Suit of the Week: J.Crew

Women's Ludlow jacket in Italian woolFor 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.

Happy hump day! Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think this Ludlow suit from J.Crew is new — it is apparently a woman’s version of the “legendary Ludlow jacket” that men have bought for years. I like the slightly longer look to the blazer, and the otherwise classic, simple details such as the four-season Italian wool from Loro Piana, Bemberg lining, and various pockets. The jacket (Women’s Ludlow jacket in Italian wool) is $375, and the pants (Women’s Ludlow trouser in Italian wool) are $195 at J.Crew.

Women's Ludlow jacket in Italian wool Women's Ludlow trouser in Italian wool



  1. Gorgeous! I have been ogling this suit in the JCrew catalog for a few months now. Love it.

  2. Threadjack right off the bat (and a sensitive one at that).

    Married/long-term-relationship ladies, how often do you and your significant other have intimate happy time? And who generally initiates?

    I ask because I figure most women here have similar demands on their life and time that I do (career, kids, etc.) and I’m just curious. Apologies if this is too much information for some – it’s just rare to be able to discuss something like this with a similarly situated group of women.

    • Great question, actually! I’m curious about that too. I read these stats that say the average couple does it a few times a week – and I am just blown away. We are nowhere near that, but I think it’s because my husband is a doctor and I am a lawyer. We are just way too busy. But I don’t want to feel below average in any area of my life, so it kind of kills me!

      Anyway, we’re about once a week, sometimes once every couple of weeks. We are very much in love and adore hanging out together, so it’s nothing about us falling out of love – it’s just a lack of time.

      • And my husband hasn’t expressed any dissatisfaction, and I’m not telling him no really. So it works for us, which is the most important thing.

    • we strive for twice a week and sometimes it’s only once a week. Sunday night is a constant unless there is a specific reason, such as one of us is sick (and when I say “one of us” I mean me, because my husband could probably be on his deathbed and that wouldn’t thwart him). And then we aim for sometime in the middle of the week, which doesn’t always work.

      • 5+ times a week. Never go more than one night without. Been married for 5 years.

        If we fall asleep without “doing it” one night, it seems weird.

        • No kids, I should add.

        • Wowza. Do you and your husband work tough jobs?

          • We both have demanding and time consuming jobs, but we’re both usually home by the time bedtime rolls around, so we just do it before we go to sleep.

            (I feel like a fourth grader saying “do it”)

          • I imagine it gets boring, just doing it that often and right before falling asleep.

        • A friend of mine and her husband: Every. Night. And they have two kids now. I told her to never, ever tell my husband about it. :)

    • Once a week, about 90% of the time, even if I’m exhausted and am not feeling frisky because I know it’s an important aspect of a relationship and H gets his feelings hurt if I’m “too tired.” I would love to increase that to twice a week, and am trying to make a better effort. H almost always initiates, either physically or verbally – another thing I am trying to be better about.

    • (Thought about going anon for this, but then I’m thinking I’ve put so much personal stuff here in the last 2 weeks I might as well not even bother. Besides, I bang my husband – big deal, right?)

      For us, I’d estimate 2-3 x/week on average, but it varies a LOT. We might go a week without, then a few weeks later, it’s every day & twice on Sunday. (I’ve actually started to wonder if there’s a tie to my cycles, even though I’ve been on the pill pretty much our whole marriage. I’m trying to pay more attention to that.) Initialization is usually something approaching mutual – we’re already cuddling and it goes from there. He might be a little bit more of the initiator, though.

      We’re both in full time, but not crazy busy, jobs, no kids, a moderate amount of extra-curricular activities.

    • Wow, the broad range of answers is already so interesting to me. 2-3 times per week here. 3 kids. 2 lawyers. We are crazy busy. Hubby almost always initiates but he would appreciate it if I did so more often. I find that my subtleties are often lost on him so even if I think I initiated something by snuggling/flirting/back rubbing, he thinks it was his idea. And I just feel uncomfortable and squirmy saying or doing things that are really overtly forward. It just doesn’t fit my personality and never has (and no puritanical upbringing here – not sure where it comes from). If anyone has suggestions for getting over this “shyness,” I’d love them.

      • Wine, I find after approximately 1.5 bottles I have no shyness and am saying things I would never imagine, nor that I knew were physically possible.

        • Ah, I did not think to mention that I don’t drink. Darn.

          • ooh ok, well things like candles, a satiney bathrobe, slightly sexy feminine nightgown, a nice scented body lotion will help me feel more sensual and in the mood, but it won’t make me totally overtly forward.

          • oh and I don’t know what your bedroom looks like, so you may not need this advice, but make your bedroom a very serene, sensual place. Clear out any clutter and maybe get new bedding.

          • Good ideas all, Kelly. Maybe my real problem is I’m just not making being “the initiator” from time to time a priority.

        • This. While not particularly helpful for Meme, I find this helps with the shyness for those who do drink. :)

        • I buy myself new lingerie. Then I put it on with my favorite pair of stilettos and call my husband into the bedroom to help me with something. Then I smile at him and ask if he likes my new outfit. That’s pretty much about it. lol

      • Why not try being forward? It could be as simple as telling him you want him, right there and now. Since you mentioned he’d like it if you initiated more, just asking (or taking) him could really kick up the heat for you two. And if you feel uncomfortable with being overtly forward, just remember he’s your husband and you love each other. You want him and he wants you, so why not act on it?

        • Yeah, that all sounds really logical. But after over 10 years together, I think if I said something like that out of the blue it would sound weird. And I would feel self-conscious. And it would be like I’m an actor. But a really bad one. This whole conversation is making me feel like I need therapy. Kidding. Kind of. I am shy, but not with him, and I am direct with most people in most areas of my life.

          I probably just need to give this approach a try. And then my husband will laugh at me (nicely), but he’ll be appreciative of my efforts. And then maybe next time it won’t sound as weird.

          • Maybe instead of saying something to him you could just lean over when cuddling and kiss him with a purpose. No words would need to be spoken and I going to assume you’re comfortable kissing him. One thing will lead to another and before you know it you will have initiated. Who know, maybe next time you’ll take an even more forward approach? (wink, wink)

          • I used to feel frustrated initiating because my significant other didn’t always get the hint. But now we are both really open and direct about it. We’ll cuddle or kiss and someone will say, “Do you want to go into the bedroom?” And we both know what that means. I like it this way. No feelings get hurt. You don’t have to work too hard to get the ball rolling either ;)

            Maybe you could try that. Just say something that implies what you want to do but you don’t have to say anything too over-the-top if it doesn’t fit your personality.

          • he probably won’t think it’s weird. Guys think it’s Awe.Some. they usually don’t over think like women do, you’d be surprised. You def should just give it a shot, and he’ll probably just be all about it…

          • BigLaw Refugee :

            How about making comments like “you smell good” or “you look really sexy in that sweater”?

      • found a peanut :

        Ha! I am very forward. We will be watching TV and then I will say, “Let’s get into bed now.”

      • going anoon :

        Honey, men don’t usually need a lot of subtlety. Just come to bed naked. If it helps your shyness, turn off the lights first. He will get the clue, and yes, this counts as initiating.

      • I pretty much just say something along the lines of “do you want to come over here and take advantage of your wife?” It doesn’t seem too forward to me (although I’m not really the shy type) and it typically does the trick;)

      • other ideas :

        jump into the shower with him. but i agree with other posters, you don’t have to do much to “initiate” with men. they appreciate just about everything!

        or wake him up and tell him “I can’t sleep”. he’ll get an idea or two.

      • Financial Mama :

        So maybe this will be helpful, or maybe not. We went a long time where intimacy was lacking, not for any certain reason, I just didn’t want to.

        Thank goodness THAT is over. We ebb and flow based on schedules, my cycle, etc now, but probably fall into the 2ish times per week on average crowd. And definitely quality is valued over quantity, but I think part of what has improved things is a mental effort by me to find the joy and willingness even if it wasn’t going to be this spectacular event, if I was tired pr whatever.

        Oh, and for the shyness….I don’t know the dynamic of your relationship, but we aren’t super sexy or romantic getting things started….sometimes one of us will be like, “we should make out later” which plants a seed. Later on, when the kids are asleep or whatever, and you kiss a little longer or look a little mishchievious, you both know what’s up. No pun intended….

    • 2-3 times a week. Husband usually initiates.
      20 years together, 2 kids in school with average extracurricular load; we both work in senior level professional jobs.

    • Feeling like a slacker here. Once a week on average, if that. We do snuggle a lot so not completely cold but we work a lot of hours and have been together for a dozen years or so.

      • I know, I was the first one to respond and had no idea I was in the minority! I might have fudged a little if I had seen the other responses first – ha ha. We really have been making more of an effort recently, so these other responses are making me a little more inspired! Tonight it is. :)

        • I’m with you. We’ve been married 12 years, and I try to make sure it’s once a week but sometimes there are breaks, such as when we have non-consecutive colds. I do find that sneakily reading erotica on my kindle before bed improves things. We are both busy and at this stage feel like quality over quantity is the way to go.

      • We have sex several times a month. He goes to bed several hours later than I do so I learned to initiate during the afternoon (when the kid is out playing) or in the morning. If I initiated more, we would have more. I wish he would come get me once in a while. Oh well. Lots of cuddling and kissing though.

    • extremely anon :) :

      Every 1-2 days (leaning slightly more to every 2 than every 1). Husb usually initiates, but not always (esp if I know he’s interested one night but I am so not not not in the mood that night, I’ll make an effort to initiate once I’m feeling more energetic the next night). The difference with us is that we are separated for two weeks at a time so we really make an effort during the 2 weeks a month we are together (and always 2x on the reunion night).

      • Same with us! What sort of work do you do/ does your partner do that keeps you apart? We are good for about 4 out of 5 days when my traveler is home. And always 2x on reunion night ;)

    • We definitely ebb and flow, but lately it’s been 2+ times per week. Sometimes more, sometimes less, depending on my work schedule. I’d generally like it to be more but sometimes the day just gets the best of me. However, I do feel like *I* am the one who initiates more frequently. I know my husband is game at any time, but c’mon! It’s a tiny blow to the ego that I initiate most of the time.

      • Can I just say I am amazed that so many of you do this 2+ times a week!!! What?? How?? If I can fit in a workout or cook a healthy dinner at the end of the day I call that a success. I don’t know how you all find the energy or desire for intimate happy time. I used to be a lot more sexual, but that is just not on my radar a majority of the time now.

        • another anon :

          this. I mean, really. I cant believe everyone does it this often. once a week is great for me. but it doesnt happen that often usually. i dont think its a problem or lack of passion or anything, but we have two kids and we are both big firm lawyers. i try to fit in workouts when i can and im often sound asleep b/f he comes to bed. the morning doesnt work anymore b/c the kids climb in at 6 am.

          • Have you thought about having sex in lieu of working out some days? It does burn calories and in my mind is a whole lot more satisfying!

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not married, but I haven’t had sex in… hmm… 9 years?

        • This also. Kids and nutso busy big firm jobs = 3x per month at best!! He’s not a morning person so I get up at 6, get kids ready for school, drop them off, arrive home at 7:30, immediately fix dinner, help older one with homework, put them in bed, and wowsa, it’s already 9pm and I am too wiped out. Our best bet is Sunday nights.

        • Anonymous :

          I have a sneaking suspicion that many “Type A” or “Alpha” personalities are secretly hypo-manic. Hypo-manics, among other things, only need to sleep about four hours a night and have boundless energy and self-confidence. Couple that with moderately high IQs (120-130 range, not like genius level) and you’d have people who were practically custom made for high-achieving corporate life.

          Since I’m an 8 hours of sleep or completely useless type, I’m very jealous of the hypo-manics. But when they go off the rails, they generally do so in a big way. So that’s comforting, I guess.

          • Idk, me and my dad are super type A, he was Mensa and I’m pretty smart, and we both need 7-8 hours of sleep of night, and I feel it’s because we’re going going going all day long. I find it difficult to lounge around in bed unless I’m sick, and only watch tv/movie for about 20 minutes a day just before bed, or I’ll socially watch tv when I’m hanging out with someone. Him and I both joke around that we probably have undiagnosed ADD.

            My mom and one of my brother’s are very Type B, not as intelligent (not dumb at, just don’t have our IQs) and they function perfectly on 6 hours of sleep or less.

            That’s just my experience with my family. I had a roommate in college who was pretty type A, OCD with scheduling, cleaning, getting everything done etc, but she was not very intelligent, and she would function okay with 4-5 hours of sleep. I did whatever amount of work I needed to do to get by so I could get 6 hours of sleep (8 hours of sleep was just not a possibility some semesters), whereas she needed to maintain her 3.99999 GPA and would give up sleep for it.

    • Also very curious about this.

      2-3x a month, which is less than we’d both like and I kind of have a complex about it. I think it is partially because we are both lawyers with extra curriculars and are busy/exhausted. But mainly because I have some discomfort while, ahem, doing it, which my drs. can’t diagnose and causes a low drive on my part (I never put two and two together, but one dr. got that right away – why would your brain want to do something that is uncomfortable?). Also some body confidence issues on my part. He usually initiates by suggesting it earlier in the day for that night. When I initiate it is usually lets do this right now. We’ve been together for almost a decade, no kids.

      • Frugal Friend :

        I had a similar problem and hated “doing it.” Until a new GYN found a cyst in my V (sorry-trying to avoid moderation here). It was a Gartner’s Duct Cyst that every GYN I’d seen before had missed. I got it taken out, which resulted in an extended period of not “doing it.” Now things are so so so much better. Who knew “doing it” didn’t have to feel like getting stabbed repeatedly.

      • SoooooAnon :

        I had a prolonged period of little or no sex because of cyst problems in the v. You should really talk to your gyn about it more, there are physical therapists for lady parts that can help with muscle or scar tissue issues. If it doesn’t clear up — you might want to get an ultra-sound or a MRI to check for a cyst (they are very very hard to diagnose…)

      • If your doctors can’t figure out, look for some other resources. Check out If you join, you can get a list of doctors in your state that treat vaginal pain. Also, there a lot of books on the topic. One that I think is great is called the V book. It discusses many types of v issues and symptoms and has resources that you can tell your doctor about.

        • For years I always had sex without problems. Last year while dating around I found myself waking up with excruciating vaginal pain days after I had sex and sometimes it would come up during. It wasn’t every time and the worst part is there was NOTHING WRONG. By nothing I mean, no infection, no STD, no allergy, nada.

          I am lucky to have an amazing gyn who did not make me feel like a crazy woman. There is this thing called vulvadynia which is basically unexplained vaginal pain and turns out is not entirely uncommon. Apparently there is an expert in New Hampshire and she has been great at treating the issue. Luckily, when I got together with my current boyfriend it stopped. My gyn also had told me she’d seen this happen and asked me about the difference between the other relationships and this one…. yeah. I’m positive it had to do with my feelings about what was going on.

          Not to say you should switch husbands! Just that it had to do with a problem in my relationship. That’s for me. But don’t just think nothing can be done. It sounds like there are treatments out there but you really have to look for them. Good luck!

          • The only reason I’ve heard of vulvadynia is because Miranda had it in SATC! Glad the treatment worked.

      • For anyone who is feeling pain during intimacy, I wanted to post something that has changed my life. I’ve had lots of pain all throughout my 10 year marriage, and so we did it extremely infrequently. Last week, for the first time in 2 YEARS, it happened and I felt no pain. That’s right, I had not been intimate in 2 years with my SO. I cried afterwards because I was so happy and shocked that I could actually enjoy the experience. Note that I did not have any cysts, yeast infections, or anything else that would explain why I had pain. I have been to over 5 doctors who couldn’t figure what was going on with me.

        What worked for me:

        1. go to a physician or physical therapist who specializes in something called “pelvic floor”. They can measure your pelvic floor with a special instrument. Normal readings are 15 – 20. My initial reading was 55. If you live on the East Coast, I highly recommend a visit to Philadelphia to see any one of the nurses at the S**ual and Pelvic Health Institute. They specialize in treating pain.

        2. Ask your physician about taking V suppositories. They’re basically a muscle relaxant that you insert every night before going to bed. I used them for about 2 months every night, and now I barely use them anymore. A HUGE help.

        3. The thing that helped me the most was using dilators — start out with a small one and go up from there. Use it for 15-20 minutes every day. Again, your doctor should be able to give them to you. I had so much anxiety about intimacy that I forgot what it even felt like to have something in there.

        If you’re feeling pain, you’re not alone! I honestly didn’t think I could ever be intimate with SO again, so there is hope.

    • Since I posted so much on this I’ll answer, semi long distance relationship (so not really relevant to people who are married) so about 4 times a month. at night usually he initiates, or it’s mutually initiated while cuddling, or if i drank a lot i’ll initiate. in the morning he’ll initiate cuddling when he’s more awake (i’m usually up earlier) and then i’ll initiate the happy time.

    • Another Q :

      I need some related advice.

      My boyfriend has a really difficult time finishing. He stays (trying to avoid moderation here)… uh, ready. But just can’t get over the edge. He just keeps going and trying, very earnestly, and it makes me feel so sad.

      I think many women wouldn’t view this as a problem, but I usually have already finished more than once, and it just takes forever. Chafing is a real possibility. And frankly, I get bored.

      Any tips? He’s 31. Could this be an age-related issue? I can tell it’s frustrating him.

      • I don’t have any tips, but maybe he should see a doctor.

      • Is your boyfriend really stressed? Or (seemingly unrelated), are you using condoms?

        DH and I had this problem for awhile. I think it was a combination of stress (he was very worried about saving money for our wedding at the time) and condoms. I can’t really figure out which it was, because both went away at about the same time, so I think it was a combination of the two.

      • karenpadi :

        He may have a “death grip” from his solo activities. Dan Savage has some advice for the cure. It should be google-able.

        • THIS! My hubby used to have this problem when we were long distance and he did a lot of solo work. And I don’t think it’s weird that you don’t think it’s a good thing. It drove me f’in crazy! I read somewhere that the ideal length of time for sex is something like 12 minutes (either for women or for both men and women, don’t remember). I don’t know where these rumors about ladies loving marathon men got started, but um no. Too fast is, of course, equally problematic.

          We solved the problem by instituting a rule whereby he did not engage in solo activities for two days prior to my arrival in town.

      • Another Q :

        We are using condoms, but I think the death grip might be it. I will look into that one for sure.

        Thanks for the advice!

        • My ex had the same problem. Placing a dab of lube within the condom helps, too, as it creates a more moist environment.

        • It may require a frank conversation, but do it.
          Another idea is maybe taking the end goal off the table. Make it like a game. Perhaps its the pressure to finish that’s giving him a hard time. No pun intended, I swear!

      • Have you tried using lube? Invest in a high quality lube from somewhere like Good Vibes and see if that helps. I personally recommend a brand called Liquid Silk, which you can get from Amazon.

      • Is he politely trying to wait for you? I find that DH can go FOREVER if he thinks it will help me. Sometimes it’s just not going to work for me, but he can’t tell so I need to tell him to go for it.

        • I’ve had this happen too- have you ever brought it up with him? He also might not be able to tell if you’ve already finished (you may think you’ve been very clear about it, but he might not be sure). Now, I usually just bring it up nicely without suggesting that it is in any way his fault that my head just isn’t in it today. Something like “I don’t think it’s going to happen for me babe, you should just go ahead and finish”

      • Another Q :

        Lube is a great idea, too. We haven’t been using it, but you’re right, more moisture would only be an asset.

        (Except during my monthly time. I’ve done that with another partner, and it didn’t work well for me, emotionally, because I didn’t feel very sexy. But it worked physically. Like extra lube.)

        Adele – I’m interested in how I might suggest taking him off the goal. Because I think he does get stressed, and that just makes it worse. Like insomnia.

      • I actually had this problem with a boyfriend in college, so it wasn’t age. It seemed to be related to stress and him not wanting me to get pregnant. It was always worse around finals and stuff, and he was ranked #1 in his chemical engineering class so he really worried about school and stuff.

        I’m actually the one having this problem now! I was on this awful birth control for 6 months, I’m on my second month of my old birth control and still haven’t gotten it back yet. I still have a desire for it, but I haven’t been able to come with SO or by myself. I’m really really stressed out about my job hunting situation and pending relocation (the two job I really want both require relocation and are in different states).

        That being said, I had some of the best ahem of my life after day 1 of the bar exam (I took 2 states so it was 3 days) with my current guy. I really like testing situations like that though. I also did atrocious on the MBE, I blame it on the post coital bliss.

        • We’ve discussed this topic on here before, but I’ll say it again in case you’ve missed those disussions. I used to have this problem with hormonal birth control dampening my sex drive. Then I got an IUD and I would never go back. Some people have some side effects with IUDs, so YMMV, but it may be worth a try if you haven’t tried one before.

          • I’ve looked into that, but I’ve never had kids, and I also have a tilted uterus and heard that can make it difficult to insert. I’m debating going off the pill bc I’m sick of the hormones, but I know my skin will look atrocious. I’m also kinda waiting for my job situation to get resolved before I make any more changes in my life. I feel like I’m in such a holding pattern!

          • oh the desire isn’t so much of a problem as the not coming. SO actually made a comment about me pawing at him in public last weekend lol.

          • If you are super stressed out about things, that could certainly be hindering you. You miss out on the “letting it all go” part.

          • super anon for this :

            I’d be interested in hearing how you figured this out meme. I think this might be a problem for me. How long did it take when you cam off the pill before feeling like yourself again?

        • Anon this time :

          Sorry, anonymous for this simply because I am not comfortable discussing in my usual persona.

          When you ladies have mentioned on here before about birth control reducing your s** drive, were you referring, among other things, to the ability to finish? I am interested because I pretty much always have this particular difficulty and have been on oral contraceptives pretty much my entire adult life, so am now thinking the two might be linked. I had never made the connection before between drive and finishing. Has that particular issue resolved itself for other ladies who have gone off BCPs?

          • I’m curious too, I never had the problem when i didn’t take it, or when i first took yaz. I then went on loestrin24 for 6 months and it sucked. I’m in my second month back on yaz and no real improvement. But I read online that women who went totally off the pill, it took them a year to get it back!

            I’ve heard the muted orgasms or lack of can be a side effect. Also, for the times I’m not on bc, I want it ALL THE TIME. Like I need to be on the pill when I’m single otherwise I’ll made bad decisions and ahem is always on my mind. That is probably how guys feel all the time lol.

          • PirateLawyer :

            I find that the pill dampened my desire, but not my ability to finish. Once I got started though, the desire seemed to ramp back up though — I recently got an IUD, so it’s no longer an issue for me.

            Also, I have to say, I’m totally with Kelly on the “I’d better be on the pill while I’m single, or I will make bad decisions.” I’m currently single, with my drive firmly back in place, and I have to check myself before I wreck myself, so to speak.

          • I think it dampened desire to get started in the first place, ability to get really into it very quickly, and ability to “finish.” Not like I was never interested or it would never happen, but I’d say now I always finish (unless I’m really, like, practically asleep and we have an understanding that this is just a “quickie”) and on the pill it was more like 70%.

          • Oh yes, the pill always made it difficult and/or extremely time consuming for me to finish alone or with someone else I am now on non hormonal IUD, pre-kids, and tilted uterus. It hurt lots to get it put in. But I swear by it. The improvement in my sex life is incredible.

    • We average 4 times per week. We both have demanding jobs, but no kids. (Infertile, actually, but that has nothing to do with our frequency. We aren’t “trying” that way anymore.)

    • karenpadi :

      Whew! This information comes as a relief. I recently ended my long term relationship mostly because we were only having fun every 3 weeks (and if I had my monthly visitor, it’d go to 6 weeks).

      Thanks for validating my feelings that, despite our crazy schedules, we could have been doing it more.

      • going anon for this one :

        Since we’re already talking about it, do you ladies ever have relations when it’s that time of the month? I have a few times while showering together. Neither of us were weirded out or anything but now I’m wondering how others feel about this. Thoughts…

        • Yes, but usually not on my heavy flow day, just because I feel kind of off on that day. We do put down a towel first, though.

          • Ditto.

          • Agreed. Or in the shower only. He doesn’t care, but I feel self-conscious and I get worried about my sheets. And I don’t want to worry about the sheets if we’re having happy time.

          • going anon for this one :

            That’s what I like about the shower. I don’t have to worry about any cleanup and something about the endorphins helps with the cramps. Sex also helps when I have a headache, again I think it’s the endorphins.

        • Eh, it gets too slippery for me, and not in a good-feeling way. I do, however, have tremendous success on the day before it’s due – something about all the congested blood.

          • I’ve heard that the week before your period is also supposed to make you very um, interested, for hormonal reasons. I don’t know if it’s true, but I’ve certainly experienced it.

            We only do it on light flow days or in the shower. My SO was traumatized once early in his sexual experiences when a girl unexpectedly got her period during, and when he pulled out his um, appendage, was bloody. (Sorry I feel that was unnecessarily graphic, but I can’t think of how to be more delicate).For that reason, he is more shy than me during that time.

          • KK, my DH had that experience too – with me! Lol.
            As others have mentioned above, I get quite frisky a day or so before, and it suddenly started! DH could not hide that he was grossed out, lol. So he, more than I, avoids that time.

        • Yep.

        • Anonymous :

          Try getting Insteads – it’s like a Diva Cup, but disposable. Perfect for occasional use so you can have happy time during that time of the month.

        • Massively anon for this :

          No, no , no, never again. I’ve done it three times in my life and each time got a yeast infection. If that’s already TMI, stop here, but DH’s equipment is au naturel and apparently that makes him more susceptible to yeast infections of his own… yup, guys can get them too. And they are not pleased about having to take pills labeled “for cure of v. yeast infections,” let me tell you.

          • anon for this :

            Wait, he’s not circumcised? Wow, I don’t know how I’d feel about that.

          • Haha. Having lived in a number of non-US countries I have seen a few and it’s fine. You really can even tell until after and it’s well… not in happy position anymore.

        • I tried it a few times, but somehow, I get very dry although technically there’s a lot of, um, natural lubrication. He certainly wouldn’t mind (though he probably would if we weren’t using condoms).

        • anon of course :

          My partner has no problem with it. When he announced this to me, I thought he was just trying to be flexible or understanding, but over time I have learned that he really, totally, absolutely does not care. I have also noticed that it relieves my cramps and tension…a win win!

      • Oh my. Even at our best we were only once a week, but now it’s dwindled to 2X a month. It feels like I’m usually the one that has to initiate, which I resent. I don’t know if I’d have the nerve to end things based on that alone, and I’m content enough with other aspects of our relationship. He’s very attentive and considerate. Should I be more concerned about this? I know that if I made it a point to initiate more often our average would go up, but why is it up to me? Maybe I should just accept that’s the way it has to be and quit complaining? sigh.

        • SoooooAnon :

          I’m not sure you should be concerned, but if you’re not happy with the amount of sex you’re having, you should speak up! Maybe try to set up an actual schedule or try to do things that set the mood. Or straight up ask him to initiate more…

          Someone just above recommended reading Dan Savage and I also would recommend it. He has lots of advice columns for people who aren’t thrilled about the amount or frequency of sex they’re having. Plus he’s funny and invented “santorum” so he always wins in my book.

        • Talk about it with him! He can’t read your mind. If you don’t bring it up, you’re not giving him a chance to meet your needs.

          • Definitely bring it up. I had that conversation with my husband only to find he felt that he was the only one initiating. It could just be a simple miscommunication.

        • karenpadi :

          It was the right decision for me. At first, I thought I could settle for less fun in return for everything else in the relationship. Then, I just didn’t feel loved without lots of lovin’. And that lead to other problems in the relationship.

          YMMV, it was a deal breaker for me, it might not be for you. If it’s a deal breaker for you, you’ll know.

    • Love this topic but just not that comfortable discussing without the anonymity. Long distance relationship, see each other about once a week, so the answer for us is once a week. It obviously has to do with the distance and I think my BCP affects my sex drive. Plus, battery operated things can just do a better job.

    • Once, maybe twice, per week. Husband would like more often, but I’m just not that lusty. I almost always initiate, I think bc he doesn’t like getting turned down. I feel like it’s the only problem in our otherwise great marriage.

      • wow. word for word, this could be me. you’re not alone!

      • “Husband would like more often, but I’m just not that lusty. I almost always initiate, I think bc he doesn’t like getting turned down.”
        – This is me as well.

      • I read an article once that suggested that sexual desire is sort of a positive feedback loop- the more you have it, the more you want it. I call it the “fake it til you make it” theory of sex. The author proposed that you should try always saying yes, whether you’re in the mood or not. (Or if he has stopped asking, I guess make it a point to initiate more than you actually want to.) The theory was that (1) often you can get in the mood if you force yourself to, (2) more sex will start up that positive feedback loop, thus increasing your desire, (3) even if you don’t finish, just doing it benefits both your relationship and your health.

        I don’t always say yes, but I did start saying yes more often after reading that article years ago, like when I’m not in the mood but don’t really have a good reason for not doing it (illness, pain, etc). It makes a real difference in your drive and your mood. The oxytocin and endorphins released during/after sex (even if you don’t climax, though I think even more so if you do) are really powerful stress relievers.

    • 17 years, two teenagers. Zilch for two to three weeks, then 5x on a weekend (and it would be more if not for the kids and other weekend activities and our tiny tiny house.) The primary reason for this, and why I initiate, is because I’m perimenopausal and have irregular periods and can bleed for up to ten days at a time and even if it’s light I just don’t feel sexy.

      The secondary reason is that he’s a shift worker and goes to bed hours before I do. There was a time when if I woke up at 3 AM when he’s getting out of bed, that I’d try to start something, but he’s been in a semi-stressful work situation for the past couple of years and the activity we’re discussing did NOT relax him; it just got him into “what if I’m late for work/but I want to please her” mode which ended up being not fun for both of us.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Pre-kids, 5+ times a week. Initiated equally.

      With babies/toddlers, once a week on average. Weekend nap time is usually our best or only chance. Sometimes we have energy and time on a weekday night. Husband usually initiates, although I still do.

    • We were going through some slow spells (like only once every two weeks or so), until we developed the concept of “cuddle sex.” Cuddle sex means that we can just be lazy and make out a little and have sex while cuddling, even if we’re too exhausted from the day to get really rowdy. Half the time we end up getting rowdy anyway once we get going. But nevertheless, I’ve found that it takes all the pressure off when I’m tired from a long day to just say “hey, want to have cuddle sex?” Now we’re having sex a lot more frequently (3 times a week or so), with a good rowdy romp the weekends and relaxing/lazy cuddle sex during the week. (We’re both in our mid-30s, very busy jobs, no kids).

      • If you’re comfortable elaborating, I want more details. Are you talking about a quickie while spooning? Because I could maybe get into that for mid-week romps.

        • Basically, imagine the most relaxed, vanilla sex possible. Like if you’re just relaxing at the end of the evening in your PJs and cuddling a bit, might as well have lazy sex. Good positions for this are spooning, missionary, or girl-on-top (as long as you can be super lazy and cuddly and not feel compelled to bounce around like a cowgirl). We usually forego BJs and other pre-gaming, and just hug and kiss and have a relaxed, casual sex.

          I hope this doesn’t sound super depressing to everyone else! I think for me, if I feel like I have to bring my A-game every time we have sex, it’s just too much for me after a long exhausting day. So giving ourselves permission to just be lazy and cuddly has taken a lot of the pressure off our sex life, and I feel like it’s increased our comfort and intimacy with each other in the process. (We’ve been together 3 years, fwiw).

          • haha, i like that idea of cuddle sex. I like lazy girl laying on top in the morning, nothing crazy.

          • This is very interesting to me for several reasons. Do you do cuddle sex until someone finishes? How long does it usually last? Also, your question makes it sound like you do BJ as pre-game often????

          • I must be super boring. If this is lazy, what is the A-game?! Handstand and splits?!

          • b23 – to answer your questions – it totally varies. Sometimes cuddle sex will cause us to both get amped up and we’ll go at it for a while, and other times we’ll just have lazy snuggly sex for a few minutes and then go to bed. We usually both finish, but we both have pretty easy triggers where we can just “do that” and finish.

            And I guess we do BJs as pre-gaming a lot – like 2/3 of the time that we have sex – but just as a warm up and not through completion or anything (that would defeat the purpose, I suppose).

            This conversation is interesting though – it’s making me wonder if my problem is that I put too much pressure on myself to be full of energy and “on” when we have sex, but sometimes it’s hard to rally after a long day at work. I’m so glad we’re having this discussion – sex is such a private thing that it’s hard to know what’s normal.

    • SoooooAnon :

      1-2 per week, we initiate equally, though it depends on our moods (I’m initiating more right now).

      We have also had prolonged dry spells due to health or emotional issues. But we try.

    • Usually at least once a week, though every few months we seem to go through a dry spell lasting 2-3 weeks followed by lots of sex once we’re not as tired, stressed, busy, whatever.

    • Currently, once or twice a week. Wish it was more than that but I have recently gained about 15 lbs., and although the SO still thinks I am “hot,” I feel a lot less sexy than I used to. Not sure why, but it makes a difference for me. I am making a conscious effort to both lose the weight and do the deed more frequently.

      • Bright side….sex burns calories. :-)

        • Anonymous :

          Seriously. Turn the light out so he can’t see you and get busy!

        • V from Iowa :

          Don’t turn out the lights *because* you feel uncomfortable.

          I’ve been there before, with 5 lbs making me feel terribly unsexy, but it is absolutely worth it to try to work on feeling comfortable anyway, no matter the weight or the bloat. It feels the same, and your body is your body, no matter what. :)

    • Typically 2x per week. We both work and we have 3 kids. One is an infant. I think it will go back to normal (3-5x per week) once the baby is done nursing. He usually initiates, I’m trying to do so more often.

    • once a week, maybe. sometimes twice. sometimes every two weeks. Almost always on the weekend. I’m just way too exhausted during the week. BF would like more, but I also have almost no sex drive (thanks, birth control. I think the birth control portion is actually just that i don’t want to have sex… Discussing switching to something else w/ my doctor). Oh, and 8 years together, both lawyers, though my schedule is busier than his, no kids (not married. not particularly interested in being so.)

    • i just want to say thank you to the original Anon for raising this question and thank you to everyone who is being so candid. i love that the corporette hive is so respectful and open, even when we all go anon for a topic. most of my married/long-term relationship friends are mum about their sex lives, mainly because we are all couples friends and well, it just gets weird knowing all of the details about everyone’s sex lives. but after reading all of these comments i feel less isolated about this issue now for the first time in a long time.

      • I, too, wish to express my thanks. I never talk about this topic with my friends, ever. Like anon 8, I suffer from a basically nonexistent drive. It has been a terrible strain on my marriage. Even if it started out just being physical pain and not mental, it’s to the point now where I associate the act with pain and hurt feelings. Thanks to this discussion, I finally called my primary care doctor, who first said to drink some wine and “just relax,” for a referral to a specialist clinic focusing on ladies’ physical and mental intimacy difficulties at a major university in my area. This is too important to let my intense shame and fear prevent me from seeking the specialized help I need. I feel like such a failure as a wife, but hopefully modern medicine can figure out what’s wrong with me.

        • I have the same thing and I am just turning 30. I used to really crave it and now I avoid it at all.costs. It’s not him either, I don’t even like sex scenes on tv, I fast forward. I didn’t change anything birth control and nothing happened to me. It’s crazy because I’ve had the best sex in my life with this guy but now I do not want anything at all. I should look for a clinic like that too.

        • Yet another anon :

          Non-existent drive (on IUD, one 3 yr old, lawyer, probably chronically depressed, Cymbalta; married to a workaholic academic –it’s late, so why be wordy?) Only a few times in the past 3 years. In theory, I want to, but I.AM. SO.DARN.TIRED. It just weighs upon me as yet another obligation. Intellectually, I feel the desire, but the actual doing of it? Not so much. Twelve years ago, when we met, we annoyed the apartment neighbors no end — day, night, whenever….

          Am thinking that I should just get busy with it and the desire will come back — it’s like riding a bike, right??

          • Don’t know if you’ll get his since it was yesterday — but it sounds like you gotta set the mood a little bit. Hire a babysitter for an overnight, take your husband to a nice hotel, get a massage, and then do it if you have the energy (or else…just have fun!)

            I do think once you get back in the swing of things (as they say) you’ll probably feel more like doing it.

      • Agreed! The wide variety of answers really reflects one thing — there is no “normal.” And that’s kind of refreshing.

      • I agree. I’ll talk to my friends about sex generally, but not about specifics of my or their sex lives. It’s too weird when you know both parties, and I also think my husband would feel it’s a betrayal of trust- like certain things should remain private and he wouldn’t want my friends knowing (I wouldn’t want his knowing either). It’s easier to talk about it anonymously via the internet.

        Here’s mine: We have sex 2-3 times a week on average, usually 1-2 times on weekends and once during the week. But it ebbs and flows, depending on our schedules and other stuff. I’m a lawyer, husband is doctor. He’s still in residency, so schedule constantly changes and can be wacky (night shifts, 12 hr shifts 10 days in a row, other weeks mostly half days). That causes a lot of the ebb and flow. Together 6ish years, married this past summer.

    • I’ll jump in too – we used to average 2-3 times a week, but recently dropped down to once a week. While I’d theoretically like to be intimate more often, I find that I don’t feel very attractive right now and lack enthusiasm for getting into my birthday suit…and our house is a mess, which ups my general stress level when we’re relaxing at home. If it makes a difference, my husband and I have been together for 6 years, married for a few months.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      this is a great topic and I feel so much better. I vary so wildly and it makes me feel bad. Now I feel normal!

      We vary anywhere from every night and twice on weekends to *only* twice a week. it’s weird for me, I have really horrible menses. And after the flow is finished, it usually takes a good two or three days before I feel good enough to go at it. we do other things during that time, but no full sex. Then I get ramped up again and we get more and more frequent each week until menses comes again. then full stop.

      does anyone else have this progression during the month?

      I have a very demanding job. Husband is shift work. Demanding when he is on shift, but then no stress on his days off. He only does twelve shifts a month. we are 30s with no kids and have been married for seven years.

    • Once a week, on average. Sometimes better, rarely worse (like if we are sick, or having an especially rough time at work). We have a two-year-old, but I think the real kicker to our sex life is that we spend 3 hours a day in the car commuting to and from work! That really cuts into our getting jiggy time. Eventually we will move closer to work, I hope!

  3. Ethics threadjack:
    The company I work for contracts out to a particular type of resource-extraction company. A different type of resource-extraction has been proposed in my area that I very much object to for environmental reasons. The company proposing this project is not a client of my company, nor do we have any clients that are related to the project or who do this type of project (although, I guess potentially we could should our focus change). The project is hugely politically contentious. What I’m wondering is to what extent, if any, can I get involved in protesting this project? My objections aren’t professionally motivated, I’m upset about it solely because I live in the area and would be affected same as everyone else. Is this something I should stay out of for professional reasons, or at least keep my contribution to silently donating money to organizations fighting it? Or is it something I can publically discuss? Would volunteering for an organization protesting it be professional suicide?

    I guess the heart of the problem is that I feel a bit of a sell-out for working for natural resource extraction companies while being an environmentalist, so I’m wondering if I have to give up my ability to be involved in the environmentalist movement completely.

    • I don’t have a clear answer to this from an ethics standpoint, but from a practical standpoint: be prepared to get fired if you advocate against your company’s interests in any way, and be prepared to be completely discredited if you are perceived as advocating against a project that would benefit a competitor to the detriment of your company.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      LB is right. The safest course is to give money, but say nothing and do nothing in person.

    • I don’t quite understand the situation. Is it just that you work for say, oil and they work for cutting down trees, and the two industries never ever overlap? Or is there some overlap?

      If there is overlap- you can’t reap the benefits of working for the company while protesting your own company. If you want to take an ethical stand you need to quit or prepare to be let go. This doesn’t sound nice but I mean nice- you are a sell out if you are working for a place that does the opposite of what you believe. So you made that choice, you can’t have it both ways. If you want to work from the inside, you can make sure that in appropriate situations you always advocate for doing what needs to be done in the most environmentally friendly way available.

      • An analogous situation would be wanting to protest drilling in the Arctic refuge while working for a company that services gold mines. There isn’t a lot of overlap between the companies that do one and the companies that do another, but they’re similar types of companies.

        I definitely appreciate your opinion on the overlap, and it doesn’t sound mean at all. It’s definitely a line I’ve been trying to figure out how to walk, personally.

    • I would say that it strongly depends on what your company’s interests are, both now and what they might be in the future. Given that we’re talking about resource extraction, which is a very large, important field, I would pretty much count on your company’s focus changing at least a little bit in the next few years, though of course it depends on how lucrative the new method becomes.

      Given that, my guess is that publicly protesting this could be very bad for your career. Even donating could be an issue, since often times some of those lists are not as private as you might think. At best, you could try to talk to some higher ups in your company about whether or not this new method is something that your company might pursue in the future, but, unless it is something that they are diametrically opposed to, I wouldn’t count on anything they say.

      Ultimately, you have to decide whether your convictions or your career are more important to you.

    • I may be wrong, but it sounds like you’re talking about hydro-fracking coming to your area while you work for a natural gas company. If that’s the case, I would say go for it, because hydro-fracking is awful and should be illegal. It contaminates the water supply and probably causes cancer. It’s a little NIMBY of you (Not In My Backyard), but so what?

      The truth of the matter, when it comes to environmentalism, is there are actually lots of grey areas. You can buy paper, which is produced from tree farms, which helps sequester carbon out of the air, and still not like it when people cut down the rainforest. You could work at a paper plant and donate money to animal habitat preservation and it would not be a conflict of interest, because the two things are different.

      Right now the company you work for, doesn’t engage in whatever practice you find questionable. In fact, it’s possible that the questionable practice (especially if it’s hydro-fracking) might be bad for your company in the short run and forcing them to change their tactics. Pushing to stop the practice might actually be good for your company in the short run and provide stability in the long run. So why don’t you find out? Ask around and see if you can get upper management to talk about the company’s plans and direction.

      And if it is hydro-fracking, and you work to make the practice illegal before your company gets involved, there will be no conflict of interest at all. If you go the quiet donation route, I don’t think your boss can touch you (especially if they are anonymous donations).

  4. Sydney Bristow :

    I really like this suit.

    Does anyone have a product they really like that helps prevent their curls from falling? I typically blow dry my fairly straight hair dry and then use either a curling iron or curlers. It looks fantastic for about 30 minutes and then the curls fall until only the ends have a tiny bend to them.

    My hair texture is fine, but I have a ton of hair. I think the curls might fall because of the weight of my hair. It falls a few inches below my shoulders. I used to just use Phyto smoothing products when blow drying, but I’ve recently changed to using mousse. I’ve tried voluminizing and curl enhancing versions and neither seems to help. I have also tried using Elnett hairspray, but they still fall.

    Are there specific products that people have good experience with? I’m willing to pay more and go to Sephora or somewhere similar if there is a great product out there.

    • Tresemme hair spray in the black and green can! I have a similar hair type – a LOT of fine, naturally straight hair. I am not normally a big hair spray user, but I cannot curl my hair and get it to stay without this stuff. It’s fantastic, inexpensive, and doesn’t look stiff or crunchy at all (even when I use a lot of it). Plus, if there’s a section I want to redo, it brushes right out.

      Also, I find the way I curl my hair really helps get the curls to stay. I have to 1/3 of the way down from the root of my hair and continually curl & clamp (it’s kind of hard to explain, but there are a TON of YouTube videos that go over how to do it). I can’t just start from the bottom and roll the curling iron up. That doesn’t work for me.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks. I’ll try to figure out this technique when I get home.

    • Gosh, we must have the same kind of hair! Great question. I’m curious to hear the answers.

    • Bumble and Bumble Defining Curl Creme for fine hair is a-maz-ing.

    • For me, the only way to get curl to stay for any length of time is to go the steam/hot roller route. And then being sure to let your curls “set” before playing with them. The curling iron really only manages to curl my hair straight (but smooth).

      • And I’m of the “fine hair, but lots of it” category.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’ve tried hot rollers as well, but they don’t seem to stay much longer. Maybe I’m using them wrong. I leave them in until they are cool before taking them out.

        • Hmm… don’t know what to say – that’s sounds right. You let the rollers curl, take them out, and then let the hair cool further before disrupting any curls.

          On the other hand, I have a friend with stick straight hair that will not hold a curl, no matter what she does to it.

    • Count me in as another with a ton of fine hair.

      I find that I have the best luck when I air dry my hair and don’t “fix it” too much. I wash it at night (I workout after work), then part it and put in aveda smooth infusion style prep smoother (this stuff is amazing). Then I let it air dry/go to bed with damp hair. In the morning, I spend about 10 minutes curling it with a medium sized curling iron using basically the technique K described. Spray with a light-ish hold hairspray (I love garnier fructis flexible control).

      My curls/waves hold up all day, although the volume deflates a little.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I wish that would work for me! Unfortunately, my hair takes forever to dry on its own and somehow becomes greasy in the process. If I go to bed with damp hair, it’s still damp in the morning.

    • I also have tons of fine, straight hair. I have the same problem and find that any products at all weigh my hair down and pull out curl. Same goes with dirt or oil. They say if you want your hair to curl well then wash one day then curl the next, but that really doesn’t work for me. My hair will only curl if it is clean with no products. Then it will stay for about 2 or 3 hours. Any products I put on just pulll the curl out quicker. Sorry this is so unhelpful. If anyone has a genius solution for this type of hair I’m all ears.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’ll also give the no products route a try the next time I was my hair. Thanks for the advice.

    • Have you tried using a waving iron/triple barrel curing iron instead of a regular curling on? Mine gives me better texture and volume than a curling iron or hot rollers would. I have fine hair/not a lot of it, and it naturally has some wave.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I used to have one, but that’s not really the look of curls I’m going for. I’m aiming for big Blair Waldorf curls. Thanks for the suggestion though!

      • Anonymous :

        I also have a lot of fine hair. I recently purchased the Conair Infiniti 1″ ceramic curling iron for $17.00 at Walgreens. It’s perfect – the curls last all day with no product. I do wash and dry my hair in the morning with shampoo and conditioner.

    • Lots of good advice here, I’d just add that you might be trying to curl too much hair at once. My hair guy recently told me that I should be dividing my hair into at least 3 sections (top, sides/middle, bottom all around) when going the curling iron route. Previously I’d just grabbed some here and there. Also, he told me to turn up the heat pretty high, just don’t hold it on the iron very long to avoid burning (plus I use a heat protector prior to curling). I’ve had way better results using an actual method.

      • How do you find with your hands what hair you’ve curled and what hair you haven’t curled yet on the back of your head? This is my toughest problem when curling my hair. It’s really thick, and as I pull sections down, I can’t keep the uncurled sections separate from the already curled sections. So I either end up re-curling hair, which looks weird, or missing some hair, which also looks weird.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I do use this method of curling in sections and only use small chunks at a time. As for the sections, I work it out so I do the lower sections from behind my ears first (sort of like pulling your hair into a half pony) and clip the to section on top of my head. Then when all of that is curled, I put it all behind my shoulders and let the top section down but pull it all in front of my shoulders. Of course, my hair is really long so this is easy for me. I move in small pieces around my head working from the lowest pieces up in the bottom half of my hair then do the top section from the back forward. I hope that makes sense!

          • Yep, I try that sometimes, but everything doesn’t always stay put. Basically, while one section is curling, I get the next section ready with my free hand – it’s not too hard to stick to the middle or top area, and with the hair being curled up and out of the way, you can see the next area’s prior curls underneath and not pull hair from those.

      • West Coast 3L :

        I agree with the amount of hair solution — I recently switched to a 1.5″ Hot Tools curling iron (which is amazing) for shoulder-blade length fine hair (but lots of it) and started separating it out into two separate horizontal layers — top and bottom — and then working in one-inch sections around my head. Salon Grafix Freezing Hair Spray is super strong but a little sticky, but a couple blasts from 8″ out before the hair cools seems to keep things together over most of the day. The saleslady at Ulta raved about Redken spray starch (“Heat Memory,” I think), but my hair’s already a little dry and the reviews I’d read online indicated it might make it a bit crunchy.

        • I just got the 1.25″ hot tools! I really like it way better than the 1.5″ incher I was using before (Conair, maybe?).

    • I have fine hair and lots of it, like you. I think having some long layers helps curls fall more individually and not get weighed down. I also think, if you’re using hot rollers, you have to use more than you think you need, i.e. fewer hairs on each roller.

      I am iffy about using products because they seem to make my hair limper but I do worry about heat damage, so I’m currently using the Sebastian mousse (Mousse Forte) recommended by my stylist, and I do think it helps a little with the staying power. The tradeoff is that I can’t do second-day hair with this stuff. I really have to wash it every day, which isn’t great for my color. (Life is full of tradeoffs.) But that’s really OK because I never liked second day hair very much anyway.

      Last, I find getting my hair to stay in the rollers is helped by buying the large diameter ones with that kind of fabric-y feel on the surfaces that contact the hair – flocking, I think.

      • Anonymous :

        Has anyone had any success using a flat iron to curl hair? I’ve had it done to me by a stylist and seen people do it, but I can’t seem to do it correctly.

        • Yes! This is my go to look for going out and formal events. I have a 1″ flat iron, and it creates much nicer curls on me than a curling iron. I learned from youtube videos. I usually clamp my hair at the root then wrap the hair around the iron on the way down. I learned a couple years ago, and I remember an asian girl on youtube having a good video.

          I will say, I’ve tried my technique on my friends hair without success. while my hair is fairly straight, it is pretty responsive to most curling techniques (curling iron, waving iron, hot rollers). I just really like the look of the flat iron curls.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          How do you do it without burning your hand? There isn’t an end piece onmy straightener like there is on my curling iron and I kept trying to touch it.

    • Salit-a-gator :

      I have loads of fine curly hair too. I find that the best products saturate my hair – I need thick goopy stuff to make my curls last all day. A bunch of curly hair products advocate “weightlessness” for curls – this may work for some, but not for me. The product I absolutely swear by is TIGI Catwalk Curl Creme – its in a turquoise pump bottle and cost about $13. The new formula is in a black and turquise bottle – and I haven’t tried it. If you see the original turquoise bottle I would grab one.

  5. Ladies, I’M BACK. I feel as frazzled as that model’s hair (cute suit, btw), hajj was great and I’m catching up on emails and Corporette, not necessarily in that order. Keep on, I missed you all MUCH.

  6. Okay, what do we think about perms? After seeing this blog post, I really want one. I’ve always wanted more body/wave to my hair, and a modern perm may be the answer.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I have thought about this . The really tiny frizzy curls always put me off, but now there seem to be methods which allow for big curls, which is what I would want, so I’d love to hear views on this, as well!

    • Love this perm…I’ve heard a lot of horror stories and think it’s best to go to someone who truly knows how to do a soft perm (unless you want 80s hair). Bumble and Bumble apparently does an excellent job.

      • Yes ask for a soft perm and very large rollers. The way it looks when it’s done also depends a lot on curler arrangement. I think I may look into a Bumble and Bumble salon!

        • I think I may go for it… and just try to book at Bumble & Bumble next time I’m in NY. Although that may be crazy expensive. It just seems like a large-curl perm would give me more styling options. Because like the poster above, I have trouble keeping curl in my hair.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Oh. Em. Gee. That hair is beautiful.

      Please please please, someone tell me a perm could look like that on someone with hair that is already thick, frizzy, and wavy (but not cute wavy)!!!

      • Another frizzy-haired person chiming in here…I’ve had 2 really bad early 90s perms that wrecked my hair. Two different salons, both pricey with decent reputations, and after that, I swore off perms because both made me look like a Tasered poodle, and the 2nd one caused some of my hair to break and fall out. But ….maybe I can be tempted to try again…. third time’s the charm, right?

        • I’m hoping the technique has improved since then, but I have no real idea either way.

    • I have thin straight/wavy hair and have had 2 body waves (as an adult, not like when I was 10.) In it’s natural state, scrunching my hair is hit or miss, and I wanted easy to style hair.

      So, the first one I loved. It looked great, it took 5 extra minutes to straighten the perm vs my natural hair when I wanted straight hair, and I didn’t have any problems growing my hair out, cause it’s semi wavy, and I think about 8 months after the body wave I cut a couple inches off.

      The second one was bad. I had always colored my hair, but I guess at this point my hair was more damaged, even though it didn’t feel damaged before the perm. It was the front of my hair that was the most damaged so it just never seemed to look right so I had to cut a few inches off (not into a short short cut, just a long bob). I don’t remember it being difficult to straighten or having it look weird growing out.

      Sigh, this is making me nostalgic for my first one (I got it in 2004). It was so easy.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      She had to have put rollers or a curling iron in her hair after it dried for her to have those curls and that shine. There’s just no way her hair would look like that without some heat (daughter of a hairstylist here). I just think she was trying to say that the perm made it easier for her to curl her hair and for it to hold.

      • That’s right, I didn’t think her hair just fell that way. She uses flexi-rods, which she links to on Amazon.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Ooooh. Drat.

          My hair will hold if I curl it. I was just hoping there was a magical way to get hair that looks that way with no effort.

    • Wow – curls aside, that woman is my makeup idol!

      • She’s amazeballs. Her blog is utter and complete eye candy, and she is a first rate photographer. She certainly spends a lot of time getting ready in the morning, though… more than I could handle.

      • Salit-a-gator :

        I agree. Any ideas on that lipstick? Seems like the perfect red I’ve been looking for all this time. Any red lipstick recommendations?

        • a comment on there said it was MAC lady danger with spice lip liner. I love her look too and have similar coloring, but I always feel a little weird rocking a red lip.

          • Embrace the red lip! Honestly, if I ever need a pick-me-up in the morning, rocking a classic red lip is guaranteed to make me feel great. You just have to wear it nonchalantly, like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

          • Agreed. With a bare or very neutral eye. I like reds with a pink tinge, but that’s my coloring.

  7. Does anyone own a Tumi Voyageaur? Should I take the plunge? They are apparently discontinuing this style…

    • I’ve heard that Tumi’s quality has gone down. My mom has several Tumi bags, some from 5-10 years ago and one that she bought in the last 1-3 years. The older ones have held up better than the newer ones, but of course ymmv. In the past few months, they’ve appeared on the sample sites fairly frequently and I never know if that’s a good sign or not…

  8. Second on falling quality–I just took the plunge and bought a Briggs & Riley, and it was literally half the price of Tumi AND has a full, no-questions asked, even if the airline break it, lifetime warranty. It’s ah-mazing. Has all the same bells and whistles as Tumi, just ~$300 instead of ~$600.

    • I love Briggs & Riley. I had a set of luggage (5 pieces) from them for over 10 years, 2 of which belonged to my mother before she passed them to me, and they were just reaching the point where they need to be repaired. My brother, sister and I have all used the warranty at various points and they’ve either repaired it or replaced it with another bag, no problems.

  9. Can anyone suggest a book about marriage and finances? A close friend of mine and her husband have been having some knock-down-drag-outs about finances and I would love to be able to suggest a good resource or two.

    • Smart Couples Finish Rich

    • There was a discussion about relationships and finances a few days ago and a couple of people recommended a book (a poster asked because she was moving in with her boyfriend). You might be able to find it by searching…or else people will surely post again!

    • Maybe even a visit to a financial advisor? Get a third party take on how to handle certain issues – depending on what they are. Sometimes it helps to get an outside opinion.

    • I will go back and look at the previous threads to see if I can find the name of the book. I ask for a book b/c I think her H would be very reluctant (right now) to go to an outside party. Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Seattleite :

      Dave Ramsey’s “Total Money Makeover.” Complete with sample budget templates and clear instructions for what max percentage of income should be spend on housing and vehicles, and if there’s more month than money, what to let slide.

  10. I am in love with this pant suit! It’s elegant and chic and very womanly.

  11. anonymous :

    I like it. Very sleek, professional, and comfortable looking. Thanks for including the fabric information.

    I also like the way she’s styled, very attractively and realistically. Yes, real women do sometimes have a hair out of place.

  12. Has anyone ordered from the website Tulle?

    They are showing up today in a banner ad here on Corporette today, so I clicked on the link and found a coat that I love, love, love for super, super cheap (which is great since I’m still losing weight and don’t want to commit tons of dough to something I might only wear for a few months).

    Anyway, I was excited to see that the coat comes in XL, but then I noticed that, according to their sizing chart, an XL is a size 8-10. I’m looking for something that is more of a 12-14. Just curious if anyone has ordered from Tulle before and could tell me if they are underestimating the size of their XL.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I have a jacket from Tulle in an XL, and I would definitely say it’s closer to an 8-10 than a 12-14. Definitely.

    • sarahlonghorn :

      Tulle is primarily a juniors brand (at least that I’ve experienced) so I would try a coat on in a store instead of ordering online. Or be prepared to send them back. I’m a 10 and a 32DD and I haven’t ever had a Tulle coat fit real well over my chest. I love their colors though!

    • Hmmm . . . back to the drawing board. Thanks!

  13. I need help staying motivated to do a really boring and repetitive project at work. Literally every other project I had is done, so now I’m confronted with endless days on this one. It is boring and I get a little discouraged thinking about the projects that most other associates are doing, which makes it even harder to maintain focus. It’s also not the kind of thing that will be finished if I work very diligently for a few days. It is a long term thing that will last at least through the first quarter of next year.


    • One thing that helps me is to forget about how big the problem is, and think about it in discrete pieces or tasks. If it doesn’t break down that way, just think of it as a new task starting each day. It’s tough to think that way, but it makes it more psychologically manageable.

    • Always a NYer :

      I’m a list person so I find making a list of the tasks, however mundane they seem, really helps me. There’s something to be said for the feeling you get when crossing off the items on the list one by one.

      • I do love a list. I guess I can be more specific without outing myself. It’s a document review project, so I can’t really make a list. I just have a never ending set of documents to review. Looking at it as discrete tasks might work. Like, I could set a goal to do X number per day. Double blerg.

        • I’m on a huge doc review project (never ending for now) as well. I try to set myself goals — i.e. get a certain number of docs done per hour — and increase it as I go.

          But yeah…its really hard to stay motivated.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          My solution has been to listen to podcasts (the Nerdist and Aisha Tyler’s are my go too choices) and then listen to different on demand radio shows on the I heart radio app. It keeps my mind busy while doing repetitive docs that don’t require super close attention.

          • I find talk radio distracting (depending on the project), but I love listening to music. Puts me in a much much better mood when tackling a boring, tedious task. Only thing I have to watch out for is not singing out loud.

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          For me, setting targets like this has worked well in the past.

          If you know how many documents there are in total, figure out how many you can get done in e.g. an hour or a day and then set targets on that basis.

          If you don’t know, just set a target on how many you want to get done before the end of the day, before lunch, before you can reward yourself with a tea/coffee/corporette break etc. Set small targets, rather than the whole day, so you can get the feeling of accomplishment more than once a day.

        • Are they all similar documents? I find it is good to give myself a deadline for each document that comes in. I am on one project where I will return each document within 48 hours, and on another project I give myself about 4 days to return the document unless it is labeled as a rush review. On the first project, I’ve asked the individuals waiting for the docs to remind me if they have not received the document within 48 hours.

          I don’t really find that “do X documents in an hour” is a realistic goal for me because something urgent will pop up and then it will be 2-3 hours before I can get back onto the project. The turnaround time seems to work better because it takes into account that there may be other things on my plate, but gives me the urgency I need to ensure I finish on time.

        • Not to sound unsympathetic, but be glad you are not doing it in a cold warehouse under the supervision of an unfriendly opposing counsel and staff, with the only restroom at the convenience store down the street. And I am talking months of work, one week on and one week off and a full case load at the office.

          I think your goal of so many boxes a day is the best way to approach it. Good luck, my sympathy!

          • That’s very true, a lawyer. I’m also lucky in that I have steady work. There are a couple of people in my firm who have nothing to do.

            I came in early this morning to make myself feel like I have important stuff to get done, and I have set an hourly goal. I’ll be rewarding myself with Internet breaks.

            Thanks to everyone for your input :)

  14. But the pants are not lined!! J Crew, please start lining your suit pants again!

  15. O Longer Jacket – Hello my lovely! I have long awaited your return. Vogue said you were coming but I hardly dared believe it!

  16. Late in the Day Threadjack: Exorcising the Demon of Static Cling

    Any recommendations for banishing static cling in fall/winter when wearing tights + skirt/dress?

    I love to wear skirts and dresses even in winter (I find them more pear-figure friendly than most pants), but find that most of the brands of tights (I’ve tried a sampling from various price points– Fogal, Hue, BR, GAP, SimplyVera Vera Wang, and Forever21) cause major static cling.

    Static sprays seem to work for very short periods of time, and I don’t really enjoy the idea that I need to empty a can of chemicals on myself just to keep my skirt/ dress from riding up.

    There’s something so awkward and annoying about walking down the hall, passing several colleagues (mostly male), and trying to fight the skirt that wants to ride up my legs from static. It’s like the skirt or dress is demonically possessed! Help!

    • Wear a slip? Rub a dryer sheet on the tights or the inside of the skirt?

      • The dryer sheet thing sounds like a good idea– I’ll try this.

        I may try the slip idea, too, but I don’t own one, and perhaps there would be some issues about the length of the slip, plus, being a pear, I really don’t want to add another layer, no matter how thin. (I wonder if the slip thing is generational, as in, it skips one– the much older women and the very young ones seem to be the only ones I know wearing them, and all us in-betweeners draw a blank. Or just my very limited data-set here….)

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      I’ve seen static sprays for this purpose. I don’t know if they work, but worth a try.

      • StaticGuard — it works.

        • Salit-a-gator :

          This. I just bought a can of Static Guard (try your local grocery store, Target or Walmart in the laundry aisle). This stuff works – I spray it on my dress before leaving for work and I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the day.

    • I have this problem with certain skirts. I wear a slip. Problem solved.

    • another anon :

      I posted this in response to someone else asking a similar question the other day, but in a pinch (i.e., if you are already at work before you realize this is a problem and you don’t have static spray with you), put some lotion on your hands and rub it in partly, but not all the way. Then rub your hands over your tights in places where they contact your skirt. I was amazed that this actually worked the first time I tried it, but it totally does.

    • My grandma always fought static cling(before we convinced her of drier sheets) by vigorously shaking the item of clothing. I mean really snapping it or hitting it against a wall. I mean vigorously. Apparently it can realign the electrons or something. So if you’re stuck at work without a drier sheet, go into the bathroom and shake out your skirt.

      • Thanks, dear corporettes! Some really good suggestions here (although I HAVE used Static Guard spray and it hasn’t always worked for me, which I noted in my original post on this issue).

        Here’s to my not feeling like I am “Magneto’s Niece” during winter!

  17. Posting again b/c I’m in moderation…
    Is e-b-a**tes going to sign me up for mailing lists? I HATE spam mail, especially postal mail.

    • No. They send out emails promoting different specials but you can control how often you receive those.

    • Check out fatwallet too. Also no spam and slightly better rates for most stores.

  18. Very Anon :

    How would one go about finding a good employment law attorney? I am not in the legal field, and I can only glean so much information from Google. There’s no one in the local legal community that I could ask.

    Here’s the background, in case it matters: My husband just found out that a female co-worker has submitted a complaint against him to HR. The complaint is based on something that was heard by this employee third-hand. Although neither of us believe that the claim has merit, we are concerned that he will not be treated fairly in the investigation procedure and want to consult an attorney just in case things don’t go well.

    Would REALLY appreciate some ideas!!

    • If you feel comfortable posting your location, let us know, and we might know someone in your locale.

      But if you don’t have any personal connections to one, you call a few, and meet with them until you find one that fits. The state Bar Association probably has a list, although they can’t tell you which one will be the right fit for you.

    • There are so many lawyers on here – I’m sure if you let us know your city/region, someone will have some good ideas!

    • Very Anon :

      I’m near Richmond, VA.

    • In the meantime, make sure he diaries everything and gets a copy of anything he signs of course!

      • another anon :

        He should not be signing anything without having his attorney take a look at it first.

    • You say it was based on something heard third-hand, was it actually said by your husband? If its just made up I feel like you should not have to hire an attorney (but i dont know! just saying that stinks about the situation)

    • Richmond Lawyer :

      I recommend Butler Royals.

    • Very Anon :

      Thanks, ladies (especially Richmond Lawyer)!

  19. Though the suit was originally back-ordered until Feb 2012 :”[ it has now shipped!! I’ll update you ladies once it gets in, along with which size I ordered and me own measurements!

  20. Question / Thread Jack! How do you ladies keep from stepping on your pant hems when you go to the bathroom? For that matter, has anyone figured out a way to elegantly keep pant hems from sweeping the floor when using the toilet? Not all public restrooms are created equal … And some are much, much, much worse than others. (Shudders)

    • Former Clerk :

      I’ve been known to hitch them up as I’m sitting and unbuttoning and sort of scunch them up behind my knees (and occasionally on top of my legs, too). I get slightly worse accordion-knees in the back, but for really bad floors, you know. You do what you gotta do.

    • Lawyer Bird :

      To keep from stepping on them, I just don’t move around – I undo my pants when I’m already standing in front of the toilet, so all I have to do is sit without moving my feet, and I stand up the same way.

      Haven’t figured out how to keep them from sweeping the floor, but I’d like to. I also have short legs and unfortunately often the back of my leg ends up bumping against the toilet bowl. So icky.

      • I fold up the hem in one giant fold (think a 4-6 inch cuff) before I unbutton/zip. Keeps them far from the floors and it doesn’t leave any lasting fabric creases (unlike scrunching behind my knees).

  21. I really love this blazer, but I’ve heard that J.Crew blazers this year are not well-made, and are fraying at the seams after just a few wears. Anyone have any input on this? Thanks!

  22. To: No Drama Mama

    I purchased two suits from J Crew this year. They are both Super 120s in black and navy. I have had zero problems with the jackets.
    While I’m on the topic of suits, I am fairly new to wearing suits 5 days a week. I have problems keeping my skirts from looking wrinkled. I don’t put my jacket on until I get to work, but the skirt gets wrinkled on the drive in. Any advice would be appreciated.

  23. Apparently, I am not so good at posting responses. Next time I’ll use that little, very convenient “reply” link.

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