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Workwear sales of note for 3.31.23:
- Ann Taylor – 30% off full-price tops and sweaters; up to 40% off all sale styles
- Athleta – All sale up to 60% off
- Banana Republic Factory – 50% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off; 20% off sale & new-season styles
- Brooks Brothers – Friends & Family Event: 30% off almost everything
- Express – All women’s jeans $49 + styles from $20
- Everlane – Up to 30% off spring essentials
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase; swim from $24.50
- J.Crew Factory – 40% off entire site & storewide, plus extra 20% off orders $125+ with code
- Loft – $29 everyday shirts
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – Buy one get one 50% off! Free shipping on $150+
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
Yesterday I went to a lunchtime chamber music concert and the very lovely violinist was wearing this sweater with a well-cut pair of gray flannel pants. She wore it over another lightweight sweater in a contrasting darker color. Very graceful looking and a bit dramatic. But for my office it would look too droopy I fear.
Sounds beautiful. I’d wear it for a Saturday afternoon.
Just found these Gucci wedges at DSW for $99.99–
They are sold out online but have multiple colors in store (teal, mustard, and eggplant) as well as traditional almond toe leather and patent pumps as well.
It took all the restraint I could muster not to buy 5 pairs.
I saw these, very cute! But word of warning — the toe is less almond/round and more roundish square, with the tendency to look a wee bit old lady. These will not work on everyone — I looked down at my feet & thought I was looking at Queen Elizabeth’s.
Toe doesn’t strike me as squarish at all, but opinions can differ. I am wearing these today, and the only tiny gripe I have is that there’s toe cleavage. Super-comfortable though.
I think it might depend on your foot. I have a friend who looks fabulous in those low, square heeled ferragamos with the bows. On me, my feet could not look worse. So glad they worked for you — I loved all the colors :)
I got my green ones yesterday in the mail and don’t think they look “old lady” at all.
THANK YOU for posting this! I just got a pair of black slide sandals for 99.00 (I am bigfoot, so they still had my size online)!
I saw these in person and they are not cute — they look cheep and kinda grandma/nurse-ish. They seem to be some cheep gucci line that is made for discount stores
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I went over to DSW on my lunch and scored these for $30 with some rewards certificates I had saved away.
Now the caveat that I’m swear I’m not a label snob, so if these are in any way trashy, weigh in so I will know to sell them on ebay.
Those are hot! Great find.
Not trashy at all–wish I’d had those to choose from at my local store!
This sweater is pretty, but not for work. I think the lack of structure in its shape, screams Saturday errands to me.
Agree. These sweaters are everywhere right now, but I just know I would feel dumpy if I wore one to work. Maybe it’s because I’m short, but I feel like all but the most structured cardigans leave me looking sloppy.
Agree. It’s not just that it’s too unstructured for work for me, I also have a thing against cardigans without buttons.
I just don’t think they protect against the cold (even a cold office) when they don’t give you the option to button up your front, and I haven’t figured out how to master the belted cardigan look. Besides like a commenter said below, I like when a cardigan “nips in” at my waist (if I button only those buttons).
Love it. And would wear it to work.
Purchase with caution! I have one of these style of sweaters and I find it oddly unflattering. And I cannot put my finger on why …
I think, for me, it’s unflattering because I am chesty but otherwise thin, so the sweater goes over my boobs but never nips back in and therefore makes me look bigger than I am. Doesn’t help that the sweater ends at my hips/butt area, my largest part. Common problem I have with all drapey sweaters.
I think it is all about the chest – I am very flat-chested with a little extra “softness” around my middle (sounds like I am your total opposite body shape, and oh how I wish we could trade), and I have found the drapey cardigans to be quite flattering
Follow up on Boden dress
I wanted to follow up on the Boden dress that I purchased. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I’m an hourglass/slight pear shape and have a very defined waist. This dress has an empire waist, which is not flattering on me (made me look slightly pregnant). I bought the gray color, and the color is pretty drab as well. Disappointing because this was my first Boden purchase.
oh sad, it looked so pretty online!
Oh, that is too bad. I liked it online, and the pictures make it look like a natural waistline. Thanks for the report.
Someone was asking about Gap codes earlier this week. Thru 12-3, enter GAPGIFT for 25% off your purchase.
I was not the asker, but thank you very much, AIMS! Could not find one that still worked and wanted to try their Classic Blazer in Tall sizing…but feeling too cheap to pay full price on anything after so many holiday travel expenses.
L from Oz
Sorry to go off-topic, but was wondering if anyone has any ideas about seriously warm winter coats. It’s been minus 10C around here, and I don’t think I can manage another winter of shivering like mad. I say seriously warm, because my current coat is already a knee-length North Face down parka (admittedly, at four winters old it’s lost some of its warmth) and I’m still rather chilly, because I spend a lot of time at work going in-and-out, plus commuting by either bus or bike. And as an Australian I’ll probably never really get used to snow…
I’ve been wondering about Canada Goose – there’s a stockist near here, and I’ve got some spare cash to spend, but am not sure that wouldn’t be overkill given I live in Central Europe, not the Arctic. I could also replace my North Face coat with a similar model – does down lose its oomph after a couple of years? I think I have to stick with something at least a bit down-y – I have another winter coat that’s water- and windproof but more fleece-based, and while I’m dry I’m simply not warm enough unless cycling, which I can’t do much in the snow.
Any other suffering-in-the-cold Corporettes with ideas? (Because of the inside-and-out work situation, layering is not a great solution – it looks ridiculous to schlep the bits during the indoor period, and takes too long to dress up to go back outside.)
I am in Chicago, and have been very pleased with this coat from Lands End:
With a coupon, I paid only 80 dollars for it. It came last week, just in time for the bitter cold weather, and kept me very warm during holiday travel, etc.
I bought this one as well:
However, I ended up returning it in favor of the Dory down coat. I went with the Dory, as opposed to the Commuter, because 1) the Dory was far more flattering on me, and 2) the Dory was half the price.
Lands’ End rates both coats as being warm in temps down to -30s. Yes, they might not be the most stylish down coats out there, but I am more concerned with warmth when the temps are brutal.
I also own a long down coat from Lands End (last year’s version) and it is really great. It keeps me very warm. The fake fur part is removable but actually does a really great job at keeping wind off my face.
Have you considered fur? I’m from Russia originally and everyone there wears fur (mostly shearlings) and it keeps you warm like crazy. I know some people have issues with fur, and I don’t want to start a debate here.
If you decide to go that route, try to find someone knowledgeable to go shopping with you. It’s easy to get ripped off – for example, if you are buying a shearling, the inside fur part and the outside leather part should be the same skin/animal, if they are two different pieces glued together it won’t keep you that warm (only to -5C or so).
Also, are you wearing long underwear under your clothes? I find that in places where its very cold outside, indoors is not too warm for wearing long underwear. Is your footwear warm enough?
I lived in Russia for awhile too, and all I can say is that we simply don’t have coats in America like they do there, so I sympathize with your search to find a great, warm coat. I bought the most wonderful down filled/fur trimmed coat there that easily kept me warm down to 0/the single digits, and sometimes when I was walking, I had to leave the coat unzipped, it was that warm. In fact, it’s so warm that it’s simply not really wearable here in the US where I live now, even though we do get good winters. I just use a wool/cashmere blend coat/sweaters/other layers under to stay warm.
I second finding something of very good quality down, possibly with some fur trim, fur lining, or even a fur coat in general. Americans poo-hoo fur like it’s exclusively some sort of extraneous demonstration in the name of vanity only, but I think that’s just because it’s rare to wear here and people don’t realize just how high its utility is. If you could find something using fur (vintage options are great if you have ethical concerns against fur, though honestly I don’t see it as any different than leather), as Anon suggested, I think you would be very happy, very beautiful, and very warm all at the same time.
Long underwear (silk knit pieces are good), wool tights, and similar undergarments do help as well. I wore these in Russia, too.
I don’t “poo-hoo fur like it’s exclusively some sort of extraneous demonstration in the name of vanity only.”
I just think it’s needlessly cruel. Leather is a concern too, but at least people eat the meat. When the people wearing fur start getting their sustenance from clubbed minks and aborted lamb fetuses (very popular fur type!), I will reconsider my position.
Do you know that leather and meat do not come from the same animal? No one eats the meat from leather animals.
(I eat meat and wear leather, just thought you should know that argument doesn’t actually apply)
A lot of fur comes from farms, to be fair. Not every fur coat is made from a ‘clubbed mink.’ Plus, one could consider many things ‘needlessly cruel’ (think, building anything on animals’ natural habitats), but simultaneously those things often serve great utility. Fur happens to be one of those things, and this is what I was trying to get at. Sure, some people wear fur exclusively for the vanity factor and to be over the top, but that’s not the only reason people wear it. Trust me, people aren’t walking around in Russia with full length fur coats because they get sadistic pleasure out of beating animals to death. Fur is actually REALLY warm, and when you live in cold places (like Russia or other places where -20 or -30 are regular temperatures), fur is almost a necessary addition to a winter wardrobe. Yes, it’s too bad that those animals have to die to keep us warm, but animals need to die all the time for humans to live comfortably. It’s great if you endeavor to live your life with as little animal killing as possible, but not everybody who wears animal products such as fur is doing so solely to support a cruel practice, and not everybody’s fur was made cruelly anyway.
It’s fine if you want to ‘disagree’ with fur, but just because you may disagree with it doesn’t underscore its utility or (sometimes) necessity.
Well, either way, I’m using the animal for my own personal purposes, whether it’s for the fur or for the leather or for the meat. Anyway, no one needs to “justify” having a fur coat to anyone else, so too bad if someone wishes to “engage” on the topic.
Do you know that leather and meat do not come from the same animal? No one eats the meat from leather animals.
CC, I’ve always been curious about that. (I don’t really care; it’s not something that would change what I do, I’ve just wondered.) I tried googling it, and got a lot of different, but not reliably sourced, answers.
While I could understand that the leather cow’s meat is not ending up in fancy steakhouses, it seems pretty absurd to think that they just skin the cow and throw the rest away. Even if the meet is not suitable for human consumption (which seems some what far-fetched, when you think of all of the highly processed, low-grade, cheap beef out there), surely it must be used in animal feed or something similar?
In other words, do you have a source for that? I promise that next time I meet a cowboy or a rancher, I’ll ask ’em.
Whether you want the debate or not, if you go this route you can be prepared for many of those seeing you wearing a fur coat to be at the very least a little grossed out or disappointed in you and at the other extreme ready to actively engage you in a discussion about your decision–possibly loudly and in public. Just something to consider. Not to even go there on whether the decision is a kind one or not.
I’d personally advise talking with REI or some of the ski shops around . It’s amazing some of the things today’s materials are capable of doing in terms of warmth without bulk. There are also different levels of down fill. Not all North Face coats are built the same–even year to year. A good staff person can help consult on what will help provide the most warmth and wind-blocking while still looking appropriate for street wear.
And I know you don’t want to layer, but I would still make a case that some of the silk base layers really do a wonderful job at keeping you warm outside without making you too sweaty when you’re in the office. (I wear them in my chilly office sometimes. I also cross country ski in them and feel just as comfortable coming in and sipping hot chocolate.
This is true (about people looking at you weirdly and possibly confronting you on the street) re your choice to wear fur.
I own a full length black fur coat, and that was my go-to for the coldest days last year. The looks and occasional commentary made me seek out a down coat for this year. I got tired of explaining that I inherited my coat from my grandmother, would never buy a fur coat, etc.
Anon for this one
Why would you explain your own choices? I wonder who someone would have to think they were to go up to a another person and question them about the personal decisions on the street.
I live in Chicago, wear my fur, and wish someone would dare say something to me about it…..
I agre with ‘Anon for this one.’ There are so many ridiculous over the top things people wear/carry on the streets, and yet fur seems to be the ‘only’ thing that would conjure up a public inquisition. Why is that? Why does anybody care, especially given all the ocmplete impractical excesses people display in public? Who actually goes up to people and accosts them on the street for wearing fur, especially in a very cold area where it makes sense?
I don’t think one should avoid wearing fur (especially if it’s in a VERY cold place/a practical design) just because strange people with no tact/nothing better to do would say something to you about it.
Also from Chicago, and my mom would get questioned on her fur when she wore it. Not very often, as she only wears it a few times a year. But every time she does wear it someone invariably asks her how many beautiful animals had to die to make her coat, etc etc. She just ignores them. Mostly because it was always in the same place for the same event by the same people (nothing political).
I own a nice dark mink stole that I inherited from my grandmother. I wear it with evening wear in the winter. If I’m questioned about it by someone I feel probably has an ax to grind, I just say “it’s fake – but it sure looks like the real thing, doesn’t it?” Really good fake furs are hard to tell from the real thing unless you are practically an expert – just like diamonds, which some people also have a problem with.
I am not ashamed to wear my grandma’s fur – it was one of her most prized possessions, as my grandfather had to work long and hard to buy it for her. She took fantastic care of it and wore it only on special occasions. Despite that, she used to let me play dress-up with it as a little girl, and left it to me in her will when she died. So, not ashamed – but also not willing to lose it to some activist who might choose to throw paint, blood or even just “accidentally” spill their wine on it. I have to say I’m with Frump and don’t see the difference between someone wearing a leather jacket or boots and wearing fur. But I am a pretty unashamed meat-eater and leather-wearer, so take that FWIW.
Anon for this one
I am anon at 27, used that to give some advice that had some outable info couple of weeks ago.
Anywho, I think if someone tossed some paint on me, by the time the broke up the dust up, there’d be a really difficult time determining who assaulted whom…. and I’d be pressing charges and bringing a civil claim. I unlike, say Joan Rivers, am a former athlete and would have no issue chasing down my assailant….lol.
I completely respect other’s right not to wear fur, eat meat or any other animal related causes. But their rights end where mine begin.
I am all for eating meat and wearing leather shoes for practicality purposes.
However, when someone is wearing a mink coat- or other fur that is obtained by killing cute animals is just wrong on so many levels. Even if the said mink coat in inherited from grandma, by wearing it, you are condoning the killing of those multiple cute animals.
When one buys mink coat or fox fur- they are really killing animals for fashion – not for food. I will judge even if you claim that you did not buy that coat. None of the parts of America south of MN get cold enough to warrant such an act.
By the same token, if you lived in Alaska and wear that fur coat – I will undersatnd that its a necessity and will not judge you at all. But I bet you still do not “need” a mink coat to stay warm in Alaska. We have great alternatives that keep you warm without using fur people.
Its crazy how many excuses people come up with to justify what is essentially a killing. These same people will go on and make a big noise about animal sacrifices that may exist in other cultures.
Anon your argument is so hypocritical though. There are alternatives to leather but you said you wear leather. Hows is that different from wearing fur? Are cows not cute? I find them very cute, and like I said, its not the same cow, leather animals are killed solely for leather.
Anon, what if the animals killed for fur are not cute? Could I make the ugly minks into a fur coat?
Besides, I think minks are actually a type of weasel, and most people think weasles are pests and kill them when they disturb their animal farming, etc.
What about making fur coats out of the minks that kill people’s chickens? Kind of like, mink death penalty for the murder of innocent chickens, if you will.
LOL. I love the argument that it’s OK to kill animals as long as they’re not cute animals. Big ugly cows = slaughter away! Cute, cuddly minks = OMG save the precious animals!! Ridiculous. By the way, minks and chinchillas are some of the worst animals in the world in terms of their smell and their behavior. One of my childhood friends nearly lost one of her fingers to a bad chinchilla bite – her grandmother kept them as pets and they were the most ill-tempered, nastiest little animals I have ever seen. Foxes in the wild kill hens and attack pets; raccoons are aggressive scavengers. Cows, on the other hand, act a lot like big dogs once they get used to you and while they may not be smart, they’re usually pretty good-tempered. So maybe the moral is, don’t kill them if they look cute, even if they have terrible temperaments? So many moral high grounds get washed out when the floodgates of reason get opened, don’t you think?
I had a pet chinchilla through end of college, grad school, and my first job. Ben was the sweetest little thing. He never bit me (or anyone else) for that matter and was smart enough to come when called when we would let him out of his cage. He would also run to the corner and do a little sort of “dance” anytime he heard us say raisin. Cute is in the eye of the beholder. And darn it if a lot of folks didn’t find him cute.
I guess it’s probably because of this that my gut reaction to seeing someone in a chincilla coat is no different than if you were wearing Dalmation fur: It just seems really gross and needlessly cruel. I would never confront the wearer and you would probably never even know I felt this way unless you directly asked me. But many other people are likely to have similar reactions for one reason or another. It’s simply something you need to be aware of when making the choice to wear fur. Like wearing a tube top and lucite heels, you leave people with certain impressions (fair or not). I don’t feel it’s my place to say whether it’s right. But there will definitely be people who will find the wardrobe choice ignorant/ill-informed, cruel, disgusting, etc. and create impressions about you accordingly.
Frump and anon @4:50. Nice try trying argue a red herring. But it did not work!
I never said that cows are not cute. All animals are cute.
Where did I make the argument that only cute animals should not be killed.
Like I said, I have no objection to eating meat or even wearing leather derived from cows that get consumed no matter how cute they are. But if you wear snake skin that you do not eat or skin any other animal that people do not eat for sake of fashion, then yes you are respoinsible for death of that animal.
I will have no problem if you show me that the mink or any animal that got killed for your fur ( and you live in Russia) is being eaten by someone for nourishment.
I am not one of those who says that you cannot kill animals to eat them. That is part of circle of life. But I will definitely not kill for so called fashion.
Yes we all impact and indireclty kill animals by building on their land etc. Part of it is necessity and part greed. I personally try and live a life that does not impact my enviornment as much as possible.
And FUR does not look good most of the time and is a big fashion no no nowadays anyway
Tell that to Michael Kors.
Anon, it’s great you try to live your live with less animal impact, but your philosophy that it’s okay to kill animals for meat or even leather when they may not be consumed, but not for fur (simply because a mink is not eaten), just isn’t cohesive. Animals are always going to have to die at some point for human utility, whether it be for our food, shelter, warmth, or whatever else, and not every animal destroyed is going to be consumed or made useful. The fact of the matter is just that the purpose of some animals is going to be for something that isn’t eating, and it doesn’t really negate that purpose just because the animals have not been physically consumed. Look at it this way: even if you were to try to be as natural as possible in your living situation, trying not to harm animals, and you went to go live in a hole in the ground somewhere, you still would have disturbed earth worms and ladybugs, or worse yet, prevented some coyote or gopher from living in this hole himself. And you wouldn’t have eaten those earth worms or ladybugs or coyotes or gophers to obtain your home, no less, but they still would have needed to suffer or die so you could have a place to live.
So, again, it’s fine if you want to try to minimize the areas in your life where animals die, but to so flippantly say that one sort of destruction is better than another, when ultimately they are sort of the same, doesn’t really make sense.
I second trying REI, or the North Face store. Try to go at an slower time though and make sure you get a salesperson who knows what they are talking about (I had a problem once at REI right before Christmas, with what I assume must have been seasonal help. I was looking for petite ski pants. The first guy didn’t understand what petite was, even after I explained it several times. He kept saying, “We have extra-small in this kind, and extra-small in such and such brand…” Then the second person I asked suggested khaki hiking pants. For skiing. In the snow. I did end up finding what I was looking for, just not with the help of a salesperson.)
SF Bay Associate
Without engaging in the fur is good/bad/whatever, I agree with s – You are guaranteed to be confronted in San Francisco (and Berkeley) by strangers if you wear a fur coat. There is also a real possibility someone will dump paint on your coat.
Couldn’t you prosecute that person/file a complaint for vandalism/property destruction? Especially if the coat was very expensive/priceless heirloom/etc.? I mean, who gets paint dumped on their coat and doesn’t do anything about it?? And I imagine somebody dumping paint on your coat would be easy to ‘turn in,’ since they’d probably get very close to you and would likely have to do it in an open public space where they would be a lot of witnesses…
But I guess in San Fransisco, one could argue it’s not really cold enough for fur anyway, so people wearing it might be doing so more to flaunt the fact they could afford fur and thus inviting the negative attention. Not like that justifies property destruction, but I guess what I am trying to say is that I can sort of see why, especially, a fur coat would stick out like that in CA where it wasn’t necessary. I can’t imagine, though, somebody accosting a person wearing a fur coat, in say, upstate NY or Minnesota or something where it actually does get to be many degrees below zero.
I know this is a thing – dumping paint on furs. But who is really walking around with a bucket of paint waiting to encounter someone in a fur? Seems ridiculous to me.
Also, what are the repurcussions (if any) for these paint-dumpers? Can they be arrested for vandalism, assault & battery, etc.? Sued? I mean, they are messing with someone else’s property (regardless of whether or not they feel they are imparting some sort of moral message).
SF Bay Associate
I love my city, but it does have some unusual quirks.
The people who throw paint are usually wearing masks, or have their faces painted like a tiger or something. They frequent crowded areas, dump paint, and disappear into the crowd. Sometimes it’s a dramatic throwing of paint, sometimes it’s a sneaky spilling that the wearer doesn’t realize occurred for several minutes, by which time the culprit is long gone.
Of course the fur wearer will file a complaint. Good luck catching the culprit (who may be part of a militant animal rights wing and not even care about being caught), and good luck getting the city to prosecute said culprit when there are much bigger things to worry about here than damage to some rich (or perceived rich) person’s coat.
I don’t mean to say that the paint dump happens every time someone wears a fur coat. This of course won’t be an issue if one is wearing a fur coat at some fancy party in Pacific Heights. And yes, I agree that intentionally damaging someone else’s property is wrong and criminal. But if you’re out in the public crowds of San Francisco, it would be unwise to wear fur. At the very least, you are guaranteed to receive dirty looks and disapproving comments.
I agree with this. You may have inherited your fur coat but you will still get lots of dirty looks if you walk around with a fur coat in several major cities (and not the SF Bay Area). Not saying it is fair, but it’s true. I also think that there are few places in the US (except maybe Alaska or northern Wisconsin) where the weather is so cold that fur is the only viable option. Lots of down coats are extremely warm.
I totally agree with s’s comments re layering. Seriously, good base layers are the way to go. And quite apart from base layers, it is possible to layer generally and look professional when doing so. Keeping warm is all about trapping air to create insulation. I do not do well in cold weather, and honestly would not survive winters without layering. My personal favourites are silk underthings and lots of wool elsewhere.
Canada Goose is very warm. I have had very positive experience with Marmot, too. Down can loose a bit of its warmth after awhile, something about the way it shifts, etc.
One thing you may want to consider in your next coat is quilting. I find that it helps you keep you much warmer by trapping warmth as opp. to smooth jackets.
I wear down and was wondering if someone knows how it is processed. I know it is essentially goose fur but are animals killed for it or inhumanely farmed for it or is it like wool wear you have to sheer the sheep anyway so you might as well use it?
When I used to smoke, I was amazed at the number of people who thought it was okay to express their opinion on that subject as well. No end to rudeness.
Oh, just have children, and wait to see the opinions come out! She’s must be hot! She must be cold! She shouldn’t be eating that! She looks hungry!
I agree. My usual response to random people on the street chastising me about the dangers of smoking was to say “What? Smoking is bad for you? I had no idea!! They should put a warning on the pack or something!” Obnoxious, I know, but it usually worked to get people to leave me alone. Especially since I always tried to be considerate when smoking outside by finding a very uncrowded spot.
It can be live plucked, but generally this is considered more cruel than slaughtering the goose first. The goose is generally used for meat. Eider down can be gathered from live ducks, because they shed it naturally more than geese do. I read this on some website when I was looking for a warm coat recently, but can’t remember the site, so take it with a grain of salt.
You might consider one of the synthetic “down alternative” coats. I’m back in California, so no need for super warmth. But in my New England and mountaineering days I discovered “primaloft” (there are a lot of other makes now) which is actually quite thin but still significantly warmer even than my 700-fill down coat. I also recently purchased what I thought was a thin comforter filled with “down alternative”, and my husband woke up drenched in sweat. Also, synthetic fills, unlike down, will continue to provide warmth even when wet so if there’s a lot of precip it might be a good bet.
I don’t have great suggestions on where to buy, but an outdoor store like REI, EMS, or probably places like Eddie Bauer, Land’s End, and LL Bean will probably have something that works.
I wear a fur coat in Chicago and no one has ever said anything to me. That said, it’s shearling, so a bit less obvious than fur coats with the fur on the outside. I see people wearing fur here a fair bit, so maybe you can judge the local reaction by the local wardrobe.
I’ve never received any comments about my shearling in D.C. It may not be the most attractive thing but it sure is warm.
That’s probably b/c a lot of people don’t even realize shearling is fur. It’s sad, but also very true.
Not a fan of north face–i don’t think their down is as high-fill as some of the more technical/mountaineering brands. It often contains more polyester (and therefore not as warm). Their outside jacket coatings as well are not as repellant to water and moisture.
When I was teaching skiing, I used to wear Patagonia 850 or 900 fill down; they are now making hooded jackets like north face does, and would work over a t-shirt or simple thermal in weather down to around 30 (-2C) for most of the day.
However, that, along with most products from REI are cut for a more active fit, scream ‘outdoors’, and wouldn’t necessarily be something I would want to wear to work, especially over a suit.
When I was working in Canada for the winter, there were a couple of Canadian brands that I just adored for warmth and style, Rudsak and Mackage. My Rudsak down-filled leather coat is far warmer than my traditional downs and fine for walking in in -30C weather.
L from Oz
Gosh, I didn’t mean to start an argument! Thanks to everyone – and issues around fur duly noted. I’ve previously lived in Eastern Europe too, and whatever the ethical issues, it’s definitely different if the entire local population is wearing fur versus making a conscious choice to do something different that some will find obviously problematic. I’m not in the US, incidentally (though I have shopping contacts there), which does affect things, although I can’t say I see many people under 50 in fur here either. (Still in Europe, but now further west.)
And as has been pointed out, I am aware that there are ethical issues around down too, although at least some companies certifiy that their harvest is not from live geese/ducks.)
S – thanks for the tip about silk base layers. I hadn’t really thought of going in that direction – most people seem to suggest extra layers on top, which is impossible in my job, as I often have to walk into a room, take off my coat and start talking. A mini-strip is substantially more unprofessional at that point than looking like a walking eiderdown. And after this week, alas, I can say that it’s sometimes cold enough inside to need to be wearing more. (I wore two cardigans to a meeting on Tuesday, and probably looked like a twit, but my arms were actually numb!)
Besides, I’m thinking of learning to cross country ski this year, so I can always use silk long undies for that!
anon – thanks for the tips (Mackage is definitely not me, but Rudsak looks interesting), and warning against North Face. It’s a pity knee-length down seems to be such a limited market! I don’t mind looking a bit puffy, but would prefer to avoid the “straight off Everest” look.
AIMS, I’m glad for the endorsement of Canada Goose, and I’ll look at Marmot.
Anyway, will update after I’ve been shopping.
Any of the long, down coats from Lands End or LL Bean will do the trick. Lands End makes one called a long commuter coat that is especially warm without being puffy.
On the fur coat front, a group were protesting fur outside the Macy’s at Lenox Square mall in Atlanta on black friday. In the rain. With thei 7ish year old kids. Without coats on (the kids had on hoodies.) Yeah…um…they need to worry more about what their kids are wearing instead of what everyone else is wearing. Those poor kids looked absolutely freezing cold, with their hands tucked up in their sweatshirts and all huddled together. Pathetic parents.
On the other had, I saw a lady in a full length coat in 50 degree weather last year. I couldn’t help but laugh at her.
I think a large part of the reason that people have such strong reactions to fur is that too many people are not wearing them for warmth in Alaska and Minsk. Instead, they are wearing them in Atlanta, where there are about 1000 more humane ways to keep warm, and fur is 1000% not needed (same with SF — not defending anyone throwing paint on anyone else’s private property, but if you need to wear fur in the Bay Area, I need to think you are a giant assh*le).
As to the comment that no one uses the meat from the animals that are skinned for leather, I would love to see some a citation for that. God knows, I don’t feel good about leather shoes I own, but I also don’t think that the fact that I feel bad about one cruel thing means I should go out and do even more cruel and crueler things.
Finally, as to the kids who are underdressed — I was an underdressed kid my whole childhood & I was the only one who never got sick, no matter what. Not judging parents. But definetely am judging anyone vapid enough to buy a fur handbag. I hope those people all come back as minks.
I’m not sure I understand. If you feel bad about your leather shoes, why not just buy “man-made material” ones? There are plenty of professional choices out there now, even if there weren’t in the past. You don’t need to wear leather shoes any more than someone needs a fur coat in Atlanta.
I try to buy non-leather whenever I can. I know I should do more to that end. But it’s hard & very expensive to avoid leather all together (I have, at least, managed to avoid ever buying calfskin & other “baby” leather). I would love to just buy Stella McCartney shoes & bags, but I can’t afford to. I also can’t go to court in Miz Mooz.
I know I could do more & should, but it can feel impossible when every year your job gives you a desk diary that’s all leather, all your office chairs are leather, etc., etc. At this point, I am just trying to cut down & to make other humane choices like buying free range, cage free eggs and whatnot.
That said, I can easily avoid fur. It gets cold in NY but I find my puffy jackets & warm sweaters will suffice. I am by no means on a moral highground, but I think that fur is rarely a necessity. For those times it is, I will not begrudge you a beaver coat in the Arctic. But I think modern means have allowed us to mainly bypass such cruelty. And, I have spent more than one February in Russia in a long puffy coat from Bloomies & a cashmere hat & gloves & survived. In fact, I wasn’t even cold!!!
AIMS, thank you for explaining your perspective. Keep an eye on Easy Spirit and Naturalizer, I’ve seen some nice non-leather options there recently that don’t scream cheap or grandma.
Somebody wearing fur for vanity’s sake (ie, a full length mink coat in 50 degree weather) just speaks to the over the top and show-off character of that person and is no different than wearing $100,000 diamonds to the movies, driving an Astin Martin to pick up coffee at 7-11, or being Lady GaGa and defacing a 5-figure Hermes bag with a Sharpie marker. The behavior of that sort of person doesn’t really negate the purpose or utility (or even beauty) of fur itself; it just shows the wearer is not a very good person.
I have been trying to make the point that bad people wearing fur in a vain manner DNE the completely separate point of fur being nice/useful/warm/a perfectly normal thing to wear in the right circumstances (while also underscoring that not all fur products are produced with baseball bats in an animal version of a gladiator ring).
I don’t think fur is the status symbol you keep trying to make it out to be. That might have been true during my mother’s time (I’m 36), but I honestly haven’t seen anyone younger than 60 in one in quite some time. If it’s someone trying to “keep up with the Joneses,” it seems much more likely that something from a well-regarded designer would do the better job.
I was wondering if perhaps this feeling is because of regional differences. But honestly, you don’t see much of it on celebrities, in fashion magazines, etc. like you would with a blingy watch, designer purse, or such. I just don’t think it equates with status. Unless maybe rappers?
Anon, if fur is not a ‘status symbol’ to some extent, why do so many people here think it is basically ‘over the top’ to wear? If people will barely concede that it’s useful in cold weather, their aversion must be rooted in something, and to me it seems the aversion is rooted in this perception that fur is an extraneous luxury, purchased by those who want to be showy and needlessly so, because well they could have gotten an LL Bean coat if they really just wanted to say warm.
So, perhaps it’s not a status symbol in the sense like everybody wants it or aspires to own it, but I think it’s a status symbol in the sense that people know it’s expensive, and many of the people who wear it may be doing so in a flashy/over the top fashion, leading to a broader perception that ALL fur (even a very plain/reasonable black short fur coat or something) is over the top/extraneous/unncessary/flashy and thus a status symbol of being rich enough to afford that flashiness.
Dude, if I had a fur coat, I’d wear it in 50 degree weather. I start shivering at 80 degrees, and it onlys gets worse from there. I wouldn’t get a new one, but if I saw one in a consignment shop I’d be all over that.
Throw your down coat into a dryer w/ a tennis ball for 15 minutes or so. This supposedly refluffs the down to restore the warmth factor.
L from Oz
Must try this (but first I have to find someone with a dryer…another consequence of European living appears to be that no-one I know has one!)
Supposedly, yes :) Any success stories? I’ve been wary of trying this. I stupidly dry-cleaned my almost-new down coat at the end of last season and this season it’s just not as warm.
I’m almost out of my first trimester and I’m beginning to think about maternity clothes/transitional pieces. For those of you who who’ve been there, is this the sort of thing that I could wear like a blazer over a longer shirt that covers my bump and still look mildly professional? I feel like since its “slightly” structured yet not confining it might work as I grow.
Yep. I have a few sweaters like this (non-maternity) that I’m still wearing in month 8. They don’t actually cover my bump anymore, but they come close, and don’t look funny. Frankly, maternity blazers look far funnier, though I wear them under duress to court etc.
I think that anything with the big collar in the front is going to make you look bigger/more pregnant, so I would avoid. Sorry! I just wore my regular blazers until they looked really ridiculous, and then wore the maternity ones for the rest of the time. I didn’t really find cardigans that were flattering, at all.
I had a sweater like this from the Gap and wore it pretty much every other day when I was pregnant. It was kind of my uniform. I could throw on any cute T/tank top style top underneath and it worked. You have some leeway anyway when you are pregnant. Plus, I can still wear it now that I’m back to my regular size (but with a new-to-me weight distribution and body shape.
It’s not maternity wear, but I just got this jacket and I absolutely love it. It sounds kind of like what you’re looking for.
anon for this
during thanksgiving week, for a combination of reasons (stress, hormones, exhaustion, grief) I was in a very very lousy mood. Now, at the best of times, family can be irritating, but usually I am pretty good about grinning an bearing it with people, and not letting their grating habits get to me and I stay friendly and civil with them (they kindly extend me the same courtesy).
But this week, as I said, I was in a bad way and I was generally snappish with one of my sisters in particular. Now, she has ignored a couple of my emails which is not like her and I think she is probably p*ssed at me. We aren’t particuarly close and didn’t grow up together (she is my half sister).
I want to apologize but I need help with wording it; “I’m sorry I wasn’t more patient with how annoying you are” is obviously not appropriate but it’s the most honest thing….I’m thinking of saying something general like “I’m sorry I was so short with you, I was just really tired etc” but it feels weird not to have a more specific explanation since she was kind of targeted….any thoughts?
anon for this- ps
the emails were about something unrelated.
I think “I’m sorry — I was in a terrible mood, but that’s no excuse for my tone with you” is all that can really be said. Your need to provide a more specific explanation for why she got on your nerves has nothing at all to do with your apology, but rather with your desire to let her know she gets on your nerves. If you want to soothe the relationship, that should have no place in your apology.
Very well worded. I think we can all use this advice when dealing with spouses, kids, coworkers, etc. I always have to explain why I reacted the way I did but you are so right, it is just to admonish the person, not to truly apologize.
This. If you’re going to apologize, then apologize. Just because someone is getting on your nerves doesn’t mean you can justify acting like an a-hole to them.
Succinctly put. :)
I too sometimes find the need to convey why I got snippy in the first place. I will have to remember this advice. :)
I think a phone call and personal conversation may go over better than an email. Tone and meaning can be so easily misunderstood in an email, and if you are on the phone, you’ll be able to tell if additional discussion is necessary to smooth things over.
I agree with this – a phone call, especially if it’s long-distance, can have such a bigger meaning than an email.
And also, I’m with you 100%. I got very snippy with my family this holiday, too. Maybe they deserve an apology from me… and you’re a bigger person than I am for actually going through with it.
Yep…just “sorry about my tone with you” is good. Not everyone, even family, will be our BFF, and that’s OK. For instance, I have aunts, uncles and cousins that I don’t want to “friend” on Facebook because, well, we’re not really friends/don’t click, and I can take them only in small doses, such as at Christmas.
This is not exactly a helpful comment, but I’ve got to tell you that I got a big grin out of “I’m sorry I wasn’t more patient with how annoying you are”! Oh, how I can relate!
anon for this- ps
Thanks everyone! I agree apologies are better without “excuses.” Someone once said to me, regarding apologies, “Everything before the ‘but’ is BS…”
(So if someone says ” I am sorry, but…, the sorry part is BS).
The only thing is I kind of singled her out/targeted her so that’s why I was feeling like I had to explain why, particularly because she wasn’t really doing anything mean or hurtful or bad, she was just being her usual irritating clueless self. I do love her and don’t want her to feel hurt and I know the personal issues she has that cause her to be clueless, etc.
So I will just say I wasn’t feeling well, etc, that’s why i was being snippy with her, and I am sorry to have hurt her, and just leave it at that. She’ll probably just launch into one of her hour long blow-by-blow stories of how she wasn’t feeling well one time (with excruciating detail of why) and then a word-for-word account of a conversation she had with a friend which she later realized was snippy. Then she’ll forget all about the whole thing. :-)
Thanks again everyone!
I apologize for the manner in which I expressed my feelings.
Too passive-agressive. If you are going to apologize, make it sincere and a complete, pure apology. Otherwise, honestly, don’t bother.
How does one make up for asking a coworker about her grandson when the grandson turend out to be her son? OOPS!!!!
Keep your apology short and quick. There’s not much you can say here that will make it better. As an over-40 mother of toddlers, I fear this assumption reguarly, particularly if my mid-20’s nanny is present, who might be assumed to be the mother. Once someone assumed that the nanny & I were my child’s “two mommies” – so much better than being a grandmother! Fortunately for you, unless the woman you said this to is actually very young (<35), she probably knows it's a possibility that it would happen. Good luck.
By never bringing it up again.
This. It’s awkward enough without rehashing it with an apology.
If it looked like the former, she’s probably used to it, but I’d let that water just flow right under the bridge, otherwise you start digging a hole. About 10 years ago, I was out bridal dress shopping with some friends (for one of them), when the saleslady asked if I was the mother of the bride -who was like maybe 5 years younger than me. That still, um, perplexes me- and people always think I’m at least 5 years younger than I am (small face, youthful features). I’m thinking there was a greater age difference-and even more that looked to be the case- in your situation.
Yeah, I had never seen the kid. She was selling stuff for his fundraiser and it sounded like he was really young and she is above 50. I asked her how her grandson’s fundraiser was going and told her I hoped to buy something tomorrow (this isn’t an annoying fundraiser, it is one of those everyone wants what she is selling things) and she looked shocked, informed me that she didn’t have grandchildren and that it was for her middle school son.
Later, she apologized to me (!) for her reaction and said that it is in fact biologically possible for her to have grandkids and for him to even be her grandkid. The kid I thought was her grandkid (pictured on her desk) is actually her sister’s toddler. Sigh.
Don’t bring it up again. Ever.
dont ask dont tell
Right. It’s sort of like that thing about asking someone if they are pregnant – don’t do it unless you can see the baby’s head coming out. And if you did do it (asked if they were pg – the grandkid thing is *slightly* more , um, understandable), well you asked for *whatever* response you got, and the only thing to be done is just don’t EVER bring it up again…..
Can you tell that I was once asked if I was pg – at my then new job about 6 mos after my twins were born, in front of like 30 people I did not know – 10 years later, I STILL cringe when I think about how I reacted…but then I remember that it was a REALLY insensitive question asked under REALLY dumb circumstances. Oh, and, I still work there and so do many of the people that were in the room that day. Gah. Although I will say, now that I DON’T look pg anymore and actually made friends w/some of those folks, a decade later, it is (very occasionally and only with the right company) worth a laugh….
Time, empathy and a good sense of humor heal most wounds :).
I still blush with shame about the time I asked a temp clerical person in my office when she was due, and she wasn’t pregnant. In my defense, I had just come back from maternity leave, and she was wearing a maternity dress exactly like one I had, same dress. She had just had a baby and nothing else fit. So I made her feel even worse then she probably did. Still feel bad about it.
Awkward conversation about money
I’m currently a law clerk and going to be a big firm next year. My co-clerks are headed for the federal government. We just had a very awkward conversation about salaries, where they asked me how much I would be making. I didn’t want to lie, so I told them the truth and they were (understandably) shocked by how high it was. I’m now feeling stupidly guilty about telling them (my salary is more than twice what they will be making) and feel “bad” about going to the private sector, when I know that I shouldn’t. As my judge tells me, we need good lawyers in all professions, not just in the public defender’s office! I also come from a lower middle class family and easily will be making about 3 times the salary of my parents’ income combined.
Anyone else feel guilty or weird about their salaries in Big Law? I shouldn’t have been so forthcoming about my salary, but I can’t take it back now. :(
No disrespect to your co-clerks, but if they were “shocked” by your future BigLaw salary, then they’ve spent the past several years of law school and clerking with their heads in the sand (or, they were lying, and deliberately trying to provoke a response for who-knows-what reason). BigLaw salary information is publicly available, and fairly common knowledge (among lawyers, not necessarily in other professions).
Awkward conversation about money
One of them stayed at home with her kids for several years and wasn’t in the workplace, so I actually think she was genuinely surprised about the high salaries. I see what you mean though.
You should be proud you’re getting that salary! Go girl! That’s awesome!
And take this as a lesson why salaries aren’t discussed in polite conversation.
But don’t feel bad about making that much for a second. There’s enough external pressure to under-value ourselves already; don’t do it internally.
Thanks Lola. :) I do feel good about getting this job — it’s a prestigious firm and practice group.
This cannot be a real question. Any law student or law clerk knows what a starting Biglaw salary is.
I would be inclined to agree, except some firms used to give big bonuses or better salaries to people who had done clerkships, especially if they were very prestigious clerkships (SCOTUS or Federal appellate level). If that is still happening, maybe the OP’s starting salary is higher than would be typical for a starting Biglaw salary.
Awkward conversation about money
Anon, that’s true. I get a significant bonus because I’m a COA clerk, and I’m also coming in as a 4th year associate because of prior experience, so my salary reflects that as well.
So you already know the salary is justified. Nothing to feel guilty about– you worked for it.
I worked in the defense contracting industry for a bit before coming back to govt, and salary discussion with others is a big no-no. That’s pretty much part of the contract between you & your employer, and should be kept to that relationship. Even in govvie-land, I don’t know what exact salaries or steps everyone else is at, or what years within military ranks they have (corresponding to a pay chart). HR probably set that “privacy act” type requirement up after the first cavepeople beat each other up over tribal position-based food allotments.
Aside from that, it’s you who will be doing the work and logging the hours, so unless you’re being paid to just watch TV (which is pretty much what I was doing at the defense contractor HQs – snooze), it is money that you earn or will earn. If you feel absolutely awful about it when you start pulling in the bucks, live like you are on a govvie/Fed salary and give the rest to a good charity.
If you work for the govt, there’s a good chance your salary is posted online. I was horrified to find out that there is a website that lists my salary if you just spell my last name right (state gov). I then spent half an hour looking up other people. Then got depressed & tried to forget all of that information, and to pray that no one else finds out all this information is available!
My local paper published all the municipal employees salaries!! My friend’s dad was very upset. He is high ranking and well paid but was taking care of a very ill family member so had little discretionary income. He felt like people thought he was lying about saying he couldn’t go to xxx because he couldn’t afford it, etc. I know he is “taxpayer paid” but it still just seemed so wrong to publish it.
You can find federal salaries and bonuses for all employees (although the info is a year or so behind). This can be informative — and possibility very annoying.
They shouldn’t be shocked, this is generally public information.
You should work on getting over your guilt. Accept that it is a lot of money, but don’t have negative associations with it. I also come from a modest background and the socioeconomic culture shock was one of the less obvious and more difficult things to grapple with. To be successful in big law, you have to behave like you belong there. Certainly don’t come out with statements like “it’s crazy to spend that much money on shoes/vacations/tickets.” I’m not saying you would… just sharing something I learned over time.
This. Bless you for thinking this is a lot of money. It is. It truly is. But so many of your soon-to-be-peers spend their lives whining about how little money they think it is. Keep your perspective, and your values, and live reasonably, and you’ll do great and have tons more options than these folks. But for your own sake, learn to share your true opinions of the money with only your closest friends. I suspect that people who don’t act like they think they deserve every single penny three times over end up not getting the raises other people do.
Awkward conversation about money
This is great advice, thank you. It is a ton of money and much more than I know what to do with. But you’re absolutely right that it’s important to act like you belong, otherwise people will start wondering how I got there in the first place.
Oh, and get a financial adviser to help you manage it. Sometimes it can be overwhelming.
There was a great NYT Magazine article about Ruby Payne, a researcher who studies what happens when people move between socioeconomic classes in America: http://tinyurl.com/2g4d9ng. This article focuses on her work with teachers, but she got into the field because she was raised middle class, married a man from a background of “situational poverty” (which she’ll explain) and then found herself very wealthy when her husband became hugely successful. She found that in the course of navigating between these worlds, all kinds of misunderstandings and awkward social situations happened. And she’s a good, succinct writer — I learned a lot and really enjoyed the reading.
Yes, yes, yes. I am now out of biglaw, but when I was there I noticed that the people who did well/seemed to “fit in” the most were the people who acted like they belonged, that it was no big deal that the partner had a jaguar, etc. etc.
I’m a first year at a firm (making not-quite market…but still) and trust me, I think its a ton of money. I make more than either of my parents have ever made COMBINED, by quite a bit. And I go through periods of guilt…but then I look at my loan accounts and feel better about it.
I also went to a school where a lot of people go into public interest law and there is a certain level of disapproval of firm practice. I always dealt with it by just being super-positive about what they’re doing and then emphasizing what I was excited about what I was going to be doing. And leaving it at that. I tried not to defend it or explain to them *why* I didn’t want to be a public defender or whatever. It was the best I could do. ..though I’m sure some people think I’m a sell-out. Meh.
Unemployed, so take this as you will, but if you continue to feel guilty about it, you could max out your pro bono hours in the coming years. Not just doing little things for your family and friends, but doing public-aid-type pro bono. This may make you feel better, as in “I may make tons of money, but this tons of money means that I can afford to help get x more kids out of abusive homes,” etc, just as an example. It may seem like a cop-out to make you feel better about it, and some people may tell you it’s just a cop-out, but if you take it seriously the people you help won’t see it as a cop-out. It’s not how much money you make, but what you do with it is what really matters. :-)
And I agree with everyone above. Above the Law has salary/bonus updates almost daily. Even if they were shocked by the amt, once you said, “I’m going in as a 4th year and I have a COA bonus,” they should have said, “Oh, then that makes sense,” and gone about their day. How rude!
Awkward conversation about money
Thanks, Another Sarah! And I am sending you good thoughts that your unemployed days are numbered (I’ve been there too).
Yay!! Happy to help!! And from your keyboard to the employment god’s ears… :-D
When I started in big law I knew I was making far more than both my parents combined ever made and far more than any friend (plus spouse) I grew up with. I struggled so much with the guilt. I found I was constantly justifying modest purchases and relatively minor splurges to my mother who finally told me to forget the guilt. She said, the reason they scrimped and saved and struggled was because that was their option. I didn’t need to feel guilty for pulling myself up and out of that. I am not a crazy spender and I now (10 years later) live well beneath my income. This gives me the flexibility to help family when it is needed and be overly generous in gift-giving. I give to charity and save like crazy so that I am never absolutely tied to this admittedly extravagent salary. I am lucky to have a family that lets me spoil them on occasion (although my parents especially find it difficult to let me pay for things sometimes) and doesn’t take advantage of my genoristy.
It is important to remember where you came from and not get sucked into the spend, spend, spend consumer mindset that is highly prevelent in Biglaw (among those mentioned above who feel entitled to the salary plus more) but you will earn that salary by living a difficult lifestyle that your co-clerks will not envy from their government jobs. Congratulations on the position in this difficult legal market.
OP here. Thank you! Your post made me feel so much better.
And thanks to all of you ladies who responded as well. Totally made me feel 100% better. This is such a great community of women.
On balance, you might consider that every penny of that salary is likely to be paid for in sweat by your long hours and you are not particularly likely to have much job security, so I would not feel too guilty!
Enjoy your success instead.
I think you did them a favor by opening their eyes. I actually wish people discussed salaries more. I’m always open to exchanging this information in a confidential, one-on-one situation. Interestingly, I’ve found that non-US people are far more open to this.
Finding out that someone else is making way more is always depressing, but at the same time makes you feel much more justified next time you ask for more money.
All Biglaw salary information is already in the public domain. Salary + bonus + clerkship bonus for each class year. Isn’t Above the Law a thing? The ABA Law Journal talks about legal salaries, for goodness’ sake.
*cough research skills cough*
Can someone give me advice on JCrew pants, I don’t know what to order – what’s the difference between the Durham fit and the 1035? (for what it’s worth, in BR I like the Martin fit best)
JCREW v. BR
I recently ordered the Super 120s in both Durham and 1035, and kept the Durham. I also have Durham in some of the other fabrics — I think Wool Gabardine and Stretch Wool.
I would say that the Durham is more like BR Jackson, whereas the 1035 is more akin to the Martin. Between the two brands, I greatly prefer J Crew’s Durham; they fit better than BR Jackson for my large caboose and thunder thighs. I do have some BR Martins, which are okay, but Jackson fits better.
Need some advice from the interviewer/hiring corporettes! How would you feel about a candidate showing up to an interview with a cold?
I have an interview on Tuesday for a job I really want. I’ve been feeling symptoms of a cold since about Monday or Tuesday and today I woke up feeling worse than I have the days before. It’s just a sore/scratchy throat (i.e. no gross snot/mucus/phlem).
I’m really hoping that I’ll be through the worst of it by Tuesday. But obviously I can’t be certain.
So my question is, would it be a really bad idea to show up to an interview with a cold?
I showed up to the interview of my current job with a MISERABLE chest cold- in fact, I am only recently recovering from it almost 10 weeks later. My interviewers, from the get go, could see that I was sick, and I simply apologized at the beginning (something like, “Excuse me if I sound hoarse or reach into my purse, I’ve got a bit of a cold and may need a tissue here and there”) and didn’t say too much else. The interviewers understood and nobody said anything about it except, “Oh, I’m so sorry!”. If you have good rapport with the interviewers, you could make a slight joke about it (“I can’t believe that I managed to get a cold on the day of my interview for my first choice job! What luck!” //smile). Generally though, I think people will be understanding, especially if it’s just a regular cold (and you’re not like, visibly dying/hacking up lungs and guts/feverish/*obviously* should have stayed home).
My advice. Do the interview. Dose up on cold meds of your choice, preferably ones that will mask your symptoms as much as possible. I took a large dose of Dayquil when I woke up and then maybe about 30 minutes before the interview ot make sure I was souped up on it. I ate cough drops continuously until my interview. Bring LOTS of clean tissues if you’re sniffling and hand sanitizer.
Anon84 I am not on a hiring committee – so take this for what it is worth. I do NOT think that it is a good idea to “call in sick” to an interview unless it is ABSOLUTETLY necessary. With a one week-old cold, it doesnt sound absolutely necessary and I would suck it up.
….that said, I once interviewed for a position with the flu…a case when I should have rescheduled. I felt horrible that day. Fever, headache…the works. To complicate matters the office I was interviewing was having problems with their heat that day and I am pretty sure that I was actually shivering at points… I did my best to not look/sound sick. Smiled, wore blush, did not complain….I did not get the job. (no surprise really considering). I also now always see one of the two attorneys who I interviewed with and I want to be like, “I HAD THE FLU – IM NOT REALLY A DUD.” I should have rescheduled that one. ..lol
Get some Zicam rapid melts, STAT! Hope you feel better.
I would get lots of sleep over the weekend and drink plenty of fluids, etc., whatever you can do to enhance your chances of feeling better by Tuesday. If you are still having cold symptoms, I would go, but please don’t shake anyone’s hand. I would be very put off by an interviewee who shook my hand and then proceeded to cough, sniffle or sneeze through an interview.
Do your best to get rid of it. Fluids and sleep can do the trick, but only if it’s SERIOUS SLEEP. Like actually spend the entire day in bed, sleeping, not on the computer, reading, or watching tv. Turn the cell phone off, take Nyquil in the morning, and actually sleep all day and sleep all night, too. Continue with the Nyquil if you can’t sleep. Sleep heals us, and so many of us don’t get enough of it to let the healing work.
And then, if you’re not better Tuesday, drug the heck out of yourself for the interview so you’re not symptomatic.
If you must shake hands, and still have symptoms, use sanitizer after and offer it to the person you just shook hands with, with an explanation that you’re sick.
I would take a good dose of DayQuil or TheraFlu before you go in, wash your hands, and don’t let on that you’re sick. Power through!
Honestly, I think you should reschedule. I went to a firm callback with a bad cold once, and it went over badly. I started coughing uncontrollably during one interview, was sniffly in all of them, and everyone commented on it. I’m sure it’s why i didn’t get the job. Now that I’m on the hiring side of things, I would be SO annoyed with a candidate who came in sick that I’d probably ding you just for that. I don’t have time to get sick, my coworkers don’t have time to get sick, my coworkers with kids especially don’t want to bring your germs home. So I’d say to reschedule.
I have to agree. I would be so annoyed if an interviewee came into my office sick. Cold germs will find me from 100 feet away, let alone closed up in my office with me. The whole interview I would be distracted wondering if the germs had alighted upon me yet and whether it was time yet to shepherd the interviewee out into the hallway.
Agree with Eponine. I went on an interview with a head cold a few years ago and was sniffly during interviews and used a tissue which I suspect is the main reason I didn’t get that job! In hindsight, I should have postponed.
Nobody wants to hire an interviewee who is sniffling or coughing, it’s just a turnoff and does not show you at your best. Postponing is not such a big deal usually (at least where I work, and where I’ve worked in the past).
I’m going to get dinged for this, but one thought is perhaps you could wait until Monday morning and see if you’re better first? If not, you could call and say you got the flu over the weekend.
From my experience, sometimes a cold/scratchy throat just goes away in a few days, but sometimes it gets worse with a fever or a hacking cough.
If this would involve much additional hassle for the interviewer (flights to reschedule and cancellation charges, etc.) you may want to do it earlier though.
Possible approach: If you’re still in bad shape on Monday, call the firm and explain. Tell them you are happy to come because you’re deeply interested in the firm, but want to respect their policies on coming to work sick and that if they don’t want to be exposed to cold germs, you’ll be happy to reschedule. Hopefully this will make you look dedicated and yet respectful.
This is great advice.
Also – any way you can call in sick/work from home today, or on Monday? 3 days at home, no leaving the house, are often enough for me to get better.
dont ask dont tell
Wait til Monday to decide. Between now and then, take tons of vitamin C and zinc, SLEEP all you can, use nasal saline mist or a neti pot, drink at least 1.5 gallons of clear, plain water and some green tea too, and take sudafed or benadryl or day quil or whatever works to dry you up and let you rest (sudafed won’t; benadryl will). If by midday Monday you are a snotty germ factory disaster, do yourself and your interviewers (and their families, etc) a favor and call in sick/reschedule.
I routinely interview prospective associates and laterals at a big firm. I would reschedule the interview unless you know the hiring committee has a short timeframe for making a decision. Just keep in mind that the goal of any interview is to get offered the job — showing up when you’re not at your best might be distracting (both for you and for the interviewer). Better to delay and then thank them for their flexibility when you do meet.