Thursday’s TPS Report: Spotted Matinee Blouse

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

I like this simple, lovely white blouse from Madewell. It’s almost entirely sheer, yes, but many good white silk blouses are — and look how great it looks with a fairly substantial white tank beneath it (I also think it would look great under things, such as a springy sweater).  It’s $95 at Madewell. Spotted Matinee Blouse

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


  1. For a brief, terrifying moment, I thought Kat was featuring formal shorts.


    • I think it’s a very cute outfit for the weekend! Certainly not for the office though.

      • Yeah, I secretly like it too. What kind of shoes would you wear with it? Heels or flats?

        • That is why I clarified “formal” shorts. I like these shorts for FUN….but not for say, being a doctor, even if you’re a doctor in a quirky southern town where hot neighbors walk around without their shirts on.

          That’s the distinction.

          • Woods-comma-Elle :

            I absolutely love this reference…

          • Love it! Even though I haven’t been watching lately.

          • So what I’m getting from this discussion is that yoga pants in the ER in the middle of the night = okay; but formal shorts in the ER in the middle of the night –> must find man with no shirt to accompany me?

          • EC MD — if you bring me hot neighbor Wade in the middle of the night in the ER (or really anytime) you can wear whatever you d*mn want. I’m not going to be paying attention to you anyway.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            you always have my favourite comments, TCFKAG.

        • I would wear flats with dressy shorts. Or small wedges, perhaps.

    • Teehee. Me too. But yes, nice blouse.

    • I saw some formal shorts in my office today! The wearer had paired them with black lace tights and 6-inch bright turquoise platform stillettos to, um, eye-catching effect.

      • Oh dear. That is a whole lotta look for the office. Or really anywhere.

        • I hear that comment in the voice of Tim Gunn.

          • A. — you should feel free to just imagine everything I say in a Tim Gunn voice, that would make me immensely happy.

            Okay Corporettes — I know we have hairbands to deal with and blue nail polish fiascos every which way, but we have to make it work!

          • You should feel free to just imagine everything I say in a Tim Gunn voice, that would make me immensely happy.

            Okay ladies — I know we have hairbands to deal with and blue nail polish fiascos every which way, but we have to make it work!

            (sorry if this posts twice, for some reason the first one went to moderation).

      • Diana Barry :


        Maybe it was super-advanced slutwalk trolling?

    • My officemate often wears formal shorts, and I can’t find a polite way to refer her to this blog.

      • Romans et al :

        Dear office mate – look what I saw featured on corporette today! Doesn’t it make you want to go out and get (the item)?

        Of course, you’d show the front page of something which Kat curated and is fabulous in every way.

    • I wore shorts like that in the early 90s (remember 5-7-9??) and I’ll be damned if I ever wear them again. I’ll let the 20somethings rock ’em.

      • Twentysomething here. Not want. Also, would prefer that others not want as well.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Also a 20something. And I remember 5-7-9, particularly all of the arguments my mother and I used to get in there. Ah memories. Oh and, just say no to shorts in the office.

      • phillygirlruns :

        oh, 5-7-9. i had a great pair of baggy overalls in about 1994 (denim, embroidered peace signs and/or daisies at the hip, worn with one strap only) that i’m fairly sure i got there.

        • job hunting :

          I had overall SHORTS with daisies embroidered on them, and wore them with pride (not to the office)! And white socks sticking out of Ked sneakers. Oh my.

    • Me too!

  2. I read this as “spotted manatee blouse” and was looking forward to a blouse with manatees all over it.

    • Same! It was indeed disappointing. If owls/feathers/cats/horses/assorted woodland creatures can be featured on clothing, manatees should be as well.

    • SpaceMountain :

      That’s hilarious.

    • I saw the same thing too.

      Funny story, at an old job where I used to mentor new employees, a group of us mentors used to call our young charges manatees. Mentee —> Manatee

    • I actually dated a guy who looked like a manatee for a while. I tried, really tried, to get past his look, but ultimately succumbed and dumped him. It’s weird because I think ACTUAL manatees are cute, but guys who look like manatees – not so much.

      • Wait, what? How can a guy look like a manatee?

      • I can’t stop laughing now, because I’m imaging a couple that’s a woman and a manatee. They go out to dinner, take walks in the park. She steals the covers, he leaves sea water puddles on their hardwood floors. I like to imagine him looking like a hipster manatee, with black frame glasses and a bow tie.

      • Anonymous :

        There is a shark at my local aquarium that looks *just like* Lost’s Ben Linus (actor Michael Emerson). It stopped me in my tracks when I walked past the tank.

    • Business, Not Law :

      Me too!

  3. I really love a lot of things from Madewell. Its a little expensive, but they have some really pretty, well made (ha ha), classic clothing. It can skew a bit younger than say, Talbots, but they have some great stuff. I’ve been pleased with almost everything I’ve ever purchased from them and ended up wearing pieces quite a bit.

    • Well…Chicos skews a bit younger than Talbots. (And I’m kidding…I shop at Talbots. But its definitely not where the kids go. :-P) I’m glad the quality at Madewell is good because the prices always struck me as a bit high for what it is.

      • What I tried (and failed) to articulate is that while it seems to skew younger, one can find some great, classic pieces there. Although it appeals to somewhat of a younger crowd, its not like an American Eagle where you’d be hard-pressed to find anything worth buying.

        • Oh I know…I just found the comparison funny. Feel free to ignore me when I’m being pointlessly snarky. :-P

      • I would disagree on Chicos. My mother won’t shop at Chicos. I once got a gift (hideous bracelet & ring set) from Chicos and I spent close to 45 min. in the very small store just trying to find something, anything, to exchange my gift for and best I could do was a pair of small hoop earrings and a christmas tree ornament. Talbots, on the other hand, I lurve and continue to visit despite the fact that their quality has been going downhill lately.

        • I was exaggerating for effect. Chicos is hella old. No question.

          This entire post was a mistake, I apologize.

          • I call Chico’s The Menopause Store.

          • I got what you were saying TCFKAG ;)

          • I got it, and laughed :).

          • How old is hella old? Those of us IN menopause don’t really think we are hella old. Now I am stressed.

          • I only think you’re hella old if you act hella old. One sign that you might be hella old is if you shop at Chicos. But, you can counterbalance that by posting on Corporette! Yay!

          • I have to give them credit for making stylish, non-Mom jeans for the mature lady crowd. My mom is hooked on their jeans and they are really cute and fit her well – midrise, bootcut, no tacky details.

          • TCFKAG, I got what you were saying, too … sorry, just hate chicos with such a passion that must take any opportunity to say it, it’s just one of those days.

          • Uh oh… My *younger* sister shops at Chico’s.

          • I am hella old, and I won’t shop at Chicos. You have to have visible chin hairs to be on their Preferred Shopper mailing list.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          hold up. you mean Chicos is NOT the shop of choice for those in their early thirties??????
          d*mmit. And here I thought I was finally on trend . . .

        • One of my friends (about 15 years older than I am) loves Chico’s so I go with her and might buy a scarf. Nothing else even remotely appeals to me. Too shiny and metallic and animal print. I used to go there with her and buy things like plain v neck cardigans (which held up really well) but now, nothing. I think they’ve gotten worse.

          • Yeah, what is up with that? Lose your period, start wearing metallics and zebra. It’s the law.

          • They used to have great plain cotton stretch v-neck t-shirts, but they haven’t had them for a while. I bought a lot of those while they had them.

        • MaggieLizer :

          Oh noes, I’m hella old! I’ve been to Chico’s a few times to accompany/appease my (admittedly) hella old mother, and I’ve found decent costume jewelry on about 50% of my visits. My favorite silver going out bracelet is from there, actually. It’s a bit embarassing that I get their magazines now, though….

        • At Chicos, the “mannequins” in the window scare the sh*t outta me. Uh, that’s not making your clothes look better. Humpf.

      • Chicos financials look a lot better than Talbots, so someone shops there! I know at least 2 professional women who love Chicos and look fabulous. I think they have some pretty things, but somehow there’s nothing there for me.

    • Agreed. If I had more money, I’d probably buy most of my clothing from Madewell. I only own a few pieces from them (like, two v-necks and a vest), but they’re comfortable, classic, and have stood up well over time. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to have as many sales as my old standbys J. Crew and Anthro, so I can never afford anything :\

    • Oil in houston :

      I gave in and bought it! I hope you were right :)

  4. Diana Barry :

    Meh. I have to say, you know all those guides re: “the 10 items every woman MUST own”? A white shirt is always on there, and I have bought many many many white shirts over the years, and I never wear them. Maybe sometimes as a layering piece under a sweater vest, but otherwise I never wear them. The one exception was a “poet shirt” from Victoria’s Secret that I wore all the time in the mid-90s (HS/college). I loved that shirt and the puffed sleeves!

    Also, I won’t buy white silk bc (1) I would spill something on it and (2) the armpits would discolor IMMEDIATELY. Not to mention the sheer issue.

    • Ha! My husband has practically begged me to stop buying white things — my clumsiness precludes it. Certainly not white things that aren’t machine washable!

      • Seattleite :

        You could spin it. How many white blouses = 1 laptop?

        • I don’t understand the spin though. I mean — his response would be…now I’d have to replace your laptops AND your shirts. :-P

          • Seattleite :

            No no no, yer doin’ it wrong. “Okay, I’ll stop buying white shirts. And with the money we’ll save, I can buy a ginormous laptop, the new iPad, and an incredibly vulgar [email protected] diamond ring.” THAT’S how you spin it.

    • I agree, and also, I think I had the exact same poet shirt circa 1996.

      • Me too. I was taking fashion cues from the movie version of Interview with a Vampire.

        • I still have mine. I keep it with the polyester black and white striped palazzo pants in case I am required to come up with a Hallowe’en costume on short notice. All I have to do is tuck the pants into tall boots and add an eyepatch and/or bandanna . . . .

        • Remember when Tom Cruise was as sexy as Brad Pitt? Those were the days…

    • I love white button up shirts with cute, patterned or bright skirts and a long necklace. I would wear that almost every day if no one would notice it.

      The trick is, I think, to go to Brooks Brothers and try on every different cut they make, and lots of sizes, and even petites if you don’t think you’re a petite. I found my perfect one, and I think it is very, very flattering, and it tones down a lot of skirts that I love but might otherwise be a little too dressy for the office.

      The Brooks Brothers ones are great because you stay looking pressed and well-kept all day.

    • My best friend bought me a poet shirt from VS for Christmas one year in the mid-90’s. It was my favorite present that year!

  5. Dancing in the District :

    DC and NOVA ladies: Which local discount store locations are your favorites?

    I already know the Rack at Pentagon City but I’m hoping to branch out. There seem to be a ton of TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls type places but there are so many and the quality really varies from store to store. Which locations do you tend to find yourself finding great deals at? I’m in need of some bargains and don’t want to negate my savings by driving to 7 different locations with gas being so sadly high right now.


    • I love Friendship Heights because there’s a TJ Maxx, Loehmanns, Nordstrom Rack (plus LOFT, J Crew, White House/Black Market, Talbots, Banana Republic, etc) all in one block, and all right on top of the metro station.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        Second the Friendship Heights collection of stores. The Loehmanns is a pretty good one too and Rack is ok. I miss Filene’s – oh Filene’s.

        • I know! I used to take afternoon shopping breaks at Filene’s. Now I don’t know what to do with myself. I thought they were so great compared to the other options, I don’t know what happened!

        • Thirded.

    • Not sure if it’s too far out of the city for you, but Potomac Mills in Woodbridge! Hundreds of outlets under one roof.

      • Agree with this – they have really done a good job of consolidating all of the higher-end fashion stores in one area so you don’t have to fight your way through the teenagers hanging out. I’ve had really good luck recently there at the Banana, Saks and Cole Haan outlets.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      Leesburg Outlets

      • I always get great deals at Lord and Taylor. Not a discount store, but the sales there are always ridiculous. I like Loehmann’s best of the discount chains.

        • One of the salespeople at the Lord and Taylor (Landmark) told me that location is a clearance Lord and Taylor. *shrug* It looks the same to me. Only reason to go to that mall.

    • My favorite location for deals in D.C. is the Lord and Taylor in Friendship Heights. They have great sales and will send you coupons if you get on their mailing list. I go to the other stores in Friendship Heights mentioned but I get overwhelmed in them.

    • I’m a huge fan of Loehmann’s – I don’t find something every time I go, but love the stuff I have purchased there. The greatest variety and where I have the best luck is the one in Loehmann’s Plaza in Falls Church.

      That said my definition of bargain may differ from yours – I have purchased AG Jeans, cashmere sweaters, Theory pants, Longchamp handbags and the like from Loehmanns. On the bargain end of the spectrum all of my Hue tights are bought there (2 pair packages for $12), Franco Sarto shoes, and some of my favorite work dresses were from there (average price of $60). I have insider gold card (10% discount every day on top of whatever promotions they are having for $25 per year).

    • I couldn’t help but notice your handle. Any recommendations for beginning dance classes in the DC metro area? I’m open to anything from Salsa to Jazz (though I should note I’m a total newbie but still harbor dreams of learning how to shake it like Beyonce)

      • Joy of Motion offers many types of dance and has studios in (I think , haven’t checked them out in a little while) Friendship Heights, Dupont Circle, and I believe the H Street neighborhood.

  6. Dancing in the District :

    Trying again since it won’t post. Sorry for the dupe if they both show up!

    DC and NOVA ladies: Which local discount store locations are your favorites?

    I already know the Rack at Pentagon City but I’m hoping to branch out. There seem to be a ton of TJ Maxx, Ross and Marshalls type places but there are so many and the quality really varies from store to store. Which locations do you tend to find yourself finding great deals at? I’m in need of some bargains and don’t want to negate my savings by driving to 7 different locations with gas being so sadly high right now.


  7. Corporette babymamma :

    Pretty blouse! I love white blouses. I only have one, but I always get compliments when I wear it.

    Threadjack – I need some reassurance from other Corporette moms. I’m 9 weeks pregnant and very excited about it. I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and confirmed that I am in fact pregnant.

    The issue is that I don’t FEEL pregnant at all, and I’m wondering if it is possible that something is wrong and I don’t know it. I have zero morning sickness and don’t feel tired or fatigued. My breasts are heavier but not tender, and I have gained about 2 pounds (but I’m sure that’s due to overeating during vacation).

    So my question is – is it possible to miscarry and not know it? Not trying to be a Debbie Downer but I also want to be realistic. I haven’t bled at all or anything, but I’m wondering why I don’t have most of the symptoms that others have.

    I won’t see my doctor for another 3 weeks. Thanks for any advice.

    • Hi Corporette babymama — I personally have never been pregnant, so take this with a huge grain of salt. But while I’m sure its possible to miscarry without knowing it (though my understanding is that you would bleed if that happened) — its also possible that you’re having a nice, easier beginning to your pregnancy. Enjoy it! Not everyone gets all the symptoms you listed at the same time.

      And if you will allow me to give some completely unsolicited advice. Based on both this and some of your previous posts, you seem extremely excited, but also extremely anxious about this pregnancy. And while that is certainly understandable, the amount of stress you’re placing on yourself can’t possibly be helping. Try to relax a little — in six months you’ll probably be looking back on this time with fondness.

    • Don’t worry. I never had morning sickness or felt very fatigued. I worried, too, but everyone I talk to says you will KNOW if you have a miscarriage . None of this kept me from worrying, but everything was fine. I am holding my beautiful baby girl right now.

    • Seattleite :

      My first response is, OMG I hate you. (Two really uncomfortable pregnancies, sick the whole nine months, etc.)

      My *real* response is this: Don’t worry. Lots of women don’t ‘feel’ pregnant right away. I hear that some women even feel really healthy and strong during their pregnancies, and it sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones.

      Pregnancy, and then parenthood, is all about walking in faith that your body, mind, and heart know what they’re doing, and that you and your child(ren) will be okay. So enjoy this time, eat your veggies and vitamins, and trust yourself.

    • It could happen. The first trimester is the riskiest. You could take a HPT to alleviate your fear.

      • If you were hypothetically miscarrying a home pregnancy test would still likely be positive because it takes some time for the pregnancy hormones to leave your body (speaking from experience). Did you have an ultrasound at your last appt? Did you see a little clump of cells or grain of rice-looking fetus? I once miscarried so early we could see nothing on the ultrasound even though I was supposed to be 7 weeks along and I was still testing pregnant. I’m not trying to freak you out – just honestly answer your question. More likely you’re one of those lucky women who will breeze through pregnancy with few symptoms.

    • I had the same worries with each of my 3 preganancies. Some people are simply very lucky to be symptom-free, but I think you start thinking like a Mom (worry about everything) the moment you become pregnant. So TRY to enjoy it…and also wish that the boob-fairy precludes also other more-obvious pregnancy symptoms so you can really enjoy it. You’ll know you are pregnant soon enough. (BTW, this doesn’t stop…in my 3rd trimesters, even though I was obviously with-child, if the babies didn’t move in an obvious way on a set frequency, I worried about something happening….and now that they are 9,6, and 4…OH, I worry! They are perfect, but I worry!)

    • Congrats! Enjoy “not feeling pregnant!” You are probably just lucky. I’m about the same spot as you (nine weeks) and JUST started getting the fatigue, but only in the last day or two. It’s still early, and you may not be getting symptoms yet, or you may just be one of the blessed ones who does pregnancy really well. Relax–you have plenty of time left to “feel (and look) pregnant.” Enjoy this normalcy while it lasts.

      • Midori, congratulations! So did you get settled in your new state? How’s the bar exam process going?

        • Thanks! Yes, we’re settling in pretty well. Didn’t quite mean to add another kid to the picture right now, but we’re happy about it. I took the bar exam last week, and I think it went okay! Not as awful as I remember it, anyway…

      • Enjoy it lucky duck!! I had pain and a million symptoms from day one- including a scary threatened miscarriage via hemorrhage- I definitely knew it. I am home on couch today trying to work with agonizing ligament pain every time I move (28 weeks now). I am honestly glad there are people it is not torture for! Exercise if you can, eat, walk around.. live life. I miss so many things and can’t wait til it’s over.

    • Being newly pregnant with a first baby was one of the most terrifying (and exciting) experiences of my life. It is not unusual for you to be having no morning sickness – lucky you! Some people just don’t get it, and some people don’t get it until later. In fact, it can very from pregnancy to pregnancy even with the same woman. I had morning sickness with one of my pregnancies, but not my other two.

      Yes, there is a chance something could happen with the pregnancy, but chances are, you and your baby will be absolutely fine. From what I have heard, there is nothing can do to increase or decrease your odds of miscarriage. (I’ll assume you’ll avoid injecting drugs, drinking yourself into a stupor every day, and other extremely risky behavior.) Just try to relax and enjoy planning for your little one.

      One last thing – bleeding during pregnancy can be normal. Even if you have some bleeding, it doesn’t mean that you are or will miscarry. I had no/very little bleeding with my three pregnancies, but my two sisters had fairly heavy bleeding with four of their pregnancies. I have four very healthy nieces and nephews as a result of those pregnancies.


    • Congratulations!

      First – there is a whole range of symptoms, ranging from “none” to “dropping pounds and being absolutely incapacitated.” Consider yourself lucky, as in all likelihood everything is fine.

      That said. There is such a thing as a “missed miscarriage,” which you might see on The Internets referred to as a “mmc.” Basically it takes your body a little while to catch on. Because you said your br*sts are “heavier” I don’t think this is you – enjoy the new “girls” and this time in your life!

      • This – try to enjoy your easy preganancy and don’t stress yourself out. Before you know it your tummy will be growing, you’ll be feeling the baby, and then he or she will be born & almost a teenager before you know it! (my oldest just turned 12). Also, you’re only 9 weeks. Symptoms can start at any time. The range of normal for pregnancy is so huge it’s not even funny.

        But since you asked, I had a missed miscarriage. I had morning sickness and all the typical symptoms, but suddenly I started feeling much better and had some brown discharge. Red spotting can be normal, but brown is more cause for worry, generally.

        I was a worry wart when pregnant, and had reason to, so what I tried to do was focus on the things I could control – it helped me feel better. I concentrated on eating healthy & taking care of myself as much as possible. And I now have 3 great kids.

      • First of all, congratulations!!!!!

        Ummm it sounds like you already stress yourself out and I am sorry if this adds to it, but I had a miscarriage in week 9 and had no symptoms at all. My doctor had me come in almost every week and do an ultrasound, and that’s how we found out (a week ago heartbeats, a week later nothing). I had no pain, no bleeding, absolutely nothing. I also had no morning sickness and was freaking out because all pregnancy magazines while saying each case is different seemed to spend all the space encouraging women with awful morning sickness that their kids will be great, and not those without morning sickness.

        If your insurance allows it, maybe it would reassure you to have an appointment sooner? I just remember the anxiety wondering about every twinge when everything was still ok, and then after I found out, wondering what would have happened if I didn’t have that ultrasound

        Good luck!!!

    • The first few weeks of any pregnancy—the part after you “know” but before the symptoms–are difficult for anyone with even a speck of anxiety. Without “proof” that things are going along, the days seem eternally long and the weeks are unbearable. That doesn’t help you at all, but I hope it’s a little helpful to know that many of us have felt that way and that in most cases, it does indeed all work out ok.

      That first pregnancy is hell on your ability to concentrate on anything else… all you can think about is the “what ifs”.

      Take care of yourself… do things you like to do, treat yourself to more rest and healthy food and and indulgently sinful something or other . If you know you’re doing the best you can do for yourself, it might help a little too.

    • Diana Barry :

      You are lucky!!! Please try not to worry and to enjoy it.

      My doctors said to me when I first got pregnant, an extremely high percentage of miscarriages are due to chromosomal abnormalities and there is absolutely nothing you can do about them. I found that comforting bc it meant that there was really nothing I could do or not do that would cause a miscarriage or stop one (as long as I wasn’t being crazy and binge drinking or whatever), and that I should just put the worry aside as much as I could.

      B**bs getting bigger is definitely a sign. Enjoy!!! :)

    • I think it’s perfectly reasonable to go to your doctor for an exam if you are concerned. Even if nothing is wrong, having that confirmed will alleviate your stress (and stress probably isn’t good for the baby). You could also take a home pregnancy test.

      I also think you’re fine – not everyone experiences pregnancy the same way.

      • I would actually NOT recommend taking a HPT – it will still show up positive even if something has gone wrong. This is because the “pregnancy hormone” it tests for does not immediately disappear from your body if something’s gone wrong.

        That being said, I agree with the others that you probably have nothing to worry about. I have a few friends who had easy pregnancies with minimal to no symptoms!

    • It appears you are gaining an appreciation for the women who appear on the show “I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant.”


    • Aren’t there other forums for questions like this?

      • Anonymous Poser :

        Maybe so, but if someone has participated in the community here for a while, I can understand why they’d ask, here. And a factual, strictly medical reply is not always the most reassuring thing…

      • I find it strange that people post all sorts of threadjacks about going to Vegas, using Clarisonic, or honeymoon destinations and no one says anything about posting on another forums but boom – the minute someone talks about pregnancy, this question is inevitably asked.

    • This is the OP. Thanks for the reassurance, just what I needed to hear.

      • For what it’s worth, I’m just over 11 weeks. While my mother would tell you I am being neurotic, I bought a Sonoline B Fetal heart rate monitor and can listen to the baby’s heartbeat whenever I want. Best $50 I’ve spent recently (especially on Ebay). You’re right about at the point where you’d be able to start picking it up.

    • I’m just echoing what others have said, but chiming in to agree, I guess! I’m 10 weeks pregnant with my first, although I had a miscarriage last year. Although I have the extreme tiredness and all day nausea, I can totally relate to the worries about symptoms in the first trimester, especially the first time around. Every time I *don’t* feel bad, I start to worry that something is going wrong, and I have to reign myself in.

      It’s reassuring to hear everyone’s input… and it’s consistent with what my doctor has told me… as long as you’re not snorting coke or something, you can’t do much to cause or prevent a miscarriage at this point, so the best thing to do is stay as calm as possible! Especially as there are a whole range of opposing symptoms that are “normal” – spotting, not spotting, nausea, no nausea, etc.

      Seems like there are a few of us in the first trimester, at least from what I’ve gleaned (mostly) lurking on the boards, and it’s interesting to hear about all our different experiences!

    • A couple thoughts ….

      First, there is no one set of symptoms for pregnancy. There’s a list of common stuff, but each woman gets some, all or none of those “symptoms” in each pregnancy. And each pregnancy can be wildly different for the same woman. E.g., I had no morning sickness with #1. Zip, zero, zilch. With #2, I had mild queasiness.

      Second, absence of symptoms does not mean a miscarriage. Usually, it’s a bit concerning if you had a particular symptom and it disappears overnight. E.g., morning sickness vanishes. This, IMO, does not apply to some of the “squishier” symptoms which are so much harder to gauge. Please do not commence freaking out if your br*sts hurt yesterday but not today. :-)

      Third, I REALLY want to emphasize what a prior poster said re your anxiety levels. They seem really, really high based on the posts here so far. You might miscarry. It’s possible and it’s really sad. Been there, done that … several times through painful infertility, once on a suprise pregnancy between #1 and #2. But there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening, so worrying about it is not going to help. If you fret this much now, trust me, later pregnancy, L&D, having a newborn, infant, etc is going to also be stressful. Talk to your doctor about it. Think about what’s driving it. Do you generally have high anxiety levels? If not, what is triggering it now? How are you going to handle it?

      • Hi there, this is the OP. Thanks for your thoughts. I must be coming across that way, but I’m seriously not overly anxious about this. In fact, I was barely thinking about my pregnancy this last month because I was so consumed with the bar exam. So don’t worry, I am overall fine (and normally a very laidback, stress free person). :)

    • My second pregnancy miscarried without my knowing it–went to the doc about the bleeding and was shocked when he said there was no heartbeat. How can I tell you this when you’re preggo? Because I felt worse the last couple days before I found out. Pregnancy is hard on your body, but it seemed to me that having a non-growing bud in there was way harder to deal with.

      And my first pregnancy? I didn’t even know until I had missed 3 periods. Besides sleeping a bit more than usual, I didn’t notice anything.

      My point is, the way you feel is not a valid indicator of whether or not you are pregnant.

  8. a passion for fashion :

    I like this, and am ok with the sheer look when worn right. I just bought a beautiful dress from anthro thats navy w/ white polka dots — and the top is sheer. (it also came in cream w/ navy.) I paired it with a nude or navy cami and a red or yellow belted cardigan open over the top and it looks great for work.

    • a passion for fashion :

      heres the dress:

      • beautiful.

      • Agree with Ellie! That’s gorgeous.

      • That is really cute. I think I would wear it with a navy tissue turtleneck and brightly colored belt, like green croc or yellow patent.

        • a passion for fashion :

          ohh — i like that suggestion.

          I was also quite surprised how good it looks given its sheerness and still remains work appropriate. I’m not sure I would do it without the cardi or blazer over the top, but with that addition, it really works.

  9. so anonymous :

    PSA. If you eat yogurt at your desk, please refrain from scraping every last bit of yogurt from the container as if you are trying to slaughter it. The noise can be extremely grating to co-workers, especially when you enjoy yogurt

    • AnonInfinity :

      Corporette flashback — I feel like there was someone on a food thread a long time ago who eats yogurt with a baby spoon because a previous office mate complained to her about this noise.

      Did I make this up?

      • so anonymous :

        not sure, I’m new here myself :) Just had to vent because I don’t have the cojones to say anything to the person. The baby spoon would make sense because it is thicker plastic – I think the issue is the cheap plastic spoon against the cheap plastic container.

        • As I was reading this *exact* post, I was furiously scraping my yogurt container to get the last bits of fruity, yogurt-y goodness. Ooops. I have my own office, though, so suck it! ;)

          • Geezerette :

            Same here! I wonder if my colleagues are secretly gritting their teeth?? I do have my own office, so I hope not!

    • Swap out oatmeal in a clangy mug, and you have my former office nemisis. She was also fond of the afternoon crunching of hard nuggets of cereal. And every time she took a drink of water, there would be a sighing “Ahhh” sound afterward. Slow torture.

      • Salit-a-gator :

        *Gulp* Ahhhhhhh. Just kidding. That’s super annoying – sorry you have to deal with that s!

      • Eek, I’m having flashbacks! My former officemate ate plain (as in without milk) Grape Nuts. Every afternoon. And sometimes all night. Loved her, but couldn’t stand the chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp.

      • One of my male colleagues slurps his tea loudly in meetings. Drives me nuts. I won’t eat in our staff lounge anymore because I cannot stand to eat with someone who constantly makes noises as he eats. Then again, I do scrape my yogurt cup with the spoon, so maybe it’s a good thing I eat in my office!

      • Uh-oh! I am totally guilty of office chomping (dry Kashi cereal, carrots).

        If I may add to the list of annoying noises, I’ll offer the administrative assistant who sits a few cubes away. Not only does she have Fran Drescher’s voice, but she also tends to put her phone on speaker when she gets put on hold – so the entire department gets treated to the Muzak. Rude!

  10. Co-Workers with Kids? :

    Sorry for the long threadjack –

    I have something on my mind I’ve been meaning to ask you ladies. How do you deal with picking up slack (or perceived slack) from co-workers with kids? I work on a small team within a larger practice group where everyone is married with kids. I’m in a non-legal field but we work for demanding clients with tight deadlines/billable hours I often find myself in the position of staying late to finish projects whereas my immediate colleague who has a small child leaves everyday at 5 in order to get to daycare or, alternatively, is able to work from home some days if the child is sick. It seems like (at least to me) management is sending the message that because I am single with no kids it’s okay for me to work late or pick up any slack if my co-worker can’t get to it. [To further complicate matters I asked to telecommute one day out of the week and my request was denied which is a whole ‘nother story]. Management is very much about “face time” here although I think they struggle with saying that they are “family friendly” at the same time. There are very few women in senior positions here and I really like my co-worker/hate to begrudge a fellow-woman but how do you all deal with feelings of resentment or anger over this issue? I feel really bad even admitting this but it’s starting to bother me. Any advice or anecdotes would be welcome! TIA!

    • Seattleite :

      My answer is going to depend on your answer to this question: How are you at boundary-setting and saying no in general?

      • Co-Workers with Kids? :

        Sadly, I am horrible with setting boundaries but getting better. We have blackberries so there’s always that “electronic tether” to the office but I’ve gotten much better about only checking once over the weekend and once in the morning if that. Small steps!

        • Oh, well then. There’s your issue. Learn to set boundaries and stop worrying about the co-worker (who has absolutely iron-clad time/space boundaries set in place by her kids’ childcare provider, even if she works her ass off at night)

    • I don’t have any advice, but I empathize – I’d find your situation very frustrating.

      Sadly (or maybe fortunately for me, as I am single), I work for a firm where having a family doesn’t seem to affect your hours or your time spent in the office.

    • Do you plan to stay in this position long-term? If so, I guess I’d try to think of it as fair play — hopefully when you have kids or an illness or something else, there will be people there to pick up the slack for you. I know that for me, with a chronic illness, when I’m healthy I always try to pick up as much slack as possible because I may need the favor returned in the future.

      BUT, I do think its crazy that they have such varying rules about face-time and the like. That seems unfair — maybe you could try to negotiate that with your boss?

      • I’m not picking on you (really!), but this argument always drives me batty. What if I happen to be a perfectly healthy childless individual? That means you get screwed because of others life choices (kids, not illness here). A company either respects all its employees personal time, modifies face time needs to people can work from home after hours, etc, or they don’t.

        • Well, then what happens when you get hit by a bus? Or break an ankle? Or just really need a break?

          While I agree that it sucks when its a permanent, seemingly never ending imbalance in work — I do think we all need to be prepared for the possibility that we’re going to need the same service in the future. And if you’re really so upset about it, ask to be paid more. Or look for another job.

          But if we can’t have jobs that are flexible around people’s lives outside of work — well that’s not a world I want to live in. Maybe you do.

          • I think we’re making somewhat the same point – I’m clearly just not getting it out right. What I mean is every employee should have some flexibility. If you break an ankle, need a break, or just like to eat dinner at home at a reasonable hour. Often times, those things seem to be afforded ONLY to people with kids. If you’re childless, you’re out of luck, and I don’t think that’s fair.

          • Well then, we agree. YAY! :-)

    • I don’t know if this is a legit way of looking at things, but the way I address this for myself when work gets crazy is that I tell myself that now is the time that I am able to put in those extra hours, pick up the slack, and really show my talent, dedication, and work ethic. In a couple years, when hopefully I’ll be having kids, I’m not going to be able to work those late hours as much, but in a sense, the 9-5 commitment (as opposed to the longer 8-7 days — not in law, so hours here are not as crazy) will have been earned by my extra effort now. This especially came up in a temporary situation this year when a close co-worker of mine was going through a difficult separation (with custody issues etc) and since we work on most of the same files, I did pick up a lot of the slack specifically for him. (He did acknowledge that I was doing this and thanked me.)

      At the same time though, if you really feel that there is an imbalance and this is sort of a permanent problem to the point where you are doing other people’s work, or your time-off/flextime requests are denied for no apparent reason because you’re not a parent, then it’s something that should for sure be addressed. I agree with Seattleite that you might want to assess your boundary-setting. A chat with your manager or someone you trust would probably be a good idea too. Good managers want to know if you’re overburdened (but be careful how you speak to it.. I would maybe suggest focusing on you, your workload, your scheduling, w/o talking about anyone else’s workload or schedule).

    • I agree with anon, above. I’ve worked with a job in the past where I thought that this was a big issue. But, on the flip side, I, by doing more work, got bigger raises and moved up more.

      It might be wise, when it comes to review time, to talk to your employer about this (carefully!) – you need to point out that your acheivments are greater without blaming others for not acheiving as much. If your employer indicates that this is noticed and compensated (in the form of raises, promos, whatever), then, great, you win. Of course, if you’re in some sort of lockstep raise/promotion thing and the extra work doesn’t make a difference, then I would completely agree that your company has a major problem.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I dont know if this is true in your case, but often when a parent leaves at 5 or 6, they are back on line and working hard from home after 8 or so when the kids are in bed. I know this is true for both me and my husband (we have 2 kids) and many of my co-workers. we usually leave the office at 5:30 or so, even when we are very busy, but then work another 2-4+ hours at home after the kids are asleep. In fact, my husband is often up until 1 or 2 am when things get really busy.

      So, my point is that maybe you are not really picking up the slack if they are getting their work done too. BUT, if you actually are picking up the slack, then your issue is really less with the fact that they have kids and more with the fact that they are not getting their work done — regardless of the reason. And that is probably something that can be addressed — just use caution and phrase it w/o regard to the kid factor.

      One final thing to consider is whether they have reduced schedules/are getting paid less etc. I dont know their situation, but it could be one where they actually have less work becasue they have worked out something for less money etc.

      • was going to make this point as well: are you 100% sure you are picking up the slack? i am pregnant but have been maintaining 12-14 hr days, just not always on same in-person way or times that others do. i have a colleague who i can tell thinks i am slacking, when in reality, i have higher level priority projects that trump his lesser projects he wants help on- he just doesn’t get it and frankly looks naive. but he dinged me in front of everyone last week- annoying.
        not saying this is same in your case at ALL- just saying to keep in mind that you may not know 100% of what they are doing.

    • Also childless :

      I empathize, although most of my coworkers with children are men. I come in before them, often leave after them, get paid less, and because they do higher profile work, it’s like what I do is not noticed. Even if someone tries to point out to management that I am doing much more than anyone else, it doesn’t matter because it is not a big case or project. Frustrating.

      • Men get extra points for being parents, whereas women get them subtracted.

    • SO with you on this. The explanations I always hear from working parents are “oh, but I’m back online after dinner with family.” To which I respond (in my mind) “Riiiight….so why are your billables 40-80 hours less than mine on a monthly basis, even though our salaries are the same??”

      This is the only reason I am actually thankful for working on a billable hour model. I can verify that I am not crazy – I really AM being expected to routinely work far harder than my married colleagues.

      • childless too :

        I know it really varies by your own place of work, but I used to feel the same way. I was always the one who had to travel and stay late. Still do frequently but have also been rewarded withadvancement and considerable work flexibility now (I’m on a prearranged work from home schedule that rotates). So what I’m saying is, keep your eye on the long term. I’ve advanced through the years while others haven’t. Sometimes it just takes a long time to get recognized. What really irks me though is a former coworker who used to take off all.the.time and leave projects high and dry. She is in a different gig now working part-time and always talks about how lucky I am to have gotten to where I am in management and have work-from-home days. I don’t tell her how “lucky” she is to have a day off –not working by choice–while they’re all in school now. Wtf? You work ridiculous hours constantly, then you shouldn’t be begrudged for when it finally pays off. She tells me constantly how annoying it is because I don’t even “have to work from home.” I’m actually working those days–if I were performing child care during those hours, then that isn’t truly working. Work is work, after all.

      • a passion for fashion :

        thats unfortunate that your situation is like that, but I can say from experience that most of my colleagues who are married and/or have children (including myself) do actually work at night or early in the morning, or both, from home. And our billable hours are not less than our unmarried or childless counterparts. I’m sure there are people who are slackers or who game the system, but that is true regardless of one’s marital status.

    • I was you when I was single. Then I had little people who needed me. So I learned to say no and ask for things I NEVER would have asked for before (like telecommuting). I generally leave at 5:30 (not big law) but stay late when I need to… but I’m back on the computer finishing up or answering emails at around 9 am. So I suppose what I’m saying is maybe say no a bit more?

    • I’m certainly sympathetic, but I often look back at my pre-kid self and want to tell her to set better boundaries. As soon as I had a kid and had to leave work at 5:30 once a week, I realized the world wasn’t going to come to an end if I said I couldn’t do a call during a window from 5:30-8:30. In fact, I very, very rarely had to even give the reason for having to schedule outside that window. All those years of working (at least the last few years pre-kids when I had some seniority) I could have taken a weekly class or had a standing weekly dinner date with my husband or any number of things I told myself I couldn’t do because my schedule was too unpredictable. If you’re unhappy with the situation, do what you can to take control of it and try not to blame others for setting better limits.

    • Find other ways for the co-worker to pick up slack that don’t involve being in the office at particular times. Before you do that though, you might want to make sure you know everything that said coworker is doing–might be that there’s more going on than you know about, and asking for parity when it already exists–or when co-worker’s work is above yours–would just be egg on your face.

  11. Pretty blouse, but so tired of this sheer trend!
    Busty gals – anyone find any nice staple wardrobe tops lately? I feel like my go-to’s have changed cut and I’m wearing cardigans and layering everyday, which is getting so.old.

    • I just bought this at Old Navy in the brown/black print. It’s very pretty on. I’m a brunette and the color combo looks really pretty with my coloring, and it’s surprisingly versatile with my work staples.

      • I should add that the material, though polyester, has a very nice feel to it.

        • AIMS, how is the length? Would it work for taller folks or would it have to be tucked in?

          • I’m about 5’3 and the small came up to about hip length for me. I don’t think it looks great untucked or at least it didn’t on me. But it looks really great tucked into dress pants or a pencil skirt.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’ve been wearing tippi sweaters and merin0 v-necks from j.crew – i like the fit and it’s one of the few crewnecks that’s flattering to me. the v-neck is the same material as the tippi, but has full-length sleeves and is slightly longer. it’s online only.

      i’ll be stalking this post looking for other responses.

  12. I know it’s early to hijack, but this is taking up mental space for me:

    I moved from urban to rural, and I’m having a hard time figuring out whether my pay expectations are unrealistic. Before I moved, I was a 3rd year associate doing about half/half litigation/transactional work at a small firm. I felt I was a little underpaid, at about $60k plus full benefits, but I liked my co-workers even if I hated the billable hour.

    Now I’ve started working at a smaller office in ruraltown doing all wills and estates. It’s highly specialized, and completely new to me, so my usefulness right now ranks somewhere below paralegal. There are no billable hours (oh, the bliss!), low-stress environment, and I enjoy the work. But I’m struggling with the pay. Am I crazy to want or expect more than $35k with no benefits right now? I don’t mind for the time being (I don’t need benefits, and it’s not really about the money), but I worry that I’m selling my career short and that the number means I’m not being taken seriously as a lawyer. Do any of you know what a new rural wills & estates lawyer should be making? Am I being unreasonable to want to make what I was making before? Have any of you worked with a sole practitioner before? What’s the compensation dynamic?

    • I have no idea, but that seems really, really low for a 3rd year lawyer.

    • I think 35K with no benefits is pretty paltry, even starting out, but what is the big picture at this job? Are you going to get a raise when you begin to be more self-sufficient/ get to eat what you kill at some point/ take over the practice eventually? I know you are looking at your pay rate as a reflection on how you are perceived, but it’s important to remember that a rural solo practitioner might just not have that much to pay someone who isn’t pulling his or her own weight yet.

      • Yeah, that’s my thought. I totally understand that a small outfit doesn’t have room in the budget for what comes down to funding apprenticeships. I’m willing to grow into a more substantial compensation package, I just want to be sure that’s a possibility. I’m thinking about accepting the pay, but asking for professional expenses (I need to get licensed in another state since we’re near a border, and CLEs are expensive!), and making it clear that after I get good at this, I’ll be hoping for better pay (and I’ll be willing to look elsewhere for it). I don’t think I can find a better place to work, environment-wise, and I have a toddler and a baby on the way, so work/life balance is a big factor at this point in life–bigger than salary and ego, I’m afraid.

      • Diana Barry :

        Agreed. How big is the town? I am remembering lawyers in Maine (not Portland, but other cities/towns) starting out at about 40K (for a first year), and that was ten years ago.

    • How rural are you? I am from a town of around 8,000 (closest city 3 hours away) and I’m sure my aunt who was a lawyer there was paid more than that. She worked with two other lawyers. Before you get too stressed about it, I’d compare to other professionals in the area – sounds like you are working with just one other lawyer – do you know what he/she makes? Other lawyers in the area you could confide in? Talking to other people about salary info. can be tricky, but if you can get some data you’ll be able to go in better prepared to ask for more if it turns out you are being shortchanged.

    • I’m from a small-city area in a really low cost of living part of the country, so the prices of various things (like rent) and the salaries of my fellow “rettes is often a little shocking to me. (So you have some context.) That said, yeah, I think that you’re really underpaid. What I’m seeing amoung my former classmates (class of ’09) is that a lot of small firms were starting out in the 45-55K with bonus range, but I’ve not heard of any going as low as 35K (I’m talking about for starting out, not 3rd year.)

      I realize that your job choices may be very limited, particularly if you’re in a rural area, but I do think that you’re running the risk of selling yourself short here. I might at least suggest that you ask about setting some plan which would allow you to moving into more responsibility (or taking on/bringing in more clients) and a higher salary over the next several months.

    • Is that all you make, or do you also get a cut of any cases you bring in or judgments you win? (Although there may not be many judgments in wills and estates.) I don’t think it’s unusual for a small-practice attorney to get a low base salary but get a percentage of new business and favorable judgments.

      I grew up in a very small town, and although I don’t have a lawyer in my family other than myself (and I don’t practice there), I can tell you that 35K would be considered a decent salary akin to what teachers and nurses make. I’d expect lawyers to make a bit more, but then again, the firm owner just might not be able to afford to pay you any more. There are only a few lawyers in my town but as I recall they are all either solos or named partners, except for a few working in the more lucrative field of natural resources law (lots of oil and gas where I’m from). My parents own property and a small business and have a lawyer, who charges them about $125/hr. There’s not a lot of room for paying an associate at those rates.

      • Oh, and by very small I mean under 500 people. My parents have lived and retained counsel in two similar towns, both in the western US.

    • Agree – that seems quite low!

    • How rural you are is a big factor. I am a third year who practices in a small city (40,000) for $62,000 + benefits, and I also bill ~1800 hours a year. I live outside of the city and the cost of living is so much lower here than in major metropolitan areas, it’s incredible. We have plenty of work and I can get home by 6PM most days. The closest rural town, about 40 minutes away, has 2300 people and legally things are much different there, in the following way:

      (1) there are no billable hours.
      (2) 35K is a perfectly reasonable as a starting salary. Everyone I know started with a very low initial salary, and then went up as they performed and wanted to. Specifically, everyone I am friends with has had their package change for the better at least annually, if not more often.
      (3) Once you don’t need money, the quality of life you live is so much more important.

      So no, I don’t think you’re selling yourself out at all. There’s a real disconnect between salaries, lifestyles, and cost-of-living between rural and urban lawyers, especially in big cities.

      • anonymous :

        Also, did you read that post below RE partner wants associate to be in after 11PM? There was a time in my life that I could pull that off, but right now, I wouldn’t do it for another $100,000 a year. Life changes.

    • I’m a first year in a small/rural area about 2ish hours from the close suburbs of a major city.

      While that does seem low to me, I’d ask a few follow-up questions: Where are you, geographically? What is the cost of living like? My rural town is significantly cheaper than the nearest major city, but is still more expensive than a rural town in the Midwest (because I am in the mid-Atlantic seaboard). Consequently, I make more per year than I would have if I had gotten a job in the Midwest, but am not making quite what I would be if I were at a comparable firm in a major metro. My firm is “small” at 16 attorneys, but is quite large for the area, so I also make more than a new associate with a solo or 2-3 attorney firm would make.

      I think the other comments about viewing this as an apprenticeship are good, provided that it appears that there will be upward growth. I don’t think that, at least in my rural area, the salary you’re making is necessarily tied to the value you’re given as an attorney like it was in the city where I went to law school.

  13. Seattleite :

    G.C.B. – I just watched the pilot of G.C.B., which looks promising because hey, Annie Potts and Kristin Chenoweth. I’m amused, appalled, and oddly intrigued by the clothes (Gigi is gonna give Lemon a run for her money). I default to demin and fleece on the weekends, but now I want to swan around the house in a jersey dress cut to here, with pearls the size of quail eggs. And say things like “crazier than an outhouse rat.”

    Anyone else watch it?

    • AnonInfinity :

      I meant to watch! Drat.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Annie Potts?! And Kristin Chenoweth?! I don’t know what this show is but now I really need to find it on Hulu.

    • canadian anon :

      It is absolutely on my list to watch! Kristen Chenoweth and nutty Southern drama and clothes? Um, yes please.

    • What is G.C.B and what channel is it on? I have never heard of it.

      • ABC “Good Christian B*tches” Sundays after Desperate Housewives

        I haven’t seen it, I just spend way too much time reading tv blogs.

        • oh, thank you thank you – I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what GCB stood for after watching the pilot. Which was decent in a evening-soap-opera sort of way.

          • Seattleite :

            Actually, ABC changed the name – it really is “G.C.B.” Apparently “B*tches” was a little too out there for them.

            I had a hard time finding it on hulu when I searched, but it’s there, I promise.

    • I watched it Sunday night and loved it! My bf even liked it, probably b/c of the low cut shirts and hot laides :) I am a huge fan of desperate housewives and I am hopeing GCB will my new Sunday night show once DH is over this spring.

    • I’m using GCB as my substitute for GG, HoD, Revenge and Glee during the month of March. Unfortunately, I’m not getting my usual clothes envy from this show. The only item I loved were the cargo pants she was wearing when she moved to Dallas.

      But it is over-the-top and amusing. And after watching it I was craving kolaches, too.

    • “crazier than an outhouse rat”?

      I’m in.

    • I really meant to watch it, hopefully will Hulu soon, I love Kristin Chenoweth and although this sounds a bit like desperate housewives (which I refused to let myself get sucked into!) I’m very curious. Did you really like it or just promising?

      • Seattleite :

        I really liked it. It’s not in my top 5, but depending on Potts and Chenoweth, it could well get there.

  14. Threadjack: Have any attorneys made the switch into management consulting? At what point in your career did you do this, and did they appreciate your work experience, or did you start from scratch? Did they hire you at an unusual time, or did you have to apply when they were hiring from business schools? Any other advice/warnings welcome :)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Backgrounder :

      Not in the exact same situation but sort of similar. I’m not an attorney but I made the switch from a legal/govt position to financial/litigation consulting (not management). At the time I had work experience and a graduate degree but I had “start from scratch” essentially at an entry-level Consultant position. Despite trying to negotiate they were very adamant about having direct experience and wouldn’t bring me in at a higher level. I work for a medium sized firm in a niche area so this may not be the case at your typical Bain, McKinsey and Boston Consulting Group type firms. YMMV!

    • Did it half a year ago and am a much happier person! I practiced law for two years before the big switch.

      It was really hard to make the case for myself and was made harder by the fact that I interviewed “off-cycle”. I was told it would be much easier to interview when they did B-school recuriting.

      I think how hard it is to make your case really depends on whether you have any sort of a quant or management background prior to law school.

      If you leave your email, I’m happy to talk in detail offline.

      Good luck!

      • This is my situation exactly, and I would be very interested in hearing a bit more about your experience offline. Thanks! My email is [email protected]

        I have been practicing corporate law for about a year and a half, and I do not see the exit opportunities (great as they can be) becoming more interesting to me, but management consulting seems like it might be a much better fit. I did not work prior to law school, but I did have quant majors in college and take a number of business-like classes in law school. Anyway, thank you again – I look forward to talking to you a bit more.

  15. I am reposting this from an earlier thread..
    I wrote on a previous thread how I thought I might have depression. Thanks to all of you I contatced a psychiatrist and she says my symptoms could be Adult ADD, depression, anxiety, or a combination. I am interested in getting tested for ADD since I do have a lot of the symptoms and I know it runs in my family. The doctor I am working with has a lot of experience testing for this and she would be willing to work with me if I am diagnosed. I was told it will cost somewhere between $800-$1500 out of pocket.

    That is a lot of money for me and I am trying to decide if the benefit outweighs the cost. Has anyone been tested for ADD and taken medication or had other treatment? Did it make a huge difference?

    • Anon for This :

      How did you decide who to contact? I have a feeling I’m in the same boat as you, but I don’t have a PC doctor (I know, I know) and I just don’t know where to start.

      • Someone suggested I start with the CHADD website. I found a woman nearby and gave her a call. I looked up some of the major psychiatric boards and organizations and looked for members in my region. I also found DRs through my insurance company’s website. A university nearby has a well-regarded clinical psych dept so I went to their website and found DRs affiliated with their program as faculty. Took a few hours of digging but it is worth it!

        My understanding that that *some* PC doctors will write scripts for depression or anxiety but not ADD. Either way I decided I would rather be under the care of a DR that specializes in mental health so she can accurately diagnose me. So I just skipped the PC route all together, which I am able to do because I have PPO insurance. When I called DRs offices their assistants were very helpful and knowledgable about the process and helped me figure all this out!

    • Here’s the thing about mental health-it costs a LOT, but it’s your mental health! Think about how much simpler your life could be if you spent $1500 and found out you have Adult ADD and therefore were able to learn how to deal with that and/or take medication to help combat it? I do not have Adult ADD but my sister and a brother in law both have it and I do think the treatment makes a difference.

      It took me a long time to be okay with spending money on therapy/drugs for anxiety but the reality is, that money is SO worth it. I just feel so much better and have learned so much about how to stave off the bad feelings. There are still bad days/periods but in general, things are MUCH MUCH simpler as a result of the money I’ve spent to diagnose the problem and then treat it.

    • I see a psychiatrist. When I started, she suggested counseling and some other tests. I flat out told her that I could not afford to do this with her, because she is out of network and it costs me a lot out of pocket to see her (my regular medication checkups are affordable but any sort of evaluation or regular counseling gets too expensive for me). She completely understood and gave me a list of sliding scale clinics that she recommends, and which will share the test results with her with my consent so she can prescribe the appropriate recommendation. I suggest you discuss your financial concerns with the doctor – she should be able to help you find an affordable solution.

    • May I ask what symptoms you have? I also wonder if I am borderline depressed, anxious, or maybe have adult ADD (can you have adult ADD if you had no childhood symptoms?) but feel like I don’t really know where to start!

      • I have experienced this off and on and I had a major life changing event 2 years ago which triggered the same symptoms: constant fatigue, lack of appetite, constant anxiety, crying all. the. time., cutting off contact with my friends/family, difficulty concentrating, history of starting projects and not finishing…

        I think webmd had some good info on it. I did read in a few places that depression, anxiety disorder, and ADD can have similar symptoms.

        • Thanks. It’s hard to sort it all out.

        • There is definitely overlap in the symptoms of these conditions – or you may have more than one issue going on. I strongly encourage you to continue working with a mental health professional to determine your exact diagnosis – so that you can get started on an appropriate treatment plan.
          I totally agree with previous posters regarding the importance of good mental health – in spite of the (frustrating!) costs.
          Good luck!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My ADD was diagnosed after my primary referred me a mental health NP who worked w/ a psychiatrist. He had me fill out questionnaires and just asked me a bunch of questions. I don’t really think I was “tested” per se and my insurance covered all of it.

      • Wow you must have great insurance! I have BCBS and they told me that no out patient mental health is covered until I meet my deductible – which is pretty high.

        May I ask if you thought going through the exercise was worthwhile? Did you seek treatment and did it make a noticeable difference?

  16. White lies :

    I was placed in a bit of an awkward situation yesterday and found out that my supervisor told some white lies to our department head about my performance in order to help me get promoted. These were not lies I created, and I am not sure what to do if my department head approaches me about it. I always keep my department head in the loop, so I am sure he is really perplexed right now. Any advice?

    • PharmaGirl :

      This happened to me on the announcement of my last promotion. My manager wrote the announcement and there were items in the memo that I did not do, nor did I ever say I did. Since I had nothing to do with the memo (and was thankfully on maternity leave when it was released), I just let it go.

      Did you know about the white lies and were you there when these things were said? You should probably ask your manager about what s/he is saying so you can be prepared.

    • Did the lies get exposed? If not, I wouldn’t say anything. If so, and he asks you about it, I would just say something like “wait, that’s not true. Where did you hear that?” and don’t let on that you know your supervisor made it up. I definitely wouldn’t perpetuate the lie; they’re unlikely to take away your promotion because your supervisor fudge things, but they could definitely fire you if you lie.

      If the department head has already asked you about it, I’d speak to your supervisor and let him know that the department head seems to have received misinformation and ask him/her how you should proceed.

      • White lies :

        It is something very easily verified. I did speak to his assistant about it and told her I was surprised because I had no idea how/where my supervisor would get that idea. Hopefully that will smooth things over. I really don’t think he wants to give me a promotion regardless, but I just don’t like thinking that my integrity is in question.

    • I wouldn’t worry unless it could come back to bite you. Think of it as sales puffery.

  17. I am dressed like Brad Goreski (evil female twin) today.

    Bright clover green JCrew capris, striped white-and-navy cardi from Target, cobalt blue jewelled flats from Jessica Simpson, pop of bright red lipstick.

    That is all.

  18. Spring cleaning :

    Yesterday’s discussion on spokeo got me thinking – I really need to do some comprehensive “internet spring cleaning.” Removing my info from information harvesting sites (there must be others out there), organizing my Gmail folders to corral the tempting shopping emails into one place, etc.

    Any recommendations on items to add to my to-do list? Sites from which we can remove personal info? Other privacy concerns? General online organization tips?

    p.s. thanks to Homestar for posting the FTC complaint link. I had removed all of my information from spokeo a few years ago, and sure enough, it had found its way back on the site. I removed it again and filed a complaint with the FTC.

  19. :

    Hi ladies! If anyone has some time to kill, I’m on the hunt for a law school graduation dress. I am 24, 5’7, 150 lbs and usually a size 10. I saw one at the Boden website- the silk petal dress. Looking for something I can wear more than once and under $300.00. Also preferrably something that is more “midi”- hits below the knee.

    On a side note- is a dress even appropriate for my law school graduation ceremony or should I be wearing a suit?

    • You’re going to be wearing a doctoral robe that covers you down to at least your shins and probably to your ankles, so wear whatever you like underneath. I think a dress is a good idea because it can get hot under the robe. I definitely wouldn’t wear a suit.

    • My thought is that anywhere a suit is appropriate a dress is too. Given it is the right style dress. I think a more conservative dress that you would wear to the office or business networking event would be perfect. Then you could wear it again once to start working too.

      • D. Ct. Clerk :

        Except federal court! I hate it when female attorneys show up to court in dresses (and around here, that usually means cheap/strange dresses).

    • Boden has 25% off today only on select items. I finally bought the Rainyday Mac I’ve been eyeing for about a year now. Down to $133.50 plus shipping, which is the lowest I’ve seen it when all colors and sizes are actually available.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Piggybacking off of this: is this dress (http://bit [dot] ly/yhlW5c) appropriate if it is completly covered by by gown?

      • Yes, but dear Lord, I hope it looks better on you than it does on the model.

    • I would wear something you feel comfortable in. I’m from the south, and our graduations are outside, so I always suggest something that you aren’t going to die in. I really like the dresses from eshakti dot com. They have a bunch of great patterns and you can customize the skirt and arm lengths to suit your needs. It would be something that you can dress up or down later.

    • A dress is appropriate and what most people will be wearing. I recommend something silk or very light cotton because it gets hot in those robes, especially in late may or june. I wore a silk, sheath dress from Ann Taylor with a floral pattern.

      Something like this might be pretty:

      • This. If you are in a place where May will be hot, think about the breathability of your dress and what it will look like if you sweat. Those black robes are ovens!

    • I don’t even recall what I wore under my graduation robe. I recommend not springing for anything fancy schmancy unless you have big plans for after the ceremony. I do recommend getting a fabulous pair of shoes though. (I bought a pair in a school color and was sort of tickled with myself all day for how cute it looked with my graduation regalia.) :)

    • :

      Yay or nay? Wondering if this may be too formal…

      If I’m a size 10 at the Limited, should I size up to a 12 at Boden or size down, or same?

      • (Sorry if this posts twice, darn moderation, and c*cktail).

        That’s really cute and should totally work! You’ll probably see the full range from casual sun dresses to formal cocktail attire, so you should hit the nice sweet spot in the middle.
        I’ve found Boden to run true to size, but others might disagree.

      • I love that silk petal dress. It looks like something that would be appropriate for that occasion and many others (you’d wear it again). As for sizing, I don’t know the Limited’s sizing, but I find Boden to run smaller than US stores. Especially through the bust and hips, so if those areas are prominenent for you, I’d go for the 12.

      • Pretty! That would probably be fine if you didn’t think you would be too hot in it. Or you could wear it to whatever graduation celebration you may be participating in and wear something else to the ceremony. I wore a jersey dress that I had owned for quite awhile to my LS graduation because it was really unpleasantly hot that day and I concluded it was the most lightweight thing in my closet.

      • SoCal Gator :

        I love Boden dresses and have been eying that one. I have bought a few others, including the Floaty Jersey Dress in the royal blue flowerburst print (gorgous!).

        I find Boden dresses run just a wee bit smaller in the bodice than US brands so while I usually wear a 4, I buy Boden dresses in a 6 (USA sizing) and they fit perfectly.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i wore a black jersey dress under my robe for graduation. it was unseasonably warm for early may (i think the 80’s) and graduation was held in an outdoor venue. everyone was a bit gross and sweaty. i would not recommend silk, only because i’d be concerned about sweat stains.

      • Beach Bar :

        This is exactly what I was going to say. I had planned on a silk dress for mine last year but didn’t want to ruin it because the gown “instructions” said it could bleed onto silk if you sweated. It was 80 and muggy as all get out on our graduation day. Besides, no one saw my dress because I had my gown on all day. Instead, I wore the pretty silk dress for the speaker and reception festivities the day before graduation.

      • I also wore a black jersey dress. I had heard that sometimes the dye from the gown can run if it gets wet, so I didn’t want to risk a light-colored dress getting ruined if that happened.

    • From a recent graduate: DO NOT WEAR A SUIT. Doctoral robes will cover you (at my school, at least) to your knee. Mine were made of polyester/velvet, and it was almost unbearably hot.

      I wore a silk blend sheath dress to mine, and dressed it up with a nice necklace and heels. Though if your graduation is outdoors, I would recommend flats (and sunscreen!).

    • Agree with everyone else, no suit. I would be cautious about a dress as well. Maybe it’s just me and my body type but I wore a skirt/blouse with cute comfortable wedges and I look like I’m naked under the robe. A friend of mine wore contrasting color slacks (and I think a tank top) and she looked super cute and wasn’t any warmer than the rest of us. I hate my pictures, she had hers framed and are on her wall.

      My 2c!

    • ok — late here. But, what shoes will you wear? Graduations are pretty *yawn* but I love watching the shoes as the graduates collect their degree. Good luck!

      • Yes – speaking as a soon-to-be grad (!!), I went to graduation last year and there were definitely plenty of 3-4″ heels that people were not used to walking in. Teetering up stairs and across the stage = not great.

    • At my law school graduation, most of the girls wore super cute dresses under their robes. Go for it. I think I wore one from White House Black Market.

  20. I want the shorts but can’t find them on the website – anyone found them?

    • I looked for you but couldn’t find them either. Maybe check back in a couple days, they seem to add new stuff all the time.

      No one loves Madewell more than I do. I would go down defending the brand against its detractors- but this, this leaves me speechless:

    • Always a NYer :

      These look like them but they’re only available in red.

  21. Kindred spirits and bosom friends -Anne of green gables DVDs arrived. My 11 year old daughter and I are 1 hour in and already hooked. (9 year old son is utterly uninterested in joining us.)

    I had no idea that one of the big story lines is Anne hating her red hair. My daughter has red hair and she loves that part!

    Thanks for the recommendations, and I finally get Diana Barry’s handle – Diana, I thought you were just being rather formal here. :)

    • Diana Barry :

      Hahaha! :) No, I actually copied Anne Shirley’s handle – before this I had a bunch of different ones. :)

      • I would actually be curious/amused to hear from more people how or why they chose their handles. But I know that for most it will veer into non-anonymous info and they will not want to share.

        • Always a NYer :

          I’ve wondered this for a long time as well…

          I’ll start. I grew up on Long Island and went to school in CT, as well as moving numerous times in the last five years. No matter where I’m living at the moment, whenever someone asks the inevitable, “Where do you live?” I answer with, “I grew up on Long Island but now live in (insert city here).” Also, you can hear my accent as soon as I say something.

          Who’s next?

          • I’m a huge West Wing fan, and Flamingo happens to be the Secret Service name for C.J. Cregg who’s my favorite character on the show.

            Incidentally, I just started posting as Flamingo this year, and a friend pointed out that I may have stolen the handle from someone else on Corporette. Did I? If so, I may have to start posting as Margaret Hooper for kicks.

          • Anastasia :

            I’m on the literary characters bandwagon as well — Anastasia Krupnik is too much, though, so I stuck with just the first name. She and I both wanted tower bedrooms… I’m still waiting for mine. :/

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            I’m another West Wing reference–Danny gives CJ a goldfish that sits on her desk the entire show, which is named Gail.

        • Rose in Bloom :

          I followed the lead of some of the other posters who use books or characters, although this handle isn’t super obvious. It is is the title of my favorite Louisa May Alcott book. Rose in Bloom is the sequel to Eight Cousins, for those of you who have read that book.

          Also, when I was young I really wanted my name to be Rose.

          • Moonstone :

            Rose, yours is my favorite handle. I loved Eight Cousins so much that I still try to force it on people. In my case, Wilkie Collins’ “The Moonstone” is considered one of the first detective novels and it’s also the name of the hometown of the heroine of “The Song of the Lark” by Willa Cather.

          • Rose in Bloom :

            Aww thanks Moonstone. I’m glad to hear other people like those books because Little Women et al. seem to overshadow everything else she wrote.

            I love detective novels, but I haven’t read “The Moonstone,” so I am excited to add it to my list.

          • Marketeer :

            An Old-Fashioned Girl is my favorite Louisa May Alcott book, although I love Rose in Bloom as well. I have it on my Kindle now. I think you made an excellent choice.

        • I’m a mama and my last name sounds kind of like Bear.

          • Plus, I have kind of a mamabear/den mother personality, in case that’s not obvious from my posts!

          • When Jan Berenstain died recently I did a little silent nod to myself in honor of my alive and kickin’ internet friend. I know you do not wear a red polka dotted house dress every day, however.

          • Aww, Monday!

        • Former MidLevel :

          In my last performance review before I left the Evil Empire, the partner pronounced, emphatically (and rather earnestly): “You are now a MID LEVEL associate.” The way he said it was just so weird that it stuck with me.

          • Mrs. Piggle Wiggle :

            Growing up we used to visit our grandparents once a year (they lived across the country). They had a huge library, and I remember loving the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle = fond memories. I guess I followed the “literary reference” handle idea.

          • Anastasia :

            I loved the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books! I distinctly remember something about her planting radish seeds on the dirty arms of a girl who refused to take a bath….

        • Only fair that I ante up as well: during grad school, my friends and I knew of some ultra-hipsters who went my day-of-the-week names such as Wednesday. I commented that nobody would ever be so helplessly square and work-oriented as to go by Monday…right? Well, the shoe fit. They started calling me Monday.

          I adopted it for Corporette when I went through a huge career change and wanted a sense of starting over, armed with my longstanding work ethic. Better or worse, I still need the morale boost it every single morning :/

          • Because you asked – I used to post as A Regular Lurker, and after I posted about my disappointment over not getting a particular job, you suggested that I come up with a power alias. I couldn’t, as I am hopelessly uncreative, but I liked your idea of a new beginning, so January I am.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          when I was young, an American friend of mine had *ALL* of the Amelia Bedelia books . . . I loved them so much. Her mum would read to us and as I grew older, I would borrow them and read them repeatedly.
          of course, I thought all Americans were rich with housekeepers after that series . . .

        • Eesh, after everyone’s interesting stories, I think I need to come up with a better handle, because now I just feel lazy. :-(

          • For Nonny — the first time I posted, it was a Tuesday.

          • Bunkster is a variation of my nickname which is a variation of a my middle name. Everyone outside of work uses my nickname. No one at work knows it.

        • I’m a commenter and I always used to use guest. Then I decided not to. And Prince is funny — so the commenter formally known as guest seemed funny — but long. So voila.

          • That’s so great! I always wondered what TCFKAG stood for!

          • When I first did it, I said 10 points to the first person who guessed what it stood for. And the FIRST person guessed, so I felt much less original. But oh well.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            But it made me so happy to get those 10 points! What can I say – I want to win whatever brass ring is put in front of me. Ooh, shiny!

          • I hope you keep that brass ring in a closet, take it out every night to polish it, and mutter “I love you my precious” in a Gollum voice over it. That would make me very happy.

        • Decided I wanted to be a lawyer at age 7 when I was given a illustrated children’s copy of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice.

        • I used to be J, but there was someone else posting as J and it got confusing (once we posted diametrically opposed opinions in response to the same question) and so I decided to change it. I’m not creative and was going to change to Jay, but when I typed that in it reminded me of the bird, so Bluejay it was.

          • Oh, and J is the letter my name starts with. So add me to the list of lazy commenters. :)

        • I chose mine for Eleanor of Aquitaine. She seems like she would have been a corporette had she lived nowadays, and The Lion in Winter is a great movie (Katharine Hepburn as Eleanor!).

          • Romans et al. :

            I actually can admire Kate as Eleanor … as an attorney! Looks at her style, wit, and oh so clever arguments and negotiation skills.

        • My name is Jennifer. :) It works, though, because chances are you each know, like, 750 Jennifers. The most anonymous of real first names!

        • I was kind of a morbid teenager when I got my first email address, etc. I was also really interested in learning about Greek mythology. Elysium is one view of the afterlife, a place where heroes go when they die. I think someone already had “Elysium” by itself, so I adapted it somewhat, added another word, and the handle has just kind of stuck to me so I still use it.

    • So cute that you thought Diana Barry (and maybe Anne Shirley too?) were just being “formal.” I was a big fan of the books, and FWIW I always picture these Corporette commenters as looking like their respective namesakes.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I do as well!
        maybe I should change my handle to Daenerys Targaryen???

        • I’ve thought about going by Arya Stark, TBH, although not because I particularly want people to think I look like her (Daenarys, on the other hand…). Arya also kind of rhymes with my name. Maybe I should take the plunge?

      • Anne Shirley :

        I was inspired by Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler to select a fictional heroine, and was re-reading the Anne books at the time. Cheesy, but I always loved her enthusiasm and sense of wonder and whimsy, trying to hold onto mine while being a lawyer.

    • My mom, sisters, and I have Anne of Green Gables marathons every few years. Now that I have a 6yo and 3yo daughter, I can’t wait until they are interested in viewing with us!

      • My daughter, the redhead, is taking Gil’s attentions to Anne rather personally, as in she gets all squirmy and embarrassed. It’s awesome! I mean, why become a parent if you can’t embarrass your kids, right?

    • My dad’s nickname for me growing up was Sam, even though my name isn’t Samantha – so I decided to expand Sam into Samantha for my handle.

    • Herbie is my car’s name.

      • Have a ton of internet handles, but there are a number of famous Susans that I like, including:

        Susan Sto Helit – a Terry Pratchett Discworld character


        Susan Sarandon – love most of the stuff she’s done, but will always have a fondness for her b.c. of Rocky Horror Picture Show

  22. I need some advice on frumpy/comfortable shoes. I have to travel tomorrow for a long day of meetings that will involve a lot of airport walking and city walking, all with a 6 ft tall male partner who likes to take huge strides and walk really, really fast everywhere we go. My feet have been killing me from days like this in nice pretty dress shoes, so I decided to bite the bullet and order some comfortable, sensible shoes for the occassion.

    Tell me honestly, are these shoes just plain too frumpy to wear with a black pants suit? They arrived today and they are insanely comfortable — like wearing Birkenstocks — and I think I could probably break out into a dead sprint to keep up with this guy if need be. But are they just too darn frumpy? And/or, too childish?

    • canadian anon :

      I think those are absolutely doable with a pants suit. Those are downright elegant for Naot.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I think they’re fine for the situation you’re describing. Bonus points if your pants hem covers the strap (at least while you are standing).

    • Salit-a-gator :

      They are definitely not hideous and if I was in this situation I would wear them too, esp. since they’ll mostly be covered by the pant suit. The part that is not covered will be the lovely rounded toe – all good.

    • I agree the shoes will work with a pantsuit.

      A note on the long-legged fast-walker: tell him he has to slow down. DH is 10″ taller than I am, and I have to remind him that I can’t keep up without running. He doesn’t mind, but it (still, after lo these many years) doesn’t always occur to him, especially when he’s focused on getting somewhere.

    • They are fine but who cares. You need to be comfortable anyway. I have been wearing boring Trotters loafers for months while pregnant. I don’t think any dudes have remotely noticed.

    • I want to chime in again and mention this for all of you who pine for but can’t afford Anthropologie. If you life in the SF Bay Area, there are stores called Jeremy’s in SF and Berkeley that are basically JCrew and Anthro outlets. You won’t be able to go in and find a head-to-toe outfit straight from the catalog, but there are plenty of blouses, sweaters, skirts, pants, etc with those quirky Anthro touches. Jeremy’s has two categories – overstocks (past season) and seconds. If the tag says “as is” that’s a second and you need to check it carefully for flaws or damage. But if it’s just an overstock, no worries.

      And on stores we like, I realize I just posted on Talbots vs Chico’s, which makes me sound like I get my entire wardrobe from Talbots. I don’t. I’m actually a pretty dedicated Nordstrom shopper. I agree with a prior poster that some Nordstroms suck. If I had only ever visited the Corte Madera store, I’d never shop Nordstrom again. (Yoga pants, Lily Pulitzer and Foxcroft for the wealthy stay-at-home set.) But I love the Nordstrom in downtown SF, and I actually attended its grand opening, way back in the late 80’s. I never miss an Anniversary Sale. I budget for it, and then plan my fall/winter wardrobe around what I manage to score at that sale. I’m hooked on the points, I’m hooked on the perks (Level 2) and I’m hooked on their wonderful return policy.

      • OMG I’m so sorry! Wrong thread.

        this is a sign that I need to get back to work. :)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Who cares about “wrong thread” – how do I not know about Jeremy’s???


          I have scored some amazing shoes and JCrew wool coats at their sales.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            It’s in South Park?! Excuse me while I kick myself thinking about how many times I’ve been to South Park and never knew I was steps away from this treasure. Argh! Thanks for cluing me in, mamabear!

    • I’m biased, since Naot is about the only brand I can wear. The Trendy is pretty classic, although I find the Pleasure style to be more comfortable. The Trendy’s vamp hit me at the wrong place.

      I have seriously bad feet, and can walk for miles in Naot’s heels. They won’t let you down, comfort-wise, and will last for years. Did you get the black ones? I love the purple “peacock” color (although I think of peacock as a green, not a purple?)

      • Ha! That went into moderation, presumably for the peac*ck word. The underlying comment software here really, really has p*nis issues.

  23. Just read that Chicos is “hella old.” I get that because my mom shops at Chicos but, I don’t have a daughter for comparison. How old are the women who shop at Ann Taylor? How about J.Crew? How old is the Banana Republic crowd? I am guessing that J.Crew and Banana are for the same age group. Talbots, to me, looks like it is for 80 year old women. I actually think Chicos is much younger than Talbots. Agree? Who shops at Brooks Brothers? Seriously, I would LOVE to see a break down by decade and stores. I am at the age where clothes and fit either seem to young or too old for me. I have that middle-age belly spread and while Michelle Obama seems to love J.Crew, I tend to think the clothes are just too young. I never hear Lafayette 148 discussed hear but I love love love the suits even though I can’t really afford them. I can afford Jones New York but I think that you all would think they are old lady clothes. Am I an old lady at 46 compared to you all? I tend to like Ann Taylor for style and fit, but the clothes are cheap. I also like Michael Kors and INC for the weekend look but not for work.

    • Some of Talbot’s stuff can look very kate-spade-esque, and their suits and pants are generally ok dependant upon the style (except for the side-zip pants, never the side-zip pants!)

      This is coming from a 25-year old

    • Oh dear, I feel like I’ve started a thing.

      Let’s put it this way, when I told my teenage mentee that my favorite stores in the mall were Ann Taylor and Talbots, she gave me a look of such disgust that I felt almost embarrassed. But this is the girl that walks around with things emblazoned on her butt from Pink, so I reassure myself.

      I also think the “age” of a store varies by personal style. I find J. Crew a little too casual for me, and I’m in my 20’s. Anthropologie, which is certainly targeted at my age bracket, is too bohemian for me.

      I think Ann Taylor is in a nice sweet spot for people in their 20s and 30s who finally have enough money to dress like grown ups, but haven’t graduated to try grown up dressing yet.

      Nordstroms (and similar), Brooks Brothers, and the like are for people who have enough money and enough experience to realize you should buy for quality and customer service.

      Chico’s is for grandmas.

      • Salit-a-gator :

        I’m my late 20’s and I’m a fan of Ann Taylor and Talbots too. I especially like that they have petite sizes available. Also a fan of LOFT and Banana. Most of JCrew, but not all, is either too expensive or casual for me, and I never step foot in a Chicos or Coldwater Creek for that matter.

        • Former MidLevel :

          Did you just read my mind? Seriously, I could have written your entire post. :)

          I’m 30 and AT is my favorite store. (And, with apologies to TCFKAG, I think it is “grown up” – unless by “grown-up” you mean “matronly.”)

          • I think I mis-worded that sentence. I think its grown-up too (and I shop there a TON) — but when I think of true “grown-up” dressing, I think of places like Nordstroms and Brooks Brothers, with slightly higher quality rations. That was all I was trying to imply.

          • Former MidLevel :

            Ah, then I totally agree. Definitely more affordable than buying all my clothes at Nordy’s – which I would do if I still made BigLaw money.

        • Ooh, I found an adorable purse at Coldwater Creek when I was in there because my mother in law wanted to go. Their accessories are actually not so bad. :-)

          • Talbot’s also has some nice accessories, especially if you’re looking for classic pieces.

      • I’m in my late 20s and the majority of my clothes come from Banana Republic, Ann Taylor or Nordstrom/Bloomingdales. J. Crew and Brooks Brothers are too preppy for me, Talbots doesn’t fit me particularly well (but if it did, I’d find things there that I liked) and Anthro is too hippie for me (and too expensive for the quality you get).

      • “Chico’s is for grandmas” – HA

        My bf’s mom keeps reminding us how she wants kids, even though we’re not even married (le sigh) . She also loves Chico’s, so I guess she’s got that part of the grandma role down.

      • Oh no, TCFKAG, don’t feel bad. You said what you think! I come here for that. I just have a really hard time because of my shape and age, plus, my office is like PollyD’s office in that we have very informal legal office. I want to look like an attorney when I see a witness but suits are too dressy except when I have court. All these answers have been great! I have often wondered how old some of the posters are.

      • OP, you might enjoy Kendall Farr’s book “Style Evolution” — it’s meant for those of us 40 and up and has listings of individual stores and designers/lines for different style personas.

        I’m 42, never had kids, and I’ve always had a very classic (often close to “boring”) style for work clothing. The entire decade of my 30s about 80% of my work wardrobe was from Banana. Not so much any more, but primarily b/c of the decline in quality rather than that i think their their particular styles or cuts skew younger than my current age. I’m definitely going to go try on those trouser jeans that PollyD recommended.

        My current work wardrobe is heavily focused on the Gap Perfect Trouser (I own other pants but end up wearing one of these 4 out of 5 days a week — like I said, boring!) and button-front shirts (mostly L.L. Bean right now, though I want to try BB). I also have one of the Gap black blazers that is in the same fabric as the Perfect Trouser so that is my standby “suit,” plus I wear the blazer for going out all the time. Other key pieces for work right now are mostly from Nordstrom (Theory jacket, BOSS top, various structured cardigans, The Skirt). I always want to like Talbots and order things online, then end up returning them all. Their fits just aren’t right for me and I will not wear unlined wool or wool-blend trousers. J. Crew fits my style persona but not my pear shape (usually) — and I also think they’re too pricey unless things are on major sale. I wish I could have afforded their Index and Origami dresses last fall!

        I don’t wear many dresses for work and don’t have any blouses — two things I’d like to change as the $ situation permits . . . .

        • Oh, and some of the Lafayette 148 pieces look beautiful and beautifully made, but nothing is long enough for me — I’m 5’8″ and also have very long arms, and they don’t offer any Tall sizing whatsoever.

    • MissJackson :

      I’m trying to figure out if you’re being serious about Chicos.

      I love Lafayette 148, and I’m 30 — I think that the only downside is that some women are sized out of Lafayette because it runs really really big. Considering that it’s priced similarly to, say, Theory, I find the quality to be substantially better. It’s probably my favorite brand.

      I shop at Talbots — have you been there recently? It’s changed significantly in the last year or so.

      I shop at J. Crew, Banana, AT, and Brooks Brothers, too.

      But seriously: not Chicos. Chicos is in a category unto itself. (and that category is: excentric woman of a certain age — not that there is anything per se wrong with that, mind you, it’s just not for me).

    • Oh no, I think Talbots is much younger than Chico’s. All of Chico’s clothing is cut to cover a little belly, which is where post menopausal women carry their weight. I know they have been trying to skew their advertising younger, but if you look at the actual clothing in a store (and I do and have, because I shop for my mom there) it is all cut this way, for older women.

      That said, Talbots isn’t exactly a teenybopper store, but it is a good place for professional women of all ages to find their work wear. I am in my mid forties and probably now their target demographic, but I have actually been shopping there since I was in my mid-twenties, because I have always needed professional clothing. Talbots was a godsend in the late 90s/ early 2000s when most stores were carrying Ally McBeal suits (5″ above the knee.)

      • lol at using “Talbots” and “teenybopper” in the same descriptive phrase, but I actually found a really lovely formal dress there when I was 16.

        As far as answering the question, I am 23 and most of my work clothing comes from J. Crew, Anthropologie, and Ann Taylor (‘s sale racks). The majority of my non-work clothing is from Zara, J. Crew, and Urban Outfitters. A substantial chunk of both work and non-work clothing is also from vintage or thrift stores. Despite the formal dress from my teenage years, I find Talbot’s and Brooks Brothers wayyyyy too conservative in flavor; I’d shop at Nordstrom and Madewell, but they’re too expensive; and Banana Republic doesn’t fit me, although I don’t mind their clothes. I think I hit everything?

    • I’ll be 45 in November (eep). I never had kids, so basically my shape has not changed much since college, although oddly I finally grew breasts in my mid30s. I’m a fed, work in a very business-casual environment (more casual, less business, a suit would look strange here) in the DC metro area. I shop a fair amount, but don’t spend a ton of money on clothes – I think J Crew is kind of pricey.

      I mostly shop at Target, Old Navy, NY& Co., Loft, H&M, sometimes Lord & Taylor. I don’t really get the Nordstrom love, although I suspect my nearest Nordstrom is probably one of the lamest Nordstroms around. I have a ruffled jacket from Talbots that I love, and also a nice casual cardigan from a couple of years ago. Banana Republic just hasn’t been working for me lately (with the exception of some fabulous trouser jeans), but I would shop there if their stuff fit me better. Same for J Crew (tried on a couple of their pencil skirts, and those will not work on me without extensive alterations), although I’d probably wait for sales.

      My typical work outfit is pants, a top with some character to it (generally not a button down because only very soft floppy button downs work on me, crisp ones do not), and a cardigan (my office temperature is unpredictable so I like to do layers). I wear dresses and skirts once in a while, mostly from Boden (forgot to mention them, I really like their dresses and skirts but find their shirts and sweaters a bit boxy), sometimes from Athleta or Patagonia. For shoes, have 3 pairs of knee high boots that I love to wear with dresses or skirts (black lace ups, brown motorcycle-ish, and an olive green pair), am loving the high heel oxford trend (I don’t care if they look like nun shoes), and otherwise wear mid-height (say 2 to 2.5″) heels. I like my shoes to be a color other than black or brown, pewter is very useful and I really want a pair of mustard/yellow shoes for spring.

      So that’s how one 40+ year-old dresses.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I am 24. My favorite stores are Boden, Banana, Ann Taylor, J. Crew, etc. I haven’t bought anything from Talbots, but I have been drooling over some of their stuff lately. Anthropologie is aspirational for me: I love the individual pieces, but they are too bohemian to really fit with my wardrobe.

      FWIW, my mom is 56 and she also likes Banana and Ann Taylor. She is about as far as you can get from trendy and isn’t very adventurous, but she always looks very nice and put together. We actually wind up trading clothes back and forth (don’t know what that says about my adventurousness in style). She also likes Eddie Bauer and Jones New York.

      • Are you me (especially since we share the “rose” in our handles!)? I’m the same age with the same preferences and aspirations for Anthro, though I don’t think I could ever really pull off more than a shirt here or there. One day if I can afford it I will also drown myself in Kate Spade, but for now I’ll just cuddle with my KS handbag I got as a gift a few years ago!

        My mom is in her late 50s and pretty frugal when it comes to clothing, but I’ve gotten her to start at least caring about finding stylish pieces. She shops at NY&Co and Limited mostly.

      • Rose in Bloom :

        Haha maybe we are especially because I also want to drown myself in Kate Spade! Although as I posted above, the name Rose is aspirational and is merely a nod to my favorite Louisa May Alcott book.

        I will have to suggest NY&Co and the Limited to my mom. I have also been attempting to get her out of her style rut for the past few years, and I think it helps just for her to have multiple stores to go to instead of two or three.

    • 48 years old and devotee of BB and Talbots since I started practice at 28. But note, my personal style is very, very classic. And, I am in the rural south. I like some of the style at AT, but the clothes have not held up for me (black cashmere turtleneck – not cheap – that pilled badly after just three wearings, for example) and I will not buy there any more. I expect my clothing to last 3+ years. I like the look of JCrew, but it generally doesn’t fit me at all. I’ve got serious curves, whether I’m a tiny little thing or (gulp) not anywhere near tiny. BB and Talbots seem to fit that as well as my personal style preferences. I genuinely enjoy looking at the trendier options featured here and elsewhere, but will wear very few of them. It’s just how I am. If I had the $$ to do it, I’d stick to BB for 90% of my work and personal wardrobe – it fits me, literally and figuratively.

    • I’m 38. For work wear, I shop at Nordstroms, J Crew, Talbots, and Brooks Brothers. I don’t really like Ann Taylor or Banana Republic because I think it’s too trendy and a bit expensive for what it is. I like Anthro, but IMO, it’s too bohemian for work.

    • I’m 47 and also have a belly (which is the bane of my existence). I wear a lot of basics from J. Jill (pencil skirts and tanks) but I generally find their sweaters too boring (although today I’m wearing a hot pink long cardigan with chocolate brown). My sweaters are a mix of INC, Free people, a few Coldwater Creek (on rare occasion), and Anthropology (interesting, not too boho cardigans).

    • I’m 28. The core of my work wardrobe is from BR. They’re stuff for the last 3ish years just happen to be cut in a way that is flattering to my shape and they’re color palette is very favorable to my coloring.

      My other work go-tos are J.Crew, NY&C, and Limited. I also have a couple items from Zara that I love and am looking to shop there more. For weekends/going out I like Target, Francesca’s, and Gap.

      I would also like to use this opportunity to say that my kate spade sample sale items are supposed to be delivered tomorrow!

    • Interesting question. I often feel like I am on a different clothing page than many of the lovely ladies on this blog. I am in my early 40s and I would never shop at Talbots (and would never even look in the window at Chico, Coldwater Creek or any similar store). They are simply too conservative (and frumpy) for my taste. I’m not a fan of AT but occasionally buy pants or suits there simply so I am not neeked. J Crew and BR, again eh, but I can sometimes find things. Its just all seems the same. As for perennial favorite Anthropologie, and I am going to get killed for this, I think the clothes are immature, what with all the embroidery and flowers. I am a big fan of what I call low level designers: Trina Turk, Nanette Lapour, DVF, Catherine Malandrino, Ellie Tahari. Basically third floor of Bloomies on 59th or 5F at Bergdorf. Would love to be head-to-toe Alexander McQueen but that ain’t happening on my salary!

      • long time lurker :

        I am 38 and this sounds like me. I love Tahari, my two favorite suits are Tahari. My office obtains Bloomies friends and family discounts and when I get that, I am all over that third floor. I do have a few jackets and skirts from JCrew, but am utterly over Banana Republic. Talbots I’ve tried but the fit is boxy and not flattering to me generally. However, I like the idea of Anthro for weekend wear, but nothing ever looks good on me.

      • If my salary ever triples, I’d be right there with you, but for most of us AT and BR are the best we can do.

    • I’m 40 and also have a belly (also the bane of my existence). I mostly wear Ann Taylor, Gap, and LOFT. Occasional items from Nordstrom, Banana Republic, The Limited, JJill, Eddie Bauer, Old Navy, Boden, Talbots, and yes, even Chicos mixed it. I’ve gotten jeans from Chicos, and also a tank/cardigan that I like. Talbots generally does not fit me well.

    • I am 37 and small but curvy. My absolute favourite store for work clothes is Hobbs (seriously, I could walk in there and wear *anything* in the store), but it is a UK brand and their shipping is expensive, so I feel a bit stuck now that I am in Canada. I have a fair bit of BR and like their suiting and pants. I also have a few Classiques Entier items that work very well for me. I like J. Crew but I need to try on everything I buy from there so can’t order online. Have never tried BB because I haven’t had convenient access to a store, but expect to try it out soon. I used to wear Jones New York but now consider them frumpy, and have never liked the fit of anything I’ve tried on at Talbots. For casual wear, I am an Anthro and Club Monaco girl.

      When I pay off all my loans I will buy an entire Kate Spade wardrobe with a side of Nanette Lepore. Yesssss.

    • 30. Adding to the thread because I may be the only one who likes clothes from both Anthro and Brooks Brothers. In fact I am at this moment wearing a black BB dress with a cardigan I bought at Anthropologie.

      I also get a lot of work clothes at Talbots, JCrew, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor, Elie Tahari, Theory (my favorite blazers of all time).. I have a few tops and dresses from Boden and I think they would be very forgiving for any kind of belly issue but I do something find them just a bit too cutesy. I like H&M for t shirts and other items with a short life span. I have recently bought a bunch of cute tops at Old Navy that I think would look cute both at work and away. I constantly forget that Zara exists but always mean to go in there. And, while I don’t own any Lafayette 148, I think they make good looking suits. I also think some Jones NY suits are really cute but I usually can’t buy suits that come as a set. I used to get a lot of work clothes from BR & AT Loft but the quality has really gone downhill for me so I stopped going in after a few frustrating experiences. AT suits just don’t fit me well either so I don’t go in there often.

      Most of my wardrobe is very mix and match and I think what I generally like is the mixture of various styles together. I also dislike those 5 piece furniture sets (suites?) so maybe that something about me … but I think being stylish is just picking up pieces you like when you find them. My mom, who is 55 and has a bit of a middle aged belly, finds things at JCrew and Anthro (mostly tops) – she just doesn’t wear them as styled in the catalog.

      Except for Chico’s, Coldwater Creek and Sears, I never really rule a store out ;)

    • I’m 30 and shop most often at AT, BR, Talbots and Lands End. For casual stuff it’s usually the Gap or Loft, and jeans from Old Navy. I would shop at BB but I can’t afford it.

      I love Talbots. It doesn’t seem old to me at all.

      • Oh, and my all time favorite store evar is Massimo Dutti, but I’m not sure if they have any stores in the US (maybe one in NYC?). I stop there whenever I’m in Europe or the ME.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Chico’s is indeed hella, hella old. I’d also characterize J.Jill as the younger sister of Chico’s. J. Jill’s twin is Eileen Fisher. Coldwater Creek may be Chico’s twin.

      Early 30s. I wear mostly Classiques Entier, Trina Turk, Tory Burch, Elie Tahari, Nanette Leopore, (basically, the Individualist department at Nordie’s, must be on sale, and I keep track of my purchases to check for price adjustments to second markdown), Saks and Neiman house brands for sweaters (on sale), J.Crew (on promo, never knits because they fall apart), Brooks Brothers (on promo or sale), and whatever great pieces I can find on Dec. 26th at Saks and Neiman on super clearance. Kate Spade fits me great, but I haven’t seen the right piece at the right sale price yet.

      I can’t deal with BR and AT’s failed quality anymore, so I’ve stopped shopping there even though the stuff is often cute/my style. I really like some of the Talbot’s stuff, but it never fits me (too big, too boxy) and I’m morally opposed to final sale items. I eye Lafayette 148 occasionally, but it’s cut huge, like Mary Jo said, so it doesn’t come in my size. Theory can have cute stuff, but I think it is way too expensive to be unlined plus the extensive alterations I’d need to get the clothes to fit my pear shape. I like Anthro, but it’s a bit too boho for me personally – I do like it on other people though.

      • I love your first pp. It’s like you’re describing a weird middle-school-esque clique of midlife women. However, I’d say Eileen Fisher is the queen bee. J Jill is an Eileen Fisher wannabe, and kind of follows her around and tries to be like her. Chico’s is the trying too hard to be the wacky, weird member of the group that the rest of the group really thinks is too old to be cool. Coldwater Creek is Chico’s mousy friend.

        • I once heard Eileen Fisher described as “clothes worn by Marin County therapists.” Not sure it’s accurate, but it’s certainly evocative.

          • Ha! This is so true! Marin County therapists and religious professionals.

          • Wow, well if J. Jill is an Eileen Fisher wannabe then something’s wrong with me (as I am neither a therapist or religious professional and don’t look like one). That said, I wear very specific types of pieces from J. Jill because they fit my body type. The pure Jill line is very yoga-esque and not my style at all.

          • Ha! I once read a reference to Eileen Fisher being the “I’ve given up look” and have never been able to get that out of my head whenever I walk by one of their stores.

      • SF Bay Associate — I feel like you should appreciate that somehow I’ve managed to get the phrase “hella” used in this thread multiple times. :-) Despite the fact that I’m from New England and have no claim to it whatsoever, its one of my favorite slang terms.

        • As an East Bayer I hella love it!

          (ps my kids and all their friends say hecka. constantly.)

          • My friend who used to teach high school in the bay area said his students used to say things were “hecka bootsy” when they thought they were lame. Which is weird — but still gets used by all of us because we think its funny.

      • I don’t really get why everyone says AT is low quality. I’ve only started shopping there in the past couple of years (used to be too fat for AT), and everything I buy there seems to wear well and look great after a year or more. Am I missing something?

    • SoCal Gator :

      I am 58 and in practice for over 35 years, so you ALL seem very young to me. Although I feel very young at heart.

      I used to shop at Chicos until I lost 70 pounds. I hated everything with wild or gaudy colors, sequins etc but was able to get some plain solid color ponte pants, cardigans, tees and jeans. They were cut for a fuller figure, which is what I had. It was hard to find anything that fit and looked acceptable.

      Now that I am much slimmer and trim, I would not shop there for anything at all. I now shop at Nordstom (love, love, love Lafayetter 148 — yes, it’s pricy but it is cut to fit beautifully and you can get bargains at the Rack, on flash auction sites and the Anniversary sale). Now that I think about it, even when I was a size 16 (I am a 2/4 now), I was able to find nice suit separate from Lafayette 148.

      I also like and am shopping at Ann Taylor, the Loft, J. Crew, Madewell, White House Black Market, Boden (a new love!) and sometimes Banana Republic. I have been shopping a lot since I am replacing my entire wardrobe due to my huge change in size. That means everything I own is up to date. And it is so much easier to shop because trendy and current fashions are simply designed for a very slender body — an unfortunate but true fact of life, even though the vast majority of women do not have that body type.

      The one place mentioned on this thread that I simply cannot find anything that I like is Talbots. In the old, old days in my 30’s and 40’s, I bought a lot from Talbots. But now the clothes have gotten too weird. They can’t make up their minds on whether they want to stay the old conservative clothing brand or the new young and trendy and, as a result, they miss it entirely and are neither. I fit into their clothes but simply don’t like them at all.

      • Congrats on the weight loss! It must be so fun to rebuild your wardrobe.

        • SoCal Gator :

          Indeed it is! Shopping is now dangerous (too many possibilities) when before it seemed like a wild goose chase for something flattering. I get so many ideas from this blog and the comments. It’s a real education, and a fun one at that!

    • My grandmother shops almost exclusively at a Talbots. She’s a retired teacher in her 80s and always looks very put together and classic. She has complained that they’ve been skewing younger….
      which brings ME to the fact that I now have a casual jacket, a few t-shirts, belts, and a really nice pair of tan leather sandals from Talbots. (the heels are like 4″!) They have a weird mix of styles, but the accessories are nice quality.

      I buy mostly AT and LOFT, on extreme sale. It’s rare for me to find work clothes that actually fit me (4’10”) and I often have to get “petite” things altered as well. I’ve had luck with various juniors departments (Nordstroms, TJ Maxx…) but it’s the *juniors* department so quality is…. :/
      Crewcuts (J crew’s children’s line) has great cardigans, with minimal child-like details.

    • I found this thread to be very interesting, since (for the most part) the stores/brands that represent my style are not available in my size and the majority of clothes available in my size do not reflect my style. The main exception to this rule is Talbot’s. I’m 32 and don’t find their clothes to be too old.

    • I’m 51, and buy most of my work clothes at Talbots and Ann Taylor, with a few things from JCrew and Banana Republic. Jcrew and Banana Republic don’t usually fit me well, and frequently have to be altered. Casual clothes I get at Macy’s and Talbots. We don’t have a Nordstrom or Brooks Brothers in my city, or I would probably shop there. I hate ordering things that don’t fit and then having to ship them back. I do order a lot of things from Talbots and Ann Taylor websites (the selection in our b&m stores really sucks), then take it back to the store if it doesn’t fit. I’ve always thought of Ann Taylor as grown-up quality clothing, and I love the tropical wool suits I’ve bought there.

    • Okay, thank you. I guess I’m just crazy but I always thought Chico’s was some sort of teenager ghetto store. (Maybe just in place I used to live’s mall?) My old roommate also used to get their catalogs and I thought they were way too young for her (although to be fair, unless she’s going out manhunting, she does usually dress like a 60 yo spinster).

      But then also cheap cruddy stuff so I never paid much attention.

  24. I want Tim Gunn to dress me. :(

    • Always a NYer :

      I want the “What Not to Wear” makeover without being on tv =p

    • Oh that’s so funny. I think these thoughts every time I watch makeover shows. I want the makeover! I want someone to take me on a shopping spree! But I don’t want anyone to throw away my clothing, and I don’t want to be on TV.

      I think that means we need to cough it up and hire a personal stylist. The closest I’ve ever come was a Nordstrom personal shopper, but she and I weren’t a great fit (though I liked her, I didn’t think she “got” me.)

      If I were really going to do it, I’d fly to Seattle and hire Angie of youlookfab.

  25. 2L student :

    I’m going to my new boyfriend’s family’s house and am meeting his parents for the first time. I was thinking about bringing something small as a hostess gift. Would gourmet cupcakes from a local bakery be good or any other ideas?! Or nothing at all?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Are you having a meal? If you are, I probably wouldn’t bring something like cupcakes that might be eaten right away because they may have already planned dessert.

      I’m always a fan of wine if they drink alcohol. Gourmet coffee from a local place if they don’t?

      • another anon :

        Wine is good so long as you know they drink, but be sure to say “This is for you to enjoy later” when you hand it to them, so that they don’t feel obligated to open it and serve it with the meal. They may have already selected a wine to pair with dinner.

    • Tired Squared :

      Yes, the gourmet cupcakes sound perfect!

    • Whatever you do, DONT show up empty-handed!

    • I always bring a little something as a hostess gift. But, I’m from the South and it was drille dinto me from birth. While I’d love cupcakes, you never know if the parents are on diets, diabetic, etc, so I would also suggest- a little fruit basket, or small snack bag- cheese straws, fancy cheeses, crackers, etc., wine or brews if they drink, a nice candle, soaps, plant, perhaps a pretty coffee table book, nice kitchen towels or doo dad (think Williams Sonoma or Anthropolgie). Something small that shows that you care about meeting them will be appreciated. Good luck.

      • AnonInfinity :

        CHEESE STRAWS!!!!!

        • I unintentionally made cheese straws/globs last night, when cheddar from my sandwich melted onto the baking sheet I stuck underneath it. LOVE. Once in a blue moon my southern mama (who is inconveniently a health-food nut) will make real cheese straws, and I basically expire of happiness.

    • If his parents drink, I’d say a bottle of wine is a good bet. I’d avoid anything too “housewarming-y” (like picture frames, etc. because you don’t know their style). If it’s a dinner or some other food-related event, I’d have your boyfriend ask his parents if you (in the plural – you and him) could bring a dessert.

    • anonymous :

      Not wine unless you KNOW they drink. My now-husband’s parents were the first hardcore teetotalers I’d ever met. I did not know that at the time. He did not tell me – he just didn’t think about it, and I didn’t think to tell him I had a bottle of wine in my bag because it was just tradition to me. He and I had drank on many occasions before that. He is a perfectly normal person. They believed that alcohol is the slip-n-slide to complete moral destruction.

      I showed up with a bottle of wine and it was complete disaster. Honestly, I would have done better to have shown up in nothing but fishnets and tassels, so long as I’d brought tea instead. We laugh about it now, but…

    • Moonstone :

      I am a big fan of bringing a small flowering plant, or a bouquet. Lately I have been giving cut flowers in Vazu vases, which are colored plastic bags that expand with water and then hold their shape. I like them because they make giving flowers inexepensive but at the same time the recipient does not have to fuss with finding a vase as soon as you hand them over. I won’t post a link, but they have a website and you can get them on Amazon for four bucks.

      • Second this. My go-to is a small flowering potted plant for hostess gifts; Whole Foods and their ilk usually have something nice and not too spendy.

    • Has he given you any advice?? I would run the idea of wine, cupcakes, etc by him. He would know if they’re diabetic, love to prepare dessert, whatever. And he also could warn his mom that you wanted to bring them as dessert.

      A live plant or flowers is another idea, but IMO, less creative than gourmet cupcakes.

  26. night owl boss :

    The partner I do most of my work for regularly doesn’t come in until sometime between 11 am and 1 pm and stays until midnight or later. He seems upset when I leave before 11 pm, even if all my work is done and I have been in the office since 9 am. As a junior associate I feel like I need to come in at the standard time of 9 am, and can’t just start matching his crazy hours. Any suggestions for how I can handle this without being in the office for 14-15 hours every day for no reason?

    • I mean this in the most gentle way possible, but please find another job or try to switch into another group at your firm. Seriously. Because it’s not just the wacky hours issue, but this partner’s unreasonableness and self-centeredness will take a toll on you over time and will make you hate your job and possibly ruin your social life, satisfaction and health. Plus, it is very different for a guy who is married to his work to stay past midnight everyday, than it is for a woman who, I presume, has friends and family you want to see – also, it’s not the safest thing to be driving around that late at night by yourself. If it’s a short-term thing (like a trial), then that’s one thing, but it sounds like this is his m.o.

    • When I was a 1st year associate, I had a client who flat out requested that I be available from about 2pm to 5am. So those were my hours. Talk to the partner to make sure that you’re not just imagining his displeasure. But if he wants you to work the crazy hours, I’d say take his lead and forget about the morning facetime.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Wow, I so sympathise. One of the partners I work for is similar, except he tends to get in early, then take a long lunch, then go out again in the evening (about 5 onwards) and come back anytime between 8-10 and carry on working. I try to get out before he comes back if I have done everything, or e-mail and check if he wants me to stay, so my situation isn’t quite the same, but I feel your pain.

      I would raise it, but I also caveat this with:

      (1) I work in a relatively chilled out firm and it wouldn’t be an issue (in fact here nobody would bat an eyelid even if you didn’t ask and just started coming in late); and
      (2) if you work in a heavy facetime place and are relatively junior/new to the firm, you may need to suck it up so as not to appear lazy or uncommitted.

      If you mostly work for this partner, provided you get everything done, there shouldn’t be an issue with saying something/trying to come in later. I assume before you leave in the evenings you ask him if he still needs you. Then if he gives you something, ask if he needs it that night or if you can work on it in the morning.

      Alternatively, do you have someone in charge of sort of distributing work whom you could speak to? Or a nice-ish partner you sometimes work for? Or maybe someone else who has worked for this person and could give you pointers on how to manage him.

    • You need to be there when he wants you to be there. But I don’t think you need to come in at 9am, junior associate or not. Most firms are more about billables than face time. Definitely stop coming in so early if you’re working til 11! Maybe get up at 9 and check your blackberry, but no need to be in the office early if you don’t need to be.

  27. Has anyone tried on this dress or able to comment on DVF sizing generally:

    I’ve never bought DVF but this dress is lovely.

    • That is gorgeous! I have a lot of DVF and find that her sizes run smaller than most big chain stores. I wear a 0 size dress at Banana, J Crew and Gap, and usually a size 4 at DVF. YMMV…

    • a passion for fashion :

      ohhh — i LOVE that. I wish people would stop posting such lovely things, as I really should stop shopping.

    • That really is lovely. I wear a 6-8 in J Crew/BR and a 10-12 in DVF, FWIW.

    • Size up a little – I wear a 2/4 in J.Crew dresses and a 6/8 in DvF

    • Nice dress! It reminds me of the Jamilla, a style from last year. IMHO, Dvf sheaths run small, particularly in the hips. If you are a pear, I’d go up a size from your normal size.

      Nordstrom has a good return policy, so maybe get two,sizes and return one?

  28. It’s International Women’s Day today!

    Thank you all for being such a special and supportive community, and thanks to Kat for creating this forum for all of us.

    Now, turn on the volume on your computers and watch this short video (OK for work), which will remind you all about how empowering girls and women can make a difference in the world:

    Love to you all,

  29. Romans et al :

    Thanks to all the ‘rettes out there on what to pair with a navy lace skirt w/forest green lining.

    Got brave today … dh is coming home from a looooong trip in Oz…so I wore the aforementioned skirt w/a navy crewneck and the Halogen shorter cardi (w/those pockets) in a plum color. Navy thin belt and a pair of bright blue heels. Yeah, I might have stretched it with the heel color, but my purple heels just didn’t seem to “go” with the plummy cardi.

    Oh, where’s Tim Gunn and Ru?

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone. You got me out of my “two color only” drag.
    And, I no longer want my seamstress to change the lining to grey :)

    • That sounds cute! I bet you look awesome.

      • Romans et al. :

        Aw thanks! He’s en route from the airport…fingers crossed. Usually he sees me in our home renovation clothes, post-gym clothes, or jammies…I leave for work before he does and get home first, so this is hopefully a reminder of what I “can” look like. :)

        And (!!!! shock and awe) not a suit jacket in sight :)

  30. i love sheer tops, but i always have trouble trying to find a tank top to wear underneath it. what does everyone do here? whenever i put on a tank underneath, any tucking-in in turns lumpy and in my opinion, looks a bit ridiculous. i find that cotton tanks are the worst. is there a secret here that i’m missing? a bodysuit perhaps?

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