Suit of the Week: Ann Taylor

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.

Ah, a sure sign that summer is almost upon us: the white suit. Especially in a fashion time like this — where color is everywhere — you need solid, simple basics to ground your look. This cropped collarless jacket from Ann Taylor looks like a sure favorite to do just that. The jacket (Cotton Linen Ailey Jacket) is $218, and the matching skirt (Cotton Linen Pencil Skirt) is $108.



  1. I can’t see myself wearing a white suit but I will definitely be swinging by AT to try on this jacket.

    • Same. The white bottoms make me nervous, but I love the jacket!

    • Agreed – love the look of this, but can’t imagine wearing a white suit. I’d be afraid to spill something on myself, and I don’t think pure white looks good on me.

    • Me gusta. I would totally rock a white suit, if I worked someplace where suits were even marginally necessary. Kat, have to say, I’ve been digging your picks recently.

    • Don’t swing by to try on; it says “online only”

    • I actually had a white linen skirt suit that I wore my first summer out of law school, I loved that suit. I wore it with a black sleeveless knit shell that had big white polka dots all over it. But, it was the 80’s. I doubt I could pull it off now.

    • I love white suits in concept, I really really really do.

      But today I’m wearing a white, cowled sweater I got on deep discount for the first time. And I already got broth all over the neck when I ate my lunch. White is so not my jam, man. I’m too clumsy!

      • Agreed – this is super-cute, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that I’d spill something all over myself every single time I wore it. I will never own a white couch.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’ve wanted a white wool peacoat for years but have been too scared to spend the money, so I got a white linen cropped jacket on sale and have been wearing it a ton. I’ve managed to get nothing on it yet (fingers crossed it stays that way) and if I make it through the summer I’m going to try for the wool one this winter. And then likely spill something on it because I spent all the money. Like when you manage to sit on your expensive sunglasses right after you buy them but manage to keep the Target ones in perfect shape!

        • I’ve lost 2 pair of chanel sunglasses and a pair of oscar de la rentas, but I still have 2 pair from target I got 6 years ago. Go figure.

        • I bought a white coat for the first time this winter. For me, the problem was not spilling things but fuzz rubbing off from other articles of clothing, namely scarves, that would make it look dirty. So make sure you have plenty of light colored scarves!

      • Well Sydney, when you decide to do so, let me know. I’ll help you shop, and be terribly jealous!! I will stick with my pea green coat that hides all my ills. Even my old camel colored one didn’t do it…like the time I was in the elevator with two senior partners from my firm on the way back from getting lunch and managed to dribble thai iced tea down the front of my jacket.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Haha will do! I’ve lusted after a Burberry one from a couple of seasons ago that was just perfect. In a perfect world, you’ll come across it in a resale shop in my size, still immaculately white, and super cheap! And I’m jealous of your green one! Mine have been boring black or camel for years now.

          • When you’re ready, I’d check out e-bay. For example, this reseller has a white burberry coat for about half-off.


            The green one I found on a trip to London and I may love it more than life itself. Its perfect. :-P

    • phillygirlruns :

      as soon as a 40% (or whatever) code comes up, i am buying this sucker. i’d actually prefer white pants to the skirt, but would wear either one – together as a suit and as separates.

    • Mountain Girl :

      Why is it white suits look good on models but never on me? I feel like I am either trying to channel Jennifer Lopez in Maid in Manhattan (remember the scene on the elevator – “how does she keep it clean? Scotchguard) or Don Johnson in Miami Vice. Neither of these images seem to work well in the office.

  2. Threadjack:

    I am considering purchasing either a Blu-Ray player or a mredia streaming device (Apple TV or Roku) in order to use Netflix and Hulu Plus. Does anyone have any advice on which of these is better? I don’t own any Blu-Ray discs, but I might purchase them in the future if the hive thought Blu-Ray was the better way to go and the Apple TV or Roku were over-hyped. I don’t watch much TV in real time, and I am hoping to go down to the minimum cable package available to save some money. Thanks in advance!

    • Roku works great. Easy to set up and to navigate the channels, and I’ve never had any issues with it. You can also get Amazon streaming on it.

    • We have a Blu-Ray player but never use it. What we use regularly is a device where we can wirelessly play our laptop through the computer. I can’t remember what it’s called now, but my family uses Hulu and Netflix more than we watch tv in real time or whole movies.

    • I love apple tv. I digitized (is that a word) all of my DVDs and loaded them into iTunes. Plus with iphone 4 and ipad, you can share content and play media from them to your tv. Apple tv also gives you access to all your photos, music, and movies plus radio stations, vimeo, netflix, movie rentals and more. I think with the release of the new operating software rumored to be coming this summer, apple tv will have even more capabilities.

      • This is a really basic question, but can you get regular cable with Apple TV? Or do you also need a separate cable package?

        • You’ll need a separate cable package. I have to switch over to apple tv to use it, like how you do for a DVD.

      • Sharing content example: I can stream TED talks from my iPad to my tv using apple tv. Or I guess you could do presentations, but that would be lame at home since it would be updates on the laundry situation, spring cleaning, etc.

    • Maine Associate :

      I had to make this decision at Christmas. I ditched cable, got an antenna and a S*ny SMP-N200 Streaming Media Player with Wi-Fi. I love the media player. I stream Pandora, Netflix and Amazon. You can also stream HuluPlus.

      • I also got a Sony (Bravia, I think) for streaming Amazon/Netflix/Hulu. It’s the only one of the blu-ray players that does all three of those. I had orginally thought about going with a Roku, but the Roku reviews about need to reboot made me nervous, and the Blu-Ray player was actually cheaper (I wanted a wired connection, not wireless) than getting the Roku. And it also plays DVDs, so I only have the one peripheral device attached to my tv.

        Hulu is basically my DVR – just be warned, only some shows are viewable on HuluPlus, which is what the streaming devices use, depending on the licensing arrangement the network has with Hulu.

    • I don’t have cable (just basic through the wall stuff) and use my Roku all the time. I really like it, but if I could buy now and not two years ago, I would get the Apple TV. When I bought the Roku, it didn’t have everything I wanted, but now it does, and I’m an Apple junkie. Highly recommend either – I don’t know why I didn’t cancel cable earlier.

    • I got a Vizio Blu-Ray player about two years ago at WalMart. I also have a Wal-Mart Vizio tv. The Blu-Ray player plays Netflix instant and Pandora.

      At the time, I didn’t know about Amazon Prime or Hulu Plus. Nowadays, I would get something that did those. I like the idea of the Roku, and everyone I’ve talked to who has it likes it.

    • If you only care about streaming Netflix/Hulu, a capable Blu-Ray will be more cost-effective than Apple TV–not too familiar with Roku. Our TV (Sony) has wifi and came with Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming applications, so we use that 99% of the time (we actually ditched the cable tv completely over a year ago, and I honestly don’t miss it). Our Blu-Ray (Samsung) also has a Netflix application (among others) that works just as well.

    • If you have a mac, the new apple TV is an awesome way to stream video that you get through iTunes. If you don’t buy a lot of video, roku is way better (netflix, huluplus, and amazon streaming). Personally, I have both and no Blu-Ray or DVD player, and together they cost less than a Blu-Ray Player capable of Netflix streaming + 1 movie on Blu-Ray.

      If I could only have one, though, it’d be the Roku.

    • We have the blue ray player that streams internet. Haven’t used it to play blue rays, but it works well for netflix. Also – it will play dvds, too.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Love our Roku. I’m an apple junkie but husband was sold on the Roku so that was what we got. I only wanted the apple TV because you can use your phone as a remote and it connects to your iTunes. We use pandora, netflix, and hulu on the Roku near-daily without any problems. There wasn’t a good way to listen to your own music when we bought the Roku but I haven’t looked all that hard lately.

    • We bought and returned a Roku. Although we were happy with ease of use, all of our shows started getting “off” audio-wise (kind of tinny sounding). We weren’t using a cheap-o HDMI cable and ran through the tips suggested on the forums, but nothing solved it and it seemed like something that just happens to people. And we haven’t had that problem with other devices connected using the same ports, cables, etc.

      So… instead we bought a long range wireless keyboard and mouse, and keep one home laptop connected to the TV.

    • I got my fiancé an apple TV so he could watch his subscription games on it. Now we use it for that, Netflix, and iTunes. We love it. Our BluRay didn’t work well with the streaming, so if you end up going that route do make sure you find one with good streaming reviews. Never tried a Roku.

    • Ok, so I’m curious about the whole “getting off cable” thing. I get that a lot of network channels now make their shows available online. However, what do you do if you want the cable shows, like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Suits, Closer, etc…

      • SF Bay Associate :

        We have no cable, and no local channels either. The cable shows are typically available on the website of their networks. I know TNT has The Closer on its website. HBO Plus or whatever it’s called has GoT. Yes, I watch a lot less TV since we cut cable/local, but I honestly haven’t missed most of the shows I used to watch. I still watch Once Upon A Time on Hulu, and plan to “borrow” a friend’s HBO Plus login to watch GoT (just finished book 2!).

      • Mad Men releases episodes to Amazon Instant Video the Monday after they air, so you can buy a season pass on Amazon and it will update you automatically. With HBO shows, you are pretty much SOL until the DVDs come out – at which point you can either get the DVDs, or stream thru Amazon.

        Suits (and most USA Network shows) are available on Hulu, something like 30 days after they air on TV. But USA typically isn’t available on HuluPlus, which is how you watch the show on your TV vs. your laptop.

        I clearly have spent too much time figuring this out.

        • And to clarify, HBO Go only works if you already have a subscription to HBO with your cable provider.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Or if you “borrow” someone’s log in that doesn’t use it. We use our in-laws.

    • My boyfriend had a WII that he swore by. He was an ass but he knew his electronics.

    • Love the Roku and the Roku price ($79 as I recall for the 1080p.)

      Have had none of the problems others report. In fact, it’s receiving signal from our wireless modem downstairs better than my son’s Xbox in a much closer location.

  3. Former MidLevel :

    Dang it, Kat – now I need this. At least when the next 30% coupon comes along.

  4. Bridesmaid Duties :

    I am in a bridesmaid in a wedding coming up this fall and need help with a shoe mission from all you pro shoppers. The maid of honor is getting shoes in the same style as the bride’s shoes (but black). They are very cute and both the bride and the maid of honor want me to get the same shoes but I just cannot walk in 5″ heels! Would love to find a similar look to match their style but preferably a 2.5″ – 3.5″ heel. I am a total wuss about tall heels and roll my ankles very easily.

    Here’s the shoes I am trying to match. Have been looking everywhere but can’t find anything I like!,0,2

    • I totally hear you on the heel height, since I can’t even walk in 3 inch heels – but I understand the platform makes the effective heel height lower, is there any way you could try these on? The link didn’t show the model/brand but if you know that maybe you can find out if they make the same shoe in a lower version?

    • These have the mesh at a lower height:
      You could go on etsy and order separate clip on flowers.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      This is a bit higher than what you asked for but is pretty coordinating, if not matching.

    • One more option:
      And shoe clips:

    • Is no one else going to comment about the fact that the bride is wanting you to buy very very expensive shoes? There, I just did.

      • Well…if we’re saying it than…how about we also mention that they’re kind of ugly as sin.

      • anon atty :

        Ive got to agree on them not being cute, but to each her own.

        but am i missing something re the cost — the link i saw said they were $98 bucks

        • I think it’s Australian dollars. I thought the same thing.

        • They’re Vera Wang, so unless they’re on mega-sale, they’re going to be expensive. And not very re-wearable, regardless of whether you like them.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            They’re Vera Wang for David’s Bridal.


          • anon atty :

            interesting. they are still not my style, but they are much better in white.

          • Oh, I see. Much better.

        • nevermind. It works out to pretty much the same.

      • I don’t think $98 is insane for shoes.

        • I personally find $98 too much for shoes that: (1) I don’t like; (2) I did not pick out; and (3) I won’t wear more than once. But perhaps all the bridesmaids are financially well off so the price doesn’t matter too much for that group of friends.

          Thankfully my friends and I are more low-key (and socioeconomically diverse) so I won’t have to worry about $100 bridesmaids shoes!

    • This doesn’t quite have the full mesh panel, but I like the ruffle. It’s also 4″, but has a 1″ platform.

      • This one clocks in at 4″ as well, but has mesh and a front detail.

    • Whats more important to you, the flower detailing on the foot or the color (not sure I can find you both!)

      • Bridesmaid Duties :

        Wow, thanks so much to all! I definitely agree, they would not be my top pick and while I usually don’t pay $98 for shoes it isn’t horrible. The shoes do match the dress well. I feel bad being a brat and not just getting the shoes and have been debating whether to just suck it up and match the others, but my ankles roll over so badly (even in platforms – for some reason the tendons are just weak/stretched) that I would be worried about falling over. Some of these links have been great. I thinking the mesh/bootie look would be close enough and perhaps something I’d be able to wear in the future (although that may be asking a lot here).

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I hope the bride will realize that it will be much more noticeable if you fall while walking down the aisle than having slightly different shoes than the others!

        • The color doesn’t work, but it would certainly prevent falling over:

        • What about getting these shoes for the ceremony and pictures, and then changing for the reception?

  5. Vacation threadjack – how much of your vacation time do you use per year, and how do you use it? I get 4 weeks, and my colleagues range from those who use all of it to those who carry over the max each year. I’m leaning towards using it all (a 1-week, 2-week, and misc. days), but I feel vaguely guilty about it.

    • Use it all – life is too short not to. And besides, it’s part of your compensation — do you feel guilty about accepting your full paycheck?

      I would even encourage you to look into taking fewer, but longer, vacations if personal circumstances permit. The burden of being away for 3 weeks instead of 2 is not that much more (trust me, your colleagues will get used to it), and it will allow you to go places that are farther away, get more immersed in a place, and just unwind that much more.

    • anon in house :

      15 days vacation (this doesn’t include sick days)

      It doesn’t carry over, and I use it all.

      • This, exactly. My vacation days don’t carry over and my boss is good about making sure we all take our vacation days.

        That being said, I’m not sure I could be gone more than a week at once, but I haven’t tried yet.

        • anon in house :

          I’m pretty sure that the only times people have been gone for more than 6-7 business days in a row is for their own wedding/honeymoon.

    • For the love of all that you find holy, use it all.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I am also struggling with this.

      Articling students at my firm are given 2 weeks and associates get between 4 and 6. I took two days at Christmas (though honestly, I don’t think the days count, as I ended up going into our office in my parent’s home city to work on both of those days), and I’m taking a week in June. So, I have another week to use sometime before my bar call in August, and will be using it primarily for long weekends to attend weddings out of the city.

      I don’t really feel guilty, but at the same time, how can I keep up with my billable target yet be gone for a month each year?

      • Darling,

        I agree. I can’t possibly both take off three weeks and also make billable hours without working 16+ hour days every other day. I’m glad I’m not alone in this…

        • This is the problem with billing.

          • ugh, totally agreed. Technically get 4 weeks but… since billing just the minimum 2000 means 50 40-hour weeks, and of those 2 weeks off come all federal holidays when the office is closed… yeah. I usually take one one-week vacation and maybe a few long weekends. Actually scratch that, I take a few *weekends*.

          • Working Girl :

            When I was full time at my firm I billed 2100 or more a year pure billable plus at least 400 non billable and took 4 weeks of vacation. I think it is doable if you have a lot of 200 or even 220 hour months otherwise . . . so 50 or 55 hour weeks here and there, and a lot of shorter weeks in there. It’s doable.

    • I get approx 3.5 weeks (ours is in hours, to the hundredth); I try and use all of it but inevitably a few hours carry over each year. I definitely suggest a 2 week vacation; it’s heavenly and you just get away from it all.

      • I have taken 1 two week vacation and it was the best vacation I’ve ever had. One week is awesome but having that extra time to really relax, get in a “vacation groove”, etc…priceless.

        I currently get 12/year, in a while that goes up to something else (I’m only 5 months in, I’m not too focused on it yet), and just looked on our website and came up empty so I’ll have to find my paperwork, but I can’t use it for the first 12 months (until I’m off probation). I’m planning at least a one week trip pretty much as soon as I get off probation! :-)

    • You guys get vacation?

      • ditto that. I take vacation, but I don’t have a set number of days. I think I took 5 last year. Bumping it up this year.

      • Yup, we have no set vacation days for lawyers at my firm… which results in many people not taking much vacation at all.

    • Depends on the year. I also get four weeks, but never managed to use it all until last year. This year I’ll probably only use three. But you should totally use it if you can since there may well be years when you won’t use all four.

    • Use it. I get 21 days + 9 holidays.

    • use it all, and use it in big chunks to maximize the pleasure

    • Use it all!

      I used to get 6 weeks last my last job. I took as many vacations as I wanted and still couldn’t use it all. It was awesome.

    • 24 days and I use

    • I think I probably use about half of mine. I get some 20 odd days/year. They accrue throughout the year. Currently I have 24. I have about 30 sick days as well. Mine carry over without limitation so I don’t feel bad not using them. I’ve made an effort to take more days off this past year, but I also figure that if I carry a healthy balance, it will come in handy for when I want to have a baby. (Boy, would that last sentence thrill my mother!)

    • Use it. Life’s too short not to do it.

      I have five weeks, and I’ve been plotting it out in the holiday calendar at work – so far I have four days left that I haven’t plotted out. I am leaning towards using them around Christmas week (which already is only two work days, anyway, so I could have two weeks off then, for the value of four vacation days, if I am strategic about it), or if I head for a conference in London this fall, take a couple of extra days then.

      I already have a trip to Paris and Brussels planned late this summer, as well as a road trip with my sisters.

    • I realized recently that I had 19 of my 20 days left. But we get a lot of holiday time. I say use it and don’t feel guilty. I would if I could! As others say, life is too short. I don’t resent anyone who actually uses theirs!

    • Mine carries over but you max out at a certain number of days. Whenever I get close to maxing out, I take a week or so off. It’s basically the only excuse I get to take a vacation!

    • LinLondon :

      I get 22 and used 15 last year, which was somewhat annoying, as they only let you roll over (or get paid out for) 5 days at my job, so two just went to waste. I still have 20 days left for this year and I figure the only reason I’ll even make a dent in it is that I’m volunteering during the Olympics and I’ll have to take a week off work. I’m too broke to go away in any event! Le sigh.

    • I use it all. We have to, or we lose it, but even if we could carry some over, I probably wouldn’t do that unless I had a major trip planned for January.

    • Kontraktor :

      I get 25 days total, but they are broken up by 16 days of PTO, 7 federal holidays, and 2 floating holidays. I have no sick leave, so generally I try to be conservative with PTO (in case I get the flu or something and am forced to take 2 days off), but we don’t seem to have restrictions on when or how we can take leae. I like to take quite a few days over the holidays (this past year I took all the days between Christmas and New Year’s, as well as the day before Christmas Eve), so I try to bank during the year for that. I wouldn’t be averse to taking a week long vacation if I had enough days saved up, but it’s hard to pile up that much just because you always want a cusion in case you’re sick. Amount of PTO also has to do with your project site. Some sites allow flex time, so you could work four 10 hour days if you wanted a Friday off so you don’t have to take PTO. I did this frequently at my last project site and banked up about 9 days worth of time. But now I am at a project site where I have ZERO flex time so I have to be really careful about taking PTO because there really isn’t a way to save it up if I want the flexibility over the holidays.

    • Realising how lucky I am, 20 days vacation and 15 sick leave (can rollover), plus paid leave between christmas and new year.
      I take two or three weeks a year and try to squirrel away the rest for longer overseas holidays every couple of years.
      Take your holidays!

    • Why on earth do you feel guilty? It is your pay. Use it or lose it.
      I am not in the US, but get 21 days plus 6 days Childress leave. I use it all and only carry forward if I’m going to need it more in the next year.

  6. Pondering :

    I ‘m wondering whether the J. Crew Ramona dress (cotton taffeta) would be dressy enough for a late afternoon wedding this summer in Chicago? I’m trying to decide between this dress and the Sophia (though this may be too low-cut for me, despite having a smaller chest). Thanks!

    • Pondering :

      Link to Ramona dress:

      Sophia dress:

      Keep getting you’re posting too quickly error. Gah.

      • I think the Ramona is perfect for a daytime wedding. It could definitely be dressed up with accessories if you’re feeling a bit self-conscious or under dressed.

    • Tired Squared :

      I think the Ramona is perfect for a daytime wedding! Not sure about the Sophia — it’s a little shiny in my opinion.

      • Agreed. They are both pretty, but I think the Sophia looks a bit formal for an afternoon Chicago wedding, unless perhaps the wedding is at the Art Institute or something.

  7. Do not read if you are squeamish.

    Someone in my office has been leaving streaks on the backs of the toilet seats. Today was particularly bad. I am totally grossed out, and also feel terrible for our cleaning staff. Many of us strongly suspect one particular individual. Is there anything we can do to make this stop? We’re an off-site location and have no HR people or managers here in person, and the suspect is a very senior/high-up individual.

    • so my office had a problem with people missing the toilet with toilet paper – they’d just throw it on the ground when they were done! we’re in a similar situation as well, a satilite office so no Hr peeps around – so someone printed a bunch of signs saying “please be respectful of others” and “clean up after yourself” and hung them ALL over the bathroom – it kind of worked, the problem is better and since the signs are typed, no one knows who made the somewhat passive aggressive, but effective signs – that way you dont call out the person who you think it is. i’m dying to know why you suspect that person though!!!

    • I think this is the kind of situation that anonymous notes taped to the inside of stall doors were made for.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i have no real advice, other than possibly a passive-aggressive note, but i am dying to know what makes you suspect this particular person.

      • me too! haha

      • This person is a relatively new hire, and there were no incidents prior to this person’s starting here. This person is also large enough that a standard sized toilet seat might not be adequate.

        I hate to do the anonymous note thing, but I think I will. Maybe everyone will just think the cleaning staff did it.

        • another anon :

          Hmmm…is it possible that the person doesn’t realize what they are doing? Or that they realize, but don’t think they can adequately take care of the issue with just tp?

          Maybe a note that says to please check that you’ve left the toilet seat clean after you are done, plus putting a thing of clorox wipes (or something similar) in the stall(s) where it happens would help.

    • I’d leave a sign in each stall that says “Ladies, please look behind you before you exit and make sure the toilet is flushed and clean. Clorox wipes are on the shelf if you need them.”

      And then leave Clorox wipes on the shelf, or wherever there’s a convenient place in the bathroom. You’re probably right that the person who’s doing it is not doing it on purpose and doesn’t realize she’s doing it.

  8. Threadjack – Can anyone recommend a professional photographer in the LA area? A dear friend of mine from college who lives there just had a baby, and I was thinking of getting him a family/baby photo session as a gift, but I am based on the East Coast and don’t have any leads out there. Thanks!

    • Westsidebee :

      Jay P. Morgan photography is really good (though kind of expensive). If you check out his website, you’ll see a lot of fanciful shoots, but he also does standard portraits. He did a shooting with our dog for a greeting card and it was so cute!

      • Srsly? Someone with the last name ” Morgan” named their son Jay P.?

        Hope they’re related.

    • Brianne Brose is based out of San Diego, but might travel to LA:

      Jill is a reformed lawyer! I love that she is pursuing her dream. Her website is mainly of weddings but I’ve seen photos of kids, she’s great with them too

  9. Any ideas? :

    I’m looking for a wedge heel, NOT OPEN TOE, ~2 inches in height (not more than 3), black, super-professional. Any recommendations? Also, preferably under $75.

    Thank you!

    • these!!

      they are on amazon too. very comfy! saw a rec on here and got them and love them

      • I think I gave the rec. I’m wearing them right now. You can also get them at Amazon.

    • Two suggestions (I’ll post the second pair in a second comment to avoid moderation).

      These are technically “cone wedges” but I like them and they are more sleek than traditional wedges.


        Second pair above is available in more sizes. Also the patent version of the nordies pair is available in more sizes, if you search cone wedge on their sight.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I love Me Too for this – I’d keep an eye on their sales. To get you started:

    • I have the Cole Haan Air Talia Wedge 40s (2 pairs, actually), and they are super comfortable and professional. They are about $175 full price, but depending on when you need them, you can get them on sale. I definitely paid less than $100 for mine.

    • Cole haan air Lainey.

  10. Rec:

    I picked up a couple of the Target Merona Ultimate Tees yesterday, and I’m very impressed. Most tees these days seem to be so thin that even the extra larges show off every lump in my mid area. These are thick enough that I can buy them in my actual size, and are on sale for $6.00. I think my 2 year quest for decent solid color tees is over. They’re available in boatneck and v-neck, but the boat neck isn’t so wide that I have to worry about my bra straps showing.

    • I’m wearing one of the v-necks (in Hypnotic Jade) today! Love it!!

    • D Train South :

      Does that go for the white, as well? I am struggling to find a white tee that does not scream: I am wearing a bra of THIS shape.

      • I didn’t try on the white, so I’m not sure. I will say that I normally get bra lines like crazy, and I don’t have any in these.

    • HippieEsq :

      You should review them on the Target site. Apparently the only person who reviewed them so far hated them.

  11. Pedestrian :

    I almost just got hit by a car while legally walking in a crosswalk. If I would not have ran out of the way, I would have probably been killed. It was a block from my office and I am in shock. Just called my insurance advisor to set up disability and life insurance. I am still crying – cannot work. I am so mad I did not look back and try to see his license plate or anything.

    Please watch out for pedestrians everyone! (male driver of a minivan – see we can’t leave anything to them).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’m glad you are ok! If it makes you feel better the driver hopefully realized immediately after and panicked.

      Sometimes I get really frustrated by crosswalk designs. There is one in my city which gives walkers a walk sign and drivers a protected turn. It’s a recipe for disaster since neither expects the other to be crossing.

      • momentsofabsurdity: Contact your city council person and the head of public works. Petitioning at the local government level can be quite effective (even easy). And be safe!

      • Pedestrian :

        He definitely did not see me and did not slow down.

    • This has happened to me a few times. Funnily enough, as a driver I have zero road rage. But as a pedestrian I go full-on New York on people, especially if I’ve waited for the light to change at a crosswalk! I’ll yell at them full-stop (with bad language…I’ll admit it)…its especially nice in the summer when they have their windows down and can hear me.

      • This happens to me on a regular basis in my neighborhood, and I scream profanities at them too. It just makes me so angy, especially when I’m walking my dog. If anyone ever blew through a crosswalk and ran over my dog I would probably end up in prison for killing that person on the spot.

        • I’m so sorry. I walk to and from work (about three miles each day) in DC and his happens to me at least once every day. I have also developed a few choice phrases, but in the end, I’ve just realized I have to be really really really careful. That includes not crossing at certain intersections with a bad setup or notoriously bad drivers.

          And, ah hem, a public service announcement: If you left turn from a one-way street to another one-way street on a green, THERE WILL BE PEDESTRIANS CROSSING ON A WALK LIGHT. Rant over.

          • Yeah, I live in DC too. It is ridiculously dangerous. I have to cross Dupont Circle, which is like running a gauntlet replete with tourists who don’t even look to see if there are traffic lights let alone if they’re red, and there’s also this intersection where you get one walk signal to cross both ways across the street (north/south and east/west), but you only have 13 seconds total (and you can’t cross diagonally because cars are turning left). I feel like I’m taking my life into my hands every day.

          • Pedestrian :

            That was the set up exactly. I should have just waited to cross the other side. It would have taken 3 more minutes.

          • When I lived in DC, the angriest I ever got was when I was walking in Chinatown, went to cross the street IN a crosswalk with the light and a car turned into the side street and had to stop suddenly to avoid hitting me. And then had the temerity to BEEP at me. At which point I stopped in the middle of the street, turned to face them, pointed at the cross signal, and flipped her off.

            As I said, I have pedestrian rage. (The lady did look a little apologetic thought.)

          • The angriest I ever got was when someone didn’t see me start to cross when I had the right of way, and then *after* I paused and he saw me he hit the gas again when I was directly in front of his car just to scare me. He ended up stopping about three inches from me and making an obscene gesture. I wish to this day I had gotten his license plate number.

          • I’m glad it’s not just me! Stay safe out there, everyone.

          • I second the Dupont comment. From a pedestrian perspective, the lights are so poorly synced! I feel like an idiot waiting for crossing signals, but the number of times an inattentive or aggressive driver has nearly hit me has made me extremely cautious.

          • I feel like I risk my life on a daily basis going through the circle near my house in D.C. The drivers NEVER stop at the crosswalk. I yell at them and occasionally hit their cars. I even had it out with a cop once.

        • DC is the worst! I was always a pretty aggressive pedestrian (hah) until I moved here. Now I take no chances. After a few close calls, I no longer ever assume that a car will see me or care not to hit me if they do. The diagonal streets don’t help. I wish it were just my paranoia, but unfortunately several of my friends have actually been hit while biking or walking, so I err on the side of avoiding cars’ paths even when I have the right of way.

      • Me too, on all counts. Bastards.

    • I’m so glad you’re OK! This happened to me on Friday, and I was frozen to the spot, luckily the driver swerved at the last minute. I was in tears and somewhat shaky the rest of the day.

    • I was actually hit by a car a couple of months ago. Driver was turning left and just ran right into me as I was crossing the street with the light. I was not injured, thank god, but it was really scary.

      The only people who stopped to make sure I was ok was a physical therapist and a lawyer, both of whom gave me their cards…

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        hahahah I’m sorry, this cracks me up. I’ve stopped to help people before in an accident and gave them my cell phone number as a witness. I can’t imagine just handing them my attorney business card. Too funny. I’d add that in most places an attorney can’t be both the attorney and a witness in the case.

      • Um…I think the lawyer who gave you their card, if they could have been interpreted as seeking business (and depending on the state) may have been violating the rules of professional conduct. But overall, lol.

      • Pedestrian :

        The car in the lane that was closer to the sidewalk slowed down and looked at me. I am just shaken up. Going to go ahead and get a good disability insurance policy. I HATE crying at work and I feel like this is the third time in the last couple of months that it has happened. All good reasons though, big break up (co-workers helped me move) and death of a family member suddenly. When it rains…

      • This same thing happened to me in DC. I was also not hurt and was running late to work though so didn’t get the driver’s info. No long-term injury resulted, but it was still probably dumb of me not to make a bigger deal about it.

    • another anon :

      This has happened to me, except the driver actually ended up “tapping” me (he saw me at the last minute and braked, but still hit me hard enough that I was sore the next day). I was initially just shocked, and after that my first reaction was to start yelling profanities at the guy and banging on his car. He sped off, and like you, I also didn’t have the presence of mind to get his plate no. So please don’t beat yourself up about that too much. I think it is really hard to think of that in the moment, especially if you’ve never been in that situation before.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, drivers really can be awful for pedestrians.

      When I was a 1L, I was out for a run–in the middle of the afternoon, in a very residential neighborhood, maybe two blocks from a nearby elementary school–when someone literally *hit* me with their red pickup truck. I remember rolling onto the front of the truck, and smashing into the windshield, but that’s it.

      Apparently the driver was a Russian-accented woman who then drove me to the hospital, paid for my bills upfront with cash, and left. And no one ever asked for her name!

    • I got hit by a police car (at very low speed) while legally in a crosswalk. The police officer decided to make a right on red (from a stop) while I was in front of her car, around 2pm on a sunny day. I ran and screamed and no one else even turned around. I left the scene because I was from out of town and figured the ensuing conversation wouldn’t go anywhere good for me and instead she might try to blame/ticket me. I was a wreck the rest of the day and I still hate the city where that happened.

  12. Ladies, I have an amusing dilemma. Tomorrow I have my exit interview at 11 am. Technically, I can leave right afterwards, but I’d really like to go to my gym class one last time. It’s at 1 pm.

    Do I sit around until 1 or go out for lunch or something, go to the gym and then come back to my desk to say goodbye to everybody? Or do I pack my stuff up, say goodbye and drop my stuff in a locker at the gym?

    Haven’t figured this one out yet. Today I have nothing to do either, but I’m staying late anyway because I have plans in the city at 7

    • Ooh! We should have a Boston group lunch to celebrate your last day if you decide to go out for lunch!! :-)

    • Gooseberry :

      One thing to consider is whether they will require you to leave afterwards, or take your pass into the building at the exit interview (thus, foiling your plans to go to lunch and then come back for all of your stuff). If it’s not that formal, and you know you’ll have access, I say go to exit interview, then lunch, then gym class, then back around to say goodbye to everyone. OR, better, go to interview, then eat a quick power bar, then say goodbye to everyone, leave with all your stuff, put it in your [locked] gym locker while you sweat it out at your gym class, THEN go to a late lunch and drink several glasses of your favorite wine.

      • I like your thinking. I should find out whether I’ll have to bring my stuff with me. I don’t think they’d do that, though, because I have a couple of bags.

    • I would pack up all your stuff in the morning, have your exit interview, walk around and say goodbye, and then take your stuff to the gym. You won’t ever have to set foot in your building again – don’t go back!

    • Did you update us on giving notice to your DOOSH boss? If so, what thread was it in????

      Yay for Bunkster!

  13. There was a discussion a few weeks ago about the brand of hose Kate Middleton wears — does anyone remember which ones they are?


    • Ah. I may have participated in this discussion. The palace has not officially confirmed (I believe) what brand she wears, but there are some guesses out there on the internets.

      Phillipe Mantignon is apparently the leading contender, people think. I ordered the Philippe Matignon Jade 20 Collant Playa Nature (Nude) — but they were honestly too sparkly for my taste, unless I was in the mood to play the sparkly lady-lawyer of justice that day. There are other less sparkly ones I believe.

      This article contains some other guesses about what it might be (my favorite of them are Wolford, but they are expensive).

      • God…I sound like such a Duchess stalker today, don’t I. I swear I’m just a normal person….not with any particular royalty obsession. I swear!

        • May I say I very much enjoyed “sparkly lady-lawyer of justice that day”. Other days perhaps, but not that day :)

      • The Wolford Sheer 15’s are my favorite sheer hose.

        • Romans et al. :

          Love the Filodoros…Aurora 15…not sparkly and good range of shades for my fall/winter and spring/summer “tan” status. Wear like iron; even if I am sitting on the floor playing with a child. Not a JD, but a PhD psychologist here. Although the image of a JD playing on the floor makes me smile. Maybe someone in child protective or divorce law? Always have paper and a zippy bag of a few crayons with me. Saved me on many a commuting flights with summer vacation cranky kids around (and parents who pretend they aren’t theirs)…oh I feel a rant coming on.

  14. I posted yesterday about having a hard time getting motivated to pack, and I have to be out of my apartment by June 1.

    Well, it’s not just that I’m moving. I’m moving in with my boyfriend, into his house. We both own our homes, are in our 30s, and each have a pet. But he has a dog, and a yard, so he kind of needs to stay there. I have no yard, and a smaller place.

    I’ve been having a really tough time getting motivated to pack, but also processing what it means to move into his place. I feel like I’m losing my independence and my space, and a lot of my possessions, while he just gets to keep his space and all his stuff. I sometimes feel like there’s not much room for me at his house. We had a long conversation last night about how sad I am to give up my stuff and my home. He’s worried that I don’t really want to move in. I do, I just have to grieve for what I’m giving up. I’ve lived by myself for the last 6 years, and gotten really used to my possessions. Before that, I traveled around the country living with various roommates since college.

    He’s worried that I’ll just leave him because I’m feeling pressure to move, and he thinks me stressing about it is an indication that I don’t want to do it. I don’t think that’s it. I was initially resistant, but I want to move forward in our relationship now, and I want to live with him. But I almost think it would be a lot easier if we were getting a new place together, that was “our place” rather than “his place.”

    Have any of you ever moved into a partner’s home? How have you tackled the emotional issue of giving up your own space?

    • I just want to say I would also have a lot of trouble moving into a home with the bf rather than into a new one together. Can you talk to him about making more room for you? Maybe he could do some spring cleaning to so its not just like you are bringing only your clothes.

      • Agreed. It will be hard not to feel like it’s “his” place even after it is, in some sense, both of yours. But if he really won’t/can’t leave the house, can you have a room (or part of a room) just for you? Maybe you could paint it to make it feel more like yours.

        And I totally get your point about feeling like you are losing your independence – I worried about that, too. But the right guy is worth it.

    • I did this – moved halfway across the country into the apartment my fiance had been renting for over five years. You are not alone in your feelings. I hated having all my possessions in boxes, while surrounded by “boy” stuff and decor – but at the same time didn’t want to come crashing into what had been his space for so long and redecorate. I put a lot of my stuff in a storage unit – the $100 a month bought me some time to get a grip on my own feelings, work out our cohabitation dynamic, and suss out what was and what was not negotiable for redecorating / repurposing in his place to make it “ours.”

      I didn’t have the second issue of giving up my own space since I was leaving a situation I was happy to get the h*ll out of.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I have always heard it’s harder on a relationship for one person to move into another’s space then to move into a totally new one together. And I can vouch for this. When I moved in with my then BF, now husband, we had a bad 4 months. Once we moved into a new house together, a lot of those problems went away (i.e., I wasn’t stealing the spot where he hung “his” towel — we each decided on a new spot, together, for each of our towels). It was just hard to add my stuff on top of his, rather then putting things away together. If you cannot move into a new place, can you at least ask him to make room for your stuff or buy some new stuff together?

    • Moved into my husband’s larger apt after getting married.. it was hard.. i def feel like i’ve given up my independence and it’s also harder to “combine” our physical-domestic lives when we’re not starting with the blank slate of a new place. We’ve discussed, and partly for that reason, we’re going to move to a new place soon. However, we also had to figure out a way to make “his” home “our home” so we had a discussion about how we could try to change the physical space so that it would seem new to both of us.

      Some suggestions – don’t toss your stuff just because you may have duplicates and you are packing. For the things that you have in duplicate, you both should decide which ones to keep, maybe based on utility, quality, condition and/or how attached one person is to that particular thing. Rearranging the kitchen or furniture/layout can make the place seem new. Painting the walls or changing up the decor is helpful. If he underestimates how much closet space you’ll want/need, you might to encourage him to cull his possessions, donate things etc. And this may need to be done methodically, ie go through this closet this weekend, the other closet next weekend etc. Also, hiring a cleaning service to do a thorough once-through might help too. :-)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        This sounds like really good advice to me. I was thinking that maybe you could agree to take down all wall decor and various home decor items and redecorate with items from both of your stuff. Although maybe that is my suggestion because I don’t really like my boyfriend’s country-style knick knacks. I do think that choosing together which duplicate item to keep is a good idea. You can base it on which one is in better condition and if that gets too lopsided for you then each of you pick out a few things you can’t part with. I’m thinking that maybe you really love your dishes but don’t care so much about your own glassware, so you keep your dishes and his glassware.

        Good luck with all of this!

      • I mean donate things that are no longer being used, ie old clothes.. randomly pointing at things that you want to get rid of may not be helpful..!

    • I was in basically the exact same situation as you last year. One thing that really has made my partner’s house really feel like our home was redecorating it together. So far we’ve repainted almost all of the walls in new colors and made some other big furniture changes that we purchased jointly. Living in a place that more closely matches my established aesthetic and does not look like just their aesthetic has made the place feel more like home.

      • Good point about redecorating. We did that too. It was my then-boyfriend moving into my place, and we ended up painting every single room together because he did (and does) not like plain white walls.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I have done this before and it was the beginning of the end for us because he did not make an effort to make it a place for both of us. It was me moving into his space, with no change for him. (Adding the the problem was thre fact that we had several other male roommates. What a terrible idea this all was!)

      Is there anything he can do to help make the home yours? What about combining your furniture, even if it means he has to get rid of some of his own? Has he started cleaning out closet space for you?

    • One thing that helped impress upon my husband what I was giving up (throwing away or donating) to move into his existing house was having him be there to help carry it to the car, curb, trash, etc. This motivated him to evaluate his stuff and choose things to get rid of to make room for me.

      I agree with deciding together which duplicates to keep/purge (or store/purge both sets of less expensive items and buy a new one together – sheets, towels, dishes, etc.) to make the place feel more like an “ours.”

    • Arranging my living space is really important to me, so I can relate to this for sure. In our current place we each have our own “private” spaces where we have absolute control, and that’s really helped me. Perhaps you can designate a room or a part of a room as your space?

      Another more radical idea would be to treat his apartment as though you were moving into a brand new apartment — make a blank floorplan and start from scratch, deciding whose bed/dinner table/whatever you’ll keep and where it will go. It would be a lot of work up front but might be worth it to make you feel truly at home.

    • I just wanted to chime in and say that my husband initially moved into my apartment (For three months until the lease on our new apartment started) and he expressed a lot of the same feelings that you’re talking about. So it’s a gender-neutral thing.

    • From the other side :

      A few years ago, my fiance rented out his family home (where he and his wife and their kids had lived for years and which he “got” in the divorce) to move into my home a few miles away. I spent several months making room in my house (where I had lived alone for 15 years and had never had to worry about using extra space efficiently) for him and his daughter. E.g., my extra bedroom became her bedroom and we now have no guest room.

      Then, my fiance and I spent a few weeks clearing out his house (which was really fun because when his wife left him, she took her clothes and a couple kitchen things and left years of other detritutus that we had to go through — we found her social security card buried at the back of a closet full of dozens of purses complete with half-eaten candy bars and crumpled receipts etc.). We then held a garage sale, and whatever didn’t sell he took to a consignment store.

      Then we moved his and his daughter’s things into my/our house. (She was out of the country with her mom, so she did not have to help.)

      In the years since, I have consistently been impressed and deeply touched by how seamlessly my fiance made the move. Lots of things help: he has great tenants, we live together very well, he had lots of fond memories but also lots of horrible memories about living in his house. But mostly I believe that he just made a mental choice that this was going to be his life and it was going to be good and he wasn’t going to obsess about it or entertain second thoughts. I don’t know that I could have been as gracious as he has been. Which only makes me love him more.

    • Thanks, everyone. I really appreciate hearing your stories, and knowing that my feeling is by no stretch uncommon.

      He and I basically had a long talk last night. A lot of his stuff is nicer than mine… but we talked about dishes, towels, etc., and he brought up the idea of having a garage sale for a lot of our individual stuff, and then using the money to buy new “our” stuff that we pick out together. I thought that was a great idea.

      I think I’m seeing his physical space, i.e., not having room for me in the house, as more of his non-phyiscal space, i.e., not having room for me *in his life*.

      One of my girlfriends told me this week that it’s ok, this is a really stressful week for you. I kind of just needed someone to tell me that this isn’t going to be easy. Now that I know that, I know that eventually, it will be good, but that it doesn’t have to be all rainbows and butterflies right this second.

      • I moved into my bf’s (now husband’s) apartment over a long holiday break when he was out of town. We talked about it beforehand, and he cleared some space for me to move in, but then generally gave me free reign. I redid bookcases, and the kitchen, so it would suit me. I was fortunate that he didn’t have strong opinions about where things went (we agreed that neither of us would throw anything out without consulting the other).

        Looking back, it was really helpful for me to have time in that space alone when I was settling in. It helped me to just think about the flow of the space, and to get used to the light/layout/storage/etc without the shadows of another person around. And also to get comfortable with this new state of our relationship on my own terms, without him hovering. So if there’s any way that you can convince him to leave town or give you a full day or night by yourself, I recommend it.

    • My now husband moved into my house. I was like your boyfriend in that I had a dog and a small home I owned. My SO had a rent-controlled apartment but was not a homeowner. In hindsight, we should have kept it as a pied a terre, but he got laid off and it seemed ridiculous to pay rent in that situation.

      Things that he liked about my house before he moved in – my feminine bedroom decor, for instance – bugged the cr$p out of him once he moved in. We very quickly changed what we could, like decor, and integrated as many of his pieces of furniture and art as we could.

      In addition, I ceded two spaces to him entirely – the garage (he likes to work on cars) and the family room (for his TV and related). There was 0% my stuff in those two spaces – they were all his. So I felt a little compromised that all the other rooms we had were “ours” – combined my stuff and his stuff – but those two rooms were just “his.” He resented that, in his view, he only had two rooms that were his. (His default and IMO incorrect assumption being that the rest of the rooms were mine.)

      It got better over time, but there are some remnants of that behavior on his part. We bought a larger house together, had a couple of kids and as far as I can tell, I still have no space that’s just “mine.” But he still has a room in the house (spare bedroom) and the garage all to himself for his stuff, and he will rag on me if I put stuff in there even temporarily.

      So I don’t recommend what we did! But I do agree that it will get easier over time. I grumble about hubby’s stupid space issues all the time, but day to day it’s not really a huge problem.

      • Oh, and by the way, I got rid of tons of my stuff when he moved into my place. I gave relatively new living room armchairs and a brand new coffee table to Goodwill in order to accomodate furniture that came from his family (and wasn’t in as nice of shape, but is still sentimental for him.) You should at the very least expect that of your boyfriend.

  15. I am going to be the lone dissenter. Not a fan of this suit. The shade of white strikes me as too stark for a suit, I don’t like the fasten closure and I have a feeling the fabric quality will leave something to be desired.

    • Gooseberry :

      I’ll join arms with you, AIMS. It’s hopeful in so many ways, but I’d change all of the things you mentioned.

    • AIMS…you’ve been reading this site long enough that no opinion is ever taken alone. You can always find a person to agree with you. :-) Unless you want to fly from DC to NYC.

  16. Do AGL flats go on sale during either the half yearly or anniversary sale? I am finally ready to pull the trigger, but if they are going to be on sale in a few weeks, I think I can wait. Also/alternatively, is there a list somewhere of which brands do or don’t go on sale and in which departments (ie Kate Spade shoes on sale but not Kate Spade bags, Burberry clothes but not watches, etc.)?

    • Not really what you asked, but if you’re looking for KS shoes, Piperlime often has them on sale.

    • I bought last year’s chain link AGL’s at the anniv sale on sale.

  17. momentsofabsurdity :

    “This Boston terrier wants to know why you only really apply yourself at work a couple of days out of the week.”

    • Omigosh – that is hilarious! I think that, somewhere, there is a baby beluga who is disappointed that I waste so much time on Corporette….

    • ha – that boston terrier really has a good stinkeye.

      • ha – I think it may be a typical boston terrier stinkeye, based on my experience. My little benevolent dictator boston controlled every living creature in the house, four-legged and two-legged, with a combination of glaring and noises. She even had the 100 pound dog under her control, using the stinkeye and a weird keening noise to make the big dog stop being rambunctous in the house. There were different methods of communicating “you’re sitting where I want to sit on the sofa”, “my meal is not up to my standards”, and the like, all involving noises and some form of glaring.

    • This otter is unhappy about the amount of genuinely terrible television you watch.

      I think this otter is looking at me.

      • Tired Squared :

        TCFKAG, you’re not alone. The otter is judging me and my nick-at-nite reruns too…

  18. Wednesday :

    My boss was complaining about his meetings, and in response I sent him this:

    And challenged him to say one of these things in a meeting. I think I just threw professionalism out the window, but what the heck.

    • I love the May 4th challenges. Yes, I am a Star Wars geek!

    • I sent that to my husband once, who has to attend lots of meetings and he was like “but they don’t mean anything, I don’t get it.” I was like…do you even HAVE a sense of humor.

      (I like the albatross and fashionable one a lot today.)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I sent it to my government bureaucrat boyfriend and he didn’t get it either. Meetings are just ingrained into him!

        • lucy stone :

          OMG we are govt bureaucrats in my office and we love this site. It gets us through the day sometimes.

    • Haha. I sent these to my boss a couple of weeks ago, and he’s been working them in at meetings. No one else knows about the blog, so we’ve been getting a huge kick out of it.

    • FormerPhotog :

      I don’t know whether to work these in on my next interminable conference call, or ridiculous marketing meeting. Or both!

  19. Does anyone have any experience with shoes from the Limited? I’ve had my eye on a pair for a while and am contemplating ordering them tonight since it’s 50% off all regular priced items from 5 pm to midnight online. Any opinions on fit or quality?

  20. just got a letter from the IRS – part of it is in COMIC SANS! huh????

  21. 360 Assessment :

    Has anyone here ever had a 360 assessment done on them? Or performed one? Or commissioned one to be done on someone who reports to you?

    I am in-house counsel. We are doing succession planning and leadership training, and as part of that the head of our department has commissioned 360 assessments of my only attorney colleague and of me.

    I know the “the process works.” What I want to know is how to approach this. For example, I strongly suspect that what is learned in this process will be used in promotion decisions, even though that is not usually the case.

    For the several years I’ve been here, my clients have consistently told me how highly they think of my work and my judgment/approach. At times, they have said that this contrasts with their assessment of my (much senior) boss and (slightly senior) colleague. The little frisson I have experienced at this workplace has been with boss and colleague, never with clients. Will this frisson come out in the process? If so, how honest should I be about it (keeping in mind that I believe most of it is caused by territoriality and insecurity — not on my part).

    Thanks for ANY insight you can share.

    • I had a 360 on myself a couple years ago – but my company is pretty careful to use it as a development tool, not as an evaluation.

      Mine was all internal due to my role so my raters were just in the “manager”, “direct report”, and “peer” categories. I’m sure it varies by brand of 360 assessment but I would highly suggest that you get a “client” category on yours so the difference between the internal and external rating will be apparent. Yes, the “frisson” will come out in the results if you have separate categories for internal and external – the assessment I had done slices the data in a gazillion different ways. I just looked it up and the report was 33 pages long!

      My other suggestions are (1) pick your raters thoughtfully (if you have any leeway in this) and (2) it wouldn’t hurt to drop a hint to your clients that this may be used for promotion decisions.

      • Reading it more carefully, I see that by “clients” you mean people in your company outside the legal department? It might be a little trickier to get a “client” category in that case but I would still push for it.

    • I did one on my manager last year. It took FOR EV ER. Which is to say they asked every possible question nine different ways.

      In ours, a good deal of the questions were personal — is the person nice, is the person inclusive, does the person make everyone feel valued, etc etc etc — so the frisson is likely to come out if it can be reflected in those questions. I would also be wary if, as ours was, everything is done on a number scale with little to no written feedback (to supposedly protect anonymity). That makes it really easy to give someone mediocre or bad ratings without having to back it up, and I suspect some of my coworkers abused that and allowed personal negative feelings or competitiveness to affect their ratings. Not sure what to do about it if that is the case, just be aware of the possibility and think in advance about ways to rebut or do damage control if necessary. Hopefully, it won’t be!

  22. Unhelpful assistant :

    TJ re assistants. I know we’ve talked about assistant issues in various threads but I don’t think I’ve ever seen this particular issue and I’m hoping you brilliant ladies have some advice.

    My assistant likes me and thinks we have a good working relationship. This is because I pretend that everything is fine when it is not. She routinely messes things up that she should not (e.g. simple court filings) and has a habit of disappearing precisely when I need her (e.g. filing deadlines) even though I email her every morning with a detailed list of what I will need done each day and when it needs to be done, and even though I provide her with the documents/information she needs to do her job as soon as I have them. I can’t rebuke her because she has worked for the partner who gives me 90% of my work for longer than I’ve been alive, and she will tattle on me. He blames every mistake she makes on me and the other associate that she supports, even when it is clearly her fault. Reassignment to another secretary is not possible. Should I just do everything myself?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve never had an assistant, so take this with a grain of salt. I think sending her a to do list every morning is great, but could you also follow up with her on tasks an hour or two before you need them completed? I mean send her the overall list and then if for example a task is make the following changes to x document and create both a redline and clean copy and send to party y by 4pm, then check in with her at 2pm and ask what the status on that project is. Hopefully if you do this for awhile, she will realize how vigilant you are being and that when you give a deadline that you really mean that deadline is important and you won’t need to follow up as much. It’s not rebuking her for messing something up, but being clear with her about your expectations and you would also have time to complete the task yourself if for some reason it is clear that she isn’t going to do it. I’d be hesitant to do it yourself until it becomes absolutely necessary because it seems like once you give in and do it that she may never do what you need her to do since she knows you’ll do it yourself it she puts it off long enough.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Boy, can I commiserate with you! Since the partners left around 2pm today, mine has been on her cell phone and news websites. Now I’m sure there is SOMETHING that needs doing…but this is your TJ :)

        I think Sydney’s advice is excellent. Become the persistent status-checker. I even do this with my partners when they are busy and making me nervous with filing deadlines (“how is it going? Do you need extra research? Exhibits?”). Good for you putting up with it. I’m in the same tattling situation, so I relate. I’m sure it is only a matter of time until I say something – I am not really known for large amounts of patience when it comes to court filings!

    • I like the checking in solution for longer projects.

      Does it work well for you with last-minute time crunches? E.g. today we had a 2 p.m. filing deadline. We didn’t get approval to file until 1 p.m. (even though the document had been written and sent out for client review a week ago), and didn’t get the necessary client signature until 1:35. Assistant knew that it would be a rush with a hard 2 p.m. deadline, as we had discussed it at 1 when we got approval to file, yet still disappeared from her desk to chat with other assistants from 1:30 until 1:50, causing massive panic for me and ultimately the filing deadline to be missed (it wasn’t a last day, so not the end of the world, but I am the one that is going to have to explain why it was missed to the partner, without blaming assistant).

      I feel somewhat better after venting, but still am furious.

      • So basically she ignored your “direct request” to be at her desk for an hour since there was a deadline? Sorry, I wouldn’t roll over and take the blame for her on this one. I would speak to her directly and emphasize how important it is that everyone does what they need to at deadline time and filing deadlines aren’t to be trifled with. What if it was the last day? She doesn’t get to make those calls. Your butt is on the line. If it continues, bring it up in her review. If she keeps making these mistakes, it will certainly be brought up in your review. I’m irritated for you.

      • That’s completely ridiculous. Completely passive aggressive on her part. How does other associate feel? Maybe you can both tackle this together.

        • He also feels that she is extremely unhelpful, but agrees that we will get nowhere with the partner since he thinks she walks on water. We had a group meeting that felt like family therapy about 2 years ago because the assistant was routinely yelling at the other associate and I, at which meeting the partner blamed the other associate and I for putting too much pressure on her. So we feel hopeless.

    • Short answer is yes, you should be prepared to do most (urgent or critical) stuff yourself, since the current system isn’t working. Document what is going on (and why your time is being eaten up by this stuff) for the inevitable reviews and discussions with supervisors.

      That said, the idea that you are emailing a detailed list of things to do every morning just strikes me as…overbearing? I don’t know. I just know that if I were your assistant, that list would not endear you to me. And I have been both and assistant and a supervisor with a less than competent/helpful assistant. I understand where you are coming from. This just strikes me as the wrong approach. If nothing else, you should be talking to her before you send her a list of demands, unless the items are urgent and completely last minute.

  23. SoCal Gator :

    I wanted a summer suit also but not white. So I just ordered from Ann Taylor the Stretch Linen Twill jacket and matching pants in sandbar — a lightbeige. I much prefer that to the all white look (which that suit also came in). Link to follow in separate post.

    • SoCal Gator :

      Here is the link:

    • SoCal Gator :

      Bummer. Just got a notice my order was cancelled due to lack of stock. But it still shows availability on the website.

  24. Visiting Asheville, NC this weekend. Anyone have anyrestaurant recs or “must dos”? Thanks!

    • I’ve been to Asheville twice for weddings so didn’t have too much free time to explore. Definitely take a tour of the Biltmore and their winery. The downtown area is cute and full of little stores and restaurants.

      • Anonymous :

        The Admiral is great if you can get in. Drink local beer, Wedge, Green Man, etc.

  25. In-House Europe :

    SHOPPING ALERT! :) Ru, TCFKAG, and others…want to help on something fun? :)

    So…in light of a crappy few weeks, I am meeting up with a friend and going shopping (in real stores, not online!) for the first time in….forever.

    Here’s the thing – I recently reorganized my closet and found I have:

    1) 8 suits in dark grey/black (mix of skirt and pants suit)
    2) 6 white blouses (and 2 striped)
    3) 9 pairs of jeans (all blue, in various kinda skinny to kinda wide leg “variations”)
    4) 5 printed skirts (plaid! black and white! plaid again!)
    5) 1 billion pairs of black shoes (flats! heels! sandals!), 1 pair of nude for me pumps, 2 pairs of purpose shoes (flats and pumps)

    This is ridiculous people. Granted, I do have 1 pair of beige pants, a few bright tops, and a few bright sweaters…but I feel like my closet is in such a rut! Today I am being adventurous by wearing a printed Boden top with navy blue slacks and purple flats, with a cream cardigan for inside.

    So…here is a tentative shopping list:

    1. tan suit for the summer
    2. bright shoes (blue?)
    3. some print blouses/tops
    4. maybe a tan trench?

    What else should I get? Help me make my wish list please!

    FWIW, I’m a size 8/10, seriously apple shaped, brown eyes and hair, and on the taller side. And I live in a relatively conservative part of Europe, one with kinda cruddy summers (thus the trench)

    Thanks for the input!

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