Suit of the Week: MM.LaFleur

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 was news to me, but MM.LaFleur has started selling suiting — and one of their offerings is this plaid wool suit. I like how the pattern isn’t a very precise plaid, if that makes sense — it’s got sort of a half-finished look to it, which is even cooler. It’s a nice look, and I like the colors and the cut. (They’ve got some interesting style choices for the rest of the suits they’re offering, as well.) Note that the blazer is only available for pre-order and should ship by late March. The jacket (Ross Blazer) is $295, and the skirt (Cobble Hill Skirt) is $165; there’s also a matching pant ($225) and dress ($295).

A more affordable alternative is at Amazon, and Talbots has an option in plus sizes (jacket + pant).

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    This is lovely!

    • I so agree! For once in my life I would like to be able to look as cute as the models in these p’osts. Because I am forced to sit at my desk all day and work, my tuchus hardly is model-like. When I go to the websights where these dresses and clotheing is advertised, that is when it hits me. I am heading right for middel age, and I am goieng to look just like Mom did when I was in grade school. OMG, and Rosa does not look at all the same b/c she works out and sleep’s in late after Ed heads to work on the train. Why can’t I be like Rosa? Dad says not to be silly b/c he thinks I still have a cute face even if I do have mom’s tuchus! Dad can be sweet, and he was today! YAY Dad!!!!!

  2. Alanna of Trebond :

    This post made me realize something. I used to love MM LaFleur, but their offerings seem very Ann Taylor to me now. Everything seems calculated to be generally inoffensive boring clothes. For their price point, the clothes on the outnet are much more interesting, and you can get workwear basics for much cheaper at Massimo Dutti.

    • I do wish they had a few more blouses with shape. However, I love the tops that I have purchased, which are the few that are more form fitting for me.

    • Yes and also, this will sound awful and I truly don’t mean it to be — but I signed up for the b s t FB page for MMLF and seeing the pictures of women wearing their clothes has turned me off entirely to the brand. The clothes featured are for the most part just not flattering — too drapey, too many bulges showing, too long, etc. But of course people are being nice and saying that everyone looks great in the comments….

      • Equestrian Attorney :

        Yep, I had a similar experience with the Facebook group. I got the sense their website is very very carefully styled and their clothes really don’t look that great if you aren’t a waifer-thin model. I also bought a dress of Ebay and it’s OK, although it’s really really skin-tight and not office-appropriate (I got a 6, I’m usually a 4 in BR/JCrew) and honestly, would not have been good value if purchased full price.

        • Anonymous :

          Ha — I get W and I love MM’s site (and even the FB page) b/c they are actual people who are either looking pleasant or actually smiling. W is all people looking strung out / passed out / glowering at you. [Like W is W and not real and I get that as a grownup, but I have young daughters and some of the images there I think are very disturbing and send the wrong message. Would not be afraid to let them see MM (plus size models on the site!) or the MM FB page.]

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I have not seen the facebook group, but I feel this way about my own MM Lafleur clothes. The Etsuko dress is really not flattering at all when you gain a few pounds. I still love my Nakamura trousers, but of course, they only stock them in black now.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s interesting.

        I am on that FB group too and really like seeing real people in clothes (like rent the runway and a couple of other sites). If anything, it has made me appreciate it more. I have only seen one set of not-great snaps (and it was from a person with sizing Qs). I mean, it’s not the fault of the clothes. And it’s more of a what helps me dress this body how I want to look, not the fault of the clothes/body anyway. I like seeing professional woman all over the us (vs fashion bloggers or mommy style bloggers, none of which are true amateurs) with no filter.

        If anything, my personal style is what I think is called strict by French women. For some reason the junior people here thing it’s hard but it’s just wear something that is simple and fits you well.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s harsh. I like seeing real people wearing the clothes. And god forbid people in the comments be *gasp* nice … Terribly sorry you didn’t enjoy seeing bulges and the like.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you the same person who was bragging about being rich this morning?

        • Mortgage Q :

          If you’re talking about me, MMLF is about 10x what I spend on any individual piece of clothing. I scroll right by posts on it, because it is not relevant to me. I do not comment “who would spend so much money on a dress?” Because I understand that this site attracts many different people.

          • OMG stop already

          • You spend only $20-30 on your clothing? Impressive. That must by why you’re so rich. Maybe that’s why your neighbors can afford their homes.

            Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      • Anonymous :

        way harsh, Tai

      • I love that page. I know I’m not built like a model so I like seeing the clothes on real people.

        • Ok, but to come to her defense, seeing clothes on real people is great… discovering they’re not particularly flattering on any of those real people doesn’t reflect well on the brand. #MMLFhater

      • I know what you mean. Part of the fun of shopping is the illusion. It’s why I don’t like shopping Poshmark or EBay (and why Tradesy or RealReal are better), and why Wantable got rid of its stream of customer photos– clothes on non-models in bad lighting taken with a cell camera in a closet mirror aren’t great!

        I haven’t tried MM because of the price, but I did compliment a coworker on her dress one day and she told me it was MM, so some do really look fantastic in person.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Yep I 100% agree. I said something on this board about how the buy sell trade group was not doing any buying seling or trading and more selfie forum a commenter tried to say I was body shaming people!

        But yes, the selfies and all the comments have made me like the clothes less. I’ll stick with my jardigans because I haven’t found anything that is as sleek, but everyone else there is starting to read a tiny bit boring and dowdy.

      • Leslie Knope :

        I appreciate the brand more and love seeing women of all shapes and sizes enjoying professional, nice clothes on the facebook b/s/t site. I think it is very body positive and I am one of the commenters who always says people look great because they do! They are feeling confident and happy in their clothes, despite not being a size 2. And that does look good to me, I’m not just being nice.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree that the styles have become frumpy. All the nicely tailored styles I used to like are no longer available, and it’s all weird drapey stuff in muddy colors.

    • I like Massimo Dutti but am nervous about their return/exchange policies as it sounds like a real PITA if something does not fit. I am not close to any of their locations, so in-person returns is not possible.
      Can anyone here comment ? The special red tape, having to be home for pickup just seems like a real hassle no matter how great the clothes are.

      • I have ordered stuff from MD and it shipped just fine (although I admittedly did not return). Their sizing definitely runs small though, it’s much easier if you know your european size (for example, I am a US4/6 and a euro 38, which is an 8 in MD US sizes. I mistakenly ordered a 4 the first time and could barely breathe).

    • MM La Fleur’s quality is much better than Massimo Dutti though. I bought a lovely, interesting suit at Massimo Dutti last year and the pants immediately stretched out in the waist, butt, and knees to where it is unwearable. Very frustrating.

      I would buy more things off the Outnet but shipping/returns is not nearly as straightforward as Nordstrom or MM La Fleur.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Oh, that has not been my experience. All of my MM Lafleur stuff has started looking frayed and my Massimo Dutti stuff seems to be holding up. But I am not sure that I really understand quality.

    • I mean, their motto is that your clothes should be the least interesting thing about you…. which I actually think is a great philosophy for work clothing. The menfolk certainly follow that rule.

    • Anonymous :

      Massimo Dutti has some weird options, unless I’m on the wrong site – is there a secret area I’m missing? I would love a new store. I think only one of the dresses would be appropriate for my office and they have a lot of quirky options like these:
      https://www.massimodutti.com/us/women/suits/limited-edition-linen-suit-trousers-with-turn-up-hem-detail-c1383007p8157066.html , https://www.massimodutti.com/us/women/blazers/limited-edition-linen-cotton-sahara-blazer-c675008p8157061.html

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        Yes they have weird options, but they also have a LOT of options that change all the time (owned by same people as Zara).

        https://www.massimodutti.com/us/women/suits/slim-fit-navy-blue-textured-wool-blazer-c1383007p8135108.html?colorId=401&parentId=8135349

        https://www.massimodutti.com/us/women/suits/slim-fit-checked-wool-suit-blazer-c1383007p8096531.html?colorId=800&parentId=8096594

        https://www.massimodutti.com/us/women/dresses/view-all/contrasting-dress-with-bow-c911162p8102007.html?colorId=800&parentId=8102041

        I obviously am not doing enough work today. I also have to confess that I definitely err on the side of “interesting” rather than super professional when I am not in court / client meetings.

  3. Fearful traveller :

    I have done very little international air travel to date, mainly because I have a lot of travel anxiety. I am about to embark on my first work trip, from NYC (LaGuardia) to Toronto (Pearson), on Air Canada. I have Global Entry and will only be bringing a carryon. How early do I need to get to the airport, in each country? How long will it take to get through customs or security after landing in each city? Will I need cash in Canada, and if so, where should I get it? Do I need to call my cc company in advance to give them a heads up? Any other travel tips? Thanks so very much for any advice!

    • anonshmanon :

      Check what your airline says (on their website and again specifically, when you check in online). Most recommendations say to arrive at the airport 2 hours before your flight departs, which leaves enough time to drop off checked luggage and go through security. You are not checking luggage, so there is an extra time buffer to help with the anxiety.
      If you have flight-related anxiety, things that help me are trying to get a seat towards the front of the plane (by checking in online the moment they open check in), because everything backwards from the wings is more bobbing up and down by nature. Active noise cancelling headphones (recently I have seen them as cheap as 70$) help me too.
      You are only allowed to take travel-sized bottles of liquids in your carry on, but you can take an empty water bottle through security and fill it up at a cooler afterwards.
      You can call you CC company or email them, and say you’ll be in Canada for x dates. It doesn’t always help in my experience, the system with which they flag suspicious activity is not logical to me. If you can carry a second credit card just in case, I would.
      Travel logistics are a thing you can learn! You can do it!

    • Anonymous :

      You’ll do great!

      Get to the airport 3 hours early. It’s too early, but you’re anxious.

      Usually under an hour at customs.

      You don’t need cash, just withdraw it from an ATM.

      Yes, tell your bank. There’s usually a link to do this online.

      • Three hours is WAYYYYY too early! Even if you’re anxious.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          If three hours includes parking, grabbing shuttle, & checking luggage, then I don’t think three hours is too early for an international flight. Especially if you’re anxious and not a regular flier.

        • Anonymous :

          Pearson is notoriously awful though. Super packed and long lines.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Canada is similar enough to the US that most international things don’t matter. Toronto in particular is a standard cosmopolitan city that just happens to get a lot of snow and low temperatures and where Tim Hortons outnumber Dunkin Donuts 50 to 1. You will be 100% fine using the same systems you use in the US. I don’t even think any major cell phone companies differentiate between access in the two countries anymore (Verizon doesn’t seem to at any rate). If you’re a nervous flyer, arrive at the airport two hours in advance, although for a NYC to Toronto flight you can easily show up as little as 1 hour before boarding. Not sure whether taxis there all take card, although I’d assume so. You can call your CC company if it would make you feel better, but I never did, and didn’t have a problem. You’ll do great! Have a good trip!

      • Clementine :

        Yes. To all. Including a Tim Horton’s reference.

        (Longer comment but it’s in mod… probably because I used the word exc el1ent.)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I have Verizon and I had to turn on the international day pass for a trip to Canada. It was $4/day I think. That was to access my data package and to make calls.

      • Anonymous :

        Taxis will take credit cards, and Toronto has Uber which is better than cabs.

    • Clementine :

      Wow, great first trip to ease into it!

      To answer your questions: I would probably get to the airport 2 1/2 hours before your flight, but would also build in a cushion to get to the airport of at least 30-45 minutes. Through customs/security is always kind of a gamble, but somewhere between 15-45 minutes is a good estimate IMO. Pull cash out of the ATM in Canada- you get a good exchange rate in general. I would personally pull $25-50 in cash per day out and use your credit card for the rest. And yes, call your Credit Card company and your bank (see ATM advice) and just tell them you’ll be in Toronto. They’ll put a note on your account.

      Everything will be great! Abra at CapHillStyle/the Work Edit just went to Montreal and had some fun drugstore picks that might be interesting to pick up. Other than that, definitely try some delicious Tim Horton’s coffee with a maple log. It’s a cultural experience on par with a New York Pretzel – you can get them elsewhere but they’re never quite as good.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Make sure you have a credit card with a chip. All of mine have been changed over at this point. A few years ago though, I was in Canada and the ATM wouldn’t work if my card didn’t have a chip. Some of the restaurants couldn’t use my swipe card without a chip either.

      • Anonymous :

        i thought Tim Horton’s changed their coffee supplier.

      • Anonymous :

        What’s a maple log? Is that a maple donut? The Tim’s donuts vary by region and we don’t have anything called a ‘maple log’ where I am.

        • Clementine :

          Maple donut in the long shape, not the round shape.

          Very technical reference here, I know.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          In the PNW we call it a maple bar. So many variations about something that is, at its core, delicious delicious sugar.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I’m in mod. Just make sure your CC/debit card has a chip.

      • Don’t pull $25-50 out per day from the ATM. Better to do it one transaction. Even banks that say no ATM fee will still charge you transaction fees on the back-end. Ask me how I know.

    • If you have Verizon, contact them to activate Travel Pass. Then, if you use cell data while in Canada, it’s a flat rate of $5/day.

      Leaving Canada, in the airports I’ve been to (not sure about Toronto specifically), you actually clear US Customs while physically still in Canada — before getting to your boarding area for your flight. Then when you land in the US it’s just like a normal domestic arrival. Runs really smoothly!

    • Anonymous :

      For that trip, you will do Customs clearance in Toronto in both directions, even returning towards the US.
      Should be quick with Global entry, but give your self enough some extra time when you come back to the Pearson for the trip home.

    • Longer comment in M0d.
      Tip: Customs is in Toronto, even for the return.

    • Anonymous :

      Security from Canada > US can be really brutal and take forever. Give yourself 3 hours.

    • Anonymous :

      Everyone else has good advice on the other things. In terms of customs, you will go through when you get to Toronto (though you will have to show your passport to board the plane). Global Entry does not help with entering Canada (just coming home). Toronto Pearson has electronic kiosks which you go to before you talk to an agent. On the way back, you will also go through customs in Toronto. You will have access to Global Entry kiosks there. Depending on the airline you are flying, it may be helpful to take the card you got with Global Entry so you can access the priority security line. Air Canada does not print TSA pre on your boarding pass in Canada, or at least did not when I last went (July), and I have been able to use that card to show I am eligible for that security line. Enjoy your trip. Toronto is awesome.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Have you already booked your flight? If not, I would strongly recommend flying from Newark to the Island Airport (downtown Toronto) rather than to Pearson. It is a far more pleasant experience and you do not need to arrive as early for your return flight, which should minimize your stress.

      • I love that airport but they only fly prop planes which make some nervous. And Porter has canceled me on my last two outbound flights. But it’s so amazing – quick trip and they let you get on early flights – that I keep going back!

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Can I tell you something hilarious? I am a terribly nervous flyer but I have never noticed the planes there. I guess the calm atmosphere and the lack of Pearson craziness, plus the cappuccino machines, is enough for me.

  4. Basic investing question — what do people mean when they say you should be invested “mostly” in stocks when you are “young”? Specifically, what percentage bonds should you be invested in at age 30?

    • Anonymous :

      90/10 stocks/bond is moderately aggressive. And what I currently have as a 36 year old. You want most of your investments in stocks because those are what are going to give you the returns. And you are young enough to weather any downturns that happen (because they will) in the shorter term, assuming you plan to retire at 65/70.

      Calculations change if you have other retirement plans or plan to need the money at a specific date.

    • Anonymous :

      Like barely 5% if that.

    • Sassyfras :

      In this market, 100% stocks.

    • Anonymous :

      It used to be that you’d hold your age (as a percentage) in bonds, and (100%-your age) in equity.

      • I’ve never heard that advice.

        • Anonymous :

          http://time.com/money/collection-post/2791148/stock-and-bond-mix-needed-for-retirement-saving/

          • Anonymous :

            Okay? One article citing an old rule of thumb (without any rationale for it), which I have still never heard before. I don’t even buy their updated version of the adage (110 or 120-your age).

            Target Funds (which are designed to automatically adjust this ratio as you get closer to retirement) do not use this rule of thumb. the Vanguard Target funds keep you at 90/10 until you are 25 years out from retirement and then start to transition you to about 45-35% bonds.

          • Anonymous :

            There are hundreds of articles. Do a search. My statement is correct as written.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I think that’s too high. I would have 70% stocks, which is way too low.

        • Anonymous :

          And having 35% stocks at retirement is rather high, isn’t it? Don’t you mostly (80/90/100%) want to be in bonds at that point? To lock in that retirement money and guard against a downturn?

          • Sassyfras :

            But what if you live for 30 years after you retire? I don’t think 35% sounds high for that age…

          • Anonymous :

            You’re right – I checked to see what the Vanguard Target Funds did (see comment above) and it does transition you down to 45-35% bonds.

      • I’ve heard 120-age in stock, the rest in bonds. I think that is more typical.

      • I’ve been around long enough that I’ve heard this advice in the past.

    • It depends on your risk tolerance. There is no one size fits all answer.

      You need to remember than many, many of the so called experts on this board have never weathered a significant market downturn. There’s the theory – leave everything invested and the values will rebound – vs real life, where significant recessions tend to be coupled with significant unemployment, and you need your money when it has taken a large hit.

  5. Secondment at client? :

    I am a senior associate in a niche legal practice who will be seconded to one of my firm’s clients. I haven’t worked with this client much directly so I’ll be going in mostly blind in terms of the personalities I’ll be dealing with. Any advice for how to prepare for the secondment or what to do once I’m there? Thanks!

    • I was seconded to a client I knew nothing about to help them through a situation where my “predecessor” left because of a mental breakdown due to work stress…yeah. Overall, it was very successful and I’m now the main go-to lawyer for the client. The things I did that helped were:
      – Talk to all your partners that are sending you over to get any intel on the client and to get an idea as to the scope of your assignment. You need to know what the firm thinks you’re doing there before you walk in the door. You also need to know how much authority and decision-making ability you will have. If the client expects you to make and execute on decisions, you need to know this before your boss or boss’ boss is asking why you didn’t do anything about a situation.
      – Introduce yourself to your co-workers and your boss. This will probably happen anyway as a matter of course.
      – Be mindful of office politics and stay above the fray, but CYA appropriately when you need to wade into the fray. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but if you alert your boss by saying, “I have a meeting with X person, and it seems that there is some history there, is there anything I should definitely not do/mention?”
      – Be “ready to help” with anything, especially if you’re going to a small company.

  6. I do love the “column of color” dressing strategy. And I am a minimalist in my color palette. Lots of black/ivory/grey.

    What topper colors/styles do you love with your black column of color? Either a sheath dress or black blouse + pants.

    • Clementine :

      Plum and tweed are my go-to’s. Olive is also really nice but doesn’t work with my coloring.

      I find pink and red and cobalt a bit too early aughts, yellow is too bumble-bee to make me feel comfortable, and like something more interesting than charcoal.

    • I wear almost exclusively black and gray, but I do wear scarves a lot. Madewell has good options, so does Target, though right now I’m coveting Block Shop.

    • Anonymous :

      For me the whole point of dressing in neutral colours is not to muck them up with “pops of colour” (hate that phrase). I think minimal dressing is way more chic that way.

      • So, with a black column of color, you would prefer just a grey (and I have done white) topper? That is primarily what I am doing. But as I am aging and my coloring is changing, I think I might need a bit of color around my face. Could be a scarf…. I am not adept enough with make-up to try to attempt it there.

        • I hear you on the needing more color as you get older. I’m experimenting with the same and what I find is that black and very dark gray are harder for me to wear than they used to be. It’s not necessarily about color, it’s just about not wearing anything so dark and depleting, for lack of a better word.

          So I’ve expanded my column of color options to a lighter gray and a couple of different blues (navy and a lighter more violet leaning blue), and when I wear the black or charcoal columns I always use a lighter colored third piece to flatter me more.

          I also use a lot of scarves. Again, they don’t have to be bright colors, but definitely something a bit less harsh.

          • Thanks – this is quite useful. I have been trying to expand a bit to the navy, and as many know, it can be tricky to match blues/navys. I have also been searching for a flattering pair of light grey pants for awhile, so I don’t have a good light grey capsule yet, but I like that idea.

        • It is definitely hard to match navies so I tend to buy my tops and bottoms in the same brand.

      • Anonymous :

        Minimal dressing is a small pop of color. Not pops. That’s sort of “I couldn’t think of how to do this outfit so I am 75% black and 25% slapdash.”

        • Yeah I’m not wild about the “pop” of color either. Especially with black. I like black mixed with other neutrals but not with real colors.

          If I’m wearing color, it’s pretty much a muted color and I’m monochromatic head to toe.

  7. My small-ish company dissolved. I got my severance check today and it’s more than I thought so I am grateful. But as I frantically redo my resume, I came to the conclusion I am overqualified for most jobs offered in my current country (African). I will spend the rest of the week and weekend detoxing from my previous work, maybe go to a SPA. But as of next week, I will start applying in different geographies.
    Anyone with cheer-up stories on how they managed to get sponsorship for EU or UK while being effectively unemployed and not considered yet one of those (insert country name) scams?
    My field is not relevant to the discussion, I just want to know that some people made it and lived to tell.

  8. Don’t own MML but have wanted to bite the bullet for a while, but the women on here seem to give conflicting advice. Is it true the dresses are unlined and material thin? Do they have any lined clothes? Is the cut worth the material. In a major southern city so no pop up shops coming to us anytime soon.

    • Two Cents :

      I have two MMLF items (the jardigan and the Foster pant). I like both but I’m not enamored with their clothes the way some people are. I don’t get the hype, especially for that price point. I also tend to wear a lot of sleeved shirts so the Jardigan is not a staple for me the way it is for other women, perhaps. I do believe that many of the dresses are unlined but I don’t find the material all that thin. They have free shipping and returns so if you are interested I would just order a few pieces and see what you think.

    • I am pretty particular about my clothes (most of my work wardrobe is Theory, Hugo Boss, COS…and MM LaFleur). I can understand the conflicting advice. I’ve basically only been happy with things that I tried on in person at a pop up. I do find that some of the things feel cheap to me. However, I love the things that I have purchased and wear them on a weekly basis. Some things are lined and some are not. You have to read the descriptions. I am tall so I’m purposely looking for things that are long. Examples of things I have and like: Rachel dress, Morandi sweater, Masha dress, Didion tops. I tried and thought were flimsy: Nisa dress, Annie dress.

      • Totally agree with everything Random says here – and we are work wardrobe twins. Those are all my favorite brands as well. I’m not that tall, only 5’6″, but am thin and like my clothes to be well tailored.

        The Rachel and Morandi were both great. I didn’t love the Etsuko. It fit well initially, but after one wash (it is machine washable), the bottom hem somehow shrunk and looks crumped. I never wear it because details really matter to me.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      As I mentioned above, don’t do it. Much better options out there for the price.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sure there’s variation by item; hopefully others can chime in on specific pieces. I’ll start:

      Emily Dress
      (pros) – modest, neutral, washable
      (cons) – unlined, thin material, hem unravelled immediately
      (verdict) – The style was perfect. I would have kept it had the quality been decent, but it was just dismal.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in CLT and have a black Eutsuko that I adore. I think it is their best dress.

      I also have an Emily, but if I buy more, it would be a different color / or patterned Etsuko.

      If you try nothing else, I’d give that a try. I took an 8 b/c I like a roomy fit (and I’m a pear; usually a BR 6 in bottoms).

    • Eh. I got a Bento Box to try and see if anything would work and I didn’t like the material feel for the price point, plus it was unlined. If the material had been different, I may have kept an item or two and gotten it tailored, but I ended up returning everything they sent me. YMMV though

    • I am tall and long-waisted with a flat stomach and proportionate shoulders/bust/butt/hips. I own two of the Masha dress, one Angela dress, one Jacqueline dress, the longer jardigan, the Dietrich topper, two Betty tops, and the Vesterbro trousers. I have a lot of nice work clothing at various price points and my MMF pieces were absolutely worth the money. Almost everything is in this washable crepe fabric that I absolutely love. The dresses and trousers are unlined but the cut skims my body and the fabric doesn’t show bumps. I do go up or down a size to get the fit that I want.

      Also, I have tried on a ton of MMF clothing that doesn’t fit me right and looks terrible. You’re best off going into one of the stores and trying on a bunch of stuff. You’ll have better luck that way than with a bento.

      • Anonymous :

        Or do a bento of 1 item in 2-3 sizes.

        My Nisa size is not my Etsuko size. And the stylists wanted me to go tighter than I like so there is also your comfortable-to-you size to consider.

        I went to a popup and tried on a ton of stuff, some of which were not worth a reveal to anyone but the mirror and some were an unexpected wow. I thought I’d love the Annie; it did not love me. But Emily (surprise! it looked too short on the model on the site but was perfect on 5-4 me) was a surprise hit.

    • Anonymous :

      You can return stuff to them for free, if you’re worried about not liking what you order.

    • Baconpancakes :

      It’s hit or miss, but when it hits, it’s perfect for me. I have the Greenpoint Skirt, the Sant Ambroeus Jardigan, and the Annie Dress, and I love them. This is all I’ve gotten from three bento boxes, though.

      The washable fabric is a huge plus. I’ve had to be a little pushy with my stylist to get what I wanted – they didn’t want to give me size 16 dresses, only +1’s, until I pushed and was correct in my belief that +1’s were the wrong cut for me.

      Everything I’ve tried on has been unlined, but a thick enough fabric that I don’t mind it. I’d say try a Bento, it’s free anyway!

    • I have the Masha dress in the featured navy plaid wool and it is lined. I also have the same dress in plum and I believe it’s lined.

      I have more separates – not jackets, but blouses and skirts, and they are unlined. I wouldn’t want the skirts to be lined given the stretchy fabrics they’re made from – sort of like a really nice non-pilly ponte.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the jardigan and the Annie (in two colors), and I really like them. The hem on my first Annie did unravel after a few washes, which was annoying, but the drycleaner re-hemmed it for $15 and I haven’t had a problem since. I like that they’re unlined, because I can wear them in hot weather or, in the winter, with tights and a slip for extra warmth. I find the fabric quality to be quite good.

    • I have a few of their items (the Etsuko, the Annie and the Katie, the jardigan, a shell and a sleeveless blouse). All of the dresses needed a quick trip to the tailor to get the waist tucked in or the length shortened. I wear the heck out of the jardigan and the Katie in particular – both travel very well. The fabrics for the Etsuko and the Annie are not great and I don’t find myself reaching for those as much, though both are in colors so I do wear them when I am sick of black. I am a size 4 in J Crew and a size 6 in MMLF and DVF.

    • I’ve purchased and returned two MMLF dresses.: both were unlined, both were thin, both were deeply unflattering in ways that wouldn’t have been fixed by sizing up. Garbage for the price-point.

  9. Planning a 5 day 4 night trip to Mexico City in the spring. Recommendations for restaurants/things to do or see/shopping?

    Planning to stay at JW Marriott near the park.

    • ALX emily :

      The Eater guide is full of great food advice – including about the food tours. I recommend Club Tengo Hambre. They only had the street food essentials tour at the time, which was fabulous, but now they have a few others I think that all look great.

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t been there in years, but I’d recommend the Bosque de Chapultepec and the Museo de Antropologia. The Templo Mayor museum in the Zocalo is amazing. You should do a day trip to the pyramids, and spend a day in Coyoacan to see the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera houses; the Inn at San Angel is a lovely and cool spot to eat lunch. I enjoyed Ballet Folklorico. The Casa de los Azulejos is beautiful. In the Zocalo, you should also definitely go see the Rivera murals in the Palacio Nacional.

      I don’t have great restaurant or shopping recommendations because it’s been so long, but I bet you’ll find amazing food there.

      Have a wonderful time! I loved Mexico City – the energy there is unreal – and hope you do too.

  10. Laundry Q :

    if a dress 98% polyester and viscose, and the rest is elastane, why would the label say dry clean only? Would gentle cold wash not do the trick?

    • I would risk it. The only synthetic fabric I never wash is acetate, because it shrinks in a crazy way even in cold water.

    • Anonymous :

      Usually because of the lining.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      It might be the interfacing, which can wrinkle up even on a gentle cold wash. This happened to one of my blazers and I was DISTRAUGHT but I actually managed to smooth it out with a slightly warm iron, a pressing cloth, and a lot of patience. So I would risk it, especially since a dress seems less likely to have fusible interfacing.

  11. Green Hat :

    I’m going to Key West for a bachelorette party in a few weeks. My wardrobe pretty much screams the opposite of Key West – pretty muted and conservative. I’d like to pick up at least a few pieces to fit in while I’m there – any thoughts on where to look? Not looking to spend a ton – something in the same price range as Banana/AT.

  12. Anonymous :

    For those of you in plus sizes, I want to give two recommendations:

    1) Universal Standard workwear. The Meg Short Blazer is my unicorn piece and I might go buy seven of them because they fit me beautifully. I also really liked the Sheryl pants and the Mary dress. The clothes feel terrific and high quality and several pieces are lined.

    2) The V-neck sheath dress. As a plus size pear, I often have trouble with dresses because the dresses are baggy in the bust if they fit in the hips. This one is perfect for long-waisted, small-chested, large-hipped me. It’s also LONG ENOUGH which is such a blessing.

    • Thanks for the rec! So far I just have the Marano wrap top in black and a pretty teal color. I love that dramatic long dash! I’m also a tall plus so I should definitely check out that v neck dress (the Mary?).

      I ordered the long slim leatherette skirt but haven’t tried it on yet. The skirt they show with the Marano top.

      I actually think they have a pretty reasonable price point for the quality.

      • Anonymous :

        What I wouldn’t give for an edit button!

        The V-neck dress at Universal Standard is the Mary. The other V-neck dress I recommended in Item 2 is from Eloquii and is magic on my weird body.

  13. anon for this :

    I’m starting a part time law program in the fall while working full time. Lawyers, what do you wish you’d known?

    • Anonymous :

      I went to night school while working full-time. I ended up being extremely successful and absolutely love my current job, but most evening students do not end up doing so well (from what I’ve seen). Happy to talk offline if you post an email address where I can reach you.

      • anon for this :

        Sure thing! I have extra-special circumstances around this too, so a throwaway email : jyianne at gmail dot com.

    • I also started law school in the evening program while working full-time. At the time I was managing a bank branch and the hours were too inflexible to do both at the same time. I ended up becoming a full time law student after one year and finished law school in 3.5 years. My classmates who continued working full time while going to night school all had jobs that offered them flexibility in hours and/or the ability to work remotely. My classmates who did well in night school either had a plan to bring their law school experience to their current employer/industry, or were such exceptional students that they got jobs with the big law firms.

      • anon for this :

        On the plus side, I have both flexible hours and remote work – and the program is mostly remote with some in-person. I’m cutting back on my travel schedule to make this work, which is good because the last year has been 75% int’l travel.

        • Night school for four years :

          I’m wondering if you’re attending the law school from which I graduated, since you mentioned the program is mostly remote. Anyway, I went to law school at night for four years. Worked full time the first year at a non-legal job and then worked part-time at a law firm for the last three years. Here’s my advice–don’t buy into all the group study sessions and BS from people who want to live the book “One L.” Focus on keeping up on the reading, pick one or two quality activities to engage in, do law review if you can because even though it seems stupid, it still matters to law firms, and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.

          • anon for this :

            Thank you!

          • anon for this :

            If it helps, it’s Mitchell Hamline.

          • Mitchell alum here – utilize the practical experiences the best you can, get a mentor through the school program, and leverage every networking opportunity you get.

  14. Tired of the same old clothes :

    I want to add a couple of new dresses to my work wardrobe rotation, but I cannot find anything I love (or even like). My usual go-to is Boden because it fits my body type really well, but I’m not feeling any of their dresses right now, and the ones I do like I already have in several colors.

    I’ve looked online at Nordstrom, AT, Talbots, Dillards, but found nothing.

    Any other suggestions for me? I don’t want to spend more than around $150 per dress, but less would be better; larger hourglass shape but not plus size.

    Thanks in advance!

  15. May be too late in the day but favorite sub $100 sunglasses or sunglasses store or brand? Better if cheaper but I like them to be clear to wear and not too too flimsy… I go through a couple pairs a year and decided this can’t be a splurge but I use them almost daily, so there’s a happy medium I hope?

    • I buy Natives but they are definitely sporty/outdoorsy; I like them because the polarization is helpful when I’m driving. DH buys Ray Bans on ebay when they are on sale a couple times per year and they have lots of styles. They are probably seconds or something. I think he gets 2 pair for $59.

    • DH just bought us each a pair of Nectar and they seem to be holding up well.

    • I recently bought a pair from Carfia on A m a z o n for $20. They are polarized and I’m very pleased with them. I’ve also heard a lot of recommendations for ZeroUV.

    • Warby Parker and Le Specs. Warby Parker allows you do to at-home try-on.

    • biglawanon :

      If you have a smallish face, Rayban Juniors (i.e., kids) are under 100. Recently bought a pair of aviators for 70.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I’m partial to Zero UV off a m a z o n .. .they’re like in the $15 range and funky. Hold up decently too.

  16. The “impromptu happy hour” or the “exclude working moms party.” I don’t think people mean it that way, but it’s basically a feat of logistical genius for me to arrange an evening out. I cannot do it on a few hours’ notice.

    • They don’t. You cannot possibly be taking this personally.

      Lots of people can’t do impromptu happy hours. I do not have kids and I can almost never do such a thing.

      • Word. There are many reasons a person might lead a busy life that have nothing to do with children.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. Promise. We are just living our lives and enjoying them. It’s not all at you.

      • +1

        That feeling must suck, I am sorry. But we promise, not at you. We want you there but maybe don’t always think far in advance.

      • Agreed. If it happens often and you are excluded from valuable peer networking opportunities, just bring it up to see if these things can be schedule a day or two ahead, especially if it affects multiple staff members. But the same as you not bending backward to accommodate coworkers personal lives, they don’t have to do the same for you. I think there is an assumption that many people have some amount of flexibility in their lives for impromptu events (afterschool care, a partner); if you have the means or partner/family support it might behoove you to make your life fit your job a bit better rather than always vice versa.

        • Triangle Pose :

          the same as you not bending backward to accommodate coworkers personal lives, they don’t have to do the same for you

          +1000

      • +10000000

    • There are probably a fair number of moms who have dad do the pickup who could make it. I worked with a guy who couldn’t do impromptu after work events because wife did drop off and he did pick up. There are people that need to get dogs from daycare or let them out to potty too. Lots of people have after work commitments, not just parents.

    • Agreed. I need to know about these things in advance. Funny though, how working fathers seem to be able to do those impromptu things…

      • Anonymous :

        We have a sitter come every TH evening so that we can do things like this (HHs are never on F; often on TH) / work late / go to the gym / have a date night. Could this be an option?

    • Anonymous :

      If you don’t have a spouse that can pick up the slack once every few weeks so you can stay out for 2 hrs, sorry but I’m arranging plans around that life situation. Plus you want to go why? So you can talk about how hard mommy life is, no thanks.

    • The problem is that I have told people and they still don’t plan ahead. I have no trouble with it happening even most of the time, but it’s frustrating when it’s ALL of the time. It seems comparable to always doing events on a Friday evening when you know your colleague has to be home for Shabbat. Or always going to a BBQ place when your colleague is vegetarian. I don’t take it personally but it does come across as thoughtless when someone has explicitly said short notice is hard and can we sometimes plan ahead by a week or so. And there’s zero attempt to accommodate.

      • Anonymous :

        Why not set one up yourself?

      • Anonymous :

        Have you tried to plan it?

      • You’re taking this way too personally. If you want a pre-arranged happy hour, then plan it yourself. You can’t possibly expect your coworkers to do it all for you.

      • I don’t get why this is “excludes working mom” though. You not having a babysitter is not remotely close to religion. Just have your husband handle it or plan one yourself!

      • Basically your problem is that other people don’t conform to your expectations of how they should plan things? Just plan it yourself.

      • Also, happy hours are often impromptu by their very nature- what do you want your colleagues to do, initiate one but then cancel it if you can’t go? You don’t get to hold everyone else’s good time hostage. Having kids involves trade offs. (Look at it this way- some of your colleagues are probably wishing they had a husband/kid to spend their evening with rather than their coworkers.) Your options are either to plan it yourself (which may be as simple as just saying “hi everyone, let’s do a happy hour this Friday!”) or find a way to deal with childcare. Whining in the moment that you can’t attend if it’s on short notice isn’t going to fix the problem for you.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a trade off, right? I imagine my kids-having colleagues are bummed they don’t make it to happy hours regularly. But I also cover for colleagues with sick kids, buy girl scout cookies, and throw baby showers. I mean, I’m sorry that you’re feeling unhappy or left out. Genuinely. But I think that those of us who make different choices are probably a-okay having margaritas without our kids-having colleagues once in a while. Especially if we exclude crap dads. Which we totally do.

  17. Paging Burgundy Commute Shoes :

    This is Pompom.

    I just happened across these in my search for a different pair of shoes. You didn’t mention hardware, but could these be the shoes you saw?

    https://www.6pm.com/p/anne-klein-able-red-black-multi-fabric/product/8857665/color/679664

  18. Anonymous :

    +1

    Plus I guarantee OP has inconvenienced her single/childless friends before.

  19. Cobalt blue :

    I’m going to a wine party in a few weeks, and I’m tasked with bringing a wine/app pairing. Challenge is, no cheese allowed. What would you bring? I’d prefer to bring a white wine.

    • Anonymous :

      Shrimp cocktail

    • I’d bring candied and/or spiced nuts (nice to have both) and some green and red grapes along with a New Zealand Sauvignon blanc.

    • Ceviche? Gazpacho? Can you tell I’m ready for summer?

    • Anonymous :

      I’d personally bring port and chocolate. To be different, a Gruner Veltliner would go with asparagus or a leafy, herby salad. It would work with anything heavy on herbiness. Maybe also a mint and pea soup? You could put it in shot glasses or something with some creme fraiche on top.

    • Stuffed mushrooms and a rose? Not close enough to white….

      Or New Zealand sauvignon blanc and……. oysters.

    • These all sound amazing and I want to host/attend a wine party now.

  20. Collapse for replies's replies? :

    Kat – Any chance we can get a collapse under replies’s replies? Right now it’s just under original thread.

    I really love the sharing of information that goes on at this s!te. However, I don’t like the duplication of responses on FEELINGS about someone’s post. Like or don’t like – the only person who might truly care what others think about their post is the OP. Multiple people commenting in disapproval or disagreement (or approval or agreement) is diluting content. A simple +1 should suffice. If I see a topic I am interested in and some replies are substantive but others are telling OP that they suck (or, more rarely, that they are awesome), I would like to be able to get through non-substantive posts quicker as, in my opinion, they do not add value and constitute a group vent.

    • Totally disagree. Replies’ replies are often full of substantive, useful info or perspective. Sometimes they devolve into fighting about the post, but definitely not always. You’re welcome to just not read them.

    • Really……….?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I think this is unnecessarily cranky but extra collapsing would still be a useful feature for zooming through sub-threads you’ve already read.

  21. 60th Birthday Gift :

    Will likely repost in the a.m., but wanted to put it out there: I am trying to come up with something to get for my impossible to shop for father’s 60th birthday. He has no hobbies to speak of and doesn’t really have A Thing. Typical men’s gift list items are all non-starters (no fancy watch, golf, whiskey/beer, ties, slippers, etc.). The only way I can think to describe his general persona to internet strangers is if you imagine an easy-going/personable Sheldon Cooper who spent most of his life as a high-ranking corporate exec and would like to retire as Ron Swanson. Help?

    Some additional color: He has a coin collection, some nice pens, and some Scrooge collector items, but is not hardcore about any of those things. Enjoys a good meal, but doesn’t care about super-expensive restaurants. Well-traveled, but seems to be done going on trips. Appreciates gadgets/tech items to the extent they are useful/truly innovative. Book selections skew toward math/science/history non-fiction and sci-fi/spy fiction (a la Heinlin and Clancy). Enjoys cerebral activities with a goal/prize element (poker tournaments, escape rooms, HQ trivia).

    We normally forego gifts, but given the milestone and the fact that we very recently lost my grandmother/his mom (making him the last of his family), I really want to figure out something nice.

    • A donation or a named scholarship somewhere? Usually you can do this with just a couple hundred dollars.
      If he wants to be Ron Swanson, maybe something to a local or his hometown Cub Scout or Boy Scout Troop?
      Something to or at the nicest library or interesting museum in town (like, not your suburban library but the City Museum of Natural History?

  22. 60th Birthday Gift :

    Will likely repost in the a.m., but wanted to put it out there: I am trying to come up with something to get for my impossible to shop for father’s 60th birthday. He has no hobbies to speak of and doesn’t really have A Thing. Typical men’s gift list items are all non-starters (no fancy watch, golf, whiskey/beer, ties, slippers, etc.). The only way I can think to describe his general persona to internet strangers is if you imagine an easy-going/personable Sheldon Cooper who spent most of his life as a high-ranking corporate exec and would like to retire as Ron Swanson. Help?

    Some additional color: He has a coin collection, some nice pens, and some Scrooge collector items, but is not serious about any of those things. Enjoys a good meal, but doesn’t care about super-expensive restaurants. Well-traveled, but seems to be done going on trips. Appreciates gadgets/tech items to the extent they are useful/truly innovative. Book selections skew toward math/science/history non-fiction and sci-fi/spy fiction (a la Heinlin and Clancy). Enjoys cerebral activities with a goal/prize element (poker tournaments, escape rooms, HQ trivia).

    We normally forego gifts, but given the milestone and the fact that we very recently lost my grandmother/his mom (making him the last of his family), I really want to figure out something nice.

    • For a milestone birthday for my dad I got him “quintessential” albums from each decade of his life. For the older ones I did Billboard hits, then got albums like Madonna’s greatest hits (he loves Madonna) for the 90s, and soundtracks from movies he liked for others.

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