Thursday’s TPS Report: Silk Cashmere Cardigan

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

Silk Cashmere CardiganI love silk/cashmere cardigans pretty much year round — they hold their shape much better than cotton, they drape beautifully (particularly important in the summer when you may be wearing it around your neck during your commute — pro tip, button it up first to avoid the “cape” effect) — and they’re generally soft, lovely, and they do OK with Woolite. Brooks Brothers has a number of colors on sale as part of their Semi-Annual sale (ends July 2; lots worth checking out!) — the cardigan was $148 but is now marked to $59.20. (The matching short-sleeved shell is here.) Silk Cashmere Cardigan

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


  1. Miss Behaved :

    Dammit. You got my hopes up. I’ve been looking to replace a silk ribbed red cardigan for almost a year. It’s a staple in my wardrobe. Unfortunately, this one only comes in neutrals and pastels.

    • And I’ve been looking for a dark brown v neck cardigan for ages, but this one is sold out in my size.

      • Equity's Darling :

        How was Paris?!

      • More of a medium brown, but Land’s End has a cute looking v neck cardigan.
        If you wait till Fall, BB always does this one in brown.

  2. This is a VERY beautiful sweater, Kat! And I Totaly LOVE the color! And a good price also! YAY!!!!

    Myrna is comeing with me today to my health club to check out Brandon. I wonder what she will think of him.

    The manageing partner aksed me today if I could get my dad to be less forcefull in his interview’s of the staff b/c Madeline said he was kind of a bully to her, and she is ONLEY a associate! I said I would see if I could calm him down, but I think that my dad is a very INTENSE investigoator, goeing back to his days in the Goverment. I wonder if he think’s he is ON to some thing. The manageing partner said Madeline thought he was like a PITT BULL in his interogaetion of her. She does NOT even have any control over firm fienance’s either!

    Dad is comeing in again tomorrow, so I will go to lunch with him. I will also mabye go home for the weekend b/c mom said she is bakeing my favorite lemon marangue pie for dad and he onley eat’s about 1/2 of it and will not let mom finish it b/c of her tuchus. FOOEY for her, but YAY for me!!!!

  3. So I read “avoid the cape effect” and my immediate thought, “but why would you want to do that?!?”

  4. Miss Behaved :

    Question for the hive, especially anyone in IT:

    Generally, I love my job. But there’s a senior developer who doesn’t seem to understand boundaries in the work environment. This morning I discovered that he went in and modified my work. He rewrote 2 of my reports. That’s a no-no in the software development world and he’s been reprimanded about it before.

    The question is what do I do. I have a new manager. He started in April. He knows that this has happened before, but he hasn’t been involved in the issue.

    I’m thinking that I tell him that it’s okay for now, but that he needs to let the senior developer know that it shouldn’t happen again. On top of it being disrespectful, it also means that I don’t learn anything. I’m thinking of suggesting to the manager that in the future, if he has an issue with my code, we should sit down and discuss it.

    What do you guys think?

    • goldribbons :

      Do not tell him it’s okay for now! It is NOT okay! You might not fire him this time but that doesn’t mean it’s “okay.” Tell him not to do it, tell the senior developer it’s a problem, tell your manager it’s a problem — without being a baby. Stand up for yourself!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m not in IT so please disregard if this is bad advice.

      I would approach the senior developer first yourself. I’d say something like, “Hey Paul, I saw you rewrote my report. Why did you do that?”

      You may find he rewrote the report because of some easily fixable issue in the report, that you could fix yourself in the future. Or you may find he has no good reason for doing it. Either way, you can respond with, “Okay, well, I’d prefer that you direct any problems or issues you have with my report to me, and I can make changes as necessary. Next time, please shoot me an email or call me to let me know if there’s something I need to change, and I will login to fix it.”

      I might casually mention it to your manager since this is a pattern for this guy (“Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I spoke to Paul, since he rewrote a couple of my reports. I think we’ve solved it and he said he’s going to call me in the future if he has a problem with my code, so I can edit it myself, but I just wanted to bring you in the loop on it.”

      Then if it continues to happen, I would go to your new manager and let them try to handle it. But in general, I think it’s wroth trying to handle something yourself first, before asking your manager to step in for you.

      • Miss Behaved :

        Actually, he told me that he rewrote my reports. He said “it’s not a big deal. It’s just that they’d run faster like this.” It was just a “by the way” statement this morning and I was speechless in the moment.

        • What did he change? Are you doing internal software development or software development for a client? Also, when someone tells you it’s not a big deal, well then why the heck did he do it in the first place if it’s not a big deal? Red flag. Tell your manager. You shouldn’t be culpable for his changes to your report.

    • Does you company use any kind of source control (e.g clearcase/svn) where different developers create branches to work on their changes and final code after testing is merged into mainline? It would be pretty difficult for someone to just change your reports/code without anyone finding out if there is proper source control, code reviews in place.
      For us, anytime code changes are mainlined, the entire group gets an email with list of differences so we are all aware. I would definitely bring it up to your manager more in terms of source control and how everyone needs to be in loop with changes done. You can say how his unplanned changes breaks the design and structure you had in place for the project and should be discussed so we don’t end up with spaghetti code that is difficult to maintain and extend.
      Tell the senior developer directly that you will like to find out when he wants to make changes to your code, so you can learn and pick up good coding practices and use them going forward. You can suggest if he would like to do code reviews. This won’t make him defensive, instead likely boost his ego. If he is actually a good developer, you could learn a lot from him. But if he is mediocre/bad and/or jerk, I would really make sure he does not sabotage your work with his bad code. What if something breaks in production? Make sure you can directly tie it back to his changes and not have people put blame on you. This is where source control comes incredibly handy if your group uses it.

      • Miss Behaved :

        Yeah. Unfortunately, we don’t have any version control for our Business Objects reports or even the universes. It’s a big issue and the first thing I mentioned when the new manager asked me what improvements should be made for the group.

        • Miss Behaved :

          Oh, and I actually get in earlier than he does. He made these changes while I was in the office so it’s not like I wasn’t available.

  5. I’m currently riding the high of having a good interview for a position that I really, really want. There’s at least one more round of interviews to go, but thankfully the process is moving really quickly (2 interviews in 3 days). Any tips for excelling at phone interviews and/or interviews with business people who potentially are your internal clients? It would be more of a “fit” interview than a “skills” interview.

  6. momentsofabsurdity :

    This weekend is my first Warrior Dash! (or honestly, organized race of any kind since high school)

    Any last minute tips? I think training wise, I’m all set (in the sense of I am aware how out of shape I am and how little I will be able to accomplish in the next two days but whatever, it’ll be fun anyway). I’ve heard to wear bottoms a size smaller than usual. We’re in a late wave so I’m prepared for the course to be somewhat trashed. I’ve been rock climbing so the wall climb doesn’t scare me as much as it used to. I have old shoes. My friend and I are making tshirts before we head over there.

    For anyone whose done a Warrior Dash (or similar mud run/obstacle course) before, is there anything you wish you’d done/not done or brought/not brought or tips you have?

    • Equity's Darling :

      Oooh, I’m curious- report back on how it goes!

    • I have not done the Warrior Dash but in any race, you generally should not make any changes from your routine right before the race. So if you haven’t run in smaller shorts, this is not the time to make that change.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Yeah I have heard that too but I’ve also heard that as your bottoms get pretty mud/waterlogged, they expand — and my friend told me she was just holding up her leggings with her hands at the end. I don’t want that to be me!

    • Bring extra towels/water. A lot of these types of races there is no where to get cleaned up and then you end up getting your car generally disgusting.

    • I’d recommend something with a drawstring if you have it, be careful rather than worrying about speed (no one’s really worrying about speed at these things in my experience anyway), have a blast and bring a towel/wet wipes/change of clothes to shove in the car. Try to carry as little as possible on the course, and be prepared for your arms to be tired!

    • Duct tape your shoes to your ankles! Keeps you from losing them in the mud. Do a few strips that go under the botom of your shoe and cross your ankle. I highly recommend wearing skintight leggings instead of shorts… made that mistake my first time and ended up with gritty mud all up in the lady garden (eww…) also, French braid for the hair. Have a blast!

    • This won’t be useful for this weekend, but for future mud-run type events, you may want to try a pair of MMA shorts with a pair of compression shorts underneath.

      For the MMA shorts, similar to these –

      Since the waist is not elastic (velcro fastener) and you order by waist size, they don’t stretch out or slip down. I’ve worn them in all types of athletic events, including swimming in choppy water when I didn’t have a bathing suit, and they stay put.

      And they don’t absorb much water so they won’t feel heavy.

    • ditto, wear crops or pants! I have a scar on my bum and on my shin from a warrior dash where i wore tiny shorts. don’t wear anything you want to keep :)

      It was a ton of fun though!

  7. So uncomfortable right now :

    Vent: Before I left the house, I asked my husband if my dress was too low cut for work. He said no. It looked fine in my mirror at home. (But, really, the fact that even asked should have been a red flag.) Now that I’m here at work, I feel so self conscious. I’m not showing any cleaveage, but it just feels too low for me. So now I have a pashmina loosely draped around my neck (my office is freezing, and I often wear it). I should have never left the house with this on!! Not trusting the husband’s opinion in the future….and need to trust my own comfort level more! Ugh. Okay, end vent.

    • sending sympathy… it happens to all of us! I have a scoopneck dress that looks perfect when I’m standing straight up in front of the mirror, but falls away from my chest the minute I lean forward. Which of course I discovered when reaching forward to type at my desk… sneaky little thing. It’s been relegated to Blouse Underneath status.

    • goldribbons :

      Can you buy a tank top at lunch? This is the worst — but don’t blame your DH! He was just trying to help!

    • Sympathies! I had a similar day about six months ago when I wore a white blouse for the first time after getting a rather large and colorful back tattoo…and learned that, under fluorescent lights, the tattoo showed through the shirt BEAUTIFULLY (I had a camisole on, but that just made it worse). Oops, and also headdesk.

      On the plus side, I still like the emergency cardigan I went out and bought at lunch time…and haven’t bought a white blouse since. I also have no evidence that anyone other than me (and probably the coworker who pointed it out) remembers the incident at all.

    • I don’t understand–if you are not showing any cleavage, how could it be too low cut for work?

    • Associette :

      A similar thing happened to me last week! Except my issue had to do with a see-through TopShop dress. I bought it online (so I will never return it) but was determined to wear it at least once. My husband said it looked good! I got to work and the bright lights confirmed – it was completely see-through. I hid behind my desk all day. I feel your pain – the day is almost over though!

    • Scarfs! Can you borrow a scarf from a fellow worker or buy a scarf or something? Or don’t worry about it for the day – if you are generally within the realm of the appropriately dressed, I don’t think anyone will think too much of it (and this is why we should all give each other the benefit of the doubt.)

  8. Jessica Glitter :

    Can anyone recommend their favorite navy blazer? (I’m hoping for one to pair with the Skirt in a variety of colors).. TIA

    • This is my favorite –,default,pd.html?dwvar_WJ00066_Color=NAVY&contentpos=3&cgid=0315

      Currently only available in sizes 4, 6, 8, 10

      • I also have a version of this blazer from maybe a season or two ago and it is awesome. I think they bring it back around pretty frequently. Its great because its fitted, is high quality fabric, and doesn’t have piping or gold buttons (which I’m fine with but I wanted a really neutral, non-trendy blazer.)

        • I have this blazer – that is a great price. *sniff* I’m in the DC area and it’s probably good to wear Oct-early May. And, hello, polka dots!

        • Does it have the gold emblem on the pocket or not? I hate it when the pictures are inconsistent! I have a knit blazer from St. John’s. I found it for sale at Nordstrom rack.

          • If ordered as-is, no emblem. The emblem/monogram can be added for an extra charge if you select that option in addition.

          • Mine came with the patch as an extra, not sewn on.

          • Yeah – no emblem here either (I think all BB stuff can be customized with stuff like that). I actually got mine a couple seasons ago at the outlets for 50% off, 50% – without the polka dot lining (darn) but otherwise very similar – which is why I think this will probably come back if the current one isn’t available in your size.

            I am not kidding when I say that “in season” (i.e. all year – even right now when I apparently have magically moved from New England to Georgia) I wear it 3 times a week at least, including frequently on the weekends. I might have a problem..but I don’t think so.

    • I like the J.Crew schoolboy blazer in navy. Others here have said they don’t like the fit, but I like that it’s a bit fitted and short. I got mine within the last year, and despite J.Crew’s general decline in quality, it seems to be of good material and construction so far as I can tell. It doesn’t seem to make it to the sale page, but as with all things J.Crew I would wait to buy until they’re having on of their 25% or 30% of the whole site sales.

    • This is mine – looks great with The Skirt for work and with jeans for casual. And I love that it comes in tall sizes too!

  9. Long post, apologies in advance:

    I’m hoping you wise ladies here would be able to provide me with some advice or perspective:

    I’ve been working in the same function since I graduated from college 8 years ago. I’ve worked in 3 different companies and I’ve been so lucky that they’ve all been in good environments in prestigious multinational companies with international exposure. I’ve progressed up throughout the years and am now in what I thought was my dream role – a manager with freedom and autonomy (as well as responsibility) to lead my function.

    What I’ve come to realize recently is that I never liked what I’ve been doing. I’ve enjoyed the prestige and perks of the companies I’ve been with, my team, learning about the corporate world and to be honest, doing well in something that really does not require me to put in much effort. Throughout the years, I’ve been forcing myself to like what I’ve been doing and trying to look on the bright side of things but forcing myself to stick with a role I’ve disliked for so long is finally coming to haunt me.

    Today, I dread coming into work. Thinking about sitting in my office all day, having to deal with egos, emails, meetings, budgets, conference calls and a boring (to me) job makes me physically sick to my stomach.I live for the weekend and my stomach goes into knots on Sunday afternoons thinking about the work week ahead. I know for a fact my heart is no longer in what I’m doing and I definitely want/NEED a change. Like a drastic change. I no longer see myself wanting to stay in the corporate world focused on navigating office politics (because let’s face it, no matter how good an environment is, there is always office politics especially the higher up you go in the corporate food chain), bureaucracy and staying in a function I find very boring. I’m actually good at all these points I hate about my job, and that’s even more depressing as I no longer want to utilize the skills I have.

    I’ve realized I’ve been bored for 8 whole years, that’s a long time to be bored, and I refuse to be bored any longer. I feel like I’m wasting my life away being bored. I want to look forward to each day, I want to be fully engaged in my career, I want to care about what I do. I want to do something meaningful to me.

    I fantasize about running a Starbucks store, or running my own startup/business providing the best level of service I can to my customers. Something where I’m up and about, serving people the way I want to serve them while still navigating the challenges of running a business (which I think I would enjoy). I am obsessed with reading entrepreneurial blogs and magazines and if I could be anything in the world, I would like to be a successful entrepreneur. I think what I’m really passionate about is entrepreneurship, service and providing people with a fantastic experience. But having a desk-bound job for so long and having no experience in what I want to do, I just don’t know where to start.

    I’ve read tons of self-help/entrepreneurship books and follow a lot of blogs devoted to finding your passion, but I still feel stuck and it’s so frustrating. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting something different. I feel like I’m going insane coming into work each day and somehow expecting things to change. I know I have to do something and eventually take a leap, but I don’t know what to do to get myself out of this.

    Right now, taking outside courses/hobbies to explore my other interests is not really possible as I am busy getting married and moving to a new home for the next 6-8 months and spending time with my family and fiancee is a priority for me outside of work right now. But if you think this is what I really need to do, please tell me! I’ve considered seeing a career or life coach but I fear they’re all shams. But if you think I’m wrong, please tell me! I’ve been to a few networking events for aspiring entrepreneurs and while it’s been interesting to meet people, I’m nowhere closer to where I want to be.

    I think my problem is I no longer want to work in the areas I’m good at, and I don’t know what other skills I have, if I have any other skills at all.

    This has really been affecting me lately and I can’t seem to enjoy or muster up much enthusiasm for all the other wonderful things happening in my life (my husband-to-be/wedding/new house/awesome friends etc) with this hanging over my head.

    Advice? Thanks in advance. I really appreciate this community of wonderful women here.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      So take this with a big ol’ grain of salt but –

      I think you should explore getting a new job at an early stage startup in your current area (which you are good at and have a track record). (This is assuming you don’t already have some awesome business idea floating around for a startup you could do yourself!)

      Hear me out – even though you want to leave your area, startups, especially early stage startups, don’t really *have* defined job roles. They may hire you because of your experience in X, but you will almost certainly also, probably within a few months, be doing Y, Z, A, B and C. And especially compared to large multinationals, startups are *flexible*. They are speedboats where you can turn on a whim, whereas changing your course in a huge corporation is almost like resteering a barge. If you’re doing marketing but find you have a knack for finance, or customer service, or whatever, it’s almost absurdly easy to start taking on a lot more of that work – because there’s too much work to go around, and not enough people.

      Startups (almost) always have not enough people. That means that they throw people into things they do NOT know, have no policies or procedures about being qualified enough to do X, and that is a fantastic opportunity to take a chance to figure out what it is you DO love. On the other hand, startups also often offer not enough money – probably way less than you are getting at a huge corporation. The upside is bigger, though, especially at a good startup. They may have some perks, though probably not very many (especially depending how early stage they are). How much do you and your soon-to-be-husband need your current salary? IMO, this is the time in your life (young, no kids) where you can make it work with less, but that really depends on you and your current life and obligations.

      Of course, this advice depends on your geographic area – are you near a major city? Can you maybe see if they have an Innovation Center or similar? Reach out to connections from college/grad school to see if they know of any roles in your area you might be a fit for.

      Honestly, I too am skeptical of life coaches and the like, but maybe it’s worth meeting with one, or a counselor of some sort. One thing I think you definitely should NOT do is go to grad school (if you haven’t already) until you are 100% positive in what you want to do in your life.

      • This was exactly what was in my head, 100%.

      • I really like this idea. I thought about it and short of starting my own business and bearing all the risks, I thought this would be a nice compromise to see if running my own business is what I want. For all the reasons you’ve listed, I think I would enjoy it. I’m in an area where the startup scene is HUGE so finding a job would likely not be much of a problem. I will likely have to take at least a 40% pay cut but as you’ve said, I’m only young once with no kids and I just have to learn to live with less. I will seriously look into this. Thanks so much.

    • goldribbons :

      You’re going to be miserable as long as you feel stuck, and you will feel stuck as long as you don’t have a plan. I’m happy for you that you want to make “spending time with your family and your fiance” a priority outside of work, but what about YOU? You need to make your own happiness a priority. Everyone you’re hanging out with knows you’re miserable, even if they haven’t told you. It’s one thing to fantisize about owning a business but it’s another thing to actually be ready to take on the risk and responsibility of owning a business. You say you’ve read books about how to be an entrepreneuer, but what has that done for you? Do you have concrete steps you can take toward being an entrepreneuer yourself? It sounds like you don’t. If you want to own a coffee shop, take some local coffee shop owners/managers out to lunch and find out what they love about their job and what they hate. Ask them what a day in their life is like. Follow up with them (send them a thank you card) and think about whether that’s what YOU want. If it is, start working for them as a junior manager. Get some experience.

      I would recommend reading The Defining Decade (which is about your 20s, but it sounds like the Work section would be very helpful to you), and maybe The Happiness Project (but that might not be necessary right now, because it focuses more on small steps you can take day-to-day to be happier, not huge life overhauls). Good luck.

    • The route for most professionals I know who’ve successfully made the swap over into business-owners has been to become independent providers of the services they used to provide as parts of bigger companies, taking favorite clients with them (bankers, lawyers) or signing up their former employer as their first client (IT contractors).

      This may not be what you want to hear if you reckon you’re bored and weary of your current function. But the flip side is that you already know this job, are well-regarded and have a network. And don’t discount the buzz you’ll get from freedom and challenges of steering your own little ship.

      I’ll share a story about an old boss (and now a good friend) who left our bulge-bracket firm in his late-forties after nearly 20 years, 10 of those in a C-title role, to set up his own boutique providing the same service. In his senior role, he was known as a difficult personality – jaded, cynical and mostly just grumpy. But once he was on his own, it became clear that he rediscovered everything he used to love about the service we provided and that it was a huge renewal, a second lease of life for him. His shop is now nearly 10 years old and thriving, and he has become very wealthy as a result, but for me the most memorable part was the different guy I saw in that first year as a start-up, and how much fun and glee he had doing something he was great at.

    • I don’t have a lot of advice, but I feel for you. Work can be awful, even if you’re good at it, and sometimes the weight of it all seems impossible to bear. Being bored is torture. I’ve been there too. I wasn’t feeling challenged at work, so I started taking on freelance projects on the side (I’m a writer/editor). That really excited me and helped me gain new, wonderful experience and a sense of ownership over my work in a way I never had at the office. I seriously considered making the leap to full-time freelance, but realized I didn’t want to constantly be chasing new projects, many of which would pay very little, and working at a company would allow me to learn directly from mentors and peers, which is something I wanted at that point in my career. So the morale of the story is… I think you should find something that excites you and start moonlighting with it. Take small steps and see where it leads. Keep at it. With buying a house and planning a wedding, you probably won’t have much time for it now, but keep researching and compiling specific ideas that you want to begin once you have more time. Figure out some concrete steps you can take, whether it’s setting up informational interviews with business people you admire or working at a coffee shop to see how it runs from the inside. I wish you all the best! You deserve a more rewarding career.

    • I highly recommend Pam Slim’s book, “Escape from Cubicle Nation,” and her blog of the same name.
      Also, if you dream of running your own business, but don’t know what new product or service you would base that on, you might want to consider purchasing a franchise.

    • Everyone who took the time to reply – Thank you so much. I’m reading your responses as I begin yet another day at work with a slightly lighter heart already. I will explore all your advice. It’s might be a long road, but I will get there. Thanks so much again.

  10. Rural Juror :

    The partners in my practice group are SO disorganized and borderline negligent. More and more lately I find my job is comprised of fixing other people’s mistakes or desperately trying to keep some organization in a file and rein in an out of control partner. I am a junior associate but I feel like if I don’t fully manage a file and push it forward it won’t get done. I am very organized and I hate that I look sloppy by association. I often get calls from clients asking why something wasn’t done even when it had nothing to do with me. Other than sell out the partner “X was supposed to do this part of the file for you but didn’t” what can I do? Any any tips on how to manage generally? I feel like a babysitter.

    • Are you me? I’m in the exact same situation and I employ a method of “lovingly nagging”. So I’ll make sure I do everything I can i.e. drafting a letter, calling opposing counsel whatever, and then I’ll nag the partner until he follows up.

      It is SO frustrating and honestly, I feel like it’s a waste of my time but it is the only thing I can do to get things done and out the door.

      • Rural Juror :

        Glad (and sad) to hear that I’m not alone!

        • You’re definitely not alone. Agree on the “lovingly nagging” (aka managing up). Drafting emails for the boss to send, following up, checking the boss’s calendars to see how I can prepare for things that are coming up and when I might need to give reminders, etc.

    • Don’t forget that one of your jobs is to make your boss(es) look good. I work in a small firm, so I have one attorney who manages me, and he sounds exactly like what you’re describing. It can be frustrating at times because very little would happen without me and the two other associates in the office pushing it along, but that very fact makes us indispensable to him. I actually enjoy the responsibility I have.

      That having been said, I’ve spent many days being SO frustrated with the situation as well!

    • I knew an associate who would basically say – here’s the draft. If you don’t respond by X time, I will send it out. This approach should of course be used with caution, since some partners will (sheepishly) accept that this is their fault, others will chew you out if anything goes wrong.

      My personal approach is to push matters along. I treat myself as the case handler and only refer matters to the partner if it sufficiently crucial. Again, YMMV. I feel sufficiently experienced to do this now, but might not have dared to do this as a junior associate.

  11. What is the difference between presume and assume? I know what a legal presumption is, but I don’t think it really translates to the usual usage of the term presume.

    So, for example, how would you answer these questions if you don’t know the answer?

    “Is she coming to lunch?”
    “Is the immigration bill based on research?”
    “Are we going there after lunch?”

    • Just based on gut, I’d say:

      Presume, presume, assume

      Interesting question. Not sure if I know the difference!

    • An assumption has no factual basis, while a presumption has a probable basis. Therefore, if you were referring to a standard weekly lunch date in the first question, you might answer “I presume that she’s coming” if she always come to lunch or if you know that she’s a reliable person in general, as that is the basis of your presumption. If this is a one-off lunch with someone you don’t know well, you might say “I assume that she’s coming” because you expect her to come, but you have no probable basis to determine her reliability. The same reasoning would apply to the other questions (e.g. you know that other bills are usually based on research; you’re likely to go there after lunch because you’ve agreed to go or you often go).

    • Based on my gut feeling, I would say that I’d use presume when I was talking about making an assumption without any support. Legal presumptions are semi-fictions we put in place so we can move forward. An assumption, in my mind, is when you do the same thing but with underlying data. So you might say that a statistical model has certian assumptions. I guess in some ways it’s the same, but I see a very subtle difference (and I might be totally wrong about that). In colloquial speech, I think that presumptions usually connote a form of prejudice or ignorance, while an assumption may be more carefully thought through. (For example, presuming that the harried woman herding four small children into a store is an irresponsible single mother based on her children’s behavior and perhaps the woman’s appearance, but assuming that the four kids she’s shepherding are her own. The first is a judgement about her while the second is a deduction based on observation.)

    • Preg Anon – I have nothing to add about your question, but I just clicked over to your blog and I am in LOVE with that chevron cutting board. Also, that coral dress looks so great on you!

  12. Um, this dress is popping up in an ad on this page for me. I 10% think it’s really interesting and different and 90% think it’s about the most hideous thing I’ve ever seen.*60&gclid=CKr_5N25hLgCFcaj4AodMncA_w

    • Wow, I agree with your assessment. But it does look expensive, if that is what you’re going for.

    • It’s completely bizarre, but I can’t stop looking at it!

    • That’s really putting your privates on stage.

    • Is this what zora wears when she summons forth her dragons?

      • I was NOT going to look at it, then this descriptor was the deal breaker….I had to click through.

        • This.

        • Same here. And when I saw it – I’m not sure what I was expecting, but wow. Trying to think of any occasion when this might be suitable. And the back view photo looks like there’s a bustle underneath — would you have to buy it separately?

      • HA!! thanks for the shout-out, and also thank you for making me look. ;o) And YES, THIS IS WHAT I WEAR, with floor length red velvet cape OF COURSE.

    • Wow. Next time I have a wardrobe malfunction in the castle hallway, I’ll just grab the closest tapestry and go with this.

      • That dress almost looks like it has a Victorian bustle.

        I bet you can fit a sewing machine and mini design studio under such a poufball of a dress. LOL!

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t possibly wear that. . . it’s polyester!

    • I actually love it.

    • Wow, I love it ;-) Put it in my basket but (darn!) it’s polyester.

  13. Anon For This :

    I’m a junior lawyer in a litigation boutique and just came across a posting for a junior in-house position. I’m probably not the target audience but I feel like I should apply anyways. Thoughts?

    Feel like I need the wisdom of the hive to push me a little!

    • Is there any reason not to apply? If the worst thing that can happen is that they say no, just apply.

    • As long as the company isn’t a client of your firm, go for it. If the company IS a client of your firm, and you don’t want to burn any bridges, I wouldn’t apply without taking some diplomatic measures — those things have a way of making it back to the partners.

    • Anyway. And yes, you should apply if you want to be an in-house lawyer. Suggest doing some informational interviewing about it as not everyone is cut out for it. (The use of “anyways” makes you sound really junior, btw)

  14. To Jessica Glitter: Re: navy blazer…Brooks Brothers…and they are on sale for a limited time now. I love mine, wear it once a week, looks good with dress slacks or jeans, flattering cut, doesn’t wrinkle. Worth every penny.

  15. Why is it that banks can give you a million options for security questions, but none of them apply to you? Some examples:

    What is your spouse’s date of birth?
    Where did you meet your spouse?
    In what city was your wedding?
    What is your father’s middle name?
    What is your paternal grandmother’s maiden name?
    What is your paternal grandfather’s profession?

    So basically, if I’m single and was raised by a single mother – father never in the picture – I should just give up on having a mortgage. Or at least being able to pay it online. Don’t you know I chose cats and a career over love? Where are the questions about that???

    • Haha, one of my bank’s options is “in what city is your vacation home”?

      Right. You have access to my bank balance, bank. You can probably guess there is no vacation home in the picture.

      So i picked my hypothetical vacation home city :)

    • anon for this :

      Someday when you are an old lady like me, you will have to think “which spouse was I married to when I opened this account??”

    • I know what you mean. One of mine allowed me to make up my own security question. I chose a friend’s brothers middle name because it makes me laugh out loud every time the question comes up.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I also think a lot of these “security questions” are ridiculous because they’re very easy to find out by others, if they ever want to hack your account. If I remember right, that is how Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account was hacked during the 2008 campaign – some kid figured out the answers to her security questions, and especially when they’re things like “What’s your first child’s date of birth?” it’s really easy.

      • Yes, my husband has a fictional set of answers that he uses for these kinds of questions.

    • It's Just Me :

      Did you know that you can basically answer them all with whatever you want, as long as you remember what you said?

      Where did you meet your spouse? Paris
      In what city was your wedding? Paris
      What is your father’s middle name? Paris
      What is your paternal grandmother’s maiden name? Paris
      What is your paternal grandfather’s profession? Paris

      The bank does not know, or care if they are true, as long as you can answer the question when prompted. My teenager taught me this. I just have to remember what I picked for each site. Even the questions that ask dates will usually accept a word for the answer.

      (Note: Paris is not the real answer for any of those questions for me, nor is it the answer that I have provided on any site that I have used.)

    • Small Town Atty :

      Just insert “mother/maternal” for “father/paternal.” The bank won’t know! (Anon: I’d worry that I’d forget where my fake vacation home was).

      But yeah, that’s annoying.

    • So feel your pain: I’m a military brat and half the questions are about what street you grew up on/your high school/name of your elementary school, etc. Um, I lived in seven different places before going to college and attended more schools than I can count. Ugh to those questions.

      • YES! I have exactly the same issues! I basically have to choose one city to refer to and stick with it. But then I have to remember which city that was.

      • Another single military brat with the same problem!

      • Another military brat and I skip all those street names, schools, too. I moved every three years from the time I was born until my mid20s-I can’t remember that! Maybe they should ask what bases you remember?!

    • My mom and dad were preparing for settlement on a new house and called me laughing because a bunch of security question involved picking which of 4 streets my sisters or me lived on, our zip codes, etc. and since I’ve moved around a ton in the last few years they had no idea what to guess on the ones where mutiple possibilities came up. She said it took them an hour to bypass security. :)

    • Miss Behaved :

      I had one about my maid of honor’s name

    • One time, the only one that I thought would work for me was my mother’s maiden name. However, it is a common 3-letter surname and the question required at least a 4-letter name. Who makes up these rules?

    • My [least] favorites are the “What’s your favorite xyz?” Because apparently I think I’m very set in my ways, but I’m not AT ALL. I’m apparently very changing in my affections because my favorite sports team changes frequently (by season maybe – who knows). Also – when the sports team in question could have as many as five words in it and its all case sensitive – that’s really hard to know how you wrote it (also hard for elementary school, the hospital you were born in, etc.) Even AS a married person who lived a mostly settled childhood I STILL find those things difficult.

      Either my memory is bad or they secretly know things about us and give us ones we can’t possibly have easy answers to just to scr*w with us.

  16. Can we talk about birth control?What method do you use? Do you like it? Maybe relationship status and age?

    • I’m on Ceravette (not sure what it’s sold under stateside), it’s a minipill. I have lupus / DVT history so no combined pill for me. I’ve been on it about 8 months, haven’t had a period since which has been awesome. I’m 28 and in a committed relationship. Doctors here really push longterm methods but for me, the cons (ouch! possible long periods) outweigh the benefits.

    • anon for this :

      I am 25, single, and got Mirena last year. It was a rocky few months as my body adjusted, now I love it. It has no side effects that I have noticed, and I barely have any sort of period at all – I bleed enough to even use a tampon maybe one day every six weeks.

      • Late 20’s, in a relationship, no kids, also on Mirena. The insertion was pretty straightforward, but I had painful cramps over the next few days. I also had cramps (not horrible, but worse than I experienced pre-insertion) during my period for approximately 6 months. I’ve had it in almost a year and now have no cramps and very light periods (think pantyliners, not pads). I love it!

        I was concerned that not having kids might prevent me from getting Mirena, but my gyno assured me that she has tons of childless patients with Mirena and none of them have had any issues.

    • Currently 32 and TTC, but was on Alesse or Aviane for years and thought they were great. Went on Nuvaring for awhile and really liked it until my room mate who was also on it got a blood clot (she was a former smoker so I probably didn’t need to go off it, but it made me feel better to do so). Then I went on seasonique and didn’t get my period at all anymore so I had to go off BC to make sure I was okay and it would come back (it did) and after that I went back to Aviane until 6 months ago. Bottom line: don’t recommend seasonique because the worry about not getting my period wasn’t fun, but all the others worked well for me.

      • Curious about the rest of your experiences with Seasonique. I’m considering going on it and not having a period doesn’t scare me – did you experience any other side effects?

        • I did not have any side effects with Seasonique (other than the loss of my period when I was supposed to get it), but I almost never experience any sort of side effects from medication.

        • not the OP, but I’ve been on seasonique for six months or so and am about to bail. No problems with my period (in fact I love going three months in between), but the issue is my skin. I’ve always had very clear skin but on seasonique I get bad acne on my chin (according to my derm, this is almost certainly hormonal and due to the pill). My GP said the type of progestin used in seasonique has caused a lot of her patients to have acne issues. Of course, this varies a ton based on everyone’s individual chemistry, so seasonique could be perfect for you!

          As for me, I’m about to switch (back) to Orthocept, which I took for awhile before moving to Yasmin. On another note, I LOVED Yasmin and almost didn’t want to switch even with the whole blood clot issue.

        • That’s what I take. I love it. I get some minimal breakthrough bleeding once in a while (panty-liner or wear black underwear level) but that’s it, no other side effects. I have migraines that are linked to my period so fewer periods are a definite bonus for me.

    • I’ve been on a combo pill for 10+ years to treat cramps. Currently a generic Alesse (levonogestrel). Just started a relationship and found out my insurance company doesn’t cover my generic with no co-pay like Obamacare says it should (I’m not crazy happy about Obamacare but it should at least do this for me!). So I’m thinking of switching to the Mirena (completely covered). I’m hesitant to start a new method at the beginning of a new relationship though.

    • 30, dating, condoms. Plan B as a back up, babies as a third option. Nothing like saying, FYI if I get pregnant you’re going to be a dad to get a guy super into condoms

      • Yes! In my 30s, I didn’t want to do anything to impair my fertility, so I went off of the pill after being on it for 10+ years. I made way better decisions about partners and STD precautions as a result. Not my goal, but it does focus the mind (mine and partner’s).

      • Yes, it really does curb some of the male unearned privilege / entitlement mindset.

        The ones who think they can just waltz about bareback leaving you at risk for whatever complications from hormonal birth control, or discomfort from barrier or IUD methods, because they think their pleasure > your health are more common than you think.

        Also, more easily droppable than most people think. I say this as someone who, when I had the s*x talk with them learned about their attitudes and their resistance to condoms, and promptly dumped their possibly STD-laden @sses.

      • Married, 36, one child, condoms. Yup. I was on the pill for a long time, hated the side effects, but lived with them because I thought barrier methods were for teenagers and that men hated them. The I finally got a grip and decided my mental and physical health were more important than some hypothetical guy’s minutely diluted sensation. My husband and I have talked about more permanent BC methods, which we may try once we decide we are truly done having children. FWIW, he doesn’t mind condoms and we tried several before finding one we both really like (Bare).

    • 25, in a relationship, I use Seasonique (I think my generic is called Camrese) and love it. 4 periods a year is the best!

    • Calibrachoa :

      Single, 27, condoms. Because the hormonal contraceptives, for me, required a LOT of trust. and apparently turn me into a mad cow so if I am ever again in a serious relationship, it will be IUD time.

    • I am on Loestrin 24 Fe for about 5 years. Recently single and dating, also use condoms with a new guy. Periods are 2-3 days only and no other massive side effects. Though the cost comes to 60$ per month for past few months. Do any of you still get a coupon for loestrin that gives some discount? It was 24-30$ with the coupon. I am thinking of getting a generic due to the cost but don’t really want to switch because of unknown side effects.

      • I take their generic, and it’s been fine. Took the same pillnas you for 15 years and switched to generic 5years ago and no difference.

    • layered bob :

      26, married, copper IUD (Paraguard). I’ve had it for five years. I have slightly heavier periods but with a DivaCup it doesn’t really matter. It’s perfect for us.

    • I am 30, married, 3 kids and currently use the Mirena IUD. Between my first and second children, I used the copper Paraguard IUD for about 6 years. I like the Mirena better, because my periods are very light, almost non-existent. They were very, very heavy with the copper IUD. I will most likely get another Mirena in 2.5 years when this one is up.

    • another anon :

      33, married, spouse has a vasectomy, and it is the BEST.

    • Cornellian :

      26, dating someone seriously, but not engaged.

      I have been using NuvaRing since it became available (8 years or so). I’ve gone on and off a few times when I’ve been abroad and it’s too expensive/hard to get.

      It’s amazing, but 80 ish a month :(

    • 35, no kids…and so far “being gay” has been very effective. :)

      I actually was on the pill for a while for migraine reasons, and kinda miss the nicer skin and ability to skip my period, but figure it’s better not to stay on as I”m older and risk of blood clots raises, since I don’t REALLY need it.

    • 31, married, no kids, not TTC. I’ve been off BC for about a year after being on a combined pill for over a decade, and then a very unpleasant stint on NuvaRing, which did not like me. We have LGPs very infrequently due to us both working long hours at high stress jobs, so my interest is very low and the logistics finding a free hour when neither of us is tired and/or stressed out is very challenging. He does not like the reduced sensation of c0nd0ms, but generally supports my decision to go off BC. I bought a pack of the lambskin ones we’ve yet to try, thinking maybe those will be better than the kind we all used in college. Is there another brand you ladies recommend? Price is not a concern.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t mind Trojan Ultra Thins (or whatever they are called – the thinnest Trojans).

        Also, I believe if you are throwing garden parties, and aren’t using any form of protection, you are TTC. Just saying.

        • Anonymous :

          Other nonhormonal alternatives – the female condom, non hormonal IUD, tracking your cycle/FAM, diaphragm, even withdrawal (though that’s only like, 75% effective).

  17. Anon for this - question re litigation careers :

    Regular poster going anon. I’m a 4th year biglaw patent lit associate. Over the past few months, I’ve come to realize that I really don’t want to make partner. I do generally like my work but can’t see myself doing what the senior associates/partners do. The problem: I don’t have a science background and am not that senior (so I can’t go in-house b/c most of the positions I’ve seen require 8+ years of experience w/ a technical degree) and don’t want to move to DC (where I’ve seen quite a few gov’t positions dealing with IP issues). I’d also like to change practice areas to where my skills are more easily transferable (read: L&E) but have never done L&E before and our L&E practice is mostly concentrated in a different office.

    My preference would be to go in-house in some sort of discovery/ediscovery counsel position and/or change my practice area but really don’t know how to go about doing those things.

    Any advice from the Hive?

    • Have you started going to L&E CLEs? It will give you a flavor for the practice (n.b., has to be #1 on my list for clients with emergency 11th hour work, which seems to be a growth area in a bad economy). If you go to a local one with live presenters, you may get a sense of who has a good practice in your area and strick up conversations with people you could talk with over coffee or have informational interviews with. It’s also an area where you could go in-house with a larger local employer. Good luck!

    • I’m in a similar boat – mid level associate, big law, patent lit associate, no science background. Unlike you, however, I really disliked the work that I was doing and recently transitioned to another practice group (general commercial lit). It is possible, even as a mid level, provided that you have a pretty good reputation at the firm and the partners seem to be willing to take you on. Have you talked to anyone about switching to L&E? Even if it is another office, can you work from your office with the partners in the other office? This seems a bit more doable in Big Law than in a smaller firm, where actually being in the same office seems more important .

      Re: discovery position, are you talking about becoming a staff attorney? My sense is that once you go that route you get pigeonholed doing only that kind of work and it’s hard to go on and do much else. Have also heard that the work is mind numbingly boring (constant doc review, etc.). Just something to think about.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe look into administrative judge-type positions at the new USPTO satellite offices, if any of those locations are more appealing to you than DC? I think I heard that they were going to be hiring for those types of positions, but I don’t know what the timeline was.

    • It may be easier for you to be an in-house IP lawyer than to switch areas. Think copyright, trademark, etc in addition to patent and on the corporate side. In CA/bay area there are a lot ofnroles in-house where any kind of IP background is useful. Every litigator is aiming fornyhose discovery jobs and youd have to start over to do LE in-house, they also like more senior lawyers. You have a skill that is valuable, round it out a little more rather than chuck it.

  18. Labor Pains :

    Are there any recommendations for things you read or did that helped prepare you for pain mangement during labor? Pretty set on getting the meds, but wondering if anyone did or read something that helped them psychologically with coping techniques that were useful. We did the hospital class, which was helpful, just have that nagging feeling of not feeling prepared. Thanks in advance!

    • goldribbons :

      2 books have been recommended on here (no personal experience): “The Thinking Woman’s Guide To A Better Birth” and “Natural Hospital Birth: The Best of Both Worlds”. Maybe flip through them if you have some time (or read the free preview on Amazon)? Good luck!!!

    • I’ve only just started reading it, but a friend who did a drug-free labor recommended “The Birth Partner.” It’s actually designed for doulas or the person accompanying you into labor, but I am finding it extremely helpful for just understanding the different stages of labour and things you can do to mitigate pain/be prepared for what’s going to happen. Caveat is that I knew almost nothing when I started the book, so it may not be as useful for you.

    • If you are reading this site it is because you have been super-prepared for everything else in your life and want to be for this, too.

      However, as my lovely young doctor told me when I asked what my “plan” should be before first baby – “You can have a plan, I can have a plan, but the baby will have its own plan and that’s the one that counts.” He said his only advice was “take all the drugs they’ll give you!” lol. At the hospital later the nurses said he came up to the desk when his wife was in labour and told them the same thing for her.

      Then, both my babies came early. The first too fast for me to have any medication and the second too early for them to give me anything because he was so early they were worried about suppressing his lung function. Turned out awesome both times. It is a bit of a surreal experience, honestly, but you can TOTALLY do it! I would bet you’ve done everything else in your life beautifully and this will be no different. It’s hard physical work while it lasts, no doubt, but was different each time for me. Your body knows what it’s doing, you’re emotionally and intellectually able to cope with tougher challenges than this and you’ll have amazing committed hospital staff and probably SO to cheer you on. There is a certain element of going with the flow to labour. Going with the flow isn’t the thing that most C-r e t t e s do best, but afterwards you may well embrace that experience as adding greatly to your perspective on life – not to mention the amazing feeling when they hand you that baby.

      I’m sure this isn’t much comfort but I feel excited for you and hope you will let us know when this beautiful baby arrives! Congratulations!

      • This is my plan (at the moment anyway – I’m still barely out of the first trimester). I figure, if my body knows how to actually make a small human, it will also know how to get it out. Plus, women have been doing it for how many thousands of years?

        As a result, my intention is to practice breathing techniques and learn a lot more about pranayama and meditation.

        Not to say I won’t take medication if it becomes medically necessary, but I figure I can do this thing.

    • One thing that helped me was remembering that labor is a deliberate process with a beginning, a middle and an end and then you get your baby. So even though it felt like it it would go on forever, there is a stopping point. Even with an epidural, I still felt a good bit of pressure and had more sensation than expected when we got to the pushing stage.
      I think having your partner know a little bit of what to expect helps. My husband didn’t take anything I said personally. We were also told in class that you may fall asleep between contractions and to let that happen. So when that happened, he just let me rest. Little things like that make it bearable.

    • Depending on how long you have before your due date, you could consider a Bradley/Lamaze class. I only made it to 1 of 6 before my baby arrived early, but the class practiced relaxation and breathing techniques. You could consider hiring a doula to know that you have a backup support person in addition to your SO. That might help you feel more prepared. It’s also good to be somewhat familiar with the various options for relief, such as different positions, walking, warm bath, massage, etc. You may want to work your way through the list when you’re in labor to find what works for you.

    • goirishkj :

      Read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. The first big chunk is all birth stories written by women who have had home births. It is a bit on the hippie side, but it really made me excited about birth and made me believe that I could produce a baby human without lots of interventions. I have a bunch of other health issues but my pregnancy went fairly smoothly so my thought was to just let my body do its thing as long as that worked. My goal was to have as few interventions (including meds) as possible.

      That said, when it came time for Baby to arrive, my water broke with no labor. I ended up with pitocin and eventually with an epidural after being awake for 47 hours. It is great to be prepared and have a plan, but don’t be tied to it. The reward at the end is a healthy baby and it doesn’t matter how you get there. Labor can be a funny beast and you don’t really know what will happen until you are in the midst of it.

  19. To the person at work who stole or threw out my coffee creamer: RAWR!!!!!!

  20. Famouscait :

    Are any of you out there serious hiker/backpackers? I’m an enthusiastic intermediate-level trekker, but am considering doing an 80-mile long trail over the course of 7-8 days at the end of July. And by considering, I mean I am the one convincing my hubby that we should try it! The longest we’ve ever done before was 25 miles over 3.5 days.

    I’d love to hear from someone about how you feel after 5+ days on the trail? How do you keep your energy up?

    • Are you going to be doing this with a group or by yourself? And will you be carrying your pack the whole trip? I think these are two huge factors to consider re keeping your energy up!

    • I haven’t done that in a really long time (like, at least a decade), but some arguments would be:

      – you won’t need to carry anything more for 7-8 days than you would for 3-4 days, other than extra food, and if it is dehydrated it really doesn’t weigh that much
      – after 2 or 3 days you are only just getting into a routine! 7-8 days will allow you to actually enjoy it.
      – lots of people do 2-3 days; by doing a longer trip you will be going further afield and you will get to see things that most people never do. Even if you are tired, it will be totally worth it.

      In terms of keeping energy up, if you are sleeping well, staying hydrated and eating regularly, you should be fine. Just be sure not to go at a pace that is too much for you, and maybe plan for a couple of days when you don’t have to put in a full day of walking, especially if you will have to deal with major changes in elevation.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the biggest consideration will have to be carrying extra food. Sometimes its hard to make sure you are eating ENOUGH calories when you are hiking like that. I lost a ton of weight on a trip to alaska because dehydrated meals don’t have a huge amount of calories (unless you are eating MREs). So keep your pack light and stick to hiking 10 miles a day. I would train physically beforehand, like increase running/lifting weights/getting your core strength up.

    • SoCalAtty :

      Yes! After a day or two…or three…I feel really good. The first 2 days are always rough for me, even when I have trained. Hike your own hike, don’t get rushed and wear yourself out, and pack plenty of stuff for blisters and maybe a more serious first aid kit. My week long kit includes anti-clot and and epi-pen.

      Check out the Backpacker website, too – it has some really great resources!

  21. To the cooler ladies out there, what does one wear to a rock concert nowadays? It’s been years and while I’m not old I have no idea what is expected. Small-ish indie venue in NYC if it matters. TVMIA!

    • Plan on shoes that you can stand in for a while on a hard floor (possibly concret,sticky, and/or sloped).

    • I’m not saying I’m cool, mind you, but my husband is a musician in NYC, so lots of experience with small indie venues. These are my pointers:

      * I second mascot’s advice. Comfy shoes are a must. Cute & comfy is great, but sacrifice cute if that’s what you have.
      * If it’s a standing venue, you want your hands free to hold a drink, and you don’t want a big bag bumping into everyone.
      * Not all venues have A/C.

      For summer concerts, I generally wear either a casual dress and wedge sandals, or jeans, cute top, and wedge sandals.

    • When I used to be a little bit cool, I liked converse for this type of small indie concert (lots of those concrete floors mascot mentioned, plus a high chance of people stepping on your feet or spilling beer on the floor).

  22. I posted this last night and it was recommended I post it again today so that I might receive more feedback. Thanks!
    Hi! This is my first time posting after finding the site when researching interview attire for my first interview after 15yrs of staying home. Now I have the job and I’m struggling with what to wear everyday. My last position in sales was 20yrs ago as a pharmaceutical rep. My current position is a distributor rep for a flooring manufacturer. I have the largest accounts in my market and I need to dress more professionally when calling on them. I also handle display updates which leaves me drenched in perspiration some days! They are heavy, dusty, with ragged edges, etc. I bought a few pantsuits, but in St. Louis in the summer the jacket is really just a prop. I’ve seen a couple of other female reps (fairly rare) who are 15-20 years my junior and they often dress in cute summer skirts with short sleeved tops and bare legs or lightweight pants and a cute top. I read here about tops that are great to wear under a jacket, but I need tops that are appropriate for wearing without a jacket. Like many 50 somethings I’m not crazy about bearing my arms and my legs, but I guess I’ll just need to get over it. So any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (FYI: I’m typically a size 2-4 petite, but wear a 34 C-D bra, so that affects the tops that are flattering as well) Thanks!

    • A couple of places that I have gotten cute short-sleeve/ three quarter sleeve tops (some of which work with suits too): Talbots, Macys, Stein-Mart, Nordstroms, Ann Taylor. You’ll probably have to spend some time trying them on to figure out what flatters you and works for your job.

    • Hi from St. Louis! I’m always looking for professional looking tops with sleeves because of the summer weather here. Just got back from a lunch run and feel like I need a shower. I’ve had some luck at Nordstrom – West County more so than Galleria.

    • I’ve had the best luck at Banana Republic for those types of shirts.

    • based on what you said about button-front shirts in the other thread, I would recommend looking for knit-fabric tops that have details that make them more ‘dressy’ looking than just a regular tshirt? I’ve got a few shirts that are knit/jersey material, but have a faux wrap front, or a cowl neck, or somthing else that makes them look dressy. And like Olivia Pope said yesterday, I got many of them from really nice thrift shops so I didn’t pay full price. :o)

      If I can find some examples, I’ll post links.

      • Yes! Things like this:

      • or this:

      • I think I actually have this one in a different pattern.–tops-blouses

      • And I’m not finding any right now, but I own a couple of tops like this with half-length or 3/4 length sleeves, so you don’t necessarily have to expose your arms.

        The key I think is to look for breatheable fabrics (for the heat) plus interesting detail. Hope you can find some!

  23. nice cube :

    DH is a first year patent lit biglaw associate and works around the clock. like several all-nighters a month and works every weekend. he has amazing exposure and opportunities, he has taken depos and will likely 2nd chair soon, for example. the problem is that he hasnt learned how to balance work and play yet. he has been putting everything (eating, sleeping, health, me) on the back burner to get his work done. he seems to have a ‘power through it’ mentality, but it is just not sustainable, because there is no end in sight. he pulls these hours alongside partners. i know it will take time to learn how to balance his life, but what are some tips that you seasoned ‘r e t t e s can help me pass along.

    • He’s a first year. He has no work life balance. If he doesn’t want it, and isn’t pushing for it, then you can’t make him have it. The best you can probably do is to keep the responsibilities at home at a minimum for him so that when he does have time, he can spend it with out.

      For your balance – make sure you keep having a life, even if he can’t be involved with a lot it. Make sure you have hobbies and friends and don’t put your life on hold too much waiting for him to be available to do things.

    • There is no balance. It sounds like he does trial work. Those are brutal. There’s no other way to do them than round the clock. Also, it’s not going to stop any time soon. For the next ten years, it’s only going to increase. There will be a time, when he’s about 4-7 years in, where he’ll have more control over his schedule, but won’t be quite gunning for partner yet, where he might still work more, but on a predictable schedule. So, for example, you might actually be able to plan to go away for the weekend (and he’ll still probably have to put in a few hours at the hotel while you’re away) and get to go. But he needs way more seniority to be able to do that, and even then he could have to cancel at the last minute.

      It sounds like you two need to sit down and have a talk. Does he have his heart set on making partner and doing this as his career? If so, are you okay with this lifestyle? I know lots of couples where they really are okay with it. The big law person works all. the. time. and the other spouse has a much less demanding job (or doesn’t work) and takes care of the home and kids. This spouse also has lots of friends and hobbies and is okay with a marriage where they only have dinner together once or twice a week and almost never get a full weekend together.

      If that’s not the marriage you want, you need to tell him and tell him what you do need. If he was home for dinner most nights but then put in another two hours of work before bed, would that be okay? What if he had a job where he only had to work one weekend out of every three or four? Or do you want a marriage where you both have 9-5 jobs and have every evening and weekend together? All of these are totally legit wants/needs, but it’s possible that what you need and what he can provide aren’t compatible. Would he be okay with cutting back on work (by getting a different kind of job – he isn’t in a position right now to keep the job he has and “cut back”) and missing out on the opportunities he’s getting?

      Or is it that he doesn’t want to make partner, but really wants to have the full experience of what he’s doing now before moving on to a job with a slower pace? If that’s the case, can you live with things the way they are for two years? Three years? Four years?

      You both need to be completely honest with what you expect from your marriage and your careers. It sounds like you don’t have kids (yet). If you plan to have kids, how do those expectations change?

      • This, by the way, is why I hate, hate, hate all the discussions with people just starting out about “work/life balance” or “pushing back.” It’s b.s. If you want work/life balance, get a job where everyone goes home at 5:00pm. Will it be a job in big law/i-banking/the c-suite? No. But you’ll have more time for “life.” Telling big law associates about work/life balance just creates unhappiness. End rant.

        • Co-signed. This comes with the territory. His hours sound a little outrageous if it’s been like that all year (I am usually in the office 10 hrs/day, plus an hour or two of work at home at night, plus 4-5 hours from home on the weekend — on a light week, I am still in the office 10 hrs/day, and if we’re in crunch time, those hours ALL get extended). BUT that could mean that he is known for being a good associate — the old saying about “a pie eating contest where the prize is more pie”- yeah. Anyway, he doesn’t have a lot of say in whether he can “play” or not at this point, to the extent you ever really can in biglaw.

          FWIW, I find it very hard to get into “play” mood on the weekend if I know I’m only delaying the inevitable need to turn documents, so that may be part of it — if you think “oh you say you have only a few hours of work to do, let’s spend Sunday at the beach and then he can work when we get home at 4” he may just be spending the day dreading what’s waiting at home, even when it’s not urgent.

        • I disagree completely. Biglaw is never going to be a 9-5 job but there is a HUGE difference between a strict 40-hour work with no nights and weekends EVER and the job he has right now, which sounds like it is upwards of 100-hours a week with regular all-nighters. I know lots of people in big law (including litigation) who work 70-hours a week or so on average. Many people would not consider that work-life balance. But compared to what he has now it sounds very balanced. Just because nobody in big law is ever going to have a 40-hour a week job doesn’t mean you can’t talk about work-life balance.

          • I understand what you’re saying but by the time I got to 70 hours weeks, I was so burnt out from the 100 weeks that I eventually bailed for a 40 hour a week gov’t job because that is what it took for me personally to actually have some balance and control over my time.

          • I realize that there are varying degrees of work in big law (3,500 hrs is much different from 2,000) but I don’t think it’s helpful for anyone to talk to first year associates about work/life balance. When I was a junior associate, our firm had people come and talk to us about it, but they only suggested things that the firm would never want us to do. For example, saying it’s okay to push back and say you have too much work. I’ve never seen that go over well. Or saying you have to set boundaries. No partner is going to be impressed with a first year who sets “boundaries.” I’ve seen some try, and the partners always complained about them behind their backs. The associate who went home at 7:00 to have an hour with his baby before the baby went to bed, but then worked 8:00-11:00? Partner complained about him.

            It’s much kinder to just admit that a junior associate is pretty much going to have to work on someone else’s schedule. All the talk in big firms about work/life balance just makes everyone unhappy.

          • new york associate :

            I tell junior associates to just embrace the first two years at a firm. Just give up on work life balance and do good work. (Lean in!) The flip side is that by the time you hit third year, you’ve put yourself in a much better position to draw boundaries, delegate work down, or otherwise carve out some time for yourself. Junior associates are investing in their long-term careers. If you can just embrace that, so much the better.

            Also, not all firms are the same. I’m at a firm that makes serious demands on associates, but also is filled with reasonable, professional, collegial partners who don’t want to kill anyone.

    • big dipper :

      I agree with TBK – you need to discuss with him what you want from the relationship and what you want your future to look like.

      I also think it sounds like he might not be making the best use of the little time he does have free. When one (or both) people in the relationship are busy, you really have to focus on scheduling things when he knows he’ll be free, and being spontaneous and hanging out when he randomly has time open up.

      My only practical advice for dealing with the current problem is you both may need to readjust your expectations for the way you spend your time together also. For example, if you used to eat dinner together during the week, you’re probably upset because you never eat together anymore. And he probably doesn’t attempt to reschedule that time because he in his mind dinner has become a work thing. But you could get up with him before he goes to work and eat breakfast together to fit that time in (my SO and I do this).

      Instead of thinking about it like “we don’t do the things we used to” I found it more helpful to think about what we can do with our new schedules. So while day trips on weekends are out in case he needs to run into the office, you could check out local tourist attractions (museums, etc) so that if he has to run into the office, he has the capability to do so.

    • I disagree that it will necessarily get worse over the next 10 years. If he’s determined to make partner that may be true (at least at some firms). But I also think that once you have earned a reputation as a smart, hard working employee (which it sounds like he has) it is a little easier to carve out more of a work life balance for yourself. If a brand new associate says they need to do something with their family and will work late into the night to make up for it, many people will generally look somewhat askance at it (unless it something extremely important like the wedding or funeral of an immediate family member). Once you’ve been there a year, have proven yourself, and are valued, its very different. You also get a better sense of when something is really a crisis and needs an all nighter versus when things can wait a little bit. I’m not saying the work necessary lightens, but you do get more flexibility and it is easier to say “I’m unavailable from 6 to 9 pm because I have a family commitment but I will be back online at 9 pm.” Will he ever have a life free from regular evening and weekend work? No. (If he stays in this job). Will he ever be able to go a full day without checking email, even on vacation? No. But will he have more control of his schedule and be able to carve out his own time more easily as he gets more senior? Most likely yes. I know many litigation associates (myself included) whose work life balance got better after the first year or even the first sixth months.

      Also, even now he needs to make time for his health (which includes sleeping, eating and taking care of himself when he gets sick). This job is not more important than his health. There are lots of other jobs out there (in other firms and lots of non-firm jobs). He only has one life. I’ve said this before and some people have criticized it but in a law firm you really only get as much work-life balance as you take. If you are willing to work 120 hours every week and push yourself to the brink of death, people will accept it happily. If you carve out time for sleeping and eating and occassionally even seeing your spouse and only work 90 (gasp!) hours a week but do good, high-quality work most people will be very satisfied with you. I’m not talking of course about saying “I only work 90 hours each week and then I stop no matter what” – there will of course be weeks when he has to work more. But if he wants the balance he will have to take it by adjusting expectations about how much he will work on average.

  24. nice cube :

    thank you all so much, this is very helpful and please keep the comments coming.
    balacing all of this out has also been difficult for me. when he is at work, i feel bad going out and having fun. i do lots of stuff with my friends and for myself, but i feel bad about it. i also spend a lot of time taking care of things at home, despite having a full time, demanding (gov, not law) career, and feel weird about fulfilling traditional gender roles. when he is working, i pour a lot of myself into thinking about him and his well-being and that has been taxing on me, i just dont know how to let go.

    • Why do you feel weird about the gender roles? Pick the household tasks that you like/are good at without regard to what was done in some 50s sitcom. I like to cook, grocery shop, and I am better about doing the bills, house/child laundry and making appts. My husband enjoys doing the yard/fix-it tasks and all things service/mechanical. We both will clean, but are happier outsourcing that task. We are both evenly responsible for child and pet care. It’s ok to have roles like that if it works for your family. If you want to outsource it all, go for it.

    • When i was a first year with crazy hours my bf took care of everything at home. Our life got much better when he stopped expecting me to be home for dinner and I stopped thinkiing I could make it.

      Reality is that whoever can be home (even if it’s working from home at nights after the market closes), gets to do laundry since the home at 2am, wake up at 6am person is running on fumes.

    • I would definitely not feel bad about going out and having fun when he’s at work. At any given night at 9:00pm, he might rather be out with you than working, but in general, from the way you describe it, it sounds like he’s doing what he wants to do. But I’d be honest with him about the effect his job has on you. Even saying “It’s hard for me when you’re working this hard because I worry about you, even if you’re doing what you want to do, it’s stressful for me.” Or “I’m worried about what it might mean for the dynamics in our relationship if we’re falling into gender stereotypes.” Or even “I know I work less than you do, but I do work full time and so I’d like to hire someone to come clean for us every other week.” Or you’d like to send out the laundry, or have groceries delivered, or whatever other outsourcing you can do.

    • Honestly? During my time in Biglaw, I witness two marriage models that worked:

      1. Both husband and wife in Biglaw or other high-paying job and hire help for cleaning, childcare if applicable, etc.

      2. One spouse in Biglaw, other spouse had no job or normal 9-5 job (at the most) and did *everything* else at home.

      Your description of your job indicates that you fall into #2. If you are not ok with that you probably need to become ok with it if your marriage is going to make it. Part of me wonders how you did not see this coming?? I didn’t have any lawyers in my family or broader social circle but I sure knew what the lifestyle of a high paid lawyer would be like, if only conceptually.

      Good luck.

      • Having a conceptual idea of what the biglaw lifestyle will be and then actually living and truly appreciating it are two very different things. I lateralled into biglaw and even though I knew it would be tough, I didn’t really get it until I was well into my time there. And, I truly didn’t appreciate the toll that it would take on me, my husband or our relationship until those effects were smacking us in the face. One year out of biglaw, and I am still trying to unravel and understand the experience (I was at my firm for four years).

        For nice cube: I agree that it is time to talk to your SO about what you both want from your careers, whether he wants to make partner or how long he plans on staying at the firm. Once I had an “end date,” it made life much easier for my husband and me. In the meantime, take care of yourself, have fun and take care of your relationship.