Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Tonya Pleat Dress

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

This Tonya Pleat Dress from T Tahari is a bestseller that I don’t think we’ve featured before. I like the pleats at the neck, the deep but high V-neck, and the black and navy color choices. This well-reviewed dress also has a concealed back zip and comes in sizes 2-16. It’s available at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom for $118 full price, and note that Amazon has some major sales on the dress’s other colors. T Tahari Tonya Pleat Dress

A couple of plus-size options are here and here.

Psst: note that the Bloomingdale’s Big Brown Bag sale is on — you can take $25 off every $200 you spend.  Nice! The sale is good even on already marked down items, such as this simple, sleeved dress from Boss — it was $595, then marked to $249, but you can take another $25 off with the sale.

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



  1. Anonymous :

    I’m going to Portland on vacation in mid-December with my boyfriend’s family. We will be there for about 8 days. If we were going for one scenic but very easy hike somewhere near to Portland, where should we go? We will have one person who wears a knee brace, and one kiddo in a stroller, so the emphasis is on easy, please.

    • Anonymous :

      Maine or Oregon?

    • You can go to Lower MacLeay park and start up the trail, which stays paved for a short distance and gets you a glimpse into Forest Park. Also, check out Leif Erickson Drive (a closed fire access road)–it is dirt/gravel that would be just fine with a jogging stroller (not an umbrella stroller) and you can get even farther into Forest Park without ever leaving that road. Both are very gradual hills, so definitely easy.

      Outside of Forest Park, check out Tryon Creek Park, which is in the SW hills and has some very family-friendly loops.

      You can get lovely views from Washington Park/International Rose Test Garden as well, but it feels less like a hike and more like a park stroll.

      If you want to get out into the Columbia River Gorge, I highly recommend picking up William Sullivan’s book “100 Hikes in NW Oregon.” It’s like the hiker’s bible out here. :)

  2. Anonymous :

    I get so bored, I know I’m not using my full potential. This happens everywhere- in college, in work, etc.

    What do you guys do to live life to the fullest?

    • Eat pie, play outside, hug my kids. I have to say, I do enjoy my job and find it fulfilling, but if that was all there was to life, it wouldn’t be enough. No one thing is.

    • I’m the same way. And, each time, I am pretty successful, and I always think… Gosh, what if I actually tried my hardest?

      • Anonymous :

        Or even: what if I tried a bit harder

        I just can’t seem to do 100%. But I can do a reverse nickle-and-dime to get incrementally better.

    • When I feel really bored, I read a really challenging book. It’s not exactly living life to its fullest, but it reminds me that there are things that are really hard for me to do and it gives me a feeling of achievement that I don’t get in my day-to-day.

      • Shenandoah :

        +1. I either try to learn something new from non-fiction, particularly in an area in which I’m less familiar or knowledgeable, or I read a memoir or really introspective novel. This either helps me appreciate that I’m feeling the way plenty of other people do, or it inspires me to kick things up a notch and get stuff done.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I feel like the only thing I ever gave 100% at was taking/passing the bar exam.

    • I see this line of thinking (along the lines of “I never truly give 100%”) so often that I’ve started thinking it’s wrong. There aren’t that many unfulfilled geniuses out there. Like, the effort you’re exerting on a day-to-day basis *is* your true average maximum potential. If it weren’t, you would be working harder. And of course, there are occasions (like the bar exam) where you do go above and beyond, but that’s not sustainable for anybody. Nobody can truly go balls to the wall day in and day out. So, accept that you’re doing is what you’re going to do, on average. Don’t beat yourself up because you’re holding yourself to an impossible standard. And don’t let yourself skate by thinking that you *could* be a genius rockstar, but you’re just choosing not to be right now.

    • Trying new things or giving myself a big new challenge helps. (I am thinking about doing a half marathon next year after I turn fifty.) This is going to sound a little hokey, but I also try to remind myself how lucky I am to be bored. It could all change quickly (unemployment, illness, disaster) and then I’d think longingly of these days.

    • When I get bored, I try to find a way to meet people who are outside of my lawyer-bubble. I join clubs, I volunteer in a non-legal capacity for causes I believe in, I take classes at a community college, I join professional organizations that aren’t law-related. Even online dating can be an outlet. I’ve considered doing a part-time job or gig like uber driving or being a poll worker.

  3. I really like the neckline and collar of this dress. It covers everything but hints at more.

    • BUT BUT BUT :

      But what do you wear with it?

      A blazer wouldn’t work with the neckline. A cardigan seems so . . . basic in a bad way. A turtleneck underneath would look odd. But I would freeze in this and interesting dresses are never shown as part of an outfit.


      • Wait, why wouldn’t a blazer work with the neckline? I wear blazers with v-neck shirts and dresses all the time.

        • Anonymous :

          I think b/c it’s a bit up on the neck and not a basic v that is just over the shoulders.

          • So what? The stand collar of the dress will still fit nicely under the stand of the blazer collar. It might look weird with a collar-less jacket, but a typical tailored jacket/blazer would be fine.

        • I would wear a blazer with this. *Shrugs*

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Granted, I wear a lot of cardigans but I’d totally wear one with this.

    • Marshmallow :

      I own it in black and I have worn it with a collarless blazer (ice blue blazer with black panels on the sides). They look great together. I agree it might look a little odd if your blazer has lapels.

      • Ok…maybe not weird with collarless, then :)

        I still don’t see what the problem with a typical blazer would be.

    • “It covers everything but hints at more.”…. I’m pretty sure it would display, rather than hint at, anything above a B.

      Maybe, maybe, you could add a cl3avage covering scarf and remove it for a post-work date, but not worth the exposure for most work days.

  4. Do Tumi totes ever go on sale?

    • Ok – evidently the semi-annual sale is going on right now. So, new question: Sinclair (not on sale. boo) or Tegan ( on sale)? This would be for daily, commuting use. Carrying laptop, but not a lot of paper. Would carry a lunch, as well.

      Any issues with the coated canvas? I’m looking at the Earl Gray color, but don’t want it to stain/dirty easily. I saw it in person and it looks like it could be cleaned easily enough. Reviews? TIA!

      • I have the Tegan in the Earl Gray and really like it. I can carry a laptop (13″ish) and a couple of legal pads/papers. Redwelds are a snug fit. I can fit my lunch in there, but only if I carry it in pieces and not in its own bag. A frozen entree or a small plastic box fits fine. I have had it about 6 months now of daily use and it looks new still. Pockets are well placed, easy to wipe clean on the outside, etc.
        Side note- Sinclair is the name of the collection- there are a couple of different sizes in that- Tegan, Viera, etc. I think the Viera is the bigger one.

        • Thanks! I think I’m looking at the Tegan and Viera. I really just need a great, sturdy, every-day, carry-all tote that isn’t the LV Never Full or Goyard tote that everyone carries around here.

        • Does the Tegan zip close? Or is it open with that clasp holding everything in?

          • There’s a center zip pocket, but the two main compartments are secured with a clasp. There’s a large side interior zip pocket as well.

        • Is this appropriate as a court bag?

      • I have the nylon tote (don’t know the name offhand) and I love it to death. It’s the perfect work bag.

  5. Regular reader -- infrequent poster :

    Back in the day, I reached out to this community when I looking for a way out of BigLaw. I didn’t know what I wanted out of my career, and I had lost all interest and passion for working in law. Thanks to the guidance received here, I figured out what I wanted career-wise, and while it took several years to find that job, I am now in an in-house career that I am so grateful for.

    I’m looking for similar guidance when it comes to my personal life.

    I used to be the most optimistic person, would always look for the good in people, would trust instantly, and knew that someday I would find Mr. Right. Today, I wonder who that person was — I couldn’t be more different. I always try to spot issues, haven’t been in a close relationship for nearly a decade, have become very guarded, and don’t even know where I would begin looking to find someone.

    I realize I have a long way to go, and step1 begins with finding myself again and looking inward.

    Any recommended books/resources/personal stories to help me down that path?

    • Anonymous :

      Books: The Desire Map, You Are The One

    • Anonymous :

      This is where someone usually recommends a Brene Brown book or podcast.

      I’d also recommend any church (etc.) that has adult Sunday school in the lecture-format variety (if you are so inclined). Whiskeypalians are generally good at this. But many faiths can be (often their stuff is online, so you don’t even need to go). The point is generally that introspection is good, the wisdom of the ages is good, and they challenge you to think a bit and get out of your comfort zone.

      • Hate to be a cliché, but I think the Brene Brown vulnerability angle is key, since you say you’re very guarded. Practice being vulnerable everywhere. It f-ing sucks when you first do it – the vulnerability hangover is a real thing! – but you learn that you can survive hurt and pain, and without feeling those, you can’t feel real joy.

        I’m a Whiskeypalian too so I’m a fan of that advice as well :)

    • Anonymous :

      What worked for me:

      – being very active in my interests – pushing myself to try new things and talk to new people.
      – not being afraid to say that I wanted a commitment. I told my now husband after 4 months of dating that if he didn’t see at least the possibility of marriage in our future, that I wasn’t interested in continuing to date. We didn’t get engaged/married for another couple of years (mostly because of immigration issues) but I wanted to know early that we were on the same path. You don’t have to want to get married at all or have kids or whatever, but you can’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
      – be very very open to ‘Mr. Right’ not looking/being like you expected. My DH is blonde, shortish, is suspicious of lawyers and hates dogs. I’m a lawyer who loves dogs and tall/dark men. We never would have met via online dating but he’s an amazing husband and father. We ‘dated’ a month before I really felt a spark.

    • Anonymous4 :

      For me, once I began to realize how different I was from who I was previously, I started the very painful process of asking why. I’ve been using the Five Whys process – but on the personal side this is taking years rather than a planning period or a few brainstorming sessions.

      Two of my big areas have been in trust and anxiety. The answer to the first why on both of these deal with traumatic personal events in recent years. As I’ve examined the impact these traumatic events have had on me, asking the second why – why did XYZ event cause the response it did – has caused me to start digging deeper into unhealthy thought patterns, issues surrounding my faith tradition and personal beliefs, unresolved childhood trauma, and lessons learned in my childhood home. I’ve been doing this process both on my own and in a group of like-minded women who have had similar experiences. I have not found a counselor or therapist who has been helpful to me, so this has been a mainly internal journey.

      The books I’ve used on this journey have been specific to my personal trauma, and are also specific to my religion – so I refrain from naming them.

      I’m not as far on this path as I would like, but I did want to share the process I’ve been using in hopes that it might help you in your next steps.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you stop being a lawyer when you’re not at work? It seems that that is coloring how you see things generally. People who aren’t lawyers seem to be a lot more comfortable with risk (rightly or wrongly). But without risk, nothing happens: no roads, no bridges, no surgery, no EMTs, no tall buildings, no window washers.

      OR: if you work in an ER, all you see can be viewed as chaos and destruction in a very dangerous world. Nothing good ever happens. Or you could color it differently: bad things will happen and good people step forward and focus on moving forward amidst the chaos and destruction.

      In any moment, you have an opportunity for growth, statis, or retreat. Choose something different and see how it goes.

    • I think meditation has the potential to be really helpful with that sort of issue, especially in combination with everyone else’s suggestions. I think it really helps me deal with the anxiety that leads to me being very negative. Not that it actually changes the thought patterns, but it helps me notice them in the moment, consider whether the mental path I’m going down is useful or not, and consciously reframe my thoughts. I try to meditate for about 10 minutes a day, so it’s a pretty minimal time commitment. The book that got me motivated to give it a try was Dan Harris’s 10% Happier, which is a really good one if the hippy dippy meditation resources out there turn you off.

  6. Sydney Bristow :

    I love this.

    PS Kate Spade is having a surprise sale with up to 75% off today. I didn’t see many bags or wallets in that deep purple/burgundy color that I’ve been lusting over but maybe someone else will find something they love.

    What are you all planning to buy during Black Friday/cyber Monday sales? I’m hoping a Boden skirt that I love goes on a good sale. It’s the Irene Skirt Kilt in purple herringbone. Even with the 25-30% off they’ve been running, I’ve been reluctant to spend the money because I don’t think I’ll be able to wear it super often. I’m also in the market for a new wallet and likely some sort of power tool for my husband’s Christmas present.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m actually hoping to snag some new furniture: sectional, coffee table, statement lamp. I’m moving and am using that as an opportunity to completely refurnish my apartment.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Me too. I went and scoped what I wanted a few weeks ago. I’m hoping it goes on sale, but when I was last in, the salesperson said they never do more than 20% off. So we’ll see if we can beat that on Black Friday (or get something like free delivery).

        • BabyAssociate :

          What are you looking at? I have in my mind that I want a velvet couch, even though I know it’s the least practical fabric!

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I fell completely in love with a dark green velvet couch from Room & Board. Couldn’t justify it to myself with my long hair cat that sheds a ton. It was gorgeous though.

            I think white furniture, the velvet couch, and white winter coats are things I think look fantastic but I’m just not responsible enough to own.

          • Veronica Mars :

            I mentioned it a little later but I’m eyeing some of the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams slipcovered pieces. It seems to be a good price point for the quality, especially if it’s on an additional 20-30% off. I’m also looking at World Market for some cheaper pieces, as I desperately need some dining chairs and random end tables.

          • Veronica Mars :

            I love Room and Board! I considered buying from them but I can’t find any local dealers near me and I can’t stand the idea of buying site unseen.

      • Ditto. I’ve loaded up a cart on West Elm and Pottery Barn. We desperately need new throw pillows/throws/lamps/decor now that my son is past the pukey/grubby/out things in my mouth/pull everything down on top of me while crawling phase.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I got feather pillow cushions from IKEA that are awesome. They were under $10 each and have held up great. I think I’m going to get some more cushion covers to change up the look of our living room throughout the year.

    • Nothing much for me. Last year, there was a garden shed on Amazon for half price and I didn’t buy it b/c I wasn’t sure it would work for the space. I’ve got the dimensions saved in Evernote so I’m ready if it goes on sale. I might try and get some smart lightbulbs as well but am really quite boring this year. The Body Shop had 40% off so I stocked up on essentials.

      • Anonymous :

        hahaha I laughed at “garden shed.” I don’t even know what that would mean in thiss!te gardening euphemism, but all references here to literal gardening now amuse me.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m on the lookout for a TV for my new Woman Cave in the new Marital Residence.

      Other than that I am holding off on my shopping until our post-Christmas trip to London.

    • Did you see the NYT article about how Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales are mostly just retailers trying to get rid of stuff that won’t sell? It said that the hottest ticket items don’t go on sale anyway, so you’re really not going to find great deals during the holiday sales.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah I saw that. *sigh*

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I didn’t see that. But if it’s something I otherwise want, does it matter? I understand that it’s really not a good deal to buy something simply because it’s on sale if I don’t need or really want it, but if I already want it and it goes on sale it doesn’t matter to me if the retailer is just trying to get rid of it.

  7. I sit at a computer all day and have appallingly bad posture. Has anyone found a way to correct their posture?

    • I think Kat wrote once about something that vibrates if you’re slouching? I’ve really improved my posture by changing my desk set up, getting more walks (get used to being upright) and strengthening my core through yoga. I am much more comfortable sitting and standing up straight and while my shoulders are still around my ears, the rest of me is more aligned.

      • A Lumo Lift – I love mine (when I remember to wear it). Definitely helps improve the desk slouch. I also got a sit-stand desk, and try to spend at least an hour morning and afternoon standing instead of sitting.

    • Lots of yoga. And trying to be more aware of it during the day.

      • BabyAssociate :

        For me it is pilates. I’ve found that a stronger core greatly reduces both slouching and back pain.

    • I wear a posture corrector. This one is wireless and is meant to be worn alone under clothes, but I use it over my normal undergarments. It’s comfortable. It only is annoying when I do slouch, then the discomfort reminds me to sit up straight. It’s a bit expensive at $40, but I’ve noticed a big difference. One of my coworkers asked if I was a ballerina before a meeting, because she said I always sat so straight and looked elegant–since I normally feel like I’m curled over my desk, that was a big compliment!


    • My slouching was starting to cause lower back pain, so I got a standing desk. It makes me stand straighter but also encourages me to move around more when I take calls, etc. I recommend it.

  8. Any tips for things to do in the Bahamas, specifically paradise island? other than you know, laying on the beach and letting my brain turn to blissful oatmeal

    • If you’re not staying at One and Only, visit it for delicious drinks/lunch on the patio and enjoy their beach for one way to feel super fancy and like a Bond Girl.

  9. Anonymous :

    Any tricks for getting an ex romantic interest off your mind?
    I saw a guy for six weeks a little more than a year ago and still think about him every day.
    Hooking up w me was nbd for him- he started seeing someone else right away.
    We work in the same field, I run into him at industry events occasionally- always rattles me and makes my heart flutter.

    • Anonymous :

      Work on a couple of visualizations of him doing something really unappealing like picking his nose or wearing a MAGA hat.

      • Hahaha I like this idea in theory but I’m worried it would backfire and I would give myself a MAGA hat fetish in the process? (Guy is hawt)

        • He's at my gym :

          Super hot guy in a MAGA hat at my gym Sunday. It was a black one, not a red one but the message is still the same. No idea how even made that hat look good. My gym doesn’t even allow hats but no one apparently had the guts to tell him to take it off.

          • I totally would have told him to take it off, but then again, I’m a b*tch when I want to be. And right now, about this issue, I definitely want to be.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            I still haven’t seen one in person, but when I do I’m going to ask the wearer to tell me where it was manufactured.

    • Anonymous :

      Time and meeting someone else that I really liked was the only thing that ever really worked for me. Probably not want you to want hear. Sorry I don’t have better suggestions.

    • Self talk. Ohhhh swoonythought. “Get a grip. He’s just a f_ck boy. Pull yourself together.”

    • anonshmanon :

      Realize that your body reacts to him, because sometimes physical cravings go against what your brain knows is good for you (looking at you, potato chips). If you can classify the craving as a physical one and then consciously decide that your brain will take the lead on this issue, but you will probably indulge in a different vice later, maybe that can help you make peace with it. Eventually, you will get over it.

      • Anonymous :

        Oooh I like this.
        Dudes as potato chips- that makes so much sence.
        Also bribing myself with alternate vices sounds great.

    • Best way to get over someone like this is to get under someone else…

    • Real talk: You dated him casually for 6 weeks a YEAR ago. You need to move on- whether it’s by dating others, therapy, etc. I find getting under someone new and going no-contact with the old one is most effective (delete him from social media, block his number).

      And remind yourself that you deserve better, that you deserve someone who wants to be a partner and in your life.

      • Anonymous :

        I really don’t understand responses like this.
        I post saying, hey, I need help with this thing, and get a responce saying
        Omg you *need* to do that thing real talk.
        Um, right, I know I need to, that’s why I asked for advice on how to do so?

        I’ll assume that you think you are trying to be helpful, and if so you will want to know that this kind of dramatic shaming emotive responce has never been anything but the opposite of useful to me on any subject. Also not super healing to have the legitimacy of my feelings invalidated. It was casual for him, it wasn’t casual for me. I don’t need to be shamed for that?

        Thx for pragmatic suggestions of no contact, new adventures. Been no contact since not long after, never was connected to him on social media. Making attempts to procure lgp tho online dating is a *wasteland* where I live. Had a recent promising situation dematerialize in wake of election. :(

        • The tough love approach doesn’t work for everyone (it generally doesn’t, for me). I’ve been prone to this sort of ruminating after the fact. Sometimes telling yourself that you’re sad about the situation and that it’s okay to be sad is better and more helpful than yelling at yourself to STOP BEING SAD ALREADY.

          Also, I wrote down something Sara Eckel once wrote in a post about unrequited love -something like the goal is to find a great guy who loves you as much as you love him. I think that second part of the sentence is key – just telling myself that some guy wasn’t into me so I should go find someone who is has never helped me get unstuck.

        • Brunchaholic :

          You go, Anonymous at 1:34! I had the same “ugh” reaction to Seventy’s response. You’re opening yourself up here, and responses like that aren’t really helpful and are just condescending.

          • Yeah, Seventy’s response was totally insensitive and unhelpful. You’re not alone, OP–this happens to all of us. I still think wistfully about someone I went on three dates with two years ago! I think the only answer is just to keep looking, and hopefully, eventually, the right person for you will just obliterate your thoughts for this person. I don’t know, because it hasn’t happened yet for me. But I keep trying! So just stay open and keep plugging away, and know you are not alone or irrational for feeling like this. Kudos for you for taking an active role in trying to move forward.

    • Find someone else to be interested in. You’re probably thinking about him because there’s nothing else going on.

    • Anonymous :

      I had this issue with one guy, so I understand how frustrating this can be. I tried ignoring it, distracting myself, and telling myself how awful and incompatible he was. For this one guy, none of that helped. So I finally told myself the truth: that I really liked him and he didn’t like me the same way and that was okay. To this day, I still have the fluttery thoughts about him, I acknowledge what I’m feeling, and then I picture his face as a photo on my dresser…one of many memories that made me happy at the time. Good luck.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks this helps to hear.
        I’m sorry it hurt for you for a long time.
        Glad you were able to find some memories to give you happiness.

      • Anonymous :

        I also still have a guy from my past that gives me fluttery thoughts. And I’m married now to someone else! But it’s okay – when he comes to mind a few times a year, I think back on our brief affair as an adventure from my past that I will be glad I experienced when I’m an old lady someday with a boring life (now) and need something exciting to reminisce about. I don’t “miss” him anymore, I just enjoy the little memory when I’m somehow reminded of him and am thankful that I had crushes and experiences that were worthy of giving me butterflies. Some people have never felt that way, so I’m grateful for it. Maybe in a few months/years, you’ll be able to look back on it fondly too? Probably not easy now, but that may be a better goal than trying to force yourself to no longer find him attractive and exciting.

  10. Sloan Sabbith :

    I’ve got a big presentation today at work that I’m super nervous for…wish me luck?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      And any good tips for staying engaging for an hour?

      • Vary your tempo. And allow moments of “rest”. It’s so challenging to stay focused and engaged for an hour without little breaks. Give people the opportunity to rest by pausing, and re-engage them by varying your delivery speed. It forces them to follow closely instead of tuning out.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Pick out specific people in the audience and speak to them. One person for a short while, then move to somebody else, then somebody else. Do audience participation: “How many of you have ever done XYZ? Show of hands?” “Who knows the answer to ABC question? Raise your hand if you do! You in the red sweater — what’s the answer?”

    • Do your power poses a few minutes before you begin! It sounds corny, but I promise that they work.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1, it is very corny but it helps. I’ve taken to just generally standing with a wide stance, hands on my hips all the time. Take up space, you deserve it!

    • Luck. Be cognizant of your body language–no pacing, no swaying, no crazy hand gestures or hair-adjusting. You got this!

    • Anonymous :

      Good luck!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      God, I hate public speaking. But thanks, all, it went….fine. Probably better than I’m giving myself credit for, but I just generally hate this kind of thing.

  11. Veronica Mars :

    Am I crazy to get a stark white slipcovered chair and couch when I have a dog? I’ve read that white is great because it can be washed and bleached, but I’m a little hesitant to take the plunge.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends what kind of dog. Our dog doesn’t shed much and has very light tan fur so I think white furniture would be fine (and probably better than dark brown or black furniture, which would show tan fur much more easily). But if you have a chocolate lab I would say no.

      • Veronica Mars :

        He’s mostly black with cream patches and in theory he’s a non-shedding mix breed, but I got him from a shelter so I won’t know for sure until his adult coat comes in.

    • I think it’s doable with certain preventative measures. We’ve got a light colored upholstered couch and our dog solution is to keep throws on the couch for the dogs to sleep on. We pull them (and the dogs) off if we have company. We also have a strict no food/drink on the furniture policy for the kid. We opted for fabric protection treatment as well.
      Being able to wash a slipcover is good although you probably want to be careful with bleach since it can damage/discolor the fabric if used too often.

    • I’ve not found that having dark furniture means I never get to clean off pet fur. I use those sticky 3M rollers to get pet hair off my white and dark furniture alike. Scotch guard the slip cover as soon as you get it, and be diligent about washing as soon as it gets dirtied, and you’ll be fine.

    • More than just the shedding is that dogs track dirt. Do you have a yard? Our dog is an indoor dog who goes outside for daily walks and to sunbathe in the yard, but he still brings an enormous amount of dirt and grass into the house and that would be a bigger concern for me with white furniture than the actual shedding.

      • Veronica Mars :

        No yard, but he does go on daily walks outside. I’m trying to train him to let me groom him including wiping down his paws, but not sure how realistic it will be to maintain. At a minimum, he better get used to grooming because he tracks in a ton of leaves/grass/etc just from his coat.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. And not just dirt and grass–also oils from the dog’s coat.

  12. holiday cards :

    Who sends work related holiday cards? Do you send paper or the electronic version? Do you like getting these cards? I’m in a law firm so my cards would be sent to my clients and some other professional contacts. I may also co-sign cards with other attorneys to be sent to their clients that I have done work for, but that depends on the client responsible attorney.

    • Anonymous4 :

      i work in an NPO, and we send holiday cards to our supporters, and use paper as many of our supporters either do not have an email address or choose to not share it with us.

      I personally despise electronic holiday greetings. I would rather receive nothing than something electronic. I enjoy paper cards, and will usually display them in my office until the end of the year.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I feel like an electronic holiday card is spam. I like getting paper holiday cards.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I send paper cards to about 75-100 clients. I sign all of them myself and include handwritten notes in a bunch of them. It takes a lot of time, but its once a year and I do it while sitting in front of the tv, on a plane, procrastinating etc.

      Agree that electronic one feels like spam.

    • New Tampanian :

      In house, send company cards to a lot of contacts. Write something in each of them and sign them myself. It’s a long process (and I am reminded just now that I need to update my send to list) but a nice gesture. I always love receiving paper ones. Electronic ones are very rarely impactful.

    • Edna Mazur :

      I’m in house counsel, I send none but love receiving them.

  13. I moved to a new city this year for grad school and have been dismayed by the apparently frequent petty crime here. Almost daily, I get emails from campus police about armed robbery (electronics theft usually), people are robbing the Apple Store repeatedly in broad daylight, a bunch of cars have been broken into it, and, worst of all, several sexual assaults have been committed. Wtf is happening? I came from a city and it was nothing like this, but here, a girl literally had her laptop stolen out of her hands in a Starbucks during the day yesterday.

    • Where are you???

    • Are you in Memphis? I had a sibling move there and was very surprised at how much security there was. Like guards patroling supermarket parking lots. Metal security doors on houses. This wasn’t in a bad area of Memphis, either. And I’m from a bigger city and even our bad neighborhoods aren’t like that.

      • That’s funny that you say that, as I think Memphis has really improved in the last 10-15 years.

        • I think you’re right. I don’t think people will ever take down their metal security doors though. And it may be CYA for store owners where once they have security, they can’t drop it.

          So the perception of it being dangerous may linger even after the statistics change.

      • We apparently need guards patrolling the supermarket parking lots too; some crook pulled a gun on a supermarket employee after trying to rob a sandwich last week. It would be comical if all these pathetic little crimes didn’t come with guns.

        • Where in the Bay Area do you live? I live in the South Bay and spend time in SF and have never experienced anything you’re describing (except in the Tenderloin neighborhood of SF, which is pretty easy to avoid).

          • East Bay.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m in San Jose. I work downtown near San Jose State, City Hall, and the Public Library. We have a few panhandlers but they just sit on the sidewalk and aren’t aggressive. I don’t doubt there is petty crime but, aside from a few cat-callers, I haven’t had any problems (knock on wood).

            Remember too that petty crime increases around the holidays. People are looking for extra cash anywhere they can get it.

    • Are you in Atlanta?

    • No, Bay Area! I had heard that car burglaries were up in SF before I got here, but we’re not right in SF and I didn’t realize it was THIS bad.

    • Two things. First, universities often have a lot of petty crime. You’re from a city, but many of the newer students haven’t spent a lot of time in an urban area and are still developing their street smarts. Second, the school is probably sending out notifications for every little thing as both a CYA move and to get students to be alert. If you check the police compiled crime statistics they may not be much worse than your previous city.

      • Property crime doesn’t bother me the way that crimes against a person does. Same thing with late night vs daylight crime.

        I didn’t see this on the Silicon Valley episodes I watched — it’s like they skipped the robberies and aggressive panhandlers at the tech shuttle stops.

        • The panhandlers in San Francisco scared the crap out of me. They are so much more aggressive than anywhere else I’ve ever visited. I was on two occasions followed for entire blocks before I was left alone.

      • Yup, universities are legally required to send those alerts. In your last city, a lot of that stuff was happening and you just never heard about it because you weren’t on a university alert system.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yeah, this. We hear about every single crime at my university, from sexual assault to muggings to unattended possessions being stolen. I think it’s alarming because you’re not used to hearing about it, the same way people feel like the world is more dangerous because they have more access to news, but it’s actually safer.

          • But the Apple store getting robbed several times in 10 days and a woman getting her laptop stolen out of her hands at Starbucks (in nice/medium nice areas)? That wasn’t even associated with the university. I swear I read the local news in my last city and never saw this stuff SO frequently.

          • lawsuited :

            The point commenters above are making is that you’re feeling critical mass because the regular crime reporting you would receive through your usual news sources (e.g. the Apple store robberies) are being augmented by campus alert crime reporting which you wouldn’t usually be privy to.

      • Right, and were you getting updates like this in the city you were in before? You’re probably just much more aware of this kind of thing now because you get emails every time it happens. This kind of stuff does happen everywhere.

    • Yup, I was shocked (and frequently warn people traveling there for visits) by how much crime/panhandling/homelessness there is in SF. And I’m from NYC – pre-gentrification – so I have a high tolerance for what is common in larger cities.

  14. Good furniture :

    1. Has anyone sprung for a Lee Industries upholstered chair? I understand that that is the high end of the quality spectrum. Worth it?

    2. Is there such a thing as Too Much Leather? My leather couches have lasted ~20 years, but are probably at the end of their lives (this is for cheap leather, too). So easy to clean. No worries at parties. Is leather seat + large ottoman + love seat too much leather for one room? Maybe swap out an upholstered chair (some sort of dark velvety fabric? something that will last?)

    • Veronica Mars :

      I can’t speak to the quality of Lee. I like Mitchell Gold personally.

      It might be, or it might not be, depending on the rest of the decor. I think the bigger issue is it looking very matchy-matchy (which some people love). I’d opt for a tufted ottoman in another fabric to break up all the leather. I love linen and leather together, so that could be a good way to go.

    • anon in SV :

      I have a Lee Industries microfiber sofa. Went for the bottom cushions with springs in them. It’s a fantastic quality couch. I’ve slept on it overnight many times and wake up feeling great. A+ would definitely buy again.

    • Do your leather sofas feel “cold” when you sit on them, compared to cloth or suede? This is the main thing stopping me from buying them. What if you’re wearing shorts and your bare leg is on the sofa?

      • Yes, mine feel cold and that’s a good thing I think. If I’m wearing shorts that means it’s hot out and better to rest on a cooler surface than on suede or fabric or something else that may show sweat marks.

        To OP – I don’t know about the brands, but I don’t think there’s such a thing as too much leather. If they are all black leather pieces, they might make the room look/feel darker. My beige leather (would have picked brown but I bought the cheaper floor model) sofas have been with me for 14 years (and 3 young kids) and they show no signs of wear. I recommend finding a sofa that have comfortable arm rests that can double as a pillow for naps.

  15. To whoever recommended this blazer: http://www.kohls.com/product/prd-2527099/womens-lc-lauren-conrad-ponte-blazer.jsp?color=Ponderosa%20Pine THANK YOU!!! I love it and get so much wear out of it. I have the green and grey, and with it being on sale now, I’m thinking I’ll get the black and the wine colors.

  16. What are your best tips for dragging yourself out of a warm bed into a chilly room? I have a hard time convincing myself to get up when I’m cold. I don’t drink coffee, so a programmable coffee maker doesn’t get me going, and I shower at night.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Sadly, my motivation is my dog barking to go out and eat. So only a solution if you’re in to permanent things.

      • Yes, dogs solve this problem. My pooch can’t jump off the bed (too high for him) so when he’s ready to go out in the AM he starts running around and digging in the covers. Best alarm clock ever…

      • Ha. Mine is the reason I stay in bed. He crawls in sometime in the middle of the night and refuses to get up in the mornings. On weekends, he sleeps past noon (no need to eay or go out!). Workdays, I literally drag him off by the paws and have to push him to go outside. Yesterday morning, I turned around ready to put his rain jacket on only to find that he ran back upstairs into bed! Been like this since he was a puppy.

        • Awwww so cute. My dog is a terrier so when he is awake he is READY FOR ACTION.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Our old dog did this- but he did like food. He would go downstairs and have my parents feed him, be tossed outside, and then would come back in and mosey on up to my room or down to my brother’s room in the basement and go back to bed for another few hours. Often beyond when we slept.

    • Programmable tea maker? Phillips Wake up light? Programming the thermostat to warm your room up just before you wake?

      But also, at a basic level, do you need more sleep?

      • Or are you maybe depressed? For me, having issues getting out of bed are the first sign.

        • Eyeroll. The house is cool, the bed is warm. That’s not depression, it’s an aversion to cold. OP isn’t having trouble waking up, it’s the not wanting to get out of bed because shivering sucks.

          OP – warm up socks in the bed with you, put them on and have a warm robe nearby? Programmable thermostat to bring the house temp up when its time to get up?

          • Fwiw, depression often manifests as inability to get out of bed, not inability to wake up. When I was depressed, I had no problem waking up at 7 and playing on my phone, but I could not will myself to get out of bed and face the day. Not saying OP is depressed, as it sounds like her problem getting up is very tied into the temperature, but it’s not ridiculous to say she should consider the possibility. Inability to get out of bed in the morning was the primary depression symptom I had.

          • Yeah, I’m throwing this out as something to consider because temperature is a very easily rectifiable thing. It doesn’t seem like it should be something that poses this much of an issue.

          • Anonymous :

            If this were a year-round issue for the OP, I might be more on board. But, if it’s just a cold weather thing? Nah. Some of us (even cold climates) really hate that temp jump from 90 degree/body temp bed to 68 degree air temp.

          • hahahahaha :

            You’re eyerolling at the suggestion of depression….? OP literally asked for *tips on how to get out of bed* because it’s cold. I mean, really? Tips on how to get out of bed. If someone is struggling with getting out of bed/figuring out bathrobes so much that they need to ask for suggestions on an internet message board, its not unreasonable to assume there’s something more going on.

            OP, keep an amazing bathrobe within arms reach of your bed. When you wake up, drag it in the bed with you and put it on. Lay there for a few minutes and let it turn into a protective cocoon of warmth and then go about your day. It’s a classic camping trick- keeping your clothes in your sleeping bag/right next to it and changing inside it.

        • I acknowledge that depression may be the problem for some people, but for me it is very much an issue of being cold. I really do not function well when I am cold. It seems silly to pay for heat in November in southern California, but perhaps I need to invest in a cozy robe. :)

    • How cold are we talking here? Can you turn up the thermostat slightly?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Shearling slippers and a fuzzy robe.

    • Can you get a programmable thermostat? We set ours to 66 at night and then at 6am I have it turn up a few degrees.

      I also think a nice warm robe helps. Sometimes I will bring mine under the covers with me for a few minutes to warm it up before putting it on.

    • Programmable space heater in the chilly room, warming towel rack so you can wrap up in a warm towel while you get ready, have a hot breakfast in the morning (I like oatmeal), work out right away so your heart rate gets up and you warm up?

      • Baconpancakes :

        This was my fix in my last apartment. (Now we have a programmable thermostat so it’s not an issue.) Sometimes I’d even set the alarm a little early, turn on the space heater next to the bed, and go back to sleep for 15 minutes while the room warmed up.

    • Can you leave fuzzy socks and a warm robe on the foot of your bed before you go to sleep, then put them on under the covers when you wake up?

      This way you’re not going from cozy warm to chilly. And extra bonus: eventually lying in bed with those on will probably make you uncomfortably warm and you’ll want to get up!

    • Another vote for programmable thermostats! You can also keep a bathrobe under the covers with you so it will be warm when you have to get up and put it on. (I learned this trick for camping trips.)

      Get a timer outlet (like people use to have their lights turn on and off on schedule when they’re out of town) and program it to turn a light on before you have to get up. I find that light wakes me up more peacefully and gradually, and it’s easier to get up and deal with the cold if I’m not simultaneously dealing with the bleariness of having just woken up.

      • +1 to the timer outlet, but hook up a space heater to it, so the space heater turns on a few minutes before you do.

    • I turn up the heat.

    • My kiddo was having this issue and now she gets a ‘treat’ every morning for breakfast — strawberry yogurt. When she’s tired of that I’ll come up with a new treat. But why not do the same for yourself? Before you go to bed set up something that you know will make you smile in the AM.

    • Edna Mazur :

      I’m a night showerer too, but when it is really cold i put my hair up and jump in a really warm shower for about two minutes or so. That helps me.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Heat dish. I promise myself I can sit in front of the heat dish (down stairs) with my coffee for a few minutes if I just get myself out of the bed.

    • Brunchaholic :

      We just got a small space heater with a remote control to address this *exact* issue. I hear you!

    • full of ideas :

      Programmable thermostat makes heat come on 15 min before my alarm, makes a world of difference!! Also, it shut off after 30 min total – so I’m not running the heat all morning, but I never feel chilled since it’s pre-warmed for me when i wake

  17. Make it stop :

    Anon for this but I can’t really discuss it with anyone else irl. I’ve been spotting/bleeding everyday for the past two months. It’s like my period was supposed to come but just became dark brown with bouts of red. I need to wear a liner everyday. Doctor said it’s stress related but it still hasn’t stopped. I’m 28 and not pregnant. Has this ever happened to anyone before?

    • I would go see a doctor who actually gives you a proper work-up and investigates the issue. It could be anything, but it’s probably not “stress.”

    • This has happened to me twice – once in lieu of a period and once just randomly, but the spotting lasted for 2 weeks or so not 2 months. I was told is was likely stress-related, and based on what was going on in my life at the time, that may well have been the case. Keep going to your doctor and telling him/her it’s not resolving – don’t let him/her dismiss you!

    • Yes, but only for one month. I’m in my 40s though and chalked it up to perimenopause. If it had persisted like yours has, I’d go in and get checked out / some bloodwork.

      Any chance you’re anemic?

      • Make it stop :

        Yes, I am.

        • I was irregular when I was anemic. It’s like my body wouldn’t have a full-on period b/c it was iron hoarding. I have been much more regular when I’ve not been anemic.

    • Yes! Are you on the pill? If so, time to change. Sometimes our bodies need a different formulation after a while. My doctor had a hilarious explanation for this that involved a lawnmower. I can’t do it justice so I won’t try, but please talk to your doctor about the birth control pill if you’re on one right now.

      • The birth control switch worked for me, but before deciding that was the issue, she also sent for me a trans-v ultrasound (to rule out fibroids or other “structural” issues) and did a full pelvic exam with bloodwork and STI testing. I hope your doc takes this course of action for you! There is very likely an underlying explanation beyond stress.

      • Make it stop :

        No, have never been on the pill. I plan on TTC next year. This has happened to me before around a year ago but it did stop after 2 months and my cycle was back to normal.

        Any doctor recs for NYC area? I may need to get a second opinion.

        • Try fertilitycare.org for a listing of doctors who follow NaPro protocols–all about properly diagnosing problems and restoring health instead of just controlling symptoms. I can ask my FB group for specific recommendations if you like! :)

        • Try looking on fertilitycare.org for doctors who follow NaPro protocols, which are all about diagnosing root issues to restore health instead of just controlling symptoms! I can also ask my NaPro facebook group for specific recommendations if you like. :)

        • Weill Cornell on 72nd and York. Loved my OB/Gyn, had a great delivery experience at NY Presbyterian too.

    • All of my inexpert research has led to eating ridiculous amounts of dark leafy greens. Also, B6 supplements have been helping my midcycle spotting (I take Thorne vitamins). But my spotting occurs during ovulation, not constantly throughout the month. I agree with the suggestion to see a new doctor for sure.

    • This used to happen to me when I was very athletic – it was like the transition phase to amenorrhea. I would probably see the doctor (or another doctor) again to make sure you’ve ruled out any other potential issues, but it is a thing that sometimes happens. Do yourself a favor and take a good iron and b12 vitamin.

    • Yes, I was 22 at the time and went on BC, which fixed it. At 22 I wasn’t TTC so no one looked for underlying issues – just a bandaid to make it stop was enough.

      Now, at 32 I’ve learned that it was actually my body telling me other things – warning signs of PCOS and other fertility-related issues that I’ve recently been confronting head on. Find yourself a good obgyn and get some blood tests done to make sure that it truly is just “stress related” and not something else that you’d otherwise want to know about. If you’re in Boston, I have a good referral for you.

    • Meredith Grey :

      Are you dieting or exercising more than usual? My bod did weird weird things and it played out a lot in my cycle with when I was intensely dieting (very restricted carbs and calories) and over-exercising (half marathons “for fun”). In hindsight it was my body telling me to calm the F down and get a grip. Wish I listened sooner.

  18. I’m looking at getting the morandi sweater from mm lafleur. Does anyone else have it and can tell me whether it actually looks chic or more like a bathrobe?

    • I’m stalking this one too and I’d be very curious to hear IRL feedback! FWIW – I tried on a few close look-alikes from Gap, Boden, and Banana Republic and they all looked like robes.

    • I don’t have it, but if you check out uniqlo, they have a similar one (a bit longer this season). Maybe not as business-formal as the morandi, but I didn’t feel bad about buying it.

    • Depends on your body type. I have a more muscular, curvy build and it just made me look bulky. I think it would look very chic on someone with a straight, slim frame though.

    • I’m wearing mine today! It was a definite splurge, but I wear it 1-2 times a week, and it’s worth it. I pair it with skinny slacks and a turtleneck, or a longer dress. Our dress code is somewhat relaxed, so YMMV. But it’s warm, and has held up well.

    • I’m an hourglass and I loooove it. Full disclosure: I do look pretty bulky up top when I wear it, but I usually pair it with a shorter black dress and black tights and ankle boots to make my bottom half look skinnier.

      It is the softest, most luxurious piece of clothing I own, so I reserve it for days I need to feel extra snuggly (either difficult times at work or really cold days). I don’t wear it if I’m going to be meeting with clients, though.

    • Marshmallow :

      I do not own it but I have tried it on and nearly splurged because it is so beautiful and warm. It doesn’t look like a bathrobe. It’s thick, but the belted waist still gives you shape. I have a jillion cardigans and wraps so I just don’t need it, but if you are looking for a piece like that in your wardrobe, I highly recommend.

      • If I wear it over a nice dress and heels, first, would that look weird? And second, would you say that qualifies as nice/ the upper end of business casual?

        • Marshmallow :

          I think it might look a little odd with heels because it’s so chunky, honestly. I think a bootie or other more solid shoe would balance the volume better. But it would fit in well with my Biglaw wardrobe so yes, nice end of business casual. MM LaFleur has a pretty good return policy so you can always try it on with some of your own stuff and send it back if you don’t like it!

    • I bought it and sent it back. It looked terrible on me.

      I have a large bust and athletic shoulders (so, not really who mm lafleur designs for). It added tons of bulk up top and no definition. I looked worse in the sweater than I do most bathrobes.

      Rant time… They really frustrate me with their labels. If something might fit across the bust, it’s labeled for full busted, regardless if it is flattering for a full bust. I also find it incredibly insulting they cannot be bothered to make one of their jardigans work for full busted.

      • itty bitty t*tt* committee :

        I hear you (sort of).

        I am the person that things fit. Meaning that they are not too small. Meaning that I am slowly, garment by garment, buying the tailor a boat as he takes in the sides of everything and re-adjusts darts.

        Bosoms are hard to clothe.

        Totaly agree: fit and flattering are different. Flattering, for me, is what the tailor does to things that “fit” off the rack.

        • I get there fit vs flatter.

          I too am lucky to have a good tailor… and almost every dress / jacket I buy goes through to adjust the waist, etc. But there are some items that are beyond hope (e.g., shoulders are the wrong shape / size, button placement on blazets, sweaters, etc).

          What bothers me about mm lafleur’s messaging is that they are 1) ‘designing for all body types’ and 2) making ‘indespensible’ parts of wardrobes, e.g., the jardigans… But that is clearly not true

          • If they were designing for all body types, they’d make their damn dresses longer. So many great options, all of them way too short. 40+ inches, please!!

          • Sydney Bristow :

            If they were designing for all body types, they’d offer plus size items too.

          • itty bitty t*tt* committee :

            If I were a designer, I’d just design for size 12+ just b/c I bet good stuff would just fly off the shelves. Sizes 8 & under is such a saturated market with people addicted to sales that I wouldn’t even try it.

      • Their jardigans work for me and I’m an E cup.

      • So I also have a large bust and athletic shoulders. I actually think their stuff looks terrific. Aside from proportions though, I’m a very small person in general. Maybe that matters a lot

    • it looks really comfy-chic if you tie up the belt in the back and wear it open. it’s my office sweater in my biz cas SF office.

    • I actually just ordered one last week and will be sending it back. I also tried the Uniqlo lambswool sweater and that didn’t work either. I’m 5 feet tall and the Morandi just looked like a loose bathrobe, not flattering on me at all. The sleeves were too long and loose. I was also bothered by the quality of the fabric for the price- IMO that’s what a cashmere sweater should cost. The uniqlo one was too awkwardly long and the waist as too high.

  19. Has anyone gone to one of their pop up shops? Worth the time?

    • I would! I wept, figuratively, that I didn’t have enough time to get to their store in NYC when I was there last. I had to spend a bunch of time to figure my size / style in their dresses (so lots of order, return, repeat), but was glad I did. Would have been so much better to have my options in front of me, good mirrors, and a helper to fetch and try on outfits instead of items.

    • Not for me. I didnt “click” with the stylist at all. She only brought me one size of everything and I much prefer to try on two sizes of every dress. She gave me no feedback, positive or negative other than, “that looks good” if I expressed interest. the clothes she chose were not in line with what I requested. I felt like it was a giant time suck trying on all this stuff she picked out to be polite, which I had no intention of buying and then having to ask for what I did want to try on and then wait for them to look for it in the back, usually without success. Then I felt obligated to buy stuff and hated the dress I bought and the skirt was too big and stretched (b.c she wouldnt let me try on multiple sizes). Ugh, I’m annoyed thinking about it. Total miss for me. I should add that I have loved every article of MM La Fleur clothing that I have chosen on my own and I currently own about 5 dresses, 2 blouses and a skirt.

      • I’m glad I went to the pop up because I discovered that I’m not impressed enough by the material/designs to drop that kind of money.

        I’m a 14P, apple. 5’3″.

        The attendant person was nice, but clearly had never dressed anybody that isn’t a jcrew model type stick thin person as she brought out things that would never work for my body type. That was annoying. Also annoying is the fact that they don’t have one of each dress on display.

        When I asked for more of X,Y, Z, she was great about bringing those out, but it took going through the first 6 items to get there.

        They also don’t have petite sizing, so you’re going to have to hem.

    • Yes, I just went to the one in Philly last week, and bought a dress (the Aditi) and the St. Ambrose jardigan. It’s definitely worth it but only if you have a few hundred bucks to drop.

    • Definitely worth going and don’t feel the need to buy anything. Or, they ship it to you a few days later so you still have the option to return it. I liked that I tried on a couple things I wouldn’t have otherwise. I kept the Dietrich topper and ended up sending back the pair of pants I’d tried on.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Yes, I LOVED it. When you set up the appointment, you can list specific things you want to try on. Almost everything my stylist pulled for me were things I had requested, so I didn’t waste much time trying on things she had picked. The few things she did pick were also great. Spend some time on the website beforehand, so you can request specific items– there’s a box for this on the form where you book your appointment. You can also say you want to try it in, say, a 4 and a 6, so your stylist isn’t scrambling for sizes. Also, there is champagne :)

      I ordered and kept the Foster pant (black), Bourgeoise blouse (ivory), and Harlem skirt (evergreen). I loved the DeBeauvoir blouse, but I have a machine-wash-only policy and don’t think it would survive. Next on my list are the Cady top, Foster pants in another color, and the Morningside tweed skirt. They will make a wish list for you and email it to you– so if you do feel pressured to buy, just ask them to create you a wish list so you can think about it.

      • My experience was the same. The stylist pulled out the ones I requested and a few others, but next time I will be sure to request additional things because I mistakenly assumed that I could look through the racks. No, they don’t allow you to look through the racks and pick things to try.

    • I went over the weekend! I think my expectations were too high though – I have shopped with a personal shopper at Nordstrom a few times and she was amazing at finding clothes that I wound up loving but wouldn’t have picked out for myself. So I thought the pop-up was going to be more of a personal shopper experience. Mostly it just felt like an attended fitting room where they brought the clothes I had requested and added in a few other seemingly random items. It would be a good idea if you want to try on their clothes without the hassle of having to order and return.

    • I went to one just to get a sense of what my size is and what cuts are flattering on me. I’m glad I went because what I would have picked for myself definitely was not the most flattering. Now I know, Size 4, machine washable, long sleeved, V neck dresses are my thing.

  20. Have any Canadians ordered from mm lafleur?

    I like a lot of their stuff, but I bet customs/shipping would be slow/expensive, I’m not close enough to the US for a weekend trip, just to have a bento box delivered to my hotel and flip it.

  21. Unsure what to get/ask for this holiday season? How about a newspaper subscription!

    Journalism is coming under fire in this new administration, but several publications (NYT, WaPo, etc.) have committed to digging for the truth and reporting the news — even in the face of death threats and racial slurs to their reporters not to mention threats of lawsuits to shut them up (you know, the Trump way!). Democracy cannot exist without the free press, informing the electorate. Let’s support them.

    (Also, being informed is good for your brain, makes you more interesting, and the crosswords are fun.)

    • Thanks for this. I got subscriptions to the NYTimes and New Yorker last week for this reason.

    • Yes my family started this last year- I’m probably giving a NYT subscription, and asking for my local/state paper which is barely hanging on, but still has the only investigative coverage of state issues. I think we bought WSJ last yr for a family member (paper+online) through a package on Amazon, it was easy and we didnt have to worry about any auto-renew cancellations.

      • Yes, it’s so sad that it is a dying industry, but I don’t think it will totally die because outside of lawsuits, newspapers are the ONLY ones that will investigate issues that actually change the law and affect how people live. Not just at the national level but at the local level – those small papers are the ones that test drinking water and expose government officials taking bribes. Even your local TV station doesn’t really have the platform for year-long investigations and FOIA requests to dig for facts; their space is in the shorter stories.

        Also, from a gift-giving standpoint, subscriptions are one of those things people don’t really buy for themselves but would use everyday, so a good gift!

    • Related to this–is there a good, reputable, conservative-learning print newspaper or magazine that anyone would recommend? I want to get my dad a subscription to a real source of news for Christmas, but he wouldn’t listen to the NYT or Post and dislikes the Washington Times for whatever reason. The National Review? Reason?

      I also got myself a NYT subscription as an early Christmas present.

      • Does he read the Wall Street Journal?

        • Well, what is more important – reputable, fact-checked news or conservative leanings? And what is more important – actual news reporting and investigating or opinion pieces? The National Review is definitely conservative, but doesn’t really do investigating or reporting. It is mostly opinion pieces. As far as reputable papers go that actually report and investigate, NYT and WSJ are the gold standard (not just nationwide but worldwide). If you follow the whole rural v. city divide, they may both seemtoo liberal, but as far as metropolitan national papers go, they are definitely on the neutral/leaning conservative side.

          • He’ll dismiss anything with a “liberal bias” out of hand, which means no NYT or WaPo (those are the papers I read myself, FWIW). Basically my goal is to put a fly in his ear about all the BS he reads on Breitbart and alt-right/let’s-just-call-them-neo-Nazi conspiracy blogs, from a source that he’d be more likely to trust than something “liberal.” So opinion pieces are fine. Don’t know how I forgot about the WSJ, though–it might be a little too heavy on the financial side of things, though.

          • In what universe is the NYT leaning conservative?

          • Historically and worldwide in comparison to other newspapers, it sometimes leans conservative. Conservative doesn’t always mean what president it backs but on other issues like style and news judgment on what it covers and doesn’t. Globally speaking, during the Bush years it often leaned more ‘conservatively’ on terrorism and war. All that being said, the NYT is considered the gold standard of neutral reporting, in that you cannot understand the political leanings of the writer, unless it is an opinion piece, in which case the Times strives to have Republican/conservative and Democrat/liberal op-ed writers, although not always in equal numbers. Other publications with open political slants will not do so, or may only feature one writer from time to time with a contrasting opinion. At the end of the day, a newspaper is a compilation of stories and of people who write it and read it, so it is ever-changing and not prone to one-sidedness as easily or necessarily as, say, a political party has to be. (So a newspaper, like its readership, can be both fiscally conservative as well as 100% on board with gay marriage.)

          • I know a fair number of conservatives and none of them would call the NYT either neutral or conservative leaning. And these are very intelligent, highly educated, well-read people (so people who have the analytical skills to make that assessment). I think many liberals view it as neutral, but I think that’s because it makes many assumptions that liberals don’t realize are assumptions and therefore don’t see. It’s a problem that there aren’t more high-quality conservative-leaning publications. I myself am neither conservative nor liberal, but the discourse is better when there is good reporting from multiple views. I would say the WSJ is one of the few, but it really is an industry paper. Reason’s good, but it is Libertarian and not conservative. Also it doesn’t set out to be a paper of record; it’s there to promote an agenda so its stories can kind of pile on (yes, the police are too powerful, yes again another story about the power of the police). There’s really not much.

      • I really like National Review (I read it online). Reason is also good, but it’s more libertarian than conservative, so idk how that would fly with your dad. Also, it feels to me like it’s aimed at a younger demographic and/or just written more casually than NR.

        • Cool, thanks for the rec! It sounds like the National Review is the winner.

        • anon in SV :

          I hear commentators from the National Review when NPR invites both a liberal and a conservative guest. The National Review commentators come off as definitely, definitely conservative, but not insane conspiracy bigots during those soundbites at least.

      • I have heard good things about the Christian Science Monitor (from people who are not Christian Scientists) — supposedly really interesting, broad-scale reporting. I’ve never checked it out myself so can’t personally vouch.

      • Anonymous :

        What about magazines? Is he interested in the more intellectual/ theoretical aspects of conservatism? What about The American Conservative?

    • In House Counsel :

      Apparently the WaPo is offering Prime members 6 free months of subscription access and then its $3.99 a month after that https://subscribe.washingtonpost.com/prime/#/

  22. Wild Chicken :

    I’ve gained weight recently thanks to late-40’s hormonal changes, and I’m trying to get it off. I’m watching what I eat (not trying to starve myself but rather to make better food choices) and I’m exercising every other day or so — running 2-3 miles at a very slow pace. I’ve been doing this about a week, but I’m seeing no results — my weight is exactly the same as when I started. When should I start to see results from this?

    • Doing the same thing and it took well over a week to see results. Like … months. But I’m okay with it. I’m going slow and steady in a way that feels good to me, and slowly but surely, the weight is starting to come off. If you want quick results (I think expecting changes within a week is very quick) I suppose you might consider a temporary more restrictive diet. But that’s really not my style.

    • It can take a couple of weeks to see results. However, the only thing that really works for me is counting calories and tracking my food intake to make sure I stay within my calorie goal. Just watching what I eat does not work for me. So maybe consider doing that as well. And I would add in some strength training along with the cardio.

      • +1, I found strength training really worked to rebuild lost muscle, increase my metabolism, and make clothes fit better. It’s been fairly sustainable 1 1/2 yrs now…stopped the weight creep…

    • I went through this recently. Last fall I was making healthy choices and running, and I didn’t lose any weight for over three months. At that point I gave up on the healthy eating (though I kept running 2-3 miles three to four times a week). Looking back I was making somewhat healthy choices but was not really being as healthy as I told myself I was (eg eating a Kind bar as a snack – not terrible but not the best choice). This summer I recommitted to eating healthy, plus continued same level of exercise and have dropped almost 25 lbs since July. This time around I got rid of all snacks except fruit/vegetables, significantly decreased my sugar intake (eg no flavored yogurt, reduced sugar in coffee, no desserts when eating out), and increased my fruits and vegetables across all meals. I also got rid of almost all processed foods. Since the weather got colder I’ve been eating a lot of homemade vegetable soups for lunch. Making foods like soups that I used to always buy prepared has helped me be really conscious about ingredients.

    • It really depends what “watching what you eat” means. Folks say 80% of weight loss is attributable to diet with only 20% attributable to exercise. If watching what you eat means switching to a low-carb, whole food diet with 5 smaller meals a day, you will see results in a few weeks. If watching what you eat means saying no to dessert but otherwise eating as you usually would, it will take months to see results. Of course, the trade off of losing weight slowly and without resorting to extreme diets is that you’re far less likely to gain the weight back. Try to focus on health or fitness goals (“I can walk up 5 flights of stairs without shortness of breath” or “I have more regular bowel movements” or “I have energy throughout the day”) rather than weight goals.

    • If you’re replacing fat with muscle, you might not see your results on the scale. (I actually gained weight when I started running.)

      • You are not gaining any appreciable amount of muscle running 2-3 miles slowly a few times a week!

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m currently making similar changes and have lost about 14 pounds in the past three months. That’s only about a pound per week on average, so yes, it’s totally possible that you won’t see results right away.

      That said, I lost a couple of pounds right off the bat because I became pretty disciplined about food. The biggest three changes for me were: 1) making all my snacks a combination of produce + protein; 2) dropping white starches; and 3) drinking a LOT more water. For snacks, I like to have carrots and hummus, an apple and cheese, or olives and nuts. I’ve switched over to whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc. and always try to make half of my plate veggies or fruit. I thought I was eating healthy before, but I didn’t realize how little protein and veggies I was really getting.

      I do barre about 4 times per week, but I’ve been sick the last week and not working out and I still lost a pound. I think exercise is great for building muscle and keeping weight off, but it doesn’t seem to have a huge impact on my weight loss.

    • First, start measuring progress by other means – some gyms have body fat measuring machines, but the two easiest ways are photos and measurements (bust, waist, belly button, hips, thigh, bicep). Don’t take every day, but every 4-6 weeks. You might be gaining muscle and losing fat and your body may be shifting and you don’t know it because you are only looking at the scale – your measure of gravity! (g00gle #screwthescale to see how differently “weight” looks based on size and composition.)

      Second, if you are already watching what you eat, lift, lift, lift, lift, liiiiiift! Lift weights 2-3 times a week and switch your cardio to interval training and only once a week … maybe twice (protocol for example: sprint for 30 seconds, then jog for 1 minute x 8 rounds, adjust rounds and time as you get better). Lift weights because the muscle burns fat when you aren’t working out (added bonus, it increases bone density, which is important for women over 40). For fat loss, interval training is important because it keeps your muscles working. Your body and muscles will do everything they can to hold onto the energy they have, so slow pace running (while good for your lungs), is actually exactly what your body wants because it knows how to shortcut and use the least amount of energy possible. This is also why as you get better you will need to go from sprinting 30 seconds to 1 minute or doing it 16 times instead of 8.

      Third, adjust expectations. No one can lose weight in a week, unless you are losing water weight through some sort of cleanse, which isn’t really weight loss. Running at a very slow pace 3ish times a week is going to take very long to achieve results unless you were completely sedentary before and had a lot of weight to lose, but I don’t think that’s the case with a creep like this. Do High Intensity Interval Training, lift weights, and track your progress every 4-6 weeks using a different measure.

      My mom did HIIT and weights (big focus on weights) more recently (in her late 50s) and her results were unreal.

      • This assumes that you are following a healthy diet as others have posted above. Greens, lean proteins, lots of water, limited alcohol and sugar, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      It takes a pretty serious commitment to running for that to lead to meaningful weight loss in a quick way. That said, it’s still good for you. My husband has been doing personal training sessions at his gym, and just as you’ll see on most treadmills, the trainer has told him that effective fat burning is actually done a lower heart rate than running will produce. So even though we had been doing a walk/run program (before I got pregnant), he’s actually just walking on a treadmill with an incline in hopes of burning fat.

      Where running eventually pays off in losing weight is when you get well-trained enough (that is, fast and far enough) that you’re burning through your carbs first and then onto the fat. But starting a running program will also increase your appetite, which can offset the calories you burn off.

  23. Please tell me what booties you wear to work in the winter with tights & dresses! I hated every bootie in Kat’s recent post. Am I just picky?

    • I don’t wear booties in the winter. I live in a really cold place and in the winter I need knee-high boots for warmth. I don’t care if they’re trendy or not.

      • I hear you. If I’m traveling to a cold/snow place I’ll definitely wear the knee-high boots! I live in a pretty mild climate where tights and a coat are usually enough.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I impulse bought Frye Ilana shooties and I love them. I’m actually wearing them at work now with black tights and a dress.


    • Marshmallow :

      I have these in black leather. Fairly casual but I think where they hit the ankle is flattering.

      I also wear these a lot, in black suede:

    • I just bought the Frye Jenny Seam Short, or something like that, and love them. Also bought the Rag and Bone Harrow and love them as well. Both are very walkable. I wear both with tights and dresses, or skinny jeans.

  24. Can any tax people tell me if the $18,000 cap for retirement contributions includes after-tax Roth accounts? Also, do your employers contributions count towards the limit? Scenario: my pre-tax 401(k) contribution plus my employer match hits the $18,000 limit. I’d also like to contribute the $5,500 max to a Roth IRA.

    • Roth contributions are not subject to the $18k cap. The $18k cap is on pre-tax retirement contributions.

    • I’m not sure about Roth IRAs, since I don’t have one, but I know employer contributions don’t count towards the $18k 401k limit. My husband and I each personally contribute $18k and our employers put more in on top of that. I think there is a combined contribution limit but it’s way higher ($50k+ so it’s only an issue if your employer is giving you something like a 200% match).

    • Disclaimer: I’m not a tax-specialist CPA

      But… no. They don’t count against each other. $18k is the max 401k employee contribution. Employer contributions don’t count. IRA and 401k contributions don’t count against each other’s limits.

      From Vanguard: “If you’re eligible to invest in a 401(k) and an IRA, here’s an efficient way to do it:
      Enroll in your company’s 401(k) and contribute at least the amount that your employer will match.
      Contribute the maximum allowed to your IRA.
      Go back to your 401(k) plan and contribute beyond the match to the annual maximum allowed, if possible.
      We recommend following these steps because an IRA offers more flexibility and choice, giving you a greater chance to diversify your assets and reduce your investment risk.”

    • Thanks all, I am normally not one to ask for this kind of advice on here, but I figured these were pretty generic questions that someone would know the answer to!

    • The cap on individual contributions to a 401(k) (regular or roth) is $18,000. This is the employee contribution. If the employer matches a percentage, then that is bonus/additional (ex: last year, I put in $18,000, but the total amount contributed for 2016 was around $25,000 b/c of employee match).

      The cap on individual contributions to an IRA (regular or roth) is $5,500.

      You can max out both.

    • Check the income limits to be sure you’re eligible to contribute to a Roth IRA.

  25. Working gal :

    I just started seeing a really wonderful guy. He works in a very similar position to mine (kinda like big law). He definitely seems to like that we both do the same thing. He said it was refreshing to talk to someone who gets it. And we make some jokes about the job. For the most part, I like this…I guess my one thing is that it doesn’t feel super s3xy to talk / joke about our crazy work culture in the beginning dating / flirting stage. On the other hand, I think in a relationship, I would really really value someone who can understand what I’m going through. I’ve really struggled with feeling like previous guys I’ve dated didn’t fully get it. And this new guy and I definitely talk about other things besides our jobs, so it’s okay! I know a number of ladies here have dated / married guys in the same industry so was just wondering if anyone had any perspective?

    • I actually hit it off with my husband because we worked in the same industry. I don’t really ever feel a spark unless there’s major intellectual compatibility. I thought he was kind of weird looking, but he wanted to get coffee and I thought he was really smart, so I went with it. Turns out he was super smart, super interesting, and really challenged me. I ended up thinking he was super sexy, even though it took me months to feel a physical spark. Most of our initial flirting was work stuff. I think we could have had this if we didn’t work together, but we had so much more common ground.

      I guess this depends on what turns you on, though.

      • Anonymous :

        Out of curiosity, what’s the difference between finding someone sexy and feeling a physical spark?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Lovely Husband is the first lawyer I ever dated, and I liked being able to talk shop with him. Plus it’s super sexy to proofread his briefs in bed with no clothes on…

      • Lady, I get that you’re a newlywed. But it’s never s9xy to read briefs. Ever.

        • Agreed, unless you are referring to the other meaning of “briefs,” in which case the term “discovery motions” takes a whole new meaning.

      • LOL – same here! My darling husband is also a lawyer, first I ever dated too!
        And completely agree – being able to truly understand what’s bugging the other person and really talk it out is amazing. Having that kind of understanding in a relationship is huge for me.

      • The Voice of Reason :

        Not to k!nkshame, but this needs to get k!inkshamed.

        • Anonymous :

          Why? Man, people are uptight.

          I think it’s s3xy as h3ll when my husband practices his work presentations for me. I don’t see why admiring your partner’s work and thinking it’s s3xy is problematic.

        • Senior Attorney :

          You are hilarious.

    • As long as it doesn’t go down a competitive path, I vastly prefer to date a guy who gets my industry. Are other aspects of the relationship physically stimulating? If they are, and it’s going well, just look at it like winning the lottery and getting to fast forward to the part where you’re both romantic and able to talk about your days fully without mindfully “keeping it light, fun, and s3xy” (ugh, I hated that shallow part of dating).

    • My husband and I do almost exactly the same thing but at different employers. I love it. I’m working on a big project right now and just realized that it wasn’t working because an underlying assumption was off. I was able to talk through it with him and get myself back on track. We trade drafts all the time (in what we do, this is totally fine — not violating client confidences or anything) and it’s great. We also wind up at the same industry events, and it’s always nice to see him in the middle of the day at a lunch or something. Where it causes problems is that we could potentially be in competition for the same job (as we get more senior, there are just fewer high-level positions) and there’s risk of jealousy if one person’s career is in a growth phase and the other person’s isn’t. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    • My husband and I are in similar jobs but different industries. I love that we can talk shop.

    • Not in the same industry, but have the same kinds of demands, annoying co-workers, last minute emergencies, etc. and it is really helpful to be married to someone who understands and is not going to resent it. For me (lawyer at a firm), I didn’t even have that with a doctor who is in a demanding job because he couldn’t understand how I could be not busy during the day, but need to miss dinner/stay late at work because a client called in the late afternoon with a rush project. These are the things that lead to resentment, many arguments later on in the relationship. I am lucky to be married to someone who understands that it’s the nature of my job, doesn’t mind watching the kids when I need to work late, and can provide advice about some situations I have been in because he has been in them as well. If your work and career are important to you, having a partner who supports and encourages that will make a huge difference to your happiness.

  26. Recommendations for great appetizers that don’t need to be hot or cold? I’m bringing an appetizer to my cousin’s thanksgiving, but it’s a 2-3 hour drive away. Cheese and crackers seems so blah, but it’s all I can think of that would keep well in the car. I could probably zap something in the oven or microwave when I get there, but I don’t want to take oven space before an already oven-heavy meal.

    • Anonymous :

      Homemade cheese straws

    • lawsuited :

      Maybe get a shrimp ring and let it thaw during the drive?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I love shrimp with cocktail sauce for Thanksgiving. Kinda fancy and no so heavy that it ruin’s people’s appetites.

    • Besides cheese and crackers, how about some salami or prosciutto or some special stuff like fig jam and almonds?

    • Frozen peach :

      dip fresh mandarin slices in melted dark chocolate, sprinkle with sea salt, put on waxed paper on baking sheet in freezer. Always a huge hit and SO SO SO easy.

  27. $25 off of $200 is only a 12.5% discount.

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