Thursday’s TPS Report: Silk Solid Long Sleeve Button Back

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

Tegan Top - Silk Solid Long Sleeve Button BackTegan is a new brand to me, but they seem to have a lot of nice workwear pieces right now.  For example, I like the little things on this crewneck blouse, from the detail at the neck, to the three-quarter sleeves, to the keyhole and button at the nape of your neck.  I’d wear it with a cigarette pant for the office, perhaps with a long necklace.  It’s available in violet (pictured) and black for $98 at Bloomingdale’s. Tegan Top – Silk Solid Long Sleeve Button Back

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


  1. Gorgeous colour! Charcoal grey pencil skirt, a gold necklace.

    • Cornellian :

      yes. i love this shirt. unfortunately i just totaled how much i’ve spent on clothing this year and am appalled. sigh.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I also love plum with navy. This really is a lovely color.

    • It is a beautiful color! I’m so looking forward to fall. Unfortunately, this neckline would do nothing for me.

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        Agreed on all counts. I’m always looking for tops like this (i.e., non-button downs that still look business formal) but the neck is sadly too high.

        • Yeah, I need either v or scoop. Anything too high or boatneck looks awful on me.

          • lawsuited :

            I’m wearing a blouse with a similar neckline today (which I bought because it’s otherwise gorgeous) but, how to put this….the girls look like they’re travelling south? Usually I wouldn’t notice or care, but today’s my birthday and I can’t handle getting older!

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Happy birthday!!

      • I’d prefer a scoopneck as well. I did recently see someone rocking a neckline this high by wearing a chunky necklace at the point where a scoopneck would hit.

    • new york associate :

      Really pretty, but high round necklines are death on me. If they made this in a scoop-neck, I’d probably buy it. But I have to say that the styling suggestions sound very “ladies who lounge,” not corporate.

      Kat, when the blog goes bigtime, you should totally come up with a budget to do styling and photo shoots, or even those style boards, or even just photos of successful corporate outfits (like the Sartorialist, only corporate.) It would be so helpful to see a whole outfit instead of just reading the description!

      • I don’t think skinny work pants and long necklace reads lady who lunches.

        But I agree I think a full on photoshoot would be awesome. While that could be pricey, maybe Kat could do some street style real work clothes posts with pictures of real people. Even polyvore sets with all of the pieces she is imaging would be good.

        • new york associate :

          Lounge, not lunch! You know, like draped over a settee with a long cigarette holder and a martini, listening to jazz :)

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh, I love the idea of a “street style” type blog with corporate outfits!

    • I AGREE. It is very beautyful, but the onley thing that I do NOT like is the OPEN spot in the back on the neckline.

      The manageing partner is ALWAYS commenteing on my clotheing and I am convinced that he would be busy stareing at me and that little area that is UNCOVERED. FOOEY!

      My freind, Myrna, was going to go on a TRY-ATHELON on the Hudson River this weekend, and I heard there was some sewage leeking out in to the river. FOOEY!

      I hope she does NOT do the swiming peice of the TRY-Athelon b/c the sewage is NOT good for anyone. FOOEY!

  2. Wow, love everything about this top! Gorgeous color. Can’t wait for a fall wardrobe update. Quick question for the hive, I have several suits that are too small (sadly), and would like to donate them somewhere besides just Goodwill. Does anyone know of an organization that helps connect low-income women with professional wear?

    • Dress for Success is the most common one but there might be a smaller organisation in your town.

    • I’m not in the USA, but I’ve read good things about Dress for Success who provide professional attire to disadvantaged women.

    • Cornellian :

      what area of the country are you in? In places I’ve lived, local domestic violence shelters look for women’s interview clothing. I worked with one such shelter in Texas. It’s a cool cause, although there tends to be a serious mismatch in size of clothing available (0-10) and sizes needed. I often wondered if it wouldn’t make more sense to sell the clothing and donate proceeds if they were high-end pieces.

      Anyway, Dress for Success, local domestic violence shelters, and even local halfway houses are good places to start.

      • I’m in Minneapolis, love the idea of the domestic violence shelter, but most of them are size 6/8 so there’s the size problem for sure.

        • emcsquared :

          I work with Dress for Success Twin Cities – although they love to get larger sizes, there is a need for professonal attire in all sizes. They do sometimes run low on smaller sizes, including sizes 6 and 8 (the over-supply is usually sizes 10-12, but even those are needed).

          Thanks to everyone for the Dress for Success shout-outs!

          • There appears to be something approaching critical mass for a ‘rette gathering in the Twin Cities. Anyone game?

          • drat moderation…reposting…There appears to be something approaching critical mass for a ‘ r e t t e gathering in the Twin Cities. Anyone game?

          • ks, sorry I haven’t been in the office much today, so just saw this, but would definitely be interested in a TC ‘rette gathering!

    • If you’re in DC, check out Suited for Change. I’ve been volunteering with them for years and they do amazing work in the community.

    • Assistance League does this. They have branches nation (US) wide.

  3. SoCal Gator :

    In Southern California, Working Wardrobes.

    • Senior Attorney :

      That looks like a great organization in Orange County. Anybody know of something similar in L.A. County?

  4. I would love to have the advice of any well-seasoned travelers. I will be working in India for three weeks in November, and I have the opportunity to travel/vacation after my work assignment is complete. I’ve had a few recommendations that Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand are “must-sees.” Any suggestions on staying safe and on budget while vacationing in Thailand? I have a friend that is going to meet me in India, so I will not be traveling alone. We’re a bit lost on how to pick hotels (downtown Bangkok?) or how many days to spend in each city. I would greatly appreciate any first-hand advice!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I stayed at the Sheraton Resort in Phuket. We were upgraded to a huge house. It was amazing. I liked having a safe place to call my home base. I could enjoy the view, swim in the pool, kayak the lagoons, eat, etc. and would do any of that alone. We had plans to go off resort and see “real” Phuket but I hadn’t been feeling very well and the resort was so amazing we just stayed there.

      If you are going to be alone, I’d start w/ a resort and see if you can join a family or go on a resort sponsored excursion to “real” Phuket.

      Also, be careful swimming in the ocean. We went a couple years after the tsunami and there were major “men of war” issues in the ocean. We could see them from shore so I stayed on the sand or in the pool.

    • Budget shouldn’t be a problem in Thailand. I was there in 2005 and it was so. darn. cheap. We had only a very limited amount of time there (a 24 hr layover) and so we actually hired one of the touts in the airport. We got a driver and an interpreter for a very, very low price (forget how much). It seemed like the point was to get us to go to this jewelry seller, but we refused and instead asked just to be taken to the temple of the emerald Buddha and to a market for shopping (bring an extra bag — you will never see such beautiful and inexpensive things, including lots of exceptional silk). They were very accommodating, which was great because we worried about hiring strangers in the airport (maybe it was dumb, but it worked out great for us). We stayed in a hotel we found online that seemed to cater to international travelers and never felt unsafe (we were three American girls). Definitely try some of the street food and get some spa services (cheapest mani/pedi and massage of my life!).

    • I’ve recently become obsessed with going to Kerala (in India), so that might be something worthwhile to check out too!

      • Legally Brunette :

        Second Kerala. So pristine, so beautiful – just amazing. You can visit temples, go on backwater tours, rent a houseboat on the water, visit tea plantations…..My favorite part of India.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        My family’s from Kerala and I third this. I have heard it’s the number one honeymoon destination in India – you should definitely take a houseboat tour through the backwaters.

    • anon in SF :

      I’ve been to Thailand a couple of times. Phuket would not be my first choice. Though there are some lovely resorts, it tends to be more touristy and developed that other beach areas. I would look into Krabi, Railay Beach, and other areas in that region. Also maybe the Koh Phi Phi Islands. The beaches are much more beautiful, and there tend to be more small, boutique resorts. You might also look into to Koh Samui, though again this will be larger big box style resorts. For timing, it just depends on how long you want to spend on the beach. 3 days would be enough for me, but I’m not a big lay on the beach person.

      Also, if you want to spend time in cities, I would try to make it up to Chaing Mai and Chaing Rai in the north. I think you could spend 2-3 days happily in each city. The area is very beautiful, and the cities are very culturally rich. I personally enjoyed it much more than Bangkok, which I found overwhelming.

      If you are interested in history and like old ruins, try to make it to Ayutthaya, the ancient Thai capital, which is a few hours by train outside Bangkok. I think you could do this in a day.

      One final idea — if you have time, I would totally consider a quick add on of Siem Reap in Cambodia to see Angkor Wat. There are direct flights from BKK, and it’s a short flight. It’s literally one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen in my whole life. I would budget 2-3 days if you have the time. Also, Cambodia is super, super cheap.

      Take all the regular precautions with immunizations, bug spray, bring an anti biotic, etc., but I never felt unsafe.

      • Second all of this. Chiang Mai is beautiful and Cambodia is amazing. Avoid Bangkok and Phuket like the plague though IMO.

      • Third all this. I was in Thailand for 3.5 weeks in 2008. I would skip Bangkok and Phuket altogether and focus on Chaing Mai. The city is beautiful, safe, and there are tons of things to see in it and in the surrounding area, including elephant camps. If you have more than a couple of days, then I agree with the other suggestions here.
        I also really enjoyed going to the tiger temple in Wat Pha Luang Ta Bua, and monkey temple in Lop Buri. But those are activities that only last a couple of hours, but take the whole day due to travel.
        Having said that, if all you want is to go to a beach resort, then Phuket is beatiful (though not better than say the Caribeean, just slightly different) – but check the seasons. I was there in August and it was pouring 90% of the time, so we never even went to the beach, and all boat trips were forbidden. The hotel was beautiful, but a waste of an opportunity to see a lovely country.
        Mmm… now I want Thai food.

      • Seconding Siem Reap. Fly in – they have a good airport and will visa your passport right there.

        It takes 2 or 3 days (if you have enough energy, it’s tiring, wear good shoes) to see Angkor Wat. Hire a car and an official guide, the guides are excellent. The town of Siem Reap is small, walkable (or take a $2 tuk-tuk) to get around. We spent 4 days total. Get a pedicure from the doctor fish, on the SR main drag!

      • Fourth all of this.

        If you can, stay at the Raffles in Siem Reap. It is one of the most luxurious hotel stays I have experienced, mostly because of the service. For an obscenely reasonable amount of money, they will give you a car (MBZ) and driver and a guide to the temples. They will meet you in the morning, take you on a morning tour, return you to the hotel for lunch and a “siesta” during the hottest hours, then come get you for a late afternoon tour. When you are all done, you have a gorgeous room to come home to and clean up for dinner. Very British Empire/Out of Africa/Room With A View way to experience the temples for 2-3 days.

    • Bangkok is a big city in Asia with interesting cultural stuff, great shopping including a terrific weekend market and a user-friendly train system. Phuket is a resort island – nice resorts, good offshore snorkelling and diving, limited cultural stuff. Both places are pretty safe, used to tourists and have great food/ accommodation options at all price points (I will say that the 5-star options are some of the best value in the world though – great properties and fabulous hospitality).

      On how many days : Transit between Bangkok and Phuket is easy with plenty of flight connections including reliable budget ones (try Air Asia which has a reliable user-friendly website) – say 3 hours door to door. You could easily be thinking a week with 3 days in BKK and 4 in Phuket or vice versa depending on whether on the appeal of exploring a big city or loafing by a beach.

      Where to stay in Bangkok : some popular options are riverside (mostly 5-star – the Oriental, Shangrila etc), Sukhumvit/ Ploenchit (a commercial and shopping hub in the ‘modern’ part of the city with easy access to the train system) and Khao San (backpacker hub in the ‘old’ part of the city). Not sure how much you want to spend but can recommend Emporium Suites on Sukhumvit as good, comfy and in a very handy location for shopping and transport (maybe USD 100 a night ?) and the Sukhotai on Sathorn as a luxurious option in the modern Asian style. You should google the various travel aggregator sites – rates should be pretty competitive.

      What to do in Bangkok : allow a day to sight-see in the old city (the palace, various temples), a half-day for Jim Thompson’s riverside house which can be combined with a look at the nearby more modern shopping areas, maybe a half-day to hop on the riverboat, maybe a day for the weekend market if that’s your kind of thing.

      On arrival in Bangkok : there are 2 straightforward options for heading to town from the airport – either the official airport limo (marked “AOT” for “Airports of Thailand”, usually USD 25 – 30) or take the well-marked escalator down 1 level for the official taxi line (usually USD 10 – 15). The ride should be approx. 30 mins for say Sukhumvit unless you’ve hit peak-hour traffic.

      For Phuket : resort options should be pretty self-explanatory, plenty of international names, but do look out for whether or not your property has access to the beach, if that’s important for you. Many resorts are across the road from a public beach, although most will have their own private pool area.

      Hope this is enough to get you started ! India can be an assault on all the senses for a first-timer but Thailand is much much easier and should work beautifully as a post-assignment treat.

      • Bangkok is my ‘hood.

        Great tips from ss. My personal recommendation would be not to stay in Khao San – you can do better and it is not particularly safe. Sathorn and Silom Roads are very convenient – in my opinion, more convenient than Sukhumvit. On Silom Road, if you want something really nice, I recommend Lebua State Tower (which also has an amazing rooftop restaurant and bar). If you are looking for something a little more budget-friendly, try Bangkok Christian Guest House, which you may not ever have considered but it is very clean, safe and comfortable, and in a good location.

        Depending on how adventurous you are, you might consider hiring a car and driver rather than taking taxis/BTS everywhere. Ask at your hotel and they can set you up. Admittedly, you’ll get a better deal at a small guest house than if you ask at a big hotel.

        Bangkok can be overwhelming, but personally I love it. If you want to get out of Bangkok for the day, take the train to Kanchanaburi and Nakhon Pathom, and visit the bridge of “Bridge on the River Kwai” fame, go to the POW camp museum (very interesting) and try the special sticky rice at Nakhon Pathom market.

        Have fun!

        • Thank you all for the terrfic advice and taking the time to write! I think I may try to swing a weekend in Kerala while I am in India. I am definitely putting Chiang Mai and Siem Reap on my “must see” list. I can’t wait!

          With sincere gratitude,

  5. Yesterday, you posted about personalized superhero capes and masks ordered from Etsy. LOVE THIS. Can you share the link, please?

    • new york associate :

      No link, but my sister bought my daughter one of these sets for her birthday and she LOVES it. I highly recommend for a creative kid gift.

    • I love this idea, and I’m totally going to use it. Check out BabyPop Designs on Etsy. Not sure if this is the same one.

      • Sorry–I was at a tie-dye party for my son’s class this morning (and now have dyed hands to prove it ;-). CW got it right: BabyPop Designs is the store I used. I’ve got the presents wrapped and ready, and they came out really sweet. Plus there was a two-for-set-price deal that was a good price point for a dual present. I’ll post a link to her shop (it appears to be a woman-run shop from PA, which is also nice) in a subsequent post, and she’s also on Etsy with the nice cape + mask deals.

        By comparison, I’ve ordered a cape, mask, and arm guards from SuperCapes for my son and it felt of similar (cape) and lesser quality (mask) than the BabyPop ones, AND SuperCapes goods retail for more. (Mine was less because I went through Zulilly.)

  6. anon for this :

    Question – I have a third interview today with a firm, so I think it’s a serious possibility that they’ll make me a job offer soon. I have a second interview for a government job in early September, and I really want that job a lot more. (I know I’m a fairly serious contender for the government job, because I’m being flown to site for the second interview at a cost of $2800). Any advice for stalling on the firm job until I can at least interview for the job I want more?

    • Sorry, in this economy I don’t think it’s an option. You either take the bird in your hand or let it go and try for the two in the bush (with the possibility that you’ll end up with neither).

      • Agreed. You can try and use it as leverage to get a sooner interview/offer from the gov’t job, but I think that’s about it. Seen coworkers in this situation turn down a job and not find another for quite some time….

    • Is there any way to move up the interview for the government job? If the other firm is serious about making you an offer I think it will be difficult to stall them for a month.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’d call the gov’t job and see if there is any way they can expedite your second interview. If you get an offer from the firm, say that you are waiting on an offer from the other job and that you would like a month to compare the two. If they say it isn’t possible, then ask if there is a time frame that would be acceptable. Nothing wrong with letting them know you have options. They might offer you more money to get you to accept on the spot. If they say they need to know now, ask for one day to go over your finances. Call the gov’t job and tell them about your offer and see what they can do. If they can’t do anything, you gotta just decide how much risk you are comfortable with.

      • I really don’t see a firm being happy with someone asking for a month to wait on an offer from another job. Asking for a few days to decide between two offers, yes. But asking for a month (!) to wait on (!) an offer from another job? No. If I were the firm, I’d consider withdrawing my offer at that point. You don’t say, but I’m guessing since you say “firm,” you’re a lawyer. Things are bad out there. Bad, bad, bad. The firm will have twenty other candidates waiting in the wings, so I wouldn’t risk it except to ask for a couple of days, and be prepared for them to say no.

        • anon for this :

          OP here. The position hasn’t been advertised yet (the firm called a contact of mine who recommended they interview me) so there aren’t 20 other candidates waiting in the wings yet, but I certainly run the risk of them widening their search if I mess them around.

          • You also run the risk of actually making yourself and your contact look bad. As if it was a waste of everyone’s time. Something to consider.

    • anon for this :

      OP here. One of the government job interviewers is travelling for work until August 21, so I won’t be able to get an interview earlier than that. I was thinking that if I get an offer for the Firm Job, I could call about the Government Job to feel about how serious they are about me, but I don’t know how to phrase it so that it doesn’t come off awkward and arrogant.

      Also, the Government Job has a much more generous compensation package, which is weighing on me given the economy.

      • I think you can be 100% honest with the government. Say you have an offer but the govt is your first choice and you need to tell the other employer an answer soon. Say you know they can’t say much, but is there any additional information they can give you to help you make your decision.

        • new york associate :


        • anon for this :

          Thanks for this – I’m leaning towards taking this approach.

          I’m surprised that the sentiment in the comments is that I should take the first job that’s offered to me rather than doing what I can to get the best experience and best compensation I can. Still, I posted here because I wanted some perspective, so I appreciate the frankness.

          • I think the general sentiment is one of risk aversion due to the state of legal hiring for both private and public sectors. One month is an awfully long gap, it would take a lot of finessing to play this situation in your favor.

          • I think the sentiment *is* to get the best experience and best compensation you can — which is why people want you to get some experience and some compensation instead of being left with nothing. If you absolutely do not want the firm job, then call them today and tell them you’d like to withdraw your candidacy because you feel it’s not a good fit (I’ve done this before and no one thinks less of you for it). But if it’s that your first choice is the govt and your second choice is the firm and your third choice is none of the above, then you might have to take choice #2 to avoid the risk of winding up with choice #3. It’s not fair that smart, talented people don’t have the opportunities we thought we’d have. But that’s what the reality is today.

          • + 1 to TBK. I’m sorry you’re in this position. In my experience, getting hired by the government is exceedingly difficult, in part because the timing is frequently very difficult, and the government tends to be less flexible w/r/t start dates and the like than private employers might be.

    • new york associate :

      I will be a dissenting voice. I know that in my firm (NYC BigLaw), we routinely give people time to decide on their offers, even for laterals. Your safest option is to get the government to bump up your timeline. But if you’re willing to be a little risky, my firm would not rescind your offer if you asked for more time to talk to the government. (Note: I don’t think my firm would do this for someone looking at other firms. But it’s different when you’re looking at government work.)

    • Do you have a job currently? Would you be alright with staying at your current job if you turn down the firm and don’t get the gov’t job? If so, then turn down the firm.

      I absolutely agree with everyone who says you simply cannot ask the firm to wait for a month while you go on an interview with another employer. If an interviewee asked me that, I’d find it completely ludicrous and probably withdraw the offer.

      Of course, there’s always the option of taking the firm job and, if you get the gov’t job, resigning after two months. It puts the firm in sort of a bad position, but you can always say that it’s just not working out and that you don’t think you’re cut out for working in the private sector. (Saying that you took the job as a placeholder until you got something else would make you look really bad.)

      • anon for this :

        I’m working on contract which ends on September 30 (and the firm knows that so wouldn’t expect me to start work until October).

        • If I were you, if the government is unable to move up your interview date or do anything to speed up the hiring process, I would accept the firm job. I do think it’s reasonable to ask the firm to give you one or two weeks to consider the offer, but no longer than that.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      In response to the comment to my comment – the variety of postings show how variable the legal market is. This is a “know your potential firm” situation as much as that is possible. Where I work, hiring is very slow, the bosses love candid interviewees and would not fault you for seeking the best fit. They would prefer that over you taking this job and leaving 2 months later. We also only interview a couple people at a time rather than having hundreds waiting in the wings. Other employers are clearly very very different.

      If the firm you are looking at is a lateral move could you buy some time while you all work out the conflict checks?

      If you were referred to this firm through a connection, your connection could probably advise you on how to deal with this situation.

      Last thought – any chance you could bump out your third interview? Maybe your current team got an urgent assignment and it would be very difficult to take a day off from work? This shows you don’t run from commitments and leave your team hanging. They might reschedule you a couple weeks out.

      Again, my experience doesn’t seem to match the others but my firm is SO SLOW with hiring and stuff gets pushed out/rescheduled all the time.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would consider accepting the firm job and then resigning if the government job comes through. Tell the firm you have a pre-planned trip so you can have time off for the interview, or arrange a start date after the interview. Then if you are offered the government job, too bad, so sad, it came up unexpectedly and you couldn’t pass it up.

      Yes, they will be unhappy. But you will be an at-will employee whom they can terminate at any time, and you have the right to quit at any time. They will get over it.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      You may be jumping the gun. Hiring doesn’t necessarily happen that quickly. I’d play things close to my vest until you actually have an offer in hand and its something you’d want to accept. I’ve gone as long as 6-8 weeks between rounds/reference checks and offers.

      • anon for this :

        Agreed. I’m not saying anything to the firm or government until I have a job offer in hand and actually have a decision to make. In this situation, I’m sort of hoping the process takes a little longer!

  7. Also love this top. Especially the little back detail. I wish more clothes were made so thoughtfully and elegantly.

  8. I’m not ragging on Kat, because it’s definitely not just her, but when did we stop pluralizing “pants”? And shorts. And lips? I’m always reading about “a cropped pant” or “the bermuda short” with “a red lip.” Does this annoy anyone else? If I insist on saying “pants” for the rest of my life will I sound like my Mom, who still talks about shopping at “Penny’s.”

    • No opinion, but this gave me a good chuckle :D

    • I had never noticed that before, but it’s really funny now that you mention it. I can’t imagine anyone in their daily life actually saying “pant.” Like, “I’d go out but I don’t feel like putting on a pant.”

    • I hate using the word “pant” in place of “pants.” It’s idiotic fashion-speak. Irritating that it’s infected even sensible folks like Kat.

      “Pant” to me is a verb. It’s what dogs do to breathe.

      • ha, your comment is especially funny together with Kat’s particular reference to pairing with “a cigarette pant.” Now I have a mental image of out of breath smokers wearing this top.

      • ugh, in moderation…

        a, your comment is especially funny together with Kat’s particular reference to pairing with “a cigar e t t e pant.” Now I have a mental image of out of breath smokers wearing this top.

      • new york associate :

        There’s so much idiotic fashion-speak out there! I agree that “pant” is really bad.

    • ha, so true! I blame it on Stacy & Clinton.

    • At least she didn’t include “sunnies”?

    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      Pants are fine. Once you start talking about where you buy your “slacks”, however – now you are firmly in mom/grandma territory :)

      • Haha +1 and duly noted.

      • What about trousers? Pants makes me think of underwear. I hate the word pants.

        • Trousers makes me think of an old British professor wearing them. (Note: this is not a bad thing!)

        • I happily informed the dressing room attendant at the GAP that I “never wear pants, why did I think pink skinny jeans would be a good idea!” Cue horrified expression from the British attendant (where pants= undies) and me blathering “I wear underwear, I promise. You don’t need to go sterilize these pants, I mean, trousers, I mean jeans!”

          • LMAO.

            I recently had a doctor tell me I could leave my “panties” on for an exam. For some reason that term really squicks me out, too, and I found it very strange to hear a (male) doctor say it.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            @Bluejay- That creeps me out just thinking about it. I hate the word “panties” but I’d hate it even more coming from my doctor as I’m about to have an exam.

          • Thirded on the creepiness. It sounds like the sort of thing Terry Richardson would say, with a leer.

          • So glad I’m not the only one. The doctor is totally not a Terry Richardson type – very nice man – and somehow I think that made it even more weird.

          • Haha. Got me all the time when I was studying abroad. So many embarassing conversations…

      • SoCal Gal :

        Wouldn’t it be “a slack”?

    • Bugs me. So does “three pair” and “a scissor”. These, and the ones you note, may very well be grammatically correct — I don’t know — but they really get under my skin.

    • I work for a clothing company that makes underwear, among other things, I did notice that what I used to think of as “panties” are now “the pant” – as in, “the bra is lace and the pant is microfiber”. I’ve gotten used to it but it amuses me.

    • Hah! Just as bad in my opinion as talking about “wearing” a bag or purse, which I find really annoying.

  9. Always a NYer :

    Did anyone see the finale of Dallas last night?! I was too young for the original but have been completely drawn in to this new series. So much happened in the finale that I can’t wait for season two! My favorite part was the end with Christopher and Elena =) What was your favorite scene?

  10. Great universally flattering color and versatile blouse. It could be worn many different ways: tucked into a pencil, untucked with cigarette pants and a blazer, which would be a great look for office to happy hour.


  11. Thank you to all the ladies who left encouraging comments the other week regarding training for my first marathon! Training is going awesome so far and I haven’t missed a scheduled workout yet, which is doing huge wonders for my confidence.

    My long run this weekend will be in LONDON (!!!) as I got a last minute opportunity to go to the final few days of the Olympics. I’m leaving the office at 3 today to catch my flight and am not quite sure how I’m going to last another 4 hours and 57 minutes…

    • So exciting! I went for a long walk in the hills behind my flat yesterday and loads of people were out running and biking. I think the Olympics being in the UK has everyone motivated to workout harder. The lovely weather we’ve been having also helps.

      I was running on the elliptical during the biking time trials and decided that if they could ride 40k, I could make it to 7.5

      • Might I suggest trying to watch the marathon??!! (so jealous). I don’t think you need tickets for that event, but anticipate that the route is 5 deep in all spots.

  12. Who else is excited that purple is in this fall?!

    Make up Threadjack: I’m going to wedding this weekend and I figure it’s a good time to update my makeup. I have sensitive skin on the somewhat oily side, but I need a very pink pale shade.

    I’ve tried a bunch of brands – bobbi brown, estee lauder, bare minerals, shiseido… all too dark or too yellow in the lightest shade. Bobbi brown 00/alabaster was close in tone/pastiness, but it was still not pink enough. Sephora kept trying to make me tan, and drug store brands were all fail. Don’t even get me started on those yellow-tinted redness concealer powders.

    I figure it’s time to embrace the rosiness. There must be something obvious that I’m missing. :) What brand would Miss Piggy wear?

    • I’m pale, a bit sallow, and ivory-toned, so no direct experience here….but I have a rosy-complexioned pal who swears by Lancome, so perhaps swing by their counter to take a look?

      Lately, when I’ve not gotten enough sleep, I swear there are green undertones to my skin. My question would be: What Would Princess Fiona wear?

      • lol, cartoon character complexions unite!
        I’m planning on hitting up the make up counters after work today so I’ll start at Lancome. Is it weird to counter hop?

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Try Chanel. Their foundations seem to run pink/ivory.

      • Second Chanel. Love their line of makeup, and only recently gave up trying to make their color palette work with my yellow-toned skin. Having visited a number of Chanel counters in various cities over the years, my only caveat would be that it is very easy to walk away from their counter with a very “done” look. If that’s not your preference, you may need to tell them up front that you need a fairly natural look and politely but firmly exercise veto power over some of the suggestions. I think their lipstick stays on better than any other, except for those ones that shellac your lips and won’t hardly come off the next day.

        • Love my Chanel shade and consistency of foundation. I’ve also heard really good things about Armani.

    • I’m also very pale with pink undertones (my heritage is Irish, what can I say?), and I love Neutrogena’s foundations in Natural Ivory/20. I use the Skin Clearing, which I don’t think actually clears my skin, but it definitely doesn’t make me break out. There is a lighter shade as well, Classic Ivory/10, that I have used on occasion in the winter, but I don’t think it matches me quite as well.

    • I use Make Up Forever HD in 110 Porcelain/Pink for porcelain skin with pink undertones. My skin is also sensitive with an oily T-zone, so I have problems with my make-up staying on the whole day. I purchased Make Up Forever HD for the first time for my wedding day because I wanted to look picture-perfect the whole event, and I’ve recommended it to everyone I know since then!

      (I’m not affiliated with the brand in any way.)

      • Plus, you can buy it at Sephora and they have a great no-hassle return policy if it’s not the right shade.

      • Anon in Canada :


        Got Make Up Forever HD for my wedding off a recommendation from a wedding blog. Now that I know how good my skin can really look, I can’t switch to another (less expensive) foundation.

    • Did you try Clinique superbalanced mineral makeup? I have similar skin, and I wear this in Natural 1 (the lightest shade). It doesn’t look yellow on me at all.

    • I have a similar skin tone and have had luck with Clinique shades. I think I’m using Creamwhip or Alabaster right now (can’t remember off the top of my head).

    • That’s me! Pale pink.

      Makeup Forever HD Foundation in shade 115 is the closest I’ve come. It might look slightly yellow when you dispense it, but it goes on pretty accurately in terms of color. You only need a teeny amount – one pump is about the size of a sunflower seed (without shell) but that will pretty much do your whole face.

      Makeup Forever is at Sephora. Don’t let those idiots try to choose a shade for you. Choose it yourself.

      (Not that I have an opinion of the Sephora SAs or anything…)

      • I use Make Up Forever HD in 115 in the summer when I’m “tanned”, shade 110 during the winter, and then mix 110 and 115 during the transitions between winter and summer. Mixing is something to consider if they don’t have the perfect shade for you?

        • huh, I should probably do that too. 115 is bordering on too dark for me, 110 is probably a better match, but I don’t want to look too kabuki, you know?

      • Love their HD concealer!

    • I'm rosy too :

      I also have a cool/pinky complexion, and bare minerals always made me look pasty. My savior has been Alima Pure. I think they are exclusively online, so it probably won’t help for this weekend, but consider trying them in the future. You can buy samples of a lot of colors for $1.50. You can also email one of their specialists and describe your skin tone, including what foundations have and haven’t worked for you. They’ll respond with a range of samples to choose from. Their “cool” shades (I wear Cool 3, and used to wear fairly light in bare minerals), have been a savior to me.

      www dot alimapure dot com

    • Was purple ever not in? Because I love it and have plenty of it in the ‘drobe.

    • I also have very very pale, sensitive skin with pink undertones. I swear by Giorgio Armani makeup. They have a really light coverage one that looks very natural, and the lightest shade is perfect for me.

  13. this is beautiful oh my i will own it

  14. phillygirlruns :

    RAWR. can anyone suggest a legit source for legal resume templates? my firm just informed me that they are putting me forward for a local business journal award, BUT – either because i’m their second/third/fiftieth choice, or because they may not have their ish together – i have to turn around an application by tomorrow.

    went to look for my resume to update it, since i haven’t touched it in a good 6 years, and guess what? poof. gone. cannot find it anywhere. so now i’m starting from scratch and i’m SURE that i’m forgetting things. googling “lawyer resume template” is getting me all sorts of spammy hits.

    • MissJackson :

      Do you interview people? Because something similar happened to me not long ago, and I basically used the template from one of our successful lateral candidates. I would also try career services at your law school, as I seem to remember that we had access to that kind of stuff.

      Also, I honestly don’t know that my resume is all that awesome, but I have it in a word doc handy and I would send it to you to use as a template if you think it would help. Just post an anonymous email address if you’d like.

    • We’ve had a few recent applicants and I’ve seen resumes two ways- 1) list all your positions with no description and then summarize areas of expertise, client matters, etc with a line or two in Section 3 (Section 1 is contact info, 2 is job, 3 is descriptors), 2) I’ve also seen the more typical contact information, then each job with a listing of duties and skills. I hope that is helpful. If you have had any recent job applicants to the firm, you might ask to see their resumes for formatting ideas. A local Career Services Office (law school or college) could also be helpful.

    • phillygirlruns :

      thanks guys – i appreciate it!

      • SugarMagnolia :

        Harvard’s career services also had templates online that anyone could access.Check their site.

    • You might try law school websites. They sometimes have templates for their alums who have been out in the workforce.

    • Does your law school have career services material online? Or check other schools. My resume format hasn’t changed from my 1L year (although obviously content has!).

    • SpaceMountain :

      The book Typography for Lawyers has a web page, and if you click on “sample documents” on the right, then “resumes,” there’s a nice before & after of a lawyer’s resume. At least you can have nice formatting with what you remember.

  15. What does one wear over a peplum blouse? I am wearing a sleeveless peplum shell today and need sleeves for the office, but i feel like my cardigan is ruining the pepluminess of the peplum.

    In other news, walked into a brick and mortar H&M last night to find they now have a section for sized 14-24! Some cute things, including button-front tops that actually (gasp!) buttoned without gaping.

    • Have you checked out the Girls With Curves blog? Tanesha is plus size and has ammmaaaaazing style and often wears a sleeveless peplum blouse. Can’t remember what she wore over it but if you do a search you’re bound to see her pictures.

    • MissJackson :

      Two options, I think: (1) wear something *under* the peplum blouse. I can see a button front looking nice depending on the neckline. (2) cropped cardigan. The key to the cropped cardi is that it needs to end well above where the peplum starts, I think, so that the two don’t compete.

    • come fall, a tissue weight elbow length turtleneck would look adorable under a peplum top

      • Intriguing. Never would have thought of this, but if you and MissJackson say so, it must be ok. I don’t think I have any cardigans cropped enough to get near the top of the peplum (would be more like a long shrug), but stuff under could work.

      • This is what I was going to say too. Instead of over, try something under, like a long sleeve shirt.

    • new york associate :

      Hurray! My favorite jeans ever were from H&M in London in 2005, back when they were carrying plus sizes in the stores.

  16. This blouse is gorgeous and is in one of my favorite colors (which, according to some style book I read a while ago, is a universally flattering color). Too pricey for me, but lovely.

    • I think I read the same book. Plummy purples and a shade of teal called indian teal, I think, were supposed to be great colors on everyone.

      Unfortunately, until I read this I thought I had “my colors” all sorted out because I had discovered that exactly these two shades were flattering on me.


        Here is the reference although I have to say I look terrible in rose. Everyone loves red on me but I hate it. I have a hard time with red in general, something about it bothers my eyes.

        • That’s really interesting! I don’t know about rose – it so depends on the shade. I look absolutely awful in muted, grayed colors. Even if it’s a light shade, if it’s a more vibrant color, it looks better on me. I also don’t like teal, so I have no idea if it would look good on me, but I do like soft turquoise. I tend to look good in gray and brown – black looks really harsh on me. I love red, but don’t have a lot of it anymore. I’ve been leaning toward mint green, which lights up my face. Yay! I need it. Otherwise I look old and tired.

      • Huh, everything but that last pink are staples in my wardrobe. Look at my. S.M.R.T.

      • I don’t like red on myself either. But I have this one ruffly boiled wool wrap jacket I wore this year to two different christmas parties, and all my female friends went nuts about it. “you should wear red all the time!” they said. But to me, red is for christmas and that’s final. Also, when I look in the mirror, I’m just not happy with how it looks on me.

        The pink is just OK.

        I like the eggplant/plummy purple because it’s usually mellow enough to function as a neutral and not be, all, HEY I’M WEARING COLOR OVER HERE.

        But that indian teal – that is the holy grail of colors, to me.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Hmmm… they conveniently left out a redhead! Aside from red, though, I think those colors would all work. I might pick a different shade of pink. I wear a lot of pink, but the shade has be right.

        As a redhead, I’m THRILLED that mellow colors are coming back.

  17. Ladies, I have a third interview for a business intelligence position at a major university this afternoon. Wish me luck!

    In other news, last night was the first night I’d spent in my apartment in over 3 weeks. Really enjoying having the summer off, but still being fully paid.

  18. Bought a new scale because I couldn’t figure out why my pants weren’t fitting, but the numbers were indicating they should. Surprise my scale was off by 10 POUNDS!! How in any universe does that happen. Can it be Friday?

    • I read a useful tip once about how to test the accuracy of your scale – use a handweight / dumbbell. Since you know how much it weighs, you can easily see if your scale is on the mark or not.

      • Yeah – depending on how long you had it and how much you used it, it probably needed to be recalibrated.

  19. Engagement Present :


    I have inside knowledge that my bestest friend is about to get engaged. She is not the type to have a big engagement soiree so I doubt there will be a party where gifts are given (until shower time…), but I would love to get her a sweet gift of some sort in my happiness for her. Nothing extravagant. Has anyone done this? Any ideas?

    • new york associate :

      Flowers! Or you could get a flowering plant and write a sweet note about how you hope her love will continue to blossom and grow JUST LIKE THE PLANT. I would rather have flowers than just about any other type of gift.

      • I’d avoid the plant if she is at all superstitious. Nothing like having your engagement gift die on you. :)

        — And yes, I have been carting around a plant to new houses for decades now!

    • Will they be getting engaged somewhere public? If so, could you coordinate with the soon to be fiance and be sneaky a snap a photo of him proposing and frame it?

    • How about take her out to a celebratory brunch and/or mani-pedi, get a bunch of wedding magazines, and let her babble at you about wedding ideas for a couple hours (if she’s into that sort of thing). Probably the best gift you can get a lot of new brides. Let’s them get it out of their system on a willing victim!

      Otherwise, champagne flutes for the toast is nice. Or something small for the ceremony. Or volunteer to help with one specific part of the planning process. Something like that. :-)

      • e_pontellier :

        Wedding magazines!!!! I bought so many and that would have been the most thoughtful thing ever. Though, this is definitely in the know-your-friend category.

    • One of my friends gave me a nice journal right after I got engaged. Her idea was that I could journal thoughts during the engagement process and always have a reminder of how exicted I am to marry my man. So thoughtful.

    • Manicure? Assuming they go the ring route, people will be asking to see her hand.

    • LeChouette :

      I like to give his and hers booze — scotch and champagne, for example, obviously dependent on what they like to drink.

      • A bottle of nail polish in a light “bridal” color, nail file, hand lotion, all to keep the hands looking nice when people admire the ring, with a bridal magazine, just for fun.

    • Go on and search “wedding”. You will find a bajillion adorable gift ideas, but lose about 5 hours of your day…

    • lucy stone :

      I got one of my SILs a bunch of bridal magazines and a gift card to buy a wedding planning book.

    • I like to give fun cookbooks as engagement gifts, if the couple is at all into cooking. If they drink, you can’t go wrong with champagne. You could pick up a set of toasting flutes, too, which they could use at the wedding.

    • Champagne and a wedding magazine or planning book? I found the Real Simple wedding guide and “A Practical Wedding” by Meg Keene to be most useful.

    • My best friend sent me a simple ring holder. I still use it.

  20. I’m planning on doing some major shopping this weekend at the outlets to revamp my work wardrobe, so I’m hoping for some guidance as to what pieces I might want to look for. I work for a government agency, so we’re business casual (more on the casual side really), and I’m 27 years old. I currently have 4 pencil skirts, a lot of 3/4 sleeve cardigans, one pair of black jeans in rotation, and I only wear flats. I know I need more tops and maybe pants, but I am having a hard time walking the line between too stuffy and too casual. I know we’ve talked about how difficult business casual can be before, but yesterday’s discussion on the intern who overdresses really sent my mind into overdrive.

    So, any ideas on some pieces I should keep my eyes open for.

    • I wrote a post about this on my tumblr! (Who thought I’d ever say that.)

      But as an experienced employee, I don’t think you have to worry too much about looking TOO stuff. The big divide between business casual and casual is that jeans are probably okay (though I’d stick to trouser cut), more cardigans than blazers (or just, you know, blouses with sleeves), maybe cropped pants in the summer, rock out with your open toes out (but still no flip flops dude!), that sort of thing. But if you dress in what makes you feel comfortable, you’ll probably make the best impression!

      • Thanks! I’ll check this out when I get home because apparently the feds think tumblr is malicious :(

        I think now that I’ve been here 5+ years I might want to move toward wearing jeans more than on Fridays (and the occasional Thursday)… we are pretty casual (I see people wearing sweatsuits on Fridays), and jeans just fit me better than most trousers.

        • Research, Not Law :

          Your office sounds like mine. I agree with everything TCFKAG said (shocker). For tops, I’ve really come to love jersey knit blouses. They are comfortable, washable, and walk the line of looking a step up from t-shirts but not as formal as a silk blouse. I wear dark wash denim most days, usually trousers.

          • Where’s your go to place for trouser jeans? I’ve never had a pair that style before.

          • Research, Not Law :

            Ann Taylor. Their curvy fit is the only thing that works for me in pants/jeans.

    • I like blazers with both jeans and dress pants (or pant, see above) for making a casual look professional. I look for blazers with a bit more edge than one you’d see as part of a suit, either in the fabric, the seaming, the trim, the cut, whatever. Dark wash jeans if you wear jeans look more polished than light washes, I like skinnies in a dark wash, others like trouser cut but they don’t work for me and I think boot cuts look more casual. I wear them with boots in the winter and flats when it’s warm. Last season there were some great corduroy skinnies that I love, I think the colored look is still hot this coming year. I have many neutral colors in dress pants but it seems I only wear the black ones (fortunately I have at least 5 pairs of black ones).

    • e_pontellier :

      I have recently discovered sheath dresses and they are fantastic. I would recommend a Theory outlet, if you have one. You can dress them up with a black blazer or tone them down with a jean jacket. Love them.

    • Don’t know if Express has outlets, but as mentioned by others on this blog their Editor pants are fantastic and even at full price are reasonable. They are available in a variety of different fabrics and their great cut always makes me feel pulled together while not being overly formal.

      I would also suggest looking for tops in fun colors or prints at places like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, and LOFT.

    • I am all about sheath dresses in business casual because I am really lazy in the mornings.

      My standard is jewel tone sheaths plus statement necklace, sometimes a belt, and cute flats. When its cold I add in either a sassy blazer or cardigan.

  21. For the first time ever, I have a meeting with opposing counsel to discuss settlement. The meeting will consist of me and two old dudes. What should I wear? Is this a full suit situation? My only suit is basic black, and I don’t want the trying-to-hard-looking-like-an-intern problem, but I don’t want to look sloppy either. It’s not until next week, so I could conceivably do an emergency shopping trip, but I have a hard time finding things off the rack due to my odd proportions.

    • At every place I’ve worked at, meetings with opposing counsel at meant getting suited up. Different practice areas might vary, but I guess I always side with Barney on this one, when in doubt.

    • I wouldn’t buy a suit for this but I would definitely wear a jacket. I think suiting separates are fine on women for the vast majority of meetings.

    • I would wear the suit but with a simple top and some personality-laden accessories. Lower heels. This way you still look serious (suit) but you don’t look like a nervous intern because you have, e.g., a funky necklace and sensible but stylish shoes.

    • DC strikes me as more conservative, and this might be a region-specific thing, but I’ve never seen an attorney wear a suit to a meeting with opposing counsel. In fact, we’re lucky if opposing counsel has a collared shirt on (if male) half the time…

    • Suit.

    • Suit with a fun shirt.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      You must wear a jacket.

      Other than that, you can decide:

      * jacket as part of a suit
      * jacket with pants
      * jacket with skirt
      * jacket with dress

      But IMO you must wear a jacket.

  22. Has anyone ever tried Boden shoes? How’s the fit/comfort/quality? I’ve got my eye on the “sixties heels” ( and the “patent pointed pumps” (, which look like perfect flats to me, but am nervous on sizing because I am usually a 7 and am unsure what would fit better here, 37 or 38. Any feedback appreciated. I am in a serious shoe buying mood today for some reason.

    • Those flats are adorable. No experience with Boden though which leads me to my threadjack — has anyone here had experience ordering Boden to Canada? It looks like you can only order from the UK website, not the American, and shipping is £12 which is not cheap at all. But I keep gazing longingly at some of the coats and dresses (Marylebone coat in teal, please). Are there any Boden-shopping Canadians out there?

    • I have a pair of teal, suede, t-strap heels from boden that I love!!! They fit true to european size.

    • darjeeling :

      I have one pair of adorable wedges and the quality is good for the price; my only complaint is that mine at least are a little on the narrow side (I’m a size 6 and the 36 is fine, length-wise).

    • Their fit is a bit narrow, but the quality is quite good.
      I loved those heels, but I just got these at the NAS and I have to say I like them a teeny bit better for work:

      • Oh, I love those. But I have made a concerted effort not to buy any more shoes with bows until I retire at least one bow pair from the rotation — I have somehow ended up with at least 1/2 my work shoes with bows somewhere on them.

        Thanks for the feedback everyone! I think I am going to look for one of those free shipping & returns promos and go for it. I’ll report back.

  23. Question for the hive. I am a 6 year attorney, not really happy with my current firm (thanks to a managing partner who has no business managing anything). I’m going on a second interview next week with a firm that seems promising- lower billable hour requirement, does the type of work I’m specialized in, a friend works there and loves it, etc. However, I am 7 weeks pregnant and wondering when I should tell this firm about my pregnancy. I’m afraid if I wait until an offer, they’ll feel trapped and would harbor resentment if I came aboard, but on the other hand, I don’t think I should have to tell them now- I’m not past the first trimester and I haven’t told anyone other than immediate family. What do you think, when should I tell them?

    • Wait until you get an offer. No need to mention anything until then. People have babies, people return to work, its not a trap to the employer.

    • Be sure to find out about maternity leave policies, though. Hopefully it’s a big enough firm that the HR and partners are insulated some, so partners don’t feel like you’re using (like it’s your fault or anything, but that’s another discussion). I’ve just learned the hard way that maternity policies are sometimes made up on the spot or not as posh as women assume. Nice to know what you’re getting into.

      And yeah, try not to feel guilty about it. I had a hard time with that, but really, it’s a long-term commitment for both of you. There will be life after baby, for both you and the firm. You shouldn’t have to apologize for your biology. (That was a pep talk for me more than anyone.)

  24. Dear ‘rettes, I am pursuing a new career path after a long hiatus as a stay-at-home mom, and I would really appreciate some advice on how to address the big gap in my resume.

    My background is in academia, and while I really enjoyed the research aspect, as well as one-on-one interactions with students, I never really built up much enthusiasm for lecturing. Part of the reason why I’ve been out of the job market for so many years post kids is that I had a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do career-wise once I realized that it wasn’t academia. After some soul searching, investigating potential career options, and a couple sessions with a career counselor, I’ve identified a related professional field that I would like to pursue. I do have some indirect experience in this new field, as well as other relevant qualifications, so it’s not too much of a stretch for me. I’m really excited about this new career path – I think it’s really what I was “meant” to do, that I could be really good at it, and that I have a lot to contribute. What I am trying to do at this stage is set up a few informational interviews, to learn more about the field I am interested in, and explore potential opportunities. I am willing to start at an entry-level position in this new career path if necessary.

    My concern is how to deal with the 5+ gap on my resume. Frankly, I feel like there’s quite a bit of prejudice against women who have opted to leave to the job market to stay at home with their kids for multiple years. I’ve had informational interviews recently with several people at a particular organization in this new field, and I was disappointed that so much of the focus was on my years as a stay-at-home mom, which seemed to be a real turn-off for them. I’ve always been a go-getter, and am really eager to re-start my career (now that I know what I want to do). I don’t think the fact that I have been a stay-at-home mom for multiple years says anything negative about my work ethic. During the last several years at home with my kids, I have stayed professionally active in my old field by collaborating with colleagues on publications, and have also done some volunteering, neither of which are terribly relevant to the new field of interest. I had my kids not long after finishing my Ph.D., thus my employment history is rather thin (although I have other experience relevant to this new career path).

    My first question is, all things being equal, would you be less likely to hire a candidate who had been a stay-at-home parent for several years, and if so, what can I do to counter that? My second question is how I should bring up the gap on my resume? The career counselor said I should make no mention of it during informational interviews, or in my resume or cover letters when applying for jobs, unless specifically asked. However, there’s clearly an obvious gap in my resume, and I feel that if I don’t bring it up it’s just going to look like I am trying to hide it. Also, I’m a pretty straightforward person, and feel like if somebody is making the time for an informational interview, I should be up front in explaining that I’ve been out of the job market for many years. Any and all advice really appreciated!

    • Can you put “homemaker” or “childcare” as an entry on the resume for that time, and then put in the things you did to stay involved in your field? I think that’s much better than a gap.

      • I would put maybe “professional hiatus” or something like that. Putting homemaker on the resume….I don’t know, it’s sort of like putting “CEO of Smith Residence” on a linkedin profile (in that it’s likely to inspire eye rolling). But I think it is important to acknowledge the time “off” from the workforce and highlight what you were doing professionally during that time, so I think it’s a good idea to either (1) list the publications, etc on your resume just as your otherwise would, and make no mention of the time off except in your cover letter, or (2) make an entry in your resume akin to what TBK suggested, but keep it relevant to your career, like “hiatus” or some other similar term. Then describe the things you did professionally during that time.

        Either way, you should briefly mention it in the cover letter. You’re right that it is likely counting against you, but probably no more than a lot of other things count against other people- like age, a significant period of unemployment (for any reason), lack of local ties. You can argue til you’re blue in the face that people shouldn’t care, but the fact is they do. So it’s best to examine the concerns they have and address them in your cover letter and resume. For example, continued publications and activities suggest that you remain interested in your field and have tried to keep your knowledge/skills current. Your cover letter will need to emphasize your commitment.

        Do you have any colleagues who can put a good word in for you somewhere? That would go a good way towards getting your foot in the door.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I want to give you a thoughtful reply, but don’t have time now. I’ll be back!

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, yes, I would be less likely to hire someone who had been out of the workforce for that long. In terms of how you can mitigate, I have two thoughts. 1. It would be helpful if you have some sort of explanation of why you are looking now. For example, the kids are in school, your recent discovery of your interest in the field. The idea is to make both the leaving and the re-entering the workforce sound intentional. 2. I would discuss this in an informational interview. People you meet with will have a better sense than anyone here how the gap may be perceived in your target industry. They may also be able to give you a sense of what they would like to hear about it, or what you can do now, while you are looking, to lessen any stigma. I would prepare a brief statement about what you have been doing and how you discovered your interest in the field and sort of test run it in the informational interview. I think asking whether they think this will raise red flags demonstrates awareness and understanding of a potential employer’s position.

      Finally, for applications, I would not address it on a resume, but would highlight how you have stayed active in your cover letter.

    • kerrycontrary :

      We just hired someone who had been working temp. jobs for a couple of years, so I did honestly have concerns about her adjusting to a full-time position while she has kids. That being said, I don’t think the career counselor is correct as I would take a cover letter or an interview as an opportunity to express my enthusiasm for getting back into the field and discuss how you’ve stayed involved during that time period.

    • I would want some explanation for the gap in your cover letter. Also, since you’re in a professional field, I’d want to know how much you’ve kept up your knowledge of current affairs and issues in your field or if the new field is totally unrelated to your old one, how you became interested in it.

    • I’m going to have to do bullets because I have many thoughts and not enough time to construct something coherent:
      -Leave the gap on your resume (but do include your ongoing professional/volunteer opportunities). Explain it in your cover letter in the context of explaining why you are eager to start in this new field.
      -You’re right that there is a prejudice against anyone who has been out of the job market for any reason. IMO, this is compounded for women who have been stay at home parents because there’s a sense that they don’t “need to” work (and, thus, may be less likely to put up with work crap) and that they’re more likely to end up being the parent who calls out when a kid is sick (because they’ve always been the primary care giver). I’m not saying these impressions are justified – just saying that I think they’re out there.
      -If you felt the informational interviews focused too much on your recent past (and in a negative way), you should work on your skills in redirecting/taking control of the conversation. This will help steer job interviewers towards an area where you can demonstrate your desire and credentials.
      -You haven’t identified your new field, but, if it’s on the corporate end of the academic-corporate setting, you’re going to have to convince people that you know what you’re getting into and that you’ll flourish in the new environment. Make sure you really understand what the new field entails and do whatever you can to demonstrate that understanding in your interviews.
      -As you are job searching, is there any way you can join a professional organization in your new field or do more relevant volunteer work? I know that this might be easier said than done because of possible resulting childcare costs.
      -Good luck! As long as you are prepared for the growing pains of being new to a field, I’m sure you’ll succeed once you get your foot in the door. After that, the gap will be a minor blip.

  25. Ladies… my husband didn’t get a job he was really really wanting. He’s been feeling trapped on the hamster wheel for awhile and I think he thought he was *finally* going to get off. I feel so bad, esp. since he’s been there and supported me for every step of my career trajectory, and I think he’s really starting to feel like he’s not contributing/being the man/etc… stuff which he usually doesn’t care about. Anyhoo… just wanted to vent. Blerg.

    On another note, I’m starting to lose weight, and when trying on a pre-baby suit, I thought, “Fooey – still tight around the tuchus.” She has INFILTRAYTED my mind.

    • I think you’re an awesome wife for recognizing and caring. My DH has similar wiring–strong sense of responsibility, and more fragile ego than he lets on. Load up with compliments on what he does to take care of you, particularly the stuff he would consider “manly.” And remind him that he’s really good at what he does. Rejection is hard–even a “it’s not you, they are just idiots” talk can help him feel like you believe in him. I’ve learned my opinion of DH matters A LOT to him, so just telling him I think he’s smart and good at stuff really perks up his step. (And I do! He’s pretty great, really.)

      • Research, Not Law :

        This has been our life on repeat for the last four years. I agree with all of this. Remind him that it’s not him and be mindful to regularly thank him or give recognition for what he does. It really helps! GL!

      • e_pontellier :

        I agree with all of this too. Also, I read For Women Only, by Shaunti Feldhahn, and it explained a lot about how-to-make-your-man-feel-loved-in-a-way-he-wants. Things I learned: he needs respect more than love (because he knows you love him), and he cares more about your opinion of him than basically anything else.

    • Sorry to hear that the way out hasn’t yet presented itself to your husband.

      I think he’s being a really good man, and people contribute to the family in all different ways. Supporting other family members, to me, sounds like he’s being one of the pillars of the family. You can tell him that even a take-no-prisoners, occasionally judgy stranger on the internets like me thinks he’s being a man. :-)

      LOL re: the Ellen-virus.

    • lawsuited :

      Argh, so hard for DH to feel stuck and so hard for you to watch it. For a while, my father worked a lower-paying job that he didn’t enjoy in order to support our family and I love and respect him more for that than anything. I think sacrificing to do the right thing for your family is very manly and should be appreciated that much more. Your husband sounds like a good man :)

  26. hellskitchen :

    I have been recently thinking about the concept of “fast fashion” – haven’t read the book yet but have read a lot of discussions on it. I reviewed my closet recently and realized I have way too many items that I picked up because they were affordable but they are not necessarily long-haul pieces that would work for several years. I’d like to change that but don’t know where to start. I am not looking to buy only designer or investment pieces but clothes that are well made and classic. My problem is that I can’t figure out which brands to go for – I have read commenters share their disappointment that even for brands like Talbots and JCrew, the quality isn’t what it used to be. So what brands are still good quality and still fashionable? I am particularly looking for more blouses and pants.

    • e_pontellier :

      I have to say, I am still _very_ into JCrew (possibly because I’m in law school). I try to get things on sale, though. I also really like Theory, but I found their skirts don’t have lining!!

    • Anonymous :

      I am very interested to hear the answers to this. I liked J.Crew several years ago but now there prices seem way too expensive for their quality.

    • Also interested. And count me as one of the dissatisfied J. Crew customers. After years of being a loyal customer, I just can’t bring myself to buy much from them anymore. There’s been such a downturn in quality over the past 2 years.

      Club Monaco has always done well by me.

      • Agreed re Club Monaco, but I find it hard to buy work clothing there, except for the occasional blouse. I love their stuff but I feel like to really do it justice, I need to quit my job and become a lady who lounges.

        • Oh, totally true re Club Monaco and work-appro pieces. I usually find one or two things in the entire store that I can wear to work, so I’ve been slow to acquire a Club Monaco collection. OTOH, the few pieces I’ve picked up skewed more classic for CM styling and have lasted for YEARS.

    • Boston Blonde :

      I’m also interested in the responses… I’m almost always disappointed, even disgusted, with the quality of the clothes at a lot of the big name stores and have a hard time ending up buying anything. I have better luck when buying cashmere or silk, which you still have to always check the actual fabric content and a lot of the brand names charge a ridiculous amount for these items…

    • My best experience with this kind of wardrobe maintenance has been buying classic pieces on sale at Saks, Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Brooks Brothers.

      At the department stores, I look at Ellen Tracy, Saks’ own brand, Lord &Taylor’s own brand, N-M’s own brand, Lafayette 148, Tahari (not Ellie), Anne Klein. I’ve had some of these pieces for years: they last, they go with everything and they never go out of style.

      • And TSE. On sale.

        • Boston Blonde :

          100% agree with Tahari, although it doesn’t fit me that well, NM, and Saks advice. I have gotten a lot of nice basic suits, sweaters, dress coats, and boots at NM and Saks after Christmas/NY. I think it helps to scope those types of places out and make friends w/ some of the sales people to get the first selection and best deals also.

        • hellskitchen :

          Thank you – I have never shopped at Saks or NM coz I figured they’d be out of my price range but sale shopping makes sense. I am also going to scope out those brands. What’s TSE??

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