Tuesday’s TPS Report: Chloe Printed Dress

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

Tahari ASL "Chloe" Printed DressOooh: I really like this dress. Love the black and white dot print, which, depending on how far away you are, can also look a bit like a snake print or something more abstract. The banded waist with piping is flattering, and the bateau neckline and hem length are both ladylike but professional. I’d keep it fairly neutral for the office, pairing it with nude-for-me pumps and a shrunken blazer (probably black or white, but I could also see a colored blazer working here: royal purple, maybe). It’s $168 at Bloomingdale’s. Tahari ASL “Chloe” Printed Dress

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



  1. Sorry for the immediate threadjack, but does anyone have experience with doing electrolysis for facial hair? I’ve been thinking about doing it, but I’m a little wary. (I also don’t think that laser will work on me, because my hair is relatively light).

    • I did my bikini line about ten years ago, when I was in my early 30s. It is a process that takes many visits, and on some of those visits I asked the aesthetician to zap this one hair on my chin. That never did “take,” so I still tweeze that one hair. My bikini line, though, took, and the results are still good. I still need to wax it, but now the wax job lasts as long as the wax job on my legs instead of only a few days.

    • I did my bikini line about ten years ago, when I was in my early 30s. It is a process that takes many visits, and on some of those visits I asked the aesthetician to zap this one hair on my chin. That never did “take,” so I still tweeze that one hair. My bikini line, though, took, and the results are still good. I still need to wax it, but now the wax job lasts as long as the wax job on my legs instead of only a few days.

      Don’t go to an electrolysis appointment when you have to see anyone for a few hours. My bikini line was always red and bumpy for a few hours afterward.

    • I did it for my dark, fine hair on my lip and chin. Both absolutely worked, but it took longer than some of the materials suggest. It’s hard to say how long it took exactly, but I went once a week for about four months, and then significantly tapered off. At that point, I just went when I needed it (or sometimes a little longer), like maybe once every few months.

    • I have, and it’s not an understatement that it changed my life! I got into a terrible habit in college of tweezing my upper lip and chin hairs, which only made them more coarse and stubborn to remove. At my wit’s end, I went to an electrologist. I have now been going for 2 years. In the beginning, I had to go every week because I had so much hair growth in those areas, and felt very embarrassed to not do anything about them. Now I have very fine (almost nonexistent) growth, and I go about every 4-6 weeks for about 15 minutes tops.

      Here are my thoughts:

      1) If your facial hair is coarse, make sure you find an board certified electrologist who uses the galvanic method (not just the blend method). Galvanic is the best way of getting rid of the more coarse hairs. I had tons of coarse hairs and am amazed at how all of those have went away.

      2) Electrolysis is the only FDA certified way of permanently removing hair (not laser). That’s something to consider.

      3) I did not want to use laser because I heard that people had to shave between treatments, and I was terrified of using a razor on my face. I also have dark hair and dark skin, and heard that laser would not work on me.

      4) The nice thing about electrolysis is that you can cut your hairs between treatments with a pair of scissors, which will make them less noticeable. However, you absolutely cannot use a tweezer, wax, or any other hair removal while using electrolysis, because it will completely defeat the treatments.

      5) It’s a long process (as mentioned, I’m still doing it after 2 years). However, I absolutely think it’s worth it. All of my coarse hairs have gone away entirely, and I have extremely fine/nonexistent hair in the treated areas. Another plus is that my skin in those areas used to be very dark and discolored because of my constant tweezing. That discoloration has completely gone away once I started doing electrolysis.

      6) It’s not cheap, but it’s not obscenely expensive either. Rates vary, but I pay something like $30 for 15 minutes and $50 for 30 minutes. And remember, you won’t need to use tweezers or wax once your treatments are over, so you’ll save money in the long term.

      7) If you live in the DC metro area, go to Soheila at A Gentle Touch. She’s the best in the area.

      I hope this helps. I’m thrilled that it worked so well for me, and I’m happy to answer any other questions you may have. Good luck!!

      • What is the pain like?

        • I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask, because I had been tweezing/waxing that area for so long that I was pretty immune to the pain. It does hurt, but it’s totally bearable. It’s basically a very fine needle going into the area and plucking out the hair. If you’re very averse to pain, you can use a numbing cream and then you won’t feel anything.

          After my treatment, that area is just very slightly red but that color usually goes away in about an hour or so. You can also use an ice cube after the treatment to numb any pain.

        • It’s not bad at all, and definitely worth it. It’s about like tweezing, which can sometimes bring a tear to your eyes but is endurable. The numbing cream helps.

      • Thank you for this info – it’s incredibly helpful. Will you ever be able to stop going? or is the once every 4-6 weeks maintenance something you’ll need to do forever?

        • No problem. I think I was a pretty extreme case, which is probably why it has taken me 2 years to get rid of most of the hairs (not to be TMI, but I had something like 40-50 coarse hairs on my face. :( ) I probably could stop going at this point because my hair is so fine now, but I also like to be hairless so I keep going! I suspect that I’ll stop going entirely or at least maybe go every few months relatively soon. It’s definitely not forever.

    • Anon in NC :

      I have done both electrolysis and laser hair removal – the latter was far more effective for me.

  2. Classof2011 :

    LOVE love love. I just wish that front clasp was silver instead of gold. I tend to stick with neutrals, so this is a fun way to wear black and white. I would wear it with black pumps and a red tote bag.

  3. Kat, I think you should trademark the phrase “Nude-For-Me” it’s very hard to come up with something that P.C.

  4. This dress is quite nice. But where are these cute shrunken blazers? Can you point some my way?

    I’m having a lot of trouble finding blazers that work as separates and that don’t make me look frumpy/older than I am (i’m only 23!) Any suggestions? J crew was where I used to buy a lot of work stuff, but their quality seems to be going down.

    • Classof2011 :

      Try Nordstrom Rack. I just scored a gray Theory jacket…. for $38!! They have a lot of designer blazers that work as separates, and they seem to go on clearance pretty quickly. You can’t beat the quality for the price. Also, to avoid frumpiness, I have found that it’s really all about the cut. I tend to stay away from Talbots and Anne Klein because they look boxy/loose on me.

    • Another Sarah :

      What about Banana Republic? (I think) The quality is a bit less than JCrew, but a bit more fashion-forward than some other places. If you don’t already, you could also make sure the stuff you think makes you look frumpy fits you well. For example, if a blazer is a bit too big around the waist, get it tailored (or have someone pin it so you can see the tailored effect in the mirror) and see if that makes a difference. If you think about it, there’s really not a whole lot of difference between the patterns that JCrew uses and the patterns that BBros uses except one is probably smaller and a bit more form-fitting than the other.

      Don’t forget, there’s a pretty fine line between looking your age + professional and looking so young that no one takes you seriously. :-D

    • I have a few fun ones from BCBG Outlet ($29 each) that are great for summer. As others have pointed out, Nordstrom Rack also has a nice selection. I’ve also gotten several from Loft and Ann Taylor over the years that are a bit more youthful looking.

      • Diana Barry :

        I am wearing a BCBG jacket today that has a neat flower/vine looking print in black/pink on a white background. Very cute! I also got a delicate liberty-ish print jacket last year from J crew for $30 on sale. Boden also has nice jackets that have neat details on them.

    • Theory? It tends to fit petite better than average-sized ladies.

      • Not petite, really, more like thin. Petite = 5’4 and under. I’m petite, and most of Theory’s jackets are way too long for me. I wish they came in petite!

    • Decor Cutie :

      The Limited has some cute ones.

  5. Loveth. Anyone have advice on how Tahari fits? Specifically will it have enough room for my somewhat curvy hips and booty?

    • Legally Brunette :

      Tahari works really well on my pearish/hourglass frame. I can rarely find a sheath dress that isn’t too big in the chest area but fits my hips, but Tahari is the exception. If you have curvy hips, I would definitely check out Tahari.

      • I find Tahari pants are very slim through the hips and thigh, and I had the same issue on one dress of theirs I tried on. the pants work for me but the dress I thought ran small.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Oh really? I didn’t know that. Now, is that for Tahari? Or Elie Tahari? Or some other permutation of Tahari. They all fit so darn differently.

        • Legally Brunette :

          I bought one Tahari ASL sheath dress at Nordstrom that has fit me very well. I’ve had less success with the Elie Tahari line, at least for dresses. I agree with Michelle that Tahari pants tend to fit slim in the hips, but I haven’t noticed that to be the case with Tahari ASL dresses.

        • I think Elie Tahari dresses generally fit my pear/hourglass shape very well – 34B and a 4/6 in J.Crew; I usually take a 4 in Elie Tahari because there is more room for my hips.

          I’ve given up on buying Tahari ASL items, though – they just fall apart. I washed a cotton blend knit sweater (on delicate, no less, and in one of those mesh laundry bags) and it got a big hole right in the middle of the back, not near a seam or anything – I’d only worn it once!

  6. Ooh nice! I am a sucker for dots though…

  7. I remember a few weeks ago we had a post that mentioned “brain candy” and several people were fans of the Sookie Stackhouse/True Blood novels for this purpose, so just a PSA in case people missed it: the new book comes out today. I’m off to go pick mine up now! (the silver lining of unemployment: I can do nothing but read my new brain candy book today and that’s perfectly fine).

  8. Love this! One of my favorite picks ever.

  9. Styling Advice Needed :

    Love this dress!

    I could use some styling advice from the Corporettes. I have a wedding to attend next month (church wedding, garden party reception) and I bought this dress to wear: http://www.bellasugar.com/products/day-dresses/211420476?fl%5B0%5D=b2683

    I don’t think I have any shoes that will go with it, though. I’m thinking about these: http://vip.zappos.com/product/7795289/color/621 – would these be OK or should I look for something different? (These are not quite nude-for-me, if that’s a consideration – nude-for-me would pretty much be pure white!)

    • anonymous :

      Your link to the shoes will work only for people who are Zappos “vip” members. I think the shoes are adorable and should be fine with the dress.

      • Styling Advice Needed :

        Ooops, sorry! Here they are in a regular link: http://www.zappos.com/product/7795289/color/621

        Thanks for your help!

      • Original Lola :

        I think those shoes would look great. The thing about beige/taupe (even if it’s not nude-for-you) is that it’s still a neutral.

        I have a pair of camel-c0lored heels that are even on the orange-ish side. They’re certainly not nude-for-me. (Maybe nude for John Boehner…) But they match everything. You wouldn’t think it, but they work as a neutral.

  10. soulfusion :

    Hi everyone. I just wanted to give a giant THANK YOU and return all of the {{hugs}} I received on the weekend open thread after I shared my diagnosis of breast cancer. Each of your comments was so touching and I wanted to reply to each and every one of you but instead I will just give a collective thank you and tell you that I appreciate all of the well wishes/prayers/thoughts/advice and non-advice. I spent the weekend with dear friends who helped me laugh, fed me, let me sleep as long as I was able and didn’t ask me to make any decisions. We did a little shopping and when I happened upon some pretty scarves I thought of M’s suggestion of cotton scarves and purchased a bright pink floral one and a neutral cream and brown one. I also picked up a couple of fun hats.

    The cancer was caught early so I am stage 2 and my prognosis is excellent and like I said, each of your stories are absolutely inspiring. Specifically, to “A Lawyer”, I don’t live in SLC but my sister also ran that marathon and I ran the 5k and the last mile of the marathon with her. I cheered and cheered for the marathon runners as I waited for my sister so maybe I cheered for your sister too.

    To EC MD, thank you so very, very much for your amazing comment (and the others who chimed in). Wading through all of the medical information waivers between something I can focus my energy on and something terrifyingly overwhelming. So far I am comfortable wtih the doctors I have (and they all work together) but am still exploring where I will actually be treated. One of my very close friends is an oncology pharmacist (in another city) and he has been extremely helpful in helping navigate these choices. So far, my friends and family have been extremely helpful but I absolutely see how this dynamic can change and shift as I move through this process since they are coping with their own feelings as well (especially those who have already been touched by cancer).

    I have been just naturally positive so far but yesterday was pretty bleak. I know I’ll have many ups and downs and since I have had to cope with anxiety issues in the past (cancer doesn’t seem as daunting or isolating as my divorce was . . . yet) I know what to watch out for in myself and will be lining up a counselor to be a part of my treatment team as well since I think I will need someone not emotionally invested in it all to talk with.

    Wow, I didn’t mean to go on and on quite so long but you are all such amazing women to reach out the way you did and I couldn’t let that go unanswered. I will keep coming here for the clothes, the fabulous comments and the company of all of you. Thanks again everyone for being SO amazing! Kat, you have created something beautiful here.

    • Just caught up on the open thread. soulfusion – glad to hear you had a good weekend and that your prognosis is good! Count me as one of many wishing you well. /hug

    • somewherecold :

      You sound really amazing yourself!

    • Soulfusion, I am so glad you had a relaxing weekend. I agree that some days will be harder than others, and I’m glad you have people who love you to bits and who will feed you, let you rest and who will be a soft place for you to fall. And I will bet that if you post on here, “hey, it’s a tough day – help, please,” you’ll be overwhelmed yet again! Please do keep us posted.

    • I speak from experience when I say that this is a great community of women. I’m so glad the weekend was good, and I’m sorry yesterday was tough – ups and downs are probably part of this, unfortunately. Keep us posted, but know that even when you don’t have time to (or feel up to doing so), lots of us are thinking of you!

    • Sounds like you have a good plan, a great support network and have found ways to get yourself through this. Of course, you can always come here and vent!

    • Original Lola :

      Yay! Sending lots of love, too.

    • I missed the weekend thread, but I was sorry to hear of your diagnosis and I wish you the very best. There was some great advice before, which I echo. Take care of yourself!

  11. Anonforthis :

    Threadjack: Hi Ladies, somewhat regular poster but anon for this for obvious reasons. I am up for my annual review at my present job. My anniversary date is not for a couple of weeks but the review is this week, which makes my type A self very nervous because it makes me think that I’m not doing a good job because it is scheduled before my anniversary date.

    However, I think I might be paranoid and this might be a good sign for a couple of reasons. First, any raises/bonuses are based on performance (so earlier review = earlier raise). Second, there was an individual at my level who was hired a couple of months before me; there was no mention of her/his review at his anniversary date so she/he wasn’t eligible for a raise also, she/he is no longer working with me due to performance issues. Also, it appears (to me) that everyone has gone out of their way to tell me not to worry about the review.

    Ladies, am I being super paranoid or do I really have something to worry about? I could use a disinterested opinion here!


    • I think this is very specific to one’s office culture. I say trust the people in your office who’ve told you not to worry.

    • Don’t worry. I have not found it unusual to receive a review before my anniversary date. The reason was often because my boss wanted to give the performance feedback before the raise hit (on my anniversary). As a manager in the past, I gave reviews before the anniversary/pay raise date for the same reasons. I’m in finance though, so YMMV in other industries.

    • It could just be a scheduling issue for whoever is doing the reviews. Most of my team ended up getting their reviews early this year because it worked out better for the team lead, while I am getting mine 2 weeks after because he doesn’t have time right now.

  12. Anyone have a wifi-only ipad? I am thinking of getting one, but wondering if I can get by without the 3G version.

    • I have a wi-fi only I-Pod. Same difference.

      Note that I would NOT get an 3G i-pad until apple has a 4G machine. 3G really is slow. I love my wi-fi, but cannot connect except if I am at a wi-fi hot-spot.

      However, I also have wi-fi at home, so I can use my i-pod at home.

    • I ordered a wifi only iPad over the weekend. I just couldn’t get onboard with have the iPad be an endless money hole – an extra $130 to start, plus recurring monthly charges. I think the 3G option would be useful and convenient for sure, but I already have a smartphone (plus my work Blackberry) which is good enough for email, etc. If I ever decide I can’t live without the internet on the go, there are external wireless hotspots available, and I can even set my Sprint phone up to tether wirelessly for $30/month (unlimited).

    • Honey Bear :

      Everyone I know has a wifi only ipad. Seems pointless to get the 3G as well since most people have smart phones and it’s not like you’re going to walk down the street with your ipad out (or are you…. :))

      • Hah! Well, I used to try to read a book while walking home from school when I was a kid…probably not my smartest moment. :)

    • yup, i have one without 3G. Its nice, i pretty much only use it at home so I knew that I wouldnt need the 3G. When I travel with it, I make sure to pre-load it with books and games to keep me occupied.

      • I have it with 3G. Its been really useful traveling and you don’t have to pay for 3G. It took me months to turn the 3G on and if I thought I wasn’t going to travel awhile, I’d turn it off. If you don’t travel much, its not a big deal. If you do, its really really great and saves a lot on hotel charges for wifi.

    • anonymous :

      I got mine with 3G just so I’d have the option, and I didn’t turn on the 3G until I had to go out of town and wanted to be sure to be able to connect. I was glad I had that option, as that way I could use Google Maps for driving directions and didn’t have to pay for a GPS for the rental car. I should probably turn it off now, until the next time I go away. (I understand that you can turn it on and off at will to minimize the charges.)

      • Original Lola :

        What’s the price difference between wifi only and the 3G one?

        • Honey Bear :

          Also keep in mind if you get 3G, you have to sign up for a monthly plan (I think)

          • Yes…that’s what’s slowing me down. I hate to pay for another monthly data plan with Verizon.

        • It’s $130 extra for the 3G and the most basic monthly plan is $14.99 for 250MB from AT&T up to 10GB for $80 from Verizon. I’d say it’s probably not worth it if you stay mostly at hotels that offer free WiFi or are in WiFi hotspot areas. I do not have a smartphone and can still use pay GPS apps on my cell phone.

    • Diana Barry :

      Husband got wifi-only ipad. He has a tether on his DROID, so the phone acts as a wifi hotspot.

      • I also have a droid and was thinking of doing the same thing! It’s not too much trouble?

    • I’ve got the wi-fi only. Not a huge deal. There’s so many places with free wi-fi now (including the airport). As others said, just load up on the Kindle/library e-reader before leaving and you’re set.

  13. PSA: Talbots having a 30% off skirts and dresses (full-price only) with the free shipping for orders over $150 today 12-4 “your time.” Online and in stores. Online Code: INVITED

  14. Conflicted corporette :


    I have always worked in the non-profit/public sectors and have never worked in the private sector for very idealistic “want to help the greater good” reasons. I am looking to move on from my current public sector job for a variety of reasons including bad hours/work environment, work that is not challenging, work that does not align with my ideals, etc. I have a lead on a private sector job which sounds like an unusual combination of very good salary and reasonable work hours. But it is not in an area of great interest to me, and, to be honest, the only reason I would be taking the job would be for the money and good hours and to get me out of my current job.

    I don’t need the bigger paycheck and would happily take a smaller paycheck in order to do something that aligns with my ideals better, but that does not seem to be in the cards right now. I am conflicted because I feel it is hypocritical to have these idealistic principles I’ve held onto so emphatically in the past and then turn around and take a job just for the money. I want to emphasize that this is no judgment on others who do the same thing. I have BigLaw friends who admittedly only stay for the money, and I have absolutely no problem with that. I just don’t know if this is the right thing for me.

    I’d love to hear from anyone who has made the switch from non-profit/public to private and if they dealt with the same sort of issue. I’d love to hear anyone’s opinion actually! TIA!

    • Maybe the bigger paycheck + reasonable hours will leave you with more time and energy to work on things or with groups that align with your principles. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a value-neutral (or heck, even slightly value-negative, not on the level of Madoff or anything) job that lets you do things you are passionate about outside of the office.

      • I agree completely with Polly D. It’s ultimately up to you to weigh the factors, but taking a bigger paycheck and having a better work/life balance may free you up to pursue things that you value. And since you will be pursuing those things in your free time and not through your actual work, maybe you’ll derive more value from it.

    • Definitely agree with PollyD. More money= money that you can give to support your ideals. More time= more time that you can volunteer, etc. You could even start considering a (probably long-term) goal of trying to start a foundation or charity of your own to support the things that are important to you.

      Keep this in mind: If everyone only worked for their charitable ideals, no one would be there to make the charitable donations that keep those ideas running (not to mention providing the services and innovations that do the same). Good luck!

    • Having been (somewhat) in your shoes, it sounds to me like your dilemma is created by the fact that you hold an ideal that sounds good in theory, but which doesn’t correspond to your life/desires in fact. So you feel conflicted.

      The “solution” in my experience is to acknowledge that both are “true” of you and to acknowledge the complexity. Only then can you make a choice about which impulse you want to honor at this time, or begin the work of crafting a compromise that honors both.

    • Original Lola :

      And not everything in the private sector will necessarily conflict with your ideals. You aren’t very specific, but there are a lot of private firms/companies I would love to work for that are helping to improve the world… and making a profit at the same time.

  15. gift help! my husband and i have been invited to his colleague’s wedding reception. they are office acquaintances. the reception is at a relaxed indian restaurant and the couple is south asian. any ideas for a gift? they have not registered anywhere.

    • If you don’t want to ask first, I would just get the couple a new bedspread, or a nice set of his/her towels/wash cloths. Everyone can use new towels or a new bedspread, especially if they are getting married. It also is not favoring the bride over the groom.

      • As a South Asian born and raised in the US, I always found it extremely odd that these everyday household items were on wedding registries. Shrug. Cash/gift cards are extremely common (and appreciated) wedding gifts.

    • $200 (or whatever works for you / is customary for your area)

    • Honey Bear :

      I’m sorry – I’m not trying to imply anything – but what does their being South Asian have to do with anything?

      On that note, I would simply ask if they are registered anywhere, and if they aren’t, IMHO cash is king. If they’re just acquaintances I think $50 is appropriate. I would never get the couple a bedspread – that is way too personal. (No offense Susan, I personally just would not want someone to buy me a bedspread).

      • Anon for this :

        Some cultures have special wedding traditions or customs, so I’m sure that’s why the OP included the fact that they are South Asian — in case any commenters have some more targeted advice.

        Also, I would not want to receive a bedspread as a gift unless it was something I had picked out and registered for — it’s something you see EVERY day and night, and is very subject to personal style (for both sides of the couple).

      • If I were gift-buying for a newly married couple from a culture I didn’t know especially well, I might inquire of those who know the culture well to see if there’s an expectation or custom or nuance that I should be aware of. An Indian colleague of mine routinely offers cultural translation tips when extending invitations to his Anglo friends and colleagues for events that will include lots of Indian folks – for instance, that it will start later than the “official” time, that it will involve lots of tasty Indian food, etc. etc. So the inclusion of that detail in this post struck me as relevant. :)

        • Honey Bear :

          Just b/c they’re south asian doesn’t mean they follow the south asian culture! Just playing devil’s advocate here. 0:)

          • South Asian, here :

            I found the specification helpful, because at most South Asian weddings I’ve attended, couples don’t create registries. Guests usually give envelopes with a nice card + either cash or a gift card. Giving cash isn’t seen as crass, as long as the bills aren’t old/crumpled.

            Obviously, there isn’t one “South Asian culture.” If you know that the bride+groom come from a Hindu background, adding a dollar extra to the amount you were thinking of giving (eg: giving $101 rather than $100) signifies good luck! This is definitely a Hindu thing, but I’m not certain if it pertains to other religions.

      • somewherecold :

        Also how are you supposed to know what size bed they have?

    • If they aren’t registered, I’d recommend cash or a gift card to someplace that sells housewares if you are not comfortable with cash. I would stay away from buying an actual item, since it doesn’t seem like you know the couple well enough to really know what they need or want.

    • South asians typically give and receive cash gifts as a wedding present. It’s not considered impersonal at all, it’s pretty customary. Maybe $50? If you’re averse to giving cash you could give a gift card. But to be honest, cash will be most appreciated.

    • found a peanut :

      does anyone else think $50 is insanely low? Must be a regional thing. If I didn’t give $200 at a wedding (for me and my husband) it would be a HUGE slight to the couple.

      • Honey Bear :

        $200 seems so high to me!! Perhaps it is a regional thing. I only spent a little over $100 for my best friend’s wedding where I was the MOH (granted, I was still in college with no money). My sister is getting married this year and I will probably spend a few hundred on her. I think you should just give whatever you feel comfortable with and what you can afford in your budget.

      • Definitely regional and dependent on financial status of the giver.

        • I was going to give $75 to a wedding I’m going to in a couple of weeks- due to the fact that there is no dinner, no bar (not cash, just none at all) and the wedding is ending promptly at 6pm. If it’s supposed to cover the costs + present, I thought my gift would be satisfactory. Am I being stingy? (fyi, I’m going to graduate in a couple of weeks, so I’m still a student).

          • I never heard this idea of the gift covering the costs until I started law school in NYC. In my opinion, how much you give is dependent on your relationship to the couple and your financial means, not on how much they spent on the wedding.

          • Honey Bear :

            Wow, that sounds like the worst wedding ever. Are you close to the bride/groom? $75 is not stingy at all in my mind, and in fact, quite generous given that you’re a student!

          • Honey Bear :

            cbackson, I agree with you.

          • For the event described and the fact you’re a student, I think $75 is just fine regardless of your location.

            Depending on where you are, if you “care” about being right in line with what other people are giving, as opposed to possibly on the low end, I’d consider bumping to $100 as that’s likely to be a common number. No one says you need to care though!

          • I’m a little annoyed this was called the “worst wedding ever.” It’s not how I would do my wedding, but it is a perfectly valid choice. A wedding is about a ceremony in front of family and friends. The reception/party is a bonus and guests are not entitled to anything.

            If $75 is what you can give, that is a fine. I posted below about typical regional amounts (my experience), but I would rather have someone I was friends with enjoy my wedding and get just a card, instead of causing them hardship.

          • Honey Bear :

            Sorry Scully, but it sounds like the worst wedding ever to me. My opinion of a wedding is a celebration with people, and if you expect people to take time out of their weekend to show up, find something to wear, get a babysitter/pet sitter/whatever, spend money on a gift, then you should provide something for them to enjoy themselves. That’s totally my opinion. This is coming from someone who thinks it’s tacky and terrible to not have an open bar at receptions (unless for religious purposes you don’t drink).

          • I guess we’ll agree to disagree, Honey Bear :)

          • Honeybear, do you think it is tacky and terrible not to have an open bar and instead to have a cash bar, or tacky and terrible not to have a bar, period?

            If a couple wants to save on costs by cutting out alcohol from the reception, I’m not sure why that is a problem for anyone. And if it IS a problem for anyone, well, then, that in and of itself is a problem…

          • Sorry, a follow-up to my 2:56pm post.

            I think no alcohol is no problem. I think a cash bar is tacky. It would be equally tacky to ask guests to pay if they wanted a slice of wedding cake! Either you offer it to your guests (and pay), or you don’t. My point was that choosing not to have alcohol at all isn’t a big deal (or shouldn’t be a big deal).

          • Honey Bear :

            I think it’s tacky to have a cash bar, and not have an open bar. Consider that a problem if you want to, but it’s just my opinion. If a couple wants to save money, why not have a smaller reception? I hope no one is really taking offense – if someone wants to have a wedding with a cash bar, I hope that you will not give my post a second thought!

          • Honey Bear :

            Anon – thanks for the follow up. Maybe it’s just my age (on the younger side) and my location (huge metropolitan city) but I can’t imagine attending a wedding with no alcohol at all, unless it was for religious purposes.

          • Also young and in a large metropolis – I guess my take is that if someone feels like it isn’t a celebration if they can’t have a drink, then that is a bit concerning. This could also be because I know a lot of people who do fall into this category, and the warning signs for substance problems are all there.

            Personally, I like a nice glass of wine from time to time. But I wouldn’t be put out if I arrived at a reception to find it wasn’t an option.

          • Honey Bear :

            Anon – please call AA b/c I certainly don’t feel like it’s a celebration without some bubbly!! I must have a substance abuse problem. ;)

            I’m just playing with you. To each his own I suppose. I don’t imagine I will find you out on the weekends in the swanky lounges this city has to offer, if we are living in the same one. :)

          • Nope, I’m very very rarely in swanky lounges, but I’m sure we are both happy with our lives as they are! :)

          • 1. Gift = cover costs is a very Far East/Chinese concept (in my experience to date)
            2. That said, $75 is pretty ok for a student (I think).

            Do what you are comfortable with.

      • It’s regional, but at the same time, I agree that in most cities and in circles where people tend to have professional jobs, $50 is definitely low – especially for a couple. If I were getting married and someone gave me $50, would there be negative ramifications or would I think worse of them? No, but it would definitely be unusual.

        When I had my (large) Bat Mitzvah near 15 years ago in middle/lower middle class suburb in the north east, a few friends from less well off families gave $25-36. Most friends (these were 12-13 year olds; usually from parents) gave $50-100. No adult gave less than $100.

        I know there are different guidelines in different places, but I’d guess $50 is toward the bottom end of the range or below the range for most regions for a couple attending a wedding.

      • Definitely regional (or cultural in some other way). $200 sounds outrageously high to me for anyone other than a *really* close friend or relative.

        IIRC, most of my wedding gifts (2001, so it’s been a while, and I was a college student) were in the $30 range, other than those from particularly generous close relatives. I couldn’t have imagined expecting more.

      • $50 seems low to me. I’d give at least $50 per person.

      • I’m from the Northeast. I polled by friends (some students and some working for a few years) most cash gifts range from $100 to $300. Fifty would seem a little low, but not unappreciated. I have always heard you want to at least cover your cost if possible.

      • I think it’s a regional thing, the only time I could imagine giving $200 at a wedding would be if
        a. I had a good job, and
        b. It was someone I’m really, really close with, like my best friend or a sibling.

        In my region (midwest) $50-$100 is appropriate and more than a $100 is probably going to cause some (very grateful) raised eyebrows.

    • I’m Indian and find the whole concept of registry strange (as in new-to-me).

      I’d suggest gift cards/coupons or stuff for the house (depends on how well you know them). Or even cash, if that’s not too crass for you, maybe with a note that you’d be happiest if they spent it on stuff that they really want….

  16. you’re right, its not a relevant point. i just threw it in there as this is the only info i have about the couple.

  17. I think it my be a relevant point given what I’ve learned about certain cultures where cash is a typical wedding gift. It’s not always a bad thing to consider the background of a friend.

    • Honey Bear :

      Very true. I’m probably overly sensitive as a racial minority but 100% American. :P

      Out of curiosity, in what cultures is cash NOT considered a typical wedding gift?

      • Having been to several weddings in Lithuania — I’ve never seen people giving cash for weddings. Among Lithuanian-Americans, yes, lots of cash gifts … but IMO, that’s American-influenced.

      • Not sure about wedding but I got a definite negative vibe reaction when I gifted cash in a card for a new baby, and then a thank you note which mentioned a minor side-gift but not the $$. I was raised with cash as a common gift for life-events, but maybe it’s cultural? The recipients were from the south but not what I’d consider very southern. I was left feeling confused about whether I’d given an inappropriate gift.

        • I wouldn’t think cash as inappropriate, but I was taught not to mention the gifted money directly in thank you notes, but instead to thank someone for “thinking of me” or vaguely refer to “your generous gift” or what I am planning to do with the money. I’m not southern, though.

        • They may have just forgotten about the cash if it was slipped in the card. But I do think it’s a weird gift for a new baby – I’d feel like the giver thought I was short on money.

      • In the traditional American wedding/shower, I think it’s still considered bad form to give or ask for cash gifts. The trend is changing as more people are living together and buying houses prior to marriage, but it’s taking a while to gain general acceptance.

        • Agree. This stems largely from the fact that many showers include gift opening as an event.

        • Not only that, but in my mind it kind of implies you didn’t make any effort to consider what the couple would like or what they need. Cash just seems very impersonal to me (coming from a traditional Western European background). Of course it is different if that is what the couple has actually requested or if that is the cultural norm for that couple. I have been to a lot of Chinese weddings and have given hong bao because that is what is expected at those occasions.

          • I don’t think cash should ever be requested. That seems like bad manners.

      • In the Southern U.S., it seems to me that people usually give gifts and rarely give cash at weddings. But I think most still get some cash, so I wouldn’t say it’s bad form, just unusual.

      • My mother would have a fit if I gave someone cash as a wedding present. I’m from the South, and among the older set, it’s considered incredibly tacky to give cash. (I’m not sure why, and I would be happy to give/get cash. I think it’s considered tacky because it’s like you put no thought into an actual gift that the couple might enjoy).

      • Diana Barry :

        WASPs consider cash inappropriate. Always a gift.

        • Manoa Valley Girl :

          Yup. I come from a Northern European culture (Dane). It’s a WASP thing. Cash is bad form.

          That said, here in Hawaii, many cultures consider cash appropriate and wonderful for a wedding or a first year baby lu’au. Indeed, I have been to several weddings where there is a “money dance.” As the newlyweds dance, a guest dances up and puts cash in the bride’s mouth. The bride then kisses the groom and passes the money to him. This is the time I look away and try to forget everything I know about germs and money. Then, when I’m looking away, the money magically disappears and some other guest dances up with money in his/her mouth to give the bride, and life goes forward.

          Also, in Hawaii, the bride usually dances a solo hula. I always cry.

          As an aside, our local custom is to have a first year baby lu’au. Usually, this is way bigger than the wedding — and of course, lots of folks never get married and just go straight to the baby lu’au. We have a whole pig roasted in the ground, live Hawaiian music, major party, plenny gifts, and cash, as noted above, is ever-welcome.

      • I’m American, raised in the midwest, and I’ve never heard of anyone giving or receiving cash as a wedding gift. I would find it bizarre. I always thought you were supposed to get something off the registry, so you’d be certain to get something they want. Cash is usually a gift from adults to children.

      • Probably WASP culture.

        I asked for cash from close relatives (we were broke) but that’s becuase they specifically offered cash as an option if it wouldn’t offend me:)

  18. Well, I grew up in the south, and I never saw cash given as a wedding gift until I was married myself- and the only people who gave cash as gifts at my wedding were from the northeastern US.

    I think that there may be a general perception in some parts of the US (and possibly other non-US cultures, but I don’t know) that cash is an impersonal/non-thoughtful gift, unless you happen to know that the couple is in dire financial straits. Not agreeing with this philosophy, just taking a stab at why some folks (like my mom) are horrified by the thought of writing a check as a wedding gift. I’ve done both, myself, but I “immigrated” before I hit the wedding gift-giving age.

    Then again, my primary experience of weddings has been in a fairly economically disadvantaged community, so it may be that people don’t give cash due to sensitivity regarding the size of the check they’d be able to write (while it can be possible to find a nice gift on sale).

    • That’s a very helpful comment. I am Northeastern and they (although middle class now) grew up without much money. I’ll avoid cash in the future and get a gift card if unsure (unless that is similarly perceived?)

      • I read your other comment and I also suspect they may not have known how to thank you for the money without sounding awkward (even though I’m sure they appreciated it!).

    • I’m originally from the Midwest, and I also grew up with the idea that no one gave cash at a wedding (with a possible exception for guests flying in from out of town who it would be a pain to bring a package with them, but even there, gift cards or shipping directly from the registry were seen as better options than cash). It was pretty much for the same reasons cbackson named–that it’s seen as impersonal, and maybe even a bit lazy if the couple registered and included that info somewhere on the save the date, shower invite, or on a card in the actual invitation envelope.

      I’m now dating an Italian-American from the Northeast, and he thinks registering is the strangest concept ever. Whether it’s the ethnic or regional thing influencing that, I don’t know, but he thinks anything but cash is weird.

    • Sorry, should have read this before commenting above. This is exactly why I don’t like giving cash.

      • DietCoke1 :

        I’m from the NY area where cash or a check as a wedding present is the norm, but now live in D.C. and have friends from other regions of the country w/ completely different ideas as to what to give for a wedding. It’s so hard to figure our what to give for friends’ weddings. Is there some sort of regional wedding present etiquette guide out there?

        • I think for all regions, the etiquette for gift giving should be:
          1) Give what you feel comfortable giving
          1A) Give what you truly believe will make the couple (note I say couple, not just bride!) happy.

          I can’t imagine being put out by what anyone chose to give me – it’s a gift! That said, I can imagine having a private chuckle over particularly “unusual” gifts. Like the Christmas my great-aunt gave my little brother (he was maybe 10 years old at the time) an ash tray in the shape of a roulette wheel. That was a pretty awesome gift.

          • DietCoke1 :

            Haha that is a really…..creative gift. Now I know exactly what to give for the next wedding I attend.

          • my father’s aunt gave such terrible presents that eventually my dad told her just to buy the craziest stuff she could find. my mom’s personal “favorite” was placemats covered in photos of starving children. and a bell actually shaped like a cow, covered in fur. we still have the bell, 30 years later.

          • Original Lola :

            coco – That is hilarious!

  19. Help! I just got invited to the Derby and have no idea where to find a hat in NYC on such short notice. I’m going to be in the infield, so I dont want anything too expensive in case it gets ruined. Does anyone have any suggestions for places I could check out? I think ordering online is out at this point since I leave Thursday morning! Thanks!

    • I’ve never bought a Derby hat but I have noticed a couple hat shops in NYC recently –

      – LaCrasia Gloves and Creative Accessories in Grand Central terminal (Lexington passage)

      – There’s a very fancy hat shop in the basement of the Plaza (formerly Plaza Hotel). Not sure what the price range is – probably quite high, but their hats look lovely.

      I can’t vouch for either 100% in terms of having exactly what you want, but thought I’d mention them as they’re both in relatively convenient locations.

      • Lisa Schuab in SoHo (Mulberry Street, I think) makes hats for the derby. She also has a decent-sized collection of stuff you can buy off the rack. She has a bit of a quirky personality, but is very detail-oriented and her hats are fairly priced. She also has clips on the walls from Vogue and other high-profile magazines she’s been featured in.

    • There’s a hat shop on Bleecker right by the 4/5/6 stop (bleecker and lafayette). I’ve never been in, so I’m not sure about their prices, but it looked like a decent selection and it’s right by the subway, so might be worth checking out.

    • Original Lola :

      Why not wait until you get to Kentucky to get your hat?

    • H&M has some nice straw hats if you don’t want to spend too much. I have one from two years ago that is relatively good quality (and folds for packing). You can always add a ribbon, scarf, or flower to it.

      • I like this one:

      • Or this one from Zara:

    • Filene’s usually has a good selection this time of year.