Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Julia Sleeveless Sheath Dress

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

This T Tahari dress caught my eye a while ago and I keep coming back to it. I like the charcoal gray look, and the fabric looks substantial, almost like felt. I go back and forth on built-in necklace-like details like this one — I’m not necessarily for them, but I find this one pretty inoffensive compared to some of the other embellishments I’ve seen. I could not find a matching jacket for this, alas, but I think it’s a great basic dress that will work with a lot of the blazers and cardigans you already have in your wardrobe. It comes in sizes 2–16 and is $128 at Bloomingdale’s. Julia Sleeveless Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. Y’all – my life is turning into a Reese Whitherspoon movie. A couple of weeks ago, at a house warming party and talking with a friend of a friend and realize we went on an awkward date 6 years ago. Last week, broke up with my boyfriend. Yesterday was at a training for work and am sitting next to a guy who I recognize and in talking, realized we went on about three dates about 2.5 years ago. It’s like Ghosts of Dates Past happening in my life right now.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe the universe is sending you a sign? That is pretty unusual. I’ve never had that happen to me, not even once.

      • Nah, just too small a world! I once went out with the same person I “met” online twice over the span of years – didn’t hit it off either time, but I guess we liked each other’s profiles.

      • I thought that too because there was a big difference in my life situation between the two guys. I am in a kind of big “small town” city, so it’s probably not unusual to run into old dates, but the timing of that and the break up and it’s all causing some introspection that was already happening…

  2. How long? :

    My husband of 15 years told me yesterday that he has feelings for another woman and isn’t sure what he wants to do. I’ve had a consuming, travel heavy job for the past several years, and I knew that was taking a big toll. So I quit. I gave my notice several months ago and spent the next few months winding everything down and transferring my work to others. Less than a week after my last day, he tells me that he’s been lonely and resentful for keeping our lives together. It all just seems so disingenuous because I took this drastic step to fix it all and he was saying the whole time he was supportive and excited for me.

    I guess I don’t know how long to wait around for him to make up his mind. If he’s not sure, is that his answer? I told him I want to stay and work it out because this kind of thing happens, but he has to be 100% in for fixing it. So his response is that he isn’t sure and he’s confused. I guess it’s complicated but I’m so mad at him for just dropping this bomb and expecting me to help him figure it out.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s marriage though. Feelings aren’t all or nothing. I think he probably genuinely isn’t sure. You just went through a massive change. The fact that he’s bringing it up suggests, to me, that he wants to work through this. Giving him an instant ultimatum isn’t going to work. What about spending some time in counseling?

    • Thisperson1 :

      No advice, but I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 to counseling. Its good he communicated that to you, and it sounds like he’s trying to work through what he wants to do. But I’m really sorry you’re going through this, especially after making a big life change for him. I divorced my husband of 5 years (together 7) for a similar situation, and couples counseling made it clear that was our path. I also am in solo counseling now, which I find helpful and highly recommend.

    • “Waiting for him to make up his mind” is a pretty hands-off approach to take to your marriage though. I’d think you’d want to keep talking about it, preferably in counselling, so you can assess and re-assess the way forward. It’s okay to fight for your marriage if you feel that’s what you want. I once tried to end my marriage, my husband fought vehemently for it, and we worked through the issue and are still happily together.

      An issue I see is that you seem to be blaming your husband for you quitting your job. It sounds like you knew things were rocky in your marriage, and surmised that quitting your job would fix it, only to find out that it won’t. I can understand being upset and angry and regretful about that, but unless your husband asked you to quit and represented to you that doing that would fix your marriage, I don’t think you can blame him for your quitting. Of course, you can blame him for allowing feelings for another woman to develop, and if your marriage is to continue he will need to address that.

      • +1 Counseling will give both of you a place to air and work through your resentments. Regardless of whether they are fair or justified or whatever, you both have feelings that are keeping you disconnected, and they aren’t just going to go away.

    • I’m not sure if feelings for someone else = actively engaging with someone else, but it sounds like classic cake eating to me.

      Cake Eating (verb) – where on person tries to have their cake and eat it to, i.e., continue life with their partner while trying on a new relationship with a new person on the side.

      “Cake eaters are deliberately trying to maintain an unfair situation at your expense. Cake eaters act vague. They need time. They appeal to you for patience. They feel very, very sorry for themselves. They’ll assert that they’re trying very hard to appease you (they’re not, but they may throw you a bone, like marriage counseling, or s*x, or paying attention to their children), but you’re sooo unreasonable with your demands. Cake eaters are defensive when you question their commitment. They really just want you to leave them alone and get back to the business of eating cake.

      There is only one way to deal with a cake eater: take away their fork and leave.”

      I 100% advocate that anyone dealing with a wishy-washy, selfish cake eater immediately say, “Well then! Since you’re so confused, you should MOVE OUT and figure yourself out! Our separation begins immediately!” Otherwise, you find yourself doing the Pick Me Dance, trying to appear awesome against your new and exciting other woman competition. You can’t win that dance. Only a sharp dose of reality (new living arrangements, a marriage turned to cool friendship, kids asking what’s going on) makes a Cake Eater realize they have just effed up and need to fix it.

      For more info on cake eating and the pick me dance, see link:

      • This rings really true to me. I’m sorry OP. I’m pretty angry on your behalf.

      • Baconpancakes :

        This is nonsensical.

        • Agree. It’s not like he’s repeatedly asked for time. or lead her on.

          Counselling + fair to ask him to not continue involvement/contact with other woman while counselling is ongoing. You deserve better than being who he chooses because it doesn’t work out with the other woman. He and you need to determine if the marriage is over before he starts something with someone else. If he refuses to end contact with her, you may want to think about asking him to move out while counselling is ongoing.

          It must be so hard to have made a huge change in your life for someone only to have this kind of response. Hopefully, even if your future is not with your current DH, the change will take you towards a path of happiness.

      • I think this sounds cute, but blanket advice to kick him out until he comes to his senses is nonsense.

        • Other than I am so sorry you are going through this, I cannot offer any advice other than what you have already received (counseling!). However, the “kick him out” advice gets offered a lot and I wanted to point out that, assuming this is a jointly owned home, one owner cannot kick the other one out. You can ask him to leave; he can say no and things will probably escalate pretty quickly from there – not to mention that you will then be supporting two households on the same income. The fact that OP is the wronged party does not give her greater legal rights to their marital home. If she does not want to live with him and he refuses to leave, her remedy is to move out herself. However, I would suggest consulting a family law attorney before doing that.

      • When a partner says, “I have feelings for someone else,” there are only a handful of motivators behind it.

        1. He wants to end the relationship and is trying to let her down gently. He will spend the next few weeks sprinkling other bombs and acting badly, proving that, “See? Our relationship is just terrible and it’s dead!” The goal is to reach the point where both sides want out and both people are to blame, not just him.

        2. He doesn’t want out of the relationship but he’s unhappy and wants things to change. He dangles his “feelings” for someone else as a threat because hey, he has options you know! She could lose him! The goal is to manipulate her into better behavior.

        3. He’s not sure he wants to end the relationship. He wants to be fought over. (See cake eater, above.) The goal here is to try out a new relationship more openly, with both women launching campaigns to win him.

        All of these motivators leave the OP powerless, waiting for him to decide if and when to end their relationship. Kicking him out (or at least, moving out of the bedroom and shutting the intimate relationship down) is a way for her to take back her dignity and lay down the ground rules for what SHE expects out of a relationship. Maybe I’m a [email protected], but I don’t play around. I’m all in–I expect my partner to be all in as well.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I agree that the three scenarios above are common but you are leaving out a glaring number 4. The spouse is a good person that realized he let himself get too connected with someone (emotional affair territory) which caused him to evaluate what led to this situation. He wants to work on his marriage, values honesty, admits his failings and works on it?

          If your spouse found his or herself developing feelings for a third party, would you prefer they never tell you that it occurred?

          • Anonymous :

            But he doesn’t want to work on it? He pretty much has just said I’m cheating and don’t want to stop

      • Nudibranch :

        I kind of agree with this tough love approach.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I generally have no patience for people that are wishy washy but if your high demand job went on for so long, is it possible that the two of you don’t know what your lives will look like now that you have more time? You might find a new hobby together and reconnect or you might just stare at each other not knowing what to do? Framed like that, I think it is reasonable for him to not know what he wants to do yet if you don’t yet know if you will succeed in reconnecting now that you have the time. He probably should have been more up front about this before you quit, for sure.

    • Thanks for all the good thoughts for me to ponder. We definitely talked about the job situation, and he had told me in the past that he can’t be in a marriage where I have that job, which is the main reason I quit. I think a lot of my bad feelings and impatience right now are that I’m unemployed, and we were counting on his income for me to figure out what I want to do now, work wise. I know my old job will take me back, but I feel like I need to decide that. I’m in the marriage if he wants to save it, but I don’t want to wind up in 6 months not having a husband or a job. We have enough savings for me to be unemployed for over a year with just his income, but obviously that dwindles a lot if it’s just me.

      Counseling is probably the way to go. I’ll try to get us an appointment soon. I’ve tried asking him whether this is just one of those normal-part-of-marriage moments, or is it something else? Is he freaking out a little because I’m going to be home more? He can’t really answer those questions, so probably working it out with a professional is a good idea.

    • My experience is that when men really want to leave, they leave. If the feelings for the other woman were that serious, he would have acted on them and the marriage would probably be over. No idea why he waited until now to bring this up – but he’s trying to level with you and probably deserves some credit for that. It may be that as you are now transitioning out of your job for real, he’s panicking because this is going to be a real change from the status quo and he’s not sure how to handle it. Positive change is still change, and change is scary for a lot of people.

      I’m also going to say you two need counseling. Some things in life are fixable by ourselves. Some things only get fixed with outside help. This situation needs outside help. If he won’t go, go by yourself. Make an appointment today. Sitting back and waiting to see what happens isn’t going to fix this. If he thinks the relationship has run its course, and is not that invested in keeping it together – better to find that out now, rather than later.

      • Anonymous :

        Did you ever see the film “He’s Just Not That Into You”? I think you should get your job back so you can take care of yourself and kick him out.

    • Not commenting on this specific situation, but for me personally, having “feelings” for someone else is a much, much, greater betrayal than having s*x with someone else with no emotional connection. YMMV, I guess.

      • Maybe? For me having *shared* feelings for someone else would be huge. Having a crush or feelings you haven’t told the other person about not such an issue.

        • They have both told each other about their feelings. Apparently she said she would respect whatever decision he makes. So, that didn’t feel great to learn.

        • I think him telling her about his feelings is a huge betrayal. That’s really different than having a secret crush in my book.

      • Yeah, it would be for me, too. But I’m sure it’s different for everybody.

        OP, you did quit your job and deserve credit for that, but it sounds like it was maybe too little too late for your husband? If so, it’s on him for not being vocal about it earlier.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I think I may be the only one hear that is saying this…but that is Grade 1 f*ckwittery from your husband.

      The time to tell you all of this was before you quit your job and became reliant on him financially, not after. I am so sick to death of this kind of manbaby behaviour from men that their wives have jobs that are too demanding on them. Give me a break. If women voice these complaints we have been told for generations to be supportive and suck it up.

      OP, I am sorry that you are going through this after 15 years of marriage. I cannot even imagine. But, to me, this is the worst kind of betrayal – get your job back immediately so that when your marriage ends (which I think it will whether or not you end it now) you have something for yourself.

      Hard pass.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think I read the OP wrong. Did your husband fess up about the emotional affair only AFTER you quit your job?

        • Never too many shoes... :

          She said he told her this yesterday and it seemed to me that the has already wound up her job.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Ah. I had read it as she knew about the EA and quit her job to work on her marriage but told her just yesterday that he wasn’t sure that would be enough for him to want to stay married. Crappy situation either way.

        • How long? :

          Yes. I got home from my last trip on Friday and he told me yesterday. I thought they were spending too much time together (and told him I thought that) a couple of times over the last couple of months, and he denied anything was going on. Then he admitted it all yesterday. I probably should have clarified some of that in the original post.

          • This sounds to me like once you quitting your job became an actual reality–meaning time to work on the relationship became real–he all of a sudden realized he actually needs to get his sh*t together and figure out what to do going forward. He should have done that while you were making the decision whether or not to quit, but it sounds like he didn’t do that because…well, because men are frequently terrible at understanding the consequences of their emotional procrastination.

            I’m sorry you’re going through this. I hope it all works out whatever way you are hoping for.

  3. Those of you who wear suits regularly, how many do you own and do you think that’s enough or no? And how often do you wear them? Are some only appropriate during summer/winter?

    Just curious :)

    • Clementine :

      There are times of the year where I’m expected to wear a suit daily, but in the summers we’re more business casual.

      I own: 1 navy suit (dress/blazer/skirt) – All Season
      1 grey pantsuit (pants/blazer) – All Season but in need of a possible upgrade
      1 fun red suit (skinny pants/blazer) – I usually break the pieces up but this is also my Christmas ‘festive’ look
      1 black suit (more on-trend blazer, pencil skirt) – Winter weight. Often worn as separates
      1 tweed suit (bought on a whim at the outlets, collarless chanel-style jacket) – winter weight, shockingly versatile

      As I type this out, I’m realizing that I’m slowly transitioning to sheath dresses with blazers. I have blazers I bought on sale that are a little ‘trendier’ that I will match with a classic sheath dress and wear that combo – it also helps me stretch my suit wardrobe (which I feel is sufficient). I also am tall and feel like I look like a college sports coach in pantsuits, so I’ve been phasing those out of my wardrobe.

      • Anonymous :

        The college sports coach comment made me laugh. I phased out my pantsuits for the opposite reason–I am small and have short hair, so pantsuits make me look like a 12-year-old boy.

    • Anonymous :

      I have about 20, about half have multiple bottom options and like 3 have multiple jackets. One of them is a summer suit and 3 are winter suits, but the rest are all season. That’s probably too much, but I like variety and hate dry cleaning.

    • Anonymous :

      I love suits because its easy. I don’t have to match or make an outfit look put together. In the winter, I wear suits or pieces as separates every day, less so in the summer (typically wear dresses).

      I have a black suit (sheath dress, blazer, pants), charcoal grey pantsuit, dark purple pantsuit, grey pantsuit, black with white piping suit (sheath dress, blazer)…I had an awesome red skirtsuit for years, and I lost it during a move. I would wear it for festive occasions. I like the idea of navy, but I haven’t found anything that I love. I’m tall and plus size, and I think pant suits look good on me.

    • Deep Velvet :

      I wear a suit every day. I have five regular suits – black, navy, charcoal, navy pinstripe and navy with white dots (this sounds a lot crazier than it is – it effectively blends to a bluish grey if you are more than a foot away). I also have a nicer navy suit with an interesting zipped jacket for important days. I would like to get some more, but I am have been adopting a minimalist philosphy recently and find it hard to justify having more suits than days in the week. I can wear them all at any time of year – I live in a temperate climate and my office is temperature-controlled so feels the same all year round.

    • Around 30 but I’ve been collecting them for a long time and wear suits frequently. Probably half of my suits are seasonal: linen blends, seersucker and light colors for the summer, tweed, wool and darker plaids for the winter. I bought most of the seasonal ones on deep discount off season.

    • I might have 6, two of which are winter suits.

      I wear a suit every Monday just so no one ever gets shocked by seeing me in a suit. I also wear the pants a lot on their own (but never the skirts somehow).

      Part of this is getting badly surprised that none of my go-to suits fit b/c it had been about 6 months since I wore one last, so I wear weekly as a way to balance out my sketchy workwear days and b/c I do like wearing them (cold office).

    • I own 3 suits – black, grey, navy. All are seasonless wool so I wear them year round. In all cases I have the matching jacket, pants, skirt and dress. I wear separates a lot, so probably only wear one of these twice a week.

    • I probably own about a dozen suits. At any one time, I have 3-4 suits in rotation. My office is business formal Mon-Thurs and business casual on Friday. I wear suits about twice a week and wear sheath dresses + blazer the other “business formal” days. During the summer, I wear dresses more often because it’s hot and a suit just feels like too much.

      I have a few suits that are more seasonal for fall/winter. I also have a range of sizes because my weight fluctuates, and I’m short, so relatively normal (5-10 lb) fluctuations mean I go up or down a size.

    • shamlet96 :

      I own about 15 suits, but probably only wear 4-5 of them regularly. My staples are black, navy, charcoal, charcoal pinstripe, and navy pinstripe – those I wear year round. I also have a tan theory suit that I wear in the summer, and then a brown suit I wear in fall/early winter.

      • 20 court ok, 10 for summer and 10 for winter. That way I can get through most trials without having to deal with drycleaners. A random mix of black, grey, and navy.

  4. highlights/balayage :

    Need some help from internet strangers, please. I want a change and am thinking of getting some subtle highlights/balayage on my above the shoulder/bob hair. Talk me in or out of it please. I’m so indecisive. I haven’t dyed my hair in over ten years, no greys and I’m medium-dark brunette. Is it going to look silly in the fall/winter with highlights? I’m not going to go every 4 weeks, more like every 8-12, so I don’t want anything harsh. I just want a little enhancement. I’m also really stuck on my skin tone – I have no idea if I’m neutral, warm or cool and an endless amount of googling has not helped. Can I rely on my stylist to pick the right shades? The last time I succumbed to highlights was in ’06 when chunky blonde streaks were the bees knees and it was not a good look, which my husband was quick to remind me of.

    • Anonymous :

      I have balayage and love it! It’s low maintenance – I usually get it done every 4-5 months and it honestly looks good until my next appointment. It can be as subtle or dramatic as you want. Try to ask around for stylist recommendations in your area so you can get to one that you trust on the shade!

    • Subtle highlights will look fantastic! I recommend bringing pictures so your stylist can actually SEE what you want. Perhaps one of Kate Middleton’s colors (she goes lighter/darker over time) would illustrate what you want?

    • Highlights are a committment. As long as you are willing to get them updated as they grow out they can look really good.

      A couple of things. Your first highlights on virgin hair are going to look the best. Ask for “fine” highlights and emphasize that you don’t want to have visible roots growing out.

      For your second and subsequent visits, ask for a combination of highlights and lowlights. This helps blend in the older highlights that are growing out, and it keeps you from getting blonder and blonder, which is a common problem with repeat highlights.

      In terms of skin tone they’re either going to do warm or ashy highlights for warm or cool skin. If you are really neutral, ask for a combination of warm and ashy, or ask the colorist’s opinion.

      Last, ask for a little more light around your face than on the rest of your head. This will be flattering and will also keep the most dramatic change to a smaller area with more oomph.

      Good luck. I use highlighting to blend in my grays. Your post reminded me that I need to head in again.

    • Anonymous :

      As someone who’s had both balayage and highlights, balayage may be more expensive up front, but will last longer and remain natural-looking for longer. Anon at 9:48 am is right, highlights can be a commitment. But balayage doesn’t have to be, and is a great way to ease into it.

      • +1 Team bayalage, although I am a bit off trend and still have ombre coloring. I go in this afternoon for coloring and I will likely continue with my deep red on top fading into almost blonde on my bob. With this style, I touch up my own roots and only get it lifted at the bottom every 16 weeks.

      • Yup, balayage is totally worth it. It is expensive but makes for so much less upkeep. Definitely bring pictures with you

    • Another +1 for balayage! I find it to be incredibly naturally looking and low maintenance if you have a good stylist. It can be very pricey, but there is nothing that makes me feel better than having a really great cut + balayage.

      • Oh, also wanted to say that if you happen to be in the DC area, I go to Sam at Salon 46 in Alexandria and she is amaaaazing. I followed her out to the ‘burbs (she used to work at a place in Dupont) and it is so worth it.

    • Ask your stylist for advice. I have highlights but they’re not too far from my natural hair color so will not look odd as they begin to grow out.

      • Me too. I thought I wanted balayage but I looked at pics with my stylist and considering I have wavy/curly hair we decided highlights would look better. If you can articulate what you want (mine was low maintenance, brighten up my hair a few shades), then your stylist should be able to help. Also, I had never colored or highlighted and was worried it would be too high maintenance or look too unnatural but have really liked it. I only highlight twice a year, would probably like to do it every three months though if it was in the budget.

  5. Paging jewelry q :

    I saw you posted to yesterday afternoon’s thread. My recommended jeweler is 14 Karats in Berkeley. They have a full bench and specialize in ring design. I’ve had quite a bit of custom work done there, as well as buying a few things like earrings already made, and I love it all. Their yelp reviews are good too.

    Good luck with your ring redesign!

  6. Online Shopping For Now :

    Has anyone tried the Amazon Prime wardrobe subscription service? I need a few fall pieces and I do not have a lot of time to shop like I used to. Any tips would be appreciated!

  7. Housekeepers/Family Assistants? :

    For those of you who have housekeeping or “family assistant” type help at home, how many hours a week do you have help, what sort of things does the helper do, and where did you find the helper? I have a bi-weekly cleaning service but — as pointed out by the latest “Best of Both Worlds” podcast — it doesn’t really save me much time (though I do appreciate that the house is not as filthy). It’s the laundry and emptying the dishwasher and tidying and running to the drycleaner, etc. that I need to outsource.

    TIA for any thoughts.

    • Your housekeeper can do laundry, change sheets, and empty the dishwasher.

    • My housecleaner loads and unloads the dishwasher and I also know several friends who have their cleaners do their laundry as well. You can also use a fold and dry laundry service if you live in/near a city. I find the service to be far cheaper and convenient then asking my cleaner to do the laundry.

    • Also very interested in the answer to this question. I spend a lot of time fantasizing about how I am going to redirect daycare payments to more household help when my kid starts kindergarten, but don’t have a good idea of how that works. Our current housekeeper does not do those kind of extras.

      • Anonymous :

        Don’t get too excited about the “day care raise.” Between after-school care + extracurriculars + summer day camp, our kid-related expenses were actually higher after our kid started public school.

      • Anonymous :

        We have after school care for our two kids (one late elementary, one early middle school) but specified in our ad that we were also looking for someone to do household management activities in addition to keeping the kids safe, making sure their homework/chores are done, and driving them to activities. We have her from 3:00-6:30 M-F so about 15 hrs a week but she’s always up for extra hours if I need more (she’s a college student). She does the kids’ laundry (I’m too picky about mine but she will fold it), preps dinner (fully if I’m traveling, starting things/chopping if I’m not), does errands – dropping off/picking up dry cleaning, grocery runs, mailing packages/returns, taking the kids for haircuts, picking up and wrapping birthday presents for all the kids parties, etc, she does dishes and other general straightening – she’s a little OCD – I came home from a trip one time to find that she had cleaned out my fridge because she couldn’t take the level of crumbs – so now I use it to our advantage. We have found our last two folks in this role on Since we need kid care anyway, this is a very worthwhile expense for us even though we spend more than other after school programs. FWIW, we also have a weekly housekeeper that handles the big cleaning, and a weekly yard/pool crew that handles the outside and the kids have chores such as keeping their rooms clean, unloading the dishwasher, taking care of the pets. It’s a lot of outsourcing but we’re a 2 VP level household and I travel 8-10 days a month so it’s something we prioritize to avoid going crazy.

    • Does it really not save you time, or are you just not noticing it because you’ve had cleaners for a while? Because I can’t imagine a world where having somebody do the deep cleaning for you doesn’t save you time . . .

      • This. I don’t understand how cleaners don’t save you time. Is the argument that you’d just never clean the bathroom if you didn’t have cleaners? Or vacuum the floors? Or dust the blinds? Etc? I absolutely think it saves me from dedicating a minimum of a weekend morning every week to clean the house – instead I do a quick tidy-up the night before they come, which hardly is the same as doing the tidying up and THEN doing the actual cleaning.

        • KateMiddletown :

          I guess if you don’t vacuum at all to begin with it doesn’t help? Can’t imagine that though.

    • Our housekeeper runs and empties the dishwasher, washes and changes out sheets/towels, and typically runs a load of laundry or two. She’s here for a full day every two weeks. I still need to do laundry and some sheet/towel maintenance on my own, but it’s a huge help to have her pitch in on some of these tasks.

    • When we let our nanny go after kids started school (and lost the wonderful housekeeping she was doing while at our house!), we changed to having nanny come to clean house every weekend and also 3 hrs of help on Wednesday from a family helper to help get us through.
      The family helper’s tasks include general tidying/picking up, kitchen clean up (usually some handwashing, dishwashing, surface cleaning), 2 loads of laundry and errands as needed (usually “drop this off at the UPS store/pick up X from the grocery store/etc.”)

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Our family helper does school pickups 2x/week, tidies the living room and the kid rooms, kitchen clean up, errands (very rarely), makes school lunches for the next day, helps with homework, and gets kids ready for bed.

      We also outsource laundry to a wash and fold place, so other than putting away the folded laundry that has become a de minimis task.

      Our housekeeper changes sheets, runs the dishwasher, and puts away toys and books in addition to regular cleaning.

      We use Gobble for meals – I find it to be hands down the easiest meal delivery service. We use AmazonFresh for groceries in addition to regular trips to the market.

      We have an accountant for taxes.

      The things I find difficult and have not been able to outsource include:
      *holiday decorating
      *house decorating/maintenance/projects
      *family archivist stuff – basically, dealing with family photos and turning them into something besides images on my phone
      *school volunteering. (I confess: the school recently asked for volunteers to cut some things out for classrooms and I said that I couldn’t do it but offered to pay for a taskrabbit. School volunteering makes me nutty.)

  8. First Conference :

    I’m going to my first conference in a few weeks and its on of the niche research areas I’m really interested in. I’m not presenting anything but there will be a lot of interesting speeches, poster presentations, etc/I hope to present my research there next year. Any tips on what I should wear, whether or not to bring business cards, what to expect, have an elevator speech ready etc?

    • Anonymous :

      My view is these are all networking opportunities. So wear something polished and professional, comfortable shoes, definitely bring business cards but more importantly get them from others and follow up with them after, absolutely have an elevator speech ready. Figure out if you can who you’re interested in and make sure to get to those presentations and stay after and introduce yourself etc. Assuming you’re going into academia the job search is hard. Use all these opportunities to meet people!

      • Thanks for the tips! What should I put on my business card? I was working for a few years before going back to school and my business cards before said “My Name, Job Title”. Do I get a business card that says “My Name, Graduate Student”?

        • Your Name
          PhD Candidate at XYZ school
          Your field

          Email and phone number

          • Yeah, except don’t actually say Ph.D. candidate unless you’ve passed your candidacy exams. Ph.D. student is fine if you haven’t. In a PI driven field, you could add the PI’s Lab name, but only if this is typically how people describe themselves.

          • I’m actually an MS student but I’ll write MS Candidate instead, thanks! Also somehow forgot to add that I’m a graduate student researcher at a lab on campus – should I write ‘Graduate Student Researcher at Lab Name’ instead or add MS Candidate at XYZ school at the bottom? Thanks again!

        • Either one would be okay, but if you think people are likely to recognize the PI name, I’d probably go with that. Or both.

        • If you haven’t already, you could check with your school/department administrator to see whether they have a standard card that you can customize and order. We could order cards through the school as law students, and I’m pretty sure the business school offered them as well. It was nice to have an “official” card at the ready.

    • What field are you in? And how big is the conference? In my field of science, dress is reasonably casual and the dressed up grad students really stand out (in a bad way), so you want to wear something nice, but not too formal (definitely no suits). This will vary a lot of field to field, though.

    • I’d see if you can find any photos of prior conferences. Conference attire varies WIDELY by conference and field.

      It doesn’t hurt to bring business cards, so I’d do that.
      It’s a good idea to have an elevator speech ready for your research. Don’t force it, but if anyone asks about your research interests then you’ll have it ready.

      I’d try to find a conference program ahead of time and create a tentative schedule. Leave time for hanging out in the hallways, visiting the exhibit hall (if there is one), wandering through poster sessions and asking questions, etc.

      If you know the session where you’d want to present next year, I’d attend multiple talks in that session this year. Take notes about what the presentations are like, what questions people ask, what speakers did well, and what they should improve. This will help you next year.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This is good advice. Some of my industry events have robust flickr accounts — it really helped me figure out what to wear the first year I went! If not a full account, just a google image search will give you helpful info!

    • It is great you can go to the conference and see what it is like before presenting. You’ve gotten good advice on cards. The elevator speech you mentioned is a great idea too, describing why you have an interest in this area, the kinds of research you hope to do, and/or the questions that interest you. I agree with anonymous above about making sure you get to the presentations that interest you and talking to people there. Being strategic and thoughtful about your time is much better than slogging through the whole conference, which can be exhausting. You might be able to google pictures of the poster presentations or events from last year to get a sense of the dress code. Otherwise you are probably ok with subdued and well-fitting business casual.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      You’ve gotten some really helpful, practical advice, and I’m also going to add to go to a talk or poster that doesn’t quite fit your research interests/project. Niche conferences are obviously more focused, but I bet you can still find something that just looks interesting without having anything to do with what you’re researching. I’ve seen some of the coolest research this way, and I’ve also gotten some great ideas.

      Oh, and one more thing that I haven’t seen – stay hydrated. When you’re running from talk to poster to exhibit hall, it’s easy to forget to drink water, and it will absolutely bite you by the third day of the conference.

  9. Sloan Sabbith :

    Book club update: the book we will be reading in October is Notorious RBG.

    I will be trying to post discussion topics that fit with the book in the next 5-10 days so that everyone has a spot to discuss no matter how long it takes them to read the book.

    Always open for new members. :)

    Also- paging Pompom, to answer your question, yes.

  10. Anonymous :

    Another breakup…but with housing consequences. I’ve been seeing a guy for a couple months, and I’ve been concerned about his drinking a few times. He gets defensive and somewhat out of control when drunk. Last night he stayed at my place. We had dinner and each drank 2 glasses of wine, then watched a movie and went to bed, or so I thought. I woke up at 2:45 AM beacuse he was watching a loud movie beside me in bed.

    He’s off this week and has been staying over at my place because he lives an hour away, but I work at 9. I saw he had finished the bottle and drank half of another one…and he was rude, saying he would make noise if he wants because I can’t tell him what to do. He actually shouted and stomped on the floor, thus awaking my landlords/downstairs neighbors, who are a married couple and personal friends of mine. One of them came up to see what the racket was, the guy was a belligerant drunk jerk, and the other one texted me saying he has to leave and isn’t welcome there.

    So…the landlords essentially kicked him out and are upset with me, saying he isn’t the guy for me and why did I let him stay over. Well, I didn’t know he’d act like that! I’m exhausted from so few hours of sleep. To top it off, the jerk also dumped me (although I feel pretty mutual). Any ways to smooth it over with my landlords? I feel embarrassed and awkward.

    • new job who dis :

      if your LL is really a personal friend, then it’s worth approaching with honesty. the relationship is over anyway (I hope !) so there is literally zero chance of this ever happening again. If they’re good people then you can all collectively chalk it up to a terrible experience, and move forward. sh!t happens.

      also I am terribly sorry this happened to you – I cringed reading it.
      make it through this day, go home take a nap and refresh.

    • Flats Only :

      If you landlords came upstairs due to being woken in then night by a belligerent drunk jerk, they were probably angry at being woken up and having to deal with him, and thus maybe weren’t all sweetness and light with you. Since you and he are no longer together I think a simple apology for last night’s disturbances and a mention that he won’t be back should suffice. Don’t feel like you have to justify “why you let him stay over” – many boyfriends stay over, but not all of them wake the house up and cause a scene in the middle of the night, and you didn’t know he was going to do that.

    • Yeah tell them “I’m so sorry, I had no idea he was like this, we’ve obviously broken up so it won’t be an issue again.” Since you’re friends, a bottle of wine might be a nice touch.

    • Also, maybe thank them for coming up? Maybe they were worried about you.

      • +1, if I were the landlords I might be concerned about a domestic violence situation and come up if I was awake anyway and tenant was a personal friend – perhaps them kicking him out was to pre-empt and prevent anything worse.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Humor and being gracious. Something like thanks for the back up yesterday. That got scary quick. I’m embarrassed that you witnessed my worst date ever though! Wow!

      Sorry you had to deal with that. What a jerk.

    • Just tell them you feel embarrassed and awkward and that the jerk is out of your life, and you had no idea he was going to behave like that. A sincere apology is really all that’s needed here

    • I actually don’t see an inheritance as any more solely his money than your joint co-mingled money. He didn’t directly earn it. Its a benefit from a family member, and as you mention you plan to have children in the future, that money should be co-mingled to pass down and continue to benefit his (and your!) future family. In fact, my grandfather set up modest inheritances for his 4 children in such a fashion: 3 portions went directly to his kids, the 4th went to a trust for his alcoholic son’s grandchildren so the son wouldn’t drink it away. I see an inheritance as benefitting future family, and that includes the in-laws (you are the parent of future grandchildren)!

      • Yes he’s a drunk jerk who woke up your landlords/friends and now you’re embarrassed. Take ALL of his inheritance!!!

      • I think it’s bordering on ridiculous to try to manage an inheritance that you get NOW (before even having your own kids!) so that it will benefit any future grandchildren.

        • Anonymous :

          No, meaning that, if my husband’s parents give him an inheritance, I see it as family money. My children will be his parents’ future grandchildren. If the OP is worried about its “his family’s money”, his family includes their future kid, so she shouldn’t see it as external to herself.

    • Oh geez, I’m so sorry. What an [expletive] that dude is!

  11. Any recommendations for products that help hold curls/waves? I curl my hair and use hairspray, but the waves loosen up shortly afterwards. I usually curl my hair on days I don’t wash it so it’s not squeaky clean, but that doesn’t seem to help.

    • my hair is stick straight and mousse usually helps my hair hold a curl

    • Try a texturizing spray like the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray or Garnier Texture Tease (much cheaper and still very good).

    • Beachy salt spray. Or hot rollers. I also use a wand curler with adjustable temp setting. The curl still relaxes, but I like the way that looks.

    • A light mist of salt spray before curling (wait til it dries). Some hairspray while the hair is on the iron. After removing the iron, don’t touch the curls until they are cold – I usually wait 20 minutes. Pin them if that’s easy for you (too much bother for me). Then another light mist of hairspray, let it dry for a minute, then brush/style them as desired. Finish by running your hands through with a touch of Catwalk Curl Amplifier. My curls last 2 days like this. I start from clean hair because I hate the greasy roots feel. The salt spray seems to fix that potential issue.

  12. Inheritance :

    DH will be receiving a large inheritance soon which will drastically change our financial situation. We are young (early 30s) and don’t have children yet, but hope to in the next couple of years. We would like to buy a new house, but otherwise keep our lifestyle the same. We want to set up our future children properly and will be meeting with a financial adviser to figure out all the details. We will be getting plenty of professional advice. But, on a somewhat-personal level, would you suggest/sign a post-nup? He hasn’t mentioned it, but I want him financially protected. This isn’t my money (and we live in a state where it will be treated as his separate property unless co-mingled, which I don’t plan to do). But I’m also wary that if I could want to eventually change my life/career when we have kids based on this safety net (even if just to take a small step back). Has anyone signed one? Would I be crazy to suggest it?

    • I wouldn’t bother suggesting the pre-nup. If he asks, you can figure out what you want to do/how you feel about it.

      Is the inheritance large enough to pay for a house or close to it? I would go with a full paid house now if possible, even if you can’t go with dream home level of fancy. You can always upgrade countertops/appliances/furniture over the coming years as financial flexibility allows. Being mortgage free or a very low mortgage would allow you lots of flexibility for life choices post-kids.

    • Yeah I think you’d be crazy to suggest it. Don’t borrow trouble.

    • Before doing anything, I would consider if a “his money/my money” approach is the best way to handle this inheritance. I inherited money several years ago (shortly before getting engaged) and what felt most comfortable for me was treating it 100% as “our” money. My now-husband was a little taken aback at first about the inheritance and referred to it as my money several times, but we had already completed combined finances and it just made sense to do so for this too. There is something really nice about knowing that all the money we have and make is for us together, and even if we ended up getting divorced someday, I feel pretty sure that we will find a way to fairly divide everything. You’ll know what’s best for your own situation, but I would encourage you to strongly consider all the pros and cons before signing anything. It can be hard to do when you’ve suddenly received a windfall.

    • Why would you do that? If you split up and didn’t want to make a claim for it (I’m presuming you’ve commingled and are in a community property state etc), you don’t have to. Why would you ever try to work that out now?

      • Inheritance :

        I guess I worry that if we split up, there could be enough anger to make “future me” want to go after it. And “current me” knows this is his, not mine, and wants to protect him. But I also wonder if there is a way to do that while also protecting me if I make choices in reliance on us having this, like not contributing as much to my retirement as I would without the safety. I know I could always be over-cautious and just continue to live how I would have (for example by saving as much of my salary as possible for retirement and making career choices that protect me), but I could see that changing once we have kids.

        Right now I’m regretting not taking family law when I had the chance.

        • Trust your future self to be a good person. Who knows, you could end up ill or disabled and he leaves you or is otherwise a huge jerk? You might need this if he tries to hide his salary and refuses child support. Why are you assuming that future you is a mean/angry person and future him is great?It could be the opposite.

          Just be happy about the windfall. Don’t borrow trouble.

          • +100000000

          • +1 – your present self and future self might also make decisions as a couple with your spouse based on this windfall, and “fair” might look different down the road because of that.

        • Are your finances mingled or totally separate? I am confused by the statement about “my retirement”–if you have joint finances, then even though each of you has a retirement account in your own name they are both part of the joint financial picture. If you are going to have kids, you can’t continue thinking of money as “mine” and “his.” At least one partner is going to have to make career sacrifices for the joint benefit of the family, even if you don’t think that’s what’s happening. At that point things are no longer truly separate even if you call them separate.

          • Inheritance :

            They are otherwise totally mingled. So I don’t really think of it as “mine and his” but as “ours and his”. I guess I worry about us spending or not saving as much of the “our money” while we leave this separate pot alone as our safety net (but which is entirely “his” legally).

            All of these comments are making me think that I don’t need to plan it all out legally or borrow trouble from the future, but I do probably need to be very thoughtful in how we spend and save money and making sure spending is reasonably balanced between “ours” and “his”. Thanks everyone for the thoughtful comments – I’m definitely out of my element here.

          • but it’s not going to be your safety net because you’re using it to buy a house? Plus, if you have kids then it will be theirs as well.

          • I still don’t see where there needs to be a separation between “ours” and “his”. Why is it not all “ours” – like officially co-mingle it? Isn’t that the basis of your marriage and agreeing to co-mingle all finances up to this point? Has he ever suggested that it’s “his” and not “ours”? I’m confused about your confusion/concern.

    • Maybe — maybe! — it would be useful to talk through those issues if and when you do decide to take a step back down the road, so *you’re* protected. But I wouldn’t worry about it now when you don’t even know what you’d each be protecting yourself from and you seem to be on the same page in thinking about kids, etc.

    • To me, it’s a weird way of thinking about the money. Once we got married, my husband and I considered all property 100% joint. If you got a job paying 5x what he makes next year, would you consider the excess profits to be solely yours? I do understand your perspective, and think you’re being a thoughtful partner. But if you’re in it for the long haul and have similar priorities/values/goals, then it makes sense to pool resources to maximize efficiency in achieving those goals.

    • I would not suggest it, nor would I sign it. The default is that the money will be his separately if you keep the money separate. Life is long, and you have no idea right now what decisions you will make, how much the money will influence those decisions, or whether you will in fact co-mingle the funds with your community property to the extent you might have a claim.

    • I’m sure there are lawyers involved and if his family wanted you walled off from this money, they could have done so. You don’t need to do anything.

    • Also, keep in mind that if you buy a home outright with only that money, and the money is legally his separately, then that house is not yours. Do you really want to be homeless and have less money (since a proportion of the money you make will benefit your marital estate that your husband has a claim to, but not home equity, that you don’t have a claim to)?

      • Inheritance :

        This is my biggest fear. I guess I should talk to a lawyer about signing something to make the house community property, even after it was bought with separate property? I know DH would agree to that, but I think if lawyers get involved, it’s going to turn into a bigger agreement than just that…

      • This isn’t true in my jurisdiction. Each party is entitled to 50% of the matrimonial home, regardless of how it was purchased or what funds were used to purchase it. It’s an exception to other rules that keep inheritance money separate.

        • lawsuited :

          +1 Same in my jurisdiction

        • Anonymous :

          In my jurisdiction, inheritance money only remains separate if kept that way. If you purchase real property, including a home, it is then a joint asset.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        Is this true? Wouldn’t the house belong to whoever is on the deed, regardless of who initially put up the money?

        For me personally, I see all money we make or receive, including any inheritances, as ours now that we’re married, and especially now that we have a child. It’s both easier logistically and makes me feel like we are a unit against whatever life issues pop up.

        • This. I think if your name is on the deed this is not relevant. Also – I agree that you shouldn’t bring it up and I also don’t know that it would even be enforceable if you did. What is the consideration for the post-nup?? I think trusting yourself to be a decent person is a good notion. You should also definitely talk about how you will be protected if you end up stepping back from your career down the line. Also – just something to consider – you’re assuming you will not want any part of this money if you split, but if you have kids, you will probably want them to continue whatever life they are used to as much as possible. So that may mean you will want to stay in the marital home or whatever else. These aren’t things you can know now so to try to anticipate them would be difficult. I wouldn’t push it.

        • Yeah. When you buy a house with “his” money but put both names on the deed, done. Comingled. Marital asset.

      • Not true in California (or other community property states) if the house is bought with H’s separate property and as H’s separate property (i.e., only his name is on the deed, “H, as his sole and separate property”).

        There could be an argument to be made that any appreciation would be community property. Also different arguments if there is a mortgage that is being paid off using community property funds, but it sounds like the house may be bought for all cash in this instance.

      • If you are using the money to buy a house, you probably need to talk to a lawyer that you are buying the house as you intended (jointly or 1/4 his, 3/4 ours, or he gets the original amount he put in the house back but any gains are split, or any combination of the above). Without buying trouble, you can do this in the context of updating (or creating) your will and the lawyer can advise how to paper over the house purchase.

        I live in a state where people do not typically understand how community and separate property work and it often creates nasty surprises when there is a falling out (either in divorce or death). So I would strongly encourage you to talk this over with a lawyer in your state.

    • My husband inherited a good amount of money when his father died unexpectedly. From the minute he got it, he was adamant that it was our money, to be used for the benefit of our family. Not just his money. And we used it like that. We bought a fixer-upper house that ended up being kind of a money pit and most of the money went to that. Our home is really nice now and has been a great place to raise a family.

      You’re looking at this from a really legalistic point of view. I confess I don’t really understand “my money” and “his money” in the context of a marriage – and we still maintain separate bank accounts! This is money that will help you build your lives together; give you a cushion for the future and allow things to happen that may not have otherwise been possible. That benefits him as much as it benefits you.

      I absolutely would not suggest a post-nup and I also think you should ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. I’m not a person who usually believes marriage is about melding two souls, or whatever. But marriage is about two people building a life together and that’s all you’re talking about doing. He will benefit from that building together, just as much as you.

    • I actually don’t see an inheritance as any more solely his money than your joint co-mingled money. He didn’t directly earn it. Its a benefit from a family member, and as you mention you plan to have children in the future, that money should be co-mingled to pass down and continue to benefit his (and your!) future family. In fact, my grandfather set up modest inheritances for his 4 children in such a fashion: 3 portions went directly to his kids, the 4th went to a trust for his alcoholic son’s grandchildren so the son wouldn’t drink it away. I see an inheritance as benefitting future family, and that includes the in-laws (you are the parent of future grandchildren)!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I wonder if it has to do with OP’s unique state law. Some states say everything is joint except and then there is a list of stuff like inheritances. Maybe that’s why legally it is his versus theirs.

    • Anon for this :

      Just wanted to add an opposing perspective of someone who’s been there and out the other side of the marriage. I received some inheritance money at various times throughout my long marriage and kept them in an account that was in my name only. The reasoning had to do with estate planning: if we both died, I wanted the money to go to my relatives and not his, and that was easier/clearer to specify if the money was kept separate. (We had no kids together.) A few times, I dipped into the money to meet an unusual joint expense like needing a new roof on the house, and I was happy to do that. When we divorced after more than two decades of marriage, the account went to me as separate property, in conformance with our state’s divorce law. The account itself and our use or non-use of it for shared funds wasn’t a source of tension, ever. On the other hand, we were always on the same page about money issues. It was other stuff that did the marriage in!

  13. Nordstrom Tragedy :

    Nordstrom has discontinued Classiques Entier!!!

  14. No matter how much I love my husband, I wouldn’t suggest something to him that goes against my best interests. I would be happy to discuss it if he raised the issue, but I wouldn’t be the one to put it out there.

  15. Exposed zippers :

    The exposed zipper trend seems to be coming to an abrupt end- after I broke down and bought several dresses last year with them, of course. How often are you still seeing them worn? I did see several Vince and RL dresses with them in my local dept store so they are still being sold…

    • I’m wearing one today. So many work dresses had them for several years, it seems like it will be a few years before they start disappearing from real people.

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      Ha, I’m wearing one today. I only bought it this spring!

    • Isn’t it exhausting and expensive to be this tied to what is “trendy”?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I don’t think this poster indicated she’s tied to it. She’s asking a simple question. Don’t be difficult.

  16. Summer camp :

    I’ve got a daughter in kindergarten and I’m looking at camps for next summer. When do/should boys and girls separate for sports activities? My daughter is very active but we haven’t started soccer or similar as an activity. I’m looking at a camp that has kids separate in bunks by gender and another that is mixed. Anyone with experience as a parent in this area? I dislike segregating boys and girls, but I want her to participate and not get turned off by bigger and more aggressive children (usually the boys).

    • Do you mean like overnight camp? I didn’t realize there were overnight camps for kids under 7?

      For day camps, we try to do a combination. So soccer camp was mixed but dance camp wasn’t. I hate how early they start segregating girls and boys in some activities.

      • Summer camp :

        Day camp. For sure.

        I hate the segregation too. I think it encourages teenagers and adults to view the other gender as “other” and perpetuates all sorts of bad behavior. But I also acknowledge that the boys are bigger than she is.

        • In that case I’d look for a mixed camp that prioritizes activity not competition if you can. Mine was officially a non-competitive camp and it was such a great attitude and contrast to the rest of life.

        • With so many boys being held back (our schools push parents to hold boys out if their birthday is in/after April even though the cutoff for public schools is August), the boys get a lot bigger a lot faster. It puts the girls into permanent junior varsity status, which really affects their perception as “not as good as” and probably the parents’ perception of girls, too.

          If they did it by height/weight, these groups would be separated anyway (like for wrestling / boxing).

          • This trend of holding boys back drives me nuts. I feel like a lot of the parents who do this in my district do it solely so that their sons will be bigger and better athletes. I completely understand the concept of waiting a year if a child needs more time to develop socially or academically, but for sports? No.

          • Our district’s cutoff date is December 1 (or was when my kid was entering K, now it’s sept 1) and my son’s birthday is November 28. I asked his preschool teachers if they thought he was ready for Kindergarten and they just laughed. He was still biting (I’m sorry to say, and you have no idea how little control parents have over this if you’ve never had a biter – my other child never bit anyone)

            So I held him back, not for sports, and his only sport is playing in the high school pep band.

            You don’t know what’s behjnd another parent’s decision. I really would have preferred not to pay for another year of preschool but he just wasn’t read.

          • Just to put this out there – kids are bigger these days regardless. My son has always been one of the youngest kids in his class (he was born a month before the cutoff date) and also has always been one of the largest. At 11, he’s already 5’3″ and wears men’s size clothes and shoes. He has three classmates who are taller than him, including a girl who is already 5’5″. None are competitive athletes. Compared to what I remember from my middle school days in the early 90s – kids today just seem huge. It may not have anything to do with their age.

          • Agree with Anonymous at 12:01 that kids are definitely bigger these days. My daughter has several 11-year-old classmates, both boys and girls, who are literally my size. In contrast, I didn’t reach full adult size until age 19. However, the pervasive redshirting of both boys and girls exacerbates the issue. My kid is the youngest and very nearly the smallest in her middle school, and one of her teachers actually lets her out of class early so she doesn’t get trampled by the giant kids in the hallway.

          • I think the trend of redshirting boys is less related to sports than it is to teachers’ and parents’ not wanting to deal with the fact that normally developing boys can have trouble sitting still in kindergarten. I know some moms of girls who have redshirted too, either to give their kids an academic edge or just because they can’t bear to let their little girls go to school all day at age 5. It drives me nuts–it is just cruel to make a kid who has already turned six sit through kindergarten unless there is a legitimate social or academic reason.

          • I have a girl born in the summer where we have an August cutoff. She is more than a year younger than many of the boys in her class (less so for the girls). I think once it starts, the other parents on what becomes the fringe don’t want their kid to be the runt of the class (esp. if that kid is a boy). I was really conflicted over what would be best once people (at least 30-40% of each class, creeping well past the “season” closest to the cutoff date) started doing it and it mushroomed.

            I had my daughter tested a lot and if she hadn’t tested as able to do the work and been very asserted and also been very tall (but not very strapping), I would have struggled. She keeps up, but had she been petite and timid, I would have been concerned about her fairly competing in a K class against biological first-graders.

            It shouldn’t be so hard (why can’t they just make something K.5 and split the difference as a slightly older / younger class of kids in K). In my zip code, it is much more for academic competitiveness than for sports.

            I blame it all on the Outliers or whatever pop-science book had the chapter in it about hockey layers in players in Finland or whereever.

    • Nordstrom Tragedy :

      Does camp have to mean competitive sports?

    • I am also theoretically opposed to single-sex education because I think girls need to learn to cooperate and compete with boys, but you have to go with what fits your kid’s personality. My daughter is 10 and has never liked co-ed camps of any sort. She actually refused to attend science camp this past summer because the previous summer “there were too many boys and they were pushy and never let me do anything.” We now choose girls-only camps when they are available. I figure she spends plenty of time with boys at school, and during the summer she should get to have fun.

      • Best education I got in competing with men was at Wellesley.

        • Interesting. I worked at Wellesley for several years after graduating from a co-ed university and took classes in the postbac program, and I was consistently surprised by how passive many students were in class. I had always believed that single-sex education was a great thing until I saw it in action. The quality of instruction at Wellesley is unparalleled, but I just don’t think it teaches the kind of aggression that is needed to compete with men.

          • I found the total opposite. I didn’t need to be aggressive at Wellesley so I wasn’t. Out in the man infested real world I am fierce. Having time outside that competitive man focused perspective was essential for me to develop my confidence enough to be aggressive when I needed to be.

          • While I also found this counterintuitive, I’ve seen research that indicates Anonymous 11:49 am’s experience isn’t anomalous. I also know some very fierce (in a great way) Wellesley grads!

        • +1, but at my all-girls high school. 14 year old me didn’t like. 30 year old me is so grateful.

        • It’s interesting to hear people’s experiences on this, because my co-ed high school was totally girl-dominated. Girls headed up all the major student orgs, the best students were girls, and our representatives for governor’s school, all-state choir, all-county sports teams and similar academic/athletic/artistic programs were more often girls than boys. I went to what I often call “hipster prep school,” and while I can criticize it in a number of ways, it was definitely not an environment where male voices dominated.

          • I’m Anon from above with the all-girls high school. It wasn’t so much that male voices dominated my middle school or what would have been my public high school, but all of the boy-related “noise” was completely gone – intense drama around boys (am i liking the right one? does he like me? wait she likes him too? he’s in class with me so I can’t say anything because I’ll look stupid…. etc etc) d-o-m-i-n-a-t-e-d my middle school experience. The all-girls school took that to zero literally overnight and paved an open road for a MUCH more productive academic environment at that age.

            I would never send my kids to a Catholic school like I went to (I’ve left the religion and will not raise my children Catholic), but I would consider a single-sex school for sure.

          • I was so tall / skinny / flat-chested / bad-skinned / bucktoothed / known to be very smart in high school that boys were just some theoretical thing (even though they were there in class with me). Sadly. But now I look at it as a gift to not GAF about anything but working hard and academics and enjoying friendships who I knew with the utmost certainly liked me for me.

            Medium sized public high school in NJ (with all of its wild craziness, which I just adore, I was like miscast straight out of big bang theory).

      • I was always in co-ed schools (but looked at some of the 7 sisters schools for college and would have been OK with that). I always lived in single-sex housing b/c it was markedly cleaner and didn’t smell like feet. Guys used to like to be invited over to do laundry in our dorm.

      • Kind of off topic but I hope you don’t give up on science camps because of that experience. There are lots of girls-only science and engineering camps.

      • Chiming in to say that my Mount Holyoke education also help me be a strong outspoken student when I got to co-ed law school. I remember the dean of Boston College law school visiting MHC and she said you could always tell the all-women college students because they participated in class as much as the men.

      • I would definitely, DEFINITELY send my daughter to a single-sex school. There is ample evidence showing that girls speak up more, become more assertive, and succeed overall academically in a single-sex environment. There is plenty of time to socialize with boys outside of school and during extracurricular activities. However, it would also be interesting to see whether the same holds at camp – do girls try more new things and grow more confident at an all-girls camp? It seems like the same benefits from single-sex school might spill over into a camp where there is always new stuff to try and new skills to master.

    • I’m surprised that the mix genders at sleep away camps. So many boys are redshirted where I live that the boys are noticeably bigger than many girls in a way that would disadvantage girls in any co-ed physical sport (maybe except the shooting sports / archery / etc.). And that disadvantage would probably only grow / things get weirder as they kids get closer to middle school or they have to change together.

      • See but you are assuming camp is about competitive sports. At lots of camps it isn’t, at all!

        • Big pushy boys are not just a problem in competitive sports, though. They are also a problem in cooperative games, science labs, lining up for lunch…

        • “When do/should boys and girls separate for sports activities?”

    • We’ve done only done co-ed day camps. My kid plays academy level soccer and they started splitting those team into boy/girl around age 6. Recs teams are still co-ed. For overnight camp, I’m fine with single-sex camps. I grew up going to all-girls camps and had really positive experiences. We also only saw the boys camps at camp dances so it wasn’t like there was a boys v girls vibe. I’d get more information about why they have boy/girl bunks in a day camp and how/if the kids are mixed during the day, what the activities are, etc.

    • I worked at a day camp that segregated by gender up to a certain age. The camp had swimming twice per day, so I think it was largely an issue of getting all the kids into the right locker room to get changed with proper supervision. Once they were old enough, they could get themselves in and out of the correct locker room and meet their group at the pool.

      • This is how my son’s summer day camp works. The gender segregation is 100% about logistics.

  17. Favorite source for skinny belts for sheath dresses? Lost mine on my mm lafleur dresses and want to replace… finding it weirdly complicated. Thanks!

  18. This dress looks pretty short for work. It’s only 36.5 inches and most work dresses are around 39 inches.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Then I’m suddenly interested, because most dresses are too long on me!

    • That’s probably 36.5 inches based on a size 6 or similar – when you are a bigger size, the lengths get longer!

      • Anonymous :

        Only negligibly – the difference between a size 0 and a size 14 dress length is usually only about an inch.

    • Sigh. This seems to be a trend in work dresses recently. And I’m tall, so it’s made finding new work clothing extra hard.

  19. If anyone read the original post on the guy who disappeared on his live-in partner of 3 years and then found out she was going to be his manager, Ask a Manager has an update. Hoo boy, he still sounds INSANE.

    • Wow…He still sounds like a total defensive jerk! Thanks for posting the update.

      • Seriously. Woe is me! How dare she go to the top? How dare they impose rules? Ugh that guy got what was coming to him

  20. Hey Hive, any tips for supporting an SO/DH in sales? My DH was on a roll for the first part of the year, and things have tapered off and now his business has been dry for a few months. He went from being at the top of his performance board to near the bottom, and he’s a bit in denial about it. He has been drinking more and playing video games a lot. He’s been putting on a brave face but I can tell he’s totally bummed. He’s also made some wistful comments about wishing he could support our family better (right now I’m the primary breadwinner). I asked him if he would consider changing jobs and he said yes, but is only half heartedly applying for other jobs. I don’t think he wants to “quit while he’s down”. Any advice?

    • Yeah stop being supportive and start telling him you don’t care how much money he makes but he’s not going to be drinking too much and playing too many video games to cope with it. This is the reality of sales!

      • +100 Sales success is a direct result of effort put in to it. If he’s drinking/video gaming, his mind is elsewhere and not thinking about business development. So long as he continues on that sort of path, maybe picking up additional habits, his attention will continue to be diverted from fixing the problem.

    • Could you tell him that your jobs are a good couples-financial-strategy? You pull in a steady salary while he can take on work with less certain, but potentially very high, compensation. It’s like mixing bonds and stocks in your 401K. (Also, remind him that a person’s income is not the same as their contribution to the family.)

    • My best friend is in sales and has been for 20 years; she’s really successful solely because she’s accommodated herself to the ups and downs. She has a great client base, but it requires constant work to maintain relationships and replace clients who fall away. She spends a ton of time networking and never really has downtime – she’s either actively closing sales or she’s using her slow period to network and cultivate leads. Your spouse’s slow period will just get worse if he doesn’t get out there and keep working, so I would encourage him to go to networking lunches and happy hours and keep working his networks. From what I’ve seen, sales success comes from working really hard even when you don’t feel like it and have had to handle a lot of rejection. If he’s struggling with that, it might be time for a change.

  21. What is a good choice for a karaoke song for someone who does not sing well? This is for a work social event – it’s not a competition but just for fun – I’d like to participate but am nervous. I’m in my early 40s. I’m not a good dancer either but I can look up a music video and try and copy moves.

    • I would go with something up-tempo (my personal choice would be “These Boots Are Made for Walking,” but the range is quite low and the piece is actually rather difficult to sing) and go all-out. Really sell it, to the point of campiness. If you go over the top, it will be fun and memorable. If you just sing badly or are tentative, it will be painful to witness.

      • I think I’d have to respectfully disagree on that song choice. I work for a firm with really fun partners, and I think if anyone sang this song at a work event it would be considered really odd.

    • What do you like to sing in the shower? I don’t think you’ll ever rock karaoke with a song that you don’t know and love.

      Beyond that, I generally advise picking something everyone knows. A tinge of “enjoyably cheesy” can be good as well. My stand-bys are “Wagon Wheel,” “I’ve Had the Time of My Life,” and “You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feeling.” Oh, and George Michael. “Faith” always goes over well (although some workplaces might side-eye the “touch your body” bit).

      Also Madonna, although I don’t recommend “Like a Virgin” for work outings.

      • Oh man I have to disagree with most of these choices. If you’re not a regular singer, don’t sing a ballad. Sing an up tempo song and if you’re a little off key it won’t be as obvious as with a slow song.

        Do something from grease or hairspray or something everyone knows with a partner and you’ll be fine. (Summer Lovin’ is my go to)

        • Ha, I guess this could be the case. I actually *am* a regular singer, and while I wasn’t really thinking about that mattering, in retrospect, of course it does…

    • I think “I Love Rock n Roll” is usually the go-to choice for a situation like this. Or maybe something that will have everyone singing with you, like “Don’t Stop Believing.”

      Kudos for participating! I hope you have fun!

    • Sweet Caroline. Get the crowd to join in.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 This has been sung at every karaoke night I’ve ever been to. The crowd will sing-a-long.

    • Ring of Fire, Dancing Queen (so many fun dance moves)

    • Pompom paging Sloan Sabbith :

      My husband’s go-to is, hilariously, Lola. It’s pretty foolproof, but maybe a bit odd for a work thing…!

    • The Devil Went Down to Georgia. No singing skills required.

    • Lots of good song suggestions above, but please don’t try dancing if you’re not comfortable with it. It’ll just be awkward.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d normally suggest “Bohemian Rhapsody” since hilariously bad makes that song even better (and others will sing along), but it is a long song. Know your office (and the song), but what about “I’m on a Boat”?

    • Eager Beaver :

      My go-to is Tina Turner’s version of Proud Mary.

      • Eager Beaver :

        Depending on your geography, Friends in Low Places and Family Tradition by Hank Williams, Jr. are great kareoke songs.

    • Only a month or so into my (then) new job, someone thought it would be funny to put my name in for karaoke at a work event. As I was walking up, terrified, one of my co-workers whispered for me to pick Livin’ on a Prayer because after the first few words everyone can’t help but sing along. He was right, so I would suggest that song or another similar fun 80s song that everyone knows the words to and will chime in.

    • Pretty Law Belle :

      I always do Rihanna songs. Not challenging, but fun and you can dance to them.

  22. Still waiting... :

    friends… waiting to hear about next steps for this job I posted about previously is KILLING ME. Supposedly they’re making calls this week. I know I’m in the running. I just need to get on with this. EEEEEEEEK.

  23. Has anyone let their hair go grey, but has added some sort of … highlights … or something to improve the look?

    I have pixie short brown hair that has quite a bit of grey now. It looks pretty dull/flat.

    I used to semi-permanent dye + highlight years ago, but it became pricey for me and my hair grows very fast and honestly I would need to repeat every 4-6 weeks minimum. It became too difficult time-wise as well.

    Sometimes I think of crazy things like…. highlights of white/different browns/something… to just ?brighten it somehow.

    • I wrote a novel above on highlights (they are a committment). I am a brunette using highlights to blend in the gray a little better. The gray is mostly around my face in sandy streaks (not a cool streak like Stacy London) so I get lighter highlights around my face in an attempt to make the gray look like just another highlight.

      I’m not sure I intend to go fully gray. If I get a lot more gray I may end up with more highlights, so I would sort of go unintentionally blond (“we get older and blonder”)

      What I don’t want to do is an overall dark dye job trying to get my whole head back to the dark brunette of my pre-gray pre-highlighted head. I know several women who do that and

      1) the dark color is aging against older skin

      2) they spend most of the month having a skunk stripe of white at their part.

    • I have a short pixie and highlights are just not feasible. On the sides and back they end up looking like leopard spots. Even if you just put a few on top, the color needs to be maintained regularly. I would try a semi-permanent dye at home in a lighter shade than your natural color. This will create some color variation that mimics highlights.

    • I just watched a woman at my hairdresser have this done!
      She started with dull mostly grey hair and they put some kind of blonde highlights in and she ended up looking more like a very cool blonde. It was amazing- it was like watching 10 years drop off her.
      I don’t have any more specifics than that, except that I can recommend a wonderful hairdresser for this if you happen to live in Toronto!

  24. Pompom paging Sloan Sabbith :

    Sloan I’ll email you–remind me of your email? Something thiss i t e at gmale?

  25. For those of you who are depressed and traumatized by our President and happen to like song parodies, may I introduce you to Randy Rainbow (fb or you. t*be) for some much needed laughs. Enjoy!

    • Clementine :

      ‘How do you solve a problem like Korea’ made my husband literally double over in crying laughter.

    • OMG. Randy Rainbow is literally the only good thing to come from this election. My favorite is his parody of “Alternative Facts.”

      Oh, and “Unpopular.” Love.

  26. Job Application Advice :

    Does “all” job history really mean all? Including the place where I worked for 3 days before I went nopity nope nope because of some crazy politics? Also does explain all criteria in cover letter mean that I just list 1-10 or do I try and skillfully work all that into a few paragraphs? Sorry I am just used to jobs that require a stock resume, cover letter and then you go interview. This super thorough business isn’t familiar to me.

    • For the cover letter, I’d use bullet points or numbers for each one. It’ll be easier for you to write and easier for them to check everything off. I don’t ever put all jobs I’ve ever had on an application (you really want to know about the movie theater I worked at when I was 14? I don’t think so).

      • Job Application Advice :

        Does the ‘all’ change if it’s for the Fed?

        • HELL YES!!!

          If you are applying for a job with the government or a government contractor, all really means ALL!!! They will check your stated job history against your past year’s W2 statements. Luckily, even a top secret background investigation only goes back 10 years (they don’t consider information past that date to be relevant!), so you do not need to list every job you have had since your are 16.

          • Job Application Advice :

            I’m not an American Citizen and this isn’t for a job on US soil so they can’t check taxes. It’s for an international job with the US government.

          • I would stick with 10 years back and I would include the place you worked for 3 days.

          • Job Application Advice :

            Okay 10 years and 3 day job it is. The whole thing was just so embarrassing I try to forget it ever happened

          • Anonymous :

            Even without checking your taxes, be thorough. They will do all avenues of checks to make sure you were comprehensive — not that you didn’t include something, but that you weren’t hiding something.

            If there’s a security clearance involved (I don’t think clearances are typically, though not never, issued to non-citizens?) this answer changes.

            My federal resume is 7 pages long. I graduated in 2011 so haven’t even be working for that many years… (my private sector resume is one page.)

  27. Travel Advice :

    I need some suggestions. I was recently in a large western US city and had the most difficult time finding restaurants. I’m a fairly picky eater, didn’t want something too expensive or fancy, and just really wanted casual good eats, bonus points if it had a playground for the toddler, but not necessary. What are the best apps for this for US cities? Do I just need to do a ton of research beforehand?

    • Yelp

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t you just need to go to like the local Applebee’s or TGIFridays or McDonalds? If you want a toddler play space those are your options.

      • I’ve never seen an Applebees or TGIFridays with playgrounds for kids. Where are you geographically if that’s true by you???

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah you should just go to McDs if you need an actual playground. There are tons of other toddler/kid friendly restaurants though. Yelp is a great resource.

    • Yelp is how I go, but I’ve heard of (haven’t tried) CurEat, which is an app.

    • Other than McDonalds or Chik-Fil-A, are there really restaurants that have playgrounds for toddlers? I feel like you don’t need an app to find those two.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, those are the only places I know with playgrounds. And there was no Chik-Fil-A in the west last time I checked.

        • Anonymous :

          We got Chik Fil A in the Bay Area (San Jose) more than 5 years ago.

        • There are lots of Chick-fil-As out west now.

        • There’s a restaurant in my city called The Backyard where you eat burgers, sandwiches, etc. outside, and kids can play on a playground. I’ve never been because I can just do that at home, but I imagine it would be comfortable for people traveling. So… yes, these things exist outside of Chic Fil A and McDonalds. But I don’t know how you’d find it other than Yelp.

      • Anonymous :

        Oddly enough, yes there are in some areas. We’re heading to San Diego with a baby (so not really playground material) but lots of my family friendly searching was coming up with real restaurants with play areas. Pre-baby I would have had no idea though since such a thing doesn’t exist in my area.
        To the OP, Yelp or TripAdvisor are both good for this sort of thing. Or just Google ‘city name family friendly restaurant’

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve had good luck with Yelp, even in smaller towns

    • Anonymous :

      Chain restaurants? Sounds like you want a Olive Garden or similar.

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