Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Tie Front Cotton Jersey Knit Top

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

I keep coming back to this interesting top at eShakti — like everything else on the site, it’s completely customizable, and I like the darts and the empire waist. I also really like the tie-front look because it’s much dressier than a t-shirt but it’s also not that much fussier than a t-shirt. I can see this working in a lot of different situations and offices. It’s $40, and you can change the sleeves or the length. Sizes are 0–36W. Tie Front Cotton Jersey Knit Top

Update: Unfortunately, this has now sold out, but here’s an option at Neiman Marcus.

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  1. Help me plan a lunch menu!
    8 adults, 5 kids, late midday meal. Preferably something make ahead, somewhat festive, and that doesn’t require everyone to be seated at the same time because seating around an actual table is limited. I’ve got dessert figured out but stumped as to the rest. TIA

    • A couple of options i have relied on in the past:

      1) carving station (like a roast) with rolls and condiments and a couple of salads

      2) a big casserole like a lasagna or an assortment of quiches

      • Ooh and I just thought of a third option – the tried and true Chicken Marbella from the old Silver palate cook book. Everyone loves it, and your older guests will remember it from the ‘80s. Serve with crusty bread and a crisp salad.

    • Anonymous :

      Ham, rolls, cheese, mustard, green salad, roasted root vegetables.

    • Anonymous :

      Chili in the crockpot
      Shredded chicken in the crockpot and either do salsa chicken and make tacos/burrito bowls, or make BBQ Chicken and have rolls and sides to go with it
      Ham and cheese Hawaiian roll sliders (just google for a recipe)
      Soup (I like potato or chicken tortilla both can be kept warm in the crockpot), salad, and rolls.

      • Something where the kids can choose which parts of the meal they eat would be good. I like the taco idea. This chicken is usually a hit:

        I like to serve this salad in the winter with blood oranges or tangerines instead of the canned fruit: I also serve this in parts so folks can take what they like. I usually use a smoked cheese as one of the cheeses since I don’t put bacon on mine.

        Writing this comment makes me want to make this salad over the weekend now!

    • Pulled pork made in the crockpot, with slider buns, coleslaw, sweet potato fries, and an assortment of barbecue sauces.

  2. colored eyeglass frames :

    Any suggestions for what colors I should look at for eyeglass frames? I have hazel eyes and want to bring out the green. Maybe purple frames? But won’t that make my eyes look more red when I’m tired? I can’t wear contacts and have a high prescription so glasses shopping is a PITA trying to see what I look like.

    • Anonymous :

      My mother has green eyes. She has always used a very light tortoise-y golden brown frame. It makes her eyes sparkle. Purple might work, but this might be more subtle.

      • colored eyeglass frames :

        Thanks! I have a sort of tortoise shell pair now but I feel like they are dark/heavy? will look for lighter versions. I need a fairly thick frame for my lenses unfortunately.

    • I have green eyes and found a great pair of tortoise shell frames that have purple accents (that sounds weird, but the tortoise shell includes purple spots). I get so many compliments on them.

      • colored eyeglass frames :

        Can you recommend your specific pair or even the brand? They sound like awesome unicorn glasses – I haven’t seen tortoise shell with purple.

        • Mine are by Lindberg, a couple years old. I don’t see the specific pair on their website right now, but if you have a local shop that carries that brand they might be able to help you.

          It looks like Zenni also has some options that are much cheaper, including these that look great (out of stock currently):

          • I have Prodesign Denmark frames – model 1737. I have the solid brown, but they have a purple flecked tortoise version too.

            Also, it’s an odd thing to flag, but with my most recent pair of lenses I got the crizal prevencia coating that’s supposed to be helpful with blue light filtering. I’m still deciding on if it makes a difference, but there is a purple glare on the lens when the light catches it in a certain way. I don’t notice looking out of them, but other people can see it looking at me.

        • I have a green eyes and I wear Tori Burch dark green frames. Amazing.

      • I also have green eyes and tortoiseshell frames with purple flecks! Mine are Warby Parker’s Finch in violet magnolia.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Try something blush colored. I also have hazel eyes. Similarly, I require a great deal of correction and require thick frames to accommodate my lenses, even when I pay a premium to get high-index lenses. I recently got some blush colored frames, and I have loved the way they bring out the green. I’ve also found that they’re more versatile than some other colors I’ve tried.
      I am not sure whether they’d bring highlight red in my skin as I do not have red undertones, but maybe you could do a take home try-on (like from Warby Parker) and get a sense for how they look in different light or at different times of day.

      • colored eyeglass frames :

        Those sound great! I never would have thought of blush – can you recommend your specific pair or brand?

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        Mine are Warby Parker, Tansley in “Pale Rose,” which appear to be unavailable now, but they have several other styles of blush frames.
        FWIW, because someone mentioned it below, I’m also high contrast. The point below is a good one–jewel tones look much better on me than camels, light grays, or blush, for example, because of that high contrast coloring–but for whatever reason, blush works for me in eyeglasses. The Tansley was one among several rose-colored Warby Parkers I was considering.

    • Anonymous :

      Take mirror selfies of yourself trying on glasses and then look at them again with your glasses on, so you can see better :)

    • I think it depends on more than your eye color. I would look at your contrast level – ie skin color vs hair color and lip color. Jennifer Anniston is low contrast. Jennifer Connelly is high contrast.

      My coloring is like Jennifer Connelly so I have high contrast frames – I’ve had dark purple and black, currently have a dark red. If my coloring were more low contrast I’d look for tortoiseshell or a blush-skin time frame. I did get talked into a light tortoiseshell frame once and when I look at photos of myself wearing those now i can see how they didn’t work for me.

      • colored eyeglass frames :

        My hair is very dark brown – almost black so definitely more Jennifer Connelly – I hadn’t even thought about that as affecting the choice but it’s a great point. Will try a dark red as well.

      • I came here to say this. I think it depends on your contrast. I’m hazel eyed, high contrast (very dark brown hair and very pale skin), and a high correction. I got the most compliments with a pair that was dark brown and had dark teal “highlights” on the face-side of the frames (so they just barely peeked out at the right angle). Tortoise looks not-great on me.

        I also think that when you have thicker lenses, you should avoid lighter colors or even the metal frames. The high correction distorts your eyes, so having a defined border (frame) around that area helps make it less jarring. I’m not explaining it right, but basically the higher your prescription, I think you’re less able to pretend you’re not wearing glasses at all, and it looks weird if you try to get those “invisible” type frames.

    • A woman I work with has brown frames that have green sparkles in them. It is prettier and more subtle than it sounds.

    • I have green-leaning hazel eyes, red hair, and skin with pink undertones. I have had a dark burgundy pair from Warby Parker that worked well, and my new green acetate WP frames arrived yesterday and I think they accent my eyes well!

      I also echo the tortie with purple accents recommendation. Glasses shopping is soooo fun. And this is coming from someone who only wears them around the house because my daily wear is contacts!

      • Oh derp, I should add that in my last home try on box from WP, I had a pair of blush colored ones that also looked really good on me, but I think that is because of my pink skin undertones and red hair. If you have yellow undertones, may not work as well.

        I also had a pair of navy frames – the shape didn’t work on me, but the color was cool.

    • My eyes are green and my glasses are blue with brown polka dots. I think they look good with my coloring, but in some ways, it’s hard to tell if they really make highlight my green eyes because my prescription is so high it distorts the size of my eyes. Sigh… but I do love the glasses! I would suggest what others have – take selfies in different frames so you can see them with your glasses on. Or try the online try on feature at Zenni Optical.

    • Min Donner :

      I have hazel eyes and I have these Ralph Lauren ones — the tortoiseshell + aqua is really flattering.

  3. What does everyone think about the Al Franken story? Am I a fool to think that his apology does seem genuine and heartfelt?

    • I have a really hard time believing any of them are sorry for anything but the fact they got caught.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup. If they were sorry, they wouldn’t be hiding it until now.

        • I don’t know that that is necessarily true. If it is a pattern of behavior that keeps occurring then I would agree that suggests the person feels no remorse (other than maybe for being caught). Also if there was evidence of actively trying to cover it up or silence the victim then I would not believe the apology. But when it is an isolated incident then it is plausible that the person made a terrible mistake could be genuinely sorry. We all probably have regrets and can be truly sorry about things we’ve done in our past (even if they are of a different level of egregiousness) and we don’t feel the need to make it public or confess our sins.

      • +1,000 I was telling someone the other day that part of me just wants to scream SHUT UP at all of them. That comes from a place of not believing they are truly sorry and believing that they would never change their behavior if they still thought they wouldn’t get reported. It makes me see red.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t care if his apology is genuine and heart felt. It should be, he did a terrible thing. Whether or not he is genuinely sorry now that he got caught doesn’t matter to me at all.

      • Anonymous :

        The thing is, it was so absolutely normal to do at the time (and not just to do, but to memorialize and to have it be while smiling (and not with a look of OMG my career will be over AND I will never have a political career)).

        He wasn’t sorry then, he was full of glee.

        To be sorry only now is . . . really bad

        • That’s what has struck me with a lot of these. My how times have changed … for the better – but should we hold someone to today’s standards for stuff they did 20 years ago? I’m not talking about [email protected] but things like @$$ grabbing. I came of age just as the tide was changing on this stuff. I remember a girl in high school bent over right in front of my then boyfriend with her butt in his face and he smacked her ass. Everyone laughed. She complained to the school and he got disciplined and we were all totally shocked. Shocked that she was upset and complained, shocked that the school cared, shocked that you could get in trouble for it! It was just so common and frankly somewhat welcome at the time that it just blew my mind. Now, by today’s standards I can totally understand why that would not be allowed. I’m glad we have improved so much as a society but let’s just say I’m glad we didn’t have social media or digital cameras when I was in school.

          • You are remembering how kids behaved in high school. We’re talking about a full-blown adults here. It may have been a different time, but adults should always be held to higher standards than teens.

          • Frank does this to me all the time. I can NOT get to close to him, or he grabs my tuchus. And I am not in high school either. FOOEY!

        • Anon for this :

          I’d say about 40% of my college photos have a guy pretending to grab my butt or boob and we all thought it was hilarious back then. Different time.

          • Were you asleep, or an active participant who could have said no? That changes things a lot.
            I’m having trouble remembering a time when touching a woman’s private parts while she was asleep was ever OK.

          • I agree. Even my college friends (usually no guy around ) have photos of us at different times doing poses with statues or posters on our walls or things like that. I can think of another photo where guys re-enacted a photo of us where we were posing kind of suggestively. Really was a different time. I can also think of some stupid pictures we did while people were sleeping. Taping a fake chalk line around them. Putting a word bubble nearby with something goofy. It still doesn’t make what he did right, but I probably have a different eye to that photo than someone younger than me might. I also am throughly alarmed by her recounting of the skit practice and am surprised more folks aren’t focused on that than the photo. Sounds like he was an absolute pig.

          • I don’t think so.

            I will put high school / college stupid stuff in one box.

            NO ONE has ever acted like that to me at work or in anything job / career related (and in one volunteer activity, I got up and left the event when a married guy put his hand on my leg (and then: I was more upset that he had a right on than if he had been single/cute (sadly)).

            At work, or where there is some sort of work-ish or volunteer activity (I think that a USO tour when you are both performers, one clearly a star, is work or work-ish enough to be in this box), this is in no way OK. I am a lot older than many of you here and where there is some sort of power imbalance that is what makes it wronger and that is not OK.

            I believe in burning bush / road to Damascus coversions, but I give it the side eye when you say that AFTER the pictures have come out.

          • Everybody Hates Chris? :

            Fine. Put high school / college stupid stuff in one box. But I also would put job/career-related behavior expectation in one box and “visiting comedian” in another. I don’t expect Chris Rock to talk like Chris Rock if he’s a colleague behind a desk at my office. Do I do expect Chris Rock to be Chris Rock when he’s in a group and supposed to be “on”? Um…not quite the same. Still don’t think it was acceptable. But to me far much less of a deal than ohy, say, a child molester one-on-one with little girls. Yet no outrage from Trump on that.

    • Anonymous :

      While I don’t think what he did (assuming we have heard the entire story) is anywhere near as scary/bad as what Roy Moore, Weinstein, Trump, and the others did, I am really disappointed in him. I don’t think he should resign or be expelled over it, but it’s just such a let down.

    • He did something stupid, he apologized, she accepted his apology. I’m pretty angry about the false equivalency. If everything she says is true – he kissed her while rehearsing for a skit that included a kiss after she said “okay,” and he posed for a very stupid, classless photo. There’s not any accusation of a years-long history of sexual activity with teenagers. Public embarrassment, admonishment, and heartfelt efforts to redeem himself seem like the appropriate remedy here … not expulsion from the senate.

      Although, if he does end up stepping down, it dramatically lowers the bar for what the senate and house deem acceptable and the whole place might clear out if (when!) similar or more egregious stories come out about other representatives.

      • Anonymous :

        If he were a BigLaw partner and did that, he would be sacked (it seems there were multiple “requests” while he was in a work position of power to her, IMO if you ask more than once, you’re not hearing NO). Nice that we lower the bar for senators.

        *** maybe somebody better will primary challenge him or run against him (or both, so it’s win/win either way)); surely there is someone better out there??? ***

        • Anonymous :

          Nah he’d probably keep his job and she’d get a years pay severance.

        • Sure. I’m in MN, our Democratic Gov would appoint a Democrat, and we’ve got a pretty deep bench here. It’d be fine.

          It would be such a shame, though, if 15 people get accused and only the Democrat who admits it and apologizes ends up being sacked … best case scenario, everyone loses their job – but if only Al does, and the people who are accused of far more egregious things and who call the women liars get to stay – how is that helping anything?

          • Anonymous :

            It would start a culture of Doing the Right Thing. Set an example that’s not a bad example.

          • The problem is only Democrats have this “we must do the right thing” morality. Republicans will rally around their candidate no matter what, as we saw with Trump and as I strongly suspect we will see again with Moore, who I think most people agree has done far worse than what Al Franken did. That kind of holding ourselves to a higher standard is part of what doomed us in 2016 – lots of Dems didn’t vote for Hillary because she wasn’t perfect while many Rs turned out for Trump while freely acknowledging he was awful, because he was better than the alternative in their minds.

          • Clinton, Trump, Moore: lie and deny. Keep jobs or get promoted.

            Louis CK and Al Franken: admit and apologize, shunned forever.

            Something about that just doesn’t seem right. Setting an example is fine if it actually sets an example, but if all resigning does is punish those who apologize more severely than those who don’t, that doesn’t seem to be a great solution.

          • I really like Kate Harding’s essay in the Washington Post today. In part, she writes:

            It would feel good, momentarily, to see Franken resign and the Democratic governor of Minnesota, Mark Dayton, appoint a senator who has not (as far as we know) harmed women. If I believed for one second that Franken is the only Democrat in the Senate who has done something like this, with or without photographic evidence, I would see that as the best and most appropriate option. But in the world we actually live in, I’m betting that there will be more. And more after that. And they won’t all come from states with Democratic governors and a deep bench of progressive replacements. Some will, if ousted, have their successors chosen by Republicans.

            In other words, if we set this precedent in the interest of demonstrating our party’s solidarity with harassed and abused women, we’re only going to drain the swamp of people who, however flawed, still regularly vote to protect women’s rights and freedoms. The legislative branch will remain chockablock with old, white Republican men who regard women chiefly as sex objects and unpaid housekeepers, and we’ll show them how staunchly Democrats oppose their misogynistic attitudes by handing them more power.

          • You can’t compare Louis CK’s apology to Franken. Louis is a scumbag who has known for years that this was coming and has many many victims. He just finished making an entire movie about a 68 year old man dating a 17 year old. His apology was also way less genuine and tried to promote his work in it at the same time. ugh.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            I’m not convinced that everyone else would get to stay, though. Just with Moore, there seems to be a real chance he could be expelled from the Senate if elected, and some Republicans want to reschedule the election to get rid of him (which won’t work, but it shows they’re serious).

            Honestly if we want to hold anyone accountable we have to hold everyone accountable. Kate Harding’s piece is just Gloria Steinem’s op-ed 2.0–a despicable betrayal of women then, and a despicable betrayal of women now.

        • If you work at a BigLaw firm that would fire someone over this, I want to know what firm it is. Because that is very fair from my experience.

          At my firm and those of my friends, things very far worse than this just gets ignored. This wouldn’t even be a story, because so much worse stuff has happened. And when that worse stuff happens and someone ends up leaving the firm, it is never the male partner – it’s always the female associate that has to find a new job.

          (Not saying this is ok. But to act like BigLaw firms would fire someone for this is so out of touch with my reality.)

          • And out of touch with my reality of a firm that likes to think of themselves as BigLaw but is regional. A partner forced a kiss on me after a holiday party and another called me a d i r t y w h o r e as a “joke” in an email with other firm attorneys on it. They are both still there and raking in the dough. I saw them at an event the other night and, for better or worse, kept “joking” slamming them in conversation. No RAGRETS.

          • No biglaw, but see Bridgewater’s handling of a senior executive’s relationship with a subordinate…enraging and I hope it tanks Ray Dalio’s efforts to market himself as a management guru.

          • If this came out and we didn’t fire the person, we have Fortune 50 clients who would take us off of approved counsel lists. And that would sink at least my work. So we have to fire people (perhaps they are encouraged to move on (like priests were)) or do something so when Above the Law has a story on Lawyer X, it’s not Lawyer X at my firm.

            So we manage our headline risk b/c we are greedy, but we listen to the $ and a big client always > any one partner creating harassment claims against us no matter what the book of business.

        • HAHAHA – Nope. A partner at my firm was caught (a) j_cking off and (b) “accidentally” exposed himself for several minutes at a sporting event and he’s still employed. And women keep leaving my group. Your biglaw firm must care less about rainmaking.

      • But that’s the problem – there are different standards on the left and right so if he leaves, all the predators on the right will still be there. Plenty of democrats are saying he should resign, but the GOP is still standing behind Trump and many behind Moore. And +1 on the false equivalency. I’m incredibly disappointed in Franken, don’t get me wrong, but the fact that it’s now being used to justify support for child molestor Moore is appalling.

    • Anonymous :

      I met him twice and both times, he has talked more to my chest than my face. I’m worried that where there is smoke, there’s fire.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree — in some people’s worlds, we are all there as appetizers.

      • Even if he’s a lecherous guy who tries to get with every attractive young woman he meets, that’s not sexual harassment or assault. I’d be mad as hell if I were his wife, but as a third party not in their marriage I don’t think his behavior is that bad.

      • In contrast, I met him twice, when I was much younger and routinely told I was “beautiful”, and he was just a political comedian. He engaged in thoughtful discussion with me and several female colleagues. I never once felt ogled.

      • Also met and worked with him, also had him oogle my chest, also felt extremely uncomfortable.

    • I’m willing to bet many of the accused men don’t even know the names of their victims. If they wanted to apologize (prior to the public allegations forcing their hand), they probably wouldn’t even know where to start. It’s indicative of how little they actually care about women and very indicative of how much they abused power .

      • Agree. So true. To them, it wasn’t even something to be concerned about. They won’t remember half the time.

    • Is it at all fair to just point out that Roger Stone knew about this and tried to build excitement about it before her statement was made, and that she’s a professional right-wing pundit who appears on Hannity with some regularity?

      I’m not saying these are justifications for the assault (obviously!) plus Franken seems to have admitted that he did what she’s accused him of – but is anyone else bothered by the political motivations and feigned outrage by the disgusting people who see her story as personally advantageous to their narrative?

      I mean, she has the absolute right to share or not to share, and to be outraged by what occured. But she’s also being used as a political pawn. Which I suppose she can also choose to consent to. I don’t know. My feelings about this are complicated.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I get that (and I know people with similar worries about the allegations against Moore, although they vary whether they think the pawn-users are liberals or the Republican establishment), and I do worry about the extent to which these women are being pushed around and exploited.

        Buuuut now we know what we know, and we can’t un-know it. This isn’t an actual trial where you can exclude evidence because its origin is dirty. I think a better strategy is to take advantage of the outrage from people who already hate [pervert man], for *all* the pervert men, and then hold more pervert men accountable in the aggregate. Also it’s easier (and makes more sense) to say “Yes, you’re right! Franken is a creep!” and then turn around and say “Aha, you think Franken is a creep–so you must think that of Moore too, unless you’re a big hypocrite!” than to say “Well if you don’t think Moore is a creep you can’t say anything about Franken, unless you’re a big hypocrite!”

  4. Any tips for not grinding/clenching my jaw whilst sleeping? This morning woke up with a sore jaw. Unsure why I am doing this??

    • Anonymous :

      I do this too, I clench in my sleep. It’s an anxiety/stress thing. You can have a mouthguard made at the dentist that will protect your teeth and help train you not to clench. You can also get them for cheap on Amazon but they won’t be custom molded to your mouth.

    • Shopaholic :

      I find it’s stress-induced. Wearing my mouth guard (fitted from my dentist) helps.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Echoing the chorus to get a mouth guard from your dentist. For me, it’s usually driven by stress, so when I know that I’m particularly stressed I’ll pop it in at night.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I started doing it during a stressful period, and also got a custom mouth-guard from my dentist. It’s really helped.

    • S in Chicago :

      Mouthguard. Hot water bottles on your face before bed and when it’s hurting (relaxes the muscles).

    • Yes to the mouthguard. But they are not cheap – IIRC my share of the cost even with insurance several years ago was about $700. If you want to try it and see if it helps, you can get a drugstore brand, which I did once when I was out of town for a few days and left mine at home. They’re made of plastic that you soften in boiling water then mold to your teeth. This will give you a guard that is a bit bulkier and not as well fitted as a custom piece from your dentist but you can see if it helps before making the investment.

    • I’m here to recommend getting a bite guard. I’m 48 years old and have never had a cavity yet managed to crack a tooth completely in half from front to back in such a way that the tooth had to be pulled. I’m in the process of getting an implant. It must have happened in my sleep because I woke in this situation, rather than having it present while eating.

      Please please please do not chew ice or popcorn kernels and invest in the bite guards!

    • I have had success with periodically massaging my tmj. If you search for tmj massage you should be able to find some videos and articles that describe the technique.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have this issue. I have had both the nightguard from the dentist (>$500 out of pocket) and the ones you can buy at the pharmacy that you put in hot water and mold to your mouth yourself (~$20). At least for me, I do not see a difference.

      • I’m also happy with the pharmacy version that you DIY mold. At the very least you can get a feel for if you would actually use it, lose it, etc. before spending $$.

    • Anonymous :

      My dentist offered to make me a nightguard, but pointed out that the mouthguard I use for my chosen sport would do just fine. Try SISU–they are lightweight and very breathable and way cheaper than a custom one from the dentist.

    • Another vote for a mouthguard from the dentist. Mine was able to make mine at his office for $175. I used to wake up with headaches and sometimes migraines from clenching in my sleep and this really eliminated that problem. On the rare night I forget to wear my mouthguard I feel it the next morning.

  5. Any lawyers here had to deal with being in an open office? I’m in-house and being forced (along with most of the other lawyer in my department) to move from my office to a cube. Aside from my very strong dislike of open offices, I’m really concerned about the impact it will have on my ability to do my work. I take phone calls all day long, many of which are confidential in nature. It’s hard to imagine getting up to go to a meeting room every single time I have to be on the phone. I also do a lot of reading and writing and require quiet to concentrate. I just can’t focus with a lot of noise and activity going on around me. A bunch of us have pushed back pretty hard, trying to explain that it would be inappropriate based on the confidential nature of what we do alone, but it is falling on deaf ears. I think this move is inevitable and I’m pretty upset about it. Can anyone who is in an open office and doesn’t hate it talk me down?

    • Anonymous :

      So…I’ll start by saying I think there is a difference between cubes and open offices.

      1. Cubes have walls which cut a lot of the visual distraction that comes with a (truly) open plan.
      2. I do a lot of writing, as do most of the people in my area, so it tends to be pretty quiet. I have headphones (over the ear, so it’s obvious if people need to get my attention) that I put on if there’s chatter or other noise I need to filter out. Sometimes I just put them on without turning on any music and it’s enough to muffle the activity around me.
      3. If you are in-house and all the other people in your area are also lawyers (will this be the case?), does the stuff have to be kept confidential from them? Or are you worried about people outside your group wandering into your area?
      4. Are you taking these calls (so they need your desk number), or making the calls, so you can dial out if needed? If the later, then a meeting room or a huddle room takes a little more coordination/work (vs just picking up your phone), but it’s doable. Not ideal, but doable.

      • You’re right, I’ve been using open office and cubicle kind of interchangeably. I haven’t actually seen the space yet, but from what I understand it is just a series of desks. No walls.

        As for the phone calls, it’s a bit of both, but I do get a good number of unscheduled phone calls every day.

    • Anonymous :

      Can’t talk you down…I would hate this, and I completely agree with you.

      You have valid reasons for not wanting an open office too. What does the head of your department say about it?

      • They’ve been pretty unwilling to entertain our concerns or back us up on this being unreasonable. Everybody from the top down is moving to an open office, so I think they’re partly worried about optics and not wanting the lawyers to look like a bunch of complainers who think we’re all better than everyone else.

      • Yeah I would hate this too unfortunately. This has been floated at my company, too, and the decision was that HR and Legal would still have offices because of the confidential and sensitive nature of those calls. Could you talk to your boss about it? Also, are you considered an insider at your company?

      • Anonymous :

        For what it’s worth, if you need anecdotal data, I’ve been in-house at 2 F50 companies, and both have agreed that lawyers absolutely need to be in offices. Both companies have gone to “open format” workspaces for all other teams, and our paralegals and other support staff are in cubes/open environment, but it has been non-negotiable that the attorneys keep their offices. In addition to the fact that you’re on confidential phone calls all day long, you have a lot of confidential info on your computer/in your papers. Yes, you can in theory lock all that stuff up every night but that’s an imperfect solution.

        So your instincts about this aren’t incorrect – and I’d keep pushing them if you can. Definitely do some benchmarking with other companies’ legal teams to see if that helps.

    • I can’t talk you down. I’ve been there, and I hate it.

      Can you get your clients to complain on your behalf? If you spend the first week telling people, “I’m sorry, I can’t discuss that with you because I’m in a public workspace” and encouraging them to complain to HR / Mgmt / whomever made this (dumb) decision about how they can’t get your advice any more, it might work.

    • I have had my own office for years now, and would be super annoyed if I had to give it up, but I did some of my best legal work early in my career in a cubicle in the DA’s office. It can be done. For one productivity point, I was much less likely to randomly do internet shopping or the like when someone could be over my shoulder at any moment.

    • I’m in house and have never had an office. For 10 years, I was in a 6’x9’ cube and it was perfectly fine. There were no “neighbors” on either side so it was quiet, and the white noise pretty much alleviated my concerns about people hearing my conversations (plus they are lawyers as well). We then moved into 6’x6’ cubes with shorter walls and people jammed together. There is someone in my peripheral vision pretty much the entire day. It is not fine. I cannot do my job. Luckily our management understand (they are in these stalls as well) so now we work from home as we please. There is a wide variety of cube situations – some are tolerable and some are not. Do not complain to clients. That is whining and will likely p!ss off your management who likely has no choice in the matter. See how it goes and if it’s unbearable the ask for flexibility.

    • I work for a large financial institution in NYC in the legal department. My institution, and the majority of institutions where my friends and former law firm colleagues work, have all switched to open plan “trading floor” style desks for their legal and compliance departments.

      Some senior level lawyers have their own offices, although I understand that is being taken away in the near future. Several institutions have “hot desking” policies even for Legal, which blows my mind — lawyers love their files.

      Honestly, I think you’re fighting a losing battle. All of your concerns are perfectly valid, but in every case I am aware of, they have fallen on deaf ears. This is what I can offer you, having lived through it:
      – If you work on internally sensitive materials such as employment law, enforcement/disciplinary actions or there are certain firewalls within your institution that shouldn’t be breached, you should make those points specifically. In my experience, the general “confidentiality” of legal matters has not been compelling for management.
      – The office should give consideration to who is placed nearby. Legal should be segregated from other functions, but within Legal, they should do an honest accounting of who is on the phone all day versus who is on doc review, and group people accordingly.
      – They need to make sure that there are adequate spaces for people to take phone calls — conference rooms but also “phone booths” where people can take personal calls. Management may want to consider how to disseminate new office norms about personal phone calls, use of space, socializing, etc.
      – You live or die by how annoying your seatmates are. After 2+ years, I have gotten used to it. Sometimes I even like it, because I collaborate with my teammates effortlessly and we are all usually “in the loop” with developments. When my internal clients go forum shopping, we know right away because we’ve already heard the phone call. We all probably give more consistent legal advice because of it.

      Now, don’t get me started on the removal of trash cans or other cost cutting measures, however….

    • Millions of people work in cubes and they survive. It’s not ideal, but it’s fine. My office is open concept with cubes and it actually gets pretty quiet when everybody is focusing on work.

      • Yes. They survive. They don’t thrive. The whole idea of open offices must have been created by extreme extroverts who absolutely could not process that there are people unlike them, who need some measure of peace and quiet in order to actually think. It’s such an unbelievably arrogant concept. There are no downsides to offices or even cubes and there are tons of downsides to open offices.

        • The concept behind truly open workspaces is usually an egalitarian one. I have decades of work experience in office + cube environments and there is a lot of wrangling about who gets an office. Naturally, everyone prefers an office but not everyone gets one, so then you have the two classes of workers situation – office dwellers vs cube dwellers.

          The idea of an open plan is that everyone is the same. In a truly open plan even the boss sits at one of the long tables and works alongside everyone else. It’s supposed to encourage collaboration and lower the concept of hierarchy.

          Unfortunately many employers that try to transition to this concept only go part way. So the boss making decisions will say that is great for everyone else, but he’s not giving up his office. And then you have a mixed bag and you still have the hierarchy.

          There are no office floor plans that have every worker in an traditional office other than a space like a Regus where everyone is a sole practitioner leasing space. So there are no plans where everyone is going to be happy.

          • JuniorMinion :

            I’m in a floorplan where everyone has an office…. but I work with overwhelmingly engineers in oil and gas and I think the industry has always been like this and will always be like this. On the upside most people aren’t officing in places like SF / NYC / LA where the rent is expensive.

          • @JuniorMinion, so are there no support staff, or do the support staff have offices too?

          • @Anon – I work somewhere where everyone, including support staff, has a private space. They aren’t all offices but those that have cubes are the only cube in the whole area so it functions like an office. So there are four offices, with doors, grouped together in a pod with one cube outside those four offices. Down the hall there is another pod, similar concept. This repeats throughout the building.

        • The downside to offices is the cost. This is not driven by clueless extroverts, this is driven by cost cutting.

        • Anonattorney :

          Yeah, the concept behind open offices is entirely driven by cost. It’s cheaper to have open offices. Study after study has shown that open concepts don’t work. They keep doing it anyway, because it saves a ton of money on rent.

      • I moved from an office to a cube situation. I work in a law firm so don’t have the confidentiality issues that you face but it was definitely an adjustment. Don’t have solutions, just commiserating with you and Anonforthis at 12:19 as headphones are not allowed in my office either.

        I’ve found taking my physical paperwork when I don’t need my computer to a conference room helpful. If you have a laptop/can log in from the conference room that might be helpful too.

        Perhaps, you (and the other lawyers) can occupy the conference room for the entire day/week and use that to get HRs attention and make your case regarding how many confidential calls you make and needing your own space?


    • Autumn Leaves :

      I do employment law in a large government agency, so it’s similar to in-house. If my office went to an open plan, I would start job searching. Not only would I hate it from a workflow perspective (I need quiet to write), but I think there are serious ethical concerns related to employee privacy.

      • Anonymous :

        My government agency is considering doing this or putting us two to a cube. If that happens, yeah, I’ll be looking.

    • I work in an open office space and I love it. However, my company is amazing and they really did things right … the space is gorgeous, the furniture and equipment is top notch, there’s really effective white noise that dampens the ambient noise. Each section has a particular culture/norm, though and there are definitely some where there’s a LOT of chatter. My area tends to be very quiet – I hear people on the phone but it’s amazing how much you tune out without even realizing it. There are plenty of other workspaces available … phone rooms, open areas, huddle rooms, etc. so people do a variety of things for phone calls. It really does create a fantastic culture of spontaneous interaction. I do a lot of writing and like quiet, calm spaces for reflection and deep concentration but I do honestly love this open office.

    • I work in an open office – not cubes. As many have said: it’s hard. Things you can do to make it better: take calls in a private room (if your new setup has them). Schedule yourself a meeting room or other private space to read/write. It’s difficult, but not impossible. I know open office is the trend but I’m really hoping it dies or I can go work somewhere that’s actually collaborative or where I have my own quiet space.

    • I don’t understand how the A/C privilege isn’t constantly waived in this scenario. If non-essential folks can overhear or eyeball privileged documents routinely how can the privilege be defended. Similarly, can an open/ cube system be a “reasonable” means of protecting confidentiality. Legal is different based mainly on the privilege/ confidentiality issue. Seems like a penny wise, pound foolish change…

    • Anon for This :

      I’m in house in a completely open floor plan, and yes, I duck into a conference room multiple times a day to take calls. I frequently get a call at my desk, and tell the caller I need to call them back from a conference room. It’s inconvenient, but that is just they way it works. I don’t leave anything confidential out at my desk ever and lock my computer every time I step away. I’ve just had to get used to it when I need to concentrate on writing something as headphones are frowned upon. Not going to lie, it is not easy, I would love a shared office, or even to be in a separate area from everyone else, but that is not likely to happen.

      • Anon for This :

        This came out more negative than I was intending. It takes some getting used to, but all of this is just second nature at this point.

    • Open offices are terrible for productivity and concentration. I’m so glad I’m not in that atmosphere anymore. Ugghhhhhhhh. The worst.

  6. Ah I like this top. Bummer it’s sold out. I used to have one like this from Talbots and it was incredibly versatile.

  7. Nelly Yuki :

    What do you use to coral your dish-washing brushes? I like to have two accessible, and the holders I’ve found that attach with suction cups always fall down.

    • Anonymous :

      I found one at the container store that has a place to hold a scrub brush and a sponge, with holes so that it will drain. It’s my favorite, and the suction cups work well. There’s a mechanism where the suction cups rotate up and down (if that makes sense), and it lets it “lock in” the suction.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t own any

    • Anonymous :

      We have tilt drawers on the cabinet below the sink and they can fit in there.

    • I have something that stands up from Joseph Joseph. It fits brush, sponge and soap.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I would love the tilt-drawers but we have a farmhouse sink, and I hate clutter around the sink, so I put hooks on the inside of the cabinet below the sink, and hang them there. I also hung a wire basket (on 3m hooks) for everything except the active, every day sponge (so scrubbers, brillo pads, etc go in there). The brushes drip a tiny bit into the bin I use to corral all of our cleaning products, which is below, but it doesn’t bother me. We’ve had them there for 6 months and I haven’t found it gross enough to have to clean the bin at all.

    • Shopaholic :

      I just bought one online from bed bath and beyond. It’s the simple human and has suction cups as well as a little thing at the top that fits on the side of the sink… sorry that’s a terrible description. I will see if I can find a link

      • Shopaholic :

    • Full of ideas :

      I only have one at a time, but I have a really cute ceramic mug without a handle that I got from a stoneware company. I store the brush in that when I’m not using it. When I do need to use it, I fill the mug with a little bit of soap and hot water and use it as a way to save water when doing dishes.

  8. gift idea - athleisure :

    My brother just got married (yay!) and I don’t know my SIL that well (we live far away). The main thing I know is she always wears athleisure and is very athletic. She’s not as in to games as we are, is not a huge reader, and doesn’t drink coffee – those are my three go-to gifts. I asked my brother for ideas and he said she likes things for teaching her spin class. I feel sort of weird just buying someone cute leggings for Christmas, but is that what I should do? I was thinking of a S’well water bottle too, maybe? They are well off and live in a HCOL major urban area, but they are also really busy so I didn’t want to get an experience card she won’t use. I usually like to shop local for gifts but I have no idea how to do that with athletic wear. Any other ideas?

    • I would forget the local angle. Go to lululemon and get her some of those stretchy headbands. They are great and everyone loves them. If you budget is larger maybe a top but I wouldn’t venture into actual clothing items when your usual gift is coffee or a board game.

    • Anonymous :

      Cute leggings with a gift receipt is a great idea and not weird at all.

      • Anonymous :

        This Lululemon with a gift receipt = your new go-to gift. You can buy pretty much anything (shirt, leggings, water bottle, bag, headband) and she can just exchange it if she wants something else or use the credit towards a splurge purchase.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Beware that Lulu has a super short return policy even during the holidays. If you shop a month before you give her the gift, she won’t be able to return it. If in doubt, get a lulu gift card.

          • Anonymous :

            I think lulu has extended their return policy for anything purchased during the holiday? They’ve also become way more flexible than they used to be.

            But a headband + gift card or a pair of their socks (which are awesome) + gift card would be cute and fun too.

    • Cornellian :

      I think nice athletic stuff is the way to go. I’m not sure what climate they’re in, but winter athletic gear is crazy expensive, and could be a thoughtful gift (if you know she runs/bikes/hikes/whatever outside). I never want to buy it for myself but it would be a thoughtful gift.

    • Anonymous :

      I think something like leggings is a bit too personal for a gift for someone you don’t know well. A Swell bottle & lulu gift card sounds like a great gift idea.

    • Anonymous :

      I think you could get her some fancy athleisure she might not necessarily get for herself. Carbon38 has some cool stuff that is a bit edgy and a bit on the pricey side, although maybe consult your brother to make sure what you’d buy is to her taste. You could get her a gift card from there. I’ve personally been coveting the leggings from ADay as well.

    • Why don’t you get them a joint gift, i.e., something they can use for their house, on vacation, etc.

      • +1. In our family almost all gifts to adults are for the couple.

      • gift idea - athleisure :

        Yes, I thought about that – I just did something similar for their wedding (they just got married a month ago) and I wasn’t sure about doing it again. But maybe that would just be easier!

        Thanks for the recommendations, all!

    • I am in love with my Smartwool clothes, for an option of real athletics or athleisure.

    • I agree with the swell idea. If you’re looking for something more an MZ Wallace metro tote for the gym might be nice too.

    • Anonymous :

      I would do athleta with a gift receipt

    • ETSY giftcard.

  9. Law school in your 30s? :

    Been contemplating this for a few years now and want to see if anyone else has done this or have any thoughts/regrets.

    Some background: I went to a top undergrad (think HYP) on full financial aid and even though I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer, knew it wasn’t a financially feasible option straight out of college. Instead, went into a more lucrative field where I’ve done well and saved quite a bit of money. Thinking of going back to law school now I’m in a better financial position. I’m pretty confident I can do well in my LSATs (took a diagnostic and got 172) so I’m looking for schools where I can get a full ride. My understanding is that outside of the top 3 law schools, most others offer merit scholarships if you do well in your LSATs (please let me know if that’s not accurate).

    Here are some of my concerns: I’m in my early 30s right now. My husband and I are thinking of starting a family soon. I’m concerned about going to law school while pregnant (esp interviewing for internships and jobs while pregnant) and having more limited job prospects. I want to work for the DAs office after I graduate – how realistic is that, both getting hired in the first place and the number of hours I’ll be expected to work while hopefully having kids by then.

    My husband wants me to stay in my current field where hours are extremely reasonable though culture is not very family friendly. I’m not willing to give up my dream of being a lawyer. Am I being unrealistic?

    • Anonymous :

      Do you know anyone who works in an actual DA’s office?

      IMO, litigation is and isn’t family friendly, in many ways. DA’s offices are often awesome for culture. And bad for $. Trials are brutal.

      Have lots of working mom with kid coffee dates. Not just in law but in your field. No job is ever truly family friendly, esp. with small kids who can get sick unpredictably.

      Luckily, DA’s offices aren’t snobby, and probably do most hiring from local law schools. So if you went to Princeton and then Seton Hall, the Morris County Prosecutor’s office probably cares more about Seton Hall than if you go to Stanford for law school.

      Two things at work here — law; working with kids. Tease each apart. The kid thing is dicey everywhere.

      And you can always go — I went with kids in their 20s, older people, single parents (OMG — I have no idea how they did it), parents, and retirees.

    • I think others will be able to better answer your question about job prospects, but I work in law admissions and can answer the merit scholarship question. Your undergraduate GPA, while it was a long time ago, will also have a major impact on merit scholarships in addition to the LSAT and rest of your application. When looking at schools, pay attention to any additional applications for the full tuition scholarships (some require an early binding decision, some require additional essays). Your GPA and LSAT should be above the school’s 75th percentiles if you want a solid shot at a full merit scholarship. The LSAT is now being offered six times a year, so pay attention to the dates of the test administrations if you are thinking of an early decision application.

    • Anonymous :

      You shouldn’t anticipate getting a full ride to any top 20 school. It happens but more likely you’ll get some scholarship money but not a ton. If your plans depend on a full ride you need to be looking at your local law schools, and I don’t mean local like Colombia because you live in Manhattan, for example.

      Being pregnant in law school is fine.

      Why do you want to be a DA? Would you be a state prosecutor? What if you can’t get that job? Lots of people want it and don’t get it and wind up having to do other things. You should not go to law school for one dream job.

      Are you ready to be the bottom of the ladder in your mid to late thirties? Are you ready to not be in a position to get flexibility? To be expected to be all in on your job? To work late nights and weekends and be pretty sure you’re failing constantly because you don’t know what you are doing yet?

      I don’t think there’s anything wrong with law school in your 30s but you do seem unrealistic about the challenges.

    • Cornellian :

      If you can kill the LSAT, you should be able to get great merit financial aid at top 25 (maybe not top 10) schools. I got a 172 and got a 75% ride to a T14.

      I don’t know what region you’re in, but there may be a dominant public school (think Michigan, Texas) that is as good as Yale, etc in the local market.

      As for babies… In retrospect, law school would have been a perfect time to be pregnant. Obviously you don’t know how your body will respond, etc, but law school would have been much easier for me. Especially if you just treat it like a 9-5, and study for the 5 hours a workday you’re not in class, I think you’ll do fine. Older students seem to do better on that front.

      As for post-law school…. I don’t have experience with the DA’s office, although my good friends do. I would not characterize it as family friendly, but I”m sure it varies from place to place. Keep in mind that working at the DA’s office pays VERY little (one friend started at 41K, I know), so…. I’m not sure what you do now, but that could be a real step backwards. I don’t think, generally, law jobs are very family-friendly, so I think this is the stickiest part of your question.

    • Anonymous :

      I think law school can be a good time to start a family for some people. The schedule is a little more flexible and can be more manageable. If you want to read about one woman’s experience, look at the blog Lag Liv. She had a baby her 2nd or 3rd year in law school.

      I think it depends on your location as to how difficult it will be to work in the DAs office. From my experience, if you are willing to work in a less popular area you can easily get hired right out of law school. Trial work can be intense, but it also comes in waves and so some weeks will be very busy prepping for trial and during trial, but some weeks will be calmer. And of course, the vast majority of criminal cases plead, so most will not actually go to trial (which is not to say there is no work to be done on a plea and in anticipation of a plea because there still is.)

    • I think having kids in law school would have been great — or at least a lot easier than doing it in the first few years trying to cut my teeth as a lawyer. In retrospect, I wish I had started having kids while in law school (there’s no maternity leave in law school obviously, but it’s probably not that great at a DA’s office either…). It would obviously take away from your social life and, to some degree, your ability to study hard and be on law review, but still probably easier than doing it during your first years as a new lawyer.

    • I did something similar to you (though without the financial cushion and in my late 20s). I went to law school on a full ride and had a baby my 2L year. Having a baby in law school isn’t that bad because of the flexibility in schedules. I ended up taking a semester/summer off and had no problem getting summer jobs at firms and a great clerkship. I don’t know much about working at a DA’s office except that these jobs are very competitive to get and don’t necessarily have great work-life balance.

      I had full ride offers from two state schools in the top 14 and was offered significant merit aid at several private schools as well. This was about 10 years ago, and I know the legal education landscape has changed a lot since then. For example, law school applications are down, so it might be easier to get into higher ranked schools and get merit scholarships. FWIW, I had a 172 LSAT and 4.0 GPA in a hard science from a top school.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I can’t speak to the kids or DA issue, but on paying for it, look for schools with public interest scholarships–my law school had one for full rides for those intending to do public interest, and DA’s office would count (I think). And yes, schools do offer merit scholarships. As someone said above, though, it’s usually not full merit scholarships at the top 20, but I did get several offers of half tuition at t20 schools (though half of a large number is still a large number).

    • Ha — read my rant on BigLaw with sick kids on yesterday’s morning post. I’m not sure that DA’s offices are more family friendly (and you will have less $ to hire help). DA’s deadlines are often real and constitutional-driven, so speedy trial act / jeopardy has attached in a trial doesn’t matter for when you have sick kids.

      Law school seemed like a good idea when I was 22. I didn’t have kids then or when I was starting out

      If I had it to do over again, I’d choose any profession with a hard stop if I knew that kids were in my near future.

      You can always read ScotusBlog has a hobby.

      • Yeah, I mean…see yesterday’s conversation about the DA, the briefing schedule, and childcare.

    • I was pregnant and turned 30 3L year, took the bar when the baby was 6 months old and had a JD-required job within 9 months of graduation. It can be done! It was so much easier being pregnant during law school than when I had my second and was a few years into working – and I am not in litigation.

      That said, I agree with others that a full ride is probably unrealistic unless you go to a lower ranked school but perhaps your debt load would be manageable. During the hard times balancing kids and work, I wish someone could have really made me understand what six figures of debt means for one’s ability to lean out or maybe do something else. Law is a stressful field and I have a lot of days that I wish I’d done something else that wasn’t as consuming or demanding, when I’ve been really heartbroken about the sacrifices I have to make – especially time with my babies. I have some days where I love my job, but feeling like I don’t have a choice is hard.

      Plenty of people go to law school thinking they want to be a lawyer – I’d advise really, really being as sure as you can before you go three years sans salary and pay any substantial amount out of pocket. Agree with others that you should talk to other working mothers, lawyers and otherwise.

    • Do not expect a merit scholarship to a T10. (Admittedly, it’s been 20 years since I applied, but I had a 174 and a degree with honors from a top undergrad, and there were no merit scholarships to T10).
      Depending where you are, it can be very difficult to get a job in the prosecutor’s office. NYC has a ton of office and a lot of positions, but they will want to see a demonstrated interest in the job. Other places may have offices with years between openings or openings that only go to the politically connected.
      Many DAs offices have night/weekend duties. That may or may not work for you, depending on your husband’s flexibility. Also, where I currently work, trials go until they end. And it sucks when the defense lies about how many witnesses they’re calling and you realize at 5:30 that you’re not going to make dinner and will be lucky to make bedtime. But somewhere like NYC, the court officer’s union means you always get lunch and court ends at a reasonable hour.
      These are all questions you should answer for your area before you make any decisions.

      • I had a full ride to Columbia. As well as Texas and maybe one other? It can be done. Just kill it on the LSAT. This was 7 years ago?

      • Anonymous :

        Law school’s are competing for a smaller group of students (enrollment is down), but they can’t just take anyone because they want to keep their LSAT and GPA stats up for US News Rankings.

        So you get top schools competing for top students, which results in more scholarships.

    • I am in law school now, having gone back later in my career, and am beyond thrilled I made the decision to do so. The relevant comparison is not whether it would have been better for you to go to law school earlier vs. now, it’s whether your life will be better going forward having gone to law school vs. not having gone. Your numbers/background are comparable to mine and I got almost a full ride at a T10. I would open your thinking beyond just the DA, since you don’t know exactly what law school will bring, but you’ll have a lot of good opportunities if you get into the right school.

      It sounds like this is something you really want to do and you’ll feel permanently diminished if you don’t. IMO that’s enough reason to figure out how to make this work.

    • DA jobs are generally trial jobs and all trial jobs are brutal. As a litigator, my schedule is very flexible in that I can schedule most hearings according to my schedule. However, when I’m in trial and the weeks leading up to trial, I easily work 60 hours a week.

    • I have 2 thoughts regarding practicing law with young children. In retrospect, I think it would have been easier to be pregnant and have a newborn/infant during law school rather than at the beginning of my career. I am entering my 10th year of practice and have a 5 year old and 2 year old – this has been the hardest year of work life balance to date, especially since my 5 year old started school this fall.

      Second, in my experience, a state job like a DA is more manageable as a working mother in terms of total hours you are expected to work and the ability to control your schedule. However, I briefly worked in local government after my first child was born and it did not give me as much day-to-day flexibility as I expected. It was very much a rear in chair from 8:00 to 5:00 position and I had to earn leave before I could take vacation or sick days. I burned through what little leave I accrued being out with my child whenever he was sick and was never able to accrue enough leave to take an actual vacation. My husband also works in government and while he has lots of accrued leave, he also has fairly inflexible work start and end hours. So, you should know the face-time expectations and how those might fit with your family’s needs.

    • You say you’ve always wanted to be a lawyer but I suggest thinking seriously about two things: do you really know what a lawyer does? If you want to work at the DA’s Office, go sit in their courtrooms for a few days. Talk to lawyers and listen carefully to how they spend their days.

      Second, I am wondering, an as internet stranger in her early 30s, if you’re feeling a little bored with your life and looking for a challenge. Maybe for you a career switch and law school is the mental challenge you are seeking after being a high achiever. No kids, stable, good job, etc – you have achieved X and are now setting out to achieve Y. However, maybe instead of law school your next big project would be the child you and your husband are planning for or even a big physical or outside-of-work intellectual challenge.

      I suggest this because i’ve been there – and it’s why I think I went to law school. A bit bored with my life. Not a good reason to go. Much better to figure out you need to start a serious cycling habit or build a nonprofit from scratch or join a high-profile board or become the next Martha Stewart.

    • Law school in your 30s? :

      OP here – thanks to everyone who has replied, lots to think about for me already. Just to answer some questions…I’m aware and okay with not making a lot of money as a DA. This is why I waited until now to pursue law school, and not straight out of undergrad. I’ve managed to save up a decent chunk at my current job so should be okay financially.

      In terms of why I want to do this: I’ve always wanted to be a trial lawyer and argue cases in court. In high school, I’d go sit in on random cases just to observe during the school holidays. I’m extremely analytical and good at building arguments, I’m a pretty good writer, and I really enjoy public speaking (I do a fair bit of that in my current job). I like fast paced environments and work well in high pressure situations. Most importantly, I want to make a difference and do something meaningful, as idealistic as that sounds. It’s hard for me to be motivated at my current job cos at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter. All I’ve done is make rich people richer.

      Hope this helps in terms of context.

      • Why the DA over the public defender? (I’m a PD and obviously biased but one thing I love about my job is the ability to impact my client’s life, tell their story, and fight for all of our rights in court.)

        • Another public defender and agree that you should consider it. Depending on your city, it can be more competitive than the prosecutor’s office (I’m an assistant federal defender and we get paid the same as the prosecutors but have much smaller offices—in other cities it pays less, so may be less competitive). Your work is so important (how many people can say that their job is in the bill of rights?) and you get to work one on one with clients and their families. It’s so rewarding. You also get lots of control over your cases and tons of courtroom experience.

          Also you should know that prosecutors’ offices can be extremely political and bureaucratic. You may have to get every plea offer approved, every appeal signed off on, etc. My friend who used to be a prosecutor said it was like being a car salesman—everything had to go through the back office.

          Being a public defender is fun, challenging, and rewarding. I love my coworkers and my clients. It’s truly a dream job and I highly recommend exploring it.

      • If you’re a DA you will be participating in the mass incarceration system in which this country constitutes 5% of the world’s population but has 25% of the incarcerated people, a hugely disproportionate number of whom are people of color. So if you are wanting to “make a difference and do something meaningful” you may want to look elsewhere…

        • Mass Incarceration is the New Jim Crow :


        • Counterargument: since prosecutorial discretion has been shown to be one of the primary drivers of mass incarceration, having good people in those positions is perhaps one of the only ways to fix the system.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree having good people in DAs offices around the country is a start but is no way to fix mass incarceration. Also, in every jurisdiction I have practiced in line attorneys have very little discretion. Most major decisions have to go up the chain of command and if the elected DA is not committed to reform (which doesn’t help you get elected in many places, particularly those most in need of reform) then any efforts by the assistant DAs are unsuccessful.

          • shamlet96 :

            +1000 to this. I’m a prosecutor and one of the things that stuck with me when I started out is a DDA who told me that you can do so much more for justice on this side. I’ve spoken to many PDs and they agree. There have been so many times in my job over the past decade where I’ve felt like I am making a difference, not only in the typical sense of ridding communities of violent predators, but in exercising leniency in charging/sentencing decisions (to the extent I can) when it’s appropriate.

          • Full of ideas :

            Hahaha. Oh, sorry was that not a joke. It would be at least 10 years of mass incarceration before she’d have the option to go against the grain…and may get fired immediately once she tries it.

      • I wanted to be a lawyer for the same reasons, so I get you. But one more thing to consider – how do you handle blame? I feel like being a lawyer means you are blamed all.the.time. I’ve been in biglaw, in government, and in-house and you spend a lot of your day dealing with people who are frustrated at the situation but take it out on you, even when you are their lawyer — even when you are pro-bono and even when you are free to them as provided by the company.

        I have also realized that the percentage of lawyers that are actually decent is way smaller than you would think with such a high entry barrier to becoming a lawyer. Some of them will argue with you over the most tiny things. Some of them will hold up settlement because they can’t get a hold on their client, driving up costs and time for everybody. Some of them cannot speak in complete sentences. Some will knowingly skirt the law with a smarmy look to you as they get away with it. Many of them will not put nearly the same amount of care and attention as you do into your job, which means missed deadlines, incomplete filings, etc. that you have to deal with as opposing counsel. In every position I’ve had it can feel like working in your most annoying group project where you are the only one that prepares or puts in any effort and yet you must proceed together. It does make it really fun when you meet an actually smart lawyer who puts in a respectable amount of time and attention (even when they are opposing counsel) but those instances are few and far between.

        Maybe I’m just tired of it all, but it can wear you down. I had the same reasons for wanting to pursue law as you do and those skills have definitely helped me but I think the daily hammering to your work ethic is not something people really talk about. Add to that feeling like you can’t give 100% at home and it can really be tough.

        Realistically speaking, I would have other options other than the DA’s office just because I think you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket. If you don’t end up there — or if you do and hate it — will you be happy as a lawyer?

        • +1 to this. The blame, the fact that a lot of lawyers are jerks… and it just wears you down. Being a lawyer is hard. It honestly takes a lot out of me and once I had kids, then the older I’m getting…I just don’t have that much to give.

          It’s a stressful occupation and people are often unhappy doing it. Before law school I really didn’t understand why so many people would try to discourage me from going – I thought it would be different, that I would be different. But here I am, seven years and two kids in, and I believe that in the vast majority of cases law school is just not worth it or a good idea so I never recommend it.

        • Triangle Pose :

          Hmm.. this is interesting. I’ve been in BigLaw, in-house and have a heavy pro bono practice doing homeless advocacy and I’ve never felt constantly blamed…

          Kindly, do you think this is the right field for you or do you think you;ve just been unlucky with employers?

      • I was a DA right out of law school and LOVED it. I also love writing and public speaking, and also watched trials for fun, or when I traveled to England, or whatever.

        DAs are MUCH less prestige driven than other law professions so if you can get your JD with no debt that matters more than a fancier school. They also want to know that you want to be a DA, preferably for the rest of your career, so it really helps to take Advanced Crim Pro, intern in their office, make friends with people who are already DAs, etc.

        I agree with the posters who said law school is easier than working and would be a better time to have a kid than when out.

        Good luck, you sound like you’ve got it figured out well.

      • Something that I don’t think has been said that I think is important, is really think about where you want to practice law. If it’s in a small town or even a state without a big law city (think DC, Boston, New York, LA) it’s more important to go to a local school, I think, then to go to a big-name school.

  10. anonymous :

    Does anyone have a work “uniform?” I’m so over picking out my clothes every day to work, when no one but me cares what I wear. I work in a business casual, trending more on the casual side, office. Anything goes in my office, from jeans to suits. I usually stick to pencil skirts or dresses, but I feel like I don’t like any of my clothes. So, I’m looking for any kind of inspiration of work uniforms out there.

    • Anonymous :

      Your typical outfit is my work uniform – do you really just need to go shopping and get something new in those categories?

    • Anonymous :

      I work in a similar office and my role isn’t client-facing so literally no one cares what I wear but me. I wear a lot of skinny Gap pants and cashmere sweaters lately.

    • Anonymous :

      My office is definitely on the casual side, as we’re mostly field scientists and engineers, but on days where I’m sure I’ll be in the office all day, my standard uniform is silky loose blouse on top (blue, gray, green, or black with the occasional dark purple), dark-wash straight leg jeans, and black leather pointy-toed flats or black ankle booties.

      • Anonymous :

        Where do you find your blouses?

        • Anonymous :

          Mostly Express (I’m pretty hard on my clothes so no point in shelling out for great quality) or New York & Co., with some Loft or Anne Taylor or similar.

    • Pencil skirt with matching sleeveless top (the column of color concept) and a contrasting long cardigan. That’s my uniform.

      If I have meetings I replace the cardi with a jacket of some sort (though I have a strong preference for soft jackets and not a standard blazer)

      Sometimes I wear a print top in the colors of my shirt but that is a big moment of mixing it up for me.

      Sometimes instead of pencil skirt I wear pants (specifically the magic crepe ankle pants from Eileen Fisher that everyone loves)

      I have multiple iterations of the column (skirt plus top) in black and a couple in gray and one in navy. That’s it. All neutrals. If I’m wearing color it’s in my third piece (usually cardigan) or in a scarf.

      It’s sort of like a capsule wardrobe concept but it’s my entire work wardrobe. I never feel like I have nothing to wear and I don’t have any “orphan” pieces have no outfits they belong to.

      • What pencil skirts do you wear?

        • A variety of brands. I like stretchy so I have mostly Ponte black skirts. My current favorite is the greenpoint skirt from mm lafleur.

          I also have the seasonless wool pencil skits from Talbots in navy and gray based on recommendations from this board.

    • Me! Though it’s less a uniform and more a formula – I can’t quite bring myself to wear the exact same thing everyday (ala Matilda Kahl). Also in a business-casual-veering-casual office, my formula is: straight leg slacks in solid/dark color + scoop or vneck shell (solid color or abstract print) + vneck cardigan + round or pointed-toe flats. Rarely jewelry beyond wedding ring + stud earrings. May do (nice) jeans on Fridays to match office culture but everything else stays the same.

      Pretty much all of my stuff coordinates enough that it doesn’t matter which combos I grab (obviously some are “better” than others), though I do have seasonal “capsules” because I live in the midwest so need to adjust warmth of layers (e.g. winter vs summer) so take advantage of focusing on some different colors that way to stave off boredom.

    • My work uniform is an MM dress, a jardigan, and black flats. Just about every day, and it makes getting dressed the simplest thing in the world.

      • Do you wear anything on your legs? If so, what?
        (I can’t ever keep stockings/pantyhose/leggings/tights etc etc straight)

    • My work uniform is definitely knee-length skirts with knit tops and a sweater or unstructured blazer or dresses. I only have a few pairs of pants. Is it the outline of your clothes you don’t like? Or are they too structured or too slouchy? Or is it the suite of colors you have (perhaps you don’t like those any more)?

      Within the confines of my largely business causal office (with suits for days with donors or higher-ups) I want my clothes to be somewhat interesting. I tend to do that with texture and color. The Vivienne files blog has helped me figure out my aesthetic by seeing how I react to the various outfits and combinations she puts up. You might want to take a look!

    • Winter: Comfy dress, blazer or long cashmere cardigan, tights, booties. Summer: Summer: comfy dress or skinny pants with a top, modern point loafers. Just about everything I own is black, gray, olive, or navy (and I always get shades of navy that look intentional next to black so I can mix it up every which way). My office is definitely on the casual side of business casual, but I mostly only wear jeans on Fridays (exceptions happen, though!).

    • I’m in academia so business casual. I have 10-12 dresses with sleeves and wear them on repeat. I didn’t shop while ttc and pregnant so everything is looking a bit shabby so I need to do a wardrobe update.

    • Mine is mostly dresses. It is an outfit in one piece. Most of mine are solid colors and I have about 5 black work dresses in different cuts or with something interesting/different about each of them. I might change up the look with a silk scarf or a statement necklace but I don’t worry about it too much. I have skirts and trousers but find the coordination and the multiple layers (especially in winter with tights on as well) to be annoying so I don’t wear them much.

      My year-round work dresses look like this: 5 black, 3 grays of various shades, a red, two blues, two navy ones, an emerald green, a medium purple, an olive brown, a black and white pattern, a leopard pattern. I mostly wear these through winter, too, with an added cardigan or just tights, and have about one purely winter sweater dress but summer has about 3 cream/white dresses added into the mix, a light gray one, a tan one, and a couple other sleeveless ones. Honestly, though, my week looks mostly gray, black, or navy and maybe 1 or 2 days I’ll wear one of the bolder colors or patterns.

    • I work in a very casual office. In the summer, I wear dresses all the time. In the spring, I wear ponte knit ankle pants with a patterned shirt, cardigan and flats.

      I’m still trying to figure out winter. I wear the Land’s End ponte sheath dress in black with a patterned cardigan, black tights and knee high boots. I also wear black Editor pants, patterned shirt, cardigan and booties. I actually felt too dressy in these outfits at my office. For less dressy options, I wear jeans a knit top and knee high boots. Still haven’t found a good pair of booties.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Black dresses. That is my work uniform. I have a few navy pieces that are still in rotation, but when those wear out, I’m moving to all black dresses all the time.
      I accessorize with scarves, different jackets or cardigans, sometimes with a blouse underneath for the jumper look.

    • Yes, I wear a sleeved black sheath dress pretty much every day. And then I have a few sleeved sheath dresses that are a black and white pattern or dark purple/burgundy. I have a number of black blazers that I throw on for meetings.

    • Marshmallow :

      I wear a variation on two different outfits pretty much every day: 1) sheath dress; 2) black pants and a blouse. I keep a black blazer in my office to throw on if I need to. Everything is black, white, gray, or a dark jewel tone. But I have a lot of variation within those categories so everything still feels fresh to me. It sounds like maybe you need a couple of new dresses or blouses to go with your existing pencil skirts.

    • FWIW the “Wear to Work” book from MM LaFleur is a pretty fun and helpful read for implementing a work uniform and developing your closet. It came in my first bento last year – not sure if they still give it out, but whenever I’m feeling down on my wardrobe I take a spin through it to reorient my closet.

    • What works for me is buying the same brand and cut of pants and shirts but in different colors. That way, I know everything will look good together, but I still have the freedom to play around with color and accessories.

    • Banana Republic Sloan pants and a cashmere sweater in the winter. BR Sloan pants and a crepe t-shirt or other lighter/more airy blouse (from Ann Taylor or Loft or BR) in the summer.

    • If you have the cash work on building a capsule wardrobe of pieces that all sort of coordinate. You can use existing clothes at first. If you like you pencil skirts go out an pick out a few tops to go with that you really like and a pair or two of shoes. I sort of hate wearing blouses plus a cardigan so I tend to wear a scarf or something with a blouse.
      My work uniform consists of a bunch of boden dresses 3/4 sleeve with pockets in gray, black and navy, black skinny pants,dark denim jeans, pop over type blouses in jewel tones, some refined knit or nicer tee shirts in sb/w stripe, black, or jewel tone, 2-3 water fall cardigans, and a gray and a black textured blazer. I have a huge collection of scarves from places like loft, hm or wherever and I wear ankle boots, flats, or slip on sneakers.

      My work place is VERY casual(non profit), like I could wear a sweatshirt and jeans most days, but having a small amount of clothes I really like helps me get dressed fast. I also try not to buy cheap crap if I can help it.

  11. Thanksgiving Pies :

    My aunt usually make four DELICIOUS pies for Thanksgiving. She had knee surgery recently and just can’t pull it off this year. I love to cook/bake and am happy to take it on. However pies aren’t something I’ve made a lot of in my day. I’m ordering two apple pies from a local well-regarded bakery because, while I’ve made them before, they’re more complicated and I don’t have the time to make them (or re-make them if I goofed it up).

    I have the America’s Test Kitchen book so I’m likely to defer to those for recipes, but am I foolish to think I can pull off a pumpkin pie from scratch if I’ve never made one before? Where is it on the difficulty level? What about a blueberry pie?

    • I suggest buying a crust and filling it with the King Arthur pumpkin pie recipe: Easy and delicious. Having the mixture sit really helps.

    • anonypotamus :

      I love to bake and while I often do a variant for one of the (4) pies I make each year, there is a reason that the recipe on the Libby’s canned pumpkin is a classic I make every year. It’s straightforward, consistent, and delicious.

    • Anonymous :

      I second the people above who say pumpkin is nearly impossible to mess up. Also, this recipe makes a great berry pie.

      Imo, apple pies are challenging and can easily be bland or mushy (although maybe I haven’t tried the right recipes to date!). Cheesecakes are another easy option.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure if you’re still reading, but the Cooks Illustrated crust recipe with vodka makes the dough so much easier to handle! Sister company to America’s Test Kitchen.

    • Pecan pie is very forgiving, and this one is great:

  12. Hair product recommendations to control frizz in very fine but thick and wavy/curly hair? If this is your hair type and you just let your hair air dry, what other products do you use?

    My hair has changed since having children. The top half has just become a wavy-frizzy mess. Lots of baby-fine hair around my face. The underneath part it is still pretty curly and not frizzy. I really miss the old days of being able to just wash, scrunch, and go on the weekends and on Fridays, but maybe that ship as sailed. I have to dry it and curl or straighten it now to manage the frizz. I love the end result but get so tired of having to style my hair every single day.

    • I have lots of fine hair with a wavy texture. I usually go with bumble&bumble’s Don’t Blow It (fine, not thick) and then let it dry. I put it in while my air is still really wet so I don’t disturbe the curl too much.

      Some days I do dry it straight – but then I don’t wash it for the next day or so – 2nd day straight hair is pretty good for me.

    • Salt spray and twisting when it’s wet. I’ve written about this before – my hairdresser showed me how to grab sections of my wet hair and twist them away from my face – I usually do this in the car on the way to work so obviously nothing too precise – and then leave them alone till they dry. It evens out my texture and gives me the same level of curl all over – because my hair is like yours, inconsistent curl pattern in different zones of my head.

      The salt spray is a recent addition. She used it before twisting at my last appointment and it made the twists hold a little better and the curl look slightly more defined.

      • Can you share what salt spray you use? Or should I just google salt spray? This is new to me but I do basically what you do with cheap mousse (Hubs loves to tease me: “there’s something white in your hair…”) and I think I could get better results with a better/different product.

        • It’s Davine’s. I don’t know if that is difficult to find. My hairdresser said the Bumble and Bumble is about the same.

    • Anonattorney :

      Medium-hold mousse – the Garnier one from the grocery store works fine (I think it’s called Curl Construct). Put it in your hair when it’s very wet, scrunch, and diffuse. It controls my frizz, gives curl definition, and doesn’t leave my hair crunchy. Also, I just tried the DevaCurl Low-Poo shampoo (for wavy hair) and it’s pretty good.

    • Ouidad’s climate control gel. It is great for combatting frizz – even in super humid weather.

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      Hask Keratin Smoothing Shampoo, conditioner, shine oil. We have the same hair. On FB, someone posted about “Hair Porosity” and I discovered I have high porosity hair and a lot of the stuff I was using was making everything worse, and what my hair needs is high-protein and anti-humectant ingredients. Hask was recommended. I’ve had the best two weeks-hairwise-of my life. Right after I switched I washed my hair, towel dried it, went to bed, got up, brushed it. My husband walked past me and said he hadn’t realized I’d gotten a blowout. My hair has NEVER been this smooth and shiny.

  13. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone want to do vicarious shopping for me for a longish grey sweater/refined sweatshirt? I love this look but the everlane sweater they link is sold out, and I don’t think the current everlane sweaters are long enough. The top looks more like a refined sweatshirt than a sweater, anyway. TIA!

    • Anonymous :


    • Pretty. I would look at Eileen fisher for a similar style.

      • Also Land’s End has a cashmere pullover exactly that color. They tend to run a bit longer.

        • eh – my experience is that LE runs short (in the torso, sleeves, inseam) in their regular sizes, compared to someplace like Banana. Pay attention to garment length and consider going with a Tall size in LE if you wand bum coverage.

    • COS does a nice and interesting sweatshirt dress. Check there, Athleta and even Uniqlo.

    • Everlane has a new version

  14. Linda from HR :

    Ideas for simple recipes that utilize orange slices? I have to zest oranges for two things I’m baking (I am gonna zest billions and billions of oranges, and I am gonna make Thanksgiving GRATE again!), and I know we could just eat the orange slices, they’d certainly help us power through last-minute Thanksgiving prep, but I’m curious what else (besides sangria) we could use them for. They could garnish drinks, but after being zested I’m not sure how decorative they’d be.

    • You can use them for mulling wine/cider! Or you can dehydrate them and save them for adding flavor to dishes later. Or, I always do a small Christmas tree in the kitchen with dehydrated fruit slices (along with popcorn, nuts, etc) for decoration if you feel crafty.

    • Why don’t you juice them and have fresh oj the morning after thanksgiving. Or make a pre-thanksgiving cocktail involving oj – I like a sea breeze with orange in place of grapefruit – and also stick a peeled wedge into the glass as a festive garnish.

    • Can you juice them and use them for mimosas, cocktails, breakfast? Other idea, salad garnish, ambrosia, choc. dipped oranges.

    • Anonshmanon :

      Freshly squeezed orange juice?

    • I have a link (in mod) above to a salad that uses citrus.

    • Citrus salad:

    • Baconpancakes :

      If you do decide to juice them, there’s a $25 KitchenAid juicer attachment that is the simplest, most efficient non-professional juicer I’ve ever seen.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Ottolenghi’s orange and date salad?

    • Dip them in chocolate (fondue) as an amuse bouche before your traditional dessert. Or end with it, with your last glass of wine.

    • A friend of mine puts oranges in her cranberry sauce. So good!

  15. My favorite thanksgiving dish is the cranberry sauce – but I’ve never made it myself! Favorite, tried and true dishes? Willing to do work and am a competent cook.

    • Cranberry sauce is super easy because cranberries are high in pectin and gel with minimal cooking. The recipe on the back of the packet of fresh cranberries is a sure thing. I also like to add some orange zest but some people are traditional and don’t like you messing with their cranberry.

    • there’s a recipe on that I like. It also contains orange juice and pears. We make it every year and love it. It’s very simple for me as a not competent cook :)

    • Baconpancakes :

      Bag of cranberries + 1 cup sugar in a saucepan. Heat on medium low until the cranberries burst, stirring. Seriously, it’s that stupid simple. So good.

    • Anon in NYC :

      We make this one:

    • Flats Only :

      One bag of cranberries, 1/2 box light brown sugar, zest and juice of one large orange. Some cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Put them all in a pot, add water just to where it covers everything. Simmer until berries have popped open and liquid is much reduced. Add a little cornstarch slurry while it’s still hot to thicken it so it’s not watery. Yum!

      • These ingredients are fine but I would definitely skip the slurry. Cranberries will gel completely on their own. Just cook them long enough.

        • Flats Only :

          They’ve never gelled in my experience. No corn starch = runny, runny thin liquid all over the plate, no matter how much I cook them down (like hours and hours does not do it).

          • More sugar, less hours and hours. Try white sugar. Bacon pancakes is probably right on the proportions. Don’t add any liquid (like the OJ) just the zest.

          • Baconpancakes :

            You do need sugar in order to get the cranberries to gel. The proportions are MamaPancakes’ recipe – it’s a lot of sugar, but it’s spread out, if not among many people (no hatin, this cranberry sauce is eat-with-a-spoon-worthy) at least across multiple days.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I generally prefer fresh fruits and veggies over canned but cranberry sauce is the exception. No matter how many homemade ones I try, I still love the ocean spray from the can that comes out with the can marks all over it and you have to slice it up. Looks disgusting, tastes delicious.

    • Min Donner :

      Really delicious, not too spicy (though you can make it more so), and regular tequila works if you don’t have mezcal.

    • Adding this fantastic (slightly boozy) recipe in case anyone’s still looking:

      12 oz cranberries, washed and sorted
      1 c sugar
      1/2 c water

      Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes until most of the cranberries have popped.

      1/4 c vodka
      3 T orange liqueur–Grand Marnier or Cointreau

      Cool cranberries to lukewarm. Stir in vodka and liqueur. Chill and refrigerate. Yum.

  16. Formerly Relaxed Fit now...? :

    Are there still “relaxed fit” jeans and pants? I am solid middle-aged (37) but have ALWAYS (even when I was skinny) had big thighs and hips – Relaxed Fit was my jam. Now EVERYTHING is skinny and even the “curvy” for between waist and hips say “slim fit” for thighs! I am ordering some of these to see if they fit but I am not optimistic. Any suggestions for what used to be “relaxed fit”?


    • Boyfriend is the new relaxed fit.

    • Boyfriend jeans are the new relaxed fit. Gap (and possibly other stores) have a “Girlfriend” fit for pants/jeans which I like as well.

    • LEVIS curvy bootcut.

      If you don’t like bootcut, you can have a tailor make the opening narrower.

      Look on the Levis’ website (I’ve never found in stores). Cheap and comfy.

      [Loft Julie fit is also good, but not sure they come in jeans.]

    • Marshmallow :

      Try Everlane boyfriend, one size up.

    • It’s a juvenile brand, but I ended up with 2 pairs from American Eagle when I took my cousin shopping for back to school clothes this year. You can’t see the logo on the pants and they’re decent enough quality for the price.

      • +1 I love my American Eagle jeans. They last a long time, very comfortable, and under $50 – even better when they have sales, which is always.

        • I love American Eagle bras! They aren’t great quality but the fit is good, they look nice, and they have a wide selection in 30C which many brands don’t.

    • Anonymous :

      Lee still makes jeans that are labeled “relaxed fit” – saw them at Kohls

    • I also have big thighs and am a fan of Kut from the Kloth’s Diana skinny jean. I usually find them at Nordstrom but Macys also carries that brand.

  17. I’m 34 and have about $91K in a 401K sposored by a former employer, just in target date funds. It’s up 27% this year (i think we’re in a total bubble), and I’m torn up between leaving it there and seeing what happens, and transferring some of it to something lower risk or to cash.

    I know I’m young-ish and have time for market adjustments to correct, but I’d be so sad if the only benefit to this $-hit storm political year (the paper gains) is lost or diluted. What do you think?

    I’m also in touch with my financial advisor of course, but just curious about what everyone else is thinking.

    • Leave it there. The entire point of target date funds is to avoid this problem. If you take it out now you’re ruining your plan out of shot sited foolishness.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Leave it. You can’t time the market. If this bubble pops, the market will still continue to rise on the whole (and if it doesn’t, having some cash in the market will be the least of our problems).

    • Well, first, I’d roll it out of the 401k and into an IRA, so it’s under your control. But that’s just me. IRAs have target funds as well.

      Are you sure it’s up 27% for the year, or is that the increase in value from the cash value of the contributions, and therefore factoring in the increase in value since you contributed?

      My other thought is that there are going to be lots of bubbles in the next 20-30 years. You can’t avoid them all.

    • You want to transfer your 401k into cash at age 34 yet are able to opine we’re in a “total bubble”?? Maybe learn something about the markets first.

      • really? I’m 53 and I’m laughing at you, not the OP. Bubbles happen when everyone arrogantly think there’s no bubble. Have fun with that.

        • Laugh all you want. This site is a joke for investment discussions and the few people who try to discuss it substantively always get screamed at by the b—- here who know everything about everything. Never said there was no bubble – but a “total bubble”? You really think there is NO pocket of value anywhere? Or are you one of those go can’t think beyond an S&P ETF and a sector fund terrifies you?

          • Anonymous :

            If you think these discussions are a joke and people here are a bunch of B’s, why don’t you go somewhere else, then? I, for one, would appreciate that. Go be distastefully unpleasant on a different discussion board.

          • Funny how the poster who made fun of OP’s age and said “maybe learn something about the markets” thinks everyone else is a b—.

          • Hahahaha. Breaking news: forum on a webs*te based on work wear fashion is a joke for investment discussion, more at 11!

            Anonymous, you sound ridiculous and your attempt to put someone in their place by tossing out an acronym and a term is really pitiful.

            – a b—–

      • I mean converting a portion to cash and a portion to something safer (outside of aggressive growth funds), not converting it all to cash. Jeez.

        It seems very 2007ish to me. Obviously there were pockets of value there, too!

        • Sincere reply, doesn’t the target date fund do that – adjust how much is in cash (or realistically, something more like bonds) vs equities based on your age and expected withdrawal year?

          • Yes, but I’m saying, there are x years until i theoretically retire, but I think this year is an anomaly.

            I’m in risker things because I’m “younger”–there’s not an auto-adjustments for my anxiety about the current state of the market.

          • Ok then it seems like you don’t want someone else to manage your mix of investments for you, as in a target fund. In that case, it’s not the right fund for you. I’d move it.

    • FYI, financial advisor advised adjusting.

  18. I work in an MBB consulting company (been here for over 4 years). My recent review has been bad for a number of reasons: my career took a backseat due to having a child, I took on roles that were a step back from client-facing work to be able to come home to my daughter every evening (think: internal client development or knowledge development), and am generally lagging behind my peers in terms of making it to the next rung on the ladder. I have been given a couple of months to either make it, or leave.

    To be honest, I have been disinterested in the work and it has probably shown to some extent (I execute my day job very well but am missing the ‘extra’ over and above effort that is usually done in free time beyond working hours). I am also aware this is a good position to be in as it gives me time to think what I want to do next, and that my company has been very supportive in providing time off for family obligations via maternity and unpaid leave.

    However, I just can’t get over feeling like a failure. Objectively I know that I don’t lack the skills, and that it is time to move on and this is an excellent opportunity to start looking. But I feel so sad, rejected. I am questioning my ability to find a good job, and more importantly to deliver in the new job. This is both because of my current review, but also because now I have a child and no family nearby to help in case nanny or daycare fails.

    If you are wondering where my husband fits in all of this, he also is in consulting, is gone all week for his job. He does the heavy lifting of chores on the weekend (laundry, cooking, grocery shopping), took all of his paternity leave and PTO in the first two months to help me, and helps out during the week if he is at home. However, I am the default parent during the week for morning and evening duties and I wonder if there is any job out there that lets me do exciting work with career progression while being able to come home at a reasonable time.

    I’m looking for reassurance, encouragement, reality checks, things I can do to mourn this, make myself feel better and get moving on looking for a new job. I want to scream but I don’t feel there is anyone I can talk to (parents are appalled that I am being ‘kicked out’. Friends have never done this kind of a job and are all struggling with their own work-life issues. Husband feels bad but is encouraging me to look on the bright side – I am just so resentful right now that he gets to keep his job and I don’t).

    • The MBB-style consulting system is deliberately set up in inculcate this feeling of failure if you leave, because that’s how they can motivate their very smart, highly educated employees with valuable skill sets to stick with them despite the not-great working conditions (long hours, excessive travel, sometimes boring projects, high pressure, etc). The academic world uses the same pressure to keep people in the grad school –> post-doc –> tenure track pipeline instead of going into industry and “failing out”, so that they’ll put up with similarly poor conditions (more than a decade of hard work at a minimal salary with a very small chance of getting a tenure track position at the end).
      Sorry for being long winded, but I hope it helps you to realize that this feeling of failure is what they’re counting on to exploit you at a point when you otherwise would have left. (Obviously this doesn’t apply to people who are happy with their situation, but you’re so clearly not). I’ve worked in both the MBB and academic contexts, and am so familiar with what you’re saying. I’m on the other side now (a great-paying job in industry doing work that I care passionately about), and I can’t even begin to explain how much better life got when I started defining what failure meant **to me** and deliberately not let myself care about their definition. I will admit that there are still pangs on occasion when I talk to former colleagues who are now professors or partners who are so kindly in a way that I can tell they feel a bit sorry for me – but then I go home and enjoy my nice life and get over it.

      • Thank you this, I really appreciate it. I have been in academia before MBB as well, and this makes so much sense. I am hopeful in the long term I will see this as a good thing, and somehow get over this period of feeling like a failure.

    • I am in the same boat. Check out the book “Designing Your Life.” It’s all about identifying the things you enjoy, avoiding things you don’t enjoy, and prototyping career changes before making major career moves.

    • Flats Only :

      Here is a bright side – you have some time to figure this out and you know what you want: an engaging job with a compact schedule.

    • You already decided to leave this job because it doesn’t work for you. Now it’s time to figure out what will. You are absolutely capable of succeeding somewhere else!

    • If you’re resentful he gets to keep his job, you want to keep yours too, then stop being the default parent and start traveling. You are both in consulting — you can afford a day and night nanny. Doesn’t sound like you’re out just yet as you say you have a few months to turn it around. If you’d rather be mommy and run home to diapers or toddler chatter, then start looking.

      • The OP doesn’t read as resentful to me. I read this post as a realization that this job isn’t right for her anymore (something her firm has also realized), but that it’s still hard to let go of it. And I get that completely. It’s hard for people who have been on a path where achievement was marked by external milestones (getting into a great college, getting into a great grad school, getting a prestigious job, making partner, etc.) to step off that treadmill. It can be very hard to admit that your idea of what will make you happy has changed, and to let your idea of success shift. The OP is in a culture where the job is all, and the job is no longer all for her, and she doesn’t quite know how to process that.

        OP, I second the recommendation for Designing Your Life, but would also recommend that you and your husband have a conversation together about what work and life look like for your family – not just for you. It sounds like within the confines of his job, he’s doing the best he can, but he may need to make a job shift as well in order to let both of you have careers that are fulfilling and a family life that you’re collectively happy with.

        • Thank you both for responding, I appreciate your input. You are both correct in your point of views.

          I have thought of and threatened to get back to proper consulting and travelling. I feel I just won’t be happy being away from home four days a week anymore. Also, I could put my all into work for the next 6 months and it makes me mentally fatigued just thinking about it (plus there is no guarantee that with all the sacrifices, I will be promoted at the end of 6months).

          Cbackson – your comment is very insightful and spot on. We have been having this conversation and eventually it will come to both of us leaving consulting for something more stable. Right now, it seems that I have to go first.

          • You might want to look into getting some help one or more times a week, since you are always on parent duty alone. It sounds like your husband loads up on the chores on the weekends as well. Perhaps you can outsource some of this so you can both have time to breathe? I suggest listening to Laura Vanderkam’s podcast “The Best of Both World’s.” There’s an episode on work-life balance that might give you some ideas. The whole podcast might make you feel more optimistic in general. Vanderkam is very practical and solution-oriented.

    • Anonymous :

      So, this is the big dirty secret no one talks about – sometimes, you cannot have it all. You just can’t. I’m not saying that there aren’t jobs out there that allow for career growth and family time, because there are. You aren’t in one of those jobs.

      You do have options, though. Life is long and if right now, you prioritize family time, you can step back or lean out, and jump back in to a more demanding job when your kid is older. I did that – quit a corporate job when my son was 2, worked part-time till he was 6, then went back into corporate work. Yes, we had to make financial sacrifices, but it was worth it and now I am where I probably would have been had I stayed working full-time those four years. Zero regrets about having that time with my son when he was little. I mean none.

      You have a golden opportunity right now to decide what you want and how you want to make it happen. Kids are important. You don’t get a do-over with your child’s childhood. Don’t let anyone tell you different. You can have it all,you just sometimes can’t have it all at once. There’s life beyond what you’ve been doing; you just have to figure out the next step.

      • SMC- San Diego :

        I will second this and add that there is absolutely nothing wrong with deciding that you do not want to be away from your child 4 nights a week. Can you travel a lot for work and be a good parent? Under many circumstances, yes – but there is nothing wrong with saying that is not the way YOU want to parent.

        I am an attorney and made the decision before my daughter was born that I would start looking for a new job basically as soon as I came back from maternity leave. I am/was a single parent but with lots of family support. I could have made a travel schedule where I did not see my child awake for days at a time work. I just really did not want to. So I took a big step back, found a job at the sort of small, regional firm many people in Big Law scoff at, and was happy. I did not even really take a pay cut once I did not have to pay for 24-hour child care.

        • Thank you both so, so much for helping me see the bigger picture here. Absolutely do not want to not see my daughter for days on end.

          I’m going to save this thread to look back on in the coming months for inspiration and support!

  19. I feel like as an adult I should know this. I have about $100 GBP from a trip to London last month that I didn’t convert back. I went to my bank and they wanted to charge $20 USD to convert it. Is there another way to spend it?

    • Give it to meeeeeeee.

      Srsly though I usually just save it for the next trip or do a casual exchange with someone else I know going.

    • And this is why the last time I had foreign currency in my hands, I spent it on overpriced novelty socks in the last moments of my trip. :) Once you’re home, your options are save it, give it away, or pay egregious exchange fees.

    • givemyregards :

      When I lived in New York I was able to take foreign currency to the main branch of my bank (like, the absolute main branch of Chase Bank) and they would accept it for deposit without a fee (you could also make withdrawals for free in foreign currency) but outside of a situation like that, I think your best bet is just to hold onto it.

    • It sounds silly, but I maintain accounts at banks that have foreign currency on hand/do “free” exchanges (we all know the fees are built into their rates) for this reason.
      I’d hold onto it – the next time you travel the in airport exchange booths at major international terminals are usually pretty reasonable for this sort of thing.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I always just keep it for the next trip.

    • Your bank wants 20% to exchange, the terminals in the airport want about 15%. I’m not sure it’s worth a trip to the airport, but if you travel anyway and are there, that sounds like the best thing. Otherwise, I’d hold it and maybe do what someone above suggested – keep your ears open for friends who are going to the UK and do a casual exchange with them.

    • Keep it for your next trip, or exchange it with someone you know who is going soon.

      You can also donate it — sometimes nonprofits get discounted exchange rates from their banks.

  20. Veronica Mars :

    Paging Rainbow Hair and other home-decor minded ‘rettes. What do you think are the easiest ways to make a space feel “homey” and personal? I’ll be moving into a very stark, new construction house in a few months, and I’m trying to focus my decorating purchases on what will make the most impact. So far, my list is: painting a few rooms, getting curtains, and wall decor. Anything else that really helps I should add to my to-buy or to-do list?

    • rugs and throws

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Texture! Like a nubby (??) throw blanket on the couch, or throw pillows that are not stark, etc. Patterns of different densities! Sheer curtains behind opaque curtains! Details!

      I like rugs, too, for warmth and like, personalization of a space… And they can create an area where the was none. Like we have a sort of weirdly wide living room space, but we have carved out a spot that’s the functional living room with a couch against the wall, a coffee table on a rug that touches the couch, a bookshelf near another edge of the rug, and a light dedicated to that space. That’s what feels like the living room, and then the other half of the room has a different function.

      Think about how light creates spaces. Like a reading nook with a lamp that just lights up that corner of the room…

      Art on the walls! Especially if everything is clean and ikea-ish, busy art-y walls will make the place yours.

      Do you do plants? For 100,000 reasons I cannot do plants inside (ok, two feline reasons) but they can make a place much more alive.

      Is there good vintage furniture in your area? That, too, can counter that stark feeling of new construction.

      What’s your style like? What colors do you like? I’m excited for you!

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Lol, anon basically said the same thing as me in a bajillion fewer words.

        • Veronica Mars :

          But then I wouldn’t have gotten the Rainbow Hair recommendations! Thank you for these suggestions. Lighting and rugs are bigs ones that I need to consider. It’s a very long and narrow house so only the ends have strong natural light. I’ll have to brainstorm some solutions.

    • For curtains, I like getting double curtain rods with a heavy lined curtain on the outside and a sheer curtain on the inside. Mount it all the way towards the ceiling and get curtains long enough to reach the floor (at least the lined ones; sheer ones can just reach the bottom of the window). This makes a HUGE difference decor-wise in terms of making it feel deliberate and design-y instead of amateur, IMO.

      Also, look for real art you actually like in addition to typical ‘wall decor’ like mirrors, generic prints, etc. That also makes a real difference.

      It’s more effort, but if you look for furniture on Craigslist or in antique stores, you’ll save money and the results will be more eclectic and cozy and take away from the bland new construction feel.

      Finally, lighting. Having multiple floor and table lamps instead of just overhead lighting makes a space infinitely more inviting. For the overhead lighting, it’s surprisingly easy to install dimmer switches yourself, as long as you have access to the circuit breaker.

    • Think of a theme and don’t take it too literally, but that will help your decision making. Is the outside of the house craftsman style and that inspires you? Or maybe you want modern/contemporary with lots of sleek lines, metal and glass? Maybe Scandinavian with simplicity and light woods? Do you want it to be dark and dramatic or a light, airy relaxing beach cottage escape? Once you settle on something, you can pinterest for things you like, and go down that rabbit hole until you find maybe 8-10 inspiration pictures that speak to what you want.

      Once you have some ideas like that, Sherwin Williams does a $95 in-home color consultation and you get a $50 gift card back, so true cost is $45. They’ll leave color swatches and a shopping list with you, and the consultants I’ve known are often interior designed trained and are happy to give you some advice on pulling whole rooms together. In a previous role my business was affiliated with S-W and I recommended it to lots of clients (I didn’t get any spiffs or referral fees) just because it’s a really good deal and helps to have someone in your home with you looking at the colors.

      For furniture – mix some high and low, some new and old. I love to see an antique table with a few battle scars and sleeker, modern chairs. Or a Persian rug, a vintage hutch and a new sofa. A mix of leather and cloth furniture, as well as and different textures in the accessories. You obviously need the bare necessities when you move in, but if possible, take some time to live in the space and feel out what you need and want to make it functional for you to live in, and then collect pieces and decor as you go.

      Like SD said – curtains make a big difference, hang them high and wide, and long enough that they reach the floor – it adds some drama and looks custom/expensive.

      Also – check out the blog Young House Love. They’re genius with tips for DIYing and project ideas, plus their vibe is cozy, livable and fresh, with vintage pieces and projects mixed in.

  21. Itchy woman :

    I just can’t wear wool or cashmere anymore. Doesn’t matter how high quality, or if I layer it….I itch.

    I have a gorgeous long lux cozy cardigan and cashmere throw that are useless.

    Can anyone recommend a gorgeous/lux long cardigan for winter warmth and a throw or infinity scarf that is lux and chunky that is wool/cashmere free? My style is classic minimalist with a touch of edge, black/navy/grey palette. Would like something nice enough for workwear. Not loungewear.


    • Itchy woman :

      Surprised no suggestions… No one else is wool sensitive? Or maybe post came off badly…. sorry…

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I have the exact same problem. I can’t even do 2% and I’m itchy within seconds. I tried on a sweater at Target today that seemed so soft but I immediately got itchy. I checked and it was 2% wool. I didn’t respond because I didn’t have suggestions. Sorry!

    • I love the blanket scarves at Old Navy and I’m reasonably sure they are 100% acrylic.

  22. Very anon for this. I just read the latest s*xual harassment allegations against a public figure (you can probably figure out who). This man s*xually harassed me and some other women about 15 years ago when I was an undergrad working with him. I feel sick to my stomach and disturbed reading articles defending him because he “votes the right way”. I’ve always wondered if and when any women would come forward based on my experiences with him.

    I don’t know what the answer is. I get that our culture has condoned harassment, but on the flip side, the majority of men in my life have NOT harassed me. Its hard to justify behavior saying it was a different time (and really, not that long ago), and I’m pretty sure this brilliant progressive man knew its wrong. Just a jumble of thoughts…thanks for listening to my vent, anonymous Internet friends.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Hugs. I can’t imagine how that feels.

    • I’m really sorry. Hugs.

    • Yeah, and he has previously repeated that he would never run for president…I wonder if this is why. He knew it would come out, which means he always knew if was wrong. So disappointed. I’m sorry this happened to you.

    • I’m so sorry. Sending cyber hugs.

    • I’m very sorry to hear that.

      If it were up to you – what’s the most appropriate thing for him to do now?

      I’m sorry if that questions feel too personal – please feel free to ignore it. But I’m genuinely curious about your perspective.

  23. Black tie rules :

    It’s ok now to wear black to weddings, right? And red, too? I am going to a black tie wedding in December and found this dress I adore (link to follow) – Eliza J Velvet Maxi Dress w Pockets from ModCloth – black velvet on top and black with red flower detail at bottom. Wedding will be as fancy as it gets, maybe a little tacky, in NYC.

  24. Feeling blue :

    Yesterday I politely (I think I’m always polite?) disagreed with my boss on something I know for a fact boss is objectively wrong about. Boss screamed in my face. Boss started this firm immediately after graduating law school and the scope of practice is everything. To say Boss’s depth of knowledge on any subject is shallow is an understatement. And Boss is a jerk. I’ve been job searching but the job market seems totally dry right now. So I feel stuck with a boss who is often wrong and screams at you when you disagree.

  25. Lila Fowler :

    I was at the Hair Salon on Wed night and stupidly wore a light grey cashmere cardigan. Of course, I noticed last night my dark hair dye got on the back of the sweater :( Is it a total loss? My regular stylist (who was out on Wed) said she wasn’t sure it could be salvaged but recommended spraying it with hair spray and taking it to my dry cleaner. I’m in NYC so was thinking of just skipping that step and bringing it to MetroDying to be made a darker color. Any ideas??

  26. Anyone else feel like Thanksgiving travel – at least in the NYC-dc corridor has shifted over the yrs to where Tues is now the worst travel day for driving/trains – and Sat for the return? Growing up it felt like Wed and Sunday were the worst. Anyone else think this or is it my imagination?

    • It’s your imagination

    • +1 to Tuesday now being the worst (I haven’t traveled back on Saturday before so can’t comment). I think the increase in people being able to WFH on the Wednesday before combined with people who take that day off is why. I’ve now shifted my Thanksgiving travel to leave on Wed after the workday and return sometime during the workweek (PTO schedules / WFH policies permitting).

    • Ugh, I’m driving from RI to NYC via 95 on Tues. after work. I was hoping to miss the traffic on Wed.!

    • I’ve said the same thing the last few yrs. Last yr 95 from DC to Phl mid afternoon on Wed just looked like a usual rush hr — nothing like the 6-8 hrs it used to take yo make that drive on Wed; though I’m told that’s what Tues was like. It’s all going to be bad – economy is hot, people can spend a few hundred on fuel or even more on trains so they will. Airlines are supposed to break records.

    • It’s all bad. My secret trick of traveling Thanksgiving morning doesn’t even work anymore.

      And now I don’t travel anymore. I am happy to invite people to my Thanksgiving.

    • Newspapers are saying Saturday is worse than Sunday now… Not looking forward to the drive up 95.

    • Research seems to say that Tuesday is the actual worst.

  27. Express Men Black Friday deals :

    Anyone know what they’re going t be?

  28. For those of you who are partners or are partnership track…how much did/should the other partners in the firm factor in your decision to join or stay at said firm? If you were choosing between partnership at a midlaw firm (smaller clients, more ownership, awesome coworkers) and partnership at a biglaw firm (institutional clients, less ownership, so-so coworkers), what other factors would you consider? Is there a salary/benefits level that would make it worth it to deal with partners that you don’t love, but could tolerate?

    • It’s a know your firm issue. At my biglaw firm it 100% matters. If you aren’t cut from the same cloth as the partners – fratty etc – you won’t be promoted but say you are bc there’s a specialized skill they want to keep, ultimately you won’t be successful. You’ll make your lockstep money for a while but client development and networking often happens in groups –these groups of buddies won’t include you, it’ll be hard to develop business alone and then when comp nastiness starts – which it does everywhere – its easiest to go after you bc you aren’t one of them. So it’s not about just liking your coworkers and having fun at work, it’s a put whether these co partners will be invested in your success. Sadly at my firm, they aren’t invested if you’re at all “different” and will take every chance to turn on you so they can make more than you.

  29. My seventh-grader (daughter) is 5’6 and just about the tallest girl in the class. She’s good at school and is on the volleyball and basketball teams, but came home sobbing hysterically yesterday. Told me that she didn’t want to be so tall because boys didn’t like it. Downright broke my heart!

    DH and I are very tall so it’s not unexpected. I’m 5’11 so I expect her to come close to this height when she stops growing, which is considerably taller than many guys out there. I’ve been telling her not to be upset over it and everyone’s special, but broaching the topic of boys is touchy because attention from boys means a lot to teenage girls… any ideas?

    • Oh this is hard! I would first approach the here and now – boys enter puberty later. They will grow and catch up to her. And then maybe emphasize the great things about being tall (I’m 5’8″ for reference). You don’t show weight gain as easily! You seem more authoritative naturally! You can run fast with the long stride.maybe she’ll get a volleyball scholarship!! But no matter your daughters stature, at her age she would find anything that makes her deviate from the perfect image to be the reason boys don’t like her. It’s just a hard age. And now that I look back – I think girls are interested in guys a lot earlier than guys are interested in girls.

    • This is tough – I grew to about 5’8″ when I was in sixth grade. (I have pretty much stayed that height ever since, but I was definitely “the tall one” for a while.)

      And it did suck! I was literally a head taller than all the boys I liked and felt really gawky and awkward. Mostly I tried slouching several inches off my height, which didn’t help anything.

      Well-meaning people would always say “Oh you could be a MODEL because you’re so tall!” but with my glasses/braces/acne, I felt like they were just feeling sorry for me or making fun of me. Similarly, my mother tried pointing out Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman (it was the ’90s) as an example of a hot guy dating someone taller than him but again, I was insecure all over so comparing me to Nicole Kidman didn’t exactly help.

      I think the biggest thing that helped was dealing with some of my other insecurities – I got contacts, eventually the braces came off, I learned to wear makeup and got some clothes that I thought were stylish. And by high school, most of the boys had caught up in height anyway. So, probably not the answer you were looking for but it’s an awkward time of life anyway–everyone is self-conscious about something.

    • Anonymous :

      I was in that exact situation. It’s just hard and it stays hard until boys catch up. Be consistent in your messaging that tall is beautiful and see if you can find a few celebrity examples of taller girls and shorter boys – I feel like my tweenager was excited about some Disney Family/Junior kids ‘dating’ IRL?

    • I don’t have a teenager yet, so take this with a grain of salt, but…. maybe she just wants you to hear her when she says she’s upset, and empathize with her that it can be hard as a teenager to be different in any way, and then stop talking and listen and give lots of hugs? There are ways to acknowledge her feelings without sending the message that she should care about what boys think. And any advice you try to give may just be tuned out or turn her off.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I am many years away from having a teenaged daughter, but do you think she’d be responsive to the notion (that I freakin’ wish someone had told me!) that “the only boys out there whose opinions you should care about will be the ones who like you as you are”?

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          When I was little, my mother told us stories about boys abandoning her at parties because of her major (math + physics), always in the form of “convenient that those losers self-select away from me, lol.”

    • My daughter is 5’8″ and now a junior in HS. She didn’t like being tall in middle school (and she was probably about your daughter’s height then) but doesn’t mind it now. I recall being the same way – I’m 5’10”. Let’s be honest, being tall is overall an advantage, other than not being able to find pants long enough. She will learn to like it. And there’s nothing you can do to change it anyway.

      My daughter plays sports (though she plays field hockey, which is a short woman’s sport) and appreciates what her long legs do for her in terms of running speed. Maybe explain some of the advantages you’ve experienced to her.

    • tall gals :

      This probably won’t help her feel better in the moment, but my SIL was a whole head taller than my BIL when they started “dating” in 7th grade (and it took BIL like 5 years to catch up and finally overtake her height!). Now that they’re married, the pictures of them from years ago are adorable. And it’s kind of a running joke because youngest BIL was also quite short until his junior year of high school. Any time he complained about being shorter than the girls, we all remind him that it worked out well for his brother. He’s now dating someone who is exactly his height and a few inches taller when she wears heels. Basically, remind her that a lot of boys don’t hit their growth spurt until high school, and that she’ll be able to be a powerhouse at her office when she gets older.

      And also, the boys are probably just insecure that they’re short. My brother is only 5’7″, and literally every single one of his friends are 6’+. He’s always felt a little annoyed that he’s the shortest guy in his group by A LOT, but he still has a lovely wife and good friends and never made anyone else feel bad about it. So hopefully the jerk boys with insecurities will grow up soon and stop making your daughter feel bad.

    • It might help to know that plenty of people are envious of her height. I’m 5′ 1″ and would KILL to be your height or your daughter’s height. Shorter than the boys isn’t objectively more beautiful. It’s just one way to be beautiful. Tall is another :)

      On a side note, I think that helping your daughter get out of/steer clear of the mindset that beauty looks like one thing in particular and is narrowly defined is probably one of the most beneficial things you can do for her body image. I started to feel a lot happier with myself when I realized that there really are all kinds of beauty and there isn’t just one standard.

    • I was 5’10+ by 7th/8th grade and the tallest person in my class, except one other boy who caught up to me in 8th grade. I hated dancing at school dances because I felt so gangly – as a result I still feel awkward about dancing in a group. But, the boys catch up by 9th grade and on, and I’m so happy I’m tall now. She’ll figure out how to cope in the meantime, but it won’t hurt to compliment her on things like how she crushed the volleyball over the net or how she was able to block a shot with her height.

    • I’m very late, but I was taller than that at that age, and I feel for her. I don’t know if you can solve it for her — in fact, you can’t; hello, patriarchy. But at a similar time, my mom made me laugh and feel better by saying that all the boys are always shrimpy in middle school, and my dad (who is 6’3”) didn’t hit 5 ft till high school. I thought it was hilarious to try to imagine him being that small, and plus it gave me hope that things would get better.

  30. Any advice on what to serve with chicken cacciatore? I have a great recipe but I’m always at a loss for a side/what to serve under it?

    • Veronica Mars :

      Sautéed spinach would be lovely. My go-to is pretty simple: fresh spinach, olive oil, salt, pepper and cumin.

    • I think of chicken cacciatore as sort of a dense, wintry dish with lots of richness and dark flavors. So I would go with something contrasting in texture and acidity. In this case a crunchy salad with grapefruit would probably win, and I’d throw in a bitter green like chicory or escarole. Use a little grapefruit juice in the vinaigrette and maybe add some toasted pine nuts to the finished salad.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I like to serve it on small curly pasta.

    • I have a comment on what to serve on the side (an acidic salad) – but in mod –

      Under it, polenta, always, 100% of the time. It’s the perfect thing.

    • Anonymous :

      My mom always served it on mashed potatoes. Sometimes a salad on the side.

  31. Black tie preferred holiday party- can I wear a knee length dress and can my husband wear a dark suit? Or do we need to get a tux and long dress?

    • Technically black tie means gowns, ie full length. Practically, there’s always a mix of knee length and floor length. And men in black suits rather than tuxes. I wouldn’t have him wear navy or dark gray though – black for sure.

      For the knee length dress make sure it’s in formal fabrics like taffeta, lace, satin, velvet. Your DVF wrap dress won’t do here.

  32. Multi-bar :

    Hello Lawyerettes
    I have practiced in IL for two years (right out of law school) and collected a number of CLE credits that (I think) I could use towards reporting requirements. I recently moved and am sitting for the NewState Bar in February. DH and I love it in NewState but unsure if we will be here permanently or move back eventually when we have kids/want to be closer to family etc. If we do move back, it would be in the next 2/4 years.

    Do any corporettes have advice on keeping bar memberships/having multiple ones/reapplying for membership once you let it lapse? What are the things I need to consider? I can only think of CLE reporting requirements and cost of annual renewal for the bar.


    • I would check to see if I went inactive in one state what the CLE requirements would be if I then wanted to re-activate years later. I know of at least one state where you are required to make up CLE for all of your inactive years before they will re-activate you.

    • I am inactive in Illinois and practice in a neighboring state. It is only like $110/year for inactive status, so I wouldn’t let it lapse if you think you’ll come back. Some offices also will pay your out-of-state bar dues if they think they might need someone with that license at some point, so check, esp if you are in a nearby state. Check that your new state’s CLEs will count for both or see if your office offers free or low cost webinars.

  33. A mechanic either smoked in my car or just left behind that much of the smell from his clothes. I can’t keep my windows open because it’s freezing rain. Best thing to spray in there?

    • Febreeze. Or maybe just put an open bowl of baking soda on the floor for a day or two.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        +1 for baking soda! If it’s really bad, sprinkle baking soda on the mats and upholstery, let it sit, and then vacuum.

    • Prosecutor :

      There’s a product called Citrus Magic that’s great for this. It smells really strongly of citrus for about a half hour and then it just smells clean/fresh.

  34. Little Sister :

    HELP! I posted a few days ago about regular calls with my big sister who is going through a particularly rough time and facing turmoil in practically all areas of her life.

    Amidst helping my big-sister vent about life and all the lemons thrown her way, i seem to be in the middle of a fight/tension match between our parents and her. She’s told me numerous times that she feels I am the only one able to understand her and I’ve let her vent. Anytime my mom wants to talk or have me take sides about this issue I’ve told her I don’t want to get involved and usually steer the conversation away. However. my sister’s venting about the horrible things our parents have said (that will indirectly/one day possibly affect me) is making me resent our parents too! I can’t believe they won’t be there for her when she’s going through a tough time. I know its a gender thing too because daughters don’t get the same support in our culture as sons do. The feelings of resentment are partly because of me being appalled at their sexist behavior and partly because they aren’t there for a child who obviously needs them. I know I probably don’t know the whole story but I really don’t want to get involved or drop the ball on her/tell her she’s on her own for this.

    What do i dooo?

  35. Is 37 Middle-Aged? :

    Asking for a friend…..

    • No? Unless you/ your “friend” feels and/or wants to be middle aged. I’m in my mid 20s and the 37 year olds I know are pretty cool.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Is your friend planning to die at 74?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      This week I did snap at someone (the charming fellow who told me I looked too young to practice law) “I’m halfway to seventy!” so… idk maybe? :-P

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