Suit of the Week: Stella McCartney

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.

We already know I’m biased in favor of blue suits, but c’mon — if you had the money, wouldn’t you want this suit? I like that this suit looks like it can be worn in multiple seasons, made springy in the spring with lots of white accents, as pictured — but that it could very easily look more autumnal with darker accents, whether they’re neutral (black, navy) or darker jewel tones. My eyebrows raised a bit to see that Net-a-Porter’s calling the pants track pants, as to my eye the pants are lacking the banded bottom cuff and resulting slightly poufy sweatpant-look that I generally find so offensive about track pants. (They do have a pull-on waist, but hey, just what you need for all those big summer associate lunches, right?) The pictured suit is Stella McCartney; the jacket (Mattea stretch-cady blazer) is $1,515, and the pants (Tamara stretch-crepe track pants) are $650.

Looking for something similar? This skirt suit comes in plus and regular sizes, and this $123 pantsuit (with today’s sale) comes in sizes 2-18.

Psst: Does this outfit make anyone’s else’s eyes hurt?

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  1. This is a look that most of us are thinking WTH… but this will be trendy in a few years.

    It’s innovative yet, the lines are clean and fresh. I quite like it, I am not sure how much mileage I could get from my work but I think this would be great in a creative or bus casual environment.

    Kat, good pick! def interesting and noteworthy

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I love love love love love it. I could 100% wear it at my office as separates and would get tons of compliments on it.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s like a Crocket & Tubbs sort of suit, updated for women in 2017. With room for lunch!

      I like that it’s a suit worn in an IDGAF way, which is how I justify my suit habit. I wear them all serious for client meetings but with a Blag Flag concert tee in the office. What I like about the concert tee is that it’s not all cleavage-revealing, as is whatever it is they’ve styled this with (and I think that those mule-loafer thingies need to be half a size longer).

      Whatevs. I’m still in a later for the hot pink suiting pieces from BR.

    • Anonymous :

      This is a style I’ve seen a lot here in Finland. I think the dress code is less formal here, though. At least for women.

  2. BabyAssociate :

    Definitely too skeptical on the pants to spend $650 on them, but I do love the look of this suit.

    • I agree. Skinny jeans and pants like this look good on 20 somethings, but not on 35+ somethings like me who have a tuchus that is NOT to die for! FOOEY!

    • Eh, I think the color is a bit too vivid. Oh look, Baby Associate is wearing her BLUE suit again.

      You’d be able to wear it maybe once a month.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s also the case with any dress or suit in a vivid color. I love this particular shade of blue. Not too cobaltish, not too pale.

        • Anonymous :

          Royal Blue.

          I could totally see wearing one of the pieces once a week. The jacket this week, pants next week.

          I mean, that’s what I do with the bright pink suit jacket and pants I got at BR.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Meh. I’m ok with having a rotation of distinctive outfits. I have a cobalt dress I wore every two weeks, didn’t feel like it was too much. My genuinely nice coworkers complimented my clothes, “I always love that dress whenever you wear it!” and I’m ok with it being noticed. I’ve never been in law, though, so of course YMMV.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m in law, and I totally agree. I have a big enough closet collected over so many years (my style hasn’t changed much) that it doesn’t matter to me if I can only wear something every few weeks. I have a hot pink pants suit that I’ve worn as separates a ton and as a suit a few times (then I got pregnant).

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Oh me too. This color is just gorgeous – unusual but would still coordinate with so many other colors. If money were no object I’d be all over this.

      • I’d wear this thing all the fucking time.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Uh oh are we not supposed to clearly repeat our colorful clothes?

        I wear my maroon dress, my teal dress, my green dress, etc. probably almost every week. I figured no one cared… Or is it because this is a suit and suits are supposed to be more neutral?


          • Hey, if you’d look like a blueberry in this suit, you don’t have to wear it. I, however, would rock it and I’d wear it all the time.

        • Never too many shoes... :


          My favourite dress is a wine coloured Tahari shift with fake fur trim around the bottom – it is very memorable because of the details but I get compliments whenever I wear it. I never worry that people are thinking “she’s wearing that *again*?”.

    • +1 on the pants skepticism. Is that a zipper at the ankle…??

      • BabyAssociate :

        That’s what I was thinking too!

      • Anonymous :

        This is definitely the part I don’t like about this suit (the color and jacket and general cut of the pants are great though). I just can’t imagine wearing any pants that are pull-on with an elastic waist to my business professional workplace, it seems a little too “infant chic”.

    • I loved this suit until I looked closely at the pants. Grandma chic.

      • What? I’m wearing ankle pants with ankle zippers right now at work. I sometimes also wear pull on pinstripe ankle length trousers at work. I feel totally pulled together in them. I’m 36!

  3. I know that MM Lafleur clothes are often featured on this site, so I wanted to mention that I have an Etsuko Crackle print in size 6 and a Crawford top in pencil plaid in size S for sale on ebay at a huge discount. Both fit a little too small for me and are not longer within the window for returns. Both of these are sold out on their website. I’m anticipating that some of you will not be happy that I’m posting this, but I’m selling at a deep discount and will be losing money here, so I’m posting it in case people are interested but don’t check ebay regularly for clothes.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Check the morning post- there was a thread about a Facebook group for MMLF.

    • Shopaholic :

      I’m going to check these out because that’s my size but I’m Canadian so doubtful I’ll be in luck with international shipping… (which is also the reason why I can’t buy MMLF).

  4. anon for this :

    Vent: My coworker has been out on maternity leave for three days and I’m already cleaning up her third major mess. She’s been a trainwreck in slow motion since the day she was hired. I hate having to deal with the problems she’s caused, but at least she’s out of the way so I know they’ll actually get solved. Praying our boss finally realizes how little she does all day, since she dumped the other half of her unfinished work in the boss’s lap.

    I know this is so unkind but I’m sitting here waiting to handle a call from a hysterical client and I just really CANNOT.

    • Document. Document. Document. I got stuck in a similar position and when problems rose up later, the colleague tried to blame me. Fortunately I kept emails that proved she was lying.

  5. Tired Mommy :

    Looking for help in the swimsuit department. I need a one piece for a cruise I am going on next month. I am not a big swimmer/beach goer, so this may get 2-3 more uses out of it all summer. Would like to keep it at $50-ish. The ones at Old Navy are doing nothing for me.

    • I got this recently on Amazon and it’s pretty cute. Would be fine for a few wears: ADFOLF Vintage One Piece Swimsuits Women Push Up Bathing Suits with Ruffles.

    • Anonymous :

      Look on Amazon – you should be able to score something from a nicer brand for $50 or less, but it’ll be all lucky sizes. More expensive suits are infinitely more flattering than what you’ll find at Target and Old Navy and the like.

    • Anonymous :

      I bought the black version of this the other day

    • I swear by Land’s End. They are a little more than you want to spend, but they are so flattering. I think they are 30% off right now, too.

    • If you know your U.K. Bra size look on Amazon for bra sized suits and separates. You will definitely feel supported and many of the pieces are on discount.

      If you don’t know your bra size, check out the reddit ABraThatFits calculator. It has been a godsend for me. I do not know why U.K. bras are so much better than US bras, but they just are.

    • Try Boden and Garnet Hill. A little past your price range, but way cuter than Land’s End.

    • If you have access to a Costco card, this one looked nice in store.’-1-Piece-Swimsuit%2c-Black-Tick.product.100308953.html

    • I have had good luck at JC Penny. Also – you mentioned one pieces, but I personally find that tankinis allow for a better fit while still providing the same coverage level as a one piece. With a one piece, your torso needs to be the length of the suit. With the tankini, you can adjust to fit.

  6. Anonymous :

    How often do you eat fast food — not fast casual places with tons of salad and soup options but McDs, BK and the like?

    I rarely ate fast food bc I found it too heavy – would eat it when there were no other options, so like once a yr on a road trip. Then I moved south and discovered chick a fila and find myself wanting it 2x a week. Is that too much? Mid 30s and have been told to gain weight – but somehow fried chicken multiple times a week seems wrong.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      1x a week? My chronic illness means that I can kiiiiind of justify it (need more calories/sodium/fat than normal people), but I do agree that I don’t feel awesome afterwards. Last year it was more like 2-3x a week (3L…) and during bar prep it was, um, every day? I try to balance it out- if I have a cheeseburger meal for dinner (or a bacon egg and cheese biscuit meal for dinner, dam*it Mickey D’s, why did you have to make that an option?!) I’ll try to eat healthier the next day or exercise more.

      Keep in mind that even if you need to gain weight, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to do so. I’m not saying no chick-fil-a (or even no chick-fil-a twice a week), but if part of why you’re doing it is to gain weight, look at healthy fats- avocado, nut butters, etc.

    • Chick-fil-a has this effect on people. I’ve fallen victim to it myself and have been trying to avoid it, but my weight goals are opposite yours- I’m supposed to be losing weight- so I’m not sure how wanting to gain weight would figure into it. That said, I try really hard to make going to Chick-fil-a unappealing. Right now, this means making sure I’m not starving on my way home from work (I have to drive by one twice a day), and driving in the far lane to make the “quick stop” really inconvenient. My goal right now is to not eat fast food more than once a month. Ideally, it would be lower, but I’m including all food stops in this count and I have some long car trips that just require a quick bite on the road.

      • Anonymous :

        I count CFA as different! There are healthy options of course, but I’m assuming you like the unhealthy ones. But my 8 count nugget and fries meal is not TERRIBLE. About 600 calories total. Out of a 2000 calorie diet (or even 1800 or whatever), that doesn’t seem too bad for lunch or dinner, as long as you’re eating okay the rest of the time.

    • MargaretO :

      No matter the calorie situation that food is sooooo bad for you. I also eat my fair share of junk but I try to limit straight up greasy fast food to once a week and mostly cook at home.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Rarely. Like maybe once every other month. Partially for weight reasons (I want to lose weight) and partially for health (eating a double cheeseburger did not seem very heart healthy and I always felt bloated afterwards). Although I had Shake Shack last week for the first time in months and it was really delicious. Only you can say whether eating fried chicken twice a week is too much for you!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I travel a lot for work, and I will eat fast food when I travel because it’s a) easy to find, including in every airport and b) reliably fast, which matters when I’m rushing to things. So I have been known to eat McDonalds like 3 times a week if it’s a week where I’m hopping between various cities all week. We will also occasionally get Arby’s or Bojangles or Cookout for dinner (if you haven’t yet discovered Bojangles, it’s amazing). It’s probably more than I should, but eh. My lab director in college ate a McDonalds big mac *every*single*day* for lunch and he was skinny as a rail (very high energy person naturally, I think. No idea how he did it). I don’t think Chick fil a twice a week is horrible.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Well, isn’t horrible assuming you have otherwise generally healthy habits. If you’re sitting on the couch all day and your other food options are equally bad, you probably shouldn’t.

      • +1 to Bojangles. Better biscuits than CFA by a large margin.

        • Mmmm I had that for lunch once on a road trip through the South (I’m a west coaster) and went back for the same for dinner. I’d be in a lot of trouble if I lived near one of those joints.

    • Cookbooks :

      Chick-fil-a…I don’t blame you! I’ll run out to fast food maybe 2-3x a month? And I think I usually end up going on Wednesdays or Fridays–I think it’s easier for me to justify (to myself) the middle and the end of the week. Tuesday feels like I’ve given up.

      I’d say there’s nothing wrong with a 1x week treat if you balance it out elsewhere.

    • I was working a job I didn’t like and commuting 1.25- 1.5 hours in heavy traffic to get there. On the off ramp for the office there was a McDonald’s so clearly I deserved the two breakfast burrito meal many mornings. Sometimes I bought Taco Bell on the way home because it was so late by the time I got there.

      I’m still trying to lose the weight.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Rarely in my current lifestyle, though I bet if I traveled more or had kids I’d do it purely for convenience/sanity. But I will straight-up demolish an EggMcMuffin if the opportunity arises.

      That said, Chik-fil-a is on the better end of the fast-food spectrum, their (slightly improved) politics notwithstanding.

    • Honestly, I wish I had the chance to more often. Husband and son have Celiac’s Disease, which prevents 95% of fast food consumption in our home. When I am feeling extra cranky, self-indulgent or traveling, I will stop for delicious gluten-filled fast food without telling anyone in my home, but it is rare that I have the time or crankiness level to warrant it and remove all traces of gluten lest I get my husband sick (gluten on the hands or a simple kiss will do it).

      • Ms. Gluten :

        Super late response. My spouse has Celiac and is EXTREMELY sensitive. He can eat the waffle fries and the grilled chicken nuggets with no issues.

    • Anonymous :

      Excluding coffee, which I get from McDs or Dunkin several times a week (don’t like Starbucks) probably once or twice a month? I tend to get it when traveling and then once in a while I treat myself to a McDs egg and cheese biscuit. Growing up we had McDs a couple of times a week (my parents weren’t poor, they just liked it) and that’s pretty horrifying to me now. I believe in everything in moderation and think it’s fine as a rare treat but can’t imagine putting it on my weekly meal plan.

      • My parents were poor and McDonald’s was our special treat whenever we had a babysitter so they could have a low budget date night. Maybe that’s why I see it as a reward now. F’ed up I know. (I’m the former commuter above)

    • I’m also one of those who thinks CFA is different and doesn’t quite count as fast food! I probably eat it (as my only fast food) maybe once a month, but I rarely eat out much in the first place…maybe just a handful of times per month. I do get Domino’s twice a month, though, and some people consider that fast food.

      That said, I had to take a road trip this past weekend and totally relished eating at Dairy Queen (OMG, the Reese’s blizzard you’ve seen advertised on tv IS that amazing) and Arby’s.

    • Once a year, if that? We had McD while travelling this past weekend (11pm, no other options in rural area) and I think we’d probably gone close to 2 years before that, if not more.

      For me, it’s a taste issue. I know it isn’t great quality, but i’d eat it more if it tasted good (see: Cheetos). But i really think it tastes bad.

      • anon in SV :

        This is me. Maybe once a year when there’s literally no other options.

        • Anonymous :

          OP here– this TOTALLY used to be me. Hated having to eat McDs and BK and didn’t even consider them food options — which made my family roll their eyes; I’d literally only eat them like once a yr on a road trip where there was no other option off a highway. Though I was also living in NY/NJ at the time where good pizza is easily found – so if there was ever a choice of pizza vs. McDs it was no contest for me.

          Down south – I’m having to give up my pizza habit and given that I just moved from NYC, my cooking skills aren’t there yet. So in scrounging for dinner – I discovered CFA and have been getting it 1x/wk — and considering stretching it to 2x a week but haven’t yet; somehow I thought the novelty would have worn off yet it hasn’t.

      • Same. I am by no means a perfect eater all the time. I’d rather my junk food be chips than fast food burgers. But I’ve never had Chick-fil-a. I trust everyone saying it’s a different kind of fast food experience.

    • Never.

      But my personal food weakness is pastries, not fast food. I have never eaten something at McD’s, CFA, or BK and thought wow, I ever want to eat that again. I just don’t like it. The no-pastry war, however, I vow to win on a weekly basis, and generally lose.

      My problem with CFA from a health standpoint is less that it’s fried chicken and more that it’s _only_ fried chicken. No veggies. Meals without green things should be limited in their frequency, but 1x a week seems pretty limited to me.

    • PatsyStone :

      Once a week. Usually late dinner Saturday. My husband and I throw caution to the wind and get wild these days. Sometimes I even have more than two glasses of wine!

    • Maybe once a month or less.

    • Literally never for the burger joints/chick-fil-a. I do eat Subway a handful of times per year when we are on road trips and it’s the only somewhat healthy option at the rest stop.

    • I was raised on junk food and I never really broke the habit. I eat it all the time. 2 or three times a week, I’d say. I’m also a foodie and a cook, so I like to eat/make other things. But my favorite is just getting a Dominos pizza and eating it in bed with my husband. We’re gross and perfect for each other.

    • a millenial :

      i live in SF and love in n out. i probably eat it 10x a year (say 5 trips to tahoe/lassen/yosemite/wherever, eat it once on the way there and once on the way back). LOVE IT. i will also get chick fil a when in the south but that’s rare.

    • Chick-fil-A is the only fast food I will eat. But 3 out of 4 times, I get grilled nuggets and a superfood side salad. I’ll get a fried sandwich and fries like once every other month. It’s still super high in sodium because basically all fast food is, but there are “healthier” options at Chick-fil-A.

      I’m a bit older than some folks here and all I’ll say is, beware bad eating habits, as they are hard to break when it becomes necessary as your metabolism slows down. At 39 I gained 20 lbs in a year and saw my A1C and blood pressure go up to concerning levels; that was the forced end of junk food for me. I wish I’d quit before it got to a crisis point. Make sure if you’re indulging in fast food, even if you’re staying within your calorie limits, that you’re not crowding out other, more nutritious foods. I think that was my mistake.

    • Fairly frequently but it’s usually a healthy-ish breakfast on the run: black iced coffee and an egg mcmuffin with half of the muffin.

      If you want to gain weight, fast food probably is not the best way. An easy way to add calories is to add in but butter and avocados. Our LO can’t keep weight on and we frequently let him take a big spoonful of peanut butter with his snack.

    • Wildkitten :

      I love going out to eat but have seriously lost my appetite this year, and I can’t finish a whole burger at a regular restaurant but small chicken tenders from McD’s have been hitting the spot. I agree with Bonnie – find a nutritionist who can help you find healthy way to get in more calories. There are “gain” plans for weightlifters that might also be good to look at.

    • I consider myself as somebody who lives a pretty healthy lifestyle, work out a lot, try to cook at home/prioritize whole foods, etc. but I never had Chick Fil A before I moved to DC and wow it has recently become a floodgate thing for me. I don’t get it more than 1-2x a month though because it will become a habit. I usually use it to bribe myself — if I make it to my 7 am class on Saturday on time, I can stop after and get a chicken biscuit, etc. and I otherwise account for it in my food choices that day/weekend.


    • Almost never. Like once every 6 months if I’m going on a business trip in the middle of nowhere Texas and there are no other options. Hate the grease, calories, and never feel full after eating a fast food burger, since they’re so small…I’d need 2-3 to feel satisfied, and that’s simply not worth the calories for me.

  7. Anonymous :

    When you say really loudly on a call with counsel, I hate everyone!!! UGH THIS EFFING WEEK.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I was on a conference call where everyone inexplicably turned on their video (which we don’t usually do…). We don’t usually and my tights were being dumb so I stood up and was fiddling with my tights. Directly in front of the camera. I’m 99% sure no one noticed. No one said anything if they did. But I was horrified. Conference calls present so many opportunities for f-ups.

      • Anonymous :

        Ahhh! I have something over my webcam for that exact reason.

        The good news is that my boss is feeling the exact same way that I am today/this week, so he won’t care if counsel (in-house) mentions it to him. He will probably laugh in fact. It feels like the wheels are coming off the bus at a high rate of speed at the company this week – so frustrating.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      At least it was “I hate everyone” instead of “I hate [specific person]”?

    • I used to have to participate in daily calls with the most inept contractor in the history of the world. I honestly can’t believe how lucky I was to have never said anything awful without muting first.

      • It’s hard!

        Plus with the brand new LOUD AF intern next to me, I am surprised I was that tame!

        • Anonymous :

          Why is the intern making any noise at all?!

          • Hahaha, right? He is calling EVERYONE on the sales team (it feels like) to do informational “interviews.” All. Day. Long. Kill me.

  8. how long does it take you to get used to a dental filling? It has been almost two weeks and I still keeping thinking I have food stuck in my tooth.

    • Anonymous :

      Is it affecting your bite? I’d go back to the dentist and let them know.

    • You shouldn’t feel it at all – see your dentist!

    • Definitely go back. They need to perfect how they filed it. It’s happened to before, they usually will jut have you pop in the office and can quickly file the filling until your bite feels back to normal.

  9. Possible Promotion :

    Thoughts on a potential promotion that will severely cut my pay due to COLA? I live in a HCOL area right now, and the move (out of country) will drop my pay from ~100k/yr to ~75k/yr in a LCOL area. Because it’s out of country, there aren’t a lot of websites with cost comparisons, but the ones I’ve found (in the general area where I’d be working, not directly in the small town) indicate that the pay is actually a slight increase (ie, 100k here is closer to 65-70k/yr there).

    How have others who have navigated moving from a high to low cost of living area fared? Is there a huge difference with external buying power (ie, if I want to travel back in country here, will I not have a lot of spending money)? I’m a little worried about my net income and making sure I can maintain lifestyle – I save a lot for retirement and don’t want to cut back.

    • Remember that your retirement savings are in real dollars and don’t benefit from your HCOL/LCOL calculus.

      I wouldn’t do it for a pay decrease.

      • Possible Promotion :

        Really good point. I max my 401k here (18k/yr) and my IRA (5500/yr). Being that’s ~25% of my income to a potential ~31%, it’s a hard sell. I don’t actually know what kind of retirement is offered in the new country; that’s a question for HR.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Don’t forget to consider the difference in benefits. Are you getting better benefits in new country?

    • This is an incredibly complex issue – I’ve done a lot of this type of analysis for a client, who regularly relocates employees to other countries. There is far more than cash pay to consider. How is health insurance handled in your other country? Will you be eligible for any type of retirement savings in the other country?

      Is this a permanent move, or is there a timeline for moving back? If I knew that I could throw out a lot of other things for you to consider or potentially ask about/for.

      • Possible Promotion :

        Is there a company that does this kind of cost analysis? I would be very interested.

        I don’t know a whole lot about other benefits, but I have an open invite to talk with HR in that country about it. I would consider the position length flexible. I must be there for two years, but after that the company will move me around again at their expense. I’m not sold on being with this company forever, and chances are good we will end up back in the first country eventually (after 2 or 3 or 5 years).

        My goal is to improve my career track. I am sitting at a dead end position in my current location. Moving countries (to one of our bases) seems like a really smart move in general, because there’s a lot more positions open in that location, and it would get me out of this specific job. There are other things going on in this industry (it’s picking up) and my company (big changes ahead), but I think my position currently is stable, and I believe the one I would be picking up is almost equally as stable. (ie, unless there are really severe reductions, it’s not a problem).

        All good points.

        • The big accounting firms do it (Deloitte, E&Y, etc), though that kind of work tends to be very expensive; expertise at smaller firms is very hit and miss. Its a niche I fell into.

          Is this something your company does regularly? They should be giving you a total compensation analysis, including a clear explanation of everything they will be paying for. On a typical 2-3 year relocation, that would include relocation costs, an allowance toward foreign housing, benefits, a tax equalization payment, and foreign tax prep if needed (by no means an exhaustive list). If no, they need to hire an expert to put that together – if they aren’t willing to then this is probably something you should pass on. The US and foreign HR teams need to work together – the fact you were just invited to talk to foreign company’s HR sounds to me like they don’t have solid plans in place for relocation.

          You also need a clear understanding of whether you will remain an employee of the US company, or if you are moving to the local company in the new country. If you are changing companies, you won’t be able to contribute to your 401k, or an IRA. Depending on the target country, there may very well not be an equivalent option (places with government based retirement), there could be a waiting period to join the foreign plan, etc.

          • Possible Promotion :

            I work for a big multinational company. Moving positions from country to country is something they do with some frequency. I’m not sure when a compensation analysis would come. Right now this ‘offer’ is still in the beginning stages (ie, “would you accept a position in the next 2 months given some parameters”), not offer-in-hand. It’s sort of under the table at the moment (my manager doesn’t know).

            My ‘next step’ of talking to HR still comes before an offer letter, although perhaps I should push for one, or stall them until they are ready to offer one. My understanding is that there may already be someone in the position they will offer to me, but that the person is going to be moved/fired soon, and they won’t start the requisition until it’s done. It’s certainly not how I expected an “offer” to come through the pipeline, but I got this offer by telling a co-worker in the country that I was interested working in his group. He discussed with his N+1 and N+2 managers, and here I am, discussing potential offers with his N+1.

            This all sounds very shady, but I think it will filter out, WHEN the offer comes, given that there is relocation services (moving, shipping container, pre-assignment trip to check out the area before I officially accept) and destination services (property, work permits, banking).

            Which maybe means that it’s too early to ask my initial question, but I really appreciate all of the information to determine what my next steps should be – asking for additional support in regards to things like taxes, relocation, and contract structure.

            Thank you.

    • Anonymous :

      No thoughts on the international stuff but COL is a real factor. I went from making 250k in the Bay Area to 60k in a small Midwestern city and feel much, much richer here.

      • Anonymous :

        Maybe true but there’s something to be said for the aggregate salary number. If you ever want to live your small Midwestern town and go to the east or west coasts, it’s easier to negotiate salary if you can (honestly) say that your current salary is 250k. If you say your current salary is 60k (and some places require a pay stub during negotiation), in my industry companies will feel they are being incredibly generous by offering you a huge raise and COL by bringing you on at 100k — all the while feeling like they got a steal bc a local candidate would have cost no less than 200k.

    • Also, you need to talk to a CPA that understands international taxes, AND make sure that your company pays for you to get your taxes done if you are on an expat package. If you are going to be a local hire, dealing with your taxes is your own deal. Will they pay for relocation? Do you want to sell all your possessions that you’ve carefully curated over the years? What is the difference in vacation? Are you OK with not spending more than 30 days in the US in a twelve month period (generally necessary to avoid double-tax)? Are you OK with not flitting home to attend Big Life Events (births, weddings, death, family sickness) because you are Too Far Away/Plane Tix are super-duper expensive? Will you even want to go home for two or three days if tickets are super-expensive and the time change is awful? Are you OK with moving for 2-3 years and understanding that depending on where you go, re-entry into the US job market may be hard to impossible? Most places don’t want a 12 month tour of duty if you are a local hire–they want you to commit to the new location.

      When I worked in the UK, once I was a local hire paid in British pounds and not eligible for US retirement plans and the other time I was seconded as a “trainee” for visa reasons, so I was paid in US dollars and was eligible for US retirement plans. Further, just getting a local or US accountant to deal with international taxes was very expensive (these jobs were when I was just out of college), so when an accountant said, “Oh, it’s _only_ GBP2000” to file your taxes, I almost had a heart attack–that was more than my monthly rent. There are a lot more costs than just COLA.

      When I did all of this PwC had a specific corporate group that worked with my investment bank and met with us individually to go over taxes. If you are trying to do this on your own, you need to research to find a CPA who really gets this, and is familiar with the country you are considering and their tax treaty with the US. That’s hard.

      • Possible Promotion :

        Yes, they pay for relocation (to some extent; they offer a relocation service for setting up things like finances and housing, and provide an X-foot shipping container to move). I’m not sure about cars, but I do know that there’s regulations in the new country that would require retrofitting of my car, which is probably not worth it for an 8-yo vehicle. I’m down with selling many of my things, as most of the furniture is craigslist/garage sale quality that I would not want to bring with me in a move.

        I get an additional 3 weeks of vacation time if I move, doubling my time off, plus some additional paid country holidays. It’s not enough to cover the $ difference, but makes it interesting.

        I am (most likely) okay with not spending >1 month in the USA. While I can’t say 100% for sure, I don’t live near family, and most of my visits to family have been for 1-2 weeks every 1-2 years for the last ~8 years. I currently am unable to attend life events for those exact reasons listed. I’m currently far away from family, it’s a long time and lots of money to get back to them. It’s not a huge additional hardship. I expect any trips “home” would be scheduled for ~2 weeks at a time due to flights. Hilariously, prices and flight times are ~comparable when looking at current location -> family home and new location -> family home, so says google. Time change is 4 hours to 5 hours, again, comparable.

        I had not thought about job market re-entry yet. IF I stay with the current company, it shouldn’t be a problem (ie, just as pain…less/ful as this will be). If for whatever reason I get laid off, that’s not ideal. I think in that case we’d have to move back to our home country, in an area that’s semi-familiar or has booming industry. Our country visas are dependent on my working for this company.

        I will ask whether my company offers tax prep service, and what the contract would entail (local or overseas base), and what other kinds of support is required.

        Thank you very much.

  10. Paging Kat :

    The “eyes hurt” link in you post leads me to a gorgeous Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo jacket that literally makes me drool with desire (and has a picture of a Saint Laurent tailcoat that leaves me similarly smitten — anyone know where I can get a similar one for something less than the $4,550 list price?), so I think your link must be busted . . .

    • I followed that link too and loved the jacket. I think it’s the full outfit pics that are painful. I will never understand flared floods.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I suspect she’s mad at the cropped flared pants. But I agree, that jacket is stunning!

    • This one looks nice and is paired with even more objectionable pants:

  11. How would you bring up asking a colleague for a reference and that you would like to keep the fact that you are job searching quiet?

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you ask someone you trust completely?

      • I’m at my first job out of college and don’t have tons of options. I’m not so much concerned she will tell my boss as that it will be awkward. My leaving will probably dump more work on her.

  12. Wildkitten :

    Update: I paid a retainer and hired a lawyer to help with the dog stuff.

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