Capitol Hill Style

Thursday, August 28, 2014 by Belle

Belle’s Weekly Reading: August 28, 2014




1) The financial struggles of the city and residents of Detroit are leading to some interesting innovation as they try to do more with less.  Recently, the city’s farmer’s markets started offering food stamp recipients the chance to receive double-value for their dollar if they buy Michigan-grown foodstuffs.  As a result, people are eating more vegetables and struggling farmers have more customers.

2) This $28 Forever21 purse is amazing.  Perfect for fall.

3) The REWM has a review of the cleaning advice book, “My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag and Other Things You Can’t Ask Martha.” (Great title.)

4) Zara has some great sweaters right now.  I love this long, ivory cable sweater.  This shell pink v-neck is also a winner.  I also kind of love this high-neck, boxy sweater (esp. with the matching skirt).

5) GQ has an amazing long-form piece on a man who lived as a hermit in the woods of Maine for almost three decades.  He survived by stealing food from vacant cabins, and he did not speak to another person for almost the entire time.  It’s a really fascinating read.

6) Now this is a jewelry box!  Sadly, it costs more than the jewelry it would house.

7) The Burning Man festival has always intrigued me.  The idea that hundreds of people will voluntarily gather in the desert in August to camp and commune without access to modern amenities is fascinating to me.  Apparently, the tech billionaires are ruining it by trying to outdo each other.

8) This Bobbi Brown eyeshadow palette is the perfect mix of metallics and neutrals.  It’s my favorite thing since the Naked2 palette.

9) MSN Living and Refinery 29 have a thought-provoking piece on why more brands don’t sell plus-size clothing.  I don’t agree with all of the points they make, but I think it’s a well-researched, well-written piece.

10) Piperlime has so many lustworthy pieces right now.  I am obsessed with this slouchy Velvet sweatshirt, these Rachel Comey boots and this Rachel Zoe peplum jacket.  On the more affordable side, I love this Fifth Label coat and this RD Style chunky-knit sweater (in four great colors).

11) I laughed so hard at this blog post about the difference between sending your kids back to school in the 1970s and sending them back to school today.

12) BB Dakota is one of my favorite inexpensive brands. I love this midnight navy-to-charcoal ombre cardigan.  This midi-length, high-waist pencil is also nice.  And this amethyst, tank dress could be worn now and under a sweater two months from now.

Thursday, August 28, 2014 by Belle

10th Commandment: August 28



LOFT Field Jacket ($98)

LOFT is one of my go-to shops for inexpensive pieces.  The secret to finding good things there is to choose wisely.  Feel the weight of the fabric, look at the seams, examine the hardware, if things feel cheap, walk away.  Sometimes, I have to leave cute things on the rack, but I still find pieces that I love.

Jackets & Blazers. This field jacket has a great fitted look.  I also like the simple pocket and zipper details.  This slouchy blazer comes in three colors and is perfect for the office or your off hours.  Looking for a denim jacket?  This one has a great style and is a good shade of blue–not too dark, not too light.

Sweaters. I still love this dolman sleeve sweater in pale grey.  I love that this ribbed, open-knit sweater is a little longer in the back.  It’s more flattering for those of us with hips, but it’s cute on everyone.  Their basic cotton cardigan comes in seven colors.

Skirts & Dresses. This sheer stripe dress is perfect for cocktail parties, dinners or a winter wedding.  Such a great pick for under-$100.  This curvy-fit pencil skirt comes in three colors–the deep plum is my favorite–and is available in tall and petite.

Belts. LOFT has a number of inexpensive belts.  This simple skinny belt is a great basic.  I loved this buckle-less so much, I bought both colors.  This leopard belt is also a nice choice.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Belle

State of the Blog: Somebody Needs a Break



Finals was long.  You forget how terrible it is having your entire grade hinge on a single exam.  Returning to school–esp. something as uniquely grueling as law school–has been a very humbling experience.  And I am mentally drained from it.

I’ve spent the past three hours sitting in front of my laptop thinking, “I know there’s an idea in here somewhere!”  But, there’s not.

I think the only thing to do is call it quits for tonight.  I’ll be back tomorrow with a morning post, the weekly reading (because there were some good ones this week) and a happy hour.  Then, I’ll be off until Tuesday.  Hopefully by then, I’ll have something that vaguely looks like inspiration.

See you tomorrow.  xo, Belle

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Belle

Belle’s Workday Reading: August 26, 2014




1) According to The Atlantic, employers care more about internships than area of study or grades.  Vindication tastes sweet.

2) I desperately want this Vince leather jacket.  However, I’m going to settle for this sweet, under-$100 tweed moto jacket.

3) Levo League covers their professional wardrobe fundamentals.  For mine, I can’t live without a good pencil skirt, a silk blouse and a pair of black flats.  I also need the perfect sheath dress with sleeves.

4) These Cole Haan Carlyle boots are perfect. Perfect heel height.  Sleek look.  I like them better than my Loeffler Randalls because they have a zipper.  They also come in extended calf sizes.

5) Asking for advice makes you seem more competent, not less.

6) Ann Taylor has some nice jewelry piece for sale right now.  This tortoise link necklace is fabulous.  This long silver necklace has modern, square links.  This sculpted, open cuff is awesome.  And I love these square stud earrings with grey stones.

7) When you care about your work, sometimes you get so pulled into a project that you can’t move on from it. The creator of Mad Men offers his best advice for moving on.

8) I really want a camel coat for fall/winter.  This under-$100 H&M coat certainly caught my eye.

9) If your energy lulls mid-day, here are a few ways to give yourself a boost.  I’m not sure how many of them work, but they’re interesting.

10) Looking beyond the pencil skirt?  I love drape skirts.  This DKNY drape skirt is amazing at $79.

11) The Cut has a piece about being a woman working in the video game industry.  Sounds a little like being a woman in politics.

12) Asos has some great end-of-summer/early-fall dresses right now.  This dotted, short-sleeve dress is pretty great.  This bright, draped sheath is a stunner (also in basic black).  I also love this pale pink midi dress.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Belle

Emmy’s Red Carpet 2014: Now, with One Liners


Last night, millions of Americans sat through stale joke after stale joke to see the Billy Crystal tribute to Robin Williams and then promptly changed the channel to something actually worth watching.  I did learn a few things from the Emmy’s, however.

I learned that if you want your show to win lots of awards, make fewer episodes and call it a miniseries.  If you’re British and you need a few accolades, make sure your show airs in America (unless, of course, you’re Ricky Gervais who is still serving penance for that Golden Globes debacle).  If you can’t tear up convincingly during your colleague’s acceptance speech, just blow kisses.  And apparently a lot of people want George RR Martin sequestered in some kind of bunker until his next book is complete.

I was on the road, so I didn’t catch them Emmy’s red carpet, but thanks to the fine folks at Just Jared, I didn’t need to.  Here are some quick thoughts on a few of the gowns that dazzled and those that left me feeling dazed.


Katharine Heigl in vintage John Hayles

When her stylist said this dress was Old Hollywood, I think she meant old folks’ home in Hollywood.  Seriously, she looks like Norma Desmond in a dressing gown.  If Cecil DeMille wasn’t dead, he’d be terrified.


Sarah Paulson in Armani Prive

This dress will self-destruct in 15-seconds.

also considered…

From Armani Prive’s CERN-inspired collection for those who can’t enough of sub atomic particles.


Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji

My colors are blush and bashful.


Kate Walsh in Stephane Roland

Made the worst dressed list.  Also won the Big Bird lookalike contest.


Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in Carolina Herrera

Can I please look this good at 53? Oh, who am I kidding? I don’t look tho good at 32.


Kate Mara in J. Mendel

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Mara, I think Kate is spending too much time with Rooney.


Why are so many vegans are willing to support a designer who is Europe’s most infamous furrier, but eating cheese is wrong?

More photos after the jump…


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Updated for 2014