Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Structured Flannel Blazer

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

Structured Flannel BlazerBergdorf Goodman has some great stuff on sale (up to 40% off), including a number of Smythe blazers. I like this simple flannel one — it’s so classically beautiful there’s hardly anything to say about it. I’d wear this purple silk blouse with a fun print, navy trousers, and some of the trendy brown loafer heels that are everywhere this season. It was $695, but is now marked to $417 (limited sizes only, alas). Structured Flannel Blazer

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


  1. Speaking of expensive clothing, my mother, sister-in-law and I hit Filene’s Basement yesterday. Everything is final sale because the company is closing.

    Most of the stuff was dreck, but we were fascinated by the vault rack. Everything on the vault rack was 50% off, but even so, most of the items were over $200. There was a pair of The Row pajama pants for $300, a gorgeous Gianfranco skirt for $350, a Max Mara pantsuit for $200.

    So if you’re in the market for some upscale limited use items, hit The Basement before it closes at the end of the year. I personally could not justify any of the purchases, although I seriously considered the cream-colored strapless Calvin Klein couture dress for $100.

  2. This blazer doesn’t look like it fits the model. Shape seems a bit off to me.

    • Diana Barry :

      The sleeves are a little short and it looks like her waist is a tad long for the jacket. But I really like the silhouette!

    • I agree, but find it quite reassuring that it does not fit the model. I think this would probably fit someone with more average proportions.

  3. Thread jack! (So shameless of me …)

    How do you ladies protect your suit pants from, hmm, nether-region undesirables? I wear pantyliners, but since I wear them everyday, I go through them by the box loads. Plus, they don’t breathe well at all.

    I’ve heard mention of reusable/washable pantyliners. Has anyone used those? Any other creative ideas?

    • Always seems to do the best. I have tried organic cotton and other types, but none seem to work as well.

    • Is this a constant issue for you? I occasionally need to use liners but not often, and rarely outside the expected monthly window.

      If it’s a real problem, maybe a visit to the OB/GYN would be helpful? Sorry, I don’t have any specific advice on the pants.

      • Also only use near the monthly window. That said, you also may want to consider natural fabric panties if you aren’t already doing so. I used to find I would get kind of sweaty after long hours of just sitting and sitting during the summer. Switching to full-cotton panties (not just in the center) did the trick on keeping me cool and dry. Also, not to be too ick, but make sure your washing machine is working well. I use a second rinse for undergarments.

    • Anon for this :

      Definitely Always. Wear them everyday. Some women just have regular discharge; it’s totally normal.

      • I have found that I am more likely to have discharge if I’m not drinking enough water during the day. Not saying that’s your issue – but its something to consider.

        But definitely go for the cotton underwear if you aren’t already doing that.

        • I think you can use liners which have little cotton like texture ,i mean when you touch them they should not feel slippery or have shine . Wear cotton panties and no need to wear liners during night time.Its normal for women to have little discharge ,its physiological but their should be no malodor or itch . No need to wear liners one week before or after period as there is no discharge.If you are concerned about aeration go pantyless during night if it does not bothers you or wear some very loose shorts.

    • If you use pantyliners everyday and you are not couponingm, you should be. This is a product that I get for free or for pennies all the time.

    • Do you use an IUD? Apparently, they can increase discharge which is also why some women’s flows increase significantly when using IUD.

      I use Kotex. It’s really thin and breathable.

    • Related question – anyone know of any good underwear that doesn’t show VPLs but is also all cotton? The only ones I can find that are that synthetic material. I despise thongs.


      • I don’t need pantylines outside that time of the month, but I read an article recently about how it’s like a viscous cycle that wearing them all the time creates more discharge bc of the lack of breath ability.

        I don’t know any cotton no VPS undies either though! If I’m wearing pantyhose or tights I wear cotton underwear and don’t think I have a VPL problem. Also, as I said before I’m slim hipped, so a lot of my pants are a little loose in the rear and I can get away with thin cotton underwear in those.

        • wow. did you mean viscous, vicious, or both? i guess both could apply here!

      • Frankly, I’d rather have cotton underwear and a little VPL. However, I don’t subscribe the idea that ANY VPL is bad. If the only way I’m seeing my VPL is if I bend over so the fabric it taut against my behind, then I’m okay with that.

      • I swear by the cotton boxer briefs you can buy in 3 packs near the register at H&M. (not the ones in plastic packets, but the 3 packs which are folded and have a cardboard band around them). They are the only ones that have long enough legs to cover my rear, they don’t have any seams on the back, the the legs have smooth hems, not bands. Honestly, I wish I could get something prettier but I ahven’t found anything that is cotton, smooth, and truly covers my rear. (I *hate* that microfiber stuff, as well as thongs).

        One downside is that the waist is a little high, but I fold the waistband down and have no problem. Also, the colors are limited but I mostly wear dark pants so black/red/grey is fine by me.

      • On Gossamer. It’s not all cotton, but it’s really comfy and never ever shows VPL.

    • I used to wear pantyliners daily but then read an article that daily use will create additional discharge. So about a month ago I stopped wearing them, which means that instead of getting a few uses out of pants between dry cleaning sessions, I’m washing most of my pants after each wear in the delicate cycle and then air drying them. So far I haven’t noticed any negative side effects to my clothes, though I do think there is less discharge on a daily basis than I was having before.

    • Thanks to everyone who replied!

      For those who asked, I don’t wear panty-liners daily because I have discharge problems.

      Rather, it’s just to prevent any nether-region moisture/smell whatsoever from getting onto my pants. (I don’t know about other ladies’ pants, but mine fit quite close down there. I don’t wear panty-liners when I’m wearing skirts, but now that we’re into fall/winter, I’ve switched over to pants, and thus panty-liners.)

      I try to avoid dry-cleaning my pants too often, as I hear frequent dry-cleaning can be bad for them, especially since they’re made of wool.

      I wear Victoria’s Secret cotton panties. Should I be looking for panties with thicker centers/more cloth in the center?

      • I mostly wear Gap panties but have 2 VS pairs. The VS pairs only have 1 layer of cotton, and the Gap ones have two in the center, so that could help you out if it’s simply sweat-type moisture you’re dealing with.

      • So I take it you’re talking about sweat? Maybe find pants with a longer rise that aren’t all “up in there”?? Also, cotton panties. They absorb more sweat rather than wick it to your pants.

        As for VPL, I swear by huge cotton granny panties. They are ugly as sin, but they have enough coverage back there that they don’t show through thinner fabrics. I don’t know if it was the fact that I wore jeans every day when I was younger or if the shape/texture of my rear has changed, but I just can’t wear bikinis anymore.

  4. You can see the high quality and your pairing with purple sounds good. The sleeves seem a little short for model – definitely something that needs to be tried in store first.


  5. Does anyone have a wristlet that they particularly like? I’d like to get one before the holidays descend. Thanks in advance.

    • S in Chicago :

      Check out Tory Burch. It’s worth the splurge. I’ve had one that I use every day that’s held up for more than two years now. The leather on mine is a bit crinkly and only seems to look better with time. I also like that you can clip it whereever you want. It’s been wonderful to have clipped to a tote when traveling. And I think the simple style looks more grown up than a lot of what’s out there.

    • I got this Coach wristlet a few months ago, and I’m in love. I use it a lot more often than I expected to. I really like that it’s classic, not flashy. It has enough space to fit everything that I need on the weekend (ID, credit card, cash, phone, keys, lipstick). http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/coach-kristin-leather-large-wristlet/3161237?origin=category&resultback=6612

      • Makeup Junkie :

        I have this one http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/coach-poppy-leather-small-wristlet/3187647?origin=keywordsearch, but it’s much smaller than yours. Looks like I need an upgrade!

      • Anonymous :

        Thirding Coach. Mine’s held up beautifully even though I take terrible care of it.

    • 1154 Lill — design your own. This is a bit nontraditional (i.e. not Coach, Kate Spade, etc.) but I got one there years ago and wear it all the time. It’s a wristlet with a big ruffle on it and I get complimented almost every time I pull it out. I designed mine in-store in Chicago, but you can design online as well. Totally worth the cost — all of my Lill bags have held up great!

    • I have a nice, stylish Coach wristlet but seriously, I am so through with wristlets. It’s awkward walking around with one swinging from your wrist, it’s even weirder to shake someone’s hand with something hanging from your wrist, and I have literally left it at stores twice because it gets in the way of such things as trying on shoes so you take it off a lot and it’s so small, you don’t see it right away like a big bag. I am going to stick with a wallet in a purse you can stick over the shoulder. If you are better at keeping track of things then I am, then go ahead, but I am through with my almost-brand-new wristlet.

      • I have a few small shoulder bags that are easier for going out, but I use my wristlets more like clutches, I never have it hanging off my wrist. I’ll either tuck it under my arm or just hold it.

    • Cole Hahn’s Hayden Clara. They had much better color/pattern selections last year at this time. I have a beautiful dark purple one that I absolutely LOVE.

    • Sorry I’ve become such an Etsy shill lately, but:

      etsy [dot] com / shop / tagodesign

      etsy [dot] com / shop / LalaOriginals

      etsy [dot] com / shop / urbanheirlooms

      etsy [dot] com / shop / valhallabrooklyn

      etsy [dot] com / shop / cindymars

  6. anon for this :

    Threadjack – Do any of you ladies have a tattoo? I’ve wanted one since I was 16 (I’m 24 now) and foresee myself getting it within the near future. The tattoo I want is of the claddagh (Irish promise ring design with hands holding a heart with a crown on top) on my left hip. It’s something for me and won’t be on display to anyone unless I want them to see it so covering it up for work isn’t an issue.

    The thing that’s held me back all these years is that my mom is a nurse and whenever I talk about this, the only thing she says is that I’ll get hep C and regret defacing my body. While I don’t think a small tattoo on my hip is defacing my body, the hep C thing makes me pause. I’m very OCD and would insist to see everything get opened in front of me, see the tattoo artist wash his/her hands before, and explain everything to me before.

    What have your experiences been? What advice would you give for someone considering a tattoo? How much research beforehand did you do about the place you went to? Is your tattoo somewhere people can see it or is it someplace that you say, “It’s on my hip”? What do people think when they find out you have a tattoo, do you disclose that information? Also, do you have a tattoo now that you regret, and why?


    • God everyone has that tattoo, and half in that spot too. I’m not opposed to tattoos at all, I guess I just don’t “get” them. I think 1/20 are cool/pretty or original. I just don’t get why youd put the equivilent of a trend on your body forever.

      • Food for thought – the tattoo removal business is booming, even in a down economy. If I stumbled across a start-up I would invest.

      • I hope I don’t sound overly negative, but I kind of agree. It’s not that I hate them or anything (My husband has one on his chest that he got when he was 18 or so. I could take it or leave it, but it’s not like it bothers me), I just find them a little bit cheesy. I’m not in any way saying don’t get one if you really want it, particularly since what you describe would be pretty harmless (discrete, not unprofessional or tacky), and I certainly don’t have to see it. I just personally don’t see the appeal. I do doubt that the hep C is really an issue, as long as you go somewhere reputable.

        • Agree. I’ve never felt so strongly about a symbol or word that I wanted it permanently fixed on my body. I think most tattoos look pretty tacky. But if it’s something you really want (and after 8 years, it sounds like it is!), I wouldn’t be worried about HepC. I know a lot of people with tattoos, and none have had that problem.

      • I tend to agree. I have toyed with the idea of getting a tattoo but there is really nothing I care that much about to have it permanently inked on my body. Plus, what happens when you are 70? It’s your body so do what you want, but just make sure it is worth it in terms of time, money, small amount of risk, and possibility that you will want it removed.

        • Not at age 70, but before then: two of my friends have spent big money to get their tattoos re-inked. Both were in their 30s and both had huge designs across their upper backs, and I’m guessing those tattoos were 15 years old at that point.

          On permanent ink: Some other women I know have gotten designs representing their kids (son as orange flower, daughter as yellow kind of thing), and my favorite was the woman who had her kids’ names tattooed on her ankle. When the husband asked why not his name, she replied “Because I know I’ll always love THEM.”

          • I just meant that getting something in your early 20s might look cool, but look terrible when you are in your 70s, or just older in general.

          • I really enjoy the thought of old age homes in 30-40 years, when all the wrinkly old ladies will have dilapidated, sagging butterflies on their lower backs.

          • Nothing to add, but just to reverse this story of old ladies with sagging tattoos: two years ago, my then 55-year old mother went on a “girls’ trip” with her two sisters to the beach. They had too much chardonnay one night and my mom got a tattoo of a bunny top of one of her butt cheeks. She LOVES it and now it’s become a pretty good family joke (especially because she always told my sisters and me that if we ever came home with a tattoo before we were financially independent, she would remove it herself).

          • I don’t understand the “what about when you’re 70??!!” issue. No, it won’t look sexy at 70, but I’ll be wrinkled and saggy and not very sexy either way. I might as well decorate my saggy wrinkled skin.

        • I just love the “what are they going to look like when you’re 70 line.” I mean, what are you going to look like at 70 even WITHOUT tattoos? Wrinkly and weird! Being un-tattooed is not going to help.

        • I would rather saggy, wrinkled skin without a saggy, wrinkled butterfly. That’s just my opinion. If you feel differently, then by all means enjoy your saggy, wrinkled butterflies!

    • I’m sure the risk of Hep C is low if you go to a reputable place, but is the tattoo worth the risk, however slight it is?

    • viclawstudent :

      Agree that hep C’s probably not an issue if you vet the place – pick somewhere that’s been open a long time and has a good reputation in the community. If they’re good, they will open everything in front of you (the needle will be single-use, the ink the same).

      I have two; I really like one of them, in part because I think it is pretty unique, and it’s in a place that is super-easy to cover (top mid-back), but I’m meh on the other one, which is in a spot that I struggle with covering in skirt suits, and now kind of regret.

      You won’t have that problem with yours, it doesn’t sound like – but I would warn that any tattoo that you get in about the middle-third of your body will likely become distorted over time. It’s pretty hard to avoid at least some amount of stretching/sagging/weight gain on your stomach, hips, etc for the rest of your life. Just a factor to consider; there’s a reason lots of people have them on feet, ankles, back, etc – tend to see less shift over time.

      Summary: I’m not against them, but I wouldn’t get another one, and I think it’s worth considering what it’ll look like 10, 20, 30 years from now.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Setting aside the question of what tattoo and where you’ll get it, in major cities at least there are very reputable tattoo shops that are scrupulously clean. I can think of several in San Francisco just off the top of my head, where real artists work and take safety incredibly seriously – and I don’t have and will never have a tattoo. Don’t buy into the hype that all tattoo artists, and those who have tattoos, are somehow more “dirty” than the un-tattooed. Go somewhere extremely reputable, and be willing to pay for quality, just as you’d pay for another service involving your body, whether it’s LASIK or a dentist.

    • Blink. The hep C… not really a concern as long as you go to a place with a good reputation. Definitely research and pick an artist that’s excellent and whose portfolio you like. And er, be careful not to insult your artist by suggesting that he doesn’t use best practices.

      I have a tattoo on my back – love it, very much worth it to me. No one can see it who doesn’t see me naked (I don’t yet own a backless dress) – I have not and do not intend to tell anyone about it (except for my sister, my mom, and maybe two friends – and all of Corporette I guess). I kind of figure that one day in the future I will get that backless dress and someplace to wear it… but not this year.

      Depending on how big you end up going, be prepared not only for the pain at the time but also the discomfort for about a week afterwards. It hurt a ton – but mine is pretty big. Having my husband there for the first half to hold my hand was very helpful.

      • FYI my tattoo artist went through about 5 pairs of gloves (brand new, trashed right after) – don’t think his bare hands ever touched the thing.

    • MissJackson :

      I believe that Kat did a post on tattoos awhile back, you might want to try searching.

      I got a small tattoo on my lower back more than 12 years ago. I almost never think about it one way or another now. I wouldn’t get a tattoo today, but neither do I dislike the one that I already have. I don’t tell people that I have one unless it specifically comes up (which, frankly, is almost never).

      Your concerns about Hepatitis C seem… a bit crazy. You want to do your research and go to a clean place, obviously. The artist must use a new needle, sterilize equipment, and wash his/her hands as well as wearing gloves. If all of those things are done (all of which, as you note above — you can ask to watch/see), it will be fine.

    • found a peanut :

      Pamela Anderson says she got Hep C when she got a tattoo because she used the same needle as Tommy Lee, who had Hep C.

      Moral of the story is that if the artist uses a new needle, you should be fine.

      There are a lot of people with tattoos and not all of them have Hep C.

      Agree with Ms. Jackson that your concern seems a little unfounded.

    • I don’t have a tattoo but have wanted one for years. Never ended up getting it because the designs I liked were all too intricate for the size I wanted.

      The Hep C risk seems very minimal (to be honest that never came up before in any of my discussions/research on tattoos) – just research your tattoo salons. The shop I went to (which I also researched) for my piercings opened needles in front of me, hands were washed etc. I assume tattoo artists would be similar, if not more stringent, about health concerns.

      I think the bigger concern is defacing your body – I agree the hip may not be the best place to do it if you ever intend to have kids. But your questions about disclosure etc make me pause. Your tattoo should be something you are 100% comfortable with – and if you are, you’ll know how you want to handle those questions. Tattoos are still viewed with scorn by the older guard, so if I had one, I would probably not disclose it and it would not be somewhere easily visible. Just my opinion, and probably influenced by the fact that I know numerous people with tattoos.

      • I have a tattoo on my lower right hip that I had done in my very early 20s. I love it, but not sure I’d do it again now, or get another one. FWIW, my tattoo hasn’t stretched out/deformed after pregnancy, but that very much depends on your own body shape and how you carry. I’d certainly seek out a reputable place and make sure you’re comfortable with the artist.
        This sounds silly, but can you draw the tattoo on yourself (or with a friends help) with a permanent pen first? I did this for months before I got the tattoo to make sure I truly liked the location/size/design/etc.

    • Reputable tattoo parlors are *extremely* careful about hygiene, so I wouldn’t really be concerned about Hep C or other health concerns as long as you go to a good place. The real issue is whether you will regret this later. Getting a tattoo is so hip now, but it *will* go out of style. Will that matter to you, even if the tattoo is in a place most people won’t see?

      I have a fairly large tattoo on my abdomen. It covers what used to be an ugly scar. For this reason, I’m quite certain I’ll never regret having gotten the tattoo, since the tattoo will always be more attractive than the scar it covers. It does occur to me, however, that someday I’ll be one of many old ladies in nursing homes with shriveled tattoos on my body. I hope the nursing home attendants of the future have a good sense of humor!

    • Get the tattoo! If you get it in a place that you can easily cover up, you won’t regret it later. I got a very small tattoo on a whim on my 18th birthday on my hip. It wasn’t well thought-out, and it looks kind of goofy now, but I just love that it’s there — it reminds me of my carefree youth (ha — I’m 26). People are surprised when they find out I have one, because I’m not really the type, but no one ever sees it beside my husband. Or if I’m drunk, I might show it to someone if they’re very persistent. :) Get recommendations of a good shop before you go and just do it!

    • I have a tattoo on my upper thigh. It doesn’t mean much to me now, but I don’t regret it at all. In fact, where I’ve come since then is pretty remarkable. Ive thought about getting another tattoo to mark this point in my life (I’m 38).

      Never had an issue with it. If its in a place that you can cover, I don’t see why it would bother you later on.

    • Makeup Junkie :

      Your mother as a nurse should know better. Do her patients get Hep C when they get the flu shot or take blood tests? Of course not, because she wears gloves and uses new needles. Just make sure your tattoo artist uses clean needles (s/he’ll probably make a big show of ripping it out of the plastic) and you’ll be fine.

      as to regretting tattoos, that’s entirely personal. I have several, none of which I regret even though I’ve had a few for many years. Mine are all hidden by clothes though, mostly out of respect for my granny, but partly because I’ve never wanted that discussion that people always want to have when they see tattoos

    • I was in the exact same spot as you in September. I’ve wanted the same tattoo since I was about 16. I turned 25 in Sept and got it for myself as a bday present. Mine has meaning to me and I always said that if I still wanted it at 25 then I was going to get it. I haven’t regretted it once! I don’t think Hep C is a concern, as long as you do your research. Also, take care of it. Do exactly as they tell you as far as the aftercare.

      Mine was on my ribs, which many say is very painful for women. However, I didn’t find it to be as bad as some made it seem.

    • anon this time :

      I have a tatoo on my ankle. I got it when i was 20; im now 35. I still love it and would do it again. People see it whenever i wear a skirt. No body has ever been mean about it, but frankly i dont care what they think because i got it for me. Also, I often consider getting another one.

    • If you like, ask the tattoo artist to open everything in front of you etc. If they’re a good tattoo artist, they won’t mind, and if they seem put out by it, I’d find a new place.

      I don’t have any tattoos currently, but I plan to get a largish one done on my upper back this Christmas. Obviously, I don’t think I’ll regret it. I’ve been planning this for years, and I’m still hugely excited about it. If you’ve wanted yours for 8 years, what are the chances you’re going to immediately regret it? You can’t live your whole life refusing to do things you really want to do because you might regret it at a hypothetical later date for reasons you currently can’t imagine. Lots of people don’t regret their tattoos ever. My (professional, goes-to-work-in-a-suit) brother has had one that goes from one shoulder, across his back and down his upper arm for 6 years now and doesn’t regret it yet. My network analyst aunt, who is in her 60’s, doesn’t regret most of hers, including the ones on her earlobes, and got a new arm band a few years ago and has encouraged me to get one if I want it.

      As for research, I’ve actually left most of that to me highly tattooed sister. Mostly, you want to look online and ask people you know with tattoos for their recommendations. Ask them about the cleanliness, about how comfortable they were discussing their tattoo with the artist, about how much they like how it turned out etc. Go online and look through the artist portfolios and see if they have ones where you like the style. Be picky.

      • Yes, a good artist should be happy to show you all of their sterilization process. My artist showed me her autoclave and tools when I went for my first consultation.

    • Theirway11 :

      I have a tattoo and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. It’s on my back (visible when I’m wearing a spaghetti strap tank top, not many other times) which is how I like it–visible when I want it to be, invisible at times when I need to be a professional. In the US, most places use new needles for tattoos, just make sure the place you go does.

      Don’t let people poo-poo your desire to get a tattoo. Some people like them, some people don’t. If you’ve wanted it for so long you should go for it.

    • Thanks for your feedback!!! All of your advice is great and I definitely think I’ll be getting my tattoo sometime next year after some extensive research and “field visits” to check out different salons and artists. This is something I’ve wanted for a long time and am excited to be closer to actually getting it. I love how open this community is =)

      • Regarding defacing your body: I’ve never understood this and, frankly, it’s borderline offensive. Nothing makes women (including the ones on this website) cattier than when the subject of tattoos comes up. I don’t make snap judgments about your impulsiveness and call it defacing your body when I see women not wearing sunscreen, eating unhealthful foods all day, drinking diet Coke and coffee as a replacement for water – which, BTW, won’t do you any more favors than getting a tattoo when you’re 70 (and, at this age, if your biggest body/health worry is how a tattoo you got when you’re 20 might look on your wrinkly skin, you are one lucky woman). It’s unfair to generalize that it’s the equivalent of putting a trend on your body permanently. Some people get it for profoundly personal reasons like a commemoration of someone they love – and some get it because they think it looks pretty. People have been doing it for thousands of years, and yes, nearly everyone has a tattoo now, so I certainly don’t think people do it to be “trendy” or “unique.” As long as nobody’s running around with a tattoo gun trying to get you under it, who cares?

        • I meant the actual claddagh ring, not getting a tattoo in general. Everyone has that same tattoo (or a celtic cross) That’s why I said I find 1/20 original or pretty (that would be the personal reason) I wasn’t judging, I just think that tattoo in that spot is the equivilant of a trend and slightly cheesey. Sometimes I feel like people on this site get all huffed up without actually reading closely.

          • It wasn’t solely in response to your comment – yours just happened to be the first one along those lines to show up, followed by several others (and preceded by an entire thread on this topic).

          • She was responding to my use of trendy

  7. I love this. Also generally love the combination of medium/light gray and warm medium brown. Great styling suggestion, too.

  8. Ladies, lately about a week to 10 days before that time of the month I become incredibly bloated and experience a great deal of tenderness up there (trying to stay out of moderation) to the point where walking down a flight of stairs is dreadfully painful. Has anyone else experienced this and found a way to aleviate the pain and bloating?

    • Pregnant & bloated here – wearing a dress instead of pants/skirt that are tight around my waist/hips really helps.

    • S in Chicago :

      Since this hasn’t been normal for you, I’d do a visit with your doc. That sounds similar to how I’ve felt the couple of times I’ve had ovarian cysts. It might be nothing, but it doesn’t hurt to have it looked at. A lot of times it could be nothing, but bloating and pain can also be a sign of something more serious. When I have had cysts, I’ve tried to say away from anything binding near that area. So lots of dresses.

    • I experience swelling and tenderness. My obgyn said it was due to the pill because of the increase in hormones. I tried switching pills to get rid of the problem, but the new pill made me psychotic. Since I would rather be sore than crazy, I switched back. Sigh.

    • I had this problem last year. It got increasingly worse, to the point where I was in pain/tender most days of the month. I wondered if it was hormonal. At that time, I also hadn’t worked out in quite a while. I made it my mission to go to the gym and get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. I went approximately 4 days per week. The pain stopped within the month. I’ve continued to go to the gym every once in a while and I haven’t experienced a problem since.

  9. AnonInfinity :

    Monday morning thread jack.

    I’m a “baby shark,” licensed for almost 3 months now and I’ve been in a mid-sized firm since August. I love my firm, and my dream (at least right now) is to be a kick-a rainmaker here one day. I know there are lots of steps between that and where I am now.

    I think my “performance review” is coming up. I put that in quotations because apparently how it works is that two of the VIP partners come around and give everyone their bonuses and their review on a random afternoon shortly after Thanksgiving. I have heard that they tend not to give meaningful feedback to people who are doing well.

    Here’s my question. I really want one of them to mentor me. He has taken me to a few hearings and a closing argument where we talked a bit about what the arguing atty was saying and why, so I know I’m on his radar. Would it be completely weird for me to say something like, “My eventual goal is to be a partner here. What kind of steps do I need to take to get there?” Is there a better way to ask? My hope is that they give me meaningful insights, but my secondary goal is to hopefully get the one partner to maybe mentor me a little more.

    • I don’t really have a good advice here (what you suggest sounds good; I just don’t have any experience that would back my gut feeling there up), I just want to say that you sound awesome and I love your ambitiousness! If any potential mentor is worth his or her salt, I hope they will, too.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Thanks Lyssa! You sound awesome too. I think we’re both in the South, but from what I’ve triangulated, we are in different cities. But I think we’d be friends if we were in the same city.

    • I've Done That :

      I think you are right to be explicit. And I think you are right to include both points in your message (want to be partner, want to be mentored by you). And if this is the equivalent of your review, it is the perfect time to deliver both messages.

    • found a peanut :

      This is a great idea on your part. In all honesty, the partner will probably tell you that it’s a little early to start thinking about that, etc., but at least it shows the partner that you’re interested in sticking around for the long haul and that you’re ambitious. You could also add in that you see yourself there for the long term and want to start contributing in meaningful ways.

      If you want to put your money where your mouth is and show the partner you’re serious, suggest writing an article when you talk about this. Use the next few days to try and think of a topic and then ask the partner if he’d be willing to co-author an article with you (this means that you will write the article and then put his/her name on it with yours). Get feedback to see which journals you should be targeting. Writing an article is a great thing for a junior associate to do to show that when the time comes you will be bringing in the business.

      Someone once told me that in order to succeed at a firm, you have to be someone’s #1. You have to be a partner’s go-to person. It sounds like you’ve already identified the partner for which you want to become the go-to guy, so pursue it.

      • this. not a lawyer, but my company prez recently told me the same thing. if you want to be promoted/succeed/go far, you have to be the go-to guy (or girl) – the one they rely on when it really counts.

        good luck!

    • anon gap lover :

      I admit, I usually poo-poo the gap and wear higher end jeans. But for skinny jeans, their “always skinny” jeans are literally the best I’ve found at any price. The waist doesn’t gap, they are tight but don’t look painted on. I’ve tried jbrand, found they gap at the waist and stretch out. I’ve tried Jcrew, but the rise and overall proportions are wrong for me.

      So, really, try the gap ones. I’m 5’4, pear shaped, and I get the ankle length ones on line but I think the regular would be fine if you were a bit taller or don’t mind a bit of scrunching at the bottom. I normally wear a 6-8 in jeans, and wear a 6 at the gap.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Thanks for your thoughts! I’m glad to hear that this isn’t a totally lame plan that will makes them roll their eyes at the noob. I will report back. I have no idea when it’s going down, but I will be ready.

  10. Skinny jeans and boots? :

    I’m belatedly jumping on the skinny jeans/boots bandwagon. Can someone recommend skinny jeans for a pear shape, typically size 4/6. I don’t want to spend too much money because I’m not sure how much I will love them. Also, is it normal for skinny jeans to bunch up at the bottom? I tried on a few that seem sort of long for me.

    In a similar vein, I would be most appreciative for recommendations on comfortable boots under $225 that have no heel or a low heel. Any color is fine. Tried on a bunch over the weekend but none of them seemed very comfortable.


    • I bought these skinny jeans from Land’s End Canvas: http://tinyurl.com/85hnds2

      You can’t beat the price

    • Diana Barry :

      I just got a pair of Timberland boots that are very comfortable – I need a wide width bc of bunions. My other pair of high boots is Clark’s. Both have about a 1″ heel and are really comfortable (all day wear, walking/standing, etc.)

      The Timberland ones are “Charles Street Lexiss Waterproof.”


    • I don’t have any real recommendations since I’m in the market for a good pair as well (finally upgrading from my bad-habit $10 Forever 21 jeans), but I think it’s pretty normal and almost always scrunch mine on the bottom. The main reason why I started wearing skinny jeans in the first place is because I’m short, so I can scrunch them easily over my shoes and not worry about the bottoms dragging and looking sloppy.

      I just bought a pair of GAP lightweight skinny jeans since they scrunch well and are very comfortable, but I don’t recommend them – I’ve worn them twice and already see/feel some wear between the legs.

    • I love the J Crew Matchstick jeans. They have a straighter leg that doesn’t taper as much at the ankle, so you get less of the “inverted triangle” look that I find unflattering in skinny jeans. They also come in petites (the bunching is probably due to the jeans being too long).

      • I’m also a huge fan of these, but had not thought to recommend them because I assumed OP wanted a true skinny jean–i.e. tapered. I have a taste for both fits. But anyway, +1.

      • I also love those but they are a straight leg, not skinny – I’ve tried wearing mine with boots and they bunch at the knee like crazy because they are too loose there. I have the gap skinny jeans for wearing inside boots but don’t like them much because they stretch out. Since I only wear my skinny jeans inside boots, I don’t bother hemming them and just roll them up (once) to get a reasonable length.

        Pro tip (lol): tuck the bottoms of the jeans into your socks. It keeps the knees from pulling out when you sit and then bagging at the knee.

      • Second the JCrew matchstick recommendation. I’ve got wider calves, so this cut is much more flattering on me than many super skinny cuts.
        I haven’t had any problems with bunching in the knee, but I do tend to go down a size in these jeans to ensure a very tight fit.

    • I’m hippy and tried on a lot of skinny jeans before I found a pair that was flattering on me: Loft (I think they’re called “modern slim” or something) although I am not usually a Loft fan. I’m 5’3″ and the petite size does not bunch up around my ankles.

    • alliegator :

      I’m the same size as you, with larger thighs/not much in the hip department. I have a couple of pairs of Lola Skinny jeans from Lucky and absolutely love them – they are super comfy! They run about $80/pair, but I’ve seen them marked down to $50 on sale. Given my thigh situation, I’m not thrilled with skinny jeans that bunch up at the bottom because I feel like the wrinkles cut off the silhouette prematurely and make my legs look stubbier. I’ve definitely seen other people pull off that look, though, so ymmv.

    • MissJackson :

      I recently bought a pair of Naturalizer boots (I need wide calf boots, so my selection is more limited than most), and they are quite comfy. Mine are the “Arness” style, which is available in black and brown (both regular and wide calf). If you buy them from the Naturalizer website, google for coupon codes on top of the 20% discount — I paid less than $100, I think.

      • Related question: Does anyone have any blog recommendations (or similar) that will show pictures of how to wear skinny jeans and knee high boots? I am still not totally sure how to wear them, and I think a picture is worth a million words.

        On a related note: I finally (finally!) found red skinny jeans for the right price. I accosted a woman this weekend about where she got hers, and she said Target, so I immediately went there and found them for $22!!! I love them. I did have to buy a *much* bigger size than I usually wear (I could have gone with either an 11 or 13 and decided on the 13 in case of shrinking; I’m usually a 6). But I love them! I will just cut out the tag. :)

        • Check out Angie’s “Mom on the Go” outfit ideas (with lots of pictures) on the Blog section of youlookfab [dot] com. They are collected under “Archives” in “Top Categories.”

    • Ann Taylor Curvy Skinny Denim. Fabric content has a lot of polyester (75.8% Cotton, 22.7% Polyester, 1.5% Elastane), and I was initially put off by this, but they are really comfy and hold their shape well. I usually have trouble with gapping at the waist, but these are great for me.

      40% off promo right now too.

    • found a peanut :

      These boots are slightly out of your price range but are very comfortable and stylish: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/via-spiga-kacey-riding-boot/3172666

      Might be worth it to see if they get further marked down.

    • I like the ones at the gap. The site is 35% off today too with the code MERRY

    • I am a fellow pear, of comparable measurements, so I hope you will consider stepping out of the typical Corporette comfort zone and try Urban Outfitters’ house brand skinnies. I love them so much I will not even bother trying them on anywhere else. And I live in them–I don’t actually own any other fits at this point, except the ones I ride and/or do farm work in.

      UO’s are affordable (usually you can find them on sale for around $30-40), wear well, and come in a wide variety of washes, colors, waists, and lengths.

      As far as the scrunching goes, I think it’s the same as any other pair of pants–you might have to get them hemmed. For what it’s worth, I have one pair that scrunches, and two that don’t (one was advertised as ankle length, the other I hemmed).

    • Skinny jeans and boots? :

      Thank you all so much! You’re so helpful. I’m 5’5 so not particularly short, and I was wondering why all of the skinny jeans I tried on were bunching up at the bottom. I feel like a petite size would be too short on me, but perhaps I should try them on.

      Also, I will definitely try on the JCrew straight leg jeans. I don’t really care about wearing only skinny jeans per se, I just want a pair of jeans that I can tuck into boots. Would a straight jean work in that instance?

      • Ha – 5’5 seems to be the new no man’s land for pant length – too tall for short/petite sizes, but too short for ‘normal’ length. I’ve had sales associates at many brands note this.

      • Yes – a straight leg might work as well as a skinny. I have the straight cut from the GAP that I use for tucking into my boots. It doesn’t really matter what the label says the cut is – it really depends on how close it fits your calf, so don’t rule one or the other out and try both styles on to see how they fit you.

      • I am 5’4″, pear shaped, similar size, and I live in that no-man’s-land too. But remember that most jeans shrink up a bit, so after you wash them once or twice they will end up 1″ or 2″ shorter anyway.

        Lots of people have given good advice already, but I adore my AG Stevies, which I got from Anthro a while back. I do get a bit of bunching at the ankle, but not too much and honestly, it doesn’t bother me.

    • I just bought Ciao Bella Tabby Leather Riding Boots from DSW a few weeks ago. Love them! They were around $100. Will follow up with link.

      • link…


      • I just got them also! I love them except I think I need to break them in because they tore up my right ankle today :(

    • If they scrunch they’re too long or not tapered enough. I only wear skinny skinny jeans or jeggings with boots, and I’ll wear straight legs with flats/heels. You can also try rolling the jeans up at the bottom before you put the boots on. I think there was something in the 80s people did called pegging their jeans, where they kinda rolled and pinned them to make them more tapered.

    • I really like the Josefina skinny jean by Seven. It’s actually more of a boyfriend cut, but on my slightly curvy, size 6 self, it fits like a regular pair of jeans. They are pretty much only for wearing with boots, though, because they hit me at about my ankles and I’m not sure how else I would wear them. I am going to get another pair of them because I live in jeans and boots during the colder months.

      Boots: I bought a pair of Steve Madden boots last year that I loved so much I bought them in another color. The style last year was called Roady (on sale now on the website). The styles for this year that look practically the same, but with slightly different details are: P-Lakke, Sonnya and Ruckuss. (I’m really trying to abstain from buying another pair, since I don’t really need one more, but they are so comfortable and have held up so well, that it seems silly not to get a pair as a back up.)

    • I love GAP’s skinny jeans and their denim leggings. They’re well priced (generally around $60-$70) and often they run 30-40% off coupons or specials, so you can get them at an even better price then.

    • Old Navy Sweetheart jeans- more like a true straight leg than a skinny IMO, and they tuck in boots great. And you can’t beat the price.

      • southanon :

        Second the Old Navy Sweetheart skinny jeans. $25 and available in short and tall lengths also.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a pear and I love the Citizens of Humanity straight cut, and the skinny cut. The straight ones are a little looser at the bottom, but they still fit nicely into boots as long as they have a looser shaft, like riding boots.

      • jbrand jeans – skinny, bell bottom, etc. i’m tall but pear shaped & think they have petite as well as regular sizes.

    • I’ve been very happy with my Corso Como tall boots (flat heel) from Nordstrom. Very comfortable. They are pretty plain, though — no buckles or straps or other embellishments — so if you want those, it’s not going to be the right boot. Mine are from last year, but they’re very close to the “Rocky” boot currently on sale for $149.90 on the N website.

    • I am just insanely picky about boots, and of all places, Kohl’s had a pair I liked that are very comfortable. They’re A2 by Aerosoles and come just below my knee. They have two zippers on the inside (one to put the boots on and the other for extra room if you want to wear them with thick socks or have bigger calves. They have a very, very small heel.

      As for skinny jeans, I like my JJ’s a lot, but I do sometimes have a small waist gap issue. I have that with pretty much every pair of jeans ever anyway though, so take it with a grain of salt. Joe’s seem to gap a bit less than others at least. FYI, I’m a curvy 4.

    • In a similar vein, can anyone offer advice on how to wear skinny/straight leg jeans with booties or ankle-height boots? I’m going somewhere really cold on vacation over Christmas and already have a good, comfy pair of knee high walking boots, but it occurred to me that I’m not always going to want to wear knee high boots and that I might want something a little dressier at night. All the pants I’m bringing are skinny or straight (to fit into the knee high boots), so I’m struggling with what other type of shoe I might want that would also work with the jeans. Can I wear the jeans with booties/ankle boots? And if so, what’s the proper length? TIA!

      • Anonymous :

        i love wearing my skinnies with ankle boots, as long as the jeans are sufficiently skinny in the lower calf/ankle that they dont get loose or bunch above the ankle boot. So, you might need to try them on together to be sure the jeans and boots work together. My ‘straight’ cut jeans dont work with ankle boots, but my Urban Outfitters BDG cigarette cuts do.

      • I totally wear my skinnies with booties and with ankle boots, and I think it looks quite chic. With ankle boots, I just make sure to tuck in the skinnies. With booties, it doesn’t matter so much – my skinnies scrunch up a bit which I actually like, and I prefer having them a bit long than too short.

  11. I was thinking more about that chart posted last week that said a size 8 at BR is equivalent to a size 2 at Gap. Do y’all find that to be true? I certainly don’t. I wear a 6 at BR and DO NOT wear a 0 at Gap. Far from it, in fact. Sometimes I feel like I wear a bigger size at Gap. Thoughts?

    • I find Gap to be smaller, too. (I wear a bigger size at Gap than BR).

    • I’m a 12 at both. Or at least was about 6 months ago. The BR 8/Gap 2 sounds a bit like hyperbole to me.

    • Absolutely not. My size is usually the same in both brands, but at most it has been off by one.

    • MissJackson :

      It depends on your shape. The biggest difference between BR and the Gap is in the hips.

      I have proportionally small hips (in other words, given my waist size, my hips should be larger; or, given my hip size, my waist should be smaller according to a “standard fit model”). So I wear a different size at Gap and BR. I wear a 4 or a 6 at Gap and a 6 or an 8 at BR for pants/skirts that sit lower on the hip. (Note that these sizes would not likely be what I would need for something that sits at my true waist.)

      If you have a different waist/hip ratio, you might have different results.

      • Yup, I have slim hips and wear a bigger size at BR, I posted that after someone put up the link!

      • Anonymous Poser :

        Not really on topic, but I’m so glad to hear another woman in my situation! Even though I *know* women’s bodies aren’t made in “standard sizes”, it’s nice to hear that I have company in the, “Hey, according to most of the clothes I try on, I should have larger hips or a smaller waist!” club. I find it frustrating, and on some days it makes me feel like a bit of a freak.

      • This. I have narrower hips comparatively, and I’m usually 6 or 8 at BR and 4 or 6 at Gap.

    • Haven’t noticed a big size discrepancy between the two brands (I’m generally a 2-4 for both, sometimes petite, sometimes not), but I have noticed that BR sizing/cuts just seem off this year. If I find a top that fits in the shoulders, it doesn’t button right across the chest, and I’m not THAT busty. Or maybe it’s just me.

    • I wear the same size at both.

      • Okay, I’m glad to hear from everyone. We had a long discussion about that chart last week and no one spoke up about their own experiences, so I was curious if I was weird. I’m very curvy/hippy, so my experience is consistent with those of others.

    • Law Student 2L :

      I find them only to be one size off (if at all), and I shop at both very frequently. Both have sizing inconsistencies though even within the brand.

  12. Chimmichanga :

    anon24 – you’re not the only one who gets the flak for being single (I’m 26, too). Instead of a “Hi Chimmichanga, how are you? It’s been so long!”, it’s “Chimmichanga, have you gotten married yet?” – EVERY SINGLE TIME. I actually stopped going to events and house parties now because it’s so annoying.

    Don’t worry about it too much though. It’s not like your parents and their friends have started purchasing your wedding clothes and jewelry, right?

  13. Anon For This :

    I’m livid. I work at a mid-size, public interest side firm, and we just had internally circulated our new firm website. The new website involves revamped attorney bios that were written by us then revised by our firm’s marketing person. Some of the bios have “representative cases” listed in addition to the brief bio; some don’t. Of the four junior associates, the three women (all of whom are second or third year) have none; the first year male associate who started TWO MONTHS AGO? A long list of representative cases, one of which I’ve also been working on intensively for two years. Complete bullshit.

    • What about e-mailing the marketing person and saying, “Dear X, my bio appears to be incomplete. It has no representative cases. Below, I’ve listed a number of representative cases.”?

      • Good idea. I also wonder if the first year male included the representative cases in his draft, while you and the other females did not. (I think this is one of those nice girls things.) I would be surprised if marketing would add or delete those things if the attorney included/didn’t include them.

      • Agreed. Do send the email. Whether intentional or not, let them know the omission is not acceptable.

  14. Wasn’t there a discussion some time ago about programs you can use to block access to certain websites? I have no willpower and would like to go “cold turkey” on certain shopping sites that suck-up valuable work time. If anyone has the link or know of any programs I can use to do this (preferably free ones), please share them with me. Thanks a lot.

  15. Trying to Gain Weight :

    Does anyone have any experience with trying to gain weight (or at least not lose additional weight)?

    I eat normally, but am very active. I generally just eat to being full, but lately have been dropping weight.

    I’d like some advice on not dropping more weight, but without feeling uncomfortably stuffed all the time. I’ve tried adding high calorie shakes in the morning, but I find that they just make me full and I don’t feel like eating as much throughout the day. Its the stuffed, lethargic, gross feeling I’m trying to avoid.

    I already eat regular food (i.e. not low fat dairy or low carb).

    • Have you had a medical check-up recently? Sometimes there are underlying medical problems that lead to this.

      • Trying to Gain Weight :

        I have seen a doctor in the last 6 months and there’s nothing that appeared wrong at that check-up, although I did not specifically address the weight loss.

        I think its due to increased activity/increased intensity of activity. But, I want to remain at that activity level without losing more weight. I know I need to take in more calories, but its hard to do without feeling overstuffed all the time. I wondered if anyone had any tips for ways to get more calories without feeling more full.

        • I replied below (before your current answer) but I’d do some research on the internet about “calorie dense” foods. They are usually highlighted as foods to avoid for dieters, but you could work them in. :-)

          • Also, foods for camping/backpacking and biking tend to be calorie dense (so people can carry a lot of calories in a smaller space), so those might be a good idea to try.

        • One other thing (sorry for the ridiculous number of posts — but I have dealt with something similar before). You want to make sure you are eating a substantial snack that includes carbs, protein, and good fat within 30-45 minutes after a major workout. Your body begins building and healing muscles after a workout very quickly and you want to provide it the resources to do so. Otherwise, you may be burning fat in your workouts but not efficiently building muscle, resulting in weight loss.

          And…I’ll stop now.

    • 1. Agree with above that you should get checked out for a medical condition — unexplained, substantial weight loss is a symptom of several conditions. Have you been having any other health symptoms other than the weight loss?

      2. In terms of the staving off weight loss, I’d add snacks, preferably ones that involve a mix of carbs and protein (like peanut butter toast). I worked with a guy who was trying to gain weight and he ate a lot of rice and chicken. You might think about bringing a turkey sandwich and eating half between breakfast and lunch and half between lunch and dinner. Another idea is thinking about ways to add healthy calories into your existing meals — like perhaps adding fruit to your morning cereal, extra fillings in a sandwich, an extra side dish to your dinner, that sort of thing.

      3. If this continues and your medical stuff checks out, consider seeing a nutritionist. They can do a break down of your diet and your exercise and give you some more targeted ideas.

      • Trying to Gain Weight :

        Thanks for the advice.

        I like the idea of adding calories to existing meals and maybe eating a half of sandwich between breakfast and lunch and another half between lunch and dinner.

        Luckily, I don’t have any other symptoms that make me think its a medical condition (not tired, run down, etc).

        • I actually just went through this – I was underweight and had to gain a few pounds – 15 to be exact. The doctor told me to eat everything I could get my hands on…since I don’t really like candy/sweets, he wasn’t too worried I’d be eating all sorts of unhealthy stuff.

          I basically eat a normal 3 meals a day (and dessert, which is kind of a 4th meal), but added a whole milk to my tea, rather than skim milk (I drink a lot of tea), and added more snacks (trail mix, fruit, etc) throughout the day. (I also hate the feeling of being over-full, so additional snacks is the way to go).

          The doc also made me drink one of those Ensure things every day (absolutely disgusting, but it helps), I didn’t drink the whole thing in the morning though – it was an all day affair – maybe that will work for you too, since you don’t like drinking it in the morning.

          It’s also pie season – pumpkin pie seems to be a good way for me to add calories. So maybe you’ll have a “vice” that you can indulge in a little bit? TCFKAG is right that you need calorie-heavy foods; since the holidays are coming up, I’m sure you can find some foods/snacks that will help you gain some weight. The great part is that this will be a holiday season where you don’t have to watch what you eat! :)

          Good luck!

    • Have you only been told this once? I am by no means super thin, but one time I had lost about 10 pounds after increased running, stress, and getting sick all in sequence and my doctor said I needed to gain weight. For me, after my schedule calmed down and I wasn’t so sick I just went back to my natural weight. But if only one doctor said this once I wouldn’t worry. Everyone’s body has a weight it wants to be. If you’re not hungry and not undernourished I wouldn’t really worry.

      Also, one of my friends lost a ton of weight while training for a marathon and then went back to her normal weight. she was eating quality food all the time, but even a 10 mile run burns 1000 calories,a nd there’s only so much you can eat!

    • I’ve probably got the same issue–no medical condition, just a naturally-fast metabolism that goes nuts when I’m training. I did some research into this last spring, when I started losing more weight than I felt comfortable with, and read that most people only need 200-300 extra calories to be stable. (Can’t remember the URL to the article, but it was from a Serious Running Coach.)

      For me, I added a Clif Bar a day; kept high-fat snacks like nuts and guacamole in stock; and–this might not apply to you–went from eating meat 3-4 times a month to 3-4 times a week. And ditto to everything TCFKAG said, with the addition of making sure you eat before every workout as well, not just afterwards.

    • I don’t have this problem, but my son did. I second eating more avocado, nuts and nut butters, and eating more frequently in general. Also drizzle olive oil (or butter) on veggies, or dip bread in olive oil.

    • Maybe you could try adding calories through liquids, like drinking full-calorie gatorade or fruit juice throughout the day instead of just water.

  16. Anon For This :

    Accidentally got the last one sent to moderation – I will try this again and apologize if a duplicate appears:

    I’m livid. I work at a mid-size, public interest side firm, and we just had internally circulated our new firm website. The new website involves revamped attorney bios that were written by us then revised by our firm’s marketing person. Some of the bios have “representative cases” listed in addition to the brief bio; some don’t. Of the four junior associates, the three women (all of whom are second or third year) have none; the first year male associate who started TWO MONTHS AGO? A long list of representative cases, one of which I’ve also been working on intensively for two years. Completely wrong.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Did you list any representative cases in your version when you submitted it? If you didn’t, then get in there now with your cases (even if you weren’t originally asked to do this, I would say ‘oh sorry, I seem to have forgotten to include these’ or something).

      If you did and they weren’t included, I would raise it in a nice way like ‘Hey, I’ve just seen my bio, thanks very much for that, just checking what happened because my rep cases don’t seem to have been included, please can you update this’ or similar.

      • We were given a sample bio format and representative cases wasn’t one of the categories. It’s possible the new associate was told to because they had changed their minds by the time he had started, but for most people, it looks like they just pulled some out of the rest of the bio and mine does mention a couple.

        I’ll definitely be making edits, but I also want to talk with the people responsible, more overarchingly, why some people have them and some don’t, because I think it looks bad for the bios to be so inconsistent.

    • I would bet that what happened is that the male associate submitted representative cases and the female associates didn’t (of course I have no idea).

      Just send an e-mail to Marketing asking to have XYZ cases listed on your bio. Done and done.

      • Agree. Don’t get so worked up. Just fix your bio.

      • your anger implies that you think something sexist is going on here.

        maybe? but other posters are saying that it’s more likely an oversight by the marketing department – which is probably processing through a few dozen bios without much regard to how they compare against each other.

        a good lesson, actually. go out there and advocate for yourself – but do it strategically, i.e. by beefing up your bio and re-submitting. i would not go and accuse anyone (even in your own mind) of deliberately doing you a disservice.

        • Oh, I’m entirely sure it was an inadvertent oversight. At the same time, yeah, I’m angry that nobody looked at it and thought “Hey, this is a problem; it doesn’t look good.” We’re not a big firm and this website has been in the works for six months; this stuff is eminently catchable.

          But no, not going to accuse anyone, not going to shout, am going to suggest that we decide a specific format for the website and stick with it. (Apparently one of the other associates – the one who initially pointed out the inconsistencies – was explicitly told not to provide representative cases, so it is a problem that it keeps changing.)

          • (And I’m sorry if my original post sounded too ranty – honestly, the associates have been trying to lobby for consistent guidelines for website bios for months, haven’t been getting them or any suggestions on what was submitted, were assured everything was okay, and then saw this. So it’s frustrating and my post here was in the way of a rant rather than constructive critique. I’m going to raise it in a calm and constructive way with the website committee.)

          • Anonymous :

            Could be inadvertent oversight. Could be sexism. Either way – you should fix yours, and communicate with your female colleagues so they will do likewise.

  17. I love love love my J Brand red skinny jeans. They were pricey but I bought them in September and I have worn them nearly every weekend. I wear them with grey cardigan, brown cardigan and brown riding boots, yellow boyfriend blazer from J Crew with tory burch flats and with a white button down and camel skin heels for a night out. I had no idea how much wear I’d get out of them. And they are super comfortable! They’re available at saks or nordstroms.

    • I’ve never heard of camel skin heels. Is that a color, a fabric, or a pattern? I’m intrigued!

  18. Grrr… I ordered a pair of $150 jeans from French Connection on October 4 and have worn them twice. I just noticed a hole near the zipper. When I called this morning, they said they won’t let me exchange them because I’m outside the 30 day window. I expected more from jeans that are that expensive – I am so frustrated!

    • found a peanut :

      I would call them back and insist they give you a new pair. Ask to talk to a manager.

      If that didn’t work, I would bring them back to the store (even if you bought them online, go to a French Connection store) and insist that they refund your money or give you a new pair.

    • If you paid by credit card and the store won’t give you the discount, call your credit card company. They’ll often refund items that are broken or stolen in the first year after purchase.

  19. Ladies, I need to vent–and hopefully you savvy managerial types will have some good insights for me.

    I’m having a teambuilding/cooperativity/leadership issue with a dear friend. This isn’t work-related: I’m one of four people running a high-powered chamber chorus, and the four of us are all very close friends in addition to being colleagues. Lately, however, Dear Friend seems to be slacking on the administrative end of the process: she doesn’t respond to planning emails, she doesn’t opine on our open list of repertoire possibilities, she constantly claims to be “too busy” to properly complete the various tasks for which she’s volunteered (and usually I end up doing them for her–I’ll stop doing that, stat). She does come to our administrative meetings–only to dig in her heels and argue against whatever the other three of us have done, without offering any alternatives or doing any additional legwork herself. She would describe herself as a very responsible, organized, Type A personality, but compared with the rest of us, that’s simply not coming across.

    How on earth can I a) gently clue her in to the fact that she’s not pulling her weight and b) keep from wanting to strangle her?

    • here’s a good framework for giving sensitive feedback. the more specific, the better.

      Situation – succinctly mention the very specific situation, such as, “you volunteered and were assigned to solicit marketing partners for the next concert.”
      Behavior – “You haven’t called or spoken with any potential partners, and you don’t like the ones that other people have suggested.”
      Impact – “We now have no marketing partners (or no marketing partners yet) and Jane is frustrated that you nixed her potential lead.”

      That should make it pretty clear.

      If you’re at the point where you want to strangle her, why are trying to “gently clue her in”? Be direct and factual, and keep emotion out of it. Good luck!

    • As someone who does a great deal of volunteer work, I’ve come across this sort of thing a lot.

      Have you considered the possibility that perhaps she really is too busy (which is what she claims)? It sounds to me (from the fact that she is coming to meetings) like she really wants to participate, but maybe due to other factors she just can’t right now. She probably feels quite guilty about it and overcompensates for her lack of activity between meetings by coming across too strong at the meetings themselves. Is it possible for you to talk to her a little about this and ask her if she needs to take some time off for a little while or move into a different role?

  20. Threadjack/poll: Do you use your personal cell phone for regular business use?

    If yes, is it a smart phone? (Which one?)
    Do you use it for voice, data, or both?

    Thanks all.

    • Yes, but sort of in reverse – I use my work blackberry but added my personal cell number onto it. I get billed for the phone, work gets billed for the data. I don’t use it much for work calls (just the occasional Saturday conference call) so I don’t bother about tax issues, though.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Yes. I have an iphone that is connected to my work email. I paid for the phone and I pay for the plan. There is no “firm blackberry” or smartphone where I work. I use it for my own convenience and mental health. I occasionally give out my cell number to clients but only in rare circumstances. Ex: – meet me in front of the administration building before the hearing. If you get lost, call me at this number ____. Please only use this number for emergencies.” I’ve only had one client call it outside my parameters and I said “oh, you accidentally called my cell. Let me call you back from my office landline in 10.” Some of my coworkers give their cell out to all their clients but if that kind of availability was expected, I’d want the firm to pay for the plan.

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      Yes, but only if I’m in court and need to reach a partner or check my email for some reason–my firm doesn’t give the associates blackberries, so that’s really my only option (which is, quite frankly, a godsend). I’ve got an LG something or other (Vortex? It was whatever the free smartphone from verizon was at the time)–runs on the android platform.

    • Yes, I use my personal phone for work. It is not a smart phone, so I only use it for voice calls.

    • Yes, all of the time, but that was sort of the deal when I started (I had the phone before I took the job, but they started paying the bill as part of my benefits package. When my current contract expires, I’m expected to get on their firm plan.)

      My firm’s pretty low-pressure, so it doesn’t bother me at all. I use it to get emails when I’m away from my desk, call or text the office if I’m out, or look things up when needed (or just to entertain myself if I get stuck waiting somewhere). I use a Samsung Galaxy S. (I occasionally give my number out to clients, but it’s rare.)

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      My boss purchased an iphone for me, but I do not give out the number to my clients. However, I did get a free google voice number if I ever need to give a client a number. I can call or text them and not have to worry about clients having my personal number and it makes the calls easier to screen if they ever call me on the weekend.

      * ;-)

    • Not an attorney. I have an iPhone that I purchased and pay for. I work 4 days per week but need this to maintain sanity (and to prevent coming in on Monday to an avalanche of emails). I consider it the cost of doing business.

  21. I need some feedback on speaking up at work.

    I am by nature assertive and argumentative. I know this, so I try to ensure that I’m always respectful. At times, though I can become animated. I always worry, after meetings (particularly meetings with superiors) at which I speak up, that I was too vocal, forceful, or aggressive.

    Does anyone have general thoughts on this? Is this a normal feeling to have, or does it mean that I probably am being too assertive? Should I, as a junior associate, be more reluctant to argue a point?

    • Depends on the situation and the point you are trying to make. If it’s a meeting with just me and a partner, I’m not afraid to ask a question or about an alternative approach. If other people are around, especially clients or opposing counsel, I never “surprise” — i.e., if I disagree or want to point something out, I quietly mention it to the partner first rather than airing it to the room. Then, if I’m wrong, no one else had to hear about it, and if I’m right, I didn’t make the partner look bad by disagreeing “publicly.”

      I guess my advice is not to automatically assume someone is right just because they are senior, but to be respectful and tactful in how you ask your questions.

    • I will be interested to see the responses to this. I have the same problem. Had it in law school and still have it now.

    • Sounds to me like you’ll be one of the women who makes partner, while others who don’t speak up will be overlooked. Assertiveness is good in the law business. Just continue to be “respectful” as you put it, since women are also judged if they come across as too aggressive.

    • Anonymous :

      I do this too– talk “too much”, worry about it. The reality for both of us, though, is that it can’t always be too much. Sometimes it’s too little, sometimes just right. We are who we are, and like it or not, people know who we are. (Why not like it?) It might or might not be better to be known as assertive and invested than out of it or passive. But we’re the former, and there it is. Own it. Sometimes I’ll write a little note on my scratchpad along the lines of what I’m thinking before I say it. To vet it. And sometimes life’s too short… If you’ve never gotten any negative feedback about it (I haven’t), be yourself. Your best, most professional self, but not an edited or embarrassed version.

    • I think assertive is good. Argumentative is not. As a general rule, getting your message across clearly and respectfully is the goal.

      I don’t know if “animated” means you start speaking loudly and start changing your tone of voice around (e.g. higher, or more sarcastic, or more demanding, or what). In my experience, that can be bad. People can be forceful without being overly loud and while maintaining a professional, calm tone. Of course, you don’t want to be an automaton, but women are judged more harshly for perceived “emotion” so I personally focus on staying calm and controlled, no matter what words are coming out of my mouth.

      Finally, you just have to watch yourself when you’re with people who might – for whatever reason – shrink or be offended or put off by your “assertiveness”. These may be particularly shy people, or stodgy older men, or other women who don’t get your brand of communication .. whatever it is. On the one hand, you have a right to behave however you like. On the other, you’re trying to get ahead (I assume) and make your points heard, and half of communication is knowing your audience.

      Good luck. The fact that you’re even thinking about this is a good thing … self-awareness is critical.

    • Perhaps try out a couple of sessions during which you hold back when you would normally speak up and focus on listening instead, and see if this provides any new insight. Did someone else eventually bring up the points you had in mind ? How did the meeting respond ? And more generally – are there patterns to the discussion dynamics in these meetings ? Which of your superiors is a deciding voice ? Who is a persuader ? Who sums up the discussion for the group ? And of your peers – who has an effective voice ? Whose style works in what context ?
      This will provide useful perspective on how to work a meeting, and then you can circle back to decide whether your own style is working.


    Does anyone know how to cook a turkey, or a good web sight that can tell me how I should do it? My mother said she is DONE cooking on Thanks giving, and I am the ONLY woman in the family who is not to old to cook.

    I was told I should learn by now, but I only know how to order turkey from the deli.

    Is any corporete going to cook a turkey like me?

    • karenpadi :

      For a fool-proof turkey, I use a cooking bag. It’s a big plastic bag, available at most grocery stores, that you stick the turkey in before putting it in the oven. You don’t get a crispy skin using this method but the meat is incredibly moist and delicious.

      If you are cooking a frozen turkey, start thawing it today by putting it in the refrigerator.

      • For fool-proof turkey, I order the delicious Smoked Turkeys from Greenburg. http://www.gobblegobble.com/

    • Call the butterball ladies and they will talk you through it.

    • Hey Ellen, why don’t you ask the managing partner how to cook a turkey? Just make sure you show a little leg when you do it! He might get his wife on a conference call to tell you how!

      While you’re at it, I would get yourself checked for this alleged hereditary disease in your family that prevents older women from cooking. No man will want you if your cooking days are numbered!

    • Ellen Threadjack! This makes my day!

      Cooks Illustrated Herbed Roast Turkey. Best. Turkey. Ever. You might need a subscription to get the recipe, though. Absolutely worth it. If you want to be simple about it, just do the brining & roasting, and leave the herb paste out.

      • Seattleite :

        I do exactly this. Brine and roast, don’t mess with the paste.

        And, Ellen – please don’t stuff the bird. The bird will be dried out before the stuffing gets hot enough to be safe.

        ~frustrated chef who is rethinking her career plan

        • Always a NYer :

          Yes! My grandfather never stuffed the bird until he was ready to serve it. You need to cook the stuffing and the turkey separately first.

        • You should totally stuff the bird. All you need to do is cook the stuffing beforehand. Stuffing always tastes better if it has been inside the turkey. Our family recipe involves cooking the stuffing in a frying pan first and then stuffing the turkey, and no-one has ever gotten sick from it or suffered from dry turkey.

        • I’m a turkey stuffer! Although I never actually eat the stuffing *in* the bird– always make a little pot on the side. I’m convinced the stuffing magically helps retain moisture and/or add flavor. Don’t try to convince me otherwise with logic or facts.

    • I used Alton Brown’s recipe for a brined turkey last year and it came out amazing.


      Happy Thanksgiving ELLEN. (Also, just so you know, MENFOLK can cook too).

      • Always a NYer :

        Agreed on men cooking. My grandfather was a chef and did all the cooking when I was growing up, not that any of us would argue of course. Come to think of it, I had no idea that women traditionally did the cooking until I started school.

        ELLEN, check out the FOODNETWORK website for awesome recipies.

    • Sorry, Ellen. That sucks for you. My mom still does the turkey. The rest of bring SIDES. I make an awesome cranberry pie, though.

      You should probably call the BUTTERBALL help line.

    • Ellen, darling, here is the best way to cook a turkey:


      And how I know it’s the best way is that it says so right there in the title.

      It’s similar to the Alton Brown approach, but you need an extra day for air drying, to ensure crisp skin.

      Gotta start tonight! Hope you have your thawed bird already.

  23. Law Student 2L :

    Question, is the J.Crew No.2 Pencil in double-serge wool a fall/winter skirt only? I will be clerking this summer and am looking for some cute pencil skirts. I love all the colors of No.2 and they look so classic, but I have a feeling the wool is really heavy. Any advice on this or recommendations to where I can find equally awesome bold skirts would be great.

    • They make a No. 2 double serge COTTON pencil skirt for warmer temperatures. I think that the wool is a little heavy for summer, at least here in Virginia. There is no better pencil skirt than the No. 2, though.

      • Law Student 2L :

        Yeah, I saw that, but the colors weren’t as great. Maybe by the spring they will have some better colors out.

      • also, the cotton version wrinkles horribly. Sit down for 5 minutes, and it looks like an accordian. Although not as nice as the Jcrew skirt, and not as good of a fit for me, the Halogen seamed pencil skirt at Nordstroms comes in fun colors, is midweight, and doesn’t wrinkle badly.

    • Yes, it’s wintry. I am wearing it right now and was very sad last spring when I had to retire it…it’s a heavy-weight, comfy cozy wool. It’s not a year-round weight. Try the bi-stretch wool pencil skirt if you want a good year round basic. I wear the charcoal one nearly once a week all year–goes with brights, darks, summer, winter–much more versatile.

      The cotton double-serge is not a nice fabric–would not recommend. It’s been on sale for ages and hasn’t moved. That’s a sign in JCrew-land.

      Good luck with your clerkship.

    • I wear mine basically 10 months a year. My office is freezing so it works well (I just go from tights to no tights). It does look a bit wintry, but in the bright colors I think it’s fine for almost any season. Plus, the double serge wool this year is thinner than older versions, so if you’re buying the current ones on sale now, they should be fine for all but the hottest months (for me, July and Aug). Just my two cents.

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