Wednesday’s TPS Report: Bella Floral-Print Blouse

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

Lafayette 148 New York Bella Floral-Print BlouseI am not normally a fan of banded bottoms (or, truth be told, smocking), but this cotton/silk blouse has a lot going for it:  I love the pattern, it’s from a great brand (Lafayette 148 New York) and it’s part of a hot sale: today only you can take an extra 30% off the entire site, Last Call by Neiman Marcus. Like I said: love the colors, the mixture of blues, and the playful pattern. I also like a more bloused effect, which can be helpful for those of us who don’t have washboard abs (and want to give the Spanx a day off). It was $268, now $135 — take an extra 30% off today only. Lafayette 148 New York Bella Floral-Print Blouse

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  1. Apologies for the off-topic threadjack right off the bat, but has anyone ever taken out a 401k loan?

    • AtlantaAttorney :

      Yes, we did for a down payment on a house.

      • How’d it work out? I’m considering taking one in order to pay off a chunk of accrued interest on my student loans – it will reduce my monthly loan payment by a few hundred, and I’d set up my 401K deductions to pay it back within 6 months. Not financially savvy enough to know if this is a good idea though.

        Did your company allow you to accelerate the repayment if you wanted to?

        • I did it. Does your company let you model the loan? It helps to see how much it will reduce your paycheck while it is being paid back. My company will allow you to pay back in a lump sum, but will not allow accelerated payment otherwise.

          • Yes, I was able to model it. Essentially, it would reduce my paycheck by approximately the same amount I’ll be saving on my loan payments. So, for 6 months (repayment period), it will break even, and then after the 6 months I’ll have the monthly savings from having paid off that chunk. I can’t decide if it is worth it.

        • Are there tax consequences for taking a 401K loan out for this kind of use as opposed to using it for a home down payment? If you’d have a high tax burden from using the money for this reason, you may want to factor that into your decision.

        • AtlantaAttorney :

          It was perfect for us. We were able to put down a much larger downpayment than we could have otherwise, and in a huge stroke of luck, we withdrew the money right before the economic crash, so all of that money was protected from losses.

          We are still paying it back. My company does permit accelerated repayment, but because the interest on it is all to myself, it will be the last loan we repay (i.e., after the mortgage and student loans are all paid off).

          I agree with the other poster that you need to check on whether this is a qualified withdrawal that will not impose a tax penalty on you.

          • AtlantaAttorney :

            One more comment – you need to factor in the fact that the interest you pay back on the 401(k) loan you pay to yourself, and gets put back in your 401(k) as more money. Essentially it is forced savings. Whereas interest you pay on student loan goes to an outside party. If you can do it w/o incurring a tax penalty, I don’t see how it wouldn’t be worth it, unless your investments are going so gangbusters right now that you don’t want to risk losing out on that growth.

          • We also did it as we had baby #2 and needed to finish the basement. Also in 2007 right before the market downturn. For us it was one of the best financial decisions we could have made, we borrowed our own money and essentially had no loss from the downturn.

    • Seattleite :

      I believe that in the event you lose your job, the loan will be due and payable in full within 60 days. If you don’t repay, you’ll be subject to taxes on the outstanding amount, plus a 10% penalty. I wouldn’t take that risk, but YMMV.

      • “in the event you lose your job, the loan will be due and payable in full within 60 days” – this varies from plan to plan. My employer allows former employees to continue to make repayments for the balance of the loan term via bank check or money order, and I’ve seen other employers that are even nicer – repayment by personal check is sometimes allowed.

  2. Dear fellow Kindle-lovers:


    • Is that true??? I feel like it must be a prank or something! That will be entirely too awesome.

    • That’s great news for Kindle users.

    • Wow, I can’t wait for that to happen!

    • That’s awesome.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      That is wonderful news! I hope my library is one of the ones that will be participating. I love my Kindle, but sometimes wish I had a different one so that I could borrow ebooks from the library.

    • I think you’ve just made my day.

    • My Kindle got STOLEN yesterday! But now I definitely need to order a new one ASAP.

    • Nook Color User :

      I have a Nook Color and I have the capability to check out ebooks from my local public library. I have to say that it is awesome! I can’t remember the last time I purchased a book.

    • Eek! I’m so excited. You know, I had even missed the December launch of private book sharing. Very excited to take advantage!

    • Now I don’t have to consider buying another e-reader for the library! Woo!

    • I so hope this is true and that my library will participate!!

  3. I like it; as someone who definitely doesn’t have washboard abs, this kind of top works for me. It seems overpriced though; I feel like I see fairly similar things for $50 or $60 pretty often.

    Threadjack – does anyone read The People’s Therapist column on Above the Law? I have never worked in BigLaw – I work at a mid-size, public-interest side firm. I’m a bit curious how accurate it is – my friends who are corporate lawyers work long hours, but I don’t exactly see the soul-crushing ennui he describes; am I missing it or is the column pretty exaggerated?

    • (Incidentally, it’s too bad the comments on AtL are such a cesspit – that would be the logical place to ask this question!)

    • I do! I actually liked the one he wrote in February called “Don’t Forget.” As for the rest of them . . . they are scary! I feel like there are so many Big Law lawyers, they can’t all hate it. Right? Right?? Someone reassure me please…

      • They definitely don’t all hate it. Part of the culture seems to be complaining, but it really is a good fit for some people.

    • I work in BigLaw in DC and really enjoy the work and the people. Yes, the hours can be long, but there are also plenty of days when I can leave at 6:30 pm. It really all depends on the people you work with and the culture of the firm. I’m having a fantastic time here.

    • I think it’s either exaggerated, or it’s just a bad sample–He usually starts out with something a client said, and I figure the people that go to therapists are going to be the ones that hate their jobs, right?

    • I think it’s a pretty self-selected sample of stories – as kz said, he only gets the horror stories.

      Sometimes I wonder whether I get a sense of schadenfreude from his postings. The author got out of biglaw after 2 years, and he seems to take some weird pleasure in other people who’ve stuck it out but are unhappy.

      All in all, I do think the column is exaggerated. Sure, there are unhappy people, but I don’t think most people are.

    • All my friends in biglaw work insane hours, regardless of whether they are junior associates or partners. Most of them don’t admit they are miserable, but I feel like that’s a self-preservation thing or a no-point-in-complaining thing.

      • recently preggers :

        I’m in biglaw. I often work long hours. But I still love it. Of course there are times when I wish I didnt have to work so long, or where a particular assignment/case is not that fun, but that is true of every job (Ive also clerked and worked for the Gvt). I am far from miserable. I feel like the work is much better than I would get elsewhere where the hours might be less and the long hours trade-off is well worth it.

        • I wonder if your response will change after you have a baby…

        • I’m a 7th-year associate in BigLaw in NYC. I love it and think it’s a great job for the right person. Sometimes the hours are long or the client expectations are unreasonable, but the work I do is interesting for the most part, I’m always learning, I work with nice people and the pay and perks are incredible. I find the unhappy people are the ones who didn’t find a branch they really enjoyed.

          • I’m a third-year associate in BigLaw in NY. The People’s Therapist on ATL is often overdramatic and appears to hate biglaw and everything it stands for. Therefore his columns often portray it as soul-crushing. I work long hours, but no more so than most of my friends in this city. Sometimes I’m stressed or overworked or frustrated – but doesn’t that happen in every job?? I also took all four weeks of vacation last year & still got my bonus. I think it’s possible to find a balance.

    • I work in mid-law in DC for some pretty great people but I hate his columns because they so very accurately describe my feelings about it. I often feel like he has somehow crawled inside my brain. The law isn’t for everyone and if it’s not for you, I think you can identify with him and don’t feel they are exaggerated. But obviously plenty of people love their jobs. Most of us would not have ended up in this field but for mentors who loved (and still love) their biglaw jobs.

    • Anonymous :

      I casually dated a guy in BigLaw, and yes, he hated his job; however, I do believe that he over-dramatized just a tad, primarily as an excuse to go out w/ his buddies and date lots of women casually. (“I can’t do anything this weekend, I have a huge project…”)

    • I was pretty apalled by the most recent People’s Therapist column about providing for a family while working in biglaw. The difficulties are not trivial but I still I found the description of the “wife” disturbing, even if it was meant to be from the perspective of a stressed-out biglaw “provider.’

  4. I have a similar shirt to this, got it at the gap a few years ago, and it rides up non-stop. I guess it’s because of the elasticized band at the bottom. I wore it to work once and then never again.

  5. Although I like the print/colors and summery feel, I’m afraid this would make my bit of tummy look like I was trying to hide a pregnancy! Maybe if I wore blousy clothes more often I wouldn’t feel so much like I was about to start the rumor mill :)

    • i wear blousy tops more often than not just because i love the look (and it doesn’t hurt that they can be v forgiving if your weight fluctuates or you eat a big meal). if you like them you should go for it!

  6. In theory I love this top, but I just know the banded bottom won’t work for me. They tend to ride up to my natural waist. So sad, as I like the colors on this one.

  7. Thoughts on wearing pantyhose in the summer (at Big Law)? Unless it’s for court or a client meeting or something, is it necessary?

    • it’s a “know your office” thing — but if you have a typical office (thinking East Coast biglaw here) I doubt you need to wear it except in the situations you mentioned.

    • Consensus is that it’s definitely not necessary but know your firm.

    • ditto

  8. I like this! I love the colors (my favorite turquoise), and the cut looks like it would be comfy for travel. I’ve also been continuing my endless feeling search for prints, and this would be a great one.

    @WB, thanks for the exciting Kindle update!! I can’t wait for the electronic lending to begin!!!

  9. Associette :

    Eek not a fan of the elastic. It looks cheap, even though its not!

    On another note – is anyone else overwhelmed with excitement and joy for the royal wedding?!?! I’m wanting to take the morning/day off to go and watch it somewhere fabulous but I cannot seem to find anything near me.

    • Agree, it looks super cheap. Like, $12 at Old Navy sort of cheap.

      On the royal wedding, I don’t *really* care, but I do think Kate is super-pretty so I’m oddly excited to see her dress.

    • Re: wedding

      I’m going to an actual wedding the next day, but am taking that day off and will watch it with my 5-year-old niece. I’m thinking we dress up and have tea.

      My sister-in-law wants to watch it later and drink champagne, with shirley temples for the younger set.

      I totally watched Princess Di’s wedding with my sister when I was 10.

      • “Am taking that day off and will watch it with my 5-year-old niece. I’m thinking we dress up and have tea.”

        LOVE this idea.

    • isn’t it going to be on at like 5 or 6 am EST? Too early. Though I am somewhat excited to see Kate’s dress. I’m hoping it will have some sort of short sleeve, which will start a trend (I’m tired of all the strapless wedding dresses).

      • Same here. Strapless dresses work on very few body types.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Ivanka Trump’s dress had short sleeves. I thought it was beautiful, but I’m not sure if it has caught on.

        • Yea, that was a great dress. I remember reading an interview with Vera Wang saying how much she liked designing it because it was interesting to make something with sleeves after doing strapless dresses for so long. But sadly, it doesn’t seem like it really caught on that much. I was helping a friend look for a dress with some sleeves lately, and it just seems like they’re very rare, even if you just want cap sleeves like Tori Spelling’s dress from a few year’s ago (this one:

          It occurs to me that for someone who isn’t getting married anytime soon, I spend a lot of time looking at wedding dresses. They’re just so pretty…

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I’m about as far away from getting married as possible, but so many of my friends have gotten married in the past few years (and I’m starting to feel like a professional bridesmaid) that I know all sorts of details about what I’d love my wedding to be like.

      • Does anyone know WHY strapless caught on so big and has such staying power? I agree, it’s not a style that looks great on a lot of women and it’s kind of boring. I just don’t understand where it came from.

        • A large reason is because it’s easier for designers/makers to mass produce strapless dresses. In clothing tailoring, sleeves and bodices require more skill and effort to design, and in terms of mass production, offer more variables to consider when thinking of the mass amount of arm/chest/shoulder shapes and sizes. Hack all that off, and all you’re looking at is a bust measurement, which is pretty much just one circumference measure and thus easier to mass produce. Corset backs are the same way- it lets the maker get away with not really having to design a really well structured and well tailored bodice. Rather, they’ll just throw a (not true) corset back on with lacing, it will fit more people easier, it will be less intricate to produce, etc.

          I got married in a very traditional religious ceremony with a sleeved dress, and it was nearly impossible to find. In fact, my dress was actually strapless with a special bolero that buttoned in the back/went over the front so it looked like sleeves and not a jacket. But I searched across 4 or 5 states, multiple shops, online, you name it, and I pretty much ended up with the one semi-decent option out there that ended up looking much nicer than I thought on the day-of.

          I really wish more designers would stop being lazy-ish and make sleeves. I wish more people would demand it too.

          • I don’t think it’s as much laziness as the current wedding timelines. In many cases women order dresses many months in advance and go on diets to lose some weight before the wedding. Sleeved patterns require smaller necklines and shoulder widths for smaller sizes. The neckline opening in a large size may fall where the shoulder seams are in a small size. I’ve tried on dresses just slightly too big on top that would be impossible to alter for that reason. Imagine if you go down from a size 14 to a size 4! On the other hand, start with a strapless dress, alter it at a final fitting, and then you can easily put on some sort of straps.

    • recently preggers :

      I feel like I am oddly the only one around who couldnt care less about the royal wedding. Its seems you are not alone.

      • I don’t care either…far more excited for the actual wedding that I’m going to that weekend. Why would I be psyched for a wedding that will not result in either cake for me?

        • goirishkj :

          cbackson, you may have already posted but I missed it–how did the race go for you on Monday? I hope you had a great race and enjoyed your trip!

          • I hadn’t yet! It was wonderful – got a new PR (only by a few seconds, but it feels awesome to have Boston be my PR). Had to spend some quality time with an extremely hot doctor afterwards (dehydration), but walking (okay, hobbling) out of the medical tent with my finisher’s medal was the best feeling in the world.

          • goirishkj :

            Great to hear on the PR! Sorry about the dehydration, but a hot doc never hurts the eyes, right? :)

            Also, I think another Corporette was running a marathon last weekend or this weekend (Nashville, I think?) but I don’t remember who that was. Whoever you are, I also hope you had a great race!

          • AnonInfinity :

            Great job cbackson!!!! I was wondering how your Boston went. Thanks for the update. And wooooo for the new PR!

          • Congrats, cbackson! That’s awesome!

      • I really don’t understand what all the hoopla is about. What’s the draw for people to actually “get excited” about something that will have absolutely no impact on their life whatsoever?

        • For the same reason people read, or watch tv, or do anything else for entertainment. It’s fun!

        • I don’t think the royal wedding has any more meaning other than it is a nice, sweet story that brings people pleasure to watch/read about, etc. In the same way that I “get excited” when there’s a new episode of 30 Rock on Thursday nights, even though it has “absolutely no impact on [my] life whatsoever.”

    • I’m excited, because it means the coverage of it will finally be over.

      • I did sort of appreciate that the engagement was short, sparing us an eternity of ramp-up.

    • *Formerly* Preggo Angie :

      Associette – yes, I am super excited. I remember staying up super late to watch Diana’s wedding, but in reality I probably just remember watching replays. I’m not ashamed to geek out on stuff like this!

    • I am kinda excited too, especially to see the dress, crown jewels, flowers, and the great hats worn by the guests. My mom stayed up all night watching Princess Di’s wedding while pregnant with me, and mysteriously I ended up with the same name… ha! Unfortunately, my west-coast time zone means that watching the wedding live will probably be impossible :(.

      • That’s a fun story, Diana!

        I remember being so excited that Diana was just a few years older than I and that instead of the Queen being an old woman, she’d be my age. Sadly, that ended with the divorce and then Diana’s death -sad.

        My mother-in-law got up at 3a.m. Seattle time to watch Charles and Diana…I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my sleep but I did like watching the replay.

      • Too cute! I wasn’t quite a month old when Charles and Di’s wedding happened, and my mom got me up early and changed and fed so that she could have some peace to watch the wedding. I’m almost 8 months pregnant and I plan to wake up super early to watch and then go back to sleep.

    • I’m a Brit based in the US, and I am excited to watch. I’m bummed I won’t get the day off like the rest of my countrymen, though!

      For those planning to serve tea, etc.: please put milk in the tea, and I also recommend cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off.

      On the subject of hats: I wore a fabulous white fascinator to a friend’s wedding this past weekend. Got lots of compliments, of which my favourite was, “it takes a powerful woman to wear a hat.” I adore it, but have no other upcoming opportunities to wear it. So my question is: would it be really bad if I wore it to the office the day of the wedding? I’m in a business casual IT office in the northeast. Can I claim a fit of high spirits induced by the wedding, or should I restrain myself to avoid being ridiculous?

      This is it, FWIW:

      • Anonymous :

        I think your co-workers should have a sense of humor and indulge yours on the day.

        • I agree. If you don’t get the day off, at least you should get to wear a fascinator to work!

      • Do it!

      • Ooh. Maybe the niece and I will wear hats, too.

        I am not a hat person, but I bought a nice one last year to wear to a Kentucky Derby party. I’m going to break it out again to wear to this year’s party.

        Oh, and Livia, I also work in a business casual IT office in the Northeast. I think people here would be amused and appreciative. And, otherwise, if you’re in the New England area, maybe I should take you to the Derby party with me.

      • i LOVE that!! I would definitely rock it!

      • That is beautiful. Wear it and be proud!

      • Associette :

        Livia I LOVE your hat! What fun. I have to say though, I would probably not dare to wear it to the office.

      • Yay! I was hoping y’all would be on board with it… this blog is such a great litmus test for so many issues and questions. I will wear it, and even though my coworkers unfortunately lack a sense of humour, at least I will be happy. ;-)

        Bunkster, you and your niece should definitely wear hats as well! I actually have no idea where you would buy that style of fascinator/hat in the US, as my efforts to locate an affordable one came up short. Mine is British. But they must be out there somewhere…

        And I’m totally up for a Derby party if I can wear the fascinator. :D What part of New England are you in? I am in the NYC suburbs.

      • I love hats (can’t see wearing them to work–I’d get teased horribly by the guys I work with) and I love that one! I say wear it.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Fabulous! Do they ship to the US?

        • Yes, they do! The stores are well worth a visit for any Corporettes visiting the UK, too.

  10. I don’t like this one bit. I think the drapey top plus banded bottom equals not too flattering. There are so many better ways to hide “non-washboard” abs! How about something structured/fitted? I would actually think this would be rather unflattering on many women (and certainly on me). I also hate that shade of early 90’s blue. But that’s more of a personal gripe.

    But totally appreciate the heads up on the last call sale! I now know what I will be browsing on my lunch break. Good thing it’s crappy weather outside anyway ;)

  11. I had assumed this silhouette would be terrible but ended up with two work blouses, last summer, that had banded/puffed cap sleeves and a banded waist like this one. I found they are great when balanced out by a pencil skirt, and also–getting practical here–they don’t show sweat as quickly as closer-fitting shirts do. I encourage skeptics to at least try one on.

    Unrelated: does anyone have tips for hanging scarves to economize space? I have found that if I don’t hang my scarves, I forget to wear them. However, I have a row of hooks right now and my collection looks like a wild waterfall bursting from the wall, almost crowding out the picture I have hanging next to it. If anyone has found a solution please share!

    • I use this from ikea and just keep them in my closet. Sometimes I forget about the ones on the back row, though:

    • I have a shoe cubby hanging in my closet (one of those cloth ones with little side by side compartments that you hang off the rod) and I roll and tuck scarves and other small bits in there. I also sometimes drape a couple around the apt (admittedly this is more laziness than organization on my part) but it reminds me to wear them, and I will often grab something off an armchair or a lampshade as I am walking out the door.

      A scarf hanger like the one from Ikea above or something from the Container Store would also seem to work but you’re probably better off getting 2 to prevent overcrowding so you can really see everything.

    • I use one of those shoe organizers that hang from the closet door like this one:

      I find this works better for me than hanging, b/c I can’t see the individual scarves as well when they are hung together.

    • Thanks all!

    • Hanging tie rack? I keep my scarves folded in bins.

    • I use something very similar to this:

    • At my old apartment, I had several pegs on the wall in a couple rows, and I would weave the scarves around the pegs. It took some work to set it up so I could still access the scarves easily (and put them away easily…always my downfall), but it looked pretty cool and kept the scarves from falling or touching the ground.

  12. regular but anon for this :

    Threadjack – yesterday my doctor found a lump in my breast and I am getting a mammogram and ultrasound today. Yesterday I was calm and fine and didn’t think about it too much but the closer I get to the mammogram the more nervous/anxious/distracted I am. I’m 35 and this is my first one. Just wondering if anyone else has been through this or similar and has any advice/tips for keeping my mind off it. I think the harder part will be after the test waiting for results. If nothing else I needed to just write it out somewhere so it isn’t just floating around in my head.


    • don't stress! :

      I had the same thing happen about a year ago, and it turned out to be perfectly fine. My husband was way more freaked out than I was, and the doctors didn’t seem freaked out either. They just sent me in for the ultrasound to make sure, but it’s apparently very common to find lumps. I would just remember that this is a normal test, just like any other test. You’ve had blood work done before, and shots, and those all turned out fine. There’s no reason this won’t turn out fine as well!

      • regular but anon for this :

        thanks! My doctor was very calm and reassuring and yesterday I was fine but this morning it has just been very hard to concentrate . . . I went through a lot of diagnostic tests a few years ago that resulted in the relatively minor diagnosis of asthma so I keep telling myself it will just be like that but I have the kind of brain that likes all of the information so I can have myself prepared for the worst case scenario. Thanks again for the reassurance.

    • This happens to my mom on a regular basis. It has always been fine for her, and it’s always fine for the vast majority of people. Can you do your favorite thing for a while when waiting for the results? Maybe get a book you’ve been wanting to read, or watch old Glee episodes, or something? Just staying busy, especially with fun stuff, will help you not think about it…..

    • I’m 37 and definitely been there and many of my friends have, too. It ended up being nothing for all (four) of us. I’m sure there are others, too, in my circle who just aren’t close enough to talk about it. Just take comfort in knowing you are doing the right thing in having it checked out. So many people skip gyno visits, don’t do self-checks etc.. And even if they decide to take a sample after seeing the scan results, it still is likely nothing. I know much easier said than done, but there is too much in life to worry about with things we can control. Try to focus on those in the meantime. I know it’s terribly hard. I’ll be sending good thoughts you’re way. And if you can distract yourself with some mindless tasks at work that you find soothing, then definitely do that for a bit (for me that’s things like filing, catching up on emails, etc.). Away from work, I often find similar stress relief with activies like sorting through messy drawers, cleaning, working out, etc. Just do whatever you need to so as to get through to the next step in life.

    • I have had two mammograms for breast lumps, I am just slightly older than you. I have fibrocystic breasts and it’s hard to tell whether a lump is just the fibrocystic tissue or, you know, the bad thing. Every time I go I get near-hysterical – I have a young child and the worst goes through my head, my kid growing up without me – but each time it has been totally fine.

      One thing I will warn you about is that if your mammography center has older equipment, it can kind of hurt and take a long time to get the right images. One of my mammograms was at a super place that had very new equipment, and basically all you have to do is stand there. The second was at a place with the older equipment and it was not fun. The plates are cold and they have to squeeze your breasts every which way to get the pictures. It is also not so great to have a lady pushing and pulling on your breasts to get the right picture – but it is necessary.

      I am glad they are sending you for mammo and ultrasound as the combination of the two is very good at finding cancer in younger women. The first time I got referred by my PCP, he was very adamant about “don’t let them tell you after the mammo you don’t need the ultrasound, you need both.” Because breast tissue is so dense in younger women it’s hard for mammo alone to find small lumps.

      Very, very few women our age go through this and find out they have advanced breast cancer. Even if you get bad news – the lump is malignant – if it was too small for you to find on your own, chances are very good that it is early-stage and it may only mean a lumpectomy. It is very easy to sit and imagine the worst possible conclusions – I am the queen of that – but it is very, very unlikely you will have the worst possible outcome, like it almost never happens. And almost isn’t never, but think positive.

      You might have a supportive friend go with you to the appointment if you want. I took my husband with me the second time and he worked himself into near tears (and he NEVER cries) while I was in getting the imaging done, so I don’t think I’ll do that again. If you have a friend who has gone through this, ask them to come along with you – it will probably be tremendously helpful.

      Good luck and try not to worry too much. This may sound perverse, but it helped me: the bottom line is that the lump is either cancer or it’s not, and all you’re doing now is finding that out. The mammogram itself is just a picture that tells you what’s happening, not the cause of what’s happening. And it is way better to find out sooner rather than later, with breast cancer.

      I’ll be thinking about you. Please update and let us know how it goes. :)

      • regular but anon for this :

        Thank you SO much for this! I’m going alone which I think will be easier for me. I really like your attitude of it is or it isn’t, that is how I feel. If it is the worst, I want to know as soon as possible and get on with it. The in between stage is the hard part.

        But it is definitely encouraging to hear others have been through this with a positive (or rather, negative) outcome. I filled my morning with brainless tasks like cleaning out my inbox and responding to neglected emails. And now I’m off to my appointment. Thanks again for helping me through my morning. This is an incredible network of supportive women!!

        • *hugs* – went through this last year when I was 35. It really is stressful. My best friend offered to go with me, but I also thought it would be better for me alone. Didn’t do the mammogram. Did the ultrasound and biopsy – first FNA then core needle. It turned out to be nothing. You are right that waiting is the hardest. Keep in mind though, often it really is nothing to worry about (easier said than done, I know). If you are looking on like for info., I found a very useful site.

          • regular but anon for this :

            thanks for the site, I’ll definitely check out that site.

        • I found a fairly sizeable lump when I was in my mid-twenties, and given a family history of breast cancer, completely freaked out. I ended up having a biopsy and mammogram (and probably an ultrasound as well), and they determined that it was a benign fibroadenoma. The doctor said I could leave it alone and just “monitor” it to make sure it didn’t grow/morph into something else, but I decided that would stress me out too much, so I had surgery to remove it.

          The surgery went well, and while I have a small scar around half of my areola, it’s really not that noticeable. I did tell the surgeon ahead of time that I wanted to be able to breastfeed in the future, and he said there should be no issues.

          Although the waiting period, where you are now, was incredibly stressful, I hardly ever think of it now — only when I’m filling out medical forms that ask about prior surgeries.

          As others have said, it is or it isn’t… there’s nothing you can do to affect the outcome, but know that you are not alone, and regardless of outcome, you will get through this! My thoughts will be with you :-) Please keep us all posted (if you’re comfortable with that).

    • I am 43 and had the same thing a few years ago, ended up having a stereotactic biopsy, but ultimately everything was fine. I now have a titanium chip in my breast to mark the spot where the lump used to be so they can watch that area closely in subsequent mammograms. Try to get some exercise and don’t let your mind dwell on it. The odds are overwhelming that it’s nothing and, in the highly unlikely event that it turns out to be something you’ll deal with whatever it is once you have more information. Tests come back really fast these days, too, so you won’t have to wait long.

      • I had a similar scare about three years ago when in my mid-20s. I went to my first round of tests with my Mom which I really appreciated (she drove a couple hours in from out of town so I didn’t have to be alone.) Due to a family history of cancer (breast and other linked endorcrine cancer), I now have an aggressive testing schedule with a mammogram, MRI, and manual exam about every four months. Since this is now become “routine”, I now go alone and meet up with people for margaritas afterwards.

        I would also recommend that you be vigilent about what happens to your imaging at all parts of the process. Do not assume that it is being automatically sent to your doctor, also do not assume that your doctor will do a good job maintaining your files. I have learned the hard way that it is best for you to get your own files, and bring them to appointments with you.

    • I don’t have any advice, but wanted to wish you the best. I hope everything is fine. Keep calm about it as much as you can, as worrying will not make it go away, and you’ll just drive yourself nuts.

    • regular but anon for this :

      Thank you once again for all of your kind words. After over 3 hours at the radiology clinic, I have some nifty pink rhine-stone nipple band aid things as souvenirs (is this normal? I thought they were hilarious but I think they were for perspective in the mammogram because they also marked my lump).

      Turns out I didn’t have to wait long for results as the doctor swooped in during my ultrasound to instruct the technician on all of the views she wanted for the biopsy. Yup, that is how she told me about the biopsy. Two lumps in the breast and one in the arm pit. I have a biopsy Friday and an appointment with a surgeon the following Friday to discuss the results.

      I’m not terribly worried at the moment but I think the hard part will be waiting the week between the biopsy and the appointment with the surgeon. I think I will get lots of running in over the next week to try and keep my mind of this. I’m pretty sure I will go to the biopsy alone as I think it might drive my stress level up to pull someone else into it – although I have talked to my mother who unfortunately lives across the country. Any advice on that? They recommend I not return to work the same day but I assume jumping in a cab (or walking the two blocks) home shouldn’t be a big deal after the biopsy.

      Thanks again for all of your kind comments.

      • I didn’t have someone go with me because I really prefer to be alone when I am stressed. If you think that it would be helpful to you to have someone there though, consider telling a close friend who you think could go with you. Definitely, definitely do not go back to work. That day will be stressful for you. Go home..chill out, relax, have a glass of wine, watch a funny movie. No work. One other thought – came up after I went through this – a friend whose ex-wife went through breast cancer said that he went to appointments because it is helpful to have a third party listen to what the doctor’s saying given how stressed the patient is. Maybe consider having a friend there or conference calling your mom when you talk to the surgeon about the results. Again, probably nothing to worry about – but I thought that was good advice on his end and maybe in the future if faced with a similar situation, I would consider it.

        • regular but anon for this :

          Thanks for the suggestion of having someone there when I speak with the surgeon, I think that is definitely something to consider and actually makes more sense to me than having someone there for the biopsy. I think having someone there with me for the biopsy would make me feel a little more stressed and nervous because I would feel like I’m putting them out (I KNOW that is ridiculous but that is how I am – ridiculously independent). I have only talked to family about this so far because I’m pretty convinced there is no reason to worry about it until I know it is actually cancer.

      • Please consider not going to work after the biopsy. Depending on the type of biopsy they may give you Valium or another sedative and trust me, no matter how it goes you’ll be emotionally exhausted afterwards. Better to hang out at home and watch stupid TV showsm have some tea, and take a nap. I watched a marathon of America’s Next Top Model and it was just the sort of inane fluff I needed while I rested up.

        • regular but anon for this :

          thanks, I’ve decided not to go back to work and good to know that they may give a sedative since everything I’ve read indicates there really isn’t any type of sedative involved (just a local). Since tomorrow is Good Friday I think I will be able to slip away from work without much explanation although I have a closing next week so I have told my assistant I can be reached in the afternoon. But I will plan on catching up on the inane junk on my dvr.

      • Worst case scenario: A friend of mine went through this last summer and it did turn out to be Stage I cancer. She had a lumpectomy (very small) and the 5 day radiation treatment, from which she drove herself back and forth every day 150 miles round trip. She spent the rest of the summer working part time (her normal schedule) and relaxing. While not how she planned the spend the summer, it is definitely NOT the end of the world

        Waiting is the worst–once you know the answers, you can just deal with it. Worry about the unknown is worse than the facts. Odds are still very good that yours is not malignant, but believe me, you want a conservative doctor who is going to be very sure! Keeping our fingers crossed for you!

        • regular but anon for this :

          Thanks for this. I’m actually a plan for the worst type person (it helps me stress out less actually) so this is good to know. I actually told my sister last night that if it is cancer I will be really mad if it gets in the way of the half marathon we are running in June (my first!) since I had to drop out a half in September due to an injury. My aunt just finished up treatment for breast cancer so I’ve put a call into her to see what I should be doing now in terms of research into surgeons, etc. while I wait. I think that was the most shocking thing yesterday – they automatically referred me to a breast surgeon to discuss the results next week. I wasn’t prepared for that and whatever the news, I don’t want to be caught by surprise by what the next step will be. That being said, if anyone has recommendations for a breast surgeon in NYC, it would be greatly appreciated.

          • I’ve responded twice – don’t know why my response isn’t showing up. Maybe because I included the link. Dr. Paul Tartter at St. Luke’s. Google search his name. In Best Drs. in NY, NY Mag since 1991.

    • All the best to you! I went through this at age 27 and a first-year associate at a law firm (and two weeks after I bought a house). At the first appointment after the initial ultrasound, my doctor looked me straight in the eye and said “Well, I think you have breast cancer.” A mammogram (100% painless), second ultrasound, needle biopsy, contrast MRI, and excisional biopsy later, I was diagnosed with… absolutely nothing.

      I can’t guarantee you that you will have the same result, but I learned that A LOT of women go through this and it turns out to be nothing (no matter how scary the black blotches look on the ultrasound).

      I am married and was at the time — my husband found it difficult to be supportive, so if you are: 1) not married, or 2) married to an emotional idiot, I highly recommend that you continue to receive outside support!

      • regular but anon for this :

        Thanks! Those black blotches on the ultrasound definitely look scary and were a bit shocking – especially since the lump is pretty sizeable and now that I’ve found it, I can’t figure out how I didn’t notice it before (except that I didn’t exactly do regular checks or know what I was looking for before). It was comforting for me to read that only 20% of biopsies turn out to be cancer. And stories like yours are also comforting since I think we only ever really hear the bad ending stories.

  13. Can I just vent for a second?

    I just looked at myself from an angle in a mirror at the office only to realize that I have VPL! I’m wearing a pair of seamless underwear, but apparently that is not enough.

    Also, I’ve been in court all morning, so the entire gallery has had a lovely view of my VPL I’m sure. Great.

    • I doubt anyone looks as closely at your butt as you do when you look in the mirror! Don’t worry about it.

    • Ugh, sorry it happened, but I agree–I’m sure no one else was staring as closely as you just did at yourself. And now at least you know for the future…..don’t let it spoil the rest of your day!

      • Magdeline :

        Thanks, Eponine and Jay. Luckily, I had a long, boyfriend-type cardigan sufficient to cover it for the afternoon in the office.

    • Misery loves company :

      We all wear underwear! It’s not really a secret and not really anything to be embarassed about. I posted once about a guy friend of mine who likes to comment when women have no vpl — “oh, I wonder if they are going commando . . .or is it a lacey, thong . . .” Yeah, he is a dog. I wouldn’t stress about it.

  14. I need Cole Haan advice. Am about to bite the bullet and buy my first pair of Cole Haan sandals, online of course. I have heard they run small. I tend to be in-between sizes. Size up, right?

    Also, I’m deciding between two pairs, and one pair has somewhat bad reviews saying the leather is stiff and people couldn’t break it in. Is it the Corporettes’ experience that this is true? If so, I’ll definitely go for the better-reviewed pair.


    • Definitely size up 1/2 size!

      If the reviews say that the leather is stiff, it probably is. I have one pair of CH shoes that are as soft as butter but another pair has stiff leather.

    • I haven’t had experience with Cole Haan sandals, but I can say that if you look at the Zappos website, the reviews there have always been accurate in my experience. Also, they do free shipping both ways, so you can order two sizes and return what doesn’t fit.

      • I recently ordered a pair of their air talia heels and I found they fit totally true to size for me. They were perhaps a bit narrow, but as I have narrow feet it wasn’t an issue. If you have wider feet though I can see how you’d want to size up.

    • Definitely size up.

      I managed to stretch out a pair of their boots a bit, but got a pair of heels (Air Miranda) in my normal size and there was no way that was happening :(

      • Thanks all! I was hoping to order from 6pm, which doesn’t have free shipping both ways like Zappos, so hopefully I got the right size and style.

        • Based on my non-systematic survey if you order two sizes and return one the total cost will be lower on 6pm than on Zappos. (Of course, this is not true if you end up returning both pairs).

    • I wear my normal size in CH, but don’t have CH sandals. Actually, I have a pair of ballet flats where I sized down half a size.

      Get the better reviewed for comfort pair. 3 of my CH pumps are unbelievably comfortable. 1 (though the cutest pair) is not. Nike Air cannot solve all issues that can make a pair of shoes uncomfortable.

    • totally depends on the shoe. I have a pair of pumps that are my normal size and fit perfectly fine (I have narrow feet). I’ve got a pair of CH ballet flats, on the other hand, that I went up a half a size and they were still almost too small. I’ve never tried their sandals, though.

    • I have wide feet and therefore, if the shoe is non-wide, I size up half a size. I’d also suggest going for zappos b/c of the free shipping and get two pairs. Makes the mind game much better.

    • I love Cole Haans and for me it depends on the shoe. For heels made of a stiffer leather like patent, I go up half a size. With more pliable leathers I stick to my true size and actually go down half a size for ballet flats.

      • Definitely depends on the shoe. I have 3 pairs – two pairs of heels and 1 pair of ballet flats. All the same size. One of the heels I bought I’ve determined just don’t fit me – too small.

  15. Threadjack!

    I recently applied for a dream job that i didn’t get. I was, however, a 3rd round final contender. My interviewer, when emailing me to let me know that i didn’t get the job, noted that a different interviewer (B) wouldn’t mind talking to me to explore whether some other positions in the firm might be suited for me, and said that i should email him back and he’d let the the head of HR (who were copied on his email) know so that she could contact me to set up a meeting.

    i emailed him back to say that “yes! of course i’d be interested in talking to interviewer B/head of HR), and was greeted by an “i’ll be out of office for 2.5 weeks, not checking email!” away message.

    I’m wondering if i should just email the head of HR directly (the person he said he’d alert to set up a meeting), instead of hoping that he gets to my email in 3 weeks. But I don’t know whether this is overreaching and he’d find it irritating when he returns, or whether i should just wait and hope for the best. What would you do? What do you think?

    This is a petty question probably, but email/contact ettiquete makes me really nervous for some reason. Am I the only one?

    • How long ago did you get the auto-reply? People often have those activared but still check email and respond to time-sensitive things while away. I wouldn’t be surprised if you got a real response from him within a few days.

      • *activated.

      • I sent the email this morning (got the rejection yesterday morn), and got the auto-reply immediately afterwards.

        I could probably wait a few days, but i worry a bit because it’s a british company, and most Euro employees i’ve worked with seem to be quite serious about taking their vacations and not checking email or doing work while on them!

        • * And he’s also the head of HR worldwide, so he’s definitely going to have lots of more important emails to attend to when he gets back, and even if he checks while on vacation

        • Ah–understood. I agree that probably changes things. I think if I were you I would wait a bit and then–BECAUSE the HR person was copied on the email–contact that person as a reply-all to his original email, so it’s clear that you’re not doing anything out of the blue or behind his back. Mention the fact that he’s away, but spin it so you’re just trying to make things convenient for both of them (rather than pursuing the job you want, though of course that’s what you’re doing!) Good luck.

    • Was the head of HR copied on your reply to him, or did you just reply to the interviewer? If the latter, it’s totally fine for you to email the HR person, since he was copied on the original email. Just forward your response to him, say that you got an out of office reply from the interviewer and you noticed he was copied on the original message, so you hope he can assist you.

      If the interviewer hadn’t copied the head of HR on his email to you, my answer would have been different.

    • I think by including the head of HR on his email, he expected you to hit Reply to All on your response. I would probably just resend your original response, only this time as Reply to All.

  16. not an idiot :

    Sorry – needed to vent. Just got back from an expensive business lunch that I didn’t think I was going to have to pay for and when I said something to a friend/co-worker of mine about not expecting to pay and being frustrated, he responded, “You’re an idiot.”

    Um. I’m not. And there’s no reason he should have said that. It was totally reasonable to expect the lunch would have been a business expense and even if I was being naive or whatever, there’s still no need for that (especially when I out-work him ALL THE TIME).

    I don’t take well to people saying something like that to anyone, especially me. So uncalled for.

    • Well, now you know who IS an idiot! Don’t let him ruin your afternoon :)

    • Just curious – why were you required to pay (out of pocket, I presume)? Was there some basic firm policy with which you were unfamiliar? I would be SO upset if that happened!

      FWIW, under no circumstances should anyone at the office be calling you an idiot.

      • not an idiot :


        It was out of pocket. Normally there’s a ‘mentoring’ budget used when people of different class years go out for a meal, and the people I was out with have used that for me before. So when they suggested a pricier restaurant, I assumed. I did, I made an assumption and (literally) paid for it – but that still doesn’ t make me an idiot! I spoke with some other friends (at other firms) and they said they all would have made the same assumption. I guess my lunch companions just didn’t feel like charging it to the firm today, and as the most junior of the lunch crowd, it wasn’ t my option.

        • Hmm. I’m wondering if they were out of budget funds for the month/quarter/year. I’m no longer at a firm, but when I was, I recall there being a total dollar cap on mentoring/summer meal outings.

          I’m sorry that happened though.

        • Ah, I see. I was thinking you’d taken out a client (maybe a junior person at a client firm) and went to get it reimbursed, only to be told it wasn’t reimbursable. Still super annoying though!

          I mentored someone once and did have a fixed budget. I was always very clear when I asked her to lunch that it was on the firm. If it ever wasn’t, I would definitely have made that clear too (though the budget lasted the entire summer she was with us so it didn’t come up). I’m sorry your older coworkers don’t see the need to extend a similar courtesy. Boo to them and boo to the rude coworker who called you an idiot!

    • I agree. Some men attorney’s can be so dumb some times. Don’t expect them to be understanding, either.

    • AnonInfinity :

      So rude. I’m sorry you have to deal with him. Ick.

    • You’re not an idiot (not that you think you are, just reaffirming). The senior associates should have been clear with you upfront that the firm wasn’t picking up the tab. I would have made the same assumption, especially if one of the people at the lunch was my assigned mentor.
      Sorry you got stuck with a bill….you’ll at least be hyper-aware of not letting junior people get the wrong idea when you’re taking people out!

    • Do you mean you had to pay for your own tab, or for the whole table? I’m assuming the former, but if I’m wrong, please let me know. Stuff like that can be annoying, but (assuming you weren’t ordering $1,000 bottles of wine or something) will be just a drop in the bucket. Don’t sweat it.

      Your coworker, however, is definitely a jerk. An honest mistake or assumption does not make a person an idiot, especially if you had good reason to think it would be covered. Just ignore him and take the high road.

    • Lunch is awkward :

      I just had a post about this type of thing a few weeks ago! Times when it should be obvious which member of the party is picking up the tab, but then it’s not. I agree that your lunch companions should’ve mentioned it to you, especially since it was pricier than usual, and they’ve paid before. I think it’s a completely reasonable mistake to make, don’t listen to your co-worker’s judgment!

  17. I love this but not the price. I have a similar top and it turns out to be really flattering and one of the few I own that doesn’t seem to bunch up under jackets and/or cardigans