Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Sleeveless Wrap Top

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

This sleeveless wrap top from Ann Taylor, which is an online exclusive, comes in dark ruby and black in regular and petite sizes. The black version has all of the sizes in stock, while the ruby is selling out quickly. It reminds me of MM.LaFleur’s Fey Top — but for much less. It only has a couple of reviews, but they’re very positive. The top is $44.50 full price, but be on the lookout for sales. Sleeveless Wrap Top

Talbots has a plus-size option.

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


  1. Anonymous :

    I always found the quality of Ann Taylor to be subpart. The clothes are fashionable but after a few washes, they look done. I spent $30 for a t-shirt at Ann Taylor and it did not last. The $5 t-shirt in the crafts section at Walmart lasts better.

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t had problems with quality there…but they’re a store where I love stuff in the dressing room and then hate it when I get home. I don’t shop there often.

    • Anonymous :

      I found I actually like the selection (and prices) better at the AT Factory store

    • Travel pillow :

      Does anyone have a travel pillow they love? I have a long neck and the usual pillows I can find don’t do a very good job of holding my head well. Has anyone found other alternatives?

      • You probably meant to post a new comment, but I had to answer here as the best neck pillow for tall necks I’ve ever had is linked below. It is soft but pretty firm too, so provides great support:

      • I recently purchased and love this one

    • I think the quality has gone down in the last decade, but the quality of their clothing is about what I expect, at its SALE price. Would I spend $50 on an AT shirt expecting $50 quality? No. But I would spend $30 on the same shirt at its sale price, which happens about once a month.

    • Hmm, lately it’s been one of the stores I actually think is making better quality stuff.

      • I used to think that, too. But I’ve had a few shirts and sweaters washed on a delicate cycle and laid flat to dry (per their instructions) completely fall apart. I’m running out of places to shop.

    • Beware relying on reviews. I find that my positive reviews are posted, and my not so positive reviews never show up.

  2. I am desperately in need of new tops that can be worn under suit jackets. My criteria are:

    * No super-high necks
    * Comes in extra-small (and runs smaller in the bust – I am not well-endowed)
    * Not sleeveless
    * Does not need to be tucked in (that is, somewhat fitted, not too long)
    * Under, or at least not too far over, $50
    * Not orange or orange-y (red head here)

    The above top would be ideal, if it weren’t sleeveless. My go-tos are usually light-weight sweaters/knits, but I can’t seem to find them lately, at least, not ones I’m not swimming in. Nicer tees that are fitted would work well, too, but they all seem too long to wear untucked lately. Anyone seen anything good?

    • Anonymous :

      Get the tees hemmed to hit at the hip for you, if you like how they fit otherwise. That’s probably the easiest.

      Most of what’s out there now is probably sleeveless (due to the season). I bet you start seeing more sleeves as we move into fall (though fall stuff may be out already?)

    • Anonymous :

      • not the OP but this is a great top. Thanks!

        • That is a fantastic top and I just bought it in Champagne–thanks for the link. I really really hope the top works!

      • These types of tops are perfect. Basically “nice tshirts” that fit nicely under suits and are comfortable, and depending on the exact top, can often be tucked in a s well.

    • cat socks :

      I would suggest Macy’s. I think on their site you can filter by sleeve-length.

    • I would try Macy’s. There’s a lot of stuff that won’t work but I’m finding a few, particularly Calvin Klein that I think would. I’ll post some links separately.

    • Anonymous :|40.0%26SIZE%3D%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D8244%26ruleId%3D133%7CBOOST%20ATTRIBUTE%7CBOOST%20SAVED%20SET%26searchPass%3DmatchNone%26slotId%3D38

    • Women here have linked to the DKNY ruched top at Macy’s and I think that would fall into your category. I ordered it but they sent me the wrong color so I returned it – loved the fit though. There are sleeved versions.

      • These are more expensive, but have you tried any of the shells at Of Mercer or the silk-blend tops at Boden?

        • Anonymous :

          Now that I’ve seen the Handmaid’s Tale, I can’t read “Of Mercer” without thinking it’s really evil.

    • Check out White House Black Market, they have a bunch of options that would fit your requirements I think.

  3. Review Time :

    Hi All. I’m coming up on review time at my office, and I think it is time to have a hard look at my compensation. I’d like to see more of an increase than my typical raise. I am a senior patent associate (7 years out) in a general practice firm of about 35 attorneys. The IP department is a partner/boss and 3 associates, of which I am the most senior. We’re in a medium-sized city, and our firm is fairly large and well-respected for our area (city and state). I now bill about 1500 hours a year since cutting back after having a child. Full-time at my firm is considered 1800 hours. I would be willing to consider increasing my hours up to 1650 if necessary to justify a larger increase.

    My question is if anyone has any thoughts on salary for this situation – both in a full time and part time position. Thanks in advance, and happy to provide more information if needed.

    • Check Robert Half surveys for your city. Also check The Lawyer Whisperer archives — it’s a blog and she gives excellent advice.

      Are you partner track? Have you had that conversation? Because most small or mid-sized firms, even if they like you, aren’t going to stumble over themselves to give you a big raise if you’re not killing yourself, and it sounds like you don’t want to kill yourself (which is fine!). Such is the nature of the beast. Also, are you prepared to leave if they say, “we don’t see a future for you as partner?” I would really consider the ramifications, but also, I would want to know either way.

      • We’ve had the conversation, and the delay at this point is mine based on some major non-work related life changes in the past few years. Maybe it is time to revisit the issue.

    • I am in a similar situation though I am a partner, and bill out over 7200 hours a year, so by comparison, you seem like a part-timer to me. But billeing aside, you should have a frank talk with your manageing partner to see if you can rectify your value add preposition. Cutting back on hours is NOT the way to get a salary increase, however. You need to be like me, and if you become a billing machine, you will easily get a salary increase. Good luck to you! YAY!!!

    • I don’t know how you argue for a larger than average raise if you are working less than the hours target, unless you are bringing in business or doing something else to offset your costs. Sorry.

      • This.

        If your hours are less than average, then your client generation or collection numbers need to be above average to justify any kind of above average raise.

      • BabyAssociate :

        I understood OP to mean that she had prenegotiated working 3/4 time or something like that. If that’s not the case, then I agree. If your hours are that below the expectation, then I don’t think an above average raise is a reasonable request.

      • These are fair comments. My primary issue is that last year I received fairly large quarterly bonuses consistent with the income I generated. My firm is fairly transparent. Going to another comment, I know exactly what goes into my ‘account’ or ‘fund’ based on what I bill. This year, despite billing more than at this time in 2017, the bonuses have dropped off with zero explanation. So maybe my issue is less with a raise but understanding what the issue is there. I’m perplexed by my overall compensation in 2018 as compared to 2017, and it’s becoming a distraction and issue. This is combined with my boss making off-handed comments about how I am 2/3 or 70% time when I am nearly 85% has me concerned that I’m not being given enough credit. And (being confident and not obnoxious), I really am a very good, profitable employee and have taken on increasing responsibility with important clients over the last year.

        • I would focus on this aspect:

          This year, despite billing more than at this time in 2017, the bonuses have dropped off with zero explanation.

        • Anonymous :

          I am not full time, and my firm struggles with how to pay me since I also generate work for others. Try comparing the total for your total hours charged for your own work plus the credit for work generated for others to your prior year totals.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have access to your collection numbers? I’d start there and then look at your multipler (collections divided by salary+bonus). My experience is that 2.5 to 3 is a typical multiplier for law firm associates, or maybe lower if the associate does a lot of nonbillable work at the partner’s request. Depending on your relationship with your partner and the other partners, you may be able to get access to overhead numbers (both direct and indirect to you), which can be enlightening when considering what is fair associate compensation. Keep in mind that they want to and should be “making money on you” at this point–you likely “cost” them money when you were a more junior associate.

    • Are you part time? Officially? If you’re just not meeting your hours you’re lucky to get any raise.

    • Do you have any clients you’ve brought in? Hours matter, but clients matter more. If so, focus on that (even if you haven’t originated a new client, do companies routinely ask for you to handle their work?). Going forward, if you want to make more, I think you need to go back to full time (maybe even at a different firm as this one might always mommy track you now) and if you really want leverage, get some clients. Start networking more and make it rain.

  4. Calling all with Curly Hair :

    My hair is naturally curly, and I have recently started wearing it curly to work. It looks best when I wash or wet it in the morning and let it air dry, but that often means that my hair is damp for the first hour or two of work. Do you ever go to work with damp hair?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I do, but it’s in a bun and not too noticeable.

      • +1 If I wash my hair in the morning then I’m rocking a still-wet bun at work. I don’t heat style ever. My hair is straight and super fine, it just can’t stand up to heat on a regular basis.

    • Every day. My hair can’t do hairdryers. However, I have absolutely perfect hair once it dries (I get compliments on the regular). Since I have my own office, not that many people see me in the mornings anyway. I think you should embrace the curls–my hair generally looks great by 10am.

      If I have a _really_ important client meeting, I will blow-dry. But otherwise, even in the dead of winter, I don’t.

      • same, including that I go to work with it damp and it dries in my office. obviously would not go to a client meeting with wet hair but it’s been fine generally.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Same. Also, my commute is enough time that I blast lukewarm air on high and it acts as a diffuser.

    • Anonymous :

      I have curly hair and I never blow dry or straighten it. I wash it at night and sleep on it.

      • +1 My hair takes long enough to dry that I wash it at night. In the morning I may have to fix things here and there where curls got squashed overnight, but I prefer that to damp hair at work.

    • anon a mouse :

      I do, but I often will use a blowdryer with a diffuser for 3-5 minutes just to help things along and get the heavy dampness out. Cuts the total air drying time from ~2 hours to maybe 45 minutes.

      Are you using a microfiber hair towel to soak up excess water too? That makes a big difference as well.

      • Horse Crazy :

        Same. 2 minutes of the diffuser helps my curly hair a lot – it dries it without contributing to the frizz.

    • Yes, in the summer. IDGAF. I can’t partially dry it because the humidity would make it insane, and I don’t wash my hair at night because my hair usually never looks good that way. In the winter, I dry it since it’s too cold (for me) to leave the house with wet hair.

    • Yup. At my desk now with damp hair (I just walked in the door) – it’ll finish drying here shortly. In the mornings on my commute, I turn the air vents toward my hair and scrunch to help it along. Heat in the winter, cold in the summer – hair turns out fine either way.

    • I don’t think it matters unless your hair is dripping. Can you use a diffuser to blast the ends for 10 minutes to cut drying time and get rid of any errant drops?

    • I don’t think damp hair is that noticeable unless you have blonde or other light colored hair.

    • Yep, my hair is almost always damp when I start work. Was that way when I was in BigLaw and now in the government. If I had a big meeting or court appearance, I would either get up earlier so it would have dried (most likely) or would blow-dry it.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah. If it isn’t far enough along to be presentable I do a messy bun until I get to my office, and then let it finish drying.

    • I always go to work with wet hair; heat on my curls ruins them. If you’re not comfortable doing that, wash at night and tie up your hair before bed using the plopping method. YouTube has good tutorial videos.

  5. On the subject of MMLF lookalikes, if anyone can find a top like the Peggy top I would be immensely appreciative!

  6. Anonymous :

    Besides wearing comfortable commute shoes and keeping dressy shoes in the office, what are other tips for looking dressed up for work when you have a long and crowded subway commute?

    • Wear a t-shirt or other casual top to sweat in during the commute, then change into the nicer top at work.

    • I leave my suit jackets or other topper at work (or at least not wear it) so I don’t get so hot in the summer.

      • This is what I do. Shoes and jackets live under my desk. A friend leaves whole suits at work and just commutes in whatever. She gets in early enough that it doesn’t seem to matter.

  7. Elegant Giraffe :

    I have an employee who is 36 weeks pregnant. She was planning to work till she went into labor. She was admitted to the hospital Monday night for an issue unrelated to pregnancy. I’ve texted with her husband a couple of times since then. I don’t know details, but she is scheduled for surgery this morning. Obviously I’m concerned for her and want whatever is best for her and baby. I don’t really know anything about pregnancy…I’m guessing I should assume at this point she is not returning to work until after maternity leave? I’ve just been taking things day by day at work, but I need to start offloading her assignments.

    • I’m sure she’ll give you a call when she can…

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Oh I’m sure she will too. I just need to start planning and of course don’t want to bother her/her husband right now.

    • Don’t assume anything. If it’s unrelated to pregnancy there’s a good chance she’ll be back at work fairly soon. She potentially has 6 weeks of pregnancy left, so it’s a pretty long time frame.

    • Any surgery she’s having at 36 weeks pregnant rather than in 4 weeks time after she’s delivered must be very urgent and serious. I would expect that she will be told to take it easy until her due date (if she’s allowed to go all the way to her due date. Maybe text the husband asking “Do you have any sense of whether [employee] will return to work before her scheduled mat leave? Absolutely no pressure to return, but knowing will be helpful to me to be able to organize her work.”

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Thanks this is exactly what I needed.

      • No this is stupid. Just stupid. Talk to HR. Talk to your lawyer.

        • +1,000 why are you asking strangers on the internet! You need to talk to HR which knows your policies and procedures, etc., and presumably has been notified of the situation.

          • Elegant Giraffe :

            OK I hear you on talking to HR to see if they have policies around this. That makes sense.

            But no, HR has not already been notified of the current situation. (They certainly know about her plans for maternity leave.) An employee has been absent for four days – her manager knows and is fine with it – no balls are being dropped. I promise you, my HR would not care nor do anything about this. Why would HR need to be notified? (I work in a somewhat dysfunctional workplace. I’m not disagreeing with you. Just genuinely curious what HR might do about this in another office.)

          • That’s fair! I jumped to the conclusion that she wasn’t able to use PTO for some unknown reason. My bad!

          • Anonymous :

            HR needs to be notified so you don’t cause problems for your company by texting the husband of a woman in hospital to inquire about her maternity leave plans. It’s disturbing you don’t get this.

          • Anonymous :

            Definitely notify HR! At the very least, they might have no guidance and you can pursue your own plan of action without concern. They might also have specific guidance that should be followed.

        • This isn’t stupid in certain office environments. My closest HR person is a 3.5 hour plane ride away. We are a close knit office of 40. If something like this happened to me, someone would absolutely text my husband to check in on me and to ask something just like what was proposed. I have to imagine if OP is already texting her husband, than this script is acceptable.

          I’ve also worked for offices where HR would be my first and last stop because of culture and/or the subject sick colleague. Not all office environments are similar, so this is not “stupid” advice, but should be considered in context.

      • I work in a small firm without an HR department and without written leave policies and procedures, and this is what would happen in my firm. So if you have other resources at your firm who can figure this out, then definitely ask them first rather than the internet.

      • If she is having surgery today, DON’T TEXT HER HUSBAND TODAY. Seriously, he has enough on his mind without dealing with her work.

        After the weekend (i.e. a few days after surgery), I would follow up with the husband and ask how she is doing. Then, this language is fine.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          Yes – I would wait till Sunday afternoon/evening at the earliest :) I understand that her work is at the very bottom of their priority list right now – as it should be.

          • Anonymous :

            What is wrong with you? Do your job. Manage your work. Text no ones husband on a Sunday.

          • Elegant Giraffe :

            Nothing is wrong with me, but your comment isn’t very helpful. Husband has been initiating texting with me this week which I am happy to engage in. My office has a pretty friendly and casual culture. I know I didn’t post every single detail, but please don’t assume that I’m an idiot.

          • Different Anon :

            Then let him initiate!! If you want to be casual and send a text saying you hope she is well, fine, but don’t ask about her maternity leave plans via her husband via text on a Sunday night!

          • Anonymous :

            I would wait till Monday afternoon at the very earliest. Give them a few days to recover from the surgery

    • Don’t assume anything. Deal with the work that needs to be done now.

      • I agree with this. If you need to shift projects, do it. This is a stressful time for employee…and even if she does come back (which I actually would assume until you hear otherwise), she’ll be recovering at a time when her body already feels the worst and will be worried about how her health issues are affecting her unborn baby. She’ll likely just be coming back to finish up a few things and get her bigger projects in order for her maternity leave. I would start shifting work with immediate deadlines, but if you can wait on some stuff, do that. She might have 2-4 weeks where she’d really like to get in some less stressful billable work.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Yes, this. Transfer things that need to happen immediately, sit on things that can wait for a little while, and be pleasantly surprised if she can come back to work for a short period of time before maternity leave.

      • Frozen Peach :


  8. My partner’s father died right in front of us on Monday. We were helping him move into a new apartment when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. I am really struggling right now. I feel traumatized and distraught about the entire thing, but I feel I have nowhere to go for support and am not being extended flexible treatment at work because it wasn’t my parent. Everyone’s focus is on my partner (and rightly so, because it was her father), but it’s hard because I feel I am also in grief and yet I am expected to work full days and get home and cook dinner and really make everything easy for her. Meanwhile I am really having a hard time and feel I can’t express that to her or anyone else. Just venting really.

    • I am so, so, sorry. I can’t imagine how hard that must have been. Of course you’re grieving and of course you feel overwhelmed. Do you have any friends who are *your* friends (not couple friends) that you can get coffee with or otherwise lean on a bit?

    • Can you just take a couple days off? Do you have the vacation? I think most people would understand that watching another person die in front of you is distressing, especially if it is the parent of someone you love. I see why your employer might not be able to give you bereavement leave but hopefully no one would have a problem with you taking a couple vacation days or even advancing you the vacation if you don’t currently have it but would in a month.

    • anon a mouse :

      I am so sorry for your loss. Can you take a few days off at work at all? Even if you don’t qualify for FMLA, this is the time to use vacation days.

      Also, reach out to your support system ASAP. Do you have a friend who can help organize support for you? Let it be known that you are having a rough time and could use some help. Meals, laundry, etc. It’s so so hard and this is what your friends are for.

    • I am so so sorry this happened and for you and your partner’s loss.

      Does your employer have an EAP? Reach out to them and see if they offer a few introductory therapy sessions for free (some do). I think it would be worthwhile for you to have an unaffected party to talk to about your feelings in this situation.

    • Oh god I’m so sorry. Can you take a vacation day? A long weekend?
      Definitely ask your doctor about a therapist. I started having panic attacks after 2 people close to me died within a couple months of each other. I wasn’t there when it happened but I can imagine the pain and anxiety you’re feeling.

    • Nope you are absolutely entitled to grieve and be traumatized and just be, even as the people around you, including your partner, are going through their own pain. You should take time off from work if you can. And this weekend, I think if you need your own time, at least for a little bit, try to get away. Even talking with one of your friends or family would be helpful. You can be supportive of your partner and at the same time, need to process in your own way — watching someone go through that is a heartbreaking and painful experience. I am sorry, *hugs.

    • This is awful; I’m so sorry. I echo taking time off of work. I think this would be a completely legitimate use of sick time if you don’t have vacation time, also.

      Is there a friend or family member (of yours) that you can vent to? I think sometimes when someone around us has a tragedy that affects them more than us we can feel like we don’t “deserve” support because they need it more. I like the circle theory (I think Carolyn Hax talks about it) that you can dump out of the circle. So I hope you can find your person one step out of the circle and talk to them about it.


    • I am sorry for your loss. It’s not an easy position to be in with the narrow definitions of family in the USA. A friend of mine lost her mother in law in January, and she said it was hard for others to understand the depth of her grief. On top of being a DIL, she had known the woman since she was a high school student because she was close friends with her wife when they were students. Your feelings are valid, whatever they may be.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • I’m so sorry for your and partner’s loss. I hope you are able to take at least a few days off that you can grieve. Are there any friends or family from your side to whom you can talk?

      I’ll be keeping you and your partner in my thoughts.

    • Betterandbetter :

      My wife and I just went through this without the added trauma of witnessing the event. Her Dad died unexpextedly of a heart attack. We flew across the country, spent two weeks with my MIL and then came back to an insect infestation. It was AWFUL. Both my wife and I having therapists has been really helpful and its not too soon to make moves to get that in place if you can face it. Bereavement takes a long time. With respect to expectations just make them as low as possible for awhile even yourself. I did see it as my responsibility to make sure my wife and MIL ate and drank water but I was okay with that being a PB and J or a couple of hard boiled eggs. The only cleaning I saw as non negotiable for bereavement calls was the bathroom, everything else may or may not get done. I was supportive of her but also whined to my best friend and my mother who I know will tolerate and not judge me for my venting. Is there anyone like that? Someone who feels like your person if you get what I mean? If you put up a burner email I am happy to be a sound board too. Thinking of you and your partner.

    • Senior Attorney :

      No, no. You are NOT expected to work full days at work. When my FIL died unexpectedly some years ago (well, as unexpectedly as can be, given that he was about to turn 95) my then-husband was out of town and I had to go sit with the body and wait for the coroner. I was about to start a short bench trial. Like, it was going to start in an hour. I called the court and told them what happened, and everybody including opposing counsel was fine about re-scheduling. And even if they hadn’t been fine, things happen and bereavement is a Very Big Deal and nobody expects life to go on as usual.

      So. If I could do that, you can take a day or two off. And plus a million to the circle theory and finding somebody besides your partner to talk to.

      And I am so so sorry, both for your loss and for the trauma. Big hugs!

      • +1 sorry that happened to you but thanks for sharing. This is a really useful story because can you imagine if the Court or opposing counsel had not been accommodating? I’m just imagining the affirmation is write to vacate any default. It would be really clear that both were being unreasonable, as is the ops employer. Take care of yourself op. Hugs.

    • Super-big hugs.

      People don’t talk about this much, but if you’re not a doctor or of that ilk, witnessing death can be really traumatic, even in the best of circumstances, which this was not.

      If your work has an EAP, reach out to find a therapist. Otherwise, vent with a best friend who is not your partner. It’s not at all inconceivable that you’d need support and need to process this too.

      If your work is being beastly, do what you can and leave when you have to. If you need to take a coffee break during the day to pull yourself together or breathe, do that. If you need to take an unscheduled PTO day, do that.

      If you are trying to hold it together and keep things normal, I give you permission to acknowledge this is not a normal time. Order take-out–you don’t have to cook. it’s OK to cry. It’s OK to seek help from someone other than your partner. It’s OK for you to process this differently than your partner. Grief is complex and doesn’t manifest itself in the same ways in everyone. You do you. Support your partner the best you can. It’s OK to let your partner know this is a difficult time for you too. Even if your partner knows, objectively, that it was her dad, she also knows you cared about him and you care about her. Again, big hugs and be gentle on yourself here. This is a hard time. Good luck.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m so so sorry. Can you go home right now and not be at work? You’re entitled to grieve as well. You don’t need to cook, either. Of course you should support your partner as much as you can, but also recognize that this is a traumatic and sad time for you too.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Affirming that this is big and scary and sad and that the feelings you’re describing are well within what I would expect someone to be going through. I think you can congratulate yourself on a first step here by reaching out to people who are not your partner/her support system, but are just here for you. I encourage you to think about how you can do the same offline — text high school friends, something like that?

      I agree with the advice to take a few days of vacation day if you can.

      I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • This is an awful thing to have witnessed. I am so sorry that happened to you.
      You need to take time to process what happened and get some help for your feelings of shock and loss. Your partner does need a lot of support but you cannot take care of her if you don’t take care of yourself. I would explore taking unpaid leave if you don’t have vacation time.
      I am really, really sorry. My thoughts are with you, and your partner.

  9. And Peggy :

    This is super pretty, I think I need to get this!

  10. running shorts :

    I bought a couple pairs of running-type shorts for me and for my daughter. They come with underwear-type things sewn in (like men’s swimming trunks, which makes sense for a men’s swimming garment). Is this typical? For a girl changing for gym at school, I don’t think she’s feel comfortable taking off her underwear though. Is there a term for just plain sporty-shorts for next time? TBH, I bought the shorts (from Brooks) mainly b/c they had pockets and not b/c they will be used for running (more just to have athletic shorts vs summer “clothing” shorts).

    Clothes are so activity-specific now and getting complicated :(

    • AnotherAnon :

      I think this is pretty typical now but of course she can still wear her underwear underneath the shorts, which is what I do if I’m just wearing them on the weekend.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Those shorts are pretty common for running. I would suggest you buy her some athletic shorts somewhere like Target where they are less likely to have bells and whistles.

    • Yes, this is typical. Soem people find that regular underwear chafes/gets soaked during workouts and they prefer to not wear it. You can cut out the lining if you want. Or you can wear underwear as you normally would and leave the lining intact.
      Have you looked at Target?

    • Anonymous :

      This is the norm. I still wear underwear under them because I don’t want to wash them after every use.

    • Yes, that’s standard for running shorts and they’re typically worn without underwear. The liner is made of a quick-drying fabric that helps avoid chafing, UTIs, etc. by wicking away moisture. You might be able to find unlined shorts at Target, maybe? I think Umbros are often unlined…

    • Get soccer shorts next time. They will be what you are looking for in terms of more like old fashioned gym shorts.

    • Anonymous :

      I feel for your daughter and don’t have any specific help with that issue … being an adolescent is hard!

      To more broadly address your question, though, yes, it’s typical and it makes them very comfortable in my experience! They dry faster and better and there are few layers (no undies) to get twisted or bunched up. I don’t wear underwear with any of my workout clothes–yoga pants, running pants, running shorts, tennis skirts, etc.

    • these are in most women’s running shorts (including when i was in HS in the late 90’s/early 00’s. No one takes their under = wear off. Just wear the shorts over. :)

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Oh man. I’m getting flashbacks to my high-school volleyball team – we got hand-me-down uniforms from the boys’ soccer team that had briefs sewn in. We were so grossed out.

        • This is weird — if women’s soccer shorts / umbros are unlined why would these be? And EWWW!

          And yes, we had handme downs in high school in tennis, for sweatpants and sweatshirts (or more, we shared uniforms since our seasons were different and the sweatshirts just said “X School Tennis” on them.

          I guess wrestlers and football and softball lucked out. And basketball shared a season so I guess they had their own uniforms, too.

          • Anonymous :

            I had several pairs of women’s soccer shorts with underwear-type lining growing up. I usually cut them out. I don’t think it’s considered weird to have underwear lining in some of the higher end soccer gear, at least is wasn’t in the early 00’s.

    • Yup, that’s normal for running shorts. Your daughter may end up liking the attached underwear better since they stay in place and remove some bulk–she can always duck into the bathroom or a shower stall in the locker room to change, if she’s more modest.

      Or she can cut out the underwear piece if she’d rather wear her usual underwear underneath them. Plenty of girls do that.

      And FWIW, this was a thing back when I was in high school and just starting to run, so like, 2002. This is and has long been a standard feature of running shorts–it’s not really complicated and activity-specific, so much as, you bought shorts marketed for a specific activity from a brand specializing in that activity (vs. say, Nike or Adidas, which are much more sport-general; Brooks only does running), and they include a feature standard for that activity.

    • Yes, this is typical of running shorts. I don’t think soccer shorts have sewn in undergarments, but I am no 100% sure. Worth a look.

      • Although this makes no sense to me b/c soccer is like 90% running (so wouldn’t you have the same needs / issues as when you are doing 100% running)? Or does the stop/start nature of soccer let you dry a bit more?

        And all sports pretty much make you sweat if done right.

        • anon @ 10:01 :

          It doesn’t make sense to me either especially not only because of the running part but because in soccer, you are more likely to be horizontal to the ground at some point and able to see up the shorts than you are running! Maybe I am a weirdo, but I care less about someone seeing up my shorts when I have my built in running briefs on than if I were to wear plain shorts with my regular drawers (t h o n g).

          • Yeah, I don’t think serious athletes GAF if people can see see up their shorts for half a second while they’re playing.

    • Running shorts have always had a built-in liner. It is very common to wear underwear under the liner.

    • if she doesn’t want to use the liner – you can cut it out. definitely a running thing.

      she can double up – underwear + the lining without issues. but sometimes it’s a little much depending on your activity.

      if you’re buying shorts online – especially on running websites – you want to make sure they’re UNlined.

    • I run half marathons and always just wear underwear.

    • I just cut the liners out.

      And confession, men’s shorts actually fit me better than women’s, so all summer long, my athletic shorts have actually been 6″ men’s swim trunks from Columbia, which yep, came with liners that I promptly removed. (Thigh gap has never been in my lexicon. So the extra, um, room in that area offered in men’s is perfect for me!)

    • running shorts :

      My daughter has been wearing these shorts from elementary to high school. She always wears underwear, and really liked that the liner covered her underwear when she was younger. My nieces do not wear underwear and many of my daughters friends do not either. I run in the shorts with liners, always wear underwear and it never feels bulky. So, two great options are available!

    • I cut them out, those liners never fit me right.

    • If I’m actually running or doing a heavy workout in those type of shorts, I don’t wear underwear, but if I’m wearing them as athleisure, I do so I don’t have to wash them again right away.

    • I like the liners, but I always wear underwear too. Running shorts are so short, and the liners make sure that I’m not accidently flashing someone my underwear when stretching since the leg openings are generally pretty big. Honestly, I thought that is what they were for – I didn’t realize that some people didn’t wear underwear under running shorts until this moment.

  11. Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I love Fruegel Friday’s in the Summer b/c the manageing partner is not here and he has authorized me to buy stuff advertised on Fruegel Fridays w/o his approval! I love Ann Taylor, so I will be ordering these tops as soon as when I get home! YAY!!!!!!!

  12. Anon from Yesterday on Career Struggles :

    I’m the OP from yesterday wondering about my career, feeling kind of lost, and partnership. I read every comment and appreciated every single one of them- they were so thoughtful and honestly just having people say I hear you, I have been you, and how you feel is totally normal made me feel a lot better.

    As many of you noted, there’s a lot of emotions wrapped up in this.

    I feel like a lot of how I feel is wrapped up in my identity as a woman, because I tend to feel that the stressors of my job aren’t taken as seriously as if I were a man, and the expectations of my job aren’t taken as seriously because I am a woman. I often feel conflicted in that people think I am high achieving, and also expect me to be high achieving, yet if I ever say ‘this is hard’ I feel like it falls on deaf ears. I sometimes wonder, if my accomplishments and work ethic hasn’t proved that when I say something is hard, it must be hard, WHEN will people appreciate that and take my concerns seriously? Hard thoughts.

    To be honest I was never the law student who was “I have to make partner” I thought I’d be at a big firm for 2 years then move in house. Yet here I am, and sometimes I think that’s the reason why I’m here- I never really glamorized this life and always saw it for what it was. I do need to think more of ‘how will this be once I make partner”.

    My dream would be to work 75% time or something like that (which I do think is possible at my firm) so that I can have an identity outside of this job. I do have other hobbies (including exercise), but I would love to have more time to do them, or to just relax and not feel go go go 100% of the time. It might be worthwhile for me to consider if I’m not a partner, then what should I do – I actually think I might leave law altogether and do something more business-y if that were the case.

    Sometimes I worry my expectations from life are too high.

    • I worry about these sorts of things, too (mostly that my expectations of adult life are too high). I also was never particularly gunning for partner and probably would have considered some sort of 75-80% role at my previous firm to have been ideal, but they were not open to it and I was told I was not on the path to partnership. :( I hear you on the pressure to achieve and to make it look effortless. I had a falling out with an older woman friend who seemed unable to understand why younger women would choose to step off the path (she went to law school later in life, so this was not coming from the perspective of someone who had made it).

      Anyway, I don’t have an answer for you, but I wanted you to know you’re not the only one feeling lost.

    • I know people go nuts recommending therapy here, but I really do think you could benefit from talking to someone about your complaints of “this is hard” falling on deaf ears and your worry that your expectations of life are too high. Not because you’re broken and need therapy to fix you, but because dedicating time to unpacking those thoughts and feelings would be good for anyone.

      If you think moving to an 80% schedule is possible at your firm, I think you should pursue it. If the cost of that if not getting partner in 2 years (or ever) then so be it. I’m at the stage in my career where my peers are beginning to make partner – they killed themselves for 6 years to “get there” without realizing that getting there meant continuing to kill themselves for the foreseeable future. It’s made me seriously rethink whether partnership is the prize we make it out to be.

      • +1 to the first paragraph for sure. I lived under the burden of high expectations for myself for a LONG time and it was incredibly detrimental to me from a mental health perspective. I realize that slightly different than high expectations of life, but I think they go together.

        I was in therapy for a whole host of things, but it’s absolutely one of the things we worked through and I am SO MUCH happier now. I am not perfect about it, but it’s only focused on one area of my life currently and is getting better with additional work.

      • I don’t know where I heard this, but I think it’s accurate to making partner – “becoming partner is like winning a pie eating contest where the grand prize is… just more pie.”

    • I think it’s worth asking yourself what you’re hoping people will do when you say “this is hard.” When I say something like “this is hard,” it’s the equivalent of me screaming, I CAN’T DO THIS ANYMORE SOMEONE PLEASE HELP ME. Yet because I”m so competent, and because I’m speaking mostly calmly, no one has a way of recognizing that I’m yelling for help. And then I wonder why I keep saying things that nobody ever hears. Truth is, even though I was falling apart on the inside, I said it calmly, twice, to two different people. There’s no way they could have picked up on how terribly upset I actually was. If this is you, then you’re going to have to escalate what you’re saying and where you’re saying it.

      • +1 I went through a very dark period at a very toxic firm. When people asked me how I was doing I told them calmly that I was really struggling. They nodded and the conversation ended. One day I came home from work and had a total meltdown when I saw my boss’ number show up on my call display. I trashed the kitchen while screaming like a wounded animal and then locked myself in the bedroom sobbing uncontrollably for 30 minutes. My husband was completely shocked and felt like he’d had no warning that things were that bad. Unfortunately, in our line of work the ability to manage (read: suppress) our emotions is a valuable skill but it’s definitely not helpful when you’re trying to put people on notice that you are struggling emotionally.

      • I suspect that is me. Most people’s first comment about me is that I seem composed and have my act together (when I was younger, it was ‘you’re so mature’ but I guess I now act my age! haha). Or they don’t see anything objectively wrong with me, physically, or I just don’t look like I’m falling apart but I feel like I am on the inside sometimes. I wish people would just come and say “you’ve been working hard, take a break” but it never seems to happen, it’s always ‘we want you to do xyz, or come visit more, or do this, or live here, or why do you do X activity so much, listen to ME complain, etc.” I hate having to tell people “hey, I am struggling here, I need an ear for 20 minutes” because well, in my family, that was often a way to get a ‘suck it up’ comment which just made me feel worse.

        Emotions are hard.

        • Anonymous :

          No one will ever do this. Ever. That is not reality.

          • Anonymous :

            +1,000,000 You need to reset your expectations of others and start asking for what you need. No one can read your mind and it’s your responsibility to take care of your needs.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Yeah this sounds like a place where you could really benefit from therapy. Just to have a paid expert listen to you talk and help you think about what matters to you and how to get it.

          A thing that I find problematic is this idea that whatever is fine “until it impacts your life.” Like “you don’t need to worry about that depression until it impacts your life.” And on the one hand, I get why that’s the litmus test, but on the other hand, for people who have a ton of practice keeping up appearances, sometimes sh*t has to get REALLY bad before it “impacts your life” in the way people mean; job performance slips, you stop washing your hair, whatever. Like the 11:58 poster, I can keep skating along until it’s really really a problem. So I’ve started to tell myself “until it impacts your life” includes “until it makes things much harder than they should be.” I wish that had been my test for getting help for PPD, instead of waiting until I shattered.

    • You are definitely not alone. I’m in a similar point in life — 1-2 years out from partnership if it were to happen and if not, a pretty good chance of staying at my current firm in a counsel role indefinitely. I have all the feelings about potentially not making partner, which is something I thought I wanted. Everything in life feels overwhelming and hard. There are seemingly lots of big decisions that will change my life in big ways all happening now and, basically, it sucks.

      My solace is that the last time I felt like this was as junior associate transitioning to being a mid-level at the same time I was getting engaged/married. I was miserable, but I got through it. Work seemed impossibly hard. The expectations seemed insurmountable, and the risk of failure enormous. Life was overwhelming.

      I think sometimes taking the next step is just hard and it doesn’t feel great in the process. This time seems scarier because of my age, late 30s, and I think I might in fact be closing doors in my career. But once I get to the other side, I’m hoping it will feel better because it did last time. I’m doing my best to remind myself that I am good at my job, I do have marketable skills, if I really don’t want to do this job or can’t for some reason, I can find another job that I will be good at and enjoy.

  13. Weight Watchers :

    Thank you for the various posters who recommended WW. I signed up today and am excited for better eating. My weight is actually fine, but my eating doesn’t feel good for my body. (Lots of sugar and junk) Other than emily bites, if anyone has other recipe sites to suggest, please let me know!

    • Skinnytaste

    • anon a mouse :

      Skinnytaste has great recipes and she publishes the WW points values for them.

    • Skinnytaste!! Every recipe she has is delicious!

      Welcome aboard! Be sure to check out connect – so inspiring!

    • WW site itself has some good recipes. Skinnytaste is great though.

      Also, just try putting in some recipes you currently use and look at WW for lower point ingredients to reduce points. They have lots of suggestions for food swaps. Like if you make muffins with yoghurt – use a non-fat plain unsweetened greek yoghurt instead.

      I found tweaking the recipes I currently used to be the most sustainable way to do WW.

    • The recipes are great (I adore EmilyBites), but what I find most helpful is following a handful of random instragram accounts of ‘average joes’ who photo-blog their weight watchers journeys. Search hashtags like #ww, #weightwatchers, #smartpoints, #wwamabssador, etc. I look for people who post a lot of their meals, which give me ideas about what to make at home for those more on-the-fly, everyday meals. Some of the posters have amassed such a following that they are probably low-grade ‘influencers’ and get free stuff from, like, Halo Top or Western Bagel, but even those accounts are great for ideas. Best of luck!

    • One thing that I’ve found useful, rather than cooking from a recipe, is to just layer flavors that I like in a bowl. You can start with a base of a grain (brown rice or barley or farro) or not, then layer vegetables (tomatoes, avocado, blanched asparagus, green beans, sweet corn, peas – whatever you like), chunks or grilled or sauteed chicken, a sprinkle of blue cheese or feta, then a splash of balsamic vinegar over it. It’s great for summer, you can switch up the veggies, cheese, etc. and I don’t have to do any actual cooking when I come home tired and hungry from the gym.

  14. How can women managers set a better example for the women who report to them? I’m a junior partner in a satellite biglaw office. There are a handful of women partners in my office. We all love shoes and wear heels every day. I was chatting with an associate’s husband at a recent firm event. The associate is 7 months pregnant with twins. Her husband mentioned offhand the pregnancy’s been great except that she “has” to wear heels every day. I was shocked. None of us ever intended for heels to be a dress code requirement, and certainly not when you’re pregnant! I told her husband she can absolutely wear flats. They went home right after so I didn’t get a chance to pull her aside. I wore flats to the office for the next week, though, and she picked up on it and has been wearing flats every day since then.

    I feel terrible about this whole thing. I assume this is only the tip of the iceberg; there must be other areas where I’m unintentionally sending the wrong message to women. Any tips or resources on how to improve?

    • I’m sorry But this just speaks to how insecure women are and how affected they are by each other’s judgment and you can’t change that unless you plan to raise tour associates mom style. I’ve always worn what I’ve worn even in biglaw (perfectly appropriate suits but I’m sure not the coolest styles and $50 department store shoes bc I hate shoe shopping) and I know women partners have looked me up and down for not having $900 shoes and the right back. Eh? Hasn’t held me back so far. Thank goodness I didn’t go into a female dominated specialty bc the judgment never ends with those harpies.

      • Yeah, I’d say this falls well outside the Things You’re Responsible For As A Female Manager. That’s plainly just that woman’s insecurities that she really, truly believes that she MUST wear high heels in order to (what? get ahead? be taken seriously?). I wear what I wear because it’s what I feel comfortable and appropriate in. I’m southern and have lots of client contact, so I wear a LOT more color than many people would be comfortable with. The female partners here wear slacks and flats in neutral tones – it doesn’t mean I need to dress the same to be successful.

      • if a grown pregnant woman doesn’t know that she doesn’t have to wear heels to keep up with her co-workers… SMH

      • You are painting women with a broad brush. I have had the pleasure of working with many supportive women. Let’s not get into this nonsense where we decide women are judgmental but men are just a pleasure.

    • Keep doing what you’re doing. You did a great job of dealing with this situation.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I think it’s great that you care about setting a better example for women who report to you, but in this particular instance I think this is a her problem, not a you problem. Presumably your office has a defined dress code that she is aware of? When I see other women wearing heels at work, I assume they’re wearing them because they want to, not because they “have to.” I work with a couple of fantastic female partners who, like you, just like wearing heels. But I’m confident that don’t intend it as a subliminal message to the rest of us that we should also be wearing heels.

    • Honestly, I don’t think its your responsibility to indicate what every item of acceptable clothing is to all the women in your office. You wear what you like because you like it. If she really thought at 7 months pregnant that she can’t wear flats to the office, then she’s the one that has issues. That’s the rule in pretty much every office, you’re heavily pregnant, you get a pass on many parts of the dress code. Honestly, I’d rethink whether or not this associate can properly read an environment if she put herself in pain over flats at 7 mths pregnant.

      • I don’t think less of her for this at all. She doesn’t have any good work/life balance mentors really (I’m so not a good candidate for that – I’m close to 800/year in client development and about 2300 billable). Only one of the women partners has kids and they’re in their 20s. This associate will be the only woman attorney with small children. If anything, now I’m concerned that she’ll burn herself out trying to prove that she takes her job seriously and isn’t checked out or mommy tracked. At the same time, though, I’m not going to pass over her for demanding cases, she needs the experience too.

        • I’ve had twins and a singleton. One baby is hard. Two babies at the same time? Hard AF. Whole other ballgame.

          Biggest thing you can do is cut her a break when she is back if she is not performing at 100%. Judge her on her performance over the last few years and know that she’ll be back up to top performance as soon as she can.

          I was off for a full year and had DH at home full time when I came back to work. My work in the first year back was below my usual standards. But since then I’ve really turned things around and meet if not exceed previous performance.

      • This pile-on is so weird, especially here. Every time someone asks for advice on what to buy for a new job, there’s a symphony of comments saying “take your cues from what people in your office are wearing.” It’s not crazy that women are taking their cues from people they want to emulate.

    • Anon Associate :

      I am one of those baby associates that takes cues from female partners. Except the partners in my group DO actually expect us to wear heels every day. One saw me at the coffee machine in flats at 6:30 yesterday and said “those are commuting shoes, right? Oh good, just checking!”

      I think another cue that’s meaningful from my perspective is partners leaving at reasonable times in the day and working from home. This is something that the female partners in my group do very well. It doesn’t mean I try to copy them (I leave at 8 every day, they leave at 6/6:30), but it’s nice to know that I can do that some day, and if I ever need to work remotely, how to communicate that and convey that I’m still available. Also, the office is just less stressful when the partner you’re reporting to isn’t in the office. We have glass offices and my neighboring associates all agree that it’s less tense when the partners across from us aren’t in the office. We still do work and are productive, but we can breathe a bit more.

      This also isn’t gender specific but a PSA I wish I could give to all partners: please do not talk about associates on speaker phone. Even if positive, the absence of positive comments about other associates spreads and the associate gossip vine is crazy because everyone is insecure about job security in biglaw.

    • On some level I agree that people need to be strong and make their own choices, but I also think that most people look to their leaders to set the tone for work and to model the culture. If you dress up every day and wear heels, your associates are going to do that too. How many times do we say “know your office” around here. This extends to things like start and end times, flexibility, vacations, how people talk to each other, etc. If you are doing anything inconsistent regularly from what you want the norm to be, you need to model the kind of behavior you want to be the norm.

    • This story makes me so glad I am in Silicon Valley/Boston and our techish clients are cool with us being that much more casual. I love to rock a great pair of heels and look amazing, but I am cool wearing my metroish sneaks at work too. And no one cares.

    • This is very interesting to me and something I think about and feel conflicted about a lot. I hate heels. They hurt my feet. Anyone who says they are comfortable is lying in my book. But. I really do feel like they elevate an outfit (no pun intended), plus I’m short so I feel a bit more professional in them. I agree that women *should* feel confident to wear what they want, but if every.single.woman (or at least every woman at your level or higher) in the office wears heels, it sure seems like a signal that it’s an expectation. Kudos to setting an example for your employee.

      I feel the same way about make up. Because one woman wears it, we all feel like we have to wear it.

    • I can’t comment just on the shoe issue, but it sounds like this associate (and maybe other associates in the office) doesn’t feel like they have a more senior person who they can chat casually with about life/work/etc. I wonder if either having lunch with her occasionally or seeing if she wants to go with you on your coffee run every couple of weeks (or even just chatting casually when you have a meeting for a few minutes – you know, ask after the family – that sort of thing).

      If she didn’t feel comfortable asking about whether she could wear flats when pregnant, that is somewhat a her issue, but it also suggests that she feels like she can’t show normal human emotions/weakness at work for whatever reason. So maybe by just bridging that gap of sort of casual conversation, you can encourage her and other direct reports to assume that they can talk to you about things without it having to always be a Big Deal sort of thing. I mean, obviously don’t overdo it, you’re still just colleagues, but this sounds to me like maybe it’s just a workplace where she feels a bit isolated socially so she’s worried about things that she doesn’t really need to be worrying about.

      • This is why I make an effort to talk to my female subordinates about these things. I had no female friends or family in professional work environments, and I spent way too much energy stressing about the small stuff that probably comes naturally to others (e.g. i never thought it may be okay to change into flats to walk across town to a meeting).

  15. Migrant kids - latest :

    I’ve been following the reunification of the migrant kids who’ve come to the States over the past weeks, and the media reports seem to have pretty much died out. Anyone know whether the Trump administration plans to reunite kids whose parents have been deported? Apparently they’ve deemed 400 kids “at risk”because one parent is a criminal (even if that isn’t the parent who brought them over), etc. And those who’ve been deported don’t always know where their kids are.

    Anyone know more? It’s totally heart breaking to read these stories….

    • Nope. None of us know more than the NYTimes

    • no, there’s no plans. Yes, it’s heartbreaking. I can only read the headlines on this topic, it is very distressing.

    • I would not be surprised if some children were brought or sent over to get them away from an abusive parent. I also will not be surprised if this is used as an excuse to keep children separated from the safe parent or as an excuse not to reunite children with their families at all.

    • You should definitely call your Rep(s) and Senators and ask them and let them know that you’re still thinking about it, and voting about it!

  16. men's beach gear :

    So my stepson now wants to do what his older cousin does at the beach — it looks like long cotton-ish compression shorts (maybe boxer briefs) work under swim trunks. Does it keep out the sand or something (or just look cool to kids these days)? And then what do people do with the liners that swim trunks usually have?

    [Seems like a bad idea — wet cotton sitting on your skin would lead to . . . jock itch? Or something? I wouldn’t do that to my skin.]

    Husband has no idea. I just don’t want anyone to wind up with a weird rash (or make a million trips to Target this weekend in search of boy items I am only vaguely familiar with).

    • This is done to prevent chafing from the board shorts. Very common in CA.

      • Board shorts don’t have built in liners unlike “regular” swim trunks. Target sells boxer briefs made from a wicking fabric- look for the sports version.

      • Are they athletic-type compression shorts? Or boxer briefs? Or something designed for this that is perhaps quick-dry and wicking? Like jammers-type bathing suits for swim team-type swimming?

        And am I right that men’s board shorts for surfing don’t have liners the way swim trunks do?

    • This seems in no way your issue. Let your husband handle it. I’d start by just saying no.

      • Yeah I’m confused why OP is the one who’d have to run to Target. This isn’t like, can you pick up my deodorant on your way home. You don’t actually know what you’re supposed to be getting. The child’s parents need to handle this.

        • Anonymous :

          This is her stepson, meaning she is one of the child’s parents.

        • Anonymous :

          This is funny — I go past a Target on my way home (spouse doesn’t). I can easily throw something in my cart, but you’ve got to tell me (men’s undershirts — do you want a v or a crew neck? how many? microfiber or cotton?). But I don’t want to have to decide — this is a trip built for speed.

      • Anonymous :

        OMFG, sometimes we run errands for our husbands and guess what, sometimes they do it for us too. The knee jerk how-dare-you help out makes me ragey.

    • I would tell him to ask the cousin’s parents where they buy whatever it is he wears.

  17. Hi all, just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the great gift ideas for the 18-year old tomboy! Those were very helpful. In addition, I would like to get her some things for self defense (and I’ve been meaning to get myself some stuff) for walking around, especially at night. I’ve been debating between a key chain knife, key chain pepper spray and a key chain alarm. One of my guy friends mentioned a stun gun or taser. What do you guys think is best or any other recommendations? I don’t want her or me to be too overwhelmed with stuff and not use something correctly but would like something effective if someone were to attack/assault one of us. Thanks in advance!

    • Do not give her anything that she is not trained to use; it can be taken from her and used as a weapon against her.

      Whistle or alarm is fine.

      Sign her up for self-defense classes.

      • This. A take away lesson from my most recent self defense class. The first line of defense is to put as much space between you and your attacker as possible. In other words, kick off those heels and run. You hear the advice to put your keys between your knuckles, but it you think about it, that requires an extremely close level of hand to hand combat. Ideally, you never want to get that close. A class and a copy of The Gift of Fear would be more helpful here.

    • Whistle + small key chain screwdriver – useful as a screwdriver or as a sharp object if needed.

      Definitely not a taser.

    • No. Don’t do this. Don’t gift weapons.

    • She likely wouldn’t be able to keep a knife or pepper spray on her keychain, since it’s probably banned at work and school. Go whistle/alarm.

    • Echoing the above. Absolutely do not gift her weapons, especially a stun gun or a taser which may be illegal where she lives or require a permit. Not to mention that if she is going to college, they probably prohibit such things on campus regardless of the legality of them. There are some restrictions on pepper spray throughout the US as well.

      Honestly, the best defense is being aware of your surroundings, which means no headphones while walking around, not walking alone in the middle of the night, etc., and a self defense class, as mentioned above.

    • The best self-defense gift you can give her is permission to trust her own instincts.

  18. A friend (say Anne Jones) married a man, Mike Smith. She has kept her last name. They recently had a baby with only the husband’s last name, Jake Smith. I am making the family something that would generally include “The Smiths” or “The Smith Family” but what would you do in a situation like this? To woman that are in this situation, thoughts? I don’t really like “The Jones-Smith Family” but would it be weird to receive “The Smith Family”? Is this a personal preference to each person? I’m not married and no kids, and I intend on keeping my name, but giving my children only my husband’s last name and wouldn’t feel weird or offended if people referred to our family as “The Husbandlastname Family” or if people mistakenly referred to me as Name Husbandlastname.

    • I wouldn’t get offended but I generally don’t like personalized things like this so I guess if I were getting the gift I would mostly prefer it to not have a last name on it period.

    • This is 100% personal preference. Can you just ask her?

      I wouldn’t care but depending on the relationship, I suspect some people would take it as a commentary on teh not changing her name.

    • Ask her. It is a matter of personal preference.

      • Lets figure this out :

        why is it so difficult for people to grasp when women do not change their names? this is not rocket science.

        My name is X. My husband’s name is Y. We are the X Ys. The X Y Family.

        why is it so difficult to refer to people by their names? why is everyone so pressed about conforming everyone to one name and being so confused when there are multiple names? Let’s hope these name conformers never learn about the Hispanic/Castilian naming customs. ya’ll will really lose your minds stressing over how many surnames they use

        • I agree with your premise, but couldn’t you also be the Y X family? Which is why I think if you’re really set on doing a personalized gift like this, you’d just need to ask the person what they prefer.

          • +1 My family is the X Y family because we prefer how our names sound in that order, but if we had different names we might just as easily have gone by the Y X family.

        • Why are you not the YX family?

          • Lets figure this out :

            omg so funny literally as I was typing that out I thought – hey wait – we’re also the Y X Family! why am I even writing X Y

            way to go team!

    • I would ask before making them anything. And I absolutely would not assume that she is okay with being referred to as “The Smiths.” Smith is not her name.

    • I would address it to just her if you are mailing it. Then inside the card, I would write something like this:

      Anne, Mike, and Jake,

      Wishing your family all the best during this special time. Welcome, Jake!

      Your name

    • Don’t do this. They aren’t The Smith Family. This is incredibly rude. give them something else entirely, give a normal baby gift with no name. Don’t be rude because this is your norm.

      • Your comment “Don’t be rude because this is your norm” is not at all correct. How is this my norm when I specifically said I would be in the same situation? Calm down a bit.

        • Baconpancakes :

          But your norm is to call yourself the Smiths. It might not be your friend’s norm. Maybe they’ve decided to be the Jones-Smiths Family (which is technically accurate as a descriptor. They are a family comprised of a Jones and two Smiths.).

        • Anonymous :

          Your norm is apparently giving a gift with a family name on it. Just don’t do this.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m in the same situation. I don’t like either version. My correspondence says “bouvier and Kennedy” and my cards say “Jackie, John and jr.” don’t do this.

      • I plan on socially being Mrs. Smith, but will be keeping Jones professionally and legally. So it would not offend me, but it would offend many women.

        Just ask.

    • It’s personal preference. I’m an example of what you describe. If you’re looking to monogram something, don’t. While I will say out loud that I’m part of the Smiths (husband’s and kids’ last name), I’m not in any sense of the word a Smith and wouldn’t appreciate that doormat or embroidery or picture frame. Pick something else. There’s no standard, and if you don’t know through conversation, err on the side of caution

    • Just ask her how she would like you to refer to her family! This is one of those things that people may feel strongly about, or they might not care. For example, my last name Wood and my husband’s last names are Martinez Mejia. There is no shortage of ways to get it wrong. I’ve gotten mail addressed to Mrs. Mejia, Mrs. Wood, the Wood family, the Woods family, Mrs. Martinez-Mejia, and he gets things for Mr. Mejia all.the.time. I think he even has a credit card for A Martimez. After we got married, we got a bunch of checks for Mr. & Mrs. Mejia, I was shocked the bank let us cash them. Trips back from the mailbox make me burst out laughing because ppl get it so wrong. But I really appreciate it when ppl ask us how we prefer to be called, I’m Tiffany Wood and he is Roberto Martinez Mejia and we are the Martinez family.

    • I have a different last name than my husband and just generally don’t prefer personalized items like that. Kids will be Baby Jones Smith. If pressed I guess I would prefer the Smith family, but I also wouldn’t display any item that said that on it.

    • Can you not have it say their first names? Anna, Mike and baby…

    • I’m in this situation. My husband and children are B’s. We are not the B family. I don’t mind if cards/letters are addressed to “The B family” (or “Mr. and Mrs. B” – nevermind that we are actually Mr B and Dr A), but I would not any gift item that was personalized.

      • Not to nitpick, but it’s actually Dr. A and Mr. B. The higher rank goes first, regardless of gender.

      • Actually it’s Dr. A and Mr. B – Dr. always goes first! :)

      • +1. Same exact situation. Technically even to the Dr. Although I’m a PhD not an MD, so only use Dr occasionally professionally. I am proud of my name and it’s connection with my roots. Just bc my children are Bs, don’t erase my A-ness.

      • NotAMaiden Name :

        I’m in this situation (I didn’t change my last name, my kids have husband’s last name ONLY, no hyphen no double last name) and I guess I don’t mind it. We are the HusbandName Family! With me, also with a different last name but guess what – same family!! I really don’t mind it. But I can see how some people do. So, whatever.

        I just wanted to say, I’m out here and I think differently from you and I exist, too.

    • Baconpancakes :

      My name is my own, now and forever, and there’s a difference between being referred to as a name occasionally and possessing an item that identifies you as that name. In different situations, we are The Pancakes Family, and in other situations, we are The Waffles Family. This is usually when we’re with our parents. I’m ok being referred to as Bacon Waffles on occasion, and my SO is referred to as Sausage Pancakes sometimes, but I’m not independently a Waffles, and I would never hang up or use something that said “The Waffles Family.”

    • I’m in the same situation as your friend and we think of ourselves as the Jones-Smith family. Friends have reached out to confirm our preference in the past (usually in order to address a wedding invitation or Christmas card to us) and I don’t think anything of it, so just ask your friend if you’re unsure.

    • Find a new gift to give.

    • Personally, I kept my last name when I got married (and it’s a hyphenated name already that my parent’s gave me at birth) and I wince but tolerate when people give us things that say Husband’s LastName as though it’s our last name. But I try to shrug it off.

      I absolutely loathe when people who know better (like my MIL) send us stuff to Mr. and Mrs. Husband’s Lastname.

      Based on the variety of responses, I think you can see that there are a variety of tolerance levels for this sort of things and what one person would think is totally fine, someone else might take great offense to. I’d probably try to just come up with a different gift idea that avoids the problem entirely (I like to send hand-made quilts from Etsy to friends with new babies).

    • Anonymous :

      If you must make this gift, please ask! We are a two-last-name family and I would be really uncomfortable with something calling us “the Smiths,” and would never use it. Probably throw it away. I don’t care which order our last names go in, though. My parents are also a two last name family, and my in laws always refer to them by my dad’s last name only- drives me nuts!!

  19. I bought this top in Navy and it fades QUICKLY, even with washing cold on gentle sycle. But I actually like the slightly faded look (its antiquey, no piling). Also the top is basically body-con, so may not be appropriate for busty ladies.

  20. Parking Stickers :

    How do I remove them? I have one on my windshield that I want to remove before I put up my new one. I’d rather not just stick on above the old one and slowly have a line of stickers up the side of my windshield.

    • Razor and goo gone?

    • Peel off as much as possible, scrape off the rest of the plastic with a scraper, then remove the gunk with Goo Gone or citrus oil.

    • anon a mouse :

      Razor/box cutter and goo gone.

      Or, the next time you get your oil changed, ask the mechanic to do it for you. They usually can do it in an instant.

    • You can buy a scraper tool for about $10 that will take them right off. I don’t know what they’re called, but try googling “razor scraper” or “sticker scraper”

    • Parking Stickers :

      I’ll check out Goo Gone and some scrapers. Thanks, ladies!

    • DO NOT use a razor if your sticker is inside the back window over the heating coils! If you cut them, your rear window won’t defrost properly.

  21. Jcrew Bridal :

    Can anyone who wore a Jcrew wedding dress comment on how their bridal sizing compares to their regular dress sizing (Jcrew sizing is so wacky)? I’m specifically looking into purchasing a preowned Jcrew Percy gown, if by chance anyone has one they’re looking to sell (Size 2 I think!)

    • I sized down when I got a (short) JCrew wedding dress a few years ago. I think I was a 6/8 at that time and got a 4, which I needed to tailor down in the bust. However, that was in 2014 so there’s a chance that sizing has changed.

    • Is this collection back? I loved it & thought for sure that’s what I’d do for my wedding dress but it was discontinued before I got engaged a few months ago…

      • Nope, sadly. I’m looking to buy a pre-owned one for my City Hall wedding. I also wish they would bring it back, its so my style and my budget (can’t say the same for the rest of J.Crew)

    • I sized up one size (2 to a 4) and then altered to fit to my liking.

  22. Can anyone recommend a small-ish display hutch or cabinet? We moved to a larger place and finally have some room to display some small family treasures, but I don’t want to get some huge cabinet or spend a ton of money. If anyone can recommend a particular brand, then I will stalk craigslist. I would love something with glass doors that can lock and a darker wood look.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Following as I am on the hunt for the same thing. I did come across this on wayfair:

      I didn’t get it since I really want a dark brown rather than black, and I can’t speak to the quality (given the price, I’m guessing not amazing but functional), but it’s an option. I’ve just been stalking nextdoor and craigslist. Finding one that’s on the smaller side has proven challenging.

    • I would check Craigslist, antique stores, and auctions. I’ve sold several of those cabinets that I’ve inherited from older relatives, I think they’re a pretty popular item for that generation so you see a lot of them at auctions and antique stores and the like. For auctions, try auctionzip to find them – they usually have pictures.

  23. Wedding guest dress help :

    Could either of these dresses (in black) work for a “Formal/Black Tie Optional” wedding coming up? I think both would need some galm accessories to work, so taking advice on those too. Or should I just nix both of these options? and

    • I like the Eloquii option and think it would work nicely.

    • The Eloquii dress reads more desk-to-dinner and the other one, while pretty, isn’t quite striking black-tie-optional.

      • +1

      • Min Donner :

        Agree re: the Nordstrom option (though it is a lovely dress that I can see being very flattering to a number of silhouettes), but I personally think the flared sleeves of the Eloquii dress make it a bit more dramatic and this would totally be appropriate if your shoes/purse/jewelry are dressy/fancy/flashy.

    • Horse Crazy :

      The Nordstrom one is very pretty, but not black-tie enough. I’d go with the other one.

    • I think you could wear either of those dresses in black to a black-tie optional wedding with strapy shoes and some fun jewelry. I have found that black tie optional moniker really results in an entire range of attire….. I actually prefer the Nordstrom dress to be honest.

  24. HelpMeShop :

    I’m mid-thirties, typically keep my jewelry very minimalist, but would like to add a modern, small pearl strand like this to my wardrobe:

    Any recommendations for something similar, but under $200?

    Bonus points if they pair well with these:

    • Veronica Mars :

      Contact Pearl Paradise with the link and see what they can do for you. Seed pearls are less common nowadays, but they may have some not listed on their site or will order you some from their suppliers.

    • If you’re in DC, try the pearl man at Eastern Market on the weekends. If he doesn’t have that already, I bet he could get it.

    • Wasabi Jewelry has something similar for $155.

    • A local hobby jeweler could make you something like that for about $100 with a cool sterling silver clasp (to match your earrings). I make similar things for gifts with some frequency.

    • if they are not knotted between each pearl I would not buy that necklace. The knot is important if the strand breaks, and also to keep the pearls from rubbing against each other, and it also improves the drape of the necklace.

    • Is this considered modern? I remember necklaces like this from when I was a girl (early 80s). I don’t really keep up with jewelry trends, I guess.

  25. Just found an early retirement calculator and now can’t stop looking at its predictions that early retirement could be a possibility before age 50 — barebones retirement and IDK if it’s a good idea to just sit home alone starting before 50 but wow I feel optimistic — like maybe I CAN start a business in my later 40s-early 50s to bring in some income but not the kind of income I am slogging for now. I’m sure the link will take hours here so just look up engaging data, fire calculator.

  26. Shopping request…..

    Need a new pair of sandals (in S0.Cal so its sandals season nearly all year)
    Wearing a pair like this today but they are in bad shape (5+ yrs old) and need replacement

    – white leather, prefer leather lining as well if possible
    – wedge or chunky heel 2-3 inches
    – ankle strap
    – no bows
    – work appropriate (ie not super-strappy or bare)
    – budget ~$100, under $70 preferred

    • Check out the Toms Rosa sandal. It’s suede.

      I personally don’t think any sandal is work appropriate so I’m not sure how to interpret that request.

    • If you can bust your budget a little, with a list that specific Shoes of Prey might be your best option.

    • I can’t really think of a white sandal that’s work appropriate, but my friend has this and they look nice:

      • Anonymous :

        These are perfect thank you.

        With regards to “work appropriate” — this is high tech in San Diego – there is no official dress code but is on the extreme casual end of business casual.

        For the men, getting “dressed up” for a customer meeting usually still involves wearing jeans. Maybe the shirt gets ironed that day.

        Sandals are worn by nearly 100% of the women, and its very common to see flip flops (not worn by me!)

  27. Tell me about your eShakti experiences. I’ve seen them for years but never bought anything because it seemed kind of frumpy, but now some of their stuff looks pretty good.

    • Betterandbetter :

      My wife and I got married in Eshakti dresses and have ordered from them a couple times since then. The quality of construction and material is very good and the proportions on thier standard sizing is really nice. The custom sizing is hit or miss for me (but that may be my fault in measuring) and I care for thier knits less than their other items but even then I consider them good. I just think you can usually find knits as good or better other places.

    • anon a mouse :

      I have a couple things from there that I did made to measure. The quality is on par with Loft — not amazing, but not super cheap. Read the descriptions carefully so you understand if there is a lining, pockets, fabric content etc.

      I used the measurements of an existing garment I liked (NOT body measurements; your garment will be skintight if you do that). The resulting garment was smaller than expected — they slighted each measurement by a half-inch. Minor enough that shapewear fixes it; annoying that it wasn’t what I specified and this is literally one of their selling points. If it had been more than a half-inch I would have sent them back.

    • Have ordered two dresses, a couple of years ago. One was great, one was far too big; same custom measurements for both. Fabric quality was so-so to poor (thin and prone to wrinkling), but well-constructed. Return process was a nightmare, so quit for good.

  28. Talk to me about the importance of firsts. My BF and I are starting to look at rings. He’s divorced and has a kid, I’m divorced but I got married and divorced very young – I never had a wedding/honeymoon, combined finances, had any assets to speak of; it was basically like I was living with a guy for a couple of years. Although I’m excited about a future with my BF, I find myself getting really sad that my firsts won’t be firsts for him. We want to start TTC right after the wedding. The wedding is one level of sadness, I know people will think it’s not that important because we’re both divorced. But I’m gut-wrenchingly sad when I think that having our first child together won’t be as special for him. I’m concerned that I’ll resent him if he says things like, oh yeah I’ve seen this before let’s do XYZ. I don’t want to think about all the intimate moments he shared with his ex – don’t tell me what to expect from my pregnancy and how you can best support me because you already did it all with your ex. I don’t want him to be my boss telling me how to parent my own child, I want to figure it out together.

    I don’t really know how to talk to him about this. I’m not really sure how to sort through my own feelings about it. I’m kind of surprised that this is all coming up now for me. Has anyone else been through this? How did you deal with it?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think this is common but I also think it’s best to get a handle on it before you actually tie the knot.

      My husband and I are Very Very (Very!) Old, and I’ve been married twice and have one child and he was married once for 27 years, so there are precious few “firsts” for us to share. (I’m trying to think of one and all I’m coming up with is “first time married to a fellow lawyer!”) But we are stupidly happy and believe me when I tell you that being with someone you love and adore is special no matter how many time you’ve been around the block. We had a huge, blowout wedding and if anybody chose to think it was not that important, I guess that was their issue. It was important to us and it was super magical. Everything we do is special because we are so stinkin’ happy to be together.

      And we talk about our former marriages from time to time when it comes up. That was part of our lives and it’s not off-limits, but it’s also secondary to the lives we are leading now. I feel like making it unmentionable gives it too much power.

      “Gut-wrenchingly sad” to be having a child with the person you love? No. No, no, no. Whoever said “comparison is the thief of joy” was spot-on. This is your life, this is the person you’ve chosen to live it with. If it’s that important to have a first-time parent for the father of your child, then you need to move on. Otherwise, accept that this is the price of admission to your relationship and don’t let jealousy and insecurity mess things up.

      • “If it’s that important to have a first-time parent for the father of your child, then you need to move on.”

        This +100. Nothing is ever going to change this fact.

    • Anonymous :

      Few dads are as obsessed with kids as moms. So I highly doubt he’ll be schooling you on how to diaper your kid bc he didn’t care about it then and is only faking care now to keep you happy.

      • Anonymous :

        Hahaha go away. This is subpar tr0lling.

      • Sorry your dad, your brothers, your grandpas, your uncles and your husbands and male friends make you think this. I am very, very lucky that the men in my life are not like this at all. Go back under your bridge.

    • Senior Attorney :

      In moderation, of course and as usual. I shared my experience but I also think a session or two of premarital counseling would be beneficial.

    • Anonymous :

      Please, please please please for the sake of his child, go to therapy. You are definitely right that you need to sort through your feelings, and your ambiguous feelings about step and parenthood are not always going to be appropriate to talk about with your spouse.

      I have a baby with my husband, but I was a step-parent first (we were together about six years before we had our baby, married about a year before). You don’t talk at all about being a step-parent, and that’s a new role you’re going to be assuming.

      Also, I don’t know how old your soon-to-be-step-child is, but ours was ten when the baby was born and my husband basically remembered very little about pregnancy and early baby-hood, which was fine.

      I had a small amount of those fears when we first decided to have our own child, but ultimately was able to dismiss them as having a child with the love of my life was so important to me, and doing it “in the right order” or whatever was less important. I’m not saying it’s always easy to be in this situation, but I urge you to think of your husband and step-child also in this process and to find ways let go of some of this jealousy.

      • Anonymous :


        Like when he teaches his kid to ride a bike you need to be a place where you can be super excited for them both not jealous that ‘his’ kid is the first kid he teaches to ride a bike, not ‘your’ kid. You’re going to be a stepmom too and nothing in your message talks about that role.

      • Well I didn’t mention step-kid because I didn’t have a question about that part. The child and I have a good relationship, not to say there weren’t some bumps in the beginning but we’ve sorted that out. I’m like the fun aunt, which I love and so does the kid. I get along with the ex too. We do joint birthday parties and some holidays. We’re basically like coworkers, we’re not about to go get mani pedis together but we’re polite and respectful and get sh*t done.

        • That’s fair, but when you are married, you are a step-parent, not the fun aunt. Whatever, it’s your life and I get that there are nuances I can’t understand, but I just feel like you need to think about more than just you and your feelings in this situation. There is already a child here. And he or she is going to be the sibling of any child you have. It’s not easy.

    • I’m in mod but please consider therapy for these feelings of jealousy and resentment. Your husband can’t really be the person to work these things out with you IMO. And please think about ways to ensure your step-son feels loved by you if you are considering adding to his family.

    • Anonymous :

      What is your relationship like with his kid and his kid’s mother? What conversations have you and your BF had about having children together? Do you get a sense from those things that he will want to be the “boss”? I think you’re best of talking to a therapist with whom you can share more context than you probably feel comfortable sharing here so that you can assess whether your concern is justified, whether moving forward towards marriage is the right next step, and work through your feelings about those things.

      My experience as a parent so far is that there is no “oh yes, I’ve done this before and so have the perfect solutions that will work on the first try”. Every kid is different and they all throw you for a loop. Every kid is also insanely precious and you fall madly in love with one of your children not just the first.

    • Flats Only :

      Don’t get married. You’re already fighting with this poor man in your head for something he hasn’t done.

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, my chief concern reading your post is for your BF’s first child. I hope that your resentment does not extend to his child, and, if it does, even a little, move on. You should be considering and treating BF’s child as the oldest child of your future family. It would be insane for your BF to indulge your neediness and immaturity by pretending like the experience of his first child never happened. And, such an attitude would be cruel and damaging should it be exhibited in front of his first child. I dont think he should be talking endlessly about ex’s pregnancy, but as far as baby stuff goes and you getting to have the first baby “together”, that ship has sailed, so either decide it is not negotiable for you and move on, or. . . get over it.

      • Anonymous :

        Co-signing on to this. There’s a duty both of you owe to a child who is already here and you’re willing to kind of gloss over this child in favor of someone who doesn’t even exist yet. Don’t get married yet – – you’re not ready.

      • Anonymous :


        Announcing a pregnancy to an older sibling usually results in lots of questions/discussions about what it was like when they were a baby and you don’t sound ready to handle that.

      • Did you all read the same post as I did? Neediness and immaturity? Gosh y’all anonymouses are mean. I read this post as OP’s attempt to reconcile her feelings she understands are not rational in a way that *does not* include foisting them on her partner. I don’t see her arguing that he should indulge her or behave differently or pretend like his first kid didn’t happen. She’s asking how to get over it, not just for someone to rudely tell her to get over it.

        I don’t think it’s immature to have these thoughts. What would be immature is refusing to attempt to process them, which is the exact opposite of what she’s doing. The reality is that it won’t be a first for her BF. The reality is that there is something special about going through firsts together with your partner. I think that she is borrowing trouble (we don’t know how BF will treat parenting) but I think it’s better to reconcile these feelings NOW by reframing her perspective (“maybe it’s not his first time becoming a parent but it’s his first time with me, he chose me, and as a poster said above, each child is uniquely precious”) rather than ruminating until emotions come to a head when there’s a newborn. This is part of getting ready for marriage.

        • It’s pretty needy and immature. She’s basically lamenting that he had a child before they met. The whole thing is … ick.

    • “But I’m gut-wrenchingly sad when I think that having our first child together won’t be as special for him.”

      Would you treat your second child as less special for not being the first? If not, understand that you are not being rational.

  29. Anonymous :

    Recs for fashionable but functional diaper bags under ~$250? I think H will get his own, so I’m looking for something that doesn’t look like a backpack or messenger bag (unless you have suggestions for cute backpacks).

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