Archive for May, 2010

Yay! Everyone’s here, so we can get started. Good to see you guys again. Welcome to yet another how-to-dress-1o-lbs-slimmer post in the Business Casual Superstar series, the only business casual blog column that is mentioned by name in the Bible.

I’m here today to share another outfit that accentuates your waist, this time for the petite ladies. (Also, I’m not actually here. I’m chillin’ on my BFF Amanda’s BOAT singing an Andy Samburg song I’m sure you’re all familiar with.)

Regardless, here’s what I came up with. Remember how we talked about color blocking and belts as a neat way to accentuate the waist? Here’s an outfit that illustrates both methods.

Knit and Woven Print Dress ……….. $23.99
Michael Antonio Lotus Pumps in Grey ………. $39.95
Stretch Rectangle Link Bracelet ………. $8.50

Not one of my *favorite* outfits posted here, but it works. And it illustrates what I wanted to show you about the color blocking and belting at the narrowest part of your waist. I went shopping with one of my old friends from high school (who is also a law student now, an almost-3L like me, but at Boston University, which, coincidentally, is where I spent a great deal of my childhood because Mama Hoomster taught there and worked on her Ph.D. there) and she’s a wee little thing like me. Our nickname for her was Wee, actually. Because she’s little. And because her middle name is Weili.

Anyway, Jessica is little, like me. She needed a belt, and was sadly out of luck because all the ones we looked at were way too big for her, even at the farthest hole, and sat more on the wider ridge of her hips than anywhere close to the narrowest part of her waist, which is where those belts need to be.

That was a pointless, rambling way to say belts should sit at the narrowest part of your waist.


I am such a windbag. You guys should stop me. This is all your fault, really. In fact, it’s everyone’s fault but mine.

Anyway, I paired it with grey shoes, and I went with a round-toe because that emphasizes the roundness or curve of your calves, whereas a pointy toe elongates your legs. So, whatever, different objectives.

I tossed in a turquoise bracelet to pick up the warmer blues in the skirt of the dress, and there we have it!


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So I’m starting something new under the “Collections” sub-section of the Business Casual Superstar series. Each week, I’ll put together a collection of items – jewelry, tops, bottoms, shoes, jackets, whatever – for under $50. Some will be relatively high-end (at least for purposes of these budget posts) like Kenneth Cole and Betsey Johnson and Free People. Others will be mid-range, like Nine West and the like. These Grab Bag posts will be posted on the weekend, just because weekends are chill and this way we can BOTH be lazy.

So let’s get started! What do I like this week?

Victoria's Secret: $24.99 (Grey, Chocolate, Black, B/W pinstripe)

It’s no secret by now that I love Victoria’s Secret. I’ve found that the clothes just fit me really well, and are pretty durable and long-lasting. And I buy the right pieces, so I get timeless, clean looks that are slim fitting and pretty. If I dress the pieces down, I get an easily presentable, put-together casual outfit. If I dress them up, I get an effortless business casual look. And by right pieces, I mean things like this skirt: classic looks with good construction and clean lines that don’t go out of style. Wear this skirt now, two years from now, whatever, and it’ll be fine. I absolutely hate adhering to trends because it’s pointless: they’re hot for a minute and then they’re over. So wasteful. Even when I do go trendy, I look for trendy looks that are a little understated so that I can continue to wear them after the trend has faded. Like when gladiator sandals were in, and cage sandals were on the trend horizon, not too big yet but you knew they’d be booming soon, I went out and got a pair of silver cage sandals that weren’t cage-y enough to be restricted to the trend, and looked just like (very) strappy stilettos, but were cage-y enough to be on trend.

(And, side note, yes, I love them.)

This was WAY more than any of you nerds cared about.

This was even way more than my stalker cared about, and he hangs on my every word.

(Hello, Milton.)

Express: $39.99 (Grey, Mocha)

I love editor pants! Probably because I was a newspaper editor all through high school and loved it, and part of me still wants to be the editor of a newspaper or online publication since newspapers are on their way out anyway. So long, fourth estate. ANYWAY. I bought a great pair two or three years ago from Express, black, ankle-length, looked great all the time.

But grey pants are under-rated, which is a shame, because grey is a great color that works so well with so many other colors and patterns. And these pants are flared slightly at the end (balances out the hips) and long enough to look good with heels, too.

Although, honestly, how Photoshopped is this model? Look at those legs. There’s no way in HELL those are her real legs. Photoshop phuckery is more like it.

I hope none of you males (still reading this for some inexplicable reason – except you, Milt, I know you’re still there) is dumb enough to actually trust any print image of a woman. Magazine pictures, adverts, film trailers – THEY ARE ALL PHOTOSHOPPED TO THE MAX. Please don’t be dumb enough to think that those actresses or models actually look like that.

BCBG: $45.47 (Red; other colors available at varying prices)

These are interesting, no? I don’t know. Something about them just grabbed my attention. Probably the big red stone/bead thing on the front. I still can’t decide how I feel about them, so I thought I’d put it to you guys. Eh.

Urban Outfitters: $19.99 (Gold, Red, Black)

Such a Rachel Berry shoe, yes?

So’s this one:

Urban Outfitters: $14.99 (Silver, Pink, Black, Green)

TOTALLY a Rachel Berry shoe. And based on my search results for this blog, I know a lot of you like Rachel and like to dress the way she does, kind of an updated, laid-back Catholic school girl look.

Express: $49.99

Yes, yes, we all own at least one knock-out LBD, but in case you need another one for boring firm functions, here you go. I picked this one for the way the fabric is structured, to create a more flattering silhouette. Plus, look at the way the sweater puppies are holstered all up in there. Let’s not even lie: This is good for those of us who don’t have a huge rack of lamb going on up there.


Oh, grow up, Polly Prissy Pants.


Urban Outfitters $29.99

Saddle shoes! 😀 I HAD to include saddle shoes, you guys. HAD TO. I loved them when I was a kid. Loved ’em, loved ’em, loved ’em!

Remember that girl on Barney? The one that always wore saddle shoes? Yeah, she sucked.

Free People: $9.95

I have several cuff bracelets. My love of cuff bracelets started back in high school, I think, or maybe college, when this one guy I knew made me one. It was that great shade of red that’s almost brown, but too rosy. Mahogany, maybe, or maybe a nice cherrywood shade? I don’t know. All I know is I loved that bracelet. After that, I started wearing them more, and here we are today. Cuff bracelets always make a statement, and they’re less fussy than bangles. Plus, I’m all bangled out. Every Desi wedding or party or whatever, I have to wear armfuls of bangles otherwise Mama Hoomster screeches that I look like a boy.


Dressed in a tunic-and-Princess-Jasmine-pants outfit that is bedecked in beads and stones and gold and silver, with my hair down in waves or curls, wearing at least mascara and lipstick, and with 4″ heels on. I look like a boy. Because of my bare wrists. Yeah. Okay.


Ralph Lauren: $27.82

A twist on the boring button down, and boy, does it grab attention. I like ruffles, even though TDot doesn’t, but sparingly. If there are too many ruffles, you look like a tiered cake AND THAT IS NOT A GOOD LOOK FOR ANYONE I DON’T CARE WHAT THE LADIES AT YOUR CHURCH SAY. But keep everything else simple, and you’ll be able to work this. I’m thinking khakis, a pair of great patent shoes, and bangles or a cuff, and you’re done. The thing about ruffles, also, is that they attract attention to the top half of your body and can minimize the hips when worn right. In that event, you’ll want to stick to a dark, solid color on the bottom and wear this lighter ruffled thing on top.

French Connection: $35 (Milk, Electric Blue)

Another twist on the boring button-down, and look how pretty and girly! I love the little buttons on the sleeve. I have a shirt almost exactly like this one but in a really nice, bright navy. Not a sad, boring, emo navy. A bright, upbeat navy. Love it.

French Connection: $38.50

Isn’t that a great color for the skirt? It’s hard to tell but it has some sheen to it, which is why I like it. And yes, it’s knee-length, even though you might mistake it for a mini in this stand-alone image.

Banana Republic: $49.99

A pretty, powdery, periwinkley blue cardigan from BR. I went shopping with my old friend from high school, J.Lin, who is now an almost-3L at BU (where Mama Hoomster used to teach!), and we went to BR and almost picked out something similar. Longish, slim-fitting, but hers was more slubby than this one. I like the way it looks with a belt. Remember, if you’re petite, go with a skinny belt. If you’re taller and fuller, go with a wide one. And belts should always be cinched at the smallest part of your waist.

I don’t wear belts anymore. 😦 Because the last time I wore a belt over a cardigan, I cinched it at the waist like you’re supposed to and Mama Hoomster FLIPPED OUT and said I looked anorexic and ‘disgusting’ (she always pronounces the ‘g’ in disgusting, which is hilarious to me), so I just took it off, left it in my car, and tried to think fatter thoughts.

Banana Republic: $19.99 (Grey, Taupe)

This is a silk blend, and I love how lightweight it looks. But I bet it’s still pretty warm. This is a no-brainer when it comes to a business casual wardrobe.

Banana Republic: $19.99

I showed you some not-so-boring button-downs, but if you purists aren’t swayed, here’s a normal one, with a pocket, yet. And $20 is a pretty great price for the BR label.

Kenneth Cole: $25.90 (Turquoise, Seafoam, Blue)

I love knot front shirts! I have one in purple with long sleeves, and the way it gathers in the knot at the front means that it cinches in really nicely and effortlessly at the waist, so it’s super flattering. Or, again, in Mama Hoomster and the Bro’s words, makes me look anorexic.


I wish they wouldn’t throw that word around the way they do. Anorexia is a psychological illness, too, not just a state of looking/being thin. And I eat. I eat three fricking meals every day. And snacks.

…And cake.


Don’t judge.

Kenneth Cole: $34.90

This feels like it would be great under a cardigan. Because, obviously, you are NOT wearing that to work. No. Not on my watch.

Michael Kors: $46.90 (Pink, Black)

This is a great summer top for the office. You can get it in this bright pink hue (or black), and it’s billowy and breathable. And if you get cold you can always throw on a sweater. Consider getting in on one of summer’s big trends and pair this with a pair of white pants.

Calvin Klein: $28.90 (White, Light Blue)

There was this one case we did in Copyrights (in the trademarks section) and it was about this designer that had, like, appliques or whatever on her shirts and the court was like YOU CANNOT TRADEMARK THAT IT’S PRODUCT DESIGN and it was like YEAH THAT MAKES SENSE THANKS FOR EXPLAINING IT SO WELL.

Because the court explained its reasoning very poorly, you guys.



Kenneth Cole: $38.90

At first I thought this absolutely wouldn’t be appropriate, even under a cardigan, but now that I’m comparing this one to the twist-strap tank I showed you guys earlier, I think I just think it’s inappropriate because this model’s sweater puppies are larger than the other ones.

But what I really wanted to point out here was the print. Look at the way it works, creating the illusion of a slimmer midsection, narrower waist, and curves. If you’re petite, or just feel you’re built like a stick figure, this is a great way to add the illusion of curves.

Michael Kors: $34.90 (Black, Pink, Purple)

Just a basic twist-knot lightweight sweater.

Ella Moss: $49.90 (Pink, Grey)

I absolutely LOVE Ella Moss. She was one of the designers for Anthropologie, and her designs are just so lovely. She takes standard pieces and adds a quirky feminine twist to them, and the results are, more often than not, gorgeous. I love the way this open front cardigan just falls. With the length on the model, where it hits her, she’d look like she had a smaller waist if her midsection/hips weren’t so clearly Photoshopped to be slimmer and more boyish.

I hate everything.

Betsey Johson: $23.50

These were interesting, so I just had to include them. THEY’RE PADLOCKS YOU GUYS.

Free People: $47.60 (Pink, White)

This might be one of my favorite things posted in today’s post – to be worn under a cardigan or shrug or blazer or something, of course. Look at it! Lace and layers. So feminine and gorgeous, especially in that color. The white doesn’t have the same wow factor by a mile, trust me.

And there we have it! Hopefully you guys enjoyed looking through my grab bag, and we’ll make this a weekly thing. 🙂

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I can’t even come up with an interesting title for this post. AND I DON’T CARE. Consider that my bra-burning. You people. With your expectations. Well, I’m unoriginal today, and covered in cat fur, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.



What were we talking about?

Eh, who can remember?

To that end, here’s my Thursday post at the Working Wardrobe, which I never got to link to here. I put colorful skirt together with a neutral blazer. OH MY GOD THE INGENUITY YOU GUYS.


I’m the only non-white person in Iron Mountain, Michigan, you guys. It’s very pretty up here. But very white. So white I need sun glasses.


I stopped knowing what I was talking about several minutes ago, you guys. Don’t pretend you didn’t notice. Now all I can think about is Wisconsin cheese soup. Wisconsin’s like 5 minutes away, you guys. Legit.

I like it up here, though. It’s a peaceful little (white) small town, and I left my car unlocked and parked on the street all of last night. I didn’t bring the Jaguar, I brought my mom’s Toyota, and it is uncomfortable. Or I’m spoiled. One of the two, or possibly both, but then, what’s hidden behind Door Number 3?


Just go here.


So sick of you guys.

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All right, guys, back to the daily grind. Or something like it. See, I’ll be in the upper peninsula of Michigan for most of today, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, visiting my BFF Amanda. But the posts will keep coming because of a wonderful thing called automatic/scheduled posting. Yay, WordPress! Yay, Hootsuite!

Anyway, so, pretend-back-to-the-grind. We’ve discussed several ways to dress 10 lbs slimmer: boot cut jeans, lengthening looks, structured clothes, and now we’re on to accentuating the waist. We’ve looked at the first three looks in terms of outfits in regular sizes, petite sizes, plus sizes, and those appropriate for Muslim women. And this one is going to be no different.

Today’s outfit is for regular sizes, and looks at how to show off that fabulous waist. There are lots of ways to achieve this, the most obvious of which is belts. If you’re belting anything, make sure the belt sits at the narrowest part of your waist. ALSO: If you are petite, go with a skinny belt and not a wide one. If you are taller and fuller, go with a wider statement belt, by all means.

You can also achieve this by banded clothing, or clothing that is strategically color blocked to draw attention to the narrowest part of your waist. Also, you can play around with the length of your clothing and let that do the work for you in terms of showing off that trim waist. Wrap dresses are also great because their drape and structure cause the seams to often converge at the waist in a very flattering, slimming way.

I hope I’m not confusing anyone. Let me make it even simpler: let’s think of a celebrity influence to help us visualize the look we want. Conjure up images of Scarlet Johanson or Jessica Simpson when she’s actually dressed by a stylist and not left to her own insane devices. THAT is what we’re going for.

Check out what Scarlett’s doing here. She’s got the brightly colored top and the black bottom, which I’ve talked about before in my Plus Sized Professional posts. Doing this is a great way to emphasize your top half if you’re bottom heavy, and slim down those hips and that waist. That’s exactly what this outfit accomplishes, plus that ribbon functions much like a belt and really nips her in at the waist, creating a beautiful hourglass silhouette.

In related news, I just discovered that my waist is 4″ smaller than Scarlett’s and 1″ larger than Megan Fox’s. I don’t know why this matters. It shouldn’t. But considering I just had to google “Scarlett Johanson waist,” yeah, that explains it.

In other related news, I have always loved all of her Mango ads. Pretty pictures of a pretty girl in pretty clothes. They don’t really make me want to buy the clothes, but I appreciate the campaign and the pictures and the designs.

So, today, regular sizes, yes? Tomorrow, petite, Sunday is our Plus Sized Pro day, and Monday will be our Modern Muslimah day, inshaAllah. Oh, that will be challenging, as we’re not technically supposed to show off our waists. So it’ll be kind of hard to come up with something that fulfills both objectives. Oh, well, whatever, that’s FUTURE Hoomster’s problem. Let that psychopath deal with it. Puh. Hate that chick.

Here’s what Present Hoomster threw together:

Tulip Wrap Tunic ………. $39.99
Grey Trousers ………. $15
LifeStride Sharona Pump in Red Shiny ………. $34.37
Metallic Bead Knot Necklace in Purple ………. $5.80

Let’s talk about this, in order to come to a better understanding of our own tortured souls.

Or, you know, because that’s just my format: Lead in, crazy, extraneous picture, transition, outfit picture, outfit links, explanation, crazy, ‘there we have it.’




I picked this printed wrap top. Wrap dresses are so predictable, right? Especially for me, since it’s been established that I love them? So I went with a wrap tunic top. It pulls in at the waist and it has a little sash-tie thing going on, and I just love how it creates that narrow, pinched in waist that will create a great hourglass shape.

I paired it with grey trousers because that felt best with the red and purple tones (even though you can match it with black, too, obviously), and you guys know how much I like purple and wine-colored shoes. These are technically red, but they’re a rich, dark red, not a tacky bright red. And they’re adorable. Plus, they’ve got a stacked heel, so they’re not too sexy or too uncomfortable for running around the office.

And, because the wrap top creates a nice pocket of space at your neck, I picked a nice necklace in purple. I purposely chose something long and dangly to draw the eye down to the ground (not necessarily down to your sweater puppies), because, as we discussed in the earlier 5 Ways section, long, dangly necklaces also help lengthen to give you a long, lean look.

I’ve got more wrap tops than I can count, just because I love them, but I usually wear coordinating tank tops underneath them just to make sure the sweater puppies stay in the kennel, otherwise both Mama Hoomster and the LawSkoolBFF would be scandalized. Neither one of them likes to be reminded that I’m a girl. It’s just easier that way.


HAH. I stopped knowing what I was talking about like 8 sentences ago.

Anyway, there we have it, a pretty waist-cinching look to help you look 10 lbs slimmer!

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Quick post today – so read it fast! Time is money, people! Okay, not really, but time is laundry, which I need to do otherwise I will show up at Amanda’s wearing my pajamas. I won’t even have enough clothes to stuff in a kerchief in tie into a bindle at the end of a stick! Oh, the horror!

And it’s too late to buy clothes online (like I usually do) and have them shipped in time for my trip. That’s what I do when I have to do laundry – I buy new clothes.


It’s a SYSTEM, you guys. Stop looking at me like that.

Anyway, today’s muse is Blair Waldorf. You can find her and a budget-Blair-outfit over at Heave media by clicking here.

Here’s the outfit I used to inspire the post:

That high-waisted skirt is from TopShop, I believe, but it was out of my price range so I went with another one. A darker one. Because the bright red skirts were all mini-skirts, and I don’t approve of that at the work place, you guys. Neither does Mama Hoomster.

In fact, that’s a good rule of thumb: Whenever you’re putting together an outfit, just think, WWMHD? What would Mama Hoomster do, that is.

Actually, never mind. That’s, like, my worst idea ever. Just as bad as when I thought to take Andy to the sting ray tank at the zoo. He just ended up throwing the sting rays at small children.


(I can’t take him anywhere.)

No, if we all asked, WWMHD, we’d all be walking around in large boxes with holes cut out for our heads, hands, and feet.



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I got this email this morning from Rachel:

Could you put up some business casual cardigans? They just turned on the A/C at my office and it’s cold all day, and I need a sweater but it’s too warm to wear them outside. I need some nice cardigans I can wear to work to stay warm. Thank you!!

Sure thing, Rachel. Cardigans are usually business casual, though, especially if you pair them with nice jeans or pants and a nice top. Well, unless the cardigan has cartoon characters on it. Or, like, rude words.


I’m not making sense anymore, am I? Okay. Here are some pretty cardigans for under $50.

Express - $49.50 in blue, black, grey

Long sleeves so it’ll keep you warm, and a lovely drape. And the blue one is really, really vibrant and eye-catching.

Nordstrom $39 in smoke paprika, cloudy taupe, mineral green, and black

I liked this warm color and the way it’s asymmetrical. And the drape elongates the body, making you look longer and leaner.

Urban Outfitters - $38 in Navy, Dark Green, and Grey

Okay, this isn’t technically a cardigan, but it has the look of one. And it’s double-breasted, which I thought was really interesting.

The Limited - $49.50 in light grey heather, natural heather, peach, and blue

I love the sweaters at the Limited. I own several and they’re so soft and warm and lovely. This one reminds me of something Emma Pillsbury (Glee) would wear, with that corsage up top. Plus, Limited cardigans are just structured to look a little slimming, and that’s always good.

Kohl's - $19.99 in pink, blue, tan, black and white

Kohl’s has a lot of work appropriate attire, like this slub cardigan with the short sleeves. It probably won’t keep you that warm, but I figured it was worth a shot because it’s flimsy and pretty.

Anthropologie - $49.95

Oh, I love Anthropologie so much. And this little wrap cardigan with the button latch is just adorable.

Limited - $39.50 in blue, white, purple, and black

Another cute, short sleeved little cardigan from the Limited. Gosh, it sure is little, huh? Hm.

The Limited - $34.99

Here’s a longer one. I love the soft powder blue color. Did you know that according to color therapy principles, this kind of blue puts people who see it in a good mood?

The Limited - $24.99

Argyle! Argyle! Argyle! I just love argyle. You know, in case that wasn’t obvious.

Anthropologie - $49.95 in white, dark yellow

Another one from Anthropologie. This one’s kind of cropped with the fancy, chunky knit and the beautiful dark goldenrod color, and boy, it looks warm.

So there we have it! A bunch of pretty cardigans you can wear to work. 🙂

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I absolutely abhor Farmville. True, I have never played Farmville. But I abhor it on principle, much like I abhor sardines. I have never had a sardine, but I know that they are small, oily fish that smell bad, so I don’t even want to try them. Similarly, I know that FarmVille is a game that you play on Facebook, and you raise livestock and build sheds and hire people to harvest your crops (and that’s not even a euphemism for anything, which is an additional crime, because that should be a euphemism for everyone except actual farmers), and it all just sounds like a colossal waste of time.

And as the mother of an anonymous British boy will tell you, it’s a colossal waste of money, too.

The child from across the pond spent about $450 of his own savings to play the game, and then, when the FarmVille monkey had a firm hold and refused to let go, he pinched his mother’s credit card and, obviously without her permission, racked up a whopping $950 in charges playing this game.

It should be noted that the game itself is free on Facebook, as are most Facebook-based games and applications. But many popular applications also have a paid version, in which users can do more things or get extra privileges or other such things. For example, if you want to send your friend a ‘gift’ on Facebook, you can send him or her a free gift based on the catalog (and it should be noted that these gifts are merely pictures of a gift that will be displayed in that user’s profile), or you can pay $1 to send a ‘special’ gift, like a picture of a stuffed monkey or a rose or other random things like that.

And for FarmVille, the same applies: you can play the game for free or you can pay for coins that help you advance more quickly through it. I’m sure my friends that actually play the game can fill me in, but please, resist the urge, because I have no desire to know.

As for the mother of the little FarmVille addict, she finds herself stuck with the bill because the creator of the application won’t refund it, nor will her bank without a crime number from a police report she must file against her own son. It might sound kind of cruel, but I find this perfectly reasonable. There’s no reason for the makers of FarmVille to refund the money if their TOS clearly state, well, their TOS. If you want coins, you pay for them. It’s not FarmVille’s problem if some kid stole his mother’s credit card.

Sure, the kid isn’t of legal age, but Facebook has its own TOS regarding the age of its members. And allowing any other kind of result would open the floodgates for parents who let their kids, either willingly or because they don’t notice what their kids are doing, to run up huge bills playing these games and then offer excuses about how they didn’t know their kid was using their credit card, or that it wasn’t even their kid but a relative or neighbor, or other such nonsense.

If someone steals your credit card and buys a new plasma at Best Buy, Best Buy doesn’t refund you the money that clown spent. Your VISA, Mastercard, or AMEX company does, and only if you can show that your card was stolen and the charges are, indeed, disputed. Why should it be any different in this case?

And I realize that, yes, this is fairly common sense to most of you reading this. I’m only saying it in some sort of belated venting exercise as I recall just how many dinner guests decided this was completely bogus. I have no idea why I let people in my house. They just come, eat my food, make me stay up when I’m tired, and disagree with me when I’m right. People need to stop doing that. All those things, really, but especially the last one.

So, for those of you reading this who do not play the game, come sit by me as we make fun of it.

For those of you that do play this game and enjoy it, good for you, and remember to live within your means on FarmVille, as in the real world.

And for those of you that are actually farmers and are reading this, I…I’m sorry. I’m just so, so sorry.

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