Capitol Hill Style

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Eight Work Dresses Under-$175


Dear Belle,

I just started my first “real job,” and while I’m really excited, I also can’t find dresses that I like. All the ones I find are either too short or look really cheap.  Can you help me find a few for work that cost under-$175?  My office is a little conservative, but not suits every day kind of conservative.  And I’d love to find some sleeved dresses.

Love your blog! Hilary

Dresses with sleeves–that aren’t too short or too tight–should be on every woman’s hit list.  A sleeved dress is the perfect solution to the “closet full of nothing to wear” because it’s one piece, and it doesn’t need much sprucing up.  Here are a few that caught my eye.


Ava & Aiden Ponte V-Neck Dress ($69)


Preston & York Aurelia Dress ($89)


Boden Westminster Dress ($103, petite and tall)


Limited Wrap Dress ($89)


Antonio Melani Benny Dress ($159)


ASOS Roll Neck Pleated Dress ($91)


Boden Annie Dress ($126, petite and tall)

*I own this dress.  I love it.  It has a little slip in the skirt to keep it appropriate, and it is so comfy.


Anne Klein Women’s Short Sleeve Dress ($129)

 Here are a couple of options for plus-size ladies.


Julia Jordan Cap Sleeve Dress ($95)

*I know I put up this dress yesterday, but it’s so great, let’s go for twice.


Jessica Howard 3/4 Sleeve Dress ($99)

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: The Cure for Smelly Shoes


Hi Belle,

My summer shoes came out of storage last week, and they stink.  Time in the plastic tub in my closet was clearly not good for them.  I left them outside to air out, but they still smell.  Help!


The cause of smelly shoes is almost always bacteria growth.  So a sealed, plastic container was not the best way to store them.  But there are some easy home remedies for removing the smell, here’s my method.

Step 1. Put your shoes in a plastic zip top bag and place them in the freezer overnight.  This starts the process of killing off the bacteria.

Step 2. Remove the shoes from the zip top bags.  Then, fill a small spray bottle with a solution that’s 1/4 water and 3/4 vodka.  (That’s right, vodka.  Or to be more specific, cheap vodka.)  Liberally spritz the inside of the shoes.

Pro Tip: Vodka is a great deodorizer.  If you have smelly feet, soaking them in a vodka solution will help.  and if your dry-clean only clothes get a bit odoriffic in the armpits, spritz them with vodka.  It works much better than Febreeze.

Step 3. Place the shoes in a well ventilated area, preferably outside, and allow them to air dry.  The drying process usually takes 2-3 hours.

If they still smell (which they shouldn’t), it’s time for the real work.

Plan B. Make a paste of baking soda, dish soap (I like Honest Co. soap.), and a bit of hydrogen peroxide.  Then, using an old toothbrush, scrub the inside of the shoes.  Finish by wiping up the paste with a paper towel.  Air dry outside.

Keeping Things Fresh. If you struggle to keep your shoes smelling fresh, you can make a homemade deodorizing powder.  The recipe is 3 Tbsp. baking soda, 1 Tbsp. cornstarch, 5 drops of tea tree oil.  Sprinkle it in your shoes and let sit overnight.  Dump out the powder before wearing them.  If you need a lot of this stuff, I recommend keeping it in the fridge in a parmesan shaker.

Another quick solution?  I put a small fan in my closet just to keep the air moving.  It keeps my shoes from smelling, and keeps the smell from getting on my clothes.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Ask Belle: Four Statement Bracelets Under-$50


Hi Belle,

A lot of your posts feature big bracelets.  I looked for some this weekend and didn’t find much.  The things I did find looked really cheap.  Can you help me find a few bracelets that cost under fifty bucks?  I love your blog, thanks for keeping up with it!

Kelly J.

I love a large, chunky bracelet.  It adds a lot of interest to an outfit.  Whether you choose a cuff, a large bangle, or a stack of smaller bracelets, you can really make a statement.  I found a few bracelets that fell into your price range, so let’s take a look at them.


Polished Wood Bangles ($34)

I love a wood bangle for casual wear.  They look great with a maxi dress.  Also, if you’re headed to the pool and you want to look a little glamorous, a wood bangle looks effortless and natural.  This striped wood bangle from Anthro is another great piece.


Vince Camuto Cuff ($48)

Cut-out cuffs are versatile option that can be worn with any outfit.  They have weight, but they don’t overpower.  This cuff also comes in gold.


H&M 2-Pack Bracelets ($15)

I love the coppery-brown of these double cuff bracelets.  Wear them both on one arm, or wear one on each arm to cover the cuffs of a flowy, long-sleeve blouse.  I also like this enamel cuff from Fornash that offers the same shape in your choice of five colors.


Baroque Bangle Bracelet ($34)

Looking for something a bit more opulent?  This jaguar cuff is perfect.  Wear it alone or layer it.  I also like the look of this stack of jeweled open cuffs from Nordstrom.  They’re pretty, but not too glitzy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015 by Belle

Morning Line: May 21


Corner Office


Helmut Lang Sonar Drape Jacket ($395)

Middle Cubicle


NYDJ City/Sport Moto Jacket ($118)

Intern Desk


Airport Greeting Cardigan ($55, also in plus-size)

Petite: Nic + Zoe Sundown Moto Jacket ($174)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015 by Belle

The Workday Reading: May 20, 2015




1) It scares me how little faith and trust voters have in the federal government.  The New Yorker covers how this confidence-gap is breaking the nation’s transportation infrastructure.

2) Let’s talk sandals.  Fringe is hot right now, and these Cavallari sandals are incredibly cute.  And these fringe-free Qupid sandals have the perfect mix of neutrals for under-$25.

3) A new study says that daughters of working mothers grow up to earn more money, and their grown sons help out more around the house.

4) These Aida Kurbur earrings give you two pairs of cute earrings (one teardrop stud, one drop) for $25.  Score.

5) Fast Company covers the Seven Habits of Likable People.

6) The Beauty Department has an easy tip for how to prevent cakey powder.  Looking for a great translucent powder?  This $10 HD Finishing Powder from NYX is a great product.

7) Actress Rebel Wilson allegedly lies about her age.  Isn’t it sad that a woman feels the need to hide her age in order to generate opportunities?

8) Black Halo makes the greatest dresses.  This short sleeve Jodee sheath is so fitted and sleek.  I am obsessed with this cowl-neck black dress.  And this pink two-piece pencil dress would be so fun for a summer party.

9) A Swedish town intends to pick up the whole town and move it down the road.  Fascinating.

10) Seersucker suits are popular on in the Mid-Atlantic.  Some Senators even instituted ‘Seersucker Thursdays’ at the Capitol.  And finally, there’s a seersucker suit that doesn’t make me feel like a candy striper.

*image found here.

Copyright © 2006, Capitol Hill Style. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed on Capitol Hill Style by Belle, a guest blogger
or those providing comments are theirs alone. They do not reflect the opinions of Belle's current employer, Belle's
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