Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Ruffled Tweed Jacket

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

Armani Collezioni Ruffled Tweed JacketI like all Armani stuff, but for some reason this ruffled tweed jacket is totally calling my name. I like the fitted silhouette, the slight flare to the jacket from the waist down, the basic but interesting pattern in the tweed, and the fringes and ruffles on the lapels, sleeves, and collar. It’s $1525 at Saks Fifth Avenue. Ruffled Tweed Jacket

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  1. Diana Barry :

    I like this, although I would have to see it in person to determine whether the tweed was too shiny – I can’t tell what that slightly shiny material is from the zoom on the NM website.

    Also, for those with long arms, the jacket’s sleeves are too short on the model. But very nice otherwise!!

    • Very good point – I have long arms and therefore this would look clownish on me. But I think it’s really pretty. Maybe a little over the top for work, but I’d wear it anyway.

  2. Very nice, but 1500 bucks? No, thanks.

  3. Sleek and sexy. I like the suit.

  4. I like it… but even if I were to drop a mortgage payment on a jacket, it wouldn’t be this one. I’m suspecting that ruffles have had their moment and more tailored trim will be coming back.

  5. Has anyone ever (successfully) stayed friends with someone they dated?

    After a year and a half its become evident that the relationship is not going anywhere. And after the initial heartache, and upon reflection, its probably for the best. The thing is, as mad as I am that my life isn’t working out the way I wanted it to (and I think that’s a big part of what I’m grieving over), I mostly still like the guy and would be open to spending time with him in the future – in the friends (without benefits) capacity. Am I fooling myself into thinking this is remotely possible?

    • it is possible, but it depends heavily on his feelings about the breakup and ensuing friendship, as well as the attitudes of future partners of both of you…

    • You should Google Dan Savage’s youtube video on being friends with an ex. What he says — and I agree with — is that you can be friends much later, but not right away. You have to let the wounds heal — truly heal — before thinking about being friends again. Otherwise, it’s just too painful for the dumpee.

      • Dan Savage, once again, for the win. I agree.

      • This. I am friends with a few of my exes, so I’m living proof that it can be done, but it’s basically impossible to be friends right away. In fact, in my experience it’s taken about a year, and or some geographic space. I know that might sound like a really long time, and maybe it’s not that long for everyone, but I will say that it’s worth it. Those relationships weren’t right for me, but I really value the friendships with people who know me so well.

    • One of my best girlfriends has managed to stay friends with her ex. They didn’t give it any time after they broke-up, though. Overall, I don’t think it’s been a successful experiment. He stays at her place (no benefits, however) for extended periods of time when he needs a place to crash between leases or for whatever reason. They talk to the phone or via text all the time. I think their friendship has seriously gotten in her way of moving on to another serious, long term-relationship. I know there is the urge, once you’ve spent so much time with someone, to avoid having to deal with the loneliness associated with a break-up, but keeping him in your life to fill that void (not saying that you are) is murky territory. I agree with the previous poster who recommended space and time before attempting to build a friendship. Keep in mind that once you get into another relationship, some guys, even the most secure, might resent time you spend with an ex-turned-friend. Good luck to you and congrats on being able to do the right thing with a relationship that isn’t moving forward!

    • I tend to think that it’s a better idea to just be “friendly” as opposed to “friends”- by which I mean that you are polite, if you run into each other you stop and chat, maybe stay friends on facebook if you’re into that sort of thing, spend times in groups of mutual friends. But I would certainly avoid one-on-one time or specifically planned time together- it’s just too emotionally wrought. If you’re friendly, and eventually it turns into friendship, that’s great. If not, well, that’s life.

      • This. I believe how the breakup played out, and how much of a history of being “friends” (without benefits) you had before you dated factor heavily into this equation.

        I am “friendly” with 2/4 serious ex-boyfriends from the last 10 years and would probably be “friends” with them if they didn’t live halfway across the country. I had been good friends with each before the respective romantic relationships, and after a couple months of being hurt/upset and having no contact with them, it was easy for both of us to fall back into the friendship.

        Of the other two, I totally lost contact with one — I had not been friends with him before we dated. I am not on speaking terms with the other. We had a long history and had been extremely close friends for years before we dated; the breakup was one-sided and very messy. Since, we’ve both married and even moved to the same area, but I really don’t anticipate ever being even “friendly” with him again (I’ve gotten to the point where I feel like I could be… I tried a friendly overture congratulating him on his marriage but got a very terse reply), it’s always going to be too “emotionally wrought.”

        So I guess my answer is “it depends.” Good luck moving on in a healthy way — whatever ends up being right for you!

    • I think it’s a fiction that we all need to hold onto when going through a breakup like this one. I’ve stayed friends with a few exes, but I’d say it’s about half and half–and by “friends” I mean, I see them from time to time, not “we hang out all the time.”

    • Of my two exes from serious long-term relationships, I am friendly, but not really friends with both. With the one with whom it worked most successfully it was a low-drama breakup when we both realised we just weren’t really emotionally involved anymore, and we didn’t really speak for a few months afterwards. I’m not good friends with him, but we’re in contact and we go for coffee/lunch sometimes when I’m in town. The other time I’ve tried it, the break up was a bit more emotional and we didn’t really have any downtime between “relationship” and “friends”. In retrospect, I didn’t insist on downtime because I felt bad for breaking up with him, but I should have because he had a lot of trouble letting go. I found out later that he had turned down another woman because she insisted that he reduce his (seriously too frequent) interactions with me.

    • As with many things, this really is one of those “it depends” situations. I’ve stayed friends with several people I’ve dated, but certainly not all. It can be done. Give it some time and you sould play it by ear. My one recommendation is that when you decide to hang out again, make sure you are in a place where you can honestly tell yourself you are not trying to get back together and have completely moved on…

      • Oh, and by the way, when I say I am friends with some people I used to date, I really mean good friends – i.e. to the point that we have gone on vacations, etc. But also at the point where I am trying to set them up with people. One guy I used to date I set up with his now wife…so don’t lose hope if you really do want to be friends…Just make sure you are careful about your feelings (and his).

    • Ruthy Sue :

      I agree with the consensus that it really depends. I am still extremely good friends with one of my exes, so close in fact that not only do we spend a lot of time together but we also set each other up on dates and confide in one another about dating issues. I know this is pretty rare, but still I think this was only possible because we didn’t date for very long and the relationship itself wasn’t particularly romantic (We probably should have just been friends from the start). However, we did still take some time apart after we broke up to transition into being friends, and that helped as well. I think the most important part is to be very clear about your relationship and what you want/expect from one another and what you feel comfortable with. If some awkwardness arises, for me, it was best to just put it out there and talk about it. For example, sometimes when we would go somewhere he would put his hand on the small of my back as a walked through a door, which made me a little uncomfortable. Talking about it was good because he didn’t even realize or think about that he was doing it out of habit. I just be mindful that it may work out and it might not, especially once either of you get into a relationship with someone else.

  6. I bought a white blazer yesterday and am concerned about getting makeup on the collar. I fear dry-cleaning won’t remove the makeup. Is there a way to remove it before having it cleaned that won’t ruin the fabric?

  7. Delta Sierra :

    Kat, this jacket is beyond gorgeous. Nicely tailored body, feminine ruffles, and some face-framing for those who like/need that. Perfect.

  8. I know the general consensus on here is that Nordstrom’s return policy is very generous, but I still wanted to ask on this before I go in: I bought a bra about a month and a half ago, and the strap broke the other day. I was set to go in and exchange it this morning, but I can’t find the receipt (very frustrating because I keep everything, and I have all of my other receipts from that day). Will they still let me do the exchange without a receipt? I used a credit card, if that helps.

    • You should be able to return or exchange with a credit card. They keep a record of all transactions. I’ve lost receipts in the past and they were always able to find the transactiont that way. A bra should definitely last more than a month and a half.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Agreed, they can look it up with a credit card. And it will be especially easy if all you want is an exchange for a different, non-defective bra, as opposed to a refund. Bra straps should not break after six weeks of wear.

      • Thanks for the reply! I thought I’d read on here before that they could look it up through my card, but I just wanted to check–I’m already behind on the Barbri schedule and didn’t want to take a trip to the mall, with all of its potential distractions, if I wasn’t even going to be able to make the exchange.

        I agree that a bra should last more than a month and a half. I was pretty disappointed because I otherwise love this bra. The straps are a bit thin, but I don’t rely on the straps for support (in general, most straps typically slide off my sharply sloped shoulders anyway) so I’m not sure why this one snapped.

        • I returned a bra without a receipt – when I was wearing it. I went in and tried a sister size, and liked it so much better, that I asked if I could exchange the one I was wearing as well (I had owned it for about a month), and they said “of course!” I LOVE Nordstrom.

    • You don’t need any proof of purchase for an exchange so long as it’s a brand they carry. They’ll take your word for it. However, they often keep a record of all of a particular customer’s purchases, locatable by phone number or credit card number. So if you provided a phone number or paid with a credit card you should definitely be fine.

    • Honey Bear :

      I’m sure they would let you do the exchange without receipt. You could also go to your credit card account online and print out the transaction, just to be helpful to the employee.

  9. Barrister in the Bayou :

    We’ve been having a record breaking heat wave in Louisiana, so I can’t even look at this jacket right now… Maybe in November. :-X

  10. AccountingNerd :

    Threadjack: I’m fairly new to the grown-up world (22, recently married) and I’ve just realized that I couldn’t decorate a room if my life depended on it. Our apartment looks very bland. We have some basic furniture, but it is lacking some style. I see things on blogs and in mags, but I don’t know how to recreate the looks. I’m afraid that when we buy a house next year I will have to hire an interior decorator! So, how do you all decorate your homes? Do you have favorite stores you buy everything at? Do you use an interior designer?

    • BarPrepper :

      A book I really like to look at for quick little tips and tricks is called “Playing House” by Celeste Perron. She’s got some guidelines for decorating inexpensively. There are also great kitchen tips, entertaining guidelines, etc. I give the book at nearly every bridal shower I attend for a young bride.

      I would start talking to friends whose spaces you enjoy. Ask them where they shop and ask if they’d be willing to shop with you when you’re ready.

      Another great guide is Houzz. (not linking to avoid posting delay). They have photographs of rooms and you can view by style, color, room, etc. I love it for quick ideas…and you can put together an album of things that speak to you – great for sharing with a decorator later or for referring back to when you start shopping.

      • AccountingNerd :

        That book looks great! I just found it used on amazon for a dollar (plus $4 shipping). Thanks!

    • Diana Barry :

      When we got our house, we really liked the look of the pottery barn paint colors and furniture, so that’s where we got our ideas from (we duplicated much of it with much cheaper furniture!!). We used several of the paint colors from that season’s deck.

      I also get “This Old House” and put post-its on the pages that I like. You can do that with any home magazine. Home Depot has a big selection of home magazines that you can browse there, and only buy the ones that you like.

    • I think there is danger in trying to recreate looks from blogs or magazines. Of course, if you want a complete packaged “perfect home” in one fell swoop, an interior designer would be the way to go. But I find rooms like that very impersonal, and I kind of think it is more fun (and less expensive) to just let your house take shape over time, and fill it with things that are meaningful to you.

      If you do see looks that you like in magazines or blogs, ask yourself what it is that you like about them. Is it the colour? The textures? A particular “feel” (warm? zen? natural? Asian-inspired?)? Once you figure out exactly what appeals to you, then you can start to take that element into consideration in your purchases.

      If you think your apartment looks bland and want to spice it up with little expense, a new paint job really helps. Even if you just paint one accent wall, it can give a completely different feel to a room, can be done in a day or two, and costs very little.

      Have fun!

    • If you have time, veg out to HGTV for a while until you find a designer whose style you like. I like Candice Olsen, and watching her show helped me decorate two rooms that just weren’t “clicking” for me. They had all the basics, but were missing those little things, such as variety of textures and reflective surfaces, that seem to make a room look finished.

      Also- if you end up buying stuff, please check out the decor sections of TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross. There are amazing deals there, particularly if you don’t have a specific thing in mind.

      • And HomeGoods, if there’s one in your area! It’s the TJ Maxx of home furnishings…constantly changing inventory and usually very good prices.

        I’m in the same boat with a bland house — I’ve moved so often (and always known I was going to move within a year or two) that it’s hard for me to “commit” to things that might not work in my next space. HomeGoods, garage sales, flea markets, and the like are the only reason my apartment has any personality whatsoever.

        • AccountingNerd :

          We don’t have a HomeGoods, but I love Marshalls. My problem is that I see lots of cute stuff, but it don’t know how to put things together so they don’t look like a 5 year old just went and bought random stuff! :)

          • So one safe way to go is the same way most of us dress if we really don’t know what we’re doing. Mainly neutrals with little pops of color.

            For decorating, you can go monochromatic – for instance, my bedroom linens are all different shades and textures of white, but I have color on the walls. The thing that made the room seem “finished” was getting the crap off the top of my dressers and putting up intentional things – like photo frames (from Marshall’s) that are all variations on silver, crystal and pearls. I also changed out the light fixture to something sparkly.

            In our sitting/TV room, I went with darker colors (plum seating, dark wood), but added some touches of jade green. I didn’t also add touches of other colors because, for me, that’s what makes things look like an unintentional jumble unless you really know what you’re doing.

            In both rooms, I had paintings (one from my husband’s aunt, one from my kids’ school auction) that helped me choose the one color I wanted to pop.

    • I really like the book Apartment Therapy. It takes you step-by-step through creating a warm and inviting living space, even things like furniture layouts and decluttering your kitchen cabinets. There is also an Apartment Therapy blog, but it tends to be more advanced (but good for inspiration).

      • AccountingNerd :

        I’ve seen the Apartment Therapy blog, but maybe I’ll check out the book. I also really like the YoungHouseLove blog. Do you read that one?

      • Runnin' for it :

        Seeing your comment made me remember that during lawschool about 10 years ago I exchanged emails with the Apartment Therapy designer Maxwell G-R after seeing him decorate an apartment on Mission Organization. He was based in NYC, and I told him I had a DC apartment that needed some lighting therapy and asked him where he got some pendant lights he used in the episode I saw. He responded telling me where he got them, and told me to keep checking his website that he was putting out there to help folks like me. He was so friendly. I’m glad to see now from his website that he is still at it and has expanded his business.

    • I disagree with all the posters who suggested blogs, magazines, and stores. I think that it just takes time to make a room into a home. If you recreate a magazine look or buy stuff in a chain store it’ll just look like a well-decorated hotel. You need the pillowcases you bought in Istanbul, the coffee table you found on an impulse in a yard sale, the TV trays from that cute vintage shop, the giant oil painting you hand carried back from Mexico, the rug you inherited from your granny, and so on. You’re 22 – when I was 22, I lived in a dorm and was just beginning to acquire all the things that make my house a home. As you and your husband create experiences and memories together, you’ll also collect the objects that will make your apartment homey and unique.

      • EP – I hear where you’re coming from, but I’m 46 and STILL have never been to Istanbul! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting your surroundings to look nice and welcoming when you come home from work.

        • It was just an example. The pillowcases could be from Boise. The point is that if you want your home to be special and unique, you can’t copy it out of a Bed Bath and Beyond catalog.

    • I second the recommendation for the blog younghouselove.com. They decorate slowly, so you can watch how their rooms progress and get a sense of how to “put together” a room from boring basics to done. You don’t have to have everything at once – start with the basic furniture, then start layering in stuff, one thing at a time, and live with it for a bit before moving on to the next.

  11. I love this. But I fear I’m not fierce enough to wear it – the collar ruffles would just make me look cuddly.

  12. Armani jackets are wonderful. I’ve only owned one in my life, which I caught on rare sale, but was still more expensive than any other jacket I’ve owned before or since. There is something about the way the jackets are cut – the armholes are high, but comfortable. In my blazer, the lining had stretch, so I did not feel at all restricted. I loved that thing.

    That said, I would worry about investing this kind of dough in ruffles, which, to me, are already starting to look passe.

  13. Anonymous :

    Road Warriorette – How’d the tri go?

  14. Just a rant–

    I’m still a fairly new attorney and still feel like I have NO CLUE what I’m doing. I get good feedback, but get nervous that I’m only seeing the trees and not the forest in some of these projects. (small pieces here and there, never fully though to completion).

    Sometimes, it seems like the people that I work for are similarly confused (or maybe just disorganized) and wonder why I don’t catch things (example: Partner gave me interrogatories to answer. I prepared answers, called necessary people to get the answers, etc. The actual file was never in my hands–just a copy of the ‘rogs. Today, he calls, seems annoyed about why the responses to the Requests for Production didn’t get sent, and why there is not a copy of the RFP on the system. We eventually find RFP, not in filings/pleadings/discovery section of the hard copy of the file or on the document management system, but only as an attachment to a hard copy of correspondence that was sent two months ago.) (another example: I draft brief, not knowing that 1) there are two versions of the ‘rogs, and that I was supposed to be working off of the copy that was under partner’s chair instead of the version that was in the file; and 2) you have to redact lots of informaiton from exhibits when filing in federal court).

    A lot of it is disorganization on the part of the upper-levels and their support staff. I don’t know how to fix this without looking like a brat and burning bridges. Howver, some of the substantive rules, I don’t even know that I don’ t know, which is what makes it even more frustrating (especially when paying a gigantic monthly sum to Sallie Mae for my wildly impractical legal education).

    • Belle, I sympathize. But unfortunately, I have to tell you that that The Fear lasts for a while. Make friends with it. I still feel it occasionally, after 9 years of practice. It is really not a bad thing because it keeps you humble and keeps you learning. Just don’t let it stop you from doing your work (which doesn’t sound like a problem).

      I can’t comment on the litigation-specific parts of your question, but in general there are always going to be partners who can’t remember what it is like to be an associate and who aren’t good at giving instructions. Over time you will develop your own list of questions to always ask when a partner gives you instructions. But a few things I have always done are:

      – make friends with the assistants of all the powerful partners in your group – they can make your life exponentially easier and know a lot more about how their partner works and how to get his/her attention than you do;
      – always ask the partner if there is any other background information you should read before doing the task;
      – always have a quick scan through the documents on your system before starting a task, just in case a document has been updated from the version you are holding in your hand;
      – if you really aren’t sure how to proceed, ask a more senior associate, who has likely been there before.

      I have always thought that my job as an associate is in large part to make the partner look good – so ask yourself, what information do I need to do that?

      Law firms are tremendously disorganized places and it can be frustrating if your preferred way of doing things is to be highly organized. But all you can control is the way *you* work. If you work well and in an organized fashion, people will notice, will note your results, and will want to work with you.

    • I think that you are every new attorney ever! It’s frustrating, and you never know if you are considering asking a really stupid question or not- the line between obvious and obscure is invisable. I really, really can’t understand why law schools can’t offer more in the way of an education on procedure (I know that it varies and law schools are “whole country” oriented, but they could at least give some courses that go over various issues and let you know what you would look for and how to look for it. It would really help to have a class that just presented real-world civil procedure questions to you over and over again, and had you find the answers to them step by step.) (But don’t get me started on the uselessness of so much of higher education, law included.)

    • I don’t want to link to it and end up in moderation but if you go over to Above the Law and read today’s In House Counsel column, there’s actually a really good post on being “project-oriented” instead of task-oriented – talking about how to look at assignments from partners to get at what they’re really asking for – which might be helpful.

      That said, it sounds like you might be dealing with some extreme disorganization, which is frustrating. If this stuff happens all the time, if it impacts the quality of service you’re providing to clients, if you notice your firm has a bad reputation with other lawyers because of it, and if you’re getting blamed for things that you had no earthly way of knowing about (e.g., because the only copy of something exists on a partner’s desk and you weren’t told about it or given it), if might not be a salvageable situation.

    • If you’re junior, then you need to take control of the file. If you have to waste paper and create a “working file” for yourself, do it.

      It’s frustrating as hell, I know. Been there. We all have. It does get better.

    • If it’s that disorganized all the time, then chances are you aren’t missing more than everyone else is, and it may not be reflecting particularly badly on you. I work for a company where disorganization is part of the business model (really!) and as a result it’s normal for reports to bounce back and forth between people until we have everything ironed out, or for people to have to request additional information constantly. If all of the feedback you’re getting says you’re doing well, then this may just be expected in your workplace.

    • Ditto the remark about making a “working file.” Also, you have to grab that whole file before you answer rogs and RFPs and look through it as well as the docs on the system to make sure you know all the pertinent information. I am a new attorney as well, and I fail tremendously on projects that I have to do without all the background information. It’s not a big deal to ask for the file, or ask the assigning partner’s assistant if you have THE WHOLE file. I think that it looks thorough. Plus. then parts of the file aren’t floating all over the office.

      My next comment may sound harsh, but it’s true – I know law school didn’t teach you much (or mine didn’t anyway) about practical procedure, but at my firm, that’s been a poor excuse. It’s up to you to educate yourself on anything that is a “rule.” I do this by reading the rules and looking at completed RFPs and rogs from past cases – if your firm’s case load is anything like mine, they offer a lot of guidance because most cases are similar with the exception of a select few. I know there are frustrating tidbits – what has to be e-filed and what form it’s supposed to be in, etc. But the rules contain most of what you need to know.

      Related note: I feel The Fear (love that term, btw) every. single. day. It’s not getting any better and I’m semi-miserable all the time at work, but I won’t ever know if The Fear will go away unless I give myself the time to become more experienced and educated. I might actually begin to believe in my abilities again someday ;)

      • Re The Fear – it will go away in large part, eventually. But even when it goes away on a day-to-day basis, it will always keep you guessing as to whether you are seeking the correct solution or approaching things the right way. After much angst, I’ve decided that this is actually a good thing – it is the mark of a conscientious lawyer. I’d be worried if I didn’t feel it when I was working on something important or out of the ordinary – it would mean I had become complacent. But you know what? Whenever a junior associate comes to me asking for advice, after they leave my office half the time I will look up my answer again just to be sure I’ve given them the right information. Usually I have, but it is always The Fear kicking up its ugly head and saying, “Nonny, are you *sure*?” Then I can kick it right back and say, “Darn right! Gotcha!”

        • TooBoredToBill :

          I second this completely. The fear of “I don’t know what the heck I’m doing and I feel like I’m playing dress up” will soon pass. The fact that you realizing what you don’t know means that you’ve just crossed over the bridge from law student to lawyer. Some people don’t make that crossing until years beyond their bar admission date. Take ownership of your projects and each time you mess up (because you will, we all did and do), learn and vow to never make them again. Your firm’s clients are your clients. They are yours so own it. The partner’s secretary rolls her eyes when you ask for the entire file in order to respond to 3 rogs? So what. You spend hours that you feel weird billing for in order to get yourself up to speed so you can give 110% on your motion? So what. It’s what you need to do to represent your client well.

          One last thing, and I’ll get off my soapbox. The fear of not knowing, or thinking you don’t know, what you are doing is okay. In fact, it’s good. I’m a 5th year and have a significant corporate client load. While I have my managing partner to go to if I’m in a bind, the buck essentially stops with me. I’ve been told I’m good at what I do but each new to project/matter brings a bit of “fear”. Fear that I’ll miss what’s missing, fear that I won’t phrase my clauses just right, fear that I’ll miss an issue and discover it a year from now when the other party has screwed my client over and I have to tell my client too bad because I didn’t give them the protection they need. This fear has made me particular, it’s made me stay present, it’s made me a stickler for details and it’s made me a dang good lawyer. I think this fear is the reason why I have the great clients that I have. So, “fear” is okay… just don’t let it psych you out, don’t let your superiors or clients see it and use it to your advantage to be better than you were yesterday.

    • This is normal. It has taken me at least 2 years at every new job I’ve had to feel like I know what I’m doing. Then when you change jobs, even though you know your practice area, you have to learn all the new procedures and it takes another 2 years to get the hang of it. Just make sure you remember to ask for help when you need it!

    • North Shore :

      Wow, your office’s filing system sounds like a disaster. Under the chair instead of in the file? Oh dear. The files are so important to knowing what’s going on! I’d advise downloading the whole docket from the court for your new assignments, so you can see what was actually filed instead of ending up with some next-to-last draft by mistake. Then just do your best to get the whole file, ask questions of admin assistants and other associates, read the rules and the local rules and ask local counsel your questions before filing.

      I had a two-year clerkship before starting to practice, and that was just invaluable for learning court rules and such.

  15. Threadjack – any thoughts on cohabitating with one’s significant other, particularly if you haven’t been dating especially long?

    I’ve been dating a wonderful guy for the last few months and for the last 2 months, we’ve spent every night together at his place. I honestly can’t remember the last time I spent the night at my apartment.

    My lease is up in August and by then, we will have been dating for 6 months. Part of me feels like that’s too soon too move in together (FYI – I’m 23, BF just turned 29). But the other part of me is starting to get annoyed with having my stuff split between two separate apartments and with paying rent for my place, which has turned into the world’s most expensive closet (we live in a HCOL area).

    I’ve never lived with an SO before, and to me, it’s a serious commitment (not something to do solely for convenience or financial reasons). I feel like this man could eventually be my husband and that this relationship has some serious staying power. The amount of time we will have been dating makes me a bit wary of moving in together, as I don’t want to ruin a good thing by moving too quickly, but I’m hesitant to sign another lease in August and experience the same frustrations I’m feeling now for at least another 6 months.

    Help please – any advice or thoughts?

    • The problem with moving in together in a HCOL area is that, if it doesn’t work out, it’s that much harder to find a new place you can afford and move out. I would NEVER move in together as a way of saving money for exactly this reason – heck, I didn’t let my now husband give up his rent-stabilized apartment in New York until after we were married, let along engaged. In case something went wrong, I didn’t want the real estate to factor into staying together.

      It sounds like you’re still very much in the honeymoon phase of your relationship. Don’t do it. Needing to keep two toothbrushes is a minor inconvenience as compared to having to sleep on your ex’s couch for three weeks while you look for a new place that you can afford.

      • Ditto. Keep your own place. You are totally honeymooning it, still. Believe me (as posted above). It’ll wear off. I was in a similar situation – in the first year of dating a guy when my lease came up ( and I REALLY wanted to get out of my current place).

        I didn’t move in with him, but did move into a place just down the block, with the idea that it was make hanging out, or running back to my place for something a 5 minute excursion, rather than 30 minutes.

        Now, we’re breaking up, and I have to deal with the fact that I will see his place everyday. Granted, I got a really great apartment out of the deal, but its still tough. I can’t imagine feeling like this AND having to apartment hunt AND move AND deal with seeing him everyday.

        Keep your own place until you are ready to marry the guy. (And I’m using “ready to marry” as an approximation of your level of commitment, not as anti-living together before marriage).

      • Don’t move in with him! Please!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I’m in a HCOL area and agree – it’s not a good idea to move in during the honeymoon phase. Has your relationship been tested yet, by for example a death of a close family member, job loss, unfortunate health news, or any other myriad of crises that really show how strong a relationship is or isn’t? If such an event has happened, one of you was 100% there for the other, and your relationship is stronger because of it, then maybe moving in is a good idea. But if you’re only in the phase where everything is new, wonderful, and exciting, and you haven’t faced serious adversity yet, then it’s far too soon to move in together for the many reasons other Corporettes have cited. Not to be crass, but there’s a lot of living together that is not pretty – like doing #2 or experiencing digestive discomfort at his place, or sleeping in ugly pjs, or doing any of the other gross everyday things that regular people do. You need to be totally ready for all of that, and know your relationship will be strong through the unpretty of daily life.

        IMO, a year of serious relationship is the minimum threshold for moving in together. Get a cheap place, take over several drawers in his dresser, and a foot of his closet rod, and see how that goes first.

    • Anonymous :

      Perhaps you could negotiate to extend your lease for some time period less than a full year, i.e. 2 months, to give yourself a little more time to make a reasoned decision. If your building doesn’t have new renters beating down the doors, it will likely make little difference to them whether your lease ends in August, or whether they have your guaranteed rent for another 2 months and then you end in October.

    • K – I don’t think you should move in with your SO. Dating someone for only a few months – no matter how much time you have spent with him – is no where near enough time to make the decision to move in together, IMHO. I understand that every relationship works differently, but I just don’t think there’s any way you know everything you need to know about this man and have had enough experiences with him to determine he is your future husband. I know it’s annoying to pay for rent and not spend time there, or to have to lug stuff to another apartment – but until you guys are more official (ring on finger) and established (been dating for at least a year or so) it’s way too risky to move in with him. And another thing – why are you spending all the time at his place? Why doesn’t he come over to your place?

      • I’m at his place because I choose to be. He has a much nicer place (on the water, California king bed, in a nicer area) and I have a roommate, whereas he lives alone. Also, parking at my building is an absolutely nightmare. He’s stayed with me a few times and always offers to come by, but I much prefer staying at his place.

    • Clueless summer associate :

      Don’t do it! I have a few good friends who moved in with guys on a similar timeline – 6 months or so in to the relationship. None of those situations have worked out well. Either the relationships didn’t work out and it was horrible and messy when one or the other had to move out – or in one case, where they had to continue to live together because they couldn’t afford to move out. In one case – the guy turned out to be a really big sketchbag, for lack of a better term, and I’m pretty sure she’s only felt like she “had” to stay with him because they were committed so early.

      We’ve all been there in the first 3 months where you spend everyday and everynight together. But IMO, to move in together…the honeymoon better be over and you still want to spend that time together.

      If you were 33, I’d probably say something different, but at 23…I think you’ll be happier in the long run if you don’t. And hey – next August, you can talk about it then.

    • Now-DH moved in with me about 6 months after we started dating. It was really by default, as Sept 11 happened and he lost his access (path train) to the city. We have now been together 10 years. If it feels right, go for it! :)

    • Anonymous :

      My friend’s mother says it’s financial suicide if anything goes wrong. the last statistic I heard for living together but not married couples was 1 in 10 that they remain together. YMMV. I wouldn’t do it.

      • It doesn’t have to be. Moving in together shouldn’t mean getting a much nicer place than either of you would have been in individually. Living together should be cheaper for each individual, and all that saved money should be… saved. Sure, it’s an enormous pain to move, split up belongings, buy new whatever you didn’t keep duplicates of, etc. but from a pure financial perspective, people can come out ahead having shared expenses for a period – even if it doesn’t last long term.

    • (A different E.)

      I live with my SO (we moved in together after 2 years, and it’s now been a number of years more) in NYC. Our relationship is largely very good, but we’ve worked through some extremely tough issues that, frankly, if we weren’t living together would probably have been enough for me to end the relationship.

      In terms of costs and what I’d do now if I were you, I think when your lease comes up in August, you should “move” (your stuff) to one of the cheapest, no frills places you can find. You can effectively live with him (the way you have been), but this will improve your cost structure.

    • Can you get a roommate? Rent a small room? If you’re spending all your time at his apartment anyway (and you’re both happy with that arrangement), why not just get a space that’s less expensive and/or maybe a bit less centrally located, but that is still “your” space, just in case.

      Definitely not a solution that may work for everyone (inc. maybe for your SO) but just a thought. . . .

      I will also say that I moved in with my S.O. partly because we both had to move and rent in NYC is just sky-high to afford 2 nice places, and it’s worked out pretty great. I am a bit commitmentphobic, and hate change in general, so probably would not have done it if not for the practical considerations. FWIW, we were dating about a year at that point, though we did know each other for about 2.

    • Just curious – is this something that you’ve actually discussed w/ SO? Has he asked you to move in with you?

      I agree w/ previous posters that it is too early and you probably don’t know enough about the guy or your relationship to make such a big move by August. Though, frankly, you sound like you’ve already made up your mind and are actually asking for some affirmation.

      • We’ve discussed it and he is all for living together, but I’m the one who’s conflicted. I asked my fellow Corporettes because I’m genuinely confused and have no idea what I want to do. I’m keeping all of my options open at this point. It’s an easier call for him, I think, because he makes a lot more money than I do and could easily afford to get out of the situation if he wanted to. For me, it would obviously be less easy to do so.

        • I wouldn’t do it for all the reasons above, but I wanted to recommend to you a great book on the topic. It helped me a lot when I was deciding to move in after 10 months together: “Shacking Up: The Smart Girls’ Guide to Living in Sin Without Getting Burnt”

          (sorry about the double post!)

    • Thanks for all the responses, ladies. As much as I would like to officially live with him, you have given me a lot of food for thought and I am definitely leaning towards keeping my own place for a longer period of time or finding a cheaper place of my own to help alleviate the financial frustration of paying for an apartment I’m never in.

      I can always count on Corporettes to tell it like it is and give really insightful, honest advice. I appreciate it!

    • MaggieLizer :

      I’d be really cautious of moving in with someone before both people have made a serious commitment to each other. People have different expectations about living with a boy/girlfriend versus living with a spouse, and the newer the relationship the more distinct those differences are. It’ll be really hard to change the rules of the game later if you decide to get married when nothing has changed about your living situation. Plenty of people live together perfectly happily without ever getting married, but I imagine they are really proactive about making sure their expectations of each other mesh.

    • anon for this :

      Agree – don’t do it. But you may want to a) see if you can find a cheaper apartment than your current one when your lease ends, or b) talk to your current roommate about some other options — like you could stop paying the cable bill, stop paying for building amenities like parking/gym, etc.

      You’re really young, so I’m not sure how this will factor into the decision, but keep an eye on the timeline you want in terms of marriage/kids. I’ve seen a lot of friends (a LOT) spend 5-years+ of their most fertile years with someone because they were living together and it was convenient to maintain the status quo rather than grow the relationship towards marriage or break-up. If it were me I wouldn’t want to live with a guy for more than a year before we decided if we wanted to be married.

      I always encouraged my husband to keep a separate apartment — he actually moved into a new space (actually subletting a room from an old ex-girlfriend!) about a month before we got engaged. I don’t think he or we spent a single night there.

    • I agree with the general consenses against moving in together. I got engaged at 6 months (although we had a fairly long engagement for logistical reasons), so I don’t really look at that as “just started dating”, but it sounds like it is more like that to you. One thing that I think that many, many people fail to consider/understand is how hard it is to leave once you’re sharing a home- I’ve seen relationships drag out long past their expiration date because it’s just not *bad enough* to justify moving. I know it’s not a popular opinion, but I really don’t think that living together is a good idea unless you’re sure that you’re getting married (or in that “we don’t need a peice of paper to show we’re committed for life” thing, I guess. Or gay in a state that doesn’t have SSM, I suppose, but I think you get the idea.)

      Get extras of a bunch of things that you need anyway (hair dryer, undies, toothbrush) and just learn to pack well. You’ll figure our soon enough if this is the lifetime fellow for you. Good luck!

    • Don’t do it (yet)! Living together creates a certain amount of inertia that may keep you there longer than is healthy or happy. 2 months is absolutely not enough time to assess a relationship’s staying power, especially because your age difference sounds like you might be at different points in your life/career that could cause conflict a little further down the road.

      Also, be aware that moving in will likely strain your relationship at first. Even though you feel like you’re there all the time already, it is very different when you don’t have the option of going home to your own place. You (or he) may feel like you are an “interloper” taking over someone else’s space, and you will necessarily have to integrate into his life and social circles very quickly. If you haven’t met and charmed all of his friends and family yet, you could be in for quite a mess.

      That said, I married (after living together for about 2 years) the only SO I ever cohabitated with, and am very happy. I moved into his house after we’d been dating a little over a year, and I’m glad the “inertia” kept us together a couple times when I seriously thought about breaking up with him.

      • “Our relationship is largely very good, but we’ve worked through some extremely tough issues that, frankly, if we weren’t living together would probably have been enough for me to end the relationship.”

        Living together can lead people to work through or tolerate issues that probably *should* have just ended the relationship. I read recently that couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce. Once you’re living with your partner, marriage becomes the path of least resistance, and that’s not necessarily a good thing in the long run.

        • AccountingNerd :

          I’ve read that statistic about couples who live together before marriage are more likely to divorce, and I believe it. Moving in together is a big commitment, and if you are ready for that, then just get married! I’m 22 and will be celebrating my 1st wedding anniversary this month. :) We didn’t live (or sleep) together before the wedding and I’m so glad that we didn’t. Don’t ever get married/move in with someone just for financial reasons!

        • Took a class on marriage in undergrad, and we read at least one article that may be the source for that stat. The reason cited is that those who live together before marriage have less traditional attitudes about marriage and may therefore be more likely to consider divorce as a option.

          • I read that stat for the first time in the 90’s, and considered it when I was facing the “to move in or not” decision, myself. It’s old wisdom and oft-quoted, but I think (or at least I like to tell myself) that attitudes about cohabitation are significantly different now than they were when those stats were first collected, and pre-marital cohabitation may no longer be as much of a predictor of the marriage’s success or failure because the “type” of people who does it now is so much more varied. I also think that strong religious or cultural beliefs about marriage account for some of the difference, so a more accurate study would measure the difference in marriage success rates among people who “find pre-cohabitation acceptable.” I would further be interested in seeing a stat on it when controlled for other variables like age at the time of marriage, financial situation, education level, etc etc.

            In response to anon, IMHO “working through” and “tolerating” issues that could have otherwise led to a breakup are two entirely different things. Tolerating, I agree, is bad. A demonstrated ability to “work through” on the other hand, is a plus in my book. At any level of commitment, you’re going to have disagreements; a “perfect” relationship is just one that hasn’t been tested yet.

            Anyway, not trying to be defensive (well, maybe a little!), I just wanted to point out that statistics like that are only a starting place for thinking about this issue as it applies to anyone’s personal situation.

    • If you mutually want to move in together and you aren’t doing it just for financial reasons, I would go ahead and do it. However, I would strongly recommend that you begin setting aside your extra money so that you can afford to move back out if needed. Have you discussed financial and logistical considerations with him – does he expect you to pay half his mortgage? Do you plan to split the bills and groceries 50%/50%? Or do you take an approach that what’s his is yours? Will he get rid of some of his stuff so you can decorate with some of your stuff? What if you want to have an overnight guest? Basically, what I’m saying is, a lot of women move in with a guy and instead of it being your place together, the guy still acts like it’s his place and you’re just staying there. You need to make sure he’s not going to be like that before you move in.

      I don’t think length of time spent dating is a good determinant of the ultimate success of a relationship. I know people who broken up after moving in together when they were already dating for 4 years, and people who got married within a year of beginning dating who have been happily married for 10+ years. It really depends on the relationship and the individuals involved, not on a set timeline.

      • Runnin' for it :

        What Eponine says about the timeline not determining the success of the relationship is very true.

        My fiance and I moved in together about one month after we started dating four years ago. We were living in the Caribbean. He was 24 and living at his parents’ home, which is what most young people do there until they get married for cultural as well as financial reasons. We met and started dating, and very soon he spent the weekends at my place. One month after we met, he had to find somewhere else to stay for a couple of weeks, because his cancer-stricken aunt had to stay in his room at his parents’ home so his mother could care for her. I was initially reluctant, but decided to let him stay at my place after laying out ground rules. The two weeks passed and by then I didn’t want him to leave and he didn’t want to leave. Six months later I finished my job there, moved up to DC and bought my current place. He quit his job there, and moved up here my place and found work (making twice what he was making at a similar job in finance). It is three and a half happy years later and we are getting married in 4 months.

    • If you feel like it could get serious, I am going to go ahead and go against what most people are saying and say move in with him once you’ve planned everything out ahead of time. Most of my friends lived together for years before marriage and it worked out well for them because they were able to work through the kinks before they actually got married. Most of the people I know tended to choose more modest apartments- e.g. just because they lived with another person, they didn’t necessarily upgrade to the big 2-bedroom and split something roughly comparable (if not a little bit nicer) than what they’d get on their own. The presumption in those cases was that even if one person may not be able to qualify on his/her own income, the payments wouldn’t be so unreasonable that one would be SOL if one moved out.
      From what I understand, the studies on living together are now somewhat out of date, because the people originally studied did not live together as long as people tend to live together now. In the time of the study it may have been 6 months, while I’ve known people who lived together up to 10 years before they got married. That 6 months is still going to be the honeymoon period before certain habits really start to bother the other person, so sure, it’s going to result in higher rates of divorce. On the other hand, you should know everything after 2-3 years of living together that you would find out in that amount of time being married.

  16. Ladies, quick “what would you do?” situation:

    One of my very best friends is in the process of applying for teaching jobs. Her personal voice mail currently includes the line “I’m sorry you’re not able to get a hold of me right now.” This has always seemed a little off to me–not terribly off, mind you, but the sort of thing that rubs me just slightly the wrong way when I hear it. I asked a few colleagues today and while they agreed that it sounded a little strange, it wasn’t a really big deal.

    Should I say something to her? I don’t think it’s a make-0r-break thing, but given how competitive the job market is, it seems like you want to put your best foot forward on all fronts.

    Thoughts? I’m not trying to be overly nit-picky and don’t want to come across that way.

    • If I were in your shoes, I don’t think I’d say anything. Her outgoing voicemail message might not be worded the same way you’d say it, but there’s nothing particularly objectionable, unprofessional, etc. about it.

    • I’m not sure what you think is wrong with the voicemail? It’s not a standard line, but it’s certainly not off-putting. I can’t imagine it making a difference.

      • I think the problem is that the vm uses the typical passive-aggressive language structure – you know, instead of saying “I’m sorry I did this…,” the message is, “I’m sorry that you feel that I did this…” or “I’m sorry you weren’t able to do X because I did Y….” It’s the whole apologizing on someone else’s behalf instead of for yourself.

      • Perhaps it’s a Midwest thing :) Honestly, it may also have to do with the way in which she says it–it comes across to me (and my bf who knows her agreed) as almost arrogant as in “too bad for you that you aren’t able to get a hold of me” vs. “I look forward to talking with you.”

    • No, I think it’s fine. If she were singing or identifying herself by an unfamiliar nickname, or something like that, I’d tell her – but I don’t see that making even the slightest bit of difference.

    • I don’t see anything wrong with it.

    • I’m assuming you’re objection to the “a hold of” part, which always sounds weird and somewhat unsophisticated to me, too. But I don’t think you’d get anywhere telling her that!

    • Two cents :

      That phrase sounds really off to me as well, and I’m a little surprised that others don’t find it rude/off putting. It sounds like you’re placing the blame on the person for not reaching you. If she were one of my best friends, I would certainly say something to her gently. Why not just tell her say something like ” You’ve reached the voicemail of X. I’m sorry that I missed your call. Please leave a message …”

    • I’d say something. We never hear our own outgoing message, yet our friends hear them frequently. I can’t even remember what mine sounds like anymore. I’ve had two separate instances where friends gently teased me about my outgoing message. In both cases, I listened to it and agreed that it didn’t sound professional and changed it. I was happy they brought it up.

    • It probably isn’t something I would use in my message, but I don’t think it is a big deal. Certainly not enough to impact a job hunt. I don’t think anyone leaving a message would even notice…

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t think it could hurt to bring it up, depending on the kind of friendship you have. I told a job-hunting friend of mine about 6 months ago that I thought she should change her voicemail because her voice made her sound very down and disappointed, which is the polar opposite of her personality. She appreciated me saying something because aside from listening to it when she first made it (over a year prior), she hadn’t heard it at all.

    • This phrase puts me off, because it’s bad grammar “a hold of…”. If she’d even said “Sorry you couldn’t get hold of me…” – well, I’d pass it though not great since there isn’t a glaring error in there.

      Also, is it a regional thing? e.g. Many people from the US use the phrase “off of…” which would be 100% wrong outside the US but is OK within the country. So if it’s a regionally acceptable thing, leave it.

      All that said, if it’s a teacher, I would expect better grammar than from others…(of course, depending on what she teaches…..:)

  17. Clueless summer associate :

    Just wanted to say I just bought these shoes: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ivanka-trump-indico-patent-pump/3153036?origin=category&resultback=516
    Although I got them in a pinkier colour (would have gotten the “nude” if I could have but no dice) – they are incredibly comfortable and the heel is ridiculously manageable. When I tried them on they felt flat after my other heels.

    • Another Sarah :

      Ooo, I’ve been lusting after those shoes for a bit; they’re a bit too dear right now for my unemployed little checkbook. But I just got some regular students to tutor, so maybe they’ll be in my closet faster than I think!

    • Bk foette :

      my pink pair is in the mail — thanks for the review!

  18. I wouldn’t do it for all the reasons above, but I wanted to recommend to you a great book on the topic. It helped me a lot when I was deciding to move in after 10 months together: “Shacking Up: The Smart Girls’ Guide to Living in Sin Without Getting Burnt”

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