Update: These faux leather leggings are now in the 2022 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in regular, petite, plus, maternity, and “big girl” sizes.
Something on your mind? Chat about it here.
Readers had a great discussion on Monday about the leather-legging look that is so popular right now, including best faux and real options and styling ideas. (And: who knew you could wash leather in the machine? This adds a whole new layer to Washable Wednesdays over at CorporetteMoms.)
The big favorite by far: these Spanx leggings, available in regular, petite, plus sizes and maternity sizes. There are also a ton of great moto-inspired looks, which might be great if you’re very sensitive about cellulite. I have a pair myself and wear them out and about — for my own $.02, I’d advise you to try your size and possibly the next one up. At 5’4″ I wish they’d had petites available when I bought mine because they do occasionally feel bunchy in my calves — clearly this is a reason why I need the moto-inspired ones, right?
I also sometimes layer my silk long johns or tights beneath them if it’s a particularly cold (or windy) night with a lot of walking, but that’s me. Looking for a nice longish sweater to pair them with? This cashmere/wool one is highly rated and only $129. Pictured: SPANX® Faux Leather Leggings
Options from reader-favorite brands include this vegan pair and this oxblood pair; there are some great coated options from reader favorite brands like Kut from the Kloth and NYDJ. If you want real leather, this pair from Reiss is leather in front, ponte in the back, which helps with “baggy butt” syndrome in leather pants; otherwise I’m drooling over this pair from Helmut Lang or this one from Theory.
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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
Tips for interacting with a very close friend with untreated depression? I’m in a bit of a bind because I very much want to support her (as I’ve been doing for years and as she has done for me), but we’re now in that bad place where I’m being forced to pull away and set some boundaries for my own mental health while she’s only getting worse. Another close friend and I spoke to her jointly and she agrees that she needs to take our recommendation to see a therapist seriously because she knows we have her best interests at heart, but I know that she’s going to come up with reasons why it won’t work (too expensive/too hard to get to/not going to help anyway/it didn’t help when she tried it in the past). What I want to say but won’t is “you need to see someone ASAP because you are alienating your two closest friends by using them as your therapist at all hours of the day.” We’ve had literally hundreds of conversations that follow the same exact spiraling pattern (she thinks she’s a failure, we endlessly tell her she’s not, she says thanks but man everything is so hard right now, we agree it is, repeat the next day ad infinitum). We’re at the point where I want to put my phone in a drawer when I see a new message from her, but I really don’t want to abandon her in any way because she has a very small support network and has gone through some legitimately hard challenges in the last few years. I think the fact that she went through these challenges blinded me to what is clearly fairly significant depression that has existed for years (and in fact, it runs in her family). Can anyone point me to helpful resources for setting boundaries while also making it clear I love and support her? Just struggling to find the balance and to fight the urge to yell at her to go to therapy already. This has been going on SO. LONG.
“Emily, I want to help you with this and I want to be here for you. But I cannot give you the help you need. Depression lies to you, and I am not equipped to help you work through this. Will you set up an appointment with a therapist in the next week? Do you need help finding one? Would you want me to drive you to your first appointment and wait in the lobby?”
Jenna I love you but I can’t do this any more. You need a real therapist, not me. I can’t be your on call therapist at all hours if the day. If you need help finding a therapist I can absolutely do that but I’m over my head and can’t continue like this.
Hugs. Can I suggest you try and set her up with someone who is boyfriend material? Men often can do so much more for us then we can with longtime friends, who are often ignored or talked AT, rather then talked TO, if you know what I mean. When I was trying to help my freind thru a divorce, she really did not listen and follow my advice, but as soon as my other freind hooked her up with her freind Larry, who was already divorced, the 2 of them became inseperable and were literally joined at the hip within weeks. Once my friend’s dvorce becomes final, Larry says he will move in with her and marry her eventually. So always consider alternives that are right in front of you — if you have a freind or brother who is looking for companionship, this may solve 2 birds in 1 shot! Go for it and good luck!!!!!!
PS: Kat, the spanx look great! I only wish I had the tuchus to pull this off. Mabye by Next Month, assuming I do 15,000 steps / day, but that is very difficult unless I walk to Nordstrom’s and back each day @ lunch! I will try that! YAY!!!!!!
This is a very tough spot to be in and feel for you as well as her.
A few tips are:
– if you can, gently and with your other friend, say a version of what you’re saying here (you are using us as therapists and we aren’t trained, qualified or paid to do this work) (but said in a nicer way of course)
– if you feel comfortable, offer to help research therapy in her insurance network
– a tougher one is actually drawing the boundary. This can be “I love and support you but it is tough on me mentally to have the same discussion with you. While I want to be a help and comfort to you, I can’t keep talking in circles with you on a daily basis. Can I help you make moves to improve the situation or your handling of it?”
Very interested to hear others takes as well.
Best of luck!
As a person who has been that spiraling depressed person, I agree with all of this advice (and it’s what I’d do if I were in OP’s shoes), but I’d seriously consider whether it’s a good idea to do it with your other friend. 2 people can feel like an intervention. It can feel like an attack, or 2 against 1, or that she’s being ganged up on.
One of the biggest, ugliest components of depression is shame, and it sounds like OP’s friend really struggles with shame. Knowing that my two friends had consulted with each other about my mental health and how they’re at the end of their rope with dealing with me, that they’ve been discussing me behind my back, would feel absolutely horrible and shameful. I would forever worry that I had done nothing but burdened my friends and that the whole group was thinking that about me.
Also been in your friend’s shoes and think 1:1 is a better way to go. As for another part of your question–how to draw useful boundaries for yourself–a therapist for you may be in order. They can give you customized advice that adapts over time and know more about how depression manifests in a variety of people–and be able to explain it to you.
It can be hard to get the motivation to see a therapist regularly if you’re in the depths of depression. I’d encourage her to as a first step go see her primary care doctor who give her a diagnostic test and can prescribe a first line generally well tolerated depression medication (usually and SSRI like lexapro or sometimes welbutrin). This is not an end all be all, but can lift her out enough to bring a small amount of motivation for following through with a therapist appointment regimen, which is always recommended along with medication.
When in depression sometimes it’s easier to to get people to follow through with small easy concrete steps. It’s easier to get an appointment with an internist ( you can go with her if she needs support and even make the appointment) and to stop by a local pharmacy. It’s much harder searching for a therapist with openings then waiting weeks or months just to get in.
I say all this as less of a “how to explain to her to stop talking to me so much” and more of a redirect so she’ll naturally need to bend your ear on these topics less and gets her real help.
This is just to say go ahead and step back from the friendship if it’s better for you. It’s easy to get caught up in your own spiral of offering support, helping the person feel better temporarily and convincing them to take action … over and over again without that person ever taking action. Ask me how I know. You can put your own time towards the things you can control or the things you can enjoy. We only have one life to live.
Thanks for this. I hope it doesn’t get to that point because she is a dear, lifelong friend and I feel like I can see how much better things could be with her, but I’m realizing more and more that just being there (something I’ve always thought of as necessary to being a good friend) can’t solve all her problems. I’m actively working to cultivate positive activities and friendships on the side that I hope will help me balance things out so I don’t let myself get to such an overwhelmed point again.
Thanks for the responses, everyone. Shame is definitely a big issue for her right now and I’m trying to handle this as sensitively as I can given that. I know it’s going to make her feel worse for me to bring it up, but the status quo is untenable so I’m going to have to take that chance. I’m also just sad and kind of mad at myself for not saying something earlier – I don’t know that it would have helped her for sure, but I feel like I’ve “enabled” (in a sense) these spirals for so long and they’re probably hurting her more than helping.
Don’t beat yourself up. Depression is hard–really hard. Do the best you can and keep being kind.
To combat the shame issue I would focus on is *your* inability to be a therapist and how want her to have the best tools available to her so she can live her life to the fullest. That way it’s not able less likely to be construed into her being so bad you have to cut her off, but you just not being capable to give her what she needs to have the life she deserves. Don’t feel bad about not being able to fill this role–there’s a reason therapy is expensive (best $75 I spend every week) and therapists go through a lot of training. There’s a lot of skill needed to help effectively help someone help themselves out of depression and it’s not something people are just born knowing.
One of the hard parts about getting therapy though is figuring out where to start. Expense can be an issue but a lot of therapists will work on a sliding scale based on income. Consider what level of involvement you feel comfortable with in helping her find a therapist. Once someone’s found a therapist they click with and can settle in with it should ideally shift most of the reliance onto that therapist, but getting to that point can be difficult as someone tries to find a therapist they mesh well with.
Individuals opposed to therapy themselves may also be reluctant to give therapists a fair shake or have assumptions that they are hesitant to let go of–in those situations sometimes it can be helpful to cut all depression-spiral conversations short, and reiterate that this is what they would need to see a therapist for (I’ve known many depressed friends who argue therapy wouldn’t help because it’s “just talking about their problems” while simultaneously expecting me to be on call for them to literally “just talk about their problems,” so gently pointing out that cognitive dissonance has been somewhat useful). It’s difficult to balance but ultimately, we can’t force people to go to therapy or to help themselves, and encouragement is all we can provide.
Sorry for all the typos–I promise I didn’t have a stroke while writing that, but rewording things definitely messed up some of my sentence structures. Hopefully the message still comes across!
Anyone have a very small wardrobe? Want to tell us what you have? How do you shop and maintain it?
I do. I don’t really shop that’s how it’s a small wardrobe and when I do it’s very high end consignment pieces lots of silk, cashmere, linen etc. Everything is machine washed cold and air dried. I do my own alterations and repairs as I’m a skilled sewist. All items are neutral colors.
This is my dream, except l really like bright colors. I am working towards this by getting rid of items I dont love to wear and slowly buying used items in great condition in colors, fibers and patterns I love that complete outfits in my closet. I also sew and am happy to do my own alterations. Lots of wool, cotton and silk, aiming to add linen for next summer.
I do. Moved 3 times in 10 years, then final downsizing in a cross-continent move, only taking two suitcases and shipping 3 boxes worth of possessions. I currently have 3 pairs of pants that I wear to work, navy, dark green and black. Each one goes with pretty much any of my tops (4 longsleeves, 4 blouses, 4 nice T-shirts, 2 cardigans). I have three full workout outfits, and some loungewear, plus some skirts and dresses that I can’t wear at work.
I don’t really go shopping. When one of those things develops a defect that I can’t repair, I will go out and buy a replacement. Pants need to be neutral colors, so they go with anything. My tops are usually a pop of color. My workplace has no dresscode except for long pants for safety, but I would probably not change a lot for a business casual office.
Except for one shirt, everything is machine wash and hung to dry. That one silk shirt seemed so fabulous when I bought it, but now I hardly reach for it, since it means an extra washing chore.
I like the prints on this Boden dress but I’ve often read that large floral prints read very grandma-ish or frumpy.
What would you folks say about this dress? https://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/aida-ponte-dress-baltic/sty-j0468-tur?cat=C2_S2_G4
While I like the solid colors too, they don’t disguise post-partum tummy bulges as well and I do think prints distract from that.
Of the two floral prints, I like the green one better, but wouldn’t necessarily say either of them is frumpy/grandma. I think the cut looks modern enough that it works.
I am not a fan of this print. I don’t, for the record, dislike all floral or all large floral prints. I wear them. But they are very specific. I love this in the solids, though, if the pleating works for your body.
anon a mouse
I don’t know that they read grandma, to me they read young. And I’m not sure what accessories would make them more sophisticated. I love Boden clothing but I think they are often off the mark on their prints. Maybe it’s more of a British sensibility.
I have a Vince Camuto dress with a similar print as the navy one and I don’t feel frumpy in it. I agree about the hiding power of a print. I would wear modern shoes and other accessories to avoid any possible frump factor.
I love both prints and actually have the navy one pinned on a Pinterest board of clothing I want. I don’t think it’s frumpy, but as has been said many times on this board, frump is often in the details – this dress with unkempt hair, outdated/old shoes, and bad jewelry would be frumpy. With nice hair and modern accessories I think it would be great.
The scale on the print is “off” for me – too easy for pattern placement to accidentally turn out like awkward pasties if ordered online. In store where you can screen for that it’s fine. I don’t read it as frumpy at all.
This is what keeps me from ordering paisley or other geo prints sometimes…when 2 pieces of the print end up highlighting my chest. and I’m a 34B on a good day, but when placed just right, your eyes just go right there.
Killing the dream
When do I just accept that it’s not going to happen? I bought some running gear. It’s too cold/dark to run in the morning (and I just don’t have the time/energy). And time elsewhere in the day is slim. Maybe I only need 30 minutes? If I give away the gear I’ve had all year and not used, it’s not going to happen. But how long do I keep it just in case?
This is completely in your hands – go for just 10 minutes. Don’t put a ton of pressure on yourself, but make yourself go once. Go tomorrow during the day! I went for a run yesterday in the rain because my dog needed exercise. I didn’t set a time limit, I just said I had to go – once I started I decided to go a little longer. You can do it!
I’ve been trying to start running for 6-8 years or so. Whenever I’ve given up, I but the clothes in a bin in the back of my closet. Inevitably, 6 months or a year later, I get inspired to try again and pull out the box. Knowing that I have everything I need taking up space in my closet makes it easier to pick it up again.
Also, with running, I found that I needed to get past week 4 and then I would stick with it for a while.
I don’t t run (never liked running or any other workout) but start my day with 4 -5 mile brisk walk only on the weekend. I don’t have excuses that I am late for work or I am tired from work etc on the weekends. I find it so relaxing as well as I don’t have to rush to anything after I am back. It also makes me feel a bit better that I am doing something fitness related. So may be try a weekend only run.
You can do this. Can you start with a walk? You only need 30 minutes. Warm up for 5 minutes walking, then jog for 15-20 and walk to cool down. You can do this.
I think it is totally fine for workouts to be seasonal, and I actually think it’s healthy and helps prevent overuse injuries. For example–
Summer– too hot to run after work, run mainly in the mornings on weekend, do strength/yoga after work
Spring/Fall– Run after work, weekend, etc.; strength/yoga on rainy days
Winter– Run on weekends about mid-day; strength/yoga/treadmill after work
30 minutes is plenty of time to run!
Signed, I do half marathons and often can only squeeze in a few miles here and there.
Go on a weekend. If you don’t feel like running, start by walking. I find I eventually want to try running. So I run for a bit. Then I walk. Then I run. The next time the intervals of walking are shorter and of running are longer. Or the total distance is longer. I find that I find the time because the rewards make me want to go again and do better. Just go. On a weekend. And see.
You can walk in running clothes. You can walk for 10 minutes in running clothes. You can stroll for 20 minutes in running clothes. You can jog for 15 minutes in running clothes. You can jog/walk for 20 minutes in running clothes.
It all counts.
The “dream” isn’t all or nothing.
In-House in Houston
Is there someone you can run with? For me, the accountability was always the key to make me do something. If not, Runkeeper is an app and it’s a running community. So while you’re not running next to someone, you can sign up to run virtually with a group of like runners. There’s also Runbet, which pays you at the end of a “game” if you completed all of the runs. I just won $43 b/c I did all of the runs of a 6 week game. Everyone pays $40 and those that don’t complete the game lose their $40, but those that do complete the game share in the pot. It was a big motivator for me b/c I didn’t want to lost my $40, and now I’m signed up for another game that starts on Monday. You can do it! It sounds like you really want to if you bought the gear.
what’s that gear? Athletic clothes and sneakers could still serve you, whether you go on a moderate hike, or try out a new workout class, or follow a yoga video at home.
30 minutes is great. I used to feel the same way — I wouldn’t run fewer than 6 miles because I didn’t think there was any point. Eventually I realized that I was just never running, because carving out an hour every morning wasn’t happening. Now I get in my 3 miles and I am much happier for it.
“Just not going to happen.” Well, yeah, because nothing happens–you have to make decisions, choices, and just do it. If exercise just happened, everyone would be in great shape. I don’t mean this to be rude or discouraging, I just personally struggle with remembering that I have control over the meatsuit that I’m in, that I am the one piloting this beast, and that I get to decide where it goes/when it goes/how it moves/etc., and there’s no outside force that I can personally rely on to make me exercise–and this goes for anything where I have to make an active choice to do something. That’s part of what makes exercise so beneficial, even outside of physical health benefits, it gets you comfortable with making active choices about what you spend your discretionary time on. I find daily exercise helps me get more comfortable with making choices about how I use my time and helps me avoid having time unintentionally spent doing nothing.
If running is daunting, with all the gear/the planning/the imagined time constraints/etc., then do something else. Do some jumping jacks. Some squats. A few situps. Whatever it is doesn’t really matter. Then consider whether or not to go running. I have a several sided die that I roll with random exercises on it when I need something to make a choice for me but I still need to make the choice to move (helps so much with decision paralysis). After I get started, the choice to go running seems way more achievable because I’ve already re-affirmed that I have control over my meatsuit. Anyway, this is just what works for me. Good luck!
Just walk. Find a podcast or have a friend make a playlist. Build up to running or don’t…running is not the end all be all. Walk 5 and then do 20 jumping jacks. Add some push-ups (I use park benches) or run some stairs (I live near museums and they’re perfect). By the end of your walk you’ve done a full body workout and gotten fresh air.
If I can run, you can run. I started at 49 and never believed it would stick. My key is going early and meeting people. We have a core of 5 women who meet at 5:00 or 5:10 am for either 5 or 4 miles. I could not do it without having someone to rely on me. Plus, the conversation is key. I live in the SEUS so not crazy cold but it does get down to the 20’s F and is crazy hot in the summer. Always very dark. We wear reflectors, lights and take flashlights. Good luck. Just tell yourself you will do it for one week. I feel and sleep so much better when I run.
A few years ago, I imposed an annual budget on clothing, divided it approximately into quarters, and have not had an issue sticking to it.
I’d like to do something similar for other stuff — like books, housewares, random stuff, eating out, drinks. Anyone do something similar? Do you do just one bucket for everything or separate out the categories? How much is you budget? What’s worked and what hasn’t?
I’m thinking about my spending a lot because I want to save for a long term goal that will take years to reach, so I want to be aggressive but realistic.
I started with figuring out my necessary expenses and monthly income, how much I want to save per month, and went from there. I budget for everything just to keep myself in check (groceries, utilities, maintenance, gifts, etc.) so that if I go high in one area, I can try to save somewhere else and still come out even – usually, this means trying to be more frugal with groceries to cover a higher than normal gift expense or something. Stuff that is personal to me and isn’t necessary (makeup, non-work clothes, books, eating out without DH, etc.) comes out of what I’ve called my “fun budget”, but I don’t sub categorize it. One bucket is easier for me personally since it doesn’t really matter to me what my fun budget goes toward, as long as I don’t exceed it. DH and I also have an entertainment budget that covers stuff we do together (movies, dinners out, etc.). I use Goodbudget because the free version works for me and can be used on both DH’s phone and mine.
I do tightly categorized budgets by month, but for most items, those budgets roll over month-to-month, so over or under spending is offset in the months that follow. I use Mint for this. I think quarterly or seasonal budgeting makes sense for clothing and personal care, and perhaps for travel, more than for other items. I particularly separate items where I think I should cut back on spending in those areas, e.g., alcohol purchases get separated out from restaurant and grocery bills (which are also tracked separately, not just as “food”) so I have a very clear picture of what that indulgence/vice is costing me.
I have a category called “Planned Spending” which covers all the predictable expenses each year that aren’t necessarily monthly, but will definitely come around.: clothes, subscription services, certain number of hair cuts, oil, changes, certain social expenses, etc. I divide the total by the number of paychecks and put that amount into a dedicated account every pay day. I helps me keep control of my spending because I need the saving to stay ahead of the spending. I’ve done this for years and it works well. For your savings goal, figure out how much you can put aside each check, and put it in it’s own account.
I kind of do this— I budget an amount every month for different categories. Any unspent money that month rolls forward to the next month, and I add the designated amount to the budget as well. It’s the envelope budget system, if that term is familiar to you. An example is that I had $24 left in my skincare/makeup category for October, and I budget $100/month for that, so for November I have $124. For categories like clothing, it ends up being essentially a quarterly budget because I like saving up my monthly contribution to make several purchases at once.
I use YNAB to keep up with this, and am a die-hard devotee of the system. I do have separate categories for much of this kind of spending. I have: Makeup/skincare, Spa, Clothing, Dining Out, Home Goods (new blankets, art, curtains, non-maintenance issues), and a catchall of Entertainment (I use this for things like books, Libro.fm subscription, movies, ghost tours, etc.). I also have some categories for things I’m saving up for outside this normal budget. For example, I want to get a fancy facial as a reward for losing 10 lbs, so when I have extra money in a category, I’ll throw a few $ into that goal until I have it funded (and hopefully by then, I’ll meet my other goal!)
I cannot underscore how much I love YNAB for meeting long term and short term savings goals. The only caveat is that it’s a pretty immersive system. I only spend a few minutes a day updating it, but you can’t just set it and forget it. I tried Mint in the past but didn’t end up liking it because I could more easily just ignore it.
+1 for using YNAB
I do this monthly in an excel spreadsheet with specific buckets such as alcohol, groceries, household items, eating out/drinking. I don’t rollover month to month – this is my first year and I more wanted to track my spending habits. Most of my spending limits were ambitious and will need to be reevaluated next year. Hardest section for me is yearly expenses (taxes, car insurance, gym membership, cc fees), the fluctuation from energy & heating bills, and travel – like flights & hotels that get paid ahead of time and then restaurant spending while actually on the trip.
I didn’t restrict any spending this year, but sometimes would encourage entertaining & drinking at home vs going out for drinks with our friends.
We have a budget with categories for all of our major regular spending categories and then an “other” category which covers expenses that just come up (usually a one-off service that we need to pay for, e.g. a thing broke and we paid someone to fix it). Some of our categories emerged when we realized a lot of our “other” bucket was composed of certain regular-ish expenses, like gifts for nieces/nephews, eating out, etc. Try tracking your spending for a month to see what your regular categories are and approximately how much you spend on each one.
I did this for years and loved it. I have actual accounts for the various categories and transferred the money each pay period. Have gotten away from it lately and really should get my act together again!
My husband & I do a lot of work with my alma mater, and they approached me about helping with a program geared toward helping low-income or first generation college students successfully enter the work force. I think they brought this to me because I do some similar work with my company, but I myself did not fit either of those criteria. With that being said, for those of you who are, or who’ve worked with similar programs, what are some things you’d wish you’d know or had exposure to?
Is it a program for recently graduated or soon to graduate college students? Or high schoolers about to enter college? The approach will differ greatly depending on the group.
It’s a program for soon-to-graduate college students.
This is possibly a bit ancillary, but how to navigate benefits in your first time job would be an important skill to learn. Things like health insurance, FSAs, retirement accounts, etc. can be new to low-income students. I had no experience with any of these things and neither did my parents, so they were no help there. I basically asked a coworker what to put and just did what she told me, which is how I ended up not putting more than 5% in my 401k for nearly a decade (when I could have and should have been putting more).
First-generation here, working-class parents! Here are things that helped me:
Going out to meals with professionals. We went out to eat at McDonalds, or Sizzler to be fancy. Learning how to order -don’t get the lobster or steak usually, read the room for alcoholic drinks, are we ordering multiple courses? Should I order a sandwich that requires eating with my hands? Which water glass is mine? What a minefield!
Going to professional networking type events. I’d been to parties. I’d been to school events. But the weird networking not a party but social was new. Drinking, eating, talking, etc.
Professional dress. There is so much “se%y secretary” clothing, and also a big difference between “office-appropriate jeans and t-shirt” and “you look like a slob jeans and t-shirt.” Everyone figures this out, but if your parents wore a uniform or coveralls, it can take a bit longer.
How to ask for and manage sick time, vacation time, and life appointments with a M-F, 8-5 job. When you (or your family) has mostly worked in service work, you tell the boss you need the day off more than a week in advance before the schedule comes out. Or you ask your friend to trade shifts. Or you just go in sick because you need the money. Figuring out how to ask for the time you need, how to schedule appointments to avoid being a problem at work, how to save enough sick time, but also take sick time, etc.
How to identify safe allies at work to rely on. The answer to so many of these questions is “know your office.” Figuring out who is a good person to ask based on their role, their status, their reputation etc. is really useful.
This is a very helpful reply, thank you.
Understanding workplace email culture and how to discern your role. I’d pull together a few examples of classic vague emails from bosses like “we need to have a meeting next week with XYZ client” or “here is the draft with my edits” where you can’t possibly know whether they want you to do something and by when. Practice asking for clarification – hugely valuable.
My husband is 1st generation college and he initially got a lot of flak and resentment from his parents, along with “now that you’re too good for us” and “now that you make so much money, you should pay for X”. That has lessened a lot over the years, but he was torn at the beginning between paying off student loans, giving his parents some guilt money, and blowing a ton of money because it felt like his salary was SO MUCH compared to what he had growing up.
So maybe just some coping skills, like letting them know it’s not unusual for any of the above to happen, and how to deal with it, i.e, yes pay off the loans, save for retirement, you don’t have to float money for the whole neighborhood, that paycheck seems like a lot but spend wisely, etc
I think it is a very good idea to help first-generation college students/higher-paid professionals learn to deal with the requests from money from family. My husband is not first in his family to go to college but he is the first (and more or less still the only person) in his family to make more than a subsistence-level income, and for the first few years he made good money he got hit up constantly for money by his relatives. “Since you make so much now you can definitely afford to ‘lend’ your aunt the money to bail your cousin out of jail for the umpteenth time.” His mom expected him to send her living expenses monthly. As has been mentioned above, he was clueless about benefits and about retirement and actually did not save anything in his It took a lot of emotional work for him to set clear boundaries with his family and it’s still a struggle at times.
I also wanted to echo the “taking people out to eat” suggestion. I did not grow up in poverty and my parents had college degrees, but they were teachers and very careful with their money, and so we never ate at anything fancier than a Golden Corral growing up. One of the nicest things anyone ever did for me was when I was in college, one of my coaches took the team out for a nice meal at a fancy restaurant and took us through the etiquette – this is what this fork is for, this is how you order when multiple courses are involved, this is how you ask about something on the menu you’re not sure about, etc. It was really helpful when a week into my first job out of college I had to accompany the company vice-president to a business dinner at a place where a meal cost more than my parents spent on groceries for a week.
The role relationships play in getting a job and doing well at it. I had learned to work hard and excel at tasks, but I honestly didn’t know that relating to people was PART of the task. Chatter, meetings, and dropping by someone’s office felt like wasting time.
With whatever training you give, I’d also suggest specific scenarios and scripts. It’s not enough for me to be told “you need to do XX.” I need a script for how and when to do it. Or I need to see someone doing it. Or practice doing it. I especially need to hear the words people use to do it, because I’ve never heard those words and don’t know how to form those sentences for myself.
That! Could not agree more.
My husband’s birthday is coming up, and I was thinking I’d like to offer up something extra in the (euphemistic) gardening department. Our usual is very good, but pretty standard (occasionally break out a toy or watch a movie, but nothing more unusual.) I thought it might be nice to suggest something more, but I’m really not sure what. Nothing too out of the ordinary or cheesy or that requires special equipment. Any suggestions? (Whenever I’ve asked him, he always says he’s happy with what we do, so maybe I’m overthinking things.)
Costume or special outfit/dance?
Invite a third gardener?
Well that’s zero to 60.
Absolutely do not do this without discussing it with him first. My husband would be completely freaked out by this. It’s not a fantasy everyone shares, especially in real life. Just because you enjoy watching a video of something doesn’t mean you want to do it.
Very much this. I know people who have done the third-party thing and the pre- and post-logistics and risks are way more complex than it looks like in the movies or on TV. My husband and I have discussed it and he actually has no interest because of the risks involved, and would be heartily freaked out if I just showed up with another person one night and was like “hey honey, happy birthday!!”
Yeah, this is a no-go in a LOT of marriages.
On Unusual Goods there is a kit called “Love is Art.” It’s a….. painting project?
Can you stay somewhere with a private outdoor hot tub? We did that once and it was really fun . . . or maybe arrange a couple’s massage at a hotel and then when it is over and you are already undressed just continue. Also consider using food and drink.
In-House in Houston
If you have Sirius XM radio, there’s a show about this – her name is Emily and it’s on every night. She’s a licensed therapist and talks all about this and has links for products on her website. If you don’t have Sirius XM, you can sign up for a free 3 month trial, download the app and listen on-demand. You could even call in to a live show and ask her! I listen all the time and it’s really spiced things up for my and the hubs.
Listen to her podcast! Also, I have always wanted to do a boudoir photo shoot and make a book.
In House Lobbyist
I did photos for my husband for Christmas and it was a huge hit. And I had a ball! I will probably do it again.
Pretty lingerie, a massage with a nice massage bar or oils.
If you are looking to do something special for him in the gardening department for his birthday, think back to what he may have exhibited interested in doing, and then consider whether 1) he still wants that; and 2) whether you want to do that for/with him. Some of the OP’s have suggested bringing in a third party gardener, but that is NOT a good idea. The last thing you want for him to discover is that the third party has better parts then you, and/or whether she does things that you cannot/are not able to do like her. Many third party gardeners you can hire may be far more supple then you, having spent their time working out /doing Zumba all day while you are drafting breifs (like we do for a living), or she may be super cute like the female bartenders in the movie Coyote Ugly. Do not kid yourself! We simply can NOT compete with women like that, so why pay some young lady to mess up your man’s head with her special abilities. Besides, those pretty women often carry STDs b/c of all of the different men and women they have $ex with regularly.
You say things are good now, so do not mess it up with that. If you must do something different, go out to a local hotel where you can spend the nite watching movies until it’s time for bed, and then enjoy the luxurius mattress, doing your best to “test” it out until you are exhausted. It does not have to be a fancy hotel, just a clean hotel, where you can wake up the next morning and have breakfast before returning home. Good luck to the both of you, and please wish your husband a very happy birthday from the entire HIVE! YAY!!!!
I ordered merino Rothys recently and have now worn them 3 days this week. Overall, I like them! I got the points, and they felt the same as my regular pair out of the box. I do think that the merino might stretch a bit more than the regular ones (which to me do not have much stretch), but my regular size felt fine. I’m hoping that they will be warmer for the winter, I plan to wear them with tights when the weather gets cold. The merino is really soft, but I can’t tell how well it will wear. I suspect it may fray/fuzz a little as the season goes on. I have a driving commute and my work is all carpeted hallways so I’m not very hard on shoes, but I’m not sure I will plan to wear them extensively outside.
Referral code for $20 off if anyone else is interested in the merino or other pairs:
After procrastinating for the better part of two years, I am FINALLY taking my CIPP/US exam tomorrow. Any last-minute test tips from ladies on here who have also taken this exam?
Any recommendations for where I could find a decent headboard that isn’t going to kill me in my sleep with weird chemicals but also isn’t going to break the bank?
Suddenly feeling very bad about that $40 headboard I bought for my 6 yo at Aldis…
get a wood or metal one on craiglist/goodwill/secondhand. Avoid anything upholstered.
Yeah I feel like secondhand is the way to go for furniture if you can be patient. Estate sales can be gold mines.
What are your top 5 snacks during the day? Trying to think of some new ones. Mine are Built bars (so good!!!), cottage cheese, mini bagels, popcorn and string cheese.
Pecans, hummus and cucumber or pita chips, apple and peanut butter, clementines
Earl Grey tea sweetened with 1/2 packet
Roasted salted almonds
Halloween size Reese’s
Ha, I literally just returned from the vending machine with a bag of Doritos.
Dried Wasabi Edamame
Cashews, slices of Tilamook cheese, baby carrots or snap peas because I definitely enjoy eating things in volume
Indian savory snacks (I am Indian..)
Alanna of Trebond
Not trying to be snarky, just personally trying to avoid mindless snacking.
But snacking isnt always mindless. Knowing I can have an apple and peanut butter or some oatmeal late afternoon means I don’t eat too much or too heavily at lunch. Sometimes I have the apple, sometimes I add the pb, sometimes i don’t have anything until dinner.
Apples, pears, and clementines
Walnuts or almonds
I do a limited eating window (similar to intermittent fasting) to control my GERD, so I’ve gotten very particular about choosing snacks, since I schedule them and don’t stray outside my time frame.
My favorite is Caveman Foods Paleo-Inspired Bars in Dark Chocolate Cashew Almond. It’s like a granola bar, but it’s nothing but nuts, seeds, and dark chocolate. They carry them at Costco, but I buy online.
In general, I’ve gotten into savory bars as a genre. I was in love with Kashi Basil White Bean & Olive Oil Savory Bars, but they seem to be discontinued because I can’t find them anywhere lately. The YES bars are also good.
There are also some good recipes to make your own on Epicurious.
You guys, I don’t know if anyone will see this but I just have to put it out there. I’m early 50s. Yet another one of my friends was left for a younger woman this week.
I used to be envious of my friends who were married to high-earning or wealthy men. I envied their nice houses and their easy lifestyles. Most of my friends worked but didn’t grind (like had jobs that were part time or almost hobbies) but some stayed home with their kids. Meanwhile I was sweating it out in a corporate job and feeling guilty for seeing my kids not enough. I’m married but not to a high earner.
Now we’re in our fifties and all but one of these women are scrambling to find a later in life career because their husbands have moved onto greener pastures.
Keep your jobs, ladies. It completely sucks to be in their position. I’ve also learned my lesson about envy and comparison.
Thanks for posting this.
That’s interesting, to me it seems like such a cliche that I’ve never seen happen in real life. I’m mid-40s and have a lot of 50-something friends. I know plenty of divorced people, but in most cases the couple just grew apart, and in the marriages that ended due to adultery it was more often the woman who cheated. I do know one man who cheated but not with a younger woman.
I take issue though with the idea that the only options are “grinding” out long hours in a demanding job or being dependent on your husband and getting financially ruined in a divorce. Maybe in NYC or something like that, but in my small city it’s totally possible to support a family on the kind of salary a college-educated person can earn in a normal 9-5 job that leaves plenty of time for family, friends, hobbies and rest. That’s the kind of job most of my female friends and I have and none of us would be (or have been) devastated financially by divorce.
Happened to my sister at 42 and a close friend at 48; both husbands cheated, with slightly younger women. Both ladies had not worked in years (raised the kids, who were tweens/teens) and had to scramble. My friend fared well financially in the divorce but still has to work to comfortably plan for the future, and my sister almost lost her house and went several years without medical insurance.
My advice to my teen daughter is to always have your own money (my sister’s husband made the money, controlled the money and ran up all the debt on his hobbies but they both were liable for the debt). They had agreed that she would stay home and raise the kids, I heard that from him many times, but he flat out told the judge that she refused to work. He was just a prize A$$ anyway.
So maybe you don’t have to “grind” away at work but if one spouse has an IRA, the other should to, of equal value. Not the greatest thing, but it would be there if needed.
I saw the reverse of this: stay at home wife of a high-earning husband left him the moment the youngest kid hit college. She grew up with a stupid amount of wealth (her parents’ net worth: mid-8 figures), retired around age 40, and was frustrated that her husband (net worth: mid/high 7 figures) didn’t want to spend like her parents could, was frustrated that his plan for retirement involved downsizing the 4,500 square foot house and moving out of one of the most expensive cities in America. Having been out of the working world for a while, and never having had any setbacks in her own career, she just thought money grew on trees.
It’s sad to watch people torpedo their lives in their 50s, but it happens so much – it’s like people who have “made it” in life wake up and wonder if things could be any better, so they try to find a better, more stylish life, a younger and sexier wife, freedom, whatever. The crazy thing is how they don’t see how destructive it all is for years later – and these are people who got where they are by planning for the long term.
Sorry, I’ve just seen a lot of crazy.
I don’t think it’s fair to assume these people are all torpedo-ing their lives. Maybe their kids have left for college and they now feel the freedom to leave a marriage that was unhappy for many years. Yes, yes, everyone always says that you shouldn’t stay in a marriage for the kids. But plenty of people do and then the marriage falls apart in their 50s.
Do you think the same if husband’s who leave for a younger woman?
Not the person you’re responding to, but I don’t know that every man who gets divorced and then remarries someone significantly younger has torpedoed his marriage or chosen his new partner because of her age. I do tend to be initially skeptical of pairings where the man is divorced and 10+ years older than the woman, but sometimes the marriage really should have ended and the new relationship proves to be a real one that defines the cliches about older men and younger women. Sometimes the guy is having a midlife crisis and wants to trade his wife in for a younger model. I’ve seen both.
This is very unusual. After all, most working women (i.e. readers here at the HIVE), are not heiresses to parents with an 8 figure net worth (which translates into somewhere between $10,000,000, and $99,000,000. Of course, the woman there had mucho money, and once the child was of age, she had a boatload of money to restart her life, so she simply did NOT have to put up any more with her husband and his idiocrancicies. I am thinking she, like most of us, wanted to have kid’s in the first place, so that she would get the inheritance (my own Grandma gave me $50K to bear a grandchild, which I have still not done b/c I cannot find a worthy guy to marry and impregnate me).
In most cases I know, where there is cheating by a woman, it is b/c the man is never there for her, so they find some other guy willing to listen to them and provide a shoulder /hug when needed (which sometimes moves on into the bedroom). However, in more cases, it is the hardworking man who has opportunities at work, often with a silly secretary that has a tighter babies with firmer boobies (after all, she has not had his kids) hoping that the older husband will be a more mature thrill then the younger dudes who have already poked her in college and out in the working world without any prospects for a great house and leisurely life that the husband’s wife is now living. So of course the older guy is interested in the younger secretary with the boobies, and treats her well, eventually winding up somewhere where they have $ex, which is much more interesting for the guy then his wife’s routine (it is not a big deal for the younger women to have new ways to please him, as they have experenice far beyond their younger age).
So all I can say to us women is to watch what you do and don’t do. If you have a career, do not throw it away for a guy who may eventually find another woman to satisfy him sexueally, and replace you with her. Keep your bar license current, take CLE’s, and be ready to jump back into the work force if you see any hint that his eyes wander to much when you go to dinner. Even waitresses at restrunts may take advantage of any situation they can, and if your husband will go for them, they can excape the drudgery of serving veal piccata and spagetti to a bunch of ungrateful customers night after night for a nice home where all they have to do is have $ex a few nights a week after your ex comes home after work. In sum, WATCH, WATCH AND WATCH YOUR DH, AND PREPARE, PREPARE PREPARE FOR THE POSSIBILITY OF NEEDING TO BE INDEPENDENT WHEN YOU ARE IN YOUR 40’s and 50’s.
This has always been a fear of mine. I always assumed it was a possibility and knew that I would never be a stay at home wife. This meant I would need someone that is happy to have a wife who works and is willing to step it up at home so I can advance in my career. Needless to say I’m still single! My exes have been ok with the idea of me working but not if it meant they would have to take a step back from their career to help out. Also if I ever mention this idea that men leave women for a younger model after she gave birth and raised their kids, I’m told I’m living out of fear and being negative rather than just protecting myself. Seems like a lose/lose to me.
Return of Salmon Mom
Inlaws and husband took child (preschool aged and autistic) to another city for a funeral and forgot all of his clothing that I packed. Literally all. So a pair of shoes, 5 pairs of pants, 5 pairs of underwear, 2 coats etc. His clothing is for the most part made for special needs kids (so much of it is seamless or specially bought for it’s softness) and everything has all the tags removed and been resewn together. Every single item has his name and phone number ironed into it (non communicative so if he wondered off it is supposed to help him be identified). So not only is that about $350+ lost it’s a decent amount of labor wasted. Plus the struggle of getting him to wear a new coat (he has two exactly the same coats in a multitude of sizes and it’s not as easy as just getting two more coats for him, they don’t make the coat that was lost anymore). So there is nothing really I can do and no point in really complaining but it’s been a bad day lol.
Forgot it where? If the contact information is on it, maybe there’s a chance you can get it back? I hope?
I’m so sorry to hear that. Do they need to now buy him new clothes in that other city (as in, he literally has no clothes to wear right now) or do you have a little leeway to hunt items down? I know how hard it must be to do this on top of all your other regular work!
Oh he has more stuff. Not coats though. I actually anticipated they’d lose his shoes (they’ve currently lost three pairs in this size) so I bought an extra pair. The shoes are a big deal because we’ve been in therapy for ages about shoes (he hates wearing them and through expensive trial and error we found shoes he would keep on for any amount of time). And even then it’s all a huge struggle for him to keep them on.
We live in a smaller centre so buying stuff in general is hard. I’ve got it narrowed down to a few brands he consistently wears and not all of them are locally accessible.
I didn’t anticipate they’d lose everything. I sent him with some nicer stuff for the funeral and it’s sad some of it is gone. A lot of it is just the labor. I hate sewing lol. I also need to buy more labels now (again they have to be ordered in).
They think basically they just left his suitcase somewhere (it hasn’t been made clear to me why it’s not just at the hotel). I dunno sometimes. What can you even say.
If some one had found it I assume they would have called if they wanted to.
Why can’t your useless husband take on the burden of replacing the things he carelessly lost?!?
This is a fair point.
It’s possible he would by the clothing. I don’t expect he’d do the labels but he could probably just sharpie everything…
Oh sorry, to be clear they brought him back without any clothing. I don’t get it..
Your in-laws and DH seem less incompetent than passive-aggressive, especially since the things they keep messing up are things it sounds like only you have invested energy in. Is your DH supportive and helpful with your son’s needs when his parents aren’t around?
One of the children in our family is gender non-conforming, and my MIL attributes it to my SIL’s parenting. She undermines everything she claims to “understand” whenever SIL is not around and tries to convince BIL to just “stand up” to SIL and parent the child the way she thinks is best. It sounds like your in-laws (and possibly your DH) may be similarly in denial about your son’s autism. I hope you have support and encouragement elsewhere. It sounds like you’re doing a really good job!
I hope you get a divorce. Soon.
The original Scarlett
Lol, if everyone divorced people because of their MIL’s a large percentage of the world would be divorced!
The problem here is the husband, not the mother in law. Divorce is a good suggestion and I say that as someone who can’t stand my in-laws.
To be clear, no one in the family condones or agrees with MIL’s ignorance, including my DH and BIL, who are very supportive of the child. So, no, not getting a divorce soon. Thanks.
I suspect OP’s in-laws don’t understand autism and don’t really think all the extra considerations she described are necessary, so they are constantly sabotaging her efforts to “show” her that he would be fine without them. I mean, who loses three pairs of kids shoes by accident? Maybe education for the in-laws on why it really is a BFD not to have tags in clothes, etc would be helpful. If OP has already tried that without success, then I would be really reluctant to let my child be in their care without me present. And if DH is similarly unwilling to support OP’s son, then I would be running to a family counselor.
Omg omg you prob won’t see this but I am so sorry I meant the OP should get a divorce not you!!!!
I realllllllly reallllly don’t understand why you are taking on the emotional/physical labor of this. They lost it! They need to replace and sew the items. They won’t do it again if they realize how much work it is.
They just won’t do it.
I dunno what your deal is? Like this is my child. Do you want me to just let him not have a coat?
This is your husband’s child too. Why is any of this your problem? Why won’t his own father ensure that he has a coat? Why isn’t he on the phone making calls to the funeral home, the hotel, the restaurant, and everywhere else they went asking about lost luggage?
I suspect she takes on this labour because if she doesn’t an autistic child suffers… which is all sorts of effed up, I know.
Actions have consequences in all directions. If she keeps fixing things, they stay broken from the husband’s side. If she lets the husband stay on the hook, the kid might “suffer” short term, but it’s not like the kid is being beaten. And long-term, the kid might have two competent parents (and perhaps a competent set of grandparents). Unless you want statis of a rotten situation forever, OP should never let incompetent caregivers take her kid off for any extended period with precious things they might lose and never replace. I don’t think that that is good.
I have a kid on the spectrum and if I never let my spouse grow in his role as a partner and a parent, I’d have stifled him, our kids, and would never be able to have an evening work event or take a trip for work or a family funeral.
Also, gently, it sounds like she’s doing extra work that may not strictly be required. If a sharpie is sufficient, she doesn’t have to do label sewing for instance
I just want to say that it sounds like you are an amazing mom, and I’m sorry no one was looking out for your son’s needs like they should have. This sort of thing feeds into all sorts of fears on whether he was being attended to and since it sounds like it wasn’t the first time (shoe comment), I’d be having a serious conversation with DH about priorities. This isn’t like you or I leaving a gym bag. It sounds more akin to having a dog and not bringing its food or tags for a couple of days —like that suitcase was core to well-being and safety (forgive me for the pet analogy—I don’t have kids but just an elderly dog that I would have been beside myself if it were mistreated). Sounds like DH is in denial about how important your son’s needs are and I’d be having a serious conversation about what the care situation looks like when it’s him and your in-laws. Is he always careless about your son’s needs or only around them? He needs to get a clue that he actually put your son in danger as well as unnecessary distress. A kid without the ability to communicate needs to have contact information.
OP, is there something to the fact that they’re coming from a *funeral*? I would be inclined to cut my family members more slack for being absentminded (slash f*cking up) when they are in the throes of immediate grief.
I’m not saying it doesn’t s*ck for you to have to deal with this work, I’m just, I guess, not convinced it’s time to DTMFA.
The stuff is somewhere (funeral home; hotel they checked out of). I doubt it would be pitched already. And do you somehow not know where they are or have been? And not have a telephone? If they are distraught with grief, pls make the call for them; if they can call, this is likely easily fixable or fixable by a trip to the UPS store and a rave review of the business somewhere the world will see it. If it that important and the items are unique, complaining on the interwebs is watching the Titanic hit the iceberg.
Long comment stuck in mod, but it sounds like your in-laws are being really passive aggressive and not supportive of your son’s legitimate needs. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this and hope you have encouragement and support elsewhere! Also, I hope you make DH go through the hoops of trying to fix this mess instead of taking it on yourself.
I’m looking to buy replacement window blinds, deciding between real and faux wood. Leaning towards faux with cordless options due to pets, but open to changing my mind. Anyone buy online and have a great experience with a particular site or brand of blinds?
I bought white faux wood cordless blinds from blinds to go twice now and have been happy both times. The second time, I paid for installation through them and they just gave me the cards of two installers and said to schedule with them directly. One of the installers misunderstood and quoted me a price that was much lower than what I had paid. I wish I had known to book an installer directly, but otherwise I am happy with the blinds and service. I ordered them on a Saturday afternoon and they were ready for pick up Monday morning.
I have white cordless cellular shades (in FL so more for insulation purposes than anything) that I purchased from blinds dot com. I LOVE them, extremely well made and functional (including one that is over 100″ wide with no breaks). The best part, however, is that they will send you up to FIVE blinds if you measure wrong. So, measure the height and width at various points in the opening to make sure you don’t have any wonky issues with levelness/plumbness that would interfere with the blind functioning. I was off by 1/8″ on the aforementioned giant blind, and they sent me a replacement days later. Genuinely amazing customer service.
I had a good experience recently ordering a cordless blind for our incoming child’s nursery. I used Blinds.com.
I love my Spanx faux leather leggings. I do not like their knit leggings which slip down constantly. The faux leather material and high waist design of the faux leather leggings makes them stay put. You can read my review of Spanx’s faux leather leggings here: http://schimiggy.com/spanx-leggings-review-faux-leather-pants/