Morning Line: January 12, 2017

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The epaulets are a bit much, but this Contrast Trim Jacket ($79) is a nice combination of rocker chic and staid conservative.  If you’re looking to add a few new jackets to your wardrobe, Mango is the place to go.  If you’re buying your blazers at Forever21 or H&M, it might be time to make the switch.  Most blazers are under $125, and when there’s a sale (which are frequent), they’re much cheaper.  Mango also offers a Violeta line for sizes up to 22 (though many styles are only available up to 18).  See more of my Mango picks in the widget below.

The Dispatch: January 11, 2017

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1. If you want to get promoted, you have to say so. (Harvard Business Review)

2. Need a new suit?  I am loving this slate blue melange one-button jacket with matching pencil skirt.

3. No, Diet Coke is not killing you. (Two of my former classmates will be grateful to hear it.) (The Outline)

4. I love this Halogen blouse with piping detail for work.  For weekend, this olive parka with faux-fur trim hood.

5. How successful women tackle Mondays. (The Everygirl)

6. I adore this fig leaf barrette.  For something more affordable, the LuxeBuffalo Etsy shop has a variety of pretty clips.

7. Why telling women to ‘always negotiate’ might be bad advice. (The Atlantic)

8. If you’re looking for a pricey ‘wear it for the rest of my life’ winter coat, Gilt is having a Moncler sale.

9. Style tips for ladies with a love/hate relationship with their bangs (i.e. everyone with bangs). (Byrdie)

10. The Ann Taylor semi-annual sale is winding down.  If you’re hunting for something new, this fluted sleeve sweater dress and this tie-front top caught my eye.

[image found here]

Morning Line: January 11, 2017

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I posted a link to this Vince Camuto Sweater Dress ($139, also in petites) in late December.  Since then, nearly ten readers have e-mailed to let me know how much they love it.  Given that this is something of a rarity, I thought I should post it again.

The dress looks like the perfect thing for a day when you want to be comfortable, but you need to look professional.  The Spanx 60 Denier tights are my current favorite. If you need an inexpensive brand, ASOS 80 denier tights are the way to go.

Love sweater dresses for casual work days?  Check out the widget for more choices in all size ranges.

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

Hi Belle,

This may seem like a dumb question, but can you help me find a good long sleeve white tee shirt?  All the ones I see in stores are sheer and thin.  

Happy Holidays, Sofia

Several years ago, while visiting my Mother, I learned the secret to finding good t-shirts: You have to shop where either your outdoorsy Aunt or your Grandmother would shop.  Sadly, the retailers who skew younger seem to think that Kleenex is the preferred weight.  Brands like Columbia still make the heavy cotton tees we all remember.  In fact, one of the best tees on the market is the Orvis Perfect Tee, available on Amazon, and just $39.

I also like this Caslon Long Sleeve Scoop Tee ($25).  Land’s End has their go-to crewneck t-shirt, which comes in misses, petite and plus.  And LL Bean has both their heavier Bean’s Tee and their medium weight Pima cotton tee.

Dear Belle,

Do you have a favorite pair of jeans?  I just got a promotion and I think it’s time to leave my Old Navy ones behind me.  Love the blog!  Liz

First, congratulations on your promotion.  And second, while Old Navy makes a very respectable jean for the price, if you’re looking to move up, I suggest you go to a store like Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s and try on lots of brands.  Because, my favorite, may not be your favorite.

I have two brands I like: Paige and AG.  My skinny jean of choice are the AG Farrah High Rise Skinnies.  A word of caution though, they have A LOT of stretch in them.  So I buy them one size smaller than I need, so that the fact they stretch out will work for me, instead of against me.  This way, the slightly smaller jeans have a slimming effect, instead of just stretching out.

If you prefer a lower rise, the Paige Skyline Skinny is the only way to go.

Hi,

I just started on Capitol Hill as an intern and I’m covered in blisters from giving tours.  Help, please, help.

New and Sore

Hey kid, don’t worry, we’ve all been there.  First off, no one will fault you if you change into a pair of cute, comfortable shoes to give tours.  So if you’re giving them in high heels, stop punishing yourself.  If I had it to do again, I’d be given tours in a pair of M.Gemi Moccasins or a pair of rubber-soled Cole Haan flats.  And since a reader pointed out that it was dumb for me to suggest $200 shoes for an intern who works for free (facepalm), try these super cute $40 Isaac Mizrahi moccasins in pearl pink. (Duh, Belle, duh.)

You can wear a pair of nice, clean sneakers, if your boss says it’s okay.  I wouldn’t–but if it’s that bad, the worst that will happen is people will know you’re an intern.

Second, you need anti-chafe stick.  Smear it all over your feet to reduce the friction that causes blisters.  It will give you an extra half-hour-plus of walking.  And bring bandaids, just keep them in your wallet so you always have them.

Dear Belle,

Where did you get the nail polish set on your Instagram?  I can’t find it anywhere.

Sincerely, KL

If you’re referring to this berry-colored Deborah Lippmann set, you can find it at Net-a-Porter.  She also makes an all nudes set, and an all pink set.  They’re great for those of us who love nail polish, and want all the colors, but will never use the whole full-size bottle.

Morning Line: January 10, 2017

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Florals in winter, groundbreaking.  The moody color pattern of this River Island Grey Floral Miniskirt ($60) is sublime.  It’s an excellent transition piece into spring.

I would wear it with this grey, deep v-neck sweater from Bloomingdale’s.  I also love the interplay with the delicate floral and this perfectly chunky grey fisherman’s sweater.  If you want to add in some color, this teal sweater is the way to go.

Love the idea of florals in winter?  Check the slider for more pieces in all sizes.