Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Leather-Trimmed Wool Blazer

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

women's blazer leather details gray TodsThe Net-a-Porter sale is still on, and it’s quite good.  Take, for example, this leather-trimmed wool blazer from TOD’s — I love the shrunken fit, the three slanted pockets, and the leather trim.  I’m always a fan of an all-gray monochromatic look, using different tones of gray and different textures to play with it — but I’ll admit it looks pretty hot with the simple blue blouse and black pants, too.  The blazer was $2,125, but is now marked to $638 (lucky sizes only, alas). TOD’S Leather-trimmed wool blazer

Here’s a more affordable version from Off Fifth, or an even more affordable version at Lord & Taylor; here’s a plus-size leather-trimmed blazer.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Wildkitten :

    I know most people are over the leather accent trend but I think this blazer is stunning.

    • Anonymous :

      ME TOO.

    • Agreed. The leather is in just the right place that it looks like a horse riding jacket and therefore classic rather than attempting to be edgy

      • Co-signed. Love this one. Generally speaking, though, hate how leather trim complicates dry cleaning — some cleaners won’t even take it, and those that do, it’s an extra $40-50.

      • +1. For real. Love.

  2. Professional Organizer in DC :

    Any recs on a professional organizer in DC who operates in the Marie Kondo style (or just an aggressive style of de-cluttering)? We don’t need help with storage ideas, DH is on a first name basis with the guys at Container Store. But we live in a small place and have two small kids and we just have too much stuff. We need someone who will go through our house and help us dramatically reduce our stuff. This issue is an incredible stressor for DH so any leads would be very appreciated!

    • Is this something a friend or family member could do? I have friends with too much stuff and I sometimes think about how I could pare them down, but they’re reluctant because they have an emotional attachment and don’t want to get rid of things. It seems like if you want to reduce your stuff/clutter, you just need someone more objective/strict, not necessarily a professional.

    • I just did this for my neighbor this weekend – we had a great time, and we cut her closet in half. We made piles for a garage sale and a pile to consign. Start with asking a friend.

    • I don’t know if she only does rooms other than offices, but Kacy Paide (search “The Inspired Office) is supposed to be pretty good

    • anon a mouse :

      No specific recs, but you might check with NAPO – the National Association of Professional Organizers. They have a “find an organizer” function on their site.

    • Anonymous :

      This is my dream job. I want to come help you!!! Except – space/time continuum.

  3. Anonymous :

    A close friend returned to work today after maternity leave. She’s expressed a lot of anxiety about this return is unfortunately going back to a job she never loved to begin with.
    Recommendations for encouragement or comfort I could give her?

    • Anonymous :

      Almost everyone finds it really hard in the beginning. It’s okay (and normal) if she cries a drop off for a couple weeks). If she is really unhappy in her job, I would focus on reminding her that it is always easier to find a job when you have a job so she should do the minimum necessary at her present job and focus on job hunting. HTH.

    • Is she in your office? If she is pumping and therefore probably skipping going out to lunch, offering to pick her up something and bring it back to her would be helpful. Or just bringing her tea/coffee/water and asking her how she’s doing. The words “Welcome back, it’s good to see you here again!” are also nice.

      If not at the same office, you could just text/email with “how’s the day going?” or “hope your first day back went ok” Basically just say something open ended so she has the option to rant/tell you how terrible it is/how much she misses the baby and/or how horrid her bosses are, or that she can say something pleasant like “good to talk to actual adults again”

      If you really wanted to do something kind for her and you live nearby you could offer to pick up dinner and bring it over one night – lots of people drop off food immediately after baby is born, but it’s actually in those first few weeks back to work that I needed the frozen meals the most. It doesn’t have to be fancy – someone offering to show up at my house with pizza or Chinese take out would be greatly appreciated.

      • Thank you this is so helpful. We’re not in the same office, but I like the idea of an open-ended question without assuming she’s feeling any particular way! Also, great point on food delivery. We took food a lot when the baby was born but have since not done that as much.

    • Spirograph :

      This was me a year ago. It’s totally normal for her to feel anxious, but she needs to remember to separate her emotions about going back to work after baby and her feelings about her job in general. I love having *a* job, I just didn’t love the job I had.

      I actually don’t think the first couple months back at work post-baby are the best time to divide your attention even further with serious job hunting, but it is good to see what’s out there and put out feelers to just feel less “stuck.” I spent my first few months back (I went back after 12 weeks) at work in a haze of sleep deprivation just trying to keep my head above water. I was much, much better able to make clear-headed decisions when baby was around 6 months old. And by then I knew better what needed to change to work for me/my family, and what “problems” were just part of settling into my new normal with childcare etc.

  4. Legally Brunette :

    Anyone read this article in the weekend edition of the WSJ? Breaks down the annual beauty budget for a few successful women. I know we posted about our clothing/beauty spending last week so I thought this article was really interesting. These women are spending around $20K a year in beauty maintenance (facials, massages, eyelash extensions, etc.)


    • Anonymous :

      Those numbers are crazy but I think it’s misleading to count gyms, yoga and massage. Exercise has lots of other benefits besides beauty and most people I know who get massages do it because they’re in pain or it de-stresses them. Nothing to do with improving their outward appearance.

    • Yup. My dad showed it to me.

      One woman mentions La Mer purchases and another mentions Oribe shampoo/conditioner purchases, but they don’t mention any other beauty products so I’m assuming their numbers are even higher. Throw in makeup, moisturizer, shampoo/conditioner, hair products, etc. and I’m assuming their numbers are at least another $500 more.

      Also WTF is ultherapy?

    • I think these are extreme examples. Three facials a week? Apart from money, who has the time for that?

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      My husband emailed this to me and ask me if I spend $20,000 a year on beauty care, and if so we need to have a talk! Love him.

      I don’t even know what some of this stuff is, and at least I thought I was really into beauty care. The vast majority of this stuff is wholly unnecessary, and a lot of it can be done at home. The implication by these women that “I need to do these things so I am presentable” is really crazy. You can look really put-together and spend a tiny fraction of what they spend.

      I agree with others that wrapping in fitness costs to beauty costs seems weird. And it looks like they are picking the most expensive options. Combined, my husband and I’s gym memberships are $800 a year-we are members of the facilities at my UG school. For what we use them for, the facilities are actually better than something like Equinox. And my kids can come with us using $8-$10 guest passes, which we do over school breaks etc.

  5. Marriage counselor :

    Any suggestions for an excellent marriage counselor in Bethesda or northwest DC? Not headed toward divorce or anything even close to that but DH and I need help on how to argue in a way that is productive and leads to a resolution (as opposed to just shouting).

  6. DC therapist :

    Suggestions on a great marriage counselor in Bethesda or northwest DC? Thanks!

  7. Who wants to discuss Globes dresses? Here’s an easy one-page list of everyone – http://www.buzzfeed.com/whitneyjefferson/all-the-looks-at-the-2016-golden-globes#.daz9RBk13

    I really liked:
    -Julianne Moore – striking
    -Jenna Dewan Tatum – my favorite of the midnight blue looks
    -Jennifer Lawrence – tastefully deployed abs
    -Emmy Rossum’s necklace
    -Saoirse Ronan – simple and refreshing

    Really didn’t:
    -Eva Longoria – wtf was that neckline?
    -Jane Fonda – who talked her into that?
    -Kate Hudson – we get it, you work out
    -Gina Rodriguez – waaaay too much dress for the Globes, and kind of dated looking
    -Cate Blanchett – normally I admire her unique choices, but this was a bit of an Emperor’s New Clothes choice for me

    • It would be hard for me to hate Kate Hudson’s dress more. LITERALLY could there be a worse color for her to wear? AND it was super ugly.

      I loved Jaimie Alexander’s dress, despite the plunging neckline I’m frankly bored of at this point. But the pattern and the colors and the rest of the structure – gorgeous!

    • Anonymous :

      Kate Hudson was the worst, but I also hate her personality, so it’s hard for me to be objective.
      Nothing really wowed me. Jenna Dewan Tatum was probably my favorite.

    • Diana Barry :

      I really liked Jenna Dewan Tatum, Laverne Cox, Jane Wu, America Ferrera, also Emmy Rossum’s necklace.

      Everything else I thought was OK-to-meh with only Kate Hudson and Jane Fonda being breathtakingly bad.

    • Yay! Pricy Monday’s I LOVE Pricey Monday and blazer! Is VERY pretty, but NOT something I can get reimbursed. FOOEY!

      As for the OP, and the other’s you totally FORGOT about Kristen Dunst! Her dress was STUNNEING! And the manageing partner say’s I am HER double, but she has a better TUCHUS then I do! The manageing partner say’s that he hired me b/c he thought I WAS Kristen Dunst, but I think he Knew that I was NOT b/c I doubt that Kristen Dunst EVER served supeenie’s for a living like I had to b/f the manageing partner decided to hire me in the elevator. But I do take it as a complement, and even Myrna thought that Kristen Dunst looked gorgeus last nite on TV and looked like me. The manageing partner told me year’s ago that I looked like Gwneth Platrow, but I do NOT think I saw her at the Golden Globes. Personaly I think both of those women are a lot prettier then I am but even Sheketovits used to say I looked like Kristen Dunst when we were intimate. I regret doeing things with Sheketovits, but he seemed to know how to say the right thing’s at the right time. Otherwise I NEVER would have let him do those thing’s now. FOOEY! I suppose it’s live and learn and now I am a MUCH smarter person after having dated him. YAY!!!!!

    • Love Laverne Cox’s dress and styling; also loved Rachel Bloom’s dress. Heart.

      • Midwest Mama :

        Yes to Laverne Cox. She looked fabulous in white and the green accents were beautiful.

        • Yes Laverne Cox looked incredible. If you look at other pictures you can see that she had someone carrying her train around for her all night – the best.

          I haven’t seen her mentioned yet – Viola Davis looked beautiful. She was my favorite.

    • I can’t help commenting, because I’m just so tired of celebrities. Who cares what they wore? And why do people spend so much time picking apart the women?

      Part of me feels bad for the women celebs, who are once again being reduced to appearance. And another part of me knows that we just have a gross culture.

      I’m grumpy, I know.

      • I was thinking the same.

      • Meh. Most people reading this site have at least a passing interest in fashion and clothes. Celebs wear interesting and beautiful (or just interesting, or sometimes neither) clothing to these events. It’s fascinating to see what they choose, given the wealth of choices and help available to them. And red carpet fashion absolutely trickles down to influence what we wear everyday – the trends that start on the runway and red carpet have obvious cultural and sociological impact. And it’s fun to look at beautiful people wearing beautiful (or weird) things. Having an eye for that doesn’t make you a crappy person. I disagree pretty strongly that discussing red carpet looks has anything to do with a “gross culture” (barring discussion of their bodies, which I haven’t seen here).

        • If men wore interesting clothes, I’d be happy to talk about that as well. I love looking at and discussing fashion, and I don’t find it gross.

          Idiot questions on the red carpet, sure. Discussions about weight/bodies, also terrible. Admiring pretty sparkles – a favorite pastime of mine.

          • Ughh yes, seriously. Sends a horrible message to young women.

          • I do think the men’s fashion has been especially good the last few years! Eddie Redmayne dresses really well in general, and I loved his bee suit last night! And David Oyelowo also looked amazing in a purple dotted suit that sounds absurd but looked fantastic. Aziz Ansari rocked his plaid suit. I liked seeing men in suits that were memorable without being garish.

          • I agree re Aziz Ansari- he looked great. Also usually like Alan Cummings on the red carpet and I liked his look too.

          • I liked Alan Cummings from the waist up (sharp jacket and glasses) but his pants were weird and then he was wearing sneakers. So overall I thought it was a weird, inappropriate look.

        • As long as the red carpet discussion sticks to the clothes themselves and the styling, rather than body shaming, I don’t see why this is gross. Fashion is a huge industry and there’s nothing wrong with discussing it. It’s interesting that the industry people most often see as frivolous is the industry that a lot of women are interested in…

      • Wildkitten :

        I don’t care about celebrities but I do love pretty dresses.

      • I want to know why Jennifer Lawrence has such a strange smile. I’m always struck by it.

        • +1000 she looks like she’s dead

          But I’ll admit that I find her annoying and disingenuous.

        • Blue ink pens :

          I’ve noticed it. It’s because the top half of her face doesn’t move when she smiles, and her jaw goes back, kind of.

      • What bugs me is that there’s so much pressure for women to not just look classy, but stand out and look *different.* Avant Garde! Pushing the envelope! Setting trends! Women catch garbage for being too out there but if their dress is boring either they’ll catch garbage for that too, or they’ll render themselves invisible.

        If I like someone’s dress, I’ll go “ooooh, that’s a pretty dress! look how pretty it is! so pretty!” if someone wears something weird I might go “what was she thinking?” but it has to be really ugly for me to get caught up on it. But I care way more about who these women are and what they do than what they chose to wear for one night.

    • Midwest Mama :

      I loved Jennifer Lopez’ look, especially her dark lipstick and nails with the bright yellow dress. She looked so glamorous and elegant.

      • That color was straight up incredible on her and the makeup was spot on.

      • I was so relieved she picked something more classy and fashionable this time. I think she’s great/beautiful, but I’m so tired of seeing her in things that essentially make her look naked. She can carry off naked, which is enviable, but I don’t think she had been fashionable in a long time.

      • I’m not sure if I would have liked the dress on anyone else – on its own its meh, but she killed it. She looks like she is going to devour the camera with her eyes.

    • Katie Perry and Michaela Watkins could use a tailor. How do these poorly fitting dresses make it out on the red carpet at a high profile event like this? Also wish the trend of sad blush/mauve/beige colors would end already.

      • I agree. Michaela Watkins is so gorgeous and has a great figure but that dress was frumpy and did nothing for her.

      • Agreed about the colors! It just washes out women with pale skin, not a good look.

    • Favorite: Amy Schumer. But she’s my favorite in a lot of categories

      Least favorite: tie Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst

      Honorable mention: Viola Davis

    • I actually don’t have a clear favorite. Most of the looks are okay, I neither love nor hate. Jane Fonda is probably the worst for me, followed by Rooney Mara.

    • Anonymous :

      I wish someone told Brie Larson to stand up straight. Her posture did her dress no favors.

  8. stepsiblings help? :

    I posted this on the mom’s site last week, but hoped I might get a few more responses. (Thankful for the good response I did receive, though!)

    I’m pregnant with my first, but my stepdaughter (age 9) lives with us half time. She’ll be 10 when the baby is born. She is SUPER excited about the baby, which is great, but I am trying to be as sensitive as possible to making sure she still feels special when the baby comes. The age difference is in some ways good (she wants to babysit, really looks forward to helping and learning about babies), but in some ways tough….I’m imagining when she’s 15 and going through those glorious years I remember putting my own mom through, and her annoying little brother or sister is just starting kindergarten.

    I’m also concerned that we have a rather small house (two bedroom). Right now the plan is to move the baby into the sunroom eventually, and have s/he share our room before that. I hate to make SD share her bedroom, as that might seem like we’re pushing her out in favor of the new baby.

    Any books people can suggest, or anything you did to make the transition smooth? I have a good relationship with SD – I’ve known her since she was 4 (when her dad and I got serious), and am also lucky that both my husband and I have a good relationship with her mom. Would love to hear any thoughts!

    • Anon for this :

      I have a similar age gap (8.5 years) with my little brother. Talking about it with my parents later, it went much better than they were expecting. I was old enough to understand that babies required lots of attention, and also old enough that I was already doing plenty of things independently (showering at night and getting settled with a book, getting dressed in the morning, playing/reading on my own after homework), so I wasn’t feeling less attention during those times. I also LOVED taking care of my brother because I got to do all the fun stuff — hold him while he was in a snuggly good mood, feed him, pick out outfits, etc. — and none of the gross! As he got older, we actually bonded playing together (he LOVED trains and I liked re-configuring his train track set-up with him, etc), and I would “babysit” (aka mind him while mom was busy cooking or something) a lot.

      Thinking back, things that helped me adjust/made me feel valued and remembered: Mom talked to me about the change beforehand, said she knew it would be hard for me sometimes, and talked about how it would be appreciated and important for me to adjust to having to share their attention, I was given a small gift as a “big sister” gift when he was born (two American Girl outfits), and being allowed to share in caring for him with them (as opposed to being told to stay out of the way/to “go play”/feeling like a nuisance or ignored).

      • Anon for this :

        Oh, and about the teen years — the age difference was actually awesome as a teenager. We played lots of Mario Kart and other age-appropriate video games together, and I got hooked on Harry Potter after eavesdropping (while doing homework) on Mom reading the first book to him at bedtime. I got to re-live and enjoy some of my favorite little-kid stuff using little bro as an excuse (rather than being embarrassed about, say, being seen playing 4-square in the driveway with my parents, playing with little bro was socially acceptable!)

        We also didn’t really fight because we were at such different life stages — it’s not like we were 2 years apart and he was annoyed I was allowed to stay up later or whatever, or he knew about something that happened at school that I was hiding from my parents/vice versa, or wanting to use the same toys or clothes.

        • stepsiblings help? :

          Thank you! I’m glad you have so many fond memories…making me feel like this isn’t totally insane.

    • Siblings without Rivalry is an amazing book and helped me place the sibling relationship in perspective. It is also available via audible.

    • My oldest was 8 when we had our son and 10 when we had our daughter. Both times I got her a “big sister” gift and let her choose the outfit the baby wore home. It helped that she really liked babies and so she was always happy to hold them, help get them dressed, we let her do a lot of the “firsts” like when we first fed solid food we let her feed them (with us supervising of course.) Now, she is 15, our son is 7 and our daughter is 4 and while they do fight sometimes–like when they mess with the stuff in her room–they also play well together. She will take the outside to play games, read to them, and helps them with homework. She has also rediscovered some of the books and movies she liked when she was younger and shares those with them. She also babysits sometimes. I also tried to make sure to do things with just her–sometimes small stuff like run to starbucks for a drink or go get our nails done together. She and my husband both like scary movies and so they will watch those together.

      • stepsiblings help? :

        This is great. I need to make sure we are both making a clear effort to do things with just her.

    • Step-mama to 2 :

      Sorry for the long reply and brain dump but I am very familiar with this situation! I have a 19 month old and am now pregnant with my second. My step-children are 14 and 12 and are with us 3-4 days/week. When my 19 month old was born, my step-kids were 12 and 10. We were nervous about how they would handle a much-younger sibling. Luckily, it has gone better than anyone could have expected. The older boys LOVE their baby brother and are more than happy to go to the playground, play kitchen, trains, watch “little kid” TV, and read “baby” books – they love sharing their favorites and reliving childhood with baby brother. My husband and I were very careful to not let them feel like we were replacing them with a new baby. We were insistent that they keep their own rooms and we are going have the 2 little kids share a room once new baby is in a crib. We also keep the baby toys in our living room so they get their own “big kid” hangout room – although they are usually in the living room playing with the baby! Their mom has also been great about including my son as a full sibling to her boys. That really makes a big difference. We are all on the same page that the kids are full siblings.

      The things I wasn’t anticipating being difficult included having to pump/breast feed in a private space because the older boys were very grossed-out by the whole process. It also took more energy than I anticipated to be present in their lives when I was consumed with a newborn. Try to prepare your step-daughter for the fact that you are going to be really hormonal for awhile after the new baby comes and if she sees you crying for no apparent reason, yelling at your husband, etc…. it doesn’t mean you’re unhappy or don’t love her or your husband anymore. The post-partum hormones are no joke and they can be scary to older siblings.

      • stepsiblings help? :

        This is so helpful. I really appreciate your first hand experience! And I had honestly not thought at all about the post-partum stress stuff. That is really good advice.

        • Step-mama to 2 :

          No problem! Let me know if you have any other questions. I was really nervous about how the baby would change the “blended family” dynamics in my house. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses but for the most part the baby really did bring everyone together – we even had my stepsons’ mom at our house for Christmas morning so everyone could watch baby brother open gifts from Santa. Not something I ever imagined doing pre-baby!

    • Do not make an 11 year old share a bedroom with a 1 year old and do not shunt her to the sunroom. Move. That’s too large an age gap to share and you have two children.

      • I know now your plan is to put the baby out there, just reinforcing your instinct.

    • No stepkids or new babies here, but my son is 8, and one of the things he likes most is to be asked his opinion and to get to make choices on his own. For instance, you could ask your stepdaughter whether she would rather stay in her current room and help you turn the sunroom into a baby room, or whether she would rather remodel the sunroom into her new room and turn her current room into baby room in a few months. Same thing with furniture, decorations, etc – if it’s appropriate would she rather help you pick out a new baby dresser/changing table or does she want to hand down her current one to baby and pick out a new one for herself.

      Obviously don’t give her these choices if there is a “right” one and her picking the “wrong” one would a huge hassle for you and you have to lean hard on her to pick the “right” one. But I think giving her some choices (do you want a new room or stay in your old room and be jealous of the baby’s “new” room) might go a long way toward goodwill.

      There are also infant care classes offered at some hospitals – maybe you, H and SD could take one together, or you could involve her in other ways (registry, name discussions, etc) to show her that she is in this with all of you as a family?

      • stepsiblings help? :

        Step-daughter really appreciates that too. That is a great suggestion and I’ll talk to my husband about the best decisions to keep her involved in.

    • Anonymous :

      no advice, but I wanted to say, as someone who had a half sister at age 10 and did feel put aside by my step mother, the fact that you care so much about the well being of your step daughter speaks very highly of you, and I’m sure she’ll be fine!

  9. Anonymous :

    Looking for recommendations for doctors who do botox injections in DC or Bethesda. My derm does them, but I’m not sure he’s the best fit for that.

    • Go with someone who does a lot of them. You want someone with years of experience with these injections as I understand the educational certification for this process is something like a one afternoon class or something like that.

    • A derm is exactly who you want for that.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m planning to go to Todd Perkins but I haven’t pulled the trigger yet.

    • I highly recommend Dr. Joy Chen. I have not used her for botox but I have used her for other cosmetic treatments and she is awesome. She’s consistently voted one of the top derms in the area. Will NOT try to upsell you products and is just such a sweet, warm person.


    • I highly recommend Dr. Joy Chen. I have not used her for botox but I have used her for other cosmetic treatments and she is awesome. She’s consistently voted one of the top derms in the area. Will NOT try to upsell you products and is just such a sweet, warm person.

  10. I just started Weight Watchers, and I’m finding it challenging at first. A few questions. I do Pure Barre type exercise (in Houston, it’s called Define). There is no Pure Barre entry. Do I just put it as pilates or something? I feel like it’s harder than pilates.

    Also, I’m having trouble tracking my food when I cook so much. How do you enter your points when you make a big pot of soup? Do you do everything individually, or just sort of guess the number of points? The food tracking seems like it would work really well if you eat packaged food or eat at chains, but I do little of either.

    Also, any thoughts on swapping fitness points for food points?

    • Honestly I couldn’t stick with WW because I was in the same boat as you. Cooking your own food becomes so annoying to track. I would just sort of guess, but I don’t think that was the best solution.

      • Same. I lasted three months on WW because of the same issues. I had much better luck tracking on MyFitnessPal because I could import/save recipes.

        • Yes, I ended up preferring MyFitnessPal as well! Also MFP was easier because it saved your “recently eaten” stuff, which is great if you eat the same combo of leftovers for a few days.

          • WW does this too, as an FYI. You can save favorites, recently eaten foods, save things you eat together as a meal, and create recipes for things you make.

    • Wildkitten :

      You can enter ingredients to make a recipe and then add the portion you ate from that recipe. You can also look up recipes – if you made chicken noodle soup, search for chicken noodle soup. Do not just guess the points when you are starting out, and make sure you measure how much you are eating (like, 1 cup of soup, 1.5 cups, whatever).

      Is there barre at all? If not, I think entering Pilates is fine. I know WW says you should eat your activity points, but my nutritionist says to not to.

      • Wildkitten :

        Maybe you can’t make a recipe – maybe that’s only in MFP. My bad.

        • You used to be able to make up a recipe on WW online, or make up a “meal” that consisted of ingredients X, Y and Z.

          Are you attending meetings or just doing it online? If meetings, go ask your group leader after the meeting one day – that is what they are there for, adn they could walk you through a common scenario like making chicken soup.

          As for exercise, there also used to be an option where you could just put in “X minutes of [easy, moderate, intense] workout” where they had descriptions of what each would be (for instance, could talk and breathe easily, like a casual stroll would be easy, moderate would be difficult to carry on conversation, etc)

        • You can make recipes in WW as well.

    • For making soup, I use the recipe builder. That’s what it is there for! I enter in all the ingredients and the number of servings and then save it for future use.

      For exercise I think you’re getting bogged down in the details. It really doesn’t matter whether you’re doing barre or Pilates or yogalates. You’re burning way less than you think which is why the plan no longer encourages you to trade fitness points for food, although you can if you need to. Just pick something similar, select your level of exertion, and carry on.

      • Oh and thoughts on swapping fitness points- I don’t, and the plan suggests you shouldn’t. You don’t need to eat more to fuel a bar workout. If you are struggling with hunger or losing weight too quickly, eat them. If you’re training for a marathon, use them for fueling.

    • they actually just added a barre working option. look under “all activities and “b” its called Barre class or workout.

      as for cooking my own food, I usually add all of the ingredients in and guess at the amount. A lot are veggies, so they don’t have to be precise. For soups, I often search for the soup first (navy bean soup, lentil soup) and see what options come up. then go from there

  11. What is with all the autoplay video ads lately? They slow down my browser SO MUCH and I can’t install any ad blocker software on my work computer. Kat, I know you generate income through ads, but I won’t be able to check the site any more during the day if this keeps up. Anyone else having this problem?

    • yes, I do here and at Ask A Manager, the ads make the page stop loading so I have to leave the page entirely. It’s so bad at AAM I mostly don’t go there anymore.

      Am using IE on a work computer that I cannot alter.

      • Yep, it is so terrible that i cant check from my work computer anymore. And the iphone interface is terrible (cant see the threads well and which replies are to what). I read and comment much less. Its a shame.

  12. National Association of Professional Women… worth joining or scam?

    • Wildkitten :

      I think it’s a scam.

    • SCAM—my office administrator got suckered into it. $900 or some such PER YEAR for all kinds of “benefits.” And a hidden auto-renewal!!! Any organization with Star Jones as the spokesperson? Don’t think so…

    • thanks both, that was my thought as well.

  13. Has anyone been to Lapland or a similar place to see the northern lights/dog sledding/ice hotel/similar activities (Maybe Finland or Iceland)? If so, where did you go, what time of year, and how did you plan the trip? Any suggestions for companies that offer package deals including airfare?

    • No experience. But depending on your location the Yukon or Northwest Territories or Nunavut in Canada may be closer and cheaper given the low Canadian dollar.

    • I went a few years ago as part of an overall trip to Sweden & Finland. I’m in the UK and organised through a local tour operator the part of the trip where I went to Lapland, mainly because I was travelling alone. I went in early September mainly to see the Northern Lights. I would recommend where I stayed – it’s the Nellim Wilderness Hotel near Lake Inari in Finland. I think you can arrange packages directly with them, at least for activities while you are there as well as airport pick-up or drop-off. It’s run by a family who were really lovely and helpful, especially for the solo traveller during the off-season. If you want more info, you can email me at polgara DOT duchessoferat AT the google mail service.

  14. Speaking of Golden Globes, did anyone see this?
    It’s possible that with more context this is less awful, but from this 20 second clip it really sounds like she is berating someone who doesn’t speak English that well and is struggling to get his question out and maybe using his phone to help him.
    In the interests of full disclosure I’ve never gotten the J. Law hype but I never had anything against her. This is moving me into the “dislike” camp.

    • I generally agreed with you until I saw a comment from someone who claims to have been in the room and said that the guy wasn’t reading a question off of his phone- he was trying to record her or take pictures of her while asking the question, which is kind of off-putting.

      • Blue ink pens :

        I’m sorry, what? Isn’t being photographed by reporters a major part of the golden globes?

    • I think she and Amy called someone out for having their phone out while they were giving a speech, and I don’t know if that person was taking pictures or video of them or if they were just looking at their phone and ignoring them, but I can see how it can be annoying when people are looking at their phones while you’re talking and maybe she’d just had it with people doing that all night, being more immersed in their phone screens than what the person was saying.

  15. Hello hive
    I thought I should do a quick update because things are finally working out for me.
    As you might recall: my mother passed away, I took on my sisters with hoarding issues, my relationship with dad is frigid and my former manager put me on a PIP right after mum’s passing before he quit so I’d not get promoted.
    Well several months later here is my update: I applied to a top 3 management consulting firm in europe and worked very hard to prep so they gave me an offer 20 min after the last interview.
    It was not easy because I kept my full time job and practiced cases at night but I made it.
    My remote manager refused to talk to me for weeks at a time so when i asked HR they said my job was suppressed and he didn’t bother to tell me so just let me work in my corner with no updates.
    Local HR were nicer and I got a small severence package which for my country’s labor standards is amazing as I could have been kicked out with no resources.
    Throughout this ordeal I took on a mentee to pay it forward (I somehow believe in a form of karma debt that could always help in the future).
    I also volunteered for a very messy project because I was the only one able to fix the situation and I did very well as a last hat tip to my employer because my professional standard is more valuable than the system issues I have been through. I continued to work until the very last day.
    Now I am free and will relocate to Europe in few weeks. I have to go through a lot of paperwork and there are many pending issues (insurance problem from an accident, house renovation etc. ) that I will need to address before the big leap.
    But I just wanted to tell you guys that I made it out of the hurricane.
    The past 2 years had their fare share of bullying at work, dealing with an ailing parent, family & money problems and a closed job market. But I survived.
    Thanks all for your support.
    I will be back to posting regularly. I missed you all.

    • I was just thinking the other day how you hadn’t posted in a while. Glad you can see blue skies now! Good luck with the transition and relocation.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Houda I’m so glad to hear you’re coming out of the chaos! Best of luck with your relocation!

    • Midwest Mama :

      Congratulations! That is a lot to deal with at one time. Here’s to a much better, happier 2016!

    • Diana Barry :

      CONGRATS! That is awesome! GO YOU. :)

    • Coach Laura :

      Houda, you’re a rock-star! Good luck with the move – I’m sure you’ll do well!

    • OCAssociate :

      Congratulations! Amazing job! Good luck with your move and new job.

    • In-House Europe :

      Where in Europe are you headed? Would totally buy you a beer if you are coming to my town… :)

  16. White dress :

    Shopping help! Going on a tropical retreat with my husband’s company. I thought I had my packing planned out based on what I already have for summery clothes, but I just found out about there’s going to be a “white party.” I usually steer clear of white because of my notoriously messy reputation so I need something new, and it being January is not helping my search. Looking for a white dress or jumpsuit/romper in a thickish material that won’t be see through. My ideal would be a simple jersey maxi dress with no embellishment/lace/eyelet (just not my personal style). I don’t want to spend a lot because I’ll probably never wear it again. Any takers?

    • Wildkitten :

      Nordstrom lets your sort dresses by color online.

    • http://www.zappos.com/culture-phit-monicah-maxi-dress-white




    • I had to buy the same thing for a cruise. White House Black Market outlet had some great options.

    • Diana Barry :

      Look at the Boden sale, they might have something.

  17. Need advice: In my (thankfully past) biglaw days, the siren call would go out asking if anyone had availability to take on a project. It was a hard lesson learned to say “no” and to attempt to keep your plate full at all times by soliciting work that you liked and that allowed you a modicum of control over your life. After a short period of time, it became reflexive to answer “no” to the question of whether you were available and whether you had time to take on additional work.

    Fast forward three years (clerkship in between), I am now at a lovely company with a boss who is the epitome of a wonderful general counsel, boss and all around good human being. I have been here about six months. Even after all this time, if a call goes out asking who is available and whether I have time to take on a project, my knee jerk reaction is still “no!” and to duck and cover. Anyone else out there had this experience and have advice on how to put this part of biglaw in your past?

  18. Bankruptcy :

    Apologies in advance if various iterations of this post show up eventually – they aren’t going through for me…

    Long story short: Can anyone recommend a resource (book, website) that provides a simple but thorough explanation of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process in Florida? My inlaws recently filed, and it is abundantly and distressingly clear that they are emotionally overwhelmed and don’t understand what is happening (and aren’t really trying to learn). I’m a lawyer, but in a different jurisdiction and practice area, so no legal advice will be coming from me, but I’d like to be able to point them in the direction of some solid vouched-for resources to help educate them.


    • Chapter 7 in General http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/bankruptcy/bankruptcy-basics/chapter-7-bankruptcy-basics
      Florida Considerations http://www.floridabar.org/tfb/TFBConsum.nsf/0/2b0fc05146da3b3785256b2f006c5549!OpenDocument%26Click%3D
      Are they trying to do this pro se?

      • Bankruptcy :

        No – they have an attorney but don’t seem to be asking him questions or otherwise trying learn about what is going on.

    • Bankruptcy is federal, so the basic process should be relatively similar between federal districts, right? I’ve only dealt with MN, so I can’t necessarily compare – but the high-level overview should be the same from state to state.


      State-specific comes into play with the exemptions claimed as part of the filing process. Debtors can choose to use the federal OR state exemptions (not both) to keep some assets out of the bankruptcy estate – like retirement funds, home, vehicles, etc.

    • In my state, the BR court has a Pro Se guide on its website.So even though they aren’t pro se, such a thing could be helpful to them in understanding the process. And, they should really talk to their lawyer about their questions. I know most lawyers do chp 7 as a volume practice and charge a flat fee so they aren’t particularly motivated to do a lot of hand holding through the process…but the fact is, it is their job as attorneys to answer questions and provide reassurance (within reason) and they need to be held to it. Being a lawyer yourself, maybe you can talk to them about their issues and concerns, and without giving advice, just help them to organize their questions and boil the questions down so they can increase the chances that their lawyer will get back to them promptly with succinct responses.

    • If you need a lawyer recommendation, I used this law firm for my bankruptcy. It was worth the cost.


  19. Furnishing 2 bedrooms :

    How much would you recommend setting aside to completely furnish a 2-bedroom home? My furniture is all falling apart but I want to stick with it until I buy a place. Making great progress on my down payment fund, but ideally I’d like to save enough to be ready to furnish it as I move in. I know furniture prices can vary a ton, but I’m really just looking for a ballpark estimate — no Ikea but not Pottery Barn either. I have access to after-market samples from major manufacturers like Thomasville, Henredon, etc. so I’d like to buy some classic well-made beds (will also need mattresses) and a reasonably-sized dining table, along with dressers, nightstands, etc. I’m not exactly worried about decor at this point, though an estimate there would be helpful too. TIA!

    • I think we spent about $5-6K furnishing two bedrooms (beds, dressers, nightstands, and lamps), but we had mattresses. Our furniture was from Macy’s, which is definitely between Ikea and Pottery Barn in terms of price. I think it’s hard to get a decent (new) queen or king-sized mattress for much less than $1K so that would add $2K to the cost.
      For the dining room I spent more time trying to find good deals and we got a gorgeous and very well made dining room table for <$700 (this one: http://www.wayfair.com/Legacy-Classic-Furniture-Thatcher-Dining-Table-LCF2779-LCF2779.html) and 8 dining chairs for about $70 a piece.
      We had to furnish a five bedroom house when we moved last year. I think we spent more than $20K, and that was pretty much all furniture, no decor. It was a huge expense that I did not fully anticipate.

    • teensyweensylaw :

      Are you in an area where you could conceivably order from North Carolina? The savings can be substantial if you are within delivery distance which is usually several hundred miles.

      I live in the NYC area. I furnished two bedrooms (not including mattresses) and a small dining room for about $6000-6500 with fairly decent furniture by buying from NC. I spent 10-25% less that I would have spent locally to buy the furniture, and have it delivered and assembed. If that is out of your price range, you can purchase in NC but from a more modestly priced manufacturer. The furniture outlets in NC carry a broad selection of manufacturers from the pricey to the quite reasonable.

      This is one outlet I bought a number of pieces from and good a great deal.

      However, if you can get Henredon or Thomasville locally for a decent price, I suggest you go with it. You would probably be talking about $4000-5000 per roomfor those manufacturers. They are substanitally more expensive than Pottery Barn.

      • Furnishing 2 bedrooms :

        Yes, my parents are actually in High Point, NC, where the furniture market is held, so I think I can get some pieces that were previously on showroom floors and/or from the outlets. These tend to be slightly nicked so even the higher end manufacturers’ pieces can be significantly discounted. I thought I could ask y’all about your experiences/costs and then use that as a ceiling if I am able to get better deals. I’m within the delivery range, so your estimate is very helpful — thanks!

        • Furnishing 2 bedrooms :

          And thanks for everyone else’s responses, too! Always helpful to get a variety of recommendations.

      • teensyweensylaw- can you comment on the quality of the furniture from the website you linked to? Website looks a little sketchy.

    • Not an estimate but a suggestion – we furnished our house over time by purchasing furniture with tax returns. Also January and July tend to have the biggest sales, and for my locality, things go on sale pretty much every weekend Jan/Feb.

      Prices can fluctuate wildly. We had a $400 couch from American Signature (which is already gone…I hated it) and a $1200 couch from another big retailer that’s now closed. You’ll find lower prices at Target, IKEA, Value City/American Signature. Mid and high prices at department stores and Crate and Barrel. High prices at Pottery Barn, Ethan Allen.

      Good luck! I love furniture shopping.

    • I probably spent $5k+ over the last 4 years furnishing studio from nothing. I have a lot of west elm and ikea, so nothing crazy expensive, but after tax and delivery charges the final number is surprisingly large. The required total may be even higher, considering there were a few cheap temporary pieces that came and went as I moved apartments, and there were some hand-me-downs that aren’t included in the $5k. Thank god I actually have everything now- it takes me so long to make final decisions about this kind of stuff, and I really needed to live with each new piece and play with different room layouts before deciding on the next piece.

    • Blue ink pens :

      Regarding mattresses — I swear by the mattresses that you can buy on Amazon. (It’s the top-ranked product for mattresses; I will post the link.) They come in a giant bag and when you unwrap it, it fills with air. They are SO MUCH LESS EXPENSIVE, and with Prime, you don’t have to pay for shipping. I got a queen for around $250, total.

      I’ve had this mattress for 4 years and am still so happy with it. My mom and sisters had been very skeptical when I told them that I was buying a mattress this way, but they have since become converts.

      They are foam mattresses, so you don’t need box springs. (Of course, if you skip the box springs, you need to get some wooden slats or a special bed frame so that the mattress is supported.) Personally, I first used slats, which were inexpensive at Ikea. Then I ended up getting the $110 bed frame from Amazon.

      *I swear I’m not trolling for the mattress company. I have just been really, really impressed by my mattress, and feel the need to spread the word because of the major cost-savings.

      • Blue ink pens :

        Link: http://www.amazon.com/Signature-Sleep-Contour-Inch-Mattress/dp/B004LQ1RJ2/ref=sr_1_1?s=furniture&ie=UTF8&qid=1452532514&sr=1-1&keywords=mattress

    • Just a piece of advice, but I wouldn’t write off Ikea or Pottery Barn (or any other furniture place) – Ikea has some really great pieces, and Pottery Barn is often cheaper than a lot of places, especially on sale. I’ve never done a whole room at once – my strategy has been more replace over time & I also like a mix of high/low so there’s flea market/thrift stuff mixed with new.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I couldn’t agree more. I have pieces from Horchow Collection, West Elm, Target, Pottery Barn, Ikea, Costco, Craigslist, you name it.

    • Don’t ignore craigslist. My finds include:

      Restoration Hardware carmel leather sofa for $1000 (originally $3500); and

      Gorgeous Mission-style solid oak dining table with two extending leaves plus *10* matching chairs (2 captain chairs plus 8 side chairs) with hand-stitched carmel leather seats for $800 (originally $4500 for the set).

      Also, I bought my mattress 5 years ago on Overstock and my boyfriends all have loved it, including one with serious back issues who sold his $5000 mattress to buy a duplicate of my $400 one right after we broke up.

    • Anonymous :

      I just spent about $8k furnishing a two-bedroom house with a sunroom, although I had dining room furniture and furniture for one of the bedrooms. This figure included not only furniture and area rugs but all new table, bath and bed linens, dishes, flatware and some art and accessories, plus some basic tools, a ladder, etc.. Ex-H got to keep all the old stuff. :) I got a lot of my accent pieces (wall mirrors, frames, nesting tables, a pouf, throw blankets), as well as some of the rugs, from either Overstock or Home Goods.

      I would not necessarily recommend buying everything at once, though, as it does really help to live in the space and see how you will use it and what you like. E.g., a nook in my living room had a small table and chairs left by the former owners that I kept for a while, until I could find the right armchair and footstool combination for that spot. Turned out that I used the table all. the. time. for work, meals, everything. So instead of an armchair I upgraded the table and chairs to something nicer and more in keeping with the style of my own furniture.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t need any furniture but I quite often look in consignment stores in my area and see so many nice pieces! Especially dressers and odd bits from bedroom “suites”. Usually you wouldn’t want the bed frames, because they’re twin or double size. But the other pieces are quite often nice, solid wood, sometimes mahogany. I think some of the chests I’ve seen would be great in a living room or hallway. And when I started out, I had my mattress on a frame until I could afford a bedstead.

  20. Sydney Bristow :

    Kay/Kate – The new style of comments on mobile is making it very difficult for me to tell which comments are threaded responses.

  21. Hi all,

    My partner and I are expecting our first child in a few months, and in the meantime we are going to see a lawyer to set up our wills. Any recommendations for paperwork we should bring with us, or things to think about before we meet with her? We have already picked out our child’s guardians (and backup guardians) if that should ever become necessary (and we have already spoken to them about it and agreed to do it). I’m sure she will give us a list of things to think about as well, but just hoping to get a jumpstart on prep. TIA!

    • What I thought was neat was the idea from the lawyer about including both familes, if feasible. One side to be the guardian, one side to manage the money or fund. Or one side to be the emergency presence at a medical event, another side to make decisions. I know this won’t be the best strategy for everybody, but it seemed a good way to balance the interests of different families.

      • The term guardian is highly misunderstood; there’s no need for the person who will take care of the child to be the legal guardian.

        • Generally the person who takes care of the child is the legal guardian. You can have a separate trustee if the guardian is goo with children, but not so good with money. Maybe the terminology is different in another state.

          For the appointment, you should have an idea of everything you own, really everything! A lot of clients don’t realize the size of their estate. I have had clients come in thinking they only had a couple hundred thousand and they really own over 1 million, which can effect the tax consequences. You also want to know how everything is titled, consider if that is appropriate, and be sure to review any beneficiary, POD, TOD designations. If you are unsure of how something is titled, bring the deed, account statements, etc.

    • Lazy lawyer :

      This will be included in the list of items your lawyer tells you to consider, but — think about a trustee for any assets that will not pass immediately to surviving children. In our case, we named a trustee who is different from the guardians, due to guardians’ money management issues.

    • Anon in NYC :

      We just did this. Assuming that you have a basic estate, you shouldn’t need to have any paperwork on hand for an initial meeting. For us, it was a relatively short meeting (maybe 1 hour), and he asked us questions about who would have power of attorney if we were both incapacitated, health care proxies, guardianship, and the executor and trustee. He asked us about our assets, but none of that was contained in the documents itself. I think he was just getting a feel for what our estate was.

    • anonomatopoeia :

      My office always asks people to bring statements or documentation for each of their accounts/assets (including bank accounts, life insurance, annuities, etc.). We have found that clients don’t always understand their assets as well as they should (e.g. they think they added a beneficiary when they actually added a co-owner; they assume an account is in joint names when it’s really a sole account; they don’t know who their beneficiaries are; etc.), so we review everything to ensure that the titling and beneficiaries on all accounts match with the desired estate plan.

      This is probably more important with older clients that need the extra help, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring this kind of documentation along and let your attorney decide if it’s important.

  22. TMI updates :

    I posted a few weeks ago about feeling really alone because my husband and I want to TTC but I hadn’t had a period since going off birth control. Wanted to thank everyone again for their advice on opening up to others – I ended up telling a close friend who is a doctor and being more open about my feelings of frustration with my husband, and felt a lot better after. And special thanks to the person who posted about her experience getting it back during a parade – you ended up being completely on the money. I’m happy to report that it finally came back while I was on vacation hiking in the middle of the woods in another country, completely unprepared… :) I managed, of course, and am crossing my fingers that we are now on the right track!!!

    I saw while I was gone that a number of people posted about pre-TTC advice, and just wanted to add that based on my experience, you should really go off hormonal birth control and switch to barrier methods well in advance. I’ve learned in this process that the majority of women have no issue and their reproductive/hormonal system will return to normal right away, but it takes 3+ months for a good percentage to return to normal.

  23. Since there tend to be SO many DC people here — doctor rec in internal medicine or family medicine? I tend to prefer women — 30s/40s (so they’re a bit experienced but need not be in practice for 30 yrs either), and a good bedside manner — i.e. easy to talk to; you can ask questions w/o being blown off or feel like you’re being pushed out of the room when your 5 min are up.

    Preferably downtown/Dupont/GW

    • Not downtown but LOVE Dr. Radley at Georgetown Medstar (Chevy Chase location, near the FH metro).

      she spends a lot of time chatting with you, never rushes, has fantastic reviews online, in that age range, and there’s never a wait. it’s a brand new location and she is taking new patients.

    • Wildkitten :

      One Medical Group. If you have Carefirst it’s free, otherwise you pay an annual fee.

    • Seconding One Medical. Dr. Komis fits your demographic and I like her–she’s in the Dupont office. They also have offices at Farragut and Metro Center, which is nice if you need to get seen ASAP or run to the lab for bloodwork and one of those offices is more convenient.

    • Anonymous :

      Not a woman, but I highly recommend Dr. Bruce Rashbaum. He’s the best doctor I’ve ever been to. He’s thorough, thoughtful, has flexible hours, and doesn’t rush you. Excellent bedside manner. Located in the Human Rights Building at 1640 Rhode Island Ave NW.

  24. Gullibility? :

    I’m feeling very gullible right now. Not about interpersonal relationships, but 3 things recently I built up to be huge best-case scenarios in my head in the past week or so (NOT the lottery, haha) have not panned out the way I hoped, and even left me feeling a little embarrassed (thankfully, not publicly). Can anyone relate/give advice/is this normal? Sadface :(

    • Just for perspective: I have the opposite problem. I tend to view people very dimly and assume that most things I hope or have worked for are not going to happen. It’s not a great way to be either, and I constantly wish I could have a little more faith and trust. You sound brave, and I admire that.

    • Gulliblity can be better than cynicism — it’s OK to be embarrassed sometimes, especially if you got there by assuming the best of someone.

  25. I’ve been dating a guy for about 3 months, hoping we could be heading toward a relationship but also knowing he doesn’t seem to want that right now, and this weekend he basically clarified that. I figure there’s no harm in continuing to spend time with him, knowing it’s unlikely to ever turn serious/monogamous, planning to walk away when doing so no longer makes me happy, but is that naive? Am I setting myself up for certain heartbreak? Or is it really okay to date someone knowing that, barring an unlikely change of heart, they’re not “the one” for you.

    I’m 26, if that makes a difference. No rush to get married, no real motivation to “get out there and find myself a boyfriend.”

    • I think there’s nothing wrong with casual dating, but you aren’t casual. You do want a relationship. This thing isn’t going to give you one, so move on.

    • Heed my warning: Break it off with this guy. It’s better to sever ties now before you invest another second in this relationship.

    • Break it off. If you’re anything like me, you’ll get attached anyway, and that will leave you less open for relationships with people who want to be in a relationship with you.

    • I would ask yourself if dating this guy will keep you from looking for (or being available if you randomly meet) a great guy who does want a long-term relationship.

    • I think it totally depends on what you want. If you want to date casually, that sounds great.

      I had been talking on and off with my boyfriend for a couple years about marriage but at 26 I sat him down and said that getting married was important to me, that I wanted to marry him and if he didn’t see our relationship going there in the near term that I need to know that. I felt that if he was not in the same place, it was probably a sign he wasn’t the one for me. We’ve be married ten years.

      If you want more than a casual relationship, and want to move towards a serious relationship and eventually marriage and/or kids, I think you need to end it. If you are casually dating someone, you are less likely to put yourself out there in ways that will result in you meeting someone who is ready for a serious relationship. Either route is totally fine and can make you happy, you just have to figure out what you want.

      • I’m just not the “put myself out there” type! I’m not in a rush to get married, I don’t need a boyfriend right now! Having a boyfriend would be cool, being single is also cool, meeting someone I find attractive and seeing where things go is sort of how I roll these days and I don’t think I’ve failed just because none of them ended up wanting to marry me. At some point I’ll (probably) get serious about getting myself a man and settling down, but right now I have so much going on that it’s not a priority, so I don’t see why I have to walk away from him and find someone else, because if I walked away, I’m not gonna sign up for OK Cupid and hit the singles’ bars, I’m just going to go about my life until someone else comes in.

        • Because you literally just told us you’ve spent three months hoping this could be a relationship!’

          If you had spent three months having lots of fun with no expectations, answers would be different.

          • I hoped (not expected) it would become a relationship because I really liked him, not because I need a boyfriend to be happy.

          • But if you really like him, and want to be in a relationship with him, and he doesn’t want a relationship with you, continuing to date him is a recipe for disaster. It’s not about needing to be in a relationship or not, it’s about your feelings for this guy.

        • Anon at 12:06 :

          I think I was pretty clear in saying that these were my choices and I was expressly not saying that they should be your choices. The point I was trying to make is that you can’t expect a serious relationship to fall into your lap.

          Figure out what you want – casual relationship, non-exclusive dating, serious relationship, serious relationship with marriage potential and focus on finding that. If what you want it to date casually with no commitment then he’s perfect – if you don’t want that then do not spend 6 more months with him expecting that he will suddenly want something more serious.

        • I’m not sure why you asked a question here, then. If you’re fine with him not being your boyfriend…what’s the issue?

          • Exactly. You clearly aren’t fine. You’re disappointed. And you’re only going to get more hurt as time goes on.

        • Anon at 12:06 :

          “I’m just going to go about my life until someone else comes in” is not generally how people meet long term partners post-college. Luck may work for some people, but generally you have to make an effort -not necessarily online dating but expand your social circle, meet new people, let people know you are interested in meeting new people/dating etc.

          If you like him and don’t want something serious – that’s great. But if that’s the case, why are you posting? If you do want something serious – the suggestions to break up with him are not exactly shocking.

    • Red Velvet :

      I did this a lot in my younger and wilder days. From my experience, the only fool-proof way to prevent yourself from developing deep feelings for him is to openly see other people, even if it’s just a couple of one-night stands. And let him know you’re doing this.

      That way, your brain and heart can’t get tricked into thinking your in a relationship. If you act like a real couple in every way to the outside world and only you know underneath you’re not because you don’t have feelings for each other, you’re unlikely to make it last long.

    • Red Velvet :

      I did this a lot in my younger and wilder days. From my experience, the only fool-proof way to prevent yourself from developing deep feelings for him is to openly see other people, even if it’s just a couple of one-night stands. And let him know you’re doing this.

      That way, your brain and heart can’t get tricked into thinking your in a relationship. If you act like a real couple in every way to the outside world and only you know underneath you’re not because you don’t have feelings for each other, it’s too difficult.

    • How are you going to feel when, after a few more months of this, he tells you that he has met someone else, and that he does want a serious relationship with her?

      However you feel about that is likely your answer.

    • Allison, honey. Take a deep breath. You posted a question, people are answering your question and you’re arguing with them.

      Ask yourself why you asked the question. Ask yourself why you are defensive.
      This is the answer to your question. You already know.

    • Yeah, it is naive. Sorry. By all means continue to amuse yourself with him if you are lonely, but at the same time get yourself out there and make a concerted effort at finding someone who you do like who does want a relationship. Actually finding that person doesn’t have to happen right now, but get your toes wet. Explore. Even if you think you are not the type of person who needs to do that, do it anyways. Joining tinder/okc/etc isn’t desperate and it doesn’t mean that you’re itching to get married, it’s how you meet other people these days and you do not have to make those situations into anything serious – many people do not on those services. While it would be cool if someone came into your life organically, the chances are not that high so consider opening yourself up to meeting more people. I’ve met so many cool people through those things that I never would have otherwise. Hanging out with someone who doesn’t want to date you can drag you down over time and you don’t have time for that @#$!.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      You have time, but you don’t have time to waste. You want a relationship with him and he doesn’t want that. I think you will just get hurt in the end if you continue seeing this guy. But it sounds like you want to continue seeing him and acting like you’re fine with it. You don’t have to be the “cool, casual girl” if you don’t want to be. Do what you think is right for you, but have some ice cream and wine on stand by. You may need it.

  26. Who wants to help me scour RTR for a loony-but-awesome event?

    We’ve been invited to join a friend’s table at an upcoming “Civil War ball” at a very posh social club in our East Coast city. The official blurb from the club actually mentions Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler (despite our being well north of the Mason-Dixon Line) and suggests that “period attire or black tie is encouraged.” Oh, and did I mention that there’s period dancing (including lessons)?

    My friends are definitely not the costume-y sort, and given the other people that I’ve encountered professionally who are members of this club (lots of buttoned-up bankers, lawyers, etc.), I rather imagine that most attendees eschew period attire. However, given that it’s a private club, I haven’t found any images from previous events–although the images used to advertise are all heavy on the period garb!

    I certainly would prefer to avoid hoop skirts and corsetry for the evening, although I don’t want to look completely out of place or disrespectful of their nutty traditions. Any great recommendations from the RTR closet? I’m on the petite side, prefer deep colors to pastels, have a nice non-corseted waist (sorry, Scarlett), and prefer to spend less than $200.

    And if other ‘3tt3s are also attending (because how many of these events can there be?), let’s work out a secret signal so we can hang out. But first please tell me if they’re serious about the period dress!

    • RSVP no, because it’s incredibly racist to romanticize the enslavement of millions for the sake of a party, and you and anyone else attending should be embarrassed?

      Like, if you want to have a hoop skirt party, at least set it in 1876 and call it a #tbt150yearsago shindig and don’t mention playing Scarlett O’Hara dress up.

      • I agree with this. I side-eye this event.

        • Meh. I know, I had that thought. I would really like to go, though, as I think it’ll be a very good networking opportunity, and I very much enjoy (and have no doubts about the progressive bona fides of) the friends who invited us. If it makes you feel any better, the invitation was issued as the friend and I were on our way out of a Black Lives Matter meeting at our church.

          Honestly, I’m really surprised by the level of gimmickiness in the club’s invitation–I’ve been to there for meetings a few times (because I have Board members who belong there, not because it’s in my non-profit social circle), and it’s always seemed like a pretty no-nonsense place. And I should clarify that my understanding is that the only membership restriction is money–I didn’t mean to imply otherwise with the phrase “private club.” I know it was founded during the Civil War, so I guess that’s why they do this pseudo-nostalgic thing. Blech.

          • Also, this is an annual event, so it’s not like it’s a *new* bad idea.

          • Diana Barry :

            Putting aside the politics, I would look for a costume shop in your city or close by that rents to theaters, etc., or contact a theater directly if you are a frequent patron. I rented a costume for a presentation in college on this time period – IIRC it was around $100, probably $150 now with inflation etc., and it was the best/most authentic source for period attire. Either that or try Etsy (although Etsy will probably be more expensive).

          • No, it doesn’t make me feel any better that you also attended a Black Lives Matter meeting. And it should make you feel worse!!

            Black Lives Matter- unless that means I need to not attend a really pretty party with fancy people.

            Black Lives Matter- but I’m still going to go ahead to an actively racist party because I really wanna.

            Black Lives Matter- but I refuse to see the connection between my complicity in participating in a racist even and the societal dehumanization of black people that leads to police brutality.

          • Senior Attorney :


            +1 to Anonymous at 12:55 p.m.

          • Nope. And the fact that you’re aware that this is problematic but are disregarding that because you want to go makes me less comfortable actually than if you were just clueless.

          • Did you really just “meh” RACISM?

      • I side-eye it based more on the fact that it was a party named for a war, which resulted in the largest loss of American life in history, is tacky. Can you imagine attending a WWII ball? If you want it to be themed around the Gone with the Wind period and that attire, just call it a Gone with the Wind Ball or “old south” or the 1800s. Are the guys supposed to dress as soldiers? I don’t love it for re-enactments (but get it) but I especially hate it for a party – how disrespectful.

        • In the promo images I’ve seen, there are definitely dudes in military-style get-ups. Looks like most men just wear tuxes, though.

        • That said, obviously you didn’t pick the name. Certainly don’t mean to attack you. Just so strange to me.

        • I agree. It would be a lot less weird if it were a Gone with the Wind Ball. I think naming a ball after a war is super weird and offensive.

          • Which is funny, because I think I’d be *more* offended by a GWTW ball–that to me would be straight-up plantation role-playing. At least this is coming out of the club’s legitimate history on the Union side.

          • Anonymous :

            Then why is the invitation references Gone with the Wind characters?

        • I’m a swing dancer and yes I get invited to WWII themed dances ALL THE TIME. I know people (not close friends) who fly all over the world to participate in re-enactment weekends and the like, often including huge dances in the evenings.

    • Southern by the grace of gd :

      Green velvet is the only appropriate attire.
      And yeah, racism wasn’t cool then and isn’t cool now.

    • Major major side eye to this too – this type of thing is exactly the sort of event that gets picked up by gawker and goes viral on the Internet. If I were you, I would RSVP no.

      • Or, for a DGAF protester, show up dressed as Mammy instead of Scarlett. But of course no face-painting.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Oh god, one of those. RSVP no. But if you must know, these are still a thing among certain southern fraternities/sororities. Hoopskirts for the women and confederate uniforms for the men are rented and worn. I have no idea what actual non-college-age adults wear to them, as I assumed adults realized they were a bad idea.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      my first comment’s in moderation for some reason, but-I wouldn’t go, but if you have to know-they do these at southern fraternities/sororities a lot and the women rent hoopskirts and the men rent confederate uniforms. The question to ask yourself is “would I be embarrassed if a picture of me at this event turns up on the internet?”

    • I always wonder if any of these people have actually read Gone With the Wind. The point of that book is that Scarlett is a ridiculous, selfish, irredeemable sociopath. She doesn’t even love her own children and goes on to enslave white prisoners after the war in some kind of weird death lumber camp, which even all the terrible now ex-slave owners sideeye, among other things. Have the people who think Scarlett and Rhett are such a romantic couple only ever seen the clip of the movie where she meets him in the library? I do not get it at all.

    • Anonymous :

      huh, I’m honestly surprised at the backlash to this type of event. History happened, and slavery was terrible, war is terrible, but unless you’re planning on role playing to bring back all the bad parts, I don’t see what’s wrong with giving a nod to historic fashion and dance styles. I’m sure no one intends to glorify the Civil War era’s injustices or loss of life. Can’t we take some things at face value? I actually wouldn’t look askance at a WWII theme ball, either, because that’s also an interesting/iconic period in fashion and culture. Hipsters wear 1940s-style stuff all the time, but I dislike them for reasons that have nothing to do with their emulating war-era fashion. I don’t see a whole lot wrong with wearing historic military uniforms (U.S. uniforms. I would see something wrong with wearing a historic Nazi uniform, for example, because that still has a lot of present-day symbolism), and I say that as a veteran. Even a Confederate uniform, to me, is history – as opposed to a big confederate flag and THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN bumper sticker on a truck, for example. Am I completely clueless?

      • You’re not totally clueless but I don’t get why you think a Nazi uniform is not okay but a Confederate one is. That’s sort of the point of why people are upset.

        Confederacy supported the continuation of slavery. Yes, the Civil War is longer ago that WWII but it’s not like in the year 2030 it will suddenly be okay to wear a Nazi uniform because ‘that’s history’.

        • Anonymous :

          I guess I meant that there is still a Nazi party in Europe (however fringe), whereas I’m not aware of any movement in the U.S. to bring back slavery as an institution. So I see the Confederacy as history not because a magical number of years have passed, but because the ideology has passed. Although, people would rightly argue that racism is still definitely a thing and a thought-child of slavery… Now I’m seeing your point more clearly.

          I think the Paula Deen party also included servants of color and other role playing, right? That’s despicable, and that’s the difference to me between her party and this Club party that the OP described. I assume the club wouldn’t expect people to assume roles based on their race — but I also get that the entire idea of the party is kind of discriminatory, because it’s inherently off-putting to people of color.

          Obviously my white privilege is showing because I can’t think of anything comparable I feel so disgusted by that I couldn’t separate history from something that is still personally offensive to me generations later. I certainly don’t mean to suggest those feelings aren’t valid, I just can’t relate to it. This conversation made think, so thanks.

          • You need to read “The New Jim Crow.” If you have the feeling that the ideology has passed, you need to educate yourself.

      • You say a Nazi uniform has present-day symbolism to you and a Confederate uniform doesn’t, but maybe think about who a Confederate uniform, flag, etc still has present-day meaning to. You’re right, the fashion is beautiful, but it is intrinsically linked to a way of life that is dependent on slavery and I cannot separate the two. Think about who would be going to a ball like this and who would not be. Do you think it would be kind of weird and uncomfortable and even though someone like Michelle Obama might look fabulous in a ballgown, it would probably be pretty gross to ask her to parade around as an Antebellum southern belle with her husband dressed in a Confederate war uniform?

        • Anonymous :

          Right. How clueless and privileged do you need to be to think dressing up in a confederate uniform for the sake of a party is totes fine?

      • Yes, you’re clueless.

        I’m sure no one intends to glorify the Civil War era’s injustices … nope, that’s exactly what people who throw and attend this kind of event are glorifying.

        You might see the Civil War as a quaint historical blip with cool clothes for you to envy but the repercussions of the horrors that were perpetrated on minorities are very real and very alive today.

        And as an aside, I see people saying “Well, I didn’t have slaves so I’m not responsible.” But in fact, white people alive today benefit from systems set up during slave times, so yes we are responsible for addressing injustice and refusing to allow racist events and actions pass unremarked.

      • It is probably notable that this party is not in the South and the uniforms being worn are probably not going to be the confederate uniforms, but the union ones. Saying that we have to forget that the whole Civil War happened because of its subject matter is problematic to me. (Yes I know the OP on this particular thread mentioned Confederate ones – but I wanted to point out that I see a distinction).

        I still don’t like any war themed balls – I think they over-romanticize war. While I wouldn’t be offended by someone wearing a military uniform at a 1940s party (because it would be period appropriate), it is weird to me to call something a “WWII party” because it sounds like you are actually celebrating that the war happened. I feel the same way about a Civil War party – dress like its the 1860s is find (you could get some cool Abe Lincolns) but dressing as a war feels inappropriate. Maybe I’ve studied wars too much, but all my images of dressing as a war would be bloody and horrifying. I’m not offended by it, I’d just give it side-eye and would be suggesting something different if I was part of organizing it.

        • Anonymous :

          Ummm no one is saying we should pretend the civil war didn’t happen. We’re saying don’t play fancy white lady dress up and go to a ball to celebrate it.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t think anyone is saying ‘forget about the Civil War’ – I think everyone is saying ‘remember that the Civil War was horrible’ and in that way does not make a good theme for the party.

          • Anonymous :

            Just to play devil’s advocate: Is there ever anything to be said for making a time period fun and approachable, even if a closer study would reveal a dark underside? I doubt organizers of this ball have an agenda to get everyone interested in history and how the 1860s shaped modern society, but history is littered with bad ideas. Do we avoid all of them? Or is it all in the presentation. ie, battle reenactments and historical villages/plantation museums are OK, fancy dress balls are not?

          • Anonymous :

            Would you have a fancy dress ball about Japanese Internment, the Holocaust, etc? Do you want slavery, racism, death, genocide, etc to be fun and approachable?

          • Anonymous :

            Yes idiot. There are lots of good ways to make history engaging and approachable. I don’t think fun is a good goal, and balls and playing dress up isn’t an appropriate method.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh come on. No one is having a fancy dress ball about slavery. No one would have a fancy dress ball about Internment or the Holocaust, but a 1940’s theme swing dance is a fancy dress party about that time period. Is that wrong? Different people had different experiences. Can you not enjoy the potentially “fun” aspects of history if they ran concurrently with horrible things? Where’s the line? Is it the cause-and-effect of plantation culture and slavery, or strict temporal relationship?

        • It just hits me that a lot of the comments above (not in this particular comment thread but the one above it) are against this theme because it’s the Civil War and its racially offensive, but I think it may be less offensive if it’s a more of a Union party and to take offense to it because the war was racially motivated seems like they’d rather ignore the whole period.

          I’ve been saying that I’m opposed to it because it’s war and a war party hits me as horrible regardless of which one. I just don’t know that the same racial issues are involved when it’s from the other side. That said, I’m from the South and would never attend one of these parties because it would be from the racially offensive side.

          • Anonymous :

            Of course it’s not a Union themed party, according to her description. Scarlett O’Hara was not an abolitionist.

      • Anonymous :

        as a person of color, I would not want to attend, and I would feel like this type of event really reinforces that I don’t belong to “high society” as it were during that time.

        • Anonymous :

          Yup. And reinforces that “high society” now doesn’t care if you’re comfortable attending it’s parties.

    • This reminds me of the whole Paula Deen thing.

      • Anonymous :

        I hope you mean that it’s equally as shockingly racist.

        • Yes. Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I meant like *what are these people thinking???*

        • My reply posted while I was still typing. One thing I do find interesting that could explain some people cluelessly thinking such events are okay is the difference in education we had growing up.

          One friend my age (mid-30’s) was explaining how white washed his education was about the civil war. He lived in the south for what it matters. His education on the civil war consisted of explaining how the confederates were fighting to maintain the rights of individual states to have different laws and the rebels were the people fighting off big bad government. He swears that slavery was NEVER discussed during all of this. It wasn’t until going to out of state college he learned what the confederacy was actually about.

          I saw a list of frequently googled history topics once. One top question was “was the civil war about slavery?”

          If our education system is failing this badly it’s no wonder the less informed think such an event is okay.

    • How about a style like the Scarlett O’Hara dress worn by Carol Burnett? Kidding of course, sounds like a lot of FUN! For me, the best part of these events is looking for something to wear.

    • I know you were just looking for a dress but I have been really interested in the discussion that arose. Would anyone feel comfortable attending the “civil war ball” in the link below?


      • Anonymous :

        Obviously not. Hideously racist. Even features in the photos only white people dancing and black people dressed as servants serving the food. How is this even a question?

      • Ms. Geneva Bell with her serving staff? Are they f*ing kidding? No, I would not feel comfortable attending an event like this, sweet christ.

    • Here's a dress rec: :


      • Anonymous :

        OMG that Marchesa is jaw-dropping. Although it looks a lot better on the model than on the real people, even the slim ones. But the photo of the model is beyond gorgeous.

        • Wildkitten :

          This is the best photo. Maybe OP can rent this dress and wear it at home without celebrating slavery? https://reviews-ap.renttherunway.com/reviewimages/1db/603548.jpg

    • Hey all,

      Thank you for the discussion. Yes, the name of the ball (and the invocation of Scarlett and Rhett) gave me pause when I first heard about it this morning, and obviously I’m not alone. I apologize for minimizing that element of my discomfort with the issue–clearly the idea struck a nerve!

      I should clarify that the hosting institution was founded by Union advocates and is a staunchly northern group, so this is in no way a pro-Confederacy event. That said, I suspect that like many historically-oriented events, the presentation of the overall evening is simply in poor taste and insufficiently thought out.

      I’m going to think about a tactful way to communicate my concerns to the friend who invited me.

      Happy interneting,

      • Anonymous :

        Honestly, decline the invite. Because it sounds like you’re going to tell her you are concerned, and let her reassure you that it’s fine, and go. And that’s unacceptable.

      • Anonymous :

        Does happy interneting just mean “f you guys I am going to still do the racist thing?”

  27. Gail the Goldfish :

    Just for fun–let’s say you win whatever insane amount of money the Powerball jackpot is up to by Wednesday. After you’ve appropriately paid your taxes, set up whatever investments/trusts so you never have to work again, donated some to charity, etc, what’s one extravagant thing you’d do/buy? I’d go on a year-long around-the-world trip.

    • Hahahaha just one?

      I’d buy a flat in London, and a country estate, and my late grandfathers house, and a townhouse where I live now, and spend several years traveling most if the time.

    • I’d buy a flat in Paris, Vancouver, and London, a house in Beaver Creek, a house on a quiet lake, and a house on the ocean somewhere.

    • Diana Barry :

      REAL ESTATE. :) Also quit my job as soon as possible!

    • Round the world trip for sure, and lots of travel every year thereafter. Would love to do some super fancy trips that are currently way too expensive for me to afford (e.g., Antarctica, luxury African safari, those really high end cruise lines where you have to wear black tie to dinner every night).
      I would also buy homes in the Big Island of Hawaii, Yountville CA, and Chicago….for starters.

    • Anonymous :

      Considering I’ve never purchased a Powerball ticket, I’ve spent a ton of time thinking about what I’d do with the winnings. I would want to put most of the money into a trust that my childhood best friend would manage, but I’d save a hefty chunk to throw a huge party and charter private flights to bring my friends and family who are scattered all over the country/globe.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, and I meant a charitable trust. Still not totally clear on the charitable focus, but I’m leaning towards hunger/homelessness and a fund for public works/programs in my city. Now I just need to buy the ticket…

    • Tons of travel, as others have mentioned – probably a mix of high-end (I would LOVE to go on one of those luxe safaris) and “normal” (like what we do now, just, without having to worry about budgeting!) as I don’t like people fussing over me very much and enjoy experiencing cities not in a pricey bubble.

      Notwithstanding the “hate fussing” part of that sentence… hire a personal chef.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree about the travel…I would love to do some luxury trips (helloooo, overwater bungalow in Bora Bora) but I would also want to keep traveling much like we do now because I don’t think you see a place as well if, for example, you’re being chauffeured around in a town car rather than taking the subway. I’d be ok with never flying in economy class again, though.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Enough real estate in Australia so we could stay there permanently as legal residents. Specifically, the beach house we stayed in on our honeymoon near Cairns (or one exactly like it) and a place in Sydney.

      And maybe a sports team, if we were the only winners and could afford to do so.

    • For someone who barely plays the lottery, I spend way too much time thinking about this. I’d buy a home where I live now, a vineyard in Napa, and a flat in Paris (maybe a country estate in the English countryside too? It is $1.3 billion, after all…). Then I’d travel non-stop with my husband for a year or two and treat my best girlfriends to extravagant birthday gifts/trips.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’ve thought long and hard about this:

      1) personal chef
      2) stylist (I’ll never blow-out my own hair again)
      3) a Maserati

  28. Hi all. Just a lil Monday vent. My biglaw group is LEAN and its stressing everyone the eff out. A senior associate quit right before the holidays and another went on parenting leave. Two more are scheduled to be out in the next two months – bar leave and another parenting leave. And I have motions coming out the wazoo every week in January, and not to mention other client assignments. I’m trying to stay chill but I’m constantly stressed. And the worst thing is that we’re so lean/busy, that it feels impossible to take a sick day to regain mental health. Fingers crossed we hire soon.

    Oh yeah, I watched Hook this weekend for the first time and cried my eyes out like a little lost girl for almost the whole movie. Hit too close to home.

  29. Hire a group of chauffeurs to be on 24-hour standby (with hybrids, lol) so I never have to drive myself anywhere again. And hire a “lady’s maid” to help me get ready every morning ( I like to believe I would still work, or at least keep busy enough with charity, etc., that I have to go somewhere every morning) by bringing me breakfast in bed, ironing my clothes, and doing my hair & makeup.

work fashion blog press mentions