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Fashion & Beauty Queries: Vol. IV, No. Nineteen

Hi Belle!

Love your blog!  I’m hoping you can help me.  I recently bought this pair of yellow chino pants from Zara.  Apart from a white top I don’t know what else to pair them with.  I intend on wearing them to work.  For some context: I am a 31-year-old and work at a non-profit in DC where we don’t have a strict dress code. 

Hopefully, you can help me!  HB

Colored pants can be a great addition to a business-casual or casual Friday wardrobe.  They bring a lot of personality to otherwise boring attire.  And in the summertime, they’re a great alternative to denim because they’re lighter and more fitting with the season.

For yellow pants, I would start with a navy boatneck tee and a long pendant necklace.  Green is also a nice color to mix with yellow.  A short-sleeve kelly-green sweater would create a nice preppy look.  If you do choose to wear white, I would go for the tie neck blouse with the coordinating white blazer.

If you are having trouble finding shoes, I would stick to a nude-to-you heel or flat.  Your other option would be a snakeskin print.  I like the color of these Ava & Aiden pumps.

Hi Belle,

I need a simple bag to use as a work tote/gym bag/beach bag.  Do you think canvas is a good option or should I be looking for something nicer?  

Thanks, LI

A simple canvas bag is a fine choice if you’re looking for a second bag to carry extras.  L.L. Bean makes two nice canvas bags a casual beachy tote and a leather-handled option.  Another place to look would be Mark & Graham, they make a lot of casual tote bags.  I’m a fan of their canvas with leather tote.

If you’re at all concerned that canvas isn’t professional enough for your office, I would advise looking for something else.  There are so many other options, I wouldn’t chance it.  It seems like a small thing, but it never ceases to amaze me what bosses/co-workers will take notice of.  The next closest option to canvas would be a nylon tote.  I loathe Longchamp bags, but for this application, it’s the simplest solution.

Hi Belle-

I have my company headshots scheduled in a few weeks. Wondering what you suggest to wear. I know it is limited on what you can actually see, but I want this to turn out well. I was hoping to not wear a blazer, they make you look so large in such a small frame IMO.

Thanks so much! SO

First off, my best advice about headshots is to focus on your hair and your makeup.  That’s what will stand out.  If you can get a simple blowout, do it.  Your makeup should be simple, but just one hair heavier than you would usually wear.  And skin the metallic eyeshadow or highlighter; it can look weird in photos.

Second, your outfit should follow a simple formal: neutral color, demure v-neck, little to no jewelry.  This is generally the most flattering look.  I would try a v-neck dress like this Ann Taylor sheath if you don’t want to wear a blazer.

I would wear a jacket, but choose a lighter color if you’re concerned about bulk.  A pale grey jacket would be a nice choice.  This Talbot’s jacket doesn’t have a lapel, and that will remove some of the bulk.

Finally, if you do have your headshots retouched, make sure your photog uses a light hand.  I’ve seen more than a few people try to do a Vogue-quality touch up and end up looking like a Photoshop fail.  Best to look like a slightly better version of yourself or do no retouching than look like a Picasso.

Fashion & Beauty Queries: Vol. IV, No. Nineteen

Hi Belle, Love your blog! I’m always on the hunt for a good summer espadrille wedge. I’ve had a hard time finding the right shoe because I tend to think platform wedges look clunky and often aren’t appropriate for even more casual summer events at my law firm. Any recommendations would be so helpful! -CC These Lyndsay Espadrille Wedges ($119) is a nice option. Chaps espadrilles ($35) makes a canvas peep toe.  However, these slingback Land’s End espadrilles ($69) are easily my favorite option Belle, Coloring my hair has fried it.  You wrote something recently about a pre-wash treatment for damaged…

Ask the Edit: Rings for Every Budget

Hi Belle, I’m a ring addict, you’re a ring addict, I need your help.  Have you seen any rings that you just can’t live without?  My fingers could use a few new adornments.  Gold, silver, or rose gold, anything will do.  I cannot wait to see what you pick.   Sincerely, Cho Ah yes, my ring addiction is the stuff of legend.  Some days, I run out of fingers to wear them on before I run out of rings I want to wear.  From big cocktail rings to skinny bands, I have too many favorites.  Here are eight rings that…

Ask the Edit: Strapless Bra Solutions

Hi Belle, I’ve been out shopping for summer clothes recently, and bought a silk cami that will be great for dressing up outfits a bit.  However, regular bras and bralettes look weird under it; I think my best bet will be nipple covers (I don’t really have the money to replace my strapless bra right now, and haven’t been able to find one that’s supportive without the wire digging in and driving me mad).  Any suggestions?  Thanks! Meghan First, let me answer your question, then we’ll talk about strapless bras a bit. Nipple covers are a good strapless solution for women who…

Fashion & Beauty Queries: Vol. IV, No. Eighteen

Hi Belle, After gaining a little weight in my lower half, many of my sheath work dresses are slightly more snug than usual. Not bodycon by any means, but enough to make me question if it looks inappropriate for work. Do you have a rule of thumb for assessing how tight or loose a sheath dress should fit? I’d rather not have to buy new dresses if I can still get wear out of these. Thank you! NS To quote Edith Head, “A dress should be tight enough to show you’re a woman, and loose enough to prove you’re a lady.”…