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

Many years ago, I competed in pageants…so I know a thing or two about taping.

There are several ways to tape your breasts.  There’s the standard way.  There’s the way Kim Kardashian does it.  There’s also a way to tape so that your breasts look bigger.  There are even ways to tape so it does the same job as a strapless bra.

How you tape is not nearly as important as the kind of tape you use.  I’ve seen girls use painters tape, packing tape, even duct tape (ouch, like seriously, ouch).  I recommend gaffer’s tape; it’s like a cross between masking tape and electrical tape.  It tears easily, removes easily, and it’s cheap.  If you’re concerned about the tape showing, try clear medical tape, instead.

Worried about the pain of removing the tape?  Yeah, you should be.  To make pulling the tape off much less painful, spray your skin with Lamisil, and then pull each strip in one swift motion.  This takes the pain from a 5/10 to like a 1/10.

Also, pro tip, to protect your delicate nipple skin, apply a bandaid over the area before taping.  You’ll thank me later.

If you don’t want to tape, there are a number of stick on bras on the market.  The most suitable to your purpose is probably the Fashion Forms Ultimate Boost Bra.  It sticks on, and peels off, providing a bit of lift with very little coverage.

Another option is a cinching bra like the awful ones advertised on Facebook (don’t buy those, the cinching string is a beige shoelace).  This Magic BodyFashion bra looks like butterfly wings, and cinches in the middle to create cleavage.

Hi Belle,

A quickie for you: What is the awesome purse peeking out in your Instagram photo

I need it! KD

It’s the Rebecca Minkoff Mini-Perry Tote in python.  It’s about three years old.  Currently, there is one on eBay.  It’s held up like a dream.

Dear Belle,

I had a fashion question and immediately thought of you as the person to ask.

There are lots of articles about how to dress down a blazer for a casual office, or make a dress go from desk to dinner. But is there a way to wear more “evening” shoes in the daytime/at the office?

One example is these shoes from the Nordstrom anniversary sale. The gray and blue fabric options (the last two options) read very “evening” to me, but they’re also beautiful neutrals, so I was wondering if they’re more versatile than I think.
Thanks so much!
Best, Jenn

You’ve picked an interesting example.  The style of the shoe (ankle strap, pointed-toe pump) is definitely a style that can be worn to work.  And while the select fabric on the grey and navy pumps is dressier, velvet is trendy right now, so I don’t think it’s intended to be.  If you’re still worried about the shoes looking too formal, wear them with a wide leg trouser so all you get is a soft, velvet toe peaking out.

As for other types of evening shoes, I see a lot of women wearing thin-strapped, high heel sandals to work in the summer.  I know we’re all just trying to get the most wear out of a great shoe, but I would advise against wearing this particular style to work.  If you’re looking for an evening shoe that can also be worn in the daytime, these Michael Kors sandals might work, as might these VC peep-toe kitten heels.  But for more conservative offices, showing your toes is a no go.

Hi Abra,

I need a good face sunscreen for my trip to Costa Rica over recess.  Do you have a good one to recommend?

Sincerely, Tired Senate Staffer 

I use Supergroup’s SPF50 Meadowfoam Sunscreen Oil.  It has Argan Oil to keep my skin hydrated, and it feels light, not greasy.  And contrary to what I thought when I bought it, it doesn’t make me break out.  If you prefer something chemical free, my best friend is obsessed with Bare SPF30 Mineral Sunscreen.

Good Morning!

After Topshop stopped making theirs, I’m on the hunt for nice, simple v-neck camis (read: no frills, lace, or other embellishments) that can be worn under blazers and cardigans.  Cuyana makes a beautiful silk one, but I’ve gotten used to paying $30-50 a pop, so $135 seems a bit steep.

I’m also eyeing the Everlane V Tank (also silk), but am not thrilled by the prospect of having to dry clean after each wear. Any suggestions that bridge the gap between too casual and too nice? Or, if I should go all out and commit to silk, any recommendations on who has the best quality?

Thanks, JNM

Between the two you mentioned, I’d choose the Everlane.  For all Cuyana’s pronouncements about quality, I’m honestly not that thrilled with the weight of their silk tanks.  This isn’t a criticism (since no one is using opaque fabric anymore), as much as an acknowledgment that for $135, I want to be overwhelmed not just -whelmed.

Theory makes a pretty good silk tank, you can often catch them on sale at LastCall or Off5th.  Sadly, finding a discounted one is not guaranteed.  Cooper & Ella has a lovely one right now, but no promises they make the style in the future.  Same with Ann Taylor.

If you’re looking for a staple that will likely be in production 12-months from now, buy the Everlane tank and learn to hand wash your silks.

Tuesday Shoes-day: Pearl Studded Sandals

My shoe wardrobe is filled with classic, simple styles.  Style, durability and comfort, this is my calling.  But while classics are best, sometimes, it’s nice to reach for a unique, trendy piece.

Pearl-embellished shoes are everywhere this season.  The pearl accents are pretty, feminine, and just a little bit glam. This Zara pair is popular but too ostentatious for me.  So I went looking for something more subtle.

These Steve Madden Joie Embellished Sandals ($69) are a nice mix of utility and chic.  The double-strap style is easy to wear.  They come in tan, if you’re looking for something light.  They also come in black, if you want a bit more drama.  And best of all, the soles are rubbery, so they are slightly more comfortable than most sandals I’ve worn.

If you love pearl-embellished styles, they’re easy to find, right now.  These Stuart Weitzman sandals are on-trend now, but could also be worn to holiday parties and wedding for years to come.  If they’re out of your price range, these Boohoo sandals are an affordable copy.  Want to bring pearl into your work wardrobe?  These Carvella ballet flats would be fun with a pair of skinny trousers and a sleek white blouse.

The Workday Reading: July 26, 2017

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1) Refusing to reveal your past salary only hurts women. (Reader’s Digest)

2) This pebble-leather black ASOS satchel is the ultimate basic for just $48.

3) TheRealReal and it’s 60-year-old founder prove it’s never too late to succeed. (CNBC)

4) 50%-off at LOFT. I picked up this chic one-piece swimsuit.

5) How to career pivot without starting again from scratch. (My Domaine)

6) Banana Republic Musts: a coral shirtdress, a bell-sleeve dress, a pale pink trouser.

7) Inside the fight to design the perfect sports bra. (Bloomberg)

8) Black Halo’s basic navy sheath is great, but their flounce-sleeve coral dress? Sublime.

9) Does family leave have a sexism problem? (Elle)

10) Meghan has me seriously considering these blush-colored Nikes.

11) Non-disparagement agreements help abusers hide their bad acts. (NYTimes)

12) This cute electric tea kettle will help me keep up with my black tea addiction.

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What I’m Watching. 73 Questions with Anna Wintour.

What’s Saving My Sanity. Have barking dog? This pet corrector spray is a lifesaver.

What I’m Looking Forward To. The August 21st Total Solar Eclipse.

What I Found Interesting. Drink LaCroix? Maybe don’t buy the stock.

[image taken by my friend @Gurrity on a recent trip to Montana]

Item of the Week: Brightly Colored Pencil Skirts

With August approaching, and recess on the horizon (maybe, apologies to all of Capitol Hill), we start thinking about our fall work wardrobe.  But why?  Because the retail sales model was crafted in the 1800s when people ordered their clothes months in advance?  Because the Anniversary Sale was nothing by plaid shirts and booties?

No, this year, I’m fighting back.  I’ve got two more months of summer, and I’m taking them.  Colored pencil skirts are a great way to bring a burst of color

Colored pencil skirts are a great way to bring a burst of color into your work attire.  I love this hot pink skirt from Boden ($90).  For something in a softer pink, this English Factory blush skirt ($35) caught my eye.  Plus-size? This Eloquii flounce pencil ($80) is cute.

Not into pink?  My second favorite color is something in the green color family.  This bright NY & Co. skirt ($42) is a good place to start.  But for my money, the must have skirt is this teal Karen Millen skirt ($198).  So awesome.  Petite or Tall?  this waterfall skirt from NY & Co. ($21) is very pretty.

Do you wear colored skirts?  If so, what’s your go to hue?  Check in tomorrow for three ways to wear a colored skirt.

The Workday Reading: July 24, 2017

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1) First woman enlists to become a Navy SEAL. Get it, girl! (CNN)

2) I don’t need this much honesty from a container of bobby pins. Thanks.

3) Why women aren’t CEOs, according to women who almost were. (NYTimes)

4) Ann Taylor Semi-Annual Sale: A black biz suit, a bright scarf, and a summer-fall dress.

5) Why are we still talking about avocado toast? (Bon Appetit)

6) This relaxed pinky-tan trench is everything. I also like this army green one.

7) Ways to approach someone who you want to become friends with. (The Everygirl)

8) Pair this tie front top with a pencil skirt and necklace for a sharp work outfit.

9) Could knowing your co-worker’s salary make you better at your job? (Popsugar)

10) Amazon has a list of under-$100 dresses. This Sandra Darren is perfect for work.

11) What is an “influencer?” (Vogue)

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What I’m Reading. I am captivated by other people’s breakup stories.

What I Need To Do (Now that I’m back working). Build a morning routine.

What I’m Loving. This might be the best hairspray, ever. Here’s hoping it doesn’t give me acne.

[image found here]