Weekend Open Thread

Ivanka Trump ClaudineSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

It’s not quite holiday party season just yet, but I think it’s never too early to look for a comfortable pair of shoes that also looks a bit special. I really like the gold leather bits, and I think the exposed platform works here. The black/gold combo strikes me as a classic, whereas the teal (pictured), hot pink, and royal versions seem like fun, trendy takes (and would add that little somethin’ somethin’ to a black cocktail dress). The Claudine pump is $145 at Zappos. Ivanka Trump – Claudine (Dark Teal/Modern Gold) – Footwear



  1. Anon for this :

    Is anybody else getting these crazy “In the Raw” adds at the top that have two cupcakes blurred out so they clearly look like b**bs? Really awkward.

    Love the shoes, by the way. Love.

    • Former MidLevel :

      Yes, I’ve been getting those ads, too. Totally hate them.

    • Yep – even though they look like b**bs, still made me want cupcakes!

    • Cupcakes? Did somebody mention cupcakes?

    • I don’t have that one, but recently I had this animated ad with a woman in her bra attaching one of those faux-camisoles to herself. It was very distracting and I’m glad it’s gone. Although now that I’ve described it, it’ll probably return…

      PS count me in for cupcakes, please!

    • Honey Pillows :

      The Dear Young Buck made Canadian Breakfast Stout cupcakes with bourbon vanilla frosting last week. There’s two left. Sharesies?

      • manomanon :

        I can top that… I have half a dozen Irish Car Bomb cupcakes left from a party… because they were the ugly ones and I saved them for later… Guinness cake, Jameson filling, Bailey’s frosting
        SO GOOOOD
        I can share too!

        • Honey Pillows :

          Filling? Dayyyyuuuum. That’s hard core.

          • manomanon :

            it’s the only way to be… and I’m seriously into baking
            fondue cupcakes coming up!

          • woooooo!! you are my shero, manomanon! I will be dreaming of fondue cupcakes. ^A Million HiveFives^

        • I literally cannot think straight after reading these two comments.

          Irish car bomb Boilermaker cupcakes?

          I am just.. what.. where am I?

          • ok, it’s time for someone to invent “Fondue Cupcakes” … .Now, please.

          • Press Chic :

            To zora
            Googled it, found a bunch. Like I really needed another way to add to my bum and thighs…

          • Press Chic: :::SCCREEEEECHHHH:::: WHA?! wow, i was thinking that something that incredible couldn’t possibly EXIST already, so I didn’t even look! wow, i just can’t even absorb how amazing this is…. thank you for LetMeGoogleThatForYou-ing for me ;)

        • They’re not from Baked&Wired, are they? I’ve had the exact same cupcake before, and jealous doesn’t begin to describe my current feelings ;)

          • manomanon :

            Mine are made from scratch- I amended the recipe from a blog I found
            I’m curious about the recipe the Dear Young Buck had though… Sounds exciting
            Also love that nickname

          • @manomanon: Even better! Would you mind sharing the recipe? I’d love to make these for St. Patrick’s Day and just because :)

          • S in Chicago :

            Just got back from a trip to DC. Just wanted to say Baked & Wired was the highlight. Had the peanut-butter frosted banana named after Elvis. OMG . So good! And the gingerbread. Oh, the gingerbread!

          • manomanon :

            Im at my fake job at the moment and on my phone- check back late tonight or tomorrow for the reciepe

      • You live in a magical place where CBS is available in such quantities it can be used for cupcakes? I am very jealous.

    • Yummy! I love cupcake’s but my DAD has insisted that I stick to a new DIET that has NO refined sugar’s in it.

      I have to attend calendar call on MONDAY and I have 17 of the 19 cases in front of the JUDGE so I will be there all day (at least until after lunch). The manageing partner has even told me the RED outfit I should wear– this is a FIRST for him. He says that some of the motion’s are bordaline, so we need EVERY edge we can get. But I do NOT think my clotheing is goeing to make any diference.

      I saw Harold at the Dunking Donut’s this morning getting a creme donut. Yummy! But b/c of my DAD, I did NOT get any. He oferred to give me a byte, but I said NO, my dad is monitoring my meals and dailey intake. I must email him a list every day of what I eat so he can tell me how much excercize to do. I think he think’s I should still be a size 2, but I told him that is history! Anyway, Harold want’s me to take up roller bladeing, but I said I am not young enough for that. I did tell him I would watch him at Carl Schruz Park tomorow. The manageing partner will be very happy I am being freindly to Harold.

    • The ad that I have is “forbidden pleasure in the raw” choc cake. Yuk.

  2. karenpadi :

    Bay Area Meet-up tomorrow!

    Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park at 1 pm!

  3. Boston Visitor :

    Boston ladies! We will be visiting in a few weeks, and I can’t decide what to pack. We are planning to go to the symphony one night and dinner at Neptune Oyster and Island Creek Oyster Bar. During the day we will be doing lots of touristy stuff: Freedom trail, museums, duck tour, etc. What do I need to pack?? How dressy should I be for dinner?? Would appreciate any input or recommendations! Thanks!

    • It’s been getting colder already, so it’ll probably be a jeans / boots / jacket weekend when you’re here. I would bring a lot of layers, because if it warms up during the day you’ll just want a short sleeved shirt, but at night it can get cold so you’ll want a jacket for sure and maybe a scarf. Jeans and boots would be perfect for a day of touristing. It’s a walking city so you’ll be on your feet a lot.

      People dress pretty casually here, so I wouldn’t worry about wearing jeans to Neptune Oyster. You can dress up more if you feel like it though, like a dress or a skirt with tights. You will probably want to walk to Neptune Oyster, on brick sidewalks, so I’d stay away from heels unless you are very comfortable in them.

      People seem to wear everything and anything to the Symphony, so you’ll feel comfortable if you’re in a dress or if you’re wearing pants and a sweater.

      This is so stream of consciousness, sorry! I would pack: Jeans. Boots. Sweaters. T-shirts. Wool skirts that go with the sweaters and the boots. Tights. Scarf. Jacket. And running clothes to go for a run on the Charles in the morning.

      • Boston Blonde :

        I agree with the poster above, I think its a very casual city, even though I still like to dress up. Definitely comfortable shoes, and stacked heels and boots/wedges/flats work a lot better than heels. The cobblestones will literally eat your heels.

    • I have no advice for you, having spent a grand total of 2 weeks in that fair city, but I am jealous and wish you a wonderful trip!!

    • Anon Analyst :

      I did the freedom trail back when I visited in May. There is plenty of walking so bring really comfortable shoes. Also a large bag/tote to carry water, snacks, etc.

    • Boston Visitor :

      Thank you for your input! I will plan to pack only flats since we will be walking a lot and I hate scuffing my heels on cobblestone/bricks. Can’t wait!

    • I was in Boston earlier this month and ate at both of those places. First of all, YUM! Second of all, you do not need to get very dressed up for either restaurant. Have fun!

    • If you’re going to Island Creek, you should read Shucked. Seriously, it’s really good.

      • Boston Visitor :

        Ahhh, I love this suggestion, but I don’t have a Kindle. Maybe I need to get one before we leave!

        • Boston Visitor :

          Just kidding, I just found it in hardback! It’s on my amazon cart now!

  4. Anyone treating themselves to a new fall bag? Would love links for what you’re peeking at! Also, has anyone tried the Benefit line of concealers/eye brighteners?
    Everyone have a great weekend!

    • (former) Clueless Summer :

      I got the Michael Kors Hamilton tote recently and I love it for work – big enough to fit papers/books, good pockets, can be carried over the shoulder and on the arm. Lots of amazing color combos too!

    • S in Chicago :

      Howdy neighbor! I recently got the Kate Spade Gold Coast Maryanne in cork. And a stunning violet one is on their website right now at super sale. (Keep repeating mantra: Bad S, you don’t need two.) Someone please enjoy this lovely bag for me.


      • Oh, S, I now have 3 Quinns, but I tell myself that they’re all really different (and they are). One is black flannel, one is purple leather with an ostrich pattern, and my new one is linen with black polka dots and black leather trim. See? Great price and it’s gorgeous.

        • Ah, too much enabling ;)

        • S in Chicago :

          I knew there was a reason I come here so much. Willpower gone. Is coming to me 5-7 business days. Have justified that pebbled leather is quite different and very pratical. Plus it’s a solid color and will work better with patterend outfits. Do not own another violet purse and is very on trend this year. Thank you, NOLA. Your good corpor*tte deed is done for the day.

          Now just stay away from fridge when I’m dieting. :)

        • Aaaaghhhh! I’m not even in the market for a new bag and now I want the Quinn in the black and white stripe. I mean, for $131 how can I go wrong?? Plus I’m pregnant right now so my clothes-shopping is uber-limited.

          NOLA — do they fit file folders? iPad? I need to be able to justify this as a work-related purchase before I pull the trigger.

          • I know – my polka dot Quinn was a whim buy because it was so inexpensive and I was tired of the purple, partly because it’s so distinctive.

            It is not big enough to fit a file folder. Not sure about an iPad. Tell me the measurements of your iPad and I’ll let you know. It’s not a big tote, but I love the layout. I can always find everything in my purse!

    • springtime :

      I use boing concealer. It stays put better than any others I have used, and doesn’t feel greasy.

    • lawsuited :

      I’ve tried the Boi-ing concealer and it gives great coverage that lasts all day – it’s more like a paste than a liquid but not cake-y. I’ve also tried the Ooh La Life eye brightener and it was nice, but didn’t make a huge difference and didn’t last all day so I wouldn’t highly recommend it.

    • I need one for a conference in a couple of weeks. This one is in my price range and I love everything about it–except the color. I need dark brown. Has anybody seen one like that?

      • Sorry. This one–> http://www.clarksusa.com/eng/product/top_handle_briefbag/906801

        Hope I get my head on straight before my presentation!

    • Dessert Doctor :

      On a similar note, I am feeling pretty obsessed with the burgundy/oxblood color that is so in this fall. I really want to find a new wallet in that shade, but haven’t had any luck poking around online. Has anyone seen anything good?

      • Oh yes! I just want to buy everything in burgundy/oxblood. I’m drooling ovet the Hobo sadie wallet in bordeaux (link to follow).

    • I like Erase Paste. It’s thick and stays on nicely.
      Also, treated myself to two (!) fun bags from Kate Spade outlet. One resembles the goldcoast maryanne in black, the other is an awesome dark peakock blue

    • I bought the Vivan Dome Satchel from Brahmin: http://www.brahmin.com/vault2

      I can’t get a precise link, but that page should take you to the ‘vault’ where the purse I bought is. Shouldn’t have spent the money, but…there you have it. :)

    • @312 – I use Benefit’s Lemon-aid on my lids occasionally. I do find that it helps correct/balance tone and works well under powder/eye shadow.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I bought a Brahmin bag at the NAS and absolutely love it. It’s really quite stunning in person; the picture doesn’t do it justice: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/brahmin-melbourne-medium-arno-croc-embossed-tote/3202748?origin=category&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=Pecan&resultback=1360

    • I have the Tory Burch Robinson bag in red. A great durable bag for work and court. It has dividers and pockets and can hold files and keep everything in order. The leather is durable and doesn’t show scratches too much. There are little feet on the bottom. All in all I am pleased because I tend to destroy my work bags as I lug them all over. The only downside is that is it a bit heavy, even when empty because of the leather. And it keeps its shape! (which my old work bag did not do…the bottom had that fallen out loom after awhile)

  5. ChocCityB&R :

    In light of yesterday’s thread, does anyone have tailor recommendations in the Bay Area?

    Also, in an effort to start the weekend thread off nice, I want to say how much I appreciate all of the commenters and lurkers (no one ever thanks the lurkers). We are a diverse, smart, and giving group of ladies, and it gives me hope for future little choccities. If we are running the world (which natch- we are) they have a much better world to look forward to!

    • My tailor in Oakland has magical powers, and she is so cheap I actually feel guilty. Amanda at Piedmont Alterations (on Piedmont Ave). It’s just her in a tiny little storefront (i mean tiny!) and she doesn’t even have a website, just a phone number. But if Oakland is convenient for you, she is sooo worth it, her work is impeccable, and she is the sweetest woman in. the. entire. world.

      • I just moved to Oakland and I am so, so, so happy to read this recommendation!

        • glad to help and WELCOME to the Oaktown!! Let me know if you need any other recs, or anything, i’m here every day…… and the answer to your next question is: no, no i don’t have a life, why do you ask? ;o)

  6. Knit Knat :

    Any recommendations for tailors in NoVa?

    Along the same lines, I have trouble figuring out what needs tailoring and where it needs to be tailored. I can obviously tell when a skirt is too short and needs to be lenghtened, but aside from that I’m lost. I can tell some of my silk shirts look schlubby, but can’t tell what needs to be fixed– arms too loose? Arm holes too big? Waist too loose? — any guides or references you ladies can point me too?

    • Mr. Suh in Old Town Alexandria is fantastic.

    • Well, a *good* tailor will be able to talk you through these things, tell you what their options are and what it will accomplish, and help you decide what is worth the money. But also, a lot of people like the blog Alterations Needed, she is petite, so the specifics might not always apply to you, but she breaks down exactly how she has altered certain garments and shows before/after shots, so browsing through there might help you get some ideas.

  7. So I just found out that I have to make an emergency trip to DC next week to sit with a customer who is a Big Government Agency. My normal office is super casual (jeans and tshirts, I used to dress up but I eventually stopped bothering because truly no one cares) and I have nothing to wear, so I need to go shopping ASAP.

    However, I also have to work all weekend to deal with some emergency stuff and my shopping time is limited. Do you all have any tips on how to pick out a few outfits in only a couple hours? I live near a huge mall, so my choices are many. I’m tempted to just go to Banana Republic and buy their lookbook outfits, but I’d rather have something more original.

    • Stick to one color palatte. Do you need to get a suit? If so, I’d recommend going to Macy’s or another big department store where they sell suits as separates. You can then use different tops and necklaces to change the look.

    • What will your role be? That will really determine how you dress. And how long will be there (how many outfits)?

      Regardless: make sure you pick a base color/neutral (black, blue, gray, whatever looks good on you) for everything else to coordinate with in order to minimize what you need to purchase (and pack!).

      • In DC and in the fed government, I disagree that your role dictates dress. I think federal government clients will expect to see conservative suits, but maybe that’s just because I tend to deal with the more stuffy agencies (see post below re non-stuffy dress for my conference).

        • I’m in charge of an engineering project. When I go to their site I’d normally wear a suit because I meet with their executives, but they just this second switched it to one of my company’s offices which is business casual (more formal than my local branch) and only their engineers will be there, not their upper management. I think a casual suit or a business casual outfit with a blazer would probably be formal enough.

          • S in Chicago :

            Making a plug for the Suzi Chin by Maggy’s Boutique faux wrap–this dress has been my go-to for lots of things like this. I feel comfortable with a jacket wearing it around folks in suits, it works well if you’re going somewhere for dinner or drinks at the end of meetings, and it packs like a dream. I own it in several colors. Nordies has in-store pick up, too.


    • Can you buy a plain sheath dress in a neutral? If so, that plus a jacket (either matching from a suit set, or coordinating) will do it for you. Or, if their sizing works for you, go to J Crew and ask someone to put something together for you (all my suits are J Crew). If time is more important than money, they can rush ship to you any items they don’t have in store. I’ve never used a Nordstrom personal shopper, but this seems like it might be the perfect occasion for one.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This is the perfect occasion for a nordstroms personal shopper. I highly recommend.

        I also recommend one base color for the dominant separates (or suit). It will be less expensive shopping, but also easier packing.

      • Second the Nordstrom personal shopper. I did this for a new work wardrobe before starting at the firm, and it was AMAZING. It would have taken me an entire day to do what we did in a few hours.

    • Yep, and Macy’s has an option to pick up the item in-store, so you can pick out some items beforehand.
      Nordstrom and Talbots also allow you to find items in a particular location, though my own experience with Talbots inventory checking left me profoundly dissatisfied.

    • If you get to DC early enough you will definitely have plenty of options for shopping if you don’t find something this weekend. Also, what types of clothing are you most comfortable in? Do you prefer dresses/skirts/slacks? I’d get something basic that you can get more wear out of: skirt suit, sheath w/ blazer or nice cardigan, or pants suit. I think the weather is supposed to be decent here next week, too.

  8. Need some advice! I’m going to a conference in Las Vegas next month and need some help on what to wear. First, my fall clothes are pretty warm (tweeds) while my lighter weight clothes are very summery (think seersucker or other light cotton jackets), so not sure which to go with given how warm the weather will be. Second, I’m from a very conservative DC law background but this conference is in a more techy area. If this were an ABA event, I’d be rocking the charcoal suit and pearls. But I worry that I’ll look stuffy and outside the culture. On the other hand, we’re trying to establish ourselves as the knowledgeable, trustworthy, DC insiders in this industry. So if I’m slightly stuffier than your average conference-goer, that’s probably okay. I was thinking sheath dresses and jackets (but then the summer or the winter jackets?) plus bigger jewelry. Or is this too formal for the tech set? My male colleague is planning to wear jackets and open-collar shirts (although he’s still debating between dress pants and dark-wash jeans). If the dress and jacket look is too formal, what’s a better option? I’ll probably have jeans with me so I could do jeans and jackets, if that’s what people are wearing, but I’d like to have a dressier option on hand if jeans aren’t the thing. (Being a boring lawyer is way easier — take one part neutral skirt suit, add plain pearl or metal jewelry, silk top in slightly more fun color, and plain heels and voila! conference outfit.) Help!

    • I’ve been to a couple tech conferences in Vegas and people wear everything from shorts to suits, but most attendees are men who wear khakis or jeans and polo shirts or button-downs. Since these things can be like 90% men, there’s not really a standard “uniform” that women wear and your outfit will not be judged as much as your male coworker’s will be. Your dress sounds fine to me.

    • DC Association :

      First let me say…meeting rooms are FREEZING. So, if you get cold easily, there’s your decision-making factor as far as pants vs dresses…go with the pants. Doesn’t matter what the temperature outside is; inside the hotel or convention center will be 70*. Honestly, even if you don’t get cold easily, if you are sitting in sessions all day, go with pants for sure.

      So I would go with pant/jacket separates that are conservative but with funky jewelry to show your personality.

      • Refrigerated conference settings are the worst. Sure, with that many bodies in one place, it makes sense to cool things down a bit. But most places go overboard and are truly arctic. Combine that with the fact you’re sitting for long periods of time and you start contemplating bringing mittens and a hat…

      • I don’t really own pants, but sounds like I should go with the warmer jackets!

      • +1. That is the only thing I remember from a conference I went to in Vegas. I was so cold I drank hot tea to warm my hands up so I could take notes.

    • I usually do Vegas conferences in the spring, so it’s a bit cooler then. October is still in mid-80s. I definitely recommend dressing in layers there, because I find that the conferences are always freezing, but then you step outside and it’s actually really warm. I also suggest lighter colors/materials wardrobe – it just feels right. You could also get away with brighter colors and bigger jewelry there. I really like your idea of sheath dress and a jacket. I think it would be a tad less formal than a full suit, but it will still look put together. If you’re presenting or expect a lot of networking, I would avoid jeans. I always see people in jeans, but almost never presenters/exhibitors, but it probably depends on the conference (I go to the high-tech ones). For the night, jeans are OK if you go somewhere real casual or just walking the strip, but otherwise, I would avoid them as well. People tend to be dressier there at night. Again, depends what your plans are.

      One other suggestion – bring a pair of flats with you that can fit in your purse (I always have a foldable pair with me). That way if you walk between hotels/casinos, you can just put them on and then change into your regular shoes there.

      If you get a chance, check out the Foundation Room in Mandalay Bay (awesome view of the strip – you can sit outside on the balcony with little fire pits around you). It’s normally members-only, but they have a couple of days a week when they let anyone in. Also Cosmopolitan is fun. People watching, of course, is awesome everywhere there!

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Sequins. Because it’s Vegas (and because I watched Project Runway last night)

      In all seriousness, you’ll stand out (in a good way) if you wear bright colors at a tech conference. People will notice you and want to talk with you. I bust out my purple blazer at scientific conferences (with neutral three-season wool pants on the bottom) and it helps me stand out from the sea of navy blue blazers.

      • That’s a great tip and one I wouldn’t have thought of. I was planning to bring a bright-ish blue dress anyway, so that sounds like it will be a good choice. Now to pick a brighter jacket to go with the black dress.

  9. My boss just took me out to lunch to tell me that I’m doing a great job. What an awesome surprise on a dreary Friday!

    Partners & managers & bosses out there— do this for your reports!

  10. That sinking feeling when you realize you left a banana in your computer bag…. 3 months ago.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      Ooohh, yuck. I don’t think I’ve done this with fruit, though I definitely have with breakfast pastries. But finding a rock-hard lump that used to be a scone is far different than what I imagine you found…

      • Oh, we were to the point of petrification. At first I thought I’d spilled a bottle of shampoo that was leaking out of the corner of the bag… But yeah, it was pretty funny.

        • Yeah, I’ve had that spilled liquid thought only to realize it was old potatoes. At least it was in a cabinet, not a computer bag.

        • goirishkj :

          I once left a banana in a coat pocket. For an entire year.

    • lawsuited :


      Sorry, not the most sensitive response, but I am laughing with love and deep sympathy.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Back in my high school days I was a waitress at an ice cream shop. I took a to-go cup of milk and a cookie for my ride home. I basically just dipped the cookie in the milk and didn’t drink it. I forgot it in my car and went on vacation with my parents for a week. The milk sat in my car in the summer heat that whole time. When I returned, it had disintegrated the cup, molded into the cup holder and made a solid hard coaster. The smell, however, was a different story. Total science experiment.

      • Merabella :

        I had milk spill onto the carpets of my car in college. I’m totally sympathetic. Nothing gets that sh!t out.

      • I recently left a carton of milk (which somehow spilled?!) in a reusable grocery bag, which I put away in our den. We couldn’t figure out why our apartment gradually smelled worse and worse– we never go in the den; it’s just storage. When I finally figured it out about two weeks later I almost threw up. Yuckkkk.

      • Yup. I was the social VP of an organization in college, and for one event had to pick up our catered Indian dinner. While I was driving to the event, the chicken tikka and the saag paneer somehow got spilled under the backseat. I cannot even describe the smell that ensued.

    • Frou Frou :

      I’ve totally done this. Except in my case, it was my DH’s briefcase, but I’m the one that left behind the banana and he had no idea it was there until he discovered it a few months later. He was not amused (but I was).

    • Been there. Even worse: left an orange in my car trunk for four months. During summer. In Texas. Parked outside. Liquification is a general term for what I found…

    • As a kid, one of my cousins gave me her old winter coat as a hand-me down. There was some sort of fruit (an orange?) and a string cheese stick in the pockets from the previous winter. Fortunately the washer took care of most of the mess, but it was a pretty horrifying discovery.

    • It sounds like we’ve all been there at some point! Someone once must have dropped a piece of fruit under the backseat of my car because one day I found a furry lump attached to the carpet. I don’t know how long it was there, but I could only identify it by the produce sticker (I think it was a plum or some other fruit that I never buy).

    • My son’s school backpack didn’t get used all summer. Turns out he left his lunchbox in it. And didn’t get around to eating his lunch on the last day of school.

      As god is my witness, I will never eat a turkey sandwich again.

    • I put a pear into the pocket of my winter jacket once and forgot about it until I shoved my hand into the rotten remains.

    • We have limited counter space at our cabin. Stuck bananas in microwave to get them off of the counter and forgot them. For a month. I now have a new microwave at my cabin.

      • Once there was a horrible smell in my kitchen. HORRIBLE. I looked everywhere. I couldn’t find ANYTHING. just opened windows and used lots of air freshener. Could not figure it out.
        Went to get large platter off top of fridge in, oh, October? Large, large amount of rotted liquid in platter. Source of smell.

        Remembered putting watermelon up there in, oh, July?

        Couldn’t find it when smell came, because it had already rotted and collapsed, couldn’t see it on top of fridge.

        Lesson learned: short people should never put perishables on fridge.

  11. NYC Lurker :

    Long time lurker popping in with a question (I tried using the search function, but it wasn’t working for me).

    I graduated college in May 2011 and have been working since, but I now find myself in need of some academic reference letters. I have some senior year professors in mind I could contact, but I did not keep in touch after I graduated. It feels so weird just popping up out of nowhere and asking them to write a recommendation! Do you ladies have any tips for how to approach them?

    • LadyEnginerd :

      Don’t just ask for letters – in your email, ask for the letter and explain what it’s for and why you want to do that (like, after years in X field I want to go to grad school in Y because of Z), tell them why they’d make a good reference (I learned A, B, and C from you, which will enhance my skills in Y), attach your current resume so they can see what you’ve been up to, and offer to sit down and meet with them to update them about what you’ve been up to since they last knew you well.

    • Just email and ask nicely. You should remind them what year you graduated, and what classes you had with them.

      If you didn’t know them well (or think they’ll need some help), once they agree (they will), send your resume as well as some bullet points you’d liek them to cover.

      It’s awkward, but professors are ALWAYS asked. It is their job.

      • ETA: I assumed you needed them for grad school. Most grad schools have forms, etc. for ugrad professors to fill out.

        If you need them for some other purpose, definitely let them know and provider more color, as suggested above.

      • I work at a college – and our grad school sends out thank you letters to the referring professors as a way to make a professional connection (and to acknowledge/encourage the continued practice of writing those letters) at least when we accept a candidate.

    • Don’t feel odd, and don’t feel like you have to make a lot of small talk and bury your request in the middle of it (A little update and some pleasantries are nice, but sometimes I get the impression that students feel like they have to “chat” for an appropriate amount of time before they ask for the letter. You don’t, it’s part of our job). If it’s been a while, I usually request that the student send me one of the papers that they wrote for my course to help jog my memory, so you could send a paper that you wrote (or your final grade in the course) in addition to your CV. And as others above have mentioned, if it’s for a non-academic job, be more specific in what you need, otherwise your professors will probably just default to the usual format for an academic reference letter, which may not be what you need.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Yeah, don’t dance around the subject – it’s totally expected – but do give them enough information so that they can write a good letter. Most of the time they don’t take me up on the offer to chat if I’ve written a good enough email with the relevant background information on me and what I’m applying for.

        • NYC Lurker :

          Thank you all for your help! I was really hoping I could just have my bosses write the recommendations, but everything I have read says that academic references are strongly preferred. Oh well. But all of your suggestions are great, and I am relieved to learn that this is pretty common.

    • No Problem :

      Just ask in an email, and attach your resume. If you’re calling, just make sure to get to the point pretty quickly. I had to ask for an academic reference letter when I was applying to grad school a full 3 years after I graduated! Thankfully, I had worked in the prof’s lab for a semester and taken a class with him, and the work I did was useful for his future publications, so he probably didn’t have to think too hard about who I was. He told me when I emailed him that my name had just come up because he was putting me in the acknowledgements for one of his papers. So professors definitely remember students and are not weirded out when asked for recommendations. Besides, it’s only been a year.

      • No Problem :

        Oh, I forgot to mention that you should give whoever you’re asking plenty of time to write the recommendation. Like, at least 2-3 weeks.

    • Yes, very common. Last week I wrote one for a student that I had in 2008. I still had the grades from the class and the research paper that he wrote. I agree that jogging the professor’s memory would be good and a resume would add context along with the name/type of program for which you need the letter.

  12. So I just moved to Spain to teach English, right? I promised my friends and family I’d keep a blog while I’m on this side of the pond, and I thought I’d share it here as well. You can find it at girlgwengalicia dot blogspot dot com, or linked from my name.

    Eventual highlights include me doing arts and crafts with 30 elementary-school students, and getting my overly-affectionate Siberian husky cleared through customs.

    I will also probably talk about shoes a lot, because I like, have a problem, and there is a shoe store every other storefront.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Have fun! I did a study abroad program in Granada in college and LOVED it. I hope your doggy gets cleared quickly and has nice accommodations in the meantime.

      • Oh, she’s loving life in the meantime, since she’s chilling on her grandaddy’s farm and getting to play with his three dogs and sniff the horses. Life in Spain will probably pale in comparison for her.

    • Yay, I love this!! Thanks for letting us know, I’m so excited to hear about your adventures while stuck at my dreary, boring desk. ;o)

      • :) :) :) it’ll probably get pretty dreary once I start having to you know, work and stuff.

    • Awesome! And oh, please post lots of pictures of your husky! I’m a sucker for happy, affectionate dogs. :-)

    • How cool! My sister & bil returned just a few months ago from a stint in Spain. Bil had a job teaching conversational English in a school, which was awesome for him because he’s great with kids and speaks Spanish himself. They were in the same area as you but right on the coast. I don’t remember the name of the city they were in, but it was a resort town and I’m sure it had at least one ‘X’ in it. Sis said the weather was awesome (we’re from Canada, so even a rainy winter with mild temps was better than bitter cold & snow) and they ate a ton of fish (which I think she learned to like). They loved the area, though, and did a little bit of touring in the area with friends they met. They definitely said the people were very kind and polite.

      Hope you have a great time in Spain! What an awesome adventure!

      • Oh my gosh, everyone has been so kind so far! After we got into Madrid, the mom and I had spent an hour lost on various highways trying to get to our hotel. We pulled into an auto shop to ask for directions. One of the customers heard me struggling to understand the directions, came over, offered to translate, then looked at where we were trying to go, and said since she and her husband lived near there, we could follow them in their car to the hotel. I think that was one of the kindest things a stranger has ever offered to do for me.

        I still haven’t had any seafood, but it’s coming. Mm. I looooove octopus.

    • oh dear, we all knew I was a bit slow…..I posted above but your blog is so cute. Glad you are settling in!

      • How wonderful! I’ll definitely be a regular reader. Post lots of pics and enjoy!

    • a. , I just checked out your blog. Thanks for linking to it. I look forward to reading about your adventures and I hope your pup gets to you soon!

    • a., just want to say I loooooooooove your blue skinnies. Bookmarked the blog!

      • thanks! I love ’em too. They’re these guys from Anthro (I also own them in orange, don’t hate): http://us.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/24351306.jsp?color=040

        And I have to say, during the three weeks I worked there, that particular cut of jeans flattered EVERYONE who tried them on. Not a lie, not an exaggeration. Tall ladies, short ladies, petite ladies, fuller-figured ladies. They were like the magic pants. The fabric is also super-soft and comfortable.

    • ChinaRette :

      Good luck! I spent time working abroad (hence my username) and LOVED it. Such a great experience. Good luck getting started!

  13. Winter shoes? :

    Hi ladies! what do you all do to keep your feet/legs warm
    during the winter? I’m a big fan of pencil skirts, but find myself reaching for pants in the winter because the thought of simply walking to my car in only tights and pumps is unthinkable in the morning. I live in DC and drive to work and park in a garage, still My legs get very cold. Do you all wear riding boots out of the door and then change? Any solutions?

    • lawsuited :

      I am embarrassed to admit this, but I wear tall Ugg boots to walk from the parking garage. They’re grey soooo….that’s business appropriate, right?

    • Yes. Boots!

    • I live in DC, and I drive to work, park in a garage. I wear tights. While in my car, I have a blanket (my grandmother knitted for me) that I drape over my lap and tuck under my bottom that keeps my legs warm while the heater works its magic. I usually just keep the blanket in the car – although you could take it to/from the house every morning/evening.

    • I just wear dressy knee high boots and keep them on all day.

    • La Canadienne boot – warm and profesh

    • Knee-length down coat and boots. When I’m really cold, I’ll wear my snowboots (Merrells) with my tights and skirt and then change in the office.

    • Fleece-lined tights

    • applesandcheddar :

      I live in DC too and wear skirts all winter long. I wear tights and flat knee high boots with them all winter long. If it’s especially cold, I will sometimes swap the tights for leggings or sweater tights. Luckily I don’t find the winters here to be too cold, so this usually does the trick.

    • fleece lined tights!

    • Fleece-lined tights. I started wearing boots for the commute and bringing my normal work shoes to change into, but really it’s easier and warmer just to leave the boots on all day, if you can do that in your office.

      • Yes! Fleece lined tights with boots is so comfortable. I never want to put on any other shoes in the winter.

        • Thanks all!! What brand of fleece-lined tights do you like? I’m a big fan of DKNY for normal tights, but dont own any that are fleece lined. Thanks everyone for responding! Boots and tights it is!

    • Diana Barry :


    • I have a longer coat. So with tights and sometimes, when it’s super cold, boots I usually stay warm enough.

  14. lucy stone :

    I’m moving into a much bigger office next week and am trying to figure out a) how to arrange my furniture and b) what to decorate my office with now that I have floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and twice the wallspace! What do you have in your office that you love? Tips on arranging furniture?

    • Subscribing to this thread!

    • Not much advise on who to arrange furniture (without knowing the layout of your office and what furniture you have), but the one thing I prefer, and see in most of my colleagues’ offices, is to have your desk situated so that when you’re sitting it at your body is facing the door.
      As far as decor, whatever you want (within reason)! Personally, I love seeing pictures of my co-workers’ friends and family – reminds me that they’re normal people with lives outside the office. Just keep the pictures tasteful (no spring break pics) and not overly sappy. I have a few pics of me and my parents (a personal favorite is a pic of my mom in her graduation gown holding a one-year-old me), a few pics of friends, one pic from my swearing in, and a pic of my cat. Other than that, I’d suggest picking out one or two larger art pieces/prints that you like and hang those.

    • I arrange my furniture so that I am facing the door while on my computer, because I hate to have my back to the door. I then put my other desk in an L shape with chairs in front so people can visit me.

      I have a print of one of my favorite paintings and my degrees nicely framed. I also have a framed painting done by each of my kids, framed individual pictures of each kid and a couple of them together, and a cork board with papers I reference often, postcards and pictures. I have a lady of justice statue and a couple of plants. I also have the first thank you card I ever received from a client. Oh and a pretty Tiffany style lamp.

      I don’t see clients in my office or I would probably not have so many kid related things.

    • lucy stone :

      To follow up, I work for the government and the most regular visitors to my office are opposing counsel and police officers. The new office has the door in the corner, a wall of half-windows across from the door, and is probably 12×20. I am currently working in a former secretary’s office and am SO EXCITED to have more room.

  15. Anyone else just see the shuttle fly by? Very cool.

    • Yes, three times!

    • I saw it yesterday before it left Houston! The nerd in me was very excited, and glad to be stopped at a red light so I could gawk.

    • I totally missed it!! only have a pic on my phone a friend snapped :o( sad retroactive baby panda… I so wanted to go to space when I was a kid!

  16. @ emcsquared:

    I didn’t get a chance to response last night, but you were looking for a fun pen holder.
    Wanted to share mine. It’s a freaking dragon! Definitely not corporate, but looks totally appropriate in my somewhat formal office.
    If you’re in NYC, there’s a store on Broadway in Soho that sells these. They’re also available online from the store’s website. Looks much better in person (not crappy cheap plastick-y), I’ve even given them as gifts before. It sounds like it would go with your color scheme, too.


    • emcsquared :

      Thank you! Love that idea. I’m leaning toward a large, shallow bowl or tray that I can fill with pens, and a cup for scissors/ruler/letter opener…so maybe I’ll search out a dragon themed tray too. Hmmm….

      • I just got an email from fab.com and their featured sale is focused in office today. They have some fun stuff mostly modern looking. You should check it out.

  17. Business Cashwell :

    I’m trying to add more jackets/blazers to my current work wardrobe. I will be working at a biglaw firm with a business casual dress code with jeans on Fridays. I really like the max & mia boucle jacket in black/white at Nordstroms and the equestrian style jackets at BR and the Limited (elbow patches and all). I’m thinking these are too casual for my future office- the boucle jacket has very frayed edges and the equestrian jackets have contrasting elbow patches- but I am looking for the Hive’s thoughts? Yay or nay?

    • What city are you in?

      • Business Cashwell :


        • It might entirely depend on the unique culture of your firm, but these look fine to me. I might actually suggest you first start work and see if jackets are even a thing. When I was in BigLaw (in DC) I actually never wore jackets unless I was wearing a suit (for meetings with people outside the firm — clients, opposing counsel, co-counsel, government regulators). My uniform was a pencil skirt, cardigan, and shirt or camisole. Some associates wore pants suits with more casual tops, but overall jackets weren’t very popular. I do think that if you’re mid-level or above (if I’m doing my math right, then a 2008 or earlier law grad) adding a few jackets isn’t a terrible idea, just to give yourself a little more authority. I also found that in several of my meetings (especially with co-counsel) separates would have been a good option. (Btw, the one BigLaw firm I know has jeans Fridays is A&P. My friend worked there and he never wore a tie — just dress pants and a dress shirt Mon – Tues. If that’s your firm, I wouldn’t worry too much.)

  18. Ladies, cut/paste chat between a coworker and the admin.

    A—-/Company Redacted(9:02 AM) B…do you drive a grey SUV?
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:02 AM) why?
    A—-/Company Redacted(9:03 AM) I don’t know…someone driving one this morning tried to kill my ass twice on the road this morning…but that couldn’t have been you…cause you would never do that…right?
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:03 AM) hmmmmmmmmm
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:03 AM) that sounds FAMILIAR
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:03 AM) but don’t know what you are talking about
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:03 AM) I speed that I know
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:04 AM) what do you drive?
    A—-/Company Redacted(9:04 AM) a black ——
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:04 AM) you were cutting me out
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:05 AM) didn’t want me to take the ramp from the beginning
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:05 AM) so yes that was me
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:05 AM) and I didn’t know it was you in the care
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:05 AM) car
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:05 AM) and didn’t think that this person might be working for (Company redacted)
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:06 AM) we need to talk than!!!!!!!!!
    A—-/Company Redacted(9:07 AM) hahahaha…lane changes in an intersection is not legal…crossing solid white lines is also illegal. You had already passed the point of going on the highway but I guess shoving my car over made room for you. Believe me, I’m in a rush in the morning too, but I don’t try to kill people on the road. Not cool. I knew it was you, that’s the only reason I didn’t get out of my car. I will consider this the last time we have to discuss a situation like this.
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:08 AM) are you a cop?
    A—-/Company Redacted(9:09 AM) No…but i know plently. let’s not get to that point. I just to see everyone arrive alive…even if it’s 5 minutes late.
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:10 AM) me too so we are on the same page and it;s not cool of accusing me by saying not cool to try killing people
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:10 AM) have a nice day
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:10 AM) wasn;t a nice comment
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:10 AM) I have a son and I know
    A—-/Company Redacted(9:19 AM) Clearly you have missed the point. I have 3 kids by the way…so I guess I win. And it wasn’t cool. Speeding I have no problem with, but what you did is dangerous…but if you can’t see that…I’m not sure how to show you. One day you will do that to the wrong person, and I fear that the outcome will not be good for you. I wish you luck and hope that you don’t have to understand what I said the hard way.
    B—-/Company Redacted(9:20 AM) oh and by the way I take that as a threat by you saying that you know plenty and let’s not get to that point so you are threatening me
    A—-/Company Redacted(9:25 AM) LOL…you can take that however you want. These are just people I know…I can’t help that…and no reflection of any legal action. Honestly…good luck…you obviously need it.

    • lawsuited :

      What IS this?

    • what is the point of posting this? are you just posting email chats between your coworkers?

    • Oh. Dear.

    • I’m not sure what that is, but both were/are behaving like children on the road and off the road. Not to sound paranoid or hyper-sensitive, but one ought to refrain from using words like “kill” “accuse” “threatening” and “cop” at work (unless you are an actor on Law & Order SVU).

      In sum- don’t act stupid and don’t record your stupid behavior at work.

      • Hee hee hee. This x1000, especially regarding the language only being appropriate for Law and Order SVU!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        At my old job, we didn’t realize how much we were monitored until two of my coworkers were instant messaging and one of them said “you’re da bomb” and company headquarters almost immediately cut into the conversation.

    • Honey Pillows :


    • This was not an impulsive action, because you took the time to redact the names and the company name.
      I don’t get.

      • yeah I feel like posting this is way weirder than whatever the point anon was trying to make was. Like two coworkers argued? alright.. but your the weirdo that went and redacted all the names and posted it on a website?

    • If OP is neither of the people, why does OP have access? And if OP is in IT (and hence have access), isn’t sharing it a bit unethical, regardless of the redacting? Or at least…tacky?

    • The point is, if we could just address road rage directly to the person it will all work out. Wait…

    • I thought this was going to be some sort of inappropriate admin story, but nope. I can’t even tell if the admin is A or B.

    • Oh, c’mon people.

      I suppose the lesson is, next time you’re being an a-hole in traffic, remember that the person you’re cutting off might be someone you know/work with/your boss.

      (PS I am not the OP.)

    • I’ll also take a moment to remind everyone: when you put stuff like this in writing, there is the chance that your company’s lawyers will someday end up reading them while doing doc review. And it will make their day.

  19. boston gardener :

    Boston: any recommendations for a firm/lawyer for a thirtysomething wanting to write a will? What should the expected cost range be?

    • I don’t have any recs but am interested in the response. Also in the market for a Boston-area CPA. Must be willing to deal with crazies (me and DH).

    • My firm is mid-size in the suburbs of Boston (with a satellite office in Boston) and our T&E department has an excellent reputation. Due to our location, the cost is lower for estate planning but the attorneys are all former Boston biglaw, so the quality is excellent and they routinely handle very, very large estates. If you want to let me know generalities about what is involved – do you need a Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Trust, etc. – I can get the cost for you (generlly T&E is flat rate). My email is [email protected]

  20. Interesting article in the News Roundup about hedge fund dresscodes. Most of the comments were not worth reading but I wonder what the hive thinks of this one (from a man):
    “Honestly getting dressed just does not seem that complicated. For example on this whole stockings thing – just wear them. You don’t want me running around not wearing socks, do you?”

    I know it’s often more nuanced than that, and depends on your workplace, yadda yadda, but I kind of see his point. Moreover, I can see how if you work in an environment where it’s mostly older men who may think this way, it would certainly be in your best interest to incorporate this logic into your sartorial choices.

    PS: As for the woman who wore boots with her Brioni suits on her interviews – when I was a 1L, I did the same and, unsurprisingly, I didn’t get a callback either.

    • lawsuited :

      I’d much rather wear socks than pantihose. Pantihose are much more uncomfortable and expensive for those of us (me) who can’t go a day without laddering them. I still wear pantihose for interviews, court, etc., BUT I think that if men were expected to wear pantihose as opposed to socks then pantihose would fall out of favour in a lot of dress codes.

      • That is all.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Oh absolutely. The women’s “equivalent” clothing of men’s clothing is always more uncomfortable, more expensive, more difficult to maintain, and more subject to trends.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I agree with the overall point that getting dressed shouldn’t be so complicated. And that it’s in one’s best interest career-wise to dress how your superiors expect you to dress.

      However, sometimes it seems like those superiors (maybe? maybe it’s society at large?) make it more complicated for women to get dressed. Boxier button-front shirt with a suit and hose? Frumpy, matronly, shrew. More fitted clothing? Too hot to be taken seriously. It can just be a delicate balancing act sometimes, IMO.

      So, clothing shouldn’t be so complicated, but sometimes it just is.

    • I hate pantyhose with passion and if a man told me to wear them, I would ask him if he thought it’s appropriate for me to comment on the type of underwear he should wear to work.

      • I wish I could ‘like’ that!

        I just wear pants. Always. I live in the PNW, pants suits are fine.

  21. Sydney Bristow :

    Has anyone ordered from the wide widths website before and had to return your purchase? I’ve picked the boots that I want, but I’m not sure how comfortable the heel will be on them. I have very picky feet. The website says you have to get authorization to return them and I’m just curious what anyone’s experience has been with that.

    • Well, I just ordered those boots (gulp!) so I guess I’ll found out, if they don’t fit!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        What did you pick? I decided on the Sherlock over the knee ones but I’m worried about the 3 inch heels. If I can’t wear them on my commute it lessens the purpose of buying boots to wear with skirts in cooler weather. Although they are gorgeous so maybe I’d keep them anyway.

        • Tease in black suede in 8 1/2 W. Just decided to take the plunge. I like the suede better and I like the hardware. My other boots are probably higher. I wear 4 inch heels pretty regularly. I don’t commute at all on foot (get into my car at home, drive ten minutes, get out of my car and walk to my building) so that’s not an issue for me. I pretty regularly teach in heels and it doesn’t bother me if they’re made right.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I can stand in heels and don’t have a problem wearing them around the office, but I walk to and from the subway. If they are more comfortable heels it probably won’t be a problem, but its hard to know.

    • lawsuited :

      I ordered a pair of boots from Wide Widths and had to return them. The process was long and frustrating, although I’m sure exacerbated by being in Canada.

  22. cardigan/sweater care :

    Now that the weather’s getting cooler… Would love advice on how to care for cardigans and sweaters. I tend to wear cardigans 3-4 times before laundering, but they are always so wrinkled after one wear. How to avoid this? If I try hanging them out to get rid of the wrinkles, they get those weird hanger marks from stretching at the shoulders. What to do, other than launder after each wear (or purchase a steamer, I suppose?).

    Do you guys have a system for separating clean cardigans from ones you’ve worn once or twice?

    Also, do you guys dry clean all your cardigans? I prefer to machine wash cold on the ‘delicates’ cycle, but even if I lay them flat to dry they tend to look pretty wrinkled. I feel like I am always a scruffy, wrinkled mess unless I dry clean after each wear!

    • Do you have a drying rack? I’d arrange them on there in between wears to air out.

      You could always trying steaming them after washing to get the wrinkles out. Or fold and roll (which is what I do). What kind of fabric content do your cardigans have? Cotton? Wool? Something else?

      • I fold & roll. And if I’m organized enough to realize the cardi I plan on wearing the next day is wrinkled I press it the night before, but usually I just hope most of the wrinkles disappear before I get to work, and they usually do.

    • lawsuited :

      Um, I iron my cardigans using the “cotton” setting on my iron. (I could use the “wool” setting, but it takes longer.) And I wash my sweaters in cold water and lay flat to dry just like you – my drycleaing bill is high enough as it is!

    • Get new hangers. The really thin velvet-y ones. No hanger marks ever!
      Also, I just iron mine between wearings. I iron pretty much everything. I try to steam but don’t have the patience. For wash, I just do delicates or hand wash, unless it’s cotton and then it goes into regular laundry.

    • If it’s not dry clean only I was by hand in the sink with cold water and lay flat to dry. Steam when dry or in between wears. I got a relatively cheap steamer and even it is amazing. It’s a bit of a pain to get it all set up, but totally worth it.

    • I hang the cardigans and sweaters I’ve worn that day on the back of my chair (bedroom or den) to air out a bit. The next day or in a couple of days I fold them back up and put them on a separate shelf that I keep empty for that purpose. I try to launder them as seldom as possible — unless they need it, of course — so I do try to wear them 4-5 times first, like you. I machine wash most cotton-blend knits cold on delicates, lay flat to dry, and iron very lightly afterwards; except for the newest clothes, I may wash them by hand. All wool and wool-blend I wash by hand, lay flat to dry, no need to iron.

    • Boston Blonde :

      steamer!!!!!! they really aren’t that expensive on amazon. I used to have a nice one with a garment hanger but I don’t have the space in my new apt and a cheap one that I can shove in the corner works great too.

    • Kontraktor :

      Are you wearing cotton cardigans? I pretty much don’t buy cotton cardigans anymore because I hate how they wrinkle so badly. I think most of my cardis are merino wool, and then I have a few that are cashmere and some that are wool/silk/other blends. They hardly wrinkle at all. If you are concerned about being too hot, I feel it is quite common to find ’tissue weight’ merino cardis at AT/BR especially.

      Second velvet hangers though. They take up less closet space and seem to hang my clothes nicely.

      • That’s probably the problem. A wool cardigan, folded on a shelf, won’t be a mess of wrinkles. And any will just relax out in your commute time from body heat alone. You can always do the trick of hanging it on a hanger in the bathroom while you take a shower, that’s fast free and easy. But hangers are inappropriate for knits, which will always stretch out of shape, that’s their nature.

    • I really hate ironing, so I’ve worked out a system to do the least possible amount of it. Wrinkled cardigans get hung up in the bathroom while I’m getting ready each morning. I spritz them with water and let them steam while I shower. This gets the wrinkles out by the time I’m putting them on.

      I hang the just-worn cardigan over a chair in my bedroom to air out, and fold it the next day.

    • I iron them. I wear them once before washing though. Skirts I can practically wear for a year without cleaning, but tops… nope. Even if they are generally wrinkle-free after washing/air drying, I find they still look better after ironing.

    • cardigan/sweater care :

      OP here. Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. I detest ironing – forgot to mention that! My cardigans are mostly merino or merino-blend (not cotton). I’m going to try hanging them on the slim velvety hangers and spraying them with water to steam a little while I shower – brilliant idea! If that doesn’t work I guess it’s time to get a steamer!

      • Dead Quote Olympics :

        Late response here, but I hate ironing too, and have a lot of cardigans (silk blends, ugh, they wrinkle like you wouldn’t believe). I bought a commercial quality steamer from Amazon and it has changed my life. For some reason it is more acceptable to me to wheel out the steamer than set up the ironing board. I find it’s faster too. So I second the steaming — you could even have an escalation path: bathroom steaming (that didn’t always work for me); cheap handheld steamer; commercial level steamer if you find it necessary or desirable. Seriously, I love my steamer!

    • Re: the weird hanger marks – I swear by the Olka hangers from The Container Store. They’re curved so they don’t leave those marks and I hang everything but my heavier sweaters on them.

  23. Anyone ever try the isokentics balance disk? I was excited to get mine today but after only 3 hrs. I’m starting to develop lower back pain. Is it something you only use a few hrs. at a time? hoping I didn’t just throw cash out the window.

    • *isokinetics

    • Do you wear new shoes all day the first day too?? You need to give your body time to get used to these things. If only because presumably your posture isn’t great and you need to work at it to improve. Think developing muscles gently rather than instant fix..

  24. Dress recommendations in the reply: super comfy but also elicited loads of compliments. I’m wearing this today with nylons and a wide belt and feel a bit Duchess of Cambridge.

  25. Boots for Petites :

    Here is a shopping challenge for the Hive: any idea on where to find good knee-high boots for petites? Knee-high boots tend to hit me either at the knee (not good for walking) or at the thickest part of my calves (too tight). But I have relatively thin ankles, so knee-high boots on me tend to be too tight at the calves, but loose at the ankles, and look wrinkly in-between. Looking for a clean, simple, quality brown or black boot, either flat or low heel. Anybody else have this problem? Any leads?

    • No Problem :

      I’m interested to see replies because I have this problem too! BTW, I used to think that maybe I just had large calves and should be buying wide calf boots, but now I realize that it’s just that my legs are short and the widest part of the boot that is supposed to be at the widest part of my calf is actually several inches above it. SIGH.

    • I’m just below 5 feet and the Naturalizer Dinka Boot fits quite well.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      These aren’t specifically petite-focused, but I have the same problem with scrunching-up around the ankle (hate hate hate!). This season, I found these Etienne Aigner riding boots at Macy’s that are pretty good. Can’t necessarily speak to shaft height or circumference. They do come in wide calf if you need it. The leather is nice too.

      B T dubs, I don’t work for Macy’s, I’ve just had luck there recently!

      http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/etienne-aigner-shoes-chip-tall-riding-boots?ID=716475&CategoryID=25122&LinkType=#fn=BRAND%3DEtienne Aigner%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D10%26ruleId%3D68%26slotId%3D2

      • Saw a woman in Whole Foods tonight wearing these boots and she looked great! I cannot pull off that look – very envious.

    • Personally, I’ve just embraced the slouchy look. Other than that, you can get boots cut down, if they’re too tall and whacking you at an awkward part of your knee. I’ve only done it with riding boots (as in, boots for riding actual horses), and have, for that matter, only heard of it done in conjunction with actual riding boots, but as long as the boot doesn’t have too much hardware at the top, it should work for fake riding boots as well. (PS, don’t want it to sound like I’m sneering at fake riding boots. I have a pair and I love them.)

  26. Kontraktor :

    Any suggestions for men’s weekender/duffel type bags? Looking for something under $200, black or gray. I really like the look of a heavy canvas with leather trim, but I would consider all leather or all canvas. I have found a couple of potential options but am curious to see what other people come up with and if anybody has recommendations.

    Hoping for this to be an anniversary present for the hubs. He is very hard to get gifts for.

    • Have you tried LL Bean?

      • Kontraktor :

        Yeah, there is one I like on LL Bean, but it is a rolling bag and I am not sure if my husband would want that. I want him to be able to use it as sort of an every day/gym/light travel bag and am not sure if having the roll capability would make it look odd for those functions. Also, I like how all the other colors except black have brown leather trim, but the black bag is all black, so I am not sure what color I would get. Other than that one bag though, I didn’t really like much on LL Bean’s site.

        • Brooks brothers? 25% off friend and family, too!

          • Kontraktor :

            I wish they had less ugly colors. :( I really like some of the BB styles! But I really dislike the yellow/green/slubby colors of the cheaper styles and know hubs would too. Too bad the more muted ones are out of my price range even with the discount.

    • Nordies has some… My favorites are below (in order of price). I really like the last one but it’s more than you wanted to spend…



      If I can push your budget up a little, these two also are cool



    • Oops, everything I posted is now in Mod. But Nordies has some. And the ones I posted are a little on the big side, so maybe go check there if you don’t like the recs and look for smaller ones.

    • I got my BF a land ends tote — we do a lot of car-ride away weekends & I got the canvas one w/ longer straps & zipper top & he loves it. I think they have some leather ones that are nice too.

    • LL Bean Canvas had two good looking duffels in the men’s section of the catalogue I just got.

    • My husband just got one exactly like you’re describing from J. Crew: grey waxed canvas with leather trim. It’s very nice looking and I believe it was well under $200.

    • Try J.Crew or Need Supply. Also Herschel has these kinds of bags in lots of colors. archival makes nice ones but IIRC they are a little more expensive.

  27. I work in higher ed and though we allegedly adhere to a business casual dress code, it’s pretty much a “no jeans except Fridays” understanding. I enjoy dressing well and I feel that makes me stand out from some of the other ladies who are dressed barely to meet the dress code but I wonder if there’s a point where I could be too nicely dressed for the office?

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’ve worked in university admin under a similar dress code. I don’t think you need to worry about being dressed too nicely. The only exception would be if you are fresh out of school and dressing far above the official dress code, which may send the message that you’re trying too hard. It’s not necessarily bad, but I wouldn’t go that far. I think everyone understands that there are people who chose to dress nicer on a daily basis even when not dictated by a dress code.

      • That’s what I tell myself but I was having doubts yesterday because I swear most of the other women were dressed as befores from What Not to Wear and I felt very conspicuously better dressed.

    • Funny. I just started on Monday in IT for a university. Most of my team has worn jeans for several days this week. I wore them today only. I’m going to try to keep wearing skirts, dresses and nice pants, but I suspect I’ll be wearing jeans and cords for most of the winter, especially if it’s very snowy.

      I have, however, embraced the casual shoes. I’m going to wear flip flops until my feet freeze off.

      • Our IT dept is the only one at the university where they wear a quasi-uniform. Not the programmers, but the helpdesk people wear khakis and an IT-logo polo. The rest of the university varies by department/discipline. Some dress up, some decidedly don’t.

      • I work PT for the IT department and my level of “dressiness” is a running joke. I’m typically on duty before or after meetings, my internship, or classes and am normally in a pencil skirt, tights, and a blouse. Yesterday, I was wearing nylons and heels and this was a BIG DEAL!

  28. Another ‘I’m travelling, what do I wear?’ post.

    I just found out I’ll be going to Houston for some training for a week in the last half of October. What can I expect weather-wise? I’m really excited to go. More excited than my dh is to have me gone, I’m sure.

    My training will be casual to business casual, but I plan on keeping it on the business end as much as possible, so jeans, khakis, cardis & t-shirts. I’m mostly concerned about what the outside weather will be at that time of year. I know here in Calgary you never know what you’ll get as far as October weather goes. Literally you could have any type of weather you could imagine. Is it the same for Houston?

    • nope. it is always warm in october in houston. (70s-80s during the day, only slightly chillier at night). bring a cardigan for the evenings.

    • I went to training (Oracle/Hyperion) in the first week of November 2 years ago. It was so warm I ended up hitting the TJMaxx near the Galleria to buy some lightweight skirts.

      For reference, I’m from New England, where it is not warm in November.

    • In the Pink :

      Coming from Calgary, you’ll find us warm in October. It can be a bit rainy at times. I’d suggest the same at the others, a cardigan of sorts. Remember that Houston is all air-conditioned all the time, so your meeting rooms may be rather “cold.” Enjoy all we have to offer…esp. our Tex-Mex if you can. Welcome, fellow oil/cow-town gal.

  29. lawnonymous :

    Happy weekend, ladies! Second year law student here.

    If you have a government interview next week and were planning on going through OCIs three weeks later, is it a crime to take the government job if you get it and then go through OCIs anyways? I’m not sure which I really want but want to compare my offers.

    Our Career office tells us not to do it, but I think they’re more worried about our school’s reputation (think East Coast T13, elite, what have you) than our future job prospects. My inclination is that in this economy, I need to keep all my options open.

    Thank you!

    • Kontraktor :

      Do your OCI activities. You haven’t gotten the government job yet, and I would be shocked if they gave you a final decision by 3 weeks after your interview (I’ve participated in government hiring events/programs before and the timeline moves very very slowly). Even if they offer you, it could be a conditional offer and not really be set in stone. I would say to not stop interviewing until you have signed a 100% official, formal offer letter and have a start date in your hands.

      • not in law, but agree that you explore all the options until you have a signed offer letter in hand.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would not do that. I practice in a small market, and these kinds of things get around and can follow you.

      Could you do the government job for this summer and then do OCI next fall? Or do it the other way around? Or do OCI and then do a government internship of some sort? I think there are ways of swinging both without putting the government employer in a tough spot this cycle.

      • AnonInfinity :

        To qualify my statement, I do agree with Kontraktor that you should do both interviews if you do not have an accepted offer in hand from government job. I just wouldn’t do the OCIs after accepting a job from another employer.

    • Do both. It’s highly unlikely you’ll have to decide on an offer from one before you get the other.

    • This is for a summer position, right? I know some people who had luck in splitting a summer between a gov’t job and a firm, though that seemed to be more common for 1Ls. I agree with Kontraktor that you shouldn’t straight-out accept an offer from the gov’t agency and then take an offer from a firm instead, though. I was recently talking to my former boss and she said this had just happened to her (albeit for a full-time position rather than an internship) and she was Not. Happy. She’s not the vindictive type, but she has been at that agency for most of her career and I wouldn’t place bets on that person’s chances if he or she ever decides to apply again in the future. Still, I think that given your time frame, you could do as many interviews as you can get and see what offers end up coming through, and decide from there.

    • It’s fine to interview for other jobs if you have not accepted another offer. Even if you get an offer from the gov’t job before OCI, it’s fine to do OCI as long as you don’t accept the gov’t offer. I think you’re right that this is one where your career office may not solely have your best interests in mind.

      I split my 2L summer between gov’t and mid-law. It was a long summer, but I had two good (learned a lot, both substance/skills and about what I might want to do) experiences and ended up with more options afterwards. After you get the offer, you can ask them how they feel about splitting–some may be against it, some may be ok as long as you are with them first, some may require a certain number of weeks.

  30. Other people have probably realized this, but I just realized how prescient that Lisa Simpson was for women of our generation. There she was, smarter than Bart, an environmental activist, destined for a college degree, supportive of gay rights, etc. And now here we are, with news stories abounding about how women are outperforming men in college degrees; gay rights are finally advancing; and environmental concerns are no longer fringe issues (for most). I also haven’t watched the Simpsons in at least 10 years, so sorry if my nostalgia is coloring things.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Hear hear!

      Lisa is my fav. I also haven’t watched in forever, but I do rewatch the first 9 seasons fairly regularly on DVD.

    • Yessssss! I’m a Seven Sisters alumna and can still remember the screaming/squealing in the room during the episode where she dreams about attending one of those all-women’s colleges. Heart Lisa.

  31. Ladies, I have been having sharp pains in my head, with no other way to describe the pain than ‘electric.’ I have a dr. appointment today, and generally when I go to the dr, I get blown off because the symptoms I have are not consistent. How do I avoid being blown off? I really want to get to the bottom of these headaches, and I don’t know if it’s the way I present things, or if I just go to not-that-great doctors.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      No idea if this is true for other doctors, but my dad is a doctor and has commented before that its difficult when patients try to create a metaphor for what it feels like. I think the example he gave was a person who says it feels like I have a hole in my bone. What my dad said was that its difficult to understand and saying something like its a sharp pain in this area or a constant intense pain would be more helpful.

      • FormerPhotog :

        And there is actually defined language for headaches – throbbing, stabbing, ice pick, pressure, etc. All of those things are meaningful in diagnosing. Duration and sidedness is important too.

    • that is lame!!! i’m so sorry your doctors are minimizing your pain, that is not acceptable. :o(

      My advice is probably too late for today, but ill say it anyway. First, i would try to get a new doctor. Second, I would try to keep a detailed journal of these headaches for at least 3 weeks – 2 months. Like writing down each time they happen, the day, time, and what they feel like, how long they last. Then when you see the doctor you have some specific data you can show them that gives you something more concrete to talk about, and less vague.

      Good luck, I hope your doctor listens this time, and hope you feel better soon. Huggs.

    • Write your symptoms down. Think of any patterns that you may be experiencing. Write down any and all medications and timelines for when you started them, as well as changes in physical activity. Rehearse what you want to say to your doctor. Be firm. And if this doctor gets you nowhere, find another.

      • ummmm, read this comment…. ignore my post above…. Godzilla is so much more eloquent and concise than me….. unexpected, considering she’s a giant mutant lizard from Japan, but very true…..

    • You may not be presenting things in an organized enough fashion, or complete enough (i’d want to know how often, how long, how intense, exactly where..). You may be unwittingly undermining yourself by dismissing your own concerns ahead of time (“I know it’s probably nothing but sometimes..”). You may be going to bad doctors (perhaps your insurance only contracts with those..).

      I’d recommend doing some basic reading ahead of time when you have a problem you really want solved. Even googling “sharp pains in head” should get you to a basic migraine site. The idea would be to familiarize yourself with the most common likely causes, and especially familiarizing yourself with the basic vocabulary so that you understand the answers you may be getting. And also perhaps with tests likely to be offered so you know whether you want to avoid some.

      • Talk to the doctor in his office before you undress. It is hard to see him eye to eye when you are wearing a sheet and your boobs are exposed.

    • academicsocialite :

      Push for a neuro consult if you’re worried and not getting answers. I had one at the hospital when I was pregnant and it put my fears to rest. Now, they were being cautious because of my pregnancy, but it might be the next step for you if this has been going on a while. I’m not a dr. of course, so this is all just from personal experience.

  32. UPS Customer Service… *needs a drink* *can’t because they’re holding my case of wine hostage*

    Sad panda.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I gave up on them ever delivering my Target order. It’s heading back to Target now since I don’t have 2-3 free hours to go pick it up from them after they attempted delivery once. Never mind the fact that every other night I’ve had delivered in the past 2 months has been left at the door without the need for a signature and this package didn’t require a signature either.

    • Unacceptable. Taylor Swift will be writing many angry songs about this.

    • Trigger Warning: Tragedy

      I’m crying into my scotch over here. Oh the humanity!

      • Total first world problems, I know. But I needed (well, wanted) that case of wine for a dinner party I’m hosting tonight. One of the worst customer experiences I’ve had in recent memory. Online, you’re supposed to be able to have your package sent to a UPS warehouse so you can pick it up there. After 30 minutes of clicking this and that, signing up for this, signing up for that, clicking that and this, I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. Did click-to-chat to customer service, which was even more maddening. I eventually did get my package redirected to the warehouse.

        On an interesting note, they had account managers and other salaried employees working at the warehouse last night because of the iphone release. I read that as UPS company culture being roll-up-your-sleeves.

        • In the Pink :

          Is there a site where we can mail order fondue for ourselves? Then UPS can be fondue-riffic if they manage to get it to us.

  33. Does anyone have a recommendation for a natural or natural-ish deoderant that actually works?

    • Soapwalla (on etsy)!!!

      • I wanted to like this product, but it gave me a terrible rash/red painful pits. Beware if you have delicate skin!

    • I use both EO Organic (citrus, spray) and Tom’s longlasting lavender roll-on. Both are effective for me in terms of controlling B.O. And they actually have both gotten better over time. (Although my fear is that I’m just getting used to funk… like people who “train” their hair not to need shampoo sometimes have really just gotten used to the oiliness). Neither is an antiperspirant—you basically can’t accomplish that without chemicals.

      One thing I learned in my research and experience is that when it comes to the naturals, do not even bother with a stick. It has to be a liquid (spray or roll-on) or it’s useless.

      One more thing— if you really want natural, look out for big brands like Arm & Hammer, etc. that advertise natural lines. These tend to contain triclosan, which is a creator of superbugs and an environmental disaster. I’d rather have the heavy metals in regular deodorant.

      • Not true, alum sticks are quite effective. Go through airport security too :-).

    • Thanks!! I will give these a try. I’ve been trying to use more natural products with items that seem to matter most (in my admittedly unscientific opinion). E.g., I don’t care so much if my laundry detergent isn’t “natural” since I’m not ingesting it, but the idea of rubbing chemicals into the open pores of my freshly shaved skin has me more concerned.

    • I use this one in fall/winter/spring and it generally does the trick. Two things to remember – natural deodorants aren’t antiperspirants so you will still sweat, and most work by inhibiting bacteria that cause odor, so if you start to feel like you need to re-apply (after a workout etc) you need to make sure you wash thoroughly first, they won’t work if you are already starting to have some odor unless you wash up. I sweat too much for this to work all day in the summer, but its fine in cooler months. http://www.thecrystal.com/crystal_story.cfm

      Also on a side note, since BO is caused by bacteria, if you find you are having a mid-day natural deodorant fail when you are trying different brands, a wipedown of the offending areas with hand sanitizer will often get you through the day – our office has sanitizer dispensers in the ladies room and I used them more than once on days when I discovered brands of natural deodorant that were NOT all day solutions for me.

    • Lavanila. I use the plain vanilla one. Love it! Sephora carries it.

  34. This won’t help for today, but what helped my doctor was a headache journal:
    Date, Day of cycle, time of onset, what i remember eating or drinking or anything unusual, how many hours of sleep the night before, pain on scale of 1-10, location of pain (right side, from nose across to back of neck, across forehead), any other symptoms (light sensitivity, metallic taste, difficulty thinking), duration, what action I took, Blood pressure reading if I could get it.

    I think this helps them diagnose, but also shows that YOU think this is a serious problem. I think frequency, duration, and pain scale are probably most important to getting them to take you seriously.

  35. Has anyone refinanced their law school loans with SoFi? Applied and was pre-approved…just wondering if there is something better than the 5.99 percent rate.

    • I have not, but I am VERY interested in doing this. My SO and I have double biglaw salaries and it just seems like we are too low of a credit risk to be suffering the 6.8%-8.5% government interest rates. Could you expand a little more on what you are doing and how you found someone to re-finance? I’d appreciate it!

      • You should look into SoFi (www dot sofi dot com). SoFi aggregates money from alums of schools and refinances loans at a 5.99 percent. Initially they were just refinancing loans for graduates of top ranked MBA programs, but they just expanded to law schools with students who have low default rates a few days ago. The funds are limited, but seems like the program is taking off so I would apply even if the funds initially run out. Haven’t seen a better deal anywhere.

  36. Surgery update: doing much better, starting stretchig and massage physical therapy next week. Im so glad to be a young, healthy person and will definitely not take it for granted in the future.

    More questions though-I have 3 job interviews in the next week and a half, one federal gov, one state gov, one private non-profit. The federal one could require substantial travel after the first year. What kinds of questions are the interviewers allowed to ask regarding my temporary disability? The back brace is very obvious so it’s not like they might not see it and not know. I’ve been told that due to the possibility of travel, the federal interviewers may be able to ask me more questions regarding my ability to be posted overseas, but nothing concrete. Is this true? What kinds of questions cross the line, and are there kinds of answers I need to avoid?


    • Eeoc.gov has guidance about this very issue in a nice q&a format. I’m on my phone so I can’t find a link but look under disability and guidance.

    • karenpadi :

      I have no idea what questions an interviewer might ask. I’d check the Ask A Manager website or an ADA site.

      The best way to handle a temporary disability in an interview is to address it early–before they have a chance to think about how they might pose the question without crossing lines. E.g., a common first question is “so why are you interested in doing what the fed agency does?” I’d respond normally, and, at the end, say “and I’m so glad that I won’t be wearing this brace 6 months from now!”

      Just don’t not address the elephant in the room (in your case, a brace). That’s the worst thing to do. Interviewers can always find an “acceptable” reason to not hire someone–even if it’s not the real reason they don’t want to hire that person. So give them a reason to hire you–you are proactive at addressing obvious concerns.

    • I can’t tell you the exact guidelines surrounding what they are allowed to ask. But suppose they ask something they’re not “allowed” to related to your temporary disability. In this case, I think it’s best to have a response prepared about the temporary nature of the issue (and possibly even bring it up before they ask – appropriately or not). What else were you thinking of saying? “You’re not allowed to ask me that,” even if true, is very unlikely to score you points. “Why is that information necessary for you to evaluate my suitability for the job?” is one possibility, but strikes me as fairly hostile.

      Lots of interviewers ask questions they’re not allowed to (“so do you have kids?”) in a friendly, chit-chat way and the advice I’ve seen is that the last thing you want to do is to call the interviewer out and turn things awkward if they meant it innocently. If the question is so inappropriate as to make you uncomfortable to the point you wouldn’t want to work there, then no big deal refusing to answer, but if you want the job and suspect it is innocent, I wouldn’t make a big deal of it. Employers very often have information about factors they’re not allowed to discriminate against you for (race, gender, etc.) without asking for it and you have to trust them to be fair – I’d try to think about this in a similar manner.

    • Local gov’t. so YMMV.

      This week, I could not ask anything. We send our selected candidate for a physical and any questions about whether the candidate could do the job with reasonable accommodations would have been answered then.

      My understanding is that on our application, we ask if you can perform the job requirements with reasonable accommodations. I might expect that you would be asked that. You could just say “yes” or you could go into some or full detail.

      • The basic question is – can you do the job with reasonable accommodation? You should get the same question across the board for all of the interviews, if there is a question. I’d say “sure” and demonstrate your professional chops. Medical stuff could be more direct at the offer stage, but only if necessary. None of your interviewers should be going on a medical-expedition fishing expedition – they should focus on your qualifications, as they would with anyone NOT wearing a back brace. I wouldn’t say off in 6 months – I’d say “it’s temporary”, provided you extra insight on working with people with disabilities, and you’re lucky that it’s not permanent.

        Also, if you need “work arounds” such as a wheeled briefcase – look up accommodation suggestions for back injuries on askjan (polkadot) com, which has a search function.

    • My job requires substantial travel. Generally we ask interviewees if there is any reason why they would not be available for worldwide travel on short notice. We certainly would not ask for specifics about a medical condition, but the job offer may be contingent on passing a medical exam and having your fitness for travel certified by a doctor. I have applied for federal jobs in the past and their procedures were the same as what we do at my job.

  37. Can I get some styling help with this dress, please:

    It just arrived, and I like it a lot, but I’m torn on keeping it if I cannot figure out what I could wear over (under?) it if I didn’t want sleeveless. Suggestions?

    • I can’t tell if the bottom portion is navy or black but a cardigan or blazer in a matching shade? I think something underneath would be too much unless ou could match the cream or pink. But a really nice dress!

      • I think it’s navy. I agree with this. I’ve also been mixing black/navy more lately (I’ve seen them together in dresses lately – Ann Taylor has a nice one), so I’d even consider black. A light blue might also look nice.

        There are other colors that could work too (orange, purple), but that might be a bit too much color for me since the dress has a lot going on already color-wise.

      • I think it’s navy. It’s so dark, though, I don’t know if I could pull off black without looking like I just messed up. I tried a black cardigan (Jackie), and it looked like the blacks (or navy/black) were mismatched and the asymmetrical neckline under the cardigan wasn’t great.

  38. Waiting for bar results and (no longer) kind of depressed :


    Good news!! If you can believe it, I received two offers in the last 10 days! I’m starting in a few weeks as a Hearing Officer, and you guise, I am so excited. This is a perfect gig for me and it’s employment law related, which is the practice area I was trying to stay within while I wait to see what happens with the bar.

    Has anyone here worked as Hearing Officer? Or represented parties in front of one? I’m curious to know how potential employers will regard this experience. Good? Bad? Indifferent?

    Thanks for the hive love and support that helped me to light a fire under my feet.

    • Anon for this :

      I have been an HO for about 1 1/2 yrs conducting unemployment appeal hearings & I can say in my state, the experience is viewed as not so great if your looking to go to a firm, at least if you stay more than 1 yr. or so. Not a lot of our parties are represented by counsel so the market for that is small but not non-existent. On the other hand several of my coworkers have had luck moving to other govt. agencies. Of course YMMV depending on your state. My personal career goals would be to transition into representing agencies in front of SOAH and ultimately being a “real” ALJ. Good luck!

    • gov't attorney :

      I have a coworker who used to be a HO in a similar position. Apparently in my state you can apply to be an ALJ with 5 years post-bar experience. However, it does not appear that they necessarily count experience as a HO as actual attorney experience when you’re out there applying for attorney jobs, so that’s something to consider. Former HO’s comments seemed to indicate that most employers didn’t really seem to understand what HOs actually did on a day to day basis.

      I used to work representing an agency in front of HOs. There is a small, niche market for attorneys who do administrative hearings at law firms. A lot of these positions are probably located in your state’s capital, but you’ll find lots of law firms that do licensing defense for hospitals, nursing homes, etc.

  39. Any recommendations for a small (ideally travel size or can easily fit in a cupboard) garment steamer? I had a Rowenta Ultrasteam but it finally quit on me after 3 years and I’m curious as to what else is out there.

    • Jiffy ESteamer on Amazon, about $50.00. I take it with me when I travel. I also have the Floor model Jiffy 2000, which I use just about every day, but it does take up room.

      • I always read very good things about the Jiffy brand of steamers. I have a Conair one that is almost 10 yrs old and I wish it would crap out on me so I can replace it.

    • Can we talk about steamers? Do they really work? I have a nice (regular) Rowenta iron, but DANG do I hate ironing! I have to do it quite a bit, though, and am wondering if a steamer is worth the investment.

      FWIW, I bought a carpet steam cleaner with high hopes…and it stinks. I realize these are in no way the same product but that purchase made me a bit gun-shy.

      • I too hate ironing with a fiery passion, and am so happy I got a steamer. I think it’s faster than ironing, but even if it isn’t at least I don’t have to haul out an ironing board and push around an iron. I use mine almost exclusively on pencil skirts, suits, and blouses. It works great on everything, except cotton pencil skirts usually aren’t perfectly un-wrinkled. I don’t have the patience to keep steaming after a few minutes. Long story short, they definitely work. Mine was about $100, I believe; so I’m not sure if the cheaper ones are as good, but others on here have said they’re happy with their travel ones.

        • Dead Quote Olympics :

          Ditto on hating ironing. I replied upthread about wrinkled cardigans and I will tell you my jiffy steamer from Amazon is fantastic. It won’t give you crisp cotton shirts like an iron will, but for wool, synthetics, silk, sweaters, knits, anything that doesn’t require absolute smooth flatness, it’s great. There is a technique to it, though — the comments on Amazon were really useful for avoiding steam burns and getting the most out of it.

      • Yes, they really work and the steam is more gentle on fabric than an iron. The only dress shirts that it will work on to give a crisp look are shirts like the no-iron Brooks Brothers shirts.

      • I got the Jiffy floor model steamer and I can’t believe I waited this many years.

        I would give up my iron and ironing board if I could but I occasionally iron badges on my son’s cub scout shirt and need the iron for that. And at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter I iron my tablecloths and napkins.

        But other than those items, the steamer is better for everything else that I can think of.

  40. Anyone ever altered The Skirt to make it a couple sizes smaller? The side seaming + back zipper suggests that it would be difficult.

  41. I am curvy and want a pair of oxblood/burgundy skinny jeans. Does anyone have recommendations that work better for ladies with curves?

    • L from Oz :

      Brax, but I’ve no idea if they’re available where you are. (I have three pairs – not in oxblood but I tried some on.) Ideal for the curvy!

    • Someone asked this in the past few days – search through the previous threads.

    • Surprisingly, I have a pair from H&M that I really like. I’m not SUPER curvy, but there is a goodly difference between my waist and hips, and these fit very well.

  42. Looking for “collarless” blouse or shirt to wear under typical suit jacket. Any ideas on search terms to use? I’m small (5 feet even, size 0 or 2 petite) so the big pockets on the Banana Republic top from yesterday are sort of overwhelming, and i still don’t do collared blouses under suit jackets very well. They stick out or one side sticks out and the other does not, very hard to deal with.


    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I found some button fronts with a scoop neck and no collar at the Van Heusen outlet. They run big so you would def. need an xs. I love them though.

    • I like the Talbots pleated jewel neck top. Short sleeves. Silk. Lots of colors. Goes with suits well.

  43. So, my husband carries his reading glasses around with him everywhere, in a hard case, usually in his pocket. They are still in the original Lens Crafters (or whatever case) that he got them in years ago, and the case is falling apart. Any ideas on where to find attractive hard eyeglass cases for men?

    • Any good optometrist..

      • Yes, they will likely give you a plain one for free. I’ve also seen them at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I’m sure there’s a plain black option or something.

  44. Oh oh oh! These shoes make me want to throw a holiday party just so I’d have somewhere to wear them. Love!

    Also: I know it’s late in the thread, but can I announce the delivery of my DS#2? He arrived Wednesday morning via c-section, and he’s about the most adorable thing I have ever seen in my life. He’s still in NICU (was a tad early), but we’re hoping and praying he’ll be able to come home soon.

    Soooo, lesson for you pregnant sisters out there: It’s never too early to start leaving your desk in order, even if your pregnancy is looking normal and boring. I never dreamed going into my regular 36 week checkup that I wasn’t going to make it in to work that afternoon and maternity leave starts NOW. Normal and boring can turn into change of plans instantly in this realm.

    • Congrats on the kidlet! I’ll be hoping and praying along with you that he gets home soon :)

    • Congrats!!! I hope he gets out of the NICU soon!

    • Yay! I would trade sitting as an attorney admitted in NYS for a full time mom, even tho I still want to be a judge eventuealley. Because of calendar call I will have to fly down sepereately from Jim to do dileigience. I can’t beleive I am already workeing and would much perfer to be burpeing MY OWN BABY! I first find a decent guy to marry me

    • Yay!

    • Congratulations!!!!

      Now may be a good time to tell a short story about the time my boss took his first vacation in a year and the weekend he left, his second-in-command went into labor a month early. That left me taking over all her projects and running the department for two weeks. It was super fun! So yes, please plan ahead and at least have available some notes on the current status of your projects. It would also be helpful to share your email password with a trusted colleague so that whoever covers for you doesn’t have to fight with IT to get access to your account to answer urgent emails from people who don’t know you had a baby.

    • Congratulations! Sending good thoughts to you, your little one in the NICU, and the rest of your family!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Congratulations and a big welcome to your boy!!! Here’s hoping you’re all home together super soon!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :


    • Congratulations! I hope your little man gets to come home soon.

    • Congrats on your new addition! Hope he comes home soon! This happened to me exactly. My baby arrived at 36 weeks and I was only about 50% prepared for leave.

    • Congratulations!!

  45. I know we’ve had some discussion of tipping quite recently, but that was mostly about housekeepers and waitresses.
    I recently started my own business, and work from home. And I order a lot of things online (hate real-life-shopping, love internet-shopping).
    Before, I had the packages delivered to my office, where the receptionist took care of them. Now, I have become very close with my mailman. Do I tip him? How often, how much? Or could I tip him at Christmas, like I do with the paperboy?

    • I think postal workers, as government employees, aren’t allowed to accept more than a certain dollar amount ($10? $20?) in gifts. A Starbucks card at Christmas for a nominal amount will be appreciated.

  46. Wedding question: We got a save-the-date for a June destination wedding yesterday. But it has a regular RSVP section (where there’s no option for “I’ll let you know when it gets closer” or anything like that). FWIW, it’s not actually a wedding – they’ve already gotten civilly married, but they’re referring to it as their “wedding.”

    The wedding is for my husband’s younger cousin, who he is fond of, and he does want to go. But it’s in Mexico, and money is tight right now, so this would almost certainly be our “vacation” for the year. I guess the location is fine, as far as vacations would go (I don’t really know much about the area, but it’s a common vacation destination and we like Mexico), but I’d certainly prefer to be able to plan our own vacay, rather than just attend someone else’s. Also, we’ll have a 6 month old at the time, and I sort of feel like I’d like to actually get used to the whole baby-caring for thing before I commit to taking him anywhere, much less to Mexico (My husband’s a lot more of a “eh, we’ll work it out” sort). Though, on the flip side, I guess if we’re going to take him somewhere, this will be easier because there will be other family members around to help out. (Or, he could probably stay with my mother, but I’m not sure how I’d feel about that for however long this trip winds up being.)

    Anyway, my question is – are you really supposed to RSVP now for a June wedding? I always thought save-the-dates were more about announcing, and you didn’t have to make a commitment then.

    • You are under no obligation to attent every wedding your are inviting to, especially ones that cause you distress. RSVP promptly “no,” send a gift wishing them the best, and feel no guilt about it!

      (Not to mention that everything they are doing is a ridiculous faux pas–it’s not a “wedding,” it’s a party, or a reception. And yes, it is absurd for them to expect an RSVP nine months before the wedding).

      • Oh, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it’s causing me distress, I just don’t want to commit right now to it. And it is important to my husband, so I also don’t want to say no right now, either. He’s a good kid, the cousin, and we’re both fond (we’ve been married long enough and he was young enough that I’ve just about always been part of his life).

        • He and his wife probably didn’t know any better! If there isn’t an “RSVP by” date, I might give him a call and explain that you won’t be able to make a decision to attend until later… say, after you’ve had the baby. I think that’s a reasonable call to make. 9 months is very early to send out RSVPs — in my experience, 2 to 4 months is more typical.

          • I agree with this. I’m wondering whether they decided to send the invitations early since attending a destination wedding might require a little more planning and forethought on the part of the guests. It may be that they’re not expecting an RSVP any time soon, but wanted to inform people of the date well in advance.

    • If it’s a save the date, won’t an actual invitation be coming closer to the date? That’s confusing. Since it’s a family member, I think you should call or email to clarify things and tell him you won’t be able to RSVP until much later. Who requires an RSVP 10 months in advance?

      • That’s what I’m trying to figure out – I thought that it was just to let us know at first (which was good, so that we could go ahead and discuss it), but was really surprised to see the RSVP section at the end.

        I do think that it will be fine to just say that we don’t know right now, at least I guess it will. Crazy, though.

    • Lyssa, I think a “Save the Date” for a destination wedding is a good thing for vacation planning. Some employers, like my hubby’s, require vacation requests 9-12 months in advance, and if you don’t get your request in, you most likely won’t get the time off. The bride and groom are probably hoping to get rid of as many obstacles as possible to ensure that people can go. I think it’s OK to tell the couple that you’ve “saved” that time and would love to come and hope to come, but you’ll have to make a final decision after the babe is born.

    • I’d contact them and say that you are so excited to hear about the upcoming celebration but would like to hold off on your RSVP until you have a better sense of how things will change after the baby comes. Perhaps you could suggest a date that’s feasible for your own decision making and say that you’ll let them know as soon as you have an idea, and certainly by X date?

      So then they can either say no, you have to decide now or oh sure, that will be fine. Whether or not they’ve made a faux pas is not highly relevant to your decision-making, IMO.

      • I agree with Lucy.

        If we’re going with traditional etiquette here, you wouldn’t just fill out the RSVP card anyway. You’d write a beautiful note on your best stationery congratulating the couple and letting them know whether you plan to attend. So do that – write them a note, tell them you hope to be able to attend but won’t be able to fully commit until closer to the date. You don’t even have to tell them why.

  47. @Mamabear – thanks for letting me know about the shoe sale on zulily a couple of weeks ago. I got this gorgeous pair of boots: http://www.zulily.com/p/chocolate-danik-wedge-boot-20646-665861.html?s=1&pos=-46039

    They’ll be perfect for tramping across campus to meetings.

  48. Hi there! I’m new(ish) to this website, and I have only commented a few times. I’m making a career change from academia to finance.

    Right now, I have an EA job at a fund of funds. Any fashion tips for people who are in a support role, but hope to soon grow out of that role?

    Basically, how does one “not dress like a secretary”? I’d love to hear peoples’ thoughts and advice!

    • Take this with a grain of salt, b/c I am in small town law, and our secretaries often dress like they are going to a Saturday picnic, but I would say that adding a blazer or jacket, non-matching, with skirts or nice dress pants adds a “non-secretarial” look. I often wear cardigans instead of the jacket, but I do thnk the jacket adds a professional look.

      • hellskitchen :

        I second the non matching part. Never thought about it before but it makes sense…. say wearing a navy jacket with a printed red dress instead of a red jacket. The latter would look too matchy-matchy and not professional enough

    • e_pontellier :

      I think “dressing like a secretary” basically means frumpy. So, don’t be frumpy. That little bit of extra effort you put into getting ready (having your nails done, esp. in a big city this is important), wearing jewelry, actually doing your hair, etc., is where you can stand out as not-a-secretary-forever I think.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      There is a secretary at the law firm I work at who always looks fantastic. She dresses up to the same level as the female attorneys do on non-court days. Actually, most of the secretaries at the firm do. When I first started, I couldn’t tell for the most part who was support staff and who was an attorney. She wears a lot of pencil skirts, blouses, cardigans, and heels. I think the main reason she immediately jumps to mind is that she must get everything tailored because it all fits her perfectly.

      • Thanks! I’m glad to see I am on the right track. I usually do some combination of pencil skirt, dress slacks, blouse, dress,cardigan, jacket.

        Good thought on getting one’s nails done- I agree 100%

        • Senior Attorney :

          Just don’t get your nails done with, like, little flowers on your nails. To me, nothing screams “support staff” like nail art.


          • @ Senior Attorney

            I only get flower designs on my overly long french manicured nails when they match my stonewashed jeans and polyester shirt from JC Penney.

            Sometimes, its nice to bleach my dark brown hair so it is “blonde” and pull it back in a super tight ponytail, or hell, just use a butterfly clip.

            Its my style. Sort of like the Precious Moments figurines on my desktop and multiple cat calendars.


            (For the record, my nails are short, filed and buffed. My hair is worn in a shoulder-length cut. Most of clothes are black or gray with some jewel-toned blouses and cardigans. My desk decor consists of pens, files and paper clips.)

          • Mean girl alert.

          • @ Tina (and Senior Attorney)

            I didn’t mean for that to be “mean” I was being silly in response to, what I assume was, a silly comment regarding flower designs on nails.

            I apologize if you were offended!

  49. I have a lawyer question I’m hoping someone here can answer. The background is that my FIL has named DH as executor. FIL’s lawyer has prepared all the documents (will, trust). DH (and I) do not like FIL’s lawyer. We think he’s been a bit sloppy and we know he’s very expensive. FIL is not inclined to change lawyers at this point. The question is, once FIL passes, can DH, as executor, simply get a new lawyer to help wind up the estate? I’m thinking it should be like changing doctors — the new lawyer would just request the file from the old lawyer, and we’d proceed from there. Is that true, or did I just make it up?

    Thanks for your help.

    • There is no rule that the lawyer who drafted the documents must also probate the estate. Once all of the documents are drafted, your FIL will have all of the originals (and if the lawyer is good, your DH, as named PR will have copies), so once he passes, you just take the originals to a lawyer of your choosing to handle probate.

    • Maya Culpa :

      Your DH should retain any Probate lawyer he prefers. I have observed where the attorney who helped execute the Will is not always the same atty the family hires to administer the estate. The only reason why my answer may be wrong is if your fil specifically states in his Will that this particular attorney must be retained (which I have also seen), if that is the case, then you should consult with an attorney to see how you can sub counsel.

    • Thanks, that’s reassuring. We are of course hoping not to have to deal with this for quite a long time, but want to be as prepared as we can be so stuff like this isn’t made harder by dealing with it through the veil of grief.

  50. e_pontellier :

    @ AnonAz – I would love your Dressler Crim book if you still have it! If you have an anonymous email set up, I’ll email you there, but otherwise, I’ll set up an anonymous one so you can email me. Thank you so much!!

    • I do, but I can’t remember the log in! I’ll play with it and look for the book, and post here this afternoon!

    • Found it! Its the fourth edition of Dressler’s Understanding Criminal Law treatise published by LexisNexis. The copyright date is 2006, so its not super recent but I doubt the basics of crim law have changed. If you’re still interested, you can email me at [email protected]

  51. Anon in MD :

    This is probably too late in the weekend to be seen, but it appears that, based on wireless router names, ELLEN lives in my new building. ;)

    • If you’d be comfortable giving at least a sketchy sense of what you mean, I’d appreciate it. Word choice? Use of caps? spELLEN?

  52. T-shirt PSA :

    T a r g e t has nice scoopneck tees right now, which I’ve found to be great under cardigans and blazers. As usual, sizing is a bit large. There’s an apparel promotion for 10% off 2 items and 20% off 3 items.


    Some of the review mentioned holes appearing in the shirts, which I haven’t experienced – the quality could vary between shirts.

    • I'm Just Me :

      I have that shirt in several colors (and a few prints as well) and wear them frequently. I have not developed any holes either, but there are differences in the fabric thickness between colors.

      I have not found them to run large, but that may be because I am larger to start out with.

  53. SFgirlatheart :

    I work for a professional services firm as the business developer for a regional office. I’ve been approached by the Pres and VP of the company to relocate to a new office in SF (my hometown). It’s about 7 months from now, but they are talking now. I’ve told them that I wouldn’t move unless the offer allows me to have a similar standard of living that I do now. I was “assured” that it would, but no numbers have come up.
    I’ve asked for an exploratory trip to meet with contacts, meet with the proposed principal in charge and for our family to look at places we may want to live. The Pres. said it was ok to go, but the company wouldn’t pay for airfare for my family– just me.
    I must have had a shocked face because the Pres then asked to show him some numbers. The airfares are not that pricey, all three tickets are the price of most average last minute tickest that we normally buy. I’m not sure if this is a price thing or a principle thing.

    I’d love some input from you ladies on negotiations. I feel that I should be getting a substantial pay raise (with cost of living index, seems to be close to a 70% pay increase), would like to ask to be made an associate and ask for a spot bonus.
    However, this hestitancy from the Pres. is making me wonder if I’m going to squeezed. I’m happy in my current position and we are doing better financially. My husband is interested in the move mostly to be closer to family and friends.

    Thanks! (this is my first real post, so I appreciate your help)

    • e_pontellier :

      If you don’t get many responses over the weekend, try posting early in a thread during the week. You might have better luck / more responses.

      That being said, I was surprised to read that you requested that the company fly your whole family out to CA. IMHO, that’s pretty unusual — you’re the employee, you’re the one getting a new job within the company (presumably), so it seems like only you should go. If it were me, I’d want my husband to come, but I would definitely try to leave kidlet(s) at home (obviously with appropriate supervision) and I would definitely expect to pay for husband’s ticket.

      You said: “I’ve told them that I wouldn’t move unless the offer allows me to have a similar standard of living that I do now. I was “assured” that it would, but no numbers have come up.” — I think you played that well, and there’s nothing else you can do until they put a number on the table.

      I don’t have any tips on negotiation except to ask for more than you want, but don’t burn a bridge if they haven’t actually made the offer yet. First, it seems like you and your husband should come up with a number, and if the company doesn’t meet or exceed that number, you don’t move. Secondly, it seems like not moving (and staying at your current job) would make your life pretty miserable though. Sorry I don’t have more concrete advice! Good luck!

      • Former Gov :

        I agree w/ e_pontellier re paying for your whole family. In my former job, “house-hunting” trips were paid for only for the employee (airfare, hotel, meals, rental car as sppropirate just like a regular business trip). Usually, the employee paid for his/her spouse and did not bring the children.

    • I live in Berkeley and know how expensive it is here. But I don’t think you should be expecting a 70% bump for moving back here. It’s just unrealistic. I’d prepare yourself for the idea of downsizing your lifestyle as a trade-off for being able to live back with friends and family.

      There’s nothing wrong with pushing for a pay increase, and I agree it should be substantial. But I wouldn’t make all your plans with 70% in mind.

      • Agree with mamabear. I do not believe that the company is going to think a 70 percent pay increase is realistic. If this is a good career move, and a move geographically that you want to make, you should be thinking about how much you would be willing to give up to make the move.

  54. TO lawyer :

    Happy weekend! Need some styling advice… I bought a pair of dark purple skinny jeans (they’re more of a wine/eggplant color, not bright at all) and I’m wondering what colours I can wear on top. I’ve already thought of the neutrals, but what other colours would work?


  55. will and medical power of attorney question :

    I am not close with my immediate family and have never been married/had children. I am in my early 30s but want to have proper paperwork drawn up in case of emergency, both who will make medical decisions and who will get my belongings/money/dog.

    I have a friend who would be willing to take my dog and another who I trust with belongings and money, do I just have to write that down or do I need to do something so it cannot be challenged by money hungry relatives?

    More importantly, I have strong wishes related to my medical care which I know relatives would not respect. A decision to “pull the plug” would likely be very difficult on friends, a burden I do not wish for them. Am I able to write something up so that the hospital makes that decision in a way that cannot be challenged/won by my relatives?

    I do not have much money at all but I want to be sure that I would not have my wishes and property disregarded by relatives who are my “closest kin” but who do not know or respect me at all.

    • Maya Culpa :

      Based on your concerns re: your family, then you should go to a Probate/Estate planning attorney and have a living Will/healthcare power of attorney and a Last Will and Testament executed. I am sorry about your family situation – let that be your incentive to get your affairs in order. I hope you have someone in your life whom you trust to name in these documents to adhere to your every wish.

      Re: costs of these services: do you think you qualify for Pro Bono legal services? That is when you apply to your state’s Bar Association to get free legal services, or at a reduced rate. You will have to provide income info.

      If you do not think you make too little to qualify for Pro Bono, still consider calling your local or state Bar association and explain your situation p and see what they can do, or who they can refer you to for assistance.

      It is very Important to have your wishes in writing in legal form so no one may do the contrary at that inevitable time.

      • Maya Culpa :

        Sorry, I meant to say in that last sentence “…if you make too much…”

    • I think you might be surprised at how inexpensive it is to hire someone to draw up your documents – will or living trust, advance healthcare directive, etc.

      You will, though, have to name two people to be primary and backup executors of your estate and someone to make the medical decision. I don’t believe it can be just the hospital.

      Make sure your executor knows where your documents are or has a copy, and make sure this is someone that would know something happened to you, because it sounds like you do not trust your family, and your family would be the first notified.

      I believe you can have a copy of your advance healthcare directive filed at any hospital you’d be likely to be taken to in case of an emergency.

      I’m not an attorney so others can probably answer this better. However, I did go through this document process recently and I wanted to be sure I had a complete understanding of how everything would work. There are a couple of people I absolutely, under no circumstances whatsoever, want to be named as my children’s guardian or to have any control over my estate. So I explicitly named a lot of backups, as you should too.

    • In my state, the Dept of Health has a medical power of attorney form that is similar to a Health Care Directive. I would call the Dept of Health or even your local hospital and ask if they have something similar.

      As for a will, do NOT try to do it yourself, or based on an online form. Trust me, I’m a lawyer, and I have seen how messed up this can leave things.

  56. Two stupid questions:

    How do you all keep your shoes on your feet when wearing tights? I swear, I walk right out of every pair of flats and pumps I own when it’s time to start wearing them with tights. I’m fine barefoot, but dreading that time of year when I have to walk around with my toes curled up in an effort to keep my shoes from slipping off. It’s not a size thing because I can’t go any smaller. Just a style and/or friction thing, I guess.

    And do any of you struggle with the zipper on your jeans refusing to lay flat? And kind of pulling to the side so you can see the exposed zipper? I can never predict which jeans will do it – sometimes it’s the cheap ones, sometimes it’s the $200 ones. It drives me insane.

    • e_pontellier :

      Keeping your stocking feet in pumps: you can get thin heel inserts that are grippy. I haven’t had this particular problem (I have some shoes that I wear with bare feet, other shoes that I wear with tights) so I’m not sure how well it would work.

      No advice on the zipper front, sorry.

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