Tuesday’s TPS Report: Wool Blazer

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. Many thanks to this week’s TPS guest poster, Stephanie from Adventures in the Stiletto Jungle.

Smythe Wool Blazer

I’m a firm believer that a woman can never have too many quality blazers. A smart blazer is an indispensible part of a separates wardrobe, and can help to mimic the formality of a suit in a pinch. Plus, in less formal office settings, a blazer can elevate a pair of denim trousers to casual Friday status. Now that’s a big plus!

One of my go-to labels for well-made, fashionable blazers is Smythe. Some of their styles are just a little too fashionista for the office, but the majority are based on very classic silhouettes like schoolboy blazers and equestrian jackets. The real hallmark of a Smythe blazer is the tailoring. All of their blazers have beautiful seams and linings, perfectly coordinated buttons and unobtrusive pockets. Plus, they hang perfectly.

This Smythe Wool Blazer in rich teal would be gorgeous paired with chocolate brown trousers or one of Fall’s popular (and oh-so-office-appropriate) midi-length skirts. It’s available for $695.00 at Saks Fifth AvenueSmythe Wool Blazer

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


  1. MissJackson :

    PSA: The Skirt is on sale in certain colors as of this morning: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-seamed-pencil-skirt/3235606?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=0 (regular)

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-seamed-knit-skirt-petite/3139437?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=0 (petite)

    (If you ordered these colors in the last two weeks, you can get a price adjustment)

  2. MissJackson :

    My fist try is in moderation because I included links, so I’ll try again.

    PSA: The Skirt is on sale as of this morning in certain colors. ($44.90 in green moss, purple magenta, and dark amethyst)

    • MissJackson :

      Also, if you ordered any of these colors in the last two weeks, you can get a price adjustment.

    • It looks like it’s only on sale in Petites.

      • Oops, I see the others, too. I’m hoping the Red Rio one will go on sale at some point.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Does anyone have green moss? Thoughts?

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I ordered it and returned it. It was just too light and “minty” for my liking.

    • Does anyone have the Patterned Knit Skirt, and how does it compare to The Skirt?

    • Thanks! I was waiting for them to go on sale again… just ordered the moss green and purple magenta. (I love the new free shipping and returns at Nordstrom already!)

    • Thanks for the heads up! I just ordered it last night.

  3. Diana Barry :

    I love this blazer. Have never heard of this brand. Does anyone own any of their pieces?

    I realized this morning another reason why I hate the first trimester. I will need to be wearing the same 5 blouses over and over again for the next 5 weeks. No wonder I can’t even look at the ones from my last pregnancy any more! Argh. I think I need to go shopping again!

    • I am in the second trimester and have to share my newest favorite online maternity shop — Figure 8 maternity. If you need suits, they have a great collection. And the noppies button down long-sleeved shirt (comes in white and gray) is so comfortable and looks like a normal, professional shirt. I just got it yesterday. The noppies suit is also nice for a maternity suit.

      • Thanks for this recommendation, will be checking it out now. 17 weeks here and currently wearing Gap’s maternity skinny fit black trousers and I highly recommend them. Extremely comfortable (office appropriate in my biz casual office) and with platform pumps, I’m not too self-conscious about the “skinny” fit.

      • Diana Barry :

        Thanks. I will look at it and browse for 2 months from now! :)

    • Really stupid question- but, I guess I had assumed that you could usually keep wearing the same shirts for a while into a pregnancy, unless they were very fitted. Is this a breast-size thing? (Of course, I don’t think I’ve ever met an adult-sized shirt in my life that didn’t leave me more than enough extra room for boobage, so maybe this will be less of a problem for me when the time comes!)

      • You can (as in, they’ll fit), but I think the issue here is more that she isn’t ready to announce her pregnancy at work yet and therefore needs to stick to work tops that won’t reveal the growing bump.

      • It just depends on how tailored your normal clothing is and when you’re ready to let people at work know about your pregnancy. I am 17 weeks and some of my shirts are impossible because of breast size increase (wow, so this is what implants would look like). Others are skimming my belly in a way that makes it pretty obvious I’m pregnant. I have a few that were a little more roomy before I started that I am rotating now until I tell everyone my secret any day now. Then I’ll probably break out the maternity wear because my current options are so limited.

      • Diana Barry :

        This is kid #3 for me, so I am bigger sooner, and I don’t want to tell work yet, so I need to wear bigger tops with prints for camouflage.

        • Good luck telling work! I told at 20 weeks and was extremely, extremely nervous because when I go out for maternity leave, I will only have been back for a little over a year. All went OK.

          • JB, when you say “been back” do you mean you had another baby less than a year ago? Wow, was it hard to handle pregnancies back to back like that, or do you feel it’s better to get them over with sooner?

          • Samantha,
            I had baby no. 1 in October 2010 and no. 2 will be in January 2012 – so it’s back to back. I have had very easy pregnancies in which I worked all the way to the end meeting billables, etc. Then came back after 12 weeks of maternity. For me, I wanted to have them close and get it over with while I’m in the baby zone. Having family support and a nanny you really like really helps too. (but check back with me in februrary! :) It is not easy, but it’s working for me. My firm has been pretty good, but I have kept up hours, etc.

      • I normally have a very small chest, so none of my normal tops fit me at 21 weeks!

    • I’ve heard great things about mine for nine dot com, especially if you’re stuck for a particular occasion like a wedding, etc.

    • I own a wool winter coat from Smythe (30% off, at Saks I believe). Still pricey, but I absolutely love it and get tons of compliments on it. Their coats are really beautiful and fit like a dream, I was having so much trouble finding a really great fitting winter coat. It’s a bit fashion-forward, but still office appropriate. If you love the blazer, I say go for it… I think it’s gorgeous. If you’re willing to wait, you may have luck waiting for it to go on sale either at Saks or maybe on The Outnet, I’ve seen Smythe stuff there.

    • Smythe is a great brand, especially for those in say, academia, because they tread Akris territory at a lower price point. What I mean by that is their clothes are classic without being boring in the slightest.

  4. Threadjack! Longtime reader, first time commenter.

    I need some help from the other Boston women- I need a new tailor. I have currently been taking my items to the local dry cleaner to be tailored, but everytime she does something wrong (normally, it becomes too tight) and I have to bring it back at least once to get it fixed.

    Does anyone know of a good, reasonably priced tailor in Boston? I live in Roslindale and work in downtown crossing near the State Street T-stop, so I would prefer someone in either of those areas.


    • Pacifici of Boston. They are just off Milk Street, tucked down a small one way street, one block from Washington Street. http://www.pacificiofboston.com/index.html

      I’ve been going to them for over 15 years- love them.

    • On this topic, can anyone recommend a tailor in Union County, NJ? I have someone I like for suits, but he’s not great with dresses.

      Kat – some sort of local recommendations feature for this type of stuff (tailors, cobblers, hair stylists, etc.) would be awesome.

      • Anne Shirley :

        I love Marco in berkeley heights (across the street from kings) if that isn’t too far for you. Have used him and his wife Joanne repeatedly. Not cheap, but immaculate quality.

  5. La Suisse :

    I need y’all’s wonderful advice!

    I have signed a contract for a new job in a new country, but the job is contingent on getting a work permit and the permit is not necessarily a sure thing. It may take up to 10 weeks to hear about the permit. I am having a really hard time at work– I can’t tell anyone I may be leaving, but the stress of not knowing what will happen, of worrying that someone will find out, that they will be angry when they do find out because I waited to so long to say something, organizing an international move that might not happen, etc. is KILLING me! I am completely distracted and I have a giant lump in my st0mache that settles in around 8:15 every day and doesn’t dissipate until I get home. I have a billing-based job, and I am finding it next to impossible to stay focused enough to bill my 8+ hours a day. I am also afraid that I am going to burst into tears at any moment. (I am normallly not an emotional person and especially at work! I’m actually not sure why this is affecting me so much.)

    How can I refocus and get through these next several weeks? I am telling myself that I can survive anything for a few weeks, but not very convincingly . . .

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe try to get some exercise? Swim, run, whatever, as long as it’s fairly vigorous (i.e. not something like yoga). Some of that pent up nervous energy will be spent, and you might feel better throughout the day.

    • Diana Barry :

      Sorry this is so anxiety-provoking for you! Here is what works for me when I am particularly anxious:
      – Get enough sleep. Being tired makes things much worse.
      – If you feel really stressed at work, get outside and take a walk around the block, and go get some tea or other calming beverage.
      – Yoga!
      – Deep breathing – this is helpful for getting over the might-cry feeling.

      Try to remember (I know it’s really hard!) that there is nothing you can do about the issuance or non-issuance of the permit. See if you can let it go – sometimes it helps me to clench my hands really hard, and then let it go/shake it out, with some deep inhales/exhales.

      Also, feel free to take a day off for mental health if that helps you. Call in sick and go see a movie, take a nap, go work out, etc.

      Good luck!

      • Re yoga: if what you want is distraction from the permit worries, take a studio class vs practicing at home, and consider a class challenging to you. This is a lesson I learned a few weeks ago when I misread a schedule and ended up in an advanced class instead of the restorative class; many of the poses were really difficult for me and I had no hope of doing the inversions, but the physical struggles really did more for clearing my mind than a restorative class would have.

        • This is precisely why I suggested something like running or swimming instead of yoga.

          • But the point of a yoga practice is moving the body to quiet the mind. It’s really all about cultivating a mental focus that you can carry into the rest of your life.

            If your teacher isn’t imparting this, try another teacher. (Don’t mind me, though. I’ve only been teaching yoga for 10 years.)

          • I agree with Kanye that yoga really should help calm the mind if you have the right teacher. I go a few times a week after work (often stressful days) and it really helps me to focus on something else for that 60-75 minutes. Even with the easier poses, you should be focusing on your breathing or maintaining correct posture. The only time I find my mind really wandering is in corpse pose, but many teachers will lead you through visualizations during that time so your mind does not wander.

          • Yoga (class, especially) is incredibly effective at getting me to focus on my body rather than life problems, and it has the added bonus of being a productive activity that I can feel good about doing. I agree with Kanye East and MelD that teachers generally do a fantastic job of guiding your mind to the right places, but I really wish they wouldn’t use any variations of this sentence: “Now clear your mind of everything that’s been bothering you….” I invariably start thinking to myself, “Hmm…what’s been bothering most that I should NOT think about?”

          • ….and for the avoidance of doubt, yoga does not equal Bikram’s.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Consider asking your doc for a short term fast acting anti-anxiety med in a low dose. You should still be able to function fine and it might just take the edge off. You can take it after you get to work if you are worried about driving with it. I wouldn’t recommend meds long term without trying behavior stuff first but since this is a situational anxiety and affecting your work and maybe soon your health I think it is a good idea to just nip it with modern pharmaceuticals.

      • I alwyays have some GREEN GINGER tea to relax. My old boyfriend got me a box of Tazzo Tea, and I think that is the ONLY thing that he was good for, b/c I still get it at whole Foods store.

        I have even told the manageing partner about it and he now asks me for a tea bag now and then. He is makeing enough money to buy it for himself, but I still give him a tea bag.

    • I am exactly in the same position, except that it’s an internal move, but my husband is depending on me to get the docs in orders before he can tell his employer… so I feel your pain!
      My plan is to wait until I have a 80% certainty over the permit, and then we’ll tell everyone, I can’t wait until the last minute, it’d be too hard…
      In the meantime, talk to friends, go to the gym, and think it will soon be over!

    • Anonymous :

      Give yourself 30 minutes at the beginning and end of each day to focus on move and job-change issues. Make a list of items that you need to take care of related to permit/visa, move, and tying up loose ends at work. Keep the list with you at work so that if you become distracted, you can write the distractions down or quickly address one or two that require work hour attention. During these weeks, keep one eye on the need to document what you are doing and how to most effectively transition your work to others. Hopefully this will alleviate some of your stress about others being angry (because you’ve made for a smooth transition) and alleviate some of the distractions because you are giving yourself some dedicated time to focus on those items.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a big “lister.” I write down everything that’s bothering me, my action plan, my next steps, etc.

    • Some immigration lawyers in the US specifically advise clients not to give notice at their current job until their work permit (H1-B) for the new job is approved.
      It isn’t exactly the same as your situation, but hope it makes you feel better about not telling your current workplace yet!

    • Lalalalalal :

      I have a similar situation. Only that I am in the country already, and my move is cross-country. I’m driving my boyfriend crazy with my anxiety!!! And to top it off, I am still interviewing precisely because the work permit is not a sure thing.

      Breathe. One thing I try to remember is that this is a GOOD situation to have. You’re in line for a good opportunity. And I’ve decided not to pack yet. Adding packing to the mix will certainly put me over the edge.

      I’ve been drinking a lot of tea, NOT discussing my prospects with anyone other than my boyfriend, and focusing on small tasks. GOOD LUCK!

  6. I’m loving the blazer but I’m not loving the price tag. When I read the headline, I was so hoping for something that fit in my budget, as I do love a good blazer (much better than a suit). Anyone have other suggestions for good, quality blazers?

    • Agree, I love this but even at 50% off would be a splurge for me. I think Zara blazers have a similar look at around the $100 mark.

      • I make a point of regularly checking consignment & thrift stores for blazers, and have found several very good ones (wool, well-known and well-made brands for under $100) that way. I’m on a tight budget too but I think cheap blazers look cheap, so I prefer to hold out for the good ones.

      • I find it very difficult to find a blazer with a modern cut in a thrift store. There are just too many in 1980s and early 1990s cuts.

      • Thanks for the Zara suggestion; my problem w/ Zara is that they’re not offered in petites, therefore the fit in the shoulders means the blazer is down to my knees (figuratively, not literally). Back to the drawing board.

    • J.Crew makes some great wool blazers at a better price point — around $200. Their “Schoolboy Blazer” has a nice trim cut and comes in pretty colors in addition to neutrals.

  7. Little Lurker :

    This blazer is pretty.

    I’m not going to have a lot of time to comment today, but skimming the CNN link in the FB module about 10 Commandments for Work Dressing (or w/e), I was surprised by this:

    “3. Thou shalt wear the right shoes.
    Your feet should look prepared for work. Vega suggests skipping flip-flops and other open-toe shoes, while Hauri notes, “High high heels may be fashionable, but not for actually working. Image conveyed: I can’t pitch in and do any work because I really can’t walk in these things. Want to be a team player? Wear flats.”

    Um. What? I think Corporettes would agree that most of the advice is spot on, but do bosses/managers really think that team players wear flats?

    Before you all revive the heels/flats arguments of yore, two things:

    1) I firmly believe that women should wear shoes that do not cause them pain, however minor. And I have met several women who find more comfort in well-constructed heels than in the awful flats out there.

    2) I just did a google search, and Chris Hauri is a woman.

    • Anonymous :

      She’s misguided. 4″ Lucite heels are notthe same as heartstoppping Loubs or well chosen 9Wests.

    • Disagree on the Hauri Commandments, agree on your point about well-constructed heels. I wore 3.5 inch heels today while helping my team set up for a conference tomorrow. Carried folding chairs and set up folding tables and my footwear didn’t slow me down or hold me back. And, I’m certain all my colleagues would agree (even the two that wore flats and “supervised”).

    • It depends on what you do. If your job requires walking, then yeah, maybe don’t wear heels. If your job is mostly sitting and looking sharp, wear whatever makes you look sharp.

  8. How do people differentiate between a suit jacket and a blazer, in terms of fit? My fiance thinks that I can just wear a suit jacket with non-matching items, but I always think it looks off, and I can’t put my finger on why.

    Unrelated threadjack – what are people’s opinions about pointy-toe pumps versus round-toe pumps these days? I just purchased a pair of pointy-toe heels in dark gray patent, and I can’t decide if I should exchange them for a pair of raspberry patent (love me some patent leather) round-toe heels. (FYI, for those interested, I’m comparing the Kate Spade licorice and karolina styles. I own the karolina style in black patent and LOVE THEM)

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think that both of those look pretty classic. The point on the licorice isn’t as extreme as the point that was in a couple of seasons ago, and the roundness of the karolina isn’t the Minnie Mouse shape. Either is great, imo, just whatever you like better! I prefer the point for the elongating aspect because I have stumpy legs.

      • Agree all around. I still think pointier shoes are more flattering, and the Licorice don’t looked dated at all.

    • I like both styles but tend to buy rouned toe shoes just because I scuff pointed toe styles faster.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I’ve been eyeing the raspberry Karolinas too… and it’s triple points at Nordie’s for a couple more days. CW, you are not helping! The licorice aren’t too pointy either, so it’s just a question of whether you want dark gray patent (versatile, very flattering, very fall/winter) or raspberry (no practical justification whatsoever but omg so awesome).

    • Pointy toes are back anyhow.

      I don’t think we need to be slaves to what the fashion peeps tell us, but it’s nice when something you dig anyway is deemed aces.

      “The shoe to have for fall 2011.”


  9. About to go into my first deposition this morning! I feel very prepared, but so nervous. I’ve never even been to a deposition, and the assigning partner is having me handle this one on my own! Ack! Wish me luck!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Tip I got before my first: squeeze your non-dominant (usually left) hand under the table after the witness responds to help you resist saying “ok” or “thanks” or “uh-huh” every time. The urge to acknowledge the response is really strong for me, and for many people, so a hidden physical response helps me keep a clean transcript with me only asking Qs and the witness responding. Good luck!

      • That is a great tip – never heard that one! Wish I had that tip before I took my first one – it was with a cooperative third party witness, so in my attempt to be nice and elicit information my transcript was littered with “Okay”s.

      • Fantastic! Thank you.

      • Anonymous :

        And be friendly with the court reporter. After my first depo was over and everyone else had left the room, I let out a huge sigh of relief and confessed how nervous I’d been. She was great, and I swear she deleted a ton of “ums” from the final transcript. She also gave me a few tips about how to handle a deposition so that the final written transcript reads better.

        • Second this! Then again, I come from a long line of court reporters, so of course I think they’re always the most important person in the room. :)

    • AnonInfinity :

      Good luck! You’ve got this!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Silence doesn’t usually show up on the typed transcript. Take as much time as you need between questions.

    • Good luck. I was so nervous for my first one too! I really like SF Bay Associate’s suggestion to prevent saying ok.

    • ChickintheStix :

      Good for you! We learn by doing, and depo skills are a long time coming. For all new litigators, I recommend NITA’s depo skills course. Pricey, but I found it to be so great for learning the basics without the bad habits I would have picked-up from just watching other practitioners.

    • And I’m finished! The first one is forever under my belt. And I got some good information, which is a plus. And the court reporter and videographer were shocked it was my first! I, of course, told them after we were done.

      Definitely liked the fist clench tip, and tried to remember to take my time, and use silence. Great pieces of advice. That’s why I love this community!

  10. Sorry, early threadjack. I suppose what I’m looking for is some reassurance (or else a reality check if I’m totally off-base).

    I work at a mid-size lawfirm – we’re a bit unusual in that we mostly represent public clients without a ton of money, so we’re not particularly flush with cash in that sense. But I’ve noticed women at the firm not submitting receipts for business travel expenses that seem like they should be clearly covered to me – lunches (because they figured they’d buy lunch at the office anyway), cabs to the airport (because they could have taken Metro), and checked baggage fees (because they could have shoved everything into a carry-on.

    We don’t have an official policy, but there’s no question that the firm will reimburse these things – unsurprisingly, I haven’t really noticed men having the same reticence. Am I right to keep submitting all my receipts or is there some value to penny pinching in the way my colleagues are?

    • AnonInfinity :

      Submit the receipts!

      There is a section in NGDGTCO that addresses exactly this point. There’s no point to pinching those pennies when it’s a legitimate business expense. The author makes the point that you will look like you’re worrying about the wrong things. I would not hesitate to submit them.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        First thing that leapt to my mind too. Lois Frankel goes OFF on not submitting receipts. What the women in your office are effectively saying is that they think they should occupy less ‘space’ on the finance books than the men because they are worth less/are less important. B.S.

        • Thank you – that’s exactly what was bothering me about it but I hadn’t put it into those words. My instinct is to take up as little space as possible in that regard too, but I don’t want to give into it.

      • Diana Barry :

        Yes, exactly this!!!!

      • I will join in the chorus of absolutely submit them.

        And if you haven’t read NGDGTCO, do it. Women tend to apologize for their actions in business. We need to stop doing that. We deserve reimbursement for all our expenses, and recognition for all the other awesome stuff we do too.

        I have also recommended the book to supervisors and mentees. Sure, not everything will apply in your office, but there are so many things you don’t even realize that you are doing.

        • After hearing so much about it I finally bought NGDGTCO yesterday and because I read things all the way through and then go back for the step by step.. (it helps my comprehension) I am flying through and noting so many things that I have noticed in myself if I look for it.
          Thanks to all the corporettes for the recommendation!

    • Submit your receipts. Don’t even think about it again. I used to work at a non-profit where people would do the same thing and I always submitted my receipts. It didn’t hold me back, I wasn’t looked upon negatively, and I was fairly compensated for my expenses.

    • Absolutely submit those expenses. I travel a lot and it would never occur to me not to.

    • I agree. Also, there really should be a clear, written policy on this- X, Y, & Z are reimbursable; A, B, & C are not. Maybe if there’s not one, you should suggest it.

    • Submit the receipts. I have seen the same thing, but with male president(s) not submitting expenses. Possibly laziness, possibly recognition that they are being paid so much more, I don’t know for sure.

      However, our board members DO submit travel expenses, and when there is a question as to which bills to let slide, they always instruct me to pay employee expenses first. With that said, I have sometimes held my own expense reports back from being paid until there is enough cash–but I always fill them out and submit them.

    • karenpadi :

      Submit the receipts! I learned this lesson when I happened to see my boss’s expense report at the printer–it included only mileage for a 30-mile drive to see a client.

      It’s a business expense and no business expense is too small.

  11. PSA. I just got this shirt from Nordstrom and absolutely love it: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/pleione-v-neck-top/3179178?origin=category
    It’s marked down to $25 and available in all sizes. It runs big, so size down.

    • How do you style it?

      • I’m wearing it tucked into a pencil skirt today. Since I sized down, it’s not as loose and shapeless as it appears in the picture.

  12. Wedding dress code question!

    I’ve been invited to a wedding that is “black tie preferred.” Does this mean I need a long formal gown, or can I get away with a very nice, expensive-looking cocktail dress? If it makes any difference, I’m attending as the +1 of one of the groomsmen in the wedding.

    • In my opinion, a dressy cocktail dress would be fine. As the plus 1 of a groomsman, you honestly sort of want to fade in to the background, so I think going this direction would be totally appropriate, especially since it’s “black tie preferred” but not required.

    • Black tie preferred is a pretty strong call for “fancy, please.” It does not have to be a long gown, but it does have to be fancy, if not “formal.” IMO, what you’re thinking of wearing is not inappropriate in any objective sense… but it doesn’t mean you won’t stand out. For example, I wore a long, light colored silk gown with beading to a “black tie optional,” swanky NYC evening wedding as the date of a groomsman. It was by far the nicest thing I had ever owned at that point… and I felt like a total hick. The women were almost all in long black or very dark gowns. I think I would have preferred to be in a dark-colored fancy cocktail dress, because I would have blended in more in a dark color…the length of my gown didn’t feel important.
      YMMV in light of place/season/time. But if you think you’ll be self conscious if you are one of the few in a shorter dress, borrow a long one and save yourself the discomfort. (You might not be like me, though, and more power to you if you don’t mind standing out.)

    • Sounds like fun! I love dressing up!

      There will be a lot of guests wearing cocktail dresses, and if you were one of them I would say it is fine, but if you are attending as a +1 of a groomsman, you may end up in more photos than the run-of-the-mill guest and I think a higher standard applies to you. I would suggest finding out (if you can) whether the bridesmaids are wearing something short or something long, and wearing something the same length.

      • Anonymous :

        Great idea to check on what the bridesmaids are wearing! But short dresses are appropriate even with black tie as long as the dress is pretty fancy. In my area, long dresses are only required for events calling for white tie/ tails. Either way, you’ll be more comfortable if you know what others are wearing.

    • I’d go for the long dress. You don’t want to be one of the 5 people wearing a cocktail dress.

  13. Need some suggestions from the intelligent folks here.

    I have been working in BigLaw for about three years now. I bought most of my professional clothing right around the time I started my job. I stuck to classics from Ann Taylor, JCrew and similar places. I have supplemented with pieces here and there to update, but my husband and I have been trying to pay off our degrees, so there hasn’t been much money for clothing.

    After three years of “use”, most of my staple pieces are starting to wear out (misshapen, nubbly, or just other obvious signs of wear). Right now, I really want to re-do the whole wardrobe, but need to focus on staple tops for fall. I have $100 to spend – any suggestions on how best to make this last on sweaters and other pieces? I’m getting overwhelmed with what I need vs. what I can afford.


    • $100 is not going to get you far. I’d suggest getting some unique necklaces on etsy to jazz up your outfits.

    • Get thee to a good consignment shop!

      Even with resale, I agree with the poster above that $100 will not get you far. I have been working midlaw for about three years, paying off my degree, while providing a monthly stipend to my parents as well. You and I can certainly afford to spend more on a wardrobe update: say, $300?

      • Ebay also can be a good resource if you know your size in a brand well. I’ve gotten tons of silk Ann Taylor shells that way.

    • How is the Marshall’s/Ross/T.J. Maxx in your area? I just found a Tahari suit at Marshall’s for $60 and a couple of appropriate tops at $13-20.

      Do you have any friends that you could do a clothing exchange with?

      What you lack in funds will probably have to be made up in time. Going to lots of stores, watching for sales, scouting consignment shops all takes time.

      • Anne Shirley :

        I don’t mean to sound mean, but I think you need to spend more. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but I tend to think part of the reason for the big biglaw salary is to look the part. Maybe I’m misreading, but if you essentially haven’t updated in three years I’d think closer to $1000 than $100

        • found a peanut :

          I agree. Questions like this usually boggle my mind. You make almost $200k a year; you can’t show up to work in a $20 button down.

          • Ballerina Girl :

            Depends on the button down. You don’t always pay for what you get. I think a lot of people also assume that because you’re making $200K a year, you’ve got a lot of money to spend. I applaud the OP for not spending a ton (though I agree that $100 is low for a revamp). When I was in Big Law, I was paying $22K a year in LOANS–and that was after taxes–and trying to pay more and save for retirement. Fashion isn’t a big priority for everyone–looking together isn’t necessarily the same as spending a lot.

          • I totally disagree.

          • I shop outlets heavily and get items that are often as much as 80-90% off there, but they are not the latest season’s styles. For basics or anything not-so-trendy, it shouldn’t make a difference if it’s this year’s button down or last year’s button down. Places like Nordstrom Rack have a lot of really cheap items. I got The Skirt for $17ish and there are plenty of good wardrobe staples there for $20 or less.

          • Totally disagree. Plus, you never know what someone’s financial situation is. Whether you should be flush with cash at $160k/year doesn’t mean you in fact are.

        • Anonylawyer :

          I agree. I consider my wardrobe expenses part of my expenses for working, just like commuting, childcare, etc. I think a typical professional woman spends $1000 a year on clothing- you need to LOOK like you are worth your biglaw paycheck and you can’t go around looking like a ragamuffin! Get thee to the mall!

    • Check out consignment stores in your area, especially in wealthier neighborhoods. Sometimes you can get great deals.

      I also find that TJ Maxx can have great wardrobe staples for fairly cheap – lots of decently-made, plain/classic clothing on deep discount.

  14. Supremely Anonymous :


    I am nearly 8 weeks pregnant (due May 2). No one knows except my immediate family. We had an early miscarriage earlier this year, so I am extremely nervous about doing anything to jinx this.

    Anyway, one of the partners I work for just sent out an email asking about our availability from now until next June so that we can propose dates for an upcoming trial. Obviously, the last part of this period will coincide with my maternity leave. I am really, really nervous about saying anything about this to anyone at work, especially since (a) it’s so early (was hoping I could keep it under wraps until, at minimum, the first trimester was over), (b) I would NOT feel comfortable telling the entire team I work with if I lost the baby, and (c) the partner in charge tends to be somewhat . . . mercurial, such that I could see him/her being annoyed at best (and livid at worst) in either scenario (telling or not telling about the pregnancy).

    There are a couple of people on the team whose opinion I trust, but they are actually all male (but with kids) and I would still feel really weird discussing this with them. Any advice on what I should do would be much appreciated, especially since I need to respond immediately.

    • Supremely Anonymous :

      Also, it’s probably important to note that I’m the most junior person on the team (mid-level associate) such that I am somewhat replaceable, but I’ve been on this case for the past year or so such that I’d be expected to attend the trial barring some sort of exceptional circumstances.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would not tell. Wait until the end of the 1st tri. Schedules for trials are so often changed and pushed back because of motions, judges’ schedules, etc., that whatever is the first set date for the trial will not usually be the ‘final’ date, anyway. And when you do tell work in 4 or 5 weeks, or whatever, it will still be well in advance of whatever the first scheduled date is.

      I would respond by saying, “I have scheduled vacations on X date, Y date and Z date.” All true.

      Good luck!

      • I agree. Say you have a few vacations peppered throughout May and June.

      • Agree. Trial dates get pushed so often that a June trial setting is no sure thing. Given that this sounds like a first setting (you referenced proposing trial dates), my bet is that it doesn’t go in June. Also, if it’s not this trial, it’s going to be something else that comes up. They’ll work around it.

        Don’t necessarily agree with saying you have multiple vacations scheduled. Depending on where you work, you may be junior enough that that’s not “allowed,” if you know what I mean. I would just say you’re available. If y’all are just getting around to setting up a scheduling order (which will get blown to hell anyway at some point), notifying the partner at the end of your first trimester will still give them plenty of time to figure out how to staff the case before things ramp up.

        • Supremely Anonymous :

          @Herbie, I was concerned about the whole vacation thing as well. While I definitely appreciate the advice (thanks so much, all), I’m fairly certain that if I tried saying I had vacations scheduled without providing compelling details (especially that far in advance), the response would either be “Yeah, right” or “Too bad – cancel it.”

          I guess I’m just going to have to shut my mouth, cross my fingers, and pray that we get scheduled for January or something. This case has been going on for a while now, so I was under the impression that the scheduling would be final-ish (and that the judge would set the date but we would be able to say we had conflicts. However, I can definitely see everyone’s point that it could get moved.

          And I realized I forgot to mention (to add yet another wrinkle and make matters even more fun), the trial is not local and will require airplane travel. I’ve not discussed this in detail with my OBGYN, but I was under the impression that the general consensus was that plane travel was ok up until your last month, but I realize opinions on this vary greatly.

          Thanks again for the advice. Again, I’m hoping for January!

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not just flying, it’s any kind of physical reliability in your 3rd tri… as in, you have none, no physical reliability.

            You could be on bedrest, you could go into labor, have continuous ‘false’ labor (which doesn’t lead to baby right away but otherwise does not feel or present as ‘false’ at all), you could be incontinent, etc. etc…

            Having a baby is inconvenient, no question. But it’s wonderful. But we can’t logic and plan and prepare our way through it. It will happen to your body whatever your brain and docket say.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            You may want to check with what would be your carrier of choice, but most airlines will not let you fly over a certain distance after your 8th month or so without a doctor’s approval note….

          • Travel in your last trimester can vary greatly depending on your personal situation. You may have complications or need to be on bed rest. Even barring those issues, don’t underestimate how much work travel can tax your body. I’ve traveled about 5-6 times (including internationally) for work so far while pregnant (mostly first trimester) and it simply knocked me out.

        • Maddie Ross :

          This. Don’t lie about the vacations. That’s ridiculous. Plenty of things change during a pre-trial period that lasts 6+ months — Pregnancies, job changes, firm mergers, new hires, etc. Unless you are the first chair and scheduling the trial based on your own calendar, I wouldn’t worry about it. Frankly, what the partner probably means when he asks about scheduling is “do you have any other big trials already scheduling in June.”

          • I don’t see that anyone is suggesting the OP lie about vacations. I read it as “tell them truthfully about any upcoming vacations you have scheduled and leave it at that”. As in, if she was planning on being out for a 4 day weekend over Easter, she should go ahead and say so. And just not mention anything about mat leave.

            Am I wrong?

          • Diana Barry :

            Yeah, I meant as Oneanon said, tell them about any vacations you already have scheduled (long weekend over Xmas or whatever) but nothing else.

          • Supremely Anonymous :

            @Maddie Ross: thanks, this makes perfect sense. (And for the record, I am not even a “chair” hahaha – as far as I know, I’d be tagging along to do the grunt work and not much else.)

            @Oneanon: honestly, I wasn’t 100% sure what the first couple of posters meant by that. Sadly though, I don’t have any vacations scheduled for that period, aside from maybe the day after Thanksgiving. Lame, I know.

            Thanks again – this was my first time ever commenting (long time reader though) and I’m very glad I did.

    • I wouldn’t factor it in, answer as I would if not pregnant, and when you are comfortable reveal the pregnancy. It’s no one’s business until you are comfortable to share, and you shouldn’t feel bad about not sharing right away. A man in the same situation (well, his wife being pregnant, I guess a lesbian can work in this context as well) wouldn’t feel the same pressure. I know the issue is different because you MUST take time off, whereas people think of the non-pregnant partner as OPTING to take time off (which is bullshit and when will this society change about that?) but you shouldn’t feel obligated to share your personal life with your colleagues at work unless and until it will have a direct and immediate impact on your performance.

    • Praying for you. This did not go over well when I was in a similar situation.

      • Hmm, then I’m not sure why you feel the need to bring it up?

      • Supremely Anonymous :

        Uhhhhh… what do you mean?

        • Supremely Anonymous :

          (Not that I’m not grateful for the prayers and whatnot – I’m just a bit confused – did you get fired? Forced to return to work early?)

      • susieq, feel free to come back and explain what happened and, if possible, how it could have been avoided and prove me wrong, but I’m gonna go ahead and guess that that’s just a troll trying to cause trouble.

    • Littlest Attorney :

      You might be able to visit the partner and say you’d prefer an earlier date if the Judge’s / everyone else’s schedule allows because of an upcoming medical issue. My guess is he (a) would take that to mean pregnancy and (b) wouldn’t ask any more questions.

      • Littlest Attorney :

        would *not* take that to mean pregnancy – sorry can’t type today

      • I was thinking something like that- you could say that you have some medical concerns and may need surgery around that time (that’s true, right?), or perhaps say that you expect some serious family obligations around that time.

    • I think the advice provided by the Corporettes is great, so I won’t add to it. I am looking forward to your post in a couple of months when you let us know that you broke the exciting baby news to your office. :) I know you’ve been through a lot, so I’m sending best wishes your way!

      • Supremely Anonymous :

        Thank you – this means a lot! (Seriously, the kindness of relative strangers today has very nearly moved me to tears – stupid hormones!) Will keep you posted.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      At the end of the day, pregnancy and all the other issues that go along with are medical conditions. While I often sympathize with the “don’t impose your ‘choice’ to have a child on my work load” crowd – I make a big exception in your scenario and say this is way more medically based than lifestyle based.

      All kinds of reasons could come up why you would no longer be able to participate in the trial. Any other team member could find out next month that they need surgery at the same time as trial. I don’t see anything wrong with waiting except that there will be some people annoyed that you “knew” and didn’t speak up. If you feel you have to say something, you could say there were “complications” and you weren’t comfortable discussing it sooner. Everyone should know what that means.

      • Supremely Anonymous :

        That was exactly my concern – that they’d be angry that I didn’t speak up sooner. In mulling this over, though, I’ve come to the (tentative and possibly overly optimistic) conclusion that they would most likely understand that it’s a delicate situation and that it would not have been appropriate to say anything at the 8 week mark.

        And for what it’s worth, I have every intention of working my butt off until the day I go on leave (with the obvious exception of this morning given my posting frenzy). And if it winds up being scheduled while I’m on leave, I will certainly bring my replacement up to speed. The last thing I want to do is to leave people in the lurch.

        • MissJackson :

          Also — it’s not entirely unheard of for someone to seriously not know that they’re pregnant at the 8 week point! Plus, in looking back, I seriously doubt that anyone is going to track back to this exact email and do the math based on your due date to try to figure out whether you “knew” or not. And if they do, they have way too much time on their hands!

          • Supremely Anonymous :

            Hahaha too true! Thanks so much.

          • Anonymous :

            Plus, as many of us with children and experience of various pregnancies know, being pregnant does not mean you know you are having a baby. That’s the whole point of the three-month telling-people rule. Until you have your tests, make your choices based on test results, and pass the test of time, there is nothing to report. Things happen even after the 1st tri, but before that Rubicon, man, there is just no news to tell people yet, just beautiful hopes to share with your loved ones. No facts yet. Nothing to share at work, so don’t share it there, period.

          • This! One of my best friends told me last week that she was 6 weeks pregnant and not to tell anyone. Ultra sound revealed she was almost out of her first trimester- surprise! Totally plausible not to know at 8 weeks!

            Also, congrats!

        • Always a NYer :

          “And for what it’s worth, I have every intention of working my butt off until the day I go on leave. And if it winds up being scheduled while I’m on leave, I will certainly bring my replacement up to speed. The last thing I want to do is to leave people in the lurch.”

          That is the perfect way for you to explain your situation to them when you do tell them. Their main concern will probably be how they will transition to someone new while you’re out on maternity leave. Also, if you plan on taking an extended leave, tell them that at the same time. People will be forgiving at first (as long as they aren’t completely horrid) because the first trimester is so touch-and-go but if you tell them at a later date that you’ll be gone longer they may not be so understanding. Just something to think about (and my extreme planning talking).

          Best of luck with telling them and sending happy thoughts your way =)

        • When I announced (as late as possible), NOBODY – at work, relatives, friends across the country who didn’t know until I was almost due – ever asked me “why didnt you tell earlier?”. Doesn’t matter, really – and few people and going to look back, do the math, and say “you must’ve known then, and didn’t tell”.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s great news but it’s your news. Don’t tell. No bells and whistles until they’re doctor-approved.

  15. A while back I wrote a comment about how I’m swearing off shopping for a while because I’m trying to lose weight, and that I had already dropped 20 pounds in the last 3 mos. A couple of people asked how I did it, so here goes: first, I’m tall, so 20 pounds for me is not nearly as difficult as it would be for someone shorter. Second, I started going to the farmer’s market and cooking at home for the vast majority of my meals, which meant a lot more fruits and vegetables (but not too heavy on the fruits because lots of sugar). I cut out alcohol and other sugary drinks. I also cut out snack foods like chips and pizza and sweets like brownies and cookies. Finally, I started once a week Yoga class. I think the main contributing factor to the 20 pounds lost is that my lifestyle before had become so unhealthy, whatever small changes I made would result in weight loss. The most important step I took was going back to therapy and working through some of the issues that caused me to mistreat my body so much in the first place. So my plan is probably not that helpful for most of you, but it might help someone who is on a destructive binge, feel depressed, binge cycle.

    • Your advice is helpful! That’s kinda where I am now emotionally and eating-wise. My “excuse” is that I feel especially inspired to eat right after going to a local farmer’s market nearby, but have missed out due to OT. Other farmer’s markets are far away (no car) and do not necesssarily have much produce. I was thinking about cutting out sugar and this is the metaphorical kick in the pants I needed. Thanks Amelia!

  16. Just interested in your reactions to how one of my coworkers dressed today. We’re a business casual corp but I don’t know about this outfit. She’s in her mid 50s (looks great but still) and has on a cap-sleeve leopard print ruched jersey dress with black gladiator heels. I’m in my mid 20 and might wear something like this when I go out on the weekend. Is it just me or is this a questionable work look?

    • It really depends on your company culture. BusCas means so many different things. I work in media consulting, for instance, in a KM role, which means I have more leeway when it comes to colors and patterns than at my last firm – science consulting in a research role.

      I wouldn’t wear a leopard print dress because it’s not really my style, but I’ve certainly worn a lot of ruched jersey dresses this summer, as well as a hippie-ish Free People cotton dress, and I’ve been known to come in in gladiator sandals. At my last job, I would have had to somehow beat the heat in a more formal style.

    • Ugh! It might be passable if it weren’t for those shoes… gross.

    • To me, in my life and office, the dress sounds great, though I can see that for some places, it would need to be toned down (blazer, taupe pumps or brown boots, etc.) rather than turned up by the gladiators. I would never wear gladiators to work with even the most conservative of looks.

      It sounds like she is wearing loud and proud and fab on purpose, though, and while it isn’t me, it sounds like it must be very her. And that’s appealing– not as an ideal workplace fashion role-model, but as a spiritual one. Apply her nutty lesson in your own, moderate and/or non-sartorial way.

    • PT lawyer :

      I agree with the other posters here, but also add that this kind of look REALLY depends on if the garments/shoes are high-quality or not.

      Cheap, thin leopard-print jersey is just BAD, period, but high-end, thick weight, appropriately tailored and fitting leopard-print jersey dress has a much better chance at being appropriate for work. Ditto for if she is appropriately- and well-groomed (ie. subtle, conservative makeup and accessories).

  17. found a peanut :

    For the person who asked what colors to wear The Skirt in purple magenta with, I am currently wearing it today with a dark moss green sweater, so that is a color combo that you may not have thought of. I also think purple magenta would work with all neutrals (grays, blacks, whites/creams, browns/taupe). It could also work with a very dark mustard yellow. I wouldn’t wear it with navy blue.

    • That was me! Thank you. I hadn’t thought of green. I’ll have to pull out a couple of sweaters when it gets here. I think I have one that might work.

  18. Styling help needed:

    I just acquired a really nice vintage Pendleton skirt from my mom. It’s A-line with a pleat in the middle of the front, hits a little below my knee, and is very thick wool. Obviously it’s plaid, although not a really busy plaid. The base color is bright grass/kelly green, with a thick dark navy stripe and a thinner bright red stripe.

    I am really having trouble with matching this color scheme to shirts, blazers, etc.
    I’d like to wear this to work as a first year Biglaw associate if possible (this would be okay for business casual, right?). I’d really like to wear it with neutrals to tone down the bright colors, but I think black will clash (there’s none in the plaid) and bright white looked a little too schoolgirl. Navy, green, or red seem too matchy-matchy and a little dated–the skirt is vintage, after all. The only outfit I came up with on my own was an ivory silk shell with a light grey J. Crew boyfriend blazer and camel shoes, but I’m really at a loss on what color tights or hose to wear with that one.

    Any ideas?

    • Always a NYer :

      I’d pair that with a maroon blouse, grey blazer, and dark brown heels. Chocolate brown tights that matched the shoes would be my suggestion. If boots are your thing you could wear dark brown leather knee boots.

    • Camel or brown turtleneck sweater and boots.

    • Beige on top, black tights. Neutral shoes. Maybe jewelery that picked up the colors in the skirt.

  19. I need some recommendations on your favorite wallet. I just bought a lovely B Makowsky purse, cleaned everything out and realized I need a new wallet since my current one is very worn. I prefer the clutch style and carry quite a few cards, ins info etc so it needs to be multi compartment. It should be leather and not something too wild. Suggestions?

    • Price range? I happen to love Kate Spade or Cole Haan. For something more economical, I had good luck with a Wilson’s leather wallet a few years ago.

    • I have a Cole Haan zip around wallet that I like a lot. It carries a lot of things – I have bar membership cards, Costco, museums, plus all the kids’ health insurance cards – plus cash and a zip change pocket. It was about $70 at the outlet.

      • For price range, I will go up to $200 for a good quality item. I don’t like the all zip style. I am eying a Lodis clutch but it’s hard to decide looking only online.

    • The Lodis checkbook clutch!

    • If the color isn’t too wild for you, please get this so I can live vicariously through you:


      • I must be wild because I LOVES IT! And I boughts it. This wallet is worthy of ramen the rest of the month.

        • I bought this a few weeks ago in a slightly different style after that purse was featured here. It’s gorgeous.

      • That is the most perfect colour. A+!!

      • I have this one! I love it. I went into the Kate Spade store and was looking for a wallet, told the store clerk what I wanted, and she said we have some new colors, and lo and behold, this is what I got. It’s a beauty.

      • Love that Kate Spade. For those who have it/have seen it in person – can it fit a blackberry? iPhone? Both?

        • No, it doesn’t fit anything other than credit cards and money. I wish it fit my bb/iphone so I could carry it as clutch, but alas, it’s just a pretty wallet.

    • I suggest checking out Hobo brand wallets. Mine is black leather and has held up beautifully over the past couple of years. It truly has not a mark on it. It’s from Nordstrom, but I’m sure you can find them at many places.

    • Runnin for it :


      I have this in a royal blue with a raised leather geometric design. I get lots of complements on it.

    • Fossil

    • i used to have a comme des garcons zip wallet, and they have some lovely, simple clutch wallet styles as well (the price on the dover street market e-shop, which i find to have the widest selection, is between 150 and 200 GBP).

      • SoCal.Esq :

        I absolutely love my Tory Burch zip continental wallet. It’s stylish, classy, and durable. FYI, this won’t be good for the $225 Kate Spade wallet, but Kate Spade promo code ENTRANCE gets you $50 off purchase of $250 now through 9/30 (in case you wanna get the matching handbag :) )

    • I adore my Fossil wallet. My coworker has one too and she also loves it.

  20. In an attempt to update my wardrobe, I am planning on buying one dress per month for the next 6 months.
    What do you think of the two below:
    For a laid back business casual office.
    Male colleagues wear pants + shirts or polos (No suits).
    Female colleagues wear different things, but mostly pants with tops.

    I would like to wear dresses all weekdays and jeans for jean’s friday.

    • found a peanut :

      I don’t like the burgundy dress – the huge bow in front is a major turn-off for me. It looks like a little girl’s birthday dress. I prefer simpler, cleaner styles, which are more versatile because you can accessorize them different ways.

      I like the navy blue dress but I would be most concerned about the length and the cling factor (if you have curves, sweater dresses can be very clingy).

      • AnonInfinity :

        I agree on both accounts.

      • Agreed as well. That sweater dress looks very short and clingy.

      • I am short 159 cm (maybe 5’2″ ?) and there is no such a thing as Petite sizing, so this regular dress will hit at or below knee caps.

    • Some pretty dresses. But what is the currency of the prices?

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I like the burgundy, not digging the navy. Interesting, Massimo is always so old and faddy-duddy to me. Didn’t know that they had online shopping. Will have to look…. miss shopping in Europe!

    • Oh, I love the burgundy! It’s beautiful. Love the color and the style. I’m not sure I’d wear it to my work because of the bow (unless I jacket would cover most of it) but if you can wear it at your work, I think it’s great.

      The navy blue looks too short, too clingy and too casual. But a cute dress to go to the movies in/meet a friend for coffee on a rainy day.

      • SoCal.Esq :

        Not a fan of the burgundy at all (too precious). Like the navy lots (though have some reservation about the elbow patches)

  21. Check out the Hobo Lauren Clutch-Wallet. I have it in red and it has lasted me over two years now without much wear. It has two separate sides, one with change purse and additional space for blackberry, key, etc, the other side has 6 card pockets, money pocket, an extra space for business cards, etc. I use it both as a clutch and as my everyday wallet. In between the two pockets is a clear place to put your ID and three additional card pockets (I use these for things like discount cards)

    Extra bonus is that it is great for travel . . . It has two separate sides that close and magnetize together, so you can put Euros in one side and your regular cash in another. Just an added bonus. It comes in so many colors from basic black to really fun reds and greens and blues.

    I sound like an advertisement, but I seriously love this wallet. A bunch of my girlfriends have gotten it since I have had it — some on ebay, so you can check there and get it for much cheaper!

  22. Inspired by Amelia, I need advice about shopping while losing weight. I am attempting to lose 40-50 pounds (which I anticipate will take me from my current size 14 to a size 6). I need a new winter coat, because I accidentally left my old on the subway last March. :-/ If I buy a coat in my current size, I won’t look ridiculous in it by the end of the season, right? Should I be buying a cheap coat? There’s one at J.Crew that I have my eye on, but J.Crew is not cheap for me. Is it worth it?

    • It really depends on how much weight you lose. To give yourself more leeway, I’d recommend a coat that ties at the waist. That way, the coat will still have shape.

    • I’ve lost 36 (possibly a bit more, today’s weigh-in day for me at WeWa). I’d recommend a tie-waist, definitely. You could also talk to a tailor about how much the coat you want would cost to take in.

    • Anonymous :

      One practical thought: get a cape if they’re at all you. I’m a shamelss romantic and have always loved a capelet and, being in a similar in-flux sitch as you since I’m pregnant, and so jazzed that full-on capes-as-coats are so available this year since they’re so hot. I don’t care about the hot part except that it means they’re everywhere, when previously only a vintage shop, ebay affair. Of course, if they’re not you, don’t force it. But the ones with wrap belts could be just the thing since they can be so adjusted and won’t be shapelessly unflattering to your current curves or swimmingly huge on your new-curves-to-come. For me, my current bump ‘curve’ means no belt, but someday… ahh, someday. Ideal timing if this is a trend you might like.

      • I think I would *feel* silly in a capelet, but I agree that they’re super-cute on the right woman. And especially on pregnant women. I bet you’re adorable in yours!

    • Anonymous :

      Keep in mind as you shop or don’t shop that other people will not notice a few pounds up/down or clothes fitting a few pounds’ worth tight/loose. You’ll need new things, and deserve new things, but likely not as quickly as you anticipate. The first changes will be your own private victories but not obvious to others. You clothes will still fit, just differently, for a while. Eventually you ix-nay the trousers and belt your dresses, then new trousers while belting dresses tighter, then new dresses, keeping some old favorites… it’ll be a process rather than an abrupt need.

      Good luck and lots of admiration!

    • MissJackson :

      This might be a little weird, but… I have a lovely wool size 12 JCrew jacket that I grew out of when I lost weight. It’s quite a few seasons old now (um, 5? 6?) but it’s sort of a classic design – camel colored, knee length, zip front + belt. Thinsulate lining, so it’s warm.

      It’s the last thing I have left from my pre-50lb weight loss (err, pre-40lb loss now, but on my way back down).

      Anyway, I have no idea why I still have it, and I would feel especially happy to see it go to someone in the midst of their WL journey.

      If you want it, I’ll ship it to you. You’ll have to have it dry cleaned yourself, and it probably won’t be quite as amazing as whatever JCrew coat you have your eye on now. But it’s free, it would get you through the winter (and if you hate it, you can just donate it to goodwill).

      Anyway, I just created an email address — hit me up at: anon [dot] corporette [at] gmail [dot] com.

    • Thanks to everyone for your comments. I honestly would not have bought a tie-waist coat because they’re not currently very flattering on my body, so I just don’t consider them, but I think you’re all right.

  23. Try out someplace like Burlington Coat Factory. You should be able to get a nice coat there without spending too much. H&M also has good budget coats. I got one there in 2007 and it worked well for me over the years, so even if it takes you a little longer to lose the weight, the coat should last a few years.

  24. Good morning ladies!

    Was cruising the Nordstrom website looking at all the things I shouldn’t buy, and came across this blouse, which actually may fill a giant hole in my wardrobe. Have any of you tried it on? No reviews up on the Nordie’s website yet and I am curious about fabric, fit, neckline, etc.


  25. I was let go from my job yesterday. The company is in real financial trouble, and I wasn’t looking forward to having to make the next round of cuts (I was VP), so this actually isn’t bad news to me. I honestly expected to be the last one standing, dealing with all the details of closing the doors.

    At 51, I have some options, including doing nothing for as long as I want. DH is retired (works part-time as a lifeguard), so we have an income from his pension. I’ll have to selectively cut back on my clothes budget (the knit blazer I ordered last week is going back; the leather jacket from AT is not), I’ll probably cancel my XM Radio and Birchbox subscriptions, and I’m going to have to shop for health insurance.

    I guess I just wanted to TELL somebody. I haven’t decided yet how I feel. I think I’m fine, but I barely slept last night–mostly thinking about everything I need to do to untangle myself from the company. I definitely want to chill for at least a couple of months before I make any long-term decisions (like a new job).

    Any words of wisdom? Suggestions for a really fun PT job that doesn’t have to support me?

    • Sending you good thoughts.

      re: fun PT job: do you have any hobbies that you want to explore further? i.e. I love to bake/cook, so I’d personally explore PT work at as a kitchen assistant at a local culinary place (think Sur La Table cooking classes).

    • Even if you want to “chill,” please make sure you have something to do. Volunteer, part time job, a specific project, an exercise goal, a new blog… anything. Having absolutely nothing to do when losing a job is fun for about a week, and gets old quickly.

    • Good thoughts from me, too.

      Winter’s coming and ski schools need instructors and people for ski patrol. My dream part time job. *sigh* If you can afford no income at all, maybe consider volunteer work as well. If you live near a metropolitan area, museums and zoos/aquariums often need docents and other various helpers.

      • Anonymous :

        The lady who taught me to ski last year is in her 80s. Her boyfriend is in his 60s.

        • Good thoughts, but it is wonderful that you don’t have to work at this point. What have you always wanted to do other than your “day job?” Definitely start there. I would either get a job at my local gym or at Lucy or Lululemon :)

      • OH! Fantastic suggestions–thank you! And thanks for the good thoughts, too! I’ll be around, because even though I won’t be dressing for work, I love the insights you all have and the great conversations on this blog.

    • found a peanut :

      Definitely chill. I think the anxiety (not sleeping at night) is normal because this is a huge (albeit not entirely unwelcome) change.

      I was unemployed for about 6 months and it was the best six months of my life. And I was definitely not as Zen about it at first as you appear to be. Once I got over the “holy crap how am I going to support myself” thing I had a great time. Part of this is my temperament, but you seem to be pretty laid-back about all of this, so maybe your temperament will also be uniquely suited to be unemployed. This is what I took out of my experience:

      1. You are entitled to unemployment. Hooray! And at the rate we’re going, you’re going to be entitled to unemployment for a long long time. It’s the one gov’t benefit I think I will ever qualify for (aside from Medicare/Social Security, hopefully), and I took full advantage of that.

      2. Take a class at the local community college. I took a Near Eastern Studies class and it was a great decision. Gave me something to do twice a week, and it was fun. Community College is CHEAP – I think the entire class was $500. If you are really diligent you can probably make some friends as well (people you would not normally meet in your everyday life).

      3. 4-5 hrs of work a day is the perfect amount of work. I found that having something to do for 4-5 hrs a day is ideal. Any less and you’re bored, any more and it’s like a real job.

    • Peace Corps? :

      What about the Peace Corps? Or other mission-type work? Or living/working on a kibbutz for a year?

      You get to travel and do interesting, worthwhile stuff. Bonus: you rent out your house and make some money.

    • Cats Ahoy :

      If I lost my job and didn’t need an income, I’d volunteer at an animal shelter, work at a gym, or teach ESOL classes. I fantasize about this a lot.

  26. PT lawyer :

    LOVE Smythe! Beautiful but pricey.

    Also, totally random factoid: the designer for Smythe is the sister of Tommy Smythe, witty, sarcastic, and nattily dressed sidekick of interior designer Sarah Richardson. Sarah wears a lot of Smythe stuff, which I imagine she gets for free. :)

  27. Does anybody know of an equivalent to THE Longchamp bag? Love the look, fabric and versatility but it seems really expensive for what it is. Or, is it simply worth every penny?

    • Anonymous :

      Vintage re-sale? They last forever, so if you can get a deal…

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure, but I carry the Lands End Canvas tote as sort of an F-U to being a slave to designers. But I also have a Chanel flap bag so, um, yeah… what was I on about?

    • I’m a law student and I love mine. My stuff weighs so much that having a bag that weighs nothing is amazing. And it fits everything and is waterproof (this is bad if you spill a watery fruit salad inside and everything gets soaked but you don’t notice for hours. not that I would know). Something about the straps (length? width?) makes the bag seems lighter on my shoulders than others holding the same amount of stuff. Major negatives are the complete lack of organization, everyone and their mother has one (and a lot of fakes), might look dated in a year or two (they were around for a long time but recently exploded…)

      I can’t tell you if its worth the money to you, but to me it is – I haven’t seen a decent substitute for it at any price range.

      Actually, LeSportsac has some large totes that might work just as well, but they aren’t much cheaper and I don’t like the look as much. Be careful on ebay- there are a ton of fakes.

    • I adore my LeSportsacs. I think they have many of the qualities of the Longchamp Le Pliage (I assume that’s the bag you mean) without being quite so ubiquitous and at a slightly lower price point.

  28. I just lost 50 pounds myself, going from a size 16 to a 6, and it’s a real challenge to have work clothes while you are on the journey. It’s also hard to know what your body will really look like when you are done. I started in April and finished a few weeks ago, although I seem to be still losing weight. The most inches off my middle came off last. That meant all the Nordie Anniversary Sale clothes I bought in mid July just went back to the tailor to be taken in. They can take in one size but I had a few items that were just too big to be tailored. My advice is not to spend any serious money right now on clothes, including a winter coat because you simplh will not be able to wear it when you are done. Try going to the Rack, Century 21, Burlington Coat factory or some other discount store and pick up a serviceable but inexpensive coat. Otherwise, you are spending a lot of money on something you will wear maybe one season, probably less. Also, I think coats are harder to tailor down than other jtems. Good luck on your weight loss journey! It’s worth it!

    • Thank you so much for the offer! That is really awesome of you! I’ll send you an email now!

    • Sorry, my last comment was supposed to be for MissJackson. JoM, congratulations! I’m so impressed with and inspired by you! I was thinking the same thing about coat tailoring.

      • You can do it! Just take one day and week at a time. Slow and steady is the best way to lose. It’s frustrating at first, but the pounds add up. Cool solution to your coat dilemma! Corporettes to the rescue again.

  29. Some of us in NYC are trying to schedule a meetup. Email me at [email protected] if you’d like to be added to the list!

  30. found a peanut :

    Just saw this dress on Nordstrom’s site:


  31. Not a fan of puffed sleeves.