Tuesday’s TPS Report: Quinn Twister Print Blouse

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

Equipment Quinn Twister Print BlouseSo, speaking of sheer blouses: I really like this one from Equipment. I know, blues — I’m so predictable! But I think the blouse would be a great pop of color under a gray, or even brown suit. I’d wear a white, plain camisole beneath it (or a white long-sleeved crewneck if you want to be extra modest). It was $208, but is now marked to $145.60 at ShopBop. Equipment Quinn Twister Print Blouse

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  1. Rural Juror :

    My firm has decided to re-take everyone’s photo for the website- full body photos. Anyone have tips for this? How to stand? Arms crossed? At sides? What shoes to wear…? Plain black pumps seem like the obvious choice, except I don’t actually own any, because I usually try to wear more fun shoes. Would nude pumps be ok? Too trendy? I really have no guidance as no one else has the full length photos done yet. Existing photos of women at my firm are not super formal, not everyone is in a suit (some in separates). Most people wear their blazer unbuttoned (not me).

    • phillygirlruns :

      i do not understand the full body shot. a large(ish) firm around here does them – fox rothschild – and i’ve always thought it looked odd. try checking those out for sample poses/outfits/etc.

      • Ballard does it too. They do both — head shot and body shot. So weird.

        • The Head shot is enough for me. Should we really care if the person is slim or fat? What relevance could anything below the neck possibly have to a law firm? After all, we are not parading about for Hooters or to be Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. I say tell them just to do your head. Jerks.

      • I don’t like them either, but I’ve been seeing them more and more. I just interviewed at a smallish mid size firm that had them. I found it harder to distinguish between all my interviewers as I didn’t have a good online photo of just their face to compare to! If a client wants to be able to develop a relationship with their attorney, I think it’s better to see a more detailed picture of their face.

    • I’m not sure what TO do, but for sure do not stand with your hands clasped in front of you at just-below-belt level. It will look like you have to pee.

      Actually, Cynthia at Be Fabulous Daily had a post recently about posing, basically how to “stack” your body so everything lined up properly. Sally at Already Pretty also has had several posts on the best ways to pose for photos. Not sure if this advice would work for group photos, but it may be worth a look.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Full body photos? Why?

      Anyway, I think nude pumps are fine.

      As for pose, I’m not sure what would work best (seriously, why full-body portraits??). But I would suggest not facing the camera directly – a 3/4 turn is the most flattering for most people. And I wouldn’t cross my arms – but that’s just me. I would probably assume my “court pose” – i.e., hands loosely together, like I’m speaking to a judge or jury without a lectern.

      • My firm does full body portraits, which is annoying, but the photo session was kind of fun. My shot is actually with crossed arms – we tried a variety of poses but that was the photo that worked best for me. I think it really depends on your body type. The trick is to do it so that it doesn’t “close up” your body or make you look unapproachable. I found the hands to be the most difficult. Agreed that a 3/4 turn is most flattering – straight on is not very flattering for portraits for most people.

    • Diana Barry :

      Oh lord. I always think the full body photos look so cheesy – sorry!

      I would not cross arms. I would stand with hands at sides or even in pockets, and not one hand on hip (cheesy). Are you planning on wearing a skirt? I would also stick with the most conservative shoes, not nude (they may go out of style at some point and the photo may still be up on the website then). Also, IMO pantsuits photograph better (having looked at a lot of these full body shots).

      Also, look at pictures of public figures to figure out how to place your feet – Duchess of Cambridge, Angela Merkel, Hillary Clinton, etc. – it would prob be more flattering to have your feet in 3rd or 4th position than straight out – and also to angle your body slightly toward/away from the camera, so it looks less like a full-body mug shot and more flattering.

      • Rural Juror :

        Oh no! I was planning on wearing a skirt suit- I wear skirts and dresses about 90% of the time. Better to stick with what I know or go with pants?

        • I’d say go with what you’re most comfortable wearing. If my firm did this (Heaven forbid), I’d probably go with a skirt suit because I think they are more flattering on me.

        • Diana Barry :

          If you like the skirt suit better, go with that, but be careful what kind of skirt and how your legs are posed – the skirt suit pics I’ve seen have the women’s legs look like twigs coming out bc their legs are behind each other, or the skirt is too full (halfway between pencil and A-line) and looks disproportionate.

          • Agreed – think about the “graphic design” element of the portrait. I find pants often look better for portraits like this because the proportions work better, and for portraits, pants tend to even out lines that might read poorly from a design perspective.

            Sorry, not expressing myself very well here and am not a graphic designer, but I hope you all understand my point.

        • I’ve been looking at the photos on the two firms that people posted above, and I’ve seen about two dozen examples of what not to do and one that looks good. This is the one that I think looks good: http://www.foxrothschild.com/attorneys/bioDisplay.aspx?id=15855

          • Hmm. Generally, I agree, but what’s with the hands? It looks like she’s trying to strangle her fingers.

          • I wonder if Heather Kumor reads this blog. I’m just imagining if I were reading Corporette one day and thought, wow, they linked to my firm’s website, and then wow,, THAT’S ME! Ha ha. Anyway, I like that one, although I agree the fingers could be a little more relaxed.

          • MissJackson :

            I like this one:

            except that her hem is too long on her pants. But in terms of body position, she looks relaxed and natural.

          • @b23 – yeah, that’s why I didn’t post the bad ones. I figure that she’d be happy to see people thinks she looks good! I mean, it is a public photo, so I think it’s fair game. I didn’t post her name because I didn’t think she’d want this site showing up if a client googled her.

            The one MissJackson posted looks good too. It’s interesting to see the difference in attire between East Coast and West Coast lawyers.

          • The lady’s foot in the second photo looks like it is photoshopped on backwards or something.

          • Anonymous :

            @meme – I’ve noticed a lot of women in that pose, so I suspect that the photographer told them to stand that way. I agree, really awkward.

          • I don’t think it’s possible to be not awkward in a professional full-body photo. It’s a matter of minimizing your awkwardness (I wasn’t trying to be mean or anything, just calls’em like I sees’em. Just a lesson, I guess: Ladies, if you’re ever in a position to make this decision, stick with headshots!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Wear hose! The flash on the camera will pick up ANY sheen on your legs (and it’ll be more noticeable because (hopefully) there will be no more bare skin until your face!) so make sure to wear a non shiny pair of hose or tights if you’re going with a skirt.

    • no advice, just chiming in that it’s extremely odd. i think it’s great to show photos on the site but a headshot is fine! can’t imagine why full-body shots are deemed more helpful or more professional or more … anything, other than annoying.

      anyway good luck and hopefully they crop the photos anyway!

    • AtlantaAttorney :

      I’d spend some time looking at other websites of firms that have done this and see what looks best. Our firm has not (thank goodness). I have seen some pictures where some of the attorneys are holding a pen and legal pad – that helps the pose look more natural, I think.

    • Totally weird, I agree.

      Can you perch on a desk and/or hold an open book?

    • Oh God. Why????? You have my deepest sympathy.

    • Broken Doll Pose. Pretty, pretty please! I dare you!

    • Glamor Girl :

      Enough of these glamor shots — I’d prefer to see the lawyers in action. For me, I’d be trudging through an airport with a beat-up bankers box and my laptop bag. Or maybe sitting at a conference table with said box, exhibits piled around me, and I’m yelling at opposing counsel. Or how about the midnight document review action shot? Or the woodshedding-the-witness-in-the-hallway shot?

      • I am having such fun thinking of “real” photos. Last Tuesday’s would have been me in court, all suited up and raring to go, with look of surprise/dismay/oh s—- , upon realizing that one of the cases I was there on was still all spread out on my dining room table at home.

      • I strenuously object. Lawyers In Action is boring and sad; nobody wants to see that.

        Doc review in a warehouse.
        Doc review in a basement.
        Missing kid’s birthday party to work on TRO papers.
        Missing friends’ going-away-party to prep for trial.
        Midnight tuna can at desk as dinner.

        Shall I go on?

        • This made me giggle. And it’s why there are no lawyer reality shows. zzzzzz…..

          • lol, everyone told my dad that the movie lincoln lawyer was like tv crews followed him around for a couple months.

        • You forgot all the exciting transactional lawyers in action activities!

          -Sleeping on top of desk in rumpled business casual
          -Photocopying closing book
          -Vomiting from exhaustion after closing

        • Of course you need to include the trial attorneys. Realizing on a sunday night two weeks into trial that you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. Eating a breakfast/lunch/dinner of a couple granola bars and a can of diet coke at 6 while reading grand jury testimony. Responding to the ridicilous last second motion where opposing counsel got his client’s name wrong.

      • My officemate and I engaging in what our passing-by colleague referred to in the “research stare” – head propped on hands, eyes glazed over and pointed at the screen.

        I sat in one place for so long yesterday that the motion sensor lights in my office shut off.

    • I’m not sure how to describe this “don’t” but if you look through some old photos of yourself you will probably find one where you did this. Be careful not to turn in such a way that your side them appears to be part of your front making you look 50 pounds and 5 inches wider than you actually are. My mom took a pic of me at a swearing in ceremony where I am on stage, legs facing straight ahead, torso turned towards the person next to me to shake hands, head back on the camera and I seriously look triple my actual size. I also have a tragic picture of me in a bathing suit doing the same thing. Leaning towards friend while twisted and looking at camera = + 50 pounds. Practice the weird twist at home and maybe you will figure out what I’m saying not to do!

    • Our firm just did this and my pictures were so bad, I had to contact the marketing person who organized and tell her that under no circumstances were these pictures to ever get out and if they did, I would find her and kill her. I also asked for retakes — which she very readily agreed to, apparently in agreement that my pictures were horrible. They have not been rescheduled yet, and I’m seriously thinking I may need to be medicated to even go through the process again. (I swear – I am totally used to looking awful in pictures, but these were shocking even to my extremely low expectations). I’m having flashbacks even thinking about the experience now.

    • Oh, lord. I didn’t even want a picture of my face on my old firms’ websites – I’d protest loudly if full body pics were required.

      The full body photo is one trend that needs to die. DIE.

    • http://www.foxrothschild.com/attorneys/bioDisplay.aspx?id=12074

      She wears red shoes and I like it!

  2. quiet recruiter :

    Sorry for the early threadjack! I’ve been in touch with a recruiter since mid December about a great job, but they have a habit of only emailing me back every two weeks. Last email left it as they wanted to discuss more over the phone and I told them I could be available when it was convenient for them. This was a week and a half ago. Is it appropriate to email them again and request a specific day?

    • Yes.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      It seems like it would be appropriate, although if all previous contact has been at 2 week intervals then I might wait a few more days.

      Also, not what you asked, but I personally prefer it when trying to schedule meeting times with someone if they offer a few dates or times that work. That cuts down on the back and forth, especially if the scheduling is taking place through email since there is a better chance one of those times will work than just offering 1.

    • You’re doing the recruiter a favor, not the other way around. If they’re not responsive, find a new recruiter. They’re the one who gets a commission out of this, not you.

  3. Salit-a-gator :

    I love the abstract print of this blouse. I refuse, however, to buy tops or dresses that need a camisole underneath. I can never find the right camisole, I feel weird all day, and they always seem to bunch up underneath my clothes. I think I’m going to skip this whole sheer trend altoghether.

    • I admit that I sort of like the sheer trend, once I got over my resentment and just bought a couple of cheap camisoles. I like how sheer blouses are more drapey – they fit me much better than button downs (narrow shoulder – unflat bust discrepancy). Plus I like to wear cardigans over things (my office is definitely NOT a jacket office) so it’s easier to get a cardigan over a drapey, sheer shirt than a crisp one. I hate crisp shirts, they pull at the bust and then bulge out at the waist on me.

      Speaking of shirts, I tried Old Navy’s chambray shirts and was so, so disappointed. The fabric is nice – not sheer, but soft and drapes nicely. But – the cut of the things!! How can a shirt pull across the bust but be voluminous in the back? It seemed like I could have fit a backpack under the back of the shirt, it was so huge. Weirdest fit I ever saw. And I tried it in two colors (the dark chambray is nicest) and two sizes and had the same fit issue, so it wasn’t like I got some weird mutant shirt.

    • Diana Barry :

      Ditto. Love the print, don’t love the sheer. I also have trouble with silk chiffon blouses bc they make me sweat more than regular blouses (why???).

    • I love the print, too, have no issues with sheer, and could see this shirt fitting seamlessly into my wardrobe. Alas, I was just thinking last night about how I don’t need any new clothing, and $150 would be a stretch even if I did.

    • I like this shirt too. I love these camis: http://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=7&pageId=1&productId=300110399&viewAll=&prd=Seamless+Square+Neck+Tank&subCatId=cat4769286&color=100&fromSearch=true&inSeam=&posId=3&catId=cat210001&cat=&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size=
      They’re thin but provide good coverage and no worries about bra straps showing through.

      • I second those camis. I also like the fitted camis from Gap body.

        I don’t mind sheer and I love this blouse. I won’t spend $150 on a blouse, but I have to say that I’m tempted by this one.

  4. AnonInfinity :

    I would love this under a sweater!

  5. This HAS to be worn under something, it is to livley for my work place.

    Plus, the skirt is way to small for work. The manageing partner would be calling me in to his office and would be stareing at my legs all day.

    And beleive me, I do NOT have the best legs, either.

  6. Ballerina Girl :

    Hello gang, I have a question for the hive. I’m 33 and single in NYC. I’m not ready to have children right now, but it’s a huge priority for me in the next 5 years or so. Ideally sooner, but like I said, I’m single. I’ve been thinking more and more about waiting until a magic number (say, 37 or 38) and then, if I’m still single, having a child on my own through artificial insemination. While it’s less than ideal, I could move in with my mother for the first year or two and go from there.

    I wondered if anyone here had a) any experience with artificial insemination and what their experiences were like (also cost) and b) any experience choosing to have a child on your own.

    I’d love to have a husband and build a family the “old fashioned” way, but that may not happen and I don’t want to bet everything on chance. It’d be nice to have a good back-up plan that could take some of the pressure off of things (especially dating) now. I think I’d be most worried about the stigma of going it alone–and the financial side of things.

    Thanks in advance!

    • 37 is four years away. Seems way to far ahead to plan for being single at that point. What about throwing your next year into dating? Sign up for OK Cupid (or one if the others), ask all your friends if they can set you up with someone, go to professional mixers, etc. I’m sure you’ve done a lot of these things before but if you just think – this is the year I’m going to put myself out there more than before, it might be worth doing that and seeing where you are in a year.

      • Ballerina Girl :

        I’m not giving up. I’m just thinking about a back-up plan that makes me happy. It’s very demoralizing to think that something you really want for yourself (a family) is out of reach because you can’t meet the right person.

        I’m putting myself out there, but honestly, it’s gotten tiresome. I’ve been mostly single for the past eight years (with a few 4-8 month things in there).

        • I’m not in a position to give advice, but I think Ballerina Girl’s thought process makes sense. As we have discussed, being in a frantic mindset while dating, sizing up each new person you meet with the stress of “how soon are you willing to marry and impregnate me????” seems like a terrible place to be, and probably self-defeating. Sure, maybe she meets a fabulous husband/father candidate tomorrow–but this kind of planning based on priorities seems perfectly reasonable regardless.

        • I admire your willingness to take control of the situation. At your age, I said that I would foreign adopt if I didn’t meet a mate by 40. I ended up doing it the traditional way – got married and had kids – but I’ve looked back and I’m glad to know that I wouldn’t have missed out on the joy of children if I hadn’t met a mate. It would have been much more work alone, but every bit of the joy. Much better to do it alone than with someone sub-optimal. Good for you you for planning. Good luck.

        • Check out Single Mothers by Choice — there’s a section for women who are in the thinking stage.

      • I think that having a back-up plan like Ballerina Girl is talking about can actually take some of the pressure off and make dating easier. I’m not sure how old you are, but I worry that I won’t meet the right person while I’m still fertile, so I’m sympathetic to BG’s thought process. If you know that you have a plan for having kids even if you don’t meet the right guy soon, it can reduce the anxiety (Why do I keep meeting 35-year-old guys who don’t want to have kids anytime soon? Why don’t I seem to connect with any of these men? What am I doing wrong? TIME IS RUNNING OUT, OMG).

    • There was a terrific guest post fr a lady who had her eggs retrieved and frozen, and I think another lady shared her own experience in the comments. Not too long ago – perhaps December.

      • Ballerina Girl :

        I remember that conversation–it was great–but I really can’t afford to do that and would kind of like to explore doing it on my own entirely. Thanks for the suggestion, though! That was a great thread.

    • This is not directly applicable to your situation, but my mom was an older single parent (dad’s around, but I lived mostly with her, and she shouldered the majority of the burden, both in terms of overall nurturing and finances). She definitely got some side-eyes at work, but this was also in the 80s and early 90s, when there were fewer single mothers anywhere. Honestly, now I don’t think there’s much of a stigma attached to single motherhood at all. She’s even mentioned to me how much better it is for the single mothers in her workplace now.

      Financially, I know it was challenging, but not impossible, on her mid-five-figure salary. She made it work by setting priorities (college fund not new clothes), having boatloads of self-discipline (again: college fund not new clothes), and living well within her means (she owns a home in a nice suburb, but it’s definitely one of the smaller ones in the neighborhood). The cost of living is much lower in our area than in NYC, but I will also assume you make more money that my mom does ;)

      If you want a child and this is the best way you can find, at age 37 or 38 or whatever, to have one…I say go for it.

    • A friend of a friend did this. No man on the horizon and she really wanted a child. One practical thing she did that I thought was smart was that once she started the process of trying to get pregnant (AI) she put away each month the cost of daycare. That way she got used to “paying” for daycare and built up a decent financial cushion. She lives in the DC area and does not have a very high-powered, high-paying job (I think she’s an office manager). She does have a lot of local family who help out, and seems to be quite happy and doing well. I think having control of your finances and a good support network is key.

    • Just wondering if you’d be open to adopting. It may be less common for single parents to adopt, but I believe it is quite possible. That’s not to say it’s a simple or inexpensive process – it most definitely is not – but if what you seek is motherhood, adoption could provide that without putting undue pressure on your biological clock.

      Good luck to you.

      • Ballerina Girl :

        I’m very open to adoption, too. I just worry about not being able to afford the fees and not being able to adopt because of my single status. Also, I have to admit, I think I want biological children, too. Maybe both. Adoption is a wonderful option, I just feel like it’s as certain as artificial insemination would be (i.e. I have a uterus!).

        • If you are interested in pursuing adoption further, some (maybe all?) NYC agencies have a sliding scale for domestic adoptions. See spence-chapin DOT org. They break out domestic vs. international adoption, fees, and requirements (e.g., married, single, etc.).

    • I have a gay friend who did the insemination/single parent route recently. She’s very upbeat about the experience and I think she’s heroic.

      The only thing I can add is that even if you don’t intend to do it until 37/38, you might want to go ahead and do a fertility workup with your Ob/Gyn. If you’re really committed to this path, it would suck if it turned out your own fertility got in the way later.

      • Geneticist :

        Definitely do a fertility workup and also come to a decision with yourself about what sort of options you’d be willing to go for if you don’t (can’t) freeze eggs now and later find out you are not fertile at 37/38.

        Artificial insemination is not a certainty, especially at 37/38. Peak fertility (in terms of genetic disorders, successful conception, etc.) for humans is 26-28 years old and it’s all downhill from there…

        • Ballerina Girl :

          Yes, I know that’s true, but I’m not going to do it now so that’s not a real option.

          Aren’t fertility work-ups not worth it unless you’re closer to the age you want to conceive?

          • Geneticist :

            I don’t know what services or info an ob/gyn or fertility specialist can provide for you right now as I study fertility from the genetic side (as you might guess from my nickname) , but you should definitely look into it. No point in setting up a deadline for yourself (“I’ll conceive alone if I’m 38 and still single”) and then finding out at that point that you have no viable eggs left.

    • dancinglonghorn :

      You should read the work of Lori Gottleib, who has done this and written about it.

      Here is a link to an Atlantic article featuring her.

      I also really recommend her book “Marry Him” to you. Her advice might not be what you want to hear, as she writes about the brutal difficulty doing this process alone, but it might change your dating perspective and help you understand why you are still single. (ie, you might be waiting for a guy who doesn’t exist)

      • Ballerina Girl :

        I’ve read about that book and wholeheartedly disagree with the entire premise. Mejor sola que mal acompanada, as they say–better to be alone than in bad company. I was in a relationship with a guy that I wasn’t crazy about and it literally made me wake up in the middle of the night with panic attacks. Made my skin crawl.

        Considering I’m willing to settle down with most guys I date (and they end it with me), I don’t think this is my problem.

        • Word. Also, what happens when you’re married 5-10 years in with the mediocre bloke you settled for, and then meet “the one” and fall like never before? You break up your family, have an affair, or live even more dissatisfied for the remaining decades. Doesn’t sound like being very responsible to yourself or to potential kids.

        • agree you need the Right guy not just anyone but, for what it’s worth, i’m married to a super wonderful helpful guy and even so, pregnant right now with lots of difficulties, getting through the days is just barely doable. and he has picked up slack on literally everything- making the food, tying my shoes. home today with agonizing pains from a common preggo problem: the abdominal muscle wall split in half last night:(. Point being- I have no idea how single moms do it, I really don’t. It can’t be easy, and thus must involve many less-than-happy times. Not saying wouldn’t be worth it but just my two cents.

      • I have always really disliked the premise of “Marry Him.” It may be that there are these super-picky women out there, but for me, the truth is simply that I find that I feel no physical attraction to the majority of people I go out with, and it doesn’t develop over time. I can’t imagine marrying someone I don’t want to go to bed with.

    • Wish Me Luck :

      I’m doing donor-IUI right now, after years of trying with hubby. It’s not cheap, but not as expensive as IVF / egg-freezing. The vials cost about $600 each and if you do two inseminations per month (that’s what we’ve been doing), the entire cost for an un-medicated (natural) IUI cycle is about $2k. There are so many options though — you could do just one insem, and you can take injectables or a trigger shot to time it — so the cost can vary based on the meds and the number of vials and ultrasounds and everything.

      It takes a few tries to work, typically. We just failed attempt #2, but will try again.

      Hope this helps!

      • Ballerina Girl :

        Best of luck to you and thanks for your comment!

      • The meds are not cheap. With insurance, our copay will be about $2,500 per cycle for meds alone.

    • Wasn’t there a Will and Grace episode where Will and Grace were going to try to make a baby together the old fashioned way since they didn’t want to pay to have his sperm AI in her but then they just couldn’t go through with the physical act?

      I kind of always wondered (though I know there are ton of scary legal repercussions) if there are a lot of people that just go “make a baby” w/ a random or friend rather than AI. I’m sure there are some that do it deceptively and I would never condone that. But I’m sure there are others that have arrangements. I would never advise anyone to trust that arrangement to hold up in court of course but . . . I guess what I am trying to say is, is that an option and if not is it because of the complications?

      I actually knew a couple getting divorced that discussed making a baby that the soon to be ex wife was planning on raising alone. She just didn’t want to put it off any longer. In the long run, she was talked out of doing that since it would make her divorce crazy complicated and that the court likely wouldn’t approve their “arrangement.”

      • One of my childhood friends was actually conceived this way. His mom was single and approached a male friend of hers and basically asked him to father her child (biologically, the “normal” way). They probably had some kind of formal agreement, and I don’t know those details. But it did work out. Not saying anything about what BG should do, but this is heard-of in real life!

      • All I can think of is Dwight and Angela’s baby contract.

      • Antonia’s Line!
        But that was in a movie, and also in Europe . . . and the deceptive route.

    • B Girl – haven’t read all the replies, but Newsweek had a cover article maybe 6 months ago about this topic – the growing market for sperm donors and single ladies doing AI on their own. It covered all aspects of this and listed some a web community for those interested (I can’t remember what it was called). It was fascinating (though some aspects were a little creepy). Maybe see if you can get it at the library or online.

    • Check out the blog “Sarah Fain Has Starfish Envy” — it sounds like you’re in a very similar position to what hers was a few years ago. She’s a wonderful writer, and obviously thought about and weighed things for several years. (I think in the header of the blog she says she started it when she was 37, and she’s now 39 and expecting, having gone through IUI with purchased donor sperm.) There is also a fantastic “Resource Page” that she’s built over the last several years about choosing to have a child as a single parent. Tons of links to organizations and more information about insemination and adoption, as well as lots of other blogs on the same topic.

  7. For any job-searching Corporettes: How do you stay motivated?

    I applied for my fifteenth and sixteenth jobs yesterday. I’ve been rejected from four, and heard nothing back from the rest. I’m not going to lie and say the rejections haven’t been tough, but the worst are all the ones I know nothing about. I feel like I’m writing all of these (thoughtful, personalized, position-specific) cover letters, and they’re vanishing into a swirling black void of hopelessness.

    I know it’s a numbers game, I know approximately 5 bajillion equally- or more-qualified people are applying for the same jobs, I know my field is notorious for slow turn-around. But seriously. It’s hard. How do you get yourselves through it?

    (I am maybe feeling extra-emo because I just got rejected from my dream grad program. This was not a surprise, since they accept 3% of their applicants; I’m cool and all, but those are not numbers to inspire hope. Still, especially on top of all of the job-related frustration, that just wasn’t news I needed this morning. So. Sigh.)

    • It’s definitely tough to stay motivated, and yes I sometimes feel like all my effort is for nothing (I write very personalized cover letter too.) It is tough out there. I don’t know what field you’re in, i’m in law. I probably didn’t get my first interview until I sent out about 25 applications.

      Lately, I’ll spend a chunk of time applying to a bunch of jobs, then not apply to any for a little while. The postings don’t change much, so I find that better than looking every day. As the process goes on though, your cover letters and interviewing and networking skills improve and you see what works. Also, I find it better to have a semi target approach (not super narrow, but not applying to anything and everything.)

    • Just for reference, when I got out of law school in 2003 in a down time for lawyers not from top 10 schools, I applied to over 300 jobs. It was depressing and awful. I don’t have many tips other than to keep perspective that 15 isn’t many applications.Eventually I got a job through my spouse- a jerko boss left his agency and went to another, and hired me. I knew it wasn’t a great job, but I did it anyway and got an income. I also did mind-numbing doc review for pay during those months while looking. It was really hard to stay energetic and motivated, and I didn’t have much fun. Looking back, I guess I’d try to relax more knowing I’d work again eventually (all the time since…) and take care of myself better, but it didn’t feel like an option at that time per money etc. MOST of those jobs never got back to me, by the way. Volume is important and of course networking, but I found that really hard to force while unemployed, both due to my miserable state and how obvious it was that I ‘wanted’ something. Today, Linked In seems a good place to work through. It helped me get my current job partially (connected with a randomish guy who gave me some good info on the company/group that helped me in the interview).

      NOw 10 yrs later I have my dream job and am happy with it- via years of hard work to develop skill sets I could leverage through positions I didn’t like, and doing things on the side to pursue my dream area. I thought I could waltz into things and it wasn’t the case. For some that happens, but for many, you need to commit to yourself for the long haul, and do what you can along the journey.

      • LinkedIn is a good suggestion, thank you! I know quite a few people in my field, but few in the geographic areas I’m looking to move. I’ve so far resisted getting on it, just because keeping even moderately on top of Facebook irks me so much, but I should probably bite the bullet.

        At least I’m not unemployed…yet. Come the end of June, though, I’ll be joining those happy (ha) ranks plus moving back in with my mom (yet more bliss), unless I find something. Today was just a rough day, mentally :/ so thank you for the support and advice!

  8. Online dating- guy who seemed cool and not creepy at all asks to meet up for drinks today in a hotel- which has a lame pub in the basement but it’s not one of those ‘oh that bar in that hotel is fab!”. There are many many other places to go to (urban area). I got the creepy vibe- told him I’m not comfortable meeting in a hotel. I haven’t heard back yet (just sent it). Should I cancel? I feel like I should to be safe.

    • Always a NYer :

      Go with your gut instinct.

    • All else equal, why don’t you just suggest another venue?

      If you don’t want to meet in a hotel, then don’t, but maybe he just genuinely likes the pub. If he has less than noble intentions, I’m still not sure why meeting in a hotel would make sense – unless you’re both visitors from out of town or something. But presumably you’re both adults with your own local homes to return to, separately or together as the case may be.

      Do what makes you comfortable. I just don’t see the concern connected to the hotel.

    • I agree that you should go with your instinct. But I also personally don’t think a hotel bar is any worse than a regular bar.

    • No specific advice, but just want to commend you on going with your gut. If it feels wrong on first instinct then don’t do it, no justification needed and no need to reconsider.

      • Hotel because (I know this is extreme but you never know), a guy can drug you and bring you up to their room. It’s just an easier way for someone to lure you to a private room. And like I said, I’ve lived here for awhile, it’s not a normal venue to go out for a drink.

        He replied and said “no worries” and suggested a much more normal venue. I haven’t decided yet.

        I dunno I always get really paranoid about this stuff. I’d rather be safe than sorry. I’ve just dealt with too many jerks/creepers/stalkers/guys who just want to get in my pants/etc. that there’s no way I won’t be paranoid.

        • I’d give him a chance, but be super careful about it. Make sure everyone knows where you’re going, that you should be done at this time, and that you will send intermittent texts to give them a status update. You never know, maybe he picked that place because they serve an awesome appetizer/drink he can only get there, etc. Or maybe he’s just really bad at picking places for a first date! But don’t drop your guard completely.

          • MaggieLizer :

            This. He probably just didn’t think about meeting in a hotel in *that way* and is now kicking himself for being an idiot. I’d give him a chance but keep your phone handy just in case. Good luck!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’d suggest another venue, maybe one close to the hotel in case the location is why he suggested it or cancel. It’s important to trust your gut here.

    • I wouldn’t tell him that you’re uncomfortable with hotel bars just suggest another location. You can always make up a lie for why you don’t like that pub, e.g. you spend so much time inside, you’d rather go somewhere where the sun shines.

    • Is he staying in the hotel? If he’s local, I don’t see why you’d be concerned. He probably just likes the low-key pub. Not everyone likes fancy, trendy places. Anyway, if he agreed to another venue, I don’t see why you wouldn’t go.

    • You know what? don’t go.
      In all likelihood he’s probably a perfectly normal guy who happened to pick a weird bar. But this is not about him.

      This is about you. If you’re already having doubts, to the extent that you post about them here, and in the back of your mind you’re thinking “is he a creep??”, then I just don’t think you’re going to have a good time tonight. Nothing wrong with that. But unless you can really shove these ideas aside and give this guy a chance – and you certainly don’t have to! – it’s probably a waste of time for both of you.

      • I don’t know; for sure it’s better to be safe than sorry, and I agree with you that if the OP is freaked out she probably won’t have a good time and shouldn’t go. But, she also said above that she “always get[s] really paranoid about this stuff.” I think you’re probably right that he’s just a normal guy who picked a weird bar, and if that’s the case, it could be good for the OP to try to conquer her (possibly extreme, irrational) fear.

        Please note that I am definitely not saying the OP should do anything at all that would make her feel in danger or even regret wasting an evening on a date that wasn’t fun. I do think sometimes it’s good to recognize if one is being irrational, though.

        • Ah- I wrote that last message super quickly (trying to be productive today at work!). It was probably written way too casually. I’m not someone who doesn’t trust people or anything. I’m paranoid strictly about the online dating world. I probably overreacted and the way he responded was good- very low key and easy to deal with.

          I will be fine if I go- I don’t have the creepy vibe. I honestly think that post about self defense yesterday has made me feel like I need to be more cautious than I normally am!

          • Ah, got it – I would probably be paranoid about people I met online, too. I thought you meant in general you were paranoid. Whatever you decide, I hope you have a great time!

        • Just to defend- well not defend, but remind us- the male species has different preferences and doesn’t realize they are odd to us. My bro-in-law invited a girl to go to Las Vegas for the weekend, from L.A. She was quite surprised when his plan involved sleeping IN THE CAR. He thought it was a great, fun idea.

          • ps and he is a good, smart, nice non-creepy guy- just clueless on lady things

          • Ha. My younger brother (who’s himself closing in on 40) would totally do this.

      • I agree, you just started dating him and he should be trying to please you. If something makes you uncomfortable he should be switching to whatever you would prefer. Also, gut instinct 100%, especially with people you just met.

    • Is he a Nazi? Are you going to liaison with Germans spying for the English? The last thing you want is a Mexican standoff in a basement pub.

  9. Hoping to get the collective’s advice on black-tie attire for men – my husband is accompanying me to a black-tie work dinner, so he’s rented a tux since he doesn’t own one. He chose a basic black tuxedo but decided to go with a dark grey patterned vest and coordinating long tie. Is it okay that the vest and tie are not black, or should I ask him to change it? My initial instinct was that he’d be fine, but I’m starting to doubt myself. Looking at pictures from past years, most men are wearing black ties and vests but there are a handful with similar patterned or colored ties. Thanks!

    • anon in SF :

      Depends on how traditional and conservative the event is. The most classic version of the tux is with a black cumberbund and black bow tie. The vest is a somewhat more modern creation. Long ties were traditionally worn by the “help” while the gentlemen guests wore bow ties. That said, the long ties seems popular these days.

      So, if you are going to a really old school event (e.g., formal white house dinner, Northeast or Southern debutante ball, New Orleans Mardi Gras Ball) and think your husband might be uncomfortable standing out a bit, change the vest and tie. If its just a formal event, but not a big traditional thing, he will be well within the range of what men are wearing.

      • A vest is actually at least as appropriate as a cummerbund (if not more so). But I agree, in the most traditional sense, black tie means a black bow tie.

    • I think that black tie means black tie. I’m also having a hard time picturing what you describe, but I think it would be fine if the dinner is black tie optional, but not if it’s black tie.

    • His outfit is perfectly fine for black tie. So long as it’s a tux, he will fit in just fine.

    • What you described is exactly what my now husband wore in our wedding, so I think its okay – I think dark grey/silver is very classy and gives it a nice flair.

      Others might disagree, I guess. :-)

    • Thanks all! It is not that traditional an event, so I think he will be fine as long as he’s in a tux. My husband did have something similar for our wedding, although it was white and the groomsmen were light silver, so the dark grey doesn’t scream “wedding” to me. I think I’ve become so used to seeing it at weddings that it’s become sort of “normal tux” wear to me.

      For the record, the look is like this but with a dark grey patterned vest instead of periwinkle! http://www.menswearhouse.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ByOccasionPackages_-1_10601_10051_10744_10651_10730_117171_18159

  10. Hello all! Please excuse my ignorance, but what do you say in an e-mail when you have to e-mail your cover letter and resume to a law firm for a job posting? I don’t want to repeat my cover letter, just a short 1-2 sentences. Everything I am coming up with is awkward! Help! :)

    • Dear XX,

      Attached please find my resume and cover letter for the position of XXX with Company XX. References and other materials are available upon request.

      Thank you,
      Phone number
      Email address

    • I usually say something along the following.

      Dear xyz,

      My name is TCFKAG and I am writing to apply for the XYZ position. Attached please find my cover letter and resume. Please let me know if you need any further materials.


    • I usually say something like this:

      Mr. X,

      I am writing in repsonse to your firm’s post seeking a XYZ associate. Attached is my resume, cover letter and writing sample for your consideration. (or whatever they ask for. i only send a writing sample or transcripts if requested.)

      I thank you in advance for any time expended on this matter and I look forward to hearing from you.

      sometimes I may add another sentence of something specific I’ve done which really relates to their practice to help me stand out.

    • Dear Recruiting Coordinator (or whoever the listed contact is):

      Attached please find my cover letter and resume for the associate position posted on your website. If there is any other information I can give you, please do not hesitate to contact me at 123-456-7890, or [email protected] Thank you for your consideration.


      Jane Doe

      Note: I have always used sincerely, but there was some debate on here a couple weeks ago about how people sign business letters, and the consensus seemed to be that sincerely was too personal, or something like that. So, if you can find that thread, go with whatever most people used.

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I think that the consensus was “very truly yours”.


      • Maddie Ross :

        I hate (HATE) “Attached please find” as the start of any letter or email. I would likely write you off in my head immediately. Thank you, Bryan Garner.

        • Really? I know it’s stilted, but it’s so standard.

        • Actually, I also dislike it, but I don’t really know how else to say it, and that phrase seems so standard that I just use it. What do you say instead?

          • so anonymous :

            A partner I used to work for hated that expression as well. He would say, “You’re not sending them on a treasure hunt.” ;)

          • I've tried :

            “I have attached for your review _______”

          • Seattleite :

            If I’ve had phone or email contact first: “As promised, attached are my resume and writing sample.”
            If no prior contact: “I am interested in the [position] advertised today on Craigslist. Attached are my resume and writing sample.”
            Short, declarative sentences and active verbs are your friends!

        • Maddie Ross :

          I use “I am attaching… “

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Is the person you are emailing it to the same person the cover letter is addressed to? If so, I normally just use the email body for my cover letter and then put my resume below it as a PDF attachment, which will sometimes show up in the recipient’s view screen.

      Is that something I shouldn’t do? My school’s career services office recommended doing it that way, but I’d love to hear from someone who receives application materials as to the practical issues with this method.

      • you should pdf the cover letter so they can print it as one document

        • Sydney Bristow :

          So it would be regular text in the email body followed by the resume PDF and the cover letter PDF?

          • No email a short paragraph (see above) and pdf the cover letter and resume where the cover letter is in traditional business letter format

          • Sydney Bristow :


      • Anonymous :

        I would NOT do this (put the text of the cover letter in an email), because maybe the person you are sending the application to is the main contact, but 5 people need to see it. If that is true, rather than download two attachments (cover letter & resume) you are relying on the recipient’s good will to transfer your email to a word doc or PDF so it can be shared. bad idea. You want the attachments to be sharable, printable, forwardable etc.

  11. InsecureSoutherner :

    Hi all, I have a lunch interview with the biggest/best law firm in my southern city. I am super excited about the interview and I have met the two partners I’m having lunch with before, but I’m not sure I’m qualified enough for the job (I only graduated in the top 30% of a T30 school, didn’t have a summer associate position while in school). Also, I’m obese (bmi of 34) whereas not a single one of their associates is even overweight. The only reason I got the interview is because of three judges I’ve worked for and a national award I received last year (which I received by the judges’ nomination). Any tips for moving past these pitfalls? Does the obesity matter as much as I think it does? (And although weightloss would be the perfect solution, I don’t really need advice there. I’ve done everything from seeing registered dieticians to Nutrisystem to gastric bypass. Currently, I’m on Weight Watchers and really like it, but weightloss is very slow due to PCOS and hypothyroidism.)

    • Research has shown that overweight people are viewed more negatively, and there’s a lot of prejudice against the overweight. Unfair and infuriating, but there’s nothing that you can do about it before the interview. It’s often (but not always) a subconscious prejudice, so I suspect lots of people here will tell you that they’re sure it doesn’t matter – but yes, it probably does.

      That said, it is NOT insurmountable by any means. What worries me on your behalf is that, weight aside, you’re sure you’re not qualified for the job. THAT is what you need to work on between now and then. Stop thinking about how you’re not qualified and start thinking about how you are – make lists, write a paragraph, practice aloud with your mirror. You need to re-train your brain out of thinking “I’m not good enough”. Obviously, someone DOES think you’re good enough, or they wouldn’t be seeing you!

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. Make a list of why you are qualified, what you can bring to the table. Talk to yourself out loud about it.

        And yes, being obese sucks. I spent most of my life at a normal weight include a decade of adulthood, then went well into obesity about 4 years ago (BMI 37), and am now losing weight slowly but surely (BMI 32) and you are right – people treat the same me, with the same credentials, very differently depending on how much I weight. It shocked me how strong it was. It just sucks and I hate it. And you hate it, and we’re on the same page. So I won’t talk about it anymore.

        Here’s what I do to compensate for an interview:
        I make my hair and makeup absolutely perfect.
        I get a manicure so I feel like there’s something “professional” about me.
        I spent whatever money was necessary for decent shoes that were professional and that I wasn’t going to fall over in.
        I stand in front of the mirror before I leave and tell myself “you are a rock star! you have mad skills! you are published! you are the most awesome person they will ever have the opportunity to interview!” Silly, but it made me feel better.

    • Some people will judge you for being obese. Some people will see you and be reminded of their much loved sister/brother/cousin/coworker etc and not judge you negatively. Some people will judge my severe acne. Others will see my accomplishments. Some people will judge a suit that is polyester.

      “The only reason I got the award is because of three judges I’ve worked for and a national award I received last year.” I want you to reword that. I got the interview at the best firm in my city because I did amazing work for three judges, who not only recognized my considerable skill and proffessionalism with a reccomendation for a job, but also nominated me for a national award, which someone else saw, recognized those same traits, and awarded me. I am awesome.

      You have a weight problem. The person interviewing you might be in great shape, but they have their own problems whether its anxiety, bad hair, self consciousness, balding. everyone has someone. You’ve met the partners, theyve met you and seen you, and still want to interview you. They have no problem with your weight, and they have an interest in your work.

    • Salit-a-gator :

      Congratulations on the interview! My best advice is to get your confidence up. They’re going to ask “why should we hire you?” or a variation of this. Have a list of your skills and accomplishments memorized and practice speaking confidently about them. This is the single most important thing you can do. Did you write a brief? Mention it ? Awards? Mention them. Etc. Also, do your research about the firm and have 2-3 reasons memorized why they are a good fit for you. Look up the people you’re interviewing with and memorize certain things about them you can work into the conversation – alma matter, hobbies, big cases etc. If you’re strong and confident, everyhting else won’t matter as much. You got the interview, now nail it.

      • Sweetknee :

        I know how you feel. I have been overweight virtually my entire adult life, and had to deal with feeling this way in interviews. My thoughts:

        1. Make sure that your clothes fit impeccably, and are clean and pressed perfectly. There is a misperception that overweight people are unkempt, dirty and lazy. I am sure that does not apply to you, but I think overweight people have to go out of their way sometimes on that issue.

        2. Ditto on the hair/manicure, etc.

        3. You sound VERY qualified, and pretty awesome based on the award that you won. Quit talking your self down ! IF you don’t toot your own horn a little, nobody else will do it for you.

        Finally, I know that you do not want weight loss advice, but I have an experience to share. Last year, I had lap band surgery, and have lost 109 pounds. I have about 10 more to go. I did lots of research beforehand, and its a much healthier and less invasive surgery than gastric bypass. I feel better and look better than I have in 20 years. ( I am 40, and have been overweight my whole life, despite Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight watchers, etc). Lap band is totally adjustable and reversible, and was the best decision I ever made.

        Regardless of my situation, I wish you the best at your interview. Go get ’em girl !

        • InsecureSoutherner :

          Wow, congratulations on your success! I actually had gastric bypass in January 2008, so lap band is not an option for me. I lost 80 lbs in 9 months and never lost another pound. I also stayed 20 lbs overweight. I’ve regained 30 lbs (20 in May of last year from health issues) and I’m very discouraged. My doctors all say it’s fine, but I’m not ok with it. I’m now 50 lbs from being a healthy BMI. But maybe, just maybe, weight watchers and my new thyroid medicine will work to at least get rid of these 30 lbs.

    • no need to be insecure :

      You got the interview! They saw your resume and decided they wanted to meet you. They would not waste time interviewing you if they could have flat-out rejected you based on your resume (which I’m sure they did with MANY other resumes). This means you are qualified for the job.

      If they don’t like you because of your weight, there’s nothing you can do about that. Just be the best you can be, and if it works out, great. If not, there will be a better fit out there.

    • Another Sarah :

      Law firms don’t invite people out for an interview just to mock them on their weight. And I’m assuming you didn’t sent an 8×10 glossy with your application materials. So (a) you ARE qualified, and (b) your obesity doesn’t have any effect on your qualifications. Your one and only reason why you got the interview is one more reason that lots of other people (some of whom may be in percentiles 1-29% at schools 1-30) don’t have. They obviously don’t care about these “pitfalls,” so they aren’t pitfalls. :-)

    • Hugs from another insecure PCOS sufferer. Just be confident (fake it) and look put-together. You’ll be awesome.

      If you want to exchange emails, I’d be happy to. You remind me of myself 6 years ago and I just want to reach through space and time and convince you you’ll be fine.

    • InsecureSoutherner :

      Wow, you all gave some really awesome advice. I appreciate concrete suggestions that I know I can do (lists of my accomplishments, pep talks to myself, manicure, etc). I will definitely work on them in the next couple of weeks. As for not being qualified, their standard rejection letter was sent to me immediately after I sent in my letter/resume and the exact reason for rejecting me was that I wasn’t qualified. In all reality, my GPA/experience isn’t what they minimally require. But I should focus more on ways I can set myself apart from the many who do have the GPA and experience.

      Again, thanks for all the support!

    • “The only reason I got the interview is because of three judges I’ve worked for and a national award I received last year.”

      Uh, hello?, you’re QUALIFIED! And they know it.

  12. Desperate Anon :

    For those who have knowledge of this sort of thing, what are the consequences of writing a pre-sentencing letter (one of those that’s supposed to reflect on the positive character of a defendant) for someone involved in a federal drug case? Long story short, ex college BF was in the wrong place, wrong people, an idiot, etc., and got involved in something big and very messy. His role seems to basically have been to introduce some people and hang out with them thinking he was in a rap video. Idiot, I know.
    We have been broken up for almost 6 years, before I started law school. I am now a lawyer for a local state agency with some potential future political ambitions. Not high political office, but still. None of the allegations against him stem from the time period we were together and certainly none of what is alleged was going on while we dated. But we dated for a very long time – high school and college – and I really do love him as a human being and want the best for him, etc. He really should not go to jail, he’s a total star trek nerd!, and I want to help to whatever extent I can. But I don’t want this to bite me on the a**, either. Adding complications to the matter, my current partner is on the law enforcement side of things, and I don’t want this to be something that impacts him either. So 2 questions: 1) should I write the letter? and 2) do I have to tell my current partner about it? FWIW, the current partner knows the situation but would probably not approve of me writing the letter or being involved in any way. I could wring the ex’s neck for putting me in this spot, but I also don’t want to *not* do something that could *legitimately* help him. Obviously, one of the reasons I would make for a good letter is what is making making me hesitate to agree. Thoughts..?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a law clerk for a trial court with a major criminal docket, and here are my thoughts –

      In our court, letters count little unless they are from people in a supervisory/mentor position and currently know the defendant well. Letters from friends, girlfriends, wives, parents, and children really don’t help very much.

      Letters may take a few months off a jail sentence, but in only one instance have I ever seen character letters change a sentence from jail to probation – and that was 6 letters written from community leaders and 5 people called to testify in person.

      What I’m saying is, the potential gain to him of any letter, unless for some reason you are a person very credible to the judge, will most likely be much less than any personal risk you incur – you are the judge of how much that risk might be. The letters do become part of the permanent file, viewable by the public – just something to think about.

      Just my humble opinion.

    • I think if your thinking about sneaking this behind your partners back, you should evaluate that. I think its because you are feeling like it is wrong.

      Now you know your ex boyfriend, so I believe that *you believe* he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. But on paper, you telling me he is facing a federal drug case because he thought he was going to be in a rap video doesn’t even come close to passing the straight face test.

    • It won’t have any effect on you. It won’t go into the public record, and although people involved in the case will see it, there’s no reason why you’d have to disclose it in the future. I think this is a lovely and kind thing to do in support of a friend. Even if it doesn’t help his case, it will help him feel supported, and that is what is most important. So write the letter, and if he does go to prison, stay in touch as a friend. People in prison often end up isolated from their friends and family on the outside, and when they get out the social isolation that resulted from having served time in prison is a major contributor to recidivism.

      As to whether you have to disclose it to your partner (I assume you mean in romantic partner), I think it would be the kind of thing you mention in an everyday conversation, but not some big thing that has to be “disclosed.”

      • The letters are public – even if a reader has to exercise a little due diligence to find them, and I’ve read published opinions that cite to the letters. It’s rare, but it is something to keep in mind.

        It’s a red flag that you aren’t comfortable mentioning this to your current SO. You know, however, better than any of us whether that’s an issue with the relationship, or because you have a nagging feeling that this isn’t a great idea.

        Otherwise, I do agree that keeping in touch after (if?) he’s sent to jail – if that’s what you feel comfrotable doing – is a nice gesture.

        • Desperate Anon :

          Thanks everyone.
          Concerning my – yes, romantic – partner, my reluctance to tell him has to do with the fact that he would be needlessly paranoid about this issue. We have a great relationship and he knows all about this situation with the Ex, he is just of the opinion that I should stay away from the whole mess. I would tell him if I did it – I guess I just don’t want to because I know it would mean a day or two of sulking on his part. I think because he works on the law enforcement side of things, he would be very embarrassed by it getting out. He also just has general ‘exes should stay in the past’ feelings common to many men.
          I think my own biggest concern is just if this is going to reflect badly on me down the line somehow. Like if I run for local office in ten years or someone at work finds out. I don’t think it should, but I worry. I guess I need to find out for sure if this is something that gets made public or not.
          I appreciate everyone’s thoughts so much. I really just want to do the right thing and I think, inside, I know that it is writing the letter…but I also don’t want to cause problems in my life now and later because of something stupid that my ex did to himself.

          • A few comments. A few years ago a formerly very prominent attorney was charged with attempted bribery of a judge. The dean of the state law school and chancellor of the university, to which the defendant had made substantial monetary contributions, wrote letters in support of the defendant. The federal judge who had the case made the letters public, and in response to one of the letter writers’ comments to the effect that it would be a waste of taxpayer money to have the defendant in jail, fined the defendant the cost of his imprisonment. There was a fairly substantial amount of negative publicity about the letter writing.

            In my opinion, the law school and university lost credibility.

            A letter you write for a criminal defendant can definitely reflect on you, and I would be reluctant to write a letter that you do not want your SO to know about.

            If you write the letter, do so on personal stationery, not on law firm or business stationery. You do not want it to seem that your position is that of your agency. You may even need to check with your agency’s legal department to see if there is any prohibition in writing such a letter, certainly do not mention your state job.

            Here’s a taste of the outcry:

          • Desperate Anon :

            Thanks for those thoughts. That’s definitely something else to consider.

  13. Would someone direct me to the convo from a while back re: how people manage money with their spouses (i.e. joint account v. seperate v. yours, mine, ours). My corporette search skills are not up to par.

    • Another S :

      Try a google search limited to this site, i.e. “site:corporette.com term(s) you want to search”.

    • do a google search for the site corporette. (and you can google how to google a specific site)

  14. Two cents :

    Where do people shop for work clothes? Finding myself buying almost exclusively from Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Banana, and I’d love to find some new options. Not a fan of Jcrew, Macys, Ann Taylor.

    My favorite store ever is ModCloth, but most of what they sell would not fly at work. If anyone has found a site like ModCloth that sells more work appropriate clothing, I’d love to hear it! I work in BigLaw.

    • I like Anthropologie (and am actually wearing Anthro pants right now). A lot of their stuff is work-appropriate, but overall quirkier than the J. Crews and Ann Taylors of the world. Don’t know what you could find in terms of biglaw suiting, but you could definitely get some fun shells, cardigans, blazers, and separates. Also, vintage or thrift stores, if you’re willing.

      And, FWIW, I wear a TON of J. Crew, but have an artsy/indie/hipster-adjacent style (which I’m assuming you do as well, based on your appreciation of ModCloth). It’s all in the pieces you choose, and how you style them. For example, I’m wearing a J. Crew button-down right now, but it’s with a big, artistically-tied pashmina, navy nails, leopard-print shoes, and cropped pants. People always express disbelief that half my wardrobe came from J. Crew, because I look and dress nothing like the stereotypical person who shops there. I don’t know if that’s your reservation, or if the clothes don’t fit you well, but I think it’s always helpful to stay open-minded about stores.

      • And I second a. on Anthro! I have lots of Anthro stuff too, and wear it to work.

        Also wearing leopard-print shoes today. :-)

        • Leopard’s the best! Mine are a muted silvery purple color, and go with everything. They’re starting to look a little worn, though…eep. I don’t know what I’m going to do without them.

    • Try Hobbs, which is a UK brand that has recently started to ship to North America and is my absolute favourite (to the detriment of my bank account).

    • This top is almost the same cost as my monthly food budget. It’s tough for me to understand the expensive suits but I know many are worn super regularly and are mandatory for people’s jobs, but to see a shirt cost this much (let alone one people would remember so it couldn’t be worn too often)?! Wow!

    • Thanks for the feedback, ladies. I’ve been to Anthro several times and never find anything that I like, not sure why. The Hobbs dresses are GORGEOUS – does anyone know if I can try them on in the US somewhere? It would be good to try on for fit. Re: Jcrew, I do like their clothes but the fit is all weird on me.

      • Should have thought of this earlier, and from looking at the Hobbs website they seem similar: but try Zara! They have some brick-and-mortar stores in the US.

      • Hobbs is actually not at all similar to Zara. Hobbs is much better quality, finished better, much nicer fabrics, and fits quite differently. For reference, I am 5’4″ (almost), 135 lbs, short-waisted, and curvy on the bottom, and cannot wear Zara to save my soul. But Hobbs fits me like a dream. I am normally a US size 6, and a consistent UK size 10 at Hobbs.

        I don’t know of anywhere you can try Hobbs dresses in the US, unfortunately.

    • If you like ModCloth, then Anthropologie is the place for you. I wear mostly J Crew and Anthro. I also occassionally find good pieces at Ann Taylor, Lands End Canvas, Zara, or Nordstrom. I agree with another poster that it is the accessories that make your outfit stand out.

    • Club Monaco! Definitely not all work appro, but I’ve found some really well-tailored pieces there that have lasted me years.

    • Try Boden. They don’t have suiting, but certain seasons’ lines have lots of work-appropriate separates.

  15. shamlet96 :

    Hi ladies – I just snagged a final interview for my dream job (in gov’t) next week and need help with a couple of things. First, i think I’ve decided to wear my navy pinstripe skirt suit (j.crew super 120s) with a pink button down and gray pumps. However, i need recs on hose. I’m a woman of color (NC40, about J.Lo’s skin color, maybe a little darker) so I want to make sure I get something that doesn’t look too unnatural. I haven’t worn nylons since my clerkship interview four years ago, so I’m sort of out of the loop. Second, does anyone have any recs to clear up product-related breakouts quickly? I broke out from using philosophy purity – i stopped using it a few days ago, but i REALLY want my skin to be as clear as possible before next Tuesday. Should I just go for regular benzoyl peroxide? Thanks in advance so much!

    • If you go to the nylons section at macys they should have a bunch of samples like on a ring you can look at, so you can stick your arm in and see

    • I’m NC30/35 and wear hanes alive, i think the color i wear is little color. I just came back from vacay and have a tan and they still looked fine. They have a few options so maybe you can check some out. I usually get about 10 wears before I chuck them.


      I’ve had good experiences with benzyol peroxide. salycilic acid does nothing for me. purity did not work well on my skin either. I currently use the clinique 3 step system (type 4). Glycolic Acid is also good, but more difficult to find.

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      Mario Badescu for the acne-put it on at night and it disappears by the morning. There are two different formulas for quickly clearing up breakouts; check their website and see which one would be better for you. I think the one I use is called drying lotion, or something? It’s pink with an alcohol layer on top (it’s got calamine in it, so it basically looks like you’re recovering from chicken pox when you put it on bumps)

    • Makeup Junkie :

      When I have nasty bumps, I dab on a bit of Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque and leave it on overnight. It really shrinks them down so I can use concealer.

      Good luck with the interview!

    • Fresh Umbrian Clay Face treatment literally makes my small-medium pimples disappear overnight. I also have sensitive skin but haven’t had trouble with the Fresh products (other than their prices! but the clay treatment isn’t too pricey).

    • On the acne, if you’ve never used benzoyl peroxide before, be advised that it can cause severe reactions in people who are allergic to it. My skin was bright red and peeling. So definitely do a patch test and wait 48 hours if this will be your first time using it. Salicylic acid products work better for me (I use one from Paula’s Choice).

      Would gray hose look weird on your skin tone? I usually wear Hue hose in off black with my navy suit and gray pumps. It is a sheer grayish color that I think looks good with navy.

      • Oh, also try making a mask with Indian Clay and apple cider vinegar! The clay is available at Whole Foods.


    • shamlet96 :

      thanks for all the suggestions ladies! will give those a try.

    • For the breakout, try dabbing tea tree oil on the spots. Clears things right up for me.

  16. Formerly Preggo Angie :

    Random question for the mommas (and other who are interested): How many kids do you have? We have 2 perfect little ones, a boy and a girl, and my husband and I were just chatting about the possibility of a third (not anytime soon, mind you!). But a third… it starts to get complicated – like, minivan complicated. My heart totally says “Yes!” while my mind is saying “Are you F’ING NUTS???” So, overachieving chicks, how many kids do you have/want?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Put me in the “interested to see the discussion” group. I can possibly conceive (ha!) of having two, but DH is more in the 3 camp. 3 seems much more logistically complicated and expensive than 2… Of course, given that my peak fertility years of 26-28 have already passed (thanks, Geneticist :) ), my brain is running straight to “OMG it’s already too late! I will need fertility treatments and end up with multiples!!! Ahhh!!!” So, what is the marginal burden of 2 kids vs. 1, or 3 vs. 2?

      • Another S :

        I’m in a similar situation as SF Bay Associate – I think I could handle 2, DH thinks he wants 3. We currently have 0, and have agreed to take things one kid at a time. That said, if DH turns out to be the great parent and full partner I think he can be, and if it won’t be a burden financially, I could see being open to 3 if that’s something he still wants if/when we have 2. But if money becomes a real issue or I end up shouldering most of the burden (aside from the pregnancies themselves, if we go the bio route) then I probably wouldn’t consider it unless motherhood reveals to me that being a stay-at-home mom is my true calling and I find it completely fulfilling (which I assume is unlikely).

      • MaggieLizer :

        I’ve been out of the loop for a few weeks so I may have missed it before, but this is the first time I’ve seen you refer to your fiance as DH… congrats on your wedding!

    • Diana Barry :

      I am now pregnant with #3. I always wanted 3 or 4, and pretty easily talked DH into 3. :) This pregnancy has been harder than the others and I think we will be done after this one, but we’ll see (I guess) when this one is 1 yr or so and figure out how we feel then (I would start feeling like I wanted another one when the baby was 1 or so).

      That said, having #3 is making me think about quitting my job, etc., that I never thought about before. I only know one working mom who has 3 kids (she had 3 in 4 yrs!), and she is a biglaw of counsel, so has lots of money to throw at childcare.

      Oh, and we don’t have a minivan, we have an SUV that has 3 LATCH connectors in the back seat, so you can fit 3 car seats across. :)

      • Diana Barry :

        Oh, and I haven’t had the clock issue – I am 33 now, so #4 (that would DEFINITELY be the last one if this one isn’t) would arrive at age 35 or 36.

      • My sister had 3 in 4 years. She works full-time. She’s a vp for a large financial firm in this area. You can probably guess which one. She also has lots of money to throw at childcare and any other problem that arises. I’m the poor relation.

        Oh, and she drives the Toyota Highlander hybrid. Her husband drives a big Toyota truck.

      • Research, Not Law :

        What do you have that fits three carseats in one row?!? We’ve been wondering if it’s possible. How does it work getting three kids in and out, particular the middle seat?

        So true about being stay at home. We’ve already discussed how one of us would likely need to be SAH since we don’t have the income to cover that much childcare. It would be a stretch for a family of five on one of our incomes. Possible, but tight.

    • Left coaster :

      My husband and I are leaning towards trying for just one. Not to hijack your thread, Angie, but I’d be curious about any reactions to that plan. We don’t have any children right now, but there are several reasons why we are thinking of having just one: My husband is several years older than I am (we are 30 and 38, so he will almost certainly be in his forties before we even start trying); we live in a very high cost-of-living part of the country where child-rearing expenses add up quickly, especially on our salaries (govt job for me, creative type for him); and my husband is a very happy only child, whereas I’m one of three and am not super close to either of my siblings (though I am very close to my parents). We’ll see how things pan out once we actually start TTC — probably in about two years? — but that’s our thinking now.

      • oldest sib :

        I think it’s such a personal decision. You and your husband should do what you think works best for your family. That said, I love my sister and feel that my life is so much richer than it would be if I were an only child. I know many siblings who say that, and many only children who wish they had siblings.

        • To offer a different perspective, I’m an only child, am happy with that, know many other onlies who feel the same way, and have had plenty of people with siblings they don’t get along with tell me how much happier they’d be as only children. It’s not better or worse than having siblings; it’s just different.

          There was a pretty lengthy discussion about the only child vs. aim-for-more question here: http://corporette.com/2011/12/20/tuesdays-tps-report-short-sleeve-knit-dress/

      • Formerly Preggo Angie :

        Most of my friends in the SF Bay Area are sticking with one – their daycare expenses are about equal to what I pay for both my kids! Plus it seems easier to find a two-bedroom place than one with 3 or more.

        Diana Barry – I’m so with you on the wanting another baby!!! It’s nuts, isn’t it?

      • I think you can’t really decide on this until you have one. Once you have one, you’ll know if you want more. I am an only child and I certainly don’t see anything wrong with it!

    • We have 3 kids…we also have a minivan, lol. It is crazy, but it is also a lot of fun and I couldn’t imagine not having my youngest! She has really completed our family. I sometimes get sad that I won’t have another baby, but then I think about sleep and money and am very content with having 3. I am also one of three and so maybe that is just what seems normal to me.

      • We have three, but that’s only because what was baby number two turned out to be twins. I certainly couldn’t imagine our family without each of my kids but would never had gone for 3 if we hadn’t had twins if that makes sense.

      • Having kids is really great. I love being a mom. But it’s exhusting. DH and I both work full time. Family lives 6 hours away. Kids are older now (almost 12 and 9). Some things are easier and some are harder. I was an only child and hated it. So, 2 kids seems right for me. I think 3 would put me over the edge. Yes, everything is very expensive. Daycare is expensive. Kids, in general, are really expensive. Now with my oldest there is no daycare, but there are shopping trips to Delia’s. Also, remember that kids need a lot of attention. Someone needs to make doctor appts, help with homework, play with them, clean, etc. That is why so many women work part time.

        • My mother worked a super-demanding job, had three kids, and regretted it. She loves all of us, but she was frequently overwhelmed and wished she had stopped at 1 or 2 kids. My dad was not a big help, so that probably makes a difference, but 3 kids is a lot.

          • See, this is what worries me. How do you know it’s time to stop, even if you want another child and have the financial resources to do so? I often feel overwhelmed with just one. There are just so many household tasks to get done, on top of working full time. DH is an involved parent, but he is not good at seeing what needs to be done around the house unless I tell him. Asking for his help all the time makes me feel like a nag, so I’ve resigned to doing a lot of stuff myself. And, truth be told, I still do more with our son than he does, plus schedule all the doctor appointments, remember the stuff we need to take to daycare, manage our relationships/visits with extended family … I hate complaining, but sometimes I get really tired of being a grown up. ;) The practicalities of family life are what worry me most about having another kiddo.

          • Anon, I’m not sure there are any clear indicators. I think you just have to make a decision, one way or another. However, if you have financial resources, that can help tremendously. Could you hire a maid, outsource the laundry, get an au pair or otherwise take steps lighten your own load? If so, 2 kiddos would probably be much more doable. Otherwise, I think you are correct in thinking that you would keep doing what you do now, but would have to do it for 2 kids. That could get overwhelming. I don’t have kids, but I hear the earlier years can be tough on Mom’s schedule. Those years don’t last forever, but they are tough. Good luck with your decision.

    • a passion for fashion :

      we have two perfect little ones as well — also a boy and a girl. I never wanted more than 2 (and in fact, No. 1 was such a difficult baby that we were not evern sure we were going to make it to number 2.) My husband always wanted 3. I should add that we are both attorneys in big firms in a big city. Baby No. 2, however, was so, so easy that i often think about a third. Even at 18 months, although she is beginning to get more difficult (learning hhow to throw a tantrum, give the perfect puppy dog eyes, etc), she is still pretty easy. My husband though is pretty convinced we are done. As he says, with a 3rd, man on man defense suddenly turns into zone. and i really do have the same reaction as the OP (Yes vs FING NUTS). I think my gut tells me that we probably wont have another, but who knows.

      • Formerly Preggo Angie :

        Man on man defense turns to zone made me LOL, but it’s so true!

        • LOL. My DH uses this analogy all the time. :)

        • Research, Not Law :

          Also loving that analogy!

          I always think of my coworker (and only acquaintance) with three children who keeps telling me “Going from one to two was easy, but going to three was… hard…” with a distant, pained look on his face. Not inspiring! LOL.

    • I have 3 boys – oldest turns 12 next month, youngest is almost 6.5. I love having 3, and always wanted at least 3, but we had 3 m/c before #1 was born, so we decided 50% was a good average and stopped. Yes, it makes things a little crazy, and you need the minivan for sure when they are younger (we can travel in a 4-door car now if we need to because everyone is out of booster seats) and teenagers. However, you can still fit in a regular hotel room (with a cot). As a disclaimer, I got married young (at 19 – and have been married 17.5 years now), had my last baby shortly after I turned 30, and I worked at home p/t until my youngest was almost 2.5, so I’m not too sure how my experience will compare to yours. Life got much busier when #3 was born, mostly because he was born the same month my oldest started kindergarten, so life in general got busier. I’ve heard someone say that you never regret having another child, and while I’m not sure that’s 100% true, I’m very happy we decided on 3.

      • No comment on 3 v. 2 (I want three, husband wants two, so we’ll see how things go) but I just wanted to point out that as the kids get older, you’ll probably get a minivan anyway, especially if you go on a lot of long car trips. :) (this is semi tongue in cheek, I assume that you’re not going to make a decision about the number of children you have actually based on what kind of car you would have to get)

        • Formerly Preggo Angie :

          There were 4 kids total, and my dad REFUSED to buy a minivan. We all squeezed in the back with my youngest brother in between my parents in the front! 1990’s Ford Taurus, baby!

          • Diana Barry :

            I also refuse to get a minivan. I just.don’t.like.them. :)

          • There were only two kids in my family, but about once a year we would drive from our home in the midwest to California, about 45 hours total, for 2 or 3 weeks and then drive back. I would not have wanted to do it either as an adult or a kid in anything smaller than a minivan. I hate minivans, but it’s really important to me that my future children have that experience of seeing most of the country from the ground, so I’m resigned to eventually having to get one.

          • Diana Barry :

            Ugh, I can’t imagine that. Our longest car trips are 6 hrs – any more than that and we’d have to fly.

          • a passion for fashion :

            i too refuse to buy a minivan. 3 car seats fit just fine in the back seat of the volvo SUV (one of our friends has a 5 year old plus 2 year old twins)

          • Research, Not Law :

            I have some great childhood memories of being packed into our Honda Accord for long car trips, wedged between pillows, coolers, and camping gear!

            However, we have a Ford F-150 lariat for our long trips now. The 95 lbs mutt put us over. Love it!

          • Research, Not Law :

            But there’s no way I’ll drive it in the city. ::shivers::

          • I am one of 2 kids, and grew up before the advent of minivans. We had an actual VAN. (With windows though — not a panel van.) This was completely awesome for my brother and for me — we did a ton of 9-hour driving trips (each way) to visit all of my grandparents farther south on the Eastern seaboard, and my brother and I each had our own full bench seat to spread all our stuff out on. We’d each bring a (slumber-party-style) sleeping and our own pillow and could sleep a lot of the way after dark b/c we were able to lie down and stretch out (with seatbelts around our middles, of course). I think all this van travel left its mark over time, as both my brother and I love road trips.

        • Anastasia :

          I want 3 or 4 (grew up in a family with 3), DH wants 2 (grew up in a family with 2). We both want at least one boy and one girl. We have none so far, but “not preventing” now.

          In an odd twist, DH really wants a minivan – the automatic doors! the screens! the fridge in the console! But of course he wants a minivan for *me* while he still drives his zippy sedan. I told him you don’t need a minivan unless you have 3 kids, so that’s one thing working for my number. :)

    • We have two and would gladly have three, but both ours were IVF babies. We’d have to go that route again and I’ll be 38 in a couple months–so probably not going to happen. That is an emotional and financial investment I do not feel I can make at this point. Also, given the youngest is 4 1/2, I can see light at the end of the daycare $$ tunnel this August. I have a friend who has five children and is a biglaw partner and manages well–but her husband stays home. None of my other female lawyer friends have children.

    • Mamma Mia :

      Interesting topic (no kids yet, but currently working towards it)! I’m the oldest of 4, from a very traditional Catholic family, just for perspective’s sake. My general thought process, which my husband seems to agree with, has always been that 1 is too few (I know that the only kids here will hate me for this, but personally, I’m just not a fan of only-child-ness.) and 4 is too many (just based on witnessing my family, which wasn’t really too many, but more than I think I would want).

      I also think that I would really like both a boy and a girl. I mean, I already have the names picked and everything. So, my thinking has always been that we’ll do 2, and if they’re the same sex, then we’ll consider a third, but playing it by ear depending on how things go. Now, we’re starting a bit later than I had planned (economy!), so it’s really hard to say for sure what will happen, but that’s my general thinking.

    • done at two :

      Two teenage girls.

      I was a lonely only child so we decided to have at least two. The line got drawn after that because 1) my friends with three, said it was exponentially harder to go from 2 to 3 than it had been to go from 1 to 2. 2) we would have had to buy a bigger house and bigger cars, and we just weren’t in a position to do that. 3) it took several years and their growing out of toddlerhood for me to feel like things had settled down, that it wasn’t just the two of them vs the one of me all the time. When things did settle down, I felt like our family had established a rhythm and chemistry as a team of four and… I was fine with that.

    • Geezerette :

      My husband is an only child, and it has been a very hard role as his parents aged. I am thankful to have my siblings to help with our parents’ aging-related issues. I was able to convince my husband to have a second child after a friend who was an only child suddenly had to take over his father’s business when his father died in his early 50s. That being said — nearly all the only children I know are delightful people! Three children were not in the cards for us — higher education is pricey!

    • I have a 2-year-old already and DH & I have been talking about trying for No. 2 soon. It’s a tough decision. DS is a very high-energy kid and has been since birth. Those newborns who are easy to take out in public because they quietly snuggle, breastfeed or sleep in the carseat? That was not my kid, at all. I’m worried about my ability to keep up with 2 kids, especially if we have another one as energetic as the first. And life is finally starting to feel a little more settled rather than crazy all the time, and I will miss that.

      And yet … I can’t imagine having only one. I would like at least one more child. It’s effing nuts, as you said. At one time I was open to 3, but now that we actually have a kiddo, I don’t think that’s in the cards anymore, emotionally, physically, or financially.

      I’m the oldest of four kids and am pretty close to my siblings. DH is an only child who has always wished for siblings. For that reason alone, he wants another kiddo.

      • a passion for fashion :

        i was in exactly this place. your description is how my oldest was/still is. we didnt try for #2 until his was 2.5. All kids are obviously different, but as i noted above, #2 was so, so easy. My maternity leave was like a vacation. And now, at 18 months, she is very high energy and outgoing, but still loves to snuggle, sleeps great etc. in fact, since she was born, our lives with kids have gotten easier — which i attribute to the facts that (1) she is easy, (2) we are getting better/more used to being parents, and (3) my son (4.5) is growing up and becoming more mature and easy going. I also cant say enough about how cool it is to watch him and his sister play together.

    • Seattleite :

      I would have been happy stopping at 1, but had lonely only friends growing up and didn’t want that for my child. I didn’t want my child to be attending to aging parents on her own. Once babies came, I could have gone for a 3d, but my H had a job that required extensive overseas travel and he made it clear that he wasn’t going to seek a more family-friendship job. So two it was.

      Once it became clear to me that we were divorcing (kids were late teens), I was especially glad that my children had siblings. They were allies at a time when they were furious with both parents. They’re no longer mad at me, but having each other has really helped them navigate the Dad minefield, both in terms of moral support/validation, and in terms of superior firepower (“Dad, you talk to him that way again and we’re BOTH out of here.”).

    • We have 2 girls and that’s all we plan on having at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love a huge family, but I know me and how stressed I already feel being pulled in so many directions. I know if I had another child, my mommy guilt would be out of control. Then again, I’m the crazy one who is the troop leader, handmakes everything (working mom guilt). So, if I could tone down my Martha Stewartness, I’d probably be fine!

      Also, we had a minivan for years (just traded in for a truck), those side open doors are GENIUS. I drive the SUV.

    • Lawyer Mom of 4 :

      We have four kids (and, at the moment, two minivans). I’ve always worked fulltime, first in biglaw and for the last 12 years at a pretty high level in-house job. My husband–not a lawyer–has worked about half time since our oldest was born. Not as common 17 years ago as it is today! When they were little we usually had a part-time nanny (we live near a university), later we had an au pair, now we only have help in the summer (one of our former nannies who is now a high school teacher comes with her two year old).

      As an only myself who grew up in a very traditional SAHM family, I feel like I’m making it up as I go. For a long time it was physically exhausting; now that the youngest is 9 and the oldest is 17 it is exhausting but in a different way. For what its worth, one of my favorite things about having four kids is that by the time the fourth is done with something I am ready to be finished with it–no tears on the final last day of kindergarten for me. Although we will be paying college tuition forever, I have no regrets and would strongly recommend being open to three . . . or more.

    • Research, Not Law :

      “Minivan complicated.” So true!

      Our second will be arriving in probably 3-5 weeks. We’ve always wanted three (well, 3-4, but we needed to be somewhat realistic), but I give us a 50/50 chance of getting there. First we want to see how life with two goes. Then there are other considerations, such as space (we have a 2 bed bungalow in which we have lost all equity, so we’d need to move or remodel, which means $$), age (my husband is an older-than-average father), my ability/willingness to carry another (I had post-partum complications with my first – plus, pregnancy is simply taxing and miserable), and my career (three maternity leaves…). LOL, and then there’s the car situation. We live in a city with tight streets and parallel parking, and I don’t want a huge car!

      This was a great topic! It’s inspiring to see profession women with more than two children. Everyone I have contact with has one or two, and I was worried that it simply wasn’t possible.

      • in-House Europe :

        I’m late on this but just wanted to add that after having a lovely but VERY difficult first child, we are waiting to start trying to concieve until child 1 is almost 2 (in a few months), and will not be having more than 2.

        Of course, I say that now… ;)

        Oh, DH and I both have fine jobs, home by 5:30 (yay Europe!), great daycare and a housecleaner that comes 2x a month.

  17. Seventh Sister :

    Any recommendations for hot rollers?

    For reasons known only to heaven, I tossed my ancient set (with metal pins) and got a cheapo set of Remington hot rollers with plastic pins. My new set is kind of awful. The plastic pins are already expanding, the rollers don’t seem to get hot enough, and the top of at least one roller melted and fell off. Help!

    • I’ve been debating biting the bullet and buying a caruso set! So i’m interested in the responses too! My hair is medium length and kind of thin, but holds curls well.

    • Seventh Sister :

      My hair is fine but there is a lot of it. It holds a curl pretty well. Medium length, too.

    • I like the Conair Extreme Heat Jumbo rollers… I think they were about $30 when I got them a few years ago. They work well for me, lots of volume, and they were easy to figure out (doesn’t sound like you will have this problem!).

    • I never use the clips that come with the rollers–I always just buy the big plastic butterfly hair clips and use those to hold the rollers in place. Once I have those, the cheapo drug store hot roller sets usually work with me (although the big plastic clips are a pain to store, as they take up a lot of room).

    • Maddie Ross :

      Has anyone tried the InStyler version of hot rollers? They always look intriguing on the infomercial (embarassed to say I’ve watched it, in bits and pieces, about 3 times). I’d love to hear about real world experiences though.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the set of Sally 12 Jumbo rollers. At the time it came with an extra 6 rollers. No complaints. I find myself reaching for the curling iron more often though. Sephora has the cutest set of 8 rollers in a case if you feel rich (it’s $99).

  18. I need a new primary care physician (have been lazy in finding one since I graduated school last year). Do any of you in Manhattan have someone you like? East side (midtown/Murray hill) or somewhere easy to get to from there would be best, and I would prefer a female doctor.

    Thanks in advance!!

    • Haven’t gone yet but been on a similar quest. Someone here recommended Dr Valerie Lyon 59 E 54th St, 212 7508330

    • Dr. Susan Rosen, 201 E 65th St., 212-879-4700

  19. This top is almost the same cost as my monthly food budget. It’s tough for me to understand the expensive suits but I know many are worn super regularly and are mandatory for people’s jobs, but to see a shirt cost this much (let alone one people would remember so it couldn’t be worn too often)?! Wow!!

    • It looks like a beautiful shirt, but I agree, I could never see myself buying a shirt for that much money.

  20. Mountain Girl :

    France Luxe pony barrette – I know this is called a volume barrette but my hair is probably medium weight with long layers. Do you need to have think hair for this to look right?


  21. Two cents :

    Wow, Hobbs’ dresses are stunning. Can you find this brand in any US stores?

  22. Bursting out :

    Pregnant and formerly pregnant ladies: I need your help! How did you stay productive at work during pregnancy, especially as you got closer to your due date??? At 35 weeks of pregnancy, I find myself completely slothful, unfocused, and slacking – spending too much time on blogs (thanks, Corporette!), and generally spacey. This has been an issue throughout pregnancy – my productivity has been sub-par the whole time – but seems much worse these past few weeks. And there’s still a month to go! My work is such that there are not a lot of externally imposed deadlines. It’s up to me to keep my projects moving forward – and lately, they’re not. Realistically, there are several large projects that should be completed before the baby arrives – otherwise they’ll be put on hold for several months, with potentially negative outcomes for me – but I just can’t seem to care. How did you get things done when you were feeling huge?

    • Diana Barry :

      Can you work at home at all? I found that when I spent so much effort (felt like) actually dragging myself into work when I was huge, I had no energy to actually focus on work. If I was able to work at home on my laptop in my sweatpants (key!!!), I got a lot more done.

      You can also make a list of the projects that need to be done before you go out, and the list of tasks that need to be done on each, and then it can serve as a transition memo if need be, and hopefully be motivating to get stuff crossed off before you go out.

      Good luck!

      • I feel you. Working during the first trimester and the end of the third was tough. I also was spacey and wasted a lot of time. I agree with Diana Barry that working from home helps, especially on those days when just getting out of the house feels like a major effort.

        The main thing that helped me was making really short, easy to accomplish to-do lists. That helped curb the procrastination and gave me some momentum to actually get some work done. And, I started prioritizing like a mad woman. The most important stuff got done; the less important stuff, not so much.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I’m also at 35 weeks and completely feel you. I went through the same pattern with my first, too. A friend/coworker (and fellow mom) and I were just joking that maternity leave should just start at 8 months of pregnancy, because you’re so unproductive.

          I agree with the to-do lists. You should see my desk! I have to-do lists for each project, then daily to-do lists that I make up before leaving the day before (since I’ll never remember in the morning). It is good prep for coming back with a baby. My mind was a steel-trap before having kids, and now if it’s not in my notes or on my to-do list, it doesn’t exist. Similarly, if there’s something I need to tell someone, I email them asap. It doesn’t always make sense, but I *will* forget later.

          Maybe I’m unique in that I do much better at the office. I also do “power sprints,” similar to athletic training, where I force myself to be crazy productive for a given time period, then rest for a (shorter, lol) time period. Then repeat. I also recently started writing down what I do hourly, which keeps me honest.

    • Seattleite :

      Good practice for when baby is two – frequent rewards tied to smaller tasks (to match your lessened endurance/focus). So, X number of small tasks completed = Y minutes on web. I sometimes also have to say out loud: “I am choosing to risk [losing my job/client catastrope] rather than finish this.” Somehow saying that out loud shames me into just doing it already.

    • Ha! I feel like this all the time and I have just entered the last trimester!

    • Technology helps. Use website blockers (hello, StayFocused for Google Chrome browser)!

  23. Fun story about a sheer blouse:

    I was speaking at a women’s meeting, and another presenter gave a spill about workplace attire. I happened to be wearing a lovely sheer blouse – layered, of course. When she got to the list of “do nots” an entire slide was devoted solely to sheer clothing. She awkwardly made her case, justifying by talking about exposed undergarments, but I could feel the eyes dart in my direction. Then I realized why she strangely pourrred over my outfit when I walked in. I do love making great first impressions..

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