Suit of the Week: J.Crew

Women's Ludlow jacket in herringbone linenFor 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.

Oooh: In addition to creating a women’s version of their popular men’s jacket, J.Crew has also made a version in linen. Love the black herringbone pattern, and the long lean lines. The jacket (Women’s Ludlow jacket in herringbone linen) is $350, and the pants (Women’s Ludlow trouser in herringbone linen) are $195.

Women's Ludlow jacket in herringbone linen Women's Ludlow trouser in herringbone linen



  1. momentsofabsurdity :

    Started Couch to 5K yesterday (started in week 3 because I already do hard cardio (though not running) 3-4x per week). Decided my dog might enjoy the run (he and I hike often, he has boundless energy, etc… all that being said, he’s a 10lb miniature dachshund). However, I looked like a crazy person when my dog got tired about halfway through, and I had to pick him up and carry him for the walking parts.

    I don’t mind carrying him on all my runs (I like to walk with him and he likes to run too – but for about 1/2mi, then he’s too tired. Plus then I get even more exercise) but I feel like I am going to start attracting some major judgment if I carry my dog on walks. Judgement on the level of the way people judge people with purse dogs. Sigh.

    • I’m sitting at my desk, losing my sh*t just thinking about this. Seriously. You should get a sling for it. The bigger problem I foresee is what you’re going to do when its all running. Actually…now I’m just giggling at the idea of a little 10 lb hotdog running along with its owner. Oh geez, I think I’m a little loopy.

      And now you should remember mamabear’s wisdom that I learned today (which I ALSO want on a mug) — if people see, they will think about it for at most a minute, and then return to thinking about their favorite thing, themselves.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        The sad part? This morning, I seriously considered a baby sling for my dog.


        Yeah. This is my life.

        On the plus side when my 10lb hot dog runs next to me, everyone is amused. We used to both be able to run a mile or so at a stretch (never much more) so I know I can build him back up to there. And then maybe I’ll just carry him and be like screw it, I’m one of THOSE people.

        • You mean something like THIS?

        • Though this one would keep him out of the way while you run.

        • soulfusion :

          I’ve seen people using these! I have also seen people with special dog strollers!

          • just Karen :

            My neighbor has one of those strollers! It cracks me up whenever I see her out in the neighborhood, but to be fair, she started using it when her pup cracked a vertebrae.

          • Beach Bar :

            I’ve also seen people with their dogs in regular baby strollers. I admit that I laughed (on the inside) a bit at it, but honestly it’s not that crazy. I live in an urban sprawl concrete nightmare without much park space. When people decide to go to one of the few nice leafy walking trails that are protected from cars, shaded, scenic, and long enough distance to not get bored, it’s potentially a 20 or 30 minute drive away from their house (crazy, right?). They’re not going to do that for a 5 minute walk because that’s all the dog can handle. So, let the dog walk until he’s tired and then put him in the stroller and let the humans enjoy their hour-long walk. Same applies for small children.

    • soulfusion :

      your dog probably just needs to work up to the distance as well! I have a new puppy I’m hoping to make my running companion once he is fully grown and I will say I know the look you speak of! He sometimes poops out on walks or I don’t want him walking through some temptingly disgusting area and I carry him and people judge. Ignore them. Easier said than done since a week or so ago I yelled back at a guy who (with no provocation) told me it was hot and my dog needed shade and water and that was why he wasn’t walking. My dog is a puppy still learning to walk on a leash and sometimes stubbornly just sits down. He is a pampered pup and was not overheated. Just tired and stubborn. Good luck to you and your dog with your 5k program!

      p.s. sorry for being the super-commenter today I am catching up on online CLE!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Yup! That’s happened to me. My dog is so stubborn. If he decides what he wants, he is hell bent on doing that and NOTHING ELSE. Sometimes he decides he HAS to walk the other way and just flops on the ground until I give in.

      • Have you seen mini doxies run, though? They don’t actually run so much as they undulate (and it is one of the cutest things in the world). I don’t think it’s just a matter of training.


    • You know, people are going to judge you no matter what, though. I almost got into fisticuffs one day because a woman screamed at me “You wouldn’t do that if you loved your dog!” (I was running; he’s a pug. He was setting the pace. He’s very athletic.)

      If people want to get all wound up because they don’t approve of how you’re engaging with your dog, that’s their problem.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        My problem is my dog will run and enjoy it if there’s a lure (ie if I’m holding a stick and he thinks I’m going to throw it). But I don’t want to actually hurt him by pushing him beyond his limits. Then again if he can walk for 20mi and still be up for a game of fetch (seriously), I guess I shouldn’t worry so much about “his limits” and just pick him up when he gets noticeably tired. Judgment be damned!

    • Associette :

      LOL – love your story. That is too cute that you carried your dog. I wish that I drove by you and your little hotdog.

      • If momentofabsurdity runs with her doxie and then transfers him into a doggie sling and keeps running and DOESN’T post a youtube video of it on here for all of us to see, I might have to vote her off the island. ;-)

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          My friend just suggested buying a doggie stroller, closing the top and pretending it’s my baby in there that I am running with. The plus side to this is it would REALLY freak out my exboyfriend, who uses the same running path.

          The minus side to this is I would have to avoid old ladies who want to see my baby and/or tell people my child’s first word is “arf.”

          • soulfusion :

            while running I once saw an older (60s-ish) woman walking with a fancy stroller, I glanced in the stroller as I jogged by and she had one of those “real” baby dolls. I found it hilarious, sad and baffling all at the same time. I watched for her for a while but never saw her again…..

            and this TJ is making me smile! We need a corporette runners with dogs group :)

          • just Karen :

            trying sooo hard to keep a straight face while reading this, as my boss is 8 feet from me – I am failing.

          • I just laughed out loud at this. Good thing I’m in my own office!

    • I snorted water up my nose reading this. Please can we be dog-running buddies? I really want to run with a hotdog.

      And as others have said, and I’m sure you know, you can build up his endurance. When I started running with my girl (a Siberian husky, mind, so allegedly one of the great canine endurance athletes) she pouted hardcore if I made her run up hills after about a mile. She still pouts and lags on uphills. Goofball dog.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Yeah I definitely want to work on endurance with him (esp. because he’s a big baby) but don’t want to cause back issues. So I guess I’ll just keep picking him up when he looks really tired and getting my own exercise in (hey, it’s like running with weights…)

      • I liked running with my parent’s husky because he would switch immediately in “sleigh mode” (despite being the laziest dog in the world) and it made the workout so much easier … for 15 min. Then he would stop and look at me as though it was my turn to lead.
        This breed is so funny !

    • anonforthis :

      I kind of wish we could run together because I have a 165 lb mastiff and I think we would look awesome running together with a tiny dog and a giant dog. You could hold yours and I could ride mine :)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        This would make my life.

        • H*ll, just knowing that had happened would make MY life. Guise, seriously, thinking about it is ruining my productivity entirely though.

        • MissJackson :

          Oh my god, please make this happen and take a picture!

      • Or the hotdog could ride the mastiff. Bonus points if there was a saddle.

        • Dying over here. This comment just killed me.

        • and a tiny cowboy hat.

          • losing. it.

          • Dachsund wrastles Mastiff. Doxie wins.


          • I’m dying, you guys are too hilarious for a focused Wednesday afternoon.

            I will admit though, I used to love running with my parents dog (yes, the one that had dragged me into at least two injurious situations) and when I moved out I really still wanted a companion to run with.

            I have cats.

            You see where this is going.

            Sadly, they all grew out of their little sling (they were teeny tiny kittens when I tried this, hoping it would just become natural to them) without ever learning to like it. It really was only for walking but I’ve definitely seen people walking their cats on leashes…yet mine just hide under the bed or even lower things every time the cat leash comes out. :-(

        • I am so very sorry I missed this conversation. Thanks, ladies.

      • anonforthis :

        He does have his own camelbak so he’s already used to carrying a few pounds!

      • I literally snorted at my desk and now people are looking at me. Can you all do this and make it a rolling road show?

      • Skippy pea :

        Heheh. Where is the like button.?

    • I can’t vouch for it, but there’s a “Pooch to 5K” program which is a little slower going than the couch version, but is meant to work your dog up to running 5K with you. I’ve been thinking of trying it, even though I have a smaller dog too.

      • Will the Pooch to 5K program teach your hound not to stop every 50 feet or so, pull your arm out of its socket, and sniff something? Because my dogs problem isn’t fitness, its focus.

        • Have you tried a Gentle Leader?

          • We tried the shoulder based gentle leader harness. But she could kind of jump out of it (if that makes sense) — the medium size was too big the small was too small and well, yeah, it didn’t fit. And my husband is too big a baby to put the face based gentle leader on her. He says (and this is literally a quote) that sniffing things is her “raison d’être” and that its not nice to take it away. He’s such a softie. haha.

        • Hound? No. I think you’re stuck with that one.

          My girl is pretty good about focusing while we’re running, but I’ve also gotten good at noticing her body cues *right* before she stops dead and sniffs; so I call her name or wiggle the leash, and she usually re-focuses on the “running” thing. It’s a lot easier to head her off than drag her out of whatever olfactory paradise she’s stuck her face in.

      • When I was researching before starting to run with my girl, I did a lot of reading, and the consensus seemed to be that you could pick dogs’ mileage up faster than you could pick up a human’s. So I don’t know about the Pooch to 5k program specifically, but unless your dog is super over-weight, not naturally athletic, or has some kind of health problem, I don’t think you need to be overly worried.

        For my dog’s (like I said above, Siberian, so naturally inclined towards running, ergo YMMV to a certain extent) first couple of days, I’d do most of my run, then loop back to my house and pick her up for the last 1-1.5 miles; next few days, I got her for 1.5-2.5; and then by her second week of running she was doing 3-5 with no problem. I think three weeks later she did 7. She let me know when she was tired, so some days I’d reduce the pace, or we’d take a sniff or splash-in-the-creek break, but I really wouldn’t over-think this.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          No my dog is in good shape (slightly underweight, if anything), naturally quite nimble and athletic and doesn’t have any health problems I know of. He’s a doxie, so prone to back issues, and obviously just like with a human I don’t want to start out doing too much too soon. That’s why I figured Couch to 5K would be good – the running/walking combos should give us both moments to catch our breath. Not sure if he’s totally up for it but I’ll keep trying with him, I guess. A fairly slow ramp up and he may max out at 2 mi (that’s the most we’ve ever done, when we were both in good shape) but he’s a pretty strong little guy so hopefully not.

          • MissJackson :

            I did C25K with my dog (golden retriever mix) about 2 years ago to build up his endurance. It worked like a charm!

    • I don’t get why people would judge. Dogs just do that! I was renting a room from a woman when I lived in DC one summer and I would take her poodles for walks. One of them would bound down the street and the other one would get tired and just sit in the street waiting for me to pick her up.

      A jogging stroller for your dog sounds hilarious. Do it!

      • I actually saw this one summer in Breckenridge – older couple, really old dog. They were just walking, but it was adorable.

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I go on 10 mile hikes with my “tweenie” (she’s 14 lbs – a little too big for a mini but too small for a standard) and I totally make her a sling for the hills. She’s such a little punk that she knows I’ll carry her up the hill and she’ll sit totally still, but when we get to the top, she starts to wriggle. I just use a cheap, big scarf that I bought at an Indian import store.

    • I have on more than one occasion run with my bichon…both of them. Little white puff balls love to run!

  2. too gross :

    TJ – my arm pits stink, please help me. I am cold all the time, but for some reason my pits still sweat a lot, and no matter what I use, they smell horrid. I’ve tried all the clinical stuff from cvs, crystal rocks, just deodorant, even apple cider vinegar. Does anyone out there know some secret I don’t?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t have much experience here (though I’ll send out a plug for Dove’s new ClearTone line for those of you with underarm discoloration!) but yesterday there was a thread on this and CertainDri was highly recommended. Have you tried that?

    • phillygirlruns :

      have you tried men’s deodorant? i ran out of deodorant a little while ago and stole a spare stick of my husband’s. that stuff is AWESOME and i ended up buying my own – i got old spice something-or-other in the “fiji” scent. it’s not overtly manly, ACTUALLY FOR REAL GOES ON CLEAR, and works far longer and better than any of the other women’s deodorants i’ve tried over the years (dove, degree, secret, etc etc.).

      • I love Old Spice. All the girls on my high school teams used it. Now that you’ve reminded me about its amazingness, my next stick of deodorant will probably be Old Spice. Bless it.

      • Me too. I use Old Spice, either the Fresh or Clean scent I think. Women’s blocks my pores and gives me painful lumps.

      • Seconded: Old Spice men’s deodorant in Fiji has become my deodorant for all occasions. If they ever discontinue it, I shall cry. (Though if they wanted to bring forward a cocoa butter scent, I’d love them forever.)

        Never shall I ever go back to clothing-ruining antiperspirants.

    • Also, one other thing to think about — you might want to try (if you are not doing this already) using antibacterial soap on your underarms when you shower. I think there are also wipes along these lines.

      • too gross :

        this is something I haven’t try, but will – great idea!

        • Anonymous :

          Try using Lever 2000. Not as harsh as say, Dial, and works better for me than other soaps.

      • Anonymous :

        I’d actually try not to use antibacterial products if you can help it. They usually contain triclosan, which is an endocrine disruptor — not something you want to be regularly putting on your body.

        • I second this point.( I completed a large research project on Triclosan and antibacterial soap) Triclosan is readily adsorbed by your skin. Plus it doesn’t actually do a very good job of killing bacteria and germs unless you scrub an area for one minute, a whole minute! All those anti-bac hand soaps basically do nothing but give you a dose of endocrine disrupting chemical.

    • Plain baking soda — very effective and environmentally friendly

      • wow, thanks for this! I have been going through all the natural deodorants, but i still feel smelly, plus I am spending so much money! I’m totally going to try this immediately.

    • Associette :

      too gross – please get Certain Dry. Take a shower at night and clean your arm pits (but dont shave). Put on Certain Dry (the roll on – available at CVS or most drug stores and for some reason is usually on the bottom shelf in a white box with green accents and black lettering) and go to sleep. It can burn a little – this is normal and means it is working. In the a.m. use a brand new deoderant that smells nice.

      This will work for you. The odor is bacteria from dried sweat – if you prevent sweating with certain dry your odor will go away. I swear by certain dry!

  3. Changed plans :

    Need some advice from the hive. To make a long story as short as possible, my SO packed a bag and left after I found and threw away his stash of alcohol. He has a problem and admits it and was working on it. I feel like he chose the alcohol over us. I haven’t heard from him all day but hope that he reflected on his actions when he sobered up. I’m in the middle of an IVF cycle and now don’t know what to do. I think our marriage is still salvageable. At this point, I think I’ll continue taking the meds and at least freeze my eggs for the future. Thoughts?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t have good advice for you but I’m so sorry this is happening to you. I don’t know what to do about IVF/eggs/etc but I think it’s important you get into counseling with your husband and counseling for yourself. Also consider visiting Al Anon.

    • soulfusion :

      Since you are mid-cycle I assume you have already paid a large chunk of money. While everything is up in the air with SO, I would suggest freezing your eggs (although oocytes have a far lower success rate than embryos) so you don’t add more stress and worry to an already difficult situation. Big internet hug to you.

    • If he is SERIOUS about giving it up, fine, but otherwise you SHOULD think hard about whether you want a drunk or a dry drunk as a HUSBAND and FATHER. FOOEY on a drunk or dry drunk.

      I never MARRIED Alan, or even got close and it was a good thing. We amost all want a husband and children, but NOT with a drunk or a dry drunk. That is why I got rid of Alan, and beleive me, I do NOT look back.

      I say FREEZE the eggs so that you will have them availeable, either for him if he EVER sober’s up, or some other guy who will treat you RIGHT.

    • First off, I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this. Good luck and hang in there.

      If you think your marriage is salvageable, I see no reason not to continue with your cycle and at least freeze the eggs. Even if your marriage isn’t salvageable you might later be glad you froze them.

      As for the choosing alcohol over “us”–yes, that is technically what happened. But if he’s an alcoholic, it is an addiction and it’s not a matter of choosing. It’s a daily battle (hourly, minute by minute, etc.). I would highly recommend you look into individual counseling with someone who specializes in substance abuse or try Al-Anon or a similar group to help you decide where to go from here and how to live with his addiction.

    • Changed plans :

      I have looked into Al Anon and there is a group that meets close to my house. Should I go to one further away? How Anon is Al Anon?

      • SoCalAtty :

        Ugh. Big hugs. I was never a fan of al anon, but a big fan of individual/couples therapy with a therapist/pysch that specializes in addiction. Yes, he did choose the alcohol. That’s addiction – you make impulsive decisions. In the end, it is his choice…and eventually, he will either choose you or the alcohol.

        You have to decide for yourself exactly how far you are going to go in this, and that is where the therapist comes in.

      • I went to one near my house. Didn’t know a soul there. I would strongly encourage you to go. I have a very close girlfriend who is in AA almost 20 years now, and based on what she tells me and how she behaves, I believe that is practically iron-clad.

        I would also suggest that you ditch any attempts to have this person’s child until he has sobered up for at least one year. If you want to freeze your own eggs for future use, I think that’s smart. But any baby you make with him will spend its whole life dealing with him, as will you (either married or co-parenting with a divorce order). Plus, any baby of his may also have health issues and potential alcohol issues.

        • CPA to be :

          Completely agree. I don’t want to sound harsh or make you feel guilty at all, but do not bring a child into the world with an alcoholic who has not proven his ability to be sober. My entire childhood was completely terrifying and horrific thanks to my alcoholic father. Please don’t do that to a child. If you think it’s going to be okay and if he WANTS to change, go ahead and freeze your eggs.

          • I second this. I also grew up with an alcoholic parent and still deal with the emotional fallout due to tremendous childhood instability and anxiety about parents’ welfare. Alcoholism is a very serious and debilitating disease, and I imagine your husbands condition might only get worse if you introduce the (significant) stress of a baby too soon.

      • Al Anon is very anon. I go to meetings by my office. Won’t even say hi to people outside of a meeting unless I know its okay with them. Its very helpful. You have been affected by being married to an alcoholic and you need your own recovery from it.

    • I’m so sorry. I also don’t have advice on freezing your eggs, but a friend is married to an alcoholic who has had multiple relapses, and it’s been really tough. Hugs.

      • anon for this :

        Big hugs and I am so sorry for this. My H ended up going on a downward spiral after his father (from whom he was somewhat estranged) passed away while I was pregnant with our first child. I ended up telling him I was not going to raise our child in a home with a “practicing” alcoholic. He sensed I meant it, wanted to and was ready to get help, we worked through it, he went to AA, I went to Al-Anon (for a while) and things are really good. It was important for him to embrace the idea he could not have another drink because it was never just another drink. It was difficult and we both felt very vulnerable for some time, but I have so much respect for his efforts and steadfastness in fighting this disease he once felt powerless against. As for Al-Anon, my group wasn’t close to my home, but it was in a neighborhood where we all ran in the same circles. We did see people out at restaurants, the grocery store, etc., but I didn’t feel like my anonymity was ever threatened. More than anything, good luck. Do what you can to de-stress and keep perspective. Hugs again.

    • {Internet hug}

      • Yeah. This. Internet hugs to the max, and I am so, so sorry you’re going through this.

    • If you’ve invested money in this process, you should go ahead with it and freeze your eggs, if possible. So sorry this is happening to you. Your post made me stop feeling so sorry for myself.

    • Anonymous :


      Having gone through IVF, I would step away. What you have already spent is sunk costs. Don’t throw good money in after bad. Egg freezing is technology that is just not there yet, so unless you are seriously worried about your age, I would cancel the procedure and talk to your clinic about whether they will buy back whatever meds you have already bought.

      (The one exception would be if your clinic forced you to pay a package price up front and won’t work with you on deducting out the relatively minimal charges you have already incurred and give you back the rest. In that case, I would go for egg freezing, assuming the fees associated with storage were not so great as to be a significant burden.)

    • anon for this :

      I go to Al Anon and find it extremely helpful. Al Anon is for people who love addicts. My husband is an addict, now in recovery. For a long time I felt like he loved alcohol more than me — his actions certainly showed that. Now I understand a little more the nature of addiction, that he had a disease, not a lack of love, not a lack of willpower. I was initially very resistant to go to a self help group (why should I go to meetings when he is the one with the problem) but now that I go (its been over 2 years) I am so much calmer and happier. Its been very helpful to me. Good luck.

      • This. My mom went to Al Anon for years, my family tree is just peppered with alcoholics. And she always says it was the best thing she ever did for the family and for herself. I actually think her going to Al Anon is what prompted several people in my family to recognize they had problems and get the help they needed too.

    • ((more internet hugs))

      How was he working on his problem? Has he been in AA or counseling? Have the two of you done any counseling?

      As for the IVF, I think my thoughts are a bit different from others’. Are you ready and willing to be a single parent if necessary? If so, I would continue with the cycle and see what happens. But in the short term, you are in a crisis and need some form of crisis management, now.

    • Changed Plans :

      Thanks all for the advice. He has been going to counseling weekly. He hasn’t gone to AA because it’s “cultish.”. I’m in my mid-30s so this may be my last chance to be a mom. I’m completely prepared to parent on my own if it comes to that.

      • SoCalAtty :

        GovtMom – I like that thought. Changed Plans, as long as you are willing to get any baby out of there so they don’t have to be raised with an alcoholic parent (done that, have the therapy bills!), then I’m for it. Just recognize it is really tough to be a parent to both the H and the baby, and not to enable (if you do) just because sometimes it is easier. I agree AA is pretty cultish – it made me really uncomfortable. There are other ways to get help, as long as you get it! {more hugs!!}

        • Call me pessimistic, . . . :

          but if you decide to conceive with him before he has proven sobriety, please talk to a family lawyer about agreeing in advance to have you have sole legal and physical custody and to work out a parenting plan you can live with.

          • Sensitive Anon :

            Agreed, and feel that this is realistic, not pessimistic.

            Big hugs to you, OP.

            As a mid-30s professional w a toddler and a SO w multiple issues, incl alcohol, who is now staring down the barrel of a divorce, please consider a few things:
            -pregnancy was wonderful for me, but being pregnant and also post-partum were (shockingly) vulnerable and dependent times for me. Having a SO who could not respond to my (reasonable) needs was distressing.
            -my family lives far from me and we are new to our current city; if you are considering pregnancy, please consider being near other sources of support, like family or friends.
            -definitely work w a family lawyer on custody issues.
            -Individual therapy has been so helpful for me.

            Good luck to you and many, many hugs. I am sorry that you are going through this right now.

          • You can try to do that, and maybe he’d stick to it just because he agreed, but, in all likelihood, an agreement like that wouldn’t be enforceable until it’s been through court.

            Changed Plans, I’m really sorry that you’re going through this. But, bear in mind that you yourself may be fine with raising the child on your own, but your husband may not be, and, as the dad, even the dad with a problem, he gets a say so as well. Even if the two of you get divorced, and even if you get primary custody because of his drinking (which can be an uphill battle even when an addiction is in play), if you have a child together, he WILL remain a big part of your and your child’s lives. Please be very, very careful about this.

      • Consulting :

        I would recommend reading the book Co-Dependent No More. It was written by the wife of an alcoholic. It gets a little Jesus-y, but it really helped me think about boundaries when I was coming out of a codepenent relationship. I recommend it for anyone in a co-dependent relationship, even if not with an alcoholic.

        And, if you are ready to parent alone, I say go for it. I believe every woman should have exactly how many children they want exactly when they want them!

  4. Two cents :

    Are the Wrentham outlets outside of Boston worth a trip? I need a nice handbag, a new suit, new pumps for work, and some more casual wear and was thinking that a trip to the outlets would be a good use of time. Any particular stores to recommend?

    • I went this weekend! I got some good deals at the Brooks Brothers outlet. The Saks off Fith outlet is also fun if you have time to dive in, and there is a Theory outlet, a Tory Burch outlet, a Bloomies outlet, and quite a few others. So I’d say yes (its really only a 45 minute drive).

      But for GOD SAKES. Get there right when it opens. Or on a weekday. DO NOT GO in the middle of the day on the weekend. You will want to die.

      • Maine Associate :

        Agreed. Get there before it opens and figure out which stores you want to hit.

    • Associette :

      Two cents – the Wrentham outlets are good, but agree that off-hours are the best time to go. For a nice handbag I recommend the Kate Spade outlet, and professional shoes I recommend the Cole Haan outlet (or even nine west if you want to get a few trendier but less expensive shoes). For casual weekend clothes, there are some cute finds at J.Crew and Ann Taylor Loft.

      Both Ann Taylor and Brooks Brothers are factory stores – not outlet stores – so the quality is not the same as Ann Taylor and Brooks Brothers mall stores. Kat posted on the difference between factory and outlet stores a while back. It is an important distinction! I usually buy button ups from the BBFS and have purchased a few suits from the ATFS (thought the quality is ho-hum they help break up my wardrobe with my nicer-quality-that-happen-to-be-more-expensive-suits).

      BE SURE to register as a *VIP shopper* on the outlet’s web page and print off coupons for the “coupon book” and store-specific coupons. There are deals to be had. Have fun shopping!

      • Interesting. I’ve bought many things at the BB I guess factory stores and have always found the quality to be good to excellent (i.e. I’ve never had any problems).

        • Associette :

          TCFKAG – agreed BB is pretty good! I am actually wearing one of the BB Factory shirts at the moment. I haven’t purchased any other BB items, so I do not want to speak out of turn about their quality. I have noticed a differenced in quality between AT and AT Factory. Usually the difference has to do with the quality of fabric used to construct the garmets.

      • Kontraktor :

        BB Factory Stores do sell some items from their regular line. I’ve definitely seen some old season dresses and blouses at some of the bigger factory stores. You can tell if an item is ‘regular’ or factory line by looking at the tag. I believe factory items are labeled as such on their internal tags.

        I have a lot of stuff from ‘real’ BB and outlet BB and honestly I cannot tell the difference. The BB outlet is an awesome place to get super high quality stuff at a pretty reasonable price, especially if you go on an extra % off day.

        As for the AT Factory store, I agree quality is less than regular AT (although I am not honestly a huge fan of AT quality these days), but I love that outlet for extra % off days. I have repeatedly scored many unique things there for super cheap (like $12 for a lavendar tweed skirt), so that is a fun place to troll if you hit it on a good day.

        • I saw one time on Good Morning American that the factory line is labeled “346.” So when you are in the outlet, you will sometimes see items with the normal store label (I got a $700 suit for $250)…but the 346 label is good quality as well.
          At our outlets (near Houston, so obvs totally different outlet), the clerks are more than willing to show you what is from the store. (Also, they located the matching skirt to said suit at a location in a different state for me, and it was shipped to my house no charge.)

          • MissJackson :

            Yes, this is correct. The 346 label is stuff created for the outlets. That said, I have the no-iron button fronts from BB and from the outlet and I really can’t tell the difference. Can’t speak to any of the non-button front stuff.

    • Thank you all! If the weather is rainy this weekend, I’ll go. Otherwise, I may want to soak in the sunshine and forget the outlets. :)

  5. J. Crew related question: does anyone else own the Minnie pants in stretch twill? They say “dry clean only,” but I’ve been contemplating washing them on delicate and line-drying instead, and wondered if anyone had given that a try. They’re tight and full of stretch, so I’m worried about shrinkage and distortion, but it would be much better to actually wash them…thoughts?

    • I’ve washed mine in cold water on delicate and hung them to dry. I bought them back in 2009 when they first came out, and they still haven’t lost their stretch. I just bought a new pair in a different color and plan to do the same with them. Hope it works for you too!

    • Really late, but I have a new-ish pair that I machine washed on delicate, hung to dry 70%, put in the dryer for 15% then put on 15% wet. They are ok still. Moral of this story: don’t realize that the pants you planned 4 outfits around for a trip are dirty the night before the flight.

    • I wash mine after every wearing, because they stretch out so damn much. I turn them inside out and hang to dry – no problems.

  6. Gail the Goldfish :

    New Yorkers: any suggestions on how to find a good broker for rentals? My lease is up, and BF and I have decided it’s time to ditch our roommates and get a one bedroom on our own, but we realized we’re priced out of all the high rises in the neighborhood and need a good walk-up. I’ve never needed a broker before (I’ve gotten lucky on apartments), and it’s a bit daunting. Plus, all the real estate websites just make the brokers look like they’re trying to rip you off. (Why do they feel the need to describe the apartment IN ALL CAPS. I’m sure it’s WONDERFUL with GREAT VIEWS, but putting it in caps doesn’t make me believe you). If anyone has specific suggestions for Long Island City/Astoria area, that would be even better.

    • I was going to recommend someone but I don’t think she is familiar with that area.
      If you want to use a broker, I would look for a rental agencies and just call and tell them what you’re looking for. Calling on specific ads can be frustrating because half the time they are fake (“Oh, that one just rented! But let me help you find another”). Not a good way to find someone reliable.

      This guy is well rated on Yelp. Maybe try giving him a call.
      Peter Horowitz
      (718) 355-8881
      myastoriarealestate dot com

    • Try nofeerentals DOT com. They have a lot of properties in the Village and Chelsea, they were my old landlord and they don’t charge a fee. Also, there used to be a good website for rentals called Astoria (they specialize in rentals and rent controlled stuff).

      If you like a certain neighborhood, especially somewhere like LIC where there are more corporate-type buildings, you may want to check in with the offices directly. Craigslist is also not awful, but you have to put in the effort to screen out the (rap adds. Hope that helps–you may not need to go the full broker route at all though.

    • Anonymous :

      streeteasy dot com is a great resource too. it has really intuitive search functions and basically aggregates all of the (legitimate) listings. i had far greater luck using that site for my apartment now (williasmburge) than i did using a broker (upper east side). good luck!

    • We had a good experience with Michael Cavounis of MAC Realty in Astoria in March 646- 387-1754. He was great and has contacts all over Astoria.

      Our landlord is Charles Kally at Kally Realty 718-726-7600. He owns buildings throughout Astoria.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      thanks, everyone! Wish me luck on finding that perfect apartment.

  7. Anon in this case! :

    I have been having a serious attitude problem at work lately. Not necessarily to my boss or anyone else, but in my own head, and I imagine at least a small amount of that is reflected in my disposition. I still get all my work done and do it well, but I am just so over working there.

    I’ve been there about a year and I feel like I have honestly learned everything I am going to learn, there is definitely no room for advancement, and right now I’m just hanging out for the (tiny) paycheck while I finish up a certification that will let me get a job somewhere else. The certification is going to take another 5 or 6 months at minimum.

    Any advice in the meantime for making my day more pleasant? It’s not that it’s an awful situation, just a dull, slow, boring one with a dull, slow, boring horizon.

    • Merabella :

      I had this problem in my previous job. I could not motivate myself to be excited to go and would just DREAD going in every day. Finally I had to give myself a figurative slap in the face and say “Snap out of it” (ala Cher in Moonstruck). I found it helpful to have something to look forward to after work, like making a nice meal with my husband after work or meeting up with friends. I would also take time on the weekends to work on my resume and job search – this gave me a light at the end of the tunnel and made going to work less awful because I knew that it would be over soon.

    • layered bob :

      others have recommended the Pomodoro method for productivity, but I also think it’s great for getting through a day. In the morning, think of several fun things for your breaks (my list looks like “walk around block,” “get coffee,” “eat yogurt,” “quick reply to friend’s email,” etc.). And then you only have to get through the next 25 minutes until your little fun thing!

      … and if you put your fun things on a list and cross them out as you do them, you get EXTRA satisfaction. :-)

  8. I’ve got dry, flaky skin just around my eyes (it’s normal/oily on the rest of my face). Can anyone recommend a good face wash or eye cream (or both) that would help with this? Thanks!

    • Merabella :

      I had this problem because I was using an anti-aging eye cream and my eyes were too sensitive to deal. Check the label on what you are using. You may want to make a trip to Sephora/Ulta/Dept Store Make-up Counter to ask for an eye cream/regimen tailored to your needs. Once I got an eye cream that didn’t have any of the anti-aging ingredients this problem went away for me.

  9. I love this suit. That’s all.

    Oh, actually, also: glad I missed the wedding discussion on the morning thread. So contentious!

    • Meh. I can’t even get worked up about it any more. We have LITERALLY had that same argument once every three months. When and if there is a Wiki or FAQ for this site, I am going to include an entry that says “Some commenters believe you can ask a bride for a plus one to a wedding, others really believe you can’t. Please don’t ask. Thank you.”

      • Ah, but I thought this was a new strain! Is the wedding about you or your guests?!? I am not going to go into it further and say what I think lest we open up a whole new can of worms but I will say that, obviously, everyone who I don’t agree with was being very unreasonable ;)

        • Nope, we’ve had that argument too. Same old sh*t, different day. :-) lol.

      • Not wanting to restart it, but just to clarify, I think there were some people saying it was OK to ask *to clarify* but not to ask *to request to be added*, which are way different!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Any idea how the Ludlow suits fit? I’ve been eyeing one, but I’m yet not curious enough to take the plunge, order two sizes with the intent of returning one or both sizes, and having that much merch on my credit card.

  10. Love this suit!

    Also, does anyone have recommendations on fun things to do and/or a good restaurant to celebrate an anniversary in Toronto? DH and I are headed there in a few weeks and I have the travel guide but thought I might check with my fellow corporettes for advice!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I haven’t lived there in a long time, but my family is still there, so I go back to visit, and I almost always pick Scaramouche for a nice dinner, and I also really like Gilead, both are tasty.

    • Le Select Bistro. Perfect for an anniversary.

    • Niagara is kind of cliche, but it’s an easy drive from Toronto and it’s cool to see if you haven’t been before. When we drove down, I saw several wineries on the way that you could stop at. It would be a nice day to take a quick drive to Niagara just to see/walk around the falls, lunch, hit some wineries on the way back to Toronto.

      • This is so late so I don’t know if you’ll see this but what types of things are you looking to do in Toronto? What type of food are you looking for? Atmosphere? Quiet and romantic or a little trendier? Price point?

        • @Lily – we haven’t had a trip without kids in 2 1/2 years and we love exploring cities, so good places to walk around, maybe shop, grab a bite, are all of interest. For a restaurant, a quiet romantic place would be great, any type of food. Appreciate your help!!

  11. Ladies, I need a break from my life. I am thinking of taking a quick solo trip somewhere and was wondering if there are any travel sites that you can plug in where you’re leaving from and how much you’d like to spend and it’ll pull up some itineraries. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. I’m in DC if people want to toss out ideas.

    • Quick like a weekend, or quick like a week? Also, can you give some idea of your budget?

    • No idea about such websites, although I’d love to know of one, but if you haven’t been, Iceland is a great solo destination. I went last year from DC — easy to get to, safe, there’s enough to do for a longer trip and the flight is short enough to make it worth a long weekend as well.

      The only big downside is it can be expensive!

    • Next time I go somewhere for a few days I want to go to Quebec. I keep hearing that it is “European-feeling” and that sounds nice! Plus I hear the food and weather are both great. I can’t recommend it yet as I haven’t gone, but it seems like an inexpensive quick trip to a new place where you could explore and enjoy yourself!

      • I was in Quebec for a conference, and, having been born and lived my entire life in the US, I LOVED the European feel to it. What was funny was that I was there with several French raised people, and they loved the US feel to it. I think it’s a nice balance. Also, I was there in July and wore a lightweight long-sleeved sweater pretty much the whole time. But I am also a freak, and love the weather in DC this time of year…

      • Equity's Darling :

        I did my first degree at McGill, and I absolutely love Quebec City. Quebec is a delightful province to visit*, especially in any season except winter- though also winter, if you like to ski/snowshoe. I’d highly recommend visiting Montreal or Quebec City, or the Eastern Townships, or Tremblant.

        *minus the student protests and their other political shenanigans

        • Hey, I also did my first degree there!

          I would highly recommend Montreal, it’s beautiful and perfect for long explore-y walks. Plus in the summer there are constant great festivals.

        • did my first degree at McGill too! Montreal is amazing – the shopping, food, atmosphere, especially in the summer!

      • Quebec city is GREAT
        I’d recommend it for a group or solo trip. The abundance of cafes and restaurants lend themselves nicely to people watching. There’s tons of museums and the food is excellent.

        I always think of beaches for relaxation. You could hit up a New Jersey beachfront hotel for the weekend. Summer crowds haven’t set in yet!

    • No idea about sites like this, but I’m a frequent solo traveler (out of DC too), and I second Iceland (just went in April), but also Turkey. I went to Turkey in November, and I had an amazing time by myself – totally safe, and I went for only a week (mostly Istanbul area – plenty to keep you busy there).

    • What about the spa at the Greenbrier?

    • What about those “all in” resorts on one of those Caribbean isles. Or a quick cruise. Usually I don’t really like those, but for someone traveling alone, they might be nice because they’re generally safe and come with built in activities and meals in groups and the like.

    • I don’t know of such a website but I do know I have this house on VRBO bookmarked and completely intend to spend a week there someday (have never been so this is not an endorsement)

      Of course, it’s a longer trip for you than for me. This would be a scenic get away from it all and not have to interact with people kind of trip, which is what I fantasize about. If you’re more into a busy cosmopolitan getaway, it’s probably not for you.

    • kayak has this cool explore feature where you can set a budget and it searches by that $ amount, but it’s only for flight costs, not entire travel itineraries. but, you might check it out.
      www [dot] kayak [dot] com/ explore/

      you could also check the Deals pages at Travelzoo dot com, or at Kayak (www [dot] kayak [dot] com/ dealssearch?dest=Top%20Deals for lists of total costs for some all-inclusive kinds of trips.

      If you are talking about a budget of like $1500 or more, though, I would talk to a travel agent. They are brilliant at their job, and becoming obsolete, which makes me sad.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’d like to take a summer trip to Prince Edward Island or Nova Scotia. I haven’t been yet but it’s on my list.

      If you want a more wild break from life you could go to Vegas and make up different stories about who you are and try to join random groups of drunk people for the night.

    • If you are a Costco member, try the Costco Travel website. I’ve had great luck there for Hawaii (I’m West Coast though).

      You might also try Pleasant Holidays. Similar setup, but you don’t have to be a member of anything.

      Finally, if you can take a full week off, go to Rancho La Puerta!

    • If you are still looking- try travelmuse (dot) com

      You put in where you are, how far you want to travel, budget, activities you want, and it makes suggestions.


  12. hopeful jd :

    I was admitted to the bar in my state last year but have been really struggling to find a job. I was an older law student (but with small children!), so it’s been grim. However, I am thrilled to report that I’ve actually landed an interview – and need clothing advice. Actually, I think I just need hand-holding. The position is an Nth Circuit clerkship. I will wear a very conservative charcoal gray pinstripe suit. Horrible cheap fiber content, but I don’t think it’s obvious. (It’s a pants suit, not skirt suit – I’m well aware of that controversy, but for various reasons I’m sticking fast to my choice.) So, my question: is a red button-down blouse (more tomato than fire-engine red) of very conservative cut acceptable, or do I have to stick with white or pale blue? I can’t believe I’m obsessing over this. Advice welcome.

    • Former MidLevel :

      First of all, congrats on the interview! Those are not easy to get. And as to your question, I think red is just fine for an interview suit–unless you will be worried/uneasy about it the whole time. In any case, because all of the options are fine, go with the shirt that makes you feel most competent and comfortable. And good luck!

      • Former MidLevel :

        Argh – should have been just “interview,” not “interview suit.”

    • still need a handle :

      hmm, normally I’d say go with whatever makes you feel most comfortable, but I feel like I’ve read somewhere that people judge others more harshly when they are wearing red, and are more sympathetic to those wearing blue. Red on a gray suit does seem like a very harsh color with a gray pantsuit, especially on a button down. But, only you can know for sure how it looks on you!

    • Stick to white or pale blue.

      *********Warning!!! Unsolicited, and specifically not asked for, advice below *********
      (You should really think about wearing a skirt. I hate to say this but I worked in the 9th circuit and women should be wearing skirts for interviews.)

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Stick with white or pale blue. No one will judge you for those. Someone might judge you for red. Not many people, mind you, but why take the risk? Unless you have absolutely no white or blue shirts you feel comfortable in.

      • hopeful jd :

        Thank you all for the advice. I think I will back off from the red shirt, but stay with the pantsuit. I certainly don’t want to be judged for a red shirt, when that one is easy to change out. Other things I might be judged for are not so easy to change. ;-)

  13. I might be too late in the day… but I need some fashion help. I’m looking for a perfect-to-wear-to-all-the-summer-cookout/events dress. I just bought this great straw and blue wide-brimmed hat that I’d like to go with the dress I’m imagining in my mind. Ideally I am looking for a tank style darker blue knit dress that I can dress up with some fun jewelery or just throw a chambray shirt over. I don’t want spaghetti straps. I don’t want something too tight to be comfortable but I don’t want it to be shapeless either. I’d like to spend under $100 but will go a little higher if it’s perfect. For reference I am a size 2/4 and about 5’9. I’d prefer something not super short either! I’d really appreciate any help. TIA!

    • What about something like this?

    • Lands’ End has some nice knit dresses like you describe. They run large mostly, so beware.

    • How about this?

    • A little over budget, but this brand is so great!

    • MissJackson :

      Aw, I was going to recommend the Target Merona V-Neck Cap Sleeve which is hilariously amazing for something that is $15 and meets all of your criteria, but the navy is sold out in your size :(

      It’s one of my top 5 purchases of the year.

      For anyone who is a size large-XXL, it’s here:

      • I will second. I bought the navy and the blue stripe (there’s a stripe version in a separate listing) and it is uh-may-zing. Very flattering and comfy on my pear/high waist self.

    • Anonymous :

      JCrew has some great options this season but I particularly like this one.

  14. ARgh. A quick family rant:

    Please don’t call and ascertain what times I am available to get together during your birthday weekend and then set the event at THE MOST difficult time and then NOT tell me until…3 days before hand?? Oh, and in the email that you cc’d to me, showing that everyone else has been discussing this without cc’ing me, definitely make sure that I DON’T get the emails with ANY ACTUAL INFORMATION OTHER THAN THE TIME!!!!

    So, at the worst possible time? Check. Without telling me? Check. Still no idea where the “celebration” is supposed to be held? Check.

    Good thing I love my sister. Or at least can repeat “Good thing I love my sister” enough times to actually buy it…

    Sorry for the caps. And another apology to my keyboard for the unnecessary bruising.

    • SoCalAtty :

      I SO understand! My Orange County family likes to do that to me (they are by Disneyland-ish, I’m in the SF Valley, so 45 miles and 1-2 hrs away) on really short notice. Because it is SUCH a quick drive in Friday traffic…

      • Thanks! I just really felt like an afterthought, and this is not the first time. But it’s really my own fault, I’m pretty heavily scheduled on my sister’s birthday weekend. My boyfriend is leaving on a trip with some of his family on Saturday and I’m driving them all to the airport, then picking up my brother, coming home and running a 10k race 8am Sunday morning…and they set the birthday celebration 2 hours away at 11am. So either we don’t shower after the 10k (can do so at my parents house) and that’ll be fun, we walk through the door for hugs with grandparents and cousins all sweaty AND after a 2 hour drive?? Or we’ll be about an hour late.

        If my 10k time was faster I wouldn’t have to worry so much!! :-P

  15. Revenge of the Obnoxious Secretary :

    SoCalAtty here – just wanted to vent a little. I am approaching manageability here between us, however I just overheard (I’m in the middle of the floor, I overhear everything) her really taking after a court clerk in a department where I have a trial coming up. This particular clerk and I have a great rapport over the phone, and basically “the secretary” was put out because of a little extra effort she needs to go through to get us a copy of something. No big deal. Send ’em an envelope…it is just this one poor clerk in a giant department!

    Now, my rule is that you are polite and gracious to all court clerks everywhere (unless they are really violating some court rule and causing prejudice to your client) because they can really make your life easier or just really ugly. I’m going to have to tackle this one soon, and I am NOT happy about it. Real ironic, one support staff member mistreating another. Nice! On top of that I’ve had an unrepresented corporate defendant blowing up my phone today. Ugh please stop calling me, I can’t help you! (said person always seems to get me when everyone has stepped out and I grab the phone. Bad timing!)

  16. maternity suits? :

    Any advice on where to find appropriate maternity clothes for depositions? I’m very petite and slim (except for prego belly & b**bs). The jackets/pants I’ve tried on at pea in the pod make me look like I’m wearing my father’s pajamas. Also, I’m in NYC.

    As an aside, why do websites list maxi-dresses in their “wear to work section”? Seriously?

    • Anne Shirley :

      If you’re *really* pregnant- I don’t think you need a suit. Dress + blazer, some other feel professional to you outfit is fine. As long as it isn’t video taped

    • Chicken Counselor :

      What do you wear to work on a normal day? I’m sure it’s fine for a deposition. If you are worried, Figure 8 maternity has a lot of suits and work-appropriate clothes. My maternity work uniform was a black skirt, black cardigan, and whatever dressy-ish maternity shirt I could stuff myself into. No suit. It worked just fine for depos. Even when it’s videotaped, how often does the lawyer actually appear on the video?

    • Chellersm :

      We also discussed this on a weekend thread a couple of weeks ago, but I would second figure 8 and check out prelegant. I am currently 22 weeks and getting by with black gap maternity pants and a long Calvin Klein jacket in a couple sizes up from regular because I hated all the affordable maternity suit options I could find.

  17. AnonForThis :

    TJ: I’m struggling with the fact that my father has become an alcoholic. I don’t believe he’s always been this way. I know that I need to do something, if simply to establish the appropriate boundaries with him/my parents. I’ve even gone so far as to research therapists in my area/that accept my insurance and have found one nearby… but for the life of me, I can’t pick up the phone to make an appt.

    I know it doesn’t mean that something is wrong with me, but for some reason – maybe my own control freak tendancies – I can’t wrap my head around a situation that I can’t solve on my own. I put this out here, b/c I’ve seen several of you discuss your parents’ fights with alcoholism. Please just give them that shove I need to pick up the telephone.

    • Can your SO make the appointment for you?

    • MissJackson :

      I’ve so been there. I actually continued to put off therapy, even after my dad actually died from something that may or may not have been related to the alcoholism. (I don’t mean to freak you out, my case was extreme.) My dad was a functioning alcoholic, meaning that although my mom and my siblings and I could see that the alcohol was having a serious impact on his life, I do not think that most outsiders were aware of the problem. And it was definitely something that developed and then continued to degrade (not a problem that he dealt with earlier in life).

      Anyway, looking back the dumbest thing I did was not get myself into therapy immediately. I ended up with an extra layer of guilt and frustration because I felt like my inability to *do something* while he was alive could have been a contributing factor to his death.

      The point is: there is no downside to therapy. Pick up the phone right now, and make this call. I am the same way — I think I ought to be able to reason through everything. But you can’t reason through everything. You need an objective outsider who is not all caught up in the emotion, and who has expertise in this area. Call right now, please. Learn from my mistakes, and you will save yourself a lot of heartache.

      I’m going to check in later today to see if you’ve called.

    • Put it on your calendar for a certain time and call. I’ve found it works better for me to say, ok at 10:30, I am going to rip this band-aid off than leave it as an unchecked item on my to-do list. Making an intial appointment can be one of the harder parts of therapy.

    • I have a related Q: How do you know when a loved one qualifies as a bona fide alcoholic who needs help vs. a frequent drinker? I am having a hard time categorizing a family members drinking habits.

      • Late Reply, BUT this is important.

        There are many different things that combine to show they have crossed that thin line. For instance, if there is alcohol around, are they ABLE to not have it? Do they not attend events they know will be dry? Do they drink alone (tougher to know) regularly? Do they try to hide how much they drink? etc.

        I’d suggest speaking with a doctor or someone with more knowledge about the situation specifically.

  18. Yes! Finally someone writes about eating disorder treatment financing.