Suit of the Week: Max Mara

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.

I really like the texture on this stretch-wool suit from Max Mara — the woven pattern is subtle but also noticeable enough to add some interest. The jacket is nipped in at the waist in a flattering way and has two real pockets, and the pants are wide leg (but not overly so) with, again, two real pockets — both with the excellent tailoring that you’d expect from Max Mara. Do note that the images of the suit on Nordstrom’s site and on Selfridges‘ site show significantly different shades of gray — the gray (technically, black, as it’s labeled) in Nordstrom’s images is a lot darker than the shade of gray on Selfridges’ site. (No worries if you’re particularly picky about your grays and get a surprise in the mail, though — Nordstrom has free returns.) The jacket (Zac Stretch Wool Blazer) is $1,190 and the pants (Verbas Stretch Wool Pants) are $595.

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  1. Just found out part of my company is spinning off into a new company. I already provide them with some legal support and I want to ask them to take me with them. What would be your pitch? In a hypothetical world with no other details?

    • Having survived two multi-billion dollar spins recently, my advice to you would be find out who on the “other side” is running the transition. Reach out to that person and pitch yourself to them. If moving is reasonable, tell them you’re interested.

  2. Leaning out? :

    3 months ago I transitioned into working from home almost full time out of choice and although I am in a pretty senior post I feel like I am “leaning out” of my career. I regularly call and talk to my team members but I also spend a lot of time doing other things at home. My work hasn’t really suffered as I am pretty efficient in getting my work done in a few hours but I still feel I should be doing something more useful with my life than organizing every single draw and shelf and cabinet in my house. Any tips? TIA!

    • Ask for more work? I’m sure there’s always more to be done and they’d be happy to give you additional projects. But personally I really savor my WFH days and my ability to get household stuff done. I spend probably the same amount of time working that I do I’m the office but instead of wasting time on the Internet, I cook and clean and stuff like that.

      • Anonymous :

        Perhaps (if true) you could tell your employer that working from home has allowed you to become more efficient and that, in combination with the reduction in time spent commuting to and from your job, you now have the capacity to take on additional projects and/or responsibilities.

        Be careful what you ask for, though, because those projects/responsibilities will become your new norm and not be recognized as “additional” contribution. If you are meeting your job requirements now, you will not necessarily get accolades for doing more. I’d try to be strategic in taking on projects/responsibilities that will help me develop my own skills or career path.

    • I spend lots of my time in the office on the internet, chatting with colleagues over coffee, etc. Now I get to take that fluff time and spend it on laundry instead. If you’re still accomplishing the same things, I’d go forward guilt free.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Schedule one networking lunch/coffee per week. With current colleagues and others in your field.

    • I’m confused. What did you do at work before you started WFH? Why do you suddenly have all this free time?

    • You could come to my house and organize every drawer and shelf and cabinet? That sounds awesome.

    • I can’t believe no one has told OP to make a pot roast.

      Y’all are letting me down today.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        And go to SoulCycle!

      • I would LOVE for someone to make ME a pot roast. Grandma Leyeh makes a great FLANKEN, which I think is the same, and Dad insists that I NOT eat to much of her Flanken, b/c he says it sticks to my tuchus, which may be true, but it is sooooooo good! YAY!!!!!!

  3. Favorite unscented hand cream?

  4. Anon re sick colleague :

    Anon whose colleague put me at risk of the flu yesterday checking in. Guess which a-hole stayed home sick today?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      More importantly, how are you? Did you get the Tamiflu Rx?

      • Anon re sick colleague :

        Feeling like I may be coming down with something, but yes, I got the Tamiflu scrip last night. My doctor called it in immediately.

        The person in the cube next to this guy is ALSO out sick. Typhoid-Colleague here.

      • Anon re sick colleague :

        Don’t remember if I posted and it went into mod or if I forgot to press post.

        I feel like something is coming on but I’m not completely sure if I’m not just tired from some other meds.

        Yes, I got a tamiflu scrip. I started it last night.

    • Anon for this :

      I’m very sorry you got sick. I hope you feel better. However I have an even more sick story. Yesterday, I felt very lonely because it was Valentine’s Day and I have no one. So I let a banker buy me some drinks downtown and I went home with him. I voluntarily slept with him but after it was over he told me to get up and go home. I left and I felt so cheap for what I had done. I will never do this again.

  5. Anonymous :

    Chinese New Year gift etiquette question. My kid goes to a Mandarin immersion preschool and they’re having a Chinese New Year celebration this Friday. Should I get a gift for her teachers? If yes, is a red envelope appropriate and how much should I give? If a red envelope is not appropriate, any other gift suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      no need!!! well i mean you can get her teachers a gift card to starbucks or whatever if you like them and just as a nice thank you gift. but usually red envelopes go to the kids from adults in their life. i have now switched from being the receiver of gifts to the giver of gifts in my family and it is much more fun on the other side ;)

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks! I used to get them from my grandparents as a kid (they died before I became an adult), and I wasn’t sure what the protocol here was. But starbucks would be a good choice! Thanks.

  6. Chicago spas? :

    My sister and I will be in Chicago next weekend and we’re hoping to book some sort of spa treatment. Maybe a sauna, massage, manicure. Any recommendations on good places?

    • Allyu on Kingsbury and Chicago

    • Allyu is great — very calming and lovely treatments. If it is a special occasion and you want to spend a lot of money, the JW Marriot, the Peninsula, and the Langham are all great. The W is fun and you can hang out and have a drink between treatments.

  7. Anonymous :

    Really simple question for once – how do you store fresh garlic (like the white cloves)? Fridge or room temp and how long does it last?

    • Peeled, in the fridge in a baggie. Unpeeled, in a cool dark cabinet with onions and potatoes.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      room temp, with my other produce. 3 – 4 weeks. no idea if this is “right.”

    • I don’t mean to be that person, but…

    • Anonymous :

      For all produce, I store it the same way the grocery store stocks it.

      • This is a good point. I kept having issues with my broccoli getting weird and I finally realized it was because I left it on the counter but it is the cold section in the grocery store. Now I store it in the fridge.

    • I have a terracotta pot with a lid and little holes in the sides specifically for storing garlic. I keep shallots in there too.

    • Unpeeled, whole. Room temp until it grows green shoots, which can be a week or a month depending on how old the garlic was when I bought it. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, and actually shouldn’t be refrigerated. Onions, garlic, tomatoes and avocados – no fridge time.

  8. Any of you have experience where the lender on a car loan won’t ALLOW you to set up automatic payments until the loan is 30 days old? (There’s a 45 day grace period from when you drive off the lot.) Or do any of you work for a lender and can explain the rationale behind what seems like the most absurd rule I’ve ever heard of?

    • They are probably selling it and you wouldn’t end up paying the loan originator anyway. They have to get it off their books and you’ll get information from the new servicer about how to set up autopay.

      • They sent a whole package to me about how to set up my online account, my account number, and my due date. I can make a manual payment against the loan, but I can’t set up autopay.

        • Hmmm. I suppose it could be a function of that 45-day grace period? But then you would expect it to run concurrently with that. Other than that, I got nothing, sorry!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know why (and in my line of work, maybe I should!?) but I had the same experience with my mortgage.

    • wildkitten :

      I’ve had the same experience with personal loans.

  9. Anonymous :

    I’m getting a manicure this weekend – any suggestions for trendy (but still work appropriate) colours?

    • Meg March :

      I’m loving cool grey for winter/spring right now. More blue undertones, not dark, not shiny/glittery. Something like Essie’s maximillian strasse-her.

    • Anonymous :

      Off-white is both trendy and work appropriate. OPI Funny Bunny is my favorite.

  10. Calibrachoa :

    Happy discount chocolate eve, everyone!

    • Anonymous :

      To you as well! What a wonderful day it is – that and the day after Easter when you can get Cadbury caramel eggs!

    • Oh, See’s doesn’t go on sale, not that I’ve ever noticed :/ of course, if it did, I’d be in big trouble

  11. Iceland travel question :

    Iceland Air has super cheap flights from the US today. $349/roundtrip from certain US cities. I have some wanderlust so tell me: what can you do in Iceland in the summer? Is it worth a week there? I’m open to outdoors stuff, museums, anything!

    • Do it!! Rent a car and travel the ring road for the week staying in different locations each night. Or stay in Reykjavik and do day trips- you can spend a day in the city shopping and eating, spend a day doing the golden circle, drive to the south coast and experience magical waterfalls and the black sand beach. Go glacier hiking, dive the continental divide, hike up to geothermal rivers, visit the glacier lagoon. So much to do and the summer is great time since there are long days!

    • Absolutely, a week in Iceland will be full of fun and cool things to see IF you include the golden circle (self guided travel on a circular road in the countryside) and do some outdoorsy things (riding the ponies, snorkeling, whale watching, viewing iceburgs. Only Reykjavik will take around 4 days tops. If going during the summer, definitely recommend trying to go during Culture Night, it’s one of the biggest celebrations of the year, everyone is out on the streets, all the shops are open late, and there are free shows all over the city in public. And the temperature is perfect, in the 50s up to 70s!

    • Anonymous :

      Everything! It’s a great place to visit. I’d do 3 days (agian!) for the city and the Golden Circle tour and Blue Lagoon, and you might be able to do a few more days if you go hiking around the Ring Road.

    • Anonymous :

      i would give the ring road at LEAST a week – the sights and stuff to do is densely packed around the west and also southern coast, but towards the northern coast and esp from lake myvatn westward back to reykjavik, you either need to be able to offroad or hike a ton to see stuff and it can be a pretty long windy drive with not that much to stop for.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      D**n, only East Coast cities (and Chicago). I was so ready to book a trip to Iceland.

    • Anonymous :

      I spent 10 days in Iceland last summer and it wasn’t enough. I wish I’d spent less time in Reykjavik and more time exploring. Akureyri and Myvatn were wonderful. Get out of the Golden Circle and go see the country. I’m not even an outdoorsy person and I loved it.

  12. Recommendations for the Dolomites? Looking at going this summer.

    • What are you looking for? Village life? Hiking? Food?

      Last summer we flew into Venice and then travelled around Slovenia for 5 days. From there we moved on to an Airbnb in Canal san Bovo in the southern Dolomites for 4 days. We wrapped up with 4 days at Rifugio Fanes in Alta Badia. We loved it all!

  13. Sorry if this has been asked before, but for those of you who are pregnant or TTC, would you go to Miami right now for vacation (ie in the winter)? CDC doesn’t have an active warning anymore and my doctor doesn’t seem concerned, but some people I talk to still seem worried and I’m not sure how justified that is.

  14. What to do with $500K CASH? :

    Just rec’d a MAJOR retention bonus for 5 years of service – this amount is roughly 4x my annual salary. I am single, 36 years old, HCOL city. I own a small house with about $470k left on mortgage. Payoff doesn’t seem like the best idea, but the stock market seems like a truly awful idea. Do I just hoard the cash?

    In the next 1-2 years, I expect to burn out of my current occupation and find some 9-5 job making $50k per year. Thanks for your guidance and suggestions.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Want to pay off my student loans? (Kidding, but if you do want to, let me know).

      Do you have any debt- student loans, car, etc? Any kids that you can put a lot of it into a college savings or gift trust for?

      If not, I would just put it into retirement savings (I don’t know what kind, I have not had to consider what I’d do with a large amount of savings…) and let it grow; you obviously won’t have nearly the capacity to save once you lean out with your current income.

    • Use a retirement calculator with your anticipated date of leaning out as your retirement age. Most of these will tell you what mix of stocks vs bonds to invest in for the appropriate level of growth vs stability in that time frame.

    • I’d also look to invest for retirement after paying down any high interest debt. Before committing all of that money somewhere though, getting that much at once means you will have a much higher income this year and you will have underwithheld on any salary (or other compensation) you received prior to the bonus. Also, there is the option of withholding at a flat 25% for federal taxes on bonuses, so if your employer withheld at that rate, you’ll owe more in taxes next April on the bonus too.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow can we ask what you do? I’m paid a ton more than you are in a bonus heavy market and I can’t imagine getting a bonus for times my salary. what did you do?

  15. Rainbow Hair :

    Is Reno fun? Is Reno fun for families? I’m at the back-of-envelope scheming phase, for a trip I have to take in 2019, wondering about bringing the family or just the husband portion.

    (My impression of it is Like Vegas But Worse* but that is pretty much based on nothing, and I hope I’m wrong.)

    *I used to like the campiness of Vegas. I guess I still do, but I had a bit of a breakdown there a few years ago, a confluence of bad personal and world events, and a dude trying to break down my hotel room door, and I’ve never really stayed anywhere in Vegas that seemed clean (though my budget and the conference I’ve attended can be blamed for that), and I don’t gamble so I guess I’m not a big fan…

    • Anonymous :

      No. It’s not.

    • CorporateInCarhartt :

      Haven’t been there in long enough to know if it’s fun for families, but the reason I like Reno over Las Vegas is the proximity to Tahoe, which is awesome.

    • I went for work and thought it was awful. I like Vegas a lot, partly because of the high-end food scene, but I also really enjoy the cheesiness and fun of the strip. Reno doesn’t have any of that, it’s just a bunch of sad casinos with people who are seriously addicted to gambling, and I found it incredibly depressing. It reminded me of some of the off-strip parts of Vegas (which can also be quite run down and depressing) but I thought it was nothing like the strip. I wouldn’t extend your stay there unless it’s to go to Tahoe as suggested above.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This is, sadly, pretty much exactly what I was imagining. Ha a part of me now wants to make my family come just so I won’t be sad. But that’s silly. I’ll power through.

    • Reno can be fun, depending on your kids’ ages. Nearby outdoor activities, including Tahoe, cute restaurant scene, and you can stay at a place like Circus Circus.

      We live in the Bay Area and my husband used to take the kids to Reno between xmas and new years every year, when I had to work and he didn’t.

    • Reno is super depressing. No one goes there for fun – casinos are full of addicts (gambling, booze, both, and everything else.)Kids will like Circus Circus but you’ll notice how dirty and run down it is – bring gallons of hand sanitizer if you decide to go.

      On the other hand, Tahoe is beautiful.

    • Go to Laughlin for a few days and then Reno will seem fun, clean, and non-depressing.

      • Wait, I take this comment back! Because I remembered that Laughlin is on the Colorado River and you can do some outdoorsy stuff there, if you can tear yourself away from low-end slot machines.

        Reno truly is the worst.

    • No, Reno is sad Vegas, not even Vegas, just sad. Where hope goes to die (or gamble at a slot machine right before it dies). It is close to Tahoe, so if you wanted to stretch a trip into a weekend, you could go there.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Blah, OK, that seems like a consensus.

    • I wholly disagree with this! My best friend lived there for several years and I had a great time every time I visted her! Reno has had a huge renaissance in the past few years–it has an arts district, great nearby hiking, Virginia City is a touristy former mining town (kids will love it), and Tahoe is AMAZING (and only 40 minutes away. There are a lot of CA transplants as the Bay Area has gotten super-pricy and the GigaFactory and several huge distribution centers have created good, middle-class jobs.

      If you hang out near the pawn shops and in the casinos, sure, it’s full of a slightly sketch crowd. But there really is a lot to do there. It’s really a gorgeous lil city nested below the Sierra. Will post links in a separate post.


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