Suit of the Week: ASOS

ASOS Crepe Suit | CorporetteFor 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.

Everyone seemed to really love the color of the Escada suit from a few weeks ago, including me — so when I saw this (much) less expensive version from hip retailer ASOS I had to pass it along. Love that bright pink! As of this writing it’s available in sizes 1-14, with matching ankle pants. For work, I’d wear it as styled, with a gray skintight croptop — ha, just kidding! I do like the gray, though — I think it does a better job of muting the pink (as would a cream or a beige); I’d worry a black or white would just make it pop. I might try it with orange or red accessories if I were having fun, or a single metal color to complement my shirt. For some reason I’m seeing silver with a gray shirt, and gold with a cream/beige top. (Ooh: if I were wearing the blazer as a separate this would be a great time to dress in different textures of the same color, like gray.) The blazer (ASOS Blazer In Crepe With Slim Lapel) is $85.74, and the pants (ASOS Cigarette Pants) are $47.64.



ASOS Blazer In Crepe With Slim Lapel | Corporette ASOS Cigarette Pants in Crepe | Corporette



  1. I love the jacket! At the moment I have the issue that I seem to be dressing more formally than most oft he women in my office, but it’s only because I need the pockets in my blazers and I haven’t found a cardigan that doesn’t look schlumpy on me. This could be the perfect middle ground.

    • lawsuited :

      I love the whole suit and would wear it with unmitigated glee if it were available in my size.

  2. Housecounsel :

    Beautiful, but I just don’t think I could do that much pink at the office.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I think the blazer would look great over a grey or black dress but I agree – too much pink all together

  3. Anyone have any good resources for full time working moms with a new baby (well I guess not so new anymore, 9-months)? To give you a little bit more context, I just feel like I am struggling in all aspects of my life (work, being a mom, my relationship with my husband, not having enough time to exercise, having no time to do the things I used to enjoy). I feel like I am not doing anything very well, but instead just going through the motions to survive.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I don’t have any advice except to hire as much help as you can. I think most of us feel like we are not doing anything very well because we are spread so thin. A demanding career and a family is tough, tough, tough, even though it’s totally worth it (most days!).

      I recently hired a personal chef because I want to spend my time with my kids and husband when I get home, not cooking. Even though I LOVE to cook. The personal chef comes in one day a month as leaves us with 5-8 meals. It helps on the days I am particularly uninspired (I love to cook but hate deciding what’s for dinner).

      We also have a cleaning service once a week, and the nanny picks up after the kids and does their laundry.

      My kids are a little bit older now (12, 10 and 4) but I so remember where you are! I didn’t have the money back then to hire out as much as I do now.

      Some of it pays for itself though. The personal chef is $250 plus groceries. We save on take out and going out for dinner though.

    • Anonymous :

    • No advice, just commiseration. Mine is 10.5 months and just getting out of a rough patch. I started a new job 3.5 months ago, so when baby quit sleeping and was sick for two months, I thought I’d lose it
      As much as I hated to, I chose to let work slip. Baby is through the rough patch and I’m still employed. I won’t be getting a great review and certainly am not a super star, but I’m pretty happy with my balance. Note: I already had everything possible hired out. So I had to make a hard choice. Anyway, know that you’re not alone and most babies go through extremely rapid development around 9-10 months, which is hard on the sweeties.

    • Highly recommend Balance is a Crock and Sleep is for the Weak. It’s a lot of down-to-earth advice about being a working mom with a baby (or babies).

      I agree to hire out as much help as you can. I realized that I didn’t want to spend precious few minutes I had with my kids cleaning bathrooms. Also, it took until my first born was 10 months or so before I could even fathom having someone babysit him while my husband and I would go out for date night (see – precious few minutes, above). But I realized that in the grand scheme of things, it was better to spend that time with my husband.

      As for exercise, I may not be the best person to ask. I literally (this week) just started working out again consistently after my second was born 10 months ago. I had a baby that refused to sleep through the night until 3 weeks ago.

      I now get up at 5 am to work out. Although it’s early, I do enjoy having some time only to myself.

      Short version: This is a season in your life where things are hard and I think you can cut yourself some slack. Do what you can, when you can. All of us are just surviving, I promise.

    • I have a longer reply pending moderation, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what triggered it.

    • +1 to hiring out as much help as possible. We get people for yard projects (mulch, sod, annual cleanup) and a cleaning lady every other week. It’s not perfect but it’s a big boost.

      Also, be kind to yourself! I remember feeling exactly that way when both my kids (I have two) were at that age. I think it’s because you’re far enough out from the birth that you feel as though things should have normalized, and yet you’re NOT that far out at all. You have to be good to you. Just getting through the week right now is a big deal. FWIW, my life began to normalize when my son (#2) was about 14 months old. Earlier with #1, but I don’t remember exactly when. Chin up! I promise it will get better.

      • anon-oh-no :

        another vote for taking help where you can get it. we have a cleaning lady once a week; we have a meal service 2 nights a week and my nanny cooks the other two week nights.

        and then pick the one or two things that are really important to you and find a way to do it — whether its a yoga class, dinner with the family, or whatever, if you find something to stick with, it brings some sanity to the chaos.

        also, it took me a long time to really understand that my life was different post kids, but once I really got it, learning to love my new life, instead of just mourning my old life, was much easier.

        • I think that last paragraph is really important. Even though I desperately wanted kids and was so happy to have them, I still mourned my old life. Letting go and accepting that things would be different for the foreseeable future helped a lot. Now I love my new life and wouldn’t trade it for anything.

        • Spirograph :

          +1 to all of this.

          I have a one-year old and I felt absolutely everything you’re talking about throughout the first year. It does get a little better, but obviously you have a lot of years before you get “your life” back. Your life+kids is awesome too, you just have to adjust to it. It’s a big learning curve and no one figures it out quickly. I know I’m still figuring it out, and I probably will be until I’m an empty nester.

          Specifically for the working out thing… I cannot wake up at 5 to work out, and I feel bad picking my son up from daycare and immediately dropping him off at the babysitting center at the gym, so 6 months ago I made a deal with my husband that he does bath/bedtime at least 3x per week so I can go work out. It has made a huge difference in my sanity. I’m vain and want to stay in shape, but I can’t overstate the mental health benefit I get from solo exercise. I also take my son to the gym with me on Saturday morning (while DH sleeps in) and he goes to babysitting while I go to yoga.

          Even though I want to spend every minute I c an with my son, and I feel bad abdicating some of my precious weekend time, I have to take care of me first, and I have found that I NEED BREAKS FROM HIM. I always kind of feel like a bad mother for admitting this, but omg, I do. He is exhausting, and I am in a better mood to chase after him if I go to yoga for an hour. It’s like the safety instructions on airplanes — you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you help anyone else.

    • Also wanted to add my commiseration. My weekdays feel exactly like what you describe: just going through the motions. My baby is 9 months, and I often feel I am failing as a mother, wife, and employee — all at the same time. I wish I could say I’ve just let work slip (and I have), but my relationship with my husband has really suffered recently because we’re simply exhausted all.the.time. Many (most?) of the moms I know are SAH, so it’s hard to find someone to commiserate with. I wish I had a good solution, but frankly with a 50+ hr work week, the only solution I see is to quit my job or ask for a part time schedule (neither of which I want to do). For exercise, I’ve acknowledged that I will not be getting to the gym, so I’ve started doing the T25 workouts. They’re not great, but at least they get me off my butt and I can fit them in after the baby is asleep before dinner, or during a nap on the weekends. We have house cleaners and lawn care providers, which is a huge help if you can afford to outsource those responsibilities. Hang in there, and please know you’re not alone! Hopefully, what we’re feeling is normal and we’ll figure it out eventually.

    • (1) This is a rough time, it’s hard for everyone. For a while, you will feel that you aren’t doing a good job at anything. But (2) it will change. My quality of life changed dramatically when my baby turned 1 – and then again at 2, and then again at 3.
      At one year old, my kid started sleeping through the night (finally). I felt like I came out of a fog.
      At three, he is potty trained and plays independently, communicates his needs clearly and is a delight to interact with. He even has empathy (sometimes! rarely!) and has asked me “are you okay?” or “are you tired?” – he is particularly attuned to my moods, more so than anyone! And I feel like my life is (almost) back to where it was pre-baby: exercising, relaxing, watching tv (I pretty much didn’t for the first two years) with my husband, family outings, etc.
      So it seems like forever when you’re going through it, but it shall pass, and you’ll miss those cuddly portable baby days.

    • cavity maker :

      alt dot life message boards

    • Need to Improve :

      I hear you! As many have said, outsource everything you can: we have a cooking service almost every night, a cleaning lady, 11 hours a day of child care, a gardener, and the vast majority of groceries delivered. If you bargain hunt you can do this a lot less expensively than you would think.

      As for getting exercise, which I agree is super hard, here are the things I do:

      -Keep a full set of workout clothes in the office. When I have free time, go for a mid-day run or gym trip. Very hard to do when you would rather sit on your butt and read blogs, but worth it!
      -Wake up very early before family is up and run
      -Wake up very early before family is up and work, then do a workuot after everyone is fed/clothed out the door and get to work later that day
      -Gym with child care, which we go to as a family every weekend
      -Sometimes jog to day care with jogging stroller

      I can’t bring myself to do gym day care in the evenings after the family has not seen me all day, so sometimes we go to the park and I just run around with them. Or I use the jogging stroller in the evenings.

      And you know what? Even though I exercise reasonably frequently, work my a$$ off at the office, and have almost no free time to myself, I still feel like I am failing on every front all the time . . .I just have to remind myself to be nice to myself.

    • What is your husband doing in the evening to help? Just remember, you are a good enough mom. Most of us sleep walk through the first two years. It got way easier somehow when I didn’t have to actively bath my toddler at around 2 1/2. I could let him play in the tub while I sat on the floor and chatted on the phone and rested a bit. So, about two more years and you can get some rest.

  4. T. McGill :

    I know there have been threads on this topic previously but I can’t seem to find them… I’m in my last trimester, so very visibly pregnant. Just got a call from a recruiter about a position that seems very interesting. Should I disclose to the recruiter that I am very pregnant? I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, but I also don’t want to preclude myself from what could be a great opportunity…

    • purplesneakers :

      No, don’t disclose. Why cut yourself from any great potential opportunities?

    • Contracts :

      You have no obligation to disclose. 1. You are not a waste of time 2. You have legal protection against not being considered for a job because you are pregnant 3. If they do not choose you for this position, that doesn’t mean they won’t keep you in mind for something in the future.

      • What is the legal protection? It’s not like these things are typically provable.

        • Contracts :

          Pregnancy Discrimination Act. But I do think it would be hard to prove.

    • If you would take the job if you got it, by all means go for it. I have a good friend who got a great job while she was super pregnant. It’s not a disqualifier.

    • You don’t have to disclose, but consider if you’ll be eligible for FMLA leave if you switch employers this late in your pregnancy. The prospect of 6 weeks of leave (tops) at a new job vs. 6 months at my old job made me stay put when I got an offer elsewhere at 6 months pregnant.

      • +1

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        If you aren’t eligible for FMLA you may not even get 6 weeks off. Some places offer no maternity leave, even unpaid. You use your sick time or FMLA and your job isn’t protected if you don’t have FMLA. State law specific of course.

      • I agree with this, but keep in mind that, since it’s going to be out in the open anyway, you can negotiate for leave when you get to the offer stage. It’s possible that they may be willing to agree to a leave that works for you (get it in writing, though). Good luck!

    • T. McGill :

      Thanks. Leave is the biggest issue. I’m close enough to my due date that there is a high probability that any offer would be made around that time. So I wouldn’t be able to start until after “leave.” At my current job, I would get 12 weeks FMLA lease, 6 paid, which I don’t want to give up. Totally putting the horse before the cart; I guess for now I will wait and see what happens, no disclosure.

    • No sleep and high stress :

      I’ve disclosed before, made no difference, still got an offer. If the company doesn’t want me pregnant, I don’t want to work for them pregnant.

  5. purplesneakers :

    Agreed that the entire suit would be way too much pink for the office, but I love the jacket over a grey or black sheath dress.

    Quick TJ, ladies- does Uniqlo run true to size, or small? I’m looking at outwear, so I can get the men’s if necessary, but I’d really rather not. I’m a size 12 in Gap, and sort of apple-shaped, no hips.

    • True to size.

    • It really depends. On certain things I’m beyond the XL (because of the cut, because it’s designed for women with little boobage) but when I went a week ago to try a couple blouses I found that I could get my regular sizes without gaping between the buttons or had to size down–perhaps their new blouses are just cut larger? (I’m also a 12 in most brands).

    • I am so looking forward to the Uniqlo store opening in LA so I can go see if I will fit into any of their stuff. I can hardly contain myself.

  6. layered bob :

    The question a while back about wearing an engagement ring to OCI surprised me – I had never considered wearing/not-wearing and now I’m questioning what to do – does the same advice about not-wearing apply if I am somewhat older (worked for several years before law school) and married? (My wedding band and engagement ring are soldered together; I wear both every day.) Does it make a difference that my engagement ring is not particularly large and not a diamond? Ugh. I typically interview well but everything about OCI is giving me the shakes.

    • FWIW, I was surprised about it too. I wore my engagement ring throughout the OCI process without even thinking to ask this question. It would seem even weirder to remove a wedding ring. I’d wear them.

    • I think the concern with an engagement ring or wedding band is that the interviewee is heading into the pregnancy, maternity leave, small kids phase of life and won’t be as “dedicated” to their career (yes, this is complete bull feces).

      If you are somewhat older (e.g., look like you are beyond maternity leave and small kids), a wedding ring doesn’t broadcast any message and might actually be a plus (in a stable relationship). As for the stone being a small, nondiamond, that can also be a plus–it can be read as “your husband isn’t rich so you are motivated to work.”

      • Meh I think it goes both ways. When I was interviewing, I was young and had a large diamond engagement ring. I just made sure I emphasized that I *WANTED* to be there. I actually think it helped me because it was clear I wasn’t just interviewing at big law firms because I had 6 figures of debt and needed a way to pay it off and would spend 4 years at their firm counting down the days until I was free of debt and could get the heck out of there. I knew what I was getting into (I had been a paralegal) and I liked the field I was in, and I had the support that I needed to go do public interest law if it was what I wanted- and it wasn’t what I wanted. Do what you’re comfortable with.

        • Wildkitten :


          • why does that response get a “wow”?

          • I second Cat. Seriously. Nothing about this response is remotely offensive.

          • Wow is right :

            Cat/Tacky–you don’t see what’s wrong with this comment? She’s saying she made it clear, through her huge engagement ring, that she had “the support that she needed” (read: a wealthy fiancé) to enable her to pursue the work she wanted, rather than work needed to pay her bills. And she’s saying that she thought this helped her in getting a job! So… “I have a wealthy man supporting me–that’s a good reason to hire me (rather than some working slob of a woman who doesn’t).” That kind of thinking is both classist and sexist.

          • @Wildkitten/Wow is right, the whole point of the original question was the ridiculous leaps of judgment that interviewers might make based on an engagement ring. This response just flips that on its head – hey, it might be an advantage for a similarly outlandish reason. Just because Anon thinks it may have *actually* helped her (and, she didn’t say it was the right or fair approach, just that it may have actually happened, which I think is an important distinction) doesn’t make the comment any less valid than the various posters’ *actual* concerns about engagement rings hurting their chances.

          • But given that firms do a background and credit check, many DO want to know this exact information. If you owned a home (instead of renting) or wore a nicer suit, wouldn’t that send similar signals if that mattered to a firm? It might not be fair, but that poster thought that financial stability would send a signal that she wanted the job for what it was and not to use it to simply pay her bills and then escape. Some lawyers value financial stability, some value marital/family stability, while others may value an unmarried person who can travel, etc.

          • No. I made it clear, despite my large engagement ring, that I wanted to be working at the high pressure job I was interviewing for, including the long hours that come with it. Everyone is saying the risk of wearing an engagement ring is that people will unfairly assume you have other priorities. I made it clear that despite what their assumption might be about a woman about to get married, I wanted to be working and I wanted to be at their firm. Because if it wasn’t what I wanted, I wouldn’t be there. How many people comment on here every day that they are dying to get out of big law as soon as they pay off their debt? Most employers would prefer to have employees who want to be there and are excited about being there rather than counting down the days until they can leave.

            And seriously- you’re reading things into this that absolutely are not there. This had nothing to do with having a wealthy man supporting me and was no knock at a “working slob of a woman.” All I was saying was that if you want to wear your ring, go for, and there’s a way to spin it if you’re worried about some kind of prejudice.

          • Wow is right :

            Got it. So, all things being equal, employers should prefer financially independent employees who can work simply for the love of the job rather than employees who need the job (which are apparently mutually exclusive groups, or at least exclusive enough that signaling you are in the latter category implies you are not in the former). So we’ll end up handing over all the high-paying jobs to the people who already have money…

            And they wonder why the 1% keeps getting further away from the 99%–apparently having a large engagement ring is an entry to a well-compensated job.

          • All I’m saying is that all things being equal, employers probably prefer people who want to be in that field and at that employer. Employers probably prefer people who work for love of the job rather than pretty much any other group. When I was trying to get a job during a difficult market, I just tried to make it clear that I was there for love of the job. You could be there for love of the job even if you had no money and a ton of loans. There are a ton of people who are in big law because they want to pay off student loans quickly, not because they have any interest in the material. There are people who take jobs at big law firms but know all along that they’re dying to go work in government. I just wanted to emphasize that I was dying to be at their firm, not elsewhere (staying at home as a mom, in government, etc.).

          • “All I’m saying is that all things being equal, employers probably prefer people who want to be in that field and at that employer. Employers probably prefer people who work for love of the job”

            Sure, I agree with that. I do. But honestly, how many people LOVE, say, ERISA?

            Some jobs can only be loved so much, and the vast majority of employees, in our “prestigious” fields and others, simply need to work. I agree with your statement, I just think it hits its limit of usefulness really quickly.

      • Wildkitten :

        Yes. I asked the question yesterday. K-Padi articulates the concerns exactly. Even if they don’t actually say that, or don’t know they are thinking it, it sounds like it’s better to take off the ring and not risk prejudice.

    • I was pretty surprised too, actually. I sometimes wore my wedding ring to interviews even after we split up, thinking it would convey that I was a stable, mature individual. The idea that it would make me look like a childbearing vessel in waiting never crossed my mind, but then, childbearing never crossed my mind either.

    • For the OP, I would of course wear both ring’s, if you are MARRIED, and your engagement ring, if you are not YET married. To NOT do so would give men the idea that you are availeable to them, and you certainley do NOT want to give them that idea, especialy if you have a significant other.

      I should have learned to do this even tho I was not even engaged to Alan Sheketovits. I should have worn some thing / anything at all, b/c most guy’s at the interview stage saw me with NO ring at all on any of my fingers and immedeately got interested, NOT in my leagal skill’s but in whether I would go out drinkeing with them and do sexueal things b/c I did NOT have any guy. That happened in all of my summer job’s (with idiot’s working in the goverment), and even at the process serving job, where the boss constantley tried to fondel me and also even hounded me to sleep with him b/c he gave me steadey work. FOOEY!

      I have come along way since those days, but alway’s council women to get a ring from somewhere, anywhere and wear it to ward off the guys, young and old that will sniff you out like a bloodhound in order to make some kind of unwanted (and unwarranted) sexueal contact. I am sure that is why places like Blue moon make alot of money from us. It is called preventative medicine against infection by hornbag’s that just want us for short-term pleasure’s and NOT for what we want — MARRAGE AND FAMILY, in that order, thank you very much. YAY!!!!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      In my experience, my single coworkers tend to leave work earlier than my married coworkers because they are trying to get out and have a social life and meet someone or actually have dates with the people they have met.

      • Mine is totally the opposite. All my married coworkers are leaving to go spend time with their families while the single ones are here late.

        I wish I could leave with enough time to have a consistent, meaningful social life. It’s just harder to schedule a meaningful social life when dating than it is to fit in time with your family. Add the pressure to bill time and the fact that there’s no one clamoring for you to get home… and the single ones are here late.

      • Blondie: This is one of the stupidest things I have read on this blog to date.

        What a gross, inaccurate, and judgmental stereotype. It begs the question do you keep tabs on everyone or just the ones you assume to be single?

    • Not wearing an engagement surprised me too — the risk of prejudice comes from being a woman, not from wearing a ring. I believe there’s a nonzero chance that an engagement ring-wearing woman will get dinged for wearing such a ring however I have a hard time believing it’s that prevalent of a phenomenon.

      • Agreed that the prejudice is based on gender. But I have been in the room with fellow interviewers debriefing and you would be surprised by how harshly female candidates are judged when they wear a ring, even if it isn’t explicitely mentioned. And even if they say “I really want this job and I will work really hard” and are completely qualified and prepared for the interview.

        In contrast, men are much more likely to say stupid things in an interview like “happy wife, happy life” and “my two year old twins are a handful” and be judged so leniently that my head explodes.

      • Cady Herron :

        I replace my engagement ring with a simple plain band when I interview. The stone is 2.5 carats, and I worry that will result in Judgments About My Commitment to the Job.

    • Anonattorney :

      Hahaha, this whole conversation just reminds me of The Firm.

      “No one’s divorced in the firm. No bachelors either. . . . The firm encourages children, because children promote stability.”

      “Mitch, I hope you don’t think we are being intrusive but stability in the family has a special importance for us. We’re a small firm, but we’re a large family so we’re careful.”

  7. Has anyone purchased a pair of Club Monaco heels? Wondering about quality and comfort. Have been eyeing a pair for weeks but can’t quite seem to justify spending that much (unless someone tells me they’re fabulously comfortable all day!) …

  8. TJ- question regarding gifts for room-mates

    I’m moving end of July, and half-way around the world. My future room-mate (we found each other via FB, we’ll meet in person in a few weeks) has been fantastic throughout the process, despite much crazy, and really sweet. I’d like to get her a small gift, since in my culture showing up empty-handed to someone’s house (yes, I know, I’ll be living there too, but it was her place first) is extremely rude. Would getting her something- I’m thinking tea, or something similarly consumable from my home country- be okay, or would it come across as odd/strange? Bonus: her birthday’s in August, and I’ll probably get her something then as well, so I don’t want to come across as clingy/possessive.


    • That seems fine, just frame it as a housewarming gift/token from wherever you’re from. Edibles are always appreciated in my experience.

    • I think it’s sweet. Doesn’t seem strange at all. For what it’s worth, I brought coffee from a great local-to-me roaster when I worked abroad, and I think my coworkers appreciated the gesture (although I think admitting that means I lose any NGDGTCO points I may have accidentally accrued).

    • Agree, tea is a small and appropriate gift. You could get something even more personal or special though based on her tastes or locally famous products.
      Do you mind sharing where you’re from, and where you’re moving to? That may suggest ideas for appropriate gifts (popular items in the destination country that aren’t easy to find there, and local items from your origin country).

    • @Samantha No problem! I’m from the south of India and will be moving to Monterey, CA for graduate school.

      Gift ideas would be great- a lot of local specialities are out because they’re either ridiculously spicy or won’t survive the 30-hour flight. Whatever I get needs to be small and light, because I’m flying, and preferably not too expensive, but apart from that anything goes. Sadly, I don’t know enough of her tastes to feel comfortable picking something super-personal.

      • I’ve gotten tons of Indian clothes/shawls from various friends’ mothers, and I absolutely love them. Maybe a pretty shawl of some sort?

      • Anne Shirley :

        I would love some random ridiculously spicy thing!

      • Aha! I live in california and below are perfect gifts I’ve received from South India: Chai tea bags, Herbal tea (tulsi) for building immunity/warding off colds, decorative and pretty bottles of spices (cloves or star anise or others), handicraft stuff – handmade paper, little carved things, a beautiful wooden bowl (I keep it in the living room to store keys), a pretty scarf (it can get windy in Monterey).

      • If you are from Bangalore/Mysore or some where from Karnataka, try making a trip to Cauvery Emporium. You can find many small but very nice and distinctly Indian gifts (silk scarf, shawl, embroidered purse, cross-body bags, carved elephants or pen stand etc). My husband has given many gifts to his colleagues from there and my favorite was a sandalwood book marker. It used to smell so good…

      • Anastasia :

        Just out of curiosity, are you going to MIIS? You’ll love Monterey!

    • thatsnotmyname :


      I’m from North India, and have been living in the US for 9 years now (can’t believe it’s been that long!). Also came here for grad school, and visit home at least once a year.

      Just wanted to give you a heads-up in case you haven’t made this trip before: US customs can be tricky depending on your port of entry. My bag got searched by customs without fail every. single. time. when I used to travel from and to Boston – never from other cities in the northeast. (I used to carry tea and spices back with me for personal consumption so they always let me through, but be aware they forbid anything living, with seeds, or animal products).

      Also since I traveled to India every year, I would routinely bring back gifts for friends and co-workers, so here are some more suggestions (in addition to tea) that won’t break the bank: silk scarves (super cheap in India compared to the US, and great variety), lightweight wool scarves with an interesting weave or print (like the ones from Himachal Pradesh), decorative bowls or small exotic pottery, coasters, small crossbody bag or purse (the ones made from pieces of colorful cloth), interesting bib or beaded necklace or bracelets if she is into jewelry, handmade soap, sandalwood knick knacks.

      Lastly, she may not be into jewelry or handmade soap, but it is possible she may not be into tea either :) it’s the thought that counts

    • Tea sounds perfect!

  9. Apartment hunting in SF? :

    We’re currently living in Palo Alto but are going to move into the city when my fiancé graduates. We’ve never had to do the full fledged apartment search here thanks to grad student housing, so we’re a little overwhelmed. I’m currently commuting via Caltrain to SoMa (right by AT&T park) and fiancé will likely also be working in SoMa. Should we look in other neighborhoods beyond SoMa? We’d like to pay 3000-3500/month for a one bedroom and keep commutes minimal (we don’t have a car). Also, any strategies for navigating the crazy rental market? Thanks all!

    • Padmapper and praying. SF rental market is rough right now.

      • I’m curious as to what makes it rough right now – other than price? Is it hard to get approved for a lease? Do apartments go quickly on the high end? (OP’s price range sounded reasonable from what I can tell)

        Not looking to move to SF in the next few months, but definitely in the next few years. From quick online searches, it doesn’t look impossible to find a great “luxury” apartment for <$4000 for a 1 bed. Are there other land mines I should be aware of?

        • It is just also incredibly hard to get a good open apartment even if you’re willing to pay. When I was looking earlier this year I would go to an open house as soon as it opened and someone would already be there handing in an application.

        • Apartments (and houses) go *very* quickly. It’s a rough market for both buyers and renters. One note, use common sense, because I’ve heard of a lot of scams out there.

        • There’s a million people moving here right now, so rental demand is off the charts. Be prepared to sign for a place on the spot. To the OP – you might have an easier time in SOMA getting a place as there are a lot of large, professionally managed buildings there, but keep in mind none are rent controlled & they tend to have large increases every year. Your range is a bit low for a 1 bdrm (think closer to 4K in SOMA). It’s an area a lot of people move to initially when they first get here & then they move to other neighborhoods that have more of a neighborhood feeling to them. Also, Craigslist is still where most places are listed. Also call some of the real estate companies like Pac Union as they often have rental divisions too.

    • Good luck! Housing is super hard to find. Beyond the normal strategies, can your husband use his grad school network to possibly find a lease you can take over or inherit?

      Housing is so awful in the whole area. I say that as a homeowner with a horrible soul crushing commute!

      BTW, if you aren’t already, email me karenpadi at hotmail to join the list for Bay Area meetups. I have been lazy planning them but they do happen!

    • I don’t have any tips for SF – I agree with MJ on padmapper. Also try the apartment complexes managed by the big companies (like avalon, essex, etc.). But if it gets tough, definitely try East Bay.. if barting in is an option for you, you should look into it. If you live close enough to a BART station the commute should be fine and you won’t need a car.

  10. Anonymous :

    Did anyone else think this was a joke? I read the post waiting for the punchline… but oh well, maybe it’s just me being closed-minded.

    • Wildkitten :

      I wouldn’t wear it with those tops, but do love the color if styled differently.

    • I’d wear the pieces as separates.

    • I never owned a bright colored suit. In my part of the world suit = black, navy, gray and brown.
      For some reason, I feel it is something very American (TV anchor, realtor etc. as seen on TV).
      Matter of fact, even if I wanted to find a pink suit, I wouldn’t find a shop carrying it around here.
      Now I am craving a colored suit and might try it just for kicks to see how it’s received in my office.

  11. I moved out of a rental house at the end of my lease. It is now past the 45 day state-mandated deadline for return of deposit. Three weeks ago they said they would be deducting for a few minor things and would return deposit by the end of the week. I haven’t heard anything since. What should I do? Can I legally demand a full return of the deposit since they missed the window?

    • That would really depend on the laws of your state, but I’d demand it anyway. What’s the worst they can do – say no?

    • Write a demand letter and in it detail the conversation you had. If they don’t respond, next step is small claims court. (UGH!)

      • Depending on your state, sometimes you can file a complaint with the AG’s office and they can contact the landlord to get things moving if the demand letter doesn’t work (possibly allowing you to avoid small claims court). I know this is the case in NY.

        Good luck!

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Yes! This happened when I moved out of my last apartment – for unavoidable reasons I was unable to do a final clean on the apartment, which I much regre t t ed, and had mentally written off the deposit. But when the property manager failed to send an assessment by the deadline, I requested (in writing) and received a full refund. Bonus: enclosed with the deposit refund was a snotty note that they were only returning the refund due to a clerical error in missing the deadline and that I deserved none of it – all true, not news to me, money was still good :)

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Moderated for regre t t e d – you’d think I’d remember these.

      Yes! This happened when I moved out of my last apartment – for unavoidable reasons I was unable to do a final clean on the apartment, which I hated doing, and had mentally written off the deposit. But when the property manager failed to send an assessment by the deadline, I requested (in writing) and received a full refund. Bonus: enclosed with the deposit refund was a snotty note that they were only returning the refund due to a clerical error in missing the deadline and that I deserved none of it – all true, not news to me, money was still good :)

      • My LL tried to pull that on me (but there were no actual reasons for deductions that she could come up with so she just made stuff up, which I pointed out were false), and also wrote a snotty note but the check was good. It’s not personal, it’s business.

  12. Baconpancakes :

    I’m looking for a fitness app that will let me create workouts and give me easily readable diagrams of the individual exercises (eg the proper way to do it). I saw a woman at my gym with one, but she was deeply engrossed in her workout, and when I tried to get her attention to ask, she either ignored me or couldn’t hear me over her headphones, so I gave up. Does anyone know of any apps like this that aren’t subscription trainer apps?

    • cavity maker :

      I downloaded the Johnson and Johnson 7 minute workout app. I have not tried it yet, but it may be a good starting place.

    • I really like “Full Fitness.” It has some predesigned workouts and a very comprehensive library of exercises (by muscle group) with diagrams and descriptions for form. It also lets you save your own routines or enter new exercises. You can also track your sets and reps and it lets you know what you did last time for each workout.

    • Have you tried the Nike Training Club app? It has probably 50+ workouts of varying levels and duration with pictures and videos of how to perform each exercise.

  13. These pants look horrible, especially in the 2nd photo.

    • I think they would look less weird with a regular length shirt and if the model was standing straight – it looks like she is angling her body backwards.

      As a side note…I despise midriff-baring/cropped shirts. I hate that it is becoming a thing again.

      • I am suspicious that she has her hands in the pockets in photo 1, and is standing awkwardly in photo 2, to hide the fact that the pockets don’t lie flat or there is a general issue with the drape on the front of the pants. Do like the jacket, though.

    • Lol right? They kind of look like they shrunk and aren’t actually cut that way.

  14. Class and privilege :

    We have been talking about this a lot on here so I figured I’d throw in my most recent reminder that my lower middle class upbringing makes me different than many of my colleagues. A more senior male attorney who knows I golf and play tennis recently started trying to recruit me for the country club that all of the partners are part of. Yes, I know this would be a VERY BIG move for my career. However, I absolutely cannot afford the initiation fees and monthly fees and minimum food expenditures and all of that. When I told him that I am very interested but won’t be able to join for financial reasons until after my student loans were paid off he looked absolutely shocked. He then said, well, yes, I guess it is quite a large sum of money and then changed the subject.

    Previously, with this same attorney, I had brought a typo to his attention on a client’s financial affidavit. He listed $75,000 for his golf membership and I thought surely it was $7,500. Nope. $75,000. Not sure if that was an initiation fee or yearly dues but it was paid for by his employer as part of a relocation package. I seem to recall that attorney saying his dues were $20,000/year.

    In this guys defense, he grew up working on a farm and is a self-made man so he is very understanding of financial constraints. It just sucks that I literally can’t join the old boys club right now.

    • I am sorry to hear that – student loans and golf club memberships can both be absurdly high nowadays.
      Depending on how old this person was, he may not be quite as aware how high many younger associates’ loans actually are (or he may, but stay with me…) … Is your firm the sort of place where you could approach him about being reimbursed some/all of the costs of membership as part of a larger business development strategy? It may be worth a shot.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      A lot of older attorneys also seem to be clueless as to just how much a lot of younger attorneys have in student loans. The fact that I was paying more per month on my student loans than rent and that this was not unusual for lawyers my age (in NYC, where rent is not cheap) was absolutely shocking to my old boss (as I was explaining to her why I was moving to a lower cost of living area). And they wonder why my generation isn’t buying houses. Hmph.

      • I was going to say the exact same thing as AIMS and Gail. I think older lawyers have no concept of how much younger attorneys had to take out in loans to pay for law school. I think most of them would be shocked to learn that 100K in loans is not out of the ordinary (and could be on the low end).

      • Anonattorney :

        I don’t think that’s necessarily true – my Mom had $25,000 of debt when she graduated from law school in 1975. That included undergrad debt (from a state university), CPA debt (from a state university), and law school debt (from a private law school). I think that still is around $100K in 2014 dollars.

        But, I’m only offering anecdata, so it may not be worth anything.

      • Maddie Ross :

        Oh my gosh, this is so true. We’re looking to move soon (within our city, but just to another area with better public schools) and a partner asked me why we weren’t considering the most tony area of town where he and several other partners live. I told him that I enjoyed eating and paying my utility bill too much to do that. He seemed shocked I couldn’t afford it. I had to remind him that while it feels to the partnership that they are paying us too much, we (almost) all have loans that are equal to our mortgages.

    • Anon for awkwardness :

      So, for what it’s worth, many clubs discount the initiation fees for younger people (often until 35 or 36) and allow you to pay over time. I know this because I’m currently weighing whether or not I need to bite the bullet and pony up in order to make sure that I’m not the only non-member in my group. Honestly, the financial aspect makes me a bit green around the gills – and I feel weird even thinking about joining a country club as a single woman, just because it doesn’t seem like something that single people, male or female, do – but on the other hand, I see the business advantages to doing it. OY.

    • Sometimes it’s OK when it comes from a senior manager, but for some reason I get this a lot from peers.
      I went to the equivalent of Harvard in my country on a scholarship. I must say I lived this awkwardness many times throughout college. You know when students want to grab coffee that costs the fare of your public transportation ride back home, or lunch with drinks where the individual tab exceeded your entire monthly allowance.
      I thought I would be past it once I get a good job and a great salary. Well, I somehow managed to go to a company where people not only have great compensation, but the majority do not have to work for financial reasons. College all over again.

  15. Short term disability question :

    I know we’ve had a number of questions on here before, but I’m trying to nail down a specific issue:

    I have 2 months paid maternity leave from my firm, and my firm also offers short term disability insurance. I have been told by HR that I can pay the monthly premium out of my paycheck for my short term disability insurance, and get the monthly benefit on top of my paid leave from my firm. [I am not yet pregnant.]

    I initially was going to use it, if I get pregnant, to take an extra month off before returning to work, which my firm allows (just won’t pay for). But now I’m being told that regardless of whether I take that 3rd month, I can get disability payments in addition to my paid leave. So, if I only took 2 months off, I can get no interruption in salary + my disability insurance benefit.

    Is this right? I feel like this is off. The insurance also pays out 3 months of benefits, max. Does that mean if I take 3 months off I get 2 months of my firm salary + 3 months of insurance? Can you get disability insurance if you are getting paid during your disability?

    • Short term disability generally pays for 4-6 weeks post delivery, maybe a bit more assuming c-section or complications. My firm paid the difference between disability and salary for those first 6 weeks and then paid full salary after that for the next 6 weeks for our 3 month leave at 100% paid policy. I’d ask for further clarification.

    • That sounds… unusual. Typically, disability policies are written so you can’t collect more (in pay and disability benefits and Social Security and other forms of income) while disabled than you did while working – they don’t want to give people an incentive to stay out of work. Also, typically, policies only pay while you are in fact disabled and unable to work – so a policy wouldn’t pay you during that third month that you choose to stay home, because at that point, you’re not disabled – you’re able to work, and choosing not to.

      However, there are some interesting disability policies and some creative employers, so anything may be possible – but ask HR for the insurance certificate before making any decisions. You want to see exactly how the insurer defines disability, income, the eligibility waiting period (many policies don’t cover pregnancy/maternity until the policy has been in place for at least nine months), the duration of benefits. And if HR doesn’t have the insurance certificate, e-mail your questions to them and ask them to contact the insurer to get the answers for you.

    • I don’t now if anyone who isn’t looking directly at your policy can answer this and I agree that you should contact HR with these specific questions.

      For what it’s worth, my job comes with temporary disability that pays 50% of your salary for 6-8 weeks after delivery; however, they won’t pay if you have sick time and/or vacation time left. Oh, and working for the government, we get no official maternity leave, so if you do want to take more than the minimum 6-8 weeks with some pay, you have to bank up your sick/vacation time in order to do so. I live in the US and we are absolutely the worst when it comes to encouraging maternity leaves.

  16. Pineapple? :

    You okay? I’m still thinking about you!

    • Paging Pineapple #2 :

      Me too! Hope things are going better…even a teeny bit better.

  17. Anon For This :

    Has anyone tried Zerona?