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Workwear sales of note for 5.26.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale just started! See our thoughts here.
- Amazon – Memorial Day Sales! Lots of discounts on Amazon Essentials and more.
- Ann Taylor – Extra 30% off lots of sale styles (prices as marked).
- Anthropologie – Extra 40% off sale.
- Banana Republic Factory – 50%-70% off everything + extra 25% off purchase (ends 5/31).
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off.
- Brooks Brothers – Extra 25% off sale; already up to 70% off (ends 5/31) – also mix & match sale with men’s shirts, 4 for $249.
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off sale styles (ends 5/31).
- Eloquii – 400+ styles starting at $19; up to 50% off everything.
- Express – Summer kickoff sale, 30-50% off everything (plus $35+ steals) (ends 6/1).
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!).
- J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything, no exclusions.
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event, extra 30% off.
- Loft – 40% off full-price styles
- M.M.LaFleur – Short but sweet sale (ends 6/1).
- Madewell – Get 30% off your purchase.
- Ministry of Supply – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 50% off designer sale!
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – Extra 40% off all markdowns (ends 6/1)!
- Theory – Up to 60% off + an extra 20% off.
- Universal Standard – 25% off sitewide (ends 6/1).
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 50% off everything!
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code.
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses. (Reader favorite bed brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Memorialy Day Sale, up to 60% off.
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.
The cardi just feels very ” auntie” to me. That is how older women tend to dress when I work.
I see two fashion sins here:
1. wearing a doily
2. underwear worn as outerwear (to me, camisole always = undergarment; this is fine if you are Madonna or are out clubbing or it’s a weekend, but not for an office, even under a cardigan).
Agreed. This looks like a pajamas set.
More power to your older ladies. Most I know would consider it too clingy and too frilly for work (I include myself here).
Heh. I may have to start calling my bosoms my “older ladies.”
I think my mom has this twinset
I think I had it circa 2002, from Express.
There was definitely a version of this in my past!
I would like this much better if the cami had only one layer of lace.
I love most of WHBM offerings and I like this on the model, but I can’t see wearing it to work, grey or not. Looks a bit ladies who lunch to me. Possibly the cami styled with a structured black suit but not as a twinset.
Agreed!! This is not really professional together. I only like the cami under a blazer or other structured piece like you stated.
I think it looks very Victoria’s Secret. That tendency to slap tons of lace and frou-frou trim on things and make the cut very firm-fitting. Sorry.
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
This. While I love VS for their undies and winter pj sets most of their clothes are not my style.
I can perhaps see styling the cardigan with a very tailored piece (though on second thought, ETA I can’t actually see myself wearing this other than to an afternoon holiday party with a silky plaid cami), but would definitely skip any sort of lacy cami for work.
For today’s travel threadjack on this dreary rainy day, anyone want to help me imagine myself in Anguilla? Planning a winter trip and have hotel & car reserved – goals are beach hopping and delicious food (both side-of-the-road cheap & casual style, as well as some fancy meals). Suggestions? (On the fancy side, I’ve heard of Blanchard’s on the list of top meals in the Caribbean, but has anyone actually been… does it live up to the hype?)
Haven’t been to Blanchards, but we had a great dinner at Veya — sort of like eating in a treehouse. Food in Anguilla is generally pretty good, but just as a heads up, even the “beach shacks” are quite pricey.
Haven’t been to Blanchards in years but it was easily the best meal we had in Anguilla (where the food was much better than a recent trip to St. Martin). But buffybot is right — everything is very expensive (because all the groceries have to be flown in, I think?).
We also did a very fun and tasty lunchtime cooking class at the Cuisinart resort (although we weren’t staying there).
New Temp. Wardrobe
This feels far to late ’90s/early 2000s for my taste. I don’t know that anyone could pull this off and not have the intern going to the club later look.
For my immediate TJ, how much would you budget for a new and very temporary wardrobe. I need to dress a bit nicer than I have been (business casual, instead of just casual w/no jeans m-th). I don’t plan on these clothes being investment pieces, but most of the stuff I have now, looks pretty ratty. I have a few pieces I could work into a new wardrobe, but by and large I’d be starting from scratch. I’m plus sized, so most discount places like H&M don’t really have work appropriate things for me. Any ideas on how much I should budget/what my breakdown in pieces should look like? I’m feeling overwhelmed already and like I need ALL the things, but really I need a capsule wardrobe but I have no clue where to start.
I mean, it depends on your available income. But I’d probably set a mental budget about $300 and make sure to hunt up deals. And to buy items that, even if they’re not my normal style, that I like a lot and could use in the future.
Does TJ Maxx or Marshals have plus sizes? That would probably be my first choice for something like that. Well, that and not worrying too much about repeating outfits.
If Talbots is too expensive, maybe Land’s End? Both seem to have a good # of their pieces in plus. They have good sales. Maybe 5-10 pieces would give you a good capsule wardrobe. $500?
New Temp. Wardrobe
I do love LE. I have two of their dresses that would come over since they don’t look quite so worn.
The biggest problem I’m having is figuring out how many blouses, jackets, and cardigans to allow. This is where I could go crazy. I figure i probably need at least 15 blouses?
Oh, no. That is way too many. If this is temporary, I wouldn’t have more than 4 (wearing dresses on other days), with maybe a few nicer tees in addition to the blouses. And maybe a cardigan and a blazer, maybe 2 bottoms, and your two dresses.
I would DEFINITELY not get 15 blouses. I would get 3-5 but make sure they are neutral colors. That way, honestly, no one is going to notice (or care) that you’re wearing repeat outfits AND you can mix and match your shirts and bottoms.
I am pretty sure I have 15 work blouses TOTAL in my wardrobe, and my wardrobe is not a temporary one (and spans all seasons).
Yeah I don’t own 15 blouses in my entire wardrobe. Maybe including ratty t-shirts I could get to 15 – MAYBE.
New Temp. Wardrobe
I think we may have identified the problem….I had no idea! I figured that was three weeks worth of tops, so I didn’t have to repeat too often and then dresses. Interesting!
You’ve put your finger on it! I was trying to figure out what was off about this, other than the lace (which I would not wear to the office, but people have said that already), and you’re right, it’s that this looks like the twinsets that were everywhere in the late 90’s. I might wear the cami as part of a non-work outfit, but still not the two items together.
How temporary? I don’t think I could do that for under $1000.
New Temp. Wardrobe
Really only 2 months. I should add that I could incorporate things from my current wardrobe somewhat, but a lot of it just looks to casual (fabric choices, etc). It might not look so bad if paired with some nicer things.
Not knowing your body type, I don’t know what works best but, as a 12/14 I managed to get through a summer of suit wearing with:
black suit — skirt, pants, blazer, dress
gray suit – pants, skirt, blazer
1-2 nicer cardigans (may need to shell out $50-$100 for this).
At that time I budgeted $20-40 for blouses, and picked up the gray suit set for under $150 (it did take a little bit of popping into BR whenever I was close by and getting lucky that they had my size in stock).
I think the best bang for your buck would be tropical wool suit separates to formalize the more casual pieces in your existing wardrobe.
For 2 months, you really only need 1 neutral blazer, 2 neutral skirts, 2 pairs of dress pants and maybe 1 additional dress to add to the 2 you already have. You probably have cardigans and blouses already that you could add to the mix, so maybe get 1 additional “nice” cardigan and 3 additional “nice” blouses.
I’m a size 16/18 and buy much of my workwear at Gap, Talbots, Lands End, Eloquii when they are having sales, and at Marshalls. I highly recommend that you get the Brandi dress from Eloquii (in black or navy) as your additional dress because I just love mine – and Eloquii is having a 40% off sale right now!
New Temp. Wardrobe
Thanks! I’m going to go through tonight and pull out the stuff that could work and then go from there.
I’m thinking blush, gray, navy, and burgandy/oxblood as my base colors. Would it be odd to throw in some dark green?
My personal base is black, charcoal gray and camel colored pants, and then any color top. You can get blazers or cardigans in the same colors or just black and grey. Black blazer + charcoal pants + colored shirt = done. Next day, flip it to charcoal cardi + black pants. I would go with grey OR navy as a base, not both.
Get enough tops to get you through 1 week, and as long as you don’t wear the exact same top on the same day of the week you’ll be fine. That ways it’s not “here comes Temp in her purple Wednesday shirt”
I actually think New Temp. Wardrbe’s color palette is really nice. Black looks terrible on me so I’ve been trying to phase it out of my wardrobe. I’ve had a lot of luck with charcoal and navy bottoms because they generally work with the same colors so tops and cardigans can be easily alternated between them.
Try Kohls. I bought some pants and blazers from there to get me through a temporary period and I got a few staples for under $200.
Maybe not for plus sized. The plus sized department at my local Kohls almost made me cry when my tiny petite MIL tried to take me shopping there – everything was either elastic waisted or made me look like I was wearing a tent. Maybe online is better, or some stores have better buyers, but our Kohls in my area is not a good plus sized choice.
Its totally hit or miss as to whether someone else in your size brings in clothes, but do you have a Clothes Mentor in your area? I’ve scored some good deals at the one near me for work clothes: http://www.clothesmentor.com/store-locator/
Sorry, I read too quick and missed the plus-sized part.
During my transitioning times, good thrift shops (I mean, in tony neighborhoods) got me some fantastic pieces for not much money that were so good I kept them forever…
I would try for –
1-2 dresses in neutral colors
(pants if you want – I don’t really wear pants to work except on casual Fridays)
And maybe dedicate $30 of your budget to getting inexpensive jewelry at Target or similar to change up your looks.
I'm Just Me
Ditto, and add 2 cardigans and a blazer since you mentioned needing them. Keep everything in the same color family so they are all mix and match.
I’d pick one or two neutral “base” colors so that your foundation pieces can mix and match easily. For me, those would be black and navy; for others maybe gray or camel. Pretend you’re packing for a weeklong trip – the more mix & matching you can do, the less bored you’ll get with a small wardrobe.
So from there, I’d get two pairs of pants, two skirts, and two dresses, all in a midweight fabric. Probably three blouses (one white, two color or pattern), three sweaters since we’re heading into cooler weather, and maybe some layering camis or tees if you like cardigans. Black vs. nude hose can change up the look of the dresses and skirts, and layering a blouse under a sweater vs. wearing the pieces alone can feel “different” – and I always feel more dressed up with both blouse + sweater rather than either item alone, in case you need to look more polished on a particular day.
Think about whether you really need a jacket at this point – if you’re firmly in business casual, you’ll probably only need one a few times a year?
I’d try to do this for $700-$800 with careful sale shopping – pants and skirts averaging $60, dresses $80-100, blouses $50, sweaters $70.
In moderation . . .
check out this — it has lots of great ideas for how capsule wardrobes can work:
New Temp. Wardrobe
THIS IS AWESOME (ellen caps needed)!! Thank you
My god, this is amazing
I was you not long ago, and Target was my savior. Their “regular sizing” goes up to 18, and they have a lot of their better grown up worky clothes in their plus department. A few tips, though. Avoid their website like the plague. Don’t rely on a city Target–they are smaller and ship less of the work stuff there. Get thee to a big suburban Target and go crazy. Their Merona and Mossimo lines are the best, IMO.
Seconding Target. Also, have fun with accessories! Scarves and jewelry can do so much to elevate a basic outfit, and they also will help camouflage the frequency of wearing some items.
Yes, I get a surprisingly large amount of my work clothes from target. You need to be a bit careful but there’s a ton of good stuff there.
I am not plus-sized but I am always impressed with their plus-sized offerings. Not infrequently there are plus-sized items that I wish they sold in my size.
+1 for Target
They have work-appropriate shoes, too
Now see, I think the Target website has MUCH better options than what I can find in the stores by me (Maryland suburbs close to DC). Over $50 ships free and you can return stuff to the store. I’d order a bunch of things, try on at home and see what goes with what you already own, then take the rest back.
Can I be a creeper and ask which MD suburb Target? I’ve had excellent luck in Rockville, and even better on my way home from BWI in Columbia.
Instead of buying many cheap pieces and thinking of them as temporary items, I’d encourage you to get fewer but nicer things that you can later incorporate into your regular wardrobe. For example, a set like this is nicer than a tee but can also be incorporated into a business casual wardrobe and worn as separates: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/alex-evenings-foil-print-twinset-plus-size/3802788?origin=category&BaseUrl=Tops
Burlington Coat Factory is your FRIEND!! I got a Le Suit court suit (black ponte knit wardrober) for less than $150. They go up to 26W and if you make friends with the manager, you can learn when they stock the areas. This way you can get first dibs on the new clothes!! Just my two cents.
Also, do not count out JP Penney, Ross, Marshalls, and GOODWILL!
I did this a few years ago with no budget. Here was my strategy:
Go find your local hospice thrift store. You need to find out where the rich ladies in your area are donating their clothes. Set a schedule where you visit these stores weekly and explain to the volunteers that you need to rebuild your wardrobe ASAP. They could be very helpful and set aside the best items for you when they come in. Look for designer basics in neutral colors. I have found Akris and St. John’s suits for 10 – 15$ and blouses for 5$.
Hit up the costume jewelry and look for classic necklaces for 2$.
Put your $ into solid classic shoes and your bag ( try brooks brothers for sale) get real leather only but only buy on sale.
Go to a discount store like Marshalls and spend 50$ on a perfect fitting blazer and coat to wear over your thrift store finds. Must be elegant cut and perfect fit.
You are now good to go for about 500$ – 250$ on new shoes and bag, 200$ on huge amount of thrift clothes and jewelry, 50$ on coat. Done :-)
I have mentioned these so many times you’d think I’m paid by the company, but no — but Gap’s “Perfect Trouser” goes up to size 20, comes in black, charcoal and navy pinstripe, comes in four different inseam lengths (ankle 30″, regular 33″, long 35″ and tall/X-long 37″) and is currently on sale for $36.
These trousers are my work uniform.
Though I need another bag like a hole in the head, I am drooling over some of the bags on this s*te, like this Furla (link in reply).
Gah – this is the Furla:
Gorgeous- though a bit big?
I used to say that a bag could be too big, but not anymore. For me, there is no such thing as a bag that is too big for all that I need to put in it…
(former) preg 3L
Eh, the furla doesn’t do it for me.
The other one you linked to though, so gorgeous!!!
+1 It looks much more expensive than it is!
interesting. I love the furla and think the other one looks cheep.
Love the Furla bag. Love. Love. Love.
I really like the cardigan. But then again, my fiancee describes my style as “grandma chic” (I’m in my 20’s)
The cardigan is fine and the camisole is fine. It’s wearing them together as a twin-set that is terrible.
That’s pretty, but I’d feel more comfortable wearing it with jeans than at work.
TJ: I feel proud of myself because I went to a networking event last night, had great conversations with 5 people (the goal I set for myself). I’m new to the area and new in my career, so I’m just trying to meet as many people as possible and build relationships. As an introvert, it’s really hard to motivate myself to go to these types of events. But I had a GREAT time, and I will feel a lot more confident going to the next one! :-)
Send them emails saying it was nice to meet them!
Yes! I am going to do that. Debating whether to email them immediately or, like, tomorrow…thoughts?
A previous mentor said to me, ‘It’s not dating. Email them while you’re fresh in their minds.’
It’s worked so far.
Yay! Happy Rosh Hashana (New Year)to the Hive!
As for the OP, the other’s posting have said what I was goeing to say, but I do want to add that you should read an article I just read on the Harvard Business Review’s Blog about how to enter a room and command presents. It is a great read for the entire HIVE b/c we women need to be MORE Assertive about thing’s both busness and personal.
Here is the Hyper-Link:
I have to master this b/c I let men walk all over me some times but after readeing this, I think I will be abel to handel them alot better.
Hope all is well with the hive. I am out in LI today with mom and dad and we are on our way soon to service’s. Dad already told me that David’s parent’s are telling him to date me, but I have to stand up for what is RIGHT and I do NOT think he is right for me b/c he like’d lookeing at every other pretty tuchus that walk’s by. FOOEY!
How to enter a room and command presents!!! Haha! A skill I need to cultivate.
I want presents!
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
Oh thanks for sharing that link! And Happy Rosh Hashana!
Vanguard Personal Advisor services
Does anyone have experience with Vanguard Personal Advisor services? If so, was it a good experience? Do you have any tips or suggested questions to ask about the program? I’m considering switching to a fully managed program for the first time and I’m not really sure what to expect.
I’ve called them up for advice on specific issues (Rollover, Asset allocation and how to achieve it). They are very helpful in general. I would take their strategy and then research the fees. To correct my asset allocation when it was unbalanced, the adviser recommended one of their LifeStrategy funds. I looked into what it was–a mix of index funds in stocks and bonds. But then I realized that the fees were significantly higher than just buying the index funds separately, especially once I qualified for the Voyager fee structure. Now, I just use the mobile app–it has some really great features–for adjusting my allocations.
What’s your favorite black slim fit pants for work? I feel like it’s such a basic item but I’ve struggled to find any that fit well and are flattering. TYIA!
(Former) Clueless Summer
Express – either editor or columnist.
I specifically love the Studio Stretch Barely Boot Columnist and have found that the other cuts and fabrics don’t fit me quite right. The studio stretch is a good weight (I don’t like really thin fabric for pants) but has a bit of stretch to it so they are flattering and comfortable for me.
(former) preg 3L
I just got black slim pants from The Limited – the Drew bootcut ones I believe. They’re fairly low rise (which I like) but the Tall size fits me (6′ tall) perfectly!
Brooks brothers ….Natalie fit, lizzy fit? You can check the name on their site.
Loft. Their curvy fit (Julie) is great for me, plus they have one or two other fits.
I like Express and The Limited for basic black work pants. I have some older ones that have held up really well.
Limited Exact Straight Leg.
+1 they come in tall too
I swear I don’t work for Target, but the Merona doubleweave (or is it twill?) slender ankle pants are excellent. Mine are partially lined, and come in great worky colors in addition to black. They aren’t too ankle-y, either, actually.
Thanks! Very helpful!
This looks like something that Rachel or Monica would have worn to hang out at Central Perk.
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
Yes! Ah I miss Friends.
RANT – If you need someone to be on a call, then consult them before you schedule it!
Does it ever stop?! Junior in biglaw transactional here – does it get better as you get more senior?!
The fact that people schedule you for things without checking your calendar? It gets a little better, but that still happens from time to time. Most of the time it is based on the client’s schedule and you just have to jump through hoops.
Doesn’t get better (biglaw or in-house).
Apologies for my ignorance – if a Jewish person wishes me Shana Tova! (I know what it means, but am not Jewish), is the appropriate response also “Shana Tova!”?
But I would find it odd if someone wished me Shana Tova (I always wish it to my friends though.)
I think I would reply “Thank you. I hope you have a happy new year as well.”
I mean, I guess its no weirder than Christians wishing *everyone* Merry Christmas in December now that I think about it.
But yeah, I would graciously accept the well wishes but not try to front that you are Jewish. If that makes sense.
When confronted with an expression of well wishes that I may not want to expressly reciprocate for whatever reason, I’ll often say, “Thanks! And to you!” (It sounds better in person than it looks written down.)
(Former) Clueless Summer
Completely agree! Some variation on “and the same to you” generally works for these things. This works well if there is an “accent” or a greeting in a different language that you understand but can’t properly pronounce.
My go-to as well.
+1,000 I do this exact same thing. It’s all in the smile and delivery, which is why it doesn’t convey in writing.
Mz wallace Paige
I’ve been looking for a functional & cute crossbody for a while and I’m trying g to decide if the mz wallace Paige would work for me… It seems like a good fit functionally – fits a full size wallet, sunglasses, kindle, etc. wih lots of pockets for organization and water resistant.
But after seeing the recent thread on frumpy bags, I’m wondering whether the “function over form” issue might be at play… I’m concerned it might look a little frumpy? I’d plan on using I for most casual stuff – brunch, running to the mall, plus for travel. Would really love thoughts on this!!
I don’t like it. I think there are a lot of bags that would fit your things and look more polished, especially at that price.
Agree. The cross body either looks like mom on the run or student to me. I’d just get a cute small purse. Also, if you’re just using it for weekends, do you need a bag that big?
I think I got the Mia. I use it every day, and it is just a tiny bit too small on some days. However, I went to Europe for a couple of weeks earlier this year and it was perfect for that. Could hold everything I needed for sightseeing, plus it was very lightweight. It has held up very well and is still in perfect condition, despite how I treat it.
I also have the Mia and love it. It’s held up remarkably well.
I have a Target purse that does what you are looking for. It also has regular handles so I can carry it when I want to look “not frumpy.” It is my everyday bag now.
They have the real leather one online for $120. Mine was the faux leather for $39 in store, navy blue. I can’t find that one online.
Found it! Here is the cheap version in a variety of colors. Doesn’t seem like Navy is still an option though.
Wow, I didn’t know Target even had real leather bags. Perusing the offerings now and some of them are quite nice looking.
Mz wallace Paige
Really appreciate the responses – thanks ladies! I’m always concerned about leather bags in the rain/snow… Which is what drew me to the nylon, but I think that veers to the casual/frumpy. Love the target rec and would love any other recs!!
Most leather does ok in the rain and snow but nylon will be lighter. There are much cuter nylon bags including this Marc Jacobs http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/marc-by-marc-jacobs-preppy-nylon-natasha-crossbody-bag/3396964?cm_cat=datafeed&cm_ite=marc_by_marc_jacobs_'preppy_nylon_-_natasha'_crossbody_bag:598632&cm_pla=bags:women:handbag&cm_ven=Linkshare&siteId=J84DHJLQkR4-lWBdI9Y1N4PFhYlqkVtuww
and this Tory Burch http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Tory-Burch-Marion-Nylon-Whipstitch-Messenger-Bag-Red-Handbags/prod171540136_cat47760771__/p.prod?ItemId=prod171540136&ecid=NMALRJ84DHJLQkR4&CS_003=5630585
I’m carrying this right now. It’s not real leather:
If you scroll down, you’ll see it comes in many different colors. Not sure why it isn’t showing the different colors at the top. I have the yellow. My mother has green.
In winter, I’ll switch to a black pebbled leather (real!) fossil crossbody bag. Crossbody bags are great when you have to run to catch public transportation or, generally, need to keep your hands free to carry other stuff.
Anne Klein PSA- Kathryn
I don’t generally shop Anne Klein, but they are having 40% everything, and this dress is very cute:
Oh, man. This is excellent.
Really cute! Unfortunately, a 33.5 inch dress would be NSFW on me – 40 inches is my “knee length” :( this model must be a lot shorter than I am (I’m 5-8)
There’s no way I could wear a dress that was 33 inches from the shoulder seam to the hem (I insist on at least 37′ for work dresses) but the 33.5 measurement on this plaid dress is from the top of the center back seam, which dips down in a slight v. I’m betting it’s actually about 38 inches from shoulder to hem.
Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
Omg I LOVE this!! It reminds me of what I just saw on Classy Cubicle (Thanks to you ladies for recommending it to me!).
Actually, that’s how I found it! It was one of her “similar” picks.
Baby shower etiquette
Is it rude to your guests not to open gifts in front of everyone at a baby shower? My in-laws are throwing us a baby shower (for family only, but that means 100 people). My in-laws say the guests (almost exclusively their relatives) will expect me to open presents there and will think it rude if I didn’t. I don’t want to be rude, but I also hate being the focus of attention and would rather say “no gifts” and label the party a family reunion than do the gift-opening thing. If it matters, my husband and I are footing the bill for the party, but my in-laws are planning it (sending invites, handling the venue, decorations, etc.). What would you do?
In your case, I might do a party after the baby is born and then nobody expects gifts to be opened and the focus can be on the baby.
(former) preg 3L
I’d open the gifts. 100 people giving you baby gifts? Do what they want! They’re giving you gifts!
Right? Get over it. You’re the mommy to be at the baby shower. You will be the focus no matter what. They want you to open gifts so just do it. Keeps you busy and gets you out of chatting to great aunt Sheila the whole time.
Not all guests like the gifts! 100 people = 100 oooh’s and ahh’s. . . I’d be crawling out of the room no matter how much I love the person.
Anon Worker Bee
Will your husband be at the shower? If so, can he open the gifts? He might be more comfortable since it’s his family.
Great idea! He can open, you sit next to him and just smile… and say “Thanks!”.
I hate this sort of thing as well, so I hear you…. but I think you need to open them. Especially because most of the guests will probably not be close relations that you will see soon to thank each personally. Best to get your thank yous out of the way now.
For 100 people I’d need a maid of honor to keep a list of presents and gifters for thank you notes.
With 100 gifts, I’d suggest having you and your hubby open gifts simultaneously to cut the gift-opening time in half.
Baby shower OP
I like this idea a lot–thank you.
I had a friend request that everyone wrap their gifts in clear cellophane so that everyone could see the gifts, but not have to sit through hours of gift opening.
I get the purpose, but why wrap at all if you’re wrapping in clear cellophane?
others please tell me if this is weird, but a recent shower I attended asked the guests to bring everything unwrapped – and gifts were then set up on a sort of display table so people could ooh and ahh over the little outfits but there wasn’t the awkward, lengthy opening process. As a guest, I thought it was awesome – more time for mingling rather than sitting in a circle and having to pretend to be super excited over baby gear. As an introvert, I would love a shower like this for myself someday.
I'm Just Me
I’ve been to wedding showers like that.
Yes, I have attended many showers (bridal and baby) like this — it’s the best. It’s great for the reasons you identified: you don’t have to sit in silence awkwardly watching someone open gifts and the person of honor doesn’t feel awkward as their every movement is watched. A shower for 100 is large, too, and gift-opening can take a LONG time. Those are just painful to me – nobody talks and you are watching someone unwrap things. Our family events will set everything up on a display with little cards noting who the gift is from. It’s especially nice for a bridal shower to see the couple’s entire dining set together.
This is better than asking things to be wrapped in cellophane. And more environmentally friendly.
And less waste! I hate throwing out mounds of wrapping paper and tissue.
Yep! It’s often called a display shower where I’m from. Everyone brings their gift unwrapped and leaves it on a table for all to see. Everyone ooh-and-ahh at the gifts whenever they want, but otherwise enjoy each other’s company like a regular party.
Even as an extrovert, I don’t like anyone watching me open gifts. All of the attention at my bridal shower had me sweating through my coat dress in December. Display showers are amazing.
Baby shower OP
I’ve never heard of display showers but it makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
I don’t like being the center of attention either, but find opening gifts to be less stressful for me then trying to carry on small talk with all my in-laws that I don’t know well. I can easily say nice things about the gifts as I open them and I had my husband sit next to me and be part of the opening as well. It was still a little awkward, but less so for me than trying to mingle with everyone for the entire party.
I totally get why don’t want to be the center of attention (and I hated.it. at both my wedding and baby showers) but with family, I think I would just bend to the will. With your friends, if you don’t want to, don’t do it. But with family stuff, I tend to think you do what everyone “expects” and keep the peace. And I agree with Anon, it’s certainly much easier than making small talk with everyone.
Baby shower OP
Thanks–this really resonates with me.
You could have a display shower. It is a thing people do these days – one of my friends had one for her wedding and baby shower and it was the best shower ever because we got to socialize and play games and things instead of watching presents be opened for hours. You could cite that it’s better for the environment or something. However, some people really want to see you open their present. If that’s what the family is really into, you should probably just do it. Like it or not, you are the center of attention at this shower! They’re all there just to see you and talk about your baby. If you’re not opening presents, you’re going to have to go around greeting everyone and having the same conversation a hundred times, which seems more exhausting than opening presents and saying thank you.
+1. I think you should give the people what they want. :) They are, after all, attending a party to celebrate you and your baby. I actually find that the only enjoyable part of baby showers is seeing the cute gifts. I would also be mega annoyed if someone had the nerve to tell me to wrap the gift in cellophane because I’d have to go out and BUY cellophane.
I think it would be, if not rude, then at least unusual not to open the gifts. Opening the gifts is the whole point of a shower.
+1. Although I did go into labor at my second shower and everyone forgave me not opening the gifts. ;)
That? Is the best possible baby shower entertainment!
LOL, I didn’t really feel that way at the time. ;)
I don’t enjoy the gift opening very much (so I love me some gift bingo to help pass the time!), but I’d still think it were odd to rude to not do it. It’s the point of the shower.
Also agree that when it comes to family tradition, you gotta do it.
Every large shower that I’ve attended has had at least half the people chatting in another area. If there’s 100 people, they most likely won’t all be attentively sitting there the whole time.
Also, 100 people =/= 100 gifts. Maybe 50. Agree to opening simultaneously with father-t0-be. Another tip is to recruit kids to help. They garner a lot of attention themselves and love opening. It’s a very non-rude way to get out of personally opening every single item.
for things like baby and bridal showers, the whole purpose is essentially to sit around and open the gifts.
not rude at all. I think it’s boring to watch people open presents, especially at a baby shower. Just ask the host to make it more of a party and to not have that be on the agenda & skip it. I’ve done that at a number I’ve hosted – there’s no rule that says you have to do it.
Some people really want to see you open their gift though, and would be miffed if you didn’t. Especially for people who, say, spent hours hand-making a quilt, or knitting a sweater, or meticulously wrapping something in an adorable baby-related shape. (That is way too much effort for me to ever do, but I received many gifts like this at my baby shower and it seemed only fair for the gift-giver to get a whole roomful of oohs and ahs for their effort/creativity.)
I get that, but I think you can deal with it separately – if you *really* care, stay a little later and open the gift with the honoree once everyone leaves, you don’t need to hijack the party with gift opening. Now that doesn’t get to the crowd “oohhing and awwing” over the gift, but I think that’s a little selfish on the part of the gift giver to want that instead of just gifting the person something they think they’ll love and having that be enough.
I had a similar conundrum at my wedding shower. I didn’t want to awkwardly open each gift as everyone watched, but I appreciate that some people would want me to see the gift they got me and also see the gifts others brought, so on the invitation I asked that none of the gifts be wrapped and then we displayed them all on a table. It was very well recieved.
I say open the gifts. I love to see what people get for the baby. But I do understand that it feels awkward. One tip: Make sure there is music playing if you do decide to open. Helps with awkward quiet moments and hopefully will help you feel less on display.
Baby shower OP
Thanks for all the suggestions and viewpoints! It was especially helpful to hear from my fellow introverts who suggested I suck it up (and pointed out that it was easier than going around and chatting with everyone). Also good to read views on how it would be seen as rude/odd to avoid this custom. At my wedding, I was able to ixnay the first dance, cake-cutting, etc., so I was hoping to do something similar here. But it’s really my in-laws’ show and an hour or so of discomfort is worth keeping the peace, as some of you pointed out. Hubs and I will open the gifts together. Thanks again!
The refresh until it posts thing isn’t working anymore when we get the “you are posting too quickly” error. I’ve lost two comments in the last two days.
Problems here too. Using Chrome
Same here – IE 11.
+1, every day
Can’t share this in real life, but after receiving an inheritance, we just paid off 65% of my law loans, our HELOC, and the car. It’s an odd feeling – the reduced expenses will help us so much over the next few years (which were going to be extremely lean due to a vastly reduced schedule after 2 kids), but the circumstances surrounding the inheritance are sad for our family. If nothing else, it was a reminder of how being financially smart can really, really help boost your family for generations to come. Also, long term care insurance and life insurance really do make a difference when needed. If not for LTC insurance, every element of the last 10 years of a difficult, terminal illness would have looked different.
ETA – this wasn’t meant to be a reply! But I am having the same WP error re posting too quickly.
Genuinely happy for you, and I’m sorry for your loss. I do I find it odd though that money is such a taboo subject that people don’t feel like they can even share such information with their close friends. It’s not like my friends and I discuss money often (it’s rare), but I would totally feel comfortable sharing a life event like that with people I’m close to. Maybe you have, and you just want to tell us here too, which is fine.
I just had my first work dress tailored to fit me. It is a classic sheath, oxblood medium weight wool. I am a pear, with no chest, so dresses never fit me proportionally.
It was so shocking to put on this dress after tailoring. It fit me like a glove. At first I was like…. This is too tight! This is too “exposed”…. But the tailor looked at me strangely and said, “This is a perfect fit!?!”
I can’t believe what a difference this makes. I feel like Claire Underwood, or at least her secretary….
It cost me about $40, which to me is a little pricey. And if I gain more then 3 lbs, it will show.
But for now…. it feels good! And once I can afford it, I will be buying the best quality I can afford (but on sale, of course) and tailoring everything!
My shape sounds just like yours. I just dropped off a Boden dress to get fitted to me, along with some suits, and I can’t wait for the results – a little scared of the bill, but I am always so frustrated with how things fit me that I expect it will be worth it.
Where’s your dress from? Sounds like exactly what i’m on the hunt for!
I’m a little embarrassed to admit that the dress is 10 years old, only worn a couple times…. from Ann Taylor.
It is better quality than what I see at Ann Taylor now, and is still in perfect condition, so I decided I needed to tailor it and wear it or give it away. It is actually a beautiful, textured wool, fully lined dress that I bought with a paired jacket for interviewing. I’m in medicine and wore the outfit for interviews. Since I wore it with a jacket, I never tailored the top of the dress, which is always my problem area. Now I probably wont wear the jacket anymore (looks a bit dated to me), but the dress can definitely stand on its own.
As an aside, it was risky of me to wear oxblood for interviews, but I was oblivious and wore the outfit mostly in progressive cities where I thought fashion rules would allow you to step out of the box. I got several great compliments on it. In fact, in one interview in NYC where there was a huge meeting at the beginning of interview day of all interviewees (maybe 75 -80 people)… and I could see that everyone was wearing a black/dark blue suit….. but me. When the Chairman of the department walked into the room to give the “Welcome” speech, he made some offhand joke about feeling like he was at a Undertaker’s convention… And then pointed to me and said… “But YOU……. YOU in the red. YOU are HIRED!”
I did a big tailoring job a couple years ago of my pants, and that filled me with fear as you have now…. It was not cheap….. and the downside of that was that now most of the pants no longer fit me. All of my weight gain goes to my butt and thighs and I am starting to realize I need more dresses in my wardrobe, as they tend to be a bit more forgiving of small fluctuations in weight. Meanwhile, I am slowly gathering pants in 2 or 3 sizes that fit me. Kinda stinks.
Are we the same person? Ha. This is great advice/info… I continue the hunt for the red oxblood sheath!
It’s the story of a modern Cinderella who waves her own wand and conjures up a perfect dress without the intervention of a fairy god-mother or a charming prince. Thanks for sharing and hope this is just the first of many such dresses !
I tailor all my sheath dresses. It’s so worth it.
I just wait for a sale and then include the alteration price into my mental calculations on whether i want to purchase.
Just another note, but *assuming* that things will not fit me (or anyone but the fit model really) straight off the rack and I will get things tailored has really made shopping a less stressful experience. It’s shifted my thinking from feeling bad that my body doesn’t fit the dress to just making the relatively cheap and easy change to make the dress fit my body.
I read this article a couple years back about how celebrities get EVERYTHING, including t-shirts, altered which is why they look so effortlessly good all the time. It really flipped the shopping script for me.
I just read an interview with Jennifer Aniston where she said she gets her tee shirts tailored.
My understanding is that all celebrities get essentially everything tailored.
I like this approach. I will start doing it.
This feeling is why I tailor everything I buy for work, and now quite a few things I buy for casual wear too :S
Hello hive–does anyone have any advice on how to cope with empty nest syndrome? I’m the child in the situation. I recently bought a house with my FI and moved out and I know my single mother has has a hard time adjusting. IS there anything I can do to help ease the transition? I live a 15 minute drive away so we see each other often but sometimes I still get sad phone calls from her and feel really bad.
Fundamentally, it’s on her to solve this and it might reasonably take a while. I’d just keep up whatever level of phone calls/visits you are comfortable with, maybe make an extra effort to call in the ad break of a show you both watch to chat about omg did you just see that, and let her take care of herself.
Maybe setup a weekly dinner or lunch so she can look forward to seeing you? My family does this and it works out pretty well since we all live close. Early Sunday dinners are nice, no rushing from work or having to slave over a meal when you get home.
I am not single but we dropped our DD off to college a couple weeks ago. We (hubs and I) would be very upset if she was rearranging her life to male us happy .
Sure, we miss her, our house feels odd but we all have to adjust. I second the poster that says it’s your moms situation to solve. Call her, tell her what you are up to but deep down I bet she doesn’t want you to worry about her.
+1 to all of this.
I also like the idea of a weekly get-together. When my son was in Japan we had a standing date for a weekly phone call and I really looked forward to it.
TJ. In grad school, I decided that I needed a couple new pairs of nice jeans since that’s what I wore every day. I had a moment of temporary insanity (I blame the wonderment of being in a physical Nordy’s for the first time in ages), and bought two pairs of Seven for All Mankind in my normal size without trying them on. Problem is, they are much slimmer cut than other Sevens I own. I was busy at the time, I had a few pounds to lose anyway, and apparently I’m an idiot… long story short, I kept both pairs against my better judgment.
It’s now 3-ish years later, approximately. I’ve lost weight and these bad boys still aren’t meant for my body type. One pair of jeans still has the tag, the other hasn’t even been worn out of the house. We’re talking about $300 worth of lovely denim here. Suggestions for the best way to recoup some of this cost? I’m in DC, if that matters. TIA!
EBay! I just sold some Paiges that I actually wore for over a year (though they were in near-perfect condition) for $70.
Bring them to a consignment store or sell them on eBay.
Nordie’s will still take back the pair with the tag on it. They probably WOULD take back the pair without the tag, but personally I don’t like returning items that I’ve worn, even if it was just around the house.
As for recouping the loss, you could try to sell them at a designer second hand or consignment shop. I haven’t sold jeans before, but ime with other clothes/shoes, the cash you could get from resale isn’t THAT much more than the tax deduction for a donation to charity, so you may want to look that up ahead of time.
Please don’t return an item to Nordstrom’s that you bought three years ago-unless it was never worn and is defective.
I get it, they have a great return policy. But you changed your mind, and Nordstrom’s shouldn’t take a loss for that.
um . . . yes they should. That is particularly why Nordstrom has such a good return policy. People know they can bring stuff back for any reason at any time. That builds customer loyalty. People buy more stuff from Nordstrom explicitly because of that policy.
If the style is still sold, I don’t see anything totally wrong with returning the pair with tags on them and selling the other on ebay.
If the style is not sold, I would sell both pairs on ebay.
Secondi in DuPont.
Does anyone know if a shoe-repair person would be able to essentially “tailor” a pair of tall boots? I have a pair with a full zipper, and I am hoping that they can be taken in for a smaller calf circumference. I’ve never needed such a service, and so I don’t know if this is even possible, or if I need to start looking for new tall boots.
I’ve had cobblers add an inner elastic piece inside the boot-no cutting the leather or zipper but essentially adding a smaller inner circumference. This makes them both feel much better and prevents them from slouching down as I walk around. Not sure if this would be satisfactory for you, but has served my purposes before!
I just read an interview with Jennifer Aniston where she said she gets her tee shirts tailored.
People know they can bring stuff back for any reason at any time.