Suit of the Week: Brooks Brothers

Corporette's Suit of the Week: Brooks BrothersFor 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’m not usually a fan of beige suits, but something about this one is lovely.  The collarless jacket feels almost vintage, but not costumey at all — just simple and great — and I like that the skirt is a wool/silk/linen blend from Loro Piana. The jacket (Two-Button Bird’s-Eye Jacket) is $498, and the skirt (Brooks Brothers Wool Silk Linen Skirt) is $248.

Two-Button Bird's-Eye Jacket Brooks Brothers Wool Silk Linen Skirt




  1. Sorry for immediate TJ…does anyone have a good fee-based financial advisor in the Bay Area, preferably South Bay, who they’d recommend? Thanks!

  2. Eyeliner? :

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a liquid eyeliner? I use a pencil liner regularly, but would like something with a little more impact for evenings. Extra points if it’s user friendly. Thanks!

    • Urban Decay 24/7. It’s great.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I recently got a L’oreal Superliner and I really like it, to my surprise, as it ‘stays black’ for longer. Before that I had YSL which was fine but I found that it faded pretty quickly.

      • I used to really like the Dior liquid liner because it stayed black, but my new bottle doesn’t seem to have the same hold. Maybe with primer it would be better or maybe it’s a lemon bottle.

    • I like the ones that aren’t technically liquid, but a felt-tip. I feel like they have the drama of liquid but are much easier to deal with and put on without getting it everywhere. I forget what I have but it was from the drugstore, I think multiple brands have them now.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Actually for the record, this is actually technically what I’m talking about here when I talk about liquid liner, they have a felt tip which I find much easier to manage than a brush!

        • Then I absolutely love the liners by Le Metier de Beaute. I get them from Nordstrom (but Neimans has them, as well). They’re fantastic.

    • Stila All Day and YSL Effet Faux Cils Shocking: both have a really fine felt tip.

      • +1 on Stila. The tip is firm and allows for easy control. I’ve also had mine in black for almost a year now (I only use it for nights out) and it works just as well as it did the day I bought it.

      • PinkKeyboard :

        +2 on Stila. I use stila for every day and it’s great. Very easy to use, great staying power, lasts a long time.

    • Eyeliner? :

      Thanks all, for the recs! Now I have some deliberating to do…

    • ex enviro :

      MAC Superslick. Really good staying power and pretty easy to apply if you’re not totally new to the liquid eyeliner game. I prefer a felt tip over a brush or marker applicator. It will stay on my primed eyelids all night (I also only wear it for nights out). Once I swatched the gold and black varieties on my hand and they stayed put for two days. Palladio also has a good marker applicator version that is pretty cheap. I like that marker applicator because it’s smaller and easier to manipulate than some of the bigger marker types I’ve used.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Revlon Colorstay, the one that looks like a felt tipped marker. Amazing staying power and drug store cheap!

    • I have experimented with a bunch of different ones and my ultimate for staying power is the MAC liquid liner that comes in a tube and paints on like acrylic paint. It does not budge, smudge, or fade. (haven’t tried the other MAC one though). I take it off with an eye makeup remover.

      Lorac’s brush tip one is also pretty awesome and less inyourface than the MAC one I discuss above. I’ve tried the chanel, dior ones that bleed out of the pencil, but those weren’t great, flaked off during the day.

      I cannot get gels or pencils to stay, even with a primer.

    • Love the Stila with a felt tip. When I ran out, I went with the MAC Superslick, and I hate it more than any item of makeup I have ever bought. It stays on (even through multiple face washings and eye makeup remover), but I hate how thick and streaky it goes on. Stila is really easy and elegant looking and smooth. I have it in both black and green and wear it frequently.

    • I have the Kat Von D liquid liner, and it is very easy to use and has a very small tip. I’ve heard good things about the Eyeko skinny liquid liner, as well.

    • I use the sephora brand (literally everyday for the past 4+ years), and it’s great. I’ve tried others, but none give the same bang for your buck.

    • Gel over liquid :

      I really like gel eyeliner as opposed to liquid. It has more impact than pencil and is very user friendly – especially for beginners. I’ve used MAC, BobbiBrown, and L’Oreal gel and have found all to work well.

  3. The suit has a nice cut, but somehow it looks dowdy. It could be the way it’s styled, but I wouldn’t wear it.

    • The jacket doesn’t have a lapel, even though the neckline is cut like a jacket that would have a lapel. – reads more church lady than Ms. Business to me.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Agreed. I think it looks like the buttons are placed slightly too high.

      • Exactly. The button stance is awful. The jacket looks like a terrible fit on the model, the way the shoulders are drooping and it looks like it is pulling at the buttons. The color of suit is BAD for that woman’s coloring too. Add the 70’s feeling shirt and you have a total fail.

        On a model with strong coloring (like an olive complexion) and a brighter blouse (some warmer tones brighten up the drabness of this suit color), this may work.

  4. This suit :

    I have a suit like this in black/white weave that I was thinking of donating but may have to reconsider (haven’t worn it since babies and am not much of a suit wearer now). I think that the jacket on this suit might be overwhelming to me (5-4, waist under my armpits). Can any similar-height people comment on how BB jackets / blazers run on you? I am finding most everything just too long (I used to love Talbots 6P for blazer-cut jackets, but haven’t checked there lately).

    • I’m your height but the opposite ratio (torso for days, legs for… minutes?). Many BB jackets are *still* too long on me, but then the petite sizes are the wrong proportion for a long torso (b**b darts are too high, etc.)… so they may actually work well for you.

    • I’m about your height and have relatively narrow shoulders/frame so BB jackets tend to look very frumpy on me, even in petites.

      Speaking of talbots though, I got their new catalog in the mail yesterday and was pleasantly surprised to see that their new suiting line actually looked awesome – modern, classic, professional, non-octogenarian…. No idea how it fits in person, but I wonder if they are correcting course again with their styles. The entire catalog, esp. past the initial few pages looked a lot less frumpy than it has the last few go-rounds. Has anyone been to the store recently?

      For other recs., I actually had some luck with BR’s petite blazers recently. They’ve never suited me in the past (no pun intended) but they re-did their line, I think, and the fit worked much better.

      • new york associate :

        I was in the store after Christmas and thought everything looked terribly frumptastic, but I think there’s often a divergence between the store and the full range of products. (I think their stores cater to the older clientele.) I would be so happy if Talbots got its mojo back!

        • This is what made me hopeful:

      • I bought some Talbots blazers over the summer and LOVE them. I am also fun-sized, and their size 4 fit me great straight off the rack.

  5. I love this suit but beige is not a good color for me. But if it looks good on you, I think it’s a nice alternative to grey, navy and black. And it looks nice in the summer. I think brooks brothers runs true to size, maybe a bit narrow in the shoulders. I’m tall, so I can’t comment on sizing for petites. But I love the quality of bb, and loro piana fabric is wonderful.

    • I too love the suit but can’t wear beige. Sometimes khaki or warm-ish tans work but only with the right color blouse.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I look great in camel or definite khaki, but beige and champagne and tan makes me look dead. And there are so many beautiful champagne jackets! It’s frustrating.

    • I find a collar-framing necklace in black fixes my issue with looking washed-out or blending into my tan/ beige/ off-white professional wear. I have one with somewhat African-looking flat discs, bought cheaply at a market, which does the job nicely.

  6. Phone interview question :

    I was just offered a phone interview for a job I’m very interested in. The only time slot that worked for me is the one that apparently is last–i.e. it looks like by the time I go, all the other candidates will have already interviewed. The time slots were spread over a few days. Is going last a disadvantage? Any ideas about how to adapt, if there is a need to do that?

    • I don’t think going last is an advantage or a disadvantage. I have interviewed big slates of candidates, and I honestly tried to keep them all in mind and not come to any quick conclusions. Others may have different experience.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      No. If anything, I would have thought it’s better to be last than first!

    • ExcelNinjaaaa :

      Yes, agreed going last is better than first! In my experience, when I’m interviewing candidates the last one is always the freshest in my mind, for better or worse.

    • I would hesitate to be last, though I’m fine with middle. Not many firms do this, but I’ve heard of times when they really liked an early candidate and invited them in before the last phone interview was completed. I’ve actually heard of a case when the late phone interview was cancelled since they made an offer!
      I’d also worry about interviewer fatigue towards the end, if it has been a long process. They may want to get back to work already! Might not be applicable depending on how long the process actually is.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t prefer it for an in-person interview but would not hesitate for a phone interview. I would imagine that at this stage they are keeping an open mind, they aren’t ready to make any final decisions to hire a candidate, just to move 3-4 people to the next round.

    • Interviewer :

      I would say don’t worry about it whether it’s the phone interview or an in-person interview. The schedule gets set for a variety of reasons and don’t read anything into being last or first. If you’re the best candidate, you’re getting the offer whether you are first or last. At least when I’m doing the interviewing.

  7. whiz-bang graphics? :

    I have some year-end data that I need to formulate into a report for my boss. It’s not a lot of data–just project tracking for this year for myself and my former supervisor. Does anyone know of any websites/programs/platforms that can help to put together a nice looking summary sheet with data & graphics (pie charts, bar graphs and that’s about it…)

    I’m proficient in Office but we have limited other options here–we don’t have any fancy graphic software or anything…

    I need something kind of like “Baby’s First Infographic” or something.

    • What about just making charts in Excel?

    • Lady Harriet :

      I really like Tableau for this sort of thing, and it was pretty easy for me to learn with online tutorials. However, the free version makes your dashboards publicly visible online, and the paid version is probably more than you want to spend if you only need it occasionally. It’s also possible to make some really nice dashboards in Excel, although you usually have to put in a lot more work to make them look really good. The blog Excel Charts really taught me a lot about good data visualization practices and specifically how to make useful and clear graphs in Excel.

      • Miss Behaved :

        Heh. I’m doing a huge project in Tableau right now. I did the full offsite week-long training last summer.

        • Lady Harriet :

          I’m just a beginner at it. I found it about a year ago and decided it looked so cool that I had to try it out. I didn’t do much with it again until the end of last year, when I used it for tasks assigned in several rounds of job interviews. Unfortunately, that company has studiously ignored me for the past month since my last interview, so I don’t think I got the job. :/

  8. Hello Hive!

    I work in a position where I am managed by 4 different people. Each person gives me different tasks. No one person knows everything I do and I’ve not been getting credit for my work. Does anyone have a method of reporting their work so that others know what is happening and what takes priority? I feel like I should just have different color “Look at me! I’m working!” flag that I can wave for all to see! :/ Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


    • I am a consultant, so I’m often working on multiple projects. The project manager of each project is typically familiar with my project-specific work, but I have to make sure that my manager is aware of what I’m doing. Otherwise, he will never know the details. You must have one person who is you official manager and is responsible for your reviews, etc. Set up regular one on one time with that person and/or establish a weekly routine of sending project updates (highlights, issues, red flags). That way, the manager will have a log of your activities when review time comes around.

      • I second the approach for a one-on-one with your official manager. I have been the person with multiple bosses and the boss with staff who reports to multiple managers for various functions. My boss had one-on-ones with each of her direct reports and helped us manage workloads/competing projects with the other managers. When I became the manager with shared staff, I implemented the same type of meetings and while some weeks it can be tedious because you have little to report on or don’t need the help/recognition, it’s great to just have that time carved out.

      • Thanks ladies. I will schedule a one-on-one. Do you track work on a spreadsheet or list tasks on a word doc at all? Or is it just a conversation? My manager is the most social… i can tell he’d rather i email or even chat on the phone so I think I have to be pretty succinct when i share projects with him. :/

        I appreciate the suggestions.

        • I would just do a very short email each week – list of projects, % of time spent on each, major accomplishments, road blocks/red flags (if any), next steps

        • My boss had each of us create a project list and of course I thought it was overkill until I became the manager of multiple people. I ended up simplifying her preferred template into a more manageable/easier to update Excel chart. I now give that chart to people who join my team and tell them they can use any format provided it contains the same details (what project, description of deliverables, timeline/status, and any collaborators) and grouped by functions within our department (for us that would be something like Evaluations, Upward Review, Training, Certification, etc.). Sometimes I’ll combine one-on-ones when 2 or more people are working together on a huge project. Sometimes our meetings are done in 5 or 10 minutes and other weeks we use an hour.

          • That’s a good idea. I have a tiny team and still have trouble keeping track! Going to implement this.

    • ExcelNinjaaaa :

      I was at a point like this last year, and I made my Outlook calendar public so everyone could see what my time was blocked for (you can still set personal appointments as “private”). It really helped my business partners see that my calendar wasn’t just blocked out for no reason – I was actually in meetings/working on many projects.

      • I do share my calendar but I don’t have time blocked out for projects. I should do that. Great idea! Thanks Ninjaaaa! :D

        • ExcelNinjaaaa :


          If I didn’t block time to work on stuff, I would never get anything done!

    • Yay! This is a great suit, and I totaly LOVE Brook’s Brother’s! Great Pick Cat!!!!

      As for the OP, yes, this can be a probelem. When I worked one summer for the goverment, EVERYONE was my boss b/c I was just a summer intern, so everyone gave me work. You should know that if you work there, they LOVE it when they get an intern b/c that mean’s they can OFFLOAD all their work to YOU so they can talk about baseball or anything other then work. FOOEY!

      While I did NOT mind workeing hard, no one realy knew what the other had gave me. So I decided to do this, and mabye you should do this also:

      1. Send Emails copying all your bosses every time you get an assignment
      2) send an email copying everyone on the status of that assignment
      3) send an e-mail when you complete that assignment to everyone.

      Yes, it’s alot of emails to peeople who do NOT care, but at least you are keeping them a breast of what you are doeing. It helped me b/c they all knew then I was doeing alot of work for other peeople. YAY!

      As it turned out I did NOT get the job permantently b/c one of the guy’s wanted to date me, but he was bald and had bad breathe, so I did NOT even go out for lunch with him. FOOEY!

      It all had a silver lining b/c who knows, if I had gone out with him, I might have wound up workeing for them permanentley, and might have had to get MARRIED to him and live in DC and have to put up with that bald head and bad breathe on me every nite. DOUBEL FOOEY!

  9. Guys, I need a boost. I have an absolute TON going on in my personal life: we just sold our home and have to be packed up in three weeks. Then we move in with my in laws for six weeks before we’re able to close on the new house (in fact, I got some great advice here yesterday WRT orchestrating all of this). I have two little kids, one of whom is only 1 and still doesn’t sleep well. We’re watching our $ because we’re about to make this big home purchase, too.

    On top of this, the pressure is on at work. My boss is pretty checked out right now due to some major health issues and my team is behind on making it to goal at the end of our fiscal year.

    I’m tired, and I’m not taking care of myself: mainlining cookies, chips, etc. with no motivation to eat better or exercise. I want to get back to a better diet and exercise plan b/c, among other things, I still have some baby weight to lose and my clothes are starting to verge on uncomfortable. Help! Is there any hope for a diet/exercise regime in the midst of this chaos? I seriously just feel like tossing up my hands in despair and lying down for a long nap.

    • saltylady :

      What about starting with bringing lunch, like an easy salad with bag lettuce and chicken that you grill on sunday? And if you’re not doing it already, meal planning for dinner so you don’t end up with takeout or something not so great for you.

      Also, do you have any time to get away midday for a walk? I used to make fun of the office ladies that did that, but I recently started because of a back problem that’s made tough gym workouts impossible for awhile. It’s great for a job where you’re expected to be there x number of hours per day (and when you can’t quite muster waking up at 5am to workout). Plus it’s free. Or if that doesn’t work, maybe workout DVDs?

    • I’m in a similar emotional place albeit totally different circumstances. I decided that starting February 1 (start today my tush – I need to mentally prepare), I’m just gonna totally kick everything in gear, and make February the month of GET ‘ER DONE (ok, I’m working on that name). Aka, I’m going to try to be super regimented on my diet and fitness plan. Diet will most likely be some form of cutting complex carbs 5 days a week, focus on veggies/lean proteins/etc. Fitness plan will be a little more tailored to some events I have coming up but suffice to say sweating 4-5 days/week (if not more). I think it’s just an attitude shift. I am convincing myself I’ll feel better about everything (myself, my weight, my energy level, etc.) when I start taking better care of myself. But it’s gonna be a significant February effort. I’m hoping that will get me some results and come March I will be feeling better and can re-evaluate on what is necessary at that time (maybe less regimented but keeping the healthier lifestyle). How hard can 28 days be? Let’s do it together!!

    • ExcelNinjaaaa :

      Hi ANP, sorry your life is crazy right now :(

      Option 1 is just to throw up your hands and give up for a little while. In my life, sometimes there just plain isn’t room, and I need cookies & chips to deal with it.

      Option 2 would be to put into action what all of those HBR articles and research studies say – that when it feels like you have zero time for exercise/focus on yourself, that’s when you most need to do it. I’m working on this myself. I’ve blocked an hour on my calendar every day to go for a run or do something active and I’m guarding that time closely. My logic is that at the CEO level, you’d better believe they are making time for exercise & to eat right, and their jobs are way more important/busier than mine, so why can’t I do the same?

    • No advice, but commiseration. We will be closing on a new house in a few weeks and have to finalize all the paperwork with the mortgage company, pack, clean, etc. Work is busy for me too and combined with this cold weather I just want to hibernate for a while. Today I felt like I got nothing done at work. I just wanted to eat all the chocolate and forget about everything else.

      Honestly, right now I’m just doing the bare minimum and have accepted the fact that things are just crazy busy right now. I cook when I can, but otherwise we will get carry out – and for that I at least try to choose healthy options. I try to make sure there are clean dishes, but overall my place is a cluttered and boxes are everywhere.

      Good luck through this transition! Hopefully once you move into your next (temporary) place things will settle down a bit and you can get back into a normal routine.

    • What about doing the 7 minute workout:

      You can do anything for seven minutes. And you can do it at home with no equipment.

    • Anne Shirley :

      You’re moving with see ones into your inlaws house? I’d buy bigger pants.

      • Anne Shirley – you’re a ray of sunshine.

        ANP – hang in there.

        • Anne Shirley :

          I can’t tell if this is sarcastic or not, but I am a firm believer that life is, indeed, happier when sometimes you just buy the bigger pants!

      • academama :

        I can commiserate…I was in a very similar situation for several months (or, um, the last 4 years…my little one is almost 2.5 now) and I’m just now feeling like I’m coming up for air and having some control over my life.

        I would say: breathe deeply and remember “this too shall pass.” The lack of sleep colors everything and it has a very real effect on your ability to function (I know). Take naps if you can, really…you may need sleep more than exercise.


        Also, find something you can do for yourself every day. That could mean going for a walk for 10 minutes – as much as you don’t think you have time, or you just can pull yourself out of your chair – that 10 minutes of fresh air will do you so much good. Or it could mean taking those 10 minutes to surf the internet and look at pretty pictures. But be aware of that time as YOURS.

        I also like what ExcelNinjaaa says about CEOs.

        P.S. I also bought bigger pants. ;)

        • I was reading about parenting and one parent said something like, “When I’m at work, I’m held to someone else’s standard. When I’m at home, I AM the standard.” and stopped feeling (as much) pressure about being the “perfect” parent.

    • First, I would try to do small changes to get your diet in order. So plan out healthy lunches and snacks so you are not tempted by unhealthy food (with some splurges of course.) And really think about what it is about the chips and cookies that you like (besides the obvious that they are yummy–is it the salt, the crunchiness, the sweet, the fact that it is what is in your office vending machine, etc.) and try to satisfy that same element with something healthier.

      Then depending on your relationship with your inlaws, think about how you want to add in a work-out. Will they be willing to watch the kids while you go for a run/walk/gym? Or do you need to figure out a way to exercise with your kids? (are they both small enough for a stroller?) ect… Or do you have an area in their home where you can do a workout DVD? I like Jillian Michaels 20 minute videos (30-day Shred), and I have been wanting to try that T-25 or whatever with the Insanity guy. I also really like getting out for a walk at lunch.

      Good luck!

    • I don’t have most of the factors you list here, but when I’m getting overwhelmed and mainlining cookies, caffeine, ice cream and most everything else in arm’s reach due to stress and feeling like I have zero time, I’ve found it helpful to try (when I can) to focus on what I’m doing in a given moment — like when I’m at work, I’m focusing on work, not what’s going on at home. When I’m at home, I’m not bringing home work. If I have to, I give myself a time limit, like “I’m only spending an hour or 90 minutes on work, then I’m done.” When I can’t stop with the cookies, I literally hide them on myself (or have my husband do it).

      If you can’t do it, you’re not a failure. You can only tackle so much at one time because you’re not Superwoman. I think if you reread your list as if it were a friend telling you (non-sleeping baby, living with inlaws, selling/buying a home, picking up the extra slack at work for an overtaxed/checked out boss), you’d advise her that she need to give herself a break on something :)

    • If you want to diet, this might be the time to try one of the “Here is your food” diets rather than one you have to organize and plan yourself. I recently did Weight Watchers, and while I would recommend it, it did take time to meal plan, go grocery shopping frequently for fresh fruits & vegetables, cook every night, etc.

      If you aren’t interested in the “Here is your food” diet plans (and I have to admit, I am in the boat), I would also consider trying swapping one easy thing for another – for example, assuming you have them in house, it isn’t that much more effort to reach for berries than it is for cookies. Same for an apple. Don’t worry too much about overhauling every meal – just change your afternoon or mid-morning snack or lunch for right now.

    • Anonymous :

      Here’s what I did (and do) about food stuff. Now I’m a very boring person who will eat whatever is in front of me and I don’t need lots of variety day to day, (dinner is different every day, but your lunch and breakfast are easier to control) so this may not work for you.

      First, pick a healthier version of whatever junk you are eating. It’s hard to switch from chips to apples (it is! don’t believe the magazines!). I was eating a candy bar every afternoon and I needed to stop. So I’d bring a piece of fruit and….not eat it and still buy the candy bar. So I bought a bunch of “healthy” cookies. (Kashi and Back to Nature make basically the same oatmeal and dark chocolate cookies — I’d just buy whichever was on sale). Even two of these cookies were still fewer calories (though not by much) than the candy bar. Eventually I switched to one cookie and then to almonds and dried fruit. Need something better than chips? Try popcorn! (I like the sea salt organic kind — make sure it’s not flavored and either get it in individual bags or break down a bag yourself) The perfect is the enemy of the better!

      Second, prep. Now I know you are slammed at work and at home, so this will be tough. Just make as much of your lunches on Sunday. This is my routine, but again, I eat the same thing every day for lunch for years without it bothering me.

      At this point I do my five lunches in about 20 minutes, but I already have my routine and equipment. So here’s my lunch: carrots and hummus, fruit (usually grapes), cheese stick, almonds. The nice thing about this lunch (as opposed to sandwiches) is I can make all five of them on Sunday and they won’t go bad. I use rubbermaid lunch blox and ziploc bags. The lunch blox are pretty cheap and available at Target — but you could use whatever you’ve got, they just work for me. I buy two 2lb bags of baby carrots (every other week I buy one) and put 10 oz of carrots into five ziplocs. I buy a couple pounds of grapes, remove all of them from the stems, rinse and put into the 3/4 cup boxes. I fill a couple of three oz boxes with almonds and dried fruit (I rarely need five for the week). And I put a couple of big spoonfuls of hummus into another three oz box. Everything (but the almonds) goes on the bottom shelf of the fridge (with five cheese sticks). In the morning I grab a bag of carrots and a cheese stick, snap a box of hummus and a box of almonds onto a box of grapes, toss them all in a lunch bag. No ice packs, no refrigerating during the day, no soggy sandwiches.

      You could get your older child involved in some of the prep too! Put on fun music in the kitchen and have them pull all the grapes off the stems and then fill the grape boxes. If they know numbers, they could fill the carrot bags (I use a scale).

      Sundays are also when you can break down a bag of popcorn. I just open the bag, grab a one C measure and a bunch of ziplocs. 1 C in each bag, then they go on the counter with my dried fruit and almonds.

      I know it wouldn’t work for everyone, but man it helps me.

      • This lunch prep (carrots, hummus, almonds, string cheese and grapes) is brilliant. I’m totally stealing it. I already use the protein bar (LARA or Kind) instead of a cookie and almonds instead of chips.

        • Oh, I just remembered that Trader Joes has pre-pacs of almonds for snacks and Costco has Sabra hummus in pre-packaged cartons. I think I will package everything in ziplock bags so I don’t have to schlep the containers back home. (Yes, not very environmentally friendly but I make up for it biking to work and religiously composting and recycling.)

  10. COACH - free shipping? :

    I just fell in love with a Coach iPhone case that Belle posted on CHS. It’s not available in any stores near me and I don’t really want to pay $10 for shipping. Does Coach ever offer free shipping?

    • sometimes – but if you go to the store and order from there, it’s always free.

  11. To NOLA from just Karen :

    Thank you for the shoe advice on yesterday’s thread! You’re awesome!

    • Oh you’re welcome! Nobody responded so I was wondering if I did any good. Did you find anything you liked? There were lots of choices. And DSW had more of that kind of shoe as well.

      • You did! I got some really great ideas. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out which ones to get!

      • just Karen :

        I really liked some of the oxfords you linked to! I think that in the past I have skipped over oxfords for fear they would look too masculine, but they really are the best solution to this particular shoe need.

  12. Are there any vegans here? I am not vegan, but I have been invited to a dinner party on Friday where I’ve been asked to bring a vegan dessert. Additionally, I will only know one person at the party, and I’m nervous about it! (That part is unrelated to the dessert question, I suppose!)

    If anyone has any simple, delicious, vegan dessert recipes that would be good for a pot-luck style dinner, I’d be so appreciative if you would share them. Thank you!

    • Hey – I’m not vegan but on Epicurious you can do an advanced search and just choose Dessert and Vegan. I got over 300 results – not all great, but some! Including these chocolate peanut butter mousse-filled cupcakes:

    • Fruit crisps are easy to make vegan (and easy to make in general). I have made this one before, with maple syrup instead of agave nectar (and just regular white or brown sugar): Even easier if you use frozen fruit–never occurred to me before, but I had it at someone’s house and it was awesome. Mango and raspberry is a great combo.

    • This is not my recipe (or my blog), but I like the stuff at deliciouslyella dot com. She’s all vegan/natural and has a section of her website that lists her recipes by category, so it’d be super easy to tick through the dessert recipes and find one that looks appealing/appropriate.

    • What about a fruit pie or a crumble? Most deserts would be hard to do without using eggs or butter, but the majority of pies and crumbles naturally call for shortening in the dough. Heck, if you’re feeling fancy, you can do those hand-pie things that are all over pinterest.

      • Or just do a colorful fruit salad – peaches, pears, kiwi, strawberries, mango, with some raspberries/blackberries/blueberries on top. Could be pricy as most of it is out of season. But so yummy.

    • Back Home :

      I just noticed yesterday that if you do a recipe search on Pinterest (like search “dessert recipes”), it brings up a box with radio buttons that let you select just vegan (or vegetarian or paleo or gluten-free) recipes. I have made many tasty desserts (although not vegan) with recipes from Pinterest and it is my go-to now for finding new recipes.

    • Buy a quart of soy ice cream at the grocery store on your way. :)

      • Or Coconut milk ice cream: GAH. so incredible.

        • +1 for coconut! But soy is probably easier to find. Trader Joe’s has it usually.

          • Dairy-Free :

            The TJs I go to (in PA, DE, and MN) have carried coconut milk ice cream for years. As do many major grocery stores. It’s fantastic.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Or the Ciao Bella Blood Orange Sorbet…mmmm….

    • Lady Harriet :

      I haven’t made most of the things she posts, but the blog Chocolate-Covered Katie has a ton of vegan desserts that look really good.

      • I love that blog, but I wouldn’t recommend it for a dessert to bring to a party. It’s mostly cooking-for-one, low-cal substitutions that are more about satisfying your cravings than making that “wow!” dessert.

        • +1 I have tried several of her recipes and was not a fan. It might be an option for my own “diet food” but I would not make it to serve to others.

    • Ugh I may totally out myself since I make these all the time, but…vegan red velvet cupcakes.

      They are incredibly simple. I don’t even use the chocolate or almond extracts and they taste just fine.

    • I’m dairy-free and 97% meat-free. These cupcakes are easy:

      Buy icing that happens to be vegan from the store (look for the part of the label that says “contains:” to make sure milk isn’t there). Make sure to use canola oil or dairy-free margarine for the cupcakes.

    • How about mango sticky rice?

    • Anon in NYC :

      Check out Oh She Glows – she has some great looking vegan desserts.

    • Check out all the recipes on post punk kitchen. This blogger also wrote the book Vegan Cupcakes Take over the World, which is the source for Roses’s recipe above (which I’ve now bookmarked – thanks!).

      As a vegan-leaning vegetarian with a vegan spouse, I’d say don’t do a fruit salad unless you really don’t have the time or inclination to bake. Fruit salad is usually one of the few the vegan items at any buffet or potluck, so it’s kind of a staple; the vegan guests would probably totally love you for bringing something indulgent and yummy.

      I don’t bake much because a) I don’t have time and b) there’s an awesome vegan baker nearby. But a basic chocolate cake recipe or the red velvet one Roses suggested is usually pretty easy and would go over well. I’d also much recommend almond or coconut milk “ice cream” over soy. And BTW most of the Marie Callendar’s frozen fruit pies are vegan! The cherry crumble pie is super-good, we had it with Christmas dinner.

      • academama :

        TJ’s tofu chocolate pudding

        1 pack mori-nu or other Tetrapak’d silken tofu (including the water in the pack)
        1/2-3/4 bag of semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
        add a couple spoonfuls of soy milk if the texture is too thick

        refrigerate for at least a couple of hours
        no one believes it’s vegan and full of protein

        • Ok, here’s where I messed up once bringing a vegan dessert. I used normal chocolate chips, not vegan chocolate chips, and this was a problem and my dessert was not eaten by the vegans. If they are very serious vegans, you may need to show that your chocolate was vegan.

    • You’ve gotten a lot of great responses, but I just want to throw my favorite chocolate cake recipe into the mix – it’s easy (I’ve been making it since I was 7), yummy, and completely vegan if you switch out the milk in the frosting for almond milk or orange juice.

      • Posted the wrong link, sorry!

    • Anonymous :

      You can always replace egg with 1/3 cup of applesauce or mashed banana. It won’t stick together that well (it’s better for cupcakes than cakes!) but that’s what I used to do when I lived with a vegan. (or 1/3 C creamed corn in things like corn bread or savory baked things).

      There are also vegan margarines available at regular grocery stores that can replace butter, but you should find out which ones are okay from the internet, since a lot of animal products are hidden behind their processed names.

  13. Thanks for all of the “keeping warm” suggestions from this morning. The house has warmed up some. I did close my bedroom curtains and the sun is out. I just ran to the little (but good) grocery by my house and picked up a roast and everything to make BBQ beef for Sunday. It’s so rare that I’m home long enough to have a roast in the oven for 4 hrs that this works out well. It’s windy so really cold out still. Icicles hanging from my car! But the streets are dry so no ice.

  14. Hi ladies – I am down to my last two days in the position I have held for over three years, before I make a lateral move to another part of my Government department. I have drafted a transition guide, informed most of my colleagues of who to contact in my place, etc… but what are some of your best practices when leaving a job? I do want to leave the door open to coming back if a more senior position ever opened up, so want to leave the most positive impression possible.

    On the other side, its been YEARS since I started a new job. I was recruited for my knowledge of a specific area but will be going from a fairly senior/knowledgeable member of a team to a relative newbie. I want to fulfill expectations, any tips on making a great impression? TIA!

  15. Dang. I have a colleague who CANNOT spell my name correctly. I wouldn’t care, except she does this for emails, which results in emails going not to me, but to a person in a different agency who has the slightly more standard spelling of my first name, and same, common, last name. I don’t even know how many emails I’ve missed because of this! I’ve mentioned it to her, but she just doesn’t seem to pay attention. She also constantly mixes up an acronym that is commonly used here, too, and has been corrected multiple times, but doesn’t fix it.

    Not much I can do about it, except correct her every time. It’s more frustrating than damaging, really, but you’d think she’d learn to be more careful!!

    • Tell her to remove the other colleague from her outlook contacts, if possible. That way, your name will be the one that comes up on auto-fill. I used to work with a woman whose email address was [email protected]….at first, i sometimes accidentally emailed a lady in another country at [email protected] but I figured it out soon enough…

    • On the email front – her email program could be autofilling the incorrect name for her, so might mention that she detail the auto fill to avoid sending out the wrong email. But yes, really annoying.

      Is the acronym something that spell check is wont to correct? I do emailing about health savings accoutns (HSA) and my spell check ALWAYS wants to change it HAS. Yes, it’s an attention to detail thing, but it might account for the issue.

    • Silvercurls :

      Is this something with which your IT people can help? I’m assuming it’s possible, somehow, to instruct the email system that all messages sent by Corrected Colleague, aka CC, to Jane [email protected] Agency go instead to Jayne Doe aka [email protected] Own Agency? (Of course, this also assumes that CC does not now and will never in future need to contact Jane [email protected] Agency.) There are probably other technical considerations of which I’m blissfully unaware.

      Note: I considered suggesting that you reach out to Jane Doe yourself but that began to seem a really bad idea in too many ways to count! It’s not fair, or dignified, that you and she should have to spend time & effort cleaning up the email confusion created by a third party; one or both of you might get in trouble for officially sharing sensitive work emails; this homemade solution (“whenever Jane Doe sees an email from CC, just forward it to Jaye Doe”) may not catch all of the misdirected messages anyway…

      • Her email program does autofill the address – but the agency comes up with the address and it’s a very different acronym from ours, so I would think she’d notice. The acronym she misspells isn’t being autocorrected, she says it wrong, too. She was recently openly corrected at a meeting – it was awesome because she has been told time and again the correct acronym but just doesn’t care enough to get it right, so it was funny that one of her peers (she is slightly senior to me) finally had enough and corrected her outright.

        Really, I am just venting, although I announced at a meeting with her recently, under the guise of cautioning new people, to be sure to spell my name correctly or the emails would go to the wrong person. I really don’t think anything major has been missed – although my work is important on some level, people won’t die and millions won’t be lost if I miss the occasional email from this particular person. I just hit a peak of frustration about it today. There’s another guy in my office whose first and last names sound like two first names and for YEARS she called him by his last name as if it was his first name. She just doesn’t care.

        • Anonymous :

          Wait, so she is now calling the two first names guy by the correct name? Can you ask him how he finally got through to her?

        • Can you make friends with the other spelling person and ask that they forward misdirected e-mails to you and you will do the same (if obviously in error)? It’s a temporary solution but hopefully at least a stop gap.

    • Moonstone :

      Didn’t some modbot on this site make you change your name from PollyD to PolyD? The Name Gods are messing with you.

    • Does she have a secretary who has access to her sent emails? The secretary could periodically (once/week perhaps) check for any emails sent to the wrong address. But really, I think this just reflects poorly on this other person and not at all on you.

    • Anonymous :

      She might have dysgraphia — it’s like dyslexia, but for writing not reading. It makes spelling very difficult. Have you ever seen her handwriting? If it’s very bad it might be a clue that she is just going to have difficulties with those things.

  16. Birth Control chart? :

    Hi ladies, someone has posted a chart of birth control pills and their various side effects here a couple of times. I bookmarked it on an old computer but now cannot find it. Could the helpful r*e*t*t*e post it again? I am headed to the doc soon and need to figure out a solution to these crippling monthly headaches (no IUD as will be TTC within a year). Thanks in advance!

    • hoola hoopa :

      Can’t help with the link, but if you are going to be TTC within a year, why not just switch to condoms?

      • Birth Control chart? :

        Valid point – I find hormonal BC also helps with (what used to be) terrible periods and acne. The pill that had worked for me for a long time is now giving me headaches, and I’ve read that your body chemistry can change and a different formulation might help (from monophase to triphase, for example).

        • Seattle Freeze :

          Are you having hormonal migraines with your cycle, i.e., when you take the placebo pills to have the fake period? You might try skipping the placebos entirely and just taking your pill continuously, if you’re on a monophasic pill, to avoid the fluctuation in hormone level. (Discuss with your doctor, but this is completely safe & many women do this for years at a time). Another option for menstrual migraines is to pretreat with triptans, like Frova, for the week before your period or when you tend to get the migraines – but for many women, eliminating the hormonal fluctuation helps to eliminate the trigger for those particular migraines.

          • +1.
            Also, if you’re going to be TTC within a year, consider reading Taking Control of Your Fertility and Woman Code, to learn more about working with your cycle instead of against it.
            [I know this is totally not what you came here for but I don’t have the chart either.]

    • FWIW I was on a regular BCP and had headaches every month (and other symptoms like crazy depression and grogginess) during the week when my hormone levels dropped. I was on a hormone patch for that week, but it didn’t work all that well. Just switched to a progesterone only pill (norethindrone) and you don’t have the week off so I don’t get the headaches or other symptoms anymore. It’s working really well! Supposedly it causes you to have heavier periods but I’ve only had one heavy one since I went on it. I’m older so my gyn wanted me to stay on BCP to stabilize my hormones.

  17. Olivia Pope :

    I’m going on a makeup cleanse, also called “not wearing makeup.” This is to remind me that no one is paying as much attention to my face as I am, and to give my skin a breather.

    I don’t have any questions or anything. Just putting that out in the universe.

    • Nice. Another option is to go makeup free every other day or so, which I do to give my skin a break as well. Convenient when I’m rushing in the morning and looking to save time. Sometimes I’ll just do eyeliner or lipstick and nothing on the skin.

    • I have started noticing just how many women don’t wear make up and how much healthier they look than the ones who do.

      Flawless airbrushed on foundation is incredibly unnatural looking.

      (I have not worn foundation for several decades and still gets the jaw drop reaction when I tell people how old I really am.)

    • I lost my liquid makeups at an airport a couple weeks ago (foundation mostly). I’ve been to busy/lazy to get to Sephora and replace them, so I’ve just been skipping it and just doing a light dusting of blush over moisturizer. I can tell the difference, but it’s slight and my skin is appreciating the break. I really doubt that most other people have noticed anything at all.

  18. Vegan Desserts (can't reply) :

    I love all three:

    Poached fruit (either in wine or sugar/honey, ginger, cloves).

    There’s a great orange compote (orange slices in sugar syrup with Grand Marnier) recipe in Joan Nathan’s Jewish Cooking in America).

    Baked apples.

  19. Fantastic! You will also be reminded that you are a beautiful woman, regardless of the cosmetics that you use/don’t use.

  20. Venting, venting, 1, 2, 3…

    I moved recently. I placed an order online with a store I haven’t shopped at for a while. The reason I have not purchased from them for a long time is their customer service is just awful. But I could not find this piece anywhere else, so against my better judgement, I ordered it.

    I messed up on my address, didn’t change the delivery address so it is going to my old place. I can’t pick up mail from there (another story). I emailed them as soon as I realized the mess up and asked for help.

    No response.

    Emailed them again.

    And got a condescending email the tone of when telegraphed, “I obviously have to explain this to you in childlike terms because you are so stupid”

    Given that customer service is to keep customers, I did not appreciate the email lecture.

    I would dearly love to tell them what they can do with the attitude, (and smack that specific rep upside their snotty head) but obviously that would do no god whatsoever.

    grumble grumble grumble

    • OY VEY What a day.

      “good”, not “god”.

      I need to hot bath and a stiff drink.

  21. Wildkitten :

    Macy’s Silk Sweater PSA – THANK YOU!

    My sweaters have started arriving and while they are nothing to write home about they are incredible for $5!!

  22. This is a lovely suit and perfect with nude legs in spring/summer but for fall/winter I find it incredibly hard to wear suits this colour. With black stockings it just looks mismatched with the incredibly light top half and the black bottom? Does anybody else have this problem? Any solutions?

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