Entries Tagged as 'Ask Belle'
Love the blog, it keeps me current on what to wear. Question for you: I read somewhere online that peep toe shoes were a trend for a few years, now they are ‘out of fashion’. Do you agree? I hope not because I have several pairs in my closet!
Something as simple and classic as a peep toe shoe doesn’t go “out of fashion,” even when the current trends veer elsewhere. And judging by the large number of open-toe shoes on sale at Neiman Marcus, I think you’re safe.
I am about to start a new marketing job at a large firm. My current job allows for laid back, fashion forward attire while my new job will demand something more corporate. I am looking for a new hand bag that is fashionable, functional and will go with almost anything. I love Rachel Zoe, DVF and Rebecca Minkoff. I am looking for something in neutral colors or patterns in a small to medium size but I still want it to make a statement. With only a $150 budget, I am struggling to find the upscale look that I want at a manageable price.
Stay fabulous! A
My honest recommendation would be to save up your money for a few months and buy the higher-priced bag that you want. Thing of it as a perk of your new job. But if you really want something now, I do have a few suggestions.
If black is the color you’re after, this Ava satchel from Ivanka Trump is a winner. This Vince Camuto satchel has a classic shape with understated but fashionable details. Bluefly is a great place to look for discounted handbags, and this Kelsi Dagger convertible satchel is no exception.
If brown is what you’re after, this Marc New York bag had very similar details to Rachel Zoe’s handbag line. This Mango bag is on the smaller side of medium, but I love the classic style and details.
Looking for something different? This pine green Kelsi Dagger bag with small studs and this black and snakeskin Olivia + Joy Gatsby satchel are both good choices.
Do you have a favorite eyeliner? I like pencil liner but I can never find one that stays sharp.
To get a sharp line, you’ll need to sharpen your eyeliner with every use or nearly every use. You might want to try the Smashbox ‘Always Sharp’ liner which has a twist-up design. Maybelline also makes a similar self-sharpening liner.
If it’s a fine line you’re after, you may want to try a liquid pencil like Stila’s Stay All Day liner. Or try a gel liner with an angled brush for a thin, smooth line.
I can’t wear thong underwear. I’ve tried. They’re not comfortable. I need something totally seamless to avoid VPL but I can’t find anything. The seamless briefs they sell at Victoria’s Secret were not as seamless as advertised. Please help.
The way I see it you have two solutions: find a seamless boyshort or wear Spanx over your undergarments (this is how most of the women I know avoid VPL under suits and dresses). The only truly seamless underwear that I have found come from Calvin Klein. Their Invisibles hipster has laser-cut edges to be truly smooth.
I’m getting ready to move from a casual office to one with a more professional dress code. You’ve mentioned that you like silk tees with pencil skirts, and it’s a look I’d like to try. Can you recommend some silky tops in the under $125 price point?
Your blog is a big help. Thanks. Anna
Iris & Ink makes a simple silk tee. (They also have it in matelasse texture.) I also like this Danielle Rainn tee with a cool flutter sleeve and split neck. This Vince drop neck tee could use some tailoring, but it would look spectacular tucked into a fitted skirt.
Plus-size? This Lafayette 148 tee is smashing. Petite? Try this Theory v-neck tee.
Quick Question: Do you have a favorite hairspray?
I like Big Sexy Hair Spray and Play Hard. It holds up well in the face of humidity.
All of the stores seem to have flounce skirts in stock. I like the way they look, but I find one longer than mid-thigh length. Have you seen anything in a knee-length? I would prefer to spend $150 or less. Greatly prefer. Help.
This Ann Taylor skirt has a flounce on the hem (also in petite). I own this Banana Republic skirt and it falls just a bit above the knee on my 5’7″ frame. If you like this style and have enough money to splurge, this St. John skirt is lovely. Prefer this style in a mini-skirt? Try this under-$20 skirt from JCPenney.
With a fitted skirt that flares at the bottom, it’s important that you fit it to the biggest part of you and then alter it to fit. If you’re looking for styling tips, stick with a fitted blouse. It will balance out the volume in the skirt nicely.
I need a new work/gym bag. I’ve had my eye on one of those bags with the zip bottom for your shoes. I saw one in a magazine but now I can’t find it. Have you seen anything similar?
This Sia Satchel from Sole Society is a great choice. It would also make a nice weekender. Prefer canvas? Try this Kate Spade Saturday bag.
I’m not much of a jewelry person, but I’m trying to get into necklaces. I’m having a lot of trouble finding a simple necklace. My necklace collection consists of an outline of California pendant and a really simple Tiffany circle pendant. I’d like to stay along these lines (have I mentioned the word simple?), and something under $50, preferably – the Tiffany pendant was a gift.
I love simple pendant necklaces, they’re one of my favorite types of jewelry. I like to wear them on their own or layered for a unique look.
If you’re looking for a cheap thrill, start with Gorjana or Dogeared. They both make lovely pieces in the under-$100 price point.
In the under-$50 price range, I love this inverted pyramid necklace from Rebecca Minkoff. I also like this Nadri water-drop necklace and this pendulum necklace from Modcloth. But this On the Mark necklace from Stella & Dot is my favorite (comes in silver and gold).
Love your blog! I hope to move to DC after I graduate from pharmacy school next year. My white coat ceremony is next month, and I was hoping you could find me a dress a la Michelle Obama or Clare Underwood from House of Cards. Under $100, preferably. Thank you!
Ah, the structured sheath dress. Whether it’s being worn by the First Lady or the Lady MacBeth of Netflix it looks good on anyone. Who can get enough of that shape-defining, confidence-boosting cut? Not me. Here are a few of my favorites.
Calvin Klein faux leather accent dress ($60) // Trouve cut-out sheath ($98) // London Times crepe color block dress ($79)
I think the middle dress is my favorite, but with three stylish sheaths, who can choose just one? I also adore the pale blue accent on the third dress. You can layer a white or black blazer over any of these looks. I would also recommend a colored jacket for the first and second dresses, cobalt perhaps?
Need color? Adrianna Papell has a burgundy sheath and a beautiful, bright coral. But my favorite colored frock is this $129 Badgley Mischka long-sleeve dress in cobalt. I.am.so.buying.this.one.
Another great brand to look at for affordable sheath dresses is Ivy & Blu. I like this breezy teal dress with long sleeves, and this burgundy dress with an asymmetric neckline. But the one I can’t live without is this $175 high-cowl neck dress in anything-but-basic black.
Plus-size? Try this coral Adrianna Papell or the London Times dress from the image above. But my favorite is this ABS dress with chic stud-details. Petite? The Trouve dress above is available in xx-small, and this Tahari mixed-media dress.
Can you recommend a chunky lip pencil that isn’t a balm? I don’t like the stickiness of the Clinique one you recommended a few weeks ago. I’d like something creamier. Suggestions?
I’ve heard great things about the Lipstick Queen lip pencils. Such fun colors and supposedly long-lasting. My favorite color is “crime” a pinky-raspberry shade. As for a drugstore brand, I own this NYX pencil in “plush red” and “chaos” and I like it a lot.
What kinds of shoes can I wear with medium dark khaki pants/chinos? Usually if I’m wearing chinos it’s because I want to be comfortable but still polished, so nothing too dressy, but my brown leather classic Sperrys are getting old and boring.
I think chocolate-brown shoes are the best choice for khaki or tan pants. The contrast is just enough. However, when it comes to the style, I believe that a slightly casual pant needs a structured shoe to hold it together. I would opt for a pointed-toe flat, like this Elatedd flat from Steve Madden.
If you want something a bit different, these cognac flats with a buckled strap from Forever 21 are cute. Want to add some texture? How about leopard flats for autumn and winter and these Coach tortoise flats for all-year?
I’m a preschool teacher, which means that while I love the beautiful work shoes you suggest, they are largely impractical for my job. From spring to fall, I rely on pairing ballet flats with my casual tailored pants and dark-wash jeans, and in these cold months I mostly wear flat boots. I would love an in-between option, something like a mule (similar to Danskos) but that looks more sleek and professional. I’ve been looking and can’t find anything I like.
When you say “ballet flats,” do you mean round-toe shoes or just flats? Because if you’re relying heavily on round-toe shoes, I would try some point-toe shoes. They lengthen the leg and look a bit more polished. I would try a bright color like these coral flats from Modcloth, or a great basic like these Sole Society penny loafer flat.
If you’re looking for a mule, it’s difficult to find mules that aren’t…well…hideous. I searched around for a while and didn’t have much luck. Have you thought about wedges instead?
Wedges provide more stability and can be more comfortable than heels. You can also buy them in any height. These Via Spiga shoes are on the higher side, but have a sleek look. The Pilner wedges are lower, as are these Crown Vintage wedges. If you have a bit more to spend, I love the look of these DvF wedges or these two-tone Loeffler Randall wedges.
I love peep toe shoes, but so many of the pairs I find show too much toe. Can you help me find some open toe shoes that show a peep instead of my whole foot?
Thank you so much! Jamie
I certainly have seen some open-toe shoes that expose the entire front of the foot, and it’s not attractive on anyone. You didn’t specify a color that you were looking for, so I selected these black open-toe pumps from Ivanka Trump. I also like these Michael Kors Mid-Flex Heel in beige (very comfortable).
Want a color? The Ivanka Trump Cleo heels mentioned above also come in red. Looking for something inexpensive? These Merona heels from Target come in several gorgeous colors.
I just started my first “grown up” job and my FEET ARE KILLING ME. High heels all day walking hither and yon, not fun. You’ve mentioned that you like insoles for your shoes, which ones do you recommend?
I wear Dr. Scholl’s insoles. Depending on the shoes I am wearing, and where they hurt my feet, I’ll wear either the ball-of-foot insoles or the full-shoe insoles for high heels.
Some of my friends swear by Insolia inserts. They shift your weight from the ball of your foot to the heel. This reduces pressure on your whole foot and can add hours of comfort.
I know it’s really early for this, but I’m headed to San Diego on vacation next month and I’m looking for a pair of sandals. Can you help me find some flat casual sandals under-$50? I’m looking for something inexpensive but with style.
Love CHS! Adele
Early? I just defrosted my feet in the bathtub. Yes, a bit early for sandals. However, there are already some cute ones on the market.
Jaclyn Day featured the Lakitia Sandals from Target, and they are very chic for $20. These Aerosoles sandals have a light embellishment in a fabulous cocoa color. This Coconuts sandal in black a cognac are great.
Also, I spotted these $85 Joe’s are kind of crazy, but they’re very unique. Very fashion forward.
I love your blog! Can you please help me find a mint-colored purse for every day use. My limit is $50, but since it seems like a trendier item, anything cheaper would be ideal.
There weren’t too many choices in your selected color and price range, but I did find a few. This little crossbody from ASOS is pretty cute. I also like this bowler-style satchel from Modcloth. And if you don’t mind going just a little outside your price range, this scalloped-edge satchel from ASOS is adorable at $55.
Like most women, I love when my stylist does my hair but I can’t replicate it at home. I really want to learn how to round brush my hair like a pro. Any pointers? I know you’ve said you blowout your hair every day, so what brush do you use?
Whatever your hair-styling question is, I find the best place to search for an answer is YouTube. There are a few videos which can help you learn how to give yourself a stylist-quality blowout, but they require practice to make it perfect.
This video from Cosmo walks you through the process step-by-step and has the model styling her own hair, so you can see how it’s done. I think that the keys to getting a good blow-dry are as follows: make sure hair is 75% dry when you start, section your hair for control and buy a good brush.
If you want to learn how to create volume while blow-drying, this video from Melissa Barone teaches you how to achieve a super-model, beachy blow-out starting with dry hair. The model spends a lot of time working the roots to create volume, so if that’s been an issue for you, this video should help.
As for tools, I think it’s important to use a heat-protecting spray like Frizz-Ease Heat Defeat. I like the Spornette ceramic brushes. They come in several sizes, but I use the 2″ brush. If you prefer a bristle brush, try this one from Chi.
At home blow-outs are just something you have to practice until you get it right. Once you master the technique it will typically take less than 20-minutes to do it yourself (unless you have a lot of hair). I have really straight hair, and I can blow-dry my whole head in seven minutes.
I’ve been wearing jeans from Old Navy for years, but it’s time for an upgrade. The pocket placement on my last two pair made my butt look really wide, and I’m over cheap jeans. Do you have a favorite brand or brands?
Appreciate the help, CG
My favorite brand and style of skinny jeans is the Paige Skyline jean. They’re slimming and the pocket placement is flattering, even on my pear-shaped rear. I also like that the rise is between a low- and mid-rise, so they give me some coverage without binding.
AG Jeans are probably my favorite brand. I love the Angel (a bootcut) and the Ballad, which falls between a bootcut and a straight leg. If it’s a trouser jean you’re after, I like 7 For All Mankind’s Dojo jean. If you have trouble fitting a really curvy body, I have a few friends who swear by Cookie Johnson jeans. She also makes plus-size denim, and when I’m buying white jeans, I always try on her styles first because finding figure flattering white denim is tough.
If you like the look of designer denim but can’t stomach the price, I suggest hitting TJ Maxx or another discount retailer. I would also hit 6pm.com which is where I buy most of my denim these days.
I read your review of the Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab nail set. Is it really worth the money? How long does your manicure really last? I’m spending a lot of money on gel manis and would love to save a bit.
Thanks, Pricey Polish
If you read a review of a beauty product on CHS, the odds are 99 to 1 that I bought it myself, and the Lippmann set is worth every penny I paid for it. My non-DL manicures last between three and four days before the chip. My D-L manicures make it a whole week. However, you need to be really diligent about making sure that you cover the entire surface of the nail. If you miss a spot, that is where your chip will appear.
I highly recommend the Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab kit if you like to do your manicures at home. They don’t damage the nail like a salon manicure can, and there’s no UV light. I find they work best if you use a Lippmann polish, but you can use any brand you have on hand and still get great results.