Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Striped Cashmere Cardigan

Tory Burch Vaile Striped Cashmere Cardigan | CorporetteOur daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. This week of TPS reports come to you from another recently pregnant lady: Work That Bump blogger, mother, lawyer, and overachieving chick, K. Welcome, K! 

This strikes me as the perfect cardigan with a little something extra. It would be particularly nice in the summer in the south, where it seems they are trying to freeze me out of my office. For some reason, I’m picturing this looking better with wide legged slacks than with a skirt, perhaps because the slacks would make for a longer silhouette despite the sweater’s length. You could wear it with navy slacks or try it with some of the fun colored pants that are in right now — a tomato-y red, kelly green, or even yellow. It’s available at Neiman Marcus in X-small through X-large for $450. Tory Burch Vaile Striped Cashmere Cardigan

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  1. Yay! Pricey Monday’s! I love pricey Monday’s and Tory Birch also!

    I had a nice weekend, tho my plan’s changed when dad got mad I would not be there even tho Rosa and the Kid’s and Ed were. So I had to go. I told him his sock’s were in the mail. Rosa got dad a Tablet (computer), and dad said it was a crummey one so Rosa took it back and gave it to the kid’s to play with. Dad say’s he want’s one of those NEW surface tablet’s, not the cheep one’s they are trying to get rid of in the store’s and on the INTERNET.

    At least he is being smart. He say’s it pay’s to get the best. I think he is right and that is why I am NOT married. B/C there are plenty of FISH in the sea, but most are smelley. FOOEY! I want a fresh fish, Grandma Leyeh says, and she know’s b/c she did NOT get MARRIED until she was OVER 20, which was OLD back then.
    Myrna’s uncle and the manageing partner’s brother are now BOTH texteing me to do stuff. If the manageing partner’s brother is loneley, he should NOT divorce Harold’s mom. I never met her, but figure she is probabley NOT goieng to have sex with another man right away, even tho the manageing partner’s brother keep’s telleing me how VIRALE he is. Do I realley want Harold’s dad on top of me, huffeing and puffeing and then rolling off me? NO WAY HOZE! I do NOT even want HAROLD to do that, and he is much younger then his dad. GROSS! Just b/c a guy has money does NOT mean that we women have to become their sexueal object’s. There need’s to be more then sex. FOOEY!

    I am goieng to court tomorrow with Mason. He need’s to stop hangeing around Lynn at the office b/c he is NOT doieng enough prep work on the case’s. He can (and doe’s) see Lynn outside of work, so I realy do NOT see what the need is to be sniffeing around her all day! FOOEY!

  2. I love this sweater!

    • I wish I did!

      I have tried similar ones from LE and Boden and have not found this style to be pear-friendly. So if you’re on the fence and just need to stay warm, those two have much cheaper alternatives.

      • I think it’s not very flattering: shapeless, horizontal stripes, and a belt tie that makes this model’s tiny hips seem wide. A skip for me.

    • This sweater seems on the casual side to me but I love longer cardigans and have this similar one: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/mod-lusive-by-bobeau-open-front-cardigan-regular-petite/3538695?origin=PredictiveSearch

  3. What color eyeliner do you use? I recently bought brown accidentally and I love it- it looks much softer and more professional, on me at least.

    • What is your natural coloring? (Eyes, skin, hair?) I’m brunette with dark eyes, and brown doesn’t do enough for me, so I wear soft black or sometimes eggplant.

      • I’m also brown eyes and dark brown hair. I actually tend to use brown eyeliner in lieu of mascara (if that makes sense). I line my top lid and don’t use mascara. It has a way of highlighting my eyes that I like, but involves minimal make-up.

      • I love eggplant eyeliner too. Almay has a line of eye makeup organized by eye color and eggplant is one of their recommendations for brown eyes.

        • I too use the Almay eyeliner recommendation.

        • I wear Almay but can’t wear the purple because I have a sensitivity to any eye makeup with red dye. Apparently it’s a fairly common thing. I have green eyes and brown hair and wear brown eyeliner, light brown shadow, and brown-black mascara.

    • Brunette with blond highlights and hazel eyes. I use either a dark purple or dark navy. The purples bring out more gold/green in my eyes and the navy is great for making me look more awake .

    • Very fair with light brown/ dark blond hair and very blue eyes. I use grey all around or I use blue/black on top and brown on bottom for a more dramatic look.

      • Philanthropy Girl :

        My coloring is similar to yours. I use brown eyeliner because black looks very heavy on me, especially during the day. I also stick with black-brown mascara for the same reason.

    • Light brown hair, hazel eyes – I use a variety of colors (thanks, UD 24/7 liners) but my favorite everyday colors are grey and a dark taupe (I think it’s called Stray Dog), which I didn’t expect to like as much as I do.

    • Interesting. This is inspiring me to try. What type of mascara, if any do you wear with non-black eyeliner?

      Also, any eyeliner brand recommendations? I prefer something pretty smudge proof and long lasting.


      • I have auburn hair, brown eyes, and fair, cool-toned skin if anyone has any specific color recommendations for me to start with!

        • Maudie Atkinson :

          I would suggest a dark, hunter green (such as Urban Decay’s 24/7 in Loaded) for a more dramatic look and kind of a gray-beige (the 24/7 in Mushroom, for example) for a more natural one.

      • I have medium brown hair and brown eyes but very pale skin, and I’ve found brown or brown-black mascaras work way better for me than black-black – the black is too harsh and obviously fake on me. I also have a dark purple mascara from Almay I like a lot – it isn’t obviously purple unless you are inches from my face, but its a fun twist on regular mascara. Almay has eye makeup targeted to bring out certain eye colors – even if you don’t buy their specific product, looking at the display in the drugstore might give you some ideas.
        When I wear eyeliner I like to use brown, purple or copper shades – far more forgiving than black when I smudge it too.

      • Urban Decay’s 24/7 is fantastic. It never moves off of my eyelids.

        As far as eyeliner colors go, I stick with black. I used to use dark brown, actually, when I was first starting to use makeup–it’s definitely softer and more natural on me. (I’m reasonably tan, dark brown hair, green eyes.) But as I got more used to seeing makeup on my face, I started preferring black.

        However, I do love love love my purple mascara. It gives my eyes a little bit of punch, without slathering on eye shadow.

      • I wear black-brown mascara with dark brown liner, and it is way more flattering on my yellowish very fair ivory skin/dark brown hair/dark brown eyes than black would be — black looks very harsh even with naturally dark lashes. I also sometimes wear copper-colored liner, which I LOVE (same black-brown mascara, if any).

    • Would love advice on what colour I should use. I have very dark brown almost black hair and hazel eyes – would love something to bring out the green in my eyes. I currently wear black and thought about trying purple but worry that will bring out the red in my eyes (pregnant + toddler = constantly tired and vaguely bloodshot eyes). Advice?

      • I’ve got somewhat similar coloring – dark brown hair (with more gray “highlights” every day) and green/hazel eyes that change depending on what I’m wearing. I sometime use brown but more often either olive green or very dark purple. I recently got turned on to Urban Decay; the colors I got are Rockstar (the purple) and Stash (green). The amazing young woman at the UD counter at the Union Square Macy’s in SF (Jane, I think — I recommend her to anyone!) put the green under my lower lash line and purple on top and it looked great; I don’t have the time or hand-eye coordination to learn to do the top lid but I use either on the bottom. The green is my daily color.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I alternate colors depending on what I’m wearing/what I’m going for. Black is generally reserved for winter, or with very bold colors, when I want to look impactful and glamorous. Otherwise, I stick with dark brown. I’m very pale, with naturally blond hair and light blue eyes. I flirted with a very dark green and navy for awhile, that was fun, too.

    • Anonylicious :

      Brown, usually. Occasionally black, or I have this greenish-gold one from Tarte that is much nicer and more versatile than you’d think. And I put a champagne/”nude”-ish shade in my lower waterline.

      I have light eyes, hair and lashes, so black liner and mascara can be a bit much on me for daytime.

    • anon-oh-no :

      im blonde with blue eyes and i only use brown or grey for regular make-up. ill use black when i want a heavy, smokey dark eye for going out, but even then i sometimes do grey and burgandy instead.

    • I have medium brown hair, warm fair skin, and hazel eyes. I wear brown eyeliner & black mascara.

    • Golden dark blond (covering ALOT of gray), green eyes, fair skin with ruddier undertones as I age (53). I use a dark gray pencil eyeliner most days, but also use an olive green or purple on occasion. I have VERY dark circles and the skin around my eyes has thinned a lot and it very reddish (several steps necessary in camouflaging these issues). I had a makeup/hair “makeover” last fall and learned a great trick to brighten/lighten up my eyes – I now swear by Smashbox eye primer and a matte bone colored shadow with a hint of purple or brown at the outer corners. The real trick to looking awake for me is a white pencil on the lower rim of my eye with a small white “cattail” in the corner of my eye. The makeup artist also suggested that a lightly applied pencil line under my eye that does not connect all the way to the outer corner of the eye (hard to describe) would better frame my eyes and not make them look too severe. MAde a huge difference in diffusing the redness, looking more awake and more youthful.

    • I have very fair skin with light brown hair and blue eyes, and I wear dark plum/violet eyeliner and black mascara. Someone at a makeup counter years and years ago showed me how great dark purple hues looked — I was skeptical at first, but now it’s the only color I wear. Black eyeliner is just too harsh for my eyes.

    • Dark grey or jet black. Dark skin and eyes. Think Frieda pinto.

    • Black, brown, or purple. I also have a shocking teal one and a silver glitter one, but those only get used at Burning Man.

      • Hey, hey! :

        This is a great question!

        Light brown hair and blue eyes and I wear either black or navy eyeliner and plain black mascara. Definitely works well and does not look unnaturally painted on. When not at work, I really like using a green (green-blue, really, but more green) eyeliner.

  4. Speaking of cardigans... :

    I’m on the hunt for a v neck cardigan to wear over work dresses. Perhaps in petite sizes–I don’t want anything too long–in XS or maybe S. Most important–one that doesn’t pill and that retains its shape. Any recommendations?

    I’ve struck out at my usual places–J. Crew, Nordstrom, BR, Land’s End. Somehow, all the v neck cardigans seem to be long / “boyfriend” types with hip pockets, which read frumpy with most of my dresses.

    • I’ve been really happen with the cropped v-neck cardigans from Old Navy. They’re elbow-sleeve and look great with my dresses.

      • I’ve had bad luck over the years with Old Navy sweaters losing their shape. So much so that I gave up completely about a year ago. Has the quality improved?

        • The ones I have were purchased two years ago and still look great. I’m hoping that they haven’t changed the material or anything recently – I was going to get more colors. I do have the same shape problem with the long-sleeved cardigans, but the cropped ones haven’t had an issue.

    • Lands End has a v-neck cardigan for dresses.

      • http://www.landsend.com/products/womens-supima-34-sleeve-dress-cardigan-sweater/id_250075
        I have it in petite (I’m short waisted and short) and the length is right.

        • I’ve had that cardigan in “saved to buy later” forever. It’s the buttons that keep me from pulling the trigger. I wish they were the same color as the fabric.

    • I just bought two I like: one from Lands End (the “dress” cardigan, which is sold out in many colors) and one from Talbots (in the accessories department, treated as a shrug). both are v necked and open, no buttons. Both are short, cropped almost and look good with dresses.

  5. Talbots review :

    I ordered the lined wool pants from Talbots after reading so many raves here. I really wanted them to work, but the 6 was too tight in the hip area and going up a size didn’t help. I tried some unlined curvy-cut ones earlier in the spring and couldn’t deal with the itch-factor on those.

  6. Hard Decisions :

    Has anyone ever had a partner ambivalent/mostly against having children change their minds?

    Alternately, how do you make it easier to end a loving, trusting, communicative, joyful relationship with someone you want to be with forever because that person is pretty sure they don’t want children and you definitely do want them?

    • I haven’t been in that position but it seems to me that you have to be in agreement about a big decision like this and that it is unwise to hope that the other person will change their mind.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        I agree. I am on the other side of this in that I don’t want to have any children and I have dated people in the past who do. I wouldn’t want to be in a position where either (i) someone is trying to make me change my mind because we are not on the same page or (ii) someone is constantly hoping I will change my mind or (iii) someone will resent me because they thought I was going to change my mind and didn’t. This is not to say people don’t change their minds, but I wouldn’t rely on that as a solution.

        You don’t mention at what stage of the relationship you are in or how old you are, but I would strongly advise that you need to be in agreement about it because otherwise one or the other of you will end up resenting the other person very easily. Assume, for argument’s sake, you go out with this person for 10 years and then break up when you haven’t been able to make them change their mind and they are adamant they don’t want kids, and then it’s too late physically/you have to find someone else etc.

        Equally (and it is of course different for women) you don’t want to be in a situation where this person ends up having kids to make you happy but doesn’t really want them and then all kinds of familiar dysfunction potentially follows.

        The answer, I think, is to decide how important it is to you and go from there. If you totally disagree on this, then probably there isn’t a happy ending for you in the long run.

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Also, think about it the other way. You want kids – how likely are you to change your mind? Would you change your mind to be with someone? That may shed light on how this might turn out.

          • The worst part of this is that we’ve talked about it for the past year (4-year relationship), and he has said he wants to want children in order to be with me, but just can’t picture having the life he wants with them. I’ve avoided trying to force him to change his mind; I’m just wondering whether anyone has ever married someone who eventually did change his mind and was happy to be a father.

          • Some food for thought – if he does have them in order to be with you, will he be a full partner? Or will you end up shouldering the lion’s share of the childcare because YOU were the one who really wanted them?

      • There is a chance that MAYBE he could change his mind about kids with time. I’d go with the advice people have given about spending time with kids whether it’s friends or family. That might make things clearer. You also need to consider the possibility that YOU might also change your mind depending on what your experiences are with your first child. Sometimes people’s perspectives change based on the how their pregnancy/birth was, finances, emotional impact etc. Some people decide they don’t want more. Others feel the opposite.

        That said I would say that this is a major difference in values that you have. Another question could be how far would you go to have kids? Supposing you end this relationship and it takes you a while to find someone who you click with, would you feel like you had lost alot? IMO if being a mother is something very important to you, then consider taking the chance and ending this relationship. Hoping that someone will change their mind can be a tricky affair.

    • It’s a difficult position to be in, but even if you are able to ‘convince’ a reluctant partner to have children – is that really fair to the kids? They will likely be able to tell that their parent isn’t interested/engaged. Having children can be stressful, I would think that a marriage/partnership where one partner is resentful about having been talked into children could lead to martial problems/break-up later on.

      The old adage of ‘when someone tells you who they are the first time, believe them’ applies here. People are who they are, not necessarily who you wish they were.

      • All true, it’s just breaking my heart.

        I should probably have just posted the second question – how to make doing the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life feel less like the end of the world when Present Me feels like she’s sacrificing the most amazing relationship for Future Me’s theoretical children.

        • I wanted kids, and now have 2. I understand the pain of losing a relationship that feels amazing in so many ways, but if you really desire to have children, that longing will eventually eat away at your happiness in a fundamental way.

          You are still relatively young, and I found this longing to increase substantially when I hit my 30s. As someone else who wanted children, I ultimately could not have been happy in a relationship that did not mutually want to move forward toward children. Be honest with yourself if it’s a deal-breaker to you, and take the heartbreaking steps accordingly.

        • Silvercurls :

          Perhaps it would help to compare this particularly difficult deal-breaker with another one that doesn’t hold as much emotional freight for you? Consider how you would resolve the impasse if you really wanted to stay connected to your preferred religion or political affilation, and your SO didn’t share this preference, and/or either leaned in another direction or had close relatives who clearly made different choices (e.g. uncle is a rabbi, brother is a priest, sister works for the Democratic National Committee). The point here is not to consider how you or he would feel if other folks close to you did or didn’t have children; it’s to be able to put your situation into another key (or language) in hope of getting some perspective on the dilemna. You don’t always know what’s going to happen in the future…but that doesn’t preclude making decisions based on the best information you can gather right now. As others have said, Maya Angelou had it right when she advised us to believe people when they describe themselves.

          FWIW, very early in my college career a classmate advised me against dating guys outside our religion (Judaism) to avoid the heartbreak of ending a relationship with someone compatible in all ways except that one. I ended up marrying a Jewish guy (years after college) by my own choice, not out of fear instilled by that conversation…but it still made enough of an impression to be remembered for decades.

      • I don’t think I agree with “when someone tells you who they are the first time, believe them”. When my husband and I met, I swore up and down that I wanted multiple children, and he wasn’t so sure. Now life has changed for both of us in various ways, and I don’t think I want children, and he does.

        Things change and people change. You can’t predict how they will change, but you can be sure they will.

        I’d be hesitant to end a happy, loving marriage if having children is a decision far in the future because over time the SO could change his mind or the OP could.

        • anonymama :

          This is surprising to me, because I can’t imagine getting married in the first place with differing ideas about having children, even if the decision is far off in the future.

          • lawsuited :

            The point is, both our views were completely hypothetical because the decision was far off in the future. Only now that the decision is getting closer our our individual views coming into sharper focus, and I expect they may change further before the time arrives.

    • Anne Shirley :

      If you want children in your future, you don’t want this person forever. There’s no way to make that easy. I mean , if you live together, yes you can play around with ways to make the actual moving out process easier, but the emotional side? That will suck. It will be awful and painful no matter what you do.

      I think also worth asking what about a relationship that is not going to give you one of the major things you want in life is joyful. Not because you should change your mind, but because if having kids is your priority you need to understand how you got emotionally entangled with someone who doesn’t share that value, and what that means for you going forward.

    • Are you biologically up against the wire? Does having biological children matter to you or would be happy with adoption?

      The answers to these questions change the consideration. For example, I’m pretty sure I don’t want children and my husband is pretty sure he does, but we’re not yet 30, so both our views on children could be a product of the fact that we’re not really deciding yet. If you and your SO are having to decide right now, and your SO’s answer is “no”, then that’s a different consideration.

      • Turning 30 this year; SO is 28. I’d actually like to have one with him and adopt another; he’s adopted, and I’m so grateful his parents decided to welcome him into their family and raise the wonderful man he is. We don’t have to decide right now, but I don’t want to spend another 4 years in a relationship that eventually has to end in order for me to raise children.

        • Have you thought about trying couples counselling on this issue? You mention your SO is adopted; did he have a difficult experience with either birth/foster/adoptive families that would make him hesitant about parenting?

        • Does your SO have many friends with children? My husband and I are 28, and not many of our friends have children so it’s hard for us to imagine what our lives would be with children. This is a big factor for me – I wouldn’t feel so much dread about motherhood if I knew women my age with my job raising young children successfully. Although my husband wants children, he definitely does not want them now, so it could be a function “men mature more slowly than women”.

          There are no easy answers, but perhaps give it a couple of years (or 1 or 3 or whatever you’re comfortable with) and see where you are? You say that you have a loving, trusting, joyful marriage, so you’ll enjoy the next couple of years regardless?

          • We’re not married or engaged. None of his friends have kids, and only two of his friends are even married, but he’s significantly more mature than his friends. I feel like waiting and see is just playing with a ticking time bomb at this point, even though every minute I’m with him right now, I am happy. I don’t know if that happiness would overshadow my desire to have children – I suspect it wouldn’t.

          • lawsuited :

            Sorry OP, I was not reading carefully enough! I think being 4 years into a dating relationship this does change the consideration. My husband and I have been married for 5 years, together for 8, and continue to enjoy a happy life together so I don’t think we would dissolve our relationship whether we decide to have or not have children (although one of us will certainly be more or less uncomfortable with the decision). In your situation, perhaps it is best (although not easiest) to walk away. Lots of hugs to you.

      • I would be cautious about assuming that adoption is an easily available alternative. In my jurisdiction, there is a ten year wait list for children under age 2; many children over that age are only allowed to be adopted into open adoption arrangements to maintain birth family contact; and they won’t place any child under age 2 with parents older than 46.

        Adoption isn’t an easy back-up to having biological children. You have to really want to be a parent.

        • This. We have struggled with infertility and I absolutely hate it when people tell us that we can always adopt. The average domestic adoption of an infant costs $20-30,000 and takes 2-3 years. International adoptions can cost even more.

    • Apparently my dad didn’t want kids when my parents got married. My mom did, but she was willing to forego kids, so she married him hoping he would change his mind. After 5 years, he did and they had the 3 of us. He’s a great, completely invested father. His own parents left something to be desired growing up, so she thinks that he had to come to terms with the fact that that wouldn’t be the way it had to be for his own family. So it can happen — but you know you can’t count on it.

    • anon dater :

      I posted a few months ago about dating a wonderful man who likely didn’t want any more kids (he was divorced with two teens). At first I thought I was ambivalent, but when it came right down to it, he said he didn’t want them and I couldn’t stop crying. I feared I would resent him making that choice for us, as well as for getting to have his own kids. I just ended it, and I’m really sad, but I know (think) I made the right decision. We dated for a little over four months, but it got quite serious near the end.

      How old are you? How old is he?

      Anyway, I don’t have any good answers for you, but I sympathize with your situation. It’s not easy to give up something great that’s right in front of you for something that might be great later on.

    • I have no personal experience with this, but you might want to read “Motherhood, Rescheduled” by Sarah Elizabeth Richards. She writes about a years-long relationship that she had with a man who did not want children. I have to warn you, it doesn’t turn out well for them, but it may give you an idea of what you’re in for if you stay in this relationship.

    • Another perspective: I think there was a Carolyn Hax question on this not long ago on a Friday discussion thread. A reader responded to Carolyn’s advice to an OP in a similar situation by citing his own experience of being the party who wanted children and broke up a relationship 25 years ago in order to pursue a partner who wanted kids. He never found another partner, never had kids, and lost the love of his life. It kind of broke my heart, but shows that there are no guarantees in life and you have to weigh the here and now against an uncertain future.

      • I read that too and thought it was really really sad.

        If he’s not sure, could you set a “check in” date? Go through couples counseling? If it’s an unsure decision rather than a hard no, it might be worth exploring where the uncertainty is coming from. Also, think about this in the context of how he makes other life decisions. Is he someone who always has to have all the facts/figures/plans before making a decision? If that’s the case, then it might be worth discussing the concrete aspects of what having kids means to each of you and for your relationship.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This was my concern too. Many people struggle to find a life partner. Leaving him doesn’t necessarily mean you will find “the one” with whom to have kids. I’m not saying stick with him and give up on kids. I’m just saying consider how you will feel in the worst case scenario that you don’t find someone else. Will you still be happy or kick yourself forever?

    • Word of caution – I’ve dated a lot of divorced guys who were your SO in their first marriages (some with kids and some without). Kids/no kids is a huge dealbreaker, whether it happens before or after the wedding.

    • I wasn’t sure I wanted kids but DH wanted atleast one. I figured he meant more to me than my ambiguity re kids….that said, I wasn’t dead set against them, just kinda meh….

      • anon for this :

        This is how I feel about kids. I am not against them, but if it doesn’t happen for me – I would totally be OK and live my life the way I’ve been living it. My DH wants a kid very much and we are beginning to try. The words “kinda meh” are exactly how I feel. My DH means more to me than my ambiguity, as well.

        Can I ask – did you end up having kids?

    • My first husband came home one day and announced that he had changed his mind from wanting children to not wanting any. We struggled with it for a few months (I cried every day), but ultimately it became clear that he was absolute in his not wanting children, and I was absolute in wanting them. Our relationship was not the kind of relationship that you describe though, so that helped in my decision to end the marriage. We had reached a point in our marriage where things were not working out, and this was just the icing on top. I already felt very alone in the relationship, and figured being alone for real, on my own terms, with the possibility of finding what I wanted, was better than staying in something that was not fulfilling to me on any level. FWIW, I later met someone who was a true partner, who wanted the things I wanted in life; we are married and have children. In the end I have no regrets with my decision (other than getting married the first time…). So no real advice, just commiseration, and hopefully the promise that things will work out for you whatever you decide.

    • I was the ambivalent partner; DH always knew he wanted kids (he said this on our first date). I had a vague sense that I might want them that came on when I hit 30, but I was never that into kids or babies. I liked my single life; I liked eating out; I don’t like messes (e.g. poop). We decided to have kids even though I was still apprehensive and somewhat ambivalent when that stick showed the line. Now we have a 1-year-old and I’m so glad I did it.

      What partially changed my mind from anti-kid to ambivalent was watching my friends have kids. I realized you CAN still be cool and have kids; it doesn’t mean completely ruining your life. Things take more time, and your idea of a good Saturday night may mean paying for a movie on cable instead of just watching whatever is on Netflix. But DH still got to watch 12 hours of World Cup this weekend — some with the baby — and I still got a pedicure.

      Obviously I don’t know enough about your SO to make any sort of informed judgment, but I’m guessing this may be that he’s still enjoying life as a 28-year-old and doesn’t know what life with kids looks like except from his perspective as a kid. In 5 years, when staying out drinking until 2 becomes slightly less fun, and after a friend or two has a kid and is still able to go out for a beer, his perspective may very well change.

      • I really want to emphasize this:
        “What partially changed my mind from anti-kid to ambivalent was watching my friends have kids. I realized you CAN still be cool and have kids; it doesn’t mean completely ruining your life. ”

        You both have your opinions and are entitled to them, but your opinion should be based on full information, and what I mean by that is, his opposition to children should be grounded in reality of what life is really like with children. I don’t know how you would accomplish this, but it’s really really important to be around friends and family who have children, so that he can make an informed decision (and maybe he’ll change his mind, or maybe you will).

        IMO you never feel you are “ready” to have kids, but being around kids for a weekend or two can give you an idea of whether you can picture yourself in that role or not.

        • Just to play devil’s advocate, I think a weekend or two can be a dangerous metric. I am ambivalent at best (leaning no). When I’m thrown into a case of a sugar high toddler for a weekend from no kids ever, I freak out. I do realize that you don’t go from nothing to toddler (if you’re having biologic children), but it’s harder for me to relate to someone else’s kid who is screaming it’s head off. So be careful about deciding based on a snapshot in time.

          • Lorelai Gilmore :

            I also just want to add one thought about “snapshots.” If you have kids, they won’t be babies forever. They’ll get bigger, more verbal, more independent. They learn to play by themselves, they go to school, they learn to play board games or pick-up soccer in the park. They learn to go to good restaurants and how to read a menu. They can travel with you and pack their own suitcases, which they then pull behind them through the airport.

            The baby-and-toddler phase is very hard, but it is also very short in the grand scheme of things. Even if your restaurant-and-museum-and-theater habits take a brief hiatus during the early childhood years, they will be waiting for you on the other side. When you think about wanting kids, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not just about wanting babies; it’s also about wanting a relationship with a person who will grow up and become independent and who will share your life.

          • I don’t actually like babies very much. They’re very wriggly and full of random fluids. I’m sure I’ll think my own baby is a miracle, but generally, I’m not into children until they can talk.

            But kids are amazing! They’re astute and honest and full of wonder, and if you’re lucky and play your cards right, they grow up into great people. I had a fantastic relationship with my mother, and I want to try to have a similar relationship with my child. We had so many adventures, and she’s told me over and over again that having me kept her youthful and full of joy. There’s no promises I’ll be a good mother, let alone as great at it as my mother, but I want to try.

    • Beauty Sleep :

      Long time lurker – but I am in nearly the same situation. I’m 35, he is 49. He already has a college age son, I have raised my younger sister who is entering college in the fall. Our father passed when my sister was 2 and our mom passed when she was 10. He said “he would have kids if his wife wanted them” about 6 months into the relationship, which was around when my sister was 13. I said at that point I wanted to have 2 kids and adopt 1 if the two didn’t include a boy. Fast forward to a year after that, he said he didn’t want anymore kids ever. I was hurt, upset, cried, and started to date other people. We still dated those past 4 years, and to everyone around us, we are still together. None of the other dates really took off into anything. I tried online dating too. I tried everything to push him away.

      Fast forward to now – getting my sister through high school was hell. I’m tired. Parenting a teenager is so thankless and draining. I’m still teaching her things, she still spends my money :) I look forward to spending some time traveling and doing the things I couldn’t do when I was a full-time single parent. I have friends who are still having babies. I love toddlers, but don’t want babies. When I think about it, I’ve never really been trilled with the idea of getting up in the middle of the night to feed a baby. I need my sleep. But I just can’t say “no I don’t want kids ever,” which is what he wants. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to say that. He wants me to make an absolute decision. Not to take infertility issues lightly, but sometimes I think that if I knew I couldn’t have kids it would make my decision so much easier. I wouldn’t go through any fertility treatments because I just don’t have that strong of a desire to have kids. Honestly, I always thought I’d have an accident and wind up preggo.

      So, no solution, no real advice, just some commiseration.

      • Off topic, but I’m so sorry to read about the struggles you went through when your parents passed, and the burden that was placed on you, young as you were. It sounds like you did a great job raising your sister, young as you were.

        • Beauty Sleep :

          Thanks Samantha – I’m just glad we’ve hit the college years and pray that she is successful.

    • Dump him now, before your eggs go stale. He’s probably willing to have sex, but not accept the consequences. Do not tarry. If no kids, no sex. That is the trade off for him. Tell him he will have to find some other place to park his wiener.

    • Spirograph :

      What life does he want that he thinks children are incompatible with? Does he want to work an extremely time-intensive, demanding job? Travel often? Do adrenaline junkie, dangerous sports with a clearer conscience? Especially since you don’t have any friends with kids, maybe he just needs some more data points to realize that (within reason) kids fit into the life you have. You don’t have as much disposable income and you have to make some sacrifices, sure, but it’s not the game-over that he might be imagining. I agree with the commenter above who said couples counseling is worth considering.

      I know a couple where the husband wanted kids, and wife was ambivalent/opposed for years. She eventually changed her mind, and gave up her career (which meant a lot to her) to accomodate being a mom. Obviously they love and dote on their child, but their marriage seems very different now. Like others have pointed out, the emotional, professional and financial stress of young children can be challenging for a marriage even under the best circumstances, but anecdotally it certainly seems like that effect is exacerbated if one partner was reluctant going in.

      All that to say, it sounds like you know this is a deal-breaker for you. If you give him every opportunity to change his mind, and he deson’t, you’re smart to not force the issue and move on. You might consider individual counseling to help you through it; I found an objective and compassionate listener to be very, very helpful when I reluctantly ended a relationship (for different reasons, but similar situation).

      • I think this is an important point – what about his life does he think is incompatiable with kids. It might be worth it to talk about those thinks more specifically. Not as a way to prove to him that “yes you can do that with kids” but to clarify to both of you what that means to each of you. And if you don’t have friends or family with kids, this might be a good place to find someone who can counsel you on some of those things. Kids are totally a game changer in a relationship, but they don’t have fundamentally alter all the things you are as a person – kids benefit from parents that have outside interests/hobbies for so many reasons.

      • I personally don’t think his vision of life is incompatible with kids, because it’s similar to what I had (lots of traveling, eating exotic foods in new restaurants across the city, living in an urban area, going on unscheduled weekend trips, enjoying Sunday brunch with friends), but he was very firmly a suburban kid, with a mom who worked part-time, family dinners, and a regimented after-school schedule. My friends who have kids right now are living a very different life from what we lead -but none of their kids are over 2 years old, and they’re the outliers. Most people we know don’t have kids, but in another 5-10 years, they will, and (assuming we stayed together) we’d be the outliers. I’d felt this but been unable to articulate it, thank you.

        How does one go about finding the right counselor for this kind of situation?

        • I think you hit the nail on the head: in 10 years, all your friends will either be unavailable for impromptu Sunday brunch or coming to brunch with little kids.

          • Not true. If you’re childfree by choice, there are a lot of other people like you, too & my brunches involve those people. Kids aren’t a given anymore.

          • I think tesyaa meant the cool friends with kids will be not-cool friends with kids in ten years, not that OP won’t be able to find new friends. And what she said was totally true, because they will be at soccer matches and karate and piano lessons all weekend long.

      • Maybe just an adult life? I don’t want kids because of the lifestyle that comes with them – no desire to go to parent/teacher conferences, sports games, sleepovers, kids parties, etc. I like being an adult and doing things that go along with that. You don’t need to be an adrenaline junkie to not care for the lifestyle that absolutely does come with kids. Yes, you may be able to do some of the “cool” things after you have them, but not like you can when you don’t have them at all.

    • My husband was similar. He knew and understood that kids would completely change the amount of time he wanted to spend doing things. He also knew I wanted kids and he wanted to be with me. We got married with this understanding and waited five years before having kids. During those five years we traveled, he got a pilot’s license, parties, etc. Once our friends started having kids, we began as well. While this has worked out, it was understood from the beginning that I would be the primary caretaker (even though I too have a full time job). Nonetheless, he is a great hands on Dad and it has worked out.

    • My now husband was on the no children side of the fence when we started dating and I was on the fence. He had very good reasons for his decision, and it wasn’t just because he wasn’t ‘ready’ yet. I decided I wanted children and it was an issue for a year or so. He then agreed, we got married, and now I’m pregnant.

      Sounds all nice and hopeful, right? But while I know he’ll love our baby and won’t neglect/abandon our baby, there’s a part of me that worries he will resent us (me and our child) and will never become as engaged as I’d like. It’s hard to put into words, and could be a result of stupid pregnancy hormones plus the fact that the baby is still an abstract concept to him in someways, but it sucks.

    • Thanks for all the thoughtful replies, everyone. I appreciate the input.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        One other suggestion. I’d get a fertility workup before calling things off. Many people have a very hard time getting pregnant. You don’t know if you are one until you try or pay for the tests. It would be awful for you to leave this guy so you can have kids and then find out that you can’t have (biological) kids or can’t have them without serious medical intervention. If that would change your thoughts on whether to leave this relationship I’d get the medical work before making the final decision.

  7. Anon for this one :

    What does a highly contentious divorce proceeding look like? My best friend’s husband just filed for divorce, and he’s currently in prison facing charges of capital crimes against a small child. She has her own legal team and I’m not soliciting legal advice for her – I just want to know what this will entail, as I truly have no idea.

    There was a pre-nup in place but husband and his parents (who have his financial power of attorney) have made it clear they want to obliterate my BFF. Does the same judge who’s overseeing his criminal case (not yet tried) also do the divorce case? How many times could she expect to be in the courtroom for this? For example, I’d like to go down and offer moral support at some point, but I don’t know if this is a one-and-done type of process, or if it’s going to take months or years… How do the two sides make their case for who should pay what to whom, how do assets get divided, etc?

    • No, the criminal system and the system that hears her divorce case (family court in some states- especially if there are kids, the general civil court system in others) will be completely different. Whether or not he’s convicted of a crime doesn’t have an impact on the legal continuation of his marriage, how the assets are divided, etc.

      Not a family lawyer, but my guess is that it won’t be quick.

      • Agree though the criminal case, especially a conviction, would impact child custody.

    • anon in tejas :

      actually depending on the jurisdiction there is a possibility that the family case and the criminal case will be heard by the same judge. But it’s highly unlikely.

      family law/divorce cases here vary wildly on length of time and hearings. Most contentious cases take at least a year in my jurisdiction and require 5+ hearings, normally. A lot depends on the court and judge.

      Expect lots of discovery (i.e. both sides ordered to produce documents, answer questions and provide information about assets/debts, etc.), and if she can start getting that stuff together proactively, that could help her lawyer out considerably.

      also, there may be implications on the criminal case that would greatly affect the outcome (positively for your friend) on the divorce case. It may make sense for her to delay until the criminal case is resolved. Her attorney will be able to advise her accordingly.

      • Not in family law so this is speculation, but I would be concerned that he is going to run through a lot of money for a criminal defense team. Although his conviction could really impact his right to custody, I’d be concerned that she would get a double whammy of no child support and no assets.

      • Anon for this one :

        Thanks for all this info. So the divorce case could take at least a year to settle – does that then run concurrently with his pre-trial stuff for the criminal case? My understanding is that the criminal case won’t go to trial for another 8 – 12 months, at least. Would the divorce judge at least be aware of the fact that he is facing these capital charges?

        • anon in tejas :

          if her lawyers advise the judge, then yes. the judge cannot and should not seek independent information regarding the case.

          they should be going on concurrently. she should not wait to file for divorce until the criminal proceeding is taken care of, because she will want assets protected, etc. but she should expect delays on both cases that will slow down the process considerably.

        • (former) preg 3L :

          FWIW, I have heard that non-contentious divorces take a year to 18 months. A contentious one seems like it could take far longer. If your friend gets a good lawyer, the lawyer will be able to make sure the judge(s) knows everything they should about the two cases (criminal and divorce).

  8. MollySolverson :

    Anybody live on NYC’s Upper East Side? I lived in NYC for a while a couple years ago and am moving back, so I’m generally familiar with the city, but am interested in the current vibe on the UES. Several friends live on the UWS, but it looks like I can get a bit bigger place at the same price or cheaper if I head east. Fwiw, I’m an attorney in my late 20s. Thanks!

    • I live in the Upper East Side– currently at 96th and 2nd. Two years ago I was living at 82nd and Lex. I’m in my mid-20s, FWIW, and I’ll give you my pros and cons list.

      Pros: Quiet, relatively easy transport on the 6 train and busses, good restaurants and bars on second, proximity to Central Park and East River Park
      Cons: Also the quiet, the construction on second, lack of downtown vibe/culture/etc

      I feel like at my age I would slightly prefer to live somewhere more downtown (and in fact I’m doing so starting next month). However, it really depends on your style and what you’re looking for. The UES has been wonderful for the 3 years I’ve been here! It’s definitely sort of a family-vibe though, especially when you’re in the 80s and 90s. However, you’re right that the prices really can’t be beat.

      I’ve been hearing a lot of good things about Long Island City and Astoria.

      • MollySolverson :

        Thanks! This is very helpful. I forgot about the subway construction and will need to keep that in mind as I look.

      • That’s more like Yorkville and Spanish Harlem up there.

    • T. McGill :

      UES resident here. Definitely not the coolest or trendiest area, but a solid place to live. Good mix of people, so no matter where you are in life you won’t feel out of place (as compared to places like Murray Hill, which you outgrow by 30). Decent shopping and restaurants (and starting to get a little more interesting, as the second ave subway construction is driving rents down so restaurants are migrating uptown). The 6 train can be a nightmare as it is the only line serving the entire east side. I’ve lived here single, married, and now with kids, and I like it.

      • This — it’s getting much more interesting in terms of bars and restaurants (Penrose, Earl’s Beer & Cheese, Bondurant’s, Jones Wood Foundry, etc., etc.). Rents are cheaper so more “downtown-type” places are opening up and you’re getting good food/craft bars/etc. Certainly, between the UWS and UES, I feel like the UES is a better place to be in your late 20s. The UWS is more young families and adult kids still living with parents (generalizing, obviously). But honestly it’s in no way hipper.

        FYI – You can find lots of nice less expensive rentals along 1st avenue if you don’t mind the walk and construction is only bad on 2nd avenue itself, and even that is wrapping up in a lot of places.

        • MollySolverson :

          Thanks, T McGill & AIMS! It sounds like a great fit for me, actually.

    • You’re moving back to NY from Bemidji?

    • Anon in NYC :

      Just wanted to add my two cents for Hells Kitchen. I believe it’s less expensive than the UWS (at least that’s what my realtor told me 3+ years ago). A lot of bars and restaurants at various price points, plus easy proximity to a wider number of train lines. It seems like there’s a lot of diversity in the community. I don’t see a lot of kids running around, but there are schools in the neighborhood so they must be somewhere.

  9. Can anyone here speak to how common or uncommon it is to have an insurance plan that covers unlimited (# of times and total cost) rounds of IVF?

    I have amazing infertility coverage at my current job and am trying to freeze embryos/get pregnant because I am expected to enter menopause at a relatively young age (hormone levels bad, follicle count terrible, etc–at 35). I am extremely fortunate that my current insurance covers just about everything. But that said, I am hoping to have two kids (I will be lucky to have one, but I’m still hoping that we can have two) and wonder if that means I am stuck at my current job until we are (God willing) pregnant with our second.

    I suspect I am stuck. I like my job enough, but I don’t know that I really want to be here for another 3-4 years. In fact, I worry I will get pigeonholed career-wise if I do. Just wondering if others had any experience with this–or if not exactly this, with feeling stuck in your job for personal/benefits-related reasons for longer than you’d otherwise like. Thanks!

    • VERY uncommon

    • PinkKeyboard :

      Unlikely. I work for the goverment and we have 8 healthcare choices, 0 of 8 cover any invasive fertility treatments (including IUI, freezing embryos, etc).

    • As a general matter, unlikely, but maybe you live in one of the handful of states that mandates coverage for IVF?

    • I think it varies widely. My insurance through BigLaw covered just about anything up to a lifetime limit (cannot recall specific amount). My husband’s insurance, which was supposed to be a good policy, covers no infertility treatments whatsoever.

      It’s an incredibly personal decision. I made the decision to stay an extra year or two for the firm’s insurance, and had my first child at the firm. I have no regrets. That said, I left about a year after my child was born, but went into a different job with the full knowledge that I was unlikely to have any infertility treatments covered. Based on the experiences conceiving the first, and knowledge of the cost associated therewith, we felt like we could handle our treatments out of pocket for #2, so I left.

      If I could put a vote in – I would stay at least for a while to explore what treatments will look like for you, and what kind of success you have. Your policy sounds amazing, and as hard as it might be feel “stuck” in your career for a little while, having to make treatment decisions based on finances could be heartbreaking. If you do elect to stay, re-frame the experience as possibly being a slower time professionally but ramping up personal goals, and just take it day by day. Start the process of trying to get pregnant, and just see what the road looks like at every step. Your success with fertility may be slower or faster than expected, and having a secure job is also a benefit from that perspective.

      • To put a finer point on my last paragraph, the emotional and physical ups and downs of fertility treatments can be really, really tough. Even though my second job is far less stressful from a “work” perspective, I never regretted staying in a position where I was not trying to prove myself every day to a new employer while conceiving our first. I had flexibility to attend appointments or take personal time if I needed it (keep in mind you may have to accrue leave at a new job as well), and even when my work product suffered a bit, I had a strong performance record to fall back onto.

      • Thanks, I really appreciate this perspective. It’s easy to feel trapped if you don’t remember that not having this coverage is a different kind of “trapped.” I feel really fortunate to have the coverage I have now.

        • Good way to put it. I’ve had friends almost go bankrupt to pay for fertility treatments, and though the end result was worth it, the financial dimension made every treatment decision more agonizing. There is something incredibly freeing about being able to just go for whatever the doctor recommends, and not have to weigh the cost repercussions. It is an incredibly rare, and incredibly lucky, place to be.

          Good luck – hopefully your experience will be quick and effective, and this will all be a distant memory!

          • Thanks, I certainly hope so! It’s really hard from an emotional perspective. I’m glad we don’t have to add a financial stress to that.

    • It varies pretty widely, but it’s pretty uncommon to find full unlimited coverage. The best coverage I’ve seen is up to 5 fully covered cycles of IVF at my previous employer.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      Unlimited coverage is very unlikely. And you should be sure that even if your coverage is unlimited there aren’t caps per live birth. There is a coverage mandate in MD, but companies can (and do) only cover up to 3 IVFs per live birth.

      Also, you say you’ll be trapped until you have the entire family you want, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. First, IVF is expensive but not prohibitively so depending on your income and treatment protocol (I obviously don’t know about either, but many people get treatment without coverage and without ending up destitute). Second, if you have DOR and expect that you’ll need to harvest eggs and freeze embryos very soon, then for your second child you’d be looking only at a frozen embryo transfer. Again, don’t know your situation, but that is considerably less expensive (in our case 20% of the cost) of a full round of IVF. So while you may still want to stick around to have the complete IVF cycle covered, it may potentially make sense to leave your job after the first kid.

      Good Luck, and I’m sorry that you have to go through this. There’s no part of infertility that doesn’t suck :(

      • Thanks so much, I appreciate your comment. We were planning to freeze as many embryos as we could so that we could try naturally now and hopefully save those frozen embryos for a second pregnancy. Now it’s looking like we will have to do several rounds just to get two to four embyros (if we’re lucky) which wouldn’t be much of a guarantee (to the extent any of it’s a guarantee) so if we don’t do better than that, I would probably try to stay put until we were at least mid-pregnancy with a second child (again, if we’re lucky enough to have a first), at which point it would probably be bad timing to start a job search.

        It’s just daunting to plan to be tied to this job for so long when it’s a weird way-station of sorts for me professionally. I think it should provide me with a decent (for a non-profit) salary and a flexible schedule, but I’m not sure it’s the job I hoped to have when starting a family. But still, if we’re lucky enough to be able to start a family, I’ll settle for being stuck in an okay job! Thanks, all!

  10. This sweater crosses the line and ends up “bathrobe territory” for me.

    • Agree. That collar would never lay right and would require constant fidgeting.

    • For me, it couldn’t be workwear (I think this is at least a half step below business casual) but I’d love to have it to throw on as it cools down after a day on the boat. My imaginary boat.

      • BankrAtty :

        I have an imaginary boat too! And this sweater *would* be perfect for riding my imaginary pony on my imaginary boat.

        • Frumpishly frumpy :

          Agreed. I think it is too long and the horizontal stripes too wide for a good business casual look. But to warm up in lake or oceanside breezes, sure!

  11. Has anyone had any luck using melatonin as an occassional sleep aid? If so, any brand recommendations?

    • Maddie Ross :

      I have and do find it works well. I think I just used Nature Made or some other readily available brand at the drugstore.

    • We use it at our house, after the pediatrician recommended it for our insomniac young teenager. We get the 5 mg. tablets, just a grocery-store brand. It’s not a sleeping pill — it won’t help if I’m awake because I’m very upset or stressed out — but I do think it helps make me drowsy and fall to sleep a bit faster on a normal evening. I find it particularly helpful for going back to sleep in the middle of the night; when I get up to use the bathroom or whatever, I find it easier to go right back to sleep when I’ve taken melatonin earlier that night.

    • Yes, I find it helpful; I tried to help me with jet lag after a trip overseas on my doc’s recommendation, and I still use it occasionally as needed. The key is to remember that it works with the circadian rhythm so you need to use it as a natural assistant to your own functions, not as a “sleeping pill.” Meaning, especially, you should take it when you’re ready for sleep and in low-to-no light. Light can be disorienting and cranky-making when you’re on melatonin. Don’t take it and stay up watching TV thinking it’ll put you to sleep…it will just make you feel weird. IME, of course!

    • Wildkitten :

      It doesn’t work for me. I think you have to try it to know if it would work for you.

    • I have a friend who found it incredibly helpful to deal with jet lag while traveling halfway around the world. Not available OTC where he lives so he bought a big supply to take home.
      Agree with AEK on taking it as a supplement to your circadian rhythms.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      I take it nightly, in conjunction with trazodone – neither works alone for me, but together, they work as Jules & AEK describe. It’s not a knock-out drug, but does help me fall asleep more easily, and go back to sleep when I wake during the night, as long as I actually go to sleep within 30-60 minutes of taking it. If I miss that window, it’s insomnia time.

      You may need to experiment to find the right dose – less is better for me, but ymmv.

    • I’ve used Nature Made. It works, but I get some WEIRD/scary dreams. I stick to benadryl now.

      • Famouscait :

        I’m not sure if there’s actual hard evidence to back this up, but I know of plenty of anecdata (including my husband) that shows a link between night terrors and supplemental melatonin.

      • This! I haven’t tried melatonin by itself, but I have taken Midnite, which includes melatonin. It helped me get to sleep, but it wasn’t good sleep because I had nightmares. At first I thought it was just because I was having trouble going to sleep anyway, but I’ve tried a different OTC sleep pill on occasion and didn’t experience the nightmares. It took awhile to figure that out since I only took it about 1-2 times every two months.

  12. Always Anon :

    Looking for suggestions for a purse for my Europe vacation this summer. I was thinking either a smallish cross body or a medium to large tote. Which would be better and any specific recommendations? I’m generally a Longchanp/Coach outlet girl. Would be willing to be spend about $100 for a crossbody and $150 for a tote.

    Also, any recommendations for international cell phone usage would be helpful! I don’t have t-mobile but it looks like their international rates are the best but that’s based on my paltry research thus far.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I like my smallish longchamp shoulder bag for travel. Cross body bags just don’t work with my boobs, and medium/large tote bags have a tendency to attract stuff and get full and heavy. In my longchamp I can fit a book, hat, sunglasses, extra shoes, a bathing suit, bottle of water, and a sandwich in a pinch. Usually I don’t need all of the things at once, so it gives me some flexibility.

    • I carried the Kelsi Dagger “Chelsea” crossbody bag with me all over France last summer and it held up great. It holds a surprising amount and held up really well. It also has a zipper that is pretty secure/tough to open unless you’re actually holding the purse, so I felt pretty safe wandering around with it.

      It runs about $188 normally, but I found it in gray on major sale on Amazon.com at the time. 6PM currently has a teal version for about $125.

    • Always Anon :

      Hmm, my Longchamp is a possibility but (and I know this is really shallow!), it always looks terrible on me in pictures. The Kelsi Chelsea is cute but probably not big enough for what I need – I think I need something that’ll hold more than just my wallet and phone.

    • Wildkitten :

      Timbuk2 makes some cute small cross body bags, if you are okay with something sportier than your normal handbags.

    • locomotive :

      I used a marc by marc jacobs nylon crossbody bag (I think it was the natasha?) for my 3 month long european trip last summer and it was a godsend. It is light and small, but big enough to fit a water bottle, scarf/cardigan, phone, map, and camera.

      • Always Anon :

        Oh that’s cute except I think I want a full zipper closure across the top and that one is a foldover/snap closure.

        I think I’ve found a couple of options:
        1. Fossil Erin crossover
        2. Baggallini Horizon crossover
        3. Tosca style 9200 or 9202

        I think what I’ll do if I do end up liking one of the crossovers is to also fold up an older Longchamp purse and bring that along too, just in case I decide I need more space.

        • This is really late, but I have the Erin Crossbody and while I really really love it, it doesn’t fit as much stuff as similar sized bags I have. I love the size and shape of it – I was obsessed with the Foley and Corinna Mid City Tote, but when I saw that in person, it felt way too large to wear as a cross body – but I have found that I don’t use the Erin as much as I thought because it just doesn’t carry as much as I thought. It’s very thin, so even putting a pashmina or light cardigan makes it all bulky and uncomfortable.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      I would also suggest looking at Brighton gifts. They have several coated canvas bags especially designed for travel…I picked up a small-ish sized cross-body there that was fairly cute and had the ideal configuration of zippers/pockets. Their bags are also surprisingly nice (never knew much about them before). You should be able to find something in the $100-$150 price range pretty easily.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Re cell phones, most places I just buy a super cheap pay-as-you-go phone when I get there if I just need texting/voice calls. Or depending on your phone & carrier, you may be able to switch out the SIM cards and buy a local SIM card when you get there.

    • S in Chicago :

      Have you looked at TUMI? They have an end of season sale going right now, and they’re always smart with their numbers of pockets and zippers for travel.