Suit of the Week: Reiss

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 blazer from Reiss is gorgeous, and I love the texture, the dusky blue color, and the overall classic, tailored shape. It coordinates with slim-leg trousers and a pencil skirt, although I’m sorry to tell you the skirt looks very short, so unless you’re quite petite I wouldn’t wear it to work — but KYO. The full suit is available at Reiss, while Bloomingdale’s has just the jacket (Russell Textured Blazer) and skirt (Russell Tailored Skirt); prices range from $220-$445.

Here’s a more affordable option — jacket, pants, and skirt — and a plus-size option.

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Celebrate anonymously :

    Just checked retirement accounts and it appears that spouse + me have $400K total across 401Ks and IRAs. This is double our 2016 salary and 2.5x our 2015 salary. We started in 2006 with a $3K contribution in my first Roth IRA. Happy dance.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s great! Assuming you are not in your 60s (and even then, way above average).

    • Congratulations! We have about $300K, but started in 2011. H has been maxing for a while (he makes more) and I just significantly upped my contribution. I’m hoping to be you in 5 years!

      • Celebrate anonymously :

        I think you’ll get there faster than 5 years (unless market crashes). We went from $270k to $400k in 2.5 years, and that’s all due to just maxing one 401K, 2 IRAs, and market increases.

        • This is heartening! I was contributing almost nothing to mine for a long time. My hope is to max both of our 401Ks next year.

          I’m doing a happy dance for you over here in my office! Congratulations again — it feels good to see the numbers grow!

      • Since I’m assuming you combine finances in some way if you’re married, max yours too and live off more of your husband’s salary! It will benefit you both to max both!

  2. Trigger warning for those with eating disorders.

    I have a friend from an old job, let’s call her Betty. We were good friends when we worked together, but I moved to a new city five years ago for a new job. Since then, we’ll get dinner or drinks while I’m in town (maybe once or twice a year). While we don’t see each other face-to-face quite often, we’ve kept a good friendship up via social media. We’ll regularly (as in, a few times a week) share articles with one another or make funny comments on each other’s pictures. It’s been a nice way of keeping in touch.

    When I met Betty, I knew that she had struggled with anorexia years ago, but was in recovery by the time that we first met. I believe that she’s struggling with it once again. With it, her social media presence has changed over the last few six months. She’ll post many different pictures of a body part and then delete half of them. She also will make deprecating comments about her appearance (she’s lost a lot of weight) that seem to invite others to correct her. Some of the images that she posts seem designed to point out how small she is (for example, a picture of her creating a circle around her thigh with under index finger and thumb).

    I’ve become really uncomfortable watching this, but I don’t know what to do. Because I’m no longer an extremely close friend, I don’t feel comfortable confronting her and I am worried about making comments about her body that could only be triggering. At the same time, I don’t feel comfortable interacting with her over social media and “validating” what is happening, although it feels mean to cut out someone that I used to talk to regularly (and who I really value as a person). Any suggestions?

    • Anon for this :

      I don’t think it would be weird for you to make a comment about what you are seeing and reading. But do NOT make it about her body, phrase it as you worrying about her given what she has struggled with in the past. Just let her know that the door is open for her to talk to you if she needs and that help is out there if she wants it. As a former ED sufferer myself, just knowing that someone cared enough to let me know that they wanted me to be happy would have been a sweet thing to hear. And that is pretty blatant behavior to be putting out there publicly… perhaps a cry for help. Often people don’t say anything because they don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, but it can also feed into feelings of “nobody cares about me, see there’s proof that i’m worthless and everyone hates me”, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t do anything. Don’t cut her off dramatically also dont post on her social media. You’re barely an acquaintance.

      • To be clear, we communicate enough that if I did not post or reply to her posts she would reach out.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re close enough that she has confided her eating disorder with you in the past, so I think it’s fine to call her up and say your concerned (even if you aren’t as close now as you were then). Grabbing coffee and essentially saying “is everything okay? Your social media post history seem really focused on your body and I know that is something that can be difficult for you. If you feel like you could benefit from treatment, I’d love to help you find resources” seems appropriate

    • Unfollow or unfriend.

      • Anonymous :

        Way harsh, Tai! It sounds like this friend needs compassion and maybe some tough love, not to be dropped by a friend.

        • I meant online, not IRL. It’s a former coworker; doesn’t sound like OP is remotely close enough to this person to bring up these issues.

          • Anonymous :

            OP said they’re still close, they communicate online regularly and see each other in person once or twice a year. Sounds pretty normal for a relatively close friend that you don’t live near.
            I see my high school BFF usually once every two years and don’t talk to her as frequently as OP talks to this friend, but I consider her one of my three closest friends and I’d be devastated if she unfriended me or stopped interacting with me with no explanation.

    • When I was anorexic some of the most helpful wake-up calls came from people who weren’t my closest friends. Reach out with love and compassion, via email/private message, and just let her know you value her, have been worried by what you’re seeing, and that you want her to know she has your support. I would suggest email or DM over an in-person meeting because it sounds like you guys don’t frequently interact in-person, and also because that will let her receive your message and think about it without having to be sitting in front of you at the time.

  3. Tammy Faye Baker wannabe :

    How do you tell (or do you tell?) a close cousin that she is wearing an excessive amount of makeup?

    I have a dear cousin whom I adore. She really wants to meet someone and get married in the near term. Several years ago, she began to really get into makeup (I think it was because she had a lot of acne at the time and wanted to cover it up). Fast forward several years later, she looks like she’s wearing a mask in her photos on social media (and in person as well). The makeup ages her 10 years and makes her look really unattractive. I’m frankly shocked that she would think she looks good this way. Her parents are equally perplexed by this obsession with makeup and thinks she looks terrible.

    She has pretty features and really looks great with no makeup at all or just a minimum amount of makeup. Her skin is also under much better control as well.

    How does one broach this issue? I think she sees me as an older sister and I feel like she would be receptive to the feedback but I don’t want to hurt her.

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t. Mind your own business.

      • Anonymous :


      • Yup.

      • This, obviously, because it makes no difference to you.

        • It does make a difference to me in that I want her to be happy and secure with herself, and I feel like she wears so much makeup that it’s like she’s trying to mask/hide her true self. That and she is very very interested in meeting a guy and my husband and a few other male relatives have commented on how unattractive she looks with makeup (one said that she looked trans). I care about her and love her.

          • Anonymous :

            Sounds like those male relatives are major transphobic jerks.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah I get all that and it’s still none of your business. You can’t fix everyone.

          • Anonymous :

            The thing is you have no idea why she’s single. All kinds of people find partners even if they are ugly. Let her live her life.

          • Anonymous :

            There’s a lid for every pot. Leave her alone and tell your male relatives to keep their mouths shut and stop being a$$holes.

          • I wear makeup every day to work and out and about. I’m talking foundation, concealer, brow product, bronzer, blush, lip product. Eyeshadow about half the time. I keep things neutral, but I wear a lot of makeup.

            I am perfectly comfortable in my own skin. I’m not trying to mask my true self.

            I offer this only to say: you have no idea what her motivations are, and you’re making a lot of assumptions. If you approach her like that, things will not go well. I don’t think you should say anything.

      • +1,000,000,000,000

        She thinks she looks great and that is all that matters. Stay out of it.

      • I disagree with this advice. I had a very good friend like this who wore so much makeup she looked like a clown. It just looked terrible. And like the OP, this woman also really wanted to get married and meet someone and couldn’t understand why guys weren’t into her. I never said anything and I really regret not saying something, just something very gentle. She remains unmarried, although I think she has toned it down a bit.

        When I was younger I used to wear tight/ill fitting outfits that I thought looked good but in reality looked cheap. My sister pulled me aside one day and told me I looked terrible. It really hurt at the time but she was right, and I fixed the issue.

        If you have a close enough relationship, which it sounds like you do, I would say something (gently).

        • I’m jumping into the “tell her” camp. I know a few women who cling to whatever hairstyle they rocked 20 years ago…or a certain makeup look…and it’s not working anymore. I’m thinking of my 50 year old coworker who insists on feathering/puffing her hair and bangs into an 80’s style, sort of like the Wakefield twins on those old covers of Sweet Valley High. One day she came in with her hair straight and flat, and when we all commented that she looked great, she ran her hands through her hair in embarrassment and said, “Oh, I didn’t have any time to do my hair today and had to run out like this.” Of course she went back to the feathered puff the next day.

          If someone is putting effort into their looks–hair style, makeup, etc.–and it’s not doing them any favors, I think it’s kind for someone close to them to gently say something. They are putting a lot of effort into their look. They *want* to look good. They just aren’t able to see that it’s not working.

          For a close friend who’s wearing too much makeup, I’d probably start with one questioning comment: “Where did you learn how to fill in your eyebrows like that?” then if she’s receptive, leading into more questions: “Eyebrows are hard for me to get right. How did you decide on that shade? Have you tried a lighter shade?” If she shuts it down, you’ll know to back off, but if she’s happy to have the conversation you might get her to reconsider her look.

        • If you do say anything, say it once. And that’s it.

    • My niece does this. I assume you mean foundation, contouring, multi-step eyeshadow process, false lashes etc. Its a younger generation thing, watching YouTube videos and following makeup artists on social media.

      I told my niece she needs a less formal makeup look for getting out the door for minor things like running errands and she agreed (because her current process takes over an hour including hair) but she never really moved there. She’s all or nothing. She will appear among family bare-faced at times, but for any outing it’s full kabuki face.

      She’s also a very active social media user with lots of followers whom she does not know in real life and I just think this is her brand. She projects the same perfected image in every post and gets many, many compliments form her followers.

      If your cousin is anything like my niece there’s really no changing her. Accept that her priorities are different from yours and move on.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I think once you start wearing that level of makeup, it can be really hard to dial back because you look like a different person without it.

    • Eh, I’d really want someone to tell me in this case (though I really prefer that people be honest with me) – she seems to be using makeup to improve her appearance, and if it isn’t than that’s useful info to hear. Maybe you guys could get a facial together (if this was really initially about her skin, you can talk about how beautiful her skin is now) or go to a makeup counter that specializes in a more natural look and get makeup done?

      • Two Cents :

        Yeah, me too. I would want someone to tell me if I was doing something that made me look bad. If lots of people were thinking that I looked bad (and this was something I could actually change about myself), I would want to know and would want to hear it from a close friend/relative.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, as a 40 year old person, I would really want someone to tell me. I am just not sure if my younger self would have wanted that.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Imagine it was the reverse: “I think my cousin should wear more makeup to attract a man.” NOPE. Same here. And it sounds like she likes the makeup and it’s a fun thing she enjoys doing… she should (and I bet, will!) find a man who thinks she’s beautiful with makeup on the way she likes it.

      • Actually, I got this advice and it was helpful. I think what made it work for me was 1) that I knew I wasn’t having too much luck with what I was doing and 2) that what the person actually did was suggest I take a personal makeup tutorial to up my look (e.g., she suggested what I do instead of telling me what to stop doing).

    • Linda from HR :

      Unsolicited advice about appearance or how to find a husband, even from family members, is rarely welcome. Either she’ll find a guy who admires her makeup skills, thinks she’s an amazing person, and thinks she looks beautiful even when she’s dressed as a demon clown, OR she’ll come to the realization on her own that she doesn’t need as much makeup. She may get tired of it or realize she can’t spend so much money and cut back on how much she uses on her own.

      One of my older cousins, who is very nice and cares about me but barely knows me since we never really see each other, used to bombard me with ~inspirational~ advice on how to be happier and find true love. I thought (and still think) she was full of it, and really just wanted her to back off.

      Or offer to take her to Sephora for a makeover. Best case scenario, she learns that less is more. Worst case scenario, she’s annoyed at how subtle it is but you’re not the “bad guy.”

    • Green Hat :

      Why don’t you ask her next time you see her – say, “What’s with all the makeup these days?” If she says she loves experimenting with it and the way she looks, leave it alone. If she says she thinks she looks terrible and needs it, reassure her that she doesn’t and you miss her natural beauty.

    • Anonymous :

      Any sentence that begins with, “But men don’t like women who…” is gross. Don’t be gross.

  4. Home organization :

    Let’s talk home organization! What are your favorite tips/tricks? Right now my two main daily annoyances are all of my skincare bottles (serums, lotions, etc that I use every day and always end up out on the counter and a mess), and my pantry, which is a high kitchen cabinet in which I can only reach the first shelf and is completely in disarray. Tips for sustainability especially welcome! It’s easy to clean and organize, but my systems always seem to fall apart after a week or two.

    • Move your pantry. If you can’t reach it, it’s not going to ever be a good solution. Switch things around so the things you access most are most accessible.

    • get a pretty tray/basket for your skincare products you use everyday–it makes them easy to reach but not out of order on the counter.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        YES! My pretty counter tray makes things so much less chaotic!

        • Yes to the tray! It also makes it super easy to have guests over. I have just one bath and I can easily take my tray away to make for a nice clean look.

      • Linda from HR :

        +1 I was going to recommend something similar. If you use something to keep everything contained to a basket, tray, whatever you wanna use, it’s easy to see when you have too much stuff out. I have a Command bath caddy mounted to the wall of my shower and I know if there’s too much stuff in there I need to put some things away, because surely I’m not using all that stuff all the time!

    • Trays, trays for everything. 1 tray beside the bed for hand cream, makeup remover, water glass, hair bands, retinol. One tray on the dresser for makeup and everyday skin care. One tray for little samples of stuff. One tray for random things. Dishes/containers on the trays for perfume samples, bobby pins, ponytail holders, q tips, cotton pads. Trays in the fridge so condiments/hummus/olive containers aren’t scattered all over the place. One tray for raw/defrosting meat. A tray for remotes.

      I like trays. TJ Maxx and I have a co-dependent relationship.

      Move the stuff on the high shelf – swap it with stuff you rarely use.

    • This was a big one for me when it came to the pantry, but in addition to moving it to a more reachable location, simply *have less stuff* on hand if you can. Or, if you must have the stocks and stocks of stuff, find a place–a high shelf is fine–where you can store those extras, and every once in a while, shop that hidden section.

      Unless your schedule or location dictate it, you don’t have to be your own Costco. That was a hard one for me to break (thanks to my dad, who likes to have things “in inventory”…)

    • Delta Dawn :

      Similar to a tray but different concept– I keep all my skincare, serums, sunscreen, etc. in its own cosmetic bag that lives under the sink. Probably the main difference between keeping skincare in a bag v. on a tray is that in the bag it’s out of sight, which I prefer due to small counter space. If you have a lot of counter space, a tray might be great. I just put the bag back under the sink (in a bin that has my other daily products, makeup bag, hairspray, etc) when done with morning/nightly use.

      • Anonymous :

        I also keep everything I use daily in the cabinet under the bathroom sink, but in a plastic bin/basket. I have a few dividers in it to hold the different items so it’s not one big jumble. When I’m finished each morning, the basket goes back under the sink.

    • Anonymous :

      Think really pragmatically. about your actual habits. For instance, I am never, ever going to be a person who knows what to do with a blouse I wore for two hours and intend to wear again without washing it. Or, for that matter, a person who hangs up the dress I changed my mind about right before I left the house. I want to be that person, but I am not. I bought a quilt rack for my closet to toss things like that over. Perfect? No, but it’s a huge improvement over piling thing on a chair to get wrinkled. I also keep a nice bin on a shelf in all the public rooms in my house that I tumble all my surface clutter into when guests are coming.

      • +1. I am not that person either, and I have a drying rack in the corner of my room for stuff like that.

        I also found it really helpful to get rid of the extra stuff I had. I didn’t Kondo my house, by any means, but we had lots of surface clutter and just extra stuff we weren’t using anymore. It made organization a lot easier.

      • Linda from HR :

        I’m going to start doing the same thing for my room, get some sort of rack to hang “once worn” clothing on. Looks better than piling stuff on a chair.

        • I don’t get why clothes like this don’t just get put away? I just hang things like this back in the closet . . .

          • Anonymous :

            Because I might want to wash after 2 wears, but if I put it back in the closet, how will I know how many times I’ve worn it?

          • Me too. I bought the Ikea Knapper mirror for this. It has hooks and rail behind it to hang clothes. The only review is mine btw ;)


          • Because a lot of people, for whatever reason, just cannot summon the energy or attention to diligently hang up clothes at the end of the day. Or, don’t want to put something that may need to air out a bit up against other clothes.

            Obviously if everyone was capable of putting everything neatly away all the time then organization wouldn’t be the almost universal struggle that it is.

            Plus, my closet is highly-specifically organized by color. Hanging things in the back wouldn’t work.

          • Aquae Sulis :

            I air them overnight and then put them back in my wardrobe. I bought a valet hook for the back of my door, which I use to hang the ‘airing’ clothes.

  5. Bummer, the pictures of that suit at both links are not nearly as blue as the one here. I like this color a lot better.

  6. Has anyone ever made the jump from biglaw to taking the foreign service exam and becoming a woman of geopolitical intrigue (or just a regular woman)?

    • Anonymous :

      No, but do it so I can live vicariously through you. I took it in college somewhat on a whim and kind of wish I had gone down that road (I don’t think I passed? I don’t really remember much about it).

    • Anonymous :

      Under the current administration, I don’t believe they are bringing on many new FSOs

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yeah, per a friend who works at an embassy, it’s a really anxious time for everyone. It was already hard to break in before this administration.

        Do you have fluency in a high-demand language? That ups your chances significantly (or at least it did, before this administration).

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t know anything about the foreign service but I went to law school with someone (a guy) who did 4-5 yrs in NYC biglaw and then joined USAid (is that officially foreign service – no clue). Went to Israel initially, but now has been in Africa for many yrs – like 6-7 yrs probably. Met someone either locally or also in USAid and married her and has a kid now that they’re raising in Africa. It’s not a life that’s for everyone . . . .

      • Anony Mouse :

        +1 If this is something that seriously interests you, the best thing you can do is connect with an FSO for an informational interview. If you live near your alma mater, check with the International Studies Dept./Global Education Office, and they may be able to connect with you with someone. It’s fairly common for FSOs to give presentations to students.

      • Seems to work for the millions in Africa.

        I JEST. You make an excellent point. I have a friend who is about to be sent off to her new post–passed the tests, etc right before the election so she’s grandfathered in–and her whole everything is about to be uprooted. I enjoy hearing about it!

    • I have several friends in the foreign service. It’s a really hard life.
      -It makes things really difficult for significant others/spouses, especially if they are not also in the foreign service.
      -You have to move and learn a new language every few years.
      -You will start with really terrible location assignments.
      -You may have to do some very dangerous locations (one of my friends has been in both Juarez and Iraq).

      But, it can obviously also be a very rewarding career. One thing to consider is that it often takes several shots at the foreign service exam before you pass the written portion and the interview. Because of this, the application process took one of my friends several years. You could always start the process while you are still considering whether you will ultimately go for it.

  7. Cookbooks :

    A post about work totes earlier reminded me…what leather, lightweight totes do you like for work?

    I’ve been using a Fossil bag I love and have had forever, but I realized yesterday how heavy it was. I thought it was the bigger items I was carrying like my agenda (Day Designer mini), umbrella, and water bottle that were weighing it down, but today, when I transferred those things to a canvas tote, I discovered that they really aren’t all that heavy. Most of the weight must be the bag itself.

    • Most leather bags are pretty heavy. I have the ubiquitous Michael Kors saffiano leather tote and I think it’s on the lighter side.

    • Heather Emily :

      I really like GiGi NY totes!

  8. Family traditions? :

    When I think back to my childhood, my happiest and most vivid memories are of traditions that my family did like clockwork every year – things like going to the amusement park an hour away every summer, going to the State Fair every year, going to our best family friends every year on Thanksgiving, decorating eggs for Easter, etc.
    I’m a little worried that my husband and I don’t have any traditions that our daughter will remember fondly. I’m not worried about the amount of time we spend together (we usually have dinner as a family six nights/week and we regularly go on outings to the park across the street, to get ice cream or to the local swimming pool) but our “big” excursions are family vacations and we change up the destination every year. Holidays are tricky because we rotate between going to my family, husband’s family and having one or both families at our home, so we don’t really have consistent traditions there either. I feel like I should be planning more memorable and regular things for our daughter to do on weekends, but honestly when the weekend rolls around I’m usually pretty exhausted (even though I only work 40 hours) and I just want to stick close to home and do things like read together and play in the backyard. Anyone want to reassure me that we’re not alone in not having traditions? Or give me ideas for easy things we can do?

    • Anonymous :

      Do more! There’s no reason why as a family of 3 when you’re only working 40 hours a week you can’t fit in apple picking once a fall, Easter egg dying, a trip to the amusement park and like one to the beach.

      Staying home reading and puttering every single weekend is just lazy. Every weekend? If you want traditions make some effort and do more!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        That’s mean.

        • +1 good grief

          • Anonymous :

            Not meant to be! You want meaningful traditions you gotta put some effort in!

          • Anonymous :

            Telling her to put more effort in if she wants traditions may be constructive, but using insults like “lazy” is just plain mean and acting like you didn’t know your comment was rude is absurd.

          • You've got to be kidding me :

            I’m not the “lazy” commenter, but goodness, if you think that’s a mean comment, don’t delve too much further into the internet. Surely all of our skins are thick enough to handle the idea that a lazy weekend is a lazy weekend.

      • I don’t know you, but I really dislike you for this comment. I mean, if I saw you on the street and knew it was you who had said this, I might smack you straight in the face.

        We all have different levels of energy. Some people go raft rivers and climb mountains every weekend and for others, that’s exhausting. Also, those of us who are introverts but have to adapt to function in our jobs need our weekends to decompress and *not* be around people. Introversion, it’s a thing.

        I don’t know what your problem is and maybe I’m glad I don’t know, but please think twice before posting stuff like this in the future. It would be tremendous, for all of us.

        • Good grief :

          Please see a therapist. Threatening violence in response to a banal comment is not healthy, and other people are not responsible for accommodating your insecurities–you are.

    • Anonymous :

      Add a few easy traditions. Pumpkin picking/one of those pumpkin farms every fall? You and DH take off work one weekday every summer and go to an amusement park (take off work bc it’ll give you an emptier park mid week). Even if you travel for the holidays you can still do holiday traditions before hand – going to a certain light show/holiday concert/something else holiday-ish in your town every yr like clockwork; going to a farm for your Christmas tree? You can do something special for the first day of school (don’t know what exactly – but people do it). Favorite dinner for each person on their birthday? Add 3-4 things that are 1x/yr – so you’re not adding much to your to do list – and yet you’ll feel like your kid has 3-4 traditions/yr just like you did.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you have to establish traditions if you are already doing meaningful things as a family. My family does the same thing every year and it’s so predictable and boring and I would rather stay home most of the time than know exactly what’s going to happen, what we will eat, where we will go for a tree, etc.

      Obviously, every family is different, but be aware that your child may be perfectly happy doing different things every year.

    • I’ll give you the flip side of the coin: we had a lot of traditions that I don’t really have good memories of because nobody seemed to enjoy them.

      For example, we always hosted having my mother’s parents and her three siblings and their families over for Christmas Eve dinner. It was stressful for my mother and she was always cranky leading up to the dinner as she tried to get everything prepared, and then exhausted on Christmas, when we wanted to wake up early and be excited all day. I have some good memories of that family time together but mostly remember a lot of stress.

      Your daughter will have far, far better memories of you spending time doing things with her that you want to do, rather than traditions that you feel like you “have to” do – especially since you work full time and those traditions might feel more like a chore.

      Also, you might consider making a “tradition” out of some of the stuff you already do – like could you designate one night per week that you always get ice cream, and only do it then in order to be special? Or a special book you read together only on her birthday, or something like that? We also had some very low-key family traditions, like nights where we would order pizza delivery and have a picnic on the living room floor and watch movies, which felt really special since it was so out of the ordinary.

      • +1 to the low-key family traditions. One of my fondest memories from childhood is that whenever we had pizza night (usually on a Friday, always frozen pizza) my mom would put a few baby carrots on each of our plates and say “ok, now you have a vegetable.” We all loved baby carrots anyway so there was never going to be any whining about eating them. She knew that nutritionally, baby carrots weren’t going to fill our veggie quota for the day, but I think she saw it as teaching us that we should always have a real vegetable, even if we were eating frozen pizza. Now, I always associate baby carrots with frozen pizza (and vice-versa), but looking back, it was the easiest and simplest thing to do on her part.
        Your kids will have memories of traditions, even if you don’t recognize them as traditions now.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          This is so sweet. For me it’s fish sticks, rice-a-roni (chicken flavor) and peas.

        • Anon for this :

          My absolute favorite memory with my immediate family is playing Uno with my parents amd brother for hours one night. I was 7-8. It was completely random and I have no memory of the circumstances. My parents were busy and purposely worked opposite schedules (my mom was a nurse and did two 16 hour shifts on weekends but was home during the week when my dad worked). It was rare having them both at the same time when one was not stressed or tired or we didn’t have extended family stuff or church activities. I had a generally happy childhood but this really sticks out. We did the amusement park one day every summer and Christmas events but I think this stands out because it everyone was happy and relaxed and enjoying the activity and the four of us were together. The majority of my other happy childhood memories involve extended family, kid events at church, and one parent. I think my point is my parents did plenty to give us a happy childhood and they did, but regardless my happiest memory as a family is an Uno game that neither parent remembers.

      • +1 to the lower-key family traditions being my favorite as well. The big holiday-centric or expensive ones seemed stressful for my parents at times and were easily ruined by one little thing going wrong (the oven breaking, my very sensitive younger sister having a meltdown, family drama, etc.).

        My favorite “traditions” as a kid were the little ones, like playing Marco Polo in the pool with my dad every weekend in the summer and eating watermelon with my mom on the patio after swimming, or driving around to look at Christmas lights before church on Christmas Eve. Every time we were sick and stayed home from school, my mom would pull out a special comfy blanket that we only got to use when we were sick (probably to contain germs but I was convinced it had magical healing powers).

    • Anonymous :

      Laura Vanderkam has written on her blog about planning out things like this. I would take a look there. She also talks about anchor events for your weekend, which might help the thought that you aren’t doing much on your weekends.

    • Anonymous :

      Low key things — like grabbing an Easter egg decorating kit or pumpkin carving kit — are easy to do! Don’t feel the pressure to plan amazing things all the time; you can work in just a couple things a year!

      Also, if you’re already eating as a family most nights, consider building traditions into your current habits. I remember my family did a “breakfast for dinner” night every week or two, and it was a fun tradition. My mom would also make dinners from the culture she grew up in periodically (maybe every 4-6 weeks) and we’d invite over friends and all eat together. I fondly remember those. And they were “just” family meals, but they provided some consistency.

    • You’re fine. Every weekend doesn’t have be Time to Make a Memory. Kids need downtime too. If you want, focus on a seasonal thing to do every couple months (at the most). If you do something too often, it becomes expected and not a treat.

      Let daughter guide you on what traditions to keep/start. Ask for her input on Christmas traditions – does she want to make cookies? You can do that a week or 2 before the holidays, and then take to share if you travel. Does she want to help with spring cleaning and pick out toys to donate? Does she want to carve pumpkins?

      And just because you do it for a while, doesn’t mean you have to keep doing it. Sometimes your family outgrows traditions or picks up better ones.

      My favorite holiday tradition – Dad makes cinnamon rolls from scratch. That is one of the things I look forward too the most about Christmas. For Easter, it was going to Easter Vigil Mass, but not anymore, because the music director at my parents’ church has changed and I like the service mostly for the music. So that’s a change. Birthdays have become less about the (nerdy) cakes and more about getting together for a nice dinner, so I focus on picking out a place to eat, rather than planning a party.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Can you find fun, seasonal things to do at home on the weekends? Here are some things that I’ve done that require almost no prep.

      Carving pumpkins
      Playing in the sprinkler or blowing bubbles in the front yard
      Tie dye shirts for the family in the summer (you can’t believe what a big hit this was for my fam! and surprisingly not too messy!)
      Make crafty ornaments for family members as Xmas gifts (I go to Michaels and get some she can color on/paint, and then I put her name and the year, and we mail them to relatives)
      “Science” experiments — baking soda + water, mixing colors, oil + water, play dough from pantry ingredients, slime, etc. Pinterest will have lots of ideas.
      Cooking/baking a seasonal food together, or making birthday cakes
      Popsicles after dinner on the weekends
      Sharing fun chores, like helping with the garden
      Pizza night!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        (Lest I seem like an overachiever, we bake cakes from box mixes. All of the things I do are basically from kits, or require less than 5 minutes of prep/clean up, because fun shouldn’t be stressful.)

      • Family traditions? :

        We do stuff like this all the time. I guess I’m just feeling guilty that we don’t do the same stuff over and over, e.g., we bake together almost weekly but we bake something different pretty much every time. I think part of that is just my personality. I get bored easily I guess and once I’ve baked a certain dessert or visited a certain museum or gone on vacation to a particular place, I want to do something different next time. I could see myself committing to do something repeatedly if it was for a special event, e.g,. baking cinnamon rolls every Christmas morning but we’re regularly out of town on Thanksgiving (and Christmas and New Year’s).

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Cut yourself some slack! You have traditions! It really sounds like your family has tons of fun and is making great memories.

          To feel more ‘traditional’ can you make some activities seasonal if not holiday-linked? Like Xmas cookies a few weeks before Xmas — different recipes, same tradition. Same with ornaments, “let’s pick out what to do for our ornaments this year!” Explore different parks to find the best autumn leaves? Etc.

          • +1. OP, you are doing cool stuff with your kids already. If you want to add more in because you want to, I think that’s great, and speaks to the kind of parent you are (a good one!). But I also think your kids are going to remember their childhoods fondly regardless.

            Do things that bring you all collective joy in the moment. If making cookies the week before Christmas is something that you think you’d love to do with the kiddos, do it! Those moments of actual fun and joy are what your kids will remember. It won’t matter that you didn’t go on an annual trip to X place.

            We weren’t big on doing the same thing every year (we also traveled for holidays), and I still have loads of good memories from my childhood.

        • Foolish Fox :

          I think weekly baking, and regular vacations/ museum trips sounds like traditions to me. It doesn’t have to be identical to be a tradition. My family make candy each christmas, but it varies and part of the fun is we can reminisce about past years and when things went well or badly. There’s a lot less to talk about if you’re doing the same thing each time.

    • I think you’re doing fine and your kid will have plenty of happy memories of getting ice cream, reading together, going on different trips, etc. If you want a few easy things to incorporate into your routine you could do pancake Sunday or weekend bagels or whatever other food appeals to you; you can buy one of those pre-made gingerbread houses to put together and decorate at xmas; you can start a collection of some kind together even if it’s just picking out a magnet together on your travels … I think traditions happen, sometimes without you realizing.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        I agree. You ARE creating family traditions by doing all the things you said with your kids. My family has a similar life as yours. The idea of taking my husband and kids to do some of the things people mentioned here made me laugh so hard it made me squirt water out of my nose. My family likes going to the pool, playing basketball, hitting up the beach, cooking together, etc. so that is what we do.

        • In 20 years your daughter will be posting comments to the blog ‘freelancerette’ about the great family tradition you folks had of going to get ice cream at the nearby shop.

      • The best traditions are the ones that happen organically, IMO. And, you never know what will tickle your kid’s fancy. Some of the big things I’ve tried to orchestrate have been giant flops, while the more simple stuff has stuck.

        For Christmas, my kiddo couldn’t care less about where we’re traveling. (We don’t travel far at all.) Give him a day to decorate cookies for Santa and spend time driving around looking at Christmas lights, and his holiday bucket is filled.

        Don’t get me wrong, I think building traditions is one of the best parts of having a family. But give yourself some space to let them build over time and/or fit your family best.

    • Anonymous :

      There is a great book about this, The New Book of Family Traditions, but it emphasizes everyday rituals as much as big annual events. It also talks about traditions can function as practical problem-solvers. It might give you some ideas – I love it.

      Also, you didn’t say how old your kids are but if they are still pretty young, you may just need to give yourself more time – some things evolve over time and are easier with school age kids.

      • Family traditions? :

        She’s just entering kindergarten this fall, so yeah, still pretty young. But so far I think the public school schedule is making this stuff harder not easier. The last couple of years we’ve done a week at my parents house in August, but now she’ll be in school beginning in early August. We could go to my parents earlier in the summer of course, but we normally do a (nuclear) family vacation in June and I don’t think I can take a week off in June and then another full week off even at the end of July so the trip to my parents is probably just going to be cut out going forward (they live too far for a long weekend), which is what prompted some of this melancholy.
        I am planning to take PTO for the first few days of January and try to make sure that even if we travel for Christmas we’re back home by New Year’s so we can have the last week of her winter break together to bake and drink hot chocolate and hopefully go sledding.

        • Anonymous :

          I think you might like this book – it really talks about smaller, more manageable traditions, non-traditional holidays that work for your schedule, etc. I think you need to broaden your definition of what makes a tradition. Perhaps you will have a tradition of singing carols in the car on the way to wherever you are going each Christmas (or on the way to the airport). Traditions don’t have to be place-based, and they don’t have to be time- or planning-intensive.

    • Thinking about this as well with baby coming in a few weeks. Some of my favorite traditions from when I was a kid: Friday night BBQs at the beach (when we lived near all my extended family – stopped when I was around 9); annual beach vacations as we got older – same spot every time which would bore most people but we love; going to pick out the Christmas tree the Friday-Sunday after Thanksgiving – nothing special, just home depot, but something we would always do; large dinners of family/friends for holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter; once all the kids were older, Christmas Eve 11 PM candlelight service (literally the only time we went to church all year); going bowling between dinner and dessert on the dinner holidays; an annual Christmas card photo shoot my mom does (100+ shots) to pick out the one photo that will make me and all of my sisters happy with how we look. My husband’s family doesn’t really have holiday traditions – the only thing they really do are birthdays, which are week-long celebrations (vs. we *maybe* got a cake and usually just got to pick the meal or restaurant for dinner that night).

      We’ve been trying to create our own traditions as well. I drag my husband Christmas tree shopping thanksgiving weekend (and looking forward to taking the clueless baby to “pick out” her first tree). We host Easter dinner (because small stilted holiday dinners on formal china with just him and his parents aren’t really my thing). I think I want to institute a monthly game night once our kid(s) are older. We host a friendsgiving with 20+ friends/their kids in early November to assuage my need for loud, fun, boisterous holiday dinners – which my husband found unexpectedly delightful once he got over the shock of seeing tables and chairs for 20 lined up over the length of our house. I intend to keep doing the annual beach vacation with or without my family. I want to carve pumpkins with the kiddo every year (started last year with a friend’s kiddo since no adults wanted to carve pumpkins with me). I want to decorate holiday cookies with the kiddo (something my mother who is not a baker never did with me).

    • I bake blueberry muffins from a box mix with my kid. We go to the pumpkin patch. I took her to see santa once but she was terrified, so I’m going to wait for her to ask to see him before taking her again.

      I agree with the above person that just because you have a tradition doesn’t mean it’ll be a happy memory. All of my happiest memories are just everyday things, hanging out with my sister, playing in the yard. We took one really cool road trip to see a bunch of national parks. That’s the only “big” thing that was a great memory. I hated holidays because my family wasn’t happy, and holidays are just awkward AF if that’s your situation.

      • Watching the Olympics was always a huge deal for my family. Random, right?

        • One of my favorite family activities was to watch ski races on TV on a winter sunday, drinking hot chocolates. This is how we got through Scandinavian winter, and it’s still one of my fondest memories.

        • Foolish Fox :

          I watched Wimbledon with my mom. I miss it, but neither of us have the time (or cable) anymore.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          My family was also super into the Olympics. I still watch it fanatically from start to finish.

    • We are the same way. We make sure to eat as a family and read to the kids everyday. Do something more active on weekends to limit screen time. Really I think that is enough. The stress of trying to do more is often not worth the effort. It’s not about being “lazy”. Some people can only tolerate so many lineups, crowds, long drives etc so why make them so miserable you don’t enjoy the time spent together?

    • I think the best traditions are the ones that are sort of unplanned. When I was growing up, my dad would get up every Saturday morning and listen to the same two record albums while he made fried eggs and homemade donuts for us. My family had a lot of the annual holiday traditions you mentioned (dying eggs, decorating the tree as an entire family even when were in college, carving pumpkins, etc.), but those lazy, music-filled Saturdays are some of my fondest memories.

      • Anonymous :

        Same. My dad made us biscuits every Sunday morning (nothing fancy, they were from a mix) and that’s one of my favorite child memories. To this day, Bisquick biscuits taste better to me than fancy homemade biscuits.

    • I think you already have family traditions and just don’t realize it. I’ll bet your daughter’s fond memories will be of family dinners every night, regular trips to the park, and Saturday mornings snuggled up reading together. And I think those aren’t bad memories to have.

      • Anonymous :

        My favorite was our weekly trip to the public library . we would go once a week and each check out 10 books. We had a basket for the books.(age 5-8). As we got older, we still went, but we didn’t have a 10 book limit or a family “basket”.

    • We strike a balance between going and “making a memory” and staying home. The “make a memory” activities are frankly getting tougher as my son moves toward being a teenager because A. we’ve done some things a million times, like the local museums and the zoo – between us taking him and school/camp field trips, he’s over it already and B. he’s involved in sports and activities and very often has games, matches, or clinics on weekends.

      We have things we try to prioritize – we always go to the State Fair every year. We always go on at least two picnics in the summer. We make it to the pool at our health club at least once a week. We try to take bike rides together once a week. But I don’t feel like “making memories” needs to turn into a second job for us or become an obligation for him.

      The neat thing is, he can do more things now that he’s older that I can see turning into traditions. We went on our first river-rafting trip this summer, and we definitely want to do that again. We’ve started camping again (my husband is not that into camping, but when he saw how enthused my son was, he decided to go along with it) and my son loves that. We are trying to do a big annual trip with friends every year now that their kids are older; I think that will become memorable.

      At the end of the day, this is all just life, happening every day. As long as your whole life isn’t working and going home to sleep, you will create great things for your kids to remember. I think this pressure to create picture-perfect childhoods for our kids is unrealistic and misplaced, and causes stress that doesn’t need to be there. When my kid grows up, I mostly want him to remember that he was loved and that we had good times together that weren’t planned activities. That’s what I remember about my childhood.

  9. Anonymous :

    Low key obsessing about a 401k. How do I stop?? I’m close to hitting a milestone number that I’ve worked hard for but depending on whether the market cooperates it could be a few days or another 1-2 months of contributions, if it doesn’t. Fwiw I’m 36 so several decades to go – just anxious about this milestone.

    • Anonymous :

      Stop looking, start yoga, manage your anxiety.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Or just go with it and realize you’re being a little dorky but it’s not hurting anybody.

      • +1 for harmless but dorky. I just hit a similar savings milestone and celebrated by waving my phone (showing the balance screen) at my partner and saying “loooook!” It could go back under in a few days if markets fluctuate, but I still achieved it.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here – I do agree that it’s dorky. I’ve hit other milestones before and not even realized it under after. This one is looming for me though – and compared to lots of people here, it’s not even that significant – it’s just significant to me. And I know that markets go back and forth – so it’s just about hitting that milestone for the first time even if it doesn’t hold immediately and I need to hit it again to get over it.

  10. I wore a bright color last week and one of my female staff said, “oh you’re wearing color instead of dark neutrals!”

    That phrase “dark neutrals”…. I wondered if she is a reader here. It sounds so this-place. I always think of this as my secret corner of the Internet. Maybe not!!

    Bright color brought to you courtesy of the Wear Everything summer challenge.

  11. Anyone have any experience with the Charleston Shoe Company? A friend had them on her blog recently and they are very cute but wanted to hear from real-live wearers before I commit.

    • Macademia :

      I am wearing a pair right now (the Lafayette in croco hot pink). They are as comfortable as everyone says. I have wide feet and chatted with a sales rep online to pick a style that would work for my feet. I really wanted the Monterrey but those don’t work for wide. I tried the Lucy but they were too narrow. I get lots of compliments on them. I kind of wish I had tried more kinds since it would be nice to have a second pair. I think I had to pay shipping on the pair I returned.

    • I ordered the pair featured by NY magazine that went viral on FB (the factory is now backed up but I got in early)

      I can tell you that they are really well made and customer service was great. Unfortunately I don’t think the style looks great on my foot. I will probably sell them on eBay.

      • +1

        I got them too.

        Well made, pretty comfortable, BUT….. Not very stylish and I feel like my Mom when I am wearing them :(

    • Anonymous :

      Do they last very long? Elastic shoes tend to stretch out in my limited experience, and given the price tag, I would be hesitant.

    • I have never heard of this company and they look really cute! (Although agree some of the styles skew a bit old) I’m actually more excited about these than the Rothy’s…thinking of getting the Cannon in a bright color…

    • I ordered the Benjamin in the “linen” color. For the price I wasn’t impressed. The footbed was soft; however the style I ordered didn’t have a cup or backing for the foot (the back of your foot is exposed) and as a result my foot slid around a lot. To the point where I couldn’t comfortably walk. I was going to send them back until (by some freakish accident!!) I spilled some melted butter on one of the soles. It was immediately stained and wouldn’t come off (which also had me worried about the longevity of the sole in the rain, dirt, etc). With the hassle of having to pay return shipping and “haggle” over the lightly stained sole I plan to donate them. :(

      TL;DR I think they are overpriced for the quality. Also, shipping took forever. Like, three weeks. I understand they are “handmade” but I wasn’t impressed.

  12. Junior Lawyer? :

    When is a junior lawyer no longer a junior? I’m a class of 2014 attorney at a big law firm, doing transactions. I’ve been at my firm a little under 2 years. Until now, the pattern that I’ve had with the partners is this: I’m staffed on a deal (sometimes it’s me & senior assoc & partner, sometimes it’s just me & partner), partner gives me a discrete task, I do it/produce drafts, partner reviews it/circulate/etc, then partner gives me a new discrete task. However, on a recent deal, the partner seemed to kind want me to just run with the deal and didn’t give me any discrete tasks, but clearly wanted me to anticipate which documents were needed and when. This threw me off a bit. Since big law firms have a clear hierarchy, I don’t want to step on any toes by stepping outside of a junior role if I’m still supposed to be filling a junior role. But I also don’t want the partners to think that I’m not up for the challenge of affirmatively taking charge and identifying the next task. Any advice? (*Sorry for any typos/incomplete thoughts- I’m a bit sleep deprived…) Thanks!

    • So you’re almost done with your 3rd year? You’re in mid-level range, not junior, and it’s a tricky year or two to navigate as you don’t want to come across presumptuous but also demonstrate that you’ve been learning.

      With this partner, I’d just ask – “After we get the purchase agreement out the door, should I initiate preparation of the transition services agreement? I have a good form from Deal Y last year to use as a starting point.”

    • Anonymous :

      At my firm – you are not a junior when you are a 4th yr. At that point you are expected to help the senior run the matter – or if it’s a small matter with no senior, then you run the matter for the partner.

    • You’re still a junior attorney, you’re just being given more responsibility/they’re seeing what you can handle. Run with it, but you’ll likely be considered a mid-level when you’re a 4th year. Don’t determine/limit what you do by whether YOU think it’s a junior role task or not- do what your partners ask, do it well, and show initiative. Partners LOVE that.

    • You’re in that transition phase between junior and mid-level – at my firm you’d be a third year. Take the opportunity to spread your wings on the smaller deals where you’re given the lead. I started supervising newbie lawyers as a third year and was running small deals at that time. By the time you’re a 5th year you’re a senior associate. I know it’s scary the first few times you do it, but it will click and then be routine.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re almost done with your 3rd year. I was running some deals on my own. In my group at my biglaw firm, 3rd year is when you have to start running your own deals on the smaller/straightforward matters.

  13. Has anyone tried classes at barre works? Can you compare them to other barre classes?

    I’m trying to get more fit and I’ve tried pure barre but I don’t love it. I’ve also done some training but for some reason, I’m having a hard time motivating myself to get back to the gym to lift. I find it easier to go to classes.

  14. superanonforthis :

    I have a close friend who was recently convicted of a variety of crimes. My friend hasn’t been sentenced yet, but I would be shocked if the sentence isn’t for at least 15 years, and would expect more. I talked to my friend during the trial, but not after (I heard about the verdict elsewhere). I don’t know what to do for my friend. I am aware of the restrictions on what I can send, and was thinking of sending a card. But I do not know what to say in it! What would you do?

    • Anonymous :


      Thinking of you. Let me know if there’s anything I can do before you leave – and please forward me your contact info when you have it (only say the last part if you want to keep in touch/write going forward).

    • Anonymous :

      It really depends a LOT on the crimes and if the person showed remorse (assuming they are guilty for reals).

      Assuming this was something victim-less and your friend shows remorse, etc., I would write to ask them what would help them. You don’t know what to say because it’s super awkward. Ask your friend what they would like to hear about in your communications while they are serving their time. Understand that this may also change over time.

      • superanonforthis :

        The crimes were not violent, but they were not victimless either. I don’t think my friend really shows remorse, aside from getting caught. But I don’t really care about that (even though I think the actions were wrong).

        I like your suggestions on how to approach communications. Thank you.

    • It depends a little bit on why you want to reach out and how you feel about all of this. Do you feel like your friend was treated fairly or are you hoping that there’s a successful appeal or something like that? Do you intend to offer support (like coming to visit or sending books) or do you just want this person to know you’re thinking of them?

      If this friend was in front of you right now, what’s the main thing you’d want to convey?

      • superanonforthis :

        This is such a close friend that even though I think my friend is guilty, I want there to be a successful appeal. I don’t really know what to do for someone in prison, but I like the idea of sending books and care packages and visiting when I am near whereever my friend will be incarcerated.

        I guess the main thing I would want to convey is “I feel bad for you, I wish you wouldn’t have done what you did, I don’t think what you did was right, but I am still your friend and will support you however I can.” I guess that is basically what I should write but in better words.

        • Anonymous :

          Something you could do, before s/he is sentenced, is to write a letter on his/her behalf to the judge, asking for leniency. That is something best coordinated through your friend’s attorney.

          • Along these lines you may want to attend the sentencing hearing in support of your friend. But agree that this is something to coordinate with friend’s lawyer.

          • Just know that those are public and can really backfire personally and professionally. (See: the young woman who wrote letters in support of the Stanford rapist; Cathy Muñoz in the Alaska legislature.)

        • I can’t imagine believing someone is guilty and still wanting them to be able to avoid responsibility. I know this is your close friend, but you said yourself these crimes weren’t victimless. If s/he is facing a minimum of 15 years, this is a SERIOUS CRIME, and you say the friend is truly guilty. There should not be a successful appeal. S/he should do their time.

          • Agreed. I think it’s one thing to say that you want the Judge to offer leniency in sentencing. I am aghast that the fact that the friend’s lack of remorse isn’t an issue.

          • I disagree. OP doesn’t say what the crime is but something involving drugs may carry tough penalties and I don’t necessarily think that they are automatically warranted. Penalties do not always equal justice. Plenty of judges have written and spoken on this topic.

          • AIMS, it requires an incredible amount of drugs to reach 15 years. Federally, to get to even a 5 year mandatory minimum, you have to possess, for example, 100 grams or more of heroin. A heroin dose is a fraction of a gram– that is approximately a thousand single servings of heroin.

            You can hope that all thousand doses were nonviolent. But it is almost statistically impossible to assume that no one died as a result of a thousand doses of heroin, either from overdose or from violence in collecting the drug debt. And that’s just for a five year sentence. To get 15 years for drugs would require much more doses, and there’s no way that it didn’t result in someone’s death– we’ll just never know who and how many are attributable to that dealer.

          • Anonymous :

            It doesn’t take that much to reach 15 years for drugs. Depends on the law and the drug. In my state trafficking any amount of heroin gets you 15 years minimum.

          • I don’t know, when I read stories about a guy getting facing 25 years in prison for selling $1800 worth of prescription pills I tend to think that maybe it does not always take an “incredible amount of drugs to reach 15 years.” I realize that not all drug crimes are like this and I don’t even know that what OP’s friend did was drug related, but I just don’t agree that severity of punishment always correlates to severity of crime. I’ve seen far too many violent crimes for e.g., multiple r*pe get sentences of 10-15 years. To me no amount of heroin is more culpable. This may be a difference of opinion.


          • superanonforthis :

            Yeah, this is a fair response and I get it, but it’s how I feel. It’s financial-related stuff, not drugs. I just think the sentence is going to be too long. I don’t want one of my closest friends going to prison for decades, even if my friend did dumb and illegal stuff. I would likely feel differently if this were going to be a couple-year sentence.

          • Anonymous :

            It sounds like this crime is federal for it to be financial (white collar) with a potential penalty of 15 years. If it is federal, and 15 years is in the range, your friend’s fraud had to be over $250,000,000. Surely this is not the case? Are you possibly overestimating the potential sentence?

        • I would say something like,

          “I heard the news about the verdict. I can’t imagine how frightening and stressful this time is for you. I want you to know that I’m thinking of you and your family. If you’re comfortable with it, I’ll come visit – just let me know how to arrange that. Either way, I’ve sent a few things that I thought might cheer you up.

          I know you can’t know what the future holds right now, but I’m your friend whatever that turns out to be.”

          I spent many years corresponding with death row inmates; this is the kind of letter I’d send after bad news (like the denial of an appeal).

          • Cbackson again with wise words.

            A relative’s husband was convicted of what sounds like a similar crime – think money laundering where no grandmothers had their pensions stolen or anything. He was never remorseful, and I was most upset about how much he hurt my relative by dragging her through all this.

            If you’re religious or have ever dealt with al-anon, there’s the idea of loving the person but not their actions. Continue to care for the person as best as you’re able. And some days you may be more able than others. “I like you as a person, but I don’t approve of what you’ve done, but I’ll be here for you in this difficult time.”

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a public defender (with a very busy day so I hope this isn’t too late for you) and in this situation, it’s most helpful if you take a love the sinner, hate the sin approach. First time defendants often take a long time to accept consequences and show remorse. Some people never get there and, IMO it’s harder for them to get there when their friends and family are insisting they’re innocent or the system is rigged (sometimes it is, but that’s the exception). If you think your friend is guilty but you still want contact, it’s fine to say that you want to support them without talking about the crime.

      If you want to help for sentencing, you can contact your friend or their attorney to ask what you can do. Usually letters of support written to the judge but sent to the attorney are most helpful. The attorney will likely have instructions (e.g. don’t argue innocence, just describe your friend and what he/she means to you).

      Otherwise, know that a 15-year sentence is incredibly lonely. Many inmates receive almost no calls, visits, or letters. You’ll be doing your friend an incredible service by staying in touch.

      Michael Santos wrote a very good book about how he survived an extremely long prison sentence and I recommend it if you want more information. I’ve sent it to clients who are facing long sentences and they always appreciate it.

  15. Anonymous :

    Anyone have a go-to blazer (or blazer color) for wearing with navy clothes? I have a navy blazer that I love, but realize I’m often in a predicament where I can’t wear it because it would look like a bad attempt at a suit with a navy dress or pants underneath.

    • Foolish Fox :

      I like navy and a lightish grey

      • Foolish Fox :

        Navy and tan can also work but it depends on the color and shape of each. It can look kind of horse-riding gear if done poorly.

    • I wear a variety of lightweight linen jackets in the summer (unlined, not traditionally blazer shaped) and the one that is shades of gray and moss green looks gorgeous with navy. Tan looks good too but it is not my color.

      Navy is a neutral and would also play nicely with most colors, if you wear colors, which I really don’t.

    • Camel or burgundy are my favorites.

    • Grey. Or black if the navy is not too dark and it looks intentional.

    • I have a lighter (sort of medium) blue blazer that works really well and a navy textured blazer that is very clearly not trying to be a suit. I can’t quite get my gray blazer to work because navy and gray together feels like a security guard uniform to me (which is why I especially can’t do navy top with gray bottom). Someone I work with has a light orange linen blazer that looks beautiful paired with navy but I have no idea where she got it.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a coral cotton sateen one I like. Also the hot pink one from BR earlier this year.

    • Anonymous :

      Camel, white, and light gray are personal favorites.

  16. Anonymous :

    Guys, I think I’m being a b*tch of a boss, and I don’t like it. I am at a new job, start up environment, enormous amount of pressure in a position that I’ve never done before. It’s great, but I’m working around the clock and I’m incredibly stressed. I have one person to assist to me, who started about 5 months before I did. He’s a nice guy, but he’s remote (I’m in the office all day every day), computer illiterate, never had an office job before, has a hard time taking initiative, and overall doesn’t pick up on things quickly. I try really hard to be patient and talk things through with him, tell him to ask me questions if he has any, etc., but I find myself snapping at him on a semi-regular basis. I don’t feel good about this, and I don’t want to ruin my relationship with him.

    Has anyone been in a similar circumstance before? How did you handle it?

    • wait, why is your primary worry about not ruining your relationship with him? You should instead be focused on replacing him ASAP.

      • Foolish Fox :

        +1 A computer illiterate guy working remote is never going to work well. Especially if hes generally not competent otherwise and doesn’t seem like hes going to pick up the necessary skills.

      • Anonymous :

        +2 PIP, document, fire, hire someone new.

  17. Question for the New Yorkers here. I’m taking a redeye and getting into JFK at 6:30 in the morning. I’m debating between cab and AirTrain to Penn to get into the city. Which do you think would be faster or easier on a weekday morning?

    • Anonymous :

      AirTrain, no question, if you need to be in the Penn station area. I cab it if I’m going somewhere less convenient, like Brooklyn.

    • AirTrain is pretty convenient, as long as you don’t have tons of luggage or a long/inconvenient distance to go on the Penn Station end of your commute. If you’re going to Brooklyn or somewhere far from the subway or that requires multiple transfers, I’d do a cab. Otherwise, AirTrain is great.

    • Do you need to be in Penn Station or just in Manhattan? If you get in at 630 and don’t have much luggage and aren’t wasting time waiting to get your checked luggage, it may be faster/easier (though not cheaper) to take a cab. It will take you 45-50 min to take the air train according to google maps. Taking a cab can be 40 min without traffic or closer to an hour/hour and a half with. But these estimates will be different if your final destination is not actually penn station; then a cab may def be faster. If you’re just going to Penn and your sole motivation is time, I would just check google maps when you arrive and see what’s faster.

      • AirTrain+LIRR will be 40 min. A cab can take forever – that’s the start of the morning rush.

        • It depends a lot on where in the city you need to end up. If you’ll be near Penn, AirTrain + LIRR is quick, easy, and less expensive, but the LIRR may be crowded due to cancellations during Amtrak construction in Penn Station. Don’t expect a seat.

          Agree with AIMS and others that if you’re not going to the area near Penn, a cab may be quicker. It won’t be cheaper. There are also shuttle services, which are shared rides but can take you directly to where you’re going and can be prebooked. Look at the Port Authority page:

          • Ultimately I need to end up in the UWS.

          • If you’re going to the UWS, I would take a taxi at 6:30 am. It definitely will not be cheaper, and plan on 50-60 min cab ride.

            I take the subway to JFK quite frequently from my office in midtown, but in the morning and ending up in the UWS, it is just so much easier to take a taxi.

  18. If you had to get a birthday cake on short (zero) notice, where would you go and what would you get? No time to order from a bakery, for dinner tonight. Do grocery stores have cakes that aren’t sheet cakes? In Atlanta if location matters.

    • Yes grocery stores have non-sheet cakes. Some of your diner-style restaurants may also have cakes you can take to go (think Friendly’s or local diner). Also – Baskin Robbins/Dairy Queen I think also have cakes you can take to go.

    • Anonymous :

      Any grocery store. They have small circle shaped cakes meant for 4-10 people. They’ll customize them for you while you wait if you want to write happy birthday etc.

    • Whole Foods has non sheet cakes

      Alon’s Bakery for something fancy

    • Anonymous :

      Whole Foods has surprisingly delicious cakes.

    • Go to a fancy grocery store–ie, Whole Foods has gorgeous cakes that will make it look like this was your plan all along.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree that a grocery store cake is fine, but if you want something a little fancier, Cold Stone has really nice, fancy-looking ice cream cakes. Our local shop has a huge selection in the freezer, so you don’t have to order in advance unless you want something customized.

    • Eager Beaver :

      I’m in Atlanta, and I would go to Fresh Market, Alons (in Va-Hi), or Whole Foods.

    • Safeway (don’t know if you have them) has ice cream cakes. Baskin-Robbins does too.

    • Bakeries usually have cakes in stock for occasions like this. Call and ask what they have – you may be pleasantly surprised.

    • Also in Academia :

      I’m late to the party, but PUBLIX! Their cakes are delicious and they have some fancy-looking ones. And they are all over the place here.

  19. Sloan Sabbith :

    SWEET my loans have gone up 3K since January. This week just keeps getting better.

  20. I have the ability to receive an MBA after only 6 classes at my local state school. It is accredited by all the necessary accrediting bodies and would cost me less than $10k total. It would only take about 6 months to complete. it is by no means a “top tier” school but is part of the school system of a top tier school. Seems like a good idea to me, but what are your thoughts? Does it matter where your MBA is from? As for my goals, I already work at a global fortune 500 company and my coworkers have business degrees from places all over the world like india etc, not all ivy leaguers. But one day I would want to work at say Google or Facebook. Thoughts please.

    • Anonymous :

      The people I know who got hired at Google and Facebook post-MBA all went to Top 20 MBA programs. Not necessarily Ivy League, but places like UCLA and UT-Austin. If your main goal is getting a job at one of those really competitive companies I think you need to aim for a top tier school.

      • I should probably clarify that isnt an option for me, simply because of the money. I’m not willing to shell out the amount it costs to attend one of those schools, nor do I want to take out that much in loans, and dont qualify for their scholarships as they are extremely competitive and for people with perfect credentials.

        I would like opinions on whether THIS option sounds good :)

        • I think this option sounds good if you want the degree for the sake of getting the degree and/or moving up at your current organization. I don’t think it’ s good plan if your primary goal in earning the MBA is to go to an A-list tech company. In your second to last line of the OP you said “But one day I would want to work at say Google or Facebook” which is what gave me pause. Otherwise I think it sounds like an easy and affordable way to earn an MBA.

    • JuniorMinion :

      If you are currently in a role / with a company that you want to stay in go for it at night. Everyone I know in a business area (ie not a programming wunderkind) at Google / Facebook / MSFT / etc came through a top 10 business school’s OCI. I have a contact that is a recruiter at MSFT and she said almost all their hiring is done via business school OCI at their target schools.

      • Yes staying at this company is def an option. I could also get those 6 classes done online.

        • Can you share this school?

          • I could – but keep in mind that this isn’t the case for others – it is for me because I previously attended the school for another degree which was also a specialized business degree – thus there is alot of overlap. Due to the finance and math courses. Also – I did reach out to some people at those companies I mentioned and they themselves did not receive Ivy league or Top MBAs and say it is not something that will rule a candidate out – especially one with the experience.

  21. Medical Malpractice :

    Can anyone recommend a medical malpractice lawyer in the NY/NJ area?

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