Suit of the Week: Kay Unger

KAY UNGER Dot Print JacketFor 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.

Ooh: not only is Lord & Taylor having 25% off suit separates, but the sale also includes this really, really lovely Kay Unger dot print suiting. It was recommended by reader J, who noted, “I happened upon this cute Kay Unger suit at Lord & Taylor online, and I couldn’t resist. It’s got subtle polka dots and what looks like it will be very flattering pleating. Cute and different without being too out there! Plus, there’s a matching dress, which is an option that I love. Only (admittedly big) downside is that it’s poly/rayon/spandex. I decided to give it a whirl despite the fabric content because I usually like the cut of Kay Unger.” She sent a follow-up email to note, “I’m wearing the dress/jacket today and I absolutely love it! Runs TTS, and is as flattering as I had hoped. Fabric has a nice feel to it — it’s lighter weight but not ‘thin’ — all around a good warm weather suit.” Well done!  I love the cut of the jacket, as well as the dot print — if I were feeling adventurous I might try to wear it with another pattern beneath it.  The jacket (KAY UNGER Dot Print Jacket) was $198, now marked to $148.50, the skirt (KAY UNGER Dot Print Pencil Skirt) was $99, now marked to $74.25, and the dress (KAY UNGER Dot Print Asymmetrical Pleat Dress, not pictured) was $198, now marked to $148.50.

KAY UNGER Dot Print Jacket KAY UNGER Dot Print Pencil Skirt



  1. Oh nooooo!!!!! Now people will stop posting about hot men on the morning thread and start posting real things here instead.

    Oh well. It was fun while it lasted, I’ll always have hot shirtless Wade.

    • Always a NYer :

      I was going to try and continue that thread by commenting how much this jacket reminds me of what Alicia Florick wears on The Good Wife and how, if I were her, I’d choose Will over Peter, no question. Thoughts?

      • Always go with Dan Rydell. Always. (One of the things I need to fix in my life is that I haven’t been watching Good Wife, but I have plans to catch up.)

      • Will. Definitely.

      • Absolutely. No. Question.: Will/Dan/Josh Charles forevah

      • Anonymous :

        Will! Though I will always have a soft spot for Mr. Big

      • The jacket is very Alicia- I thought that when I saw it also!

        I am sort of hoping Alicia gets back with Peter. I never would have expected that, but they do have good chemistry and it would be such a unique, unexpected storyline on tv for her to have changed so much and then sort of fall in love with her husband again, as a different woman. Maybe they are just grabbing me with all the flashbacks they’ve been doing recently. I do love Josh Charles though. I’m torn.

        For me (not Alicia), it’s all about Cary Agos. I love his voice.

        • I agree. I don’t think Alicia and Will have chemistry at all. Or maybe it’s just Chris Noth, b/c I thought he had mad chemistry w/ SJP too (whereas I thought SJP with Aiden was total ppppbttttt).

      • Magdeline :

        I had actually commented that it reminds me of her! I love her red jackets so much, and I’ve been on the hunt for one for awhile. I really love this suit too.

        Hmm, you know, I would love to see her get back together with Peter. They have great chemistry, and, even though I disliked that actor as Mr. Big, he does seem somewhat alluring in this show. There is something about Will that does not really appeal to me. He seems like a nice enough guy- minus recent events affecting his career. Maybe he just seems a little… wimpy?

        • CP in Seattle :

          Alicia Florick was also my first thought when I saw this suit. I love her wardrobe (for the most part). I can’t decide who I would prefer she be with. Will is super hot but his character is kind of flat/one dimensional/not exciting. It would be interesting if she got back with Peter but I don’t really see her going backwards. Maybe she needs a new love interest?

    • Don’t worry TCFKAG. I have no intention of ending the discussion of hottie-patotties.

      • Ada Doom Starkadder :

        Ooh, I’m late to the conversation, but:

        1. Henry Cavill – so, so hot in “I Capture The Castle” and “Immortals”
        2. Hugh Laurie
        3. Takeshi Kaneshiro
        4. Hugh Jackman
        5. Timothy Dalton

    • Anonymous :

      Aak – I totally missed this morning’s list.
      AND, now that I’ve seen it, I’m wondering if I’m weird because none of my guys are on it:
      1) James Spader (circa Sex, Lies & Videotape)
      2) Josh Holloway
      3) Robert Downey Jr.
      4) Antonio Banderos (circa Desperado)
      5) Lady love for Portia Di Rossi

      • Mmmm….Antonio Banderas. He’s yummy. I think Portia Di Rossi is actually somewhere on there (it led to a Lucy Liu tangent.)

      • Also, Robert Downey Jr. was on at least one other list, so cheer up, you’re totally normal! ;-)

      • My odd comment disappeared from the morning thread. I have a huge crush on Nicholas Cage in Face Off when he was the evil guy. Also, that guy that played Hercules on TV. And Ares on Xena.

      • Me too! Mine is Jason Momoa x 5. Don’t think he made anyone else’s list …

      • I totally regret not having Robert Downey Jr. on my list. I need about 3 more spots.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I’m right there with you. Including the Robert Downey Jr. love.

          • Agreed. It also pained me to leave off Benedict Cumberbatch (those eyes!), but my passion for him is of a more recent vintage, so he’s the one I cut.

      • I missed the morning thread too! Curses! But belatedly:
        1. Alexander Skarsgard
        2. Robert Redford (circa All the President’s Men, fans self)
        3. Dan Auerbach (preferably without beard, but I will accept beard if necessary to get him; priorities, priorities)
        4. Diego Luna
        5. Anton Kupricka

        • Who wouldn’t love to see Kat’s picks???

        • Diana Barry :

          Oo, I have another one!!!

          Jason Statham in the Transporter. (1) only, not the subsequent ones. I love it when he is all grubby from being blown up and in fights, and then he changes into a new shirt from the back of the car. YUM. Plus, parkour!

    • I met a nice MAN today on the 6 train! He works for a large bank and I think he want’s to DATE me! I hope this one work’s out.


  2. No, no, let that morning thread continue. Way too fun.

    As for this suit– it looks like the jacket is “closed” by hook & eye enclosures? For lo, hook & eye enclosures suck verily. The front of the jacket will always slightly gap. It’s the worst of both worlds, not buttoned, but not really closed either. Why do they bother?

    • Former MidLevel :

      I actually really like hook & eye closures. But I have a flat chest – thus, no gap problem.

      • I have a really big chest, and I like them too. They never gap on me, and I don’t have to worry about a button popping off and hitting someone in the eye when I sit down.

    • Susan…I’m not sure we can be friends anymore, because you trashed the Highlander series in the morning thread. ;-)

      But I agree with hook and eye only because the clumsy amongst us can’t get them to close but with the greatest of struggles. And god for f*cking bid its in the back of the dress and you need your husband to do it. Might as well give up before even starting.

      • LOL! I loved that series, maybe because the acting was pretty bad. Can we still be friends, TCFKAG? :-)

        My worst debacle with the the hook & eye closures was a top that had them along my left side in lieu of a zipper. I would close a few, only to have a few more open. It made me paranoid thinking that at some point, one or two would unhook themselves. And the placement (on my left-side), only made me even clumsier in attempting to re-hook them.

        Since then, I learned how to sew and replaced the hooks & eyes* with a zipper. Pain in the derriere, but worth the effort, ultimately.

        *As I’ve been posting in this thread, it suddenly occurs to me how gruesome this name is. Hook + Eye….yuck!

        • Okay, friendsies again. Especially since you said nice things about Methos, who was of course the best character (and I will agree, on re-watching on Netflix I realize the acting really WAS atrocious).

          • One thing I found amusing about that series was where some of the other actors turned up and playing the 6-degrees of separation game with them.

            Alexandra van der Noot (“Tessa”) turned up on this hilarious French comedy, called “The Closet”. She plays the icy b*tch ex-wife of the protagonist.

            And, Elizabeth Gracen (“Amanda”) had, sadly, been of the women who allegedly had been s#xually assaulted/harassed by former President Bill Clinton, back in the Arkansas days.

            Not that I spend all my free time reading tabloids and stuff…..*whistles* *looks at feet* *looks at ceiling*

        • ok, i loved that show, too, but Methos was totally my fave, and So. Much. hotter than Adrian Paul…

          • MaggieLizer :

            <3 all the Methos love. The Horsemen episodes were totes the best of the series. Idk why Amanda got a spinoff instead of Methos!

          • Because Methos died. :-P

          • Never mind, he dies in the movie, doesn’t he. (?) This is what you get for posting without thinking.

          • MaggieLizer :

            Yeah, in the most recent movie he goes off all heroic-like (swoon!) and leads the canibal humans away from stupid Adrian Paul (grumble). Um, sorry for anyone who hasn’t seen the movie. But c’mon, you knew that’s what was going to happen. Stupid Adrian Paul. Grumble.

          • i cried So. Hard.

          • Ladies, this is the oddest, weirdest, nerdiest collection of women I’ve ever “met”. Just FYI. :-)

          • MaggieLizer :


          • TCFKAG: you are correct.. and i LURV it!

          • Yes! “The Few. The Proud. The Geekgirls!”

          • Nerds of the world – UNITE!

  3. wow i love this and need a warm weather suit. i even tried to add it to my bag on the website, but i am getting an error message

  4. I love, love, love this!!!!

  5. Makeup Junkie :

    Threadjack – Are skirted swim suit bottoms cute while being modest? Or a screaming admission that I love carbs?

    • I’d have to see the bottom in question, but 9 times out of 10, the latter.

    • I’ve also seen articles and pictures that fairly convincingly argue that those skirted suits actually just make you look bigger down there, while a slightly higher cut at the thigh is more flattering.

      If it were me, I’d get a regular suit and then a nice pretty wrap or overdress to wear around if you’re uncomfortable walking around outside the water without something.

    • Definitely the latter.

    • Always a NYer :

      What about boyshorts? They cover more of your *ss without screaming granny.

      • What about the vintage style suits that cover as much as boyshorts? Those are cute.

    • They are cute on a toddler. Seriously cute. The latter on adults.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I’d just get a cute sarong or cover up to wear out of the water. It depends on the skirt but they read old lady to me, generally.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I think skirt suits bottoms just draw attention to what your supposed to be hiding. I would go for a suit with ruching and a plunging neckline instead. With a va-va-voom top, nobody will notice anything below your waist!

    • I have a suit with a skirted bottom that is actually cute (I get tons of compliments on it), but the skirt really doesn’t provide that much coverage. About as much coverage as boyshorts do on me, but better than boyshorts because they always ride up so much that I feel like they just emphasizie how big my *ss is.

      • I can’t find my actual swimsuit, but this gives you an idea of what the bottom looks like and what I mean by not that much coverage.

        • That’s adorable! Not what I think of when I picture a skirted suit.

        • Makeup Junkie :

          That’s the style I had in mind. I have the same problem with boy shorts, they tend to bunch up between my legs. Very unattractive!

        • eastbaybanker :

          Now THAT is a cute skirted suit. Who knew such a thing existed? And at Walmart?

    • Generally not cute, BUT it generally is cute to feel confident (which I always have trouble with in a swimsuit). So if this is what makes you happy and confident to flaunt it on the beach, go for it.

      • This. Confidence is beautiful. And as to skirted swimsuits, there are some that are like the suit Kat posted (very nice!) and some that are like the suit Coalea linked to (bad, very bad). Good swimsuits are hard to find, but if you’ve got something that makes you feel good, wear it.

    • I have a skirted swimsuit from Land’s End Canvas. It actually came with regular bottoms and the skirt. I got both. The skirt doesn’t cover much, but it is cute.

      The beach club I joined has water zumba. I think maybe it would be perfect.

      • Mine is navy polka dot. The bottom is similar to this:

        And the top is a bandeau-style with removable straps.

        • Bunkster, I think we have the same swimsuit, only mine is light blue with polka dots. I love it.

      • I want to join a beach club.

    • I think of my skirted swimsuit bottom as announcing that I’m gentle enough not to expose everyone at the beach to my love of fats.

      • Anonymous :

        I did the skirted suit. And then the boy shorts. Finally got a black one piece with high cut on the thighs and my pear shape looks better.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I really like them–but I’m pretty skinny overall (size 2/4).

    • J.Crew has some that are cute IMO, but I think the key is that they are pretty short so not that much extra coverage.

  6. le sigh, i love this soooo much. I’ve been dreaming of an authentic 40s vintage suit, but I worry it would be too out there. now, if only i had money for a new suit today :o(

  7. Threadjack!

    So…about 3 weeks now until I move to Big City. BF and I think we have found a house (dealing with conditions on our offer right now), and I am crossing my fingers and hoping my own house will sell soon. That means I am going to have to pack up my house and put things in storage for a couple of months until we get possession of the new house.

    I am starting to think about what I need to take with me and *not* put in storage in order to have what I need for two months or so. I’m trying to look at this as an opportunity to try a wardrobe rationalizing experiment (like Project 333), especially since I will have limited closet space for the interim period. However, I haven’t seen anyone do Project 333 who has to dress for a professional, conservative office every day. So I am curious and looking for input: if you were packing clothes for two months, and were starting a new job in a reasonably conservative law firm environment (maybe not suits every day, but suits 3 days a week), what and how much would you pack?

    • And other relevant info: love wearing skirts and dresses to work, hate wearing pants, have a vast shoe collection.

    • I often go on business trips that last about two months, and sometimes I don’t have access to laundry or dry cleaning for several weeks. I pack two suits or sets of suiting separates, in similar colors, that can be worn with either a skirt or trousers. So, gray suit jacket, matching skirt, matching trousers; black suit jacket, matching skirt, gray-and-black patterned trousers. Then I pack two cardigans that coordinate with the suit bottoms; so gray cardigan, black cardigan. Then, I pack 5-7 solid colored tee shirts that can be worn with jeans or a suit. I pack one or two necklaces and two or three silk scarves, so I can dress up my tees a bit when worn with a suit. I also bring a pair of casual pants/jeans and two sets of workout clothes. And I bring underwear, bras, socks, PJs, etc as needed, of course. I wear my comfy shoes on the plane (usually Danskos), pack a pair of dress shoes and a pair of walkable flats, and my gym shoes. If going to a cold climate I bring one coat that can work for business and casual wear. If a sunny climate, I bring a hat that won’t look goofy with a suit.

      Hope this helps!

    • About to go through a similar sort of transition. First, I would clear out anything in your closet that doesn’t fit or is out of season. Straight to charity or storage with those. Then decide on how many suits will do. I would probably choose 4-6 that were fairly traditional and make good base pieces. You can always change them up with different tops and accessories (things that don’t take up space) or wear them as separates. Save really noticeable/memorable outfits for later so people don’t realize how fast you are going through your clothing rotation. I would then add in another couple of pairs of pants or skirts. Be realistic about how many casual clothes you need. If you spend evenings lounging at home/at the gym/ out of the public eye, no need to bring a zillion outfits. Bring a couple of cute outfits and the rest can be yoga pants or whatever. The BF may get bored of that concert tee-shirt every night for two months, but it’s temporary. Add a coat/rain gear to the and you are probably ok. If you get desparate, you can always run to a store to pick up an emergency outfit. I realize that this may defeat your minimalist leanings, but it always saves me from overpacking knowing that civilization is out there in emergencies.

    • personally i never wear pants so here’s my totally biased list for business wear:
      2 suits with as many pieces as you can get your hands on (dress, blazer, skirt, pants)
      5-7 tops that can be worn with those suits
      2-3 extra bottoms (skirts, pants)
      1 non-matching blazer
      at least 2 cardigans that work casual and business
      2-3 dresses (which work with the various jackets)
      1 good coat (trench style maybe)
      I think that’s less than 25 pieces of clothing

      • ps – i vote for 5 pairs of shoes and a ton of jewelry and accessories to add personality

    • I was a summar associate while going through a divorce, and moving from sofa to sofa. I had the equivalent of one of those moving boxes with a bar inside. Into the box went 3-4 sheath dresses, two pairs of pants, and 3-4 twin sets (cardigan plus short sleeved shell), jewelry and belts. I kept two jackets at my office, along with several pairs of shoes. I either wore a sheath with a cardigan or pants with the short sleeved sweater on most days. Was able to dress that up with a suit jacket when required.

      More than one attorney at the firm said I was the best-dressed summer associate. It is amazing how little you need, so long as you are working with nice things! Good luck.

  8. Embarrassing Exercise Video Threadjack!

    So, I decided to finally get fit. Over the years, I’ve bought and been gifted (and possibly re-gifted) many exercise DVDs from well-meaning friends and family members. I’ve never taken offense at any of these gifts, in fact, I rather like them, because I think of them as delightful gag-gifts that might one-day become useful. At this point in life, I have over 40 of these.

    Alright ladies, do you own any exercise DVDs that you find cringeworthy?

    Here are my top 3:
    1. The Goddess Workout – Dolphina. Yes, the instructor, calls herself Dolphina. And she spends more time making pouty s*xface at the cameraman than counting her repetitions properly, and she throws in random “goddess”/”chakhra” talk here and there like the kooky New-Age character (played by Annette Bening) in “Mars Attacks!’ I will say, she’s a compelling bellydancer with great stage presence, and has a positive attitude, but this video is way corny and I’ve kept it for the entertainment value.

    2. Island Girl Dance Fitness Workout for Beginners: Cardio Hula. No, I’m not making this up.

    3. The Cardio Samba Workout – Quenia Ribeiro – actually not ridiculous. What’s ridiculous is the awkward set of movements I make when I’m trying to follow the instructor, who’s awesome.

    The DVDs I’m actually using and getting good results from:
    Workout: One-On-One Training with Jackie (Warner) and
    New York City Ballet: The Complete Workout, Vol. 1 and 2

    • I also have the cardio samba workout and I agree with your assessment!

      My most embarrassing workout dvds are a hip hop dance one (cannot remember the name of the instructor/series), which has the worst “hip hop” dance moves you you can imagine, and a bollywood dance workout, which is just awesome.

      I used to have a Paula Abdul dance workout video back in the day, maybe 10+ yrs ago. It was a great workout but the dance moves were so cheesy.

    • associate :

      I exclusively worked out with on-demand exercise videos my cable company provided for a while. Carmen Electra’s videos were so hilarious, I couldn’t get a work out in. OTOH, I swear by Jillian Michaels and, wait for it, Billy Blanks Tae Bo. Seriously, Billy and I have been together for about 11 years, and he’s never done me wrong.

      • Jillian Michaels is my personal goddess. Seriously changed not only my shape but my attitude towards strength training as well.

    • I see your Cardio Hula and raise you Tahitian Cardio and Hula Abs & Buns. How I got two of these Island Girl things I have no idea.

      • If my friends and family are reading this, you are only giving them ideas for future holiday/anniversary/birthday gifts!

        If we really want to raise the stakes, I’ll have to plumb the depths of my _VHS_ collection…which includes the Cindy Crawford “Shape Your Body” workout. Complete with that cheesy song “Shake Your Body,” from the 90s. :-)

        • DH threw away the VHS collection, so my ability to compete ends here.

          **Bowing out.**

        • I don’t own them, but I remember “exercising” with my aunt when I was little (5 or 6?) – Bonnie Prudence on vinyl record. Very cheesy music. Totally hilarious.

    • Embarrassed to say I have a VHS called “Look Great Naked” complete with fake boobed chicks working out in tight outfits being leered at by the male instructor, to the background of bow-chika-bow-wow muzak :)

    • I worked out with Jennie Garth’s VHS for years! It worked! I stuck with it!
      Also: CardioStriptease with Carmen Electra.

  9. So I went to the L&T website to check out the featured suit (love, BTW). I happened to stumble upon the below – can anyone tell me who is the woman who would wear this suit, and where is she going?

  10. Wednesday :

    Have to share…. I just got accepted to a dream b-school today! Trying my best to hold it in at work right now.

    • Congratulations!

    • Congrats! Get yourself lined up for a celebration dinner with friends, stat.

    • D. Ct. Clerk :

      There are some lovely work looks profiled here:

      I do not specifically endorse each and every part of every look, but will not cite any specific examples in order to avoid “mean girl” accusations. Plus, overall, I think these ladies look fabulous.

      • D. Ct. Clerk :

        I have no idea why the ghost in the Corporette machine chose to put this comment here. Sigh. Apologies for marring your thread. (And congrats!)

        • I think a lot of those men need to get their pants hemmed and all the women look very nice. Oh and congrats Wednesday!

        • Thanks for linking that story. I always think it’s interesting to see “real people” outfits. Overall I agree that they look good, but I’m not a fan of the trouser sock/stocking with sandals look on #14.

          • I was going to comment on the socks with sandals as well. Eek! I agree though – I like seeing what “real” people wear to work.

          • D. Ct. Clerk :

            Um…yes. Thus my disclaimer.

      • This is so cool!

        From the Simon & Schuster slideshow – I would not have expected the quote “classier is better than trendy” from this gentleman:

        And congrats to Wednesday!

    • Congrats! Celebrations & libations are in order. :-)

    • momentsofabsurdity :


    • Congrats! This is what I wished I had known when I went to b-school:

      –Think about what you want to be and network, network, network every Friday with alums. (We had core classes throughout the week with tons of study group. By Friday, I wanted to relax, especially first year when things were intense, but my classmates that got the most bomb internships had their eye on the prize the whole time, and used Fridays, even when we had really hard weeks.) I don’t mean fake awful network-y stuff, but rather, more of a “can I take you to coffee and you tell me about your company/job/industry” chats. These worked wonders. I was late to the game on this.

      –Meet with as many execs/alums as you can. I got an amazing internship by happenstance when an alum said, “Oh, my husbad runs a $3BN fund. I think you’d be a great fit for a summer intern.” So yeah, make time for those Exec lunches, dinners, talks, etc. You don’t know where they’ll lead you.

      –Go on fabulous vacations. I don’t regret the extra $4k or whatnot that was added to my loan balance. We had a great time doing things like renting catamarans in the Grenadines, Aspen, etc. Huge group vacations with great friends = great times.

      –Volunteer to work with a professor. I wish I had.

      –Take classes with the best professors, even if you think the subject matter is not your forte. My most memorable classes, 5+ years later, were the ones which were best taught, not the ones I thought I would be fascinated by.

      –One of our professors told us this, and it was great advice: B-school is really fleeting and you cover loads of materials. At the end of each course, make a 1-2 page “cheat sheet” that you can take with you out into the world. I did this, and it has made loads of difference, especially for technical finance/acctg classes where I think things like, “how do you calculate EV?” Also super-helpful for jargon-heavy classes like Strategy or marketing.

      –Stretch yourself–you probably aren’t getting real grades anyway, plus you can ally yourself with technical wizards in study group, allowing you to do things you never thought you could . For instance, you might not thing that Decision Science/Optimization is your thing, but it’s kind of awsome to be able to build cool models. You can fake the fuzzy stuff later, but you can’t fake the hard stuff. Promise.

      Have so much fun!!! It’s awesome. You’ll love it.

      • Good advice but just want to add it’s hard to fake the fuzzy stuff

      • Wednesday :

        Thanks MJ – this is such wonderful advice, I’m copying it and saving it in my email. I think one of my next steps is to sit down and put in writing, my goals for the next two years (which include learning the hard stuff and networking for sure). Then I can assess from time to time whether I’m meeting them.

  11. Yay! I’m the one who recommended this suit!

    For those worried about the hook and eye closure on the jacket — it’s flattering in this cut (no gaping whatsoever, at least on me — and I’m large-of-chest) and actually easy to deal with because it’s a really big hook and eye (as opposed to the small ones you find at the top of skirt and dress zippers which I muck up at least 60% of the time).

    • equal parts: Great One, Thank You!!!! and Why Would You Do This To Me?!

    • Thanks! I just bought it with the dress and can’t wait until it arrives. I think it is just what I need for the warmer months.

  12. Can anyone explain the “easiest thing to throw on” line to me? Every time it’s up here I try to figure out how it’s easier to make sure 2 pieces (and a coordinating top) are clean, rather than knowing your outfits and knowing what you can swap out for what, so you pull out a non-suit outfit with both pieces clean?

    • I think its because the top and bottom match each other and you don’t have to think about three separate coordinating pieces. But I’ll agree that the difference is negligible if you mostly layer with grays or blacks on top.

    • Some people like to have a “work uniform”, and some of us don’t. Like me, it sounds like you’re in the latter camp. I have never, and will never, associate a suit with easy.

      • I’m in the latter camp, too. I always feel like I am gearing up for battle when I put on a suit (we’re a business casual workplace, so wearing suit means you’re giving a very formal presentation to the Grand Poobah, or, you were out interviewing for another job and forgot to change back.)

      • I think suits are only easy if you wear them every day. They are my “work uniform” so for me, I basically think in the shower “What suits have I already worn this week? Is it a day for a long sleeve or short sleeve top? Which tops do I have clean that match a suit I haven’t worn this week?” My outfits pretty much pick themselves that way. Now deciding which shoes to wear is another story… On a business casual day (site visits where a suit would be inappropriate) I struggle more because I feel like I have so many options, I’m not sure what to do!

  13. Did anyone flip through the “Law Firm Fashion” photos that were posted on the WSJ Law Blog this afternoon? I think most of the female lawyers featured could be Corporettes – I was a little scared to flip through photos of attorney fashion, but I was pleasantly surprised. I liked all the color, too.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i did – like the person who posted it, there were aspects of some of the outfits that i didn’t love, but overall i was impressed. my office is not particularly fashionable, so it was good flipping through that for inspiration.

  14. I’d appreciate any recommendations for how to grow my professional network. I’m a 20-something strategy consultant in NYC. Specifically, any industry or young professionals networking group leads would be appreciated.


  15. OK, pizza – finger food or fork & knife?

    I went out to lunch today with 3 other co-workers to a trendy pizza place near our office, and when the pizza came I was the only one who just picked it up & ate the slice, so I switched to fork & knife, wondering if I made a terrible faux pas.

    Oh, and it’s supposedly authentic Italian pizza, thin crust, etc. 3 of the pizzas didn’t have tomato sauce. In case it matters.

    • At home, on the living room floor, with husband and dog: finger food. Nothing at a restaurant with coworkers is finger food.

      • So you would eat hot dogs with a fork and knife? What about burgers? French fries? A bagel?

    • I think pizza is hand food. Snickers bars are hand food, too.

    • Merabella :

      The only pizza I think of as fork and knife necessary is deep dish, or perhaps has tons of toppings and is falling apart. I had a similar situation to this with the communal bread at a restaurant with coworkers. These eating situations are always weird.

      • Merabella :

        Peggy Post agrees.

        • Merabella :

          • My New-York-born-and-bred husband will love this – he always insists the folded way is the best way!

          • @30 – I never understood this. If you fold it in half the delicious pizza only lasts half as long!

          • Yes, but each bite is twice as pizzalicious! This is only if you are OK with bulgy cheeks, while eating a too-large bite of pizza. :-)

          • @Bluejay – I totally agree! I know this “rule” because I break it so often. :)

    • MaggieLizer :

      I vote finger food. Pizza, like a burger or sandwich, is a finger food and eating it any other way is just awk. I would consider eating it with a fork and knife if everyone else had dishes that had to be eaten with a fork and knife, though I can’t imagine ordering pizza if that were the case. FWIW, I’ve gone out to lunch with my coworkers to a similar type of pizza place and everyone picked up their slices.

      • Anonymous :

        I eat it with a knife and fork because it won’t burn the roof of my mouth and I hate getting food in my front teeth. I wouldn’t think twice if you picked your up with your hands.

        • MaggieLizer :

          No judgment intended! The last time I was out with someone who tried to eat pizza with her knife and fork, the slice slid off her plate and into my lap. Greasy gooey cheese side down. This is what napkins are made for :)

        • PharmaGirl :

          Samesies. I use a knife and fork when the slice is still so burning hot it will burn the little skin flap between my front teeth. Once it cools down a smidge, I pick that sucker up!

    • Ask Jon Stewart. He has a definitive answer for you and he’s pretty adamant about it.

      (And I agree with him.)

    • Equity's Darling :

      I think it’s knife and fork, BUT, I would certainly not think less of those that went for it with fingers.

      • Oil in Houston :

        funny, I was wondering that the other night – we were watching the March Madness final with my in-laws, in front of TV, on sofa I might add, and they all used a fork and knife, and I was the only one going at it with my fingers… I thought they were weird, and they probably thought I was!

    • Seattleite :

      I use a knife and fork because I’ve realized that I hate holding messy food in my hands. Thus, if I use my hands, I take HUUUUUGE bites and eat way too fast so I can get my hands clean. Totally unconscious, and don’t seem to be able to train myself otherwise. I wouldn’t think twice about anyone else using their hands, though.

    • Beach Bar :

      I use a fork and knife on thin crust with heavy toppings because otherwise it flops all over the place and the toppings fall off. If someone can get the slice into their mouth without this happening, I’d admire their skill, not judge them.

      I don’t agree that nothing you eat with co-workers is finger food. If I saw someone eat a cheeseburger and fries with a knife and fork (other than cutting a large burger in half), I’d find it very odd.

    • Depends on if it can be eaten neatly with hands. If the cheese is sliding off, the slice is floppy, etc, I’d cut it with a fork and knife. However, if the person next to me was eating with her hands, I wouldn’t even notice it. Either way is fine.

    • D Train South :

      Finger food – for sure! Fork and knife is the alternative only after discovering that the pizza is just too messy. But then, I am in the extreme “asparagus is finger food” camp and think it is actually gauche to eat finger food with utensils.

  16. Mary Ann Singleton :

    This made me laugh:

    Hey look, Johnny Depp had to iron cheese sandwiches too!

    (Maybe because Johnny Depp was still on my mind after this morning’s thread.)

  17. Any tips or tricks on dealing with anxiety?

    I’ve found myself incredibly anxious over weird things lately (ie – boyfriend is crazy busy with work = me feeling like he doesn’t love me anymore = I worry all day) and the fact that it’s that time of the month isn’t helping either. I just feel like there’s this tight, worried feeling in my chest all the time & have a constant sense that something is about to go terribly wrong, despite the fact my life is actually pretty great. This morning I called and made a doctor’s appointment because I know feeling like this isn’t “normal”, but can’t get in until three weeks from now, so any advice on how to cope in the meantime is much appreciated.

    • Call back & ask to be squeezed in to see your doctor. Or see if you can see another doctor at your doctor’s practice. Call your insurance company’s nurse line. Call your EAP program — the people who answer the phones are usually trained counselors. Find somebody you can talk to about this, tomorrow (or today, depending on your time zone).

    • Sorry you feel that way! I agree with Tuesday’s advice. I’d also suggest calling a close friend or a family member who you know will be supportive. Things can seems so scary and awful in our own heads, but then when we share our worries with someone else, we can put it in perspective and feel less alone.

    • AnonInfinity :

      This may not help before you can get in to see your doc, but cognitive behavioral therapy worked miracles for my anxiety. It seriously changed my life. It really helped me understand how to break those cyclical thoughts that you’re describing.

      • The CBT that I do (which I think is close to what AnonInfinity is describing) is every time I get started on one of my cycles I start just saying the exact opposite over and over again in my head (all of the literature says do it 10x, but I’ll often need to do it more than that). So for example, if I’m getting into an “I’m a complete failure” cycle. I’ll repeat over and over, “You’re great, you’re a success.” There will be a little part of my brain that’s laughing maniacally and saying, “Ha! Nice try, but I know the truth about how much you suck!” and I basically just have to keep repeating my good mantra until the evil part of my brain gets overwhelmed and shuts up. Um, it’s a weird thing to try to explain, but hopefully that makes sense.

        So, for your example you could try repeating something like, “My boyfriend loves me and thinks I’m amazing,” until you break out of the cycle.

        You should definitely also do what everyone else is suggesting as well.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Yes — this is a great example. I also take a moment and acknowledge the thought in a very clinical way. (“Yes, I am currently thinking in my brain that someone is walking around my living room.”) I then use various strategies to counteract or stop thinking it. Lynnet’s method is very effective for me. I am now (after some therapy and training) very often able to say to myself, “Meh. If someone is walking in my living room and comes in my bedroom, I will deal with it then. Until then, who cares.”

          The most important thing is that I do not try to convince myself logically that no one is in my living room. Anxiety disorders are not logical, so my experience is that it’s best to combat my anxious thoughts with other thoughts rather than trying to reason with them.

          • Interesting. I actually do exactly the opposite of what you’re suggesting, I explicitly reason with the things I’m worrying about — for example, if I was worried that my partner didn’t love me any more I’d make a chart and lay out the evidence for and against (he hasn’t called, vs I know he’s working a lot, he told me he loved me yesterday, nothing in his past behavior makes me concerned, etc). Brainstorming the for/against in a logical way distracts me from what I’m worrying about, and also by the time I’m done making the chart it’s usually pretty obvious that what I’m experiencing is just anxiety, and not a real problem.

            Also helpful for me has been to be extremely vigilant about relaxing, deep breathing, and trying to let go of physical tension (I have to remind myself over and over again, RELAX!). My therapist’s theory is that it’s hard to believe the cognitive message you’re trying to give yourself (that nothing is actually wrong) when everything about your behavior and the way you’re carrying your body screams “something’s wrong!!”

          • AnonInfinity :

            That totally makes sense, N. I tried thinking logically about my anxious thoughts while I was having an attack, and it would send me into more of a spiral. My therapist and I finally decided that I needed to be logical with myself when I’m not in the middle of having the thoughts, so I think I did what you’re talking about in my more rational moments.

            Now that I’m retracing my therapy, it kind of amazes me what a habit it all becomes.

          • AnonInfinity, as I was reading your post I was reflecting on my therapy, too, and how different it is for the individual. I’m still not that good at the “I’ll deal with it when it happens” perspective (although I totally remember my therapist talking about this), but trying to argue the case against my current fear really works.

            And not to go on about the joys of therapy, but the idea that I could take an “experimental” attitude towards the way I live my life and just try different attitudes/coping strategies out has been a REVELATION for me. I think before therapy I was always looking for the one best/right way to approach things, and if that strategy failed it would put me into a bad place (like, “man, you really suck at dealing with that, don’t you?”). Now, I’m much more able to tell myself, “huh, that way of dealing with this situation really wasn’t that productive… sounds like I need to try something different next time.”

      • Yep, mine too. I was somewhat skeptical at first, and I’ve been amazed at how much CTB has done for me.

        In the meantime, exercise? When I get into a really anxious state I have a hard time trying to do “relaxing” things (like getting a massage or thinking of pretty beaches or whatever). For me it’s better to go exercise as much and as hard as possible so I can get rid of that keyed up feeling and sleep well.

        • I agree. Until you can get to your doc or a therapist, exercise! It will give you a healthy dose of endorphins and will work wonders.

      • Thanks! I’ll try looking into cognitive behavioral therapy techniques. It sounds like exactly what I need.

        Any advice on how to find a therapist specializing in that type of therapy?

        • AnonInfinity :

          Do you have a website for your insurance? That’s how I found my therapist. I went to the insurance website and looked at the bios of all the psychologists in the network. My guy specialized in anxiety and OCD, and I believe his bio said that he used talk therapy and CBT.

        • I just googled “CTB MyCity” and called the places that popped up to see who was accepting patients the soonest (I didn’t have any insurance restrictions to deal with, though). I was initially worried about getting a good “fit” with someone and all that, but in the end I just took the first person I could see and she was lovely.

    • ((Hugs)) I’m sorry you’re feeling this way, and I hope you can get some help soon.

      My dh’s psychologist says running is one of the best things you can do for your mood, and I know that when I am feeling anxious or stressed a hard workout (I’m a runner, but I’m sure other excercise that gets your heart pumping & blood flowing would work) always makes me feel better.

    • I do think you should talk to your doctor, but until you can get in, try to go to yoga a few times a week and do some cardio workouts too. That will help a lot with reducing your stress and anxiety levels.

    • lucy stone :

      Anxiety is a stupid useless pos. I got a lot of help from Hope and Help for Your Anxious Nerves and the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook (both books).

      I also take Rescue Remedy because I feel funny taking Xanax at work. It’s all natural and I don’t know if it actually works or is psychosomatic, but either way it calms me down.

  18. colorblock shoes update :

    Ordered the Jessica Simpson flats suggested the other day, and they arrived today. Hurray for free 2-day shipping! But: they’re horribly uncomfortable. Cute, but dead flat, so no support and I can feel every bump on the (carpeted office) floor when I walk.

    Back they go. Sigh.

    ALSO: attention senior attorneys. I know that I am new. But there are also interns and secretaries. if I ask you a question about something, please do NOT assign me the task of calling every single office of that nature for an informational poll. Bc I already work long hours and you don’t need my law degree to do that sh*t. And I don’t have a secretary to assign it to. Like, um, you do. GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Can you assign it to a paralegal or ask the senior attorney’s assistant to do it?

      I’m sure this is a know-your-office situation, but I ask partners’ assistants to do things all the time on the partners’ cases. I also ask paralegals to do things, but I’ll always ask if they have time first.

    • I give new people tedious but easy assignments all the time in order to gauge their abilities and level of diligence. I’m not going to trust them with important stuff until I have some idea about their skills. So just do it and don’t complain unless you’re still getting assignments like this 6 months from now.

  19. Chatty Cathy :

    Those of you with live-in SOs (or friends you see on a daily basis, even) — what do you end up talking about over dinner?

    I feel like BF and I are rather sad and pitiful in our conversation topics since we spend so much of our non-work time together. No kids, dog, house etc to discuss (although we do discuss these theoretically). Work is, IMHO, horribly boring to discuss unless there is something particularly amusing or frustrating, although we do talk about it much more than I’d like.

    We do discuss current events, movies and plays we’ve seen or would like to see, friends, workouts, etc., and when we’re apart and on the phone we can natter on about random stuff. Our relationship is fine, we both enjoy spending time with each other and doing things together, so I don’t see it as some sign of doom.

    We’re both chatty people naturally, so it’s weird to me– we don’t have this problem when were out with friends, but honestly, we don’t have many mutual friends.

    • AnonInfinity :

      We watch TV. Is that horrible?

      • PharmaGirl :

        Same here. We commute together and work at the same company so there’s very little to talk about.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        If it is, I am also horrible.

      • phillygirlruns :

        word. watching american idol during dinner gives us plenty of conversation fodder.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      His work, my school, what the dog managed to eat that day, the neighbors, current events (the newspaper is usually on the table), plans for the weekend, etc. I’ve never really thought about the topics of our conversations, but we’ve been together for 8 years and married for a little over 1 and don’t often run out of things to talk about.

      Also, if we fall into silence, I don’t find it uncomfortable with him like I might with other people. This might be because of in one of my favorite books by Lucy Maud Montgomery (the Blue Castle), a character says you can only be friends if you can comfortably sit in silence with a person for half an hour, so I have made an effort to be ok with silence.

    • We talk about current events a lot – I’ll often have the newspaper sitting at the table from the morning and he listens to news radio and reads a lot of news online, so we’ll talk about whatever we’ve both been paying attention to (these days a lot about the Saints bountygate). Or we talk about things that are going on with his family (elderly parent). He asks me about sports because I’m a fan and he isn’t and he tries to keep up so he has something to talk about with his stepfather. Tonight part of our dinner conversation was about our favorite Big Bang Theory episodes!

    • After twelve years together, we pretty much know everything about each other. We chat about our days, but that doesn’t take long. He’s a political/news junkie so I get my roundup of the day’s events from him and I fill him in on other random gossip. We spend most of the evening watching TV, and commenting on the programs.

    • I usually use dinner time to try to see what’s going on in not-so-chatty Mr. 30’s head. How did his day go? What things are bothering him in his life, his family, current events? Just sort of the daily keeping connected kind of stuff.

  20. To boyfriend TJ from a few weeks ago: if you read this I wanted to say I am thinking about you and hope you are doing fabulous and well!

  21. I know this has been talked about before, but I’m seeking some “husband/boyfriend/SO is unemployed” advice. My SO graduated from law school almost 3 years ago, but has yet to find legal work. He’s working, but the salary is low and the hours aren’t ideal. While he claims “he’s looking” and says he wants a true legal job, he doesn’t network and (from my admittedly limited understanding, as we don’t/can’t talk about his job search without fighting) he applies to a job every now and then. This clearly won’t get him a job, particularly after this long without legal work. I think he’s fallen into a bit of a depression, and I suggested therapy, but I don’t know how to force him to go. I’m at my wits end.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      Maybe set up an appointment for both of you to go to therapy? He might be more willing to go if you go with him or if the appointment is already made.

      As for the lethargic job application process, I had a bit of this with DH, although not for a legal job. He left a previous job that was a bad situation, found a part-time fun-but-doesn’t-pay-well-and-not-good-for-long-term-career-prospects job, and from my perspective, wasn’t really searching. He only applied online sporadically and ignored my suggestions to pound the pavement. He eventually found something on his own, but I tried to help him by doing searches on my own. Anytime I saw something that looked like a good fit, I sent it to him. If you know the practice area he is interested in, you could look at the websites of law firms in your area and see if they are hiring for a particular position. Then you can drop it to him, “Hey, I heard X was hiring in the area you were interested. How can I help you apply?”

      As for networking, maybe you could go with him to certain events (I’m thinking more c*cktail type events than CLEs), again as sort of a push to get him to go? Is he a member of your state or local bar? If he is interested in a particular section, encourage him to join that section.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Honestly, if he graduated three years ago and hasn’t done any legal work, he is going to have a very difficult job finding a legal job. That’s just the reality of the legal market these days. So his lack of success may not be (as you seem to suspect) a result of not really trying.

    • Been there, done that :

      The only thing that ever shook my DH out of his unemployment funk was a crisis. Basically, I got offered my dream job — which would have required me to take a 50% pay cut. We cannot live on that money (we have kids), and DH finally got off his butt and started looking seriously for work. But no amount of cajoling, pleading, crying, hoping, suggesting, advising, etc. got him there — it took an external crisis.

      Also, I would seriously consider the relationship if these are your circumstances. It’s not about the employment; it’s about whether he can handle life like an adult (for example, by talking about a job search.) If it’s hard now, imagine how hard it will be if you are married and especially if you have a kid.

    • No concrete advice because everyone’s circumstances are different but from someone who was in the same situation some years ago, I really empathize with you and feel the stress you both feel in that situation.

  22. Attn Diana Barry:

    Don’t know if you’re seeing this, but when you good Dr. Finn at MGH now, the 9th result (or so) is this morning’s thread. Which makes me lol so hard, I can’t handle it.

  23. future associate :

    Does anyone here have the CareFirst HMO plan in the DC area? If so, can you comment on whether you’re satisfied with the coverage/provider selection? For context, I’m trying to select my healthcare plan for the first time and this one seems like it fits my needs, but I’m really lost on how to figure it all out :(

  24. @ First Time Sederette :

    @ the ‘Rette who is hosting a Seder for the first time this year:

    How is it going?

    We just baked 13 dozen flourless chocolate cookies and made the matzoh ball dough, which is now chilling in the fridge until it is rolled and boiled tomorrow night.

    Hope everything is going according to plan for you!

    • We’re going to a seder potluck and have been assigned a “fruit plate” – I suspect I may end up buying a fruit salad from Waitrose and putting it in a nice bowl of ours. The shame. :(

      • No, no shame to that.

        In the words of the late, great Amy Winehouse, when she was asked about her hair:
        Q: Amy, is that hair actually yours?
        Amy: Yes, it’s mine a’ cos I bought it!

        That fruit salad is Frugal City Girl’s salad, because she bought it. :-) The key is that you’re contributing to the seder with both a fruit plate and your presence!

  25. @ First Time Sederette :


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