Suit of the Week: Banana Republic

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.

This awesome sateen classic-fit suit from Banana Republic, which I also saw on Instagram, looks like a neutral suit with a little something different. Pros to sateen: lightweight and breathable. Cons to sateen: it wrinkles! I would argue that the skirt and the dress are even cuter than the pants (which unfortunately are ankle pants), but they don’t picture them together. The sheath dress looks like it might require a new bra, but I would just keep your blazer on at work if that works for you. The suit is available in regular, tall, and petite sizes, and the whole set comes in khaki as well. (Should you be a fan, they’re part of Olivia Palermo’s picks). The jacket (Sateen Classic-Fit Blazer) is $158, and the pants (Avery-Fit Solid Sateen Pant) are $88; there’s also a matching dress. (The skirt, sadly, seems to have sold out online — check your local store if you’re really on the hunt!)

Here’s a (dark) olive suit in plus sizes for $240 total.



  1. Anon for this :

    Looking for some feedback – I was speaking to someone from our disability office in HR yesterday, and was basically told that they don’t approve FMLA requests for postpartum depression. He felt it was too often used to just “game the system” to get extra leave approved, and so they pressure the provider to give additional documentation as to why a case more severe than “normal” PPD. He said they’ve only approved one request in FIVE years. This is an organization with several thousand people. I was appalled. I’m really good at compartmentalization, but I was unable to sleep last night because it made me so mad. Is this normal at other organizations? I work in HR, and normally if a provider gives documentation it’s pretty much taken at face value. This seems blatantly unreasonable to me. I’m not pregnant, and I didn’t have PPD, but this just makes my blood boil. It’s so hard for many women to ask for help when they need it anyway, and then to be told you’re just gaming the system? Am I right to be this mad?

    • How does that even happen? Doesn’t doctors note = automatic leave? How can an HR person deny recommendations from a doctor with a friggin phd? Sorry from a country with centralized healthcare and leave and social welfare so I just don’t get it.

      • Totally not the point, but I don’t think most doctors have PhDs.

      • Really anon for this :

        I’m Canadian and this stuff always makes me so mad. Some people don’t get diagnosed until a year after giving birth or whenever they wean, as breastfeeding releases dopamine that can trick a woman into thinking she is not depressed.
        I have 3 kids. Been diagnosed with ppd with each one and did not get better. I have been off work for a few years now and rely heavily on help from family to make it through the day. When I was pregnant with #3 I got referred to a special prenatal psych unit at my local hospital and finally got a doctor who knows what she is doing.

        If you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with depression, buckle up because it will be a long wild ride. The biggest misinformation out there is that ppd is all about the baby. It’s not. Most who get diagnosed have had depression before and simply learned to function before having kids. Looking back, there were lots of signs, hindsight is 20/20.
        I finally go back to work next month. Excited for professional engagement and full time daycare.

        • Anonymous :

          Why on earth would you have a second and then third child when your PPD is still so bad you haven’t even recovered enough to go back to work after the first one? I agree the US needs better maternity leave and mental health care, but stories like this are why so many Americans are skeptical of socialized medicine. You seem like you’re really taking advantage of govt benefits.

          • Maudie Atkinson :

            Woweee. Not kind and not helpful.

          • Really anon for this :

            I wasn’t diagnosed until I was pregnant with my second child, a year after my first and back at work. Like I said, thought everything was fine because I was breastfeeding. I worked until birth for first two kids, didnt even get time to nest because they were born early. Third was a woops and will own that, but it also got me referred to a better doctor. I didn’t go back to work after the second, we have been living off my husband’s income. My psychiatrist is paid by the government but my meds are through my husband’s work Healthcare plan.

          • Really anon for this :

            Unfortunately, a lot of us do have to suffer in silence as people like anon don’t view depression as a real disease like diabetes or anything else that requires medical treatment. Like anon I was judgemental because I was so high functioning. You always think you’re not one of “those people” until you hot rock bottom.

            People judge you no matter how many kids you have. After the first kid the social pressure was on to have a second close in age. I grew up as an only child and was miserable. Another marker to look out for is if you had either an overbearing or absent parent. Ding ding ding I had both.

    • Anonymous :

      What he said sounds discriminatory on its face. That said, I believe you are only entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA per 12 month period, even if you have multiple qualifying medical events in that time. If a woman uses all 12 weeks on maternity leave, I believe a company could legally not allow her to take any more FMLA time for any reason until the clock has reset. It’s not nice though and this guy certainly sounds like a jerk if he believes most PPD is fake.

      • Anon for this :

        Yes on the 12 weeks – our policy is six weeks only for maternity leave, and this was just to get the remainder of the FMLA entitlement beyond the six weeks.

        • What? My understanding of FMLA is that a company can’t prevent an employee from taking the full 12 weeks of leave (unpaid) for maternity leave or other qualifying reasons. Is your company’s policy to pay for 6 weeks of maternity leave, and this is about getting the remaining 6 weeks of FMLA paid under a short-term disability policy, or something like that?

          • Anon for this :

            No paid maternity leave. You can use up to six (or eight for c-section) weeks of paid leave for maternity leave. If you want additional paid time beyond that, you have to get medical documentation that more time off is needed. You can take the remainder of the 12 weeks unpaid if you don’t have the documentation. So if you’ve got medical documentation, and sufficient sick leave, you can get all 12 weeks paid.

          • So it sounds like your company is refusing new mothers with PPD approval to use sick leave for weeks 6 (or 8) through 12 of their FMLA leave, unless they can prove some higher standard for PPD? I’m not an employment lawyer, but I’d be concerned about a discrimination suit if the requirements for approving use of sick leave for PPD were different than for any other mental illness.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s not how FMLA works. Your company needs to speak to an employment lawyer before you get sued for FMLA interference (and lose badly).

          • +1. There are so many things about this policy that are asking for a lawsuit.

        • Anonymous :

          FMLA can legally run concurrently against company-offered mat leave. So if your company offers six weeks of paid leave, and they allow women to take six unpaid weeks of FMLA time for a total of 12 weeks, they can say the FMLA clock has been running the whole time and all 12 FMLA weeks are used up. That’s extremely common and not illegal. But if you took less than 12 weeks when you had the child (and have not used FMLA time on anything else), then you have FMLA time to use and it can be used for any reason, including PPD.

        • This is how it works in my workplace, too. I was shocked because I naively assumed that as long as you have 12 weeks of sick leave saved up you could get your full 12 weeks of FMLA paid, but no. However, is it possible this is a misunderstanding? Where I am, they just require a doctor’s note stating your have PPD or whatever else, but once your doctor provides that you can be compensated beyond the 6 weeks. I think the problem for most people where I am is that not everyone wants to provide such documentation and so for many women “on the cusp,” they just don’t fight it even though they would probably benefit from the longer paid time off.

    • Anonymous :

      You are 100% right to be this mad and they are asking for a discrimination suit if they continue. There is no reason why diagnosed PPD is different from any other type of depression or mental illness.

    • I totally agree that this company’s practice, as described, is illegal. But at the risk of getting flamed, I will say that I *get* why people who handle FMLA claims get jaded and start to think people are gaming the system. Obviously, most people are honest and only request time off that they legitimately need, but as an employment lawyer, I can tell you that there are a LOT of people who do game the system. I’ve never heard of it with PPD, but when you have other psychological or physical conditions that are hard for a doctor to confirm and have to be based on the employee’s word, people will absolutely cry wolf and take FMLA leave just to get job-protected time off. I’ve seen cases where the employee “magically” had a migraine or back pain only on Mondays and Fridays or right when her boyfriend was coming to town or where the employee was suddenly healed and able to work right when their 12 weeks of FMLA ran out. And we routinely see situations where a doctor will sign a certification supporting a request for FMLA leave whenever the employee asks for it, even if it’s not medically supported. How do we know? Because the medical records contradict the certification or the certification is internally inconsistent or because the doctor changes the certification later with no change in the condition or because a second opinion disproves the need for leave or because the leave requested doesn’t make any sense for the condition. And then there are the certifications from doctors who are related to the employee. So no, I am not going to automatically defer to someone with an M.D. when they submit an FMLA certification for an employee. And I am going to look a little more closely at an FMLA case involving a serious health condition that involves a mental condition or a physical condition that isn’t as objective. With all that said, I don’t think this company should be making blanket assumptions about PPD or requesting medical documentation that the case went beyond “normal” PPD or treating PPD differently than other forms of depression.

      • Right, but the examples you’re citing are 100% different than saying that new moms who have been diagnosed with PPD aren’t entitled to FMLA leave, and that they need additional documentation of how their PPD is “worse” than “normal.”

        It’s all well and good that people can abuse FMLA (I don’t disagree that they can), but if a woman is taking additional time off, unpaid, with a diagnosis from her doctor that she’s got PPD, I’d have a really hard time with a policy that said that wasn’t OK, absent some indication that the employee in question had a history of shiftiness (which is not the case here).

      • Anonymous :

        Just a note on the migraines too. I often find I am more likely to get migraines at the beginning or end of a week. At the beginning if my sleep patterns got messed up over the weekend, and at the end if it has been a stressful week.

    • Anonymous :

      A PPD diagnosis could qualify for coverage under the ADA. In that case, the employer may be required to provide even MORE than 12 weeks of leave, or risk a serious lawsuit. In most states the extra leave wouldn’t have to be paid if the employee had no vacation time available, but extra unpaid leave is a reasonable accommodation in most cases. In addition, the PPD diagnosis may qualify the individual to receive additional short term or long term disability payments. The company’s response is infuriating and illegal.

      • Anonymous in Texas :

        You are absolutely right!! I work in this area in a legal capacity. ADA could required additional leaveas an accommodation for PPD after FMLA lapses. That HR person is exposing the company to nice big fat lawsuit.

      • Anonymous :


    • HR Consultant :

      That’s ludicrous, and they’re courting a big-time lawsuit if they continue denying PPD claims. Eventually, someone will be smart enough to get a lawyer.

      If the employee has documentation from their physician of a condition, the conversation is over. It doesn’t matter that some ill-informed person thinks the employee is “gaming the system.” They’ll end up with ADA and FMLA problems.

  2. Singapore :

    I will be in Singapore from Sunday morning to Tuesday morning as an extended layover between international flights. I have never been there before and I’m feeling overwhelmed by all the options. Any good advice?

    Where should I stay for easy access to the airport? I want to keep it to about $100/night. Any major tourist highlights I should make time to see on Monday, my full day there? How should I get around? Any areas to avoid? Any local cuisine to check out?

    • It’s been awhile since I was there but I have a friend there now and I’m going back towards the end of the year. Since you don’t have any answers yet, I’ll tell you what I know from 5+ years ago. The answer of course depends on what you like. Orchard Road is kind of like 5th Avenue in NYC. It’s where you would go if you want to go shopping. Boat Quay and Clark Quay are great for milling about, getting drinks, getting a nice dinner. Singapore has fantastic Hawker stalls. I enjoyed the cheaper food from these even more than the fancy dinner I had. I really enjoyed the Botanical Gardens. I’ve heard good things about the night safari at the zoo but I didn’t get a chance to try it. I thought Sentosa was overrated but if you are looking to do something beachy, that’s where you go. The Singapore Sling was invented at the Raffles Hotel so a lot of people go there for that. My local friends said to skip it. Singapore is pretty expenses. I’m not sure if you will find something for under $100. We will be staying at the Orchard Parade Hotel. I’ve also stayed at Good Wood Park and the Pan Pacific. No complaints. Public transportation is awesome. Take that Marta everywhere (or whatever it is called). The airport itself is worth spending some time in. It is truly amazing.

      • Also, and this will out me to anyone that was with me on my trip, if you take taxis you might have to speak a little “Singlish” to be understood. Singapore has 4 official languages. Mandarin, English, Malay and an Indian language. While almost everyone speaks English, it is heavily blended with Mandarin. When I stayed at the Good Wood Park, taxi drivers had NO idea what I was saying when I asked to go there. The hotel kindly advised me to pronounce it “Goo Woo Pah” and they will know where to take me. I felt so racist saying that the first time but it absolutely worked. Everyone there was extremely nice and the city is very safe. Also, try the chili crab.

      • I have a follow up in mod.

    • EAT FOOD. If you like Asian food, go to a “Food Centre” (Maxwell probably give you the best range of good options) and buy anything that looks good. If you’re more into other cuisines, there is also top notch Japanese, Italian, French…pretty much everything and a quick google search will yield good options.

      There is an area named “Changi” right by the airport. However, the “downtown” areas are only about a 30 minute ride outside of rush hour and much more interesting. The hotels are probably more expensive there though.

      I don’t think of Singapore as really having tourist attractions other than the Casino (go grab a drink on the top floor of the Marina Bay Sands for the view if you have time) and gawking at the skyscrapers. There are some historical things, but honestly nothing must-see.

      Also, it’s Singapore. There are no “areas to avoid” in terms of safety…just residential areas like Changi are probably more boring.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      We had a 16 hour layover in Singapore and spent the whole day eating. We left our luggage at the airport, showered there using our lounge passes and took the metro in. There are the notes/links I used to determine how to spend our 16 hours. We also used a lonely Planet guide book for a walking tour and went to one of the major art museums and botanical gardens. Read the Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan its a fun beach read (and there are 2 others in the series and the movie is coming out next summer!) which is based in Singapore!

      Our travel notes:

      At the Maxwell Road Food Center near Chinatown get: at Tian Tian (No. 11), try the chicken rice; at Hokee (No. 79), the soup dumplings, and at No. 848, fresh fruit and juice (one, a bitter gourd and honey mix, promises “to reduce heatiness (sic).” Prices are 1 to 8 Singapore dollars.

      What to Eat at the Changi Village Hawker Center
      Wah Feng wonton noodles
      Tiong Bahru chicken rice
      Teck Seng soybean milk and curd
      Min Nan pork ribs prawn noodle
      Kampong carrot cake

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I wasn’t wild about Crazy Rich Asians as a novel, but it really made me want to go to Singapore and eat, so I would definitely recommend picking it up before a visit.

    • Singapore :

      Thank you! I can’t shop this trip because I’m going to more remote areas with SCUBA equipment that will take most of my luggage allowance.

      It sounds like food is super cheap. Are most food places cash-only? I’d rather use a credit card for everything but that seems like it might not work for Singapore. Are there set meal times I should be aware of (like Spain) or is all the food available all the time?

      I’m thinking of spending Monday at the botanical gardens. I’m not a fan of crazy-crowded places and prefer nature. If I’m in San Francisco, I gravitate to Golden Gate Park; in New York, I’m all about Central Park. Gardens by the Bay seems more touristy but also a good option for me.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        We needed cash for the food stalls but it was worth it! We just got some from the ATM at the airport when we arrived. We also used their subway to get everywhere and it was really easy.

        The food stalls I believe are open 24/7 or almost that much. People eat all day long all the time. We got Kaya toast for breakfast

        Singapore is small, compact, easy to do a lot in one day. There is also not a lot to do so I think you are spending the right amount of time. I found the whole place very touristy so if you like nature the botanical gardens is the right choice!

        • Singapore :

          Thank you!

          I saw that lots of hotels provide a mobile phone with wifi. Is wifi needed to get around (e.g., to access maps)? Or would I be OK without it? Is Changi Recommends a good deal? I can get 3 days unlimited for 30SGD which seems pricey but may be worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s about how long I stayed there last summer… I stayed in a hostel in Chinatown, and while I wouldn’t recommend that particular place (too hot), there were a ton around there that had private rooms for a relatively reasonable price. It was a pretty straightforward cab ride from the airport, maybe 20-30 minutes and reasonably priced. I really enjoyed the Chinatown Heritage Center, which was set up to show how people lived during the various waves of immigration (a lot like the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, if you’ve ever been there). Definitely check out Tian Tian chicken rice in Maxwell Hawker Center, and the evening light show of the “supertrees” is very cool. The botanical gardens are also gorgeous. I also really liked the zoo, though it was kind of a long bus + train out there; there’s an exhibit where you wander around and are surrounded by parrots, mini deer, lemurs, bats, butterflies, and a lot more, which was totally unique. Plus, lots of orangutans! I also got a foot reflexology massage, which was a very unique experience.

    • Constant Reader :

      Hope this isn’t too late a reply, but you might consider the Night Safari at the Singapore zoo. There is a tram ride and also walking trails — lots of animals are more active at night, especially the big cats. I went years ago, so can’t tell you how crowded it is now, but it was really interesting.

  3. Job Hunting + Switching Practice Area :

    I could use some encouragement/advice/success stories. I’m trying to get back into T&E after taking a long break from it. When the market crashed, I switched to IP for 5 years, and now I’m doing eDiscovery for 4 years (I needed a ‘break’ post divorce). I started my career doing T&E and have 2 years of solid experience.

    I just started my job hunt last month, rejoined the local bar committee for the practice group, took a pro bono case and have been overall networking and letting people know I’m looking. Today, I found out one position I applied for and had contacts at the firm, went to someone else. I’m not quite bummed per se, but now I’m going to switch gears and reach out to smaller firms and offer to work part time/hourly to get my experience back up and show on paper that I’m serious about switching.

    Anyone else switch successfully? Anything else I should be doing? I’m in Florida so it’s a huge market for T&E.

    xoxo IslandGal

    • Anonymous :

      Could you hang up a shingle? I’ve seen people do it successfully in T&E and it’s much easier than convincing a firm to hire you w 2yrs experience 9 yrs ago.

      • IslandGal :

        Thanks for replying! That’s on my list of options but it’s a last resort b/c I enjoy and thrive when I’m working in a firm environment. Even if I started my own practice, my goal would be to build enough business and then take my portables to a firm.

        • Anonymous :

          I feel like in T&E – esp in Florida, esp. given that you already have contacts – that’s possible. Moreso than say corporate law in NYC, where big corporate deals are always going to go to big firms. You could built up a book and then move to a firm; or if you start making good money – who knows maybe you go from a 1 (wo)man shop to a 10 person shop.

          • IslandGal :

            I’ve actually already been fielding off potential clients. I’m active in my community and social groups with ‘high net’ members and they’ve ask me to do their trust or their estate planning.

            This was before I was ready to get back into it, plus I need to brush up on my knowledge (I’m taking relevant CLEs). It’s good to know that I’d have a starting point with potential clients.

    • I’m in T&E (counsel level) at a big firm in NYC, and if I am being completely honest, I think it will be a little tough. T&E is such a niche field and 9 years of non T&E work is going to be hard, but not impossible, to overcome.

      I would recommend doing exactly what you said – applying to small firms so that you can get some more experience and another T&E job on your resume. It will be significantly easier to get a job at a bigger firm (if that is what you want) if you are coming from another T&E role.

      • Thanks for the feedback! I know it won’t be easy but I’m confident it can be done (even if it means I have to take a “step back” in title and salary). I’m only 10 years into my legal career, which seems like a long time until I meet lawyers who are 30 years in and still going strong.

        Yesterday I went to a HH and all of the older lawyers I talked to, did a major practice shift at some point in their career. One went from worker’s comp to guardianship, another went from litigation to estate planning. There’s hope!

        Life is too short to not be fulfilled and what I’m doing now isn’t fulfilling. It’s a risk but what’s the the option?

  4. solo trip: help me choose! :

    I have a couple weeks of vacation to use by the end of the year. Help me decide what to do with it!

    Currently I’m tossing these ideas around in my head:

    1. One week of Spanish immersion with private lessons and a homestay in Oaxaca. I already speak Spanish but I’ve gotten rusty.

    2. Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Dream trip. But would I have fun going alone or is this a better trip with a friend?

    3. A split of random long weekends in places I’ve been (NYC, LA) and have friends, and a bunch of long weekend staycations. I’d save the most money this way.

    4. Some kind of low-key artist residence that involves writing and art in a chill space. Either locate one or DIY it. I love carving out time for personal creative projects and it would be fun to combine that with travel.

    If you could pick two of these, what would you do and when?

    • Oooh, I think I’d go for number 1! Two sounds good too, but might be more fun with a friend. Four sounds good too and you could probably make it fairly cheap if you wanted to. Three is how I do most of my traveling and honestly I’m kind of sick of it, although I love seeing friends.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d go with #1. I lived in Oaxaca for 7 years, and there were always tons of foreigners who came to town to stay for a month, learn Spanish, learn how to cook, and just chill. A week isn’t that long, but I think it’d be a great experience. And as a solo traveler, this one might be your best bet because you’ll quickly meet people from your language school and will be in one place for a week, so it’ll be easier to make friends.

      A week isn’t really long enough for Vienna, Prague and Budapest. I’d pick two out of the three. I think it would be more fun with a friend.

      • I’d love any recommendations for schools or immersion programs in Oaxaca (or elsewhere in Spanish-speaking Latin America)!

    • Anonymous :

      I did Prague/Vienna/Budapest about 10 years ago and it was still one of my favorite trips. Totally doable alone – those cities are very active so there’s a lot to do without feeling alone.

      • I LOVED Prague when my dad took us there with Mom and Grandma Leyeh! Grandma Leyeh had relatives in Prague, and one of my cousins wanted to MARRY me. Of course I was NOT interested in marrying ANY relative (bad for hemofeelia), but it was flattering that he proposed to me after meeting me and there was NOTHING $exual about it!!!! He wanted me for me, and NOT just for $ex! Why can’t men in the USA be like that? But other family member visited me in NYC and stole a sneaker and some of my panties. FOOEY!

    • Oaxaca!!

      All. The. Mole.

    • Could you combine #1 and #4 in one 2-week trip? If the home stay portion is limited to 1 week, could you DIY another week somewhere nearby for your creative pursuits in the same trip? That would save some money, allow you to practice your improved Spanish, and give you the benefit of an extended vacation.

    • Wow, that fourth option sounds like a dream! I’ve done a personal strategic planning retreat in January a few years and really found it valuable and a great recharge.

      Option one also sounds great – my friend just did something similar and it was a wonderful experience! I think hers was a few weeks.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry to be dense – but what does that mean – a personal strategic planning retreat? What are you doing? Are you basically just thinking about your career etc. or is it that kind of retreat where you are talking with advisors/others? Part of me thinks I need to go rent a house on a beach when it’s nice weather (which to me is spring/fall, NOT the heat of summer) and just contemplate. And then I come back to – I’m going to spend money to . . . think? Just bc I can be looking at a beach? Reality is I’d get there and try to go see everything I could etc. and thinking could wait bc I’m spending money and can think for free at home.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I think there was a commenter a few weeks ago who differentiates a “vacation” from a “trip.” Trips are usually to new destinations and focus on sightseeing, cultural immersion – an active, busy itinerary.

          A vacation is “rent a beach house and think.” Both are valid things to spend money on. There are a million distractions at home that can keep you from the kind of contemplation you might be looking for.

        • Anonymous :

          The problem is, it’s hard to do this kind of thinking at home. a change of location and freedom from distractions does wonders.

    • Anonymous :

      I went to Berlin, Prague, and Vienna alone on one trip, and Budapest alone on another trip, and had a great time. There are lots of walking tours, so you can meet people if you want, but they’re all good cities to just wander around, try cafes, poke into shops, and (in Budapest) hang out in the baths.

  5. I have realized that I probably have rosacea, at the ripe ol’ age of 30. I have always had rosy cheeks, but in recent months I’ve been more aware of redness on my nose and between my eyebrows. My mother was just diagnosed, which caused me to read up on it, and I realized that my chin and my jaw (below the rosy cheeks) are also pink.

    I made a derm appointment, but it’s not for several months. Anything I can do at this point to keep things at bay? I have pale skin, dark hair, and wear SPF 47 every day.

    • Be extra gentle with your skin (use products that are free of alcohol and other irritants) and protect it from harsh weather (sun you seem to have covered, but also wind).

    • Stop using anything on your face (incl. shampoo) that contains sulfites. Switch to natural products (I like the say yes to Cucumbers stuff) and look for mineral sunscreens. Do not use hot water on your face or let hot water from the shower run on your face. Do not use scrubs or rough washcloths on your face. Regularly change your pillowcase (like once or twice a week). Be gentle with your skin and protect it as Me Too suggests.

      • Anonymous :

        Sulfites or sulfates?

        • I don’t know – both!? I try to stick to things that don’t have anything that makes it foam. No foam needed on your face.

          • Anonymous :

            I recommend googling what those are. Because they are not what you think they are.

          • This comment is not helpful. If you have something to add, just say it. I can stand being corrected by an internet stranger if I’m wrong.

          • Anonymous :

            Everything I’ve read talks about sulfates, not sulfites in shampoos. Chem background here – and sulfates and sulfites are really different things. I mean, the both contain sulfur, but one is shorthand for a food preservative and the other is short hand for a sufactant

    • Low PH, no SLS face wash, and super gentle cleansing.

    • Sensitive skin products. Recommend avoiding chemical sunscreens – they make my psoriasis flare and I think there is a lot in common with rosacea (my mother has both). I think aveeno or someone has a calming moisturizer that might help. You may find green-toned concealer helpful with flares.

  6. Related to above. Our (horrific) HR person has recently instituted a policy that if you’re sick for more than one week she starts taking time from FMLA /and/ earned sick time, for some people. She decides who based on how long she thinks the person will be gone. She also let someone who is our for possible ovarian cancer and removal of her ovaries know she would need to check in post-surgery and HR and management would let her know if she was allowed to take sick time, go on FMLA, take unpaid leave, or lose her job. So far, nothing has occurred that I see as actionable but what do we do? It makes me sick.

    • In many places you automatically go on short term disability if you take more than 5 sick days at a time, even if you have sufficient PTO available. I wonder if this is some ill-advised attempt to do this without a disability plan.

    • anon for this :

      Suggest that HR check in with employment counsel.

  7. I thought this was reminiscent of our discussion on Mike Pence and how he refuses to dine alone with women. (link in reply).

    I guess it’s a demoralizing reminder that women are judged on attractiveness first and professional attributes second.


    • Gross.

    • Infuriating. Just one more thing that makes my head explode about the current President*

    • Just read an article about this, and I’m not surprised at all that it happened. I’m more disheartened at the people defending him with, “It’s such a sad day when you get attacked for giving someone a compliment!” 45 is not redeemable when it comes to misogyny at this point, but I write it off as him being an old man. Not that some old men aren’t more respectful, but if they aren’t, I get it, they grew up in a different time. My grampa, who is almost 90, isn’t skeevy (or in a position of power, diminishing a professional woman to a smile and a pretty face on a world stage, which makes it even more wildly inappropriate) like 45, but he definitely compliments his nurses’ appearance. Par for the course at his age. But when people who are young enough to know better don’t see the problem here, it makes me sad.

      • just to be clear, i’m not saying misogyny is OK if you’re old, or that 45 isn’t awful. Just that I thought it should be more obvious to people why what he did was inappropriate, and apparently it’s not.

      • Anonymous :

        I think 45’s misogyny has less to do with being old and more to do with being rich.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I saw this first thing this morning and I wanted to vomit. Ugh.

  8. Baconpancakes :

    If you were going to the beach for the 4-day holiday, what would be in your bag?

    • 2 bikinis, 2 sarongs, 1 skirt, 1 pair of shorts, 4 tops, 2 pairs of sandals, new bottle of sunscreen

    • Other than the normal stuff like sunscreen, towels, a bathing suit, and a coverup/sundresses?

      A thermos or some other container to keep wine/cocktails cold in so it’s not obvious what I am doing (as some beaches do not permit alcohol), a big floppy straw sun hat, all of the issues of G&G I haven’t been able to get to over the last several months, and a couple of books.

      • CountC thought of all of the things I did not think of. The wine cooler is particularly important.

      • Country Biscuits :

        Ah, another G&G fan!

        • Yes! I hoard them if I know I will be going somewhere that I can sit and relax.

        • Singapore :

          What is G&G and do I need it in my life?

          • Anonymous :

            Garden & Gun and yes. Do not be scared off by the name. The writing is excellent, the magazine is beautiful, and the ads are full of things that are beautiful and that I can’t afford lol

          • Shenandoah :

            I’m always slightly embarrassed when people come over to my house and see the issues of G&G sitting on my coffee table. I absolutely love the writing (especially the dog stories) and photographs and recipes. But it is full of things I can’t afford and definitely embodies a lifestyle that I don’t have and don’t aspire to have.

    • LL Bean Boat Tote packed with towels, sunscreen, Kindle, hat/visor, comfy sweatpants (for cool morning donut runs). Really during the day its your bathing suit and whatever you wear over it. At night, shorts and a top, maybe a topper jacket or sweatshirt. Flip flops are the only required footwear if you are wearing shoes at all (I don’t). I don’t beach anyplace fancy and we bike everywhere so no dresses/sandals/fancy purses/hairdo stuff required. Sunscreen only. I go makeup free at the beach (maybe a little mascara).

      • Also, here is what would NOT be in my bag:

        A radio/sound system/speakers or any device that plays music on the beach because I don’t want to annoy my beach neighbors who want to listen to the ocean;
        beach games like ladders or butt hole that I set up right in front of the water and not behind everyone sitting peacefully on the beach;
        an umbrella that I do not know how to properly set up that will blow away and impale other beach goers;
        a gigantic tent;
        and a whole bunch of food that I will leave open on the beach so the seagulls can descend on everyone around me and make a mess all over the beach.

    • Bikini and one-piece suit (I switch depending on activity), loose tanks for coverups, swing dress/t-shirt dress, Rainbows, crazy amounts of sunscreen, floppy hat, giant sunglasses. That’s it. I reject any proposal that the beach should be more high-maintenance than this.
      Served with a side of insane jealousy because I have to work Monday (but not Tuesday).

    • Anonymous :

      I always overpack regular clothes for beach vacations – I end up wearing my bathing suit and a coverup most of the time. At least 2 bathing suits so you can rotate out wet ones.

    • Sleep… one pair PJs and lightweight robe

      Showering… usual toiletries, plus leave-in conditioner

      Two swimsuits and two coverups (coverups get gross so fast!), flip flops, sunglasses, hat
      Beach bag with entertainment of choice, towel if not provided, sunscreen, thermos & insulated bag for snacks and bevs; portable phone charger if you’ll be out all day

      Depending on evening plans… note I prefer pants/shorts as mosquitos love me and particularly flying inside a skirt (ugh!)
      For nice dinners out, white jeans, 2 silky tops, lightweight wrap or sweater if we’re forced to eat in freezing AC, and low wedge sandals.
      For grilling/takeout, super comfy lightweight pants (like the JCrew Seaside pants) and 2 tshirts

      Anything in particular you’ll be doing (long bike rides)? Make sure you have something you’ll be comfy in for that too.

    • Apparently, if you’re on Cup of Jo, prosciutto. For your open-face sandwiches that you’re going to eat on a windy beach.

      • I usually buy my open faced prosciutto beach sandwiches from the open-faced gourmet beach sandwich truck, which is a 1920’s milk wagon decorated with pinterest-y twinkle lights.

        Or a turkey shorti and Cheez-Its from Wawa, but same difference.

    • Anonymous :

      Me. I mean, I would be in your bag. I haven’t been to the beach in ages. Don’t worry … I’ll happily go out of sight around the bend and sit by the surf all week and not bother you, until you’re ready to pack me up and head home.

  9. Sateen suits always look horrible after a few hours.

    • Yep. I dont know if it’s just that I haven’t experienced nicer sateen, but all the sateen I’ve seen (even if it came from ann taylor or jcrew) looks like it came from JCP or Kohls.

  10. Little rant. When I find a style I like that fits, I will order the same item in multiple colors. Tried that with Nordstrom Carlson brand and discovered inconsistent sizing. That shouldn’t happen with those prices.

    • Casper Clone :

      Yes! Although mine was two different seasons, so I was a bit more forgiving. But still, super annoying. (I had the knit blazer in grey, and ordered this year in black … and it turned out to be a totally different cut.) Talbots can have this issue too. Luckily both have easy returns!

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