Suit of the Week: Topshop

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

I was going to feature this lovely textured navy suit but then I spied this green one — it reminds me so much of one of my favorite suits from last year, but at about a tenth of the price. A suit this affordable is definitely going to be hit or miss in terms of fabric and fit — but if you think it could work for your lifestyle it’s a fun but professional look. Wear it in spring with whites, light grays, and pastels — and wear it in late summer and fall with black, navy, and contrasting colors like deep red and purple. The “suit set” is $95.

Looking for something similar in plus sizes? Try this option at River Island or this one at ASOS.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Name something that you’ve done for your health that’s made you feel much better? As I near 40, I could use the tips.

    • Anonymous :

      Op here – for me it’s vitamin D supplements. Wasn’t having any specific issues but when a D test came back in the single digits, I was told to supplement. I did and feel much more energy overall.

    • Anonymous :

      The boring stuff everyone knows to do but nobody actually does. Exercise, eating your vegetables, getting 8-10 hours of sleep a night, etc.

      • Anon in NYC :

        This, basically. Reducing my alcohol consumption, eating healthier, exercising, sleeping more.

    • Vitamin C, eating enough veggies, getting enough sunlight

    • Prioritizing sleep. That often means being the first one to leave the bar (or just declining the invitation altogether) or putting my book down when I’m really absorbed in it and really want to keep reading. But the extra sleep is always, always worth it.

    • Walks in nature.

    • Anonymous :

      Regular (monthly) massage. Reduced headaches, got rid of a nagging half-plugged feeling in one ear.

    • eat a pound of raw veggies as a snack for most days. I buy cauliflower, carrots, radishes, broccoli and a bunch of various dips and snack on these throughout the day

      sleep early, wake up early

      park a little further away than usual so I get a 20 minute walk everyday to work

      I call the toxic family members less and let them handle their own problems inst of trying to save them.

    • Anonymous :

      Two things: (1) Not letting my phone come into my bedroom. this way, I’m not looking at the blue light, I’m not looking at work email as I’m trying to go to sleep, all of which help me. It charges on a little table right outside my bedroom and is on loud, so I would definitely hear it (and have heard it) when someone has called late, late at night. (2) really thinking about what exercise I actually like doing, and then spending the money to do that. I like Pilates reformer classes at this one studio. It’s not cheap my any means, and i pass by a few gyms, barre studios, and yoga and cross fit places to get there, but it’s the only exercise I will get out of bed at 6:30 for. I don’t care that running outside is “free” or that the gym has a great deal or that yoga is calming or that cross fit is something others go gaga for … I’ve realized I’m not going to do any of those things.

      • +1 million. For me it is flow yoga classes. I am willing to pay for something I know I will actually do and love. Even if it means paying extra to rent a mat so I don’t have to shelp it on the subway or eating the extra costs because a monthly gym membership is definitely cheaper.

    • Anonymous :

      Take care of your skin!! Sunscreen, retinol, moisturizer.

    • Stopped dieting, started focusing on eating healthier foods.

    • Anonymous :

      Signed up for a marathon–it wasn’t about the marathon–it was about getting on the schedule of training for a marathon. Once I got into the training plan–I realized that was what I needed. Signing up got me off the couch and out the door–I needed the fear of the date to get going. Now 3 marathons and countless halves later…I can eat Ben & Jerry’s guilt free!

    • Linda from HR :

      I recently made a point of eating more salads, both for lunch at work and when I’m out to dinner, and also eating a lot of healthy snacks (nuts, raw veggies, seed crackers, rolled up cold cuts, etc.), and I’ve found that I feel a lot better when I do this. It’s not all salads all the time, I still give in to my cheese cravings, and my “eating plan” got super derailed in the winter when I kept getting sick and kept getting snowed in (ughh) but I’m back to it now and it feels awesome!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I have a box in my habit tracker in my BuJo (I’m one of those people) that says “veggies” and I can check it off each day if I heat a salad or a meal that’s like, all veggies. It’s silly how much that motivates me, and if I feel crummy and look at that page and notice that I haven’t had enough veggies lately — aha!

    • Gave up caffeine. I stopped in August bc we were going to embark on our TTC journey, and then for reasons not worth going into, we had to shelve that plan for several months. I quickly realized that eliminating caffeine got rid of my energy dips and peaks. It was incredibly eye opening.

      Note – since i have no medical reason to avoid minute amounts of caffeine, i still enjoy an occasional decaf coffee and dark chocolate on the regular.

  2. I’ve started walking to and from work (about 2 miles each way) and would like to get a backpack to carry (figure that is better for my back than the shoulder bag I currently use). It needs to be big enough to carry a computer, my lunch, and workout clothing. I would like to stay under $200, but willing to go higher for the right bag. Any recommendations?

    • I just got the Knomo Beauchamp based on a recommendation here, and I really like it!

    • Do you have a local outdoorsy store? I’d go check out the Patagonia backpacks. They’re kind of perfect for what you need and you don’t need to spend that much.

      I also love waxed canvas backpacks. I have one from Moop (a small woman-owned shop) and love it.

    • This one looks really cute to me. I’m considering getting it for air travel.

      https://www.rei.com/product/115372/sherpani-sojourn-tote-womens

    • I bought a Fact + Fiction backpack for similar commuting needs and love it.

  3. Any Pgh Penguins fans in DC that have recommendations of where to watch the Stanley Cup playoffs in the area? The one I can find when I google Penguins bars is closed and some mixed information on Steelers bars googling. TIA!

  4. I’d love the advice of this wise group. I’m starting an IVF cycle and I’m debating PGS testing. For those lucky enough to not know what that is, it is a biopsy of the embryos before they are implanted to see if they are normal. Abnormal ones usually miscarry or don’t implant. Here is why I’m conflicted, my options and the pros and cons.

    I will be having a fresh transfer of a non-PGS tested embryo. Otherwise we have to wait a few months to even try the first embryo. There is a chance this not tested fresh transfer will stick and we won’t have to move on to the other embryos. If it doesn’t stick, then I’d possibly interested in using a tested embryo. PGS is an additional $3700 if I do it up front. If I wait to see if the fresh embryo sticks, I’d have to pay an additional $700 to thaw the embryos, then the $3700 to test them, and then another $1200 to re-freeze them. So, an additional $1900 later if the fresh embryo doesn’t work or a possible wasted $3700 if the fresh embryo does work. There are also risks to freezing and thawing an additional time and I could lose embryos.

    PGS testing is full of controversies. My clinic marks mosaic embryos as abnormal and will not transfer them. There is research that mosaic embryos may be fine. There is also research that some falsely test abnormal and some falsely test normal. Nothing is certain.

    I’m 36, TTC naturally for two years, no pregnancies. One IUI was a total fail, the second resulted in a very early chemical pregnancy – so early I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t getting my blood monitored at the clinic. They knew from the first blood test it was a chemical so I was spared from hearing “your’e pregnant” and then hearing “nope, you’re not.”

    My clinic highly recommends PGS for anyone over 38, says it is up to you if you are over 35 and suggests you don’t bother if you are under 35 unless you have had multiple miscarriages.

    I’m leaning towards not doing it for the fresh transfer, seeing how many embryos I get to freeze and if there is a significant number, considering a re-thaw and PGS test if the fresh fails. We would be happy with one child so I’m not as concerned about preserving the others for siblings.

    What would you do?

    • Anonymous :

      I would not bother. I looked into it for myself and couldn’t justify the cost given all of the risks and lack of accuracy.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Caveat that I have not been in your shoes, but I guess I would try to weigh how upset I would be if I got pregnant from the fresh transfer and then miscarried versus whether I would be more upset to wait a few months and paying an extra $2000 for testing at that point. Personally, I like to feel like I’m taking “action” (i.e., I’m impatient) so I would probably go for the fresh transfer and test later if I needed to.

      • I definitely gave it a lot of thought and concluded I’m trying the fresh transfer, for sure. The looming decision is whether to still immediately PGS test the remaining embryos in case the fresh doesn’t stick, take the extra risk and cost of only testing them if the fresh doesn’t stick, or just not testing them at all.

        I’m leaning towards just not testing at all for now and making the decision later if the fresh doesn’t work and I have sufficient remaining embryos to justify it.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Ohhhh, sorry, I misunderstood. I think I would do what you’re doing – not test now, and test later if the need arises.

    • Anonymous :

      There was a really good article about the use of mosaic embryos in NY Mag a few months ago. I was aghast when I read it, because I had many friends who gave up on IVF because they only produced mosaic embryos – and as it turns out,those embryos may have been perfectly viable. I would skip the testing. It apparently provides little true peace of mind but can result in a lot of anxiety and even missed opportunities to be a parent, if the research in that article is to believed.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      We opted to PGS test. I wanted to spare myself as much as possible a pregnancy with an abnormality not compatible with life, or an early miscarriage. I had already done one fresh transfer that failed (no embryos to freeze), and I wanted to do everything possible to maximize our chances at success for future transfers. Your clinic may be different, but mine did not recommend freezing, thawing for biopsy, and re-freezing as they did not think it was optimal for the embryo.
      We are now pregnant with our first PGS-tested FET.
      Best wishes to you whatever you decide- it’s such a tough process.

    • Anon today :

      I was 40/41 while doing IVF. It was a few years ago, but we decided not to do PGS. We felt that the uncertainties wouldn’t really help anything, and we would cope with any discoveries as they revealed themselves, if they did. In the end, after 3 cycles and 7 embryos that went to transfer, we ended up with one wonderful child. It’s a hard path.

  5. Anonymous :

    I’m curious how you would advise a young professional in this situation: She graduated college about a year ago with a few offers. The company she joined pulled a bait-and-switch and the department has a somewhat toxic environment. She understandably wants to leave quickly. She’s been looking at other jobs and has struggled to find something that’s a good fit. Now thinking about grad school. How bad would it be for her to just leave now? Any better options?

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah it would be bad. She should suck it up and keep working until she finds a new job. Welcome to adulthood.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        Grad school shouldn’t be the first response just because she doesn’t like her job. It’s just more time in school and more debt.

      • Anonymous :

        To a certain extent, yes, but there are levels of toxicity in workplaces wherein you’re actually just best off leaving (with notice and maturity, of course).

        I don’t think grad school is the correct response, but she should figure out what she’s going to say in interviews that makes her sound like an intelligent woman who is taking charge of her career, rather than a bratty kid who hasn’t figured out the workplace yet. Unless her workplace is a truly crazy level of dysfunctional, I recommend an anodyne statement about the work being different from what was advertised, sticking it out for about a year to see if/when things would change to be aligned with the way the job was portrayed before she took it, etc.

    • By “leave now” you mean leave with nothing else lined up? I don’t think that’s good when it’s your first job out of college because you have no other work history to back up your stick-to-it-tivitiness. If she wants to go to grad school, she is likely too late in this admission cycle to start in the Fall. So if by “leave now” you mean, “find another job, apply to grad school this fall and commence in Fall 2019” I wholly support.

      I do think there are toxic workplaces and I don’t think that entry-level folks need be super-duper loyal, particularly as they explore what they want. So I suggest she leave once she finds somewhere else to work, not just leave because it’s bad. There’s a distinction.

    • What do you mean pulled a bait and switch? And how toxic is toxic (like what kind of behaviors?). Some things one can stick out, others you can’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t leave unless it’s like significant issues that HR won’t address (s. harra$$ment for example) or is signficiantly impacting her mental health. If she needs to be medicated to go to workat this job, that’s not worth risking her health.

    • Anonymous :

      How much of it is really toxic and how much of it is “welcome to the working world”? The transition from college to working can be tough because the expectations and interactions are very different. Obviously that doesn’t mean staying in an awful place that is having mental health effects, but it also means recognizing that no place is going to be perfect either.

      I would avoid doing grad school to escape work because it just puts off the inevitable. If grad school was always in the plan to further a goal, great, but I’d recommend focusing on identifying what does/doesn’t work in the current job to figure out the next job.

      My other thought is that everyone has a couple awful jobs – usually early on. They are great for learning what to not do/avoid in a workplace. Try to help her learn the lessons she can here to apply in her search for the next place.

    • Nerfmobile :

      As a fresh grad, I think you can have a couple of 1-2 year jobs and it’s ok, especially if it’s clear you are exploring different fields/industries and can articulate what you have learned. “I discovered that I enjoy working with numbers/am good at organizing people/want a job with a lot of variety” or whatever can be perfectly good reasons to switch jobs.

    • I left my first job out of college at under a year because of a bait-and-switch on my portfolio/account. (The firm’s client changed its business plans, leading to a dramatic reduction in work related to my foreign language and regional-studies degree, and the firm actively lied to me for months that the promised relevant work was still “coming.”)
      – Unless she has a clear idea of what graduate degree she was already planning to pursue, she should wait to go to school particularly if it would involve loans.
      – But, while the suck-it-up attitude is increasingly (and obnoxiously) popular here, it really sounds like there’s no reason to stay in this job if it isn’t relevant to future work she actually wants. I don’t even list that first job on my resume or LinkedIn anymore. I picked up and moved to a country that spoke my foreign language and it was all *fine.*
      – Has she thought about the Peace Corps? Teach for America? For-profit teaching abroad? Productive water-treading while she figures out what she ultimately wants to get a professional degree in is a totally valid option.

  6. Random question: does anyone feel like diet soda (in particular, Diet Coke) makes them crave more sugar overall?

    I used to drink a LOT of Diet Coke, and then weaned myself off and hardly had any for a few years. We had an office party last week and there’s currently a leftover case of Diet Coke in the break room; I have been unable to resist and have been drinking it the past few days, and also craving sweets. I noticed yesterday afternoon that I was having the most intense sugar craving that I’ve had in recent memory.

    Any theories from the Hive? Arbitrary craving or diet soda-induced? (I know, this is super trivial. but I’m curious on everyone’s thoughts.)

    • 100%. I blame diet coke at least in part for my weight issues in my twenties. I would have been better off drinking regular coke, because I would have had one and it would have satisfied the sugar craving. that is what I do now on the extremely rare case I really want one.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I remember reading a handful of articles about the link between diet soda and sugar cravings. I don’t think it’s arbitrary.

    • I believe there is evidence that calorie free sweeteners increase sugar cravings.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      Yup. You are getting conditioned to crave that sweet flavor. In my experience cutting out artificial sweeteners as well as added sugar for a week was the only way to reset the craving :(

    • Anonymous :

      Not arbitrary. I don’t believe aspartame is ‘dangerous’ but for me it definitely messed with my sugar cravings and just didn’t make me feel good. I drank a ton of diet coke in my 20s but I’m almost entirely off asparatame now and my sensitivity to sweet is definitely more back to normal.

    • For me, calorie free sweeteners mess with my ability to taste sugar. Things taste a lot sweeter when I’m not regularly consuming artificial sweeteners and I’m satisfied sooner with smaller amounts. I wouldn’t be surprised if artificial sweeteners exacerbated cravings.

    • diet coke addict :

      I’ve been drinking the equivalent of 4 cans a day for, idk, 30 years. I’m 10 pounds heavier than high school but I’m in my 50s so there’s probably a non-diet-coke reason for this modest weight gain. Do I like sweets? Yes but I liked them before Diet Coke was even on the market.

      • YIKES!!

      • Anonymous :

        I used to be a coke head but now am a Pepsi (diet) girl. I hate sugar. I need a water or lots of ice to wash down stuff sweetened with sugar. I drink lots of diet sodas, but mainly b/c I don’t drink coffee.

        Late 40s. Same weight as high school. I have more of a salt/fat tooth vs a sweet tooth (so my benders are mainly manchego and triscuits, etc).

    • Yes there is real science behind this. Your taste buds taste sweet, signal to your pancreas that sugar is coming, pancreas produces insulin, then has no sugar to act on, so you crave sugar.

      Give up the Diet Coke. I used to have a habit too but found I am much better off with unsweetened iced tea most days, and a rare actual Coke (non Diet)

    • Another POV :

      FWIW my psychiatrist who has an MD and a PhD told me to stay away from artificial sweeteners because they contribute to depression and anxiety. I will take her advice over all the articles on Facebook…. she said she’d rather I have extra weight than the artificial sweeteners. I am trying to reduce my reliance on sugar.

  7. Anyone else had terrible customer service with Ann Taylor and Loft recently? I’ve been sent damaged items, then charged a shipping fee to return them and they weren’t going to replace them unless I called back a special number to order them and then tried to again charge a shipping fee.

    • Anonymous :

      YES. Something is up with their website too, I only get an email confirmation half the time when I place an order, and I’ve had several items cancelled after I placed the order recently, which had never happened to me in the past with AT.

    • I don’t think they are doing well, as they closed the Ann Taylor store at the mall near me that had been there for ages. For many, that was the only store worth going to there…other than J. Crew, which closed around the same time.

  8. Business cards :

    Recs for where I can order some personal “business cards” – really just my contact info on a card. I’m in the middle of job searching and wanted some cards for networking that don’t have my current job/company.

    • Anonymous :

      Vistaprint? I feel like there’s lots of options out there to design your own business card.

    • Personally, I think it is super strange for someone to have business cards that are not associated with a job (unless you are part of a licensed profession so you can write “attorney-at-law”, “doctor of pharmacy”, “Pediatric Dentist” or something of the sort).

    • Vistaprint. I ordered some from there when I was a law student – just put my school name, etc on there. (We could order very expensive, official university ones from career services, but this was cheap and easy.)

    • Moo Cards. It’s where all the cool kids are getting their cards these days.

    • Just ordered 100 personal cards from Vistaprint and they always have a great deal running. Pretty well-designed, nicely made cards; easily customizable. Used these as a law student, too.

      Sometimes you just need a detachment from your work identity!

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