Suit Jacket Ripped? Some Thoughts on Repair…

What do you do if the elbow of your suit jacket ripped? Reader K has a great question…

I just had the elbow of a blazer (mid-price point Club Monaco suit) tear. What do you suggest I do? Can I put elbow patches on it and turn it into a casual piece for Fridays? It is about a year and a half old, so it is unlikely I will be able to return it.

Hmmmn. Hmmn. This one has me stumped.  I have never had an elbow rip in all my years of wearing blazers — so this may be a problem with that specific garment you bought.  A few ideas:

First, contact the company. They may offer to put on the elbow sleeves for you, offer you a new blazer, or (one hopes) at least offer you a sizeable discount on a new blazer. (Here’s an interesting blog post from the blogger at The Post-Grad Blog, who — when her J.Crew blazer ripped — had them offer to first put on elbow patches, but who then wrote to the president and got the entire jacket replaced.)  According to the Club Monaco website you can call a customer service representative at 1-888-733-6410.  Some tips before calling:

a) Find whatever information you have about the order before your call.  If you bought it online and can have your order # handy, that would be helpful.  If you bought it in the store, try to check your credit card statements for the date of purchase, and the total amount you paid for the blazer.

b) I’m SURE none of us have ever lost our temper on a customer service call, but I’ll say it anyway:  go into the call determined to be polite (and to have your own way).

c) Very politely, explain the problem — how highly you previously thought of their products and their quality, and how disappointed you are to have the elbow rip after just normal use.  (I’m assuming this all is true.  If your sleeve ripped after an arm-wrestling competition or after you took rubbed the sleeve on sandpaper or something, well, you may be partly at fault.)  What can the customer service person do for you?

And then I’d wait to hear what the options are.  I would hope the company would offer either a) elbow patches/repair or b) a sizeable discount for a new blazer.  (I would push for at least 30%, if not more.  Ask what the discount is for store employees, and if you can get that.)  If it’s really whiz-bang service, you might get a new blazer out of it.  If they can give you NOTHING, then you can do one of 3 things:  1) ask to speak to her manager and start the process over, 2) end the call and take the blazer to a store and try it with the customer service person there, or 3) file this information in your brain under “Stuff to Think Twice About Before Buying.”

Second, take it to a tailor.  Ask him or her whether they can repair the tear so it isn’t noticeable — they may be reweave the fabric (or something; I’m obviously not an expert here) in a non-noticeable way.  Failing that, consider elbow patches.  If it’s truly a suiting blazer I don’t think elbow patches will look right, but it’s hard to tell without seeing the exact blazer.  Before the tailor does anything, ask him or her how much it will cost, and if she recommends it.  For example, if the other elbow sleeve is worn through, or other parts of the blazer are showing wear, you may just be throwing good money after bad.  As the commenters would say, “just say fooey and move on” (aka JSFAMO).

If you’re in a DIY mood, you could always try it yourself — this video tutorial may help.

Readers, how often do the elbows in your suit jackets tear?  Do you reinforce them with elbow patches, or is there another fix to this? 

Pictured above: Elbow patches on my jacket, originally uploaded to Flickr by chrisfreeland2002.



  1. I have oral argument in federal court coming up. I am assuming a pantsuit is out. How is a black dress with black jacket? I love the suit and how I feel in it, but I am afraid that it may be too severe. Should I buy a black skirt instead and wear a blouse? I don’t really want to spend more money.

    • Anonymous :

      Where is the argument located? Nowadays, in federal court, a pantsuit should be fine. I am a federal law clerk, and women appear in court in pantsuits all the time. The black dress and jacket combo should also be fine. I say save your money, unless you have a particular reason to believe the judge in front of whom you are arguing has a problem with women wearing pantsuits.

      • In Atlanta where the panel may include judges who have been on the bench long before women routinely appeared in court. That is why I was concerned about wearing pants. Thanks for the feedback!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know if things are different in your part of the country, but down here in the Old South, ladies have been allowed to wear pants in federal court for at least the 15 years I’ve been attending hearings there.

      • Lol! I live in Miami where court clothes for many women are not much different than club clothes so I am worried about making sure that I look conservative enough!

        • Anonymous :

          Well, yes, conservative is good, but skirts are not mandatory. And I’ve been to oral argument at the 11th Circuit in Atlanta multiple times.

    • I wear pantsuits to court all the time. But I certainly wouldn’t worry about being “too severe” looking in court, other than in front of a jury, where you may want to look more approachable. But you can’t really get too severe than arguing to a federal judge. That said, I always try to avoid wearing a black suit to court, because I think it can come across as insecure (particularly if you’re on the younger side). It reads “holy smokes, this is my first time in court, I better wear my best suit, the one I keep for interviews and funerals!”

    • I have NEVER been in FEDERAL court, but in State court, I need to wear nice clothe’s — usually either a RED or a BLACK dress, with RED or BLACK pump’s, a silk blouse (white or red), and a nice matcheing jacket.

      When I wear my red dress, the manageing partner insist’s that I wear FIRE ENGINE RED lip gloss, and he prefer’s that I wear matcheing nail polish. He gives me alot more FLEXEBILITY when I wear black. I can wear any color nail polish I want! YAY!

      I think it probabley is a little more formal in FEDERAL court b/c the judge’s are APOINTED FOR LIFE, rather then ELECTED FOR A TERM CERTAIN. When you are APOINTED FOR LIFE, you can do what you want to peeople in your court and NO ONE IS GOING TO CHALLENGE the judge.

      On the other HAND, if a judge is up for election, he or she must be alot more defferential to his peeople b/c they can VOTE HIM/HER OUT. That is good for peeople like me, b/c the judge is alway’s nice to me.

      I think I would have more of an issue in FEDERAL COURT. FOOEY!

      • This is a horrified reaction to ELLEN. Her posting must be a joke response. Are you really an attorney? For one thing, there are no less than 19 spelling or grammatical errors in your message – not to mention much unnecessary capitalization.

        Wake up! This is 2013 and you think it’s appropriate to allow a boss to tell you what lipstick to wear? (Excuse me, I meant “insists” you wear.) “He prefer’s that I wear “matcheing’ nail polish.” He “let’s” you use whatever polish you want when you wear your black dress? Wow – how very enlightened of him.

        Does this “manageing” partner dictate to each and every male attorney what he can wear for each and every court appearance? If not, as an attorney, of course you realize that his actions are intolerable gender discrimination.

        Your writing has me so angry that there are no words to describe how wrong, wrong, wrong this is. I would love to hear what other readers think about what you have to say.

    • I think you’d fine in a pantsuit but if you want to wear the dress/jacket and want to soften it up what about adding a lighter colored silk scarf to it or a light color necklace near your face. I have a triple strand of pearls that I often wear with black to take it down a severity notch.

  2. Maddie Ross :

    J.Crew is really good (or at least they used to be) about guaranteeing the quality of their clothes and giving discounts or replacements. I had a pair of leather shoes rip along the seam and they replaced them for me.

  3. Young Consultant :

    On a similar note to this post, I have been having quality issues with my Cole Haans. I bought a pair of black, leather heels in August and have been having serious quality issues with them since about October. The heels wore off and had to be re-heeled less than 3 month after purchase, the leather got worn so that there were white looking areas on them around that same time, and yesterday I noticed that leather of the shoe has separated from the elastic(?) surrounding the top of my foot. I have loved how comfortable the shoes are, but if I need a new pair every 2-4 months that seems absurd.

    Should I have called customer service about this or is this just the normal wear and tear of Cole Haans?

    • It depends on what your shoes are exposed to. I’d say that shoe-disintegration is a result of exposure to external forces and that’s a factor of time and the severity of exposure. If you walk for a few miles on NYC streets on a daily basis, and have exposed your shoes to the city grime on a daily basis, I’d say 2-4 months – while on the low side – doesn’t seem totally absurd. On the other hand, if you’ve only worn your shoes inside the office and sit most of the day, it sounds like a quality problem. In any case, I’d still give customer service a shot (maybe you even bought them at Nordstrom’s – there have been several discussions in previous threads on their stellar customer service), but especially in the case of the latter I think you’ve got pretty good chances for some type of help from the company.

    • I would be surprised if this were normal. Cole Haan is expensive. I don’t have any right now but I know I am really really hard on my shoes and 3 months is not long for them to start breaking.

    • Anonymous :

      I just noticed that my Cole Haan purse that is less than two years old has leather rubbing off the trim. It looks worn and shoddy. I’m annoyed. Of course, I noticed it in a job interview. Great.

    • Be prepared for them to say no. I had a pair of Cole Haans that I wore in car-commute office conditions and the shaft broke after only a few months. They were a previous season (bought at the outlet) and when I took them to a Cole Haan store, they were not helpful. They declared the shoes unfixable and offered a small discount towards the purchase of a new pair. Even at outlet prices, those aren’t cheap and should stand up to normal wear.

    • CH was recently sold (I heard). I wonder if we will see more of this.

  4. I have worn both options repeatedly in Federal Court.

  5. TTC and Long-Triangular Commute – Advice Needed Threadjack -in which town do I get an ob/gyn?

    Imagine an equilateral triangle. Points A, B, and C are the points of the triangle and they’re roughly equidistant, by a driving commute of roughly 1hr. Point C is NYC.

    Points A and B are large NJ towns. I live in town A, and drive 1hr to get to work in town B. My husband commutes (1hr) from town A to NYC – Point C for his work.

    Other than changing jobs, I can’t get away from spending 2hrs in my car every day. If we are TTC, where should my ob/gyn be? NYC has some really great doctors, but I’m never there except for the odd Friday when I drive in to meet my husband for dinner. So I’m ruling NYC out.

    I live in town A, but by the time I get home, everything (banks, pharmacies, etc.) tend to be closed. I could get an ob/gyn in town B, but I’m thinking that once I get close to my due-date, I’ll be home and then, I’d really hate to drive an hour to get to the hospital where that ob/gyn will have admitting privileges, so I’m kind of at a loss. Help?

    • TO Lawyer :

      Can you get an OB in town A and try to see if they have early morning/late evening appointments? Woould your job be amenable to you coming in late/leaving early occasionally or working from home on certain days?

      I have no experience in needing an OB during a pregnancy, but it seems it would be nice to have one closer to home, especially close to your due date!

    • darjeeling :

      I would get someone near work since pregnancy means a lot of appointments and you won’t always be able to get something first thing in the morning near your house. I know an hour to the hospital to deliver seems like a lot and you’ll probably be prettttty uncomfortable at the time, but chances are you will have lots of time to get there so I wouldn’t worry about that, and if it’s an emergency you can always go to the closer hospital.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Is there any option at Point A.1 — midway between A and B?

    • Anonymous :

      Where do you want to deliver? Start looking at hospitals first and get opinions from people regarding good/bad treatment during labor and delivery because it can vary wildly from place to place. Then start looking for your care provider. Yes, being in labor for a 45 minute long car drive stinks, but so does delivering at a “bad” hospital.

      • This.

      • OP here, is there a place to look for statistics on hospitals so I can assess which one is a bad one and which one is a good one. Also, is there any place where I could look to see if a hospital has had a lot of lawsuits on bad maternal/fetal outcomes? (I am not a lawyer, so I hope this doesn’t come across as a totally stupid question.)

        I recall there being a great discussion and checklist of questions here on selecting a daycare. I’m not there yet, but I’m hoping those of you who’ve had children can talk about your criteria for how you selected a hospital. Many thanks.

        • Anonymous :

          Start by looking at c section rates. It’s not an ideal measure (obviously some of the best hospitals take the higher-risk cases which are more likely to require a c section), but it can give you a ballpark figure.
          Ask around – people are usually very willing to talk about their birth experiences good or bad.
          If you are at all close to Avon-by-the-Sea, the Center for Women’s Health was unbelievable. It’s a midwife practice and they deliver at a hospital in Neptune (which means I tell people my son came from Neptune, lol). Great, great people.

        • Giraffe with curls :

          Things to look for/think about include what level of NICU the hospital has (hopefully you won’t need it, but good to know). Do you know anyone in your area who has recently had a baby? Their experiences at various hospitals are probably a good place to start. In my area, I’d say 99% of people deliver at one of two hospitals, and it all depends on your insurance. If you have insurance A, you’re at hospital A; if you don’t, you’re at hospital B.
          Most hospitals will let you tour the birth suites so you can see what the delivery rooms look like, or they at least have pictures online. There are a lot of different possibilities – some have big jacuzzi tubs, some provide birthing balls, etc.
          C-section rates are one thing you might want to look at – some doctors and some hospitals are more prone to immediate surgery at the slightest issue, while others take more of a wait-and-see, less intervention-happy approach.
          I agree with PP that an option in A1 – midway between work and home – is probably a good idea, if possible. Alternatively, could you find someone in A and just work from home on days when you have appointments? There are a LOT of appointments, so convenience is worth it. Or if you find someone in B, do they deliver at the hospital near your home in A?
          I am a lawyer, and I never thought about looking at lawsuit outcomes. The statistics and reasons on that are going to be so varied and so individualized, not to mention terrifying.

          • Re: NICU (neonatal ICU, where your baby goes if there are any problems) — you want at least a Level III NICU in the hospital. Of course the majority of births are completely normal with little to no complications, but if things go wrong, they go wrong very quickly. You want a Level III(+) NICU right down the corridor. If the hospital has that sort of NICU, then by definition the Birth Unit staff are highly experienced in dealing with complications too. Good luck!

        • Saacnmama :

          You have to know what you define as a good vs bad labor. I got WAY more pain meds than I wanted, hospital staff were incompetent at any other methods, like they couldn’t figure out which way to put the birthing bar on the bed to enable a different birthing position. Some women, however, would think that floating on clouds of narcotics and epidurals is the way to go. Do you care about c sections or episiotomies? The pain meds depressed DS’s heart rate, so instead of saving the cord/blood and snuggling up to me right away, he was whisked off to a crash cart & didn’t nurse for 5 hrs. Some people would think that’s fine, but it’s NOT the way I wanted his life to start, & I would have preferred to take measures to avoid it

        • Anonymous :

          Do you know anyone in the medical world? My husband is in hospital administration and he got the same NYC hospital rec from several different people with different positions at different hospitals now that we’ve started to think about kids. (Methodist in Brooklyn, if anyone’s interested.)

    • Meg Murry :

      Where are hospitals between A and B? I would start by looking at hospitals between A and B (but closer to A), then see if you can find out which doctors have privileges there, and cross reference those doctors to their offices and your insurance. That’s how I did it with kid #1.
      In an ideal world, you would probably want to find a hospital between A and B, and a doctors office between A and B, both closer to A, and get early morning appointments at the doctors office. This was my plan with kid #1 – but what I didn’t know was that even though the office scheduled 8 am appointments, my doctor was often at the hospital until 2 am, lived far away (farther than C, in your instance) and in a area that often got hit by a lot of snow – so even though I had 8 am appointments, there were days when he didn’t even get to the office until 10 am. And then he wondered why my blood pressure was high.

      TL:DR – Look for someone between A and B, closer to A, with priviledges at a hospital closer to A, that has early morning appointments available. And if they offer you early morning appointments but still keep you waiting for more than an hour more than once, decide if you can live with that or find a new doctor.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would look for one near home or halfway between home and work, assuming the hospital is OK. Having had a 45 minute drive to the hospital for both my 1st and 3rd (traffic!), it stinks. Early morning appointments should be an option.

      Re: hospitals, I would look for one with a good NICU. These may also have higher C-section rates due to being teaching hospitals, etc. I delivered at a large teaching hospital, but despite that its C-section rates were below the state average (indicating, to me, that they had a good level of intervention and not “too much”).

    • I had a similar situation when I was pregnant. I knew I planned to work up until I went into labor, so I picked an OB (and thus a hospital) near my office (as I spent more time at work than at home, and thus probabilistically would go into labor in the office). Of course, Murphy’s law being what it is, I went into labor at home and ended up driving myself 1.5 hours to the hospital in labor in rush hour traffic. I had an HMO at the time and it was unclear whether my delivery would have been covered if I had gone to the hospital by my house. (I had called the insurer about this several times, always got a different answer, and never could get them to provide me an answer in writing.) Plus, for my post-delivery checkups, I had to drive really far to go to the doctor, with the baby, while I wasn’t working. The whole situation was pretty lame, so I will second the suggestions to pick someone halfway between home and work if possible.

      • Oh, and one other point about having someone near your office. Because my OB was 2.5 hours (in good traffic) from my husband’s office, he never went to any appointments with me. I didn’t mind, but if that is important to you, that is another reason to pick an OB closer to home.

        • Signy Mallory :

          I’m an older gal with no plans for biological children but I have been reading all of today’s threads with great interest (slow workday). And I have to groan at your treatment at the hands of the HMO. I used to have an HMO plan and for other reasons, I switched away, but just….gaaah. I’m glad it worked out alright for you, O., but you have my commiseration on this one.

  6. Are you in my closet?

    I’ve yet to actually tear through the elbow of a blazer, but it is the first part of my blazer to look “worn”. And I’ve torn through the elbow of multiple shirts (by bending my arm – seriously). I blame a combination of very pointy elbows and muscular arms/shoulders.

    I don’t have a solution.

    • Anonymous :

      I have had this happen too. I’m right-handed and its always the right elbow. I think it has something to do the fact that my elbows rest on my desk when I am using my computer and my right elblow pivots when I am going back and forth between my keyboard and mouse.

    • If you can’t get a replacement/refund, there’s always the reweaving option. Most of these are connected with dry cleaners, but you’re better off looking for them directly in the yellow pages (“reweaving”). When they’re done, you won’t be able to tell where the rip even was.

  7. Another thing they might do for you is refund you for whatever the jacket’s last price was. This happened to me with some wool pants from Ann Taylor which, probably like this jacket, were no longer available and thus couldn’t really be “returned.” I got ~40% of the original price back, which since the pants were a little under a year old I considered acceptable. FWIW, I got this result from going into the store where I’d bought the pants, and I don’t think I had the receipt anymore.

    Hope you won’t have to JSF!

  8. Find a OB/GYN in your home town and explain the situation. Ask them whether they know a doctor in the town of your work (maybe a friend from med school or a a colleague they often consult with) and ask whether you can get some of the standard tests done during work hours in your work town, but have your hometown doctor be the main doctor/take over when your due date gets closer (as long as you allow them to share information on the case).

    • I work at a teaching hospital and I highly doubt anyone would agree to this. The whole point of standard OB care is for your OB to familiarize himself/herself with you and your baby. In addition, in some cases, OBs are paid a lump sum for all your prenatal care and delivery, so there may not be a way for two different groups to render care and get paid separately for it. Parker’s suggestion might be OK if you need a routine blood test or something similar, but not for prenatal care!

  9. Unrelated TJ but we’ve discussed this before and PSA to law students:

    I’m currently reviewing a writing sample from a summer associate candidate that we’re interviewing soon. It appears to be a brief for a moot court, and we were supplied the “Argument” section. The first heading in the section has a typo. Like, subject-verb agreement or plural versus possessive typo.

    Now, I would never ding someone permanently for this, but it’s just a reminder to carefully proofread ALL parts of your writing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught typos in my headings right before the brief goes out the door. For whatever reason, those are the hardest to catch.

    Difficult question: do I nicely tell the candidate about it when I interview him/her? I would hate for this person to keep using the sample with a typo in it…

    • I would tell them. It’s a good test to see how they respond to constructive criticism.

      I will admit that I had a typo in a writing sample I used in law school (I cited a case as D.D.C. instead of D.C. Cir., even though I said it was a circuit court case in the text). I fortunately caught it before it went to too many places, but I regret not catching it sooner, and have always wondered if that factored into some people’s decision making processes.

      At the very end of the interview, I would say something like, “I enjoyed meeting you today, and I’m sorry we don’t have more time. As a final note, and I’m saying this as person giving friendly advice and not as an interviewer, a tough skill for every lawyer to learn is how to proofread their own work. There’s a couple typos in there, and I’m not telling you this because I’m going to hold it against you, but because I want you to succeed. Just keep that in mind for the future.”

      If they start making excuses, they are probably a dud. If they respond maturely, or better yet, take the initiative to go home and fix it, and resend it, you’ve probably found yourself a keeper.

    • Saacnmama :

      I’d want to know.

    • I wouldn’t interview the candidate. I am an officer in the Corps of Grammar Police, and if one cannot master grade school grammar, one should not work in a law office. If the interview is inevitable, I would show the offending header to the subject of the interview and ask for the sentence’s intended meaning. This way you give the opportunity for the subject to notice the mistake on his or her own. If the subject cannot identify the mistake, seriously consider whether one of that level of intellect should represent your firm in any way.

      I get SO ANNOYED when I am researching cases at the courthouse and encounter misspellings of names in court databases (happens so often it’s not even cute) or incomprehensible grammar in files that are already difficult enough to decipher. I’m an investigator, not a lawyer, so getting past the “legalese” is the only hurdle I want to jump.

      • Most typos are not the result of an inability to “master grade school grammar,” and most don’t create confusion about meaning. In my experience, problems generally arise from either bad typing or incomplete re-writing of a sentence during drafting. These are problems you want to catch in a revision, but it can be difficult to do so when you already know what the sentence is supposed to say. Obviously, you want to eventually show your audience a perfect product so as not to create distractions or professionalism concerns, but failing to catch a stray error doesn’t make you an idiot and doesn’t say all that much about the legal work of analyzing a question. So while an error might raise a concern about a candidate, let’s not make it fetish, okay?

        • Sorry, I didn’t know that expecting college graduates to be able to correctly use “subject-verb agreement or plural versus possessive” was fetishistic. Yes, I am extreme about this. The lack of care shown by not re-reading for these mistakes makes me a little bit crazy, especially when the document in question is an example of why this person should be hired. Maybe it doesn’t make you an idiot, but I do think it looks careless and sloppy. Much in the same way that showing up to an interview poorly dressed would make one appear careless and sloppy.

          So, JJ, maybe my track is too extreme for you. I’m just giving my opinion, and I don’t expect everyone to like or agree with it. But if necessary, I will make it my fetish.

          • mamiejane :

            My guess is that everyone has made that mistake occasionally as a drafting error and I think it’s more respectful and realistic to give the person a chance. I would rather hire an Associate who can make a good argument than one with perfect proof reading skills who doesn’t have the imagination to find a great but unexpected argument. Grammar can be corrected; especially in a firm or other office with lots of support. Lack of reasoning ability can’t be fixed.

          • This is ridiculous, sorry.

        • Not you, mamiejane — Trista. The comment about mastering grade school grammar just really rubs me the wrong way.

    • I’ve been that person. I was glad/ mortified to find out.

      • Both S. and Trista describe the only realistic points. Advising the applicant there is a problem in the document is the appropriate and kind manner of dealing with this situation.

        College/Law School graduates should absolutely *not* be failing to recognize grade school spelling, grammar and punctuation mistakes. While I agree that a “stray” typo should not bar one from employment, there are many, many more scenarios I’ve seen in my career that make me shudder.

        Subject verb agreement and plural vs. possessive standards are essential in any type of business writing – particularly in pleadings or other documents intended to persuade another that the law and the facts are in your client’s favor. Like it or not, a businessperson is judged by what they say and write and the manner in which they express those ideas.

        I am continually amazed at the frequency of otherwise respectable professionals using unacceptable clauses such as “Myself and my wife went to the movies.” I wish this did not bother me so much, but I’m not sure how to make that happen!

  10. compression socks? :

    Any brands you’d recommend? Where did you buy them? Need them for flying while pregnant – I have heard they help reduce the risk of blood clots

    • I bought some from one of those catalogs for older ladies? Thanks for the reminder though, I need to buy a pair for my trip to the States in the spring. I really should be more responsible with my DVT history.

    • For various medical reasons, I own a ton of these. Try Discount Surgical Stockings online. Their house brand works well for me and is much cheaper than the name brands like Jobst. If you are going to be wearing them under pants, don’t buy the sheer kind. Those look nicer, but I find them harder to get on and more prone to snagging. I generally only buy the sheer weight in tights that I am going to wear with skirts.

  11. Saacnmama :

    Repost in from the morning, and I do thank the person who responded there

    Looking for travel advice, Savannah or Charleston
    Planning to meet up halfway between Chapel Hill and Tampa at the end of March. There will be 3 kids 9-12 and 3 adults. I’d rather do Savannah because it’s closer for me, but we are finding more to do in Charleston.
    Can anybody here compare the 2 cities or recommend things in Savannah?

    • oil in houston :

      I went to both, and must say, I feel in love with Charleston. It is really beautiful, there are lots of things to do, great restaurants, and really good bars if the adults can go. You can also go to the beach if the weather is nice, and visit plantations outside the city.
      Savannah was nice, but more a ‘small romantic alone’ type of nice.

    • Atlanta Girl :

      I’m originally from Atlanta, so I’ve spent my time in both cities – Savannah is far and away my preference.

      There are so many things to do in Savannah – stroll down River Street and stop at a candy store (River Street Sweets) or get ice cream. Visit one of the many historical cemeteries. Take a ghost tour. For the little ones, if there’s a Girl Scout in your group, the Juliette Gordon Lowe house is always nice. Take a walking tour or hop onboard a horsedrawn carriage. If you like Paula Deen, visit Lady & Sons (I think it’s a little overhyped, but if that’s your bag, go for it!).

      Also, if you go to Savannah, please check out Tybee Island. It is one of my very favorite places on earth. It’s only half an hour away from Savannah (a beautiful drive). Climb the lighthouse, take in the view and dolphin watch. Eat at AJ’s Dockside. Pack me in your suitcase, because I want to go!

      Savannah and Charleston do feel very similar, culturally – if you do decide to visit Charleston, make sure you visit the City Market.

      Enjoy your trip – I’m very jealous.

  12. Also reposting from this morning, and thanks to Cornellian for her response!

    I am thinking of doing a boudoir shoot. Has anyone done one before? What was your experience like? Tips, hints, suggestions?

    • A friend did one from a Groupon deal. She is in recovery from a eating disorder and did it purely for her. She loved playing dress up and the shots I saw were really gorgeous and well done.

    • My sister did one to give as a gift to her husband for their wedding. They both loved the results. She also bought a LivingSocial/Groupon deal and it came with hair and make-up as well. Hers were pretty classy, and didn’t make me uncomfortable to look at (I just mean that in the context that it was a gift for her husband and could have gotten more … racy). She said they made her really comfortable on the set, and that was absolutely something she was nervous about. She did buy some special underwear for the occasion, but she also did boy shorts and one of his button-ups.

    • Anon for this :

      Hope this isn’t posted too late for you to see!
      I did one as a wedding gift for my husband and had a lot of fun. I went with a friend, which helped a lot (she did it too). We also had some champagne before and during. I also knew my photographer as she did my engagement pictures and eventually our wedding.
      Hints: know what you want before you go. Pinterest is really helpful. Know how classy (or not) you want to keep it, how much you want to expose in the pictures, and the overall look you’re going for.
      I wanted several different outfits and went to a Nordie’s a week before to pick out some new things to wear. I also did some in my fiance’s favorite sports jersey, and one in his button up.
      I would recommend professional hair and makeup if you can swing it. It helped not having to worry about that. I booked a room in a boutique hotel for the occasion, which was nice– could get ready there and have a beautiful background for the shoot.
      let me know if you have any other questions! HTH!

  13. Signy Mallory :

    On the topic of adding elbow patches to cover up tear/wear, I did that with one of my nicer J.Crew blazers and it turned out OK. When I wear this blazer, it makes me feel like a fun lady-professor. (I’m not an academic, but would like to look like one!)

  14. honest question – why are 50% of the comments on this blog regarding conceiving, pregnancy, or caring for one’s children? even a sizable percentage of the career-related questions include these topics. is everyone here on the mommy track?

    • Mother of Dragons :

      I’m on the “Where are my dragons?!” track.

    • Signy Mallory :

      I don’t have children, and have no plans to have children. But why resent (because that’s the undertone to your message) that others want to and care about how it affects their careers?

      The majority of people in the world have children and will have children. And many women who have children continue to work (some by choice, some by financial necessity). So naturally, childcare stuff will come up.

      If you hate those posts, then skip them. Also, your use of the term “mommy track” is unnecesarily dismissive.

    • I’m not TTC yet, but the audience for questions here is fantastic – you’re asking a solid community of professional women for advice, and responses are generally thoughtful. Aside from having ladies of a similar career + family mindset (um, which I guess you think is the mommy track rather than facing the fact that if a woman wants to have a child and a career, she does have to pay attention to both of them), that is a vast improvement over the conversations I’ve seen on more mommy-centric websites.

      • Completely agree. I think it is sadly indicative of the lack of an outlet for professional women to have real discussions about the realities of having and raising children while working with other women who aren’t judging them for doing it one way or another.

    • Saacnmama :

      The blog’s tag line mentions “overachieving chicks”. That means women who want to do well in all areas of our lives. Besides, child-related issues can throw a career off track faster than pretty much anything else if they aren’t handled well. Working out the details here enables us to not talk about them any more than necessary, and to talk about them the right way, in the context of work. If you want a careers-focused blog that doesn’t mention children (or SOs or family of origin, for that matter), this isn’t it. If you want to talk about your whole life and getting it all to function smoothly together, this is it!

      • hm. I get that, I suppose. as a woman who’s on all-cylinders-go on the career front, though, it does feel like the type of content I’m looking for isn’t here anymore.

        anyone have any leads on a blog that might have been less suited to your tastes but might be more suited to mine? horses for courses, and all that.

        • Signy Mallory :

          My response to your “All cylinders-go” is “what happens in vagueness, stays in vagueness.”

          Rather than complaining about people with mommy-questions, why not ask the questions that a superstar go-getter like yourself wants to have answered and see what trickles in?

          It’s better than expecting Kat to be a mindreader and anticipate your exact question or being resentful that others aren’t asking “your” question.

        • No comprende “horses for courses,” but you could check out The Careerist. Or something specific to your industry. Try the Google.

          But I don’t think you were really asking for recommendations.

        • Since this is primarily a style blog, I am side-eyeing your lamentation that there’s not enough hardcore career advice for you here. Would more comments about fashion help you with your all-cylinders-go career?

          • Haha! Just what I thought.

          • haha! funnily enough, as a woman in a male-dominated industry, the fashion info on this site helped me step up my (career) game when I was newly out of school — to the point where I now present as older and more experienced than I am, and get treated accordingly. it’s been a huge win.

            thanks for playing, though!

          • Well, if it’s been a *huge win* then maybe what you meant to post was “thanks, ladies” and not “down with mommies.”

          • saacnmama :

            Good point! I’m not into the style/fashion thing, am often amazed (and not in a good way) at the meanings people glean from others’ fashion choices here. I suppose it’s good for me to know that kind of judgement is out there, but I mostly focus on the career and lifestyle stuff, even though I know you’re right about the central purpose of a blog that posts a pic of an item of clothing or accessory 14 out of 15 times per week, on average.

        • Anonymous :

          If you’re looking for other blogs you could try google. On Fridays Cat does a round up of new articles, which might lead you to other sites.

          • wait… what is this The Google everyone speaks of?

            I might point out here that other avenues for content discovery on the internet are gaining traction precisely BECAUSE google doesn’t do a great job of making taste-based recommendations, but I suppose that would be lost on the seething hordes.

    • lawsuited :

      By your math, I guess 50% of commenters are on the “mommy track”, which hardly seems surprising.

      I don’t have any plans to have children, and am not mortally offended by comments regarding TTC, pregnancy and child-raising. I tend not to read as many of them and understand that it’s okay that I can’t add much to those coversations given my (lack of) experience.

      It is just a blog. Try not to take it so hard.

  15. You’re creating a false dichotomy between being “all-cylinders-go on the career front” and having kids and questions about them.

    Third year biglaw associate who billed 2400+ hours last year, has a six figure book of business and also has a toddler

    • This was for Rumpus, obviously. Smartphone fail.

    • Signy Mallory :


    • nice. much kudos. knowing more people like you — or hearing your perspective from more commenters — would probably help reconcile the false dichotomy!

      • Silvercurls :

        Another oration from Silvercurls in search of a soap box (or Silvercurls suffering from the “get your _own_ blog already” syndrome):

        Can I offer a view from the other end of the telescope? I ended up on this blog by a series of coincidences, rather than because I’m an overachieving chick in any obvious sense of the term. (My career has been spent in the largely “traditionally female” areas of library, administrative, and publishing/editorial support, plus a stint of copy editing and recently a lot of volunteer work connecting people and information.) But aside from not being innately inclined to charge up the ladder of professional achievement, I’ve had to downshift my work life to accommodate advocating for and living with a child with Asperger’s and ADHD. This is not a plea for sympathy–our child is great company and his challenges are much milder than those facing other children and families–rather, it’s a shout-out on behalf of all parents who decide that they just cannot balance high-pressure parenting obligations with high-pressure professional responsibilities.

        Also, please don’t take this as a mommy wars 21-gun salute! I don’t have much patience with mommy wars. (I do think that we as a society should be more supportive of people living with young children or frail elders, but I don’t have the answers for how to get there.) People need to choose the best, or the best possible option, within the limits of their own particular circumstances: personal preferences or level of intensity re working for pay or being a SAHM; presence or absence of high student debt; ability to afford, or not afford, suitable child care; degree of needs of child or children–seizures around the clock? serious medical conditions? autism meaning Asperger’s, or autism meaning non-verbal for a lifetime…?; and the presence or absence of spouse earning (or not earning) enough income to enable or prohibit the various options of being employed fulltime, part-time, or not at all.

        All I’m trying to say is that sometimes life throws parents a curve ball. If people are able to maintain their pre-parenthood professional intensity, great. In some special needs families, one parent earns the household income while the other serves as case manager, shuttle driver, educational advocate, and in-house physical, occupational, and/or psychological therapist and/or medical caregiver. (The divorce statistics for special needs parents are high–I don’t recall the figure–but that’s another comment.) In other such families, both parents earn a living, or a single parent earns a living, and everything else gets done as well as possible with the remaining resources.

        My biggest complaint is on behalf of the kids whose parents are too overwhelmed by the business of daily life (fighting poverty, language barriers, trauma from relocating from domestic violence or political upheaval…) to advocate for their kids much or at all.

        So far I’ve heard from one other mom of a special needs kid on this blog (the mom, not the child). Anyone else out there? (And if you’re holding down fulltime job as a lawyer, let me salute you!)

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I have a professional acquaintance who is a full time lawyer, mom of a special needs kid and still has time to volunteer in a kids medical advocacy program. If you want me to connect you with her I’d be happy to. Post an anon email.

          • I have a happy, healthy and active teenage boy. I also have a brother who suffers from mental illness and he takes up much of my time not to mention the emotional toll on me and my family. The point being that people can feel as though they made a “choice” not to have children, but we never know when we will have to care for others.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Re-posting to say that I wasn’t mentioning my friend as a “she can do it why can’t you” thing. I didn’t realize until just now that it may read like that. You were looking to connect with mom’s w/ special needs kids and I thought you may be looking for mom’s with special needs kids that are working full-time too. I just wanted to give you some info on her so you could decide whether you wanted to connect. I was in no way trying to compare you two.

    • saacnmama :

      sounds like you have more cylinders than Rumpus!

      • Silvercurls :

        You sound pretty energetic yourself! As someone born with a motor mouth but a low level of physical energy I’m in awe of your plans to move yourself & your son overseas–or back. But it would be a dull world if we were all the same!

        • Saacnmama :

          Lets see how well I make it before we get too excited. But I appreciate the clear-sighted way this blog helps me look at the various aspects of my life. For many years, I identified completely as an academic. When my son came along I tucked him in that life, but of course he didn’t fit well, both areas were under pressure, and I was overly stressed. Listening to the way people here think about career and family is helping me go step by step to get back to where we were before, but in a much more sustainable way.

        • Saacnmama :

          Btw, Silvercurls, my son has had behavioral problems since being bullied by the older kids when he was in 1st grade. It’s been years since the self-harming behavior, but today I had to pick him up at school. If this is what it’s like with a quirky kid who got bumped down the wrong road, I can’t picture the challenge you’re dealing with and you have my respect!

  16. In my experience, Club Monaco has wonderful customer service. My friend experienced this exact same issue with her Club Monaco blazer, a tear in the elbow (she figured it was due to her pointy elbows, so she will be happy to hear other people experienced the same problem).

    She called Club Monaco and they were more than happy to help her out, even though she purchased the blazer almost a year earlier. They contacted the nearest Club Monaco, sent them a new blazer (same color, size and style), and all she had to do was pick it up.