Thursday’s Workwear Report: Ryan-Fit Corduroy Pant

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

Call me a sucker for blue, but I think these pants from Banana Republic are really fun. The way they’re pictured here, it almost looks like they’re velvet, but they’re actually corduroy. You’ve got to know your office for corduroy — if you have super-quiet hallways, corduroy can be a little too loud, but these would work if your office is louder or more casual. Note that in the petite, these only come in this lovely blue, but in regular sizes there’s also lilac and a darker purple called Vineyard. They’re available in short, regular, and long sizes 0–16 as well as petite sizes 00–14. The pants were $88 but are now marked down to $65. Ryan-Fit Corduroy Pant

Lands’ End has a nice plus-size option for $69: eight colors, sizes 16W–26W, 28″ or 30″ inseams (also in straight sizes). They’re 25% off today, as are all regular-priced items on the site!

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!

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


  1. Boden Sample Sale :

    Anyone been to one? Worth it?

    • Wanderlust :

      I’ve been! Some tips: If you’re one of the first 50 people in line before the doors open, they hand out plastic eggs containing pieces of paper with prizes written on them. One time, the prize I got was 50% off my entire purchase. The other time, it was socks.

      There are tons and tons and tons of clothes, mostly all in plastic packaging which you have to unwrap to see the actual item. It’s kind of a free-for-all, so most people bring a giant bag, grab things they think have possibility, and sort it out later in the (communal) dressing room. I usually bring a garbage bag.

      As the day goes on, the “competition” gets less intense, but there’s also less selection.

      • Piggybacking on this post: are sample sales only in nyc?? i never hear about this in dc =(

      • I went to one (in Oaks, PA, which is presumably smaller and less busy than the Boston sales) and had a great experience. I’m hoping to go to the next one! I got there maybe an hour after the doors opened and there was no line whatsoever to get in, and it really wasn’t crowded inside either. The tables were organized by size, so there was one table with size 2-4, another with 4-6, one for 8-10, and one for 12+ (or something to that effect). While each table was heaped with piles of clothing, having things roughly organized by size kept it reasonable.

        There were no mirrors, but someone had brought a full-length mirror that people took turns in front of. There was a cordoned off dressing room of sorts, but most women were in thin tank tops and Spanx/leggings so everyone was sort of changing in the open, while wearing thin layers.

        Bring a big blue IKEA bag or something of the sort, as Wanderlust suggests. I was thrilled with the selection, but wouldn’t go looking for anything in particular as it will certainly be hit or miss.

        • Triangle Pose :

          I’m in the Philly area and I posted yesterday about being the only who actually likes/fits Boden dresses. Glad to see other have good experiences. Based on this I just signed up on the website for the Oaks PA one October 21. Maybe we can get a r e t t e meetup there.

          • Hi, I saw your inquiry yesterday. I’m actually going to pass on my Boden dresses to a cousin who is also a size 4. Sorry! :)

          • Triangle Pose :

            No prob, thanks anyway!

    • I’ve been to a couple and it’s absolutely worth it for the reasons stated above, but also, the feeling of lady camaraderie is amazing. Picture 100s of women of all sorts all in a huge room with clothes strewn everywhere, trying to get a look at themselves in a cheap, horrible, cloudy mirror propped against the wall and having to rely on the others around them to make room, give advice, and share. It’s one of the most fun days I have every year. Generally people are super nice and helpful, sharing clothes, making suggestions and telling everyone how cute they look in their outfits. I love it. So sad to miss it this year.

      Boden has a distribution center in PA outside of Scranton so the sales are typically in NY/PA, and Boston. There is also a small store in Pittston PA (near Scranton) that has the same prices all year. It has weird hours though so if you plan to go you should check to make sure it will be open.

    • Not for me! :

      I think it’s worth going once if you know Boden fits you well (it doesn’t fit a lot of people, FYI) but I won’t go back because it’s too hit or miss. The first time I went I got a gorgeous black wool a-line dress that has lasted me several years now, and I always get compliments every time I wear it. BUT, the next two times I hardly found anything I liked but felt compelled to buy SOMETHING since I trekked over there. So I bought a cardigan and a dress, both of which I later consigned and hardly wore. And at least in Boston, the check out line was insane — I think I waited almost an hour to check out! Not worth it.

      Also, if you end up going and have kids, DON’T BRING THE KIDS. They will be bored out of their minds and it’s so crowded that people can get lost — when I went last time a child was sobbing, frantically looking for his mom and they had to announce it over the PA system. The mom was engrossed trying on dresses….

    • Late to this, but is it just me or are the prices not actually that great? I feel like when their stuff goes on sale on their site, it’s close to these prices and I wouldn’t have to deal with the lines.

  2. Personal Finance Guru :

    Immediate TJ-

    I am considering starting a side business that would be about helping the less-financially-literate with personal finances. I think I would structure this in 1-hour face-to-face sessions, and would offer a package of 4 sessions at a discounted price (with the assumption that clients would have at least 4 sessions with me).

    My target audience would be young adults who haven’t fully figured out personal budgeting/saving, much less investing. I initially thought I might target young women, but 1) that seems sexist and 2) I know so many men who also aren’t doing what they should be for retirement. The vast, vast majority of my friends/acquaintances know almost nothing about personal finance.

    I have learned so much through Mr. Money Mustache, thissite, YNAB, Dave Ramsey, and countless other sources, and it saddens me that most of my peers aren’t doing what they should be now for retirement.

    I am not a CPA, nor do I even work in finance anymore (I used to). My target audience would be NYC young adults too intimidated to even consider going to a financial advisor (plus financial advisors are generally only useful once you have your emergency fund/budget in order and start more large-scale investing). I would probably charge $75 per 1-hour session or $250 for 4 sessions- with the goal being that at the end of the 4th session, clients have a thorough budget and have either implemented, or have a strategy for, lifelong retirement planning.

    Thoughts? Does this seem like a service people would use? I am in the very early stages of considering this so won’t have my feelings hurt if this turns out to be a terrible idea. I’m also open to suggestions (on price, structure, etc). I work only 3 days a week, including weekends, so I generally have ~3 M-F days to develop this/meet with clients.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry, but no way would I hire a service like this. I can read the internet too, and if I’m going to pay for financial advice, it’s going to be from a qualified advisor not someone who read a lot of Mr. Money Moustache. I support the idea of a side business, but this idea is a hard pass for me. If you must, maybe do something like life coaching with a focus on financial life. That would be a slant I could see as appealing to some people.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think people would be interested. I read the same internet stuff you do but most of my friends don’t. It’s a hobby for me. It’s a chore for them. They frequently ask me to give them the cliff notes versions of some of the things I do and why. People become overwhelmed so they just do nothing. Half of being a lawyer is just reading things on the internet and explaining it back to people in a way they can understand. Anyone do employment law? All of that info is free on the DOL, EEOC and other various government websites. People don’t understand it. They want you to feed it to them. That’s on both the employer side and the employee side.

        I think your side business sounds like a great idea but you need to make sure you don’t get into regulated industry stuff and that you can have patience for people that don’t have the same goals/priorities as you. You aren’t there to make them follow your advice. You are just there to give the advice and let them decide if that is the life they want to live or not.

        • I don’t consider myself to be all that knowledgeable about personal finance, but I do read all of those websi t e s so have a solid grounding. I’ve had two recent conversations with otherwise with-it peers who have been absolutely blown. away. by my ability to differentiate between traditional and Roth IRAs, 101-level knowledge about investing, and so on. I think there’s absolutely a market for this and that in some ways, it would be more approachable for your target audience to have it come from someone who’s more like a knowledgeable peer than a true financial advisor.

        • Um, employment lawyer here & that is actually not true. Sure, you can get some idea of the laws from those sites, but the practice area is a lot more nuanced than that.

      • Oh so anon :


    • As a 25 year old who just started taking finances seriously (i.e. thinking about retirement, figuring out what investing even is, etc.) I think this is a fantastic idea. Especially somewhere like NYC. Also, I don’t think (subtly?) targeting this towards women in sexist at all (i think it is if you refuse to take on male clients).
      Definitely keep us updated if you get this off the ground!

    • Anonymous :

      What are your qualifications? I’d be extremely wary of anyone who doesn’t have financial designations or a track record.

      • Personal Finance Guru :

        None, to be honest, other than my own personal experience of having gone from clueless ~8 years ago, to knowing quite a bit about personal finance. That’s my main concern here. I would market this as a service for regular people, delivered by a regular person. I realize it’s tricky, though.

        I would probably offer this as a free service to ~4 or so people (I have a large built-in pool of acquaintances through an extracurricular who also happen to be exactly my target audience), or maybe more than 4, to start building a reputation.

      • Agree with this – you’d basically be a financial planner or adviser (more limited scope, it sounds like), which generally requires qualifications/designations in order to be credible. Also, if you give advice on investing, I think you run into fiduciary responsibilities.

        This is all to say I like the idea, it’s just logistics that are going to be a big hurdle for you.

        • I don’t think the qualifications/designations are required just to be credible — in some (most?) states I think they’re legally required to give financial advice for a fee at all.

      • What kind of qualifications would a person that provides this sort of business have, genuinely asking? I don’t even know what kind of qualifications to look for regarding a personal finance advisor, especially one providing basic financial and budgeting advice as opposed to handling funds.

        • A CFP would be ideal. I work in Finance and although reading blogs and being generally knowledgeable can help put you in the best financial situation it’s not enough to advice clients. You could easily have knowledge blind-spots without formal training. For example, if one of your clients is interested in purchasing a house would you be familiar with first time home purchases taxes versus subsequent house purchases?

        • +1 CFP. That’s the standard. AFCPE is a recognized certification for financial coaching, or the ‘lighter’ side of financial planning.

          Be careful, though– as was mentioned, different states have different requirements.

          Also, without credentialing or formal education, you also leave yourself open to liability– even for “common sense” advice may not be appropriate in 100% of situations. I think it’s likely “you don’t know what you don’t know” and that’s a scary situation for someone giving advice about peoples’ finances, life savings, etc.

    • Young House Love Has a Podcast had a person like this on this week. I think his name was Dr. Budget, and it seems like he did something very similar to what you are wanting to do. I think there is a need for this sort of service, but agree with Anonymous that I would be wary if you don’t have any financial designations (Dr. Budget used to be a financial planner but wanted to start helping people with the budget side of things rather than just financial accounts).

    • fake coffee snob :

      I’m also a personal finance nerd and I really enjoy Carl Richards’ writing on the way he approaches financial planning (The Behavior Gap is a great, and quick, read). Reading his anecdotes helped me imagine my own approach to financial planning if I were to do it as a profession, although in general I’m not sure that “interested in my own personal finance” translates well to “able to teach that effectively to people with very different habits/approaches” so it’s something that I haven’t tried even though it’s literally my favorite topic to read about (I mean, I was reading Suzy Orman in middle school…turns out she didn’t mean THAT young, fabulous, and broke). Is it possible you’d fall in the same trap? It’s sort of like other kinds of classes – sometimes the genius math professor is the worst at teaching the concepts he/she understands so easily, so I’d make sure you have a good grasp of the education end as well.

      Another good book is Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry, to make sure you have a great grasp of the ways that financial literacy teaching and other sources of financial info are co-opted to be exploitative and help clients avoid those things.

      • fake coffee snob :

        Sorry, I know that didn’t answer your question exactly! It’s just something I’m interested in as well, so if you haven’t seen those resources before, thought you mind find them interesting.

        Also, have you looked into CFA education? It might be great at ensuring and showing credibility.

        “Educating young women about personal finance” is a surprisingly crowded space…everyone from LearnVest to manymany independent speakers are working in that, so I’d be aware of the ways that they approach it and differentiate yourself (or slot in well), and make sure you’re actually adding value for clients so that you’re not one of the many many exploitative folks in that space.

        • I actually think the poster above who mentioned life-coaching with an emphasis on budgets/finances has the right framing for this. It’s almost like a pre-financial planner – I’m not interested in something like that now, but in my 20s (if it was inexpensive – less than a financial planner) I would have been.

          • Yesss I think you guys might have it– personal finance life coach! That definitely makes it sound less-official (which is what I would be going for since I’m…. not official).

        • Thanks, I appreciate your comments! I will definitely look into Pound Foolish– have heard of it but haven’t had a chance to read it yet. Personal finance nerds unite :)

    • I wouldn’t hire this service honestly bc I’m cagey about discussing my finances with anyone and if I must discuss them with someone it would be Fidelity/Vanguard or a licensed CFA. I don’t need some random stranger who learned off of the internet knowing exactly what I have in each account – and having to pay you $75 for that privilege. So no – I wouldn’t hire you. But it’s NYC – people will waste money on anything esp young people who are already bad with money so you may have a market there.

      • Sadly I agree. I do agree with you, OP, that a lot of my peers are not financially savvy often to their detriment and could use some good advice. Perhaps the best way would be to do some free trials with close friends to build a network and decide if you want to narrow this or widen it. I agree that you will have to look closely at ethical guidelines and the law to determine if you are acting as a fiduciary or not.

        Personally, though, I wouldn’t pay someone who is not accredited or licensed to help me plan my money. But I might take advice from a friend but I wouldn’t tell that friend the details of my finances unless he/she was a certified professional in that line of work. Definitely would not pay a stranger.

        Perhaps you could look into getting a CFP? Honestly, I know a lot of CFPs at Northwestern Mutual that are total hacks anyway, so it’s not a guarantee of brilliance, but it’s better than simply being accredited based on reading books.

    • Thank you all so far. I truly appreciate every comment, both the encouraging ones and the doses of realism. Keep them coming!

    • One of my friends has successfully kicked off this type of business; however, her qualifications are far more robust than yours (CFA, CFP, and 20 years financial industry experience) and it took a LOT to get it up and running (part or half time isn’t enough).

      In short, I don’t think people will or should pay you if you’re just funneling existing website material. As others have stated, regulatory compliance issues come with the offering of investment advice.

      A couple things you probably could do:
      1. Start your own blog but come up with original content
      2. Create basic how to guides for budgeting, paying off loans, buying real estate, etc… and sell them on Etsy. Make sure not to use other sources’ content without licensing, but if multiple people can make money publishing similar downloadable templates for bridal/baby shower games there’s no reason why you can’t do the same with basic personal finance worksheets.

    • I’m a CPA and personal finance is my nerdy hobby. I’ve been thinking about doing this for free because I enjoy it and it’s a way to give back.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I actually did this a few years ago and it didn’t go anywhere. Turns out getting your finances in order is a lot of work and most people who really need it are not the ones who are willing to make a nerdy hobby out of it. So I had a lot of people start out with great enthusiasm, and very few actually follow through. I found that giving one-off presentations and planting the seed seemed to work better for me than actually taking on people as projects. (See Rule 10: People are Not Improvement Projects.)

        • I need to cross stitch “People Are Not Improvement Projects” on a sampler. I’m gifted at seeing what other people should be doing with their lives/gifts and terrible about getting frustrated with them when they don’t take the steps toward that path.

          “People” meaning my husband…my children…my coworkers…my parents…

          • Senior Attorney :

            One thing that has really helped me in that endeavor is thinking about all of my own foibles and then thinking about how much I really really really don’t want anybody in my life taking them on as a project.

    • This is basically what LearnVest offers. The sessions aren’t face-to-face, but they are over the phone and with certified financial planners.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      This is attractive to me! It sounds like you are someone kind of like me, in terms of age, position in career, education, etc. That makes you less intimidating. I like the idea that you *aren’t* super official, because then I don’t have to agonize over “aaah what if this is The Wrong Financial Person and I’m even worse off than before?!” You’d basically be like “the smart friend who’s lending her knowledge on this.”

      If I were you, I’d definitely have some concerns about:
      – whatever the financial advice version of ‘practicing law without a license’ is — don’t run afoul of professional regulations!
      – liability! how much can you get people to disclaim? are you going to be doing things that would put you in the position of a fiduciary? do you need insurance?

    • First off, good for you for testing out your idea with people before jumping into it. So many people don’t do this, and then end up disappointed.

      I think your idea has some legs, but I do think you will need some kind of credential to be seen as legit and get clients. In addition to becoming a Certified Financial Planner, you can also get a certification as a financial literacy educator – one of my coworkers did this a few years ago.

      Be prepared to give free talks at libraries, etc. to market yourself and also know you may have to do that for awhile.

      I’d also make very sure you understand what the competition in your area looks like – not just financial advisors, but also non-profits providing these types of services.

      Good luck!

    • Maybe some naive 25 year old would go to a financial adviser with zero qualifications other than reading Mr Money Mustache but no one else would and nobody should. There are non-intimidating qualified financial advisers out there.

    • Great points about fiduciary responsibility. Was not something I had considered, since my investment advice will be along the lines of “invest in index funds, diversify, etc”– but since my advice isn’t free it could have implications. I will definitely look into that, for sure.

      • Anon in the asset management industry :

        Try calling your state securities regulator. They should be able to point you in the right direction on what you need to do and what the legal requirements are. It sounds like you’ll be giving financial planning advice for a flat fee, so the legal requirements aren’t necessarily as onerous as they are for broker-dealers charging a commission-based fee and investment advisers charging an asset-based fee. That’s because charging a flat fee doesn’t have the same inherent conflicts of interest as charging a commission-based or asset-based fee.

      • Also, you would need to create an LLC for this business to protect your personal assets.

    • As someone likely in your target audience (early 20’s, female, NYC based), I’ll be honest and say I would never pay for this kind of service at this stage of my life. Maybe I just don’t make enough money so I truly couldn’t afford it anyway, but also as mentioned before, a lot of this information is available on the internet for free. So for me at least, unless you could literally be in my apartment in the morning to convince me to pack a lunch instead of buy, it’s just not going to help much. I think what you want to do is admirable because I know my friends and I could be better with our money but the people who need your help the most likely can’t afford to pay you for it (not all of us are making first year big law money).

    • Anon in the asset management industry :

      I think this is a fantastic idea and one that I have similarly thought of. I’ve been in the asset management industry for ages, and also treat personal finance as a hobby that I greatly enjoy. My family and friends are constantly asking me personal finance and surprisingly simple investing questions (e.g., “how do I figure out how much to invest for retirement?”), and I would love providing simple financial planning services for a low fee, mostly as a public service. Like others have said, people are either really into personal finance (in which case they wouldn’t hire you), or they find it stressful and boring and they would love to outsource it to someone they trust. There are far more people in the latter category…

      So I think you should go for it, but you’ll definitely need to look into what you legally can and can’t do without being a registered financial professional. I’m guessing you’ll need to register as an investment adviser with whatever state you’re in. I would also recommend doing the Certified Financial Planner certification. It won’t be that hard for you because you likely already know most of the material, but the CFP designation will be highly useful and aligns with the services you’re looking to offer. You’re basically describing acting as a fee-only financial planner.

      Don’t listen to the person who said to get a CFA. The only people who have those are analysts and portfolio managers who are investing millions of dollars. It takes 3 years minimum to pass all the CFA exams, and is similar in difficulty to getting a CPA. A CFP is more than enough for the services you’re looking to offer.

      • Agreed – I’m a financial professional and passed the CFA Level 1 (stopped then) and it was easy only because my degree is in finance. It’s also the wrong set of quals for this approach (which I agree I wouldn’t pay for as described).

        • Thanks, I thought getting my CFA would be a little much (my FIL is a CFA, but he owned a hedge fund. I am nowhere near that serious). CFP seems interesting and possible doable!

          • Yes, CFP is more appropriate than CFA for what you’re wanting to do. I would say AFCPE is table stakes if you don’t do the CFP– at least then you’ll have some formal training and know what’s beyond your scope of practice and when to refer to more qualified professionals.

    • I would actually love this service. I have kind of a confidence gap sometimes about money management: I read things and make what I think are good decisions based on what I read, but I would -love- a disinterested third party to run some of these choices past, especially when some of those choices are between some equally viable options.

      There’s a move toward financial counseling as a specialty in the social work field right now, which might be an interesting thing to look into if you have any kind of interest in counseling at all. It seems, at least among the middle class and above, people don’t have bad information about money, they have bad decisionmaking based on emotional baggage.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Please don’t do this. It devalues the work of those in the financial services industry who are licensed to provide this advice, and it opens you up to myriad legal issues if you decide to provide investment advice without a license to do so.

      All that being said, if you want a career change, consider taking classes towards your CFP and Series 7/66/9/10 if you want to open your own shop. This field needs more women, period.

      (OP: I am a CFP and I do this for people. LMK if you want to chat offline)

    • My 2 cents :

      I already don’t trust financial planners to give me sound advice about what to do with my money. But the fees you are charging are very affordable and you don’t seem to be over-promising the kind of advice you would give out. If you had a great website with tons of content that made you seem like a credible DIY expert and maybe a podcast or youtube videos so I could get a sense for your personality and feel like I know you as a person, then I might buy your service. But I would probably only get to know you if you had said podcast or if I knew you through a friend of a friend who raved about you. I think people need this kind of advice but it would take a lot of work for you to get a lot of clients.

    • Anonymous :

      No way would I hire a financial advisor who wasn’t a fiduciary. Sorry!

    • I work in finance and am also a personal finance nerd. I think this could work if you structured it as a “taking charge of your financial life” kind of service (ie – coming up with a budget, tackling existing debt, holding people accountable, figuring out how much to save vs. spend), versus telling people how to invest and making actual investment recommendations.

      I once helped an old roommate come up with a strategy and budget for paying off about $13,000 in credit card bills (figuring out how much she could afford to pay down each month, which bills to tackle first, etc.). A few of her friends also then solicited my help for similar questions. It was fun for me and I enjoyed helping them. I don’t know if I could have turned it into a sustainable business, but I think there’s definitely a need out there for someone to provide basic financial advice without the intimidation factor of seeing a professional financial advisor. Yes, there are a lot of great resources and general advice online, but you then have to be able to digest and apply that advice to your specific circumstances, and that’s where people struggle.

  3. Any good stories of weight loss when on hydrocortisone?

    I was put on the medicine 3 months ago and puffed up soon after.
    On my petite frame it completely changed my shape and I am shopping for a new wardrobe as I couldn’t fit into anything.
    I am scheduled for a check-up in few weeks but in case I have to continue using the drug for an undetermined period of time, anyone here has successfully dropped weight while on hydrocortisone?

    • I wouldn’t recommend trying. The weight you gain while on hydrocortisone isn’t the same as “normal” weight gain, and doesn’t tend to respond well to normal weight-loss tactics. More importantly, your body is going through some type of stress right now (due to the condition that requires the hydrocortisone regimen, as well as the drug itself). Adding the additional stress of inducing a temporary underfed state (which is what a diet is) could actively harm your health. I know it’s tough, especially since the physical changes can be so dramatic. But in the long term, for your health you’d be better off focusing on staying physically fit through exercise, and eating a healthy diet in terms of quality and variety, and not monitoring your weight until after you come off the drug. (I’m in the medical field, but I’m not your doctor, so you should definitely check with them regarding your individual scenario).

      • do I need bifocals :


        Agree with this completely. A healthy, well-rounded diet that is not high in sugars/carbs is a good idea. The steroids can also cause your blood sugar to shoot up and put you at risk for diabetes long term.

        Yes, the side effects can be awful.

        And every visit, ask when/how you can start the steroid taper and ask if there is a “steroid sparing” alternative medicine that is also effective for your medical problem, and how/when you can start using that.

        If the steroids are longer term, ask your doctor what you should be doing to prevent other side effects such as stomach irritation (proton pump inhibitor?), high blood glucose, and bone loss/osteoporosis (at least make sure you are getting enough vitamin D and calcium in your diet, and you may need a bone DEXA scan if you are going to be on steroids long term).

        Hang in there.

        • Oh wow, I was just sad about the extra dental cavities and weight gain… quite vain I know.
          Now, I’m definitely going to talk to my doctor about the other side effects, I’m on high doses of vitamin D, probiotics and some other supplements

          • If you’re worried about a higher risk of cavities, mention it to your dentist – they can give you a prescription toothpaste or mouthwash, if you aren’t already using one.

  4. Anonymous :

    I’m confused….what do super quiet hallways have to do with corduroy?

    • The sound corduroy can make when you’re walking. I don’t know … I really wouldn’t give it a second thought.

    • I’m going to guess you were not a child in the ’80s. This is a reference that belongs right next to rotary dial phones.

      No offense intended… this question just made me laugh!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I thought she meant quiet like….no one wears loud colors. I was not a child of the 80s.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That made me laugh! I am a child of the 70s and I well remember noisy corduroy pants!

        • How noisy could these pants possibly be ? I wore corduroy in the 80s, sure, but I don’t remember it being this huge loud “YOU CAN HEAR ME COMING” thing. But also, I was 5 when the 80s ended, so you might have been able to hear me coming for other reasons.

          • For pants I think it depends on whether your thighs rub together when you walk. Mine do and I am therefore pretty loud in corduroys.

          • Oh they’re loud. Corduroy swish swish swishing is the Sound Of The ’70s to me.

  5. Struggling Anon :

    Last December, I was diagnosed with g*nital warts after noticing several small bumps. My doctor used TCA to remove them and assured me that while the HPV virus does not have a cure, my body would rid itself of it in a year or two and that in her 30 year career, she had only a very small percentage come back for further treatment. I was devastated nonetheless. I ended up going back 4 more times from January to May for new bumps. Even my doctor was surprised. I was in the middle of starting a new relationship with a man I adore (and this all starting before him so I know for a fact I didn’t get this from him). I was so ashamed of the whole thing and my self esteem took a huge toll. I told him that I had several lesions removed, encouraged him to check himself, go to the doctor, etc. He was very calm about it. The summer went by and I thought I was in the clear…until I went to the doctor yesterday and she found 3 more warts. I am so upset. He and I are still together and I told him about it last night and he has been so understanding about the whole thing. I really think most people would react negatively if they learned their partner was dealing with this. So he has actually been wonderful through this. But I am in such a funk now and I’m so ashamed. I am serious about this relationship and I’ve read that warts can reappear during pregnancy, which gives me further anxiety as I know that is something I want in a few years. The idea of having something incurable with no idea of when or if my body will rid itself of it is upsetting. Not really sure what I am looking for with this post. Just wondering if anyone else has dealt with warts.

    • Sorry you’re struggling with this. It’s not an issue I’ve dealt with before, but I listen to the Savage Love podcast (NSFW) and he’s had experts on several times to talk about this issue in what seemed like a really calm, sane way. You might consider checking it out.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh honey, I haven’t personally but so so so many people have. This really is no big deal and if it was my partner, I’d be supportive too. That’s what you deserve, not shame. Dan Savage has good articles on this you might want to check out.

    • Happened to me in college. I heaped so much (undeserved) disapprobation on myself, so not only are you not alone with respect to warts, but also with respect to beating yourself up about it. Mine haven’t recurred (yet) in the decade since, but it took several (maybe 5?) months of treatment. And I know recurrence is always a possibility.
      You’ve been through the hardest part already. Grant yourself some grace. You are not a lesser person because of this. You’re still worth of love and belonging. And you have a supportive partner! That’s so wonderful, but I would also borrow the Dan Savage advice on this point. If someone bailed on you over this, it says nothing about you and tells you everything you need to know about them.
      Talk to your doctor about other treatment options. I didn’t use TCA; in fact, it wasn’t even suggested. Maybe the standards of care have changed in the intervening time, but also, bodies are different, and it may be worth exploring some other options.
      Stress can be a trigger for recurrence, so it’s essential that you take care of yourself. What kind of self care can you engage in this week? Might be helpful to think about self care options after appointments with your doctor as well.
      If you want to talk more offline, I’m happy to do that. If you’ve got an e-mail address you want me to use, let me know and I’ll reach out.

    • I have a long comment that got eaten in moderation. Hopefully it will appear soon. In the meantime, sending you internet hugs.

    • I’ve never found warts but I’ve tested positive for HPV. It is VERY common – the CDC says that at least 50% of people who have had sex will have HPV at some time in their lives. So there is a great chance your boyfriend already has the virus that causes warts. You have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of!

    • For real, I would not bat an eyelid if someone I was dating told me they had g*nital warts. I would look into how to protect myself during s*x, but it wouldn’t change how I viewed the relationship at all. I think you the shame you are feeling is totally unnecessary in this scenario.

    • Linda from HR :

      STDs happen, even to careful, responsible people. Most reasonable people understand this, and you should remind yourself of that fact as often as you need to. It’s normal to feel shame, I’ve been there, but you don’t need to be ashamed of this! I’m glad you’re taking care of it and kudos on being open about it, it’s the right thing to do but can be so, so hard. I’m sorry you’re having so much trouble with recurring lesions, hope you find an answer soon!

    • I’ve had high risk HPV, but no visible warts. I think I cleared the infection in about 2 years, so give yourself a break, it’s extremely likely that it’ll be gone in a year. Most people have HPV at some point and I don’t think there is even a test for men. I think it’s really only even noted in women if you have a problem – my gyn said they don’t even check unless you get an abnormal pap result. If you have to have a wart, at least it is not somewhere highly visible like the end of your nose. :)

    • I found warts (all of the sudden, like freaking mushrooms after a rainstorm) in my first 2 weeks of law school. I was horrified, went to the OB/GYN, walked home in a RAGE rather than take the bus, sobbed, and threw each of my law books against the wall because I was so upset. My doctor basically acknowledged how frustrating warts were, but told me all would be well and the virus would eventually clear. I was prescribed some sort of topical cream, which got rid of them in a few weeks (but felt extremely uncomfortable). They’ve never come back, although I’ve had abnormal paps since. HPV is SO common. Warts are really nothing more than a temporary skin condition- they can’t hurt you or your partner. (Obvi HPV/cervical cancer is a Thing, but setting that aside for now). Please please please don’t be hard on yourself. You shouldn’t be ashamed. HPV/warts do not say anything about your self worth. I’m sure your bf already had some strain of HPV or was been exposed to it before you, and it’s just luck of the draw that it’s never manifested in warts. I would be supportive of my partner if he was going through this, and yours is right to be supportive of you.

      I was fresh out of a LTR just beginning to LGP with new partners in my early 20s when I found warts. All the sudden I was faced with new challenges about how to garden safely, how to tell partners, whether I was being too promiscuous (lol no), whether I was always going to be at risk for STIs now that I wasn’t with my One True College Love. That’s where the stress came from. If back then I’d had the 10+ years of perspective and lots and lots of dating experience I have now, I wouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I have shrugged, been irritated, kept scheduling regular Paps, gotten myself a gigantic eclair to cheer myself up, and put it out of my mind.

      • This is how mine appeared (suddenly and unmistakably), in a similarly stressful stage in my life, right after the end of a long term relationship when I suddenly had a few new gardening partners. And I reacted with similar anger and shame.
        Struggling Anon, please take these words to heart: It’s so normal to react this way, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. Get an eclair, call your friend Shots Shots Shots, go for a run, get a massage, whatever will make you feel good. Take care of yourself.
        Also, I used some combination of in-office treatments and a topical cream (Aldara). Both were really uncomfortable, but the combination worked! Another reason to talk with your doctor about other treatment options.

    • I have them too. I contracted them when I was 19 (I’m 30 now) from an ex-bf and had a recurrence when I was 25 and engaged to my now husband. I was terrified to tell him and when I did he was super cool about it – he was basically like “thanks for telling me but why are you concerned about this?”I know a couple other people who have them too, and almost every woman I know has HPV, even if it isn’t the type that causes GW. If it helps, I didn’t have any show up when I was pregnant.

    • Everyone is giving you great advice and they sound like mature, well rounded, well educated, people. I’ll give you some advice on the flip side from someone that was raised very religious, went to religious college, and still have religious friends. We were sheltered. We were raised that STDs were punishments for sinful behavior. THAT IS NOT TRUE but that doesn’t mean that brain washing didn’t mess us up. Not everyone you tell is going to be all “no big deal” about it. There are people that have only had one or two partners in their life who don’t know anyone who had or has an STD. They might need to do some research and self educating before they an be loving and understanding about it. While in that religious world, someone started dating someone with herpes and the reaction was why expose yourself to that? There are other fish in the sea! But, we were not in the sea. We were in a little kiddie pool full of people with similar sheltered upbringings.

      You know your partner, your partner’s world view, if they are going to be educated and mature or if they are going to have some baggage from how they were raised to overcome in order to get through this with you. Also, if you have any of your own baggage, I highly suggest therapy. Being raised in a sex=shame house can mess you up real good.

  6. Help a socially awkward, married lady out.

    A former male colleague of mine has been getting in touch. We were friendly when we worked together, but nothing crazy. We email and IM fairly regularly now and he has started asking to meet me for coffee. That doesn’t seem too unusual, but we haven’t found a time to make it happen yet. But now he’s also started talking about wanting to take me to a movie or on a hike. We are both married and talk about our spouses/kids the same way you would with anybody else. I never got a particularly flirty vibe or anything from him when we worked together. But I’m beginning to wonder.

    I’m socially awkward and making friends is a bit of a struggle for me. I’m trying to figure out if this is just a normal interaction and how people make friends or if this is something else and I should shut it down. Any ideas?

    • Triangle Pose :

      Can’t help you read his mind, but I’d suggest you say “Oh, great idea! Spouse has been wanting to see that movie too, let’s all go together. Spouse and your wife haven’t met yet so this is a perfect opportunity” and then gauge his response. It will be telling.

    • meh, this is kind of weird. The coffee is fine, but the movie or hike definitely seems more than “friendly” given that you’re not THAT close with this guy. Movie/hike with your significant others? Sure. Alone? Nah.

    • If you enjoy your friendship with him, just set boundaries. Coffee OK, no to a movie or a hike. He may have a crush on you. He may just also be socially awkward and not know where to draw the line. So draw it for him.

      If he does have a crush on you one of two things is going to happen – it’s going to fade away and you’ll stop hearing from him all the time, or he’s going to tell you about it and then you’ll have to deal with it head on. But I wouldn’t worry about either of those things right now.

      Just guide this thing in the direction of being the friendship you want it to be.

    • Anonymous :

      Invite him and his wife over to dinner.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I don’t know if it is how you wrote it or how he said it but the specific language of “take you to” raised an eyebrow for me. Him wanting to take you somewhere sounds date like. If he asked you if you were interested in something or wanted to join him in something that’s different. There is a big difference between “hey, I’m going to see Guardians of the Galaxy tomorrow. Want to come?” and “Can I take you to a movie?”

      • Nope, those were his words – “take you.” It’s giving me pause too. I’m not really sure how to respond though without shutting the whole thing down. But maybe that’s what I should do.

      • Agree. “Take you to” to me means pay for you to do the thing. Paying for other adults to go to a movie is more than just friendly, to me. Unless, like, he owes you money and is suggesting paying for the movie in lieu of paying you back in cash or something.

    • Plan a couples’ date if you want to be friends. If not, start avoiding him.

  7. mega-anon :

    Hey wise ladies – need some advice. I have really debated about posting this but I’ve seen the advice given for some really thorny issues, so I’ll give it a shot.

    Two weeks ago, my husband confided in me that he feels he may be genderqueer or transgender. While I wouldn’t say he’s hyper-masculine, he’s never been particularly feminine, either, so I was pretty taken aback. We’ve talked a lot since then and have assured each other that our marriage is paramount, that we envision our futures together.

    I’ve been on the road for work since he told me. While I’m away, he’s been taking small experimental steps, like wearing women’s clothes around the house and painting his nails. He is also seeing a therapist who specializes in gender issues, and I’m going with him next week. He talks about everything from small changes to big ones (hormones, full-time transitioning, etc). I feel like I am drowning or I have whiplash. I am trying not to be selfish or catastrophize, but not doing so great.

    He’s my best friend and I want him to be happy and true to himself. We are early thirties, childfree by choice. I’ve made an appointment with a therapist but I can’t get in until late October. In the meantime – does anyone have tips for keeping my sh!t together and supporting my husband while we work through this?

    • Nothing but hugs and thoughts to you. I support these things in the abstract but would find it very difficult to deal with in the specific.

      • This is said very well.

        I am fully supportive of people living out the gender identity that feels true to them. At the same time, if I was the OP I would be losing my s hit right now.

        OP – big love coming from me to you. No advice; I think a therapist is the best source of advice for this. My thoughts are with you.

      • Senior Attorney :

        All this from me, too! Sounds like you are doing all the right things and I’m sending you big love and I hope you will come back here for support whenever you need it!

        And I echo the posts below that say it’s important to be true to yourself and take care of yourself, whatever that ultimately ends up looking like.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s okay to feel your feelings. Your spouse has had a long time to think through these feelings. You have not. It is not selfish to have feelings. It is not selfish to be sad, to feel betrayed, to be unsure if this marriage will work for you or what it will look like. It’s important that you want him to be happy. It is also important that you take care of yourself.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. Keep in mind that he’s probably thought about this a lot before reaching this conclusion and telling you. You literally just had your whole vision of your life upended two weeks ago. Regardless of how supportive you are/can be, that’s a lot to take in and you should be giving yourself a lot of leeway and self-care here. Other people may disagree, but I think you can and should set some boundaries until you can get your head straight, like, wearing women’s clothes around you or telling you about it is okay, but maybe slow down on the full-time transition discussions until you’ve both had time to live with this new development. I get that this is an exciting time for him to finally be able to express these feelings and explore this, but he also needs to respect that this is brand new for you.

    • Is there any online or phone support you can call in the meantime? The PFLAG hotline, maybe? It’s completely understandable that you are reeling, and it doesn’t mean you’re not a supportive spouse. It’s also completely fair to prioritize self-care right now – this is a tough transition and exploration for you, too.

      You already sound from this post to be extremely supportive. It says so much for your marriage and your love for each other that your husband is working through this with you!

    • Carolyn Hax has responded to a question from a wife in the same position you are in now, and then someone else chimed in with the same experience:

    • Check Mom's Page :

      I’m pretty certain there is someone on the Mom’s Page with a transgender husband. You might want to put a quick post there for her to look over here if she doesn’t regularly. If I remember correctly her husband transitioned from female to male before they married though.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. Agree that he’s had a lot more time to process this, so take time to feel all the feelings without guilt. And don’t feel like you have to be supportive of this just because you are supportive of the LGBT community in general. There’s nothing inconsistent about support for the LGBT community and deciding you don’t personally want to be married to a woman or genderqueer person. This would be a deal breaker for me and you shouldn’t feel like a bad person if it’s also a deal breaker for you.

      • Flats Only :


      • I’d reframe this slightly to say that being supportive does not necessarily mean you must decide to stay married or that your relationship doesn’t change in some fundamental ways. I hope you both can find ways to mutually support each other, however it works out.

      • + 1 million

    • lawsuited :

      I think you’re already doing amazingly well at keeping your shit together and supporting your husband. This is a seismic shift for him and for you, and your husband has likely taken years – maybe his whole life – to process and come to terms with his feelings. You can’t be expected to do it in a matter of weeks. Sending you lots of internet hugs – look after yourself!

    • Cornellian :

      I’ll second pretty much everything people have said.

      I think you definitely deserve all sorts of support. I have two friends who have had something similar go on in their relationships (one friend who transitioned while engaged, and another whose spouse transitioned after 8 years together), and I think the worst thing to do is to rely entirely on each other for support. You’re sorting our your relationship together, but if you are each other’s sole (or even main?) source of support, you will both get burnt out very quickly.

    • I wouldn’t frame this in terms of being selfish or unselfish. This is profoundly personal; your marriage has been fundamentally altered, and you’ve lost something that seemed secure. Take lots time with your end of this.

    • I am sorry you are going through this. I want to urge you to protect yourself in this relationship; I hope that everything works out for the best, but I worry that you will face pressure to “be there no matter what” or “accept all your partner’s identities” even if it is no longer in your best interests. Never forget that you are a person in this marriage too, and if the changes mean that you need to step back, you are not a bad person, “transphobic,” a monster, intolerant, or any of the other unfortunate names that you might hear hurled at you.

      In time, if things get hard, I can point you to some stories of women who went through the same thing and needed support dealing with the worst-case scenario, but for now, I think that you are doing the right thing and that it won’t help to hear the disaster situations. Hugs to you.

      • Also, I want to urge you to get multiple opinions from therapists and psychiatrists who are not specifically associated with gender identity clinics. If you find a therapist who insists your husband is a woman/has always been a woman because he is trying on dresses and nail polish, run far, far away. Nail polishes and dresses do not a woman make, but that may be the only perspective you hear depending on where you go to seek professional help. Seek multiple opinions and perspectives that include discussion of risks and downsides so you can get a fuller picture.

    • I think your husband is a bit of a POS for marrying you when he obviously had some inkling this wasn’t right. It’s not fair to you to get into a marriage without giving you all the facts, it’s lying by omission. I’m sorry you were deceived, and you are under no obligation to get past it.

      • I think you put a bit more harshly than necessary, her husband is not necessarily a POS, but did deceive you to a certain extent by not disclosing these feelings prior to your marriage, even if he had not made a decision about it, so, I think it is okay and healthy to feel a bit of anger, even deceived, but to not let these emotions overwhelm your decision regarding your marriage going forward.

        He is still the person he always has been, it is up to you all to decide if you want to remain in a same sex / gender queer relationship; attraction is important.

      • Isn’t it possible he didn’t have these feelings until recently? I agree it’s crappy to marry someone without disclosing these feelings if he had them, but it’s not clear at all to me he felt this way pre-marriage.

        • Or didn’t believe he could live them. I’m the religiously repressed poster from above. If you are raised that it is a choice as opposed to being born that way, you think you can fight it and be the person you are being told you are supposed to be. You marry a woman like you were told you had to. You might actually really love this woman too! Then you get away from your religion and you join regular society and you start seeing that this transgender thing is real and it wasn’t all in your head. You could possibly live this way. You wouldn’t be shunned to an island like your family suggested you would be. You start being honest with yourself too…

    • Thank you all so much for these responses. We’ve been together for more than a decade and I can’t envision a future without him. I plan to ask him, once he has a few more sessions under his belt, to see another professional who may have a different take/perspective. It seemed so sudden to me that I wonder if it’s intrusive thoughts/OCD/something physical. I’ve been trying to avoid internet searches because you can go down a rabbit hole, but I’ll start with PFLAG.

      Anon @ 10:27 – I honestly don’t know that he ever thought anything wasn’t “right” – I don’t believe he deceived me at all.

      • Cornellian :

        mega-anon, you sound like a great spouse/friend. Hope you both get the support you need to figure out your path forward.

      • I am so sorry. I would be devastated. For a raw, very angry perspective on having a husband transition, check out transwidow’s blog on word press. It isn’t politically correct but it is honest. Take care of yourself first.

      • So a lot of people here know my story, which I’ll summarize as “my marriage ended because of my husband’s struggles with his s*xuality.” First off, I wouldn’t point you to PFLAG – at least when I was going through my situation with my husband, I found PFLAG to be very focused on how straight allies can support LGBT people. Which is important, but frankly, I would recommend that you seek out resources that are more tailored to your situation. *You* need support. Your husband does too, but you have unique needs that extend beyond the typical situation PFLAG addresses. Straight Spouse Network was very helpful for me.

        Let me just note here that I understand that s*xuality and gender identity aren’t the same thing, but I think there are likely a lot of commonalities between your experience and those of people whose spouse is coming out (and SSN provides support for both situations).

        I would also really encourage you to focus on yourself and your needs. You don’t need to make decisions now about staying married. How can you, really, when your husband is only starting the process of openly exploring this? And you’re only at the beginning of your own journey in terms of how you feel about it. Keep an open mind. Do not force yourself to feel any particular way. We are in a moment with a strong cultural narrative that celebrates coming out/transitioning – and for good reasons. But that narrative can discard or minimize the experience of someone in your position, and it can make you feel guilty about feeling angry, betrayed, sad, etc. It’s okay to feel all of those things – really, it is. It’s possible to feel like your husband is not the “bad guy” in this situation but also to feel like his personal growth is exacting a terrible toll on you. Both of those things can be true.

        Be prepared for your husband to go through a phase in which he is almost entirely self-centered. That’s normal, because this is an intensely personal process of figuring out himself, but it’s hard to deal with in a relationship, and it’s another reason for you to focus on getting the support and care you need, and not on supporting him. He’s not likely to be focused on supporting you, because he is grappling with something that is going to take up all his emotional bandwidth. And you need a place where you can be brutally frank about how you feel about all of this, and not have to worry about hurting his feelings. You can’t be each other’s rocks right now, because you may fundamentally need different things to be happy and whole.

        • mega-anon :

          Thank you, so much.

          • Also, feel free to email me at my name at gmail. I know it’s scary to email a stranger, but trust me – I have talked to more than one person from this site about similar issues. Sometimes it just helps to know other people have been there. Whether you email or not, I’ll be thinking of you. You will find your way through this – wherever the road leads (which can be many, many places).

        • I haven’t had the exact experience, but my husband did come out to me as bisexual after 10 years of marriage. +1000 to everything cbackson said including reaching out to the Straight Spouse Network. I also wanted to suggest that you find a couples counselor (not the person your husband is already seeing) and an individual counselor. Don’t be afraid of shopping around for a counselor. The first counselor I saw mentioned in our first session how sad it would be for my husband if he didn’t get to live “authentically.” Having my individual counselor focused on my partner’s happiness was not what I needed when my world was literally collapsing. I needed someone who was focused on me and the crisis I was going through. I left and found a counselor who was a much better fit.

      • Anonymous :

        see also blogger “The Maven of Mayhem”….she went through this real-time on her blog and has a daughter & wife both that transitioned. (spoiler alert: she and her wife just renewed their wedding vows about 20yrs after the first marriage – transition was just in the last 1-2 yrs)

    • Being supportive also doesn’t mean that you have to say goodbye to your own boundaries. For example, if your husband asks to wear your clothes or lingerie around the house and you are not comfortable with that, your wishes must be respected. I would encourage you to think about what you are and aren’t comfortable with and communicate from there. Just remember, it’s never selfish to have needs, boundaries, concerns, questions, or anything else about such a big life change.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I’ve got a very dear friend who has been walking a similar journey for 2 years now. Please get yourself your own therapist. Your husband’s therapist may be able to assist with a referral to someone familiar with these issues.

      This isn’t an easy road, but it is a possible one.

  8. NYC People – I’m going to a concert tonight at Madison Square Garden and will be taking the train into Grand Central. Looking for happy hour spots and/or dinner spots in the area between GC and MSG. It will be 4 ladies! Not looking for anything fancy, just fun and good drinks!

    • I enjoyed Bookmarks lounge (in the Library Hotel). Might depend on the timing, it’s small and I think gets crowded quickly after work.

    • I like to get Korean BBQ when I go see a show at MSG. You can find a whole bunch along 32nd street. It’s usually a fun atmosphere and it’s something you can’t get everywhere else.

    • AIMS is right about Korean food in the neighborhood – there are lots of great options, and it’s fun. There’s also Barbes, a Moroccan restaurant on 36th just west of Madison.

      If you’re pressed for time, the Pennsy is a fancy food court attached to MSG. There’s a bar, and several really good food options, including sushi, tacos, vegan bowls, and the best roast beef sandwich I’ve ever eaten. If you have a group who can’t agree, it’s a solid choice.

    • Cornellian :

      There’s good turkish and brazilian that usually has room for a group on 46th between 5th and 6th, too.

  9. I have a 9 year old daughter who has a lot of anxiety, which is at its highest when she’s alone in her room at night before she falls asleep. Any tips on how we as parents can help her manage the distracting thoughts during this time? She never took to stuffed animals or a blanket, so it would be odd to introduce at this age. Yes, we are having her see a therapist. And I actually have the same problem – oftentimes I can’t sleep because I keep thinking about work – so it’s inherited.

    • My son has struggled on and off with anxiety. We’ve tried a number of things up to and including therapy but the most helpful thing was a simple book – What To Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kids’ Guide To Overcoming Anxiety.

      It likens worry and anxiety to a plant that only grows when you worry. You’re allowed a set amount of time to worry every day and that’s it. Sounds hokey but it works for a 9 year old, which is exactly how old my son was when he had issues with this.

      You might give it a try. If it’s really a problem, bring it up with your pediatrician.

      • do I need bifocals :

        Piggy-backing off this….. my niece is having similar problems, but is a bit older (7th grade….12). This book seems a bit young for her… what do you think? Other suggestions for older kids?

        She is also having difficulty sleeping, ruminating….. There is a parent with severe mental illness/hospitalization for mental illness. I asked about therapy in the past. My sibling took her …..once.

        She reached out to me about it. Reading in bed keeps her up for hours…. Mindfulness App for kids?!?

        • fake coffee snob :

          I believe the Headspace app (which is GREAT and has helped me a lot with my anxiety) offers kid-specific guided meditations. If those seems too juvenile for the particular kid, there’s no reason that the normal ones (anxiety-specific or otherwise) would be inappropriate at any age. It does have a cost ($13/month I think) but for me it’s been very worth it. There is a free trial, too.

    • My kid has a bit of this, and the solution for us was to make sure he gets good, hard physical exercise in the afternoon (after school). Like an hour or two of sports – team soccer practice, running on the track with his father, a bike ride, etc. If he’s physically exhausted when he lies down, he goes right to sleep with no time for anxiety. Also, I suspect the endorphins and other good exercise-related stuff helps calm that mindset. It takes some dedication (especially with fitting in his homework) but is totally worth it.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I was going to say physical exercise too. Also, maybe you’ve already done this, but what about setting a calming bedtime routine? Like, no screens for an hour before bed, maybe a specific hand lotion that she uses at night or a scent that she can associate with relaxation (like a lavender pillow spray or something), and soft music (easy classical stuff).

      • +1. My son has always been high-needs and he has anxiety that keeps him awake unless he gets that energy out before bedtime. He has karate twice a week and the other nights, he either helps us walk the dog (we walk about 2 miles) or we take a bike ride. This gets harder in the winter, so last year we bought a treadmill and he’ll use that. I want to help him find natural, healthy ways to deal with his anxiety, which is absolutely hereditary in his case (my entire side of the family suffers from some form of anxiety). I’ve been through a lot, and seen my family members go through a lot, trying to cope using food, alcohol, illegal drugs, shopping, etc. as self-medication. If it comes down to it, we’ll get him meds, but he’s only 12 and I want to see what we can do with exercise and cognitive-behavioral therapy first.

        So – I would encourage exercise and also give the therapy some time.

    • reading in bed?

      • +1 I have always been anxious and have trouble initiating sleep because my mind races. I never took to stuffed toys or a blanket or any other comfort thing, but started reading until I fell asleep worked like a charm for me (with the exception of the Harry Potter series which I stayed up all night to finish when a new book was released!)

        • fake coffee snob :

          Audiobooks (especially Harry Potter since I know the story so well I don’t feel the need to stay fully engaged) help me with that too!

          • anon a mouse :

            I had a lot of bedtime anxiety as a kid and my parents found some audiobooks/tapes that were basically guided meditation. Probably similar to headspace, but they were geared to kids, with lots of fun imagery and sounds.

          • When I was about that age, I had a similar problem, and I found audiobooks to be really helpful. Specifically, listening to the same audiobook from the beginning every night – the story wasn’t important because I knew it already, and the particular book I used had a really slow exposition with a bunch of nighttime-around-a-campfire sounds (it was some western by Louis L’Amour, oddly – it was my dad’s book…).

    • Anonymous :

      It’s not odd to introduce a comfort object! It’s a reasonable strategy to try.

      • I started sleeping with a teddy bear when I was 9 (third grade) for similar reasons. It helped so much.

      • If I’m being honest… I really just switched out childhood comfort objects for pets as I grew up.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I never once slept with a comfort item. For Christmas this year my brother got me Hooty the Owl and now that thing is between my arms over my chest every night. I have a dog too, but although his presence is calming, his inability to stay in one place is not, so he sleeps on the other side of the bed and if I need to I’ll reach a hand out and put it on his back for my own comfort.

    • Would worry dolls help?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      My 9 year old son has the same issues and so do I (anxious over-thinkers). His anxiety vacillates in-between totally irrational, thinking he is going to be kidnapped or thinking he could accidently rip his sister’s arms off when he goes to pick her up, to “so-and-so doesn’t like me”. But it led to vomiting and sleepless nights.

      I noticed with him that he needs to talk about things right away. The longer it festers, the worse the thoughts are. At our Dr’s suggestion, I left an hour early from work once or twice a week. That way, when we got home, we didn’t have to rush through homework, dinner, activities, then down time. We’d play a board game and talk about the day as we played. At dinner, we did NOT talk about the day or anything that was making him anxious. Dinnertime conversation was light and fluffy. I sometimes rubbed his feet with lavender oil after his shower. It’s very calming and the scent soothed him.

      It’s an ongoing battle, but it’s getting better. The more calm I am, the less anxious he is. When he gets worked up, I just remind him that he’s safe, it’s going to be okay, and we’re in it together.

      Sending you and your daughter big hugs!

    • Linda from HR :

      I find my mind is super active at night. Not always anxious, but full of thoughts, and it can sometimes feel weird lying there, in the dark, by myself. I often fall asleep with a familiar TV show playing on Netflix, but I don’t recommend that for a child (really not a good habit for anyone). Have her read before bed, so she’s good and sleepy and ready to fall asleep quickly, but also maybe get her a white noise machine or find some music for her to play softly as she falls asleep.

    • fake coffee snob :

      I’ve added a few comments but for an off-the-wall suggestion, as a kid, one thing that helped was having the dog sleep in my room (so that I didn’t feel so alone – sometimes I’d just listen to him breathe and try to sync up my own breathing, almost meditatively). I don’t know if you guys have pets or if that makes sense for you, but on the off chance it’d help, it was very soothing for me.

    • One of my yoga teachers got into yoga as a treatment for dealing with childhood anxiety. The right class could teacher her strategies for how to quiet those thoughts in her brain and it’s also a fun hobby she can do before bed if she’s so inclined. Physical activity also helps, if she’s not into that idea. Maybe a dance class if she’s not into traditional team sports.

    • What about a weighted blanket? I have anxiety and have been dying to get one for myself but the adult ones are insanely expensive.

    • PatsyStone :

      I have always had high anxiety, and I am often anxious about falling asleep (I have lots of anxiety-fueled nightmares). Things that have worked for me include (1) happily snoozing dog against me (2) listening to podcasts, and guided meditations and (3) simply counting backwards from 100 with my eyes closed. I am always afraid it won’t work, but I’ve never made it to one. Light pressure on my eyes also helps, I swear by this (my 4yo calls it my sleeping hat):

      I might also discuss how being an anxious person isn’t all bad. There are lots of benefits too, planning, organization, sensitivity to others, etc. There is always good to go with the bad.

    • I might be too late for this, but what about keeping a journal? I find it helpful sometimes to do a brain dump so I don’t have to remember things as I fall asleep. She could write about everything that’s making her anxious. Writing also helps you understand problems too; if you can’t write about it, you don’t understand it.

  10. new job, who dis :

    how bout this SoFi scandal huh?

    I’m also fascinated when all this juicy salacious info comes out about companies – and how long they’ve gone to cover it up. obviously horrified when it comes to s3xually harassing employees…

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      It made me think of all the times people call fake on Ask A Manager letters (like the infamous “duck” club one) that woah, these things really happen some places. It’s no secret I was really happy with their loan refinance process. I’m sad to hear that their employee practices were so messed up. This case has some clear unwanted s3xual harassment issues. With the “duck” club letter, I was intrigued by the legal issues where the participants of both genders appeared to be 100% consensual. I think the claims would have to be brought by the non-participants who felt they were subject to a hostile work environment. In that case though, there weren’t really benefits given to participants that non-participants weren’t getting. A group of employees were just “ducking” for meaningless points all over the office in some competition for bragging rights. I’d be pretty pissed if coworkers ducked on my office couch too!

  11. I’m a litigator and will be interviewing for a lateral position after the new year. I have four suits, all of which have held up pretty well over the years, but I just realized I bought the newest one in 2008 (!!). I would like to get a new one before I start interviewing. I’m willing to spend a bit more for something that will last. Any recommendations? I’m happy with all of my current suits, but they’re from Theory and JCrew, and I’ve heard that the quality of both has gone down over the years. My biggest problem in finding something that fits well is that I’m petite and curvy. Ideally I would like to buy a petite size, but my theory suit it fits pretty well after alterations. Where do you all buy your suits?

    • Talbots! I asked for reasonably priced suiting recs the other day and posters recommended it and the J.Crew Italian stretch. The J.Crew Italian stretch ran small (so small I’d have to go up 2 sizes from my usual), but it was nice. I ended up with Talbots, which was a great fit with my hourglass-turns-into-a-pear-when-I-eat-too-many-fall-treats figure. I needed the waist taken in a bit, but then I also do. Bonus – I just got an email that their suiting is 30% off today!

      • Also = always

      • To me. Talbots is very old-lady-ish. I’d stick with BR, Ann Taylor, or Tahari. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

        • Some of Talbots is, yes. Their suiting is pretty conservative and current, though, provided you buy what fits.

          • +1 to this. Choose carefully and don’t hesitate to have a waist tapered or shorten even the petites to a less matronly length and Talbots should do you fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve recently bought suits from both Theory and J Crew, and I actually think the quality has improved over the past year or so from what it was ~3-5 years ago. Another favorite brand is Boss, which is around Theory quality or a little better and offers some of their suits in petite sizes, and they tend to be a little more curve-friendly than J Crew and Theory. I’m also a big fan of Ann Taylor’s seasonless stretch suiting for everyday wear (they also come in petites) — I’ve bought several pieces of that in both gray and black over the last 2 years and I’ve been really happy with them.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Boss and Theory are the only brands I have found for court-appropriate suits of a quality level I am looking for. I like the style and quality of Boss better than Theory, but both are good.

      I have an old Brooks Brothers suit I still wear, but I haven’t liked their stuff as of late.

  12. Anon Associate :

    Question re recruiters – I had contacted two separate recruiters on previous occasions for lawyer jobs. One of them called me last week and told me that I wasn’t getting one of the jobs I was in consideration for but mentioned that there may be another job that I would be interested in. Yesterday, I reached out to another recruiter who I had met with months ago and he told me that there was a job he thought I may be interested in – at the same firm as the one I heard about last week.

    What do I do when I’ve heard about the same job from two separate recruiters (at different companies)? I feel like one of them may actually have the posting and perhaps the other one may have just heard about it from a contact but I’m a bit at a loss.

    Thanks all!

    • Wanderlust :

      If a firm is working with multiple recruiters, it’s pretty common that only the recruiter who first submits the candidate to the firm gets the credit.

    • So Recruiter A submitted you for a job that you didn’t get and then told you about alternate position that they would like to submit you for? And then Recruiter B also told you about alternate position a week later, but hasn’t sumbitted you for anything recently? I’d probably ask recruiter A for a few more details and stick with them since you heard about it first from them. You can let B know that you’d already been contacted about this. I’m not sure what all the ethics are in this, but I got burned by a recruiter once who tried to “claim me” for a firm and they decided to not interview me rather than fight with the recruiter.

    • Linda from HR :

      It’s not uncommon for a company to have partnerships with multiple search firms, so both recruiters might be working on that job. However, only one will get the credit, I’d let A submit you and let B know you’ve already been submitted to the job.

    • Anon Associate :

      This is helpful – thanks!

    • I once almost didn’t get a job offer due to dueling recruiters. A recruiter I didn’t know cold called me about a position at an unnamed consulting firm, and described a position that sounded boring and one level down from what I was already doing. I declined.

      Then a different recruiter whom I know called me about a position at a named consulting firm that sounded very interesting and a step up from what I was doing. So I said ok to an interview.

      Of course it turned out to be the same job.

      Once I went on the interview, the first recruiter called me and said they had approached me first about the job and so I should be working with them. I was apologetic (shouldn’t have been but I was inexperienced with this) but stuck with the recruiter I knew. Then the company’s HR person called me to see which recruiter had called me first. Over the course of a month I had several calls and emails from both recruiters and HR arguing over basically who owned me.

      It was a mess beginning to end, and it derailed what was clearly going to be an offer situation. I was a perfect fit for the job and would have taken it.

      The month + delay due to dueling recruiters led them to interview other candidates and find someone they liked better. I really think the recruiter thing left a bad taste in their mouths for me, though it really wasn’t my fault. I’m not sure they would have liked the other candidate better if we had been on a level playing field but I was tarnished by the fiasco.

      All this to say – be careful with recruiters. Make sure to be up front with both recruiters about who told you about the job first. And make sure neither of them thinks they have an exclusive either with the company or with you.

      • That is really annoying. My impression has always been that recruiters have to make the match. That may include doing some work, like forming relationships and selling candidates on the company. Just cold-calling people and giving them an underwhelming description of the job shouldn’t entitle a recruiter to plant their flag.

    • I have a really long comment in mod telling my own story in this situation. My advice is to tell both recruiters that you’ve heard about this from another recruiter and then go with whichever one told you first.

      • Anon Associate :

        This is exactly what I did and both responded relatively positively so I think it worked out (at least in terms of competing recruiters).

        • I didn’t close the loop on my own story so I feel the need to do that now – I said I almost didn’t get an offer. I did get an offer, but it was to report to the guy they found in the month the recruiters were battling it out, and not the job I interviewed for, which they gave to him.

          I turned it down.

          That guy they gave it to – he got fired and then prosecuted for fraud, so, y’know, schadenfreude.

          Best of luck for a hopefully less dramatic outcome!! hah

  13. Struggling Anon :

    Ugh. Struggling this morning and stuck in mod. Look out for another post from Struggling Anon, please.

  14. foot problems :

    I have underpronating feet and have twisted my ankles a fair amount as a result. The last time was about three years ago. I still felt pain a year later so I did physical therapy. During that, my shin got really tight and painful, and I had to stop running (I was a casual runner, 30-45 m at a time maybe). Then I got pregnant and extremely, extremely sick, so I fell of off physical therapy. My baby is 14 months old now, so it’s been a while since PT. In the last year or so, I have had new weird symptoms like waking up and the backs of my heels are so tight I can’t walk right away. The other day I woke up and had some weird puffiness and soreness on the bottom of one heel. I often have pain in the other foot under my arch. I haven’t worn heels in months and I have pain basically every day. Is this the kind of think you go to a podiatrist for? I feel totally overwhelmed because it’s all these different issues, and I also feel like some sort of hypochondriac because there are so many different things and I’m embarrassed to talk to my doctor about it.

    • Yup. Podiatrist.

      Have been molded for a permanent shoe insert?

    • Sounds like plantar fasciitis. Totally reasonable to see a podiatrist. I used to have it, the “first painful steps in the morning” is a classic sign. It can also cause heel spurs, which could explain your heel pain. Treatment usually involves stretching, massage, and wearing supportive shoes – a podiatrist will probably give you orthotics. I usually just wear Birks or Vionics, especially around the house. You’re supposed to wear supportive shoes or slippers instead of going barefoot.

    • Yes! This is a podiatrists job. Go to one.

    • Maybe Achilles tendonitis? I am also a runner who supinates (opposite of pronate) and I have had recurring Achilles tendon problems for years. It can get worse if you don’t treat it, so just call your doctor. You’ll probably end up with another referral for PT.

    • Sounds at least partly like plantar fasciitis, one of the most miserable and mysterious of low-level foot ailments (no one really knows why it shows up), and definitely see a podiatrist for solutions to alleviate it.

    • Also a runner. My calves are very tight, as are my achilles tendons and my plantar fascia. They’re all connected and the tightness goes all the way up through that whole system for me, and it sounds like it does for you as well. Sometimes my feet and heels are sensitive when I get up in the morning too. I went to a PT a couple years ago for it and it helped quite a bit. A few things I still do, years later, when it’s particularly tight:

      You can roll your calf muscles out with this contraption:
      (I find a foam roller doesn’t work very well on my calves because it’s too hard to get the leverage to really press down on them)

      You can stand on a tennis ball and roll it around on your arch.

      When I get up in the morning if my feet are sensitive that morning I slip on a pair of house shoes with a good cushion and that usually takes care of the sensitivity.

      • YES, I am extremely tight all the way up the back. I am notorious for having the least flexible hamstrings my college rowing coach ever saw. I am doing private yoga sessions with a friend who is just starting her business, and she is like, girl, what is up with your feet and your entire back line. I feel like I want to just take care of it and not feel like there’s always something hurting or not right, even though the pain isn’t severe.

        • I would definitely recommend continuing with the yoga and trying the rolling thing, and don’t walk around barefoot. For me, my calves don’t loosen up with either/or; I definitely need both. Keep at the stretching and good luck!

    • Ugh, I left you a long comment, which is now in moderation for some flipping reason. Check back!

    • Reply to foot problems :

      Can’t reply in line on my phone. Yes, podiatrist!! I had similar issues in the year after having a baby — I think it was due to ligament changes and center if balance changes post pregnancy– and I wish I had seen a doctor rather than suffering for months and months!

      • Thank you all! I was worried bc I think it’s all muscle/tendon related not bone and wasn’t even sure if that’s what podiatrists do. I guess they obviously do! I’m really glad to hear it worked for others. Thank you!

    • I have the same issues. You need to see a podiatrist for orthotics.

  15. Cornellian :

    Hopefully this doesn’t start something hateful, but does anyone have some good analyses of sanders’ healthcare proposal (and, ideally, analyses of alternate proposals like the Michigan senator’s narrower expansion of medicare)? I was intrigued by the medicaid expansion Schatz (HI) proposed last month, but want to be more informed generally.

    I’m left of center but ultimately a pragmatist who actually looks at CBO reports, etc., so wonky is great.


    • I just had to work on some indemnification issues for a client. Technically that has nothing to do with healthcare.

      But if Medicare for all is basically having the federal government indemnify all of us for our healthcare costs, I don’t see how that isn’t going to be a shockingly high figure. I mean, I waste stuff that’s free to me, but I have a gimlet eye for costs that actually come out of my pocket (and healthcare is a little squishy, b/c I have fixed insurance costs but my insurer is exposed to varying costs I incur and I only bear the copays / % pays).

      As a taxpayer, this scares me, b/c I see that long-term, as a country we are getting sicker and sicker b/c of chronic diseases like type II diabetes, meth and pill spillover, etc. etc. And I think that ultimately my taxes will go way up and we’ll have some sort of rationing / long wait times for anything but the ER. In the end, it will be more expensive and while universally available in theory, largely unavailable in fact (esp. for chronic conditions, esp. in small cities and rural areas).

      • I think your main concern is about a very different structure than the one Sanders proposes; you’re thinking of a system that basically stays the same, but the government reimburses; that is not what his bill is.

        One of the main points of the “healthcare for all” strain of thought is that partially in the short term, but primarily in the long term, healthcare costs will fall drastically because people won’t delay seeing healthcare workers for issues that could be cheaply treated or managed earlier, but result in later astronomical costs (like to the ER), and preventative treatment simply works to ward off larger healthcare issues. Sanders’ bill also allows the government to negotiate with medical device and medicine providers which, somehow, is stupidly right now impossible or difficult.

        Also, keep in mind, more healthy people equals more tax payers, so the burden will be spread more than it is now.

    • anon a mouse :

      The Vox reporting by Sarah Kliff has been really good and wonky.

  16. I’m heading to Poland next month for six days, flying in and out of Warsaw but planning to go to Krakow and the salt mines. Anyone been recently? We love art, history, and wandering around charming neighborhoods. Also would love dining and shopping recommendations. Thanks so much!

    • I went not remotely recently – almost 20 years ago – but loved Krakow and the salt mines.

      This is kind of the opposite of what you asked for, but I feel compelled to say that visiting Aushwitz and Birkenau was a very powerful experience. It made the whole concept of the Holocaust a bit less abstract – the scale of it, the fact that it happened right next to ordinary towns where people were going about their business, and the fact that it really wasn’t that long ago – I was shocked by how modern the camps looked. Of course I understand many would have good reasons for not wanting to visit.

      • I would go to Auschwitz too. My parents went when I was in high school and left me in Krakow with family friends at my request (we are Jewish and I thought it would be overwhelming). I really regret it now and plan to take my daughter when she’s older, probably HS.

      • Co-sign all of this. Auschwitz-Birkenau is not to be missed. It can be a difficult experience (i actually got physically ill while there) but i recommend it to everyone.

        On a completely separate note, there is (or was, 20 years ago) a place in the main Krakow square that is like an open-air restaurant with amazing steaks for like $5.

      • Thanks for all the recs. We do plan on going to Auschwitz. Forgot to mention that. I’m sure it won’t be easy, but it’s important.

    • Enjoy! I lived there ten years ago and sadly haven’t been back so no recent recs but it is a wonderful city and I’m very jealous.

    • I loved Krakow and was kind of eh about Warsaw. Krakow used to have a crafts/open air market that was amazing. I don’t know if it’s still around but definitely hit it up if so. It’s right in the town square.

      We went to see Auschiwtz too. I don’t know how I feel about recommending that to you. It’s a lot. I am personally glad I went and witnessed it but I wasn’t prepared for it and wish I had been. Read about it ahead of time.

    • I lived in Krakow for a few years, quite a while ago but the historical stuff should not have changed. ;-)

      Agree that Krakow is a nicer destination than Warsaw. If you do have any time in Warsaw, check out the “old town.” Most of it was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt from pictures. The Palace of Culture is also interesting to see. It’s very much representative of Communist architecture and sticks out like a sore thumb. The Lazienki palace and park are also nice to visit. Beware of the cabs at the Warsaw airport; there are many illegitimate cabs that will rip you off.

      The Salt Mines and Auschwitz will each take most of a day. During the drive to the Salt Mines, you will see high rise apartments where most Poles in Krakow live. You can spend a full day at Wawel castle. It has great acoustics, so try to go to one of the classical music concerts. Some of them feature period instruments. The main square in Krakow has a big hall where Polish handmade goods are sold. Bargaining is expected. The main square is also home to a historic church. Throughout old town, you will find below ground pubs and outside seating when the weather permits. My favorite memories from Krakow are from sitting at these pubs with friends, looking at the hubbub in the square.

    • Check out the bar Alchemia in Krakow – super cool. Also wander around Kazimierz (the old Jewish district). Finally, check out the free walking tour of Krakow (will post the link below, but you can also search g oogle for “krakow free walking tour” and it should come up as the #1 rated tour on tripadvisor.


  17. sleeved midi dress? :

    I’m looking for a black cotton or cotton blend sleeved midi dress with a scoop neck that I can layer for fall. I’m picturing it with a scarf, ankle boots, and a light jacket. Where should I look? My usual places haven’t turned up anything.

    • If you’re thinking ponte, check out amazon seller marycrafts. I know it sounds crazy, but the quality is really fantastic for the price.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Woah, marycrafts! Anon, have you purchased these and worn them to work? The price point is insane and the shapes look great, like dupes for a lot of work dresses I have in ottoman fabric, high quality ponte or suiting fabrics. How do they look in person? Is the ponte shiny or cheap looking at all?

        • Yes! I’m wearing one today! And no, they don’t look cheap. They’re SO NICE for the money! Easily on par with anything you can buy in the mall. And since they’re so affordable, you can easily afford to have them hemmed if you’d like.

          Definitely size up. I normally wear an 8, but wear a 10 in marycrafts. And if you’re a pear, size up 2 sizes (so for me, to a 12) in the sheath styles because they’re not work appropriate otherwise haha.

          I know some people get worked up over exposed zippers – some styles have exposed zippers, so just look at the pictures.

          • Triangle Pose :

            Thanks for the rec, I’m going to try it out. The “Elegant Lady Vintage Evening Wiggle Midi Dress” is a perfect dupe for the heartmycloset made to order dress on etsy that I was too scared to take the plunge on based on reviews here.

          • I ordered that one and IT’S GORGEOUS! It’s definitely a 12 for me haha. I ordered it in Gray and cannot wait to wear it all winter.

      • Wow, these dresses are great! I like the vintage style that doesn’t look like a costume. Anyone purchased them in plus sizes?

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Did you mention them here like months and months ago? They’ve been on my watch list forever and I had forgotten why!

        • No, I just randomly discovered them this week when searching desperately for an affordable a-line dress!

      • JuniorMinion :

        Thank you for this rec! I just ordered 4 different styles for a grand total <$100. I am normally a 4/6 in these types of stretchier dresses and ordered an 8 in everything so will report back.

      • Awesome — just ordered some dresses to try and will report back.

    • I think mine is from Karen Kane, but it is unfortunately not cotton. H&M sometimes has them in cotton, but it’s hit or miss. Maybe also try Michael Stars.

  18. My long post is in moderation and I have no idea why, so I’ll just ask if anyone has had experience going to a podiatrist and for what? I have a lot of weird foot/ankle/heel issues and I am not sure where to go.

  19. spamtest123

  20. So I have always thought of corduroy in the same category as denim in that I would only wear corduroy to my office when it’s appropriate to wear jeans. Do others think corduroy is dressier? I’m wondering if this was meant as a casual Friday look or if others actually wear corduroy as business casual.

    • I agree- I love corduroy as an alternative to my Fridays jeans day. It’s easier to find a looser fit corduroy that looks good; looser fitting jeans can just look unflattering or unstylish. And to me it’s the half-step up in formality from jeans, that I do other days compared to most of the guys at work.

    • Nope, I have also heard that corduroy = denim in dressiness, so I’d only wear corduroy pants on a Jeans Friday.

    • I agree with your assessment. I *might* wear a corduroy blazer in the fall if it were sharply cut, but no to corduroy pants unless it is a casual workplace.

      • Agreed, I would generally put corduroy in the same category as tweed when it comes to blazers, and as jeans when it comes to pants.

    • I agree with you. Corduroy is weekend wear for me and I would feel really weird wearing it to work.

    • It really depends on the fabric. Lots of corduroy can look schlumpy and misshapen quickly, and is (to my eye) more rumply and casual than either tweed or denim. However, I have a lined pinwale corduroy moto jacket that holds it s shape beautifully, looks almost like velvet, and I happily wear it to work.

    • Calibrachoa :

      Overall I think it’s the same level of dressy, but if you are surrounded by people wearing denim, corduroy looks dressier. So if your business casual office is like.. tech business casual…

    • Anonymous :

      I wear it to work all winter – I have bootcut and straight leg, and with booties and a nice sweater/blazer/sweater jacket it just looks like normal pants. I hate being cold so I wear all week.

    • it’s not the look for me, but my husband has brown and black corduroy blazers and gets tons of compliments on them. He bought them at Sears. Everyone at his work thinks he is Mr. Fashion. It cracks me up.

  21. How do you know when it’s time to ask for an anxiety medication? For months, I’ve been trying exercise, meditation, self care, you name it. It’s not enough. Maybe if I could do it more, or perfectly every day, it would — but that’s not my reality. I feel like I’m drowning in responsibility (kids, work, marriage, life) and can’t shake the feeling that everything will fall apart if I let up for even a second. I have this constant pit of dread in my stomach and have been crying a lot lately. I’m really irritable, maybe even angry. PMS makes everything 100 times worse, but it’s not like things are great even when I’m not PMSing.

    I know I need therapy, but with whom, and when am I supposed to do this?! I feel so much guilt for not being able to just relax and enjoy the life I’ve built.

    • As someone who has been helped immensely by these medications, my opinion is the moment you think it might be time, it’s time.

      Also, if this is an easier first step for you then finding a therapist, then do this. Start where you can!

    • Now :) I used to say your exact words – if I exercised daily and meditated and eliminated every ounce of sugar from my diet and did everything right, then I’d be relaxed and carefree. But it doesn’t work like that and beating yourself up mentally doesn’t make it better. Getting a small dose of anxiety meds changed my life – I feel like I’m my best self.

      I’d recommend therapy, if not with a psychiatrist, then with a therapist who can refer you to someone who can prescribe. If you feel like you need something now, check with your GP. Mine easily gave out my meds when I described what I had going on.

      • Which med has worked for you? I took Zoloft a long time ago for some postpartum stuff and I remember it working great at first, and less great around the 6- to 12-month mark.

        • I’m on Paxil, but I’m at the 15 month mark and have a call in to re-start therapy and change meds. I can tell some of it is me (i.e., things within my control), but some of it is that it’s not working for me anymore. I should have called 6 months ago, easily.

    • Now. As in make an appointment with a psychiatrist, or if one is not available for months, then your GP. Tell them your symptoms and ask for a prescription. They will likely start you on the lowest dost, and increase as needed.

      I waited too long and I truly believe that meds were life changing for me. I still have the same stressors (work, parenting, politics, life, etc.) but I don’t have that constant anxiety (physical and mental thoughts running out of control) that I had before. I also think that I have been less irritable with my husband since starting the meds (still occasionally am :) ) and feel much more open about discussing my feelings and getting support and supporting others. I also see a therapist every other week. I take 50mg of Zoloft.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Now. Go. Call your doctor right now. Let us know when you’ve made an appointment. We’ll wait. You don’t have to live with anxiety. I promise.

    • I see all these pro-meds responses and it makes me want to look into it, but I am petrified of side effects including sexual issues and weight gain. Can anybody comment on side effects with anti-anxiety meds?

      • anon for this :

        I had none of those with anti-anxiety meds (though I dealt with both from birth control). In general, I didn’t have a lot of side effects – especially considering that anxiety has plenty of side effects on its own as well (my gut health got a lot better, for example, with anxiety medication).

        It’s very YMMV, but do bear in mind that you can stop taking it on your own terms if you want to. You can’t just *suddenly* stop, for all meds, but you’re ultimately in control.

      • I tried several SSRI’s for anxiety and depression and unfortunately never found the sweet spot – something that worked for me without the side effects you mentioned. Experimenting, trying to find the right medication, was so hard. I felt like I wanted to go live on an island or something during the entire process – my moods and body just felt all over the place and I was, frankly, miserable. I had way less anxiety but I still felt awful for other reasons.

        I finally decided I was done trying different meds. I went off of everything and ramped way, way, way up on vigorous exercise, sleep, yoga, meditation, journaling, you name it. I also still regularly experience anxiety. I guess I’m fortunate that it’s not totally debilitating because I really struggled with medication side effects and decided it wasn’t worth it.

        That said, medication seems to work really, really well for some people and my experience will not necessarily be somebody else’s experience and if you struggle with anxiety, it is probably worth trying medication. I wish it had worked for me.

      • Sure! I had both (I also did therapy). And I would do it again because I was really suffering. The first time I gained weight and have not been able to take it off. The alternative was spending law school under my bed. I did not notice s3xual side effects because I was single. I don’t know if having a better awareness of the side effects could have helped prevent them. The second time, I was with my SO and I had a lack of desire. We used toys and it was still worth it. I stopped taking them (in consultation with doctor) after three months.

        The thing is I really needed the medication. I could not adjust my diet, exercise habits, sleep habits, mindfulness habits because I was too anxious. I have heard it explained this way: If you are so anxious it is interfering with your life, you are operating below your baseline. The meds get you to your baseline or ground level. Once you are there, you can make the lifestyle changes you need to make that will support you when/if you go off the medication. YMMV, of course, but for me going to yoga (CorePower C2) three days a week has changed my life. Life may blow me around a little but I can handle it because I have a stronger foundation.

        Related: I am about half-way through The Chemistry of Calm, which I am finding very helpful and echos things my therapist told me about resilience and holistic approaches to anxiety. (My therapist *did* tell me to read it, but it felt like too much work and non-fiction is boring. I am listening to book now and find non-fiction much more palatable in this format.)

      • I’m the Anon above on 50mg of Zoloft. When I first started it at a lower dose, I felt an instant high and then after a few days, I felt nauseous, dizzy and at times the anxiety felt worse. After a few days, these symptoms went away. Then switched to a higher dose and had some of the same side effects, but those all went away as well. I think you need to give it at least a few weeks before writing off the medication, but of course, talk to your prescriber about all concerns. I haven’t had any sexual side effects (still able to “fully bloom” to use our favorite analogy here :) ) and I’ve gained some weight but that may be because I have a toddler and a busy job, which leaves me less time to exercise and eat well.

        My biggest concern with the medication is whether I would be able to continue it while pregnant as I hope to have a second child. My psychiatrist said that of all anti-depression drugs, zoloft is the most studied with pregnancy and considered the “safest.” Still considered a concern though, so will have to evaluate this when TTC again. Otherwise, I would be totally happy to take this the rest of my life if needed! Anyone taken meds while preg?

      • No sexual effects or weight gain for me on Paxil, but it makes me ridiculously sleepy (I am DONE at 9 pm). I can’t tolerate caffeine, so other people can probably just have a cup of coffee to overcome this particular side effect.

      • I haven’t had any. Going on an anti-anxiety has been life changing for me. I worried for years that I wouldn’t be myself and avoided going on medication which just meant that I suffered needlessly for too long.

      • I’ve been on Lexapro for almost a year, and in the first 6 months gained about 15 pounds. I’m not even mad – for me, Lexapro is a miracle drug. 15 pounds and minor side effects during the introductory period are nothing compared to the symptoms I was having from the anxiety. And honestly, I think the weight gain is on me rather than the medicine. I was so anxious that I wasn’t eating well, and I certainly wasn’t enjoying food – when I started to feel better, everything started to feel more enjoyable (including dessert!) and I overindulged because it was the first time in a long time that I enjoyed things. About a month ago I started making an effort to lose weight and have lost 5 pounds so far, just from tracking calories and limiting things that I know increase my anxiety (sugar-laden coffee beverages, anyone?).

        As others have said, you can always decide to stop taking meds if you want later on, but I fully suggest meeting with a doctor to see if there’s something that might help you.

      • Anonymous :

        I took different SSRIs for years – Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft – and have also taken Wellbutrin and Xanax and Klonopin. I didn’t have trouble with weight gain on any, but did have sexual side effects on SSRIs. It is harder to O. For me, the meds were still very much worth it for many years, and I would definitely get back on them if I started struggling. You can always stop if your life isn’t better! I did experience various weird sensations and side effects the first few weeks of being on medications, but the sexual side effects were the only thing that persisted.

      • Anonymous :

        I took Paxil for about a year and then weaned myself off (with my doctor’s approval) because I was unhappy with the weight gain. Then after maybe six months I felt a lot worse. And had not lost weight. So I started on Welbutrin, and gained a bit more weight, but I feel really, really good.

        I just at the end of August started using the site LoseIt to track my calories and I’ve lost about 5 pounds without a lot of agony. I have maybe 8-10 more to lose, but I think the strategy of careful, intentional eating will counteract the weight gain.

        I had no s*xual side effects either time, which was pretty important to me.

    • I’m going to echo the “now”, as I was you two months ago. I kept thinking I could make it better. When I finally went to my GP I tested so high for depression and pretty high for anxiety. She put me on 50mg of Zofran and it has been awesome, like, I feel so much better and in control of my life now. I’m just mad that I took so long to go in.

      I haven’t had any long term side effects, but did have a week of stomach issues when I first started it. I’ve actually lost weight on it, but started it at the same time as I went gluten and sugar free.

    • Out of curiousity, what makes the leap to “I need medication” rather than “I need to make significant changes in my life?”

      • Anonymous :

        Excellent question. I think OP should definitely be taking the medication while in consult with someone about whatever is going on that contributes to the anxiety. I’ve never personally been on anxiety meds, but at one time, anti-depressants made it possible for me to face making changes in my life. Without the meds, it would all have looked impossible.

      • Because I have tried many so-called “lifestyle” cures for anxiety and it’s barely taken the edge off.

        Because most of the things that give me the greatest anxiety are things I can quit at all (parenting) or without causing a ton of upheaval in my life (career change).

        Because I’m literally spending all my emotional energy managing my anxiety and have none leftover for any more lifestyle changes. Also, it was big changes and upheaval in my life that kicked off this latest bout with anxiety and I am drowning. Hence, the need for therapy, but I’m not under any illusions that it’s a quick fix.

  22. Has anyone ever booked a vacation on the Chase rewards platform? Not flights — more like activities on the ground.

    Background — I appear to have accumulated a nice stash of points. I’ve also got a TON of airline miles (separately), so I’m looking into using my points to cover the costs of a safari in South Africa. But because they don’t list operators, etc, (just 4 star, 3 star, etc) it’s hard to know if this will be a terrible trip or a good deal. Thoughts?

    • I would be very wary of this. Their definition of “4 star” may not be yours, and I’d be freaked out about knowing nothing about the operator. Can you just redeem points for cash/statement credit and put that towards your trip, or is it a way better deal if you book the trip directly?

      • I think the benefit to using points is the Chase gives an additional discount. Haven’t booked any travel that way yet other than flights but following.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Anecdata re Chase rewards: A friend just booked a whole trip through Chase rewards and loved it. Also I went as the guest of this same friend to a Chase rewards brunch event at a fancy restaurant this past weekend and it was over-the-top amazingly fabulous. So my thoughts based on that is that Chase rewards seems to be legit. And yes, you get a 25% bonus if you use your points for travel.

    • I’ve booked hotels & flights through them & had absolutely no problems. They tend to have major players in their line up that you can research independently. It’s an easy way to finance a trip. I’d go for it.

    • I’ve booked hotels through them and it was great! The hotel descriptions on the Chase site link to the tripadvisor reviews, so its as easy to know what you’re getting as it would be if you booked directly with the hotel but could only do internet research. Most hotels weren’t refundable once we booked, but some were. If I recall correctly, your points are worth 1.5x what they would be worth elsewhere, so its a smart move if you’re booking travel anyway and can find what you want through Chase.

  23. New to DC and I have several pants and skirts that I need hemmed, can anyone recommend a decent, reasonably priced tailor in the Chinatown area?

    • Flats Only :

      I have used the cleaners at 8th & D Streets by the Navy Memorial for that type of thing, and they did a fine job. I don’t recall the exact price, but it seemed correct for the service and location.

  24. Baconpancakes :

    A recent hire started her tenure in our firmly casual biz caz office in jeans and cowboy boots. She’s recently switched to J.Crew wool Sidewalk mini skirts and platform patent heels (and she’s quite tall, so it looks very clubby). We’re on the same level, so it’s certainly not my place to say anything, but I’m wincing, particularly since she interacts with the public a lot. Her previous jobs were on-site, where jeans and cowboy boots were more appropriate.

    How did y’all discover this blog?

    • Google. :) I realized that I needed help because I had exactly zero role models for how a professional woman should dress. I grew up blue collar and had zero context for how people in offices dressed. Even after college, my friends weren’t able to give advice because they worked in offices that were far more casual than mine. (I’ve spent my whole career in government and higher ed admin, which is a whole different thing than the “schlubby professor” look.) I wasn’t doing anything inappropriate like your coworker, but I could tell I was missing a certain level of polish. I could tell something was “off,” but not which details I was missing. TBH, I’m mid-career and this still doesn’t come very naturally to me, which I why I rely on blogs. :)

    • Anon in NYC :

      It’s been so long, but I think I clicked through a link on Above the Law.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I was frantically searching for “what to wear return to work postpartum pumping work aaah?!” I think!

    • Google, I believe. I was in law school and trying to update my wardrobe. I had been tooling around in the lab where things were pretty casual, so I wanted to get a feel for what was worn in a traditional office environment. I didn’t want to end up as *that* intern.

    • Anonymous :

      A dear person on MakeupAlley, where I also look at how to dress but the age range is so vast.

    • Flats Only :

      I think a mention on Jezebel years ago where they said something rude about it.

    • My extremely fashionable, always aware of her surroundings roommate in college mentioned a discussion on here (several years ago now) about whether headbands were appropriate for lady lawyers. I realized if she was looking for help, then I need to at least sort of figure out how to get my act together.

  25. Alcoholism seems to run in my family. My father is an alcoholic, and his brother sadly committed suicide due to alcoholism and depression. Other uncles/aunts are in recovery. I’ve always been very cognizant of the damage it did to my family, which is why I’m disappointed that I started to fall for a guy who has red flags for alcoholism.

    After dating several months, it became clear he needs to drink daily to function. I told him that’s not what I’m looking for in a partner, and I shared my family’s history. He responded that I’m judging him and my family experience has traumatized me against alcohol. FWIW, I am able to socially drink without problems. But he drinks, to get drunk, 4-5 times a week. As we got to know each other, I saw it interfers with his work and personal relationships (I’ve met several of his siblings and his mom who’ve all shared similar concerns). I ignored the behavior until I couldn’t a week ago. He was at my house in bed with me, reeking of alcohol and sweating it out (its hot here), and I actually went and slept on the couch rather than smelling the booze.

    I ended the relationship, but I feel bad about it. I’m mad at myself for falling for someone with an addiction I’ve stringently tried to avoid. I worry that the dysfunction I saw growing up has imprinted on me. Anyone else navigated a similar situation, as the child of an alcoholic?

    • But you did well here! You saw it and you walked away from it! You didn’t sign up for a lifetime of it because it was familiar. I call this a win :)

      • +1. To be honest, I was preparing for you to say, “But everything else is perfect, so should I break up with him?” And you’ve already done it! You have nothing to feel bad about. You saw the problem, and you dealt with it, using your past experiences. That takes strength.

        • +1. And the fact that this relationship was just a few months long, rather than a few years or a few decades, is brilliant. Don’t focus on being wrong for dating him at all, focus on being right for getting out so quickly, before you got enmeshed in his disease. So, so many people–regardless of family history–cannot do that.

      • Marshmallow :


    • Don’t feel bad, that guy has lots of issues that you are under no obligation to deal with.

    • Yeah agreed you did great!!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Everyone has to have their bright lines. You understand yours (and it’s a perfectly reasonable one!). Him trying to blame your correct concern about his behavior on your family history is gaslighting.

      Don’t beat yourself up for dating him – I’m not sure that in the early stages of a relationship you can even necessarily tell that someone is a functioning alcoholic, and I’m sure that you were hoping that he would reduce his consumption. When it became clear that he was not ready to change, you did what was necessary for your own health and sanity. Go you!

    • You did great.

      He’s telling himself that the problem is you because he is not ready to deal with his addiction. I cannot imagine building a future with someone who drinks to get drunk weekly let along 4-5 times a week.

      You can’t blame yourself for who you are attracted to, and you extra especially can’t blame yourself for being attracted to someone with an issue that you didn’t know about when you met them. You aren’t psychic.

      • Just seconding here that he’s telling you it’s your issue rather than his because he cannot yet face his own problem. This is what an ex did to me–and he also told me that he drank because of me. You should absolutely feel so proud of yourself for drawing this boundary and walking away. You would be subjecting yourself to further emotional manipulation if you stayed. And the fact that you were able to identify the problem and actually walk away means that the problems you saw growing up have NOT imprinted on you–you have, and have now used, the power to protect yourself.

        Alcoholics are gregarious and fun…until they’re not. It’s not surprising people fall for them. Don;t beat yourself up for falling for him.

    • If you haven’t already gone, I really can’t recommend Al Anon highly enough. I come from a family with a strong history of alcoholism too. Al Anon has been great for me. I think it will help you sort through some of your feelings about this relationship.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        +1 to this. There are podcasts galore dedicated to Al Anon if you’re not ready for meetings.

    • anon for this :

      Oh yeah. Been there, done that. Dad’s an alcoholic. I dated this guy in college who was insanely gorgeous, but a huge alcoholic. Luckily that debacle only lasted a few months. I ended up marrying someone who drinks maybe 4 times a year.

      I don’t think anything has imprinted on you other than a healthy caution and the ability to see what you don’t want and get out of the situation when it reaches that point. You did great.

  26. Women and Wine Events? :

    My boss asked me this morning if I would head up a “Women, Wine, and Shoes” event for the spouses of our clients. He wants to put together some content about financial issues assuming the female spouse doesn’t participate in managing money. I personally would never attend this type of event, and find it sexist and offensive. But, is that just me? Do other women like these type of things? If people would find it helpful, I don’t want to immediately dismiss it.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I don’t interact with anyone who would be the target audience for this, but I have a strong reaction against it. Ew. Just… ew.

    • OMG. Incredibly sexist and offensive. Huuuuuge assumptions that all the spouses are female (and if your clients are only straight men that says something about your company), don’t work and that women who don’t work aren’t involved in managing the family finances (I actually know quite a few SAHMs who manage the money). Can’t you just have a social hour for your clients’ spouses with wine? Why does it have to be so condescending? Gah. I would be livid in your shoes.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Oh my gosh, I agree, that is sexist and offensive. I think it’s fine to do some sort of event for the spouses of clients, but I wouldn’t 1. Assume they’re all women or 2. Assume they don’t know how to manage money. Could you do a wine and cheese tasting maybe?

    • Delta Dawn :

      I find it hard to believe this is real… “assuming the female spouse doesn’t participate in managing money.” So many things sound like this is fake. The “spouses” of your clients are all women? So your clients are all men? And the event is “content about financial issues” but it’s title is about wine and shoes? And your boss thinks any of this is a good idea?

      • Delta Dawn :

        Just an edit to say that of course women can also have female spouses and realized my comment does not read that way– my suspicion of this event is that it is geared towards the stay at home wives of working male clients. Sorry to overgeneralize!

    • Cornellian :

      Oh, god. I guess you could think about whether this task would help you in your professional life, and use it as a platform to encourage women to manage their money (although I think your boss is probably wrong in his assumption… it’s widely understood that women make most spending decisions for households. maybe not so much for investment decisions).

    • Nope, not just you. It’s sexist and offensive.

    • You are correct to immediately dismiss it. Are there other problems with your boss or your job? I can’t imagine working for someone who thinks this is at all reasonable. Here are the problems with this:
      1) Your boss assumes women don’t/can’t manage money.
      2) Your boss thinks female inability to manage money is widespread enough that wimminfolk need to be tutored on it.
      3) Your boss thinks said financial tutorial should be billed as a Wine and Shoes event (what in the actual eff)?
      4) Your boss thinks women care more about wine and shoes than they do about their finances.
      5) You are (presumably) a woman, so what do you think your boss thinks about you….

    • Noooooooooo

    • Yes, definitely offensive to assume that all clients are (1) men who are (2) married to women who are (3) financially illiterate and can only (4) learn about it over wine and shoes.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Also, just logistically, how would the shoes even play into it? Would it be like a MLM shoes event? Would everyone bring their favorite shoes for show and tell? Would it be a lecture on the design and construction of shoes from an industry professional? This entire thing is both offensive and baffling.

    • Ditto everyone else. It’s offensive on multiple levels. The shoes (?) the fact that your assuming the wives are all ignorant of financial literacy (your both assuming they are all home makers, and asssuming that they are financially stupid homemakers) the fact that none of your clients are apparently women, and assuming that all your male clients have wives. Like truly a cornucopia of ignorance wrapped up into this.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is just gross. Blech.

    • Thank you for confirming! I had all the same questions and issues, but I know events like this exist. I already told my boss I had no desire to spearhead or participate in such an event, so now I’m tasked with coming up with something less offensive. Ugh. I need a new job.

      • Senior Attorney :

        “Something less offensive” has to start with “not assuming all of our clients’ spouses are women.” But then, of course, there is no reason to have the event at all because the target audience will be “people,” which will include your clients as well.

        So maybe suggest a purely social event like a wine tasting or cooking demonstration or art gallery tour that everybody can enjoy? Or if he wants to do financial literacy, how about targeting your clients’ high school or college age children and say parents are invited to attend, too.

        • +1 to this. I was just having a discussion with the partners I work for about how there’s a lack of “life skills” classes in middle and high school these days, and how we all took away at least one thing from home ec or wood shop (the lack of these classes may be specific to our region of the county, or simply just where our kids go to school) but we were all just saying that financial literacy classes are something that should be taught.

      • Maybe you can make lemonade by planning something that you, personally, would love to do (since your employer is paying). If he doesn’t like it, you won’t get assigned to do this again!

        • Anon in NYC :

          Yes! Maybe something like an introductory golf class so that women would feel more comfortable networking that way.

    • Gross. Your boss needs to stop living in the 1950s. EVEN IF all of your clients were males with stay-at-home spouses this is a terrible event and extremely offensive to the women who happen to stay at home. All of my friends who decided to stay at home with kids are college educated and would find this kind of event very uncomfortable, if not worse.

    • BARF I’m so sorry, just say no!

  27. Sloan Sabbith Paging Rainbow Hair :

    I downloaded an absolutely addictive new app that I thought you’d love, RH (and uh, probably lots of the rest of us)- Design Home. It gives you rooms to design with particular requirements (“a modern pink item! 3 tropical items!”) and a magazine of real furniture to choose from. If you fall in love with a piece you can go to its website where you can buy it. Apt2B and a ton of other brands are on there. So addicting. I have an iPhone- not sure if it’s on Android.

    Also, second app addiction- Serial Reads. It gives you a short chunk of a classic novel to read every day. I don’t like classics, but this is short enough I stay mostly engaged. Reading the autobiography of Benjamin Franklin right now!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Omg what?! Psyched to download this!

      I’m currently helping my mom reimagine her house, and it’s such a trip because she wants it to be *cold* and calm, and everything I love is warm and cozy and busy… I’m like “how about gold?” and she’s like “how about silver!?” — it’s fun, though, to sort of put those new scenes and colorscapes in my mind.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m sure you know about this, but has a ton of cold (or at least cool) and calm ideas.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Not RH but these sound fab! Thanks!

    • Not RH, but this is the BEST post. Both of these apps sound perfect for me. Thanks!

    • Just wanted to say approach Design Home with caution. I played it a few months ago on android and found it fun at first but then it gets hard to progress in the game without spending real money to “buy” additional furnishings required for the next steps. What really bothered me was I thought I’d delete the app and start the game over with a new strategy. The new download picked up right where I’d been, and when I contacted the developers they told me there was no way to delete any “account” or to delete whatever hidden settings files on my phone were retaining the game info. That felt way more invasive than I wanted something to be on my phone! Hopefully they’ve changed this by now, but I’d make sure.

  28. My husband is a professor at a university. A grad student in his department who is considering working with him suggested that we (me and my husband) have dinner with the grad student and her husband who is a grad student in a different department. Do we treat them? They suggested the outing, but grad student salaries are paltry here and my husband and I probably make about five times what they do.

    • You don’t have to, but it would be a nice gesture if you choose to.

    • Yes, I would certainly go for the check and offer to treat them. Grad students are generally poor!

    • Flats Only :

      Or, if you want to “treat” but don’t want the expense of a restaurant meal for four, can you have them over to your house? Takeout is much cheaper than dining out.

      • I thought of that, but we’re hosting a big dinner party for other people the following weekend and I really don’t want to host at our house two weekends in a row. Restaurants aren’t that expensive in our town, so I think we’ll just suggest a mid-range place and treat them.

    • Assistant Prof :

      As a professor, I would say that you treating them would establish a power relationship. If it was just the prof and his student having a meal, I think it would be reasonable for the prof to pay. However, since they invited you, I would say that you go dutch. That is what I have done in the past.

      • I’m a prof too and I would treat. During my long years of being a trainee no one ever let me open my wallet and I pay it forward now. Grad student stipends are tiny and covering the meal wouldn’t be a burden to me now. I think there is already a power dynamic that’s unavoidable so I don’t think you would avoid it by going dutch.

  29. Why are all maternity dresses skin tight? I keep buying dresses and returning them because even with my modest four month baby bump, dresses in my normal size show off every contour of my chest, butt and belly and are way too obscene to be worn out of the house, let alone to work. Is sizing up a solution?
    I’m curvy but not abnormally so, and pre-pregnancy I didn’t have any problem finding dresses that didn’t make me look a streetwalker…

    • Ugh, I feel ya. I think it’s in part because a lot of it is cheap, clingy material. I really like the Isabella Oliver stuff, or at least the one dress I own. You get what you pay for — it’s made of thicker material, although being tall, I’m realizing that it’s starting to get shorter and shorter on me as my bump grows… I’ve also had good luck with Gap, although it is not as high quality as Isabella Oliver.

    • My entire maternity work wardrobe was a handful of dresses from Seraphine and Rosie Pope, and open drapey cardigans. Good luck!

      • Anonymous :

        I hadn’t seen Seraphine before, some of their stuff is really cute! Thanks!

        • And it goes on sale!! I bought a bunch of their short sleeve twist front dresses that were clearly meant for summer (and discounted appropriately) but were in patterns or solid colors like navy blue that I could easily wear with a sweater all winter. If you’re in NYC their UES store is amazing.

          Also, they make a puffer coat that has a stretchy belt that got me through my entire pregnant winter (and I wore the baby underneath in an ergo after she was born) for about $150. Highly recommend!

    • SA-litagor :

      Because when you start getting really large in the 3rd trimester, if it’s not tight, it’s usually a potato sack. So that being said, I would prefer something that shows off that I’m not fat, just pregnant, as opposed to a giant shapeless sack. Just my 2 cents.

  30. Cole Haan Sale :

    Tons of Cole Haan boots (incl. extended calf) and everything else on sale at Nordstrom Rack today. I must restrain myself.

  31. i just requested my christmas vacation time (giving plenty of notice! so i was certain to get my days approved!) and was told that because no one else in my department has requested days off yet, mine cannot be approved (because other people might want that time off, and they are more senior than me). I know this falls into the category of “just business” but my g0odness, I am frustrated that my time off is less respected and valued than other, more senior members of my department. just needed to get it off my chest, thanks for listening.

    • Ugh- that’s a terrible policy! Sorry you have to deal with that!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I know it’s cold comfort now, but you won’t be the junior person forever!

      Is there any way to suggest a timeline for holiday vacation requests so you don’t have to be in limbo for weeks or months?

    • That stinks. It must be impossible to make plans with that kind of policy in place.

  32. Dizzyness due to low BP? :

    Does anyone else get light headed and/or experience vertigo when lying down due to low blood pressure? I’ve been feeling dizzy, lightheaded and the room spins when I lay down and I think it’s probably because my usually lowish by (103/60) has been in the (90-95/50) range this week.

    What helps?

    Getting into my GP is such a PITA and my brilliant googling has not revealed anything terribly urgent about feeling dizzy without other symptoms…I keep hoping I”ll feel better so I can avoid the dreaded GP visit. sigh.

    • Puddlejumper :

      See a doctor but in the meantime:

      Salt tablets for low BP
      Drink tons of water

    • FWIW I’ve had the opposite problem from low BP — getting dizzy when standing up too fast. I fainted once so got sent for an echocardiogram, and the cardiologist told me not to worry about it. I think you should raise it with your GP, at least at your next annual visit.

      • I have/had this problem too – orthostatic hypotension. I had to go on meds for it because I kept having fainting spells. FWIW, my GP was not able to accurately diagnose it; I had to go to a cardiologist and do a “tilt table” test. In the meantime, I echo Puddlejumper – sodium and water are key, as is lying down and getting up very slowly. Biggest risk here is that you pass out and hurt yourself.

    • Yep! Here are some tips until you can see a doctor. I take medication for it and you really should see a doctor ASAP as you can be a danger to yourself and others — i.e. driving, going down the stairs, carrying children, working on exercise equipment or handling machinery, etc.

      – drink TONS of liquids
      – add salt to foods
      – drink gatorade – honestly it tastes salty to me that’s how much my body needs it
      – get healthy sleep
      – eat normal foods at normal times of the day – intermittent fasting may be a problem for blood pressure in addition to blood sugar
      – pay attention to situational factors like fast elevators or rollercoasters (I don’t do them anymore) or temperature (heat can really throw me off)
      – if you feel a dizzy spell coming on, do what you can to make yourself safe: pull off the road if you are driving, sit down or lay down if possible. Another good practice is to put your head between your knees (seated) and take a few deep breaths. The inversion of your head will increase your blood pressure to a safe level. And another one is (seated) to clamp your hands together and push them against each other or squeeze them as hard as you can. The pressure of the squeeze will also boost your bp.
      – Most important are (1) recognizing the causes, (2) then knowing your symptoms, (3) then knowing what you can do about them when they come on so you don’t fully faint.

      Fainting is the body’s way of getting the blood pressure to your head (all else being equal, i.e. you are eating, etc.) and isn’t in itself dangerous but the real danger is what can happen when you lose consciousness – you can hit your head on something, you can swerve into oncoming traffic if driving, you could fall down the stairs or into a heat source, you could drop your child, etc.

      Seriously, please go see your doctor NOW.

    • Flats Only :

      Are you very thin? When I was very thin (like 5’1″ and 85 – 90 lbs) and had low blood pressure I had issues with my vision going black when I stood up quickly, and getting dizzy from time to time. As I gained weight over the years my blood pressure stayed low, but the black vision and the dizzy spells went away. Not a short term solution if this applies to you, but something to be aware of. In the mean time make sure you are getting enough salt, and don’t flush all the salt out by drinking gallons of water everyday.

    • Anonymous :

      You may have positional vertigo (BPPV) which can be treated by a physical therapist who specializes in vestibular conditions. If it was orthostatic hypotension, your blood pressure would be highest when you are lying down and would drop when you stand up. Source: am physical therapist! Treatment for BPPV is usually very quick.

  33. I’m a little annoyed at my husband and I’m not sure if I’m being completely fair.

    I work for a huge financial institution in a role that is client facing and for a team where appearances kinda matter. Last night, my husband and I went to dinner with my boss and his wife, and a client and his wife at a very trendy, upscale restaurant in NYC.

    My husband works for a big tech company that is very casual. He was coming to the dinner straight from work. I reminded him before I left for work that we had the dinner that night and to please make sure he dressed for it. Literally said, you don’t need a suit, jeans (if they’re your nice dark wash ones) are fine w a nice button down and blazer. Then he shows up last night in these terrible pleated khakis that I’ve asked him a million times to get rid of, a linen button down that’s basically like a beach shirt, and boat shoes where one shoe is missing the ties because our dog ate them – he does yard work In them. He hadn’t shaved and his hair (which is way longer than usual) was all over the place because “he ran out of gel.” No blazer. It just wasn’t really appropriate and I know my boss noticed.

    I felt a little bit like wtf seriously? I know he doesn’t like when I micromanage so I felt like I gave pretty good instructions without like picking out his clothes like a 5 year old. It just felt unsupportive and like he kinda blew off something that was important to me and made me feel more self conscious in a setting where I already felt a little out of my element.

    Am I being unfair? Should I just be happy he was able to come at all?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Ugh, I’d be annoyed, too. Especially since I get a tiny whiff of rebellion-against-perceived-micromanagement on his part.

      Have you told him what you told us? What did he say?

      I think going forward your choices are (a) pick out his clothes and insist on meeting him outside the dinner so you can approve his appearance and send him home if he’s not presentable (act like a five year old, get treated like a five year old), (b) ban him from these kinds of dinners altogether, or (c) suck it up and realize it’s the price of admission to the relationship.

    • You’re not being unfair at all. You need to tell him what you told us “It felt unsupportive and like he kinda blew off something that was important to me and made me feel more self conscious in a setting where I already felt a little out of my element.”


      Married to a guy who picked his current job in part because he can wear jeans + tshirt most days but who realizes sometimes he needs to dress up if it is important to me.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you know how your husband thinks/hears? Does he hear or think in details regarding clothes, or did he just hear you say “pants / button down” and so he wore pants / button down — in fact, he dressed up by wearing khakis and not jeans? Some guys literally don’t see the difference between a “nice” button down and the shirt he wore. Is your husband one of those guys?

    • Oh god I would be SO MAD. My husband has clothing he knows I hate (because they are raggedy and they need to be thrown out) and if he ever wore them to any nice dinner, much less a super important dinner with my *boss* AND *client*, that would put me over the edge. I think you have every right to be annoyed.

    • Puddlejumper :

      I would point out to him that the issue is not really about the clothes but about respecting you. By not dressing appropriately for the event he made you look bad at work and thats disrespectful to you. Ask him if he fully supports your job, your goals and you and if he says yes then tell him he needs to do better next time. He needs to have your back.

      Also for my clothing inept tech world husband – we have taken the time to take pictures of outfits that work for dressier events. This way he has a reference to know what pants, shirt, belt, socks and shoes to wear. He can then reference the pictures and notes so he has something to fall back on. We even include notes like – can’t find your black shoes? Gray shoes will work but not brown. Also- we buy him his dressy belts reversible so if he shows up wearing black pants and black shoes with a brown belt its a quick fix.

      • Anonymous :

        LOL – I’m the poster above the DH who lives in jeans and tshirts. He literally owns one dress belt and it is reversible for exactly the same reason!

        • KateMiddletown :

          I have purchased my husband multiple belts and yet he only wears the one he borrowed from his college roommate 20 years ago. Sigh.

          • Puddlejumper :

            My husband has no emotional attachment to any clothing, and doesn’t mind wearing any clothing, he just has no idea how to put the pieces together. So we make lists and he takes pictures and we have a system that works for us. But it took a while to get there. Because he really has zero clue that his random outfit does not work.

    • You’re not being unfair. You made a simple, clear request for him to do something that supports your career. If my husband made this request of me and I ignored it, I think he would be justifiably upset. I like some of the suggestions you got above for how to talk to him about it.

    • Anonymous :

      No he’s a baby yell at him.

    • Throw out the khakis. Since the dog at a shoelace, surely he could get distracted in the laundry pile…

    • Triangle Pose :

      This would be a BIG issue in my relationship. Although I think my SO would understand because we are both lawyers who represent senior executives and sales teams and business units and all of those clients value appropriate dress. You are absolutely not being unfair. It’s not an excuse that your husband’s company is casual. That’s irrelevant. You clearly communicated to him that this was important and he needed to dress formally/neatly. This would be worth a sit down conversation and I’d want an apology, assurances he understands it’s a BFD and that it’s not going to happen again, and I’d want him to demonstrate that he understand *he* made *you* look bad in front of your boss. I’d also keep an eye on the next opportunity your boss and your husband will be in the same room and make sure he correct his impression in front of your boss.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes to all of this. And if you don’t get it, he’s banned from all future boss encounters.

  34. Anecdata: I have always had pretty low BP (usually in the 90/60 range, but as low as 85/55). I have had dizziness from standing up too fast, but never from lying down. But FWIW no doctor was ever concerned that it was too low, or had me take salt tabs.

  35. I just want to make sure I understand this part of nYNAB correctly– there is absolutely no way to make any future income “available to budget” now, correct? Like, if I’m expecting a paycheck on October 1, there is absolutely no way to make it available to budget until October 1?

    • Nope. My work around for this is I know what my paycheck is each two months, so as long as my to be budgeted numbers don’t go over that amount, I’m okay with being in the red for a while.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope! That’s the whole point.

    • You are correct. You also can’t roll over category balances that are in the red from month to month.

      • I hate this about YNAB, and it’s one reason I stopped using it. I put everything on credit cards that have billing cycles from the 15th through the 15th and pay them off completely every month. If I want to make my big trip to Costco on the 28th, I want to roll that over to the next month–clearly, most of the food will be eaten the following month, I’ll spend less money at the regular grocery store all month, and the large purchase at the end of the month vs. the beginning has no impact on my credit cycle or ability to pay it off. My work-around in YNAB was to change the date of the purchase to the 1st.

  36. Have I been egregiously undertipping? :

    I just got a manicure (gel) and pedicure (plain) and feel like the guy gave me a face when I tipped. I checked online and I’m seeing 20%?? If so, I guess I’ve been an a hole my whole life. I generally think I’m a decent tipper so I want to start getting this right. What would you tip for this? It was $65 total.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes 20% is standard.

    • Marshmallow :

      20% and I usually round up a little. So $13-15.

      • Well, I need to change my ways, and I think I am going to go back there and tip more. I feel like a huge jerk. I’ve always been doing more like 10%.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yeah, 20% for all beauty/hair related things is my standard.

    • Anonymous :

      I think 20% is standard in restaurants, salons and for cab drivers unless the service is noticeably terrible. In very cheap establishments like diners where the total bill is <$10/person or for a $10 cab ride, I often do 25-30% just because 20% is such a low dollar amount, but I think lots of people continue to do 20% and there's nothing wrong with it. I'm in a very LCOL area.

    • Anonymous :

      I tip $10 for a manicure and pedicure combo at strip mall nail salons no matter the cost ($50 – $65 depending on where I go and if gel is involved). I tip more for the same service at spas. They seem very pleased with this amount in the Southeastern U.S.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.