subtle heads-up about her, but otherwise I stay out of it. It’s still hard to watch sometimes, but that’s sort of the price of admission to the friendship.

        I remind myself that I make mistakes in my romantic relationships too. When I do it, it’s generally someone I really care about and she’s known for a while and really cares about too. She’s still my friend even when I mess up. I try to do the same for her.

      • How does your friend leaving a trail of broken hearts make things harder for you?

    • I have a similar question myself…interested to hear what people say. Part of me says I shouldn’t judge my friends. But I also think t I need to respect my friends and this kind of behavior makes me question a person’s integrity. Is is idealistic to limit yourself to calling friends those people who you truly respect?

      • No, but I think you should ask yourself why you don’t respect someone for having $3x with willing partners, ask yourself whether that is a standard you apply to men and women equally, and ask yourself whether your standard for respecting someone else needs to be moral perfection in all aspects of their life.

        You never have to be friends with someone, but life kinda sucks when you don’t have any left.

        • OP said she treats them badly and recently went after someone who is attached. Treating people badly and cheating are things that sound like a lack of integrity to me. (Perhaps you should ask yourself why your standards are so low? Don’t be so quick to throw the slut-shaming card. Good lord.)

          • My standards are great, thanks.

          • “Treating people badly” here seems to mean having what appears to be consensual sex with them . . . Is she actually telling them that she has feelings for them when she doesn’t? Or just sleeping with them? Because the latter is not a problem in my eyes, as long as everyone is a consenting adult.

        • Devil’s advocate, but there’s a difference between hooking up with randos and (a) stringing along people who are totally lovesick over you but you dgaf about and you treat them like you dgaf about them; (b) calling up your still-not-over-you ex when you need someone to fix your blinds or pick up your Christmas tree or help you move or just make you feel better about yourself when you know you have no intention of ever getting back with them; (c) deciding you really only want an ex when he meets someone else smart and nice and promising because no one gets to play with your toys but you, so you mess up his blossoming relationship only to dump him again as soon as the novelty wears off. Something like this happening every once in a while is understandable; no on’e perfect. When it becomes a habit, it seems to reflect a self-centeredness or lack of empathy that maybe isn’t a quality you want in a close friend.

    • If she asks for your opinion regarding her relationships, then of course be honest. But if she doesn’t, it’s up to her and the people she hooks up with to decide how they want to treat each other/be treated. The people she hooks up with have agency, and can tell her she is treating them badly if they feel she is, can refuse to be used by her, and can absolutely elect not to sleep with her if they are already in a relationship.

      As a side note, I firmly believe that single people are free to sleep with whomever they want – it is people in relationships who have an obligation to abstain if that’s a promise they’ve made to their significant other, so it’s your mutual friend who should be in hot water here.

    • This must be uncomfortable to watch, and I am sorry you are in this situation.

      My concern would be that her pattern of behavior that you have described is only a small piece of her character showing. I would not write off a friend for this behavior, but I would use this as a cue to pay attention. Is this merely a recreational habit? If so, it is inconsiderate but not the worst thing. Or is it a manifestation of a lack of self respect or a blatant valuing of her wants over what is right/ acceptable? If it is more like this, then unfortunately her lack of regard for others may in time end up spilling over into other areas of her life instead of just the recreational hook-up part. In this latter scenario, I would back away.

      Best of luck! Navigating adult friendships seems so much harder than it needs to be sometimes.

    • I think it’s totally reasonable to back away from a friendship when you have concerns about the friend’s integrity, which you apparently do (and you should). But first, I’d talk to her about it. “Hey, friend, you told me about trying to hook up with Joe last night. But he’s in a relationship, and he has much more serious feelings for you than you do for him, so I don’t think you’re being fair to him.” If you know about her hookups, presumably she’s telling you, so you have an opening to bring up your concerns. See what she says.

    • I have an acquaintance who was dating someone off and on when I met her, and watching the way she handled ending that relationship made me more wary of forming a close friendship with her. I never said anything to her, partly because I didn’t feel I knew the whole story and partly because I didn’t know her that well. But I do think that if I hadn’t observed the way she treated her now-ex we might’ve become closer friends.

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having an opinion about the way your friend is acting, but I’ll agree with others who have advised you not to comment unless asked, for the same reasons I didn’t say anything. You don’t know the whole story, and they’re not your relationships/flings/whatevers.

    • In my 20’s I would have been less bothered by this. But 15 years later, I now realize that people like this are frequently opportunists who aren’t going to be around when you are going through a divorce, death, or health problem. I think the primary question is how she treats you and if the answer is that she is a true friend, the second question is how/whether to talk to her about your concern.

  8. Ugh. Just need to vent. I am out of work and just had an interview. They ended up doing most of it in my second language, which is not the language that the bulk of the day-to-day work would be in. I was so flustered by the switch and hadn’t prepared answers in second language, so I stumbled a bit. Really frustrated with myself right now.

    • So sorry! By any chance, were you interviewing for a Canadian federal government job? If so, you have an absolute right to choose the language that you are interviewed in and you could grieve the process. Just FYI.

      • Unfortunately not! It’s for a job for which being bilingual isn’t even an absolute necessity, which makes it all the more frustrating.

  9. Acceptable? :

    Can you ask someone if they have a learning disability? I work in a very numbers oriented field. One employee volunteered the information that they have dyslexia and as a result we have measures to prevent errors. This other employee has the same symptoms (switching file headers, swapping numbers, etc). Right now it just looks like the employee is sloppy and is going to be put on an improvement plan. I suspect there might be a learning disability at play.

    • Absolutely not.

    • Nope. You can raise the errors, and ask if they have some explanation, but it’s up to them to volunteer that the explanation might be dyslexia.

    • I think you’re making this too complicated. Instead of suggesting a learning disability, why not just suggest the various solutions and procedures that work for the colleague with dyslexia?

      “Hi, Joe. I’ve noticed that you tend to switch file numbers. Before you submit your work, please double-check them by (describe). It’s important to get this right, is a big part of your role, and I want to see you succeed.”

      • Acceptable? :

        The accommodations aren’t free, they cost the company money and me time. So they don’t get handed out willy nilly unless someone has a medical need for them. The employee will likely get fired without disclosing. But I could be totally off base and it could just be poor attention to detail not a disability.

        • It’s up to them to disclose and ask for accommodation. If the problem’s serious enough, I think your only obligation is to warn them that continued errors will lead to termination.

        • Wildkitten :

          The suggestion made by Bridget is just being a good manager. Sometimes being a good manager costs some time to train your employee to do better. If he can just improve with a simple suggestion, that’s probably cheaper than firing him and hiring someone new, so it’s worth a shot.

      • +1

        as an employee, that would definitely give me a wake up call if I hadn’t realized I was performing up to expectations and make me feel like I could do something about it

    • You should ask your lawyer or HR.

    • Nope. If someone has a disability and would like accommodation, it is on them to disclose it.

    • Even though you can’t ask the person about a learning disability, can the improvement plan include some of the accommodations the other person has in place as a “best practice.” Obviously this depends on what the accommodations are, but I would imagine at least some are transferable. For example when I was a teacher, students with learning disabilities often had graphic organizers for writing assignments written into their accommodations. Graphic organizers are a best practice that all students can benefit from so we provided them to all, not just those whose IEPs required them.

  10. Liquor collection :

    My husband and I would like to get a few bottles of quality liquor to have around for guests, parties, and the occasional cocktail. We’re both primarily beer or wine drinkers and aren’t really sure where to start. Can you recommend your favorite brands of hard alcohol and also any key ingredients we should be sure to stock in a home bar? TIA!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I like Tito’s vodka and Maker’s Mark bourbon. Triple sec and vermouth are good to have on hand for various drinks.

      • I’m not really a spirits drinker either, but don’t low alcohol content things like vermouth go bad? I think I’ve heard you’re not supposed to keep vermouth for more than a month if it’s open.

      • You can buy the smaller bottles of vermouth. It’s fine unopened. Once it’s open, it’ll stay OK in the fridge for a month-ish (maybe a little longer), but it definitely goes bad.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Bombay Sapphire (gin). Cointreau. Controversial vodka opinion – Belvedere (I find it way smoother than Grey Goose even though the Goose has a pop culture following. As for malt, depends what you like. For peaty/smoky, Laphroaig. For something a little different there is a Balvenie aged in rum casks.

      • +1 to Belvedere, but I will drink Grey Goose too, haha. I like to mix with cranberry juice.

        • another +1 to Belvedere. I have no clue why Grey Goose got so popular – it tastes very astringent to me and not in the good way that vodka should.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’d say the classics: vodka, tequila, rum, and then a whiskey or bourbon.

    • Gin! I think Beefeater and Bombay (the regular one) are both good all-purpose gins that can be used for both g&ts and martinis. I think Bombay sapphire tastes too much like vodka. Hendricks has too specific of a flavor to be all purpose. New Amsterdam is an abomination and should be collected, loaded into a giant cannon, and fired off into space.

      As far as gin related mixers, I like the glass bottles of canada dry tonic water. If you don’t have good fresh limes year round, I like the Sicilia brand lime juice so much more than the kind that comes in the tiny plastic lime. That stuff is horrific. Also get a jar of olives for martinis. I think vermouth is a waste of space, so I take my martinis extra extra dry. Mmmmm, gin.

      • Meg March :

        A friend’s grandmother’s martini recipe instructs you to wave the bottle of vermouth near the martini glass.

    • I’m a gin drinker and collector, and I reckon most gin drinkers would be happy with Hendrick’s.

    • St. George’s distillery is a small-ish distillery based out of Oakland. Their gins and liqueurs (the coffee liqueur has caffeine in it but makes a terrific cocktail) are available in BevMo, at least in my area. I don’t think you can go wrong with any of their stuff.

    • I also recommend Tito’s for vodka! I would suggest keeping a bottle of decent single malt around, you don’t need to mix it with anything and its a really nice treat. You don’t have to spend a ton to get something tasty, I like the glenrothes a lot.

    • whiskey: I’m a fan of Booker’s. It’s quite strong for drinking straight and makes a terrific whiskey sour. (I like to make my whiskey sours with simple syrup, lime juice, and a touch of seltzer water.) I don’t drink Irish whiskey, but my husband likes the premium Jameson and another friend recommends Bushmills.
      tequila: Souza’s gold is perfectly good and inexpensive. I’d advise to steer clear of Patron (at least silver, it’s terrible).
      vodka: I don’t think there’s any really outstanding or terrible vodka brands, but a few years ago, Fleischmann’s won a blind taste test for the New York Times.
      gin: Tanqueray
      I’d also recommend having one or two favorite schnapps flavors on hand. And I personally love St. Germain, sp while it’s relatively expensive, you only need half as much of that as any other liquor you mix it with (it goes well with whiskey and vodka).

    • Bourbon- Four Roses makes good stuff- their “yellow label” is perfect for mixed drinks. For mixers, a good ginger ale (preferably a spicier one) works with bourbon for bourbon and ginger, with vodka for Moscow mule or with dark rum for a dark and stormy.
      I like having some dessert liquers around the holidays- Godiva has some good ones and there is always Baileys. Works over ice (add milk if desired) or in coffee.

    • Anonattorney :

      For whiskey and bourbon:

      Blanton’s is good bourbon, and it comes in a pretty bottle that looks good on a bar. Knob Creek is popular, as is Bulleit. For whiskey or rye, again, Bulleit Rye is good. Or Jameson 18-year. Scotch is super complicated and people who are into scotch are picky. I agree with the recommendation above for Balvenie.

    • The Kitchn did a series of posts on “The 9-Bottle Bar” a few years ago. It’s pretty opinionated, but gives a shopping list of bottles to have on hand which will give you numerous c*cktail options.


      I say start with something you like and build from there. If you like, say, Manhattans, get a bottle of rye or bourbon, a bottle of sweet vermouth, bitters, and cherries. You can branch out to Negronis by adding a bottle of gin and a bottle of Campari. Let it grow organically.

    • I’m a big proponent of supporting local options… most the basics in my liquor cabinet are from local distilleries, and I’m in Utah so I bet the selection would be even better in most other areas of the country. Local spirits are also the go-to in all the local craft cocktail bars. A local bartender at a not-divey bar or an employee at a nicer liquor store could definitely help you out on selection.

      At my house the basics are vodka, rum (probably dark/spiced if I was just getting one), gin, and whiskey (I prefer bourbon and haven’t found a good local option here, but I love Makers Mark), plus a few secondary spirits (I go through a lot of Grand Marnier and Baileys).

    • You can also go to your local liquor store and ask. I’ve gotten great (and affordable) recommendations this way.

    • A lot of people are saying Maker’s Mark, but I personally find Bulleit or Basil Hayden’s to be way better.

    • Liquor collection :

      Thanks everyone!!

  11. (Former) Clueless Summer :

    I’m wearing a dress suit (dress + blazer in matching suiting fabric) today for the first time in a while and I’m loving the look. Any recommendations for dress suits people love? This one is J. Crew, but old and their new suiting fabrics just do not do it for me – they are ostensibly the same suit (Italian stretch wool) but the new fabric is terrible.

    • I have a couple from Theory, but they are crew neck, so I have realized I prefer Reiss, I have two from Reiss that are v-neck and much more flattering on me.

    • I ordered a bunch (5) from The Limited because they had a sale, they have Tall sizes, and the dresses are machine-washable — I LOVE THEM. Makes it so much easier to get dressed in the morning. They’re lined and they fit me without any tailoring.

      • +1 The Limited suiting collection dresses are really nice. Despite what they say, they do change up their fabrics once in a while so you can’t necessarily match a navy blazer from last year to a navy dress year from this year. But otherwise I highly recommend them and they have tall and petite sizes.

    • Boss

    • Anonymous :

      Ann Taylor

  12. Industry to Consulting :

    Has anyone made the move from industry into management consulting? I’ve been working in my field for about 6 years, and I think consulting would be an interesting new challenge, plus a way to build my resume for a more desirable in house role when the time comes to move back.

    I know in theory this has been done before and firms have “experienced hire jobs” on their Career Sites, but often they do prefer a few years of consulting experience.

    I’d love to hear tips/the experience of someone has actually been able to make the leap.

    • What industry are you in? I work in consulting and I think there are certain industries where people move from ex-industry more than others.

      • Any thoughts on govt consulting?

        I lead a state agency that is generally well-received. Have good stats, articles, etc. to support that.

        Toying with the idea of moving into consulting as my next career move.

        Anyone done that?

        • I haven’t personally, but based on what I know about my company’s federal consulting arm, this is one of the easier ways to transition (though I don’t know how govt consulting companies are doing this year with the current political environment).

          My company loves people who already have security clearances, so that will help tremendously. The fact that you already work in govt will mean you have great networks for them. You should talk to a recruiter in DC because there are so many consulting companies based there of all different sizes and focus areas.

      • I work in HR and really interested in Human Capital/HR transformation. It seems to be an emerging practice at the Big 4.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s actually a pretty established practice at the big 4, as well as MBB.

          I’m not in it, but have enough visibility to mention:
          – HR transformation work may be more quant heavy than in industry, but this may be what you are used to so it’s a good fit.
          – HR transformation may involve a lot of systems enabled transformation, i.e., systems implementation. You’d be on the business side, but lots of requirements gathering, process design, etc.
          – HR transformation may be involved in coat cutting efforts for clients, e.g. structuring major layoffs.
          – Human capital may be a tax dominated practice, given tax implications on people costs. As a non-tax person, this could make the environment more challenging for you.

          As you go through the process of learning more, these might be some of the questions to ask to understand if it’s the type of work you are interested in doing.

          • Big4 HR Consultant :

            A little late to the party but since this is the field I work in, my comment may be helpful. I am in a Big 4 in Mgmt Consulting specialising on HR and Change Management. We are trying to expand the team with experienced hires and therefore see a lot of candidates from the industry with a couple years of experience wanting to move into consulting. While we have hired some candidates, the issue is usually that the more experience you have, the harder it is to get into Management Consulting. In my field, we expect consultants with around 5 years of experience to have moved into a manager role, managing projects and clients independently, managing teams and taking on an active role in the sales process. While industry hires have a lot of experience in the actual topics we are working on, many struggle to get used to the fast paced environment, making decisions quickly, steering the client and driving projects. They are often used to a very structured environment which is very different from the reality of a consulting projects. My team usually works on HR & Change topics in deal situations which increases the pressure to set something up quickly and without a lot of guidance. The experienced hires that did come into our team all moved back a step in their career, both in terms of their role as well as their pay. Big 4 does not pay as well as Strategy Consultancies by far. However, I am based in Europe where most of our experienced hires come from big industry clients that tend to pay very well.
            If you do decide to move into consulting, prepare for a challenging couple of months at the beginning and be aware that you may work for managers who are younger than you and have a lot less experience but know how the business works.

    • I made the transition, by way of b-school.

      There are two challenges to the transition, the first is getting in and the second is adapting.

      Below, in no particular order, are some of the challenges to adapting. Assumes the senior consultant/associate level (which is where 6 years experience would land) and is based on what I personally experienced and what I see in new seniors now that I’m a manager:

      -It takes people around a year to fully ‘get it.’ It’s tough to define what ‘it’ is, but it means probably some combination of meeting client expectations, driving towards the deliverables, looking at everything that should be considered, and managing the issues that crop up on engagements. During this time, consultants/associates will know what to do more than you, which can feel frustrating.
      – You never will feel as comfortable in your job as you do now. Now you probably have mastered your role. In consulting you are always doing something new (industry, function, etc.) and you won’t ever have that same comfort level. The skill of getting as comfortable as you need to be (leveraging resources, collaboration with your manger, etc.) is essential.
      – You have to get used to your life will lack certainty. Your friends ask you if you can do something next month on a Wednesday, or even a weekend, and you can give a yes/no answer. Same if your parents ask when you will be home over the holidays.
      – You are always ‘on.’ Your client is judging everything you do and say, and you have to be beyond reproach, from your work products, to how you look, to how you talk about what you did over the weekend.
      – You spend lots of time in close quarters with your team. Think 8am – 7pm in a conference room together, then dinner.
      – You will likely get more feedback than you do in industry, and there is an expectation that you will take and apply this feedback.
      – It takes about a year to develop your network, and network is one of a consultant’s biggest resources.
      – Teams can be male dominated.
      – There are lots of strong personalities.

      All that said, I absolutely love what I do and find it exceeding interesting and rewarding.

      • The biggest complaint I’ve seen about people who’ve made the switch and weren’t unsuccessful is that they treated it as if it was still an industry job (e.g., they didn’t finish work fast enough, or didn’t expect to work past 6, etc.). Consulting is demanding and as said above, you always have to be on.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, finishing with fast enough is a big one. If something is due Friday, that means the draft is done Tuesday so that engagement management can cycle through, the review with multiple clients to actually have it finished by Friday. Some people never learn to take this into account.

  13. Why am I cold -- a hypothesis :

    I am always cold. Someday I’ll qualify as hypothyroid, but for now, I’m just always cold.

    But not all of me.
    Mainly my upper body: no fat, but also (and I think, more importantly) no muscle
    Lower body: built like a speedskater, so big hips and thighs, but (perhaps importantly): lots of developed muscles (but my bony feet are always freezing).

    It hit me yesterday (swimming laps in a nice heated pool). Maybe if I can build my upper body up, I will be less cold? I think that insulation from fat doesn’t work for me (and I cannot gain wait above the waist and am very flatchested), but muscle may help a little (like it has a better personal R value than fat)?

    Varsity swimmers — what do you say? Are you perhaps cold tolerant?

    • Baconpancakes :

      Nope. I rowed varsity. Freezing unless I layer. Socks and a scarf at all times during winter months.

    • I have a pretty muscular upper body and I am always cold. It doesn’t matter what I weigh, what the fat/muscle composition is of my body . . . always cold.

    • I think it’s just genetic. My mom comes from a long line of people who have poor circulation and are always cold. My grandma is tiny and skin and bones, my mom is muscular and I’m relatively fit but have some curves and more fat on me than either my mom or grandma. We’re all freezing all the time.

    • I feel like “resting body temperature” is really individualized. I generally run cold and fwiw, I lift weights on the regular and would consider myself fairly muscular all over my body. We keep our home at 68 degrees and my husband hangs out in athletic shorts/t-shirt while I’m wearing fleece everything + socks + slippers.

      An easier solution than becoming a varsity swimmer is to buy a fleece jacket or even a fleece vest to keep your core warm.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you considered getting a check on your iron? I believe anemia can also cause intolerance to cold. My mom has this and never warms up – think jackets in the summer.

    • So…I am not the skinny minnie I once was, but I played DI waterpolo, and thus, was in a pool a heck of a lot. I was a complete twiglet then, all muscle, no fat. And yes, I was cold a lot. Having big shoulders and arms and whatnot did not make me less cold, because I had very low body fat. So your theory might work for you, but it didn’t work for me, when I had that body type.

    • Swimming tends to develop your body fairly evenly. It really is a whole-body workout. And I don’t think it’s made me any more or less cold tolerant. What about weight lifting?

  14. Meredith Grey :

    I have an etiquette/professionalism question that I have no clue who IRL to ask, so here you go… I started therapy this year and have seen tremendous improvement in my life because of it. I feel too “new” to therapy though to know if/how to express my gratitude to my therapist. I understand this is a professional relationship, so I don’t want to push any boundaries, but I’m inclined to find a way to say ‘thank you’ because it’s literally changing my life. Is this a thing? Anyone have any experience from patient or practitioner perspective with this? Is this someone to give a gift to? Thank you note? General words of praise? What’s appropriate?
    Curious to hear what people think… Thanks!!

    • Refer other people to this person when you can- I think that’s one of the best things. Thanking them in person is also good. Therapy feels different because it is so personal, but really it is a service like any other. You are paying them. How would you thank the dermatologist who treated your acne or the service person who fixed your AC in the middle of August?

    • Say thank you, pay on time, and refer people.

    • As a long time therapist, I say “thank you” and referrals are wonderful. A small batch of cookies or snacks would be wonderful … as opposed to material items. Yes, there’s that whole boundary issue. Congratulations on al lthe hard work, Meredith Grey!

    • New Tampanian :

      +1 on all of the above. And be specific when you say thank you. Tell her what exactly is working. That will assist her in your treatment.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Thanks!!I’m so glad I checked!!

    • My mom is a therapist, so I know firsthand that referrals are definitely the best way to express your thanks and gratitude. I would also suggest a handwritten thank you note, if you feel the need to give something more tangible and immediate. It’s tough to give physical gifts, as there are ethical boundaries around accepting gifts from your patients/clients, so I’d recommend against that.

  15. Wild Chicken :

    I need some gift ideas for my 17-year old niece for Christmas. She is extremely conservative, doesn’t wear makeup and doesn’t really have any particular hobbies outside of school and church. She likes anything tech and probably would appreciate some sort of clothing or outfit, but she’s less the ripped jeans and tee-shirt type and more of a full coverage slacks and top. She’s sort of like a 17-year old old person, now that I think about it. Ideas please?

    • Cashmere sweater in a pretty color, a new scarf, a journal, adult coloring book and pencils.

    • Nice scarf? Robe? Headphones?

    • Fancy markers and the Jane Austen themed coloring book? http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/classic-coloring-abrams-noterie/1123307534?ean=9781419721496&st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Core+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP62465

    • Meredith Grey :

      Nice cross-body bag or leather-like backpack for school? I’m thinking like an upgrade from Jansport/LL Bean that I’m imagining still every 17 year old has unless they are fashion conscious?

    • Would she appreciate some dressier items that her parents wouldn’t necessarily buy for her? Like a grown up type purse/laptop bag, a nicer wool coat or pea coat, dress boots (or a pricey pair of snow boots)? Otherwise maybe a new phone cover, new headphones, cord taco, nice cashmere scarf/leather glove set?

      • +1
        This would have been a great present for conservative hobbyless 17yo me.

      • Or even a nice sweater and/or dress. She’s going to be in college, she’s will need something nice for career day type events.

    • Does she have a smart phone? If so, how about an Amazon Echo Dot? They’re beyond me, but my friends who are way more tech savvy adore them. She might love having one in her bedroom.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is a great idea. I have one in my bedroom and it’s awesome if for no other reason than as an alarm clock you don’t have to get out of bed to turn off!

    • Would anything at ThinkGeek be her style?

    • anon a mouse :

      Price range? If she is religious, she might like a nice cross necklace (like a Tiffany cross pendant). Or, some fancy gemstone stud earrings. Something she could wear every day.

      I also second the rec for a cashmere sweater.

      • Good point – I plan to hand down my single strand Tiffany pearls to my niece for her 16th birthday. They’re a little too ‘young’ for me at this point, but I think she’ll be thrilled to have a piece of ‘grown up’ jewelry.

    • Cell phone battery rechargers.

      A nice leather bound journal.

      Cashmere socks.

      Skin care items.

    • I always felt so fancy/grownup when my aunt would buy me more “mature” gifts. She has given me a Tiffany necklace, an amazing down pillow with silk pillowcase (still use it!), a blowout from Drybar, a Kate Spade cross body purse, and the like. I always thought she was really cool and it was special when she bought me these gifts.

      For some more techie ideas, I really love my wireless over-the-ear Beats headphones. I like the Echo idea, but as a 17-year-old she may not have her own Amazon account which would reduce a lot of the features IMO (reading Kindle books out loud, music, etc).

    • Nice of you to refer to her as an “old person.” So maybe she isn’t super cool, so what!?

      • Marshmallow :

        I would have taken that as a compliment at 17!

      • Wild Chicken :

        Has nothing to do with being cool — she just really doesn’t have a lot in common with her same-aged peers and has a more mature outlook. Are you saying an old person can’t be cool?

    • Veronica Mars :

      My go-to gift for my Christian nieces are Dayspring Illustrated Faith kits. There were a bunch on sale for $15 for Black Friday and I stocked up–there may still be some left.

      • Wild Chicken :

        Thanks for all the great suggestions — lots of good ideas here!

      • Wildkitten :

        I love She Reads Truth. You can probably get a gift card and she can get a devotional. I like them because they are really pretty and mostly scripture, not (conservative) commentary.

  16. Anonattorney :

    Need help starting up a swimming routine for exercise. I’m starting from scratch: out of shape, mediocre swimmer (I technically know the crawl stroke, but beyond learning the basics, I have absolutely no technique), never done swimming as exercise before. I have access to a good gym with lap pools, so that’s not a huge concern, but I want to be sure that I’m not committing any gym faux pas. I also need to develop a basic training regimen, so I don’t burn out.

    Does anyone have any recommendations or resources to check out?

    • When my sister was getting ready to go into Navy ROTC in college, she took weekly adult swimming lessons to brush up. She already knew how to swim, but found the lessons to be very helpful. I think that she practiced the things they went over in class a couple times a week. See if your gym has lessons. It might be a good place to start out.

    • Some of the Masters local chapters offer this type of instruction. Take a look at www dot usms dot org to see if you have a local chapter and then reach out to them. My local chapters are SUPER friendly and fun and offer instruction for beginning swimmers.

      • Masters is the best!

        • Yes! I just started and the local chapter I swam with is so fun! My schedule has been wonky, so I have missed the last couple weeks, but once I settle down, I will be able to go at least once a week.

          • Anonymous :

            how experienced do I need to be for a masters program?

          • The local chapter I joined has swimmers of all levels. I am getting back into swimming shape, so I skip a set here and there, always swim last in circle swim, and let faster swimmers pass me by stopping at the wall instead of continuing on if necessary. The lanes tend to self group, in the sense that swimmers of similar skill/experience levels stick together.

            I am sure that it differs between chapters, so I would get the contact info off the USMS website and reach out to them and ask about the various skill levels.

    • G00gle Kiefer swim workouts; my SO does them.

    • I started going to classes at my local pool. I found out about it on a local triathlon team page. It is marketed towards triathletes but there are many people there just for exercise or swim instruction. I was only able to swim 1 lap when I started and now complete a whole 90 min workout with the more experienced swimmers. I now love swimming.

    • I definitely recommend taking lessons. I did something similar to you when I was in college and my form was horrible and inefficient. Fortunately, one of my swimmer friends noticed and offered to help. It was extremely helpful. I’ll never be an olympian but at least I know proper technique.

    • Anonattorney :

      Thanks all! I’ll look into classes. It sounds like I shouldn’t try and figure it out on my own.

  17. Can someone direct me to the Amazon Echo/Echo Dot conversation that folks had here a few weeks back? I can’t find it through the search feature. Thanks!

    • Or, alternatively, I’d love opinions on whether this is useful for someone who doesn’t plan on calling ubers, ordering Amazon items through it, and has a bluetooth speaker. Shopping for hubby who loves gadgets but want to be realistic.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, it is the best. I know I keep jumping into these threads but we have one in three rooms now and OMG love so hard! We play Jeopardy every morning, we listen to music all day long and nature sounds to lull us to sleep, we use it for kitchen timers, alarm clocks, asking random things like “What is the capital of Australia?” and having her tell us jokes. And the news. Love love love times a million.

        • Can someone summarize the difference between Echo and Echo Dot besides size/price?

          • New Tampanian :

            The speaker isn’t as good on dot. Otherwise it’s the same.

            Just got my dot. It’s fun. Adding to the shopping list (for non-amazon shopping) was so convenient. Same with to-do list. There are some funny apps. Asking it for the news each morning has been a nice convenience as well.

            Be careful when asking for deals. I accidentally ordered a country CD but Alexa was quickly able to cancel it. *phew*

          • I think the only difference is speaker quality.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I have both and I’d say the speaker is surprisingly excellent on the Echo and surprisingly bad on the Dot.

        • Thank you for this!

      • Wildkitten :

        You can use the dot with a bluetooth speaker you already have.

  18. Anyone here purchase Aerie pajama pants? My SIL requested pajama pants for Christmas – she said she’s usually a M (8-10) depending on the store (I think she really meant J. Crew here), but I know that Aerie markets toward a younger crowd and was wondering if she’d be a large there?

    Barring that, anyone have any suggestions for cute not-expensive (under $30) pajama pants?

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I recently went to Aerie and their clothes were so soft, including their pj pants. I’d get a pair myself if I needed more. They have nice plaid ones which would probably work.

      • Yes, I love aerie! Though I haven’t gotten their pj pants before so that’s good to know. I’m just a different size than her and have no idea what size she’d be.

      • Can’t comment on the sizing but I was also in an Aerie over the weekend–their pj sets were beautiful and so so soft.

    • Anonymous :

      PJ Salvage has great pajamas! Really soft and durable material. They’re a bit pricey at Nordstrom, but you can always find them for a good price at Nordstrom Rack. Especially during Clear The Rack!

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I am an 8-10 (J. Crew 8, medium) and love love love aerie undies (boybrief) in size L and have a pair of sweats from there that I also really like in a size L. I’d say get an L, it probably won’t be huge but PJ pants are not something you want tight in the hips/butt.

      • Thanks! That’s what I figured, but I wanted confirmation so I didn’t have to deal with returns. They have some super cute bottoms right now!

    • New Tampanian :

      The PJ pants from Target – Gillian O’Malley I think – ARE SO SOFT. I am in love with them.

    • Anonymous :

      If she’s an 8 she’d be a M, but if she was a 10 I’d get a large unless she’s very short. Aerie/AE runs super short, their lengths are like 2″ shorter than every other stores – long sizes are only 32″. I think I have the Aerie thermal-looking bottom in a M and they fit fine on me as an 8, but they’re really tight. I’m not sure if it’s because the rise is so low or because it runs small.

  19. Houstonians!

    Any recommendations for places that do eyelash extensions? I live on the west side, so bonus points if in Katy or Sugar Land, but I work downtown, so I can go pretty much anywhere.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Blossom and Wink in the Montrose area does a wonderful job. They have discounts for first time customers.

  20. I need an opinion on these boots. I just bought them this weekend and they would be great for date night, but I’m not sure about work. They hit right at my knee. What do you think? TIA!


  21. Old Navy always has cutely printed pajama pants!!

  22. I’m considering giving an older woman who is a family friend a gift box of Penzey’s spices for Christmas because she likes to cook and I think it would make a nice gift. I have never tried Penzey’s but have heard only good things. I know they are politically active and that is part of what drew my attention to the brand (and I’ll admit that it makes me want to purchase from them). However, the family friend is pro-Trump, not just pro-Republican, but not super outspoken about it. Do you think Penzey’s has been getting enough widespread attention lately that the friend would notice and be offended?

    Please don’t comment about how I shouldn’t care about offending her. This is a gift to be opened at a large family gathering with my inlaws and I would hate to make a stir. This woman is important to my inlaws’ family and has been kind to me. I just want to get her a nice gift, but like supporting companies that I agree with.

    • FWIW, I cook a lot, have heard of Penzey’s and keep reasonably active on big liberal news media outlets (NYT, Jezebel…) and have never heard that they are politically active.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I think you can give it with a clear conscience. I’m an email subscriber and I think the only way you’d know is if you were too (they sent 1 email about how they don’t support Trump, and 1 open letter to CEOS encouraging them to use their business to speak out). I haven’t seen anything in stores. You have plausible deniability that you had no idea that they did such a thing! They seemed like such a wholesome company! etc. etc. (If you’re not on their email list, you should, it’s great stuff and they send out regular coupons).

      • So I just g00gled “penzeys” and the news is the second hit. I doubt when she opens it anybody would know (whereas if it were a Kellogg’s product, they would), but if you think she might look it up at home, she could see it. I don’t know if it matters to you that she could see that at home (if she were so inclined to search), but I think a gift is meant to be thoughtful and that’s what you have done. I don’t think it is so recognizable that someone would shout out something about Trump as she opened it. (Like SA, I also am a news consumer and although it came up in my search results, it wasn’t something I knew about beforehand.)

    • After such a contentious election season where everyone was throwing out their opinion, I think that this is just on more voice in the sea and it will get buried in a 24/7 news cycle. I’d get the spices. If she doesn’t like them, she can return/re-gift/burn them.

    • Thank you all! I’ll get them and play dumb if it comes up. I’m in a few liberal FB groups that have been discussing/praising them but I wasn’t sure how widespread the coverage of their letter to CEOs actually was.

    • I agree with the idea of giving people what they would like, not what you want them to like. But in this situation, it’s probably a non-issue: unless you are giving a present from ESPN (or giving a Chick-Fil-A gift card to a liberal), I think you’re in the clear.

      When in doubt, do a few minutes of internet searching to see if Fox News (or other pro-Trump outlet) carried the news of this brand.

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