Weekend Open Thread

Diane von Furstenberg Dezi Boat Neck Jumpsuit | CorporetteSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

No, I don’t know where I’d wear this either, but I’m kind of obsessed with it after seeing Angie at YouLookFab round it up. I agree with her that jumpsuits present “loo” problems, but I really love the boat neckline here, the batwing sleeves, and the drapey legs. Let’s say I’d wear this to a fabulous dinner party with friends. Yes, that’s the ticket. It’s $425 at Shopbop (sizes 0-14). DVF Dezi Boat Neck Jumpsuit



  1. So I know we’ve all reached a “no” consensus on short suits, but what about a blazer + shorts casual combo? I have a blue/white pincord (kind of like seersucker) blazer, and I’m thinking about styling it with dark blue shorts, or maybe coral shorts + sandals. Yay or nay?

    • Wildkitten :

      For the weekend? Yay. For the workweek? Nay.

    • anon-oh-no :

      I think short suits are super cute. just not for work.

    • I don’t like short suits even on weekends because blazers scream work to me.

    • Go for it. I think it’s better if it’s a cropped, three-quarter length blazer akin to what you might wear over a dress.

    • Quick question, sort of on this topic:

      A few days ago people were talking about how “professionalism” is an inherently unfair/biased/privileged concept. How are discussions about work appropriate clothing different than discussions of professionalism? Aren’t we saying that short suits are unprofessional (and I agree)?

      I’m not trying to open a can of worms, I’m just still trying to reconcile that discussion with what we talk about here every day – what people should and shouldn’t wear to work.

      • Anonymous :

        I see no contradiction. Professionalism raises concerns about privilege. Frankly, so does everything in my rich little white girl life. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop having opinions about which golf clubs are a bit nouveau riche for my taste.

        • anon @ 3:17 :

          Haha, when you originally said that I thought how can a golf club (i.e., an iron, wood, driver, etc.) be nouveau riche? And then I figured out what you meant.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I disagree with the idea that the privilege of knowing what is professional is inherently bad – but I’m certainly not going to say that professionalism ISN’T privileged.

        A lot of things that are professional are economic markers – knowing how to dress professionally requires having enough money for a suit and enough close interaction with professionals to be able to observe and emulate for that first impression – but a lot of things, like paying attention in your office and noticing that none of the senior managers wear 4 inch red patent heels, or being aware that a very, very low top shows off a lot of mammaries is self-awareness, attention to detail, and a desire to be valued for your work and not your physical attributes. That may be a class distinction, but it isn’t an economic one.

        And yes, it’s a privilege to have the knowledge of what to wear to an interview, whether to write a thank you note, but it’s also a privilege to have enough time to study to get into college because you don’t have to take care of your three younger siblings while your father’s in jail and your mother is strung out. A lot of things are a privilege, and it’s not fair that everyone doesn’t have the same opportunities, but life is extremely unfair.

        It might be good to further differentiate between being professional and having taste. Wearing loud lipstick and nail colors – maybe not tasteful, but not inherently unprofessional. Wearing a leather cami under a silk blazer with a tight pencil skirt, Louboutins, and magenta lipstick – might look fabulous, show you have fantastic taste, but is very unprofessional.

        We talk about both professionalism and having taste on this blog, and while it’s good to cut people some slack for not having been raised knowing which fork to use at brunch with Muffy at The Club, business socializing often requires that if you don’t have that background, you learn it -quick. That’s why we’re here – to provide the background information and shared experiences that can give us all a little leg up in our own professional presentation (and in the rest of our lives). It’s good that we can support each other this way, and while we can pass judgement on a trend (short suits! shark shorts! hair bands as bracelets!), we should keep in mind to reserve judgement on other people as much as we can.

        Sorry if this came across as preachy or too touchy-feely, but I teared up at the DC Silver Line commercial today, so I’m pretty much Full Of Feelings right now.

        • hoola hoopa :

          I agree, Baconpancakes. I missed this original discussion, but I’m rather surprised by this idea of professionalism being tossed aside because it hints of classism. In addition to your well stated points, professionalism also covers a wide range of behaviors, such as maintaining eye contact, sitting up straight, politeness, and attention to detail. It doesn’t cost a penny to do that – and money can’t buy it.

          There are definitely people who aren’t exposes to mainstream professionalism concepts due to socioeconomic or geographic factors, but it can be taught. That’s why teaching it over a blog should be supported rather than rejected.

          • Being from a background where I had zero exposure to what a business professional wears (or acts), this site has been extremely helpful for me. I picked up pretty much all other aspects of professionalism over the years fairly easily, but for some reason clothing and fashion was a huge hurdle for me that I am still working on.

          • Baconpancakes :

            It was part of this: http://corporette.com/2014/07/15/pour-la-victoire-corinne-croc-embossed-pump/#comments addressing where to draw the line on self expression and the thank you notes conversation here: http://corporette.com/2014/07/15/pour-la-victoire-corinne-croc-embossed-pump/#comments, when a few people asserted that knowing the write a thank you note was just a way to show that you’re part of the privileged group that knows to write thank you notes.

          • “it can be taught.”

            SO much this. Look, I will concede some privilege because I’m white, but I grew up about as non-priviliged as white gets – we were so poor that in the winter, when we couldn’t get water from our WELL (because we didn’t have any city services, thankyouverymuch) we melted snow on the wood stove for our BATHS.

            So yeah, I get the differences in classes, but I resent the implication in a lot of these discussions (not this one we are having right now, though!) that people who grow up poor are a) destined to stay that way because b) they are too stupid or underprivileged to comprehend these things once taught.

            I encountered the same attitude among my many wealth privileged classmates in law school. Some of the class discussions would infuriate me because there was SO much paternalism towards the poor. It’s really insulting and really not nearly as helpful as economically privileged folks think it is.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I’m one of those weird people who used to wear blazers in high school, in a non-uniformed school. So I love it.

      I am a huge fan of casual shorts with blazers for weekends, particularly since AC means I’m usually cold inside.

      The only downside is that the outfit isn’t styled casually enough, it tends to make you look like you’re about to go have lunch with Muffy at The Club.

  2. I’m about to go public on my pregnancy. I’ve been with the company for over 10 years, and am friendly with a lot of people, like going for coffee frequently and knowing the name of their kids. I know some are very nosy, and are bound to ask questions like ‘ was this planned’, even if not quite like this. I can’t tell them to mind their own business, as we’re too close for that, but equally don’t want to have to answer in too much details.
    Any tips on how to deal with it whilst being nice and friendly?

    • Wildkitten :

      Are you like 16 and unmarried? Even if you are, that is an extremely rude question, but if you are an adult why would that even cross their minds? Bizarre.

    • I would go with the often advised, “Why do you ask?” Otherwise, I would just deflect it and say somthing like “I am very excited and can’t wait for baby to be born.”

      • I really like the : I am very excited and can’t wait for baby to be born, thanks a lot!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      While no one is owed an answer to this question, you can go w/ something like ” a little off schedule but very welcome.” No one has to know if “off schedule” is a month or 10 years. I have heard that used when a pregnancy leave coincided w/ a very bad time to be out of work and I think the mom wanted to casually mention that she hadn’t planned on being out at that time without suggesting that her baby was “unplanned.”

      • Blonde Lawyer’s response is also good if friends say “But you said you wouldn’t be ready for 10 more years” or something like that.

      • Wildkitten :

        Agreed! Good response. (I’m still horrified anyone would ask, though).

      • hoola hoopa :

        That’s a great response.

        FWIW, I’ve been in a similar spot when I was *certain* that people would ask essentially the same thing and NO ONE DID. So hopefully the people you interact with will be equally socially competent.

    • Yay! Open thread’s! I love Open thread’s! And I love NYC and being BACK in NYC after a week away! YAY!!!! Kat, I love jumpsuit’s but you are right. It is very difficult to go to the toilet, and if you need to go quickley, you could have an accident in your pant’s! That’s a real FOOEY!

      As for the OP, if you have been with the COMPANY for over 10 year’s, you should be OLD enough to plan your babie’s, and you can tell them that you did NOT want to wait to much longer b/c if your like ME, you do NOT want to be starting to pop out babie’s after your 40. FOOEY b/c I want to find a guy who NOT onley wants to have sex enough to get me pregenent, but ALSO I want him to stay around and be a good FATHER to our children and support ME so I will NOT have to work. Like Rosa! What is so wrong w/that?

      The guy’s I meet either just want to have sex and then forget about me, or they are peeople like the manageing partner’s brother, who want to use me as their “arm candy” so they can show their freind’s that they are haveing sex with someone that could be their daughter. I have already seen this with the manageing partner’s brother. When we were in the Hamton’s, he was talkeing to the art store dealer and hinting that I was haveing sex with him repeatedley, b/c he told him how virile he was and he pointed at me as evidence that I was someone that was abel to take all of that sex he was so capabel of giveing me. The guy looked at me with a look that seemed to be saying that I must also be a sex machine. FOOEY! Because I have never seen the manageing partner w/o clotheing on — except of course he WAS in his batheing suit in the pool when he rubbed up against me in the water. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      He texted me on the ride home and he want’s to come over this weekend, to look at my apartement. What does that have to do with anything? He is not liveing here yet, so I told him that I was busy. He said he might drop by with Harold. Myrna said I might as well just have sex with him already. TRIPEL FOOEY! Harold probabley also want’s sex so why should I have any sex with either of them. I want a guy who will marry me and support me and be there for our children. Neither of these 2 guy’s meet’s my criterian. FOOEY!

      Have a great weekend, Kat and Kate and the entire HIVE! YAY!!!!

    • Need to Improve :

      Are the people weird? Socially challenged? Because I have been pregnant twice and no one has ever asked me if it was planned. That’s a totally inappropriate and stupid question.

      • I think you were lucky. It’s a thing. This very week, upon hearing the news, my husband’s boss asked him if ours was planned. Aside from the inappropriate invasiveness, I can’t imagine why anyone would even want to know that.

      • TO Lawyer :

        I can’t imagine why you would want to know either, unless it;s one of your best friends or sister or something. I have no interest in imagining my colleagues getting busy but when one of my friends announced her pregnancy, I may have indirectly asked because I was so shocked because it just seemed soon and in our previous conversations, she had indicated they would be waiting a while.

      • Baconpancakes :

        A very close friend (I was in her wedding) became pregnant in her last year of grad school, at 25, and I am fairly certain the pregnancy wasn’t planned because the baby was born two months after her husband started a new, demanding job that requires 2 weeks of travel every month, and she had a really hard time finding a job after graduating, then being home with the baby and recovering, but I would. never. ask. that.

        Maybe if we had a couple bottles of wine one evening she would tell me, unprompted, if the pregnancy was an accident, but again, I would. never. ask.

      • Two different people at work asked me if my pregnancy was planned. Some people are just socially inept. But it definitely happens. Both times it was in front of other people and I think I just laughed and said “seriously?” or something like that but it was understood in the group that the question was laughably inappropriate.

      • Trust me, if you get pregnant when your first baby is 9 months old, EVERYONE will ask if it was planned. And for the record? Nope.

    • Since these are people that you are friendly with, how about something like (with a mock horrified look) “I’m so not going to answer that!” and smile? Or maybe “I plead the 5th.”

      FWIW, I had a nosy but lovable coworker ask that at my office shower. In my case, we were planning to, but there was some odd TMI cycle issues that led us to believe that it wasn’t possible at the time, and we had decided to wait a little longer (or thought that we had). So, it was sort of planned and sort of not. It’s not something that bothers me to discuss with women, but my older male boss was in the room at the time that she asked, and I said something like “Sort of yes, and sort of no, and that’s all the detail that I’m going to give as long as [Boss] is in the room.” And everyone laughed and went back to drinking.

    • I have developed a habit of laughing at rude questions and not answering. I treat it like it couldn’t possibly be a serious question. Then I immediately change the subject.
      “Was this planned?”
      “Ahhahaha oh *you.* Anyway, I guess I’ll have to figure out a favorite decaf drink now.”

    • “As many of you guessed, I am indeed pregnant. Please do not touch my belly. Thanks in advance… “

    • No advice, but I’ve started wondering if I will decide to have children on my own down the road because I’m not finding the right guy for me and I really want to have children. One of the things I wonder is how I would answer this question, since either answer would get weird reactions in my family and at work.

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        I think “why do you ask” is the perfect response for you in this situation, because (at least for me), the “why” would actually matter in how I answer the question. A colleague a few years junior to me who I’ve been mentoring who is contemplating making the same choice herself in a year or two is getting a different answer to “was this planned” than my mother’s friend who is asking because she’s a nosy gossip, who is getting a different answer still than a partnered coworker who is maybe having infertility problems and is hoping for a doctor/clinic recommendation.

        • Thanks for recognizing that there’s a lot of different reasons why different people would ask. Sometimes, you might be the only or one of a few reliable resources that a person has. Thanks.

  3. I kind of love this outfit too, but also have no idea where I would wear it, especially in my real life (as opposed to my fantasy life that apparently I think really exists given the contents of my closet. . .)

    • Jumpsuits like this do tend to make people look really tall but I can’t get past the bathroom gymnastics.

    • I won’t wear jumpsuits for the same reason I won’t wear one piece bathing suits. If I have to take off all my clothes to use the restroom, it is not for me.

      • Anonymous :

        You don’t just pee through the suit or scoot it to the side?

        • I can’t be the only one who thinks “ew” about this.

          • I think “ew” to “pee through the suit”, but I’m wear one-pieces exclusively and am firmly in camp “pull suit way over to side, take care of business, and replace”.

            I also think my “overachieving chick” card may be revoked by this post…

          • When I first skimmed over this I missed the bathing suit reference and was HORRIFIED that someone would pee through a jumpsuit.

        • Anonymous :

          Only in the ocean and if there is no bathroom available and even then I try to scoot it to the side.

          • What does moving the suit to the side do if you’re peeing in the ocean? You’re in the water and the urine will spread throughout said water. I don’t see how moving it to the side helps anything.

          • It doesn’t help or hurt. The amount of urine compared to the amount of ocean is so small that this behavior has actually become a metaphor for doing nothing, or doing something with completely negligible consequences. I try to avoid it but I don’t judge those who do it. And despite the large size of an Olympic pool, a pool is a completely different matter, for some reason. Just don’t go there.

  4. Sizing Question :

    Can anyone comment on the sizing of Uniqlo supima cotton crew neck t-shirts? Particularly in comparison to the Lands End Women’s Short Sleeve Fitted Lightweight Cotton Modal Crew T-shirt? I am trying to determine whether to order S or XS. Many thanks in advance.

    Here is the Uniqlo: http://www.uniqlo.com/us/product/women-supima-cotton-crew-neck-short-sleeve-t-shirt-086830.html#00|/women/featured/supima-cotton/crew-neck-short-sleeves/|

    Lands End to follow to avoid moderation.

    • Sizing Question :


    • recently in-house :

      I haven’t bought that exact shirt, but Uniqlo generally runs small for me. For reference, I’m usually a 0 in Banana, AT and a 2 in Theory, DvF, etc., and I have to go up to a 4 in Uniqlo.

  5. Regular poster, extra anon for this one.

    I’ve had a really rough year health-wise and (relatedly) stress-wise. Since moving in with my now-husband (which, coincidentally, is about when these problems started, but for unrelated reasons), I feel like I’ve really lost my mojo/s*x drive. Part of me thinks that it’s because we’ve just been together a while (3 years–not all that long but not exactly 3 months) and things just naturally drop off. Another part of me blames the stress/exhaustion. But I also secretly worry that maybe I’m just bored or lazy.

    Any insight or advice, ladies?

    • "Allergies" PSA :

      I had very serious health issues for almost a year in 2012/early 2013. At the time, I had been with my husband 6-7 years. When I was not feeling well, I was *not* interested in mojo-related activities. I, of course, think this is totally normal. Once my health stabilized, life became normal again.

    • I think this is normal. Think about when you just have a cold – you don’t feel a lot of mojo then. Ongoing health issues where you don’t feel well? Same. I hope you’re on the mend, or at least under control.

      • Thanks–doing well now, though it’s a bit ongoing. It hasn’t been about not feeling well so much as stressed out by the problems.

    • Well, in an attempt to be not-too-blunt, have you lost your s*x drive with regard to all s*xual activity? If you had a tendency to engage in solo activity before and that has dropped off as well, I’d say you can definitely pin it on stress/exhaustion.

      You could also be stressing out about not feeling s*xual, which is contributing even more to your lack of interest.

      Part of it, for me, is that when I’m tired or feeling a lot of pressure, I don’t *feel* good. And when I don’t feel good, I certainly don’t feel s*xy. That doesn’t mean my s*x drive has gone done, necessarily, but I have no interest in actually acting on it.

      • Yep, ALL activity. Zero interest. Once things get started, I’m like “we should do this all the time!!” but then I forget again and feel uninterested.

        • Penny Proud :

          With this answer, it sounds like you are in a natural ebb because you have health issues.

          Try to remember that you actually enjoy it once you get started, and have it more often. Even initiate once every blue moon. And communicate with DH that you aren’t having it as much as you used to because you don’t feel well, but you still love him and still enjoy s3x despite the lower frequency.

    • So, dh & I are celebrating our 20th anniversary in a month, so I have a little experience on this front – sorry in advance if this gets to tmi. It’s totally, completely, 100% normal for your s3x drive to ebb & flow, especially through times of stress and health issues. If you are concerned because your health issues have resolved, but the drive hasn’t come back, then there are lots of things you can do to spice things up. Toys, lingerie, new positions, role play, etc. If I’m going through a slump I like to read some [email protected] to help me get in the mood. I also find that if I just do it, I usually am in the mood by the end, and if not, at least I showed love to my dh.

      Above all, make sure you discuss things with your dh. Communication through these kinds of slumps is, imo, crucial.

      • Thanks, I really appreciate this advice!

      • I have been married 10 years and agree with the “just do it” and usually I am in the mood by the end and if not at least I showed my husband love.

        • hoola hoopa :

          Yep. Marriage veteran and agree to “just do it and communicate”. My younger self would be shocked and dismayed by this advice, but it has definitely saved my marriage through the dry spells: Don’t let a weekend go by without s3x. It’s a necessary expression of love, but it’s also much easy to pull out of the slump if you’re active.

          Don’t let this shake you up too much. It’s natural and normal when life gets stressful, especially when you’re having health issues and/or going through something that makes you feel very tired, not yourself, or not s3xy. Make sure you husband knows you’re still attracted to him and how you’re feeling. It’s scary and confusing for him, too, and he’s your ally on this.

          For comic relief: Flight of the Conchords Business Time http://youtu.be/WGOohBytKTU (lyrics NSFW!! video image is fine)

  6. I found this morning’s discussion of whether and how to incentivize kids for doing chores to be really interesting. As a kid, I was always jealous of friends whose parents paid them for getting As, cause I wasn’t. DH was paid for getting good grades and views it now as, going to school was my job, so getting paid for doing well at my job wasn’t out of line. I’m not sure where I fall on this – my incentive was more to escape the hellhole in which I grew up – so was curious to know the thoughts of others.

    • Wildkitten :

      I worry with the economy that if something went south and you couldn’t pay your kid for A’s anymore, would they think it was no longer important?

      • I worry more than your child will think that (1) everything in life that is worth doing comes with a monetary reward, as opposed to the feeling of satisfaction for a job well done, and (2) that they need extra incentive to do something other than the incentive of “my parent said this was important”.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This. There are already tons of consequences that come from having A’s or not-A’s. That should be plenty of incentive.

          • I agree with you about that – the “A” should be its own reward. Because As are valuable things to have to use for jobs, colleges, etc. But I think a lot of kids, including myself when I was younger, don’t fully grasp the abstract concept of how this will affect their future.

            So I think providing immediate rewards and incentives for getting good grades teaches kids that hard work bears rewards. Because “the A itself” is the reward” may not motivate someone who doesn’t have a clear concept of the advantages that good grades bring in the hypothetical far off future.

    • just Karen :

      When I was a kid I brought up that other kids were getting paid for A’s and my mom’s response was – you’re smart, you don’t have a job, you have a peaceful home and enough to eat and a comfortable place to sleep, what excuse do you possibly have NOT to get all A’s?

      • This. Though, now my younger half-siblings (17 and 15) are paid and it kind of irritates me because it was always shot down when I brought it up in school. My dad claims its because my other brother and I didn’t need the motivation, but I still call bull on it…

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This opens an entirely other can of worms but in my book not everyone can or should get A’s. There is a big divide in schools of thought on education. I went to schools that pretty strictly enforced bell curves. I understand the trend now is to try to get everyone getting A’s but then does an A even mean what it used to mean?

        I guess in certain subject, like math, where there is only one right answer than I guess everyone could conceivably get an A.

        • I wonder about that, too, but don’t know how it should be.

          I recall one time when I was in school (the 90’s), for some reason the topic of getting a “C” came up, and my mom (who is not really academically oriented, neither of my parents went to college, though I was always a big nerd-type) said something like “What’s wrong with a C. C is average, right?” And I was absolutely horrified, because C to me was pretty much failure. But for most of my classes, it was really pretty hard not to get As and Bs.

    • My brother got paid for As and I didn’t. Which seemed vastly unfair. Producing the expected, and yet truthful parental response that, as they say, life is not fair.

    • You clean up your messes :

      I was never paid for grades. Mine were very good, but I had a strong extracurricular life that meant that my grades would likely never be perfect. I was fine with that (imperfection).

      I had a sibling with a learning disability (like dyslexia). She couldn’t juggle school + activities and had a very circumscribed life while trying to maintain decent grades.

      For her sake (and our sake as siblings), I am grateful that my parents didn’t financially incent grades, especially with siblings who had such different school experiences. I think it would have been very hard for my sibling and a wedge issue between us. Good grades should be reward enough (scratch that: the latent hippie in me says that learning is its own reward).

    • hoola hoopa :

      This is going to sound way harsh when I type it out, but I’m only being honest.

      I was not paid for good grades and I (my teen brain) always thought it was pathetic that other parents felt the need to do so and even more pathetic if their kids still didn’t get As. My parents recognized our achievements with good words and a meal out at the restaurant of our choosing, but it was understood that the A itself was the reward.

      • @hoola hoopa: do you have insight as to when and why you developed that understanding? I would definitely hope my childen had the same thought as you, but I’m curious how you get there.

        • hoola hoopa :

          Gosh, with three kids of my own I’d love to know myself!

          My negative feelings probably came from the families I observed doing it. They were primarily upper middle class. My family was decidedly not, so I probably labeled it as pathetic to protect my ego.

          It might be a perfect storm of sorts:
          My parents were well educated and hardworking but rather poor. From an early age, we understood how hard they worked to give us something close to a middle class upbringing – and that we wanted better. We aren’t athletically gifted enough to hope for the NBA, but we were smart so we knew our way up the ladder was through education.

          My father was a teacher. I’m sure that shaped our motives but at such a basic level that I can’t pick it out. We were definitely raised to respect our teachers, even if my parents disagreed at points. My parents are the types of people who are curious about the world and learn constantly. We stopped at every historical marker on road trips. We read books about the history of a place before visiting. We discussed chemistry over the cook stove; math and physics while watching stars. They asked about our report on photosynthesis while we pulled weeds in the yard. That’s the environment in which we were raised, so school was merely an extension.

          From my mother’s description of my brother and me – as she observes her grandchildren, whose temperaments range more widely – it sounds as if we were simply born with an innate desire to perform well. It’s kind of like our drug of choice. In other words, my parents never were in the situation of trying to encourage a lackluster student. They only needed to show pride in our achievements to make us glow and reach for the next achievement.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        I also thought it was sort of pathetic when people got money for good grades, and it sounds like my family was a lot like hoopa hoopa’s – smart, educationally-focused, not very well off.

        But more generally, I think the research shows that external rewards (like money) sap intrinsic motivation. In the context of grades, external rewards have the overall tendency to reduce the student’s internal desire to learn.

        I like to think that I’d rather get through some bad grades with my own kids and preserve their long-term interest in learning than start giving them cash for As, which looks like a long-term recipe for trouble. But – BUT! – every kid is different and if my kids have trouble in school, I would probably explore all sorts of ways to help them focus at school, including but not limited to financial rewards.

    • Growing up my brothers & I were ‘paid’ for good grades (we all did well in school, so that wasn’t an issue) but really my parents used it as an excuse to contribute more to what they were saving for us for university. We didn’t actually get any extra spending money, except maybe $20.

      We don’t pay our boys for their good grades. I honestly don’t believe it would motivate them, and they are doing well in school without it. Now, we are considering bribing our youngest (almost 9, going into grade 4) with going out for ice cream as a family for actually finishing a book that he starts in the hopes that he’ll actually finish a book instead of reading a few pages, here, a few pages there. However, at least he’s reading, and his inattentive ADHD probably doesn’t make finishing a book easy for him.

      • Anonymous :

        Like diagnosed ADHD? If so, seems like you’re setting him up to fail. It probably is REALLY hard for him.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      My parents never paid me for A’s, but I loved school for the most part and just stressed myself out if I didn’t get A’s, so no incentive was needed. As for how I ended up loving school, I think that’s because I just loved reading, perhaps because my parents read to my brother and I a lot when we were little.

      • But they didn’t teach you grammar, based on your last sentence. BIG SMILE

        • Snap! This is actually why I love you tesyaa–because you keep it real. And you keep coming back, even though sometimes you get some criticism from other posters. I honestly don’t mean this in a snarky way at all.

        • So rude and unneccessary.

          • I guess even smiling broadly isn’t enough to make clear I was joking. I hereby apologize for the rude comment.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        I’d like to blame autocorrect, but no, that was just me trying to divide my attention between writing a post and an email and failing.
        (I don’t care; my skin is quite thick)

    • Baconpancakes :

      Ha! My mother firmly disagreed with the idea of paying for grades, but after I got a C once (in math – long division was the first hard thing I’d encountered in school, and just gave up), my grandfather pulled me aside and said he’d pay me $10 for every A I earned, $5 for every B, and I’d have to pay him $5 for every C if I agreed to the deal. No more C’s on my report card up through graduation, so I guess it worked. My mother tried to stop it once she found out, but it had been two years of bribes at that point, so she considered it just grandparents being overly indulgent, again.

      And yes, they are absolutely bribes, and I was old enough to know it was a shifty to get paid for grades that my mother rightly expected me to earn anyway.

    • I was not paid for good grades. In our house, good grades are a standard. Anything less than an A was a failure, and we got in trouble for getting anything less than an A. When grading systems in our school district was a number 1-4, and 4 was “exceptional” and 3 was “average,” the standard is that you had to get a 4. I think this idea instilled in me the motivation to get the best grades possible, to always aim high, to always improve. I think at the same time, it makes you feel bad when you don’t get an A but having been brought up this way, it also then motivates me because I know I am capable of getting that A. So, maybe we didn’t get rewarded for getting an A – no money, no gifts, no meals, maybe not even a “good job” – but major accomplishments do get acknowledged, like having the highest grade in the class at the end of the year, or becoming valedictorian, etc.

      I should also note that we also were asked to do chores, or get paid for doing chores. Chores were a standard thing – and it wasn’t a “scheduled” event – everyone just took turns, or if someone was busy, someone else offered to do it. When we were given money, it was always around a holiday – new years, Christmas, birthdays – and were encouraged to save it into our bank accounts (had savings accounts through our elementary schools and local banks that we put money into every week).

    • I was rewarded for effort. So despite the fact I did less well in college this year than last, my parents have shown me way more pride and appreciation because of the challenges I faced this year. And rewards have always happened before results come out for us

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      So big nerd here — wouldn’t this create a sort of property rule versus liability rule problem where the marginal cost of not getting an A was made tangible, versus the intangible horror of not getting an A? It seems to me a lot like the late daycare parent scenario.

  7. Orangerie :

    Wise ladies, I would love your advice on birthday gift ideas for my BF. He is the epitome of difficult to shop for mostly because he’s very discerning and already has a ton of stuff! He loves cars, formula 1 racing, comics (mostly marvel stuff and batman), watches, reading (but already has a huge library of books), and we both love cooking and trying new restaurants. Not a big sports guy.

    This past Valentine’s day I planned a weekend trip to Napa, and for our anniversary a few months ago I gave him an espresso and coffee machine that he had been wanting. I’d like to give him something tangible but not opposed to an experience gift. Was thinking about getting him tickets to the Concours d’Elegance in Pebble Beach, but he went last year with a friend so I don’t feel like it would be as special.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

    • Can you rent him some type of ridiculously expensive, fancy-pants sportscar for the day/weekend and then buy him a driving cap + new sunglasses to wear while he rides around town? Or drives you up / down the coast to dinner reservations you make?

    • Anonymous :

      How about a great coffee table book on cars? For very expensive Assouline publishes Vroom Vroom in a fabulous decorative sleeve made of a tire tread ($500 ish). For more reasonable, there’s a great book on the Goodwood Revival.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        If he happens to like reading Clive Cussler books, there is a nice book filled with pictures and details of the author with all the amazing old cars he writes into his novels.

    • Tickets to the F1 race in Austin?

      • Chi Squared :

        This! My DH is a formula 1 fan, and would love to go to the race. Austin is a fun weekend getaway too.

    • Wildkitten :

      Sur la Table cooking classes and buy the equipment to re-create whatever you make at home?

    • If you are in the Bay Area, there is the Mazda raceway. I believe you can join a club to rent a race car for a few hours and drive around the track.

  8. Need to Improve :

    I am not a jumpsuit person but this is beautiful. It would look great with gold jewlery.

    • I don’t usually mind jumpsuits and like quite a few a lot, but this one seems a bit too Blanche from Golden Girls to me.

      • Rachelellen :

        Hysterical. I was on the fence and now I can’t “un-see” that image.

    • Getting There :

      Having lived through the 1970’s when jumpsuits were a Thing, I am not about to go back there. This is one trend I will be happy to see the end of.

  9. AnonymousDC :

    Suggestions on your favorite, not-crazy-expensive places to eat around DC/northern VA? Bonus points for Italian food, sandwich shops, and dessert!

    • Wildkitten :

      Big Board (burgers – but amazing).

    • Filomena for pasta. On the pricey side – but worth it for special occasions.

      • Lady Tetra :

        My favorite Italian in DC is Casa Luca — also pretty pricey, but very delicious. Filomena is worth it for the experience, but it’s not my style (heavy, giant portions, very old school decor, free amaretto at the end!). There are also a lot of other good Italian places in Georgetown, such as Il Canale (great pizza). Also in Georgetown, Thunder Burger has great burgers and is surprisingly vegetarian-friendly with very funky decor.

        For local lunch spots, the &pizza places are good, Shophouse has great fast-casual Asian, Nando’s has great chicken and is fun if someone in your group loves spicy foods.

        For dessert, I don’t have that many recommendations, but Baked + Wired in Georgetown has the best cupcakes. OH! Also, Ted’s Bulletin for boozy milkshakes, mile-high cakes, and homemade poptarts. Enjoy!

      • Filomena is so overrated!

        • +1. Like most Georgetown institutions, probably was the best of its kind 15 yrs ago, but the dining scene elsewhere has far eclipsed it.

    • Not in the above categories, but Daikaya for ramen is absolutely heavenly and cheap.

      Capriotti’s and G by Mike Isabella for sandwiches. Busboys and Poets for general casual fare.

      Not sure how you define “crazy expensive,” but Red Hen is delicious and not fancy Italian small plates.

    • Taylor Gourmet for sandwiches. Pasta Mia for Italian.

    • You clean up your messes :

      The Italian Store in Lyon Village Shopping Center in north Arlington

      Their sandwiches smell like heaven.

      • This place has the BEST italian subs. Plus grouchy italian dudes and insouciant teenagers – prefect summer lunch.

    • Fireflies in DelRay/Alexandria–very neighborhood-y. AND POTUS-approved. Awesome burgers
      Dairy Godmother in DelRay; Cheesetique; Evening Star Cafe

      My sister lives in DelRay, and these are her favorites (and mine too!)

    • DC Association :

      Lupo Verde on 14th and S is v good, it opened about 3 months ago. The chef is from italy and only moved to the US a few weeks before the restaurant opened (from our server we heard how chaotic everything was for the opening due to this fact). It is very authentic.

      My favorite dessert special place was always Tabard Inn on N st between 18th and 17th. Haven”t been in a few years so cannot vouch for now but if you call and the pastry chef has a name like Hew or something similar, he is amazing.

      • AnonymousDC :

        You all rock. I’m writing all of these down.

        (And I love burgers, so those of you who mentioned that also get bonus points.)

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Amoo’s House of Kabob in Tyson’s Corner.

  10. FWIW- Followup from Morning Thread :

    …for some reason I can’t reply to any posts on the morning thread without appearing at the bottom. This is to the OP who was dealing with difficult substance abuse issues.

    I really liked this book called courage to change. It’s little bite sized meditations- I really took them with a grain of salt but found them helpful. I also read every academic article and reputable source on the internet I could find, along with stealing a few friends’ Social Work and Psych textbooks.


    Also- Seattle Freeze- I was referring to Borderline Personality Disorder specifically- Personality disorder is the blanket category I believe. Typing pre coffee- Oi!

    • Anon Worker Bee :

      This was happening yesterday afternoon as well and then magically this morning all the comments are in the right place…

  11. Anonymous :

    While we’re on the topic of letting pregnancies out of the bag….advice please. I’m 6 weeks pregnant and will be waiting to tell my supervisor for a while. I’m not sure whether I’ll tell him at 12 weeks, 16 weeks, etc. Any advice? Obviously if I’m showing or sick I’ll have to tell at that point. So far I feel great. Is earlier or later better? My two supervisors are both male, do not have kids nor want kids and have a dislike for children in general. I’m really, really scared to tell them. I was awake from 1 am – 3 am last night worrying about it. I need to get anxiety under control.

    On a related note, I think I want to come back after maternity leave (which will fall at the best possible time in our work cycle) but I’m not 100% sure. Should I say I am planning on coming back without knowing for 100% sure?

    • Anonymous :

      Tell them at 12 weeks and be done with it. And of course you say you’re coming back!!

    • Frustrated Academic :

      I told the head of my department at the end of the first trimester and everyone else around 20 weeks–I figured that if, God forbid, something happened, it would be way easier to tell one person than to have to relate it to a million. I did not talk about maternity leave at all until the seventh month–those are two different conversations.

    • Anonymous :

      Tell them when you’re comfortable. I mean, don’t wait until it’s super obvious but they’re probably not going to notice any time soon, even if you put on a few pounds and think the world can totally tell. If you’re stressing out about telling them, getting it off your shoulders sooner rather than later might be best for you. In that case, I’d tell around 12 weeks (or, if you’re doing certain testing, whenever you get the results).

      Signed, 12.5 weeks pregnant with #2 and dreading telling

    • Anonymous :

      I have told at my law firm at 16 weeks (both times). I probably should have told earlier the first time around, as I was throwing up many times a day. However, in each case, it was nice to not have that looming out there any longer than necessary. Oh, and I told people in other offices when I was about 7 months.

      • I told at my law firm at 13 weeks, on the dot. I just wanted to get it out there, and to give people a heads-up. Our group is very pro-children (all of my partners have lots of kids) so I didn’t have to deal with that. The second and third times, I wanted to get it out before the review process started, and also I started showing very early (although I don’t think anyone noticed). I did call everyone in my group in the other offices (there were only between 5 and 8 of us at any one time) after telling the head of my group.

        I was somewhat vague about when I was coming back (“I’m thinking…” “my plan is…”), although I always knew I would be coming back (especially after the first one).

  12. Any suggestions for my grandfather-in-law’s 90th birthday gift? Limited mobility (so tickets to a show are out) but loves his ipad!

    • Would he want a subscription to the NY Times or other sites with a paywall? A mobile subscription to a cool magazine? Maybe Wired since he’s obviously embracing new technology.

    • hoola hoopa :

      For my grandfather’s 90th, I gave him a small smoked ham from an excellent meat market that he and his partner could have over a few meals. He was not a man who needed or wanted things, but he and his partner really missed high quality and luxury food items once their mobility was limited, so I started giving them specialty foods which were well received. Do small quantities and/or items that last for a while because IME people of that age eat very little in one sitting.

    • I don’t know if he’s a reader, but for Father’s Day I loaded up my dad’s tablet with books I either recently read or had on my list to read soon so we could discuss them while he reads. I didn’t want to send a gift card, and he liked getting a bunch of books I picked out.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        If he reads on the Kindle app and you know the email address he uses for it, you can send him Kindle books without needing to do it in person. That’s what I did for my dad for his last birthday since he lives across the country.

    • Digital photo frame loaded with pictures of grandchildren and/or great-grandchildren? When my father turned 90 my SIL wasn’t working and made a homemade album, but that was a major time commitment.

    • lawsuited :

      Depending on what he’s into, purchase some old movies or TV shows and load them up on his iPad. For example, I know my grandfather would love the BBC productions of Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and they’re not on TV but through the power of iTunes, he could watch them again. My grandfather is losing his hearing, so wearing his big earphones and watching his tablet is a new bliss for him. Love that guy.

    • These are great–thanks, everyone!

    • I don’t have any great ideas, but just wanted to say I think it’s so great he is 90 and uses an ipad!

    • LayerMomofFour :

      When my husband’s grandfather turned ninety, he committed to write to him regularly (can’t remember if it was every week or every month). And he actually did! I think that was a wonderful gift–sort of the gift of time but in a fashion that he could pull out and reread, and show to his friends and other family. This was a real letter, but an email with photos could work for the right elderly grandparent.

      On another note, the iPad was truly a lifechanging technology for my mom, who passed away a couple of years ago when she was 80. She had vision issues, and being able to make print larger was a huge benefit. Plus we programmed it so that the obituary page of her hometown newspaper was her homepage on Safari–she really loved being able to keep up with all that (she had moved away to be closer to us).

  13. Historical Fiction? :

    Looking for something sweeping and dramatic with a smidge of romance- think Edward Rutherford, Sharon Kay Penman, Ken Follet, or Diana Gabaldon. Any suggestions?

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      This only kind of counts as historical fiction (historical fiction/fantasy? Sort of like Diana Gabaldon), but The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. The third one just came out and I haven’t quite finished it yet to have an opinion on how it ends, but so far, it’s really good.

      • I was just about to suggest Deborah Harkness. I’m working on the last one now, and I enjoyed the first two. I also like Kate Morton’s books for mysteries told through flashbacks. I read all four of her books, and loved every one.

        • Seconding Kate Morton, and adding The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. Not much romance, but a good Gothic historical story.
          And I am adding all the other books on this thread to my to do list for once I finish Gabaldon’s latest. I am read-reading the series before tackling the last book and I’ll need new books to distract me from the fact that the series isn’t over.
          Have you checked out the blog Smart B!tches, Trashy Books ? A lot of what they review might be more toward the trashy side than you’re interested in, but its not all trashy despite the name.

      • So good! I can’t turn on the WiFi on my kindle now because I am “extending” a library loan (library ends the last an automatically on the due date and pulls it from my kindle the next time I am connected). I can’t wait to read the final book!

        Oh, and if you haven’t read it, The Scarlet Pimpernel is an awesome classic that fits all those criteria.

        • Two other oldies: Forever Amber and A Woman of Substance. And Eight by Katherine Neville.

        • Lyra Silvertongue :

          +1 to Scarlet Pimpernel. I gave it to DH to read and he very proudly declared about halfway through that he had figured out the identity of SP. Apparently, he never read the back cover, where his identity is disclosed in the first sentence.

      • Lyra Silvertongue :

        Love DH’s trilogy, though I haven’t read the third one yet. The second book also didn’t make a lot of sense but it was interesting and enjoyable.

      • I have to admit that, on the one hand, I like Deborah Harkness’ books, but on the other hand, the vampire yoga made me eyeroll.

    • Not modern-day literature but Daphne DuMaurier’s The King’s General meets some of your criteria.

    • If you liked Diana Gabaldon, read Sara Donati’s Into the Wilderness series. It’s basically DG without the time travel, set in early America. So – thick historical fiction with that winding romance line through the story. There may also be a DG character cameo, if I remember correctly.

    • love, love, love, Sharon Kay Penman. (Did you know that the first draft of her first novel was stolen out of her car (it was only in hard copy) so she wrote the whole thing twice??)…I got somewhat desperate after I read all her books. ..so I read some Elizabeth Chadwick which can be good if you like that period….not quite as high-minded as Penman, but good story-telling…..The William Marshall series was actually very good. ….she tends to have more than a smudge of romance, if you know what i mean….so be warned, especially if you read beyond the Marshall series books.

      On the rec from Penman’s blog, I did start the Bernard Cornwell books. The Saxon tales are very sweeping…and good, actually. Not much romance though. Good character development.

  14. Suggestions for a week in the UK? :

    Husband and I are taking a week vacation in the UK next month. We’ve been to London/Bath/Stonehenge/Brighton and would like to go somewhere new. We like country walks (though nothing too strenuous right now as I’m preggers), tasty food, good beer (alas…), touring historic sites, national parks, a relaxed pace. Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe taking a train to Aberystwyth and then maybe a few nights in a country B&B outside the town, but I’m open to other ideas and would love some advice. One thing: we’d really rather not drive, but if push came to shove, we could rent a car. (Thoughts on that welcome too.) Thanks in advance!

    • Anne Shirley :

      I would drive, and do Cornwall, but if you don’t want to York is a decent train ride from London- long but not complicated, and Oxford and Cambridge could each be a beautiful couple summer days.

    • The Isle of Wight! Train to Southampton, foot ferry to Cowes, cute B&B

    • We did almost that exact same trip when I was pregnant with our first but we did rent a car. We also went Shaftsburry, amazing cathedral and stayed in an adorable sea side town called Lyme Regis. It was really fun but I made my husband drive the car as it made me nervous to try myself!

    • Kent has some beautiful walking and amazing stately homes, great beer and everywhere is v well connected by train. Also only an hour to London from places!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have not done this personally, but my friends in the UK do this fairly regularly. The Landmark Trust (and also the National Trust, I believe) rents out historic cottages and castles for very reasonable prices and they generally look pretty awesome. My friends usually take a large-ish group so they can rent the castles, but I think smaller options are available. So if you decide where you want to go, you might be able to find a fun place to stay through that.

    • Just a heads-up that whatever you want to do, you should book soon! We’ve got a bank holiday in August and also it seems like half the city goes on holiday in August, so most of the recs I’ve been working through from colleagues are already fully booked.

  15. inexpensive and petite :

    Ladies, I am trying to find very inexpensive basics for work. I don’t need full-on suits, but dress pants, skirts & dresses. Tops are generally not a problem, because I can usually find a lot of things that I like in my size at the local thrift stores (our affluent community frequently doffs Banana, JCrew, Loft, Talbot’s, etc to our thrift stores–much to my pleasure!).

    The bottoms are the most troublesome for me, though. I’m not sure exactly what size (as Kat noticed in the vanity sizing blurb) I am, but it’s somewhere in the realm of 00-2 petite. I don’t mind buying full-length (hemming is cheap), but of course, a lot of the petite stuff is just proportioned a little differently which makes it all fit better.

    I don’t live in a big market, so I don’t have a lot of options at my disposal. I suspect my best bets are going to be Loft & Talbot’s (both of which I do have), but there are no big department stores, and even the other brick & mortar stores are not that exciting (we do have Gap & Old Navy, JCP, Belk)

    What are going to be my best bets for bottoms in that size range, for about $50-each? I am certainly not averse to online ordering, but the whole try-on/return is just such a PITA. For reference, I’m 5’2, 105# but all my length is in my legs–I usually hem dress pants to about 30/31 depending on whether I want to wear heels or not.

    • I am about the same size as you. I buy at Banana Republic because it comes with the lining. I also have a few from The Limited and Ann Taylor is also nice. I think if you find that sizing is wonky and you have to buy online, then buy skirts, or buy from Nordstrom. I personally do not have any bottoms from Nordstrom b/c they tend to be out of my price range.

      Gap also has decent pants, but not the same quality as Limited or Ann Taylor. Express also has fabulous dress pants – but no lining. When Express has sales it’s usually around the same price range. I don’t buy pants that aren’t on sale, so all my pants are under $50, except for one pair. Macy’s usually has decent pants – most of the ones that are cheapest are often “every day value” pants that never go on sale, but usually are under $30.

      Also, I don’t have to wear suits to work, but I do buy suits that come with both the blazer and the skirt/bottom, and then wear them separately b/c I never wear them together. Usually the combo is pretty cheap, and sometimes you can find good deals at Marshalls or TJMAXX.

      • inexpensive and petite :

        Thanks for the insight! I always forget about Express & Limited.

      • +1 to Express. I’m about the same size and my two favorite suits are from Express and fit like a glove.

  16. Not Barbie :

    I have to have a medical procedure done that would best be performed by a plastic surgeon. I am looking to pick a doctor and I am so turned off by the plastic surgery websites and their promotion of cosmetic procedures. I’m not against cosmetic procedures, per se, but I’m put off by the whole “this is what you are supposed to look like” thing. I know a doctor is a professional and will be assessing treating my (covered by my insurance) medical problem but I can’t help but feel like while I am there I will be compared to some beauty standard. I also have a slight fear of them trying to sell me on a cosmetic procedure while I’m there. Like when you go to the waxer for your brows and they ask if you want your lip done. I would feel awful if while discussing my medical procedure they added “would you like a tummy tuck too?” Just venting. I know plastic surgeons perform miracles for the disfigured and one stitched me up after a traumatic injury as a kid and I’m forever grateful for his handiwork but the websites are just ugh.

    • Anonymous :

      If someone tries to upsell you on a tummy tuck while you’re in his/her office discussing your procedure, I’d find a more professional surgeon. Also, I’m sure there are better resources for selecting a surgeon than looking at their websites…

    • I get the same feeling with dermatology places. I go to a derm to get skin screenings because skin cancer runs in my family. When researching a derm to go to I research the Doctor’s specialties to find those that focus on skin cancer and not beauty procedures.

    • Your primary care doctor should be able to refer you to someone they consider reputable.

    • You know there is a difference between cosmetic surgeons and plastic surgeons right? Reputable plastic surgeons don’t generally do cosmetic procedures. Check out the article on the differences on the website of the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and make sure you are looking at the right type of clinics for the procedure you need.

      • plastic surgeon spouse :

        That’s not true, board certified plastic surgeons generally do a mix of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. Look for someone board certified from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons for qualifications. Good luck!

    • Anonymous :

      I would consider looking for surgeons associated with universities and teaching hospitals in your area.

    • You might have more luck searching for something like “reconstructive surgeon.” Basically a plastic surgeon that doesn’t do cosmetic work, but does the reconstructive side of plastic surgery.

    • Not Barbie :

      These responses were really helpful. Thank you. I found someone that seems like a good fit willing to see if he can help me.

  17. Ladies, looking for a true neon pink nail polish – any recs? The brighter, the better!

  18. Ex Advice :

    I know this shouldn’t be a big deal, but not sure what to do, so looking for advice. I have a friend’s birthday coming up this weekend. Not a close friend, but a professional friend, and she has a fun activity planned. I was excited to go this year because said activity is up my alley and I like meeting new people. Last year I didn’t go to her celebration because my (then-recent) ex was on the invite list and had RSVP’d yes. It was a tough breakup for me because I was in a really bad place for many reasons, and I just didn’t want to deal with the ex. This year he wasn’t on the invite list — thank you, Evite — which was a bonus.

    Fast forward to one reminder she sent yesterday, which he wasn’t on, to another she sent today with more details, where his name mysteriously appeared. It’s a small gathering, so I really can’t avoid him if I go. I’m of two minds: on one hand, I’m in a much better place mentally this year, I’m sure I can deal with him (no lingering feelings, honest, I just find him obnoxious), and I’d like to celebrate with my friend. On the other hand, I just don’t want to have to deal with him, and most of the others are couples so we’d be kind of the odd singles out.

    Yes, this would all be easier if the friend knew (we met as part of this group of professional friends), but she doesn’t, and I really don’t want to have to explain. Would you go or beg off?

    • hoola hoopa :

      I fully recognize that there is a high road here, but I myself have an ex that I can’t bear to cross paths with and actively avoid him… so I’d beg off. Something important came up. Greatest apologies. You’d like to take her out to lunch.

      • +1. Even if you think you can handle it, sometimes just seeing an ex brings back a flood of emotions that you don’t realize are coming. Apologize and take her to lunch. Your mental health is more important.

      • Wildkitten :


        • Wildkitten :

          Also – I don’t thinking being smart about your feelings to avoid a situation that might be harmful to yourself is taking the low road.

      • +1. I have some exes where I wouldn’t give a second thought to seeing them — might even look forward to it — and others were I would stew about this and look for permission from friends to not go. I think this guy falls into the latter category. Beg off, save your emotional energy, and go do something else you enjoy instead.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Go. Or he’s the guy who keeps you from doing fun things 2 years later. If it sucks- margaritas. If it’s awesome- also margaritas.

    • I’d go but I don’t have any exes I couldn’t bear to see again for an evening in a group setting. If you really have no lingering feelings, were otherwise excited to go, and just find him obnoxious — you should probably just try to go and have a nice time. Have an excuse for why you need to leave early if it turns out to be a disaster (houseguest coming to town early, whatever) and don’t let him run your life when this was something you were looking forward to doing.

    • Go live your life girl! Enjoy time with your friends. He’s been out of your life for too long for him to still dictate it.

    • I would go, looking as effortlessly fabulous as possible, and be polite but distant. Head nod of greeting, then ignore as much as possible.

      I know you don’t want to say anything to your friend but I would strongly urge you to reconsider. If you’re the only singles there then the urge to shove you together might be overwhelming. You dated him once, so there’s probably some reasons why. Other people might perceive those reasons too and think you need to be set up with him.

    • Maybe it’s just me, but I would have a hard time not seizing this as an opportunity to go and look fabulous and show off how fabulous your life is without him and how it is his loss that he no longer has you. Acknowledge him as Parfait suggests, and then have the time of your life socializing with everyone else. I have plenty of exes I have no desire to see, and this would be my approach.

    • Don’t go. Remain mysterious and save your mental health. Not worth the stress and trauma.

  19. Lila fowler :

    I am currently at a major bank and interviewing for a senior role at a start up. I have always worked for major firms, so I am a little clueless about negotiating a salary at a start up. Does anyone have any suggestions for considerations? If I were moving to another bank, I would bring up salary, expected annual bonus, guaranteed bonus for this year as I am walking away from a bonus this year, and the deferred compensation that I am leaving on the table. Is it true most start ups offer a reduced salary and a lot of potential equity? Does anyone have tips for me on thinking through this?

    • Jessica Wakefield :

      No tips, but I think you should ask them for maintenance on the lime green Triumph convertible.

    • I worked for a start up that was already doing about 100k/month, they were awesome but all around me I saw people thinking they were ‘getting in’ only to be unemployed 6 months later when angel investing ran out.

    • As with any senior role, you should think about the business opportunity first, then your expected contribution, and then only what your share of the take should be.

      Something like this : what is this company/ unit/ division’s market position ? Is it #1 and dominant ? Is it # 10 and a scrappy upstart ? Where does it want to go from here ? What does it need : better product ? Expansion in another region ? New customers ? More wallet share of existing customers ? How does it achieve this : more sales resources ? More marketing ? What are the financial targets associated with the strategy ? Are they realistic on both the revenue and cost side ? How much appetite is there to spend/ burn cash on business growth ? How successfully have its managers juggled growth vs. cash burn up to now ? Who’s providing the cash and what are their appetite and objectives ? (be aware that a large mature company may have more wriggle room to keep supporting a new unit than VC investors with a start-up).

      And then only : what’s my role, how much do I contribute to this (the more specific the better, particularly in while interviewing, at least in a competitive process), if we achieve X, then my function deserves Y of the credit, and I personally deserve Z of that.

    • In my experience, start-ups do offer lower salaries in exchange for equity. But if it takes off your salary and equity grows larger and faster than it would working for a larger or more established company. Bonuses are tied to how well the company does as a whole, not necessarily how well you do, so even if you work your butt off the company may just not be able to afford the max amount of bonuses.

  20. I’ve recently lost some weight and am looking for recommendations for new jeans. I’m so tired of jeans that sag in the seat. I’m now kind of an apple shape, my waist is 31″ and my hips are 38″, since I seem to be losing weight every place but my waist. So I need a mid-rise, but not for a curvy figure. Also, my calves are kind of huge, so most really skinny jeans are too tight in the calves. I like straight or skinny styles (when I can find them to fit my calves). I’ve been wearing Kut from the Kloth Diana skinny jeans, they fit well in the waist and legs, but they are kind of loose through the seat.

    Anyone else with a similar body shape that can recommend a brand/style?

    • EduStudent :

      Have you tried AG? That’s my new favorite for skinny jeans, and I also tend to have jeans sag in the seat and have big calves (too big for pretty much all knee-high riding boots…sad).

      • I have not, I just looked at some on the Nordstrom website, they look really cute, and the reviews are good, I may order some. Thanks.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m built somewhat like you are (thicker through the waist, straight hips, thin thighs, flat butt) and the only jeans that fit me perfectly are INC (from Macy’s) – straight leg, regular fit.

      • Anonymous :

        These are my favorite:http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/inc-international-concepts-straight-leg-jeans-stormy-wash?ID=1081490&CategoryID=3111#fn=sp%3D1%26spc%3D617%26ruleId%3D%26slotId%3D2

        and I also have enormous calves (16 1/2 inch)

  21. Anonymous :

    Depending on the industry, yes, as a senior person, you’d be expected to start risk-sharing as to compensation – less cash, more deferred comp.

  22. Sorry if this has been asked/answered before, but I’m a NAS newbie and you all introduced me to Nordstroms. So now you have to put up with my annoying questions.. ;)

    I just got the three pairs of boots that I ordered with the intention of sending at least two back since I’m usually really picky about boots. Of course I ended up loving the most expensive pair the most, and it’s more than I would normally spend. I ordered the black pair because that was in stock at the time, but would really rather have the expresso color. Any chance that they’re going to come back in stock? If I hold onto the boots until after the NAS is over, might the expresso color come in stock then and would I be able to exchange it then? Maybe I can justify holding onto them if that they’re both black and brown boots. :)

    Pair of boots in question: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/donald-j-pliner-devi-3-boot-women/3497238?cm_em=&cm_mmc=email_tran-_-072214-_-order_confirm-_-proddescr3

    Oh, and thoughts on these cognac boots? I bought them because I blogger I follow really likes them. They fit really well and fill the cognac boot hole (my old Madden cognac boots literally have holes in the soles) in my closet. But I feel a little meh about the quilted back. http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/steve-madden-northsde-quilt-back-knee-high-boot-women/3725565?cm_em=&cm_mmc=email_tran-_-072214-_-order_confirm-_-proddescr5

  23. I think the measure of a person should not be how many books they can read, but how good they are at Candy Crush and Crystal Bloom!!!!!

  24. housecounsel :

    Seconding the recommendation for AG jeans. Also Kut.

  25. housecounsel :

    Also, like Kat said, I am not sure where I would wear this jumpsuit, but I love it so much!

  26. Blonde Lawyer :

    This goes to our discussion about how our parents shaped us.

    • Wildkitten :

      I wish this had been phrased differently – like, “Seven ways to help your daughter grow up to be a strong woman.”

  27. Anonymous :

    Any advice for dressing when you are a very dramatic hourglass? I’m 5’4, 38-28-38 with a healthy BMI, which sounds nice and all but make a lot of very standard choice instantly look “secretarial” (in the fetish sense, not in the skilled typist way.)

    I’ve had problems based on this, having C Levels tell me “they are sweater men,” and having people at interviews not pay attention to what I was saying and ask me out on dates at the end. Now, I realize these guys are jerks but I would rather keep it at bay if I can. I have worked in IT for big law and finance, and am lucky enough now to be going into a job where I was hired site unseen via phone. It’s a leadership tier role, so even though it is IT I will be expected to keep up looking nice.

    I know a lot of people will assume I am just dressing too small or too tight, but I wear mostly J Crew and Banana Republic and do all the right things in fitting the widest parts and getting them tailored. I keep my heels 4 inches or less, with the 4 inch pair being a subtle pair of Delmans, but given my height I do like to have a little bit more lift because if I don’t it’s yet another physical feature for people to point out (“aw what a cute tiny thing.”) I own a lot of longer pencil skirts and blouses, but that just seems to be man bait. I like to put a cardigan over them because I am always freezing, but then it becomes naughty librarian. I tried blazers, but then it just emphasized the hourglass shape more. I don’t want to go the super masculine button up and pants route, as this tends to just make me look overweight and that is just another thing for people to judge you on. I spent most of my 20s (which I just recently left) embracing the casual side of IT and wearing things like motorcycle boots to work but felt I should step it up as I got increasingly corporate jobs and higher positions.

    A great deal of this is probably because of the type of men one has to deal with in IT, but I’m wondering what I can do from my side to help prevent it, much to the chagrin of the feminist in me.

    I should point out that I am blessed since this has not actually limited my career rise in the traditional sense since I am well compensated and able to climb the ladder. I do find myself being interrupted less and able to make my points and seen as a “go to” resource more than when I was in my 20s and dressing more casually. But it still makes me uncomfortable.

    Sorry for the wall of text, but I felt it needed more context than just my measurements!

    • Hourglassy :

      Here’s a question for you: where do your sleeves end in the tops you wear? I once saw a workshop leader illustrate how the edge of your sleeves can emphasize whatever is next to them. So cap sleeves, which sometimes seem like the only thing available in stores, can be like arrows directly to the bust. Elbow- and 3/4-length sleeves will emphasize the area below your bust (although this isn’t a hard and fast rule for every busty woman).

      Another question: do you wear knits or wovens on top? I used to think the knit shells from Jones New York were my perfect top. But it was when I was wearing one that I noticed the Biglaw partner I was working with talking to my chest instead of my face. Besides the fact that the knit was totally form-fitting, the crew neckline also created the impression of a massive chest. You’re probably already aware of the counterintuitive truth that less fabric above your chest makes you look less chesty (although it can also make covering cleavage more challenging)? There are some really good brands out there now that make woven button fronts for full-busted figures so you don’t have to look masculine, and you can play with where you want to fasten the buttons depending on whether there’s a chance of cleavage-flashing.

      Third question: how in the world do you find blazers that fit AND emphasize your hourglass shape? Is it all in the alterations you have done? If so, I want to know your seamstress! But it seems like it should be possible to find blazer styles that fit your shoulders and bust while merely skimming your waist, and if it isn’t, then there are some good custom tailors out there who can create one for you. I tend to wear my cardigans loose, so I don’t get the naughty librarian look, but if you’re wearing them fitted, then you may be running into the same issues that arise with knit tops in general. Besides, in my opinion, a blazer simply looks more authoritative than a cardigan (unless it’s a very structured and collared cardigan).

      You may want to visit the blog CurvyWordy to see how she deals with these issues–she calls herself an extreme hourglass. And Tina writes a Corporate Curves Report for Hourglassy every other Tuesday. She doesn’t have your dimensions, but she works in IT (in Finland), and her job requires her to bridge the divide between management and technical people, so it could be worth checking out some of her older posts and even emailing her with questions.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you for the reply! Also apologies to the world for spelling it “site unseen” instead of “sight unseen” in the first post. I’m going to plead bilingual confusion for my excuse.

        The information about cap sleeve is life changing. It explains why I felt more “elegant” in sleeveless or put a cardigan over my cap sleeve dresses and just felt better about it. Nearly every dress I own is cap sleeve, because as you mention it’s everywhere. I did experiments and yes, it very much does emphasize the bust! (I shared this information with my small chested friend, who was thrilled to learn it.) I hadn’t looked into 3/4 sleeve ever but now will be trying some on.

        With regards to knit tops, I learned my lesson that a demure crew neck sweater spelled trouble after the “sweater man” comment from the CIO, so I have been steering clear away from knits since. My cardigans are also mostly boyfriend fit and from when I was around 30 pounds heavier. So they are likely making me look sloppy, but I can’t see why it becomes librarian either unless it’s because I wear glasses. My blazers were tailored when I was on a business trip in Hong Kong, which I can’t recommend enough. I mentioned I might want to get some tailoring done when I was there offhandedly to the office manager and she said to bring everything I owned and she would hook me up. It was wonderful. They very much were experts at making your waist look good.

        Thank you again for all the recommendations, and I have started to follow CurvyWordy as well.

    • Wildkitten :

      I think you have two different (albeit related) problems. One is how to dress professionally as a hourglass, and one is how to be respected in the workplace as a woman. I don’t know the answers to the first, but there are lots of great resource on the second, like What Works for Women at Work. Do you have an HR you can talk to about the inappropriate comments and stares? They probably need to remind your colleagues about what is inappropriate behavior at work.

      • Anonymous :

        I probably should have used a name versus Anonymous for my initial post so we could track replies, apologies for that.

        I’ve ordered the What Works for Women at Work book, thank you.

        As for discussing with HR, I hope it won’t reach the same levels at the new job, but it would have been impossible at my last firm since the behavior was essentially everyone in leadership. HR at that firm also most existed to expedite terminations. It was a toxic environment for sure, and I am glad to no longer be there. However I wanted to take away some lessons from it if I can, and make sure I am doing all I can to present the right image at the next place.

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