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Ask The Edit: Vol IV, No. Twenty-Four

Hi There!

I love your blog so much. This question may be TMI but I’m getting married and my wedding dress doesn’t allow me to wear a bra. It looks great without a bra but I think I would feel a little more comfortable if I was able to do a little boob tape to just keep everything up and in place if you know what I mean. I’m curious if you’ve ever used any boob lift tape and if you have any brands or ways to do it that you recommend. Thanks so much!

XO, Jordan


Advice + Ask The Edit

Ask The Edit: 14 Tips for Bar Exam Takers

Next week, the newest crop of aspiring lawyers will walk into convention centers and lecture halls to take the 2017 Summer Bar Exam.   To those about to rock, I salute you.  Yesterday, one of your fellow victims test-takers asked for some advice about preparing for the exam. So I’ve compiled the best advice I received and the best decisions I made (or didn’t) below.

To those who have no interest in this post, check back tomorrow for new fashion content and return to your blissfully bar-free lives.  If you intend to read on, be prepared, this is the longest post I’ve ever written.


Advice + Ask The Edit

Ask the Edit: Vol. IV, No. Twenty-Three

Dear Belle,

I saw the BCBG belt you posted to your Instagram last week.  I love it, but it’s beyond my budget.  Do you have any suggestions for belts that are similarly ornate and under-$25, $50 at the most.  

Love the blog! SR

Belts are a great way to jazz up a dress that you’ve been wearing for a while.  They also accentuate the waist, and who doesn’t need a bit of that?

Because they’re going out of business, most BCBG belts can be found for under-$50 if you hunt a bit.  I think BCBG makes the best belts (I have five), so this is a great time to buy.  Their butterfly-front belt has a cool look to it.  I fell in love with this whip-stitched belt in a great neutral color.  And this cool houndstooth plated belt is just $10.

If you’re looking at other brands, I also really love this $10 H&M belt with a knotted twist.  This Mossimo belt in coffee-colored leather is a bit more casual, but I love the details.  This really wide River Island belt is also worth a look.

Plus-size? This ASOS Curve embellished belt is fun, and this Eloquii wide belt with a skinny buckle could go with almost any outfit.

Hi Belle,
When you went to London what type of bag did you carry during the day? Next month I’m headed to Chicago for a long weekend and am tempted to buy a stylish backpack to carry around sightseeing. (May need to carry around extra shoes during the day.) Also, I know you dislike them, but I would normally carry my medium size Longchamp on a trip like this.
Thanks! HH

I didn’t want to be weighed down, so I opted for a soft sided crossbody bag from Marc Jacobs.  If you need to carry more than the bare essentials, then a backpack might be the right choice.  They’re on trend, and there are some stylish options out there, if you’re willing to wade through the chaffe.

The AllSaints Kita bag actually converts from a backpack to a tote.  It’s a bit pricey, but I’ve seen it in person, and it even had me thinking about buying a backpack.  The Everlane Twill Snap Backpack is under-$100, has a sleek, modern look, and is very highly reviewed.  I also like the look of this totally simple Sole Society dome backpack.

Traveling is one of those situations when I’m not as picky about fashion.  You want to look good, but that’s not your primary goal, right?  So if to be comfortable and see the city the way you want, you need to carry a Longchamp, so be it.  I prefer to travel as light as possible because it makes entering museums, shopping, and doing the tourist thing a bit easier.  But however you like to travel, dress accordingly.

Hi Belle,

This may seem like a dumb question, but how do you do your hair for the beach/pool?  I feel like everyone else has Baywatch babe hair and I just came from SoulCycle.  Tips?


I have notoriously stick straight hair, so beachy waves are really out of the question.  Add in bangs, which must be pulled back to avoid sweat + hair product induced acne, and my poolside hair is a bit of a trial.  And I definitely feel you when you’re sitting there wondering how all your fellow pool guests get their hair to look like a magazine ad.

Instead of fighting my hair, I will do either a low chignon or a low bun and wear a hat over it so I can pin my bangs back.  Hats of choice include this Halogen Panama Hat and this floppier Do Not Disturb beach hat.  If I don’t want to wear a hat, this updo, using an elastic headband takes a little time, but it looks great all day.

If none of those options appeal to you, I’ve seen a lot of bloggers trying to bring the boho knotted hair-wrap back into fashion.  I’ve even seen a few going for the full turban look.

Advice + Ask The Edit

Ask the Edit Vol. IV, No. Twenty-Two

Hi Belle!
I’m a lobbyist by day and law student by night. I have an interview with a BigLaw firm coming up this month, and I’m looking for a nice suit to help me dress the part. However, I’d obviously love to get something that can be worn after the interview too, an ensemble that’s not so boxy and/or extremely plain. Is there a skirt suit out there that has a little flair but would still be appropriate for this type of interview? Preferably gray, but I’m open to anything!
Thanks! Ashley

This question is heavily dependent on price range.  Since you didn’t specify, let me break it up into two price points <$300 and over $300.

In the lower price point, I posted this gray Tahari ASL skirt suit a while ago.  I like the wide tie belt and the structure.  This basic Anne Klein charcoal pantsuit is also a good option.  Prefer something other than grey?  This navy tweed suit from Tahari ASL has a bit of flair to it.  I also like the summery color of this Anne Klein pantsuit in navy.

If you have a bit more money to spend, there are a few brands worth looking into.  Hugo Boss is my suit of choice (also available at Nordstrom Rack).  Theory gets a lot of rave reviews.  The Lafayette 148 brand is a bit hit or miss, but when it hits, it hits hard.  I like this Reiss suit, with its textured jacket.  For something with just a hint of flair, but still professional, try the Basler brand.  This navy jacket from their line is pretty great.

Plus-size ladies, I think Sejour has the best selection of suits.  Tahari ASL is another good option.

Dear Belle:
I know you like rings and was wondering if you have suggestions for small bezel-set or other flat/low profile rings that can be worn alone or in a stack. I’m trying to avoid anything that sticks up a lot, especially prongs that could get caught on wires, clothes, ETC.

Thanks, MH

 I laughed when you sent this question in because I just saw a ring today that fits what you’re looking for perfectly.  Judith Jack is making a line of stack rings that are a nice mid-price option.  This bezel-set band is $60.  I also like this baguette ring.  The jewelry also comes in white metal, if you’re not into yellow gold.

If you’d like a ring with a stone, I like this chic and affordable Karen London stacking ring.  I also like this Anna Beck ring.  They bezel set the stones, so no risk of it getting caught on your clothes.  For stacking rings, I like the Monica Vinader rings.  She makes a lot of styles and colors, and you can change them out as you see fit.

Hi Belle,
I have a lipstick-red straight skirt that I love, and I’m puzzling over what to pair with it.  You’ve noted your disdain of black and
red, and while I don’t think it looks “bordello” as you put it, it does look very severe (especially in summertime).  What alternatives do you suggest?  I work in a law office and want to look polished but not over-the-top as I’m in a rural area.
Thank you!  Love your blog, a lot.  🙂  Sara

I do dislike red and black together, but there are lot of other great options.  The simplest options are navy and white/ivory.  This navy tie-neck blouse is a nice option.  I would also try a white blazer with a red and white top (to a plain white one).  I love this red and white print top from & Other Stories.

Another less basic option would be a blush-pink or pinky-nude top.  It gives you a bit of color without being too over the top.  This Iris & Ink blush sweater would be super cute with a red skirt.  If blush doesn’t appeal to you, WhoWhatWear has a list of other hues you can try, but some of them might be a bit too risky for your office.

Dear Abra,

I’ve bought so many of your nail polish suggestions over the years.  I love Bogota Blackberry and Penny Talk.  I need some new options, are you loving anything on the newer side?

Glad to see you coming back to D.C. more.  I hope a move is in your future.


For a work shade, I’m really into taupe hues right now.  Deborah Lippmann has a taupe that I like called She Wolf.  She also has a darker shade that I need to go buy called Love in the Dunes.  In fact her entire set of dusky earth hues, called Bed of Roses, is a must have.

Other shades that have caught my eye: this charcoal glitter from Smith & Cult, this Oribe bright red, this OPI lilac shade.

Advice + Ask The Edit

Ask the Edit Vol. IV, No. Twenty-One


I just started a new job on the Senate side, and my new boss is much more conservative than my old boss when it comes to dressing for work.  I need two or three new suits just to make it through the summer.  Where do you shop for non-designer suits?  Please don’t say Ann Taylor.


For non-AT suit options, I suggest starting at Dillard’s.  This Tahari ASL belted suit is a nice option.  This tweed Albert Nipon suit could be worn together or as separates.  For a suit with a bit of a summer vibe, this coral ASL suit is a nice option.

Another great option for basic, affordable suiting is Anne Klein.  This one-button navy suit could work in any woman’s closet.  Their flare leg trousers are also one of my favorite pairs of work pants.

For plus-size ladies, Eloquii has a couple of options each season.  One of their summer suits is this blush number.  For basics, the Sejour brand at Nordstrom usually has a few great choices in stock.


You posted about your favorite mascara a long time ago, and now I can’t find the post.  Which one is it that you love, again?

Also, thanks for bringing the look for less posts back. They’re my favorite.


I like Giorgio Armani ‘Eyes to Kill’ Mascara.  If the $32 price tag is a little rich for your blood, try Max Factor’s 2000 Calorie.

Dear Abra,

You keep posting photos of the cutest tan clutch to your Instagram.  I can’t find it anywhere and I need it.  Help!

Sincerely, Meg

It’s funny because every time I post a photo of that clutch to Insta someone asks where I got it.  The “clutch” is actually a leather envelope pouch that I received in a Popsugar box three Christmases ago.  It’s made by Loeffler Randall, and sadly, out of production.  There is one available on eBay, however.

For something in a similar color, try this Maison Martin Margiela pouch or this Mackage zip pouch.  If it’s the envelope style you’re after, this Minkoff envelope clutch or this affordable Dune clutch is the way to go.


I’m in the market for a long, white button up blouse.  I need something long enough to wear as a swim cover-up but also with jeans.  Everything I find is just wrong, usually too short or too boxy.  Any thoughts.


Hmmm…this was a tough one.  I think it’s just the wrong time of year to be looking for a button-up, but I did find a few choices.

This Nordstrom tunic top has a pale blue stripe across the middle, but I think that makes it even more chic.  It’s also sale-priced at $91.  Mark & Graham makes a linen tunic (which you can add your monogram to).  I also found this simple basic from Mountain Khakis.

The Mark & Graham is probably the closest to what you’re looking for.  If that doesn’t do it, you might consider using a men’s shirt as a pool cover up.  You could belt it, or have it taken in.  Not a perfect solution, as you probably couldn’t wear it with jeans, but a temporary one.