Suit of the Week: Nora Gardner

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I knew that a lot of people liked Nora Gardner’s dresses for work — but I did not realize that she also makes suiting. I particularly like the way the collarless jacket lays with the high V of the dress — it’s a look that’s surprisingly hard to get right. The dress can be machine washed, which is always nice. The jacket is $328, and the dress is $276; both options are available in sizes 00-16.

Psst: We just created a new resource (that we’ll keep updated): Where to Find Stylish Petite Suits for Women — come check it out! 

Comments

  1. Anon for this... :

    Relationship question…. DH and I have been married for 3 years. We have a great relationship – do a lot together, make each other laugh, support each other, and are very affectionate. However – our actual gardening parties are less frequent than I would like and I have made that very clear to him. Part of that is situational – we have two dogs who like to be in any room we are in, so spontaneity is difficult. We have high stress jobs so are frequently tired. He’s on some medications that may be lowering his libido. But I routinely get down about our lack of LGPs, and I don’t know what to do about it anymore. He always promises it will be better when I talk to him about it, but it never is. We’re now expecting our first child and I made it clear I want to increase our LGPs before we have a long period where that will likely be off the table. He made one half-hearted effort that I wasn’t into (details not important, but let’s just say it wasn’t a good time), and then nothing again. I hate that he can break promises to me with no consequence but I feel like some sort of “punishment” is immature and inappropriate. But how do I then feel satisfied with this? What else can I do if making my feelings very clear does nothing?

    • Anonymous :

      When someone shows you who he is, believe him. This isn’t going to change. Can you live with that?

      • That feels harsh. He is a fantastic man who I love completely and will be a wonderful father. I just like having LGPs more than twice a month. Is it worth giving up a wonderful life with someone I love for more LGPs? That answer seems obvious (no).

        • Anonymous :

          It’s not obvious to me. Sex, money, and in-laws are the things that tend to break up a marriage. If this is a price of admission to you, that’s great! But it doesn’t seem like it is, based on what you’ve said.

        • Senior Attorney :

          It may or may not be obvious but that may be the question you are facing.

          First, though, you might want to check out the work of the brilliant but unfortunately-named Dr. David Schnarch, who writes a lot about sex in marriage and mis-matched libido levels. They have workshops that you could look into.

        • Anonymous :

          Calm down, OP. It’s not harsh. She’s not saying leave him.

          And she’s right. If he’s not listening to you now, don’t expect him to magically change in the future. Your call on what to do about it.

        • Anonymous :

          This is a reasonable question. You do need to think about it.

          I know of a marriage that dissolved over this issue. It is a common problem actually.

          Is he willing to participate when you initiate, and are you willing to do that? Or does he not initiate, AND shut you down when you want it? If that…..

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t think it’s harsh. She’s not saying leave him, she’s just saying you have to decide if this is a dealbreaker for you and if it is then leave him. If it’s not, that’s perfectly fine too! I think most married men would like to be having more sex than they are, but the vast majority of them don’t end their marriages over it, so there’s no reason to feel guilty for wanting to stay with your husband even if gardening isn’t as frequent as you’d like.

        • Yes, you have an issue, b/c your s&x drive is greater then his. I was in the opposite situeation. My ex pretty much jumped my bones as soon as I got home, even though I was tired and sweatey, he could NOT get enough of me. And he was NOT exactly a great lover. He was lazy and often had wine on his breathe. FOOEY! But I put up with it b/c I wanted a relationship, marrage and Kid’s, and he was the only prospect (other then Gonzalo, who just wanted s&x). So I stuck with him even tho I knew it was NOT goeing to work. Now I am without a man, even for casueal dating, b/c the men are all intimidated by a sucessful woman who is admitted to the Bar, and In Good Standeing. FOOEY on weak men! Why can’t they just take me as they find me? I have a good job, am cute and have money in the bank and want a baby! What is wrong with that? DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      The dog thing is BS, first of all. But the high-stress job is no joke and I think many of us experience similar issues on account of that. Are you regularly initiating and he is turning you down? Have you tried initiating at different times of the day (e.g. upon waking up, during a shower, right after work, right before bed, weekends, etc)? Have you thought about/suggested some couple’s counseling?

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto all of this. We’ve learned that weekends are really the only time for us – work and household tasks make it too difficult during the week. Is it completely ideal? No, but life’s that way sometimes. So it’s about once a week for us and we’ve learned to be ok with that.

        • anonforthis :

          Yeah, this. Weekdays are just not possible. Weekends are the only time and it has to be before we do some death march workout, preferably after coffee and food. We are into things like distance running, cycling, long open water swims – all we want to do after that kinda stuff is eat and lounge and sleep. We’ve learned to be cool with once a month or so given our schedules. Or more like I’ve learned to be cool with it – husband never had a problem. And I realized my hang up was based more on societal expectations rather than what I wanted – I am perfectly happy with the way things are. You may not be, but something to think about.

      • We’ve started having secks while dinner is in the oven. No kids, 2 dogs (who get booted from the room even when it’s spontaneous, takes 3 seconds), living our lives like well-paid grad students.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Just to add to ideas, I do a thing where…

          After Kiddo is in bed, when I’m winding down (usually when I’m just out of the shower and lounging and reading the internet), I’ll text him, “s3x?” … yes, he’s just down the hall, but it’s less demanding, somehow, if it’s a text instead of a [email protected] wife, and it’s easier to hear “not tonight” in response to a text than to ME.

      • +1

        Dogs are easily removed from a room.

      • anonymous :

        +1

        The dog problem is an easily surmountable problem.

        We also have two dogs and we taught them that “Out! Get out!” means “Please step out of the room while we do our thing, then you can come back in and we’ll all hang out.”

      • We have the dog issue as well. We escort them out and give them high value toys reserved for special occasions. And they still whine sometimes and we ignore until we’re done.

    • You kind of glossed over that one half-hearted attempt you weren’t into. Does he have low self-esteem? Depressed? Did he know you weren’t into it? If he felt criticized and like his attempt wasn’t good enough, he very well may have anxiety about trying again. Dudes have very fragile egos when it comes to bedroom issues. Our culture is at fault for that.

      I’ve been the one with the lower libido. If I’m never going to want to truly initiate, you have to accept when I’m initiating for you. I can’t magically flip a switch and be 100% into it. But those half-hearted attempts can turn steamy 10 minutes in when my switch does flip, on its own, outside of my control.

      To meet halfway, we sometimes do the lazy $ex. Laying on our sides in bed or something. We are past the days of throwing each other against a wall and ripping of clothes.

      • One more thing, you say that half hearted attempt wasn’t a good time for you since he wasn’t into it. You now understand how he feels when he isn’t into it. Keep that in mind.

        Lastly, you are pregnant. You managed to get pregnant. Was he like this pre-pregnancy? A lot of dudes are freaked out about having sex with a pregnant woman. They are afraid they will hurt the baby or your belly or b00bs weirds them out. In an ideal world, they wouldn’t care, it’s not all about our physical attractiveness, it’s an act of love. But $ex comes from a place we can’t control and if he is weirded out about your pregnant body, $ex might be hard.

        • Anonymous :

          Dude, you can pregnant if you only have sex once a year, or once ever! Just because you had enough sex to get pregnant doesn’t mean you’re having a normal or sufficient amount of sex.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 feeling like he’s not good enough is the ultimate b*ner-killer.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 He made the effort like you wanted and you didn’t like it. No wonder he’s not trying again.

        • Brief side note, I am a bit tired of having a threesome with my LFP partner and the Male Ego, and that’s what this comment makes me think of. He initiates once (in what seems like a disingenuous way) and he’s rejected and therefore he gets to be so crippled emotionally that he gets to bow out of effort and engagement in the process? No. No no no. Obviously be respectful to your partners and treat them with kindness but we shouldn’t be expected to bite our tongues or make our needs subservient to preserve the fragile male ego. Tired of it.

          • In a normal healthy relationship, you are right. In one where you are trying to salvage your $3x life, you tread cautiously. You can be right and have no $3x or get divorced, or you can work with it, and possibly fix your marriage. Your choice.

          • Oh come ON, I never said don’t tread cautiously. Read, please. I was referring to this specific situation (pouting and giving up after a single request turned down; the idea that if a male is rejected JUST ONCE his male ego gives him carte blanche to fold), not the whole issue of mismatched desire.

      • Anonymous :

        Idk, I get the sense that OP’s DH initiated at an obviously bad time when neither of them would be into it. If that’s the case, it wasn’t an honest effort. It’s like he’s trying to check off the box without “risking” that he’d actually have to do something. He doesn’t get a gold star for that. He needs to make a real effort. And tbh that kind of “welp I ‘tried’ (but not really) so now I’m out” attitude is way more concerning than a low drive.

      • Anonymous :

        No, he doesn’t get points for making a [email protected] effort. And he doesn’t get to use that as an excuse for getting out of ever putting in any effort again.

    • Anonymous :

      I know this isn’t really the central issue, but fwiw getting a dog was way worse for my gardening life than having a baby. The dog cried loudly when we locked her outside our room and we live in a climate where it’s not safe to leave her outside for half an hour most of the year. In contrast, the baby/toddler consistently napped on weekend afternoons when we were both feeling rested and not too stressed. For a while we got in a nice routine of gardening and then napping together during the baby’s Sunday afternoon nap. So the baby might not be doomsday for your s*x life.

    • Anonymous :

      Remove the dogs from the room, come on.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Dogs out of the room. Bedroom is for sleep and gardening for the two of you that’s it. You may have to accept that you need to initiate more for a while. Some guys also worry about hurting the baby when their wives are pregnant – even if he rationally knows it won’t happen, he still might feel less into LGPs right now because of that.

        Post-kids I often remind myself that LGP is like yoga class. I often feel too tired and stressed to make the effort but I’m always glad by the end of the class/LGP and think ‘I should do this more often’. Plus then I sleep well.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      You say spontaneity is difficult; have you tried scheduling it? Everyone says this is such a bummer but I don’t find it any worse than scheduling going out to dinner or to a movie or any other kind of date.

    • So it’s good that you talked about this but do you initiate? What happens when you do?

      I find that I’m much happier when I say what I want and take steps to get there. This goes for everything from ‘I’d like flowers’ on up. I know some people think that ruins the romance but I’m usually much happier in relationships than my friends who won’t say what they want and are upset when they don’t get it. I agree with Lana Del Raygun re: scheduling. It could be a good solution if you don’t want to make the move all the time, too.

    • Anonymous :

      What happens if you initiate? What happens if you say, if you can’t get it up can we cuddle while I m**terbate? He may not be able to physically perform as much as you want right now, for various reasons – medication (I can tell you from experience sexual side effects from SSRIs are very real and persistent), stress, etc. – so even if he wants to do what you are asking, maybe he can’t. That can be very hard to face for guys.

      He’s making promises because he wants to please you, but for some reason he can’t do this right now. Honestly, I would stop asking him to make the promise. It doesn’t mean you are being a doormat. He’s a great guy. You should not “punish” him for this. How would you feel if the situation was reversed? Focus on working together as a team to get your needs met.

      FWIW, my husband had a very low libido for several years early in our marriage (but not early in our dating) due to depression, unemployment, etc. It was hard for me – I didn’t like initiating and wanted more! So I do feel your paint, really. As he has gotten happier, it has gotten much better. He’s now almost 50. So in my experience, it is not necessarily going to keep getting worse, and I suspect your fears about parenthood are adding pressure that is not helpful to either of you.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m always so perplexed when people say this about their dogs. You’re not the first person I’ve heard this from (clearly). I just can’t imagine letting an animal rule my life this way. I mean, if my cat throws a fit when I lock him out of the bedroom, he’s getting time out in the bathroom for a few minutes. Can you really not do the same with a dog?

      • Horse Crazy :

        +1. I will not let my pets dictate my gardening life. I love them, and they’re part of the family, but that’s ridiculous. Shut them out of the bedroom.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not the OP but its not about the dog per se. Its a real mood killer when the dog is whimpering/barking, etc. outside your door.

        • Anonymous :

          Then lock them in the bathroom or some other room that is outside the bedroom. Or get a gate so you can sequester them in the kitchen.

        • anonymous :

          Possible solution: Have a bone or other quiet chew toy that will distract and entertain the dog and only bring it out when it’s garden party time. That will build positive associations with getting kicked out of the bedroom, and it creates a fun opportunity for puns, “Hey, Fluffy – it’s bone time! Yay!”

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I love you, anonymous at 4:30 pm. I cannot stop laughing.

    • “I hate that he can break promises to me with no consequence but I feel like some sort of “punishment” is immature and inappropriate.”

      This feels like a weird way to frame this issue for me. You really feel that he has broken a promise to you here? The way you’re framing this, as something he has promised you that you’re entitled to and he’s withholding from you, strikes me as unlikely to make this situation any better. S*x can’t be like that. It can’t be a thing one party owes to the other. It has to be an organic thing you’re both interested in.

      • Anonymous :

        Disagree, and I think you’re misunderstanding OP. He promised that he’d work on it and then he didn’t make any real effort at all. That’s a separate issue from whether it actually happens. It’s like, if it’s not important to him then it’s not important – that’s not a way to approach a marriage.

        • I don’t think I’m misunderstanding, I’m suggesting that extracting that promise was unlikely to be productive and may have actually been counterproductive. The question should not be “what can he do to make sure we have more s*x” it should be what can _we_ do. It has to be collaborative. This isn’t something “he” can work on without her also working on something because that’s just not how s*x works. She is framing this as something he needs to fix for both of them and it’s not going to get her anywhere.

      • I was struck by this wording as well.

        So your husband’s libido is low. You need to start from the position of understanding that his low libido is not something he’s doing to you. He can’t force himself to have a higher libido than he has. It’s something he doesn’t control. I understand completely that it feels like a hurtful personal rejection of you (oh, how I understand, having been in this position when I was married), but that piece of it is chemical, and it’s not personal. I think you have to have that as a starting place for your conversations with him.

        It’s unlikely to help for you all to have a conversation about this and just have him make general promises that it will get better. I think you all need to have a fairly concrete conversation about what you’re going to do – whether that’s him having a conversation with his doctor about a change of medication, scheduling time for intimacy, sending your dogs to daycare on the weekend so you can have uninterrupted couple time, experimenting with fun activities that stop short of PIV s*x, etc.

        Try to move away from a situation in which he’s basically promising you that he will somehow make himself want s*x more. Try to move away from framing this as something he’s doing to you and a problem he has to fix, and more toward something you’re working on together. I don’t know if this is a factor, but try to avoid doing anything that would come across as shaming him for his low libido (and don’t let him shame you for having a higher one – that happened to me and it was awful – hopefully that’s not at play here).

        Now, if you have that kind of conversation and come up with a plan together and he’s not playing his part – then he’s breaking a promise to you, and then you need to talk about why that is. And maybe that’s where you are – I can’t tell what kind of conversations you’ve had. But if you haven’t had that kind of “we’re in this together; let’s come up with a plan” conversation, I think you need to.

        • I also feel your pain and have been in a similar situation. It is a mistake to take this situation personally, although that’s the first natural step, which I totally get. Try to move beyond that and understand your husband as a person who is different from you and who may have strong feelings of inadequacy that he doesn’t express when you tell him your disappointment. Men have a hard time talking about this stuff and it hits very close to home for them. When/if you get angry at him, this will push him away and may make him want to try even less.

          I suggest reading a book together on intimacy, something that might appeal to your husband. I choose a book that was research-based (not some bogus self-help book, but written by experts who help people with these issues) and it was great because it broadened both our perspectives and it wasn’t blamey anymore but about problem solving and understanding each other more deeply.

          Sometimes you have to come to accept a person is a certain way, but sometimes accepting that takes the pressure off and helps you to see real solutions that can make the situation better. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      Not many people have discussed the medication, but there are medications out there that both lower libido and kind of make you not care about this. There are sometimes alternative meds as well as additional meds that can counter these side effects. I’ve experienced this, and nothing would have made a difference without addressing the medication issue with a doctor.

    • How does he feel about it? It seems that you guys have talked generically about causes (stress/tired/meds/dogs) but I sort of feel like you haven’t identified the heart of the issue. Does he *want* to LGP more? In general, in the future, right now? Is he content with the frequency? Has it always been this way? What does he need to change so he will want to (or agree to) LGP more?

  2. Epoxy flooring coating? :

    Reposting from “son many years ago” thread….

    Anyone had their concrete slab covered with epoxy paint/coatings? What was the prep like? Messy? Wait time?

    FWIW we are looking for flooring that can survive flooding. Don’t want to haul out soaked wall to wall carpeting nor have companies to come in and shuck off glued-down wood flooring. This is not our forever home, so we don’t want to go high end.

    Have thought about ceramic tile; we’ve done miles and miles of it in prior and current homes, but I physically cannot do it any longer… will pay someone to install if that’s the final cost…but time consuming, I get that.

    TIA. We are at a crossroads in the decision making. Too bad no company will install terrazzo in existing homes, we love the portions of our home that have it … old and stained as it may be, there won’t be area rugs over the stains any more. Flood weary.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      I had it in my garage. It is great for the most part. Easy to clean, etc. But you absolutely have to have the sprinkled chips. We had it done when it was a brand new product and didn’t use them, which was a mistake. The floor was an absolute slippery disaster when wet. The sort of floor that is essentially a broken hip/arm/leg waiting to happen. Not an if, but when. It got a little bit better as it got worn down after 7-10ish years, but the first five years of it were terrifying. Also, it isn’t exactly stylish in any color, so I feel it would hurt your resale value.

      Be careful about tile! Not all of it is waterproof, and some tiles still have to be ripped out after flooding. I know it is recommended to at least get regrouted after flooding due to bacteria getting into the grout.

    • We did decorative concrete for similar reasons in our flood-prone home. We didn’t end up putting in the tile lines, but you can create the same tile look with etching.
      I second the warning about tile – if there is too much mortar or thinset used on the underneath, it can trap water below.

    • Coach Laura :

      What about staining your concrete floors? Or polishing them?

      • This is what we did after Harvey. We had the floors leveled, sanded and then stained. I opted for a semi-matte wax rather than a polish so I would not have to stare a dog toenail scuffs each day. Also, we had large tile lines routed which was worth the cost.

        Epoxy was incredibly expensive even when my house was stripped to the studs.

  3. Could you tell me what kind of belt you are wearing on pants, if at all?

    I am pear shaped and the very few pants that fit me, and jeans, still require belts. I have had bad luck tailoring too much at the waist, as my bloat fluctuates greatly.

    But these days it seems that no one is wearing an actual belt, even if there are belt loops on their pants….

    Links appreciated.

    I also need a bunch of belts, as a belt for my true waist is much too small for my high waisted jeans, and that belt is way to small for my mid rise work pants etc.. I have a woven belt that allows flexibility but it is too sloppy looking for work.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I used to wear a narrow-ish belt (not a full-on skinny belt) but basically only because I thought I was supposed to. Unless there’s some trick I don’t know about, a belt that’s actually holding up your pants pretty much has to be touching the top of the belt loops, ie either awkwardly slid up or filling the whole loop, which usually means a wider belt than seems normal for the office to me. So I kind of think women’s belts are a racket to begin with.

      Is your weight fluctuation (a) small enough that you could just get button-elastic in your waistbands or (b) large and regular enough that you could just get pants in different sizes?

      • Anonymous :

        Good thoughts. I do keep pants in 2-3 different sizes, since all of my weight fluctuations are in my butt. Regardless, no waistlines fit me in any pair I wear, so I always need a belt or things don’t fall right.

    • I, too, am a pear, and I always wear a belt. If not, there is a gap in the back of my pants and I feel exposed. Plus, if there are belt loops, I feel like it’s weird not to wear a belt.

      At work, with pants, I typically wear a black, red, or burgundy belt. These go with most of my wardrobe. Sometimes if I am wearing all black I’ll do a leopard belt. If the pants are tailored, I wear a 1 1/2 inch belt. If the pants are looser, I wear a skinny belt (1/2 inch).

      I wear belts with jeans, with shorts, with anything with loops. I also throw belts over dresses or tunics when I feel like it. Most of my belts are from Zappos, but I have gotten some good ones at Old Navy, and Target or Kohls from time to time. With jeans/casual pants, my belts are not brown/black. I wear pink, blue, silver, green, textured, red, whatever. I don’t like for my belt to disappear into my outfit – I like to show it off like any other accessory. I don’t like to spend more than $50 on a belt. Fossil and Ralph Lauren make some of my faves. I typically do a half tuck (not in the office) to show off my belt.

      I also have lots of different lengths depending on where I wear the belt (dress pants =just below the waist; dresses = closer to my natural waist or low on the hips; jeans = lower on the hips than dress pants).

      Happy belting!

      • Anonymous :

        So helpful! Yes, you understand.

        I would have never thought to look at Zappos.

        Many thanks.

    • I also think it is weird to not wear a belt if your pants have belt loops, but I’m sure I’m in the minority. I alternate between 2 – a skinny black one with a gold colored buckle and and not as skinny (but not super wide) black one with a silver colored buckle. I have no idea what’s considered “in” these days. And the more I read this blog, the more my knowledge of what’s “in” goes out the window.

      • Anonymous :

        I used to be in the camp must have belt if pants have belt loops, but I’ve moved away from it.

        Most of my non-jeans work pants don’t have belts now, so it isn’t automatic anymore.

        When I was wearing belts, I would wear a Hermes belt for work and nicer casual outfits, and a 1.5″ antiqued congac or white belt with everything else.

  4. BB or CC Cream :

    Can someone suggest either a BB or CC cream for me to try? I have dry skin, but otherwise it’s pretty normal. No major issues. Also, what are the differences between BB and CC creams? And what should I be looking for these to do? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      BB – Beauty Balm. CC – Colour Correcting. BB cream is basically like a very lightweight tinted moisturizer. CC cream has more coverage and, obviously, helps with uneven skin tone. I like CC cream because I want some coverage but true foundation is usually too heavy for me. I have normal/dry skin and I love the Smashbox CC cream. It has SPF and goes on well with a beauty blender. But there are zillions of kinds out there and it really depends on what you’re looking for.

      • highlighter :

        +1 I’m a fan of the Smashbox brand. I use the BB water. It is a lightweight tint w/ sunscreen.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      BB and CC cream are essentially the same thing: a light/sheer foundation (theoretically, more moisturizing than foundation and more coverage than “tinted moisturizer” but again, they’re essentially the same thing), usually with a teeny-tiny bit of SPF. When a company makes both, the BB (“beauty balm”) is usually more moisturizing and the CC is usually more color-correcting, but most companies only make one and they’re all *basically* the same kind of product.

      I’ve used Mary Kay’s BB cream, and it’s more coverage than I personally want (which is very little, so YMMV).

    • I really like Dr. Jart “Premium Beauty Balm SPF 45”. It only comes in 3 shades, though, and they’re skewed toward the light end. I am white with dark blond hair and wear #1.

      • fwiw it’s a BB cream. I also like the Origins BB cream, as well as Bobbi Brown. generally, I’ve found the color on BB and CC creams looks more natural and matches better than foundation.

      • +1 to the dr Jart premium. I honestly feel my skin looks lovely while wearing this, and it has a high spf that is all physical sunscreen!

    • Ok, well, according the morning thread Bareminerals is dated, but I love their BB tinted primer. It’s lightweight and seems to even out my skin pretty well, while not taking out all of the color. It also has spf.

    • Anonymous :

      Can I throw another suggestion in the mix? Try a cushion compact! Best of BB/CC creams, but easy to throw in your purse and has an applicator. I really like Innisfree because it’s easy to replace the cartridges, and the cases are cute.

    • A bunch of people have recommended the IT cosmetics BB or CC to me. A friend of mine swears by it. I had to return it because something in it made my eyes water (it has physical sunscreen, so that may be it), but I did like how it worked.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 on the IT – CC cream. I have a travel size because I live out of my suitcase and it has quickly become one of my travel essentials.

      • If you’re fair leaning pink, though, IT has nothing for you. I really wanted to find a match in this one because the founder has rosacea and so do I, but their lightest shade is significantly yellow.

        • +1 to this – I’m fair with pretty neutral undertones and the lightest IT shade made me look like Lisa Simpson with the flu.

          If you’re neutral or lean yellow, I like Urban Decay One and Done – it has light to medium coverage, good SPF, blends out easily but can be built up where more coverage is needed, and has a very natural finish. But again, a very limited shade range.

  5. Anonymous :

    Ever have one of those a-ha moments with your parents where you realize why you are the way you are? I just had one and I’m angry. I struggle with social anxiety – I always think everyone will hate me because I’m so awful to be around. I’ve also been in a number of abusive relationships and have been in a lot of therapy. About a month ago, I came back from a week-long trip with a friend. Friend and I are used to traveling solo. I knew going into it that I would need to be patient because we’re not going to go at my preferred (fast) pace; I was so worried about ruining our trip.

    Well friend was exactly what I told myself not to be. She rushed me through our entire trip with sighs and eye rolls when I was being too slow for her. By way of example – instructing me to hold it when I needed to use the bathroom, walking out the door of the restaurant while I’m still putting my jacket on, demanding that I drive faster than I was comfortable with but refusing to take over driving, etc. I just tried to not let it get to me, remain polite but firm, and I was pretty proud of myself for how I handled everything. It was still a great trip and I’ll stay friends with friend but yeah I’m not traveling with her again.

    I visited my mother last weekend. My mother hates that I travel alone and was excited that I might’ve found a travel companion. Naturally she asked if I’m going to plan any other trips with friend. I said no and gave her some of these examples. My mother’s response? “Ohhh she’s not going to want to travel with you again….” with a critical look like I did something wrong.

    Now I know where I got this message that anything bad that happens is always my fault. It’s my job to manage other people’s emotions and if only I did or said the right thing then everything would be great. I’m just so angry. Idk if I’m asking for advice or what. It’s so frustrating when your parent echoes the voice in your head telling you you’re not good enough.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. My mom is like that too. I think it’s because she’s so used to trying to make everyone happy, and so used to making excuses for other people’s bad behavior.

      I recently told her: when I have an unpleasant interaction, stop trying to make excuses for them. It makes me feel worse because not only was this a bad interaction, now I feel like it’s my fault and my feelings aren’t being validated. Basically trust me enough that my read of the situation is accurate.

      Who knows if it’ll actually work but I felt so much better just identifying the problem and doing something to fix it.

      It is really tough – but I find the older I get, the more I’m able to separate out the interactions and not necessarily believe my mom’s read of the situation.

      • Anonymous :

        I think I am like your mom. I always want to give people the benefit of the doubt, even if that person is not around. Thanks for pointing out that I may actually be making my friend/family upset by not just accepting that the other person was rude or whatever.

        • Anonymous :

          Same! I don’t think I do it to the degree that OP’s mom does, but I definitely do it. I’m glad the flip side is being pointed out to me right now.

        • In doing so, you’re not giving your friend/relative the benefit of the doubt, because you’re automatically questioning their read of the situation.

        • Shenandoah :

          Same! This is pretty eye-opening for me. I’m trying to come from an open-minded place of giving people the benefit of the doubt and not jumping to conclusions. But I realized that’s probably not very supportive of the person telling me the story/issue. And that’s not how I would want a friend to handle it.

    • Your friend was being a jerk, FWIW. That’s not your fault. You didn’t ruin anything, you were trying to take your time and enjoy your vacation. Sorry your mother reacted like that too, I’ve had a few realizations about myself that came from my parents and I’m not really happy about it either.

      • Anonymous :

        I have too and don’t know how to re-wire myself this late in the game.

        • As someone who has done a lot of “rewiring”, I think it’s helpful to aim for a midpoint: you might never get to a point where you are totally free of those thoughts, but believe me that it is tremendously freeing to be able to recognize when you are falling into these thought patterns and re-route your thoughts. Think of a mental dialogue along the lines of, “Ugh, I feel like it’s my fault and I’m supposed to fix things. I hate this feeling BUT I know that I’m mostly having it because I was taught to have these thoughts. I’m going to choose to think something else.”

          It’s really helpful as well if you can find a role model that does not model this type of behavior, so you can think, “Hmm, I am feeling this way because I learned my behavior from Mom. But how would I respond if I had learned my behavior from Dad’s sister Sally?”

          Good luck!

    • Kat in VA :

      This is a good thing, in the overall though! When you can figure out where those feelings come from through self-reflection, you can choose to be at peace with it, change it, or just acknowledge that’s who you are. That leads to be able to act instead of react.

      I’m not trying to sound incredibly patronizing. It’s important to me to always know the WHY of things – WHY do I get mad when XYZ happens, why does it upset me when someone makes /this comment/that comment/. I actually like those a-ha! moments because it gives me greater clarity into my psyche and allows me to make choices about how I want to proceed.

      And I agree with K – your friend was being a jerk. People that always want to rush through things rarely give time to those who take their time. Your mom affirming your friend’s jerkish ways was unhelpful and mean. I’m sorry your vacation sucked; but now you know – never with that friend again!

    • Hugs!! I’m sorry.

  6. tie dye/batik/ombre/etc. guidance :

    My closest friend in the USA (aged 39) loves these sorts of looks but is also trying to upgrade her wardrobe. Is there a way to include these types of things in an office that’s casual (jeans ok) without looking like a st0ner or a teenager? I’ve offered to help her to try to crack this code!

    Any links to ideas of how to make this work?

    • Scarves, really really nice artsy looking statement jackets, silk blouses (lower quality in these fabrics might read “head shop tapestry” thus ston e r teen).

      I feel like this is where high quality, beautiful things at Anthro would work.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I think she should look for artisanal fair trade clothing from parts of the world that use batik and tie-dye in their traditional arts and fashion. I did a quick search and Fair Trade Winds (lots of different countries), Yireh (Indonesia), and Mata (India) all seem to have a good collection of bohemian-for-grownups clothes. Mayamiko (Malawi) also has some really striking prints she might like.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d pick one item with this kind of print and wear it with otherwise really streamlined and simple outfits. For example, a crisp white button down with batik pants and espadrilles, or a painted silk scarf over a simple sheath and heels.

    • For a more mainstream brand, try Lucky Brand. They do all of this. For me, it’s a weekend brand, but I do occasionally slip one of their batik print or paisley tops into my working wardrobe and no one has fired me yet.

  7. I recently stumbled upon Nora Gardner’s store in NYC while walking by. Love the line, love the concept, love the dresses – I bought 2 and it was very tough to decide…I’m actually going to back for another in the near future. I meant to post about her clothes here because I love supporting this brand that specifically caters to professional women (even with the Seahorse logo! Because a male seahorse does the baby care!). I’ve gotten loads of compliments on the 2 dresses I bought. I believe the suiting is part of the “core collection” that they will always have. The idea being that if you want to add a piece, or replace a piece down the line, they will still all match. Shopping there was also the first time in a long time where I bought something straight off the rack and it fit, no alterations. I didn’t try the suiting because I was there for something “fun,” but the suiting looked very nice as well.

  8. 2 weeks off :

    I am unsure if there is a question buried within my rant but I am hoping for some insight or advice on this issue.

    I am starting a new job in a month and will be taking off two weeks from my current job. DH is interviewing, and I hope can take off during the same time but it seems unlikely. I want to travel in the time I have off and got excited about the idea of having a solo adventure. I have never traveled alone (done so with groups in college) and feel like I may not have the opportunity for a while since we plan on having kids in the next year. I know if the roles were reversed I’d be bummed out if he went somewhere without me but would understand his desire to based on the circumstances.

    The issue is the cheap flights for when I can travel are for Latin American countries and I know DH does not want me travelling to these places because of safety concerns. I’d like to go to Europe where I could stay with friends but the cost of tickets is insane. DH wants me to travel locally but I am not thrilled about that because it doesn’t feel like an adventure to me. I don’t have any friends here I want to visit in the US at this time and seems like none can join me for the places I would want to go. DH doesn’t want me to spend all the money on a solo trip because we live in an VHCOL area and need to save up for an eventual down payment.

    My brain says to suck it up and find alternatives locally but my heart says f* it and go to Europe.

    FWIW- DH and I have an international trip planned later in the year.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d go to Europe. Can you really not get a flight into a nearby airport at an off time for cheap? Or fly into London, tour around yourself for a couple days and then get a ryan air flight to see your friends? UK is easy peasy on your own – English speaking and safe.

      • IDK where you live or where the OP lives, but outside of New York, cheap flights to Europe are not a common thing. The cheapest Delta flight to London in the next month (which is when the OP needs to travel if I’m reading correctly) from my city is $2,000.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s pricey! I fly to Europe every summer from a small city to visit DH’s family and I’m generally responsible for coordinating with any friends/family that are joining us for part of the trip so I have lots of experience sleuthing around for cheap fares from different cities and I’ve never had an issue getting flights for under $1500 return

          Like of course it’s probably a flight that leaves like on a Tuesday at noon and goes Cleveland – NYC – Iceland – Paris or Boston – Dublin – Munich but if OP has time and limited money there are lots of options.

          Kayak is awesome if you’re flexible on dates.

    • Anonymous :

      Could you not go to the east/west coast (opposite of wherever you are now) and that JetBlue or whoever has a sale to? LA/Seattle/National Parks in western states // Boston/NYC/New Orleans/Blue Ridge all could be fun.

    • Personally, I would not blow off my SO’s concerns about budget; it’s both of our money. I sometimes take trips without him for a hobby we don’t share, and would definitely not feel good about doing so if they cost more than a few hundred bucks.

      The US is a huge place. There’s a lot between “local” and “Europe” to explore.

      • Anonymous :

        Posts like this make me glad I’m single.

        I guess my question is this, if DH were going with you, would you two be going to Europe? Or would you need to stay local? In other words, is his problem with the budget the fact that he’s not enjoying the expenditure too? I think it’s fair of him to ask you to stick to a budget, but I don’t think it’s fair for him to hamstring your trip just because he’s grumpy that he can’t go. But this is from a perpetually single lady so… shrug.

        • Asking you to stick to a budget so that you can both reach a savings goal you’ve agreed to (OP mentioned a downpayment) =/= hamstringing your trip. I enjoy my trips for my hobby enormously even though they are so cheap.

          • Anonymous :

            Did you miss this – “I think it’s fair of him to ask you to stick to a budget”

          • You seemed to me to be saying that you would find my level of frugality oppressive. As in, you think a budget is fine as a concept just not the level of budget I mentioned, because that level would be “hamstringing”. I’m saying, yeah, it’s not oppressive, thanks, I can enjoy myself immensely without my SO for $300 for a 5 day trip.

        • If we took a trip together it would be somewhere in Latin america and would cost the same as my trip to Europe.

          I’ve been to all of the major places in the U.S. and Canada so I am not thrilled about exploring a place I have been to or can get to easily over a long weekend.

          Tickets to the UK are similarly priced as the country I’m looking for. I guess July is the busiest season to travel to Europe

          • All the major places in the US and Canada. Define major? I guess I just find that a bit hard to believe. Have you been to the NH White Mountains? Arcadia National Park in Maine? Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard? Provincetown? Newport, RI? Burlington, VT? DC? Nashville? Colorado? San Francisco?

            Can you name the states that you haven’t been to and we can suggest some cool places there?

          • I haven’t been to a lot of the National Parks and would love to go. This is again a safety concern for DH. I am clumsy and wouldn’t want to go into the woods alone anyway.

            Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Provincetown I have been to. Same with Nashville, Austin, San Fran and DC. I’ve also been to Miami, Seattle, Chicago, NYC and live in LA. I have also lived in Toronto and visited Montreal, Vancouver, and Lake Louise area in Alberta.

            I haven’t been to New Orleans but that’s a place DH and I want to visit together.

            I think the bigger hesitation is going to a place by myself and not have a friend there with. I don’t have a problem with solo travel but once at a place I like periodically having someone to meet up with for meals etc.

            The responses here have given me some food for thought on Latin American countries that may be a safe option to go to so I may float those with DH but the issue of being completely alone v. alone for part of the time while friends are at work/busy still remains.

          • Anonymous :

            Do you want a solo adventure or not?!?

          • Anonymous :

            I think you’d do well to separate the issues you’re dealing with:

            1. Destinations off limit because you and husband want to do them together.
            2. Possible destinations that a) you’re interested in and b) are safe.
            3. Your capacity for doing things alone.
            4. Your budget.

            1. Set the budget, with your husband.
            2. Create a list of interesting destinations that a. meet the budget, b. have some friends there, and c. are safe. OR… go for a shorter time frame, entirely alone, to somewhere where you don’t know anyone.
            3. choose one and go.

          • I recommend Boston and Portland, Maine, Portsmouth, NH and Burlington, VT for a New England tour.

    • FWIW, “Latin America” is incredibly broad, and many Latin American countries are super-safe. I’ve traveled solo in Panama, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile without incident. Even if you’re a novice solo traveler who doesn’t speak Spanish, you could easily have a great and very safe time in Costa Rica. It is literally where many of my law firm co-workers take their elementary school aged kids instead of the Caribbean now. In case that helps at all. I had much sketchier experiences recently in Liege (Belgium) than while traveling in Latin America.

      • +1 to Costa Rica being both very safe and an amazing place to visit. I think our flights there 1.5 years ago were … $400-500 each? So definitely much cheaper than Europe.

        • Anonymous :

          But if she has to pay for accommodation there doesn’t that make it more expensive? I thought OP was looking at Europe because she’d stay with friends and only have the flight cost to worry about.

          Either way OP and her DH should agree on a budget and she can figure out if she spends it on a flight to Europe or three days at a local spa. It’s reasonable to treat yourself between jobs because those breaks are rare and if they are TTC soon it’s a great chance to travel.

          • For Costa Rica and a lot of Latin American countries, hotel costs are low enough that it would likely still be cheaper.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m married. I’ve never taken a trip for fun without my husband (i.e., a girls trip) since we got together more than a decade ago. Neither has he. Our general view is that we have a limited amount of both vacation days and funds, and we’d rather prioritize travel together than not. So I sort of understand your husband being a bit miserly about funding a solo vacation, particularly when it comes at the expense of other priorities. But I think in this instance he’s wrong.

      First, I’m not sure how much these plane tickets cost, but I imagine they will not make a meaningful dent in your down payment fund. Second, the flights may be more expensive to Europe, but you presumably would have a free place to stay with one of your friends (or you could stay in very cheap hotels). Third, you want an adventure and are just not excited about his proposed solutions. Fourth, you could get meaningful time with your friends, whom I’m sure you don’t see that often.

      I agree that there are tons of places to have all sorts of adventures within the United States. I would see if you can find a local-ish adventure that you’re interested in (road trip? national parks?), and price that out just to see how much something like that would cost you. Then you can discuss with him Europe vs. local trip.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      What about Quebec City?

      It feels very European, but is a lot closer than Europe.

      • Second. Quebec City is beautiful in the summer. (Though I would pick anywhere to escape the heat this time of year!)

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t blow off your husband’s concerns, but raising legitimate concerns like safety and budget are the start of a conversation, not the end.

      What are your feelings about safety in the particular parts of Latin America you’re thinking of visiting? It’s not like all of Latin America is dangerous. Are your husband’s concerns valid at all? With some basic safety precautions, would you feel comfortable enough to have a great adventure?

      How expensive are the absolute cheapest flights to Europe you can find? If you stay with friends, is the entire trip really that much more expensive than a domestic flight plus hotels in the U.S.? Do you have any separate “fun” money you could use? Is there some other area you’d be willing to cut back spending on to be able to take the trip and meet your (presumably mutual) goals of making a down payment?

    • Not sure what countries have cheap flights from where you live, but I would 100% travel to Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic alone. If you have miles or points you can use to go to Europe, or if Scott’s Cheap Flights pointed you to an insane deal, it might make sense, but I think his concerns over budget are legit. My past two Europe adventures were 10 days and 14 days with conservative but comfortable lodging, both cost ~$3,000/ person, and that was sharing lodging.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you afford it or not? I’d be mad if my spouse wanted to blow money we couldn’t afford on a trip to Europe without me for two weeks.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you sure he’s not just citing safety concerns when it’s really just covering jealousy that you’ll be having an adventure without him? Because if he wants to go to Latin America together, yet says it’s too dangerous for you to go alone, that’s pretty paternalistic. You’re not a child. Windows for extended trips are so rare… don’t curtail your options because he’s jealous.

    • I’d go where you want to go and stop answering to your husband like he’s your boss. Yes you have mutual savings goals but this is a one time thing and you have a 50% say in how to spend your joint income. If you’re going to have kids soon, this is your last chance for a long time. Yes, people travel with their kids, but the truth is, it’s really not fun (there are moments of fun on the trip, but the travel itself is trying). As you go on in life you pick up responsibilities along the way and drop very few. Trips like this will get harder and harder to take. And solo travel is lovely! I just did a small trip myself (married with teenaged kids) which I wish had been longer but … responsibilities.

      If it truly is a once in a lifetime opportunity, you should go. You should have an honest conversation with your husband about how you feel about this, and why he’s feeling the way he’s feeling (which feels more about control than your safety or budget), but then assert yourself. You don’t want to take a different trip, whether to somewhere in the US or somewhere cheaper. You want to take the trip you want to take. Find the absolute cheapest ticket you can buy and just do it.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you considered group travel? There are tours you could go on and adult camps and other ways to travel solo in a group. That might resolve a bunch of your concerns.

    • I don’t think you’re going to like this answer, but: you’re married. Don’t go on the trip if it upsets your husband.

      To be clear, I am NOT saying that you must do everything with your husband or cede to his every wish.

      However, unless you are so wealthy that $2,500 is within your discretionary funds that you can spend without talking it over with your husband, then, sorry, you don’t get your solo European girl adventure while he’s at stuck at home.

    • Budget Airlines :

      Check out WOW Air – they’re a budget Icelandic airline that flies to a lot of European cities via Iceland. I’m going to Iceland next week for $300 RT and it wouldn’t have been much more to go to other cities in Europe.

  9. Ferragamos in Wide? :

    Ferragamos seem to run narrow. But they come in wides.

    My feet aren’t narrow, but I often get blisters b/c there isn’t enough room in the toe box (I miss hose sometimes — this never happened when I wore hose). My one pair of Ferragamos is now two narrow-feeling on my toes to wear w/o hurting / rubbing.

    Does anyone who isn’t usually wide find that Ferragamos in wide work?

    Have had some bad feet spells lately and am willing to spend the $ now.

    • I have one foot that’s wide and the other that’s less wide but on the wide side of normal, and wide Ferragamos work great for me and feel good on both feet.

    • Kat in VA :

      I have no help with Ferragamos but sometimes I can find those little footie nylons that aren’t big enough to show underneath a standard pump. They’re incredibly helpful with the rubbing aspect, and you’re not stuck with the whole pantyhose shebang. Failing that, I always wear knee-high hose (my girls call them “Gramma socks”) when I’m wearing a pantsuit and heels.

    • Anonymous :

      I have wide feet and Ferragamo’s usually work pretty well for me.

      What I have found in general with shoes though is that my feet can tend to move forward in them if they are a little bit, which crushes my toes. I realized that a lot of time, I was buying a half size too big. Now I always try on one half size down for comparison.

  10. Rainbow Hair :

    Does anyone want to help me shop (or fantasy shop) for a dress to wear to my husband’s high school reunion?

    It’s going to be in a hotel but like, a hotel on a river with a big patio, so indoor/outdoor-y, in upstate NY on a summer night. Husband is going to wear a white linen shirt and khakis probably. I’m always a little self conscious around his people because everyone knows everyone … except me.

    My ideal dress would be sleeveless, have a low-ish back (show off tattoo), but still bra-friendly. And would be a little nicer than my usual, beloved Old Navy sundresses with ruched backs, but not so dressy it’s like, “oh that outsider is way overdressed.”

    • Both of these are Vback and bra friendly: https://shop.mango.com/us/women/dresses-short/striped-wrap-dress_33070799.html?c=52&n=1&s=prendas.familia;32

      https://shop.mango.com/us/women/dresses-short/wrap-neckline-dress_21045724.html?c=37&n=1&s=prendas.familia;32

      Fabulous but not as bra friendly jumpsuit: https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/4si3nna-deep-v-jumpsuit/4880632

      Small sleeve but super gorgeous: https://www.thereformation.com/products/gavin-dress?color=Columbia

      • Oooh or this one: https://www.thereformation.com/products/rou-dress?color=Black

        Reformation has some great options

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oooh the striped wrap dress! Oh wait is Mango’s sizing very “not for you, fatty”? OH NO I’m wrong they just have a plus section that starts smaller than I’d expect — and look at this cuteness: https://shop.mango.com/us/plus-size/dresses-and-jumpsuits-short/strap-flared-dress_21037687.html

        That Rou dress from reformation is so cute!

        • Oh lord they put anything over size TEN in the plus section?

          Why can’t ALL the sizes just be in one place seriously this drives me nuts.

          • Anonymous :

            I bought a dress in Europe from Mango last summer in a size 8 (US) and the corresponding letter was an XL. I don’t really understand their sizing…

    • Nerfmobile :

      Modcloth is great for this kind of dress.
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/chi-chi-london-high-tea-time-floral-dress/135363.html
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/live-for-the-spotlight-fit-and-flare-dress-in-floral/147929.html
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/chi-chi-london-sweetly-celebrated-fit-and-flare-dress-in-floral/153189.html
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/ladylike-luxury-fit-and-flare-dress-in-petal/149863.html
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/chi-chi-london-exquisite-elegance-lace-dress-in-lavender/135362.html
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/emily-and-fin-keener-postures-midi-dress-in-clover/153665.html
      https://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/the-surrounding-sweetness-sleeveless-midi-dress/156898.html

  11. job hunting :

    I’d like to get a small gift for a friend that really helped me in the recruiting process. (Didn’t get the job, unfortunately, as I’m too junior for the role.) I’m thinking a gift card to dinner, or something. This person really went above and beyond to give me good tips and advice. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      Sincere and well-written thank you note!

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      +1 to the thank-you note! Giving presents to people who help you in job-searching can feel a little tit-for-tat, and if they’re a friend they’ll appreciate your appreciation extra.

  12. Southern Formal? :

    Just received a wedding invite where the dress code is “Southern Formal.” I have no idea what this means or how it differs from c*cktail attire/black tie optional. Help!

    • Time and venue?
      I’ve never heard of southern formal and I’m southern and have attended my share of formal events and weddings.

      • Southern Formal? :

        3PM church wedding, followed by a reception at a stand-alone wedding venue.

        • So still in afternoon wedding territory- my guess is they are thinking seersucker suits or even lighter suits like khaki/light gray are acceptable for men. A gray or navy suit with a cheerful tie or bowtie would work too. Fancy sundresses/silk dresses for the ladies with something cover the shoulders for the church. Bright colors and pastels are fine.

          • I concur. I think it’s rather cryptic, but if I were on the receiving end of this, DH would wear a light colored suit, preferably seersucker, and I would wear a sheath dress in a warm weather fabric and non-neutral color.

          • Anonymous :

            This would be my hunch. Something colorful in dressy fabrics.

          • Anonymous :

            It also means “it’s gonna be humid, buddy.”

    • It means Lilly Pulitzer.

      • Anonymous :

        I literally laughed out loud. I was puzzling over how to describe what it means, and that’s exactly it.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        I came here to say this, lol. I like the seersucker suggestions as well.

    • Anonymous :

      Any chance it’s a strange way of saying ‘no black dresses/dark colors’? That’s the only way I can think that a summer wedding would be southern formal instead of just formal.

    • Anonymous :

      If I had to guess, I’d say that means “don’t wear all black.”

    • Anonymous :

      fancy clothes, bare feet, and really drunk…

    • That’s vague enough I would definitely ask. Why do people do that???

    • denim jacket, maxi dress and some kind of banal flashy jeweelery. That’s Southern Formal.

  13. Kat in VA :

    Any suggestions for a sheath dress for my body type?

    I’m 5’8, 34DDD, 29″ waist, 37″ hips. Any sheath dress that fits up top is too big on the bottom, and vice versa. Even the stretch ponté styles look cartoonishly sexy on me (even if I size up). I like the idea of a sheath+blazer for a quick look that’s pulled together because some days I don’t want to deal with a tucked-in shell into a skirt or whatever. I’ve tried a few here and there, but I can’t seem to find something that works.

    I am potentially going into a job (government advisory company) that is definitely very professional in terms of heels + suit or at least dress+blazer 4 days a week. I have a few suits but I’d like to mix it up with a sheath dress.

    Any ideas?

    • You’re going to have to buy to fit your bust and have them tailored. That’s really the only answer if the stretch fabrics don’t work.

    • Anonymous :

      I just buy 1 size up in J Crew off of Poshmark, then get them taken in. The cost of second hand + alterations is about the cost I would have paid for a new dress.

    • Joan Holloway :

      Miriam Baker in Toronto.

  14. Married to a Difficult Person :

    H and I agree on virtually nothing when it comes to home renovation projects. We can’t agree on a light fixture, paint color, or even which projects to prioritize. Our tastes are completely different. He will usually pick out something that I hate, or vice versa. He gets fixated on finding very particular things, which end up being unicorns and impossible to find. I will get frustrated and buy something that is close enough, and he will hate it and pester me to return it. In order to move things forward, one of us has to give in and agree to something that they really don’t like (and that person is usually me). We have this issue with other things as well, but we bought an old home that is in serious need of updating, and we haven’t made much progress on it in the 3 years that we have owned it. Is this a normal part of marriage? Should we go to couples therapy? Find an interior designer? What should we do?

    • Anonymous :

      you’ll likely get very few replies this time of the evening. I suggest you post again first thing on the morning thread.

      I’d certainly suggest therapy to get some tools for how to cooperate and partner with each other; it sounds like you’re in for some dreary years of non-communication and growing resentment, otherwise.

    • I remember the show – Designing for the Sexes – on HGTV. A design consultant worked with both spouses and did the compromising so both were happy with the result.

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