Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Belted Chambray Dress

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

Kay Unger Belted Chambray DressLove the structured but feminine look to this dress from Kay Unger. The chambray almost looks like a tweed with speckles of white, and the vertical seams offer a contoured but still professional fit. Love the ruffled neckline and the belted, empire waist. I’d probably wear it with a white blazer on a spring day, or by itself on a hotter summer day. It’s $330 at Neiman Marcus. Kay Unger Belted Chambray Dress

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  1. I really like this! But I don’t like the belt at all – I think I would have to see if it came off and would work without the belt, or if you would need to put another belt on (black scarf, maybe?).

    Note – the NM website describes it as “blue”, but it looks grey to me – anyone else?

    • I think it’s a really dark blue. I love everything about the dress, including the belt. I find Kay Unger dresses very flattering. I do usually have to go up a size though.

      • I’ve got to second Bonnie’s comment about how flattering Kay Unger dresses are in real life. It’s one of the few labels I’ve found that actually look better on the body than in the picures… seriously! It’s a really underrated label, in my opinion. Also, I agree that you should considering sizing up one size. I’m a very slender size 0 or 2, but I’m a size 4 in Kay Unger.

  2. Gorgeous. The model’s red lipstick looks great with the dress, too.

    Which makes me wonder. Do you guys wear dramatic lipstick to work? I like wearing red lipsticks at night, but I’m not courageous enough to do it during the day. Also, the need to reapply every few hours would get old.

    • Makeup Junkie :

      I wear red lipstick to work, but when I do I keep the eye makeup to a thin eyeliner and mascara only. I wear lipliner all over my lips before putting on the lipstick, then blot, then balm. That helps to keep the lipstick in place for a bit longer so I needn’t re-apply so often.

    • Caramel-skinned Asian here. I wear red lips every day, either a dark red gloss that goes on pretty lightly so I have to keep re-applying which is tedious; or a deeper matte dark red Revlon long-wearing color. Both reds aren’t particularly noticeable (I think) because they complement my coloring. I don’t use the clear gloss that’s supposed to go over the Revlon because that *would* make my lips too dramatic for the office.

      I have a Filipina friend who once wore a hot-pink-plum (sorry, I don’t have a better word for it) lipstick to a casual Saturday coffee meeting, and it felt like all I saw was her lips. It wasn’t that the color looked bad on her – it didn’t – but it seemed overdone and overbright for anything other than a dimly-lit evening event.

    • So. Done. With. School. :

      I wear red lips to work frequently. The days when I would have to re-apply are a distant memory since I found Covergirl’s Outlast and Maybelline’s Superstay – I put it on when I leave for work and actually have to take it off before I go to bed – a magical solution for a woman who likes a striking lip color.

      • Really????? Lipstick that doesn’t need to be re-applied at all? I truly thought this was impossible and lately have even been striking out using lip primer. Is there anything special that you do or don’t do to make this happen? I would kill to not worry about my blotchy, fading lipstick.

        • So. Done. With. School. :

          I admit that I have slightly better luck with it than some women do, but it really, really does last. I avoid greasy food because that will take it off. The base (color) goes on very slick and requires some precision, then I re-apply the clear gloss all throughout the day (it goes on like chapstick – no mirror needed). It’s certainly worth the eight bucks to try!

          • I’d be floored if it worked–but will probably hit up CVS later today to find out! Maybe salad dressing has been my problem all along though…

        • If you want one that truly will not come off unless you scrub your lips, try L’Oreal Infallible Lipstick. If you apply two coats of the base before applying the topcoat, it will be there all day. It’s pretty amazing. The one thing I don’t like about it is that it seems to accentuate/create wrinkle-like lines in your lips.

        • The Revlon ColorStay lipstain is what I use…the sheer ones are great and not too opaque for my taste.

      • When I’ve tried the long-wearing products in the past (I think it was Covergirl), my lips felt sooooooo dry. Has anyone else had that experience? Is there a product that is long wearing but not so drying?

        BTW, it’s not billed as long wearing, but I’ve had good luck with Bare Escentuals (sp?) lipstick staying put better than other brands’ regular formulas (i.e., Clinique).

        • Try the Chanel 2 step thingy (stain with a gloss/balm type sealer) – I don’t remember what it’s called, but you can’t LIVE it off, I swear.

        • Try Shiseido. Their 613 is my holy grail red.

    • I am a red-lipstick girl, I have a couple of great ones that work really well with my skin tone, and I wear them every day. I have smaller lips, and I feel like wearing neutral lipstick makes me look lipless, like a fish or something. :)

    • I wear a dark pink/raspberry stain, because anything lighter looks nonexistent, and makes me look “meh.” I have fair skin but quite a few freckles and need the pop of color to make me look awake.

    • South Asian skin speaking – i wear a berry red lippie if my outfit is either (1) black and white (2) navy/grey. So i guess I make sure the rest of me stays neutral.

  3. Also, PSA: If anyone needs to buy a suit, now would be a good time at Ann Taylor. 40% off when you buy 3 or more full-priced items.

    • Has anyone seen an AT Loft coupon code recently?

      • On Thursday March 11 there will be 30% off in stores or online with code MARSE310. They’re also doing the spend $50, get a coupon for $25 thing again.

      • Thanks!

        • another pendleton happy customer :

          I would really like ann taylor to start making their banks in wool again…last time I looked on one of these coupon deals they were nearly all poly/rayon. Argh.

          • I just bought a “tropical wool” suit at Ann Taylor, and love it – pants are lined, the jacket is nicely fitted, and it had three different cuts of pants that matched the jacket. Just be warned – there is also a rayon/poly suit (unlined pants, single button jacket), and at my Ann Taylor, those pieces were interspersed with the wool pieces, which made it very difficult to put together a full suit.

        • Yeah, I haven’t been too thrilled with them of late, but I am losing weight and need what I like to think of as “temporary pants” until I reach my goal and buy “real pants.” Loft on sale should just about fit the bill, I hope — cheap but not embarrassing-looking.

  4. Semi-thread highjack….

    I bought this dress for work (it needs a cami underneath) but am unsure if it is too fashiony for a law office. Mine isn’t super conservative but not sure where I will end up in the next year or so. Thoughts, please??? TIA!


    • I’ve worked in two business-casual BigLaw firms and that dress would be completely appropriate. In fact, I love that dress and may now have to buy one of my own.

      The boots in the picture, OTOH, may be a *bit* outside the law firm mainstream.

    • I think it’s too fashiony. If you want a similar look that’s office-appropriate, I would go with a DvF wrapdress.

      • I agree. It’s a little too “drapey” for the office. I would not wear it personally, and would think it was a little weird if I saw someone else wearing it.

    • I’m not a lawyer but my first impression of that dress is that it’s for the evening. Maybe it looks different in person?

    • Maybe it looks different in person, but from the way it looks on the model, it looks much more like a party/cocktail type dress, as opp. to office wear. I think it’s the front draping + jersey fabric that gives it a sort of Studio 54/vintage Halston vibe. So it’s not that I don’t think it’s conservative enough, I am just not sure it is place/daytime appropriate enough. But it’s an absolutely gorgeous dress! I am sure you can find many other occasions to wear it :)

    • boston atty :

      I work in a business casual biglaw office and wouldn’t think twice if I saw another attorney wearing this dress (with flats/pumps, NEVER with those boots). However, I do not think the dress is particularly “commanding” so I personally would save it for the evening. I also wouldn’t wear wrap dresses for the same reason. But it’s a totally personal call.

    • I don’t like it and it is pretty trendy/fashion forward, but there’s nothing about it (other than the v-neck) that makes it inappropriate for the office. A cami underneath, though, may ruin the fashion-forwardness of it, so I’m not sure that’s the look you’re going for? At any rate, if you like it, go ahead and wear it at work.

    • AtlantaAttorney :

      Great dress! No concerns about wearing it to work, assuming cami and more conservative shoes.

    • I love this dress. With a cami underneath and the right shoes, it is completely office appropriate.

    • Because of the drapiness, I would wear it with a blazer to make it more structured for work, with very conservative pumps.

    • I have a very simialar dress that I wear to work (midlaw in conservative southern city) and never thought anything of it. I wear with a black camisole and a black and white houndstooth blazer with pumps.

    • Alias Terry :

      This looks like date night/drinks/evening wear to me. Sorry. Nothing about this says “business woman” to me.

  5. Like the dress but think a cardigan would probably be tough to find with the ruffling at the shoulders. Out of my price range for a standard work dress, but I would buy it in a heartbeat if I saw it under $200.

  6. I have to dissent. I don’t like this dress at all. The belt + ruffles just makes me think of something you get for $50 in the generic dress department at Filene’s Basement. Plus, I always thought of chambray as a more casual fabric, so not sure how this looks in person, but my first thought is chambray is not for the office.

    • Agreed – I just about guarantee I could find an Anne Klein/Tahari or similar version of this for $49 at Filene’s or a similar store.

    • AIMS, I remember you said you were looking for a deep orange bag–just wanted to let you know I saw some in a great orange shade, somehow eye-catching and also subdued, at a Cole Haan clearance store yesterday. No sign of them online, but I guess that’s how you know it’s a deal! If you have a CH clearance outlet nearby and tend to like their designs, might want to check it out.

      • Thanks!! I was actually planning an outlet excursion in the next week or two, and there is CH store where I am going. I will definitely check it out. Thank you for remembering, my search for that perfect orange bag is def. still ongoing :)

    • I actually do like the dress–I’m always on the lookout for non-sleeveless dresses — but I agree that it’s not a $350 dress. I immediately checked out Overstock to see if they had anything similar.

  7. If JessC checks in, I didn’t get a chance to post on the weekend thread and wanted to post my tips for lots o’ car travel. I have been doing a long commute for the past few months (over an hour each way) for a temporary gig and use zipcar, so a different car every day. I bought a llbean boat and toat Large bag so that I have all my car essentials in one place and can also fit my purse, computer, lunch, snacks, etc all in one bag. It makes it more likely that I won’t forget something in the car. A phone/ipod charger have been essential, and a good bluetooth device for chatting. I also got a back pillow for lumbar support. The hubs also got me an awesome pair of slippers that I wear while driving and walking to and from the lot (I do NOT wear them into the office). Podcasts have been my savior from boredom — obsessed with Radiolab, and now WTF with Marc Maron.

    As for snacks, in the morning I have protein powder in iced coffee/milk. String cheese and powerbars are also good, but don’t try opening them while driving!

    • Aww, thanks for thinking of me! My first planned car travel for work was scheduled for tomorrow (a mediation in Daytona Beach, about 2.5-3 hours from me) but got canceled due to a clerical error. But I’m definitely going to file away all the tips for my next trip!

  8. Threadjack – A few months after my baby was born, my already-thin hair started falling out in the shower, while blowdrying, etc. My hair looks limp and straight and I prefer a look with more volume. It’s a few inches below the shoulder now – would cutting an inch or two and some layering add more volume, or do I need to do something more (like cutting it even shorter or a wave perm)? Is a bob-style appropriate for someone with thicker hair or thinner hair? Thanks!

    • Try a volumizing product–usually a foam you spray near the roots. It works wonders. Think twice before doing anything permanent, since your hair will go back to normal before too long. The hair-falling-out stage passes.

      • For me all the hair that fell out also came back, it just took many months for the new hair to grow to a reasonable length. A few months after the shedding stopped I had all of these short little baby hairs poking straight up everywhere. Reeeeally cute.

    • Yup, it will stop falling out at some point – for me at about 6 months postpartum it normalized. I find I have more volume if I wash at night and sleep on it. Mousse also helps if I am washing in the morning.

    • My hair tends to have much better volume when shorter — so yes, I would cut an inch or two and then layer. It will grow back, btw. The shedding is a phase, since you stop shedding hair while pregnant then it happens all at once post-partum. I lost tons of hair after both pregnancies and was back to normal within 9 months to a year of giving birth.

    • recently preggers :

      Same thing happened for me with my son, and Im currently going through it again since my daughter was born. I did the short hair thing (think bob) after my son was born but have long hair now. I think it looked fuller for sure with shorter hair, but I just cant bring myself to cut it yet. Couple of things to try:

      add color (highlights are fine) because that usually adds some volume

      use a thickening product — I like TIGI bedhead thickafier (small round purple bottle) — all over and a volumizer at the roots

      Ive also started using Moroccan oil, which helps

      Also, dont worry, it will come back eventually, but can take a while. At 8 months post partum, Im still nursing, so my hair has not really started coming back yet, but the falling out has lessened and im getting the little baby hairs.

    • Oh, my dear SuzyQ! So feeling ya on this! I started out with baby fine cornsilk hair before my firstborn, got a little ‘thinning’ (what a rude surprise after the nice preggo hair, right?) when she was born, then when my twins were born, it basically all fell out….and the whole year I was nursing them, I was well nigh bald all over and my former ‘bangs’ kept falling out and growing in around my face in little tufts so that I looked like the Sun Queen. Gah! I freaked and went to a really short cut (think Demi Moore in Private Jane or whatever that movie was that she shaved her head, only she looked waaaaaaaaaaay better). Eventually it grew back (kind of, not as much), and now I kind of rock a bunch of collarbone level bob layers designed to ‘fluff’ out the thinness…In the meantime, a couple of suggestions:
      -shorter, not necessarily shortest, can be good (adds some volume; cuts down on the obvious ‘visibility’ issues of the ‘thinning’; bonus = less time to wash, style, etc);
      -I love Bumble & Bumble thickening shampoo/condit/styling prods – they really do thicken and volumize, BUT your hair takes on sort of a crunchy (and not as shiny) texture;
      -quick fix = a little mousse or gel (any drugstore kind) around the flyaways;
      -washing it every day (a) lightens your mood and (b) keeps it ‘moving’ so it’s not flat around your face/skull;
      -some folks think that keeping taking prenatal vites helps; didn’t work for me but I was *old* when I started all this babymaking – it’s probably worth a try, can’t hurt and might help.

      Keep your chin up – this too shall pass and your baby is worth it!

  9. THREADJACK/REPOST: I need marriage/career help. My husband and I are political opposites. I just saw a post for a great job, almost a dream job for a national organization that is extremely liberal. The problem is that this group has openly attacked many of the people whom my husband holds in high regard, and I agree, unfairly. Think John Birch and the attacks on judges who ruled in favor of a criminal defendant. In my view, the hate speech is so ugly whether the groups are left or right that I want to stay out of it. But, this job deals with another area of advocacy that I am interested in. As a matter of fact, in my spare time, I advocate in this area through protests and letter writing for no pay. Hubby is hurt and angry. I am upset that he pretty much told me not to apply which is out of his character. On the other hand, I don’t necessarily want to be with people all day who think everyone who does not think like them is stupid or racist. What now? Maybe I just need support from you all!

    • No advice, but sympathy here. I almost applied for what I thought would be dream job at a legal aid clinic, because I am passionate about helping poor people. When I visited the clinic, though, I wasn’t too sure about the work environment. As you put it, it was likely to end up working with people who think everyone who does not think like them is stupid or racist. (Ironic, for people who pride themselves on their tolerance.) Really unfortunate.

    • Is any job worth causing serious marital strife? Life is a series of compromises and for me one of those would be passing up any job that could potentially seriously undermine my marriage. For me, the headaches at home would quickly outweigh any benefit of the job.

      Also, I would be extremely hesistant to work for an organization that “unfairly” (in your words) attacks people or treats everyone who disagrees with them politically as “stupid or racist,” even if I generally agreed with their political views.

      But I have extremely low tolerance for political vitriol coming from either side of the spectrum. It really angers/depresses me and makes me cynical about politics. So my opinion may be skewed here.

    • Two thoughts. First, I don’t think a job like this is worth the marital strife and difficulties. How in heck could you introduce your husband to your co-workers if they are going to think so poorly of him? And having been around extreme political views, I know it’s hard to hide opposing views. In other words, I don’t think that hiding your husband’s views from your co-workers and the organization is going to be viable in the long term.

      Second, I would think long and hard about the potential resume impacts of an organization like this. Could it potentially close doors? Could it turn off future employers who may dislike hate speech or assume you share equally ugly views (i.e., the stupid/racist part, not the substance of the issues)?

    • I think you should apply. If you get an interview, you can spend some time sussing out what the actual tenor of the organization is, what your role would be, and whether the job itself would entail something that would make your spouse feel uncomfortable or not respected.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you should apply, and worry about all these concerns if you actually get an offer. If you get an interview you’ll have the chance to talk to people and find out more about the actual nature of the place, what it’s like to work there, etc, before you accept the job. If it turns out they’re all nice people and the division you’re working in is not at all like the division that attacks political figures, then you and hubby should be able to agree that it’s fine to take the job. If it turns out that everyone there is a biased jerk, then you and hubby can agree that you should turn the job down. In any event, it doesn’t hurt to apply, and your husband should understand that an application is just a first step and doesn’t mean you’ll actually go work there.

    • I just want to chime in with this thought — my S.O. works in an area that tends to be relatively conservative, which I am def. not, and that is in some ways not in line with my own political and social views. His own views are nuanced and not really so out of line with mine 2/3 of the time, but he also does sincerely believe in his work & the people he works with. My only point is that despite some internal cringes when I am at his office functions, I would never dream of discouraging him from working where he does (in fact, I helped him write his cover letters and thank you notes when he was applying!).
      In my mind, what makes him fulfilled, makes me happy; and, I am not so insecure in my own beliefs as to be undermined by those held by *some* of his co-workers. Yes, sometimes it leads to awkwardness from both my friends and from his co workers, but our relationship is better for withstanding those challenges. I have no idea what your relationship is like, so I am not trying to pass judgment, but personally I have a hard time envisioning a situation in which I would find it acceptable to either prohibit my S.O. from working at place X, or to accept my S.O. telling me that I couldn’t work at place Y. That speaks of larger issues in my mind, and if nothing else, it may lead to a lot of resentment down the road. So just my two cents.

    • Had to weigh in as someone who isn’t bothered by “vitrol” per se. IMO not condemning McCarthy when he was around was much more ethically questionable than calling him names. I’m someone who could never marry someone on the opposite end of me on the political spectrum because to me my politics are based on my ethics and I feel strongly that many people on the other end of the spectrum are unethical and do not value ethics I find most important. But not everyone feels that way about politics.

      So actually I agree with other posters that taking the job would be problematic for you.

      My only advice would before you turn down a job you really want for your husband’s feelings – think long and hard and be sure your husband would do the same for you.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      You can’t conclude from the organization’s behavior that the people you would work with would think everyone who is not like them is stupid or racist. If you apply, you might find out what those people actually think.

      I think you should consider whether you support the organization as a whole rather than focusing in on its attacks. I roll my eyes at some of the literature I receive from a certain national organization, but I really believe its mission is incredibly important and continue to donate to it.

      As for your husband telling you not to apply, perhaps you should ask him if he would agree to give up his dream job at a conservative organization based on its attacks on people you hold in high regard.

    • I just thought I’d offer my own experience with something similar to this. My brother took a job about 6 months ago with a very conservative organization. My mother and I are both very outspoken liberals and disagree with most of what he’s promoting. However, it hasn’t turned out to be as hard as we thought it would be when he took the job. He had an editorial published in a major newspaper a few months ago which I completely disagreed with. It didn’t stop me from being inordinately proud of him. bought paper copies of the newspaper and made everyone I know look at his name right there in print, all the while saying that I totally disagreed with it.

      Obviously, a sibling is very different from a spouse, but I do think your husband might find it easier than he thinks to have you working for this organization.

    • I really can understand both your perspective and that of your husband’s. I don’t know what the answer is, but I would agree that it would be better to apply, since merely applying is not the same thing as getting or taking the job.

      In the meantime, I can’t tell you how much going to talk to a good marriage counselor could help. Even if you have a nearly perfect relationship almost all the time, it’s great to have a neutral person to help you figure out how to navigate things like these. In my 10+ years of marriage, my husband and I have seen a person we really respect to help us work out three similar issues. Well worth the time and money in my opinion!

    • Related question – how do you handle a relationship where your significant other sits on the other side of the spectrum?

      I am politically apathetic. I’m not a fan of either party, but if it had to choose one, it would probably be Dem.

      My boyfriend, on the other hand, is very interested in politics – to the point of considering running one day. He is definitely on the Republican end of the spectrum.

      At this point, I kind of avoid talking about politics too much – I mostly don’t have too much in the way of opinions, and bringing it up in conversations leads to a monologue from him. I usually then end up feeling the need to defend the other side of whatever he’s arguing. The conversation usually ends up with me just not talking and waiting for him to run out of steam, or one or both of us (abruptly) changing the subject.

      Does anyone else deal with this sort of agreement to disagree? How do you handle it when its an issue that your SO is really interested in and really opinionated on?

      • My husband and I are almost completely opposites, politically speaking. We can and do talk about politics and other potentially heated topics, though. Even though we disagree about nearly everything (I mean, really, how did we fall in love and get married?), we treat each other with respect. We’re both lawyers, so the debating/using logic/attempts to persuade comes naturally.

        Anyway, it works for us.

      • This is not exactly the same, but…
        My husband and I agree politically, but he is very against administrative rigmarole/anything he perceives as wasteful. For about a year, every time we got in the car, he would complain about how stupid/unfair/poorly enforced/whatever speed limits are. Then I felt like I was forever explaining the law to him – this is how things work – and then he would argue back. I felt like he was attacking me bc I’m a lawyer, and I was trying to defend myself by explaining that that’s the way the law works.
        Anyway, long story short, one day in the car, I said, “Enough. Don’t talk or complain about speed limits any more. I have had it. Although I am a lawyer, I don’t make the laws nor do I figure out how to enforce them. This is not a productive discussion, end of story.”

        In your case, maybe you could explain to him that either (a) it makes you feel weird to talk about political stuff since he feels so strongly and you don’t, or (b) you feel like he steamrollers you for no reason when you talk about these things, or whatever you think most bothers your about the discussions. Then try to steer clear of those issues for a while and see how it goes. (note – prob bring it up at a calm, unrelated discussion time!)

      • cardiganista :

        My SO and I are both politically active and affiliated (him much more so than me – he recently turned down what would have been essentially an uncontested nomination at my request and will be probably running at some point in the near future, works in party politics now whereas I just have party membership/follow politics a lot) but he is not affiliated with the same party that I am (non-US politics here…so it’s a little different than just Dem/Rep).

        We talk extensively about politics…it’s what drew us to each other, and we disagree, yes, and I have some issues with his affiliation. (And we don’t even get into the serious issues my family has with his party affiliation.) We got into our most serious argument ever about a political issue – he stormed out and we didn’t talk for a while.

        My advice: don’t avoid talking about politics. If he is more opinionated and more aware of certain issues than you are, he may just want to tell you about them, not argue about them…I try to remember as much as possible that it’s NOT PERSONAL. Just because he thinks that X is wrong and Y is right, and I think the opposite…doesn’t mean he thinks I’m stupid or uneducated or have a lack of knowledge. Instead of making it an argument, let him talk about it…we all need some time to share our passions with our SO’s, even if those passions are not shared. And hey…there’s nothing better politically active people like than a great discussion about current issues.

        But politics is his career, just as law is mine. Whatever party he chooses is much more important for him and will be a much more public affiliation than mine will ever be. When/if we get married and when/if he becomes an elected politician…I will happily stand beside him and support his party. That is something to think about if you do think that he will run…if you are more politically apathetic, this may be something you are willing to do…but definitely gotta keep it in mind.

        • Wow! Thanks for the insight. Regarding the ethics issue that one person brought up at our core, we have the same values, but different ideas on how to get there in our society. I am in law, while hubby is not but he is politically active in his chosen party. He supports the actual mission that I would be doing, just not the organization as a whole. I may have to prepare my resume, look more into the group, and table the decision a day or two. It may not be meant to be. Thank you ladies.

  10. AtlantaAttorney :

    Love the dress, great find Kat!

  11. Tahari dress :

    Just bought this dress, which I think is elegant and appropriate for work. Anyone try it on and have thoughts about fit/quality?


    • Thanks! I just ordered one

    • That is one amazing sale for a great work piece, unfortunately I have way too many black dresses for work as it is. Otherwise, I’d buy it in an instant.

    • Tahari dress :

      Yeah, I thought it was a fantastic price, and I don’t have any black work dresses so I figured I would bite the bullet. If anyone has actually seen this dress in person, let me know. Thanks.

    • I didn’t try that one on, but a similar one from Macy’s (looks to be the same dress but in grey, no longer on Macy’s website). Fit like most Tahari stuff (runs a bit big), quality was good. Only thing that kept me from buying was my shopping ban and hope to find it on sale.

      • Tahari dress :

        Thanks! I think I’ve seen the one at Macys, which has a belt and is a different material to this one. I guess I will just wait and hope for the best!

    • Bought it! Good find!

    • I have it (paid full price — now it’s a great deal!), and I’d say it runs a little large. I’m also a little self-conscience about the slit in the back, so I always wear it with black tights. A couple of my trusted coworkers insist I’m silly for worrying about this though.

  12. Frustrated Introvert :

    Threadjack- What is it that extroverts find so threatening about introverts? I was having a conversation at work recently about how I’m an introvert and don’t particularly enjoy interacting in large group settings. Her claim was that that’s not something that’s innate and I just need to get over it. She also implied that most good attorneys are extroverts and introversion is probably the reason why attorneys are so obnoxious.

    I found it to be incredibly offensive that a)there is something wrong with the fact that I enjoy alone time and b) there is an assumption that I can make myself really enjoy networking and similar situations and c) that introverts can’t be good attorneys. I realize we live in a society that is 2/3 extroverts, but it is really hurtful when people think there is something “wrong” with you for not loving social attention all the time. Sorry- just had to vent.

    • Anonymous :

      To answer your question, for the most part, nothing. But, I was out of town to a total of two weeks litigating a case with a team of lawyers. The brilliant computer lawyer NEVER went to dinner with us. I get that she needed alone time for her own sanity, but she missed out on some informal planning, and there were times, at dinner, when we wished we had her input. By NEVER coming out, the boss saw her a NOT A TEAM PLAYER and that is not good. Balance is key.

    • I understand how you feel. I hate networking events and cocktail parties (even with my work friends) because of the expectation to stand around and engage in small talk. I always find myself really awkward and squirming. I like to frequently socialize with friends once I get to know them, it just takes people a long time to get to know me (and it’s me not them). I’m just very private and sometimes quiet around new people; I’m not even on Facebook because I don’t want to be so “out there” for everyone to see all the time.

      On the other hand, I have lots of public speaking and oral advocacy experience and accolades and have no qualms about speaking to clients, co-workers, etc. as much as needed. I would say I’m a social introvert but type A, confident and assertive when it comes to getting things done at work or in the rest of the world. The notion that you must be an extrovert to be a good attorney is just rubbish – ignore it.

      • Frustrated Introvert :

        We sound a lot alike. I am pretty chatty once I get to know and like someone, and if someone new starts at work I usually make it a point to introduce myself and try to make him/her feel welcome.

        When it comes to my private life, it’s just that- private. Aside from a few very close friends, I don’t talk much about it and get annoyed when people start to pry. I find that there are plenty of people who just don’t understand my boundaries and they get offended when I don’t want to talk about personal details.

    • There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert. Actually, you have the statistic reversed – there are more introverts than extroverts in the world. And actually, being an extrovert has little to do with people being “personable” or “outgoing,” although that is the way it is defined by a lot of people. The way that I talk to people about extroversion and introversion in my work is that introverts re-charge themselves by being alone, and extroverts re-charge themselves by being around people. I have no problem speaking to large or small groups, networking with others, speaking at meetings, etc. But after a certain point, being with other people exhausts me and I need to be alone. I am an introvert, with extroverted adaptive behaviors. Other people can be shy of talking in front of others and freeze up in public speaking situations, but they love being around other people and feel tired and drained when they spend too much time alone.

      It is absolutely possible for an introvert to develop extroverted adaptive behaviors and for extroverts to develop adaptive behaviors that allow them to be alone more. While you are right, and you may never “really enjoy” doing things that involve a high degree of contact with other people, you can become comfortable and proficient at it, but it’s something you have to work on, and not everyone has that motivation. And there is no one right or wrong way to be; there is a need for all types of people in the workplace. In a lot of jobs, however, there are significant advantages to developing extroverted behaviors, and I imagine law is probably one of those.

      • I agree with this 100%. Ann, you saved me the time of typing exactly this response, and I really appreciate that because now I have more time to recharge by being alone!

      • Aspiring Writer :

        This. I’m 50/50 extro/intro, which is a really challenging issue. Sometimes I need to be around people to feel “alive” and sometimes being around people kills me. I never know when is which.

        • Aspiring Writer :

          To clarify, by “This.” I mean what Ann said is 100% what I would have said. i.e. “This is the answer to your question.”

    • A topic dear to my heart (and career). I’m sorry someone openly put you down for being introverted. Definitely offensive, but it does happen, and probably will happen again.

      Yes, it’s an uphill battle. You never have to like networking or being in a crowd, but you do have to do it, and well–it’s just a fact of professional life. What you need is support instead of judgment, though. In addition to the people who you know and trust, there is a lot of great literature to validate where you’re coming from and help you “fake it” in an extraverted world. (It’s even helpful for me to think of it that way–“fine, I’m putting my game face on for X hours, here I go.”) I recommend a book called “The Introvert Advantage”–but that’s just the beginning.

      Hug. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

    • As an extreme extrovert married to a pretty extreme introvert, I think the “threat” is that you’re harder to decipher, since you don’t talk as much. I tend to read like an open book, and within about 5 minutes, you know me and how I feel about you, the world, etc. Introverts are harder to figure out, and humans don’t like things that are complicated or different from them, so that automatically makes you “foe” instead of “friend.”
      However, I will say that introverts often have really great insight about people and situations, since they spend a lot of time observing or analyzing, instead of constantly talking. I know I learn a lot when I take time to listen vs. commanding the floor all the time. I also know that I come off as abrasive if I get too passionate too quickly, which correlates to the “stand-offish” feeling that people sometimes get from introverts. I don’t think your co-worker meant to be rude, but she probably didn’t realize she spoke too quickly (again, coming from someone who’s still learning to calm down the talking!).

    • I haven’t had that experience (your co-worker sounds awful!) but I do have the experience of people not understanding what it’s like to be an introvert. One of my husband’s friends is a salesperson and likes to give us marketing pep talks about how we can increase our visibility, etc., and every time he gives me tips about marketing I just want to crawl in a hole and die. ;) It is just hard for them to comprehend how people could recharge from being alone, or how people could find being in a big group stressful.

    • Dear Frustrated,
      You have my sympathy for having to suffer through such an obnoxious monologue — and also my respect, as you nailed the problem in your very first sentence. Extroverts often read reserve as disapproval, or stand-offishness, or arrogance, or … you name it, as the lack of an overtly positive personal response to an introvert tends to work like a Rorschach blot for them. It’s SO not about you, as you clearly see.

      As the other posters noted, it is important to learn the skills to interact effectively when needed and become part of a team. My daughter is an introvert, and I’ve been teaching her the value of techniques such as an eye-contact-heavy, warm smile and handshake in helping extroverts simmer down, so that she can get what she wants out of interactions with them. However, you don’t have to be an extrovert to do these things, nor do you have to enjoy it. You can, however, be proud of the analytical and reflective strengths your introversion likely brings to the team. Good luck!!

    • Ok, your coworker was unkind and rude.

      As an extrovert I worry that I am encroaching on the time/space of introverts, that I am talking too much, and that I don’t have enough data to respond to their social cues. I’m cueless, and thus clueless. :)

      • Frustrated Introvert :

        I am a pretty direct person, so if I’m tired of people I am usually fine saying “Look I need some alone time now. It’s not about you but totally about me.” I think if you know someone is an introvert and s/he’s turning down an invite, it’s probably because that person needs some time to recharge. I have some friends who don’t typically come out, but I still invite them hoping that they might want to attend. I know people do the same with me and I really do appreciate it even though I may not be a huge social butterfly.

    • I would print this out and give it to her:


    • Anonymous :

      Interesting, because I’ve been spending a lot of time lately thinking about how being an introvert affects me at work and in life generally. I do think like would be easier as a extrovert and I sometimes wish I were one. I envy them their ease in different situations, ability to make friends at the drop of a hat, etc. I avoid posting a lot on Facebook, don’t call my friends daily, etc, so I feel left out a lot, as if I’m not really a “good friend”. I don’t have an answer but you’re not the only one.

    • This is a conversation I, as an introvert, have had with my extroverted mother several times. She doesn’t understand why I view things like Toastmasters as a helpful but unenjoyable activity, when she finds such things the highlight of her day.

      On the other hand, sometimes introversion works in our favour. I work for a very introverted and somewhat intimidating manager. When on conference calls, he often sits silently after someone answers his question and thinks about their answer. A rather annoying, very extroverted coworker of mine obviously can’t stand it. He tries to fill the silence with babbling and fidgeting. I, on the other hand, have no problem waiting it out, and I suspect come off looking more poised.

  13. Most disappointing Neiman Marcus midday dash sale ever.

  14. Threadjack: my BF and I just booked a Caribbean cruise this fall! I am ridiculously excited – I’ve always wanted to go on a cruise and now I finally get to do it. Do any Corporettes have advice for newbie cruisers? We’re sailing with Royal Caribbean, but any general cruise advice would also be welcome.

    • The cruise I went on had a number of free laundry rooms! I would have packed less if I’d known (especially since my bags were so crammed with formalwear for dinner). See if yours does. Don’t buy any art onboard – they use all sorts of funky terms such as “embelished by artist” (but not by THE artist!), etc. I was expecting to be overwhelmed by the food options, and while the buffet was mostly inedible (so I didn’t think I was overeating quite as much as the people I’d heard who ate 8 lobsters a night or whatever), I did find myself having a lot more multi-course meals than I was used to and managed to put on 5 pounds in about 8 nights.

      Otherwise, my first cruise was pretty much just as I’d expected! Have fun!

      • Ooh – another one. There was a satellite balloon on my ship so my blackberry always worked. I didn’t use my personal phone because roaming charges would have been nuts, but this was an unexpected convenience.

      • Check out the laundry situation before you leave. One line we sailed had free laundry, one had coin operated machines, and one had no laundry rooms at all. If you needed something cleaned, it had to be sent to the ship’s (expensive) laundry service. Another had coin laundry, but no ironing boards. Very odd!

    • I would say avoid the pre-planned excursions. They’re not usually fun & are very overpriced, imo. I has a fantastic time without them (and in fact, no one who went on seemed to enjoy them).

      • The big advantage of the ship-planned shore excursions is that they are guaranteed by the cruise line. If the excursion runs really late, the ship will wait for you. Otherwise, you’re on your own and may incur high costs if the ship leaves without you.

        I didn’t think this was very important until I was on a tour that arrived back an hour after the ship’s scheduled sail time.

    • I love cruises! They can be completely relaxing, or mad partying, whichever you prefer.

      A few tips:
      1. Last time I cruised with Royal Caribbean, they took my luggage before I got on the ship and it magically reappeared in my room…several hours later. I wish I had brought a swim suit, shorts, sunscreen and flip-flops in my backpack (I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt from the plane ride). Instead, I just had to wear my plane clothes until my bag arrived.

      2. This is up for discussion, but I like to book and pay for my shore excursions and other expensive “extras” before getting on the boat (they’ll send you a packet of options). Then, the only expenses once I’m on the boat are drinks, gambling, souvenirs bought on the shore excursions, and tips, so the money guilt is gone. However, I’ve heard that the shore excursions are cheaper if you pay once you disembark.

      3. There is probably at least one “formal” dinner in the dining room – make sure you either bring a cocktail dress and appropriate shoes, or make other plans for dinner those days.

      4. On sunny days, it will be hard to find a deck chair on the boat. If your ship has a concierge “chair reservation” service, use it. Otherwise, plan to claim your chair early and not leave it.

      And have fun!

    • I’ve been on quite a few cruises. You’ll have a blast! From what I understand, the entertainment fills up quickly on Royal Caribbean, so you’ll either want to book in advance (if available) or on the first day when they announce reservations.

      Carry on your formal clothing. On my last cruise, there was a torrential downpour as people were boarding and so many people had soaked clothing that the laundry was overwhelmed. Many did not get their clothing back in time for formal night. Luckily we had a laundry onboard so I could dry/iron the rest of my clothes. Not all cruises have a laundry, so if that’s the case with your ship, you want to avoid bringing anything that may wrinkle.

      I try to take the stairs whenever possible and rarely gain any weight on cruises. The RCL ships are especially large, so if you stick to the stairs you should be able to burn calories pretty easily. I’d also recommend doing an open seating instead of a set time so you can eat when you are ready. I’ve been on some cruises that had amazing buffets (better than the dining room) and some that had awful buffets. You may want to try at least one premium restaurant, as they tend to use better ingredients than the main dining rooms and buffets. I think one visit is adequate for the typical cruise.

      If you’re signing up for water-based shore excursions available in morning and afternoon, take the afternoon. On my last cruise a lot of the morning excursions were canceled due to weather conditions, but many of the afternoon excursions went without a hitch.

    • Wow, tons of advice – thanks, ladies! AIMS, I have heard the same thing about shore excursions, so we will definitely be shopping around. I don’t need a ton of organized activities, anyway – I’m happy just to wander around town and see what looks interesting, and then hit the beach.

      • There are some interesting shore excursions. I’d say that if you are doing Eastern Caribbean, you probably won’t need anything as most of those ports are easy to walk around. The Western Caribbean has some ports that are harder to get around if you don’t do a short excursion- Belize, Costa Rica, and Roatan come to mind. It’s something you can research ahead of time to decide whether it’s worth the time and expense. If you just want to relax at a beach or walk around town, usually it’s easier just to get a taxi to where you want to go.

    • Royal Caribbean is a fun line, with a younger demographic. I’m sure you’ll have a great time!

      What works for us: check out the ship’s library early on and get a few good books before they disappear.

      If you want a massage or manicure or other spa service, book it the first day as the appointments fill up fast.

      If you drink wine, bring a few bottles and a corkscrew to have in your room. Your steward can bring you wine glasses and you can enjoy a glass as you get ready for the evening without paying the exorbitant alcohol prices. Especially nice if you have a balcony room; sit outside and enjoy the sunset!

      In my opinion, the “specialty” restaurants where you pay extra are NOT worth it. The main dining room is plenty fancy. The restaurants use the same kitchen, so the food is essentially the same.

      If you are at a table for 6 or 8 and don’t hit it off with the other couples, don’t hesitate to ask the maitre de for another table. Or switch to “any time” dining and ask for a table for two if you aren’t feeling sociable.

      The ship is blissfully empty while in port and we like to skip the shore excursions sometimes and just lounge around at the ship’s pool.

      NEVER tell your waiter you love a certain dessert, or they will bring you one every night, plus the evening’s special dessert. The waiters are like drug pushers when it comes to dessert :-)

      Have a wonderful trip!

    • I agree with the advice to avoid buying art – a lot of cruise ships are now “floating galleries” with onboard curators. They do lots of auctions, and generally try to suck you into spending more on art than it’s worth – note that a lot of times the pieces are basically reprints with a few touchups of paint, not original paintings. There is lots more info out there on the web if you search for it.

      It’s really easy to get swept up in the fun of a cruise, the free champagne they give you during the auctions (!), and the idea of buying something to remember your trip, and before you know it you’ve spent a lot of money on basically posters.

      On our last cruise, we bought several pieces that are beautiful, but probably not worth what we paid, and I do feel like we got slightly suckered by the whole experience.

      On another note, also be careful of buying photos onboard the cruise – they’ll have roving photographers who take pictures of you constantly, and then the pictures are available for sale. It’s amazing how quickly the price of a few pictures adds up, especially when they give you 8x10s, magnets/keychains, or leather portfolios to display the photo.

  15. Alias Terry :

    I really like the fabric, it reminds me of silk noil. But I need sleeves.

  16. So cute! I splurged on this REISS London dress yesterday:


    Not appropriate for the workplace – but damn. i love this dress.