Suit of the Week: St. John Collection

St. John Collection Blazer, Shell & SkirtFor 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.

Happy Wednesday! I love this lapis blazer and skirt, both made of a basket weave knit. The pockets on the blazer give it an interesting detail without being girly (although I wish they were functional), and I like the wide, curved lapels. Lovely. The jacket (St. John Collection Basket Weave Knit Blazer) is $1395, and the skirt (St. John Collection Basket Weave Knit Pencil Skirt) is $495.

St. John Collection Basket Weave Knit Blazer St. John Collection Basket Weave Knit Pencil Skirt



  1. Merabella :

    This suit is gorgeous. Color and cut.

    TJ – I read on one of my other frequented sites today that there is somewhere in the universe an Alan Rickman audiobook. When we had our “List your top 5” extravaganza, Alan Rickman was on my list. That man’s voice is like butter, dipped in honey, wrapped in velvet. Anyone have an idea where I can get my hands on this heavenly audiobook?

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I HEART Alan Rickman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      My husband thinks I have a huge problem with him, and Hugh Grant…..

      • Merabella :

        My husband also is concerned about my ardent love and admiration for Alan Rickman. Not a Hugh Grant fan myself, but I can see the appeal. I also love Colin Firth. I blame Jane Austen…

        • If you love Colin, get thee to the 2002-2003 Forsyte Saga and check out Rupert Graves.

    • Long before Harry Potter ever came along I had “or I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon” burned into my brain from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

    • Merabella :

      BTW I just went back and read the thread about the top five. Hilarious.


    • Amelia Pond :

      He reads The Return of the Native (Thomas Hardy). You can get it on Amazon.

      • Amelia Pond :

        I am not ashamed I knew this immediately!

        • Merabella :

          Be Not Ashamed! You are among friends!

        • have you been watching pond life? someone scheduled a meeting on saturday night and I’m missing the first episode. Hopefully it’s up on iplayer asap.

          • Amelia Pond :

            Of course I have been watching Pond Life! Who schedules a meeting for Saturday night? I have to DVR it myself because my sister is having a baby shower that I can’t really skip.

        • Awful people, clearly. Jeebus, you’d think in the UK, they’d have their Doctor Who priorities in line. I love Amy’s Jean Shrimpton hair!

    • Lo, ´tis avaliable on Amazon!

      I’ve no idea what the book is about, but as far as I´m concerned, I could listen to him reading the phone book and be happy.

  2. Divaliscious11 :

    Oh, and the suit is amazing, and I am totally not a suit person….

    • So pretty. I love the blue.

    • gah, i’ve been obsessing for a year about having a blue suit that is not navy… this suit makes my heart hurt….. And I really only need 2 suits, I extremely do NOT need a blue suit….

  3. It’s beautiful.

    Has anyone seen any unique suits in the $150-$200 range. I really need some new suits but am just not going to shell out this kind of money.

    • Try consignment stores. I think you’re in Houston; I’m in Dallas and have bought a lot of great suits (including 2 St. Johns) at consignment stores. Texas ladies love to upgrade their closets and I am really okay with wearing last season’s suits.

      • DC Lawyer :

        Go to a St. John outlet store and talk to a salesperson. Most of them create their own list-serves and send out emails when items go on sale. At the end of the season, you can save 80% over the original list price.

        And St. John is so useful — comfortable, durable, classic, easy to pack, easy to pair with matching skit/pants or dress down with jeans.

      • oO, SunnyD, where do you like to shop?

        • Clothes Circuit (Preston and Sherry Lane–just south of NW Highway) and Clotheshorse Annonymous (Preston and Forest).

          I’ve purchased lots o brand name at these two places (Jimmy Choo shoes, LV jacket, LV purse, Yurman necklace, etc.). I also found a St. John top at Salvation Army (one on Harry Hines), but that was definitely a fluke—although they have their fair share of good stuff there as well (last trip had a Burberry skirt and Laundry dress—both too small, unfortunately).

        • Stuck in moderation so I removed links:
          Try out:
          Clothes Circuit (Preston and Sherry Lane–just south of NW Highway) and Clotheshorse Annonymous (Preston and Forest).

          I’ve purchased lots o brand name at these two places (Jimmy Choo shoes, LV jacket, LV purse, Yurman necklace, etc.). I also found a St. John top at Salvation Army (one on Harry Hines), but that was definitely a fluke—although they have their fair share of good stuff there as well (last trip had a Burberry skirt and Laundry dress—both too small, unfortunately).

          The consignment stores also have a lot of regular brand stuff—Talbots, J Crew, Ann Taylor, etc. I’ve sold some of my stuff to them. I don’t make a lot of money doing so, but it gets me a credit in the store—which leads to an excuse to shop.

    • In the Pink :

      I find some at the macy* in the Galleria…the one by the fountains, not the one in Galleria 3. They have an expanded section up on the top floor with the dresses and women’s sizes. I particularly love tahari luxe, but so far, most of it is 3/4 sleeves and I can’t wear those.

      Talb*** had gorgeous feminine wool suits last fall and none that I have seen this year, but keep an eye out for them. Sold as separates.

      More Than You Can Imagine…haven’t been there, but keep hearing about it.

      Hey, I’m picking up the ASOS pink/red jacket tomorrow from the cleaners. Hope it made the stiff/loud sounding fabric better. So the spot-the-fellow-rette-in-Htown is about to begin!

  4. SF Bay Associate :

    Oh my goodness, I love this suit. I absolutely cannot afford it, but I might just have to go try it on next time I’m at Nordie’s returning sale merchandise I ordered online…

  5. If anyone is shopping at T albots (gambling on whether the items they order will actually be delivered), use code 029353545 for 25% off and free shipping. I think it’s supposed to last all of September, but I don’t actualy know that.

  6. a passion for fashion :

    So, after the conversation in yesterday’s thread about money spent per month/year on clothes, accessories etc, as well as the discussion today about tracking various accounts/credit cards etc, i added up my spending on this stuff over the past month. not pretty. $1970. Although this is in no way a financial burden (i.e., bills get paid, kids get clothed, fed, retirement maxed out etc), i had no idea how much i was spending and i am quite certain i in no way need to be spending that kind of money on clothes and shoes and bags.

    Some people mentioned excel spread sheets and stuff to track this, but I am no good at that. Are there any easy ways (an app of something) people have found to track the clothing purchases? Any other tricks or advice?

    • I have one account that I can use for shopping. It is at a separate bank from my others to make it hard to transfer money to. I have a set amount transferred in there each month for me to spend. Theoretically, that should limit how much I spend on shopping…

      • phillygirlruns :

        i do something similar – i have $X of “fun money” each month in a separate account, funded by automatic transfer. when it’s gone, it’s gone until the next month. the only issue i have is that i often like to use either store cards or my credit card to buy those fun things in order to rack up points/rewards, and i have to be pretty disciplined about making sure i keep my spending limited to what’s in my fun money account.

    • 1. I know I have “outlier” months where I give myself permission to spend more than normal (for example, I love the after-xmas and mid-summer great discounts and will easily spend $1000-$1500 in a day, but then not really buy anything else for another 3-4 mos). I will admit that I seem to have a sixth sense that reins in my spending – I’ve averaged $450-500/month for the past three-four years, but I don’t pay really attention to it while I’m shopping (I add up receipts at month’s end, which is also when I double check that returns got credited appropriately. I then ditch all receipts from that month unless I’m still on the fence about returning something.)

      2. I use a spreadsheet, but does Mint do the breakdown like this?

      • Mint will automatically categorize, but it does so by payee, so mixed purchases (picked up a sweater while grocery shopping at Target) may require some manual tweaking. It seems to be “trainable” so you can tell it that Walmart is usually “groceries” rather than the oh-so-helpful “shopping” or that Amazon is usually “baby supplies” rather than “books” (don’t I wish). Usually at the end of the month, I’ll go back and re-categorize a few things, but overall it gets most of the categories right and saves me a ton of time.

    • I use “My Portfolio” thought Bank of America. It allows me to categorize all my non-cash purchases (e.g., clothes & shoes, mortgage, home improvement, restaurant dining). I can see my spending over various time periods and what percentage of my income I’m spending different things. I think most banks have something similar.

      • Another Zumba Fan :

        Wow, you learn something new every day. I’ve been online banking with BOA forever and never noticed this feature.

    • It’s been mentioned elsewhere, but categorizes for free. If you’re not comfortable with putting personal information on an online free service (secure or not), Quicken basic is quite affordable and does the same thing. Mint has a handy iPhone app, and can send you weekly “where your money went this week” email. If you’re into guilt and stuff. :-)

      I know, it’s a little shocking to see how much I spend on me when I add it up.

    • a passion for fashion :

      In fairness, I got stuff that was almost all on sale and that I will wear a lot: Black dress (Loft), Kate Spade bag and earings, Nordstrom/Rack Ferragamo Blk Wedges, SW Black heels, 3 pair of cole Haan flats and 1 pair of hunter rain flats, 2 pair jeans, 2 camis, redi cardi (WH/BM), and 2 jackie sweatersets, 4 No. 2 pencil skirts, and a scarf from J. Crew.

      But, as you can see, did i really need 4 pencil skirts, 3 cardigans, 4 pair of flats, and 2 pair of black patent heels? This is all helpful and maybe i will try the Mint app with setting a monthly limit. I think part of my problem is not knowing what is “acceptable.”
      How do you all determine what amount is your clothing budget? I obviously like clothes and shoes (and bags and jackets and scarves, but i digress . . . ) but the willpower seems to be lacking these days

      • Honey Pillows :

        Well, your handle IS “a passion for fashion”!

      • Jacqueline :

        I allow myself to spend up to 5% of my take-home pay. If I don’t spend it one month, I can carry over to the next (I find this happens often — I’ll spend a lot more in September than, say, February because of seasonal items).

        • a passion for fashion :

          Ohh, I like this. I think I will come up with a monthly clothing budget tonight that can roll over for the year. I will then have to use an app like Mint to track all of my clothing (including shoes, accessories etc). And I will start in September. perfect timing.

          Now, do you let yourself “borrow” for the next month?

          • The app called Spend for iphone is really useful to track purchase and spending.

    • Do you use an American Express card? They now have an online feature that lets you categorize your charges with whatever label works for you.

      • I don’t know how I didn’t know this, but I just went back and tagged all of my purchases last month. Very enlightening! Thanks!

  7. No Problem :

    The suit is gorgeous. I love the color!

    TJ/annoying coworker rant:

    I have a more senior colleague who does not knock on my door when she enters my office, and it is driving me nuts. This would not really bother me if my desk actually faced the door such that I could clearly see anyone walking into my office. My setup is such that I have a cubicle inside a shared office (no officemate, currently), with the cubicle wall between me and the door. My chair essentially points toward the door, but the cubicle wall is in the way and people have to walk around it to the side to actually see me. Because of this setup, I have a reasonable expectation of privacy (nobody can see me or my computer from the hallway), but I also get startled when people do not knock on the door and just appear behind me and start talking.

    Anyway, after the umpteenth time of Coworker sneaking into my office and appearing behind me, I finally asked her the other day to please knock on my door when she walks in. I feel like this is a pretty normal part of office etiquette and everyone else seems able to do it at least 90% of the time, but she fails to do so at least 90% of the time. She acknowledged that she will “try to remember” in the future, and has proceeded (on four subsequent entrances) to: sneak in again and make a joke about it, clear her throat loudly, rustle a bunch of papers, and sneak in again with maybe (I’m being generous) a subtle throat clear.

    Is it beyond the pale for me to remind her every time she walks in that she needs to knock? Will that come off as rude even if I’m very polite in my wording (“Coworker, can you please knock when you come into my office? I believe we’ve already talked about this”)? I already did this on one of the above-described entrances and she just said “you couldn’t hear all that paper rustling?” Clearly she’s not getting it and frankly, it’s not funny or amusing that she thinks it’s a joke. It startles me when she walks in like that and it’s also just not professional to (a) not knock on someone’s door, and (b) ignore and belittle a coworker’s fairly straightforward and simple request. But she’s also much more senior than I am (though has no sway in determining what work I get) and we’ve had plenty of friction in the past (she’s the one person in our office that I truly cannot stand working with, but for this project I didn’t have a choice about bringing her onto the team), so I don’t know if this is an issue I should be making into an Issue.

    • Can you just shut your door, forcing her to knock?

      • If you shut your door and she still doesn’t knock, and lets herself in without saying anything, since your back is to the door, ignore her until she says something. And yes, that means letting her cough 100 times, if need be. Turn around only when you’re good and ready.

        You can give her a Cheshire cat grin and say, “oh! I didn’t know you were there. If you knock, then I’ll know that you’re there.”

      • No Problem :

        In theory, but I don’t like having my door closed. It gets really quiet and lonely in here if there’s zero noise coming from the hallway. We’re not really a door-closed kind of office, unless you’re on the phone a lot. So it’s a potential solution, but the problem is that this is really about her behavior, not mine.

        • Wait- you want her to knock on an open door? That’s weird. I vote- you deal with it not her.

          • No Problem :

            If someone asked you point blank to please knock on their door when you enter, would you also refuse to do it?

            I wouldn’t need her to knock on my open door if I could actually *see* the door and someone entering it from my desk. As it is, she just sneaks up and stands behind me. The problem I’m having is that she thinks my request is a joke. If someone asked me to please knock on their door, it’s not like I’d have trouble understanding that request or assume that it’s an invitation to do anything BUT knock on the door when I enter. Or maybe I’m just delusional that this is basic office etiquette and also a reasonable request, but everyone else in my office seems to be capable of knocking without ever being asked.

          • Honey Pillows :

            Meh, if you’re really involved in your work, and your coworker moves quietly and just kind of stands there without saying anything (which is what this sounds like), that’s not only rude after you’ve specifically asked her to knock, but it’s also CREEPY.

          • Not weird – I also work in a mostly open-door, most of us have offices environments. I can generally hear people coming (and I’m weird – I can usually tell who it is by the sound of the footsteps) but people usually knock or say hi, got a minute? as they stand outside your office, they don’t just bust on in.

          • How is that weird? You knock on the side of the door. I knock even when I’m going to someone’s cube to ask them a question (I’m in a cube too, and I hate when people sneak up and stand there without saying anything, or just appear behind me silently).

          • @Marilla–I think it’s generally considered poor etiquette to just barge into someone’s cube. At least with an office, you can justify it by saying that they would shut their door if they didn’t want to be bothered–no way to do that in a cube. I knock whenever I’m going into someone else’s space unless they acknowledge me before I get to knock. Even if you weren’t inclined to knock, it’s ridiculous not to do so after being specifically asked.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Yeah, knocking on open doors or cubical walls is the norm in every place I’ve worked. You don’t just stand by someone waiting for them to turn around. You don’t clear your throat or shuffle papers. You knock.

            You’ve specifically asked her, and she’s making fun. I’d keep politely stating your request. She’s being rude, not you. If she continues to be difficult, then I’d go with Susan’s approach.

          • Our offices (law) are generally open door, unless someone is on the phone, and everyone always does a little ‘knuckle rap’ on the side of the open door. Everyone.

            I am just a clerk so I have a cube, and no one knocks on anyone’s cube, but they always announce themselves (ie, as they are walking up, “hey, Sadie, do you have a minute to talk about Jones?”)

            I can’t imagine anyone thinking it’s polite to walk through an open office door with no ‘notice’ and just stand behind someone who couldn’t see you enter. That’s just weird.

        • You could still implement Susan’s advice with your door open.

    • Anon for this :

      I had the exact same issue except I didn’t have a shared office, just a setup that put my back facing the wall. I also was attacked unexpectedly once in my past and would get insane anxiety when annoying coworker snuck up on me. I told annoying coworker this and he just snuck up on me more. He acted like he was joking but I knew that he really didn’t like me and was doing this as his way of being a bully. I finally had to go over his head and talk to a head boss about it and head boss spoke to him and it finally stopped. I was embarrassed but I would have 2 hours of non-productive anxiety following each encounter and it was causing me productivity issues. My solution isn’t for every situation but it was right for me and solved my problem. Sorry you are dealing with this.

    • So my passive response in the past has been to exclaim, “you startled me! I’m gonna have to start locking the door lest I spill any coffee all over the place” and hope the other person knocks next time. My less passive advice: hang a sign on the door that says, “Please Knock Before Entering”

    • Cornellian :

      I agree it’ s a bit weird, especially because she’s making it in to a joke, rather than truly forgetting. It makes it seems like she’s playing power games.

      That said, not knocking on an open door isn’t worth making too much of a stink in the office about. Maybe it would make more sense to calmly speak to her about it in HER office or at some point when she hasn’t just dropped in to yours. You might also mention/make-up reasons why the knock is important to you: you can pause the client’s time clock, finish your thought, stop your music, etc.

    • Can you hang a mirror in front of you so you can see people as they come in? (Not a solution to her not listening to you but, hey, sounds like she’s not going to do that anyway.)

      • Sounds like this lady isn’t really excited about knocking.

        Hang a mirror in your cube.

        • Or get one of those sensors that some stores have that makes an electronic ‘ding dong’ noise when they walk in front of it. I was going to say a bell for the door, but if the door is always open that won’t work.

          • What about a bell for her to wear around her neck?

          • *snerk* rosie.

          • That actually sounds like the best solution to me. Then you don’t seem to make it so personal, and get yourself in potential trouble with a senior person, calling her on her power displays.

            Or you first jump, then the next time jump and scream, and finally jump and scream while throwing a cup of coffee on her :-). “sorry, you scared me so much!!”

        • No Problem :

          I can’t really hang a mirror, since the door is actually in front of me (but the cube wall is in the way). Unless I had a really elaborate system of mirrors, or one of those rounded ones like in parking garages or hospital corridors so you can see if someone is coming around the corner…

          I think I’m really just going to have to say something *every time* she comes in without knocking. And if she makes a fuss, I’ll just point out that if she had asked me to do something very simple that I subsequently failed to do (deliberately), she’s be really upset and annoyed.

          • i think this is what you have to do, is just be more blunt about it. But instead of using a ‘you’ statement, maybe try being really clear with her and saying: Listen, it really startles me when you start talking without knocking, it is a personal thing and I know it is random, but please tap on the door when you enter, and I will not be startled.

            and yes, just repeat as needed. Which could be forever. But hopefully eventually she’ll get tired of hearing it and just start fracking knocking since it’s not that hard. ;oP

          • She’s being an a-hole. Seriously. I always announce myself to a cube or office with a knock or “Excuse me.” It’s basic office courtesy. And respect. And so on and so forth *bangs gavel and flounces*

          • What eek said. I vote for ignoring the Doosh3tte until she announces herself. Train her.

          • Train her = I die, Godzilla.

            I agree with the more direct approach. People get really bored with getting the same response exactly every time. Which is exactly what you want – for her to get bored with this game.

  8. amberwitch :

    The suitjacket is pulling at the front. No way I would pay that kind of money on something that fits so badly.

    • S in Chicago :

      Yes! That was exactly what I thought before seeing it was St. John or the price. I assumed it was something cheap because it wasn’t draping nicely. (Guess that shows how much experience I have with high end-suits!)

    • It’s pulling because she has her hand on her hip. If her hands were at her side, it’s wouldn’t wrinkle up. It has to do with the fabric being caught between the button and shoulder seam stress points – and really isn’t a reflection of quality.

  9. I’m an East Coaster who’s only been to Texas a few times (and only to Irving, Austin, and Houston), so I have little to no context about regional Texan culture and attitudes.

    Is the NYT playing up the “ooh they’re being all separatist again booga booga” or has there been some big societal shift in this city (Lubbock)? I mean, part of the Texan pride is a certain rugged independence, no?

    • Hey no comment on this but have to say sitting here reading in the dark I cracked up at “booga booga”

    • I write this off as loud-mouthed Texas nutjobbery.

      Really not interested in discovering whether these attitudes are actually prevalent. Already too much in the world to be depressed about.

      • I’m wondering if there’s some TX-stereotyping going on, because I think there are crackpots like this in every state (I know, Herbie, I’m not helping with the ‘depressing world’ thing.)

        As an offset to the depressing stuff– the opening ceremony for the Paralympics 2012 are awesome. As are the athletes competing there. :-)

        Also….puppies, kitties, nice shoes, tasty food. The world seems less depressing now.

    • As a native Houstonian who now lives in DC, I can tell you this is the “Texas attitude.” Everything is bigger and better in Texas, but really it’s all for show. The NYT is throwing a hissy fit over nothing.

    • The city is batsh*t cray cray. No societal shift, the city has always been like that. About 15 years ago the city was still very racist. Not sure if anything has changed.

    • From a New Englander who moved to Houston this year: Texas definitely feels like a different country than what I’m used to in many ways (it is HOT down here), at least in the metropolitan areas, people generally don’t think like this. I sent an article about this story to my coworkers and they said Lubbock is known for backwards thinking. Hopefully I won’t end up on the wrong side in the potential impending war though…

      • In the Pink :

        Went to grad school in Lubbock in the early 1980s. I wanted out of the big city and quickly realized I was wrong. Shocked when someon I”d worked with for at least a semester shook my hand and said “Thank you, you little heifer.” Yeah, he was an older, farmer guy and I worked in the clinic, but really? My supervisor laughed and laughed and laughed. It was a good place for grad school because work and earning a living and studying was all we found to do. Different for the college students though. It is country-fied to the nth degree.

        This has been a relatively normal summer, @Anon, although we are still shy on rain. Bet you’ll be happier in the winter, except it does get grey. Ac house to Ac car, to Ac job, rinse and repeat. Hope you have gas heat where you live; the change in utility bills is a blessing here. I know, I thought folks in MD/DC were unfazed by the cold, cold, cold. For 3 years living there, I am sure my elbows and shoulders never saw the light of day. I was just cold, cold, cold.

        Maybe it’s all true about blood thicking/thinning? Ah, every place has ups and down. Welcome to Houston, if you haven’t heard it for a while. Now that you’re here, you are a Houstonian – according to the bumper stickers. You don’t have to say “Ya’ll” I haven’t since getting here as a child. :)

    • a) Would Lubbock please secede from Texas? Seriously. It’s embarrassing.

      b) In the county’s defense, most of the commissioners have scrambled to distance themselves from Head, and the lone Democrat on the court has called for him to resign.

    • Catherine M. :

      Hi Ladies, I’m a long time lurker who didn’t really have the courage to speak out but I feel that I need to on this one.

      I’ve been in Lubbock since I was three. I am desperate to get out of this town, always have been, and am studying to be an accountant with the intent and purpose of Getting Away from Texas.

      Yes. This is the way most people behave here. This really is the way many of them think. Not all of us, and I often get a dose of culture shock when I go somewhere else.

      It can be an interesting town if you’re into Buddy Holly or other famous people like Mac Davis or Glenna Goodacre; but politically? nightmare if you’re playing for the other side.

  10. Love the color, violently disagree with the second (top) row of pocket-flaps. They totally obscure the wearer’s waist.

    • Cornellian :

      THIS. I also always wonder what shirts people wear with suits with bold colors like this.

    • PharmaGirl :

      Agreed. I think it’s a beautiful suit but it would not work for many body shapes.

    • LilacWine :

      Me too! that second row of pockets bothers me, or else this would immediately go on my “buy at end of season sale” list. I’m still kind of leaning towards getting the skirt by itself.

  11. TJ: Has anyone ever dated someone with commitment issues? I recently broke up with my bf of 2+ years over this, although he doesn’t admit that this is the issue. But the more I think about it, the more I think so and he’s broken up with all his ex-gfs around the same 2 year mark. I still think he is a great guy, someone I would like to marry, and hold out hope that he’ll come around, but maybe this is just wishful thinking. Has anyone ever been with someone like this and managed to save the relationship?

    • Did you break up with him because you weren’t on the same timeline re: marriage? Need more detail here.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Questions to consider/ask in a relationship with a commitment-phobe (using male pronouns for ease):

      1. Does commitment scare him, or just marriage?
      2. Does he want the same things you want, just “not now”?
      3. Does he want to be with you “forever” (regardless of what that actually means) or is he just waiting until he decides he wants someone else?
      4. Is he even willing to consider the future? At all? Ever?

      I am dealing with the same, so I’m looking forward/dreading y’all’s responses.

    • Yes. My ex broke up with me a year and a half into a relationship, because he could not commit, thought that maybe we were not entirely perfect for each other, maybe there was one better for him; two weeks later he came back, recognizing he made a mistake. Three years into a relationship, when it was time to move across country for us to be together, he broke up with me again, over essentially the same issues, not being willing to commit, not ready for the life together, and everything that it entails. I wish I saw the signs the first time around and just accepted him as not ready for a committed relationship (he was in early 30s then), and did not waste another year and a half. It hurt so much more the second time around.

      For what it’s worth, two years later, I am in a relationship with a guy who truly values me and is committed to our life together, and my ex is still trying to find that perfect someone for himself.

      Don’t want to sound harsh, and obviously, this is only my experience, but the idea that a commitmentphobe suddenly realizes that you are the best, only person in the world for him, and he must be with you at all costs happens only in romcoms. Don’t waste your time.

    • You were dating George Clooney? Oooh, spill the beans and tell us about all his foibles! (j/k)

      In all seriousness, you can’t save the relationship on your own. Boats that need two people rowing sink eventually if the one person who’s actually doing all the work gets tired and needs a rest.

      Do not wait for him, just look fondly at the time you two spent together, and look forward to good times with someone else– someone who actually does want long-term commitment. Don’t convince yourself that he is The One.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Do you want blunt? My two thoughts were (1) commitment issues might explain the fact that he doesn’t want to marry you, but they do not change the fact that he doesn’t want to marry you (and thus, if that’s something you want, he’s not the man for you). Also (2) I thought of He’s Just Not That Into You – while it’s a bit controversial in its view of gender roles, I think this kind of situation is exactly where it shines (if he were into you and had commitment issues that were coming between you, he’d get himself into therapy to fix them). Unless there’s something I’m missing, I’m sensing wishful thinking.

      I feel for you. Breaking up because you don’t share a vision of the future sounds like an awful ambiguous place to be. There are other fish in the sea who want to be married and who would be open to marrying you, and the sooner you accept that your ex bf won’t become your husband, the sooner you can go about finding someone who could be.

      • I was also going to direct you to He’s Just Not That Into You. The book (not the useless movie) has different chapters called something like:

        “If He Won’t Call You After Your Date… He’s Just Not That Into You.”
        “If He Won’t Meet Your Friends/Parents/Loved Ones… He’s Just Not That Into You.”
        “If He Won’t Move In With You… He’s Just Not That Into You.”
        “If He Won’t Marry You… He’s Just Not That Into You.”

        If you don’t have a shared timeline for marriage/serious commitment, I’m afraid it’s not “commitment issues.” It’s probably his feelings about you.

        I’m sorry.

        I dated a dude with “commitment issues” a few years ago. He dumped me and immediately committed to another girl. Just goes to show.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Eh, I’d contradict this -with a caveat.

          Yes to “If He Won’t Marry You… He’s Just Not That Into You,” no to it’s just you, and not a bajillion other factors.

          His feelings aren’t strong enough to make him want to marry you, but there are legitimately people who don’t want to get married. Period. Ever. He might be one of those people.

          Or he might be in the wrong stage of his life. If you had a TARDIS, and traveled to him 5 years in the future, he might be ready to settle down.

          This is not to say you should wait. You shouldn’t. You should find someone who’s on the same timeline as you are, who wants the same things you do (i.e., getting married ever, and committing fairly soon). But like everything else in this crazy world, it’s more complicated than “You weren’t The One.”

          (Sidenote: do people still believe in The One?)

          • Unfortunately, I think I (like Mindy Kahling’s character on her new show) have watched and read WAAYYYYYY too many romcom’s and happily ever after stories, and as a result I think I kind of still do….. altho i realized i should probably try to get over it.

          • Merabella :

            Wouldn’t everyone’s life be better if they had a TARDIS?

          • LadyEnginerd :

            I agree with you, sort of. If he doesn’t want to marry you, there could be any number of reasons why. But if you’re in the OP’s shoes, thinking about all the other reasons it could be (and all the ways in which those things could be fixed) will drive you crazy! He’s just not that into you is a freeing way to think about it – that if marriage is important to you, and he won’t work with you on a concrete timeline to work towards that goal together, then he is not right for you. Period. And that’s not something that’s fixable or your fault.

            If you think he’ll magically become ready to marry you at some magical future date if only he went to therapy, or after some hugely in-the-future goal (like paying of student loans, or discovering cold fusion) without feeling securely like you’re on the same page and working together on how to get there, you will probably find that once you actually do discover cold fusion (and call his bluff) he still won’t commit! The He’s Just Not That Into You philosophy offers closure in these kinds of situations where the what-if’s make it hard to move on to people who might be the right fit.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            This might help!

          • Honey Pillows :

            Oh absolutely, @LadyEnginerd. The closure is necessary. I’m just sick of people villainizing exes, making them into the bad guy who was evil just because they didn’t feel the same way you did. It’s not anything you can CHANGE, it just IS. And I find for myself, thinking that it’s something fundamental in the person, like their life stage or our sheer compatibility, creates less resentment, makes it easier to move on, and wastes less of my life being angry and bitter.

            (Full disclosure: I’m friends with both parties of a couple who had a messy, drawn-out, downright nasty breakup, and I am fed up to HERE with this.)

          • phillygirlruns :

            wholeheartedly agree with honeypillows, especially this: ” It’s not anything you can CHANGE, it just IS.”

            i spent a very long time in a relationship because i didn’t think had a good enough reason to end it. not wanting to be with your SO anymore is good enough on its own – there doesn’t have to be an independent justification for why you feel the way you feel. even though i’m well aware of this, i’m still struggling with this now – my husband and i recently separated, and while there were plenty of actual concrete factors contributing to how unhappy we both were in our marriage, i am struggling hard with the idea that i should be able to just fall in love with him again and live happily ever after because he’s not a complete and total a-hole.

          • Relationships take work. Lots of work from both parties. If he’s not willing to do the work, you deserve someone who is. Because you are worth it.

            I’ll recommend my favorite website about relationship issues again:

            Thanks, sisters, for being more articulate than me. :)

      • anonnnnnn :

        I’m so sorry, dear. But agree with LadyEngingerd. He’s just not that into you. My brother was like this with his previous gfs (he’s now engaged), and was accused of being a commitment-phobe because he always broke things off at a year. He’s described it to me as an unintentional litmus test, such that when he got to that point he thought to himself “Wow, it’s been a year. I need to think about moving towards marriage, and if I’m hesitating, figuring out why and moving on.” He’s had lovely things to say about his exs, just that they “weren’t the right one(s).” When he the right one, he bought her ring at month 4, and he very readily discussed marriage with her. It’s extremely tempting to make up reasons why it could be the exception, and I want to hope for that for you, but even more I want a man for you that would move heaven and earth to be with you, not someone who has to be coaxed or convinced or “grow into” wanting you for the rest of his life. YOU shouldn’t have to do that work for him, you know?

    • Yes. I dated him for one year, when I was 35 and he was 27. The last couple months, we were in couples counseling. He would not say he wanted to break up. But he would not commit to being in a relationship with me. He kept me (and I allowed myself to be kept) hanging on for about 3 months. It was hideous. He was sleeping with another woman, and had told me about it, the whole time we were in counseling. I don’t know what I was thinking. I kept begging him to tell me he didn’t want me so that I could leave. He wouldn’t do it. But he also wouldn’t commit. Finally, I told him that I was leaving and he was not allowed to contact me. (I just didn’t have the strength and needed a clean break.)

      A year and a half later, he came back. I started dating him again. It was weird. A few weeks into it, he wanted to have a heart to heart. During the heart to heart, he confessed that he thought we had the perfect relationship in every way except one: he wanted a specific approach to lady garden party time. It was pretty extreme: he wanted to have only missionary parties and did not want to hand out any party favors to me before his own party or after his own party. That was the final straw for me. I could not imagine living the entire rest of my life that way. I was very polite, but said no. I walked out and never looked back.

      Now in a gorgeous marriage that is better in every possible way, including lady garden parties.

      Leave him. NOW.

      • No party favors?! SERIOUSLY?

        • LOLed at this. +1

        • I know. Right?

          What I don’t understand is why this was the thing that finally made me sit up and liberate myself. Because I am not typically overly concerned with lady garden party stuff. But it just didn’t sit right with me and was the thing that ultimately made my internal radar go off.

          PS: I personally believe that this was because he was a fairly sophisticated consumer of [email protected] before having any real life gardening experience, so his expectations were not realistic. Either that or he has not yet realized that he likes to garden with his own team.

          • It’s a weird preference he has, sure. But it’s more concerning to me that you were together for a year and that entire time he wasn’t able to talk to you about it.

            Lots of people have unusual preferences. But you should be able to talk to your partner about them.

            (FWIW, I have had a previous partner or two who preferred the Internet/movie ladies to real ladies for many years before we met. They ended up fine lovers who liked to party as many times and ways that I did.)

      • Perhaps this is a reference to a previous post, but lady garden party??? Party favors? Huh?

        • “lady garden party” was coined by the brilliant a. to refer to entertaining {ahem} gentlemen callers…. if yaknowwhaddimean….

      • phillygirlruns :

        i love this entire thread.

  12. LovesPatentLawHatesPatentLeather :

    Any advice for dealing with being infertile in a small firm full of boastful parents? Also, how do I respond to comments like “you still have time….” I just started here and I already have heard this from at least three different people. I know it’s unintentionally insensitive, but it’s a sore spot for me that I don’t particularly want to share. =(

    • a passion for fashion :

      I would do your best to avoid conversations on the subject. If someone makes such a comment, just smile and change the subject. As a parent, i know we are boastful becuase we love our children. As a friend of a number of people who have had/are having extreme difficulties TTC, I know it can be very difficult to talk about. If there is someone at the firm you feel friendly enough with that you can share, maybe talk to her about it and hope that she could gently tell others to avoid the topic.

    • So sorry you have to deal with this. I don’t have fertility problems (that I’m aware of at least) but being single in my mid-thirties, it’s hard to hear about everyone’s kids constantly without feeling sad that I may not have a chance to have my own.

      Good luck with everything.

    • I’ve been there, but I’m afraid I don’t have any advice. Just sucks. As to the “you still have time” comments, I would be hard pressed to hide an incredulous look at the offender. People are really, really dumb.

      Love your handle – If only I were so clever. I share your sentiments on patent law and patent leather.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Ditto – love the handle, but disagree on the leather (black patent pumps make me feel like a dominatrix!).

    • Ugh, people keep your comments to yourselves!!! I am sorry. I wish I could come up with a clever answer, but really I might just say something to the effect of “I appreciate your concern, but that is really a sensitive topic for me.” If they push just say it’s private and you’d much rather talk about X thing at work. And they should feel like a**holes.

    • Ugh. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.

      Do they say, “you still have time,” expectantly staring at you and waiting for you to tell them your entire set of life/marriage/family plans? Or do they say it in an off-hand way?

      It’s bad either way, but I’m guessing that unless your coworkers are total troglodytes, it’s the latter. Don’t feel like you need to say anything. Those comments are just brainfarts from thoughtless people. Don’t let those comments be charged — maybe recite in your head my favorite mantra: “dead, buried, rotten, forgotten!”

    • Man, I’m really sorry you have to deal with this (all of it).

      It’s definitely none of their business, and you shouldn’t have to disclose any more than you’re comfortable with, but I would really want to put one or two of them in their place after more than one comment like that. One serious “You know, that’s a really difficult subject for me, and I’d prefer not to talk about it” should convey that they’re being (at a minimum) thoughtless.

    • What about something more direct like “I don’t want to talk about family planning at work.” Maybe that will draw their attention to the fact that that doesn’t sound like an appropriate work topic. My concern is that if you say it’s a sensitive subject you will become a topic of conversation (or the victim of outright prying).

      Also, I’m sorry you’re dealing with this difficult issue.

    • Call people on their [nonsense]. Yes, it may be unintentional, but they will continue to hurt you and others if no on ever tells them.

      If someone says something painful, just reply, completely deadpan, “Why would you say that?” or “Do you understand how hurtful comments like that are?” or something analogous. No apology, no softening the blow, just blunt and matter of fact. Assuming the people you are dealing with are not completely tone deaf assholes, they will think about making similar comments in the future.

    • I just pretend I didn’t hear and change the subject quickly.
      Occasionally I used to allude to the fact it was an awkward topic, but it seems once the (sometimes well intentioned or) thoughtless started talking, they didn’t know when to stop, so I gave that up. Some days are much harder than others for me. Sorry, no good response but I know what you are talking about.

      To everyone with kids, step in to those conversations and save us would you?

  13. Sugar Magnolia :

    I have never figured out how to handle these comments either,without being harsh or rude, or getting my own feelings hurt. Perhaps you can just say, “no, I don’t.” That indicates that this is not a topic you want to discuss, but also should make the listener understand that they are being hurtful without you disclosing anything personal.

  14. manomanon :


    What do you wear to the first day of work when the environment is decidedly causal? Like… two of my interviewers were wearing a tank top shorts and flip flops causal.
    We are on a small island in a smaller town and they were pretty up front that super casual- pretty much anything goes except jeans- is how it works.
    I have met most of the staff already but I anticipate meeting people etc. on my first day next week and have no idea what to wear
    this would be easier if it were ajob where I could throw on the suit above.. or any suit

    • Honey Pillows :

      Shorts are ok, but not jeans?


      But I’d go with a casual, cute tank top, a cardigan if you guys have AC, and some slacks -something like khakis. Flats, or cute sandals. That’s pretty casual, and as long as you’re not wildly overdressed, no one will think less of you for looking nice.

    • Merabella :

      When in doubt wear a dress.

    • Do you have a flowy, less structured skirt you could wear?

    • I’d go for long pants (khakis, linen, etc.) , flats, and a print top with a cardi.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m also confused by the shorts but no jeans dress code.

      I work in a very casual environment (jeans + polo/t-shirt) and most people still start with slacks and button down. We all get that it’s the normal attire at most places, so we don’t think anything of it – and it certainly never hurts to look a little extra together the first week. Even though we dress very casual, I’d actually be a little nervous if a new hire walked in dressed the same on the first day.

      That said, I’d wear khakis/slacks, comfortable sleeveless or short sleeve blouse (or nice jersey knit top), cardigan, and flats for the first day.

    • Short but no jeans?? Actually makes sense as a climate thing. But if it’s a holdover from some 60s anti-hippie dress code, FOOEY on them!
      I don’t think I’d do shorts or tank tops on my first day though. How about a nice Hawaiian shirt with linen pants :-)?

  15. anon for this :

    Internet friends. I am at a loss. I have been at my firm for over a year and I still don’t have a bio on our website. I never thought much of it, but a potential client asked me about it, so I approached one of the partners about the situation and to see if it was just an oversight. He looked me right in the eye and said, “I have no intention of adding a young, hispanic female to my business website.”

    I was in total shock. When I protested, he clarified that this is really about preventing recruiters from calling, but the words he used were very hurtful and I am having a tough time shaking it. Internet hugs?

    • Cornellian :

      I don’t even…

      I take it you’re admitted and all of that? I’ve been here a while but am STILL not sworn in, so after that happens it’ll take a couple months to get a headshot and bio up there, I think.

      That’s infuriating. Are you in Texas/the south? I would probably ask the other partners about this, somehow, but to be honest, I don’t know where to even start if that’s the sort of workplace you’re in. Hopefully someone else will have something more useful to add.

      • Why does it matter if she’s in Texas or the south? Are you saying it’s more expected there? FYI, Houston and Dallas are two of the biggest legal markets in the country with very sophisticated practices. This sort of stuff doesn’t happen in those markets, even though all of the lawyers are missing teeth and married to their cousins. But I really appreciate your guess. Thanks for playing.

        To the OP, that is horrible. I’m so sorry. I’m beyond words. I hope you were able to give him an awesome retort at the time. If not (I wouldn’t have been able to either), march back into his office and tell him he’s ridiculous.

        • Cornellian :

          Why did you just jump at me? I ask for a few reasons, but mostly:

          -because I am a longhorn, who has worked in Texas, and still works for a Houston firm, and have experienced (admittedly only a few years) of the Texas legal market first hand. Even in the mecca that is Austin, I saw judges openly comment on the race/ethnicity/gender/national background of the female, minority associate I worked with. There were tactics that she found useful in terms of minimizing the negative effects of being a minority woman in Texas that I think are definitely state-, region-, etc. specific.

          -because it matters for employment law considerations, ie whether the Texas Workforce Commission is the place to look for potential redress, or whatever the equivalent is in the OP’s state.

          • I just get tired of people on here acting like we are so backwoods. And really, you saw multiple judges comment on a person’s race? And was this in the 1970s? Because I’ve been practicing quite a long time and have not seen that ever. They do sometimes comment on gender in an offhanded way but never on race. What did they say?

          • Just because you haven’t seen it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to others. But yay for sarcastically dismissing someone else’s experience because it doesn’t match your own?

          • Cornellian :

            Gender was definitely more often commented on, as I remember, but then, I’m not a minority, so maybe I didn’t notice/take note of/remember other slights. Maybe things are much worse in state courts, but there were two judges in particular who:

            -comment on the associate’s English ability (perfect, she moved here at 3, if she misspoke it was unrelated to her national background)
            -muse on why the (male divorce/child custody case) client had gotten such a cute young female lawyer
            -unnecessarily provide the female lawyer with his courtroom rules in Spanish (she obviously spoke English, AND WAS NOT EVEN REMOTELY OF HERITAGE THAT WOULD MEAN SHE SPOKE SPANISH)
            -comment on how impressed they were that she, as an immigrant, had been a clerk (in a different state)
            -awkwardly comment on the importance of the mother’s role in a daughter’s life, across cultures, even cultures like Ms. Associate’s!

            It was bad, bad, bad.

          • Okay, I jumped on that one too quickly. Sorry.

          • I’ll stand up for Cornellian here. As someone who has lived in 5 states in different parts of the country and visited 49 states, in my own experience, none of them bring the racism like Texas. Maybe others have had a different experience.

          • Funny (in a sad way), I just read below that OP is in Texas.

          • Cornellian :

            Lubbock- Funny in a sad way indeed.

            anon- if you’re talking to me, that’s ok. tone of voice can be hard to read in the interwebs.

          • If your experiences are based on Lubbock alone, I am not surprised you feel that way. There are places in Texas that are still racist, just as there are places in every state that are.

          • Gen Y Member :

            I can understand why she jumped on you a bit for the assumption. I’m a female professional with a minority SO in Houston, and neither of us has ever run into anything like this. Ever. In eleven years, not one rude comment or insensitive observation about race or gender. Prior to moving here, I lived in the Midwest, and let me tell you… the boys’ clubs I dealt with up there were far, far worse.

            I’m not denying that this Partner sounds awful, but, for what it’s worth, my own personal experience has been radically different from yours.

    • No Problem :

      Whoa. Outrageous.

    • Um, what??????? That’s completely not ok. I also don’t understand the link to “preventing recruiters from calling” (or how that would be ok either). I would raise a fuss about this, but I’m not in a law firm and wouldn’t know how to go about raising a fuss. HR? Or the opposite of raising a fuss, contact your IT/web people and tell them you’re not on the website yet. So sorry you have to deal with that kind of awfulness.

    • OMG HUGE INTERNET HUGS. That is awful. I have no recommendation, other than to say that you need to find a new job, stat.

      • Callmemaybe :

        That sucks. And sounds discriminatory on multiple grounds (gender, ethnicity).

    • I don’t even know what to say except that is awful and I’m sorry.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Whoa. That’s just… whoa.

      I am so sorry this happened to you. If you can come up with the energy and don’t think you’ll break down (I probably would), I’d go back and demand that as part of the firm, you be part of the public face in the same vein as the other associates. Otherwise, that is flat-out discrimination.

      • Constance Justice :

        I am the only associate and he said it was a firm policy to not list associates (i.e., me).

        Oh and I pretty much broke down as soon as he said it.

        • Constance Justice :

          Oh, and I just outed myself. I’m the OP. Oops.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Girl, no need to be anon. What happened to you today was terrible, discriminatory, and absolutely not your fault. We have your back 10000%. You were right to activate the bat-r e t t e signal.

          • Oh dear. Now I really wish we had a bat-r e t t e signal… Maybe a (closed-toe) pump projected into the sky?

          • Cornellian :

            we maybe all need to carry our coffee mugs around?

        • That policy is totally legitimate. What is not legitimate in the least is saying you’re not putting a young, female, Hispanic attorney on your website.

          • Cornellian :

            Yeah. Why would that be the first thing out of his mouth, if it’s really the policy about associates that’s keeping the OP off the site? Absurd.

          • Sounds like back-pedaling on his part. I would definitely document your understanding of his initial comment. In case you ever need to refresh your recollection.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I am absolutely stunned. That is completely horrible and totally f’ing racist and sexist. I am so, so sorry. That’s definitely the worst thing I’ve heard in a long, long time. Can you find a new job? It sounds like this racist, sexist a$$hole is never going to respect or value you, and god knows how many other people in that firm agree with him. Also, is there a Latino/a bar association in your state? You may find more targeted support and resources there.

      • what the what?! It is sexist, racist, and ageist!

      • Your boss’s comment is outrageous.

        I like SF Bay Associate’s suggestion to find the Latino/a bar association. They may connect you with resources in your state and have practical suggestions for the best way to navigate the situation in your particular location and circumstances.

      • Former Partner, Now In-House :

        Yes, find the Latino/a bar association. Join it. Become really active. Become the Chair. And tell everyone where you work.

        And then get a better job.

        But don’t do anything in anger or in a rage. Plan it all out. Maybe first thing is attending a meeting. Then invite the current Chair to a one-on-one lunch.

        Living well is the best . . . And, revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

    • that’s totally outrageous and unacceptable. I echo the suggestion to go to other partners – or go directly to IT and ask for you to be listed. Or contact a recruiter and just be done with them already.

      • This. *big internet hugs*

        I’m sorry you’re going through this. But get thee to a recruiter and leave this dirtbag…in the dust.

        • I interviewed at a firm in Houston and was told by the interviewer that I didn’t “look Hispanic” enough for the firm. I don’t even know what that means?

    • NOT excusing his behavior, because it was wrong, but is there any chance at all that he meant that firms love being able to claim diversity and that you’d therefore be more in demand because a firm could check two boxes by hiring you? (Kind of like how my friend who wore hijab was in every. single. photo. our law school ever took so they could show how “diverse” the school was?) I’d go to another partner, of the same rank as this guy or above, and ask to discuss this. Be extremely calm and rational and explain what he said and that you want to feel that the firm is proud to have you on board, but if they don’t want to put your bio up, it makes it difficult for you to feel that way. Point out that clients have asked and that they have trouble contacting you if you’re not on the website. I would not frame it as you being upset (even though you have every right to be). I would frame it as you wanting to contribute to the firm as much as possible, but you need some clarification because this seems to be a potential obstacle to that. Follow up with an email. (You don’t wnat to have to sue if things go south, but paper paper paper that trail.)

      • Cornellian :

        my blind friend claimed the same thing about pictures at our school.

        That is really hilarious now that i write it out…

        • Maybe this is just a Cornell-is-horrible thing, but my friend who is African-American and rowed is STILL – ten years after graduation – on many of the Cornell general lit piece and for years he was featured in a huge picture on the wall of the admissions office.

          • Cornellian :

            Cornell is horrible at that. But so is every school, ever. “Look! we have african-americans/muslims/women/blind/foreign/etc people! look look!” I swear it’s not all middle-class white guys!

          • No, it’s pretty wide-spread. My (incredibly WASPy private New England liberal arts) college had a two-page spread in the middle of its prospectus that literally had all eight of the black people on campus (plus one Asian guy). The spread did not change for at least ten years.

          • My university definitely took one photo that included, among others, my Africa-American hallmate, and photoshopped in different backgrounds showing her in different places on campus, and used those photos in different places. So it was like, her and a group of people on the quad, in the library, etc, all from one picture. Classy.

      • Ah yes, that is me, at college and now at work. I’ve resorted to hiding what I do just so that I won’t appear at the company newsletters. It feels really good to question whether I’ve been given something because I deserve it or because of the OMGDIVERSITYISINTHEHOUSE business.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Wow, I’m so sorry to read this, this is so beyond ok. I wonder what your response was?

      It would seem that the issue is much less that your profile isn’t up, but the fact that he essentially made a very racist comment which upset you and that is NOT OK!

      I have no advice, I’m sorry, but I’m sending you internet hugs!

    • Did you tell him “wow- that’s completely inappropriate. I expect to the added to the website like every other associate. I’ll get in touch with IT to have them set up the profile.”

      And if you didn’t think of that in the moment I think it’s completely fine to go back and say- I thought your comment was extremely inappropriate, and I expect to be added to the website as soon as IT can update it.”

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Wow. That is absolutely not ok! Even with his “clarification.” I personally wouldn’t want to work there anymore and would start looking for a new job right away, but unfortunately I’d stay while looking since the job market is so tough. I’m so mad for you! It’s awesome that you protested right away. I don’t know if I could have even spoken out of total shock after being told something like that.

    • OMG!!! Hugs? Yes, but let me offer you a hug while handing you an EEOC complaint form! Un-freaking-believable. I’m sputtering, I’m so mad. What rock is this cave-man living under?

    • That’s really ridiculous. Is there anyone else (another partner? HR?) that you can talk to about this? Do other associates have profiles? What is reflected on the website vs the reality of your office?

      Also, wtf is that recruiter statement? That makes no sense. If I were you, I’d call a recruiter and see about getting a new job. ASAP.

    • I would have been speechless and flabbergasted. Big internet hugs!

    • Maddie Ross :

      Just curious, and not excusing this (esp. his comment) at all, but are other associates listed on the website? I’m aware of several firms where only partners, not associates are listed.

      • I’m the only associate, so no. He said later it was “firm policy” to not list associates. Like you said, not being listed isn’t a huge issue. The first words that came out of his mouth when I casually asked why are the issue.

        • Anonymous :

          Can you confirm that no associates on the web site is truly the policy? Is there a way to find out if associates in the past have been listed? I’m suspicious of all his reasons, given the unbelievable statements that came out of his mouth.

          • Sugar Magnolia :

            Yes. You can use the “wayback machine” to take a look at different incarnations of the website, and see if the associate before you was listed.

            But I don’t care if it is a policy, the original comment was so far out of line, that I just felt my blood pressure go up.

    • Hugs from another young, Hispanic female attorney. That is appalling. What state are you in? (not that it should make a difference. I am just curious…)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Well, it does make a difference in terms of what her possible remedies are. We may have ladies here who practice in OP’s state. For example, California has pretty robust anti-discrimination laws.

        • True. I was just thinking level of outrage. Like it shouldn’t be more outrageous because it happened in a northeastern state compared to a southwestern state or something.

        • Cornellian :

          Whereas the texas workforce commission leaves you up the river. But still, you have 180 days from last discriminatory instance to file, if I remember correctly, so taht’s worth noting.

      • Constance Justice :

        Texas. I’m not sure there are any remedies. Being listed on the website isn’t a big deal to me, and I can understand the policy. I can not understand why those were the first words out of his mouth, immediately, when I asked about it.

        • Cornellian :

          I don’t think there are remedies, either, but I think these conversations are still worth documenting now in case they do take negative action towards you in the future and your sex/race/etc play a role. texas workforce commission has a pretty good website, actually easier than the EEOC’s to navigate. If you poke through the complaint form, you can see what sort of evidence they’ll ask for in the future, and just keep things in order in the unfortunate case that something bad happens to your job at this place in the future.

          • anon atty :

            i dont think this is right that there are no remedies — there may be no way to actually get you on the website, but it sure seems like a hostile work environment. so yes, even if you never take it any further, you should document it (take a screen shot of this thread) and send and email per someone elses recommendation

        • do you have a mentor at your small firm? if so, i would send an email to the partner who made the awful remark, copy your mentor, and describe and document what happened.
          something like:
          dear dooshy partner,
          You explained to me today that the firm has a policy to not put associates’ bios on the firm website. I understand this policy, I would like to highlight for you that your immediate reaction of stating “X” when I asked about this issue was inappropriate and made me uncomfortable. I value working for this firm and hope that it continues to be a place for diverse lawyers like myself to grow and succeed.

          • i would also casually mention this issue to someone who may have authority or power or experience – another partner, IT, HR? to confirm that it’s an accurate reflection of the policy. I might even wait to send the email until after that bit of detective work.

          • Cornellian :


    • First, I am so sorry. There are words, that I can’t even figure out to type to avoid moderation for these kind of jerk.

      Go home, drink large glass of wine.
      Get your resume together and start looking immediately.
      Figure out a legal way to get him on the record as saying this (again). Maybe get your potential client to write in with the question? Then nail his a** with the biggest lawsuit you can. Buy an island type lawsuit.
      Throw a dance party on his desk when you win.

    • phillygirlruns :

      you’ve gotten some good practical advice, but i just wanted to add my outrage. just…WHAT? REALLY?

    • No words, just sorry you had to go through this. How very very $hitty, and I don’t know how (or even if) you can shake something like that off. Ugh ugh ugh.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      All I can say is wow. Even if your firm is small, it might fall under your state’s discrimination laws. I am so, so, so sorry this happened to you.

    • Wow.. how many ways to say wtf?!

      While there might be reasons why a firm doesn’t want to put up the bios of associates (maybe to give the impression that all the work is done by seasoned partners but most def not the BS *reason* he gave) it makes sense for you to want to have your bio up.. so it is ok if wanting your bio up is a big deal to you.

      I don’t know what your next step is but you may want to document everything that you can. Draft a doc to yourself writing down everything that you can remember, quotes, the time this convo took place, where etc. in case you need it for the future (and time stamp it somehow, ie in a personal email to yourself). To be frank, I don’t quite know how you go about working for this person in the future because his purported “reason” really explains a lot about his character.. *big internet hugs*

    • Ohmahgah! INTERNETHUGS. That is brutal. People are not usually so openly offensive about things like that. I am so sorry. I don’t even know what to suggest in terms of dealing with it, except perhaps talking to HR if your firm has that? Ugh. So sorry this happened to you :(

    • anonnnnnn :

      Oh, hel-LO, employment lawsuit. That is SO NOT OK. (Sorry, Ellen caps. But seriously).

      • anonnnnnn :

        Forgot to add: multiple internet hugs! So sorry you’re dealing with that.

    • I am so sorry to hear this. I think I would have had a hard time not bursting into tears right then.

      Given that, here’s what I would suggest. Approach this partner again – or, if appropriate, the partners collectively – and say, “I think it would be an asset to the firm for me to have a bio listed on the website. First, it would be helpful to clients, co-counsel and opposing counsel who need to quickly locate my contact information. Second, I recently connected with a potential client that may be interested in sending business to our firm, and he was confused when he was unable to find my bio on our site. I know that I’ve only been practicing for a short time, but I want to support our business development efforts – plus, I’ve noticed that Firm X, Firm Y, and Firm Z all list associates on their websites.”

      It sounds like this may be a super-negative environment, but you won’t be able to leave overnight even if you want to. In the short term, you want to get your bio up there, because it’s important for your career, whether you remain at this firm for three months, three years, or three decades. Do I think that there’s racism going on? Sure sounds like it to me. But in the very short term, I would pretend that you take his explanation at face value and respond with a business case for including you.

      Now, if you have a mentor or other partner you feel close to, I do think it would be worth talking to that person about the comment and raising your concerns, because that’s some bullsh*t and should not be tolerated.

      -Signed, Latina, but doesn’t “look it”, so people say aaaaaaaaall kinds of stuff in front of me.

    • Honey I’m sorry, but even more than hugs what you need is to get your bio up.. on a jobhunting website. Call some recruiters yourself. Over a year is enough to look decent on the resume. Get yourself someplace where you aren’t working for a racist! This cannot be helpful to your career in any way. What kind of one-year review and raise did you get anyway?

  16. My reaction is not so much “hugs” as blinding rage on your behalf!

  17. This is a fun “problem” to have but I’m stumped. My in-laws got me a Louis Vuitton purse as a present but I returned it because it was really too much. However, they insist that I get a different LV purse to replace it. Awkward but hey, I’m no dummy. I’m leaning towards the Alma epi in black but wanted to see if anyone had any thoughts/recommendations? If I had to define my style I’d say it would be classic prep. I like the Alma b/c I think it’s pretty classic but I’m not sure what size to get. Also I’m open to other possibilities as I don’t really spend a lot of time looking at bags. I was gifted a Palermo a few years ago that I don’t really use sadly as I find the LV logo a bit conspicuous. Thoughts?

    • Just curious, why are your in-laws so hung up on LV?

    • It’s a gorgeous bag and a good problem to have, but personally I have a really hard time with bags I cannot wear on my shoulder (or at least arm) if needed. Just something to consider. I think the “brea” and “mirabeau” are both really classic and gorgeous and avoid this problem. The Eden is also really lovely, though smaller than what you may have had in mind. I think epi leather is nice and subtler than typical LV bags. I would probably also look for something in navy or plum (just as versatile but also different) instead of black but that’s just me. I am sure whatever you decide on will be fabulous.

    • phillygirlruns :

      no insight on styles, as i haven’t found an LV that i really like (they’re all a bit too structured for me, and i feel the same way you do about the logos), but i do think their epi leather is gorgeous.

    • downstream :

      do you have to get LV? If so, then the epi leather is, I’d say, fairly inconspicuous. Epi leather is also very durable. For my two cents, I would think about how you plan to carry it – the Alma can only be carried in the crook of your arm or handheld, which can be tiring and bothersome. If you want your handbag to be more functional I’d look for something with shoulder straps (like your underused Palermo) or hobo-style. I don’t know LV that much so I can’t suggest styles but I’m sure you can find plenty of resources online.

      If there is brand flexibility and you still want to go the classic prep route, I would look at Prada, Bottega Veneta, or Valextra. BV and Valextra in particular are good if you don’t want in-your-face logos.

      • adore prada bags and would definitely second switching brands if possible

      • I do NOT like LV. I perfer Chanel if I have to have some thing nice, but that is just me.

        I was NOT abel to use my computer all day b/c it crashed! The manageing partner first came over to TRY to fix it, but he did NOT know what he was doeing, and it was D.O.A.

        So then Frank came over, and he was suposed to give ME the HSR b/c Jim is MY cleint and I was going to e-mail it back to him. But I could NOT b/c my computer was dead. So Frank sent the HSR back to Jim on time. Yay! I did not hear anything from Jim, but I was to busy with Frank.

        Frank said he was tryeing to fix my computer, but, he kept stareing at me. I said to him: FIX the computer, do NOT looke at me, b/c I know notheing about fixeing computer’s. FOOEY!

        So when he started tryieing to look down my blouse, I said ENOUGH. FOOEY! GET the TECK GUY in here. I was MAD at him but he could NOT see anything, b/c my blouse was butoned all the way up b/c it is cold in my office. The TECK guy FINALLY showes up at 4:30 pm and he tinker’s with the machine and says he will have to take it back to the shop but he will get it back to me tomorrow. Yay!

        So now I am FINALY home. At least my MacBook air works. Fooey on the work computer. They do NOT work so well. Doubel fooey. I better have the machine workeing tomorow, b/c I have a lot of hours to bill before the end of this month.

        • Ellen, we were all very worried about you. Please check in from your iPhone next time. ok?

          Also, I think Frank was just using the opportunity to look at your girls in your blouse. He’s NOT IT and he shouldn’t be touching your computer.

        • I am so in love with this: “I prefer Chanel if I have to have something nice, but that is just me.”

    • I also am not a fan of the LV logo bags, but I do like their epi. Sounds like a good way to go.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I love the Alma, though as others note, tophandle bags can be a bit cumbersome. I have one I really like, and get tons of complements, but it can be a pain to carry it on my arm. I switch my bags up often enough that it doesnt really matter. If you plan this to be your everyday bag, for a good long time, then I would go for one with a shoulder strap. I have a couple LV bags and do find they hold up well. I dont use the logo ones very often, but i use the two i have with the damier design

    • Have two bags in epi and love them both. Most people don’t realize it’s LV unless they know LV. Enjoy your new bag!

    • I just looked through the Epi collection and its lovely. If I had my pick I’d go with the Madeleine GM, but that is just my personal choice for shoulder bags. I suggest you go to a store and look at them in person. I was just given my first LV. It is a remarkably well-made bag, what I would expect from a company that has made luggage for over 150 years. And boy does it get noticed. Everywhere. If I want good customer service I will go into a store carrying it.

  18. Honey Pillows :

    For Coalea, karenpadi, TBK, and other GoT fans out there complaining about George R.R. Martin’s sloowwww writing on an earlier thread:

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      THANK YOU for this, so much! I just finished season 1 of the HBO show and picked up the second book and I was laughing out loud at this. This has made my week!

    • karenpadi :

      Really, the man needs an editor. I have yet to see the point of half of book 3 and any of book 4 that couldn’t have been more effectively summarized in a prologue.

      I’m not worried about the HBO show. I stopped watching–too much gratuitous nudity. I’m not opposed to nudity in an appropriate context but naked bodies are more the focus of that show than the actual storyline. And there is actually a decent storyline!

    • Oh wow, everything I’ve ever said about those books! (I kind of don’t mind the series isn’t done because there are still characters I love alive — who knows who’ll actually make to the very end!)

    • <3 Vork

  19. Anon for this RE Cleaning Lady :

    In case anyone was interested – my cleaning lade didn’t show up today and texted 1/2 through the say asking to come on Friday. Also – she cashed the check on Monday – yes, the same day she came, didn’t clean and had to immediately run to the airport and didn’t have time to leave me a note or a text. I’m sorry, but, I feel uncomfortable about that. Now I have to figure out what to do :(

    • Anon for this RE Cleaning Lady :

      lade – should clearly be lady, oops!

    • Did she give you a reason why she didn’t come today? Did it pertain to her family member? Maybe she needed money for a plane ticket?

      I’d say I’d be inclined to let her go at this point, because you said she wasn’t doing a good job to begin with and it doesn’t seem worth the hassle. Bottom line, if you feel uncomfortable with the person it’s not a great idea to let them back in your home, if no other reason then you’ll be constantly worrying about something. Hire a service that will come out regularly, that you can complain to if you don’t like the way it is done, and that you can auto-debit.

      • There may yet be a good explanation (or not) for her actions, but you have to decide whether it’s worth the hassle.

        I think L’s suggestion is good. Bottom line: nothing wrong with your weighing your options on Monday. Weighing options that run the range from punitive all the way to generous does not make you a bad person or a bad boss. It just means you’re doing your due diligence. A bad boss would have fired her without even wondering or bothering or giving her any chance to show up on Wednesday.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i feel uncomfortable with you. If I were in your position, I would wait until Friday to see what happens (work from home if you can). If she doesnt show or postpones again, get rid of her for good and have your locks changed.

    • Yeahhhh. The fact that she cashed the cheque without letting you know first, AND didn’t show, is pretty dodgy. If today’s text didn’t come with a *really* good explanation of the whole thing (like, if she *needed* to cash the cheque early to buy her plane ticket or something, that wouldn’t really be cool, but at least somewhat understandable? Just cashing without notifying and then not showing is BAD), I’d seriously consider looking for someone new. And that’s even though I thought you might be reacting a bit harshly on Monday. This new development is pretty unacceptable.

      • karenpadi :

        Agreed. And I agreed with Jo Marsh on Monday. I’d wait until Friday–maybe it’s a bad week?

    • Anonymous :

      The no show alone wouldn’t bother me so much, given the recent death in her family. But the fact that she cashed the check without providing an explanation for why she did so would really bother me. I would probably give her a chance to explain (although I’m not sure what a satisfactory explanation would be), but yeah, I would be inclined to let her go at this point. And if you can’t be home on Friday when she comes, I would call her and have this discussion over the phone. I don’t think I would want someone who is acting in this questionable manner in my home by themselves.

    • I’d be seeing red flags at this point and would probably not want her unsupervised in my house. Even allowing that the family emergency is genuine, someone to whom you entrust with your house keys needs to take your trust and her work seriously. Skipping days, taking payment without working and then leaving text messages wouldn’t really be serious enough for me.

      If you’re ready to let her go, wait for her at home to retrieve the keys and perhaps take the precaution of using an extra padlock on the relevant door for the next couple of weeks in case she’s made a copy.

      But good luck whichever way you go.

  20. Calling all sommeliers!

    I was invited to a nice dinner with my boss at her house. I need to bring a hostess gift and I know wine would. be appreciated. The problem is I usually go for the $6-10 bottles :) Any suggestions for a nice summer red around $20-$25?

    • Where are you located? That will affect what is available in your local liquor store…

    • Seven Deadly Zins – fabulous!

      • Second on Seven Deadly Zins. Also like 6th Sense Syrah from the same winery.

        Beringer Knight’s Valley 2009 Cab is also really good and I *think* in your price range.

        If you’re willing to go up $10, get Caravan Cabernet. My favorite wine hands down.

    • karenpadi :

      for your next $6-$10 bottle, try Red Velvet by Cupcake Vineyards. Yummy! It’s a really well-structured wine for the price.

      Sebastiani makes good wines on that price range or try a Ravenswood Zinfandel.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      You can also ask the employees at any wine store.

    • It may be too late for you to see this, but here goes. For red, and summer, and at that price point, I’d recommend a California Pinot noir or Zinfandel, or if you want to be more creative, a Spanish Rioja or Ribera del Duero or an Argentinian Malbec.

    • phillygirlruns :

      not particularly summery, but my favorite red at the lower end of that range is murphy-goode liar’s dice zinfandel.

    • For a bottle in the $20 range, I’m big fan of Erath Pinot Noir.

  21. TJ/Interview question

    I have an interview on Friday for a temporary/part-time job while I wait for the bar results to come out (early November). The job itself isn’t perfect, but I really love the employer and want to get my foot in the door with them. Anyways, here’s my conundrum: my husband’s boss wants both of us to go to a conference in early October. It’s kind of a big deal career-wise for him. But they need to buy our plane tickets ASAP. Is there any way I can bring up the possibility of taking a week off at the interview? How should I handle this?

    • Your husband’s boss has a say over whether you go to a conference?

      • He’s a pastor, and it’s a church planting conference. That really is a family commitment. Things have gotten a lot better for “preachers’ wives” but it’s still kind of weird.

    • Normally a recruiter/hiring manager will ask you if you have any upcoming vacations or other commitments in the next few months along with the other standard questions. If they don’t ask, I’d bring it up at the point where you are being seriously considered or negotiating an offer.

  22. TJ/MIL rant…..

    My MIL has made it known from the moment I met her son (my now-DH) that she would never be a fan of any woman who dated either of her precious sons. This remained true during DH’s and my courtship, though MIL warmed up a bit right around the time of our wedding. Since then, she has resumed her anti-MK posture.

    DH’s brother just got engaged to a girl whom he has dated for a long time, and who has suffered many of the same general nastiness from MIL that I have. However, MIL has now decided that she loves future-SIL and is so excited for her and BIL to get married. She is posting comments all over FB about how gorgeous the ring is, how she is going to throw them a huge engagement party (we never were thrown an engagement party or shower by that side of the family), etc.

    This is really getting under my skin, and while I am trying to control the green monster I just end up feeling really angry. When I try to talk about it with DH, I just come off as whiny and petty. I guess I just feel like I’ve been treated unjustly, and no one (besides my family) notices or cares. Sigh. Do I have to deal with this for the rest of my life??

    • Stepchild :

      I hear you.

      About five years ago, my parents announced at a holiday that they wanted to plan a trip to New York City, invite all 4 of us adult children, and our partners, and pay for the entire trip, including our hotel rooms and meals, and a couple Broadway shows. We siblings thought it was a great idea and were very grateful. Parents even printed out little notes and put it on our Christmas stockings that year that we’d get an all-expense paid trip to NYC.

      A year later or so, I moved across the country. I keep in touch with everyone and visit about three times a year.

      Last year, I was home for Thanksgiving. I found out that they had all planned the Big Trip to Broadway for the very next weekend, and had declined to include me. This was despite the fact that I had always come back home for every family gathering since I moved, I had tons of leave time from work, and I could easily have extended my Thanksgiving trip to include the NYC one had I known.

      It was very painful. But I realized that I just wasn’t the favorite. I took a good hard look at how my parents treated my siblings. Sometimes a criticism out of my mouth started a fight, but the same criticism out of my sister’s mouth was heard and acted upon and treated positively.

      And I realized I could make the choice to react out of pain (being mad, cutting them out of my life too, etc.)… or I could realize that it’s their problem, and that I should react with the same amount of love I did before, understanding that I might not get the same reaction as my siblings.

      Life is not fair. Sometimes parents have favorites. It sucks, but unfortunately, that’s the way it is.

      • Thanks for posting this. Reading about your experience has given me some perspective on my relationship with my mother and sister (my only “family” – and unfortunately, they have made it pretty clear that I am irrelevant).

      • Wannabe Runner :

        There’s a Dear Prudence column today about sibling favorites.

    • Look on the bright side, she can’t hold an engagement party over your head for the rest of your life. Your FSIL, on the other hand, will always have to stay on her toes lest she becomes that ungrateful brat who was never really good enough for my baby anyways.

      • THIS.

        Just know that awful MILs like this never give any real gift. Yes, it may be called a gift, but I can see the strings (no, the *chains*) attached to that gift even miles away and through the internets…

        Your FSIL’s life will be hell, because MIL, in the guise of gifts and helpfulness, will probably try to make every important (and non-important0 decision for her. She’ll either be completely dominated or she might snap and kick your MIL’s @ss so hard that she starts acting 50% normal to you both afterwards.

    • This may just be the upsurge in approval around the marriage that you experienced. Wait at least a year afterwards to see whether she gets the same treatment afterwards…

    • Thanks all, your comments are helping me to remember to just take deep breaths and let it roll off of me. :-)

  23. e_pontellier :

    Hey all, I know it’s super late in the day (and I’ll post this again either tomorrow or Friday), but I just wanted to say thanks so much for all your support with my struggles with my DH giving me the silent treatment. I finally stood up for myself and it has had a huge impact! Thanks for all the support & encouragement here.

    • ^5. Glad to hear it.

    • Thank you for the update. Please let us know if you need anything.

    • I’m soooo glad to hear this (I was one of the anon posters who responded to you, but I’ve now taken a name)! Best wishes! I hope things improve quickly.

    • Good to hear. My heart had gone out to you when I read your earlier post.

    • Hey dear, thanks for the update. Good for you for standing up for yourself. Here’s hoping things keep on improving for you.

  24. Merabella :

    Alright ladies I need your help. I am going to a wedding at the end of September. I need a bag to go with my outfit. I’m wearing an old (circa 2010) JCrew Bridesmaids Dress Sophia in Vintage Blue) with a gold snakeskin belt and gold satin shoes. I’m looking for a bag to go with it. I have gathered some options (links to follow).

    • Merabella :

      These are plain but bright/complementary colors…

    • Merabella :

      Links are waiting in moderation. Basically what do you wear with this outfit?

  25. Merabella :

    These two are kind of out there, but I like the idea of an unexpected bag

  26. I like the rose pink one with your blue dress. Simple, but I’m a fan of romantic styles/colors for weddings.
    The red leopard print one is also awesome, but maybe the laptop case is too big for a clutch.

  27. Wow! We love fashionable women and that suit is just trendy.
    We love that Blazer, we think its the right color as well. It will be amazing if all ladies in our office adopt the style.
    We will definitely be checking this site for more new and exciting fashion.

  28. Katherine :

    I love St. John Suits. You can buy new, but resale suits, at GREAT prices here:

    Most still have the tags from Neiman Marcus on them! There are also great deals on real (fully authenticated) chanel pieces. It is a great find – it is located in Concord, New Hampshire so it doesn’t get the traffic of a place in a big city but she has really amazing stuff at great prices.

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