Splurge Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Victoria Paneled Pants

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

flared paneled pants for workMy husband and I recently watched the Big Little Lies miniseries on HBO (soooo good) and I’m kind of now obsessed with flared pants after seeing Laura Dern’s “CEO unwinding in jeans” look several times. These burgundy paneled pants look nice enough for the office (as they should be at $720) but also fun with a sexy top for evening or weekend. Burgundy/red pants are undeniably hard to match, as several people noted in last week’s thread on what color shoes to wear with different colors of pants — I’ve worn black, brown, navy, gray, and purple with red, for my $.02. For these dark burgundy pants I’d probably go with a dark gray or black, but that’s me.   Victoria Paneled Pants

Here’s a similar option in plus sizes for $20.

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  1. Veronica Mars :

    FYI Garnet Hill has some great deals on cashmere right now, including a fair isle style sweater for $28 after coupon (rated 4.5 stars in the reviews). I got the fair isle and the pointelle sweater myself!

  2. I have a black leather purse that sometimes smudges dye on my clothes. Does this indicate poor quality, or is it just what happens with leather purses?

    • Is it only smudging on white/very light colored clothes? If so, I think it may just be what happens with new bags at times…

      • Oh, it’s not new. I’ve had it for five years now of daily use. It happens on my not-dark clothes. Like a blush colored jacket and a dark orange shirt.

        • Oh, yikes. Sounds like a problem with the dye. Not sure if there’s anything you can “seal” it with that won’t affect the leather over time. Maybe someone else will have a thought.

      • If you buy a cheap leather purse or clutch, the paint can wear off. Buy something good, it won’t wear off. My dad bought a cheap leather hat on vacation in Europe that was supposed to be an Indiana Jones hat. Since dad fancies himself as an externally outdoorsey macho kind of guy, he thought he looked really hot wearing that hat. The problem was that the leather was NOT properley tanned, so over a few weeks, it literaly DECOMPOSED like a piece of bad old meat. Not onley did it start to STINK, it also fell apart, and stained his hair. FOOEY on cheap leather hats and other stuff. You get what you pay for! YAY!!! He should have known that b/c he taught me NEVER to buy cheap stuff that is $hitty! TRIPEL FOOEY!

    • I haven’t experienced it myself, but when I bought a Coach bag, it came with a warning label that color transfer was possible. Also, when I clean my boots at the end of the season, I would see color transfer on the wiping clothes (albeit I’m rubbing it at this point).

      • I’ve had color transfer issues with Coach bags. Luckily, it has always washed out though, rather than causing permanent stains…

    • Take the bag to a good cobbler – if anyone can seal the leather, that would be who.

      • Belle Boyd :

        +1 to this. They may be able to apply something to the leather that can seal the color.

        Also ask them to waterproof your bag. If your bag gets wet, it may cause the dye to run — not only on your clothes, but it could cause spots and drip marks on the bag itself.

        This may not be indicative of a poorly made bag, it could just be an after-effect of the dyeing process. Some highly pigmented dyes (think reds and the really deep, bright purples that are everywhere for this fall) require a lot of dye to reach that color intensity. That much color = potential for rub-off.

  3. I like this, but the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw them was Anchorman, not Big Little Lies.

  4. cat socks :

    Rothys Review

    I bought the pointed toe flat in size 6. The shoes were very tight around my toes so I exchanged them for a size 6.5. Those felt okay around the toes, but my heels felt like they were going to slip out the back. I sort of had to contract my feet to get them to stay on properly. Unfortunately the 6.5 pair is going back too.

    I really wanted to like them after hearing the rave reviews, but they just didn’t work for me. I guess if you have a short wide-ish foot, the pointed toe style might not work. I’m going to give the round toe a try.

    Also totally unrelated, but I watched the movie Passengers this weekend. I am totally coveting Jennifer Lawrence’s post-hiberation hair.

    • I have wide-ish feet and they are tight on me, too. I kept them in the half size up, but they definitely are on the tight side. I thought about trying the rounded toe but I don’t like the look of them as much.

      • Try the round toe Rothys! :

        I have a wide foot with a narrow heel, and I tried the pointed toe first. I wanted to love them, but even at a half size up they were not comfortable around my toes, and they made my feet look even wider. I accepted that my foot is just not make for pointed toe flats and exchanged them for the rounded toe. They fit so much better (still went up a half size from my usual), and they are not as rounded as I expected. Plus, the v shape at the top elevates them a bit.

        It is still sandal weather here, but I’m excited to wear them when it cools down.

  5. Term Life Insurance :

    How did you decide how much term life insurance to buy? I’ve heard Dave Ramsey say 10-12 times annual income. Is this together or individually? It seems weird to get less coverage on the lower earner…

    • We did a million on me for each kid at birth, when I was earning about 200k, so it was roughly 5x my income for each, or 10x total as we have two kids.

      We did a smaller amount on my husband as he earned less.

      The idea is to replace the income you would lose in the event of an early death, not a value judgment about what each parent is worth.

      We are nearing the end of the term now as my kids are getting older, neither of us has died, and our assets have grown to make life insurance less of an issue if either of us were to die. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

      • I should mention that my income grew and our coverage is no longer 10x, but it’s ok because the assets grew.

    • anon a mouse :

      We did a little less than 10x annual income. We have enough to pay off the house and fund college, plus some extra to help substantially defray living expenses and pay real estate taxes until college hits. But our thinking is that if one of us dies, getting expenses to zero would mean that the living parent could cut hours to part-time or make other choices to focus on the family.

    • For a more reasonable assessment, we went with the amount needed to pay off the house, cars, and other debt. Then added up an additional two years of expenses (less debt payments, but including stuff like property taxes and car maintenance). Our thinking was that amount would give enough coverage to remove any bill worries for a few years so the surviving spouse would have some room to go part time or change careers or change childcare situations. If we both die, then it’s enough to give our children’s guardian enough leeway to move or expand their house, and also help offset a few years of kid expenses as well. (We have a separate savings account for their college.)

      That number is nowhere near a million dollars (probably closer to about 5x one salary and 3x the other). It made it much more reasonable and affordable for us.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yeah, our math was “pay off the house/car and give surviving spouse breathing room to assess what needs to be done next.”

  6. One Month Shopping Ban :

    I posted this over the weekend, but thought I’d try one more time today now that everyone is back at work.

    The way I’ve set up my budget, I have a certain amount of money each month for kind of miscellaneous, fun stuff – getting my hair done, clothes, etc. I’m a member of several organizations with dues all due this month which leaves me with basically nothing for anything else. So I’m trying to self-impose a month-long shopping ban. I’m trying to make this so it feels like kind of a fun challenge as opposed to a chore. Anyone have any tips?

    • -Plan non-spendy events in advance: do some research on Monday/Tuesday to identify free festivals, outdoor yoga classes, etc for the upcoming weekend
      -Befriend your local library. Not only for free books and DVDs but most have museum passes to get into local museums for free
      -Embrace the walk as an activity. Weekend strolls are the best, and you can explore different parts of your city
      -Invite friends to join along for all of the above, always more fun in a group
      -Host something in your own home – bake brownies and have friends over for a movie night, or coordinate an at-home brunch or tea one weekend, throw a dinner party – while technically you’ll spend some money on food for these it is so much less than you would imagine if you plan carefully
      -Avoid your typical spend places. Don’t read emails from stores, don’t go to store websites, no window shopping
      -If there’s a hobby that you’ve been meaning to get into with relatively low start-up costs, that may be a worthwhile investment to keep the rest of the month spending down (I’m thinking something like cross-stitch or coloring, not rock climbing – in terms of $)

    • Can you check off a box for every day without purchasing something? That’s something i do when I impose a spending ban (though that’s a broader ban and would include coffee, buying lunch, etc., so it is a daily struggle!)

    • Shop your closet! Give yourself a goal to dig out and re-wear pieces that have gotten shoved into the back of your drawers. Also come up with fun, free things you can reward yourself with, or use to fill the hole that would have previously been filled with mindless shopping or a mani. Maybe get Overdressed by Elizabeth Cline from the library if you want some extra momentum for why this is a good thing.

      But seriously…one month? Where you know you have other financial obligations? You can do it. And if it’s really feeling like that much of a struggle, you might want to spend some time working through why you feel the need to spend money on this stuff. One of the most educational things I ever did for myself was a six-month ban on buying clothes. I learned that I shopped when I was bored, or feeling dissatisfied with myself or my life. News flash, throwing away money on disposable clothing when I already had a closet full of perfectly nice pieces did not fix any of the things I was hoping it would fix. Three years later, I still shop way, way less than I did before my ban, and I think that’s a good thing.

      • Your second paragraph is a really good point. Part of my problem is that I’ve gained a fair amount of weight that I am now losing so it’s kind of an adventure every morning finding something that is going to fit and that makes me want to shop. But there’s definitely a strong component of also online shopping when I’m bored or frustrated with something else. Maybe once my weight has settled I’ll look at trying this for a longer chunk of time.

    • I like to use apps to help with habit development – I used to use irunurun, but they stopped supporting it. I just started using HabitBull (free, and completely ridiculous but I really like the icon) and like it a lot so far. It emphasizes streaks and you can set a goal, so it works well with your situation. I’m really motivated by streaks and will definitely go out of my way to not break a long running streak (the Insite meditation app uses streaks that has been really effective for me to develop a strong meditation habit).

      Total aside: Bonus is that if you get used to using it, you can then use it for developing other habits that you want. I’m really into this idea right now (ala The One Thing book). Right now I’m working on developing a habit of reading more nonfiction/personal development books (to get through the huge of unread books I have). So for 66 days, that’s all I’m focused on – reading for ate least five minutes a day. Reading at breakfast has turned into a huge pleasure the last few weeks.

    • Take a look at Cait Flanders’ bl 0 g and posts about her shopping bans! The posts you’d want to read are a bit older; she’s kind of gone off the rails lately.

  7. Anyone have any well-received gifts for the milestone birthday of an S.O.? I’m stressing myself out trying to think up a 40th birthday gift for my boyfriend, the man who can buy anything he wants for himself.

    We’re planning to go on a family beach resort trip for the occasion (flying there), but that was mostly paid for with miles and I feel I should get him some sort of token gift… but I’m having the hardest time thinking of anything that doesn’t seem like unnecessary “stuff”. Any thoughts that aren’t “a nice bottle of wine”?

    He’s a tech guy who likes dogs and vacations, if that helps.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Surprise excursion on the trip? Tokens seem a bit unecessary IMO for a 40 yo who can buy anything he wants for himself, so I would pick an excursion, maybe a romantic one just the two of you to share a special moment. You could book the kids something else to do during that time.

    • I second the excursion idea. But generally, any sort of “Experience” gift I think is a good way to go. I also tend to find that I am able to get someone a higher quality gift with an experience vs. an actual thing.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Would he like a nice folding knife/swiss army knife?

    • If not an excursion on the trip, room upgrade or a special meal?

    • If he’s the type of guy that could buy what he wants but just doesn’t (either because he doesn’t want to spend the money or just doesn’t know) same as my husband, I’ve bought my husband stuff that is in the category of stuff that he has but upgraded or would make his life better. For example, really good Bluetooth headphones, a Bluetooth meat thermometer for the grill, or even a nice toiletries bag (to replace his zip loc bag!) have garnered multiple “im so happy you thought to buy this for me”

      I like the excursion idea too.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I did this once for a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day:

      In a large brown paper bag, put in a whole bunch of things that he loves. You can relate it to the trip if you want (reading for the plane, fancy toiletries, snacks, sunscreen, a neck pillow, etc). On the outside, I printed “Brown paper bag, tied up with string, these are a few of your favorite things”. (Tie up with string, obviously).

      • I bought my ex a nice cream colored Cashemere Sweater, and what do you know, that schmoe wore it out to a bar, and spilled marinara sauce all over it, and it was ruined. He then wanted me to buy me a new one for him. I told him forget it. He was a looser. FOOEY!

    • I did a fancy watch for my husband and a subscription to the craft beer of the month club to get him through the first year of being 40 …

    • IP Associate :

      I’ve posted this before but the NYT birthday book has always been a huge hit when I’ve gotten it for members of my family with milestone bdays: https://store.nytimes.com/products/the-ultimate-birthday-book

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband has a milestone birthday coming up and I got him the New York Times birthday book. Not sure if this is your guy’s jam, but here it is: https://store.nytimes.com/products/the-ultimate-birthday-book?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_content=adcopy&utm_campaign=Shopping%20|%20All%20Products&utm_term=&gclid=CjwKCAjwlrnNBRBMEiwApKU4POcAK2p7JZ6ge-sdLVycmZ-ed_NIfVaMrB8Wm46-LW3Bnjvp51egcBoCjF4QAvD_BwE

    • Thank you for all the suggestions! I’m looking at a few excursions and I like the idea of the book and a few of the other suggestions as well. Much appreciated!

  8. Rome Questions :

    Hi, all. Two questions about Rome:

    1) How covered up do I need to be to visit the churches there? I’ve heard shoulders and knees need to be covered. Shoulders, fine, most of my dresses have sleeves. But knees though? I mostly wear dresses that fall an inch or two above my knee. Is that going to cause some scandal or get me kicked out? I don’t think it will be cold enough for tights when I’m there, but if it were, would wearing tights solve the problem?

    2) I generally don’t make restaurant reservations when I travel. Is that going to be a mistake in Rome?

    • I can only make a suggestion for #1: if you know you’ll be in and out of churches or other holy sites, pack a pashmina or big, lightweight scarf for that day (great travel item anyway!). If you find that you need to be more covered up, you can wrap it around your waist like a sarong to extend your skirt length. I’ve done this after seeing numerous other people doing the same. They usually hand out modesty skirts made of paper, so the solution is one they’ve thought of before; this one just happens to be a bit more stylish.

    • Anonymous :

      1) Officially you’re supposed to have your knees covered. If you’re visiting churches on your own, you probably won’t be refused entrance but it is disrespectful. If you’re on a group tour, the tour leader may require you to change. The Vatican is pretty strict on the dress code, and you may get turned away with a skirt that falls a couple inches above your knee. Tights would suffice, but would be very warm as you pointed out. I wore linen pants (in May) and was very comfortable.
      2) I was surprised by how necessary reservations were, even for non-fancy places, but you can make them when you get there. You usually just need to call a day or two in advance and your hotel can do that for you.

    • 1. I don’t recall dress length being an issue but I also wore a lot of long maxi dresses on my trip. None of my dresses had sleeves though. I just had a big silk shawl in my purse that I would wear when I went into holy places and I think that helped make everything “respectable.”

      2. Never made a single reservation. I think if there’s a particular place that you want to go to and it becomes an issue, your hotel concierge can always help out (that’s what we ended up doing in Paris, where some places did require a reservation). Not that you asked, but I highly recommend the EAT Rome app (and the EAT Florence, if you’re headed that way).

      • You’ll need reservations for places which are good, in the historical centro and known to visitors ie. on the EAT app.

        • How far in advance do you typically need to make reservations?

          • Where we have made reservations in Europe (Paris, Florence, etc.), it was usually day before, two at most, sometimes just day of. I’m sure there are places you have to reserve farther in advance but those generally didn’t interest me and I was happy to have a normal reservation system of just ensuring you had a table vs. what it’s become in NY, which is everyone making a reservation at whatever time the phones open exactly 30 days in advance or whatever the stupid rules say.

    • Anonymous :

      1. I only ever covered my shoulders (it was summer, I wore dresses and shorts) and it was fine.

    • Make sure you eat at Grappolo Doro! We went with no reservation and had our best meal in Rome there. I don’t think you need to make reservations but there is a LOT of bad touristy food in Rome so don’t just “drop in” to places — research ahead of time where to eat. Otherwise you’ll have a lot of mediocre pizza…

    • Fwiw, I wore a pair of capri leggings under my skirts and dresses when there. Solved the church question, and also was just very easy for impromptu picnicing or hanging out on steps in piazzas.

    • I’ve spent a lot of time in Rome and never had issues with reasonably modest skirts hitting an inch or two (or three…this was college after all) above the knee. I was just there a few months ago and I remember most of the signs actually said “no miniskirts,” not “knees must be covered.” Cover your shoulders and you’ll be fine.

      I’ve never made a reservation in Rome and it hasn’t been an issue, but then I haven’t been trying to go to super high-end restaurants either. Agree that there’s a lot of sub-par tourist food in Rome–make sure that you research your options ahead of time.

    • 2) We loved the restaurant Life (Life Ristorante) in Trastevere, a trendy neighborhood in Rome. That restaurant basically required a reservation. We happened to get there when it opened for dinner so we snagged a table outside among the smokers. But for those highly rated places, I recommend a reservation. (If you haven’t been to Europe before, fair warning that Italy is full of cigarette smoke, compared to the US.)

  9. Selling some hive favourites :

    Apologies, I know this isn’t normally done on this s*te, but I have a few things I’m trying to sell which happen to be hive favourites. I’m hoping someone here might be interested.

    1. MM Lafleur Foster pants in black, size 8. Bought these used from the facebook b-s-t group and have lost too much weight. I have also listed these back on the facebook group. Pants are in great condition and are drycleaned. Asking US$115 plus shipping.
    2. Rockport Total Motion Adelyn Ballet flats, size 6.5 wide. In the Black AM Lux colour (it’s a snakeskin print, metallic shoe with black base). I have tried to wear these a couple times but they do not agree with me. They seem slightly smaller and slightly more narrow than the 6.5W size (compared to the Rockport Total Motion pumps that I also have). Asking US$30 plus shipping.

    If interested, please message me at jackski at gmail


  10. Rather Be Painting :

    Looks likely that we will have long, slow move to D.C. – husband first since I’ll stay until child graduates from high school in a couple years. Commuter marriage hints? Also, any recommendations for a rental agent in the D.C. area to help him find a small apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood while he gets to know the area and starts on the house hunt?

    • Anonymous :

      why? Move your kid with you. They’ll survive.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you staying behind because you don’t want your kid to have to switch schools? or is there another reason? Seems short-sighted if the only reason is kid switching schools. If she/he only had one year left of school I could understand, but multiple years? It will be harder on your kid to not have both parents fully present than to switch schools, not to mention how hard it will be on your marriage. Take care of your marriage first — it’ll help your kids in the long run.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree so hard. Also so your husband gets to actually spend time with kid. Or he doesn’t move.

      • Counter-point: How hard it will be on the kid and marriage can vary based on how much dad is around now. My dad traveled extensively for work basically my entire life growing up and for several years when I was in HS, he had an apartment in another city for work reasons. My parents didn’t want us to move to this other city, in large part because we were settled in our hometown and schools. My dad had a good amount of autonomy and say over his schedule so he was able to be home for our concerts and such. My mom had a good support network of family and friends. Parents are still happily married after 40+ years and the kids turned out just fine.
        OP, do what works for your family.

      • I really agree with this.

        OP, are we missing something?

      • My family moved to a new city the summer before my senior year in high school. I was furious at my parents for making me move with them, as my best friend’s family offered to let me live with them. Ultimately, it was the best thing. I made lifelong friends at my new school, and learned to adapt in a way that helped prepare me for college and the rest of life.

        Move your whole family or don’t move, but don’t spend years apart.

        • My family also moved when I was a junior in HS. The first couple of months was really rough. I dreaded waking up in the morning to go to a school where everyone already knew each other and had formed their own groups. Took me a while to figure out which table in the cafeteria to sit at for lunch.

          With that said, I’m now so much closer to the friends from new school whereas I hardly see my old group anymore.

          • I switched schools as a senior and am grateful that I got at least a year to bond with people I’ve been seeing for the past 20 years. I would have been miserable coming home for school breaks in college (and thereafter) with just my parents as the only souls I knew in their new city.

            It was no treat at the time, but I got into my first choice college anyway based on my prior record and had a couple of leadership posts in the new school (would have done better in that department had I been there at least 2 years).

            If you are permanently moving the whole family eventually, I think it is OK to let them finish out the school year in one school, but better if you just go ahead and move the kids. You can be the straggler, but don’t force them to delay the move esp if they get at least 2 years in at the new school.

      • Huh? Very common in D.C. & military circles to try to keep the kids in the same high school all 4 years. I’m sure I’d do what you are doing if my husband had to work in another city, as my kids are on a certain track in school, are very involved in sports, and preparing college applications. Moving would be disruptive in so many ways, not to mention figuring out D.C.-area schools. Also, there are MANY commuter marriages in D.C. You will get through it. One of my colleagues rents a small place in Arlington while his family remains at home in another city.

      • Since OP was asking about advice for a “commuter marriage” not a “long-distance marriage” I assumed that DH was living in DC during the week and coming home on weekends. If that’s the case, I don’t see a difference between living apart during the week vs. having such long hours/commute that you never see your spouse or kid during the week anyway. Personally, I wouldn’t uproot my career and my kid’s school just so I could give my spouse a peck on the cheek in the morning and at night on weekdays.

    • I will chime in to tell you that I get you. I have a high school junior and a freshman. These years are super important to them. If you have the means to let a kid finish out a couple of years in high school and do the commuter thing, good for you.

      • Hit enter too soon.

        So we had a commuter marriage for a while. I was “promoted” from my west coast job to the east coast home office. I decided to commute for at least a while to see if I liked the job and because my kids were in the middle of their school year. I never liked it enough to move but I did the commute for four years. My typical schedule was to fly out Monday evening and home Friday evening. I didn’t go every week but for the first two years I went most weeks.

        We did fine. My kids thrived, my husband became much, much more of a hands-on dad (which was good for both of us) and we did well in our relationship with each other. My commitment to coming home every weekend (I only missed two weekends in four years) made a difference too.

        Two years is definitely doable. You just have to be super organized and husband has to make a strong committment to really being present when he is home.

      • Same. I’m surprised by the reaction above. My daughter is a sophomore in high school and although we wouldn’t choose to take jobs that were far apart, if my husband suddenly HAD to move for work, I would probably stay local and let her finish out her high school years. At the very least, it would certainly be an option that was seriously considered. DH and I have done long distance before and could do it again, and we are fortunate that we can afford to visit very regularly. By high school, kids have a pretty well-cemented relationship with their parents and you don’t need to see the parent in person every day to maintain that relationship. Daily Skype/phone calls, texts and emails and frequent visits will suffice. Surely there are children of divorced parents or military parents who have less frequent contact with one parent and survive.

        Fwiw, my husband’s dad lived across the country from the rest of the family when my husband was approximately ~5-11 because he had a family business on the other side of the country he needed to tend to and my husband’s mom had a job that could only be done where the family was already living. As a kid, my husband loved visiting his dad and they made a lot of special memories together on father-son road trips near the dad’s city. And now they have what seems to me to be perfectly normal father-son adult relationship. I don’t believe being apart from your kid for a couple years (especially in 2017 with all the technology we have for video calls, etc.) is really that big a deal.

        • I am the contrarian in here. If you are all moving eventually, it’s better to move sooner. My parents permanently moved right after high school. I never had a chance to meet anyone there and come home for the holidays to a place where I am a stranger. My younger sibling has tons of friends from going to school there and it is home to her. It will never be home to me and I have no home base for visiting the place that was home to me.

          Military moves, which might go on indefinitely into the future, may be different, but you are in a culture that gets what is going on and I agree that many families have a home base of the heart that they use when all else is in flux (often where a parent is from or where they will move when their 20 years is up). I wasn’t military and I have always hated being the oddball with no hometown anymore. It made it hard to find a job after college b/c I didn’t know the new area and didn’t like it, but with limited parents-of-old-friends couch surfing options, it was harder to get a job in my old hometown.

          • Agree. I moved high schools in between sophomore and junior year and thrived in the school even for only going there for two years (still very close with my friend from the school I eventually graduated from). On the other hand, my mom moved out of the district in April of my senior year, and since I didn’t switch schools, I feel no connection to where she’s currently living. It’s the house I go to when I visit for holidays or random weekends, but I rarely go out just to see other people because I don’t know other people out there.

          • My husband’s parents also moved right after high school, and his mom stayed behind one year to allow him to finish his senior year. He was so grateful they did that. Yeah, he knows no one in his parents new town, but it’s not like his parents remaining in his original high school town with all his friends was an option. Given the choice between “be uprooted before senior year and miss the last year of high school with all your buddies” and “have your parents live in an area where you don’t know anyone” he’s very glad they chose the latter. We only visit his parents about once a year, and the purpose of the visit is spending time with them, so it’s not a big deal that he doesn’t have buddies to hang out with. He’d love to see his original high school friends, but one way or another his parents were moving out of that city, it was just a matter of when.

          • Another parental move victim. My parents moved in college with my sister who was going to get to start and finish high school in the new city. I don’t know anyone there. We moved fairly often as kids and changing schools and making new friends when you are in school is super-easy. And if your new city is a place of any appeal to your kids (my current city is great and my kids might realistically live here as grownups), you should do them the favor of letting them put down their own roots sooner rather than later.

            If you are going somewhere just momentarily (you got elected to congress as a fluke and will likely lose reelection), then don’t relocate (or if the kids will hate it or there is a high school senior who wants to be in-state at State U and your move takes you to a new state). But otherwise, consider their longer-term horizon when thinking of whether keeping them tied to a place that you are cutting off their ties to (and the expense of rooting them a bit in New City).

            Their varsity track career is so unimportant over time and if they are that good new school will welcome them.

          • Just to throw this out there: my parents moved after I graduated from high school and have moved again twice. Now they live near me. But their home is not “home” to me the way the home I grew up in was. That’s just the breaks.

            This concept seems to elude some of the younger posters here, but parents are, in fact, whole, fully-formed people with wants, needs, hopes, dreams, and desires of their own. Your parents had a life before you existed and will want to have a life of their own once you grow up and leave home, and no, you don’t get a vote on their choices unless the choice profoundly affects you in some tangible way. Wanting some kind of control over where and how parents move after a child turns 18 and starts their own life is too much for a child to expect, IMO.

            OP, I get where you’re coming from but I haven’t known too many “commuter marriages” that stayed together for the long haul, and I’ve seen several couples try it. I have a few friends who (usually due to a parent in the military) had to move during high school – they survived. IMO a family is a unit, not a structure created solely for the benefit of the children. Choices need to work for everyone, not just the kids. Changing high schools is tough, but so is suddenly not having one parent around at all. I would consider all the options again before making a decision.

          • This is hilarious to me. Your parents get to move… they are adults with lives… even if it means you won’t know anyone in their city when you come to visit them. FWIW, I moved multiple times in high school and my parents moved multiple times while I was in college/grad school and still thereafter (military). No, I don’t go home to my childhood bedroom and I don’t know anyone else in their current city. I thought the move between sophomore and junior year was the hardest, and left a school with good friends for a new environment where I didn’t make many quickly.

    • Unpopular opinion- why get married if you are going to be apart. I get a year or even two. But I think having one person living in a studio in a different area as if they are a single person is just prolonging the inevitable break up. I can’t imagine my husband or myself wanting to live away from our children for years.

      • JuniorMinion :

        So by this logic no one in the military who is planning to deploy / work in combat zones should ever get married?

      • This is like saying “why have kids if you’re going to put them in daycare” – and equally obnoxious.

        The poster asked for advice on finding an apartment, primarily, and a bunch of people who have never done this are jumping in with how they would manange her entire life.

        Let’s assume OP knows what she’s doing, OK?

    • Rather Be Painting :

      Interesting to me that the comments pro and con reflect much of what we’ve discussed making our decision. Everyone needs to do what’s best for her or his family – fortunately husband and I are in agreement. Not an easy choice for us and we know it won’t be easy to manage, but it’s what we think is best for us and our child. At least nobody raised some issue we haven’t considered!

      • I would rent in DuPont Circle – it’s the closest nice neighborhood. Yes you can rent in CapHill but why? I’d go with WCSmith or Keener Management. Some others are REAL BAD and total rip offs. Avoid UIP and it’s affiliates at all costs. If you really want to do CapHill, maybe Senate Square apts or whatever they are called near MoMA.

      • No suggestions; just want to say sorry for all the people piling on your for this! It’ll be fine. My parents have spent many years where one parent moved first or where one parent works elsewhere and commutes. My siblings and I do not resent my parents nor are we traumatized in anyway. We all did well in school and are self-sufficient independent adults. Best of luck!

  11. apt renovations :

    Short version: not sure if it makes sense to renovate my kitchen/bathroom, mainly to make it more appealing to sell but secondarily so I could have a nicer place in the meantime. What would you do?

    Long version: I own a small coop studio apartment in Brooklyn. All the kitchen and bathroom cabinets and appliances are functional but super old, basic, and kind of dingy. It could really use better and more clever storage, too, which I could accomplish through adding better cabinets.

    I’ll be here at least one more year. I might move in with my boyfriend then, or if things don’t work out, I might stay here or try to buy a bigger place. The low-quality fixtures don’t bother me terribly much, but I’m guessing if I sell my place, I should upgrade stuff for more buyer appeal. If that will be the case…maybe I should do it now and get to enjoy it myself. But maybe a new owner would prefer to update based on their own taste instead of mine. And left to my own devices I wouldn’t spend the money and stress on it.

    Coincidentally two apartments identical to mine are on sale in my building now: one is un-updated like mine and one has REALLY beautiful high-end updates–nice stuff implemented by someone with a good eye. The beautiful one is listed for 50K more than the outdated one. I don’t know much about renovations but I’m guessing it could have cost 50K to make it so nice, meaning there might be no cost benefits to doing so.

    How would you proceed? I’m totally inexperienced at this stuff so I don’t even know if I have the skills to buy stuff/hire people to make it look as nice as the other one I saw, or how to determine if it’s worth it monetarily. I’m sure I could flail my way to IKEA-type upgrades.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean as a step one I’d ask your neighbor with the nice apt how much their Reno cost and who their contractor was. Use their knowledge!

    • Having just lived through a kitchen renovation, I can tell you that it’s a very messy PIA. That said, I think if you’re smart about it, you can do it for a lot less than what you would get in resale value. I can’t recall exactly what we spent, but it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-25K, labor included, with high end appliances and custom cabinets. An apartment in the same line as ours with a new kitchen just sold for a lot more than what we paid, even with renovation included. The trick is to really choose your contractor and your upgrades wisely. For instance, no one will be too particular about your cabinets when they look nice and new but people will notice the stove and fridge. We also went to wholesalers for all the ancillary stuff like tile, floor, and countertop and saved a LOT that way. I’d stay away from HomeDepot for stuff like this (they quoted us $46K for just basic everything), but consider IKEA, esp. if you can time it to one of their big kitchen sales. I’d also go to Park Slope Kitchen Gallery for some ideas to get you started and if you do appliances, AJ Madison has good ones sized for city apartments and also good sales (and you can get a $100 off gift card through PSKG, if you go there first, even if you don’t order cabinets through them).

      • apt renovations :

        Thanks to everyone so far…and I actually live in Park Slope, so I’ll definitely check out PSKG!

    • It also depends on the extensiveness of your reno. If you want just new cabinetry and updated countertops, going with a high end IKEA system (which they can slightly customize and install for you) would be a win for you based on updated features and low cost.

    • If you’re not sure where you will be in a year, I would hold off on any major renovations. I’ve also heard that you don’t always get back the price of the renovation when you sell. However, that’s for a lower cost of living market. Might be different in other areas.

    • I’d say go for it. You can do a little at a time. For instance faucet handles and drawer pulls and things like that are really easy to do yourself. Just go to a well stocked hardware store and pick out a style you like. You don’t have to go full remodel to start with. You can keep your cabinets and paint them or just give them a really good cleaning.

      These things do pay off when you sell. Buyers like really clean, new-looking bathrooms and kitchens and will pay a premium.

      My friends who recently sold their house had their two bathrooms redone (cosmetic only, nothing major) to stage the house and my friend said exactly what you are saying – why did we wait to do this for someone else to enjoy? We should have done this while we lived here.

    • I would talk to a realtor familiar with your neighborhood before you make a decision about cost/benefit. I live in Brooklyn and we bought and renovated our coop apartment a year ago. I am pretty sure we spent less than 50K on our kitchen and bathroom BUT my husband did most of the kitchen himself, with IKEA cabinets, and we didn’t replace most of the appliances. Keep in mind a renovation is a major PITA that will take several months, realistically, unless you can afford to pay for the best/fastest contractor ever, and you will need to spend some time supervising the contractor, picking out finishes, etc. Have you looked into what getting coop approval entails? They may require you to use a specific contractor and get everything permitted ($$ for architect, filing fees, etc., and slows the process down). Renovating in a coop is not like renovating elsewhere.

      If you do decide to go for it we had a good experience with Express Brooklyn Tile in Sunset Park for quartz kitchen countertop and backsplash tile. They installed the countertop and were cheaper than IKEA. We bought our bathroom tile online (floor) and at Home Depot (walls). We used SemiHandmade fronts for the kitchen cabinets, which are nice, but they charged us an insane delivery surcharge (something like $700 I think) to bring them into our building instead of leaving them on the sidewalk on a pallet and then basically hung up on my husband when he complained.

    • Keep in mind that the listing prices are not the final price. It’s likely that the renovated one will sell for more than $50K over the unrenovated one. And in a small space, any improvements you make to storage space and function should pay off.

  12. Marshmallow :

    Anybody have tips (preferably video links) for how to achieve wavy hair with a straight iron? I just upgraded to a really good 1″ straightener and now that I have one that actually works, I’d like to use it more. I can do curls but I can’t figure out a good loose wave. I have just above shoulder length straight hair.

    • I’ll post the link in a separate reply. On YouTube search for “simple beach waves” from Joanna Spicer.

    • What is the brand of your flat iron? Mine died after only 12 months. Prior one to that was like 5 years. I really need one that will last. I have straight-ish hair, so I use it daily for a quick once over after I blow dry in the morning.

      • Anonymous :

        I have a Babyliss that has been going strong for like, 8 years, even after dropping it repeatedly. Pricey but worth it.

      • Marshmallow :

        I bought a T3 and was SHOCKED at how easy it is to curl with a tool that actually gets hot, is comfortable to hold, etc. My old one was a Remington and it was meh.

  13. Cookbooks: Paging Pompom :

    Pompom, I used your idea of folding clothes on hangers from the closet accordion-style into a box. Everything came out looking fine this weekend while unpacking! Thanks for the suggestion!

  14. I have a friend who is posting on Facebook about how you should shelter Dreamers in your home to help them avoid deportation and asking people “would you have sheltered Jews in Nazi Germany” and the like. Am I the only one who doesn’t see those situations as analogous? Jews in Nazi Germany were the victims of cruel, targeted totalitarian laws designed to lead to their elimination, whereas Dreamers have been the beneficiaries of a program that was meant to temporarily forestall deportation for immigrating illegally with their parents. I 100% do not agree with the brutal methods that ICE employs to deport immigrants, but I don’t think that deportation (on a philosophical level) is a human rights violation in and of itself when you do not have legal status to be here. Curious what the legal minds here think about the issue.

    • Agree to some extent, although many Dreamers came from situations so terrible that deporting them may be a death sentence (i.e. people who should have refugee status but for some reason or other don’t), so it can be analogous in some cases.

      • +1. A lot of these kids are fleeing brutal gang violence in Central America and would be in a terrible position if they had to return.

      • In an ideal world, I would love for Dreamers to have an opportunity to apply for some kind of “bridging” visa for ultimate refugee or political asylum status. It’s very true that many people are here because of immediate threats to life due to gang or other violence (especially women and children). I just don’t think our awful Congress would do something so humane and just.

        • The problem for many people is that you can apply for asylum status within a year of arrival. So, even if they initial qualified for asylum status, they no longer do if they are a dreamer.

    • I think there are legal issues, and moral issues. This lawyer thinks ending DACA is probably legally fine. And it’s also morally repugnant. If you don’t think deportation is a human rights issue on a philosophical level that’s nice, but actual immigrants don’t live on a philosophical plane, they live in actual reality. A reality where their parents brought them to this country as children without their consent, where they have made lives for themselves as best they can with the constant threat of violent disruption, and when they have no ties to the former homeland.

      If you want to look at this as a philosophical legal issue that’s your prerogative. But what your friend is telling you is that it isn’t just that, it’s a moral issue and a practical issue.

      Sometimes laws are wrong. Laws in Germany permitted all of their actions towards Jews.

    • Well, there are some parallels. I personally don’t think it’s right to punish children for their parents’ actions. That includes now-adults who were children when their parents entered the U.S., even illegally. IMO, that is downright cruel. Even in my very red state, that seems to be the general sentiment.

    • I don’t think the sheltering Jews analogy is appropriate, because the alternative to not sheltering Jews was their almost certain death, whereas here the alternative is for the Dreamers to be deported, not killed. However, I do think it’s a human rights violation to deport people who came here through no fault of their own when they were children, and who know no other country. I really don’t understand any other way of looking at it. People already suffer based on the family they are born into (abuse, neglect, etc); the government should not be in the business of punishing people for the sins of their parents. Of course, that assumes you think illegal immigration is even a “sin,” which I do not.

    • Try to put yourself in their shoes. I have read comments like “tough, illegal is illegal” which is a really easy shorthand way of thinking about it but it ignores the humanity of the situation.

      Imagine yourself at 18 finding out you weren’t born in the US and were brought here when you were one year old. You feel like an American. All your friends are here. You’re in high school here getting ready to go to college and that’s how you find out, filling out the paperwork.

      Now you’re going to get deported to Guatemala. You have no relatives there. You’ve never been in touch with family there. Are they going to just drop you off in the middle of a city with nothing? Will you be homeless? What will you do when you get there? Imagine yourself in this situation.

      This is not a made up story. This is the story of an 18 year old girl that was featured on a local news story this weekend.

      How is this her fault? Why should we punish her? Is this a humane thing to do?

      If you fall back on “illegal is illegal” in this situation, you are more interested in easy sound bites than actually thinking it through.

      • +1 The sense of moral superiority some people have just because by chance they were born white in the United States is baffling and infuriating.

      • I posted about someone I know the other day. She is in her 40s. She learned in her 30’s that her family had brought her to the US illegally as a baby. How did she find out? Her whole life she had been called NAME and was told she was x years old when in reality she was a different name and x – 3. Her parents had bought a stolen identity for her. She was homeschooled until 8th grade. She was told that since she was now 16 (really 13) it was time for her to go to work. In her 30’s, she changed jobs and her new employer used e-verify and figured out that something was up w/ her paperwork. She thought HER identity had been stolen. She had no idea she was illegally in the country until then. Her parents lied to her. She had her own kids now that are all US citizens. She has a couple of possible paths to legit citizenship but people like her, people who did NOTHING wrong, should not be punished.

        That said, it is very easy for the white (usually male) to see such people as competition for jobs and other great things in life and want them gone. A different friend, who is Colombian, got into an Ivy league school. Another friend did not get into the same school. Her parent’s blame the Colombian friend, affirmative action, the system, everything for their daughter losing her “shot.” She went to a state school and is accomplished doctor and turned out just fine.

    • It’s a human rights violation to deport these kids. They didn’t choose to come here and they shouldn’t be punished by being returned to countries where they’ve never lived, they may not speak the language, and they likely don’t know anyone. While it may not be 100% analogous to the Na*i situation, you should reexamine your worldview if you don’t fully understand how cruel it would be to rescind DACA.

    • Anonalamadingdong :

      This legal mind thinks that every human has inalienable right to seek safety and security for themselves and their family and that children should not be punished for the actions of their parents. Many immoral things have been and are perfectly legal.

    • These kinds of hypothetical thought exercises really rub me the wrong way. It seems to me that the people who conduct them are so out of touch and unaware of their privilege. These are actual, real-life, human beings we’re talking about here and they’re terrified and furious and uncertain about their futures. I don’t see how hypothesizing and comparing them to Jews in the Holocaust helps anybody except yourself. If you care at all why don’t you spend your time and brain power helping them?

  15. Country Dressing :

    What would you wear if you are travelling for work to primarily rural areas? If there was a word to describe myself and my style it is urban. I have no idea what people who live out in the country wear to work.

    I was thinking of a black knee length skirt, grey shirt button up shirt and black Chelsea boots. My boots while simple looking are on the pricey side though and I’m wondering if anyone would notice that? Otherwise I don’t have much for work shoes that can be considered plain.

    I will be traveling to different towns so I really only need 1-2 outfits I can repeat.

    • You don’t have a normal work pump instead of boots? A scarf? Anything with color?

    • There is a lot of variation in rural areas, but I would say, in general: You might stick out like a sore thumb in a skirt, especially of the pencil skirt/office wear variety. I would opt for a business casual version of however you normally dress. Maybe pants with your button-up? Your boots should be fine.

    • Dress like a normal person? People in rural areas aren’t wearing overalls every day or whatever. You may be able to wear things that are a bit closer to business casual than business formal, simply because people in smaller towns and rural areas tend to dress down a bit. But, yeah, normal clothes.

    • Caveat that I grew up in an area that was about half farm half suburb, but your outfit (dark sedate colors, simple but sophisticated styling) screams NE city. You might want to go slightly brighter (i.e. white, or jewel toned top, charcoal skirt) and regular flat office shoes, or at least boots that are a little more utilitarian.

      Also, what part of the country?

    • You may be overthinking this. I’d focus on the level of expected formality and any practical concerns like weather or visiting work sites, etc. Other than that, in my experience, people “out in the country” wear similar things as urban dwellers who have a similar income level and work in similar industries.

    • Flats Only :

      Also, where are the meetings, etc. that you are travelling for? On an actual farm, meeting with an actual farmer at his kitchen table, or in a conference room at a business in a town in a rural area? My impression is that white collar business people in small towns still dress like business people when they are at the office.

    • People “out in the country” wear normal clothes. They have the same television and magazine exposure that you do. They’re not going to think you are a space alien because you wear nice shoes. They will not know any more than anyone else whether your boots are “on the pricey side,” and even if they do, it may come as a shock that some people “out in the country” also have money.

      Putting aside your condescension, the advice above to opt for a business casual version of how you normally dress is good advice. Also don’t wear head to toe black if you don’t have to, but if you do, it won’t be a big deal. Try not to talk down to them– the tone of your post indicates that’s a risk.

      • Yes, but you did leave to pursue opportunities elsewhere did you not? Do you think the rest of the country should be subsidizing people who choose to live in isolated areas where servicing such an area is really inefficient? Just curious.

        • Are you serious?

        • I have no idea what you are talking about. No one is talking about subsidies. But you can wear your normal clothes to these isolated areas, which was the point of this post. If you want to start a post about subsidies, and “servicing such an area,” go ahead. Right now, no one knows what “service” you are being so critical about. (P.S. These rural areas are growing your food and textiles, unless you’d like to do that on your urban rooftop at about two hundred times the cost of large scale production.)

    • Are you traveling to offices? In my experience, people wear pretty much the same thing to offices when the dress code is the same, whether you’re in the city, suburbs, or the country. Nobody from rural America will be wowed by your boots. You don’t have to dress plainly. If you’re traveling to do some kind of outreach with the rural poor, then yeah, maybe don’t dress head to toe in things with prominent designer labels.

      • I may or may not be wowed – OP I’ll see your pricey side Chelsea boots and rise you Stuart Weitzman knee high boots. Seriously though, I am native to the rural South, wear pretty nice footwear, dress mainly in black, dress with a minimalist vibe, and I’m treated with respect and kindness. Professional wear is a costume in a sense, because it is an outfit put on for a particular purpose that may or may not be what you would wear by choice on a day to day basis, but wear your work costume, not someone else’s. I think what you’ve described is good.

    • I think you are confusing visiting rural america with visiting Amish country. Your shoes don’t have to be plain. No one is going to notice your “urban” style and think you’re superior in some way.

      Unless you’re going to be milking cows or mucking a stall, you will be fine.

      • It’s annoying that you assume America as the default country here. I know your political situation is really messed up and I don’t mind those type of posts, but people in other countries have internet too.

        • America isn’t a country, it’s a continent. If you’re going to snark at least get your facts straight

        • Start your own website. America is the default on American websites.

        • I don’t know what your deal is, pal, but it’s obvious you’re here trying to pick a f ight. Maybe don’t do that. Find something productive to do with your time.

    • echoing others to say that rural = normal. Obviously take your surroundings into consideration, like don’t wear stilettos if you will be in a field. I think the bigger issue may be your attitude towards “country” people.

    • I would swap black pants for the skirt in your outfit. People do dress a lot differently in the rural/small town areas of my midwestern state. I usually wear dresses and skirts to work but I switch to pants with a blazer for travel, unless it’s for a court appearance. I’m usually meeting with local public officials and regular (non lawyer) people and they’re usually wearing jeans.

    • Cringed a bit reading this. Us country folk see/watch/read & have access to all the media you do – we just don’t have the stores (though there is the Internet). Wear what you normally would for your situation. If you’re going to be walking around building sites, maybe don’t wear your nicest shoes/tightest skirt. You’ll look weird if you overplay this either way & they’ll know you’re from the city anyways, as they know lots of people live/work in cities – they aren’t mythical creatures.

      Sorry this is a bit rant-y, but readers on this s i t e sometimes equate the word rural with a variation of ignorant / undereducated / poor / unstylish. Please stop – this is how Trump happened & why “fly over states” do have issues with “city folk”.

      • Anonymous :


      • Agreed. I apparently am a “country-bumpkin” as my job has me in a rural area, but am doing very well financially and grew up in major suburbs…

      • One Horse Town :

        AMEN x 2

        Thank you from another country gal (with a closet that would make some of these city gals positively pea green with envy, bless their hearts!) who did a lot more than cringe when I read this post and others.

    • Check out a Lands’ End catalog online. That’s the best place I can think of with pictures of what the rest of America dresses like.

      Please don’t wear all black.

    • Country Dressing :

      Meetings will mostly be in town halls but think really rural, like rural Montana but not in America. Poplulations of around 1,0o0 people per town, farming country. Very few white collar workers and those that do work for the town, typically pull double duty.

      In my country the rural/urban divide is huge politically, so I really don’t think I am overthinking or being condescending. I will take away the advice about not dressing too dark or stuffy.

      • I’d focus on dressing practically then. Flat soled boots, pants, sweater, jacket (or whatever else makes sense for the weather).

        • +1. And it would have been helpful to know in the beginning that you were not in the US.

          If you work for a politician, or even if you work for a company, consider what brand they work to project. Is your politician a “man of the people” or does he project a more worldly image? Is your company a sleek tech company or is it a healthcare company focused on helping the poor? Think about what you can wear as a representative of your employer.

          Also not sure if this is helpful, but think about what Princess Diana used to wear when she was visiting AIDS patients or walking through land mine territory – practical clothes suited to the weather and to being approachable and relatable.

      • Okay so you know you are posting on a US website right? We all gave you advice about how to dress for rural US. If that’s not the case then it’s really on you to specify a country if you want useful info.

      • I grew up in exactly what you described. Really rural, less than 1,000 people per town, farming country. That is home. And I promise you are being condescending.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Depending on the politics, you might want to just think in those political terms about how you’re presenting yourself. I represented clients at town-hall type meetings where a lot of our purpose was to show that we did not intend to be [negative stereotype of outsiders swooping in and destroying the character of the town]. I chose clothing that was perhaps a little less [looking like that stereotype] than I otherwise would have chosen.

        • That is exactly my concern. Thanks.

        • Anonattorney :

          I live in a state where you can get pretty rural in about an hour outside of my city. Like, REALLY rural. And I am just not buying the posters who are saying that there is no difference. That’s just . . . not true.

          I would wear jeans or chinos, non-flashy shoes (basic flats, brown or black boots, etc.) A collared blouse, or no collar but add a scarf. Avoid anything too trendy. You probably won’t be talking to people in their 20s or 30s – rural populations tend to have older residents. You’d probably look right at home in levi’s, a tucked in button up shirt, and boots.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree with Anonattorney. Rural residents are typically not driving to a big city to shop for clothes or getting city clothes online. Yes they have access to the same tv and online shopping as everyone else, but for most people, fashion isn’t a huge priority and you’ll see much more functional clothes, which in my experience means lots of jeans and boots. I live in the Mountain West and most people in rural communities here buy clothes at Walmart or the local supply store.

      • Sounds like you’re visiting Alberta/Sask/Manitoba? Perhaps representing anything not-conservative? I’d 100% go with pants, boots and a plain button up. Muted blues, creams, greys. Maybe even a professional plaid. Though if you are going to the east coast, they are just as left leaning as the cities and this isn’t really a consideration. The most recent election was pretty telling about the prairie/everywhere else divide

        • Yes, rural prairies. I thought a skirt would be more conservative based on previous conversations on this site, though I would be more comfortable in pants.

          • Anonymous :

            Skirts are sometimes considered more conservative in white-collar offices, but my sense that is more of an issue in the southern US. Pants are going to read as more practical and less city to people who are out doing chores on a farm.

      • I don’t see how your post was condescending as it seems like you were asking to deliberately not dress condescendingly and it seems like at the same point people were telling you “we dress the same!” they were also telling you that you don’t (i.e., “don’t wear all black”).

        I am a city kid and have done some work in rural areas and agree with others to dress practically. For me that meant that sure, a skirt suit was normal at the court I was visiting (and in fact expected), but it turned out they had a gravel parking lot and it was a woman lawyer who spotted me struggling in my heels and said “you must be from the city, we all wear sneakers and then change our shoes inside” and rolled her eyes at how the men don’t seem to notice or care. You’ve got that covered with practical shoes. I would recommend a pants as others have suggested (dress pants are fine unless you are walking a farm, in which case, go for jeans). I wear a dress or skirt every single day to work; I’m just a dress person. But you also can’t appropriately walk a warehouse with ladders wearing a dress or skirt and will look foolish trying to protect your modesty. So dress practically: pants, a top, flat shoes, appropriate outerwear, etc. If you are expecting to be walking a lot, maybe you can make sure your car has rain boots (assuming you will have a car).

        Sorry you got such backlash, OP. I honestly thought this was well intentioned and just trying to avoid say, the backlash Melania got last week visiting Houston in a silk jacket, stilettos, all black, with a blow out.

        • Triangle Pose :

          +1. “We are the same! Don’t do [X] because it’s screams citydweller” Well, then there IS a difference isn’t there? OP was not being condescending she was looking for some reasonable feedback, come on people.

        • Thank you. Your posts are always so kind.

          Access to fashion has always been a problem in our country, even the big cities didn’t get a lot of the American and European chains until a few years ago. Mid-priced brands like Ann Taylor, etc are completely unattainable for the average person who doesn’t live in a major city. If Sears Canada goes out of business then a lot of places will be without catalogue service.

          As someone who is probably way more into clothes than the average person I simply want to scale it back a little.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Sorry, OP. As a Canadian, you are kind of full of it.

          • Yeah, I grew up in the rural Canadian North. Like the far north.
            Mid-price brands were standard. Yes, in-person shopping was more difficult, but most people I knew did an occasional trip to “the city” to shop for clothes and the rest of the time we shopped online. We ordered out of the sears catalogue when I was a small child many years ago- by the time I was a pre-teen the explosion in online shopping had occurred and it was easy to most of the brands you would find in Toronto or Vancouver (or Boston or New York). I spent my teenage years in Lululemon, Aritzia, Coach, etc. I’m sure my Mom wore brands like Ann Taylor.

            If you dress conservatively and neatly and appropriately to your activities you will be fine.

    • Southern Anon :

      I grew up in rural Alabama. Way way out in the country. There were more cows than people.

      Today I am wearing an Ann Taylor blouse, a black Calvin Klein pencil skirt, and Cole Haan slingbacks to my job at a law firm.

      Rural people– they’re just like you!

      • +1 We’ve had the Internet out here for a while now.

        • Yes but I am sure you have a city or town within a comfortable drive to access services, high speed internet (some places in my country are still on dial-up), regular mail delivery, etc. You would have to admit that the lack of the amenities would impact the way you dress?

          • So, this was not a real question, just an attempt by you to stir up a little excitement for yourself. Got it. Thanks for clarifying.

          • If you want to get country-specific advice, you’re going to need to provide that detail. We aren’t clairvoyant. If you’re presenting at meetings in, say, rural Guatemala, maybe don’t wear the boots.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            OP, for reals? Stop saying “in my country” like you are talking about The Land That Time Forgot, when you are in *Canada*. The Prairies, and in fact the Territories, are rural but, like, not living a Little House existence. Just wear clothes that are appropriate to the occasion (which is actually a fairly universal rule), try not to mention the Leafs and you will be fine.

            Maybe it is first day of school grumpiness, but this entire post seems ridiculous.

          • Dahlia (of the Great White North) :

            Yeah, have you spent any time in rural areas in Canada? Now I am starting to get a bit offended.
            Yes, people have to plan their outfits further in advance since you can’t overnight a dress.
            Yes, people travel further than you might consider a “comfortable drive” for routine services (not just shopping- medical care, government services, education, etc)
            Somehow, we still manage to order that dress online and wait a week for it, or spend a day at West Ed when we go to the city to apply for our passports and see the eye doctor.
            It’s your attitude, not your clothing, that is going to make you seem out of touch.

          • Dahlia (of the Great White North) :

            Now I’m offended.
            It’s your attitude, not your clothing, that is going to make you seem out of touch.

      • “City folk just don’t get it.”
        The Farmers Only Dot Com commercial tag line that works here, today…

    • Wildkitten :

      Nobody cares if your boots are pricey, but boots are a good idea, or flats. I’d wear black skirt suits to work in DC and when I travelled to those states I’d switch for colorful pencil skirts, boots or flats instead of pumps, and a sweater instead of a blazer. I would’ve felt really weird if I wore my DC uniform outside of DC/NY/Boston.

  16. Caveat that I grew up in an area that was about half farm half suburb, but your outfit (dark sedate colors, simple but sophisticated styling) screams NE city. You might want to go slightly brighter (i.e. white, or jewel toned top, charcoal skirt) and regular flat office shoes, or at least boots that are a little more utilitarian.

    Also, what part of the country?

  17. MIL Issues :

    First time poster, long time reader here! I wanted to get some advice from you all. I have a young infant and a MIL who can be demanding but is also a good person at heart and genuinely loves me, my husband, and my son. I received an email from her this morning stating that her friends want to meet her grandchild and therefore that my husband and I have to pick a weekend to bring him down to meet them. For context, MIL lives a couple hours away from us (my son unfortunately does not do well in the car). My gut reaction to her email is frustration – if she had phrased it as a request, not a demand, I would be much happier to try to work out a date with her. For more context, this email fits a pattern of making demands rather than requests of my husband and myself. Advice? Should I just ignore the tone/phrasing of the email and pick a date? Is there a good way to tell someone who is demanding something that they would get what they want more easily if they were nicer about it?

    • If your son doesn’t do well in the car, my first thought is that she should come visit you. I would ignore the tone and suggest she and a few friends come visit you on such and such date.

    • Did she email you directly, not your husband? He should be fielding this request, after discussion with you. With a young infant, people should be traveling to you, especially if your son doesn’t do well in the car. And if this is a pattern, your husband needs to step up.

      There are a lot of great posts on Carolyn Hax about this sort of issue – setting boundaries, having the spouse whose family it is take the wheel, etc. Good luck!

    • Ignore the tone issue.

      She lives 2 hours away, of course she expects you to visit! That’s completely reasonable. Pick a date, bundle babykins up in a car seat, and drive down there.

      Sounds like you’ve got some fights ahead with this lady. Don’t waste your fire power on this.

      • +1. Your MIL is rude to demand a visit, but I also think it’s kind of crazy to say you can’t visit Grandma who lives two hours away by car. My husband and I schlep our toddler on multiple plane flights across the country to visit grandparents. It definitely isn’t fun or a vacation, but it’s not crazy for grandparents to expect their children and grandchildren to visit, especially if they’re elderly and travel isn’t particularly fun or comfortable for them either. And two hours away by car is nothing, even for a fussy baby.

      • +2. Completely normal request, even if it was poorly phrased. Do not die on this hill.

      • +3 This sounds completely reasonable. My son doesn’t do well in cars either but if we didn’t take him on long trips our lives would be much worse. He’s survived so far. He won’t be scarred for life. May be unpleasant, maybe he’ll sleep.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I’ll echo all of the advice. Ignore the tone, schedule the date at a time that is convenient for you.

    • Can you just say something like “we’ll be visiting at Thanksgiving as planned and look forward to introducing baby to your friends then”? (This assumes you were planning to go see her sometime in the next few months anyway, which does seem reasonable to me). I don’t think you have to vocally establish a boundary here–I think it is a waste of energy/conflict; she’s probably not going to get less demanding at this stage in her life–but I also wouldn’t necessarily immediately change your plans and schedule a visit just to accommodate her if you don’t want to. Send her a brag book to share in the meantime and invite her to come visit sooner if that works for you.

    • This is a topic I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Close family tends to assume people are available to do things, rather than ask politely as they might do for someone who is not family. I would not ignore the tone; it was rude and people should be respectful even if it is their own family. If I were you, I would have your husband talk to her saying that she rubbed both of you the wrong way in her request. She can’t assume you are available and willing to take baby on a car trip.

    • MIL Issues :

      Thanks all! Totally agree that the request itself is valid (just really wish it had been phrased differently) and have already taken baby to her house multiple times to meet various family members. I think I need to ignore her tone generally and try to focus on her intentions, which are good. It can just be very stressful interacting with her and I would love to have it be less stressful, but I think you all are right that there is no good way to tell someone that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oops sorry! Posted before I saw this!

        You got this!

      • Anon in NYC :

        My MIL can be really overbearing with how much she loves us. It’s a good problem to have, but it definitely can be annoying and we sometimes feel a little resentful (for lack of a better word) because it creates this obligation like, “well we HAVE to go see MIL” instead of just spending time with her because we choose to.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Piling on here. I get why it’s frustrating but you have a long road ahead with her and your best move here is to learn how to read her “demands” as requests.

    • lost academic :

      As a side question to this, as I’ve been thinking about it more and more as we’re TTC – I don’t really understand the possessiveness that some grandparents seem to have over grandchildren. I don’t understand why it’s somehow OK to make demands over someone else’s children, even if one of that kid’s parents was your offspring. Asking makes sense and is polite. Demanding, complaining – I don’t find that acceptable behavior. I do understand picking your battles, but I just find it awful.

    • blueberries :

      +1 on letting your spouse field after coming to agreement with you. FWIW, there’s no way I’d take a baby who screams for all/most of a car ride on a 2 hour trip just so a grandparent could show off the baby. Baby’s needs come before gran’s wants, regardless of how they’re phrased.

  18. How do you tell your boss you’re pregnant? My leave situation is straightforward – I will be taking the maximum allowable 12 weeks, which almost everyone takes, and not asking for anything extra. For some reason I’m uncomfortable talking about my pregnancy (I haven’t even told some of my closest friends yet!) so I really want to keep the conversation short and sweet and would appreciate a script.

    • Delta Dawn :

      “Hi boss, I have some news– I’m having a baby! I wanted to let you know about the timeline. I am due around (late January), so I plan to be on leave from then until about (late April). I will work on (having coverage for my projects) (or asking people to cover my hearings) (or whatever) and get you a list as that gets closer. Just let me know if there’s anything else I can do.”

      You don’t have to tell your boss before you tell your friends– you don’t have to have this conversation at work until you are ready. Congratulations!

    • “Hey, guess what? I’m pregnant!” (Wait for the congratulations). “Yep, due next June, we couldn’t be happier.” (Answer all the questions that will follow about how you’re feeling, whether you know if it’s a boy or girl yet, etc). Done.

      • This is fine but add some commentary about when you’re taking leave and when you’ll be back. Assume this is all your boss cares about (in the professional sense– personally, maybe they will want to ask all these things and maybe they will ask, but for work, assume all that matters is when you’ll be out and when you’ll be back, and treat that as the point of this conversation).

    • “Good morning, Just wanted to share some good news: we are expecting a baby in June of next year. We’re super excited and I will be taking the standard 12 weeks of leave and then back to work at the end of September.”
      I think it’s awkward because it feels like you’re telling people you “did it.” Be prepared for it to feel even more awkward when people ask if you planned it. Congrats!

    • Anon in NYC :

      “Hi, boss, I wanted to share some great news! I’m X weeks pregnant, and am due in [month].”

      You don’t have to get into the leave discussion yet. Save that for later in your pregnancy. Congrats!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Just wanted to tell you I felt the same way. I started with a safe-feeling person who wasn’t the biggest boss — like not the partner I worked for, but a senior associate who worked with him (and me) a lot. She said [after all the excited stuff], “Oh, and don’t feel weird about telling [partner], he’ll be thrilled!” and he was. We didn’t hammer out leave stuff right away — I scheduled a time to talk about it with him that same week.

  19. Wildkitten :

    Okay I moved to Chicago and apparently it’s fall here now and I think I should buy boots. Which boots should I buy? Flats preferred. I have snow boots, I’m thinking like, wear to the office boots for fall? TYVMIA

    • It’s not fall here. It’s in the 70s this week and next. We get such a short summer season, especially this kind of perfect weather where it’s warm but not too hot or humid. Don’t rush fall! You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it in October and November.

      • Ha – this is not fall. This is still summer. Fall is when the weather gets into the 50s.

      • Wildkitten :

        Ha – everyone in my office was super excited about busting out their sweaters this morning, which reminded me I probably can’t just wear tieks all year here?

      • According to Weather Underground, the morning commute for most people in Chicago was in the 50s today. The maximum temperature was 70, and the average today (so far) was 62.

    • Shopaholic :

      How dressy is your office? The Sam Edelman Petty boots are comfy and come in black leather so they blend well with work clothes, although I typically only commute in them (I prefer heels in the office) but YMMV.

      • Wildkitten :

        Thank you! These are what I am leaning towards but I was worried they were so 2013 or something.

    • This isnt fall. DC has conditioned me (and probably you too) to think 70’s = fall. The 70’s are a cooler summer day here- just be thankful for the sunshine and warm weather now, and wait for real fall in October and November. (Tights, raincoats, boots, scarves)

    • I get a lot of mileage out of my Cole Haan and Madewell ankle booties, and J.Crew riding boots (the latter look a little dated, but incredibly practical with skirts and dresses for cold weather here). Everlane has some cute flat boots right now. Otherwise, flats, loafers, pumps etc. will get you a long way here (especially if you wear some kind of weather boots to the office and change when you get there, which is totally common here).

    • Cornellian :

      I’m not sure why people are reacting this way to your question. It is reasonable to buy boots now, yes.

      It may be too late in the season for deals, but my boots from la canadienne have held up to upstate NY and Minnesota temperatures, and four winters of Manhattan slush. They are pricey, but you can get 30% off if you troll online sites, and so, so, so, so worth it.

      • I’ve been searching for La Canadienne boots – what sites should I keep an eye on?

        I’m traveling to NYC this winter and trying to figure out how not to look like an idiot. Are ankle or calf-height boots okay, or do you wear knee-high?

        • All height boots are fine.

          Honestly, I’d wait until black friday or the after Xmas sales and buy then. Sure, you can buy one pair of booties to tide you over. But it honestly doesn’t get that cold until after the New Year usually, with little snow.

          I got all of my La Canadienne’s on deep discount at 6pm or even on sale on Amazon at the right time of year.

  20. Work vent that may be BEC. I have a younger colleague who is in her very first professional job – did a year as temp first and about 2 weeks into FT. She has this habit of saying “no prob” or “no big” (as in “no big deal”) ALL THE TIME and in situations where it’s not really appropriate. Ex. last week, I asked for data on two things. She only sent one. I asked for the second, and her response was, “oh yeah, no prob!”. I mean… it was obviously a problem since you did not complete the task.

    Is this just me being BEC or is there something I can say to point out that this is an off or tone-deaf response?

    • What is BEC?

    • Eh, it’s probably a little BEC. A guy who grew up in Australia used to report to me and everything was “no worries” which used to annoy me – I’m not worried, I’m giving you an assignment. But he turned out to be great and will probably be my boss someday. It’s just an expression, maybe a verbal tic.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Ha. I had someone flip out on me over “no worries.” It was just a turn of phrase. I didn’t realize I was telling my boss he shouldn’t worry about an assignment. I was trying to say I’ll do it!

    • Eh, yes, you are being a little BEC. Her response is immature and a little unprofessional, but that’s because she is literally immature, as in she has not developed the maturity to say something else yet. You’re right that she shouldn’t use these phrases, but not because she says “no prob” when to you it is “obviously a problem” (that’s the BEC part). Rather, she shouldn’t use these phrases because they are things friends text to each other rather than things coworkers say in a professional environment.

    • I think you may be on the BEC side. :) I mean, her response is technically fine, even if it is annoying to you. She means it’s no problem to send you the other half, not that retroactively her first attempt didn’t result in any problem. Rage away, just hide it from your coworkers.

    • Eh, I think it depends. I have a boss who says “no prob!” and “cool beans!” more than I’d like (when are beans cool? why? i don’t get it), but I don’t care because she’s great at her job and its just a way to inject a little personality and build report. If formal tone matters in your office–actually matters–you may have a basis for privately trying to steer her toward the more formal. I wouldn’t say it’s word policing (a common accusation for things like this) but simply enforcing a more formal tone in the office. If you’d have the same gripe with someone who is not a “younger colleague who is in her very first professional job” then go for it. Otherwise, possibly BEC territory.

      Potentially unpopular solution: If you really think that it’s out of bounds for her to casually say no prob and no big, try simply and professionally (and privately) saying “pardon me?” after it, like you didn’t quite catch what she said. If she repeats herself in the vernacular “no prob!”, mirror back “Oh, ‘no problem.’ I wasn’t sure I caught what you said just there” or “No big what?” Do this a few times privately and she might catch on?

    • Thanks, all! I kept the “obviously it was a problem” part to myself. It is not so much the phrase but the fact she is all LOL about not doing the work in the first place.

      • Oh, well that’s a different issue, sure. I think it’s fine to say “Actually, Soandso, perhaps you don’t realize, but it is a problem: I asked for the data last week, and only received one set of two. In the future, please double check what you send me to be sure that you’re including all the pieces of the assignment.” Be private and calm cool collected about it to set the expectation initially, then go from there.

    • BEC, but man, can I sympathize. I had a boss who said “It’s all good” ALL. THE. TIME. and it drove me up the wall!

    • I agree that it’s on the unprofessional side. I also think that “no problem” is, in general, sort of impolite because it implies that the initial request could be construed as a problem or a burden (when in this case it was simply a request that your subordinate do her job). My southern grandma always told me “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure” were the only acceptable responses to “thank you” (which is, now that I think about it, probably the same cultural more that underlies Chick-Fil-A’s policy of responding “my pleasure” every time you tell an employee “thank you”).

      Anyway. That’s my long way of saying I’m with you on the irritating part. However, I don’t think this is a hill you should want to die on. If she’s not meeting expectations or completing assignments as requested, that’s the bigger issue that deserves more of your attention.

      • This is such a generational thing and, I think, a hill that older people should not try to die on.

      • Uh, I’m older than her but still under 40. I just think it’s unprofessional and worry that if she says it to me, she is also saying it in other contexts (i.e. to members of the media).

        SSC has really hit why it personally irritates me. She isn’t my subordinate/mentee but our jobs rely on each other. I’ll definitely give this some further thought. She clearly does need some professional steering but I realize it’s not my place to give it.

      • Anonymous :

        I AGREE. My first year is great, but when I follow up with requests because original assignment wasn’t done fully, I get “no problem” and I’m like, UGH. Yes, it’s a problem, because I had to ask for it again!

    • I don’t know, I’m kind of with SSC on this one… my dad drilled into the me the importance of saying “you’re welcome”, “yes, I can do that” etc instead of “no problem”. I don’t think it is professional. However, since she does not report to you and you are not taking on a mentor/coaching role for her, I don’t think it is worth pointing out.

    • Do you want to set this girl for success or failure? If the former, give her kind feedback (if you want to be taken seriously, I would recommend to switch such-and-such phrase for this). She may thank you later.

  21. Finally upgrading from electric to a much-coveted gas stove. Our budget is under $2500. Any recs? There’s a Samsung Chef’s Collection stove that looks great and is on sale from 2700 to 1700.

    My husband is concerned about the placement of the knobs/control pad. It seems like most of the better stoves are the slide-in kind, with the knobs/controls on the front. He’d prefer one with the knobs in the back (like our current electric) because he’s worried about safety with kids (we’re TTC) and dogs accidentally somehow turning it on. Is that a valid concern? Any recommendations? We’re big cooks and bakers.

    • No no no. You should never have back knobs on a gas stove. Then you are reaching over an open flame every time you need to adjust the heat. Serious danger.

      • I’m not sure I’d categorize it as serious danger, but potential for possible danger. I used a back-knob gas stove daily for years and never once had an issue. Anecdata, sure, but I can’t imagine my usage is so far out that it’s not average.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1, you need to have the knobs on the front.

    • There are plastic covers for stove knobs that can keep most toddlers from turning the knobs until they’re old enough to learn not to play with the stove.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I don’t think they even make them that way, due to safety. Also, when the kids come along, there are guards you can buy to prevent that from happening.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Can’t the knobs be on the side? Like even with the surface of the stove but to the right of all the burners? That’s how ours are.

      • Rainbow Hair :


        • Anonymous :

          *drools* my dream.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            For the record, that’s how the knobs are on our annoying electric range that I dream of one day updating to look like that pic… lest I should give anyone the wrong idea about the glory of my stove.

    • Many newer ranges also have a lockout/child resistant feature for knobs.

    • Anonymous :

      Our stove can be child proofed by taking the knobs off and setting them aside if one is worried about kids (cats) accidentally turning a burner on.

    • We got a GE Profile slide in (PGS920SEFSS).
      It’s been great so far (less than a year)! No comparison to my old standard oven. I did my research on Sweethome and Consumer Reports and from what I recall the consensus was that GE is a little bit more reliable than Samsung. I also remember that the knob issue was something we considered with one of them but I can’t remember if it was Samsung or GE. I can tell you it hasn’t been an issue with our range so far (we had a toddler), whether we decided it mattered or not. The only issues I had are 1) the stainless (vs black cooktop) is a bit more of a pain to clean, but this is an issue common to similar high end models, and 2) the keypad is really sensitive so you have to lock it for cleaning, but this isn’t a huge deal, day to day.

    • cake batter :

      I have this stove, and it has a lock feature you can use to childproof.

  22. So DACA is over with a cancellation of the executive order allowing DACA – with many promises of Homeland Security/Border Patrol working on an orderly wind down — i.e. figuring out how to deport 800k people. Sessions said something about Congress having time to come up with an alternative plan. The only plan that makes sense to me is – let these 800k stay permanently even if you don’t allow dreamer status again to any newcomer. Am I right that that type of thing would be congress proposing a bill that the prez would have to sign and given that he doesn’t want that, he’d veto it? I guess my question is – what exactly can congress do here if anything they do must be approved by a prez who wants this?

    • He wants them to come up with a solution. Obviously it won’t make sense to you because it won’t be let everyone stay.

    • I’m not saying it right – I’m saying wouldn’t any congressional solution have to be signed into law by the prez? If yes why would he approve any solution that lets even 1 person stay? If they come up with a solution letting 5k people stay and deporting 795k, couldn’t he veto it, let the clock run and then say – congress gave me no viable solutions so let’s start deporting. If the process is as above, then why even go thru this time for congress solutions – why not just start deporting – which is how I personally think this wil end?

      • Because he doesn’t want to.

      • Anonymous :

        The POTUS’s goal in ending DACA is to undo the work of Obama. He has accomplished that. He created the delay because at this point he has no real position on whether the Dreamers should stay. He did not take enough interest in that part of the issue and did not have to in order to satisfy his agenda. But he understood that immediate deportation would make him look cruel (confirm that he is fine with being cruel), which is not the image he wants to portray (right now). He will decide whether to sign something Congress puts in front of him later, based on his personal mood and the advice he is given by whoever is in his favor on the day.

    • I hate that DACA is being halted, and don’t understand why DACA couldn’t have continued while some kind of permanent solution was developed. But I don’t disagree with the idea that we need Congress to create some kind of comprehensive fix, instead of just lobbing the political football back and forth. A lot of Republicans have been wishy-washy on immigration because it was politically expedient for them to not advocate for any specific action. I’m all for holding their feet to the fire and forcing them to do something on the record, and then holding them accountable for that at election time.

    • Anonymous :

      fyi congress can override a presidential veto with a 2/3 vote in each house, so no, not every congressional solution has to be signed by the president. that, of course, assumes congress actually does something and comes up with a plan and one that could pass with those numbers.

  23. FYI There’s a fabulous St John sale at Ruelala right now!

    And while I’m on the subject of St John, my VERY passive agressive future MIL, a week before my wedding, has decided to wear a silver/ivory lace dress (link below, but it’s the Gita Giupre dress). She swears it’s lavender, but it’s reading pretty darn white to me online. Has anyone seen this in person? Is it really lavender or mostly white? And I plan to ignore it and let her dig her own grave on this one- she’s going to be the one obviously wearing a white lace dress to someone elses wedding.

    • It’s lavender.

    • http://www.neimanmarcus.com/St-John-Collection-Gita-Guipure-Lace-Bateau-Neck-Gown/prod199860059/p.prod?ecid=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_medium=CSE&utm_source=NMCS__GooglePLA&utm_campaign=St.JohnCollection

    • Looks definitely lavender on the SJ website. I don’t think anyone will confuse her for the bride. :)

      • I’m not concerned with anyone mistaking her for the bride- rather I’m annoyed that she’d knowingly wear almost white lace,- it’s attention seeking behavior.

        • FWIW, silver/lavender is a popular color for MOB/MOG dresses. I don’t think it will cause much of a fuss.

        • No. Lady is wearing purple. It’s normal behavior you are being a drama queen.

        • Typically mothers of the bride and groom *do* wear attention-getting dresses, but then again, my mom wore a white dress (embroidered with silver) and looked just amazing. It never even dawned on me that it could be problematic; she looked fabulous! I sense this is more about her passive-aggressive behavior than anything. (As others have noticed, most MOB/MOG-type dresses are light colored, too, so selection is limited.)

          This was it (with a gray fabric belt): http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Phoebe-Couture-Sleeveless-Metallic-Embroidered-Organza-Gown/prod179880483/p.prod

    • It looks pretty clearly lavender to me. I think it’s appropriate (and gorgeous).

    • Oh girl I’m sorry. She will look ridiculous. Enjoy your day!

      • Seventh Sister :

        It sure looks cream-colored on my monitor, but I couldn’t help but think that it’s not as low-cut as my MIL’s dress for my wedding. But my MIL outdid herself when my brothers-in-law got married – they both wore tuxes, she wore an ivory satin strapless floor-length dress with a big crinoline underneath.

    • That doesn’t look lavender to me. I feel your pain!

    • It’s lavender, but it’s close enough that I’d giggle internally at my own MIL if she’d worn it. That said, it’s really tough to find flattering, stylish, life stage- and occasion- appropriate clothes when you’re the MOG or MOB. My mom (who loves clothes and has aged like Helen Mirren) wore the same dress to my wedding and my brother’s because it was so hard to find something.

    • Linda from HR :

      It looks lavender to me, but it’s so faint I can see the confusion. The color is so light that, coupled with the lace overlay, it does look a bit bridal and maybe not the best choice for someone’s wedding, but it’s not close enough that it’s worth kicking up a fuss over. Unless your dress is similar in style or color, I’d let this go.

    • givemyregards :

      Eh…it is technically lavender but I would also find that annoying because it’s very light plus the length and lace factor. I don’t understand people’s desire to walk that line when they attend weddings. Just pick something else!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am begging you to tell her she totally needs the coordinating lavender furry vest. Please. I’m begging you…


      • Senior Attorney :

        Oops here http://www.stjohnknits.com/curly-lamb-fur-jewel-neck-reversible-vest-k62nw31

    • Another anon :

      Ugh. My MIL wore a dress that was very similar to that one. My wedding dress was cream and in many pictures, her dress looks whiter than mine. It’s annoying, but, as I told my mother when she wanted to wear an extremely pale colored dress, “You’re right, no one will mistake you for the bride, but people will think, what a jerk, she wore a white dress to her daughter’s wedding” (mom found a much prettier cobalt dress instead). All that said, let it go. It doesn’t matter because you are marrying the love of your life! Really. Say that, believe it and don’t sweat the small stuff and you’ll have a wonderful day!

  24. Any recommendations for tapas in DC/NoVA? It’s my SO’s 40th birthday. I already have a weekend trip planned for him, so this would just be for the Wednesday of his actual bday.

    • Barcelona is great. There’s one on 14th and one out in Reston if you do prefer NoVa.

    • anon a mouse :

      The Dabney, or Oyamel

    • Boqueria is super fun but skews young during happy hour. Jaleo could be fun. +1 for Oyamel,

    • Are you looking for actual Spanish tapas or just anything that is served in small plates like tapas? If you mean actual Spanish tapas, I like really like Estadio on 14th St. I also like Jaleo and it has more options as far as locations go (I know there is at least one in Chrystal City in NoVa).

    • DC/NoVA tapas reviews :

      Estadio is the best in DC/NoVA. Amazing food, great service, and the housemade gin and tonics are to die for. I love the sherry cocktails as well. I’ve been here many times over the years and have never had a bad meal. This is one of my go-to places in DC.

      Boqueria is my second favorite tapas place. Good food, good service, good drinks.

      I’ve been to Barcelona several times — the service has repeatedly been TERRIBLE (I’ve twice waited an hour for a table after I already had a reservation, and that was just the beginning), and the food is decent but not as good as Estadio. Barcelona’s ambiance is fantastic though. I’d recommend it for drinks and a few snacks during an off time when it’s not busy and you can sit on the patio.

      Jaleo has gone downhill (both food and service) over the past few years, and I don’t recommend it anymore. I’ve been to both the DC and Bethesda locations within the past couple years and will not be back.

      Also, don’t bother with Pamplona in Clarendon. Meh food and terrible service.

  25. Cleveland? :

    *repost from weekend thread*

    Going anon for this…

    I just threw my resume in the mix for a highly desirable position within my industry in Cleveland. While this is early, I think I have a really good chance of getting the position. So I want to get some insight into the city.

    I would be working downtown. I have lived in multiple cities and states over the years in the NE and SE. Do any of you ‘rettes have the skinny on Cleveland? I am single, mid 30s. Where are the desirable areas to live? For context, my office would be near the Q. I am thinking a 2+ bedroom apt or townhome to rent. Anything I should know about beforehand?

    • Shaker Heights. Easy train ride to downtown, beautiful area with lots of things within walking distance (grocery, etc.) And after living in NE, cost of living will blow you away.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d vote for Ohio City or Tremont downtown depending on the vibe you like and if you want to live in the city. I loved Brooklyn too and was looking to move there, but it has a distinct personality. There’s a lot of really nice stuff in University Circle too, even for 30-somethings, if you don’t mind being adjacent to a University.

      Email me at crossedpaws10 at the mail of google. I lived in Cleveland (Tremont neighborhood) for 5 years – law school and after. I only moved back to DC less than 2 years ago, so I can help and compare to bigger cities for you.

      I love Cleveland. It’s a fun and very livable city.

  26. Sorry, I know this has been discussed to death here, but searching for all the different comments sounds daunting. What are your favorite sheer and opaque black tights? I’ve had the same pairs of black tights for an embarrassingly long amount of time and I definitely need new ones.

    • If you’re looking for something on the less expensive side, the Merona “blackout” tights at Target have had good lasting power for me and are really opaque and comfortable.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I get basically all of my tights from Target. They are very sturdy and almost never run. I’ve had some of them for 5 or 6 years, wearing them every week or two all fall and winter.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        This and also Hue on sale. Both seem to last well, and if I damage a pair (I am looking at you courtroom missing the gate to the counsel area, but not missing the hinges), I don’t really care that much. I HATE HATE HATE control top, and both come in non-control top varieties.

    • I love the Commando control top tights because I hate the feeling of a waistband digging into me all day. Most Commando tights kind of fall down a little bit as I walk, but I haven’t had that problem with the control top kind.

      • +1 to the Commando control top tights. Super comfortable and just enough “control” to help them stay put.

    • Uniqlo Heattech for opaque winter tights. They do seem to keep legs a bit warmer.

    • hue opaque and super opaque. but not control top (unless you like that). they wear like iron.

  27. Pen and Pencil :

    Anyone in Houston need an extra pair of hands/ did everyone make it out okay after the storms? Figured, I’d ask today since most people are back at work.

  28. Rainbow Hair :

    What would you wear for this?

    I’ll be at a board meeting — usually to the casual end of business casual, like men in buttoned shirts and slacks, no ties, no jackets (no women on the board, a complaint for another time). BUT I got an email (to staff who will be at the meeting) saying, “Marketing would like us to take an updated group photo. Since we’ll all be together [at the meeting], we’ll take it then, immediately following the meeting. We’ll want to dress in business attire…just for the few minutes of our photo!”

    Is the answer a dress with a blazer I just throw on for the photo? A full suit seems like overkill. A dress suit? I would love not to buy something but my current work wardrobe is 100% dresses-with-sleeves, and that might not be quite enough?

    • Will the men be in suits? If not, depending on the material and cut of the dress, I’d think a dress with sleeves would be okay, particularly with a blazer over it.

    • Dress with a blazer sounds great to me.

    • I think a blazer you throw on is just right. That is exactly what my colleague did in that situation. You could also look at images from past year or similar nonprofits but I don’t think there is a need.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      OK thanks, all. So like, a not-black dress + a black blazer?

  29. Anonymous :

    What do you say in an email when you’re sending a PDF of a letter that you’re also mailing via USPS? Something like “Please find attached correspondence”?

    • “I’m attaching a letter regarding the settlement/deal/pricing. The original will follow in the mail.”
      But usually, you include that information in the via line of the letter as well.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I definitely prefer the “I am attaching…” language. And if you’re an attorney, Bryan Garner recommends that as well.

    • That’s fine. I tend to do “Please see attached correspondence. The original is being sent via [first class mail, overnight mail, etc.]”

    • Anonymous :

      Usually the letter I’m sending is based on some section of an agreement, so I’ll say, “In accordance with Section X.Y of Z Agreement, please find _______. Please contact me with any questions.”

      Or I will briefly describe what it is – “Please see attached letter requesting ______(e.g. disbursement from account)___ for the (name of deal/case/matter)”

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