Capitol Hill Style

Monday, October 20, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Under-$50 Sweater Dresses

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Dear Belle,

Thank you so much for turning me onto sweater dresses with leggings.  I wear them every weekend from October to March because they are so comfortable and snugly.  I get bored though, so I prefer to buy cheap dresses and then donate them to Goodwill after a couple of months.  Can you help me find some new dresses for $50 or less?

I’m so glad you kept blogging while in school! Thank you, PM

Sweater dresses are a versatile option.  You can wear them with leggings on the weekends or with tights on casual workdays.  They’re also a great option for traveling if you add a big scarf and some comfy flat boots.  Here are a few under-$50 dresses that caught my eye.

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Longsleeve Shift Sweater Dress ($30)

This sweater dress from Target is awesome.  In comes in two color block combos (this ivory one and a black and grey one) and in two different stripes patterns.  Target also offers this Textured Sweater Dress in eight gorgeous colors.  And don’t miss this Drop-waist Sweater Dress in a soft grey, black or slate blue.  Target also offers a couple of sweater dresses in plus-size.

LOFT offers this cable sweater dress in four fall hues for $90.  It has a shirt tail hem, so it’s more of a casual option.  Back in the under-$50 range, I like this Choies sweater dress with a cool, dotted pattern.  This Calvin Klein asymmetrical-neck sweater dress option is really chic.

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.

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Updated for 2014