This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Workwear sales of note for 5.26.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale just started! See our thoughts here.
- Amazon – Memorial Day Sales! Lots of discounts on Amazon Essentials and more.
- Ann Taylor – Extra 30% off lots of sale styles (prices as marked).
- Anthropologie – Extra 40% off sale.
- Banana Republic Factory – 50%-70% off everything + extra 25% off purchase (ends 5/31).
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off.
- Brooks Brothers – Extra 25% off sale; already up to 70% off (ends 5/31) – also mix & match sale with men’s shirts, 4 for $249.
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off sale styles (ends 5/31).
- Eloquii – 400+ styles starting at $19; up to 50% off everything.
- Express – Summer kickoff sale, 30-50% off everything (plus $35+ steals) (ends 6/1).
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!).
- J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything, no exclusions.
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event, extra 30% off.
- Loft – 40% off full-price styles
- M.M.LaFleur – Short but sweet sale (ends 6/1).
- Madewell – Get 30% off your purchase.
- Ministry of Supply – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 50% off designer sale!
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – Extra 40% off all markdowns (ends 6/1)!
- Theory – Up to 60% off + an extra 20% off.
- Universal Standard – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 50% off everything!
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code.
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses. (Reader favorite bed brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Memorialy Day Sale, up to 60% off.
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
This is really pretty!
Immediate TJ – I have gained about 30 pounds in the last few years, correlating with an extremely busy and stressful time as a senior associate in biglaw. I’ve been exercising, eating clean and tracking calories since February now and…nothing. The scale isn’t budging. There has to be something else going on here (surely just cutting out my usual pizza, cookies, candy over four months should have given me a few pounds!), but my bloodwork came back normal. I imagine it is stress and lack of sleep that is derailing any progress here. Any other women have a similar experience? What should I tell my doctor besides the obvious? Are there any tests I should be requesting? I refuse to believe that this is just who I am now!
Get your thyroid levels tested if you haven’t already.
Thank you! My thyroid levels were luckily fine when I did bloodwork a few months ago, so I am happy to know that isn’t the issue.
What do you mean by “eating clean”?
Do you eat late at night? Do you eat carbs at night? Do you exercise enough to make a difference? Have you replaced fat with muscle?
All good questions. Eating clean for me is focusing on veggies, fruits and plant proteins. I love sweets, but I am not eating them anymore – sob but I’ll get over the loss of junk food. I do eat carbs, but I’ll try being mindful of when I eat them. I am working on the exercise piece – constant travel makes it tough, but I am working on shifting my mindset to prioritize health over work.
I really saw good improvement when I started going on walks. I exercised separately, the walks were just for mental health and well being. I did them after dinner, and they were great for clearing my head. You may want to consider just adding some enjoyable walks into your routine.
Body composition is mostly a food thing. Doing the RP templates that we’ve all talked about here before (it’s modified-ish macros) left my body looking amazing and fueled me well for workouts.
Tracking foods shows you that you may be severely overeating certain things (like carbs) and undereating others (like fats).
I think it is definitely worth talking to your doctor, but also worth talking to a nutritionist. It’s much more likely that you’re over counting exercise and under counting calories than that you’re having a major health issue, which is actually good news! Frustrating, but weight loss just being really hard especially with stress and lack of sleep is a way better diagnosis than massive tumor.
I think you’re right re a nutritionist. I’ve been using MFP to track all of my food and not subtracting out exercise calories, so I feel like I have a good handle on what is going into my body, but clearly I’m not quite getting the right mix of nutrition here. Thank you!
Did you change birth control?
Not OP, but I am having a similar issue (working out more, tracking calories and eating better, but have put on about 7 pounds in the last 2 months). I just started a tri-cyclic pill again after being off for about 8 years (had two kids). I started the pill back in October – is it possible that this is still correlated even with the time difference? Thoughts?
Absolutely. If your weight gain stays at 7 pounds, I would say it’s related to the pill, and you may just have to deal. If you keep gaining weight, it still may be the pill, but I would talk to your doctor about it.
I am the one who asked the question- I gained 30 lbs during my 9 months in depo in my early 20s. I just use an iud/cond*ms in my 30s now.
Hey listen, hang in there. I know it’s so hard. I didn’t start losing weight until about six months after starting WW. It took *forever*. Just keep going. And honestly…look past your weight. It really helped me to focus on things like…my running improved, my heart health was good, my HDL level improved, etc. It can be really, really hard to continue if you focus entirely on your weight. I felt so much better about all the other stuff, and it kept me motivated to keep going.
Are you measuring/weighing your food when counting calories to ensure your portion sizes are accurate. One cup of pasta is a depressingly small amount for example. I regularly scoop two cups without noticing unless I use a cup measure.
Yes this. The only thing that really works for me to consistently lose weight is to measure and track what I eat. I like to eat the same things for breakfast and lunch most days, so once I figure out what works, I just do that for the week. But it is easy to go over my calorie goal without even realizing it.
Yep. I follow a previous version of WW for free on iTrackBites (they call it carb conscious, but I still feel like I can have a sweet every day). Every time I think I’m “being good” or “eating clean” on my own, the pounds invariably creep up. It’s not until I hop back on WW that I get a reality check that wow, no, there are a lot of points in that “healthy” thing I’ve been eating regularly.
And in case it’s relevant for you, the current WW plan does nothing for me. The old plan works like a charm for my body.
It’s a lot easier to measure properly with a food scale. I have one which shows negative weights from the tare, which makes it even easier. I can put the peanut butter jar on the scales, tare it, then spread, and read off the display how many grams of PB I’ve used.
Poster above who tracks macros and does RP strength. Measuring your food is key in not overeating and still remaining balanced. Weekends are a great place to undo your progress, so consistent tracking and measuring is key.
I also think “healthy” is so relative–ex. a granola bar that says “20g protein,” but forgets to mention the 40+g of carbs (ahem, looking at you Cliff Bars and also some yogurts). You’d be better of eating a bagel (~48g carbs) and beef jerky.
All of the math and measuring gets much easier with time, especially if you like eating similar or same foods during the week.
Gail the Goldfish
What type of exercising are you doing? My weight doesn’t budge if I just spend a lot of time on the elliptical or treadmill, but if I add in weights (or even just body weight exercises like lunges/squats/plank jacks/etc.), it comes off easier. I’ve been using the BodyBoss workouts, if you want a guide, but the nike training app and others are also helpful.
Are you sleeping enough? There’s some surprisingly large correlation between not getting enough sleep and weight gain. I know I don’t sleep well when I’m stressed.
A friend of mine has a very stressful job and was eating a lot of junk and constantly sick and in pain (back issues). She started working with a health coach and the results are amazing. She is leaner and healthy and glowing. I’m so impressed with her results! She is pescatarian and did keto, but that may not be right for you. For me, actually tracking calories and portions and getting regular exercise (cardio and weights) has made the difference. When I wasn’t tracking calories and portions, it was very easy to backslide or just stop losing. Now, even though I’m just trying to maintain, I’m still tracking so I can mindfully add more calories in a healthy way.
How old are you? This happened to me, and my doc said it was “just” age. It was a hard pill to swallow, but he is likely right. Around the early-mid thirties, the metabolism just puts on the breaks, and for me that meant my new normal is about 20lbs more than I’m used to seeing on the scale. It sucked, but I’m learning to accept it. New clothes in my new size helped–it did me no mental favors to keep trying to squeeze into stuff that just didn’t quite fit right.
At 47, I’ve spent many years trying to reverse the slow addition of nearly 30 extra pounds to my petite frame. I’ve learned that I can’t lose weight if I’m working out. My body seems to hold on to my fat as storage for the upcoming exercise session. I’ll trade fat for muscle, but I won’t shed pounds. I’ve found luck with my own modified version of Optavia. It’s not perfect, but it works for me. I have one “cheat” day a week where I eat whatever I darn well want to, because I’m under the impression that it keeps my metabolism revved up and it means I’ll stick with the program longer-term. I also trade out real food for some of the fuelings (i.e. no fat greek yogurt and a few blueberries, or a string cheese and half a kombucha).
Similar boat, with stress weight gain and being very careful about eating not helping. What jumpstarted weight loss for me was getting a bug, which made me not hungry for a few days and then reset how much nutritious, gorgeous food is enough. Turns out my portions were just too big. Without a bug (which I don’t recommend), maybe there’s a way to be stricter with portions for bit?
Even now, weight loss is super slow.
Try intuitive eating.
If you’re traveling a lot and eating out by necessity, it’s probably that. Even if you’re estimating calories, you’re probably way underestimating them because restaurant food is bad for you – even a lot of things that seem fine. I speak from experience. On the road I try to eat at Whole Foods type places or order meal services like Sakara Life to control what I’m eating, but still it’s tough when you’re traveling with a team and need to eat out to be social.
I’ve been through a similar thing even though my stress/sleep levels are slightly better as a junior associate. I’d say it took me maybe 6+ months of good tracking, working out 4x/week and actual better habits to see about 10 pounds come off. I started with cutting obvious junk but I didn’t really lose actual weight/drop a pants size until I significantly gave up carbs/grains/beans/starchy vegetables and watching out for added sugar. One idea is to challenge yourself to only have carbs/grains/beans/starch at lunch time and then further try to challenge yourself to only having those types of sides 2-3 times/week. They aren’t “bad” and they often do pack nutrition, but for whatever reason my body just does not respond well to them and I hold onto weight. Similarly you can make easy changes like swapping a latte (even if only 100 calories) to a café au lait (maybe only 15 calories) because the nutritional value of milk is pretty slight but it bloats you and adds sugars to your diet. Counter-intuitively, I think adding significant protein to all of my meals helped me keep my muscle mass and thus up my metabolism, even if it meant more calories. On the upping your metabolism, working out twice a day helps but as a lawyer you probably don’t have time so maybe just throw in a HITT workout when you can and focus a few workouts per week on getting your heartrate way up rather than doing a bunch of moderate workouts or long walks and counting those as good workouts. I second working with a nutritionist.
are you me. same boat. :/
no advice, just commiseration.
Addressing the not sleeping part could help. The sleep cycle can significantly affect weight in my experience and from what I’ve read from experts.
How old are you? I have hit 45 and the weight gain is huge. I run every day and have historically been very thin but boom 10lbs gained and impossible to lose….
I do Stronger U for food. I’m 50 and very sporty and was holding on to 10 lbs I just couldn’t lose. Lost them and a couple more and hanging on. You track your macros (fat, carbs, protein) and send it in weekly. Pricey but its really been helpful to me.
If you’re no longer gaining weight, then you’re on the right track. I know it’s frustrating but try to celebrate weight maintenance as a success. You said you’ve cut out junk food and that should’ve give you a few pounds – it did! You didn’t gain the pounds that you would have if you’d eaten those things.
Think of it this way – there are three options for your weight: 1) gain, 2) maintain, 3) lose. If you’ve been in a “gain” cycle, then you’re going to have to make a lot of changes in diet/exercise to step down into “maintain.” Then from there, you’re going to have to make even more changes to get to “lose.”
Good morning all,
I have a question about parents and retirement that perhaps some of you have dealt with before. My (mid-60s) parents are nearing retirement and my mother in particular is more than ready to retire. Her health has been suffering in recent years and she really can’t keep working much longer. I’m very concerned about this, but there is an easy solution available – if they downsize, she’ll be able to retire much much sooner. I know enough about their financial picture to know that if they don’t sell their home, she won’t be able to retire for at least another 10 years. My father seems to want to keep on working for personal, not financial reasons, and is in great shape health-wise, so there wouldn’t be an impediment to her retiring in that sense.
The problem is that my father seems completely resistant to the idea of downsizing, and unfortunately, my mother is so worn down at this point that she doesn’t seem able to push back much on the issue. My father, despite his many wonderful qualities, seems to have a complete blind spot in this area – he is not considering retirement at all. And ultimately, I realize that it’s their relationship and their discussion to have – but it kills me seeing my mother so worn down when there is an easy solution in front of them. I feel so helpless watching her struggle on, especially knowing that it could be much much easier for them.
Has anyone else experienced this with their parents? I just want them to be comfortable in their retirement, but I’m increasingly worried about this.
They should talk to a financial planner. By the sounds of it, they have a large mortgage on a house that is nowhere near being paid off. That’s fine when you are 35, but not 65.
I didn’t read it like that- they might just need the profits to pay for everyday life if they don’t have extra coming in. I agree they need to sit down and crunch the numbers. Can they do something to make extra money to offset the house like rent s room?
No, their house is literally months away from being paid off. Selling it and downsizing would give them a great cushion for retirement. But I agree that they should talk to a financial planner! I think that getting objective advice is a great idea.
The original Scarlett
If he house is almost paid off, is there a middle ground where Dad works and Mom retires?
Unfortunately, no. The house is going to need some serious structural work in the next five years. If they sell now, it’ll be for a reduced amount because of that – but still enough to provide them with a nest egg for retirement. If they wait, they’ll have to do the work first themselves, and they just won’t have the money to do that if my mother has already retired.
Will they get the cost of the structural work back in the selling price? For example, if they have $50k of structural work to do that increases the selling price by $25k, the correct move is to take the reduced sale price.
Plus I assume there are more costs for the big house: lawn, heat/cool, cleaning etc. painting anbig house >> painting a small house. Taxes are lower, too.
I think you say to your dad that you’re worried about mom. That you think she is worn down and it’s time for her to retire.
Have you talked to your dad about your concerns? Perhaps framing this as an “I’m worried about Mom” issue might help him see the light. Step 1 is helping him understand that even though he’s willing to keep working, your mom really needs to stop. Once he recognizes THAT piece, he may be more receptive to the downsizing idea. I think this is going to be an ongoing conversation that happens in stages. My sympathies to you — this is hard.
Yes – I had the first “I’m worried about Mom” conversation a few days ago, and he didn’t seem very receptive to my concerns. I think you’re right that this is the way to go – it’ll probably just take some time. My sibling shares my concerns completely. I think we’ll need to sit him down together and talk him through it.
I really appreciate the sympathy – I feel like it’s such a delicate line to walk, because at the end of the day it’s still their business and their lives. And it also feels like a weird reversal of the parent-child relationship, so I’m trying to be respectful at the same time.
Yes it will be a slow process.
I would think about whether sitting him down with all siblings might make him feel ganged up on and defensive. Perhaps each of you consistently raising the same concerns separately might be more effective.
You sound like a really thoughtful daughter. I am sure this is really hard–sending you hugs.
Every situation is different but I wish my own mother had worked longer, just not for financial reasons. She retired at 64 and went from seeming like a vibrant, engaged person to someone who sits in a nightgown, watches tv, and “interacts” with people through Facebook. It is as if she did not have a life plan for retirement and is disinterested in developing one. Or perhaps her choice of one simply makes me sad. She’s gained 40 lbs on a 5’2″ frame and is now on four different blood pressure medications. After five years, I have finally given up.
There are huge downsides to retirement if one doesn’t find other ways to engage in life. My mom took early retirement about 15 years ago. Even through she is only 69, she acts way older. She has huge mobility issues because she gets no exercise and doesn’t leave the house most days, and she has nothing to talk about because all she does is walk TV. She has very few friends, has spent no time making new ones, and doesn’t use technology. For at least 5 years now (probably longer than 10), she has had a huge mental decline and is scared to drive or try anything new.
I’m Anon from above. Our situations are similar. My mother can cite many friends but their interactions are limited to monthly group lunches. Regular human contact is essential, and I wonder if computers/social media make it easier to avoid getting out. And yes, the mental decline is startling. Thinking of you.
Talking about what downsizing would look like was helpful for getting my Dad on side. They didn’t need their 5 bedroom 4000sq ft house but he wasn’t ready to move to a condo because he loves gardening and tinkering in the garage. After a lot of hunting, they found a 1700 sqft two bedroom house with a double garage and a nice garden.
This is a really insightful comment – can you approach the conversation with your dad in a more generative way and ask what he likes about their house? There may be features that are really important to him (and your mom) that they could prioritize while downsizing that would make it an easier decision. I have seen my parents struggle with this process with their parents, and the times they have made break throughs have been when they focused more on what they DO want out of their new living situations instead of what they don’t want. Framing the whole thing as a negative makes the decision much more painful.
I had to have a similar conversation with my parents recently. What helped was talking to my mom first. She is a strong and fiercely independent woman and would have felt like I went over her head to talk to my dad if I didn’t talk to her first. She was honest with me that she supports my dad’s desire to keep working and traveling (and even joked that the secret to their happy marriage was that they both kept so busy), but that her body is telling her to slow down. After that, my brother and I sat both parents down to talk about retirement generally and mom’s health was one part of it.
Paging snoo momma
For the snoo mama from yesterday, I wanted to repost my comment because it was super late and I have some helpful info:
Hope it’s not too late but we got the snoo and it had been a lifesaver! My 10w old is regular sleeping 8 hr chunks.
We bought it on sale and hope to resell it. I have seen the resale price go down (I’m hoping to get $675, but I’ve seen plenty in my area going for $500). Even at that, it has been worth it for me. The extras and soft goods, if you included them, don’t seem to increase the asking price. The people asking $800 for the new ones because they bought them for $1200 are bananas. I also think eventually they will make a snoo 2.0 and have already said they are working on a larger model.
You can delay the ship date to delay the start of the warranty. You can also ask them to refund you the difference if the price goes down more in the meantime. I’d buy it now while it’s on sale, set the ship date for later (you can change it at anytime), and then think on it more.
I also took the taking cara babies course and even as a 2nd time mom found it really helpful, especially in conjunction with the snoo.
I’m not that poster, but thanks for the info!
Same! I’m due in December but just purchased the Snoo because of the great sale!
I’m the OP on that. Thanks!! That’s really helpful. I am leaning that direction: buy it during the sale, and set it to ship later. That 30 day guarantee is pretty attractive for the price difference, and hopefully the resale value holds. It’s nice to get a real person recommendation, since I’m always a little skeptical of reviews on their site.
Late, but this is what I did. I bought it in the spring of 2018 and had it shipped to us in August right before my due date. It worked out perfectly- DH set it up and I went into labor later that night! I recommend the SNOO 100000%.
A good work friend of mine left our very large staff counsel office for another job about a year ago. He was well liked and a great lawyer. He had a great trial record and was usually the first attorney management looked to for difficult cases. Management, at the time, seemed sad to see him go but understood the opportunity was very different: private firm with tremendous upside potential.
We’re still friends and he let me know that in March, he was let go from his new job (financial decision unrelated to performance). He’s had a few interviews since but no offers and texted me the other day. Apparently, he followed up with an interviewer after being turned down following what he thought was a great interview. The interviewer told him that when they called to confirm his employment with my current employer, someone panned him. Thie person said awful things about his performance, with enough twists on small truths to make clear to my friend that the interviewer wasn’t misleading him.
The crazy part is: my employer has a policy about not commenting on former employees’ performances one way or another. My friend is beside himself that he’s already been badmouthed at several firms and that he cannot prevent it going forward. He called our former manager who just confirmed the policy of no comment besides confirmation of dates worked.
Does anyone know how to prevent this? I’m concerned for myself should I ever want to leave. I have several years of good to great performance reviews, but then, so did my friend.
You figure out who panned him and have inquiries directed to another person. He can ask for a letter of some sort, attesting to his good work.
So someone at your firm violated the policy about commenting on former employee’s performance. How come your current firm isn’t trying to find out who did it? Why have a policy like that if you can’t enforce it?
Can he get a written letter confirming dates of employment and then use you as the reference for work product quality?
The original Scarlett
I wouldn’t do that, it will raise a red flag and background check companies won’t accept that (a letter is easily forged).
Does your friend know who was called? I think the first step is to try to figure that out, and then ensure that person is not the point of contact for any future calls. Did they just call the general company number, and it was someone in HR? Was it someone the interviewer knew? Was it your manager? How often and widespread this problem is depends at least in part on how the interviewer got connected with the person who said the horrible things about your friend.
No. And it feels awful to speculate. No one outside our office (hr is outside) would have known enough details about him to say these things and we can’t imagine either named partner being so petty or breaking protocol. Friend thinks it was a higher- up admin (like a mail room supervisor) but that just seems so crazy.
Hunter of Jobs
respectfully though, I’m not sure how that would have happened if your friend gave a proper phone number to a reliable reference. A random higher-up admin? A Mail room person? As an unemployed job hunter, I am very careful with the exact phone number/contact for a person who would rightfully laud my work. You can’t leave these things to chance!
As for CYA in the future, I’d suggest same. You can’t fix his problem, but you can confirm that you have direct email/cell phones/office dials for the managers/mentors/etc you can trust to provide reliable references. Don’t let rando HR meanies sabotage your future.
I’m pretty sure he gave them the general reception number at our office. I’m also pretty sure that the managing attorneys would have had an admin confirm dates, even if they were reached, so as to avoid commenting on a former employee’s performance.
Knowing each of them, they are probably furious but ultimately without recourse here.
If you or your friend are asked for references, try to list a direct dial that will go to someone you trust. And on the employment history form, list a direct dial of someone you trust rather than the main reception number, or whatever he listed that was transferred to the badmouther.
I’m thinking they asked for the dates of employment and then probably, who else did he work with that we can talk to?
And then probably it went to the badmouther?
I don’t think the “we only confirm dates of employment” HR or super-management person is the same as the badmouther – there must have been 1 or 2 middlefolks.
I’m just throwing this out there, couldn’t you or him or anyone do a fake reference check to figure this out?
This is a great idea. Have a friend do a fake reference check, don’t do it yourself in case they recognize your voice.
I just got a nice bonus at work (after months of thinking I wouldn’t) and I know exactly how I want to treat myself before socking the rest of it away for savings. I’ve decided to get myself a leather tote bag and I’m torn between the Madewell transport tote and the Cuyana classic tote. Any thoughts on quality between the two? I have a discount that would make the Madewell bag $50 cheaper and I like how it seems to hold its shape better in the pictures, but the reviews online lament the decrease in quality from the original bag so I’m hesitant to pull the trigger. I work in a fairly casual office, so I’m not worried about not getting enough use out of it. I just don’t want to drop the money on either bag if they’re not worth it.
I think the Wirecutter compared the 2. I am really happy with the Cuyana zippered tote. It isn’t structured but it doesn’t flop so much that I can’t load it. I ended up returning my Cuyana structured tote as the coating on the edges started cracking after a couple months. (The unstructured totes are made of 1 layer of leather and don’t have this coating). No experience with the Madewell totes.
I have the zippered Cuyana and medium Madewell, and I use both regularly. So I can’t speak to any changes in quality. I have had the Cuyana for over a year, two for the madewell.
The Cuyana is a much softer, floppier leather. It feels more like the longchamp tote, though obviously heavier and thicker. The Madewell is a much thicker leather and feels more structured and is also heavier. The Madewell tote is also more unfinished and feels more casual while the Cuyana feels more polished. For a job interview with a suit, I think the Cuyana looks better but for the weekend, I prefer the Madewell.
Hope that helps!
I actually have both, though my Cuyana tote has a zipper. My Madewell tote is several years old (2013?) and the Cuyana tote is from last year. I think the Cuyana leather is nicer, and the reason I wanted this tote was for the zipper and the fitted organizer. I use the Madewell tote for more casual weekend stuff and the Cuyana tote with the organizer insert for work and travel (which is why I wanted the zipper). If you decide to get the Cuyana tote, I highly recommend the organizer to keep it structured.
I have a Cuyana classic tote with no zipper and I personally find it too floppy, unstructured, and also a bit too big for me to regularly carry it around. (That’s a pity because I like the soft, floppy leather and I think it should be pretty much indestructible and also unlikely to show scratches or scuffs.) I’d do one of Cuyana’s other totes over the classic (the zippered classic tote looks a bit more structured, I really like the look of the tall structured totes too, both with and without a zipper, but someone else has just pointed out that the structured totes might have quality issues).
I also have a Madewell Medium Transport tote that I really love because of the stiffer, more structured leather, but it definitely has a noticeably more casual/unfinished look that another reply pointed out. I feel like this bag will be reasonably sturdy, but the leather is of a kind that will show some scratches or scuffs over time, and other people who’ve had their Madewell Transport totes for a lot longer have said that the leather could crack at the corners of the bag or on the strap.
I have a Cuyana structured and have carried it every day since last September. Have not experienced any quality issues and it still looks great!
I debated this very choice about a year and a half ago, and ultimately decided on the Cuyana Classic (no zip) in a gorgeous taupe color and I LOVE IT! I was really concerned about the floppy factor, as I hate it when bags won’t stand up and considered getting an insert or something to create structure for the bottom of the bag but it was totally unnecessary. The bag just kind of “plops” when I set it down and stands up just fine, even when fairly empty. If it has stuff in in, the weight keeps it grounded. I use it for work and travel from my car in the underground garage to my desk so the open top works for me. I don’t always love the look of pebbled leather but this one has just enough texture to keep it nice. It’s been fantastic.
I am also a huge fan of Madewell and have considered getting a Transport Tote for the weekends but for work, I just preferred the slightly less casual (for me) vibe of the Cuyana. I also fancied myself up with a lovely vintage scarf tied to the handle.
I have the Cuyana structured tote with an organizer and love it! No experiences with the Madewell one.
Thanks all! I was leaning towards the Madewell before posting, but your comments on the Cuyana bag have been helpful. I might have a weekend in NYC soon, so I’m thinking I’ll just see the Cuyana in person before deciding.
I can’t speak to the Madewell tote but I’ve had the Cuyana zippered tote for a little over a year and I LOVE it. I use it every single day and it’s held up great. I got the insert recently and it’s okay, but I don’t know that I really needed it. I agree with some of the above posters that the Cuyana tote is a little more formal and the Madewell tote a little more casual. I still carry all my stuff around in the Cuyana tote on the weekends because it’s not that out of place.
I have the Madewell and would not recommend it — after only a few months, mine looks way more worn and saggy than Baga I have had 10 times as long. Regret getting it instead of the Cuyana.
A 3-day company retreat in Dubrovnik in August where dress code is supposed to be summer casual for days of presentations and evenings of networking dinners. However, I am determined to make a good impression on some vet senior folks who I don’t otherwise get to meet. I generally read very young, as a 5 feet curvy apple shaped woman with chubby cheeks. What would you wear? Links would be really appreciated too!!
Dubrivnik is august is very very very hot. I was there for vacation and am a very different height and shape from you, so I can’t advise, but think *HOT*. Also anything dark colored would have felt very strange – even navy felt stark somehow.
I knowwwwwww from my vacation there a couple of years back, which is why I am soooo at a loss! Generally darker colors make me look more serious/ slimmer and they really seem out here. Please help!!
I have the same shape (short curvy apple with the chubby cheeks) and I’m loving Eileen Fisher linen and cotton pieces for business casual that leans summer travel.
Also recently discovered persifor for structured but casual dresses that I’d wear for networking dinners in a resort-y locale. The loft dress that katesturino recently wore looked great, and gap is having a dress moment as well.
Don’t try to look older just more polished.
Are the presentations going to be inside where there is AC? I live in a hot place and I’m always freezing inside. I’d stick to business casual for the meetings (add a ponte blazer perhaps?) and do jersey dresses (the one linked above is cute! Gap has a less expensive version) in the evenings.
I know some of you like a shopping challenge so here goes.
I need a couple of jacket replacements for hot days. I have one – it’s a half sleeved woven cotton blouse with a belt. It’s a good solution for needing to look professional when it’s impossibly not.
I’m plus sized / 18w. I’m tall so I like a longer length if possible. Belted style preferred but not required.
I need the sleeves to be at least to my elbows. Regular short sleeves are too short. I hah e a skin condition on my upper arms.
I’m looking for a woven texture not knit. Highly prefer natural fibers as I don’t find polyester breathes well on hot days.
Basically I’m looking for a blouse with the presence of a jacket.
Budget up to $300 but I’d consider higher if it’s really special.
I know this is a tall order. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!!
Just wanted to say that I saw this, and I tried! But no luck.
Have you looked at The Fold? They have a number of tops that would be formal enough to replace a jacket. Not sure if they’d fit your other requirements for fabric.
What about a linen blazer?
Nina McLemore has something similar in cotton and linen – she calls them tunics and they look like good jacket replacements. But the price is higher and they have 3/4 sleeves. You could have a tailor shorten the sleeves or wear them rolled up. Take a look at the sale items.
You could wear or take your current version to a Nordstroms personal shopper and see if they can find something that you’d like.
Or take it to a local dressmaker and ask them to make you a duplicate. I have made similar light jackets for summer and any competent sewer could do it.
Lafayette 148 has really good quality shirting, and they allow for a reasonable amount of shoulder.
I need some advice. I’m currently in a contract academic position as a researcher, the contract is until April next year. I’ve been having problems with my boss –the main issue being that in one meeting about 3 weeks ago he was yelling at me in a meeting about something he was unhappy with. I acknowledge that if someone is unhappy with you they will let you know however I have not been in a work situation where a superior has done that. So I am starting to look for another job for sure. However I am also experiencing some hesitation, one reason is that I also feel like I want to leave my current area i.e. scientific research and move into a data analyst role.I have a PhD so while this is not a guarantee that I will get into a data analyst job, I am willing to try. I currently program in R, and plan to learn Python as well. In this position I think I have also lost interest in research and if I make the move right away it will be into another research job that I may not like. I am wondering whether to hang on a few more months as I work on improving some of the skill gaps I have by e.g. taking some online courses in order to move my career in a new direction. My other reason for hesitation is time off–I am in Europe where my time off is generous compared to the U.S.(after this position my plan was to move back to the U.S.) My family lives in another part of the world so I am also considering using the next 6 months to look for a position that will start in January or soon after. That way I can visit my family in December and start a new chapter in the new year. With all these life and career changes coming up I’d appreciate some perspective, how would you handle this if you were in my situation? Thank you.
If I understand correctly, you have a contract position till next April but want to leave now cause your boss yelled at you once? It’s not great that your boss yelled at you, but that seems like a huge overreaction. If I was looking at your resume and asked why you left, what would you say? Unless you had a very good reason, I’m not going to hire someone who left a short-term contract position early
I should mention that things have not been going well for sometime. This is my reason for thinking of leaving.Also after this incident when he yelled I had a coworker come into my office a few days after where he was advising me to think of finding another job. His reason was it was not worth staying in a position where someone does not respect you and where the stress would affect my health. So that is where this sentiment is coming from. That said thanks for giving me another perspective, that to some people leaving early will be considered a problem.
I am a little confused. Within this post, you state that you are having problems with your boss, but then cite to a single yelling issue in a meeting. Does your boss yell all the time, or is this a one off? Have you privately discussed this with your boss, and indicated that would appreciate a more professional approach? I have come to conclude that yelling in meetings is more performance art than anything meaningful–the yeller is playing to the crowd for some inane reason or another (and doesn’t realize that it is entirely ineffective and makes them look boorish and unprofessional–and likely undermines effectiveness in the long run). Every work place has yellers, and some tolerate them more than others. You have four options–1. privately speak with the yeller and see if there is any reason to be had with them; 2. Report it through your HR chain as appropriate; 3. Put on your teflon suit and just let it roll off your back; or 3. Start looking elsewhere. You can combine these as well. One twist is if you have allies that have also received this treatment that would be willing to make a joint intervention or complaint.
Data analyst is a great job and I would definitely recommend spending 4-5 months upgrading your skills and maybe trying to talk to people who do it for a living. After December, then you will be in a good position to start looking. I don’t like getting yelled at either, but right now you are in a decent spot so don’t let a bad boss push you out before it is to your advantage to leave.
If you can stand it without mental health deteriorating, stay to get the new skills and go for data analyst. I have strong family ties to academia and have heard way too many horror stories about abused post docs. On the other hand, those who got out to the industry to be data scientists are much happier with many more options in front of them and much better pay. But you have to know your stuff! See if you can use your current research as sandbox for creating products in other programs and make sure your R skills are fresh.
Help me design a closet?
Our master closet is currently completely empty of shelves, fixtures, rods, everything. I’ve poked around the Container Store website, but it’s been tricky to visualize how their products work in any space other than the one pictured (not saying it’s unrealistic, just that I can’t make my brain move the pieces around, I guess). What would you put in a closet for two people and a collection of towels that have no place else to go? Any Container Store hacks or other options?
Can you get to an IKEA and have a look at their example setups of PAX wardrobes? Personally I know I need more drawers and less hanging space but that might be different for you.
Nearest IKEA is a ways away but what I can see on the website is really helpful, thanks!
The original Scarlett
Take neasurements and photos to the Container store – if you buy their Elfa system, they’ll help you design it.
+1 they have a computer program and can design a closet for you that works with your space. If you’re ok spending the money for it, it’s great!
+1 they totally helped me with my desk situation because while I’m pretty good at spatial reasoning, their software for the elfa system is awful. I went to the store and the person who helped me was super fast and super helpful!
I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who was totally lost trying to mess with Elfa on my own! Sadly the nearest brick and mortar container store is 9 hours’ drive from me, but maybe if we make a trip out that way anyway…
The original Scarlett
you might try calling them to see if you can do it virtually; I also had them do the installation. that said, I’ve admired California Closets more over the years, so maybe give that a try if it’s more available in your area
Is there a brick/morter TCS near you? They have people who will help you design it.
The key thing is to think about how you want to use the space. What do you want your closet to do for you, then the consultant should be able to translate that into how and where to place things.
Do you most have shirts/jackets and pants – think about 2 hanging rods. Need a spot for long dresses you wear occasionally – have a spot for that at the end. Lots of sweaters – think about having shelves a foot apart so you can access quickly without tipping the pile. Do you have off-season stuff you’ll want to store in the top of the closet – what are you going to pack it in?
Yes, exactly this. You need to first look at your clothes and decide what you have and how you want to store it. Do you want to hang jeans (do you have room for that), or do you prefer drawers or shelves for them (or that’s all you have room for)? Just thinking about maximizing space, but for towels, could you store them in an under-bed drawer/container? Another great way to maximize space is to get slim hangers, to get rid of shoe boxes, and to store off-season clothes separately (maybe in a box at the top of your closet where you don’t need access every day). The Container Store people are great at designing solutions, but they don’t know what you have, so start with an inventory. For example – I wear mostly dresses but our new home has two identical closets, built perfectly for a man. Which is to say – two bars of equal height dividing up the space. It’s the perfect size for my husband’s shirts, jackets, and pants, but doesn’t accommodate for dresses at all, so they drag. There is one very small section of a very tall bar made for hanging long items (where I hang gowns and maxi dresses) but previously I had a sort of “three-fourths” height bar that was perfect for all my dresses I wear everyday.
The Container Store has a free design service. Would recommend making an appointment.
Search for – Home Depot Custom Closet Design. They have tools on their website where you can configure your space and start designing your closet. They also have modular kits – I used the ClosetMaid Shelf Track to do the guest room closet and it was great.
This is super helpful, thank you so much!
If you have a completely empty space, I would take this an opportunity to visit an actual closet store (or maybe a couple of them) and have a designer work with you to design the space and bid the job. It may be more expensive than all DIY, but I found that the custom closets and pantry at my house did not cost much more than what I could have gotten at The Container Store (and the process was more trouble-free).
I note that I had a bedroom to closet conversion bid done and I was pleasantly surprised by the bid amount – having the whole room converted, including a freestanding (but installed) two-sided dresser in the middle of the room was a lot less than expected (although converting the existing closet to secure storage was going to be an additional cost).
I think California Closets used to do free consultations- you might want to look into that.
We designed at both California Closets and the Container Store- the California Closet bid was much, much less expensive for the same kind of closet! They installed this week and we’re super happy- I’d recommend trying the design process with a few places before making your decision.
I just went through the design process w California Closets for a master closet (install next month). The prices vary based on the finishes you choose. I looked at Container Store – but the only finishes I liked were at the highest price tier. For me, the basic white at California Closets is perfect (with handle upgrade). I also looked at some of the sets from Home Depot — the quality just didn’t seem to be there.
I was able to get a California Closet home consultation in under a week and had initial designs the same day as the consultation. Went back and forth with the designer a few times via email. She offered great suggestions and was incredibly responsive.
We’ll see what the finished product looks like, but I’ve been really impressed so far.
I’m a die-hard Elfa fan, so absolutely go to the Container Store with measurements and photos in hand and see what they can design for you. I love that the Elfa system isn’t permanent, so if you decide another configuration could work better for you, then all you have to do is go back to the store and work with them on how to make it more functional for your needs.
The brackets for the Rubbermaid/Closetmaid/Elfa systems all work in the upright standards for each. The shelving is specific to the brackets for each. So you can mix and match the shelving between the systems if you see/like something better from one or can find it cheaper with the other.
Easy Closet dot com has an online design tool that is easy to use. I used it some years ago to design my closet and was really happy with the result. I did have to hire somebody to install it but it was an easy job for a handyman and didn’t cost much. I liked that I got to save my design online and tweak it over a period of weeks or months and what I ended up with was perfect for me.
Oops Easy Closets dot com with an s.
The original Scarlett
ohh bookmarking – thank you!
Start with the clothes you have/how you plan to store them, and literally measure them so that you know the minimum you need to avoid frustration.
When we were moving and had the opportunity to design our closet, I took out a tape measure. Ex: We currently have 5 feet of double-rod space and 3 feet of single-rod. In the “out of season guest room closet” there is an additional 4 feet of single-rod space and 3 feet of double-rod space. The double rod needs to have a 42″ drop to accommodate DH’s suits” etc. We also had a few Rubbermaid bins of seasonal clothing (sweaters, etc), so planned the top shelf of the single-rod space to be low enough to accommodate storing them on top.
This is late but wanted to add a huge plug for TCS. We splurged on Elfa set ups in our master closets (his and hers, different sizes, small walk-ins). It’s a game changer and we think it will help with the resale value of our house. If you’re 9 hours away, I would call your closest store and talk through it with them. I’d also be happy to plug my local store and designer if you’re interested!
My go-to summer jacket is usually a denim jacket, but I feel like I can’t wear it with jeans (except for white or black jeans). What’s your go-to summer jacket that goes with jeans?
Look at ON’s other utility jackets while you’re there. I have one from a few years ago that I still wear.
I like the ON moto jackets.
I’m a fan of cotton-twill utility jackets.
(Former) Clueless Summer
Like NOLA, I have a cotton field jacket (mine was Gap outlet) that’s pink with rose gold hardware. A light one in olive would work too. Similar vibe to a denim jacket for sure!
I don’t normally wear olive green, but the little daisy embroidery got me!
Inspired By Hermione
A pink jacket cut exactly the same as a denim jacket is my next purchase, because I’ve worn my denim jacket every day this week (although it’s usually not on inside, it’s been hot!)
I have an unlined linen jacket in a blazer style that I like with jeans. The textures work.
Gritting my teeth at the guy by the coffee pot–breaking his arm patting himself on the back for his liberalism that he lets his daughters wear jeans. Seriously dude? Ugh. STFU.
Oh great–now they’re moving on to “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”.
90% of the time, I love my job. Right now…
People wearing jeans with guns kill people sir! He’s setting his daughter up for a murder charge. (I’m joking, joking!)
Am also gritting my teeth today at a guy I work with. Your bad mood doesn’t mean you get to be a jerk to everyone to the point everyone wants to hide in their office, dude. “He’s in one of his moods” is a FREQUENT refrain. Child.
I really hate when people use a bad mood as an excuse to be a jerk. Nope, you’re just a jerk. Do they ever realize that there are plenty of people who are kind no matter what happens in their own lives?
Yep. I asked someone above me in the hierarchy to tell him some news that may land poorly today because I didn’t want to get yelled at (the bad news was not my fault but I was the most natural person to tell him. Glad I got someone else to). Ugh.
“lets” his daughter wear jeans?!? WTF
Well, I’m paraphrasing. Big surprise to say, his kids live with his ex. I would guess she does the clothes shopping too.
How do you deal when you feel like bringing a concern with a coworker to a boss will cause all drama and no change?
Ask a manager has a lot of good advice around this. But basically, point out matter of factly how it is impacting your work/productivity. No commentary needed on the action itself.
You don’t do it? What’s the upside?
I’m going to need a hopefully minor-ish surgery in July that will have me out of work a week and out of the office at least another week. I had planned on taking the 3rd and 5th of July off for vacation days before I learned of this surgery. Obviously surgery is not a vacation but I feel like I’m going to get side eye at work for taking vacation time the same month I’m out for surgery. It was a staycation. Would you still take the two vacation days?
I would think so many people are going to be gone around the 4th of July that it would hardly be noticeable and I’d be surprised if anyone connected it to your sick leave later that month.
Are you in Big Law or similar? In any normal workplace, two vacation days around a holiday are no big deal at all and no one would care.