Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Silk Blouse

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

Silence & Noise Silk BlouseYay, Friday! Today I’m liking this well reviewed silk blouse from, er, Urban Outfitters. Not only is it available in 8 colors, but it looks like it would be nice basic top worn tucked in, or (on a much more casual day, obviously), worn long and loose like a tunic over skinny pants. It was $69, but is now marked to $39.99. Silence & Noise Silk Blouse

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


  1. manomanon :

    immediate TJ
    My desk (which is big and pretty and possibly older than I am) hates my clothing with a passion. It is old enough that the edge by where I sit is chipped a bit which would not be a crisis except for the chips are still chipping upwards and snagging all of my pretty dresses and cardigans which is devastating.
    It only happens if I move my arms in one direction (ie. it happens when I go left to right but not right to left) I am guessing because of the grain of the wood. Unfortunately using the mouse for my computer means I need to do it this way.
    Does anyone have suggestions for how to deal with this”? Currently I have my desk calendar just extending over the edge of the desk to put my arm on but it shifts a lot. Any sturdier ideas would be appreciated :)
    ps. the top would look more appealing if the model were more cheerful about wearing it

    • If it is wood, can it be sanded down and reoiled/sealed? Or, clear contact paper to cover as much of the edge as possible (to avoid gummy/sticky stuff getting on your clothes)?

      • I agree. Ideally, you could reseal the top of your desk. If you’re looking for a less permanent solution, tape is your friend (especially one that can be removed easily – think painter’s tape). I’m also thinking you could try to secure the calendar/get a slightly heavier desk mat so that it doesn’t slide around as much.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Could you put some tape over the offending chips?

    • I would just put a piece of tape over the chipped edge to avoid snags. I hate when things like that happen!

      • In the Pink :

        If you have someone come in to sand it, assuming it’s all real wood, ask them to “round off” the front edge. They could do it with a sander…of course it would be better to use a bullnose bit on a router, but that makes tons of sawdust and shaving messes. I hope your in house maintenance is creative and experienced.

        If they put on new formica, if that’s what is chipping, it will happen again as in-office formica has squared edges…but it would be ok for some time into the future.

        It’s it is faux wood, then I’d agree with tape or trying to tape on portions of a clear, flexible desk blotter to have more protection.

        Sorry about your clothes. Several of my The (original) skirt got snagged by the underside of my non-solid wood conference table. Yeah that I’m the CEO and I went out and bought a solid maple replacement. Benefits of the the title of my own 1-person place I guess. :)

    • Sand it down and fix the are where it’s chipped.

    • Thanks for these suggestions! I had tried tape but it looked a little bit like a 5th grader got loose with my desk (something I am trying to avoid) but I will try the contact paper and hunting down our property manager to see if he can sand it down for me.
      I wish I could just go buy a new one :) that sounds like a wonderful solution.
      Thanks everyone!

    • What is the desk like? Is it a thin (like one inch) wood, or does it have a drawer under it? I was thinking maybe put one of those like, purse hooks to temporarily cover the snag area but without the hook. Or maybe like something that would go over the top of a door could be modified and clipped on over the area?

    • clear nail polish or super glue can often fix snags!

    • Get a rollerball mouse that does not move; you just move the ball with your thumb.

  2. e_pontellier :

    Another immediate TJ: I’m looking for a Crim Law supplement. Not Crim Pro. Any recommendation? TIA!

    • There’s one by Dressler, I think it is called Understanding Criminal Law, that I would recommend.

      • Seconded.

      • Thirded.

      • mintberrycrunch :


      • I may have a copy of this Dressler book that I bought mistakenly thinking it was Crim Pro (oh to be a 1L and not realize there is a difference!). I can check if you’d like; if I do, its all yours!

        • e_pontellier :

          I’d love that! I’ll post on the weekend thread too in case you don’t see this. Do you have an anonymous email where I can contact you? If not, I’ll set one up. Thank you so much!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I always liked the Law in a Flash, despite their silly stories. I remember using those for criminal law, along with Examples and Explanations.

      • I found these to be very helpful and kept for bar exams (there were some thing I always stumbled on and kept those with me so I could just focus on where I was stumbling).

    • I swore by Examples and Explanations in law school. I feel like I used the crim law version of E&E and liked it (however, I have repressed much of my memories from law school).

  3. In the Pink :

    Third TJ-

    anyone of a “certain age” to have gotten the vaccine for shingles?

    I had a rip roarin’ bad case of chicken pox as a kid and surely don’t need a return.

    Thoughts, warnings, successes?

    Best to get it sooner than later?

    How about combining it with the flu shot to lose a whole weekend only once?


    • I haven’t gotten the vaccination, but I have had shingles and can tell you: get the vaccination. I had an outbreak in college, so you don’t even have to be “of a certain age” to get it. I was lucky and only had a few sores, but they weren’t pretty and they were on my face.

      One of the partners that I work with just got over a case, as well, and it was horribly painful and unsightly. He also has scars along his neck from the sores. It would be worth it to me to avoid that.

    • I haven’t had the vaccine but had shingles and it sucked.

    • Thirded. Had shingles when I was 18… weird. Get the vaccine!

    • My husband had shingles in his early 30s and it was terrible. Get the vaccine! Why would you lose a weekend with it though?

    • I don’t know why you’d lose a weekend. Do you think both will make you sick? I got the flu vaccine and a tetanus booster at the same appt, one in each arm (I don’t now where you’d be getting these). It was actually kind of unfortunate not to have one non-sore arm to pick up stuff or rest on, so I don’t recommend that.

      I am not yet of a certain age, but I want the shingles vaccine after reading these posts.

    • I had shingles 5 years ago, when I was in my late thirties. Very, very painful. But I didn’t know you get the vaccine until you hit “a certain age.”

    • Cornellian :

      my exboyfriend got it at 30 and was unbelievably miserable for two weeks.

      That said, my aunt the 50-something nurse advises against the vaccine post age 60 or so because the vaccine itself can cause many problems. Sort of a catch 22, I suppose. Hopefully someone here of a certain age has had it and can chime in.

    • Haven’t had the vaccine because I just did the flu shot and my final HepB, but as soon as the lump in my arm goes down from the flu shot (the new “smaller needle” version – never had this type of reaction before), I’ll be back in for the shingles vaccine.

    • My mom had shingles & the pain lasted for months. It was awful. I’d get the vaccine.

    • I got the vaccine last year when I was 50. No problems, and I really, really do not want to get shingles! Get the vaccine!

    • In the Pink :

      OP here … I was just thinking it was age related for the vaccine, given signs about 50 years and older.

      After all your pointed input, the next time I’m at the doc, that’s on my list.


      • Not to be all vaccine-pusher, but I think you can get it at Walgreens so you don’t have to wait for your next doctor’s appointment.

      • My insurance coverage won’t pay for the vaccine until age 60. It’s fairly expensive, not like getting a flu shot (unless things have changed since I last inquired).

        • I got the vaccine in my 20s when it first came out. Never had the chicken pox and was not interested in getting shingles. I was a grad student at the time and paid out of pocket… i don’t remember it being too too expensive.

    • Got the vaccine at 35. After seeing my mum and a couple others with shingles, I strongly recommend the vaccine.

    • Considering I got shingles at the ripe old age of 21, I don’t think there is a *certain age.* Apparently they can be triggered by high levels of stress, FYI.

      • Yeah I got them when I was doing my first graduate degree, probably at age 22 or 23. Not only was I being tortured by my professors, I got shingles. It was awful.

        • I got it too at 23, immediately after finishing a marathon. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone. The reputation as an older-person disease freaked me out a little.

      • I got shingles at 13 – the doctors said it was a record! I was a very stressed out 13 year old.

        • Sugar Magnolia :

          My friend’s daughter has them right now. She is 17

        • I had shingles at 14 and thought I won the record. My pediatrician called in another pediatrician and was like “is that what I THINK it is”. But nice to know I’m not alone.

        • TO lawyer :

          my younger sister had them at 11! It was awful and she was in so much pain

      • Yep, stress is a huge trigger. I had it in my last semester of law school at age 24 when I was freaking about graduating unemployed. Luckily my case was very mild, just itchy and a little painful for a couple weeks and then went away with no scarring or residual pain but it was embarrasing because so many people think its an “old person” disease.

    • Keep in mind too that you can get shingles more than once. Yay.

    • Probably a dumb question, but if you’ve never had the chicken pox, you can’t get shingles, right?

      • No Problem :

        Correct. Although you’d want to know for certain that you never had chicken pox. You shouldn’t rule out the possibility that you had a really mild case or your parents/doctor thought you just had hives or something (can’t imagine a pediatrician would think that, but certainly parents could). I don’t know if you’re safe from getting shingles if you had the chicken pox vaccine but maybe someone else can weigh in on that (the vaccine wasn’t available until several years after I had chicken pox, so of course I didn’t get it). If you’ve never had chicken pox, you might consider getting the vaccine; I’ve heard that getting it as an adult can be really bad.

        • Thanks. I’ve had the chicken pox vaccine, but I’m not sure if that protects me from shingles. I should probably check.

      • Right, but my SO caught chicken pox (in his late 50s) from someone who had shingles. It was awful!

        • I think I was in my late 20’s or early 30’s when I got a mild/moderate case of it. It was not fun and I would guess it’s only worse if you get it when you’re older. So another late vote for get the vaccine. Also, I’m alarmed to hear you can get shingles more than once. Is this true? The one thing I counted as the upside of getting it early on is that I wouldn’t have to go through it again!

      • Shingles results from reactivation of the chicken pox virus which continues to live on in your body once it is acquired. At the time of infection you might have mild or no symptoms, so it is possible to harbour it without anyone being aware. A blood test can tell you if you have acquired the virus in the past. The shingles vaccination is the same as the chicken pox vaccination ie it prevents the same virus from infecting you. Therefore if you have had chicken pox in the past there is little point in the vaccination.

  4. Unpredictable Schedule :

    Thanks to everyone who posted last night. Hearing your strategies for dealing with the hours is really helpful. I think I put more pressure on myself than anything, and I really need to work on just letting go. Yesterday was particularly frustrating because I had to partially bail on a long-planned event (I left for 45 mins to have dinner but missed the rest of the event, and my friends were nice enough to text me “you’re really missing out!” after I left), and I was told I may not be able to attend my SO’s supervisor’s wedding today (seriously, who plans a wedding on a Friday? DOOSH!). BUT I do love the work and the level of responsibility so… at least I’m not missing things to do doc review, right? Thanks again, everyone.

    • That’s what they get for planning a Friday wedding. Seriously?!

      • I’ve gone to a non-holiday Monday night wedding. It began before 5 pm, and since it was 45 minutes away from my work, I was scrambling. Friday night is far preferable than trying to get into a celebratory mood on a Monday night!

        I know APW tries to tell us all that people (people who Really Care), will be thrilled to celebrate your wedding wherever and whenever. But seriously, there’s something to be said about realistic expectations and being considerate of your guests… like starting a weeknight wedding at 6 instead of 4. You can’t be disappointed when people don’t stay to the bitter end and tear up the dance floor a la Saturday on a Monday, no matter how much they might care.

        • Anne Shirley :

          Yep- this is my biggest problem with APW- your wedding isn’t an imposition! Except, um, I want to attend your wedding cause important and love and all, but h3lls yeah your Tuesday morning wedding feels like an imposition

          • Unless you are my best friend or sister, your wedding certainly is an imposition if I have to use vacation days and get a baby sitter to attend. I might be willing to do it anyway, but it is an imposition! This is my problem with most APW style advice about non-Saturday weddings, and destination weddings as well. You can either have your wedding at a place and time that makes you happy or saves you money and don’t be offended if people can’t come, or you can have your wedding at a time and date that is convenient to your guests even if it costs a little more or means compromising on your location. For example, my husband & I wanted an outdoor wedding. But then we realized that our grandmothers wouldn’t be able to walk around the site we wanted easily and it might be too hot for them in the summer sun. Grandmothers trumped site, so we changed our plans and had a lovely indoor wedding. With a reception immediately following the ceremony – I hate hate hate sitting around for hours between the ceremony and reception, I refused to do that to my guests.

    • Aren’t Friday weddings supposed to be a bit cheaper, since they aren’t in prime Saturday Wedding Territory? If you don’t have a guest list that would have to travel to get to you, I can see a Friday night wedding being plausible. Shrug.

      • Anon for this :

        I agree. I think the DOOSH was a little harsh. I didn’t have my wedding on a Friday but I know lots of people who did, for various reasons.

      • Totally fair. Every Friday night wedding I’ve ever been to, save one, has required 3+ hours of travel. And if the wedding is at 6, that means at LEAST a half day of work, if not the full day. For those having upcoming Friday weddings, heads up that folks tend to hit traffic/be late. It’s really annoying [as the bridge/groom] to have a half full ceremony and people wandering in late.

        I’d much MUCH rather attend a Sunday morning wedding/brunch from a strictly taking-off-work perspective.

      • Unpredictable Schedule :

        You’re right, I apologize, I should have specified – the wedding is over 1.5 hours away with no traffic from most of the guests, except the bride’s parents (it’s her hometown). The ceremony starts at 5:30 sharp. My SO indicated to his boss that we probably would not be able to make the ceremony but will be happy to congratulate them at the reception, and his boss told him that *both of us* are expected to attend the ceremony. I can see how a Friday night wedding would be more cost-effective, but if you’re going to do that I don’t think you should go all groomzilla on people if they can’t make it.

        • That is a doosh move.

        • If that’s their attitude, then your comment was totally called for.

        • Wow. Sort of rude to tell someone besides your soon to be husband/wife that they are *expected* to attend your wedding.

          Okay, I mean, I guess I would jokingly tell a best friend or parent that too, but never in a totally serious tone…

        • The clarification shows the DOOSH-ish-ness of the scheduling. You don’t get to have inconvenient scheduling/location and then get pouty when people might not be able to make it. It’s like with destination weddings – if you schedule your wedding for a Friday (especially at 5:30!) you just have to accept that people will not to be able to attend.

          I can also see someone being a little annoyed at skipping the ceremony, but showing up at the reception (like, you couldn’t be bothered with the boring stuff, but will show up for the party – NOT saying that is your rationale). But seriously, is the boss going to be counting heads on his wedding day to see if you guys are are there for the ceremony? I’d think he’d have more important things on his mind…

        • The ONLY way this could be sort-of ok is if the boss is letting him leave early on Friday without using vacation time. I could understand if the boss said “either leave early and come to the ceremony or work a full day then come to the reception”

          Having a Friday night weddding does not automatically make you a doosh. Having one at 5:30 and then getting pissy about people not coming to the ceremony does. If you want to have a Friday wedding, that’s your choice but don’t pout if people don’t come.

        • Sugar Magnolia :

          Unless your SO’s boss has some type of mental illness that makes him/her think they are the most important person in the world ever, the comment had to have been in jest.

          I also agree with those who said he/she won’t notice if you aren’t there. I certainly had no idea who missed my wedding ceremony. I was too focused on my husband.

        • Your husband’s boss is definitely a doosh, but I also think that wedding obligations are the ultimate excuse to get a day off from work and that your law firm is also a doosh. I mean, you could work until 2pm and then answer email at night if needed. It’s ridiculous to tell someone they have to skip a wedding – it’s a very important event that only happens once.

        • My guess? Your husband really wants to be at both the ceremony and reception & is framing his boss. Sometimes easier than saying “this is important to me” . . . (or a joke).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I got married at City Hall by a County Clerk –> I got married on a Friday because the Clerk’s office is not open on weekends. We understood if guests couldn’t make it, but I didn’t choose Friday to be a DOOSH.

    • My upcoming wedding is on a Friday because we didn’t have enough invitees to reserve a Saturday at the venue I wanted. I must be a huge doosh.

    • Most people don’t work on Friday nights… I don’t think a Friday night wedding is any worse than a Saturday one that eats up the whole day.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Sorry, that totally sucks. Ultimately, it’s a costs/benefits thing. Do the benefits of your job outweigh the cost on your social life. When the scale tips too much the wrong way, this is (usually) when people leave Big Law or just give up on having any kind of life. It isn’t easy, but it is possible to have a life and work in Big Law, it’s just that sometimes it’s easier than other times and we learn to enjoy the times we can get out.

      For example, if you work a 100-hour week and then have no new matters on the next week, in theory (I hope, at least) you could take a two-hour lunch break. This may be another strategy. I often find that the middle of my day is far less hectic than the evenings and even on a day when I end up staying really late, I can take 1-2 hours in the middle of the day to see a friend for lunch, so this may be an option to think about.

    • anonymouse :

      We had our wedding on Friday evening (no out-of-town guests who were not retired) in an effort to be considerate of our guests’ time. We thought it would be nicer for them not to have to commit the traditional entire Saturday day/night to our event. It is not uncommon among our friends and family and is much appreciated when one has a limited number of free weekends per year. Perhaps if you feel such hostility about the scheduling of the event it is just as well you may not be able to attend?

      • anonymous - not anonymouse! :

        Sorry, I realize there is a regular poster here who is “anonymouse.” I inadvertently appear to appropriated her moniker. Mea Culpa.

      • Did you see OP’s response? It sounds like she’s not objecting to the timing per se but to the attitude that goes along with it.

        • anonymous - not anonymouse! :

          You’re right – her further explanation was not posted at the time. Assuming her spouse’s boss said that and was serious it is rather dreadful. As to the expectations of her employer if they are aware of her family obligation – well, no wonder the BigLaw model is so despised in today’s world.

    • I hate Friday weddings, especially those planned on Fridays of holiday weekends on routes with all the beach traffic.

    • Ugh. My husband’s cousin is getting married on a Friday at noon 4 hours away. So I will have to take the entire day off work. I don’t particularly care to go, but my husband is close with this cousin and so I know it is important to him. Therefore we will go. But seriously! Lots of other guests are traveling from out of town as well.

      • I really don’t like the trend of cost-shifting to your guests. Sure, a Friday lunch wedding may be cheaper for the couple, but it’s requiring any guest that works a typical workweek to take leave.

        • then don’t go. I really don’t get the angst by guests about this. If it’s too hard, you don’t want to take the time, whatever, stay home & send your regrets. I’d rather not have grumbly guests there.

        • I hate the pushing the costs off onto guests… and I think the reason it’s a problem is that the couple who chooses this route probably isn’t the most thoughtful to begin with and that ends up coming off in other ways. Sure they’re getting married, but they’re also hosting a party. There’s a balance to be had between the two, and couples who do this end up straining their relationship with some of their guests, despite the warm and fuzzies over at APW.

          The full sit-down dinner and dancing for 100 people on a Wednesday starting at 5pm is a choice I’ll never understand. The thing you want (a Big Saturday Night Wedding) is something you can’t afford, so you push the costs off onto the guests by making them take a larger-than-average amount of time off work instead of inviting the number of people you can afford for the level of event you can afford at a time that’s convenient for the people you care about. I vastly prefer cake and punch on a Saturday afternoon or a Sunday brunch with immediate family to something where it’s clear they are subsidizing the party they want with your vacation days.

    • Ugh, I was in a wedding on a Wednesday night that was a minimum of four hours away for every single person at the wedding, including the bride and groom (and many more hours than that for some of the guests!). I was so annoyed by the entire thing, particularly because the bride and groom were fully aware of how obnovious it was, but decided that since it was “their day,” (uh, try three days when you plan an out of town mid-week wedding!), they didn’t care how it affected others. Also, although it was a small wedding (40 guests), they were upset when one or two people said they couldn’t make it.

      • Ruthy Sue :

        My boyfriend’s cousin just got married on a Friday IN HAWAII. Boyfriend was in the wedding and due to our work schedules we flew in Thursday, went straight to the rehearsal dinner and flew out Sunday morning. Oh, and the reception was a potluck (IN HAWAII)! The amount of grief we got from the couple for not being there for the whole week (a lot of the unemployed/retired family stayed the week) was insane. The couple isn’t even talking to the family members who couldn’t make it! Now we’re going to their “in-town” reception tomorrow… which is 2 hours away in the middle of nowhere (not even a hotel). Sorry for the Ellen caps, but it’s the wedding that won’t end!

        I totally understand a local friday wedding, especially with the understanding that some people won’t be able to come!

  5. MissJackson :

    Pretty colors and a good price for silk, but I’m very anti-pockets on blouses. I should probably just get over it because they seem to be on 80% of all silk blouses, but I would never actually use those pockets and I don’t need the extra bulk/attention in that area. I just don’t get it.

    • I am having a hard time with the b**b pockets as well. I love the non-collar and beautiful colors, however, I do not want to draw attention to my chest.

    • MaggieLizer :

      +1. Idk who decided boob pockets were a good idea, but he (I’m gonna go out on a limb here and assume it was a man) should be shot.

      • AnonInfinity :

        As one who is small of b**b, I don’t mind them because I don’t really have anything to draw attention to.

      • Same goes for functional back pockets on women’s pants. Who’s going to put something back there???

        • I do, all the time. In fact, I get annoyed when I only have these stupid little half pockets that fake you out by ALMOST being functional. Back pockets are far more functional for me than hip pockets.

        • Cornellian :

          I love putting a credit card and my license in there to go to a bar, and then washing them that way and ordering new credit cards.

          • Indeed! As well as sitting on and ruining my subway card, allowing me to purchase again, supporting local infrastructure.

          • Don’t forget sliding your cell phone in there and then dropping it in the toilet when you take your trousers off.

        • I always thought the back pockets were supposed to create an illusion to make your butt look smaller, so that women with larger rear ends like pockets and those without any cushion back there should try to find pants with slit pockets or no pockets. So I assume that’s why most jeans have the back pockets, since most women probably think their butts are too big.

          And now, re-reading your comment, I see that it is about pants, not jeans. So my statement is not so helpful. But I’ll leave it here in case the fashion tip is helpful for anyone jeans hopping. I agree that pockets on non-jean pants (do others call them slacks, or is that just me and my grandma?) are really annoying.

          • just Karen :

            As someone with almost no rear end, I can say with authority that pockets are a good thing for people built similarly.

        • I do and have washed at least two phones and several sets of keys that way. Very efficient. I also flushed a set of keys to their obvious destiny in the Columbia, SC, sewer system. They are in a better place.

      • I actually think that is it in part because the fabric is so thin. If there weren’t the double pockets, n1pples might be visible. This lets the manufacturer double up on fabric where absolutely necessary but skimp everywhere else. (Otherwise, wouldn’t it just be one pocket on the left?)

        • Research, Not Law :

          I have also been wondering if that’s the reason. I’m not usually a b**b pocket fan, but I’ve noticed that the pockets on silk blouses typically are large and flat. But at that point, just double layer the front or use thicker silk. I’d still rather have a cami under rather than huge b**b pocket and a see-through back.

        • eastbaybanker :

          Agreed! This top looks pretty transparent to me. If I was in the market for a blouse like this, I would suck it up and pay for the J. Crew version.

    • Check out Ann Taylor. It has very nice satin silk buttondowns right now, though not for $39.99.

    • MsLurksALot :

      The worst are the itty bitty b**b pockets…they’re too small to be functional and, disturbingly, they remind me of the tiny doors on a kid’s chocolate advent calendar. I try to avoid them like the plague….or the shingles!

    • Anonymous Poser :


      Too many otherwise nice shirts are ruined by pockets in that area. And some dresses, too.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Totally agree. Just noticed that BR has a silk collarless blouse with no pockets. Will post link below to avoid moderation.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

  6. a passion for fashion :

    Following up on the Talbots dress Kat posted last week that many of us were so fond of. Mine arrived yesterday, as did the black sleevless version i ordered. They looked and felt very nice, but alas, just didnt fit properly so are both going back. I’m 5’4 and ordered a size 4, which is my normal size. it was fitted, but not too tight, so in that sense it was good, but none of the proportions seemed to be right, and it did not seem like tailoring would fix it. They would likely work well on someone much taller than I am.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Mine’s going back too. I ordered a different Talbots dress than the one Kat recommended on Talbots dress day – see comments for style #. My size 2 was HUGE on me. I needed at least two sizes smaller. I wear a 2 or 4 in Elie Tahari and Classiques Entier.

    • a passion for fashion :

      the good news for me though is that i now have $200 of my September budget back! Yay :)

  7. Happy Fooeyday.

    ::mutter mutter mutter RAWR grumble grumble::

    • e_pontellier :

      A classmate that I hardly know just walked up to me and asked if I’m pregnant. No, but I had 5 beers last night so I may have a little extra padding today. RAWR!

      • AnonInfinity :

        Oh my. WHO DOES THAT?!

      • My father once told me that you never ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless you can physically see an infant coming out of her birth canal.

      • If it makes you feel any better, I was at an in-firm baby shower for a work friend last week and kindly elderly partner assumed we were BOTH pregnant and started giving us advice about nannys (nannies?). Apparently the oh-so-fashionable peplum top is very confusing to septuagenarians.

      • One of my lovely coworkers recently asked me when my baby was due. Um, he’s 8 months old and you just squealed over his picture on my desk last month?! Ugh, I know I still have a belly but don’t bring it up like that idiot!

      • eastbaybanker :

        That is RUDE!

        I still remember the time this happened to me. I was wearing an empire waisted summer dress at a nail salon. This was in 2003 or so, and that cut was trendy for people who aren’t pregnant. The nail technician put her hand on my stomach (!) and asked ‘how many months?’ It was awful. The dress went into the donate bag the next day.

    • Godzilla – I’m curious, is your favorite season Raww-tumn?

    • I hear ya. We were all sitting like zombies in our scheduling meeting this morning and couldn’t get up.

      And speaking of zombies – we were looking at a course proposal yesterday that was titled Philosophy of the Human Person. People around the table were proposing Philosophy of the Cyborg (Robot Person), Philosophy of the Zombie Person. Maybe we should have Philosophy of the Lizard/Monster Person. RAWR!

    • I second your RAWR and i havent even made it to the office yet :oP

  8. I’m seeing lots of brightly colored pants for fall. Thoughts on whether this trend would look okay on someone of larger size?

    • YES, ABSOLUTELY, OF COURSE. What matters more than color (I can’t believe I would say anything is more important than color) is fit. If the pants fit well, off the rack or tailored, the color will just be the cherry on top.

    • Check out Wardrobe Oxygen. She is larger of size, and I think she rocks colored pants all the time. I think it is important that they fit, and I would also go with darker colors vs light colors.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      As someone “of larger size” I can tell you that whether you pull off colored pants does depend on the fit to some extent, but even more on the confidence you exude (or fail to exude) while wearing them. I have taken some fashion “risks” in my time, and when I didn’t feel like I looked fantastic, they were failures.

      If you are going to wear them, WORK them!


      • Research, Not Law :

        This. A plus-size coworker nailed an outfit with neon orange pants and a white/black polkadot blouse, but she emotes the right energy. I, on the other hand, feel too awkward to leave the house in anything but exceedingly neutral pants, even though I’m only an 8P.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’ve been thinking the same thing! Absolutely support getting well-fitted pants in larger sizes. They can look fantastic.

      I’m trying to decide what color, though. Anyone find any nice dark mauve or rust-colored non-corduroys?

    • Yep, and if people have a problem, just say “Whateva, whateva, I wear what I want!”

    • SoCal Gal :

      I have some lovely red cords and I am Of Size. I may get some mustardy ones too. I see absolutely no reason why the color should be an issue if the pants fit and flatter otherwise.

  9. PSA – Urban Outfitters Promo Code for 10% off (including on this blouse): NEWSKOOL

  10. An update about one of the recent Frugal Friday finds– the Target Mossimo Ponte Elbow Sleeve dress ($30). I got it in the bloodstone color that Kat featured…. and I am OBSESSED with it. Lovely color and very on-trend. Fits perfectly. I ordered a S and XS because there is no zipper and I wasn’t sure how it would fit (it goes on over your head) and the XS worked out. I’m 5’4” and 125 lbs, pear shaped. I (very easily!) returned the S to my local target store.

    I’ve worn it to work twice already and wore it to Rosh Hashanah services and got many compliments.

    I liked it so much that I also ordered it in the Gold color—but be warned– it is NOT gold. It is an ugly brown-ish color. I’m returning the gold and will likely get the blue or green.

    Also, if you spend $50 (which you will if you order two sizes to try), there is free shipping.

    • I bought the XS and S versions as well in green, blue and plum, and returned them all. Am somewhere between an hourglass and a pear. It’s a nice, thick ponte material and the colors are nice, but I thought that the fit was very unflattering on me. Also, I like my dresses to hit at the knee (I’m 5’5) and this dress was at least 2 inches above the knee. On the plus side, the dresses were easy to return.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      I also LOVE this dress. Such a great pick, although I’m 5’11” on a short day and waiver on whether it is too short for work.

    • mintberrycrunch :

      Didn’t see hmmm’s comment above – I ordered a L (or maybe XL?) and it’s not more than 2 inches above my knee… but is definitely above-knee, which I usually shy away from for work.

    • Yeah I guess I should specify I work for state gov’t so my office is more casual than a firm would be, so the length is fine.

      • JK – is the Bloodstone color more oxblood or magenta? It looks magenta on my computer screen. I am about your height and weight, but am not entirely pear. I am intrigued however! Great price.

    • I’m 5’6″, 130 lbs and I could not get either the XS or the S to work for me, sadly. The XS was too tight in the arms/shoulders and the S had a lot of extra fabric in the bust (like A LOT, and I’m a 34B). I don’t recall anything about the length; I think I was too horrified by what the dress was doing to my upper body. I loved the color (the oxblood was very pretty) and the fabric but the fit was very off. I plan to return them this weekend.

    • I bought the Mossimo dress in blue and like it a lot. I’m 5’4″, 125lbs and took the small. I also ordered some t-shirts & sweaters and found the dress fits smaller than everything else I got from that brand.

  11. I saw this blouse in person, and it does not live up to how it looks in the picture. The material looked like I could rip it in half with a light pull. I’ve been very, very disappointed in Urban Outfitters lately – it used to be that I’d walk in, fall in love with several cute dresses/pants, but back out from buying when I realized I basically had no occasion to wear any of the stuff. Now, I walk in and just cringe at how ugly nearly everything is.

    • eastbaybanker :

      It’s probably not just Urban Outfitters. I think we’re growing up. I remember craving UO in college and religously shopping the sale rack weekly at the store next to campus. Now, I think the only thing I could buy there is a gag gift.

  12. No one has mentioned how the model needs to take a shower…

    • …and brush her hair.

    • Ha, I was thinking that. Or her hair is still wet. UNPROFESSIONAL STAMP!

      • Honey Pillows :

        Aw shucks. My hair was wet until an hour ago, and now it’s just nicely wavy.

        • Haha yeah that was not supposed to be judgy as much as it was to be guilty of the same. Mine is always at least a little wet when I get to work, which is earlier than most others so no one really sees it. But it’s curly and it just looks better if it dries that way. I also wear my hairtie on my wrist everyday though. That’s two stamps for me, one stamp for the model.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Haha, this made me completely laugh out loud. I frequently come in to work with wet hair and used to have an older female coworker who definitely gave me a mental UNPROFESSIONAL STAMP! every morning.

  13. I have checked the DC-area weather for the next 10 days and it will be beautiful both this and next Sunday. I am very excited. We might manage both Renaissance Fair and an (early) foliage scenic drive this year and not get soaked or chilled!

    What are your plans for enjoying the season?

    • Hey what are your favorite things to do in the area? We are coming to NoVA/DC for a visit this weekend!

      • Honey Pillows :

        Yay! What are you looking for? Culture-y stuff, hipster stuff, outdoorsy stuff, touristy stuff?

        • A little of each, but we have a toddler, so outdoorsy stuff has to be like, parks and stuff versus hiking :)

          • Honey Pillows :

            There’s some great kid sections in some of the Smithsonians; The Princess Bride will be showing at Lamont Park tonight at 7:30 for free; D.C. State Fair (who knew?) is tomorrow 11a-5p at Barracks Row on 8th SE; Dupont Circle Festival is Saturday; National Book Fair at the Mall all weekend (free,with lots of kid-friendly activities, but VERY crowded); if you’d like to head out of the city, Ticonderoga Farms in Chantilly has pick-your-own pumpkins, hayrides, swings, forts, animal petting, etc; there’s always Rock Creek Park; the zoo is perfect, seconding all the other recs for that; and finally, there’s a Wiener Dog race at Waterfront! (Link to follow)

          • Honey Pillows :


      • I don’t drink beer or watch sports (yeah, I should probably be evicted from the area) so my choice would be a scenic drive/winery hop, a visit to Renaissance Fest, or a hike in Great Falls.
        Madonna is in town, but the tickets sold out months ago…

        • I hiked Great Falls last weekend — the leaves are already starting to turn, and it’s gorgeous. :)

          I’ll also plug the National Zoo; the summer crowds are gone, a newly-renovated section just opened a couple weeks ago, and there are some cute baby animals (you can’t see the panda yet, though).

          Trucktober fest food truck festival is tomorrow, too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

      • Wineries! If that’s your thing anyway. We are going to two in Purceville, VA, this weekend that are right across the street from each other :)

        I echo the National Zoo and hiking Great Falls.

    • Watching lots and lots of football and hopefully (fingers crossed!) watching my favorite team continue to show that it has made progress over the last decade of mediocrity. Mmmmmm and food–pumpkin pie, butternut squash everything, apple desserts! And hopefully once the leaves change I’ll visit some of our parks to soak up the scenery. I LOVE FALL! :)

      • Do you go to the gamewatch for said favorite team? I wonder if we know each other.

        • I usually don’t go to gamewatches, sadly–my husband (also fan of said favorite team!) gets grouchy if people talk during games. So we have our anti-social traditions at home and frighten the poor dog. Aren’t you in DC? I’ve got several Domer friends there so we may very well know some of the same people :). I’m in Missouri so I’m probaby not the Domer you are looking for. (Sorry, it’s Friday and I’m letting my geek flag fly!)

          • Ah, ok – for some reason I thought you were in DC. There’s another Domer who posts that I’m confusing you with, I think. At any rate, go Irish!

    • Oktoberfest this weekend! Yes, I realize it is still September. My city gets excited early.

    • Ooooh, Ren Faire! I got one of the little flower circles for my head last year and hung it up above my desk at home because it was so pretty… I looked at it this morning and thought ’tis the season. Maybe I’ll head out there too.

      I love fall! I’m going hiking or biking every weekend.

    • Senior Attorney :

      It’s still high summer here in So Cal! We are going to the L.A. County Fair on Sunday. Many fried foods will be consumed! Big fun!!

  14. phillygirlruns has gotten me onto widewidths dot com for wide calf boots. I am loving these boots: but they are in the Extra Wide Calf category. My calves measure 16.5 in at the widest and these look like 18? Is it worth trying them? Kinda pricey. The Sherlock boot is Wide Calf and only $119 on 6PM but unfortunately missing my size. I like the Tease in suede with the metal details a bit better.

    • I think that the 18″ is probably referring to the above the knee part. You are probably safe getting them. Hell, I might get some myself those are so darn cute.

      • I’ve also found that they sometimes underestimate the calf circumference. I think they measure the outside, not the inside, so it may be closer to 17″.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I didn’t see the original post by phillygirlruns, but now I am excited about this site. Thanks for posting about it!

    • oil in houston :

      for those in the UK, or willing to ship, Duo boots is the best thing ever invented… they do boots in all calves sizes, as well as wide shoes.
      I have ordered at least 6 pairs of boots from them, and love each one.

      by the way – they do ALL calf size, which means they go from super skinny to more voluptous …

      • In the Pink :

        Great description – voluptuous legs regardless of the reason! HIVEFIVE

    • Always a NYer :

      I just bought Duo knee high boots, the Ravenna model, and love them! They have calf widths going up to 20″ and I highly recommend them. They are pricey but for a boot that measures both your foot and calf size, they’re worth it to me.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been trying to narrow down my choices myself! What is the service like from this website as far as shipping and returns goes? I always order from Zappos and have always had incredibly fast service so I’m nervous to order from somewhere else.

      • I know. Wavering also because I love the Tease and they only have my size (8 1/2) in wide width and, while my foot is wide, I think in boots in might be more like 8W, but they only have 8WW. It doesn’t look like anybody else sells this boot in the wide calf and the regular is definitely too small for my muscular calves.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I was having the exact same dilemma, down to the boot and sizes!

    • I think in suede a cobbler might be able to take them in 1.2 inch without dramatically altering the look. You could get them, try them, take them to a cobbler and ask.

  15. SunnyD to Wanna Be Card Sender :

    TO: Wanna Be Card Sender:

    Can you email me again, please ([email protected]). I loves aol, but it’s eaten a few emails this week from a friend and I’ve responded to everyone I’ve actually gotten something from. So you got radio silence because I didn’t see anything from you. Sorry!


  16. TJ: Need to rant about a “glass ceiling” related thing that’s been bugging me…

    I’m an MBA student, and recently, I went to a recruiting presentation from a multinational company. The guy that was presenting kept talking about all the great opportunities they had and how even though they don’t have a formal rotational program, you should expect to rotate roles and locations throughout your career.

    He then put up a slide of his 10 years in the company, which included moving some 8-9 cities in 3 continents to take various promotions. And here’s the kicker that really bothered me: at the end, he said “and I did all this with a wife, three kids, and two dogs!”

    My immediate thought was “Oh, so…your wife doesn’t have a career then, does she?” Now, I’m not denigrating SAHM at all. In fact, I have A LOT of respect for that choice. What annoys me is that this guy was so not self-aware of how his rise to senior VP was BECAUSE OF, not IN SPITE OF his wife’s choice. Moreover, this is not an option that is open to everyone, especially many women.

    The bigger picture thing that bothers me is that a lot of corporates still expect this type of location flexibility for you to move up. I get recruited for rotational programs where they want to move you around the country/world every 6 months and other leadership programs that won’t tell you where they’re putting you until you sign the offer. These companies all pay lip service to gender diversity, but these programs really only work for 1) single people and 2) people with SAH spouses. Most MBAs are in some kind of committed relationship (or looking for one) since we’re all in our late 20s/early 30s. And let’s be honest, there are far fewer women with SAH spouses than men, or spouses who are happy to not a have a proper career. It’s a slightly different type of glass ceiling, and one that I think most companies don’t even think about. Ugh.

    • I think you may have attended my company’s presentation:)

      Fully agree with you on all counts.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      Since I am in the legal field, I had no idea that MBA positions worked this way. How awful! I would be incredibly annoyed and disappointed, and furious and$(*%&%## about it.

      Have you spoken to any women who have jobs you want and asked them how they managed, considering the constant moving you mentioned?

      • Not all companies operate like this.

      • The good thing is that not all positions work this way. It’s a lot less structured of a career path than law. Whereas you will have a much easier time getting promoted if you can follow the flexible-location path, it’s not totally unheard of to have a more location stable path – you just have to work that much harder at it and hope you pick the right company that has the opportunities you need in that location.

        I think most successful women I’ve seen (and there’s not that many in the big corporations) have done some version of that: find the right company, be very politically savvy, hitch your wagon to the right leader, and figure out your own path (which will likely be slower than the traditional one). Not impossible, but annoying that we have to do it instead of being able to follow the structured path.

    • I see a similar issue in academics. At this point, most people in my field and adjacent are expected to take a string of short-term jobs in various locations around the country, or even overseas, if they want the best chance at a good permanent job at ANY POINT. This tends to happen when you’re straight out of grad school, late 20s-early 30s. Someone who can’t do this is seen as not as serious. Sure enough, it works out best for people whose partners/spouses can move anywhere with them, on quite short notice, and take care of kids full time.

      • In my college town the term often used is “trailing spouse” – not in a derrogatory way, that’s what they call themselves. And I am very sad to hear that one of our good friends made the choice to put her career on hold for kids and she was just denied tenure so now they have to go start over in another town AGAIN.

      • Opt out. The road out is not always obvious, but once academia is in the rearview mirror you will feel so, so much better. The real world offer much more varied opportunities and (at least compared to academia) doesn’t have a bunch of baby-boomers with their heads stuck in the sand running things.

        Obviously this is just one gal’s opinion, but the mind boggles at the adjunct lifestyle for people who should be smart enough to know better.

        • MBA Wife, I need to be very discreet here, but if I didn’t I could write a very long and passionate response agreeing with you.

        • @MBA Wife – That’s funny- academia is my woulda-coulda-shoulda what-if fantasy when I’m regretting my business career (at companies run by said sandy-headed boomers). I guess the grass is always greener.

        • So disagree. Academia may be tough initially when you have to move around a lot but once you have tenure or even a tenure-track position you are afforded incredible flexibility and, at least in my opinion, one of the best lifestyles around. I know my mom was lucky to get tenure before she had me (and that’s much more uncommon in my generation than it was in hers) but she was able to work full-time AND pick up from school every afternoon at 3:00 – not many moms can do both. The fact that she had tenure also enabled her to prioritize me over her career for a long time and then when I was in school get right back into things immediately without having to do a job search with a 10-year-old, out-of-date resume. I know there is variation between departments and universities but I know she (and I) wouldnt’ trade our experience with academia for anything in the world. I essentially had a stay at home mom, yet she always brought home a paycheck and eventually became a superstar in her field on her own terms and schedule. There are really very few jobs that give that kind of opportunity to women.

          • Tenure is lovely. For the few that get it.

          • “There are really very few jobs that give that kind of opportunity to women.” I think you’re using the wrong tense here. The experience you describe sounds great (although my mom is an accountant who combined fulltime work and childcare as a single mom), but the opposite is true for nearly every young woman in academia today.

            A falling proportion of teaching is done by people in tenure track lines and this has been the trend for decades. If you don’t believe me, take a look at The Chronicle of Higher Ed, which says “the proportion of college instructors who are tenured or on the tenure track plummeted: from 57 percent in 1975 to 31 percent in 2007” Even before the recession hit (leading to far fewer tenure track lines being advertised in 2009 and 2010 than in previous years) there were hundreds of qualified applicants for every tenure track job. The vast majority of PhDs will never get tenure, no matter how much they publish or how well they teach, and working oneself half to death in one’s late 20s and 30s while chasing a rapidly shrinking pool of tenure track jobs is definitely not family friendly.

            Of all the PhDs I know personally, precisely one woman got a tenure track job before she was 35 (highly salient for fertility), and her marriage is falling apart because her husband can’t work in her university town. Moreover, none of the data I’ve seen supports your claim that academia is a women-friendly or family-friendly career. If you have current data indicating this then I’d love to see it – it would cheer many of us up!

    • Honey Pillows :

      Eeesh. Yay invisible gender-based career expectations! (Er… glass ceilings).

      Mostly though, I feel sorry for his kids!

      Traveling when you’re growing up is great. Even living on different continents is great. There’s a limit, though. Moving every year SUCKS.

      Either that, or he’s been an absentee father.

      • I don’t know about that. I moved almost as often growing up, and I loved it. I think it made me a more restless adult, but that’s another issue.

        Of course, being a lawyer and having a jurisdiction-specific practice is one of the big reasons my long-ago affaire du coeur with a military diplomat didn’t work out.

        • Agree with Kanye East’s first paragraph (and actually sympathize with her second paragraph too, but that’s another story for another time). I moved around a lot as a child due to my dad’s military career, and think it has made me a more adventurous, knowledgeable, and adaptable person. Although I do tend to get restless these days too. It gets in the blood.

          • Honey Pillows :

            I think it depends on the kid. I moved every three years as a military brat, and I loved it… and hated it. But 8-9 moves in 10 years means you’re moving every single year, and it’s the first year in a new school that’s always the hardest.

        • anonymous - not anonymouse! :

          An affaire du coeur with a military diplomat! How glamorous even if it didn’t work out!

    • I actually it’s reasonable for a global company to expect its ambitious young people to put in time in multiple postings – how else do you develop executives with real breadth of experience and the ability to manage across different geographies and cultures ?

      And while I agree it’s not the right choice for everyone, I will say I see far more women in my generation (early 40s) who’ve made their peace with pursuing a high-powered career with the support of a husband who stays home or has a lower-gear job.

      • Agree on both counts.

      • I disagree. Most MBAs are around 30 and are entering the family stage of life (men and women). I think some travel is to be expected, but to expect major and disruptive moves every few years at that point, with very little benefit for training, at least from my perspective, is absurd. In my husband’s current job he works with people in about 10 different countries, manages people at various levels and is moving up very quickly. Sure he travels somewhat frequently, but we’ll never have to move. The company has no problem with him staying at their HQ location.

      • You make a really good point…and to be honest, I don’t have a good response.

        I guess taking a step back from the heat-of-the-rant-moment, I would say that I advocate more flexibility. But I don’t know what that entails exactly or how you would do it. Maybe there is some shorter-term way (collaborative projects, 3 month assignments etc.) to give people international experience? Maybe a program that rotates roles instead of locations? I just see that the way the structure is set up now ends up with fewer women than men at the top. Some self-awareness on the part of the companies about this problem would help, even if there isn’t a great solution.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Yes, but 8-9 cities in 10 years? I think that’s too much no matter how you slice it. What’s wrong with having a home office and doing a handful of assignments at other sites? Similarly, an inflexible rotation program where there’s no control over your location is unreasonable.

        Don’t get me wrong: I agree that managing a multinational requires international experience. It’s just the degree that is brutal and likely unnecessary, and seems to foster a surface-level understanding rather than digging in and managing a team over the course of a couple years.

        • Agree. I think there is blind-spot here.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I mean, no one is really so very smart that they understand everything there is to know about the business in, say, Shanghai if they only spend one year there, can they? And are they really focusing on their current opportunity if they’re always looking out for the next assignment?

            My SO is in an MBA program, and sometimes the general outlook on the universe makes my head hurt.

    • I feel you. Similar situation happened to me My husband took a summer job with a major company known for being “good” to it’s employees. Midway through he lets me know that they placed employees in temp places for 2 years before they got their “real” assignment. I told him that was great if I was SAH, but I had been supporting him for 3 years, my salary was higher than what he would be offered, and I would not be passing a bar and looking for a new job only to do it again 2 years later. I was livid that the company would expect that, and that somehow husband missed the memo on finding out how the hiring process works before accepting a summer offer He got rave reviews and they wanted him to come back, but when he refused to do the 2 year temp assignment, they did not extend the offer. He supported me and told them it was ridiculous that they would expect his wife, with an established legal career, to do back to back moves. I take comfort from the fact that if enough good candidates do this, the companies will change their ways. I do not take comfort from the fact that many male MBAs marry women with little career ambition, at least the ones that my husband attended school with. So change may be slow.

      Also, I don’t think this is a glass ceiling thing. This is companies being imbecilic and not supportive to women. As they start to lose out on the talent pool (women and men with career wives), it will hit them where it hurts–the bottom line.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My husband works for the govt and his ability to move up is limited since he won’t move or sign mobility waivers. It sucks. He can’t be married to a lawyer and move every 5 years. I’d spend more time taking bar exams than I would practicing law. He is fine with limiting himself like this but it is also very frustrating at times too.

      • I agree that it’s not a glass ceiling thing, because in more & more families (like mine) the wife has the primary career instead of the husband. It’s definitely the company not being supportive of families in general.

        I’m lucky that my dh is very suppportive of me saying I’m mobile in my international company. His career hasn’t been great lately, and because his education is highly respected overseas, from what we understand, going somehwere foreign would probably be better for his career than where we are now.

        And, the guy sounds kind of jerky. If I were his wife I don’t think I’d appreciate his comments.

    • I think it depends on the company and the particular industry more than any field as a whole. There are a lot of MBAs who stay in the same city for their entire careers (I know many of them) and are equally successful. But if you want to work for a multi-national, well, you’re going to have to be prepared to move and travel. Because you work for a multi-national.

      I’m a lawyer and I need to be available to travel for long periods on short notice, and I will have to move internationally if I want to move up in my career. Most lawyers, who are not in my niche practice area or similar ones, can stay in the same city for their entire career.

      • Kontraktor :

        Where are all these jobs? I have worked for 2 multi-national corporations and have foreign language skills and have never so much as even been on a business related conference state side. I wonder if this sort of travel schedule/attitude is less common than it seems or just really depends on the specific ojb function. Maybe I am just missing something/suck too bad to get sent anywhere. Who knows.

    • You never know, she might work. DH did a run-all-over-the-world rotational program, but I was in consulting. As long as I was near an airport, I was employed.

      Not the norm, but just sayin’

    • Typos on this thread: One Gazillion
      MBA Wife: 0

      Ugh. I blame my phone. I usually know how to punctuate and spell.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      This scenario stinks but it isn’t only in MBA type jobs that this occurs. Part of why I know a bit about having a dual city marriage….

  17. Woods-comma-Elle :

    Guys, I have serious Friday-itis. Work has been super-mental recently (the last two weeks so far, more to come), but today is quiet-ish. I have a couple of things to finish which I really need to do today, but i just cannot be bothered. I have serious difficulty getting anything done.

    I need to mark up this agreement, because there is a chance it will need to go out over the weekend and if I don’t mark it up now, I may have to do it tomorrow. But it just isn’t happening! I think I’ve filled my intellectual quota for now…

    • Oh, dear. You poor thing. If it helps in a misery loves company way, I’m right there with you. So I’m shopping. And doing other “brainless” work (you know, not the thing that’s due shortly, but actually takes effort, but the other stuff so I feel barely productive). Hope you get a brain break soon!

      • This is what I like to do Fridays too! The side bonus is my desk is usually relatively clean Monday morning. Or at least better organized.

    • Maine Associate :

      I have had too many of these days lately! On these days, I get a big and special Starbucks something and plow through it. As much as I dread doing the task, I find I am so proud of myself when I get it done.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      This was all made much worse just now with an e-mail from a non-native English speaker client whose e-mail basically said he wanted something done today (sent at 6pm on Friday), but was thankfully lost in translation and actually he wants it Monday. This is all getting too much, I’m getting outta here!

  18. On the hunt for a great small, crossbody bag…extra points if it is less than $150. Any suggestions?

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I like the Michael Kors crossbodies, especially the texture and chain feature on this one. There is a code for Macy’s right now, SAVE, that I think will get you 15% off. Happy shopping!

    • Cole Haan has some cute ones in good colors. The Linley Canteen (198) and the Jitney Ali Crossbody (98). Prices from CH website.

    • I like this one:

    • Okay, this is twice as much as you want to spend but I got it for 40% off awhile ago, so I suggest stalking it because it’s the best small crossbody — the front pockets are magnetic so you can toss cellphone and Metro card into them for easy access. Marc by Marc Jacobs
      Werdie Camera Bag

    • I love my Rebecca Minkoff mini mac, but I think it was closer to $200.

      • Does anyone have a suggestion for a crossbody bag that has a strap adjustable enough to convert to a shoulder bag? I have a Tyler Rodan crossbody canvas bag that I use for summer traveling and was super excited when I recently realized that I could shorten the strap all the way to wear on my shoulder. So I’ve started looking for a (preferably) leather bag for the fall/winter and am having trouble finding anything. Thanks!

  19. Dear Allergies PSA,

    Fungus? SERIOUSLY? That’s crazy. How are you feeling today? Your throat feeling sore from the tube should go away within a week. Can you smell anything yet?

    • "Allergies" PSA :

      Thanks for asking. Throat is much better. I am up and eating all manner of pureed veggies prepared by fiance (squash, yams, beets, applesauce) — kind of feels like a spa and helps me not be anxious about all the weight I am sure to gain before I am allowed to exercise again.

      But now I am really feeling the trauma to the nose area. It is just really sore. After I eat, I can take my meds (steroids and antibiotics), and I will definitely be taking another Vicodin. This regimen runs until 9/30, three days after my post-op office visit.

      I was able to smell the last week before the procedure because I was on steroids, and I am still on steroids. So, yes, I can smell, but I have no indication yet whether that is “real” or drug-induced.

      What is your approach these days? I recall you said you were considering meeting with an ENT/surgeon. What’s happening? Not trying to push, just feel so stupid for not pushing myself and don’t want that to happen to you.

      • Different circumstances, similar feelings. Get better soon! I hope all outcomes are as expected or better!

        • "Allergies" PSA :

          I was thinking about you and your “how to exercise/stretch while recovering” post. I hope all is going well with you.

          My newest discovery: Vicodin is evil. My last pill is wearing off and I am d-o-n-e. makes me nauseous and dizzy. Would rather deal with the soreness.

          • Probably too late, but if it really hurts, get a new pill and don’t try to tough it out. I had the same problems with Vicodin but then they switched me over to Percocet and I feel like a new woman. I had to switch otherwise the pain would get ahead of me, and that was a horrible feeling. I hope everything is going well other than the pain!

  20. Bassett Hound? :

    Does anyone on here own a Bassett Hound for a pet? I grew up with them, and seriously love the breed, but they shed. so. badly. DH is somewhat anti-pet, but has agreed to let me get a dog. I want a Bassett, but the shedding would drive DH insane…so any tips on keeping the hair shedding to a minimum? I’m willing to brush daily, clean the floors, etc., so any tips as far as keeping the hair on the dog (nutrients, etc), and keeping the floors hair free would be appreciated.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I have a border collie (long haired) and the black and white means no matter what the surface, the hair always shows. Two things – groom with a Furminator (total life-saver), and get a roomba. Yay for puppies!

      • Maine Associate :

        I don’t have a dog but I have a cat. I second the Roomba. Mine runs each day and does a great job of cleaning up the car hair.

      • I also have a black and white (and partial border collie) dog.. We have discussed dying his fur to match the floor.

        Second furminator. Furminate every few days and you’ll be pretty hair free.

    • Bassetoodle?

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Oh boy, those dogs are so cute! And funny-looking! In a cute, doggy way!

    • I have a corgi, not a basset hound, but they also shed like crazy. To keep it under control, we wash him a lot (once a week), blow dry, and brush him with a furminator a couple times a week.

      One of my friends has a basset hound, and she uses regular conditioner on her dog’s fur when she washes it and she swears it removes a lot of loose hair and keeps the shedding down. It does seem to work on her dog, but it never worked on my corgi.

    • I have a beagle. She sheds like crazy also (who would a thunk it from how short their hair is) and its kind of a pain in the butt. We’ve found no great ways to prevent it, but people swear by the Furminator. We’re just too cheap. I do know at least one reader has a Bassett though because she’s posted about it before. And they’re SO CUTE with they’re cute ears and eyes and the adorableness.

    • oil rich foods (fish oils) and/or wet food (like liver and heart) usually keep the skin and hair in good condition (dry skin can cause/exacerbate shedding). And a furminator might help.

      • Yep, diet is super helpful in maintaining good skin and coat. We spend more for our premium, grain-free, fish based dogfood, but it helps with shedding and my dog’s allergies.

      • My friend with corgis use salmon oil (sold at the pet food store for dogs) to supplement regular doggy kibbles. Cuts down on the shedding and gives them a beautiful coat.

    • A little out there, but you could shave him… I used to groom, and we shaved all sorts of shorthaired dogs because they do shed a lot (I think they shed the same, its just that instead of matting into the longer hair, it just falls off). FWIW, I have my cat shaved about four times a year. Amazing. And he looks like a lion :)

  21. LeChouette :

    Friday musing:

    I work at a large law firm in new york. Every associate I speak with basically says they have no interest in ever making partner. This is at a rate of nearly 100% and certainly 100% for the female associates.

    Is anyone here an associate at a big law firm who actually wants to make partner? I feel like if I even mention it being a possibility for my own career I am looked at like I am insane and met with “REALLY?” or “why would you ever want to do that?”

    curious as to whether this is just my environs, and/or just female.

    • The people from my class in my old firm who are sticking it out (law school class of ’04) are all female. I get the feeling from the guys that they just don’t have the need to prove themselves that way and think all the women are crazy/way too intense.

      • LeChouette :

        fascinating! the ladies at my firm certainly peter out. in the current 3 senior-most classes in my department there might be 1? maybe 2? as compared to 12-15 dudes.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I’m probably like 70/30 yes, but I feel like this has changed over time. I used to be 100% wanting to be partner, now I’m not so sure. That said, I do note that most women I’ve spoken to at my firm and other firms don’t want to do this, but for different reasons than why I’m thinking I might not.

      For me, it’s nothing to do with family/kids etc. I am not planning on having any. I want to move ahead and progress in my career (and in fact I’m a total overachiever), but I’m starting to think maybe I want to do something more commercial later in my career, rather than law. I like the doing of the law, but I don’t like the schmoozing and business development and the balance obviously shifts towards the latter the closer you get to partnership. Also, at least here, our partners are just always available and I hate the idea of not being able to take a vacation without having a conference call once a day. I would like to think that my practice would be different (and I am trying pretty hard to maintain boundaries), but if I inherit it from my current bosses, then it may be harder to change the clients’ expectations.

    • lonely at the top :

      Wanted to make partner and did.

      I have similar observations about my peers and those coming up behind me and do see more women than men that state openly they do not want to make partner. I understand everyone makes their own choices but it makes me a little sad. I wish there were more women in the partnership ranks.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Not me.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I should clarify – all the partners in my office are either men with SAHW/SAHMs or the rare woman partner, who had her kids before she became a lawyer or has no kids. The women partners with kids also usually have nannies and/or SAHF. Neither is an option for me. And I have zero interest in billing 2400+ a year while a mother. I, personally, for me, in my life, not saying right/wrong for anyone else, me, want to see my hypothetical children more than what it takes to bill that much, especially since I won’t have a SAHH/SAHF. And I just can’t see how owning a home and having a nanny and/or a stay at home/part-time parent is feasible in this area without making a ton of money, which means working a ton as a partner. No thanks. Of course, I have no idea what I want to do instead.

        • LeChouette :

          Ha, knowing what to do instead is the problem right? dealing with that myself.

          • My friends and I dream of moving to Costa Rica and opening a B&B where we all get do to what we are passionate about. One other girl and I would be the chefs, one would be a surf teacher, and a fourth would paint/teach art. Of course, no one would run this B&B since nobody is passionate about accounting.

          • @ Lalo – I know a lady who is passionate about accounting! She has a graphing calculator tattoo!

          • That is the best thing I have heard in a long time. Thanks for the much needed smile, JessBee!

        • SF Bay Associate, I heartily agree with you and couldn’t have said it better myself. This is precisely, but precisely, the reason I left BigLaw. And it applies even if I don’t have children, because I have zero interest in billing 2400+ a year for the rest of my life, period. I want to have a life outside of work.

    • MissJackson :

      I do know some people who do want to make partner. Most of the women (maybe even all) here have no interest, though. When I started at the firm, I absolutely wanted to make partner.

      I’m a sixth year associate, FWIW. I think the more senior you get, the more knowledge you get about what it means to be partner. Whether that knowledge deters you or not depends on your own personality, preferences, etc.

      Biggest issue: zero female partners at my firm that I’d like to emulate. Sounds meaner than I want it to, but it’s true.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        “Biggest issue: zero female partners at my firm that I’d like to emulate. Sounds meaner than I want it to, but it’s true.” Yes, this, exactly. EXACTLY.

      • LeChouette :

        agreed on female partners. I mean I have several that I really look up to and think are amazing lawyers but they all seem SO MISERABLE all the time that it’s not exactly inspiring. Except for one who is single no kids and seems to have a great life. Alas, married over here.

    • I really want to make partner, or at least consider it a strong possibility. However, while we are AmLaw 250 and all that jazz, we are not NY. Retention is more common, it seems.

      Also, can I just say you are never insane for wanting what you want when it comes to your career. Get ’em.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I haven’t really noticed a male/female split among associates who want to make partner or don’t, but I haven’t ever really thought about it that way so maybe there is? Personally I’m undecided. I like being a lawyer a whole lot more than I expected to. And I think the things I’m not so crazy about would be resolved if I were bringing in clients, though I’m sure that has its challenges too. I was in a commission-based sales position for years before law school so I’m reasonably confident I could drum up business if I had some good mentoring on what exactly I need to do, but it’s too early to tell whether I’m going to get that kind of mentoring at this firm. Right now I’m focused on doing what I can today to put myself in the best position to make partner if that’s what I decide I want to do.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I’m a female fifth-year associate at a large law firm in the Midwest and I want to make partner.

    • I think associates just say that as a defense mechanism. If they say they didn’t want to make partner, and then they in fact don’t make partner, then it’s easier to slough it off as not seeming like a failure. But really, if you get to be a senior associate at a big firm, why wouldn’ t you then want to be a partner? Hmm, it’s the same work, with more money, more job security, and more prestige.

      • LeChouette :

        I have at least heard people say that they don’t want the additional responsibility of bringing in business, which at my firm you don’t really have as an associate (even a senior associate).

      • Anonymous :

        Because it is not the same work and some people don’t care that much about money of prestige. There is a difference between being a successful senior associate and being a successful senior associate who wants to become partner. Many people who aren’t interested in becoming partner have “mastered” the senior associate thing and are quite content to ride it to the up or out moment. If you have interesting work, are growing skills that are relevant to your own plans, have found a work-life balance that works for you (which is far more likely if you honestly don’t care about being made partner) and are making [email protected] good money, why wouldn’t you stick it out.

  22. Ladies, clutch your pearls because I totally just saw a shorts suit in my office. Gray tweed (mid-thigh) suffed shorts, black blazer, lace stockings/tights, and black heels.

    I have no words.

    • e_pontellier :

      My g-d. Consider my pearls clutched!

    • And mine. That seems very hip collegiate rather than business world!

    • This is when I wish you could post pictures…

    • I’m even wearing pearls today! How appropriate. :-)

    • Honey Pillows :

      For shame! That’s not even a shorts suit! That’s just shorts… and a blazer!

    • I think what bothers me the most is that it’s shorts and tweed…

    • I work in a casual office and could actually imagine tweed shorts being worn here, though it hasn’t happened IME.
      However, the lace tights underneath take the outfit into a whole diiiiifffferennnnnnt category.

    • Bring me my fainting couch!

    • I think you should sneak up and take a quick photo with your phone. This sort of egh…. courage?? ignorance?? (I’m lost for words) ….. needs to be documented for future generations.

      • You could at least have your phone on video and pretend to be “checking email” while walking by The Outfit….

    • Research, Not Law :

      The lace tights bring it home.

    • Anonymous Poser :

      A shorts suit PLUS lace stockings/tights?


      • when i was 19 and living in paris, i wore a very similar outfit to go clubbing. shorts, tights, blazer, heels.

        • And I’ll give the woman credit – objectively, the outfit itself is kinda cute. If she were going out to the club/bar.

      • There’s a woman in my office that often wears black pants (that I’m 99% sure are lounge pants) with a men’s hanes tee. And sneakers. Our office is business casual, but seriously. At least wear real clothes.

        • lawsuited :

          An assistant in my office wore pajama pants last week (they were flannel and brightly-coloured plaid so I’m 100% sure they were pajama pants).

          Same assistant has also been seen wearing lounge harem pants, plastic flip flops, t-shirts featuring Oscar the Grouch and other children’s characters, hooded sweatshirts and lace tops with only a bra underneath.

        • But there’s nothing business about that outfit. It’s 100% casual!

  23. Turtle Wexler :

    So, the weather has turned here and it’s definitely fall, and my body has gone into storage-for-hibernation mode and I want to eat ALL THE FOOD. Seriously, I’ve been ravenous for about 90% of my waking hours for the past few days. I’m finally starting to see results from my couch to 5k program so I don’t want to sabotage all my good work…but I want mac n cheese and pulled pork sammies with fries and everything else that’s yummy and fatty and horrible for me. Sigh. No real point here, just needed to whine for a minute.

    • You are not alone. I nearly ate my arm before deciding 11:00 is a perfectly appropriate time to inhale lunch.

    • e_pontellier :

      ME TOO. I just tell myself I can have mac n cheese once/week, usually Saturdays for lunch… and then I eat the whole box.

      • Oh man. I can’t put off eating lunch anymore after seeing this. Leftover mac and cheese with ground beef and spinch. Yum! (Plus, a great way to sneek some amount of greenage into hubby’s stomach)

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      I…just ate a LOT of cookies. Before lunch. (In other words, a big ME TOO.)

      I’m also doing Couch to 5K (yay!). What week are you on? I am on week 4. Not seeing many results yet, though my legs look more toned and I am definitely improving in being able to run without feeling like I am dying, which was my main goal. What are you seeing?

      • Turtle Wexler :

        Well, I’m on week 6 but I have been running for about 8 weeks. I repeated a few of the runs along the way when I didn’t feel quite ready to move to the next level. I was really scared of the first long (20 minutes without stopping) run, but I recruited a friend to go with me and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I feared. I don’t think I’ve been able to run–well, jog–for 20 minutes since high school. My legs are looking a little more toned, and my love handles have also shrunk a bit (yay!), but I think it’s hard to notice the results when you see yourself all the time. The real moment of truth re: results for me is going to be this weekend, as I will be seeing my hubby for the first time since I’ve started C25k (he’s been away almost all summer, boo) and I want to see if/what he notices!

        And I’m totally trying to keep myself from running down to the building cafeteria for a cinnamon roll right now. If I can just hold out for another hour, it will be lunchtime and they will be gone and not tempting me anymore. Must. Exercise. Willpower.

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          Ooh, enjoy the visit with your husband!

          And thanks for the C25K report. I, too, have repeated runs so I really have been doing it for more like 6 weeks, I guess. My love handles could use some shrinkage, so I will look for that in a couple of weeks!

    • Could it be that since you are running more you are more hungry (and need to be eating a bit more…maybe not ALL the mac and cheese though…)?

      • Turtle Wexler :

        No, although that definitely happened when I first started. This hibernation mode thing gets me me every year, though — during the summer, I crave berries and leafy greens and healthy grain salads, but the moment it gets cold, I flip to craving heavy, meaty, creamy foods. And lots of them, as though I need to eat the whole winter’s worth right now. I think I must have been a bear in a previous life.

    • I hear ya. I’m in a couch to couch program and I still want to eat 3x more in quantity and frequency.

      I’m really a bear (with a great depilation routine) pretending to be a person.

    • I’m blaming the weather too! All of a sudden, it’s starting to get chilly and I just want to eat and eat and eat. Waiting until noon for lunch was a struggle…

      • Anastasia :

        Me too! I usually bring a spinach salad for lunch, but it has tasted gross and unsatisfying to me for the last week or so, and I’ve followed it up with mac and cheese or something equally delicious and fattening.

        Time to make a giant pot of soup/chili before my couch to couch program catches up with me.

  24. Can we talk strategy for dealing with really nasty lawyers? I had a conference with a woman attorney this morning whocan only be described as a bunt with a letter c. Honestly, witch with a letter b just would not do her justice!! She was evil to everyone but so aggressive about it was hard to know what to say. Not that i am brand new, but she’s also fairly senior. It’s hard to say with all the surgery and botox, but my guess is she went to law school when my parents were just thinking about enrolling me in nursery school, if not before. A lot of her attitude seemed to be, like, “I will eat you all alive.” My usual tack of taking a firm tone and calmly standing my ground was just met with her raised voice, veiled insinuations of everyone’s incomptenence and comments like, “bring it on!” Yes, bring it on!! There were a few other lawyers on this case and she’d just latch on to anything remotely imperfect that anyone said and then twist it into the stupidest thing you could imagine to make the speaker feel/sound dumb. Rinse, repeat. It was like everyone was under constant cross exam. Just brutally unpleasant!!! I am wondering what one can do in such situations? Maybe this is naive of me, but i’m really not used to this from my fellow attorneys. I’ve dealt with nasty lawyers before but this is a whole ‘nother ballpark!

    • Keep calm and carry on. Pretend she’s an overtired toddler. Let her run and don’t give her the attention and energy she’s looking for. Her tirades really don’t matter.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Depending on the situation, I call people on their meanness/attitude/unprofessionalism and end the call. I’ll try to remember some examples:

      Me – Look, our clients hate each other but there is no reason we can’t be civil and professional as their attorneys. I’m not going to continue this conversation if you keep yelling and name calling.

      Him – “don’t get smart with me” (and then he hung up on me.)


      Me: I understand that you have been doing this job longer than I have but I know what I’m doing and your attempts to intimidate me just demonstrate that you have no real legal arguments. If you have nothing substantive or productive to add I will assume you are just rejecting my settlement offer, not counter offering and we can stop wasting each other’s time.

      Him: um, well, uh, I, ah, I ah just didn’t want you to get surprised in court. People helped me out when I was new. So, um, yeah, um, let me talk to my client about that offer and get back to you.

    • I’ve used variations on, “This conversation has become unproductive, and I don’t appreciate your town. Please settle down, and call me back when we can resume this discussion like adults. I’m hanging up now.”

      • I don’t appreciate your town! You have too much traffic, and property taxes are outrageous! And your schools are mediocre, at best! Good day, sir!

        (Sorry – the typo made me smile)

      • So I know you meant to type tone, but that also sounds like the perfect comment for, say, a Denver lawyer to make to one from Oakland or Kansas City.

      • What town was s/he from? I for one do not appreciate Casper, Wyoming.


    • Just keep your cool and always be the most reasonable person in the room.

    • Anon in ATX :

      Not sure if this is something that would work with opposing counsel, but @ my agency we like to use what we refer to as “time-out.” When a party is yelling/ranting/out of control I just say, “It sounds like you are getting upset. We’re going to take a break and resume in 5 minutes” Then I mute out their line & place them on hold. When I resume they are usually much more cooperative.

  25. I just got a call from a HEAD-HUNTER. She said did I want to do liteigation in-house? I asked where it was and she said in Weschester, but I only know where NORDSTROM’s is, and I did NOT want to move out of the City so I said NO.

    Now I am wondereing if I should have aksed more about the job before saying no. I am NOT even sure what kind of a case load I would have in-house, b/c all of the inhouse work we do come’s from company’s like Jim that are NOT admitted to the local court’s and do not have the suport staff to handle a case load in-house.

    I also figure that if I go in house, it would be more dificult to be a judge, b/c I would not be in court 2x every week like I am now. Also, I do NOT know anything about Weschester court’s so mabye that is not such a bad thing that I said NO!

  26. So, I usually avoid silk shirts because I sometimes sweat a lot (nervous sweater) and I haven’t figured out how to get sweat stains out of silk. Anyone have any advice on dealing with that issue? Or, do I stick with polyester?

    • If you’re just getting the stains in the underarm area, the solution might be to switch deodorants rather than detergents. I always use aluminum-free deodorant, with no anti-perspirant, and no longer have any sweat stains on silk or other items.

      • Dumb question: don’t you sweat, though, if you’re not using an anti-perspirant? I get that the deodorant may be the cause of the long-term staining, but I also don’t want to walk around with visible sweat on my shirt. Is it a matter of finding the right product, or does it just not work for some people?

        • Yep, you sweat. I sure do! I decided I’d rather work around the occasional wetness than deal with permanent stains (and also possible carcinogens in the aluminum, though I don’t really know what I’m talking about there–just erring on the cautious side). When I wore antiperspirant, I still had sweat show, so for me the switch wasn’t any real loss. I suppose others may have different results.

          I also find that for, you know, not smelling, it helps to trade off natural deodorants. I have one that I wear M-Th and the other I wear Fri-Sun.

          • Ok, just checking! I am trying to work my way toward using Kiss My Face deodorant on a regular basis (the season change should help a lot).

        • Apparently it can take up to a month or so to “detox” from regular deodorant. So stick with it and if that one doesn’t work, there are many that might. I regularly promote Soapwalla’s deodorant when asked. It is awesome and it did make me sweat more but there were no stains and it controls smell really well.

    • e_pontellier :

      I wear cotton tanks as undershirts, which seems to help.

      • e_pontellier :

        By the way, how are things going with your DH? I realize it’s only been a day or two, but I’ve been thinking of you!

        • Thanks for the tips! I will no longer fear silk.

          I think things with Mr. CapnKate are looking up. I’ll know more this weekend. We’re going out of town together, just the two of us, and I’ve asked that we sit down together and make a financial plan/budget and a five- or ten-year plan of sorts this weekend. I also picked up that “For Women Only” book to read this weekend, so we’ll see how that goes. Thanks for thinking of me!

          • e_pontellier :

            Oh good! Glad to hear it. Also, the super Christian leanings of For Women Only notwithstanding, I feel my marriage has improved like 100x over since reading that book. Good luck this weekend!

  27. People may be wondering what is happening with Ellen– She is being very nice to everyone, because these are the 10 days of Penitence where she is re-examining all that she has done all year, seeking for another good year next year. I will put my vote in for her, because she is trying to be a good person, and following dear old dad’s advice.

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