Suit of the Week: Hobbs

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 jacket and dress from Hobbs look like great options. They’re lined and machine washable, the jacket is a two-button style with two side flap pockets, and the dress has a lovely seamed bodice effect. In general, Hobbs gets great reviews. The jacket (Catherine Jacket) is $335, and the dress (Catherine Dress) is $285, both at Bloomingdale’s. At Hobbs, the pants (Catherine Pants) are $285 as well.

Here’s a more affordable option and a navy suit in plus sizes.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. In-House in Houston :

    Can someone please help me pick a pair of padded bicycle shorts? I want to take a spin class and I know I need the right shorts. But I don’t want to spend a lot of money on them because it’s very likely that I’ll take the class a handful of times and then decide I don’t like it. TIA!!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’d suggest going to a bike store and trying a few on. Performance Bike seems to be having sales all the time if there’s one near you.

    • Anonymous :

      Why not just wear regular workout leggings? I go to spin class in those all the time and they are fine. The studio will probably have gel bike seats you could borrow if you’re really worried about comfort.

      • In-House in Houston :

        I just thought I needed padded bike shorts? I didn’t even think that the studio would have special seats.

        • FWIW I have a road bike and padded bike shorts, and have never worn the shorts to spin class. Padded bike shorts are really more for protecting your rear from a bumpy road on a very small bike seat. Spin bikes have a much more comfortable seat than any road bike, and there are no bumps to go over. You’ll be fine with regular workout leggings.

          • +1 I took spin classes long before I ever owned a road bike, but did not own padded shorts until after riding around on my road bike for a bit!!

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah most studios have some spare gel pads you can borrow for your first few classes while you get used to it. I’d recommend regular leggings + that rather than buying anything new!

          • In-House in Houston :

            Ladies, thanks very much. I took one spin class years ago and remember that I got very chafed, so I just thought I needed padded shorts. I’ll go early and ask the instructor.

          • After the first 2-3 classes you’ll ache from the seat, but it absolutely goes away as you get used to it.

        • Anonymous :

          Nope, not necessary for spinning.

          • I do spin class 2-3x/week. We all wear regular workout gear (yoga pants, etc). No one wears padded bike shorts, at all. I’ve seriously never seen it. It’s not necessary.

    • I spin a lot and never wear padded shorts or use a gel seat. However, I think chafing may be more likely if you wear shorts. Most people in my class wear workout leggings, no padding required.

    • Like Torin, CountC and others above, I’m an active cyclist and spin all winter to keep in riding form. I wear leggings to spin in. If you’re concerned about chafing specifically, perhaps get some chamois butt’r. It feels a little weird at first but helps prevent friction.

      I will warn you: you probably don’t use these muscles very often, and the first time I took a spin class (pre-road bike ownership), I was sore for days – not a full week but it felt like it! 2nd class, sore for a couple days, 3rd class, a little sore the next day. Then, no issues after that. Once you’ve got broken in to spinning, you won’t feel that at all. It takes at least 3 classes or about 2 weeks. I’d recommend giving it at least a month before you decide if you like spin or not.

      Don’t give up, you’ll love it once you’re used to it! Anyone I’ve ever talked to who didn’t like spin only went once or twice.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I go to spin class regularly and never wear padded shorts. I just wear normal workout leggings. FWIW, the first few times, I was a bit sore after but now I’m used to it and it doesn’t hurt anymore (even if I haven’t been in a while).

  2. Away Game :

    LOVE this suit, particularly the two-button jacket. Too bad I don’t really need one. (Although, the next suit I will need to replace is indeed my navy one…..)

  3. What are your tricks for staying warm in winter when you wear pants?

    Do you wear any liners/long underwear/tights? How do you keep your pants from sticking?

    My pants have moved towards narrower leg/ankle height. Love them with booties, but tights underneath don’t work well. I’m pulling on my pants/re-adjusting all day.

    • For cold days, I like winter wool pants. Bonus – they’re usually lined. When I wore more wide leg pants I would also do knee high boots with them but that’s hard to do with skinnier styles.

    • I wear hose under my pants – I find its a good way to extend the lifespan of those that get a run!

    • Silk long underwear. It’s thin and lies close to the body but doesn’t require readjustment the same way hose does.

      • Anonymous :

        LL Bean has great silk long silk underwear and undershirts. Very sheer yet very warm.Best thing ever.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have to ask, where do all of you live or go that you require long underwear under work pants? Am I just being too Canadian about this?

      • Chicago. It can be windy on my walk to work. I don’t always like wearing my long coat. And I am always freezing inside and my legs appreciate another layer just like my upper body does.

        If you think about it, pants don’t offer much protection.

      • I don’t need them outside in PA, as I am a car commuter, but they are a blessing in ny ice box office!

      • If you’re being too Canadian, I’m too Minnesotan. I car commute though, and work in a adequately heated office though. I’ve never found the need for silk long underwear at work. I do break out my collection of Sorels (the fashion line, not the duck boots) and smartwool socks in the winter though (casual office). My feet stay quite toasty (almost too warm) even while sitting.

        • So you have a luxurious heated car commute. I am walking for blocks and sometimes more than 1 mile along the lake front. And my office is freezing cold, to me, and I wear fingerless cashmere gloves at my desk.

          I’m in a fairly business formal environment, and I can’t wear smartwool and Sorels in my office. And honestly, I’d rather not wear them on my commute either. La Canadiennes and pants and tights usually, and full length coat when I need it.

          But trying to find another option to tights under pants …. I don’t have special extra warm pants for winter. All of my pants are all season. I guess I could splurge on wool, lined pants… But that sounds like something pricey that would require more dry cleaning than I would like.

          Appreciate the ideas.

    • Calibrachoa :

      Fishnets. they’re good at trapping air in tiny pockets that give extra warmth, but also don’t get too hot indoors.

  4. Personal chef? :

    Has anyone used a personal chef to make meals for their family? I am having a very stressful year and thinking about trying a chef who comes in once or twice a week and makes a big batch of dinners, preps veggies and fruits for snacks, and makes some baked breakfast items that can keep through the week. It will be a strain on our budget for sure, but I am feeling desperate. I have a ten-month old with a severe gluten and nut allergy, making meal prep difficult. I just started a new job this year after my maternity leave. I also have a 3.5 year old and a husband getting a graduate degree in the evening. On top of which, I still have weight to lose from my first pregnancy and feeling schlumpy and awful. Thoughts?

    • I have a friend who essentially does this BUT….. it isn’t a chef. She basically has the woman who does her house cleaning do this. She lives in LA and hires a woman who is amazing. Cleans her house, shops for her food, and every week spends a few hours cooking some batches of food that get frozen/fridged for the week.

      I have yelled at my friend for paying this amazing woman poorly (pays her less than $20 per hour).

    • Wildkitten :

      You might check if there’s a paleo meal delivery service in your area.

    • Blueberries :

      I haven’t, but that sounds awesome! One note—I once got a quote and it was pretty expensive (a few times what Munchery costs per meal). The chef was wonderful and worth every penny, but we couldn’t justify the expense.

    • Anonymous :

      I actually did meal prep for a teacher when I was in high school. She paid me $5/hr (this was a longgg time ago) for three hours a week, and I would prep 3-4 recipes for her for the week.

    • i’ve seen services like this around more locally. i would look for someone a bit less professional and more of a local chef who does this. where do you live?

    • Check out Local Food Delivery Options :

      A cheaper option might be meal delivery services.

      My husband and I use a paleo meal delivery service when we are really busy. They offer both pre-packaged meals and “bulk” macros, like a platter of chicken/roasted veggies/plantain mash, etc., that you can piece together. However, I do not like paleo when I’m controlling my weight (competitive athlete) because the fat content is often too much for me. In that case, I prefer the local meal delivery service that does simple things like rice/chicken/etc.

      For us, it’s super easy because delivery is right at our gym (they have fridges all over town), but non-gym folks pick up at one location on Sun/Mon.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a friend who did this during college for extra money. You don’t need to get a full on professional chef; find a competent cook doing it for spare cash, and it shouldn’t be too expensive, especially if you allow a flexible schedule.

      • Rosa has a freind who also does this. I think if I learned how to cook, I would have found a guy to MARRY me by now. Unfortunateley, no man wants a woman who cannot cook and who is also NOT willing to be doeing everything imageinable in bed for them. FOOEY on men! It is NOT as if they are so wonderful to begin with! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      Back in about 2005 there were these franchises for meal assembly – one was called Super Suppers – that addressed this very problem. Almost none of those businesses are still around and sometimes I think they were just ahead of their time.

      We have a couple of businesses locally that offer take-and-bake meal service where they deliver a full week of meals to your house, or they offer take-and-bake meals you can run by and pick up. I’m not in a very big metro area, so I’m sure this exists other places. I knew a woman once who was a personal chef and while I’m sure the service was very convenient, it was also super-expensive.

      The other thing you might consider is looking at some blog posts on once-a-month cooking. One of my friends does this – her son can’t have dairy, so their options for buying meals out are limited – and I’m impressed at how well she makes it work for her. She shops at Costco on Friday night and goes home and does some prep and then spends 2-3 hours the next day putting freezer meals together. This might be the best option since your little one has food sensitivities and you’ll need to control what goes into the meals.

    • I swear I don’t work for them but this seems like what you need

  5. Any recommendations where to look for a decent door/floor (indoor) mat? It is for the back door to the house.

    Want something simple. Brown, low profile so a swinging exterior door wont push it away. So adherent/non-slip to kitchen flooring is a plus. Water absorbing for snow-y winter is a plus. But would rather not pay a fortune.

    Looking for slightly larger than a small mat. 2.5-3.5 feet or maybe I could do slightly larger.


    • Anonymous :

      I have a basic Mohawk brand mat maybe 2×3? larger than typical doormat size. It’s basic burgundy with trellis pattern, cost like $20 and from Target. Works well for tiny mudroom and doesn’t get stuck under the one door which is super low clearance.

    • We have several from L.L Bean. They’re 5+ years old and still look pretty much new. They have multiple colors and patterns for ~$40, or less if you catch them on sale (they don’t have a lot of site wide sales, but do ~20% off most holiday weekends)

    • Great suggestions. These both look great.

  6. Presentation Help :

    How do I learn to be a better presenter? I’ve always struggled a bit with this. Even though I know my stuff, I end up talking way too fast and reading too much from my notes or the slides. I’ve got a presentation coming up in about a month and while I don’t imagine there will be any drastic change between now and then, if there’s something I could do that could help, I’d like to try. Please give me your presentation tips.

    • Anonymous :

      Practice, practice, practice.

      Practice reading your notes out loud – muscle memory for the order of the words helps get the sentence out without reading from your notes.
      Practice in front of people (Friend, colleagues, etc.), in a small group, if you feel weird speaking to a small room.
      Practice speaking slowly during your practices.

      Take an improv, theater, toastmasters or other sort of classes that get you used to speaking in front of people. These are opportunities to practice as well – not the content of a specific presentation, but practice being in front of other eyes.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Practice, yes.

      Here’s my presentation strategy (I’ve done a lot of them):
      1. Make the PowerPoint yourself. Go over it 10x- read it, present it to yourself slide by slide as you create it. Add more than what’s on the slide when you’re presenting it slide by slide.
      2. Practice it using the PowerPoint a few times. Try to present it with what you added, not just what’s on the slide.
      3. Practice your openers, closers, and main slides in the car or in the shower or to your dog. Get to the point where you can start and finish it without thinking about it and where you know your slides down flat.
      4. Practice again- strategically use the Powerpoint, but don’t rely on it.
      5. Read it the morning of.

      I don’t use notes, but YMMV. I find them to be a crutch that I’ll lean on if I have them.

    • Speaking Anon :

      Yes! I speak all the time and like to think I’ve gotten pretty good at it. Here are my tips:
      – Pay lots of attention to your transitions – between slides, from one section to another, etc. Make sure you a) know what the audience is supposed to take away from each slide/section and b) say it clearly as part of your transition. It’s harder for attendees to follow the structure of presentations than something written (like an essay).
      – Practice your presentation in 5 minute chunks (for example, practice just the conclusion or just a middle section). This makes it easier to find time to practice, and also prevents you from feeling really confident about the beginning and decreasingly practiced later in the presentation.
      – Pick places ahead of time you will pause for emphasis. These will serve as reminders to slow down, and also give you a chance to breathe.
      – If you’re someone who gets nervous about speaking, I find it helpful to remember that when I am an audience member, I am usually focused only partially on the speaker. Attendees will check their phones, be thinking about lunch, be thinking about their kids, thinking about a vacation, thinking about the next session, etc. It helps me to remember that I am paying more attention to my performance than they are.

    • Anonymous :

      Record yourself practicing on your cell phone and then review and practice some more. You’ll learn loads, I promise.

    • s in chicago :

      I do a lot of prep so I’ve got that muscle memory on what’s on each slide like the others have mentioned. And during the actual presentation, I try to picture myself just talking at a meeting to others across the table. I know it sounds weird, but somehow mentally that helps me feel a zillion percent calmer. And it should feel like a conversation after all. The other biggie for me is to not rely on notes but physically look at the projection as much as possible for my cues. I have literally come into rooms in advance and shifted things just to ensure I have a good angle on the projection. If you’re gesturing at something on the projection every now and then, that’s way more engaging than having your head down.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yes. A bajillion years ago I had some teaching jobs, and teaching was never particularly scary to me. But presenting (/arguing in court!) were terrifying. Until I twisted my brain around to be like, “well, I’m just teaching them the content of this presentation/argument.”

  7. My best friend and I live about halfway across the country from each other. When she was pregnant with her first (I had no kids at the time) I flew out for her baby shower and then again a few months after the birth to meet her son and help her out around the house. I also got her several – what I thought were very personal and thoughtful – gifts. A little less than a year later, I had a baby. She never visited me and sent me something generic from my registry. I was disappointed that she never came to visit me or meet my daughter but I tried to be understanding that traveling with an infant is difficult, and I hoped she would come once her son was older and it was easier to leave him alone (she has an involved husband who is perfectly capable of watching their child by himself for a couple of days). But then she got pregnant again before her oldest kid was two and since she won’t travel during pregnancy and I know she wants at least one more and maybe two more kids relatively soon, it seems like she is definitely not going to visit me anytime in the next 10 years or so.

    Now, the birth of baby #2 is imminent and she’s telling me how much she’d love me to come visit again and I just….don’t really want to. I know I was childless when she had her first so maybe it’s unfair to compare how involved I was with her first baby to how involved she was with my first baby, but I’m still hurt by the fact that she’s never been out to visit me or meet my daughter, or really shown any interest in my daughter beyond the social obligation of purchasing a small gift. I’m busier now that I’m a mom of course, but I don’t feel like it would be impossible for me to visit (with or w/o my daughter) a dear friend who’s just had her first baby. This is my oldest and closest friend and I want to be there for her, but I feel like I’m the only one showing up for the friendship lately and I’m not sure I want to spend the time and money visiting someone who can’t be bothered to visit me. Any advice?

    • In-House in Houston :

      I think I would feel the same way. You were in different places when she had her first baby and you were able to travel easier then than she can now. But the gift thing has me thrown. I would just tell her it’s too hard for you to travel to see her this time (that has to be true) and leave it at that. Hopefully someday when all of your kids are older you’ll be able to reconnect.

    • Anonymous :

      Is she otherwise engaged as a friend? Talks on the phone/email/knows whats going on in your life? If the visiting thing is the only thing that’s not meeting your expectations, and holding you back from visiting, I would go. Yeah, it’s annoying, but it also feels a little like beancounting – does she have to reciprocate everything in order to be your friend? How much of a deficient can she run up on the friendship balance sheet before you call it quits? For an old/good friend, I’d probably give them quite a bit of credit before I cut them off.

      But if you don’t want to go because while it’s feasible, it doesn’t sound like fun, then don’t go. that’s ok too.

    • friends with babies :

      You can’t compare travel being childless and traveling with infants. I’m surprised you are even trying to do that, and although you sound like a great friend, I feel like there is too much score-keeping going on here. Also realize that many people don’t have your level of low anxiety about traveling with an infant/toddler, so expecting her to be you isn’t realistic.

      Of course I wouldn’t even think about traveling to visit her this year as you have a new baby as well. But that’s me.

      You are putting too many eggs in this basket. Is this worth crushing your friendship over?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s okay not to visit. Try to facetime. Kids love it and it’s a great way to stay in touch/share your lives. My kid also lets sending picture to the kids of my friends using snail mail.

    • Don’t visit. It’s okay not to. You have a little one at home. That’s a valid reason. Honestly, I wouldn’t want to leave my kid to fly half way across the country and flying with a kid is its own pain in the a**. So I think you can just skype and talk and text and let that be good enough for now. I agree that the gift thing is hurtful but some people are just lousy gift givers and maybe she was additionally stressed out at the time with her kiddo or whatever else. Or – who knows – maybe she likes registry gifts better and while you gave her “thoughtful” gifts she’s just someone who wants what’s on her registry. I have a very sweet friend who sent me lots of “thoughtful” gifts while I was pregnant with my first but none of them were things I wanted (think pregnancy message tees, a book on mocktails, etc.).

    • anon a mouse :

      If you don’t want to go visit her, don’t go. But I think you’re being a little shortsighted about the demands on her time. Maybe you are better at managing your own demands, maybe not. Do you have the sort of friendship where if you don’t see each other, it’s not as strong? Or is this just about you latching onto a visit as some sort of totem that will mark how important the friendship is to her?

      FWIW, my best friend and I live in different time zones and we both have small children. We figured out that the best way for us to get together is to meet in a city halfway between, without kids, for a girls’ weekend. We probably will only be able to do it every 2-3 years (or more) but it feels like such a gift.

    • Out of curiosity, did you ask her to visit/tell her you would love her to visit when you had your baby? Or did you just assume she would volunteer? I would give her a pass if you never told her it was important to you and just assumed she would reciprocate exactly how you did. Plus, as others have said, traveling with an infant/baby is VASTLY different than traveling childless. Of course it can be done, but that doesn’t mean someone has to want to. Her comfort level of leaving her baby at home with her husband may be different than yours. There are so many reasons why she may not have volunteered to come visit you when you had your baby. I would let that one go, especially if you never expressed your wishes to her. People are not mind readers.

      Also, it’s been said here many times, but I think it bears repeating. Don’t give gifts because you want things in return. Give gifts because you WANT to. I have given my bffs lots of baby-related gifts. I will never have a baby. I did not give her gifts hoping that she would buy me something for my dog. Or a drink, or anything! It’s a gift! Her son will receive money from my estate if/when I die assuming I am not married at the time. I expect NOTHING in return for this. I am doing it because I WANT to.

      If the friendship is important to you, stop keeping score.

      I do, however, think it’s perfectly reasonable for you not to visit, but not because you are ahead of her in scoring, but because travel is hard with kids and because you are busy.

    • talk to your friend! have you told her that you were a bit hurt that she didn’t visit you, etc. People are not mind readers and while it might seem obvious to you, it might not be obvious to her. maybe she thought you didn’t care as much as she does (since she is explicitly asking you to visit, did you explicitly ask her?).

      i would tell her that you were hurt she did not come visit you since you’ve had your baby and that while you realize she cannot come visit you right this second since she is about to have her second, maybe in 6 months she can come visit you and bring her 6 month old.

      • I’ve been through this a few times. In one case I remain friends with the person who is never there for my important occasions, although we’re less close than we used to be, but probably for multiple other reasons. Another couple of friends bailed on me in ways that seemed more important and NEVER got in touch anymore, and I am no longer friends with those people.

        I can’t say for sure that other people wouldn’t say the same about me, though. One close friend was very upset that I missed her mother in law’s shiva (mourning period) which to me seemed completely optional. I’m glad she spoke up. It was interesting that she also complained I missed both of her daughters’ bat mitzvahs when I was present at both… she had completely forgotten. So talking it out is not a bad idea.

        • Agree. My best friend had kids way before I did and was incredibly hurt that I missed her 3 year old’s birthday. Mind you, I didn’t attend either the 1st or 2nd bday either and I had a somewhat good reason for missing it but she planned a big to-do and was really upset that I wasn’t there. I’m glad she told me even if I didn’t entirely get it.

    • On the gift thing, OP you seem to see the registry as a source of gifts that aren’t thoughtful. This is really weird to me. I’ve always seen a registry as a source of gifts the person _actually definitely wants_ instead of something I might think they want that they actually don’t. If I were your friend it would not occur to me that you would consider it a slight that I only got you a gift off of your registry instead of getting you something “thoughtful”.

      “I feel like my friend has no time for me” is a legitimate complaint and something I think you should address with your friend. “My friend bought me something off of my registry instead of reading my mind and divining that I wanted something else” … is not and you should let it go.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      You don’t have to visit her if you don’t want to! I don’t necessarily think it’s terrible that she didn’t visit you after you visited her, partly because you were childless (like you said) but also because some people are just better at coping with travel–maybe you’re one of these people, but she’s not?

      But IMO, the big issue here is that you’ve felt hurt and let down by a dear friend for a year or more (right?) and you haven’t said anything to her about it! What’s up with that? Can you call her and say “Amie, I felt really hurt that you didn’t visit me when Babykins was born, especially since I had visited you when you had Cutiepie. I realize it’s difficult to travel with an infant, and I don’t want to bean-count, but I missed you a lot and it’s been bothering me for a while”? If not, why not?

    • Keeping score is a fast way to end a friendship. Everyone approaches life differently & has different reactions to life changes. Some handle new babies with ease, others really struggle, or have other things going on in their life – your friend may have been too overwhelmed to come see you & you can’t fairly compare your experiences. I’d base your decision on visiting around what you want to do & I’d’ take score keeping out of it. Personally, if this is my oldest friend & I want to visit her & I can do so with ease, I’d make the trip. It’s lovely when things even out perfectly, but that’s rarely the case in real life. Sometimes balance is you doing more for a while. If the relationship eventually turns into something completely one-sided, that’s a different story & it doesn’t sound like you’re there.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      OP, I am so sorry you are dealing with this.

      I am somewhat of an outlier on this issue but, as I have gotten older, I have come to the decision that I will not put myself out for people who do not show up for me. It is just too painful and I am too easily wounded by it. It means that I have less people in my life and that I am no longer close with some people that I thought would be my friends forever. But I also became a lot closer to other people who have really shown up, both in bad times and in good.

      Aside, I just bristle at the ongoing notion that somehow having a child excuses you from pretty much everything. I am a lawyer (and work those kinds of hours), I have a husband and a kid with some significant special needs and none of that is an adequate excuse for being a crappy friend.

    • Don’t go.

    • Anonymous :

      I find it odd that she didn’t visit you for your first, but she wants you to visit for her second. I would use the excuse of having an infant and not go. As far as the registry, I agree with other posters who favor registry items. I always stick to the wedding/baby registry because I know the friend needs those items. I was annoyed that many people bought me perfectly lovely but unwanted wedding gifts. I ended up with 3 trifle bowls even though I didn’t have a single one on the registry.

  8. Anonymous :

    Anyone here have good strategies for dealing with brain fog in a work or school setting? Like how to concentrate, study, memorize information. It’s due to depression/anxiety. Caffeine isn’t touching it. On antidepressants, have a therapist, upped my water, and I’m already sleeping 8 hours a night. The source of the stress unfortunately isn’t going away anytime soon. Psych suggested meditation. B vitamins? Vitamin D? Cutting out caffeine? Any other tips or tricks?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Captain Awkward has an article that might help:

    • A b-12 shot can do wonders (not a long term solution but can’t hurt to ask your doctor).

    • Sublingual b-6 does help me, as does REALLY prioritizing sleep/water/good food and exercise. Also – if you have a period of time your brain is more alert, try to do what you can then – I am at my best from 9:30-1pm or so, and less so after lunch. I also work in the evenings which is better for me.

  9. thin sweater recommendations? :

    Many years ago, I had some from walmart or maybe target that held their shape well, could be tossed in the wash, and fit nicely under a winter coat. I think they weren’t more than $20/ea or so too. Now walmart seems to only sell things as juniors or in women’s wide sizes. Any recommendations from elsewhere or amazon?

    • Anonymous :

      Listening. Also wondering what fabrics don’t pill. Blends I guess do, but sometimes you need something not wool. Cotton fades. Silk?

      • Anonymous :

        Not-fuzzy fabrics have a better chance of not-pilling. My merino wool sweaters (mostly from Banana R) rarely have pilling issues. The fuzzy cashmere ones from anywhere (Halogen, Lands End, etc) always end up with pills on the arm/side that rub together.

      • Anonymous :

        Anything with acrylic will pill.

    • Anonymous :


    • pugsnbourbon :

      I picked up three crewneck sweaters from JCPenney that might fit your bill. So far no issues with stretching, and they have ribbed cuffs that keep their shape. Can’t find them on the website except in tall, but here’s a v-neck version:

  10. Anonymous :

    Somebody tell me that paying $20/hour for a really good sitter (former Daycare Teacher of ours, somebody I absolutely trust my kiddos with) is worth it.

    One kid is a piece of cake, the other can be REALLY challenging (some diagnoses going on). My husband travels a lot for work and I’m hiring this sitter for a weeknight a week while he’s gone to help me keep my sanity.

    …Can somebody just back up my rationalization? My sanity is worth $50 a week, right?

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Yes. Yes. You are outsourcing some of what your partner would do if he could, and it will save wear and tear on your psyche *and* your marriage.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Of course it is! Good grief! Do it!

    • Totally.

      Actually, I would ask my doctor to write me a prescription for this. And deduct it from my HSA.

      Legit, no?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Your sanity is absolutely worth $50 a week (if you have it)! That’s cheaper than therapy, anyway. If it’s still a squeeze, it might be worth finding a cheaper sitter you still trust, but if I were you I would still hire this one in the meantime.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Yes, absolutely.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      We pay just a bit less than that for an OK sitter with one kid. So in terms of market rate or whatever, heck yeah.

    • Yes, and $20/hr isn’t even that expensive. $15-$20/hr was standard babysitting rate for me when I babysat ~10-15 years ago as a high school/college student. It was great money for me but I saw just how little time the parents had for themselves or to be together that wasn’t “all about the kids.”

      If I were you, I would totally hire her AND I would have a backup for when she isn’t available. It’s not forever but it’s an investment in yourself and your marriage.

    • Anonymous :

      I say yes, as someone who regrets not hiring more sitters. If it’s too tight for your budget, what about a teenage mother’s helper, who would be considerably less expensive?

      • Anonymous :

        THANK YOU ALL. I was just balking when I thought about the actual ‘Oh my god, $50 a week.’

        And honestly – a mother’s helper or less experienced sitter isn’t really an option because of kid with some needs. I think this is one of those things I needed to just hear rational people tell me ‘Yes. Do this.’

        Note: My amazing husband just reminded me that if this is what saves my sanity, it’s much cheaper than a) divorce or b) quitting my job entirely because it’s all TOO DANG MUCH.

        • God yes, do it.

          I spend $50/week on cheese burgers and meat sandwiches (and I’m single and childless, of course), if that makes you feel any better!

          Sure, they’re for my sanity, too….

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Absolutely! I also agree that $20 for two kids does not actually seem like an overly inflated rate.

    • Yes and yes. Daycare teachers who babysit are worth their weight in gold, both for the trust you can place in them and the familiarity your kiddos have with them.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally. That is market rate for a background-checked, on-the-books college or adult sitter in my LCOL/MCOL area.

  11. Mold issue :

    Can anyone recommend an atty in dc specializing in landlord/tenant issues? The particular situation involves a mold issue. Thanks in advance!!

  12. Jackalope :

    PSA for anyone who hasn’t bought Hobbs clothing before: it is good quality, but I would recommend drycleaning over machine washing items like this. I have multiple dresses in similar fabric and have found they resist shrinking much better with drycleaning than with machine washing, even on gentle cycle in cold water.

  13. Be careful of purchasing directly from Hobbs. Returns from the United States to England are paid by the purchaser. I bought a dress that was unflattering, but I’ll be wearing it rather than spending $88 to return it. The moral of the story: purchase your Hobbs apparel through a domestic department store.

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  15. Anonymous :

    This is a lovely plus size option, but its pricy. Any recommendations for a cheaper plus size navy suit (under $300 total)?

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