Thursday’s TPS Report: Sloan Fit Herringbone Flare

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

Banana Republic Sloan Fit Herringbone FlareI’m psyched that the flared look is back in style because I have always found the skinny style to be less than flattering on me. For today’s TPS, I’m digging these grey herringbone trousers from Banana Republic. I might wear them with the lavender blouse they’re pictured with, as well as a velvet or corduroy blazer on top for a fall day; for spring I might wear them with a white blouse topped with a yellow sweater. They’re $89.50, available in shorts, regulars, and longs. Banana Republic Sloan Fit Herringbone Flare

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  1. I totally agree – they are more flattering on me as well. Pale pinkish shirt will look good as well if you are more bold.


  2. and so anon :

    Flared or boot cuts flatter me as well. Nice pants. I wonder if the belt carriers are necessary in view of the button front.

  3. my biggest issue with pants is getting them hemmed to the right length. further complicated by the fact that I switch between 2.5-3 inch heels, kitten pumps, and flats for commuting. add in a decent walk between home -> train -> work, nasty Manhattan streets, and rain … everything seems to be either too short for decent heels or too long to keep from getting dirty.

    any advice would be welcomed. how much margin for error is there in hem lengths, and do people just roll up their pants when commuting (especially in flats / in the rain)?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      If the issue is commuting, Kat has previously recommended Zakkerz. I think several Corporettes are fans. Otherwise, each pair of pants needs to be hemmed to a particular heel height, and those are the shoes you wear. Some of my pants are kitten heel height, some are 3″ heel height. Or wear more skirts :).

    • In the summer/fall/spring I wear skirts/dresses in the rain for this reason. I found it easier to deal with damp bare legs/flats or put on hose at the office as opposed to pants that were soaked to the knee.
      In the winter, I invested in a pair of La Canadienne boots with a 3-4 inch wedge heel that are awesome – lots of grip, waterproof, but high enough to keep my pants out of slush piles.

      • La Canadienne – i’ll have to research that. Are they similar to Aquitalia by Marvin K, which I have heard glowing reviews about – but which are fairly expensive ($400)? Has anyone tried those?

        • Both are fabulous. 6pm dot com is actually having a pretty good sale on La Canadienne right now. Random styles and sizes but you may luck out.

        • They are way cheap on Sierra Trading Post, esp. if you sign up for their coupons.

        • MissJackson :

          I’m in the market for new winter commuting boots, and have my eye on a couple of La Canadienne. Unfortunately, I’ve been “blessed” with extremely athletic calves, and all of the reviews at Zappos note that they run a narrow in the calf. Does anyone have a suggestion for a similar boot that has an extended calf option (or runs a little large in the calf)? I especially like the wedges, but I’m open to anything.

          • Look for boots with stretchy material built into the top of the boot. These wedges may work for you:

          • SF Bay Associate :

            I need extra calf space too – 15″ minimum. Sadly Aquatalia and La Canadienne don’t fit me. I also hate the look of the large stretch panels they put in for large calves – reminds me of elastic waist pants. I’d rather find a pair that just FITS to begin with, without a stretch panel. Apparently too much to hope for. On the non-commute side of things, I may take the plunge on a J.Crew extended calf pair this year at full price… they never seem to have any sizes left when they finally go on sale.

            Eddie Bauer also carries extended-calf boots.

          • Try the web site widewidths dot com. Also, Allie from Wardrobe Oxygen has been very happy with some of the Duo brand boots (made in the UK, I believe).

            My calves are more like 16-17″ circumference . . . I have an older pair of Sudini riding boots that fit better than anything else I’ve ever tried. I wish that brand had not disappeared from the face of the earth! Just paid a cobbler $70 to re-wrap the (chunky) heel on those and polish/restore the leather uppers. Now I just need a way to cover/replace the broken-off zipper . . . .

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Amy H., Sudini is defunct? I have two pairs of boots from them! Blast.

            One of the Dankso boots is wide enough for me, too.

          • I don’t know whether they actually went bust, or I just can’t seem to find them any more. They used to have tons of models on Zappos, and now there’s just one pair of clogs (that I assume is from an older season back). I got my boots at Nordstroms years and years ago, and Nordstroms definitely doesn’t stock any Sudini any more. Maybe someone who has been or is going to be in Italy in the near future could check there for us! :)

          • I find it intresting that Zappos says La Canadienne run narrow in the calf, because I myself am blessed with large calves, and I have a pair of La Canadiennes that I love. In fact, they’re the only boots I have ever found that fit my calves properly. Mine zip all the way up and have a bit of stretch to them, so maybe that makes a difference? Just saying, you may not want to totally discard La Canadienne as a possibility.

          • I have thick calves (41cm in Duo sizing) and read about Duo boots on Allie’s blog years ago, so when I was in London recently I went to their fitting room. I bought a GORGEOUS pair of knee high riding boots in a beautiful light brown/camel shade that fit perfectly. They had to ship them to me (I live on the continent) because the London store is a fitting room only , but they arrived in 2 days, and I am in love. I tried on a few other pairs there, and liked them all, and will definitely be stalking the website to see if any of the other styles I liked go on sale later this year.

            Unfortunately, if you have to take your own measurements and order online you might risk shipping/return costs, but the boots really are great, and none of them have huge elastic panels or the like — they are actually designed for a wide variety of calf sizes (both thick and thin). I’ve heard their online customer service is really great, and they can help you figure out what size and style will fit and flatter best based on your measurements (e.g., they make boots in a number of different widths, but depending on how thick your ankles are, how long your lower leg is, etc., certain styles will fit better).

          • Taco Lover :

            I have Dansko Kylees and they have generous calves – I have roughly 15″ calves and can fit socks and jeans inside them.

      • Agree – when it rains, I wear skirts (year round). It’s just so much better than damp pants!

        I don’t think I’ve worn pants at all this summer (I prefer skirts, and I get too warm), but when I wear pants in the winter I just typically tuck them into whatever boot I’m wearing if the heel isn’t high enough to keep the hem off the ground. Not the most fashionable option, but my stash of “office heels” are all around the same height, so it doesn’t make sense for me to get them hemmed shorter.

        • I’m pretty sure I read somewhere that Sudini’s out of business, and that someone affiliated with Sudini started the brand Sanzia (I’ve seen Sanzia at endless).

      • I’d love to get the name of this boot – it sounds just like what I’ve been looking for!

        • I have the “Geralda” black suede boot – its on Zappos now. I too have fairly thick calves, so these don’t come up too high on me. The wedges are really nice – very thick tread on the boot too, so I haven’t had any issues with slipping/grip etc.
          For NY based folks, I picked mine up at “Shoemania” in the fall when they were having their 50% off sale, still expensive, but $150 is better than $300.

      • Always a NYer :

        Do you find any problem with the wedge in terms of steadiness? I have my eye on a pair of wedge rain boots but wonder how practical they are and would love to hear how they work for you!

    • Sadly, I don’t think there is a magic solution (though I’d love to hear ideas). As far as rain goes, I just don’t wear pants in the rain — I think wearing a skirt is infinitely better and easier in foul weather. A skirt doesn’t get wet, you don’t get wrinkled from having to tuck or roll into wellies, and if you wear a knee length trench and boots, you are 100% protected.

      In terms of margin of error for pant hems, I think it helps to wear skinny heels. Even if the length of the pant is not quite perfect, I think a slightly too short pant will look much better with a skinny heel than with a chunky one. Another possible solution that could work — depending on your office and how fashion forward/casual it is, and depending on whether this look flatters you — is to just get skinny suit pants since those are not intended to be worn longer anyway.

      Looking forward to others’ thoughts and suggestions.

    • well I had a nice long comment but it got eaten by “posting too quickly.” in short: binder clips to hold up rolled pants (or zakkerz, but overpriced for what they are, imo), galoshes in rain that i tuck pants into, and a few pairs of pants hemmed specifically for flats.

    • I have pants with different hem lengths because of the different heel heights of my shoes. I keep a lot of shoes at my office – from ballet flats to heels. I also have different pairs of commuting shoes – some are flats, others are wedges/clogs for pants that I wear with heels at the office.

      • That’s exactly what I do. Pant A is hemmed to work shoes 1 and 2, and I wear commuting shoe i with it. Can be a pain, but I basically have 3 lengths – long pants go with 3 inch heels go with commuting wedges, medium length pants go with 1.5-2 inch heels go with commuting kitten heel (just a very old and worn out work shoe), short pants go with flats and commuting flip-flops.

    • Anonylawyer :

      You Look Fab is a great resource for hem lengths ( search for Perfect Pant Length). Basically, you have to decide whether you want to wear your pants with heels or flats. For commuting, try wearing wedges so that your elevation is the same. Wedges are super comfortable. For rainy days, try galoshes and wear your pants inside.

    • Taco lover :

      I don’t think there’s a solution for the hem issue if you wear different heights of shoes at work. While commuting, you could wear Danskos or sneakers instead of flats; FitFlops also give more height than normal flip flops.

      For rain, I wear rain boots and tuck my pants in.

  4. I do not welcome the return of the flare. I feel like I just finished weaning myself off of the late 1990s, and even then the flare felt a bit contrived to me. Boot cut standard FTW!

    On the upside, maybe the return of the flare will relegate jeggings to the yard sale pile.

    • how different are flared and boot-cut? (other than the really wide, obvious throwback-to-bell-bottoms flares?) are the pants above not boot-cut?

      I always thought that boot-cut meant you could fit tall boots underneath, because the pants flared out a bit, as opposed to straight leg pants.

      i’m confused.

      • I do think these pants are more “boot cut” to my eye and BR is labeling them as “flare” to catch on with the trend. My use of the word “flare” in my OP invoked more the recent ads from Old Navy (BR’s sister company) where the girls are bowling and popping their super-flared hems out over their bowling shoes.

        • I’m pretty sure I owned Old Navy flares the LAST time they were in store, purchased during college at the Mall of America when my Levis wore out.

          I was eighteen then.

          I do welcome the return of a good boot-leg trouser, though. The straight and skinny cigarette style is adorable unless you have thighs.

    • I was all over the flare trend because I was in junior high school/high school when they were a thing. I even sewed panels into boot cut jeans to make them more flared. In my (weirdo) high school that made me cooler than having more store bought flare jeans :)

      Now I happily wear boot-cut type pants and jeans at all times. I’m a pear shaped size 4 and do not appreciate the skinny jeans/pants look on either myself or most women. But the extreme-flare thing does make me smile at my younger self :)

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Yea I’m not a fan of flared pants — mainly because I wore them when I was twelve, and I feel like they shouldn’t be back. Plus, I *like* skinny and straight leg pants — especially ankle styles.

    • And I can’t wait to see skinny jeans go away. Speaking as one of The Olds who pegged and rolled and safety pinned her tapered jeans in the 80s, that is.

      • haha! me too!

        Skinnies don’t look good on everyone, and they particularly don’t look good on everyone who’s wearing them now.

    • I’m not a fan of them either. I have substantial hips and find the curve of the jean just makes my legs look stumpy and my thighs look big.

  5. These pants aren’t bad, speaking purely from my aesthetic and body type (pear). I do appreciate the flare and boot cuts — I just can’t do skinny, even though I am getting back to my pre-baby weight.

    Non Sequitur Threadjack (sorry so early): I am on the hunt for a new pillow and would love some feedback on what works for people in a similar sleeping situation as me, which is mainly back sleeper, with side-sleeping tendencies. I am also not trying to break the bank. I have a pillow that has worked for several years, and amazingly, it’s not even a pillow one would buy for sleeping — it’s more of an elongated throw pillow. It’s getting to the point, though, where it’s getting lumpy, and I wake up with an upper back/shoulder/neck ache every morning.

    Every pillow I have tried for back sleeping either props me up too far or gets flat within a few months. I mean, really, really flat. I have been considering the memory foam option, but I’m worried that it will be too hot on my head (due to the way memory foam tends to surround whatever is on it) and will not be worth the money. FWIW, I have kind of broad shoulders (not crazy broad, but broad), which might affect the way I sleep. What do you think? Again, I really appreciate any insight and suggestions of actual brands. Oh, and sorry so long!

    • I have a Tempurpedic pillow and LOVE. IT. It has seriously–no exaggeration here–changed my life. I am also a back sleeper who sometimes sleeps on my side. I also tend to get really hot, and the pillow has not had that effect. Seriously, there is nothing bad I can say about it. I never have a sore neck anymore. I mean, I just love it.

      • I just love your enthusiasm! I think you’ve sold me!

      • I also have Tempur-Pedic pillows and love them.

        And, tidbit, I’m announcing soon that I’m giving away a new Tempur-Pedic bed with an Ergo base on my blog. So… if you’ve got sleep problems… check for that.

      • I also have a temper-pedic pillow, which I LOVE!! I take it everytime I have an overnight stay anywhere. I sleep so much better with it!

    • Also a back/side sleeper and the memory foam (tempurpedic) pillow works great for me!

    • I have been using memory foam for a few years and love it. I have not found it to be hot on the head at all. It’s fairly firm and you won’t really find that you sink into the pill as much as you do other pillows. You could also try a regular foam pillow first, as those tend to stay firm but aren’t as expensive as memory foam.

    • foam. I’ve got a nice memory foam one (not tempurpedic, but another brand that was pricey–I don’t recall what. it was actually a graduation present and was honestly one of the best things I got), but when I visit my parents, I’ve got a cheap knock-off in my room there, and it’s almost just as comfy, honestly, if you don’t want to spend a ton of money.

    • Have you tried a memory foam pillow? It contours to the shape of your head so it won’t prop you up too far, and it won’t get flat if you remember to turn it over every night. I don’t have a brand suggestion but I’ve had 2 memory foam pillows, both of which I loved; one was from Walmart and one from Target.

      • Oh, I just saw your comment about it being hot – I am a hot sleeper and I’ve never had a problem with memory foam. It doesn’t breathe but unless you put the pillow over your head I don’t think it would matter.

    • Thank you so much, everyone! If anyone does have a specific brand of memory foam pillow they’ve tried and loved, I would love to know. I think maybe I’ll go that route first.

      • I am very picky about my pillows and I actually adore the Ikea 365 memory foam pillow. I’ve had it over a year now and I’m thinking about getting a new one, but it certainly lasted me this long and it’s the most comfortable pillow I’ve ever had.

        • That sounds like what I need, and at a fantastic price — unfortunately, I don’t live near an Ikea…. but something to maybe seek out when on vacation in a couple of weeks! Thanks!

      • I got a reasonably priced one at Costco, but I don’t remember the brand name (I am pretty sure it wasn’t Kirkland).

      • I am a back sleeper with side tendencies as well, and I love the Tempur-Pedic memory foam — specifically, the largest size possible of the contoured NeckPillow. But they are definitely pricey — it certainly could be worth trying the Ikea one first to see whether that works for you!

    • How are the memory foam pillows for front-sleepers? My neck has been hurting lately and I think my terrible, old pillow might be the culprit.

      • I’m a side and stomach sleeper and I love mine. I turn my head when i sleep on my stomach; if you sleep face-down in the pillow I think it’d be hard to breathe.

      • They make different styles, one of which is for stomach sleepers. I was skeptical but am now a total convert. I file this under “things I can’t believe I spent $100 on but completely love.” My electric toothbrush is also on the list. Just ordered the Mia Clarasonic…which might get added to the list, too.

    • Frustrated :

      Would the memory foam pillow work well with a waterbed, does anyone know?

    • karenpadi :

      I’m a back sleeper with side-sleeping tendencies as well. My pillow is actually a very high quality 100% natural down pillow. It has a medium-firm fill power (I don’t remember the exact number) but it’s enough down to be pretty expensive (Hotel Collection at Macy’s–around $250 on major sale).

      If it gets lumpy or doesn’t “puff up” as well, I stick it in the dryer for 2-3 minutes and it’s like new.

      I’d try out pillows for “back sleepers” and pillows for “side sleepers”. I fall asleep on my side and wake up on my back so everyone was recommended “back sleeper” pillows. Turns out, a “side sleeper” pillow is better for me.

      • Hotel Collection at Macy’s also has Primaloft versions of the down pillows, which are usually cheaper and often go on sale for 50%. I have one of the soft ones and one of the medium ones – I’m usually a side sleeper though.

    • Pillow obsesssed :

      I went through many many pillows trying to find the perfect one – like you I sleep on both my back and my side, so I did a lot of research trying to find a pillow that worked for both positions. It seemed like whatever was high/firm enough for my side hurt my neck when I was on my back.

      I had a Tempurpedic memory foam contour pillow (the one that looks like a camel’s back – high on the long sides with a dip in the middle – sorry for the spastic description!) While the memory foam was okay (although it is on the firm side, despite the images you might have of “sinking” into the foam), what bothered me was the shape of the contour – it was too high for my apparently-small neck, so it was pushing my neck out of alignment, and I think the foam was a little too firm for my head to sink in and make up the difference. Small neck plus light head, perhaps? I can’t speak to the newer Tempurpedic pillows that put memory foam in a traditional pillow shape.

      Anyway, what I finally found and love is a latex pillow – it has a bit more “springiness” to it than memory foam. This is the one I have: – it comes in both regular “high” profile and a low profile. I had the low-profile one and it worked great for me on my old mattress, but when I bought a better mattress that actually supported my body, I found I needed the high profile now that my shoulders were properly supported.

  6. I have a THREADJACK.

    I am worried about my 401K plan. Is there anything smart I should be doing?

    I do not have a finance adviser to help me, and thought someone here is savvy.

    What should I do with my investment’s?

  7. Am I the only one who thinks these pants (at least from the back and side) are too snug for the model if she’s planning on wearing them to a business office?

    • Yes. I think the pants look fine.

    • South of Houston :

      Anon- I don’t think they’re inappropriate, but they’re a bit more snug than I’d personally wear to the office. I generally don’t like my office pants / pencil skirts to hug the underside of my bum (as these pants do on the model), so I usually size up so they’ll just hang sort of straight down and then tailor the waist. However, I think it totally depends on body type and I wouldn’t think much of it if I saw that specific model wearing those pants in my office.

  8. Threadjack: does anyone else feel miserable coming into work today? I’m sitting at my cube trying not to cry. It’s not about the amount of work, but I think I am ill-suited for this kind of work, though I do it well, on all accounts.

    I don’t know why I’m tossing this out, but maybe if someone’s been in a similar situation and successfully gotten out of it – I’d love to hear some advice.

    • goodness, i’m sorry. it’s thursday, so you only have one more day before the weekend.

      If this is a temporary case of the blues … deep breath, setting small targets for yourself to get through the day and planning something fun for tonight/tomorrow night/this weekend should do it. And don’t schedule any big meetings today.

      If this is a deeper issue about career fulfillment vs. money and what to do with your life … well, there are lots of places on this blog to look for guidance, everything from career switching, taking time off, career counselors, therapists .. you name it.

      Good luck to you.

    • FeelYourPain :

      I feel it But have no advice, sorry. I guess I need some too.

    • You’re basically describing me right now. I’ve been close to crying in my cube all week. It doesn’t help that I’m particularly hormonal right now. And I don’t feel well either.

      But everyone else is on vacation so I have to be in. And I’m really stressed out because I have to finish a project before I go on vacation next week. But I keep getting pulled away from it to handle production issues.

      So I don’t have any advice, but I can commiserate…

    • I had that problem and ended up switching fields. Obviously it’s a drastic step to go back to school to make a switch, but maybe you could find another job that uses similar skills but is a different kind of work?

    • For now – can you get out and take a short walk? 15 minutes? just to get outside, clear your head, take deep breaths and not feel like you’re at risk of collapsing in front of colleagues. When I was in that position my best option was to get physically out of there, even for a few minutes.

      For this weekend – set aside some time to think hard about what makes you happy, what your current circumstances and priorities are, and what your LT goals are (a tall order for a weekend, I know!). But if you really do want to make a change, I believe you have to start by knowing what it is that you do and don’t want, and then develop options …

      It’s a long term process, but if you frequently find yourself at this breaking/crying point … probably a good idea to start that process of change, now.

      • Thanks. It’s been going on for a while. The good thing is I’m tucked away in a corner so no one really sees me, and the office is very quiet this week. I think it is a matter of switching, but part of me is overwhelmed at the thought of finding something new at a time when the news about the economy is never positive.

        • i certainly understand that fear. the economic news right now is utterly discouraging.

          i’d still encourage you to start the thought process now. it could take awhile, and the economic doldrums won’t last forever (fingers crossed). once it clears up, you’ll have a better idea of what you want to do. and you never know .. the necessary switch could be smaller or easier than you think.

          also, i think doing something about the issue – even if it’s just keeping a journal of your thoughts and ideas for change – will help you on those gray miserable days when it feels like there’s no hope in sight.

          good luck to you.

        • It doesn’t hurt to look. There’s nothing obligating you to take a job if you go to the interview and realize it’s not really a stable situation. As anon above points out, it may take a while for you to find something in this economy that will have stability and won’t make you as miserable as you are now.

        • Oh I feel your pain about being tucked into a corner. If there are any open cubicles or offices closer to the heart of things, do everything you can to move into one. I finally have escaped my isolated cubicle this week, and it’s changed my (work) life. It’s easier to collaborate on projects, I can have a quick conversation with the people sitting near me to break up the monotony, and I’m finally in a normal “path” that people walk around the office, so for the first time since I’ve worked here, people regularly pop in just to say a quick hi. It makes all the difference! In the long term, a new job might be the answer, but a new desk location might be a good temporary pick-me-up. Good luck!

    • anon (just in case) :

      I have cried at work three times this week. And once last week.

      Getting out of the office helps. Go out to lunch, or go to the drug store and buy a cheap pick me up (lipstick usually works for me), or at least take a walk.

    • I honestly think there’s something going around right now. Emotions in my office are out of control – everyone is so cranky and irritable. My S.O. has been feeling it in his workplace too. I feel like there is something about this time of year that just sucks. It should be great because WHEE it’s summer!! But it’s actually BOO it’s summer and I’m stuck in an office and not on a canoe in a lake somewhere. Working in an office all day doesn’t bother me on rainy days or cold days. But on warm, sunny summer days? Torture.

      • A Regular Lurker :

        Seriously. I was considering posting about having the blues this morning, and then I spilled coffee all over myself (predictably, I’m wearing white). Walking to the drugstore to buy a Tide pen cheered me up a little, though, so I would definitely second the recommendation for a walk! Hang in there :)

    • Taco Lover :

      I feel the same way, if it helps. I have been completely miserable at work for going on 6 months now. In my case, it does have to do with the amount of work and just feeling overwhelmed all the damn time. Even when I go on vacation it’s incessant. I have taken to sleeping late and dragging my feet in the morning because I dread going into the office, where I’m immediately bombarded with emails and meetings.

    • I have felt like crying every morning for this past week. I just realised that work has basically taken my entire summer, and on top of that I’m treated like dirt and the improvements they keep promising me are never going to come because it works so much better for them to keep me exhausted and doing insultingly low-level work.

      It’s finally made me get together my plan to leave and every time I feel like crying I remember that I’m leaving, so none of this really matters. It seems to be helping.

      • anon (OP) :

        I think we’re going through the same thing. (And I’m also surprised by the number of responses, because it’s really felt like I’m the only one in this rut while everyone around me is fairly contented with their situation.) I keep getting low-level work; I ask for more challenging work but I keep getting push back. I indicate I’m willing to learn more but I get told I’m not qualified.

        Anoon – I think you’re right about the gym. I started going more recently and that’s been helping. Didn’t stop me from bawling two nights ago because I couldn’t stand the thought of returning to work the next morning though. My SO was speechless.

        • So frustrating! The “you can’t do this unless you’ve done it before” thing might save time, but in the long run you end up with dissatisfied workers with very narrow skill sets!

          Although lately for me it’s been more “yes, you could totally write that report, but I haven’t done any filing in a month so how about I do that report you were going to write and you go do all my filing. The office plants need watering while you’re in there.”

    • anon4this :

      Wow, I am so sorry to hear that so many are having miserable days/weeks, but I am very relieved that it’s not just me who feels this way right now.
      For me, it’s a combination of the type of work on my desk and one person in particular I have to work for, whom I used to give the benefit of the doubt and now I just despise. After getting some nasty criticism (I can take criticism, not nastiness) today, I actually asked my husband what he thought of me quitting. (I’m not going to, yet, but somehow discussing it made me feel more in control).

    • I feel the same tension and stress and “blahness” at my office and generally, around. I think it has to do, in part, with the recent drama with the debt ceiling, stock market roller coaster, threat of double-dip, etc. Even if people aren’t actively aware of the news’ effects on them, it does wear on you over time and plant seeds of uncertainty, stress, etc. This on top of other stresses can do a number on ya without you even realizing.

      It sounds like you need a “you” vacation… even if it’s just a day off where you allow yourself to relax, take a nice walk, go to the gym, you know… do things for you and only you. It will give you some time to spend with yourself so you can think about what’s bringing you down and once you figure that out, you can start weighing your options.

  9. Legally Brunette :

    I recently discovered this woman’s blog through Corporette (she’s so stunning!) and she rocks skinny jeans like no one else’s business. It made me realize that I would love to embrace this trend, but I don’t want to spend too much money on skinny jeans. Any recommendations? I’n an hourglass with pearish tendencies. Looking for a dark wash.

    As an aside, I didn’t have a chance to comment on the finance post yesterday but I thought it was enormously informative and the comments were equally helpful. That was probably the most useful post I have read in a long while, and illustrates why I love Corporette so much.

    • I like Levi’s Modern Skinny. I wear the Demi Curve, but they have Bold and Slight for those with different shapes, and I think I got them in a dark wash on Zappos for $45.

    • I have a similar body shape. I bought Gap’s Real Straight style in a dark wash (they have two styles – Always Skinny and Real Straight). Maybe around $70.

    • I was debating jumping on the skinny jeans bandwagon, so I went to Ross, Marshall’s, and TJ Maxx and pulled every pair of dark wash skinnies my size. I’ll have to check the label, but I ended up with a random brand that worked for me. Not sure where you’re located, but I’ve found those types of stores to be great for “trying out” a style, so that if I don’t love it, I haven’t spent a ton of money. I’m also hourglass/slightly bigger on bottom, I’ll check the brand when I get home (marketing fail right here, and I’m a marketer!)

      • Legally Brunette :

        Uh oh, you’ve given me an excuse to walk over to Ross, which is all too tempting and just one block away. :) But that’s a great idea. Thanks to all of you for your feedback!

      • I did the same thing at the Rack and found a pair for 30 bucks. I dont really wear that pair anymore because I have since found a pair of 7s and a pair of citizens i like much better, but i wanted to spend a little bit of money to make sure i liked the trend and would really wear it before i spent a lot.

        Also, a good way to break into the trend is during the fall/winter wearing them tucked into knee high boots.

    • Anonylawyer :

      I really like the Paige Premium Verdugo Skinnies. They look awesome.

    • Old Navy The Diva Skinny Jeans.

      Contrary to the name, they are straight, not skinny, which is more flattering to larger bottom halves. Currently $19.50. They run true to size.

      I love them.

      • They are awsome, although I find the waistband runs a little tighter than the waistband on my same-sized Levis skinnies, so sometimes they give me more muffin top, which I cover up with a loose shirt. To the OP, these are a great option if you aren’t 100% sure about them, because if you find you don’t wear them you’re only out $20.

  10. Dating Q for fellow overachieving chicks:

    Would you date a dude who is far less ambitious than you? I’m a young attorney and the guy in question makes money sitting at home day trading with $ he had saved (apparently he makes enough to get by and not get a real job) and is slooowly working towards a master’s in a local community college for a backup career in an in-demand field with decent pay (though less than I would be making as an atty). Fun, super-caring guy but very lazy and aspires to be a stay-at-home dad someday. Also a spendthrift (I’m the opposite – love to go out in the city and rock star vacations).

    I wonder if some time down the road I would start to resent him for being such a lazy pants sitting home all day while I’m busting ass moving up in my career (I kinda already do and we’re just friends for now; maybe I’m just jealous?). Does it matter if the man is not working as a professional if he makes $ at the end of the day? I’ve always dated power professional types, but as it turns out most of them are cheaters/narcissists/douchey types with commitment issues.

    Would you get involved with such a fellow? Is there hope in finding a caring professional type in the big city? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    • I dated a guy far less ambitious than I was and it didn’t work out for a variety of reasons, but one major factor was that I could not respect him. I thought he was lazy, didn’t care about reading the paper or discussing what was going on in the world, didn’t read books, and seemed to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder that I was much more successful. You certainly don’t need to be with someone who makes a ton of money, but I would think twice about someone who works at home as a “day trader” — it’s not a real job and requires very little effort. Would you feel totally comfortable introducing him to your friends and colleagues and have him explain to them what he does? If the answer is no, then you have your answer.

    • I think you’re really asking two questions: 1) Would you date a guy who doesn’t work a professional job? 2) Would you date a guy who’s lazy?

      For the first part, yes. I would totally date a guy who didn’t work a professional job and made less money than me. As long as we click, he pays his own expenses, and he’s happy, I don’t really care if he’s a lawyer or a plumber. For the second…no. I’ve dated the lazy, unmotivated person before – lived with them, even – and it was a hell of resentment until we imploded.

      • The Worst Corporette Ever :

        Exactly this.

        I dated an electrician who loved television. The electrician part was really cool (he can fix stuff! he knows how stuff works!), the lazy couch potato part sucked.

        • For me personally, the couch-potato thing would suck even if the guy was a CEO otherwise. I like to be on the move – I get up on Saturdays generally with a full day of activities planned – and I would definitely have a problem with someone who just wanted to sit on his butt all the time. I also think there is a difference between “he earns less than me/ he has a blue-collar job” and “he has no ambition.” I know blue-collar guys who are five times as ambitious as me. I also know professionals who are lazy as all get-out. Earning less/working a non-white-collar job is not a deal breaker for me. Laziness, lack of motivation and lack of direction = definitely a deal-breaker.

      • This.
        It’s one thing to have non professional job and make less money/be a stay at home dad and quite another to be lazy. For me, the issue would be whether he is contributing to the relationship and our shared life, and that contribution does not have to be financial, it could be maintaining our home, childcare, running errands, planning vacations, etc. – something to moves us as a couple toward our goals. Lazy, on the other hand, is a breeding ground for resentment and contempt.

        • V, yes. Some of the answers made me wonder if stayathome moms are considered lazy!

      • I agree that it is two separate issues.

        My husband does not have a professional degree, but is far from lazy. He makes less money than I do, but works just has hard and does more of the housekeeping. It does not bother me that he is not an attorney (or other professional), but it would if he just sat at home all day doing nothing.

      • Very true. I’m currently dating a non-professional guy and it’s great. He works hard at a job that he likes and he makes enough to support himself just fine, plus he has regular hours so we can date around my overful professional schedule. My coworker was just telling me how great it’s been since her husband left his professional job for a non-professional one: now they can start thinking about kids knowing that there’ll be someone home in time to make dinner every day, even if she has to work late.

    • repasted from below! whoops.

      IMO this does not sound promising, simply because you’ve already identified him as as a lazy pants, “slooow” and all the rest. Nothing wrong with that, but if that’s already what you think – and you’re not even dating yet – it just sounds like an inauspicious beginning.

      But. It’s all about what you want, not what other commenters (including myself) would want. Do you want to be the breadwinner? Or stay at home at some point? How do you feel about household duties and general life and financial responsibilities and kids? Or, are you just looking to date someone for fun for a little while?

      Finally – yes, it’s possible to find a caring professional type in a big city. Provided you are not aiming for “the perfect package”, there are definitely guys out there who can support themselves and a mature relationship at the same time. Lack of other options is not a reason to go for this guy.

    • This particular circumstance is a tough call, since you would certainly not want to be with someone who seemed to you to be lazy. In a relationship (of course you know this), there are always going to be times that you sort of resent them or hold things against them, so it’s definitely a red flag that you sort of feel that way now when there’s nothing to be resentful about and things are good.

      That being said, to respond to your general question, I do think that it’s a good idea for high-acheiving women to be with lower acheiving men. I’m a lawyer, my husband never finished college. He’s a hard worker, and has done well in his field (and supported me through LS, both financially and emotionally), but he’s never going to be a high acheiver in the Corporette sense of the phrase, and we do hope and expect him to be a stay-at-home-dad. (I’ve gotten in trouble for this before, but my personal thoughts are that I’d rather have one person stay at home when kids are young- mom or dad -so two high acheiving parents doesn’t really work that well.)

      So, in other words, I think in general it certainly can work, and, in fact, think it’s a good idea, but it might not be right in this case. I’d urge you to consider your biases – Is he making enough to get by and live well (by whatever standard you may set for “well”), or just enough to barely scrape by? Are there biases about the role of a man as a breadwinner at play here, and how important are they to you? Is he generally a lazy person, or does he just not have a lot of career ambition? Do you respect him? These are all things to think about, and I think that you should have your answer when you answer them.

      • Just addressing your point about high-achieving women and lower-achieving men. I agree that in principle, as women in our society advance more quickly, get more education, higher pay and stronger careers and all that … one critical way to address all the conflicts that arise when it comes to families and children is for us to re-evaluate the balance between men and women, and be more open to the stay at home or at least non-breadwinner dad concept. It’s logical, after all. If the balance of one kind of responsibility is shifting to the woman, then there should be an equal shift toward the man (I’m generalizing, but you get the idea).

        But for whatever reason, society – including both men and women – have a harder time with this, exemplified by women wondering whether they can/should date less accomplished men, men feeling insecure about ambitious women, jokes about Mr. Mom and all that … obviously there are notable exceptions and plenty of happy cases like yours, but the general reluctance of society to embrace this idea – even though we have embraced the upward progression of women – is interesting to me.

        Blah. I’m just babbling now, but your comment made me think of this.

        • It is all interesting, sociologically speaking. But, to a large degree, I say, “screw society.” Do what you and your partner (if you have one, or be picky if you don’t) want and think is best and ignore what “society” thinks.

          Also, sometimes, society will surprise you. Hubby & I both come from really conservative, traditional families; neither of our moms ever worked more than part-time, entry level jobs and mostly didn’t work at all. Do our parents care one bit that we’re going this route? Not a bit. (Or, if they do, they’re keeping it to themselves, which they *never* do!)

    • This guy doesn’t sound lazy or unambitious. He sounds like he knows what he wants and his priorities (and ambitions — stay at home dad) are just different from yours. It does sound like you shouldn’t date him though, given that you clearly do not respect him and his choices.

      • Well said anon2day, seems this guy knows what he wants and he’s quite transparent about it. I can respect his choices even if it’s not what I may want in a partner.

      • Taco Lover :

        Completely agree. I wish I had this guy’s life! I was super ambitious as a young person and I’ve found that a high-powered career is waaaay overrated.

      • Totally third this.

        • Fourth. I think a lot of people might consider my husband lazy (he works full-time but doesn’t do much around the house or anything else), and we do just fine. It’s based on how you see things, really, and it appears that you see him as slow, unmotivated, and lazy. I see my husband as smart, sexy, and lovable.

    • opposites attract :

      As one spouse in an ambitious couple, I think you need to consider that ultra-ambitious couples have their struggles too. We are constantly battling the, “I had to sacrifice for you” mentality, since we’re both trying to climb the ladder faster. I love that my husband is a hard worker and over-achiever, and he loves that about me, but it makes cross-country moves and financial balance (ie: smaller apt. to pay for tuition, etc.) much more heated.
      I think there’s a difference between passion and ambition in the traditional sense. I couldn’t be with someone who’s not passionate about SOMETHING. That something doesn’t have to be career/making money, but if he just wanted to sit around all day doing nothing or just scraping by, I couldn’t handle that. I would have a lot of respect for a man who’s pursuing something, even if it doesn’t pay well, like teaching or music. If he goes after it with all his heart, and works hard, and picks up the household duties while I’m out making the money, I’m ok with that. What you seem to be describing sounds like lazy, not pursuing a different path that he’s passionate about.

    • Anonylawyer :

      I don’t think it would work. I think you would resent him eventually. In my experience (both personal and talks with friends), you are best off with someone who is an equal in terms of ambition and pay. What happens if you marry this guy, have kids, and then want to cut back on your career (maybe go part time or to a lower paying job with fewer demands) but you can’t because he can’t step up and contribute financially?

    • I think there’s a huge difference between not being ambitious and being lazy. It seems like this guy is just not ambitious- he’s day trading and getting a master’s degree and a relatively relaxed place. If he’s living off savings, that means he saved the money in the first place, which is a huge plus. Additionally, if you want kids and are ambitious, a husband who wants to be a stay-at-home dad might be a perfect fit as long as he doesn’t see being a stay-at-home dad as someone who has kids and sits on the couch all day watching TV. Presumably his thrifty lifestyle and your more extravagant lifestyle can level out at something you’ll both enjoy- going out into the city without spending as much money; great vacations where you seek out hole in the wall places instead of fine dining, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      If he were a woman, would it be lazy to dream of SAHMhood and be paying the bills working while educating himself in the meantime, while dating and looking for the someday-mother to his someday-father (maybe a little underemployed, maybe not depending on school work)?

      Maybe he IS lazy, but not because of the dream of involved parenthood. Lazy means you don’t aspire to anything and you don’t work towards anything. If involved parenthood is your dream and your wokring towrads it while paying the bills and learning… that’s not lazy. It’s just a different ambition than yours.

      The important thing for you is, what is YOUR ambition? Is it to be the breadwinner for children and a SAHF? There is no shame in answering yes or no. Just make your ambitions fit with your partner’s or find the partner w who you DO mesh.

    • karenpadi :

      The big red flag I was looking for here is that you make more money and are thrifty and he makes less money and isn’t thrifty. But that isn’t the case so i won’t go into more detail.

      I say go for it! Like any relationship only time will tell if you start to resent his lazy ways. Just don’t let him take advantage of you financially.

      If anything, dating someone like him will help you clarify if you want a partner who is the ambitious breadwiner-type or if you want a SAHD or someone in between. Like you said, you current “type” hasn’t been what you wanted.

    • I think the right question is not whether other professional women would be bothered by it, or if he’s lazy or just non-professional or has different life values, the question is whether or not YOU are bothered by it. It’s like the earlier conversation on shorter men: men no longer have to fight off maurading tigers so there’s no reason for women to require a taller man but attraction and relationships don’t follow reason. If it bothers you, and it sounds like it definitely does, all the reason in the world won’t make it not bother you any more than a woman who likes tall men can make herself comfortable dating a shorter guy by pure willpower.

      Social conditioning of gender roles is a hell of a drug, and it’s not easy to rewrite, which I think is basically the issue here.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I have no problem if you simply earn less than me because you work in an industry that doesn’t have the same earning potential. I have mucho problems with lazy and/or lack of ambition….. If I have to get up and go to work, every able bodied person has to get up and go to work/school as well….

      and who knew you could get a master’s degree at community college……..

      • Lots of people

        • manoavalleygirl :

          Not really. In my state, community colleges all offer only two-year AA degrees. The whole idea of community college in my state is a) transition to university for your last two years; or b) learn a trade or vacation where a college degree is unnecessary.

  11. threadjack thank you – just wanted to thank the Corporette who recommended the Games of Thrones books, they are amazing! I love how the story unfolds among the different characters’ points of view. Thanks!

    • There have been a bunch of us fans popping up in various threads – glad you enjoyed them! If you haven’t already, check out HBO’s mini-series of the first book; it stays pretty close to the book.

      • And in other thank yous, I discovered the Hunger Games series through this blog, too. LOVED it, though it did seriously impede my productivity at home for a couple of days. :) I hope the movie does it justice!

    • So glad you are enjoying it! I adore those books. Let us know how you like the rest of the series!

    • more literary thank-yous … to those who recommended Emperor of Maladies and Gift of Fear. Reading both and happy about it.

      Any additional non-fiction recs are welcome!

  12. Thought I’d share a new addition to my wish list. How fabulous is this umbrella?

    What a great way to cheer up a rainy week in NYC!

  13. IMO this does not sound promising, simply because you’ve already identified him as as a lazy pants, “slooow” and all the rest. Nothing wrong with that, but if that’s already what you think – and you’re not even dating yet – it just sounds like an inauspicious beginning.

    But. It’s all about what you want, not what other commenters (including myself) would want. Do you want to be the breadwinner? Or stay at home at some point? How do you feel about household duties and general life and financial responsibilities and kids? Or, are you just looking to date someone for fun for a little while?

    Finally – yes, it’s possible to find a caring professional type in a big city. Provided you are not aiming for “the perfect package”, there are definitely guys out there who can support themselves and a mature relationship at the same time. Lack of other options is not a reason to go for this guy, IMO.

  14. Threadjack:

    Would you tell your (corporate) employer if you had a significant athletic competition coming up, or wait until after the fact?

    I don’t want people thinking that I’m somehow slacking on work or not fully dedicated simply because my free time is devoted to training/working out instead of (fill in blank with other leisure activity here).

    Would your answer change if the sport in question included a likely chance of getting somewhat banged up (boxing, etc)?

    • Anonymous :

      unless it actually IS interfering with your work, no.

      however, if you come into work the next day with serious visible wear and tear, i would explain it so people’s imaginations don’t run wild … abusive relationships or whatever.

      • karenpadi :

        Seconded. When I was boxing, I would come in with black eyes and bloody knuckles. I hesitate to think about what they would have thought if I wasn’t boxing.

        My clients even started noticing, so after I explained that I was into boxing, we set up a running joke about the “first rule of fight club”.

    • Taco Lover :

      I think it’s important to make sure any hobby doesn’t encroach on your job responsibilities (whether it’s training for a marathon or, uh, posting on Corporette). If you’re performing well at work, though, I don’t see why you wouldn’t talk about your hobby. People are likely to find it cool and interesting, especially if it’s something unusual like boxing.

      • As an update/clarification:

        My training does not interfere with my work schedule or productivity.

        People know that I’m involved in these sports and that I compete (although i think from the looks I get it’s more “she’s f’ing crazy” than “cool and interesting” :) ). I’ve told people before when I’ve had competitions, but not ones as intense as what I have coming up, and so I haven’t been as concerned about showing up with a swollen noise or facial bruising.

        But it sounds like I’m overthinking/overworrying. Plus Maybelline works wonders :)

        • karenpadi :

          I commented above but now that I know you box…those looks aren’t so “she’s crazy” but “Glad she’s on my side!” My clients liked to joke that if our legal strategy was unsuccessful, they’d find a use for my boxing skills. :) I think boxing showed an aggressive/assertive side that isn’t immediately apparent in many junior associates.

    • I would not tell my employer because they would fall over laughing. But maybe that’s just me. :)

      I would also not tell my employer I might be slacking or percieved as slacking for any reason!

  15. Anybody see this slideshow of Bebe’s workwear collection? Hilarious.

    • Awesome! I really needed an afternoon mental health break and this delivered.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was coming to post the same thing!

      I kind of like the purple-y skirt in this link but overall the collection is ridiculous

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Posted too soon. I think the collection looks like what would happen if a fashion magazine made a workwear collection after the crazy things I’ve seen featured in them.

      • Taco Lover :

        The pink and purple tweed? I like it too, but I would, um, not style it like that.

        • Taco Lover :

          Ha – it’s actually a dress!!!