Budget Thursday: Jersey-Knit Shift Dress

I’ve given a shoutout to Old Navy’s t-shirt dress in the past, and for $24 this dolman-sleeve shift dress looks like a good bet for work. It’s obviously not the thing you wear for your big presentation (unless for whatever reason you really love this dress and the way it makes you feel!), but I think for a casual-office basic (or casual-day basic), it would work well. It’s highly rated, it comes in four colors and three size ranges, and it’s machine washable. Jersey-Knit Shift Dress

Update: WHOOPS — just realized the wrong image was pictured with this post. My apologies, guys! (We’re really having a bang-up week here. Sigh.)

Two plus-size options are from Vince Camuto and Suzanne Betro.

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  1. Doodles says:

    For those who had their first child while in BigLaw, when did you tell your boss you were pregnant? If it matters, I’m in a small group of a few associates and one partner in a secondary market but an office of 200+ lawyers. A lot of my work is with partners in different offices. I’m the only associate on multiple cases. 2014 grad so starting my 4th year. I’m only 10 weeks now and not really showing. I’m guessing I won’t for a while since I’m tall and a size 12. Thanks!

    • POSITA says:

      I was pregnant with my second while in BigLaw. People in my office figured it out around 12 weeks when I started showing. I came out to partners I was working with in other offices on a conference call for the case around 14 weeks.

      In my case, once someone (a secretary) guessed and asked me because I was showing, I went to the head partner that day and told him. After that I didn’t care who figured it out and gave anyone who had the gumption to ask me the permission to tell others. I wasn’t about to go door to door. Telling partners in other offices was the most awkward. There’s no good way to do it.

      I’d wait to tell until you have to.

    • Turtle says:

      I know it’s not quite the same, but I’m in… uh… “big finance”? Smaller firm, similar hours, deal flow and structure (associate/partner) as law. I plan on telling at 16 weeks (first week of Nov). I know that any time after that I start to lose people for the holidays. I also can’t handle another full month of lying through cocktail hours and dinners about drinking – it’s becoming exhausting.

      I’m 5’7″ and a size 10/12. At ~13 weeks I’m starting to show already – it’s more of a ‘are you super bloated or pregnant?’ showing, but I have to assume that 3 weeks from now it’ll be a lot harder to miss. I’d much rather be in control of the messaging and not have someone awkwardly guess and start spreading rumors (we have one of those in our office) as POSITA experienced.

      • POSITA says:

        Just to clarify, I don’t think anyone suspected until that day. I made a poor wardrobe choice and looked decidedly pregnant in that particular outfit. Everyone did a double take when they saw me that day. Oops. Choose your wardrobe carefully when you’re on the cusp.

    • +1 on wait until you have to. I was a 4th year when I was pregnant, and I told a close partner mentor at 14 weeks. She told me I could wait much longer than I thought I could. She was right: I told the partners I was working closely with at about five months, and I still could have waited longer. I thought I was clearly showing and it was obvious to everyone, but it was definitely not.

      But five months was a nice time to tell, at least for me: I had gotten past the first trimester exhaustion and nausea so I really leaned in during my second tri. It made me feel like I was proving that I was still a good worker, although I have no idea if anyone noticed or cared. It was also early enough that I could have the conversation and then move past it — I had subsequent months of conversation in which my pregnancy wasn’t an issue in terms of short- and mid-term work, but everyone knew for long-term planning purposes.

      That said, if not telling is stressing you out, by all means, tell as soon as you’re ready.

    • Chi Squared says:

      I told fellow associates at around 12 weeks after getting NIPT results back. But I’m petite and was already showing. I told a cross-office team on a conference call around 14 weeks because we were discussing trial schedule and staffing.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m you! I’m currently 33 weeks expecting my first and starting my 4th year in Big Law in a secondary market in a smaller group. I told the partners around 15 weeks shortly after we made our “public” announcement on social media – I wasn’t showing then and could have probably waited longer but I’m friends on Facebook with some associates so I figured once they knew, I should tell the partners so they didn’t find out before I told them. They were all very supportive and happy for me FWIW.

  2. Non Mom says:

    Is it just me or does the picture in the post look nothing like the picture at the actual link (e.g. the picture in the post doesn’t even have dolman sleeves).

    • I agree, nothing like the link. And the picture in the post kind of looks like it’s a maternity dress…

      • Anonymous says:

        Yeah…it’s either a cute maternity dress or gives a presumably very thin model an unflattering pooch.

    • Yep, definitely not the same dress and I’m 90% sure the one pictured is a maternity dress.

  3. 2 Cents says:

    The plus-size option link leads to a Vinca Camuto dress available in an XS.

  4. I am usually good about screening news stories I know I can’t handle, but just read the New York Times article today containing accounts of Rohingya refugees, including a woman whose son (who happens to be exactly my son’s age) was ripped from her arms and horrifically murdered. I cried hysterically in my office for 20 minutes and had to talk myself down from leaving work and picking up my own son from daycare. When I was pregnant a few women posted on here about seeing the photos of Alan Kurdi and seeing their own sons. I didn’t fully understand it then but boy do I understand it now because I now realize it is possible for your heart to break for a woman who lives halfway around the world.

    • bluefield says:

      I really try to shy away from saying “You don’t really understand until you’re a parent” but I think in these situations non-parents really cannot understand what it’s like for a parent to read a story like this.

      • Cornellian says:

        Agreed. I hate the smug “YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT TIRED IS” stuff, but I had exactly the same urge as Em yesterday.

        possible spoiler if you want to see Mother! and haven’t: Don’t if you can’t deal with a newborn dying.

        • Edna Mazur says:

          Thanks for the heads up. I was thinking about catching that one but definitely cannot handle that kind of thing at this phase of my life.

    • octagon says:

      I saw the headline and couldn’t bring myself to click. These things never bothered me before kids and now turn me into an anxious, blubbering mess.

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Same. Broke my heart. I gave a bunch of money….and probably will give more now. It’s all I can do right now, I think?

    • Butter says:

      I don’t know what possessed me to click and read but I did and can’t get it out of my head either. I don’t know how she survived that.

    • I think part of it for me is that I see my daughter and how absolutely innocent and defenseless she is and then I cannot reconcile that with a) how someone can hurt children and b) how a child can grow up into a monstrous adult who would do that. Like everyone was a kid at some point. It’s terrifying how wrong it can all go. And, yep, I also hate that “parents only” logic.

    • I feel the same. I cried on and off all day recently after seeing a picture of naked women holding naked children, in line to be murdered at a concentration camp. It’s a deep, deep horror and pain now that I’m a mom.

    • avocado says:

      I feel the same way. When my daughter was a toddler, I was driving to a meeting when NPR aired a story about parents in China trying to find their son under the rubble from an earthquake. The reporter was emotionally invested in the story and kept getting all choked up. I had an overwhelming urge to pick my daughter up from day care and then send e-mails quitting my job and dropping out of law school. Previews of movies where kids are in danger always make me cry, and I can’t handle movies or books about the Holocaust. It is absolutely a real mom thing.

      In a similar vein, parenting a daughter seems to have made my husband much more sensitive to sexism and environmental issues. I don’t think it’s smug to admit that having a child has a profound effect on one’s empathy and worldview. Evolution has wired our brains this way so that we will be motivated to keep our offspring alive.

  5. AwayEmily says:

    Maybe a fun question…any toddler-sized (or at least small-ish) blankets that you all particularly like? My 18-month-old is not quite at the age where she can keep herself covered all night, so the warmth factor isn’t super important (that’s what fleece PJs are for), but she likes going to sleep with a blanket and the one I unearthed from way back of the linen closet is straight-up hideous. I’m agnostic as to material, etc. Under $50 would be nice.

  6. I have a 7-month-old and breastfeeding is really, really not going well right now. Basically after a long series of plugged ducts and other difficulties, my supply is rapidly dwindling. Not only am I not producing a lot when pumping, but DS also is still often hungry after breastfeeding for 30+ mins. We’ve already been giving increasing amounts of formula but I’m afraid that this is really the end, and I’m surprisingly emotional about it. I know intellectually it’s not my fault and he’s going to be just fine if we switch to formula (and increasing amounts of solids), but I am sitting at my desk crying about it and I’m not sure why. Is this just hormones or something? I can’t even really figure what is making me so upset, which is really unusual for me.

    • Baby shoes says:

      It’s just hormones! Plus I think when I asked a question on here about breastfeeding/pumping and I was so stressed about it, someone commented that at that age, their food is really the only thing we have control over and the major issue in their/our lives- so of course it takes on outsize importance! Your baby will be great, you will be great, and it will be great to have your body back!

    • Anonanonanon says:

      All the hormones. And possibly internalized pressure from society that you should IGNORE. You need to do what’s best for your and your baby. If breastfeeding is a painful, miserable, difficult, stressful experience your baby has a stressed out mama and you’re not getting the full bonding potential. Everyone will be fine and you’re doing great :)

    • When I think back on the time that I bfd my daughter, the overwhelming emotional memory is one of stress. I suppose I derive some sense of joy from having bfd her, but that feeling is eclipsed by the amount of anxiety I felt with all the nursing, pumping, night wakings, and the sense that I was failing somehow. With my second I bfd until it was no longer enjoyable and I feel so much better about it. When I look back on his early infancy, my memories are not so tainted by stress and anxiety. BFing is great. Until it isnt.

    • Your child has gotten seven months of bmilk. That is an incredible gift. It is okay to cut back or stop if it’s making you miserable. My daughter began refusing the b00b at 4 months and it was the most emotional thing ever. It felt like she was rejecting ME and that I was letting her down. In retrospect, this was 100% hormonal.

      If you end up weaning completely (I did at 6 months after I was on all fours at 3am pumping to get rid of a plugged duct and sobbing and just hit the wall…no magical b00b juice was worth my physical or mental health), be warned that another hormone wave might hit once you’re done. It caught me by surprise. And it was totally worth riding it out because I am so happy to be off the [email protected] pump.

    • ElisaR says:

      Congratulations on making it 7 months!!

      I can totally relate, I went through a lot of complications and thrush was the final straw for me (after feeding from only one breast for 6 months). It is emotional and that is totally normal.

      Just remind yourself that fed is best and just because you might be done b-feeding, your baby will continue to thrive and grow and the best is ahead!

    • Yes, hormones, and just to say I have totally conflicting feelings about bf-ing that I can’t rationally wrap my head around, so I think that part’s totally normal. (In my case, bf-ing has been an ordeal and a hassle but I can’t bring myself to ramp down even though I hate pumping and it would be easier to just … stop.). Your baby will be great however you feed him. He will still know that you’re his mom and love him very much.

      • Ugh, struggling very much with this. Haaaaaaaaaaaate pumping and am starting to resent its impact on my productivity at work. I rationally know my 9 month old will be fine, great even, if I supplement with formula. My husband is (gently! respectfully!) urging me to drop from pumping 3x/day at work to 2x/day, and I totally should. But I am emotionally struggling with even that. No advice, just solidarity.

    • CPA Lady says:

      It seems important because it is important when you’re in the moment. Also lots of hormones. There were a few big feelings aspects of it for me — connection, giving, and my kid getting older.

      From the perspective of this deeply wise and greatly experienced (HAHA) mother of a 3 year old– nursing your kid is just one tiny fraction of all the amazing ways you are going to get to connect with your kid. And only one of a lifetime of gifts you will give him. Your relationship will not be lesser because you’re feeding him a different food. Even better connections are coming! Just wait til you get to have conversations with him! Or when you get to go places and do new things! You’re going to get to show him a giraffe for the first time! There are so many cool things coming down the road that this is just going to be a blip on the radar before you even know it. You’ve done a great job, and you’re going to keep getting to do a great job.

      The part of it that is kind of unavoidably sad is the part where this means your kid is getting older. The evidence of the kid growing up changes, but never stops. It’s sad every time and is just the bittersweet part of being a mom.

    • 7 months is a long time! You should feel proud of that. Baby will be fine and so will you.

  7. for awayemily says:

    I have an Aden and Anais dream blanket, and it has not held up that great. All of the softness disappeared in the washing machine, and the edges shrink differently in the dryer than the rest of the blanket. That said, it’s still a good, serviceable blanket a few years in. My daughter uses it at daycare for naptime. We bring it every time we fly. Size is great.

    For home, I splurged and bought a woolino blanket. It’s way more than your price point, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. My husband was shocked at the price, but I would buy it again. Super soft, warm and lightweight, and big enough that it will last my daughter a few years. We are in Northern California and it is an all year blanket. The one downside is that you can’t put it in the dryer, so I have to be strategic about when I wash it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Similar experience with the dream blanket. It’s not really soft anymore, threads are coming out and it looks really worn. We only used it for about 6 months with my first. I’m hesitant to use it much because I don’t want it to fall apart completely.

      • bluefield says:

        Interesting. We’ve been using ours daily for about 2 years now and it still looks good. Bought it about 3.5 years ago. I wonder if quality has declined? Do you have the Aden & Anais one, or the Aden by Aden & Anais one?

  8. Strategy mom says:

    We are potty training this weekend – someone posted a link to cliff notes on potty training and I saved it somewhere and can’t find it now (and don’t have time to read a book on potty training). Does anyone have a favorite summary or website for info on 2 or 3 day potty training methods? Thanks!

    • Lucies List has a great overview. We used it with my oldest (her summary of the 3 day method, we didn’t even buy the book she was summarizing) and had good success, but I’ll admit my kid was already showing signs that she was ready and we probably waited longer than usual to do it. We plan to use it for my youngest over the year end holidays – he’s probably ready now, but we won’t have a good long weekend to do it until then.

  9. shortperson says:

    despite my shortness, my daughter is very tall. (thanks dad!) she is clearly a size 3 in shirts and pants but dresses are ridiculously short on her. i.e. underwear showing. obviously this has never been a problem for me. we do the cartwheel shorts but ultimately i’d like her to just be in longer dresses. any suggestions on brands or types of dresses to look for?

    • NewMomAnon says:

      Some of the Hanna Andersson dresses are very long (like, ankle length on my tall daughter), and I’ve had good luck with Tea Collection. I also tend to buy short sleeve or sleeveless dresses a size up for kiddo, and then put a long-sleeve t-shirt under them in the winter. Hanna has been having quality issues lately, but I haven’t had problems with their dresses yet (knock on wood).

      I found H&M, Old Navy, Carters and Gap to be on the shorter side.

    • AwayEmily says:

      Huh, I find H&M to be on the long side! So perhaps it varies by dress.

      • NewMomAnon says:

        Well, all of our H&M dresses seemed to shrink up and down while stretching side to side so now they are wide tunics. I’m sure they were the right size when they arrived though.

    • CPA Lady says:

      Second Hanna. My kid in the 90th % for height, and Hanna dresses are great. She’s 3’2 and can still fit in the size 90 dresses.

    • EB0220 says:

      We LOVE Tea Collection dresses for my tall kiddos.

    • if you have any MLM friends, we randomly were at a farmer’s market, and my 4-year old picked out (and fell in love with quite randomly) a dot dot smile dress that’s got some great length to it!

    • Carine says:

      Another vote for Hanna and Tea Collection. I also have a kid who is 90th % for height and she always gets a lot of wear out of her dresses from those brands. Target usually carries maxi dresses for preschool sizes in the summer and those are a huge hit too.

  10. Redux says:

    This has probably been discussed here before, but what should I do with my used, open-system breast pump? Google tells me that Medela will recycle them, but with the total decimation of healthcare looming, I wonder if I can donate it for use? Or is that a no because it’s an open system?

    • AwayEmily says:

      Maybe see if a friend wants it? I felt very comfortable taking a used open-system pump from a friend. I supplied my own tubes and other material, so it was just the actual little box and power adaptor that I got from her. She hadn’t used it for months, and it was hard for me to imagine that somehow some pathogen not only made it into the machinery but also lived in there for half a year.

    • Momata says:

      I gave mine to a friend for her spare “home” pump. I had taken the same from another friend, thinking the same thoughts AwayEmily provided.

  11. EB0220 says:

    NOOO! Anyone think that Halloween is the hardest day for working parents? Just realized that my kids’ parades are at the exact same time 20 min away. I know my husband and I can split up but I hate having to choose.

    • I just can’t even with our daycare that has a “parade” in the morning and a “party” in the afternoon. Fortunately it’s close-ish to my work but seriously??? I guess the idea is so that parents can go to one or the other, schedule permitting, but I find it really confusing.

    • I’m not a parent yet, but was this a thing when we were kids? I have zero memory of parents being present (or absent; my parents both worked and mom was a teacher, so no way they took the day off for Halloween).

  12. Newbie Momma says:

    Do parents of infants really go to these parades? I’ll have a 9 month old on Halloween and thinking I’ll skip…

    • NewMomAnon says:

      It depends on your daycare – at our old daycare, a few parents of infants might have gone, but maybe 10% or less. I did not go until kiddo was old enough that she knew she had a costume and was excited about showing it off (which meant, after 2). At our newer daycare (which doesn’t have infants), I would guess 70% of kids would have a parent at an event like that. Fortunately, our new daycare holds only 2 events a year for parents.

    • shortperson says:

      i went to this and i go to almost nothing. it was adorable. and the photos were a great memento of her baby class. she still knows the kids and loves to look at the group halloween photo. if you dont go get photos from someone.

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