Capitol Hill Style

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: April 23

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_8046557BP Moveover Flat ($49)

I have sung the praises of the BP Moveover flat before, but since some of you might be in the market for flats, I thought I would share them again.  In addition to the “nude” they also come in red, cobalt, and black.  You can also find them in a deep cognac brown.

The reason I endorse the pointed toe flat is two-fold: They look better under pants than round-toe flats because they lengthen the leg, and because they offer a more professional looking structure than most round-toe shoes.  I wear them with jeans, pencil skirts, sheath dresses and trousers.

If you prefer metallics, the Nine West Speakup flat (my second favorite shoe) comes in gold and pewter.  These two-tone Chinese Laundry flats are very cool.  And these Sole Society Lynnette flats offer a springy slingback in black or tan.

Also, I’ve owned a few pair of Via Spiga shoes over the years, so these patent flats are definitely worth a look at 50-percent-off.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Belle

State of the Blog: Move Update

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I should have titled this post, “How long are things going to be weird around here?”

As you know, last week, I put all of my belongings on a truck and boarded a flight West.  Instead of heading straight to my final destination, I stopped in MT to play babysitter to one very needy, but very sweet, Golden Retriever and pick up the car that I bought.  (Oh yeah, I’m driving again.  Be afraid.)  Then, when the movers call on a to-be-determined day, I will drive a full day to meet my belongings before turning around and driving a full day to another city in Montana for a religious retreat next weekend.

Awesome, right?

So expect things to be weird around here until the second week of May.  There will be posts.  How many, I cannot guarantee, but there will be posts.  And I’ll get to the reader emails filling up my box at some point this week, I promise.

Please bear with me as I uproot my entire life and move it across the country while caring for a dog, tending to my spiritual responsibilities and helping my brother prepare his house for sale.  Oh yeah, I’m doing that too.  My plate is officially full.

I hope all of you overachieving women are doing well and that you had a blessed Easter, a good Passover or just a great weekend.  I will back in full force sometime in May.  I can’t wait for things to get back to normal.

xoxo, Belle

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Office Appropriate Sandals

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Dear Belle,

With summer on the horizon, I’m searching for a pair of sandals that I can wear to the office.  I work for the government, and my department has a professional dress code, but I’d like to find sandals that I can wear on casual days.  A lot of my coworkers just wear flip flops and I don’t think it looks very professional so I hope you have another suggestion.  Thanks for your blog, good luck with your move.  

Kaye

First off, unless you work in a very casual office, flip-flops are not acceptable work attire.  In my opinion, there are so many stylish sandals that have a “dressier” feel that wearing the same shoes you wear to the beach or pool deck just isn’t necessary.  Here are a few shoes that would be better for casual Fridays or recess days than flip-flops:

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Seychelles Strappy Flats ($80) // Braid Away Flat Sandal ($45)

Closed-toe Sandals are a great option for the office.  They cover the front part of the foot and have more substance than many sandals.  Seychelles also makes a cognac-colored sandal with a Huarache like weave for $72.  And if you want something inexpensive, Charlotte Russe makes a gladiator-style sandal with a closed front for $25.  I also like these favorite delicatessen sandals for $25.

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Klub Nico Garcia Sandal ($137) // Splendid Atlanta Sandal ($98)

Peep-toe sandals with closed heels are another good option.  They have a more conservative look and when worn under pants, you can barely tell they’re not flats.  This pair from ModCloth has a cut-out floral design for a bit of whimsy.  And these Edelman Brina flats with a pointed-toe are on my favorites list for the season.

If you want a lighter shoe, but your office is so professional that you can’t swing a sandal of any kind, a slingback is a good option.  These closed-toe, suede numbers from Sole Society are really cute, as are these basic Corso Como slingbacks.  And even though I don’t usually go for bows, these Nine West peep-toe slings are pretty.

Lastly, if you’re going to wear open-toe or open-heel shoes to work this summer, you need to keep your feet in shape.  You don’t need to paint your toes if you don’t want to, but they need to be cleaned, trimmed, and filed.  The biggest thing women seem to forget when wearing shoes that show skin is keeping the callouses and dry skin off their heels.  Buy a Ped Egg and your feet can look sandal ready in a jiffy.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: April 22

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DP1226201317055206M.tifLiz Claiborne Joelle Pumps ($29)

These coral heels would look wonderful with navy, grey or white separates.  You could also wear them with mint, blush or cobalt.  These particular heels have a mid-height heel and a padded insole for comfort.  If you like coral, I also found these adorable suede, ankle strap sandals from Dorothy Perkins.

In addition to coral, I like red heels for every season.  They breathe boldness into any outfit.  These Isola Suri Pumps come in a beautiful garnet, while these Nine West Drusilla heels are lipstick red.

Also for spring, try pumps in a medium purple hue, like these Rockport Hecia kitten heels.  Cobalt heels make a statement, as do these mint pumps from Ivanka Trump.  And if you want something really on trend, try a bright hue like citron.

Do you wear colored pumps?  If so, which shades are your favorite?

Monday, April 21, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. IV, No. Eighteen

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Hi Belle, 

My law school graduation is in a few weeks, and I’m looking for a dress to wear under my gown.  Something light would be good, since the gown is so heavy.  I’d also like it to be knee-length or close to it and under-$200.  Any suggestions?

Thanks, Bev

My first suggestion about graduation attire is not to choose a strapless dress.  You’ll probably be taking a lot of photos, most of them head shots and you can wind up looking naked.

I would choose a short sleeve dress, like this chevron Collective Concepts dress from Piperlime or this stretch eyelet dress from J.Crew.  If you lose the bow belt, this printed Jones New York dress would be cute.  And this Felicity and Coco dress with cap sleeves is great for spring/summer (also in petites).

If you want to go the sleeveless dress with cardi route, this Wallis oval spots dress is adorable.  This Ralph Lauren white pointelle dress is also great and 25%-off with code FRIENDS.

Plus-size?  I like the look of this Land’s End dress with short sleeves and a square neck, the plum color is gorgeous.  They also make this elbow-sleeve floral dress that I wish came in misses sizes.

Dear Belle,

My makeup bag is looking grim and I want to purchase a few new eyeshadows to spice things up.  What is your favorite brand/colors?  I usually wear brown and gray and I want something with color.

Thanks! Love the blog! Aimee

My favorite shadows are Stila.  Good staying power, excellent color saturation. My favorite shades are Oasis (a pale gold) and Cassis (a royal purple).

If you want a drugstore option, I like the cream shadows from Maybelline Color Tattoo.  I also like the baked eyeshadows from elf who offer this lovely palette for $10.

Hi Belle,

I need a short coat for spring.  Not a trench, a hip-length coat.  I thought it would be easy to find one that cost less than $150.  I was wrong.  Please help, it’s still cold in Colorado.

Thank you, DB

Quilted jackets are a nice option for chilly weather.  Zara has a really nice looking one in navy for sale right now.  You could also try a short anorak like this two-tone one from Vince Camuto.  Or go for the trendy option and select a bomber jacket like this navy one from NYDJ.

Dear Belle,

You mentioned on Twitter that you buy hair sunscreen to protect your highlights. Where do you get it?  My wallet thanks you for saving my highlights from becoming streaks this summer.

xoxo, Kelly

I like Aveda Hair Veil, just remember to turn on your bathroom fan before you spray it.  Your nasal passages will thank you.  For a drugstore alternative, try Ion sun protection spray from Sally.

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Updated for 2014