Tuesday’s TPS Report: Aurora Dress

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

 Diane von Furstenberg Aurora Dress This dress originally caught my eye in the teal blue version over at Bloomingdale’s, but again I like the gray. I like the ballet-length sleeves, the vertical seams, the modest V-neck, and the slightly heathered look to the gray. It’s $385 at ShopBop. Diane von Furstenberg Aurora Dress

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


  1. Cornellian :

    Oh, I like this.

    Unfortunately I just bought two very expensive Finnish dresses (LOVE THEM. Love Nordic textiles.), so I will not be purchasing any new dresses soon. On an upnote, I bought them as a present to myself after being sworn in, because I’m an attorney for real now!

    • Finnish dresses? What brand? (I’m dress-crazy, too.)

      • Cornellian :

        Marimekko. They weren’t “very expensive” in the scheme of this website, but in the scheme of my budget they were. Definitely the most expensive dresses I own. I can’t actually see them on the website, but one’s a black and white graphic print and very boxy (all of their cotton dresses are in general sort of boxy and come with ties, but especially this season), and a teal fitted one.

        • I love their prints! Somehow, I’d forgotten about them as a place to get clothing (rather than decor.)

          Browsing their clothes now…and I’m in love with the Savu dress ($279) and the Kevennys dress ($129, sale price). Thanks for the reminder! :-)

          • I always think of their decor too. I have a fun coin purse from them, but now I’m obsessed with a few of the dresses. Oh dear.

          • Cornellian :

            KC- you’re welcome. :D If you’re a sewer, you could buy fabric and MAKE ALL THE DRESSES.

          • Cornellian :

            Seamstress. not a place for sewage. haha.

          • Cornellian, that’s brilliant. I’m not an extremely talented seamstress, but I can sew some basic pieces. I would love a Marimekko pencil skirt too…

            (Though honestly, I love Marimekko prints so much cutting the fabric would be a terrifying endeavor. Thank goodness for muslin!)

        • They have some wonderful dresses. I *love* Marimekko!

    • Anon Lawyer :

      This is so excited as I am Finnish and have never seen any reference to Finland on c”ette before! Yay!

      • I spent last summer in Helsinki (so bright & sunny!), and I’m kind of mad at myself that I didn’t leave with anything Marimekko. Just a Moomin mug.

        • Cornellian :

          I was in Helsinki (just the airport) for aboutg 45 minutes and made a beeline for the Marimekko store. Now I live in NYC, though, so there’s a huge store here.

        • Awwww. The Moomins are supercute, though. I’ve wishlisted all the re-issued books on Amazon. :-)

      • Cornellian :

        I have only been to Finland once, but it was awesome. I went to Rovaniemi last July and it was so stunning. I have family in Sweden and have lived in Denmark, and I think my entire style and home decorating style is definitely in that direction.

        There is a lawyer on here that I think refers to herself as Scandinavian, as well, if you haven’t seen her.

        • Taler du dansk, Cornellian?

          • Cornellian :

            jeg taler lidt dansk! I learned Swedish and Danish back to back and now there sort of all one skansk-sounding mess. But I can follow along in newspapers, books, etc. I’m actually reading “Girl with the dragon tattoo” in the original right now (Man som hater kvinnor). er du dansk?

          • To Cornellian: Jeg er ikke dansk, men jeg har også boet I Danmark, og jeg kan også klare mig på svensk og norsk. I’m not Danish, but I also lived in Denmark, and I can manage in Swedish and Norwegian as well. I took Swedish for a year in the US, and I know what you mean about “skansk”! My Swedish teacher didn’t care for me because she said I spoke Swedish with a Danish accent. I also read “Män som hatar kvinnor” in the original! Apparently the English translation isn’t that good, because the critiques I read about the book didn’t ring true for me.

          • Cornellian :

            KS: cool! I’m definitely more comfortable getting around in Swedish than in Danish, and in Danish than Norwegian, but it is all a bit mixed up for me. That Swedes use a more similar numbering system definitely helps. Femoghalvtreds? Really, Denmark??????

            Were you in KBH? I was on Amager. (pronounced ama, mysteriously). Danish is worse than English at simply dropping consonants, I think.

          • I lived in a northern suburb of Copenhagen as a teenager. But in the years since, I’ve spent a lot of time in the city itself. I’ve had friends who studied at KU, so I’m familiar with Amager. I was actually there this summer, and a friend and I had lunch at Islands Brygge, which has been redeveloped and features a “kultur hus” and outdoor cafe, among other things. And the water in the harbor is so clean that people were swimming in it!

            So who is the other Scandinavian ‘retter?

          • Hi from Norway. I actually studied in Copenhagen, and lived at Amager for five years. I never thought I’d see it mentioned on Corporette…

    • Anon Lawyer :

      I’m loving all the Nordic love! Yay!

      • Cornellian :

        question for the Finn: The way I understand it, Nordic is a geographical/geopolitical term, and includes Iceland, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Scandinavian, however, is an ethnic or cultural term, and thus excludes Finland, while including Denmark for comming history and language. Thoughts? Also thoughts on True Finns’ reign?

        • Finnish is a Uralic language, related to Hungarian, and hence linguistically Finland is not a Scandinavian country, since Swedish-Danish-Norwegian are North Germanic languages within the Indo-European group of languages. (Yes, I’m a language geek!) There are, however, a significant number of Swedish speakers in Finland, harking back to the fact that Finland was annexed by Sweden and ruled by Sweden for about 500 years. My question for the Finn is: are Finns offended not to be considered a Scandinavian country, or do they themselves proudly make the point that they are linguistically and culturally distinct?

          • And Icelandic, of course, is the proto-Scandinavian language, closer to Old Norse than any of the others. [End of lecture.]

        • Hej from Sweden!

          Denmark is usually included in Team Nordic as well. The Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Icelandic and Faroese languages share the same Old Norse language roots and are to some extent still mutually comprehensible, and we have a lot of shared history and culture. The Finnish language shares its roots with Estonian and Hungarian, but Finland also has a large Swedish-speaking minority and a long shared history with Sweden (…and Russia). There is also a large Finnish-speaking minority in Sweden. Up north there’s the Sami people with their own language(s) and culture, and “Sami land” stretches over Norway, Sweden and Finland.

          • Cornellian :

            Pip, Sami are in Russia, too! Lots of them, actually. I didn’t realize how many until I went to the museum of the arctic in Rovaniemi.

            It’s amazing how many language families are spread over the tiny Baltic coast. east slavic, west slavic, north germanic, eastern Baltic, Uralic. A friend of mine from northern Norway actually speaks Kven, which apparently is quite closely related to Finnish and nearly extinct.

          • Nothing to add, except that I read Girl with a Dragon Tattoo in a non-English language myself, and also couldn’t agree with a lot of the criticism, so I think there are better and worse translations out there.

        • Another Scandihoovian here :)

          The Scands is the mountain range separating Norway from Sweden, and Denmark is the southernmost part of those mountains. Thus, Scandinavia refers to those three countries only, while Nordic is the five (Swe, Fin, Nor, Ice and Den). Though, to be honest, we rarely bother to keep those distinctions apart here either.
          The languages are mostly what keep us together/apart. Linguistically, Swedish, Norwegian and Danish are not enough apart to be considered separate languages, but dialects. In general we understand each other, but not Finnish at all.

          The Saami languages, and Estonian, are Finnish-Ugric languages too, btw.

          • Anon Lawyer :

            This is the answer I was going to give – Nordics is the five countries and Scandinavian is three. Not Finland.

            In my experience, Finns are quite proud not to be Scandinavian and at least I have a bad habit of correcting people when they say I am Scandinavian. But to be honest, most people probably don’t care!

            As for the True Finns, I no longer live there, so I’m not quite up. Although incidentally, I very much disagree with the translation, as the more correct translation would be something like ‘Fundamental Finns’ and it implies those who do not support them are not True Finns, same reason I disagree with the term ‘pro-life’. It’s propaganda. But basically it seems that the TF get a lot of support from people in lower-income jobs and rural areas, where foreign policy is something quite distant and nationalist pride is rife. Over time, though, it would seem that there have been a number of embarrassments with the party members going around demonstrating their lack of political nous and some people have as a result stopped supporting them.

          • Regarding the True Finns, I think they gained a lot of votes for being anti-Euro. The nationalistic parties have been gaining ground in Denmark, Norway and Sweden as well and the patterns are fairly similar. They’ve mostly made a good job of appearing house trained and losing the crazy racist Nazi vibe, but now and then a party representative does something offensive. Most of the established parties are pro-EU these days (except in Norway obviously), so the voters who are strongly against the EU often only have the nationalists or the ex-commies to choose from. And in Finland, the only Nordic country in the Eurozone, this trend is even stronger. (Actually, I think most Finns are generally positive to having the EU as a shield against a certain eastern neighbour, but they’re not all that happy about having to pay for the Euro crisis.)

          • In general, the understanding is entirely dependent on how much people *want* to understand. Living in Denmark, it was rather essential for both Swedes and Norwegians to switch to Danish if they wanted any sort of proper integration into the society. Especially Swedes.

          • Cornellian :

            N- that was my impression as well. Have you ever seen the skit about the Danish language that ran on Norwegian TV? When I lived in DK, they ran TVNorge, but never anything from Sweden.

            Having started from Swedish I found written Danish easy, but pronunciation took quite a bit of work. Apparently I now speak Swedish with a Danish accent, though. I do understand they are different languages with different rules (det roeda huset v. det roeda hus, t ex), but I also understand why people would have a hard time separating them and keeping three pure languages straight.

          • Cornellian :

            ugh i give up on typng in another language on here. I can’t even use English properly.

  2. I don’t know. I like it in theory. The grey looks way way too much like a sweatshirt material to be work environ appropriate for me. But the teal blue looks less sweatsuity, at least in the picture.

    • I had the same thought – I’m not paying that much for a giant sweatshirt.

      • Same impression – looks like a sweatshirt. My first thought was Flash Dance.

    • I normally think Ms. DvF can do no wrong, but this dress looks overly proletarian to me.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      I just think it would end up gathering dust in the back of my closet, next to my Mao suit.

    • i really love this dress, and think it would be awesome for a bus casual office. but i know the fit wouldn’t fit my pear shape, sad panda.

    • That, and I’m hoping the model is freakishly tall, because that’s a few too many inches above the knee for my sensibilities. For the office, anyway.

      Otherwise, looks cute and comfy. But I can do cute and comfy on a smaller pricetag, methinks.

    • I have this dress in teal. Looks great on! I am 5’9″ and leggy and it is about the same length on me as it is on the model….I have no problem wearing it to my business casual office.

      I get compliments on the color quite often.

    • allieroseww :

      I’m with the sweatshirt side.

  3. lawsuited :

    I’ve never walked into a firm where an athletic grey knit dress with this styling (or possibly with any styling) would be appropriate.

  4. Sydney Bristow :

    AIMS, I found the link for the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s student loan complaints. I’ll put it below to avoid moderation.

    After Anonymous taking down so many sites yesterday, I found myself wishing that they’d get into all the student loan companies and wipe it everyone’s student loan debt. It’s ridiculous that it is so much of a hassle to pay them the money we owe (or extra) on time. I finally fixed my problem with Sallie Mae by doing exactly what they (probably 6 people including “managers”) told me not to do because it supposedly wouldn’t work. It worked perfectly.

    • Sydney Bristow :


      • Thanks! I am going to write them a missive. You are right – it really shouldn’t be this hard to give someone money. It was always a bit of pain with Access, too, if you wanted to make extra payments without advancing due date, etc., but at least the Access people were polite and tried to help if you called. I have never dealt with customer service this rude before, and where their only suggestion is that I not call them in the future.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I was told that I would have to continue to call every month when I wanted to make an extra payment to get my due date returned because it would automatically advance. When I asked about why that was the case since I checked the option to have my due date remain the same I was told that this is just how the system works. Every person I spoke with was completely incompetent and tried to put my due date back an extra month so that I’d be charged a penalty if I didn’t make a second minimum payment for the same billing cycle. On top of that, they were also very rude and condescending. I can’t wait to have them out of my life, but I fear I’ll just encounter similar issues with my other providers when I try to pay extra on those as well.

          I think they are upset with me for cheating them out of the thousands of dollars they are missing out on interest charges since I’m paying extra as allowed by my agreement. They must be mad at you for cheating them out of late fees if you paid late and interest they would earn off you if you’d either pay early. Heaven forbid you pay as directed.

          • For this exact reason, I have decided to set aside extra money for loans and make one lump payment per year. Ick.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Flora, I’ve considered that, but they don’t deserve the extra money they’d get from me in interest. Especially not at my interest rates.

          • Anne Shirley :

            I’ve done the same as Flora. It drives me crazy, but I was spending an hour and a half every month dealing with their nonsense, and I just can’t any more. And the whole auto-debit happens the day after your due date so you look delinquent thing is ridiculous. None of my other auto- debit bills work like that

          • Had the exact same problem. Every time they would say “put it in writing with the check,” and every time I would read my cover letter verbatim and ask how I could make it any clearer. No real answer. I spent about 45 minutes to an hour on the phone every month until I was finally able to just pay the darned thing off. I ended up rolling some of it into my home equity line so I could quit dealing with Sallie Mae (and have a less outrageous interest rate).

        • I am a banana. :

          @Midori – how did you go about doing that? I always joke that it would make so much sense…

          • Just took out a home equity line, used the funds to pay off the entire Sallie Mae balance, and now I make payments to my credit union instead. At ~3% instead of ~7%. It probably only works if you have enough equity in your home to start with, but banks are starting to loosen up on that a little, and mortgage rates are historically low.

    • Thanks so much for posting, Sydney Bristow! My previous loan servicer was fine but I got switched to Brazos earlier this year and it’s been a huge pain so far.

    • I once contacted my congressman after having Citibank pull some pretty dodgy stuff. He actually had a staff member dedicated to education policy, and that staffer got my issues cleared up really quickly. Apparently student loan companies are terrified when they get calls from members of Congress. So that’s a route you might consider if you’re having serious issues with your lender.

      • This. You’d be amazed what a small phone call can do. Back in my intern days we routinely had constituents ask for help on loan issues, and we could usually direct them to someone who had expertise in the area (whether it was a staffer in our office or another).

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        When you call Sallie Mae, their directory extension has a separate number to push for “if you work for a member of Congress.” I was always extremely tempted to use it when I worked for a Congressman but was calling about an issue on my personal loans (I never did. But I probably should have…)

    • Sallie Mae has some weird unpredictable way of charging interest. Can’t pay the same day every month bc interest could be higher on that day. I’m so tired of dealing with it. Can’t wait to pay it off.

  5. Anon in MD :

    I’m pretty sure my new apartment complex wants me to sign an illegal lease. I asked for a copy to look over before I sign, and I noticed that I’m supposed to agree that they can install individual utility meters and start charging me for utilities during the course of the lease. When I saw the place, the leasing agent said that utilities were included. I have never seen a lease that leaves responsibility for utilities open-ended like that, but there’s no way I can find another place to live in a week.

    • How is that illegal?

      • You cannot write a contract around laws or void your own clause – and isn’t it always interpreted in the favor of the one who did not draft the lease. So as long as it says utilities are included you should be ok.

        • Anon in MD :

          The lease itself doesn’t specifically say utilities are included. That’s just what the leasing agent said when I saw the place. The lease says that the tenant is responsible for utilities if the unit is individually metered and that if the unit is not individually metered, the landlord will install individual meters. Doesn’t say when this will happen, just that it’ll happen, which means I can’t budget my housing costs.

          • There is an Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs, I would report it to them (as in, I’ve already called them about this and more people should). It’s just a phone call. It won’t necessarily help with your lease signing right now, but if enough people complain at least the issue will be on their radar.

    • For some reason, this sounds very familiar to me. Are you in MoCo or another county? I had some other housing issues earlier this year and found the MoCo website very user-friendly.

    • I think you’re moving in to my building, because we JUST had this problem – Silver Spring?

      First – I don’t just anyone moves here, because management is horrible. They just don’t care at all (Despite that their name rhymes with care – am I in the right place here?)
      Second – I did some research on this, and if I’m right and you’re in my complex, my understanding of the local law is that there are notice requirements if they convert to utilities paid, and that they have to decrease the rent in accordance with the new cost of utilities when they make the conversion. See Montgomery County Code § 29-34. I tried to get them to rewrite the lease to reflect the code, because right now it certainly does not. They refused but said that if they did convert utilities they would “of course comply with all applicable laws.”

      I don’t know if this helps you, but if you’re in MoCo there ARE county laws about this kind of stuff that protect against jerky landlords like mine (and it sounds like, yours).

      • 1) I don’t * suggest *
        2) I am not a lawyer, or a housing lawyer, or anything like that. Just a really angry tenant.

      • Sounds like we could have a ‘r e t t e meetup in the rhymes-with-cares business office.

        • I would say “awesome,” except I really dislike living here. I am very anxious to move away. My apartment – actually pretty great. Clean, bug free, usually pretty quite. But Management’s nickle and diming tricks are ridiculous. They really just skirt what the local laws allow (think adding parking as a “fee” after it was included in the rent for so long, and consistently raising rent at 4x the county suggested rate). When I confronted them with the county code regarding utilities, their response was “What? We don’t have to do that.” I hope I move out before they try, but really it is all there in black and white.

          • It sounds like you’ve been there longer than I have. We live in the units that have individually-metered utilities, so we haven’t had the same issue, but there’s been a bunch of irritating things. Our prior landlord was a guy with a duplex that just wanted to keep responsible tenants and was generally great, so I’m not sure any management company could ever compare to him, but let me know if you find it.

          • Yeah, we’ve been here for 4/5 years. For my building, they did the utilities thing as at my lease renewal at the same time as an 8% rent increase, it was really salt in the wound. They also told me that they have no plans to install meters in my building at any point in the future, and that the paragraph was only in my lease to keep one lease consistent with the rest of the community. I tried unsuccessfully to tell them that I couldn’t sign a contract that neither the landlord nor I would/could abide by and that the landlord claimed “didn’t apply to me.” Eventually I got them to spew their useless response into an email to me and figured that if I had something in writing that would have to be good enough, and I would try to move asap.

          • Anon in MD :

            I’ll try to get an email out of them. So far there’s been no response to my email, and when I tried to call, I never got through to a live person. I’ll also give the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs a call this afternoon.

          • Anon in MD :

            Update: The leasing agent said they’d give 90 days notice before they install meters (in the buildings that rhyme with Gaza and powers), but that because it’s such a huge project, they don’t know when it’ll happen. He did not respond when I said that I assumed that they would offer to decrease the rent accordingly, but I agree, the ordinance does seem pretty clear (I am a lawyer, but not licensed in MD and definitely not a housing lawyer, so take that for whatever it’s worth). He, of course, seems to think the lease is perfectly clear. I’m just finding this so bizarre that this is even allowed. This is my 7th apartment in my 4th state, and every other lease clearly said that it would be either LL or T paying for utilities, not that it *might* switch sometime.

      • Anon in MD :

        Yeah, that would be the place I’m moving into. Ugh, and it was highly recommended by people I know who’ve lived there, and it was the only building I looked at that didn’t pull a bait and switch on the spot (like “Oh, I know I said we had a unit at this price when you started your tour this morning, but the rent is actually $200 more/month now.”). State law says that a lease has to specify the landlord’s and tenant’s “obligations as to heat, gas, electricity, water, and repair of the premises.” (8-208(c)(2)) This is a really sketchy way of specifying my obligations. I’ll check out the county code.

      • Ha, I don’t live in that complex (we looked, but the leasing agent reminded me a little too much of a slimy used car salesman and I got a really bad vibe about it), but I have a couple friends who did… I haven’t heard many good things about it. They abruptly changed the parking prices/number of parking spots available per apartment a year or so ago, too. If you don’t have your heart set on that apartment, I would keep looking. There are LOTS of apartment buildings in Silver Spring, and many of them are pretty nice.

        • Anon in MD :

          Unfortunately, this was the only place I looked at that didn’t want $1740 for a studio (and I looked at 8 buildings) and that didn’t have someone doing the slimy used car salesman thing. Everywhere else was trying some kind of really obvious bait and switch (changing rent prices by a couple hundred dollars between the time I arrived and the time I saw the unit, showing me a place and then once I started the application telling me that it was no longer available but I could have something twice as expensive or half the size…). Guess I’ll try again after a year.

          • I will say that overall we’ve been happy (we just renewed our lease, been there about 1 year), and I wouldn’t expect any management company to be that much better, given my limited experience with management companies. If you want to be in Silver Spring, the location is excellent, IMO, and we’ve found the front desk people and maintenance people to be very helpful and professional.

          • Anon in MD :

            Thanks, Rosie. That’s definitely reassuring to hear. Just need to make it through a 12 month lease. :) At my last apartment, the leasing office was run by a woman who clearly could not handle the responsibilities of her job, and so she was always frazzled and screaming at everyone. Even the maintenance people always seemed stressed out because of her.

          • Anastasia :

            So true about the management companies, rosie. We’ve been mostly happy too, but not without complaints. I think it’s par for the course in a large building. That price, along with the bait and switch, sounds like my building (unisex, unrhyme-able first name). We moved in with a giant discount before the building was finished, and fight with the office every year when they try to institute the “market rent.” *sigh*

            In any case, Anon, welcome to Silver Spring!

          • I agree that the location can’t be beat, and like I said I like my apartment itself. The maintenance people are nice and actually helpful. There’s just been an unfun surprise every single time we’ve renewed our lease, and we’re pretty sick of them. Once you get everything sorted out I would anticipate things would be grand for a year, and then you can reevaluate from there. Welcome to town, though!

          • My current complaint is that my dog hates the gravel they just put down in the dog park. Still trying to decide if it’s worth it to continue complaining. But, welcome!

  6. Can someone post the link to the discussion/s about how to ask for a raise and performance reviews? I know there have been dedicated posts to both topics but wasn’t successful with the Lijit search. Thanks!

    • Lijit searches stink. You can do a much more refined search by going to google and searching google: [sitename] topic you’re looking for. There have been many discussions on this.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      How quickly do you need the info? I had great luck negotiating a raise at my last review (small firm) and I’d share my experience with you by email. I might need a day or so to get around to it though. Email me at [email protected] if you want my story.

    • It was ChocCityB&R who had a packet on salary negotiation that she was offering to email. I found that on a weekend thread in July (the one with the Birkenstocks!)

      • I had been reccomended the book “Ask for It” but I didn’t actually find it all that helpful. Too many anecdotes and not enough meat for me! I actually just did this though, and I wrote up a proposal using salaray averages from publications like NALP and Robert Half legal. I got 1/2 of what I asked for, which I feel like is pretty standard for a firm.

  7. I agree that the material looks a bit sweatshirt-y. Also, I am not a fan of the seam down the middle – not on clothes, and not on shoes (hate it on shoes!) – I think it looks sloppy and cheap. I think maybe because it’s usually on the back, if not on the sides, a seam down the middle also makes it look a bit like you’re wearing the dress backwards. I do like the sleeve length though.

    • Agree with the seam down the middle – I hate it on everything!

    • A very senior attorney at my firm and his wife, also an attorney, have been together for something like 40 years — and have managed to be extremely involved in the community and raise wonderful children on top of two very demanding law careers. It can be done! (If only I knew how.)

  8. My attorney colleague at a big firm just told me he and his wife, an attorney at a mid-size firm, are getting a divorce. Once they divorce, I won’t know any intact attorney-attorney couples – they have all divorced. This is hitting close to home because I’m part of an attorney-attorney couple, and I can see how hard our two jobs are on our relationship. Are there any of you out there with a demanding job and a SO/spouse who has one too, such as attorney-attorney? What are the predictable pitfalls and how do you avoid them?? I don’t want to get divorced in a few years like all the other ones we know of.

    • I am BigLaw and hubby is MidLaw. To be honest, I’ve let some girlfriend relationships go because I just do not have the time and mental energy to devote quality time to both them and hubby, and I prioritize hubby. (He does the same thing.) Fortunately, neither of us are often stuck at work late (we bring work home and are near each other as we finish up things for the next day, which definitely helps – plus that means we get dinner together and almost always go to bed at the same time). No kids yet, but as we’re in the early stages of planning for them (maybe start trying next year), I’m interested in other ladies’ advice on that…

    • MissJackson :

      I’m one half of an attorney-attorney couple. We’ve only been married a few years, so I suspect that we have not yet encountered every pitfall. But honestly, it’s not so bad, and I don’t think that you need to get very doomsday about this.

      Make sure to spend a little time with your spouse every day. For us, this means walking the dog together every morning (mornings are more predictable than evenings, so this is easier to maintain). It’s a quick chat — what do we have going on this week, how are things going, tell me about your day — but I think it helps us feel connected, particularly when one of us gets extremely busy.

      • MaggieLizer :

        +1 to making time for each other every day. A commenter a while ago said she and her husband get ready together in the morning every day – including showering and makeup (for her)/shaving (for him). It struck me as a really lovely way to start the day.

    • I know lots and lots of intact attorney couples. Most of my law professors seemed to be married to attorneys, and I am marrying my attorney fiance in May. I think any marriage involves as risk, so you never really know how things are going to turn out no matter what your profession. You just try to choose wisely and hope for the best.

      But there are some things to consider. How is your relationship right now? If things never changed would that be OK with you? If you have kids, how are you expecting things to change? Is your partner on the same page with your expectations? What about if things don’t go the way you expect – is your partner flexible enough to handle life’s curveballs? What will happen if one of you gets a great work opportunity and needs to move? What if one of you gets a great work opportunity and needs to start traveling all the time? Any couple should be asking these questions, but they become more important when both people have high stakes careers.

    • There are plenty of high power + SAHparent combos that divorce. All of these combos that I know from my circle of acquaintances are divorced already (we’re all 30-somethings.) I’m not going to extrapolate, just because these folks are immediately in my circle rather than sterile numbers on a page.

      There are also plenty of people who stay married, are miserable, and never work out their issues. Is that necessarily better than divorce? I’m not convinced that’s so.

      There are stressors to any relationship; if both halves of a couple have good communication (which includes fighting fairly), want the same things in life, and make an effort to prioritize the other (rather than administrivia, work, other friends, etc.), that couple improves the chances of a successful, lasting relationship.

    • emcsquared :

      I know lots of attorney-attorney couples (several who even work together in the same department at the same law firm). DH and I are also both attorneys. One of the most amazing marriages I have ever seen was two lawyers.

      I second the recommendation to spend some time together each day – DH and I walk to work together, and it’s a great 15-20 minutes to catch up and talk about life. Also, we set aside time each weekend for each other (sometimes just 1-2 hours), because it’s otherwise really easy to spend the entire weekend running around doing work, seeing friends, running errands, doing stuff you couldn’t do during the work week.

      One thing I’ve noticed is that learning the professional skill of respectful disagreement has really helped our relationship. We are both a teensy-weensy bit competitive (just a l’il bit) and both very smart, and seeing how more senior attorneys interact with each other in negotiations and trials has helped both of us become more respectful during marital disagreements. So try to pay attention to that skill on the job (and make sure you work with people who practice it, we’ve both been very lucky); otherwise the testosterone and stress of being a lawyer can turn even small marital disputes into acrimonious power struggles. I’ve seen it happen.

      • emcsquared :

        I should also say, I’ve seen lots of divorces with attorney-attorney couples, just as I’ve seen lots of divorces between couples who had different occupations. Divorce is common, and attorneys probably are more likely to see their peers (i.e., other attorneys) getting divorced than they are to see other types of occupations getting divorced.

        But, if lots of attorneys around you are getting divorced, it might be a time to re-evaluate your surroundings and find some the common threads. Are you in a super-stressful, toxic work environment that is conducive to divorce? Are you surrounding yourself with attorneys who complain about their spouses or have affairs? Because you can and should change those things if you want to preserve your relationship.

    • SoCal Gator :

      My attorney husband and I just celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversary, so don’t give up hope. It can be done! We have been through a lot together, raised our son and his daughter and we are now empty nesters and still happy with each other’s company. Be sure to carve out moments together, laugh a lot, especially when times are tough, and find common interests so you can keep your bond strong. During the years when we were both Biglaw attorneys, we did our best to spend time together at home when talking shop was not allowed. We both still practice (he is in house and I am a partner at a mid size firm) and over the years have learned when and how to support each other in our jobs without letting them take over our lives completely. I think all couples, whether lawyers or not, have to learn how to do this in order to have a successful marriage.

      • Seventh Sister :

        That is so heartening! My husband and I are both lawyers (government and solo practitioner), have itty bitty kids, and it seems like the divorces are flying thick and fast around us with no rhyme or reason (i.e., the people I thought would be together forever are splitting up, the couples who appear to hate one another stay together, etc.).

    • a passion for fashion :

      im half of an attorney-attorney (both BigLaw) couple. And I know quite a few at my firm who are atty-atty couples. We’ve been married 7.5 years and have two kids. The biggest things that make this work for us are (1) setting time for family, (2) setting reasonable expectations, and (3) being flexible when necessary. Obviously things are not perfect all the time, but we do our very ebst to have dinner with the kids every night, and to make time for ourselves (w/o kids). We know this wont alyways work, so we are flexible when it doesnt.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Not to jack your thread, but I can’t help but wonder how the advice differs for new couples where both partners have demanding jobs. When you’re just starting out, you want to get to know his friends, introduce him to your friends, and still have couple time. Obviously making time for each other has to be a priority – and the refusal of either partner to do that is a huge red flag – but how do you make time for all the social stuff too? And deal with resentment from friends when neither partner can hang out as much as they used to?

      • Senior Attorney :

        At some point, something has to give. In my experience, the reality of being married and having a career means that you just don’t have time for all the social stuff you used to do when you were single. If your friends resent it, they are going to have to get over it or it’s time to find some new friends.

        The same thing happens when people start having babies and suddenly they have NO time for any social stuff at all for a few years. It’s kind of a stages-of-life thing.

    • The plural of anecdote isn’t data, of course, but all of the attorney/attorney couples I know are going strong, while a lot of my friends in non-attorney or attorney/non-attorney couples have gotten divorced.

      • But is it anecdata?

        In all seriousness, I agree with E. I’ve seen more splits with the attorney/non couples, I think because the non has a harder time understanding the demands and wants the attorney to be more available?

        I’m BigLaw, and my SO is small firm, but much as there is a general concern, I feel strongly that it’s really about the two people in the relationship and the way they decide to interact with each other and their careers, regardless of what those careers are (or aren’t).

        • I also think it’s because attorney/attorney couples tended to marry later, after their careers were established. A lot of studies have shown that more highly educated couples who marry later are less likely to divorce. And now that I think about it, most of the attorney/other high-powered professional couples I know are still going strong, too.

        • +1 for anecdata

        • Anecdata. Love it.

    • I’m part of attorney-attorney (eight together together, five years married, two kids). I also know several attorney-attorney couples who are in tact. It’s possible, but it’s hard. We’ve now been through several career shifts between the two of us, including law school, job hunting, BigLaw, clerkship, and government employment, so we’ve gotten the full experience, as it were.

      Pre-kids, it was enough to check in once a day and (barring some pressing work commitment, like a trial) catch up on the weekends. Add kids to the mix and it’s gotten 100x more difficult. I’d be lying if I didn’t said that my husband has often fallen to third place behind kids and work on a daily basis, and vice versa (there are definitely times when I feel like I’m third or lower on his scale). My rationalization for that is that we’re playing a long game here, and if there are some weeks where we’re not really connecting, we’ll have to make up for that when the kids are a little older and need less time. I can’t really think of a way to get around that right now, and can only hope that we can hang in there until things ease up.

      And while I know many A-A couples who are going strong (kids and both working FT), we also know a handful of people who have a divorce under their belt and are now on marriage No. 2. For the most part, those divorces all happened somewhere post-law school but before anyone had kids, and I don’t know if I’d say that their occupation affected the relationship. I think it was more starter marriage syndrome, which I suspect is a problem no matter what the profession. FWIW, these divorcees are all now happily married (some to each other!) with kids, so I think I’d say everyone ended up better off at the end of the day.

      I think that if you’re relationship is solid, you’ll make it; if there are fault lines that run deep, being a workaholic attorney is going to put a lot of stress on it and/or break it. But there are many times I’m glad my SO knows what I’m going through because he’s done it, too. Sometimes I think that non-attorneys have a harder time grasping what is going on and I would probably stink at explaining why a law-specific thing was such a big deal to me.

      • What is “starter marriage syndrome”? I hope I don’t have it!

        • starter marriage When people rush into their first marriage (usual reasons are: caving to societal & parental expectations, following the herd, do insufficient due diligence, have unrealistic expectations, pick the wrong person, and don’t do any of the work of sustaining a healthy marriage) and then the marriage goes KABLOOEY.

          They blew up their starter marriage, discarded the wreckage, and hopefully learned not to repeat the same bad habits in their 2nd marriage, which “sticks,” and isn’t a discarded starter.

          • With the caveat that this term usually applies to folks who also divorce fairly shortly after it all goes to hell. “Starter marriage” doesn’t apply to a marriage that lasts, say, 15yrs and then breaks down.

            There are plenty of good folks who make some bad mistakes, and the term “starter marriage” is unkind to them. But then, there are folks who really do view their first marriage as disposable, and that I find repellent. However, the idea of miserable people trapped in bad marriages is even worse. Better they learn from the first marriage and have a hope of happiness the 2nd time around. Nobody’s perfect.

      • I meant “starter marriage syndrome” to mean marriages that people just sort of roll into, especially post-college/grad school while in their mid-twenties. My observations were that those folks lasted no more than three years and then called it quits. In this limited pool, I’ll say that it seemed more like really bad breakups than capital-D divorce (mostly because no one owned any property, this being NYC, and no one had kids). No long-term scars, hence the flippant name.

        It seemed like that was a period that I’ve now past, and that friends who are getting married these days (and they’re basically all married off now, with one exception) are doing so after they’re finished with their education, have lived and worked on their own for years, and often cohabited for years. So these are more serious, long-term, adult relationships; I’d say they are functionally the same as marriage at this point. The actual ceremony just makes it legal.

        What’s scarier is now we know a few couples who are older (mid-40s) and doing Divorce (with kids and houses in the mix). These are totally different and heartbreaking in their own way, even if divorce was the right answer.

        • Yes, the starter marriage situation was the norm for my friends who married in their 20’s. I was a bridesmaid in 6 weddings then, and all are divorced but one. Interestingly, almost all are remarried already, and most did not even invite me to their second wedding. Some sort of weird denial of past history (hiding from it…) and it seemed to roll over into their future relationships/friends.

        • lawsuited :

          Argh! DH and I met in university and got married when we were 23. Write me a prescription for starter marriage syndrome!

    • Working Girl :

      I am in an attorney-attorney couple (BigLaw and public interest). We have been together for 10 years, married 6, with kids, and I don’t think couples like us are any more likely to break up than people with stay-at-home spouses/partners or spouses/partners who work in any other profesison. But I don’t have hard data, just my sense from my own friends.

      That said, I see a difference between the couples with two working parents and the others, espcially when the working parents have very demanding jobs. For example, the attorney-attorney couples are less likely to be doing all the extra stuff at the preschool, the bake sales, etc. We have less time for each other and our family. And we often are distracted by work and have to ask the other to step up–there are business trips where one person is left on child care duty, trials, etc.

      For my own marriage the key has been to outsource as much as possible, from cleaning to cooking to childcare. We have a lot of outside help. It took me a long time to get there–I was the kind of person who thought I could do it all myself and I did not like spending the money. But my husband and I found ourselves bickering over who did what chore for how long. Now, we can spend a lot more time together, just enjoying each other rather than stressing over who is going to cook dinner.

      In short, it can work, defnitely, and its a lot easier if you can get help.

  9. Biopharma Girl :

    I have this dress in a cranberry red color, and I love it! The wool is heavy enough to keep me cozy in January in Boston, despite the fact that the dress has shorter sleeves.

    • It must look awesome in cranberry. Can you share how the fit is? The teal one in the link looks really tight all across the front, although that could be how the model is standing. How is the length?

      • Anon in sf :

        I *love* this dress. I have it in dark purple, navy and black (bought purple full price, rest on sale.) It is a nice stretchy wool fabric, and doesn’t look like sweat shirt material. On the darker colors, the seam down the middle is not as visible.

        It has just the right amount of stretch, and is extremely figure flattering. However, I would add the caution that it is a body conscious dress and runs small. I went up one size from my normal size. I’m 5’5″ and it hits right at the knee for me.

      • Biopharma Girl :

        I sized up (at the time I bought it, I wore a 4 just about everywhere, but bought this dress in a 6), and it fit perfectly. Just sort of skimmed over everything without being too clingy for work.

        On another note, does anyone know why the site links “Biopharma” in my name to a European industry website? Weird.

        • Thanks for following up! This site sometimes automatically links to webpages for certain things (like S k y p e or some store names), so I’m guessing that’s what happened to you, although I actually am not seeing the link.

  10. MissJackson :

    I fell in love with this dress last year. I bought, and then returned, it last winter. The material does not look sweatshirt-y — at least last year’s version did not — it was clearly wool.

    However, it was VERY va-va-va-voom on my figure. It fit nicely on top, but “cupped” my bottom. For reference, I have proportionally small hips and an average backside, so if you’re more of a pear shape, I think this issue would be even worse. Definitely not a wear to work dress, at least for me. Also, there is no slit in the back (the material stretches, so it’s not entirely impossible to walk it), but the lack of slit only made the va-va-va-voom bit even worse.

  11. I love the cranberry and forest green skirts I mentioned yesterday because they are a more appropriate way to inject color into my working wardrobe. Are there any other colors you ladies are loving this season?

    I’m also craving the teal color on the dress in the link, but I hate having a seam down the middle of my body.

    • I walked by an Ann Taylor Loft and there was a ton of deep purple in the windows that I’m very excited about.

      • Honey Pillows :

        When the temps in DC hit 60 one evening, I suddenly found myself blindsided by a craving for royal purple. It was weird.

        Can purple work with navy, if the purple is very vibrant? I’m building my fall wardrobe around navy and camel colors, and I’d love some gorgeous purple pumps and maybe gloves.

        • Navy and purple can totally work together, even if the purple is very vibrant.

          For example I think this color combo look great. http://images3.chictopia.com/photos/glammdoll/9349645906/majenta-purple-old-navy-dress-navy-blue-f21-blazer-floral-print-f21-heels-_400.jpg

        • I think purple looks very chic with navy. Also with camel, so it would be great to go with your base wardrobe.

          Also teal looks great with both navy and camel, if you are looking for inspiration.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thanks for mentioning the green skirt again! I loved it when it was pictured in the sale email that I got but when I got online I only saw the lighter green color. I thought I was going crazy until I saw that there were two really dark colors, so I just ordered it! I got the black cherry color in the same skirt a few weeks ago and wear it all the time. I’ve been trying to incorporate those two colors and navy into my wardrobe lately. I’d love to add mustard yellow accents, but I haven’t seen much in that color lately.

      • (former) Clueless Summer :

        J. Crew usually has mustard yellow as one of their colors for the winter seasons – they don’t call it mustard yellow, of course…probably something like glistening goldenrod, but take a look. I think they have a No. 2 pencil skirt in it…maybe belts and tops too.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Thanks! I’m on the cusp of fitting into JCrew clothes, so something in that color will be a bonus for getting there. :-)

          • 2/3 attorney :

            I recently got a lovely mustard yellwo cardi by August Silk ($35), and a mustard shell by Charter Club ($18), both at Macy’s – also saw mustard yellow in Tommy Hilfiger. Good luck!

      • Yes! I got a mustard cardigan and I am trying to figure out how to wear it with everything! I did not know a color could do that to me.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Where did you get it?

          Thanks for the rec 2/3 attorney! I might have to go brave the crowds at Macy’s.

    • I’ve always been a big color fan, but for some reason I am really digging black lately. I have only one black dress, and I’ve worn it multiple times in teh past month.

  12. Chicago meetup! :

    Thursday, Sept 27 kicking off at 5:30pm (I’ll be there until at least 8pm)
    Encore Liquid Lounge in 312 Chicago (136 N LaSalle Street)
    Valet parking is $12 for 3 hours
    Thanks to everyone for all your great ideas. This notice will be reposted periodically until the day. I’m really excited about meeting you all!
    Terry (ChicagoC o r p o r e t t e at gmail.com)

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Yay! I was hoping Thursday would win as I have a meeting on Tuesday evening

      • allieroseww :

        Excellent! Now how do I explain to my husband that I’m going to meet up with a bunch of really well-dressed and well-spoken women I don’t know?

  13. Ugh, I think the seam down the front makes the dress look super cheap. And it looks like sweatshirt material, so doubly cheap. Combined with the fact it looks skin tight, how is that close to work appropriate?

    Sorry, but that may be one of the worst dresses I’ve ever seen posted here.

  14. Happy Birthday Hubby :

    My husband surprised me with a beautiful diamond bracelet for my 30th birthday this year. It was definitely way above and beyond the kind of gift we would usually get for each other, but he explained that it was intended as a combination gift to not only mark a milestone birthday, but also to commemorate the recent birth of our son and my first Mother’s Day.

    Now his 30th birthday is coming up this month, and I would like to get him a similarly lovely and sentimental gift, but I don’t know what. Obviously, jewelry was an easy (and very much appreciated) choice for me, but men are so much harder. He does not want cufflinks or a watch. I thought about getting him an insanely nice bottle of bourbon to open on special occasions, but he wasn’t into that idea either. My maximum budget for this is $2,500, although I am certainly open to spending much less–my goal is to get him something that he will treasure and perhaps pass down to our son someday, rather than just something extravagant. Thoughts?

    • Cornellian :

      a beautiful leather bag. An ex boyfriend had one that he got from his uncle and has been going strong 30 years.

    • emcsquared :

      Can you get him a piece of furniture? We had a family friend who commissioned a beautiful wood and leather desk chair when he got a specialty surgery certification, but a steamer trunk or beautiful desk would also be cool. My family has passed down two rocking chairs carved by my great-grandfather that every baby in the family has been rocked in.

      Otherwise, consider an experience instead of a thing – a vacation to someplace he’s always wanted to go, or some really nice tickets to a sporting event he loves, or a ride in a Nascar car (seriously, my uncle did this and it was one of the highlights of his life).

      • A friend of mine surprised her husband with a trip to Morocco for his 30th birthday. All he knew was that he had to block off a few days of vacation. She planned the whole trip without him knowing anything about where they were going or what they were doing — I think he assumed they were going off to play golf in Florida, or something like that. The day they were leaving, she packed his bags for him, picked him up, and off they went! I’ve always loved that she pulled this off.

    • A telescope. If I had an extra$2.5k to spend, my DH would definitely want a telescope. He had one in his family, but it was passed to another family member, not him. Shame.

    • It’s hard to know what he’d like without knowing him, but I love the ideas of a beautiful leather bag or a telescope. I will add in a weekend vacation someplace awesome, or a pool or foosball table.

      • Yes to a pool or billiards table! We have a billiards table that’s been passed down in our family. My mother had a beautiful top built for it so it served as our dining room table when not in use, which says to me that anyone who can fit a dining room table in their house could also be enjoying pool or billiards!

    • hellskitchen :

      I think if you want something that can become a family heirloom, then you will need to go with a watch or cufflinks or tie pins or similar jewelry that will last and hold (or even appreciate) its value. If you want something that he will treasure, (but may not be something he can pass down) perhaps you can get him a bespoke suit if he’s someone who wears them regularly? Or a nice leather briefcase? Or you could get him something that he will enjoy but it’s not exclusively for him… I gave my SO a nice leather recliner a few years ago so he could watch his games in a more relaxed way.

      • I was also going to suggest a very nice suit. You can really tell the difference when a man is wearing an expensive, well made suit.

    • A first-edition book of an author or in an area that he cares about.

    • A really lux briefcase could be nice (BB makes some nice ones) and will likely stand the test of time.

      Are you sure he doesn’t want a watch? That’s probably the easiest thing to pass down the generations.

      Other ideas: is he into sports? Maybe an autographed something? Books? A first edition of something meaningful? Art? A print of something he loves?

    • I hope to get my husband a grandfather clock for his next milestone. He has always wanted one – he grew up with one.

      • emcsquared :

        I think that’s awesome! I really wanted my grandparents’ grandfather clock when they moved to a nursing home, but suddenly everyone else in the family wanted it too (despite having complained about it literally every holiday). So it’s on my “someday” wish list…

    • Happy Birthday Hubby :

      Thank you, ladies, for all of the suggestions! I loved the 1st edition book idea particularly, so I am going to start hunting in that direction.

  15. Grr. Nordstrom just marked down all of the NAS colors of The (new) Skirt 50%, but petite sizes are still only 30% off. No fair.

  16. I’ve got a few more maternity clothing reviews (and I’ll add several more later, I hope). These are from Old Navy/The Gap.

    * The Gap, Demi Panel Pencil Skirt – I was really disappointed in this. I thought that it would be just what I’d been looking for, but the fit was just off. I got a 4, which is my normal to larger size in skirts, but the waist/tummy panel was pretty snug, and the area just below the panel, which didn’t stretch, was very tight and uncomfortable (this was not quite over my belly proper, but over the surrounding areas that also are much wider than they once were). But, at the same time, if I went up a size, I think that the lower skirt part would look way too big. Material was fine, though nothing fancy. It’s going back.

    * Maternity Roll Panel Yoga Pants: I am torn on these. I’ve worn them, so I’m keeping them, but I’m still not sure I’m happy. The waist is unsual – it doesn’t look like maternity at all, there’s no panel, just a sort of normal fold-over yoga pant waist. Which is somewhat snug. I found myself double checking the tag to make sure that they actually sent me the maternity ones The waist is stretchy, so I’m thinking that it will stretch enough to be OK, but I wore them lounging around last evening and could never really get the waist where it was comfortable (and I’ve still got a good bit of bump building to do). I think I’m going to keep stretching at them to try to stretch them out some in hopes that they’ll be more comfortable. At the same time, the lower “pants” part is really loose – I definitely could not go up a size; I’m not sure that the size that I got is not too big as it is.

    The material is really nice, very thick and heavy. They do not look at all like yoga pants – I would completely feel comfortable wearing them out of the house (I wouldn’t to work, but if I did, I think that I could probably get away with it). They also don’t fit much like yoga pants – there’s no tightness around the crotch and they’re not really fitted around the tush. (I think that they’d be too loose in the legs to do actual yoga!). I do wish that they came in a color other than black, which I find tends to get yucky looking more easily around the house. So, overall, hmm.

    * Wrap dress, black: This dress is really cute. It’s a true wrap, but seems to fit very nicely (no gaping, at least on my small figure), and it’s very flattering. I love the length, which is to my knees but without being too overly full in the skirt area. My one complaint would be that the fabric is very soft and casual – I would like to wear it to court, but I’m not sure that I can really pair it with a suit blazer and look right. (My husband, not a lawyer, says that I should just wear it and not worry about the jacket, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that, though I’ve certainly seen other preggers attorneys do similar.) I do like it and will feel good about wearing it to the office, at least (small firm, business casual). Again, though, wish it were in another color.

    Overall, as a long-time Gap/BR/even ON fan, I was pretty disappointed in the selection and quality for their maternity wear. Nothing has really been higher quality than the Target stuff (maybe the dress), and Target has a lot more colors and styles. Oh, well. I will add that I had an address screw up on the shipping (probably my fault), and they couldn’t have been nicer the several times that I wound up calling. Although it took a while to get the whole thing sorted out (I didn’t get the shipment until a month later), they couldn’t have been nicer and more helpful on the phone.

    • I have that wrap dress. I like it, but it’s not perfect. My 1st issue is that I’m enormous on top now and I show boobage in it. I’m not comfortable wearing a camisole underneath because I don’t like the extra fabric over my already enormous chest. My 2d issue is that by the end of the day, the wrap tie starts hurting my chest. I try not to wear it on days I know I’m going to be at the office for 12 hrs+.

      My favorite maternity dress is a plain black side-tie dress from motherhood maternity. Got it for about $30. I’ve worn it to a client meeting and a depo. I was big enough by the depo that I didn’t bother with a jacket.

    • Anita (formerly S) :

      Thanks, Lyssa. I was just looking at the demi panel pencil skirt and wondering whether to order it. Your review, combined with those on the website, have convinced me otherwise. I will go ahead and spend a little more on another Japanese Weekend pencil skirt, which fits well on my small frame/stick-straight-out-belly combo.

      • Just FYI, I did get a pencil skirt from Motherhood Maternity, which I think wound up less than the one above, that I think I’m happy with. I haven’t worn it yet, and I wish it were a tiny bit longer, but just in case you’re looking for a cheaper option.

    • Hive Mind :

      Maybe overthinking/obsessing just a tidge?

  17. Fey and sudden :

    Avid, although recent, reader here.
    I need shopping advice!
    So I’ve been working at my first “big-girl” corporate, although not law job, for about 6 months. I’ve gotten my work wardrobe under control, and now, I’m trying to get casual grownup clothes too.
    So, its fall, and I’ve fallen in love with boots. Brown, leather, riding boots to be exact.
    The climate I’m in, I’d get a lot of wear out of them. I’m flexible on buckles/zippers/etc, and I have pretty narrow calves, so I don’t need a wide fit.
    But my budget is…well, befitting a girl becoming an adult. I’m hoping to stay under 180 for a pair
    1. Any suggestions?
    2. Should I go for fake leather, and wait a few years to buy a really good pair?

    • Cornellian :

      I got an awesome pair of brown riding boots at saks off fifth as a grad student. Still about 200, but originally much more. I think I would probably insist on leather if you’re okay with it ethically, and be willing to wait a bit/search at outlets instead.

    • I have three (slightly ashamed face – but hey! When you find something that works…) pair of Steve Madden riding boots. They have changed the name of the style every year, and this year I believe it is called “Rovvee”. I bought the first pair (light brown) over two years ago and they are still going strong. I got the black pair for Christmas 2010 and love them as well. I just bought the stone colored pair a few months ago and haven’t been able to wear them much, due to sweltering temperatures, but I love them just as much. They have them in stock at Zapp0s right now. I love that they zip up the back. (I have a big foot and a high arch, which gives me trouble getting my foot into a boot that doesn’t have a zipper). I also like that it has a slight crinkle where the shaft of the boot meets the foot. I think it’s flattering. I would recommend trying any of their riding boots. All of mine are real leather. I recommend that you try to get a pair that are real leather (if you go with Steve Madden) because a friend of mine had a pair of Steve Maddens that were almost identical to my black pair, but were synthetic leather and they just wore out really quickly. Check multiple sites for different styles – Zapp0s seems to have some that the Steve Madden site doesn’t have and I am sure the department stores have a range of them as well. Happy shopping!

    • Check out the Corso Como Samual boot at Nordies – not sure if they’re the shade of brown you had in mind, but they’re on sale, in your price range, and have good reviews.

    • I recommend against faux leather because a boot covers a lot of surface and if the material does not breathe, you’ll sweat and be uncomfortable.
      Stalk boots in your size on discount websites, like 6pm. You can search by type (riding) as well as material (leather or suede).
      I’ve just seen fabulous burgundy Frye riding boots there for a little above $200. Search for Dorado model.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      It is really silly to spend $100 on fake leather boots that will only last you one season (really, one time you have to walk in snow and salt…) rather than a $200 pair of real leather that will last you ten. Don’t forget to invest in a waterproofer and a good conditioner.

      The Willow Riding Boot from BR are really classic, maybe you can find a coupon code ($198):

      Also Etienne Aigner makes some lovely riding boots (I might have just bought the black/cordovan this weekend) and in genuine leather. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/etienne-aigner-shoes-chip-tall-riding-boots?ID=716475&CategoryID=25122&LinkType=#fn=BRAND%3DEtienne Aigner%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D10%26ruleId%3D68%26slotId%3D5

      Happy shopping!

    • I think you could find an awesome leather pair in your price range. I think the key is to buy more expensive things on sale, as opposed to lesser quality things at full price. Check store like Nordstrom Rack, etc., websites like 6pm dot com and sales sections. If you’re in NYC, get yourself to a Daffy’s ASAP – they are sadly going out of business but I have always found fantastic leather boots, made in Italy, there for around $100 or so. I have a pair from 3 years ago that have taken a beating and still look amazing.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Re-posting from moderation…

      It is really silly to spend $100 on fake leather boots that will only last you one season (really, one time you have to walk in snow and salt…) rather than a $200 pair of real leather that will last you ten. Don’t forget to invest in a waterproofer and a good conditioner.

      The Willow Riding Boot from BR are really classic, maybe you can find a coupon code ($198). Also Etienne Aigner makes some lovely riding boots (I might have just bought the
      black/cordovan this weekend) and in genuine leather. Will post links.

      • 2/3 attorney :


        http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/etienne-aigner-shoes-chip-tall-riding-boots?ID=716475&CategoryID=25122&LinkType=#fn=BRAND%3DEtienne Aigner%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D10%26ruleId%3D68%26slotId%3D5

      • BR frequently emails out coupon codes for 40% off one full priced item on Wednesdays.

    • You can probably find decent leather boots for under $180. I was at TJMaxx this weekend and they had a surprisingly good selection – lots of Frye’s.

    • kerrycontrary :

      Clarks! I got 2 pairs of riding boots there last year, both around the 180 mark. Real leather, so comfortable, will last forever. I also got waterproof stay and am going to buy leather conditioner this fall.

      • Word to your mother! :

        I second Clarks! Clarks boots are so comfy (I live in a city and walk everywhere – I can wear Clarks all day without foot pain!), great quality (all their leather and suede is top notch) and their return policy is off the chain! I wore a pair of Clarks riding boots non-stop for about a year when the zipper jammed. I was broken hearted because I LOVE THESE BOOTS. Fortunately for me, they had one pair left at an outlet somewhere across the country and they replaced them for me, no questions asked. Shipped for free too!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I also came across these on Capitol Hill Style, and they look pretty nice: Ciao Bella Tad Boot, $119-159:


  18. I have an embarrassing question – and although there’s no exact answer, I’d like to know what the hive thinks.

    My husband and I just decided to get off birth control. We’re not “trying” trying, but we’d want it to happen when it happens. The problem is I’m 200 lbs (most of which is what I’ve put on in the recent past). Is it a good idea to go ahead with the idea of being open to getting pregnant now? I’m not doing anything really to lose weight as of now but the ideal way for me would be to lose atleast 30 lbs (which may take a long time) and then try for one. And oh, I’m going to be 30 end of this year.

    Any advise?

    • Do you have other health concerns besides your weight? I think it isn’t a bad idea to schedule a checkup with your PCP or OBGYN to discuss what impact your weight can have on your pregnancy and how much weight you should gain. Also, it may take a while to lose the baby weight, even if you don’t gain much. Another suggestion is to start living the lifestyle you want to live while pregnant. Eat healthy, get some regular exercise, get enough sleep. All good habits that can have a positive impact on your health. You may get pregnant right away, it may take some time, but you can still start down the path you want to continue.

    • Well, a few thoughts:

      How tall are you? 200 lbs at 5 ft vs. 5-10 is very different.

      For most people, being pregnant is not the same as “sick” or unwell. Barring medical concerns (I am not a doctor), and depending on your weight/BMI, you can lose weight while pregnant, if that is your desire. I have a very good friend who was rather plump and on a strict weight loss regime (think Duke university program, lost 100+ lbs) when she was pregnant. Pregnant women only need about 300 extra calories a day for the baby, so most doctors recommend that a healthy/average weight for height woman gain 40 lbs, tops, when pregnant. If you are overweight, you can be on a weight loss regime while pregnant, its just going to be slow.

      FWIW, I’m 5-11 and I gained 40 lbs when pregnant (yes, I topped the 200 mark).

      • Is it me or has the recommended gain for an avg weight woman higher now than it used to be?

        I’m in my mid-30s and my mother and all of my age-peers’ mothers were told to gain less than that. They were told 15-20lbs. All were normal/average weight for their respective heights.

        • Not a doctor, but read something about in the NY Times by Jane Brody.
          It has gotten larger. With the lower suggestion a lot of babies were coming out underweight. Naturally, there are risks to gaining too much. My overall impression is that there is some sweet spot of weight gain that doctors have some idea about, but aren’t totally sure (to be fair, you can’t really do a randomized trial on it).

        • Depends on where you start. If you’re underweight to start with, the doctor may want to see you gain a bit more than that. I’ve been told 40lbs or better for me. But I’ve also had friends who lost weight overall while pregnant, with their doctors’ blessings. It’s probably like the BMI guidelines–can’t fit every body type in a box.

        • I gained 40 with one of mine and I was positively gigantic. I thought 30 was supposed to be the target. (whatever the target, I gained too much and am still paying for it 2 years later).

          OP, if you just focus on a healthy lifestyle you may find that you lose weight and provide a better place for a baby to grow at the same time. I would recommend the Mediterranean diet. Good fats, healthy foods, great for pregnancy. I’m currently reading the Mediterranean Prescription and have already lost 7 lbs while eating great food and not being hungry.

          • “just focus on a healthy lifestyle”. By the way, I did not mean for that to sound flippant or condescending! Easier said than done, I appreciate. Weight is very slow to come off for me, so I’m sensitive to that. What I meant was not necessarily going on a “weight loss” diet but instead focusing on good food choices that are great for pregnancy – good fats (olive oil, avocado), lean protein, lots of vegetables., whole grains.

        • When I was pg with my boys (ages 12 to 7) I think the guideline was 20-30 lbs, but my drs never worried too much about my weight gain, and I gained at least 35 lbs with each of my boys. I’m personally of the belief that if you are eating relatively healthy & listening to your body you will gain the right amount of weight for you & your baby. And I wasn’t one that easily lost weight while nursing like some do. It took some work to get the rest of the weight off, which I did once ds#3 was about 2.

    • I was overweight when I got pregnant. I’m the kind who gets massively sick for 3 months, so it really meant that I had plenty to spare when I started losing (not gaining) weight as I got pregnant.

      I also started eating better when I got pregnant and that helped with my weight some.

      Actually, we radically changed our diet last Thanksgiving and both my husband and I lost 20 pounds in just a couple of months. The biggest thing for us was becoming much more low carb and eating more vegetables. Portion control was pretty big, too.

    • I would try to lose some weight. You are young enough that you can take 6 months or a year and still have time to try for a baby. I only say this because I was slightly overweight with my last baby and ended up with gestational diabetes, which I did not have with my first two when I was at a healthy weight. But definitely talk to your doctor first!

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I have a ton of advice on this subject. When my hubby and I went off BC, I was about 50 pounds overweight (Size 16/18). My doc said that it would be easier to conceive if I lost a little, but I didn’t do much to try that hard.

      And I have to say, that I wish I had begun an exercise and strength training regimen before becoming pregnant. Pregnancy is really hard on one’s body. I have had a lot of really severe pelvic pain (google SPD and you can find out what I am talking about), and it makes it difficult to even go for a walk a half hour a day. Factors that cause this type of pain are the “relaxin” hormone produced from pregnancy, combined with my age (40), weight and previous semi-sedentary lifestyle.

      If you weigh 200 but are active, I don’t see an issue, but be aware that getting into good shape can only help you during your pregnancy. It isn’t the pounds, but the conditioning that’s important in my opinion.

    • Dude. I weigh a lot more than you do, and was totally fine in pregnancy. My doctor was cool with it, I kept my weight gain to a real minimum during the pregnancy (in part because of morning sickness), I didn’t have gestational diabetes, and I felt physically strong and good (other than the nausea) throughout. Sure, it’s a great idea to get “healthy” pre-pregnancy. But don’t let it stop you from living your life. Eat good food, get some exercise, lift weights, get rest, but don’t let a number on a scale stop you from getting pregnant.

    • Never been pregnant and not a doctor, but what I’ve picked up from my friend who’s TTC is that if you do become pregnant, it’s generally not advised to increase your activity levels beyond your pre-pregnancy levels during pregnancy. Which means that, until you become pregnant, it might be a good idea to step up the intensity of your workouts (if the goal is to workout); after you become pregnant, you’ll want to check with your doctor as to whether you can keep exercising at the level you were pre-pregnancy.

      And I don’t think you have any reason to be embarrassed to ask questions about health and weight during pregnancy.

  19. Hey ladies (especially new moms or moms to be)

    I’m trying to put together a little congrats on getting prego gift bag for my sister.

    What are some things you got when you were newly pregnant, or wish you got when you were newly pregnant?

    Also, what do I get for BIL? I want to get him something too, because I know they have been wanting this for so long.


    • downstream :

      No advice, but that sounds very sweet of you.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      A belly band in black! The first issue one has is that your pants don’t zip, and that belly band really helps you keep wearing your regular clothes. They are just a stretchy tube of fabric, but I loved mine.

      If she is in the first trimester, she would probably appreciate a couple carry out food gift certificates. That fatigue can be killer, and being able to order in instead of cooking (for both her and BIL) would be nice.

      Also, get her a subscription to Fit Pregnancy or Kiwi. It is nice to have some magazines that touch on the experience around to browse through on those “I can’t get off the couch” kind of days.

    • Polly Purebred :

      A belly band, a large maternity pillow (although it won’t fit neatly inside a gift bag), Tums or Zantac, a gift certificate for a massage or pedicure, nice unscented lotion, and maybe a pair of earrings or lip gloss.

    • She’ll probably want to pick out her own baby book, but there are books that parents and grandparents fill out to preserve their memories for future kiddos. It’d keep her mind busy before she can really nest.

      Such as…

      I also appreciate pedicures the most during pregnancy, so maybe a giftcard to a fancypants salon she’d otherwise not go to on her own.

    • Cigars were a popular shower/new baby gift among the male attorneys at one of my former employers. Not sure if your BIL would be into that or not.

    • Jolly ranchers hard candies. Sounds weird, but these are AWESOME for morning sickness. Seriously the only time I didn’t feel slightly sick for pretty much my whole last pg was when I had one in my mouth. Peppermint gum also helps with morning sickness.

  20. Not quite the same, but I was browsing Talb*ts’ new items this morning and they have a similar dress:

  21. shopping TJ: I recently lost some weight because of a medical condition and, not knowing how long this weight would last, bought only two pairs of work pants, a couple of skirts, and one pair of jeans in my new size. Have now been at this weight for six months or so and starting to itch for a little variety in my wardrobe — but also planning to try to start a family in the next few months now that said medical condition is cleared up. How many pair of pants would you buy, in this situation? (Work and non-work.) Budget’s pretty limited.

    • Can you invest in some dresses instead? Some A-line dresses that fit you at your new weight should also get you through the first few months of the baby bump.

    • I think maybe one extra pair of work and fun pants, and you’re probably set. If you’re bored, get some accessories that can perk up your wardrobe and fit even with your changing shape.

    • Maybe a couple of pencil skirts with some stretch? I have some that look good even when my size fluctuates a bit based on the fabric content. Usually 3-4% spandex does the trick.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I agree with the pencil skirts suggestion. Buy skirts with waistbands that fit at your hips and are a decent length at your current lower weight. They will fit at at your natural waist (and be a little shorter as a result) as you gain weight. I have fluctuated between two sizes over the last few years. I have to switch between pant sizes but my skirts always fit.

  22. I think I know the answer to this but I am going to ask anyway..

    I have been working in a new field (marketing) for a little over a year. I have always felt indifferent toward my job and no real excitement around it. I thought maybe that was because it is entry level and if I move up into more exciting roles with more responsibility I’ll enjoy it more. The trouble is when I look at other managers in my company or browse other marketing roles out there, even the ‘brass rubg’ type jobs I just don’t get excited. It just sounds like a job to me. I get exciting about working in a large, or global, organization and working on different projects and leading a team but not necessarily the marketing aspect of that.

    Does this mean this isn’t the right career path for me or am I considering the wrong things? The things I mentioned I like above seem so broad that it is hard for me to narrow down specifically what I would like so I feel as if I should just stay where I’m at until I figure this out.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      IMO I think if you can’t look up in your field and see a job you want, that excites you, that you are enthusiastic about and that you want to work toward, you are in the wrong field.

      That’s not to say you should either be in that job now, or should see those jobs with rose colored glasses. You can know that a job will have some terrible aspects, but also know the work excites you and interests you.

      There are a LOT of roles that involve “working on different projects and leading a team.” In fact, basically every upper level role at most companies is based on this. You can certainly do this in marketing of course, but if you don’t like marketing (essentially sculpting the message of a product or service) then it’s silly to continue on this path, especially considering the longer you work in marketing, the more pigeon-holed you’ll be into marketing related jobs.

      If you are working now, I would try and schedule some informational interviews/conversation with people higher up in your company in a variety of different roles. Try and focus on the parts of your job you do like, and try and identify the parts of other people’s jobs that look appealing. Reach out to career services at your undergraduate or graduate school to see if they have access to any career aptitude or career coaching services you can use as an alum. Etc.

      Also, just a note that I think people that have broader interests than one specific focus (like marketing or PR or accounting) often do really well in startup type environments, where your projects are not straightly defined as “this is a marketing task.” But YMMV.

    • That should say “brass ring”!

    • It might not be the marketing itself but the stuff you market. Is there anything you’re passionate about, like the environment, women’s health, or hey, why not fashion? Would you get excited about marketing that?

    • I have thought about this and although I find marketing as a subject interesting (my BA is in it!), at the end of the day I feel like I am just selling “stuff”. No matter what the product is to me it feels like I am just getting people to buy things they don’t really want or really need.  It doesn’t seem substantive or intellectual enough. Or it doesn’t seem to make the world a better place even in a tiny little way. Now I am sure people can make arguments to refute these two points but this is honestly deep down how I feel. Marketing feels shallow to me. When I think about the things I like about my job it feels as if I am trying to convince of why I should like it. The reasons I come up with usually have to do with security, flexibility….

      This is just my feeling I am not saying this to knock anyone else who has a career in marketing but I don’t feel proud to tell people what I do when they ask. I suppose that is my ego but I would also guess that is a clue to how I really feel about my job. Shouldn’t you feel proud to say what you do for a living, especially if you are fortunate enough to be able to choose?

      Has anyone else been here?

      • Marketing anon :

        What about marketing/PR for a nonprofit, a government agency or higher ed? I feel the same way you do about traditional marketing, but I get a great deal of satisfaction from my job in higher ed, and before that, for a state agency. Even when the daily grind gets me down, I generally feel like what I’m doing has a higher purpose.

      • I have felt this way, in my industry and my role. Sometimes a job is just a job. . . no pride required.

        • That is how I feel now I am tired of it. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life feeling like this.

      • Another marketing anon :

        I feel exactly the same way as you and the OP. I just cannot. get. excited. about moving up in the field, doing my boss’ job someday, you name it. I’ve worked in marketing for different industries, and have felt the same way.

        So yes – definitely been there (and still there). I’ve been putting off the “what do I ACTUALLY want to be when I grow up” process, because it seems so daunting after spending years in college, grad school, and working in marketing, which now feel like kind of a waste.

  23. Calling all Road Warriors :

    Hi Ladies,

    I need advice. I’m going to be assigned to a field office for 1-2 months; this will include office work and field work. While I’ve got most of my “work” outfits down, I’m looking for tips that you wish you knew when you were a newbie. For example, this morning it occurred to me I’m probably going to need to bring a jacket since it will be Oct on the east coast when I’m out. Or an umbrella. I’ll be staying in an extended stay hotel, but will have coin laundry (do I bring my own detergent?) I’m going to be working 12-15 hours days (yay exhaustion!) so tips for surviving while away from home are greatly appreciated. For example, contemplating signing up for Nutrisystem just so I don’t have to cook (or bringing the crock pot and hitting a Costco). The longest I’ve been out before is 4 days, so I’m way in over my head, plus sad about missing my SO and my kitty- (is it crazy to skype a cat?).

    Thanks in advance! L

    • Hey, I haven’t done this a lot, but when I stayed at an extended stay hotel during training, I did go grocery shopping and kept food handy for breakfast and I bought mostly microwaveable frozen meals for dinners (like Amy’s or something a bit more healthy). You could see if there’s a Whole Foods nearby to buy some nice prepared foods, but where I was, even Target had a good selection. The place where I stayed had DVDs you could check out, which was nice. I did a lot of knitting and watched a lot of baseball in my off time. I found a local yarn store with a manicure place next door. That did wonders for my psyche! And no, it’s not crazy to Skype a cat. My cat is regularly featured in videochats with my SO (we use gmail). He loves it.

      • Thanks NOLA! I rarely have time at home to get my nails done, so that’s a good one to go on the list. Maybe some yoga too and I can do that in my room (and hopefully not hurt myself!)

    • If there is a laundromat or dry cleaners nearby that offers wash-and-fold laundry service, I’d highly recommend you indulge — the cost isn’t that much compared to the time you’ll save. Definitely bring a jacket, umbrella and maybe boots, depending on where you’ll be located. Nutrisystem and similar programs are convenient, and you might even lose some weight in the process (if that’s a goal or benefit for you), but I’ve tried a couple of these programs and I don’t think you can live on that alone for two months. The crockpot and Costco idea might be better, and maybe you’ll be lucky and find some good local take-out places.

      • Oooh, plus it could be a little treat since I hate doing laundry. I like that plan, the best so far :).

        I was thinking of doing Nutrisystem, plus some real food (fresh fruits and veggies) and maybe supplementing with cooking on my days off (if those actually happen). Do you think that would maybe be more practical? I just want to try to stay away from the easy, but terrible fast food/pizza options, which is my default when I’m exhausted/lazy.

    • Whole Foods is my savior. Depending on where you’re stationed, you might be able to find one of those meal delivery services that is like Nutrisystem but delivers better and fresher food every morning.

      • I second this. Nutrisystem food is just not that good. After about two weeks, it all starts to taste the same.

    • Hey, just wanted to say I’ve Skyped my cat before.

      No shame.

    • I have totally Skyped a cat before. I don’t think the cat noticed, but whatever. :)

      Do you get a per diem or just accommodations? I get a per diem when I travel, and I basically order takeout every night in the hotel because I’d rather use my limited free time to work out or read than to cook or go out to eat. I also usually find a coworker who will let me do laundry at her house for free, although ymmv depending on the vibe of your workplace. You probably do need your own detergent and other things, but you can always go to the store and get it. For a trip that long, don’t worry about bringing everything you need with you. Bring enough stuff to get you through 2 weeks and plan on going to the store.

    • I wouldn’t stress too much about thinking of everything possible to bring before you go. You’ll always forget something, and you’ll be able to buy detergent and an umbrella if needed. What helps the most for long trips for me is to try to find ways to make the time apart from my SO and my home seem more positive — for example, my SO makes fun of me when I do face masks at home so I bring a bunch of face masks to do in the hotel, I don’t have TV at home so I take pleasure in catching up on some TV shows while traveling, I order types of food that my SO doesn’t eat and I wouldn’t normally make at home, etc. Doing that kind of stuff makes it feel a bit more like travel is a perk and not a punishment.

    • I’d totally Skype with my dog if I were on travel for that long.

    • Was out three months on an internship when I had only been out for less than two weeks before. During the workdays I ate a solid lunch and only made breakfast and some evening sandwiches in the apartment, and always had fresh fruit around. The kitchen I had was not very well equipped, no oven and a tiny cooler with a mini mini freezer compartment for instance, so I was kind of limited in my cooking, but for a few months it was bearable. I wish I had brought spices, sugar, salt, and a decent kitchen knife.

      One dorky thing I did to make me feel at home was following the local news on TV and the Internet. Also, I actually bought a house plant and burnt scented candles to make the room feel less drab. Unless you are going to Sticksville there are bound to be some interesting sights and museums you can visit on the weekends. It can be nice to explore a city at a leisurely pace.

      And if it makes you happy, Skype the cat. No shame! It helps a lot to stay in touch with the loved ones regularly.

      • These are great ideas, especially the kitchen stuff. I’m going to investigate what sort of kitchen supplies the different hotels have.

    • What does work pay for? I do a LOT of traveling, and my company picks up the laundry service tab for anything over 4 days. Many extended stay hotels will do your grocery shopping for you, which I love. One can only eat so much take out. I’d add Trader Joes in the mix in terms of grab-and-heat meals, if you have one in your area (they’re common on the east coast).

      I am also much better about going to the gym when I’m on the road, so you may want to bring gym clothes.

      • I will have to try to find one that does grocery shopping. That sounds AMAZING and something I never thought of. Thanks!

    • Calling all Road Warriors :

      These are great ideas, keep them coming! Thanks for making me not feel like a crazy animal lady for wanting to video conference in the cat :).

      I guess I’m worried about it mostly because I’m going to be coming from DC where I can walk to Nordstrom, to (likely) a more rural part of the country where the closest Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s is at least 40 minutes away. I guess I can always have the SO ship stuff to me if I’ve forgot something and you’re right I can run out to Target if I forget something. I’m just completely overwhelmed and am a bit annoyed bc I’m not sure when I leave, but I won’t have much notice and will have to report to work the day after my departure.

      • I’m just going to be the tiniest bit nitpicky and point out that if there is a Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s within an hour’s drive, you are more likely Less Urban, rather than More Rural, if that distinction makes sense.

        Rural (at least to me) indicates that you have an hour drive to the next town. Or interstate exit. But that’s a Midwest/East Coast difference in perspective, I expect.

        • Word. 40 minutes might be inconvenient, but it’s probably not “rural.”

        • I don’t know. I work in a town of 16,000 in the mid-west and it feels rural (although there are certainly places around here that are more rural than this). The turn off the interstate is by corn fields. The places to eat in town are fast food or diners. Some local restaurants are cash-only. There’s a WalMart, but no Target. If I can’t grab it at Walgreens, CVS, or the post office, then I assume any errands I have will have to be done after I get back to the city, not during lunch here.

          Still, it’s only 30 miles from my house in a large (for this state, anyway) city. And, the interstate is 75 mph and the traffic is opposite, so getting to/from work is no problem.

          • I think it does come down to perspective. I lived in a town of 5000 (and went to ugrad in a different town of 5000 as well), so that’s set my bar of rural rather high (or low, as the case may be). And they had Pamida’s, which ranks even lower than Kmart on the Target-Walmart-Kmart-Pamida scale…

      • By the way, my extended stay was in Huntsville, Ala., in which Target was the best option.

  24. TJ- I’m going to a wedding in Seattle in a few weeks. It’s a 5pm ceremony, and invite specified “business” attire — less formal than semi-formal. I want to wear a black Calvin Klein cocktail dress I have, bc it’s easier than trying to find something new. The dress is a sort of satin material, so it’s a bit shiny; knee length, sleeveless (with broad straps). Can I wear this? Since it might be cool, I thought I could de-formalize the dress by pairing it with a printed wool pashmina. Any ideas on what would look good? Maybe a black and white paisley? Do I need some color for Seattle? (I’m from the east coast and hate color, because I’m bad at it. But I will do as I’m told here.)

    • I live in Seattle but I’ve previously lived in two cities on the east coast. your cocktail dress sounds perfect. i’ve never been to a wedding specifically labeled “business” attire before, but here in Seattle, you will see a wide range of attire at a wedding, from little black dresses to summer dresses, crazy prints, to sweater and pants. Seriously, I would just wear something comfortable and bring along a sweater or jacket in case of rain. It just never gets that here ever.

    • eastbaybanker :

      That seems like an odd dress code for a wedding! To literally call it business attire doesn’t seem very festive to me.

      I think you can pull off the shiny dress material, even though the event is less formal. I would wear a small day bag, rather than an evening clutch, and go for some basic pumps or peep toes instead of evening shoes that are metallic or embellished. A pashmina is fine, but a cardigan would also work over the dress. I would let the dress material be the statement part of the outfit, and keep everything else simple.

    • Anonymous :

      Doesn’t “business attire” in Seattle mean polos/chamray shirts and beat-up khakis? Preferably with some kind of sport sandal.

  25. Constance Justice :

    Due to recent events at my firm, I am seriously considering going solo. Anyone have any resources they recommend for either considering or starting one’s own law firm? I’m in a niche field, but I think I can pull it off.

    • I have myshingle dot com bookmarked, but I haven’t looked around that much yet.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Check out the aba listserve solosez. You’ll get a TON of emails on it so I suggest creating a new email account for it, but there are some really good resources mentioned and lots of people ask questions that I would have never even thought to ask. There is also a lot of nonsense, but overall I think it’s worth looking at. .

      Depending on your state, there may be a CLe course on going solo. I went to one in NYC that I found helpful, if only for the confirmation that I was on the right track with things I’d been thinking about before the CLE.

      The other main resource is Jay Foonberg’s book called How to Start and Build a Law Practice. The writer of myshingle also wrote a book that is supposed to be helpful. I haven’t read either one of these yet myself though.

    • Constance Justice :

      Thanks for the advice!

  26. dumb question :

    I should just permanently change my handle to dumb question, because I’ve got a lot of them. I have never used an RSS reader, but now I want to download one to my iphone for my kids’ school class websites. Any recs for a good RSS reader on iphone? Thanks in advance!

    • Jacqueline :

      I like G Whizz for Google (docs, reader, etc.) on the iPhone.

    • Try Feedly. It’s pretty to look at, which is obviously the most important thing :)

    • I do not recommend Google Reader – I consistently found the format to be a total pain in the neck and deleted the app.

      • Really? May I ask why?

        I’ve had Google Reader on three different (Android) phones and my Kindle Fire with no issues. Not to say that my experiences are not isolated occurrences.

        • I can’t speak for Bluejay, but I don’t find Google Reader very well-suited to the iPhone (this is probably because Apple and Google are increasingly at odds with each other). Feedly works well on iPhone/iPad and syncs with Google Reader, if that’s a concern. You may also be able to do the same with Flipboard.

        • I couldn’t scroll through posts but had to pick one at a time, it didn’t mark things as read until I restarted the app, and it was just generally unwieldy. But maybe they’ve improved it since I stopped using it.

  27. Jane Fairfax :

    Styling help needed! I bought the Halogen tipped sweater blazer cardigan in mustard and the at the Nordstrom Anniversery sale and I can’t figure out what to wear it with. They have it styled with a black t-shirt and jeans, but would it work with other colors? Also, what sort of neckline would work for a top to wear under it? I got dressed in a hurry this morning and I have to say that my ensemble of sweater blazer, white v-neck t-shirt and brown dress pants looks pretty bad. I wish they made Garanimals for adults.

    • I would probably wear a square or scoop neckline with it, or a button down shirt.
      In terms of colors, black obviously works, but you could do dark green, burgundy, plum, grey, or even navy. E.g., dark grey top a cranberry pencil skirt and grey tights with brown shoes could look really cute. I would avoid too much brown and white (sorry!) … I think it would also look really nice with a pattern in these tones as opposed to just solids. It’s a very cute cardigan.

    • Yay for Garanimals! Grey, black or navy would all look great with that sweater.

    • Jane Fairfax :

      I knew that you’d have great advice! I’ve made big strides in the fashion/professional dress department since I started regularly visiting this site, but this sweater/blazer has had me stumped. My next try at putting together an outfit with the sweater will be much more successful thanks to your suggestions.
      Aside from my fashion fail today, I really like the sweater. It is soft, a nice weight (thin but not too thin) and seems to be well made. If I was more confident in my ability to put together an outfit, I’d buy the purple/pink version as well.

      • I bought the purple/pink and love it! Couldn’t pull off the mustard with my complexion (super fair).

    • hellskitchen :

      I love that jacket – wish I had bought it during NAS. I like all of AIMS suggestions above. If I were wearing it with skirts or dresses, I would go for colors like deep magenta (like a dark cranberry), olive green, or off white. I think it’s easier to pair this with dresses because then you are just mixing two colors as opposed to three. But if I had to wear this with pants or skirts, I’d do black pants/skirt + coral top or gray pants/skirt + white top OR a red top. I think mustard looks divine with strong warmer shades like coral or crimson or deep red.

  28. 2/3 attorney :

    Dunno if anyone is still on this thread, but… have you guys seen this new The Skirt in Ponte? Have we seen this before? I am loving the “gold shine” (mustard) and houndstooth. Anyone tried it/have it?

    PS – still don’t understand what ponte means, pretty sure I never will.


    • Senior Attorney :

      Back in the day, we called ponte “double knit.”

    • Anonymous :

      Ponte is a thicker, medium weight knit fabric. The thickness is similar to if you combined two layers of a traditional cotton tshirt fabric.

    • Ponte is effectively a euphemism for “cheap fabric made from polyester, rayon, or some other synthetic.”

  29. Honey Pillows :

    For everyone obsessed with J.Crew’s cashmere polka dot sweater but unwilling to shell out $268 for a sweater you might not wear next year, apparently Old Navy brick and mortar stores have a cotton facsimile for $25.

    Link to follow to avoid mod.

    Why yes, I AM going shopping after work today!

    • Honey Pillows :


    • Honey Pillows :

      I’m feeling the camel and black one. I think the white and black is just a leeeettle too 101 Dalmatians.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Awesome, thank you!! Agree on tan & black. With a black trench? I think yes.

    • Good luck – polka dots are sold out online :(
      There is always Tippi in polka dot @$89.

      • Here are a few I found… And Honey Pillows, thanks for sharing my article. If I find more I will be sure to post. Check out my blog if you like my style. www.thesuburbandiary.com

      • Honey Pillows :

        I think all but one of the colors were store-only to begin with, so here’s hoping!

  30. Anonforthis :

    Anyone see this article in Slate (link to follow)? Thoughts? I currently am the only breadwinner in our house and have been for two years. My husband is starting a company and doesn’t yet pull a paycheck (this is for the last eight months — before that he was doing other, non-income generating work). I also do some work for his company so I work more than full time. I still wind up with all the cleaning, about 90% of the cooking (anything not cooked on the grill), and more than half of the general household running (e.g., grocery shopping, gift buying, communicating with family, locking the doors at night, turning down the thermostat for the day). I never thought I’d be in this position because I always thought that I’d just talk this out with my spouse and we’d neatly divide the work down the middle. But I think because he doesn’t earn a paycheck, my husband has dug his heels in even more on not feeling like “a 50’s housewife” (his term), which means he is completely unwilling to push a vacuum, for example, and also is completely unwilling to let me mow the lawn or do “guy” work around the house. (The solution of “don’t do it and he’ll do it eventually” is a non-starter. As a bachelor he literally never cleaned his apartment. Never. Yes, it was as gross as it sounds.) I have yet to find a way to broach this subject (the uneven housework) with him that doesn’t erupt into a gigantic fight. Mostly I’m just holding on until he starts making money and we can hire a housekeeper. Just wondering if others are dealing with similar issues. (Never felt like I was being hunted for my earning potential though. Wonder if that is less common in some areas?)

    • Anonforthis :


    • a bit bitterly... :

      I am in nearly the same position that you are in, except I can honestly say that we are *barely* making it on my income alone, so the stress is pretty high for me. H is working hard to get his business going and I am trying my best to be supportive, but my ability to be a good cheerleader is waning with the winter getting closer (his business has a major seasonal aspect) and with every day that I feel like I put in my full time at the office, go to the grocery store, get home, and try to chug a glass of wine while making dinner for the two of us. Then, I clean it up, start laundry, take care of the pups, and realize that I haven’t even had time to change out of my work clothes. I 100% feel you on the uneven duties. H and I had a huge argument about it about a month ago. It was awful. The problem seems to be that he doesn’t mind living in a general state of piggishness and genuinely does not SEE that the house needs to be cleaned before, say, HIS parents come to visit us. Granted, his parents’ house isn’t a shining example of cleanliness, so that might be part of the problem. I am still unsure of how to tackle this problem without being a nag or bottling it up until I go ballistic. At first, when he started his own business, he was really good about offering to help me out. He would go to the grocery store and he would even cook. That lasted about a month. Now, I feel like he has the time (just sort of randomly during the day) to be helping out, but he just doesn’t. I don’t have any advice. I’m just going through the same thing :( We talked about starting TTC next month, but I am going to hold off until things equal out a bit. I cannot imagine adding child-rearing duties to the list that I already have.

      • Do you think you could divide up a few of the chores? Like you cook and he cleans the dishes. Always (well, of course, there are exceptions). But that’s the general way y’all do it. And he takes care of the dogs while you do the laundry. Maybe if you just start with only dividing those tasks, and get into the habit of keeping them divided, you can divy up other tasks later on.

        FWIW, I cook and DH cleans the dishes. It works quite well for us. (I often leave dishes from meals he doesn’t even eat. But he still does them!)

      • Bitter, I completely understand and am in a similar position (except that we do have a young child). It’s really hard. When we TTC, I had a full-time job at a specialty law firm and worked a lot of hours. DH had a part-time teaching job. He made really good money for a part-time job, and we were lucky in that we could afford a housekeeper, etc. I did all of the cooking, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. He would tidy the house from time to time. Baby came, and I still did all of the cooking, grocery shopping and laundy. Baby was breastfed, so I also did all of the nights with baby (he did not sleep through until 7 months). Let me tell you, it was extremely hard, and we had a little extra money to spare.

        I have not taken a job in-house, and DH does not have a job. He stays home full-time with our 2 year old, and I took a pay cut in order to take my fabulous job. I still do all of the cooking, grocery shopping and laundy. We can’t afford a housekeeper anymore. I clean all of the bathrooms and the kitchen. DH tidies and cleans the floors. I have the kiddo 24/7 each weekend so that DH can take a break. I feel like I never get a break, and we can’t really afford for me to hire someone to give me a break. Like you, I am tired of being a cheerleader. I am also tired of hearing about how DH is so “lost” and can’t figure out what he should do with his life. He claims he wants to work full time but does not want to be in an office and does not want to leave our son with anyone full-time. Frankly, it’s maddening, but it is a reality I have to accept.

      • a bit bitterly... :

        Thanks for the replies, as well. It is good to know we are not alone, but at the same time, it makes me a little sad, too. Though, ironically, as soon as I was finished typing my first reply post, my H send me a photo of the biggest check he has gotten from a customer since he started his business. Sigh.
        I try to divide the duties, but the problem is that even when I try to do that, it just doesn’t get done, or admittedly, done up to my standards. I honestly don’t expect him to do most of those things on his own – but it hurts me when I ask him to help me out and he just doesn’t, yet manages to get a infinite amount of bull$hit done during the course of a week.

    • Maybe it does need to be a fight and maybe you need to kick his @ss. He’s being a jerk. He’s being selfish. He’s basically leaving you with an unreasonable amount of work because of his fragile ego.

      Do you want to be his slave forever? He needs a serious “come to Jesus/Buddha/etc” conversation because he’s not acting like a life partner. He’s acting like a sh!tty roommate that you boot out when the lease is up. Don’t tiptoe around him; some conflict is healthy. People with lesser abilities and worse circumstances have done way more and way better than him.

      And my god, can he just be more dismissive of “women’s work”? His 1950’s housewife comment is really offensive, because he considers himself somehow above women, and therefore he should not have to do that work.

      Do you have kids? If not, seriously ask yourself, if he’s being this sh!tty now, think how much worse he’ll be when you do have kids? It’ll be all you, all 500 tasks.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m with Susan in that this inequity should be addressed, even if it means a (constructive) argument. I’ve known a few women who only got results from their husband after a stress-induced meltdown.

      I’m the breadwinner. My husband SAH with the kids, doesn nearly all the cooking, and more than half of the cleaning/laundry. It’s unreasonable that he expects you to do everything.

      A friend had luck getting her husband to pitch in with housework by having him set task reminders on his iphone for the chores they negotiated to be his responsibility. She thought it was silly that he couldn’t just remember to do the dishes before going to bed but was happy that it resolved the issue. He also didn’t “notice” when things needed to be cleaned or done, so he needed a schedule.

      • Research, Not Law :

        When you have the discussion, I would frame it as chore inequity. I would not frame it as him not pulling his weight since he has the time or isn’t bringing in money. Granted, it does sound like he has the time, but the real issue is simply that he’s not pitching in. It should be less sensitive and inflammatory, and it shouldn’t backfire when his business picks up and he “therefore” doesn’t need to help out anymore.

        You may also have more luck if you start by asking him to assume one task. Rather than having a discussion about him not helping, just ask him to feed the dogs in the morning and evening (or whatever). Then slowly add one task.

  31. You sent me lots of love today! Thanks. -Emily

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