Capitol Hill Style

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

The Workday Reading: May 21, 2015

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1) While Fast Company talks about how to love your job every day, The Washington Post reminds you that you don’t have to.

2) Target has some great, inexpensive cardigans.  They offer this short-sleeve cardi and this crewneck cardi in multiple colors.  And I love this long, pale grey cardigan for keeping warm in the office.

3) Find out what your name would be if you were born today. (Super fun.)

4) I tried on this Joie printed skirt at Nordstrom last week–how is it 55%-off at The Outnet today?  I love the soft pastels.

5) Levo League offers advice on how to follow your gut when making a big decision.

6) I think the Mulberry Willow tote with the detachable clutch is brilliant. I’ve been hoping this idea would trickle down to the lower price points.  This Tory Burch is still pricey at $595, but it’s two chic bags in one.  I hope a designer will make a similar bag in the $150-ish region soon.

7) Can you steal an education?  The curious case of a family who may have lied to get their daughter into a better public school.

8) When I was watching Full House in the ’90s, I never could have imagined that one day the Olsen twins would grow up to make incredibly sexy dresses.

9) Billy Crystal takes on the topic of athletes as role models.  The end result is a funny and timely video.

*image found here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Eight Work Dresses Under-$175

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Dear Belle,

I just started my first “real job,” and while I’m really excited, I also can’t find dresses that I like. All the ones I find are either too short or look really cheap.  Can you help me find a few for work that cost under-$175?  My office is a little conservative, but not suits every day kind of conservative.  And I’d love to find some sleeved dresses.

Love your blog! Hilary

Dresses with sleeves–that aren’t too short or too tight–should be on every woman’s hit list.  A sleeved dress is the perfect solution to the “closet full of nothing to wear” because it’s one piece, and it doesn’t need much sprucing up.  Here are a few that caught my eye.

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Ava & Aiden Ponte V-Neck Dress ($69)

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Preston & York Aurelia Dress ($89)

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Boden Westminster Dress ($103, petite and tall)

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Limited Wrap Dress ($89)

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Antonio Melani Benny Dress ($159)

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ASOS Roll Neck Pleated Dress ($91)

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Boden Annie Dress ($126, petite and tall)

*I own this dress.  I love it.  It has a little slip in the skirt to keep it appropriate, and it is so comfy.

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Anne Klein Women’s Short Sleeve Dress ($129)

 Here are a couple of options for plus-size ladies.

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Julia Jordan Cap Sleeve Dress ($95)

*I know I put up this dress yesterday, but it’s so great, let’s go for twice.

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Jessica Howard 3/4 Sleeve Dress ($99)

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: The Cure for Smelly Shoes

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Hi Belle,

My summer shoes came out of storage last week, and they stink.  Time in the plastic tub in my closet was clearly not good for them.  I left them outside to air out, but they still smell.  Help!

-Leanie

The cause of smelly shoes is almost always bacteria growth.  So a sealed, plastic container was not the best way to store them.  But there are some easy home remedies for removing the smell, here’s my method.

Step 1. Put your shoes in a plastic zip top bag and place them in the freezer overnight.  This starts the process of killing off the bacteria.

Step 2. Remove the shoes from the zip top bags.  Then, fill a small spray bottle with a solution that’s 1/4 water and 3/4 vodka.  (That’s right, vodka.  Or to be more specific, cheap vodka.)  Liberally spritz the inside of the shoes.

Pro Tip: Vodka is a great deodorizer.  If you have smelly feet, soaking them in a vodka solution will help.  and if your dry-clean only clothes get a bit odoriffic in the armpits, spritz them with vodka.  It works much better than Febreeze.

Step 3. Place the shoes in a well ventilated area, preferably outside, and allow them to air dry.  The drying process usually takes 2-3 hours.

If they still smell (which they shouldn’t), it’s time for the real work.

Plan B. Make a paste of baking soda, dish soap (I like Honest Co. soap.), and a bit of hydrogen peroxide.  Then, using an old toothbrush, scrub the inside of the shoes.  Finish by wiping up the paste with a paper towel.  Air dry outside.

Keeping Things Fresh. If you struggle to keep your shoes smelling fresh, you can make a homemade deodorizing powder.  The recipe is 3 Tbsp. baking soda, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 5 drops of tea tree oil.  Sprinkle it in your shoes and let sit overnight.  Dump out the powder before wearing them.  If you need a lot of this stuff, I recommend keeping it in the fridge in a parmesan shaker.

Another quick solution?  I put a small fan in my closet just to keep the air moving.  It keeps my shoes from smelling, and keeps the smell from getting on my clothes.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Four Statement Bracelets Under-$50

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Hi Belle,

A lot of your posts feature big bracelets.  I looked for some this weekend and didn’t find much.  The things I did find looked really cheap.  Can you help me find a few bracelets that cost under fifty bucks?  I love your blog, thanks for keeping up with it!

Kelly J.

I love a large, chunky bracelet.  It adds a lot of interest to an outfit.  Whether you choose a cuff, a large bangle, or a stack of smaller bracelets, you can really make a statement.  I found a few bracelets that fell into your price range, so let’s take a look at them.

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Polished Wood Bangles ($34)

I love a wood bangle for casual wear.  They look great with a maxi dress.  Also, if you’re headed to the pool and you want to look a little glamorous, a wood bangle looks effortless and natural.  This striped wood bangle from Anthro is another great piece.

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Vince Camuto Cuff ($48)

Cut-out cuffs are versatile option that can be worn with any outfit.  They have weight, but they don’t overpower.  This cuff also comes in gold.

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H&M 2-Pack Bracelets ($15)

I love the coppery-brown of these double cuff bracelets.  Wear them both on one arm, or wear one on each arm to cover the cuffs of a flowy, long-sleeve blouse.  I also like this enamel cuff from Fornash that offers the same shape in your choice of five colors.

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Baroque Bangle Bracelet ($34)

Looking for something a bit more opulent?  This jaguar cuff is perfect.  Wear it alone or layer it.  I also like the look of this stack of jeweled open cuffs from Nordstrom.  They’re pretty, but not too glitzy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Morning Line: May 21

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Corner Office

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Helmut Lang Sonar Drape Jacket ($395)

Middle Cubicle

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NYDJ City/Sport Moto Jacket ($118)

Intern Desk

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Airport Greeting Cardigan ($55, also in plus-size)

Petite: Nic + Zoe Sundown Moto Jacket ($174)

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