Capitol Hill Style

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Belle

State of the Blog: Giveaway and Housekeeping


About This Week

It’s going to be a crazy week at my house.  The big move commences tomorrow, and the packing has decimated my will to live.  Posting should be back to normal on Thursday, but for right now, my free hours are dedicated to lovingly wrapping my knick-knacks in bubble paper.  So things are going to be a bit hectic, so I’ll be in the comments and on social media a bit less until things settle down.

NCAA Tournament Giveaway

This was out 3rd Annual March Madness tournament giveaway pool.  We had 384 participants, the top three brackets won prizes.  And the winners are:


Congratulations to the winners (e-mail at the capitolhillstyle (at) gmail address to claim your prize), it was a crazy year.  Thank you to everyone who participated, I’ll see you next year.

A Word on Featured Posts

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I don’t often do sponsored or featured posts.  The rare exceptions are made for brands or products that I already use and love (Lo & Sons, M.M. LaFleur) or brands that I think my readers will love (Astley Clarke).  And even if I host a feature, I would rather have an item for myself and one for a giveaway than cash for my endorsement.

Over the next few months, I have a couple of sponsored posts coming up.  I know some of you have said that you don’t like these types of posts, and they’re not going to become the norm here, but the upcoming posts are for brands that I love and I think you will too.

I take my recommendations for products seriously, and that’s why I buy the vast majority of featured and reviewed products myself.  Frankly, I don’t like being told what I should write about something, and spending my own money gives me that freedom.  So please understand that I wouldn’t support a product just because they’re gifting me or paying me, and even when it is a sponsored post, I negotiate the deals to maintain that integrity.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle Roundup Vol. IV, No. Seventeen


Dear Belle,

I have a lot of weddings to attend this year, five in all.  Four of them are cocktail attire and one is casual.  I have dresses aplenty, but I need a pair of shoes to wear that will work with anything and everything.  Suggestions?


Metallics are always a good choice.  I like something with skinny straps so they don’t overwhelm the look.  Since you didn’t specify a price range, J.Crew offers both this ankle-strap pair and this Dirty Dancing-esque cage sandal in the under-$250 price point.  I also love these gorgeous, understated pewter Pelle Moda slingback sandals for around $150.

Looking for something less expensive?  Try these silver Caparros ankle-strap sandals or these Charles David Bezel sandals.  But my favorite are these  Steve Madden Dussty Sandals in gold, which have a very Kate Spade look to them.

Hi Belle,

I saw on the news that it’s spring where you are, but it still feels like winter where I live.  How long can I wear tights and boots before it becomes faux pas?  

Thank you!  KW

I usually hang up my boots and tights around April Fool’s Day, though with the unseasonably cold weather, I’ve pushed that boundary a couple of times.  But wearing tights and boots is more weather dependent than date dependent.  So here’s my new rule:

If you have to wear a winter coat to tolerate the temperatures, than boots and tights are fine regardless of the date.  If it’s just a bit nippy and it’s after April 1, whether you wear tights is your choice but, no boots.  If you most of your compatriots sporting bare legs, it’s time to hang up the leg wear until October.

Hi Belle,

I love the blog! Do you have some quick tips for getting my feet into sandal shape?  I’m on a tight budget and don’t want to fall into the pedicure trap.  Once you pop, you can’t stop on the pedis.


First off, I recommend a PedEgg to remove calluses and dry spots with minimal effort.  Secondly, to prevent calluses from forming, try a product like Bag Balm to prevent dryness and cracking.  Lastly, to get the skin in shape, I recommend Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil.

Once you have everything prepped, I recommend Deborah Lippman Gel Lab base and top coat for a long-lasting polish application.  It’s a great product that keeps your polish looking pristine longer.

Dear Belle,

I’m on an intern budget but need to buy clothes to wear to my new job.  Can you recommend a few stores where I can find professional clothing cheaply?  I went to the outlet mall to look around but everything was cotton mini skirts and ripped jeans.

Thanks for your help and your blog, Amy

H&M would be a great place to start.  They make a wide variety of types and styles.  This chiffon blouse is perfectly appropriate for work in comes in several colors.  I also like this black fitted blazer, it’s a great basic.  And don’t miss this printed teal dress for something a bit more unique.

I would also try Zara for blazers and Nordstrom for under-$100 skirts.  Limited has great suits for the price (please take a pass on the capri pants).  And if it’s dresses you’re after, LOFT has a few nice options, like this tulip skirt dress, as does J.Crew Factory.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep an eye out at Target.  Their Merona and Mossimo lines often have basic blazers, skirts and dresses for under-$50 prices.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: April 15



Gap Classic Pique Blazer ($88)

This classic cotton blazer from Gap comes in petite, tall and misses sizes.  It’s available in black and navy.  When I tried it on last week, I was impressed with the quality though, like most Gap products, you may want to size down.  But the look of the blazer is so classic that you’ll find yourself wearing it all the time.

Also in the under-$150 price range, I found a few more choices.  I like this Tommy Hilfiger two-button jacket.  J.Crew Factory also has a cotton blazer in this price point.  Need something under-$50?  Target has you covered.

Petite?  Banana Republic has a very lovely blazer with puff sleeves.  Plus-size?  Tahari has a great looking one-button blazer, as does Target’s Merona line ($39).  Tall?  In addition to the Gap jacket above, Eddie Bauer makes this collarless jacket in longer lengths.

Monday, April 14, 2014 by Belle

Pinterest Mondays: Biz Casual Whites and Brights


rsz_screen_shot_2014-04-13_at_115218_pm1. Anne Klein Solar Flair Blazer ($129) // 2. Boden Soho Blouse ($78) // 3. Boden Glamour Link Bracelet ($49) // 4. Madewell Chevron Ring Set ($25) // 5. Fossil Skinny Belt ($28) // 6. Vince Camuto Jace Satchel ($139) // 7. Paige Skyline Skinny Jeans ($189) // 8. Express Peep Toes ($50)

Spring has finally arrived and all I can think about is wearing color.  It feels so nice after a winter spent cooped up inside.  This outfit comes from the blog LillyStyle and is appropriately titled, Yellow Mellow.  Quite right.

One.  A bright jacket can be a fun addition to a summer work wardrobe.  This citron jacket from Anne Klein is a great option.  It adds color to this neutral outfit, it would also look great with grey or navy.  Not crazy about yellow?  This bright pink Vince Camuto jacket is also nice, as is this silk cobalt jacket.

Two. This simple dot-blouse is a welcome addition to any wardrobe.  It’s a lovely layering piece for any season.  Want something with short sleeves?  Try this NYDJ blouse with navy dots.  Plus-size?  This Torrid blouse with black piping is a great choice.

Three. If you like the look of layered chain bracelets, Banana Republic has a wonderful selection.

Four. Like mixing metals?  You need one unifying piece that contains all of the metal tones.  This ring set has a great mix of gold, silver and pewter.  Want a more substantial piece?  This mixed metal bracelet from BR is really chic with layered chains in different textures.

Five. Every woman should have a simple skinny belt.  This belt from Fossil comes in several neutral shades to fill your wardrobe with style.  Plus-size? Have a look at this two-pack of skinny belts from Asos Curve.

Six. The bag in the photo has a lot of zippers and decorations, but that’s really not my thing, so I selected this simple satchel from Vince Camuto.  I love the peaked corners and the simple plate hardware.  Want something under-$75?  Have a look at this uber-chic ostrich-embossed satchel from London Fog.

Seven. The photo shows white jeans, so I used my favorite Paige Skyline jeans.  If you prefer a jean with a wider leg opening, try these modern bootcut jeans from Ann Taylor, also in petite and tall.

Want to skip the jean entirely for a more professional look?  Try these lined, white trousers from Anne Klein.  You can also go bold and choose a cobalt or grey skirt.

Eight. These basic beige pumps from Express are a great choice for the warmer months.  They’re a great height for the office, and your comfort.  The photo shows a mixed-hue ankle-strap pump, so if you want to try that instead, have a look at these Nine West pumps.

Monday, April 14, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: Nordstrom Beauty Sale



Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage ($28)

Department stores are notorious for excluding cosmetics and beauty products from their best sales.  Makeup is usually what they mean when they say “certain exclusions apply.”  But this week, Nordstrom is hosting a beauty and skincare sale that features 10-percent-off some of the best beauty products on the market today.

Granted, 10% is not a huge discount, but every little bit helps.  So if you need to replace a beloved product or you want to purchase something new from a store with a very liberal return policy, here’s your chance to save a little.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage Concealer is one of my favorite beauty products of all-time.  Unlike many concealers, it stays where you out it so your imperfections aren’t revealed midday.  All of Laura Mercier’s products are featured in the sale, so don’t miss the Secret Camouflage Brush perfect for concealing blemishes or small imperfections.

Some other great products on sale include my favorite Bobbi Brown blushes and her sheer lip color.  I also love this NARS palette with deep gemstone and earth tones.  Also, if this sunny weather has you feeling a bit pale, don’t miss the St. Tropez mousse, the best, most natural-looking self-tanner on the market.

Brand loyal?  Don’t miss sales on Philosophy, Clinique, Kiehl’s and more.

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Updated for 2014