Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Ruffle Cuff Blouse

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

This windowpane ruffle-cuff blouse from Who What Wear™  is available in both regular sizes and plus sizes (the regular is more highly rated than the plus for some reason), and it’s always great to find something with a size range of S–4X. So if you’re looking for a very affordable ruffle-cuff blouse, I think this would look really cute under a sweater or blazer. It’s $25-$29 at Target, and besides the windowpane, it comes in three other patterns as well as black. Plus Size Ruffle Cuff Blouse – Who What Wear™

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  1. lost academic :

    The style of this blouse might be great, but I can’t look at it and not think it’s identical to my dishrags. Also who paired it with that skirt? I am majorly fashion challenged but….

    • Anonymous :

      Right? Blouse is cute but WTF is with the skirt? It’s so distracting and not in a good way.

      • Wanderlust :

        The skirt reminds me of a Delia’s catalog!

      • This is because the model is PLUS sized (in the front). I have a similar issue with my tuchus, and that means men focus on it. So I try to minimize the clotheing that focuses on my tuchus. We should work to be less visible in areas that men like to focuss on. FOOEY!

    • Agreed, the styling is so bad here. But I love the windowpane pattern and wish there was more of it around for women’s clothing, generally.

    • Anony Mouse :

      I’d like it if it weren’t for the ruffled cuffs. How much longer before the ruffle trend dies?

    • Baconpancakes :

      The model agrees. The shirt is styled with pants in every other color, and the model is smiling. Shiny pleather mini skirt in this photo, she looks annoyed.

      I do like the windowpane shirt though, particularly the asymmetric pattern!

    • It gets worse. If you click on the full body photos, the outfit is completed with white sneakers.

      That said, I kind of like this blouse. I don’t mind the ruffle cuffs. I would probably wear a cardigan over this and I like the idea of a smallish ruffle at the end of the sleeve. I don’t mind participating in a trend in a small way like this.

      I am shaped almost exactly like this model so I should stalk her on Target’s website for outfit ideas.

      • Ps the pencil skirt they show the black version of this blouse with looks a lot like the MM laFleur Greenpoint skirt, which I own. Hmmmm

      • Welp, I paired my pleather mini, windowpane shirt outfit with Shoreline Chucks. HAHA

  2. I think both pieces look great together. Not for work obviously but a night with your girlfriends? absolutely.

    • I can’t say I like this skirt specifically, but I styled ON’s version of this shirt which is white with a black windowpane (AND SO SOFT) with a faux matte leather miniskirt for date night. I front-tucked and I thought it looked awesome.

      • I wonder if the matte leather is a better look. This shiny pleather just looks SO CHEAP to me.

        • I agree that the shiny material looks really cheap. At first glance I thought, is she wearing a garbage bag?

          They also did not do her any favors with the poor fit.

  3. icicle toes :

    I’m a new lawyer making frequent appearances in court. Fun, but the courtroom runs very cold, and I’m finding that the tops of my feet are always freezing in flats and heels. Are there any business-formal, pair-with-a-suit appropriate women’s’ shoes that cover the tops of your feet?

    • Cornellian :

      I’ve only been in local court and on pro bono matters, so I am probably not the ideal person to take input from, but I have some heeled suede booties from Canadienne (a serious investment) that are the ideal winter shoes for my life.

    • With a pant suit, booties are totally fine. With a skirt, depends on the level of formality in the court.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      How about heeled oxfords?

      • Yes! I can’t do really high heels, but these are part of my superior court uniform, with robes and tights.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      I had this shoe on heavy rotation last winter during more than four weeks of trial. I wore them with black tights
      Given that the particular shoe is sold out in nearly every size, it might not be especially helpful, but you could look for something in that vein.

    • Hosiery.

    • THIS! You just articulated my problem. I’ve been thinking of buying some lace up Oxfords for exactly this problem. I’m tired of the tops of my feet freezing. Personally, I do not like booties for court or similar occasions.

  4. Philosophical question for the hive – do you think a woman can do more to advance her gender with a career within the system (e.g., in a corporate setting) or in challenging the system (e.g. in a nonprofit advocacy setting)? Yes, there are many variables as to each specific job, like pay, life balance, etc, but let’s assume for this generalized hypothetical that my number one goal is the advancement of the status of women.

    Personally, I have been on both sides (biglaw and public interest law). While I think it’s very hard and slow to make change from within the system, I’m starting to think that having a leadership role within a male-dominated system feels more impactful. But I don’t know, it also kind of feels lose-lose at the moment.

    • Anonymous :

      Are most women in public interest law really advocating to advance their gender? Non-profits advocate for lots of groups and even ones that support women advocate for much more than just the career advancement of women. I personally think you can do the most by reaching the pinnacle of a male-dominated field/position, e.g., C-suite executive, managing partner in BigLaw, tenured university professor, etc. though of course I understand that many women have good reasons for choosing other jobs.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Why is it an either-or? I would challenge that framework. Both are important. Both are impactful.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I’m in the system (gov’t) and I know of other women in leadership who are committed to leadership from within – actively trying to ensure ‘mommy tracking’ doesn’t happen but that people also don’t feel like they are killing their career if they need to lean out at times.

        But change doesn’t come from within alone. Both are needed.

    • Panda Bear :

      I agree with Veronica – you can do good for women in either setting. So if you are trying to make a choice between two industries, I would say choose the one that you enjoy the most and/or are most personally effective at. Maybe for you that is leadership in biglaw, whereas someone else may find their lifestyle preferences and skills/talents to be a better fit for doing advocacy work.

    • I’ve done both, and I feel like I have more of an impact working from within a corporate setting.

      When I was involved with non-profit advocacy, all of my colleagues were women, and when we approached those in the corporate setting, there was a sense we were just there to shame and scold. We were always dealing with an audience who was immediately on the defensive.

      In my current role as a director in a corporate setting, being a woman (and one with a 3-year old) feels in itself like a feminist act. I show by example. My male colleagues are puzzled initially – many of them have SAH wives, and most of the women they’ve known in a professional setting either leaned out or quit after having kids. But even though I’m somewhat of an anomaly now, every day I’m normalizing the idea of women as leaders, just by existing (and excelling) in my current role.

      • Well put.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        YES! I completely agree. I am a firm believer that the way we change the world for women is by changing the way that we raise men to see them…and that starts with what we show our sons and daughters every day. Rock on, mama.

      • Cornellian :

        Agreed. I didn’t realize how much expectations would change fo me after having a kid, but I’ve been trying to disprove the narrative of kids always leave after kids.

        Also, working in corporate fields gives you the added ability to financially support many goals and to more easily convince other people to support them as well. I give about 10K to charities, my firm matches 1K of that, and if I have a compelling case, I can convince the partners I work for to donate individually, or the firm to sponsor a 20K or 30K table at an event. I didn’t have that power when I was working for 15/hour for a civil rights firm.

      • Anonymous :

        This. My boss’s boss is a woman with three kids. I have three young kids. She inspires me even on the days I have zero interaction with her. On my worst days, knowing that she did this job with three small kids makes me feel like I can too.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        I am always impressed to see women at the top of corporate fields, especially those with kids, and particularly in male-dominated industries. I agree that you probably need to play the game before you can change the game, I just wonder if playing the game is worth all of the sacrifices to the rest of my life, especially when my values do not align with the game at all.

        I’ve also found that those few women who do make it to the top are often so ingrained in the culture that it took to get there that they are resistant to make changes. And then the cycle continues – women who don’t like the culture leave for more balance and those who stay perpetuate the culture.

        • + 1000 AND ESPECIALLY TO YOUR SECOND PARAGRAPH. (Sorry for yelling). I have sooooooo many thoughts about this issue, but I think you’ve articulated it better than I can at the moment.

        • The more women stay, the better it will get. Research shows that once an organization reaches about 30% female then substantial changes will start to happen. I work in a govt law office that is 50% female and the male lawyers mostly have wives with busy careers (lawyers/doctors). There is real substantive differences in the work environment, both the formal policies and the informal practices, compared to private law firms in our city where women are about 15% of partners.

          • What kind of government law office do you work in? One that is enforcement/litigation focused or one that is advisory-focused? I’m going to try to pursue a government job in about a year and am trying to get a feel for which would be a better fit.

          • State level equivalent legal office (outside US). We’re a small jurisdiction so we act as in-house counsel for all of government. Divided into sections – litigation/commercial/govt policy advisory. We work closely with the litigators when our client departments are impacts. There is some ability to move between sections especially for younger less specialized lawyers. Criminal Prosecutions in separate office. It’s not all roses but there is substantial female leadership.

          • Yeah, but. Women are leaving those law firms where women are only about 15% of partners because (1) they don’t want to participate in that culture anymore, and/or (2) in cases where they don’t leave on their own, they’re getting pushed out.

            And by “that culture,” I do mean that type of male-dominated “sleep is for the weak” culture where billing 3200 hours a year is rewarded. I do understand why it’s important for women as a group to advance in law firms and corporate organizations, but when the sacrifices are huge and the barriers to success are high… I really question whether it’s fair to ask so much of any individual woman.

          • BigLaw partner anon :

            I would not staff my work with someone working 3200 hours a year. That mindset is so shortsighted when the associate doesn’t realize that I write off work that doesn’t add value and clients hate paying for any associate time to begin with. Ugh.

            Get me 2000 hours that I can bill and collect on and I will give you good work and not kill your soul.

        • THIS ^

          My organization’s HR department held a “breaking the glass ceiling” talk this week (my team was calling it “smash the patriarchy”), with 5 women leaders talking about their career paths. Not a single one was willing to state that men had ever held them back. And the one with the most power told a story of a recent hiring decision where leadership was discussing a female candidate for a senior role. They were debating her accomplishments until someone asked “would we be having the same conversation if she were a man?” They ultimately selected the woman being discussed, and I was happy that internalized, institutionalized sexism was acknowledged, but at the same time, I felt a little sick. These are the conversations about women, even when women are at the table.

          • Started my reply, got interrupted, and came back. My emphatic “THIS” was to Boston Legal Eagle’s second paragraph.

      • The more woman who are in top positions, the more normal it gets. I have been at two Big Law firms in my career, and this difference in having woman at the top has made all the difference. The first firm is well known, the home office is in my city, but the reputation is that they are not great with women and keeping them around. They have one of the worst maternity leave policies for a firm of their size in this market, women do not hold any practice group leader or other leadership positions. As a result, the message is subtlety sent that women just aren’t respected. Some of it is overt in the form of sexual harassment, comments that so and so will leave once they have kids so we shouldn’t hire her, etc. Most of it is subtle, in just their being a boys club that goes to lunch and women are excluded or partners who don’t staff women on their deals. My current firm, women hold leadership positions, and we have several rain maker women partners in my office. As a result, none of the males I work with have issues with staffing too few females on a case or a deal (this is a metric that is tracked) and women are highly encouraged to apply to leadership programs, etc. I also think it creates a culture with the younger male associates and male partners that they also treat women as equals, because they assume we all have the exact same chance of making partner or bringing in a big client at our particular firm.

    • Deep Velvet :

      I think about this a lot. And have come to the conclusion that a large number of women need to stick around in male-dominated ‘system’ to make it change. There should not be any old boys’ networks left for men to hide in. I know there are a lot of legitimate reasons to leave the corporate path and try and make change elsewhere (I’ve seriously considered it myself). But so long as the most powerful institutions making the big decisions that control our lives are majority male, women’s position in society as a whole cannot seriously improve.

      I also think about this from an ethical standpoint. One of my friends is an investment banker and says she hates some of the work her bank does. But, assuming investment banks are going to continue existing, we don’t want only the ‘bad’ people left running the investment banks, whilst the ‘good’ people are off trying to save dying children.

      Obviously, this is all a major thought exercise, and if you are unhappy in your corporate job, then you should get out.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 billion

        “women need to stick around in male-dominated ‘system’ to make it change.”

        **Orson Welles clapping gif**

    • We need strong women leaders across the board. Pick a position that you’re good at, that interests you, and you will work hard for. Do good work. Support other women. Get involved in the community doing something you enjoy, whether that’s serving on a charitable board or swinging hammers at Habitat or being on your kid’s PTA. It’s a marathon not a sprint and you’re not in it alone.

      • blueberries :

        +1, also, we need men showing leadership in areas traditionally associated with women—leaving at 4:45 for daycare pick up, taking substantial paternity leave, being SAHDs, taking inconvenient days off to care for sick kids/deal with childcare, etc.

        It’s not good for our society to tell women they should work longer hours than the men with wives at home in order to kill it at work (though that is the reality for many). Far better would be a society that acknowledges both men and women have families that need their time.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Also this.

          I am married to this guy. He works in corporate IT, took two months paternity leave and does daycare pickup every day. The thing that drives me the most insane is the negative, passive-aggressive commentary particularly from older women about how much he “helps” and what a saint he is and how I work too much and should not go out socially at night because he should have the free time. Grrrrrrr.

          • Yeessss. I even get passive-aggressive commentary from other working mothers about how lucky I am that my husband helps. I get the feeling that they think I am:
            1.) spoiled.
            2.) lazy and pushing “my” work onto him.
            3.) a demanding witch of a wife.

            I can’t decide if they are jealous, or if they still have the mindset that it’s a mother’s duty to take care of the home. Either way, I just smile and continue living like a modern equal couple.

            It’s exciting to think: We could be the first generation of working parents to actually GET IT RIGHT. Equality!!! FTW!!!

          • They are just jealous that you’ve got such a catch of a man.
            In my city (Seattle), and with my generation of colleagues in their 20s-40s, this is pretty normal. My male colleagues were sharing their favorite recipes to make at work. An older woman made a comment that they sound like bunch of SAH wives, and I replied: good, this is what equality looks like – men sharing their home making tips with each other.

        • +2 to tribble, +1 more to blueberries

          We (as a society) don’t value CHILD CARE WORKERS!!! Until we see that the person taking care of the toddler…the 1/2 day kindergartener…the 12 year old after school…is doing a DIFFICULT AND NECCESSARY JOB we won’t have workplace equality.

          We’ve had the attitude for too long that any idiot can babysit, and that daycare workers (or preschool teachers, or nannies) are flunkies or flighty people who couldn’t handle a “real” career. Important people leave the kids at home and go out into the world to be awesome–in the world of adults. Jobs working with children aren’t respected.

          We’re not going to get anywhere until society sees the importance of daycare workers.

          • +1. Agreed. It is a shame how little respect there is for these very important jobs.

        • +1 to tribble and blueberries.

          I’m in the corporate world, trying to be an example by just existing. I’m also on the PTA. But on top of that, my Husband (also in corporate) tries to be the example by leaving to do daycare pickup. By specifically responding to the “you’re so noble for babysitting your kids” comments. He’s the one who takes off work to chaperone field trips, because he’s more senior and because he gets kudos for it. He can’t make PTA meetings, but he does the cookie dropoffs and recruits other guys to volunteer at the craft fairs. He posts on FB about making dinner and taking the kids to Target.

          It’s sad, because I think his personal crusade is about 50 million times more effective than mine is. My very conservative family adores him, then see him doing “feminine things”, and it’s challenging what a real man is in their eyes. For the first time ever in my family, a few years ago the men actually made the entire Thanksgiving dinner while the women sat and watched the parade. It’s now a pretty even split each year, but that was mind blowing. They did it because HE suggested it.

          I mean, hooray for me for picking an awesome guy, but sometimes it’s so frustrating. I’ve been the black sheep my entire life, and he comes in and says what I did, only in a deeper voice and with a five oclock shadow, and everyone agrees. Rage.

          • Ugh. I hear you.

          • My husband was a SAHD for three years and I thought the community was going to throw a parade for him every week.

            Meanwhile, I still did all the cooking and made all the pediatrician appointments etc.

          • Sometimes, people try to give me credit for my clean house and home cooked dinners. Um, no – that is 100% my husband, as he can leave his job at 5:30 and does not have to work nights and weekends. Also, he’s a way better cook than I am and has higher cleanliness standards than I do.

    • Legal Aid :

      From the outside, my legal aid office looks to be incredibly friendly to women. There are four male attorneys in an office of about 20 attorneys (changes organization wide, but I’m talking about my particular office). However, the joke-not-joke in the office is that the only way women can work there is if they have rich husbands because we make so little. Not compared to the men. Just so little in general. Paid parental leave was only enacted this year and it’s an incredibly flawed policy.
      This doesn’t really answer your question except to say that outside views can be very deceiving.

    • IDK, but could I put in a plug for Mommy Track jobs? At least in BigLaw?

      I would love to have something that was 9-5 but my options are a schedule of 1) 8am-eternity or 2) quit entirely. I’d love to have us really use counsel (or “senior attorney” or “senior associate” or staff attorney) as a way to house profitable experienced attorneys (and having a plateau is fine; I don’t want to progress, I just want to be sane and not throw the baby out with the bathwater). I would gladly take a 50% pay cut for sanity.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        The thing is that these “mommy track” jobs are not respected in the current culture. And they should be! You should be promoted and get in power. Like January said above, why is the 3200 hr + workload better than being in the office strictly from 9-5, working hard, and then going home and doing whatever it is you want to do with the rest of your life (this balance, I would argue, also makes you a better worker)? Until that mindset changes, I don’t think women will be able to gain power in large numbers in a way that also values work-life balances.

        Clearly, I think I should move to Europe :) But I’m keeping some hope alive that the new generation of men and women have different values than before and maybe one day we’ll actually have power to make changes.

      • I think this is what I’m trying to get at with my question about sacrifices. I wanted a mommy track job (at least within the confines of Biglaw) and I’m not even a mom. I do know one or two people (single, not moms) who have done this in law firms and seem pretty happy with their choices.

        • … But they’ll never be partners unless they go back to the “work all the time” track.

          • BigLaw partner anon :

            Being a partner is truly winning a pie-eating contest where you just get more pie.

          • +1 to BigLaw partner anon. I’m not there myself, but that is clearly the case. I like my job as an associate – I work for incredible partners, I work hard, but there is a level of respect and understanding that sometimes we all need a break. He agrees with the person who posted above that 2000 hours works for him and that sleep is important because otherwise you do crappy work. However, I look at their jobs and think, “that is not what I want to do.” yes, being a partner at Biglaw can make you lots of money, but my boss can’t really ever take a vacation. This is partly his fault because he doesn’t set good boundaries, but I just don’t think I want his job.

        • The issue I’ve seen with these type of jobs is that you probably get stuck with some kind of repetitious work (e.g., generating loans from the same form agreement) and you need a partner that is willing to support and respect the boundaries. I don’t see anything wrong with this scenario, I just think it’s a difficult combination to find.

          • Yes, I’ve discussed this within my firm – that arrangement works for people within my firm who do that kind of work, but it doesn’t work well in my practice group. And the partners in my group won’t support it, either. So, anyway, it’s time to move on, for me.

      • I would love a reduced hours job for myself (and I’m not a mom). I don’t know how it actually works though- I just had a horrible morning trying to get an answer for a closing today from a woman who is part time and today is one of her “off” days. I can’t tell the client that, though, and the client only asked this morning. It would only be a 10 minute email for her to respond, but I had to stall for four hours while trying to reach this attorney today before ultimately telling the client we would have to address it post-closing. Unless you set up a jobshare I don’t know how it actually works.

    • I’m a senior manager 30 years in and I think I’ve done a lot for my gender within the system. I have hired and mentored and promoted women (not through preferences, just though being gender neutral) and I have consistently spoken up to point out instances of subtle and not-so-subtle gender discrimination in interactions with my mostly-male peers.

      I can’t imagine an outside non-profit think tank having any impact at all on the culture of the F-50 companies I have worked for. The work has to be done from the inside.

  5. Anonymous :

    Has anyone here done an executive MBA? Why, and was it worth it?

    I’m starting to think about it. Im 37, have 10+ years of experience but all in the people side of business (consumer insights, leadership development) I sense that having a solid credential that demonstrates knowledge of finance and strategy would help me advance and really be influential in my role.

    But I already have a PhD (social sciences), so maybe enough is enough with the schooling?

    Would really appreciate any comments.

    • My husband has one. It has done exactly nothing for his career. If his prior employer hadn’t paid for the majority of it, I’d be mad about the waste of money. As it is, it was a waste of time.

      I think it is most valuable for networking with your fellow students. For that reason, if you’re going to do it, go to a top school. Otherwise, getting one through and extension of a local college is pretty much worthless.

      Sorry for the harsh words. I have also hired people with exec MBAs and they expect something for it and it does nothing, whether in terms of salary, position or even getting in the door for an interview.

      • Thank you! This is really helpful.

      • I read your question, did not yet scroll down to see any of the replies, and was about to type a response with the same content that Anon at 10:30 wrote. If your employer is willing to fork over the cash to heavily offset the cost, and you’re able to get into a top-notch program for the connections, I think it’s something to consider. But *just* consider, not necessarily jump into.

        I am a MD and my boss/mentor went back for his MBA in his early 60’s. After speaking with him at length about his reasons for doing so, it was because he was genuinely loved learning and was inspired by the curriculum, and also had found out from the admissions person that many of his peers in the cohort were also MDs. Many were leaders in their respective specialties.

        Prospective salary increases / promotions played zero role in his decision to pursue it. For me, that was enough reason to decide not to pursue one myself.

    • I would love to hear more thoughts on this too, especially the Ph.D. + MBA connection. (In my case, it would be adding an exec MBA to a bio PhD to move up higher in the pharma ranks)

    • I would say at this stage in your career, it would probably do nothing to help your career. You have an advanced degree, a lot of work experience. EMBAs are really marketed to ppl like you but the general consensus in my field (corp finance) is that if you didn’t get you MBA in your 20s then the benefits are negligible.

      PLus all that debt. If this is something that you want for yourself, by all means, but I would not go into it expecting a huge pay jump etc.

      • +1. I’ve heard the same from executives I’ve chatted with. My job is a hybrid of business strategy/IT/highly-visible project mgmt.

    • I had a master of engineering and went back to do a part-time mba. In my experience, it was critical for transitioning my career from engineering to finance – both for the education and the networking / connections.
      I have heard that executive mba programs are less about the material. If you are looking for a real education, maybe look into a conventional mba (many schools offer part-time options for working people). I think the executive mba programs are really more about networking.
      Agree with the advice about the importance of top-ranked schools. I found so much benefit from networking with my fellow classmates. The connections of the professors, career centre, etc are also very important.

    • I did one when I was about 35, and overall I think it was worth it. I am a product manager for a high tech company. However, my employer at the time paid for 50% of it, so I only paid about $25k for the program.

      For me the biggest takeaway was giving myself permission to think differently, and the opportunity to learn from people in other industries who were at similar points in their careers. By thinking differently, I mean that it was the major platform where I started to think of myself in “executive terms” — articulating a vision/strategy and embracing the degree to which I am a leader. I also made some close network/friendships who are totally on “team me” and I can talk to about career advice, separate from my professional network.

      In the 5 years since I did the program, I have had major advancements in my career — overall my salary has close to doubled in that time. (Partly because I moved from Canada to US). Hard to say if the same would have come without the EMBA, but things really accelerated at the time I did the program.

      No regrets.

    • If you have 10+ years experience in the field you are currently working in, what’s the goal of the EMBA? Are you not being considered for positions?

      I’m in a field (tech, but not silicon valley tech. we make software for banks.) where a lot of people have MBAs, and many don’t. If you’ve been in the industry for a decade your connections and performance are what’s valuable. I’ve had supplemental training on “MBA-like” content from executive training and corporate leadership programs. Exec coaching, management and leadership development programs were offered to me as a young rising star in my large company.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you all for your comments.

      My sense is that the benefit to me of an emba would be networking and ‘allowing myself to think differently’–though I don’t really like the word, to develop ‘executive presence’. In my field/company, there is also a gender imbalance with more women in the ‘soft’ people-centered roles and men in the ‘hard’ finance/strategy roles. It is hard for the former to really influence the latter. I am hoping an EMBA would get me do that, but I will consider other forms of coaching and training.

      I am being courted, for lack of a better word, by a top school and it seems likely like a good opportunity but I still need to be clear with myself on what exactly I want to get out of the program.

      Thanks again.

  6. Patterned Pants :

    Has anyone seen good work-appropriate patterns or embellishments on jeans or other casual pants? Anything but ankle pants, which I can’t abide, please.

    I realized over the summer that as an extreme apple who is also long waisted, I much prefer plain tops and louder bottoms. I found a few great skirts this summer, but as winter gets cold I have to move them to the back of the closet

    I’m very open to other suggestions on how to dress with this goal as well. Thanks!

    • Check the ON Pixie pants, in the regular length. I’m usually an ankle pant person (…wearing ON pixies in a dark leopard print; I’m channeling my inner Teresa Giudice), but the longer “regular” length is really flattering, too! They usually have a good selection of patterns from the subtle to the extreme. A few years back, they had a great navy and burgundy foulard pattern that I couldn’t pull off but would have loved to.

      • (I just checked, they are called the Pixie Long, and they have a few fun patterns that could work for a casual workplace/your regular life).

      • Patterned Pants :

        They have a navy floral that I like (at least aside from the risk that a big flower would be centered in an awkward place).
        Any advice on size up or down? The inseam looks right for me at least.

        • Oh, yes, the ON pants sizing debacle: if you’re ordering online, order like it’s rtr, in that you should buy-to-try “your size” and the size above and below. I’ve ordered the exact same pants–size, cut, season, rise, etc–in different patterns, and they’ve managed to be wildly different fits. It’s bizarre.

          TL:DR, there is no consistent size; try on each pair. Womp.

          • Ha! I have the same thing with ON. I liked one of their swing dresses so much this summer that I bought three of them. One is very short and looks cute with leggings. One is the perfect just-above-knee length. And one is a cute midi-length (I measured – 4 inches longer than the shortest one). All the same size. Luckily I like them all.

    • Are you ok with casual-casual? Embroidery is super trendy right now, and Target had a few genuinely cute pairs of jeans with edgy floral embroidery

    • Anonymous :

      Boden has fancy-ish patterned pants. No idea how good they are for your shape though.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Gap bistretch skinnies in tall. They often have patterns. Usually neutral colored patterns, though.

    • Ann Taylor has had a few lately, including these tree pants that seem to be out of stock now but are really nice quality:

  7. Gift Help :

    What to get an assistant for her 30th work anniversary?

    • Sainthood?

    • Gift certificate to a spa weekend.

      Or a big chunk of cash.

      My Mom got some sort of ugly crystal paperweight from her firm. Nice, thanks for that.

    • I think an extra week off sounds like a great idea. I am on the board of a non profit which has an ea like this and we had to tell her firmly that she had to start taking vacation! She is so dedicated she didn’t feel the office could run without her (it really can’t but they made it a couple of weeks.)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Our EA left early this year after some serious health crises and it was quickly determined no one had any idea how to:
        Order business cards
        Schedule or get approval for CLEs
        Get our ED to answer emails or sign paperwork
        Book travel for conferences using the org account
        Keep our s*it together.

  8. Baconpancakes :

    It’s super rainy and finally a little cool here. So happy for this weather! What’s everyone looking forward to this weekend?

    I’ll be repotting my plants for fall, doing a little decorating, and reading a book a friend gifted to me, “My Brilliant Friend.” It’s supposed to be very good!

    • I’m getting a new car! Well, a “new” used car. My current car is 20 years old and I’m upgrading to one that’s 5 years old, so I’m pretty excited about it!

    • Patterned Pants :

      Not what you asked, but I bet you’ll really enjoy the Elena Ferrante book. Happy reading!
      My weekend is going to be hyll, but at least there is the consolation of rain :) and maybe root veggie stew with hard cider.

    • I am going to do all the shopping while the kid is at sports practice this evening so that over the weekend I can work out, get the entire house clean at the same time, finish relining the kitchen cabinets, and finish making the kid’s Halloween costume. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

    • I’ve been running around all my evenings this week, so I’m mostly looking forward to staying put for the most part this weekend. I have two things on my calendar for tomorrow, but one is optional, so I’m going to do some batch cooking and reading and start that other mitten in my knitting basket.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Knitting! I knew I was forgetting something. I have a hat I’ve been meaning to finish since last year, and it’s finally knitting weather.

        • It’s always knitting weather! My friends and I would sit and knit while watching the symphony or ballet at the open air events they’d have in August.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Reading Rubin’s new book and a book I impulse bought last night, haircut (thank freaking god), barre, job searching and recovering from the week from he11. Plus sleep. All the sleep.

      • Anonymous :

        This sounds perfect (it will make a difference to go into next week with a haircut!). Exercise and sleep sound great too.

    • My apartment complex “social ambassadors” (idk what to call them, they do activities) are having a young photographer come to the complex to do free mini-portrait sessions for anyone who wants them, pets included. So, DH and our two pups are finally getting a nice, non-selfie photo of the four of us! It’s the little, basic things…

      • Baconpancakes :

        That is freaking adorable.

        • I am so inordinately excited. My DH, who HATES the camera, was all for it, got a fresh haircut, groomed the dogs, etc…now, if only it could not be 85 and sunny so I can wear something somewhat fall-ish…

        • +1 I am not ashamed to say that I would like a photo shoot with my dog and my horse (the cats would be nice, but there is no way they would play along with this game).

          (I’m also clearly on the procrastination train today!)

      • Omg, greatest apartment activity ever! Something residents will actually want to participate in, probably not insanely expensive thing for the apartment, and it throws a local young photographer some work while giving them great exposure and potential return clients! I’m impressed and I want my apartment board to do something similar now :)

    • I’m in Northern California and I wish it were rainy here!

      This is an indoor weekend for everyone around here. Air quality is terrible.

    • My Brilliant Friend is soooo good. I have the third book on hold at the library and I need to remember to pick it up this weekend!

      My SO has a bye this week, so we’re seeing each other before 11pm on a Friday for the first time since August. He doesn’t have practice Saturday morning, either. Love that athletics lifestyle (not).

    • Calibrachoa :

      I will be DJing on Saturday, which should be fun, and then look forward to doing nothing but sleeping on Sunday, with some light reading. (More of the Gaunt’s ghosts series by Dan Abnett)

    • Tonight we are having dinner with friends who are about to have their first baby. Tomorrow night we are going to see my BIL in a play. Sunday afternoon we are going to an NFL game, and Sunday night we are going to see John Mulaney.

    • I am looking forward to having The Hubs make the first fall pot of chili.

    • My adorable husband informed me this morning that he is helping a friend move over the weekend. Which is just amazing to me because I’d have thought that at our age we are past that, but… there you have it. Beyond that we are going to dinner and the theatre with friends on Sunday, which I am looking forward to. Also I need to finish getting all the post-vacation laundry put away.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      The main task of the weekend is clearing out a bathroom because a contractor is coming in to remove the ancient, cracked, ugly, stained, awful tile next week. Hooray!

    • Pretty Primadonna :

      Date night with my husband to celebrate a couple big accomplishments he’s made this week. :-)

  9. Dear Designers,

    As a professional woman in a major U.S. city, I’d like to inform you of the following:

    1) I am not an extra in Little House on the Prarie

    2) I am not Veruca Salt

    Therefore, kindly cease and desist with all the wildflower bohemian prints in baggy shapes and beribboned, beruffled, befrilled clothing.


    • Sloan Sabbith :

      PS: Work appropriate outfits cannot have:
      Cutouts on my hips
      Cutouts on my shoulders
      Cutouts on my stomach
      Hemlines my mother wouldn’t have let me out of the house in
      Deep V necks
      Metallic material for the whole outfit (looking at you, first dress on the Nordstrom Work Clothes page)
      Mesh or lace cutouts across…anywhere but maybe the tops of my arms
      No shoulders
      Anything labeled “bodycon” that should be labeled “skintight”
      Spaghetti straps
      Anything bedazzled


    • PS. Even those of us who’s lives overly resemble LHOTP (I’m currently seting mousetraps, bleaching EVERYTHING, and dreaming of suburbia), would prefer durable quality fabrics that allow you to move without ripping out seams.

    • Yes! Though, I’d love to be in Veruca Salt/Veruca herself. I want a feast, I want a bean feast….I want it ALLLLL

    • I wish we could send this to everyone. It is so hard finding new work clothes right now.

    • No. 2 legit made me LOL. Thank you for that.

    • Cosign.

    • +1000. SERIOUSLY, PEOPLE, WTF?!

  10. Cold-weather pants help, please!

    Earlier this year, I discovered JCrew Minnies and have been living in them. I bought a bunch off Poshmark for around $20. I’ve tried the ON Pixies, but they don’t fit me as well. Fast forward to winter and I am thinking that I will need something that covers the bottom of my legs better than the Minnies.

    I am slim and short and work in a business casual, emphasis on casual environment. My thighs are proportionally larger than my waist, so I am used to having to buy pants that fit my legs but which bunch a bit at the waist when I wear a belt. I wouldn’t mind pants that look good with both heels and flats as I wear both. Any suggestions? I’d prefer to try on a style in-store to figure out size and then stalk them on Poshmark.

    I live in an area that has a BR, Loft, Talbots, WHBM, JCrew Factory, BB Factory, Ann Taylor Factory, and your usual standards Target, ON, etc.


    • Flats Only :

      I think the current mode is to keep wearing the short pants in the winter, but add booties if you need your ankles insulated from the cold. So maybe you need shoes instead of pants?

      • Anything is possible. :) Although the Minnies I have hit my leg several inches above my ankle. I would think booties would look weird with that length pant, no?

        Although you have given me an idea – I could wear my (perhaps no longer trendy) flat riding boots with the Minnies!

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I do this with all of my ankle pants in the winter. I am not buying new pants when I have perfectly good boots to wear with them.

    • So, you are pear shaped, yes? Have you tried the curvy fit (Julie, I think) at Loft? They are generously cut in the thigh as well as the hip. They also have a mid-rise, which is more flattering for our shape. I still need to wear a belt and they still ride a bit lower on me, but they work.

      I am now living in the skinny ankle pant. I am 5′ 7″ and they are work appropriate length ankle pant for me. I think this length looks good with both heels and flats. Once winter comes, I will wear them with my booties (I have many weather-sturdy pairs) and possibly tights or silk long underwear.

    • Similar shape and I just snagged a pair of the Loft straight leg pants in Marissa fit, which I find fit my thighs and are a little loose on the waist, but don’t have the dreaded 2 inches of extra fabric on the hips. To me the Julie fit is designed for women with curves in a specific place: at the hips. They’re not designed for quads. I’m very straight waisted and I don’t have hips at all really, just big quads. They’re only available online though. The “trouser” fit they have in store are much wider at the ankle.

      • Thank you! I am straight-waisted, and experience the extra fabric around the hips on sheath dresses, so we sound very similarly shaped.

    • I continue to wear ankle pants in the winter but commute in boots with socks.

    • An online option, but the Everlane Stretch Ponte Skinny Pant are awesome, and somewhat similar to the minnie pant. They come in full length and crop and are machine washable.

  11. I have a friend who is TTC but having difficulty. She has been TTC for almost 18 months, but only confided in me recently. I want to support her, but I don’t know what to do and say. She has read all the books and has been referred to a fertility specialist, so she doesn’t need any information from me. She knows that I conceived my (now 6 month old) son in the first month of trying, so commiseration will seem disingenuous. I worry about talking about my son with her in case it makes her feel badly. And then I worry that not talking about my son will because I think it will make her feel badly is condescending and insulting. Help!

    A mutual friend of ours announced that she is pregnant today, so I think today might be a hard day. Should I reach out? If I do, what should I do/say?

    • As with so many things that bring grief and pain, just tell her you’re there for her if today is hard and then listen. You don’t need to say much more than that. Listening is really underrated.

      • Also, beware the instinct to highlight the positive, say things like “I know it will work out for you” or share success stories of others struggling. I think this is a natural response from people who are trying to support someone going through a difficult time, but for many (most?) in this situation, it doesn’t feel helpful.

        I am personally a very “glass half full” person and infertility was maybe the first time that “positive thinking” drove me nuts. Friends and family told me that they just “knew” things would work out for me and it *infuriated* me. I didn’t know that – my doctor didn’t know that – and even though I knew it was said with love and compassion, it felt like it was diminishing my struggles.

        The friend that was most supportive and helpful during my years of struggle was sensitive to how much it sucked and asked interested, fact-based questions about the process. She didn’t ignore the problem but it wasn’t all we talked about.

        • That reminds me of when I was laid off from my job and my husband kept telling me “everything is going to be okay.” I knew he was trying to be nice, but in my head, I was screaming, “Everything is so not okay! This is the definition of not okay.” It’s like people skip right over your painful experience and assume it’ll all work out, when it might not work out, or has not worked out.

    • My bff struggled with fertility issues and as a child-less person, in addition to the suggestion above, I periodically asked her how I could help her best, whether it was listening, taking her out to dinner or some other distraction, etc. I know it’s not always a great idea to ask someone who is struggling what they need from you since they are already dealing with so much, but it worked for our relationship.

    • Yes, as someone who has been TTC #2 for 2 years now and is struggling with secondary infertility, I say reach out but don’t necessary mention other friend’s pregnancy. Just ask how she is doing. And in general, just be there to listen.

    • When I was TTC, I had a surprising/scary amount of jealousy and hatred toward pregnant women. I kept it to myself and I was ashamed of it, but alas the feelings were still there. I hated seeing pregnant women, I hated talking about pregnant women, I hated walking past the maternity section… but strangely, I still loved looking at / interacting with babies.

      My best friend had 5 kids at the time and had no difficulty getting pregnant. She would often say “I’m thinking of you” or “I’m praying for you” or “I don’t know what to say or do to make this better or easier, I can’t imagine how I would feel in your situation” and while it didn’t always help, it did let me know she was there for me and our friendship has always remained strong.

      After the loss of our twins, difficulty getting pregnant, all the fertility treatments, a successful pregnancy, and then a whole new round of difficulty TTC again (including loss of one baby in another subsequent twin pregnancy), I still don’t think I have anything that valuable to offer women who are TTC. For me, the experience was totally about learning to let go of any illusion or hope of control. To surrender, accept the moment, and try to find peace in an unknowable outcome.

      I would follow her lead. If she seems like she’s in the mood to talk about it, ask. If she seems like shes hurting / rageful / sad, tell her it’s ok to feel how she feels and that you’re there for her. And, doing or suggesting to do something else (just being normal – getting a coffee, pedicures, going to the mall together, movie night, etc) is rarely a misstep. :)

      You’re a great friend by thinking of how she might be feeling in such a complicated situation.

      • I’m sorry for what you’ve been through. This is why Facebook is so awful for women who are TTC. It’s a constant reminder that all your friends are having babies. Ugh… all the pregnancy photos. All the baby photos. It never ends.

        • Anonymous :

          Eh, and single women feel bad when they go on Facebook because of all the couple photos and wedding announcements and lower income people feel bad because there are pictures of houses and vacations they can’t afford etc etc. Infertility sucks, but you’re not alone in wanting something your friends have and I don’t think social media is uniquely awful for infertile women.

          • Nudibranch :


          • Anonymous :

            Agreed. Women who are TTC but having trouble aren’t the only ones who want something deeply that they might not have. Single people feel this all the time. We get smug marrieds in response. Smug pregnants don’t really exist.

    • I miscarried earlier this year. So many of my friends were announcing pregnancies at the time and it was incredibly hard. I had a close friend who was TTC at the time, and it was incredibly difficult for her. We had each other which helped a lot. We also share a mutual close friend who has kids and hasn’t experienced a MC or trouble conceiving, but she would check up on each of us — not always too obviously, but occasionally asking how I was and always being there to listen. We both knew she was there and always available to talk if we needed it. Writing this in fact is reminding me that I need to tell her this. So I guess my advice is: occasionally check in with her and be available when she seems like she wants to talk. Knowing someone is around who knows and cares is what mattered to me — that she had not had the same experience and has two little boys didn’t matter one bit.

  12. Yesterday afternoon was pretty frustrating for a number of reasons and I left work in a huff, which I regret. I wanted to go home and relax, but I had to attend an online session for a graduate course I’m taking. When I woke up this morning, I realized I didn’t want to go to work because I was still mad about the events of yesterday. Now I’m sitting at my desk seething about what happened yesterday even though it’s been resolved.
    I never had a chance to really relax, calm down, and let go of the issue before I had to come back to work this morning. Any tips for accomplishing this while working so I don’t spend the day angry?

    • Go out for a walk.

    • Do you have a door you can shut to limit interactions with other people?

      • It’s the cubicle life for me. Unfortunately, I have RBF, which is magnified when I’m actually in a bad mood. So I’m definitely not a cheery presence around here today.

    • Put on headphones and listen to a relaxing playlist? I really like the Cello Guys, who do remixes of pop songs with piano and cello.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Take the afternoon off or work from home if you can. Or go take a walk and angry cry if you need to. Then stop by a drugstore, pick up some Garnier micellar wipes and wash your face. My extensive experience the last few weeks confirms those are the best to erase evidence of crying.

    • New Tampanian :

      Manicure during lunch

  13. I think this has been asked before but I can’t find or remember the answers. I want some help decorating my apartment. I don’t have the budget to pay for a decorator and I don’t think I want to go buy all my furniture from one store so they can tell me what to do. I think what I’m looking for is a paid version of ‘friend with a good eye’ – someone who’ll say a round table would be better here; you should mo e couch this way and hang these pictures here.’ Nothing intensive but something I can’t seem to do for myself at the moment. I actually have the perfect friend for this but she’s busy,I’m busy, and we just haven’t been able to make it work. Is there some online design service that does this?

    • There are a lot of home design bloggers that will offer services like this, but I’m not sure who is doing that these days.

    • Paging Rainbow Hair!

    • I know that Modsy has a service like this, but I’m not sure how expensive it is.

    • I really like getting room decor ideas on Pinterest (say I already own a brown couch, I can search for rooms that also use a brown couch) and then using them as inspiration. It’s totally free, so it can’t hurt if you haven’t already tried that. If you see pieces you like, you can always do a reverse image search online to find similar items. If you do want an actual service, I’ve seen ads for Laurel & Wolf and they seem like they might be what you’re looking for.

      • Houzz is also really good for this if you approach it like this.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I also use Pinterest to just pin stuff I like and it’s very clear from what I pin what aesthetic I have, so I try to stay within that when buying decor and furniture.

    • Home decor blogs were once my jam, and I still follow a few. Yellow Brick Home just posted about Modsy – they sound exactly what you’re looking for. Here’s the link to their post about their experience using them – linking to the post since there’s a 20% off coupon code you can use at the bottom of the post.

    • This definitely exists. Just found this Apartment Therapy comparison to point you in the general direction I think you’re envisioning:

    • Ugh stuck in mod (AGAIN) link to follow.


    • Havenly and Decorist were the two that came up for me. I’m about to pull the trigger on Havenly (I think) – would love to hear how it goes if you use them!

    • I think Homepolish is another player in this space – internet design service and I like their look

    • Look for a real estate staging company — the folks that come in and put furniture around/rearrange stuff when houses go for sale. They have great ideas for what you already have and what you need. Local realtors can probably put you in touch with some.

    • My fabulous decorator will do this.

  14. Frye harness boots :

    I am contemplating splurging on a pair of Frye harness boots but can’t decide between the 8R (short) and the 12R (standard midcalf height). I will wear them over skinny jeans and leggings and with casual dresses. I am a smallish person with very short hair and I don’t want the look to be too masculine. The short version is cute, but I think it would look odd with dresses. What would you choose?

    • The Deborah :)

      I like the 8R best with pants. With leggings and dresses, I like something higher than a 12 (like the campus 14s).

      I didn’t get the harness for fear I’d look a bit like the women from Sons of Anarchy. I wanted to look friendly and approachable and not like I might beat you up.

      • Frye harness boots :

        Holy bedazzler, Batman.

        The “I might beat you up” aspect is what is giving me pause. I already have the Phillip tall harness boot, which is sleeker and doesn’t give off that vibe at all, but I would love to have a shorter option that isn’t so out of style and that I can slip on after yoga etc..

        • Re bedazzler, I know. And yet I can’t look away.

          I have some Born short boots that are so comfy and were ~ 125 or so. If you just want for after yoga, maybe this would work?

    • Side note, I’ve had a pair of Frye boots since 2004. I waterproofed them when I first purchased them and polish them a few times a year, and they still look great! The splurge is well worth it.

    • Frye Collector :

      I have both the Harness and the Deborah. As fun as the Deborah are (and I totally heart them), the Harness get way more play in my wardrobe. I don’t think they are overly masculine. I also get way more wear out my 12s than my 8s, though they also have a fold down style that can be worn as both (12s, but cuff to an 8).

  15. I’m in higher ed at a university that’s going through tough budget times. Unfortunately, the general area I work in is one of the areas that’s being scrutinized to a very high degree. Not my specific department, but positions like mine across campus. I’m trying to refill a position and there’s a decent chance that it could completely stall. Guys, I’ve been overworked and understaffed for almost two years. I’m already having issues with anxiety, panic attacks and stress. All work related. The only light at the end of the tunnel was the possibility of hiring another person to take on a few of my projects. If this doesn’t happen — what the heck do I do? What I’m doing isn’t sustainable as it is, and I don’t exactly see the expectations for work changing, even if we’re doing it with half as many people. And the extra scrutiny from people outside my department is getting pretty unbearable as it is. I just want to cry, then quit. I have no idea what I’d do instead, as my skills have become really specialized. It wouldn’t be just changing jobs; it would be changing a career. Which I am really unprepared to do.

    • Refill the position quickly?

      Sounds like it hasn’t stalled, so since the hire has already been approved move fast if you can so you don’t lose it.

      And stop underestimating yourself. I suspect your skills are much more transferable than you think. It sounds like you don’t want to stay at this job regardless, so maybe time to look around at your friends and start setting up some coffee times/lunches. Start with networking with your friends. Talk to ones in fields that do interesting things… just to learn and think about options. Sometimes you will be shocked to learn how other people view your talents, to learn about options/careers you never considered before etc…

      And what is gong on with your psychiatrist/meds? That may be the underlying issue that needs tweeking, and then everything might look better. What do you think?

      • No, the position hasn’t been approved. If/when it does, I will be moving like crazy. The sad thing is that I used to love my job, but it’s been a whole lot of pain and aggravation during the past year. It’s just hard to see any light at the end of the tunnel. I am seeing an EAP counselor to figure out a more productive way to deal with all my angst and worry.

        That said, I know I tend to underestimate myself, and that doesn’t help. I’m currently not on meds, but I know I need to get back on them. I’m talking to my doctor next week.

        • I see.

          It seems like the doctor’s appointment is the most crucial thing right now. Things will appear much better when your body/brain is in a better place.

          Meanwhile, I still recommend the lunches/coffees with friends to get some perspective, as a break, and to keep your mind open to options.

          And try to get outside, every day, in the sun for a brisk walk. The sunlight, and break, will help your mood and stress level. Exercise if you can, which is fantastic for anxiety. And download the Headspace App and start learning some mindfulness activities/breathing. This will help you get through until the meds kick in.

          • I agree. I found my career because a friend suggested it to me over coffee. My husband found his career because multiple people suggested it to him. Brainstorm with others. It will open up more possibilities because sometimes when other people say it to your face, it seems a whole lot more possible. Plus, bonding with friends! It’s good anyway.

    • I’m also in academia (faculty member, but my spouse has an admin position). Are you willing to share what type of position you’re in? Either way, you have my sympathies. I’m not very happy with my job/university, and it’s so hard to figure out what to do when finding a new job almost certainly requires us both moving out of state and jobs are so few and far between. The stress is overwhelming and it’s hard to not just shut down. I don’t think I have a lot of advice, but you’re not alone!

    • You start writing your resume and look for another job.

    • What would happen if you just didn’t do the projects you can’t get to without killing yourself? You could perhaps even be proactive about it, doing the triage assessment and then stating up front that only projects A, B, E and H are going to be done by X deadline. The others are on permanent hold until the hiring position is filled.

  16. Shop for me! I’m a 1X-2X, or size 18, with a large chest and small waist. I have a hard time with button downs gaping, and I need some new shirts to wear under suits and blazers. I prefer short, elbow length sleeves and need a substantial weight, like perhaps a sweater. I wear a 38J bra (side note: professional bra fitting was the best thing I ever did and eliminated substantial shoulder and neck pain from wearing a poorly-fitting 42DDD for years). Due to my bra size, I need a shirt to not show the bra seams because t-shirt bras are few and far between in my size.

    • It gets suggested here a lot, but Talbots is probably up your alley for something like this. I’m a curvy and chesty size 16 and I get a TON of great work blouses and tops there. They usually have prints that would camouflage any bra seams.

    • I’m close in size and very similar in shape to you, and I’ve found that something that nips in slightly at the waist, in a ponte or ottoman fabric, does the trick. Don’t be freaked out by the word “peplum” (they get such hate, but they are a great shape on me, at least!), but something like this:

      This may be better in your casual life, or maybe it will work for you at work, but ymmv with keyholes:

      That, or talbots has some great sweater tops that could work! Look past the granny stuff, there’s great women’s sizes (or, the higher end of their misses line could sub well, given their larger-running sizes).

      • (missing the edit function here…Obviously, hard to tuck in a peplum, so that limits their use, but it’s all what you prefer!)

    • Hello! I am the same size more or less except I’m a 38G (high five for bra fitting)

      I don’t wear button front shirts for the most part. I can never keep buttons from gaping without a lot of pinning and hassle.

      I mostly wear pullover shells with suits jackets and cardigans. I never take my cardigan off so I don’t mind sleeveless, and this is pretty easy to find.

      For a sleeved my favorite is the mm la fleur Deneuve blouse. Size up one size. It has sleeves and is a substantial fabric that worn show your bra. And it has a beautiful drapy cut.

      • Based on today’s post, I was browsing the plus size selection of the Who What Wear brand at Target (had never heard of it before today)

        This might be a good option for you:

        (it actually might be a good option for me, I’m considering it)

  17. interview questions :

    I’m interviewing to be the first attorney at a startup that currently uses outside counsel for all of its legal needs. I have a call scheduled with the outside attorney to discuss how we’d work together if I get the job. What questions should I ask him? I plan to ask questions about working style, collaboration, etc. but is there anything else I’m not thinking of?

    • New Tampanian :

      What challenges do you anticipate Startup facing in the next 2-5 years? What do you see happening internally at Startup… that I should know about before accepting a position with them that may impact my decision/OR … that I can positively impact with improvements to processes or policies? Why aren’t you going to work for them?

      • Agree with all of these except the last one – start-up life isn’t for everyone and it seems like the answer would likely be more related to the outside counsel’s personal life and goals rather than anything related to the start-up.

        You might also ask if they believe the company sees counsel/legal as a strategic partner in growing and maturing the business, or more as a service provider tasked with completing legal tasks but not having a tactical role. (Depending on what you’d like your role to be, this would be a good question to ask the start-up as well.)

    • I would want to know what the outside counsel handles:

      -licensing/commercial work/NDAs
      -employment (offer letters, options, terminations, etc.)
      -transactional work (M&A, financings, securities work)
      -working with the Board, auditors
      -litigation or demand letters
      -privacy matters
      -what type of internal controls/compliance regimes/policies are currently in place
      -whether the business folks use legal counsel as a “referee” in internal disputes

      Remember, the outside counsel will want to do as much work as possible, and want you to keep using him or her. So he or she will likely follow your lead/tell you what you want to hear. You need to decide what is cost-effective and appropriate, given your own skillset. GL.

  18. Would you guys date someone who pronounces Chipotle “chee-POLL-tay” and who thinks Brazilian is a language?

    Do I just need to stop being Judgy McJudgypants or I’ll be single forever?

    • If you feel contempt for someone, it won’t work.

      • + 1 million. Wasn’t there that study that said contempt was the biggest factor in divorce.

      • I really wish I didn’t feel flashes of contempt – it is such an ugly, unproductive feeling and I’m ashamed of it. But it’s automatic. This guy is so kind to me and all I get hung up on is how he doesn’t read books. I feel like a horrible person but I think I’m going to stay single instead.

        • You’re not a horrible person for not wanting to date someone you don’t click with. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Please break up with him and give him a chance to be with somebody who will appreciate him.

        • You don’t have to feel guilty for not liking someone. Just end it and you can both move on happily.

        • What’s going on when you feel these flashes on contempt?

          I have the shortest temper after work because I’m still in work mode. My job is fast paced, my interactions with coworkers are brusque, and I have to be polite and charming to clients who ask the dumbest questions and interrupt my day constantly. The worst time for me to interact with my husband and kids is daycare pickup and dinner on weeknights, because I’m still keyed up from work. I can’t take stupid questions, silliness, etc. I pretty much hate everyone in my life for 2 hours after work.

          Now that I know this about myself, I try to stop myself from overreacting and being a jerk at dinner. When I’m relaxed on the weekend, the same silliness and questions are fun for me.

          Maybe examine when and where you’re feeling these flashes–and see if it’s just you reacting at a bad time of day, or if it really is behavior that you just can’t put up with.

          • I’ve learned that it’s pretty hard for me to meet someone for drinks for a first or second date on a weeknight. Not only because of my demanding job, as described above, but because by 7-7:30 when I’m meeting them, I’m rushing out of the office and likely still stressed. This usually means I arrive late and need to try to decompress while on the date, and I’m usually not in my most generous frame of mind.

            (That said, I’m a Judgy McJudgypants and probably going to stay single for that reason, too, so hey – let’s start a club).

        • You should only feel guilty and ashamed if you keep seeing him. End it ASAP.

        • Shopaholic :

          I don’t think you’re a horrible person. I read a ton outside of work and my work is really intellectually challenging. While I do have a trashy tv habit, I want to be with someone intelligent enough to keep up when I want to talk about something deeper than the current bachelor.

          I also find good, intellectual conversation to be energizing (and a turn on with the person I’m dating) so those things are important to me. If you don’t feel it so early on, it won’t get better so just end it. I’ve ended things over smaller issues (and bad spelling/grammar is a dealbreaker for me)

          Note – I’m still also single so maybe take my advice with a grain of salt, but I’d rather enjoy the person I’m with and if I don’t, I’d rather be single.

        • I feel this exact feeling when I’m dating someone who just isn’t the right fit for me. I have visceral reactions when someone doesn’t click with me intellectually–I literally feel repulsed by them and don’t want them to touch me. I’ve learned to trust that gut reaction and just kindly move on. You’re just not a match, and that’s OK–just because a man is kind does not make him automatically the right fit for you as a partner.

          • And to clarify, I don’t mean the person is objectively repulsive, I mean I have that reaction. I don’t disdain them, I don’t think they’re not valuable as a human, I just have a feeling of needing to distance myself. Hard to explain.

    • Well you already (justifiably) think this guy is on the dumb side, so I don’t think it’ll work out long term. You can ask him why he pronounces it that way and all, but yeah.

    • Depends – does he get a Brazilian and eats at Chipotle?

    • Nope, I think its important that you date somewhat who you consider at least mostly on par with you intelligence-wise. You shouldn’t spend your relationship silently judging your partner and cringing when they make mistakes that are common sense or that an adult of reasonable exposure to your culture should know better not to make.

      • My husband and I are very on par intelligence-wise (PhDs in engineering from the same program) and I pronounce things incorrectly at times but that doesn’t seem to make him think I am dumb. I am just bad at pronouncing things and phonics (and am also completely tone deaf). But I kick @$$ at a lot of other things like coding and project management and data science. Maybe this guy is really awesome/accomplished in other ways?

    • PatsyStone :

      I’d quit being Judgy McJudgypants.

    • I heard someone pronounce it chee-POT-tull once so chee-POLL-tay is at least closer than that.

    • I’m torn.

      My (crazy-smart) boyfriend actually pronounces Chipotle the same way, and I just kind of feel like “aww, there’s his cute mispronunciation again.”

      If you love someone, “chi-pol-te” is nothing. But in someone I didn’t know I would find it very hard not to judge and reject the person based on this.

      • Well, I also pronounce it that way, and that is how everyone in my social circle/town/Chipotle pronounce it. I don’t eat there though, so there’s that. I didn’t take Spanish… did you?

        Clearly you can’t date this guy. Agree with the other posters.

        Good luck.

        • Linda from HR :

          I can see doing it because someone else pronounced it that way, but look at how it’s spelled. Chi-pol-tay rearranges the letters, speaking as though the L comes before the T when that’s not how the word is written. I could see saying “chi-pot-lay” if you didn’t know much about Spanish pronunciation, but Chi-pol-tay makes no sense.

          • +1 thank you! I just do not get this mispronunciation from a simple spelling point of view. Sigh, rant over.

    • Don’t date my husband! He’s good looking and good in bed and a good dad, but he’s chi-pole-tay 4 lyfe

    • A constant struggle. I try to ask myself whether I’d be totally turned off by [insert cringeworthy action or phrase] if a person I was already in love with had done it. If the answer is yes, next. If the answer is “no, I’d look past it or find it endearing,” then I try to understand.

      For example, I’ll blow right past some guy’s dating profile if it’s riddled with typos or if he messes up there/their/they’re. Psh can’t be dating anyone THAT dumb, right? Well I have a wonderful (gay) mentor who is dyslexic. He’s brilliant and I adore him and would date the heck out of him if he wasn’t a married 55 year old gay man. I’d kick myself if I let a man like that go because of typos.

      Ultimately, though if it’s just one thing in a constellation of indicators that you aren’t intellectually compatible or he has myriad vexing habits, cut him loose.

    • I pronounced Chipotle wrong until I was corrected.
      I also had to be corrected one day when I thought Vienna was in Switzerland. I had learned at some point that Vienna is in Austria but forgot, I guess, after that knowledge was pushed out by other knowledge. Like how to get triple coupons applied at my grocery store.
      In general, I am a smart person and I know a lot of things, but we all have our blind spots. If the guy genuinely does not have a lot going on upstairs, that might be a deal-breaker. If he is a genuinely sweet, smart, nice person who just didn’t know a couple of things, I wouldn’t write it off just yet.

    • Is it leviOsa or is it leviosA?

      The best boss I’ve ever had pronounced it chi-poll-tay. Somehow I managed to overlook that because it turns out that I mispronounce words sometimes too and that making mistakes is okay.

    • Anonymous :

      It isn’t pronounced Chee-poll-tay? We all of us aren’t perfect.

    • lawsuited :

      If his flaws amount to limited knowledge of Central and South American languages, yes, I would date him.

      But then again, I am an immigrant to the Americas, never heard words like “chipotle” until moving here, and purposefully still pronounce jalapeno “juh-la-puh-no” to irritate my husband.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My dad thinks it’s funny to call jalapenos Juh-lap-enos. He has a bunch of other funny dad pronunciations too that just make me roll my eyes.

    • Linda from HR :

      My boyfriend pronounces Habanero as though there’s a tilde over the N (Ñ/ñ, often called an énye), but I love him so no, it doesn’t turn me off so much that I can’t be with him. One of these days I’m gonna say “hun . . . it’s just Habanero, the n doesn’t make that noise unless there’s a little squiggle over it . . .”

    • WriterKate :

      I have a friend who didn’t want to date a guy because he didn’t know who the Plantagenets were. She figured if he didn’t know that they wouldn’t have enough in common. That is extreme. If you otherwise like him see what happens. This might indicate he doesn’t enjoy learning new things or isn’t curious about the world — that would be a problem for me.

    • Are you dating my brother? If so, your loss.

    • I think the pronunciation is much less of an issue than lacking basic knowledge that Brazilian isn’t a language. Maybe he has great qualities, and if those are the only two instances of seeming not quite…there or intelligent, fine. But huge gaps in knowledge on basic things like Brazilians speak Portuguese just wouldn’t fly with me.

      I’m sure he’s a nice guy, but if I can’t bring you around the people in my life without a constant fear of being embarrassed, then the guy gets the axe.

      • Huh, I’m not embarrassed by my spouse’s knowledge gaps. Would you feel differently if he thought they spoke Spanish (at least a language, but still incorrect)?

    • Anonymous :

      I brushed off the little signs of intellectual incompatibility, telling myself his other strengths would compensate…and that I might as well stick with him since no one else seemed interested in me. We’ve been married 8 years now, and I am miserable. Beware.

  19. Hi all
    I ordered the mm LaFleur Masha 3.0 dress based on this post:

    What color would you top this with? I’m planning to wear it with nude hose with a micro pattern (tiny fishnet) and light tan suede heels. A cream shaped cardigan? Or another color?

    • I think navy would look great with that dress for fall.

    • Thank you! I don’t have a navy topper that is the right shape but I will keep my eye out for one.

      Let this serve as my review. This is a gorgeous dress. I wear an 18W skirt at Talbots and I had to reorder a 3X in this dress. it does run small. The 3X is a bit roomy in the hips but it’s supposed to be, given the pleats and pockets. The 2X was pulling tight across that area and not laying right. So definitely size up.

      The length is perfect for tall me, and I love the built in waist, which gives definition. I’d give it a 10/10 and say just get it if you’re on the fence. Returns are free.

    • Onlyworkingmomintulsa :

      Just wanted to ask your source on nude micro pattern hose? Hue doesn’t make that color anymore and I need to restock!

      • +1 please! I can’t find them from my usual sources and I’m not up to paying Woolford prices.

      • I have some Spanx from prior years I have been wearing (I have both the original fishnet and the micro fishnet) but they may be close to wolford pricing.

        I recently found some by Hanes on amazon, plus sizes only. I have received them but haven’t tried them yet. They are not a true fishnet like the spanx but they have little holes cut into the regular pantyhose fabric that make them look like fishnet. I will do a short review once I wear them, and will try to post a link right now as a reply (which will probably send me into mod)

        • My mistake, they also come in large and xl, in addition to plus.

          Hanes Silk Reflections Women’s Perfect Nudes Micro-Net Control Top Pantyhose, Buff,

  20. Vicarious shopping, anyone? In two weeks I have a lunch celebration for an elopement. Nice restaurant, but not as fancy as an actual wedding. Close family member. I have struck out with numerous Boden dresses and have zero ideas!! Dress, skirt/top, or pants acceptable. Must be able to wear black shoes. Budget probably$100, must be packable without ironing. I can’t get behind cold-shoulder tops and it seems like that’s all that’s out there! I am tall, s or m depending on brand. I am just totally stuck!

    • Anonymous :

  21. Kindle sub :

    I somehow got signed up for Kindle unlimited back in June and I just now realized it (d’oh). I canceled the subscription as soon as I saw the charge on my account today. Is there any hope of getting a refund for the other months that I didn’t realize I had it and never used it? No one else has access to my account so I’m really not sure how that happened.

    • New Tampanian :

      Yes. Amazon is awesome at that type of stuff. Just ask for it. No harm even if they say no. You can use their online chat feature.

  22. Wow… I have a conservative, religious friend who about a week ago shared his support and encouragement of the House bill to prohibit abortion after 20 weeks. Throughout the week, he engaged in multiple, rational Facebook discussions with doctors, more liberal religious leaders, and pro-choice advocates and friends. He just posted this, and while I still don’t agree with him, I find it encouraging that discussion can actually change someone’s feelings on this issue, even a little bit. (I’ll admit to have given up.)

    “To my pro-life friends. We have a serious branding problem within our movement. I have been dedicated to 40 days of prayer and fasting for life. Part of my journey has been to post on Facebook about my journey. I have heard from many from the pro-choice side about their views and they have some fair criticisms.
    If our goal is to truly end abortion, then I am sad to report that we are losing the battle. Mostly because we have been fighting the wrong battle. The battle for abortion is not a legislative one. It is a battle on the home front. We have to stop trying to change minds. It’s failing. We are failing. We must focus our efforts on changing hearts. We must start a new movement that is PRO-CHOOSE LIFE
    If we want to end abortion then we must do it one woman, one child, and one choice at a time. We must support the women who choose life. We should spend less time and give fewer dollars to pro-life organizations that are seeking policy change. We should focus more of our efforts on the women here in our community who need our support to choose life. We should give our dollars to more organizations like Hope Clinic for Women ( who provide support to women in difficult situations.
    To my fellow men, we must also do more to choose life. I have listened to our women and they don’t feel and aren’t equal or properly cared for or supported. Men must stand up and do better. We must stand up and be fathers who support women who become pregnant and share responsibility once our children are born. We must model and showcase egalitarian marriages. We must do our part to eradicate chauvinism and the objectification of women. We must be strong fathers to strong daughters. We must also do more to embrace women’s fertility for the beautiful gift it is, rather than making them feel ashamed of their bodies. We must embrace new methods of family planning that aren’t solely contraception based like Natural Family Planning.
    I am simply one humble person, but I would love to see a new movement for life that is branded PRO-CHOOSE LIFE. One that actually makes a difference. One that changes hearts. One that changes you. One that changes me. One that changes us to choose life.”

    • Nina Yazvenko :

      I don’t see him talking about a single thing that actually reduces abortions – promoting effective long acting birth control, and fact based sex-ed.

      • Anonymous :

        Or about the devastating financial impact that having a child can have and how the party that advocates for banning abortion also advocates against vital social services that could allow some financially strapped women their children a better, more stable life. Instead they support a party that even hates the free school lunch program.

    • It seems like he thinks that all it would take for a woman to decide to keep an unwanted pregnancy is a better support system. It sounds like he’s never had kids or has never been the primary parent and just does not get what a profound life-changing responsibility it is to raise a child. I do think that it’s great that he wants all that stuff and the world would be better if women had more support, but it kind of misses the point.

      Also, most women who get abortions after 20 weeks are not doing it because they don’t have support. They are doing it because something is profoundly medically wrong– and no amount of support is going to change that.

      • He has three children. The oldest has a rare condition called Dandy Walker Syndrome, which they found out about at the 20-week ultrasound. He also has twins.

        • Anonymous :


          He’s lucky that he has living children? And?

          Being blessed with living twins doesn’t buy him rights to my uterus. F him.

          • She’s replying to a specific comment to give more info: “It sounds like he’s never had kids or has never been the primary parent and just does not get what a profound life-changing responsibility it is to raise a child.”

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am at a loss as to how his feelings have changed. He wants to end abortion. By changing hearts.

      But he still doesn’t want you to even have a choice. Which, to me, is instant unfriending.

    • Anonymous :

      SO SO TIRED of the narrative that post-20 week abortions are because women just ‘decide’ not to have a baby. It is very very rare for those to happen for any reasonable other than non-viability.

      Get out of my uterus. And get out of trying to appeal to my ‘heart’. My heart wanted by baby so much I still feel it bleeds 4 years later. I f*ing wanted to ‘choose life’, unfortunately the baby who was endangering my life and her twin sister’s didn’t allow that choice.

      SO SO TIRED of the BS. Leave it to a woman to make her own decision for her body, her family and her life. Stop acting like women are choosing abortion because they don’t know about adoption.

    • Thank you for sharing, OP. This is an interesting perspective. I don’t know why commenters are getting so hostile… It seems that he is no longer explicitly advocating policy/legislative changes and instead hoping that we can create a society where women feel supported and valued (and, by extension, feel like they can choose to keep the baby and it will be okay). Isn’t it true that many women abort because they lack sufficient financial means and social support? I don’t think it’s so heinous to try to convince people of your opinion, while leaving the ultimate choice up to them (hence his efforts to be pro-CHOOSE life).

      • Anonymous :

        It is exceptionally rare for a woman to decide to have an abortion post 20 weeks because she ‘lacks financial support’. The vast majority of cases are wanted babies where the baby is not viable or the mother has decide that she does not want to risk Her life on the possibility of viability.

      • Anonymous :

        “Isn’t it true that many women abort because they lack sufficient financial means and social support?”

        Women abort because they don’t want to have a baby. There are many women who are desperately impoverished and decide to have their baby anyway. There are many women who are abandoned by their partners, and decide to have their baby anyway. If a woman decides she does not want to have a baby, we all need to take that decision at face value and not assume that “if only she had more support!” or “if only the father was more involved!” she would not have the abortion. Because then that leads down the slippery slope the OP’s friend threw himself down, which is “we need to change these women’s minds by any means necessary,” which to me is a stone’s throw from “let’s just put pregnant women who want abortions into protective custody for 9 months because then they will be fed and housed and there won’t be any barrier to them keeping the pregnancy.” This is about women being able to make their own health care decisions, period.

  23. Two Friday vents:

    1) I found a dog that I would like to adopt and have submitted and application and emailed. No response. I saw on facebook that she will be at an adoption event about an hour away. I’m anxiously waiting for a response and feel like a stalker if I just show up tomorrow, plus I am not thrilled about driving an hour away.

    2) I share amazon prime video with my parents. I set up my account for them to see if they would like it and they also don’t need the other prime benefits. Well, turns out someone loves it. I only watch stuff occasionally on there and my husband and I went in the other day and saw tons of recommended videos…for soft core porn. I am SOOOO uncomfortable now. I went in and added a bunch of stuff that I know my dad will not like to my watchlist, out of spite, just to make him uncomfortable (like Transparent, Rosie O’Donnell shows, feminist shows). Ugh.

    • Anonymous :

      2) is really mean. Why give them access too your account if you don’t want them to use it?

      • two vents :

        lolz, yep I’m so mean to them.

      • Anonymous :

        um what? her ick reaction is totally reasonable. your dad likely doesn’t know that you can see what he’s been watching. maybe just tell them you’re getting rid of the subscription and change your password.

    • Linda from HR :

      Could you maybe ask your dad not to use it for that purpose. “Hey dad, this is awkward but I noticed you’re using my Amazon account to watch porn, and I’m not comfortable with that, as it shows up on my feed and recommended videos as well.”

      • Agree with this. Maybe he doesn’t know that it impacts the recommendations you see.

        • two vents :

          I know, I’m sure they don’t realize that I can also see what they see. They are not tech-saavy at all. What’s worse is the name of one of the watched videos is also my name. And they are super religious, so even mentioning this is going to be so uncomfortable.

      • Anonymous :

        There isn’t actual p0rn on Amazon instant video. If they algorithm is recommending soft core videos, they might be watching s*xy stuff, but it’s not like it’s X-rated hard core p0rn, because that’s not available.
        Fwiw, Amazon has suggested soft core p0rn to me after I’ve watched shows like Californication and Hung (e.g., regular shows that have s*x as a primary topic). I get that those shows are R rated and not suitable for young kids but they are not p0rn under any normal definition of the word. I think I’m pretty prudish and I think you’re hugely overreacting.

      • Why are we assuming it’s her dad who’s watching anything soft core related?? It could be that her parents have a healthy life together and are watching things together. This is some engrained assumption about sexuality that is so bizarre to me.

    • Anonymous :

      They don’t get access to your Amazon Prime anymore. You’re not there to fund your dad’s p0rn habits.

    • If you’re from a typical religious American upbring whereby people don’t just openly talk about sex and porn, just inform them that you can see the videos they watch, and that the program recommends videos based on what they watch…then pause awkwardly. The embarrassment should make everything fall into place.

    • Gift your parents their own Prime subscription for Christmas. Problem solved.

      Also, go visit the dog at the adoption event. That’s totally what they are for.

    • (1) I don’t know how long ago you submitted your application, but rescues are usually run entirely by volunteers. Most who have jobs and such. The quickest way to get your application processed if they haven’t responded in a reasonable amount of time for an all-volunteer group is to go to the adoption event. It may be the foster parent who has the dog at the event and, as a foster, if the foster likes you they can usually help push your application through. An hour doesn’t seem far to me, but I also drove three hours to adopt a dog I had never met so. . .

      • +1 to all of this. I volunteer with two dog rescues, including fostering dogs and processing adoption applications. I am a parent and full time attorney. The woman who processes the applications is also a parent and has a full-time job. I try to process an application within a few days of getting it, but stuff comes up and sometimes I can’t get a hold of people’s references/vet/the people themselves, so if your application required any of those, contact them and make sure that isn’t the hold up. The purpose of events is so that people can meet dogs, so it wouldn’t be weird at all, and you should definitely tell them you have an application in on the dog. With one of my rescues, I have a significant amount of pull on applications and can choose to push an application through, on the other I have zero control and can’t even see the applications my foster dog has, but I would think it was great that someone had applied for my dog either way. An hour doesn’t seem far to me either, but like CountC, I have driven 5 hours in one case and 3 hours in the other to adopt dogs I had never met.

  24. Advice on how to keep calm during a massive company reorganization? I think I’m as safe as anyone can be right now, but how do I keep my cool and stay productive when it feels like tectonic shifts happening all around me?

  25. Having posting issues, so sorry if this is a duplicate.

    Advice on how to keep calm during a massive corporate restructuring? I think I’m as safe as anyone can be right now, but how do I keep calm and stay productive with what feels like massive tectonic shifts happening around me?

  26. Got My Dream Job! :

    A couple months ago, I asked for advice on getting back into trusts and estates law after switching to another practice area for a few years.

    I’m excited to report that I got my dream job at a firm, doing exactly what I want. They’re willing to retrain me, the compensation is double what I was getting before, and I get origination fees (that was huge for me because I’m great at networking and client development).

    Thanks for the encouragement! For anyone who wants to switch, do it. Networking worked for me to do what some said would be almost impossible. It took me 3 months and it was WORK, but totally worth it.

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