Wednesday’s TPS Report: Hacking Jacket in Herringbone

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

Hacking jacket in herringboneI have mixed feelings about purple blazers, to be honest. I had one fuchsia velvet one (sounds crazy now) that was a great fall/winter blazer for 3 or 4 years (and I have fond memories of wearing it to my 10-year high school reunion). On the other hand, I’ve had some purple blazers that sit and sit in my closet and finally are put in the goodwill pile, tags still on. This one looks to me more like the former: a quirky color in a classic shape and a quality fabric — perfect for conveying “fashionable but professional.” I’d wear it with gray or navy trousers, or perhaps a purple sheath dress in a different hue. Select colors (sadly, not the purple) are on sale for $148; the purple blazer is available full price at $198 at J.Crew. Hacking jacket in herringbone

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  1. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I’m not a huge fan of purple, but generally I support coloured blazers.

    We have talked about it a LOT before, but somehow I struggle a bit with coloured suits. However, I fell in love with the red/burgundy suit which Juliana Margulies was wearing in the Good Wife in the episode before last Sunday’s one.

    It didn’t even immediately occur to me that it was red and I suddenly realised and went ‘WOW’ and thought ‘I want this’.

    Then I remembered I dyed my hair read and it wouldn’t work on me and had to come to terms with the disappointment.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Dyed my hair “red” not “read”. Ugh.

    • Actually, with a lipstick similar to the color of the suit and some blush, it might look great on you. I’m a redhead, and I could pull off the red she seems to favor on the show – e.g.,

    • Depends on your shade of red (both hair and suit, of course), but many redheads can pull off red. As a new redhead, I understand that you are concerned about how best to work with your new shade, but don’t rule anything out until you try it on yourself first. You might be surprised at what you can do. Contrary to the common wisdom that redheads should wear green and blue, most of my wardrobe (I’m a redhead of auburn hue) is reds, oranges, and purples. Rust colors are particularly nice on me, and I would not hesitate to wear the jacket conbrio linked to (if that’s the one you’re referring to).

      • For that matter, I would also absolutely try on the featured purple jacket. There’s a significant chance it wouldn’t work on me, but it’s not clear that it wouldn’t. And it’s so gorgeous that I might be willing to buy it even if it was a little if-fy!

    • I love a bright blazer over a black sheath dress.

      Woods-comma-Elle – I struggle with colored suits, as well – particularly pastels and bright colors. I think burgandy walks the fine line of being a neutral, however, as does hunter green. I have suits in both colors. I wear them like I wear navy.

  2. I like the purple jackets that Prince wore in the ’80s…

  3. I think I want this in the charcoal – love the shape, generally love purple but I don’t think I can swing a purple blazer in my rather staid office.

    Cheerful thoughts to counteract work exhaustion and grey weather: I love tracking packages on Canada Post and watching my new sweater wing its way back and forth from Mississauga to Scarborough. And I am applying for a position with a different unit within my department that I am super excited for and that I have a good shot at. Hurray! Other cheerful thoughts of the day, ladies?

    • it’s rainy and gray in NYC also. but that makes my coffee taste even better.

    • I am having the roughest work day/week/month but on Thursday night I leave for London for a week and will be staying at a perfectly luxurious hotel with hubby. Huzzah!

      • After a year of unemployment but, only four months of actually job searching, I was offered a great job yesterday. It might even be my dream job (since “rich housewife” seems out of reach). It is only a contract position right now, but it could turn into a permanent spot pretty soon. Even better – I negotiated a 25% increase over their initial offer. Yea for me!

    • I am not sure how I feel about a purple blazer. I like the idea of it with something navy, but I think if I paired it with something black or even gray, I’d feel like I was wearing one of those purposefully mismatched ladies’ suits from Tahari or AK; and, if I paired it with another shade of purple, I’d feel like one of those “I love everything purple” women (you know who you are ;)). So I guess, given that I don’t even own any navy pants at the moment, this would end up just sitting in my closet, too.

      On a related JCrew note, I ordered the Cleo dress in green but see that it’s back ordered and I won’t get it till January :( Has anyone seen it in person? Is it going to be worth the wait?

      • MissJackson :

        I haven’t seen the Cleo in person, but I just wanted to tell you that those backorder dates are almost never true. I put in a big J.Crew order (love their No. 2 pencil skirts) in October when they ran one of their 25% off everything promotions, and some of the items that I ordered were “expected to ship” in January. I’ve had my entire order for at least 3 weeks now. I think they are purposefully pessimistic on ship dates so that you’re pleasantly surprised.

        • Thanks! That makes me feel better.

          • I ordered the Clea dress in charcoal on Sunday and it said backordered till Jan – and then it shipped on Tuesday. (And as MissJackson said, they almost always ship sooner than promised.)

      • eggplant purple is my default non-neutral color, it reads a bit like edgy navy in my mind and i have slowly and accidentally become one of those I love purple everything women — coat, blouses, pencil skirts, sigh.

        • Same here re purple as an edgy navy. It’s kind of like a neutral, while still having a sly bit of color. At least, that was must justification for splurging on my first Kate Spade bag in pretty purple instead of pretty gray.

      • I am one of those love-everything-purple women. And I struggle not to wear purple every day =). Seriously tho, this blazer is awesome, the purple looks deep enough to be a neutral. And I would wear it with LOTS of colors. Brown or tan would be awesome with this. Pinks. And rust/burnt orange.

        • AnonInfinity :

          I always feel weird wearing pink and purple together. Like I’m being too girly or something.

          • I feel that way sometimes, too. But I think salmon isn’t too girly, as opposed to bubblegum/baby/magenta pinks, not that there’s anything wrong with them.

          • 1st grade me had a definite aversion to pink and purple together – but that may have been because I REALLY didn’t like this one girl in my class who always wore the two colors together. That being said, I still don’t think I could quite pull it off…

        • I have always had at least one purple blazer. Love it! But I am a “winter”. The purple goes so well with gray and with winter white. not so good with black. Black makes he purple look too bright.

        • Accountress :

          Wearing purple every day is part of the charter for the Unicorn Club, Ru. If you want to be one of the cool kids at Sweet Valley, you need to wear it.

      • I have a great purple blazer that I wear all the time. It’s from Banana and its’s a fairly classic shape and fabric. I wear it with sheath dresses (black, grey, navy) as well as with slacks/skirts and a shell.

      • I love this. Eggplant is my favorite not-neutral, but I don’t have any blazers or trousers in eggplant, just sweaters. If I could afford this right now (!), I’d pair it with my camel wool trousers and pale grey heather wool trousers. I’d try the medium grey Gap “Perfect Trouser” too . . . .

      • AIMS, do you mean the Clea dress? I received mine today in green and it is gorgeous. Unlike somebody mentioned yesterday, I do not find it short at all (though many J.Crew work dresses are too short on me). I am 5’8″ and it hits me right at the knee, just like on the model. It is about 40″ long. The person from yesterday measured hers at 36″ long, so that may indicate significant inconsistency in length.

        The color leans a bit towards a dark teal, it is not quite what I would describe as forest green. The material is substantial wool flannel and the quality seems excellent. Highly recommended.

        • That’s the one! So glad to hear good reviews. I’m about 5’3 so length wasn’t a concern, but I am glad to hear the fabric & cut is up to snuff. Now I am even more eager to get it already! Hopefully, you all are right and I get it before long.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Last week I posted that I was impatiently waiting for work in my preferred practice area. I got some earlier this week! Hooray!

    • Free breakfast in my building! That will make me cheerful any day.

      • Mine too…are you in SF by any chance?

        • Yes. :) The next time I see a beautifully dressed person in the lobby I’ll assume I have finally spotted Anon.

          • Easier to identify me by my hair in a ponytail and complete lack of make-up, head downturned in shame at my own laziness. So cool someone else in my building a a regular ‘rette!

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Classic. And free breakfast in my building, too.

    • Grey, rainy day here. Broke out this morning. Feel like I’m coming down with something. But my sister-in-law sent me a video of my new baby nephew smiling and moving his arms to the Red Solo Cup Youtube video. So cute! Apparently, he cries every time the video ends.

    • My cheerful thought of the day is: our snacks got refilled today! I’m eating cheesy popcorn with/for lunch. ;)

  4. Especially when you put cinnamon in it :)

    • Oops! That was in response to, “it’s rainy and gray in NYC also. but that makes my coffee taste even better.”

  5. Threadjack:

    Last night the BF walked out of bed and went to sleep on the couch. When I went to see if he was feeling okay, he told me that I was snoring. Eventually he came back to bed.

    Its been a while since he mentioned my snoring, so part of me actually thought I’d stopped snoring (hahaha). Tell me ‘rettes, do any of you or your bedmates snore? If so, is there any way to curb it?

    I know I’m supposed to not sleep face up. FWIW, (1) I have the slightest bump on the bridge of my nose and (2) my throat has been itchy for weeks.

    • My husband snores, and wearing a Breathe Right snore strip (or a generic equivalent) makes sleeping next to him bearable. :)

      • Ms. No Name. :

        My fiance and I both wear breathe right strips to stop the snoring and help us breathe better at night. Works beautifully, though took me a while to get used to as it’s not particularly se*y.

    • I have this issue with my BF.

      Try a humidifier. I have noticed that he has one at his place, and his snoring is significantly reduced when it’s full of water and working.

      Breathe Right strips have been somewhat working, but I still don’t get a great night’s sleep when I’m with him. I suggest earplugs.

  6. Threadjack:

    Last night the BF walked out of bed and went to sleep on the couch. When I went to see if he was feeling okay, he told me that I was snoring. Eventually he came back to bed. Its been a while since he mentioned my snoring, so part of me actually thought I’d stopped snoring.

    Is there anything I can do to minimize the snoring? I know I’m not supposed to sleep face up. FWIW, I have the slightest bump on the bridge of my nose and my throat has been itchy for weeks.

    • I am eagerly awaiting replies. I left my bed last night because hubby was snoring.

    • Consider a sleep study. I posted before that I had been diagnosed w/ ADD but that doctor thought something other than ADD was causing my attention issues and that the ADD med was a temporary fix. He sent me for a sleep study and to my surprise I have severe disordered breathing in my sleep. The most common sign is snoring but I hardly ever snore. My diagnosis was missed for years because I am not overweight (more overweight people have sleep apnea/sleep breathing disorders) and remained successful at work and at school. I have never woken up feeling rested and go through life feeling like I could fall asleep if I could just lay my head on a pillow. Without an alarm, I sleep for 12+ hours.

      I get my CPAP machine this Friday. I will chime back in and let you all know if it helps and how quickly. I’m not saying you should get a CPAP just to avoid snoring. I’m saying that snoring can be a sign of a greater problem. Mine also isn’t just lifestyle. I was experiencing shortness of breath and a higher than average heart rate despite being in great shape and not having any heart defects. My doc now thinks it is from my sleep disorder and that after sleeping with a CPAP it should go away. If I didn’t treat it, I’d be at a much greater risk for stroke or heart attack since I was already seeing signs in my major organs.

      • You should tell him that if he has NO probelem with the sounds you make in bed with you BEFORE you fall asleeep, then he should be willing to put up with whatever noises you make AFTER you are NOT awake.

        My ex, Alan, used to complain also, but as soon as I told him to ZIP it or stay out OF my bed all-toegether, then he very PROMPTLY shut up.

        That is what I say. PUT UP or SHUT UP, duffus!

      • Did you research where to go for a sleep study? How would one go about figuring that out? Any suggestions for the DC area? Thanks!

        • My ADD doc referred me to the local hospital’s clinic. When I got the results of the first study, my primary referred me to a pulminologist that specializes in sleep disordered breathing. He sent me for a second study at the same place to see if a CPAP would help and if so, what type I would need and at what settings. I just made sure the center was a preferred provider under my insurance.

          I’d recommend trying to go on a weekend if possible b/c some people have trouble sleeping during the study b/c of all the wires. I would try to find one that you would be most comfortable at. Many hospitals hold them at local hotels so it is quieter and more comfortable. I’ve also heard that Kaiser does home sleep studies which would be ideal.

        • I had a sleep study done here: – and the experience was very positive.

          I decided to try an intermediate step of a custom dental guard before going to the CPAP. For one, my breathing problems were only in REM sleep. For another, while my REM #s were high, my overall “apnea” score was low-moderate. Finally, I am a clencher (but not grinder) and thought this might help me wake up with a more relaxed jaw.

          The custom dental guard is expensive – mine was about $2800 – and I feel super weird buying denture cleaner tablets – but I think it is helping. I’ve been told I snore much less. I’ll go back for a follow up study after January (while wearing the guard) to see what changes occur.

      • Agreed the sleep study can be very useful. Just FYI: check your insurance coverage before you go. The bill for “my portion” of the cost was nearly $1,000 (yes, one thousand dollars). I was stunned.

        • Agreed. Same bill here. And, a sleep study is not a cure-all.

          My husband is a snorer, talked to his doc, and decided a sleep study would be good to rule out apnea and other serious disorders. Spent a night wired up in a sleep center, and got the big bill afterward, only to learn that his sleep patterns/ breathing are ‘normal.’ And he still snores!

          Not to say that a sleep study is not advised, just be prepared to find other ways to deal with snoring also. I suppose it is good news that he doesn’t have apnea, nor need a CPAP machine. How do people sleep in those things???

          For us, the anti-snoring solutions are: side sleeping, plenty of pillows so his head is elevated, and avoiding late night drinking & super heavy meals.

          • Anon here :

            I love this because I was worried sleep studies were scams to prescribe everyone a cpap. I saw the raw data from my study so I believe I have the disorder but it is good to hear some people go through the testing and DON’T get told to get a CPAP. For federal employees, (on the basic plan) sleep studies at preferred providers were at no cost to the patient in 2011 and will be a $75 copay in 2012.

        • I should add that my sleep study showed that I sleep very very well and didn’t need special gear (turns out the chronic fatigue was due to being an undiagnosed anemic celiac). My bro did a sleep study because he was snoring all the time and got the special machine; seems to be working quite well for him.

    • Same thing has happened to me twice this week. I wake up in the morning and my husband is out sleeping on the couch because of my snoring. I have been married for three years, and he has never left me to sleep on the couch.

      I have been a snorer all my life. (As an infant, I snored like a little old man.) Removing tonsils and annoids seemed to help, but if I am the least bit congested, I seem to snore loudly. I am probably overdue for a sleep study.

    • My husband snores and I spent many a night sleeping in another room until I discovered ear plugs. You can buy 200 of them for under $5 at CVS or Rite-Aid. They block out at least 80% of the noise, and I haven’t gone to another room in the 5 years since I’ve been using them.

      As for your snoring — my husband uses a Neti pot but I’m not sure how much it helps.

      • +1 ear plugs :

        Wow, yours are cheap. I pay about $9 for a jar of 50 Mac’s Ear Plugs with the 32 decibel rating. I swear by them. My husband doesn’t snore much, but when he does, I can roll him over – I can’t do that with his brother across the hall when we visit his family. I also carry them for use on public transport or other places where I don’t want to hear other people’s conversations.

        (I have an iPod with a white noise/relaxer app, but the earplugs are better at muting the world.)

    • My husband snores. After years of trial and error (and interrupted sleep patterns), I can report:

      * strips: not particularly useful

      * little plastic clip that goes between the nostrils: brilliant!

      * sleeping on his back: bad (for me)

      * rolling onto his side or tummy: much better (for me)

      * while he has a cold: all bets are off

      • Don’t forget to add when my husband has been drinking (okay, maybe just me)-sleeps on his back, huge snores.

        • Same for me. Luckily it only happens when he drinks a lot, which isn’t that often.

      • Research, Not Law :

        What’s this clip thing that you mention?

        My husband is starting to snore occasionally. It’s driving me nuts. I haven’t been sleeping well lately (pregnancy) so I’m wondering if maybe he’s been snoring for a while and I’m just now noticing.

        OP: How long has it been since you’ve had your ducts cleaned? We do it annually (before turning on the heat in the fall) and it makes a huge difference for my husband’s (and everyone’s) nasal passages. Paying for the high-quality, brand-name furnace air filters makes a huge difference, too.

    • I threatened divorce if my husband didn’t figure out his really awful snoring. He got a referral to a sleep center from our primary phys. Did a sleep test. Sleep apnea. He got a CPAP, and he doesn’t snore anymore (mostly)!! It’s worth getting a sleep study – if you have an issue, it usually results in you AND your SO sleeping better!!

    • Tired Squared :

      I’ve been in the boyfriend’s shoes here–can’t sleep when he’s snoring, so I go watch TV/sleep on the couch.

      We found that the Breathe Right strips work pretty well (though for some reason the brand name ones are much better than the CVS brand). It also helped to get a humidifier in the bedroom. I don’t know all of the science behind that one, but I imagine the humidity moisturizes the nasal passages or something.

      • I have to say, my not overweight hubby snores like a freight train, and can fall asleep in about 10 seconds. We went through all of the different gizmos to try to get him to stop snoring. It was so bad that for a while, he slept in the guest room. We finally got a sleep study, and now he has a CPAP machine. He looks like darth vader with it on, but his sleep quality is SO much better, AND he is not snoring.

        He even stays up later than I do now, and before this, he was falling asleep ont he counch at 8:15 pm. Once, he even fell asleep sitting in a lawn chair in our back yard at 6:15 pm. :) A sleep study is well worth the money. He now gets enough oxygen to get him into REM sleep, and rests better. Plus, the snoring is gone.

    • No great tips. But my husband and I frequently sleep in different rooms, because of his snoring, but also because we both really like our personal space when we sleep.

      Sometimes I worry about it — but our love life is fine and I’ve decided that I’m okay with it, at least for now!

      • Hubby and I do this alot too. A king-size bed is too small for the two of us and our cats. :) Our cats even sleep in separate places. The quiet one sleeps with me, and the snoring cat sleeps with my snoring husband.

      • Anony, that makes me feel a little better since we more frequently than I like to think about end up in separate rooms. I’m so relieved I’m not the only one with this problem.

      • I’m late to the party, but my husband and I end up in different beds about once a week; one of us can’t sleep, or the other is on call and getting a bunch of calls.

        I think we also are quick to do it because we just moved from a 600 sq foot cottage to a 2000 sq foot house. At our old place, if you were awake at night, the only place you could turn on a light at night and not bother anyone was in the bathroom (our son slept in the dining room), so the ability to sneak off to the guest room, with a comfy bed and lovely lighting is very appreciated by us both!

        • Holy crap, EC MD, you are a rock star. From going back to work 6 wks after giving birth to a surgical residency position, to apparently being married to another professional with a demanding job, to living in a 600-sq ft place with a kid (and a husband, let’s not forget him)!! I’m impressed.

    • My boyfriend snores like a chainsaw and I’ve just gotten used to wearing earplugs. It was actually rather sweet: when we first started sleeping together I mentioned how it made it hard to sleep, and he came over the next day with every kind of earplug he could find. I went through about 8 different kinds to find one I liked best.

      My brother also snores, loud enough to wake me up in the next room. He had broken his nose as a child, and it sounds like you might have too if you have a bump on your nose, and getting it fixed helped but didn’t get rid of it. Luckily, it turns out telling him “David, stop snoring!” makes him stop.

      • Ugh. Between kids and hubby’s snoring, I rarely get a solid night’s sleep. Last night my 3-yr old ended up in bed with us, so I went to his room to get some sleep and escape the snoring.

        I sent him for a sleep study and the result was he’s normal so now he’s decided I need to learn how to sleep deeper. I can take a sleeping pill but really don’t want to become addicted to those and I’m a chronically light sleeper after becoming a mom. Any tricks to help sleep deeper?

    • I snore less, husband tells me, when I sleep on a stack of pillows, elevating my head. You might want to try this el-cheapo, low tech potential solution before going for more intervention.

      • OP here. W0w! Thank you everyone. This was way more information than I expected to get.

        Re ducts: we’ve never cleaned them… I don’t think my old NYC apartment has ducts, but I’ll keep it in mind for when I move out.

    • Oh, how I can relate. I swear one or the other of us is always snoring! (Mostly him, of course). I wish I had an answer for you.

  7. I really like how the featured jacket is worn over a shirt of almost identical hue. I would have never thought to try something like this. What are the corporettes’ thoughts on this approach? Is it a form of trendy colorblocking? What are the keys to doing this well? I have a wide variety of colored cardigans and blazers, and I’m wondering if I could pull this off.

    • Off the top of my head, had some posts on color theory. They don’t keep up the blog anymore, but it’s updated. I think the tone on tone thing can look really good, but I don’t technically know how to do it, beyond trying out different combinations to see how they look.

  8. Love this blazer – and I love it in purple! If only I wasn’t on a self-inposed shopping hiatus while we save up for a house. Sigh.

    Money threadjack / commiseration – I’ve never been particularly good with frugality. I don’t mean saving money in the general sense – line item on the budget, etc. – but if I give myself X dollars as “fun money” per month, I find that I can’t *not* spend it. Cabs, Starbucks, a new wallet, hand lotion, Sephora, takeout . . . whatever. My husband, on the other hand, barely touches his fun money. What tricks do people use to save money on small day-to-day items, or change your mindset on needs vs. wants?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m interested to see the replies to this as well since I’ve just gotten my budgeting and expenses under control over the past few months. For what it’s worth, I put a line item in my budget for miscellaneous expenses ($100) and I allow myself to spend it. I stick best to that limit when I physically take out the cash for it. I can’t seem to bring myself not to spend the entire amount, but I feel comfortable spending that amount each month.

    • Is the issue that you want to save your fun money for bigger purchases or is it that you feel like you shouldn’t be spending all your fun money? Because if the latter, maybe the solution is to just cut the amount of fun money so that you’re okay with spending all of it; if the former, maybe sub-savings accounts, of the sort banks like ING offer which allow you to see progress towards specific goals, would help.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        How do you set up sub-savings accounts with ING? I have an orange savings account and couldn’t really figure out how to do it, although I didn’t spend that long trying.

        • MissJackson :

          You just open another account. ING will let you have a ton of separate savings accounts (there apparently is a limit, but it’s so high that they don’t even tell you what the limit is), and you can title them anything that you want. Obviously you can move money between them, and you earn the same interest on the money even though it is divided into more than one account.

    • my advice is 1) let yourself spend the fun money, but keep the limit low and stick to it. 2) make it cash only, which forces you to really “feel” each expenditure.

      so if your fun money limit is $100, take out $100 at the beginning of the month, and once it’s gone, it’s gone. it really wakes you up to just where your money is going and forces you to think, am i going to blow my last $20 bill on so-so pizza? etc.

      good luck!

      • Always a NYer :

        I find that using only cash for fun money is the only way I know how much I’m really spending. Seeing the money disappear in my wallet makes me very aware of my spending habits and easier to amend as need be. It’s too easy to overspend when always using a credit or debit card, IMO.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This. My husband burns through his spending money. Setting a limit for him and making it cash makes a huge difference in our budget!

        I’m like your husband and can hold on to money forever. I have no secret. I just don’t spend money on little things. I think it’s truly a personality difference that will always be inherent to the individual. Good intentions don’t seem to be enough. My husband makes a very genuine effort, but he still can spend mad amounts of money if left unchecked.

    • I am not great at this either. I find that as far as shopping goes, not going in to stores is the most effective thing. Cabs are hard to resist, but I try to stick to the it’s really late or I’m really late rule, and having that criteria helps. But really I think that just visualizing the goal you’re saving towards works best, kind of like when you’re dieting it’s always easier to eat healthfully if you’re picturing yourself on the beach in a bikini on your next vacation or whatever. Maybe you can just picture your new house?

      • What exactly is fun money? Does that include money for clothes and shoes? a massage? happy hour with the girls? If so, I’m allowing myself waayyyyy too much fun – esp. as of late. How much does everyone set aside every month strictly for fun stuff?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          It’s different for everyone. My $100 miscellaneous find is what I use for things from Target that I don’t have to purchase often but don’t fit well in another category, movies, pedicures, etc. I factor eating out into my monthly food budget and if I need new clothes or shoes I have a separate category that I only budget for every couple of months. My “fun money” miscellaneous category is really stuff that I spend more impulsively on.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My husband and I set up orange checking accounts that are linked to our ING Savings account and our regular big bank checking account. We currently put $200/month in and we each use that for our “personal” fun money. If we go out to dinner together, it comes out of our regular checking. If we both realize we need new shoes, we might both buy it out of our regular checking. If it is, “oh that is a neat pair of shoes to add to my collection” then it comes out of my fun money. It is an exercise of truly figuring out wants from needs. It is nice because then we don’t have to check in with each other all the time to say “oh, I saw an x amount purchase from y website, was that you or have we been hacked?” I also like that it is in a separate account from all our direct withdrawals so I don’t have to worry about keeping track of when I can buy and when I can’t.

      We keep our joint checking rather low and surplus goes to savings. I found myself almost “asking” if I could spend money b/c I couldn’t remember when our direct payments were coming out. My husband was doing the same thing but rather than “asking” he would take the time to look it up. Moving the fun money to a different account made it much easier. We can also now make online purchases from it too since it came w/ a debit card.

    • North Shore :

      I’m really happy to have a husband like that. My husband just doesn’t spend much money. He doesn’t care about electronics, cars, or clothes. I handle all our finances to make sure big picture goals are covered, but then I spend whatever I feel comfortable with on things for me and our children. Hope it works out this way for you, too.

  9. Threadjack – anybody have thoughts on Jezebel’s article today on neediness as a slur re women? (link to follow)


      • “The word needy has been transformed into a slur, an insult we use to delegitimize a woman’s needs and concerns, making them think twice before asking for what they need–if they ask at all.”

        I actually agree with this. I didn’t realize it until I read the article but I absolutely hesitate to ask for what I need/require/deserve, inside or outside of work. I also think it sort of goes hand-in-hand with the whole “assertive + woman = b!tch” equation, which also drives me nuts. Bah.

      • The phrase “needy” is so broad, that it can apply to people who are really clingy at one end of the spectrum, and on the other end, people who request accountability or have needs that the other person is not meeting. Like most descriptors, extremes are usually problematic and a healthy balance is best.

        Sometimes it feels like a person just can’t win. Some women are vilified for being too needy, others are for being too independent. I am finally learning at this advanced age to pay less attention to what men say in the dating arena. Instead, I pay attention to what they do. As a woman on the more independent side of the spectrum, it seems like some degree of neediness is preferred. Interdependence is key, but it’s good to know how to handle things yourself when others are not around.

      • i’m not sure i get it. most of the women i know have no problem expressing their needs, sometimes to a fault. this seems like the kind of article that tries to stick up for women (“our needs our not being met, and it’s society’s fault”) but IMO does just the opposite (“wah! our needs are not being met, and it’s society’s fault!”) I agree that “needy” has become a bad word, but I think that’s because people abuse the word, “need” by confusing it with “want”. I also believe that the answer to most of our needs/wants begins with ourselves and not with others, whereas “neediness” has come to describe someone who is overly dependent on other people for XY and Z.

        i’m not a jezebel reader, so maybe i’m just not the right audience for this. thanks for the link.

        • I agree; additionally, I have often heard the word “needy” applied to men as well. I just don’t agree that it is a word uniquely applied to women.

      • I agree with the intent of the article, but the execution is giving me major pause, much like the commenters of the article. Needy is not the new “N” word.

        On the contents, I agree wholeheartedly that this is a problem for women, and one I’ve made a commitment to myself to counteract this year.

        • Little Lurker :

          I quit reading Jezebel for a reason — fascinating topics, terrible analysis and discussion.

    • Anonymous :

      Needy is code. It’s a polite way for media and others to impugn women without using other words we’ve all agreed are unacceptable.

    • karenpadi :

      I didn’t think much of the article. I can see where it’s coming from and I think it’s (mostly) right. I find the link they had so much more helpful:

      This explains every single toxic relationship I have ever had. It explains why I struggle with passive aggression. It explains why my parents divorced. Yes, it explains all that and more. (I especially like ohwowreally’s comment in response to elfen_berzerker.)

  10. Always a NYer :

    b23 – I remember you wanting to make a list of products made in the USA and here’s a link to an article doing just that.

    • Oh, I wanted to add to this as I was going through my closet the other day —
      Bedhead Pajamas
      Yoana Baraschi (party dresses, blouses, etc.)
      Some (esp. mens) Brooks Brothers

      • Thanks so much!!! I will add these.

        • Always a NYer :

        • Little Lurker :

          Can you repost a version of the list at some point? I care about this too.

          (Kat: a post on this would be wonderful!)

    • Research, Not Law :

      Thank you!!!

  11. Product Report: I purchased a pair of silver huggies hoops from 360JewelsElite on Etsy after seeing them here. They are exactly as they seem–small silver hoops! I purchased brushed silver hoops in size medium. They hug the curve of my ear perfectly and are just a nice little accent. I can understand why they were originally called “men’s” jewelry–they are a bit more rustic/rough hewn than some of my other earrings. I think they will likely be “weekend” earrings. But they are heavy and good quality. Consider these if they fit your “need”!

  12. SAlit-a-gator :

    I finaly bit the bullet and ordered the JCrew’s No.2 double surge wool pencil skirt in blue during Cyber Monday. The blue is very nice, but definitely bright as the name implies; the best description I can come up with is a deep turquoise blue. I struggled this morning with what to wear with it. I went with a black top, gray broiled wool jacked and black tights. I have no ideas where to go from here.
    Any ideas for what to wear this skirt with in a law firm environment? Would any of you actually wear a bright turquise pencil skirt to the office?

    • I think I have this skirt, though I wouldn’t describe the color as turquoise, so much as maybe cerulean? So far, I’ve had some luck pairing it with dark navy — as in, navy sweater, navy tights, navy shoes. I also think it looks nice with camel, but then I think it also looks more casual so I save that for Fridays. In light of today’s post, I think purple would work with it, too, but that may be a touch too trendy for me to wear to work (I’d feel so colorblocked!) And, yes, I have worn it to the office, thojugh not on “I’m doing something important” days.

    • MissJackson :

      I really like turquoise and brown together, and camel as a third color. So, one of my favorite outfits is turquoise pencil skirt, brown turtleneck sweater, and camel cardigan, with brown tights and brown boots or shoes.

    • Yep- I would. While it is reminiscent of the ’80s, I do think coral looks great with turquoise. I would probably wear a black, brown or white top with the skirt and wear a coral necklace or belt as an accent.

    • I like that shade of blue with a lot of bright or dark colors as long as the look is tempered with a neutral (black jacket, charcoal tights, etc). I particularly love it with pops of cherry red, yellow, orange that’s more tangerine than pumpkin, eggplant, and most shades of green. Depending on the exact shade of everything, I would swap in a top in one of these colors rather than black.

  13. Gooseberry :

    SAlit, not sure if Kady is reading today, but she’s great with color! I hope she has an answer for you, because I have a similar color skirt problem, and would love to hear the responses!

    • Wow, thanks – though maybe you mean someone else, since I didn’t think I was in the color inner-circle here at the ‘rette. For me, safe pairings would be brown or navy, and more daring would be mustard, burnt orange or moss green/chartreuse.

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Or Ru for that matter! Help ladies! (for Herbie above – as you can see I have no problem expressing my needs)

      • Atlantic Pacific had a post a while ago where she paired a pair of blue J. Crew wool cafe capris with a yellow sweater and an orange blazer and it looked so pretty. I don’t know if you’re bold enough to try that (I’m not), but its an idea (more spring than winter). As an aside, I LOVED the orange blazer she paired it with (J. Crew, double breasted, v-like hem (not straight across)). If anyone knows the blazer and has a name for it, I’d greatly appreciate it.


        • Thanks for the introduction to Atlantic Pacific. Fun blog, especially (for me) the San Francisco backdrops.

          • Love the almost-mustard color with the cerulean blue — and I agree that I love the cut of the orange blazer!

      • Thanks =). My work here is done, tho – did you see the colors they’re suggesting up there? Mahvelous!

        • SAlit-a-gator :

          I agree Ru! Thank you Corporettes for all the wondeful color suggestions. I already have a couple more outfits in mind.

  14. I’m getting married this weekend and have been having the worst damn insomnia for days. I look like @(&*, I feel like ($&#, and am nearing my wits’ end. Is this normal for brides???

    • I don’t remember being jittery in the weeks leading up to the wedding, but I DO remember blowing up on the day of, right before we were supposed to walk out to the beach. I can’t recall what happened but it was probably yet another stupid little detail going awry (half of his family was late, so it may have been that.) I do remember the photographer backing away slowly with the “oh, the bride meltdown moment has arrived” expression on her face.

      It’s worth thinking about “am I losing sleep because this is a big detail-filled project” vs “am I losing sleep because this a big life change,” but stress-related insomnia doesn’t seem out of the ordinary otherwise.

      Congratulations, and may you have a restful honeymoon!

    • Was so glad to get past the wedding :

      In short, yes. Some people love all the wedding prep and stress. I hated it and it showed in my stress that week. Just keep telling yourself that in a week, it will be done.

    • Insomnia is the worst. Try some melatonin and valerian root about 30 mins before bedtime; you can get it from any drugstore.

      • Emma Woodhouse :

        Be careful though – valerian works like a charm for me but gives me horrible gas about 12 hours later. Otherwise I would be popping one of those every day – it’s finals week! Although come to think of it, that might help with the curve…

    • I hope it’s normal, because I felt the same way! I was mostly stressed out and crazed … I probably would have been jittery but I didn’t feel like I had the time. Instead, it just felt like I was herding cats 24/7. I didn’t really snap at people, but like Mella, I remember losing my @#$% the day of over something minor. I took a short walk, swigged some champagne, and had an amazing day.

      As an additional FYI (and honestly not meant to cause more stress!) — it is also normal to have some wedding-postpartum. I remember lying awake restless and grumpy for one or two nights toward the end of my honeymoon … and then for like three weeks afterward because I just didn’t know what to do with myself after the wedding was over. It sounds really pathetic (at least I felt pathetic), but then someone told me it was totally normal and I felt better — I just thought I was a huge jerk for being grumpy and restless.

    • I think its quite normal for people to have trouble sleeping before big events. I had a bit of trouble sleeping before my wedding. I won’t lie, I have no shame about using benadryl or nyquil to help me sleep in situations like this.

      Another tip, if you’re having trouble sleeping because you’re obsessing about details, I would turn on the lights, grab some paper, make a list of all the things you’re thinking about (with a priority of activities for the next day) and then put it down. Trying to purge it out on paper may help you put your mind at rest.

    • glad to be married, hated wedding planning :

      Happened to me. My doctor gave me a short course of Ambien – 3 night solid nights of sleep and I was good as new.

    • Anonymous :

      Examine your serious stuff if it’s serious, but if you’re just over-jazzed during this happy time, take a Benadryl before bed. Done.

    • Yes. I don’t think everyone feels this way, but it certainly isn’t unusual– especially if you have had a particularly difficult planning process. Having recently been through this myself, this is the thought that helped me stay calm-ish: This will all be over in X number of days, and you will never ever have to do it again and you can move on with your life. The world will keep spinning as always, whether everything goes perfect or sh*t hits the fan. On the flip side, you only get to do this once (ideally, of course) and it will absolutely fly by. I promise that next week you will feel like you blinked and it was over. So try to just go with the flow and enjoy the experience.

      If you still can’t sleep: don’t worry about the dark circles under your eyes and all that- your makeup person will handle it; don’t worry about being too tired to enjoy the wedding- the adrenaline will get you through. See? It will all work out.


  15. Anyone have experience with COBRA coverage? We’re looking at options for the gap time between when I leave this position and when my husband would transfer to a new position with benefits, around 6 months. My understanding is that COBRA is [my contribution] + [employers contribution ] + [2% of that amount]. Is that correct? That means excellent coverage for us for around $410/month, which looks better than any individual gap coverage we would be able to receive. I don’t want to discuss this with HR yet, because I’m not ready to inform them of when I’m planning to leave my position.

    • Your understanding is correct. I am surprised that the amount is that low, though. You must not have any dependents.

      There is amaximum amount of time that you can COBRA, though, so make sure that you have something else lined up.

      • The COBRA limit generally is 18 months, although there are some exceptions that allow a longer period but that probably don’t apply to you. And the amount doesn’t sound too strange to me, if you and your spouse are relatively young and with no dependents. At some employers and in some plans, the premiums are the same for everyone, but in other plans the premiums for each participant are based on age and number of persons covered. For family coverage, and with adults in their 40s or 50s, the COBRA amount might be well above $1000/month (and even more for older adults).

        One way to double-check the amount without specifically asking HR is to find out what percentage you pay toward the premiums. If employees pay, say 20%, just multiply your monthly deductions for insurance by five to get the total cost of the premium. Then add the 2% administrative fee.

        I think individual/gap coverage is harder to buy, more expensive and usually not as good as the group plan available through COBRA, and you avoid the hassle of changing plans.

        Good luck with the insurance, and all the other life changes.

    • It’s been my experience that COBRA would be much more expensive than what you have described, so you might want to double check how you came up with that number. (But I may not be very well informed about it.) From experience, my H takes a short seasonal lay off each year and he has the option to COBRA for that period of time. The cost for him to COBRA was something like $300 per month, whereas he paid about a $90 per month premium before the lay off. Instead of COBRA-ing, I just get him a short term health insurance policy through a reputable provider each year. The coverage isn’t as good and the deductible is higher, but it’s a much cheaper premium and we avoid a gap in coverage.

      • My experience with COBRA is also that it’s more expensive. We had a 1.5-month period without coverage when I was in between jobs. My contribution was about $300/month while I was employed, and COBRA would have been $1500/month (both numbers are for coverage for my spouse and me). We ended up doing what TCFKAG described below, since it was for less than 60 days.

    • I just got done paying COBRA for four months at $650/month after I left my law firm (I was surprised it was this high!). A friend left his big LA firm and paid about $450/month in COBRA. Neither of us had a spouse or dependents on the plan.

    • Depending on the state you live in, COBRA can be extremely expensive. In my case, an indiviudal plan through Kaiser CA was less than half the price of COBRA last year. Do some comparison shopping for individual plans offered in your state.

    • Remember also that you can elect COBRA for up to 60 days after you leave employment — meaning that you would retroactively elect and you could submit for reimbursement. As a result, if you know its for a limited time (less than two months) and you don’t have major recurring costs, you could hold off and only elect if you need to.

      • karenpadi :

        This. Thanks for mentioning this. I don’t think enough people take advantage of this feature. When my brother was between jobs, he emailed me and my parents his COBRA information in case of emergency so we could make the election for him.

        • That’s brilliant. That’s my understanding of COBRA, too – when I changed jobs, I was going to be insuranceless for about 3 weeks, so I didn’t pay up front. For just me (over 40, under 45), the cost was about $480.

        • This is a great idea, but you do need to be aware that having a lapse in coverage (even 60 days) could cause you to have pre-existing condition limitations for up to a year on the new coverage.

          • It used to be that you could have upto 63 days of no coverage, and not have it count against you for pre-existing conditions. Has that changed with the new legislation?

    • Research, Not Law :

      In addition to the great info above, I’d advice that you take care of any anticipated care before going on COBRA. The coverage is the same, but I found there was a bureaucratic appearance of dropped coverage for about a month following my transition. Everything eventually got paid as expected and – but since the clinics could only see that I lacked coverage, I was required to do extra paperwork to assume self-financing. Then I had to pay the entire cost out of pocket and work with the insurance company to get reimbursed. After that initial window, everything worked just as smoothly as before.

      FWIW, our family coverage (me, spouse, child) for a PPO was $1100/month.

    • I think everyone gave great advice, just to clarify one thing from the original post – generally companies don’t subsidize premiums for COBRA coverage. So, you’d be paying the full premium plus 2% to cover administrative costs.

    • Anonymous :

      Another one that thinks that sounds low for coverage for two. I had to go on it in grad school because I hit the maximum age for dependents on my dad’s plan and the school plan was terrible for someone from out of state who wanted to keep their regular non-health center doctors. It was ~$460/mo for me–single with no dependents, in my mid-20s.

  16. Performance Evaluation :

    I have my evaluation in the next week or so. I’m a junior employee and recently a more senior employee I’ve been working with has been slacking bigtime. I’ve been picking up a lot of her duties on top of my own duties. She also tries to assign me additional duties, which I turn down. Most of my coworkers know this and have been hinting to my supervisor that this is the case, but I still want to bring it up at the review as a concern I have. I do not want to appear too negative or whiny, but I’m already at the point where I am putting in 9-10 hour days regularly to be able to do her job and mine while she is “working from home” with no blackberry or internet. Hmm. Any suggestions on how to address this in a constructive manner?

    • Yes – I had the same problem a few years ago. I would start by discussing a few of her duties that are clearly hers and that you have taken over that you do enjoy – for example, “Supervisor X has been delegating A, B, and C to me in [matter] and although it has been challenging to accommodate them, I’ve enjoyed becoming more proficient in ‘B’. (then discuss specifically what you’ve been doing). I’d like to gain more experience in that area, but I’m concerned that while I’m also doing A, C, E, F, G, H, I, and J, I won’t be able to focus on it as much as I’d like. I’m open to suggestions on how to better prioritize my responsibilities.

      You’re right to make sure you don’t come across as complaining – it makes things look worse for you. It does all work out in the end – take the high road.

      • Performance Evaluation :

        Just to clarify, this employee is not my superior. She just has a higher level position, but no authority associated with that to assign me to do anything. What happens is that she’ll neglect to do a task that has to be completed within a specific timeframe, and I’m the only one left available to handle it.

  17. Afraid of Fashion Trends :

    So, I’m entering the brave new world of sweater dresses because I fell in love with this to wear on Christmas day with the family:

    I want to dress it down and be comfy, so I was thinking about leggings instead of tights. Would that work? And if so, would charcoal or black be a better choice? I will wear it with tall black boots and layer it with a turtleneck that matches the leggings.

    Leggings and sweater dresses. So out of my fashion norm … and my thighs’ comfort zone, too.

    Also, is there any hope that I make this office-appropriate if I wear tights and a more formal shoe? If I can’t make it work for various occasions, I’ll probably stick with my usual sweater & jeans combo.

    • Anonymous :

      A lot of different blogs have discussed the idea of wearing a skirt on top of a sweater dress. It may sound weird but it could expand the uses for you and make it more work appropriate, especially if you add a blazer for the office that you keep on all day.

    • All of the options you laid out would be fine, as would any other neutral color (navy, brown, etc). Yes to the office appropriateness if you’re in a business casual office. I routinely wear dresses with pants, so I don’t see why you couldn’t wear this with jeans.

      Also, with sweater dresses, slips are your friend. I’ve found this to be the case no matter what the fabric composition is.

      • Afraid of Fashion Trends :

        Full length or skirt length?

        • Full length slip, I’d say. Sweater dresses have a tendency to cling to any roundness in your midsection, as well as around your legs.

    • I just got a Nine West sweater dress that appears to be a similar color. I’m going with charcoal sweater tights and either black boots or black flats for our office party, and then gray leggings and black boots for Christmas with the in-laws. (In my head, at least, I haven’t tried on these combinations, but I feel like gray will be better with the dress/look.)

  18. I bought this and returned it. The sleeves are too long, the fabric is thin and cheap, and the lining was not that great. Also, it runs small relative to J.Crew jackets, at least in my opinion.

    • I bought this jacket and also returned. I know it runs small (from previous years) so I ordered up, but then it was shapeless. I also have a relatively short torso (but ordered a tall because I am 5’11” with spaghetti arms) and it was just huge, really long in the hip, did not define my waist…total fail. Also this jacket is relatively longer than it has been in years past, for those of you who follow J Crew a lot.

  19. Threadjack – have you ever attended the wedding of a friend and NOT received a thank you note for the gift? Last summer, I attended the wedding of an old friend from my law school days (early 1908’s). We kept in touch and we would see each other a few times a year when I would go into NYC (where she lives). This was a second marriage for both (in their 50’s) and both were well-off financially. The reception was at a tennis club in Queens – fun but not posh. I attended alone and gave a check as their present. I got to speak with the bride for all of 2 minutes, never got a thank you note nor have I heard from her since. I sent one or two e-mails asking how they’re doing and . . . nada. I’m more puzzled than hurt, and I’m wondering if it had anything to do with the amount of the check. Without saying how much, it wasn’t a little and it wasn’t a lot, and it more than covered the per-person cost of the event. Any similar experiences?

    • Was it this past summer? I got married in May and am STILL working on my thank you notes. (poor etiquette, I know!!) I’m actually working on them now and took a Corporette break — I hope to have them finished by tomorrow so I can send Christmas cards (it seems to be in terrible form to send Christmas cards before sending my darn thank you notes!).

    • That has happened to me several times with wedding gifts (and it irritates me so much…). I’m sure it has nothing to do with the amount of the check. Some people just don’t write thank you notes and I try to remind myself that the pleasure is in the gifting, not in whether I get a note.

      Keep in mind that some etiquette experts say you have a year to write thank you notes for wedding gifts — while I definitely didn’t take that long, it might have taken me and H a couple of months for some. And for baby presents, definitely those took a bit longer than usual for me!

      • Every etiquette expert I’ve ever come across is offended at the “you have one year” notion and doesn’t know where it came from. But I agree, some people just don’t think thank you notes are important. I take that into account when assessing future presents for them, I hate to say.

      • I think you have a year after the wedding to GIVE the gift, but thank you cards are more like 3 months after the wedding or gift, which ever is later.

    • a nonny miss :

      I have to say your typo made me giggle on this dreary morning!

    • Yep. For 2 weddings. One was a gift gift, one was a check gift. I chalk it up to carelessness on the part of one couple, rudeness on the part of the other. Sometimes, things just slip through the cracks — I recently got a super charming card from someone whose wedding we attended a year and a half ago.

      Honestly, the more disconcerting thing is that your friend’s not returning your emails. I’d give her a call before writing her off. Maybe something happened.

      • Agreed. Some people don’t do thank you notes for various reasons (though it is of course, quite uncouth).

        Its the incommunicado otherwise that seems a bigger concern. Do you have mutual friends who might know if something is going on? Otherwise, a phone call or a serious e-mail (i.e. is something wrong?) seems in order.

    • Yes. I have mild holiday blues and was thinking about the three separate friends I seem to have lost this year after a wedding, relationship-after-divorce, and grad school. (theirs, not mine.) I find myself wondering if the new husband/wife doesn’t like me or if I’ve become repulsive in general, when I suppose the reality is that our lives have simply diverged.

    • What she did is rude, and not excusable in my mind. Yes, planning a wedding and adjusting to marriage is stressful and time consuming but if you can take the time to plan and send invitations, you can certainly take the time afterwards to thank your guests for their time and gifts.

      My thank you cards were ordered after we knew our final guest list, extras were ordered just in case. About a week after returning from our honeymoon, DH and I spent a weekend writing our thank yous. It was annoying but so much better than having everyone ask what we thought of their gifts.

      • Maybe the thank you note got lost in the mail? Mis-addressed? Maybe she had you checked off as having received one? If you gave her a check, then you know she got it if the check clears, right? I’d give her the benefit of the doubt on the thank you card. I agree with the above poster – I’d be more concerned about the lack of any response to emails.

    • Yup. I never found out whether the gift got lost in the mail, they didn’t like it, they didn’t write thank you notes, or the bride’s distaste for me (a college friend of her husband’s) got in the way of etiquette.

      I distanced myself for awhile, but did continue to make occasional overtures, including inviting them to my (local) wedding. They were the one family I had to track down via multiple phone calls & emails the week before the wedding to find out whether they were coming. And then, no gift, not even a card wishing us well (let alone the ‘per-person cost the event’ for a family of four! Not that I was expecting… just saying some sort of token of good wishes would have been nice…). Ah well…. not that I’m bitter or anything ;-)

    • Yup, several times now. I was/am miffed, but only because I know these couples have not had major trauma following their weddings that would delay/push off thank-yous. In one case, I sent a gift card and not a check, and actually had to ask if they received it (because I stupidly sent it regular mail without any guarantee – sigh). If nothing else, the thank you confirms that the gift was received, though now in this day and age of check images online, I can now see that the couple deposited the check the day after the wedding. (Double sigh.)

    • Yep. My mom and I traveled last year from out-of-state for my cousin’s wedding (her second in less than five years) and neither of us got thank you notes for our separate gifts or for traveling so far to see her. We saw the bride both before and after the wedding and I ever helped her mom decorate!

    • Research, Not Law :

      To never send a thank you note is very rude, regardless of the value of the gift.

      The only time I haven’t received a thank you was when I went in on a joint gift with others who were unable to attend the wedding. Turns out, the thank you was sent to one of the others (rather than all of us – or me, the person who was actually there).

      However, there were two other times when I *thought* I hadn’t received one: One was for a wedding where the bride got the thank yous out exactly one year after her wedding. It was a nice note, so I didn’t care about the lateness. The other I ranted about for months. The registry information was on the invite, so I assumed it was a continued path of tackiness… only to discover that the dainty card had been trapped at the bottom of our mailbox for several months. Oops!

    • another anon :

      You did check your bank account to make sure they actually cashed the check, right? If not, then its possible she never received it (especially if you took the card to the reception, someone might have helped themselves to some cards hoping to find cash). If it was never cashed, I would definitely bring it up with her–it could be that her silence is because she’s upset because she thinks you didn’t give her anything.

      • Now that I think about it, I gave them a gift card to Bloomingdale’s for a nice sum of money. They had just purchased a house in Florida, and I made sure there was a store nearby. I will drop her a line (assuming she still has the same e-mail address) and see if I get a response. “Paranoia strikes deep/into your heart it will creep.” (:

    • No thanks :

      I send thank you notes on a regular basis but just as receiving a gift shouldn’t be absolutely expected, receiving a thank you note shouldn’t be either. Honestly, if you gave a gift just to get a thank you, why did you even give the gift?

      Maybe I’m biased. My DH’s friend gave us a gift for our wedding. We both worked 70 hour work weeks and had to shorten our honeymoon because we both had work drama. Needless to say, if I didn’t have time to take a real honeymoon right away, I certainly didn’t have time to send thank you notes right away. We sent the last of ours out about 7 months after the wedding. During that time though, if I saw or talked with someone who gave us a gift I personally thanked them and told them how lovely it was, etc. etc. Also during this time, this friend was b*tching and moaning about not getting a thank you to the point where one day, when he was over, I retrieved the gift and begged him to take it back.

      This whole thing bugs me. It’s just like when someone complains because a guest didn’t bring a gift to the wedding. Who cares.

  20. Kontraktor :

    Threadjack. May post this again if it doesn’t get a lot of response.

    Background: My husband and I live 2 hours apart in separate states, due to him being in the military and me only being able to get a job where I am. I am only 1 year into the workforce (just finished my MS), and totaling all my internship experience as well, I have 2 years work experience. Husband has military orders to move across the country in March. I have degrees from top universities. My current area is strategy consulting/business process improvement, along with technical editing and publishing. My degrees are in social science fields and do not have anything direct to do with my current job.

    I have been internally job hunting with my large contracting/consulting firm now for about 5 months. There is NOTHING where we are going because the company’s market out there is top heavy and small. I don’t anticipate getting work with my company. I have started externally job hunting, but haven’t really gotten much. I have official referrals into a couple of firms (but not heard anything further), I’ve contacted recruiting firms (who say they can’t help me until I’m out there), I’ve done networking for “information” (ie trying to find people in my network with job information or openings). I would prefer to move out with my husband with a job. This is what I’ve been trying for. Not sure if this is realistic to shoot for.

    Dilema: Do I quit my current job and move with husband and job search when I get out to our new location? I can move at any point in time before him (so, I’d go tomorrow if A Good Job wanted me then). I am SO nervous to move without a job, seeing as how I only have 1 year of real work experience and we are moving to a state with high unemployment. The economy sucks. I also have a security clearance that is expiring in June, but I am not sure trying to get it renewed through my current job/company is an option, especially since it will likely involve me just quitting this company at a later point in time anyway. What do I do? Would I be doomed to a horrible job hunt if I quit and move and just start hunting when I get out there, especially given how junior I am?

    Help. :( I want to live with my husband finally, but I am just deathly scared of another job hunt.

    • Little Lurker :

      OK, I have absolutely zero experience with this, but my gut says you should move to be with your husband. The economy sucks everywhere — maybe see if your university alumni network has any connections in the new state in your field? I also bet there is a military wives support network/organization that can help, especially if you’re moving near a base.

      (I’m all over the thread today due to sudden unexpected lack of work.)

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yikes. I’m so sorry.

      Realistically, how likely is it that your husband will stay in his new location for an extended period of time? If he’ll likely be transferred again in a year or so, career-wise I would not recommend following. Being straight out of school, you don’t want to have your resume consist of short stints, even though the reason is understandable. However, if he would be in that location for 3 years or more, then I’d definitely step up the external search and go for it.

      Personal-wise, though, being separated from your husband is a big consideration. However, whether it’s more important to you to be close to your husband in the short term or to foster your nascent career is a decision that only you can make.

      • Kontraktor :

        We’ve been together for 7 years at this point, married for a little over a year, and apart the whole time (as in, all 7 years of being together and our entire marriage). I moved away 2 weeks after we got married. At some point we need to align our lives, as to really be married to somebody and have a life with them, you need to be physically together… eventually.

        He’ll probably be in this new area for 2-3 years. Not sure how realistic it is to stay apart, since it’s cross country and we could probably see each other only once a month, if even, based on ticket prices and his travel/deployment schedule. This 2-3 hours apart thing is bad, but tolerable, since at least we get weekends together when he is in town.

        I have such mixed feelings because I don’t want to move without a job/move in general for the reasons you mentioned. But honestly I am not sure how detrimental to my career this could be, since I don’t really have a career per se being so young and am doing something sort of random now anyway that is dead-end and a bit irrelevant to begin with. I wouldn’t leave my current company if I had a choice, but there is no work to give me in the new area. Similarly, I wouldn’t mind staying with New Company for as long as I could, provided they had offices in different locations, etc. I’ve been looking at bigger companies for this reason.

        But I just don’t know. Other than trying to get referrals into large companies (or “networking” into them), how can one even get those jobs/apply to them?

        • Would your current employee consider letting you be a “free-lancer”, or contract worker, working at home from your new location, at least until your lives stablize a bit? This way you make your future resume look better by lengthening the time you worked for our current employer.
          A good relationship is rare; however, even in a bad economy, you can always find a job., especially at your age.

          • Kontraktor :

            I do cleared work right now, so I have zero option of telework. Also, I have been religiously checking our internal jobs list for work that can be done remotely, and there has been NOTHING (omg, seriously) in 5 months. It’s possible something could come up, but I am planning for the worst case.

            I might try to take a 30 day leave without pay (I might be able to take 60) from my company to meet people from the new location office once I get there and see if meeting them in person helps secure a project, but I’m not sure that would work either. At least it would buy me 30-60 more days of time that I was associated with an employwer and not officially unemployed.

    • Yikes, bad situation, but I would move with my husband, even without a job lined up. I’m assuming these are 4-year orders, otherwise I might have to think harder about it. As a former military lady myself, as well as a former military spouse (still married, just that DH isn’t in the military anymore) I can vouch for the fact that it’s rough, but the military really will try to help you out. Especially since you mention you have a clearance, have you looked into getting a job on base? I know I worked in units where so-and-so’s spouse was the Executive whatever, or the manager of the HAWC, MWR, etc etc. The military is a giant corporation, and my instinct is that your experience would be useful somewhere. Plus, I think you get a hiring preference — I know this is true overseas, but not sure about Stateside.

      One thing I am sure of : KEEP YOUR CLEARANCE if at all possible.

      • Kontraktor :

        I really want to keep my clearance, I just don’t know how possible that is. With budget cuts, the main ‘job’ of the new base, and how hard it is to get a government job in general, the availability of TS (no less) cleared work at his new base is minimal. My current company had some cleared work at another commutable base near by, but I didn’t fit the hiring profile at all (basically they were targeting former enlisted military with a certain job to hire them as contractors). If I stay with my current company just to get my clearance renewed, I will probably have to stay through July or August, possibly later, in which case moving out that way would DEFINITELY be futile (because we’d only have 1-2 years left on station by the time I got out after preserving my clearance). Not sure about spousal hiring preference domestically… I too know of this overseas, but it might not be as such stateside.

        As for base jobs… I’ve tried going through the family readiness office there already for job leads, and they offered me a job posting for which “an associates degree is preferred but not required.” I have 2 degrees from Ivy league institutions. It is an option to explore again once I get out there- maybe I just need to meet with somebody in the office and be clearer about the sorts of opportunities I am looking for.

        As it stands now, we will likely be in this new locale for 2-3 years. 4 is possible, but given how hubby is almost a mid-grade officer, it would be unlikely. 2-3 years is more realistic. it’s just a mess. I feel I lose out in some way here no matter what I pick, especially regarding the clearance.

        • Anonymous :

          A security clearance has to be held/sponsored by an employer. So even if you get your clearance renewed, it will be cancelled when you leave your employer, unless you have a new job with a different employer that can sponsor the clearance and transfer it from your current employer.

          • Kontraktor :

            That’s incorrect. It’s not “cancelled.” An SSBI for a TS clearance is essentially “good” for 5 years. It doesn’t go away. There are stages of dormancy for a clearance if you’re not working with it at a given time within the window of your SSBI, but it doesn’t “expire” if you’re not working. I know this because I got my clearance in 2007 for a summer job and didn’t use it for 3 years until my current job. I was considered by employers (when I was job hunting) to have an active clearance, and the only thing my current company had to do was “wake it up” so to speak, attach it to them, and then I was read into SCI at my agency location.

            So, if my SSBI was redone, my clearance would be good again for 5 years and just go into a stage of dormancy if I stopped my cleared job, but I could more or less pick one up at any point in time again within 5 years and list an active clearance on my resume.

          • Anonymous :

            I think you might want to check that – the rules may have changed. I’ve dealt with this issue several times, and I think you may be mistaken.

          • Anonymous :

            Also, while clearances generally can be transferred pretty easily, often accesses are program-specific and can’t be transferred.

          • Kontraktor :

            It wouldn’t really make sense then to do SSBIs if they literally went away as soon as you stopped cleared work. It wouldn’t be cost efficient AT ALL. I mean, it’s cost inefficient enough as is… I highly, highly doubt that your SSBI is suddenly killed/invalidated totally as soon as you stop cleared work. That would also mean people doing things like going on maternity leave would have their clearances revoked… makes no sense.

            I don’t doubt there may be more stringent rules about dormancy periods nowadays, but I don’t believe that SSBIs are dead to the world period dot as soon as you stop cleared work.

    • Old married lady :

      Regardless of what you decide, have you & your DH put a timeline on how long you’re willing to live apart? I can understand living apart for a very temporary, definite period of time while someone finishes a job, a degree, whatever, but I’ll be honest — I have a tough time imagining how a marriage can thrive if both parties live apart for years on end. Survive, yes, but at what cost?

      I hope I’m not coming across as a jerk because I get why you’re in this situation and it sounds like you’re accustomed to having a long-distance relationship with each other. I don’t doubt that you’re making it work for now. But really, this isn’t a great way to establish your life as a married couple. I’d exhaust every option possible before deciding to stay put. Some of the previous posters have some excellent advice on the logistics of how to make that happen.

      • Kontraktor :

        Not being a jerk at all. I am sick of living apart, and I wish this whole situation didn’t have to be so complicated. I feel like everybody else around me has a normal life, but I am stuck with all these bizarre parameters to deal with. Can’t I just get my job and hubby has his, and we live in the same place like everybody else?

        I think I just don’t know how people, especially young ones just startnig out, get jobs these days. I feel most entry level positions at big corporations are filled through recruiting schemes, which I am not elligible for. And applying “online” is a waste of time (Google gets 3k resumes per day…). I feel the only way in is to get referrals, but even then, people have to be willing to open the door for you once you walk up to it. Just don’t know why it needs to be so weird and complicated.

    • Have you considered contracting? Seems that it would be ideal in your situation. There are always short term opportunities that can become long term positions. Plus, the pay tends to be better then a regular job and if you can get benefits (medical/dental) through your husband it may work out better for you.

      I wouldn’t worry about explaining longevity. I’ve been contracting for 5 years now and I have stints as short as 4 months. I just explain I was brought in for specific project “x” and that was the amount of time it took.

      Your first few years out of school are rough to find a job regardless of the situation. I’d just start contracting and using that as a way to network and see what happens.

      Good luck.

  21. mea culpa :

    I will admit to being terrible about these things, and yes, I didn’t send thank you notes to everyone who attended our wedding or gave gifts (and now it’s really too late). I know it’s inexcusable and I should have taken the time to do that. I am not going to defend myself but wanted to point out three things, just in the hopes that it may help you understand where some of us ostensible ingrates are coming from.

    First, I want to urge you not to take the failure to send thank you notes as a lack of generosity or friendship. I am totally inconsiderate when it comes to these kinds of things and it’s fair to judge me for that, but in other ways I go out of my way for my friends and acquaintances. I visit friends who are sick, I often have overnight guests in my small apartment, I mentor junior folks at work and make time for people who contact me regarding their job search, etc. Part of why I am bad at following up is that I often get very occupied with things that are “in the moment.” I’m not saying that those of you who are better about sending thank you notes don’t also do all these things either, I just want to ask you not to draw broader conclusions about someone’s failure to send thank you notes.

    Second, one of the reasons I am so bad about this is that I tend to set the bar too high. After my wedding, I sent very personal thank you notes to one group of people (friends of my parents). I should have just sent short notes to everybody else and finish a few each day, but instead I kept thinking I was going to send all the others more thoughtful notes after my big case was over and of course by the time that happened another big case came up, and then it was too late. But as more time passed, I started feeling even more that a standard note wouldn’t do. This probably sounds like an incredibly lame excuse but in fact this is a major reason why I have gotten out of touch with people (the same dynamic prevents me from just sending a quick email or text message to people I haven’t seen in a long time).

    The third thing I want to say is that one of the few good things about my own lack of manners is that it has made me very forgiving of similar behavior by others. I honestly don’t think very much of it when someone doesn’t acknowledge a gift or is out of touch for a long time or fails send a thank you email after a dinner I prepared or organized. Nor do I expect that other people’s behavior mirrors mine. I may bring a very nice bottle of wine and / or flowers to a dinner party, but it does not bother me if someone shows up at my house empty-handed.

    I appreciate reading your perspective and it makes me painfully aware of how I must have offended a number of very valued wedding guests. I am really trying to be better about these things and your posts are a good reminder of why it is important to do so.

    • mea culpa :

      Sorry, my post should have been in response to the posts about wedding gifts. Sorry, this is the second time I am posting here.

    • So your defense is that you are thoughtful in many ways that others are not, the thank you notes you did write are above the usual standard, and you are bighearted enough to overlook the flaws in others. So you should get a pass on thank you notes because you’re a better person than the rest of us.

      My friends who did not send me thank you notes are still wonderful people and good friends. That’s not in question. The fact is that I expended a good deal of money in getting them a gift to celebrate their wedding and traveled to said wedding. A thank you note would be courteous, is all. Whether they are better human beings than I am does not enter into the equation.

      • I think this entire conversation has been very instructive. For those with a wedding in their future plans, thank you notes matter for a number of reasons. It is more than just “the courteous thing to do” on a Miss Manners list of what courteous people do. People who give wedding gifts, particularly when they have spent a lot of money, make certain assumptions when no “thank you” note comes. This is especially true when the bride doesn’t work, as in my case (so this was not a “too many demands on her time” problem.) The giver may think, as in my case, that the bride and groom were offended by the amount offered or the quality of the gift. Or the giver thinks the bride and groom don’t think the giver is significant in their lives, such as a great aunt or cousin. If the gift was mailed, it never got there. The bride and groom can’t be bothered. I would not want someone who gave me a wedding present to make any of those assumptions about me. The time that goes into sending out thank you notes is a fraction of the time that went into planning the wedding. Sorry, no excuses.

    • LinLondon :

      Sorry, that’s a ridiculous amount of rationalizing bad, fixable behavior. As someone who has been unthanked for years-old weddings, I would appreciate a card even now saying “Better late than never? Please excuse the delay, but it was important for me to let you know, even this late in the game, how much it meant that you cared enough to give us a gift.”

      However good of a person you are, as laid out in points one through three, you dropped the ball bigtime on this. You should still send out thank you notes. In the time you spent giving excuses here, you could have written two quick notes. Sorry to be snippy, but as someone who is profoundly disorganized and bad at this kind of thing, I have learned that it is better to admit that I’m wrong and correct my mistakes, rather than try to justify them.

      • mea culpa :

        I realize I dropped the ball epically. I actually don’t think I am a better person than most people around me or any of the commenters here. But on re-reading my post I can see how it came across that way.

        Unfortunately my wedding was a few years ago so correcting the mistake now would really be “too little, too late.” All I can do is try to be vigilant about the carelessness that got me to that point. I am much better about these things now. And no, I don’t think I deserve a medal for that.

  22. Speaking of blazers with the tags still on them, I have a J Crew Ecole (I think that was the name) velvet blazer in a bright orange color (persimmon?) that I loved on the hanger and never figured out how to wear at home. This was probably 2-3 years ago, as I must have purchased it just before I got pregnant with my son. Any styling suggestions? The orange just seems so insanely bright whenever I pull it out. And I don’t know what color to wear it with–an ivory tee and jeans? How do I tone down the orange? Or should I just let it go and move on?

    • Velvet AND orange??? (Swoon.) Honestly, I would just go whole hog and color block that bad boy with a bright cherry red. Faboo.

  23. I own this jacket in this color and like it a lot. I wear it with grey pants, over black dresses, and with smart jeans on casual days.

    At the moment there’s a 25% off $150 sale at J Crew, and there have been A LOT of promotions lately, so there’s no need to pay full price for anything – just wait a few days and a discount will roll round! The promotions (and some product reviews) are all listed at

  24. I don’t know, is it just me or does anyone else think you can’t pair purple with navy? I’d say khaki, grey, black or white…

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