Tuesday’s TPS Report: Erebecca Blouse

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

Hugo Boss Orange - Erebecca 10142215 01 (Medium Blue) - ApparelI’m always split on blouses like this Hugo Boss Orange one.  On the one hand, it reminds me a wee bit of something you’d wear beneath a judicial robe, or perhaps the blouse Jennifer Connelly wore in Labyrinth. However, by the same token it’s a gorgeous, professional blouse. I like the slightly long, loose sleeve, the teeny ruffles where the sleeves meet the shirt, and the high necked, ruffled bow. It’s on sale at Zappos: was $195, marked today to $156. Hugo Boss Orange – Erebecca 10142215 01 (Medium Blue) – Apparel

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  1. SF Bay Associate :

    To me, that looks like a pirate shirt. Maybe I’ve just seen too many Pirates of the Carribean ads this week. Also, it looks like it’s sheer and she’s got a cami on underneath – no sheer for the office in my book.

    PSA, repeat from yesterday:
    Nordstrom anniversary sale markdowns are online! On Sunday, there was maybe 1.5k items on sale, and as of Monday, it’s more than 5.3k. They usually start posting them on a rolling basis on the Monday before the sale (which always begins Wednesday). My credit card is already sizzling (most of it is going back, I swear!), and I’m sure I’ll swing through it again with more updates and more time. Several of the weekly suits are now on sale, including the beautiful Nanette Leopore white one, and the Classiques one with the hook and eye suit jacket closure, which I ordered among other things.

    There is also a ton of designer markdowns, including Armani and Burberry. I managed to snag at 40% off the long sleeve jersey Tory Burch dress that TCFKAG linked in the comments back in February, which I am really excited about.

    • somewherecold :

      Thanks for the PSA! Does the regular return policy reply for anniversary sale purchases?

      • Thanks SF Bay Assoc. I get so overwhelmed by Nordie’s site… So many brands, choices, etc. What are some good things to run a sort on? (i.e., Departments include: Individualist, Saavy, Studio 121, etc). Yelp!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          @somewherecold – of course.

          @lawgirl – I’m so type-A that I am very systematic in my approach. It is not that different than setting up searches in doc review, actually. First, I note the overall sale item count, which helps me know if there’s been an update since I last looked. Step 1: filter by department: Individualist (which covers Classiques Entier, Trina Turk, and Elie Tahari are my favorites), Lingerie (Calvin Klein), Hosiery (Nordstrom brand), and Athletic (Under Armour) (all together), which are the main departments I shop in normally. Then step 2: clear my filters, and then select by brand to have all the brands I like – this includes the more “designer” brands I could be interested in (Burberry, Tory Burch, designer shoes) without making me sift all the way through Savvy, Via C, Accessories, and Salon Shoes, and helps prevent me from drooling over Armani I can’t afford. It takes a while to select the couple-dozen brands I like, but if you are patient, it sets up an efficient search. Then step 3: clear the filters, and filter by items that I might need (skirts, pants, blouses, sweaters, handbags, belts), and view all of those because in this area I am open to brands I might not have thought of in step 2.

          At every step, I throw into my cart everything I might like. After the 3 steps, I go into my ridiculously huge cart, and do a second review. I check the customer reviews, zoom in on the clothes and check size charts. Some things get deleted out of the cart, some are moved into “save for later” i.e. the maybe pile, and some stay in cart. For every item I can, I choose to pick up at my local store – faster to go try on a lot of clothes at once in my sizes and do the returns right there. Everything I can’t get at the store, I have shipped to me. Then I close the window, open ebates, go to Nordstrom through ebates (3% cash back), go to my shopping cart, and submit my order.

          I bet you’re sorry you asked :). Happy shopping!

      • Bk foette :

        I believe the return policy is the same. I just purchased a bucket load, picked 1/2 up in store, tried them on and returned them all, but then purchased about 8 other items.
        PS – this was suit of the week a while ago and I purchased it, I lurve it!
        Classiques Entier® ‘Marcasite’ Mélange

        I had purchased this one and picked it up today, but returned it since I liked the other one much better: Classiques Entier Atelier ‘Tiki’ Woven Mélange

    • Legally Brunette :

      You’re such an enabler, SFBA! Just bought a ton of stuff, but I too am hoping that I will return most of it. Among other things, I bought the Classiques Marcasite suit – jacket, pants, and skirt, which I’m hoping will be versatile.

      • Bk foette :

        should have refreshed — I bought this suit as well — I anticipate it being super versatile!

  2. I’m not sure about everyday office wear, but if I had a really important day of plundering/pillaging ahead of me, this would probably be my go-to blouse.

    • Diana Barry :

      Ahaha! Arrr!

      I think it is a little too sheer, but might look good under a white blazer for the summer.

    • Anonymous :

      The neck is nice but I can’t get into vertical black stripes. I want to yell, “off-side!” like a referee.

    • avast, matey! Ye be correct!

      Which is to say my first thought was also “pirate.”

    • Is today Talk Like a Pirate Day?

  3. Honey Bear :


    1) Since I’ve started work this past fall, I’ve managed to lose weight so that all of my pants are too loose fitting. I was thinking about just getting all of my pants altered, but then I wondered if I should leave a few pants that are too big in my closet just in case I gain weight down the road? Just wondering if other corporettes kept clothes that were either too big or too small for that “just in case” scenario.

    2) Sorry if this is a repeat, but if you have commuter wedges that are comfy and about 2 inches high (to avoid the pants dragging on the ground problem) please post specific recommendations.

    Thanks to all! :)

    • I’ve went down one pant size (due to healthier eating/stress rather than dieting) and kept some old stuff for that reason. I’ve seen advice out there that you should donate your old stuff to avoid regaining the weight, which does make sense, esp if you’ve lost a lot of weight. For me, it was like 10 lbs and I’m being realistic-my weight naturally fluctuates a little based on lots of factors and it’s easier to have that stuff if it does.

    • Congrats on your weight loss.
      For myself, I tend to be a cynic about weight loss and keep clothes, but only one size up. There’s also usually a little bounce at the end of my weight loss where I gain 5 lbs.
      I know it’s time to look at the scale and probably go on the D word if I have to bring out my one-size-ups, but at least I gave something to wear and don’t feel like crap because I’m wasting $$ on new clothes I’m hoping will be too big again soon.

      • Ehh – it sounds like I’m advocating yoyo dieting there, which I’m not. I have just had about 3 episodes over the last ten years of “oops I got too heavy” and had to really diet, but I’ve noticed a pattern.

        • Anonymous :

          I do that too — “Ooops, these are too tight, better focus on healthier choices… OK, that’s better.”

    • Honey Bear :

      Thanks ladies. Eh, I think maybe I will keep one pair of pants that are now too loose and get the rest altered to fit me now. I’ve just been eating so much healthier since the fall and I think that’s contributed to my weight loss. Thanks again!

      • Do you mind sharing your healthy eating (and other) tips that have helped you accomplish this? I’m starting my post-grad job in the fall and while I don’t necessarily need to lose weight, I’m hoping to avoid gaining any. Eating healthy when busy has always been a challenge for me, so I’d appreciate you sharing what worked for you!

        • I managed to lose like 3 pounds just this week solely by eating salads for lunch (and measuring the dressing so it’s actually a serving instead of like five) and lean cuisines for dinner instead of what I normally eat (which was turkey sandwich wraps for lunch and some sort of takeout for dinner). I was super impressed–I didn’t think it would actually make any noticeable difference for like a month.

        • Honey Bear :


          Gladly! See below:

          1) Don’t drink your calories. Only water, tea (unsweetened), coffee.
          2) Natural, whole foods (fresh fruits, veggies, proteins like eggs and fish, nuts). For example, instead of a granola bar, eat an apple.
          3) Going back to #1 – if you feel hungry, instead of snacking try drinking a lot of water. A lot of times your body may actually just be thirsty and the water will satisfy you.
          4) I rarely eat sweets. Sugar is the devil! It also makes me tired and lethargic.

          Also – and I know there has been talks of this before – if you’re sitting on your butt all day, you really don’t need a ton of calories since you’re not burning a ton.

          kz mentioned she ate lean cuisines for dinner – kz, definitely not criticizing you b/c differen things work for different people – but for me, my body doesn’t deal well with lots of frozen dinners b/c they’re high in sodium. And it goes against my “natural” way of eating.

          Oh yes, also, you gotta indulge every once in a while! Once, or even twice a week, I’ll eat whatever I want and not worry about it. :)

          • Thanks Honey Bear! I’m printing this out to put by my computer when I start so I stay away from the soda fridge, among other things :)

          • Honey Bear :

            I’m so happy to help! It’s so crazy but I’ve stopped drinking diet soda (used to alllll the time) and I think it’s really helped with the weight loss. Of course, the weight loss could be due to other things, but I just feel SO much better and less weighed down when I eat “clean”. I have no scientific evidence or anything, but sometimes the thought of eating so many chemicals and processed things, even if they are low calorie, creeps me out.

          • Oh, yea, definitely watch the sodium. I have low blood pressure to the point of almost being too low, so I tend to not even pay attention to it. But if you’re super lazy about food like me (I just hate the time spent cooking) and worry about sodium intake, I believe Kashi’s microwavable dinners are much lower in sodium than most of the other brands.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            @kz, i had a Kashi meal for lunch today. 300 calories, 18g protein, 7g fiber, 680 mg sodium (28% for a 2k calorie diet, but my target daily calories is closer to 1.6-1.7k). My local Target carries them for decent prices.

      • I know it sounds crazy– I work in a business casual office and always make sure I’ve got at least one nice suit that’s too big and one that’s too small. I’ve had too many things come up where I suddenly need to meet with someone or go to a conference and realize my go-tos have gone. :)

        • I almost had that happen recently–I never need suits in my day-to-day, but have gained some weight recently (and had to buy new pants!). And then a coworker scared me saying “Do we need to wear suits to this upcoming meeting?” (A meeting that happens every couple years) eep! Luckily we’ve been told suits aren’t needed. Whew!

      • Make sure you use a very good tailor for this type of pant alterations. I’ve had good luck with nipping pants in at the waist when the hips and rear were a good fit. But I did not get a good result the one time I tried to scale down pants by a full size in all dimensions.

    • 1) I have a few larger pants, “just in case”

      2) Just got these…they are very comfortable

    • I haven’t altered my pants either and they can actually slide off my hips. Sheer laziness, I suppose, but I’ve been using belts for the first time in my life. I don’t tuck my tops in, so the bunching is not an issue for me.

  4. Uptown Girl :

    Early threadjack.

    Due to a particularly complicated family situation, I’m likely moving to Auburn, MA, one city over from Worcester and about an hour from Boston. I’m 28 and have spent the past few years bouncing around LA, Boston, and Chicago, and the concept of moving to a smaller city terrifies me.

    My work situation will remain stable in spite of the move, which is great because I love my job and would hate to deal with the stress of job hunting, but also worries me because I won’t have the opportunity to make friends at a new job. Any advice on meeting people? Every other place I’ve lived has had great young professionals meet up groups and organizations, as well as tons of bars where I’ve been able to strike up easy conversations, but I haven’t found any of this here. Any advice on either this area in particular, or general guidance for a city girl moving to a small town?

    Cheer me up, Corporettes!

    • I live in Quincy and work in Boston. I can’t tell you how to meet people, per se, since I’m still trying to figure that one out myself.

      But there are some pros to smaller cities. It’s easier to find parking, for one. I’m not sure about Auburn, but Quincy is becoming more upscale – lots of new bars and restaurants, etc.

      I don’t know Auburn, but I’ll see if someone I know does. Can you get into Boston periodically? I belong to the Boston Athenaeum. The rates are very reasonable and they have great events geared to younger members. I just went to a beer-tasting last week.

    • Ok, don’t run away screaming but hear me out: Consider joining a local chapter of the Junior League.

      The modern JL isn’t your mother’s JL. Instead, I think that you will find a vibrant group of women who are committed to leadership in the community (including the work force) and to bettering your community through volunteer efforts. My local chapter is full of women who typically work through lunch rather than “ladies who lunch.” I have been pleasantly surpised by the diversity and intelligence of the women at my local league.

      At the very least, you will walk away with a really great volunteer experience.

      • Actually, this is a good idea. I joined the Providence JL when I lived there and didn’t know anyone. I made 2 really good friends. All 3 of us moved away from Providence, but we still keep in touch.

        I considered joining the Boston one when I moved back to this area, but it has a lot more requirements and is more expensive. I also have a lot of friends in the area.

        The Worcester JL, however, may be very reasonable.

        • I live in a smaller city and the JL here isn’t particularly expensive. However, from what I hear from current members, it’s hard to meet some of your obligations if you aren’t already connected within the city. It just seems too daunting for someone who is totally new to a city.

          Instead I try to get involved in activities on my own. My city has a great parks and rec department, so I am taking a class through there, take yoga, and volunteer once a week. My main issue is that I’m in a very sports oriented town but am more interested in artsy/creative activities. It’s really hard to meet people who are interested in something other than sports or networking, and I haven’t really been successful yet.

      • I second this suggestion. Last summer my husband and I relocated after I finished my PhD. I had a hard time meeting new people (most of the people I work with are much older than me), so I randomly decided to go to a Junior’s meeting. I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised, just like ceb. I’ve met many professional women in my community and have gotten a chance to engage in service at the same time. I find it easier to meet new people when I’m working on a “task,” so doing service and planning events made me much more comfortable.

    • I just want to say welcome! You’re just in time for that elusive Summer we’ve all been waiting for!
      I don’t have great advice on meeting people, as I’m still working on that myself. I recently started looking at volunteer opportunities to try to get in touch with more people. Left to my own devices I tend towards the introverted solo activities – museum, concerts, etc, so I’m pushing to make dates with people I meet and click with.
      Good luck in your move!

    • Here are some ideas…
      – If you play sports, try a running group or rec basketball league or sport of your choice.
      – Find an organization to volunteer with
      – Check library/internet for local book clubs
      – Start a blog. Many people are connect through blogs and organizing meet ups these days.
      – Join a local gym / Y/ JCC/ Community Center.

      Good luck !

    • Wondering :

      I feel like Uptown Girl is in a situation that many of us have been in at one time or another. Kat, can you seriously consider setting up a LinkedIn account for Corporettes who choose to self-identify? It would be a great way for us to meet other professional women in our city, and I know that many women have written about wanting to socialize with women on this site.

      Kat, what say you? :)

    • I’m also in Boston! This is not quite the advice you’re looking for, but would it be possible to live in the Boston area and commute out to Auburn? I had a couple of friends do that when they clerked in Worcester. It is obviously not ideal to have an hour-long commute every day, but if you lived somewhere with easy access to I-90 it might not be terrible. Plus then you could be tapped into everything that’s going on in Boston, professionally and socially.

    • somewherecold :

      I moved to a small city in Northern New England from NYC almost a year ago.

      The first people my sig other and I met were our neighbors, and we do things with them occasionally, although we’re more your age, and our neighbors are mid-to-late-30s.

      We also met some people through a religious org (synagogue, for us). There aren’t a lot of young people in our area, but the people have been really warm and welcoming to us, and they’ve introduced us to other young people by having us to dinners and by making sure I’m volunteering at the same time as another young woman–things like that. If you’re affiliated with any religion, I would definitely recommend trying to meet people that way. I was in a medium-sized city one summer in law school where I didn’t know anyone, and I met some great people at synagogue that introduced me to some of their friends and helped me get involved in other activities. Volunteering in general is good for meeting people, especially if you find something that’s ongoing as opposed to a one-time opportunity.

      I don’t know what you do, but we have an informal young attorneys group in my city–once you meet one person, they can pass info along to you kind of thing–as well as a county bar association that has monthly events. You might look into something similar for your professional interests. Also, there’s no reason why, if you work downtown and make a friend that also works downtown, you can’t start a young professionals lunch group and use that to get to know people you wouldn’t necessarily want to hang out with one on one quite yet.

    • I grew up in Worcester! While it is by no means as great a city as Boston, Worcester does have a lot of bars (although some of them are very much of the “college” variety), somg great restaurants, a wonderful art museum and a thriving arts scene. If you want, we can swap emails through Kat so that I can give you more specifics outside of the thread.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would also check out “metro west” groups. There are a lot of professional groups that have meetings/”lunch and learn” activities in Waltham/Weston/etc., which is closer to Auburn. Worcester is also big enough that it should have professional organizations/groups of its own.

    • I

    • I found a lot of people in my city by doing the following:

      –Take a quilting/sewing/knitting class, or other kind of craft. Lots of the other students will be your age.
      –Reach out to alumnae of your college or professional school nearby. I was approached about a year ago by someone who went to my law school, and had just moved here. Now we are fast friends.
      –Join a choir, and/or go to church (if you’re into that). There are lots of friends to meet there.
      –Volunteer for a political campaign (lots of fun, young people) or some other community project.
      –Join Twitter. You can find users in your city pretty easily. The ones in my city have “Tweet-ups” fairly often, and I know lots of them are close friends and new people meld into the group all the time.

  5. Too sheer for me as I don’t need an extra cami layer in the heat. Also the sleeves are too long on the model so they’d look sloppy on me.

  6. I do not like this at all.

  7. It looks really sloppy and wrinkled on the model and does not look good untucked. And for $156 no less!

  8. Although the ruffles combined with the black and white stripes may read a bit pirate, I think that this would be great under a suit (one with high wasted black pants, to be more specific). I would add turquoise earrings, which I am huge on right now.

    My position opinion of the top may need to be taken in stride because people have been known to walk into my office with an occasional “Arrr,” a nod to my black and white striped top.

  9. I have a shirt this general shape (and sheer-ness) in cream — I didn’t originally buy it to be a costume, but I wore it a couple times and then decided it was “too pirate” to go to work (except when I’m going for “pirate formal,” as we discussed in a previous thread). It has since been a component of a pirate and a gypsy Halloween costume, with great success. Also, there is a pirate-themed bar in my neighborhood, so that gives me another place to trot it out!

    • A pirate-themed bar? Awesome. What kind of neighborhood do you live in?

      • A swashbuckling one just north of the DC line. The servers take their characters very seriously, but usually the patrons are not pirate-ly attired. I figure a subtle interpretation is appropriate, though.

        • Do tell – I live just north of the DC line and do not know of the pirate bar. And I’ve been feeling the need to be a little swash-bucklin’ lately. Maybe I should buy the shirt.

          • I should have been more specific — north of DC in MD, not just north of the DC line in south DC. But anyway, it’s called Piratz Tavern and is on Georgia Ave in Silver Spring. Be warned, it’s basically a dive bar, so a $150 shirt might look out of place!

          • Heh. I think that’s actually pretty close to where I was thinking you meant. May have to check that out.

            And I can’t afford the shirt until I find some treasure or catch up on my pillaging.

        • Sounds like someone could use the Swash Buckle:


  10. Ballerina Girl :

    Any suggestions out there for how to kindly communicate to an ex that, yes, it’s really over? I broke up with this guy about five weeks ago (5 month relationship) and he keeps checking in every two weeks or so to be like “are you sure? You’re the girl I want to be with for the rest of my life.” Essentially, at least. It’s a bit much after just five months, and I don’t want to be cruel by emphasizing “yes, it’s 100% over” but it is. It should have been over after two months, but I didn’t have the heart to end it because he was going through a very serious family health issue and I wasn’t sure if my uncertainty was about him or about me. It was him.

    • If you’ve already made a clear statement, and if you’re not trying to make a friendship out of this, then is it time to start screening his calls, and not responding? I understand not wanting to be cruel, but maybe you tell him one more time that you’re sure about your decision, and then let the contact fizzle out.

    • Honey Bear :

      honestly, I think it’s cruel to give him any indication of hope, so I think the best thing is to emphasize that it’s 100% over. Now that you know for sure you don’t want to be with him, the next time he calls you – firmly tell him that, and then don’t answer or pick up his calls again.

    • Just say no. And if you have to do it, be mean about it. When this happened to me, I went the route of ignoring him. In the end, being mean to him will be better for him. Better that he move on and go find the “right woman” rather than wasting his time chasing you and you being nice about it.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would just stop responding to his contacts – ignore emails, texts, calls, etc. Eventually (hopefully!?) he will get the message.

    • Agree w/Honey Bear. Tell him you don’t want to be mean, but you want to be clear and don’t want him to hold out hope. It is 100% over and you will not be communicating anymore. Then ignore all further communication fro m him…

      • Honesty is the best policy. Explain to him firmly that the relationship was not working for you and it’s over. I would not recommend just ignoring his calls. While that approach may seem satisfying now, you might come to regret how things ended later. In fact, I recently wrote a long letter to an ex of mine from two years ago, explaining that I really regretted ignoring him rather than ending our long-distance relationship in a more mature way. We have since reconnected as friends. Learn from my mistake!

        • soulfusion :

          except that she has already explained it is over and sounds like she has done this repeatedly. I had a similar experience a few years ago and I had to just firmly tell him no and that he needed to stop calling me. I then never spoke with him again despite random calls from him down the line.

    • time to be cruel to be kind. stop responding to his calls, emails, texts, whatever. silence will convey what engaging with him will not. he’s still hoping he can talk you out of it. he’ll surrender the hope more quickly if he realizes he’s not talking to you at all.

    • Ballerina Girl :

      Thanks, all. I have never been the type to refuse contact with an ex (but I’m usually the dumpee, not the dumper!) but I do feel like enough may be enough. I told him that I was positive about my decision and that I didn’t want to be in contact for a few months but then maybe we could be friends after that–which really I only said because he was a total mess and was begging for me to promise I wouldn’t cut him off completely. Part of the reason I ended it was that he seemed to be a bit of an emotional basketcase (God, that sounds so mean).

      • “I’m seeing someone else and I think you should do the same. Best of luck to you.” click.


      • girl in the stix :

        This is emotional manipulation. He won’t take no for an answer and he’s guilt-tripping you into having contact with him. Instead of thinking of him as being needy, think of him as controlling, which he is. ANY contact with him just means (to him) that there’s hope. Not trying to be paranoid, but this is how crazy stalkers start. Take care.

        • Ballerina Girl :

          Thanks, that did occur to me. I think it’ll all be fine, though. Thanks guys!

        • Be clear and enforce your rules. “It’s over. Please stop contacting me.” And then stop answering his calls, and block him on all internet-type communication (email, IM, facebook, etc.).

  11. Mountain Girl :

    Does anybody have this shirt from Gap?


    I’m wondering how you wear this shirt without your bra straps showing through? If I have to wear a fussy bra I am totally NOT wearing a t-shirt. It just doesn’t seem to make sense to me?

    • I don’t have it but I can’t see how to wear it except with a strapless bra ….

    • Also, please tell me it is not time for those pants the model is wearing to be coming back.

      • another anon :

        OMG THE PANTS! Those are really terrible. For the shirt, what about one of those bras that has the clear plastic straps? I got one at Target a few months back that can be worn strapless or can be worn with the clear straps.

      • Yeah…unfortunately, I’ve seen a lot of Z. Cavaricci “lite” hitting the stores lately.

      • OMG. Those pants. Sooo Kelly Taylor jumping into her 325 Convertible to go see Dylan while Brenda’s in Europe.

      • Ballerina Girl :

        I’ve seen them on the L train to Williamsburg, Brooklyn a lot. Sigh.

  12. Tired Squared :

    Unfortunately this shirt reminds me of what my mother used to wear on “Spring Cleaning”-type days. Definitely not worth $150 (or much less than that…)

  13. Would this hairstyle ever be appropriate at a business casual workplace.
    My work is business casual but I always make the effort to dress more formal.
    Would wearing a natural hairstyle undermine my “professional” look?

    • I think that one that’s short and neat and conditioned looking like the model’s is perfectly professional, and looks very nice. I think that you just have to watch out for dry and frizziness.

    • Coming from a white woman: I love natural textured hairstyles on women of color, and would definitely rock a style similar to the model’s if I had the hair type for it. Like Lyssa, I think as long as it’s neat and conditioned, it’s a very “classic” and classy style that doesn’t look out of place with business attire. In fact, I think it looks quite a bit better than the overprocessing some women do to make their hair straight– something about a mold of non-moving hair just really bothers me.

      I’m posting too much today. The pirate shirt is getting to me… back to work!

      • Hahaha, I love your comment on the mold of non-moving hair. When I was little I used to pass communion at church watching which women’s hair moved when they walked up the aisle which didn’t. Only the 80’s could have hairsprayed some of those perms to the point where they didn’t move!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Yes. Natural hair is just a professional as chemically altered hair, as long as it is properly groomed. It doesn’t have to be short or “neat” (Not sure what that means but it sounds like style limitations), just properly groomed.

      Happy to be nappy!


      • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

        Divalicious11 a while back (I think) you said that you have your Gmail account set up so certain emails go directly to other folders and not into your inbox. If I am right, can you share how to make this happen? Thanks.

        • It’s called a “filter.” Gmail’s help section on them is here: http://tinyurl.com/e6ay2. You’ll want to set your filters to bypass the inbox, mark as read, and apply label “x” (in my case, “Shopping”).

          Hope that helps. :-)

    • Too bored to bill :

      houda, I would die for hair like that. I’m as pale as they come and my hair is stick straight but, as I was just telling my husband the other day when we passed a woman with hair just like the model, if I were a woman of color, I would rock that hairstyle everyday. I think it gives any bland outfit a sense of style, protrays confidence and also captures the natural beauty of the curly hair. Rock it out!

    • Add me to the chorus of white women who admire a natural hairstyle on women with darker skin!

      Sometimes I see women of color in my city, and I want to stop them and say, “I absolutely love your hair! You look gorgeous, and it’s awesome that you’re going natural.” But I think that would be weird.

  14. Threadjack: I’m going to be a summer associate at a business casual nonprofit this summer, and I have NO IDEA what types of hairstyles are professional/ appropriate for the workplace.

    My hair is curly and just past my shoulders. I prefer not to wear it down very often. I’ve read the debates about ponytails on this website, and it sounds like a low ponytail would be a good option some of the time. Is a half-ponytail work appropriate? Is wearing my hair down appropriate? What other styles might work?

    Thanks so much!

    • I think ANYTHING neat that is not a high ponytail is work appropriate. A half-ponytail (in my opinion) is totally fine, especially if held by a nice barrette (keeps the whole thing flatter against the head). A partner at my firm wears a half ponytail everyday — she looks nice.

      Hair down would be fine too, I think, again as long as its mostly under control.

      Some people on here may be a little more tyrannical about hair — but I think we all need to be a little bit nicer to each other. If you have curly hair…ROCK IT…trust me, there are lots of jealous people with straight hair just wishing our hair looked like yours.

      Other styles that I like, if you can make them work, are braids and buns (slightly sloppy I think, keeps it from looking too prim). You might also look at the store and find those things that just sort of let you twist your hair up, different ones work for different people.

      Basically, I think anything that (a) keeps your hair out of your face and (b) doesn’t look like you’re going to the gym works. :-)

      • soulfusion :

        count me as one of those jealous of curly hair.
        Also, I think ponytails are fine for the office and having your hair down is fine as well. The only hair styles that I find unprofessional are those that look dirty or unkempt. That being said, most of us have that deal/case where our hair gets longer than it ever should be and we usually notice this in the office bathroom at 3 am when the top appears to be an oil slick and the ends are all dry and split ended . . . or is that just me (and other women I’ve noticed in court on occasion)?

    • I have long, curly hair, and I wear it down almost exclusively. If I really need it out of my face but not restrained for a workout, I usually pin it up on the sides. I think the half ponytail is appropriate, but better if it’s a barrette or bobby pinned vs. an elastic ponytail holder. You might also try a loose french twist, since you like to wear it up. I usually get a clip that’s about the same color as my hair, and just twist it up and clip it. I do this a little lower, so the curls aren’t sticking up out of the of the top my head, but more gathered toward the back of my head.
      Sigh, this is really hard to describe, I’m not sure if I’ve been very clear!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My hair isn’t curly, but it is past my shoulders and I also wear it up often. My go-to styles are the low ponytail and a french twist with loose ends at the top using something like this (http://www.goody.com/#/searchTags/Barrettes/products/comfort-flex_updo_barrettes) or (http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=VP10435). I’ve found that I can also tuck the ends in with the Goody clip if I want it to look a little more dressy.

      I also recently mastered the Goody spin pins so I’ll do a tidy low bun if my hair is frizzy and I haven’t had time to smooth it out in the morning.

    • How about pinning your hair up into a loose twist, for another style option? One thing I admire about curly hair is that it stays up, and if a strand falls loose, it is charmingly curly.

      My daughter has curly hair and I am so envious! (naturally, she wishes she had straight hair.)

    • somewherecold :

      My hair is very curly, and I don’t like wearing it down that much. My go-to is a low bun with a few curls sticking out/curling around the bun, so it doesn’t look too tight. Sometimes I do a low side-bun. If I feel like my hair is under control enough, I’ll wear it down or ends pulled back. I don’t like doing a low ponytail that much, because I feel like it is really puffy (my hair might be getting kind of long for it), but if you’re comfortable with it for your hair, I would think it would be fine.

    • My hair’s very, very curly and the same length. I like to wear it down but it takes me about 90 minutes to do my hair, so realistically, that’s not a daily option. I usually go for ponytails. I think a low ponytail with an elastic that blends in looks nice. I normally leave my hair as curly as possible because when I brush out the curls it starts to frizz. If it’s a humid day, I hairspray my head and around the elastic to prevent flyaways.

  15. Thread hijack! I was walking to the dentist from my office and I think I saw every Corporette DON’T on one person. This poor woman was wearing a pinkish suit (awful, unflattering color), black underwear showing through and VPL, AND the skirt was about 6 inches too short. She was carrying her jacket and wearing a sheer white cotton T-shirt with a clearly visible lace bra. I truly felt bad for her and wished I could give her a “Go straight to Corporette, do not pass go, do not collect $200” card.

    • Yesterday, on my way from the office, I saw a young women who looked like she was probably coming from an office wearing black leggings and a skirt so short that it didn’t show from underneath her trenchcoat (read…WAY too short). She was also wearing brown slouchy boots.

      Here’s the thing — she looked nice. She had very nice hair, pretty make-up, and would have looked great at a bar or even in college. She has potential — she just needs this website to steer her in the right direction.

      I feel like this is Missed Connections, but for work style! :-P

      • There was a similar-type woman on the T next to me this morning. She was very cute – pretty hair, nice makeup. But she was wearing a strapless cobalt jersey dress with a little black cardigan. She was also carrying one of the teen-style coach bags.

        Of course, I was more preoccupied with the fact that she was texting furiously and all of her incoming texts were announced with a very loud bell. When I asked her to turn the volume down, she rolled her eyes, signed and said Okaaaaaaaay. My fellow commuters were happy, though.

        • Bunkster – I’m pretty sure you meant to type that she rolled her eyes and sighed, not signed, but I have a great mental image of her rolling her eyes, furiously telling you off in ASL, and then saying Okaaaaaaay. So, thanks for that :)

          • Yup. Sorry. Now I’m picturing me being totally embarassed when I realized she was deaf and couldn’t hear her text alerts.

            But, nope, she was not hearing impaired, just completely oblivious to other people.

    • Oops. I also wanted to address the unfortunate suit issue.

      About 15 years ago, my grandmother was on a grand jury. Apparently, it was for mob cases. She refused to tell us anything about the cases, which was, of course, appropriate. But she occasionally would describe how the defense lawyers were attired. I don’t believe there was a VPL issue, but the suits were invariably tight, short and brightly colored.

  16. Big Island :

    Any recommendations for a trip to Hawaii’s Big Island. Kid-free (wahoo!)

    We are staying at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, and will have a car.

    Restaurants we must try?

    Up for mostly anything but no helicopter rides (motion sickness, ugh) and we’re only there for 4 days.

    • another anon :

      I stayed near there last summer. There is awesome snorkeling on the big island. We went to a place called “two-step” (just ask the person at one of the snorkel rental places how to get there) that was awesome. Also I highly recommend the nighttime snorkeling with the manta rays. It was quite crowded when we went, but an amazing experience to be in the water with such large creatures nonetheless. Also, there is a beach near your hotel called “A-Bay.” The snorkeling there is not so great because it is quite sandy. However, there is a pier-type thing towards the north end of the beach that connects a small lake to the bay, and if you walk out on it in the late afternoon and look down you will probably see a TON of sea turtles feeding off of the seaweed that collects in a grate at the end of the pier.

    • We spent a week on the big island and LOVED it this winter.

      We loved a trip up to Hawi, which is on the North Kohala coast, and kind of feels like the end of the earth. There is great ice cream there and very good sushi (Sushi Rock). If you go past Hawi to Pololu valley. It’s about a 15 minute hike down the hillside to a blacksand beach that is gorgeous and feels pretty remote.

      We also like Waimea a lot. There’s supposed to be several good restaurants up there (we were travelling with our toddler, which made fancy meals less easy).

      Honestly, we were not super impressed with the food in Hawaii. My imagination of how it was going to be was disappointed. We found that a lot of stuff felt overpriced for mediocre quality. I think the way to do it if you are kid free is to hit the happy hours for appetizers and drinks, and make a meal of it. We actually found that the prepackaged food from the ABC market in Waikoloa Village (I think it’s called something like Island Gourmet or something) was as good a value and quality as anything. We liked the poke there and the fried rice, and it was vastly cheaper than equivalent food elsewhere. That being said, we were happiest eating on our lanai (we stayed at the Hapuna Prince, which has very nice views).

      We also had a great time renting stand up paddle boards and trying that. We did that at the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel. There’s a little shack in front that will rent you paddle boards. We also out rigger canoed with 2 of the guides from there which was awesome. Saw a ton of fish and whales and sea turtles. The guides were very invested in ocean preservation and it was very educational as well.

      Have a wonderful time! We love love loved the Kohala Coast and the Big Island, and are planning a 2013 trip.

    • Go to Sansei! Really wonderful Japanese food very close to the Hilton. My husband and I loved the tasting menu. If you go on a Monday night before 6pm, the food is 40% off

      • Recommend the trips up to Mauna Kea and the observatory there…great evening. We have gone twice and loved it both times. Mauna Kea Summit Adventures. Also a trip to the Volcano National Park, especially if you like to hike. There are great little orchid growers with open nurseries around the town of Volcano too…we use Akatsuka. Enjoy!

    • My husband and I found the restaurant Kenichi in a guide book as a “hidden gem” – it’s tucked into an inauspicious strip mall in Kailua Kona, but we ended up eating there several times. Best sushi I’ve ever had, and my husband enjoyed the non-sushi menu as well. However, the food on the Big Island was not that impressive, in general.

    • Check out the green sand beach. It’s a bit of trek on foot, and a little “interesting” by Jeep, but it’s amazing!

      • Anonymous :

        A day late, but we actually found the food on the Big Island much better than on Maui.

        1) go to the farmer’s market in Hilo. awesome plate lunches, fresh juices and incredible fruit. We left Waikoloa early, stopped at the market for breakfast, and bought the lunches to eat up at the volcano later in the day. We also bought 4 pounds of fresh longan, white pineapple, mangoes and papayas. Ate these throughout the week back in Waikoloa.

        2) The Island Gourmet Market in Waikoloa (walking distance from the Hilton) has great takeaway sushi platters –very fresh. The coffee bar at the Hilton is expensive but has better Kona coffee than the coffee bar in the Waikoloa King’s Market (which is equally expensive) or the Starbucks (which was terrible).

        3) There is a Costco in Kona, near the airport. Bring a cooler, or buy a cooler bag, and you can buy wonderful island products to take back to your condo kitchen. We also bought a 24-pack of beer, taro chips, macadamia nuts, 2 pounds of poke, island tomatoes, etc. Great meals on the lanai from these.

        4) the Kona brewing company is also close to the airport, and depending on what time your flight lands/takes off, is a great place for ahi tacos and a few Longboard Lagers.

        5) there is a farmer’s market in one of the strip malls above Kona on Saturday mornings. I don’t remember which mall, but google should be able to provide. Has baked goods and island products, including coffee, lilikoi jellies, fresh (e.g. non-roasted) macadamia nuts. Great place to buy gifts to take home.

  17. I just realized that I made a serious error in a serious case based on my misunderstanding of the law. I want to cry, and quit. But, I can’t because I have to try and salvage the case. The good news is that I have a trusted colleague who is helping me to think clearly. The morose guilt is clouding my judgment. It is so much more fun when someone else screwed up, and not me.

    • No advice, just commiseration. That sucks. Hang in there. Everyone makes mistakes.

    • *hug*

      Good luck. Sounds like you’re doing the right thing by admitting the mistake and doing what you can to fix it.

    • Anonymous :

      That sucks, but it has happened to everybody. The most important thing is to acknowledge the error, and work to fix it / limit the damage. And know that you’ve just learned the hard way. Trust me, once you’ve had a client defaulted, or miscalculated a SOL, or filed something in the wrong county (yes, really), you’ll never do it again. The good thing about the law is that most everything can be fixed if you are honest and proactive. It’s when you start trying to hide your mistakes that you have real problems.

      • Agreed. If you admit that you made a mistake and work to fix it, you retain a lot of credibility. Show me a lawyer that’s never made a mistake…


        It’s happened to all of us. But nine times of out ten, mistakes can be fixed. Ask me about the time my secretary forgot to serve opposing counsel our Response to a Motion for Summary Judgment and I didn’t know that until I showed up at the hearing. And then ask me if something like that has ever happened again. This too shall pass.

    • anonymous :

      Dealing with the mistake as quickly as possible is the best thing you can do, as I think you already know. It’s smart to be working with someone else who can help you in a difficult time. Good luck.

    • soulfusion :

      no advice as it sounds like you are doing the right thing by owning up to it and asking for help fixing it. But I will say everyone has been there at one point or another in their career.

      I read a book as a 3L called the Guerrilla Handbook to Being a Lawyer (or something to that effect) and there was a whole section called “F*&@!ing Up!” My take away over a decade later is that it happens to everyone at some point and the key is how you handle it. Best of luck.

    • All attorneys make mistakes. The good ones figure out ways to neutralize them.

      • Just to add… Being irresponsible about a case is one thing. Misunderstanding the law is another. I was in court a few months ago for a family law matter and both attorneys and the judge all had different interpretations of the same statute. Of course the judge’s interpretation wins, but it happens. Feel better!

  18. Barrister in the Bayou :

    Threadjack: I saw an article on the NY Times about “career associates” and I wanted to see what the commenters thought. While I have somewhat significant law school debt, I kind of like the idea because I know I would not be able to work the hours and I have no desire to be a partner. However, I can see how this would create problems among the so-called tiers. I went to school with a lot of people that equated big-firm/partner track as inherently superior to any other position… and I can just see them acting all highbrow and saying “oh, you’re not on the partner track?”


    • I think this largely depends on the firm. The article seems to be describing “staff attorneys,” who get the better hours w/ less pay but are usually hired to fill in the slack and often let go whenever work lags. Some firms also have “career associates” who are associates that have been at a firm for more than the 8-10 years that is typical for partner review, but stayed despite not making it through. They get paid at senior associate rates (w/ very little annual salary increases) but have just as long hours as track associates.

      It seems like a pretty hard life to me, either way. I find the biglaw environment so toxic in general I can’t imagine why anyone would want to stay if they were not going for partner.

      • I think you have it exactly right. Large law firms are very hierarchical. If you are a lawyer and neither a well-respected associate on partnership track nor a partner, there is a huge potential of being treated like sh_t.

        As for firms that call themselves “lifestyle firms” (if that’s still used), that’s BS for less money and benefits and slightly fewer hours.

        • Money matters, of course, but if respect and developing legal and leadership skills that could be used elsewhere, even in your own practice, are important to you, no one would suggest becoming a career associate.

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        I guess I was just looking at it differently. The people in the article did not have the same/similar billable hour requirements and they got home at reasonable hours. I would gladly take 60K if it meant not working from home and/or on the weekends. I do realize that I am not as “Type A” as most attorneys I know, but I don’t think that working crazy hours at a large firm is the only way to gain respect and develop legal and leadership skills. If the right individual takes a position at less pay/hours and does their work diligently, I do not see how that individual would be any less of an attorney, or even a less competent one. As much as I hate the phrase, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Sadly big law has been set on doing it one way for too long (and look at the state many of those firms have been in for the past few years).

        • Diana Barry :

          I think that a “regular” associate position in a smaller firm (with fewer hours) would be a better idea for 60K than a staff attorney/career associate at a large firm. The latter is really the lowest rung on the totem pole (if even on the same pole at all!) and would be seen as less competent at the very least, and the most likely to be let go for any/no reason.

    • For once, a somewhat accurate story about the business of law in the NYT. It’s only about 10 – 15 years late.

    • A few things: first, once a staff attorney, you will probably never move out of that role (perhaps if you can justify the position due to life circumstances, its possible, but there is a huge stigma). Second, this makes it sound like staff attorneys do “normal” legal work – unless a firm is overrun with work, the staff attorneys are going to do the crap work no one else wants to do. Third, you won’t be treated like a “real” attorney by others most likely (the people you went to law school with are typical and are at all firms).
      Does that mean its not the right choice for you? Only you can answer that. I think it depends what, if anything, you enjoy or could potentially enjoy about being a lawyer. To me, everything I like about being a lawyer would go away if I took this type of position. Even reduced hours don’t “fix” that problem.

      • Barrister in the Bayou :

        I realize I am speaking with the naivete of s/o who has not been practicing for a long time and does not work in a large firm (nor do I want to). I just never realized that there was such a stigma since I have met staff attorneys that actually enjoy their jobs.

        • I’m sure it depends on the firm. However a lot of firms don’t even list the staff attorneys on the website — which is a clue as to how they are treated. I’ve talked to staff attorneys who don’t get blackberries, or attend attorney functions…my impression has been that they are treated sort of like paralegals. But, again, there may be firms that are less snobby about it.

      • I saw this article too and was very surprised by the $60K figure. Even with better hours, you would be working in BigLaw and ultimately would be answering to BigLaw partners and BigLaw clients. I just can’t believe that the financial trade off is worth it. If associates want to take a $100K+ pay cut, there have to be better options.

    • karenpadi :

      I’m in patent prosecution and this isn’t an unusual situation. We have several 10+ year “associates” (at my firm, though, you are either an attorney or a shareholder–no associates) in my office and they do pretty well.

      The reasons: not wanting to become partner, having plenty of work already, not interested in building a book of business, being “between” in-house jobs, and still paid according to the “Rule of Thirds” (plus a little more). They are all very experienced, excellent attorneys who, unlike a recent law grad, do not need to be trained.

    • At my regional law firm, we have attorneys in specialized areas (IP, securities, environmental, etc) who have opted out of the partnership track. However, they put in the time as partnership-track associates to gain their specialized experience, and they all make significantly more than $60K. Although they are “career associates,” they are more like of-counsel than contract attorneys.

      I would suggest that it is worthwhile financially and professionally to put in the time and effort developing a niche practice area. It will probably take 6-7 years, but you’ll have more flexibility, make a lot more money, and it’s unlikely that people will get snobby about it later (because they’ll need your help).

    • If you think a certain career track would make you happy, don’t decide not to pursue it because you’re afraid of what other people would think!

  19. This shirt is just too much: sheer, poofy sleeves, ruffles, and a loud design. I could take a couple of these features but not all in one shirt.

  20. How do you get poofy sleeves like that to go under jacket sleeves? Maybe I just don’t have enough experience trying to make something like that work, but I’m picturing a magician with fabric billowing out of his jacket wrist openings.

  21. I don’t like it. It’s too sheer, and the length of the ruffle doesn’t fit the proportions of the sleeves.

  22. Thread jack- to all my PETITE ladies in the Windy City( CHICAGO..brr) I am looking for some suggestions.. (and it’s not limited to Chicago if you are very petite and have a brand you completely love.)

    Are there any favorite boutiques that you absolutely love or you find fit you really well? Thank you!

    (and – I know that tailor/seamstress is a best friend)

  23. Did anyone see the pictures of Kate Middleton today in the Reiss “Shola” dress? I’m so much more comfortable in dresses than pants- would something like that be appropriate in an office that is between business casual and formal (but leans toward casual)?

work fashion blog press mentions