Capitol Hill Style

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Tops That Don’t Have to Be Tucked

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Dear Belle,

I desperately need new work tops to wear to my big-law job.  The problem? I don’t look good in flowy/drapey/slouchy/boxy tops, but that’s all that seems to be available this fall.  Even the sweaters are oversized!  I need structured tops (not button-downs, but tops that can be left untucked and look professional, not too long).  Please help.

love the blog, S.

S, I feel your pain.  I hate when the tails of my tops hang out, but I loathe tucking shirts into my jeans.  Truly structured tops are hard to find in moderate price points, but I found a few that eliminate some of your issues.

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Boden Spot Jacquard Top ($62) // Theory Drate Stay Top ($160) // WHBM Ponte Pleat-Bodice Top ($79)

This Boden blouse is a great example of a top that can be tailored to be boxy or fitted.  A side-seam adjustment is an inexpensive alteration that can give your tops a great shape.  I also found this affordable Forever21 top in a bright blue, and this wine-colored Dorothy Perkins top (also in tall and petite).

I also like this Vince Camuto pinstripe top with a strong structure to it.  It would look great with grey trousers.  This heavy jersey top from Boden has mod structure and an on-trend funnel neck.

I bought this Theory blouse at the Bloomingdale’s F&F sale.  I didn’t think I would like it because the gathered hem isn’t may favorite, but I love it.  The color is a gorgeous pine green, and the fit is much more structured than I thought it would be.  This navy blouse from Joie has a similar look without being too drapey.

The last style that I would suggest is a peplum top.  If you can find one that has a slimmer peplum, like this WHBM number, it will define the waist and create the illusion of an hourglass shape.  Rebecca Taylor and BCBG offer tops with a similarly structured shape.  But my favorite tailored peplum top comes from Asos–it’s crisp, it’s gorgeous, it’s $35.

Plus-size ladies should have a look at this Alfani top with a gathered hem.  I didn’t find any others with a strong structure, so if you would like to share a tailored plus-size blouse, please do so in the comments.

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Trench Style Winter Coats

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Hi Belle,

I’m in the market for a new winter coat.  I tend to look best in styles that cinch at the waist, so I’m hoping you can help me find a great wool trench, preferably $250 or less.  Thank you!

Holly

A belted winter coat is a great option for those ladies who want to emphasize their shape.  I found several lovely choices in the $175-$250 range, so let’s have a look at them.

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Betsey Johnson Skirted Wool-Blend Coat ($198)

I love the marine navy color of this Betsey Johnson coat; it looks so rich and vibrant.  I also found this white T Tahari coat that is pure Olivia Pope.  And don’t miss this long, camel coat from Mango.

Looking for something under-$175?  Gap has this charcoal wool trench (also in tall and petite). This double-breasted Calvin Klein coat comes in black and has a great funnel collar.  And I adore this white Via Spiga coat with a chic leather piping for just $105 at Bluefly (also in black for those afraid of white).

Plus-size? This DKNY coat with faux-leather trim comes in four gorgeous neutrals.  Petite? This Kenneth Cole Reaction coat has a great look to it.

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Belle

Morning Line: October 20

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Boat Neck Sheath Dress ($79 + 30%-off)

Jones New York is having a Friends + Family sale that’s great for readers looking for affordable, professional clothing.  This dress caught my eye.  Heaven knows, I love a sleeve.  This v-neck sheath in dark purple also caught my eye.  And if you prefer something sleeveless, this belted berry-colored dress is awesome.

This black v-neck top looks like a solid basic, and this silky button-up is a great layering piece.  They also offer moderately priced suiting.  This Emma pinstripe suit is my favorite.

For a casual option, I kind of love this chartreuse quilted vest.  It’s a unique color, but sometimes, that’s a good thing.

Jones New York also offers petite and plus-size options.

Sale closes at 11:59PM tonight.

Friday, October 17, 2014 by Belle

Happy Hour: Apple Cider Cocktail

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Looking for a delicious fall cocktail that can serve any size group, requires no fancy ingredients and is sure to please?  Look no further than Dishing Up the Dirt’s Apple Cider Cocktail.  I can’t wait to make it this weekend.

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Old Navy Sweater Dress ($40)

A simple sweater dress for casual days is one of my favorite fall looks.  This dress from Old Navy comes in four great colors.  This cashmere dress from Bloomingdale’s is not to be missed (in three colors).  And I adore the dramatic cowl neck on this Alfani dress with button-detail on the hem.

Petite?  This Jones New York a-line sweater dress is lovely.  Plus-size?  This printed dress from Trixxi is kind of adorable.

Friday, October 17, 2014 by Belle

Belle’s Weekly Reading: October 17, 2014

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1) Clementine Daily has some interesting thoughts on acceptance v. self-improvement.  Because loving yourself doesn’t necessarily mean that there’s no area of your life that can be improved through change.

2) Sole Society is making their popular $79 weekender in a new cranberry color; it’s gorgeous.  I also like this teal tote with a matching pouch.

3) Meet the man who smuggles Trader Joe’s into Canada.  The article is a fun read, and if you’re into the law, there are some fun choice of law and intellectual property issues.

4) DvF’s cap-sleeve Bevin dress is on sale for 59%-off.  A reader believes that it’s the best dress she’s ever purchased for work.  Off 5th has a large selection of DvF pieces including this basic Julian wrap dress for half-price.

5) On his show last week, John Oliver basically summed up how I feel about the pumpkin Spice Latte hysteria.

6) Emily at Cupcakes & Cashmere turned me onto MAC’s Rebel Lipstick. I love the plum hue, but I still think Clinique’s Black Honey is the most versatile lip color in the arsenal.

7) New research reveals that wearing a bra all the time can cause your breasts to sag. (Silent scream.)  Here is Stylecaster’s take on the 12 times when you can, and should, go braless.

8) Everlane sells sweaters that are both beautiful and affordable.  I love this slouchy raglan option.  This luxe long-sleeve sweater is also gorgeous.  And don’t miss this must-have cashmere tunic.

9) The photos of Alexander Wang’s collaboration with H&M proves that designer collabs can get weird.  Really weird.

10) How fantastic is this $13 scarf?  I love the Southwestern print.  And I adore this grey-hued leopard print.  It will look awesome with a black sweater.

11) If you like art, Business Week has a piece on the growing market for contemporary art.  The article revolves around a Christopher Wool painting that originally sold for $7,500, but was recently auctioned for $26.5 million.

12) If you’re looking for a rain boot with great traction that comes in a bunch of fun colors, these Chooka boots are a great option.  And they cost under-$75.  If you like a shorter boot, they offer this ankle-height option.

image found here.

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Updated for 2014