Tuesday’s TPS Report: ‘Walsh’ Wool Blend A-Line Dress

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

Tory Burch 'Walsh' Wool Blend A-Line DressFor some reason, I decided to try to find a “fit and flare” dress that would be appropriate for the office for today’s round-up.  I’ve featured them before, but in general I go back and forth on whether they’re appropriate — they’re often cut so short, and they frequently seem overly flouncy and girly.  Then I saw this one — which is a classic A-line, not a “fit and flare,” and I thought, YESSSS.  Beautiful.  Look at that longer hem!  That high yet flattering neckline!  That hidden back closure!  I might add a more interesting belt to this, but that’s me.  It’s $345 at Nordstrom; Tory Burch also has it in a “poppy red.” Tory Burch ‘Walsh’ Wool Blend A-Line Dress

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  1. Sydney Bristow :

    I love this. I had a similar dress from Old Navy years ago and it was one of the most versatile things in my closet.

  2. Definitely out of my price range, but I do love it!

  3. Endorsed beyond recognition :

    Hey, sorry for the early threadjack.
    I have trouble with people endorsing me all willy-nilly on LinkedIn. Skills I don’t remotely posses. Graphic Design? I can’t even draw a stick figure.
    Any thoughts on how to handle that? I am not particularly LinkedIn savvy, so maybe this is a stupid question that is easily answered. Can I turn the endorsements off somewhere? Or can I limit the skills that can be endorsed?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Anon in NYC :

      They don’t show up automatically – you can choose to not display the endorsements. I was concerned about the same. Have you logged into LinkedIn lately? There should be a prompt on your profile page.

      • Just FYI, some state bar associations have recommended that the “expertise” endorsements should be hidden, as they may constitute holding yourself out as a specialist in a particular area, which is against some ethics rules. I am on the Ethics Committee for my particular state, and we just recommended that everyone “hide” their endorsements so as not to run afoul of our rules.

      • Endorsed beyond recognition :

        Yea, I logged in and saw that I can approve it. I guess I’ll just ignore it and not post it on my profile.
        Makes you wonder if anyone can believe the endorsements if other people have similar issues.

    • Yay! I love Tory Birch, and this dress, but very PRICEY! My dad would yell at me even if I spend my OWN money on this. Mabye mom can buy it at NORDSRUM in MY Size! Smart Idea b/c he will NOT yell at mom!!!! YAY!

      I bumped into GONZALO again on Lex today comeing out of that place upstairs where the Hispanic Girl with the shelf live’s. I think he is sleepeing with her. Why else would he be comeing out of there at 8 in the MORNING. I do NOT think he was playing a game of all nite DOMINOES with her. FOOEY!

      He was freindly, but I think he knew that I knew he was haveing SEX. That is OK b/c I am NOT dateing him, and I am lookeing for a guy who will be a good provider and father to my child, when we have one.

      Grandma Leyeh called to say I should come visit b/c I have NOT seen her since we were in Chapaqua with Rosa and Ed. I think she want’s to council me on how to approache Ed’s Freind, Philip.

      I hope he call’s me back b/c my other option’s are not nearley as promising financieally.

    • I think endorsements were a brilliant move by LinkedIn – they get people to interact with the site in a way that’s no more work that Facebook’s 1-click “like.” That said, they’re kind of a joke. I’ve been “endorsed” by Facebook “friends” I haven’t seen since high school.

    • Ugh, I have this same problem. One of my law school classmates endorsed me for M&A, which I’ve never even touched, other than due diligence. Unless you can actually vouch for someone’s work in an area, you should not be endorsing them.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think if you put in some of your own skills then you’d be more likely to be endorsed for those things. I have a few skills listed and luckily the only people who have endorsed me for them have actually worked with me in those areas.

    • I hate this too. People endorse me for lesser skills that I’d rather not highlight, or for things I never even listed, all the time. Fie, I say.

    • Solo Practitioner :

      I would certainly hide these things. They are completely inaccurate.

      I do criminal defense and family law. Someone endorsed me for “International Law.” Uh, no.

    • Lady Harriet :

      I think part of the problem is that LinkedIn suggests skills for which to endorse other people. The problem is, it will often pull from a list of commonly-used skills, or from things you or your contacts have listed as skills, and people just click yes for every suggestions. For example, it often suggests that I endorse people for “data analysis” because I have it listed as one of my skills, not because they do, or want to claim it. It can be very misleading if you’re not careful.

  4. Scary Pants :

    I am trying to find something like the bike-short length spanx that’s a lot shorter so as not to show under spring dresses. Everything I have tried has maybe a 1″-2″ leg length that rolls up some time during the day (some fail when walking, others can handle mere walking but not stairs). Do I need to go smaller in size? Or is there some miracle product out there (maybe with silicone gripies to make them stay put)? When I wore hose, that smoothed me out, and now that we’re out of tights weather where I live, I need to figure this out asap.

    • layered bob :

      not sure if this is exactly what you’re looking for, but I got the Jockey Slipshort after seeing it recommended here – it stays down for me with minor re-adjustments when using the bathroom. Link to follow.

    • Maybe try compression shorts that are meant for workouts? They come in shorter lengths and should be made specifically to not ride up during tough workouts.

      I personally am large of thigh, and shorts like that NEVER work on me, because they cut me off in a mushy place and it just creates more bulges.

    • layered bob :


    • I’ve been looking for the same thing. I’m wearing the Yummie Tummie shorts, and they do roll up. Drives me crazy. My one-size-up Spanx don’t roll. I just bought a pair of the Assets (Target Spanx) to try.

    • If the legs are rolling up, go one size bigger, not smaller.

    • Jockey now has a shapewear short as well: http://www.jockey.com/Catalog/Product/Shaping-Tummy-Short
      Looks like it’s a little longer than what you’re describing but the reviews say the thighs roll up. I guess maybe that’s a hazard of this sort of thing.

    • Not exactly the answer to your question, but for smoothing in the summer, I like Gap’s slips. They’re really short so will not peek out on the bottom and really help with clinginess. http://www.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=71900&vid=1&pid=820135012

      • Never occurred to me that GapBody would have slips – duh! Thanks – great price, too.

    • Portlandian :

      I’ve always had success buying leggings that are a bit too big for me and cutting them off in just the right spot–no hemming needed. They don’t look pretty on their own, but they work great under sundresses.

    • Flexees are super comfy, never roll up, and give a bit of slenderizing.

    • You could try buying a one-size-larger-than-normal pair of pantyhose and then cutting it off at the right spot.

      I personally wear Target’s “Assets” Spanxx knockoff, in one size larger than I am supposed to fit. They work way better than the smaller size.

    • Gap Body had some sort of lacy short that might due the trick?

  5. Anyone have any recommendations for a more affordable version of this dress?

    • This one is pretty similar –


    • I think this is pretty similar to one I own and love (and am wearing tomorrow!). You’d have to supply your own belt.


      • also, if you sign up for their mailing list, they’ll give you $20 off a purchase of $100.

    • I’m getting the itch to try sewing my own version of this dress…simple lines, simple seaming. Now I just need to find a pattern….

      • Wannabe Runner :

        Ooh, post it if you can find one!

      • I’m also thinking about sewing a version! I saw it on the Nordstrom website a few weeks ago and feel in love. I’m thinking to use the Sewaholic Alma top as the top (a GREAT pattern, which I have found very flattering, well designed, and with a very flattering neck), and frankenpattern it together with a skirt from another pattern (maybe the waistband and skirt of the Sewaholic Cambie dress?).

  6. Psyching myself up :

    How do you get in the right frame of mind for a job hunt? I keep thinking of it as a game, which means that I drift into all sorts of tangents with jobs I couldn’t do or places I wouldn’t actually want to live. I’ve been procrastinating a lot too; it really feels like a game, so when I don’t want to play, it’s easy to go do the laundry or take a nap. Any suggestions on how to get myself to know that it is for real, so I don’t go into a full panic and have to accept something really stupid at the last minute because I didn’t figure out anything better?

    • I think of job hunting like online dating. You want to find someone who is really the best fit for you from what is available. I have deal breakers with jobs, just like I would with SOs. So I will only look at jobs that fit in with where I want to be location wise and what I want to be doing, or moving in the direction of doing.

      That being said, you have to make your deal breakers reasonable. I’m not going to go straight into a job making $1,000,000/year if I don’t have the skills.

      • Psyching myself up :

        Ha! That’s an apt metaphor. I keep fantasizing about the bad boys.

        Also, I’m not sure how much networking I should be doing, how much knocking things out at present job so I have more accomplishments to list, and how much job searching.

        • recruiters :

          It sounds like we have similar questions :). I am in a time-limited job right now, not sure if you are the same way, so I’m not just waiting for the right thing to open up, there is some urgency on my end.

          Here’s my take–

          I am fairly introverted, so I am not worried I will overdo the networking, if that is even possible. I am trying to tell everyone I talk to about my current job that I am time-limited and currently looking, because you never know who will know about an opening or a connection.

          I would not sacrifice work product at your current job at all. For me, it’s part a don’t-leave-before-you-leave issue and part a do the best possible job you can to make sure you will have stellar references.

          I have been doing a lot of internet job searching. I just want to see what is out there and what might be interesting to me.

          • Psyching myself up :


            I’m def. telling people I know that I’m looking, but I’m wondering if I should reach out to other people for the sole purpose of networking. I’ve gotten in touch with my alum group here and there’s nothing coming from them. There is an awards ceremony every year for people in the general field in which I’m applying. The thread yesterday made it sound like a simple thing to just drop a line to all those people introducing myself and asking to get together, but in practice I don’t know if that would really help/if I could pull it off in a way that would be a benefit.

            I hear you on not cutting corners at work. For me it’s a matter of only so many hours in a day, how should I divvy them up.

            What’s your timeframe on the jobsearch?

            Good luck to you!

          • YES, reach out to people for the sole purpose of networking. This is likely where you’re going to find leads.

            May I recommend “What Color is Your Parachute?”

          • Psyching myself up :

            Thanks for the book rec!

            When I contact people, do I just say “I’d like to learn about what you do”? If I’m using email, do I attach my resume or longer cv or a generic version of my cover letter that says what I’m looking for and summarizes my background?

          • Yes, that’s exactly what you do. I was a law clerk when I was doing all of this, so I would contact lawyers to whom I had some connection (e.g., same law school, clerked for my judge) and explained that I was interested in learning about their career path/practice. You can attach your resume or offer to send it if you end up meeting with this person. I wouldn’t bother sending a formal cover letter.

          • Yes, this is exactly how it is done.

            Turn off your tv/ipad and get to it!

          • Psyching myself up :

            Busted! Thanks for the much-needed kick in the rear, Hel-lo!

    • I am definitely feeling the same feelings, plus a healthy dose of self doubt, so thank you for this thread!

      • Psyching myself up :

        Self-doubt? Heck yeah! I’m sure it’s the reason behind lots of my procrastination and daydreaming: “don’t even try; you can’t do it anyway”

  7. lipstick girl :

    This might seem simplistic but I have a question about lipwear at the office every day. For those of you who wear lipgloss/lipstick during the day, do you take it with you to reapply at work? And then how do you make sure it gets back to your makeup collection?

    I find at the end of a week or two, my bag ends up being packed of lipsticks and lipglosses and then I give up and end up wearing lipbalm all day every day again. But I have so many pretty lipsticks and lipglosses that I would love to actually get some use out of!

    • I don’t have ton of lippies, but I keep them all in one bag at home. I take out the one I want to wear for the day and keep it in my purse. I will reapply during the day as needed. If I remember at the end of the day, I’ll take it out of my purse and return it to my lipstick/lipgloss bag.

      • I have a box of lipsticks on my dresser, and after applying for the morning I put the tube in an internal open pocket in my purse–the pocket is placed high so I can see what’s in it. The next morning when I usually am packing a different tube of lipstick, I take the previous one out and put it back in the box.

        I guess the short answer is that it helps to have a visible storage place in your bag and be consistent that lipstick gets packed there.

      • That’s what I do. I try to only keep one lipstick in my work bag at a time, and REALLY try to remember to put it back in my vanity when I get home, so I don’t get into a rut and use the same one all week. But then lipstick is kind of my Thing so I usually remember.

    • You could make a palette with your favorite lipsticks/glosses and keep it at work for touch ups. I had a great lipstick palette maker from Sephora years ago that worked great for this. That way the lipsticks stay at your house in your collection, but you have them available to you when you need it during the day.

    • I just leave mine at work and apply for the first time when I sit down at my desk. Then I just have to remember to take home one or two if I want them for weekend wear.

      • Seconded. I keep mine at work. (For the 2 colours I sometimes wear on weekends, I bought extra tubes and keep them at home.)

    • I just have one tinted lip gloss that I always keep with me, but I seem to collect other little stuff during the day. It’s amazing how much difference it makes in my life when I’m disciplined enough to pull it all out when I get home (out of the purse and the car) and go through the house putting it away. When I’m “too tired” and whiney, I’m often amazed that it’s done in 5 or 10 minutes.
      The other thing that might work, if you just have a few that you rotate, is to set up a “landing strip” (no, not that kind–see Apartment Therapy for the definition) where you drop your keys and purse and whatever stuff is standard for you to take along–umbrella, jacket, etc. I keep my everyday shoes in that area too. You could keep favorite lipsticks there, as long as they aren’t too many.

    • Similar to Cat, I keep mine in my purse make-up bag and apply it the first time at work (which makes sense also because I have to walk to the station by my house and from the station to work, and when it’s windy, which is often, I hate my hair getting blown into my lipgloss). I then re-apply after lunch. And since it’s in my purse, it always goes home with me!

    • I wear lipstick with gloss over it, then carry a similar color of a MAC product that sort of combines the two for touch-ups during the day. I can’t be bothered to bring all of that with me.

    • I wear the same lipstick every day (boring, but whatever). I keep one in my purse and one in my desk.

    • Diana Barry :

      I keep a bunch of them in my bag and they go back and forth to work every day. The ones I use most (red, orange, and the fig chubby stick) stay in the bag always; other colors that I swap out stay in the makeup bag at home and don’t make it into the work bag very often.

      • I think this is made easier for me because I only have one purse and own like five lipsticks total.

    • CrimsonClover :

      I keep 3-4 neutrals that would go with almost any color I’d wear (and go really well with my complexion) in my make-up bag in my purse, plus a true red (which is probably the color I most often wear anyway). In the morning I can pick whichever color I choose to match my outfit the best, and if it’s particularly atypical (a true, saturated tangerine, for example) then I’ll try my absolute best to throw that in my bag to have to reapply throughout the day. I would think something with a subtle, deeper shade of your normal lip coloring and a little, itsy bit of shimmer should give most people a lot of mileage if kept as their go-to in their bags.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I keep extras of my favorite lipsticks at the office.

    • At home I have favorite lipsticks and glosses. In my purse I have 1 favorite lipstick/gloss and ones that have been demoted from the at-home category because I’m tired of them. In my desk, I have an emergency lipstick and gloss.

  8. I love this dress. But for those who the price is a little high – I found some similar items in the under $150 budget range (posted separately to avoid the mod bot).

    • http://www.dillards.com/product/Pendleton-SplitNeck-Dress_301_-1_301_503530194?df=03925845_zi_midnight_navy&cm_mmc=Linkshare-_-J84DHJLQkR4-_-null-_-null&linkshare=http://www.shopstyle.com/affiliate

      This Pendleton at Dillards is pretty and looks like it would be good for our taller readers.

    • http://www.zappos.com/stetson-wool-blend-cap-sleeve-dress-grey?utm_source=shopstyle

      This scoop neckline would be nice for people who don’t like the boat neck.

    • This one’s pretty but sleeveless.


    • A little color blocking, if you’re in the mood.


    • mintberrycrunch :

      you are my hero :)

    • Theory also has this one that – while still expensive – is cheaper than the above and is made of a crepe, which I might like better if you are from a warmer clime.


    • One more – because it gets really good reviews – is this Gap one (also available in a nice looking cobalt and available in both Tall and Petite sizes). Looks short on the model though.


    • Hollis Doyle :

      Thanks TCFKAG. It’s nice to see your helpful (enabling?) self around here again. How’s the job search going?

      • Dresses are so pretty aren’t they?

        Job searches are ugly? Careers stuck in neutral are even worse.

        Lets focus on dresses.

        • “Job searches are ugly? Careers stuck in neutral are even worse.”
          This +1,000,000.

  9. recruiters :

    Any tips for working with legal recruiters? I was contacted a few months ago by a recruiter on LinkedIn and replied that I was not job searching, but now I am thinking about it, so I was considering replying again to let him know that has changed. Is that a bad way to approach this?

    • Psyching myself up :

      Or career coaches? Any advice on how to find a good one in your area?

    • I would talk to friends who have used recruiters to lateral and get a recommendation. You are enabling this person to present you to potential employers and for me, that requires a level of trust.

      Also be certain that the recruiter you choose has a practice of not submitting you to a position before getting your approval to do so. I believe this is standard practice for most reputable recruiters, but they should mention this to you during your initial talk.

    • Echoing anon’s sentiment: don’t waste your time with people who are taking their time to reach out to potential clients. The best ones get their business through referrals.

      Personally I would reach out to friends who are working in the types of firms you want to work at (in terms of location, practice area, size, prestige, etc.) and have them ask their HR/professional development people which recruiters they’d actually read resumes from.

  10. Thoughts and prayers to all those in Boston. We live just 2 miles away from the explosion, and are just in shock by it all. Hope that all the Rettes here are ok, and your friends/families as well.

  11. Tech update from a Chrome user:

    1. New posts (since last computer restart) do not show up on the home page unless I hit refresh after loading the site. After the refresh, the post and the then-current number of comments on that post do show up on the home page.

    2. After clicking on any post, I have to again hit refresh in order for any of the new comments (since I last viewed comments) to show (even if the correct # of comments is displayed on the home page).

    3. My name keeps getting deleted from the comment field.

    See how much I enjoy visiting to figure out all the workarounds needed?? :) Thanks K a t!

    • Diana Barry :

      Firefox user here – the new posts don’t show up even when I do hit refresh. I have to use a different browser (now using IE) in order to get them to show up.

      Also, the comments number is off even when the post does load, and my name doesn’t remember itself either.

      • Yeah, I have to clear history in order to see new posts and comments. New posts show up in my RSS feed but not on the site. It’s a pain to have to clear history because it logs me out of gmail and my calendar.

      • Same as Cat, using Firefox. If I refresh several times, the new post will come up. Comments number is off, name is missing.

  12. Love this dress, and my budget loves some of the alternatives posted even more.

    So, question: I go back to work from a 12-week maternity leave a week from today. I supervise seven people and have been relatively in the loop as to happenings during my absence — checking email, etc. My team has been great about keeping me in the dark about about the little stuff while still cluing me in on major issues/news.

    I went ahead and scheduled a meeting with my boss for my first day back. He’s not very proactive so I’m going to have to manage up in terms of getting info from him. Other than that, I’m looking for re-entry tips from the hive. Should I schedule a meeting with each of my direct reports…right away or a few days/week in? Expectations for return? This is my second child, but I started a new job right off the bat after my first maternity leave. Any advice as I try to reorient myself would be much appreciated.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I would schedule a brief meeting in the first week with your direct reports. In general, take the first week just to recalibrate and get caught up. Don’t expect making any major movement forward.

      Sounds like you’ve been keeping up on email. If you haven’t, set up folders and rules to filter your inbox. It makes it easier to find the most recent from a topic that comes up in a meeting, delete everything from a listserv, etc.

  13. Okay ladies, I am back with great news! I got a job with the State! I quit my other job, but still have the part-time job until July. I could be responsible and take the extra money from that second job and pay more of my loans, but I’ve been too responsible my entire life. I am 25 years old with no passport and have never been on a real vacation (i.e. doing something other than catching up on sleep).

    So I have decided that this is going to change. So I’ve been looking at some different guided tour site (Contiki, Globus, etc.), but I don’t know enough yet to know if these are good deals. Also, the other thing holding me back is whether I will get an authentic experience travelling with a group of other Americans?

    About the location I ‘ve always wanted to go to England, Spain, Italy, Greece, and Japan (especially during the cherry blossom festival). About the budget, I’m thinking 3-4k.

    So, ladies, any tips, tricks, or suggestions? I’ll be in a training (HIPAA, oh what fun!) for the next two hours so don’t think I fell off the face of the earth (again) if I don’t respond right away.

    Oh, it feels good to be back!

    • Welcome back, good for you, and I think this is sooooo exciting!!!

    • When I was young and traveled solo, I often hooked up with a guy for the duration of my stay in a particular place. We didn’t always have language in common, but I still got insights I never would have had any other way–walking around the town square on new years eve with the other couples, eating his grandma’s tomales, seeing the ruins that had not yet been opened to tourists, a nighttime trip to the hotsprings in a pickup truck, learning how he was making the bricks to build his house…
      Not sure if I can recommend that, safety-wise, but it worked for me :)

      • No hook-ups, but you’re making me reminisce about a day long ago. When I got off the shuttle to Livingstone, Guatemala, a guy asked if he could help carry my bags to where I was staying. His price was reasonable so I agreed. He went off & got a wheelbarrow. It was about half an hour walk up the beach. No phones, so we planned for him to come get me in a few days. When he did, he arrived early, in a dugout canoe. He hacked coconuts with a machete, showed me the spring where people do their laundry & bathe, we went to a tiny little island like in the Far Side cartoons–just one palm tree–and walked through town. Turns out he doesn’t usually do anything with tourists at all, but saw me coming off the boat and had to talk to me. The wheelbarrow was borrowed from a friend. Lucky for me that he wasn’t a psycho–going off in a canoe with a guy I don’t know who’s carrying a machete isn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done–but he was not, there was no pressure to do anything, and it is a very favorite memory.

        So my advice is not to get in boats with guys who’ve just demonstrated their knife prowess, but to be open to chance meetings. I met the woman who fed me supper all summer in Tanzania through a guy who walked up and introduced himself in a tea shop, hung out in Copan Ruinas with the son of a woman at whose stand I purchased breakfast. Had I turned them down in favor of paid guides, my experiences would have been much less.

        • Sorry for the looooong reminiscence! It was a good day.

          However you travel, remember to connect with the people right where you are.

          • OMG this! I love those moments. My personal one involves a Roman pub crawl gone awry: my travel-buddy, bless her soul, was at the dancing-on-top-of-a-table intoxication point, while I was mostly sober and just not feeling the general vibe. So I talked to the more mellow local guides the whole night, and ended up leaving with one (stranger danger, I know, I know) to walk along the Tiber, swigging from a bottle of wine he bought from a restaurant, and getting a free tour of most of Rome’s historical landmarks. It was one of the best nights of my life, even with the hangover the next morning…

        • phillygirlruns :

          this is what i love about solo travel – meeting people. great stories, a. and saacnmama.

      • Senior Attorney :

        A safer version of this is to check out toursbylocals dot com. I had great luck finding private local guides in Vietnam and Japan at fairly reasonable prices. They spoke good English and were happy to either design an itinerary for me or take me to places I wanted to see.

    • I’ve heard good things about Contiki, but group travel is always a different experience than individual. You’ve missed cherry blossom season, and western Europe is a really easy place to travel alone. How long are we talking? If you’re worried about getting lovey you could combine a group trip to Greece with independent travel to Spain and Italy. OR do Spain alone and add a week in Morocco.

      • Boo on Contiki. I went when I was in college (at 21) on their Western Europe tour and it was good for that age but really, it was “tour all day, party all night” atmosphere. I definitely couldn’t do it again at 28…

    • Cornellian :

      First, apply for a passport. It takes ages.

      I am a bit more adventurous and independent than average, but I’ve never used a guided tour. I think I would consider it if I were SUPER interested in something discreet in a city (ie all the modern art, or all of the baroque architecture), but I don’t get the impression you learn anything about the actual way of life or language or culture on those tours. I’d be more likely to choose an off the beaten path but safe-ish place, and split 10 days between three locations, using buses or trains to move between. You can still do day tours, of course, but you’ll actually learn a lot more about the places.

      Not sure what time of year you’re going… if it’s this summer, Scandinavia could be a cool choice, although it would stretch your budget. Baltics would be slightly cheaper for a somewhat similar experience. Also Belize… southeastern Europe come to mind.

      • If you’re thinking about doing some solo travel, I’d recommend doing so in a country where you have a chance at understanding the language. DH and I have done a lot of travel and we had the most authentic experiences in countries that are english speaking, have a lot of english speakers, sound a lot like english (ie germany, where anyone that doesn’t speak english speaks german, which is pretty easy to understand with a simple dictionary). We also did fine in spanish speaking countries, since my high school/college spanish came right back.

        And/or, we had a great tiem in Budapest because we met up with some old college friends that did a year at our university. We hadn’t seen each other in a decade, but they were thrilled to take us out on the town and show us the city. Plus, we could text them for emergency translation needs :)

      • Agreed. I’ve always travelled solo, and I feel the same way about tours as Cornellian. If this is your first time travelling abroad, try going somewhere where you speak the language. Use it as a “test trip”. Perhaps go to England and learn how it feels to be a traveller abroad. Take the Eurostar to Paris if you want to go further afield. After doing that for two weeks, you will have a much better idea of what you are comfortable with, what you like doing as a traveller, and what you want to try next.

    • I’m a London native, email me (address on my blog) if you want to talk about things to do in London, tips of places to go/avoid etc. I’d say the London part of your trip you could do without an organised group at least.

      You could quite easily to a Spain -> Italy -> Greece -> UK itinerary with cheap European flights. London to Athens is about a 4hr flight and that’s the longest of the three flights. I think you can fly direct USA to Madrid? If doing that you’d want London to be at the start or end of your trip because we’re not part of the Schengen Area, so you can get a Schengen visa with only one entry. (I don’t know what visa arrangements are for American visitors in any of those countries, sorry)

      • Cruises along the northern coast of the Mediterranean are either Western or Eastern. Hard to find one that goes the whole distance. Still, that might be a nice halfstep between being all on your own and totally tied to a tour group.

      • You shouldn’t need a visa. US travelers automatically get 90 days as tourists in the Schengen countries; you’d only need a visa if you’re planning to stay for longer, which I don’t think the OP is.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Glad you’re back!! I don’t have any advice on the travel, but I’m looking forward to hearing about where you go!

    • I tend to do Europe without a tour guide, since I’ve always found it pretty safe and easy for tourists. But, for countries that are less developed, or where I think there will be higher language barriers, I’m all about tours.

      When exactly will you be travelling? I’ve heard that Southern Spain, Greece, and Italy also, get really really hot in July/August – I did Italy in late-September, and I thought the weather was absolutely perfect (mid-high 20Cs, lots of sun).

      I’ve heard nothing but good things about G Adventures – I’m your age, and it seems like most of my friends choose to travel with them when they do tours, and I’m eyeing them for my next “big” trip, which I keep telling myself will not be in Europe, but Belgium just looks so pretty. I have dreams of biking from small town to small town and gaining 10 lbs in frites, beer and waffles.

    • Diana Barry :

      Welcome back! Have fun traveling! :)

    • Congratulations on the job !

      Let me put in a voice for picking a single city and staying put to enjoy it, if this is your first time abroad on your own, and you want to stick to a budget, and it’s important to you to have an authentic experience rather than see a lot of sights. Any of London, Rome or Tokyo will easily take a week, or 10 days if you do day/overnight trips out of town (these are easy – take a small bag, pop on a train, leave the bulk of your luggage in the hotel you’ll return to).

      A multi-destination itinerary makes sense if someone is intent on packing everything in because they’re only going to do this once but you’re 25 … there will be time enough for other trips so that each one can be about pleasure and discovery, not a checklist !

      • Yes – this is good advice.

      • Agree so much.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Agree. I’d recommend London if it’s your first time abroad so you don’t have any language issues, and it would be easy to do solo. If you go in the summer and want a cheap place to stay, check out the LSE dorms they rent out in the summer. They’re cheap and in great locations. Downside-it’s a dorm room. But if you’re only going to be in your room to sleep, it’s fine. I probably would not recommend Tokyo for a solo trip for your first time abroad. I haven’t been to Tokyo, but I have been to Kyoto and Kobe and had I not had a local friend to guide me, I think it would have been pretty overwhelming.

        • Second the LSE dorms. Stayed there for 3weeks a few years ago while in London. Great location: food shops sights tube stations everything you need in a home base is nearby.
          I would stay there again even though it is not the fanciest setup. It makes a good home base.
          pardon the lack of commas. This mobile device has the worst keyboard.

    • Congratulations! About the travel, most of the places you mention should be pretty easy to get around by yourself, if you are adventurous and comfortable with that. Since you say this is your first real vacation, it makes a lot of sense that you’d want help with arrangements and so forth, though. I think that’s a great idea. I have had good experiences with Intrepid. It is an Australia-based travel company and they get a pretty broad range of travelers. English-speaking, and mostly young, but from all over the world. They also build in a lot of free time so you can go off on your own a little and explore (if you want company, you can always join forces with other travelers), and try to provide opportunities to meet locals and have a more authentic experience than tour companies that only take you to tourist restaurants, and so forth.

      Whatever you do, have a wonderful time- you’ve earned it!

    • big dipper :

      A friend of mine uses Contiki when she travels alone and loves it. She likes the fact that she can meet people and make a little group of friends, even though she’s abroad alone. Also, she’s gone to visit people she met on those trips who live abroad which has opened up additional travel opportunities.

    • Thanks ladies, this is awesome advice! So if I was going to book/plan my own trip (which I think I will do) are there any resources I can use to make sure I cross all my t’s and dot my i’s?

      • I still use travel guides all the time-
        For years, Lonely Planet was my favorite- they target the young, budget, backpacker kind of experience. Rough Guides are good, they are similar, but maybe slightly higher end. Fodors are more upscale. Rick Steves put out a great set of travel guides, which are especially good for travel newbies- encouraging readers to go off the beaten track, and so on. He also has a book of citywalks for different European cities which I have enjoyed.
        Tripadvisor is a must-use website. They have fora where you can see discussions of different places and travel tips, and reviews of major sites, hotels, and so forth. I have found it incredibly helpful.

        And also- don’t dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s. One of the wonderful things about traveling alone is the flexibility to change plans and figure it out as you go. If you don’t have everything locked down, you can decide to stay somewhere an extra day to go to a festival, or leave a little early because you are tired of the tiny island where the only thing to eat is fish and rice.

      • It’s old-fashioned, but guidebooks are tried and true. Go to your local bookstore and look through a few different ones for your destination (Lonely Planet, Moon, For Dummies, etc.). Make sure they are recent. Then buy the one you like the best, and take it with you. Highlight/mark places you’re interested in going. This is one situation where I much prefer actual books rather than e-books or websites.

        (PS: I have always dreamt of visiting Greece. But I wouldn’t plan on going there until they get their economy back.)

      • I still buy Lonely Planet guidebooks. I don’t necessarily stick to suggested itineraries in guidebooks but like knowing my options and learning about the history of the places I’m visiting.

    • Anonymous :

      Highly recommend GAP (Great Adventure People) tours. Have done a few and loved them.

    • Enjoy your travels!

      I highly recommend attending a cherry blossom festival. Osaka Castle grounds in the spring smell lovely. Nara is great for visiting the enormous statue of Buddha and feeding the deer that roam around. Kyoto is smaller and close to Osaka, Kobe, and Nara, but Tokyo is more international in terms of finding people who speak English with ease. Many signs and directions are translated into English, but not always.

      Also, do you have street sense? It’s important to trust your gut and be aware of your surroundings.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Do you have an iPhone? I used the heck out of Google Translate in Japan. You can speak or type what you want to say in English, and it’ll translate it into Japanese characters that you can show to, say, the taxi driver or waiter.

    • Congratulations on the new job!

      I’ll echo everyone else to say that traveling alone through Europe is very easy. For the socializing aspect, I recommend hostels. I had my first hostel experience–in Athens–when I was well over 30, and kind of kick myself for not doing it when I was younger. I had so much fun with my roommates, even though I was more than a decade older than them. Everyone is looking for someone to hang out with so you won’t feel weird and intrusive, which was my fear.

      You can also do part tour/part solo. I don’t know if it will fit in your budget but bike tours are incredible. Several years ago I did two weeks in Italy, one week solo in Rome and Florence, and then a one week bike tour of Tuscany. The bike tour was awwweeeessssoooommmmeee and worth the money. More recently, I did a bike and barge tour through the Netherlands. I was with a friend, but could easily have done it by myself. I think it’s the best possible bike tour setup because your “hotel” with all your stuff moves every day. You never have to pack up and you never have to do loops (in Italy we did two nights in each of three locations, so every other day was a loop).

  14. TJ: Any advice on what to wear to a Muni conference in NYC? Not sure if a full suit is needed or will a sheath dress/blazer be fine. TIA!

  15. oh dear. I want this. I think I might order it to see how it fits.

    serious q though, that I’m sure has been rehashed here but I can’t recall– is it possible to wear tights with a navy dress (specifically this one, which looks pretty dark navy)? gray tights, perhaps? or I could go for orange, which is a lovely color, but perhaps too memorable and too halloweeny when worn with dark tights? I wear tights like 9.5 months of the year (hate pants), so these are important issues…

    • I wear navy, gray or brown tights with navy dresses. I’ve also done black on occasion – navy and black is a big thing right now, too. I would probably not do orange, but I have done a very very dark burgundy.

      • thanks! also I realized my post was entirely unclear– I didn’t mean I would wear orange tights with a navy dress (that sounds a bit horrifying, though I do love burgandy tights), but the orange version of the tory burch dress (available at the TB website). orange tights…. sound like a tough thing to pull off.

  16. I’m trying to keep the details vague because I may end up outing myself but I’m going on a business trip with 3 senior male lawyers from my firm tomorrow-Thursday. We’re taking the train around midday, then presumably in a hotel and back Thursday evening.

    I’ve never traveled for work before so I’m a little unsure. Plus it’s super last minute so I don’t really have time to plan (I’m stepping in for someone who was on this file). Any tips? Packing suggestions? What should I wear on the train so I’m comfortable for 4+ hours?

    Thanks ladies!

    • This calls for all things pointe knit – it’s comfortable and won’t wrinkle.

    • Train rides. Fun. I took the train back and forth between home and school for 4 years, and round about 2.5 hours is when I start to get cabin fever. I feel nauseaus just thinking about it, particularly since the train is never. ever. on time. A few times it was 1+ hr late, which I think is egregious.

      I agree with lawsuite, ponte is the answer, and pack your suits in a suit bag. On all my business-related trips though, the lawyers have always travelled in jeans/whatever, then checked into our hotel, and then regrouped for clients, etc., so if you’re not meeting clients/heading to court right off the train..well, I wonder whether you might actually be allowed to wear jeans/casual clothes? Maybe check with a junior-ish associate in the office who has travelled with them before. I distinctly recall running home to change when I found out that those were the rules, because well, even ponte can’t beat casual clothes.

    • I travel all the time for work. My biggest suggestion is to be as minimal as possible. You’re doing one night, so you really don’t need that much. Most of my travel is one-night trips (though I typically travel alone), so I typically only need three outfits – one to wear to court (or in a business meeting, for your situation), one to wear when I’m not in court, and one to sleep in. Two pairs of shoes (one business, one casual) and wear the same jewelry the whole trip. I’ll sometimes include gym clothes on the rare occassion I might have time to use the hotel’s gym. Since you’re traveling with co-workers you may want to include one more outfit (when I’m by myself, I don’t particularly care if the hotel staff sees me arrive and leave in the same outfit). I like thicker knits for when I travel – they’re more comfortable and don’t wrinkle.
      If you have a chance, pick up travel sizes of any of your larger beauty products. Don’t bother bringing your hairdryer because you can use the one in the hotel. You should be able to fit all this in a small suitcase.

    • Sitting on the train is not that different from sitting at a desk. I would wear normal work attire, but maybe choose pants and flats, for ease of getting around and walking fast. This is just one night right? Make sure you have a small, easy to carry bag.

    • Agree that you need a small, easy to carry suitcase — you don’t want to have to rely on co-workers to put it up for you. This makes me think roller bag, not suit bag. Also agree on the normal work attire (pants / flats). I would bring (1) PJs (2) outfit for next day (3) something to “casual up” what you’re wearing today for dinner — e.g. cardigan to swap for suit jacket, nice jeans / cotton pants for dress pants and (4) gym clothes if that’s your thing and you’ll have time. Make sure outgoing and return outfit are the same color so you can wear the same shoes.

      Oh, and random piece of advice — reading material. Bring something intelligent-looking. You should spend most of the time on the train talking to your colleagues or working, but if you finish your work, or have absolutely nothing to do, you want to be reading a work-related publication, a news magazine, a newspaper, etc., not a VC Andrews novel. For better or worse, I have heard partners comment that, if an associate read a novel the entire time on a 2-hour flight, they must not want to really be at the firm.

      • Wow, I’m really surprised by that last comment. I agree that it’s nice to talk to whomever you are travelling with, but I’ve travelled lots for work and no-one I have ever travelled with has spent any significant time reading work-related stuff on the plane. In fact, on one notable occasion, 5 out of the 6 of us were reading The DaVinci Code (that dates me).

        • Maybe it’s just a law firm thing, or maybe I just work with very judgmental people — but it was a comment I heard. If everyone around you is reading novels the entire time, great — but don’t be the only one, at least unless you’re also one of the more senior ones.

          • Wow!
            I’ve never been able to read or concentrate on anything on a flight. I’d rather curl up in my seat & sleep, then stay up all night getting work done at the destination, unless I’ve pulled an allnighter before leaving. Still, if I pulled out work on a flight, it would mean that I didn’t think it was important enough to give it my full focus or do a good job on.

    • Thanks ladies. We’re not actually in court until Thursday so I likely don’t have to worry about my attire tomorrow but I would feel funny showing up at work in the morning in jeans so I might wear a comfy sweater dress or something.

      I think I’m more nervous than anything else – I’m not really doing anything (in fact, it’s more a benefit to me that I get to go than assistance to the rest of the team at this stage).

      But I didn’t even think about my reading material…

      • On an e-reader or tablet, no one knows what you’re reading…

        • Merabella :

          They do if they are sitting next to you and are snoopy side readers. I would suggest nothing to rique – like don’t read 50 Shades of Grey, because inevitably someone will look over and see some crazy sex scene.

      • recent grad :

        I’ve found that the male lawyers I work with always pack super light. To try to keep my bag smaller and lighter, especially when just staying one night, I pack as many of my toiletries as a I possibly can in contact lens cases. And then just write in permanent marker what each one is far. Saves so much space, even compared to the 3 oz. bottles.

        • anonypotamus :

          this is brilliant. i consider myself a fairly light efficient packer, and after many trips have pared down what i need to essentials, but still find my toiletries take up too much space for overnight or weekend trips, even with the 3 oz bottles. i am definitely stealing this idea, esp since i always have extra contact lens cases lying around!

      • I would also bring a lot of cash, and expect to pay for random incidentals (cabs, etc). Since it is three dudes + you, they might not let you. But at my firm most people expect the most junior person to pay (and keep track of receipts and file the expense report), or at least appreciate it when you do.

  17. travel - anon for this - :

    Going to puerto rico with a group of 6 for a girls trip soon. Staying on a resort near El Yunque for just a few days. We will probably want to do a couple of off-resort activities, like hiking, snorkeling, etc. What should we see for sure? Is a car rental necessary? Should we be concerned about safety?

    • When I went with my SO, we rented a car. Depending on what you want to do, the resort or the activity may provide shuttle service. We felt driving was totally safe and comfortable, and personally, I would rather drive myself around and explore how I want to rather than get stuck with a larger group for hiking, etc.

      We enjoyed going to Loquillo beach (you can eat at the various kiosks, it’s fun).

      Definitely hike in El Yunque–we got good recommendations from the folks in the info center and went on a short hike to a waterfall where you could swim and to the top.

      We did a day-cruise on a catamaran that included snorkeling, drinks, and lunch, which was a lot of fun. We went on the Spread Eagle II (I was skeptical b/c of the name, but it was the only one available last-minute, and it turned out to be really great–the crew was friendly and very professional, and the captain moved around a bit to make sure we were in a spot where people were comfortable going in the water and would enjoy themselves). It left from Fajardo.

      You could also do a kayak tour in the bio-luminescent bay in Fajardo. Kind of neat.

      • Also, I should add that when we did the catamaran cruise, we were the only ones that drove ourselves. I think that the company ran a shuttle van that picked up everyone else from their hotels.

      • +1 on Loquillo beach and the Fajardo bio bay. Both are great. I felt very comfortable renting and driving a car in Puerto Rico and I am generally wary of driving in unfamiliar non-US places (for example, I ignored many peoples advice to get a rental car in Greece and am glad I did because the driving looked terrifying and I don’t speak a word of Greek). But most everyone in PR speaks English and the roads are similar to US roads. I don’t think you would have any issues renting a car and I do think its the best way to get around. Individual tours may be able to pick you up, but if you really want to see as much as possible, I’d rent a car.

        • With the car rental, just make sure you understand the toll system. I think they have some cash-less tolls, so you will need to talk to the car rental company (with our car rental, I think you had to sign up for it in advance or else you would get charged an additional fee when you had to use it).

    • Veronique :

      I did a week-long trip to Puerto Rico a few years back. We spent a few days in Old Town San Juan, then a few in Vieques, in Esperanza. We rented a car for the drive down to the Vieques ferry dock (parked it at the dock), then stopped at El Yunque on the drive back. Vieques would be a great overnight trip. We did a bio bay tour while we were there at it was incredible. From what I understand, it’s the brightest one in Puerto Rico. We also spent the day at a gorgeous, almost deserted beach that looked like it was straight out of a Corona commercial.

  18. Black workhorse ponte dress :

    I was hoping to get help from the hive. I am looking for a workhorse black ponte (thicker ponte – not the really thin stuff) sheath dress with short sleeves of some kind. It needs to be machine washable and bonus points if it comes in longer lengths or has a reasonable hem I could let down.

    Any ideas? This seems shockingly hard to find.

    • Have you looked at Lands End? http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-34-sleeve-drapey-ponte-v-neck-dress~244077_48.html

      I’m wondering if the thicker ponte is more of a winter fabric, and out of season now (or on sale and in limited sizes) making it harder to find.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I have this – I wear it a lot. Its is a mid-weight. It is definitely is an “I woke up late and need something to wear’ dress.

    • Talbots has several options. Their lengths are usually pretty long.

    • i am currently longing for this one but dry clean, sadly: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/dresses/Day/PRDOVR~30567/30567.jsp

      • A Nonny Moose :

        I have this dress, love it, and have machine washed it. I try to alternate with dry cleans.

    • This one is backordered but machine washable and Boden has long length options


    • Anonymous :

      I just bought one from Shade Clothing that I really love – very thick ponte knit, just below my knee (about 39 inches, and the hem’s generous enough to let out to get another inch), comfy, machine washable (though I hang it to dry), pockets, and only $35. I”m thinking of buying a few more. The sleeves are 3/4, though, not short.

  19. I bought this red tweed Talbots blazer recently, but am thinking maybe it’s a bit dowdy? I would appreciate suggestions on how to style it so it looks less matronly. (I don’t wear white bottoms). Thanks!


    • I’d pair it with dresses and/or pencil skirts over pants, but that may just be my proportions. Color-wise, I’d do navy, charcoal, or red – although the red would have to be just the right shade. Of course, I only wear about 5 colors in life, so maybe someone else has more options.

    • I would wear it with navy pants and some funky gold accessories (chunk bracelet maybe? or some long necklace?) … You could also do a beige sheath dress, which I think would look very summery. To further de-frump, I’d wear stilletos, maybe in a bright color (pink or yellow or bright blue).

    • lucy stone :

      I like it! I second the suggestions to pair with navy or beige. I think it could look great with a bright tee underneath and a neutral (khaki, grey, beige) skirt.

    • I think gray or beige would look great. I wear gray and beige a lot, with everything. They are neutral, but so much less severe than black.

  20. Anon for this :

    After the tragedy in Boston yesterday, I find it hard to concentrate on much and am constantly checking for updates (I’m on the opposite coast). I realize this isn’t true for everyone, but does anyone else find it appalling how quickly people move on from things of this magnitude?

    • sincere response :

      Sorry. I’m at the opposite end. We don’t live in Boston, the people we know there are fine. I don’t feel any more connection to the people who were injured than to the 14 kids who were killed by drones in Pakistan a couple of weekends ago. If the USA is the “best” country in the world, shouldn’t that mean we can respond better somehow, not that we deserve some sort of special status where it’s OK that construction in London and Berlin is often halted because undetonated WW II ordinance must be cleared or kids in Yemen and Somalia and Pakistan can die from drones, death rates from childhood diarrhea can be high in many places, but we should somehow be untouchable? Yes, whoever did this is a wacko. Yes, it is sad that people died and were injured. But I just can’t get the emotional response that says it’s somehow worse than the other people who die or are injured for bad reasons every single day.

      • Many people take it personally when their country is attacked. You obviously don’t.

    • I’m in Boston and I think with all these sorts of disasters that everyone copes mentally and physically differently. Yesterday I watched and listened to the news for awhile but found myself getting physically ill. So instead I checked Facebook periodically, made a mental list of my friends who had checked in, and otherwise tried to cut back on my coverage. Today – I was reading lots of articles this morning and found myself getting a migraine.

      The truth is there’s nothing my obsessive checking can do to fix the situation, to bring answers quickly, or anything else. So I think of the families and I feel sad – but there’s only so much I can do. And I know a lot of other people feel the same way. The city today is subdued but moving along. I think that’s how you have to keep living.

      • Diana Barry :

        Ditto. I was checking the news this morning and found myself getting really anxious. Then I had lunch with an old college friend and felt MUCH better. Staying off the news for the rest of the day!

        • Yep, I gave up Twitter for the week before this all happened and now I’m kind of glad I did … sometimes constant information in these horrifically sad situations is just too much. I had to leave Twitter during Sandy Hook, too.

      • Yes. This was me yesterday and, to a lesser extent, this morning. I had to make myself stop because I was getting physically sick. I think I, personally, feel very affected by this in particular because I know so many people who were at or in the marathon–former coaching colleagues, friends from school, my own running coach, a large contingent from my hometown track club. Once I did everything I could to verify that they were all safe (and, thankfully, they are), I made myself stop. The victims and their families will be in my prayers, but that’s the only thing I can do for them from Spain.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have written about five responses to you and keep deleting them. In a word yes. Thank you for posting this. I often feel like the only one. I was there, two blocks away. My friends and I are okay. I was amazed even as this was unfolding the people going about their day, eating and drinking. I’m craving info too but for my mental health, I can’t read or watch the news. I came here to get filtered updates. I’m glad to see someone is thinking/talking about it. I know we have to go on and work and “act normal” but I fear that those around me aren’t just acting normal, they feel normal. Which makes me feel like, why am I so sensitive? But I think my reactions are “normal” and everyone else is just desensitized or something. I don’t know. Like they keep thinking it was “over there” and “we are safe” as a coping mechanism. But, I realized right away it wasn’t “over there” it was “right here” and we were in a lot of danger even though we ended up safe. Finally, for me, as it was unfolding, there was not a lot of information so there were people just “going about their day” because they didn’t yet know what happened. For example, we knew there was an explosion, things weren’t safe, to get away, but didn’t know which way was the safe way and inadvertently walked right though where it was most dangerous. Luckily, while we saw plenty of chaos, we were shielded from the gore.

      • sincere response :

        Oh my, please don’t take my response to be directed at you! I was thinking of the people hundreds of miles away who think this should be our major preoccupation all day today. If you were right there, of course it will affect you!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Hadn’t even read your response yet. Thanks for clarifying though. Since it took me five drafts to write my comment you posted in the meantime. :)

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Maybe they’re acting normal because, for their mental health, not only do they need to avoid the news, they need to avoid discussing or even thinking about what happened. I’m on the opposite coast and completely unable to let myself react to the bombings yesterday – I’ve run Boston, I have friends who were running yesterday, who live in Boston, who have family in Boston – and while everyone I know was safe, so many weren’t. And I just can’t think about them, and their families, and how I feel as a runner that runners and spectators were targeted, or I’d be crumpled in bed crying with a migraine.

        So maybe many of us haven’t moved on at all – we haven’t even begun to acknowledge the atrocity.

        • hoola hoopa :

          “So maybe many of us haven’t moved on at all – we haven’t even begun to acknowledge the atrocity.”

          Agreed. I had to kiss my husband and kids good bye this morning and go to work. In order to function, I simply can’t think about it. It may look like I have moved on, but I haven’t even started.

      • Thank you for sharing Blonde Lawyer. I did not experience this like you did, but I am praying for you and yours in Boston.

        Also, “Sincere Response,” I want to note that I did not say this should be a major preoccupation of your day, or anyone else’s.

        • sincere response :

          Thanks. You’re right of course. You didn’t say that. But the news’ ongoing fascination with it, facebook posts, other comments… It all adds up to make me feel like I’m some kind of monster because I don’t get it. Maybe if I knew a bunch of marathoners or went to races I would.

    • Why do you assume everyone has moved on? Just because they’re not putting it all over their facebook, etc? Some people deal with negative emotions more privately. Not everyone can take on the grief of those who have been personally affected by tragedies, nor should they have to. If that was the case, like sincere response explains above, I’d be constantly in mourning.

      The world does not stop turning because of a terrorist attack, and honestly, it shouldn’t, because isn’t that giving the terrorists what they want? To impact our society in a negative way? To make us rethink our lifestyles? Maybe contining on with our lives is the best way to show them that such attacks are just a senseless waste of valuable life.

      Also, it is really terrible what happened- I feel awful for those impacted by this, my sympathies go out to them, but the vast majority of people in the world aren’t from Boston, and and don’t know anyone in Boston, and don’t know anyone who was there at the time of the tragedy. That’s the way it is with most tragedies. And I’m realistic in my expectations that those people will go on as if nothing happened, even if it feels like the world is crumbling for those who are affected.

      • Anonymous :

        Different Anon, but I’m of a similar mind. I do have relatives in Boston, but they’re safe. I feel for those that were hurt and were affected…but I wasn’t directly impacted, so no, it’s not affecting my everyday life. I’ll follow the story as updates come along, but I can’t see any reason to put my life on hold to publicly mourn. I’d feel a little disingenuous being so distracted by something that hasn’t had a direct impact on myself and my ring of close friends and family.

    • Anonymous :

      I am in Boston but very luckily, all of my friends are okay as far as I know. A friend’s coworkers mom lost a leg, which is awful, but still two degrees of separation from me.

      I am not okay. I cried this morning when I turned on NPR and had to switch to music for my morning commute. I feel very unsettled and unhinged and scared.

      I am not surprised other people are okay though — people process things differently. Just like after Sandy Hook. There’s no right or wrong way to process an act of terror – nor does it make sense to get into the blame game of “well why do you care about this if you don’t care about kids dying in Pakistan?” This is not the grief Olympics, and you do not have to justify your feelings. You feel how you feel, you process how you process and if this strikes you more than other events – well that just makes you human. Some things affect us more than others. It’s okay to take your time.

      • Thank you for this response. You pinned down quite a few of the things I am feeling and couldn’t clarify. I also feel very ‘unhinged, unsettled, and scared.’ While I definitely feel for those dying around the world, this hit home because it’s in MY country: it WAS close to home. The fact that this could have happened anywhere in our country unsettles me greatly.

      • “This is not the grief Olympics, and you do not have to justify your feelings. You feel how you feel, you process how you process and if this strikes you more than other events – well that just makes you human. Some things affect us more than others. It’s okay to take your time.”


      • I also cried this morning over this, and I’m also on the opposite coast. I went to law school in Boston, and probably the best day of my entire law school career was the day I got to go cheer on runners for the marathon. I went down just to watch, but it was so easy to cheer people on. I got to see strangers run a little faster and with a little more energy because I happened to say something nice to them. I put in close to zero effort, and it amazed me to see how much of a different it made in the lives of strangers. I wish I could cheer on marathon runners every day of my life. I never even made it to the finish line because it was too crowded. Marathon day in Boston was my emotional happy place.

        My husband turned off NPR for me this morning, saying, “You can’t listen to any more of this.”

        We do all grieve in different ways, and process differently. For many, I think they are affected, but going to work and putting it out of their minds is a coping mechanism.

        Even if you aren’t connected to Boston, or aren’t a runner, don’t think you can’t have legit feelings because you “aren’t connected.” We are all connected because we are all humans.

        And yes, drone attacks in other countries deserve our grief too. But while there are sufficient tragedies in the world to fill them up, our lives have to be more than grieving every second of every day.

        • Oh, and I would like to say that it really helped my coping today that I could come on this site and read about fashion and travel and other threadjacks about people’s personal lives before we started talking about Boston.

          Thank you, sisters.

    • I guess it depends on how you define “magnitude.” Is it how unexpected it is? Then yes, what happened yesterday is of great magnitude. Is it number of deaths, or injuries? That’s a different calculus. Yesterday, in America, one hundred people died in car accidents alone. And one hundred more died of breast cancer alone. Their families suffer just as much, yet we don’t mourn their deaths publicly.

      I think what is different about the tragedy in Boston is three things, though: the first is the symbolism of the occurence at a meaningful public event, and the second is that, because of how unexpected it is, it shatters our sense of stability and security in a way that car accidents don’t. Finally, I think the photos of all the bloodshed were particularly horrific–we don’t usually see photos of maimed bodies from car accidents in the newspapers.

      • For me, it’s the unexpected attack, along with the fact that it could happen to any of us at any time.

        I completely understand what you’re saying about car accidents. My Dad was killed instantly in a car accident: I never got to say goodbye. That makes me a lot more sensitive to the unexpected tragedies that strike. When it’s a planned, intentional thing it disturbs me more.

      • Anon for this :

        I wouldn’t really call what happened yesterday unexpected. Did you really never expect something like this to happen (somewhere/at some point)? That you never expected someone with an evil heart/mind to capitalize on a large crowd of people, no security screenings for entry, and guaranteed live-feed global news coverage already in-progress to commit a heinous act?

        • I mean, in the sense that it’s not an every-day occurrence for Boston–unlike car accidents and cancer–yes, it is unexpected. Will there probably be a fatal car accident in the United States today? Yes, sadly. Will there probably be another fatal explosion? Probably not.

          But, more importantly, I used the word “unexpected” not to explain my personal feeling about the situation but rather in an attempt to understand why people with no personal connection to the place are reacting so strongly (when they don’t necesarily react strongly to other tragedies around the world). People FEEL that it is unexpected. I think it has to do with people’s perceptions of control. In cars, one feels in control. You wear your seatbelt, you don’t text, you observe traffic laws–and if you do all these things, you feel more secure (even though people still die in car accidents doing all of these things). With a random act of violence, it feels scarier because you have zero control over the situation. I guess what I’m saying is–in life, there are many things we can’t control, but we like to pretend otherwise. Random acts of violence shatter this illusion in a way that little else does.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a Boston based ‘r e t t e and was inside a building on the block when the first explosion occurred. I am immensely thankful to be safe and uninjured. While I knew there was a bomb immediately, like many others I spent yesterday afternoon compulsively checking the news, Twitter, and Facebook trying to find any news that would provide answers or calm. The whole situation is very surreal and many of my friends and coworkers are still in shock.

      The degree to which events like this affect people is very individual. For some, it helps to talk and remember and revisit – it’s all part of coping and processing the situation. For others, the emotional cost of such mental exercises does no good – how does worry and sadness translate into help? Instead, for them, focusing on day to day activities helps ease the transition to normalcy.

      I guess, in sum, what I want to say is that I think yesterday affected different people in different ways. It’s a very tragic situation, but it’s understandable that methods of moving on and finding peace differ. I hope though, that we are all able to achieve the latter.

    • Am in Boston. Some friends were there but no one was injured. Has to turn off the news because was getting anxious and upset.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Not the OP but really appreciate everyone’s responses. The term “grief Olympics” gave me a lot of perspective. I’m certainly not going for the gold but I also am not going to feel guilty that this is affecting me more than others that experienced it alongside me. This whole stream of comments gave me permission to feel how I feel and stop trying to feel like everybody else. I appreciate it.

  21. Oh, wow. What a great pick! This dress is so simple (not the crazy-busy patterns we usually get from Ms. Burch ;-)) yet so special. Love the length, the nipped waist, and the neckline is to die for. You could literally wear this for years without it ever going out of style.

    I’m so glad you highlighted this dress! I just may have to do a little shopping later today!


  22. Cape Town in Spring! :

    Just wanted to say a belated thank you to Seal for the travel advice for my upcoming trip to South Africa! So many great ideas. Thanks again!

  23. Mountain Girl :

    I’m going to a conference this starting on Saturday in Anaheim. Dress is business casual. I am a skirt wearing gal so I was thinking that I have a few summery floral skirts with cardigans. Okay, or not? And can I wear white pants next week in SO CA? Its snowing today so its hard to get a gauge on what to wear. Thanks!

    • So Cal Gator :

      I live in Anahim Hills, work in Irvine. It’s spring now which means the weather varies between nice moderate temperature sunny days (in the 70’s) to overcast days when the marine layer never lifts so it is cooler ( low 60’s day, 50’s at night). The last three days were overcast and cool, today is sunnier and warmer. Anaheim tends to be warmer than closer to the coast (Irvine) so more likely to be sunny. Still, I am not yet breaking out my white pants yet. I am sure you could wear them, but I tend to save them for more summery weather, which has not yer arrrived. Floral skirts should be fine. Be sure to bring a wrap, sweater or light jacket, as even when the days are warm, it cools down significantly at night and you need a light cover-up. Have fun!

  24. hoola hoopa :

    ISO close-toed wedge sandals. Ideally the toe box would be woven or perforated leather to allow air circulation. Looking to spend ~$100 or less. Anyone have a lead?

    • Seattle Freeze :

      These Teva wedges are leather & fabric (link to follow) – cute & very comfortable.

    • Seattle Freeze :


  25. I have this! :

    I got this dress a few weeks ago- It runs big! I would say I’m usually between a 4 and a 6 in similar brands (Theory, Tahari, etc. and in Tory dresses from past seasons) and I ended up getting a 2. The 4 would have worked with tailoring, but the 2 was much better.

    I’d go a size smaller than you typically get.