Capitol Hill Style

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Best Lip Balms


Hi Belle,

Stupid question, what chapstick or lip balm do you use?


First, I know it was meant in a light-hearted way, but it’s not a good idea to preface phrases with “stupid question.”  It’s like saying, “Don’t take me seriously.”  Especially in school or in the workplace (which this is obviously not, but it’s a good lesson regardless), you should feel empowered to ask any question that isn’t gratuitous and will improve your understanding or knowledge.

Now, back to your actual question..

I use two different lip products.  I like Blistex Lip Medex when my lips are really dry.  For a more natural choice, I like Lucas’ Papaw Ointment.  Some of my friends use the un-tinted Maybelline Babylips chapstick.

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Belle

Ask Belle: Statement Necklaces, Yea or Nay?


Hi Belle,

Are big “statement” necklaces over?  You seem to be featuring simpler ones these days, but I really like the large ones, and I’m hoping that I’m not hopelessly off-trend?

What are your thoughts? DG

This is a two-pronged answer because not all necklaces are created equal.  Overly large necklaces, like the bubble necklaces that were everywhere in 2012, are out of style.  They’re just too big and too heavy, and the J.Crew-knock-offs seem very dated (perhaps because they were so popular when they first came out).


Imperial Tile Necklace ($248)

You need to decide what kind of statement you want to make.  Is it big?  Is it colorful?  Is it textured?  This Kate Spade necklace has an art deco feel and a versatile, neutral color palette.  Looking for art deco for less?  Check out this necklace from The Limited and this one from Forever21.

Unless you plan to wear a large necklace regularly (ala Diane Lockhart on The Good Wife), I wouldn’t spend more than $50 on one. Some more expensive ones that I really love include this onyx, multi-strand necklace from Kate Spade and this beautiful teal-agate necklace.

Looking in a more conservative price point?  I like this geometric necklace from Charlotte Russe; it would look great with a black crew neck sweater.  This Cara necklace with shades of blush and black is long and impactful.  My favorite necklace that I found was from Chico’s in shades of gold, black and blue.  If you want something daintier, they make a similar single strand version.

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Belle

Morning Line: September 29



Michael Michael Kors Wrap-Front Dress ($120)

I spotted this dress over a month ago on the website of a foreign retailer, and it’s finally available in the States.  It’s also selling out fast.  And why not?  The gorgeous midnight-navy color, the flattering shape, the versatile day-to-night aesthetic…it’s a must have.

Nordstrom has the dress in the navy, as well as in a turquoise color.  They also have a similar dress in emerald in petite sizes.

The neckline in the photo looks a bit revealing.  In practice, you can gather and tighten it so that it’s not.  If you want a permanent solution, having it stitched closed cost me $15.

Friday, September 26, 2014 by Belle

Happy Hour: Cocktail on the Cheap



Just because you can’t (or don’t want to) pay for the good stuff, doesn’t mean you can’t have on awesome cocktail party.  Cosmopolitan Magazine has ideas for how to use a cheap box of wine.  My favorite is the Muddled Melon, a mix of rose, chopped melon and lime, garnished with fresh mint.


Bailey Blue Off-Shoulder Dress ($42)

A little creativity can spruce up a box of cheap wine, and lovely dresses can be had for under-$50.  This Bailey dress is structured and modern.  It also defines the waist beautifully.

Thie slinky, black H&M dress is a great $25 option.  I love this draped DKNY dress.  And this Marni Weston dress has a classic, Issa feel to me.

Plus-size? This BB Dakota dress with lace insets is lovely.  Petite? This red dress with an asymmetric neckline is awesome.

Friday, September 26, 2014 by Belle

Belle’s Weekly Reading: September 26, 2014




1) Maryam al Monsouri is the UAE’s first female fighter pilot.  She’s a role model for millions of little girls everywhere.  But ask the jackasses at Fox News and they reduce her accomplishments to a bunch of juvenile quips.  They should be so proud of themselves.

2) Tory Burch has this gorgeous dotted-haircalf satchel.  And do.not.miss her Gemma dress with a short sleeve and a spotted, pony jacquard print.

3) KLM Airlines has an interesting way of returning to lost items to customers.  It involves an adorable beagle with an incredible sense of smell. (Too cute.)

4) Need to rehab your sweaters? This stone pill and lint remover is a must have.  This black and grey Club Monaco sweater is a chic basic.  For a piece that will last several seasons, check out the brand Autumn Cashmere.  Need something inexpensive? I love this BP textured cotton crew neck.

5) What if you just don’t know if you want kids?

6) I’m not quite girly enough for Kate Spade, but sometimes her pieces are just too fab to miss.  This pointelle sweater dress is gorgeous.  I also love this Genni sweater with elbow patches.  And this ivory coat with a bow on the neck is everything.

7) A small town tragedy has many townspeople asking if it should be crime to raise a killer.  Where does the parents’ responsibility end and the child’s begin?

8) Microdermabrasion is really expensive.  Silk’n has a new device that can give you the effect of microdermabrasion at home.  I can’t wait to try it.

9) Reading a summary of the comments left on food blogs will make you laugh out loud.  Imagine being told that despite the fact that the cook didn’t use your recommended ingredients, or cook it in the way you intended, it’s your fault that the meal didn’t turn out gourmet.

10) Anthropologie is offering an extra 25-percent-off sale items.  This colorful striped scarf is a great choice.  I also love this zip-up that is stylish and perfect for covering up post-gym.  And these black-and-white d’Orsay flats might be the most unusual shoes that I’ve seen in a while.

11) The New Yorker has a piece on how plus-size fashion is getting a fresh look by hitting the runways.

12) Sephora released a few of their holiday gift sets and palettes early.  They’re offering the Fresh Sugar Lip Legends again, so many great colors.  Also, for lovers of Clinique Black Honey lip color, they have a gorgeous set for $25.  But my favorite is this mini-set from Givenchy that features some of their best foundation, blush and eye colors.

image c/o papery rain

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Updated for 2014