Suit of the Week: J.Crew

J.Crew superfine cotton suitingFor 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.

Yawn: there are not a lot of interesting suits out there right now! I’m liking the new superfine cotton collection from J.Crew, though, and not just because some of the pieces come in a brilliant “byzantine blue.” The fit looks solid, and I’m intrigued by their description of the cotton, which is “siro spun to give it a hint of stretch, [a treatment] only the best suiting fabrics in Japan get”). In-ter-est-ing. The jacket (1035 jacket in superfine cotton) is $178, the trouser (1035 trouser in superfine cotton) is $118, the skirt (Pencil skirt in superfine cotton) is $98, and the dress (Marielle dress in superfine cotton) is $178 (regulars and petites).

1035 jacket in superfine cotton 1035 trouser in superfine cotton



  1. I like it. Makes me long for summer!

  2. karenpadi :

    Silicon Valley Corporettes! In there any interest in another meet-up?

  3. Anonymous :

    I own this suit, though in wool and on sale for much cheaper than this (both pieces for about $175, one of the JCrew super sales). I have been having issues with the jacket ever since, or maybe just my tailor. I have a bitterness toward this suit — the jacket itself was purchased in my size, but had to be taken in at least another size (not sure if mis-sized or what). Now, somehow, the bottom of the jacket under the buttons flares out unflatteringly — not that the fabric is away from the body, but the “space” between the two sides under the buttons is way too wide. Or maybe the buttons are misplaced, or something. Basically, it only looks good when the jacket is open as the model has it here.

    And JCrew, of course, has no photographs of the model from the front with the jacket closed. Sigh.

    • All my suit jackets look better open!

    • MissJackson :

      I think this is a new “style” thing which I don’t entirely understand. But I’ve seen it all over…

      • I’ve also noticed that with jackets. The general idea is that when the jacket is buttoned, the buttons define and shape your waist, and then the jacket flares out over your hips. I actually like it, because if a suit jacket doesn’t do at least something to define my waist, I look like a tank. But it certainly looks different than the classic boxy blazer for formal suit jacket.

  4. Do the Clarisonic brushes help with anti-aging, or are they only focused on current skin issues? Also, did anyone else see the Groupon now deal? I’ll link in a reply but I’m trying to figure out if it is actually a good deal. It’s $59 for the set, but I’m not sure if the brand – Pro Sonic – is one that is well known.


      • I haven’t heard of the ProSonic. I got the Nutra Sonic. It was $69 from Amazon. The WSJ article says that the Nutra Sonic and the Clarisonic are comparable. I’m not sure if it works for anti-aging, but I’ve had it for a week and a half and my skin is definitely softer.

        I’ll put links in the message below.

        • WSJ article:
          Nutra Sonic:

    • I haven’t heard of the Pro Sonic. But, in a related Groupon comment – did you see the one for the Shake Weight?! Hilarious.

  5. Pants suits always make me look hippy and short. I’ve never found one that didn’t. SIGH.

    • I agree, and I am relatively tall and thin. I think it’s because my thighs are a little heavier relatively, so my legs look much better in skirts than pants. Plus, I just hate pants altogether in every way. So there’s that.

      • I’m pretty much noodle shaped (waist 9″ smaller than hips) with thin thighs, but I prefer skirts because I don’t get muffin top with them. I can just wear the skirt a little higher on my waist than it’s supposed to be, and since I’m short it still covers enough leg!

  6. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I like this, but the pants are way too narrow for my short stumpy legs.

    I need to get another suit, but am really struggling with colour, as I seem to only end up with lots in different shades of grey. I’m thinking navy or, even better, navy pinstripe. Someone in my office has a gorgeous navy pinstripe suis and I now really want one!

    What other colour suits do fellow Corporettes have and love? I have red hair, currently, so grey and navy are good.

    • I have black, charcoal, medium grey, dark dark brown and dark taupe. The next color I want to add is navy. I currently have dark hair, but I dyed it auburn/red for a while. But some redheads look better in the warm colors and some look better in the cooler colors.

      My favorite color suit to wear is black, you can only own so many black suits!

    • Great question! I have brown, a few grays, a few black and white patterned, navy pinstripe, and a couple of black. As far as interesting colors, I have red (love!), white, and light green seersucker. I am always in the market for more suits in interesting colors, but they are really hard to find, and then also hard to wear once you have them. My red is a sort of shiny fabric, which is great around the holidays but a little hard to get away with on a regular old Tuesday.

      • And my next purchase (supposing I can find one) will be either khaki or a light gray like the suit shown above. Not that those colors are so crazy, but they are at least a little different. The problem is that I am obsessed with color in my casual and business casual wardrobe, so I feel like suits really weigh me down.

    • MissJackson :

      I also have lots of variations of grey, too! And I love navy suits — vastly prefer them to black, actually. I also have an abergine suit (love), a camel suit (summer fabric), black with pink pinstripe (looks better than it sounds), black with tan pin stripe, black tweed (somewhat outdated style, though), chocolate brown… there are tons of options!

      I bought a great brown tweedy skirt suit from AT recently that would look great on someone with red hair. Looks like it’s still available — the fabric is called “moulinee tweed” if you want to do a search on the website. It does have the problem that Anonymous describes above where the jacket doesn’t close all the way below the buttons (you can see from the pictures). But despite that oddity, I still like it. They call the matching skirt “A-line” which is weird because it’s definitely a pencil skirt.

    • I have four. I only have to wear suits for occasional client meetings (in fact got away with having only one suit for my first two years of practice until we were in months long negotiations with a business formal client). They are actually all from J.Crew suiting sales.

      – Navy pinstripe. Usually wear with white, pastels (pink, lavender or blue), kelly green or mustard yellow.
      – Medium charcoal gray (this one is my workhorse). Pairs with almost anything but wear mostly with blue- or black- patterned button downs and jewel-tones shells (a statement orange one if I’m feeling bold).
      – Black. To be honest I typically wear this one as separates – I much prefer wearing a black jacket over a sheath. Otherwise I pair it with pastels or dark-but-not-navy blues.
      – Tan cotton (similar to this one). Love it with a crisp light blue or navy shirt for summer meetings.

    • I just bought an awesome plum suit from Brooks Brothers on super sale. Counting down the days until I can pick it up with alterations done!

    • Ooohhh I have a navy pinstripe suit that I bought from JCrew on super sale a few years ago, and it is my favorite!

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      black, brown, brown pinstripe, light grey, dark grey with subtle pinstripes, two sort of brownish-greenish-greyish (it’s hard to describe–one looks more brown, one almost looks green-grey), camel, black linen, and if the one I bought online on major sale from talbots this week works out, navy. Yea, I have a lot of suits (some don’t er, fit, entirely well right now, or the pants fit but not the skirt, etc.). I kind of have an irresistable urge to buy a suit if I see it on major sale. My favorites are actually the brown shades–it’s my preferred neutral. Not as harsh as black, looks better against my pale skin than grey.

      • MeliaraofTlanth :

        And after reading everyone’s responses, I now want a plum/aubergine.

        Help me, I think I have a suit shopping addiction.

        • Brooks Brothers had a lovely plum suit this time of year last year – gorgeous and went on super sale after a month or so.

        • It’s ok. I have the same “problem”!

    • a passion for fashion :

      I have like 7 different black suits (some with detailing, some with pinstripes, and some just plain), a charcoal suit, a light grey with pale purple pinstripe suit, a navy/purple-ish windowpain suit, a brown w/ thin red and light brown pinstripe

    • phillygirlruns :

      full suits – i have light gray (jacket, pants and skirt), black (skirt suit and pants suit, two different suits/fabrics/weights), navy (jacket, pants and skirt), two slightly different shades of chocolate brown (one skirt suit, one pants suit, bought at different times due to clearance/sales), khaki (cotton, summer only), a charcoal gray/black pattern (similar to houndstooth, but not quite), and a great striped skirt suit in shades of navy and aubergine that i never wear – it’s a bit too big and i haven’t gotten it tailored.

      i also have a somewhat fabulous but really not appropriate light brown skirt suit i picked up from bcbg in my first year of practice. the skirt has a bit of a fishtail to it and i think the jacket might be peplum – it’s been a long time since i’ve worn it. it’s just too “jessica rabbit” on me for work, but i can’t bring myself to get rid of it.

  7. Does anyone know if this is the same cotton suiting that J.Crew had out last summer? Asking because I bought the skirt and pants in both navy and a light khaki (similar to this color). If so, the pants (not so much the skirt) stretch out tremendously during the day – so much that I felt I had to either wear a belt or keep hitching my pants up. I’m more typically a 6 in J.Crew pants, but was between a 4 and a 6 in store and ended up buying the 6 because the 4 was just a little too snug to be appropriate. Had I known the 6’s would turn into 8’s to 10’s by mid morning I would have gotten the smaller size and gotten dressed with enough time for them to stretch out before work.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Getting the pants in a smaller size and having to plan around the time for them to stretch out sounds like way too much work…and I hate having to work for my clothing (my clothing has to work for me!). Sounds like JCrew missed the mark on this one.

    • I like the idea of cotton suits for the summer but they always seem to stretch out and wrinkle easily.

    • If so, this line ran HUGE. I’m a 2-4, and the 0 was still swimming on me a bit…

  8. Lasik for the near blind :

    Anyone with severe nearsightedness get Lasik surgery done and if so, are you happy? I’m about a -11 in both eyes and assumed that I was not a candidate until today, when my new optometrist said that I could potentially be. I’m very nervous about any sort of elective surgery and am most concerned about some of the horror stories I hear about halos, eyesight getting worse, etc. My eyes are so bad now that I would be devastated if they got worse. My doctor assured me that she uses a surgeon affiliated with Harvard who does thousands of these a year, is highly qualified, etc. Curious if anyone with a similar prescription has got Lasik done.

    • I’m not sure about your prescription, but I hear way more success stories about Lasik than horror ones. (Although the horrors are what we remember and repeat.) Several of my friends have had it, and my boyfriend had it, and all love it.

    • One of my good friends got Lasik two years ago, and he still raves about how it was the best thing he ever did. I’m not sure what his exact prescription was, but I know he had terrible eye sight and had to get expensive glasses to fit the thick lenses. While he will probably end up with glasses again when he’s older, not having to worry about it for the next 20 years was completely worth the risks for him.

    • I can’t help you, but I am interested in this thread. I had an eye exam yesterday. I now need bifocals or progressives. Apparently, difficulty in reading is an extra gift that you get around the time you turn 40.

      • You should see 47 year old me in the grocery store asking my kids to read me expiration dates.

        “Why must they use such tiny print?” I cry, in a dead-on yet unintentional impersonation of my mother.

      • It is, actually – the muscles in your eyes that control your eyes ability to focus start to stiffen up. And while LASIK can help, you’ll still need reading glasses. Unless you get each eye done differently (one for far vision, one for close up). My dad did the LASIK (and is not stuck with reading glasses) and while the surgery went fine, he kind of misses the ability to just take off his glasses to do up close work. He’s also kind of annoyed to always have to carry reading glasses on the off chance he’d need them.

    • I can’t offer advice for sever nearsightedness, as my prescription was -2.75, but I had PRK surgery done a little over a month ago and have been thrilled with the results. I know that one concern with Lasik for a prescription like yours is that the incision has to go relatively deeper into the cornea, increasing risks. With PRK, there’s no incision, so it might be something for you to look into. I am far from an expert, so take this advice with a large grain of salt.

      If you do end up going the PRK route, be sure to do it at a time when your work load will be light for a few weeks because it takes significant time for your reading vision to fully recover.

      • Actually, PRK totally involves incisions. in fact, with Lasik they lift up a flap, make the incision under the flap and close the flap over. PRK doesn’t involve any flaps. It’s more painful during healing, and it’s an older method, but I understand it’s coming back as a better method.
        I was -8 something, and had PRK. The results were okay but they left one eye at reading prescription and the other at driving – I hate it, it’s like having vaseline in one eye all the time.

        In hindsight, I guess I would still have done it, but I had a bit of an adjustment mentally – it was a bit like having plastic surgery would be, I imagine, since it changed part of me so radically.

        • I think PRK is what my brother had done (the rest of us had LASIK) because his prescription was so much worse than the rest of us. My understanding is that prescriptions that need more correction need to have as much of the cornea as they can to work with so they forgo using the flap (which aids in healing time) and do the correction right on the surface.

          We (my 3 brothers and I) all had LASIK/PRK done in our early 20s (starting in the early 2000s) and as far as I know, none of us have had any issues. Our dad also had it done in his late 40s, and while the surgery went fine, he sometimes misses his ability to just take off his glasses for up close work and is annoyed by the fact that he needs to having reading glasses with him all the time. I don’t think the mono vision (is that what they call the one far eye and one close eye?) was really an option at the time – and personally that kind of creeps me out.

    • MissJackson :

      I almost had it done this month, but ended up deciding to wait a year. My vision is not especially bad (I’m a -2.25), but I have a pretty serious astigmatism in each eye.

      Basically, I asked colleagues for recommendations for a doctor, went in for a consultation with that doc to see if I was a candidate (I am). I only decided not to pull the trigger immediately because it would have meant maxing out my health FSA this year, and for various reasons I was not sure whether this was the right year to do so. However, I am definitely going to do it eventually.

      I think that you should actually go see this doctor to discuss whether you are a candidate with your prescription. They will do a free consultation, and then you will know for sure.

      One thing to note: my doc told me that most people end up with reading glasses at some point in their 40s — unrelated to lasik, of course — just natural with age. So you shouldn’t expect to be glasses free for life. Bunkster, I didn’t specifically ask whether lasik could correct for far-sightedness that had already developed, so I’m not sure about that.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        This is true. Had Lasik in 2007, couldn’t be happier, and while I’ll need readers, I’d rather pay $15.99 for a funky pair at Target than the $500 per pair x 2 pair plus prescription sunglasses every year!

    • I’ve been wondering about this as well. I’m over 40 and around -11 in both eyes. It’s gotten so bad that the correction for distance causes prism effects and I have to have progressive lenses so I can see close. Even then, this time, I couldn’t see my computer (intermediate distance) without getting a second set of glasses (Zenni Optical saved me on that one). I know they always think of Lasik as only being for people who won’t need glasses at all afterward (and thus, people whose eyes are stable), but honestly, if it got me to the point where I could buy glasses like a normal person and they would correct my vision, I’d be thrilled.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’ve been really curious about Lasik, but a close family friend is a prominent, top-of-the-field opthamologist and he thinks that Lasik is insane. The begining of his shpiel is “Why on earth would you choose voluntary surgery on your eyes?? Even assuming that your surgery goes perfectly at the time, which is never guaranteed, we have no idea how these lasik people will do in a few decades!” He’s talked me out of it.

      • My husband is a doctor and always says he’ll get Lasik when the opthamologists get it. He says they all still wear glasses.

        • My husband went to an ophthalmologist for corrective vision surgery. The ophthalmologist who had done a cornea fellowship, had gotten PRK and that’s what my husband ended up getting as well. It’s sort of a long spiel, but PRK has a longer history than lasik, has some distinct advantages (especially if you have chronic dry eye or like to do sports with risk of ocular trauma) but has a worse recovery. Less than a year later, I know my husband thinks it was a great choice (he’s currently on a paddle board in the pacific ocean, something he couldn’t do without glasses last year).

      • Well my answer to his beginning question would be that my eyes are now so bad that I am having a difficult time properly correcting them with glasses. It’s disappointing to me that there is very little recognition of the fact that people like me (and the original poster) are not doing this for cosmetic reasons or just because we don’t want to wear glasses. For me, it could soon be a necessity.

        • NOLA, my dad was really, really at the end of the line for glasses. He did PRK in the late 80’s with top docs, when it was still risky. But he had been wearing hard contacts for decades and things couldn’t get worse. He loves it.

          If you are in the Palo Alto area, the doc to see is Dr. Mansche at Stanford. Gold standard for the Bay Area. But I surmise you are not….just throwing that out there for others though.

    • Old Towner :

      I got Lasik one year ago and couldn’t be happier. My prescription was previously -6.5. My husband also got it (he used to be -7). And my mother-in-law (about 60 years old) got it and is incredibly happy with it even though she still has to wear reading glasses. After wearing glasses for nearly 30 years (since pre-school), I could not be any happier to finally be done with them! I just wish I had done it sooner – would have saved me years of paying for glasses and contact lenses. I recommend it to everyone and don’t regret it one bit!

    • I think if you do your research adn go with a highly qualified surgeon who does tons of Lasik, you’ll be fine. The horror stories I have heard usually begin with “I got a coupon for this doctor” or something like that. I don’t know anything about your prescription, though.

    • I think I was minus 8.75 and had it done maybe 8 years ago, only after my sister had it done. I have the reading glasses problem. I cannot read anything without reading glasses, and sometimes there is just nothing that will let me read tiny print if the light is bad. I also miss being able to take off my glasses to do closeup work, but it was definitely worth the tradeoff.
      I tried one contact for closeup and one for distance to see if I thought I would want the lasik done that way and opted out. I lost depth perception when trying that, and I already had a bad enough depth perception issue.
      I am a runner, outside person, love working in the yard, and I had developed issues with wearing contacts, so this was definitely worth the tradeoff for me.

    • I’m a little late to the game with replying to your post, so I hope you see it. I had eye surgery 6 years ago. Before surgery my right eye was -15 and my left was -11. Not lasik or PRK, but something called Phakic Interocular Lens Surgery (my opthamalogist called it Verisys – I think that might be the brand name of the lens). It is a fairly new procedure – approved in 2004, but my opthamalogist had participated in the FDA trials, so had done hundreds of them before 2004. The surgery is recommended for people with high prescription, because unlike Lasik or PRK, there is no scraping away part of the eye. Instead, they make a small incision in your eye and attach a permanent lens inside your eye to correct your vision. I love it. At first, I did notice some halos (in dim light the edge of the lens will catch the light, but I’ve gotten so used to it that I don’t notice it anymore) and I have slight astimatism because the stitches to close the incision slightly distorted my eye. However, I have 20/20 vision and it is so worth it to have that. I struggled for years with glasses – my prescription was so high that correction was becoming a problem and glasses gave me headaches. I was unable to wear contacts because I had developed dry eyes from so many years of contact use. I’d suggest you look into it at least.

    • girl in the stix :

      I had lasik done on my very, very nearsighted (what eye chart?) eyes on September 10, 2001 (yeah, great first thing to see with my new eyes on Sept. 11). I am still thrilled to be able to see as well as I do. Swimming–fun! snorkeling–FUN! Walking in the rain and snow–fun! Being able to discriminate between my shampoo and conditioner in the shower–fun! I do see halos around lights, but I had that from contacts. I wear ‘cheater’ now, due to age, for up close work. I was apprehensive, after all these are the only eyes I have, but the surgery was over quickly. Be sure to have someone available to get you back from the facility. Good luck!

  9. Related Clarisonic question:

    How do you use yours? Soap on the brush or on the face? Do you press it to your skin and kind of rotate it (as if you were using your hands) or just hold it against your face and let it oscillate or whatever? Also, how do you clean it after?

    I finally got one of these over the holidays and while I definitely see that my skin is softer and there are maybe less blackheads, I haven’t noticed any miraculous effect. Just wondering if maybe I am doing it wrong….

    • mines had no effect so far too. My skin is softer, but blackheads look the same and breakouts look the same.

    • I don’t know if I’m doing it right, but I put soap on the brush and kind of move it in circles around my face. I use it in the shower. I try to clean both that brush and my makeup brushes once a week with antibacterial soap.

      I’ve noticed the Clairisonic making my skin softer and taking care of dry patches. I’m not sure about any anti-aging or anti-blackhead benefits yet.

    • I’m the same. I’ve had mine since early November and my skin looks smoother and clearer, but it has not cleared up my tendency to have acne on my chin (monthly, hormonal.)

      However, I love the improvements I do see, and I’m not planning to give it up even though it doesn’t prevent cysts.

    • I’ve noticed a greater effectiveness on the blackheads when I’ve used it at the end of a hot shower. I put the soap on my face and move it around, but don’t press too hard. My blackheads are not completely gone but they are much smaller/less obvious than before. If I don’t use it for a few days, I notice my skin feels rougher and greasier.

    • I put soap on my face and slowly move the brush around in no particular pattern. I don’t press down too hard, but I probably apply a little, moderate pressure. I clean it by putting it under the stream of water and putting it on and off a few times. I use it once a day when I’m washing my face in the shower.

      I have the Mia, which came with a sensitive skin brush. I inadvertenly bought a normal brush to replace it (and lived too far from Sephora at the time to bother exchanging it), and I am not sure I can tell the difference. Sometimes I wonder if the normal is actually a bit better, and other times it seems like my skin is more dry, but I’ve had so many other changes in my routine that I cannot really compare the two brush heads.

    • Blackhead Babe :

      Clarisonic has made a huge difference in the number of blackheads and pimples I have. My pores are so much smaller and there are fewer gross things taking up residence in my face.

      I have started washing my face, rinsing off the face soap, then using my clarisonic (just with water), rinsing again, and drying. It seems to be working just as well and stays cleaner. Also, I just move it around my face without pressure–I don’t press down or rotate it myself.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      I put cleanser on the brush and press it softly to my face. I kind of move it around, but not in any consistent pattern. I focus a little more in the area right around my nose and chin, but I don’t really apply extra pressure.

      How about switching to a different cleanser? You may need to try something different.

      I don’t know if this will work for you, but I started to use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Night Formula (with Retinol) after I cleansed with the Clarisonic. I think this duo has reduced the size of my pores, cut down on my black heads and cut down on the little cystic acne that I would get from time to time.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I wet my face, massage soap on my face with fingertips and then use Clarisonic applying light pressure but letting the brush do all the work. I find I still need a deep cleaning facial but instead of getting every other month, I get twice a year….

    • phillygirlruns :

      i use mine in the shower at night. soap on the brush, move it around the same as if i were using my hands. i don’t clean my brush heads separately – just rinse well and change them out every couple of months. i’ve had it for a little over a year now and really started to see a consistent, significant difference after about six months. i have oily skin with an uneven tone, large pores and lots of blackheads with small but consistent breakouts – my skintone is much more even now, the texture is better (pores not as apparent), far fewer blackheads and only the occasional pimple. if i had it to do over, i’d just get the mia, though – i bought the full-size clarisonic thinking that i’d use it on my body, take advantage of the multiple settings, etc., and i just haven’t.

  10. Has anyone ever tried African black soap? I’ve heard that people either love it or loathe it, and am contemplating trying it for body acne. I have great, trouble-free skin on my face, but my chest and shoulders will break out based on hormones and/or sweat from working out, and that stuff is stubborn!

    Any reviews?

    • Ugh, I did not like it at all. I got it from Cap Hill Style’s review and it did not work for me at all.
      1) It doesn’t smell nice
      2) It leaves a feeling that I can’t really explain but I’ve only felt with really cheap soap before, where if you run your hand down your arm after you use it, it’s almost rubbery? Or your hand gets sorta “stuck” on your arm? Unclear on describing this…
      3) It’s way too harsh to use by itself; not the foam but the actual bar of soap hurt to lather up, even in my hands
      4) Gross dark brown residue is left all over the bathtub/sink
      5) And most importantly, it just didn’t work for me. It irritated my face, which looked more red after use. It over-dryed my face as well. Overall hated and wouldn’t use again. Plus buying from Amazon gives you SO much, so I have almost an entire pound left over. Feels wasteful.

    • Haven’t tried it, but when I was struggling w/ body breakouts from sweat and hormones a few years ago I read a suggestion by a favorite blogger about using original formula Head and Shoulders shampoo as body wash on troublesome areas, and it totally worked. I would lather up and let the foam sit on my skin while I shaved (or just waited a bit — maybe 20 seconds before rinsing). Supposedly it works b/c the original formula has some form of zinc in it. It’s cheap, and readily available, so might be worth a try.

      • Working Girl :

        Agreed. Any dandruff shampoo with the zinc stuff will do wonders for body breakouts.

    • I also got suckered in after Belle’s post about it on CapHillStyle. Good news – it’s cheap, so it’s not very risky to try. Bad news (at least for me) – it was worthless. Not only did it not clear up my occasional breakouts, but it made my skin actually look worse. (And I stuck it out for 30 days, just in case it was one of those it-gets-worse-before-it-miraculously-gets-better type of products). Honestly, I could have lived with the smell, the texture (including the shards that invariably scratched me), and the need to keep it in a plastic baggie to prevent moisture from getting to it. If it worked. Sadly, I’m now skeptical of Belle’s skin care suggestions because the soap was so horrible.

    • Body washes with salicylic acid can be useful for body breakouts. Also, if you work out, take off your sweaty clothes immediately after exercising. When I finish up at the gym, I take off my top, sports bra, and shorts and put on a clean t-shirt for the ride home (I prefer to shower at home).

      Something I do for the occasional smallish breakout is use bacitracin or neosporin on the zit. I figure they’re anti-bacterial and maybe anti-inflammatory, so it makes sense. Seems to help prevent things from getting worse and clear them up faster.

  11. S in Chicago :

    Anyone have any experience with whether lizard skin will stretch?

    I absolutely love the new watch I got for casual wear, but the band isn’t as comfortable as I would like. It fits–but barely. Unfortunately, the manufacturer doesn’t have it in a longer size in any colors but black–something I really don’t want since I already have a couple others with black bands (and to be embarrassingly honest, what really attracted me to this one was the cute girly hue). Just wondering if lizard skin is like leather and will soften and give a little bit more over time. Or if I’ll have to bite the bullet and pay $200 for a new band that is far less appealing.

    Also, to anyone who goes up and down in weight, do you notice a difference in your wrists? I’m currently shedding some extra lbs I put on after some health problems that prevented me from my regular active lifestyle. If wrist size does change, then I’m more apt to just wait a bit.

    Oh, stupid lovely watch. Why do you cause me so much angst?

    • My wrists do change sizes if I go up or down in weight–even a few pounds makes a difference for how closely my watch fits (“bloated wrist syndrome”???). My bro just lost about 70 lbs and had to have several links taken out of his watch. I bet if you lose a few pounds, the watch will fit better.

    • I lost 50 lbs. My watch that was too tight before is now bracelet loose.

      • A jeweler can take out extra links.

        • It would be interesting to know if a jeweler could add links/spacer to between the face of the watch and the band to help “lengthen”the band. Is that even a thing?

          • Whenever I get links taken out, they always gave them to me, and I assume I could have them put back in if needed. I don’t know if it would look great the way you propose (depending on if your jeweler has access to same links), but they could probably put something near the clasp that would make it workable. I’d give it a shot. If you can take it to the store that sells your watch – that would increase your chances of success. Or you could always get a new band.

          • I got the impression that the OP had a leather band, rather than a metal link band – so the OP might not have links to add.

    • Notalawyer :

      Yes, I go up or down a link depending on whether I’m losing or gaining.

    • Is there room on your strap to get a couple of extra holes punched in ? Most watch shops should be able to do it on the spot although you will want to keep an eye that a negligent sales clerk doesn’t make a mess of the simple job. And yes, lizard will give a bit like leather will.

  12. starting to seriously doubt myself :

    Threadjack, based in part on the morning thread from yesterday:

    I’m a third-year Biglaw associate applying for a clerkship. The application needs to be submitted sooner rather than later. I need to submit a writing sample, and I don’t know what to submit. Lots of you weighed in yesterday on a similar question, and the general hivemind advice seemed to be the following:

    (1) only submit public documents (i.e. no confidential client memoranda), even with identifying details redacted;

    (2) don’t use anything that has been edited (even minor edits) by anyone else (even if you disclose it to the interviewer or in the cover letter);

    (3) don’t submit anything from law school; and

    (4) submit something substantive (i.e. not a two-paragraph uncontested motion).

    Sadly, this leaves me with . . . absolutely nothing. Literally. Even as a third-year, any document with the slightest bit of legal analysis gets reviewed (and generally changed, even if only slightly) by someone more senior.

    Until yesterday, I thought that submitting a filed brief where (a) my name was second on the caption and (b) I had done the initial draft and there had been few substantive changes, along with a disclaimer to that effect, was the way to go. After reading yesterday’s thread, I’m not so sure. And to make matters worse, I went back through the document I was going to submit . . . and found a typo. (I know, I know… stupid!) From what I read yesterday, it sounds like fixing the typo would be dishonest.

    I honestly thought until yesterday that I had done a decent amount of “substantive” work (compared with others in my position, anyway), but I guess that might not be the case. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance.

    • I totally disagree. There’s no way anyone is ever going to have a completely unedited document to submit. I have submitted writing samples with the comment that they had been lightly edited, and I think that is totally fine. What’s more, as a former clerk who was very involved in the clerkship hiring process, I saw that all the time.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. I always submitted whatever the final version was (letter to client, complaint, whatever), without a note that it was edited. Never thought twice about it.

      • Agree with B23 and Diana Berry.

        Another thing I have done in the past is take something that would be confidential, and make it anonymous without changing the analysis too much.

    • I’m starting my third year of practice and almost everything I do is as part of a team – other people will make edits. It happens. I think if you drafted the first draft of the brief, and had document control over it, you can submit it. Also, not sure how the moral majority feels about this, but I would fix the typo before submitting. You cought it, so fix it.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I have clerked at both the federal district and federal appellate court level. I saw lots of briefs/memos/law review notes that candidates submitted from law school and didn’t think twice about it, including from people who had graduated a few years before. My judge didn’t care either. The bottom line is to choose the BEST piece of writing you have. If you have written something great from law school, submit that. If you can tweak your filed brief and feel that it is strong, use that. Whatever you choose, just make sure that the grammar and the citations are perfect. That’s more important that the substance of the document, in my opinion.

    • karenpadi :

      I would use the filed brief and not include the note saying it was reviewed by anyone. For laterals with less than 5 years experience, I expect that someone reviewed their work and made changes. I will usually ask a question about their training or how closely they work with a reviewer in the interview.

      I would submit the brief as it appears in the public record. Even if the candidate provided a copy of the writing sample, I might go to the Internet to pull the actual document from the source. Yes, almost every writing sample I have seen has a typo. That’s the reality of working with deadlines and budgets. My writing samples have typos. I don’t ding people (except law students) for typos in a writing sample (unless they are everywhere or a consistent grammatical error).

      The typos I’d worry about are typos in the cover letter and resume. I ding candidates heavily for those.

      • starting to seriously doubt myself :

        Thanks to all of you for your responses – I feel a whole lot better. I hadn’t been having a good day to begin with, and I was starting to feel like it might be a waste of time to even apply. But you all have convinced me otherwise.

      • I disagree. There is no requirement that a writing sample be “public record.” It is convenient to use public record writing samples because then you don’t have to worry about redacting private information, but that is the only good reason in my mind. I review writing samples and interview candidates for my firm, and I don’t give a rat’s a$$ if your writing sample is public but you will absolutely get dinged on attention to detail if you have not carefully reviewed your writing sample for typos. If it matters at all, I’m in litigation and all the writing samples I read are litigation-oriented briefs, motions or memos.

    • Agree with above — almost everything is edited by SOMEONE — even work by partners. I would say that you need to try to get something that was mostly your work (i.e. you did the main part of the drafting and such) — not that it was never touched by anyone else. Otherwise, no one would ever have a writing sample!

      • I never really thought of this until the latest threads. I’m a recent law grad, so I submit a law school writing piece, and in one interview a partner asked me if it was edited by anyone else and I thought it was a strange question to ask and answered “I don’t think so” because I was pretty sure I hadn’t sent in to a friend or anything to edit (wasn’t a journal piece, just a brief for a class) but had maybe bounced some ideas off classmates (the non super competitive ones.)

        Also, I asked the lawyer I do per diem for if I should submit a memo I did for him that related directly to a firm’s practice area or the “appellate” brief from law school that had nothing to do with a firm’s practice area and he said go with the law school brief.

  13. Just reposting a request from the earlier thread today, where my question got taken over by PNW snow reports (which was fine).

    Do any of you have experience with James Perse dresses? I am looking for something for date night that in my mind is black, slinky, and probably jersey, and James Perse seems to be one option. Thoughts? Thank you!

    • Tee shirt snob :

      So no experience with JP Dresses, but I went thru a phase with JP tee shirts, and will live to regret it. The material is the worst – does not wash well at all, pills, fades, holds stains really well (of stuff that should come out, like soda)…looking for a jersey dress, i’d recommend Splendid, Velvet, or even maybe Aqua, which is a house brand of bloomingdales. Splendid tops that list though. I am a consinsour (too lazy to spellcheck) of tee shirts, and splendid’s jersey is pretty much my favorite. try piperlime, revolveclothing dot com or shopbop …

    • Rural Juror :

      I have 2 JP dresses and love them. Have had them for about two years now. One is more sweatshirt fabric and in great condition, one is jersey- rouched on bottom loose on top. Minor signs of wear after 2 years (pilling). I wash in cold water and lay flat to dry. They are SO comfortable.

    • I’d look at MaxStudio. Their stuff, for me, wavers between being incredibly flattering to fitting kind of wonky, but they do have a lot of slinky jersey dresses. I’ve had my eye on this dress of theirs that would seem to be what you’re looking for if you’re a lucky size:

      Also, this may not be quite formal enough for what you’re looking for, and it’s not black, but this dress on Modcloth has really amazing reviews and could be dressed up easily:

  14. Research, Not Law :

    Does anyone use a HSA to pay completely out of pocket? We have dental insurance but haven’t been happy with the network and have no other benefit options. We’d both like to return to our previous dentists, but it would mean going completely self-pay (it’s network or nothing with our plan). We’re both behind but not experiencing issues, so it would probably mean two exams plus x-rays in the first year and hopefully nothing more complicated. We would have coverage for anything major through our plan, but obviously it would be with an unknown dentist.

    If you’ve paid out of pocket for dental work, how did it go and what were your costs?

    • Might be worth a call to the previous dentist to discuss. I don’t know how it works with dental, but for hospital and physician billing, they are usually able to do far more things like discounting services or setting up payment plans when you’re self-pay since they aren’t held to a contract with an insurer. They also may be able to suggest other options.

      At the least, they can give you insight if any of the new dentists would be someone they have worked particularly well in the past. (And also might encourage them to try to get on your plan when they’re looking at their business going forward–perhaps you’ll be one of many patients that will sway them going forward.)

    • I’d say $300 per person each year is a good amount to budget if you’re just going for cleanings and bite wing x-rays. For major procedures, your dentist should offer payment plans.

    • You could do medical reimbursement flex spending (if your employer provides that) for dental. Even if you are doing a high deductible health plan (in order to get the HSA) you can still do a limited med reimbursement to pay for dental and vision (and some medical expenses).

  15. I’m interested in getting back into volunteering and community involvement, I was always on various committees but fell off when I started working. I’d like to get involved, and in slightly selfish reasons, I think it would be good both for my CV and as a way to meet guys.
    I started googling my favourite museums, certain causes (But am leery to stay away from anything close to my work in government). Anyone have any suggestions or insight from how they started volunteering?

    • Just an idea: you can volunteer to walk dogs in many shelters (in NYC, the ASPCA on the UES is always looking for volunteers). This might not be the best CV building activity, but you will definitely meet a lot of guys and probably get a bit of a workout in the process.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I started volunteering just by searching for groups that I’m passionate about. I only want to get involved in activities that are fun or important to me so that it doesn’t feel like an obligation.

    • DC Association :

      In DC, there is an organization called Greater DC Cares – there must be similar orgs all over the country (but, if you’re in DC, no need to look any further!). With them, you can ‘register’ to provide pro-bono services to non-profits, and they have hands-on volunteering activities throughout the year – on MLK day, for example, they came to my son’s school and painted walls, sorted books, etc. Might I say, many, many handsome young gentlemen were there ; )

      They also have monthly happy hours.

      • This intrigued me so much that I just googled for something similar in the Boston area and found Among other activities, they have Scrabble, Clue, and card nights at a home for the elderly in Boston.

    • i would just do what you’re doing: search out organizations you like and feel good about, then contact the staff, say you’re interested in volunteering. If they are good, they will have you come in to meet them, or come to a specific volunteer orientation type event, and talk to you more about what kinds of opportunities they have and find out more about what you like and what your skills are. Then you can choose what sounds best to you, and it’s the best fit for both you and the organization. If they don’t ask you those things, or have some cookie cutter, one size fits all thing, they probably aren’t that good at what they are doing. But, at the same time, be open to being flexible about what you are doing. The biggest needs organizations have are often the things the most people are not interested in doing: fundraising, administrative work, for example.

      Some of the places I’ve had a great time: some organizations like the YMCA run tutoring/homework programs for domestic violence shelters, those kids are amazing to work with. Public libraries. Small local theater companies, or other small local nonprofits often have the biggest need, and therefore give me the most interesting volunteer assignments. Also, nonprofits are often happy to have new Board members.

  16. TX Lawgirl :


    Creative way to store files for an in home office? and go!

    • TX Lawgirl :

      Also any tips on setting up an office in your house would be much appreciated :)

    • You know those cube-shaped fake leather ottoman things? That you can sit on? They hold files.
      Or turn a two drawer file cabinet into a seat.

  17. It depends on what level of volunteering that interests you. If you are looking for something that requires no specific skill and not as much commitment, along the lines of occasional ushering, weekend builds, clean ups, etc., then I would recommend finding an organization that has an established (and hopefully paid staff) volunteer coordinator and contacting them. They are interested in making sure that the volunteers return and have a good experience, in addition to making sure that their organization’s needs are met.

    If you are looking for more substantive volunteer work – something that your unique skillset makes you qualified for (web design, editing, translating/interpreting, etc.), then I’d focus more on finding an organization that matches your values and has services or needs (apparent or perceived) that fall in line with the skills you have to offer. If they have a volunteer coordinator, so much the better, but you can also contact the staffer that seems to head whichever area you hope to volunteer with.

    I have volunteered with a number of festivals (arts, film) as their volunteer coordinator, some by connection and some by cold calling the offices of the festival that interested me. Most of the other volunteer staff did the same.

    Good luck!

  18. Does anyone have or know about the Ponte Blazer from Gap? They’re giving 30% off today and I need some new blazers.

  19. if you had to email further materials to someone that you interviewed with, and said thank you for the interview in the email, would a handwritten thank you in addition be overkill?

    • Rose in Bloom :

      What did you say in your email? If it was just “thank you and here are the materials” I think you could send a letter as long as it said something different.

      FWIW, I was in this position several months ago. I got a phone call asking for additional materials right after the interview, but before I had written my thank you. I emailed the requested materials and included a brief thank you. I also mailed* a letter later that day to the interviewer stating my thanks, confirming my interest in the position, etc. I tried not to repeat myself. It must have worked because I got the job :-)

      * I did a typed business letter instead of handwritten because that is what my law school advocated, and it took me 3 years to notice that. This was the first time I did a typed letter; every other time I had sent handwritten ones.

  20. F'ing Taxes! :

    Anon b/c this is so embarassing.
    I just got a letter from my state saying I owe them some money for unreported pension benefits. I don’t even know what that means! My question to those of you better at this than I is this, if I screwed up on state tax bill b/c I supposedly didn’t report my employer’s contribution to my retirement benefits, which I don’t even know how I would know, does that automaticallly mean I owe the fed. money, too? Like, I should amend my fed. returns before the IRS starts auditing me? I don’t understand what they want from me – I listed everything on my w-2, deducted my student loans to the extent allowed, and reported the interest on my savings account. What am I missing?

    • karenpadi :

      Get thee to a qualified tax professional. It’ll cost some money but you’ll sleep better knowing that someone else is taking care of it and that it’s being done correctly.

    • Not Legal Advice :

      By any chance do you live in Maine? If so, I’ve been there and dealt with that. Apparently, if you are a state employee, your department’s contribution towards your pension is taxable income. Your employer is required to report what they pay on your behalf. Occasionally, they screw up and fail to withhold from that. In my case, I was a state employee and my husband worked for a town police department that paid into the Maine State Retirement System on his behalf even though he was not a state employee. Some public services agencies have that option. For one year they failed to withhold from his employer paid contribution. We owed $200 I think. We just paid it and never amended our federal and were fine. I may be wrong, but I think this was a very specific case of what qualifies as income in Maine. I don’t think it qualified as income federally and that is why the agency employers often screw it up. It is super common. If you owe a huge amount, I know a great law firm in Portland that handles issues with Maine Revenue if you need a recommendation.

      • F'ing Taxes! :

        Not Maine. But I work for another state’s agency. I think maybe this is what happened tho! It would make sense b/c it’s never been an issue in the past so probably a state screw up? The amount is similar. I think Karen is right tho, I need a professional, STAT. If for no other reason than if I owe it for this year, I might owe it for others and I do NOT wanna be audited!
        Thanks, y’all!

    • me too!!!! :

      I’m so annoyed by this! Aaaand they charged interest. I do work for a state agency. Dang it.

    • Find yourself a tax professional. A few years ago, I had a problem with our taxes (seriously scary notice from the IRS), got a referral, and found a great CPA. Although I went into it thinking it would be a one-time thing, she has been doing our taxes ever since and I love it. She has also been a great source of help on some child care – tax related questions.

  21. I have this suit in the gray as shown and I love it! I actually have two of them (one gray, the other navy). It’s really lovely and made well. I haven’t had any issues with it and I wore it weekly all last summer. But, I do think of this strictly as a summer/early fall suit. IMO, it’s too thin to wear all season although the cotton is thick. So, if you live in a climate with a wet or snowy winter, I don’t think you can get away with this right now. Also, I chose not to get the pants in gray because the color plus cut didn’t do much for me. But, I also bought the suit in navy and those pants look great.

  22. Has anyone tried The New Rules of Lifting for Women? I’m interested in it as a weight loss and muscle development program and wanted to hear some feedback. (Note: lifting is not just for body builders!)

    • I have not heard of that (what is it – a book – a workout plan?) but I started working out with weights (machines, not free weights) in June and I love it. I haven’t lost weight but I feel great. It’s been really good for my posture and my joints and I feel so much stronger!

      • It’s both. It’s a book with a workout plan, recipes, diagrams for proper form, and theory. It emphasizes lifting heavier weights. I’m so excited to try it but I wish my friends weren’t afraid of the weight area of the gym so I’d have more fun with it :( Glad to hear lifting has been treating you well!

        • Yeah I’ve been really lucky. I have a good female friend who is a trainer so when I was just getting started, I went with her a lot just so I could learn good form. My goal over the summer was to become completely comfortable being in the weight room with all of the guys, knowing the machines, getting into a routine. One of the machines (leg press) is in the free weight room and the guys now know me well enough that they’ll run over and help me remove the extra weights (my knees can only take the 125 lb carriage weight). My neighbor lifts free weights and she’s more comfortable in the weight room than her husband is!

    • Equity's Darling :

      The blogger, Charlotte, really really loved the results from Rachel Cosgrove’s Book (and she has tried a LOT of workouts), which I think is also really based on lifting.

    • I just bought the New Rules of Lifiting for Women and am planning to start next week! Fingers crossed for motivation to stay the course and great results!

    • Diana Barry :

      NROL is great. Highly recommend.

    • MissJackson :

      The women on the ww forums rave about this book! I read it, and did try it for awhile with a lot of success – I lost some weight, but lost a LOT of inches and looked very toned. Sadly, my love of distance running conflicted with the book/workouts so I didn’t manage to stick with it.

      I think it’s a great program for weight loss and muscle development. If you stick with it, it will work!

    • Did something similar and loved it. Just ignore the scale. I supposedly lost “only” 10lbs but also dropped 2 clothing sizes! Just go for it and give it a week or two. I enjoyed it so much more then endless cardio.

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