Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Santana Knit Dress

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

St. John Santana Knit DressEvery woman should try to find a red dress, I think. It gives you a bold pop of color, a jolt of confidence and sexiness, and can be a fun way to wear a traditional color to the office. This St. John dress features their signature flat Santana knit, with cap sleeves and interesting dart details at the neckline and vertically near the waist, with a hidden back zip. The product page describes it as “scoop neck,” but I would call this more of a jewel or boatneck. In any event, it’s on sale: was $895, now marked to $695 at Last Call. St. John Santana Knit Dress

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  1. Immediate tj for some shopping help. I’m looking to buy myself a nice ring as a raise-gift. I have never really shopped for jewelry before (don’t even have my ears pierced) so I have no idea where to get started. I would like something simple with a dark stone (maybe a ruby or something else burgundy-ish?), nothing shiny or sparkly, with a simple band (maybe something braided/looped?). I don’t like when stones are super raised and get caught on things. I am willing to pay $$$ for the perfect piece, but don’t need to have anything name brand. Any suggestions for websites to look / individual pieces? Thank you!

    • I have a ring that sounds a lot like what you’re describing but it is probably not as big a statement as you’d like because it’s silver and garnet.

      It’s this ring but with a garnet: http://www.symmetry-jewelers.com/our_jewelry.php?section=item&catID=19&ID=1813

      Check out the other designs at this jeweler, but the resident designer, Tom Mathis. I have one of his rings and he does beautiful work.

    • Blue Nile has basic pieces for a fairly good price. Definitely avoid the jewelers at the mall. Their prices are ridiculously marked up. Do you have any friends or coworkers who recently got engaged? They might have some suggestions for local jewelers. I believe there are a number of jewelers on Etsy (including Kanye East) although I always find Etsy to be too overwhelming whenever I try to shop there and I always wind up going someplace else.

      And congrats on the raise!

      • I would be careful about Blue Nile. I have some fun silver jewelry from them which I like and has been fine, but I had a really bad experience with them with a big purchase. Their return policy is really rigid after 30 days, and all they will do for you is provide store credit past that point, even when I got a product that was clearly defective (their reasoning being I should have noticed sooner- tough to do since it was a gift and by the time I got it half of the return period was used up). They tried to fix it, but repeatedly failed, so I ended up having to go to a local jeweler to fix it. Their customer service doesn’t do a great job with anything other than basic returns. For larger purchases, you have to wait to talk to someone in management, which involved a lot of waiting for calls back and sometimes requiring 4-5 phone calls before getting anyone. Trust me, you don’t want to get stuck with a huge credit to a store you don’t want to work with anymore. For any significant purchase, I would stick with someone local where you can go into a store and get service if need be.

        • Thanks for this. I’ve been using Blue Nile prices as a guide for a large-ticket purchase, and there have been moments when I’ve been very tempted to give them a go for the stones and then figure out the setting separately …

          Wonder if anyone else can comment on their experience ?

          • anon-oh-no :

            I’ve actually had good luck with blue nile and a variety of price points — i’ve purchased pearls, less expensive stones in earings, and my husband bought me an expensive pair of diamond earings. The quality has been really good. i have never had a reason to speak with their customer service, so i cant comment on that.

          • Rural Juror :

            I purchased a diamond from BN and had it set by a local jeweler. It was half the cost of what the local jeweler quoted and when I brought the diamond in they commented on how excellent the quality was. It appraised for twice the cost. No problems with the order/delivery/etc.

          • DH bought my engagement ring (diamonds and setting) from Blue Nile in 2012 after it was recommended to him by my brother in law who bought my sister’s stone from Blue Nile in 2010 and had it set locally in a setting her purchased from that jeweler. It was a smooth transaction for both of them and they have both continued to recommend it to others.

        • Anon Diamond Ring :

          My husband used Blue Nile when he bought me a 3.25 carat diamond for a major anniversary. Our experience with Blue Nile could not have been better. I highly recommend them. And their prices are hard, if not impossible, to beat.

          • I agree with all of the positive comments. My husband got my engagement ring on Blue Nile. We were able to return it for free resizing. The quality was fantastic and it appraised for more than he paid for it. I’ve also got some great earrings from them. Can’t possibly recommend them enough.

      • All the above advice is really good – but you can still go the Etsy direction if you want, which I really like, with a few helpful searching tips. One – for something like what you’re looking for – I would set a price floor on what you want – and then, once you find a stone you like, search by the specific name of the stone. Also – I did a search on shopstyle for ruby ring and found lots of cute ideas – and that website is another one where you can really control your search criteria (for example, if you’re not sold on ruby or burgundy, you could instead search just for rings, set a few colors you like, and then set a price range you’re comfortable with and come up with lots of options.) I’ll follow-up with a couple options if you like.

        • I don’t know why my reply ended up here, it was supposed to be below, but all the advice stands.

          I like this ring I found on Etsy with a garnet stone and a twisted gold ring. His whole shop is interesting as well and well worth checking out.


        • If you decide you don’t want something with a solitaire or large stone, this textured band is gorgeous.


        • And since you don’t love stones that stick out too much, a ring like this in an interesting shape with multiple small stones still makes a bit statement without overwhelming the finger.


        • That’s all I’ll post for now, but I’m going to post more rings I find over on my Tumblr (click on my name above – I changed the link to go to my tumblr). Some won’t follow your desires, but if you want to see what I post check it out. And everyone else, RING SPAM. Yay.

          • Thank you TCFKAG and everyone else for your suggestions / recommendations! Lots for me to look at and consider.

    • I also like the Sundance catalog for this kind of jewelry. They have a great variety of high end and low end. I have a $35 garnet and silver ring from there as well as a $1000+ diamond and 18k gold ring. Both are absolutely lovely!

      • I am also a big fan of their jewelry. If you sign up for their emails, they often have 15% off promo deals, too. They have some really lovely garnet and ruby rings right now.

        Back when they had a brick and mortar store, I used to get some nice jewelry at Fortunoff. They still have a website, so maybe check them out. I’ve always found the quality to be above average for a department type store. Not sure if you like yellow gold, but this ring they have is really kind of lovely, I think. http://www.fortunoffjewelry.com/product/garnet+cabachon+ring%2C+14k+yellow+gold.do?sortby=ourPicks&page=4

        Also, check out David Yurman rings — they used to make a ring almost exactly as you describe: braided silver band, with a garnet stone set in simple gold. I am only seeing a diamond set version online in garnet, but you may be able to find the garnet ring in stores (Saks, Bloomingdales, NM, Nordstrom, etc.) or maybe you’ll like one of the other stones like citrine or smoky topaz.

      • If you like particular Sundance jewelry artists, track down their personal websites (most of them have one). You’ll get a better price.

    • Personally, I’ve found rings need to be tried on. I’d suggest going to a jewelry store or depending on where you live,wholesale jewelry district.

    • In addition to Blue Nile, I would suggest checking out Brilliant Earth and Green Karat as other websites to browse. Brilliant Earth has lots of sapphires (of all colors) and interesting gemstones.

    • David Yurman? http://www.davidyurman.com/women/rings/-2WLU/noblesse-ring-with-diamonds#noblesse-ring-with-diamonds?swatchId=Y09LD&_suid=139204613459207389687625959054

    • I am a huge fan of the pieces at Catbird. They have a lot of smaller designers and really interesting things.

    • If you like lower profile stones and settings, have you looked at vintage Art Deco cocktail rings? A lot of them incorporate gemstones that are cut almost into thin slices, and the metalwork is gorgeous.

    • For what you are looking for, depending on your personal style, I’d recommend looking in antique jewelry stores. You are going to be able to find something totally unique, with some history. I love the way antique jewely (especially from the 20s/30s) is so beautifully hand-made. Modern jewely is so obviously machine made and mass produced.

      • Agree! It is fun wearing a piece of the past. And, since the stock changes weekly at my local estate jewelers, it’s always fun to stop in and try things on.

    • Just a quick vent because I know there are users on here…I am DONE with Mint. I have been a loyal user for years but am tired of trouble shooting the site when it counts transactions twice, lists my same credit card as 2 different cards, etc. thereby completely destroying my budget. It is such a pain to fix – I have to go back a few months and re-categorize everything. This is not the first time this has happened to me and I am out of patience. I am going to have to switch to something that is more reliable. I know there have been discussions on here before re: budgeting apps and sites so I am going to sift through there. Just had to get my frustration out! BOO to Mint!

      • Anon in ATX :

        I gave up on Mint years ago when Quicken bought them and then started rejecting my CC login. I buy everything on CC and pay off each month so there was no way that was going to work. Switched to YNAB and never looked back. Can’t recommend it enough.

        • Thanks for the input. I am going to get going with YNAB when I have some free time in the coming days. Disappointed to “lose” the past few years of spending and classifications but hoping for a hassle-free budgeting experience going forward!

          • I am loving YNAB but I HIGHLY recommend going on to their site and watching the free classes they give before jumping in. They have kind of the opposite approach to budgeting as most other sites, andI messed mine up and had to restart before i really got it.

            You can watch for free video recordings of past classes they have given here. they are seriously awesome and very easy to follow. Plus they can help you decide if you want to jump in and buy the app or not:


      • Joanna Toews :

        We ran into the same issue: Counting the same cards and accounts twice.

    • Wow – just read through all these responses and thank you SO much all – I knew you would be super helpful and an invaluabe resource.

    • workingmomz :

      Check out the clay pot in Brooklyn (also online) and nixin and adam foster on etsy.

  2. Totally agree with Kat on this – every woman should have a red dress!! Of course, I’m probably a bit biased because I LOVE red and pretty much everything I have is red (laptop case, cell phone cover, iPad cover, roller bag etc). Not a big fan of this dress, though, as I’ve found the boat neckline seems to over-emphasize my chest in a not-office-appropriate sort of way. But with a more classic round neckline, this would be lovely!

    • Agreed on the red dress. I also think that this dress would be 1) great for pear shapes and 2) terrible on anyone who already has broad shoulders. They’re trying to disguise it with the pose, but it make the model look like a linebacker.

    • Yay! Pricey Monday’s!!!! I love Pricey Monday’s and this dress, Kat! I Love the COLOR, and I do Love the neckline, b/c Frank can NOT stare at my boobies with this one, but the price is a littel to pricey for me, even now that I am a PARTNER! FOOEY!

      I went to the MOOMA with the IRS guy — he was stayeing at some fleebag hotel near time’s square at a goverment rate, so I agreed to meet him on 53rd Street. We saw alot of good thing’s, including a photography show that was REALY great. I love old picture’s. The IRS guy showed me some place’s nearby and we ate at a hotel nearby that had GREAT food. I insisted on payeing at the restrunt for both of us (b/c I am geting reimbursed by the firm), and he paid for the MOOMA, but I gave him cash back.

      He is a nice guy and he think’s he has about 3 more day’s here. He was very happy to have company b/c normaly IRS guy’s do not make alot of freinds. He audit’s ONLY partnership’s and mostley Law firm partnership’s. He said ours was not that unusual, tho there were some thing’s he would have to take back with him to DC for senior review (whatever that is). FOOEY! The manageing partner said to do whatever it takes to get rid of him PRONTO, but I am not sure what I can do to chase him out of here faster then he would OTHERWISE go.

      He has a brother that lives on LI with his family, and he want’s to start a family soon b/c his brother’s kid’s are growing up and he wants them to be freind’s with them. I told him I grew up on LI, and mabye we know the same place’s. He said we should mabye get together after this audit stuff is over. I said mabye, but I am still worried about dateing a guy from DC. The guy’s I remember from college and law school from DC just wanted for me to take my clothe’s off and have sex. FOOEY! Peeople in DC are very transent, and do NOT usueally want to settel down. Even my professor’s always OOGELED me and did NOT take me that serieus, tho I would NOT EVER have sex with them. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      For now, I have to walk a thin line, the manageing partner says, between encourageing this IRS guy and getting rid of him. It is VERY dificult being a partner at this firm. FOOEY!

  3. What is your go-to magazine for fitness and self-care? I’ve subscribed for years to Self but am thinking I’d like to switch it up. I’m considering Shape, Women’s Health…others? TIA!

    • I’ve subscribed to WH for a while, and I am getting kind of tired of it. It just seems very fad-diet and fad-workout. If you are looking for a new workout each month, it couldwork (not criticizing if that works for you, it’s just not what motivates me), but their health “facts” seem pretty bogus.

      I just started reading Vegetarian Times on ipad, and have actually made and enjoyed some of the recipes and like the lifestyle tips so far. Not really a fitness magazine, but healthy eating and some self-care.

      • Agreed on WH. I subscribed to it for a couple years and didn’t renew for the same reason; pulling one study and suggesting you now need to do X (eat an orange a day, jump rope, cut your dairy, etc. etc.) is pretty suspect science. For most health studies, the devil is in the details, and the magazine doesn’t provide those or usually even the reference to the study in question. It just all seemed pretty superficial.

        I liked the workout-related stuff, but so much of that can be found for free on the internet these days.

      • Agreed. I’m also personally over the whole “you need to fix your body” message many women’s fitness magazines eschew.

    • If you have a tablet or smart phone & don’t mind reading magazines on them, you could check out your local library. In the last month I made the discovery that I can ‘sign out’ e-magazines through my local library & the Zinio app for free, and they never need to be returned (and they have limited back issues too). There are a couple magazines I wish they had, but if you already have a library card it doesn’t hurt to check them out. And then you can read a few months before deciding if you want to actually get a subscription.

    • Wildkitten :

      I prefer Runner’s World to the lady-specific-magazines.

      • Yes! I love that they’re performance focused instead of looks focused. I’m much more inspired to go out for a run after reading about someone doing some crazy 100 mile ultra, or overcoming a terrible illness/injury, than just reading about how it’s almost bikini time! I also feel like it creates a much healthier motivation and mind-set than the “ten ways to look hot” magazines.

      • Running Times is actually a much better running magazine. Once Runner’s World started offering running bloggers’ advice as actual advice and did their 6th running shoe guide in a year, I gave up. Running Times has profiles of actual elite runners (not pedestrian running bloggers) and great workouts.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed, but RT is more tailored to the serious-mileage, doing-this-for-years crowd (which I enjoy). RW is more beginner-friendly.

    • baseballfan :

      I like WH as it has a broader tone than many similar mags (isn’t just about fitness/working out).

      Once I subscribed to both Shape and Fitness because they were free with some points I had accumulated somewhere. I vastly preferred Fitness to Shape.

    • This is probably more health/medical then you are looking for, but I find the Harvard Women’s health newsletter (once a month) excellent.


    • I prefer Men’s Health or Men’s Journal for interesting sporty articles and gear/adventure reviews. I wanted Women’s Health to be a version of those magazines and it just isn’t. If strength training’s your thing, Oxygen or Muscle & Fitness Hers tend to have some good workouts.

  4. Does anyone here actually wear St. John?

    I saw a lot of it when I was in DC, but not at work here in the SouthEast. My city has a stand-alone boutique and ones in the Nordies and NM. Is this something that a 40-something finance lawyer wears? I work with a lot of guys. I can see how this is a step up from the usual Talbots / JCrew / etc. for workwear, but am concerned that it shouts a bit “expensive suit” and yet wouldn’t qualify for business-formal attire for meeting with clients. I guess I’m not sure that this is something that is mainly for church / older ladies at the country club (it seemed to work for lobbyists and law partners in DC, but those people were always either much older than me or were friends lucky enough to have mothers who wore their size).


    • I’m in my late 20s, and I wear it occasionally. Not a lawyer though. I work in management in a big corporate. I have one blue pantsuit, a coral blazer, and some pants separates. I would say that the pantsuit I have is fine for business formal – the jacket is their knit and the pants are regular flat suiting fabric. It’s dark blue, but not quite navy. I don’t think it “shouts” expensive suit (although I don’t see this as a bad thing for formal meetings). It definitely says “very nice suit,” and I generally save it for big meetings. I’ve also worn it to an interview.

      The coral blazer I love, but it’s casual and I wear it with jeans. I guess if I wanted to be more old lady-who-lunches, then I would have bought the matching pants/skirt.

      The pants separates are a great cut for me and just look like regular suiting pants (they are not the SJ knit…I’m not sure I would actually like pants in their signature knit).

      • Also forgot to add: I also have a sky blue dress with these cool neck darts that is an amazing summer ***ktail dress. It’s also made in their knit, so no wrinkling and super comfortable.

        If you want to buy the stuff, make friends with the salesperon at Nordies. They go on 40% sale about 2 months after they get released, and then 60% on sale a few weeks after that. The old salesperson I had would call me when things I wanted went on sale and hold them a week ahead of the sale for me. :)

    • I consider it to be for une femme d’un certain age. I hear the knit is forgiving when you’re not as slim and fit as you were at 20 or 30 (or 40). I aspire to afford St. John when I’m old enough. I think it can look very elegant and refined. But then, I’m a lawyer in DC so I guess me +15 years is pretty much the target demographic.

    • I don’t have any SJ but do have a couple pieces from Misook, which is very similar. I wear them to work but would not wear them for a trial or a serious hearing. I think it really depends on the cut as some SJ pieces can look matronly.

    • Yes, and you can pry it off my cold, dead corpse.

      • Can you tell us more about what pieces / how you wear them? I went with a friend to try on something and the sales person was really pushing the full monty: knit jacket / knit shell / knit pants. I didn’t know they had woven pants until now. I know people who love their knit pants, but I haven’t worn stretchy-waist pants to work except pregnant / post-partum (I know, I know). I am also a bit warry of having sales-staff management issues with this (but I love the idea of having a person @ Nordie’s).

      • How do you clean them incidentally? I’ve always read that they need “special” dry cleaning. I called up the St. John store here and they use a local cleaners that does pick up. I haven’t tried them yet (my pieces are all under 2 years old, so not horribly dirty), but am wondering how careful I need to be with cleaning them.

    • Yes – I have two sheath dresses in the knit, both dark jewel tones. Both work fabulously for business travel (stuff seriously does not wrinkle), with a traditional navy blazer on top. They are extremely flattering and forgiving for on-the-road eating, too.

    • I disagree on the target demographic being women of a certain age, i.e. older women. This may have been true in the past but it’s definitely not true today. For the last several years, they have sought a much younger market. Angelina Jolie was their face for a few seasons. I like a lot of the dresses. They’ve also cut back on those knit suits from my mom’s era. Some pieces still read a bit matronly but the line has definitely broadened its appeal.

  5. I like this, but I just really don’t think the value for money is there with St. John. I own some of it, all consigned, and I’m happy to pay consignment prices for it, but not for-real prices.

    Unrelated: I just got two blouses from Everlane, and they’re lovely, but the smalls are *huge* on me. There was a ton of extra fabric under the arms, and the cuffs came all the way to the base of my fingers. They were so much too big that I’m nervous about trying an extra small, because I can’t imagine that it would be small enough to work. I thought people generally found them to be TTS, but maybe I was wrong?

    Anyway, I generally wear a 2-4, I’m 5’4 and a 34A – if you have similar measurements and you’ve tried Everlane, can you let me know what size worked for you? I love the quality and the price (and the philosophy).

    • Baconpancakes :

      That sounds perfect for me! Almost all blouses end up bracelet length on me, because I have long monkey-arms. King Kong knows what I’m talking about. I know that wasn’t the purpose of this post, but you’ve just convinced me to buy these.

    • I was under the impression that Everlane silk blouses are made a little big/boxy – I’m about your size and a friend who is bigger than me but bought the XS thought that the XS would probably be too big for me.

      Maybe try the XS? But you may also have to resign yourself to the fact that the silk blouses just won’t be tailored enough for work…

      Sorry to be the bearer of bad news (I’m suffering through similar disappointment)

      • It seriously had a *vast* amount of extra fabric on the sides. I was so disappointed. SIGH.

    • Thanks for sharing. I was thinking about getting some shirts from Everlane, and it sounds like we have pretty similar measurements, so if I end up pulling the trigger I’ll go for XS. I usually like tops with some room and drape, so it sounds like an XS could be perfect? Maybe?

  6. Work advice, please! Has anyone made the transition from admin to professional? Background: I’ve been working on a professional degree (not law) and working as an admin while I go to school at night and on the weekends. I start next month as a professional in my chosen field (ELLEN CAPS, YAY!) and I’m really nervous about moving in as a peer to people I used to assist. I know I’m junior in terms of seniority but I want to also be sure I’m not always the one who jumps up to reserve the conference room, make the copies, etc. Any tips for a good transition?

    • Congratulations!

      I have a good friend/coworker that went from an admin to analyst, and I don’t say this to scare you but to motivate you– she is still stuck doing almost all of the work she did before as an admin, plus her additional roles. It’s really upsetting to her, obviously, but I think she enabled it by volunteering to continue helping with some admin stuff. Her main issue, though, is that when she received her new job description, it was not abundantly clear that she wouldn’t be responsible for administrative duties, so that’s one thing I would definitely recommend you check (although that doesn’t seem to be a problem in your case).

      Just try to copy exactly what the other people at your level do. Go above and beyond in your role, but I agree that you should avoid volunteering for every admin task. Again, congrats!

    • For a good transition –
      : Think of a role model who has effective professional demeanor, think through what makes this person effective and then make a conscious effort to replicate those behaviours, reproducing in a way that fits with your own personal style.
      : Listen and watch more than you react as you make your transition. There is context which everyone needs to learn before becoming effective in a new job – don’t let your self-consciousness about your previous position trip you up into being over-assertive or over-eager to prove yourself, when everyone else is actually ok for you to be getting up the learning curve.

    • Honestly, I’d consider going to a new employer. Hopefully people will be supportive but it’s hard to “see” someone in a new light. Most paralegal to lawyers (not you, I know) have had more success with the new role by changing firms. Maybe other professions are different but I’d consider a fresh start.

      • +1 on this

      • Co-signed, having been in this position.. its also not just the new role, but whether you will always be seen as ‘the admin that moved up’. when this happened to me I still was referred to as ‘anon, who used to be our admin!’

    • Are you getting a new office? I’d try to make sure there were some obvious cues to everyone that something has changed. If you will still be in a cubicle or something, ask for a new location if possible. I’d also be especially aware of how I dress at first. Whatever you were wearing before, step it up a notch in terms of professionalism (maybe skip jeans on fridays for a bit if that’s a thing at your office). It might also be good to take a few days off before you start in your role (and have someone in your office move your stuff to your new space while you are out). This will make it even more obvious. And, I’d keep an eye on job openings. Unless you absolutely adore your current job, it may be good to make a clean start somewhere new if you can.

      • AttiredAttorney :

        I’ve gone from admin to professional, and recently from professional to executive, all within the same organization, though different branches. I think clothing is hugely important when you’re not changing companies. When I made the first move up, I ditched the cardigans in favor of blazers/jackets, for the latest move, my wardrobe is full business suits. I think this is one area where you can really take the cues from the men at your level. I was/am slightly overdressed compared to my peer women, but equally dressed to the men (if that makes sense).

    • hellskitchen :


      What your role will be also depends on your office culture. Is it one of those places where there is a clear distinction between admin and professional or is the culture more where even the CEO doesn’t mind occasionally rolling up her sleeves and making her own copies? If it’s the former, then make it a point to say/write “I’ll ask the exec asst to schedule our next meetings” rather than just “I’ll take care of scheduling meetings.” If it’s the latter, then be careful that you don’t shun all admin work in your new role.

    • I think you probably want to err on the side of not doing admin things and be sure you offer subtle reminders to people when they slip and treat you like an admin. For example, even if other junior people in your role sometimes set up conference rooms but if that’s more typically done by an admin, then you try to avoid setting up conference rooms as much as possible. Or if someone gives you a document and asks you to input the edits, say “no problem, I’ll have [admin] do that right away.” Same with making copies “I know we have that meeting with [important person/client] tomorrow, so I’ve asked [admin] to have the copies of [thing to discuss at the meeting] ready by COB today.” This isn’t to say you’d be obnoxious about it, just that you want to set a clear precedent for what your position is. I have a friend who was a paralegal before law school and then went back to the firm later as a lawyer. It definitely helped her to (nicely) set some boundaries as everyone adjusted to her new role.

    • Is this common for your company? I used to work for a firm that would hire new grads as front desk/admins, then over then next 6-12 months get a sense of how they’d fit elsewhere in the firm. Some of the admins were not interested in moving and progressed in the admin track (senior admin, exec assistant, etc), others took on entry level roles in marketing, finance, sales, HR, or as customer support analysts.

      There was a little bit of a transition period, where the outgoing admin trained the new admin, then a few weeks where the outgoing admin was bugged by the new admin who was still learning the ropes, but I’d say after 3-6 months, the outgoing admin was 100% free and clear of all former admin duties. What helped, I think, was the new manager of the outgoing admin being very clear- “get away from my new marketing analyst. [newadmin] is our new admin and would be glad to help if you need help collating!” THey also always sent out a firm-wide note congratulating the person (as well as any other promotions) so it everyone knew about the change.

      • hellskitchen :

        This is a good point. I have worked in companies where this was the norm and also moved from a temp to a full time role and I don’t think I was mistaken for a temp once I moved. Think about this before you explore other jobs

  7. Quick interview attire question! I have a suit set that includes the jacket/skirt/pants/dress. I love the dress the most- can anyone think of a reason not to wear the jacket and dress, instead of jacket/blouse/pants or jacket/blouse/skirt? I can’t figure out if it would look more or less formal- but they’re both a dark charcoal. Either way, I plan to wear black suede low heels, nylons, and carry a black longchamps bag. Any thoughts?

    • I think dress + jacket is fine, especially if it makes you feel your best.

    • This would be fine and is what I wear to client meetings.

    • My go to interview / fancy court attire is dress + blouse underneath + jacket + nylons + pumps. I love this look.

    • Definitely appropriate to wear a dress and matching jacket. I would recommend that you add a colorful necklace so that you’re not wearing all gray and black.

  8. I recently ordered some Stuart Weitzman black suede boots and they feel and look AMAZING. The problem is, they were quite a splurge for me (as you can imagine… even on sale) and I am wondering if they will hold up well. I am just imagining the suede scuffing and fading and me crying every time I have to go outside in them. I generally don’t take great care of my shoes, though I’d look into getting the boots rubbersoled and waterproofed. Anybody have any experiences with black suede boots they are looking to share?

    If it seems like the type of thing I’d only wear when the weather was just right, I’m not sure if it’s worth it to me. I am looking for a black, suede boot that can be my go to boots but still nice enough for work (without buckle embellishments preferably). Trouble is I also have wide feet so it’s hard to find something that will work well. I wish my price point was lower but I am having trouble finding anything plain enough that fits.

    ….But they are so, so, so beautiful….

    • Honestly, I’ve treated my suede boots terribly and they don’t look *too bad*. I don’t wear them when it’s actively raining or snowing, however. I have a pair of chunky black Vince Camuto’s which are awesome for my wide feet which are suede-ish and a pair of tan Nine West’s (these aren’t so great for my feet, I have to figure out how to widen them).

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      Where are you? I would never do expensive suede boots in a snowy climate (the sand and road salt would destroy them), but if you are somewhere more temperate they should hold up fine.

    • cold in Chicago... :

      I feel your pain. I also ordered Weitzman suede boots last season, and they were gorgeous, but I finally sent them back because they were SO expensive (even on sale) and I decided they were just not practical for me. If your plan to only wear them indoors, in an area with good weather, then maybe…. or if you have a lot of $$ to spend… then maybe….

      They are not weather hearty.
      Yes, they will scuff/wear unevenly and will make you a little crazy.
      If you keep them, bring them to your cobbler immediately and have him water proof them the first time, and buy stuff to repeat waterproofing on your own. Get a suede brush.

      And I would clean them after every few wearings. Brush off dirt/dust/salt, blot clean with a damp clean cloth, and if you get salt on them, clean sparingly with a mix of water and vinegar.

      If you aren’t able to take good care of your boots (it is good to be honest with yourself… well done…), then watch the sales for Aquitaine and La Canadienne. They are not as sleek as Weitzman, but they are more durable and weather proofed. Stalk the sales, as they are also very expensive.

      Alternatively, just go to DSW and buy something cheap and have fun with them for a season.

    • FYI if you need nice wide boots, La Canadienne are great for this. They have wide sizes, and I’m usually a 9W, but their 9M totally fit me fine and the W was actually too wide (this NEVER happens to me). They are also very nice looking and more weatherproofed.

  9. What do people tell their supervisors/bosses when they need to take time off for an interview? I have one I need to travel out of town for, so can’t just sneak away at lunch or early or claim its for a doctor’s appointment… and I can’t exactly telework either since I’ll be traveling to/from and in the interview most of the day…

    • Why not just take a vacation day? You get vacation, and you can use it for whatever you want, and don’t have to justify it unless you are missing a big meeting because of the timing of the interview. You don’t have to lie or justify taking a day.

      If you want to give a specific reason, you could also use the excuse that you have contractors coming into your home to fix electric/cable and internet. If it is something like that they won’t question why you aren’t working from home because of it.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Sick day. Or take a vacation day. It sucks. You have to lie, but there’s no other way, really.

    • In your situation I’d take a vacation day and just say I’d be unavailable. You don’t have to justify what you’re doing on your day off.

    • Do you have vacation time? Take a vacation day, a mental health day, a visit your out of town relative day.

    • Diana Barry :

      Sick day or vacation day.

    • You could say you’re getting your TV wall mounted (took us 5 hrs for the whole set up) or getting a room painted or fixing a leaky roof – these are just some of the things I had to take care of, for real. These excuses are pretty believable as they take 4 hrs at a minimum. Or your heater broke and needs to be fixed asap.

    • When I was interviewing, I either had doctor’s appointments, took a pre-scheduled personal day (which my office only required a week’s notice, so it was pretty flexible to do so), or took a sick day. And don’t feel bad about ditching work. You’re trying to find a better situation!

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Why lie? Take a vacation day or annual leave (or whatever your company calls it) and don’t provide any additional information.

  10. I generally feel good about what I wear to work but lately I have been questioning myself a lot. I wanted to run a few things by you ladies for opinions. I work in a business casual office.

    I’ve been wearing knee high boots with skirts a lot this winter. Think tweed skirt, black tights, black knee high boots (Cole Haan, simple, 1.5 inch heel, two buckles at top). Is this an outdated look?

    One simple strand of pearls with say a button up flowy shirt. Is a single strand of basic pearls still fashionable?

    I have a pair of plain black leather booties I got from Nordstrom (3 inch heel, fits snug at ankle, cuts off at ankle) that I was intending to wear with skirts/dresses but I never do because it makes me self conscious. I’ve been wearing them with dress pants when it’s really cold and I don’t want to wear pumps. This works right?

    I know this stuff probably seems pretty basic to most but I am fashion challenged. Thanks for your help ladies.

    • Yes, Maybe, and Yes!

      I think knee-high boots are great with black tights and tweed skirts. Not outdated at all.

      The single strand of pearls is still very classic. I wouldn’t say it’s not fashionable, but it’s also not very fashion-forward. You can try pairing the single strand with other necklaces and layering to get a more exciting look. But there’s nothing wrong with a single strand of pearls!

      And your ankle boots sound fab and I would definitely wear them with tights and either a skirt or a dress. That look totally works, especially with the ankle boots you’ve described.

    • No (to the outdated) – I think knee high boots with a pencil skirt, especially tweed, look great and are a little more interesting than if it was just paired with heels.

      As to the pearls – I think they’re classic, not outdated. I wear my singe strand pearls in two situations – one is a job interview or similar situation where I need to be nicely classic and the other is when I’m wearing a modern look for work that I want to tone down just a little with pearls (does that make sense – like getting the contrast between a really structured, more modern look with the pearls.)

      And for the booties – they definitely work with pants. And just try it out with the skirt one day – there’s nothing to help you get over fashion nerves like just *doing* it one day. Or try it out when you go to dinner one night.

    • I like all of those looks except ankle boots with skirts/dresses unless you are wearing tights that match your boots. Otherwise I think it tends to look off, or it connotes a certain edgy/punkish/funcky/ I-don’t-know-the-word that to me isn’t elegant/profesional.

      There are some specific exceptions to this “rule” if you are going for certain looks, but I can’t personally think of one I would wear to the office. EG, plaid mini skirt and chunky ankle boots with scrunched-down socks – not a work look but could be cute for going out.

  11. Hey ladies, I had my baby! I nearly had her in the cab to the hospital but I made it. She was born Friday morning (10 minutes after getting to the hospital). Being a brand new mom is pretty incredible — thanks for all of the advice and commiseration through my pregnancy!

    • Wow! That’s awesome and scary all at the same time. Glad you made it and that you are both well.

    • Congratulations! Glad to hear everything went well (minus the almost cab birth)!

    • Congratulations and wow!

    • Woah! Congrats and welcome to new motherhood! That sounds like quite a story if you ever have time to tell it to us!

    • Diana Barry :

      Congrats! I also had an almost-car delivery – it makes for a great story! :)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray! Congratulations and what fun to have an almost-born-in-the-cab story to tell!

    • Congratulations, for both the baby and for narrowly avoiding being a cliched sitcom plot! :)

    • Congratulations! Hope you and baby are resting (as much as she’ll let you) and doing well! :)

    • Wow! Congratulations, that’s wonderful news.

    • Wow! Congratulations!

    • Hooray! Congratulations!

    • frustrated academic :


    • IT Chick in MN :

      Congratulations! What a story to tell in later years! Yay baby!

    • Clementine :

      WOO HOO!


    • Congrats!!

    • I want to hit “LIKE” for this comment a million times. Congrats!

    • Congrats!!!

      And I’m sure you’re busy but if you check back, do you mind giving any info on what led to her almost being born in a cab? I’m planning on giving birth an hour away from my house and my OB has assured me that since it’s my first child it’s fine to leave for the hospital at the same time I would if I lived close to the hospital, but stories like this make me wonder!

    • OCAssociate :

      Congratulations! So excited that you finally have your baby girl!

    • Congratulations! Glad you made it to the hospital in the nick of time!

    • Congrats! I was hoping you’d hold out until my birthday (which was Saturday). Enjoy your new little girl!

    • Yay! Congrats! I’m hoping for the same news REALLY SOON.

    • CONGRATULATIONS!!! So excited for you and your little girl!! And now youve got a great story ;o) YAY, keep giving us updates on your little peanut!

    • Congrats!

    • just Karen :


  12. Business Attire at Cocktail Reception? :

    My undergrad school is hosting a cocktail reception in my current city (DC) with a very prominent ex-Senator. The invitation said that the dress code is ‘Business Attire.’ I’d really rather not wear a formal suit, as I only have boring black or grey suits, and I never feel particularly confident in them. Would a dress and blazer, or pattern pencil skirt and blazer ok? Think black and white hounds tooth wool pencil skirt, white button up, and black blacker (nothing crazy). Just adding the pattern makes it feel more like an outfit, and makes me feel more put together. Thoughts?

    • Absolutely fine, it’s a cocktail party nit an interview. Way more flexibility.

      • Business Attire at Cocktail Reception? :

        Thanks! I thought this was the case, but its comforting to hear someone else say it!

    • Wildkitten :

      People will be wearing what they wore to work, assuming it’s on a weeknight.

      • True, although when I know I have one of these things I often wear one of my best daily work outfits. So jacket instead of cardigan, better jewelry, etc. I suspect the men will be in jackets and ties. That said, I think the outfits described sound fine.

    • I think if there’s a post-work c*cktail party that says the dress code is Business Attire is really just clarifying for the guests that there’s no need or its not appropriate to wear c*cktail attire. I would just wear slightly elevated business casual (like what you described) and you’ll be fine.

  13. Yoga video :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a good yoga DVD? I’ve started taking classes in the morning before work two days a week, but I think I would also like to start doing it sometimes at night before I go to bed (in part because I’ve been having a lot of trouble sleeping and think it may help me relax). I think I’ve been to enough classes that I will be able to follow an instructor in a video, but would still want something relatively basic. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance :)

    • I like all of the Rodney Yee DVDs that I have.

    • Anything from Rodney Yee is terrific. You may like the AM/PM yoga which has an evening pre-bed wind down type workout, as well as a separate workout of stretches to start your day.

    • If you get into it and need some variety – look up yogaglo. They are an online video subscription service and offer a variety of classes – you can filter based on length, type of class, level of difficulty, etc. Some great teachers and there are always new classes to try.

  14. not ashamed :

    Here’s another update:

    My direct deposit change took effect on Friday–I basically have only “discretionary” money in my checking account now. I paid for my son’s haircut & my meds at the pharmacy with it, and that will be all for the next 2 weeks or so.

    Bought groceries with the earmarked account, UNDER the budgeted amount of MY portion (so, DH hasn’t contributed to the joint account yet, but I budgeted $200/paycheck from me alone, for groceries, every 2 weeks. I spent $175 yesterday, to get us at least through the next 2 weeks). DH is going to get his direct deposit set up to take effect this pay period (so, next Friday). All the bills will be changed over to draw out of that account in the next cycle.

    Most importantly, our tax return was deposited, and DH just paid the mortgage up to date. 100%.

    The last piece of the puzzle is getting the login information for our joint account–I don’t think we had ever set it up for online banking. That will let me track our expenses and make sure we’re spending no more than our monthly allotment for things where the amount changes (really, just groceries are our only fluid expenditure, at this point).

    Such a relief.

    We aren’t to building savings yet, but I do see in my “bare bones” budget that I have already set aside money for home maintenance and emergencies. When we get settled into this routine, we can adjust the line items to include vacation savings, fun money, and others.

    • Wildkitten :

      Just a note for future budgeting – meds probably aren’t discretionary.

      • not ashamed :

        truth–I agree. I have a FSA set up, and we’re on our way to really nailing down our medical spending. I think that I know what my monthly expenditures are for meds, so I can be sure to estimate conservatively come July 1 when we can make changes to our deductions.

    • not ashamed :

      and now I have the login information for the joint account!

      DH and I meeting this week for lunch to hammer out the details and nuances/timing of bill pay and his direct deposit.



    Sorry for the dramatic headline, but I just got invited to a final interview tomorrow for a position I really want. It’s obviously pretty last-minute and I will be meeting with one person (from HR) that I met with at my previous interview (plus three new people). Is it okay for me to wear the same black interview suit with a different shirt?? I don’t have any other suit choices and I also need to be able to disguise the outfit at my current job since the interview isn’t until late afternoon. TIA!

    • Absolutely. Good luck!

    • I wouldn’t think twice about this and have done it myself. I don’t think it’s a problem.

    • Diana Barry :

      Totally fine – wear different blouse and shoes and you can wear a sweater over instead of the jacket to your regular job, if needed.

    • Definitely ok to wear the same suit. Really, no one will remember what you wore last time but you.


    Thanks ladies – you are so fast! I’m glad to hear those responses, of course!

  17. I might get to go home this week! (Anyone who knows me well in real life probably totally knows who I am by now, but whatever.) I’m trying not to get too excited because it all depends on what the doctor says after the ultrasound later this week, but all the nurses seem to think I’m going home. I have been in the hospital for more than ten weeks at this point and I am so, so, so ready to leave. I haven’t seen my dog since I’ve been here. And I would love to eat some normal food. Not hospital food. Not food from one of the four take-out places on the way from my husband’s office to here. Just plain cooked-in-my-kitchen food. Plus, while our marriage is doing really well (although we had a rough patch in there – which I think anyone living apart for 10 weeks under terrible stress would have), I just want to be back living in the same house as my husband. So fingers crossed that I get to go home and stay there (i.e., stay pregnant) for another 4-6 weeks!

  18. A good friend of mine just had a major surgery. She’s going to be recovering for about a month at home. Does anyone have any suggestions for useful gifts I can give to her while she’s bedridden? Netflix subscription is already taken care of, but any ideas would be really helpful. Thanks!

    • From someone on bed rest for the last 2.5 months: Kindle or gift card to buy Kindle books. iTunes gift card for movies/music. iPad games (you can go into the apps store and buy them as gifts). Nice smelling small bottles of lotion, etc. A stash of snacks covering various food groups that can stay by her bed (e.g., dried fruits, nuts, crackers, trail mix, jerky, yogurt covered raisins, etc.). Meal delivery and/or gift cards for take-out. Loungey clothes that aren’t pjs (e.g., yoga pants) or a gift card to someplace where she can buy those online. Books. Any crafts she might like that she can do while in bed (knitting, embroidery, crocheting — some companies offer all in one kits that have all the materials and tools you’ll need). Facial wipes or something to use to feel a little fresher and cleaner, especially if she’s restricted in how often she can shower. A gift set of lip gloss or other light make-up that she can put on to feel more human and less like an invalid. A pretty mirror compact she can keep with her, especially to check how she looks before she has visitors. If her SO or someone else is taking care of her, think of things that might make his/her life easier. Even if it’s just sending a little gift to the SO to say you know this is hard on him/her, too.

    • Senior Attorney :

      And visit if you can. I got really lonely recovering at home by myself.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank for these great suggestions! And, yes, I definitely plan on visiting a lot!

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