Tuesday’s TPS Report: Printed silk-blend dress

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

Anna Sui Printed silk-blend dressMaybe I’m crazy, but even though The Outnet describes this Anna Sui dress as a way to “update your after-dark repertoire,” this looks to me like a great dress for the office. Love the dark muted colors that make up the playful print, as well as the high V and the pretty sleeves. The silk portion of the dress (the overlay) is a bit sheer, but that doesn’t concern me too much — it looks like just your back and arms are “exposed.” I’d wear it with a black blazer or cardigan (belted even) without much hesitation; if I could find a cardigan to match one of the purples, blues or greens in the dress I might pair it with that instead. It was $498, now marked to $224.10 at The Outnet (amazingly, still available in sizes 0-10 as of this AM). Printed silk-blend dress

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  1. The areas that are sheer and the print itself don’t bother me for the office, but the silver threads woven throughout (the slightly flouncy/silky feel, a little bit as well) make it more cocktail-appropriate IMO.

    Hope all the East Coast corporettes had safe commutes this morning — what a storm!

    • In moderation – reposting and hoping c-cktail was the trigger (remember the pet-te comments getting stuck?).

      The areas that are sheer and the print itself don’t bother me for the office, but the silver threads woven throughout (the slightly flouncy/silky feel, a little bit as well) make it more evening-appropriate IMO.

      Hope all the East Coast corporettes had safe commutes this morning — what a storm!

      • Yup, very wet, windy, and ferosh in the DC area.

        • Another Sarah :

          And did not appreciate the 10-degree drop in temperature between 8am and 10am. I wore a light rain coat and sweated on the metro this morning, and then froze my butt off walking home for lunch!

          • found a peanut :

            you just prompted me to look at the temp outside – it was 65 degrees an hour ago and now it’s 49! eeeep!

      • Uh oh, nothing here yet. Guess this is what NYC has to look forward to soon?

  2. Skippy pea :

    Quick question. I bought the Olay face brush and for life of me cannot figure out how to open the battery compartment. I know some of you have successfully tried it before….any tricks you can share? I am assuming that the bottom of the handle is where the batteries go?

    • I just grasped the bottom part of it (below the seam for the battery compartment) and gave it a good tug. After two tries, it came off. It was sheer luck, though, because I had read all the reviews about how hard the compartment is to open.

    • I had this problem, too! I just kept playing with it until I got it open. The hassle was totally worth it, because I love it!

    • I think the instructions said to wiggle it back and forth, but I’ve had to give it a good tug along with that.

    • Same problem. After kind of twisting and pulling the bottom for about 5 minutes, it opened. Totally worth it- I am obsessed with this thing!

      • I have this too and love it. But as for the battery compartment, I admit I had to get my male roommate to open it for me and I am not sure how he did it. I am sure about the Look he gave me when I asked him to do it though. :)

    • Aside from opening the battery compartment, how do you life the face brush in general? I’ve accepted that the Clarisonic is just not possible right now so that would be the next best thing! My skin is basically fine so I figured there’s no reason to spend $150+ on the Clarisonic.

      • I’ve used it for three weeks now and I love it. I couldn’t make myself splurge on the Clarisonic, but the Olay one is working very well for me. I can tell a difference in my skin.

      • I think the bristles are softer on the Olay brush than the Clarisonic, so I like it better.

        Weighing in on the battery compartment: Wiggled and a BIG tug to get it open. Took maybe a minute. If it is that good at keeping ME out, it must do a great job of keeping water and cleanser out!

        • DietCoke1 :

          What kind of cleanser do you use with these face brushes? Are there specific ones that work better when used with a brush?

          • The Olay one comes with a sample of their recommended facial cleanser, but I only use it when I need serious exfoliation. I usually use my tried-and-true liquid Neutrogena (original formula, fragrance-free).

      • Looks like I will be purchasing the Olay one very soon!

    • skippy pea :

      Thanks all! I finally got it to open! Will try it tonight!

  3. Mousketeer :

    I think this looks like a dress a grandma sewed out of peacock feathers.

    • somewherecold :

      Not sure that I thought grandma, but I definitely thought peacock.

    • Original Lola :

      I love this dress. :) But not for work. It looks like one of the vintage-y dresses I wore in college.

  4. Early threadjack for a boring, rainy day . . . I was just invited to a seminar that I think all you NGDGTCO fans would appreciate: “How to Feel as Bright and Capable as Everyone Seems to Think You Are: What Every Woman and Man Needs to Know about Competence, Impostor Syndrome, and the Art of Winging It.”

    • I wanna go to the seminar!

    • I attended that one a few years ago! It was led by the woman who “wrote the book,” literally, on imposter syndrome. I actually got a lot out of it–though I still suffer from the syndrome very acutely. –Doctor Monday

      • Tell me more, please. What is imposter syndrome?

        • It’s a negative self-assessment. You think you’re an “imposter” of someone who knows what she’s doing. You believe that somehow you made it to wherever you are professionally by “faking” your knowledge/skills, or just being likeable–and that at some point you’re going to be found out by one of the people around you, who actually does know what they’re doing.

          There are some fascinating examples she gives of very well-known, extremely accomplished people who still claim that they aren’t qualified or knowledgeable, and keep expecting to be called out on it at some point. It’s especially common among professionals who are in the gender minority for their fields, such as male nurses or female engineers.

          • Well, that is me in a nutshell.

          • haha me too. To a t.

          • I also frequently suffer from this syndrome and it really holds me back. I’m constantly plagued by the fear that I don’t know enough about my area of practice and don’t feel comfortable “winging it,” though I’ve watched male colleagues do this very successfully.

            I had an interesting conversation recently with a member of my state legislature who was trying to recruit women to run for open seats. He told me it’s easy to recruit male candidates (most men think they should be a U.S. Senator), but it take a lot of effort to convince most women that they’re qualified to hold public office of any kind (even those with impressive professional accomplishments).

            How can we raise our daughters differently?

          • anon 11:55–I have heard that too, about recruiting candidates. I also heard, and believe, that another part of the problem is that very few women hear “you know, you should run for office,” whereas men get this kind of encouragement much more often. I made a mental note when I heard that: when I know a woman who would be great in office, I should tell her so. Really, when you think about it, nobody is “qualified,” no matter what their credentials!

          • Soon to Graduate :

            Woah. I really thought this one was just me. I really, really did. Hmm. Processing.

          • This. Also processing.

        • It’s not an actual syndrome, its when people don’t internalize their accomplishments, as in people feel they are not as good as other people think they are. But I feel this is every person in the world, I thought it was just called being self conscious or self critical sometimes.

        • AnonInfinity :

          There was an excellent discussion about this in the comments a few weeks ago.


        • Anonymous Lawyer :

          I didn’t know this was a syndrome. I always feel like I’m faking it and that the only reason I am where I am is plain old luck. I always believed that I “fell” into my life – pure luck landed me at a top undergrad, top law school, and high powered law firm, so I have to work doubly hard to make sure that people don’t find out that I’m not competent. I also feel like I am “playing” Mommy and playing wife, but one day, people will find out that I don’t know what I’m doing. Good to know that I’m not the only one who feels like a failure all the time!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        What was the book called and who is the author?

        • OK, actually it looks like there’s more than one book. Anyway here’s the woman and the workshop I was talking about:


    • AnonInfinity :

      This sounds really great! Are you going?

      • Unfortunately, it’s during the workday about 45 min away from my office. “Doctor Monday,” can you give us a summary of what you got out of it?

        • See my summary above. I’d say what I got out of it was a) a reassurance that I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, and b) a sense of “really, WTF, Self?” that I do try to take with me whenever I’m nervous. That’s why I signed “Doctor Monday,”–part of what she was saying was, “How would you have accomplished [whatever you have accomplished] by fooling person after person after person?” I just gave a talk at a conference that was attended by many well-known people in my field, and sure enough I expected to go down in flames when one of them pointed out a huge hole in what I was saying. Nobody did, and in fact they seemed to think I was the authority on my topic!

          The “wake-up” moment of the workshop, for me, came when she talked about the certain arrogance that you have to have, to think you’re an “imposter.” She said: “think of everyone who has ever passed you on an exam, promoted you, praised your work, or served as a reference for you. These are some very smart people, right? How would you have managed to fool all of them? You really think they wouldn’t have noticed if you were faking it?” Fair enough. I realized that part of giving superiors their due respect is to give yourself due respect. Know that that many of them can’t be wrong about you. You’re not sly enough to have tricked people like these. If they think you’re good, you must be.

          • Monday – thanks for the summary. The “wake-up” moment you described makes sense and I will consider that the next time I’m feeling insecure at work.

          • Thanks. Your wake-up moment makes a lot of sense. I just moved to a brand new field a month ago and am having a hard time believing that I’m qualified to be doing my work . . . but I can’t have fooled everyone who selected me.

          • somewherecold :

            Thanks for summarizing and sharing.

  5. I think this is bordering just a wee bit on the “crazy” for the office, or at least for my office. Sheer+glitter thread cannot be overcome by a high v-neckline. This would be a cute dress to wear to some jobs, just not to my job. Even if you could “get away with it,” it hardly seems like the kind of dress that says, “take me seriously, I’m a professional.” I love the dress though (and Anna Sui, in general); just strikes me as something I would have worn to law school, not something I should wear now that I am a lawyer.

    • Yeah, my impression too. Not for my office, I think, but props to those who can pull it off.

  6. Maddie Ross :

    Threadjack. Ladies, I hope to not go through what I went through this morning again for awhile, but I am hoping you all might have some advice and suggestions: What do you do in the morning when you don’t have power? My house was without power all night last night. I personally did a super quick shower and did not wash my hair (though it needed it) and did some light makeup by flashlight. Is that the best option in this situation? What do y’all do? Any thoughts on how to handle in the future? I look a mess today, but am hoping people will accept the explanation if it comes to it.

    Oh, and I second Cat above, hope everyone is ok — that was quite a storm!

    • I would (1) do dry shampoo for hair and (2) use a wet cleansing cloth for face, and then do makeup when I got to work (I don’t wear much makeup, just lipstick).

    • My office has a gym/showers, so I would make myself minimally presentable at home and then get ready there. Without that option, though, I’d also opt for a no-hair-wash (ponytail) day, and bring my makeup bag to the office. I think everyone understands looking a little bedraggled on a morning like this, though, regardless of whether you left the house looking perfect!

    • Regarding hair – mine is long so in your situation it would be pulled back in a nice barrette. I like dry shampoo – it absorbs oil and most have a mild/pleasant scent (Ojon is my preferred brand).

      I probably would have high-tailed to the gym for hot water/electricity (even if I didn’t have time for a work out).

    • I had the same problem this morning! I washed my hair and shaved my legs and put on a suit that had just been dry cleaned and sweater that doesn’t need ironing. My hair has certainly looked better. I missed my blow dryer and straightener.

      I did my makeup by candlelight/flashlight and then checked it outside before I left to make sure I didn’t look crazy!

      Sounds like you did the best you can, and I bet you look just fine and no one will even notice.

    • I just get an extra hour of sleep, skip the shower that day, wear the hair back, and wear something from the closet that looks pulled together like an already dry cleaned suit. I either skip the make up and wear glasses or do the make up at work.

    • I have way too much experience with this, having been without power for 2 days during the Thundersnow (aka Commutaggedon) and for about 1.5 days each during 2 storms last summer. No hot water when the power goes out, which isn’t so awful in summer (the water is nearly lukewarm) but in the winter I was boiling pots of water on my (thank god) gas stove so I could at least sort of bathe. Hair up – check. Make-up mostly passable when done by the window, but I checked it out again when I got in my car.

      No real solutions, except it’s worth having a gym membership for times like this. Plus, in my office I’m not usually the only one without power (thanks Pepco!) so several of us will look a little bedraggled at these times.

    • I usually try to go to my gym and get ready there. Bring makeup to work and apply in the communal bathroom.

    • Sounds like that’s about the best you can do. I haven’t had my power go out since moving to the city, but I live in a pre-war building and it seems like there’s no hot water on about a weekly basis in winter (which of course coincides with the mornings there is no heat as well). I eventually broke down and bought a box of baby wipes so I wouldn’t have to stand in an ice cold shower in an ice-cold bathroom, and I heat water on my stove to pour over my head and wash my hair. If I wasn’t so sure I couldn’t deal with speaking to my mother in law before I’ve had several cups of coffee, I’d probably just walk the block to their place and use their shower.

    • Are you in DC? We’ve lost power so many times in the last few years, I’ve lost count (we’re Pepco customers in Montgomery County, which seems to be the worst of the worst). Storms, blue-sky blackouts … you name it, we’ve had it. I’ve found people to be really understanding so have not worried too much about my messy appearance.

      Anyway. I’ve come into work unshowered, since for me, no power == no shower (we’re on well water). I’ve showered in the gym at my office when I have time. I’ve swung by friends’ homes on the longer outages. I’ve found it’s easier not to use any hair products on a no-shower day, since if I use mousse/gel/whatever then can’t wash it out, my hair looks even worse.

      • Yes, Montgomery County. I sure hope someone (County Council? O’Malley?) does something about Pepco because it’s really getting ridiculous. I’ve lost power on clear days, too, but usually only for a brief (less than an hour) time.

        It’s sort of demoralizing to not have truly reliable power.

        • I was without power at home for >3 weeks after Hurricane Ike hit the gulf coast. I would shower (we have gas water heater) and dress…having pulled out the clothes the afternoon before in the fading light. I put a fluorescent lantern on my vanity and put on makeup. Towel dried my hair as best as I could. Drove to the office, plugged in the hair dryer I keep there…and got the hair done and touched up makeup if needed. Then on to the day asap.

          The dryer in a drawer is a life saver…we get downpours alot here and sometimes I”m caught out in them and the dryer helps, well, dry me out/out once back at the office.

          It was a long more than 3 weeks…but it was grand to the have office for electricity, lights, ac, computers, computer access, and the litle freezer if we bought something for dinner. We also have gas stovetop and a propane grill outside, so we were able to feed ourselves although lost everything in the chest freezer and side/side fridge. So it goes.

          • Anonymous :

            If you have no dry shampoo, then use baby powder instead. And, truly, you probably do not stink after just one day without a shower.

    • Original Lola :

      I think you just do the best you can. I was once at a conference where our keynote speaker was a U.S. Supreme Court justice, and there were lots of attorneys and judges there. The entire conference hotel was without hot water the morning of the Justice’s speech. We all had breakfast together in the hotel restaurant. (We young lawyers took bets on which judges’ hairstyles would look different without hot water. Most of them were actually fine.)

      You just keep calm and do the best you can…

  7. Love this dress, I would have so much fun with it. It’d look completely different paired with blue, green, brown, tan, or maroon scarf/cardigan. I like the silvery shimmer, not a problem for my office.

  8. Early personal life threadjack! Reassure me, Corporettes.

    Many of my friends are getting married/engaged/moving in with their significant others. We’re all in our early 20s. Now, I kind of approach dating as a fun hobby. My philosophy towards the men in my life is “I like you, you like me, let’s have some fun together. When it stops being fun/our lives get too crazy we’ll go our separate ways, hopefully amicably.” Well, a few of my friends have told me that I’m too old to be so casual and that if I pass up healthy relationships by not making life-choice sacrifices for them (something I just don’t want to do yet–it has been my dream to work in the developing world since I was very young and I am tantalizingly close to realizing that dream), I might end up alone. I shrugged this off the first few times, but it’s starting to make me worry. Am I too old to be so cavalier about my relationships?

    • soulfusion :

      You’re still in your early 20s? Do not worry about this. At all. If no one you have dated to date has made you stop and reevaluate, then my guess is you haven’t met the right person.
      Also, there are a lot worse things in life than “ending up alone.” For example, marrying the wrong person too young due to external pressure. When you meet the right person, you will want to prioritize the relationship.

      • This.

      • This. again.

      • I totally agree with this (and I started dating my husband at 17, got married at 25, never dated anyone else)

        • Me too, although I casually dated a few guys in high school. It hadn’t been the plan – I always thought I’d live it up a bit before settling down. But, I met DH and didn’t want anyone else. When it’s the right person, you’ll know and settling down won’t feel like settling.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Oh my! Please have fun in your early 20s! If casually dating is fun for you right now, then continue doing it. If you’re a person who wants to settle down eventually, then that time will come. I’m all about being happy in a relationship.

      When I found the person that I married, I -wanted- to make those “life-choice sacrifices” in some areas. Being with him was fun and brought me enough enjoyment that I wanted to do certain things that would help us be together. You will know when you find someone who makes you want to do that.

      Your friends sound kind of mean. You’re close to realizing your career dream and they’re making you feel guilty for enjoying your 20s!? Please continue being fabulous and happy!

    • Too old? At early 20? You need new friends.

      • Yes, this. I got married in my early 20s and while it worked out for me, it doesn’t for most. I actually find this kind of hilarious, because right now my friends in their mid-thirties are only now getting to the point where they’re saying, “maybe I should think about settling down sometime soon.” You may just have a group of friends that is marriage-obsessed – sometimes those attitudes can be contagious among a social circle – and I agree, branching out and finding some people to spend time with who aren’t spending their lives trying to get a ring on their finger would be good.

      • Agree. I enjoyed a career in the developing world in my early 20s. It is an experience I wouldn’t give up for anything. I met my future hubby in my late 20s and now we’re engaged. He has a similar background to me (spent all of his 20s in the developing world) so it makes our bond even stronger.

    • 20YearsOfPractice :

      First – no you are not too old to be “so cavalier” in your early 20s. (Do you live in the South by any chance? This seems to be regional.) Going slighly deeper – It seems there are two separate questions here. If you are seriously planning on leaving the country to work in the developing world (especially for any significant time). Then you probably shouldn’t be entering into serious relationships that you would either have to leave or give up a dream. The second question is how late is “too” late and that depends on your goal. If you want to eventually marry and have bio children in your marriage, then there is a too late – but it is at least 10 years away. So enjoy your healthy attitude toward dating.

      • i competely agree with what everyone is saying about enjoying dating and not settling down out of “fear”, but this is a very good point. if you want to have kids at a certain time (or at all) and you want to be in a serious relationship or marriage when you have them, then unfortunately there is a deadline. i dont think that means that when you get near that “deadline” you have to shack up with some rando out of fear, but it does mean that you should start to think about dating the kind of guy you’d like to marry – one that isnt selfish, cares about having a family, and won’t leave when times get tough. but it sounds like you’re far off from that and kids might not even be in the plans, so enjoy you’re dating life! and congrats on getting near your dream job – eyes on the prize!

        • your not you’re…is it the weekend yet?

          • I am not, and kids are not in the picture for me, I’m just not the type. Thanks for the advice though! And yes, it may be regional, I’m from the midwest.

    • Nope, and even if you still feel this way in your 70s, you will not be too old then either. I hate the kinds of comments you’re describing. My attitude is that any relationship decisions motivated by fear (in this case, fear that you “might end up alone”) are ultimately not going to get you what you want. Commit to someone/something that is compatible with pursuing your dreams, and at a time that works for you, or else you’ll resent him and it will fall apart. I’m 29 and in a long-term relationship, but I have several friends (of the same age) going through divorces right now. This is the kind of thing they are saying: I rushed into this before I was ready, I was acting out of fear, etc.

      I want to be clear that I’m not saying anything at all against people who do want to commit and are willing to make major compromises (for the record, I do and I have myself). The reason I said the above is that this poster says she doesn’t want to do these things right now.

      • Agree with all of the above, with one addition: Date different, but don’t be slutty, ‘kay? :-D (“Not my goodies, not my goodies” humming in the background…. or “That thing, that thing” by Lauryn Hill

        • Um, why not?

        • Or, be slutty if you want to!!! I dated/slept around with about 10 guys in the 2 years before I met my husband. Don’t regret it, would do it again, it was lots of fun. Be safe! :)

        • I know a girl who openly told me she slept around before getting engaged. She says it was fun and she would do it again. She was trying to convince me to do the same! I say do what you want, just be careful :)

        • SF Bay Associate :

          She can do exactly what she likes with her body, whether you think it’s “slutty” or not. It doesn’t make it less judgmental by adding an emoticon.

          The very use of that term is disappointing on corporette, since it was invented as a way to control women. As the brilliant Tina Fey (Ms. Norberry) said, “You guys have *got* to stop calling each other sluts and whores. That just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores.”

          • You are right. She can and should do whatever she wants with her body. It’s not about being slutty or a whore. It is about being realistic and realizing that having sex with someone is not just having sex. I know we are all adults and know the risks, but it is very important to realize that having sex with a lot of people puts you at risk for an unwanted pregnancy or a life threatening STD. I personally don’t care at all what someone else does. However, I am allowed to put in my two cents of ‘be careful’. Have fun, but be careful. I’m sure everyone knows, but it cannot be said enough because people still have unprotected sex and nothing is 100% safe.

          • The risks are very low if you use protection correctly. (Many people do not, which is where the ‘typical use’ stats come from.)

          • I was joking (hence references to Lauryn Hill & Ciara, but I see this here’s serious business on the “Ette’s. My Goodies:

            Just because you drive a Benz
            I’m not goin home with you.
            You won’t get no nookie or the cookies
            I’m no rookie.
            And still I’m
            Sexy, independent
            I ain’t wit’ it so you already know.
            I’m not bein too dramatic that’s just how I gotta have it
            You think you’re slick
            Tryna hit
            But I’m not dumb
            I’m not bein too dramatic it’s just how a latin gotta have it

        • My natural state of being is “slut” so, I’m gonna keep at it :)

    • No, you are not being too cavalier. You sound like you have your priorities in order. Many of the people who are moving in together or getting married now in their 20s will not be together anymore in their 30s. Trust me – I am one of them. So don’t let them “rush” you or make you second guess your insticts.

      Also – don’t be afraid about being “alone”. If you are a self-sufficient woman (which you probably are) you may find that a long-term relationship or marraige has more drawbacks than benefits for you. I am now single at age 34 and am quite happy that I have the freedom to do what I want, when I want, and make career and lifestyle choices without having to take someone else’s life into account.

      The key is to have some quality friendships, a job you don’t hate (even better if you love your job), close ties to family and a solid place in your community – whatever you define your “community” as. If you have those things, you will not be “alone.” And if you happen to find a person whom you really love, giving up your freedom to make unilateral lifestyle choices will not seem like a sacrifice. But you should not feel compelled to make those sacrifices just for the sake of having a relationships.

      Go live your dream of working in the developing world – the world needs intelligent, committed people like you, and you sound like you know yourself much better than most people your age. Best wishes!

      • Oh this is so nice to hear. I just broke up with my very long term boyfriend. I have been trying to tell myself all of these things this week, because I do have a good job, great friends, supportive family, am involved in my community etc. I’m glad you’re happy.

    • In your early 20s, you’re still learning about yourself. Take the time to have fun and don’t rush into marriage.

    • Whoa, whoa, whoa — unless you accidentally meant to write “early 30s,” there’s no need to be serious!

    • Another Sarah :

      Do what you want. I’m in my late 20s and have the same dating philosophy, mostly because I haven’t met anyone for whom I’d be willing to deviate from my life goals. One of my friends was like your friends, under the guise of, “But I just want you to be as happy as I am!” And then one day she blurted out the truth: “But what if I’m pregnant and I can’t fit into your bridesmaid dresses? What will I do?” As soon as she said it, she realized what she had said, and apologized profusely while I rolled down the street laughing hysterically. Moral of the story: it’s your life, you live it how you want to live it, and don’t get married because your friends want a party to go to. :-D

    • Just remember it is not a race! There is no prize at the end for rushing to get married when most of your friends do, other than (possibly) a divorce because you married the wrong person at the wrong time. Some people will be ready at 22 and others aren’t ready until 52. Obviously there is some biological component to having children, but that’s not anything you need to worry about in your early 20s.

    • I agree you are not too old. You need to make sure of who it is you decide to move in with. Even a guy who acts normal for a 3 hour date can turn into a clod once you stay overnight with him. And by the time you want to move in with someone, you had better figure out if he is going to be neat or sloppy. I made the mistake of letting a guy move in who I knew only for a month because the landlord would not renew his lease, and we thought it would be cool to live together rather than spending the nite at each other’s places on weekends. What a mistake. Once he moved his stuff in, he stared acting like Fred Flintstone and demanded that I start becoming a house frau for him, cooking him meals, doing his laundry, and he wasn’t even close to having a serious relationship beyond sex. I was furious and within a week, I threw him out. What an idiot I was to let him move in in the first place. Don’t do it until you are sure, or at least know something more than I did.

    • I was there with you–most of my friends were married by the time we were 22 and as part of the midwestern tradition had their first kid at age of 24 and second at 25. I put off marriage until the “late” age of 26 and have never said “wow, i wish i would have done this sooner.”

      • Love this comment because, as a fellow midwestern girl, I can totally identify. I am getting married this month at the “late” age of 26 as well, and nearly all my friends are married with children. I don’t wish I had done it any sooner, either. Cheers :)

        • I think 26 is actually the average age for recently-married women in the United States. It’s 28 for men.

    • in the office :

      I feel the same way – I think it’s just the time of life we’re in, where so many people are getting engaged/married/pregnant. I also noticed that TV doesn’t seem to focus on our age group since maybe Friends- either it’s the mid-20s and everyone is happily coupled off (or trying to be – a la How I Met Your Mother) or we skip a few years and its Sex and the City time. It can be frightening without guides, but everyone here gave great advice. You (and I and lots of others out there) have time to figure out who we are before we settle down.

    • I know several people who got married in the “early” 20s (think the post-college graduation marriage rush), some are still very happy, some aren’t so much.
      You’ll either figure out for yourself when you’re READY to start looking for a serious life-long partner or you’ll meet the man who makes you WANT to make those life-style changes.
      Either way, you’ll know it. No need to rush the process.

    • Another Ex-AE :

      For what it’s worth – I believe your friends want what’s best for you. I also believe your friends may not have matured to the point that they realize that what’s best for you may not be what’s best for them. I am in my late twenties, and I am finding that part of growing up means realizing that you can’t live your life to make your friends happy. It doesn’t sound like you’re doing anything wrong here, and I don’t think you need to be worried that marriage isn’t at the top of your priority list at the moment.

    • Nope you’re fine. I was in a similar situation when I was in my early 20s and to be completely honest, those people who were getting married/engaged/moving in together during this period are no longer together. It sounds like you are doing what is right for you and you are the only person who can know that!

    • Aside from having fun and finding the right person, don’t underestimate how much having some money helps. I, not surprisingly, make a lot more money now in my 40’s than I did in my 20’s. Disneyland and private school were not options in my 20’s. I played around in my 20’s, met my husband at 30, got married at 36, had a kid at 37, and I wouldn’t change a thing. My kid makes me feel young, I have money and security I never had in my 20’s, almost all my friends are like me, an “older” parent, and I’m a better wife and mother than I ever would have been ten or twenty years ago.

    • Go with what’s right for you. Everyone has different timing when it comes to settling-down, kids , etc. Relax. You’re very young.

      And even if you weren’t so young, I’d still say ‘relax’.

  9. soulfusion :

    I really like the dress but I think the length would make it unwearable for me to the office. Otherwise, I think it would be a great Friday option with a cardigan.

  10. Need some help, ladies! If someone you meet at a work-related charity event asks you for drinks, what is a polite way of writing an email to say, “Sorry, in a relationship, no thank you!” that would not alienate/make the asker feel bad??? I am a bit at a loss for words because I need to do this in a way that doesn’t make the whole thing awkward should I see this person again as we are in a very small legal community. Thanks!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Was the person asking you to go out for flirty drinks or for networking drinks?

      If the former I’d say something like, “Dear X, It was great chatting with you at Y Event the other day. I’m in a relationship, so I can’t take you up on drinks. Hopefully I will see you around the courthouse [or the next charity event, etc.]. Thanks, S.O.S.”

      • AnonInfinity, THANKS!!! I think this is exactly what I am going to write. Word for word.

        Thanks everyone!

    • Maddie Ross :

      When faced with these types of situations, I tend to turn it into an even bigger networking event. I would respond with — “It was so nice to meet you at x event. I would enjoy getting to chat with you again and, in fact, think you would enjoy meeting my other friend/co-worker/fellow volunteer y. The three (or more) of us should meet for casual drinks soon.” Of course, this only works if you were not being flirty at the event with this guy.

      • This. And then bring your boyfriend to the drinks.

      • This is a good suggestion, to expand the networking part of things.

      • I think this a great idea. I’ve done this on more than one occasion if I don’t feel comfortable going out alone with someone. I think the OP actually needs to invite a coworker or someone else in the same field- it may be unnecessarily awkward if the boyfriend comes along.

    • I would leave the relationship bit out of it unless you were 100% sure it was a date. Otherwise just say that you’d love to meet up…for lunch. Or something along those lines. If they press for a more romantic setting, say that you have plans with your S.O. that night but would love to do another night. They’ll get the hint.

      • I think it was definitely a flirty invite! Like, 99.9% certain. “Would you like to have drinks with me?”

        Add to this that I had maybe a cocktail too many, and while I am 100% not attracted to this person, I am not so certain that I didn’t come accross as a little flirty to him. I know, no drinking at these things! But it is what it is, at this point. I do not think that turning this into a networking lunch is a good idea, and I could not bring my boyfriend to drinks because it would be just too weird.

        • Yeah I think the bf comment was just if you were definitely not flirting. If you are not sure you didn’t lead him on than I wouldn’t try to turn it into networking. If I were a guy, and I spent the night flirting with a woman, asked her to drinks, and she turned it into networking, I would be wary that this is her MO and how she conducts business. (Same goes for if I was a single gal, flirted with a handsome guy all night, asked him out and he tried to network me AND had a gf)

        • A few more considerations – are you in a small field and / or small-er town where you are likely to continue to see this guy and/or it could get back around to boyfriend? Is boyfriend in same field so it would not be as weird to invite him also and coworker to potential networking lunch / drinks.

      • Perfect. If he meant “network” drinks, and you read “flirty” drinks, it would be super embarrassing if you were all BOYFRIEND! This is a safe alternative.

      • somewherecold :

        Agreed. I would respond with something like, “I have plans with my boyfriend that night, but maybe we can figure out a day for lunch next week,” and see how he responds. If he didn’t say a specific date, that won’t work, but I think you could substitute something like, “My evenings are pretty packed with work and a planning a project/trip/weekend/etc. with my boyfriend” for the first part.

  11. GreenEyeMonster :

    Totally stupid rant –

    I’ve been visiting these fashion blogs b/c my style has gotten very bleh after having children (think “what not to wear”). But I have to say – I’ve been floored by how many 20-something bloggers are carrying/wearing fashions that I can’t afford as a 40-something attorney! I mean – Laboutin, Balenciaga, Chanel, Prada – really? I don’t understand – am I shopping in the wrong places?

    This is why I keep returning to Corporette. Here, when something is above the 2/3 hundred range, people are actually admitting that it is out of their (and my) budget. How can I seriously take the fashion advice of someone who wears thousand dollar pieces on even a weekly (if not daily) basis?

    • Many bloggers are single women who work in “marketing” and live at home with their parents, maybe? Just sayin’…. :-D

    • I completely “get” your rant. I read those blogs, as well, and I was completely perplexed as to how these bloggers were buying things that make me (a DINK and a biglaw attorney) balk at the price. And then I read a few posts on some of the blogs about the balances they carry on their credit cards. And how they’ll have multiple cards with balances.

      And while it’s such a trivial thing, it made me feel a little better about my (relatively) cheaper, but fully-paid-off, closet.

    • I saw a teenager at Saks, ordering her mother to pay for her expensive purchases. It was quite troubling. That kid will have no appreciation for the value of things.

    • The thing is, that’s why they have the blogs. Some blogs cater to that, almost like clothing p-rn. Not many people can afford to write blogs, given the time and effort evolved. A lot of fashion-y blogs I see are women who have that extra time and extra money, hence the expensive things. Kat’s is a rare one I think, where she had a full time demanding job and blog infrequently and gradually more often as the blog grew. Plus children take up so much money! I’m sure if you added up everything you’ve spent on your children there would be some serious dough for designers there, so if those people don’t have kids, that might be a big part of it. And a version of what my mom always says, You can’t take Laboutin with you when you go :)

      • OMG, I loathe this. For example, I came across a blog the other day where the owner had just bought two Chanel bags in ONE GO; she looks fairly young from her blog and these were mere additions to her designer bag collection.

        My gut tells me that a) they are excellent fakes and the stories relating to their acquisition are made up, b) these women have excessive debt/don’t save c) the money comes from some other source e.g. wealthy family because I don’t see how you can use money you actually have (as opposed to credit) to make multiple Chanel-bag purchases AND save responsibly even on a top-end (for a person in their late 20s/early 30s) corporate salary.

    • I highly doubt that the bought those themselves. They were probably gifts and even if they did purchase these expensive bags themselves, it is probably at the expense of something else, paying their rent on time. It’s just different values and they probably racked up credit card debt.

      • That’s not necessarily the case. In some cultures, it’s important for your status to have high-end designer items even at a low salary (e.g. in Japan, Hong Kong, etc). Having lived in Japan, I can tell you that many women save for months to buy these items and scrimp on other things- they may live in a tiny apartment, eat out infrequently, etc. Everyone prioritizes different things in life, and just because it’s not what you’d prioritize doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to make that decision.

        • Well it is still at the expense of something else. ie: tiny apartments, not eating out, etc. I think it is only wrong if people rack up credit card debt, end up in terrible financial situations, can’t pay back their debts, and it affects other people.

    • Check out Already Pretty – she wears mid-priced clothes and thrifts a lot. She does seem to work in a more casual setting but has great advice for figure flattery and just loving yourself as you are. The women at Academichic also do a good job of working with midprice clothing and thrift finds. Une Femme d’Un Certain Age seems to shop a bit more high-end, but not ridiculously so. She acknowledges that Louboutins are a splurge, not a basic.

      Yeah, I’ve been spending way too much time on fashion blogs. Be aware that reading even the more low-key blogs may instill in you the urge to rush to the mall and replace/seriously augment your entire wardrobe. That said, I’ve learned alot about color matching/going and shape, which has allowed me to make better use of what I have.

      • And: Wardrobe Oxygen

      • A second rec for all of the blogs that Polly D mentions. And @GreenEyeMonster, I know, I feel the same way about (a) the blogs and (b) the post-kid (lack of) style. You’re not alone. :)

      • Chicago lover :

        I really like Already Pretty’s blog, and I also like You Look Fab. Sal from Already Pretty has a great sense of style. Even if I wouldn’t wear a lot of what she wears (some of it is kind of out there), I appreciate the way she puts things together. And, almost everything she wears is thrifted.

        You Look Fab is great for fashion inspiration. Angie definitely wears more expensive clothes and shoes but she also wears some inexpensive items as well. And the forum blog is great because many women actually post what they wear on a daily basis, and many of them are working on a tight budget.

        • Anonymous Lawyer :

          I really like You Look Fab too. She actually recommends style not just a specific item and you totally can make her recs workable for your budget. YLF and Corporette are my favorite fashion blogs (I like Alreay Pretty too – she has great style) and I use the two of them together to make sure that I don’t look mom-ish.

          I am a biglaw attorney and a mother – there is NO WAY I could afford a lot of high end items along with the rest of the things in life. I used to belong to some kids’ clothes forums and there are a lot of people around with shopping addictions. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of the fashion bloggers do have addictions.

      • Second Already Pretty + You Look Fab.

        Loads of women buy expensive stuff (in Asia) easily even with kids etc for 2 reasons:

        – ridiculously low tax rates (I earn well about $160K incl bonus but pay
        ~10% tax, so I could buy this stuff even with my son’s expenses, rent etc)
        – Asians rarely if ever run up credit card debt generally speaking (1st money lesson we are taught by parents)
        – dutyfree makes designer goods a bit cheaper in some places like HK
        – secondhand goods from consignment stores etc

        That said, I do agree with what you say and would prefer to look at blogs by women in their 30s (or older) – my style is closer to that look.

    • I completely understand your feelings. I don’t know how they do it. And I definitely can’t afford those things as a 40-something government attorney.

  12. Thanks to the corporettes who recommended “Morning Glory!” I was home sick yesterday and watched it – it was great!!!

    Although I did yell at the costume designer who, after putting Rachel McA in nice suits for the whole movie, put her in a chiffony dress and cardigan for an INTERVIEW. WTF? :)

    • I didn’t see the recommendations for the movie here (probably when I was on vacation) but I happened to watch it on the plane home from that vacation recently. I liked a lot of the suits, but was also shocked at what she wore to that interview! What an odd choice.

    • So glad I’m not the only one who thought that was completely ridiculous! I mean, I know it was really done JUST for the scene of her running through the city with her dress flying whimsically, but really, REALLY? She’s just not that type of girl, especially for the biggest interview of her life :) I was glad to see a professionally dressed woman in the movie, and then the chiffon dress just killed it. Cute dress, wrong environment!

    • I respectfully disagree with you and anyone else who recommended this movie. I HATED it, and not just for the silly, unrealistic interview outfit, the running to the interview scene, or the interview scene where she was spaced out and distracted. The plot and the dialogue were cheesy and predictable and to watch Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton and Rachel McAdams muddy their careers with that movie was painful.

      • Agree that it wasn’t a good movie overall. A pinch more relatable than 27 Dresses or similar fluff? Yes. Good movie? No way.

    • Valleygirl :

      I did the SAME thing re the dress for the interview when I saw the movie with my husband and then went on to rant to him about how that so not a good corporette move….

      • I did this same thing. I don’t think he even noticed her outfit was different :)

  13. Thought I’d pass along this great deal on a Tahari dress and jacket set for only $69.97. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tahari-by-arthur-s-levine-faux-leather-trim-crepe-sheath-dress-jacket/3108249

  14. Sydney Bristow :

    I like this, but would like it much better if it was just a top and not a dress.

  15. Hi Ladies, I need a bit of advice. I left my previous job less than a year ago, moved across the country (back home) and started at a large, established consulting firm. Well, about a month ago, my old firm decided they wanted to open an office in my current location, and offered me a huge raise and promotion to help start up that office. I believe I’ve pretty much made up my mind to take the offer (it’s riskier, but being single and free, why not take a risk when the compensation is *that good*?) but my question is: how do I gracefully leave my current position?

    I honestly intended to build my career at my current firm, but this offer unexpectedly fell into my lap. I work in a niche area and know that I will run into my soon-to-be-former colleagues and I don’t want to burn bridges. Any advice on an amicable separation?

    • Can you go to your supervisor and tell them you received an offer that you can’t pass up and see if they will counter-offer? Worth a shot and it would leave things on decent terms if they do not counter-offer.

      • I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you on the counteroffer. I remember reading one time (maybe in the AmLaw journal) that people who stay because of counteroffers usually leave within a year for these two reasons: a) your workplace won’t be any different (except for the higher pay), and whatever you weren’t happy with won’t suddenly disappear once you get a raise, and b) your workplace will know that you aren’t as committed to the place long-term and that will limit your potential for growth. I especially agree with the 2nd point. Sometimes you are shocked when someone gives notice because you think they are gunning for partner, and once they give notice, you think of them differently from that point on and even if they choose to stay, you know that they are not in it for the long haul. Bottom line is, if what you’d like is more money in your current situation, I would ask for a raise without bringing up the new opportunity and what they are offering you in terms of pay.

      • Even without the counter-offer issue (I would recommend being open to it if offered, but not actually requesting one), I like the “offer that [she] couldn’t pass up” phrasing. I think most people will understand a person leaving because she got a really fantastic offer somewhere else and not hold it against her.

    • Explain it to them just as you’ve said here. Sit down with your boss, tell him you had this great opportunity fall into your lap, and you couldn’t pass it up. If he’s not a jerk, he’ll understand. Then submit your formal resignation. Try to give a decent amount of notice (like 4 weeks) if possible to make the transition easy for them, and offer to train your replacement.

    • Manoa Valley Girl :

      This happened today at our small 11 lawyer firm. Our best young (39 y.o) litigator walked in from a late lunch, beamed at everybody, and said “I’ve just accepted a job at X firm!” It’s a great firm and I’m really happy for him.

      However, we hired him 3 years ago from a far, distant state for his particular skills. We really need him, and we can’t replace him because we’ve been told no new hires for at least one year.

      He went directly in to see the boss, and explained that he felt it was an exceptional opportunity that he couldn’t pass up. He said he loved working with us and said we were a great group. He explained the new job offered more flexibility with his children. The boss was gracious, what else could he be? The lawyer today burned no bridges in his graceful explanation of his utterly unanticipated quitting.

      I think your path is to explain this to your boss and colleagues just as you have to us. Straightforward, direct, kind, and immediate, with kudos for honesty. You will confirm they were right to hire you in the first place, and they will believe your new firm is lucky to have you.


  16. Found this cute pencil skirt on outnet today:

    It will probably be out of season by the time it arrives, but looks like a great basic (not too trendy) at a good price.

    Also, free shipping using 2ndbdayfreeship

    Happy buying!

  17. Travel tips on Guatemala? :

    Threadjack… my brothers and I are going to Guatemala for 10 days in May and would love some tips about where to go, what not to miss, travel logistics, etc. We’ll definitely be staying in hostels / traveling by bus.

    From what I can tell so far, Tikal and Antigua are must-see places. Also, more specifically, I’m wondering whether intercity buses (e.g., from Guatemala City to Tikal) are safe at night — trying to minimize within-the-country travel time.

    For background — I’m 27, they’re 25 and 21, and we range between comfortable and somewhat fluent in Spanish. Thanks in advance!

    • I went to Guatemala, oh, 5 years ago and at that point was told the intercity buses weren’t particularly safe at night (no idea about the current status). However, there’s also all kinds of private tourist mini-buses that are not particularly expensive and seemed completely safe, so that is an easy way to travel around the country. No need to book ahead; you can find the offices in any touristed place in the country.

      Tikal and Antigua were both lovely. I also thought Livingston was neat, and you might consider hopping across the border to Copan in Honduras and/or into Belize (we went to Placencia, which was the chillest, most relaxing beach town I’ve ever been to).

    • Please be very, very careful. I travel extensively in Guatemala for work and previously lived there for years. It is one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Do not take ANY intercity buses at night. It is not worth the risk to your life to save time. You should fly to Flores airport to see Tikal; it is not safe to take the transnational buses to get there. Be extremely, extremely careful in Guatemala City if you stay there, and have transport to your hotel pre-arranged (ideally take a tourist bus that will drop you off directly at the hotel). It is pretty easy to arrange mostly safe tourist bus travel to Antigua from the airport, and also to Chichicastenango (where there’s a huge market that’s very popular with tourists), Xela (aka Quetzaltenango), and Lago de Atitlan.

      At Lago de Atitlan, be very careful in all of the towns and do not hike around the lake or between towns under any circumstances. It is safe to take the speedy water taxis across the lake to the smaller towns or to take the larger tourist boats (which take longer).

      My suggested itinerary for a 10-day trip:
      – Arrive in Guatemala City and go directly to Antigua on a pre-arranged tourist bus
      – Spend 2-3 days in and around Antigua, possibly including a half-day hike up one of the volcanoes (can arrange easily with a tourist agency)
      – Take tourist bus to Panajachel, spend 1.5-2 days, cross the lake one day to visit some of the smaller towns and also check out the rainforest preserve close to Panajachel
      – Take tourist bus to Chichicastenango or Xela, spend 1 full day (I don’t have a strong recommendation between the two. Both are nice. Neither is what I’d call a “must see.” If you can’t get to Chichicastenango on a market day, skip it.)
      – Return to Guatemala City and fly to Flores (easily arranged through local tourist agency), spend 2 days at Tikal. Please don’t take a night bus to el Peten. It’s way too dangerous.
      – Return to Guatemala City and then fly back to US.

      Please be careful. I can’t emphasize this enough. I am not a reactionary person at all but I know the country extremely well, and many tourists have no clue what kind of dangerous situations they can get into.

      • Oh, you know, Lago de Izabal is also nice. Depending on your interests (are you more of a mountain person, or a beach person) you might prefer visiting there to visiting Xela or Chichicastenango. It’s near the Caribbean coast and there are lots of swimming/diving/sailing activities there. B/c it’s harder to reach, you’d probably want 2 days there.

      • soulfusion :

        I will agree with this – we actually had a police escort from our hotel in Guatemala City to the airport and my friend/guide also took a number of other safety precautions. Definitely a place to lean on the safer end of things.

        • OK that is a bit extreme – I mean, there are 2 million people living in the capital, without police escort, and besides the police are mostly criminals themselves – but it is not a place where it is ever safe to walk around outside or to accept a ride from an unknown party. I live in the capital when I’m there and you just have to be extremely aware of your surroundings and take precautions for your own security (especially to avoid kidnapping, armed robbery, and carjacking – doors always locked, windows rolled up, etc – and to avoid walking on the street where you could get shot by accident if someone is assassinated nearby, or you could get mugged).

          Remember in Guatemala there is no 911 and there is no real chance of having a crime against you investigated or prosecuted. There are no police who will protect you. So use your head and don’t take unnecessary risks.

          • found a peanut :

            you have to avoid going outside because someone might get assassinated and you’d get hit by stray bullets???? that does not sound like a vacation destination.

          • @ found a peanut – here’s a very good article that, while focusing on a specific case, gives an excellent overview of the current situation in Guatemala. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/04/110404fa_fact_grann

          • soulfusion :

            to clarify, I’m not saying you need a police escort, I’m saying there were safety precautions and I believe there was some extra alert or something that required it that day. I was part of a tour so I don’t know the details and I don’t believe it is necessary. I was just trying to echo your “be cautious” when traveling in Guatemala warnings.

          • @soulfusion – ah, if you were part of a tour, I doubt it was a police escort. Most likely private security, which is common for tours (and businesses generally). Didn’t mean to sound critical, just didn’t’ want the OP to think this was necessary.

    • Tikal was really awesome. It’s the only place I went, though, because we were coming over for a day trip from Belize. So I can’t help with logistics, but you’ll enjoy Tikal.

      • I also just went to Tikal on a day trip from Ambergris Caye. I didn’t have that much fun because it was a little drizzly that day and we were all attacked by mosquitos (even after I slathered on bug repellant). BUT, Belize was so much fun – I loved snorkeling and seeing that beautiful coral reef and every kind of fish imaginable.

        • Oh, yea, that’s an important tip–takes LOTS of bug spray. Seriously, lots. Especially if you have bad reactions to mosquito bites. I brought the heavy-duty deep woods stuff with DEET (which probably causes cancer or something) and I was ok, but I have fairly low reactions to bug bites in general. Other girls on the trip who were more sensitive to bites were dying (we were in the mountains the entire time, so no coastal relief from bugs). That was also the trip where I learned the importance of tucking the mosquito nets under your mattress rather than just letting them hang to the floor after one girl woke up with a very, very large spider on her.

    • soulfusion :

      I went to Guatemala a few years ago on a humanitarian trip so I spent most of the time “working” in a village (the villagers worked much harder than we did, going to the gym, even regularly, does not prepare a desk worker for digging ditches). Afterward, we did some traveling and I loved Antigua and Tikal but one of my absolute favorite things we did was take a boat down the Rio Dulce. Don’t recall where it started but it ended at a terrible little town in the Caribbean called Livingston. The boat trip is worth a night here but be aware – after spending some time on the beach we found multiple used needles, a friend was robbed in our hotel and we found out sewage is dumped into the water at the beach where we were. Gross. I still thing the Rio Dulce is worth it. There are manatees in the water (though we sadly didn’t see any). Also, we went to White Beach or something like that near Livingston which was beautiful – hiked up to some amazing waterfalls too. Have a great time!

      Oh and local chicken buses are an experience. Timetables aren’t exactly strict and often the easiest way to get around is in-country flights which are relatively cheap. Of course, if you go the bus route you will definitely have a story to tell afterwards (mine involves a 5-6 hour ride on an ancient blue school bus sharing a bench with a woman and her two kids).

      • Rio Dulce is also the way to Lago de Izabal – and staying near the river or lake should be a lot nicer than staying in Livingston :).

  18. Threadjack on an Important Life Question: My husband and I are hoping to start a family soon. I’m currently a fifth-year associate in BigLaw in a specialized field. I know that I don’t want to stay in BigLaw forever, even if our family plans do not work out. Babymaking aside, I would probably start to transition careers now into a related field I’ve been scoping out that has excellent SmallLaw opportunities. My husband is pressuring me to stay in BigLaw until we have the baby — to save as much money as possible in the interim and to take advantage of generous maternity leave policies. This seems somehow dishonest to me, not to mention that I have no idea how long TTC will take and would hate to postpone my transition too long.

    Thoughts on my husband’s proposal? How to think about transitioning fields at the same time as trying to start a family?

    • Just want to throw a consideration out there: Be prepared for a pregnancy to be harder to work through than you might expect. I worked up until my son was born, and I sincerely regret it. I was MISERABLE during the pregnancy, exhausted, hormonal, and fuzzy-brained. I did sub-par work, and I think I really hurt my career by trying to stick it out, because I’m still trying to convince my superiors that that sub-par work wasn’t “me” and I can do better than that. I should have recognized earlier that I needed to just take the maternity leave early, but I wanted to make the most of the employment and limited paid leave I had.

      • @Midori, I can relate….

      • My sister has been having a horrible go of it during her first pregnancy now, which really scares me. She’s been hospitalized three times for prescription anti-nausea meds and IV fluids because she can’t keep anything down. I am hoping that doesn’t run in the family, but totally nervous about my ability to work if I do have that experience!

        • That’s a hard thing to predict. Bridget, did your mom have that problem too? If not, then hopefully it is just a one-time thing for your sister. I worked up until the day I went into labor with both of mine but it’s obviously something that you can’t know ahead of time, even if it’s not your first.

          My $0.02 worth: Start looking and if the “close-to-perfect” opportunity comes up, take it. Work hard at your current job until then -keep all your options open. Worry about whether to work until you give birth, how much maternity leave to take, etc., etc., when you need to, because there is so much that you cannot predict. And “practice” living on the reduced salary ahead of time, if you’re not already. Good luck!

          • I agree with Coach Laura. You can’t predict whether you’ll have a hard go or not. My mom’s pregnancies were very difficulty (bed rest at 26 weeks on, etc). I did an eight hour OR case and delivered 6 hours later (don’t really recommend it). It’s hard to predict. But overall, keep all your options open. Also, if TTC goes well and it’s fast, you may want to stay at your firm b/c of short term disability issues, health insurance, etc.

    • Do both – TTC and look at transitioning opportunities. On the one hand, if you have 18 weeks paid maternity leave, that is a lot to give up. If you happen to get pregnant right away, then definitely stay to take advantage of the long paid maternity leave. BUT, if you have an opportunity to move into the related field right away, and that field is where you want to be, go for it.

      It may (probably??) be that one of the two things (TTC and career transition) will take far longer than you anticipate, so don’t put one on hold at the expense of the other.

      • Anonymous :

        Second. I moved to my dream job before I got married because openings were rare and I needed to jump at the chance. It fit with our plan to have me working at a less stressful job so we could start a family, it was just a year or two early. Well, TTC took three years. I’m so grateful that I wasn’t at that high-stress job, or trying to make a transition, during that time. I had a normal, manageable job that I loved. And, with predictable hours and PTO, I was able to take time for all of the medical appointments. And, as it turned out, I had put in enough time by the time that I got pregnant, that I had some goodwill and there wasn’t any eye-rolling.

    • If what you want for your career is to make the switch, start making the switch. Thinking back to the Sheryl Sandberg TED speech and to prior discussions we’ve had here, don’t postpone what you want for your career. You could get pregnant in a month, you could get pregnant two or three years from now. If you do have any infertility problems (and most likely, you won’t!), nothing is going to make you more miserable than being in a job you don’t want to be in, for the sole purpose of maternity benefits that you can’t take advantage of.

      Alternatively, can you and spouse agree on what an appropriate amount of savings would be that you would work in your current job to raise? Once you’ve saved $10,000 (or whatever) for baby plans and to possibly cover unpaid maternity leave or expenses in the event that SmallFirm can’t offer them, you move on to transitioning to your ideal employment.

    • Bridget – I transitioned jobs (Biglaw to in-house, and then in-house to midlaw) twice. Once while 4 months pregnant, and the other while 2 weeks pregnant. I would highly recommend pursuing your professional dreams and not trying to control the timing of things you simply can’t control.

      You have already “put in your dues” in BigLaw and you are probably in the most marketable time for switching firms or practice areas. If you wait much longer, potential employers are going to start asking you whether you have a book of business and will worry that hiring you will demoralize their current senior associates. Yes, it sucks to not have the 6 months of maternity leave that you may get in Biglaw, but trust me, you will be happier to go back to work after your baby is here if you are going to a job where you enjoy the work and where you see a long-term career for yourself.

      So many of my friends who had neatly laid-out plans to take their 6 months of leave and then look for a job during or right after their leave found it hard to make that transition for one reason or another. Some had to stick around at Biglaw for a lot longer (and had a really hard time working those hours with a newborn they missed), while others had to go through some major hoops to get where they wanted to go (e.g., moving to a different city, or being unable to pump during an all-day call-back). Your career is going to be long, and maternity leave is going to be a short part of that in hindsight.

      Finally, and I hope this doesn’t happen to you, but I had trouble conceiving and I know it would have been harder to feel like I am stuck someplace until I get pregnant – talk about more pressure that you don’t need. Good luck to you!

    • I just want to make the point that it is NOT dishonest to stay with your firm just long enough to save money and take advantage of their maternity leave.

      • I agree that that is not dishonest to keep the job to save money while TTC and pregnant, but it is definitely dishonest to misrepresent your intentions to return in order to take advantage of maternity leave and other benefits (I know some people change their mind/circumstances; that’s different, but in this case, she knows her intent already). It’s also harmful to others on your team, who may be relying on you to return, and harmful to other women of childbearing age, who managers may hold your misrepresentations against when considering them for a job (not fair or legal, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t happen.)

        • lawyerette :

          That’s why places should give you maternity leave regardless of whether you intend to return or not. Mine does, though I’m fairly certain it’s in the minority.

        • I disagree. Unless they are under a contract, people are free to quit their jobs if and when they want to. There is nothing dishonest about it. When you go on a maternity leave, you make no representations about not ever quitting your job or that you would work there for a given period of time when your leave was up. Biglaw usually offer 6 months paid maternity leave and have requirements about how long you have to have worked there before you can take advantage of this generous benefit (i.e. 1-2 years). Taking advantage of this after you have put in what the firm has decided is the required amount of time is perfectly legitimate.

          • The question of whether it’s dishonest all depends on what you tell them/lead them to believe. If women all over the place are feeling that they are entitled to allow an employer to offer them benefits on the undeniable assumption that they are offering them as benefits to their employees in exchange for work, not just giving them away for no reason, then, well, I wouldn’t want to hire a woman either. I find it hard to believe that women are routinely being this dishonest and entitled acting, but perhaps I’m wrong.

          • Anonymous :

            I think that this assumes that the benefits are offered in exchange for the promise of future work, as opposed to benefits being earned in exchange for work already completed (which, given that you frequently need to have worked at a given employer for a certain period of time before you can afford yourself of maternity leave benefits, seems more logical).

        • Maternity leave is a benefit that is far to scarce in the US. If you’ve worked at a job that offers that benefit up to the point of birth, take the leave. You’ve earned it.

    • I just wanted to offer some thoughts from the perspective of a 4th year associate in a small firm who is also looking at TTC in the near future. I’ve actually been trying to transition into biglaw (or at least bigger law) because frankly I don’t know how I can possibly have a child in my current situation. While I can comfortably live on my salary, I can’t save enough to cover three months unpaid leave. And that’s even assuming I can take a leave and still keep my job, since my employer is too small to be covered by FMLA or local leave laws. Obviously, you may be considering a bigger firm than I am in or a position with better pay, but don’t discount the benefits that come from staying in Biglaw as long as you can.

      Good luck with whatever you wind up doing!

      • Thanks for the thoughts JessT. I hope you find a BigLaw job that works for you! My experience has been more pleasant than most — I don’t think it is soul-sucking or anything, and I like the work I do and the people I work with.

        For me, it is not a lifestyle I want for myself long-term, and I am worried that I will get to be too senior to easily transition to a new field if I wait too long. I’m fortunate in that my husband’s career is stable and high-paying with good benefits (and he LOOOOVES his job), so there is no pressure on my career to provide income. Obviously, I would love to have benefits, but my goal is to find a job/career that I can be happy with in the long-term. I guess the one thing that may be non-negotiable is actually having a reasonable maternity leave (even if unpaid).

        • Anonymous :

          Keep your job, work until you have the baby, and then decide what you want to do with your life. My pregnancy was wonderful: I felt great most of the time. And, once you have the baby, you may have a whole other idea about what you want to do later.

      • Don’t forget that many places will not give you paid leave until you have been there for a certain amount of time. A lot of the generous maternity benefits may not be available immediately upon starting.

    • No advice here, and I really don’t have a strong view on what the best course for you here is, but I would like to highlight the following:

      Several times, when we’ve talked about how harmful it can be if you go on maternity leave and everyone assumes you won’t come back long term, there have been comments along the lines of, “that’s such a harmful and inappropriate assumption, especially because it doesn’t actually happen.” To those commenters, please see this thread! (Not that I disagree about it being a harmful assumption!)

  19. need a little reassurance! :

    a friend of my SO who works in my field has introduced me by email to a friend of his last week, who is a CEO for a small-but-growing company that i would love to work for. it would absolutely be my dream job.

    the CEO asked me to tell him a little about myself – i sent along a brief email about my background and some of my interests that i think are aligned w/ what his company does. he emailed me back to say thanks and that he would check w/ his team to see who the hiring manager is in my city.

    the friend that introduced us emailed me separately to tell me to make sure to email him (the company’s CEO) if he disappears – so i sent a follow-up email yesterday to say thanks, and that i was looking forward to hearing from him. the CEO responded to say that the hiring manager is out of town for the week and he’d check with him next week.

    i know this means i am not going to be able to do anything until the end of next week, when i will follow up if i have not heard from him already. i’m just so nervous! hopefully the next step will be an interview with the hiring manager, but i have no idea how these things go.

    • need a little reassurance! :

      i also am not sure how i would phrase a follow-up email!

  20. Threadjack – My dad was sued recently (in a meritless suit) and had an apathetic attorney and a different attorney I found through referrals stepped into the case and got great results from my dad. I am certain that my dad’s situation would be way worse off if it weren’t for this attorney and his associate’s work on my dad’s behalf. What is an appropriate way for me to thank them? I would take them to lunch but they are out of state and I have no reason to be in that area. I would refer them in a heartbeat but they practice in a niche area of law and I don’t have any clients in that industry. Thanks.

    • Did your dad pay his legal bills? That’s really all the thanks that these attorneys need. But, if you want to thank them further, a nice thank you note would probably be appreciated. This is probably especially true for the associate, since people rarely think of associates when they “thank” their legal counsel.

      But, its very nice of you to think of them. :-)

      • This. Pay the bills and send a nice note to the attorney and his associate (or if it’s a bigger firm, to the name or managing partners). Notes saying that because of your work on someone’s case, they are now better off are worth more than you can imagine.

      • I’m not sure if it matters here, but my dad’s insurance carrier is paying the lawyer directly.

    • If he’s a solo, perhaps he uses client testimonies on his website or could use a recommendation on linked in? Otherwise, a thank you note or email and a promise of a referral if you ever know of someone who could use his services is all that’s needed.

    • I don’t do my job for the thanks from clients, but they are always nice to hear! A letter or an email indicating your gratitude for their skill/professionalism/compassion (or whatever made them especially good to work with) would certainly be appreciated. You could mention that you will certainly refer people to them if the situation arises (no matter how remote the possibility). You might consider copying the “boss,” if you know who that person is. Anything more would be unnecessary.

    • soulfusion :

      A pro bono client of mine once sent me one of those GIANT cards as a thank you. It meant a lot to me. Of course, a thank you card doesn’t have to be big to be appreciated.

    • I think it would be very nice to send a card. Although attorneys definitely care about getting paid, the ‘thank you’ is probably also appreciated. Everyone (probably) wants to feel like they made a difference.

    • Thank you for the suggestions. It sounds like the consensus is a thank you card to the partner and the associate. I was going to send a bottle of wine, but I don’t know whether he or she drinks (or can’t drink). Thanks again for weighing in!

      • Anonymous :

        I once received a nice thank you note with a large box of chocolate – I was very, very happy :)

        • Anonymous :

          Oh my! We all get paid, but I keep my cards from my clients from when I was a public defender. It was nice to hear when they appreciated me, especially when so many did not. One great card was from a man who went to prison after I lost his case: unlike many clients, he knew I tried my best and he was grateful for it!

        • Ditto

      • That’s very sweet. As an associate, I know I appreciate it greatly when a client thanks me by name and lets the partner know I did a good job, too. Associates often do a lot of the leg work, while the credit goes to the partner, so thanks for thinking of the “little guy.” :-)

      • I do a lot of pro bono work, and sometimes clients bring in chocolate or donuts or something. Those are always appreciated in my office.

        But my favorite is when they send flowers. (Which I think would work for male or female lawyers.)

  21. Achiever, But Not a Lawyer :

    Threadjack – I need help getting out of a job slump. It’s not approaching burnout (yet), but every project feels like just one more thing on a very long to-do list. I can’t find much to get excited about. I’ve been in my career for eight years and I used to love my field. What the heck happened? I used to enjoy the process of doing the work and now I just want to get it done and move on. I like my workplace and coworkers and don’t think leaving for a similar job somewhere else is the answer. How do I get back the fire in my belly? This is all I’m trained to do, and I don’t know what else I’d even want to do. And for whatever it’s worth, every career aptitude test I’ve taken says this *is* what I’m supposed to be doing.

    • AnonInfinity :


      This same thing happened to me a few months ago, so I went back and reread this post and the comments. Very helpful.

    • AnonInfinity :

      You also might want to repost this in the Coffee Break this afternoon because it might get lost at the end of such a long comment thread!

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