Tuesday’s TPS Report: Malia Sleeveless Dress

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

A bright blue sheath dress can be an interesting twist on a basic: the color will definitely make it noticeable (and memorable — you probably can’t wear this one more than once every two weeks!) but it’s still just as versatile and easy as the original. I like the color, and would pair it with very different colors to make different outfits: perhaps a neutral (black, navy, beige) blazer with pumps for one, or perhaps a moss green long cardigan (with boots, perhaps, if your office allows) for another, or even layered beneath a simple crewneck sweater in navy or purple for a colorblocked effect.  (Or, stick with me: how about a red patent belt, belted on top of a white cardigan?) It was $298, now marked to $177.90 at Nordstrom (sizes 2-12 still available). Elie Tahari Exclusive for Nordstrom ‘Malia’ Sleeveless Dress

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



  1. I am normally not a fan of brightly colored dresses at all, but I really like this. Something about the blue makes it feel very modern. And I totally would wear this more than once every two weeks, btw.

    • I love the syling suggestion of a red patent belt over a white cardigan!

      • I have a weird hangup about that color combination — it makes me feel like Patriotic Barbie. I also avoid orange and black, and red and green — maybe I’m just a little crazy…

        • Not crazy, I have the same color hangups. Unless it actually is July 4th, December 25th (but really not even then) or October 31 . . .

        • I agree – replace the “red patent belt” with gray, green, yellow, pink, tangerine…. and then I’m sold.

          • Tired Squared :

            Oh, tangerine and blue sounds like a great suggestion! Now I just need to find a tangerine belt…

          • Or nice dark burgundy — same idea as red, minus the 4th of July associations :)

        • Same. Also yellow and black, lest I look like a bee, and pink and red, lest I look like valentine’s day. I hate themed outfits, and I try to avoid even the slightest hint of it. I don’t know why, it’s a silly hangup.

      • Ditto – this is a great dress and that is a great suggestion for styling it.

    • I love this dress!

  2. I love this dress too!

    FYI — Brooks Brothers outlet has nice cotton sheath dresses for $50 right now – khaki, navy, black and coral. There are matching jackets at least for the khaki and navy. The fabric feels great and the fit was wonderful, for me at least.

    • Anxiously awaiting this fall when the new Brooks Brothers outlet opens in my area! So jealous of people who already have one!

      • I saw these yesterday at an outlet in NC! They had a great black one with a collar…. sadly not my size, but almost all other ones!

  3. maine susan :

    When it makes the model look like she has HIPS, its not the dress for me.

    • Agreed! I have hips that are disproportionately larger than my waist, so I have to be careful about the fit of sheath dresses.

    • I was thinking the same thing but you know what? Maybe the model *actually* has hips. And this dress frames them beautifully.

      It can be difficult for pear shaped/”hippy” women to find sheath dresses that don’t pull across their belly/booty in an unflattering way – this dress seems like a winner to me.

    • Also, sometimes if the dress is structured over the hips, it can sort of equalize the hippy and non-hippy alike. I would definitely want to try it on, but it seems like maybe it means that there are room for my hips and that I wouldn’t have my unending problem of finding a dress that fits my slightly pear shaped frame.

    • Tahari clothes are often cut for a more pear shaped figure so it could be that you won’t look disproportionate at all. You will just be filling out what is otherwise just hanging there.
      Also, “hips” or no hips, the model looks lovely. Nothing wrong with having “hips” in my own personal opinion!

    • HIPS? Perish the thought that the model has female parts. I’ve got bigguns and I’d rock this dress all day and all night.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Isn’t she supposed to have hips? Most women have curves….

      • I think it’s more that some of us have bigger hip to waist ratios than models generally do. Given that this dress makes this model look like she has a hip to waist ratio similar to mine, that means that either the model has a similar ratio or that the dress is cut in a way that highlights hips. Those of us who have hourglass shapes or pear shapes tend to watch out for this kinda thing because it’s a good indicator for when a dress might not work for us, or for when we have to size up.

        I don’t think anyone said it was a bad thing that the model had hips or looks “hip-y.” We’re just trying to extrapolate from the dress on the model to what it might look like on us.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          I get that…I fall into that same curvy category. But it just sounded like hips were bunions or some other painful malformation.

  4. Do you know if they’re on the website? I couldn’t find.

    • Oops, sorry, that was supposed to be a reply to the Brooks Brothers post. Not sure how it ended up down here.

      • No, I think they are at the Outlets only, and as far as I know, there’s no website for the outlet.

  5. I have this dress (or a very very similar one) in black and love it — Elie Tahari fits my pear/hourglass shape very well and if the fabric is the same, this dress feels like a bathrobe to wear! I find it runs similar to J.Crew sizing (although if you usually take a bigger size in J.Crew because of hip/waist ratio, you may be able to size down one from J.Crew.)

    • Good to know! I thought it would be a no-go for me (hourglass shape here) because it made the model look hip-y, but I might give it a whirl. I find that my mileage for sheath dresses really varies depending on nuances in the cut of the dress because of my hips (and to a certain extent, bust). Do you have the same experience?

      • I do! Sometimes I feel like I have to give up on sheath dresses, because by the time I find one that fits my hips, the chest is so large that it would be major reconstruction rather than tailoring to get everything to fit.

        • This. To the 100th magnitude. Wish the designers would expand dress designs (especially for the office) past sheaths. Hence my “uniform” of skirts, tops, blazers, sweaters…

          • This to the 10,000th magnitude!!

            Plus, I already wear a 14 in most stores, so I don’t even have the option of sizing up and tailoring the rest to fit. I have managed to find ONE sheath dress that fits in the past 5 years and have given up entirely on pencil skirts. Even CE, which is highly recommended on this site for curvy gals, doesn’t work for me because they don’t size up high enough.

            I’ve been getting so tired of pants, that I’ve even started considering researching how much it would cost for a seamstress to make me some skirts and simple sheath dresses to accommodate hips. Does anyone have any insight into this?

          • @elle21 – Jones New York for sheath dresses. I have one beautiful seamed/shaped one that makes my hourglass figure look great.

          • @Elle21 — what part of the country are you in?
            Many places have tailors who will make something for you. It’s not as expensive as one might suppose, and the quality/fit is eons better!

          • I’m in the Midwest – Chicago and Milwaukee are my closest cities.

          • @Elle21 — check those cities. I am sure Chicago may have some good options.
            It’s too bad you’re not in Phoenix, I know a fantastic designer there who does custom clothing. She has a few clients who specifically go to her for all of their work clothes because they can’t find what they want from mainstream retailers.
            A great tailor/designer can be a lifelong gift! If you find someone you like, you won’t even need too many trips in once they get to know your shape/measurements, and your clothes will look amazing!

          • Thanks for all the suggestions, ladies! I do love this site and community…

          • Thanks for all the suggestions ladies! I do love this site and community… :-)

      • Yes – same experience. If you’re ever struggling with finding a formal sheath, I love love love Kay Unger — absolutely perfect for this body type. I am a 4/6, 34B and her dresses make me look fabulous!

        • Ooh will do, thanks for the suggestion! I just love the way sheaths look, so always on the lookout for ones that will work for me.

        • I LOVE Kay Unger dresses.

        • anon in dc :

          I am pear shaped too and find looking for dresses (and non a-line skirts) that fit well to be SO frustrating! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good wrap dress, but I would give anything for more options. Would love any advice for good tailors/designers in the DC area!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Agreed – I have found Elie Tahari dress sizing to be similar to CE, and pear-shape friendly. I bought an Elie Tahari (slightly annoying to have to spell out the exact line I mean since there are so many versions of “Tahari”) dress at Saks in the after-xmas sale bonanza that fit wonderfully, but I sadly had to return it because I couldn’t figure out how to raise the low-V neckline without ruining the look of the dress. The TPS dress’s high neckline wouldn’t be that flattering for my small bust, unfortunately.

      • I thought a high neckline made a chest appear larger? This could be beneficial if pear shaped, the high neckline/larger looking bust would balance out the hips.

  6. Early Threadjack- I’m in the middle of NGDGTCO (thanks for the rec!) and just came to the “mistake” about hair length. Do you ladies think that the idea that long hair looks unprofessional is still true?

    I’m lucky that I have thick hair that air dries pin straight when it’s long enough to reach the middle of my back (I think because it’s so heavy at that length). I take very good care of it- trims every 2 months, highlights in winter, etc. so it looks neat. Should I really consider cutting it shorter? I’m dreading the added styling time that a shorter cut would require since for me, shorter hair means a weird straight/wavy mix that needs to be tamed. Is it time for me to suck it up, add 20 minutes to my morning routine and march myself over to the hairdresser for a cut?

    • I remember being a little bewildered by that “mistake” as well. In my large law firm office, among the women partners it’s a 80-20 split in terms of short hair to long hair. Among the associates I’d say it’s more 50-50 or 60-40 in favor of long hair (one of the rock star senior associates has long blonde hair, and it hasn’t held here back at all).

      I personally wear my long hair down (mine air dries straight as well) or pulled back into a low ponytail with a barrette. I have side swept bangs that I pin, so I think that adds a sleekness to the ponytail look, instead of looking like a gym hairdo.

    • recently preggers :

      I used to think I needed short hair, and actually very much liked it that way, but I let mine grow long while I was pregnant last year and have left it long since the baby was born (she’s 9 months now!).

      I’m in my mid-30s, a senior associate at a large lawfirm in a big city. my hair is down to the middle of my back and I wear it down about 1/2 the time (sometimes straight, sometimes with waves). the rest of the time I pull it up in a sleek high pony tail, or a lower “messy” one.

      The point is — WEAR YOUR HAIR HOW YOU LIKE IT! Just make sure you look pulled together and you will always look professional regardless of your hairstyle.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think that you’re good as long as you style it professionally and keep it neat, which it sounds like you do.

      If not many people weigh in on this, there was a thread a couple months back about long hair. It was talking about looking young and having long hair, but I think there were lots of good comments. I also remember a discussion in the comments from maybe a year ago (?) about longer hair, but I can’t seem to pull it up on google right now. You might have better luck finding it!


    • I think the long hair issue really depends on your personality. If you speak like a teenager (with lots of “ums”, “likes”, etc) and are constantly playing with your hair, flipping it back etc, it may help your image to get a shorter haircut. Or even updating the long do with having the front frame your face, either with fringe/side swept bangs/long bangs, etc. Age is also a factor – in your 20’s, long hair makes you look much younger than having long hair in your 30’s, 40’s and beyond.

      NGDCTCO is a great book but don’t think you have to do EVERYTHING that’s pointed out there. Take 2 or 3 major working points from the book and try to improve those areas. Focus on producing consistent quality work in a professional manner and the rest will fall into place.

    • One of the most together, professional women I know has straight black hair she wears down to the middle of her back. She keeps it very neat and it always looks good – she is always conservatively and professionally dressed and doesn’t use a lot of “girly” gestures. I also happen to love the look of long, straight gray hair on women – I am hoping my hair goes salt-and-pepper gray so I can wear mine like that. “Nice Girls” is a book with suggestions, it’s not a blueprint on how you absolutely should live your life. If your hair works for you, it’s fine.

    • The point of NGDGTCO isn’t that you should stop every single one of the 101 behaviors discussed in the book. The point is that you should figure out which behaviors you engage in that negatively affect your career trajectory, and stop engaging in the ones that seem manageable to you and that are likely to have a positive affect on your career trajectory.

      So, it doesn’t sound like you want to change your hair, nor does it sound like it looks unprofessional. Leave it how you like it.

    • I think people get a little crazy over NGDGTCO, and I think its because when people read the book there will be at least one thing that makes them go “oh my god! that is me!.” I think take everything with a broader prospective. For instance the long hair thing, I would take that advice and turn it into this “examine the image you project. Is it time for an image overall or improvement?” If you have long neat hair, sharp dressing style etc you are fine.

      • CFM is exactly right. That book isn’t gospel for everyone. But you should be honest with yourself and see if you need an image upgrade. (Or get a brutally honest friend or trusted hairdresser to let you know.) If you’re younger and are having trouble being taken seriously, then a haircut can help you out.

    • I’ve had long dark blonde hair my entire life. Frankly, I’ll be damned if I’m going to cut my hair for my job. But that’s just me.
      I think there are 2 essential things to long hair being acceptable. It has to be neat and styled (I’d say this is generally a good rule for hair of ALL lengths, but I’m referring to styling to avoid excessive frizziness and getting regular trims to avoid split ends). The second is NOT playing with your hair. No twirling, playing with, pushing it behind your ears, or running your fingers through it when you’re nervous. If you know that’s going to be a problem, I’d suggest wearing your hair back when you know you’ll be most likely to play with it.

    • One of our partners wears her hair very long and straight, but she always wears some kind of headband to keep it out of her face. I think so long as it’s neat and styled so it’s out of your face, it’s fine. I’ve got a shoulder length, layered cut with bangs that I’m constantly pushing out of my face, I think hers is actually more professional. Can’t figure out what to do with mine, I can’t wear headbands because of my gigantic ears.

      • soulfusion :

        I used to have a shorter bob cut that was very sleek and professional looking but was pretty impractical for working because it fell into my face so easily and wouldn’t stay tucked behind my ears. Longer hair stays tucked back when it is down and is easily twisted up when I need a slick, more professional look. I vote wear your hair in a way that is professional and still gives you confidence because that will definitely translate into how you come across professionally.

    • Long and Curly :

      My brown hair is about 4 inches past my bra, layered, curly, and I have highlights. I’m in my late 20’s but I often get mistaken for someone much younger. I don’t think I’ll get that “big girl” hair cut anytime soon either. I just wouldn’t look good with shorter hair since I wear it curly most of the time. I rather feel good about myself and how I look and not worry about whether I look the part and look “old” enough to be an attorney. I’m confident in what I do, so I just pull my hair back when I go to court. I’m not going to waste my time worrying about what others think of me since I already have a lot of “strikes” against me (i.e. female, Latina, attorney, in Louisiana); I’m just going to let my work speak for itself.

    • Diana Barry :

      I think you need to have a *style* – not just very long hair all one length that is down your back and tucked behind ears. I saw several women with long hair like that when I was out getting lunch, and it really isn’t super-attractive unless you otherwise have model-y looks. It also tends to look like you kept the long hair you had in high school/college and have never changed it.

      Not to be a downer at all, but this is just the other side’s perspective. :)

    • Ain't I a Woman? :

      No, this is a totally B.S. “rule.” Wear your hair however you like.

  7. Love this dress. Need help with sizing on a Banana Republic dress. Has anyone ever bought a wrap dress from there? I’m 5 foot 3 inches and 120 pounds. I usually am a 4 or a 6 from them. Should I get a medium petite dress or a small petite dress? I plan on wearing the dress to work so don’t want it to be too tight! Thanks!

    • AnonInfinity :

      I am 5’4″ and about 125 lbs and wear a small dress at BR. I am a pear shape and usually a 6 in their pants.

    • I am about the same height and size as AnonInfinity (but, to be honest, a leetle heavier), and while I take size small at BR, I consistently find that their wrap dresses have far too low a neckline for me. To make them have an office-appropriate neckline I would have to wear a camisole underneath, which is not a look I like.

  8. Threadjack- question for lawyers about writing samples for jobs. I am clerking in a trial court, and a sizeable chunk of my job is administrative. I have written a handful of complex, detailed, thoughtful memoranda and orders that are good writing samples, but… I am in criminal court. All of my good writing samples are about horrible crimes (child molestation, murder, etc.) and are VERY fact intensive. I’m used to dealing with disgusting things all day long, but this stuff would seriously disturb someone who isn’t accustomed to criminal court. I pitch in with other judges whenever possible, and I have a few civil orders that won’t cause nightmares, but the legal conclusions are painfully obvious. My school writing is too old and terrible to submit. So far I’ve been sending a bland civil thing to firms, under the belief that writing samples exist to confirm that the applicant is a) literate, b) willing to proofread obsessively, and c) able to create a coherent and organized document. Am I right about this?

    (I know, I know, I should write a journal article. But I don’t want to.)

    • You don’t need to write a journal article. I think a criminal side memo is perfectly fine with two caveats: 1) redact any identifying details, and 2) edit the needlessly detailed if you think it’s appropriate. As concerns the latter, I think it always wise to edit your writing samples to a manageable length. No one is going to read more than 2-3 pages, usually. So find something that you can edit and maybe just limit the sample to your legal analysis and just write on the top of the sample “Edited for Length.”

      • PS: if nothing else, it will be more interesting to read and will give you something to discuss at an interview. And, pps, maybe murder is a bit more palatable than child molestation.

      • Anon-ee-mouse! :

        A criminal-side memo would be fine at my law firm, as well. Just as a caveat, though, I’m at a BigLaw firm and we assign a few people to read every writing sample (of people that we interview) and provide comments. We do read, and prefer to receive, entire briefs.

    • You should use the best writing sample that shows off your best legal writing and analysis skills. The topic of the memo is far less important than the skills demonstrated. You don’t have to use a full memorandum – 5-10 pages is plenty – so you can edit out the disturbing parts if you are worried. Employers will be more interested in your legal arguments than in the facts. You can put a one-paragraph intro at the beginning summarizing the facts in 2 sentences and stating that the following writing sample is the legal analysis section of a memo you wrote.

    • Lawyers are big girls and guys, they can handle criminal cases. I don’t think they will be seriously disturbed. It’s upsetting stuff like that happens sure, but when you write a legal memo its in a factual way, it’s not like you are glorifying it or taking pleasure in it. (and I agree that stuff without children would be best). My writing sample is a motion for a criminal case.

      • North Shore :

        Yes. Use the criminal memos. We all know that horrible events end up in criminal court, and I bet those memos are more interesting.

      • And also, lawyers in non-criminal fields like being reminded that they have something in common with Law and Order criminal types (or at least that seems to be the case in my office).

        • And there are alot of civil attorneys that got their start working for the prosecutor’s or public defender’s office or did internships/clinics with them in law school (as most consider it a great way to get courtroom experience early on).

    • first, don’t submit an opinion or order signed by a judge as a writing sample– its very distateful, i have heard a LOT of bad feedback from that when we get stuff in from clerks. No one believes the judge didn’t touch it, or alternatively, you are throwing your judge under the bus. Write something specificially for a sample. Do a great memo on something you know you can rock out on and put some real analysis in– remember, its not just the writing you are showing, but your ability to critically analyze legal issues! Also, get your judge to write a letter touting your writing.

      good luck!

      • Make sure your judge (or the supervising judge, if someone else) is ok with you submitting a memo or brief written for chambers as a writing sample. Most judges are not ok with this, because all of your work product for chambers is confidential.

        But other than that, a criminal sample is fine.

      • Anonymous :

        Suppose my…friend did this (using an order that went to the judge and got approved without a single change)?

        Just once I would like to get advice from my school’s career office that isn’t the POLAR EXACT OPPOSITE of what I should be doing.

        • The #1 rule in clerking is: Ask your judge.

          For every possible ethical dilemma you have while clerking, your judge should be the first person you go to.

          When you read this message, go ask your judge.

        • When I receive a writing sample, I expect to see a statement to the effect that it’s the writer’s original work and, if it is something that seems like it should have been kept private, that they have permission to use it. So if you include “the following writing sample is entirely Jane Doe’s original work, written in her capacity as clerk to Judge Smith, and is used with permission of Judge Smith” it’d be OK with me.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh! I just received an order that I know was not written by the judge. He should have been ashamed to sign his name. Sorry for the off-topic rant.

  9. Threadjack re: Administrative Professionals Day (or Administrative Assistants Day or Secretary’s Day, whatever you want to call it).

    I’m a bit new to this whole having-an-admin-assistant deal (first job, only been here about 2 months). So I have 2 questions. (1) Is this the type of holiday for which you give your assistant a gift? and (2) What might be a good idea for a gift to an assistant (who is completely awesome) when you haven’t been at your firm very long? I’m not BigLaw so I don’t make a whole lot, but I was thinking a small box of nice chocolates and gift card (something in the $20 range).

    • [email protected], is that today?

      • No, it’s Wednesday next week. :) Just happened to notice it on my calendar the other day when I was writing in some hearings.

      • Mild panic on my end (since last year I rushed flowers the day of).

        According to Wikipedia it’s the 27th. FTD says it’s the week of April 24-30.

      • Had me worried too for a minute. This week is Earth Week! Next week is Admin’s week.

        I’d skip chocolates and go for something more personal, for example a beading shop gift certificate if s/he has hobbies. Or a plant IF s/he is a gardener. And so on. You may have to ask around or keep your ears open. Not just flowers for the sake of flowers.

    • I ordered my assistant (who is awesome) some flowers. I know one person who is getting their assistants spa gift certificates, but I’ve only been in my job for a few months and I don’t know enough about her life/likes/dislikes to get something so personal. And, I would feel weird giving her an Amex gift card (which I gave her for the December holidays) for something like this.

      • As a former admin assistant/paralegal/sole support staff, gah not flowers. Not a coffee mug. Guess what, we get those allllllllllllll the time. Be creative. If you don’t know their likes or dislikes well enough, ask around. Someone knows.

        If you are new to your office, check around to see what is usually given. You don’t want to go too overboard or underboard (while still taking your salary into account).

        • Really? My admin loves getting flowers. I think all the admins in my office like getting flowers and it looks bad if every admin has flowers on her desk and yours doesn’t.

    • In my office, we get together as a group and everyone gives $15ish. That is used for an amex gift card (or simialr) and usually some flowers and a nice card.

      • If you’re doing something on your own and a small amount of cash equivalent seems too odd, you can take note of if/where she gets coffee or breakfast or afternoon snack and get her a $10-20 gift certificate there (Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, local chain, etc.).

    • I work with a lot of different assistants, so the associates just bring in breakfast for them the morning of and send out an evite the day before. It’s a smallish office though.

    • Original Lola :

      I usually give a gift card to itunes or a local coffeeshop. I give the itunes one to the admin who carries her ipod around, and the coffeeshop one to the ones who go to that particular coffeeshop. When I had a male assistant, I gave him a gift card to Best Buy one year, and a gift card to the cinema the next year.

      (I don’t have 4 assistants – I work in a big agency where the duties are divvied up between assistants.)

      Always with a handwritten card/note that I leave on their keyboard the previous evening.

      This is in addition to our office-wide gift, which is like a lunch for all of them out together or something. I just feel like that’s impersonal.

  10. anon for this :

    Threadjack – apparently Kat’s post on career changes was timely. Regular poster, anon for this.

    6 weeks ago I laterally moved from one gov’t unit to another because I liked the day to day in the new unit much better. This morning I was offered the position to run my old unit. I am 29 and do not have any managerial experience; the leadership position would put me in a better place vis a vis my long term career goals; and it is a raise of nearly half my current salary. BUT. The day to day of my old unit is quite tiresome to me, and the unit head job promises a lot of political and managerial BS, in addition to more hours (still manageable) and travel. I am faced with the following quandary: keep lower salary and day to day happiness (I LOVE my current job – but who knows, it’s only been two months), or put up with what is certain to be a PITA for higher salary, management experience, and continued upward trajectory? I am not likely to be eligible for elevation in my current position for a long time, but I can see myself being quite happy in my current position for a long time. Turnover in both positions is very low. Also, FWIW, DH and I are trying to start a family right now.

    I know this is very vague. TIA for your perspective.

    • I think it would depend a lot on if you think you’d just like your current position better, or if you’d truly be unhappy/miserable at the other job. For a 50% raise, there’s a lot of extra junk I’d be willing to deal with. Definitely some headaches, but nothing that would push me to misery.

      How much money you and your family have saved and whether the additional money would be meaningful to you are important considerations too.

    • If you don’t need the extra money, then do what makes you happy. An upward trajectory is only a good thing if you’re happy with what lies upward.

      • This is exactly how I look at it. If you’re going to burn out in the new job after a year (not saying you are, just saying what if), then what’s the point? I believe that if you stick with the path you want to be on, good things will happen, even if it takes a little longer. Congrats on the recognition though, that’s an awesome offer.

    • Well, here’s my experience: everyone I know who’s ever picked the more-money job over the “I love to do this work” job has regretted it. There are some things money just can’t buy. I work with government clients, and I know that the amount of politics and general BS you will have to deal with as a manager is considerable, so considerable that it would really give me pause. I think you need to look further down the line – in a year, will you be on a forward trajectory to something better, if you take the new job? Is it something you can do for a couple of years and then use to get someplace else you’d like better? Is that the case for your current job? Is it possible if you stay in your current job, you would get offered a leadership opportunity doing that work in the near future? I would guard against taking an immediate, mediocre opportunity that may lead you down a path you don’t want to be on, over staying in a job you like now (as long as that job has legitimate, tangible growth potential). Good luck!

      • anon for this :

        Thanks, all. The main difference is in the forward trajectories between the two jobs. In my current job, there is no forward trajectory or leadership opportunity available to me in the next 10 years; in the offered leadership position, there is.

        • Well, do you like current job so much that you think you’d stay there for 10 years in the current position? If so, I don’t see why you’d leave anyway – it’s rare to find a job you like enough to do for 10 years.

          If your real career goal is to move into leadership opportunities, and that’s more important to you than your immediate happiness, then consider taking the other job.

    • Valid points above me.

      Also consider – if you’re trying to start a family, you don’t know what (potential) stress /issues lie ahead with pregnancy/baby arrival. Isn’t it much better to be in /want to go back to a job that makes you happy then?

  11. Diana Barry :

    I like this dress, but this shade looks horrific on me (I am pale but with olive undertones).

    Does anyone have a suggestion for where to find a single breasted trench coat? I really don’t like the double breasted look, but that seems to be all that’s out there. In addition, how about a 3/4 sleeve black blazer? I just retired one from Ann Taylor that lasted me 10 years (!!).

    • I’ve seen a couple at Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor. London For usually makes some, and if colors are your thing, they have options.

      I like this one a lot:

    • I got the “short” version of AIMS’ suggestion last year and I love it! As an added bonus, it also comes in petites, which is a big plus for those of us who drown in regular sized trench coats.


    • anonymiss :

      I got one extremely similar to this: http://www.amazon.com/London-Fog-Womens-Single-Breasted/dp/B001CLFPAG
      in black at Nordstroms this year. (unfortunately, it’s no longer available on Nordie’s website.) I LOVE it. The zip out liner makes it much more versatile, and the cut and where the belt hits is really flattering. I’m a 10/12, with a larger bust, and I got a large and it layers over heavy sweaters/light fleeces just fine.

      • Big Dreamer :

        Talbots has a lot of 3/4 sleeve blazers right now. Not sure if they have any in black… seems to be a lot of “springy” colors, but worth checking it out.

    • North Shore :

      There’s a cute lemon-drop yellow trench at Eddie Bauer for just $60. It might be more casual than you are seeking (no belt, for example), but I love the color. I have a baby blue trench from Eddie Bauer from a couple of years ago, and get tons of compliments on it.


  12. Styling threadjack: I just purchased this dress for some upcoming summer weddings. http://bananarepublic.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=48449&vid=1&pid=833715

    One of the weddings is a tented, backyard, “Hamptons-chic” affair and the other is in a ballroom in NYC.

    What shoes should I wear with it? Strappy sandals? Wedges/flats?

    Two pairs I was thinking of:



    • I think that first pair is perfect. I’d go with beige or tan wedges myself. Possibly espradrilles.

    • recently preggers :

      I’d go with the first pair for the hamptons one (or some other flat-ish shoe), and a more formal strappy sandal for the ballroom in NYC. You want it to look like an evening gown for the second one.

  13. Threadjack/general comment: I was doing a bit of Corporette catch-up and was thrilled to see that there was a post on ways for moms who take a short or long leave of absence to stay current and marketable. I remarked to my husband that I couldn’t wait to hear what my fellow Corporettes had to say on this important but often stressful subject. I could not have been more disappointed and disgusted by what I read. For every helpful comment,there was at least one nasty, hateful attack. It didn’t matter what side of the fence people were on about mothering/working choices; the hate spewed forth from all points of view. It is of little wonder that women fail to advance in the workplace as quickly as men often do, because it is obvious from the spiteful air of at least half of those comments that many women would sooner tear down their fellow women than offer a word of empathy or support- – regardless of whether they would make the same choices in their own lives. I am thoroughly disappointed, and am coming to terms with the fact that, not only do I not care to consider the fashion preferences of such nasty, sanctimonious people, but I also won’t be able to escape them just by discontinuing readership of this blog. I guess women everywhere delight in ripping one another apart. I just can’t figure out why. Anyway, that’s what was on my mind.

    • While I agree that there were several nasty comments in that entry, there were also several stories from people who had done the motherhood/marketable thing successfully. Some people are always going to negative, and since I can’t change that, I just skip over the negative stuff and take what I can from the “good” comments.

      That said, I don’t know that sharing your disappointment on an unrelated post several days later really brings anything extra to the table, especially when your post suggests you won’t be coming back?

      • Thanks, Anonymous- that’s a good perspective to have, and I’m glad I wasn’t the only one disappointed by the negativity on that subject. What shocked me was not just the negativity but the sheer volume of it. I am not attempting to bring anything new to that debate; my point (and people do unrelated threadjacks all the time) is that women shouldn’t treat one another that way.

        • Tired Squared :

          Agree–definitely disappointing to see so much of that trash-talk back and forth. I guess we should all just try to take Anonymous’ approach–take the good and ignore the bad!

          • Yes. I wasn’t there for the discussion, but I keep coming back to the same conclusion when I see flaming on discussion boards: it’s just like in real life. All you can do is take what you find useful–including the things you may not want to hear but are worth thinking about–and manage how your own words are coming across to others. Beyond that, some people are not worth engaging and basically just need to be tuned out.

          • Oh, and to add to my above comment: I work with almost all men, and some of them are absolutely terrible about this as well–to each other and to women. The style sometimes varies, but the effect is the same.

    • If everyone were perfectly accepting and flexible with respect to working/motherhood, we wouldn’t need the original post — I was not surprised at the strong opinions on the topic, and while I don’t agree with some of them (and feel that trash talk is never helpful), I think it’s a valuable peek into the (sometimes disappointing) opinions across the workplace, even from similarly situated women.

    • I remember a few comments that ventured into nasty territory (and wrote a couple off as trolls), but not nearly the one-to-one that you’ve noted. I thought the comments were, on the whole, informative and useful. To each her own!

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, certain topics tend to turn blogs into war zones. These include (but are not limited to):

        SAHM vs. Working mom
        Kid vs. no-kids
        Breast feeding in public
        Saving pet vs. baby from a burning house
        Women having affairs/sleeping with married man
        C-Section vs. Vag births

        • “Saving pet vs. baby from a burning house”

          Wait, there are people who would save their pet before their baby?

          • I was wondering about that one, too. Not trying to start another argument here, to each, her own.

          • That gave me pause too. Maybe saving their own pet vs. someone else’s baby? Although I don’t think there could be a question there either.

          • Maybe its for people who have pets, but not children, and equate their pets to having babies?

    • I was very disappointed by that thread as well, but I have to say that I saw some usernames (and some really bad behavior) that I have never really seen here before, so I wonder if the topic drew in some people who don’t regularly read or post, but felt like they had to throw their $.02 in on that particular topic? Most of the discussions here don’t degrade into the name-calling and horrible statements that happened in that thread, and I also noticed some bad language/grammar in a lot of the posts I don’t usually see. In any case, I am not one to throw the baby out with the bathwater and I think there’s enough good that goes on here, that we should all be able to put “bad threads” like that one in the past where they belong, and leave them there. Hopefully.

    • I found a few parts of the thread to get a bit obnoxious, too, though I really didn’t participate, I’ve seen it a bit before, so I’m not at all defending nastiness…. BUT

      I do think a lot of folks here can be WAY too sensitive about what others might think of them. Here’s the thing: I have a preference on how I think is the best way to raise children (or substitute virtually any other controversial topic). Most of us do. We act on our preference, and, when discussions come up, we might say why we think our way is correct.

      Yes, that means that we might think that you are, if you are doing things differently, not doing things in the best possible way, in our opinion. We might even think that, even though you’re a nice person and doing your best, that you’re doing certain things wrong. *So What?* If you think that you are doing things right, do them the way that your believe to be right, and discuss why you think it’s right (in a civil manner) if you want, but understand that others might disagree.

      It doesn’t hurt you to have some stranger on the internet think that your choices are less than ideal. It doesn’t even hurt to have them (gasp) *judge* you. I think that these discussions would be a lot more useful and informative if people we’re approaching any disagreement as some sort of rank insult.

    I applied to a job and got an email back saying they are in the review process and will get back to me shortly. Obsessing over what this meant, I checked the original email I sent them to find my resume contained redlining from a previous editing session.

    Horror of horrors. I have no idea how this happened. Now I’m obsessing over whether to email another copy to attempt to “fix” it, OR hope that since it doesn’t show when you print a copy, it wasn’t seen by the reviewer.

    Clearly I don’t want to draw more attention to the issue. Any suggestions on what to do?

    • I’m guessing you used track changes unwittingly and looked at it originally in “Final” rather than “Final showing markup”. In my job, we’re warned of the danges of track changes all the time and encouraged to use PDFs to avoid unwittingly sharing information you don’t want to share.

      At this stage, if someone has noticed, I suspect you won’t get the job if its a job that requires attention to detail (I could be wrong). So I think you have to hope that whoever is looking at it only looked at it in Final and the Final showing markup issue is never seen.

      My 2 cents.

    • Tired Squared :

      I think you can send a new copy and “fix” it if you have something to add–otherwise, sending the same thing again will just draw attention to the mistake.

      Think positive–if you’re in the review process now, they probably didn’t see the redlining!

      • Thank you :)
        That’s what I’m trying to think.

        I have sent resumes out in PDF version and have been asked to change it because people couldn’t open it, or they don’t have Acrobat. Yeah, I know.
        Thanks to CC too – I will send an “updated copy”

        • If you have to send it in word, send it as read only and lock it for editing.

        • I would not want to work in an office that does not have Acrobat. (What else don’t they have?)

        • but you don’t need acrobat to open pdfs! adobe reader works also (and is free)

    • Do people know the rule about sending it in PDFs? Not that it helps you now but you should always send it in PDF, even if you don’t make a mistake it keeps the person opening it from changing it by accident.

      You could send an email that says you wanted to send an updated copy of your resume. I would not mention that there was a mistake with your first copy. Whether they notice or not depends on the place I guess. I know we almost never print the resume until the person is coming in for an interview, we pass it around electronically.

      • My husband refuses to talk to recruiters who require Word resumes.

        I have been doing a lot of interviewing recently. One candidate actually told me that the recruiter modified her resume (without permission). I feel bad now – I tossed several because of typos and poor grammar. In at least 1 case, I confirmed that it was the recruiter who created the error. This should be a lesson to interviewers and interviewees, IMHO.

    • You know, if I received a resume that showed redlining, I’d actually assume it was my mistake for having Word set to view final showing markup instead of final. I wouldn’t hold it against the applicant unless the redlining showed that you’d done something dishonest, like deleting a job or something. Granted, I’m not great at Word. I don’t think that sending it again can help you at all – only hurt. Possibly the recipient won’t open it with track changes on and won’t see the markup.

      However, in the future, you should make sure to accept all changes, not just view it as final. And the best option is to always send your resume as a PDF.

  15. East Coast Sunshine :

    Tahari Woman also has this dress, in black and a delicious shade of red- Nordstrom for sure has it, I’m not sure where else might.

  16. I just accepted a job for after law school last week. I am really excited about, but I didn’t ask a lot of questions. What’s the best way to ask questions about dress code, hours, if I get an office? TIA

    • It depends — some places will send you a whole package of what you need to know, others (usually smaller in size places) will not.
      Depending on the organizational structure, email someone and say that you are really excited to start your career at X, and was wondering if there would be an opportunity to come by and discuss some specifics re: what’s expected of you.

      But, honestly, you will likely figure it out when you start. E.g., if it’s a law office, wear a suit your first day and see how everyone else is dressed, etc.

      Congrats on the job!

      • Thank you! I’m wondering about getting my diplomas framed and don’t want to jump the gun

        • soulfusion :

          My advice – hold off on the diploma framing and look around when you start. It may be terrible to admit but when we’ve had new lawyer show up and decorate their office on day 1, it feels a bit off. I don’t know what it is exactly that is irritating about that but it just seems like that should not be the first priority.

        • I think you should certainly get your diplomas framed.

          Whether or not you put them up on Day 1… that’s a different question. But you will want to put them up someday.

          And frankly, if you’re a new attorney that wouldn’t hurt to look/seem older, then put them up as soon possible. It’s a power move. It can rub others the wrong way for that reason. You earned them.

          • I’d wait – almost no one in my office has framed diplomas up. We’re all attorneys. We’re all licensed. No need to hang them on the walls.

    • Call/email the HR person and talk to him/her about it. And I agree with AIMS, wear a suit (or at least a blazer, if it’s business casual) the first day; better to be overdressed than underdressed.You’ll probably have to get your picture taken for an ID badge and/or the company internal employee website.

  17. Fashion dilemma threadjack: I have a benefit to attend next week – cocktail attire – and just bought a nice but sort of plain black jersey cocktail dress from AT (I am more than slightly pregnant and needed something stretchy/ruched but not quite a maternity dress). I’m trying to figure out how to jazz it up a bit – I don’t own any cool chunky necklaces, but would buy one if price and quality were right and I knew where to find one; any thoughts? Also, I have a pair of awesome strappy red sandals that might help but my legs are so, so, so sad and pale, I think I’m going to have to go with ultrasheer hose and patent platform slingbacks. I am so fashion challenged to start with, and feeling pasty and puffy is not improving things – help!! TIA…

    • Consider comfort. Your feet may slide in slingbacks if you wear hose and will you be comfortable wearing hose while pregnant? Strappy red sandals would definitely jazz up a basic black dress. Perhaps try out a lotion with light shimmer. I think Jergens makes one that does not look glittery but fairly naturally improves skin texture. Macy’s and Filene’s are good places to look for fun jewelry without spending a bundle. Have fun!

    • Anonymous :

      Boden necklaces!

    • Check out etsy.com. You can search by stone type or color. Some great, one of the kind pieces for sometimes not a whole lot. You can probably get priority mailing from the seller as well.

    • Target often has surprisingly cute costume jewelry. If you happen to be in the DC area, check out a store called Loulou. Honestly though – if you’re visibly pregnant, you can show up in whatever you want and no one will call you on it. Wear comfortable shoes in case you end up standing all night. And there’s nothing wrong with pale legs!

    • Have you considered some self-tanner, like Jergens, or a spray tan? If they are done well (by a pro with a light hand), you don’t look orange at all.

    • Forever 21 for cheapo but fun jewelry.

    • Have you considered a fancy pashmina/shawl around your shoulders? One with a little shine or some sequins will really draw attention up to your face and neck, and away from your middle and legs.

      Big department stores like Macys usually have a rack of shawls in the accessories/handbags department. A light champagne color with some sparkle in it would feel fresh and springy but still dressy, and go well with your red shoes. Basic black, maybe shot through with a gold or silver thread, is classic. Bonus: They will keep you warm on a cool evening.

      Pearls, real or fake, are a no-fail option for cocktail attire. I think they bring a flattering light up to any face, no matter what your skin tone.

    • Thanks for all the suggestions. I would love to sneak out for some bargain shopping but between work and having agreed to give bhtsbabysitter Good Friday off…ugh. I took a look at my awesome sandals last night, and they’re four-inch heels with a half-inch platform – eeps! No wonder I haven’t worn them in forever. I have a cute gold and gemstone drop necklace and a pair of gold snakeskin pumps in my shopping cart at SmartBargains but am having trouble pulling the trigger on express shipping so I’m going to see if I can round up something similar on Zappos. I’m a fairly relaxed mama so I would be okay with self-tanner if the smell didn’t risk triggering residual morning sickness, I may bust out super-sheer hose with a slight shimmer. Luckily for me this is #2 so there is a discernible bump, not just overall midriff-thickening at this stage!

      • For what it’s worth, if you google the word smartbargains and then click on the first or second result, you will get free shipping or a discount.

  18. ETSY.com is good for chunky necklaces in reasonable price ranges, I’ve been happy with the stuff I’ve gotten there. Also sometimes TJMaxx can have a find, though it’s spotty – but as long as you’re there, when I was pregnant enough to show but not enough to fill in maternity wear well I bought a bunch of non-maternity clothes in larger sizes at TJMaxx and Marshall’s and it worked really well for me for those awkward second trimester months and then again briefly after having the baby…

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