Suit of the Week: Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney Iris tailored wool-twill blazerFor 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.

The gray suit: boring, but classic. I love the sleek look of this wool-twill suit from Stella McCartney. The tailoring looks spot-on, and (as illustrated by the good stylists at Net-a-Porter), you can break the pieces up and wear them separately. The jacket (Stella McCartney Iris tailored wool-twill blazer) is $1,295, the pants (Stella McCartney Erin wool-twill flared pants) are $595, and the skirt (not pictured: Stella McCartney Alyssa wool-twill pencil skirt) is $585.

Stella McCartney Iris tailored wool-twill blazer Stella McCartney Erin wool-twill flared pants



  1. Can anyone recomend a reeely reeely warm coat? I have a North Face jacket, but it is NOT that warm at all today. I froze my tuchus off walkeing in today and my dad says just keep doeing it b/c I am looseing weight. But I say FOOEY! I do NOT want to freeze. What can we wear that will realy keep us warm when its that cold outside? I am NOT allowed to wear pant’s to work. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      I have an Eddie Bauer “WeatherEdge Superior Down Parka” which is rated for -15F to 30F, and I am quite toasty today in NYC.

      Its not the most stylish coat, and its a bit bulky, but it comes in regular, tall (yay! I am tall 5-11– and its too long on me), and petite, and on sale for $200 right now.

      • I have the Eddie Bauer Lodge Down Parka. It is rated 0F to 20F and is also really warm. I bought it for a winter trip to Scandinavia, and with appropriate layers underneath, I was quite toasty the entire time.

        I only bring it out for regular use when the weather drops to levels like this week!

    • Warming up :

      Adding a hat, scarf & gloves can make a huge difference in warmth.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I feel like Ellen is mocking my long term search for a warm jacket…

      For those that offered advice, I ended up getting the Patagonia Tres-in-One in black- it’s a great coat, I really love it so far, and it’s very flattering on me, much more so than the pictures online.

      It is one of the most expensive single items that I own, but I feel happy and warm when I put it on, so..success? The Canada Goose ones looked silly on me- they waists were too low, because I’m both short and short-waisted, and the lengths were weird.

      • TO Lawyer :

        As a former Calgarian and a freezing Torontonian, I would say yes success. Being warm in these temperatures is no easy feat – if you find a jacket that does that, that’s probably rarer than finding a good man ;)

      • SoCalAtty :

        Anything patagonia is always a win!

      • Congrats on the success — it sounds like a winner!

    • Equity's Darling :

      I feel like Ellen is mocking my long search for a warm jacket…

      For those that offered advice, I ended up getting the Patagonia Tres-in-One in black- it’s a great coat, I really love it so far, and it’s very flattering on me, much more so than the pictures online. I also like that I can zip out the lining, it will make this coat wearable for 9 months of the year or so.

      It was pricey, but comparable in price to Canada Goose, and I think more flattering on me than the CGs. The Canada Goose ones (Trillium, Kensington, Whistler) looked silly on me- the waists were too low, because I’m both short and short-waisted, and the lengths were weird.

    • Mountaingirl :

      I live in the Canadian North (I mean like minus 40 (the same Celsius and Fahrenheit) for a significant portion of the winter) and Canada Goose keeps me warm. There are a ton of different styles but the longer ones are definitely warmer. They are thoughtfully designed in general with lots of small details that help make you as comfortable as possible in the cold (fuzzy warm lined pockets, zippers that don’t freeze to your face, hoods that can be adjusted in multiple ways to provide max warmth without obscuring your vision). I’m starting to sound like an advertisement so I’ll stop, but I’ve tried a ton of expensive technical winter expedition wear over the years and have never been as warm as I am in my goose!

  2. Savings Question :

    seeking the advice of the hive on this:

    i’m in my early 20s, and now that my emergency fund has been built to a satisfactory level, i’d like to begin saving for a downpayment on a house. however, there’s a high likelihood that I’ll also be heading to grad school in 2-3 years. does it make sense to put aside that money for grad school expenses instead?

    any advice wrt savings priorities is appreciated. building an emergency fund has been my focus for a while, so now I’m not sure where to proceed from here. thanks!

    • What is the timeline for purchasing a house? Same as grad school? Can you oversave for either? Probably not. Unless you know you are going to be going to grad school in the same city that you purchase a house in, it may not make sense to tie yourself to real estate quite yet. My advice is to sock away as muc money as you can afford and then see where you are in 2-3 years.

      • I agree with this 100%.

      • ExcelNinja :

        agreed — just sock away as much as you possibly can, and prioritize the money when the time comes!

      • Anastasia :

        Also, you can save for grad school in a tax-advantaged 529 plan, but I’m not aware of anything similar to save for a house (without getting creative with 401k or IRAs, at least). Might be worth talking to a financial planner about, with an eye to your tax situation.

        • Meg Murry :

          its post-tax money, but I’m pretty sure you can withdraw contributions to a Roth IRA for both a deposit on a house as a first time homebuyer and education expenses. There is a cap on how much you can put in a year though. Talk to a financial pro about this or do some reading first though, there may be more strings to it than just that.

    • Fey and sudden :

      \So I figured I’d ask the hive this, although you ladies have such
      refined and sophisticated tastes, it will probably be a negative. Does
      anyone watch the vampire diaries? I know…its a silly vampire
      show…but in my defense there is some nice eye candy (google ian
      somerhalder. and joseph morgan, if you are interested) and the plot
      lines are pulling me in.
      In short, does anyone else suffer this affliction and wish to bond
      over it? Or am I alone with a bunch of rabid 13 year old fans?

      • I watch it while I work out on the elliptical. :-) Season 1 is on instant play on Netflix so I watch it on my iPad. Yes, I enjoy the eye candy! And having a new episode to watch is one of the things that helps to get me motivated to work out.

      • You are not alone. I thoroughly enjoy that show. I figure I use my brain all day at work, if I want to watch fluff tv in my off duty hours, so be it! And yes, there is definitely yummy eye candy. I’m team Damon. I always like the bad boys, for some reason.

      • Anonymous :

        No, but I was/am a HUGE fan of Moonlight when it was on.

      • I’ve only watched the first two episodes from this season, but I’m a Vampire Diaries fan. I love me some Damon and some Alaric (sniff sniff).

      • AnotherLadyLawyer :

        I already outed myself as a Hart of Dixie lover, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that I also swoon for TVD (Team Damon!). While I love me some sophisticated Newsroom/Homeland, etc., I can’t help but love a number of shows aimed at 13 year old girls. I’ve accepted it, converted friends and now revel in it! Same goes for movies – I’ve seen ALLLL of the movies directed at tweens!

      • Oh honey. I am Vampire Diaries CENTRAL. I am all, all about it, especially about Klaus and the originals.

        (I occasionally see some of the actors around town and have to work VERY HARD not to be all fangirl-y.)

        • Fey and sudden :

          Oh man, you’ve seen the actors around town? I don’t know if I could keep my inner teenager from not going all fan girl on them. And I might give you a run for your money at being vampire diaries central. I’m a giant dork about it
          And as for klaus and the originals, who are awesome, are you excited for the possible spinoff?

          • I’m excited for the originals spinoff, partly because I think it will be fun to watch, but also partly because I really like the season 1 TVD crew and right now there’s too much focus on the originals for my taste. If Joseph Morgan and the others get their own show (Elijah is my favorite!), they won’t be taking up as much time on the vampire diaries and the focus can go back to the season 1 crowd.

      • TEAM DAMON FOR THE WIN. Not necessarily Delena (because Elena annoys me) – BUT DAMON FOREVER.

        I loved last week when he told Jeremy “That’s why I’ve changed our relationship status to ‘its complicated'”. Made me lol.

        • Though I think my immature taste in tv should come as no surprise to anyone.

          • Fey and sudden :

            But, this makes me feel much better! Not that you should like something just because others do, but I really like that show…and it’s nice to know others enjoy it too.
            For the record, I’m totally a klaus/caroline fan. and I like Damon, but I think better when he’s being broody and cranky. Totally get the dislike of elena sometimes. 
            And I cracked up at that line too! Seriously, sassy Damon can make any day brighter 

      • I will confess to watching just about everything on the CW. Currently watching: Vampire Diaries, Hart of Dixie, Emily Owens MD. Currently missing: Gossip Girl, One Tree Hill, Ringer, The Circle. Haven’t checked out Carrie Diaries yet. In my defense I usually watch at the gym while running on the treadmill, perfect mindless entertainment!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        You are far from alone on that one. I maintain it’s actually not a silly vampire show and is a very well done show other shows should take lessons from, particularly about pacing.

      • Everyone should follow Ian Somerhalder on Twitter (as I do) for the “just finished filming a shirtless scene, going to dive into a bucket of fried chicken” updates.

      • Late to this discussion, but I also love TVD. Love the show, think it’s pretty well done and agree with the comment about great pacing. And I’m totally Team Delena.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Since the interest rates for home mortgages will likely be much better than the interest rates for student loans (if things continue the way they have been going, which I think in the time span you’re talking about, they will) then I think it makes much more sense to allocate your savings for grad school, rather than the home purchase. It also gives you more location flexibility post-grad school

  3. Responding to questions on the morning thread regarding roller derby and the judge: The judge’s response was actually perfectly polite and professional — he’s a really excellent judge that I’m not in front of nearly enough!
    And roller derby is incredible. I decided to try out for the team having not put on skates in probably twenty years. It’s actually amazing to realize how much your body remembers, though. Our league also devotes a lot of time and thought to training and developing new skaters so that you’re not thrown into a bout before you’re actually ready. I suppose injuries are certainly a risk, but I’ve got a history of slightly dangerous sports (kickboxing, rock climbing, etc.), so this one sort of fits for me. It’s been really good. I understand that different leagues have different policies, so YMMV, but I would totally recommend that anyone give it a try.

  4. TJ: Ugh! I put on a beautiful skirt I haven’t worn in awhile. It has become all too apparent that it does not fit me in the waist anymore. Snug has become uncomfortable. It probably can be adjusted/tailored to give be a bit more room, but it is shaping up to be one loooong, uncomfortable afternoon. Ugh!

  5. Fey and sudden :

    And sorry for posting under the wrong thread-is there a way to fix that?

  6. Friendship help :

    Friendship frustration/vent/help please…

    I’ve noticed some strangeness/distance between me and a very close friend of mine recently. I reach out to her to hang out/spend time together, and she accepts, but never initiates, and it seems I rarely hear from her anymore. I thought she may feel like I haven’t been making an effort, so I have been trying to do more, but it doesn’t seem to be helping. She’s highly sensitive/dramatic at times, so she’s definitely not the easiest person to ask, “Is something bothering you? I feel like things are weird between us lately.”

    It’s tough for me, because she was so awesome and supportive of me when I went through a very rough time a few years ago, and I miss the closeness that we had. However, now that my life is no longer falling apart and things have really improved for me, she seems to be keeping her distance and I’m entirely sure why. I hate when people say, “Oh, she’s must be jealous” when someone has a problem with them & tend not to immediately jump to that conclusion. However, she did once confess to a mutual friend of ours after a few glasses of wine that she is often jealous of me and finds it easier to be my friend when things in my life aren’t “perfect”. Said jealous friend does have a pretty awesome life though (great husband, training to be a field she’s interested in, adorable puppy, good friends), so it’s tough for me to see why she might feel that way.

    My boyfriend keeps trying to get me to see that she’s basically the inverse of a “fairweather friend” and says I shouldn’t worry about growing out of touch with someone like her. However, we’ve been friends for years and she was so awesome to me during that rough patch I went through (I seriously don’t know where I’d be today without her). I’m also someone who tends to keep a small group of very close friends, so losing someone that’s in the “inner circle” would be a very noticeable and painful for me, honestly.

    Does anyone have any advice/feedback/commiseration?

    • There are some people that thrive on being needed (I’m sure many can fill in the blank here with their own mothers or MILs). That’s just how they are. Take comfort that you friend can be such an immense source of strength for you.

      The other thing is that not every friendship can sustain immense levels of closeness all throughout the life of the friendship. There are cycles of closeness and aloofness. That’s normal. It could be suffocating if everything was always the same all the time.

      Try not to see it as “losing” her. It’s more like stretching the friendship, letting it grow. I try not to categorize friends in circles. Maybe using an atom would be an apt example – you are the nucleus and your friends are electrons – jumping around to different orbitals according to what you need. Sometimes the electrons leave and other times you gain other people’s electrons.

      Hmmm, I can get pretty deep once I’m well fed.

    • I know you said it’s difficult to directly ask her if something is wrong, but that might be the best thing to do in this case. Tell her what you said here about how supportive she was during a difficult time in your life and let her know you’re concerned about the distance between you two now.

      If she is jealous of you, maybe having an open/honest conversation would help address that issue and hopefully bring you guys closer. Good luck!

    • Shopaholic :

      I second what Godzilla says. Also – re the jealousy point. I see why it’s tough for you to see why someone with her life might be jealous of you but people often hide the really tough things in their lives.

      I say this as someone who has purposely disconnected from my law school friends because I’ve been unhappy for the past few months, mostly with my job but also having a tough time with a couple other things going on. It’s insanely tough to be at dinner with amazing women who are working hard and love their jobs when you feel like you should be loving your job but also feel like you’re not measuring up. But if you’re not the couple people closest to me, you would have no idea how unhappy I’ve been lately. You may just be a reminder of all the things she feels aren’t going well in her life and I can understand why that would be hard for her to stay close to you.

      Just my two cents.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I tend to over-commit myself and spend a lot of my time “triaging” life. When a close friend or family member is in crisis, I treat it as trauma level 1, and let my job and home responsibilities slack a bit. When I’m slammed at work, friends and family fall to the back burner a bit. As a lawyer, I’m more often than not, slammed at work. Could it be that your friend reorganized her life when you needed her to make sure she was there for you but doesn’t place an equally high priority on the regular old “hang out?”

      I helped a friend through a pretty big crisis and certainly don’t speak with her as often now that I know she is doing okay. Frankly, I couldn’t keep up the level of contact we had on a long-term basis because it wouldn’t allow me enough time to do all my work, my volunteer activities and spend time with my husband and pets.

      • This is a really good point. She stepped up when you needed her. Now she’s stepped back. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t still care.

    • I’ve had most of my friends for at least 15 years and I think that good friendships ebb and flow. Sometimes you are closer, sometimes your further apart but as long as you stay in the loop, you keep open room for a closer period when circumstances come together. I’ve been closer to people when we’ve lived near each other, lived further apart and been on the same phone schedule, both been in grad school at the same time, both had the same weeknight free etc. Don’t sweat this further apart phase would be my advice.

      • *you’re

      • Seconded. That said, I don’t think it would hurt to ask her if anything is going on. Who knows, maybe she’s going through an absolute crap time in her life and feels like she doesn’t have much to give right now. Having an awesome life overall doesn’t mean you won’t have rough weeks, months, or even years.

  7. hellskitchen :

    Can anyone recommend a sunlamp that provides vitamin D? I have seen lamps for seasonal affective disorder but I need one that specifically helps your body generate vitamin D. Do all sunlamps do that? Thanks!

  8. Anonymous :

    Is it absolutely awful to leave a job after one month because you received a significantly better offer elsewhere? Better pay, better people, better work environment, better company, better options in the future, better projects?

    The big downside is that the first job was received through some favours, so I’d be torching a few bridges.

    • ExcelNinja :

      While I haven’t done exactly this, I’ve felt as though I’ve torched bridges in the last 2 jobs I left simply due to the timing of me leaving. However, if everyone waited for perfect timing to accept a new job or have kids, no one would ever do either.

      If the new offer is really better in every respect, no sane person could blame you. Time heals all wounds, IMO. Go for it!!

    • Do it. You can leave the other job off your resume. Burning the bridges might be a problem but it’s your life, you should be able to do the best for yourself.

    • If you are really sure it’s that much better, I think you should do it. You only get one life. But damage control is really key, particularly if your industry is small. Is there anything objectively very different about the two jobs that you can blame it on? Different geographic locations/ the possibility to transfer to another office at job B that you may need to transfer to in the future, like your parents live there, so you may need that flexibility someday? Vastly different company sizes? Very different work environments? You’ll also need to do some kind of appreciation/contrition/acknowledgement to all the people who cashed in favours for you. I bet Ask A Manager has touched on this at some point.

      • Anonymous :

        They’re very different jobs, in the same relatively small industry. One is with a firm, the other is with a company. The firm is mid size but the company is a Fortune 500- completely different work environments, same location but current position might have involved undesireable relocation.

    • ExcelNinja :

      Reposting because my comment is stuck in moderation…

      I haven’t done exactly this, but the last 2 jobs I’ve left feeling like I burned bridges due to timing. The timing is never going to be perfect, and way too often is much less than perfect.

      You should go for it – time heals all wounds, and the 2-jobs-ago boss and I now go to dinner when he’s in town. The 1-job-ago boss left her job for greener pastures shortly after I did, and the timing was definitely less than ideal for her, too.

      If it’s truly a much better move, no sane person could/would hold it against you.

  9. What do you do... :

    … when you learn that someone who reports to you makes more than you — thier base salary and bonus are both more. They also have a lower performance rating. You don’t have direct or first-hand knowledge of the comp differential, but you do for the rating. You’re woman and the other person is a man.

    • To be honest, I don’t know what I would do initially, but a few questions come to mind. How did you obtain whatever knowledge you have? Is it credible? Is there a significant difference in your backgrounds, prior to coming onto the current job? How comfortable are you approaching HR, or your supervisor, on the issue?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      TBH, I don’t know if there’s anything you can do, at least in the short term. Complaining to your manager/HR seems like it would smell like sour grapes. I think you can make the case to your company that you deserve more because X, Y and Z, but I don’t think it would come off well to make the case “Well I’m more senior than John, so I should be paid more,” even if it is true.

      I think it’s certainly fair to approach your boss about a raise based on your own merit, though, and take into account market rate for your position and if you’re being undercompensated relative to the market.

    • ExcelNinja :

      If he reports to you and he makes more than you, that seems like a HUGE disparity, unless it’s possibly due to commissions?? I would definitely bring it to HR. They need to fix this.

      It’s not even relevant that he’s a man and you’re a woman.

    • anon for this :

      In my case, it happened because I moved into an administrative role and ended up supervising a guy who had been a department head when I was hired as a very young faculty member. When I found out, I wasn’t happy about it because I had a lot on my plate and the person in question was not doing much. Over time, my boss addressed it, but I’m not sure she would have dealt with it as well if she hadn’t known that I knew about it. He recently retired and I actually got part of his salary as an equity raise. Believe me, that was huge! Now, I don’t know if this would hold true for every situation but I felt like it became more of a priority to my boss once she knew I was aware of it.

      • a lot of times, salary disparities like this happen because of grandfathering long term employees who are effectively demoted – sounds like this could be relevant in your case. I’ve also seen it where the lower level employee has specific/scarce skills that are in high demand. Salary bands are pretty broad and this can happen for legit reasons – especially at professional levels, it is very common to have overlapping bands. I would focus on what the correct market rate should be for your level/experience/performance and not base a raise request on what someone else is making.

    • Research, Not Law :

      If your information is credible, then I would bring it up to your manger. Frame it as “I don’t feel my compensation represents what I provide” and have the discrepancy available as an example if needed, rather than “I’m not making enough as that flake and that bothers me.”

      I found out that I had the lowest base pay in my dept despite having one of the highest performance rating. I brought it up at my next performance review, immediately after getting my glowing feedback. It was awkward, but I got a raise. I’m still relatively underpaid, but I’m paying closer attention and my supervisor knows it. (When I brought it up, my supervisor actually joked that he used my low base salary as an example of how screwed up our HR’s estimator is… um, thanks? So you knew it and never did anything about it. Nice.)

    • I was in a very similar situation a number of years ago.

      When I was promoted into a management position, I was initially given the responsibility of supervising a team on a daily basis but didn’t get the authority to deal with hiring, firing and compensation right away. Once I did get that additional responsibility, I got access to personnel files and learned that for a period of time one of my direct reports (a guy with performance issues) was out-earning me. I forget the exact amount but I think it was around $10K. I never addressed the inequality directly with my boss or HR because in the interim between Slacker Dude getting hired and me getting his info, I got a big raise that put me well ahead of him. However, I got the raise because I brought to my boss’s attention that I was (according to the research I did) massively underpaid. I wouldn’t be surprised if my raising that issue made them take a look at my compensation compared to my direct reports.

      So, rather than going to your boss/HR with “I heard I make less than Bob,” maybe you could try “I am underpaid based on my research of the industry” (assuming that’s the case. And definitely highlight all the valuable contributions you make, including supervising that guy!

    • Although no gender issue was involved, I had a similar situation recently. My co hired someone who was a title higher than me, that’d been out of the workforce for 15 years, and gave her a higher base, and then asked me to train her. And I politely did the minimum, explained the situation to her, and made a strong case at promotion-time that if they were having me train people with superior titles, I deserved said title, based on my skillset. Promotion happened and I have stayed close with new co-worker. She was totally understanding about the awkwardness and on my side.

      In your situation, I would look super-objectively at what could possibly make his skillset superior to yours, and if there isn’t really anything, go speak with HR about your comp not being market bc X, Y, Z. Depends on your field, but I’m in law, and I know my firm will rarely match a competing offer unless you have backing of a higher-up who wants you to stay, badly. Anyway, I definitely think you should laud your skills and not the disparity. Last, when crazy stuff like this happens at work, I like to say this little mantra. “Today I will not worry if I am ahead or behind. I will run my own race.” Try that until you have a chance to make your case, bc if you focus on it, the idiocy of the situation WILL make you crazy. I promise.

    • This may not be very unusual in jobs associated w a boom-bust hiring cycle eg. banking, start-ups, most kinds of sales roles – employers pay up for staff hired during a boom and employees negotiate high while hoping to avoid the worst in a bust.

      I’ve been in all the related positions before (underpaid manager, overpaid staff, manager of the disgruntled manager). Many of us try to address the discrepancy during bonus time because a supervisor usually has a high level of discretion over allocation of bonuses within a team. It is typically harder to adjust fixed compensation – HR input may be required unless there’s been a promotion or an expansion in the job scope – and for most managers, it makes commercial sense to control fixed costs. So the discrepancy persists from year to year.

      If you have a good performance record and the cycle seems favourable, it shouldn’t hurt to ask your manager if she considers your compensation competitive vs. market rates – be prepared to cite your understanding of the market, including but not confined to internal rates. Otherwise, work towards being able to ask at future reviews.

      All the advice above about avoiding focus on gender and direct comparison with the other person are spot-on.

  10. Anonymous :

    It’s so cold everywhere, and it’s Wednesday, and I think we could all use a laugh. So for a fun TJ —

    What’s your most embarrassing moment? I’m talking Seventeen Magazine Traumarama, YM Say Anything caliber cringe-worthy moments.

    I’ll start:

    When I was fifteen, I went over to my crush’s house to watch a movie. I had just started using tampons, but after a great deal of yelling from my dad after he spent mornings unclogging the toilet, I had internalized the message that You Cannot Flush Tampons. So I was super grateful to see a trash can in his bathroom and I (feeling very considerate of the plumbing of my crush’s house) wrapped it in TP and put it in the trash can. I went back to his room to finish the movie.

    About twenty minutes later, his dog comes in with something hanging from its mouth. He grabs her and is like hey, Molly, whatcha got there? She takes off and he chases her (me never having had a dog am following unawares behind) into the living room to find my used tampon, torn to shreds ALL over his living room.

    I think he just said “Uh… Jesus…” and I am pretty sure that’s the reddest I’ve ever turned.

    What’s yours?

    • I’m currently sitting in an absolutely silent room with two men, and my stomach is making whale-call noises. I can’t stop it and I can’t leave. So your TJ is apropos.

    • springtime :

      oh wow…i would have been mortified.

    • ExcelNinja :

      I had too much tequila at an office do a few years ago, and slept through an 8am meeting. People were seriously worried about me, because I NEVER miss meetings. I woke up when they started blowing up my cell phone. In the shower, I realised I was still drunk. Showed up at 9, had the meeting smelling of tequila and feeling like death. Later that day, I smelled of tequila AND vomit, and had the shakes to boot. I wanted to DIE, but I was hoping that nobody noticed.

      Couple years later, someone told me that EVERYONE noticed. Ugh.

      • I once got so drunk at a casual get-together for the moms of my kid’s preschool class that I a. threw up and b. had to be driven home. Please entertain yourself imagining my apology call to my hostess the next day, which I really had to do before I could go pick up my car from in front of her house.

        Thank the gods it was the end of the school year.

    • AnonInfinity :

      AHH!!!! I love my dogs, but sometimes they are SO GROSS.

    • ExcelNinja :

      Reposting because I realised my email address got me stuck in moderation limbo…

      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I had too much tequila at an office do a few years ago, and slept through an 8am meeting. People were seriously worried about me, because I NEVER miss meetings. I woke up when they started blowing up my cell phone. In the shower, I realised I was still drunk. Showed up at 9, had the meeting smelling of tequila and feeling like death. Later that day, I smelled of tequila AND vomit, and had the shakes to boot. I wanted to DIE, but I was hoping that nobody noticed.

      Couple years later, someone told me that EVERYONE noticed. Ugh.

  11. anon for this :

    I need advice on how to tell my firm that I’m pregnant. I work at a small law firm with 10 men and me, the only female attorney. The partners are good enough bosses, but very old school, and in the past I feel like other women have never gotten the same amount of work (or quality of work) after they had kids. I’m now 13 weeks along and I’m trying to wait as long as humanly possible to say anything, but time is starting to work against me. Does anyone have suggestions on what to actually say when telling the partners? I feel like I need a script that I can practice in my head. Seriously, I feel like I’m 15 years old and knocked up. Thanks, ladies, I really appreciate any suggestions!

    • midwest anon :

      I just did this, and decided to tell earlier, rather than later. I am at a small firm, as well – all male attorneys besides myself. I just walked into each partner’s office and said, “I just wanted to let you know that Husband and I are going to have a baby.” Our office is too small to circulate a memo about that, and it would have seemed stuffy to do so. One of the partners, who is a little “off” socially, unintentionally responded sort of negatively, but I’ve mostly gotten over that because I don’t think he really meant to and was maybe (?) trying to be humorous. I can totally identify with your feeling of being 15 and pregnant, after that awkward interaction. Don’t be surprised if that happens to you, too. They’re guys.

      Re: giving women less work once they have kids… Part of my spiel in my mat leave proposal (see below) included a blurb about my commitment to the firm. That might be a helpful thing to assure them of, if you are planning to return full time after mat leave. Plant that seed early.
      The firm I am with has never really dealt with maternity leave for an attorney (or maybe anyone at all, come to think of it.) I spoke to them early on about mat leave and was not content with the amount of paid time off they offered me. I made that clear to one of the partners a few months later. I have no idea whether this will work in my favor or not, because I haven’t gotten an answer yet, but when I told that same partner the news, I also gave him a memo that included a maternity leave proposal and a little paragraph about why I felt it was a fair proposal. I will find out in a couple weeks what they decide, which I am pretty nervous about.

    • Anonymous :

      I waited until it was pretty obvious that I was either pregnant or just gaining weight — probably around the 5 month mark. Not to be a downer, but for me, waiting until after the main danger of miscarriage was key — I didn’t want to have to share more information than necessary to coworkers.

      That said, I just scheduled a meeting with my boss, and blurted it out. After congrats, etc., I had to go do the same to my boss’s boss. And then his secretary found out, so the entire world knew.

    • “I wanted to share some good news, which is that I’m pregnant. I’m due in July. I’m thrilled. I also want you to know that this will not affect my work until I take maternity leave and that I plan to return to my job after my leave.”

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I like this wording because it sets the tone that this is a positive thing and not something you have to apologize for. However, I would add some kind of plan for your work. “Cases x, y and z should be post discovery but pre-trial so they should not require much work while I’m away. A, B and C may need discovery requests and D, E and F may have motions hearings. I should be back in time to handle J K and L.

        • @ Blonde Lawyer — I think this is a know-your-office thing. At my office, no one wants to hear those details until it gets much closer to the time you leave. But I can imagine that many offices would want details like this.

          • What details? I feel like she kept it pretty simple and didn’t give any details. Can you explain?

          • Neeeever mind. I thought you were replying to anon’s post, and then noticed Blonde Lawyer suggested more. I’m an idiot.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Very true. I guess I meant tell them your plan to make a plan or something. That much detail would be to much in the first instance.

        • @ Blonde Lawyer — I think this is a know-your-office thing. At my office, no one wants to hear those details until it gets much closer to the time you leave. But I can imagine that many offices would want details like this.

  12. midwest anon :

    Pregnancy/kiddo related threadjack:
    Do any fellow r e t t e s have a source for a good, comprehensive list of “must-haves” for a new baby? I am vacillating between being hungry for knowledge and overwhelmed by the information and would like to find a blog or something that I can identify with, the way that I feel here. Thanks in advance!

    • anon for this :

      Ha, I just posted my pregnancy question right above yours! Check out lucieslist dot com. She reviews a lot of must-haves / good-to-haves and is practical about cost and space.

    • Consumer Reports has a list of baby essentials. I definitely ended up with (and was happy to have) things that were not on the list, but I think it is a good counterpoint to the stores/blogs/message boards about getting all the baby things.

    • I don’t have a great resource to recommend because so many mom forums are just looney tunes, honestly. I would soooo love a Corporette Moms site. Kat, are you reading? :)

      From experience, I would recommend starting with the absolute basics and buying things as the need arises. We sort of inadvertently did that with our first because we had a small house and not much room, and it actually worked out well. And diapers dot com orders ship in 24 hours if you find yourself in a bind.

    • In moderation - reposting :

      I don’t have a great resource to recommend because so many mom forums are just looney tunes, honestly. I would LOVE a r e t t e Moms site. Kat, are you reading? :)

      From experience, I would recommend starting with the absolute basics and buying things as the need arises. We sort of inadvertently did that with our first because we had a small house and not much room, and it actually worked out well. And diapers dot com orders ship in 24 hours if you find yourself in a bind.

    • Anonymous :

      well, skip the wipe warmer, ok?

      • Ha, yeah. I called mine the Wipes Toaster.

      • I liked my wipe warmer – winter babies, and they definitely were unhappy with cold wipes. Warm wipes much better reception from them.

    • Not Carrie Mathison :

      FWIW, I had a miscarriage before I had a successful pregnancy, so I was very sure that if I were lucky to leave the hospital with a live baby this time, that I could figure it out. So this is a minimalist list, assuming a full-term baby and that you drive a car:

      car seat and some sort of wheelie thing (for me: bucket carrier that attached to base in my car and husband’s car and also attached to a stroller) (you will get better strollers later, but many won’t work with a baby until they are older and have some head control)

      diapers (NB and size 1s; you can get the preemie ones on your way home from the hospital if you should need them) and A TON OF WIPES (seriously — hoard them)

      I found a changing pad on top of a low dresser to be helpful — you do a lot of changing, so you may want to organize diapers + wipes + trash can area (I emptied the can a ton and am convinced I lost the baby weight that way — you don’t want to let that linger unless you go the diaper genie route)

      onesies, sleepers, blankets, socks, hats (babies are awash in fluids, so you may need many, but you won’t need fancier things; Gerber things run small, so no NB sizes unless you do have a preemie)

      some sort of “coat” — LL Bean had a fleece sleeper-coat thingie with bear ears on it that was good for going out in the winter (you will, even if it’s just running to the doctor or into a cold car)

      cloth diapers (make awesome burp cloths; can also put under baby’s head to avoid too many crib sheet changes)

      some sort of crib + firm mattress + waterproof cover + lots of sheets + sleep sack (you don’t need the fancy bumper / quilt things at first)

      baby (or free/clear, etc.) detergent + fabric softener. Also OK to hoard this.

      Couldn’t hurt: pacifiers

      For you: as much food as you can store safely and prepare quickly and (ideally) eat with one hand. Menus from places that deliver.

      You can get the rest of the stuff later or at least not stress about putting it off.

    • I haven’t read it, but I’ve heard great things about the book Baby Bargains. I did read another book by those authors, Baby 411 (on the first year), and heartily recommend it. We also did a lot of buying the basics: crib, bassinette, diapers, wipes, clothes, one swing, some bottles, etc. And then we supplemented as we discovered what we needed: The Fisher Price Snug-a-Bunny bouncer is worth its weight in gold.

      • Sugar Magnolia :

        The Fisher Price Rock n’ Play Sleeper is amazing. We have it next to our bed so I can comfort baby in the night or replace her pacifier without really getting up out of bed. Since American Academy of Pediatrics recommends baby sleep in the same room as the parents the first 6 months (SIDS prevention) the sleeper was perfect. Warning: it has a cloth cover that must be washed and dried thoroughly on a regular basis.

        Also, if you plan to br**st feed, I would get pads for inside your bra, a nursing tank or two (Glamourmom is a good one), bottles to pump into and a pump before you have the baby. Most insurance plans cover the pumps now, but you may have to order it from a medical supply company. I have the Medela Pump In Style Advanced, which comes in a cute tote bag.

        Also, read about Br**stfeeding on the Kellymom website and find a good lactation consultant before you give birth. You don’t want to try and interview them in a sleep-deprived state with a newborn baby.

        And I second the advice about having a whole bunch of onesies. Note that getting these from a friend second-hand is fine, as they don’t wear NB size for long. Also, what I didn’t know is that size 0-3 months is MUCH larger than NB size. (Which doesn’t make sense, because a newborn baby is “Zero months” old when they are born, right?)

    • Research, Not Law :

      Agree to starting with the absolute necessities and buying the rest as the need arises. The problem with ‘must have’ lists is that babies differ so much. You need a carseat, a safe place for baby to sleep, and some basic clothing. The rest is more or less a negotiation between you and baby.

      That said, here’s my baby basics list from two kids. It assumes that you don’t have anything unusual happening, such as moving when the baby is a month old, special needs, live where everything is shipped in by slow boat, etc.
      – Crib for baby’s room
      – Sleeping place for your room (cradle, bassinet, pack-and-play, mini-crib, moses basket, co-sleeper, whatever)
      – Changing pad and two covers
      – Baby bath
      – Diaper cream, baby wipes, baby wash, nail clippers
      – Swaddle blankets
      – Sleepers and/or onsies, depending on season
      – Car seat and base for each car
      – Snap and go
      – Ergo or other baby carrier

      If you will bottle feed, bottles and cleaning stuff. If you will breastfeed, boppy with 1-2 covers.

      You can get swings, bouncy chairs, pacifiers, rattles, etc when you see what the little one is into.

      • +1. From another mom of deux. I’ll only note that No. 1 slept in the PnP for, oh, almost a year for complicated, special-crib-hardware-are-on-backorder reasons, and it was fine. *no shame*

    • OCAssociate :

      I never found a great list of “must-haves.” I spent forever researching and deciding.

      Aden & Anais swaddle blankets are truly the best. You’ll need 6-8 of them.

      Amazon prime membership will make life so much easier, and I’ve heard the first 3 months are free to new parents.

      The hardest thing is, you don’t know what you’ll need until you know your baby. Mine wouldn’t let us put him down, so all the swings/bouncers/mamaroos/bumbos, etc. were practically useless. Might be good to wait until the baby comes to invest in those types of things.

      Congrats and good luck!

      • My son is 3 and still dragging around his A+A blankets. They are threadbare from lots of love. Also, they make great stroller “tents” when it’s hot and sunny. If we’re lucky enough to have a second babe, this is one of the first things I’ll re-buy.

        • Thirding the A&A blankets. I give them to every expecting parent that I know. Their burp cloths and security blankets are also my favorites. I also highly endorse Angel Dear lovies. We have five stashed around the house.

        • darjeeling :

          we love the A&A blankets too, and I sometimes just use one myself if I’m watching tv and need a little lap cover- the sizing is generous.

          My no. 1 must-have is Triple Paste. No other diaper cream comes close in my experience. Get the big tub. ;)

          • I’d suggest holding off on diaper cream until you know what your kid likes — Triple Paste does nothing for my kid, but Desitin is a miracle cream. Get the sample sizes and see what works. (Who knew I’d ever have strong opinions about diaper cream!)

      • Research, Not Law :

        Another vote for the superiority and usefulness of the A&A blankets. We also draped them over the carseat in sunny cars, and I used them as nursing covers. Plus, they are kick-ass for swaddling. We have 4 regular and 2 winter-weight.

    • Check out alphamom (you also must read her week by week pregnancy calendar, it is hilarious). Cup of jo has one too, but it is not as comprehensive. You can also ask any friends who recently had babies. People love to share their tips.

  13. I am shocked–shocked!–that Stella McCartney made a suit without 1980s-style, mile-wide shoulder pads.

    • It seems really hard to figure out what on earth makes this blazer costs $1300. It looks just like any number of gray suit jackets I have from Ann Taylor.

  14. Muddy Buddy :

    H and I have decided to sell our house.

    First, it has been so stressful getting everything ready (decluttering, painting, getting five thousand people to fix random things).

    Second, the house is not on the market yet, and my realtor is bringing another agent by tomorrow because that agent might have an interested buyer. I’m vacillating between OMG IT’S NOT READY YET and OMG WHAT IF WE CAN ALREADY SELL IT?!?

  15. Has anybody heard from e_pont since this weekend? I hope she’s doing alright.

    • Me too. E_Pont, we love you! Please come back. Hugs.

    • Lordy. I just read the weekend thread to catch up/kill time for a bit. Yikes. I’m glad I missed that awful “discussion.” I second your well wishes.

  16. Had my first review at my new job. Overall OK, but was told I am “uncooperative” and that I am a poor communicator. So poor, in fact, that I was given a two-page communication plan to rectify the situation. All of this coming from someone who at times refuses to even look in my direction, much less speak to me. Some comments at the end suggested that he would get rid of me were I not in a union. Blah.

    • I’m sorry; that stinks. Do you think there’s anything constructive you can get out of the review, or do you think the person is just a nutcase? If the former, it will show a lot of maturity if you can implement suggestions from your review. If the latter, I’d say JSFAMO, and thank goodness your job is safe.

  17. Grieving Pet's Death :

    I am joining a new office next Monday, which is something to be excited about… except my dear pet passed away last night. It was an accident, totally unexpected and left us no time to say goodbye to each other. I am miserable and have been breaking into tears whenever I think about him. I want (and know I am supposed to) appear cheery and positive when I greet the new team, but I just can’t. What am I supposed to say when people ask me how I am doing? Should I just say “I am doing fine, thank you” even though I am not doing fine? Since some people at work know about my pet and my fondness for him, I am also dreading questions about him when I bump into them. (If anything, I also dread going home, knowing that he won’t be there to greet me anymore.)

    What is the etiquette at work when one is going through a pet’s death? Am I expected to pretend that nothing had happened? Is it unprofessional to talk about it at all? If I do tell people about it, how much is too much?

    • So sorry to hear about your loss. :-( *hugs* I would say that if someone is just asking in passing how you’re doing, you can say “Fine, thanks” and leave it at that. I don’t think you have to elaborate.

      If someone asks about your pet, then it would be appropriate to say that he passed away, and you don’t have to go into details. That might be more upsetting for you to start talking about the details. I don’t think you necessarily have to volunteer the information, unless it seems pertintent to the situation/conversation.

      Again, so sorry to hear about your pet.

    • I’m sorry for your loss, and I’m sorry that you didn’t have time to say goodbye to one another. But based solely off of what you’ve written here, your pet must have had a great life with you, and was a very fortunate and happy member of your family.

    • So first of all, I am so sorry for your loss. I am a pet person myself with multiple rescue cats and dogs, and lost three of four dogs (two to lengthier illnesses/old age but one sudden heart attack without any warning signs) and one cat over the last year; I know how hard it can be and how sad you must feel. BUT… unless your pet was a topic in the interview process, your new coworkers probably have no reason to bring it up, and this time is all about first impressions and starting relationships so I wouldn’t bring it up unless you can’t avoid it (ie, random tears breakdown). The folks you become close to, you will want to talk about it with in time, but I think it would be a tough way to begin with relative strangers, and hopefully focus on all the other aspects of new job/office/people will distract you.

  18. I may have to have a tooth (or two) yanked tomorrow and am freaking out a bit. How bad is the dental implant process?

    • Statutesq :

      I have an implant. It was a long process, but it really wasn’t bad. If you’ve had your wisdom teeth pulled, the tooth pulling part will be the same experience and that’s the worst part. The post and fake tooth part is no biggie pain wise.

  19. I’ve not had dental implants, but I had to have a molar that had no pair yanked about two years ago. I FREAKING OUT at the periodontist. They numbed me, the dentist got a little hammer and chisel and went, “Doink, doink, doink” and my tooth popped right out. I legit had cold sweats and was trembling and it turned out to be nothing. So the yanking is not a big deal, if the person knows how to do it well (my regular dentist specifically sent me to a periodontist.) In high school, I had two sets of baby teeth pulled so that my adult teeth would come down. They put me out for that, and I remember ice cream was my friend.

    Aside from the pre-fear, the tooth pulling was literally a non-event. I’ve had plenty of other dental experiences that were much worse, even during normal cleanings.

    Good luck!

  20. I decided to bake some treats (pumpkin bars) to take into my office for my birthday tomorrow, so now I have to stay up at least another half an hour to take them out of the oven. Friends is on 11pm-1am, perfect excuse to watch it!