Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Shirred Yoke Blouse

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

I know readers have noted success in the past with Loft’s utility shirt, but I am generally anti-pockets on blouses. So when I saw this lovely shirred yoke blouse I thought, yay, no pockets — and how pretty! I think it looks feminine and slightly romantic/boho but still 100% appropriate beneath a blazer or with a pencil skirt or some other structured piece. Pretty. It’s available in regular and petite sizes XXS–XXL, and it’s $49.50 at Loft — but code NEWNOW will give you 40% off. Shirred Yoke Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. Anonymous :

    Is today too early to get a manicure for business trip next Thursday/Friday? I’m flying down to our US office for our holiday party and today is when I have time to go. WWCD?

    • I’d get a gel manicure. That should last a week without a problem. I’m hard on manicures and can get a week out of them, usually more like 9 days.

      • Anonymous :

        awesome, thanks, you don’t think it will grow out by next week?

        • Anonymous :

          I wouldn’t get any type of manicure a week ahead of time. My nails would get too long even if the polish didn’t chip.

        • Anonymous :

          I can get 3 weeks out of a good gel manicure.

          • Yes, a good manicurist + being a normal human on your hands = at least 2 weeks. I’m really hard on my hands though!

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            What does “normal human” mean here? I feel like even typing chips my nails! :(

          • Lana – I’m like that too, with regular nail polish. Gel nail polish is pretty indestructible for at least a week or two. I don’t get regular manis anymore since it’s a waste of money.

          • Anonymous :

            My gel nails started chipping or popping off entirely after a week once I’d been doing them a few months, because my nail was so beat up that the gel couldn’t adhere as well. If this is OP’s first gel mani in a while, should be fine. I still prefer dip powder for longevity though.

        • If you’re worried, buy a matching color in non gel for a quick touch up if you need it. I did this to drag my 11/12 mani I got for a biz trip out through thanksgiving ;).

          I think if your option is no manicure vs gel now and it might grow out slightly, the latter won’t be noticeable. *ideally* I’d do it closer but I think you’ll be fine.

      • Anonymous :

        The gel will grow out a little by then but would be barely noticeable. A regular manicure would probably both grow out and chip by then.

    • eh, you’ll be fine. Just get a lighter color and you won’t be able to tell. My gel manicures usually last 10-14 days.

    • Anonymous :

      I appreciate this so much, thanks for all the replies! <3 y'all

    • I would do it. I get 2 weeks out of a gel mani. The only thing that generally makes it chip or peel is if I’m doing a lot of cooking and dishwashing. If that’s not in your immediate future go for it.

      • Ps if I chip it tends to be at the tip of my nail and I just file down my nail a bit. This seems to work well with gel – not with regular polish.

    • No, it’s not too early. Don’t get gel, get SNS. You are welcome.

  2. Plus Size Utility Blouse :

    I can’t find a plus size utility blouse I like. Does anyone have recommendations?

    • I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this one:

    • Anonymous :

      NYDJ makes a fantastic poly blouse similar to the one linked today, it comes in both straight and plus sizes. It’s called the “pleat back henley blouse” or something along those lines. I love mine.

  3. Cold feet :

    I will be traveling to Michigan on business next week. It shouldn’t be actively snowing while I’m there, but temperatures will be well below freezing. I will be wearing dresses for work. What footwear and hosiery do I wear? Snow boots outside and change into pumps indoors, with hose? Tall dress boots with tights? Booties with tights? I feel weird about pairing boots or booties with a 3/4 sleeve dress or a sleeveless dress + jardigan.

    • As someone in Michigan and currently wearing tall boots with a dress, I would suggest you do boots or booties with tights. It’s a cute look and I personally don’t like to carry an extra pair of shoes unless it’s snowing.

      • +1 for tall boots

        I live in a cold, snowy city and travel frequently to other cold, snowy cities for work. Wool dress plus tights plus flat kneehigh Aquatalia snow/rainproof leather or suede boots is my jam. Plus blazer and outerwear.

        I dont do booties except with jeans bc i only wear flats, and i think flat booties with tights and dress is a bit too Elf helping Santa at the mall.

      • Agree. If it’s not heavily snowing you don’t need snow boots. Especially if you’re commuting by car you can wear tall boots with your dresses.

    • Anonymous :

      Booties and tights is a great look with dresses. Not weird at all.

    • I thought we had declared tall boots Over around here. Is this recommendation due to weather necessity or is MI a year or two behind?

      • Actually, every time this comes up, lots of people rise up for Team Tall Boots Are Still Worn in My Locale (particularly when that locale has Actual Winter). I’ve declared myself a neutral in the War of the Tall Boots, since Atlanta seems totally divided, mostly by age and hipness factor (tall boots are still really common here in the 30s and up crowd, especially in the wealthier, less hipster northern neighborhoods).

        • Panda Bear :

          Agreed! I am not giving up my tall boots. While I do sometimes wear booties with tights and skirts/dresses, there are many fall and winter days here in Boston that call for tall boots. Especially when it’s raining. I hate when my legs get wet.

        • Cat Lady In Trauning :

          I’m a 30 something Atlantan who lives in a hipster in town neighborhood. I never see tall boots with jeans anymore, but tall boots with leggings and a long sweater or tall boots and a dress have been all over the streets this week across age ranges. Its cold, and that’s a warm outfit.

          • The one place I still see the tall boots and jeans regularly is Buckhead. Or on people from Buckhead, when they are on expeditions to the rest of the city (so basically, when I am cycling past PDC).

            I have been into tall boots with wool midi skirts lately.

        • I wore booties with my dress yesterday, and as I was going to work I thought, “Holy cow, its colder than I realized, I should have worn tall boots instead.”

      • Most people are not slaves to trends. And when you live in a place with real weather/snow, you are also practical.

        I’m in Chicago. Tall boots with knee length wool/cashmere/down/fake fur and even real fur will always be in fashion here. Warmth, my dear. Warmth.

        Tall boots are also a silhouette that can be more forgiving at different heel heights when worn with dresses, and with different skirt lengths, than booties.

        • Thanks. It was an earnest question. I have tall boots that were kind of expensive that I bought at the end of the tall boots trend. It sounds like I might get some use out of them if I travel to the Midwest. (Which happens sometimes)

        • AlsoChicago :

          I’ve been known to wear silk long underwear under tights on really cold days. Double tights are also a good cold weather move. I think my heart belongs in Florida…

      • I switched to booties but left myself open to tall boots. I wore my tall boots yesterday and I realized that booties are way more comfortable, so maybe this trend is functional as well as fashionable.

        • Same here. My climate is more temperate and I would sometimes feel like my legs were suffocating in tall boots, so switching to booties worked well. We got a cold snap this week, though, and out came the tall boots. They are amazing in sub-freezing temps. And to me, footwear really should be more about utility than fashion (not saying useful footwear can’t also be fashionable).

      • I think tall boots over jeans isn’t a super current look, but I LOVE tall boots with pencil skirts, especially flat boots.

      • I made a “Tall Boots – In or Out” poll if anyone wants to take it. I’ll report back on the Weekend Open Thread.

        I mean, this needs to be settled ONCE AND FOR ALL. Serious business.

        • I have participated in this important effort!

        • I participated too! Though I’m thinking you’re going to get a disproportionate response from the OMG I AM NOT OUT OF STYLE tall boot crowd.

          • Equestrian attorney :

            Yeah I’m in Canada, there is no such thing as a tall boot trend here. It’s just what you wear when it’s cold. I was wearing booties in the fall, but will be rocking tall boots until march at least. But I always switch to pumps at the office anyway.

      • I’m in DC – I’m only wearing tall boots with tights and dresses/skirts now, but I have some 10″ moto boots I wear with legggings/skinny jeans. If it gets really snowy I’ll wear my snowboots over pants or leggings.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      It’s Michigan, which means you won’t be walking much (if at all) outdoors unless you want to get outside for exercise. You’ll go from car, to office, back to car, to hotel. Wear whatever shoes you want.

      I was just there last week, and hadn’t been there since I moved from there in 2004… I’d forgotten how *little* people walk there. I live in Chicago now and do a lot of walking, which I love.

  4. Need everyone’s advice on a career matter.

    Since 2015, my in-house legal career has been in a downward death spiral. In 2015 I was laid off by a Fortune 100 company, and while (knock on wood) I have been steadily employed since then it has only been on an underpaid and temporary basis (I have worked as a contractor for two in-house organizations of technology companies). I just got a perm job offer from a public sector organization that does financial regulation, however, it is as a lowly Contract Analyst in the CIO’s office, and I will be reporting to someone who used to be a paralegal! Bizarrely enough, it pays more than my temp gigs, and people stay there for over a decade (so good job stability).

    My contract is ending in January, so I have to take this sh*##y job. Some unfortunate incidences in 2017 has depleted my savings, so its not like I can fund a long term job hunt. I am experiencing alot of sadness, because I know that taking this position will kill my chances of getting another in-house legal position.

    Do I just have to suck it up and accept that I will have a second-rate career from here on out? Once upon a time, I used to have dreams….

    • Anonymous :

      I think defining a second rate career as anything that’s not a job practicing law is maybe a little harsh. But, as a lawyer, I understand the concern. And who knows, myabe you can get back into this. I have a friend who left a law firm to take a position as a contracts manager at a company for 3-4 years. She then moved to another division of the comapny and is practicing in their counsel’s office. So, there is a possibility of movement some places.

    • Don’t take this job, especially if you will have no respect for your manager and think it’s a shitty, lowly job that is beneath you. I’m sorry about the sadness and overall situation, but if you feel this way now you won’t be able to do a good job, even if you think the job could be done in your sleep.

      • Anonymous :

        Or if she does take the job, she needs to do everything in her power to swallow her utter disdain for the former paralegal (who may well be good at her job).

        I work in the public sector, and all people who come in with this attitude do is make everyone else (including the other attorneys) miserable by refusing to learn from those who are “beneath them.”

        • These are both really good points. I wrote the comment about knowing plenty of people who had good legal careers after taking non-lawyer roles. However, they went into the non-lawyer role with a good attitude about it and treated the position as just a fantastic learning opportunity.

        • This. I also work in the public sector as an attorney. The last time a former attorney came into an entry level position with this level of entitlement and disdain, she was fired within three weeks for refusing to perform admin tasks that were “beneath her.” Your credentials will not impress anybody with that attitude. We have paralegals and legal assistants with JDs and bar licenses. The ones with positive attitudes are viewed as dedicated and bright, and we know these positions are just a stepping stone for them. The negative griping ones will never be promoted. Whenever they try to play the former attorney card, it just comes off as bitter and resentful. All a JD means is that you paid tuition somewhere, and a bar license just means you passed a test. It does not make you better than anybody else or “too good” for a job or task, especially if you have no savings and bills to pay. Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

          • Re: your last line, Helloooooo 90s!

          • This! So much this!

            I’ve been a JD in a lawyer position for ten years. We have people with masters degrees applying for admin asst positions because they know it’s a foot in the door.

            Come in, do exceptional work and they will find a way to promote you, or you will make great connections and apply for internal candidate only competitions and move up. Come in, gripe and act better than everyone and you won’t last long.

            This is common in other areas of the public sector. DH is a Phd in the public sector. His boss ‘only’ has a BSc but she is a fantastic scientist and great manager and she has 20+ years experience. She has moved up because she is good at her job.

          • +1 “Your credentials will not impress anybody with that attitude.” Totally agree. I work in compliance. Some are lawyers, some aren’t. Everyone tends to get along because the attorneys don’t have the attitude of being above everyone else. The paralegal might be your manager, but maybe she actually has management experience. If you don’t, then her credentials are better for that role.

    • Getting into the public sector is hard, so use this as an opening and network like crazy with other agencies while enjoying the 9-5 and good benefits in the meantime! Even if there’s not much opportunity for networking in your day-to-day, there’s still often preference for inter-agency transfers over people outside, so you’d still get a leg up.

    • Anonymous :

      I hear fear talking to you. Stop it. Being in a non-lawyer role does not preclude you from a great legal career in a lawyer role afterwards. I can share plenty of stories if they’ll make you feel better. But the short answer is no, you will not have a second rate career because of this. Chin up, keep fanning the flames on hope. Besides, who is to say that this job isn’t the best thing coming? I don’t know if you have kids yet, but if you don’t, a steady position with lower responsibility is the perfect time.

    • Take the job, try to give it a real chance for 6 months and then if it’s not a good fit, start looking around. You’re much more employable when you’re employed so this is a far better option that what you refer to as a long term job hunt.

      I think you need to assume that the manager is the manager for a reason – skill or experience or both – and that you can learn something from her, even if she was once a lowly paralegal. Starting a new job with contempt for your boss from day 1 is a recipe for further unhappiness.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I hear in your post a lot of what the CBT people would call “cognitive distortions.” Taking a job that isn’t exactly in line with your career objectives does not equal ‘now you will never achieve any of your dreams.’

      If the hours are easy, job hunt while you’re in that position. I can’t imagine that analyzing contracts is so completely different from the work you want to do in-house that it’s irrelevant to your growth. (I think that others have called you out enough the ‘former paralegal’ thing, and I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that you’re being mean because you’re sad and frustrated and afraid.)

      It *sucks* when things don’t go the way you want to. A lot of us lawyers are risk averse control freaks, and that’s probably how we end up doing what we’re doing. But life can’t be controlled. One of the best things I’ve learned about myself is that I can do a good job of rolling with the punches, that I can recover from setbacks, that I can regroup and reorient and still be ok. Maybe this is your chance to develop your confidence on those fronts?

    • Maybe you’re only getting “sh***y” jobs because you come off as an entitled jerk in interviews? Or because you spell a lot “alot”? The paralegals in my firm are worth their weight in gold and make everything I do at work possible. Readjust your thinking.

  5. Secret Santa ideas needed. Budget of 10 euros (roughly 12 USD)
    Colleague who slightly more tenured than I am, we are peers but he oversees part of my job in this project’s set-up (technically this is not gifting up).
    33, English, Posh (think received pronunciation, “my dear” and “ very kind of you” flying left and right etc.)
    He works crazy hours (like all of us in the team) so no experience gifts
    He loves rugby and used to play semi-professionally
    Short of giving something useful, I am thinking of something hilarious

  6. Keeping grandma busy :

    Anyone know of organizations that would be good for a young grandma (58) who loves kids with way too much time on her hands to get involved with?

    Preschool or young elementary would be ideal.

    My mom works part-time (ish) and isn’t physically close to my kids, but she needs to scratch her grandma-itch more regularly (babysit/spend time with kids, do crafts, etc).


    • Anonymous :

      What about volunteering at local libraries or elementary schools? And look to local churches too. My aunt isn’t Catholic but she volunteers through a Catholic church program that provides tutoring/reading help to low income children. Also, if she’s crafty, look to hospitals that have knitting programs for making blankets for NICU babies.

      • Keeping grandma busy :

        She already does the hats for babies, but I’m looking for something where you get to interact more with the kids. Reading stories at a library would be perfect, I’ll look into if this is a volunteer thing (near me it’s all run by library staff).

    • I volunteer at our local Boys & Girls club. When I am there I usually work in their art room where all of the kids peacefully work on craft projects. There is a staff member whom everyone calls “Grandma” and she prepares dinner for the kids, manages the Snack Bar and leads cooking classes. This may be a goid fit for your mom.

    • Do you think she would be ok being around sick kids? If so she should look into the Child Life program at her local children’s hospital. These volunteers help with play time for hospitalized children.

      I’ve had a sickhospitalized child and I’m forever grateful to the Child Life volunteers who gave her a break from medical treatments and let her be a kid for a while.

    • Where is she located? In DC there is a great organization called the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project that needs volunteers to play with kids. I have done similar volunteer work in other cities with organizations that serve homeless families and with Headstart.

    • Girl Scout (co- or assistant) leader?

    • How is she around animals? Our library has a “Paws to Read” program for children where the kids read to animals. Volunteers bring well-behaved dogs and cats into the library. It’s pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

    • Reading Partners (.org). They pair volunteers with kids in low-income schools; you read with the kid once a week. They have offices in states across the US (not all 50 states, but lots of them). It’s really rewarding to work with a kid on a regular basis, and if she likes it, she could do it several days a week (so more than one kid).

      • Reading Partners is a great program. There are so many kids who need help in this area and it sounds like it would be a good fit for her.

    • Yes to volunteering at locals schools. Volunteers read to kids, or do classroom help, or tutor kids in all kinds of things. DS went to a hippie alternative school through third grade, and when he got to fourth grade he was the only kid who couldn’t write in cursive; a tutor – the actual grandmother of one his friends – taught him that individually. And they became close; she’s a writer and even wrote a piece about him and their relationship in a memoir!

    • Nancy Drew :

      Volunteer to help with reading at the local elementary school. My step dad did this when my kids were in 1st and 2nd grade, and now that they are out of those grades he still does it with the 1st and 2nd graders! The teachers always need help with the reading groups!

  7. Posting here because I can’t really brag to anyone, I just got promoted!!! It’s been a painful year-long process of dangled carrots, and I’m so relieved and happy.

    Unfortunately, in my industry (Wall St), the promotion comes separate from any raise. Compensation review and bonus is not done until February and apparently I am not guaranteed any pay raise. For the past few years, no one has gotten a raise unless there was a clear case of gender wage gap – and I got a raise 2 years ago for this reason.

    I intend to ask for a raise at my annual review in a few weeks. I’m making way less than others at this level (mostly men), and I’m not even sure I’m in the right pay band. Of course I’ll discuss my value to the firm, but would it be crazy to bring up gender? I.e., “I know that promotions do not automatically come with raises, however I hope that my pay will be raised to be equal to my male colleagues at the VP level.”

    • Anonymous :

      Congratulations on the promotion! It sounds like it was well earned! As tempting as it is, I would not bring up gender pay differences.

    • Can you omit the “male?” So it would be “equal to my colleagues at the VP level.”

      • This! You shouldn’t be in a different pay band than everyone else at that position. But if you want a raise and see a very clear gender disparity that can’t be explained by experience, absolutely mention the gender gap. There is no reason you should get less money because of “impropriety” when you for sure know they’ve only been giving wage increases due to gender gap. A man would never let that stand in the way of his compensation.

  8. FSA leftover money :

    I have about $300 left over in my FSA this year that I need to spend. Switching over to a HsA next year. Any suggestions on what I can spend it on? I’m thinking new glasses – anyone got recommendations for where to buy from? Haven’t bought glasses in over 7 years…went to LensCrafters last time.


    • for online options, warby parker has good quality, and I like to get prescription sunglasses from eyebuydirect.

    • Anonymous :

      I like Eyebuydirect. For $300 you should be able to get about 6 pairs! Ha! How about dental stuff? Night guard? Those run about $300.

    • If you are a member at Costco, your FSA dollars will go so much further there! Both the frames and lenses are about 50% cheaper than retail shops. And they have TONS of cute frames.

      I find Lenscrafters’ prices for lenses to be absolutely absurd–sometimes between 300-400. Crazy. You don’t want to go over budget!

    • Anonymous :

      you can also get memory foam pillows. lots of drugstore sites and the like have an FSA section and there are some surprising things covered.

    • Do you wear glasses full time? If so, I suggest getting a nice pair of prescription sunglasses!

    • My FSA also covered sunglasses purchased at an eyeglass place even though the lenses were not prescription.

    • I recently discovered that mileage and parking to/from FSA reimbursable things is also FSA reimbursable –
      to/from the doctor, to/from CVS to get that prescription, to/from Target to get that breast pump, parking at all of these places. Mileage is $0.17 per mile. It was kind of a pain, but I filed a bunch of claims today and we are suddenly getting about $150 back. (Also, if it’s that you have $300 total left, see if your employer offers a carryover up to $500 when you enroll for next year.)

    • Anonymous :

      I buy my glasses from – same frames (both eyeglasses and sunglasses) i saw at lenscrafters (and liked) but hundreds of dollars less

  9. Anonymous :

    Could use some talking down from the Hive this morning.

    I posted here last week about being offered my dream job. It really is my dream job; the work is exactly what I want to be doing, my new coworkers are great, my new boss is great, the salary is great, etc. I got the written offer and signed the acceptance letter on Tuesday.

    I am coming into the new job from contract position with the same organization. I work for a contracting company and have been with them a little less than a year. When I was offered my new job, the HR rep told me, “technically, you can’t start here before your one-year anniversary with the contract company – otherwise, per our contract with them, we have to pay them a penalty of one year of your salary – but they’ve been flexible about this before; I’m sure it can be negotiated.” My one-year anniversary with the contracting company is Jan. 23; my start date for my new job was supposed to be Jan. 8.

    The HR rep called late yesterday. The contracting company is absolutely refusing to let me go before the one-year anniversary date, so the earliest I can start my new job is going to be Jan. 28. She has no idea why, in my particular case, they are being intractable. Usually, she said, they will waive the penalty and release the person from the contract position. In my case, they’re adamant they will not do it.

    Three reasons I’m freaking out (which I understand may not be reasonable):

    – I have no idea why the contracting company is refusing to waive in my case only. I’ve had a good relationship with them (any contractors will understand – I’ve had very minimal contact with them as they don’t manage me or determine my workflow, but our interactions have been pleasant and I can’t think that I’ve made anyone angry, or why they’d decide I was not someone they want to help out).

    – I’m worried my new boss will decide he doesn’t want to wait until the end of January to bring me on, and will rescind my offer and give the job to someone else. He had other internal candidates, and I would understand him making that decision. He and I talked yesterday, and he assured me that this kind of thing has happened to him before – someone having to push back their start date – but…I just don’t know. If I were him, I know in the back of my mind I would be thinking, this isn’t worth the trouble; I have people sitting here I could bring on to do this job.

    – The department I’m coming into is also potentially going to get reorged soon, and I know from experience it’s a lot easier to eliminate a position someone isn’t actively occupying, even if someone is waiting to start the job. It really would not be any trouble whatsoever for the organization to rescind my offer and eliminate the position – way cheaper than laying me off after I start.

    I realize this is mostly anxiety talking and yes, I have thought about calling my doctor to reactivate a med prescription, but I could use any advice people might have regarding not getting pushed out of my dream job before I even get a chance to start it. TIA

    • Anonymous :

      It’s 20 Days. No one has suggested you are getting pushed out. This is not a big deal.

    • Anonymous :

      Do something fun and stay calm to distract yourself until the start date. What are your holiday plans? It sounds like anxiety talking.

    • I am an employment lawyer. This kind of this happens to my clients all the time. It is more trouble for your soon-to-be new boss to go through the hiring process with someone else, even someone he knows, than to just wait a few weeks for your start date. Really, there is nothing to worry about.

      • Ditto. Also, every hiring manager wants that 1 year period waived, but there is no incentive for the contractor to waive something like that. Be glad it’s only 20 days and not six months. I would enjoy the extra time off as a vacation.

      • ** 20 days that bridges THE major holiday season where everyone is probably out of the office anyway? I don’t know about ouy, but in my company real work doesn’t even get going in the new year until the second week of Jan. You’re fine. Relax.

    • New Tampanian :

      Honestly, the contracting company is probably annoyed with someone at the company you’re working for or whoever arranged the set up doesn’t want to let go of the fees because of a direct impact on them financially. It’s not about you, it’s about the contracting company.

    • Is this an entry level role? If it’s a role with *any* kind of seniority, I can tell you as a hiring manager (hired all levels through sr Director) that 20 days for the right candidate is nothing. It’s a paperwork delay.

      I’ve waited 3 months for someone’s non compete to expire do a sr manager role. I’ve passed on good-but-not-perfect candidates and kept the job few open for 4 more months until I found the right person.

      Mayyyyyybe the odds would be different if this were an easily relatable entry level role. But probably not even then. It’s 20 days in January.

    • Thanks for the replies, everyone. I knew I would get the appropriate type of slap-upside-the-head I needed from this group!

      It is a senior-level position and they wanted me for the job because I have past experience executing the kind of project the department is tasked with completing next year. My new boss really did seem nonplussed about the wait. I worked as a recruiter in the past, and I have been in situations, working with hiring managers, where waiting to bring someone on board was an issue and they chose another candidate they didn’t have to wait for. So I started panicking about that happening to me. But everyone here is right – 20 days is not a big deal and I know I am the right person for the job. Thanks so much for the support/advice.

  10. Anonymous :

    i’m in the final stages of interviewing for a new job. the HR person has specifically asked for a reference from my first post-law school associate position (which did not end on good terms but since I’m only out of school 4 years, it is still on my resume). do i have to say yes? if so, how do I reach out to that firm (I haven’t kept in touch since i left) and ask them to say something neutral about me? so awkward!

    • Frozen Peach :

      Do you have any friends there at all who could work as a reference?

      • +1 to this. My last firm job did not end on a good note, and when they asked for references, I used a friend of mine at that firm (in a different practice group) and the partner in my group that i did not work for but was cordial with across the hall. Both of these individuals were more than happy to help out, as they knew my work situation was miserable and wanted to help me move on to better things.

        Essentially, the reference was “yes, I know X, she’s a great person.”

    • Anonymous :

      Also, law firms, even small ones often won’t say more than yes, this person worked at the firm from x to y dates.

  11. How do I wear a navy suit with black tights without looking like a mess? I’m not in the position to go buy a new suit and have two events next week requiring a suit. Black tights and black heels and accept that it looks subpar?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s totally fine. Don’t worry about it. Or wear sheer nude hose if you must.

    • Can you incorporate black into the rest of your outfit above your knees? A black-and-white patterned shell or silk scarf could be great here, or black jewelry if it works for you. And carry a black bag if you have one. I wear black and navy together a lot, and I think adding more will make it look more intentional.

      If those options don’t appeal to you, I’d at least skip the black tights–if you’re committed to black shoes but can’t add black elsewhere in the outfit, wear nude-for-you hose so that the distinction is less visually jarring.

    • I know people here do it but I don’t love the look. Can you wear gray tights or nude hose?

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I wear a black blouse with the black tights and shoes and navy suit and think it looks quite smart!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I completely and totally hate black with navy. Would you consider nude tights and a different colour shoe?

    • Wear black tights and black shoes, and then make sure your blouse is neither black nor navy.

    • Nude hose 100%.

    • I would do gray tights

    • I’m on the team that intentionally wears black and navy together all the time (including black tights and black shoes with a navy suit). I like the look.

    • I love the look of navy with black, just make sure the tights are a lighter navy, ie avoid the almost black navy. Or, wear sheer black tights, which I think look smarter than solid black tights.

    • I wear black and navy together all the time. I consider them neutrals. I do think a patent black shoe looks better than a matte shoe though.

    • Anon in the asset management industry :

      I have a navy suit that I wear with a black shell, black shoes, black bag, and black/gold jewelry. I also have a navy dress that I similarly wear with black tights and black shoes. Black and navy look great together when your overall look is tailored and chic. It only looks bad if your clothes are ill-fitting or frumpy.

  12. I posted earlier in the week about offering a job to someone who was really excited to accept.

    This means that I’m also rejecting the other finalists this week. Thoughts on connecting with them via LinkedIn? We’re in a large city but a very networked industry, and although I didn’t want to hire them, I wouldn’t mind staying in touch.

    • Anonymous :

      Let them invite you to connect on Linkedin.

    • When you reject them, can you say that you’ll keep their resumes on file in case something else opens up and if they would like to stay in touch, they can ping you on LinkedIn? Seems odd to me for you to reach out via LinkedIn if you are also rejecting them but dunno.

      • I agree that reaching out to them right after choosing another candidate is a little weird. If a potential employer did that to me I’d read it as “we don’t think the person we chose is going to work out so you still have a chance.” but that’s probably me being desperate. Can you wait for them to add you OR be really explicit that you just want to stay in touch professionally and there are no “secret jobs” waiting in the wings for the other candidates?

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Agree that connecting on linkedin right after a job rejection sends an odd message. I’d simply say that you’re keeping their resumes on file and will reach out if you have other openings for which they might be a good fit.

  13. Backpack/ DayPack Recs? :

    I know this topic comes up occasionally. My 10 (??) year old Victorinox backpack I used in law school has died and I want to replace it. Thinking of something midsized for use on planes and going to the park, etc. with kids. I do not want a specialized “diaper bag” backpack and it does not need to have any kind of laptop area.

    Do people really like the Fjallraven ones I see a lot on here? Should I just buy a Jansport and call it a day?

    TLDR – Anyone have a daily use, mom-friendly (ugh) backpack they like? Thanks.

    • Good Q – Does anyone have experience with State Bags?

      • SFAttorney :

        I have a State bag and I like it. I’ve had it for about a year and it’s held up well with use a few times a week. I’m not sure of the material but it feels sort of like flannel. It does have a lap top pocket but it doesn’t have an outside cylindrical pocket for a water bottle or small umbrella – which is a drawback for me.

    • My kids are in high school and get new backpacks every year. My daughter has a Fjallkraven and while it is nice looking and sturdy, it is on the small side. It wasn’t large enough for junior year so she had to switch back to a larger bag. She has a Patagonia now and she says it will last forever. We got it at REI.

      My son uses a victorniox and it’s the one of the better backpacks we’ve bought. It’s really sturdy and has good pockets and organization.

      Both of these seem to be a step above Jansport. I don’t think the quality of the Jansport is where it used to be.

    • I just ordered a bag (linked in reply) to use as my regular purse and I am SO in love with it. You can wear it as a back pack, over your shoulder, or pick it up from the top loop. I am able to (discretely) keep two diapers and wipes in the front pouch, my work badge and keys in the front zipper, and a large wallet, sunglass case, small makeup bag, several medications, small planner, checkbook, and some pens inside, and still have a little room to spare. The side pockets are great for a cell phone or throwing an umbrella or sippy cup in, as well. Bonus, it’s decently cute.

    • My husband and I both have Timbuk2 backpacks we like. But I don’t have kids yet, so I’m not really sure what would come in handy specifically for that.

    • Patagonia :

      Not a mom, but had an INCREDIBLE Patagonia backpack in law school and I miss it 100000% of the time while practicing law. Now I have a “grown up” briefcase, but that backpack still looked brand new three years after using it and abusing it for law school.

  14. Office closing at 12:30- woohoo! Here’s hoping for no traffic problems and a relaxing afternoon at home.

    • We didn’t get the day off, but I’m heading home at noon to work remotely. It’ll be my dog’s first snow!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I love this.

      • I’m flying in to Atlanta late tonight from DC. How worried should I be (assuming my flight, you know, takes off) about getting into downtown from the airport at midnight??

        • Anonymous :

          You are unlikely to take off. If you do, taking the train is your best option. Are you really staying downtown, or do you just mean intown? We can be more specific if you say where you are staying.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I am fuh-reaking out about this because so far we are still slated to work the whole day. I decided to uber to work and back because I was up with anxiety insomnia about the snow. I got in a really bad accident on the connector a few years ago and now have some legit PTSD around driving in bad weather.

      Cross your fingers things get clearer and more people/companies/local governments make the right call! I told my husband I’m anticipating a 3-hour commute tonight.

      • Take a half day vacation day?

        • Frozen Peach :

          As a member of “leadership” it’s very important that we “Set the tone.”

          • Wouldn’t you want leadership to emulate self-care in situations that cause extreme anxiety and PTSD?

          • Lol Lilliet you cannot possibly be that naive.

          • <> We can all choose what type of leader to be. What messages to send the people we manage. I would choose self care and safety in a situation that causes *me* anxiety and PTSD so that the people who work for me would feel like they could do. This is 2017. We can all (or at least, those of us who spend time during the work day in an internet forum) find a way to be productive and work at home.

          • +1 – leaders should effectuate positive change

      • Baconpancakes :

        Your handle is supremely appropriate today. Kudos.

    • It seems like really wet snow (at least here in Vinings) so as long as the freeze can hold off until tonight, hopefully it’ll be alright for commuters. And by alright I mean, at least not SnowJam.

    • Has the forecast changed? Last time I checked temperatures were predicted to stay above freezing until like 2 AM in Atlanta proper.

      • I’m in Midtown and there are flakes in the air but nothing is accumulating at all (and it’s clearly too warm here for accumulation).

        • Cat Lady In Trauning :

          I’m in Marietta. When I left Atlanta there was just some sleet but by the time I got here it was full on snow flakes and I’m watching them accumulate. The garden outside the window is WHITE.

      • I work north of Marietta but live near Tucker (I know). At work there was a lot of ground accumulation but not much on roads. The further south I got, roads were wetter but the ground wasn’t as white. Now snow seems to be picking up where I am (I left work ASAP because boss thoughtfully told us to go as soon as we could, especially if we have a long commute).

        • Aw, I grew up in Smoke Rise! Tucker 4 EVA!

          • Smoke Rise represent! I was in Atl over Thanksgiving and had a super long conversation with a server about Matthew’s Cafeteria and Cofer Bros. Aw, memories


            Girl, I just almost drowned in a nostalgia wave.

          • Frozen Peach :

            My piano teacher lived in Smoke Rise!! And I grew up in Montreal Woods. Do you guys remember the Reid Cofer library? They had an amazing children’s room that I still wish I could take my kid to.

          • I went to the doctor in a professional building that was just across Lawrenceville Hwy from Montreal Woods! I loved the Cofer library – that children’s room was AMAZING.

            I’m trying to remember my piano teacher’s name…

          • Okay, total longshot but if Mrs. Hall was your piano teacher, we probably performed in the same recitals :-)

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I’m supposed to drive through town on my way north tomorrow. Is 85 going to be a disaster by the morning?

        • Maybe. :-/ It’s supposed to freeze tonight and depends how much slush is still sitting on the roads. How far north are you going?

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Straight up 85 to northern NC. Though if it looks bad, I can take 20 to 95 to 40 to get where I’m going. It may take a little longer normally, but if it avoids the north georgia snow panic…

    • I’m supposed to fly in to Atlanta from DC late tonight. So far the airline isn’t saying much, but even if the flight gets out how worried should I be about getting into the city from the airport at ~midnight?

      Rest of the weekend looks ok though, right, because it shouldn’t stick… Right?

      Naturally, this is for a conference that rotates between southern cities to avoid inclement December weather!

      • I think the major arteries and actual city will probably be ok this weekend. Not sure about tonight and not sure about your flight. They’re saying to check with airlines frequently.

    • This thread is hilarious to this Minnesotan – and yes, I do understand people aren’t used to it and there’s no sense in having a lot of expensive snow infrastructure for one or two storms a year. Drive safely folks.

  15. Our law office (200 or so people) is looking for good, economical coffee options. Right now we use Flavia machines. I think the coffee tastes gross, and I hate the environmental impact of all the little packets. But I get that the pod/packet machines eliminate the possibility of a heater being left on overnight or large vats of scalded coffee. What other options do people do for their office coffee service?

    • Our office uses a packet system that makes OK coffee. The outer wrappers are recyclable and the packets themselves get composted. No idea of the brand, but they are flat round paper packets.

      • We have this too. I think ours is called Royal Cup. I like that coffee much better than Keurig.

        We also have a coffee maker that grinds beans and brews single cups of coffee using coffee beans that are kept in a little hopper on the top of the machine. That is, I think, a nice option for single servings without using the disposable k-cups/packets.

        • we used to have the same. A Jura machine, has a reservoir for water and beans, and makes your cup at the press of a button. Might be out of your price range, though.

    • We have a setup where we make coffee with a regular filter and bag of coffee grounds and it goes directly into an insulated pot. So it never gets scalded and it stays hot until the end of the day. It’s from a service so a really industrial insulated pump pot.

      I don’t like the waste of k cups and the like. The keurig inventor himself has disavowed k cups for environmental reasons.

    • Ekocups has recyclable Keurig cups and many many flavors.

    • Our company uses a Keurig with a water line and a maintenance service that comes out and fixes the machine/replaces it as needed (which seems fairly frequently as they don’t seem to hold up well to corporate use).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      We have a set up that looks kind of like a 7-11 — like a big drip coffee machine, and big kind of ‘pods’ of coffee that are basically just a coffee filter stuffed with grounds. Anyway, you set it up like your Mr. Coffee at home and it brews a big ol’ carafe thing that keeps it pretty warm. Once it’s brewed you just take it out, put the pump/dispensing top thing on, and set it on a little stand that catches drips. Usually there are ~4 brewed in the morning, and people write on the stands where they sit what time they were brewed. Anyway, the coffee is totally decent. Better than the Mr. Coffee because it stays warm but doesn’t get scalded, better than the fake Keurig we used to have because it doesn’t taste gross and cause the same waste. A service delivers the coffee and swaps out the carafes to sanitize them.

    • We bought a regular cafe-style Italian espresso machine – less waste, great taste. Worth every dollar.

      • Ooh. That sounds right up my alley. What kind of machine? Does it work well with a lot of people? And what kind of coffee do you use?

    • We had a DeJong Duke Virtu (or similar machine – it was owned by the landlord) in my company’s previous office. No pods, and made solid coffee – plus lots of other drinks. We are in DC, so it was managed by SunDun refreshments (who managed our water filter and some other things), but I’m sure there are similar companies with similar set ups in your area.

    • The cx touch is similar concept to kuerig except the packets are biodegradable.

    • Nashville coffee :

      My husband’s company (we are also in Nashville) is considering a machine that grinds and makes a cup at a time with no pods or cups. It’s called a Innovation Total Lite. The Octave building on 8th Ave S has one in their lobby (serviced by Frothy Monkey), if you are ever in that area and want to check it out.

  16. Junior in-house :

    I need some advice on something that happened at work yesterday that’s preying on my mind (junior in-house technology sector).

    I got an out-of-the-blue urgent request to get a consulting contract out the door by close of play. I said it would be tough given I was already highly scheduled but do-able if I get all the information I need from the business. In the end, I wasn’t sent this informationso it couldn’t be done.

    When I read down the email chain, I see the customer requested the agreement over a week ago from our technical consultant. Fine, everyone’s busy and there was probably a good reason he delayed contacting me. However, when the customer chased this up a few days later our technical consultant replied that the delay was down to the legal team (me). There were several managers in my organisation copied on this email response.

    Now, I dont mind taking one for the team (and I honestly dont think there was any malice in the technical guy’s response). However, I do feel put out that several managers in my organisation will now be left with the impression that I have potentially jeapordised a customer project through my delays when the reality is that yesterday was the first I ever heard about this. I pride myself on being organised and not dropping the ball, so this really riles me.

    I feel that I want to address this but I don’t know if it would be appropriate as I will effectively be calling out the technical consultant (who is more senior to me)? I’m thinking along the lines of responding to the email recipients (obviously not the customer contacts) asking when legal was instructed so that I can investigate. Is this too passive aggressive?

    I am junior and not trusting my own judgement here so I would really welcome some advice.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Also junior in-house in tech sector.

      Do you have a good relationship with your manager? My boss and I have a lot of trust, so when this happens (at least once a month) I bring it up with her during our next 1:1 (or sooner if it’s nastier). People LOVE to blame legal. Sometimes it’s something I can actually do for them. Is say “blame me.” (Not about missing internal deadlines, but in other contexts). But I can do this and I no longer get nearly as stressed out by the exact fact pattern you described above. I always talk it through with my manager so that she knows what really happened and can correct it if any of the managers bring it up with her.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree with this. I am more than happy to take blame for things that go outside — “I’d love to ABC, but Legal insists that we XYZ, so I just can’t.” — but implying internally that you’re blowing deadlines stinks.

        I have a super casual relationship with my boss, so I’d walk to his office and say, “Just FYI, Jack only sent that to me yesterday afternoon. I’m happy to take the blame in the eyes of OutsidePeeps for the delay, but I didn’t want you to think I’d dropped the ball.”

      • Triangle Pose :

        Also junior in-house in tech sector.

        Agreed completely. Business love to blame legal, as long as you let your boss know and you build a food reputation for doing the work efficiently when you actually know about it, you’ll be fine. This won’t be the first time, you’ll be able to brush this off/react fittingly next time it happens.

    • Yeah I’d call it out. Do you have a manager who is also in the legal area? I can imagine myself highlighting that sentence about delays in Legal and saying “huh, this is interesting”

      Or else just call the writer of the email and ask why he said the delays were in Legal.

    • My response would be, “Hi guys, I received this project yesterday and so still haven’t been able to complete due to missing xyz details. Can you provide xyz?” Or something of the sort mentioning a delay due to lack of information and asking for its provision. It 1) shows you couldn’t possibly have delayed because you found out about its existence yesterday and 2) shies past the passive-aggressive (even though it kind of is) by primarily being an information seeking email with the goal of getting the project out the door asap.

    • I would call it out by asking for whatever information you need to finish it and making a reference to the date you received. It gives the appropriate information to imply “of course it’s not my fault” and makes you seem solution seeking (customers excluded of course). With your managers included on the email chain, this is not the time to let yourself be thrown under the bus.

      • Junior in-house :

        Thank you all for taking the time to reply. It’s reassuring to know that I am not alone in finding this a bit off.
        I do have a manager in the legal area and will raise this with him but the managers on the email are far more likely to just mentally black-mark me than go to him to discuss it. I like the idea of referencing the date i received it; this does the job and leaves everyone to draw their own conclusions.
        I like Frozen Peach’s appraoch and, had it be consentual, I would have no problem saying “blame me”. It was more the way I only found out about this by accident that leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
        Thanks Hive!

        • anonshmanon :

          I guess you’ve had no previous issues with the technical consultant, which is why you assume no malicious intent (kudos for that!). You could reply to the email chain, pointing out “I acknowledge that it makes sense to ‘blame legal’ to the outside client, but if there is any real part in this project that could have been handled better from my side, let’s discuss it.” You could leave it at that. Or you could add another sentence with details (“I’m willing to do what it takes for such last-minute requests, but I can’t do it without the x, y and z info”), but it veers into defensive.

    • I think this depends on your relationship with the people you support as well as the relationship with your boss and your company culture.

      I’m in a senior in-house position and the situation you described happens to me all the time. Probably at least once a month. It happened yesterday in fact. I agree with Frozen Peach that legal is a frequent scapegoat. I also agree that legal can play that role internally of bad cop, or Dept. of No so long as everyone internally knows it’s just a role to buy more time, cover someone else’s mistake etc. for the best interest of the company. Playing the internal blame game cannibalizes everyone’s internal energy though so I would avoid defending yourself as much as possible because it’s easy to get dragged in. I would just give your boss a verbal heads up on the issue. “Hey, got that urgent project out stat. Was surprised to learn that the team thought I was holding it up. I turned it around the same day.” I’m pretty sure you boss will go, mmhmm, and know exactly what you’re talking about and know it’s not you.

      • On the internal black marking you are concerned about, I hear you on that. But you’re in house. They have to work with you. Early in my role at my company, some managers didn’t want to work with me, tried to do things on their own and that backfired big time. They were told they had to run everything through legal after that. So thus began a rocky few months. But after working with them so closely they learned that the delay was never legal and usually members of their own team.

    • Anonymous :

      Easy enough. Take the customer off the email chain – in fact, do another email chain entirely – and send it to the technical consultant and the managers.

      Basically say what you’ve said here (but far, far more briefly). Start by saying you value teamwork and are more than willing to take one for the team for external customers, but that you received the contract, without enough information to complete the assignment, with only a few hours of time to complete. Emphasise your need to get all of the information in promptly, as well as the reality that you have other things scheduled and cannot always drop everything, even if you had everything you needed. Do not place blame. Again, do not place blame. Focus on business needs and explain the needs from your end.

  17. Peloton Cycle? :

    Does anyone have a Peloton Bike? Is it worth it – better than hacking a cheaper spin bike paired with the Peloton app? I am thinking of asking for a spin bike for Christmas – getting to the gym for spin classes with small kids is hard and I miss spinning! – but it’s a bit overwhelming to compare and figure out what is actually worth the $$$.

    • I don’t have one, but I’m dying for one. I have a friend with one, and she loves it.

    • So, we have one in my office gym, which is the best of all worlds because I don’t have to pay for it. It’s amazing. I was forced to take up using an exercise bike because of a running injury, and I like the Peloton bike much more than a regular bike because it forces me to work out harder than I would otherwise.

    • I found this post on Franish useful about hacking a Pelaton

      Seems like the way I would go.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I have a cheaper spin bike plus the Peleton app. If you have the money and it’s really no problem, I recommend the actual Peleton bike because it’s quite solid and you can keep up with all the metrics (cadence and resistance and sometimes power). But! I like the substitute system I’ve rigged up, so either one works. I do think the real thing is probably worth the money. I’ve never talked to anyone who regrets it.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I have one. I LOVE it. Seriously love it. I’m a die-hard crossfitter, but use it to supplement by cardio (the joys of trying to maintain my weight when over 40). The instructors are awesome; favorites are Alex, Robyn and Christine. There is also “beyond the ride” content with yoga, HIIT, stretching, etc. You will NOT regret this purchase.

    • I have one. I love it. My husband loves it. (He was super skeptical upon purchase.) I zero-percent financed it (through Peloton/Affirm) for a year — just made final payment this week, yay. In the year we’ve had it, I’ve done 150ish rides (some only 20 minutes, but every one counts!), my hubs has done over 100. We have two small kids and found it nearly impossible to get to the gym, but we can almost always squeeze in 20 or 30 or 45 minutes. I could go on and on, I love it that much.
      If you want more info, let me know, and I’ll find a way to direct message you about it.

    • Just got one two days ago and did my first ride today. It is really nice. I’m not sure it it’s that much better than hacking a cheaper one, but it is really nice and I’m more inclined to use it because it’s so nice and the setup is effortless…

    • This may sound a little extreme – but 2 years in and we love ours so much that we’re building an “exercise nook” in our new house so that we can have a cool view while riding like they have on the commercials. If you can afford it, definitely get the Peloton

  18. Anyone seen it? I’d really like to catch a showing this weekend, but wondering if it would be inappropriate to take along my 14 year old almost-stepdaughter? It’s rated R…

    • Former Retail :

      I like the Common Sense Media site or app for these kinds of questions – there will be reviews from the site and users (adults and kids/teens) with details to help you decide.

      • Thanks for this rec. I hadn’t heard of the site and I’m sure this will be very helpful in the future, too.

    • I really loved it. It made me cry and want to call my mom afterwards, tbh. I probably wouldn’t take a 14 year old to see it, there is a s3x scene and some pretty adult topics, but maybe this is a very mature 14 year old. You should definitely see it, though.

      • Lol at sex scene. Lots of 14 YOs are already getting it on.

        • Only something like 20%. It’s not none, but the overwhelming majority of 14 year olds are not sexually active.

          • Thank you for this. It annoys me that our culture pushes and believes that all teens are active, like once a kid hits 13 we should treat (and expect) that they have suddenly morphed into experienced and jaded 20-somethings.

            Nope. Still kids. Still worthy of protecting.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            And 14-year-olds, who are after all CHILDREN, are susceptible to peer pressure and notoriously bad at making decisions and enforcing healthy boundaries. Making it sound like “everyone’s doing it” is a kind of peer pressure (even when the person saying it isn’t a peer). Maybe let’s not have a culture that socially pressures children into having sex?

        • But given that this 14-year-old is the OP’s “almost-stepdaughter” I think she needs to tread more lightly than she might choose to with her own daughter.

          • Yes, there’s sort of a “cool aunt” vibe to our relationship and she is mature for her age, but I don’t want to risk toeing the line too much. Might see it first and then reconsider.

            Thanks to the other commenter above who posted about Common Sense Media.

        • This is the kind of thing someone who doesn’t have a 14 year old daughter says.

          • I understand the awkwardness of a sex scene with parents or kids and why we would want to avoid that. I was thinking more about letting a kid watch a movie that had such a scene. I had conservative parents that were shielding me from certain tv shows while I was doing all the stuff they didn’t want me to see. It was annoying. We kept up the facade though.

        • Actually, Millennials and whatever they’re calling post-Milennials, have sex later/not at all compared to Gen X who had less sex and later than Baby Boomers. Even that 20% number is probably way too high.

    • My caution would be, as a new to her stepmom, this is a very #moms movie. You’ll see your own mom in the movie mom, she’ll see her own mom (and maybe you?), you’ll cry, she’ll wish she was with her friends. It’s not inappropriate (unless her parents are conservative on that front), but it’s just not the right bonding movie.

      • Thanks for thoughtful insight. I know she wants to see it and she’s at our house this weekend, but that’s a compelling reason I hadn’t considered yet.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I loved it!

      It was very true, which to my mind makes the s3x scene less of a thing. I mean, it might be horribly awkward to sit through next to your kid, but being realistic about s3x with a kid is always horribly awkward but also necessary, right? (What do I know about raising teenagers?)

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oh, hmm, “almost stepdaughter” might change my calculus. I guess it depends on how much you are momming her, now.

        • I’m really excited to see it, too! I loved Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha. It seems like it’ll be right up my alley and I’m sure she’d like it too, but I’m still on the fence about taking her, sort of leaning toward no.

    • I saw it last night and loved it. I wouldn’t take a 14-year-old to see it though.

  19. I’m looking for fun Christmas leggings to continue a silly tradition with old friends. Anyone have recommendations on where I can find cute/ridiculous ones?

  20. I posted a few weeks ago about having turned down an excellent opportunity because I felt I couldn’t leave my team in a lurch. I’m happy to say that I got a similarly great offer from an another organization and I accepted it yesterday! It’s a fantastic career move for me and while I had been tagged on a pretty major file in my current group my management is understanding. I will try to help find someone else who could come in but am otherwise super excited to try something new. The good advice from this board was a needed reality check so thank you!

  21. Men Behaving Badly :

    tl/dr – Lots of men do sh*tty things. How do you decide when to forgive?

    In last weekend’s open thread, there was an extended discussion after someone sought advice about how to write a supportive letter for her boyfriend, who had been charged with felony domestic violence against another woman. In addition to the very pragmatic advice offered by those who practice criminal defense, there were a lot of people who wrote about ‘knee-jerk feminism’ and defended this guy, because sometimes women are liars, these situations are complex, we should be more forgiving of mistakes, etc. etc. I was the minority, in the DTMFA camp, and someone told me that I should, “take my self righteous feminism and shove it’ after I shared my story about defending an abusive boyfriend who eventually broke my nose. (wth?)

    Yesterday, this same board was (mostly) in favor of Al Franken losing his job for allegations that he either denied or apologized for, because ‘men like him’ don’t deserve due process, or a second chance, or an opportunity to apologize and evolve.

    What gives? How is it that we should defend and support a dude who’s actually been charged with a crime (a felony, no less) but we should excoriate someone who acknowledged and apologized for behavior that is objectively less problematic? I’m not saying Franken gets off with no consequences whatsoever, but I’m struggling to following the positions staked out by certain members of this community.

    • What gives is that this is a group of individuals responding with their own take on individual situations. There is no consensus or Way Of Deciding.

      For this in particular that girls question was “how do I write this letter for someone I love and support” not “should he quit his public job.” Like you, I wouldn’t be dating him. But letters of support at sentencing are accepted and standard. They don’t necessarily involve denying what happened. They are just another piece of info for the judge.

      There is no “rule” that we are collectively following.

      • I don’t know, DTMFA seems a pretty standard rule around here. I also found the weekend thread a puzzling departure.

        • +1
          and to OP, I will say it again – thanks for sharing your truth. I’m so sorry that happened to you.

      • I didn’t re-visit the weekend thread to see that response to your story, but I don’t agree at all. I think your story was exactly the kind of cautionary tale that could potentially have been helpful to the OP (as opposed to the more flippant “Dump him” comments).

        Re: the different responses to the different situations. I think there is a feeling that it’s an individual woman’s prerogative to forgive an individual man for his wrongdoing if she wishes. (Although I agree with Anon above that that sentiment is usually in short supply on this board, and I was surprised to see a majority lean that way this weekend.) Al Franken is in a public office and is meant to serve and represent the public, and there’s no way for the public at large to “forgive” his wrongdoing which is what would be necessary for him to continue in his office with any kind of moral authority.

        • I also think that context matters. For me, what Al Franken did is largely problematic because it makes it okay for the conservative media to support Roy Moore and Trump because, hey, everyone has someone like this in their party. I personally think it’s absurd that there is any comparison between Franken and Moore, but that’s neither here nor there. So from that perspective, he had to go and his resignation now puts the GOP into a bit of box now.

          The woman from last weekend had an individual problem. And she didn’t ask if she should forgive, she asked how she could help having made her decision already. In that sense the responses aren’t that surprising: you have a bunch of lawyers here and part of the job is to deal with how to best resolve a situation where someone is hell bent on pursuing a course of action. I didn’t read all the responses but my sense was that some people chimed in with DTMFA answers and others answered her actual question. I’m also sure some of the comments devolved beyond that, as is always the case, and that’s unfortunate.

    • I remember your story – it was just awful. My answer was DTMFA on the letter-writing thread, and after sleeping on it, I still think people went way overboard on AF and there will be worse consequences in losing him. Whatevs.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think a lot of it just has to do with who happens to be posting on any given day.

      I’m DTMFA on both the LW’s boyfriend and Al Franken, FWIW…

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Wow, I’m sorry that people said that to you after hearing your story.

    • Well whoever said that to you, I am not on that person’s side. That was a horrid thing to say.

      I think the answer to your question though is that different people choose to comment on different threads. There’s no “we” here that’s changing its collective mind, because our collective mind is very much not made up on these topics.

    • anonshmanon :

      I can only speak for myself. I didn’t weigh in on the support-letter thread, but I agree that your story is an important one to share and to consider in this context. I don’t feel like I have enough knowledge to form an opinion (about the accused, the ex, the OP and her ability to realistically judge stuff).
      What I can say is that we are talking about two different things here. It is the court’s job to figure out what happened and whether to punish someone and how harshly.
      Al Franken and his accusers also deserve such an honest investigation, before guilt is assessed. But right now, this whole media frenzy is taking away from his ability to do his job as a representative.
      As for the ‘should we destroy people for one misstep?’ issue – he can run for office again. That would be his second chance. He can ask the public once more if they’d like to be represented by him (and his party if they want to work with him). Maybe they will say yes. Public office to me is not equivalent to any old job. It is a privilege that you might have to give up for any number of reasons. I know this is an old-fashioned, idealistic view close to ‘public servants should be above reproach’, but to me, it seems that his stepping down is sending a similar message.

      Then there is the matter of principle. Sure, 45 or Moore are not any likelier to stop because he leads by example, but that’s the point. Doing the right thing, even if it doesn’t have an immediate political gain. Here again comes my naive idealism, which leads me to believe that we have enough qualified and good people in this world, that we can fill Congress without having to resort to those that have shown questionable morals.

      As an aside, to the legal experts: does a senator have some kind of immunity from prosecution? By stepping down, is he actively allowing investigations that he would otherwise be shielded from?

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I agree with you! And to add some political strategy to your idealism, doing the right thing because it’s the right thing is also absolutely crucial to long-term credibility.

    • Anonymous :

      In that particular situation from last week, the OP indicated (wisely without going into too much detail) that it was a situation in which her boyfriend was not the initial aggressor. However, he was charged with DV out of an understandable abundance of caution.

      To insist that the OP “DTMFA” immediately, when you personally do not know the situation, because you made the mistake of defending the initial aggressor, is… beyond your pay grade.

      How about we all use our very well-educated brains in these situations? Wisdom – it’s a thing.

      • This comment, especially the end, is super condescending. It is natural to be wary of someone charged with felony DV. This sentiment is not “beyond my pay grade”. Signed, a very well-educated brain.

      • Anonymous :

        This ‘not the initial aggressor’ bs is dv excuses. If he was attacked, he walks away and call cops. Done. No DV charge for him. The prosecutor wouldn’t be bringing the case if they thought they couldn’t win it. And she’s only heard the story from the guy charged with dv. Of course he’s going to say that he wasn’t the ‘initial aggressor’.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. This excuse makes my skin crawl. It’s such a typical abuser line – she made me do it! Enough already.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed. Plus she acknowledged he had PTSD and other issues. Anyone can be wrongly accused of anything, but the combination of the accusation and the boyfriend’s PTSD made it pretty clear he did not behave appropriately.

  22. Litigators (or anyone who deals with an opposing party)- how friendly/cordial do you try to be with opposing counsel? The vast majority of my cases are against male attorneys and I find I am always trying to build a friendly rapport with them– seems to make the conflict easier to resolve or at least easier to stomach. I had one case where all the attorneys involved (all women) did away with all niceties and the matter grew excessively contentious- it was downright ugly at times. The judge had to intervene frequently. Both sides demanding sanctions against each other. This style of litigation was not in either clients’ best interest, was SO unpleasant and felt personal. However, I realize that I am a young woman litigating against older men, maybe I’m disadvantaging myself by being friendly.

    • I’m cordial with all opposing counsel, always. And they typically are with me. Male or female old or young. I’m a zealous advocate, obviously I frequently disagree with opposing counsel, but your reputation matters. So I am scrupously honest, always polite, and always consent to reasonable extensions. This is the expectation and norm in my bar.

      • Blonde Lawyer :


        • I don’t think I’ll ever forget that on the first day of law school orientation, the school paired us up in small groups with practicing lawyers to go through professional scenarios – you miss a filing deadline, your client insists you file ethics paperwork against innocent opposing counsel, etc. The answer to every single question was be kind, courteous, and polite. Your reputation matters and the legal field is a small community. For 0Ls coming in thinking that we were about to be the next Jack McCoy/Lieutenant Kaffee, it was eye-opening.

          • +1 The female attorneys that came up in the 80s and even 90s have always pushed me to be brassier and tougher. I don’t think that dynamic works as well in 2017. Cordial, professional, ethical is the way to go. This isn’t WWE.

      • Same. I work in an area with a small bar. We all know each other and reputation is hugely important. I’m always cordial, friendly, and professional and expect the same from opposing counsel. I can count on one hand the exceptions to the rule—and everyone in my field knows who they are.

    • I have dealt with lots of nasty opposing counsel, both male and female. It’s my least favorite part of litigation. I believe in strongly advocating for my client’s position of course, but there’s no need to resort to snark or personal attacks to do it. If I am dealing with opposing counsel who seem to feel differently, I call them out and ask that they refrain from personal attacks, calling me a liar, etc. Doesn’t always work but I feel better having said my piece, and it reminds me to keep a cool head in response.

    • I think this varies by jurisdiction, too. I’m in a small legal community and the expectation is that we will be nice to each other because you’re probably having lunch with your adversary later in the week.

    • Be cordial. It’s not about gender. It’s about maintaining a reputation as a reasonable person who is also a zealous advocate.

    • Polite and professional, always. Friendly only if they are. I have practiced in 3 different states and found that generally, the smaller bars are the ones were people are much friendlier.

    • always cordial where possible. And forgiving, when it doesn’t harm your client’s interests, especially for things like minor time extensions or spats over documents. No one is served by bringing everything before the court and chances are you too will need a minor extension at some point in the litigation. Litigation is tough enough without being pointlessly mean. I’m working with a jerk plaintiff counsel right now and it’s awful- he never misses a chance to be condescending or berate me, or imply that neither my staff nor I are working hard enough to meet his absurd demands to promptly schedule the depositions of 6 witnesses on the same day. Maybe he’s thinking that he’s “being aggressive for his client” but all he’s really doing is looking like a royal a** hole and writing emails that will look awful for him when they are exhibits to whatever discovery dispute motion eventually ends up before the court.

    • Anonymous :

      My opposing counsel have been some of my best referral sources. I wouldn’t say that I’m friendly, at least not at the beginning of a case and generally not over the phone/email. I’m more friendly in person – chit chat about their weekend, kids, the weather. I usually offer to take opposing counsel out for a drink when we resolve a matter.

    • Being unfriendly gets you nowhere. You always catch more flies with honey then vinegar. I’ve always had great relationships with opposing counsel. In fact, I’m friends now with a woman I met on opposite sides of the table. I don’t understand posturing or trying to be someone you aren’t – not being authentic won’t help you either.

    • Late to the party on this, but if you are still checking replies, I always try to be professional and courteous with opposing counsel and remind myself that I don’t have to behave badly just because they choose to do so. That being said, I won’t let opposing counsel get away with yelling at or berating me over the phone or in person. This is especially seems to come up with male attorneys. My go-to when they get fired up during a deposition or on a phone call during discovery dispute is to tell them I can see they are getting emotional and ask them if they would like to take a break or continue our conversation at another time when they have had some time to collect themselves. This seems to disarm them and they settle down because being “emotional” is a “woman thing.” If things are getting particularly contentious, which seems to happen more over the phone, I will tell them I’m not going to listen to them yell at me, that there is no place in our profession for that, and that I am hanging up if they don’t stop. I will also offer to continue the conversation another time when they want to have a productive talk instead of yell. (All of these things said in a calm, rational voice). As others have said, your reputation is everything in our career and it is a small world where you will deal with the same people again and again. Don’t be petty about reasonable extensions because the time will come when you will have the need for an extension and the good will you have built up will matter, whereas, opposing counsel will remember if you denied them an extension and do the same to you. All of this to say, be courteous, be professional, but establish boundaries and standards for mutual respect. Some people are just jerks, jerks to everyone, and everyone knows it, so when dealing with this type of opposing counsel, just get through it and don’t take a personally.

  23. Another manicure Q :

    I never get manicures but I’m thinking of getting one before going off on holiday…random question: Do hot tubs cause them to chip more? I’m planning to be in a lot of hot tubs.

  24. SF in House :

    I saw a link recently to very proper looking tea cups with mildly inappropriate sayings inside (like “I don’t give a $&[email protected]“. Of course, now I can’t find it. Can anyone help me find them?

    • was it this?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      If you just want something in that general vein, rather than a specific one off the link you saw, Etsy is teeming with profane teacups.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I will also shill for a local farmer who makes Profani-Teas to go with your inappropriate teacup. The teas are all delicious herbals that aren’t medicinal. My particular favorites are What the F Happened and Get the F Over It.

  25. My caution would be, as a new to her stepmom, this is a very #moms movie. You’ll see your own mom in the movie mom, she’ll see her own mom (and maybe you?), you’ll cry, she’ll wish she was with her friends. It’s not inappropriate (unless her parents are conservative on that front), but it’s just not the right bonding movie.

  26. anon for this :

    I’ve had a difficult year, personally and professionally. I’m already taking an anti-depressant (but concerned I’m not on the right one). How do you stay positive (or make sure you come across as positive)? I am looking for a new job, and I suppose someday I’ll try dating again, so presenting myself as a positive person to strangers is probably important. (I’ve gotten some feedback lately that I seem super sad, which is accurate, but I think I’ll need to do a better job covering it up).

    • I’m having a hard year, too. Honestly I’ve just been trying to be gentle with myself and not cover up my sadness too much. I try to be aware enough not to be actively unpleasant, but some days it’s all I can do to show up. Hopefully you are in therapy or have access to that. My therapist has told me that it’s fine to be sad and hiding those feelings or pushing them down will just make them come out later in worse ways. Sorry I don’t have any real advice. Just commiseration and please be gentle with yourself.

    • Anonymous :

      The secret is to accept the apology you are never going to get. This will enable you to move on with your life and requires forgiveness and acceptance. Neither is easy to do–but if you can self talk your way through it–it’s a true game changer.

      • “accept the apology you are never going to get.” – I think this just comment just changed my life. Seriously, I’m really letting this soak in.

    • wildkitten :

      You might talk to your doctor about increasing your dose. I’m on a low dose but when stuff is HARD they tell me to take a higher dose.

  27. Today in WTF fashion….

    • Love the description “Statement-making blouson sleeves with oversized ties are the pièce de résistance on this sleek, shoulder-baring sheath.” Makes it sound so fabulous.

    • Senior Attorney :

      HAHAHA!! It’s like her strange cultish underwear is trying to escape…

    • I’d wear that. No one would ask me to do the dishes.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      “How can we incorporate as many of this season’s trends as possible in to one dress?” asked this designer.

    • I am SHOCKED that this is on sale. I can’t believe people aren’t snapping it up full-price.

  28. Oahu wrong idea? :

    I have seen lots of discussion on Maui and Big Island here but had a hard time finding anything on Oahu. I am spending 3 days there in January. My 1st trip to Hawaii! Please give me recommendations for best things to do! I can’t surf unfortunately, did I just pick the wrong island to go?

    • Absolutely go to Pearl Harbor. We went to a tiny little restaurant called “Helena’s Hawaiian Kitchen” in downtown (and not a very nice part of) Honolulu and had the best meal we had during our visit to HI for about $20. The Dole Pineapple Plantation is neat but very touristy (if you’ve ever been to Hershey’s Chocolate World, it’s sort of like that but with pineapples). The North Shore has some cute little surf towns to check out. Never been but would love to see Iolani Palace.

      It’s Hawaii. If nothing else park yourself by the pool/on the beach and order a mai tai. Or go snorkeling.

      • +1 to mai tai
        +1 to snorkeling

        I am the least sporty type ever and I went snorkeling in Maui and cannot wait to do it again. You get in these canyons between coral reefs and see so many amazing colorful fish and other creatures… it’ mesmerizing.

    • Oahu is very different than the other islands (because people who aren’t in the tourism industry actually live and work there) but it’s still a great place to visit. Go to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve for snorkeling. Diamond Head is a great hike for panoramic views of the city. Agree that Pearl Harbor is worth a visit. Kailua (near Honolulu but a little ways out of the city) has beautiful beaches. You can do nice boat trips from any Hawaiian island (in January you might see whales).
      Hawaii Revealed has great guidebooks for the other islands, I assume they have a good one for Oahu too.

    • anona mouse :

      Do you hike? Do Diamondback.

  29. For those not reading upthread, please participate in Fishie’s poll:

    I made a “Tall Boots – In or Out” poll if anyone wants to take it. I’ll report back on the Weekend Open Thread.

    I mean, this needs to be settled ONCE AND FOR ALL. Serious business.

  30. Roy Moore says he think the US was great “when our families were united – even though we had slavery”

    Oh, Alabama.

    • OMG WHAT? He really said that?!

      Please, please tell me this is enough to end him. What’s that? No? Ok then…

    • I’m pretty sure he said that in SEPTEMBER, so no, probably not ending him.

      • Right, he said it in September and he’s 5-6 points ahead in the polls today.

        I just saw the article on CNN

    • I live in a television market area that gets his ads, but do not live in Alabama and sadly cannot vote against him. Shouting at the television is now perfectly normal at our house.

  31. I guess my mother in law takes frugal Friday really seriously…every time we go out to dinner with her she asks for a to-go container for the bread basket. She will eat a roll or two, and often ask for seconds of the bread basket..and then take it to go. This is at nice, upscale restaurants.

    She has plenty of money to buy her own bread, so that’s not the issue. I can’t say anything because she’s not my own mother so I just bite my tongue and try to hide my mortification. This happened last night when we took her out to dinner at a lovely high-end restaurant. She’s in her early sixties. Any suggestions on how to gently suggest that she not do that?

    • Anonymous :

      This is my mom too. I think it’s Depression era thinking she got from her own parents? I think this is why mine does, as well as shops at Goodwill. Her parents passed it to her, and my parents to me in some ways, which is why my house is a mess because I can’t throw anything away.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s not really your business and not that big a deal on the scale of things. Some restaurants are honestly fine with this — my husband and I were at Red Lobster last weekend and they offered us a second basket of biscuits which we barely touched, and then when we asked for to-go boxes for our entrees, they brought us a paper sleeve labeled with instructions for reheating the biscuits, clearly encouraging us to take home the leftover biscuits. If she were asking for four refills of bread and stuffing each round in her purse in order to get the restaurant to bring more, that would be one thing, but asking for a single refill of bread, not eating much or any of the refill and then taking it to go is really not that unusual. Once it’s been brought to the table, it can’t be given to another patron so I don’t really see the big deal about taking it home. It prevents food waste.

      If her behavior is really mortifying to you, don’t take her to the nice restaurants where you are a regular and just go to places she likes or generic chain places where they won’t remember you. But I wouldn’t say anything to her about it.

    • Just don’t. Not a bridge to burn for you. Promise….

      Just look at the waitress, mouth “thank you” with sad smile, and tip well.

      • Senior Attorney :

        All this.

        Please do not bring this up. And there’s no reason for you to be mortified. I promise the waitstaff sees way way worse than this, every single day.

        • Baconpancakes :

          When I was a waitress an elderly patriarch of a family started yelling at me when I tried to take his plate to wrap it up, which he requested, accusing me of trying to poison him, saying that I couldn’t be trusted and I would spit in his food if I took it back to the kitchen, going on with personal attacks until I was about to cry. THAT family’s mortified apologies and huge tip were necessary and appreciated. Taking bread home is 100% fine.

          • Anonymous :

            This sounds like dementia. I mean, I can see why it was upsetting to you, but also recognize that this is an illness and he doesn’t have control over his behavior.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Eh, maybe. Doesn’t make it any less terrible for the waitstaff, nor any less deserving of an apology and tip from the family. Particularly since I was barely 20 at the time, and he seemed quite coherent.

            The point is that waitstaff are not offended by taking bread home, when they get yelled at, spilled on, berated (by sober/drunk/dementia/clear-headed), and generally blamed for everything from a broken AC to not liking the food they ordered.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1 000 000

    • anonshmanon :

      There might not be anything you can say to change her. Is it that important on the grand scale of things though?

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah…this is weird, a lot more folks do it than you would think. But here’s the consolation: the bread/ rolls get thrown out anyway so at least it is getting consumed. In a roundabout way you MIL is helping to solve the food/ waste problem at restaurants. Take comfort in that.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yeah, I don’t super understand the mortification. It’s a little annoying that she asks for more bread and then takes it home, but it would otherwise get tossed. You can’t serve another table a basket of bread other customers might have touched.

    • Meh. My husband and I take bread to go all the time, even from nice restaurants. I really don’t like wasting food and if we ask for a bread basket (or it’s brought without us asking, which happens more than you would think) and we don’t finish it, you better believe it’s coming home with us. I agree it’s a tad gauche to order a second basket of bread if you’re not planning to eat any of it there in the restaurant, but otherwise I think her behavior is completely fine and you’re the one who sounds uptight. I assure you if you are otherwise polite to the waitstaff and leave a good tip, they don’t care at all. They aren’t in the business of managing the restaurant’s bottom line anyway.

  32. Briefcase brands? :

    On the gift list: what kind of bag would a 30-something lawyer (not Big Law) carry these days? I’ve looked at everything from Timbuk2 to Linjer, but am having a hard time narrowing it down. Pros for being leather, anything but black.

  33. Styling help :

    I picked these shoes online as my birthday present and while DH didn’t like them , I told him to zip it. Now the shoes are in and while they are insanely comfortable, they look kind of dowdy. I need help figuring out how to style them.
    They are super low/under the ankle FWIW

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you haven’t worn them yet, I’d advise returning them.

      I tried to warm up to some shoes last year that felt dowdy to me and I never really did. Ended up donating them this year. Don’t be me.

      • Styling help :

        I wore them yesterday and am wearing them today. Yesterday it was under grey pants so they felt fine, today I am wearing them with jeans but they just don’t seem right.

        Oh how i want these to work, ESPECIALLY because they are so comfortable (and also to prove DH wrong lol)

        • Anonymous :

          I didn’t wear my Clarks today for fear of looking frumpy around all the twentysomethings so I understand but comfortable are hard to find so definitely keep.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Can you link the shoes?

    • Baconpancakes :

      Hmm, if you’ve already worn them, maybe try finding a cute outfit on pinterest that uses that style of shoe, and model an outfit off that. If I have a picture in my head of something cute, even if it’s a little out of my comfort zone, it helps me like that piece more until it’s a staple (like the plain black loafers I’m wearing today – they are not inspiring on their own, but I love the look with ankle pants, and now they’re on regular rotation).

      Could you post a photo of the shoes?

    • Styling help :

      Whoops, totally thought I did:

      • Those are frumpy?? I wouldn’t of guessed. I kind of like them.

        • Styling help :

          They looked so good on the website but don’t seem to ‘translate’ as well in real life

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Ooooh did you get them in bronze?! Love it.

        I would wear them with black tights, a flippy above-the-knee circle skirt in like, dark red, and a cozy sweater and a big ol’ cup of starbucks to wander around town.

      • Baconpancakes :

        So the silhouette on those is like brogues – which may be why you’re getting stuck, thinking of them like booties. I’d stick with skinny ankle pants or go the opposite direction and wear them with tights and a girly floral or flowy dress. Check pinterest for “brogues outfit.”

  34. Anonymous :

    Wanted to report back – fell victim to Cyber Monday and bought the camel wool Ann Taylor blazer featured on 11/22. I was leery of the pockets and piping, but I love it! (The pockets are big enough for my 6S plus … which is a huge plus for me.) Wearing it today with a gray linen tshirt, jeans and boots and feeling very put together for casual Friday!

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the report! I thought this one looked great too and is a standout in the ruffles/sleeves inventory!

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