Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Vivianes Checked Felt Blazer

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

Oversized blazers are everywhere right now, and I really like this checked one by Malene Berger. I like it as styled here, with a simple white top and cropped black pants, but I think we should do a post soon on how to wear oversized blazers, because there’s a lot of ways it can go wrong. Readers, I’d love to hear from you: Are you wearing oversized blazers? Which have been your favorite, and what are your favorite style tips for them? This one is $595 at Net-a-Porter. Vivianes Checked Felt Blazer

More affordable options are at Nordstrom (straight sizes and plus sizes) and Target (plus sizes).

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Yay I just got a job offer I’m pretty excited about!
    Why only pretty excited? Because I’ve had a string of horrifically toxic jobs. Part of it’s my industry (a lot of ‘fly by night’ operations in tech, and I’ve gotten way better at vetting them), part of it plain bad luck, and part of it was that my mental health didn’t really contribute to positive experiences, which I’ve now dealt with very thoroughly.
    Anyway, how do you go into a new job situation excited and optimistic after a string of negative experiences? Any advice? Anyone dealt with similar?

    • Yes, this was me too! Prior to my current job, I had had such a long string of negative work experiences that I was beginning to think a) I am just chronically unhappy in any work situation, and/or b) there’s no such thing as a healthy, functional office culture anywhere. It was a big leap of faith for me to leave my last company, and to turn down the first 2 offers I got this round of applications. I just couldn’t imagine that anything good was coming to me, work-wise. However, I am now over-the-moon happy in my new workplace, and so glad I took those risks.

      Things that helped:
      –Recognizing red flags in the recruitment/interview process and not playing them down. I am proud that I finally did this on my last round of interviews, as our judgment is often better than we think it is–as long as we actually listen to it. Ask A Manager had a great open thread called something like “What Red Flags Did You Ignore?” that’s good as a list of signs not to take a job in the first place. (I realize you are past this stage though.)
      –Talking to friends in my field who had recently made job changes and were happy. How did they decide to move? What is better about their new situations? Honestly, this helped convince me that work satisfaction is even possible.
      –Assuming good faith in all new colleagues, and take their words at face value unless and until they show some reason not to trust them. I know this can be hard when you’ve had a lot of bad experiences!
      –Identify some colleagues who you relate to, more or less, and look for cues in their attitudes. Often, people will warn you of pitfalls to avoid or reassure you that this-or-that incident happens to everyone and is not personal.
      –Be friendly and accommodating when people correct your newbie mistakes. Then make every effort to learn from them. I have a couple of colleagues who are very gruff when they give corrections, but by demonstrating that I mean well I seem to have won them over. I also recognize that they’re not actually down on me, they just don’t deliver criticism very diplomatically.
      –Give yourself lots of decompression time after work and on weekends while you’re acclimating to the new job. At least for me, the transition has involved a lot of mental processing and even journaling, etc. on how drastic a change I have made. I’ve realized that it may even feel more significant to me than being in a new relationship would. After all, work is where I spend most of my time and is a huge part of my identity.

      Sorry for the super-long screed! As you can probably tell, I am still working through all of this myself. Congrats on the new job, and here’s to WAY better days ahead for both of us!

      • Thanks for these! I’ve just accepted a new position myself and have been wondering for the past couple of years, at least, how anyone could really be that “into” their jobs or careers. Here’s hoping a new job is part of the solution! And congrats on your job change!

        • Congrats to you, too! New beginnings, January!

        • Shopaholic :

          Congratulations January! I saw your posts over the last few months about your old firm and I’m so glad you found something else.

          I am in the same boat – just having recently started a new position after a less than ideal work environment at my old firm. It is a bit of culture shock, because people are nice and clear and organized and I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop but I’m starting to learn that some firms work like this and it’s not supposed to be toxic and stressful all the time.

          My best advice would be – give yourself time to adjust. And be patient with yourself. Starting a new job is a big transition, especially when you’re coming from a more negative experience.

        • Thank you both!! I’m thrilled to be moving on.

      • Thank you so much for the thorough answer! There were a couple of let’s say yellow flags, but I talked through all of them with the recruiter who gave me very real answers, and I immediately felt 100% better about the job. The US office is still very small so it will be hard for me to follow some of your other advice, but here’s hoping all goes well!

      • This is really helpful Monday, I was still kicking myself for declining the first offer I got (twice, as they insisted). Now, I have a clearer plan and will be looking out for red flags

    • I wrote you something very long that is apparently in moderation. Please check back!

  2. I haven’t done this look for work yet, but I think I’d pair an oversized blazer with slim ankle pants for balance.

    Question: I prefer savory to sweet oatmeal but have gotten bored with my current go-to of sea salt and crunchy peanut butter. What are some other things that are easy and don’t require any separate cooking in the morning? Pinterest is full of delicious, complicated ideas and I need something that basically works with pantry staples and can be made in 5 minutes or less.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Onion, baby spinach + pecorino cheese. Saute the veggies in the pot for a few minutes and then add the oats and liquid. Add in the cheese after you’ve removed it from the heat. On weekends, I like to top this with a fried egg. I think if you have the veggies prepped the night before, it should be really easy in the morning.

    • My kids love unsweetened almond milk and powdered cinnamon. Not savory exactly, but it’s not sweet at all.

    • I’m a tall and I love this look. I like a short skirt and a loooong jacket, worn with nails that shine like justice

    • Maybe add sriracha to the sea salt and peanut butter?

      • Ooh – I would totally do a bahn mi style seasoning, brown sugar mixed into peanuty butter along with gouchang (sp?) sauce and sesame oil, topped with crunchy shredded carrots/cucumbers/peanuts/cabbage.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Not oatmeal, but cottage cheese + sliced cucumbers + halved grape tomatoes with salt and fresh pepper. Savory, high protein, fast.

    • I roast a big batch of grape or cherry tomatoes at the beginning of the week with garlic and a light touch of olive oil, balsamic, and s+p, herbs. Portion them out into small containers, add some fresh green herbs (I do parsley), and dump them on your oatmeal. So. So. So. good.

    • guacamole

    • I like chia seeds in my oatmeal. Adds a little bit more texture. I also use unflavored collagen powder for a relatively tasteless pop of protein.

    • I often wear a sweater with skinny jeans on the weekend, but often this focuses on my tuchus, so I like to wear the sweater VERY large so that it fully goes down almost to my chins.

    • feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, avocado.
      Basically anything that you want to make into sandwich :)

    • I just showed the manageing partner this blazer. He turned it down b/c he thinks it look’s like a horse blanket and does NOT want me wearing anything like this. FOOEY! I need some variation from Red and Black solids, but he insists I look best in suits of a bright solid color, with blouses that are either white or dark colors. I wish I could be more styleish but he is the one that approves all of my clotheing! DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Trader Joes makes everything bagel seasoning in a shaker. You could sprinkle that on top.

  3. Man, I really do not like this look 90% of the time. To me, this is one of those made-for-fashion-photos-only kind of trend. The one exception is my high school English teacher, who was tall and statuesque and totally pulled off the oversized blazer look simply because she was a bada**.

    • I had skirt suits with these jackets back in the 90s.

      It was a lot of look for a petite high-waisted pear.

    • Anonymous :

      They’re nearly always styled with skinny jeans, which looks great, but if I’m buying a blazer it’s probably not because I want to wear it with jeans…

    • Anonymous :

      Yea, it doesn’t work on me. I personally think it’s because my hips are large and it seems to work better on people with narrow hips (or just narrow all the way up and down). Even oversized jackets hug my hips, and that’s really not what they’re “supposed” to do for this trend.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I also do not think it is a flattering look on an hourglass as it completely negates the curves and leaves you looking a bit boxy and possibly thicker than you actually are. Pass.

      • Housecounsel :

        I do not like anything about this blazer! The look is so very late 1980s, yet the pattern looks like my parents’ basement couch in the 70s.

    • I think this look only works on Amazons. I have a straight figure so it seems like I ought to be able to pull off the look, but at 5’6″ I just get swallowed up in the big jacket and look like I’m wearing a lab coat.

      • Yeah, I’m a shortie (under 5’4) and I feel like this would devour me. Like, it would just look like I got the sizing wrong, not like it was intentional.

      • Agree. I’m also 5’6″. We’re not short, but oversized jackets sure make us look like we’re kids wearing our mom’s clothes.

      • I think it’s more about body type than overall size. I bet if you found one that was the right proportions you could pull it off. (Finding that might be easier said than done . . .)

    • I’m a tall and I love this look. I like a short skirt and a loooong jacket, worn with nails that shine like justice

    • This jacket looks like what Mr. Noodle would wear if it were too cold for just a vest.

    • I’m pretty short but I find this works well on me, probably because of my boyish proportions and short torso; I’ve reworked my mom’s old wool suit from the 80s and wear the blazer, with black skinny jeans or dark navy skinny jeans. Haven’t figured out what to do with the skirt yet.

  4. I have a ton of old family photos that I want to scan or have scanned. I don’t need a scanner beyond this project, but this is important enough to me that I’m willing to spend some money. Have any of you bought a scanner you were happy with for this kind of thing? Or used a service? (I’m in NYC). I tried to scan some on the scanner of a cheap 3-in-1 machine I had a few years ago and the quality was terrible.

    • Also, have any of you edited photos that you scanned this way? I’m not looking to do anything crazy, just want the option to clean them up a bit. What software did you use? How did you learn how to use it (experimenting or an online tutorial or class)? Thanks!

      • I know this isn’t all that helpful because I use my really nice scanner a work to do the scanning (HP Scanjet N6310), which is way more than you need. BUT, I use the HP software to do some basic cropping, then I can use the Windows Photo software to do some other minor editing as well.

    • Isabella the She-Wolf :

      Do you have the negatives, or just the prints? Scanning the negatives will get you better results, but it takes a different kind of machine.

      It’s been too long time since I scanned photos for me to offer specific brand recs, sorry.

    • I scanned old family photos (like 100+ years old) using a Canon 3-in-1 about 5 years ago and I was very pleased –
      impressed even – with how the photos turned out. I was able to post them all to Ancestry so other relatives could see them. I’d probably just start with Amazon and go from there (not the most helpful, I know. Just saying that it doesn’t necessarily need to be something fancy.)

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I had all my old high school and undergrad photos scanned at a photo/print store and put on disc. It was pretty reasonable – maybe $100 for all my photos.

    • Strange suggestion – my dad took his old family photos and found a well lit area of the house without shadows and just took pictures of the pictures. Then saved them all to one place. It’s fantastic, they’re all JPEG files. You can’t tell a difference from a true scan. Just a suggestion – will take a little time but no money.

      • As an artist who used to have to take pictures of my work, this is usually really hard to do well. (Your dad must have a gift!) You need completely even light (very hard to achieve without a fill light), usually need a tripod to get a stable image, and if the images you are photographing are at all glossy glare is a problem.

    • We used ScanCafe and were very happy with it. If you don’t know anything about digital imagery I would delegate this. If you do want to do it yourself make sure you are scanning as a high resolution (300 DPI or more if you want to enlarge the image) and using an image file format, not a PDF, ideally a lossless format like a TIFF or PNG. If the photos are never going to be printed you don’t need such high resolution, and if you aren’t planning to do any editing a JPEG is okay.

    • We did this using the Costco scanning service and are pleased with it. It worked better to throw money at the problem than to keep looking at the stack of albums and say we’ll get to it one day.

    • What I would do/have done is take photos of the photos on an iPhone at full resolution (hard to do as you need to watch light and shadows but not impossible) and then send the originals to a film processing company (check out Richards Photo Lab, Photoworks SF, there are more, those are just two I know and trust) and get professional scans done.

  5. Arundhati Roy :

    Hi hive,

    I will be in the LA area in June with DH and can’t seem to find any good, not super expensive, towns to stay and do fun stuff (i have spent a lot of time in SoCal in previous trips and a day/weekend in LA). Any recommendations of budget places to go/ stay/ things to do/ restaurants… I will have a car so can drive up or down. TIA!

    • It’s been a few years, but DH and I spent some time on the Redondo/Hermosa/Manhattan Beach areas. I think we actually stayed at a hotel in Torrance, which was a lot less expensive than being right on the beach, but only a few minutes drive away. I don’t remember having a problem with parking. We only went for a couple of days and spent time on the beach and rented bikes to ride along the strand.

      • Agree–I am from the Palos Verdes Peninsula and while there are almost no hotels in PV, Torrance is really close to so much stuff, and will be cheaper than Redondo or Hermosa but about a 5 minute drive away.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Pasadena! Old Town has shopping and dining, the Gamble House and Norton Simon Museum are right there, the Huntington Library and Gardens is great, you can drive up to Mt. Wilson if that’s your bag, there are a ton of great hiking trails if that’s your bag, and you can call me and we can have drinks or lunch!

    • I second both of the recommendations you’ve already gotten above.

      The South Bay (Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach) is a great little beach community. I am not sure if it qualifies as “budget” though. As someone else mentioned, you can bike or walk around the strand, both towns have very cute main streets with tons of shops and restaurants (Manhattan Beach Blvd and Manhattan Ave in MB and Pier Ave in Hermosa). You could drive to Palos Verdes and go hiking.

      Pasadena is also great and the weather will be reliably nicer there in June than at the beach, if that matters to you.

  6. I’ve been very unhappy in my career for close to two years now. I’m not sure switching jobs is the cure, as I really have no idea what I’d rather do instead. Has anyone had luck hiring a life coach to figure this stuff out? It sounds hokey and gimmicky, but I’m not getting very far on my own. All I know is that I can’t stand waking up every morning dreading the day ahead. It’s really sad; this used to be a great place to work and I was an incredibly engaged employee until the burnout set in.

    • I’m kind of inherently skeptical of life coaches, but a big believer in traditional therapy… have you explored it in therapy yet? It could be your job, but it could also be something larger like depression, or a combination of the two.

    • Career coach :

      I don’t know about a life coach but if you’re unhappy with your career why not consider a career coach? I loved mine in Boston – -Maryanne Peabody, in case anyone wants a suggestion. She was fantastic. I’m now extremely happy in my job.

    • Check out the book Designing Your Life.

      • Or the book Pathfinder. It has many of the same exercises that a life coach would take you through.

    • a therapist is probably a better bet than a life coach. some have experience in career transitions and/or are able to help you identify career related stuff. also- therapists are usually at least partially covered by insurance.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a life coach, and I assure you, I am not hokey. Look for a coach with ICF certification, which will guarantee that you have someone with a certain level training, mentoring, and a certain number of client hours.

  7. I’ve been wearing the MM Lafleur Wharton jacket (a little bit oversize) and other oversize sweaters with the holy grail eileen fisher pants, structured pointy flats or other interesting low heels, and a simple white top/shell. IT’s basic but it works.

    • A new basic corpor*t*e b1tch look!

      I will try that one.

    • Have these pants replaced The Skirt?

      • Yes but to really pull this CBB look off you need to carry a Dagne Dover or a Lo and Sons bag. /s

        • I have and do wear both. And warby parker glasses, away suitcase, and sometimes an etsuko dress.

          Wave, if you see me in an airport!

      • Can someone please enlighten me regarding both The Pants and The Skirt? I’m on the lookout for both…

      • Oh man I love those pants. They are less formal than The Skirt to me- for a step above business casual, they require a structured jacket and not just a cardigan. They’re also more comfortable, and they’re easier for me to wear on a plane, running through an airport, bending down to carry things, etc.

        • Senior Attorney :

          These? https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/eileen-fisher-stretch-crepe-slim-ankle-pants-regular-petite/4211579

        • The J. Jill smooth-fit slim leg pants look really similar to the Eileen Fisher pants. I have them in both the ankle and full length and they are so comfortable and look great.

          This is a slightly different version of the ankle pant, but looks similar to the EF: https://www.jjill.com/product/we-forward-seam-slim-ankle-pants?preSelSizeType=Misses

      • I miss The Skirt!!! Anyone have recommendations for a worthy successor?

    • KateMiddletown :

      Talk to me about your white tops – I can’t decide if the ones I’m selecting are too casual.

  8. Triangle Pose :

    I’m petite. This trend is not for me. I would look like I’m playing dress up or just being swallowed whole by a blazer.

  9. Belle Boyd :

    I saw a pair of pale pink suede heels this weekend that I am IN LOVE with…. I am trying to justify buying them, but can’t figure out what to wear them with. Most — okay, all — of my wardrobe consists of black pants, black camisoles and cardis or jackets in bright colors, but I really don’t have anything pink. I’m thinking I could wear the shoes with the black pants and a black and white cardi, or with all black, but after that, I’m kinda stumped. Any suggestions from the Hive? TIA!

    • I love hot pink and light gray. Pale pink and gray can work. Gray is my black substitute when I don’t want to seem like an office goth.

    • Housecounsel :

      Can you mix in some charcoal? I love pink with gray.

    • Shopaholic :

      I have similar coloured heels (although maybe they’re more blush than a pale pink) and I wear them instead of nude heels in the summer.

    • Pale pink and navy work well together.

    • pink and navy are really nice, too

    • Baconpancakes :

      Anywhere you could wear beige heels, you can wear pink heels. If you’re pale-skinned, it acts like a nude. If you’re dark-skinned, it’s still a neutral enough color to wear with basically anything.

      Maroon pants with a pink top
      Black sheath dress, any color blazer/cardigan (distance between skirt and shoes creates a natural break)
      Grey or heathered pants with a white or ivory top
      Navy anything with a pale blue top (or white/ivory)
      MMLF Masha dress – they even show it with blush shoes on their model
      Patterned dresses and skirts, eg

      https://www.dillards.com/p/calvin-klein-floral-scuba-sheath-dress/507550749?googleShop=Y&cm_mmc=GooglePLAs-_-Vendor+-+Calvin+Klein+-+Shopping-_-g-_-null&gclid=Cj0KCQjw7Z3VBRC-ARIsAEQifZTi9_rzi65W6YaEuUq_saN2zLk-ivGzOGwZGZKytS5aarmJEW_-nOkaAttbEALw_wcB (on sale for $88, in size 16 at Macy’s)

    • I would love pink suede shoes to lighten up a black and gray or black and beige outfit in warmer weather. I don’t think I’d try to match them with pink at all!

    • Belle Boyd :

      Thank you all for the great suggestions. I think I may try to find some gray pants. They should work well with the rest of my wardrobe and will give me some more options for these shoes.

      These are the shoes I’m in love with, BTW:
      http://www.hotter.com/us/en/donna-heels?fit=&colour=Powder Pink

    • Get a matching purse. I just bought a Cuyana crossbody in a pink suede to match some booties. Most of my wardrobe is black, gray or navy and it’s been super easy working it in. It inspired me to get some pink trainers as well ,so it’s easier to work the look into warmer weather.

  10. I’m the one who ran for office last week . . . I lost. I’m now back at work trying to find my way. I realize now why more people don’t run for office. I was more qualified for the office, I campaigned harder, and I was a better campaigner (speeches, working the room, etc.). I won in every way except for votes. Our research and analysis is showing that people who did their research voted for me, but there were whole swaths of people who just followed these slates put forth by disingenuous groups. That’s why everyone thought I was going to win. We didn’t realize there are all of these people I wasn’t reaching who don’t think for themselves. We knew there were some of those people, but not as many as there were. I’m devastated.

    • Hillary, is that you?

      (/end sarcasm… but know you’re not alone!)

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’m sorry. That is disappointing. Take care of yourself this week. I agree, I am disappointed with our system more and more.

    • Thank you for the update. I am so sorry to hear that it didn’t work out for you this time. Please don’t give up! Your efforts have still been valuable. If nothing else, you got some voters to think and participate in ways they didn’t before. I am not in your party, but I’d like nothing better than to see thoughtful, principled candidates on all sides.

    • I’m so sorry – I can’t imagine what this feels like (although I bet it feels very personal even if you know that logically it wasn’t for most voters). You’re far braver than I am for even running in the first place.

    • I’m sorry. I want to run for office at some point and can only imagine how hard it must be to lose, especially for that reason. You did an impressive thing by deciding to run and trying so hard, though.

    • I’m really sorry. Working against disinformation feels like a sisyphean task.

    • Congrats! Seriously. This is politics. You didn’t win this time, but you learned, you got your name out there, and this is how you play the game. You’ll do better next time and have more opportunities.

      Also yes, most people are ignorant and don’t care.

    • I’m so proud of you.

      As someone that tries to be politically active, and knowledgeable, I too bring in lists for my local elections as it is still hard for me to devote the time needed to research all of the offices. I’m sorry….

      As a Chicagoan, I recall the stories of Obamas crushing early losses. Politics is a cruel world.

      Which is why we need more people like you in it.

      Don’t give up! You can do it!

    • Anon in NYC :

      I’m really sorry. That sucks.

    • I am sorry to hear this! I hope your allies are able to put this knowledge to good use in the future.

    • I’m really sorry you lost. We observed the same results in multiple races in our county last week, too. One candidate was insanely qualified and campaigned for months, the other one was literally just a name on the ballot, yet she got over 40% of the vote. Its very discouraging, and a bit scary. Thank you for running, and for putting in the work.

    • Please take time to grieve this loss and know that you added value to the process, even if the outcome wasn’t what you wanted. A close family member ran a tough, principled campaign and lost several years ago and he’s just coming around to believing this, but it’s true. The other candidate had to work harder, raise more money, talk to more people, because he ran against her. He gave all those other people someone to vote for.

    • Sorry you lost. What did you run for? TBH I think you and others here expect too much — who is researching local candidates and figuring out where they stand on every issue? I’m your typical well educated type that posts here and I’m not researching any position lower than governor. I either vote down the line for some random name or more likely just vote for Prez/Congress/main person on the ballet and skip the rest.

      • Maybe the “expecting too much” piece of this was expecting to win on your first (or one of your first) tries. A lot of people (see above about Obama) have suffered crippling defeats, learned a few lessons, and then gone on to be successful in later elections. I’m sorry you lost and are devastated. But please don’t let that discourage you from trying again.

      • I can’t bring myself not to research. I frequently find that candidates take opposing stands on issues that affect me directly. Both parties are such a mess right now.

        At the local level, the choices are often not that hard to make. “Wildly unqualified” vs. “qualified.” “Terrible human being” vs. “decent human being.” It doesn’t take that much research.

        • You’re preaching to the choir here. There are A LOT of people who don’t do that (as evidenced by OP’s loss), but they’re not here reading your comment. And if they were, they’d probably be put off by the smugness anyway.

          • I was responding to someone who was here reading comments, but I didn’t intend to come off as smug, though I did dislike the idea of voting for names at random.

            (I’m not sure that it’s actually a virtue of mine that I insist on voting when I know my candidate won’t win, or when I know my candidate won’t be able to accomplish their goals even if they win. Voting feels like cheap and shallow form of social engagement, or even like hand washing, when I compare myself to the many people I know who seldom vote at all, but who are otherwise more invested in local communities.)

            I doubt that the voters who voted against OP would have changed their minds if they had done more or different research or “thought for themselves.” I would guess that they knew enough to know that no further research would change their minds, because they had already taken a side based on their personal values and criteria.

            Some political candidates I’ve known have a lot (of condescending things) to say about people “voting against their own interests,” and I know that there has been some schadenfreude over people who opposed Obamacare and supported the ACA and so on, but I have not found that people are ignorant of what actually matters to them. It’s just really, really different from what matters to the people who can’t understand their choices.

      • philly ward rep :

        Not sure where you live, Anon @ 11:07, but here in Philly, we had extraordinary turnout for the DA primary last year, resulting in actual policy change with the new administration (!!). A lot of that was driven by grassroots organizing and the democratically elected reps for each neighborhood ward.

        I know that paying attention to the small local races asks a lot of us, but it’s time well spent. Look for a good government group or similar voter advocacy organization if you want to be sure that you’re getting unbiased intel. Please DON’T vote for random names–especially at the local level, a lot of those candidates are dreadful. (All the lawyers here would be horrified to know how many judicial candidates, say, aren’t recommended by the local bar association or have never argued a case in court.)

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      I’m sorry. You are truly an inspiration though to actually do it- to get your name out there, to invest so much of your time and energy, and to care passionately about these issues. I hope you run again- you are helping make the world a better place.

    • I’m so sorry. I cant imagine how it would feel to put yourself out there, work really, really hard and then not win. I’m in awe of you for trying. And I hope you got something out of the experience (although it may not be apparent now).

    • We had a similar outcome in a provincial leadership race here in Ontario (leader of the local conservative party). The more qualified, experienced candidate (who just so happened to be a woman) lost to a total thug. Who will probably become our Premier just because the same (Liberal) party has been in power 15 years and people are ready for a change. It’s a disaster and so disappointing to everyone who looks for real substance in their political representatives. Thank you for putting yourself out there and for putting in so much work, and for your contribution to democracy. I hope you can take some time for yourself in the next weeks.

      • lawsuited :

        I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the moron who won the PC leadership election was also the only man running.

    • Anon in SF :

      I’m so sorry this happened but I really admire you for trying. I remember when Dianne Feinstein lost the governor’s race. I thought she would be devastated but she turned right around and ran for US senate two years later and won! Her story is a great reminder not to give up when things don’t go the way we want the first time around.

    • Elected officials, unfortunately, don’t get hired the way normal people do. The only thing I would remind you of is that MANY people who are smart and later became skilled politicians lost their first election. You gave gained skills and knowledge in this process and if you still have a desire to serve the public, and you are willing to try again, you may have a different result last time.

    • Hey- You did what very few people even try to do. You worked to actually get elected and change things. You did your best. You should be so proud.

    • Anonymous :

      I am so sorry. I felt all my chosen candidates in the primaries were not only the best Democrats, but also the best to beat the R incumbents. And they lost and I too am devastated. But now you have name recognition and that will go a long way for next time or another office.

    • Just wanted to say – even though you didn’t win, I’m guessing your work elevated the conversation and made it better, which is hard to measure as an impact but is incredibly important. Thank you for running, and for putting in the effort to improve things.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sorry for your loss – but I want to strongly encourage you to keep showing up. Name recognition is vital in elections. Talk to elected folks and ask them if they won their first race. A whole lot don’t! But the base of knowledge you built for yourself in this race (both in what you know and the constituency that now knows you) will help you in the future.

      I used to work in policy and I admire anyone that runs for office. Handling loss in a gracious way is a great skill to have as an elected official. You aren’t going to win every election, and once elected you aren’t going to win every policy debate. But every loss helps you prepare for the next win.

    • How disappointing. :( I’m sorry!

      I’ve heard that candidates typically lose 3 times before you win from a mentor who runs a women-running-for office group, and that women get very down after loss No. 1 and quit before the win on run No. 4!

      We demand a repeat! :)

    • I am so glad you ran — thank you!
      You’re very brave. I literally can’t imagine being you right now -either before the election or after the loss. You did a great thing and i know you’ll continue to work hard and make a difference wherever your choices take you!

  11. Ok, ladies, real talk – when the late-30s metabolism slow-down sets in, and you exercise and eat all the lean, nutritious things, but that extra 10 lbs just will.not.budge – at what point do you accept it and get rid of your “thin clothes?” I have a beautiful work wardrobe, but only a small fraction of it fits. I’ve bought a couple pieces “just to hold me over until I lose the weight,” but that weight is stubborn and hasn’t gone anywhere despite my best efforts.

    I’m happy with my figure, I’m pleased with my physical performance when I exercise, and my husband still thinks I look great. I just don’t want this to be a slippery slope.

    • When I decided to love myself. Join me. It’s nice.

      • +1. The longer I’m alive, the more clearly I see that caring about an extra 10 lbs is a privilege many people don’t get to worry about.

      • +1

        This is my body and it’s great the way it is. No point in holding onto clothes for a fantasy body that I will never achieve.

    • Arundhati Roy :

      I donated all of mine last year right after I read Marie Kondo, haha. I do feel much lighter emotionally and mentally, in case that helps!

    • Following. I’m in the exact same boat. If anything, I eat better and less than I did in my 20s, but I weigh more. I do hard workouts five days a week just like I did then. I’m still at a healthy, normal weight for my height, but I miss being ten pounds lighter. Clothes fit better then.

      I buy a lot of dresses that are fitted on top and flowy on the bottom to account for my fluctuating hip/belly sizes. All my shirts still fit because I’m a pear, but I had to go up a size in jeans, pants, and skirts. At first I was depressed about it. Now I’ve accepted it.

    • No answers because I am struggling with this too. I am afraid to give in and buy pants a size bigger because that would mean I’ve given up, and because what if I just keep expanding and expanding. I have been working out like a fanatic and cutting calories for a year, and nothing seems to help. Body fat and BMI are good according to the charts, but I just don’t feel like my body is my own. I can actually feel the extra fat sitting there around my midsection and it doesn’t feel right.

    • It has been a slippery slope for me, I’m sorry to say, but I also have a chronic illness so I’m not saying it will necessarily be that way for you.

      I follow the old advice from what not to wear. I have clothing that fits me now, not some theoretical future version of me.

      Sometimes when I have been hesitant to get rid of something that I loved wearing or was expensive, I keep it in a Rubbermaid box in the attic. But ninety nine percent of the time when I look at that item in a year or so, I don’t love it as much anyway and end up donating it. I don’t believe in the concept of investment dressing in a forever sense because trends really do change and the eye adjusts, and that item you thought would be classic forever just isn’t.

      Your body changed. Bodies change for most of us. You’re happy with your body but not how your clothing fits it. I’d say you deserve new clothes!

    • “[I] exercise and eat all the lean, nutritious things…I’m pleased with my physical performance when I exercise.” I think that’s exactly when you buy new clothes. You deserve a wardrobe you like for the body you have now.

    • It’s possible that the pounds are there to stay but when I was in your shoes (10 pounds over and late 30s) I tried intermittent fasting and it has been amazing. Just don’t eat breakfast, eat all of your food from 1 – 8 pm every day. Pounds melted within a few weeks, and I’ve easily kept it off for over a year. So glad I didn’t donate my beautiful clothes! Just a thought in case you want to try something before chucking it all.

      • Housecounsel :

        I don’t know if you’re looking for tips. If you are happy with your body, please stay that way, and embrace it – and buy new, beautiful clothes that you love. I was not happy and felt uncomfortable in my skin. Intermittent fasting – noon to 8 – and cutting out added sugar (which has the effect of cutting out most processed foods) made my 40s weight stabilize at a number lower than my 30s and even my 20s. I eat a lot of protein and really don’t feel deprived.

      • Yes, this worked for me as well. I started eating between 12 and 8 pm every day and my extra 10 lbs disappeared over a 6 month period.

      • AttiredAttorney :

        I’m very intrigued by IF, but worry about my morning coffee…

        • No need to skip your coffee! Just have it black with no sugar, or add a tiny amount of milk (if you consume fewer than 50 calories you’re technically not breaking the fast).

        • I allow my morning coffee, and use nonfat milk and sugar free sweetener. Or I couldn’t function.

      • I’ve been kind of intrigued by IF, but I am absolutely ravenous when I wake up and the thought of skipping breakfast sounds impossible. Does that mean IF just isn’t for me? Or does it get better?

        • It doesn’t have to be breakfast that you skip. Pick an eight hour period of the day during which you want to eat and eat everything there. Breakfast tends to be easier for people because they want to have dinner socially or with their families, etc.

          • Legally Brunette :

            That’s true. You could stop eating at 5 pm and then eat breakfast the next day at 9 am (16 hour fasting). Personally I would find that extremely tough but it’s an option. One of the reasons I love IF is that I can eat a heavier dinner at night.

        • I think it’s worth giving it a try. When I as in my 20s and skipped breakfast, I would sometimes have a headache. But when I tried IF in my late 30s, I had no reactions at all. I think I felt a little odd the first day, but by the third day I felt great and now it’s just a lifestyle. I drink a lot of water and also sometimes green tea.

          Over the weekend, I ate pancakes for breakfast (after not eating breakfast for like 6 months) and actually felt MORE hungry throughout the day, so I know that IF is better suited for me.

          • Help me understand :

            I’M intrigued about IF as a way to shed 5 pounds of vanity weight. Breakfast is already my lightest meal, at least during the week. It’s usually a bowl of cereal or toast, so maybe 300 calories? Assuming I skip my 300 calorie breakfast but end up eating an extra 150 calories at lunch and dinner, will the IF do anything for my weight? Is it that I am unlikely to consume all of the missed calories or that my metabolism speeds up?

          • Yes, IF will help in that scenario. Read The Obesity Code and the reddit page on IF. You burn more calories once your body goes into fasting mode. It’s also unlikely you’ll make up for those calories at lunch and dinner. Initially I started eating larger lunches but now after doing IF for a while I’m just not ravenous any longer, so I eat normal sized lunches. But I don’t skimp on food at all — I make sure to eat well.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Yeah I’m in the don’t donate boat. Unless you feel like having the beautiful clothes is unpleasant, I’d keep. It’s not that I think getting rid of them is giving up, it’s that I’m generally anti-Mari Kondo in that I like my things, they do give me joy (I think it’s dumb to toss away a screwdriver because it doesn’t give me joy and then get stuck screwing in screws with a ruler or whatever). Beautiful things are still nice to have around. I don’t think this conflicts with accepting or loving your body.

        • A lot of Marie Kondo followers have added in a “joy” caveat wherein utility is either an exception or “bring you joy because you don’t have to spend valuable time/money replacing”. It’s a cop out but works.

    • embrace the s*ck :

      Who cares if it is a slippery slope?

      My children get new clothes at least seasonally, along with shoes. They always have the right clothes and everything in their closet fits.

      Why should I (or you) be any different? Get clothes that fit you. Save your favorites separately from the ones that flat-out don’t fit but are more daily-wear items. If you change sizes soon, great. If not, the replaced daily items are easily pitched. Repeat as needed and be glad that you aren’t also changing shoe sizes — that is painful. Not new clothes.

      [I have gone up a size in bottoms and I expect that over the rest of my life my size won’t be static. I don’t want to be trapped in size 2018 clothes out of some sense that I don’t deserve new clothes b/c I have failed at being the same size forever. I may *need* new clothes periodically and if I can afford them, I will get them.]

      • I agree with your larger point, but it’s silly to compare children needing new clothes every season with an adult. It’s perfectly normal for a woman to feel bad about needing to go up a size in clothing.

        • It shouldn’t be perfectly normal to feel bad about your body changing, especially since there are some changes that we have absolutely no control over; see women’s hips widening after a certain age and/or childbirth, etc. Bodies morph and that is OKAY AND NORMAL.

          • +1000000000

          • With few exceptions, adult bodies do not morph at the rate than children’s bodies do, and you know that’s true. My 4 year old outgrows his clothes every few months — most adults do not. Again, I completely agree with the larger idea that we should feel happy with our bodies. But comparing our bodies to children is nonsense.

          • For some women, sure.

            For other women, it’s perfectly normal to not be happy with an increase in body size. My body. My comfort or the lack of it. My desire to not increase the size of my body. (No, I don’t think the “fitness magazine” fake thin is good or realistic. But I also enjoy a flat and string stomach, as well as strong limbs, etc.) It’s defensive and pretty ignorant to state that needing to accept natural changes to women’s bodies after childbirth (which, most definitely) equals needing to accept women’s bodies increasing in size in general.

        • lawsuited :

          I read it as: you wouldn’t withhold clothes that fit from your children, why do it to yourself? Which I agree with. Needing new clothes because the old ones don’t fit, regardless of the reason, is nothing to punish yourself about.

      • On board with this. I am a very small person and even a 5lb fluctuation makes some of my stuff not fit. I have clothes that I love that fit me at every “normal” weight. Keep the stuff that you love. Buy stuff that fits now that you love. So what you have many clothes, there are worse problems a woman can have. Eventually you won’t like some of your old stuff – then you can donate it.

        In my experience, our bodies continue to change. Some women say it’s liberating to remove clothes that don’t fit, but for me it’s liberating not to have to go shopping when my body goes through another metamorphosis. That said – I regularly get rid of things that I just don’t like anymore. (The other day I gifted away my pleated “school girl” skirt. Just not cute anymore on a 36 year old!).

    • Anonymous :

      Most women become more insulin-resistant as they age. So maybe you would lose a few pounds if you cut out processed carbs like cereal, bread, pasta, etc, but if you like your diet and body just buy the new clothing.

  12. New Wardrobe :

    I am about to start my first big girl job soon! However I could use some help on an approach to build my wardrobe. There will be times where suits will be necessary and the rest of the time business casual leaning more formal. I’m definitely more of a dresses and skirts kind of girl. What should I get to start and build from there?

    Thanks!

    • J. Crew Factory can be a great resource for this! (And if they’re not having a 50% off sale, wait a day or two.) I wear their cotton pencil skirts in the summer, wool in the winter, and their various dresses year-round. Their dresses are great quality for the price (on sale they’re normally about $60).

      Get pieces you feel confident in and that can do double duty and go from there. In warmer weather, I wear the heck out of a navy pencil skirt and white blazer or fun colored cardigan.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Do you do something to prevent wrinkles in the cotton pencil skirts or just deal with it? I have one in a lovely green but as soon as I sit down it wrinkles and doesn’t go away! I had to give up on it and only buy j.crew (not factory) skirts now.

      • J Crew Factory is having a 50% off everything sale today, FYI.

    • I have the same workplace dress code and am also a dress lover. I would go for dresses with sleeves. That way you can wear without a blazer or add a blazer to make it more formal. I would also get a few pieces of nice jewelry to jazz up the dresses a little.

      I am partial to Boden’s dresses, many of which have sleeves (Honor Dress, Elsa Ottoman Dress, Fleur Dress). I also have some Maggy London and Lauren by Ralph Lauren. These all look great, are formal enough without a blazer, and usually don’t need to be ironed.

      • This is exactly what I do. Sheath dresses with sleeves! Most of my dresses are black and a few are other dark colors. I keep several dark separates blazers at work so that I can throw on a blazer to go to a meeting. The upside of having a bunch of black dresses is that no one can really tell if you’re wearing the same ones over and over again. You can just start out with 5 black dresses and 3 black blazers and then go from there.

        I’d suggest going on the Nordstrom and/or Nordstrom Rack website and filtering by dress, sheath silhouette, and sleeves. I’ve found a number of under-$100 work dresses that way. All the Tahari brands are good (T Tahari, Tahari, Elie Tahari), and the Boden recommendation is also good, although you’ll need to get the “long” size if you’re at all long-waisted.

      • Also, for accessories, no need to go out and buy a bunch of shoes, jewelry, and bags. You can start out with two pairs of nice black flats or pumps/wedges, some simple costume jewelry (wearing a necklace and earrings every day will make you look more polished), and a simple black tote. None of these need to be expensive. You can get away without spending much when you’re wearing dark colors and simple, classic shapes. Lighter, brighter colors, less classic shapes, and flashier jewelry/bags are harder to get right at a low price point and tend to look cheaper.

        • I’m the anon at 10:32. I agree with this. I wear the same nude patent leather pumps with every single outfit. You can get them for well under $100 and replace as necessary. A sleeved dress and nude pumps is perfect for the office and also lends itself to post-work events.

          • Another Anon :

            Question on nude pumps. Can you wear them with a black/dark dress? Trying to only bring one set of pumps to a 4 day conference but somehow my super-comfortable nude pumps make me feel like I look barefoot in my black and navy sheaths. My imagination? Over analyzing?

          • Anonymous :

            Reply to Another Anon:
            Yes, definitely! It avoids the Minnie Mouse look of black shoes especially with pale skin.

          • If you want to go slightly more modern, substitute a camel or tan or taupe colored shoe for nude pump. You won’t look barefoot, but they’re still a neutral that will look great with a black or navy dress.

            I personally save this look for no-tights weather. In the colder months I wear black tights and black shoes with black dresses and try to wear some color or a different but lighter neutral in a jacket/cardigan/scarf.

          • Yep, wear nude with black dresses and black pantsuits always. It’s rarely cold where I live, but in cold months I do black tights and black shoes instead of the nude.

      • Triangle Pose :

        The Boden Elsa Ottoman Dress is my go-to work event/work dress. It is so flattering and the seams are amazing in it. I haven’t pulled the trigger on Honor or others because I still can’t get on board with ponte for work but the ottoman fabric is my all time favorite.

        • I have the Honor in 3 colors. My two older ones are in a different fabric but the newer one is ponte. It’s admittedly more casual than the other two, but definitely still nice enough for a business casual law office.

          • Triangle Pose :

            Oh, I thought the Honor only came in ponte!

            I should have said, I can’t get on board with ponte for MY work. I totally see it can be appropriate for business casual offices.

    • I’d recommend starting with basics you are comfortable in, and then adding in different, more creative things from there. My suggestions I think could get you going for several months to a year if necessary.

      1) I’d look for a “3 piece” suit from somewhere like Banana or the limited: 1 skirt, 1 pant, 1 jacket, all matching – same fabric, same color. I’d recommend black to start with as it’s most versatile. Maybe 1 more bottom of your choice in the same color family as the suit.

      2) 5 tops. I’m not partial to prints because they are more recognizable. Choose a color family (pastels, jewel tones, brights) and look for simple tops that can go with the pants/skirt/jacket in your suit. So, if you got a black suit, don’t get black tops. I like Loft’s utility blouses and other “silky” tops, and they go on sale a lot.

      3) 2-3 toppers for days you are not wearing a suit. Maybe 2 cardigans and 1 versatile non-suit jacket in a complimentary color.

      4) Optional – 1 or 2 other pieces to mix it up. Maybe a dress. Maybe a sweater. Maybe another fun jacket.

      6) 2 pairs of shoes.

      7) a sensible bag. Amazon and Target are great for these.

    • I would start with a few solid classic sheath dresses (black, navy, grey) and add blazers when you need to be more formal. The blazers don’t need to match unless you have to wear a suit. I second the suggestion for J Crew Factory. Outlets are great for building a wardrobe. I also really like Banana Republic Factory. And shop sales – sign up for email lists so you know when sales are happening. Right now lots of fall/winter stuff is marked down.

    • Marshmallow :

      Second J. Crew Factory. Just watch the hemlines– have a tailor let them down if they are shorter than grazing the top of your kneecap (or learn to do it yourself). Loft can also be good for work-appropriate dresses, just wait until they have a 40% off sale.

      I’d get one or two affordable suits (again, try J. Crew Factory, also Banana Republic) and look for suits that come with a dress option so you have as many pieces as possible that go with the blazer. Then you can mix and match the suit pieces to expand the rest of your wardrobe.

      I’d focus on one or two neutrals with a couple of pops of color. Keep it simple until you figure out what you’re really gravitating toward on a daily basis. Spend comparatively more money on comfortable, basic shoes. Get a few simple necklaces in different metals you can use to dress up tops and dresses. Good luck!

  13. I need some input on a boundary-setting issue. I give too much even after people are awful to me. You all have given such good advice about terrible friends/SOs so I’m hoping you can help.

    My friend got married about 3 months ago. She didn’t hire a photographer, she said she was happy with whatever people took with their phones. I recently picked up photography as a hobby so I offered to bring my camera and do my best. I got about 100 good shots; I edited them and posted on social media the day after the wedding. I asked Friend if she wanted the larger files and she asked me to email them. I told her they’re too big for email, do you want them uploaded somewhere or on a flash drive or what? She didn’t respond.

    Friend and I recently had a falling out during which she called me names and was generally horrible. This isn’t the first time this has happened; in the past I’ve apologized to smooth things over but I’m not doing that anymore. I understand from another friend that Friend expects me to apologize for making [her] call [me] names – her words. So my question is this – what do I do with the wedding pics? I feel like I should put them on a flash drive and mail them to her before I delete them. But is that falling into my old pattern of giving too much – once again I’m going out of my way to do something nice for someone terrible?

    • No. Put the files on a flash drive and mail them to her. It’s the decent thing to do. Set your boundary by not apologizing and not being her friend anymore. Ever. Literally just don’t. I have zero people in my life who call me names now and it is glorious and totally achievable

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I think this is really good advice. You can move on as the better person but do not take her back. You deserve better.

      • +1. Don’t hold back the wedding photos. But then cut her off.

      • Send the pics with a note: “Dear x, enclosed is a thumb drive with your wedding pictures. I hope you enjoy them. Sincerely, Anonymous.”

        Wash you hands of this person and go out on the high road.

    • Put them on a flash drive and mail them as a way of symbolically releasing and stepping back from this friendship? That’s probably what I would do.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Honestly, your friend is in the wrong and you should stop being friends with her, but you should just download the pics onto a flash drive. Even if you don’t send them to her right away. Deleting them without saving them in some form would be one of those things that I would feel guilty about long after it was done. Spare yourself the heartache / future guilt trip.

    • What do you want to do? Will it make you feel bad to send them to your friend? Will it make you feel good? I think setting boundaries entails what do you want for your own sake (not what you think you should do, but what makes you feel good/happy/all right) and do that. If for whatever reason it gives you joy to send them to her anyway, then do that. If it doesn’t, then don’t. I think in terms of what boundaries to set, the biggest consideration is how you feel and what you want. Decide that and proceed accordingly. If you do that and she (or someone else) isn’t having it, then ignore and set the boundary as you previously decided.

    • The pictures aren’t just for her. I would upload them somewhere or put them on a flashdrive and send them to her or to someone who is acting like an adult.

    • Put the files on the drive and send them. Then walk away from that friendship with a clean conscience.

    • It was really nice of you to take those pictures. I would save them onto a flash drive but don’t send them to her until she asks for them (and apologizes to you). In the meantime, she has the social media versions so it’s not like you’re withholding anything.

    • Eh, just loading the photos onto a flash drive and mailing to her doesn’t seem like such a huge effort. I would do it and consider it like closing a clients file at work. Just be prepared it might prompt some kind of response from her (possibly a rude one) so just decide in advance how you’re going to deal with that.

      • +1

        To me these aren’t really your pictures to delete since you took them with the understanding that they were for her to have. A flash drive and postage are both pretty inexpensive, and taking the time to load them to the drive and mail it to her would be worth it to me to both cleanly cut ties and clear my conscience wrt what to do with the pictures. If you think she’ll be rude in response, you can block her number before you send it.

        • +2 to the clean break

          The friend also sounds like someone who would accuse you of holding her pictures hostage (as though as she paid you thousands of dollars to get them done) and could bad-mouth you to your mutual friends. By sending out the flash drive and deleting all pictures from your devices thereafter, you free yourself of any threads of discomfort and false allegations between you two.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 It’s the right thing to do and it makes you the better person.

    • I’d upload them to a flash drive, stick it in a drawer and forget about it. If she wakes up and apologizes somewhere down the line, you’ll have them. But no, do not go out of your way to mail anything to her.

    • Upload them to Dropbox and send them to her. No matter where your friendship ends up, that’s something you agreed to do for her and she should get the pictures. You don’t have to stay friends but I can’t imagine not getting those to her securely.

    • Also, after you follow all this wonderful above advice, get yourself to therapy!

  14. What’s your favorite way to spend quality time with your parents, or your dad in particular? I’m looking for ideas. I live in DC and we both enjoy reading, history politics etc.

    • My mom and I love to go antiquing together. We rarely buy stuff, it’s just fun to go out looking. With my grandfather, we’d stop at every historical marker we saw to learn more about the bits of history we may never have heard of. I remember one day where we followed a historic marker to a nearby historic site and spent a great couple hours exploring and getting an ice cream.

      For DC, have you done Mt Vernon? I had an annual pass for a while – it’s great through the seasons. Gettysburg?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I LOVE the idea of checking out those historical markers!

        There are so many historical sites throughout VA – there’s tons of weekend activities right there.

    • My dad and I have started going to lectures together! He loves science, and the Carnegie Institute has regular low-cost/free lectures.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Universities have tons of lectures, and they basically never check whether you’re affiliated–just show up! :)

    • One of my very favorite memories of time with my dad (who is a tough nut to crack or connect with in a lot of ways) was wandering around Arlington on a nice day. My dad is a vet, has a general like of history and politics (but is by no means a buff), and we connected over a lot that day.

    • anon a mouse :

      My dad likes plants. When he visits, we often go to the National Arboretum, Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens or the Botanic Garden (the last one is indoors so it’s great when the weather is bad).

      You might also keep tabs on author readings at Politics & Prose or 6th & I (or other area bookstores) — they get a lot of authors with history and politics books.

    • It might be a bit of a drive, but my Dad and I like to go to The Book Thing in Baltimore. It’s a free bookstore and you can find really old books and new ones!

      Also, there are a lot of Civil War battlefields around MD/VA… Antietam, Monocacy, Fredericksburg and some others.

    • It might be a bit of a drive, but my Dad and I like to go to The Book Thing in Baltimore. It’s a free bookstore and you can find really old books and new ones!

      Also, there are a lot of Civil War battlefields around MD/VA… Antietam, Monocacy, Fredericksburg and some others.

    • Legally Brunette :

      My dad LOVED visiting the Supreme Court (he’s not a lawyer). They have a small but excellent exhibit where you can go at your own pace, and they also have free lectures a few times a week. It was fantastic.

  15. How soon is too soon to suggest meeting the parents? Obvi the answer is “it depends” but anyone want to weigh in? We started dating a couple months ago, I’d like to invite him to Passover (we both celebrate it) with my (local) family. But if people think two months is like shockingly crazy early to even suggest this maybe I won’t bevause I don’t want to scare him off.

    • There’s no generic answer to this. I was engaged a month into dating my husband and took him to thanksgiving to meet my family around the same time. If you’re serious and both of you feel that way, no harm in inviting him. I don’t really believe in scaring people off – it could end because things are “feeling way too serious” but that’s really just code for someone not being on the same page as you and as much as that can hurt, it’s better to find out before you get too invested.

      • Woah one month?!? Why? How? #goals

        • Honestly we just connected immediately. Helped that we were both over 40 and had a bunch of prior relationships we learned from between us. It was lucky magic. We married 6 months after we met and our 3 year anniversary is next month. It’s still magic. I feel beyond lucky.

        • Oh, and it was just the when Harry met Sally quote on why – “when you meet the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you want that life to start right away”

        • My parents were engaged after 3 weeks and married 6 months later. They’ve been married 37 years. (Meanwhile I’m 33 and still single.)

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        My bf met my family within a week of us becoming a couple, because that was when they were in town.

    • Depends on whether you’re still casually dating and not sure yet how into him you are or whether you’re both pretty obviously into each other. If the latter, then I’d go ahead and invite him. You sound comfortable with the idea of him meeting your family and that usually means it’s fine. You can also give him an out and tell him you get it if he’s not up for Family Passover, but your family is pretty low-key and you thought it’d be fun.

    • Depends on your family but for me at 2 months would be a no even if it felt like he was the one. Aside from my parents, I tend to have aunts in attendance at these functions – love them but they have zero ability to let anything go. They bring up things like “you said you wanted no kids and didn’t want to be a dr” – as you’re like uh, I was 15 – any chance I could change my mind in the last 12 yrs? So in my case, I’d bring him, we’d break up and for the next 20 yrs it would be – why didn’t you marry Joe you liked him so much when you brought him to Passover 15 yrs ago. No thanks.

    • It depends how your relationship is going. We both knew (but hadn’t yet discussed) that we wanted to marry the other by 2 months. I think he met my mom somewhere around that time when she was in town for a visit. I met his entire family (second cousins and everything) at 5 months for his grandmother’s birthday.

      I think offering to celebrate a holiday together, esp if you have local family and he doesn’t, is just a nice thing to do, not necessarily a relationship milestone, ya know? I think it’s different than, “Hey, come have dinner with my parents.”

    • Ask him! Tell him just what you wrote here, that you’d like to invite him but understand that it might be too early. And then accept whatever his answer is with grace.

    • My husband met my family about 2 weeks into dating me because everyone was in town for a wedding (he wasn’t invited, just met them beforehand at a casual dinner). He didn’t spend significant time with them until he came to thanksgiving three months later and in hindsight that was too much too soon. I was convinced he was going to break up with me the entire weekend. But my family can be … a lot. Maybe yours is more laid back.

      • They are pretty chill, and it would just be the meal, not staying over.

        People seem to think I’m not cray so I think I will suggest it and not make it a big deal if he’s not up for it (j/k I’ll obvi cry but I’ll hide my crazy from him real well promise).

    • I think the context matters. If you’re dating fairly casually, then probably inappropriate. If you’re already seeing each other every weekend, multiple times a week, etc., and are on your way to establishing a serious relationship… I don’t think it’s out of the question. I’m in my 30s. If you’re significantly younger (like 25), the answer might be different.

    • My husband met my parents after about a month because they were visiting from out of town. I would go for it!

    • I’m meeting my boyfriend’s parents for the first time over Easter. We’ve been dating since October, he hasn’t met my parents yet but they 12 hours away while his parents live 2 hours away. I think 2 months is fine!

    • Yeah, this is fine. I’d ask if you want to, don’t if you don’t want to! I asked my husband to my sister’s tiny family-only wedding after 2 months. He came. We were engaged a few months later.

    • I bought a plane ticket one month after meeting my now-fiance to fly out and meet his parents one month later. It was kind of crazy but felt ‘right,’ and was a necessary step we both needed to feel safe emotionally investing the way we wanted to. Talk it through and go with your gut.

    • I think you have to think about what bringing someone to Passover means in your family and what it means in his. You can have a mismatch in those things and it can lead to disappointment.

      I had been seeing a guy for a month or so and I invited him to my family holiday open house, which is a super-casual gathering that 80-100 people attend. When I broke things off with him about a month later, he was in total shock and one of the things that he said was “but you took me to meet your parents.” Yes, he met my parents (for maybe 10 minutes) at that party, but I hadn’t been thinking of it as the kind of “meeting with the parents” that signaled serious intentions. But I realized that in his context, he didn’t introduce someone to his family even in the most casual way unless he thought there was a strong chance of marriage in the future. So there was a mismatch in how we viewed those things, and had also led to him thinking we were in a much more committed place than I thought we were.

    • I might be an outlier on this, but I say if you want to invite him, invite him. If he’s not comfortable going, he can just say so. I don’t think this kind of thing has to be so weighty. I met my husband’s family on our third date. We had planned to go on a hike not far from his parents’ house, and he suggested we stop by there afterwards. Turns out his sister and her husband were there so I met them all. We weren’t serious yet but I didn’t feel like it was a big deal. I loved that his family was such an integral part of his life, and I really liked them all which made him more attractive to me. If for some reason I hadn’t wanted to meet them, I would have just said so and it probably wouldn’t have been a big deal.

    • do you know if he already has other passover plans? do you ever invite friends to your seders? once when i was in a situation like this i invited my BF plus another friend or two so it was like people who didn’t have other passover plans but wanted a place to celebrate. Probably also depends on how large your family gatherings are, what they are like, what this means in your family, do you frequently bring people to family events, etc. You could also couch it to the guy you are dating as more about providing him with a place to celebrate the holiday than about meeting your family and see his response – “i know passover is coming up, i am going home for the holiday. since you aren’t from here i don’t know if you have other plans or are interested in attending a seder. i know we haven’t been seeing each other for that long yet so i totally get it if you aren’t ready for a family gathering.”

    • lawsuited :

      My husband and I had been dating less than 2 months when I met his parents because a family holiday fell at that point in our relationship. He invited me to join his family for part of the holiday celebrations, and it was actually a great first meeting because the focus was on the holiday/family rather than me.

  16. I have no words :

    I quite like Nisolo’s Dalia Purse. It’s not 100% perfect, so I’d like to shop around before buying, but I’m having trouble finding other bags in the same style. I think my problem is that I don’t know the right search terms to describe the shape. (It’s described as “bucket”, but looks nothing like the first google hits for “bucket bag”.)

    Can anyone help, either by suggesting other bags in the same style, or by giving me some descriptors to search with?

    Things I like about this bag: the size, the shape, the long handle, the top zip, the flat bottom, the clean lines, the price point.

    Things I don’t really like: the color (I’d prefer a slightly darker color still in the brown/tan/cognac family), the visible logo (though I grant it is pretty subtle)

    Thanks in advance!

    • I have no words :

      Link to the bag: https://nisolo.com/products/womens-bucket-purse-sand

    • If you’re ok with vintage/preworn, Coach used to make a bag in exactly this shape, before they went all logo crazy. The old Bonnis Cashin stuff. I’d search on eBay for it.

      • I have no words :

        Thanks, that’s really useful! I would be totally fine with vintage. Any idea for search terms to use on eBay (or do you happen to know the name of the Coach bag)? There is so much Coach on there!

        • Coach re-released her iconic bucket bag maybe 5 years ago. I bought it in cognac and it’s perfect. Exactly what you’re looking for. I think they called it the Legacy bag. Look on ebay.

          • I have no words :

            Great, thanks! (For what it’s worth, this search pulled up several different bags — I think the “Legacy Duffle” is the one you’re talking about that matches the Nisolo bag.)

            I like everything about this Coach bag except the logo. Maybe I can find the vintage bag that the new ones are modelled on; that would be perfect.

        • I usually search vintage Coach cashin and find lots of hits.

          • I just now searched legacy bucket and found several

          • https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F292448606043

            Here’s one that looks good

          • I’ve been looking on eBay for you because slow day. The re-release has a printed lined interior. The original is unlined. I found one in great condition for $70 or best offer but it’s a darker brown. Search term coach vintage legacy duffel, midway down the first page, seller judahbh70. Even if not the color you want you can see what the original style looked like.

          • Also FYI, I bought a vintage coach crossbody zip top from eBay a couple of years ago because I’d had the bag back in the day and stupidly got rid of it. I think I used it for one weekend and then my 17 year old daughter snatched it from me and has never given it back. I think that means a vintage coach bag is on-trend. :)

          • I have no words :

            This is so helpful, thank you! … snow day for you too? :)

            I think this style is just right (though, as you said, I think I will look for a lighter brown). I will browse eBay under the search terms you gave for the next few weeks.

            I have heard that there are a lot of fake Coaches on eBay — do you have any tips to avoid them? Or is knowing the style number (9816) and matching it with the creed already enough to weed out most fakes?

          • Hope you’re still checking. The vintage ones won’t be fake. The fakes are usually heavily-logoed more or less current styles.

          • Anonymous :

            Yep, still checking. Thank you!

      • I was JUST about to say – my mom had an extensive Coach collection in the ’80s and ’90s and recall a bag that looked just like this. Have fun!

    • I’m just curious, how is it not perfect? What would make it perfect?

      Try searching for “mini crossbody tote” It might not yield everything the same shape, but I see similar ones at nordstrom: rebecca minkoff, tory burch, madewell to name a few.

      • I have no words :

        Thanks for the suggestions! I just followed your advice on searching Nordstrom, but for whatever reason it didn’t work for me: I found Rebecca Minkoff and Tory Burch bags in the same silhouette, but too “fussy” for my taste; and nice simple Madewell bags but not in this silhouette.

        Things I don’t really like about the Nisolo bag: the color (I’d prefer a slightly darker color still in the brown/tan/cognac family), the visible logo (though I grant it is pretty subtle).

  17. Talk to me about flooring. We currently have a 3 year old house with carpet upstairs and tile and wood-look laminate downstairs. I HATE the carpet – it has stains from our pets and baby spit up that won’t come out, two steps that have large patches missing thanks to a sick (and now deceased) cat, and the high traffic areas look worn. We plan to replace the carpet with hardwood floors, but can’t decide what to do with the downstairs. I don’t like the beige tile we have, and there is a weird transition from the tiled kitchen to the laminate (it is an open floor plan). If money were no object, we would probably do all hardwood floors. But of course it is. We are considering three options: (1) hardwood everywhere but bathrooms (~25k); (2) hardwood upstairs and keep the downstairs as is (~12k); and (3) hardwood upstairs, wood-look tile downstairs. We plan to be in this house for at least another 5 years, but this could easily be here for another 10 or 15 years.

    • What’s the price on option 3?

      • I’m not sure – we haven’t priced out the wood-look tile yet. It would be cheaper than hardwood, but I’m not sure by how much.

    • Bite the bullet and if you can afford it go for hardwood everywhere except the bathrooms. Maybe do the kitchen in a similar wood look tile, depends on how hard you are on your floors, kitchens take a beating. In the long run most people/areas will prefer wood floors.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1

      • Anonymous :

        I, personally, will never buy a home again with hardwood in the kitchen. All those appliances that require water are one step away from a leak which will ruin your hardwood. I’d go wood-look tile. And depending on the setup of your home, you may be able to do that for the entirety of that floor.

        • Anonymous :

          I mean, if you have a leak the water is going everywhere, it’s not going to be confined to your kitchen. My fridge leaked once and the only kitchen flooring that was affected was right underneath the fridge. The water pooled on the other side of the wall the fridge is on – which is my dining room. Annnnd this is what homeowner’s insurance is for!

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, but our hardwood couldn’t be matched, and our HO’s did not pay for the entire first floor to be redone, so we have a section that’s not quite right, and just no. No hardwood for me anymore in kitchens or bathrooms.

    • Anonymous :

      Do hardwoods upstairs – stain in place not prefinished- and leave the downstairs alone for now. Save some money and redo the first floor and stairs in hardwoods. If you stain in place, your installer can match the finishes and you don’t need to worry about a product being discontinued.

    • Do you have to address all of the flooring now? Why not just do hardwood upstairs and wait on the downstairs?

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re doing it with an eye to sell I’d do hardwood everywhere except the bedrooms and bathrooms. You can get a nicer, more stain-resistant carpet than builder’s grade and it sounds like you don’t currently have a pet that throws up everywhere. Wood look tile can be nice, but if it’s next to actual wood or laminate it would not be attractive.

    • lawsuited :

      I’d do engineered hardwood everywhere if the budget allowed. If the budget didn’t allow, I’d do high-quality laminate everywhere but bathrooms. We are building a new house and chose laminate because of cost and upkeep – we are just starting our family and I don’t want to be the mother who screeches about protecting the hardwood floors (or paying to have them refinished).

  18. Need help with weekend style. I am a full-time working mom with limited time to shop. This blog has helped me a lot to have stylish work clothes but I no longer seem to have tops to wear on the weekend : can you ladies suggest me some nice stylish tops (yet practical) that I could wear on the weekend with skinny jeans? I went to Anthropologie and Club Monaco (places I used to go for weekend style) this weekend but nothing catched my eye…
    I’m 5.7 – a size 4 and looking to spend between 50$ to 200$ per top/shirt.

    • This is why I started using stitch fix. It mayor may not work for you but I was looking at my closet and realized my choices were 10+ old weekend wear or work clothes, and I have no free time to shop. It’s been great for me, but I know the service has mixed reviews. They totally nailed a style that works for me (I have none), sent pants that fit my long/curvy figure. Only complaint I have is that I can’t just say “I love these pants and want to buy 10 more” because so much is exclusive styling.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Following.

      I’ve been just throwing whatever top under my favorite Blank NYC black suede moto jacket and calling it a day. As a dress person for work I have a ton of work dresses and plenty of silk top+ankle pant or pencil skirt combos for work but on the weekend I get stuck with skinnies and blah to questionable tops.

      When warmer weather comes and the moto jacket isn’t appropriate anymore, I don’t know what I’ll do. Don’t want to resort to athletic tops so would love some suggestions from the hive.

    • No specific recommendations, but Amour Vert feels very “now” to me.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Ooo, thank you. Do you have any of their lighter color silk tops? Would love to know if they are sheer or not. Adrienne Silk Blouse looks like a good dupe for my holy grail Cuyana silk wrap blouse that I can’t pull the trigger on because $200+ sigh.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’ve been super happy with a few “interesting” tee shirts from Amour Vert: boat necks, buttons, that kind of thing. The modal fabric is insanely soft but you still look a little more polished than just wearing a tee. I also like to wear a chambray button-down over a white tee and dark jeans, sleeves rolled up and unbuttoned. Athleta has a few cute ones right now.

      • Thank you for the suggestions. I did not know Amour Vert and it looks like there are some nice options. I have been wearing work blazer and t-shirt for the weekend and like other have mentioned I felt my weekend style was very blah compare to my work style.

    • Current obsession: http://www.thewhitecompany.com/us/

    • You are me. I tried Stitch Fix but it was a bit twee and mixed in quality.

      I recently used Nordstrom’s service The Trunk Club and it was surprisingly perfect. I ended up with a pair of slightly edgy black jeans that I almost didn’t try on because they seemed too trendy but they fit perfectly, are a nice update and I get tons of compliments. I also got great casual tops.

      I am the kind of person who needs outfits because I am great at work clothes and awful at weekend clothes. The Trunk Club (I sound like an ad, I’m not, although I am addicted to All Things Nordstrom) was such an easy fix. They sent 10 pieces with a pre-printed return label, you keep what you want and send the rest back – they will even schedule your UPS pickup. They charge you for what you keep. The styling fee is waived for Nordstrom card holders.

      • Big fan of TF too, was not a fan of Stitch Fix. Only gripe – I wish they accepted my Nordstrom gift cards and notes, but that may be coming in the future. My assigned stylist did a good job of identifying pieces that were in / slightly outside of my comfort zone that were figure-flattering and within budget. I sound like an ad too, but I am not easily impressed and TF impressed me.

      • +1 I also upgraded my weekend look via trunk club. I bought basically two outfits fall of 2016 and have added a few pieces in the same vein since then (same brand different color, for example). You don’t really need that many weekend outfits after all. This is pretty much all I wear on weekends since then, so on a cost per wear basis, an awesome deal.

    • biglawanon :

      I am a huge fan of Vince and Stateside for this.

    • Dear MJ–I’ve been “MJ” here for ten years, so would appreciate if you use a different handle. Thanks!

      OG MJ :)

  19. Nice looking Lounge Clothes :

    Question for the Hive -what do you all wear when you get home from work, but still want to look s3xy for your husband? My husband commented recently that sometimes when I come home and immediately change into yoga pants and a t shirt, it sends a “mood killer” message to him. I have size DDD chest, so taking off my bra at the end of the day is one of the more incredible feelings to me. Any suggestions for comfy clothes, and maybe a non underwire bra (but one that is still comfortable) would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Maybe a strappy bralette and an off the shoulder or wide neck tshirt that shows some of the straps.

      In the alternative, tell your husband to get over himself.

    • No suggestion for the bra but for the lounge wear, maybe some cute athleisure? It’s on trend, everywhere, at lots of price points.

    • Your husband sounds like a bit of a d0uche and bra-off would be a huge plus for my husband. That said, my PJs / lounge clothes are from Soma intimates. I like the cool nights pants and one of the sleep camis that have a little seam under the bust for support. My current favorites are lace trimmed so they look kind of s3xy/nightie-ish, but they are the most comfortable things I own. I usually wear this with one of my repurposed former work cardigans – too worn for work but not ready for the rag pile – and some slippers.

    • Tell your husband to eff off because it’s not your job to look sexy for him 100% of the time.

      • Anonymous :

        Eh, it’s a turn off when my dude just wears basketball shorts and t shirts all the time af home. It’s lazy and says that you don’t care.

        I like Soma. All my guy wants is pants that hug my tush a little and a shirt that’s more fitted than my 8th grade science fair t shirt. Tons of options that are super comfy but show some effort.

        • Anonymous :

          Hahaha apparently the threadbare basketball shorts with the worn out elastic are A Thing among the menfolk.

        • lawsuited :

          Your dude is not butting up against millenia of social and family values that frame the value of a woman in terms of her sexual usefulness.

      • I know this unhelpful but that was my first though as well.

        On a more helpful note, I (and my hubs) love this bra so much. Sexy, wireless, and doesn’t have the scratchy closure that makes non-pullover bras so annoying.

        https://www.jcpenney.com/p/bali-double-support-spa-closure-wireless-bra-3372/1573785?COLOR=Private+Jet&cid=cse%7Cgoogle%7C001+-+womens+specialty%7Cfull+coverage+bras_12486630216&country=US&currency=USD&fromBag=true&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxqaF9ejp2QIVk19-Ch1AoA8jEAQYASABEgLn-vD_BwE&kwid=productads-adid%5E226832813942-device%5Ec-plaid%5E366364405187-sku%5E12486630216-adType%5EPLA&pTmplType=regular&quantity=1&selectedLotId=1248663&selectedSKUId=12486630216&utm_campaign=full+coverage+bras&utm_content=12486630216&utm_medium=cse&utm_source=google

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am a DD and this bra has been a game-changer for me. It makes me so happy to ditch the underwire after work but I feel like I still look presentable.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00FGC5UIY/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    • Aren’t yoga pants a favorite among the menfolk?

      • nasty woman :

        Right? We’re always being treated to hissy fits about how women are always enticing the menfolk with our yoga pants, how yoga pants AREN’T PANTS!1 because they “show everything,” they’re too s*xy because they “show everything,” they should be banned from schools because this is what’s causing boys to fall behind and it’s important to teach girls that they need to mold their behavior to control the behavior of men…..

        Personally I think I look hot in yoga pants and a loose v-neck (shows off collar bone and shoulders, is subtle) tshirt. In the alternative, manfriend is free to observe me wearing my baggy penguin pajama pants and a pilfered ex boyfriend’s oversized sweater with toothpaste stains on it. Choose wisely.

        Serious advice: braletts. Fin.

      • Yeah, my SO loves my yoga pants. They pretty much universally flatter your backside. This sounds to me like he needs to reframe this for himself.

    • Triangle Pose :

      He needs to re-write that message in his brain. “Wife is changing into yoga pants and a t shirt because that’s what makes her comfortable. She’s not a sex machine who has to dress for my pleasure. If I want to know if she’s in the mood, I can try to initiate gardening or ask her because I’m a human person with a brain and can use words. The end.”

      • biglawanon :

        So much this. I wear PJs or a T-shirt/tank and lounge pants. No way on earth would I wear a bra.

      • +100000000000

      • Triangle Pose :

        If you really want recs, browse Aerie for non undewire bras and cute loungeware. Athleta is another one. I also like Nordstrom Rack for stuff like this. But in addition do tell your husband the above.

    • Tell your husband to f off and wear whatever you want. Seriously.

    • teamdress :

      How about a knit dress? Men (on average) seem to think that dresses are dressy. I haven’t bought any recently but I’m getting a lot of wear out of sweater dresses and some old BR wrap dresses. (The comfort key is to be willing to wear them with flats.)

    • Anonymous :

      Pushing back on the negativity here, as I’ve told SOs (current and previous) that changing into their highschool basketball shorts and ratty tshirt is not helping me view them with my gardening eyes. I think it’s a balance – wear what you want when you want, but if “what you want” includes wanting to be seen in a certain way sometimes, then it’s not unreasonable to wear something that sends that message. Since you’re not looking for chest support, I think maybe a cute PJ set in a soft modal might work? Lunya has some nice stuff on the high end, but I’ve had luck finding Calvin Klein nighties and PJs at Nordstrom Rack sometimes.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Do you like wearing dresses? I find that jersey dresses are just as comfy as yoga pants, but look more like “real clothes.” Or what about a pretty knit top with your yoga pants? Cottony yoga pants (vs the synthetic sweat-wicking ones) look less like workout clothes, too, if that’s part of the issue.

      If you’re currently wearing loose t-shirts, try switching to more fitted ones and see if he changes his mind about your bra. ;)

  20. So someone at work is bringing their baby in for a visit. She’s still on maternity leave. I don’t have kids, don’t really like or dislike them. What do I say – can I skip the whole get together? Or show up and stand far away? I feel like you’re supposed to gush at these things and I’m not that type and if I show do much interest others will have comment (I’m a hard exterior kind of person – these people have known me only for 1 year, so they assume as an older single non mom, I have no emotion). This was never ah issue at my old job which was super formal.

    • Yeah, just keep on doing your work while the get together is going on, say that you’re super swamped. A manager at one of my internships brought in her baby while she was still on maternity leave, I just kind of ignored it because I was busy.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        You could say you have a stuffy nose or scratchy throat – probably just allergies, but you want to be extra safe. (I have used this excuse)

    • You can skip if you want, or you can go for a few minutes to say hi/congrats to the mom and look at the kid for about 15-30 secs. You don’t have to offer to hold him/her (plenty others will want to), and don’t have to gush if you don’t want to.

    • Just skip it! I’ve brought my baby in for a few minutes here and there while on mat leave (hospital is around the corner from work so it’s convenient), but honestly I only want to visit the people who WANT to see my baby and catch up. Too many people is overwhelming for the baby anyway, and I’m not interested in shoving my baby in anyone’s face.

    • You have my solidarity. Unless there are only four people in your office I’d just skip and say “Oh I need to finish this project.” I love my kid but give zero shirts about other people’s kids, especially at work, where I am there to…work, not gush over babies.

    • You don’t have to make a big fuss, but I think a warm greeting and congratulations would be a kind thing to do as well as a good investment in positive work relationships.

      “Hi coworker, it’s nice to see you! Congratulations! Wow, baby is so cute – I like (her sleeper/his hair/how he is holding his hand/some other observation) etc. I’ve got to run but it was nice to catch up. Take care!”

      End scene. Seriously, nothing more is needed. No need to hold baby, hear all about childbirth or breastfeeding or anything like that.

      • Yes, this. Unless you are close friends with you co-worker (like actual friends), tell them hi, make a benign comment about the baby, and beg out politely. Frankly, yes, your co-worker is bringing the baby to show off, but they are also looking for human adult interaction as well. I was just as happy to talking to my co-workers who gave me good gossip, recounted some of what I had missed, or updated me on clients but who said next to nothing about my baby.

      • Yes, seriously. Take 2 minutes and go over to say hello. What is with you people?

    • I think it’s impolite to not say hello to the coworker when you and your team specifically know she’s coming in, but only a cursory hello, congratulations, I have to get to work sort of thing. No one expects you to gush over the baby, just to show your face.

    • Feel free to skip. Any decent person won’t call you out on it or make you feel bad. During that years that I was (unsuccessfully) trying to conceive is was torture to feel compelled to go ooh and aah over a baby so I know now not to even ask why someone would chose not to be involved in those kind of things.

    • I think people will notice if you skip. Just pop in and say hi really quickly and then leave. This is the price of admission for being a member of society. Deal with it.

  21. Law career question :

    I’m a sixth year in biglaw and took a year off recently for a prestigious clerkship. I’ve only been back at the firm for six months but am getting really burned out and dislike the type of commercial matters I’ve been working on. Is it too soon to start looking for a job with a smaller law firm? Complicating the matter is that I lateraled from another biglaw firm about six months before my clerkship, so although I was at the firm before my clerkship, it wasn’t for that long either. However, I really hate the hours (been billing 210 hours/month on average) and the people on my teams. I don’t feel particularly valued either and also have trouble finding any mentors. Another factor is that I am not American and would like my employer to sponsor a green card for me, but my law firm seems reluctant to do so unless I make partner. Finally, I am quite sick of NY and would like to try lateraling to somewhere with more reasonable hours in Silicon Valley. When would be the right time for me to start looking and how long should I stay in my current job for?

    • If there’s a clerkship bonus at play keep in mind many firms make you pay that back if you don’t stay 1 yr. Also it sounds like you’re at job #4 in 6 yrs — that is a lot of movement. Wherever you go next should be your last place for a while bc even fed clerk resumes can look like you’re a job hopper and don’t stay anywhere past 18 months. Also if you want to go SV, are you Ca bar admitted – something that most Ca firms want right off the bat?

    • I’m not sure reasonable hours and Silicon Valley go together. I also firmly think you need to stay put for at least a year. It doesn’t look good otherwise, and you have the hefty bonus you got to boot.

      • Triangle Pose :

        I was going to say this! Is SV really any better than NYC for BigLaw? I know NYC is the worst but I didn’t think SV was that far behind for hours expectations in BigLaw. Even DC can be out of hand depending on which BigLaw firm.

      • my friend is a partner at a large law firm in SV and his hours are unbearable. They don’t sound any better than NYC biglaw hours, tbh.

      • As someone who has worked in biglaw (corporate) in SV and NY, the hours are not better in SV. The facetime expectations are, but the hours are not. I don’t particularly think of biglaw as a place that you love your colleagues either. It’s a thing. You all work…hard. Sometimes people are pleasant, sometimes not.

        The fact that you left six months after joining likely did not endear you to anyone. Go in-house. I know lit jobs are harder to find, but they exist. You’re getting to the point that you are going to be too senior to go in-house. Now is the time you should, before you’re too late.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Get another clerkship. Use it to leave. No idea why you came back after your first clerkship. I have never heard of anyone being made to pay back any money.

      Are you sure that biglaw is for you in any city? It seems weird to get another job 6 months before you were planning to clerk.

  22. Diana Barry :

    Another black tie question. What do you ladies wear over your dresses? I am always cold and need something to put over my dress. I have a small pashmina but feel like that’s never enough!

    • A pashmina. Try a cardi if you’re cold. Or sleeves.

    • I wear a large black velvet wrap that is warmer than a pashmina.

      I see a surprising amount of (real) fur where I live, even on younger (40-ish) women. You could do a short fake fur jacket/shrug-type thing if you are really cold and really bold.

      • I think that is the classic gown pairing, short fur over long dress. How about a faux fur wrap?

      • I got a faux fur shrug/jacket for an event a couple years ago and it has been a staple of my wardrobe ever since. It was a little over $100 – the cheaper faux fur looked really fake and cheap. I also think having an actual jacket looks much better and more polished than a pashmina – I always imagine that I look glamorous and elegant in a pashmina but when I see pictures, it mostly looks like I’m wrapped in a blanket.

        • Here is what I have; unfortunately it is sold out but just to give you an idea: https://www.lordandtaylor.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442404343

        • Diana Barry :

          Thanks! I will try to look for one of these – too late for this event but next year!

    • Anonymous :

      I have a few drinks.

    • Velvet cape with gold embroidery (or tonal embroidery if you don’t like contrast). That is the only think that fits nicely over traditional Moroccan caftans, so I assume it would work for ball gowns

  23. Did you change your name from Kitty to Karen?

  24. Writing Sample :

    [Disclaimer – I’m not a lawyer] How does one create a writing sample for applications (in this case to an intel agency)? I’m looking to apply to a prestigious 3 letter agency that requires 2 writing samples up to 5 pages maximum but I have no recent writing samples that are not entirely proprietary. I currently write intel reports at my current position but there is no way I could remove that from company property and remove names, etc. First, it’s illegal and second, the report would make no sense anyway if I removed identifying information. I haven’t been to graduate school yet and my papers from undergrad are too old and do not reflect my current expertise and writing skills. I would assume the simple answer is to just write about topics that best reflect my knowledge related to the industry/the position I’m applying for but what I’m really wondering about is writing format/style. Should I revert back to college formats such as MLA, APSA, Chicago, etc? Or should I write in a journalism article style similar to things published by those in my industry? What about citations? I’m told by superiors that my written reports are some of the best they’ve read but all of a sudden I feel like I don’t know how to write. Help!

    • Can you do a pretend intel report that borrows common themes? I.e., unstable democracy with rival factions struggling for supremacy? See if these “nations” give you any help. http://mentalfloss.com/article/31437/5-fictional-countries-where-us-army-trained-fight

      I wouldn’t write a journalism-type piece unless you feel that would be a typical job requirement for you.

      As far as style, just boil it down to “professional.” If there’s not an industry standard for citations, just pick one and own it.

    • Anonymous :

      If you currently write intelligence reports, do you have a clearance process for resumes, etc.? I assume it would fall under this. Could you get something cleared and redacted under the guise of graduate school (or who knows, maybe you actually are looking at graduate school and could two birds/one stone this?)

      If you’re going in to an analyst position, I would not do a journalism-type writing. I’d go with something more like Anon about suggested, write a generic paper or a literature review on a topic you find interesting. You could maybe veer in to op-ed or doing a “bottom line up front” brief as well.

  25. what to wear? :

    I will be joining my FIL’s wife for an adult education event led by her female pastor on Saturday morning. I am interested in the topic of the event, though from a different (non-spiritual) perspective, but I’m going because of her kind invitation: I don’t normally spend my weekends at suburban Episcopalian churches, and I suspect I will be the youngest participant by at least a decade.

    At my downtown UU church, full of young atheists like me, I wouldn’t think twice about wearing jeans for something like this. But should I go for something more polished in this setting? I don’t want to look like I’m dressed for work, but I also don’t want to seem disrespectful.

    • young atheists going to church en masse, tell me more about this please

    • Marshmallow :

      What is UU– Unitarian Universalist? Would you mind taking a small detour and explaining what you like about that denomination, especially as an atheist? I’d describe myself as more “generally agnostic, kind of think there’s something there we can’t understand” but I miss the community and routine of church.

      When I attend Presbyterian church with my grandma, I wear a simple dress or black slacks with a nice blouse. Business casual, basically. I’d err on the side of stepping it up.

      • what to wear? :

        Ooh, I am so happy to evangelize about Unitarian Universalism. Thanks for asking, Marshmallow!

        I was raised UU, but many people come to the faith through the route you’re describing–either after having been raised without a religious affiliation or after leaving another tradition, either because it doesn’t accord with their values anymore or because they are now in a multi-faith household.

        The faith (forgive this shorthand—I know some people don’t like words like “faith” and “church”) is centered upon a few basic tenets: that everyone is inherently worthy of respect and care, that we are all capable of thinking through our own “search for truth and meaning,” that we can make decisions together, and that our values of justice and equity should drive all our interactions. To me, those basic principles are exactly how I want to live my life. My atheism is not set aside as a postscript or a caveat; it’s valued and affirmed as part of my spiritual (or not!) experience.

        Beyond those core principles, UU traditions draw from a huge range of sources; the faith is often described as “intentionally diverse.” My minister—mid-30s, queer, agnostic—often says that anyone visiting our church for the first time should see something during the service that represents them: whether it’s a Bible reading or a pagan ritual, a four-part hymn with organ or a call-and-response gospel anthem, a reference in her sermon to the Koran or a personal anecdote about how she imagines the afterlife, a trans person sharing the day’s prayers or a multiracial family lighting the candles or a person in a wheelchair making an announcement.

        Because UUism is so rooted in democracy and self-governance, individual congregations will have their own personalities: my urban congregation is pretty diverse in most ways and has a lot of agnostics/atheists/humanists, but congregations in other areas can trend whiter and/or more theist. Wherever they are, though, UUs tend to be extremely welcoming (see above about how everyone is inherently worthy!), because the community is what keeps us all coming each week.

        I have sometimes said that one can’t really be UU alone: sure, I could live out all those values by myself, but for me, that intention is given meaning and greater depth by doing it alongside and with the support of all the people in my church congregation. I go to church because it’s a visceral reminder of how many others believe as I do and will stand alongside me, no matter how the world changes or how I change in it. I go to church because it’s there that I see so many models for how I want to grow up and how I want to raise my someday-child and how I want to be part of my wider community. I go to church because doing so has given me extraordinary opportunities, challenged me to more fully live into my values, sparked unexpected friendships (including the person to whom I’m now married), and exposed me to a wider variety of thought and care than I ever would have found on my own.

        It’s very unlikely that you’re in my city, but if you were I would totally sit with you some Sunday morning. :) That said, if you feel like checking out any UU church, I am confident that you will find lots of other people who will feel as I do.

        I hope this helps and that you find what you are looking for. And thanks for the outfit suggestions!

    • I attend a suburban church (Lutheran though), and I would not think twice about wearing jeans to something like this. I’d probably dress a little nicer than my normal weekend wear (which is frankly atheleisure), but something that one would wear to brunch or another casual weekend event would be fine I think. I’m picturing jeans, a non-t-shirt shirt, a sweater and booties.

    • Where in the US is this church? At my Episcopal church, even at Sunday mass clothes range from jeans and flannels to suits and hats. There are not-infrequent appearances by utilikilts, and one of our acolytes has blue hair. We are (oddly enough given the above) an Anglo-Catholic (read: very high church) parish in Atlanta.

      If this is a suburb of a major city, the event isn’t Sunday mass, and the rector is a woman, jeans are going to be fine in most cases. Frankly, even in smaller towns, a Saturday morning event is probably not going to be dressy, especially if there isn’t a mass.

    • At my suburban mainstream church, jeans at a weekend event are totally fine. I say go for something that makes you feel like yourself. I wouldn’t dress any differently, esp if you think that you might feel uncomfortable for other reasons.

    • Anonymous :

      Jeans. In my suburban episcopal parish it’s all jeans. Look nice otherwise.

    • can you just ask your FIL’s wife what the dress code is at her church for this type of event? seems like a reasonable question, in particular if you’ve never been there before

      • This. My current Episcopal church is very casual (lots of young families), but some parishes can still be quite formal. Can you check out the church website? That’ll give you a feel of whether it’s a more formal church or a more casual one. But regardless, jeans and a top should be fine.

    • I belong to a fairly formal Episcopal church, and for a Saturday morning education event, it would probably be a mix of jeans and other casual wear. Definitely not a dress-up thing.

    • Depends on where you are, but I’ll dissent slightly and say no jeans, particularly if you think it’ll be an older crowd. I’d go business casual, like pants and a nice sweater or tshirt-dress and cardigan.

      It probably won’t be dressy, and there might be a few in jeans, but it’s always better to be slightly overdressed. You won’t want to be the only one in jeans, but you’ll be okay if you’re the only one in tan pants.

      And since you care what your in-law thinks of you, dressing slightly up gives the impression you’re taking this seriously and put some effort in. If it’s a non-jeans event and you show up in jeans, it gives the impression that you didn’t take it seriously enough and if she’s that kind of person, could embarrass her in front of her friends.

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      Episcopalian and i would do jeans and a sweater.

  26. For a Saturday morning you’re fine in jeans. I’d only wear something more formal for a service, and even then, not super formal.

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