Wednesday’s TPS Report: Boyfriend Blazer With “Fluro” Trim

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

ASOS Boyfriend Blazer With Fluro TrimI’m not sure how I feel about the entire suit for this look (although A for effort, ASOS — a fresh take on a suit that also might fly in an office! Hooray!) but I actually quite like the gray blazer with fluorescent yellow trim. Love the flouncy details at the back, and the really classic cut with that pop of bright, bright color. It’s available at ASOS in gray/yellow and navy/orange for $99. ASOS Boyfriend Blazer With Fluro Trim

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  1. looks like a jogging suit. (ba da dum)

    • I’d wear this boyfriend blazer on the weekend, or to my very casual office. Happily, except for the flounce:(. Flounces and high peplums look so random on long-waisted people, as they tend to flare out without warning around our ribcage.

    • I love it! I wouldn’t wear the whole thing, but I would definitely wear the blazer (in either color) to the office. Styled correctly, it would definitely be formal enough for my big-law office. Perhaps the gray one would only work on a Friday, but I’m sure the navy would work any day of the week.

      Great choice, Kat! I’m always looking for more interesting blazers. They are so hard to find.

      • CP in seattle :

        Agree! Love the blazer! Would look amazing with dark denim jeans! Oh man, i’m very tempted.

    • That’s two grey w/ yellow trim pieces in a row. New favorite combo, Kat?

      • NHligatrix :

        Does anyone know how ASOS fits? I love the blazer!

        • In my experience they tend to fit very close to the body – almost European in sizing. Closest to H&M or JCrew in that their clothes seem to favor tall, thin women with relatively few curves.

    • Paulie Bleeker in career wear!

      I like the idea of the jacket. Everything about the skirt is ugly and it rubs its ugly off on the jacket when worn together.

  2. Equity's Darling :

    It sort of looks like a sweat-suit suit. I don’t know what the material is, but I’m thinking cotton w/ some spandex or lycra.

    I love piping, but I’m not a fan of the fluorescent piping.

    Maybe I’d buy the blazer (in the navy though, not the gray) to wear with skinny jeans or cords on the weekend if I was looking for something more interesting.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I really like the navy blazer, but I’d have to see how bright the orange is in person. I love orange and blue together – I’m wearing blue, coral, and black today – but I agree it can tend to look more casual. The skirt reminds me of my Adidas gym shorts from high school.

      I have seen an alarming amount of neon in stores lately. I’m frightened for our future.

      • I love orange and navy too — especially since orange and black screams Halloween to me.

      • I also thought the skirt looked like running shorts!

      • Neon is on trend for spring. I don’t love it, but I like this blazer and it seems like a moderate way to wear the trend. That skirt, however, is a totally different story. Yikes.

    • I, too, was thinking that the navy version could be a nice weekend/casual Friday option … but the grey is a no-go for sure.

    • I actually all-caps LOVE the blazer, especially the navy, and would buy it in a second if I had a spare $99 lying around. Alas.

    • Agreed– the navy & orange blazer with skinny jeans or cords would look good, rather than this kind of frumpy-dumpy skirt with the ugly hem. It’s a bizarro suit– it’s too casual and ugly, with that skirt-hem, for office, but too formal for casual.

    • The hem is the true offender on this one for sure.

    • A gray suit with fluorescent yellow trim? A suit only a traffic engineer would love. Wouldn’t even need to put on a safety vest when she’s chillin’ in the field.

      • I’m a civil/traffic engineer and didn’t even think of that! I do regularly just wear fluorescent tshirts out in the field when it’s too hot to wear the polyester vests. This could totes be my important meeting to site visit outfit!

    • Seattleite :

      I imagine that somewhere, Asos’ mass-production team (or whatever they’re called) had a little too much to drink and made a bet. And if this skirt sells more than xxx units, some guy is gonna have to shave his head and wear a dress to work.

  3. I think I could NOT get a boyfreind if I wore this. FOOEY! It should look more femenine, not this.

    Even tho it is cheap enough ($99), I want a boyfreind so that I can get MARRIED, and this will NOT do it for me. Sorry!

  4. The hem on the skirt is horrible, it reminds me of 1970s short gym shorts with that piping.

    Anyway, for those thinking of LLMs, I got this blurb in a bar email:

    Does a graduate law degree increase a lawyer’s value on the legal job market? Not according to Steven John, a managing director at legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. On Jan. 7, he told a roomful of law school administrators during the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools in Washington that advanced degrees in law — with the exception of LL.M.s for foreign-trained attorneys and tax LL.M.s — can actually hurt job candidates, because they may signal uncertainty about their career paths or attempts to avoid the reality of a difficult job search. Also suspect is when candidates study in areas that do not dovetail with their practice experience, he said.

    • I didn’t realize people even consider LLMs besides tax ones

      • I graduated law school in 2011 and people were talking about getting ones subjects other than tax.

    • I teach LLM students, and I couldn’t agree more – generally, I think it’s a waste of money. My students are foreign and are typically not trying to work in the US, so the value proposition is different for them, but I haven’t seen US students in the program benefit, job-wise (other than tax).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I got mine in intellectual property, which is in line with my prior internships and planned career path. I had additional reasons for pursuing it, but if I had the chance to do it over again I don’t think I would make the same choice. I haven’t experienced reactions that suggest concern over my uncertainty but that could be because of the fact it lined up with previous experiences and jd coursework. It helped me get a long term temp job at a prestigious company that is difficult to get into. Ultimately it hasn’t helped me find a permanent job and has hurt my ability to find a permanent non-ip job since it clearly looks like something I’d just be desperate to take temporarily until I found ip work. I don’t suggest getting an LLM unless you are a foreign student or possibly going into tax.

    • LLM in BsAs :

      As is evident, I have an LLM. But also evident, I am (was?) a foreign student. Except for the 100-or-so US students doing the (top rated) tax LLM offered at my law school, I think there was a single US student in the remaining 300-or-so of us. She was taking International Law. Odd, I know. She basically treated it as a sabbatical from her law firm, where she returned once the program was done.
      For the rest of us foreigners, it was an “in” to taking the NY bar and trying (unsuccessfully in my case) to get a job in the US legal market. This was 2004-2005, btw. Some of my classmates managed to get jobs and are still in NYC, most of us moved back to our countries with an added value that has, undoubtedly, raised our marketability at home. In my case, I basically moved up two or three years in my career, jumping from a junior (1-year out of law school) associate to a mid-level/semi-senior associate in 18-months (I did an 6-month intership when the program was done).
      Ramble over.

    • I think the only LLM worth it is the one your employer pays for. Or if you’re an international lawyer.

  5. Maybe just the jacket or just the skirt could work in a very creative office, but I wonder if even that is a stretch. The flourescent trim is what sinks this ship. Sorry Kat!

  6. Always a NYer :

    This really does remind me of a sweatsuit, and not one I’d buy.

    Also, I’m laughing because Belle over at Caphill Style has the same suit in today’s 10th Commandment.

    • I just saw that.

    • Belle and Kat are right next to each other in my reader; I thought something was messed up when I saw this same suit twice.

      For the record, I personally would not wear it but that’s just me. Looks a bit too sweatshirt-y for my taste.

  7. Morning Sickness :

    I’m newly pregnant (5.5 weeks) and just starting to experience morning sickness – dizziness, nausea, weakness. I know it’s just hormones, but I just hate not feeling “right” each day. It’s making me want to go home and crawl back into bed. What are your suggestions for combating this feeling in the workplace?

    • For ‘mild’ morning sickness (ie – it abates at some point and you’re not in danger of dehydration) I’d suggest eating something before your feet hit the floor in the morning – crackers, almonds, chips, whatever seems appetizing. Try to eat on a very regular basis – I found that if I didn’t eat *something* every 2 hours or so I’d be sick, period, end of story. Carrying high protein/carb heavy snacks helped a lot. Some people swear by sour candies/ginger/sucking candies/etc. Personally, for me, they never worked but it doesn’t hurt to try.
      And if your morning sickness gets really bad, ask your doc about prescription meds. Zofran was the only reason I wasn’t hospitalized for dehydration multiple times throughout my pregnancy.

      • Agreed. Keep something plain (crackers or white bread) on your nightstand and put it in your mouth before your feet touch the floor. Eat often. As often as it takes. Stay hydrated. I also did not like sour things or things you sucked on b/c the extra saliva in my mouth just reminded me that I was on the verge of throwing up.

    • a passion for fashion :

      I had the worst morning sickness ever (think hospital because of dehydration), all nine months, both pregnancies. So i have tried everything. Here are some suggestions that worked for me at various times and in varrying degrees:
      *try peppermint — drink peppermint tea, keep altoids nearby, chew peppermint gum
      *wear the sea sickness wrist bands
      *drink gatorade
      *second the eating crackers in the morning before you get out of bed and eating small things every 2 hours or so
      *if you are taking pre-natals, take them before you go to bed at night. If that still makes you sick (it did me), buy some of the regular, or pre-natal, gummy OTC vitamins.
      *suck on ginger candies
      *take papaya enzymes

      • I wholeheartedly agree with ginger. Eat ginger candy, sip ginger tea (either a prepared blend, or simply slices of fresh ginger in hot water), try some of the strong ginger brews (sodas) on the market. It helped me tremendously when I was pregnant.

      • Yes – SEA BANDS. Seems like a hoax, but they really work (at least for some).

    • Diana Barry :

      My OB recommended taking vitamin B-6 and unisom (a ‘natural’ sleep aid) together, twice a day. I would take this with breakfast, and eat as soon as possible after getting up, preferably carbs (cereal/bagel/toast). Then I would take another B-6/unisom after dinner. It helped me not feel like dying every day at work. :)

      • Diana Barry :

        Oh, and if that hadn’t worked, I would have gone the Zofran route v quickly. It is not worth it to feel so bad for weeks on end!

        • a passion for fashion :

          I had to take zofran with both pregnancies for the whole nine months. It works. I made it possible for me to eat.

      • That combination was nothing short of miraculous for me. After six months (in which I was hospitalized four times for HG and lost 30 pounds), my doctor suggested the B-6 and Unisom and it was like a lightswitch. I found I only needed it at night — but the few times I missed a dose, I’d be sick again by 10:00 the next morning.

        I read that raspberry tea helped too, and I had some modest relief from the Celestial Seasonings Raspberry Zinger.

        Zofran did next to nothing for me — I vomited a little less but spent most of my time dry heaving. Reglan and Compazine were even worse. I know folks who had really good results from Zofran, though.

    • Eating little combos of protein and carbs throughout the day is what helped me. Something like some apple slices with a little peanut butter is perfect. The NP at my OB’s office also suggested keeping those little lunch packages of fruit cocktail with the syrup added in my desk for those “uh-oh” moments. This is something I wouldn’t normally eat, but man did it ever work. A small glass of juice or a regular (not diet) soda also helped. And eating something right away is a very helpful hint.

      I really struggled with this at the beginning of my first pregnancy and lost a lot of weight. These things helped me feel better. The second time around I felt the same, but I followed these guidelines and felt much better.

      The fatigue is another thing. It will get better, but there’s not much you can do about it. That was worse my second pregnancy because I couldn’t go to bed at the end of the work day – I had a toddler to care for.

      The good news is that you should feel better when you hit the second trimester. Congrats and have a healthy and happy pregnancy.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Echoing most of above, but here’s my two cents based on two pregnancies:
      — Crackers and glass of water by the bed are vital. Then try to eat what you can. And empty tummy will set you up for a bad day.
      — Half a Unisom (and B6, although I didn’t personally find it helpful) at bedtime is THE thing. You’ll wake up feeling pretty normal, which allows you to get a breakfast in your tummy and starting the entire day of right. Note: you want the sleep tabs, not the gel caps. They are the pregnancy-approved ones. People who have done both tell me Unisom works better than zofran.
      — Eat small amounts constantly. Keep pretzels, nuts, orange juice, whatever at your desk and graze all day. Don’t let your belly get empty; don’t let it get too full.
      — Most people swear by ginger and hard candies; didn’t personally help me (I can’t do sweets in first tri) but absolutely worth a try. Lemon and sour things helped me most, such as lemon in sparkling water.
      — Sea Bands. They sound worthless but work beautifully.
      — Eat what you can. It may be pretzels and popsicles. It may be big macs. Don’t fret about the nutritional quality right now. Your goal is survival.


      • “Don’t fret about nutritional quality, the goal is survival”. So true! My ob-gyn was the one who told me to eat burgers and fries if it was all I could keep down.

    • First, try to keep small amounts of food in your stomach. Greasy always helped settle my stomach, but YMMV. Listen to what you’re craving, it usually helps you feel better, or dry crackers like others have said.

      Vit B6 (it’s a water soluble vitamin, so you pee away anything your body doesn’t use) although it takes a day or 2 to really kick in. For me it took the edge off the morning sickness and made it so I could function. Brace yourself because morning sickness always got worse for me around 6 to 8 weeks.

      Also, something that saved me for occasional nausea was Jolly Rancher hard candies. THe combo of sweet & sour was amazing, and I would feel 100% while sucking on one. Of course now, 6 years later, I’ll probably never be able to eat another Jolly Rancher, but they were wonderful for pg#3 (when I realized how awesome they were for morning sickness, and also for the pg that I was mildly to moderately sick almost the whole 9 mo).

      Finally, don’t worry about your weight. You might need to gain a few pounds (because of crazy cravings and not feeling like exercising) but who cares, as long as you can function through the day. And make sure to rest when you can. Growing a baby is actually really hard work – likened to climbing a mountain in one pregnancy book I read.

      • Going to work pregnant is hard, day in day out, no way around it. It’s okay to admit that to yourself and remember this has a deadline. I’m 4.5 months and was just thinking how tired I am today, and a little dizzy. And my back hurts. Nothing really fixes this- I can’t sleep through the night or nap all day, I sit in a chair and no matter how many times I stand up it’s still uncomfortable. I am just aiming to have more better than worse days, and get through it. Good luck to you.
        Had to run a meeting this am with people from around the globe on the call– but stomach (ok bladder) wasn’t cooperating on way in, had to stop twice… yeech. Annoying when your own system isn’t cooperating. Stressful. We do the best we can.

        • I am 11.5 weeks along and just got over the worst of my sickness! This is my third and may I recommend Zofran only if you are truly, truly unable to function or stay hydrated. My doctor was very quick to prescribe this, and the awful constipation it caused was NOT worth it!! I am now in the care of a CNM who agrees it should only be given out in situations that cannot be managed otherwise.

  8. How do I do a drastic hair change in my office? I have always been one to drastically change my hair color at the drop of a hat. I am lucky in that both dark hair and blond hair look natural on me, so I like to make the change every year or so (though this time I think I am going to go more red). I don’t change slowy – I like to jump straight in. However, I feel awkward and overly dramatic busting into the office with this whole new hair color one day. Am I the only one who feels this way? Is there a way to make less of a dramatic entrance with my whole new hair? Is it unprofessional to go with such a dramatic change?

    • I’m all natural now, but for about ten years I loved coloring my hair, and had a complexion that worked well with many colors.

      My advice – go for it – but get a color and cut and style and/or blowout if that’s right for you, so when you first show up with a different color, your hair looks fabulous and people can’t help but compliment you on it.

      • Former MidLevel :

        Agreed. I don’t think you’ll be overly dramatic if you come in with a fabulous, well-cut, professional (albeit different) haircut.

      • I agree, just go for it, so long as the color is in the natural spectrum it shouldn’t be an issue. A big change will bring attention/comments, but as long as it’s a do acceptable for your office it shouldn’t affect you professionally.

        On a side now, how do you guys that switch from light to dark every year or so keep your hair healthy? Its seems the bottom half of my hair is pretty damaged after going blond/black/red and back a couple times. Due to my oily scalp I need to wash my hair every day, and I can’t use a moisturizing shampoo. I currenlty use the aussie 3 minute miracle conditioner a couple times a week and use the redken anti snap leave in stuff before I heat style. I only flat iron 1-2 times a week.

        • Have you tried dry shampoo? It’s basically a powder that you spray on your scalp to absorb oil.

          • I have stashes of dry shampoo everywhere. If I wash my hair in the morning, I dry shampoo before happy hour or evening meetings.

            My hair is thin and fine so there’s not much hair to absorb the oil The people I know who can go more than a day without washing have thick hair, in addition to having such oily skin.

            I think my hair gets damaged because I”ll lighten it, dye it darker, then lighten it, so the longer pieces have been subjected to bleach, darkening, bleach, so I was wondering what I could use to counteract that.

        • Makeup Junkie :

          Try Shea butter, Red. Put it on overnight and wash it out in the morning.

        • I use moroccan oil conditioner. If you have greasy hair, just use it on the ends. It literally is a miracle worker. I wish I could fford to use the whole line of products, but I can only afford the conditioner.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Go for it!

      I recently went from blonde to full-on Joan Holloway red, and people generally were complimentary, there were a couple of ‘omg I didn’t recognise you’ moments, but it really wasn’t a big deal since I didn’t make it into one.

      Red – I was like you and got hugely put in my place by my hairdresser about washing my hair every day. I was CONVINCED I was just one of those people who had to, but I have trained myself out of the habit. I have found a good dry shampoo and started wearing my hair up more (and esp wearing a headscarf at night to keep hair off my greasy face) and even though it took a while, it has become easier and my hair is nowhere near as gross as it used to be on day 2!

    • TheOtherCoast :

      I do this at least once a year. People normally have a positive response. Unless you are doing a non-natural color (pink, green, blue, really vibrant red) or have a very edgy cut, I think you will be fine. You’ll get comments for the first couple days.

    • karenpadi :

      Go for it! I chopped off my shoulder length hair into a pixie cut over lunch. People noticed it for about 24 hours and then life went on as usual.

  9. The navy and orange are UVA colors! If I could find the right alumni-type event, I’d definitely wear this.

    • Another Hoo! I definitely think my love of the blazer relates to its potential as a football game cover-up :) (also, only at UVA…)

      • fellow wahoo :

        is it sad that the first thing i thought when i saw the navy blazer with orange trim was: this would be perfect for a UVA event!

    • First thing I thought of w/ the navy is Auburn colors. I’m a Bama fan, so I just can’t do it!! But I would wear the grey!

    • Richmond Lawyer :

      Wahoowa! Thought the same thing. Reunions?

  10. Advice needed. I bought two great pairs of Cole Haan Air boots during the Nordstroms anniversary sale. The only problem is: they’re too high. 4″ high. Normally I stick to 2.5-3″ max. I thought “oh, they’re Air, I can totally do this” but I can’t. My feet hurt after 2 minutes walking in them, I have to clutch the railing going up and down the subway stairs, and it takes my twice as long to walk anywhere. I tried putting foot petals in them, which helped a little, but the ball of my foot is still screaming. Any advice? Or do I just need to try to sell them on eBay and write them off as a loss?

    • What size are they. You can send them to me if they are a 9.5!!

      • I wish! 6.5. But would happily give them to someone else!

        • I’m a 6.5, but I’m not sure I could do 4″ either. Does anyone else have these? How are they?

        • I’m a 6.5! I love 4″! Seriously, let me know if you are looking for a good home for them–I’d love to know more.

    • I would just get rid of them, if you can’t wear them, and extra cushioning under the balls of your feet hasn’t helped.

    • MaggieLizer :

      If you’re not used to walking around in heels that high you may just need to get your feet “in shape” for them. Gradually increase the amount of time you wear them – start by walking around the house, then the block, then to run a quick errand, etc.

      Or… if you still decide to sell them can you please post the link here? I’m a 6.5!

    • Locomotive :

      Those are either comfortable or not. I bought a pair of the Cole Haan Talias black suede ankle boots during that sale (because they look amazing) but I cannot walk in them even if it’s just around the office on carpeting! I tried for 2 weeks and it never got any better, so I gave them to my co-worker. She finds them to be one of the most comfortable heels she owns. So… I think it’s a your foot just works or doesn’t work with it kinda thing.

      • Totally agree with this. I have flat shoes that I can’t stand and my mom has the same pair and thinks they are the most comfortable things she has ever owned.

        I know it’s a loss money wise. But try to think of the bigger picture–risking the health costs and pain of a fall down the subway stairs or bunions is much worse. Mind you, I say this with several pairs of shoes in my closet that have only seen the light of day a few times because of ill fit. :)

    • I just got rid of a pair of boots that was a tad too high. I could not make them work.

    • Would trimming down the heels help? A good cobbler can shave about 1/4″ off the heels without it affecting the balance of the shoe, but I don’t know if that would be enough to help you.

      Extra Petite had a post on some kind of souped-up ball of the foot pads, sorry I can’t remember the name. But they were thicker than the usual foot pads so maybe that would help.

      • I second seeing the cobbler before you get rid of the boots. The cobbler I use has shortened the heels on several pairs of boots for me, making them so much more comfortable.

    • I have Cole Haan air boots that I find very uncomfortable

    • I would let them go. Since you bought them at Nordstrom, they will take them back. I do not support returning things that have been used but in this case they sound unwearable. Thanks for posting this. I’ve had my eye on the Euphemia boots and now I’ll sadly let them go because I don’t think I can handle the 4″ heel. I want to put my shoes on and forget about them. I do love the ballet wedges I ordered though.

      • I would not take them back to Nordstrom. They probably would take them back but there’s nothing wrong with the shoes and I don’t think it’s right to abuse the policy.

    • If Nordstrom won’t take them back, do you have a high-quality consignment store in your area?

  11. Anon For This :


    There have been a few threads on this type of thing lately – I’m interviewing for a job at a firm I’d love to work for, hear incredible things about, (Firm 2) in a pretty small city (~40,000). I summered at the other major firm (Firm 1) my 1L year.
    I had a terrible, horrible experience at Firm 1. A lot of things about it were pretty bad in terms of work, ethics, etc, but topping the list for sure was an overt, daily round of sexist comments (not about me, but about women in general) by almost every male partner – slang, sexual stuff, “what women are good for” stuff, pretty rough at times. On more than one occasion that summer I went home and cried, sure if law was like this I had thrown away my life and would be miserable forever. On my last day nobody even said goodbye; at 5PM I packed up my stuff and left. I’m not the only person to have had this experience (including the last day experience), and they’ve never had a female summer associate return in the last eight years, maybe longer. I have never experienced another workplace that came even close to this.
    Thankfully, I had two more great firm summering experiences, and a great firm experience, and I do love the practice of law. Now, for family reasons – my husband’s, so I don’t have a lot of contacts – I’m moving back to this city. We both agree that there is no way I would ever work at Firm 1 again, although we know I’ll see them in court and work with them.

    My question is this: This is a small city. I know Firm 2 is going to call Firm 1 and ask their opinion of me. I don’t have much control over that. But I also know Firm 2 is going to ask me about my experience at Firm 1, and ask why I’m not even trying to return there. Obviously, there are some unspoken rules about not bad-mouthing past employers, and I can see it raising red flags if I were to talk about the gender issues. What do I say when Firm 2 asks me about Firm 1, and why I’m not returning? I don’t know whether Firm 2 is aware of the atmosphere of Firm 1.

    • Firm 2 is probably aware of the atmosphere at Firm 1, so they may not even ask. If they do, have one or two concrete examples of things you learned at Firm one and spout them off (diverting attention away from their actual question). Then add that, as much as you enjoyed the learning experience at Firm one, you are excited to diversify your work experience and learn about opportunities at Firm two.

      It is more likely that they will ask about what you learned at Firm 1, and the experience you gained there rather than why you do not wish to be employed there now.

    • Perhaps you could tell Firm 2 that you didn’t return to Firm 1, because at that time, you didn’t think you were going to return to that small city. Geography, if you can use it, makes a useful excuse rather than, “the people who worked at Firm 1 were s3xist useless @holes”

      As you say, for family/husband reasons, you’re moving back to this city which is why you’re looking at Firm 2 in the first place.

    • MissJackson :

      If Firm 1 hasn’t had a female summer return over a multiple year stretch, and especially because this is a small legal market, Firm 2 knows allllll about it. Nonetheless, don’t badmouth Firm 1, and definitely don’t get into the sexism (that just sets off warning bells that you’re a discrimination claim risk, sadly, regardless of how true everything that you are saying is). Say something vague about how you valued your experience there but that you didn’t feel like it was a good fit and then launch into how Firm 2 IS a great fit. Your interviewer will probably read between the lines, but you won’t come off as petty/hard to work with.

      • Agreed 100% – I work in a town of about 40,000 and all the lawyers know everything about all the other lawyers. In fact, there is a firm that sounds remarkably like Firm 1 and it’s unspoken but well known why they can’t hire/keep female attorneys. If you are asked about your experience at Firm 1, just say neutral things about your experience – learned a lot, yadda, yadda. I doubt you’ll be asked why you didn’t stay, especially since you had two other summer experiences. Firm 2 will know why and won’t care to get into it. (You aren’t in the Midwest are you? ;-))

    • If you didn’t have any problems with the substantive work you did at Firm 1, I’d start by saying that you enjoyed that and found it interesting/challenging/etc. Then you can generalize about the other stuff by saying the culture of the office wasn’t right for you, or that you value professionalism and found it lacking there. If I was being interviewed by a woman, I would feel more comfortable saying something along the lines of how it seemed like an “old boys club” and felt like women weren’t welcome or treated with the same professional courtesy as men. As long as you don’t accuse Firm 1 of being outright sexist pigs (which might flag you as being a risk for a gender discrimination lawsuit or something), and instead focus on not being a good “fit,” I think you’ll be fine. Also, your positive experiences at other firms should adequately demonstrate that this isn’t a matter of you being overly sensitive.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        Don’t assume that because your interviewer is a woman you can make comments about unprofessionalism or old boys club. it might backfire. I am a woman and would think a comment like this in an interview might mean that the person (a) plays the gender card a lot; (b) makes a lot of excuses for her own lack of success; (c) is a whiner; or (d) has a valid point but shouldn’t complain about another firm.
        Sad, but true. The legal profession is small. Never, ever, ever complain about one firm to another firm. It never makes you look good.

      • Agree with Ameila Bedelia (great name!) I left my last firm because of the sexism…as well as the lack of advancement possibilities (firm founder had many children, all attorneys with the firm, all getting raises and bonuses and made partner while he whined about how poor he was too the rest of us, all annoying as fuck), the hours, the benefits, really everything about the firm.

        In looking at new jobs I would state where I currently worked (and get the “Ohhhhhh” from my interviewer) and then state that I was looking for a change and I felt that my background with said firm would make me a real asset to the new job, blah blah blah. It worked, I received 3 job offers out of 4 interviews and am now happily ensconsed in the nicest, best law firm I’ve ever seen.

    • Your city is small enough that I would be surprised if Firm 2 doesn’t already know about Firm 1’s reputation. With a history that spans at least 8 years, that’s more than enough time for the word to spread via disgruntled former female employees. Some of them may even be partners at this point, as I’d guess that it’s not just the summer program that has this issue. If the behavior is so overt with people they are trying to recruit, you can bet it’s even more overt with female associates who work there. It’s likely that the sexism is also evident to opposing counsel and possibly extends to clients in the area.

      • I’d be shocked if Firm 2 doesn’t already know why you’re not interested in returning to Firm 1.

        I worked for a real jerk, and had a carefully prepared interview answer for why I wanted to leave. I found that most attorneys that had encountered him knew exactly why I was leaving and I never even had to address it. I think it actually reflected well on me… the firm knew that I was capable of working with difficult people.

        I would prepare an answer that is really positive, say that you learned a lot, and then explain why Firm 2 is the perfect fit. You have nothing to gain from backing Firm 1 and everything to gain from being the better person.

    • I would say something like – I got to work on x at firm 1, and enjoyed y working on that, but your firm seems like such a great fit for z reason.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I think it’s good to be prepared and the others have already given you great advice.

      However, I think there’s an excellent chance that Firm 2 is not even going to ask about Firm 1. I think I’m in a similar city, and I worked at most of the bigger firms in my city during the summer or school year as a student. Not even one ever asked me about my experience at another. They all know the stereotypes about each firm, which stereotypes are true, which students are the most desirable, etc.

    • “I learned so much at Firm 1, but don’t feel they’re the best fit for my long term goals”

      • What Heather said. Also, is there a practice group, or a major area of work at Firm 2 that doesn’t exist at Firm 1? A partner who you want to work with? A difference in the size of the office? I similarly went to Firm 2 after summering at my own Firm 1, and I just said, “I had a great experience at Firm 1 but realized that I wanted to be in a smaller office.” No one ever pushed.

    • You can always go with the general “it wasn’t a good fit for me”. And then say something positive that you’ve heard about Firm 2 and why that makes Firm 2 a great place for you.

      I HATED the firm I summered at, because the office environment was dreadful. That’s the approach I took to answering that question.

    • karenpadi :

      I started out as a clerk at a solo firm where the solo was notorious and everyone in the area knew it. During my interview, they asked leading questions to see if I’d break down and insult my then-employer (yes, should have been a red flag but I was desperate). I stuck to the script the others above have recommended. The response from my interviewers was anywhere from “I understand, we all have to eat” and “do you think his litigation strategy will actually work?” (I replied, “like all litigation strategies, it has some risks.” Him: “[snort] yeah, it’s ‘risky’.”)

      So yes, people know and the interviewers might even bring it up themselves. I was young and didn’t want to defend someone my interviewer had a bad opinion of so I just smiled and shrugged. I got the job.

    • If I were you, I’d talk about Firm 1 as little as possible. Just say that while you learned a lot from your time at Firm 1, Firm 2 is a better fit for you in terms of career and what not.

      Also, this being a small city, I’d imagine that the people at Firm 2 are aware that Firm 1 is not the best place for women, and so you won’t get too many questions as to why you’re not going back. Especially if no female associate has returned in eight years.

  12. I am very sleepy today, and find myself reading the same sentence over and over. Any advice on how to wake up and get focused on work? I already had two cups of coffee. Thanks!

    • My own weird remedy for this is: get a glass of orange juice and put some ice cubes in it. I find the sugars in the orange juice, plus the refreshing citrus-smell give me a boost. The ice makes me wake up, rather than get all warm and cozy. If that doesn’t work, go for a quick brisk walk once around the outside of your building without your coat. Good luck!

    • Go for a quick walk or do some stretching. Try to get your blood flowing.

      • MissJackson :

        Awhile back someone posted a link to a video of “office exercises” that help make you more alert/focused/awake. They were totally awesome, although I don’t have the link handy — worth a google, though!

        • Aw, so glad someone liked my link! Here it is. Gaiam has a bunch of short exercise videos on their site.

    • In-House Europe :

      go for a quick walk around the block? 15 minutes or so?

    • Try doing your work standing up. Push your monitor back as far as you can on the desk and tilt it so it’s facing upwards as much as possible. Flip an empty banker’s box over and put your keyboard on it, do the same with a smaller box for your mouse, if you can. Stretch while working, esp the legs. Take off your heels if you have to.

      If you’re having trouble reading, read each sentence out loud to yourself.

  13. a passion for fashion :

    I dont like the skirt at all, but i really like the blazer in either color. So much that im considering ordering it in navy.

  14. In-House Europe :

    I actually just sent this suit to a friend at work as a joke…could not even imagine wearing it all together…MAYBE the jacket with jeans??

  15. When I saw this post, I honestly wondered if this was a joke post…like April Fools Day.

  16. Real estate (well, really, “lifestyle” advice).

    I am trying to decide between two potential condos in my city. Both are *exactly* the same price, and the same relative quality of finishes (and even the same ceiling height, both are bi-level, both in historic registered row homes, both have the same flooring, both have fireplace, even the same color of granite!):

    Condo 1: One bedroom plus den (small bedroom without a closet, really), 1.5 bath. The master bedroom closet leaves much to be desired, but it has a large storage area on the bottom floor off of the laundry room (the level below the bedroom) that could easily be turned into a walk-in but wouldn’t be on the same level as the bedroom. Condo 1 is in an established, nice, safe neighborhood about 3/4 of a mile walk from work. Close to a lot of shopping and great restaurants. Street level with a long patio on the side of the row house, fenced in.

    Condo 2: Two bedrooms plus den, 2 full baths, also a bi-level. Still no walk-in closet on the bedroom, but there is a whole other bedroom on that level. This is the top floor of the row house (floors 2 and 3). Slightly farther walk to work (1.0 miles) and farther away from great restaurants and shopping, although many restaurants are opening in that area. Basically, this is a gentrified/gentrifying area while the other is more established. 150 square feet bigger. Would feel less comfortable, though still safe, walking around the area.

    I am 28 and completely single (also, if you know any great guys…). I mean I know this is a personal decision, but because they are so similar I am polling to see if you would give up a bedroom and full bath to “grow into” for a slightly nicer neighborhood now? I’m waffling back and forth so much on this decision, but my lease is up in March!

    • My first instint was to pick condo 2. It sounds like a better investment and will give you more room to grow. When you meet a great guy in the future, you would not be able to both live in condo 1. Besides, it would be a pain to have to go downstairs to get dressed.

      • Mine too! But then I like areas with a grittier feel.

        Just from reading your two descriptions, though it sounds as though you prefer the neighborhood that Condo 1 is in. You can work around the lack of closets (you can even turn the den into a bedroom or dressing room, with the addition of a garment rack), but you can’t change its location, or magically speed the gentrification process along. Food for thought.

        • My dream is to have a ‘den’ to turn into a dressing room. Currently thinking that the next place I be will be smaller to get closer downtown and so long as I have a den I can give up my other bedroom.

          • I have this now!! It is so great!! However I will have to share it with baby in June:)
            I love being able to make a mess in there… hubby can’t say anything. Great when drying hair, packing for a trip, all these things. I will miss my little dressing room!

        • I’d be leaning towards Condo 2 as well, the two bedrooms and two full baths would provide a lot more flexibility for a partner or even guests.

          However, I’d be a little concerned about the gentrification process — our ‘new’ office is in a part of DC that was in the “process” of being gentrified a few years ago when we moved. It’s still a long way off…not too bad for working here, but I wouldn’t feel that safe living just a few blocks away.

      • Condo 2 for sure. More space, still not far from work, sounds like area is fine now and only getting better. Probably better resale value if it is larger.

        • Also, as a single woman I would feel safer on an upper floor rather than street level. Just something to consider.

          • Also, in a top-floor condo you won’t be disturbed by noises from people walking in heels on wood floors/moving furniture/playing “catch” with the cat with a superball above you. No, no, completely hypothetical scenarios — why do you ask?

    • If you’re waffling, go for the better neighborhood closer to the office. A short walk to work cannot be beat!!

      • S in Chicago :

        That was exactly my first thought. The day to day benefit of time and convenience shouldn’t be discounted.

        Everyone is different, but I would never buy something solely with hopes of “growing into” it after meeting someone–chances are you’ll want to get a place together or you may end up moving into his place or you may end up switching jobs and not wanting to stay in the same area or XYZ. Life is just too unpredictable.

        I’d only go for Condo 2 if you’re looking at it investment wise and plan to be there for at least 5 years. Otherwise, make the most out of being single and living in a fantastic neighborhood while you can. There is a lot to be said for living somewhere where you like walking out your front door.

    • Diana Barry :

      If you are walking to the *supermarket*, that is a big deal in how close you are to stores. (I used to walk to TJ’s and shaw’s in boston and carry a huge backpack and bags on either side – my shoulders would scream by the time I got home.) I would go for #1 if it is quite a lot closer to stores that you will use all the time. If not, pick whichever you have the better gut feeling about. :)

    • Condo 2, all the way. You need to give yourself a 10-year real estate cycle.

      I bought our 2br, 1 bath when I was single and not in a relationship, 10 years ago. Now we’re all here — me, DH, 2 kids, pets. The real estate market peaked and tanked right when my first child was born– I know a LOT (I mean A LOT, like my son’s entire kindergarten class) who bought condos thinking they could just sell them without a problem. Now they are all, more or less, underwater, and squished.

      BTW, don’t worry about the closets. Get a good contractor and some graph paper. BTDT.

    • It would be a no brainer for me- I’d go for #2. It’s more likely to appreciate as the neighborhood becomes more desirable, and generally speaking, two-bedroom condos are easier to sell that one-bedroom units. Condo one doesn’t seem like it has enough storage for you, much less someone special. Yes, you could redo the downstairs storage room, but it really sounds like it would be inconvenient for anything but storing off-season clothing.

    • Nothing guarantees like you’ll meet a great guy like buying a place. I met my DH three weeks before I closed on my co-op. Now we fight over the bathroom and are looking for a bigger place. So that’s my vote for Place #2.

    • I’d pick condo 1. You’re single now, so you’re better off living in an area you feel very comfortable in, close to lots of shopping and dining and an easy walk to work. If you meet a guy and you want him to move in, you can figure manage in a 1.5 bedroom initially. For all you know, he’ll have his own house. I wouldn’t base my decision on that.

      • Reading the above, re: how you can’t possibly have enough room for 2 people in a duplex one bedroom plus den, with a large storage room, made me laugh. Living in NYC, that would be a seriously large apartment! FWIW, SO & I have been living in a small one bedroom with three closets for 4+ years just fine :)

    • I’d go for neighborhood first. If Condo #2’s location doesn’t make you feel safe walking around at night, then scratch it from the list. Walls can be moved, closets can be shuffled, but you can’t move your whole building.

    • Just lost a post about checking the taxes, fees, condo board, bylwas, rental policies, annoying neighbors, reno projects planned, etc. before deciding! Oh well, you get the idea

      • What city are you in? Gentrification means different things in different cities. Assuming that Condo 2 is in a really gentrifying neighborhood and not just gentrification-adjacent, I’d go with it all the way, on the assumption that you could be stuck there for a long time.

    • LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! Go for #1. You know you will love that area. Who knows how long it will take #2 neighborhood to actually develop to be like #1 neighborhood — maybe never…eek!

      I think the downstairs closet area is great. You can just keep your regulars in your little closet in the bedroom & switch out when needed. I have lived this way and it was totally fine. And you can use the den as a guest room – just get some big hooks for guests to hang clothes.

    • When it comes to real estate, I always go with location, location, location!

    • Left coaster :

      I was in virtually the same position (choosing a 2 bed/2 bath in a more up and coming neighborhood versus a 1bed plus den in a more established neighborhood — virtually the same price) last summer. My husband and I choose the bigger place in the more transitional neighborhood, and we are so, so glad that we did. At the time, we were really conflicted, but we now realize that the smaller place, even if great right now, would have had an expiration date — it would not have been comfortable to live in once we had a kid. With our current place, we could stay put for as long as we needed to, and having the extra space right now is SO nice. It’s also true that 2 bedrooms are easier to sell than 1 bedrooms, if you ever need to do so.

      • Condo gal :


        Also, if you ever lose your job, with a 2BR you can get a roommate to cover the mortgage, or at least part of it.

    • Are you in Philly? It sounds like it from your description of the housing stock and gentrification distances. If so, let me know and I can answer more specific questions.

      I would generally vote for number 2 but would think carefully about the neighborhoods that you have to walk through to get to the “good” neighborhoods.

      If you live in the less gentrified place but walk through generally equally or more gentrified places to get to work/stores, then I say definitely vote for it. I would say think more carefully though if you have to go through a very bad stretch to get from your less gentrified place to work/stores.

      • Original Poster :

        I AM in Philly. I can’t believe you guessed that. The difference is West Rittenhouse to Graduate Hospital. I think that stabbing in south Rittenhouse is part of the reason I am skeeved about the Grad Hospital condo.

        • Can't wait to quit :

          Any level of “skeeved” is not something you want in your new neighborhood. Condo 2 sounds wonderful, but if you will feel uncomfortable walking to and from work and entertainments at night, go for the other one. Don’t let anyone bully you into being “macho” about it and choosing the rougher neighborhood if you feel uncomfortable there.

        • I don’t know what stabbing you are referring to but crime can unfortunately happen anywhere (see the “mainline groper” that lead the 11 o’clock news last night.) Grad hospital is pretty safe. I, as a single lady, ha’ve actually lived in that neighborhood for the last five years. Everyone has different perceptions of what they think is safe, but I feel no concern walking my dog alone at 11pm at night around my block.

          The one intersection I would avoid living near is 16th and Catharine because of drug activity. That said, there is a house that just sold there for $600,000, so times are changing quickly.

          I would be really thorough about checking out the overall condition of the building and what the condo association is like. How are you and the other condo owner going to handle big ticket items if they are needed?

          Let me know if you want to discuss this more. I am very familiar with the neighborhood.

          • phillygirlruns :

            wow. we could form a little corporette club here in g-ho.

          • we probably have sat next to each other at sidecar already!

          • Was in your position a few years ago and went with the 1BR Rittenhouse condo. Would I (and hubs) sometimes want more space? Yes. Will we have to move when we we want a baby? Yes. But for now, with both of us super busy, having less “house” to take care of is really nice, and the short walk to work (and short walk to restaurants) is spoiling me for life.

          • I agree with Cat about living in Rittenhouse. Having less house to take care of is a relief, as is the extra time saved walking to and from things. You’d be surprised at what a big difference living a few blocks away makes. As for safety, I know people have spoken up about feeling safe as single women living in G-Ho, but given that crime CAN happen anywhere in this city, why not pick the neighborhood where the city has the most interest in keeping crime rates low?

            P.S. I know some single guys in Philly.

        • Legally Brunette :

          I used to live in Philly. Live in Rittenhouse! That’s such a beautiful area and even if the place is smaller, you will have an easier time selling it because of the location. And you’re steps away from great restaurants, shopping, etc. Graduate Hospital is definitely an up and coming area, but it still has a way to go and I wonder how easy you can resell a condo in the short term there if you had to.

          Have you looked at Old City at all? Gorgeous neighborhood and lots of condos. We used to live at the National at Old City, which is a wonderful condo building (pricey though).

          • There would be little to no risk of not being able to resell your condo in a short time frame, homes in Philadelphia, unlike those in most other cities in America actually GAINED value over the last three years – particularly in hot neighborhoods like GradHo. Median home values in the neighborhood is $350k plus. Median household income is $70k (which is really high given that Philly is the poorest big city in America with more than a third of its residents living in family units that earn less than $25k a year.)

        • phillygirlruns :

          i live in g-ho and have for a little over three years now. it can be pretty street-by-street, but in general, it’s an easy walk to work through attractive residential neighborhoods, it’s quiet and i’m happy living here. i did end up getting a bike because it was starting to feel a little far from center city, where i work and gym and all that, but that’s made everything feel much closer.

    • I’m a finance geek, not a lawyer, but…

      Could you do a search to find out whether there have been any legal disputes at either of the Condo complexes? Either disputes between residents or between residents and the management company.

      Condo living can be hellacious if someone’s there stirring up the sh*t; always good to know if you’re walking into a warzone or not.

      • Ditto this, although anything you really need to know about should be in the disclosures. If it’s new construction, I recommend researching the developer as well.

    • I’d vote Condo 2.

      Having another bedroom on the same floor is sooo much more convenient then running downstairs.

      Top floor units tend to hold their value better. No upstairs neighbor is a big deal to some people.

      Having a second bedroom/bath is like having a fallback financial cushion. If you had you could rent out the room to bring in some cash if you needed to. And your resale will be easier.

      The difference between 1 mile and .75 miles walking isn’t more then 10 minutes. I wouldn’t let that sway you.

      Bottom line however, go with the one that makes you happier.

  17. Pearl Clutching 'Rette :

    Who registers for gift cards? Seriously?

    • Many places (i.e. Target and BB&B) will automatically attach gift cards to the bottom of the registry, whether online or in print. If you don’t read the fine print about the option to “opt out” then it could get thrown on their without the couple even knowing.

      • Obviously, I meant “it could get thrown on their *registry* without the couple even knowing.” Now it looks like I don’t know the difference between their and there! Proofreading CSF!

    • Some stores have the option to check a box that “the couple will accept gift cards.” Will accept? Seriously? Should I expect a couple to reject my gift of a gift card unless they explicitly asked for gift cards?

      Also, we ended up with some gift cards listed as fulfilled on our registry, because people bought them and told the cashier they were getting a gift for us, so I think the cashier must have scanned the registry so it got added. (The same thing happens if the person buys a registry gift and then some other stuff–you can end up with their personal purchase added to your registry depending on what the cashier does.)

    • Tired Squared :

      This just came up over Christmas, since I have a friend getting married in March. We were making Christmas cookies, when friend’s grandmother said, “Friend, some of guests of my generation are uncomfortable with the idea of giving money instead of something for your new home.” Friend was confused and asked what Grandmother was talking about, and Grandmother mentioned the Bed Bath & Beyond gift cards on the registry. Friend was upset, and called BB&B, who told her that they add gift cards on to each registry, without even asking, “unless the couple specifically tells them not to.”

      • Can I just say I love the thought of you baking Christmas cookies with your friend and her grandmother?

    • Anonymous :

      Target just puts them on there. Not a big bad deal. I wouldn’t register for them and am more into personal gifts, but tons of people prefer to give them anyhoo, so why not?

      • …because it is a pain. I got so many for BBB for my wedding, there was literally nothing in there I wanted to buy for 10 years, yet I was stuck with all this money for only there. It stunk.

        • ..meant nothing MORE. we got a bunch of stuff from there as well. but you get sick of these places, and at some point don’t need more stuff, especially if you live in a small condo.

        • ha, Anon – we ended up with so many BBB gift cards that we used them to subsidize other people’s wedding gifts for 2-3 years. It was great!

  18. Thread jack: Just a quick vent/ piece of advice for interns and clerks. We just had one start at my office and I’m reminded that you can tell from across the office when we have a new clerk start by the giggles that punctuate nearly every sentence. I realize this is likely nerves, and I may have even done it myself as a new associate, but it can be quite distracting, particularly for attorneys working nearby who are not part of the conversation.

    My advice: if you want to be taken seriously, be friendly — smile, say hello, ask how people are doing — but try to reserve laughter for when someone is joking.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      Just to play devil’s advocate, more likely than not she’s nervous and that is how she expresses it.

    • Oh God, I totally recognize myself in this critique. I definitely laugh when people give me constructive criticism — not because it’s funny, but because I’ve never known exactly how to respond in a way that accurately communicates that I understand the critique, I agree with it, and I’ll do better next time around. Poor new clerk. Take pity on her!

      • Anonymous :

        I do, but it’s not just her. It’s nearly every new female clerk we get. I realize it can be hard to start somewhere, but I’m just saying this is something to be mindful of. I’m not sure anyone ever warned me about my tendency to do this earlier in my career (it can also come across as flirtatious, wince) — but I’m seeing it over and over and thought some anonymous advice on a board like this might benefit someone (and yes, truthfully, I wanted to vent but didn’t want to be malicious). For a law student or young attorney who wants to be taken seriously, the giggles only underscore youth and newness to the office. I wince, but I worry more that senior partners may not take the new (seemingly bright and energetic) clerks who have this habit as seriously as those who don’t.

        Other appropriate ways to respond: “Uh huh.” “I understand.” Eye contact/ nodding. A follow-up question that acknowledges what’s been said.

        • I didn’t think you were being malicious — just dead-accurate! I work on this, but it’s been hard for me to drop this nervous tic.

          • Anonymous :

            I hear you. My personal tic of sorts that I’m constantly working on is to make appropriate eye contact. Whether it’s my personality (which can be quite direct) or training (being told to look people in the eye), I sometimes forget to look away. Turns out too much eye contact is as bad as too little!

            Oh well, better to polish up these things so that people can judge us based on what matters: our work.

    • karenpadi :

      I think it’s pretty common. I know it’s a personal tick of mine and I don’t even know when I’m doing it. Then I listen to a recording of the meeting and I’m thinking “why do I laugh so much? It’s not even funny.”

      It’ll be my 2013 New Years resolution…

  19. threadjack- sorry for the threadjack,
    are there any cognac connoisseurs out there? I’d like to purchase a $200-$300 bottle of cognac for a good friend who loves cognac at the airport duty free shop tomorrow. Something special if possible. I know nothing about cognac, any suggestions as to brand and vintage in this price range? Thanks.

    • I’m not a connoisseur by any means, but the last time I was able to make duty-free purchases, my mom asked me to pick up a bottle of Remy-Martin cognac. There are tons of different options. I chose something mid-range, per the instructions I had been given, but you should be able to find something in your price range. Good luck!

    • Always a NYer :

      My uncle was a wine steward and according to him, Courvoisier XO is one of the best cognacs out there.

      • “Courvoisier . . . yes, yes, that is the drink.” — Leon Phelps, Ladies Man

    • girl in the stix :

      Hennessey’s Paradis — warm, liquid silk

    • Your budget will put you in the XO category (as opposed to the less expensive VSOP category). I think you should be able to find the XO versions of Remy Martin, Hennessy, Courvoisier, and Camus at duty free shops. At this level, these are all good and anyone who loves cognac will be thrilled to receive any of these as a gift. Out of the three named above, my favorite is the Hennessy XO because of memories drinking this with my dad– it was his preferred brand.

      • thanks JC and everyone, packing and finalizing a bunch of things so didn’t have time to research this. Will look for “XO” and the brands mentioned.

  20. Can I just make a super pointless rant to get something off my chest? We have a new woman on my floor and she does not seem to know how to walk in heels. Or rather, she walks in them just fine but it sounds like an elephant stampede each time she goes down the hallway. I am sure I will get used to it (and I am sure I do things that are annoying, too) but right now each time she walks anywhere, it just makes me twitch a little.

    And, now, I can’t help but listen to everyone else walking in heels just to hear what “normal” heel walking sounds like and to figure out how this woman is able to clobber down the hall the way she does!

    • AHAHAHA. I’m sorry, but that’s just funny to me, in light of all the discussions, rather, WWIII arguments, I had with my mom when I was little about how I wouldn’t be able to walk in high heels. She pointed out that as a young tween, the heels were too high and too clunky, and I would just look silly. Now, 10 years later, I look at the tweens stumbling around on their high heels, and realize my mom was right :) So, maybe she just hasn’t grown into the heels yet? :)

      • She is young, but it’s not the wobbling so much as the thunderous steps she takes! Oy. I think I need to just learn to ignore it (and stop wishing that, somehow, walking in heels class/license should be required before you can purchase high shoes).

        • I had to laugh at your post – I used to have a co-worker with a very distinctive, heavy tread (even though she was not overweight or anything). You could always tell if she was walking by, just from listening to the “stampede” type sound. No one ever said anything; we just, as you say, got used to it.

        • Seattleite :

          My dad taught junior high the whole time I was in elementary school. Consequently, he required me to demonstrate ‘walkability’ of any new pair of shoes before I was allowed to leave the house. He also retained veto approval over makeup, jewelry, and nails until I left home for college. I thought he was so out of touch…

          And then, the Christmas I was 21, he gave me my first above-knee dress and dangly earrings. Go figure.

          • Oh, the battles I used to have with my dad about clothing as a kid. He, to this very day, wears a suit every day to work (which is not such a big deal on this lawyer-filled forum but most professors dress like slobs). I can now grudgingly admit to how much he taught me about appropriate clothing.

    • This sounds like something my dad used to tease me about. I am small/petite, but apparently I sound like an elephant when I walk, especially down stairs (thump thump). Apparently I never learned how to walk daintily. You can hear me coming from miles away. It’s probably even worse in heels. I try to tone it down, but sometimes the noise is satisfying or just habitual :)

      • I’ve never understood how some people can walk so lightly. I’m not huge, 5’4″ with a little extra around the middle, but I’ve been told that I walk like a 6’5″ 300lb-er. *Sigh*

    • This is so my pet peeve. I work in education, too, so I watch a parade of teenyboppers totter past my door every day, in their stacked four-inch stilettos. And am so, so thankful that when I bought my first pair of heels my sophomore year, my mother flatly told me “You look like a gorilla,” and instituted walking-in-heels lessons until I could do it probably.

    • I don’t think that’s fair. I think it’s bad enough that women in high heels are seen as more professional than in flats or any other footwear, but give her a little credit. None of this condescending “Ughhh… she stomps like a elephant” nonsense.

      • I rarely wear heels, actually, but I do think that if you’re going venture outside your own home in them, it behooves you to figure out how to do so properly.

      • I don’t think I am being condescending at all. First of all, I am not judging her, just letting off a little anonymous steam because it’s annoying and I’d rather tell you guys than, say, roll my eyes with my coworkers every time she passes. Second, whether it’s fair or not than women are viewed more favorably in heels (I don’t know that that’s nec. accurate, btw), you’re not going to be viewed more favorably if you do something that you’re “supposed to” but do it incorrectly. And, fwiw, I don’t even think it’s a matter of her shoes being too high; today she is wearing rather sensible 2 inch, stacked heels. She just walks a certain way. And that way is really freaking loud. I once worked with a guy who for some reason wore taps on his shoes. He click clacked all the way down the hall and produced a similar reaction.

        • Amelia Bedelia :

          I WANT TO WORK WITH THE TAP DANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          no worries, AIMS. We all have pet peeves and this is a good community (generally) in which to vent . . .

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Aw now I feel bad. I almost always wear flats but I recently had to wear heels for a few days after my flats fell apart and I was waiting for a Zappos delivery. I think the heels on the pair I wore are hollow or something because they are much louder than others that I own and I can walk well in heels. They were my most comfortable pair though and I was commuting in them as well. I’m sure I drove a few people nuts!

      • I’m sure you were fine! And, believe me, I would not have made the above rant if it wasn’t going on week 3 with this woman….

    • Alright, I tend to be loud when I wear heels. How do I fix this problem??

    • As a unfortunate habitual clomper, I have to point out something that’s rarely mentioned, namely that shoe fit may be an issue. I have spade-like feet that are both wide and pointed at the toe, but small ankles – meaning that any pump-like heeled shoe that accommodates my feet will be too big in the back. It’s the looseness that causes the noise.

  21. Anyone in Atlanta who has been to Perimeter Mall for Bloomingdales’ going out of business sale – how is it?

  22. SAlit-a-gator :

    Wanted to share some good reviews:

    (1) Jag Jeans New Jane Slim – I was looking for a pair of straight dark wash jeans to wear with flats to the office on Fridays and on the weekend. These are excellent, true to size, have just the right amount of stretch and are high-rise cut (meaning they have excellent tummy control). I strongly recommend these. I got mine from Nordstrom, but 6pm has them sale.

    (2) Steven ‘France’ Tote Bag – the leather is super soft, it fits a legal pad, but is small enough for everyday use. I love the multi-color stripped interior as well as the multiple organizational pockets. I’ve been looking for a good basic tote for a long time and this one sealed the deal. Super lightweight compared to most tote bags out there – I don’t think my shoulder will hurt with this one.

    • Thanks for the review! That tote looks gorgeous, especially in blue, but the lack of a zipper closure is always a no-go for me.

      • SAlit-a-gator :

        I got the blue one. It really is gorgeous. I was replacing a Coach tote with a 3/4 “un-connected” zipper which was completly non-functional. I found that most totes on the market only have a magnetic closure, if that. I would love a true zipper tote, but haven’t found anything I love.

  23. SAlit-a-gator :

    Wanted to share some good reviews:

    (1) Jag Jeans New Jane Slim – I was looking for a pair of straight dark wash jeans to wear with flats to the office on Fridays and on the weekend. These are excellent, true to size, have just the right amount of stretch and are high-rise cut (meaning they have excellent tummy control). I strongly recommend these. I got mine from Nordstrom, but 6pm has them on sale.

    (2) Steven ‘France’ Tote Bag – the leather is super soft, it fits a legal pad, but is small enough for everyday use. I love the multi-color stripped interior as well as the multiple organizational pockets. I’ve been looking for a good basic tote for a long time and this one sealed the deal. Super lightweight compared to most tote bags out there – I don’t think my shoulder will hurt with this one.

  24. You know, I often don’t post about the outfits Kat posts, because I like them and have nothing to say. But I’m sorry: I think this is hideous. It looks like an entry in a student design-school competition, where concept (apparently “gym-shorts-inspired suit”) is valued over comfort/usefulness. In short: what is UP with that hemline?

    • agree

      • Interesting word choice, “agree.” Next time, please consider typing “This.”. It’s a shorter word, after all – perfect for busy girls on the go.

  25. Someone was asking about Kindle covers (yesterday?). Just got an email that the lighted leather cover is on sale until 10am PST. Here’s the link:

    I have one of these and love it. It is expensive but having the built in light is really nice for traveling on planes and also just for around the house when I just want a touch more lighting.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I second this recommendation. I love mine and use the light more often than I expected.

  26. There is a regular poster here who has a metal allergy and can’t wear most or any jewelry. If she is around, I’d love to pick her brain. I had this weird spot behind my ear on my hairline that I thought was zits. Then I thought it was bug bites. Then I thought it was ring worm. Then I realized it correlated with a pair of earrings I was wearing. It would come and go.

    After that realization, I’m starting to notice a burning sensation but no rash when I wear certain necklaces that never bothered me before. Not sure if it is in my head after noticing the earring issue or not. Doesn’t seem to meet the text book definition for metal allergy either.

    Awhile back I was getting rashes under my wedding rings too. So long as I don’t wear my rings to shower, sleep, or at the gym the rash stays away.

    My doctors already think I’m nuts with the number of issues I have and random (natural) things I have found that cause/cure them. I’d rather not call my doc just yet with this one.

    If you are reading jewelry allergy chic and don’t want to respond here, you can reach me at [email protected] Thanks!

    • I think I’m the jewelry allergy chick, but not sure. My typical symptom is just like you mention with the earrings. I get little bumps wherever the metal touches my skin.

      The other symptom I notice sounds kind of like what you mention with necklaces. I will get this strange tingly/hair-pulling sensation where the metal touches, but will not necessarily get a rash. This does not happen with every necklace, so I think it just depends on the metal.

    • It may not be metal allergies, but contact dermatitis. Sometimes I get bumps/rash or “irritation” under my wedding ring (platinum), my watch (stainless steel), or a necklace (usually 18K gold) that I am wearing. Usually it is when I am hot (summer, after/during working out). A couple days or even hours break from wearing the item usually does the trick!

    • I have problems with jewelry making me itch. A non-medical solution is to cover the parts that touch your skin (insides of rings, earring posts) with clear nail polish. Obviously necklaces are harder; I don’t wear them often.

  27. PSA for the tall ladies. I remember a post that someone was looking for workout pants that were long enough for the very tall. Try Old Navy. I ordered their sweatpants/lounge pants in tall. I’m 5’7″ and they are 4 or 5 inches too long!!! The regulars are 1 inch too short. Apparently there is no happy medium so I’m keeping the too longs. I think they would fit just right on someone 6′ tall.

  28. Has anyone else ever tried to order from Lord & Taylor online???? Let’s just say I won’t ever be doing it again. The only reason that I am is because I have gift cards there. BUT THEY WON’T LET YOU USE TWO GIFT CARDS IN ONE ORDER!!!

    • Also, if you don’t know the amount on the gift cards, they make you go through the whole process of checking the amount yourself, rather than their system just knowing like at every other store. Aaargh.

      Also, their system online won’t let me pay by AMEX. It just keeps defaulting to their store credit card.

      I am so frustrated!!!!!

      • And, their shipping is $16 for a single pair of earrings (5 – 7 days, mind you, not expedited), so placing two orders so I can use both gift cards means that I will pay THIRTY-TWO DOLLARS IN SHIPPING!!! The gift cards are only worth $50.

        I just needed to vent.

        • I’ve ordered from L&T before and don’t recall any of these issues. Shipping was not unreasonable (in the $5-7 range, I never pay more) or might have even been free, and I think I paid with my amex. Granted, I didn’t have a gift card. But I was actually very impressed because even though I chose standard shipping, I got my shoes in 2 days.

          I’m sorry you’re having trouble. Perhaps calling customer service and placing the order over the phone would be worth a shot?

          • I am in moderation so I’ll try again. Check out e b a t e s. They say their link will get you free shipping plius 4% cahs back.

        • fly a way :

          I agree. I have a horrible time getting their site to accept the promo code listed at the top of the site’s page! The only reason I’ve stuck with them is that they carry a brand I like…but I wait for the sales. This.

        • This sounds like a pain. I’d call customer service and ask them to process the order with two gift cards.

  29. anonymous :

    What is the sizing like in this brand? Itty bitty teenager sizes, giant vanity sizing, or something in between?

  30. Two Left Feet :

    Lord help me. My cousins, M & J, and sister L want to put together a surprise choreographed dance for my sister H’s wedding reception. (We’re all bridesmaids.) OK. Aside from thinking such dances are cheesy and embarrassing to watch — I really, really hate dancing in public. I’m talking serious stage fright that would make it nearly impossible to relax & enjoy anything leading up to said dance. Given my lack of natural rhythm, it’s not exactly an unwarranted fear. My family knows I don’t enjoy dancing, doesn’t understand that I’m really not trying to be difficult, and in the past, have said that I just need to “get over it, relax and have fun!” Sister L is especially bad, as she sees me as the fun-hating older sister already. How do I get it across, in a polite way, that I have zero interest in participating? Or, do I just suck it up and do it for Sister H, who would get a kick out of it?

    • I think in this case you have two options. The first is, unfortunately, to suck it up and do it for Sister H. The second is to see whether the choreography can involve a slightly different role for you that either may not involve dancing at all or has you “onstage” for the least amount of time possible. But I don’t think it is possible for you to simply not participate if everyone else has already decided that this dance is a fait accomplit.

      Just remember two things – first, everyone will probably be focussing on the bride’s and groom’s reactions, and second, a lot of people will be drunk and not paying particular attention anyway.

      Either way, I would also suggest scheduling it as early as possible in the reception, if you have any control over that at all, so you can relax and enjoy yourself afterwards.

    • There can be a way to participate without actually dancing. Speak to your peoples and let them know you don’t want to be a Debbie Downer but you refuse to dance. It can be a skit-type performance where you’re the ringmaster and everyone’s dancing around you. Or something along those lines – you’re in it without dancing. It could be really fun coming with something together.

    • Research, Not Law :


      Maybe you could offer to participate in some other way, like running the music, introducing them, or helping with the choreography?

      If you think that you could manage it, but just wouldn’t enjoy it, then I’d say s*ck it up and do it. But it sounds like this truly is not something you could handle (understandably, many people couldn’t). I’d say something along the lines of “I love the idea and know that H will love it, too. I would love to help in another way, but I just can’t get up and dance.”

    • Seattleite :

      Don’t just suck it up. State your boundary clearly – you won’t dance – without judging that they want to dance, meaning you don’t use the words “cheesy and embarrassing to watch.” If you can walk around the perimeter of the floor throwing confetti at the onlookers or something, do that. Otherwise, be supportive (because you know the bride will love it) and take enjoyment in the fact that bride and other maids will all enjoy it.

    • Harriet Chalmers :

      This sounds like my personal version of hell, especially it if came with a command karaoke performance. <> Good advice from the other posters, though.

    • And how are these dance-crazy relatives so sure that the bride and groom will be thrilled with the display?

      Some folks really get strange ideas, even if they’re meant with good intentions. Harsh and cynical side of me says someone or several someones who want to do this dance-routine are attention junkies and a bit desperate, as well as cheesy.

      • This. You have to be sure that the bride will all caps LOVE it. You also have to be be sure that the groom will LOVE it (it is his day too, afterall). Several of my husband’s collegues were at our wedding, including his boss, and my husband would have been mortified if this happened.

        Also, be aware that the couple may have advised the DJ/Band that they don’t want dance routines, and thus the DJ/Band may refuse to play the music for you. Our band actually had a clause about this in their standard contract.

    • I agree w/ the concerns Darby expresses below about notifying the bride/groom (or whoever is hosting the wedding) before breaking into a dance performance. It may seem silly, but I’m guessing that whoever is hosting the event is creating a schedule for the festivities and would, at the very least, like to be clued in on your plans. I’m sure the cousins and your sister’s hearts are in the right place, but it’s best to double-check now, especially before you expend a ton of effort making up a dance.

      Is there going to be a rehearsal dinner? If yes, and if you are roped into participating in some way, maybe suggest that the dance be performed then? Maybe then you won’t have the pressure of performing in front of as many people? Just a thought.

    • Offer to be the girl who stands to the side and plays the tambourine.

  31. yikes, I’m not sure a lot of brides/groom would appreciate the “surprise” — I’m guessing you’ve vetted this issue, but is a dance like that consistent with the vibe of the wedding? I’ve generally seen ideas like this dealt with via “well, you know, I think that’s a charming/fun/fabulous idea, but I really am not sure it’s Bride’s style, she mentioned to me that she really wants a ______ kind of reception”

    • This. And then there are the families, who might be horrified by a dance and give bride/groom grief over it.

  32. I’m not usually moved to comment on Kat’s picks, but shape-wise this looks amazingly like a ’70s vintage unlined flannel suit I had shortened, and that looks fabulous on me. In other words, I would actually buy this! Of course everyone else in the comments seems to hate it, aha.

    (I’m an MBA who works as a digital marketing strategist, though, so office appropriateness is not a problem.)

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