Frugal Friday’s TPS Report: Cap Sleeve Surplus Faux Wrap

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Cap Sleeve Surplus Faux Wrap6pm has a lot of sizes and colors for this Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique dress, which is typically a reader favorite over at Nordstrom. As always, I love the high neckline, the ladylike length, and the flattering faux wrap look. This one is $39.99, and comes in five colors and sizes 2-16. Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Cap Sleeve Surplus Faux Wrap

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]

Psst: Check out more great deals at the Corporette Bargains page!


  1. spelling nitpicker :

    isn’t that supposed to be “cap sleeve SURPLICE faux wrap”?

    great dress and great price, though.

    • Yeah, I’ve seen that mistake often. Not really a spelling error, per se. More like an incorrect homonym. Although it’s not Kat’s mistake. It’s incorrect on the 6 PM site.

      • At least it’s not as bad as people posting to Etsy and Ebay about clothes with “sequence.” That one makes my eye twitch.

        • One thing I love about the comments on this site is that there is none of the rampant misspelling/bad grammar/etc. that you see on other sites. Even when someone makes a small error, like using “your” for “you’re,” she’ll usually correct it in a follow up comment. Does that make me a total snob? Yep.

          • I just sick of my thumbs and the autocorrect conspiring to make me look like an idiot!

          • See! How did I not write “I just get sick…” I don’t make such mistakes on the computer.

          • If you’re a snob, I’m right there with you. I just had a friend ask me to read a bunch of emails between her and a guy because she wanted my advice on something and all I could think of is, “he’s such a bad speller! Why do you even like him??”

          • If appreciating correct spelling and good grammar makes someone a snob, I guess I am one – and not ashamed of it!

          • Interesting! That has always bothered me a bit..we’re all smart ladies on here, and all of us have a typo every once in a while. The substance of the comment is the same. When someone comments immediately after their original post and says “Oh, I meant you’re, not your!” I wonder why they are so worried what we think of their grammar.

            Of course, I would NEVER say this about work-related correspondence, but IMO that is completely different. I edit emails I send to my boss, I do not edit my gchats and this seems to fall closer to the latter than the former.

  2. momentsofabsurdity :

    Reporting back on my TRX class – you guys were right, it is HARD. Very fun but I am sure I looked entirely ungraceful (and I definitely had poor form). I am doing a six week class so hopefully I’ll improve!

    • momentsofabsurdity, what kind of shape are you in / what other sorts of exercise do you get? I’ve always been TRX-curious, but I’ve been pretty much an elliptical-only gal for the past few years (and honestly for the past month or two, really a couch-only gal). Zero upper body strength to speak of. Do you think you need to be in pretty decent shape to start with to do TRX?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I have zero upper body strength. And limited lower body strength, TBH.

        Basically, I am an elliptical/spin class only kind of chick and have been going to the gym 2-3x / week for 45min-1hr. I basically only do cardio – I had a couple sessions with a personal trainer where she showed me some weights stuff, but I never had the motivation to keep up with it on my own. Lately I’ve been realizing while I’m pretty happy with my weight (beyond like, maybe 5lb I’d like to lose for swimsuit season), I’ve never really felt proud of my muscles or being *strong* and it occurred to me being strong was a much healthier goal to strive for than being skinny. So that’s why I signed up for the class.

        Definitely have no strength and I don’t think you NEED strength to start with TRX since the activities are pretty modifiable based on how much you are able to do. But it is noticeable (or at least, I felt noticeable) that I was in poorer shape than the other people in the class – where they could hold a plank (with their hips way higher than mine!) and not *collapse* afterward, have very precise controlled movements in the straps, I was kind of dangling around and letting gravity or physical forces do all the work, shaking, definitely out of breath sooner, etc.

        I am hoping that’s something that improves – but it isn’t something that I felt like would have prevented me from starting. I was able to *do* all the exercises – just not really do them well. I’m sure if I saw a video of myself, I’d start laughing at all my “cheats”/poor form/whatever but I didn’t feel like any exercise was really beyond me altogether – more like it was way harder than it really ought to have been. I do recommend it though – the fact that I’m so sore today, for me, shows how little I’ve been moving/working some of those muscles, and TRX seemed to really use all of them – I am basically sore *everywhere*, especially in my core.

      • SpaceMountain :

        I exercise at home, and bought a TRX about a year ago b/c you don’ t need much space for it, and it’s adaptable to any fitness level. I like it a lot. For example, I have pain and arthritis in my wrists, so I can’t do push-ups. With the TRX, you lean into the strap handles and can do push-ups without putting pressure on your wrists. All the exercises can be modified to suit your strength level. The one I bought came with books and videos for instruction. I’ve never taken a TRX class, which I imagine would be harder than the exercises I do with it.

    • Good for you! I only tried one class as a freebie and did not sign up for more because the TRX classes at that gym don’t really suit my schedule. I’m sure you’ll improve over time.

      I do run with a lady who does TRX class regularly, though, and she says she can only handle 1x per week (and I think she works out twice a day).

    • I’m glad you liked it! I haven’t been in a while because it’s just a harder workout than I feel like I have energy for at this point in my pregnancy, but I will be back as soon as this kid is born! It’s a bit of a learning curve, but definitely gets (a little) easier as you get used to the positioning. I noticed a big improvement in my strength and muscle definition after only a month or two. Love.

  3. For me, too much wrap is going on for one dress – on the bodice, skirt AND at the waist.

  4. I love this color! Really pretty.

  5. Trouble Letting Go :

    Immediate relationship TJ over here – one of my biggest issues in a relationship has always been letting go of issues after they’ve been discussed and resolved (at least temporarily). In an effort to make me both a better partner and happier overall, I’d love to be able to move on from issues without over-analyzing things to death and constantly rehashing them with my partner.

    Any advice ladies? How do you let things go and move on?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m the same way and really tried to work on it recently. My otherwise awesome husband screwed up and said something dumb that hurt me. When I called him out on it, he listened attentively, apologized sincerely, and took other steps to right the wrong. Yet, like a jerk, I kept bringing it up and trying to further rehash it.

      I realized my issue was that no matter what perfect steps my husband took to fix what he had said, he couldn’t unring the bell and I was just going to still feel hurt no matter what. I had this internal conversation where I asked myself what he could possibly say different in a rehash that would fix it. There was nothing. I asked myself if there is anything more he could have done to right the wrong. There wasn’t. So, I was basically bringing it back up to get the same result but foolishly thinking something would magically take the hurt away. Realizing it wouldn’t stopped making me want to bring it up.

      I also realized that he was still very upset with himself for hurting me and every time I brought it up he would feel worse and that I was then, in effect, hurting him. That also motivated me to stop bringing it up. I didn’t want to be vindictive and cause him more pain just because, especially if he was already feeling hurt too.

      Hope that helps.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m the same way and really tried to work on it recently. My otherwise awesome husband screwed up and said something dumb that hurt me. When I called him out on it, he listened attentively, apologized sincerely, and took other steps to right the wrong. Yet, like a jerk, I kept bringing it up and trying to further [email protected] it.

      I realized my issue was that no matter what perfect steps my husband took to fix what he had said, he couldn’t unring the bell and I was just going to still feel hurt no matter what. I had this internal conversation where I asked myself what he could possibly say different in a [email protected] that would fix it. There was nothing. I asked myself if there is anything more he could have done to right the wrong. There wasn’t. So, I was basically bringing it back up to get the same result but foolishly thinking something would magically take the hurt away. Realizing it wouldn’t stopped making me want to bring it up.

      I also realized that he was still very upset with himself for hurting me and every time I brought it up he would feel worse and that I was then, in effect, hurting him. That also motivated me to stop bringing it up. I didn’t want to be vindictive and cause him more pain just because, especially if he was already feeling hurt too.

      Hope that helps.

    • I was bad about that for a long time. Then, I basically realized (as Blonde Lawyer wisely pointed out) that my continually bringing up the past wrong was not helping to fix anything. Those conversations never went anywhere but downhill, causing a lot of hurt and anger in the process. In some cases, I realized that I was allowing whatever was said to dredge up my own insecurities. And because I didn’t want to face those insecurities, it was easier to put the problem back on my husband and essentially make it his job to reassure me and make me feel better about myself. Which was not at all fair to him. I am the kind of person who will keep thinking about small comments made at work also, and finally realized I was doing a better job of making myself miserable over these little issues than my worst, most malicious enemy ever could. Realizing it is half the battle, I think, and so I try to take a lot of deep breaths and focus on the positive outcomes – what can we do to fix this, rather than endlessly rehashing it. HTH

  6. I thought about buying this dress last time it was on 6 pm, but I have one concern – Nordstrom lists the length as 44″ for size 8; 39″ for 8 petite, but 6 pm lists it as 39″ for size 6 regular. So is the 6 pm one actually a lot shorter or is there some kind of discrepancy? On Nordstrom is looks like its at the bottom of the knee, whereas 6pm shows it on a model that is 5’7″ and its just above the knee.
    Gah – this sooo ties into the picture posted earlier this week with skirt lengths written on the women’s leg and how just a few inches can make such a difference between flirty, modest or frumpy.

    • Judging from the model, the 44″ length must be a typo. I’d be willing to bet that’s a 39-40″ dress.

      That said, maybe it’s the model’s pose in the Nordstrom ad, but this dress makes her look MUCH wider than she actually. When I saw the post, I thought it was an ad for a plus size dress.

    • anonypotamus :

      I bought this exact dress (same color) from Nordstroms last year, and it was much longer than I expected (I ended up having my tailor take a few inches off the bottom). I am 5’9″ and it came to the bottom of my knee. Post-modifications, it hits right above the knee and personally, I think it is a little more flattering now. But, in the picture above, the dress looks more reasonably lengthed, so maybe they have changed the length?

  7. Danbury, CT? :

    I bought this dress last year and returned it; it didn’t work for me at all, especially in the hips. I am borderline petite and hourglassy, and I got it in two sizes, each in petite and regular (so four versions total).

    On a non-fashion-related note, my husband and I may be relocating to Danbury, CT. We are trying to get a sense of the town and the area. If any c-readers are familiar with it, I would love to hear your impressions. We are from the SFB area, and we meet a lot of the stereotypes: liberal, outdoorsy, green. We are not high earners (or big spenders). Also, my husband is from outside the US, as you can tell from his accent (and as you might guess from his appearance). We don’t have kids now, but we may have one or two a few years down the line. Basically, we want to make sure Danbury is the kind of place where we could make friends and would want (and could afford) to live long-term.

    • Hi! I live about 20 minutes from danbury! I can’t compare it to SFB, but I moved here from Florida, and I quite like it (though it is COLD right now.) For the most part, this area of CT can come off stuffy and snobby (and parts of it are) but the towns are pretty close and personable.
      Fairfield County is pretty expensive, generally, and when I was looking for a new apt at the end of 2012, Danbury was a top contender because it is cheaper than the area I live in now. You do have to be careful, as with most towns, there are some shady sides of Danbury.
      Plenty is nearby, there is a mall in Danbury, you’re only a train ride from NYC, etc. And when I moved here, I really noticed the stereotypes you referred to–lots of people in CT go hiking, ride bikes every where, everyone has the green reusable bags at Stop and Shop. So I think you’d have an easy time adjusting to that.
      YAY readers of this site coming to CT!

    • And if you have any questions, fire away!

    • Francie Nolan :

      Hi There!

      I agree with De’s assesment.

      I grew up on the other side of the sate, southeastern CT, now I am on Long Island. A short distance, but it was still a bit of culture shock. CT has small senic towns, the town I grew up in has about 4000 people, I knew everyone and they knew me. People are friendly, but in a bit of a quiet way, you have to get to know them, its known as “Swap Yankee Mindset”.

      I hope you like CT it is a great place to live with kids and I miss it.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Although Fairfield County as a whole is diverse, that is primarily skewed by Bridgeport and Stamford. Danbury and the small towns are not particularly diverse. We lived in one of the towns for a while, and after having people ask my husband if he was available for yard work (he was doing stuff in OUR yard) and having the police know me by name, after of course pulling us over to see if we were lost, because we were one of a very few families of color, that got a little old. That said, I DO miss the area. We ultimately moved, though, after we had kids, because despite having great schools, we didn’t want our kids feeling like stray chocolate chips in a giant sugar cookie. I had that experience growing up and while I survived it, no sense putting my kids through it as well.

      • On a similar note, one of the interesting (not good interesting) things about Fairfield County is the spread of income–in fact, I believe it has the largest disaprity in the country–mainly between Bridgeport, a very poor city, and Darien, one of the richest cities. When I moved to CT from Florida, I will say that walking into the law school’s orientation, I couldn’t help but notice that everyone was white.
        But as Divaliscious noted, I live in Stamford now, and don’t find this to be the case in that part of CT. The closer you get to the water, the higher and more diverse and the population.

    • spelling nitpicker :

      Google: “city-data forum danbury ct”

      you’ll get plenty of un-PC mean comments about any place, but i find that if a place gets an overwhelming number of complaints about certain aspects, there’s some truth to it. use it like you use tripadvisor with hotels and restaurants. there is some median “answer” to your question. the posters on that site make the place sound like it’s as dull as dishwater and provincial to boot. maybe they’re skewed, or maybe they’re right.

      can you go there and look around? is this a town where you could actually walk around without people thinking you’re a trespasser or homeless because everybody is so car-bound? is there stuff to do after 9pm or 10pm? do you like ethnic food? is there any decent ethnic food available in that town?

    • I’ve lived in and around CT (actually up the road more in New Haven) for almost a decade now and am finally moving permanently. I also grew up in the Bay Area (that’s what SFB is, right?). I can’t say I’m a huge fan of CT, but it definitely has its advantages.

      You will be very close to NYC and all that it offers. One thing that I would definitely take advantage of in CT is the Italian-American food. This is not the gourmet Italian stuff, this is the totally delicious comfort food pizza and big pasta dishes. There is NOTHING like it on the west coast, and I will miss it a lot (but my waistline will be thankful).

      I think Fairfield county is a totally good place to raise a family. Yes, a lot of the towns are expensive, but there are ones that will be more mid-price range if you move a bit further north/east into CT.

      My complaints about CT are mostly that it’s like one big suburb, but you’ll be much closer to NYC in case you need urban things. I also feel that it’s very expensive for what it is. I guess I would explain it as having worse versions of all the good things in New England – whether it’s food or mountains or pretty coastlines. There’s better stuff to be found further up north. You should also be prepared for everything to be much older (infrastructure, housing stock etc.) than SFB. Finally, it’s definitely much less diverse than SFB. I’ve never experienced any real racism (I’m Asian), but there are definitely gated/exclusive neighborhoods that are more unfriendly if you drive through with the “wrong” car.

    • Anonforthis :

      I grew up in Fairfield Cty. Lived in New Caanan for a bit, then lived and went to high school in Fairfield. My college roommate was from teh greater-Danbury area, and it really much, much different than what people call “lower Fairfield County.” Danbury is more of a city, good parts and sketchy parts. There is not a lot of diversity. The suburbs of Danbury (litchfield and fairfield counties) are wealthy and white with good schools.

      If you watched any of the Newtown shootings coverage, Danbury is in that general vicinity. The suburbs look similar to those that were on TV.

  8. Can anyone recommend a pant that is similar to the fit of The Limited Drew cut? I need a new pair of black pants and the Drew cut typically fits me well, but don’t have time to wait for them to be shipped to me in Canada. For reference I’m 5’4″, size 12, thick waist. Thanks in advance!

    • I also find the Drew cut fits me well. I don’t think they’re similar per se, but I have Banana Republic Martin pants in multiple colors in the same size I wear from the Limited.

  9. ARGGHHH I JUST bought this dress at full price from Nordstrom (which I NEVER do, but I loved it) and took the tags off!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Nordstrom will totally take it back. They’re classy like that.

    • Call them, tell them you took the tags off accidentally or that now that you’ve worn it for the first time, it fits very differently already and you don’t like it anymore. Ask them if they can accomodate (maybe with store credit). They are usually pretty nice on the phone! I send stuff back to them all the time and they’ve never sent anything back.

      • No need to do this with Nordstrom. Just tell them about the lower price and they will likely refund you the difference.

        • I don’t like lying to a store, whether or not you’d need to fib to achieve your goal of getting a price adjustment. I’d just explain the price issue and ask for a rebate or store credit for the difference.

          • Thanks, all! I had no idea Nordstrom was so accommodating.

          • SAlit-a-gator :

            Nordstrom’s customer service rocks – they’ve price matched for me before. I just called them up, told them I found the item at a lower price, gave them the website, and voila!

    • MaggieLizer :

      They might still give you a price adjustment. You can either call or use the online chat feature; either can credit your account. Nordie’s customer service is

    • Nordies will probably either take it back, give you a price adjustment, or probably give you a neck massage too. Seriously – call them.

  10. Anne Shirley :

    Wearing the blue Lands End dress from a couple Fridays ago. Love it. Comfortable, fairly casual but good enough for Friday biz cas, size 12 at Ann Taylor wearing Medium.

    • I got it too. I got the large and well, its a bit large (okay kind of more than a bit) – but I sort of like that. My last Ponte knit dress was way clingy. And the Ponte knit is sooo soft, its like wearing pajamas. wonderful pajamas. Should have gotten a medium though. When I order another color (if…I mean if…) I’ll order a medium.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Whoops I should’ve posted my PSA (25% off today) up here. I’m getting another one of those dresses too.

    • kerrycontrary :

      Ugh the dress is SO big on me. I’m a 6 and 5’8″ tall and the small is literally 4 inches too large around the waist. In what world am I an “extra small person”? In what world? It was only $20 though so I think I’m just going to have it tailored instead of returning i.

      • Anne Shirley :

        In the world of Lands End!! The world where my curvy size 12 butt is medium. It’s a happy place that embraces dairy, beef, and beer.

        • Anne Shirley I love you for this! And since LE is headquartered in Wisconsin, I would say the dairy, beef & beer is totally accurate!

          • I just want to say that any world where Anne Shirley and Meg Murry hang out is a world where I want to live. If that’s in Wisconsin, wearing Lands End clothes, count me in.

      • Happy Anon :

        Happened to me too. I’m 135 lbs and 5’9″, so I got the small. It was a tent on me. Girls who are 5’9″ having to buy size extra small? Crazy!

    • CrimsonClover :

      …I just broke down and ordered this dress in the Rich Eggplant color, both a L and M, though the Medium would be a stretch in every way/shape/form and I’m sure it’s the one going back. First order from Lands End though, so maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised!

      I am trying to be soooooo good and really limit my clothing budget this year (I was actively “building” a corporate-ish work wardrobe for the past two years), but I am in the process of losing weight and am at one of those “don’t want to invest much into clothing that I hopefully won’t be wearing that long but none of my current clothing fits flatteringly anymore” type plateaus. (This isn’t meant to sound moaney, but it’s just frustrating when everything once worked and now it doesn’t in your closet)

      I guess I’m writing it off as a gift to self for being in a dept. in which individuals are dropping like flies due to various illnesses…!

  11. Yay! Fruegel Friday’s !!!!!

    I LOVE this dress, and want to have my hair look this! Then mabye I can get a boyfreind that will respect ME for ME! The manageing partner is STILL lookeing at me like he is mad at me b/c of the POWERPOINT issue. I gave him a copy of the slide’s I sent into the bar association and it is NOT my fault he did NOT look at them b/f he went in to give the CLE! Why is it ALWAYS my fault when some thing goes wrong? FOOEY!

    Does the HIVE have any idea’s on what I should do or tell him? My bonus is due at the end of the month (NEXT WEEK), and I think he is thinkeing of lowering it b/c so many of the peeople in the CLE thought his slide’s were so FUNNY!

    I am goieing home this weekend and will watch TV and DVD’s with mom. Dad is mulleing over an offer to teach a class at DUKE in the Fall, and will be headeing out there with mom to look at retirement home’s there. I SAID stay in LI, and if you have to teach a class, go there 1 day a week and they will pay for you to take a PLANE! He says real estate is cheap there and he can get a MINT for MY LI home. I said where will I go on weekend’s if I am not busy in the CITY? I do NOT want to go to DURAMM. FOOEY! What in the world is in DURAMM for me? I am a city girl at heart, and DC is about as far South as I like. DOUBEL FOOEY! Kat knows what I am talkeing about.

  12. How on earth do you keep focused on a job (you hate) when you have an interview for a job (you think you’d love) the next week? It’s a really competitive position so odds are I won’t get the job, which is all the more reason to keep on keepin’ on at the [email protected] job, but Friday + interview = one lazy/distracted panda.

    • You don’t, and cling to pomodoro for dear life. It only gets worse if you are called back for a second round. If you actually get offered the position? Forget it. I’m in that situation, but I haven’t signed the written offer yet (doing that in person Monday, they want me come in and meet some more people and sign it there) so I can’t even give notice. It is AGONIZING. Really.

      Pomodoro is my lifeline. Without it I’d be just shopping and reading this site all day!

    • Anonymous NYer :

      in totally a similar position right now. In my head I’m already out the door at [email protected] job, but I still have a few more hurdles to clear before new job is officially mine (unique job where I was selected, but must pass other tests/etc first). I don’t have an official start date for new job yet because of this unique situation, so I haven’t even given notice yet, but my head is completely out the door. I do high volume fam ct litigation too, so it’s not like I can just not prepare for court at all. I hate this! (so basically no advice, just commiseration).

      • Can I ask what field / practice area new job is in? I practice in family law as well and am thinking about an exit strategy. Thanks!

  13. Divaliscious11 :

    Oh dear… may have t break my buying ban – I have this in several colors and it is my go to work dress three out of four seasons….

    • If you do, report back and let us know if its the exact same dress just styled a little differently or if its actually a variation. I’ve been skeptical lately as to whether items at flash sale sites/discount stores are actually the same thing or if they are slightly cheaper variations. Sometimes I’m ok with the slightly cheaper variations, but other times this seems like a bait and switch and really annoys me.

      • As to the flash sale sites, there is a good chance it’s lower quality merchandise (just like outlet/factory stores).

        6pm is actually owned by Zappos and is legit — I’ve bought a ton of stuff from them and there is no difference in quality. It’s usually just overstocks from Zappos. Net a porter and the outnet have a similar relationship.

        • While I’m thinking about it, a few more that are known for “real” merchandise:
          TJMaxx Runway
          Off 5th (Saks outlet)

      • S in Chicago :

        To be honest, I’ve had problems with consistency with this dress even when it has been the same purchase at Nordstrom. I have it in the purple and in navy and they fit just a little different (purple was larger and seemed to have more gathering at the waist–it’s still nice but not nearly as flattering as the navy). I tried in a different color, in-store and it had even more gathering at the waist and looked awful.

        Because I like it so much (when it fits right), I’ve also tried the same style with long sleeves–again, too much of the waist gathering. Even in the pictures at 6 p.m. right now, I can tell I wouldn’t like the blue but that the multi would probably look like I would want. So tempted right now to try the multi, but just not wanting to go through the hassle of returning if it’s not going to fit the way I desire.

        • Totally agree with this. I have this dress in a bunch of colors and a couple sizes. They each fit a little differently (but all are flattering on me – plus size, hourglass).

  14. Concealing Makeup Advice :

    Can anyone recommend a high coverage foundation that is not cakey? I am blind and need something to cover up unsightly blemishes but I can’t always locate them by touch to use concealer on the one spot. Is there something with enough coverage to conceal the “flatter” blemishes? Of course, I am able to find and conceal the occasional monstrosity with regular concealer, but what about acne scars for example? Any advice is appreciated.

    • I like Make Up For Ever liquid foundation. I didn’t think it was cakey. It does have a fragrance, but it didn’t irritate my skin.

      • Second the recommendation for this brand. It’s the best, most natural looking full coverage foundation I’ve found.

      • agree

      • I also reccomend Makeup Forever. I have the HD foundation. They have a great variety of colors. If you go to Sephora they could help match you with the correct shade.

    • I just switched to Clinique Stay Matte. I don’t know how fully full coverage you need, but I have really obnoxious skin (oily, occasional acne, splotchy, occasionally dry…) and this works well. I use Clinique Superpowder on top. It isn’t cakey, and it does not get greasy (with or without the powder).

    • Have you tried BB creams before? I have the Boscia BB Cream and it really does wonders. One application combines moisturizer, SPF 27 and pretty substantial-yet-glowy-looking coverage. One caveat – I actually had to stop using it, bc it bothered my skin – but I have unusually sensitive skin, and I know others who love it.

  15. Does anyone know how the sizes run on this dress? I am 5’5″, 145 lbs, usually a 10 in JCrew and Banana Republic dresses. Wondering if I should size up or down?

  16. Whats the land end coat that people like? I am looking for an everyday winter coat that will look ok for work

    • MaggieLizer :

      PSA: Lands’ End is having 25% off today and free shipping over $50 with code CHILL, pin 2528. I’m totes picking up two more of the dresses discussed here, the Pleat Shoulder and Pleat Front Drapey Ponte dresses. And the Sleeveless Cotton Modal Pattern dress is super cute too….

    • Mountain Girl :

      I have this one in burnt orange. LOVE IT!

    • I got this one for Xmas and love it. It’s perfect for the below zero temps we’ve had this week:

  17. TJ: Trying to get back in shape/shed some lbs, etc. I would like some “me gifts” to celebrate meeting goals in this area and am considering splurging on new athletic gear. Is Lululemon all that it’s rumored to be? There is a showroom in my town and their free hemming is a plus for my short legs.

    • It is all that it is rumored to be and more- go to the store and check it out, I’d be shocked if you don’t find something you absolutely love. Their only problem, in my opinion, is a lack of bras for larger chested ladies, but, I do love their free hemming.

    • I know people adore Lululemon – but I’ve found that I’ve been just as happy with off-brand gear. Plus, the crotch of my one pair of lemon yoga pants kind of got all messed up way more quickly than I expected. I mean even Athleta – which is a nice brand – is essentially half the price. But I’ve gotten good, solid running gear at places like Costco and even Kohl’s (weirdly enough). Other than socks (seriously socks) and sports bras – I’m really not sure its worth investing in that wildly overpriced stuff.

      Please do not kill me lemonites.

      • Most of my favorite workout clothes are from Costco. I like lulu for the accessories, though. I have a beanie hat to wear running outside in the winter & I love that it has a hole for my ponytail.

      • CrimsonClover :

        I shall second this and add that I’m actually a huge fan of Wal-Mart’s Danskin line of work-out/lounge clothing. The prices can’t be beat ($3.95 for the non-huggy active dry tanks?!?!) and lots of variety in lengths and fits on pants (usually $11.00), and they wash and wear really well. Once they totally stretch out (may not on you, but I have a large, cannot-be-restrained-with-a-common-sports-bra-chest) and start to show wear I can replace them and not feel bad about it. Plus, as someone who does heated vinyasa yoga, there comes a point where the item, no matter how much $$$ it costs, has seen enough sweat to go the way of the rag-bin.

      • Good socks really do make a HUGE difference. I always thought it was a waste to get expensive socks, but I have since been a convert. I love Nike’s running socks with the arch support.

        Don’t spend extra money on yoga pants – I have found Old Navy’s line of athletic gear to be awesome – they are opaque and hold up well. I would spend my money on bras, socks, and shoes.

        Also, slightly related – wear different shoes for weight lifting/dance classes than running. Running shoes aren’t meant to be used for side to side movements, better to get training shoes for those things.

      • anonypotamus :

        Heehee for some reason, when I read “lemonites,” all I could think about was a bunch of rabid liz lemon (from 30) rock fans.

      • I’d never kill anyone for criticizing Lululemon. Especially not you, TCFKAG.

        I’m inclined to agree with you. I have some Lululemon pieces that have held up remarkably well (going on five years), but other than that, I think there’s a lot of fuss over average products. And I went through my hard core yoga teacher phase and tried literally every brand out there, so I’ve done my research.

        Plus, I don’t love that the company founder is a huge Ayn Rand fanboy.

        • They are just – so flattering. So very flattering. So much moreso than more off-brands, which I wanted to be devoted to. They are the only legging-type running pants I will wear in public. I even find myself trying to wear my one lemon top all the time rather than the 4 Champion ones from Target that I’ve sworn by for years. It just has really flattering lines in the front, and it has a pretty back with a teeny ruffle across the top, and honestly it is way more comfortable fabric. The Champion ones feel kind of gross to me now once I really get going. Maybe I need to branch out and try Athleta, though.

          Agreed re the company founder, though – yech.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have heard they last for ages and ages and they definitely *look* cute. I’ve also heard they’re very thoughtful about the little details (pocket for your keys, etc).

      But it also seems kind of silly to me to spend $65 on a tank to go out in, let alone a tank that I’m going to huff and puff and sweat in. So I have always looked/lusted and haven’t yet made the plunge of indulgence.

      In the meantime, pre-splurge, I’ve actually heard great things about Old Navy’s activewear line, particularly their compression pants.

      • I have 2 pairs of compression pants from Gap Outlet, $16 each on sale, and no complaints. They even have a pocket for keys! I don’t buy into trying to look good while working out either, so I am probably not the person to advise about how to splurge on activewear! I reward myself with totally non-workout related things, and most of my exercise clothes are old, ugly, clashing, and unflattering. To me only good, expertly fitted running shoes are worth going upmarket for in this area of my wardrobe. `

      • Maddie Ross :

        Speaking of other more affordable options, both Gap and Target have upped the ante lately. They have each come out with clothes that “look” like Lululemon and I’ve gotten some good deals. Not the same customer service obviously, but since I’m tall, I never need pants hemmed. I’ve been really happy with some of the purchases. They look cuter than some of their older stuff and have some of the same little details that Lulu’s has — lobster-claw hands (which I love), key pockets, softer toggles on zippers, etc.

      • Turtle Wexler :

        Love Old Navy running tights (max compression) and the GapFit jackets that are sort of a silky material on the outside and fleecy inside. I wouldn’t pay more for workout gear, with the exception of really good sports bras and footwear.

    • I don’t own anything from them, but I did recently (October) buy a running top from Lucy, which is also an overpriced athletic apparel store and it is awesome. Like, re-think my stance on over-priced athletic apparel awesome. I always wash it right after I use it so I can use it again. Its flattering and comfortable and much better than the Nike, Champion, Asics tops that I’ve gotten at Marshalls and TJ Maxx.

      Nordsroms’ line, Zella is rumored to be very good and is roughly 1/2 the price of Lululemon. I have the ubiquitous black yoga pants from there and they are indeed great. I wear those more as lounge-wear / casual Saturday errand wear rather than to actual workout.

      • I recently realized that there is much more discounted workout wear at Nordstroms than there is at my local running store. Naturally, YMMV, but it’s worth checking out.

      • I was told that Zella is designed by a former lululemon designer. Also, I prefer Lucy to Lulu. My friends swear Lulu is better quality than Lucy, but the Lucy cut is way more flattering on my body type (curvy 5’6″). Lulu tops seem to make me look like I’m wearing a 40 year old woman’s top (I’m 30). Lulu pants are made for tall women (5’10”), so when you hem them for someone my height, the tapering at the knee doesn’t hit at the right place. I’ve seen a lot of fit 5’10” women look really good in Lulu, and a lot of fit 5’4″ women whose Lulu pants make their legs look short and stubby. The high end workout clothes ARE significantly more comfortable and functional, IMO, so I still buy Lucy (on sale!).

    • It’s not sports gear related but I think a Clarisonic is a great “me” gift.

    • Boston Blonde :

      Lululemon is nice, but I prefer the brand Zella at Nordstrom quality wise. A lot of it ends up on sale as well.

    • What I like that is cheaper and I think just as quality as lululemon for pants is Zella, the nordstrom brand. Seriously, their live in leggings are to die for. Go buy a pair, you will not regret it.

    • what kind of work outs are you doing? i love lululemon tanks for yoga/kickboxing/gym wear but really don’t think their pants are all that they are rumored to be. i recently got a few pairs of leggings from under amour’s studiolux line and they are amazing and much better than lulu’s pants. highly recommend them.

    • S in Chicago :

      Check out the Zella line at Nordstrom. Really lasts and fun styles.

    • I prefer Athleta. Lululemon has a terrible return policy. Athleta, on the other hand, has a fabulous return policy. There are no limitations.

      • This. I got burned on trying to return a couple of tanks from Lulu last summer. Overall, I buy far too much workout gear, and I do have some running tanks from Lulu that I love, but I generally search for the cheaper stuff. And another plug for Nordstrom’s customer service – I bought a pair of Nike running tights that ripped the first time I wore them (right along the waist seam), and was able to return them.

    • locomotive :

      Costco workout/yoga pants and running jackets are eerily similar to lululemons at a fraction of the price. All you won’t get is the lulu logo. I own 3 pairs of lulu yoga pants and capris, 2 running jackets and 3 tanks and I have switched to buying the yoga pants and jackets from costco in the past 2 years.

    • Wow, thanks ladies. I am large of bust so I am used to spending money for good sports bras. For shoes, I get fitted at a running store for the running shoes and wear designated cross trainers for gym time. Unfortunately, Costco and Nordstroms aren’t in my town (I miss them soo much) so I will see what I can get online. Love my Gap breathable tops, wish their cotton yoga pants didn’t fade so badly. Another me gift will definitely be some spa time.

      • Research, Not Law :

        If you are large of bust, I recommend you check out Moving Comfort for sports bras.

        • +1. I just bought one on sale at Zappos, and I realize now what I’ve been missing all my life. No more doubling up on sports bras for me!

        • Love those bras. May need to check Zappos, I need some more.

        • My Moving Comfort bras always rust really badly (hooks) and in one instance, the underwire actually rusted and snapped (within six months). In my opinion, the best sports bra, hands down is this the Wacoal Underwire Sports Bra (link to follow). The underwire is on the outside to prevent digging and chafing while working out. Its really comfortable and has held up wonderfully. It fits so much better than the Moving Comfort one I have (had, since I threw it out after the wire snapped).

          One of the reasons I am drawn to the pricier workout wear (well, the one Lucy top I have) is that the fabric is so much sturdier and really sucks the girls in. I like to have a tight top on top of a sports bra for maximum hold while running.


    • SoCal Gator :

      Let me add my strong endorsement for Lululemon. There is no comparison between Lulu, which while pricey, lasts forever, is very well made and fits me perfectly, and any other brand I have tried. It fits me and lasts so much better than Nike, Gap, Zella, Under Armour, New Balance, Target/Champion. For me, it’s totally worth the splurge because in the long run, it outlasts every other brand I have tried. I have Lulu pieces that are a year old and still like new. I work out 6 days a week so I frequently launder my workout gear and our water here is hard. Nike turns gray and loses its elasticity in a few months. Lulu does not.

  18. What is the sizing like on this dress? I am pear shape and am not sure whether to order my true size or go up a size.

    • I wear the plus size version of this dress, so I don’t know if it translates to straight sizes, but I actually find that it runs a little large.

  19. Trouble Letting Go :

    Stuck in moderation so apologies if this posts twice but:

    Immediate relationship TJ over here – one of my biggest issues in a relationship has always been letting go of issues after they’ve been discussed and resolved (at least temporarily). In an effort to make me both a better partner and happier overall, I’d love to be able to move on from issues without over-analyzing things to death and constantly reh*a*shing them with my partner.

    Any advice ladies? How do you let things go and move on?

    • Assuming the issue really is (at least temporarily) resolved then I’d wait until the issue presents itself again a few more times (3 more) and wait until then to re-point it out. At that point, you can bring up the other two times -calmly. That way your partner is presented with evidence of both his grievance and your attempt to hold back and not nag.

      But if something really nags on you so badly that you can’t let it go, is it possible that it’s not as resolved as you’d like it to be and maybe that’s why you keep coming back to it?

    • I think it depends on why you hang onto them. You put (at least temporarily) in parens. Is it because you “forgive” quickly to stop the unpleasantness of the argument but without actually forgiving? If so, then it’s bound to rear its head again since you never really put it to bed, just covered it up for a little bit. Also, when you fight, do you fight about the real thing or about a superficial thing that’s a symptom of the real thing? For example, do you fight over not putting dishes in the dishwasher when what you’re really feeling is “you take me for granted and don’t care that you’re making extra work for me, which makes me insecure about how much you love me and feel resentful”? If you never get to the deep problem, you’ll still feel stung over the symptom because “oh, yeah, sorry I didn’t put the dishes away” isn’t the same as “I love you so much and I’m sorry that I did something that made you doubt that.” Not sure any of these are on the mark, but I do think that not being able to let go is less about the letting go process and more about what caused the hurt in the first place.

    • Trouble Letting Go :

      I think you’ve both picked up on the underlying issue that the problem or fight isn’t truly resolved – but what about in situations where things aren’t or can’t be easily resolved? i.e. you have a disagreement about something your partner does and both people promise to try harder – you don’t really know if things are resolved but you need to just give it time. This is my issue but instead it keeps weighing on my mind.

      I’m also horrible at compartmentalizing so I’m trying to focus on work while some nagging issue keeps distracting me. Any advice on how to better compartmentalize?

      • What is this person’s track record on following through with “I’ll try harder” promises? What about previous partners? As for compartmentalizing, I wish I had some suggestions but I’m naturally a very logical, not very emotional person so my brain just comparmentalizes itself.

      • MaggieLizer :

        People tend to make the same kinds of mistakes multiple times. Not because they don’t love you or they aren’t trying, but just because it’s tough to change a habit. Give SO credit to the extent that he’s trying. Obviously he cares enough about you to try to break a habit, so you have to stop yourself from equating “SO not doing X” with “SO doesn’t care about me.” You can still be disappointed that he hasn’t done X, but there’s a difference between being disappointed in someone and feeling hurt by someone. If it’s not personal, don’t take it personally.

        That doesn’t mean X isn’t important or that you should accept someone who can’t do X, just that it’s important to separate “inability to do X” from “inability to care about me.” Is this an emotional need that’s going unfulfilled, or is this just something you would ideally want but can live without? If SO never improves much more than he already has, is that something you can live with?

        • Amen to that. I had a couple of bad habits that drove Mr. TBK up. the. wall. when we first got married. He often got frustrated that my promises to stop doing those things weren’t entirely successful. That always upset me because I felt like I wasn’t getting credit for the effort I was putting in, or the progress I’d made. (The real bad habit was being way too interrupty. My family is loud and all talks over each other all the time. Mr.’s family is NOT like that — think My Big Fat Boston Irish Wedding and you’ve about got it. ) Because he felt like interrupting was the same as devaluing his contribution (when I felt like I was just jumping in and adding to it), it upset him every time. For us, the first step was me seeing how important this was to him. To me, it didn’t mean in the least that I didn’t value what he was saying but I needed to see how this made him feel. Next, he needed to have patience as I changed how I interacted with him. I would consciously not interrupt several times in a conversation then BAM! interruption! I felt like I didn’t get credit for the five times I successfully didn’t interrupt, which made me feel like not trying. Once he saw that I was actually making an effort and was trying not to interrupt anymore, I felt more appreciated and was therefore more willing to try. I still interrupt sometimes. Although now I often interrupt then, after the first word, say “oh! I interrupted! Sorry. Go on.” He now sees this as about the best he’s going to get and realizes that this has nothing to do with how I feel about him, or what he has to say, or anything else besides me just growing up in a very interrupty culture.

      • Trouble Letting Go :

        I think this is key. I’m having trouble separating the fact that this is a real limitation of his versus he doesn’t care about me. When deep down, I really know he does – I have an unfortunate tendency of expecting too much from my partners without really accepting them for who they are. I love my SO and really want things to work so I’m trying to be more realistic and accept him for the wonderful man he is, rather than nitpicking at things that he’s not good at. Unfortunately, it’s easier said than done.

        As a side note, I just bought him something online that I know will make him really happy because he lost it a few months ago and feel much more positive towards him now. I think I need to keep reminding myself that when I let myself wallow and feel resentful, I feel worse but when I make a concerted effort to move on and appreciate him, I feel much better, even if our problems aren’t 100% resolved.

    • Sorry I’m so late to jump in. Work is a little crazy!

      This is the kind of thing I worked on in therapy after my divorce. Not your issue specifically but I was worried that there were things that happened in my marriage that might have echoed problems in my parents’ marriage or that could easily become patterns for me with a new partner. I specially asked to address that in therapy with the idea that I wanted to figure out, for myself, if I could break the pattern or even if it was something specific to that relationship and not really a way I treat all men. I found it very helpful.

  20. So. I had my first screening interview (i.e. probably won’t go anywhere) for a non-legal job today. Don’t know what to think – I’m super excited that I might set off on this new course in life and get these new opportunities. And then part of me feels like doing it would be failing.

    And then the rational part of me tells me to stop being foolish and I’m not going to get a second round interview so just to shut up. But cross your fingers and your toes for me.

    • Crossed!

    • So if you into this field, you’re a failure and have to feel bad about it, and if you don’t get past this round for a job in this field, you’re a failure and have to feel bad about it? ;) I catch myself thinking this way all the time.

      Enjoy your weekend, and we’re wishing for the best for you.

    • Congrats and good luck! And don’t feel like a failure for leaving the field. I know many who have left the practice of law (some immediately after law school, some after long legal careers) and all are much happier now. Sometimes you have to do something to know you don’t like to do it.

    • I felt the same way — until I saw the wonderful benefits and vacay time that came with my non-law firm job. Never looked back!

      Good luck – I hope this ends up being an exciting and fulfilling path for you no matter where you end up.

    • Toes and fingers crossed! Look at it this way – without the law degree you might not be as qualified, so you’re still using it, so if you get it, awesome, if not, keep trying!

    • Good luck! Fingers and toes crossed. I think that screening interviews outside of the legal field are more likely to lead to second interview offers.

    • Sending good thoughts your way!

  21. This year I’ve been seeing a lot of stuff in the press about low block heel shoes being the latest trend. There’s a video here on the Guardian website.

    So I thought “great”, because there are certainly days when I don’t want to go to work in 4 inch heels, and there hasn’t been much alternative apart from completely flat shoes like an oxford or a ballet flat.

    However now that I started looking for low block heels that actually have a bit of added fashion to them, I haven’t been finding much at a low or mid-price point. I wrote a post about it here. I guess it could be an interesting topic for other people who’d like options with 1 or 2 inch heels that aren’t totally boring.

    • locomotive :

      I love this look (although my friends call them my old lady heels…) and I have 2 pairs of the ferragamo varas in black and nude leather that I wear all the time at work. I am petite so I really like the additional inch or two, but they are very very comfortable.

      I also saw a beautiful patent vince camuto low block heel at nordstrom rack that was ~90

    • Two sources:
      1. Talbots had/has a low-to-mid block heel pump in Fall 2012. I didn’t try them, but have kept an eye on them.
      2. Sole Society — which apparently is a real brand, and not just an on-line shoe site, currently has a block heel sling back. Nordstrom carries Sole Society.

      I *love* the block heel. Hope it comes back in spades.

  22. TJ — Has anyone been to any great conferences or speaking events lately that involved creative formats, activities, technology, etc? I’ve been invited to help plan my industry’s annual local event and we’re trying to get beyond “1,000 people in a ballroom listening to someone talk all day.” Would love any ideas/suggestions that you’ve seen!

    • The last conference I went to had an app you could download and use to create a schedule, rate speakers, etc. You can also project a live Twitter feed in the hallways for people to read during breaks.

      • Yes – have a hashtag and twitter wall, I made a number of connections I wouldn`t have otherwise and have a way to continue to the conversation with other participants.

      • But if you do this, don’t publicise it until the app is done and bug tested. I went to a conference that advertised having an app and that it was going to “save paper on the printed programs” and “be so much more convenient” and blah blah blah – and the app was extremely buggy, didn’t have half the promised features and was overall not useful – plus they still handed the printed program to every recipient, so it didn’t save any paper at all. I downloaded the pdf of the program on my IPad and that was useful, but the app was worse than useless.

        In short – if you make an app, make it useful and functional, otherwise don’t bother – a half-a$$ed buggy app is worse than none at all.

    • I went to a 1500 person conference last year and they had polling buttons to have everyone chime in on topics of interest or points of view, with the results then presented on big screens, I think it helped make the day feel more practical and like the audience was more involved. IE. they asked what peoples largest concerns were re: X, and then speakers were able to ensure they touched on that.

      • I’ve done this at conferences too and its a little more interactive than just sitting in a chair being talked at. The site our company uses is

    • Went to a conference with a twitter hashtag projected between speakers and it was actually interesting to read people’s reactions/thoughts.

    • Pulling conference planner hat from deep in the back of the closet:

      I ran an event where we did mini-consulting sessions, so a local company, organisation, or agency presented a problem and people provided suggestions and ideas. Look at some of the design thinking workshop formats.

      It’s hard with big numbers but if you have a few different types of sessions, it helps break things up. You could also present a problem in a big keynote and do round table brainstorming.

      Speed networking or pitching is also good.

    • DC Association :

      I just went to the conference for people who plan conferences (called Professional Convention Management Assocation – PCMA) and they always try to do out-of-the-box things. One thing they did for the luncheons which had speaker was put the stage in the center (so it was like theater in the round) and then the rest of the room was divided into four quadrants. Each quadrant had different types of seating (so one had regular banquet rounds, another had small rectangular tables, another long narrow tables) and served a different type of food.

      It was interesting and unexpected for sure. The execution of the food was not that great but this was for 3,300 people in a convention center. Overall I really liked it.

    • Check out “Collective Intelligence.” I read some short essays by the facilitator, Misha Glouberman, a few months ago, and his approach to “unconferences” seems like it would be wildly successful. He recognizes that the real reason people attend conferences is to meet other people who are interested in similar things, and he sets up the “conferences” with the goal of maximizing those interactions. Much much different than the traditional “1,000 people in a ballroom” that often results in a semi-useless experience for the attendees. I would LOVE to attend a conference whose primary goal was to facilitate me meeting others in my field, as opposed to just listening to other people talk the whole time and then attempting to mingle awkwardly during the breaks.

    • Depending on the number of people involved, it can be fun to have some super-short time regulated sessions.

      A 30 minute session with 6 speakers, each limited to 4 minutes (or maybe 3.5 minutes) and not more than x slides.

      It’s also fun, depending on the group, to have a “great ideas” session with no slides but on-site sign-ups. It can be the closing every day — have a few people up to talk for just a few minutes on their ideas.

    • One of the last in-house counsel events I went to had in-house only roundtables (in-house only meaning that the firm lawyers who were there for the networking couldn’t join us) on various different topics. We all sat around a GIANT table. Everybody started off by introducing themselves and talking about what they did. Then we just had a kind of free-ranging discussion about the topic at hand, although the GC of one large company was designated the official person to ask questions to get discussion started. It wasn’t as jam packed with learning as, say, someone getting up and talking for 30 minutes straight, but I did enjoy putting faces with names and hearing about how other companies were dealing with issues that affect us all. Afterwards, lots of the participants who hadn’t met before stayed to chat with each other.

    • Also, any way to do a case study? I did this recently with our HR group. I presented for about 10 minutes regarding basic, overarching legal principles re an area they deal with frequently. They then broke in to 6 small groups. Each small group got a different handout with case facts. The small group then had to apply the principles I’d described and recommend an outcome. When we came back together as a large group, each small group presented its case facts to the large group and presented their outcome. I then flipped to my slide describing what the actual outcome was in that particular case and how the regulatory body applied the legal principles we’d discussed to arrive at that outcome. I got really great feedback. People seemed engaged and felt they’d learned something. I think it was much more interesting than it possibly could have been if I’d just talked for 45 minutes straight. My large group was smaller than any conference, but I did see something similar at an Association of Corporate Counsel conference… there, everybody in the ballroom was seated around 10-person banquet tables, and everybody got the same case. The speaker, after having done her initial presentation, gave everybody in the room 10-15 minutes to discuss the case at their table. After that, she continued with her presentation, occasionally asking for audience volunteers to share what they had discussed at their tables. Benefit to this is it forces people to interact with others at their table, and it breaks up the monotony of just listening to a speaker drone on and on.

    • Thanks for the amazing ideas! This is exactly what I was hoping for!

  23. Advice from the hive? What do you wear for an at home date? I’m cooking dinner and we’re watching a movie.

    Ponte mini, tank, and drapey cardigan okay? Something else? Cavaet, I don’t own any jeans.

    • DC Association :

      only thing about a mini and lounging on couch watching a movie is the peek-a-boo factor. Unless of course, that’s what you’re going for ;)

      What about a maxi dress or leggings?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Cute lingerie.

      • +1000

        also, leggings/long sleeves for cooking

      • Ha! Sadly a bit premature, we’ve been a bit shy and awkward and haven’t even really kissed yet. So basically my ‘come for dinner and a movie’ invite was to be interpreted as ‘if I lure you over with dinner, will you kiss me properly?’

        • This time just C :

          Don’t get discouraged if your ploy doesn’t work. I tried this too with the guy I’m now dating (I think our fourth or fifth date was dinner at my house) and he didn’t get the “please kiss me properly” message for another week or so. Now we’ve been together several months and the wait for proper kisses was worth it!

          Have fun!

        • I’m sure your hints will work! A coworker told me once that inviting a guy over to watch a movie is absolutely code for make-out.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think leggings-as-pants with a longish shirt is perfect for a lounging around the house date. I agree on the mini – it wont be as fun to cuddle on the couch if you’re constantly adjusting.

      • I love how this is the one occasion where leggings as pants are totally appropriate.

      • Gonna go ahead and warn you about leggings-as-pants. Wear a dress over them. Sweater dress is fine. SO MANY of my guy friends are totally digusted with the leggings-as-pants trend because it really does look dumb.

        Guy friends + DH all say they’d rather you simply wear no pants than leggings that think they’re pants. DH once required intervention when he wanted to go to a mother of a young teen who was wearing leggings and a short shirt and inform her that her daughter forgot pants today.

        • If it’s between leggings as pants and sweatpants around the house, my SO definitely prefers leggings.

          • Agreed. Though Mr. gov anon practically lives in sweatpants, he really kind of prefers the leggings. I compromise when I don’t want to wear leggings but still be comfy (because one Mr. gov anon’s tenants might be coming by to pay rent) with yoga pants.

        • Sorry, but I don’t know any man that does not like stretchy black pants. In my world, men love clothes that show off curves, butts, leg muscles, etc.

          There’s lots of fashion that men don’t understand or like, but tight, stretchy pants are not one of them!

          • ChandraNH :

            My husband hates leggings and abhors what he calls the unform: leggings, tall boots, oversized shirt or sweater and scarves. On his way home from a recent trip, he called me and said “If I see one more woman in what is apparently the new uniform, I will scream”.

          • ChandraNH :

            that should be uniform

        • Happy Anon :

          Hey! My BF loves me in leggings with a long, tush-covering top. Or at least that’s his story and he’s sticking to it!

    • I’m a little punchy this Friday, so I’m going to just throw it out there. The first thing that popped into my head.


      But take that with the caveat that I’ve been with my husband over 15 years.

      Seriously, some cute comfy lingerie. A cute apron over it for cooking.

    • Do you have a cute above-knee dress you can sit in? Sorry to say it, but the outfit you’ve suggested sounds like something I would wear to work (with a longer skirt). Also “drapey” sounds dangerous for cooking. But then you could just take off the cardigan and wear the tank due to “fire hazard”. Guys like tanks, from what I am told.

  24. Letting Out Hems? :

    Has anyone had hems let-out on dresses with any success? Specifically, I’m asking about the J.Crew memo dress, but any other experiences may be applicable. I ordered two of them on final sale and really like them both — they fit well and would be cute for work — but both are a smidge too short for me to be comfortable. I could probably do the black tights thing and get away with it (and certainly people in my office have worn shorter), but it’s a personal preference. I’d rather not have to sell on ebay or get rid of them if there’s any hope that I could let out the hem by an inch or so. Both have about a 2 inch hem currently. Thoughts?

    • It’s very hard to say without seeing how the hem is made, but I just googled the dress and it seems like it would be a good hem letting candidate. One issue is that if the dress is lined and the lining is attached to the hem, you might not be able to attach the lining to the new hem (unless you can also let out the lining hem). On the other hand, you don’t always need the lining to be attached, so it probably won’t matter. The vent on the back might also be difficult to deal with.

      The nice thing with letting out a hem is that you could always undo it since you aren’t cutting anything off. Are you handy at all? If so, you could even try doing it yourself. I’m guessing that it’s blind-stitched (will look like very loose stitches on the back, but you can barely see anything on the front. Google how to blind stitch a hem by hand. If you’ve done any sewing at all before, it shouldn’t be too challenging.

    • I have had this done on a j. crew skirt and it was quick and inexpensive. My impression is this is very easy for tailors to do. If I had any sewing skills at all I would try to do it myself.

    • I have had pants hems let out and the dry cleaner who did it didn’t seem to think it was wierd. Especially if the dresses are new, so the hem isn’t worn at all, it should work just fine.

    • I took a J.Crew factory dress to the tailor to be let out, probably about 1.5 inches. I am more comfortable with the length now (particularly for sitting), although like you, I didn’t think it was scandalous before, just my personal preference and comfort.

    • I had the hem let out on a Classiques Entier dress and it gave me just the extra inch of length I needed, so I was happy with it, but it was expensive.

      • Letting Out Hems? :

        Thank you all! The dresses were on major sale when I bought them (like $45 each) so spending $50-75 on hemming would be worth it to me to have them be wearable. I’ll have to take them to my tailor and try and it out.

    • little advice :

      i do that with almost all my dresses to make them work-appropriate. Don’t see why not!

  25. Ladies who have been through a divorce, is there anything helpful one can say in that situation? Any resources you found particularly worthwhile? Books? Websites? Message boards? My BFF is currently going through a tough one and other than listening and just being there, I don’t know what else to do for her. She alternates between high days where she is proud of herself for going forward and super low days where she is terrified of facing her future alone with two small kids. To make it worse, her soon to be ex is doing all he can to make this extra hellish for her by blaming her for destroying their family and depleting their retirement funds on attorneys’ fees. I try to just listen but I feel so helpless and I don’t know what to say to make any of it better. Further complicating matters, they have a totally drama-filled history and I don’t a) want to say anything that will come back to haunt me if they reconcile, however unlikely that may be now and b) I really don’t want to say I told you so, you should have know better even though sometimes internally I’m just like what were you thinking trusting this man?!? Any advice from those who have been through something similar? I so wish to be helpful and it’s so hard to not know how to help.

    • What not to say:

      “Everything happens for a reason.”

      I heard that SO many times during my divorce, and I kind of wanted to yell, “Yes, if by REASON you mean causation exists for every occurrence. If by “reason” you mean that this is foreordained to teach me some higher lesson, shove it.”

      • Thanks for that! I’ve been saying, “it will all be okay” and “you’ll be okay” so much that she told me to stop saying it already. Hence, me looking for ideas here :-/

      • ugh, that is my mother’s catch phrase, though it is generally more like “oh, you didn’t get that job? THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON” and “you didn’t get a promotion? THINGS HAPPEN FOR A REASON.” One time I simply lost it on her and said THINGS HAPPEN WHEN YOU MAKE THEM HAPPEN!

      • “Here is some wine. Let’s drink, friend.”

    • You need to recommend that your friend go see a therapist. You can’t be in the position of being so careful what you say because of their history.

      • Therapist is already in the picture. I am just looking for how to be a good friend. She calls me several times a day and I want to be able to help her feel better but I’m at a loss for what to say and not to say.

    • I have not been through a divorce, but what I think would be helpful is just to acknowlegde the fact that is something that is hard and scary, but that you believe in her and you know that she is strong and will get through this, particularly for her kids. Do you live nearby? Can you plan activities, either with or without the kids? I think most people just like for someone to recognize that what they are doing is tough, but that they are doing a good job (even try incorporating something specific–you did a good job keeping your cool while dealing with ex today, that was great you took the kids to the park when I’m sure you would rather be at home in bed, etc.)

  26. midwest anon :

    Career-switch threadjack:
    Have any r e t t e s switched from the legal field into the academic field? I am practicing law in the city where my undergrad is located, and I find myself checking their employment opportunities pretty frequently. I have only been an attorney for about two and a half years, but I am seriously considering a career change. I need to be part of a more collaborative environment. Is this kind of move pie in the sky without a degree in education or the like?

    • midwest anon :

      Oh, and to be more specific, I am thinking not of a teaching position, but like student affairs, graduate college coordinator – those types of positions.

      • I worked in a non-teaching position at a university. The pay isn’t great (unless you have a very skill specific role– the example of MBA dean would qualify), but I found the benefits were excellent and it was a great work environment.

    • Our student affairs person at the law school did that when this person realized that he/she was a great attorney but did not enjoy it and preferred working with ppl. I think this person was in training to become the new student affairs dean, so was in charge of student groups, etc.

    • Amelia Pond :

      The MBA school Dean of Admissions at my alma mater was a lawyer. So it is doable. She transitioned from the law school where she was in admissions to the business school. Previously she was practicing in DC.

  27. How to reject :

    Hive, I need your advice. How do I turn down an invite for coffee? Backstory: back in college this girl was a major b** to me, we were never friends, and the only time she talked o me was when she was trying to put me down before an interview so she could get the job. Well, she did get the job but it didnt last for more than a year and I ended up getting something better. He’s now messaging me on Facebook and LinkedIn as if we were bffs. She wants to he coffee to talk about her applying for a role at my firm.

    How do I turn her down respectfully? I know this may seem like I’m burnin a bridge but I’m pretty sure if it was the other way around, she would pretend like she doesn’t know me.

    • How to reject :

      Apologies for the typos! I’m sending this from my phone.

    • springtime :

      I think this is one of those times where ‘pushing off’ is the way to go. Say “oh sure coffee could work- I am so, so busy lately but I’ll let you know when I get a chance!”

      Or, just ignore?

    • I’d re-think not getting coffee, first. What if she gets the job at your firm? Are you going to hold a grudge? That will make you seem childish and unprofessional. If you’re not willing to re-think a coffee, then just be busy as in “oh, well this week is no good for me. Want to check in again next week and see if things have cleared up?” Then the next week, “ooh, still totally nuts. Will check back in once things die down.” Then don’t re-connect.

      • Why should she bother getting coffee with someone like that? No snark intended, just curious…I would venture to think that someone like that isn’t worth our time.

        • Because burning a bridge is not a good idea. Just as I said, what if this woman gets the job and she has to interact with her at work? Even if she doesn’t, if they’re in the same industry, it’s shocking how small the world is. You come across the same people over and over and over again. Much better to let bygones be bygones.

        • Word. If Frenemy winds up getting a job at her firm, then HtR will be professionally cordial to Frenemy. No need to subject oneself to unnecessary nastiness. Deflect and ignore.

      • There’s a difference between being professional and polite to a potential colleague and going out of your way to help someone. When I jumped ship from my tiny, horrible firm to Biglaw, every single person I had previously worked with contacted me to have coffee in the hopes that I would pass on their resume to my current employer. Some of the people who contacted me were people that I had always gotten on with fine, others were people who had always been pretty mean to me until I was suddenly in a position to help them. You better believe I had coffee only with the ones I actually wanted to help and told the others (truthfully) that I was incredbily busy. Had one of my terrible former colleagues somehow ended up at my current firm I would of course have been pleasant to them. I don’t see why I’m under any obligation to bend over backwards and try to actively help someone who was awful to me in the past.

        I don’t see ignoring a request for coffee from someone who treated you badly in the past as burning a bridge at all. The frenemy has already burned the bridge and How to Reject is choosing not to try to reconstruct it, which is perfectly valid. Also, fwiw, I don’t think you can ever really “burn a bridge” by just turning down a reqeust for coffee. Lose the opportunity to make a valuable connection, absolutely. But I take the term ‘burning a bridge” to mean actively destroying an existing relationship & nobody sane is going to hold it against you for the rest of your life because you once told them you were too busy to get a cup of coffee.

    • East Coast Anon :

      I am firmly on team not everything in life requires a response. FB request from guy who was fun to hang out with in my twenties, but I realized was a loser my thirties? No response. LinkedIn request from former coworker who constantly complained about me behind my back? No response.

      • Yeah, just ignore the linked in / fb messages. If you ever run in to her and she has the brass ovaries to say something, just say with a smile, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I meant to respond but just got so busy. Anyway, great chatting with you but I have to get going.” And if she ends up at your company, some variation thereof.

    • I would have coffee with her just to see what she’s like now (you know, people change, and I’d hate to have professional peers write me off as who I was in college). And if she hasn’t changed and is a moron, then at least you’ll have current info to go on if/when your firm asks your opinion, which presumably they would if she mentions you.

  28. Exercise fail. I went to spin last night and meant to spin at 6am this morning, but when the alarm went of my reaction was something like “$#@%% NO” and I didn’t go.

    I’ll go Saturday for sure, and possibly tonight as well depending on how I feel (unless I decide I want to go up to the rifle range more), but I felt bad. Oh well.

    Targeting every other day might be ok instead of trying to be rambo and do every day.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have come to accept that I cannot work out in the morning. It just won’t happen. My sleep always wins. So it has to be an evening thing for me. I’ve also found when I push myself to go every single day, I end up burning out. That said, if you have to really really force yourself, I use Gym Pact and it gets me to the gym, even when I hate the idea.

      Side note – spin is exhausting! I wouldn’t do an evening class then a six am class the next morning! I love it but I try to space it by at least 20 hours or so.

      • springtime :

        Same. The only time I’ve done a morning workout was when I was training for a race and there was only couple of weeks left and I * really * wanted to get the workout in.

        If I had a penny for every time I set the alarm for 6am and go “NO WAY” and hit snooze…

        Maybe you could do something easier in the morning- workout at home, etc? That way you don’t have to wake up as early (no commute time, etc.).

        • mintberrycrunch :

          I have to work out in the morning, because otherwise it just never happens; however, I also cannot force myself to do something outside of my house at 5am. I’ve had to accept that I am an at home exerciser – I bought Insanity, I sign up for road races that encourage me to get outside and run, etc. It makes such a huge difference to me to be able to roll out of bed and go.

          • mintberrycrunch :

            Also, it’s be such a relief to cancel my gym membership and not feel guilty every month when I pay and don’t go!

          • long time lurker :

            exactly re: morning. i have to get it out of the way asap or i will be busy with work, work late, find something to do in the evening, have something social in the evening. etc.

            i go to a gym a block from my house and basically roll out of bed and out the door.

      • Agree with all of this. I tried the morning workout thing back during bar study. I didn’t last a week. There’s nothing wrong with being an evening workout person – I find that the feeling of physical exhaustion after a workout helps me wind-down for the night (as long as I don’t work out right, right before bed). Also, working out at night then again the next morning just sounds like a lot especially when you’re doing the same thing both workouts!

      • Merabella :

        I realized this about myself as well. I have been much more successful heading straight to the gym after work before going home. I think it is a combo between not wanting to get up in the morning, and not wanting to have to shower/get ready at the gym.

        I would also suggest having a bit more time between spin classes, but YMMV.

    • SoCalAtty :

      I may just have to accept the fact that that morning workouts won’t happen. I can always get there in the evening, I was just trying to get a real jump start.

      About 6 months ago I was spinning 3-4 days a week, doing doubles (where you do 2 classes back to back, so 2 hours of spin) at least once a week. Then I got sick, took prednisone, was off the bike (and every other exercise) for 6 months, and I’m just trying to jump back in too fast.

      I’ve messed around and only given myself 4 weeks to get to “hawaii shape” for my birthday trip. I’m doing my protien bar for breakfast (a raw foods bar, from whole foods, so good), Shakeology for lunch, and some kind of grilled fish / chicken and veggie for dinner between now and then, and I’ll try and hit the spin bike every other day and at least walk and climb stairs in between. I’m treating it like training for a 100 mi bike ride, so by week 4, 1 week before Hawaii, I should be spinning every day. I think realistically I could drop 5 lbs in 4 weeks, so that will have to do.

  29. Does anyone have suggestions/advice what to do with a broken the glass display on their mobile phone? I have an HTC phone / ATT corporate group plan. I’ve only had the phone 1 month so am not eligible for an upgrade. :/

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There are businesses that fix mobile phones even when the carriers say they can’t be fixed. I just googled for SF. Here is a yelp for one.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Susie, are you in SF? The guy in the video store on Cole and Carl is great – he fixed my shattered Droid beautifully (and only needed the phone for an hour to do it). It was expensive, but getting a new phone would have been way more.

    • Thank you both! It happened on my birthday so was a major bummer. I am near SF in the burbs.

    • Bewitched :

      I sent my son’s via mail (so had to be without it for a few days-bummer) to PhonePartsUSA in Vegas-they are on the web. They did the phone, and and ipod touch for me-you buy the part from them and they install for $25. Very pleased with both repairs-they look like new.

  30. Arrgh. I’m so pissed off.

    I was hired as the Business Intelligence Analyst on the DW team. I’m supposed to support all reporting requests. The senior DW developer on my team came with me to a requirements gathering meeting. I told the requesting department that I would put together a req doc that they would sign off on. This is part of the process I’ve been implementing. Today the senior developer emailed a sample copy of the report to the customer.

    I haven’t completed the requirements doc. He just circumvented the whole process that we’re trying to put in place. And moreover, the report development is my job.

    I don’t know what to do. He’s been here 20+ years. But I’m putting this new process in place with the support of the Assistant Director of my department.

    • Now I know how the non-lawyers on this site feel when the lawyers go off in lawyerspeak! I don’t understand what you said, but I’ll happily offer a RAWR, a hug, and wine and cookies if any of those will help.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Oh, so true. Most of the time lawyer-specific posts are clearly labeled or obvious, but occasionally one is less clear so I read it and have no idea what’s happening. If I understand the problem correctly, a RAWR is appropriate ;)

    • Question for the hive… Would a message like this work?

      Hi, [Insert name of boss].

      It looks like [Insert name of senior developer] didn’t realize that we are trying to implement a more regulated process, whereby we have a requirements gathering session and then create a requirements document.

      I’m still working on the requirements document.

      Do you have any ideas on how I can backtrack this so that we follow the requirements process and get sign-off before proceeding?


      • Research, Not Law :

        That sounds fine, although I personally would probably play it more open, such as “Should we backtrack this to follow the requirements process and get sign-off before proceeding, or let this one go through and remind the team how to proceed going forward?”

        Honestly, it sounds like the new req doc process isn’t completely in place yet, so the other analyst is justified. I may be missing context, though. It sounds to me like the process and roll-out timeline needs to be clarified. Depending on the relative timeline of this dept’s report, I suspect that this report incident will (and probably should be) left as-is. What done is done, but clarify for the future.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Could you go to the senior developer first? What if you just say “hey, I think you forgot that we now have to do x, y and z. Can you tell the client that you sent this prematurely so we can go back and hit those steps first? Thanks.” Maybe it was an honest mistake. If he pushes back on you then I think it would make sense to go to your boss. Try to work it out with him directly first. {I assumed male pronouns for ease of writing and not b/c I’m sexist.}

      • I’m going to go ahead with my message, but include Research’s statement. I can’t go to the Senior Developer. His boss is my boss and he was not supposed to do this. He’s been told this many, many times. He wasn’t even supposed to come to the original meeting.

        Moreover, our boss told the other department that this is how the process will be going forward.

    • Woah, are you sure you arent going to be outed with that much information on the web? let alone work confidentiality considerations!

      Just a warning that this is fairly specific!

      • it isn’t really that specific. there are many large companies in every city that do elaborate reporting. I can name people with Bunkster’s title at every one of my clients :)

    • Eh, go to the senior developer first, don’t go over his head. Maybe there was a tight deadline you didn’t know about and inadvertantly held up. Or maybe there was another reason. or maybe he’s just ignorant but at least you cover your bases.

      Also make sure you set expectations leaving the meeting, and send out notes immediately after:
      “OK, requesting department, based on our discussion today, I will have the req. doc back to you in 48 hours and we can move from there. does that timeframe work?” AND if you didn’t do this, make sure you know when the customer needs the report by.

      [I say all this with love, and a chip on my shoulder because our BI team takes 10 million years to do anything…so much so that I’ve taken to mastering SQL enough to do my own darn BI reporting because it’s faster.]

      • Meg Murry :

        Yes, this. It is possible that senior developer knew full well about the new requirements, but his boss (or higher up) promised the customer they would have the report today and told him to send it today, procedure or not. Or it could be that no one told him about the procedure, or that he thought it wasn’t implemented yet or it was ok for him to send it because it was only a draft.

        Are you creating the procedure because reports have been going out wrong? Or because there is a legal reason for reports to be “official”? If you give the senior developer a reason that they must go through your procedure, and the risks of not, you are more likely to get compliance than just telling him “this is the procedure, you didn’t follow it”.

        I’m in senior developers place right now, as my boss send me to [department that gathers data and write reports] and told me to request a report from them. They told me 2 weeks. Boss says “not soon enough, need next week” so I went back to them and said “need in one week, big bosses orders” and they said “nope, 1.5 weeks is best we can do, its the procedure” so my boss said to me – “skip [official department] and do it yourself by Friday”. So don’t just go yell at Senior Developer or get him in trouble with his boss until you talk to him. And if you find out that he didn’t understand, then go talk to his boss about whether people in his department need retraining or clarification on the new procedure.

  31. I just need to feel buzzy in the presence of other people who will understand: I’m launching a huge project this weekend (my church’s stewardship campaign!), and I’m feeling really, really excited for the go-live this Sunday.

    It’s funny because this feels a bit inevitable–my mother used to run the stewardship campaigns in the church of my childhood–but at the same time, I’m really proud of the campaign I’ve put together and am feeling really pumped to see it in action and watch it grow. My church has a bad history with stewardship (last year no one even volunteered to run the campaign), so I feel like having a shiny, peppy, reasonably well-designed effort is going to both a) kick people in the pants about their giving and b) make pledging money to the church seem fun and sexy! Here’s hoping.

    • I’m so glad there are people like you who are excited about heading up stewardship, because I (definitely) flee from it!

    • Blue Moon :

      I’m a non-profit fundraising/development consultant, and I have to say we love people like you! Go get ’em!

  32. Seventh Sister :

    Hive movie suggestions….I watched “The Weight of Water” last night, and it was so, so good. Exploration of complex adult relationships, plus axe murdery!

    While I have the rest of Kathryn Bigelow’s movies in my netflix queue, any other suggestions for similar movies?

    As you can probably tell, I’m not a heartwarming romantic comedy kind of girl, more of a “There Will Be Blood” and “Raise the Red Lantern” double bill kind of girl.

    • Merabella :

      No real suggestions, but I love Kathryn Bigelow. I just recently realized that she directed Point Break – my favorite of all time watch every time it is on TV movie. The Hurt Locker was amazing, and worth the watch if you haven’t seen it.

      • Seventh Sister :

        I love “Point Break” too – always watched it whenever it was on cable. It’s on HBO streaming right now, so watching it made a boring Saturday night so.much.better.

        Did see “Hurt Locker.” My dad would not shut up about it, so I dragged my sorry post-child self to see it and was very very glad. Dad and I have very similar movie taste, but almost nothing else to talk about. Movies = people come together.

    • Research, Not Law :

      “Leaves of Grass”

    • I could watch Raise the Red Lantern a thousand times.

      And anything else with Gong Li, really.

      • Seventh Sister :

        The only one I couldn’t make it through was “Ju Dou,” but I had been missing out on a lot of sleep at the time. Adding “To Live” and “Shanghai Triad” to my list…

  33. This is the dress I posted a thousand links to yesterday – it’s my uniform dress. I own it in an embarrassing number of colors.

  34. Research, Not Law :

    I’m seeing some huge fans of this dress. I never would have picked this out as a winner for myself (short hourglass). What figure you ladies have?

    • Plus size, hourglass, 5’11”. It’s knee-length on me so will likely be quite long on you. It really suits an hourglass figure, though.

  35. Here’s an embarrassing TJ. I am queen of the thunder thighs (no matter what my size) and have always had issues with jeans wearing out in the inner thigh area. Anyone have any brands that hold up well over time?

    • No advice, just commiseration. Jeans and frankly pants of any type just wear there faster. I want to say that my Land’s End ones held up a little bit longer, but that might just be in my head.

  36. I love the color of this dress!

work fashion blog press mentions