Suit of the Week: L.K. Bennett

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional. 

This “micro-houndstooth” L.K. Bennett suit has a very classic, collarless blazer with a zip and peplum, along with a coordinating pencil skirt — it just looks classic and beautiful and easy. It’s available in lucky sizes only, with some labeled “low stock,” so if you like it, buy it now. The jacket (Gaia Jacket) is $395, and the skirt (Gaia Skirt) is $225.

Here’s a more affordable option and a plus-size option.



  1. Marshmallow :

    Reposting from the Women’s Day thread because I didn’t realize there would be a different main thread this afternoon:

    The pictured white vest reminds me of a question I’ve been meaning to ask: how does one style a vest that isn’t part of a suit? I own a black wool vest that hits at mid-hip. So far I’ve worn it on a casual Friday with skinny jeans and a black/white striped tee underneath, but I can’t figure out a better way to get more use out of it. Can I wear it with black trousers even though they aren’t exactly the same? What other kind of top besides a tee shirt can you put under a vest?

    • What kind of a vest? A sweater vest (so it looks like half of a twinset when worn alone) or a structured vest with buttons?

      I love wearing sweater vests over collared shirts, with tailored ankle pants. Black-on-black is perfectly fine with me!

      I’d find it really really hard to wear a structured vest without feeling like it was 1994 again.

    • Anonymous :

      with a white pu$sy bow long sleeve blouse and colored trousers – maybe red/burgundy?

      • Marshmallow :

        I have forest green trousers!

        • I am wearing a black vest with a long sleeve turtleneck and dark green trousers today. I have also worn it with a sleeveless long-ish top and I think it looks good.

    • I wear mine over thin, form-fitting sweaters, or drapey/silky blouses. Vest also look great with mandarin-collared shirts. As a general rule, I pair structured vests with fitted or flowy pieces, and fitted vests (like sweater vests) with structured shirts.

  2. Edna Mazur :

    Does anyone have two middle names? I’m kind of thinking of giving the kiddo in my belly two middle names, but if anyone has horror stories of difficulties with passports, schools, random things I’m not even considering, I’d love to hear them.

    • Yes, DH is from Hawaii and has both an English and a Hawaiian middle name; we did the same for our kids. So 4 names on their birth certificates. For most practical purposes, name-entry forms allow for only one so they use the first, but passports, graduation certificates, etc., will use both. No problems yet doing it this way.

    • Double stuffed :

      I do! I did it when I got married (maiden name became second middle name), and it hasn’t been an issue. Perhaps some things would be harder as a child, though; I wouldn’t know. Often when I’m filling out forms, like at a DMV, people may seem surprised at first, but then the system let’s them do it without problem. I’ve lived in several states that have had no issue with it. All that said, there are some times when I just want one initial, so I did pick a ‘primary’ middle name.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. Super common where I am for first born boys to have both grandfathers first names as middle names and first born girls to have both grandmothers names as middle names. I had twins so we split the grandfathers – each boy got one. So like Matthew George Thomas Jones would be a common name (did not google, no idea if this is a real person). There’s often enough space on forms to write both names. If there isn’t, I usually do first middle name and initial only for second middle name.

    • Anonymous :

      Dunno if this fits your situation but… I have two first names, but the second name looks like a last name so it often is mistaken for a middle name – in front of my actual middle name. (i.e. Less like Ann Marie MiddleName LastName and more like Jill Smith MiddleName LastName) I go by FirstFirstName LastName so only a daily basis it’s not a problem, but filling in forms or having someone else enter your information can be a pain. While two middle names sounds like it might be ok, please do not give your kid an unusual first name with two words if you can help it!

    • Edna Mazur :

      Doesn’t sound like a big deal then. Cool.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      My son also has two middle names and no issues at all so far.

    • My only suggestion! No hyphens if you can help it. I have a hyphenated first name (First-Name with both names having a capital letter) and it’s never correct. Like, anywhere. On my driver’s license and passport it’s just all caps FIRSTNAME. Which is not my name.

    • lawsuited :

      I have 2 middle names on my birth certificate, but when I immigrated to Canada my second middle name did not fit on the forms so I no longer officially have my second middle name. I still use both middle initials socially and professionally, which has not led to any complications beyond advising HR when I start a new job that my legal name is actually First Middle Last. Certainly no horror stories here.

    • My sister kept her family last name as a second middle name when she married and took her husband’s last name. It was fine in Colorado, but she had to choose one when they moved to Washington (state).

    • My colleague was just telling us stories about how complicated it has been for her husband having 2 middle names. People sometimes think his second middle name is actually part of his last name, so it has caused issues from time to time. They both find it a hassle and strongly recommend against it. It cam up because someone was discussing potential baby names.

  3. women's day attire :

    Favorite tshirts or accessories to support this day or the message overall of women’s equality?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Jezebel is offering a uterus giving the finger and donating 50% of the profits to PP.

    • Yay Kat! I love this LK Bennett suit! It is perfect for me, but I will wait to buy it b/c of the Solidarity Day we have today for ALL women! I hope they do NOT sell out of Size 2.

      As for the OP, I am wearing a RED skirt with a RED silk blouse, with RED Pump’s. The manageing partner asked me why all the red, and I told him. He reminded me that the JUDGE loves me in RED, so why dont I wear this next Monday when we have our next motion hearing? I said FINE, but I already spilled butter on the skirt, and will NOT have it back from the CLEANERS, so he let me buy another one. I hope they have a nice one at Bloomie’s, which I can NOW go back into b/c the ban has been lifted. FOOEY b/c they lost alot of money by keeping me out for so long.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m putting on my Nevertheless, she persisted t-shirt when I get home. Bought it from a nice woman’s Etsy shop.

      • I’ve got one from a company called RedBubble. You can choose the color, the fit and whether to have the message put on the back or front. I chose the back.

        I put it on as soon as I got home. I wore “the skirt” (original recipe) in red to work today.

    • Anonymous :

    • I like my Nasty Woman t-shirt from Google Ghost.

    • Marshmallow :

      A friend surprised me with a “Resistance is Patriotic” tee shirt in the mail yesterday! I also still wear my HRC campaign tee shirts around the house/ the gym. My favorite is “A woman’s place is in the White House.”

    • I have leggings that say Nevertheless She Persisted down the side of the left leg. I decided I preferred that to a t-shirt.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Ooohhh do you mind linking to those?

        • I found some by googling “nevertheless she persisted leggings”. Plenty of options on Etsy.

      • Sorry, I’m just seeing this. I bought mine from Teespring.

    • I’m going to go home and put on my Nasty Woman t-shirt!

      I’ve been toying around with the idea of getting “nevertheless she persisted” as a tattoo but haven’t done much more than think about it

      • Wildkitten :

        I love this.

      • Anonymous :

        Laughing Hyena in DC today was doing Women’s Day tattoos for $40 (including a $20 donation to planned parenthood) today from 3-7 and one of them was “she persisted”

        I couldn’t go/need another tattoo like a hole in the head/would probably want anything along these lines personalized, but I thought it was pretty awesome. :-)

    • Wildkitten :

    • I am wearing pointy-toed red flats with rhinestone skulls on them in addition to a red hijab.

    • I like the Everlane Human Woman tees and the proceeds go to ACLU.

    • PP logo lapel pin. Every day since the election (although sometimes I vary it up with a PP 100 year pin just for a little variety).

    • Veronica Mars :

      First comment went into moderation – Jeze b*el is offering a shirt of a uterus giving the finger and 50% of the proceeds go to PP.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      I am wearing my Such a Nasty Woman t-shirt!

    • I have a wine glass that says “Smash the Patriarchy” that I drink even non-alcoholic beverages from.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        A while ago I saw a coffee mug that said “Male Tears.” I’d LOVE to get a rocks glass with that on it.

  4. best break up stories? :

    So many movies include a scene when the awesome girl takes back her power and ditches the boy in some epic way. (gender terms used as this is often in teen movies, but surely applies to adults and women ditching crappy female partners as well, obviously)

    What’s the best way you/someone important to you has ditched a jerk?

    • Anonymous :

      I gave him back the engagement ring.

    • All the real life break ups I know are too messy, but I was on the train and I overhead two women talking about how one of them finally threw out her cheating live-in partner: “I took all of his stuff, called a storage company, got a bin in his name and had them come pick it up. Then I texted him the location and told him that I paid the first month’s rent and wouldn’t be paying the second.” Good for you, lady!

    • Anon for this :

      Ex BF (who was long distance BF at the time) was pressuring me to have sex with him while I was in his town for the night with a bunch of friends. We were all crashing in one big room and it would have been really disrespectful to do so. He had been a jerk all day (late for stuff, not bringing stuff he promised he’d bring, being super selfish). I basically knew it was over that night. Anyway, he kept using the dude phrase of “I just want to pleasure you.” So I finally said fine, let’s go into the bathroom. I sat up on the sink and directed his head downtown. (I swear, I am not a tr011). When I was done, I said “that was great, thanks.” And proceeded to put my clothes back on. He stood there, stuttering, what about me???? And I replied “you bugged me for the last hour saying you just wanted to pleasure me. You did. Now let me sleep.” And I walked out and went to bed. We broke up a few weeks later but I still relish that moment.

    • When I was in college, my ex-boyfriend made out with me, then said he wanted to just be friends. (I wanted to get back together.) The next time we hung out “as friends” (but in my dorm room?), he kissed me. I looked at him, said “You have no idea what you want, do you?” He said, “No.” I told him to get the h*ll out of my room. After that, I cut off contact, ignored every email after that, and ignored/avoided him whenever our paths crossed.

      Also, later that year, I met and started dating my now-husband, so I’m glad I didn’t waste any more time on the first guy.

      Also, the first guy wasn’t really a jerk, he was just a clueless 19-year-old who was acting like a jerk. But I still did the right thing for myself.

  5. cross country driving :

    stuck in moderation…

    best stops along the 70? Driving LA to Pittsburgh and would love to know what can’t miss stops/views short experiences there are!

    • Anonymous :

      If you are a carnivore, stop at Joe’s Kansas City BBQ in KC (formerly Oklahoma Joe’s). Go to the one in the gas station in KC, not one of the new ones in Overland Park, and get the burnt ends if they happen to have them. It often tops the lists of the best BBQ joints in the country – be prepared to wait. If you want to stretch your legs while you are driving across Kansas, the Flint Hills National Wildlife Refuge is the largest remaining tall grass prairie in the country. It is beautiful and has some easy hikes of varying distances.

    • Double stuffed :

      Do you want kitschy sites? Historical? Good meals? Sadly, 70 is one of my least favorite interstates to drive, particularly from around Kansas City through Indianapolis or Columbus. It’s not very scenic, and just crowded enough that you can’t just relax and drive. If you are lucky, you’ll drive through Kansas when the sunflowers are in bloom, or when there’s a dramatic storm to watch in the distance.

    • Are you taking I-15 up to connect with I-70? Here are some thoughts:

      -Nevada: Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour north of Las Vegas, a few miles off I-15. The Fire Wave trail by Parking Area #3 is a relatively short (like, 45 minutes round trip), non-strenuous hike with amazing desert scenery and red rock formations.

      -Utah: St. George (close to NV border) has an amazing frozen custard place called Nielsen’s.

      -Utah: Depending on how much time you have, Zion Nat. Park and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park (both in southern Utah) are worth a stop. Arches National Park (eastern Utah) is very very close to I-70 and is worth a stop – even if it’s just to stretch your legs for an hour and take in some amazing scenery.

      -Colorado: This stretch of drive is gorgeous! I know that portions of the highway through the Rockies become impassable / require snow tires seasonally, so be sure to check on that depending on when you’re going. Plenty to do in Denver (worth a stop – maybe you can do an overnight there) but hard to recommend things without knowing what you’re into.

      -Kansas: The Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene is great and worth a stop. You won’t be far from Manhattan (home to Kansas State) if you’re someone who likes checking out college campuses.

      -Missouri: Right off the bat, eat some bbq in Kansas City. LC’s bbq was good when we went, but people who live there may have more valid opinions. Same story in St. Louis – Pappy’s Smokehouse is very good.

      I’ve never driven I-70 east of St. Louis so nothing further from me. Watch out for police, especially in Nevada/Utah – it’s easy to speed through the desert when there’s nobody else in sight!

      • Also, it’s hard to recommend things without knowing what you’re into – if you provide some things you like, I can give some more tailored recs. I’ve done a lottttt of roadtrips.

        • road trip OP :

          will be driving with pets in the car so can’t make super long stops except where I stay for the night, planning 10 hr drive days or so. Looking for food or weird biggest ball of twine things that aren’t too far off the road since it’s several days of driving so I can’t add too many more miles to the schedule. The move coincides with a major life change, so I’m excited for a good play list, wind in my hair, the whole bit. Making the drive in early May, if that helps too.

    • Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken in Columbia, MO has some of the very best honey mustard sauce I’ve ever tasted. It’s inside of a gas station just a bit off the interstate.

      • Middle of nowhere :

        Lee’s is a chain restaurant in mid-Mo, btw, not that it isn’t good. But, Columbia is a great place to stop if you want something between a city and a truck-stop exit. Lots of good, local restaurants, several good breweries and coffee roasteries, nice parks, traffic/parking isn’t awful, and gas is usually cheap.

  6. Conflicts :

    Longshot but does anyone here work in a conflicts department in a big law firm? What is market salary like for something like that? This position would be part of a brand new team and the numbers I’m seeing online are around $50,000. JD-preferred but I don’t think it requires a law license. I am barred in the state though.

    • DCresident :

      $50k, JD prefered? What LCOL Narnia is this job in?

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think it has to be in a crazy LCOL place. I’m in a major US city and there are lawyers here who make $50k and certainly plenty of quasi-legal, JD-preferred roles that pay that. Working in a conflicts department is really an administrative role. They may prefer people with JDs for their background knowledge, but the actual work is largely secretarial and $50k doesn’t seem at all off base to me.

        • I think calling it secretarial is a disservice to the poster and those that do this–a lot of firms only have JDs in those roles, and there are tricks to running a good conflict check. It’s not practicing law, but it’s more than a secretarial role also.

          • So total TJ from me here, but thought you’d be more likely to see this than a response on the morning thread. I actually have to thank you for recommending Hawes and Curtis shirts a LONG time ago on here. I like the ones I got, but they also made me think of visiting Jermyn St. shirt stores while in England last year and that’s how I discovered Grosvenor! Like a virtuous cycle of shirt recs! :)

      • Wildkitten :

        I made less than $60 in DC my first three years of working as a lawyer and now I make $0. It sucks but it’s a thing.

      • Conflicts :

        That is my concern. The job in question is in New York City so I am curious whether that number is close to market for a HCOL area.

        • IMO $50K is really, really low for a JD-preferred job in NYC, particularly where it’s not a non-profit.

          • Meg March :

            +1. I’m a paralegal at a large firm and make more than that.

          • Conflicts :

            The job itself has not expressed a range. They have just said that it will pay market. G00gle has suggested that $50,000 is market but is not clear on what market in New York is. I’m hoping someone would have a better idea.

          • Anonymous :

            Would a conflicts person make more than an experienced paralegal though? At my former Big Law firm, many of the experienced paralegals and even assistants made more than the marketing/development people and I see a conflicts position more like the latter. I do think the market/development people made more than entry-level paralegals and certainly more than entry-level assistants.

    • Anonymous :

      Apply and negotiate! The market for staff positions at law firms is tight right now. You may have leverage.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m really surprised by these numbers. My Mom was Director in Conflicts for several years (paralegal background) and made well over 100k at a Big firm in one of the biggest markets.

      She had many years of experience/seniority though.

      A lot of people wanted her job….

  7. have you seen... :

    the new doc “Becoming Coy”? So much online backlash, it created a situation where Colorado is protected against some of 45’s behavior. An interesting film and an interesting legal conversation to be had here for sure!

    YAY for equality of all gender identities, especially on this day!

    • Anon for this :

      Can someone explain the “45” phenomenon to me? I get that he’s the 45th President. Is it because people hate even uttering his name? Is it to avoid search engines picking up the conversation driving in his defenders? The full name is only 3 more letters.

      • JuniorMinion :

        My guess was that it came from the Bush years – I at least heard GWB referred to as “43” to differentiate from his father who was referred to as “41”

        • It’s a few things… 1. no more giving him g00gle alerts on his own name or furthering his brand. 2. it takes some of the focus off of “only he does crazy things” so that if/when he goes away, it doesn’t wipe the slate clean for everyone else in this 45th administration who are supporting and doing crazy things.

      • Wildkitten :

        I called Obama 44 all the time and he’s my favorite President. I call 45 “DJT” and he’s my least favorite president. So I don’t think it’s personal.

  8. Anyone seen the movie Get Out? Husband and I have some free time tonight and it’s been ages since we’ve seen a movie together. I have only heard good things about Get Out, but while I can tolerate suspense and mild creepiness, I truly hate actually being scared and especially goriness. If you wouldn’t recommend that, are there any other movies currently in theaters you’d recommend? (I did see Moonlight already).

    • I loved it! You might find this helpful:

      • This is exactly what I needed to know – thank you!

      • Thank you from another scary movie wimp who really wants to see it! Might try and go Friday night.

      • Wildkitten :

        Yes. It was so good. It’s the first horror movie I’ve ever seen in a theatre. I only jumped like once and only closed my eyes one other time and it was totally worth it. And I will never ever ever watch like, the Ring, or the Blair Witch Project. Never. Get Out is so good.

      • Wildkitten :

        I’m in mod but see it.

    • Anonymous :

      Is Hidden Figures still in theatres near you? That’s what DH and I are seeing this weekend.

      • Anonymous :

        Hidden Figures is so good. I’m intrigued by Get Out but I’m also a wimp about horror movies and am hesitant to watch it for that reason.

      • I thought Hidden Figures was just delightful. It’s funny, smart, and surprisingly romantic (in a low-key way that is super-delightful). There’s also just a lot that’s balm to the heart of professional women. I wish I’d seen it as a child; I think it would have changed the way I thought about math and engineering.

        • Anonymous :

          Hidden Figures is not a great art movie but I loved it. The sheer determinations of the characters involved was amazing. Around the time the movie is set, industry was suddenly desperate for computer-literate staff, and they had to take women! My math-trained friends were suddenly able to have well paying jobs in a STEM field. It brought back many memories. The movie combines these two societal changes.

          I rented the movie one night during a STEM conference I was attending.

    • I saw it this weekend and LOVED it. It was tense but not gory. Such a good movie. My sister and I kept talking about it that night and the next day. I’m not a horror fan, but I’d definitely recommend it and would see it again.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I was at dinner last night with some people who were raving about it. Guy said his wife hates to be scared and even she loved it.

    • newbinlaw :

      one of the best movies I have ever seen & I think it is important that people see it. But, I have friends who don’t like horror or gore and had problems with it.. so?

  9. I have a quick question–I’ve set up a sort of casual chat-over-drinks with an older, successful attorney (meaning that I’m a 3L and she’s been practicing at a noteworthy mid-size firm for probably 15-20 years), and I’m not sure if I should offer to pay for her drinks. She works in a niche area of law that I would love to get into, and she’s expressed willingness to help me out with advice, pulling strings to get me an interview, etc. Basically, she’s doing me a huge favor. We actually met at a mutual friend’s birthday party and happened to start talking about work, so it’s not as stuffy a relationship as an official mentor or anything like that.

    I know I’m overthinking this, but what’s the etiquette here?

    • I am a practicing lawyer. I would not expect a law student to pay for my drinks in a chat-over-drinks, especially if the person I was joining was someone I had initially met socially.

      Be prepared to pay for your own, but I wouldn’t worry about paying for hers.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m fairly junior and have always heard that the person who asked for the meeting should offer to pay (and make it sincere– don’t talk about it, just take the check when it comes).

      That said, a 3L mentee recently asked me to lunch, offered to pay, and I wouldn’t let her. I really appreciated that she assumed she’d pay, but I am working and she is not. So, if she insists, go ahead and let her pay. You could also say that you’ll return the favor next time– and that gives you an opening to follow up later.

    • You can (and should) reach for the check. She’s very likely going to refuse and insist on picking up the tab. Be gracious, thank her, and let her. That’s been my experience over the years and is what I do for students/young professionals.

      • +1

        I’m at a funny moment in life in which I’ve been on both sides of this equation a few times in recent months. Being the favor-giver and insisting on paying is lovely and adds extra fuel to my expectation of paying for those who are giving me favors.

    • Agree with the above. If you invite (for business/as a favor), you should offer to pay. However, I did this multiple times when I was in your position, and the attorney never once actually let me pay, even for my own. Be gracious and thank them. Good luck!

    • Agreed. Reach for the check but do not insist. Depending on the situation, for many of us, our firms will allow us to write off the drinks.

    • Thank you all! It makes me feel much better that there seems to be a consensus.

    • I’ve never allowed a junior person to pay for a meal/drinks/coffee when they’ve met with me, even if they were the ones who asked for the meeting. But it is good manners to offer to pay. Just don’t start a tug-of-war with me over the check! :-)

      • Funny you say that; part of me was irrationally afraid there was some unwritten rule that the offer to pay comes across as insincere unless you push back a couple of times or something like that. Whew.

  10. super anon for this :

    I found out this week that my immediate supervisor is on the path to getting fired. He had already gotten himself into hot water, but I gave our mutual boss some additional information that sealed the deal. He was put on probation last week and will not be coming off. I will likely be appointed to his role as an interim, with the possibility for the role to become permanent. My stomach is in knots over this. He is a horrid manager and leader, but I have to put on my poker face and pretend all is well for at least a few more weeks. On a more practical level, he’s screwing up assignments and I’m going to have to undo the mess. All the while, he’s begging for my help on literally everything. Other pressing issues are getting ignored and while I’d love to jump in and just take care of things (because I’ll have to do it eventually anyway), that would be a huge overstep that would raise more than a few red flags. I’m literally keeping a list of all the things I’ll have to start fixing in a few weeks.

    I’m the sole person on our team with this knowledge and have junior staffers coming to me because they’re so frustrated from dealing with the boss. So I’m having to reassure them and give direction, all while not letting on that this will resolve itself soon enough. It’s just a giant bleeping mess and I’m not coping well with the stress. Any tips for getting through this, from a practical standpoint?

    • Gah! This sounds terrible.

      Can you have a neutral conversation with mutual boss about what the immediate priorities are for the team? If mutual boss is the person who told you that supervisor is likely getting fired, that could be a CYA conversation to make sure nothing blows up between now and then; if you’re not supposed to have that information and if this would fly in your workplace, that could be a three-way conversation with mutual boss and supervisor (with you having a very good poker face the whole time).

      Also, take everything non-essential off your to-do list at work so that you can keep your ears open and wrangle junior team as needed. And when you’re not at work, be easy on yourself and amp up whatever self-care strategies are best for you (exercise, fewer chores, time with friends, etc.).

    • Frozen Peach :

      Practical tips– I cannot fathom the stress you must be under.

      1) Schedule at least one or two personal days between now and the end of his tenure. Once he is gone, you will really have to dig in, so try to get as much rest/breather as you can now, even if it means watching him drop balls epically.

      2) Take a lunch break. Talk to friends via text who know the situation. Make sure to step away from your desk and team a few times every day. Do not stay late if you can at all avoid it.

      3) Deep breaths, lots of music that helps you calm and feel okay via headphones, Cup of Calm and Kava tea.

      4) Make sure you are getting about 3 X the “me time” you usually do. Sounds counterintuitive but nothing else will work the same way for helping keep your perspective in balance, which is SUPER key to surviving this gracefully.

      • All of these are great suggestions, but I would not recommend texting friends about this situation. In the event that he tries to fight back against his firing (grievance and/or court), texts could be discovered. I would pick *one* friend or family member who has zero connection to your firm (and ideally lives out of area) and vent away to them. Let them know the venting is probably temporary so they can be patient. This is no fun. Good luck.

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds like you are doing what you can, in terms of talking to your juniors and reassuring them while not telling them this info. If you are having difficulties setting priorities with your own work vs what he is asking you to do, maybe get some guidance from your mutual boss about what he [mutual boss] sees as the critical issues. If you are going to take over, even temporarily, assess what the priorities and goals are and work from there. Touch base with mutual boss and make sure you are on the same page. Do your thing and remind yourself that it will resolve. Being proactive about the work and treating everyone on the team with dignity and respect is all you can do, good luck!

    • super anon for this :

      Thank you so much for your support and good advice, ladies.

  11. Anonymous :

    I’ve been chronicling a hostile workplace situation here, with a bullying (female) boss who cornered me in an office and yelled belittling things in my face, multiple incidents of sexual harassment (including being groped at a company event by the CEO’s wife), etc. Well, I finally broke- months of ‘holding it together’ and stress and the resulting insomnia lead to a full on nervous break down and my SO practically carried me to the doctor, who told me in no uncertain terms that I should go on immediate medical leave/short term disability while I figure out my options. I’m getting excellent treatment, but I’m just in disbelief at the whole situation. The company has no HR department (they fired the one HR person and never bothered to hire a new one) despite having almost 100 employees. I followed every single procedure perfectly, acted with total professionalism, reported incidents, continued to perform, etc. When I sent a doctor’s note about medical leave, I got no response at all, from anyone, and I have no idea if it’s because they’re hoping I just go away, or if it’s because they’re panicking that I’m going to file a suit. What on earth…

    • Marshmallow :

      Oh, boy. I have been reading your posts with my stomach in knots for you. I have no real advice but I am so glad you are getting the care that you need.

      • Anonymous :

        It actually means a lot to me that someone has been following my posts and cares… thank you :)

    • As soon as you feel up to it, get a free consult with an employment lawyer. Depending on your state, you may have to make a fairly quick decision as to whether you are going the workers comp route or the sexual harassment route. You might not be able to do both. There are pros and cons to each situation. Comp can be easier to prove (breakdown caused by work stress) but that just gets you a portion of your wages and your medical expenses. The harassment gets you more (emotional distress, legal fees) but is a much higher burden of proof – it wasn’t just bullying, it was bullying because of illegal reason. Where the bullying boss is female, that is harder. If you go the comp route, there might be a short deadline for the first report of injury.

      I’m glad you are getting the help you need!

    • Anonymous :

      TOTALLY agree with A LAWYER above.

      We’re really rooting for you.

  12. dead bedroom? :

    Wanted to thank everyone who gave me advice and suggestions yesterday! The marriage therapist had a cancellation for last night so I took it. I had to call my husband and let him know that instead of going out for a date night, I booked us an appointment for marriage therapy, and would he be willing to go?

    He was shocked and angry and at first flat out said no…then he backtracked a bit and said that he didn’t want to be the type of person who refuses to get help when his wife asks him to, so he would go for me, but he thought it was a huge over reaction. I pointed out (over the phone–which I hate–but when you both work and have kids sometimes that’s the only way to talk) that we’ve been talking about our lack of s*x for awhile, and that I sat down with him in the fall and stated exactly what I wanted, and instead of getting better it actually got worse. We’ve proven that we can’t fix the problem on our own. Marriage therapy is my next step.

    I also told him that my goal–our goal–is to make our marriage better. I’m not using therapy to surprise him with some bomb or figure out how to leave. I legitimately want to fix this and I can’t ignore it anymore. If we don’t click with this therapist, that’s fine, we can try another one.

    First appointment was more about filling out paperwork, asking why we were there, and she asked questions about how we met and our first couple years of marriage. Nothing crazy. My husband started off clearly NOT wanting to be there, with a scowl on his face, but by the end of the session he was warming up and joking a bit with her. We scheduled individual sessions for next week, and will come back together for our 2nd session together the week after that. He said he thinks she’s “okay”. I think she’s *very* good to get him as relaxed as she did.

    I’m positive I’ve thrown him through a loop. He was quiet and thoughtful on the way home. He helped me tuck the kids in, DID NOT GO DOWNSTAIRS TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES (freaking miracle!) and instead we chatted a bit, cuddled for a few minutes. I asked him if he was mad at me, and he said “No” quickly and firmly, which I believe and am taking at face value. I can tell he’s processing and thinking.

    I have NO idea if I’m doing the right thing or handled this correctly. I feel a bit like I’m betraying him by dragging him to a therapist to say, “We’re not having sex and I’m not okay with that!” but at the same time…I have to stand up and say something. I just can’t with this roommate marriage anymore–not without knowing about a health reason or a genuine issue.

    If it wasn’t for the comments from all of you yesterday I wouldn’t have made the impulsive decision to book an appointment. So thank you!

  13. Frozen Peach :

    Shameless request for real estate/ negotiation advice.

    We made an offer last week on a commercial property. It was a family business for decades. Property has been sitting vacant on the market for 11 months. We made a fair offer based on a ton of comps research and working with a very well-respected broker, and just heard that they have essentially countered at the full listing price. They have it listed almost $100K above the last several appraisals– in total pricing la la land. And we have a number of reasons why we want THIS property. I am so frustrated and struggling to stay positive.

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask the Hive for advice. We will likely counter again– talking with our broker later today– but I welcome any and all thoughts/ideas, etc.

    • I wouldn’t put too much stock in appraisals. Our house is worth about 150K over the city appraisal. Comps are more accurate.

      • Anonymous :

        When you say “city appraisal” do you mean appraisals for property tax purposes? Those are always way, way low. An appraisal done by a real estate appraiser should be fairly in line with the comps.

      • Frozen Peach :

        No this was a real estate appraiser. Property tax appraisal is even lower than that.

        We put together our offer after crunching a ton of numbers re: commercial real estate price per square foot in the area. They are asking more than double any comps we saw.

        I just can’t wrap my head around it. Why even bother listing it? They’ve rejected multiple offers and it’s been on the market for almost a year. It is obviously overpriced, as their agent acknowledged to us when he showed it to us. Should we even bother countering? Should I bake them cookies or write them a letter about the really cool, amazing things we will do to bring their beloved property a new life?

        • It doesn’t sound like a letter could hurt. They obviously don’t need to sell it right now. I don’t know if there’s anything you can *make* them do.

        • Anonymous :

          Why aren’t they acting rationally? It is owned by a family. All the comps in the world wouldn’t overcome a recalcitrant brother. Walk unless you’re willing to take their counter.

        • As a former small business consultant, I saw this situation happen more times than I can count. My client would fall in love with a great property that had been sitting vacant and make a very reasonable offer. Flat no from the seller. Client raises offer slightly. Still a flat no. Sometimes they wouldn’t even counter or make any overture about negotiating. My client would end up heartbroken, but I always firmly recommended they walk away from the deal rather than overpaying for a property, especially when the seller refused to negotiate at all.

          The conclusion I came to is that especially with family-owned buildings, some people are just delusional. Either about the market they’re in, the condition the building is in, or the idea that the other family members will let the property go. Very often, family members will hold out for a certain amount of money because they have to split it 2, or 4, or 6 ways. So if they don’t get X amount of money, everyone will end up with a pittance.

          There’s also just a ton of really, frankly, asinine thinking that I’ve seen from family businesses. In one situation, the seller sent my client back a message that she wouldn’t sell for less than X amount because “my daddy told me that building was worth millions and I am holding out till I get millions.” The building hadn’t been maintained and was nearly falling apart, and was located in one of the worst neighborhoods in the city – my client wanted to raze it and build a small grocery store, which was badly needed in that area.

          There’s also the ever-popular “three siblings are on board but the fourth has their heels dug in” situation. Which there is no external resolution to. A chain family business in my city had to shut down, and sell off multiple properties because one sibling would not come around and agree on changes that had to be made to the operation. In family situations where the siblings already have money, one sibling can absolutely be willing to burn the family business to the ground to get their way. There’s no rhyme or reason to it.

          The short ending to my long-winded answer: walk away. Seriously. No amount of cookies is probably going to get these people to see sense. If you keep begging, they’ll feel like they have one over on you. If you walk away, you show strength, whether or not you get this building or another one. But I have seen very, very few of these situations have happy endings.

      • Very true – I had the opposite situation. The county had my property appraised at nearly $150K over what any property in the entire county has sold for in five years. My house is nice, but not THAT nice. Got a professional appraisal (based on comps) and they lowered the tax appraisal value by $175K.

  14. anonymous :

    Does anyone have the Angelou shawl from MM LaFleur? Do you like it/find it useful?

  15. layered bob :

    I made a small, stupid mistake at work (doesn’t affect the client but makes me look less-than-100% on top of things, and opposing counsel definitely noticed and made a thing of it); then I noticed a stupid typo in another document that I should have caught and didn’t; AND THEN I put a huge run in my pantyhose.

    And then I ate a self-pity donut, which was the right way to handle it? I think?

    • If the self-pity donut lets you forget about it and move on, then yes, that’s the right way to handle it.

      I ate a bunch of the jelly beans out in my office today . . .for no good reason. At least womens day is preventing me from spending money to hit up the vending machine.

    • I think self-pity wine after work would also be appropriate.

  16. I love the blouse featured under this suit, but I’m not sure how I feel about zippers on suit jackets. This doesn’t look bad, per se, but it’s a feature I tend to associate with cheap and/or dated suiting.

    • I like the suit though not the way it’s styled. I agree that I don’t love the zippers. To me it doesn’t make it look dated, but does make it look more casual.

    • I like them, sometimes (am actually wearing a similar jacket today!) but zippers can definitely read “dated” to me too. Particularly if it’s a leather jacket. I now associate that look with like, 2o05 Suze Orman.

  17. toasting wine :

    Is it okay to serve prosecco rather than champagne for an informal (outdoor, workday) toast? I still want the pop and the bubbles but would rather not spend twice as much out of my non-profit budget so that my board can toast some new construction.

    I don’t drink, so I don’t have a good frame of reference.

    • That’s totally fine. If anyone is a stickler about it, you likely wouldn’t have been pouring “real” Champagne anyway (i.e., the stuff that comes from the region in France) as opposed to “sparkling wine.”

    • Fancy Champagne :

      Yes, it’s fine! Congrats! (I’m no Shots Shots Shots… but I do answer to “Prosecco” every now and then!)

    • cake batter :


    • Baconpancakes :

      Omg girl yes that is fine! What the heck kind of world expects a non-profit to serve actual champagne?

      • toasting wine :

        Unfortunately, a lot of non-profit boards contain some of the mucketiest muckety-mucks I’ve ever met. Which is to say that some of these people don’t actually contribute all that much but expect to be fawned over right and left. (While some of the most dedicated and generous givers don’t want attention at all.)

        Sigh. Thanks, all, for the reassurance!

    • Absolutely OK. You can also serve cava, cremant do bourgogne, California sparkling wine like Chandon or Roederer Estate Anderson Valley, or really anything else sparkling. Do you have time to ask someone at your local wine shop for an opinion?

    • Yes. 100% ok. Cheers!

    • Yes.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah, definitely. The last few weddings I’ve been to have had prosecco instead of champagne. I like the taste more, tbh.

    • Totally fine. I wouldn’t blink an eye.

    • Yo, it kind of makes you look savvy. As in “I know this is just as good as champagne at a quarter the cost and that’s why I’m serving it to you, because I do this all the time” (even if you don’t).

    • Wildkitten :

      Totally fine. See 26 U.S. Code § 5388 (c)(2)(B)

  18. Losing sleep :

    Anyone have any tried and true solutions to turning off your agitated mind in order to sleep? I have no sleep or insomnia issues other than stress/anxiety/anger triggering a cycle of thought/emotion that I seem unable to break out of in the middle of the night.

    Unfortunately my current work situation generates a lot of stress and anger; my personal life is content, happy and peaceful. I will not be able to change much about said work situation for another six months or so, but to be fair, this has been an ongoing issue my whole life with whatever the negative situation du jour might be.

    I would love to have some tools for breaking these obsessive thought patterns and getting some much needed sleep instead. I am aware of how non-productive it is when it’s happening, but I just cannot stop it. It’s maddening.

    • Anonymous :

      Exercise after work. Intense cardio.

      • In-House in Houston :

        Take an 81 mg aspirin like Bayer. It’s a very mild dose (people take daily to reduce the risk of heart attack) and I’ve found it’s just enough to help me relax. You could also take an Tylenol PM or Advil PM. They’re low dose too and non-addictive.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I like a free hypnosis app, it’s called “End Anxiety” and the icon is a blue lotus flower. I found it very relaxing to work through the hypnosis before sleeping. You could also try the one they offer for insomnia (the company is Surf City Apps) as well.

    • Things that work for me (sometimes):

      1. I give myself a mental exercise like redecorating my house or creating a new work wardrobe, basically something frivolous but specific to re-focus my mind.
      2. If that doesn’t work, sometimes I will “let” myself think about whatever negative horrible thing I don’t want to think about for a set period of time, like 5 minutes. I think trying not to think about something sometimes just makes it worse so letting yourself actually do it can help. You’ll either “run out of thoughts” or you can play out whatever is troubling you to its logical conclusion and realize that whatever it is, life will go on.
      3. If none of that works, I play candy crush until I fall asleep.

    • read a book before bed

      • Marshmallow :

        This. Read some fluffy fiction on either paper or an e-ink reader like a Kindle– no blue light!

      • Miz Swizz :

        Second this. Don’t read anything that you’ll get sucked into and want to finish. I keep a couple of paperback romances that I’ll pick back up to help me go to sleep when I’m not tired enough on my own.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I light a candle and read Agatha Christie novels.

    • Anonymous :


      Falling asleep to a tv show. For me, it’s Netflix on my phone, with the phone screen down. So I can hear the dialogue, but don’t have the screen flickering. And I’ve set it so Netflix only plays one episode at a time. I use shows that I’ve watched a lot, so I’m not anxiously awaiting the next plot twist. Helps distract my brain so I can fall asleep.

    • Puff Puff :

      M a r i j u a n a. It’s really the only thing that shuts my brain down at night. (I’m not a troll. I’m a regular poster. And it’s changed my life for the better.)

    • The only thing that helped me with that is CBT – cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s basically where you learn to talk back to your thoughts. I don’t think you’d need a therapist to learn it, though you might benefit from one. I’m sure there are plenty of books on amazon.

      And cardio. My thoughts are much tamer after cardio.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Liquid melatonin…it just makes everything a little fuzzy around the edges. In the alternative, I often defer my dinnertime glass of wine to a tumbler in my jammies in bed (“night wine”). Really helps me unwind.

      • JuniorMinion :

        They make chews also so you can’t accidentally give yourself too much of the liquid…ask me how i know…

    • nasty woman :

      You sound like me, except that mine don’t keep me up at night. (I can fall asleep any time and extremely quickly, it is a true gift and probably means I am wildly under rested.) But it will happen all throughout the day and is equally disruptive- a constant stream of anxious, stressed, ‘analytical’ thoughts streaming through my head and my desperate attempt to figure out a situation or resolve a problem or see the future (lol.). The following might sound silly, but bear with me….

      I call it ‘salad spinning.’ I imagine a literal salad spinner to help me stop these thoughts. Identifying this particular thought pattern and naming it has allowed me to step outside of myself and realize what’s going on. I am also able to recognize that it is not helpful (although it does come from real worries and that’s ok to acknowledge). I recognize it an expression of my brain’s desire to solve problems, but it’s not the type of actual productive thinking (evaluating options, doing research, pro-con lists, whatever), that can lead to solutions or comfort. When I notice it happening, I see it as salad spinner thinking and I can say stop- you’re done. Set it aside, put it back in the cabinet. You can think and think and think and never get anywhere, so here is permission to stop. It takes practice, but I’m getting better at stopping it. The change has drastically improved my quality of life.

      Oh and also yoga.

    • Anonymous :

      I exercise to tire myself out and then when actually trying to fall asleep when all the thoughts are running through my head I picture sitting at my favorite beach and really try to picture and think deeply about every tiny detail–the sand, the ocean smell, the sound, I think about just watching the waves go back and forth and really focus on that. Usually I am able to fall asleep. I love the ocean so that is why I picked that but I’m sure you could do it with any place.

    • Losing sleep :

      Thank you for all of these! I have tried some of them with varying degrees of success, but will pursue again….except possibly wine, marijuana and Tylenol PM (where I think PM = benadryl, no?) These have been tried as well and have the opposite effect unfortunately.

      • Anonymous :

        There are different strains of MJ. Indica is more for relaxing and sleeping. Sativa is more social, so what you may have tried (ie, with your friends in college) might not be the best bet.

    • An app called Pzizz that changed my life. I wentered from taking hours to fall asleep due to the hamster wheel in my brain to falling asleep in 15 minutes

    • Something that I’ve done since I was a teenager: visualize a ball of tissue or paper in my head, and then direct everything I’m worried about into that ball. Go through methodically and make sure I catch everything and put it in there. Then throw the ball away. Not forever; just for now. For some reason this visual works for me when I’ve gotten myself worked up in a tizzy and just need to go to sleep.

    • Journaling, or at the very least, a pad of paper beside the bed to write down what’s worrying you.

      Sometimes when I’m stressed, I just lay in bed, thinking over and over about all the things I’m worried about, Arya Stark style.

      Sometimes just writing them down and resolving to deal with them in the morning is enough. Sometimes I try to make a little note of something I can do the next day that will move towards resolving the issue. If there’s nothing to be done to resolve it, I make a little note of something I can do that will help me feel better anyway. (I.e. work sucks, but I will plan to take a walk during lunch or call my friend across the country on the way home). Then I can sleep because I feel like I have a plan.

    • Sudoku puzzles – I do one before bed most nights. It relaxes my brain because it’s non-verbal–kind of like listening to language X makes it impossible to think in language Y.
      Warning: If you’re not already experience it will take you a while to ramp up your skills. Hang in there. It’s the process not the puzzle-completion that counts!

    • Sleepy Anon :

      Hope you’re still reading. I’ve had really good luck with 1-3mg of melatonin at bedtime, reading for the 20 minutes it takes to hit, turning the light off immediately once I feel the melatonin-induced tiredness (if you push on, you’ll lose that tired feeling), and then listening to a quiet, not very stimulating podcast. I’m consistently asleep before the 15 minute podcast timer turns off, whereas without the melatonin and podcast, I will have racing thoughts for hours. The melatonin tells my brain it’s time to sleep, and listening to the podcast engages my brain just enough that it doesn’t start going in circles and then keeps me awake.

  19. Previous attempt at posting got eaten, but any affordable hotels for a last minute weekend in Chicago would be much appreciated!

    • Wildkitten :

      I just check the cheap hotel websites. priceline etc. Should be lots since it’s winter.

    • Moonstone :

      Is it this weekend? I like these hotels. A) I see the Allegro is going for about $110 a night. B) The Palmer House (famous old hotel with beautiful lobby) is $130 a night. These are both downtown but not on Michigan Ave. and a little more south. C) If you want River North, there’s Hotel Felix for $127 — those rooms are small and there’s not much lobby but it’s a good value. I saw these on Priceline.

    • Check the Inn at Lincoln Park.

  20. Sydney Bristow :

    Kat, moderation seems out of control today!

  21. Anon for this :

    Someone here recently posted a lot asking questions about a final in-house interview she had coming up. It was the same day as mine. I found out today they went with the other candidate and I’m curious if the other poster got her job. It would be kind of cool if we were out for the same position and you got it! If I have to lose out to someone else I’d rather it be one of the awesome women here. The interviews were Feb 7.

  22. Fixer Upper :

    Bay Area people: there are new tickets just released for Hamilton. I was able to buy 2 tickets just now for $197 each for a show in April. Lots of partial view tickets available (and more expensive orchestra ones), but the ones I got were not listed as partial view, just regular orchestra.

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