Thursday’s Workwear Report: Virginie Ruffle Shirt

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

If you’re a fan of traditional dress shirts, do consider this one from Boden — it has a little ruffle, and it’s feminine but still professional. It’s a nice twist on the classic style, and it’s 100% cotton and machine washable. The shirt is available in white as well as a chambray and chambray with polka dots and comes in sizes 2-18. It’s $85 at Boden. Virginie Ruffle Shirt

Here’s a plus-size option (also in petite, regular, and plus petite).

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Comments

  1. Leather jacket? :

    Would you consider a plain black leather jacket, no spikes or large buttons or anything, appropriate to wear to a business casual workplace? I’m a federal consultant in NY/DC.

    • BabyAssociate :

      In my business casual workplace, no. Possibly on a charity jeans Friday, but not during the week.

    • Leather jacket? :

      To clarify, not to wear as a blazer all day. Just to wear as an outside jacket that is on very briefly in the office

      • Anonymous :

        Totally ok as an outside jacket.

      • I would think it’s perfectly fine. I actually think that almost any clean coat in a good state of repair is acceptable except in formal situations (where you’re wearing a suit, etc) or situations where you’ll have the coat on for an extended period of time.

      • Anonymous :

        I think it’s hard for a jacket to be inappropriate just for wearing to/from the office, except possibly one with visible stains/tears or an obscene logo. What you describe sounds perfectly fine and common.

      • BabyAssociate :

        I misunderstood, definitely ok as an outside jacket!

      • Anonymous :

        I have a really nice, very soft collarless black leather jacket I’ve worn for years as outerwear; it’s never been inappropriate in any office I’ve worked in, even the more conservative ones. It looks really good over a white shirt (again, just as outerwear) or a black sweater dress. I love it.

      • Totally fine as an outside jacket.

    • I wear a gray leather jacket as a blazer at my business casual law firm. That’s about as casual as I get though–I usually wear suits or at least separates.

      • I’m wearing a blush faux leather moto jacket as a blazer in my business casual (non-law) office today.

    • It would totally be appropriate in my business casual office, but I’m in a much more casual city than DC and NY.

    • I’ve worn a leather jacket as a blazer in a business casual/federal work environment. For me, big moto lapels would push a jacket out of the “wear at your desk” realm. Links to follow…

      • This: https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/1925697/cole-haan-quilted-genuine-leather-jacket?color=BLACK

        Not: https://www.nordstromrack.com/shop/product/1957450/andrew-marc-selena-genuine-leather-moto-jacket?color=BLACK

        • Kindergarten boy :

          I do not need a leather jacket.
          I do not need a leather jacket.
          I do not need a leather jacket.

          (But I really really really like that moto jacket.)

      • I also live in this as my “desk sweater.” Absurdly comfortable, but also a little structured: http://athleta.gap.com/browse/product.do?pid=350693002&tid=atsh000005

        • I wear something really similar to that from Old Navy. I don’t wear it at work with t-shirts or anything, but with a blouse I think it’s fine in my workplace (which is definitely not formal).

    • Maddie Ross :

      I wear a variety of leather jackets in place of a blazer at my business casual office. They definitely seem work appropriate to me, but I guess know your own office.

      • Shopaholic :

        Ya me too – but they tend to be either collarless or drapey. Nothing too moto-style unless its a Friday.

        • Maddie Ross :

          Oh same. I didn’t see where she said it was a moto-style. Mine are all collarless and styled more like a cardigan.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Yes. I think you could wear it during the day.

  2. Cardigans :

    Do people still wear regular fitted cardigans? I am thinking of a standard crew neck cardigan like j. Crew and Banana always seem to have. I have about ten in various colors, and I used to wear these almost every day, but now I find that they look… frumpy? Boring? Out of style? I can’t put my finger on the problem. I thought they were pretty classic but now find myself avoiding them. Is that because more open flowy waterfall cardigans have replaced these? Should I get rid of these “classic” cardigans if they aren’t so classic after all?

    • I have a closet full of them and still wear them, but I agree that they do feel more frumpy (particularly after multiple washes) than a fitted jacked or even a more flowy cardigan. The reality is that I wear sleeveless sheaths daily. I need SOMETHING, and I haven’t really found a good alternative for days when I don’t need to be in a suit jacket all day.

      • +1

        With a dress, they are still the best option IMO. I go longer for pants now.

        Keep them if you like the colors and they are good quality! I’m old enough to know everything comes back around.

    • I do – I like them over a silk shell with pants or a pencil skirt. They’re not super “on trend” right now, but like knee boots, I don’t think they’re ever truly “out.”

    • Anonymous :

      I would keep the ones you love that are in great shape. They are a classic but they tend to wax and wane in popularity. They’ll be trendier again in a couple years. Not worth keeping any that are not in great shape/good quality. Ponte blazer and open cardigans seem to be having more of a moment right now.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – It’s possible they just don’t feel on trend at the moment, maybe based on where they hit on hip? I have a bunch of the Tippi Cardigans from Jcrew and…I didn’t wear them all winter. Too be fair, they’re really more spring and summer colors, so that might be part of it. I was wearing pull-over sweaters, that hit at the low hip, with my skinny jeans though. And the cardigans would have needed to be longer to look right.

    • anon associate :

      I have a complex relationship with cardigans. I wear them a lot because I’m always cold and designers hate sleeves. I’m super petite so wearing a blazer in the office usually looks like I’m playing dress up (they are hard to find in a size that fits) and moreover my office isn’t that formal. For the same reason, a flowy cardigan looks like I’m wearing a blanket to work/ am in an anti-depressant commercial. After months of study, I concluded that the biggest factor in whether cardigans looked good-great or hideous is whether the cardigan is in good shape– is it old, pilled, stretched out, or faded? Even just a little bit of any of those factors pushes a cardigan into frump territory. Or is it bright, crisp, with a high-quality look to the fabric? Someone here recommended boden’s crew cardigan a few months ago. I bought 4 (ahrhgh) cashmere crop crew cardigans and they are GREAT. Cashmere is great and looks great. No pilling, no fading. The crop shape works well for my short torso.

    • Agree, I don’t wear them nearly as often as I used to for work. My main use for those types of cardigans was with pencil skirts and now it feels a little too girly? precious? junior?
      Ditto on wearing them with sheath dresses. I prefer jackets for authority, or flowy scarves if I just need warmth.

      Do you like ankle pants for casual wear? I still think they look very cute with ankle pants/flats for casual dressy weekend wear (drinks with friends, school meetings, etc.). I’d also wear them with ‘fun’ dresses for warmth in the spring – to church/brunch/parties/etc.

    • I think I got most of my cardigans before comfortable blazer options became popular – ponte blazers, jardigans, etc. Now I reach for those pieces instead of cardigans. I agree with the comment above that cardigans will probably become popular again at some point. This is an opportunity to get rid of any pieces that you used to love but, if you’re being honest, have seen better days.

    • I think perhaps it is situational. I’m in the South, and my business casual/business formal workplace and local social cultural norms mean that I fit right in as I continue to wear traditional cardigans and even, yes, clutch your pearls, full on traditional twinsets. Twinsets with pearls. Yesterday. And in my small town, that’s not frumpy, that’s a female “power look”.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I often sport a cashmere twinset and multi-strand pear necklace. I will usually pair it with a full skirt and big heels to make it more “me” and less “church” and there is nothing frumpy about it.

      • Cardigans and sweaters have to look expensive and well-made to look powerful. If you are wearing a cheaper suit from Target or JCP in court, you will be appropriately dressed because it is a suit. But there are some local prosecutors and public defenders who wear cheap, pilled cardigans and they look like they are running to the grocery store. However, I have seen women wear lovely sweaters with pearls in court who look fabulous. If you do the preppy thing, you have to do it right!

        • Speaking as a criminal defense attorney, maybe if we as a society paid these lawyers more they could afford a slightly elevated level of clothing. Jeez.

          • +1

            -your local prosecutor.

          • Why take offense? I wore suits from Goodwill and JCP but they were suits. If you are wearing cheap cardigans to court, you are hurting your client and your credibility. But, a lawyer in an expensive sweater can look really put together. Signed, Career PD.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Twinsets with pearls is the female power look in your town??? Gasp! Learn something new every day.

    • I definitely still wear them but instead of wearing fitted shirts underneath with a couple buttons buttoned, I wear flowier shirts underneath and leave the cardigan open. Also, I don’t wear flats on the days I do this as heels tend to make it look less frumpy.

    • I’m not a big fan of cardigans. I prefer more structured pieces for the office because I agree, they can feel a bit frumpy at times. I do wear longer cardigans (never buttoned) on the weekends with t-shirts and such.

    • Cardigans are a basic staple in my wardrobe – for work, going out, and more casual outfits. Blazers are too formal for the tech companies I’ve been working at, cardigans feel like a good way to wear nice work dresses, stay warm, and still look laid back enough for an office where many people wear jeans.

    • I wear th,em a lot, fully buttoned up as almost an alternative to a sweater. Big plus is that I can hide a long sleeved thermal top underneath and no one knows.

    • I will never give up my basic (and cropped, and waterfall, and whatever else shows up!) cardigans, but I’m a librarian, so it’s almost a requirement of the position.

      • Ha, I’m a banker in the head office, no clients (my clients are internal, other bankers)

        I wear some kind of cardigan every day, summer winter

        All different styles, I love them I don’t care if I am frumptastic,

  3. Favorite bathroom scale?

  4. Anonymous :

    Shopping challenge: machine washable sheath dress with matching blazer (blazer doesn’t need to be machine washable, obviously). Size 8/10. Bonus points for: tall, no exposed zipper. TIA!

    • on the site Long Tall Sally, check the 9 to 5 suit dress and matching jacket. They have some other options that meet your criteria as well.

      • PSA: Please note that LTS cuts really long in the torso though. So if you are a short-torso/long-limbed tall, their sheath dress is not for you. (I love a lot of their other dresses, but specifically their sheaths don’t work on me).

    • Lands end ponte sheath? I think they have matching blazers.

  5. I’m looking for travel recommendations! We are thinking about honeymoon destinations for later this year- probably september byt we’re not opposed to going later. Our current top choices are Argentina, New Zealand, and the Amalfi Coast and/or Tuscany. We like adventure and wine- are there other destinations we should be considering?

    • My husband and I went to Argentina after Christmas!

      We started off in the Patagonia region (Bariloche) then went to Mendoza and finished in Buenos Aires. We had an amazing time!

    • Those are definitely good wine regions with lots of stuff to do. There’s probably less opportunity for ‘adventure’ in Italy than in Argentina or NZ but of course there’s great food and scenery there. All three would be amazing honeymoon spots in my opinion.

    • I would go to Argentina or New Zealand because you are less likely to want to go those places once you have kids. I toured Europe extensively pre-kids, and now I wish I had gone to Africa, South America, and Asia instead.

      • I’ve done Australia and several places in Asia and South America with young kids. It’s totally doable and depending on where you live in the US it may not even be a much longer flight than Europe (SF-Paris is approx the same length flight as SF-Tokyo).

    • Argentina and Chile!!! If you go during the winter, it will be summer there. My husband and I went last year, and it was probably my favorite trip we have ever been on. In Patagonia, there is tons of hiking and outdoorsy things to do. Further north, its warmer and you could even enjoy some beach time. A great place to mix adventure and relaxation in my opinion.

    • Anonymous :

      Consider Crete! After a quick stop in Athens and about 3 days on Santorini (including one day with a four wheeler solo wine tour), we ended up camping out for nearly two weeks on Crete. We also love adventure and wine ;) Chania was our home base. The restaurants on the harbor are tourist quality – but there are some excellent restaurants just a little off the beaten path. We snorkeled off a public beach and did day trips, including to Elafonissi beach which has pink sand. Head to Samaria Gorge for hiking and ecohotels.

  6. on the site Long Tall Sally, check the 9 to 5 suit dress and matching jacket. They have some other options that meet your criteria as well.

  7. After my umbrella turned inside out on the walk to work this morning, I’m looking for a hooded trench/raincoat. I’ve been contemplating the London Fog Heritage at Nordstrom, but reluctant to pull the trigger without a sale. Any other recommendations? I’m a pear-shaped 16, 5’6″.

    Also happy for recommendations for sturdy umbrellas :)

    • I have this bubble umbrella… its awesome, keeps your shoulders dry… I haven’t come close to having it turn inside out. I left it somewhere and bought a second one I liked it so much. Also if you’re commuting in a city, much easier to navigate since you can see where you’re going…. that said, it is not compact, will not fit in a tote bag.

      Seach on Amazon for Totes clear bubble umbrella

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        +1 I LOVE my bubble umbrella! It’s super sturdy and doesn’t block your field of vision.

    • I have a Michael Kors hooded, trench raincoat with a removable lining that I love. Mine is plus size, but I bought it at Nordstrom, and I think it’s a pretty standard thing.

      • Just got this one. I love it. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/michael-michael-kors-hooded-trench-coat-regular-petite/4357481?origin=category-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BRITISH%20KHAKI

    • That same coat is on sale at Macy’s for $119.

      • Oh and look for a double layer umbrella. I have the Totes Titan, which is bigger than I wanted, but it’s really really sturdy. Search Amazon for windproof umbrellas.

    • Check out Eddie Bauer–they have XL and XXL in reg and petite and I love their Girl on the Go Trench and Insulated Girl on the Go trenches.

    • Eager Beaver :

      I really like my Boden Mac, but did need to go down a size from my regular 16.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I got one of the upside-down umbrellas this year and I love it! They have a ton of them on Amazon.

  8. Working moms in recovery? :

    Longtime reader, occasional poster. I’ve seen posts about related issues here in the past, but I’m having trouble finding anything exactly on point. Sorry in advance for the overly emotional/dramatic monologue.

    I am in my late 30’s, and I work in a high-stress, ~60 hours per week, six-figure job in a male-dominated industry. I am married with a young child (whom I already feel like I don’t see enough). I am also very newly sober (approx. 2 months). After a really rough 2016 and recent mortifying incident, I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that despite being pretty high-functioning 98% of the time, I’ve had a messed up relationship with alcohol for many years now, I cannot reliably control my drinking, and it’s highly unlikely that I will ever “outgrow this” or otherwise be able to stop on my own. (I’ve tried and only lasted a week or two, with the exception of pregnancy.) I’ve been attending meetings regularly (generally 3 times/week), but not as often as I’ve been told I should.

    Not drinking, in itself, has been annoying and mildly depressing, but not actually insurmountable (yet). I’ve been lucky that I’ve mostly been able to avoid triggering events/places (airport bars, anyone?) and mandatory work happy hours. The meetings (and the serenity prayer) seemed to help at first (and, above all, gave me a sense of accountability – I don’t want to disappoint these people!). However, despite initially being very sure this was the right course, I’ve been having a really hard time lately with everything else that sobriety brings, and I’m losing motivation to go to meetings. I always thought that if I quit drinking, after a brief recovery period I’d feel amazing – have tons of energy, take up lots of new interesting hobbies, work out all the time, etc. But even though I’ve had a few good days, most of the time I still feel pretty awful. Basically, quitting drinking has dredged up a boatload of related issues (terrible self-esteem/body insecurity, social anxiety, past s*xual assault, impostor syndrome), and I’ve quickly realized that I have zero healthy coping mechanisms. I’m crying constantly, I can’t concentrate, and I’ve put on five pounds (in itself, not the end of the world I guess, but still pretty discouraging) because I’ve been eating my feelings instead of drinking them. I’m already on a low-dose antidepressant, and I realize that I should probably be back in therapy, but I simply don’t have the time or the emotional energy. I know this is partially due to physical and mental exhaustion, but all I want to do is lie on the couch and hug my kid and eat pie and sleep for 24 hours straight.

    In addition to this, I feel really lonely and almost homesick. I miss my old, familiar, “normal” life. No one knows about this except for my husband (who has been a saint, although I’m starting to sense that being my only real support has been wearing on him) and my parents (who are generally supportive but live in another state). I will probably have to tell a couple of “work friends” eventually, but I’m terrified of the questions and judgment and the walking on eggshells that this may bring. (And I’m afraid no one will believe me when I say – honestly – that I never worked impaired.) I feel really ashamed -as if all of my accomplishments now have an asterisk next to them, like I’ve cheated or something by using unhealthy coping strategies (with a huge stigma attached) to deal with the stress. (And now I have no idea how to deal with all of this.)

    I’ve met a couple of people in meetings that I feel like I’ve clicked with, but not many. And I realize how snobby and judgmental and condescending this sounds, but I have yet to meet anyone in recovery with a situation that’s even remotely similar to mine, and I have a hard time relating to most of their stories/struggles. AA tends to discourage a lot of opposite-sex contact right off the bat, and none of the women I’ve met who are remotely close to my age are working moms. Plus, if this is my “rock bottom” it’s relatively high compared to many people in the program (no rehab, clean criminal record, still have my job/marriage/house/kid/health). (Knock on wood, fingers crossed.) Everyone has been really nice, but I struggle with finding someone I can really talk to (i.e. someone who would understand firsthand the effect of new sobriety on this type of lifestyle). This isn’t really new; even beforehand, all of my work friends were either child-free women or men with stay-at-home wives. And I’ve struggled to make non-work friends for years, in part due to shyness and in part due to my free time being so scarce. I guess I used alcohol to help me deal with that more than I realized.

    I guess what I’m hoping for is some reassurance that (a) I need to get over myself; (b) this gets better; and (c) it’s possible to balance a crazy job, a young family, and recovery without losing your mind, and taking a decent chunk of my limited family time to recover is worth it in the long run. Can anyone speak to this? Thanks in advance.

    • Working moms in recovery? :

      … and I had no idea my post was so long. Wow. If you got to the end, you are very patient.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re awesome. You’re doing great and you need to cut yourself some slack. Will write a longer post later but basically be kind to yourself.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. I’m so inspired by your post. And fwiw, if a colleague told me they stopped drinking because they realized their relationship with alcohol was kind of messed up, my reaction would be “wow, good for you” not “wow, I wonder if they worked impaired.” Not saying you won’t run into some jerks out there but I think that most people will be incredibly understanding and supportive. People who know you know that you weren’t in rehab/gambling your life savings/losing your house etc so it’s pretty clear that this is a decision you made to get out in front of a potential problem, not a result of hitting rock bottom. Ideally there wouldn’t be a stigma for anyone, but I think there’s much, much less stigma for people like you who proactively change something before a real problem happens than there is for people who quit drinking as a result of a huge, public incident like getting a DUI.

          • SFAttorney :

            Agree with all of these posts about the reaction from colleagues. We don’t know your colleagues but I would expect them to be supportive — and probably surprised, from what you’ve described of yourself. I would admire someone who took the steps you’re taking. Also, prioritize your sobriety.

        • You should definitely engage a coworker or two you are close to for support. I have several coworkers who no longer drink for to a wide array of reasons and I am happy to support them. Never once did I question if they were intoxicated on the job.

          • Agreed here. Tell some folks at work when you can. If nothing else, they can give you a buffer at those mandatory work happy hours. I often join my colleague who is in recovery in having a soda so he’s not the only one without a beer/cocktail. I am also glad that I’m able to cheer him on every time he hits a new sobriety milestone.

        • +1 to this and to Anon at 9:56 and Walnut. When a coworker doesn’t drink I never, ever question it or ask for an explanation, and my default assumption definitely would not be “she must have been drunk at work”. If I were to think someone was drunk at work it would be because I observed that happening.

          OP you are strong and brave and I wish you the best with your recovery.

      • No real experience with this, but wanted to send you internet hugs (if you’d like them), and you’re stronger than you’re giving yourself credit for!

        My gut feeling is that if you were to visit a therapist in place of one of the weekly meetings, that would be a good first step. I can understand not feeling able to squeeze in one more thing when you’re feeling drained, but I imagine a therapist who really knows you would be best equipped to help in this situation.

        • I was thinking the same. I don’t know if there’s a significance to 3 meetings, but my instinct is also to trade one meeting for an individual therapy session.

          • Anonymous :

            +1

            Definitely time to see a therapist and your doctor for an increase and possible a change in your anti-depressant. You may need a psychiatrist rather than your primary care doctor to assist in better management of your medications in the near future. But you need to let your doctor know so they can also check for other things that could be making you feel crappy and so you have another cheerleader on your side.

            It is very very very common to use alcohol to treat anxiety/depression. Self-medication.

            You are doing an incredible job.

            And if people ask, you simple tell the truth…. “I’m taking a break off alcohol for my health!” Enough said.

            You go girl.

          • Late, but if you’re reading this, from my experience, seeing a psychiatrist is much less emotionally exhausting. You’ll have an evaluation, but it feels much more low pressure. An adjustment in your anti-depressant can make a wonderful difference. Addiction and mental illness so often feed each other. You’re not broken, you’re great. You’re more than enough.

        • 3 Meetings :

          The general rule for newcomers is to try to attend 90 meetings in 90 days. For those not in the rooms its not clear how different meetings are from therapy. Its time consuming as heck (I say this as a litigation partner also in recovery who spends a ton of time juggling both) but cutting meetings early in recovery is definitely not recommended.

          **If you have a sponsor, she may have more insight into the number of meetings that is right for you right now. If you don’t have a sponsor yet, I would gently nudge you to consider if this is a good step for you at this juncture.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not in your situation, but one of my best friends is going through this exact situation right now (he’s at Day 105 – right down to 3 meetings/wk). he’s happy to not be drinking but he too feels a little out of place at AA. He says he’s not sure he’s an alcoholic (his therapist agrees) but his drinking is causing problems in his life and he just wants to feel normal – like he doesn’t need to avoid social and work situations that have alcohol. I said this doesn’t have to be forever but it’s good for him right now. Sending you good thoughts and that you’re not alone.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a cousin who was in AA and often half-joked about the sub-cultures in recovery (like the CA people were more affluent and wouldn’t mix as much with the AA and NA people; they all tended to hang out at the same coffee shops and knew who each other was, roughly).

      At any rate, lots of AA (etc.) groups meet at churches. My church is pretty demographically stratified (and hosts several recovery groups along with Al-Anon, which your husband might find to be helpful). Maybe if you went to a less broad-spectrum recovery group you might meet more people who were similar to you.

      Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      First off, you did an amazing thing for yourself and your family by getting sober. Please hold on to that. Everything you are doing now is an amazing step forward.

      They talk in 12-step groups about how for many people, the hardest part isn’t stopping the behavior you’re engaged in (drinking, eating, shopping, etc.) but giving up the patterns and habits of your old life. Including people who encourage or enable your behavior, because they don’t really know what you’re like without the behavior. That’s why you’re encouraged to have a sponsor; someone you can call when you’re tempted to slip backwards. I don’t know if you have a sponsor but if you don’t, I would approach your group leader about it. Having the right person to call when the chips are down makes a huge difference.

      You are like many folks who drink/drug/eat/spend/have s *x to hide pain from your early life. While I think the 12-step groups are helpful with some of that, the focus is always going to be more on in-the-now behavior modification and less on resolving past trauma. To do that, you need a therapist and I would recommend going to someone who treats addictive behavior or even has a specific background in alcohol addiction treatment.

      You have done an absolutely amazing thing in trying to get sober more or less by yourself. It is a tough, tough thing you’re going through and you need to build a support system around yourself so that when you have moments of weakness, someone is there to help. A sponsor and a therapist are good starts; I would also think about maybe going to some different group meetings to see if you can find one where people there have more in common with your situation, so you can maybe make a friend or two. There are some great meetings in my area in our downtown at noontimes where most of the attendees are professionals. If one group isn’t meeting your needs entirely, it is OK to seek out another group or attend different meetings different places at different times. The meetings are there when and where YOU need them.

      Hang in there and remember to take it one day at a time.

      Signed,

      A friend of Bill’s

      • I agree with all of this. Re-orienting your life–and your whole being–in this way is guaranteed to be hard. The advice above is really good.

        I listened to an interesting episode of the podcast “On Being” the other day about how trauma lodges in the body. I found the insights on working with your body and its experience really interesting. The researcher specifically addressed shutting down the body’s response with drugs and alcohol, as well as reintegrating through movement that involves paying attention to your breathing. He highlights yoga but I think running helps me too. (If you want to see it, scroll down to the part where he mentions Darwin–or read the whole thing–http://onbeing.org/programs/bessel-van-der-kolk-how-trauma-lodges-in-the-body/).

        You have the support of everyone on here, and I hope you are able to find a good face-to-face support community.

      • +1

        Another friend of Bill’s

    • Anonymous :

      You’re doing such a great job, and everything you are feeling is a completely normal part of recovery. And you must make time for therapy. It’s non-negotiable. Taking the time to deal with this is 100% worth it. It’s only been two months! It will get better it will just take time.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Hugs. You’re dealing with an incredibly difficult situation right now. I have a few thoughts for you– if you’re not really able to go to therapy, that likely means that your medication is still off. You may want to consider going on a higher does, switching meds, and/or stacking it with another medication to help you lift out of this dark place. I also highly recommend you get a genetic test to see what meds will work best for you. This can help you see what good options are. With a more fitting balance of medication, that should help you get to a place where you can better tackle this problem. Once you’re in that place and able to talk with someone about your alcohol issues, you might also research Naltrexone and see if it’s appropriate for you and your treatment plan.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I recently had an opportunity to speak (at a CLE) with the woman that runs my state’s lawyer assistance project. I know you haven’t said if you are a lawyer, but hear me out. She was speaking about the barriers to treatment and they sound very similar to your profession. Their groups are designed to work around those issues. She is very tied in with other profession specific resources, like those for doctors and police officers as we have a small state and a lot of the experts overlap. If your own profession does not have it’s own assistance group (I don’t mean an EAP, I mean an association of professionals) then I’d try reaching out to the group that most closely matches your profession. You may not be able to attend their functions/meetings but the person that runs it might know of resource that would be better suited for you. I can guarantee you that if you were an accountant that called the woman that runs our lawyer assistance service, she would absolutely, 100%, talk to you and give you any information she had that could help you.

    • +1 for Naltrexone.

      https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/04/the-irrationality-of-alcoholics-anonymous/386255/

      • Wildkitten :

        It’s hard to find a doctor who will give you a prescription for that in the US.

        • Anonymous :

          I also find it confusing that they recommend taking it an hour before drinking – if you’re an alcoholic isn’t your problem that you lack impulses with respect to drinking and drink when you shouldn’t? So are you really going to have the discipline to drink an hour from now instead of right now and are you also going to really want to take a pill you know will make you not want to drink but won’t dull the pain the way the alcohol does? This seems like a good solution for people who drink a little too much and want to cut back for physical health reasons but not for people who recognize they have a problem and need to stop drinking completely.

      • Some of us want to work on the issues rather than take a pill.

    • I admire what you’re doing, and no you don’t just need to “get over yourself.” Just the job plus the kid alone would already be tough, without dealing with recovery. Questions: Do you love your job? Or could you imagine transitioning into a less time-demanding position (and potentially less stressful), to allow yourself more time for your family and your recovery? And, do you have some working mom friends who are not at your current place of employment that you can lean on? Even if they don’t have any experience with substance abuse.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Hi! Waves! I am the person you are looking for. We should talk offline because this is super personal. I’ll write more later in case other people relate too.

      Short version: Everything you are going through is TOTALLY normal for early sobriety. It takes a while to find your tribe. It gets harder for a while in the first two years while you work through all the stuff that drinking helped you forget/avoid/ignore. And then it gets awesome. So happy, joyous, and free I can’t begin to tell you. I almost never think about drinking anymore at almost 5 years.

      Do not tell your colleagues. No good will ever come of that. Thus sayeth generations of AA professionals. I used to attend a lawyer meeting and have friends in the public eye and– just don’t. It’s much better to maintain your anonymity in the workplace and find likeminded sober friends (like me!). I have a little kid too, and much of my recovery community has shifted online because of the logistical challenges of getting to meetings (but I’m through the steps and am pretty comfortable these days– would not recommend this without some live meetings and a sponsor in the first year). I can plug you in with facebook groups, etc. Your tribe exists. We are in plain sight, we just don’t advertise it. I tell colleagues it’s GI issues if they press why I don’t drink. None of their business.

      Email me at frozenpeachcorporette at the g of the mail and I will send you my phone number and we will talk or text as soon as you want to (I can be free after 5 pm today to talk if that works at all). And if this seems like an overly generous response, I will explain: in recovery I learned that once through steps initially, helping others get and stay sober is what keeps me sober. And it works. And this will all be so much better. Congrats on every day, and on speaking up and asking for help. You will make it because you are doing these things.

      • Another Sober One :

        If its okay, can I jump onto this off-life support system too? I am more grounded in my sobriety and don’t have kids, but also have struggled to find my “tribe” at meetings. I would love to connect with some like-minded ladies via text/phone/email.

        Heck – maybe we could even have some kind of online meeting if there are enough of us?

      • This is why I love reading this s!te. <3

      • New Tampanian :

        I would like to jump in on this too!

        I am not a mom but I have been sober for 10 months (today!)! I personally have not gone the AA route, but I grew up in the room as both of my parents are recovering alcoholics so I know how it can possibly feel like not your thing. Sobriety is a very personal “journey” (sometimes I hate that word) and you should do the things that work for you.

        EVERYTHING you are going through is normal. And it is hard as f**k. I have mentioned here before (maybe anonymously but now IDGAF) that I needed to lose some “friendships.” I use quotes because I realized that these people were solely drinking friends. We had nothing else in common and there was no real bond.

        If someone questions why you aren’t drinking just say “I don’t drink.” If they press, say something like “My body just doesn’t react well to alcohol and I feel so much better not drinking.” That’s what I’ve done. And it really only comes up in situations where there is alcohol. No need to pre-emptively tell people. The only caveat I have is if you feel you need to go into a treatment facility, in which case I would work with your HR team to get the proper medical leave.

        The tough part isn’t the not drinking. It’s all the self-actualizing that comes from stopping. You start to remember things and FEEL things. FEELINGS suck. That’s why we drink usually. Therapy is helpful in this regard. You may get a lot of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which gives you tools for handling the feelings. You would benefit from a medication check too. At the very least, go in for one appointment and get that figured out.

        Replacing your drinking with positive, healthy behaviors can be tough. What are these others things that people who don’t drink do?! I couldn’t figure it out for a while. So what I did was decide that I was allowed to be selfish and focus on me. I would order good food in, watch a movie, take a bath. I started reading more. There are a few books that you may find interesting:

        “Remembering the things I drank to forget” was a good one. If you are a lawyer, Brian Cuban (Mark Cuban’s brother) has a new book that is available for pre-order on amazon called “The Addicted Lawyer”.

        I started listening to podcasts a lot (which is what has given me the inspiration to start my own). HOME Podcast by the women who run Hip Sobriety is an interesting one. It is very relatable and real.

        You are doing good. Keep going.

        • Frozen Peach :

          Jump right in! I used to belong to a great email group of women where we shared gratitude lists. Would love a group of ‘rettes!!!

          Congrats, New Tampanian. Your approach sounds a lot like mine, although I was new to the language of sobriety and really got a lot from AA.

          Two books I highly recommend: “Drinking, A Love Story” by Caroline Knapp and A Woman’s Way Through the 12 Steps.

      • Working mom, 3.5 years later :

        YES to all of this. Don’t tell work colleagues. Even if they are sympathetic, unless they’ve had this particular problem, they won’t really understand.

        -You can shop around for a group, if there are others in your area that are close enough to attend. Some are small and intimate, others are very very large. I found a few too religious for my liking, in others the people seemed more secular. You might find one with people you relate to better. And as for the ‘rock bottom’- yeah, I know, my bottom was severe anxiety that I had done something embarrassing and would permanently lose my best friend. One guy in my group actually died for like, a minute. I can’t say he was any more or less miserable than me.

        -God, two months in is so early. I remember sitting around outside the clubhouse smoking and talking with two people about how angry we all were. Angry and self-loathing and low low low. It gets better! (lol- I personally think everyone in recovery who doesn’t smack someone who says this to them at some point deserves a medal). At two months I still turned up unwashed, hiding underneath a hoody and crying compulsively any time anyone said anything remotely kind to me.

        -Sponsors- they *are* useful, if you feel like getting one. Mine was nothing like me at all. I have professional degrees, she’s a motorbike-loving welder. Didn’t stop her helping me.

    • Tough Love :

      Ok. I am going to take a different approach than a lot of posters will. I think you will get a lot of encouraging, validating responses to your post. I hope you read all of them and take them all to heart, and I hope you feel encouraged and empowered to overcome this challenge. Positivity is important for you right now.

      That said, mine will be more of a tough love approach. Addiction is real and I’m not saying you can just stop drinking and be fine. You need therapy and antidepressants and help. That said, here are some truths I think may not make you “feel good” but could help. I don’t mean any of this to be harsh– I promise this is all well-intentioned. Here goes:

      1) In your words, yes, you do need to get over yourself– only in the sense that you need to view these as surmountable problems and not immovable obstacles. It will get better and you can do this.

      2) I disagree that you will ever have to tell any work friends. There’s no reason to do that. I disagree that they would question your past and think they would probably be supportive. But if you worry that they might not, you don’t need to deal with that. No need to create a problem you don’t currently have.

      3) You have no reason to feel ashamed about your accomplishments. They do not have an asterisk next to them just because you had a drinking problem when you accomplished them. We all have accomplishments that we achieved while something else was screwed up. That does not diminish the accomplishment.

      4) You don’t need to find someone exactly like you in AA. You can still learn from women who are not working moms. One thing you might learn is how fortunate you are that you are not parenting alone, that you are not struggling to keep your home, that when you go home at night you know you are safe and loved. You have a level of security that these women don’t have. You can use that security as a springboard to your sobriety. Be open to learning from them. Accept that you may not find your AA twin.

      5) You need to take some time off work. Your time for recovery does not need to be subtracted from your limited family time– you need to make time. Take off work and make an appointment with a therapist.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        On number 3, your accomplishments are that much greater because you did them with such adversity. If someone was struggling through chemo or morning sickness wouldn’t you think wow, they did so much even feeling so crappy? Your accomplishments are like that.

        I was in therapy once for situational anxiety. I mentioned feeling weak when I was sitting in an airport lounge, dealing with a panic attack, while my friends were off having fun and getting drinks. (I asked them to leave me alone during it, they didn’t ditch me.) My therapist re-framed my thinking for me. I was strong because I went to that airport to get on that flight despite knowing I would likely have a panic attack. I didn’t give up and go home. I got on the plane. I was a [email protected]@$$. Most people wouldn’t walk into the face of that panic, they’d run away. You have accomplished so much in your life, this is just one more thing for you to accomplish.

      • I agree with this post. Just going to meetings is not enough. You need a sponsor and you have to do the steps and give service even if it means making coffee. It is also a good idea to see a therapist and, you may need an antidepressant. I take Lexapro in addition to going to meetings. Alcoholism is a progressive, fatal disease. It can kill the most educated among us. I go to a lawyers group that includes high powered lawyers and judges. You are not unique. Still sending hugs!

    • Frozen Peach :

      I just wrote an insanely long post that went to moderation– but reach out to me at f r o z e n p e a c h c o r p o r e t t e at the g of the mail if you want to talk to someone who’s been in similar shoes.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Hey Working Mom – I just want to say that first off this internet stranger is pulling for you to feel better and happier. I am someone who has struggled with problematic drinking patterns in the past and I think its something that happens to more people than you think. For me, those patterns dissipated as I addressed and worked through the issues that I was using alcohol to cope with and cut off the people who were damaging in my life. Your mileage may vary but I would highly recommend working on the root causes of why you aren’t feeling great as you work through your recovery program. You can do this in therapy or you can do it with a spouse or however you can best process and legitimize your feelings around this. Alcohol in my experience (and I am not telling you how you should feel about it) is a coping mechanism, often for coping with very real issues / stressors. Even if you take away the alcohol, there may still be issues / things in life that need to be addressed (I think this ties in with your point about thinking that recovery would be better than it is).

      My second thought would be to develop some routines that don’t revolve around alcohol. I am a fitness junkie (always was moderately into exercise) and look forward to that part of my routine every day. I also love to bake / cook, and have gotten into some k beauty skincare that nicely bookends my day (I think the blogger FiddySnails talks about how her skincare routine helps with her depression).

      Finally, you can eat the pie but my personal rule is you have to make the pie. Good luck and let me know if I can be of help – I can be reached at JuniorMinion87 at the mail of the g

    • Any decent human being / coworker would congratulate you on recognizing your issues and dealing with them. No need for shame – be proud! And AA is one avenue, but not the only one – if you can find three times a week to attend a meeting, perhaps that time could be redirected towards a source that would better meet you needs (therapy, etc.?) Second the suggestion to see if there’s a recovery group geared towards those in your profession, and also second the suggestion to see if you are on the ideal medical management for mental health.

      Also, gently – how much do you love your job? Is it worth it? My husband is in recovery and one of the tipping points for him was after one of our MANY fights on the topic and he told me that he needed to drink to be able to withstand the pressures of his job. I told him that if he needed to drink to survive his job, he was in the wrong job.

      Not saying the job *caused* the disease … genetics take the fall there. And quitting the job wasn’t magic – therapy, depression and anxiety meds, and a few other lifestyle changes were key too. But it helped, enormously. It helped him to hear me give him permission to quit his job. He stayed in the field, but in a much more manageable position. In the end, I’d much rather have him make less but be available to me / our kid than have him make a ton of money but be too intoxicated or otherwise checked out whenever he was home to be an active part of the family.

      Hugs. You’re doing great. Your kid, whether (s)he knows it or not, is so lucky that you were strong enough to do this.

      • +1 to examining whether or not you really want to be in your current job. My vice wasn’t alcohol but I was in a terrible job that made me depressed and horrible to live with. Quitting the job changed everything. I probably have some genetic pre-disposition to depression, but a lot of this stuff can be highly situational.

        • OP, not sure if this would be right for you too, but I had some terribly destructive behaviors while in a high-pressure job with a scary boss. Leaving that job didn’t solve everything, but it made it ten times easier to work through.

    • I have been sober for over 21 years and got sober immediately after graduating from law school. First, initially things got WORSE instead of better because I gave up my source of solace and my identity as a party girl. I did not have kids but I was working and studying for the bar. I did my first “90 in 90” several months after I got in. It will take a while to click with women but part of the massive number of meetings at first is to see different meetings and to meet more people. Now, I go to 2-3 a week. This is after not going to meeting at all for four years where I didn’t drink but found anger and depression was really bad.

      You can’t give up your kids but you may have to cut back on hours. I know, you can’t. But you also can’t end up in jail due to a DUI or in rehab from detox either or recover from a suicide attempt. These are all realistic possibilities if you are an alcoholic. It is not easy to get sober but the alternative is pretty bad.

      As for colleagues – resist the urge to tell anyone especially so early in your sobriety. Best of luck and lots of love to you.

    • As far as professionals, try a noon meeting in a downtown area. That’s where you will the professionals, sitting next to the homeless people, all for the same reason. Oh, and the founding members were a stock broker, a doctor, and a lawyer.

    • You are inspiring. You sound to make like you’ve made some pretty amazing steps so far. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge how much you’ve tackled so far – giving up alcohol during pregnancy was a huge challenge and you mastered it. You made a huge life change without hitting that really low rock bottom. Wow. You are doing it. I believe it’s possible for it to get better.

    • Cut yourself some slack. It will get better. I stopped drinking in 3L. For a few months I avoided social events altogether. Then I slowly started letting people know I wasn’t going to drink anymore. I just said it was for health reasons (true) or that I didn’t feel like it (also true). Most people were admiring or shared that they had concerns about their drinking, too. A few people didn’t understand, but I just said it wasn’t up for debate and continued on my way. They have all come around (and if they hadn’t, would be by the wayside).

      But I had to deal with the underlying issues, and you will too. Therapy to save yourself and give your husband a break. Treating your body kindly by exercising and eating well. These habits will make you feel better physically and mentally. Sleeping. Reading.

      You’re not alone, and you can do this, just like you’ve done other hard tasks before.

    • Working moms in recovery? :

      Ohhhhh wow. I am totally overwhelmed (mostly in a good way). Thank you so much to everyone for your insight and encouragement (even the “tough love” – I know I need it and it is actually very helpful). I have gotten almost nothing done work-wise today and have to get on that ASAP, so I don’t think I can respond to everyone individually, but I wanted to say:

      – You all have talked me into it. There is a meeting for people in my profession in recovery tonight, and I am going.

      – There’s a woman whose number I have who I think would make a really good sponsor. I’ve been too chicken to ask but I’m going to call her tonight. Will keep you posted.

      – I just spent almost an hour calling around trying to find a therapist (no luck yet, but left a few voicemails). I agree that this is something I need and just needed a little push.

      – Tonight, I plan to create a “mail of the g” address that doesn’t include my actual name so I can email all of you who offered. Now I just need to think of a pithy handle. But anyway, I really, really appreciate it. Thank you.

      – Blondelawyer called it: yep, I’m a lawyer. At first I hated my job. Then I loved my job. Now I’m just confused. For reasons I won’t bore you with, I cannot change jobs immediately, but I think that’s something I need to prepare myself for in the medium-term. In the meantime, I just need to hang on (and pay off those student loans ASAP).

      Again, thank you. I have been reading this site for probably 6 years now, and I am constantly blown away by the kindness, empathy, and wisdom of all of you. Despite having a couple of mini-crying-jags this morning, I actually do feel much better. I hope I can pay it forward someday.

      • You can do this! And I strongly suspect that you’re already paying it forward to some anonymous reader out there who is watching you start to tackle an insanely tough problem with grace and courage (even if it all feels like a huge mess to you at the moment). You’re taking the first necessary steps, and we’re all proud of you.

        • Some anonymous reader out there :

          Hi, that’s me, I’m a perpetual lurker but just wanted to chime in and thank OP for her question, because you hit the nail on the head; I’m inspired by her grace, her courage, her forward-thinking, and her willingness to ask for help, and I’m similarly inspired and comforted by all of the compassionate responses on here and the encouragement from others who’ve been there.

          Thanks, OP, and responders. Cheering for you all (and myself)

      • Anonymous :

        You can do this! I’m not in recovery, my job sounds way less hard that yours and this “I know this is partially due to physical and mental exhaustion, but all I want to do is lie on the couch and hug my kid and eat pie and sleep for 24 hours straight.” definitely describes me too! Being a working mom in a demanding job is hard! Let alone dealing with recovery on top of that! Just in case hearing it from an internet stranger helps – it’s totally fine to take a personal day on a Friday, laze around with kid in morning, send her to daycare in the afternoon. You can sleep all afternoon, DH can pick up her and take out, put her to bed and get up with her in the morning. You can go back to bed after dinner and get up again at lunchtime on Saturday. Perfectly acceptable mommying/use of vacation day. If you need to because your office doesn’t encourage personal days, tell your office that kid is sick so you have to take the day off.

      • I find the lawyer recovery meetings different than AA but wonderful in their own way. I need AA for the focus on the steps but it is so awesome to get to know lawyers in our town who are members of the secret recovery club. You might be surprised at who is there tonight!

      • Lots of hugs and support from a fellow lawyer and internet stranger. This is late but I just wanted to share that my coworker is a longtime sober alcoholic (dui arrest that was in the news–not the way anyone wants publicity) and has since been president of our statewide association for our area of the law. No one puts an asterisk on his accomplishments. I think you may be underestimating how many attorneys (high ranking) have struggled with addiction. It’s a pervasive problem in our profession. I hope you find support in your community and wish you all the best.

      • I dont know if you are still reading this, but check out ginger . io . It’s a mental health app with therapists and “life coaches” on call.

        I’m a working mom in a similar work situation (not law, but mostly male, and when female, single coworkers) and the app has been pretty good for “a person to talk to” and generally getting help and coping ideas when i need it rather than on a set schedule. Also, I’m kinda shy/introverted IRL, so it works better for me.

    • Anonymous :

      Good for you! This sounds so uncomfortable and hard but remember the great advice of SA “the only way out is through” the one thing I did come her to say to you though is this week I noticed a coworker has the Serenity Prayer in his office. I thought that maybe he didn’t drink but when I saw that I thought “good for him” nothing at all about “asterisk after accomplishments”

    • I know nothing about alcoholism or anything like that, but just wanted to say that you’ve done something really impressive. Good for you!

    • Please look into The Sinclair Method:
      “The Sinclair Method (TSM) is a treatment for alcohol addiction that uses a technique called pharmacological extinction—the use of an opiate blocker to turn habit-forming behaviors into habit erasing behaviors. The effect returns a person’s craving for alcohol to its pre-addiction state.”

      TSM is the only method that has higher efficacy than trying to manage alcoholism on your own. It doesn’t rely on “support”, religion (12-step), or abstinence. It re-trains your brain to stop cravings with minimal life disruptions, doesn’t require inpatient treatment, and is far more effective than 12-step method.

    • Don’t tell anyone at work. People don’t need to know your personal business and you may regret saying too much.

    • There’s an organization in California called The Other Bar. It is for recovering addicts that are judges, lawyers, and law students. I don’t know if you are in California, or are in the law, but you may want to contact them to find out if there are similar organizations for your location and field of work.

      Best wishes on your road to recovery. Changing your life for the better is never easy.

  9. Burberry Baynard :

    Does anyone have the Burberry Baynard tote? I am thinking of getting a used one as my gift to myself for law school graduation. I saw a few bad reviews about the handles on Nordstrom, but I can’t find any other reviews anywhere else. It’s also not sold anymore; I’m not sure if thats a sign of poor quality. I sincerely hope not because I looove the style and simplicity. TIA!

    http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/burberry-baynard-leather-tote/3698436

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I do not have that particular bag but I have several Burberry bags (and a Burberry Prorsum) all of which have held up well with years of use. Their leather goods are of excellent quality in my experience.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      It’s lovely! If you’re getting one used, why not just pay attention to how the handles are wearing? You can probably use that to negotiate the price down a bit. Also you can always get them fixed.

    • I didn’t sleep well last night and I’m reading this on my phone so I thought you said “Burberry Barnyard Tote” and I though, well that’s a new direction for Burberry. (And I also wanted one.)

      • That’s hilarious because I read the other bag name as Possum. Seems like they would go well together!!

  10. Closet Redux :

    How would you style this tweed jacket for a business-dress event? Not a meeting, many people will be in suits, but room to be more creative if still on the business end of things. I’m thinking this blazer over all black (blouse and pants)– thoughts? (Link to jacket to follow)

    • Closet Redux :

      https://www.loft.com/fringe-tweed-jacket/423274?skuId=22198822&defaultColor=9005&colorExplode=false&catid=catl000018#crl8-gallery

    • That’s the way I’d go. Possibly a statement necklace and/or loud shoes since it’s a more creative crowd.

  11. Maudie Atkinson :

    First, you’re doing a good job by reaching out, going to meetings, being self aware about how and why this is hard. It is hard. Give yourself some grace on that. And give other people (even internet strangers) some credit. You don’t need to tacitly apologize for a long post, especially when what you’re facing is really, really hard. Your feelings are valid.
    Second, as the child of an alcoholic who entered recovery when I was in early adolescence, and the sister of an addict who is now almost 3 years sober, this is absolutely worth a sizeable chunk of your limited family time. I only know this experience from their side, not yours, but my experience tells me that your husband, your child, your parents will all be so grateful for you taking your recovery seriously, not just now, in the early stages, but forever.
    Third, you don’t owe anyone at work (or anywhere else) an explanation for why you quit drinking. All you have to say is that you’re not. And really, you don’t even have to say that. If it’s easier in the short (or long) term, do the club soda and lime trick. If at some point you want to offer more explanation, you can borrow my dad’s, which was that he decided he liked himself better when he didn’t drink. That left out the complications of arrests, the jail time, and plenty of drunken embarrassing moments, but it was a simple, true explanation that generally didn’t invite further probing. My brother has taken a different tack and been really open about his addiction and why he’s sober now, which is good for him but it sounds like maybe not for you. That’s ok.
    You’re doing a hard thing, but such a worthy thing. Godspeed.

  12. Job Advice for when Law Firm Hits Rough Waters? :

    I’m a first year in midlaw (~AMLAW 100). My firm is not doing well financially. They didn’t really pay bonuses, even to people who made hours (a long song and dance about how bonuses were for exceptional performers, not people who merely hit hours), there’s a ton of infighing going on between group heads. The firm is currently reorganizing into a multi-disciplinary group (thing corporate mixed with IP mixed with regulatory) and some folks are in that group and some are not. It’s been very political, and there’s very well-founded rumors that the firm is going to sell that new group off and try to “regroup” with the remainder of the firm. I am concerned that the firm will be a “zombie firm” after 40% of its revenue is cleaved off. I am not in the new group (no young associates are bc we are not yet specialized enough.)

    But…I’m a first year. However, I worked in top biglaw firms for a long time as a senior paralegal, and generally have a lot of work experience, so I’ve been at organizations in turmoil. Please give me honest advice about how long I have to stick it out here. It will soon become public that all this is going on, so do I try to lateral very early, given this? Stick it out even though I’m under market and have no hope of getting a bonus (but am still regularly asked to work until 2am!). I really want the Hive’s blessing to leave now, or at least start the process. FWIW, I have some long-tenured jobs pre-law school, and tons of recs from prior jobs (at excellent firms) so I am hoping those will mitigate the “She left before a year–she must not have been able to hack it!” thoughts. The opposite is going on–I am way more competent than most kids my class year, so I am getting killed. Please give me a blueprint on what to do next.

    Also, I’m in a major East coast city, not NY, and licensed in my state and NY. Thanks for your wise counsel, Hive.

    • I would jump ship before the boat sinks.

      • Agreed. You will work your tuchus off and then they will down size and you will wind up with nothing but a sore tuchus. I second the motion to bolt quickley! After all, what is going to cause anything to change? Without a cunning manageing partner, you will wind up going down the tube’s. FOOEY!

    • anon in SV :

      I’d start semi-casually stealth looking now. The industry is small and some of the firms will know that your firm is ill and shedding people through absolutely no fault of your own. You’re too young (in work years) to use a recruiter, but definitely sign up for all the job board alerts.

      I would also contact your former biglaw firms where you used to be a paralegal (hopefully you maintained good relationships) and ask them to meet for coffee, and then if they are receptive at coffee, ask them to use their network for help. They will instantly understand that the firm economics are not your fault. And get on linkedin and link with everyone you used to work with or for that would say something nice (or at least nothing negative) about you when asked.

      As a senior associate, I personally love the paralegals-turned-lawyers as junior associates – waaaaay better attention to detail and willingness to stay late/do boring necessary work than the special snowflake first years who are holding down real jobs for the first time in their privileged lives.

      You’re not stuck. Get cracking.

      • Job Advice OP :

        Thanks–my network is in SV, but I am now on East Coast. I am going to get a few partners from SV offices to put my resume in for East Coast firms, as I am not licensed in CA/can’t make that move quite yet bc most SV offices severely overhired juniors during the last IPO boom (so none need laterals right now). I do have great relationships with old firm, but was very B+ – y my 1L year (since much higher). So I wasn’t a candidate at OCI for my old firms, but my foot is in the door for biglaw and I really aced all of my 2L and 3L classes. I am hopeful that personal intros from partners will help with the lateral action.

        Thank you all again for your advice.

    • I say start the process now and test the market. I had to jump ship in a similar situation and found a job within 6-8 weeks. But if you can, be picky about the next job you take, because it will be important to stay there for a while so you don’t look like you change jobs too frequently.

    • I’m wondering if you are at my old firm. Here is your blessing to start looking now. Trust your gut that something is going awry and although it stinks, your only choices are to be looking with only a year there or be looking when everyone is clawing their way off the ship with you. Start now. You clearly have the chops -not only were you hired by a biglaw firm (which is pretty much the only credential the other biglaws need) but you had substantive experience before – and are barred in two states! If you are likeable in an interview, you have nothing but possibilities. I went in-house, but in my experience, plenty of big firms are looking for other associates at other big firms. Don’t focus on your bonus or hours or that it’s a sinking ship in your interviews, mention that your practice group isn’t developing how you thought and you want to thrive in a group where you can contribute to the practice, etc., etc. You spin this into you being a wise and savvy attorney (even though you are a first year, you have the chops!) who is looking at her growth and the group and firm’s growth. Firms want to hear that you want to make partner there (even if you really don’t) and want to hear that you want to contribute and grow the practice with them. Obviously, focus more on what the new practice has and how you can contribute and less on the cons of your old firm. Good luck; I’m sure you’ll land on your feet!

    • It has been my personal experience that you are only doing yourself a disservice if you are NOT networking on a regular basis and aware of how your industry is doing. I didn’t take this advice and was laid off from a job I loved and scrambled for three months until I found a job.

      Like anon in SV said, the time to start reaching out to people is now. I’m sure you know all of this already, but it is worth repeating: Look at your school’s alumni database (undergrad and law school) and ask if people would be willing to meet for lunch or coffee. Also, sign up for the Attorney Jobs in the USA job alert emails. Biglaw firms have paid their bonuses and people are on the move this time of year. I personally moved from a midsized firm to a biglaw firm, so know that it can happen.

      Honestly, looking for a job sucks. It’s terrible. It’s time consuming and exhausting because you always have to be “on” and friendly and convince people to like you (even just when you’re meeting them for coffee or lunch). I’d also really try to focus between now and the end of May on the job search, because once Memorial Day/school being done/summer associates happens, the focus is not on hiring a lateral associate.

      I second the “don’t use a recruiter.” It’s very expensive for the firms and if you can get your foot in the door without the recruiter, it’s a big plus in your favor.

      Good luck.

    • A good friend of mine was in a similar situation with her firm back 2007/2008, before many of the big firms started lay-offs and other problems. Based on her experience, as well as the experience of folks slightly later (Dewey), I think it is better to start looking sooner rather than later. You don’t want to be the last one off a sinking ship. Be proactive – reach out to your network, look at job postings, reach out to your law school.

    • full of ideas :

      Jump ship! I have a few friends who moved firms before 1 year in, and they are doing good. Sometimes the firm is just not the right fit, and people get that. Just try not to make it a pattern

  13. Scale recommendation? I’ve had a FitBit Aria for a couple years and it stopped working. Spent an hour with their support, and there’s nothing to be done. No replacement (out of warranty), no repair options, not even safe disposal options. I really don’t want to throw one in the landfill every couple years, so I’m looking for a better choice to replace it. A smart scale would be nice, but priority is accurate and durable. Thanks!

    • Whatever is $30 at target.

    • Wildkitten :

      The Sweethome has recommendations.

    • lost academic :

      Your local electronics recycling should take it.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I got the Withings one for Christmas (I picked it out), and so far I like it. I don’t have another withings device, but I like that it syncs w/ Fitbit and gives body fat and water %. You can create profiles for everyone in your home so it knows who is standing on the scale.

  14. Jcrew v Hugo Boss sizing? :

    Quick Q: if I wear 0 regular in Jcrew dresses, should I get an 0 or 2 in Hugo Boss dresses? No nearby stores regularly carry Hugo Boss dresses in my size

    • TorontoNewbie :

      I’m a 6 or an 8 in Boss and an 4 or a 6 in JCrew, so I’d probably size down a little.

    • I’m a 0-2 in Jcrew and a 6 in Boss. I need the 6 for the hips though and get the top taken in quite a bit, so if you’re more straight you could probably get away with a 2 or 4.

    • Boss runs smaller than JCrew, I’d go up a size. 2/4 in JCrew, solidly a 6 in Boss.

    • Jcrew v Hugo Boss sizing? :

      Thanks, all!

    • I’m a 0 in J Crew and I’m bigger in Hugo Boss (2 on top; 4-6 on bottom to accommodate my hips). Hugo Boss runs smaller for sure.

      BOSS by Hugo Boss is bigger than Hugo Boss

  15. Southeast Asia with a toddler :

    I’m going to Southeast Asia for 2 weeks at the end of Nov / beginning of Dec with my husband and then-2.5 year old. We’re going to spend part of the time in Hong Kong visiting family, but want to take a week or so to explore a new area. Any recommendations for a fun area to explore? I don’t want it to be too difficult (i.e., lack of infrastructure) or a long plane ride from HK since we have to return to HK to get our flight home. I’m open to any suggestions. Thanks!

    • Chiang Mai, Thailand is a really interesting city that’s smaller and a lot more manageable than Bangkok imo. It’s also a good base from which to explore Northern Thailand, including elephant sanctuaries (I recommend Elephant Nature Park). Looks like it’s about a 3 hour nonstop flight from Hong Kong.

    • Bali

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I enjoyed Shanghai, though I don’t know how entertaining it would be to a young child. We also took a day trip to Suzhou from Shanghai. The thing I wanted to do in China that we didn’t have time for is go to Chengdu to see the panda breeding center, but I think that’s a decently long flight from Hong Kong and I don’t know if there’s much to do there other than see the pandas.

      • I was just in Shanghai and it struck me as family friendly. Lots of parks and museums to let kids run around.

    • Singapore and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur) have great public transit options, and taxis were cheap when I went (10 years ago). You can do both in 1 week. Fly into Singapore, take the bus to KL, then fly back to Hong Kong. I like Sentosa Island in Singapore, and I heard great things about the Night Safari although I didn’t go.

    • Singapore will have the best infrastructure. Taiwan could be really fun too, even with a toddler. Taking the MRT up to Beitou and wandering around the boardwalk and the indigenous cultures museum could be perfect.
      But, even in Bali, there are still blackouts and genderal less-developed-country hassles in Indonesia.

    • Southeast Asia with a toddler :

      Thanks, all! I’ll look into these.

  16. Anon for this :

    I’m an income partner at a big firm. The main partner I was working with left to go to a smaller firm. That firm is going to make me an offer to join, based purely on recommendation of my mentor. I really enjoyed working with her and most of what I know in law is from her, but I have plenty of work and supportive colleagues where I am now. My firm has more national prominence with multiple offices. The other firm is a one office firm, one tier partnership, and has a lower billable target (by 200 hours). I don’t know anyone else there except for my mentor. The work will be the same and the pay will be the same. People at the smaller firm want to meet with me, but it’s not an interview. Should I meet with them, even though I’m likely not to go over there? My main reluctance to going there is that I don’t want to have to start over again in a new setting. My other reluctance is I think that going to a less prestigious firm will make me less marketable in case I wanted to leave and go in house. What do I tell them about why I don’t want to leave?

    • You tell them ” I have plenty of work and supportive colleagues where I am now.” So you are not looking to make a change but if you are considering a change in the future, you will contact them.

      I would also chat with your mentor about why she felt it was the right decision to leave. She may have an insight or angle that you have not considered before.

      • Thanks a lot. Mentor left because she did not get elected to equity partner when she felt she had met the criteria. Also had kind a falling out with another partner, which might be why she was not elected. Also, she is getting a pay raise from the smaller firm. In my case, I would not be getting a pay raise, but then again, I don’t have a portable book of business, so even getting the partner title is a big deal. I suspect that even though she is getting paid more now, the equity partners at my current firm make a lot more, given just the disparity in hours.

    • Yes. Meet with them. Just because things are good now, does not mean they will stay that way. You may want to reevaluate in a year and this meeting could provide the in-road then. It’s just a meeting and you can learn more and do a little networking. Seems like this is a way to insure your options are available with very little risk to you.

      • Anon for This :

        Agreed that I should meet with them. But it sounds kind of greedy, not to mention presumptuous, to say “hey, maybe I’ll reach out to you guys in a year after I see how things go at my current gig,” which is a true statement. Also, I’m worried about disappointing my mentor, who went to bat to get me this opportunity (even though I did not ask her for it).

    • A couple things to consider: Will you have plenty of work with your mentor gone? I’m an associate, so it is totally different, but I had to follow the main partner I work for to keep having plenty of work. Do you want to be an equity partner? And if so, is that a realistic possibility at your current firm? You may not have to “start over” as much as you think if you go and continue to work for the same person, and may have to do so more than you think if you stay and work for new people. This is a very hard choice, and though it probably does not feel like it right now, you are lucky to have what sounds like two solid options.

      • Anon for This :

        Good points. There is actually more work for me because I am getting all of the work that normally would go to her. I’m also pushing more stuff to the associates so it’s nice to be able to pick and choose. At this point, I don’t necessarily want to be an equity partner. The only way I’ll get there is by working insane hours or bringing in huge clients, and I feel like I’m already maxed out (I also have a spouse who is working full time and I have elementary school aged kids).

        BUT, working with someone who believes in me was such a nice thing to have – she not only boosted my confidence, but she taught me a lot and even now, when I don’t know the answer, I feel the lack of a real mentor in my practice area at my firm. When she was around, I could bounce ideas off of her anytime and it was great. The other people in my group are not natural mentors – they kind of keep to themselves and kind of act like they are too busy to be bothered. It might be my own perception of them, but I don’t think they are out to mentor or teach anybody.

        AND, to be honest, I feel like I could learn more and become a better lawyer by working with a mentor, which is a weird thing to say as a partner I realize. I spend a lot of time teaching the associates, but I still feel like I can learn a lot by working with more senior folks.

        • So, and I might be missing something, but you have more work now because she didn’t take any work/clients with her? If she didn’t take work/clients with her, then what are you going to do at the new firm?

          Honestly, and I’m not in your shoes, but I’d follow the job security first, and then the mentor relationship second, especially because you seem perfectly fine at your current firm.

  17. I need some advice on coping with my mother. A couple of months ago, I ended a relationship that was objectively bad – verbal abuse, warning signs of physical abuse, substance abuse, etc. My mother tends to operate in extremes. When I first told her about the breakup, she insisted that I should toss ex’s stuff on the curb (we lived together) and change the locks and never speak to him again.

    Then she was over one day when ex came by to beg me to take him back. Now she’s done a complete 180; I should totally get back with him. I’ve told her I’m not interested in considering that. She says, well sure not right away but in a couple of months when he’s shown improvement. He’s going to therapy, it could be good again, just give it another shot and if it doesn’t work you can end it. She’s the only person in my life who makes me second guess my decision. Every conversation with her turns to re-hashing the breakup and aftermath. Changing the subject does nothing. When I tell her, I am not going to talk about this and I will hang up if you bring it up again, she gets offended, “Well I’m just trying to be here for you.” I’ve tried to enlist my dad and brother to talk some sense into her and that has a temporary effect – “Did you know your brother is horrified by ex’s behavior? Maybe you’re right to leave him” – but she sort of forgets after a few days. Dealing with my mother has become more draining than the breakup. Other than distancing myself from mom, what can I do here?

    • Start hanging up the phone. Rinse, repeat. Tell her that if she continues to bring this up, there will be no conversations at all, period, then stick with it.

      • Not over the same issue, but my dad threw temper tantrums like your mom’s for a long time when I was first enforcing some conversational boundaries. Guess what? He got over it after he learned that yes, I really would hang up the phone and refuse to speak to him for 24 hours.

    • Firm up on the not talking about it with her. Tell her that if she mentions him again, including mentioning what anyone else thinks about the situation, you will hang up. You will not give her a warning like ‘Mom, don’t talk about him’, you will just hang up. And you will not talk to her about anything for 24 hours thereafter. Tell her that she is making your life miserable by constantly bringing this up and you are done talking about him in any capacity. If you are with her in person and she mentions him, get up and leave. If she challenges that just repeat “Mom, I am not going to talk about that subject” again and again as you put on coat and leave.

    • Hang up immediately when she brings it up every. Single. Time. Stop dealing with her. If that creates distance for a while so be it.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Tough love – there isn’t anything you can do besides stop sharing things about your relationship and put up some boundaries. I have a mother like this – what she’s doing to you is a form of gaslighting and it is not ok. My mother and I ultimately ended up no contact for a multitude of reasons but if you can try to set some boundaries with your mother and those work that is probably the best thing to do. Next time she brings up your ex, try responding with “Mom, we’ve been over all this already and I am not going to continue to discuss it with you.” If she persists, hang up the phone / leave. For some more narcissistic parents who are less extreme (by narcissistic I mean those who want to involve themselves in the storyline even to their child’s detriment) this can be effective. I would also check out captain awkward’s blog as it deals with some of this as well as the reddit Raised by Narcissists.

      I just want to provide you with the ammo (albeit from an internet stranger) that what your mom is doing is not ok, is not normal and you should do what is right for you. Mentally and emotionally healthy people don’t try to get someone close to them back with an abuser.

      • +1 this is gaslighting. She should just believe you when you tell her it was bad, not question your judgment like this. That’s not “being here for you” and you should feel free to tell her exactly that if she claims that’s what she’s trying to do.

        “Well I’m just trying to be here for you”
        “No, you’re not. You’re questioning my judgment and I don’t appreciate it. I’m not discussing this again, and if you bring it up, I will hang up without further warning.”

    • Don’t talk to your mother about your ex-relationship. “Mom, I can’t keep going over this decision, so we need to move on.” Then change the subject, and enforce your boundaries by leaving (calmly and politely) if she insists on bringing it up. Repeat as necessary.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Have you told her about the emotional/verbal abuse? If not, I would tell her more directly. “Mom, Ex was verbally and emotionally abusive, and I was beginning to become afraid that he was going to physically hurt me. I’m trying to move on and recover from our relationship and every time you bring him up it hurts my recovery. I’d really like to never speak of him again.” Then, if she brings him up again, ask her, “do you want me to be in an abusive relationship? Because that’s what I’m hearing from you right now.”

      • Yeah she knows. That’s why she was practically telling me to burn his stuff before she heard his sob story. Her take now is, well he’s in therapy he’ll get better then you won’t be in an abusive relationship! She’s frustrated with me because she thinks I’m not hearing her. And she had a relationship with him too, I understand she has her own grieving process. I’ve tried to explain to her ad nauseam why the relationship was bad and isn’t likely to get better with a couple of months of therapy. I’ve told her things that I wasn’t telling her during the relationship because I didn’t want to poison the well. At this point, though, I’m pretty tired of feeling like my decision is on trial. It’s over and I want to move on with my life.

        • You have to stop engaging with her, full stop. Hang up the phone. Walk away. Do not let her continue to engage with you on this point.

        • Stop explaining. Stop discussing.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Agreed. These are not her monkeys and not her circus. There should be no universe in which she has a “grieving process” for your former boyfriend which eclipses your own health and well being.

          Stop explaining. Just tell her you aren’t talking about this and exit if she persists.

        • Anon in NYC :

          UGH. Yeah, now is the point where you have to tell her that if she can’t stop talking about him then you’re going to have to stop speaking to her. If she brings him up I would just say, “Mom, Ex is no longer up for discussion. I have to go, I’ll talk to you later.” And repeat as necessary. I’m sorry that you’re dealing with this. If you’re not willing to stop speaking to her entirely, I think you just need to continue to enforce those boundaries and hope that she’ll recognize it sooner rather than later.

      • Also repeating “thats not up for discussion.” and changing the subject…. repeat every time. Just give a blank stare and don’t respond. Of course it’ll be a little awkward, but it will hopefully help to quell that.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Basically, take away her attention/cookie for the behavior you don’t want. Hang up. Get up and go home. Any attempt to guilt or whine, ignore. Repeat. More times than you’d like to. If she changes her behavior, you get family time. If she doesn’t, you at least don’t have to deal with her. I highly recommend Captain Awkward for scripts in dealing with this kind of thing.

      • Wildkitten :

        I had a major break up six months ago and am happy to be a sounding board if you need folks to talk to that aren’t as toxic as your mom. I know breakups can be overwhelming and it can feel like you are spending 100% of your time dumping all your feelings on your friends, so I am happy to be an additional dumping point if you need to talk through it with more folks to not overwhelm your support system. wildkitten r 3 t t 3 at google mail.

    • “Mom, I do not need to defend my actions and decisions in front of you as I am an adult capable of making my own decisions. I have also told you I was in an abusive relationship and living in fear of mental and physical harm. Do you want to play a good samaritan to please my abusive ex, get the two of us togerher again and maybe find me one day dead bc he beat me to death? No? I thought so. This is the last time we discussed this. Otherwise, go and marry that xxxx yourself.”

  18. Summer is around the corner, and I’m going on vacation. I dread wearing a swimsuit- has anyone tried the high waist bikini trend? Is it flattering? I have a large chest and behind, smaller waist, though with a tummy pooch that I hate.

    • I have a similar build and I was really impressed with Land’s End’s swimsuit options, especially the high waist bikini. It does take forever to dry once you’re done swimming though.

    • This is not exactly really what you are asking, but I have a similar body type – and definitely a tummy pooch from the baby I had 9 months ago – and I bought the Becca Prairie Rose bathing suit (mine from Nordstrom) and LOVED it. I wasn’t sure how it would work with a large bust but I thought it worked well. Perhaps a little too s3xy for certain situations but wore it on a recent vacation with my husband and he told me he thought it was the best I ever looked, even pre-baby.

      And more on point, I tried a high waisted bikini on the same trip, and thought it looked okay, but it ended at a weird place on my torso. I have a high natural waist and it didn’t go high enough, I think. So I didn’t love it for an hourglass figure.

      • Legally Brunette :

        this one?

        http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/becca-prairie-rose-crochet-one-piece-swimsuit/4472593?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&fashioncolor=BLACK

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          I have a similar style suit (from Target, bought on a whim), and I love it more than most of my pricy bathing suits. The sheer areas make the suit sexy without being skimpy.

        • Yes! I have it in the blue.

    • I saw a couple of the girls on Vanderpump Rules (don’t judge me, it’s my junk food.) wearing them, and they are young, thin, and beautiful and they looked terrible IMO. I only half liked it on Taylor Swift who is so so so skinny and even then it was a whole cultivated “look” and still kind of looked like a diaper.

      I’m built similarly to you and I do well with buying Panache or Freya swim tops on Amazon to Bare Necessities and bottoms at Target (although if you have a big butt like me, only the Merona bottoms will do. The Mossimo ones tended to be the half butt bottoms that teenaged girls wear). I don’t worry about the pooch. It’s there.

      • The skinny girls relook terrible in this style precisely because they’re skinny. You need curves, specifically a high hip to waist ratio, to rock the look.

    • I hear you. I bought a “blouson tankini” and I love it. It’s kind of like this athleta/lululemon workout tops that have a sports bra and a layer over top. If you get wet, it will cling to the pooch but if you stay dry, it’s all good :). Just search for blouson tankini or layered tankini.

    • Not recently but I had one 10 years ago after my first kid and I felt fab. I think the key is to do retro styling – pin up girl style. Halter ties, structured balconette cups on the top. This will make it look intentional.

      After three kids I’m now that mom in the tankini so I envy you being able to wear a cute two piece.

  19. Wedding Showers :

    I have a couple of questions regarding wedding showers. I am in a wedding, and the woman planning the wedding shower wants us to wear matching outfits (all black with wedding color accessories). Is this a thing nowadays? This is absurd right? No one else seems to be pushing back, but yet when I said that the bride should not be buying her own wedding shower food (costco platters and snacks) they all screamed poor, so I am buying all the food despite 2 of the other bridesmaids making considerably more than I am.

    Second, regarding the food. When discussing it, I volunteered to make 3-5 dips and then pick up quiches at a bakery, and the woman organizing the party freaked out because “dips and dippables weren’t on the bride’s menu”. Maybe I just have more easy going friends, but I have never heard of a bride setting the menu at their own bridal shower? It’s not like I am suggesting something from left field, the shower is a brunch time and the bride loves quiche.

    Also the FMIL of the bride is hosting the shower at her house. That is weird right? I was always taught that showers are hosted by either the MOH or a close friend of the bride’s family, but not either of the families involved in the wedding. Is this changing? I offered to use my parent’s house (more centrally located to everyone than my own apartment) but they didn’t go for that idea. There is another shower I am invited to that is being hosted by the bride’s grandmother.

    Frankly this whole shower, for lack of a more appropriate term, has me clutching my pearls. I guess what I really need to know is how much of a stick in the mud I am being about this whole thing.

    • I can’t comment on the weirdness or not of the location of the hosting but I will say:

      The whole matching outfits at every event thing for all of the bridesmaids has always been absurd and overly twee

      I don’t see why you’re buying all of the food and not the hostess? But if you’re responsible for buying all of the food, I think you get to decide what the food is (provided you respect people’s dietary restrictions).

      • Wedding Showers :

        I was not in on the discussions, but I think FMIL was told they were going to use her house and not asked. She has been sort of bitter sounding about a lot of the shower discussions, which has led me to believe that she was told and not asked. The woman planning the shower (who is essentially acting hostess) is a bridesmaid, but not the MOH, because the MOH is in undergrad (year 6 and counting) still and “doesn’t have time” despite taking 12 hours (sorry, I am at BEC levels with the MOH who told the bride she looked ugly/fat in half of the wedding dresses she tried on).

        To those that have suggested to take a step back out, at this point I have. I told them to buy whatever food and I will reimburse them up to $X amount. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t absolutely losing my mind and that all of this was another level of insane.

        • I had never heard that acronym before and I LOVE IT.

          This sounds like a GD trainwreck and I wish you the best getting through it!

    • My sincere sympathies. I was in a similar position cohosting a baby shower. People are so weird about hosting and planning showers. I think it is becoming more and more common for family to host showers, even though tradition dictates otherwise. Is the FMIL really the same as “the woman planning the shower”? I’ve been to showers where the FMIL merely provided the house and someone else was more of the official host and planner. I’m sorry about the food situation. No, the bride should definitely not bring her own food or be dictating the menu (although it is a nice gesture to get things the bride loves) and the host(s) should provide it.

      Regarding the clothes – I do think that’s a little odd, but I also think photos where the person of honor is wearing one color and friends are wearing a different color are cute. Black isn’t that difficult to come up with; at least it isn’t some weird color you’ll never wear again.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Your instincts are spot on – this is some serious ish and please don’t lose sight of your own reasonableness / helpful nature in life! Weddings sometimes bring out the crazy in people (ask me how I know :). My suggestions would be as follows – but the decisions of which hills to die on are yours.

      1) I would check in with the bride personally. Not in an “I am upset” manner, just to the tune of “Hey friend, I know when we discussed weddings you said you loved x and y – I just wanted to check in with you because the shower is shaping up very differently and I want to make sure that I am doing things in the way you would want them because I am excited / happy to support you through this transition”

      2) I am a hard no on non-athletic matching outfits for adults. In order to keep the peace, I personally would come back with “Happy to wear black if that is the theme, I’ve already got a black outfit that will work.” Sidebar though – is the shower morticia addams themed?

      3) If they don’t want you to bring dips, don’t bring dips and just bring the quiche.

      My final piece of advice is that if I were you I would distance myself from this trainwreck of a shower as much as possible. Show up in black, bring your quiche and don’t involve yourself any more than is necessary.

      • Ha Ha Morticia Addams

      • Wedding Showers :

        dying over Morticia Adams. No, it is not themed, but I think they thought black was easy for everyone to find. The wedding color is Lilac, so we will all be dressed in lilac jewelry and black clothes.

    • I agree with you that the matching outfits are insane, and the bride should not be bossing you around and setting a menu. The hostess should set the menu and should be open to reasonable requests like your quiche, and the bridesmaids should only contribute to the extent they want to and are financially able to. All of that stuff sounds extremely frustrating.
      But I have attended many wedding showers hosted by the bride’s mother or future mother-in-law. It may not be officially approved by the etiqu e t t e books, but it is pretty common in my experience and I would not balk at that at all. I’m 31 and have lived in a couple different regions of the US, fwiw.

    • (1) Matching outfits – 100% absurd.

      (2) Bride dictating food at her bridal shower (unless there are legitimate health reasons) – 100% absurd.

      (3) Location – meh? I think traditionally it is hosted by the bridal party, but I’ve been to plenty hosted by various family members.

      Despite my feelings on the above, you probably have to roll with the absurdity so that the bride and host doesn’t have a complete meltdown and make you the bad actor.

      • I have changed my mind on what you should do – I agree with the poster above who said to do as little as possible and remove yourself from this nonsense. Bring your quiche, show up, and wear whatever you want unless the bride is going to hate you forever and you care about continuing the friendship.

    • Who is planning this shower? Let them make decisions about food. Follow their requests on attire to the extent you want to/can (it’s weird, but oh well). If all the bridesmaids are contributing money and/or volunteering time, tell them the amount you are comfortable contributing, and leave it at that.

    • I don’t think it’s weird for the FMIL to host a shower. It’s a really sweet gesture, actually.

      When you said matching outfits I thought you were going to be required to buy matching dresses for the occasion, which is completely absurd. But a black dress plus wedding color accessories is not that big of an imposition. You have a black dress, right? You have some accessory that is close enough to the wedding color(s)? Or you can go to Target and pick up a bracelet or scarf? Just go with it.

      Re the food – I wouldn’t interpret FMIL’s reference to the “bride’s menu” to be a literal thing. Sounds to me like FMIL asked the bride what kind of food she wanted, bride said idk Costco platters?, and now FMIL is working herself up for no reason. I also don’t know how you let yourself get roped into buying all the food – tell them no, you will bring a quiche or contribute $X, they can pick which.

      • Wedding Showers :

        I was not clear. The FMIL is letting us use her house, the woman planning the event is a bridesmaid and is also the person who said no to dips because it wasn’t on the “bride’s menu”.

        I am stuck with the cost of all the food because the other bridesmaids wanted the bride to buy the food. When I said she shouldn’t be buying her own shower food they all said they couldn’t afford $40 each (and no, no one is having to fly in or get a hotel for this or the wedding, the furthest anyone is coming is a 4 hour drive). I am buying the food because just the thought of the bride buying her own shower food induces pearl clutching.

    • Nothing to add although this reminds me of the “Teacher Appreciation Day” saga being followed on a certain podcast. #notagging

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      All of that is weird and obnoxious except FMIL hosting. In my circle, most of us were living in city apartments and condos when getting married, so we didn’t have the space (or parking) to host showers, while aunts and mothers out in the suburbs did. Even Emily Post finds this acceptable. I always found the “no family should host because it looks gift grabby” thing weird. It’s not like FMIL will be enjoying their new sheets and cookware.

      I agree to distance yourself from this shower. After four rounds of being bridesmaid, I find there are a lot of opportunities for hive mind of stupid Pinterest ideas to take control. One person mentions wearing matching accessories, somebody thinks it’s cute, then it’s a Thing We’re Doing and nobody has the guts to say no. Rinse and repeat for each wedding event!

    • Wildkitten :

      This is totally nuts but if you own a black outfit, I’d just wear it. (I wish more of life had a “wear black” dress code)

  20. Sloan Sabbith :

    App recommendation: FitStar.

    I saw it on the Fitbit app and was somewhat interested- enough to download it. Trying to work out more and generally be healthier. I’ve been getting 10K steps a day on average for the last month or so, but I wanted an actual routine.

    The routines are of varying lengths, I love the videos that show how to do the moves correctly (although I still screw it up often), and it calibrates to where you are fitness-wise. It’s left me nicely sore for the last few days.

  21. Who makes the best heels for people with wide feet?

    • JuniorMinion :

      You may not like this suggestion but I have really wide feet that I did some damage to figure skating and have found that hands down the most comfortable shoes I have came from payless – specifically comfort plus by predictions and dexflex comfort. Literally all of my work shoes are from these two lines.

      • Same, right down to the bunions from figure skating ;) The only heels I’ve ever found truly comfortable are from Payless.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1 to dexflex comfort. Discovered them while pregnant and love them so much.

    • Rockport’s Total Motion line comes in wide. I’ve been preaching the TM gospel to all my working friends. FYI – I have to order a half size down in Rockport and so did my wide-footed friend.

      If you’re unfamiliar – their TM line is a partnership with adidas, so these heels have amazing padding and support. I’ve basically stopped wearing all my other heels.

      • +1 Love my rockport total motion for my wide feet. One caveat: the shoes fit differently between designs. I find that typically the flats are VERY wide while the heels are just wide enough

    • Take a look at Trotters, which come in wides. I don’t love all their designs but I really like the Penelope, not very exciting but goes with everything.

      • Clarks is good for casual shoes (including casual heels) but don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for.

      • On the pricey end I like Donald J. Pliner. I’ve tried on, lusted after, but never purchased Paul Green.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to trotters and clarks. You do have to filter, but there are gems in the mix.

    • My feet are only wide in the front and I find that I need a strap, for the most part. I have some Rockport Total Motion pumps that are comfortable, but when I added a detached strap that kind of turns the shoe into a Mary Jane it became much more comfortable.

    • I’m a new convert to the new Naturalizer wide fit pumps–specifically, the Natalie. Loved them so much that I immediately bought them in more colors. I used to wear Rockport or the Payless shoes, but I’m in love now. And FWIW, they come in all kinds of nude-for-you shades, which I like.

    • Anne Klein Sport Wedges!!! You can find them at DSW for about $50. I used to buy $300 shoes and I recently converted.

  22. Corso Como? :

    Thoughts on quality and sizing? I saw a great deal for some CC pumps on Amazon Prime and they look beautiful, but I’ve never tried the brand before.

    • Wearing my del pumps right now! I really like them, comfortable, great classic shapes. I have a beige patent. True to size. I did buy them on sale, and I wear them only in the office (keep them under my desk) so I can’t speak to outdoor wear and tear. But they are great no fuss shoes.

    • I have two pairs of the Del pumps — I really like them. My usual size fits well.

    • I have had a few pairs of boots from corso como — they are real leather and comfortable. Go for it!

      I find they run a tad long & narrow. I buy about half my shoes in an 8.5 and half in a 9, and for boots, I wanted to be able to wear thick socks. For pumps, I’d have gone with an 8.5.

    • First Year Anon :

      I love their shoes. Wearing a pair of their flats right now. The padding is nice, and I like how it is not smooth/shiny leather which causes my sweaty feet to get more sweaty. highly recommend! especially for the price point.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I found them very uncomfortable. I’m a big fan of Louis et cie pumps.

    • Several friends swear by the Dels and say they’re super comfortable. I love the look of the shoes, but don’t find them particularly comfortable. I sized down 1/2 size for patent and true to size for leather.

    • Several friends swear by the Dels and say they’re super comfortable. I love the look of the shoes, but don’t find them particularly comfortable. I sized up 1/2 size for patent and true to size for leather.

    • I would order up if the toe is pointy. I had tried a pair of pointed CC flats and they were a little short. May not be a problem if you have a narrow foot.

  23. On saturday I find out if I got a reservation for eleven madison park for my birthday (via amex concierge). I’m nervous because on one hand, if I don’t get it I can save the money, but if I do, I will be so excited because it’s one of my dream places (to eat at).

    • Anon in NYC :

      Fingers crossed!

    • Yay!! How do you get a reservation?

      • I have an amex with concierge service and I just called them and asked for them to try and get me a reservation when their books open. I think the other way is to call them at like 8am on the first day of the month or something, or use the restaurant’s online reservation system.

    • Fun! I went years ago, and it was amazing and memorable!

  24. Any suggestions for furniture (chairs and/or coffee and accent tables) that pairs well with a couch that looks like this except a bit lighter and smaller: http://imageresizer.furnituredealer.net/img/remote/images.furnituredealer.net/img/products%2Fbenchcraft%2Fcolor%2Fmaier_4520066%2B17-b0.jpg?scale=both&width=500&height=500&f.sharpen=25&down.preserve=0

    • Can you give us more of a sense of what you’re looking for in terms of style, price point, colors, what the rest of the room looks like, etc?

  25. test

  26. Is anyone getting a “prove that you’re not a robot by clicking this captcha” when clicking through from their RSS-reader? Kat, have you changed security settings? I am accessing from Europe.

  27. Thrifting? :

    Calling my fellow thrift store shoppers. What are your favorite places to go in the DC/MD area?

    • Sorry if this is a silly question but I feel people use the term widely. Do you mean “thrifting” as in goodwill, etc.? Or “thrifting” as in boutiques that sell secondhand vintage that is typically expensive (at least in my experience)?

    • I go to Value Village for kids clothing but have not found a good thrift store for me. All the places seem to have ridiculously high prices, e.g. $20 for an H&M dress.

      BTW, I love the posted shirt, especially the pairing with leopard flats.

    • Camp Springs/Clinton/Andrews Air Force Base area has 2 good big stores, with different deals on each day: Village Thrift Stores (6307 Allentown Rd, Camp Springs, MD 20748) and Value Village (4917 Allentown Rd, Suitland, MD 20746). I think Sunday is 50% off everything at Village Thrift Stores (you need the store card but it is free and you can get it at the register before you check-out). There is also a good Peruvian chicken place near Village Thrift if you want a good lunch as well (Papi’s Chicken, 6315 Old Branch Ave, Temple Hills, MD 20748).

    • dc thrift :

      Goodwill at Huntington, Columbia Pike, and NE DC by Costco. Huntington always has designer things.

    • Buffalo Exchange. More curated than a thrift store, but less expensive than consignment.

  28. Oh boy. I just found two mm lafleur dresses that I ordered on a whim and then thought I returned (not because I didn’t like them but because I decided I didn’t need to spend $$$ on new dresses). In my office closet. Unreturned. Guess they’re mine now!

  29. Marketing Books? :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for books and websites to learn about marketing and content generation? There’s an opportunity at work I’d like to take advantage of but don’t have any background in it.

    • I liked Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan. It’s a little more targeted at social media but I found it to be a simple intro.

  30. West coaster here sporting first bare legs of the season – woo hoo!!

    I know my legs look better in hose (I’ve been wearing a lot of nude fishies) but this morning after a night of insomnia I could not bring myself deal with hose.

    Happy spring, all!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Seattleite here. It’s raining. Again. I’m pretty sure it’s going to rain forever at this point.

    • Anonymous :

      Midwesterner here who wore bare legs for a good chunk of late February and early March when it was 65+. I go by the weather not the calendar. But now I’m back to tights because it’s 40 and raining.

    • Anonymous :

      LOL, I’m a Portlander headed to Florida for work next week, and was stressing/joyful over bare legs.

    • Annoyed with winter :

      Well here in Boston we’re getting snow tomorrow so…. jealous

  31. Just gotta share: S-Town podcast is SO good!

  32. Hashtagfeminism :

    I just need to rant momentarily–I’m interviewing a guy today to be one of my partners and I told him I may return part time when I return from maternity leave. His response: “must be hormonal, I guess.”

  33. Anonforthis :

    just need to rant momentarily–I’m interviewing a guy today to be one of my partners and I told him I may return part time when I return from maternity leave. His response: “must be hormonal, I guess.”

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      I’d play innocent and confused. “What do you mean?”

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      WTF? Looks like somebody needs to be passed over for the position!

      • Anonymous :

        Way too harsh. This is something that would cross my mind re: pregnancy and childbirth because of all the changes that happen but I would not say it loud. Not sure what response I would give but this is not something to deny someone a position over—if it made you uncomfortable, then bring it up directly and explain the reasons why. It could end up being a “teachable moment” for him.

        • Anonymous :

          Um, not way too harsh. There’s no way I’d hire a guy who made a comment like this in a job interview. It sounds like she owns or co-owns her own law firm, and she’s under no obligation to hire people who have sexist and outdated views. If it’s an existing colleague, I agree that treating it as a teachable moment is probably the best course of action for correcting the comment while preserving a decent relationship. But this guy isn’t a colleague, he’s an interviewee and people get dinged for WAY less all the time.

          • Bingo. If this is how he presents himself when he is supposed to be on his best behavior, how will he be the rest of the time? Hard pass.

          • Yeah, men who say idiotic things need to get their hands slapped so they learn. Not getting a promotion because he can’t restrain yourself from saying something sexist and demeaning in an *interview context* is the least he deserves.

          • And also, can you imagine how he will treat women he’s supervising in the future if they ever have children/already have children and need to take an afternoon or morning to do something kid-related? This has future sexual harassment lawsuit written all over it.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Nope, sorry Anonymous. No need to explain that you shouldn’t be a sexist a$s in an interview. That goes unsaid.

  34. Another feminine but professional option is the Godet shirt in white or black, from Canadian made and designed Pink Tartan. The ruffle is featured in the sleeve and fits really well https://pinktartan.ca/collections/womens-button-down-shirts/products/p010309347-white

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