Coffee Break: Wool Blend Asymmetrical Skirted Coat

ted baker skirted coatIf you’re looking for a gorgeous, statement-worthy coat for this winter, may I present this gorgeous Ted Baker asymmetrical skirted coat. Love the open wrap (it also buttons up for, you know, warmth), the light gray color, and the pleated skirt effect of the coat. Stunning. It’s $575 at Nordstrom (and Amazon may have a similar Ted Baker one in navy, on sale). Wool Blend Asymmetrical Skirted Coat

For more affordable alternatives, try ASOS (a fun pale pink) and Macy’s; two plus-size options are at Macy’s and Amazon.

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Comments

  1. Please tell me about microblading! There is finally a place that offers this in my town, and I am intrigued. They are offering some great specials. Right now I use Nyx eyebrow powder, which is about $5 and lasts for months. Is microblading worth the price? I am very fair-skinned with brown eyebrows that are… medium, I guess? Not thick but definitely not thin.

    • Have you tried dye yet? (Maybe your brows are already dark, but for me, dye brought out a lot more brow than I realized I had… The fair hairs just weren’t showing.)

      • That’s a good idea – it never occurred to me probably because I don’t color my hair. My brows are already dark, especially in contrast with my skin tone. I really just use the eyebrow powder to fill in some small gaps.

        • As someone with similar coloring, I can vouch that hair dye is a great solution – I like my brow color, so I just matched it with drugstore hair dye. Turns out the gaps I had consisted of blonde/clear hairs, so they now look full with no effort.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            How do you do this without dying your face?!?

          • I tint my brows using Just For Men Beard and Mustache because they make it easy to mix up a tiny portion at a time. Then I apply using the tiny brushes you can buy in the dental aisle that are for cleaning between teeth. (I also use these tiny brushes for de-clumping mascara, when necessary.)

          • I make sure my face is well moisturized, then apply to my brows with a qtip. I shower after I do it, and I haven’t had issues with my skin being dyed.

    • Former Retail :

      This is like a tatoo, right? I wouldn’t do anything extreme or permanent to eyebrows. In the 90s when all of the supermodels had basically no eyebrows, I plucked mine super thin and they never really grew back. I really wish I had my old Brooke Shields brows now . . .

      • It’s a tattoo in that it involves ink under the skin, but it is “semi permanent,” in that it is expected to last 1-2 years. I have not done it but plan to when done b*feeding next year. My consideration of whether it is worth the price is based on the time I spend filling in my brows every morning. It’s just a few minutes, and like your NYX powder (I use the NYX pencil) my product is inexpensive, but for me it’s one less thing to deal with each morning. So I’m going for it! My best advice is to see many, many photos of the specific place and the specific technician you plan to use. I had a lady show me a catalog of people she has done. You will get the same as what others before you have gotten, so be sure you see what they do.

        • Anonymous :

          Go on you tube and look up Dominique sasche. She is a tv anchor in Houston and did a three part series on getting hers done.

  2. This coat is gorgeous. Too bad it’s so $$$.

    • Anonymous :

      I like the faux fur one on the Ted Baker website even better. But the pinnacle of skirted coats will always be Kate Middleton’s Alexander McQueen in Black Watch.

    • Wow, agree. I love it. Wrong shape for me but I’d be all kinds of envious to see this on one of my friends.

    • Coach Laura :

      I had a retro 1950s coat like this in high school. Pretty!

    • Coat Dress :

      I’m dying for a coat dress a la Kate Middleton, but I can’t find any that are below Ted Baker prices. I wonder if they’re more difficult/expensive to make? You’d think middle market would be selling it since Kate wears it and all the shady cheap clothes attempt to mimic it.

  3. The cuffs on this being way too short for the model ruins it for me. It’s a pretty coat though!

  4. Meg March :

    Any suggestions for totally blended soups? Mr. Brooke got his jaw wired shut and so we’re looking for yummy soups to break up the monotony of Ensure. Needs to be totally smooth when blended– gazpacho was a fail.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh no!! Poor guy.

    • Trader Joe’s has great pureed soups, unless you’re truly set on making it yourself. Totally smooth, no lumps at all. Tomato, roasted red pepper, corn, carrot-butternut… all delicious.

    • Pumpkin soup. I think savory versions (tomato, garlic, parmesan) are better than sweet.

      Vichyssoise, but it has to be only the white part of the leeks (the greens don’t get smooth enough).

      Cream of tomato (very easy to make homemade).

      Avgolemono without any orzo or rice.

      I’m curious if a coconut curry or a seafood bisque could be strained?

      You could check vitamix/blendtec recipe sites.

    • This time of year is perfect for butternut squash soup. Or split pea.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a delicious recipe for Squash soup – https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/butternut-squash-soup-with-cider-cream-15657

    • Baconpancakes :

      Most soups would have to be strained, but any pureed soup would theoretically do. Do you have a Vitamix? The more serious blender would be vital in getting the soup perfectly smooth.

    • Two Cents :

      I love this soup and so do my kids! I omit the cilantro but otherwise follow the recipe as is.

      http://www.tessadomesticdiva.com/2016/01/instant-pot-paleo-thai-carrot-soup-a-whole-foods-knock-off.html

    • I was completely wired shut for 6 weeks. I couldn’t have anything larger than a banana seed.

      My ultimate treat was taking KFC mashed potatoes and gravy, adding some milk and placing it in the blender. When I got daring, I added small bits of chicken to the mix. It sounds horrible and I’m not a fan of fast food at all. However, this gave me a break from the milky flavors I was otherwise eating.

      I was very weak from the surgery that had led to this state and was living on my own. If you’re up for cooking from scratch, I’m sure it would taste even better.

      • I ate very mushy, overcooked mac and cheese. It was so delicious after weeks of broths, shakes and ensure.

  5. Anonandon :

    How do you make really tough decisions? I have to make a choice with what feels like no great options – both come both with upsides but also with major negative ramifications. Does anyone use specific strategies in such quandaries?

    • Tell yourself, “I’m choosing option A.” And then envision yourself with option A, take any non-binding steps toward option A you can, and see how you feel.

      • I agree with Bama. I follow the rule that I follow my gutt instinct, which is usueally right. Once I do that, even if I am not right, I still PLOW ahead. This rule has worked for me, except when chooseing boyfreinds, where I am to impulsive. The men I choose often turn out to be loosers, like Gonzalo, who after I gave myself to him, went after some woman from his home country, and I found him comeing out of an apartement on Lexington Avenue with his hand on her tuchus! FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      I take some quiet time to trust myself. Prayer, a hike, a long train ride once. I remind myself that I am the best expert at my life and no one gets to second guess me including myself.

    • Flip a coin. If both options truly have equal pros and cons, your decision doesn’t matter. If you’re disappointed in the outcome of the coin flip, you know that you prefer one option and should do that.

      If you’re looking for strategies to evaluate options, I make a list of what is important to me and I rank them. Then I determine which option is better based on my list.

      Once you’ve made your decision, don’t second guess. You make the best decision you can based on the information available to you at the time.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with flipping a coin. Not necessarily to actually make the decision but to really get an honest gut reaction on your feelings once either heads or tails comes up.

        • +1

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I do this by asking my husband’s opinion and usually doing the opposite of what he suggests. The reason being, just like flipping a coin, I find myself unhappy with his response and then realize my true feelings about the other option. He will say “why do you ask my advice if you never follow it” and I swear it just helps me figure stuff out.

    • A list of pros and cons for each option.

    • weighted decision matrix :

      I try to make a weighted decision matrix. List 3-5 things that are important to you and assign a weight (ie: happiness = 100%, factor 1 affects happiness 10%, factor 2 30%, factor 3 25%, etc.). Rate how each option scores in each category (option A scores 50% satisfactory on factor 1, 10% satisfactory on factor 2, etc.). Multiply out the score * the weight of the factor. Add ’em up. Whichever is higher is the winner.

      It sounds like a lot of steps and a bit complicated, but it’s been effective for me when considering colleges, college major, apartments, jobs, etc. The key is to only pick a few things that make up a satisfactory choice, since you can’t optimize for every little thing. So if it’s a job, the factors might be salary, commute, work/tasks/day-to-day, and team. If it’s a house, the factors might be square footage, proximity to amenities (however you define amenities), and price. If it’s a hobby, the factors might be cost, time commitment, and personal fulfillment.

      The other benefit of narrowing down the categories is that it forces you to decide what you ACTUALLY care about. When I was looking at colleges, a number of them emphasized fancy rec centers/inter-collegiate sports team/general student life things. Since I knew my major would require a ton of “extracurricular” time, none of that mattered to me. So trying to factor that into my decision was silly, but since every recruiter emphasized it, I felt like I had to consider it. Until I cut it out, and the decision was much clearer.

      • There is an iPhone app called ChoiceMap that can do this for you. You input the various choices and factors and it guides you through a decision making process.

      • Anonymous :

        This is similar to what I do. One page per option. List out the factors down the side of each page. For each option, do a pro/con for each of the factors. Sometimes the weighting changes when the impact becomes clearer.

  6. Equestrian lawyer :

    I interviewed for my dream job and just got s rejection letter saying they liked me a lot but were looking for someone with more experience. I’m disappointed but want to respond with something that will leave the door open for another opportunity down the road. Any advice?

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you should reach out. In my experience, companies tend to keep the resumes of good candidates they couldn’t hire around, and they will reach out if they have another opportunity you might be a fit for. I think it can come across as desperate to send them a “please keep me in mind in the future” letter.

    • You will be surprised how often new hires don’t work out. Say something like, “If you have an opening in the future, please keep me in mind.” It’s how I got my first job.

      • anon a mouse :

        +1. Also, check back with them in a year or so, especially if you’ve acquired new skills or added something significant to your resume.

  7. Kitchen remodel :

    We are considering a kitchen remodel (as opposed to simply upgrading the cabinets/ counters in the existing layout). I would like to brainstorm different layout options as I think our current kitchen setup wastes a lot of space. We don’t have a huge McMansion kitchen to work with so I feel like a lot of Houzz is just useless to me. Any advice on how to figure out legit options for the layout, rather than just the finishes?

    • Anonymous :

      Ask a kitchen designer or architect. You’ll wind up working with one anyway unless you are going full diy.

    • Anonymous :

      Doesn’t Home Depot have software for this in-store? I seem to recall being able to get full mark-ups as long as I came in with detailed measurements (current placement of sink/windows/stove/fridge etc.).

    • We did a major kitchen reno ourselves (with my father, who was an electrician before he retired). It included taking out a wall and moving two doors, so it completely changed the space. We made a large (2′ by 3′ or so) blueprint of the new floorspace and made scale cardboard cut-outs for the stuff we knew we’d want (stove, fridge, sink, a certain amount of unbroken counter space, etc) and then slid it around to visualize different layouts.

      When we were pretty sure we had the final layout, we taped the outlines onto the floor and spent a day or so walking through the room treating those areas like there were solid objects there, which really helped us identify the precise dimensions of things like a butcher-block peninsula.

      FWIW, it’s been over 10 years since we did the project, and we’re still very happy with it.

      • Oh, forgot to mention that the ‘taping outlines on the floor thing’ was AFTER we did the demolition, so it was just a large empty room with a plywood floor at that point.

    • Anonymous :

      We used IKEA’s kitchen planner (partially because we bought IKEA cabinets).

    • anon a mouse :

      google “kitchen triangle design” and look at the images for different layouts?

    • I had to do a kitchen remodel in a hurry and I found the sales associate in the kitchen cabinet department surprisingly helpful. I went in with careful measurements. He used an auto cad type software and showed me a 2D and a 3D floorpan with suggested cabinets and appliances. Everything fit exactly (measure twice, cut once!) an d I still love my newish kitchen layout.

      We did use a general contractor, but he didn’t do the design, just the implementation.

      • well, that wasn’t clear! The sales associate in the kitchen cabinet department *of Home Depot

  8. Anonymous :

    Any recommendations on where to get bookshelves that are a step up from Ikea, Target, etc. in price and quality but don’t cost a fortune and ideally can be delivered pre-assembled?

    • Check used furniture places. I recently got Room and Board bookcases in great condition for around $300 + delivery on aptdeco dot com. Everything was assembled.

    • I have a room lined with bookshelves – one tall one, and the rest fit exactly under my windows. I went to one of those unfinished solid wood places and ordered the unfinished bookcases to my exact dimensions. I also paid the place to finish them because I wanted them to look like real furniture and not a home craft type thing. They’re awesome and one of the best decisions I made when I moved into this house.

  9. How do you stay motivated during workouts? I dread my Boot Camp classes. When the workout gets tough I try to visualize how great I would look with a sleek, toned body, but it makes me break my concentration and I end up breaking from holding the pose, lifting the weights, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I think about what food I can eat afterwards :)

    • So, when I felt like that during workouts, I realized that I was doing the wrong one. I dread running and cardio. Dread it. And no amount of visualization will overcome that. But I love, love, love weight lifting and look forward to it. I would recommend trying some new workouts and see if you like them better.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Same, I love weight lifting. BUT I also have an audible book I only let myself listen to when I’m working out or walking home from the gym, which was the subject of some behavioral study. The people who were given an audiobook and told they could only listen to it at the gym developed a more consistent gym habit than the ones who were just given an audiobook and told they COULD listen to it at the gym and the study control with no book.

      • Anonymous :

        Yep – change up your routine. Try something new.

        I love spin classes and could happily go to a spin class multiple times a week. When I start to dread going, I take a break and do something else. And then I inevitably return to spin and love it all over again.

      • Two Cents :

        + 1 I hate cardio and jumping around.

        I love strength training and the burn you get. Do something you enjoy.

        Highly recommend the free Fitness Blender videos if you’re looking for something different to do (in the comfort of your own home!).

    • Yeah, I agree that for me it was that I was doing the wrong one. Or at least in the wrong format. I used to loooooove long runs and now not so much. So I still run but not as often (once a week) and in 25 minutes (not an hour) and in intervals (so I mix between a moderate run and an all-out run and then I am only concentrating on the 1 minute interval). It flies by and I feel super accomplished and efficient. Or maybe you would like a workout class but the instructor is not for you or whatever. See if there is a factor about it that can be changed.

      That being said, sometimes you love a workout class but hate one move. Here are some methods I use to overcome that: (1) I focus on my breathing or counting (2) I focus on feeling strong that I’m not giving up and the sense of accomplishment (3) I tell myself that I actually love this! I don’t know why #3 works but it did for me with burpees. I used to hate them, then decided I hated them because they really worked my body and isn’t it a great and efficient move and said out loud “I love burpees” and now they make me laugh and I feel accomplished in doing them and make them more challenging (like turning 180 after each one or doing tuck jumps or floor jacks or push ups).

      I am not surprised the visualization doesn’t work, at least it wouldn’t for me because it’s not going to happen instantaneously, so maybe set shorter goals (i.e. I did all 12 counts or held the plank for a full 60 seconds), etc. Or maybe a sticker chart/keep the streak/some equivalent would help. Or an accountability friend. Keep looking until you find something you like!

      • Really hate burpees :

        I hate burpees but I am going to try saying “I love burpees” and see how that feels.

    • I took a class recently where the instructor said to focus on your breathing and tell yourself the pain was mental and not physical. I’ve found breathing through the hard parts to be particularly effective.
      Disclaimer- obviously if you are in actual pain and believe you may have injured yourself, stop

      • I heard it said that your mind wants to quit way before your body does. I tell myself this all the time when I start to think I can’t do anymore and it helps me push through.

  10. Second opinion :

    I was recently diagnosed with a variation on a common issue in a specialty. The prognosis is that I’ll slowly feel less like like crap for a few more weeks and to call back if I’m not better in a month. My doc is a community doc in a community clinic affiliated with an academic medical system.

    I really like my doc, but I’d like a second opinion because I want to be certain just dealing with the symptoms for another month is the right thing to do—I don’t want to spend another month feeling like this if I’m going to need a treatment. Is it going to be strange to my doc or the second opinion doc to get a second opinion for something that, other than causing discomfort/pain, is minor? I should go to the faculty clinic and not another doc in the community clinic to avoid awkwardness, right?

    • I think doctors are used to patients getting a second opinion. (I mentioned it once to a doctor friend of mine and she didn’t seemed fazed at all.) You might first consider asking your current doctor if there is anything you can do to alleviate your symptoms.

    • Second opinion :

      Thanks, both!

  11. Laugh of the day, courtesy of the New Yorker:

    https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/caring-for-your-new-office-woman?mbid=nl_Borowitz%20111617&CNDID=51148999&spMailingID=12378201&spUserID=MjIwMTAzMTUyNzk3S0&spJobID=1281560363&spReportId=MTI4MTU2MDM2MwS2

    • agh my eye :

      this is so good

    • Rainbow Hair :

      oh god the last line made me want to cry. it’s so brutal, those days/weeks when you realize that, yet again, you probably have no future in a line of work because #men….

  12. Suddenly Gaining Weight :

    I’ve just turned 40 and I noticed that I’ve gained 10 lbs over the past year. I have been at a stable weight since college. All my blood work/medical tests are within the normal range. I tried WW to lose the weight and I will manage to lose 1-2 lbs, then slip up my eating (i.e., pizza and a beer at party; brie AND dessert on date night – not days of crazy eating) and not only does the 1-2 lbs come back, I add another pound or so, which has resulted in a slow but steady creep.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Why is this happening? I do a weight circuit 2-3xs a week and walk 20-40 mins most days (so I’m not super active but reasonably fit). Nothing has really changed in my life to explain this change in my weight.

    Any ideas for how to stop the gain – is my only option being super careful with my eating forever?

    • Anonymous :

      You got old. Sorry! Step up the workouts and eat less of you want to lose the weight.

      • How rude.

        But yes, it’s a lot harder as you age a bit. When I hit 40 my doctor told me that the metabolism just slows down. (It’s even worse after 50, I’m sad to report.)

    • If the medical tests didn’t include glucose tolerance, I would be curious about brief forays into high BG that aren’t showing up on an A1C?

    • You may want to consider intermittent fasting (only eating between 1 – 8 pm), if you’re having trouble getting the weight down. The same has happened to me as I am getting older and IF has worked remarkably well for me. I managed to lose 8 pounds pretty painlessly and have kept the weight off. no calorie counting either, which I really appreciate. You eat normally and don’t restrict anything, but you just eating during a more limited window of time.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yep. Your only option is being super careful with your eating forever if you want to maintain at a lower weight.

      Sucks, but there you have it.

      • And/or to increase your calorie burn. I suspect your metabolism has slowed a bit. The walking you are doing is good– could you do a spin class even just once a week and see if that gives you a boost? Basically your body is consuming what it has typically consumed but burning less (slowed metabolism). You can either consume less or burn more.

        • Suddenly Gaining Weight :

          Thanks, ladies :)

          IF is probably the answer since I lack the ability to monitor everything I eat.

          Sigh.

          • I’ve chosen to accept it and enjoy eating and living life. Ten pounds doesn’t push me into the unhealthy range or anything.

          • Suddenly Gaining Weight :

            I am fine with the extra 10 lbs but I worry that the weight gain will just continue and not stop with 10 lbs. I find it hard to believe that just getting another year older makes such a difference but it seems to be the consensus.

          • You should probably try lifting weights. Your metabolism slows as you get older in part because you lose muscle mass. Lifting boosts your metabolism by slowing the rate at which you lose muscle.

  13. Sloan Sabbith :

    Being in the hospital sucks. Having a panic attack (a 30 minute panic attack) in the hospital sucks even more. I was pretty sure I was dying. What ended up helping the most was to grab Hooty the Owl (glad I brought him) and hugging him as tightly as I could to my chest while counting my breaths.

    Being sick sucks.

    • I’m sorry. I hope you feel better. Keep Hooty nearby.

    • So sorry to hear you’re going through all of this, Sloan. Sending internet hugs.

      • I concur. I gave HUGS yesterday, but I do NOT think I pressed the send button. Do feel better Sloan, as we need for you to be healthy, tho I am proud that you are able to access the Internet. When I was visiting Grandma Leyeh in the hospital recentley, they yelled at me for useing my iphone in the room b/c they said it interfered with their HOSPITAL equipment. Anyway, be careful b/c the nurses get jelous of us pretty women! FOOEY on them!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hang in there! Glad you have Hooty!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m sorry. That sucks. Please make sure your medical professionals know about your panic attack. It could be a side effect of a medication they gave you. It happened to me and it was terrifying.

    • Coach Laura :

      Sloan -so sorry. If you’re back in your city I’m there too. Email me if you need anything. Happy77peanut at the Mail of Google

  14. Anonymous :

    So a friend at my old firm made partner. I didn’t 3 yrs ago and had to leave and landed a mediocre job. I can’t point to what I’m feeling. I’m happy for her, know she works super hard and deserved it and her making it has nothing to do with me since we were in 2 very different departments. And yet all I can think is — I worked super hard and didn’t deserve it any less and don’t deserve the life I got afterward . . . .

    • Anonymous :

      It has been three years. It is long past time for the pity party to end.

      • Coach Laura :

        Gah I hate the “Anoymous” who likes to hand out nastiness in the guise of honesty. At least use a fake name so we can jeer.

        OP – you worked several years pouring in blood sweat and tears for the dashed partnership. It’s not wallowing to mourn a dream.

        Focus on what you want in your career, read books/articles, do some exploration and perhaps talk to a career coach or a therapist to move forward. Network. Plan. Good luck.

    • Three years in your mediocre job means, time to look for a better job! Focus on a fun and productive job search. Try to improve your circumstances rather than being sad that she got what you wanted. Go get something else you want!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes. I missed out on a huge promotion and it kicked my butt HARD for several years. The only thing that got me out of my funk was getting my act together and making some big changes including not only a new job (site) but leaving my marriage and making new friends and basically whole new life. And I was in my mid 50s at the time. It’s never too late!

        That said, I feel you. Every time I hear about somebody getting a job like that it still stings, even though I love my life now.

    • Anonymous :

      I get you, OP. I was laid off a few years ago, and didn’t deserve it nor my also mediocre job. The fog is only now starting to clear but I need to do a better job searching too – or I am also deciding whether I’m ok with my lean-out job. So definitely my sympathy and it’s not a pity party, just real feelings about not getting all of the opportunities you wanted.

    • Just read this article..thought it may provide some insight:
      https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/this-is-the-difference-between-envy-and-jealousy

  15. Fair Anon :

    Ugh, I’m leaving my company in December. I received a copy of my background check that included ratings from my references. My current boss rated me “fair” in some areas. While I agree that I could improve in some areas, I don’t think I’m “fair”. These things were never discussed in formal or informal feedback in the 2 years I worked with him and I always got glowing reviews for my work. Should I clarify those ratings with him and ask for examples? Should I tell him he did a poor job about providing me feedback? I might need to use him as a reference again in the future and up until today I didn’t think there would be issues.

    • Anonymous :

      Congrats on your new job. Move on. Don’t say anything. Don’t use this boss as a reference.

  16. Anonymous :

    I ordered the pink ASOS coat and it’s awful (I live in the UK, so next day shipping). The fabric is great but the cut is horrendous — it flares out everywhere and not in a good way. My husband literally said “what were you thinking?” I’m sure the Ted Baker version would be wonderful but it’s out of my price range.

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