Thursday’s TPS Report: Whitney Pants

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

A good pair of work trousers — for under $100 — can sometimes be hard to find. These Halogen trousers at Nordstrom meet that target, but they also have multiple 5 star reviews, 92% of reviewers would recommend to a friend, and as another show of confidence, Nordstrom offers them in 5 colors in sizes 0-16. I also like that they come in a machine-washable, 4-season poly blend fabric with a bit of stretch. They’re $78 at Nordstrom. Halogen ‘Whitney’ Pants

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] with “TPS” in the subject line.



  1. Diana Barry :

    The shape of these looks nice in the one picture with the grey background. Otherwise I always find (when they do pics of the pants only) that Nordstrom’s pant pics look high-waisted and odd.

    I feel like even if I had machine-washable work pants, I wouldn’t put them in the machine. Maybe bc I don’t know how old our machines are!

  2. Does anyone have any comments as to the fit of this brand or this dress? This is a great price for a sheath dress (sizes 6-16 left, btw), but I’m tall and concerned about the length.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      That dress is gorgeous! Can anyone tell by the fabric makeup (linen/rayon/spandex) if this would wrinkle beyond belief?

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Spandex usually prevents the wrinkling that linen would usually cause.

    • If you look at the petites version there are comments that the fit is a bit off…

    • I have had my eye on this dress as well (also tall–5’10”–with wider hips). Any advice as to sizing would also be appreciated by me!

    • Wow. I love this dress. I’m going to buy it, too. Thanks for posting.

    • I love it. The dress ins 38″ — I usually aim for 38-39″ to get within an inch of my knee, and I’m 5’8″.

      Sadly, they are out of my size. But I say go for it.

    • soulfusion :

      I loooooooove this dress! I wore an Adrianna Papell dress as my sister’s maid of honor and received a lot of compliments. I will have to check on the size when I’m home because I waffle between an 8 or a 10 (and occasionally even a 6) and I can’t remember which size I wore with this designer. I am 5’9″ with wider hips and a booty, broad shoulders but smaller bust so dresses are sometimes tricky in terms of not having a lot of extra fabric in the bust area or being too tight across the hips/butt. What I loved about the Adrianna Papell dress I wore was everything fit perfectly off the rack and I did not have to have a single thing altered. As my sister-in-law not so tactfully commented Adrianna Papell “is very forgiving.” Not the nicest compliment ever but I have to admit she was right.

      I will check the sizing tonight and get back to you when I will most likely be purchasing this dress for myself!

      • soulfusion :

        p.s. if anyone is interested, the dress I wore to my sister’s wedding was very similar to this one:
        Same color and the bottom tiered part is the same but mine did not have the bolero jacket and had a neckline and cap sleeves similar to this one:

        • My mom wore this dress (the green one with bolero) to my wedding, and it looked very cute on her!

        • I have a black version of the second one…and a female partner at my firm has the green one. We wore it to the same event. Oops! ;-)

          • I have almost the same dress but in a light gold color…llllloooovvvveee it!

    • I ordered this dress a few months ago and sent it back – the fit was off and so was the color. I’m 5’9 with a small bust and average hips – it fit my chest all right but was all off around my tummy/hips, from what I can remember. The armholes were too tight but sizing up wouldn’t have fixed the issues. And finally, I push it sometimes with my hem length, but this was without a doubt too short.

      Ew, sorry that’s so negative! If you love it, order it and see if it works… Nordstrom is great about returns, so that’s a plus. :)

      • I bought in two sizes and had to return both. The armholes were *absurdly* small — I couldn’t lift my arms at all, and the dress dug in uncomfortably even when my arms were down. And I’m a size bigger on the bottom than on top, with pretty small arms.

        I ordered in March or early April, so the fact that they still have such a cute (and cheap!) dress hanging around suggests to me that I wasn’t the only person having issues. Sorry!

    • Rural Juror :

      I have a dress with the exact same cut, got it from Target. I think it is Mossimo brand? It is grey (and wool), but they had other colours. I get compliments on it often, the neck pleats and sort of off-the-shoulder style are really feminine looking.

      • Its a very pretty dress, but just FYI, I’ve been to 3 weddings this year already and I swear I’ve seen this dress or a variation of it on about 3-4 people at each one. Its apparently quite popular at the Macys/Lord&Taylor/Nordstrom chains all across the country.
        Not a deal breaker, but definitely one of those dresses where you might not be the only person showing up in it!

    • I am a petite hourglass figure (size 8P, usually), and I adore Adrianna Papell dresses–they always fit mer perfectly. If you don’t have at least a bit of a botty, this brand won’t fit you correctly. But for those of us with curves, this brand is amazing for both work and cocktail dresses!

    • I recently bought an Adrianna Peppell floral dress at TJ Maxx for $40. I can’t find a picture of it, but I love it. The cut is similar to this dress except that the skirt has pleats. I have an hourglass figure and normally take a size 6 in pants and dresses. I didn’t think the floral dress would be flattering on me because the skirt was so full. I tried on the 8, and it fit really well. I would definitely buy another dress from this brand.

  3. Threadjack! Rolling sleeves on blazers– yay or nay? And explain your answer.

    • I think its a great casual look, especially if he blazer has a liner. But, its decidedly casual, so I would not do it with a stodgy suit (or in a situation where a stodgy suit is required).

    • I like rolled sleeves on blazers. It’s practical, but also as a 5’1″ petite, the exposure at the lower arms is more visually pleasing than leaving them unrolled. I would never wear roll sleeves in court, however.

    • I do it and I like the look. It softens my look enough to fit in with a business casual environment.

    • Interesting. I agree – wouldn’t roll the sleeves where suit / business attire is required. I guess I should have explained why I asked… blazer w/ rolled sleeves over cute v-neck tee or tank with jeans has been one of my go-to looks for a night out for a few years now. But, because it’s been a few years, lately I’ve started wondering–is this look dated? So that’s why I asked.

    • I like the look. Even do it with one of my suit jackets with a nice lining when I am just wearing it on a regular work day (business casual office).

    • I do this casually, and in my office so my buttons don’t clack while mousing… And then sometimes I forget and walk the halls with my mouse-hand sleeve rolled up and my other one not rolled. I guess my position is that it’s fine in anything less than a biz-formal office, but try to get both sleeves so you don’t look wonky.

      • I do this all the time in my business casual law firm with blazers and suit jackets. I also have even done it for a pro bono client meeting with a fashion company since I wanted to be a little more casual with my suit for them. I love the look and I’ll probably do it forever whether it’s still trendy or not.

    • My colleague does this every time she wears a suit. Since we only wear suits for major meetings, I think it makes her look like an idiot. She is wearing a sleeves-rolled-up blazer right now and has just come back from a meeting with a major client. She is also wearing cropped pants. It’s 100 degrees out, but it was a major client!

      Rolled sleeves can be cute for a casual outfit, though. I think it’s important that it look intentional, and not like your sleeves were just too long so you turned them up. So it’s best for blazers that have some sort of cute pattern or contrasting color on the lining.

    • found a peanut :

      I almost always roll the sleeves of my jacket up, even if I’m wearing a formal suit and going to something formal, like a deposition. I think it makes my proportions look more even. Maybe because the cuff corresponds to my waistline if it’s rolled up? Who knows. I think it makes me look cute and feminine. Definitely don’t agree that I look like an idiot.

      • found a peanut :

        should note that I cuff them to about halfways between my wrist and my elbow, and usually my jackets have the stripey lining.

        • Why not just buy 3/4 sleeve jackets? I hate long sleeves, so all my jackets are 3/4 sleeve.

  4. Threadjack:

    Has anyone in mid (or big) law transferred offices? I’m trying to transfer for personal reasons (spouse got a job in another city where our firm has an office) and it’s turning out to be a bit more difficult than I anticipated. The partners I work with where I’m at now are giving me the impression that they’d like to work with an associate that’s physically in the same office (understandable), and I’m a stranger to the partners at the firm I’m heading to. If anyone has any tips or advice for a smooth transfer, they’d be greatly appreciated!

    • I switched offices, from California to Texas. I definitely recommend going on an office visit prior to your move, introducing yourself, and start working with attorneys in your new office prior to the move, if possible. Re: needing you physically in the office, IMO that’s old thinking, at least in my type of practice (which involves both counseling and litigation). I do everything my phone or e-mail, even with folks within my own office. And in federal court (where I primarily practice) everything is filed electronically and most hearings are by phone. In any event, congrats on the new move!

  5. Are any of you Corporettes familiar enough with J.Crew’s suiting to know if the wool gabardine ever comes in shades of gray (light or dark)?

    I recently ordered these pants in black and they are perfect:

    I’m wondering if they’ll ever be released in a gray color – thoughts? I don’t know enough about J.Crew suiting to know if they tend to stick to the same colors each season, or switch it up. I did see that the Super 120s have a Durham pant in gray but the Super 120s isn’t lined, and I prefer lined trousers for work.


    • I’ve purchased J.Crew suiting for 15+ years, and I can’t ever recall a gray color…there may have been a slate-gray type color but I’m pretty sure there’s not been a light gray color. However, it is my feeling that the wool gab suiting is not going to be offered in the future…it’s typically a spring-summer offering, and there hasn’t been any new offerings in the wool gab this season. I think J.Crew is going with the super 120’s, the stretch wools, and the superfine cotton and linen blends for summer. Also, J.Crew used to line ALL their suiting; sadly, many suiting pieces are no longer lined due to cost-cutting.

    • I had this suit style in a slate gray, maybe 6 or 8 years ago?

      • I just realized it may not have been the same suit. It was the wool gabardine fabric, but I don’t recall whether it was Durham trousers. The waistband was the same, but I can’t recall how the fit was and I no longer own the suit.

    • I just purchased the wool gabardine suit on sale for $220 (sale price + 30% off + free shipping!). I wore it for a NJT yesterday- love it! I just wish that the skirt had also been on sale. This was my first experience with J Crew’s suits, but I am a big fan. Now if only they had a little more room for those of us with large posteriors…

  6. How to the Halogen pant sizing compare to other brands (AT Loft, BR, etc?)

    Potentially silly Nordstrom’s shipping/return question, since I’m planning on getting two sizes and see which fits better. If I order more than $200 and get the free shipping, but then return items so it’s less than $200, will they charge me for shipping? (I’m assuming not, given Nordstrom’s generous return policies, but just wanted to check).


    • SF Bay Associate :

      No, they will not retroactively charge you, unlike some retailers. What you’re doing is called a “ride along” and I do it sometimes :).

    • I go up a size from my norm in those brands because Halogen is a little less generous in the thighs. I have the Quinn fit, but I think the Whitney is essentially the same with a lower rise.

    • I get the same size as my usual AT size.

    • Nope, they won’t charge you. Curious which retailers do. I know Ann Taylor and the BR family of brands don’t charge you either. Anyone care to weigh in before I get burned doing this someplace?

      • I don’t think I’ve ever gotten retroactively charged shipping for ridealongs, and 3/4 of what I buy is ridealongs (and are subsequently returned, in-store, for free–win!). If I ever got retroactively charged for shipping once I made returns bringing me under the free-ship threshold, I would take a hard look at the terms/conditions of the free-ship promo, and then I would call customer service and ask to have the charge refunded if there weren’t anything in the language of the promo about needing to keep merch over that amount (which I don’t think I’ve ever seen). I’m a pain in the ass like that, though.

      • Macy’s has retroactively charged me for shipping when I returned an entire order. I wasn’t pleased but whatever. I’m not sure if that was explicitly stated in their policy, tho.

    • DC Lawyer :

      The sizing is pretty true, although they’re cut for someone with relatively small hips and slender legs — and are totally forgiving of a wider waist. I have these pants in just about every color and love them. They’re practical, make your legs look longer, travel well.

  7. Ladies:

    What color shoes do you wear with a charcoal grey skirt suit? I wore one yesterday and ended up wearing black pumps, but I have to admit that in the 98 degree heat–I was not a fan. If it makes any difference, I was wearing a light green knit shell with the suit.

    Thank you so much for your thoughts!

    • If you dont want black, I’d go with any other color — red, yellow, purple, blue that goes nicely with the shirt, but doesnt match the shirt (yellow or blue would likely look good with the top you describe)

    • I think a nude-for-you shoe would work nicely.

    • What about grey? I have heather-ish grey heels and thought I’d never wear them but they’ve become a staple for so many of my outfits (except for black-toned and earth-toned).

    • The only shoes I can deal with in the heat are open toed ones. I traded my pumps for peep toes yesterday around 2pm and was so much happier for the rest of the day. Are peep toes an option for you?

      I think pretty much any color goes with gray – black, brown, red, plum, beige, or brights.

  8. Purse Newbie :

    I’m a new law grad trying to find a classic-looking shoulder bag to wear to work every day in lieu of ye ole backpack. I ordered this one because I liked the detailing, shape, size, etc.

    But what I’m worried about is that it’s red. It’s a deep maroon/red, not firetruck red. I think this would look great if my wardrobe was mostly neutrals, but I wear a lot of brighter jewel tones. Am I just psyching myself out?

    Also, I’m clearly not a person who has to have the “designer” bag – I just spent a long time scouring websites online for purses and stumbled upon this one and, as discounted above, it was at the top of my price range. There’s been some talk on this site of being leery of younger associates with designer bags – is this obviously “designer” from just looking at it?


    • No logos is a personal thing for me so I would just (personally, not as a prescription) carry that Gorgeous bag with the log inward. I do that all the time with purses if the logo is prominent and not removable (CC etc.). It would often be covered by your arm when wearing anyhow. It’s not like cabriol, Coach, or LV all over woven logos. The color is great and appropriate. Enjoy and good luck with work. Make a name for yourself for your product, not your products. :)

      • Well put.

        Also? At interviews I’ve been getting compliments on my Lands End Canvas Tote (size medium). File folders fit in the big internal pocket and my lunch and various life-junk fit nicely in the rest.

        • “Life-junk”! What an excellent way to put it – will have to use it myself/

    • Diana Barry :

      It looks small if you’re looking to replace a backpack. Or will you have a work bag for work files? I don’t care for the hardware, but that’s just my taste.

      If you’re looking for cheaper, maybe look at and outlet stores – 6pm has good deals on Cole Haan, Kate spade, etc., which will be cheaper than that $300.

      • 6pm is incidentally having an additional discount on Cole Haan items today. This purse is ok but I don’t love it. I don’t know how much you carry in your backpack but this purse is only slightly larger than a legal pad. I wouldn’t be concerned about red though. Especially this muted shade is almost a neutral.

    • I think the color is great and can easily function as a neutral (my first bag out of lawschool was a similar color leather coach bag). I cant imagine anyone caring if you have a designer bag, but i think if anyone did, it might be more of a hermes thing.

      I do, however, think that the bag looks a little small and maybe you should try a Kate Spade or Coach outlet.

    • In my office it’s pretty standard for young women to have a designer bag. Many women receive one as a graduation present or buy it as their first “grown-up” purchase. (And I’m sure some are carrying knockoffs.) So I wouldn’t worry about it – if it were a 10K Birkin bag, or a flashy LV or Coach logo bag, that’d be one thing, but this bag is very classic.

      As for the particular bag, if it’s your first big bag purchase, are you sure it has everything you’re looking for? It’s not a particularly large bag, if you’re looking to replace a backpack. Already Pretty did a guide to shopping for handbags: I’d recommend carefully considering whether you really want to drop $300 on a bag sight-unseen when it’s your very first major purse purchase. You could probably find a high-quality designer bag for around the same price or less at Nordstrom Rack, Nieman Marcus Last Call, or even Filene’s or TJ Maxx.

      • Purse Newbie :

        Thanks Duckie! I read that blog as well. I agree on not dropping that much money sight unseen – I decided that the $15 “try on” fee (of shipping) was worth it to see if I liked the bag. (I can return it within 21 days if I don’t want to keep it.)

    • Brooks Brothers :

      Try Brooks Brothers purses. They are very traditional (can wear every day), very well made (will last forever and will appear tasteful) and remarkably well-priced (affordable for you and no “how can she afford that” feelings in others).

      • Purse Newbie :

        Thanks everyone for the feedback! I meant the backpack comment more to say that I will be carrying my purse every day, not that I need that size of a bag, i.e. I don’t want a ‘trendy’ bag because I’m hoping to get a quality bag that I can use for years. Last summer as a summer associate, I only had a big interview/tote purse and felt it was way larger than I needed to carry my personal things every day (wallet, keys, phone, book for the commute) and when the SR bag arrived via UPS yesterday, it had room for all of that and then some. I presume I’d have a separate less glamorous bag for lugging files to and from the office.

        I’ll definitely look at Brooks Brothers and Cole Haan as well. Thanks!

  9. I ordered these pants in the Whitney and Taylor cut. Kept the Taylor, which fit me better — love the wide waistband, lack of belt loops, material, everything. They are go-to pants for me. The Taylor were ideal fit for me — my waist is not much smaller than my hips, and the Taylor fit my waist without bagging throughout my backside.

    BTW, I’m growing to love Halogen brand. Just picked up a bunch of tops on the sale last week, all of which I love. And the jacket I purchased to match my Taylor pants is a wardrobe staple as a separate and with the pants.

    • I live in Taylor pants at the office. The wide waistband is absolutely flattering, and hides my bit of a belly beautifully.

  10. Mental health threadjack: I finally asked my doctor for a counseling referral yesterday (the short version is that I’m fairly grumpy and irritable most of the time and getting tired of it). She gave me the number of a therapist who is affiliated with her practice and I made an appointment to see this person the week after next.
    Now I’m having cold feet about keeping the appointment. I feel like my problems should be something I can handle on my own — they’re not earth-shattering, and everyone has problems, right? — and that the therapist is likely to tell me as much. Does anyone have experience with this? Am I being silly?

    • It can’t hurt to go and see if it helps.

      Maybe changing diet (sugar and booze bad, green and leafy good), exercise (boxing or martial arts) and (don’t laugh) some time cuddling fuzzy animals may help.

    • I started going to counseling last summer after I was grumpy and irritable for 3 or 4 months straight. She was very helpful. If her answer were “suck it up and deal with it yourself,” to everyone having problems, even small problems, she would be out of a job.

      In fact, what she told me was that it was normal to be grumpy. I ended up going to her for about 6 months, and it was a very helpful experience. I am now no longer nearly as grumpy (and not as anxious either), even though my stress level is similar to what it was when I first began seeing her. It helped me gain some impartial 3rd person perspective on my life, and it helped me learn to give myself and give others a break.

    • Well, even if the therapist are something you can handle on your own (without medication or significant talk therapy), it could be good to hear that. And I bet the therapist would probably have some good strategies on how you can handle them on your own. Sometimes we all just need an outside perspective on ourselves.

      You made the appointment, at least go and check it out.

    • The therapist absolutely shouldn’t denigrate your problems by telling you they’re not earth-shattering and that you’re overreacting. One, people have different levels of coping abilities. Two, they wouldn’t make much money that way.

      Anyway, although you’re getting cold feet now, you obviously felt the problems you’re having were significant enough to merit more attention. Think of it as just another check-up. You go to the doctor to get the rest of you checked out. I say keep the appointment. Also, be prepared for the possibility that you might not mesh well with this particular therapist. It’s okay to shop around for one you click with, and you owe it to yourself to do so in order to get the maximum benefit from your appointments.

    • Even if they aren’t earth shattering, (and yes, everyone has problems), it can’t hurt to have someone to listen to you with undivided attention. Even if it’s just a time or two that you visit (or you set it up to have “check ups” twice a year), it can only be beneficial. I also agree with the idea to work on your diet and exercise, and get those happy hormones pumping! But you obviously felt unhappy enough to book an appointment and seek a good recommendation, so don’t let fear cause you to back out now.

    • Anxious, I suggest keeping the appointment. I went to counseling for a few sessions even though I kept telling myself the same things you are, “I should be fine. It’s not like I have *real* reasons to be so anxious and stressed, like family members serving in the war or something.” I think if therapy was reserved for the earth-shattering stuff, we’d all be in trouble. I found conseling to feel safe and helpful, and my therapist was able to provide me with tools for dealing with my overwhelming anxiety. A few visits was all I needed for that issue, and you might find the same. Though if not, that’s OK too. Report back, please, and let us know how it goes. You can pass on the wisdom!

    • I had the same issue. It turned out that I was not getting enough sleep and once I figured this out with the doctor, I am not cranky any more. It had nothing to do with my legal job (which still stinks!)

    • Consultant in NoVA :

      Been there. Keep the appointment. I’m telling you it will be worth it.

      • Thanks for all the helpful responses! I knew I could count on the Corporettes :) I’ll keep the appointment (and refer back to this thread if I find my resolve weakening). Thanks to all of you who have shared your experiences with this type of problem.

    • In Therapy :

      I started going to therapy a month ago for the first time. It was a hard decision for me too and a long time in coming. I’ve had 3 sessions so far, and the first one was definitely the hardest because it’s weird to tell personal information to someone you just met. I would recommend going at least 3 or 4 times, and see if you feel it helps you. Now that I am getting to know my therapist a little better, I find that it is helpful just to talk about certain issues with her – she knows the right questions to ask, and can suggest different ways I can respond to situations or try to resolve problems. It really does take a few sessions to feel comfortable so don’t quit after the first one. I have heard from other friends that if you go for a month or so and still don’t feel comfortable, you probably need to find a different therapist – and the therapist won’t take it the wrong way if you ask her for a referral to someone else.

      There is no way your therapist is going to tell you you’re silly or can handle your own problems. She’s a therapist! Obviously she believes in the benefits of therapy! She will want to help you resolve your issues.

    • You’re doing something to help yourself deal with this issue. In my opinion, that counts as handling it on your own. Therapy is a tool, but ultimately you are the one doing the work. I don’t think it’s “cheating” to use a therapist … same for a GPS, personal trainer, Spanx, Lexis/Westlaw, etc. :)

      I think you should keep the appointment. If the therapist does say something along the lines of “suck it up,” get the heck out of there and go find another one.

      Best of luck to you!

    • Seattleite :

      I also could handle mani/pedis/haircuts on my own. Plus minor car repairs/detailing and housework. But I take the time and spend the money to have people who really know what they’re doing help me to be my best self.

      Yes, everyone has problems. And most of us, at some time or other, find our own particular set of problems hard to bear on our own. Don’t ever feel bad about asking for help.

    • Keep the appointment AND tell the therapist that you almost backed out for the reason you stated. Complete and utter honesty with a therapist is a great path to improving yourself. Best of luck!

    • soulfusion :

      Sometimes the magnitude of the problem isn’t the issue – it is the cumulative effect or just the duration or you just feel stuck. Seeking professional help is not silly. I saw a therapist through a good chunk of law school. Surface wise my issues were the same as others in my class who didn’t need therapy but ultimately I was still coping with issues I thought were long behind me. My therapist taught me stress reducing habits that I still rely on today over a decade later.

  11. Does Bloomingdale’s do price adjustments against other department stores?

    I bought a Theory dress there on sale a little under two weeks ago, and now I see that Nordstrom is offering it for an even lower price. Is it worth asking?

  12. Kind of an embarrassing topic, but I need advice! I am struggling with some sort of food intolerance/IBS so that I often get a really bad stomach and have to drop everything and run to the bathroom. I could be in there for a while, like 20 minutes, or have to make multiple trips, and it isn’t pretty (smell/noise…). I hate doing this at work because our bathrooms are stalls within a larger bathroom, and I feel like it’s not private and really adds discomfort to an already uncomfortable situation. Anyone have a similar problem or advice? I know I should probably just grin and bear it, but I hate subjecting others to this and really don’t want this to turn into a “so and so is always in the bathroom, it’s so gross…” gossip thing.

    • I have a sensitive digestive system. Try eliminating dairy for a week – I can have a similar reaction to any kind of dairy. This is especially likely if you are not of Northern European descent – most of the world is lactose intolerant. And if that doesn’t work; try eliminating gluten for a week because you may be celiac. Other culprits can be caffeine or any foods pictured on the beano bottle. But my guess is dairy. And call your doctor today for an appointment in 2-3 weeks – the first thing s/he will ask you to do is eliminate dairy and/or gluten so it will save you some time if you’ve already done those things and know if it did or didn’t help.

      • This – when I was in my mid-thirties, out of the blue I developed unfortunate GI responses to caffeine. Took me a while to pin it down (did medical tests, etc.) but ultimately figured it out on my own. Pay close attention to what you’ve been eating and when the symptoms occur and see if there are any connections. After another 10 years, I started getting similar reactions to high fat dairy products – so you never know. Bodies and their responses change over time, it’s an unfortunate – but not insurmountable – fact of life.

    • Diet could very well be a cause, and that’s important to rule-out, or figure out what’s making you sick.

      But it could also be stress-related. I’m a fellow IBS sufferer, and find that all my stress goes straight to my gut. So it might be helpful to add some stress relief to your life – yoga, exercise, music, nature, whatever works for you.

    • I had this happen a few months ago, and it went on for several weeks. Same situation at work. At one point I looked at a co-worker in the restroom and said “Get out. I’m going to be sick.”

      I’d really suggest you go see a GP right away and don’t wait. (If you have diarreah for more than 24 hours, you should go see a doctor, period.) Mine said nothing about eliminating dairy or gluten. She suspected an ulcer because of the severe and sudden stomach aches after eating (or when very hungry). When those tests came back negative, we tried a course of antibiotics for possible food poisoning, and the symptoms when away almost immediately. I never would have thought food poisoning could cause those symptoms b/c I never got that initial hit w/vomiting, etc. So don’t guess – just go see a professional.

    • As someone who has IBS which flares up from time to time, and has a similar bathroom setup in my office, my advice is to use the farthest stall and “courtesy flush” often when you’re in there. Also, keep pepto chewables in your desk. They work wonders, and may alleviate your need for multiple trips. Take them when you start feeling that rumble. But definitely talk to your doctor about it. It can usually be managed. Mine has gotten a lot better over the years through a change in diet. Good luck!

    • Maybe your office is a lot smaller than mine, but I definitely don’t notice who’s going to the bathroom when. Yeah, if I go in the bathroom and a stall is occupied by someone who’s going number 2, I can tell, but there’s no way I’d know who that person is unless I, like, looked at her shoes and then walked around the office later looking for similar shoes. And I’d have to be insane to do that. I’ve also never heard anyone gossip about anyone else’s bathroom habits at work, fwiw, except for one woman who doesn’t work on our floor and comes to our bathroom to poop, presumably to avoid smelling up the one on her floor. But that woman is crazy.

      • I don’t notice who is doing what in the bathroom EXCEPT when it comes to:

        1. Personal phone calls in the bathroom and/or stall, and
        2. People who put their bags/purses on the floor of the stall.

        Why? And. . .why?

      • soulfusion :

        Agreed and I would add the only other thing I will take note of is if I realize there is a non-hand washer on the floor. Then I will try and figure out who it is to avoid them (had one several years ago and other women on the floor definitely noticed and talked about it). Anything else is private and who am I to judge?

        • Yeah but you hand wash in public – everyone in the bathroom sees who’s at the sink and who’s just leaving. No one sees who’s in a stall. They might see you go in or come out of it, but no one’s going to wait 5 minutes to see who’s in a stall doing number 2.

    • Hey IBS,

      Are you currently seeing a GI about this condition? There are a lot of things they could do to help, but I don’t want to start throwing too much out there if you’re already treating the condition. But, if right now you’re just “tolerating” it…don’t…at least go see if there are ideas. Who knows, maybe your gluten or lactose-intolerant or something like that!

      One thing I’d say though, is that you might want to work on identifying your trigger foods (whatever those are) and avoiding them during the day at work if possible. That way you’ll hopefully go less often.

      In terms of the bathroom issues…well, there are several of us on here with various GI problems and I think the take away to a certain extent is…that’s life! If anyone has a serious problem with it, that’s THERE problem. A couple options though…(1) there are purse size (or pocket size) air freshener type things that you could carry, (2) peppermint oil (it comes in pill form) can sort of cut back on gas in a natural way, and (3) on days that are really bad and you feel embarrassed, look into whether you can work from home.

      But here’s the thing…there’s nothing you can do about this! Take a deep breath and just remember that people can kind of just deal — its WAY worse for you then it is for them.

      Feel better!

    • IBS original :

      Thanks for the help everyone! Ice actually been having the problem for a while and have seen my gp and a specialist, and am off dairy. I guess right now I’m just having a random flare up! Thanks again for the support

    • There are 2 awesome products out there that I think everyone with IBS should know about. I use both brands interchangeably: one is called Just a Drop, and the other is The Drops. It’s a liquid that comes in little bottles (like eyedrops); you put a couple of drops in the toilet water before you do your business and it creates a film over the surface of the water.

      In my personal experience, they eliminate odors by about 80% – which is no small thing when you have to go in public (or at your new bf’s house, or a party…) They come in purse size and household size – stock up! My favorite scent is lavender, but the neutral scent is also nice – it has a vague cleaning solution smell, but it doesn’t linger.

      • nwlawlibrarian :

        I’m a little late here but the People’s Pharmacy recommends eating 2 coconut macaroons a day to help with IBS symptoms. I tell you, this changed my life!

  13. So not fun :

    I suggest that you make an appt to see your GP and talk with him/her about it. SO many women these days have IBS and related issues. While they may not be able to figure out how to rid your life of it completely, they can start you on the track of abating it as much as possible. Also, I personally think that all too often, people are just labeled as having IBS when it’s in fact something else that’s triggering a reaction so I encourage you to hunt around online and educate yourself on all (and there are a lot) the reasons a women can suffer from IBS and start working on figuring out what your triggers are and what you can do (or stop doing) to make you feel better. I have no idea if this will work for you but I’ve heard numerous women tell met that cutting dairy and adding a probiotic worked wonders. It doesn’t make it go away but it makes the situation much more bearable while you are on the hunt for the root cause. Good luck to you and please know that you are not alone.

  14. Threadjack with thoughts…

    Yesterday I was walking back to the office from court and happened to be behind a woman with waist-length blonde hair in business attire. She was gorgeous, and it made me think of a co-worker who is a very beautiful litigator in my office. She has beautiful, long blond hair, is tall, and always wears heels and looks like a knockout in all clothing she wears.

    To compare, I’m shorter, my hair is above my shoulders and darker blonde/light brown. I consciously wear clothing that de-emphasize my curves, and low, more conservative heels or flats.

    And then I realized: I’m just as hot as her. I just dress much more seriously. I had just had a hair appointment yesterday, and I’m constantly telling my hairstylist to make my hair more conservative and grownup.

    It just made me think, I’m constantly subconsciously comparing myself to other women, and thinking they’re hotter than me, and that I’m somehow worth less because of that. (I know that’s a stupid thing to think, and shouldn’t really matter, that but that doesn’t keep me from thinking it.)

    But it’s not true! They’re not any hotter than me. I just make an effort to not show how hot I am at work. That’s not what work is for. Work is for representing my clients.

    Anyway, it was a very empowering thought on my way back from court. And I’m glad I’m not the hottest attorney in my office. I’d much rather be known as the best, smartest, most on-top-of-it attorney.

    • I can relate to this so much. I was quite a late bloomer, and didn’t quite figure out how to look attractive (or at least, attractive in my eyes) until after college. Whenever I meet another woman, particularly of my own ethnicity, I immediately compare to see whether she is prettier than me. And as embarrassed as I am to admit it, I will often ask my husband after the meeting whether he thought that woman was pretty.

      I am also guilty of feeling jealous around women who are extremely attractive. There was a woman in my office who was beautiful and curvy and very sweet to boot. I really liked her and enjoyed going out to lunch with her, but I would secretly get annoyed when she would get stares from men and I wouldn’t.

      Now don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of the fact that I am smart and ambitious first, then pretty second. But I certainly try to be all three.

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