Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Reversible Extra Fine Knit Cardigan

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

Majestic Reversible Extra Fine Knit CardiganLove the look of this reversible linen cardigan. Something about the shawl collar and the long hem reminds me of old-timey smoking jackets — I can almost picture Katharine Hepburn running around in this, belted, on top of her trademark wide trousers. I also like it open, though, particularly over a pencil skirt or sheath dress, perhaps with an opera-length necklace loosely looped a few times. The sweater is $265 at Nordstrom.  Majestic Reversible Extra Fine Knit Cardigan

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  1. Early threadjack. Does anyone have any suggestions about where in downtown DC – preferably around K St/Farrugut Sq/McPherson Sq/Metro Center – I could go to get a leather portfolio. DH is looking for a job and I’d like to get him one for interviews. I’d like to get it in the next day or so, so I don’t have time to run to Levenger’s at Tysons.

    • Portfolio or padfolio? Like a briefcase or one like the leather folder that holds the notebook and oen

      • The later

        • staples actually has them, and there is a staples at metro center http://www.staples.com/Padfolios/cat_CL140837?cm_sp=merchandising-_-Flyout%20Paper%20%26%20Pads-_-Padfolios

    • Johnston & Murphy has a nice folio. http://www.johnstonmurphy.com/product.aspx?c=1063&pid=46647&VID=46355
      There’s a store at Connecticut and M (btwn Farragut North and Dupont). You may want to check to see if they have this in stock before going there.

    • If there’s a Fossil store around there, they have some beautiful leather goods for men, including portfolios.

    • check out filenes basement.

  2. Associette :

    I would wear this sweater on a Sunday to the grocery store with dark jeans and a thin belt to cinch the waste – but never to work.

  3. Legally Brunette :

    These sorts of long, flappy cardigans tend to look really dowdy, in my eyes. Maybe it would look better with a belt?

    PSA – Banana Republic has tons of cute clothes in their stores now. I walked in the other day after not visiting for ages. Lots of great spring dresses and really cute blazers too.

    • I have the same problem. I like the look, but I feel that it overwhelms my 5-foot frame.

      • Haha, I wore one of them this weekend and my mom said I look like a bag lady.

      • Decor Cutie :

        It looks the dowdyand overwhelms me as well, and I have a 6ft frame. I don’t think it’s us… :-)

        • I don’t know, I think this is a “to each her own” kind of thing. I am 5’4 and wear these types of cardigans, as well as the slightly more structured, but still long, “boyfriend” ones, all the time, and find both to be quite flattering.

          The cardigans that make me feel dowdy and frumpy are the classic, crewneck “jackie” style ones. Go figure.

          • Honey Bear :

            I’m with ya, AIMS. I’m 5’2″, 113 lbs and I love wearing these types of long cardigans, with or without a skinny belt.

  4. This looks too sweatshirty to wear to work, IMO.

    I have one open front cardigan from Boden that I wear to work (it’s a light purple merino wool) but I have a hard time with it. I can never get the waterfall part to lay right, and it often looks rumpled. I like the look on the page, but can’t quite get it to work on my body. I’m always mildly disappointed when I return to my usual cardigan wardrobe, despite trying to be more adventurous.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I was at J.Crew over the weekend and their marketing push right now is sweatpants, I kid you not. ‘You can size up and wear them slouchy like Lauren Hutton, or size down and wear them like leggings, like Lauren Hutton’s 30-something goddaughter!’ Aside from the fact that I found it hilarious that they weren’t actually showcasing anyone wearing their own size, just up or down, even the styling looked bad. Lauren Hutton looked like a slob, and that really takes some doing. Adding a bunch of jewelry and a fancy trench over sweatpants is not a “look.”

      • Agree 100%. Saw the Lauren Hutton ads in the latest catalog and they are terrible, as well as the current collection. I used to spend a small fortune at JCrew each season in t-shirts, sweaters and workwear, but the poor fabric selection, shoddy construction and inconsistent sizing of late just ensures that same clothing spend goes to james perse/nordies/theory/jigsaw, etc.

    • I’ve started belting my open front cardigans. Makes them look a bit more up-scale.

  5. I actually like this look on me, I have a larger tum and this does a lot to camouflage it. The only issue is that the flowy open cardigan look is what the women at my office wear when they are just shy of announcing their pregnancy, which makes me not want to wear it to you lest I start whispering.

  6. I do not want to wear this to work, but find it to be perfect for weekend parties and after work get-togethers.

  7. I like this cardigan, especially the effect with the two different colors. It would work great for me on toning down more business-y outfits for the office.

  8. I would wear this cardigan with jeans, but not to work. I like it a lot! But I don’t $265 like it. :)

  9. I posted this yesterday and got a couple helpful responses, but am reposting in the hope that I will hit a few more eyes. I know this is in large part a judgment call, and I’ve found the collective wisdom here extremely helpful:

    I had a final round interview for a fantastic job last week and anticipate either a “no thank you” or an offer on Monday (tomorrow!). I have two more final round interviews over the next 1-2 weeks, which are not quite as prestigious, but might be better fits for me.

    My question is, in the event I do get an offer from the first place tomorrow, how do I handle asking for some time to think about it? They know I’m interviewing elsewhere. I don’t want to give the impression that I don’t want the job, but I would also like some time to think about it (I should hear at least from one of the others a week from tomorrow).

    Also, any advice on making the choice for the “best” firm I can get into, which I anticipate will always be a strong stamp on the resume, versus a very good place that might culturally fit me better (and is less “up or out”)?

    Thanks so much!

    • I’m assuming this is a law firm? What are your long-term goals? Do you want to make partner, stay for a while? Or do you imagine staying a couple years and then moving on to something else?

      “Up or out” matters less if you just want the credentials on your resume … unless you’re coming in as a 6th or 7th year and may be out before you’ve had a real chance to get the experience you want or the opportunity to shoot for partner if you want to try for that. I have a very big name firm on my resume and IMO, it has really helped a lot b/c it’s easily recognizable. So there’s my bias.

      • It’s consulting, and I likely wouldn’t mind going ‘out’ after a couple years, which is why I am thinking it could be the better move to go for the big name over the best fit for me personally on a daily basis….

        • All I know about consulting is from my friends — but if you are planning to transition into an MBA program or Venture, some of these big names make a difference. Also, apologies if you are entering at a higher level — I only know associates.

          However, there seem to be some pretty big differences in culture between the most prestigious options — from what I understand, McKinsey is very prestigious, but works you VERY hard and may be a very difficult 2-3 years. Most of my McKinsey friends are RELIEVED when their time ends. On the other hand, my friends at Bain work hard, but have found it a much more nurturing environment. Both crowds have been able to use their connections at those places to leverage management options etc someplace in-house.

    • I think it’s perfectly reasonable that you ask for time to consider an offer. A week or two is completely standard, and it shouldn’t hurt your chances of getting the job. I wouldn’t worry about not looking eager enough. They most likely want someone who makes decisions deliberately, not someone who shoots from the hip, without regard to consequences.

      As to whether you should take the more prestigious firm, or one that you’d like working for… that’s something only you can decide. Are you after the status that the “better” firm will get you? Personally, I’d rather be satisfied with my job than be pushing hard for a goal that I don’t really want to reach anyway.

  10. I say be up front about it and tell them you need up to XX weeks to think about it in light of your personal situation (including other jobs you are interviewing for). If they know you are looking elsewhere, this is more than adequate; just make sure you build enough time in so that you can consider the other ones you have yet to interview for. You don’t want to rush and say yes/no too soon, only to find that the other ones are not so hot. I personally go for the firm that I feel most comfortable with, because no one wants to be out there again any time soon, irregardless of how prestigious the name of the firm you worked with. It’s not a cozy place out there for any one. So take the job you like the most and stick with it!

  11. Eh, $265 is a bit much for a so-so cardigan.

    Anyhow, I am seeking a full time legal assistant/secretary position. My eventual career goal is to become a paralegal in a big law firm. Which job sites should I use? I am familiar with monster, careerbuilder, craigslist, and my school website. I am sure that there are many job listings out there that I am missing out on because I don’t know where to look.

    • Some firms have their own job listings on their sites. If you’re in a major city, I would just take the vault list (or some other big firm ranking) and go check the websites of all the firms.

    • found a peanut :

      If your eventual goal is to become a paralegal in a big law firm, I would apply directly to the big law firm itself. Many of the large firms will have websites with “career” sections that will have info on how to apply. For instance, I just randomly looked at Perkins Coie’s website and they have a “careers” section and then a “professional staff” section with available positions and whom to contact. I don’t believe that these paralegal positions would require much experience beyond a bachelor’s degree. Prior office experience would obviously be a plus but I do think people right out of college can get these types of jobs, so the experience isn’t a necessity.

      • Original Lola :

        My big government legal agency often hires legal secretary/assistant folks who don’t even have a bachelors degree. Some of them have retail experience only.

        The idea is that they can train them from Day 1, and that these more inexperienced people won’t need to be “re-trained,” i.e., come in with bad habits.

        (I have my own opinions about whether this strategy is actually effective is staffing a law office… but that wasn’t your question, and I’m not in charge.)

    • I obviously don’t know much about your background, but I think you should set your sights on a paralegal position immediately. I don’t think secretary –> paralegal is a tried and true career path in many places, at least not in places I’ve worked.

      • E, the problem is that most of the paralegal positions aren’t entry level and required 5+ years of experience. In theory, I should know how to calendar and fill out forms, but I haven’t had much practice with it. Even if I were to be hired, I would require much training to do the things paralegals do.

        Legal secretary and legal assistant positions are easier to break into. Unfortunately, they sometimes involve such job duties as fetching coffee for the attorney and running to the post office to mail stuff.

        My background…. looks extremely bad on paper. I have a couple of clerical/light accounting positions here and there, but nothing too substantial. Anyhow, I don’t want to say too much about myself in case some employer happens to be reading this blog for whatever reason and manages to trace this moniker to my email… somehow.

        • *require

          Ahhhhh typos.

        • I worked as a paralegal right out of college, and my whole “class” of paralegals did the same thing. I think there are a lot of entry level paralegal positions out there. Since you aren’t finding them you might want to look into an agency that would place you, or do temp paralegal work first as experience rather than go the legal secretary route. I don’t think the legal secretary -> paralegal track makes much sense.

    • A paralegal friend has found some opportunities through a local paralegal association. There are monthly lunches and continuing ed opportunities and I believe you can attend as a guest without joining. You might want to check that out and see what is available in your city. Good luck!

      • Original Lola :

        Also, my state Bar Association has an employment board with attorney jobs and non-attorney jobs.

        You might also check with your local chapters of lawyer organizations – local bar associations, local chapter of the American Academy of Trial Lawyers, local chapter of National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, etc.

  12. getting a little desperate... :

    I posted this on the weekend thread, but in an effort to get more opinions, I’m re-posting and slightly modifying my question:

    What are people’s thoughts on job listings on craigslist? I’m getting a little desperate, but I just can’t bring myself to respond to anything on craigslist because I can’t imagine any legitimate/decent job can be found there. Am I wrong? I’m in law, and I’m wondering if there are legitimate jobs posted by very small firms. Is there any harm in responding to some?

    Also, someone responded to my first post suggesting that the ones that don’t list the names of the companies are more likely to be sketchy, but it seems like none of the law firm postings have names (and not just the ones that are clearly headhunters). For example, this post: http://newyork.craigslist.org/wch/lgl/2366389503.html It looks legit, but no name. How can I tell??

    • I’m not sure you have a lot to lose (other than your time) by replying to posts like that, even if they turn out to not be legitimate postings. If it’s real, they should identify the firm when they respond to you, and if it’s not, all they have is your resume. I wouldn’t send them anything I’d want to stay confidential just in case, but it seems like a resume and cover letter are pretty innocuous, particularly if you don’t have a current employer you want to hide your job seeking from.

    • My thoughts on Craig’s List ads are as follows: there are probably some legitimate legal jobs out there, but consider the kind of person an employer that posts a free ad on CL is trying to attract.

      I actually know someone who found a legal job through CL. But, the job paid about $13/hr. For a lawyer. With no benefits. My friend took it b/c he was desperate, and he was able to gain some experience and leave, but it was, all in all, not a pleasant experience for him. Only you can decide if something like that would work for you.

    • Last hiring round my mid-size firm used Craigslist because we were trying to avoid racking up recruiter fees. I had to wade through the resumes and responses, and I felt like we got a lower caliber from the Craigslist ads than any other ads. That being said, we still use it as a means to get resumes when we’re trying to avoid the traditional (and more expensive) path of hiring. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      I obtained a legitimate corporate job through craigslist. I was actually shopping for furniture and didn’t even know that they had my field of work posted there until I stumbled over there. I also thought it might turn out to be a joke or the like but large/established corporations and other business organizations don’t want to pay for recruiters either, so look it over and if it looks legitimate, give it a shot. Most professionals are probably wary of craigslist so your resume may turn out to be one of the stronger ones.

    • Anonforthis :

      I actually got my job at a smallish firm through craigslist. I’ve been there for over a year and am extremely happy. I actually know of a lot of organizations (esp. nonprofits) and firms that use craigslist to post jobs because it is so much cheaper than other means of posting positions.

    • You don’t really have anything to lose by applying for a job on craigslist. Just make sure not to send personal information or pay for the services.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I don’t know how you can tell, but my younger sister found her job as a paralegal at a small law firm on Craigslist, and I think legit lawyer jobs are listed as well. I was rather surprised–until she got the job, I never even would have thought to look for a job on Craigslist. She’s Gen Y and I’m Gen X. ;-)

  13. This question is WAY off-topic, but corporettes are always so helpful that I thought you all might have some insight. I am not sure what to do about my cat. She’s an older cat (12 years), and for the past year or so she’s been making a huge mess of my apartment. Vomiting several times a day, messing outside her litter box, etc. I’ve taken her to the vet and they can’t find anything wrong with her. I’ve also tried creating peace and serenity for her by setting up my spare bedroom with her things, a very clean litter box, scratching posts, toys, and even one of those Zen fountains (srsly). Nothing works. I really don’t know what to do. I feel terrible because I’ve had her for 11 years and she’s really a sweet and loving cat, but if I come home from work to find poop in the bathtub or vomit all over my couches, I might just lose my mind. Has anyone faced something similar? Any advice?

    • i think the first step i would take would be to take her to a different vet for a second opinion, just in case there’s something her regular vet missed!

      also, is it possible that sometime over the past year or two she has developed an allergy, either to something new in your house or to her food or litter? i don’t think it’s unheard of for cats to develop allergies to these things – maybe try feeding her a grain-free food (if you don’t already) or one specially formulated for cats with grain sensitivities? (the natural balance “limited ingredient diet” line looks good, but my cats haven’t needed it.) you could also try a non-clay litter – maybe the fragrance or dust from her litter is causing some kind of irritation.

    • Can you shut her in the spare bedroom for the day? Maybe if she’s enclosed to one environment she won’t want to make it so messy. Or is there someone that she trusts who could visit her during the day if you think she’s lonely? It sounds to me like aggression if she’s purposefully going outside her box–the vomit is different. We curtailed our cat’s vomit by doing all the anti-gorge tips (google should give the list) and brushing him every single day so he doesn’t get fur balls.
      I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time with her….maybe a holistic vet would have more ideas?

      • Sounds like inflammatory bowel disease – I think that’s what the vet called it ; it was definitely called IBD and not the thing people get. The primary treatment was prednisone, which helped a lot with the symptoms, but it is definitely a chronic thing. And the age is right. Have they done a sonogram?

    • Consider taking her to a different vet.
      Maybe a holistic one, that will think a bit more outside the box. Also, I know the ASPCA has behavioral specialists that can help you figure out what might be causing this.

      If she is is pooping all over and vomiting, it could be a diet issue. Did you switch her food in the past year? If not, maybe you should. Consider a food specifically made for older cats. Also, if she eats dry, maybe switch to wet — dry food is harder to digest, esp. as cats get older.

      You may also consider setting up a safe space for her to do her vomiting — like say a mat in some corner.

      It could also be behavioral. Has anything changed in your life since this started happening? Are you working different hours? Do you have new neighbors? Etc. Twelve is really not that old for a cat and maybe you can figure this out and fix it. Good luck!

    • Something similar happened to my poor little cat. One day she just stopped using her litter box, which she’d never done before. The vet couldn’t tell what was wrong until they did an x-ray which showed fluid in her abdomen (which itself is a symptom of other very nasty things). Basically, my cat stopped using her litter box because it hurt to go to the bathroom so she associated the litter box with something that hurt.

      Also, as AIMS suggests, cats react pretty strongly to changes in their lives and if they are stressed, it can really show up in their behaviour. Have you been spending less time at home? Is it possible your cat is lonely or worried?

      If your vet can’t find something wrong, try another vet, and fast. Is there a cat specialist clinic near you? Not to worry you unnecessarily, but there could be something seriously wrong. Hugs, I know this is stressful – I have been there.

    • Thank you all for your responses – this is all very helpful. This all did start after a big change when the cat and I moved to NYC and into a tiny apartment on a very high floor. She was miserable there and would do horrible, horrible things like going potty on my bed. (Imagine coming home to that after a long day…) I’ve since moved back to Boston and into a much larger apartment on the second floor. But nevertheless, she hasn’t gotten better. I’ll definitely take her to another vet to see if they have any ideas.

    • Is she eating anything she shouldn’t be in your place? My cat loves to chew on plants, baskets, etc. Then he throws up. Once we took away the plant, he got constipated (I guess it was his fiber), and stopped using the litterbox because it was painful to go. Now he gets Metamucil (seriously) mixed in with his food, and all is right with the word.

      Another though, my MIL had a problem cat, and the vet recommended a cat whisperer. It’s very new-agey, but she actually had good ideas/insight. Even if there is not one in your area, apparently this one did a lot of consults by phone (though I’m not sure whether she was speaking to the cat or the owner…)

      • My cat also eats plants for fiber. I read on the internet that some cats like eating plants because it makes them vomit. Mine is not eating it for this purpose.

        I have certainly noticed that her litter is softer when she eats plants. I buy wheatgrass at the grocery store for her.

        My vet also recommended “diet” food. My cat is skinny, but the vet said that the diet food has a lot more fiber, too.

    • Agree with those recommend getting a second opinion and add the following: find a vet – just call around if you have no recommendations from friends – who has as a portion of his/her practive “senior” pet care. When my beloved dog got to be 13 years old, I happened to find such a vetinary practice by accident. All the vets there had particular knowledge of elderly pet needs/problems, and recommended a “senior pet checkup” twice a year, in order to try to catch problems before they became major health issues. My other bit of advice, which I hope no one will take wrong: find a practice in a “rich” area – imho, the practice will be more likely to have the above-the-norm services [which are, yes, expensive] available. Best of luck to you and to kitty!

      • I would also recommend getting a second opinion, and also suggest talking to an animal trainer that knows about cats to help deal with the behaviour problems. I was impressed with what I learnt just chatting to someone for 20 minutes about their career as an animal trainer – very insightful.

    • This is going to sound really woo-woo but have you heard of Feliway? It’s a plug-in cat pheromone dispenser, like a Glade kind of thing. My two pound kitties were peeing on a particular rug in my house for the first couple of months after I adopted them. I read about feliway on crazy aunt purl’s blog when I was desperate and would try anything. The idea is that the pheromones will calm the cats down. Anyway, it shocked the heck out of me, but it worked.

      I do agree with the other posters, though. I would really rule out something medical first. I know cats can pee and poop to show their displeasure or stress, but I haven’t heard of them vomiting voluntarily.

      • Here’s a link to Feliway on amazon – read the reviews

    • It sounds like you really need a second opinion. With one cat, he was seriously ill when he had these symptoms. The other was simply allergic to her cat food. Changed to a brand without gluten and she’s doing a lot better now.

  14. Men’s Clothing Threadjack: My husband is tall and thin: 6′ and 150 pounds. He is slowly working on upgrading his dress shirts, as he has finally come to terms that the shirts he bought several years ago from Macy’s just don’t fit his body. He can get away with BR’s slim cut, but even that is pushing it. Brooks Brothers is completely out for him. Can anyone recommend brands or stores with clothing that would fit tall, skinny men? We’re in SF and he likes Cafe Coton, but he’s still not quite comfortable dropping $100+ per shirt.

    • Don’t know about tall & skinny, but I like Lands End for shirts for my husband. They are good quality and often go on sale (and even when not on sale, they’re pretty affordable). I know they have a “tailored” option for dress shirts, but I can’t speak to the details.

    • eh – my brother (14 or 14.5 inch neck, 33 inch sleeves and a very thin torso) and he has no options at Lands’ End. Brooks Brothers, on the other hand, had many options. I’m guessing BB is out because of the price? Are there any BB outlets nearby?

      Or – try finding a tailor that will make custom shirts.

      • No, BB is out because he swims in their clothing. He is willing to pay but can’t find anything there that doesn’t make him look like he’s playing dress-up. Does your brother wear the BB Extra Slim Fit? I haven’t seen those in stores and DH is loathe to order something sight unseen. But if you’ve had luck with that, maybe he should try it.

        Lands End….okay for polos, but their dress shirts are not for the skinny.

        • Well – he doesn’t need to wear dress shirts on a regular basis – so he’s never actually tried BB. I just did some looking when he was talking about having problems.

          You might be able to call BB or check the website to get measurements for the Extra Slim and see if its ballpark enough to be worth ordering. Or just order the Extra Slim and return if it doesn’t fit. It seems if DH is having that much trouble finding stuff in stores, then he’s going to need to start getting comfortable with on line shopping.

          • He needs to get comfortable with shopping in general. :) Thanks for the idea about calling for measurements.

        • Brooks just introduced a slim cut. My tall/skinny triathlete brother really likes their shirts.

          • Yes. This is what I was going to say — he needs to try the extra slim. BB extra slim may actually work very well.

            Also, consider Zara if you have a store near you. They tend to cut slimmer and trendier, and actually make some nice, reasonably priced dress shirts for men.

            Finally, if Express men fits anything like Express for women, you may find some options there or at H&M — both seem to make clothes on the tight side, in my experience.

          • AIMS has the right idea with Express Men – their fitted shirts fit my boyf, who is roughly the same height and weight as your husband, Jay. However, he’s found the quality of the shirts to be pretty bad, so he’ll only buy them on deep discount.

    • Hiatus815 :

      My hubby is 6’3″ and 155 pounds. He wears a lot of BR (he often buys NWT stuff from Ebay). DKNY button-up shirts also fit him very nicely. They are more trendy than classic, though.

    • My husband is a bit larger than yours (6’3″, 180 lbs.) In his super-thin days (140 lbs or so), he wore Medium/Talls from Eddie Bauer and LL Bean. Both are pretty reasonable and have slim-fits available, too. My caveat here is that my husband generally prefers a looser-fitting shirt, so the medium/talls may still be too loose.

    • My hubs is about the same size. He buys a lot of Charles Tyrwhitt shirts in the slim fit (the regular fit is enormous). There is a store in nyc or you can order online from the UK. Very reasonable prices and you can choose french cuffs. I also like their women’s shirts.

      He also lives in landsend sweaters, which come in tall.

    • try the European brands, like Hugo Boss – they are cut slimmer in general and have “athletic fit”

    • My husband is 160, 5’11”. He went to Nordstroms and has the Nordstroms house brand custom shirts (I think they are close to 100/shirt, but they go on sale for anniversary and men’s half yearly, I think). Anyways, they take a bunch of measurements. They’re not 100% custom, but there’s a lot more tailoring. He’s been much happier with those than his old BR shirts.

      If you go to Nordstroms, they’ll fit you for a ton of different brands and see what works best. One of my pet peeves about our Nordstroms is that the customer service in the men’s department is so much better than the women’s. It make take a couple of hours, but that is what I would do.

      • Thanks! I think he’s finally willing to commit that kind of time to get shirts that fit him properly, now that he has a couple that do and can see what a difference it makes.

    • Pink on Black :

      He could try J Hilburn which custom makes shirts, a few sub-$100 options. I know a few men who have tried and liked it. URL is http://www.jhilburn.com/catalog/custom_shirts

      • My super thin brothers and cousin like H and M and Hugo Boss, respectively. they are all a bit shorter- 5’9/5’10. Different price points and quality, obviously, but both cut quite slim. My broad shouldered thick-necked husband on the other hand, can never fit into those two brands, so I think they might work for a taller, leaner man.

  15. Threadjack – Last night, I noticed that the knobby part on the left most part of my right foot (i.e., at the left side of the ball of the foot, a few inches below my big toe) is jutting out more and making my right foot look (and feel) totally foreign to me. It is making my right foot noticeably wider than my left foot, but it is also making my foot more of a diamond shape since there is a tighter angle from the knob to my big toe. What is going on here? Is this kind of thing normal with age (and 2 pregnancies) or do I need to see a podiatrist?

    • Decor Cutie :

      Sounds like you’re getting a bunion…you should probably see a podiatrist.

    • That’s a bunion, you should see someone about it.

      As a side note, I have been seeing lots of younger women with bunions lately. I know I mistreated my feet when I was younger, but if I have a daughter I am making her wear sneakers all the time!

    • I have a case of the Monday's :

      It certainly sounds like a bunion. I know they form over time but it feels like mine formed over just a few weeks. I’ve had a very good friend go through two painful bunion surgeries so I’m paranoid and have retired most of my super cute (and expensive) shoes. I where flats whenever possible and only wear super high heels if I really need/want to make a statement. I’m in my early thirties and it seems like every one of my girlfriends has at least a small bunion if not full-fledged bunions. It’s so sad!

    • If the bunion is not too bad, you can get toe spacers to wear between your big toe and next toe to help realign your foot. A podiatrist might not say you need surgery….

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      If it’s growing that fast perhaps it’s a ganglion cyst rather than a bunion? You should probably get it checked out to see what’s going on.

      If it’s a bunion, I sympathize. My grandmother has bunions, my mother has bunions, my two sisters and I have bunions . . . and it isn’t due to bad shoes because I’ve had mine for as long as I can remember (like, since age 11).

  16. I’ve had 2 phone interviews for a job I’m pretty excited about, and they just called to set up a lunch meeting later this week with one of the directors (1 of the 3 people I’ve already spoken with). I’m assuming this is the final step before an offer would be made. I’ve only ever done a lunch interview from an informational perspective, so I’m not really sure what to expect. The job involves travel, so my guess is that they want to get a feel for how I might interact with clients. Should I anticipate it to be more conversational, or will it likely be similar to a standard interview? I appreciate any advice you might have. Thanks!

    • My experience is that lunch interviews are more conversational, but always remember that they are still an interview! Wear a suit. Order food you can eat quasi-neatly. Stick with drinks that don’t stain teeth.

      Also, make sure you bring a purse that can fit under a chair and only bring a portfolio if it fits in said purse. Don’t bring a jacket if its warm enough — the less “stuff” you have to deal with while sitting down, the happier you’ll be. Otherwise, just relax…its probably a great sign. :-)

      • A small pad to jot notes on – the table won’t be big enough for 8.5 x 11. Good luck!

  17. SF Bay Associate :

    Threadjack – my good friend recently had a baby and is interviewing for a new job. Her baby brought her a much bigger bustline than what she had before, so her pre-baby clothes don’t fit anymore. Having a small bust myself, I have little experience in what suits and tops will best fit her new figure. For you bustier ladies, are there brands or styles of suits/tops that are the most flattering for you? Budget is a concern for her as well, but even general shapes/styles tips would be great. I’ve already directed her to Carissa Rose, but I am sure you ladies know much more than I.

    We may have discussed this already, so if someone remembers that, I’ll be happy to look at the old thread, too. Thanks!

    • Good for her! I have purchased a few shells at Talbots – I’ve found they have some extra room in the bust without being too big in the shoulders. Also, I googled “corporette: busty” and there are a couple of entries for tips: https://corporette.com/2008/11/03/ten-things-about-dressing-professionally-if-youre-busty/ from Nov. 2008 and one from April 2009, which might give her some good suggestions for brands: https://corporette.com/2009/04/02/reader-mail-how-to-dress-if-youre-busty-and-on-a-budget/

    • The “standard” answer is a jacket that buttons high over the bosom. This is hard for me as I am also short (5’0) and short-waisted to boot! But when I find a jacket where the torso is an appropriate length, this works well for me. The other must-do is a v-neck. It doesn’t need to be deep (in fact, it’s better if it’s not), but it goes a long way toward minimizing the massive -looming effect that a round neck, solid color can sometimes create.

      On Brooks Bros site: There are several three-button jackets that would be worth a try; the cotton pique four button probably would not because of the round neck issue. There is an open closure jacket, which aside from the fact that it is round, is likely just to flop open down the sides of the breasts.

      The problem with longer lapels is that the fabric “breaks” over the bosom, rather than drapes. And for some reason, high round necks seem to break too, in my experience.

      And – long chains. Avoid them if there is the possibility that you will look down and find it encircling a breast. Gosh I hope for your friend this is a temporary issue.

  18. Threadjack — I was just rummaging around on the Talbot’s clearance site and found this dress. It is only $25, but without any reviews, I hate to buy something that is final sale. Anyone have any first hand experience? Is it a lightweight (multi-season) wool?

    • oops — here is the link: http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi25693&rootCategory=cat70018&catId=cat400043&sortKey=Default&section=Outlet&conceptIdUnderSale=cat400043

    • No, I think the double-face wool items from Talbots last season are like two layers of felt put together — soft and flexible, but almost fleecy and not lightweight. They had a bunch of jackets in the fabric as well. I don’t own any, but I would assume they are very warm when on.

      • I would warn against purchasing something final sale from talbots if you do not shop there regularly. Their stuff runs extremely large. I take an 8 most places but a size 4 there.

    • I have no firsthand experience, but I did order it this morning. I figured for $25, if it doesn’t work, I’ll just put it on ebay.

    • I have a skirt in the double-faced wool. It is definitely a thicker winter-weight wool, with a texture like wool flannel. It is a bit stretchy. I like it, but I think it would be too warm for a silicon valley summer. I work in SF and I’ve put my skirt away till next Nov.

  19. Magdeline :


    I’m a law student and a just received a nice scholarship. I am in desperate need of a new suit. (I wear suits every day for work.) I’m thinking of navy like the J. Crew Super 120s pinstripe.

    Any suggestions for a nice, relatively low-priced (Ann Taylor/Banana/J.Crew pricing) navy suit?

    • I have the super 120s navy pinstripe, bought it last summer. It’s a beautiful suit, wears well and I constantly get compliments on it. Navy is a little harder to match than black and gray, I find, but it’s worth it. Especially in the summer, it’s the least “harsh” looking dark neutral. Seriously, I can’t recommend this suit highly enough. Only advice is that the Nouvelle jacket doesn’t look good with very high necklines, I think because of the long and thin lapels.

      • Diana Barry :

        I have 3 Jcrew super 120s suits – lt grey, dark grey pinstripe, and black. Love them!!! I also have a BR suit from last year in navy that is great. In my experience the brands go J crew, banana, AT in terms of quality (for suits that is) – I gave up on AT bc of that.

        • I have the J crew super 120’s navy pinstrip suit (I have the two button jacket, skirt and pants). This is my favorite suit, both material and colorwise. I find the material much nicer than my BR suits. FYI – j crew currently has a 20% off promo for cardholders running through the end of May.

          • Pink on Black :

            Might you have the promo code for this? I’ve been thinking of getting the two button jacket for a while. I have the Nouvelle and it seems a little long for the paley crops and for non-pencil cut skirts (I’m not that tall).

  20. JJill has a new suiting line that is very nice for summer – navy and grey. When I was in the store this weekend, some of the jackets and pants were on the sale rack, others not yet. I think the sale pants were the “stupid” ones – crops and dress-up shorts, but the jackets looked like traditional blazers. And they did make standard pants and skirts. The line comes in petites and womens 0 – 20.